IDOT facility, Northfield, IL

By John Ruberry

You’ve heard of “Deep State,” right? If you haven’t, it’s the powerful yet anonymous cadre of senior bureaucrats within the federal government who are toiling to undermine President Donald J. Trump. They are “the swamp” Trump wants to drain.

In Illinois, where I live, we have Deep Corruption.

Last week in my own blog I reported on Deep Corruption when former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett received a 4 ½ year prison sentence for wire fraud for her role in a bribery scheme with a former employer, a contractor. Her old boss there likely engineered her hiring as the boss of CPS.

In 2014 as Illinois’ financial situation was clearly dire–it has gotten worse since then–a political hiring scandal broke at the Illinois Department of Transportation. Over 200 unqualified people were hired as “staff assistants.” The title sounds innocent enough, but staff assistants in Illinois government are supposed to be policy-making posts, which makes those positions exempt from anti-patronage rules. Most of these so-called policy makers were hired during the six-year term of so-called reformer Pat Quinn, then the Democratic governor of Illinois. But candidates with backgrounds such as managing an ice cream store, laying bricks, and working for the Democratic Party were hired as staff assistants at IDOT. Well, these hires were diverse that’s for sure. Once on the state payroll, naturally these unqualified employees were given duties that matched their modest skill set. Many of them now hold new titles and are exempt from being discharged–except for extreme indiscretions–because of union rules.

Meanwhile, Illinois has the worst credit rating and the worst-funded public pension system of the fifty states. It currently has $11 billion in unpaid bills.

But under Quinn money was available to place political cronies on the state payroll.

Last week a court-ordered monitor issued her report on the political hiring scandal, or what should be called the Hack Pol Job Fair. The unqualified candidates of course had one thing in common: connections, often family ties, to a Democratic politician.

Rauner: Shake Up Springfield, Bring Back Illinois

Fed up Illinois voters threw Quinn, out of office in 2014, replacing him with Republican Bruce Rauner, who eliminated the staff assistant job classification but has been largely stymied in his attempt to “Bring Back Illinois” and “Shake Up Springfield” by state House Speaker Michael Madigan, who is also chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party.

Seven staff assistants with Madigan ties were hired by IDOT.

Chicago talk radio host and onetime gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft likes to say “Illinois isn’t broken–it’s fixed.” True, very true.

Quinn’s office was the clearing house for the IDOT job scandal and this episode should finally destroy his undeserved reputation as a reformer. In 1996 a prominent Illinois Democratic politician accused Quinn of being a ghost payroller for the Dan Walker administration. You probably never heard of Walker, but he’s one of those Illinois governors who later served time in federal prison. Public pensioner Quinn now says he’s working on ending gerrymandering in Illinois, yet he approved the current disgraceful gerrymandered map that created supermajorities for the Democrats in the General Assembly.

Who was that politician who called Quinn a ghost-payroller? It was US Sen. Dick Durbin. And the senior senator from Illinois’ office tried to get “Candidate 5” a job “with various state agencies.” And after pressure from Durbin’s office, “Staff Assistant 47” was hired at IDOT.

There is some good news in regards to this scandal, besides its exposure. Honest Illinois state employees alerted authorities of these abuses.

John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

And those were illegal abuses, I’d like to add. Who will be indicted for these crimes?

On personal note, my mother passed away three weeks ago. As is natural for someone going through a parental loss, my thoughts have veered to the past of late. Years ago my mother told me about a conversation she had with my father–he’s gone now too. My dad declared to my mom that his goal was to enter politics, which of course meant Illinois politics as they lived in Chicago. “That will never work out,” she explained to him. “You’re honest.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

A few one sentence thoughts

Was there anything more boring than the white House Correspondents dinner, particularly compared to the Trump Rally last night?

Can someone explain to me why the MSM having to public declare “we are not fake news” at the Correspondent’s Dinner is not a laugh line while Christine O’Donnell saying: “I am not a witch” is?

I took great pleasure watching Comcast’s menu show “White House correspondent’s dinner” for 8-10 and see the first hour dominated by Trump.

Could someone explain why liberals how liberals on CNN’s STOU suggesting Barack Obama should go on a “poverty tour” to make up for his big money speaking deals, is not an acknowledgement that 8 years of Obama including 2 years of filibuster proof majorities and 4 years of senate control did not solve these problems.

If Jake Tapper had been drinking when Samantha Bee said with a straight face to him live on his show that she’s all about the comedy and not about the activism we would have been treated to a live shot of him either spitting, choking or having whatever he drank come out of his nose.

Would it be so hard for Samantha Bee et/al to just admit that there is a good living playing to liberals panicked over Trump and she intends to make it?

If the Bill O’Reilly case doesn’t prove that Mike Pence is the smartest man in Washington I don’t know what is.

If Comcast really wants me to keep paying for cable I think they would have the current season of Doctor who available on demand for free for at least a few days after they air.

Conventional wisdom kept saying the Patriots would trade Malcolm Butler or Jimmy Garoppolo to save money but apparently nobody considered that they might just want to win it again this year.

It’s amazing to see just how average the Red Sox are and how little other teams fear their lineup without David Ortiz in it.

If there is one thing that Berkeley proves once as for all, the only way to get the left

During the 2nd day of Fr Stephen Imbarrato’s visit to Massachusetts after celebrating a mass and attending a breakfast in Medford he traveled to Fitchburg. We covered his Eucharistic Procession here but there were several other items of interest both before and after that event.

He said Saturday morning mass at St Camillus church at St. Bernard’s Parish in Fitchburg and sat for an interview after mass on the events.

Linda Santo who spoke the previous night in Medford attended this mass and also consented to an interview.

From there we went to Slattery’s in Fitchburg (home of that most perfect of deserts Kentucky Derby Pie) for a luncheon to a packed house, Fr briefly spoke there as well.

Next there came the procession viewed now online by over 200K people (for context the population of Fitchburg is 40k) after the procession we traveled to the former Madonna of the Holy Rosary parish where Fr. heard confessions, celebrated the divine mercy vigil mass followed by a dinner served by the Knights of Columbus of the St. Anthony of Padua counsel and a talk.

But the there was a pleasant surprise at both this dinner and the previous one. There was a band playing at both this event and the previous one in Medford. It turns out they were a group called Musicians for life and they not only performed old guitar staples of the faith like Mighty to Save during dinner

but after an introduction by Fr. Imbarrato also performed six original songs explicit pro-life songs written specifically for these event such as Let em Live: (which was streamed life to his facebook page)

Where have all the Children Gone

I’m Here with Jesus

Listen to my Heart Beating

It’s a life (which I think is a really catchy tune)

and the Choice is Yours

At the end of the night they sat for an interview

It would be their final performance during Fr. Imbarrato’s trip as they had a commitment the next day but if I may be so bold and suggest that they and their music would be a welcome addition to any Catholic or pro-life event.

A photo gallery follows:

MORE TO COME…

Previously:

Voices of Life in Medford: Fr. Imbarrato, Pro Life Legal Defense League, Linda Santo and more

Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood Fitchburg led by Fr. Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life

Protest Prayers and Procession at Planned Parenthood Boston Led by Fr Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life


All of this is paid for by you. If you think taking two days off without pay and covering Fr Imbarrato in Medford, Fitchburg and Boston (twice) is worthwhile and would like to help me make up the costs, pay our writers and make our annual goal consider subscribing and become (if you wish) a listed as a Friend of DaTechguy blog

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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

by baldilocks

I’m sorry that I missed Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, April 24th. It’s usually very difficult for me to miss it, since I spend a lot of time in Glendale, CA—a city which has a high percentage of citizens who are of Armenian descent. But I was at home most of the day, caught up in my own life and its issues.

A site which I read often posted a photo which was emblematic of what Turkey was trying to achieve when that country, under the agency of the then-nearly dead Ottoman Empire, attempted to wipe out the Armenians. If you’ve never seen any of this particular genocide’s photographic evidence, consider this fair warning.

Photo.

A granddaughter of Armenian Genocide survivors tries to detect the pattern of how genocides begin.

Perhaps most important to a genocidal plan is neutralizing any possible support for the victims. The Ottoman government maintained a well-coordinated propaganda campaign that vilified the Armenians in the eyes of their Turkish neighbors. In like manner, the Jews were demonized among their neighbors in Nazi Germany.

This sort of thing happens in all mass killings, including those done for reasons other than ethnicity. For example, in Stalinist Russia, several million peasant farmers in the Ukraine were deliberately starved to death in the winter of 1932-33 in what is known as the Holodomor. Soviet propaganda demonized these people, known as “kulaks,” as enemies of the people because they resisted the forced collectivization of agriculture, i.e., the confiscation of their farms. In Rwanda, Hutu propaganda vilified and scapegoated the Tutsis, often through radio, priming the popular mindset for the mass slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis during a 100-day period in 1994. The list of “final solutions” goes on and on.

Information warfare through a centrally controlled media is key to turning neighbor against neighbor. It plays a huge role in caricaturing perceived enemies and growing an us-versus-them mindset. In short, propaganda that psychologically manipulates a population is key to laying the groundwork for extreme social polarization, and ultimately for genocide.

There’s more.

About information: I’ve long postulated that too many people think that the quantity of information is was makes a person intelligent and knowledgeable. I vehemently disagree. It is the ability to analyze information that determines the existence of these personal qualities.

In short, it’s all about the existence and regular calibration of one’s BS detector.

And pride vs. humility, and tribalism vs. reasoning. And the visions of human fallibility vs. the vision of human perfectibility. And…

Sin.  I don’t want to forget that.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

“How do you even function?”

I get asked that question a lot these days.  After I got back from a week long work trip (my first time out since Rebecca died), some people were shocked that I’d even consider leaving home.  To go to work, travel and in general try to function at a previously normal level is apparently so…not normal?

Viewed one way, Rebecca’s death was the latest in a string of crappy events in my life.  Before that, my wife had a crappy pregnancy, including finding out about a heart defect and having a doctor essentially recommend we abort her based on a crummy medical test.  Even before that, I had a crappy job in Hawaii, my dog died while I was on island, and my master’s degree almost didn’t happen due to the government’s continuing resolution.  Hawaii was not paradise for me.  I had plenty to be depressed about.

But I don’t view my life as a string of unfortunate events.  While I don’t ignore the hard stuff, I certainly don’t let it control me.  I think about what I learned from it and move forward.  More importantly, I look for the good things that happened, and if you look, there is plenty to be happy about.

It worries me that I’m apparently the exception to the rule.  I worry that we’ve become a clinically depressed society, where we simply medicate our problems away or worse, insist that we live our day to day life unable to maintain a consistently positive view on our future.  I worry that our young people get told to seek happiness in free sex, material goods, a college education, or a variety of other fleeting escapes, and then are shocked when they are truly not happy.  I worry that the depression causes people to damage themselves in long term ways.

We had two things that worked quite well to break depression: a strong faith and strong personal connections.  But it isn’t cool to have faith anymore (unless it’s the kind that doesn’t have all those pesky rules), and our Facebook and smart phone culture is breaking down our personal connections.  Those solid connections kept us steady during the storms in our lives.  Now, instead, we drift through life, blown around by whatever the latest whim or fancy is.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  We can turn back to the foundation that made us strong before.  Over this past weekend, I stopped checking my Facebook status and started calling people I hadn’t talked to in months.  You know those conversations you have where both parties don’t want to stop?  I had a bunch of those.  It made me look forward to the future.

Happiness isn’t going to find you.  It’s going to require you to find it.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Please check out my blog and donate to Da Tech Guy!

The Protest Priest Fr. Stephen Imbarrato of Priest’s for life’s visit to Massachusetts sponsored by Prayers for Life and WQPH was not all protests and processions at planned parenthood in Boston and Fitchburg, there were other events such as a Pro-life Dinner at Anthony’s in Medford where many pro-life folks spoke.

There was the pro-life legal defense fund that does yeoman work in court

There was Linda Santo mother of Audrey Santo whose cause for sainthood is now in motion

It was a tad complicated filming Linda as she like Ted Cruz doesn’t stay in one place while she talks.

There were also individuals such as Francis

and Paul

and priests such as Fr Emmanuel from Nigeria who is studying in Boston (my camera died during the interview but we’d get a chance to talk again two days later in Boston)

There was music from Musicians for life, they would join us in Fitchburg and deserve their own post which will come next

and of course Fr. Imbarrato who spoke at length

Part 2

Part 3

Many pro-life groups throughout New England were represented and tirelessly keep up the fight in this bluest of blue areas, because in the end, life is worth it.

MORE TO COME….

Previously
Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood Fitchburg led by Fr. Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life

Protest Prayers and Procession at Planned Parenthood Boston Led by Fr Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life


All of this is paid for by you. If you think taking two days off without pay and covering Fr Imbarrato in Medford, Fitchburg and Boston (twice) is worthwhile and would like to help me make up the costs, pay our writers and make our annual goal consider subscribing and become (if you wish) a listed as a Friend of DaTechguy blog

Remember all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

If  you are in New York’s Hudson Valley and you like your abortions with a side of communist activism, then you are in for a real treat on Monday as Antifa and Planned Parenthood join forces to defend illegal foreign invaders, smash capitalism, support public indoctrination of non-aborted children, and snarl traffic for the May Day march in Poughkeepsie, New York on May 1, 2017! Yes, POUGHKEEPSIE, home to that bastion of higher education tolerance (well, tolerant unless you are a Jew or a heterosexual male), Vassar College!

The march begins at the ironically named “Family Partnership Center” (that’s where you can partner up with a service to avoid becoming a family with children, by any means necessary), and will end at the local City Hall where there will be a meeting which will include discussion about turning Poughkeepsie into a “sanctuary city” for foreign invaders. Because it’s more important to be welcoming to people who are here illegally than to do anything about the crime problem that exists in Poughkeepsie. Got to make sure to continue to avoid enforcing existing laws because, tolerance and diversity!

Hopefully the Hudson Valley leftists will be milder than the ones who’ve been making news lately by rioting against free speech for non-commies, and hopefully they can restrain themselves from throwing their own excrement at anyone who might show up to voice an opposing opinion.

Hudson Valley Antifa Facebook page

Here is more information about the event, from Resist and Protest:

Community Voices Heard invites you all to come join the Poughkeepsie family as we march in the streets on May Day to uplift the working class struggle as it relates to saving the Poughkeepsie city public transportation, undocumented immigrants, public school students, and fighting any form of violence as a result of the pursuit of profit!

May Day PK will consist of speakers, rallies, and a march from the Family Partnership Center to City Hall. We will culminate at Poughkeepsie City Hall as the Poughkeepsie City Council Meeting begins where a sanctuary style legislation will be discussed to protect immigrants rights in Poughkeepsie!

Educate, Agitate, Organize!

They also have it posted in Spanish, natch.

Hudson Valley May Day Facebook Event Page

Poughkeepsie previously hosted an encampment of #Occupy protesters, back when that was a thing, some of whom will likely be at Monday’s march, since these lefty groups tend to overlap each other.

For non-locals, Poughkeepsie is about an hour (by car) north of New York City, in a region known as the Scenic Hudson Valley. There is Poughkeepsie City, which normal people try to avoid when possible, and Poughkeepsie Town, which is basically middle class and kind of nice. It is in Dutchess County, and most of the county and federal government offices for the region are housed in Poughkeepsie City, as are the two hospitals the area has to offer.

I live in a small rural-ish town not far from Poughkeepsie, which is why I noticed this stuff, but I have little doubt that similar events will be happening all over the country because May Day is like Christmas for leftists. Poughkeepsie also had its own “March for Science” and “Women’s March“, because leftists gotta do what leftists do, and when leftists are agitating somewhere, they like to replicate it everywhere.  What’s happening in your neighborhood on Monday?

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

The excellent Roger Kimball emailed this morning a link to his post, Annals of Academic Fatuousness, Yale Edition, Part 9876. Roger, who completed two Masters’ degrees there, knows Yale University well.

As it turns out, eight departments of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences belong to Local 33, a subgroup of the international labor union UNITE HERE.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

I remember my days as a graduate student, when I completed my assignments while commuting from Convent Station, N.J. to New York City where I worked full-time. I remember the dreary lives of innumerable friends working towards Masters or Doctorates, or working as post-docs in the natural sciences under conditions best described as indentured servitude. Just the idea of any of us lowly beings unionizing would likely have resulted in expulsion.

That was the 20th Century for you.

Graduate students then, almost.

The unionized Yale students are going on a hunger strike because

Local 33 and Yale are currently engaged in multiple legal disputes and have not begun any official negotiations. The University’s request for review of an NLRB decision that allowed Local 33 to hold elections in nine separate departments remains pending in court.

Yale’s legal team is also attempting to file a request for review, which would challenge an August NLRB ruling that graduate students at private universities qualify as workers.

Rather than wait, the students are engaging on a virtual or symbolic hunger strike.

What the hey is that?

They. Eat. When. Hungry. While on “hunger strike.”

I could rant about how disrespectful this use of the term “hunger strike” is to human rights’ activists who endanger their lives in oppressive Communist regimes, but instead was struck by this from Roger’s article,

these aging snowflakes already get free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend.

Graduate students now.

Free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend? For that much money I’ll sacrifice myself and study “Political Science and East Asian Languages and Literatures.” Heck, I always wanted to learn Japanese.

Am I too old to apply?

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

Rock: You are the survivors. The others have run off. It would seem that evil retreats when forcibly confronted.

Star Trek: The Savage Curtain 1969

On April 19th in response to the Battle of Berkeley I asked this question:

So it’s time for administrators to decide, are they going to continue to sit back watch while the left gets beaten the same way the right was, or are they, now that their ox is being gored, finally going to decide the free speech and assembly are things that are going to be enforced in their cities and on their campuses?

Yesterday in Berkeley we got the answer. Both the left and the right showed up (without Ann Coulter) as did people ready to record the actions of the authorities and suddenly the rule of law was prevailed.

Police showed up in force

Empty leftist threats were laughed off

The laws concerning wearing a mask were being enforced:

The reading of Ann Coulter’s speech by Gavin McInnes didn’t result in a riot

And Lauren Southern spoke without harm to herself and others

In other words all went as it should, people spoke, other people who didn’t like the speech either didn’t show up or protested or went to their empathy tents and everyone went home without any bloodshed because the police enforced the law.

The question is why? What was the difference, why were the police enforcing the law instead of hanging back? Why did Antifa choose “Narp” instead of “Yarp“?  Simple

The people in danger of being beaten were not the conservatives who were speaking but the ANTIFA thugs who wanted to stop them.

Once it became clear that it was the hired thugs of the left and not the conservatives that they loathed in danger suddenly Berkeley decided that the rule of law was worth enforcing to make sure nobody got hurt.  It was Lexington Green all over again, only this time the Redcoats declined to start a war.

And the fact that the right is learning this lesson is making all the right people angry:

Strange, is it now, how the SPLC never seems to take notice of antifa or any other violent left-wing group no matter how many people they assault. But when people merely begin to plan to start defending themselves against the violent left that is attacking them, well, it’s THE SHOAH ALL OVAH AGAIN, again.

So let me congratulate the left, which has taught the right that showing up ready to fight is the best way to stay safe and and to show up and be aware that from this point on when the right sees something like this:

The Seattle City Council passed a unanimous resolution this week which declares May 1 a “day of action” on which city employees are encouraged to attend planned anti-Trump protests instead of going to work.

The resolution—drafted by Councilmember Kshama Sawant, a member of the Socialist Alternative party—instructs supervisors of city government departments to remind their workers that they are entitled to take two days of unpaid leave for “days of faith and conscience,” and that attending Monday’s protests is a legitimate use of this leave.

and this:

“If we truly want to build a summer of resistance against Trump and the billionaire class,” Sawant said in a Tuesday interview on King5, an NBC affiliate, “then we will need disruptive action like shutting down airports, and shutting down highways.”

Other Seattle government officials, while eager to sign on to this “day of action,” are less keen about Sawant’s call for “disruptive action.” Mayor Ed Murray provided some rather impotent pushback saying, “We need to keep our freeways and our on and off ramps…the state, of course, needs to keep our on and off ramps open.”

Directed against them, rest assured they will not only be ready to answer speech with speech, but show up with enough muscle to make sure they can safely make said speech.

May you enjoy the incentive system you have created.


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

This weekend, two of my favorite veteran Christian bands (The Choir and Sweet Comfort Band) are playing some of their rare concert dates in Southern California. Great, awesome, and wonderful … for those able to attend. Due to family work commitments, namely an annual inventory, this will be the one weekend of the year I and she who is my wife are absolutely unable to traipse down the freeway and visit SoCal. No concerts for me. Very disappointing. Pales in comparison to so many other full-fledged hammer blows in life; regardless, very disappointing. Obviously no personally aimed conspiracy against me. But still, I’ve asked, of no one in particular, why.

We who believe are taught two things starting at our spiritual infancy: never judge anyone, and never ask why. We should never judge because we too are guilty of something, and we should never ask why as the answer is always “because God” and who is the creation to question anything under the Creator’s roof? Toss in a few Scriptural Cliff Notes, and hey presto! You are good to go, and if not it is all on you. Where is your faith?

The problem with this mindset, aside from the minor detail how it ignores a whole lot of Biblical observations about what to expect in life, is that it automatically disparages the human condition in a manner taught nowhere by Jesus or anyone else within the pages of Sola Scriptura. We are supposed to speak up when someone is messing up so they will get back on track. We are allowed to ask why, and the answer is not always “because God.” Sometimes, there is no apparent answer save silence.

The days will come, if they have not already arrived, when you realize you hold nothing but a fragile lifeline woven from a tattered thread of faith growing increasingly frayed. You have a laundry list of whys, and answers seem to be nowhere. You wonder if it’s possible to get ahead in life without being a self-fellating talentless walking sack of rancid, arrogant steer manure. You wonder not when, but if you will leave the unemployment line. You see beautiful inside and out members of the opposite sex either throw themselves into relationships doomed from the start or throw themselves firmly into the arms of one of the aforementioned self-fellating talentless walking sacks of rancid, arrogant steer manure while your Saturday night dates come in a box from Sunkist. You observe how the popular girl or boy shamelessly monetizes their loss while you are told to shut up about your grief. You ask why, and based on the non-existent answers you wonder if God so much as takes a message and will get back to you.

There are times I for sure wonder.

Yet, somehow, I hang on.

Some don’t. Some walk away from the faith. Some walk away from their lives. Some walk away from life itself.

Please, do not do these things.

Seek out the open, the scarred, the ones still bleeding who are not ashamed to admit. Seek out, embrace one another, and help carry one another through the living no man’s land life can often transform itself into in a moment.

Admit the hurt; confess the pain; reveal the scars. Help one another. Let them help you. Ask questions. Just don’t quit.

Please, don’t quit.

And never quit asking why.