Daniel Webster School, a CPS school on the West Side

By John Ruberry

On Friday a friend of this very blogger forwarded a Chicago Tribune Breaking News Alert to me: Chicago Public Schools enrollment drops by nearly 10,000 students. And the year before CPS enrollment slid by 11,000.

There are 371,382 students taking classes in CPS schools  In 2002 there 438,589 kids running the halls, with some of them learning something.

So, taxes for schools will go down, right?

Not in the Prairie State, the home of “Illinois Math,” where two plus two equals five.

For a while, that is.

CPS is expected to raise property taxes soon–a state bill that will likely pass to pass gives them that power–by $120 million to pay for, wait for it, teacher pensions. That’s on top of $100 million in a tax jump already sanctioned

“Building a New Chicago” at Dunne School on the South Side, where your blogger attended kindergarten

The sad tale of the Chicago Teachers Pensions Fund [CTPF] goes back to 1981 when the Chicago Board of Education agreed to pick up most of the teachers’ obligation to pay into their pension plans. Out of sight–out of mind. Yes, Chicago Teachers Union, I’m looking at you! In 1995 a lost weekend of retirement funding began–it lasted ten years–and all of that money that was supposed to go to pensions instead went towards teacher salaries and nuts-and-bolts school expenses. Oh, don’t forget to throw in a calorie-loaded Chicago-style pizza buffet line of cronyism, giveaways, and malfeasance into this toxic dish.

Illinois still hasn’t completely recovered from the Great Recession–government corruption and incompetence, in my opinion, are the sole reasons for that–so naturally a partial CTPF “pension holiday” was declared from 2011-13 and the can was kicked down the potholed road again.

Chicago Public Schools bonds are rated as junk.

Two years ago Chicago property owners had to swallow the largest property tax hike in the city’s history to help shore up police and firefighter pension funds, which are even more underfunded than the teachers’ pensions. And last week Chicago’s embattled mayor, Rahm Emanuel, released his 2018 budget proposal, which of course includes tax increases. When asked if more tax hikes were coming, Emanuel dodged the question.

Chicago is the only large American city with a shrinking population.

As bad as Chicago’s financial situation is, the reality is probably far worse because Illinois Math is very likely disguising the wretched truth.

Decline and fall.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

Here is some more Illinois Math for you: The free-market Illinois Policy Institute says, “There are now more inactive employees and beneficiaries in CTPF than there are active workers paying into the pension fund.”

Someday there will be a new Illinois Math equation. Two plus two won’t equal five–it will equal just one.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

…then I suspect that Yvonne Abraham would be dancing over the corpse of the White Rose Coffeehouse in Lynn

On Monday, the cafe was mostly deserted. Many of the people who came in were friends, offering condolences and dropping $10 or $20 into the tip jar. She couldn’t survive more than a few days like that — especially without her daughter’s help. Worse, she no longer wants to.

“What I have here is a family business that has no family,” she said. “Maybe I could weather this. But this used to be a place of joy for me, and I don’t see a way that I will ever feel that way again.”

what exactly did the owner of the coffee shop’s 23 year old daughter say that started all the trouble in the first place?

“I will not be part of the false rhetoric that cops are just misunderstood good guys,” Mele’s daughter wrote, among other things. “They uphold an unjust system and murder without consequence.”

I’m confused, isn’t this the same argument that the NFL players are making for protesting the national anthem, and that practically every media outlet in the nation including the Boston Globe is defending making?  And aren’t the owners being attacked by outlets like the Globe for even suggesting that their employees be made to stop by them, which by an odd coincidence is what the owner of this coffee shop did making her daughter take down the post while throwing in an apology to the police while she was at it?

Now like Ms Abraham I have some sympathy for the business owner who was caught up in a mess not of her own making that was apparently the final nail in the business’ coffin.  I’ve failed in business in the past and it’s a painful thing.  Strangely said sympathy for  business’ being targeted and folks being ruined seems rather selective:

With that in mind, and particularly considering the description of how such mobs “mostly” go after left-leaning views, we’re left with questions. Did Abraham write anything about Memories Pizza in Indiana when it was temporarily closed down by the mob after an elderly grandmother answered a phone call from a reporter one evening and said she wouldn’t want to deliver pizza to a fictional gay wedding reception? Did Abraham shed a tear for Elaine Huguenin after her home photography business was literally bankrupted by the mobbecause she didn’t want to create a wedding album for some lesbian nuptials? How about Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon? A similar story, except involving a bakery and a hypothetical wedding cake. Was Abraham clucking her tongue at the mob in that case?

That’s Jazz Shaw at Hotair who didn’t find any suggestion that this was an issue to her if the target was a conservative.

Furthermore her argument that her real issue is with online attacks might be more credible if something in either in print by her or in  her social media timeline where sh expressed some outrage over the Dana Loesch situation which apparently didn’t make her outrage cut.

I submit and suggest the real outrage for Ms. Abraham is that the left’s tactics and standards are now being applied to them and are having real world consequences to people who express opinions she and the left agree with rather to those nasty Christians, Conservatives and Trump supporters.  That being the case Kurt Schlichter’s suggestion applies

Alinksy was right – we must hold our enemies to their own stupid standards, and that’s especially true if it’s a newly-invented standard designed only to silence and suppress us conservatives. We must take their new rules, roll them up real tight, and ram them down the left’s collective collectivist throat, if not elsewhere.

If people are making actual credible threats against others, that’s wrong, evil and most importantly illegal and a matter for the police, who will be happy to both protect any people or business under actual threat, even one where an employee thinks they are a bunch of murders.

But I suspect the real story here is that a stupid 23 year old leftist has discovered that while the left and the media on TV and online are all in on the  “cops are a bunch of murders” meme, it’s a bad message for a marginal business which had very little room for error and her mother is unfortunately and unfairly paying the price for it.

On the bright side thanks to Ms. Abraham’s column both the daughter who caused the trouble and the mother who was the victim of her daughter’s woke assertions will be able to divert any blame for the business’s failure to the political enemies of Ms. Abraham, which, in my opinion,  was the entire point of the piece in the first place.

But if I’ve misjudged Ms. Abraham and she and her allies on the left wants to return to the days when if you are an individual who supports the police, believe in God can count the actual number genders on your elbows and voted for a republican you are not branded a white supremacist Nazi whose business should be destroyed or driven out of a company I’ll happily go along.

Update: Take a look at the comments in the base story at the Globe, guess who the liberals in comments blame for this situation? Not the daughter, not the people who are being asses online,THE POLICE!

I think that a photo of a sinkhole captures the mood of this topic.

by baldilocks

… than Harvey Weinstein? Yes, it’s possible.

The flurry of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein confirms an unsettling truth that deep down we already knew. There’s a reason “casting couch” has become a grotesquely ubiquitous term. We have long quietly assumed that big-time movie producers exploit their power to sexually exploit women. We should have heeded the warning signs. The smoke has been there for a long time. Of course the faint plumes were evidence of a fire raging, a fire we both did not imagine and yet knew was burning.

An overload of metaphors, but you get the idea. Heck, I knew about this a long time ago. But, the abyss is much deeper and darker.

In 2011, former child star Corey Feldman warned that pedophilia in Hollywood was “the big secret” and “the number one problem.” Feldman alleged that he was abused and that his friend was raped on a movie set at the age of 11. But he didn’t just talk about instances of abuse. In a later interview, he described a system whereby young children were groomed by powerful older men who formed an organized network, with “publicists” providing cover. He would “love to name names,” but feared the legal risks, he said.

Precisely such an organized system for grooming and abusing children is described by a documentary; one molester described in the film pleaded no contest to two counts of child molestation, but the rest of the network has never been named, let alone investigated or charged. The title of the documentary? An Open Secret.

I’m about half-way through the documentary right now – recommended to me on the advice of a friend.

Most of us know that there are unspeakably hideous things going on in this world, but because the perpetrators of these things hide themselves so well, it’s easy to ignore the dirt, even if the slime is part of the financial foundation of a city.

But no one is surprised. We saw how often child stars became screwed-up adults and wondered who screwed them (up).  The words of Corey Haim and of Elijah Wood were just confirmation.

Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein has completed his “sex addiction” therapy. I don’t even want to know what that entails, but I’d say that he addressed the wrong addiction.

He’s addicted to power and pride and if pride and power could be snorted or shot up, he would have been doing that and so would all the others.

Too bad they can’t. A lot more people would be able to sleep at night.

(Thanks to Dave Perkins)

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 one day soon! 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!

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Imagine walking to work in the morning. Someone walks up to you with their hand in their pocket and says “I have a gun, give me your money.” You could debate whether the gun is real or not, but most likely you’d hand over your wallet, not willing to risk getting shot.

Now let’s say this starts to happen every day. Especially if you’re used to normally walking to work and not getting mugged, this would likely cause you to change your behavior. Either you’d start bringing a friend to ward off the attacker, putting a small amount of cash in your pocket as “mugger’s money” (so that the thief doesn’t get the whole wallet), or arming yourself and shooting back, you would change your behavior in some way.

Continue reading “Drop the norms and punch back in cyber”

One of the most interesting quotes from the Project Veritas’ sting at the NY Times was the “Trump Bump” meaning that since the president has been hitting the Times online subscriptions are way up.  That’s how good Donald Trump has been for the economy, he’s even managed to make the NYT profitable.

This also explains why the CNN/MSM etc has gone all in on hitting Trump.  In an age when media companies are shedding viewers hitting Trump guarantees them a particular growing niche market that being balanced just doesn’t do.

I’m a capitalist, if the NYT / CBS / CNN et/all want to make their business model hitting Trump 24/7 and it makes them a profit I’m fine with it.  After all we have our biases here and they color our story selection too.  What I don’t like is them doing so and pretending they are “down the middle”.  It insults my intelligence.

Megyn Kelly’s recent failures on the Today show highlight that NBC didn’t recognize the “Trump Bump” syndrome at the time they signed her.  They didn’t understand that her popularity on the left was completely based on hitting Trump, while the popularity on the right was completely based on her tough interviews.  Putting her in a position where she is doing neither was a recipe for failure.  Well at least for them, Kelly is making a fortune so she’s doing OK.

Since the Day Doctor Who decided to go SJW many months ago I have not watched a single episode nor listened to a Big Finish audio or followed Doctor Who news.  Given that a day did not go by without me doing such a thing for decades that’s an incredible change, but the real surprise is how easy it’s been to fill the time.  There is a lesson there for the NFL that I suspect they are going to learn very quickly after their latest meeting.

I actually heard some Doctor Who news lately from my son.  It seems the new season with the new SJW Doctor is not going to premiere until the fall.  That’s not a surprise.  After all it must be very complicated to make sure that the new SJW Doctor doesn’t cross any SJW lines, after all she can’t be scared like the 2nd Doctor because that would be offensive showing the 1st woman doctor as afraid, or too foolish like the 11th Doctor because the 1st Woman Doctor can’t seem crazy or even Manic like the 4th Doctor and she certainly can’t be angry like the 9th doctor or pushy like the 6th or too sexy or forward like the 10th.  God help the showrunner if the new SJW Doctor violates any negative stereotype of women in the least because if she does the same SJW’s who cheered the 1st woman Doctor will come down hard.  That’s actually kind of unfair to the new Doctor Jodie Whitaker but when you play the SJW game that’s just how it is.

The Horrible injury to Gordon Haywood that ended his season is an important reminder of a basic fact.  Every single professional player is only one injury from being done, the SJW of the NFL whose avg career is the lowest in sports might want to keep that in mind.

Speaking of the NFL’s trouble, it’s a real opportunity for MLB.  No matter who wins game 7 tonight we are looking at an awesome World Series.  If there was ever a chance for the Major Leagues to get back on top, this is it.

No matter who wins in the AL I’ll be cheering for Dave Roberts Dodgers as I suspect every Red Sox Fan to remember our years in the wilderness that was ended thanks to his stolen base.

Finally I was disappointed that GWB, who was a much better president than he got credit, for decided to hit Trump when he was silent for 8 years as Obama messed up the country in ways it will take generations to repair.  However unlike a lot of others I’ll give him a pass for one reason.  President Trump made a fool out of his Brother and his family and for even the most decent God fearing man, that’s something you don’t easily forget.

The left and their #NeverTrump enablers are all giddy over former President George W. Bush’s speechifying in which he attacks President Trump (without having the courage to use the man’s name) and the people who support Trump’s agenda of placing the well being of the United States and American citizens over the interests of our self declared enemies and other foreigners.

This ex-President Bush had nothing to say during the eight years when Obama blamed him for EVERYTHING that was wrong in the world, I guess because defending himself would have been raaaaacist? Oh, wait, Bush said Obama deserved his silence, that he did not think it was helpful for a former president to trash his successor.

Perhaps the left had a point when they screamed for years and years that George W. Bush is a liar?

I won’t print here at Peter’s blog what my initial response was to this latest attack from a Bush against MY President, but I will link to it, in case you care to see how I really feel. iOTWReport Reader Golden Fox, however, is totally worth quoting on this matter:

Mr. Bush, I cannot believe how incredibly stupid you are. I mean rock-hard stupid. Dehydrated-rock-hard stupid. Stupid, so stupid it goes way beyond the stupid we know into a whole different dimension of stupid. You are trans-stupid stupid. Meta-stupid. Stupid collapsed on itself so far that even the neutrons have collapsed. Stupid gotten so dense that no intellect can escape. Singularity stupid. Blazing hot mid-day sun on Mercury stupid. You emit more stupid in one second than our entire galaxy emits in a year. Quasar stupid. Nothing in our universe can really be this stupid. Perhaps this is some primordial fragment from the original big bang of stupid. Some pure essence of a stupid so uncontaminated by anything else as to be beyond the laws of physics that we know.

Considering that shortly after the islamic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in which thousands of innocent people were murdered on our own soil by islamic terrorists for islam, George W. Bush made a big deal about insisting that “islam is peace”, I think perhaps Golden Fox is onto something there!

Sundance at The Last Refuge suggests that if you want to understand what is motivating the formerly silent ex-president to suddenly become a vocal critic of a current President (and his supporters) you should follow the money.

Not a bad idea. Regardless of his motives, whether it is the butt-hurt over Jeb! invading the USA is “an act of love” & “please clap” Bush’s crushing defeat in the Republican primaries by My Donald, or his need to be loved by the people who called him Bush/Hitler for years and years and years, or preserving his standing among anti-American globalist fatcats, I don’t care. He’s is just another Obama/Clinton/Carter to me now and he is even using their talking points. Heckuva job, Georgie! Please shut up and go back to painting now.

*******

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. 

John Solomon and Alison Spann continue their reporting on the Clintons and Rosatom, the original Russia collusion story,
Bill Clinton sought State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision

As he prepared to collect a $500,000 payday in Moscow in 2010, Bill Clinton sought clearance from the State Department to meet with a key board director of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom — which at the time needed the Obama administration’s approval for a controversial uranium deal, government records show.

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

Hillary was Secretary of State back then, but the State Department dragged its feet for a week or two, and apparently Bill decided to not meet with the 15 Russians on his list.

Rather, Bill cut to the chase (emphasis added),

Bill Clinton instead got together with Vladimir Putin at the Russian leader’s private homestead.

Back then Dmitri Medvedev was president of Russia, but

The head of Rosatom boasted in the report that the Uranium One deal was part of a larger Putin strategy to strengthen “Russia’s prestige as a leader of the world nuclear industry.”

Cornering one-fifth of the U.S.’s uranium supply fit nicely into that strategy, and with State Department approval, no less.

If that was not damning enough, Bill was allegedly wanting to use the trip for the $500,000 speech

to try to help a Clinton family relative “grow investments in their business with Russian oligarchs and other businesses,”

because apparently it wasn’t enough that the Clinton Foundation received $145 million in contributions from Uranium One shareholders. The Clinton relatives wanted in on Russia.

Never mind that being a Russian oligarch ain’t what it used to be,

Putin’s policy of “de-offshoring” has imposed such cumbersome controls on the business leaders of the 1990s that most have sold off their assets in Russia and decamped to London or Monaco. This trend has been accelerated by Russia’s lack of any real property rights, which has enabled the Kremlin to cut Russia’s wealthy down to size at will, often targeting the most law-abiding among them.

It makes you wonder if the emphasis would shift from “oligarchs,”  to  “other businesses,” whatever those may be.

I can’t figure out a reason for the Clintons’ boundless greed, other than perhaps they want to become the next George Soros.

They may get there yet.


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

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

Lewis Carol Through the Looking Glass

All animals are equal but some are more equal than others

George Orwell Animal Farm

One of the most difficult things about being 54 or older is the confusion that comes from having been raised with the concept that words actually mean what they say as opposed to either our liberal “betters” in media and culture or college students who somehow in their 18-21 years have managed to become wiser than the collective wisdom of all of human society that came before them.

For example while a person of my age and education thinks the first amendment says and means this.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Other people read it quite differently

Supporters of the NFL players protest believes the first amendment actually says this:

The National Football League shall make no rule abridging the freedom of speech during the work day of the players excepting celebration after the conclusion of a play particularly in the end zone after a scoring play.

Campus leftists believes it actually says this

College administrators shall make no rule abridging the freedom of speech and action of any protester on campus, excepting actions by groups or individuals defined by said protesters as unacceptable or “triggering”

While the LGBT community believes it says this:

The government shall make no rule establishing the free exercise thereof of any religion or business owned by a practitioner of same to practice or publicly state beliefs that in in any way that contradicts the agenda of the LGBT community, nor shall abridge the freedom of the LGBT community or their supporters to restrict the freedom of speech of any individual who is unwilling to support the gender definitions and agenda thereof.

The real problem is, other than the fact that all of these new permutations contradict the actual words written in the Constitution, is that these definitions and other constitutional contortions often overlap which makes actually expressing what the 1st Amendment means to the left a difficult chore when trying to express what words and actions it allows and what it does not, particularly for those of us who still believe words should mean what they say.

So in the interest of both brevity and understanding what the left means when they talk about “freedom of speech” here is the first Amendment as defined by the left.

I have the right to speak or act as I wish without any consequence, those who disagree with me do not.

That is the left in a nutshell and that is the reason why they must be fought.


Normally you would see my tip jar pitch here and while I would encourage to at all times to hit said jar I’d like to pitch the GoFundme campaign of old friend conservative journalist Warner Todd Huston or rather his son whose campaign to raise money to replace his father’s car that was torched by “parties unknown” is, as of this writing,  still six grand short

Of course if you want to do that and still hit DaTipJar




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or buy my book

I’m fine with that too.

Don’t know what I can say about Claudette that wouldn’t come back to haunt me,
Finally had to give her up ’bout the time she began to want me.
But I know God has mercy on them who are slandered and humiliated.
I’d a-done anything for that woman if she didn’t make me feel so obligated.

“The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar” by Bob Dylan

Ever since the Harvey Weinstein story broke, there has been a torrent of women from all walks of life rushing to tell their tales of abuse, often using the hashtag #MeToo.

Now, I get that men can be jerks at best and criminals at worse. I am a man. I know what we men are capable of on the dark side of things. I also get that this matter has turned from spotlighting inexcusable words and deeds to a lengthy airing of grievances against all things Y chromosome, and it’s getting quite tiresome.

There is a difference between unwanted touching and a guy a woman doesn’t want asking her out asking her out anyway. There is a difference between “suggestions” that certain favors be exchanged for career advancement and telling a co-worker she looks nice for the sole purpose of telling a co-worker she looks nice. There is a difference between stalking and attempting to strike up a conversation. Really, there is. Regrettably, the incidents of authentic abuse are now drowning beneath a screeching tsunami of every everything coming from a man that in any fashion bothers a woman being lumped together with said authentic abuse. It is manbashing on a whole new level. And it’s not making anything better.

What we are seeing is a natural byproduct of wholesale rejection by men and women of Scriptural relationship guidance. The man’s obligation is to love and take care of/protect the woman. The woman’s obligation is to love the man and respect his position as the relationship’s leader. These days, good luck finding much of either of these directives being put into practice. Lot of simpering spineless beta males. Lot of bitchy domineering women leveling impossible demands on men yet not for a millisecond willing to accept their proper role in a relationship. And we wonder why we’re a self-destructive society.

I have nothing but sympathy and support for women who have suffered at the hands of men. I have nothing but contempt for males — for men they are not — who abuse women in any fashion. I also have zero patience for women who, as was mentioned in a previous post about why they don’t date The Nice Guy™, believe they have every right to have every item on their shopping list checked off before any man can so much as say hello to them.

Grow up, girls. That guy who was by your definition a jerk to you?

#ItWasntMe

Want to find a reason why you can’t meet any “good” men? The reason why you have nothing to do but whine on social media every weekend?

#ItIsntMe

And it most likely isn’t most of the guys you’re bashing.

Mainstream media often turns to the Southern Poverty Law Center as the authority on hate groups in the United States. Their ever-expanding list of organizations they label as spreaders of hate could be a valuable resource if it wasn’t so blatantly biased against any conservative thought.

As this article is being posted, Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak at the University of Florida shortly. He and his white nationalist movement have been labeled as a hate group and pretty much everything I know about them makes the label appropriate. All of the articles I’ve read about the event mention SPLC’s label. This would be a good thing without the aforementioned bias.

With the bias, SPLC is an elaborate joke being played on the media that doesn’t really have a punchline.

One of the organizations on the list is Windsor Hills Baptist Church. When I lived in Oklahoma a decade ago, I knew people who went to the church then and I assume they still go to the church now. I’m familiar with their teachings and their traditional views on marriage. They were placed on the list because Reverend Tom Vineyard made a statement before the city council that included declaring that 33% of child molesters were homosexual. One statement. That was six years ago. The church is still on the list.

Who’s not on the list? Black Lives Matter.

Who else isn’t on the list? Antifa.

To label a pastor and his congregation as a hate group because of one conservative-leaning statement, then to ignore the blatant and dangerous hatred that drives two liberal groups turns a potentially useful list into a parody of itself. How can they have a single ounce of credibility when they have a hair-trigger pointed at conservatives while holding judgment against liberals until the outcry is too great? In fact, the “liberal” groups they include on their list are invariably there because of at least one semi-conservative position in their agenda.

Black Lives Matter can promote violence against police all day without fear of being labeled by SPLC, but if they ever spoke out against LGBT rights, they’d probably make the list in a heartbeat. That’s how SPLC works. A hate group is only considered a hate group if they cross a threshold based upon ideology rather than actual hate. As long as groups like BLM and Antifa point their hatred in the “right” direction, SPLC considers their hatred as righteous.

This isn’t really about SPLC, though. They have the right to their opinions and while I completely disagree with their methodology and ideology, I would never ask them to stop doing what they’re doing. What’s troubling is the media’s love for their list. There’s no such thing as a truly unbiased journalist, but they should hold themselves accountable to the truth first. The SPLC hate group list is not the truth. It’s an agenda-driving narrative. That the media gives them so much authority on the issue is both unprofessional and dishonest.

Hate groups should be condemned based upon their actions and messages. SPLC passes out its condemnation based upon ideology alone. The media needs to stop giving them such a tall platform if they’re unwilling to define hate in an unbiased manner.

Prager U elaborated last week: