As I write this mini-article, millions of Americans are hearing about how bad Donald Trump is, how unfair the government is going to be to illegal immigrants, how Ted Cruz loves porn, and who won an award or two scattered in with the slew of liberal jokes. I’m not.

Instead, I’ve put together a list of better ways to spend my time than to show support (and yes, by merely watching it you’re showing your support) for an industry that generally despises the small-government, freedom-loving conservatives that accounts for most readers of this blog.

  1. Watch Ben Shapiro’s Berkeley speech. I don’t care if you’ve already seen it. Watch it again.
  2. Read the Constitution. Hey, it’s Constitution Day!
  3. Check out my latest conservative news project, NOQ Report.
  4. Read this article by Lloyd Marcus that highlights the importance of sustaining the American Dream regardless of race.
  5. Listen to the Book of John (because there’s never a bad time for John).
  6. Watch John Stossel asking people about the Constitution. Hey, it’s Constitution Day!
  7. Listen to my interview with The Foo.
  8. Learn what you can about California’s decision to become a sanctuary state. It may happen in your state some day.
  9. Check out this underreported story about a t-shirt maker who may be forced out of business for defending his rights.
  10. Contribute to DaTechGuy. He needs our support.

I don’t care who wins the awards. The narcissistic town of Hollywood (where I had to live for nearly two months while my son had two open-heart surgeries) doesn’t deserve my attention. They do more to harm conservatism than just about any other town in the nation outside of Washington DC.

By John Ruberry

“They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please.
“The Rainmakers, Government Cheese.

“I am sick and tired of subsidizing crooks.”
Roger Keats, Toni Preckwinkle’s 2010 Republican general election opponent, announcing his move to Texas.

Last month in this space I wrote about Illinois’ bubbling soda tax rebellion in Cook County, where Chicago is. It’s where I live. Many people call it “Crook County.” I do.

After a lawsuit delayed its imposition for a month, a one-cent per ounce sweetened beverage took effect which covers not just soda–whether it has sugar or artificial sweetener–but also flavored bottled water, sports beverages, energy drinks, and sweetened coffee. But not expensive  sugary coffee purchased from a barista at a Starbucks or other high-end coffee vendors. Oh, how did that last one escape notice?

A penny-per-ounce doesn’t sound like much, but as you’ll see in my photograph on the left, a 42-ounce bottle of AriZona iced-tea on sale for a dollar at a Dollar Tree store near my home suddenly costs $1.42–that’s a 42-percent sales tax rate. A budget-minded family who purchases a 24-pack of store-brand pop (the word soda isn’t used much in the Chicago area) for $5.00 at the local big-box retailer has to dish out $7.88.

Of course the tax is “for the kids.” It always is that way with leftists.

Leftist? Who is a leftist?

Cook County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle, a Chicago Democrat, that’s who.

Proof? Do you want proof?

On my way to work on Friday I heard a clip from Dan Proft on WIND-AM Chicago of former Utah Republican politician Dan Liljenquist describing a “sobering experience” about the time he met with Preckwinkle when she was a Chicago alderman. Liljenquist was a law student at the University of Chicago and working for the Institute for Justice’s Clinic on Entrepreneurship. They were offering free legal advice to inner city Chicagoans who wished to start their own business. Liljenquist pitched his idea to Preckwinkle, who replied to him, “I’m opposed to self-employment. You give these people false hopes that they could ever earn a living on their own.”

Yes, Preckwinkle is a leftist. With leftists, government is their god. When there is a problem only government can solve it. Government, of course, is never the problem. So Preckwinkle has set herself up as Mother Preckwinkle, spending other people’s money on Cook County’s massive health care network. Perhaps private hospitals and health care institutions can do a better job, and there are plenty of them here. Sure, not all health care facilities accept Medicaid but plenty do. And what if–wait for it–instead of depending on county health care, county residents instead got jobs in the private sector and become eligible for employer-based health insurance. Or even better, let’s say they start their own businesses and hire people who become eligible for private insurance.

Oops, I’m giving them “false hopes.”

Cook County, not surprisingly, is suffering from negative population growth.

I mentioned Mother Preckwinkle. But sometimes a mother can’t do it all–she needs a nanny. Enter billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Nanny Bloomberg” is spending $3 million on radio and television ads supporting Taxwinkle’s tax. Opponents of the soda tax, the Can the Tax Coalition, led by retailers, are spending a lot on their ads too. Preckwinkle dismisses them as “Big Soda.”

Mother and Nanny say that the soda tax is a health care measure to prevent diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. But Taxwkinkle sued the retail group for delaying collection of the tax by for a month. You mean that the tax was not about health? After an uproar, the suit was quickly dropped.

Oh, speaking of uproar, 87 percent of Cook County residents oppose the soda tax.

Food stamp recipients, because of federal law, don’t have to pay the pop tax. There are nearly 900,000 people on food stamps in Cook County. That shoots the “for the kids” and “it’s for our health” argument to pieces.

Crook County has been living beyond its means for decades. Some of the soda tax money will go to woefully underfunded but generous pension plans. Mother Preckwinkle and her predecessors have been rewarding their public-sector union allies for most of my life.

But it’s not Preckwinkle’s money. It belongs to taxpayers such as myself.

In downtown Chicago

Taxwinkle hasn’t campaigned as a leftist. Amazingly, she originally ran as a tax-cutter. Preckwinkle eliminated an unpopular county sales tax. Then she brought it back. But Preckwinkle is governing as a leftist. Because of course she is one. It’s time for Cook County residents to wake up and think about what they vote for. And that includes the mostly lap-dog members of the Cook County Board.

And many more politicians as well.

Leftism is expensive but it’s profitable for retailers who live on the other side of the Cook County line. Pop sales are booming there.

John Ruberry is a fifth-generation Cook County resident who regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I understand the sentiment behind this post suggesting Amazon choose St. Louis for their second corporate HQ

A particularly compelling pick, according to my extremely nonscientific “what’s good for America” metric, might be St. Louis — a once-great metropolis fallen on hard times, the major urban center for a large spread of Trump country, the geographic center of the country and the historic bridge between East and West.

and I agree with the idea that it would be a good idea to get out of deep blue America and the mindset therein.

But why on earth would any company like Amazon decide to put itself in a city that is becoming riot cental and make it self a target for those from Mizzou to Ferguson in the Black Lives Matter mob who want to go after the system?

After the spasm of violence ended, a reporter for The Associated Press found at least half of the businesses on one side of the street with broken windows along a two block area.

Sam Thomas, who was helping his friend clean up the glass from the shattered windows of his business, OSO, a clothing and accessories boutique, said he understands why people are angry. The U.S. justice system is broken and needs to be fixed, he said.

“I’m not saying this is the right way to fix it,” he said of the damage.

Just as Mizzou and other colleges are discovering that people don’t want to invest tens of thousands of dollars to put their children in the middle of a social justice nightmare, no company with any sense will put itself in a city where the potential to be extorted or threatened with violence if they don’t play along with an agenda (even one endorsed by the owner) is present and no workforce will be all that anxious to head to the area when even the suburbs are being targeted:

Demonstrators shouted slogans such as “black lives matter” and “it is our duty to fight for our freedom” as they marched through West County Center mall in the city of Des Peres, west of St. Louis. A group also demonstrated at Chesterfield Mall in the suburbs and at a regional food festival.

Organizers took their grievances to the suburbs Saturday to spread the impact of the protests beyond predominantly black neighborhoods to those that are mainly white.

“I don’t think racism is going to change in America until people get uncomfortable,” said Kayla Reed of the St. Louis Action Council, a protest organizer.

Well Kayla your achievement is unlocked, your heckler’s veto will guarantee that the people at a company like Amazon will be too uncomfortable to move jobs an infastructure anywhere near you, particularly when there are other worthy alternatives that would meet the goals Mr. Douthat is suggesting.

Closing thought directed to the BLM rioters: While your attacks and riots will produce less jobs, less business less investment and consequently less of a chance for the young men in your community to overcome the disadvantages they have, you can be take comfort in the fact that your actions will definitely produce more votes for conservatives all around the nation in every level of government.

That’s our veto.


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I have been watching the news with a great deal of skepticism is recent years. Recently we have seen reports of statues being removed, protests to leave them alone, and all manner of garbage. Some of this is revisionist history, some of it is concern over appearances, and still more is just trying to cause trouble where there really isn’t any.

Recently in Dallas Texas there was a statue of Robert E Lee removed. The controversy was simple, the man fought in the Civil War on the behalf of the south. Well…He was in Texas, so yeah, he did. But, and this is a giant but, after the war he also fought (politically) to rebuild the nation.

Did he fight for the Confederacy? Yes.

Did he fight to help a nation heal after a brutal War? Yes.

Along Oak Lawn Avenue in Dallas there was a massive statue in his honor (half paid for by the Lee family) that had been there for the better part of a century. In the past few months there have been calls to take it down, a court battle, and ultimately the removal of this racist statue of a guy on a horse.

I asked around town all afternoon what the statue that was removed was. Most people said something along the lines of “Oh that dude on a horse, I heard on the news it was some confederate guy, but I never knew before that.”

Ok, slavery was horrible, no one denies that. It needs to never ever happen again ever. However, removing a statue doesn’t cause that to happen.

So, let’s look at the area of the statue after removal.

Not a bad looking park, it was better with the statue. I should add I live a 15-minute walk from that park and never realized who was on the horse. I walk past it four or five times a week and still nothing. But here it is, the statue is gone hooray our lives are all better now. Except for one thing. Back in those trees, unseen from this angle is a replica of Robert E Lee’s house that is still there…. oops.

Now, back to the massive protest. By some news stories in the local news I have seen that “100 people or more turned out for the protest, with one arrest.”

Ok, I’ll believe that…I was there, but it isn’t what you think.

Let’s look at the visitors.

Here is the protest as they were about to take the microphone. Massive, isn’t it? Was there an arrest? Yes. One person shoved another, then a cop and off to jail. Interesting thing was I overheard the protestors planning who would be arrested before they got started. Well isn’t that interesting.

Let’s go back to who was there (with the help of a telephoto lens).

News Camera 1, with still photographer and two bored security guards in the back (there is 4 who turned out).

A family of four who happened to be walking through the park anyway and were clearly caught up in the hoopla (along with another photographer in the background).

Finally some press coverage. Another crew (or two) complete with on camera guy getting set! News media now out numbers protestors who by my count by the end made it all the way to something like 9. Yes….9.

But we haven’t made it to our 100 yet.

So where are the rest?

Group of people who live in the area who heard the helicopters to cover the “event.” How do I know they are from the area? I see half of them in Starbucks all the time. So yes, they are locals with their cameras. One woman who made a sign which told the confederate guys to put their flags away. I have spoken to her in the past she is a really sweet lady and makes some wicked awesome iced tea. Such a rabble rouser.

Two news helicopters arrived, I only managed a picture of one, (remember back at that first photo of our massive protest about to happen, any second now).

Looking up the street I saw a half dozen police cars. We might be up to 25 or so who “turned out” now.

2 Actual protestors with some locals. The guy in the wheel chair and the guy in the hat. The rest are just local guys who were out and about that day, except the guy in the orange vest who was directing people away from the “protest area.”

The protest at any second now!

The anti-protest protest has arrived!

There we go…A protestor (posting on social media).

At long last a few more people in fatigues all carrying guns (this is Texas) showed up and one gave a speech. All in all, it was a really boring afternoon. Were “one hundred people on hand” for this thing? Sure. If you count all the locals who walked past, all the media and the police.

Now, the statue is gone, the world is safe from anything that might remind us of Robert E Lee, except that pesky replica of his house which no one protested, and no one wants removed. That house is a 2/3 scale exact copy of Robert E Lee’s final home. They do weddings there now. It also has some artifacts that were owned by him inside. It is amazing how this whole controversy has been ginned up by the media as a “frenzy.”

Having been in and out of Dallas for a few decades I saw a larger crowd at the Spring Sale over at Bass Pro Shop than I saw at this massive protest.