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.

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. 

Be careful when you answer the phone! If you are told that a relative is injured or in some kind of other desperate situation, beware.

It’s commonly known as “The Grandparent Scam”, because elderly people are often the victims, but it could happen to anyone who isn’t sufficiently skeptical and gets caught off guard. Someone tried a variation of this scam on me a few months ago, but I am always suspicious of calls from unknown numbers so it didn’t work, but some rotten crooks almost got my favorite Auntie and my mom just the other day. If you’re not familiar with this particular con, here is how it works:

The target gets a phone call from someone either pretending to be their grandchild (or other relative) or a cop, or a lawyer, or a kidnapper, and says that the intended victim’s loved one has been hurt in an accident (or is in legal trouble, has been kidnapped, or is in some other kind of peril) and the only way to help them is to immediately wire a large sum of money somewhere – and don’t tell anyone or the person you love’s situation will greatly worsen!

If the victim complies, that money is gone forever, and their information may be sold to other scammers as an easy mark to get set up for more schemes. It’s a cruel crime, targeting vulnerable people and using their love for family as a weapon against them. Fraud.org provides some helpful information about this:

Stay safe. Be Informed.

The victim is urged not to tell anyone, such as the parent of the “grandchild” because they do not want them to find out about the trouble they’ve gotten themselves into. The grandparent never hears from their fake grandchild again and is tricked out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

To detect and avoid the Grandparent Scam, NCL’s Fraud Center recommends the following tips:

  • Beware of any urgent solicitation of funds, especially if it is needed to pay for unexpected bills, such as bail money, lawyer’s fees, or doctor bills
  • Before sending funds, independently contact the relative (or parent of the relative) the scam artist is claiming to be (or represent) at a known phone number to verify the details of the story.
  • Scam artist’s payment method of choice is the wire transfer. Any urgent request to wire money should be treated suspiciously.
  • Be aware that fraudsters attempting the Grandparent Scam may call late at night to confuse potential victims.
  • Consumers who have been victims of this scam should immediately report it to local law enforcement, their state attorney general and NCL’s Fraud Center at Fraud.org.

The FTC has additional advice:

Verify an Emergency

If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a family member or a friend desperate for money:

  • Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.
  • Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer.
  • Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine.
  • Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
  • Don’t wire money — or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
  • Report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.      MORE

The con artists will even make an effort  to “help” the victim. Via WBNS-10TV – Columbus, OH:

“Often times they’ll hand the phone off to a second party on the phone, alleging that’s the attorney and that serves the purpose of getting a different voice on there so they don’t continue to question whether this is my grandchild’s voice,” explains Sgt. Kline.

He goes on to say that sometimes, the scammers will even go as far as arranging taxi transportation for grandparents to get to the location where they can get the money orders.   Full Story HERE

The call that I received, from a strange cell phone number, said that my “husband, son, or brother” was in a horrible accident in a nearby town and had been taken away by ambulance, and the caller was someone who had been on the scene before emergency services arrived and that my male relative had given them my number to call as his own phone had been damaged in the accident. The guy who called me could not tell me the name of my injured loved one, saying that he was hurt so badly that he could barely talk and that he didn’t have any ID on him, they could not tell me what hospital my “husband, son, or brother” had been taken to, and they could not tell me my own name or how the injured male was connected to me, because my loved one was too messed up to say it before he was carted off  to an undisclosed location. I think the caller was expecting me to go to the location he had given me (the alleged scene of the accident) or meet him elsewhere and I do not know what would have happened then, but it didn’t get to that as I cut the guy off and insisted that he must have gotten the wrong number because I knew full well where all of my people were and I hung up.

The scam that targeted my aunt and almost robbed my mom was more like the ones described when you look up “injured relative phone scam” in a search engine, my mom got dragged into it because her sister is currently housebound recovering from a serious medical issue. Both women are in their eighties and love their families dearly. Here is how I found out about it:

My cousin called me two days ago looking for my mom. My mom lives 100 miles away so I figured she must have assumed she was up visiting or just called my number by mistake. My cousin was very upset. I told her that she’d reached my house, not my mom’s and that my mom was not here. My cousin told me that my aunt had gotten a call saying that another cousin, my aunt’s grandson, was hurt in an accident but that, “It was a trick” and that we needed to get hold of my mom, who was on her way to Western Union on behalf of my aunt. I guess my aunt had gotten the call and was so distressed that she called my mom for help, and my mom was going to withdraw almost two thousand dollars from her own bank account and wire the money on my aunt’s behalf.

Unfortunately, my mom had already left her house, she doesn’t answer her cell phone, and I did not know the location of the Western Union nearest to my mom, so I spent a good chunk of time fretting about it before my mom finally got back home and I could speak to her. Luckily, my mom started to get suspicious as to why she couldn’t just write a normal check and why there was no name for who to make the money order or transfer or whatever out to, so instead of completing the task, she went back home and called my aunt, who had by then been advised by my cousins of the con so nobody was hurt this time. Thank God.

Some versions of this nasty trickery also target people through email, text messages, and social media.

Please be careful if someone contacts you with an “emergency”, and tell the people that you care about who may be vulnerable to such tactics as the one described above to be cautious as well.

*******

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. 

“But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

Dr. Seuss
How the Grinch Stole Christmas

We now have a Dr. Seuss two-fer here in Massachusetts. A couple of weeks ago, a librarian in Cambridge rudely refused, without the authority to do so, a set of 10 Dr. Seuss books, a gift from the First Lady, because the First Lady is married to President Trump. And just last week, three equally rude authors refused to participate in the inaugural Children’s Literature Festival at, of all places, The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, because – horror of horrors – the museum features a mural depicting a scene from Dr. Seuss’ first book, To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street.
As a lifelong Seussophile, allow me to say that these people need to find real issues to worry about. The librarian, seeing an opportunity to lash out at Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos through the First Lady, belittled the gift as unnecessary, because her school has such a wonderful librarian (herself), and proceeded to lecture Mrs. Trump that she should have sent a completely different set of books to a different school. Keep in mind, the reason this school was selected was to recognize its excellence. The letter that accompanied the books encouraged the children that they “can accomplish anything you set your mind to,” and that “the key to achieving your dreams begins with learning to read.” Fortunately, the school district overruled the librarian – who, by the way, once dressed up as the Cat in the Hat to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday – and graciously accepted the books.
Of course, there was more to it. The Big Problem, according to the librarian, is that the books themselves, including Green Eggs and Ham and Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, are – wait for it – racist. Even though these books weren’t racist when the Obamas read them to children, apparently, the three festival-boycotting authors agreed with the librarian. They claim that the Mulberry Street mural features a “jarring racial stereotype of a Chinese man, who is depicted with chopsticks, a pointed hat, and slanted slit eyes.” Here’s the image:


I suppose Dr. Seuss could have written “a nondescript Asian-American child who may be a biological male – but we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions – who eats with traditional Chinese eating implements” but that doesn’t really fit the rhyming scheme, does it?
As you might expect, the museum caved and is not only removing the mural – from, again, the first book written by perhaps the most popular and well-known children’s author in the history of the English language – but they cancelled the festival! Apparently, they felt it was more important to cater to the fragile egos of these authors that nobody ever heard of than to hold an event to celebrate Children’s Literature and encourage children to read, like the First Lady was trying to do.
In her ungracious letter to the First Lady, the librarian cited Philip Nel, a Kansas State University professor who wrote “Was the Cat in the Hat Black?” Professor Nel was also quoted in a recent Boston Globe article about the controversy offering parents and children’s librarians a choice to either skip Seuss’ more controversial works or read them to children “and be ready to have uncomfortable conversations about them.”
I don’t know about you, but I read these books to my children when they were probably four or five. Needless to say, I did not have any “uncomfortable conversations” with them about the pictures in any of these books. As Mrs. Trump points out, they are “the future of America” and I know that my children, having been given a foundation of faith, reason, logic and love, will be well ahead of their peers whose parents had “uncomfortable conversations” with them and taught them to see racism everywhere.

The Museum of Seuss, with a mural in back
shows whimsy and fun, not a racist attack.

But snowflakes won’t stop, since all they’ve been taught
Is that everything’s wrong and it’s never their fault.

That’s not true, of course, since all that they do
Is to whine and complain and they blame me and you

For not giving in and just going away
But fighting for good in the U.S. of A.

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You may not have heard of them yet, but they want your stuff and they mean to take it from you, because raaaaacism.

via FrontPage Mag Discover the Networks:

Formed in May 2017 and based in New York City, the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) is a contingent of the Marxist/anarchist Antifa movement which has made many headlines this year with its violent, bloody attacks against conservatives from coast to coast. RAM’s self-described “revolutionary anarchists” are committed to waging “armed” warfare against American “fascism” ― the term that RAM employs as a synonym for conservatism. Rooted in what it calls “the context of the abolitionist struggle against slavery” ― and “dedicated to freeing people from bondage and building resistance in the United States” ― RAM contends not only that America was “built on slavery and genocide,” but also that “modern slavery and mass brutality” against black people “persist unchecked” to this day.

Because “the Civil War was never resolved,” RAM elaborates, “the system of slavery transitioned into the prison industrial complex” where blacks are inarcerated in disproportionately high numbers. On the premise that the United States government has conspired “with white supremacist organizations” to “ensure that the relations of slavery [remain] entrenched in U.S. political, social, and economic life,” RAM claims that “the [slave] ships” of yesteryear have been replaced by the “correctional buses” that transport African Americans en masse to prison cells across the country; that “the [slave] auction blocks [of the 1800s] are now the courtrooms” in American cities; and that black people today “are indelibly marked with prison numbers that remain etched on their records till they die.”

“The abolitionist struggle,” says RAM, must be extended and directed against “the state and capitalism,” which are supposedly the leading modern-day “perpetrators of oppression.” Openly advocating violence against “fascists” and police officers ― the latter of whom RAM views as government-sanctioned enablers of fascism ― the Movement indoctrinates its members and allies by means of workshops bearing titles like “Introduction to Anarchism” and “Our Enemies in Blue.”    MORE

From the RAM website, we learn that they intend to remedy what they see as the injustice of sending criminals to prison and deporting illegal foreign invaders is to create their version of the “Underground Railroad” to facilitate evasion of justice for fugitives:

We will create networks for those facing detention, incarceration, deportation, or white supremacist violence to escape and live with dignity. We invite revolutionaries to help build a contemporary underground railroad, outside the reach of the state. Revolutionaries, social centers, and antifa groups that are already active can help build greater infrastructure of resistance to support those fleeing the state.

They will need resources to accomplish their illegal goals, which they will obtain by taking from those who are unwilling to provide (AKA stealing):

To carve out an autonomous territory, or to begin the revolutionary process, goods, land, and tools must be expropriated, or taken away from those who withhold them.

Who are heroes to these people? Cop killers, of course!

Among RAM’s most visible individual heroes are a pair of Marxist cop-killers and former Black Panther Party members: (a) Mumia Abu Jamal, whom RAM characterizes as a shining symbol of “Philadelphia’s rich revolutionary tradition,” and (b) Russell Shoats, who characterized himself as “a runaway slave” when he escaped in 1977 from the prison where he was serving a life sentence for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer.

RAM also greatly admires the Marxist revolutionaries Angela Davis, who in 1970 provided the gun that was used by one of her Black Panther comrades to blow off the head of a California judge, and Assata Shakur, who in 1973 fired two fatal gunshots into the head of a New Jersey state trooper.

Columbus Day is coming up soon, and these goons have plans for it:

Today, RAM is calling for its supporters to stage “Deface Columbus Day” demonstrations across the United States in early October. Most notably, those supporters are urged to “‘decorate’ their neighborhoods” with the hashtags “#Fu**ColumbusDay” and “#DestroyColonialism.”

The left just keeps on pushing, never expecting the laws they break to ever be enforced or for their intended victims to ever fight back. I guess we will just have to see how that all works out for them.

*******

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. 

by baldilocks

Consider this excerpt a preamble to a question.

There’s no question that Irma was and continues to be destructive. But there’s also no question that it was not nearly the storm it was predicted by all the experts to be.

Last week, there was talk of massive destruction across [Florida], with damage estimates ranging up to $200 billion. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levin called it “a nuclear hurricane.” Storm tracks last week showed Irma remaining a Category 4 hurricane for a significant portion of its trek across Florida. When Irma shifted to the west as it approached, it was described as the “worst-case scenario” for the state.

However, when Irma made landfall in the U.S., it’s strength quickly diminished and the actual damages

to Florida in dollar terms will likely be 75% lower than predicted.

While those dire forecasts were being made, environmentalists and politicians were busy pinning the blame on global warming.

It was the same after Hurricane Harvey caused massive flooding in Houston. It’s the case whenever there is an adverse weather event. If there’s a drought, it’s because of “climate change.” If there’s flooding, climate change. Wild fires, climate change. Blizzards? Climate change.

So will environmentalists credit climate change for Irma’s unexpected turn for the better?

During the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey and as Irma was making its way through the Caribbean, this bit of Facebook logic was making the rounds.

So, here’s my question: if Donald Trump or some unseen actor can produce hurricanes and other types of weather phenomena at will, what’s all the climate change fuss about?

Yes, I’m joking. (Can’t be too careful these days.)

On a serious note, much of the Caribbean was devastated by Irma. Pray for them and take action, if you’re inclined to do so.

FURTHER SERIOUSNESS: The task set before Houstonians.

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!

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

Adult discourse is a thing of the distant past. Here’s a dog tale from the idiotarian minefield.

A group called Patriot Prayer (about which I know absolutely nothing) announced a rally on Facebook,

Free Speech Rally
San Francisco Crissy Field Beach 8/26/17 2 pm
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1454498877929964

You go to the event, Freedom Rally San Francisco, for this full description,

***Patriot Prayer Large Event***
No extremists will be allowed in . No Nazis, Communist, KKK, Antifa, white supremacist, I.E., or white nationalists. This is an opportunity for moderate americans to come in with opposing views. We will not allow the extremists to tear apart this country.
Specifically, Richard Spencer and NathanDamigo will not be welcome.

Before you accuse Patriot Prayer as being hateful, please find specific examples. You will not find any hate speech, you are being lied to by corrupt politicians. SF is supposed to be a safe haven for minorities. If this is true then please be respectful to the speakers we are bringing in. 3 black, 2 hispanic, 1 asian, 1 Samoan, 1 muslim, 2 woman, and 1 white male. There will also be an opportunity for an open mic for moderate Americans. Love and Peace is the only way to heal this country- so we ask that you do not use hate against us with the intent of fighting hate. We are here to spread a message of love.

SECURITY WILL BE ON LOCK DOWN.

Liberty Weekend in the Bay Area! This is a 2 day event in the NorCal SF Bay Area!!

Liberty Weekend with Joey Gibson – Patriot Prayer, Amber Gwen Cummings – Transsexual Patriot, & Lindsay Grathwohl – patriot, mom & Daughter of the late Larry Grathwohl.

Patriot Prayer Joey Gibson rally will kick off Liberty Weekend on Saturday August 26th at Crissy Field Presidio & Amber Gwen Cummings rally is on Sunday August 27th at MLK park in Berkeley.

Join us in San Francisco, California on August 26th,2017 at the Presidio – Crissy Field at 2pm for a day of freedom, spirituality, unity, peace, and patriotism! San Francisco has long been a city that prides itself in acceptance of all, so together, let’s unite in this beautiful city to listen to some great speakers & live music!

We just received confirmation that the band – Good Ol’ Boyz will be performing in San Francisco at Crissy Field!

Speakers will include: Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer, Will Johnson of Unite America First, Kyle Chapman – “Based Stickman”, Harim Uziel – Los Angeles For Trump, Amber Gwen Cummings – Transsexual Patriot, Kathryn Townsend, Gabriel Silva -Activist, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, Pam Brunfield-Uriate, and more! As more speakers confirm, we will update this page.

I don’t know any of the speakers, either.

Some in San Francisco are not happy and they made plans, Turd Reich: San Francisco dog owners lay minefield of poo for rightwing rally

Hundreds of San Franciscans plan to prepare Crissy Field, the picturesque beach in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge where rightwing protest group Patriot Prayer will gather, with a generous carpeting of excrement.

Because nothing says “liberal values” like covering your own city in feces?

“I just had this image of alt-right people stomping around in the poop,”

. . . and spreading feces-borne bacteria all over the city after the rally?

Tuffy Tuffington said of the epiphany he had while walking Bob and Chuck, his two Patterdale terriers,

With a name like mine maybe I should not disparage people’s names, but, really, Tuffy Tuffington? Who named this guy, P. G. Wodehouse? Aunt Agatha‘s West Highland white terrier McIntosh would never take part in this. Where is Jeeves when we need him?

Continuing (emphasis added),

and trying to think

As the saying goes, trying is not doing, especially when you’re 45 years old and this is what you can come up with,

of the best way to respond to rightwing extremists in the wake of Charlottesville. “It seemed like a little bit of civil disobedience where we didn’t have to engage with them face to face.”

a.k.a. passive-aggressive vandalism,

Tuffington, a 45-year-old artist and designer, created a Facebook event page based on the concept, and the dog owners of San Francisco responded in droves. Many have declared their intention to stockpile their shitpiles for days in advance, then deliver them in bags for the site.

Yes, not only are they full of it, they are stockpiling it for days.

(The group is also planning to reconvene on Sunday to “clean up the mess and hug each other”.)

Tuffy and his thugs are going to need more than hugs after spreading bacteria from dog feces (emphasis added),

Beyond your grass, it has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans. EPA even estimates that two or three days’ worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it, to swimming and shell fishing.

Guess where Crissy Field is?

As you read above, it’s right next to San Francisco Bay.

I’m afraid to ask, how more stupid can they get?

UPDATE
Rally cancelled

Gibson said the group would hold a press conference at 2:00 p.m. at Alamo Park in the city to talk about what led up to the decision to cancel the event. He called on Mayor Lee to provide security against left-wing militants and anti-fascists, or Antifa.

Side note,
TRIGGER ALERT: San Francisco’s mayor’s name is Ed Lee. Of the Beijing Lees, perhaps?


Attention: See Da Tech Guy’s pinned post!

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

Today, broadcast television was interrupted with breathless “Breaking News” that Steve Bannon had been fired from the Trump administration. You would think that nothing else was happening in the world today or that nobody at home wanted to actually watch the end of their shows which had been preempted for this news and the endless public pontificating and bloviating over what it all means. Talking heads had been predicting this event and/or wishing for it for a long time, having long smeared Bannon as a raaaaacist (FYI, they have done and will continue to do this to pretty much anyone and everyone who works for President Trump, or defends him, or fails to denounce him sufficiently to their leftist liking).

The left and their #NeverTrump enablers are delighted and spewing their gloat at any public platform they can find. They think they have a major victory that will further their insidious goal of bringing down President Donald J. Trump. They are as wrong as they are obnoxious, and they are plenty obnoxious!

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Not to mention smug.

You know what?

It doesn’t matter.

In the final analysis, Steve Bannon was staff, always staff; simply staff.

Political Strategist Bannon did not create any of President Trump’s policies or platform issues.  The political policy from President Trump is directly from President Trump.

Here is a little experiment you can try: Go to the local grocery store or gas station and ask someone on line with you what they think of Steve Bannon getting fired, ask again at the waiting room in your doctor’s office or at the mechanic or hairdresser or wherever you go in your every day life where Americans are going about their lives away from the hair-on-fire histrionics of cable news and new media. Odds are the answer you get will be along the lines of, “Steve who?” – even among people who voted for Donald Trump.

And that is the point, people: we did not vote for Steve Bannon, or Sean Spicer or that Scaramucci fella – or anybody else who President Trump has fired or will fire in the future for that matter –  we voted for Donald J. Trump and as long as he is still our President and as long as he is still doing everything he can to MAGA despite the opposition he gets from all sides, it is all gravy. We don’t care. Covfefe on that for a while.

UPDATE: Mt.Bannon has landed on his feet, back at Breitbart, and he remains loyal to President Trump.

*******

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. 

My mom made fruitcakes every year during Christmas season; the rum they were soaked in was all I could smell in our house for weeks and I would only eat the special cake my mom made for me that had no alcohol (I prefer my booze in a glass, thanks). My mother said her fruitcakes would never go bad because of all the alcohol (except for mine, of course) but the theory never got tested because they always got eaten by the people she gave them to. My mom is not old enough to have made the cake they just found in Antarctica, though:

A fruitcake thought to be 106 years old was recently uncovered in an extremely remote Antarctic hut.

The cake was almost “perfectly preserved” and apparently untouched when conservators from the Antarctic Heritage Trust spotted it on a shelf inside a Cape Adare hut, according to Stuff.co.nz.

The shelter was built in 1899 during a Norwegian expedition, but it’s thought that the fruitcake was brought to Cape Adare in 1911 by Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition party.

Lizzie Meek, the trust’s artifacts manager, told Newshub the delicacy still had remnants of Huntley and Palmers brand paper stuck to its side.

“It looks like new, which is quite fantastic,” Meeks said. “It smells a little bit of rancid butter, but it looks beautiful.”

Despite looking “edible,” the researchers were not permitted to taste the cake for ethical reasons.

Meeks added that while the fruitcake’s tin had nearly disintegrated, the cake itself was well preserved due to freezing conditions.

The fruity treat was among nearly 1,500 artifacts found in the Cape Adare huts. The conservators also discovered tools, clothing, sardines, “rather nice looking” jams and “badly deteriorated” meat and fish during their 14-month effort.

Meeks described the fruitcake finding a “quite a surprise.”

“Most people don’t carry a whole fruitcake to Antarctica and not eat it,” she said.

No word on the alcohol content of the cake, but I don’t want to eat it – and it isn’t for “ethical” reasons. Maybe if I had a bunch of alcohol in myself first, but that’s a whole other thing. The cake and other items found with it will be returned to their places of origin so someone else can “discover” them again in the future.

I kind of want to go clear the leftovers out of my fridge now, for posterity or something.

Very old fruitcake

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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 Rolling Stones famously sang,

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away.

Over in Argentina, former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who came to power when her husband Néstor Kirchner died suddenly of a heart condition, sees a storm is threat’ning: She has been charged with money laundering for the fourth time.

Fernandez already faces trial in a separate case for alleged financial mismanagement in office and pending charges for allegedly ordering Argentina’s central bank to illegally trade derivatives, which cost the country $5.5 billion.

And let’s not forget the fourteen houses she “never declared” to the anti-corruption or the tax authorities.

So where does a grieving widow seek shelter from the upcoming storm?

She runs for Senate in the country’s most populous province, of course!

It so happens that, if elected, the seat (emphasis added)

would give her congressional immunity from federal prosecution for alleged money laundering and racketeering during her presidency.

As I was planning this post this morning, I was looking at the list of categories under which to file it. I opted for “are you kidding me.” Why? Because she’s ahead in the polls.

After Argentinians elected Mauricio Macri president, foreign investors hoped his administration would pass reforms to undo Fernandez’s chaotic economic policies, interventionist strategies and trade restrictions. Cristina’s campaign does not bode well:

The peso currency has lost 9 percent of its value since Fernandez declared her candidacy on June 24. The central bank has sold more than $1 billion in reserves in the past two weeks to stop the currency’s slide, including a $298.2 million intervention on Thursday.

Argentina may, once again, slip back into its old storms.

Attention: See Da Tech Guy’s pinned post!

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