Mighty Mouse frowns on all your bogus Superhero hijinks.

by baldilocks

SJW Nonsense? I repeat myself.

CNN takes a break from tanking the stock market by promoting fake news to feature some SJW Superheroes of the Caucasian persuasion.

White Nonsense Roundup is a social media watchdog group with about 100 white volunteers. Its goal: to relieve people of color from the emotional labor of engaging with a person’s racist or racially insensitive thoughts.

Say, a person of color makes a post about Black Lives Matter. Then others respond with ignorant or offensive comments. That person can tag White Nonsense RoundUp to snatch some edges — or, better put, to educate people with context and fact-based views.

“It’s really unfair that we expect people of color to experience racism, but then also explain it to us,” the group’s co-founder Terri Kempton, a book editor and college instructor, told CNN.

From the White Nonsense website:

We believe it is our responsibility to call out white friends, relatives, contacts, speakers, and authors who are contributing to structural racism and harming our friends of color. We are a resource for anti-racist images, links, videos, artwork, essays, and voices. These can be used by anyone for a DIY white nonsense roundup, or by the WNR team to support people of color upon their request.

That’s mighty white of them.

So black people are too inferior to pimp-slap their own trolls now?

Personally, I like trolls. They taste good with carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. And let’s not forget garlic! Leave it to a bunch of Leftists to try and deny black people the pleasure of eating tasty troll carcass for lunch.

Jokes aside, I’ve talked about this phenomenon before. Such people want to be the heroes of black folk and, thereby, assuage their own white guilt, but it’s more than that.

These people what to be able to say the following to black persons who hate whites.

“See what I did for you people?”

Take it from a black conservative, blacks who hate whites will not give a rat’s. They hate you poor souls almost as much as you hate yourselves and feel absolutely no guilt about it.

Pointing and laughing at the impotence of these poor souls is easy. Their best bet would be to turn all their guilt –white and otherwise — over to God. But, I’d wager that many of these don’t believe He exists — a primary condition for fooling oneself.

(Thanks to The Daily Wire)

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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by baldilocks

First things: my gratitude to Fausta for filling in for me on Saturday. I still have some computer issues which will be dealt with directly.

Some may remember that one of the first of the gazillion sexual harassment/assault accusations and revelations was from actor Anthony Rapp, who told of being assaulted by actor Kevin Spacey when Rapp was a 14-year-old.

At present, Rapp plays Lt. Paul Stamets on Star Trek: Discovery, a show which, despite my initial skepticism, is excellent so far, rivaling my beloved Deep Space Nine as my favorite Trek. In short,

Rapp as Stamets

Discovery is exciting and fun; Rapp appears to be a fine actor.

To repeat what I said here, I follow the Social Media accounts of some actors whose work I admire and do so with the expectation that they will be liberals/leftists and will, therefore, offer some opinions with which I strongly disagree and Rapp’s political tweets, like that of his co-star Jason Isaacs, I tend to ignore.

But one thing I cannot ignore is the daily harassment received by Rapp due to the revelation. It’s more than abhorrent. Rapp shares almost every one of the messages with his followers and I don’t think that many in my political and spiritual circles are paying much attention to what people like Rapp are experiencing. He’s been getting missives like this one on his Twitter and Instagram accounts for months now.

That’s right. People are harassing Rapp because they thought he had ended House of Cards, a TV show on which Spacey was the star. Spacey was fired after the allegation and Spacey’s apology.

I thought it would be interesting to point out that this is emblematic of why rape and sexual assault victims often don’t come forward.

Rapp is famous and thousands of people follow his account, yet he still gets hundreds of nastygrams from Spacey’s remaining fans. Can you imagine the type of harassment that non-famous people receive when they out a predator?

Rapp and I are not on the same “teams.” He’s gay, I’m straight. I’m a Christian; I don’t know anything about his spiritual beliefs. I’m a conservative; he’s a liberal.

But the team I hope I suit up for is decent human being. And I think most DTGB readers do as well.

This kind of harassment should be outed and the perpetrators should be shamed, if possible.*

I don’t think it is, though.

*I’ve re-thought my position on shame. Some of it is good.

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!

It’s forgivable that Ben Franklin didn’t include governmental bureaucracies with death and taxes as being the only certainties of life. After all, he died 143 years before that other Franklin – Roosevelt – laid the groundwork for the America’s administrative state.

This revelation came to me in early October, five days after my wife passed away, when a letter from the Social Security Administration notified me I was entitled to $255 in spousal survivor death benefits. The funeral home had reported the death a day after it happened, so I was surprised by how quickly the SSA sprang into action.

The letter told me to call a toll-free number about the benefit claim, which I promptly did. After going through an irritating introductory robo spiel (“What are you calling about?” etc.), the cheerful electronic voice promised to connect me to the right person. Instead, I got a recording telling me I had an estimated wait time of 45 minutes before I could talk to a human being.

I called twice more at different times over the next two days and got the same results. Then I realized how lucky I had been to get that far when the recording said, “All our lines are busy. Please try again later,” on my fourth call.

After several more fruitless phone calls during the following week, I checked the Social Security website for a solution. As I anticipated, there was no way to file a death benefit claim online, but it did mention that I could call my local SSA office instead of Washington.

I punched in a number, told the operator what I needed and was transferred to a phone that was picked up by a person. “Aha!” I thought. “I’m finally getting this done” No such luck.

The representative I spoke with offered his sincere condolences and took down my basic information. He then told me he was only a middle man – to actually file my claim, I still would have to talk to someone in Washington, but he could schedule a time for someone to call me. After doing some checking, he told me the earliest time I could receive a call would be mid-November, nearly six weeks away. I immediately agreed and wrote down the info on my calendar.

Before I hung up, I told the rep my wife and I had needed only short and simple phone calls to sign up for Social Security, so I couldn’t understand why there was such a convoluted process to collect a measly $255. He commiserated with me and said the rigmarole baffled him, too. “I’ve been here for 25 years and have never understood why it isn’t easier to get the death benefit,” he said.

Such are the ways of Rooseveltian bureaucracies.

When I finally received the phone call last Friday, it lasted about 10 minutes and was completely pointless. Instead of asking questions, the rep had me confirm information he obviously had in front of him. The only real question he asked was the city of my birth. When I gave the correct answer, I apparently proved I was not a lowlife trying to cheat Uncle Sam out of a small fortune.

A little background about the spousal death benefit is in order. It was included in the original Social Security Act of 1935, presumably to help grieving wives and husbands pay for their spouses’ burial expenses. The law capped the benefit at 3.5% of a person’s covered earnings, which would have been a maximum of about $315 when the law was adopted. Possibly nobody ever received such a large sum; in 1939, the average payment was $97 (roughly $1,709 in inflated-adjusted dollars).

Congress capped the lump-sum death benefit at $255 in 1954 ($2,388 today), and the limit was retained the last time the provision was overhauled in 1981 ($723 today).

In one respect, I’m glad the size of the benefit hasn’t changed in 63 years – it’s extremely rare when Congress puts on a display of frugality. On the other hand, I feel compassion for the poverty-stricken families who receive such a pittance when they have to bury a loved one. I know people who have spent more than $255 on a pet burial.

But despite the show of thriftiness, the Social Security death benefit – as it’s now constituted – wastes millions of taxpayers’ dollars a year.

It’s not the payouts that are wasteful, it’s the process. How many thousands of SSA employees spend millions of hours every year to take care of phone calls like mine? These are jobs that easily could be replaced by a web page (which probably would be more efficient, too).

Not only would streamlining the system save money, but it also would spare surviving spouses extra grief in their time of mourning.

More like undead.

by baldilocks

The NSA got the Coconut Treatment.

From Business Insider:

The National Security Agency, the US’s largest and most secretive intelligence agency, has been deeply infiltrated by anonymous hackers, as detailed in a New York Times exposé published Sunday.

The NSA, which compiles massive troves of data on US citizens and organizes cyberoffensives against the US’s enemies, was deeply compromised by a group known as the Shadow Brokers, which has made headlines in the past year in connection to the breach, whose source remains unclear.

The group now posts cryptic, mocking messages pointed toward the NSA as it sells the cyberweapons, created at huge cost to US taxpayers, to any and all buyers, including US adversaries like North Korea and Russia.

“It’s a disaster on multiple levels,” Jake Williams, a cybersecurity expert who formerly worked on the NSA’s hacking group, told The Times. “It’s embarrassing that the people responsible for this have not been brought to justice.”

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a former USAF linguist. I have many longtime friends and acquaintances from that profession who have worked for what used to be sweetly called No Such Agency – as if people didn’t see NSA analysts arriving to work every day.

Many of these friends are liberals and, of that number, a significant portion rabidly and vocally despise Donald Trump, and that’s fair. But I never see them offer an opinion on this sort of thing, all of which happened during the Obama Administration and under another rabid anti-Trump personality, former DNI James Clapper. They won’t even share these types of links. Surely they read the NYT.

I realize that some of my friends are unable to legally comment on such things, but you would think that more of them would have been anti-Obama during the past eight years. But they seem to love him. Strange.

(Thanks to Richard Fernandez)

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!

Donna Brazille
via twitter

Timon: Let me get this straight. You know her. She knows you. But she wants to eat him. And everybody’s okay with this?

The Lion King 1994

Over at Yid with Lid old friend Jeff Dunetz writes about an interesting bit from Donna Brazile’s book:

According to Philip Rucker of the Washington Post who obtained an early copy of the book, after her 9/11 fainting episode, Brazile considered replacing Clinton and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, with then-Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Brazile writes that she considered a dozen combinations to replace the nominees and settled on Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), the duo she felt most certain would win over enough working-class voters to defeat Republican Donald Trump. 

Now it’s worth noting (as legal insurrection points out) that there were a lot more Clinton health episodes then this which prompted this discussion but from this quote alone two things jump out at me both pretty obvious, one minor one major.

The minor thing:  Why would you consider replacing Tim Kaine over Hillary Clinton’s fainting spell?  Kaine was duly nominated and approved as the Democrat Party VP pick.  No amount of sickness on Hillary’s part has anything to do with him.

Now granted the replacement of Kaine would likely not have raised much of a fuss, except perhaps in some parts of Virginia but still it seems odd to me and a violation of rules.

The Kaine business is interesting but the real major question is this:

Why would you replace an ill Hillary Clinton with Joe Biden who choose not to run for president instead of with Bernie Sanders who did and came in 2nd in the Democrat Primaries?

 

Forgetting the so called Democrat principle of letting every vote count does nobody get the irony of passing over someone who got millions of primary votes for someone who got none?

Furthermore could you imagine the uproar this would have caused among the Bernie Bros who already (correctly it turns out)  thought that the fix if the DNC chief (moreover a DNC chief who apparently knew and was shocked at the fix) replaced Hillary with someone other than Bernie?

The revolt would have been spectacular and epic and that’s not even taking into account candidate Donald Trump at every campaign stop and event talking about the Democrats screwing Bernie one more time.

I suspect a fair amount of Bernie Bros didn’t vote dem last time around but if Biden had replaced Clinton instead of Bernie I would not have been surprised if enough stayed home or voted green to give Trump Minnesota, New Mexico, Virginia, NH and maybe even Maine.  It would have been a spectacular disaster for Dems (although on the bright side it would have given them a more palatable excuse for their defeat and lessened the shock and embarrassment of the media on election night.

Closing Thought:  If you are a Bernie Sanders supporter consider this:  The head of the DNC during election 2016 has come out and admitted that the fix was in against you in 2016 and professed to be appalled by it, yet even with this knowledge if the chips were down she was ready to throw Bernie Sanders and you under the bus for her chosen ticked rather than right the wrong against you that she claims upset her so much. 

Next time the Democrats ask for your vote keep that in mind.


As I have no sexual secrets of rich liberals to sell or the sponsorship of a national pizza company I have to make my buck by going places and doing interviews all the time hoping people like it enough to pay for it.

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by baldilocks

So, a couple of very popular pro-Trump Twitter accounts have turned out to be Russia bots.

Jenna Abrams was a popular figure in right-wing social media circles. Boasting nearly 70,000 followers, Abrams was featured in numerous news articles during the 2016 election, spotlighted by outlets as varied as USA Today, the Washington Post, the BBC, and Yahoo! Sports. Her tweet about CNN airing porn during Anthony Bourdain’s show (it didn’t) was reported by numerous outlets.

But Abrams never existed.

When I posted this link to my Facebook account, some of my friends denied following this account and I believe them. I didn’t follow them either. But, guess what?

That is far, far from the point.

According to information released by House Democrats earlier this week, Abrams was one of more than 2,750 fake Twitter accounts created by employees at the Internet Research Agency, a “troll farm” funded by the Russian government based in St. Petersburg.

Emphasis mine. The 2,750 bogus accounts are just the ones who’ve been exposed.

The writers of this piece go on about how many how many pro-Trump persons followed and re-Tweeted their offerings. Further down into the article, we get to the Liberal/Leftist accounts who were really bots.

We were warned about this agency last year, by, of all entities, the New York Times. As a matter of fact, I shared the 2015 piece and said this:

[O]ne of the most importantly things that purposeful trolling does is to skew the conversation and, therefore, any reasonable view of any matter under discussion. Individual trolls can do this, if one “feeds” it – that is, engage it in conversation.

Imagine the distorted view that an entire organization of trolls can create–an organization whose business model is built on twisting views and building “reality” out of thin air.

The Enemy is the Father of lies and his wiles are many. And I’ll bet that many of us have been fooled more times than we know of; fooled by elaborate, well-designed architectures of lies–and I definitely do not leave mainstream information dispensaries out of this equation.

It’s not about the fact that we weren’t following these accounts. It’s about the other puppet accounts we are following and don’t know it, yet.

And, not for a second do I believe that the Russians are the lone purveyors of planted opinion.

Even more important for each of us is to be mindful of who you’re reading and listening to especially if you agree with them.

It’s about the access that people who are not your friends have to molding your perceptions.

How much harm has this Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg done? Not too much yet. They are still merely testing out the capabilities of their powerful weapon.

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!

Maybe he was bored. Presiding over the mass starvation of your country’s people isn’t a cakewalk, after all.

Venezuela’s Joe Stalin lookalike dictator has been criticized for becoming a fat bastard while the people in his country wait for hours in line to get bread, resort to picking through trash for anything edible, and die in the streets of hunger – but that won’t make Nicolás Maduro lose his appetite:

American Thinker has more about this:

Thursday, Maduro was in the midst of a long-winded national speech known in Venezuela as a “cadena.”  He paused, pulled a sandwich-like object out of his desk, and took a bite, chomped it down, and then continued his speech.  He was eating what looked like a Venezuelan arepa, a tasty cornmeal-based snack with probably some meat inside, although the Latin press accounts identified it as an empanada, a dish more commonly associated with Argentina and Chile.

It comes at a time when the Venezuelan daily minimum wage, just raised for the sixth time this year, won’t even cover the cost of an empanada, let alone an arepa, given that inflation is running at close to 3,000% and Maduro has just introduced the new 100,000 bolivar note.

Efecto Concuya, via Google Translate, reports:

For the sixth time in 2017, President Nicolás Maduro announced a new increase in the minimum wage that placed the daily salary at Bs. 5,916, but the number of products that can be purchased with that amount is increasingly reduced.

In a sale of breakfast and lunch located in the municipality of Libertador, a pie costs 5,500 bolivars and a filled arepa exceeds Bs. 12,000. There was Rodolfo Gutiérrez, who bought two empanadas and a malt for an amount of Bs. 15,500. That is, someone who only receives a minimum wage, nothing else could pay for a pie.

In a restaurant located in El Cafetal, municipality Baruta, it is impossible to even buy a pie, because it has a price of Bs. 7,500. A large coffee is also inaccessible since it is sold above 8,000 bolivars.

What it shows is the Venezuelan elites’ complete indifference to the suffering of Venezuela’s people.  They mark their superiority over the masses – not by flashing Rolexes anymore, but by eating in front of them.

And don’t think such a message didn’t get out.  Cadenas in Venezuela break into every TV set, every radio show, every program without warning, no matter what’s playing.  You don’t have the option to flip the channel, because the cadena is on every channel.

And cadenas can last for hours.  The logic was that the president’s announcements were so crucial, so important, and so necessary that every other broadcast could just be broken into, like the emergency broadcast system.

You got that? It wasn’t just a video version of the “hot mic”, people had no choice in watching it if they had a television on, and Maduro knew it.

Is this man stupid or just cruel?

Please pray for the people of Venezuela.

*******

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. 

In New York’s 19th Congressional District (which I used to be a part of before a recent redrawing put me into the 18th instead), Steven Brisee was running among several other Democrats hoping to oust Republican Congressman John Faso from his seat. But Steven Brisee can’t seem to stop himself from getting arrested!

Steven Brisee was most recently arrested for Grand Larceny, a felony, after he was caught trying to steal $1500 worth of merchandise, some 50 items of clothing and housewares, from a Kohl’s department store in Newburgh, NY. Brisee has decided to drop out of the race after this arrest, but he blames autism and his lack of people skills for fundraising as the reason, not his criminal history. Although he did admit to a local paper that he had been arrested for shoplifting in the past, he claims his latest arrest was for criminal trespass during a pipeline protest. Via Times Herald Union:

Newburgh Town Police said on Wednesday that Brisee is facing a felony grand larceny charge for allegedly trying to steal about $1,500 worth of merchandise from a Kohl’s in Orange County.

Newburgh Police Lt. James Nenni told the Times Union that Brisee was arrested Sept. 11 on charges accusing him of attempting to take about 50 items from the department store. Nenni said a petit larceny charge was bumped up to a felony because of the value of the goods, which included men’s clothing and other household items.

But in an interview Wednesday evening, the candidate disputed the charge.

“Why would I be trying to steal something while running for Congress?” Brisee said.

The charges were reported by the Kingston Daily Freeman on Tuesday. Brisee disputed the charge in that newspaper’s report as well.

Brisee told the Times Union on Wednesday evening that while he had been arrested in 2010 for stealing from the Kohl’s store — Brisee was homeless at the time — he was arrested for criminal trespass on Sept. 11 for protesting construction of the Pilgrim Pipeline.

“Either they’re looking up an old arrest or I don’t know,” he said.

Brisee said his previous grand larceny arrest was dropped to a violation.

What isn’t in dispute is that Brisee was sent to the Orange County Jail following the Sept. 11 arrest.

Brisee said he was in custody until his bail was posted Saturday night by his step father. He initially was sent to Orange County Jail but transferred to Ulster County Jail to be held on a separate trespass charge stemming from an incident in Ulster County.

Brisee said he was staying at a friend’s house, but the friend had not told his father Brisee was given permission to stay. Two days before his protest arrest, the father had called the police.

With Brisee in Orange County Jail and police in Ulster County unable to contact him, a warrant was issued for his arrest in that county. He was then transferred to Ulster County Jail on Sept. 15.

Wait, what? Didn’t he say the trespass arrest was for a pipeline protest? Now we see a trespass arrest for illegally occupying somebody else’s home. But wait, there’s more! Via Daily Freeman News:

Brisee said he and some friends were in Newburgh protesting a pipeline, but he could not recall the name of the road he was on or what company was constructing the pipeline. He said he believes people waiting to work at the construction site called police, leading to his arrest.

“I was protesting a pipeline,” Brisee said.

A clerk at the Newburgh Justice Court confirmed the felony grand larceny charge against Brisee. The matter is before Judge Jude Martini and Brisee is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 6.

Brisee is being represented by attorney Brad White of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County who could not be reached for comment.

In regards to the criminal trespass charge in Ulster County, Brisee said that matter is in Rochester Town Court and was a misunderstanding. He said he had permission to be at a friend’s house, but the friend did not tell their father. The father called police, Brisee said.

Details about that charge were not immediately available from the court. The criminal trespass matter is scheduled to return to the court on Oct. 4, according to a clerk.

Brisee also said a 2015 misdemeanor drunken driving charge against him had been reduced to a violation driving while ability impaired charge.

So Steven Brisee already had an arrest history, but he thought running for public office was a good idea to do while he continued with his lawbreaking ways, and when it finally catches up to him to the point that he feels compelled to drop out of the congressional race, he blames an autistic lack of social skills, not his own criminality and an inability to keep his stories straight, as the reason why he could not garner voter support and fundraise effectively. Criminal behavior, lying, and blame gaming – kind of reminds me of another democrat (who even once held a political office here in New York).

*******

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

Remember the Underwear Bomber? The guy who hated his genitals infidels so much that, in 2009, he got on a plane

Underwear Bomber frowns on your infideling.

and tried to detonate plastic explosives which were stuffed down his tighty-whities? Well, he’s still stealing oxygen and serving four life terms in federal supermax in Colorado. And he’s suing the feds for allegedly violating his constitutional rights.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigeria native who became an al-Qaida operative, alleges he’s being held in long-term solitary confinement, has been forced to eat foods forbidden by his religion, endured harassment yelled by white supremacist inmates saying things offensive to Muslims and has been prohibited from communicating with relatives, including nieces and nephews.

“Prison walls do not form a barrier separating prison inmates from the protections of the United States Constitution,” his 73-page lawsuit said.

It was filed last week in federal court in Colorado against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Joe Does 1 through 20. Spokespeople for the Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment on the case.

Memory having served me correctly, Abdulmutallab’s father strolled up to a CIA station in Nigeria’s capital and warned them about his son; gave him up. How big of a loser do you have to be for that to happen?

A jury of any demographic mix will dismiss this case – even if it’s 12 Muslims. Who would want to be associated with such a pathetic creature, one who couldn’t even castrate himself properly?

His background is unsurprising. His father is very rich by African standards; he has a mechanical engineering degree from University College London. This is the standard biography for the “old school” terrorists of earlier in the century. Can’t build up your community but you can build a bomb … except Abdulmutallab couldn’t even do that.

So now he has to spend his life pretending not to like bacon and getting laughed at by White Power ‘tards — and others, no doubt –when he could have been enjoying his virgins/Virginians/raisins, ironically because he didn’t pay enough attention to the function of his fizzled feat of engineering. Sad.

I’d sue somebody, too, if I were him, starting with my parents.

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!

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.