by baldilocks

Anatomy of mass psychosis.

For the past two years, a particular power group has sought to explain away its loss of power – or rather, its loss of the Presidency, as it still holds a predominance of institutional power – by creation of a myth. Mainstream media is known for its herd behavior, and in this case the editors, commentators, journalists have talked themselves into a story that initially they themselves could hardly take seriously.

Donald Trump was elected by Russia? (…)

The Russians could do nothing to build support for Trump, and there is not a hint of evidence that they tried. They might have done something to harm Hillary, because there was so much there: the private server emails, the Clinton foundation, the murder of Moammer Gaddafi, the call for a no-fly zone in Syria … they didn’t have to invent it. It was there. So was the hanky panky at the Democratic National Committee, on which the Clintonite accusations focus, perhaps to cause everyone to forget much worse things. (…)

[A]fter two years of fakery, to send the establishment into a frenzy of accusations of “treason” when Trump does what he said he would do while campaigning, try to normalize relations with Russia.

Emphasis mine.

‘The writer — Diana Johnstone — goes much further and it’s worth the read.

As most readers of this blog and of baldilocks blog know, I voted for Donald Trump while holding my nose after being very critical of candidate Trump and suspicious of his motives for running. However, the president has not given me any reason to regret that decision, though I’m not in agreement with everything he has done while in office.

I understand legitimate, reasoned, and researched criticism of any president. For the most part, however, that’s not what we are seeing from his critics. We are seeing insanity.

It’s fascinating to watch as the Organized Left and perennial Never-Trumpers flip out over things like

  • The president being nice to Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki Summit. The word treason was tossed about as if the tossers had conjured a new definition of the word. Did they expect President Trump to call a rap battle during the press conference?
  • The president referring to the savage, demonic Legion called MS-13 as ‘animals.’
  • Yesterday’s reason for throwing a collective fit: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announces that security clearances for former high-ranking Obama Administration officials will be revoked — as if that isn’t standard procedure for worker bees who are no longer in the position where a security clearance is required. Former CIA director John Brennan is at the head of the list of people who will lose their clearances, as well he should be.

Read the whole thing.

Johnstone refers to this prevailing mindset as dementia, but that implies a certain innocence. Victor Davis Hanson’s indictment contains nothing of the sort.

You’ll want to read that one, too.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Every time there is a Supreme Court vacancy under a Republican president, the Left panics, at least since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was erroneously decided, inventing a supposed right to abortion that is nowhere in the Constitution. With the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the pattern continues. We all know that this panic stems from the fact that the Left, when they control the courts, uses their power to push their progressive agenda on society when they can’t win at the ballot box, so they are afraid that our side will also use the courts to push our conservative agenda in just as underhanded a way as they do. There is one critical difference, however. Conservatives do not make things up. We adhere to the Constitution so any societal change that comes from a conservative SCOTUS is actually bringing society back in line with the Constitution, not some made up progressive vision of what society ought to be.

The disingenuous tactic most often used by the Left is the concept of stare decisis, which is Latin for “to stand by that which is decided.” Practically speaking, the Left considers it to mean “Thou shalt not overturn Roe v. Wade.” And in all the sound and fury about stare decisis, they often point out that this constitutional abomination is some kind of “super precedent” that absolutely must be upheld because it has been on the books for over 45 years. You can bet that their argument that Obergefell v. Hodges (the gay “marriage” decision) can’t be overturned will be because it was just decided and SCOTUS can’t overrule itself that quickly. Convenient that two completely opposing arguments can be made for the same rule, “SCOTUS shall not overturn any decision that we like.” It’s the same tactic they use about global warming climate change, but I digress.

It turns out that Obergefell itself overturned Baker v. Nelson, which was decided in 1972, a year before Roe, so it should have been at least as strong a precedent as Roe. And Brown v. Board of Education (1954) overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, which was decided 58 years previously (1896). Just for fun, let’s take a look at Trump v. Hawaii, the “travel ban” case that was just decided this term. Aside from making liberal heads explode by ruling in favor of President Trump, the decision also overturned Korematsu v. United States (1944), the Japanese internment decision from 74 years previously. Presumably the Left agrees with everyone else that Korematsu should have been overturned.

Actually, the controlling precedent on abortion is Planned Parenthood v. Casey, from 1992. As I’ve written before, this decision should be overturned if for no other reason than to strike the execrable “Sweet Mystery of Life” passage from the American legal lexicon (don’t let the door hit you on your way out, Justice Kennedy). But is 27 years enough time to make Casey a supposed “super precedent”?

Here’s what it comes down to: The Left can use “emanations” and “penumbras” to make up constitutional rights out of whole cloth and then hide behind stare decisis, effectively claiming a ratchet effect towards their progressive vision for our country. We on the right can use the actual text of the Constitution to bring things back to where they should be. With President Trump replacing Anthony Kennedy with Brett Kavanaugh, we have an opportunity to make that happen. I’m not wishing ill on any other member of the Court, but there is a chance we will be in even better position to do so in the coming years. Let’s hope that President Trump will continue to nominate strong conservatives and that the Justices have the courage to make it happen.

by baldilocks

I just spent more minutes than I should have arguing with a Twitter-bot about Jesus the Christ, so I’m a little late today. (Sorry, Peter.) As an excuse In my defense, I do like to keep my arguing skills up and hadn’t done it in while. It’s like riding a bicycle!

Anyway, like many, I’m watching the rise of young Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed Marxist, and the NY-14 Democrat candidate for Congress. Since I’m late, I’ll give you a slice of what the Victory Girls Blog has to say about this ascendant Red Star.

First, lets dispel the myth that Ocasio is somehow your typical Bronx girl. She’s far from it. According to Wikipedia, the community organizer (oh, Great Cthulhu, save us from another one of those!) was born in the Bronx and lived there until the age of five, when her architect daddy moved the family to a “house in Yorktown Heights, an affluent suburb in Westchester County, where she would live until she left home to attend college.”

Where did she attend college, you ask? Why Boston University, of course, where the cost of attendance per year for an out of state student is an oh-so-modest $70,300 per year.

Yeah, she’s sure an everyday working girl from the Bronx (…)

After college, she worked as a waitress and bartender in the Bronx for a bit while she and her mother fought a probate battle for her father’s estate after he died of cancer. This was a second job in addition to her position as Educational Director for a Hispanic nonprofit. Now, I don’t know how much her salary was, but for someone straight out of college to be making an average of $61,000 per year is pretty damn good.

Alexandria is a smart girl. She doesn’t mention that she grew up in an affluent New York suburb or that she snagged herself a directorship position straight out of college with a fairly significant nonprofit organization. She doesn’t want the voters to see her exactly for who she is: a privileged phony, who is just another politician fighting to suck on the government teat, earning a $174,000 salary, while pointing a government gun at the taxpayers and using force to implement her schemes.

Read the whole thing and recognize the pattern. In every Marxist-based society, there is a ruling social and/or political elite. This lady has been shooting for that target since she was old enough to know that the target existed. I do like her openness and she will probably be elected in Soviet NYC.

Fascinating. /Spock voice

(Thanks to Darleen Click)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Sow the wind …

by baldilocks

#MeToo

What is the relationship between complete disarmament of the entire American populace, open borders, and opposition to the so-call Muslim ban?

Mexico is a nightmare of a nation-state, totally controlled by the demonic drug and human-trafficking cartels. The operational activities of these cartels rivals those of ISIS. Mexico’s murder rate is number two in the world. And 99% of all Mexican crimes go unadjudicated and uninvestigated. Our sieve-like southern border has allowed all of this to spill into this country, but there is still some control.

As I’ve point out before, the cartels are probably salivating at the “business” opportunities which a disarmed America would offer.

Open borders plus disarmed America equals the end of a free America and sets the stage for a true strongman who promise to protect the remnant of a terrified populace ravaged by savage murders, rapes, robberies, etc. Gangs of these animals roaming the countryside, armed to the teeth and scoffing at the enforcers who would presume to disarm them.

As my friend, Dave Perkins, points out, “The pattern is historical.”

Then there is the violence and harassment against Republican and conservative officials, including:

  • Attempted murder of several Republican congressmen, including the critically-injured Rep. Steven Scalise.
  • Senator Rand Paul severely injured by his neighbor.
  • DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen run out of a DC restaurant.
  • Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, run out of Tampa movie theater.
  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and family asked to leave a Virginia restaurant, and, after the family choose another restaurant, the management follows them to that place to harass them further.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) openly exhorts others to harass Trump cabinet members with implications of violence.

“You think we’re rallying now? You ain’t seen nothing yet,” Waters vowed at a Los Angeles rally on Saturday. “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Apparently, some were listening to Rep. Waters. Just today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, were harassed by a mob in front of their home.

Waters set the stage for harassment and violence not only against Trump administration cabinet members and staff, but also against the normal, every-day citizen whose attitude might need adjustment. The mob will always expand its choice of targets.

Even Nancy Pelosi realizes this and told Waters to STFU. Good luck with that, Madame Minority Leader.

Then, there is also the fact that, today, the Supreme Court upheld the so-called Muslim ban list– actually a list of countries who have no process of identifying its citizens. Most of the countries with majority Muslim populations are not on the banned list and two of the countries on the list – Venezuela and North Korea – are not majority Muslim. But those who remain outraged by the ban don’t care about this because holding onto the lie and repeating the lie that the ban discriminates against Muslims is a necessity.

“A necessity for what,” I hear you ask. And here comes the answer to the first question.

All of these Democrat, leftist (BIRM) advocacies are intended to wear out the American public with chaos. Leftists want us to be overrun by criminals and terrorists and to have no defense against them. They want chaos and what produces chaos better than violence, death and fear of death? Sure, they pretend that it’s heartless to keep out citizens of failed states like Mexico or Somalia, but, in reality, they want America to become the failed state.

But their daddy issues will remain.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

Don’t call it a comeback

The latest in political delineation news is that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was refused service at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. Sanders merely reported it and said that she and her family complied and left.

And this is fair. As Peter pointed out, restaurants and other businesses claim that they have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. But we all know that this not the truth. Pizza parlors and bakeries have been legally driven out of business for refusing to do business with potential customers for various reasons, mostly involving Christianity and same-sex marriage.

Recall what I said about this a few years back while commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. Bottom line: I don’t think segregation of any type should be outlawed for privately owned businesses; nor should integration be forced.

This applies to race, but a business owner should also be able to refuse to serve those whose politics, person or breath he/she doesn’t like. I suspect that Sanders thinks this way, too.

And, of course, private citizens are already pranking the place: calling in reservations and not showing up. Silliness.

More silliness: the resultant Yelp review battles.

Some are blaming this on Sanders for even mentioning the incident; for “targeting” the business.

Please. The employee who turned Sanders away targeted the business herself, not to mention targeting other unaffiliated Red Hen restaurants whose owners are now having to disavow Red Hen Lexington. Did the RHL employee expect one of the most visible women in the country to keep the snub to herself?

So it is that Democrats are bringing back their old friend, restaurant segregation.

Are these the new old rules?

However, this is actually how freedom is supposed to work: a business owner is free to refuse service to anyone – including conservatives, women, blacks, homosexuals, and Trump employees — and, after discovering a business’s preference, the rest of us are free to steer clear of that business. Or to give it our money. Or open up a competing business across the street with different rules of service.

And now that we are once again reminded that some business owners do not want the business of conservatives/Republicans in general and Trump supporters/employees in particular, each one of us should decide to act accordingly.

They’re free to choose. So are you.

And to remember.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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by baldilocks

I’m old enough to remember when I was called delusional by an alleged conservative for pointing this out. That happened in 2008.

But I’m certain that Don Surber was pointing it out back then also. Here he is in a well-earned I-told-you-so:

Barack Obama is a communist. Mild compared to Castro or Mao, but nevertheless a believer in state control of everything.

Electing a communist president was easy, although it took more than seven decades. While the steps were many — Stalin’s Soviet Union collapsed before achieving his goal — the major ones are obvious in hindsight.

The quest began after Stalin stole America’s nuclear bomb secrets. Roy Cohn prosecuted Stalin’s spies. We hanged them.

Stalin got revenge. He placed a big fat target on Cohn, who went to Washington to help Senator Joseph McCarthy ferret communists out of the Army and State Department.

Many people confuse this with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, which examined communism in Hollywood. Much ridiculed in the press (even conservatives mocked HUAC) look at Hollywood today and try to deny that communism lives on in America’s entertainment industry.

The elitists ripped McCarthy, called his quest for the truth a witch hunt, and made his name synonymous with the type of investigative fishing expedition Bobby Mueller has engaged in.

The net result was you no longer could call anyone a communist in America. Not even an actual communist. We call them liberal, progressive, socialist, and even Marxist, but never in polite society may we call them communists.

The downfall of McCarthy protected the communists in our federal government. We put one — John Brennan — as head of our CIA.

Indeed we did. I and many of my oldest and closest friends are also old enough to remember when open allegiance to communism was a huge disqualifier for any intelligence service position, much less DCI.

Don features Leftism’s takeover of most American churches and begins with my “favorite” trap: the (Lyndon Baines)

“Yeah, churches, Ah fooled yew, too!”

Johnson Amendment of 1950 – the political and, more importantly, the spiritual lure used to silence churches, at least the ones prone to engaging in wrong-think aka the undiluted Word of God.

What gets me sometimes is the failure of smart, capable and trained people to see the century-long pattern of infiltration, culminating with the election of hardcore Leftist Barack H. Obama. His rise was the result of the Organized Left’s patient effort to turn this country into the crown jewel of communist achievement. The Great Battle Won. But the Organized Left began the celebration too soon and got cocky. And now we are seeing the after-action reports that they couldn’t keep hidden. But they never did try to hide. Not really.

Many of us never did want to see. Still don’t.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

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Lang’s Skokie office in 2006

Illinois cannot cope with the present, let alone with the future, so it’s fighting a symbolic battle from the past.

Here’s a little history lesson: In 1972 Congress submitted the Equal Rights Amendment to the state legislatures, which read:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

There was a rush of states falling over year other to ratify would have been the 27th Amendment before the seven-year deadline for passage, which in an unprecedented move, was extended by Congress for an additional three years. Thirty-five states–nearly all of them did so in the first year after congressional passage–ratified the ERA. Then opposition, led by conservative firebrand Phyliss Schlafly, who ironically lived in Illinois at the time, focused on such concerns that in an ERA America, women would be eligible for a military draft and gender-specific bathrooms would be abolished.

Blogger with Schlafly in 2006

Illinois did not ratify the ERA.

Three states, in a move never tested in a federal court, later rescinded their ratifications. No states ratified the ERA during the extension period and the Equal Rights Amendment died in 1982, three states–or six–short of what was needed to be enacted.

Or did the ERA really die?

Last year, thirty-five years after the deadline expired, Nevada ratified the ERA. And last month the Illinois state Senate voted to do the same. In the House, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who nominally represents me in the lower chamber, is the sponsor for the ERA there. It’s a pet cause of Lang, a consummate left-wing political hack. He’s the House deputy majority leader, in reality, he’s the head waiter for House Speaker for Life Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who Reuters says is “the man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois.” Where is Lang’s pension fix? Illinois has one of the worst-funded public-worker pension systems of the fifty states. Its credit rating is the lowest of any state ever. Why? Pensions of course. And those generous retirement plans are in reality deferred compensation in exchange for public-sector union support of the Democratic Party. Yes, a couple of Republican governors, Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar, are also partly culpable. Illinois’ pension bomb, both at the state and local level, and the tax hikes to attempt to pay down that debt, are a millstone for the state and the reason the Prairie State is suffering from declining population.

Other than more tax increases, Lang has no solution to solve the pension crisis. And yes, he’s definitely part of the problem as Lang has been a state legislator since 1987.

What to do?

If you’re Lang, you create a distraction with a nostalgic, for the left that is, flavor. Ratify the ERA. The Democratic nominee for governor, JB Pritzker, is on board.

Of course Congress could vote to pass, with identical wording, a new Equal Rights Amendment. Lang can just call his pal US Rep. Jan Schakowsky, his (and yes, my) representative in the US House. She’s an even bigger leftist than he is. Then the states can have another go-around. That’s what the our nation’s founders would want.

On the other hand, passing an constitutional amendment is very difficult to do. In 229 years it’s only been accomplished 27 times. But the US Constitution has in reality been amended thousands of times–by the courts. Same-sex marriage was legalized in such a manner, as was abortion.

Other than making women eligible for a military draft, what would the ERA do?

Ruins of a LaSalle, Illinois bridge

But that’s not the point. Liberals are obsessed with symbolism.

After the 9/11 attacks author Tom Clancy expressed this notion better, telling Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, “The political left is, you know, they deal in symbols rather than reality.”

The ERA is a symbol.

“The general difference between conservatives and liberals is liberals like pretty pictures and conservatives like to build bridges that people can drive across,” Clancy continued. “And conservatives are indeed conservative because if the bridge falls down, people die. Where as the liberals figure, oh, we can always build a nice memorial to them and make people forget it happened and it was our fault. They’re very good at making people forget it was their fault, all right.”

The ultimate blame for Illinois’ pension debacle and the resulting people-drain lies with the left.

And Illinois is a collapsed bridge.

Will passing the ERA make Illinoisans feel better?

John Ruberry is a fifth-generation Illinoisan, who, with a 401(k) plan, is funding his own retirement. He regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Sun-Times headquarters

By John Ruberry

A week ago the Chicago Sun-Times began a high-profile begging campaign with a white splash–a blank sheet of paper–as its front page to draw attention to an op-ed, “Imagine Chicago without the Sun-Times: An urgent appeal.”

Or, the editorial could be titled, give us money or the Sun-Times will shut down.

“Until now, we’ve offered our online content for free. But we can no longer afford to operate our business this way,” the Sun-Times said in that plea. “Imagine our city without our headlines,” it continues. “Without our journalists to tell your side of the story.”

Your side?

My side?

Since then I’ve noticed three follow-ups, including two columns–my guess is they were ordered by Sun-Times brass to write them–by Richard Roeper and Neil Steinberg. This morning on Fox Chicago’s Flannery Fired Up, the Sun-Times’ managing editor, Chris Fusco, along with James Warren, who held the same job at the competing Chicago Tribune, pleaded the case for online Sun-Times subscriptions, which the host, Mike Flannery, endorsed as he told the pair that he had just signed up.

Warren said of the current owners of the newspaper, “They’re severely undercapitalized.”

Who owns the Chicago Sun-Times? A consortium of left-leaning investors, including a former Chicago alderman and failed Democratic candidate for governor, along with the Chicago Federation of Labor, which is an umbrella group of local unions. The CFL’s executive board is heavy with public-sector union bosses.

Chicago is one of the few cities left that has two mass-market daily newspapers. Television struck the first blow against big-city newspapers decades ago; the internet, which newspapers embraced twenty years ago when most of them put their content online for free–naively hoping that ad revenue would pay the bills–provided the second blow.

Houston, we have a problem. The city that seems poised to surpass Chicago in population, became a one mass-market newspaper town in 1995 when the Houston Post folded.

Or does Houston really have a problem?

Wikpedia lists nearly two-dozen Houston area newspapers, to be fair, none of them I’ve heard of until today. Sure, some of them are online-only publications. But is a book a book if it only appears on Kindle?

I believe so.

Of course there are scores of blogs based in Houston, perhaps many more, similar to the one you are reading now, as well as my own Chicago-area blog, Marathon Pundit–both of which represent my side. Perhaps yours too. The media elites love to dismiss blogs and news sites such as the Daily Caller, the Washington Examiner, or Breitbart as fake news, but of course the big shots never get things wrong.

Oh, the Chicago area boasts a dozen daily newspapers.

Let’s take a closer look at the Sun-Times’ side.

Richard Roeper was suspended then demoted by the Sun-Times after he was exposed for buying 25,000 Twitter followers.

Neil Steinberg, who blocked me on Twitter shortly after Election Day two years ago because I objected to a whacked-out anti-Donald Trump column spewed by him, is in my opinion the most execrable columnist in America. He should, as the late great Sun-Times-based Ann Landers would regularly advise, “seek counseling.”

The Holocaust was in part a failure of imagination. Jews just couldn’t imagine it. Which has to trouble anyone insisting it can’t happen now. Because that’s exactly what they thought then.

If you can’t see how this could turn really bad, really quick, let me ask you this: When Donald Trump fails to provide the boon he promised, when his protectionist trade policies crater the economy, who is he going to blame? Himself? Donald Trump does not blame himself.

Who will he blame? When he’s in Pennsylvania, talking to coal miners whose industry he did not revive; when he’s in Youngstown talking to factory workers whose jobs never returned, who will he blame? Who?

You know the answer.

Since November, 2016 the Trump economy has boomed, his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both Orthodox Jews, have enjoyed enormous power, some say too much, in the White House. And Trump will move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to the delight of many Jewish-Americans and of course, the Israeli government.

There is no Trump pogrom.

Steinberg later wrote a penitent book about the experience, but in 2005 he was arrested and jailed for a night after hitting his wife while he was drunk. He initially tried to use a public defender as his lawyer. Steinberg was being paid by the Sun-Times, right? At the time Steinberg was a member of the Sun-Times editorial board.

Not my side

Let’s take a look at the Sun-Times’ other regular opinion columnists. Mark Brown, Lynn Sweet, and Mary Mitchell are also leftists. The paper does re-print an occasional S.E. Cupp, piece, but this co-called conservative is a #NeverTrump Republican.

I didn’t forget about the Chicago Federation of Labor. As Illinois continues to plummet into the financial abyss, many members of the unions that comprise the CFL are doing well because they are or will be receiving generous but unaffordable taxpayer-funded pensions. While a couple of Republican governors share blame in the debacle, Michael Madigan, the man a former Sun-Times reporter, Dave McKinney, says is “the man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois,” deserves most of the dishonor. Illinois’ “House speaker-for-life” and “state Democratic Party chairman-for-life” has raked in a lot of CFL cash over the years, as has his daughter, the lame duck state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, as this Illinois Policy Institute graphic explains.

Definitely not my side.

Mike Madigan is the problem in Illinois, but don’t expect the Sun-Times to call for his ouster.

As Illinois and Chicago continues to lose population because of tax increases to attempt to pay for the local edition of what I called in this space The Great American Pension Swindle, this people-drain becomes the Sun-Times’ problem too. Fewer people living here means fewer readers and subscribers. If you live in Omaha, what does the Sun-Times offer you? Chicago’s best days are in the past and I expect that Chicago won’t remain a two mass-market-newspaper town for long. The Sun-Times is battling history with fewer troops in its camp.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

But there will be other voices that will persevere.

Including mine.

And no, I won’t become a monthly subscriber to the Sun-Times.

Now, if the Sun-Times wants to add opinions like mine, then perhaps I’ll reconsider.

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinoisan, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

by baldilocks

Today I was interviewed by Chris Levels, who host a BlogTalkRadio show four days a week called Politics and Prophecy.   It was the second time that Chris invited me to his show, the second time that one of us had equipment failure, and the second time that I was one longer that scheduled. It’s as if the invisible supernatural war springs to the surface a little every time I’m on. I like that.

Whenever I do these things I feel as though I’m babbling, however. I used to try to prepare for them, but it makes things worse because I end up reading, and, therefore, sounding stilted. I’ve done a couple of them for Fausta back when she had a show but I refuse to listen to them. I’ve calmed done a lot since then.

Chris brought up several interesting topics and one made me crack up laughing, though it is far from funny. My laughter was in response to this story about the Southern Poverty Law Center. Because irony is funny.

If its balance sheet is any indication, Donald Trump’s presidency has been very good for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC’s already impressive endowment grew a staggering 35 percent in fiscal year 2017 to more than $432 million. Including operating funds, total assets topped $477 million as of October 31, 2017. Total revenues and gains in fiscal 2017 exceeded $180 million, more than triple the organization’s expenses for the year, of just under $60 million.

The SPLC has long been considered a fundraising powerhouse, but 2017’s take was mind boggling by any standard. Donations were up 164 percent over 2016: The group took in $132 million between November 2016 and October 2017, compared with $50 million in the preceding 12 months.

While direct contributions produced the lion’s share of the 2017 increase, a booming stock market led to astounding growth in the SPLC’s investment portfolio. In fiscal 2016, unrealized gains came to less than $1 million; a year later they totaled nearly $45 million.

The SPLC, whose website touts its mission as “seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society,” drew fire last year because it keeps nearly $70 million in foreign investments in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda, as reported by THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Non-U.S. investments this year are closing in on $100 million, totaling a little more than $92.5 million as of October 31, 2017.

And peep these salaries!

Despite the 2017 windfall, salaries of top SPLC officials and executives were roughly the same or in some cases even lower than the year before. Richard Cohen, the group’s president and CEO, and Morris Dees, co-founder and chief trial counsel, each earned around $400,000 both years. Compensation for other top officials ranged from about $150,000 to $260,000.

Down, covetous streak! Down!

I wondered aloud to Chris about having a tenth of that. But, aside from the off-shore investments, who can blame the SPLC if like-minded entities want to keep it afloat? (Afloat might be understating the matter, yes.)

And I bet they don’t even see the hypocrisy in keeping the word poverty in the organization’s name. After all, it takes money to remain Down for the Struggle!TM

However, if ideologues put their money where their ideology is, what does that say about the Right?

What does that say about you, loyal readers?

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Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

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by baldilocks

Usually, I forego linking to the Washington Times; not for an ideological reason, but a practical one. The site is a nightmare of pop-up ads.

But for this story, I couldn’t resist.

The [U.S.] Navy has rejected the application of one Jason Heap, a doctor of theological history, he having obtained such a degree at Oxford University in Great Britain. (…)

Mr. Heap sued, first in 2014 and again this year, to require the Navy to appoint him to the chaplaincy corps, and, to his point, to recognize him as a “secular humanist,” presumably on his dogtag, thereby recognizing secular humanism, or atheism, as a legitimate “faith.” (…)

The Navy was about ready to make the appointment after the Chaplain Appointment and Retention Eligibility Advisory Group recommended it to the chief of naval operations, who has final say over who gets to be a chaplain and who doesn’t. After 67 members of Congress, 22 senators and 45 congressmen from both parties urged the Navy not to make the appointment, the Navy agreed.

“Without a belief in the transcendent, and with avowed opposition to religion itself,” the lawmakers wrote, “an individual cannot fulfill the mission and duties of a chaplain.”

Ooh look! Congress does something logical for a change! That right there is one of God’s miracles. But I predict that it won’t be long before the definition of military chaplain receives a postmodern facelift, also known as the Coconut Treatment.

Question: What do you call a chaplain who doesn’t believe in God?

Answer: A psychologist.

Question: Why would Dr. Heap want to be appointed as a Navy chaplain?

Answer: In order to infiltrate the program. It isn’t as if this hasn’t happened before.

(Thanks to Stacey E. Washington)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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