by baldilocks

It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one whose “surrealism” detector is pinging off the scale. In fact, I’m in good company.

Victor Davis Hansen:

There is now something called the “Resistance,” which by its nomenclature poses that its opposition to Trump is reminiscent of European partisan resistance to Hitler: Affluent progressives are now on the barricades to stop another Holocaust? Cities now nullify federal law in the spirit of the Old Confederacy. A federal judge doesn’t enforce federal law because he says he does not like what the president and his associates said in the past, during the campaign. Op-ed writers overseas wait eagerly for the president’s assassination. At CNN, Fareed Zakaria, wrist-slapped for past plagiarism, melts down while screaming of Trump’s “bullsh**.” Madonna says she has “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”

Professor Hansen also outlines the Snoop Dogg/Bow-Wow saga, wherein both rappers bring attention to themselves by using, respectively, their “artistry” and words to express their desire to do harm to both President and Mrs. Trump.

I’m old enough to remember when such people would need to be bailed out of jail for such things. But, anyone who is old enough to remember the political, media, and social climate during the Obama Administration can do that, so I guess that’s nothing to brag about. More from Hansen:

Bad filibusters are now good ones. Vowing to kill, hurt, or remove the president and first family is hip, when it used to be felonious. States’ rights and nullification are now Confederate-cool. Free speech is hate speech. Censorship is a mere trigger warning. Assimilation is cultural appropriation. (…)

More and more Americans today are becoming Stoic dropouts. They are not illiberal, and certainly not reactionaries, racists, xenophobes, or homophobes. They’re simply exhausted by our frenzied culture.

More and more Americans don’t like lectures from the privileged and the wealthy on the pitfalls of privilege and wealth. They don’t like lectures from the privileged and the wealthy on the pitfalls of privilege and wealth. In response, they don’t hike out to monasteries, fall into fetal positions, or write Meditations. Instead, they have checked out mentally from American popular entertainment, sports, and the progressive cultural project in general.

He gives more examples.

A few days ago, I voiced my suspicions that nearly everything popularly believed is Bravo Sierra. This isn’t a new suspicion for me. It began in 2008 and has been buoyed over the years by things like this. Information overload, confirmation bias, lack of analysis skills, ego blindness, and plain old laziness helps the belief in falsehood along. But, as Hansen points out, a lot of people are tired of the BS avalanche and are choosing to remove themselves from its path.

I’m tempted to do it myself, sometimes. But I’m a communicator and an optimist. So, I’ll keep on plugging, buy a metaphorical umbrella against the brown, smelly rain, and wear my waders.

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 on April 2017! 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!

Health care. Russia. Travel ban. Wiretapping. Budget cuts. Leaks. And on and on and on.

Work up a lather, rinse, repeat.

O Lord, grant me relief from the endless cycle of “news” based on the possibly informed insights, half-truths, pure speculation and outright lies that pass as journalism these days.

Never has so much blather been spent on issues that are no more real than unicorn dust or three-legged Martians. Talk about Russia’s links to the 2016 election or illegal wiretapping is ridiculous until the probes are done. Fury or relief over health care changes is silly until the legislation gets through the sausage factory known as Congress. Same with the budget.

As for the travel ban, its outcome is uncertain until it finally gets out of the hands of judges who don’t understand executive authority and confuse campaign speeches with the wording of legal action.

You want solid information? You’re better off these days spending time on Pinterest projects or following some nobody’s Twitter account.

The problem is, outside of Donald Trump, news is impossible. It doesn’t happen anymore. He hasn’t just sucked up all the air in the room — he’s inhaled the Earth’s entire atmosphere. If anything that doesn’t involve the Prez is going on, it’s not getting a dab of ink, a digital pixel or a moment of airtime.

It’s all so boring.

When I was a young man, the idea of a 24-hour news channel seemed like a dream. Most people had only three options for national and global news — CBS, NBC and ABC — and they provided just 22 minutes a day. As a Detroit suburbanite, I could watch Canadian news, which offered a broader outlook on the world. I could only imagine what vistas a daylong news station would open up.

Ted Turner once considered news a joke. When the feds told him to add a news program to Atlanta’s WTBS to fulfill its public service requirements, he put a dog on the air alongside a human anchor. But after TBS became a hit on cable systems, Turner figured he could make more bucks with an all-news channel. Thus was born CNN.

From the start, CNN was a disappointment, offering repetitious reports on easy-to-cover news. Soon enough came the parade of talking heads to tell us what the news really meant. Gee willikers! Instead of being bored every Sunday morning with Meet the Press or Face the Nation, we got a chance to hear puffed-up pundits seven days a week.

My hopes rose briefly when MSNBC came along in 1996; at the time, thanks mainly to David Brinkley, NBC’s news operation was respectable. But MSNBC followed CNN’s template from the start and never distinguished itself until transmuting into a lunatic asylum for deranged leftists.

By the time Fox News came along, the mold for 24-hour news had become unbreakable. But at least we finally got news that the other channels ignored, plus some conservative viewpoints.

The basic problem is all three news channels are obsessed by immediacy instead of context. Got a wildfire in California, snowstorm in New York or school shooting in Colorado? Brace yourself for the wall-to-wall coverage. The networks are like a dog with a bone that keeps gnawing away long after the last shred of meat is gone.

Yes, at times, the networks have provided a tremendous service. CNN earned its stripes with its Gulf War reporting, and all three channels were invaluable on Sept. 11, 2001.

But the tendency to dwell on a single topic above all else is worse than ever today. CNN and MSNBC are hellbent on destroying Trump, and Fox is dedicated (sort of) to protecting him. The coverage has been going on nonstop since Nov. 9, and I’m done in by fatigue. Maybe you are, too.

But it has to end sometime, preferably soon. Because I have a tip for the news networks:  Trump ain’t going anywhere, so get used to him.

John “Lee” Ruberry of Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven.

By John Ruberry

Last week President Trump released his proposed fiscal 2018 budget. Not included in it was funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The left, which dominates the arts, responded predictably, acting as if art itself was being attacked.

Sit down and breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Now relax. If the NEA and the NEH disappear–there will still be art. Even after eight years of economic dormancy under Barack Obama, the United States is still a fabulously wealthy nation with plenty of disposable income, some of which will of course be spent on the arts.

Do you feel better now? Good. I knew you would.

Art is everywhere. In fact it’s right in front of you now–my post at Da Tech Guy and all of the others here are artistic endeavors, albeit not funded by the federal government.

Yes, the NEA and the NEH, as far as I know, no longer funds exhibitions of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs showing genitalia of pre-pubescent girls or a display of Piss Christ, but this Great Society mutation of royal patronage of the arts–didn’t we fight a revolution against a king?–makes little cultural or economic sense, as George Will explains.

David Marcus, artistic director of a Brooklyn-based theater project and senior contributor to The Federalist, says the NEA produces “perverse market incentives” that explain why many arts institutions “are failing badly at reaching new audiences, and losing ground.”

“Many theater companies, even the country’s most ‘successful,’ get barely 50 percent of their revenue from ticket sales. Much of the rest comes from tax-deductible donations and direct government grants. This means that the real way to succeed as an arts organization is not to create a product that attracts new audiences, but to create a product that pleases those who dole out the free cash. The industry received more free money than it did a decade ago, and has fewer attendees.”

The arts community is incestuous, especially within its foundations and boardrooms. You scratch my Cubist back and I’ll massage your western yodeling feet. You’ve heard of crony capitalism. There is also crony arts.

As usual, I don’t have to look beyond my own grossly mismanaged state of Illinois–when we had budgets they made about as much sense as a Jackson Pollock painting–to find an example of cronyism in practice. The Illinois Arts Council Agency, which as you can tell by its name, is a state agency and it is a recipient of National Endowment for the Arts cash. It was founded in 1965, which not coincidentally, was when the NEA began. The chair of the Illinois Arts Council Agency is Shirley Madigan, the wife of state House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Boss Michael Madigan. Their daughter is Lisa Madigan, Illinois’ attorney general.

The Illinois Arts Council Agency boasts that nearly 100 percent of the state’s legislative districts receives some IACA funding. It’s all about spreading the wealth around. As for those legislative districts, the geographic contortion created by Michael Madigan’s gerrymandering just might be worthy enough to be put on display at the Art Institute of Chicago adjacent to those Pollock-esque state budgets, but that’s another matter.

The NEA and the NEH also operates under the same spread-the-favors-around–I mean wealth, mindset–which is why defenders of these groups cite federal funding for events such as the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Nevada and the Hip Hop Initiative in North Carolina as justification for these agencies.

Blogger on a self-funded trip to the Vicksburg battlefield

The NEH provided funding for Ken Burns’ acclaimed 1990 Civil War documentary that was broadcast on PBS, which is another success boasted by supporters of the NEH. Oh, Trump’s budget wants to eliminate for that network as well as NPR. Have you seen Burns’ Civil War? It’s fabulous. But what of the money for sales of Ken Burns’ Civil War book, or the Civil War DVDs and CDs? Or Civil War digital downloads? How much does the federal government get from those sales?

How much does Ken Burns collect?

Sure, NEA and NEH funding is a very small piece of federal spending–$148 million is the expenditure for this year. But proper budgeting means saying “No” a lot. America is wealthy–but not infinitely so.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

If you enjoy what you read at Da Tech Guy, don’t write to your member of Congress and request federal funding for us, please click on this link and subscribe.

I received an email notification that a Department of Defense Civilian Reduction in Force (RIF) was coming.  I almost deleted the email.  RIFs are nothing new, and they typically go like this:

  • Some older employees use it as a chance to retire early
  • Most employees that have been around greater than 2 years continue to stay
  • Young employees or ones with extensively documented issues get let go

The problem is that RIFs consider tenure status and veteran status over performance.  This makes it extremely hard to fire someone.  The performance portion has to be absolutely horrendous, and most employees are smart enough to do the bare minimum so that as a supervisor, you struggle to find anything negative to document.

Even when there are problems, they take forever to solve.  Out in Bahrain, I had a civilian employee that regularly sent angry emails to our entire command, in many cases including the Admiral.  But her previous boss had written glowing performance reviews, so when the command wanted to fire her, she had a case against them.  Her new boss (who I had gone to school with) painfully documented her performance issues and outbursts for a year.  During her performance review, she received such a low score that the HR office called us and asked if we had made a mistake.  She lost a $10K bonus and was removed a few weeks later.

Had she been a Google or Amazon employee, I doubt she would have lasted 4 weeks.

So imagine my surprise when I read these paragraphs:

In order to comply with the law, the department has reprioritized the “order of retention” as implemented by Office of Personnel Management in government-wide regulations, by placing performance as the primary retention factor.  This is a substantial change for DoD from existing, government-wide provisions.  The current, government-wide RIF retention factors are:  tenure, veteran’s preference, length of service, and performance, in descending order.

Under the new procedures, employees shall be ranked on a retention register based on periods of assessed performance, followed by the retention factors of:  performance rating of record, tenure group, performance average score, veteran’s preference, and DoD Service Computation Date- RIF (DoD SCD-RIF).

Performance?  That could be a game changer.  The memo gives you an idea of how they will score people, but just the fact that we’re going to use performance as the driving metric is a huge step in the right direction.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or any other government agency. 

Except the actual memo…that’s totally real DoD policy.  No fake news here.

Feel free to check out my blog.  And…hit up Da Tip Jar, because you KNOW the NY Post was never going to tell you about civilian RIFs.

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day, and I’m taking a break from politics, which always includes watching a movie.

I’ve been a Tom Hanks fan since his Bosom Buddies days (1980-1982, that’s how old I am), a series oddly prescient of some of today’s headlines,

Two young single ad men must disguise themselves as women to live in the one apartment they can afford.

Hanks went on to star in dozens of movies, many of which involve travel-related mishaps.

Hanks’s mismatched shoes at the airport get him into trouble in The Man With One Red Shoe. He goes to the boardwalk as a child and turns into a grownup in Big. He has a fateful car accident in The Bonfire of the Vanities. He and Gary Sinise nearly get blown to smithereens twice – first in battle, later in a hurricane – in Forrest Gump, and let’s not forget when he and Meg Ryan came thisclose to being human sacrifices in Joe Versus the Volcano.

As Hanks’s career took off, he starred as astronaut Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, where he said one of cinema’s  most-quoted lines, “Houston, we have a problem,” after the capsule sprung an oxygen leak and lost power following an on-board explosion:

Hanks was hounded by a cabal which counted as a member a self-flagellating albino in The Da Vinci Code. East German punks stole his coat in Bridge of Spies, and Somali pirates his ship in Captain Phillips. He even played Chesley ‘Sully‘ Sullenberger, the most-skilled pilot who landed an airplane full of passengers on the East River. Speaking of passengers, his character was stranded for months at JFK airport in The Terminal.

But Tom Hanks’s most famous movie involving disastrous travel is Cast Away (2000), where he plays Chuck Noland, a FedEx executive who spends years talking to a volleyball named Wilson while stranded on an island somewhere in the Pacific:

Tom Hanks loves “you can’t get there from here” plots.

It’s all entertainment, and he does it very well. So does Denzel Washington, also in the same generation, but if I’m ever at Lowe’s and Denzel comes in followed by five Russians, I’m dropping everything and heading out the door.

Just in case.

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

Everybody’s posting on Rachel Maddow’s debacle from last evening, where viewers sat through 20 minutes of preamble leading to this,

After the first break—at which point the tax returns were already available on the internet and glossed by the Daily Beast—Maddow was joined by Johnston, and she began by asking him how he knew Trump hadn’t sent the returns himself. Johnston said that he could have. A few hours after Maddow finished airing, this has become a popular conspiracy theory, simply because, if Donald Trump were to share any of his tax returns, the 2005 1040 seems like a good candidate. Trump paid taxes at a rate of around 4 percent, but because of the alternate minimum tax, he also paid an additional $31 million. The form revealed that, rather than not paying taxes and making no money, Trump paid $38 million on $150 million in income. Maddow promised to pull a sordid revelation out of a hat and instead plucked out … Trump’s credibility? Maddow was soon parsing, asking Johnston to explain that Trump is currently trying to do away with the AMT, which, unfair as it may be, still wouldn’t change the amount he paid in 2005.

As the show went on, it became clear that Maddow knew she didn’t quite have the scoop that had been promised.

The White House had already released a statement by the time she got around showing the 1040, not the full returns (which I expect would be hundreds of pages long).

Maddow doesn’t read the Wall Street Journal, or she would remember that almost exactly a year ago the Journal was reporting on the 2005 returns,

Unlike other candidates, Mr. Trump has refused to release even part of his federal income-tax returns, citing continuing audits. But county land records revealed that he has donated conservation easements on at least four of his properties: The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., the Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, N.Y., the New Jersey golf club and a golf driving range on the California coast. Three of the donations, including the Bedminster one, were made in December, when taxpayers are typically making deductions that can offset that year’s income.

Hillary Clinton last year claimed that Trump did not pay taxes.

Instead, the 1040 showed now-Pres. Trump paying $38 million in federal taxes alone, not including state income, real estate, and other local taxes. Maddox may have shot herself in the foot.

The troublesome question, which Pete brought up, is,

If the left considers it legit to leak Trump’s taxes illegally does that mean it’s open season on anyone they consider the enemy?

Look, if Pres. Trump himself put the 1040s in an envelope with two forever stamps, thereby pwning Maddow, Johnston, and everybody at NBC, it’s one thing. Conspiracy theories on MSNBC are nothing new.

But the fact remains that the unauthorized disclosure of tax return information is a crime – a felony under 26 U.S. Code § 7213. If you are not alarmed that the left justify committing felonies to bring down a political enemy, you are just not paying attention.

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

Last week I checking my traffic which has been very good for March, and for the fun of it looked at the countries where the traffic has been from this year.

So far in North American Cuba and Iceland have had no interest (although perhaps by this time my WBC post might change that.  In South America French Guiana, Suriname and the Falkland Islands are out.  In Europe only Albania hasn’t stopped by while in both Asia and Africa a dozen or more countries have not found the site worth their time.

Then for the fun of it I checked my all time stats and the Numbers changed dramatically

Only eight countries in the world have thus far decided that DaTechGuy blog isn’t worth their time.

One of them North Korea I’m figuring is a lost cause, given the amount of electric use the only way I’m going to get any traffic from there is if the Un family decides to take an interest which might be dangerous.

As for the others, I think there’s a shot so, in the interest of getting the rest of the map filled here is the oddest clickbait post you’ve ever seen.

Boko Haram in Chad:

Initially, Boko Haram’s presence on the Chadian side of the lake was limited. But violence rapidly escalated in 2015, partly in reaction to the intervention by Chadian forces in neighbouring states. Two suicide bombings in the capital N’Djamena and multiple attacks on villages and army posts followed. Attacks diminished at the start of 2016, having never reached the levels seen in Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger. This was accompanied by a wave of surrenders of Boko Haram members in the second half of the year, but which seemingly included few if any of the hard core.

It’s a real issue and a big problem

The Seed vault of Svalbard:

Submerged within the bowels of rock and frozen earth on an island between Norway and the North Pole lies a new state-of-the-art agricultural marvel: The Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Here, millions of food crop seeds from nearly every country in the world have been meticulously packaged, cataloged and tucked away.

The vault is kept at a low moisture level and minus 18 degrees C, optimal conditions to keep seeds viable for decades, centuries or indefinitely. And even if the electricity should fail, the surrounding rock and permafrost will keep the seeds frozen. Although the vault has not yet received its full capacity of 4.5 million varieties, it already houses the most diverse stockpile of food crop seeds anywhere.

I wonder who thought of doing this in the northern most inhabited island in the world?

The occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco continues

Morocco left the Organization of African Unity (OAU), precursor to the AU, in 1984 after the OAU recognised the right to self-determination and independence for the people of the Western Sahara, who have been occupied by Morocco since the 1970s.

The OAU granted membership to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), proclaimed in 1976 by the Sahrawi people’s Polisario Front in a declaration of independence rejected by Morocco. The decision was in keeping with the OAU principle not to recognise the occupation of any part of the continent. While the SADR claimed sovereignty over Western Sahara, Morocco saw it as an integral part of its own territory.

Rather than accept the SADR’s independence, Morocco left the OAU. Since then Morocco has refused to join the AU unless the group withdraws the SADR’s membership.

But Morocco’s King Mohammad has the money and when it came to rejoining the Organization of African Unity their money talked.

Action on the abuse by UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic:

Guterres pledged the UN will appoint a human rights expert, tasked with advocating for victim’s rights, to serve in his office and report to him. His new plan also asks UN peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, and South Sudan – all countries where peacekeepers have been accused of raping women under their protection – to appoint victims’ rights advocates on the ground. These local advocates, together with the high-level attention of an expert in Guterres’ office, could finally prompt accountability for abusers and support for victims.

Human Rights Watch research in the Central African Republic shows the lack of support or access to justice victims of sexual exploitation have when peacekeepers are the victimizers. This was echoed in the UN’s own assessment: “very few victims have been assisted due to lack of dedicated funding and the slow enforcement process.”

Under the new plan, the UN will bolster a Trust Fund for Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. This fund was set up last year but has only collected US$436,000 from five member countries: Bhutan, Cyprus, India, Japan, and Norway. It needs more support. Guterres has suggested boosting the trust fund by withholding funds for troop-contributing countries that don’t investigate allegations of abuse by their troops, then transferring that money to victims.

This is another story of abuse of women that for some reason doesn’t draw a lot of attention from western feminists as that would involve critique of the UN rather than the US or the west in general.

China’s base in Djibouti is nearly complete

The military base that China is building in Djibouti will be completed “later this summer”, General Thomas Waldhauser, the commander of the US military’s Africa Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on 9 March.

Noting the proximity of the Chinese base to the US military’s Camp Lemonnier, Gen Waldhauser said he was concerned about operational security. “I’ve talked to their [Djibouti’s] president and expressed our concerns about some of the things that are important to us about what the Chinese should not do at that location.”

This is a story of international importance, that it has gotten so little attention is pretty odd.

The big news out of Turkmenistan is the state visit of the president of Uzbekistan:

Mirziyoyev and his Turkmen counterpart, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, inked an agreement on economic cooperation in 2018-2020 and a memorandum of understanding on the need to develop railway infrastructure, among other documents.

Turning from word to deed, the two leaders traveled to the northeastern Lebap province on March 7 to attend the ceremonial inauguration of the 1.75 kilometer Turkmenabat-Farap railway and road bridge, which straddles the Amu-Dary River and could conceivably enable greater cross-border traffic. Until now, trains crossing the river coursing along Turkmenistan’s side of the border did so using a bridge built in 1901.

It was his first state visit as leader so it’s a bit of a big deal that Turkmenistan was the destination

and finally things are heating up between the Falkland Islands and Argentina again:

The letter added: “We take this opportunity to remind you of our fundamental right to self-determination, as enshrined in the UN Charter, and of the 35 years of attempts by the Government of Argentina to ignore our rights as a people and undermine our way of life.

“In recognising the universal rights of all people, we welcome you in visiting our home, to see for yourselves our community and our heritage born of nine generations.

“During your visit here, the Falkland Islands Government would like to invite you to a briefing on our modern, independent, well-governed, sustainable and thriving country, so that you can further your understanding of our citizens and way of life.”

The letter added comes as an Argentinian delegation comes to visit on a fact-finding mission related to the war.

I doubt that this post will draw thousands or even hundreds of hits, but if I manage seven, one from each of the countries listed that will do.

I got into the Supershuttle to the airport which was running a tad early and found that Cynthia was taking the same shuttle sitting next to me. In the front seat was a blogger/reporter from NYC named Traci Belmonte (@politidiva) who had also covered CPAC and she consented to an interview

You can find her writing here and here

Once at the airport I noticed Charles Krauthammer checking in near me, he declined an interview so I headed to the gate, got through security at my normal slow pace and then proceeded to my gate when I saw a young man with a socialism sucks T-shirt and told him an ironic joke about it. That led to my final interview of CPAC 2017

His Huffington post story was my last bit of News from CPAC. If you want to know the Socialism Sucks riddle/joke, I’m afraid you’ll have to watch the video.

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2017 (all Youtube videos are here). While this was my last cpac interview post I have two more posts to go on the event, one a photo post with assorted images and the other my final evaluation of the data I collected concerning President Trump and conservative activists at CPAC

3/12
Voices of CPAC 2017 Emile, Robert Stacy McCain Cynthia Yockey final thoughts
Voices at CPAC 2017 Lee Stranahan, James O’Keefe

3/11
Voices at CPAC 2017 Donna Keene, David Keene and Kayne Robinson of the NRA
Voices of CPAC 2017 Naseem & her Mother Salome, Dustin (Sanders supporter) & Charles from WI

3/10
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Pastor Greg Young and Cody from MD
Voices at CPAC 2017 Senator Rick Santorum

3/9
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Mona Salama & Tyler
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kurt Schlichter and Stephen Kruiser

3/8
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Caleb from South florida and Robert Stacy McCain
Voices at CPAC 2017 Rep Josh Moore NH and Micha Pierce from WI and American Majority

3/7
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Zaire Ali from MD & Daniel from LA
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michael Graham & Bill Lewis

3/6
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court NIRSA Liberals strike back, Plus Elliott and Adam
Voices of CPAC 2017 Marc Hayden Conservatives vs the Death Penalty & Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation

3/5
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid & Paris Alex pt3 & Izzy and a prayer on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom from NC and Martin & Peyton from Hillsdale College

3/4
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid and Paris on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Parts 1 & 2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Jen from WA and Jeff from PA

3/3
Voices of CPAC 2017 Patrick Howley on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michelle from PA and Carla from PA

3/2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Susan from Dallas , Robert from MD and Donna Marie Fred from Ohio on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Phil from VA and Michelle from VA

3/1
Voices at CPAC 2017 Niger Innis and Donald Scoggins at the Roy Innis Luncheon

2/28
Voices of CPAC 2017 Amelia Hamilton, Andrew Langer & GOP candidate
Voices of CPAC 2017 Paul, Fawad and the point the left is missing (with Stacy McCain)

2/27
Voices of CPAC 2017 Justin & Connor & How DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Came About (It involves Stacy McCain & Beer)

2/26
A Historic CPAC Catholic 1st Exactly when I needed it

2/25
Voices at CPAC 2017 Two Rons and a Patricia
Voices of the Cannoli deprived at CPAC 2017 Scottie Neil Hughes
Voices at CPAC 2017 Evan Sayet A Deplorable Mind before and after
DaTechguy Meets Students TBS & Fake news at Donald Trump’s CPAC 2017 Speech
Voices of CPAC 2017 Author Matt Margolis On DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court

2/24
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom Wenzel of EWTN & Alberto Calamaro of Radio Maria
The Media Narrative Hunt at CPAC
Voices of CPAC 2017 Donald Trump Single lines from CPAC speech as he makes them
Voices of CPAC 2017 the Indefatigable Kira Innis

2/23
Voices of Cpac 2017 Steve & Shen, Ed Morrissey of Hotair and a Kellyanne Conway Cannoli Story
Voices of CPAC 2017 Radio Row Sharon Angle & Rick Trader Daria Novak & Frank Vernuccio
CPAC 2017 Photos & Brief videos from the Sean Hannity Taping

Voices at CPAC 2017 Advocates: Melissa of Able Americans, Matt of American Majority
Voices at CPAC 2017 Yvonne (from almost #NeverTrump to Evangelical Coordinator) & Michael
Voices of CPAC 2017 Joe on Life behind the Berlin Wall

2/22

Voices at CPAC 2017 Liz a Cook County Republican (and Kasich delegate)
CPAC 2017 First Interviews Theresa an Attendee and Rob Eno of Conservative Review

2/21
Some Quick pre-cpac video and thoughts

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

There is plenty more from CPAC coming over the next couple of weeks, but what is also going to be coming are a lot of hospital bills and debt from work that both my wife and I are going to be missing because of the complications from her “routine” surgery.

If you are able and inclined to help mitigate them I’d ask you to consider hitting DaTipJar




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What should have been my final CPAC Interview took place in my hotel room Sunday morning as I did a last go around with my room mates for the event, Emile the photographer, Robert Stacy McCain and Cynthia Yockey

It was a joy and pleasure to share CPAC with this crew

As I said this was going to be the last interview but you know me…..

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2017 (all Youtube videos are here). The last 3 interviews are going on the blog today and tomorrow morning.

3/12
Voices at CPAC 2017 Lee Stranahan, James O’Keefe

3/11
Voices at CPAC 2017 Donna Keene, David Keene and Kayne Robinson of the NRA
Voices of CPAC 2017 Naseem & her Mother Salome, Dustin (Sanders supporter) & Charles from WI

3/10
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Pastor Greg Young and Cody from MD
Voices at CPAC 2017 Senator Rick Santorum

3/9
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Mona Salama & Tyler
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kurt Schlichter and Stephen Kruiser

3/8
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Caleb from South florida and Robert Stacy McCain
Voices at CPAC 2017 Rep Josh Moore NH and Micha Pierce from WI and American Majority

3/7
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Zaire Ali from MD & Daniel from LA
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michael Graham & Bill Lewis

3/6
Voices of CPAC 2017 DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court NIRSA Liberals strike back, Plus Elliott and Adam
Voices of CPAC 2017 Marc Hayden Conservatives vs the Death Penalty & Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation

3/5
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid & Paris Alex pt3 & Izzy and a prayer on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom from NC and Martin & Peyton from Hillsdale College

3/4
Voices of CPAC 2017 Kid with Lid and Paris on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Parts 1 & 2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Jen from WA and Jeff from PA

3/3
Voices of CPAC 2017 Patrick Howley on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Michelle from PA and Carla from PA

3/2
Voices of CPAC 2017 Susan from Dallas , Robert from MD and Donna Marie Fred from Ohio on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court
Voices of CPAC 2017 Phil from VA and Michelle from VA

3/1
Voices at CPAC 2017 Niger Innis and Donald Scoggins at the Roy Innis Luncheon

2/28
Voices of CPAC 2017 Amelia Hamilton, Andrew Langer & GOP candidate
Voices of CPAC 2017 Paul, Fawad and the point the left is missing (with Stacy McCain)

2/27
Voices of CPAC 2017 Justin & Connor & How DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Came About (It involves Stacy McCain & Beer)

2/26
A Historic CPAC Catholic 1st Exactly when I needed it

2/25
Voices at CPAC 2017 Two Rons and a Patricia
Voices of the Cannoli deprived at CPAC 2017 Scottie Neil Hughes
Voices at CPAC 2017 Evan Sayet A Deplorable Mind before and after
DaTechguy Meets Students TBS & Fake news at Donald Trump’s CPAC 2017 Speech
Voices of CPAC 2017 Author Matt Margolis On DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court

2/24
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom Wenzel of EWTN & Alberto Calamaro of Radio Maria
The Media Narrative Hunt at CPAC
Voices of CPAC 2017 Donald Trump Single lines from CPAC speech as he makes them
Voices of CPAC 2017 the Indefatigable Kira Innis

2/23
Voices of Cpac 2017 Steve & Shen, Ed Morrissey of Hotair and a Kellyanne Conway Cannoli Story
Voices of CPAC 2017 Radio Row Sharon Angle & Rick Trader Daria Novak & Frank Vernuccio
CPAC 2017 Photos & Brief videos from the Sean Hannity Taping

Voices at CPAC 2017 Advocates: Melissa of Able Americans, Matt of American Majority
Voices at CPAC 2017 Yvonne (from almost #NeverTrump to Evangelical Coordinator) & Michael
Voices of CPAC 2017 Joe on Life behind the Berlin Wall

2/22

Voices at CPAC 2017 Liz a Cook County Republican (and Kasich delegate)
CPAC 2017 First Interviews Theresa an Attendee and Rob Eno of Conservative Review

2/21
Some Quick pre-cpac video and thoughts

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

There is plenty more from CPAC coming over the next couple of weeks, but what is also going to be coming are a lot of hospital bills and debt from work that both my wife and I are going to be missing because of the complications from her “routine” surgery.

If you are able and inclined to help mitigate them I’d ask you to consider hitting DaTipJar




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Chicago’s South Side

By John Ruberry

I’ve been saying that Chicago will be the next Detroit for years, and on Thursday, syndicated talk radio show host–and former Tea Party congressman–Joe Walsh, was making the same prediction on his program.

Walsh was discussing a just-released pension study which the Chicago Sun-Times reported on.

Standard & Poor’s surveyed pension obligations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, San Antonio, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Dallas, Houston, Columbus, Indianapolis and Austin.

Chicago performed the worst across the board — registering the highest annual debt, pension post-employment benefits costs as a percentage of governmental expenditures and the highest debt and pension liability per capita.

And there is more:

The report noted that the “median weighted pension funded ratio of 70 percent” for the 15 cities “underlies a wide range of positions with Chicago only 23 percent funded across all plans and Indianapolis the most well-funded at 98 percent.”

Chicago’s pension burden is $12,400 per person–more than double that of New York City and it has the lowest bond rating of those 15 surveyed cities. The S&P report says that in 2015 Chicago “only made 52 percent of its annual legally required pension contribution.”

If you are looking for more bad news you came to the right place. More than five times as many people live in New York and Los Angeles combined–but there were more murders in Chicago last year than the total in both of those cities. As for Chicago’s population, it’s at a 100-year-low. Leading the exodus are middle class blacks.

CPS school on the West Side that closed in 2013

Chicago’s jobs program for people with education degrees, better known as Chicago Public Schools, has been cited by other middle class ex-Chicagoans, including your humble blogger, for decades as the main reason they abandoned the city. CPS bonds are rated as junk. Lack of money may lead to the last thirteen days of the school year being cancelled–and the CTU may add a fourteenth with a one-day strike in May to protest that early shutdown. Yep, I don’t get it either.

CPS officials have been battling the union for years to force teachers to pay more into their own pension funds. Yeah, they can afford it–of teachers in the largest school districts, CPS teachers rank in the top three in pay. But hey, the union members probably are thinking, “Why should we pay more when we have so many taxpayers who can foot the bill?”

But that’s the mindset that got Chicago into its mess. Oh that, and public-sector unions contributing heavily into the campaign funds of Democratic politicians.

Critics of my Chicago-is-the-next-Detroit hypothesis point out that large corporations have been moving their corporate headquarters into Chicago of late, the most prominent examples are ConAgra relocating its HQ from Omaha to Chicago and McDonald’s, which will move back to the city after four decades in suburbia. But no one can say how many of these corporate big shots will live in Chicago.

Two years ago Chicagoans were slugged with the largest property tax increase in the city’s history to pay for, yes, unfunded pension liabilities. Last year Chicago water and sewer taxes were hiked. Remember what what I wrote earlier, Chicago’s pensions are only 23-percent funded. Does anyone think that there aren’t additional massive tax increases in Chicago’s future? And when the producing segment of Chicago is even more depleted–chased out, that is–how will Chicago pay for street repair, schools, and snow removal–as well as adequate police and fire protection?

The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled that public-worker pensions cannot be reduced.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

Here’s what I base my Chicago dystopia projection on. Defenders of the status quo place blind faith into their hope that Chicago can somehow hang on until enough pensioners die, which probably won’t be until the middle of the century. They offer no credible solutions. Nothing. They’re as delusional as Gerald O’Hara meticulously counting out his Confederate bonds in Gone With The Wind–“All we have left”–after General Robert E. Lee surrendered.

There’s a way out–changing state law so municipalities and government agencies can declare bankruptcy, which is something Bruce Rauner, Illinois’ reform governor, favors. But the Democrats and the public-sector unions will never agree to that.

John Ruberry, who moved from Chicago to the suburbs in 1999, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.