Drug cartels have a full panoply of false gods.

The best-known in the wide-ranging and impressive array is Our Lady of the Assassins, made famous by a popular novel that was later made into a movie. She’s also known as Santa Muerte, a grim reaper figure which even turned up in Breaking Bad,

The most recent is The Infant Huachicolero, essentially a baby Jesus with a jerry can, an image promoted by gangs in Puebla, Mexico. Huachicoleros illegally tap oil pipelines, stealing fuel for cheap resale – a business which, according to the BBC, has become Mexico’s second-biggest organized crime after drug trafficking.

A Google search for religious imagery and drug cartels yields almost 250,000 results, among them Know Your Narco Saints: The Religious Iconography of the Drug Trade

Some of these figures are true “Narco-Saints,” forthright patrons of illegal acts. Others are simply saints that narcos pray to, holy figures asked to intercede in unholy doings. Even Jesus and Mary are not considered beyond the pale.

It’s hardly surprising that cartels would be willing to exploit this tradition of the Catholic Church for their purposes. For instance, San Ramon Nonato (Saint Raymond Nonnatus), patron saint

of the the secrecy of the confessional, of priests keeping their mouths shut. In narco culture, that secrecy is extended to more secular arenas. Namely, police interview rooms and witnesses boxes at the courthouse. “If you get arrested you’re gonna pray to this saint hoping that your witness or whoever is gonna testify against you will be silent and keep the secret of your dirty deed,” says Garza. Petitioners sometimes offer padlocks at San Ramon’s altar, or place tape across his mouth.

How better to broadcast the message “keep your mouth shut”?

Juliette points out for the need to fill the space of your soul, and she quotes Mark Steyn’s essay, The Triumph of Amoral Will, (emphasis added)

A republic requires virtue, and the decline of virtue is accompanied necessarily by the decline of the concept of evil, and its substitution by exculpatory analysis of the “motives” of evil. A more useful conversation would be on what it takes to remove the most basic societal inhibition – including the instinctive revulsion that would prevent most of us from taking the lives of strangers, including in this case eighteen-month-old babies.

Like at the cartels,

That inhibition is weaker in the dar al-Islam, because of Islam’s institutional contempt for “the other” (unbelievers) but also because of the rewards promised in the afterlife. Thus, violence is sanctioned by paradise. That is the precise inversion of our society, and yet the weakening of inhibition seems to be proceeding here, too.

“One should not underestimate the effectiveness of cultural pressures,” Steyn states. Whether in dar-al-Islam or narcostates or anywhere, when the culture eliminates virtue, a republic cannot sustain itself.

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

by baldilocks

Nature abhors a vacuum.

–Aristotle

Evil, runnin’ through our brain,
we and evil’s about the same.
Bad blood through our body flows,
where’s the love nobody knows.

Evil –Earth, Wind and Fire

Mark Steyn’s offerings are always worth your while, but this one is outstanding.

In between [the Las Vegas, NV and Sutherland Springs, TX massacres], some guy went Allahu Akbar on a Manhattan bike path and killed eight people. Within five days, the usual psycho misfit loner from the

teeming swamps of loserdom managed to make a proud Uzbek Soldier of Allah look like a know-nothing piker who can’t even rack up a third of the corpse count of some schlub with an unknown grievance against a town of 400 people. Some global caliphate you got there, Sayfullo.

A republic requires virtue, and the decline of virtue is accompanied necessarily by the decline of the concept of evil, and its substitution by exculpatory analysis of the “motives” of evil. A more useful conversation would be on what it takes to remove the most basic societal inhibition – including the instinctive revulsion that would prevent most of us from taking the lives of strangers, including in this case eighteen-month-old babies. That inhibition is weaker in the dar al-Islam, because of Islam’s institutional contempt for “the other” (unbelievers) but also because of the rewards promised in the afterlife. Thus, violence is sanctioned by paradise. That is the precise inversion of our society, and yet the weakening of inhibition seems to be proceeding here, too. A church sealed off by yellow police tape: a shameful and astonishing sight, and yet one senses that it will neither shame nor astonish us for long, that something else will come along to make the records books and distract a couple of news cycles. (…)

Texas officials now believe they have their “motive” – in their words, “a domestic situation going on in this

family”; in my words, “the black void at the heart of the act”.

As I implied here, I think that there is no motive for this kind of thing that normal people would understand. However, as I think more about this, there is no void in the souls of people who do this. Oh, very likely, there once was. But something filled up the empty space of those souls and whispered into their ears: “Do this thing. You’ll feel better and all your troubles will be over.”

That’s what I think.

More in a bit at my place. I will post an update here.

UPDATE: Sort of related. Why Non-Christians Don’t Understand Christian Prayer.

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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In January of this year, North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson introduced his national reciprocity bill, a piece of legislation which would enable people with a state-issued concealed carry license to conceal a handgun in any other state that permits concealed carry, so long as the licensed individual complies with the other state’s gun laws.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn subsequently introduced a companion bill entitled the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in the Senate. As Coryn said at the time, “This bill strengthens both the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and the power of states to implement laws best-suited for the folks who live there.

“This legislation is an important affirmation of our Second Amendment rights and has been a top priority of law-abiding gun owners in Texas for a long time.”

After Rep. Steve Scalise was shot by a demented liberal terrorist, Rep. Thomas Massie introduced his own bill, the Personal Protection Reciprocity Act. In a press release, Massie was quoted as saying, “To ensure public safety, we need to repeal laws that keep good guys from carrying guns, since not everyone has a personal police detail.”

The national reciprocity legislation seems to echo the sentiments that President Trump conveyed during his campaign. At the time, when discussing policy, the Republican hopeful said, “Concealed carry…is a right, not a privilege” and rallied for national recognition of the concealed carry recognition.

“The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway,” he explained. “That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states.”

But since then, the administration has been tight-lipped about national reciprocity, and the Personal Protection Reciprocity Act seems to have stalled. The blame appears to fall on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan who refuses to permit Congressional action on national reciprocity because he doesn’t think the time is right.

The logic to Ryan’s position on the bill is hard to grasp considering that the bill has no less than eighty cosponsors. But now is not the time for America to allow this type of legislation to die on the vine. On the contrary, it’s a crucial time in US history, a time when every American needs to protect themselves.

After all, the threat is no longer one that can be easily identified. The War on Terror is not a race war, it’s an ideological war and, as we’ve seen in recent years, more and more terrorists are proving out to be Caucasian American citizens.

The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund and The Center for Investigative Reporting have found that of 201 plots and attacks carried out between 2008 and 2016, 115 of those were by white militants, and 19 were meted out by left-wing ecoterrorists and animal rights militants.

With the enemy lurking on the home front instead of in some distant land, it is imperative that Americans retain their right to own and carry suitable handguns to defend themselves at home. And the issue of concealed carry is one that should be part of the country’s public dialogue.

Of course, not everyone agrees with this; Mayors and law enforcement officials from gun-restrictive states like New York and California have come out as staunch opponents of this legislation. They do not want a concealed carry permit to be treated like a driver’s license.

In a July, 2017 letter, California Police Chiefs Association president Edward Medrano wrote, “The bill would erode local control of issuing concealed carry permits, as the arbitrariness of the issuing authority rules would reduce the requirements for concealed carry to the lowest common denominator.

“Further, the lack of a national database for concealed carry permits makes it functionally impossible for a law enforcement officer in the field to determine the legal compliance of an individual carrying a concealed firearm.”

What folks like Medrano fail to understand, however, is the value that such a bill could have for many responsible gun owners.

My next door neighbor here in Upstate, New York is one such responsible gun owner. He took proper measures to obtain a concealed carry permit and stores his handgun in a biometric gun safe when it’s not holstered.

Despite this law-abiding citizen taking all proper safety measures with his gun and being in good standing with local law enforcement, he was held at gunpoint, handcuffed, harassed and thrown in a cell when he made the mistake of taking his handgun on a family vacation to Las Vegas.

He and his wife were pulled over on suspicion of contraband (my neighbor is a chainsmoker and the arresting officer mistook the plume of smoke billowing out his driver side window for marijuana) and asked if there were any weapons in the vehicle.

He told the officer that he had a concealed carry permit and had his handgun in a holster on the floorboard. That’s when the officer trained his side arm on my neighbor and everything went south.

My neighbor was let go after some interrogation, but he was ordered to turn around and head home as the state of Nevada has a permit policy which stipulates that out-of-towners must take an eight-hour concealed carry firearm permit course in order to be approved by the sheriff for a Nevada concealed carry license.

In August, another responsible gun owner sued his state after he was forced to give up his concealed carry privileges. He was forced to forfeit his right to concealed carry not because of a crime committed or any kind of permit violation but because he wanted to become…a foster parent to his grandson.

You read that right, one Mr. Bill Johnson, a resident of Michigan, was told that his home state prohibits foster parents from from carrying concealed weapons. Mr. Johnson and his wife were able to lobby the Legislature to alter the law, but they have been barred from reapplying under the amended rules.

The foster care rule sets a dangerous precedent when one considers the value that should be placed on safety and security, not only for the children in foster care but for the foster parents themselves. If the 2009 case of 16-year old Ashley Jewel and 15-year old Kelsey Beams taught us anything it’s that hard-luck cases can often turn into potential homicide cases, and foster parents should be able to adequately arm themselves against attack by unruly and disturbed foster children.

As for the larger issue of whether gun owners should be allowed to carry their handguns across state lines, many believe that this shouldn’t be a matter for federal debate, rather it should be one determined on a state-by-state basis.

In the words of Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt, “Federally imposed concealed carry laws interfere with states’ fundamental right to determine who is too dangerous to carry hidden, loaded guns in public.”

But as Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action has said, “The current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders.

“This confusion often leads to law-abiding gun owners running afoul of the law when they exercise their right to self-protection while traveling or temporarily living away from home.”

Cox’s stance on the issue is in keeping with the view of most of the 16 million concealed-carry permittees in the United States. The bedrock right to self-defense is not one that should be stripped away once a person reaches their state border.


Sam Bocetta is a retired engineer who worked for over 35 years as a defense contractor for the U.S. Navy, specializing in electronic warfare and advanced computer systems. He teaches in Ottawa, Canada as a part time engineering professor and is the ASEAN affairs correspondent for Gun News Daily.

Eagle River, Wisconsin

By John Ruberry

“‘Many are the strange chances of the world,’ said Mithrandir, ‘and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.'”
Mithrandir (Gandalf), in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Simarillion.

This week greets the first anniversary of Donald J. Trump’s historic election to the presidency.

Historic? Yes. Trump is first first non-politician–or former general–ever elected to the nation’s highest office. The Manhattan billionaire was one of 17 candidates for the Republican nomination and it’s very safe to say that among the GOP establishment, Trump was the least popular member of this group.

But among the unpolished masses–the folks that Hillary Clinton dubbed “Deplorables” a year later–Trump was their champion. House Speaker Paul Ryan said after Trump’s upset win over Clinton, said that the president-elect, “Heard a voice that no one else heard.”

Clinton, on the other hand, was clearly the choice of the Democratic Party insiders, and that point was driven home last week by Donna Brazile, the interim DNC chair when Trump scored his upset win.

Trump was branded a racist when he said that Mexico was sending “rapists” and “criminals” over the border and he vowed to build a wall at the Mexican border. Was he wrong to say that? Yes. But Trump revealed a glaring hypocrisy among the Republican Party. The GOP’s idea of “getting tough” on illegal immigration was to talk tough about illegal immigration. And suddenly, the emerging Trump base learned, here was a candidate who will do something about illegal aliens–who yes, not only take away American jobs, such as in food service, but also drive down wages.

Barack Obama waxed eloquently–he’s good at that–about the plight of the laid-off workers at a Maytag refrigerator plant in Galesburg, Illinois–the manufacturer shifted that work to a factory in Mexico, both in his memorable keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and in Audacity of Hope. Trump vowed–and vows–to stop the exodus of blue collar jobs to south of the border. After eight years of President Obama in charge, whose response to these job losses was to offer retraining to workers for scarce jobs in “green industries,” Trump’s message resonated. While Clinton doubled-down on green failure.

Last week Rush Limbaugh praised Trump’s making an issue during the campaign of China cheating on trade deals and its currency manipulation “China is ripping us off on trade,” Trump screamed. At the time El Rusho saw it as too esoteric of a topic for presidential campaign. But the “weak” understood while the “wise” faltered.

And the Deplorables of Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan–many of whom voted twice for Barack Obama–went with Trump last year.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Nuclear power is a pretty dangerous thing. Even if you can’t see radiation, acute radiation poisoning can kill you very quickly. The nuclear Navy that I grew up in had a whole set of rules that safeguarded you from radiation poisoning and contamination. Not all of them made sense the first time you heard them, but over time you quickly realized that they worked and kept you safe.

This bears a striking similarity to the Catholic Catechism. The rules were built over a long period of learning in the Church, and they helped keep people from getting hurt. Simple things like saving sex for marriage and receiving the Sacraments regularly kept people’s physical and mental health safe.

But hey, we had to screw it up. Timed perfectly before Halloween, there were a variety of stories about how the incoming generation was ditching Christianity for paganism. Two particular pieces stuck out to me. The first was from Quartz:

Continue reading “Throwing out the rules”

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. 

Subject line: “Tomorrow is a big deal but President Trump doesn’t want you to know about it.” Well, that’s one way to stand out in my email inbox. The sender is my state’s senior U.S. Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, and the message is from her Senate account, not a campaign address.

“…November 1st, through December 15th, you have the opportunity to sign up for a new health insurance plan or change your existing plan through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Despite the many attempts by President Trump and Republican leadership to repeal Obamacare, it remains the law of the land. As you consider your healthcare options, it’s important to note that there have been many changes to available plans. Instead of just signing up for the same plan for 2018, I encourage you to shop around …”

Stop. Just stop. But no, there’s more:

“The Trump administration has been trying to keep Granite Staters in the dark about this important signup period by slashing open enrollment advertising by 90 percent, cutting the open enrollment period in half and defunding support staff that assist with signing up. So, friends, it’s up to each of us to get the word out to family members and friends that the enrollment period is about to get underway.” 

Consider yourself informed. You’re welcome.

As I have expressed at possibly tiresome length since last year’s campaign, I hold no brief for President Trump. Of all the things for me to hold against him, though, trying to keep me in the dark about the administrative details of Obamacare isn’t one of them.

There are things about Obamacare that bother me a lot more than open enrollment advertising being “slashed” by 90 percent – its effect on conscience rights, for one thing; its cost, for another.

I won’t be signing up for insurance on the “Affordable” Care Act’s exchange today, or tomorrow, or anytime before December 15. It isn’t affordable. Instead, I’ll be checking with my healthshare plan, Solidarity HealthShare, to see if there’s going to be any adjustment in my monthly fee, which I can afford.

I’m supposed to be upset about how Trump’s handling Obamacare?

My state’s senior Senator is right about this much: Obamacare is still the law of the land. It will remain so, I fear, until federal legislators like her are forced to go on their home states’ insurance exchanges to find health care coverage. I can visualize my senator getting a breezy campaign-style email assuring her “you have the opportunity to sign up!”

She might even be as enthusiastic as I am.

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. She blogs at ellenkolb.com and Leaven for the Loaf. 

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Another day, another terror attack by a Muslim screaming Allahu Akhbar and another batch of media stories about that fabled Muslim Backlash that like global warming putting US coastal cities underwater never seems to happen.

Ahmad’s question was answered.

My biggest concern is that he’s readily identified as a Muslim and then that is extrapolated out to my own faith,” he said.

In the wake of Tuesday’s attack, some Muslim Americans and community leaders expressed concerns over how their religion would be perceived and whether Muslims would become targets of violence.

Despite the lack of a backlash over the last 17 year Ahmad and many like him, according to NBC and others are still very worried, but there is an easy solution to allay his fears.

This may seem counterintutative to some but the people who will most benefit from extreme vetting are people like Ahmad. Muslim Americans.

You see as long as the vetting of immigrants is suspect Jihadist will keep getting in and as long as Jihadist keep getting in to attack American Muslims like Ahmad will find themselves suspected.

However if vetting of immigrants is extreme enough to keep potential jihadists out by definition there are less potential Islamic terrorists here, and people’s confidence that American Muslims aren’t here to make jihad against the US increases. If that is combined with American Muslims vetting their own communities for either radical imam’s trying to radicalize communities or individuals who might get radicalized online that will really change the picture.

In the end every jihadist that Trump’s program keeps out is insurance against Muslim American’s fears of a backlash.

Because of this they should be the first to come out and say: “We Muslim Americans support extreme vetting because as far as we are concerned Jihadist and Radical Islamists are not welcome here. After all many of us came here to get away from that kind of thing.”

The day such an anouncement is made on behalf of the American Muslim community is the beginning of the end of the war on terror.


As I have no sexual secrets of rich liberals to keep for a price 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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Yesterday afternoon a jihadist mowed down dozens of people in Lower Manhattan, killing eight and injuring eleven. Five of the dead were Argentinians celebrating a 30th class reunion.

Yesterday’s terrorist massacre was one more incident where cowards attack the unarmed, unaware, helpless public for the cause of a “holy” war against infidels . . . who cannot defend themselves.

Sayfullo Saipov arrived in the United States in 2010. The native of Uzbekistan came legally under a Diversity Visa:

The DV program makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, “drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration” to the U.S., according to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services website. Applicants must prove they have a clean criminal record, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, or have at least two years of work experience within the past five years in order to qualify.

Uzbekistan

is a large, majority-Muslim country located north of Afghanistan that gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, the country has been ruled by an authoritarian dictator who placed firm controls on how his citizens practice religion and who can attend mosques. This harsh environment has caused many young Uzbeks to flee the country and look for opportunities abroad, and some have appeared in Syria fighting for the Islamic State group, experts say.

We should not have a program that brings extra Uzbeks to the U.S. in the name of “diversity” or for any other purpose.

Saipay was known to the authorities. The NYT reports (emphasis added),

Three officials said he had come to their attention as a result of an unrelated investigation, but it was not clear whether that was because he was a friend, an associate or a family member of someone under scrutiny or because he had been the focus of an investigation.

Over the last two years, a terrorism investigation by the F.B.I., the Department of Homeland Security, the New York Police Department and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn resulted in charges against five men from Uzbekistan and one from Kazakhstan of providing material support to ISIS. Several of the men have pleaded guilty. It is unclear whether Mr. Saipov was connected with that investigation.

Saipay left a note swearing alliance to ISIS.

Is he part of an active ISIS cell in Brooklyn, then?

UPDATE
Linked to by Stumbling Block. Thank you!

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

By John Ruberry

Last Monday I had a errand to run for work–which brought me to Milwaukee’s suburbs. And for the first time in five years I drove on Interstate 94 north of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line–on what is known as the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor.

A lot has changed since 2012. As I left a toll road south of the border and entered a true freeway–okay, to be fair, the toll road has been there for decades–I noticed a lot.

Businesses–with huge facilities–that weren’t there five years ago leap out at you. Most obvious is the massive Uline warehouse in Pleasant Prairie. The headquarters office of the industrial supplier moved a few miles north from Waukegan, Illinois into Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County in 2010. Its “Chicago warehouse” followed four years later.

In the 1980s Wisconsin’s tourism slogan was “Escape to Wisconsin.” Illinois businesses are now heeding the call.

Yes, the Chicago area has a couple of Amazon fulfilment centers, but farther north on my drive I saw a massive one in Kenosha–it opened in 2015. The Milwaukee Business Journal calls it “the largest in the recent Kenosha County industrial boom.” There is a “Hiring Now” sign out front.

Sears Holdings, an Illinois loser

South of Kenosha County is Lake County in ILL-inois. There is no Lake County industrial boom. There is no Illinois industrial boom.

Why is that? Sure, tax incentives from Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker have helped greatly. Illinois, when inept Democrat Pat Quinn was governor, offered tax breaks to Sears Holdings, which operates the Sears and Kmart brands, and Mitsubishi Motors, to encourage them to stay. This was a few months after a huge income tax hike was enacted. What about attracting new business? By all accounts Sears and Kmart are on life-support and Mitsubishi closed its Bloomington plant in 2015.

Corporate taxes might be slightly higher in Wisconsin–no place is perfect. But Illinois has the nation’s highest median property tax rate. And Illinois’ expensive workers compensation laws frighten business owners.

In 2015 Wisconsin became a right-to-work state. All the states that border Illinois except for Missouri are right-to-work states and Show Me State voters will be asked next year if they want to join the trend. Nearby Michigan has been right-to-work since 2012. Job creators don’t like unions and based on recent workplace votes, neither do workers.

Illinois has its 800-pound odious gorilla in its basement, a woefully underfunded public-worker pension system. Wisconsin’s state pensions are by most accounts fully funded. Businesses don’t like uncertainty and Illinois’ pension bomb, despite a massive personal and corporate tax hike put in place this summer, has not been defused. Not even close. Ka-boom is coming.

Blogger in Pleasant Prairie

This summer Wisconsin and the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor snagged its biggest prize, the Foxconn factory. The Taiwanese manufacturer will hire anywhere from 3,000 to 13,000 employees for its facility in Mount Pleasant in Racine County. Yes, Illinois had also bid on the Foxconn plant.

Indiana is also enjoying great success poaching Illinois firms for the similar reasons.

And when the jobs leave the people leave. And Illinois is one of only three states with negative population growth.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Illinois at Marathon Pundit.