Like the pigs they are.

by baldilocks

Normally, I try to offer something that few other bloggers are talking about, but not this time.

I remain fascinated by the very existence of John Brennan, former director of the CIA, and his sense of entitlement to this country’s national security secrets. Even more riveting that his predecessors and peers obviously share this attitude.

You all do remember what I used to do for a living, right? Well, when I stopped doing it — in 1994 — my security clearance and access to information was revoked. Naturally.

And the same has been so for countless others who were granted access to classified information due to their jobs, but left their job positions for whatever reason.

But we were just worker bees. The recent screaming fit thrown by Brennan after President Trump revoked his access exposed that there are two sets of rules in the intelligence community: one for the lords and another for us serfs.

I suppose that I shouldn’t be shocked by it — especially after Hillary Clinton skated away from legal consequences for doing something that would have put me in jail — but I am.

The great thing about it all, however, is that President Trump’s

actions exposed this elite layer in the intelligence community to the world. When he announced his intent to yank Brennan’s clearance, Brennan and friends responded like Pavlov’s Dogs.

The list of former senior intelligence

The infamous James Clapper.

officials who signed the letter includes James Clapper, a former Director of National Intelligence, and seven CIA Directors including Robert Gates, William Webster, George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and David Petraeus.

There is more than one person on this list who I wouldn’t trust to walk my dog.

“As former senior intelligence officials, we feel compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House regarding the removal of John Brennan’s security clearances,” they wrote.

“We know John to be an enormously talented, capable, and patriotic individual who devoted his adult life to the service of this nation,” the letter continued.

“Insinuations and allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Brennan while in office are baseless,” it added.

Some of the officials who signed the letter noted that they may not side with Brennan’s comments or choose to go public with any comments, but “We all agree that the president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances – and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech.

Emphasis mine. As if Brennan will need a security clearance to throw his next tantrum.

I don’t think that these IC elite puppets get that they and their ilk have been outed to the world, but I get it. And the great thing about it is that they did it to themselves by falling in line behind a POS like Brennan. I guess I expected them to be more circumspect about their privilege, being spooks and all.

Brennan must have something on all of them …

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!

Or hit Juliette’s!

…because stories like this:

NFL players continued to protest during the national anthem on Thursday night as the league began the first full week of its 2018 preseason.

Some players held their fists in the air, while others decided to kneel, despite the controversy surrounding the action.

Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, both of the Miami Dolphins, knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Miami Herald reported.

Robert Quinn, a defensive end for the Dolphins, raised his fist. Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins, who plays safety, and De’Vante Bausby, a cornerback, also raised their fists prior to a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

and this:

In Philadelphia, Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel Thursday during the anthem and headed to the team bench ahead of a game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

Eagles captain Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De’Vante Bausby raised their fists during the song.

“I just think it’s important to keep this conversation going, that we don’t let it get stagnant,” Jenkins said after the game, according to NFL.com. “You know, as we understand it, everybody’s kind of waiting to see what the league is going to do. … It’s just my personal decision to keep these things at the forefront.”

and this:

One Florida establishment won’t tolerate football players kneeling on the nation’s most public lawns anymore.

Curtis and Janet West, the owners of Beef O’Brady’s in Brooksville, Fla., cancelled the bar’s DIRECTV NFL Sunday Ticket subscription over NFL players protesting against police violence in minority communities and racial and economic inequality by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem prior to games, according to Tampa, Fla., television station WTVT. Players’ demonstrations offended the Wests, who explain in posters hung in their bar why patrons won’t be able to watch every NFL game there in 2018.

“Beef O’Brady’s will not be financially supporting the NFL this year due to their lack of compassion and gratitude for our American service members,” the poster reads, per WTVT. “Our National Anthem is one of the methods we as American citizens have always used to show our appreciation to all military service members, past or present, alive or dead. This tradition deserves respect and unfortunately, the NFL does not feel that same way. So, for this season, we will not be purchasing the NFL ticket. Perhaps, it will make a difference if it hits their wallets.”

Beef O’Brady’s will save around $5,200 without the NFL Sunday Ticket. The Wests will invest those savings in a new promotion: offering military veterans 40 percent off food on Sundays during the NFL season.

and especially this:

That’s why it was surprising when Brown spoke out against current NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to bring attention to social issues such as racial inequality.

Jim Brown: ‘I’ll never kneel’

Brown, known as one of the most prominent activist/athletes of his era (and probably all eras), said he would never kneel for the national anthem, according to Tom Withers of the Associated Press.

“I’ll never kneel and I will always respect the flag,” Brown told Withers before the HBO premiere of “Hard Knocks” that features the Browns. 

Brown, who is 82, said he supported the players’ rights to kneel. But he didn’t agree with what they’re doing.

is pretty much an in kind contribution to the Trump re-election campaign of 2020 and the GOP campaign to keep the house in 2018.  Naturally the President was all over it:

President Donald Trump on Friday renewed his attacks on NFL players who protest during the national anthem – after several of them took knees and raised their fists during preseason games.

“The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,” he tweeted. “Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define.

“They make a fortune doing what they love…… Be happy, be cool!” he continued. “A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest.

“Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!” he said.

This will of course cause the clueless NFL players to protest more which will allow the president to comment again guaranteeing the issue will be alive and well in every swing distinct that he won in 2018 meaning that every single Democrat running in a swing district will have the delightful choice of pissing off their base or their swing voters by stating an opinion on this issue before the election.

Now all of this would  be moot if the NFL simply enforced their policy, if they had then the conversation after week one of pre-season would be all about who might be playing themselves onto a roster, who disappointed etc etc etc instead of who is kneeling and who is not.

Of course if the NFL and the NFLPA want to continue to drop the value of their product (and make their players less marketable for advertising dollars) that’s their prerogative, but for me I’ll settle for just pointing and them and laughing a lot.

By John Ruberry

Early next year the first round of the Chicago mayoral election will be held, If no candidate achieves a majority, then the top two face each other in a runoff.

The two-term incumbent, Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s first chief of staff, is running, as are several other candidates, each with baggage, including former Chicago Police superintendent Garry McCarthy, who Emanuel fired after the details of the shooting of Laquan McDonald became public, political gadfly and ex-Chicago Public Schools head Paul Vallas, and Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, whose office is under federal investigation.

There is a one person who could wipe the floor with Rahm and these other candidates and easily avoid a runoff. Take a look at his resume: He served in the Illinois state senate and the US Senate He held an executive political office for eight years. He is loved by many business leaders, in fact, his smartphone is probably packed with the private phone numbers of hundreds of CEOs. He is quite adept at political fundraising. This man has a solid base in Chicago and beyond, in fact, he is one of the most adored people on the planet.

Of course I’m talking about Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. After Chicago’s most violent weekend of the year, Emanuel was hapless as he tried to act as the healer. On the other hand, such touchy-feely stuff comes natural to Obama. When the House and Senate was in Democratic control, Obama was quite skillful–to be fair, Emanuel helped–in pushing his left-wing agenda.  When the House and then the Senate became Republican-majority bodies, Obama’s magic vanished. But no worries–of Chicago’s 50 alderman, 49 are Democrats.

Chicago’s Northwest Side

Obama, with his sonorous voice, like Liam Neeson’s Aslan character from the Narnia series, can give Chicago’s 2.7 million-and-declining residents feel-good speeches on demand. Of course a half-hour later, it’s hard to recall what Obama actually said in those pep talks, other than “hope and change.”

But what about Chicago’s problems? They are legion–besides the murder count, Chicago suffers more murders annually than New York City and Los Angeles combined. The spike in Chicago’s murder rate. not coincidentally, began after the city signed on to an ACLU decree in 2015 that greatly decreased stop-and-frisks. Arrests went down. Murders went up. Chicago’s public schools, which Vallas of course used to run, are among the worst in the nation. The various pension systems in Chicago, are among America’s most poorly funded public retirement systems. Pensions for decades have been a way for Chicago politicians to utilize as a kick-the-can-down-the-road system to reward their union pals. Emanuel and the City Council have been raising property taxes in an attempt, probably futile, to dig Chicago out of this pension hole.

What else? Chicagoans pay the highest sales tax rate in America. There is even a tax on plastic bags. Red-light cameras are seemingly everywhere. The cameras, we are told. are there to deter speeding and prevent accidents, Chicago’s decrepit streets should be an encouragement enough to obey the speed limit and arguably red-light cameras cause accidents.

Chicago is a miserable place to live in but it’s problems are not intractable. Unless, that is, you are a leftist mayor. Let’s start with crime “If you want crime to go up,” Jeff Sessions said a few months ago, “let the ACLU run the police department. If you want public safety, call the professionals.” But would a Mayor Obama cross his beloved ACLU.? Of course not. Let’s move on to pensions. I believe that Chicago is near the tipping point where tax increases will bring negative returns. More people will move out, property values will decline, and then it will become a free-fall. The pension guarantee in the Illinois constitution needs to removed, which is something that Jeanne Ives, who narrowly lost to incumbent governor Bruce Rauner, favors. But a Mayor Obama would never used the bully pulpit to fight for this kind of change.

Oh, on a side note, I have several friends and relatives collecting municipal and state pensions. Yes, a pension is a promise, but please direct your anger at the pols who created this mess.

In The Simpsons Movie, Homer is handed $1,000 when he crosses the Alaskan border. In Chicago people’s pockets are seemingly picked by that same amount when they enter the city limits. Chicago has always been a place where government-sanctioned grifters run amok.


Liberals love high taxes because it gives them more money to unleash their social engineering schemes. So please don’t imagine that a Mayor Obama could be a tax-cutter.

But lower taxes–including the elimination of nuisance taxes–will make Chicago a more livable place and the type of city Americans will flock to, once the other problems Chicago faces are dealt with. And government revenues will go up, as public-officials are a poor spender of monies. Meanwhile, some Chicago liberals have bandied about “solutions” to its fiscal calamity that include a municipal income tax and a commuter tax. Ask Detroit how those are working out for it.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

So yes, Barack Obama will not run for mayor of Chicago. Sure, he probably sees any job other than president of the world beneath him. But also, if he has an honest moment with himself, he’ll ascertain that if he adheres to his leftist dogma as Chicago’s mayor, he’ll be setting himself up for failure.

And he’ll be setting Chicago up for even more failure.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

This is one of the reasons why Trump is so useful.

While Hotair has reported on the left’s attack on Police in Charlotteville:

The sights and sounds were gathered by both the press and the participants, quickly showing up on social media. This video has a lot of raw footage from the protests. If you skip forward to the 1:45 mark you’ll see the first of the banners which aren’t going after racists, but instead, the police. One group of young women carry a banner reading, “Behind Every Cop, A Klansman.” You can hear raucous chants of, “Civil servants, that’s a lie. You don’t care if people die,” along with, “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand.” (Who writes this stuff for them?) It only goes downhill from there. The largest banner reads, “Last Year They Came w/ Torches. This Year They Come w/ Badges.”

and while Twitchy talked about the assault on members of the press by the leftists

The Hill reported that ANTIFA was “peaceful”

Now two years ago this would just be the way of things, we would report on the culture of violence and anti-cop acts of the left and the media would whitewash and ignore it and it would disappear into the memory hole.

However all it takes is a single Donald Trump tweet on the subject to his 53 Million plus followers on his account or his 23 million on the POTUS account and suddenly there is no way for the MSM to ignore it.

Imagine if Donald Trump calls on every single Democrat running for congress to denounce the anti cop declarations of ANTIFA. While the MSM would do their best to spin it away, what does such a candidate do if a local member of the press or a person at a town hall or an opponent in the debate brings it up?

Donald Trump can do this, I can’t.

Yesterday my lead post talked about the Boston Globe big coordinated attack on Trump Aug 16th and noted that it’s not going to be much different than any other day:

Given that these outlets have spent the last two years in a relentless all out assault on Donald Trump and have spent every day since Jan 20th 2017 attacking this presidency in general and this President in particular what makes them think any person not already in the NeverTrump camp will notice any difference between their attacks on Thursday August 16th and their attacks of the previous 500+ days?

I closed the piece saying the following:

The proper response by those of us outside their bubble, point at them and laugh.

As I wrote that it occurred to me that average Americans pointing and laughing at the incompetent media together on a day would be a lot more newsworthy that a bunch of newspapers spending one more day attacking Trump like they always do.

So I propose that on August 16th, if you see a member of the MSM on TV or a reporter from any of the various papers involved in the Boston Globe’s event that day or pass by their buildings, point at them and laugh at the joke they have made of themselves over the last two years.

Now in fairness, a lot of these papers were a joke long before Trump came into office but as President Trump has caused them to expose this fact to the general public rather than those of us who have been paying attention I think it’s entirely fitting to take part in this exercise.

So I declare Aug 16th “Point at the MSM & Laugh” day.

Who’s with me?



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The Boston Globe as Called on the Press United as a whole to go After Trump on August 16th over daring to call them out:

The Globe has reached out to editorial boards nationwide to write and publish editorials on Aug. 16 denouncing what the newspaper called a “dirty war against the free press.”

As of Friday, Pritchard said about 70 outlets had committed to editorials so far, with the list expected to grow. The publications ranged from large metropolitan dailies, such as the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald and Denver Post, to small weekly papers with circulations as low as 4,000.

So as these thousands of Newspapers proudly commit to The Boston Globe’s call for a coordinated attack on President Donald Trump him next Thursday to assert their rights as a free press and the Cable news media cheers them for their bravery for daring to go after Mr. Trump I have one obvious point to make:

Given that these outlets have spent the last two years in a relentless all out assault on Donald Trump and have spent every day since Jan 20th 2017 attacking this presidency in general and this President in particular what makes them think any person not already in the NeverTrump camp will notice any difference between their attacks on Thursday August 16th and their attacks of the previous 500+ days?

This is so self-evident that only a group of people living in their own self-congratulatory bubble could possibly fail to see it, which is of course why the press will not only fail to see it but will convince themselves that hitting Trump Aug 16th, as they have daily since June of 2015,  is an act of bravery without parallel in the history of journalism.

The proper response by those of us outside their bubble, point at them and laugh!


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Perchik: Money is the world’s curse.
Tevye: May the Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover.

Fiddler on the Roof 1971

I don’t spend a lot of time on twitter but in passing Yesterday Andrew Breitbart’s old nemesis Eric Boehlert was in a twitter discussion with someone else concerning the trump presidency when I spotting the following tweet and was compelled to answer:

However the more I thought about what he said I had to conclude he’s half right. The Trump presidency is NOT normal.

In my 55 years I’ve never experienced seen a president like it.

I’ve never seen a president come to office determined to actually keep the promises he has made.

I’ve never seen an economy boom so quickly that my own company has gone from semi regular layoffs to a point where we have to fiercely compete for manpower, even during what would normally be our slow season.

I’ve never seen a president bring back manufacturing jobs contrary to the assertions of others that these jobs are never coming back and we’d better get used to it.

I’ve never seen a president so willing to fight for American trade and force both our allies and our enemies to the bargaining table in our favor

I’ve never seen a president challenge conventioning wisdom in North Korea to the point where we might actually see the official end of the Korean War

I’ve never seen a president who has been willing to let our military fight our battles unhindered to the point where our enemies are in retreat.

I’ve never seen a president who has advanced the pro-life ball both in the courts and by his words and deeds.

I’n short I’ve never seen a president so willing to lead from the front and fight for our country and our people in my lifetime.

And apparently I’m not alone in seeing this:

 

According to Rasmussen Reports on August 2, black Americans’ approval of the job President Trump is doing nearly doubled in one year, from 15 percent in August, 2017, to 29% in 2018. This could be devastating to the Democrats who depend on their traditional windfall of 85 to 95 percent of the black vote for election victory.

That the stunning new prosperity driven by the Trump tax cuts has given blacks and other minorities reasons to celebrate job opportunities and family economic gains unknown during the Obama years is certainly one reason for this new phenomenon.

So Eric, you’re right I won’t pretend the Trump presidency is normal any more, and I pray that God continues to bless America with this abnormal presidency through 2024.

P.S. BTW do you know what else isn’t normal, the Left’s unhinged violent reaction to American success and prosperity under Trump.


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Donald Trump in NH Aug 15 2015

DaTechGuy: Mr. Trump hundreds of people were waiting in line to see you today, and another 120 were waiting without tickets I interviewed a bunch of them and there were democrats who were crossing over and such. What are they seeing that the GOP establishment and some of the people in this room might not be seeing?

Donald Trump: I love that question.

August 19th 2015 Derry NH

If you are a regular listener to the MSM you might find yourself confused that despite every single one of Trump’s Endorsed candidates winning yesterday the media is portraying the results as signs of doom for the GOP.

Part of this of course is because as Democrats with bylines their primary purpose is to aid the Democrats and liberals in general and defeat republicans and conservative so having already decided on the narrative of doom and despair for the President and the GOP they were going to proclaim it as gospel.

After all they weren’t about to let a little thing like the actual results get in the way.

However in fairness there is a smidgen of truth hidden in their narrative. By every normal standard the GOP should be in trouble. Because of the big red wave in 2010 and 2014 in the house and thanks to the Trump victory in 2016 there are a lot of GOP seats to be defended in districts a lot less red than these. By any reasonable standard even with favorable maps drawn after the 2010 census the left should be able to pick up quite a few of them, perhaps even enough to take back the house.

But there is a wild card in play and that wild card is Donald Trump and the people who turn out for him.

The Trump base aren’t the activists who would normally turn out anyway for the GOP his base are people who would not normally be bothered with general elections let alone midterms. This has been true from day one

Many of them aren’t republicans at all as I noted the very first time I asked candidate Trump a question at a news conference.

It is these voters who normally would not even notice a special election like the ones going on who turned out for Trump.

At the very first event that I covered Donald Trump at I asked this question:

It will be interesting to see what happens with his next event in the state? Will it draw a different audience, will familiar political faces (that I didn’t see many of here) show up, or will it basically be “Trump Groupies”

We now know the answer. Trump turned out a different audience that was enough to win in 2016 and may be enough to save the GOP in 2018.

Lucky for the GOP candidates in marginal districts they don’t have to count on the GOP leadership to figure this out. Donald Trump is smart enough to understand this and with his agenda at stake will undoubtedly do his best to get his voters out in marginal districts to make the difference.

Expect to see a lot more rallies like the ones held last week over the next three months as Trump does what he does best, Win!


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(* some restrictions apply)

Officer Malone: [stopping at a post office] Well, here we are.
Elliot Ness: What are we doing here?
Officer Malone: Liquor raid.
Elliot Ness: [looking at the police station across the street] Here?
Officer Malone: Mr. Ness, everybody knows where the booze is. The problem isn’t finding it, the problem is who wants to cross Capone.

The Untouchables 1987

We hear “White privilege”  bandied about by the Democrat left as the source of all kinds of evil in the black community and we’ve equally heard the words “Black Lives Matter” used as a club against police, republicans, conservatives and any enemy of the left (and adopted as a name by anti-police radicals) as they argue that these “privileged” groups don’t care about the lives of black Americans and target them for violence.

Now if you want to make a case that Black Americans are targeted for violence, there is no better example than the reaction to what happened in Chicago last weekend.

A violent weekend in Chicago left 10 people dead and dozens more wounded, police said.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson plans to hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Monday.

However, CPD says it has seen a citywide reduction in shootings by 30 percent this year.

What’s really interesting in this story is the use of language in the embedded video, it’s “gun” violence not “gang” violence even though the driver of this violence are the gangs of Chicago.

The largest shooting, which injured eight people, happened in the South Side’s Gresham neighborhood as a group, including a 14-year-old girl, was standing in a courtyard just before 12:40 a.m.

The crowd had gathered after attending a funeral repass, said Fred Waller, Chicago police chief of patrol.

During a Sunday news conference, Waller voiced frustration at gang members whom he blamed for taking advantage of large summer crowds to use as cover to take revenge.

The gang members do not fear repercussions from the law, Waller said.

“They take advantage of that opportunity and they shoot into a crowd, no matter who they hit,” Waller said.

The press asked radical catholic priest Fr. Michael Pfleger to comment.  I’m not a big fan of Fr. Pfleger or his protest without a permit that John wrote about here Sunday but he has a real point here

“It’s absolutely outrageous. It’s a state of emergency in our city,” Pfleger said Sunday in response to the series of mass shootings earlier in the day. “Someplace else in the country, the whole country would be talking about that this morning. All world news and national news would be talking about that. Four types of mass shootings going on in Chicago with those numbers, and it’s a weekend in Chicago, a rough weekend. No it’s not a rough weekend! It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s unacceptable.”

He is correct that the whole country should be talking about this, that the world news and the national news should be all over this and that the howls out outrage should not stop until this violence which is directed against Black Lives is stopped, but in once sense Fr. Pfleger is being disingenuous when he decries this earlier in the piece as”gun violence” because both he and I know the issue here isn’t guns, it’s gangs.

I also strongly suspect that Fr. Pfleger knows his cry for national media attention to the issue will go unanswered because these gang members and the Democrat pols who rule Chicago (the last GOP mayor left office in 1931) are the best of buddies:

Most alarming, both law enforcement and gang sources say, is that some politicians ignore the gangs’ criminal activities. Some go so far as to protect gangs from the police, tipping them off to impending raids or to surveillance activities—in effect, creating safe havens in their political districts. And often they chafe at backing tough measures to stem gang activities, advocating instead for superficial solutions that may garner good press but have little impact.

The paradox is that Chicago’s struggle to combat street gangs is being undermined by its own elected officials. And the alliances between lawmakers and lawbreakers raise a troubling question: Who actually rules the neighborhoods—our public servants or the gangs?

That’s from a post I wrote on Martin Luther King day in 2014 so is this

The irony of course is the families of the slain know the gangs are the driving force behind the killings of their children, the problem is with the gangs the source of political power on both the local & state level (how many gang generated votes have helped keep Illinois blue?) there is no incentive for those enjoying the financial or political rewards to do a thing about it and as the gangs are largely of color, there is no reward for the professional demagogues nationally to do so either.

The media know what the source of the violence is but to report on it means acknowledging two things harmful to the Democrat party

  1.  That it’s black on black gang violence, not rogue cops or white radicals that has been preying on the black citizens of Chicago for decades
  2.  That Democrats have for decades protected these killers for the sake of keeping power not only on the city level but to provide votes on the state and federal level

If the gangs had been white or the pols in bed with these gangs had beenrepublicans, the media’s hue and cry would be never ending and the good folks of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYT and Washington Post would not rest until national action was taken and a parade of pundits and activists from Black Lives Matter and other racial groups would be demanding action for the victims of this senseless slaughter and those who perpetuate it both behind the trigger by their actions and those in office protecting them to be brought to justice.

Alas for the black citizens of Chicago living in fear or dying in agony as it’s not 1931 and their plight can’t be blamed on rogue cops, or white man named Capone, or Trump supporters in MAGA hats or a corrupt GOP Mayor or pol, in fact their deaths don’t fit any of the media’s preferred narratives so said media and the liberal/radical activists like Black Lives Matter who they promote have decreed the dead of Chicago shall remain a local story to be briefly noted, regretted, and then ignored.

After all one can’t risk highlighting gang violence or corrupt Chicago pols when a story like that could strengthen President Trump’s hand nationally in an election year.

Call it “Democrat privilege”.


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Lake Shore Drive blocked by police

By John Ruberry

For the second time in less than a month, left-wing protesters illegally blocked a major Chicago expressway, with the goal of bringing attention to gun violence in America’s third-largest city.

You know what? People in Chicago and its suburbs already know about the homicide epidemic. As do most people nationwide. Last year Chicago, as it did in 2016, suffered more murders than the far-more populous cities of New York And Loa Angeles–combined.

On the flipside, according to Hey Jackass, murders and shootings are down in 2018 compared to last year.

Zero murders should be the goal of any society, although, given human nature, it’s not even a remotely realistic one. But Chicago can do much better.

I covered the most recent lawbreaking protest, the Thursday afternoon rush hour blocking of Lake Shore Drive on Chicago’s North Side for my blog, Marathon Pundit. You can read my report here. You’ll learn that the rally was really a collection of  a baker’s dozen of leftist grievances.

What was that I said about illegal protests? Has fascism, as the leftists claim, conquered America under President Donald Trump? What happened to the First Amendment of the US Constitution?

Nothing has happened to the First Amendment.

Let’s see what that right-wing group (just kdding), the ACLU of Illinois, has to say about street-blocking protests:

Protesters blocking traffic on Belmont Avenue last week

In some cases, government can require a permit as a condition of protest on public property. For example, government often can require a permit for parades in the streets, given the impact on vehicle traffic.

More…

Protesters do not  have [emphasis mine] a First Amendment right to block pedestrian or vehicle traffic, or to prevent entry and exit from buildings.

Father Michael Pfleger, the gadfly left-wing Chicago priest, did not possess a rally permit when he and his followers blocked the 14-lane Dan Ryan Expressway last month on a Saturday afternoon on the South Side. Should’ve he been arrested? That’s a tough call, as the Illinois State Police, which has jurisdiction on this interstate, allowed Pfleger’s group to block the Dan Ryan.

So here we have cops, with the acquiescence of Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican by the way, consenting to law breaking. Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, expressed support for the protest.

At the block-Lake Shore Drive rally,, according to the Chicago Police, who has jurisdiction on that road, that event saw 150 protesters block eight lanes of traffic, ruining the commutes of thousands. Tio Hardiman and Gregory Livingston, the organizers of last week’s protest, carefully chose the day of their disruption. A few miles south of Belmont Avenue, where the rally began, the first day of the Lollapolooza festival was underway. And about a mile away the Chicago Cubs were hosting the San Diego Padres for a night game.  While they chose their day well, Hardiman and Livingston didn’t have a rally permit either. I guess they were so busy rabble-rousing that they simply forgot to apply for one.

Protest co-organizer Hardiman: “Where is your rally permit?”

Let’s take a closer look at those protest numbers. We know there were just 150 activists blocking Lake Shore Drive. Keeping an eye on the marchers were anywhere from 300-400 police officers. Also along for the hike, which ended at Wrigley Field, were 100 media representatives and bloggers, including  of course this one.

What about the cost?

The state spent $323,000 on the Dan Ryan protest. Municipal figures haven’t been released yet but it’s a safe guess that when those Chicago numbers are tallied, the cost of Pfleger’s protest will soar past a half-million dollars.

And when the Lake Shore Drive figures are added, will the costs of the two illegal rallies exceed $1 million? My prediction is they will.

If these protests were held instead downtown at a traditional and easy to patrol location, such as Daley Plaza, the taxpayer outlay would have been a pittance. And the plaza can handle many more than 150 people. Activists can enjoy their First Amendment rights there with minimal hassles for the rest of Chicago. And since all protesters seek media attention, nearly all of Chicago’s press and broadcast outlets have offices within walking distance of Daley Plaza. Everyone wins.

When unfunded pension debt is figured in, Illinois and Chicago are essentially broke. Chicago and Illinois are suffering from negative population growth.. And if such banana republic type protests continue to run amok, more people will throw up their hands and join the exodus.

There is another possibility.

Leftists fondly look back the 1960s protests at University of California at Berkeley as the good old days. But Ronald Reagan trounced an incumbent Democratic governor in 1966 by among other things, vowing to clean up “the mess” at Berkeley. However, California was right-leaning five decades ago.

At some point Chicagoans, will scream, “Enough!”

Especially if these expressway protestpaloozas become monthly occurrences.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

These illegal protests need to end. The police need to enforce the law. And that means arresting and prosecuting the organizers of these exercises in lawbreaking.

We are still a nation of laws.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.