The internet exploded into a veritable excrement storm when Senator Dick Durbin accused President Trump of referring to some countries as shitholes.  It is still not clear if President Trump actually uttered that phrase, but the storm that ensued was rather intense, with members of the liberal media and liberals on social media immediately decrying those remarks as racist.  That phrase is not racist, however it is politically incorrect.  A great many confuse the two, which is actually harmful, because overuse and distortion of the meaning of the term has greatly lessened the impact of justified accusations of true racism.

It is a well established fact that some nations are extremely poor and the people living in those countries suffer greatly.  Referring to them as shitholes may not be the most elegant or polite phrase, but it is accurate.  Poor nations are spread across the globe and are not limited to nations of just one race.  In fact nations of all races are included in the list of the poorest nations in the world.

The one unifying factor the links just about all of the poorest nations is that they now suffer from, or have suffered from, bad governments.  These bad governments can take on many forms but they all steal the wealth from the individuals living in those countries and mismanage the resources.

Countries with communist and socialist governments almost universally produce dreadful living conditions and very poor people.  Here is what one of my favorite authors, Thomas Sowell, has to say on the subject “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”  Venezuela is perfect example of what happens to a country when it transforms into a socialist nation, and so is Somalia.

If a country experiences frequent political upheaval it will become poor.  That is what happened in Haiti, and so many other countries.  Most often this upheaval will result in autocratic dictatorships, which micromanage the economies, and also leads to rampant corruption.  Concentrating political power always results in countries with poverty and corruption.  Governments always try to concentrate power in the hands of the few.  Distributing power throughout the people of a nation is the only cure for this.

Economies of nations are far too complex for one individual or a group of individuals to manage properly.  Any attempt to manage an economy will begin a downward spiral into poverty.  Letting a perfectly free market economy manage itself is the only way to guarantee long term prosperity for a nation.  Even nations with very limited natural resources will prosper with a free market economy.  Hong Kong is a perfect example of this phenomenon.

Introducing any type of socialism into a free market economy will result in a downward spiral toward poverty.  Building a welfare state forces the increase of taxes, which will curtail business activity, which will then increase the need for more welfare, which will then result in the need for higher taxes.  That is the route Scandinavian countries are on now and the route Greece has traveled for a longer period. The Scandinavian nations have not traveled this route long enough to produce disastrous results, but it will. The United States has been traveling this route since the New Deal, and accelerated on this path with President Johnson’s Great Society.  The negative impacts of the United States transiting into a welfare state have been well documented but ignored by so many.  Free market economies produce the most universal prosperity.  Some are always left behind by any economic system, while the numbers are much lower for a free market economy.  Private charity has proved to be successful in taking care of those left behind and the widespread adoption by the people of a religion such as Christianity, of which charity is a major component of, is also most beneficial.

Governments interfering with the free market through regulations will always create a downward spiral into poverty for a nation.  Once regulations are introduced, the free market will begin to falter.  The almost universal response to this phenomenon is to introduce more regulations, which will result in more negative consequences.

The authors of the US Constitution produced the perfect recipe for a successful nation.  Unfortunately we have abandoned this recipe and have suffered increasingly negative consequences ever since.  Their recipe had four key ingredients.

The first ingredient was to distribute all political power throughout the entire population.  They created a government of the people who elected political servants. The political power was distributed through five distinct levels with each level up having less power and authority.  The first was the individual, who had ultimate control over all levels of the government.  The next level up, local governments, had the most political power and authority.  This level was granted the most power because the people could exercise the most control over it.  County governments coordinated local governments while State governments coordinated county governments.  The federal government was granted a very limited number of clearly defined, or enumerated, powers.  The federal government was only granted the power to keep the States from squabbling with each other and to negotiate with other countries as one nation.

A firm belief in individual rights, the second ingredient, is an essential component to the peace and security of the people in any nation.  Protections of individual rights and private property are the most important building blocks of the US Constitution.  The Bill Of Rights was added because it was believed that the Constitution did not go far enough.

Thirdly, the US Constitution prevented the federal government from interfering with the free market economy, which resulted in a prosperous nation, The Commerce Clause only granted the federal government the power to regulate the large scale movement of goods between the States, not the economic activity inside of the States.

Lastly, tt was believed by the authors of the Constitution, and those that ratified it, that a widespread adoption of various Christian sects by the people was essential to maintaining a free and stable nation.  They created a government that left the people free to regulate their own affairs.  They believed Christianity was a perfect method for the people to regulate their own behavior.  They also believed Christian charity was the perfect way to help those in need.  Any belief system will work as long as it has an emphasis on individual rights and self control of one’s behavior.

Alexis de Tocqueville documented the prosperity and tranquility of the United States, and examined in great detail the root cause, which was the system of government created by the Constitution, when he wrote Democracy in America.

The Democrat left is going apoplectic concerning President Trump’s comments concerning Haiti declaring his statements prove Donald Trump is a straight up racist.

The only problem with this reaction is that while President Trump’s language might have been less crude (a phrase that is evergreen) concerning it, he’s correct concerning Haiti and moreover the people screaming the loudest and most self righteously about it know it.

Don’t believe me, fine, then ask yourself these questions about Haiti:

Would you go to Haiti to vacation?

Would you go to Haiti to retire?

Does Haiti have a reliable electric grid

Does Haiti have safe drinking water?

Would you feel safe to walk the streets?

Can you could on local officials taking care of a problem for you without a bribe?

Would you feel comfortable being treated in a Haitian Hospital by doctors certified in Haiti?

Then ask yourself the same questions concerning the Dominican Republic which is located on the same island to the east and see if your answers differ.

A more practical example:  My parish helps fund Catholic schools in Haiti, in fact we are doing our fundraiser now where we raise money and donate items for the kids down there.  It’s noble work but given that Haiti has been independent for, depending on if you track it from declaration or recognition, over or just under 200 years isn’t it odd that we’re still funding schools there to help kids get a basic education?

Now none of this reflects on individual Haitians who I work with now and have known over the years.  In fact just about every Haitian I’ve ever known has been a decent hard working guy,  but when it comes down to it there is a reason why people are so anxious to get the hell out of there.

Or as I like to put it concerning my own grandparents coming from Sicily, if it was a good place to live they would have stayed there and I’d be speaking Italian today.

The real sin of President Trump is saying aloud something everybody knows is true but nobody wants to admit in polite company.

I suggest the people having a fit would be well served to watch this video out of Harvard which seems particularly timely.

Because the problems in Haiti have nothing to do with race. They have everything to do with systemic corruption, Marxism and cronyism and those who exploit those weaknesses for their own gain. Unfortunately you can’t solve those problem until they are acknowledged and if you don’t dare acknowledge those problems because of the race they will be there forever.

Update PJMedia:

Tucker Carlson defended the president.

“The idea that you are not allowed to say that they’re pretty crummy countries, Haiti for example or El Salvador, I’ve been in both of them — that’s why people are leaving them to come here,” Carlson said. “So I don’t understand what the sin is. You’re not allowed to point out that other countries aren’t as good places to live as America?”

That’s right. There are sh!thole countries. If you live in a country with an unstable electrical grid, crumbling infrastructure, or people dying from medieval-era diseases, that’s a sh!thole. I wouldn’t want to live there and that’s why people in those countries want to GET OUT and come to America.

Remember the same people outraged about Trump description of Haiti are also outraged if you state that all women have vaginas

You might remember last year I reported from Boston Common where a man wearing an Israeli flag was menaced by an angry threatening mob.

Well in old Vienna they’ve figured out a way to solve that problem of people waving Israeli flags at protests, fine them!

The Vienna police are pursuing criminal charges against three pro-Israel activists for waving an Israeli flag in protest of antisemitic slogans at a demonstration against Jerusalem having been recognized by the US as the capital of the Jewish state.

According to the police they were waving said flag in a way to be “provocative”

The criminal notice, dated January 3, states that the activists “showed an Israeli flag at a rally in an extremely provocative way and manner that was visible for participants at the rally and thereby produced considerable offense and provocation among the Palestinian protesters.”

Oddly enough those same police didn’t consider fine the Palestinian protesters shouting “Death to Israel” as that’s apparently not provocative at all.

Matthias said the prosecution is “unbelievable. We simply held a flag.” He said the men plan to seek legal aid and appeal the penalty. “It can’t be that antisemitic slogans can be hollered and go unpunished while showing an Israeli flag is reason to be fined.”

Yes it can, particularly since one group will retalize violently if they are opposed and one will not.

Welcome to the new anti-semitic Europe. Where being a Jew is fine, as long as you are quiet about it. Via Elder of Ziyon

In 1999 I had to take a diversity course during my final semester of college out east while completing my first master degree. It was here that I learned of the new view that immigration into the US should resemble a stew instead of a melting pot. This concept greatly disturbed me even then, and we are now constantly exposed to the dangers of a lack of assimilation. Although cultural disharmony threatens our nation’s security, the unintended consequences now pose an even greater threat to the millions of illegal immigrants within our borders who insist on being separate.

On Monday the Trump administration announced the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to 200,000 illegal immigrants from El Salvador. This follows the expiration of TPS for tens of thousands of Haitians and Nicaraguans. These populations, though here illegally, were granted annual extensions from multiple prior administrations, essentially making their illegal entry a temporary legal act.

Trump was elected largely because of his promised immigration policies. Over 70% of the nation support his immigration policies. This includes 59% of Hispanic voters.

Getting approximately ¾ of our citizens to agree on anything these days is near miraculous. I argue illegal immigrants have brought this “miracle” upon themselves.

With academia and our government stressing the insignificance of assimilation for decades, large percentages of immigrant populations (especially those from South and Central America and from nearly every majority Islamic Nation) have become increasingly abrasive, while demanding access to entitlements such as in-state tuition, driver licenses, and access to health care and public schools.

Large numbers settle in ethnic enclaves and show no desire to interact with outsiders. In a growing number of Muslim communities, for instance, they are increasingly refuting the power of the state to enforce the rule of law and even demand the power to practice Shariah law. Multiple generations of illegal immigrants from both Hispanic and Muslim areas either do not learn English at all, or speak it only out of necessity.

Their contempt for their host nation is displayed in sports, and large numbers openly demonstrate hatred for America. How many moments like this have we seen on the internet or the evening news?

Is there really any shock that, after decades of public ingratitude and endless demands, that a supermajority of Americans turned against them?

America is incredibly tolerant. There would not be ¾ of us who support stricter immigration policies, including their forcible repatriation, had they behaved like guests and demonstrated a desire to embrace American culture as their own. If the majority of illegal immigrants instead followed the outdated melting pot concept, there is no doubt in my mind that this would not be the leading issue of our time.

To support my theory, I ask a question.  Is there a large public outcry to repatriate Africans or Asians who overstay their work visas or are otherwise here illegally?  No.  Why? For whatever reasons, these populations seem more willing to assimilate and show an appreciation for the opportunities this nation offers.  They do not publicly demand that we become the nations they left behind.

Also on Monday, the Pope delivered his annual address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. Somewhat surprising, considering his more recent comments, Pope Francis stated that immigrant populations, “must necessarily conform to the rules of the country offering them hospitality, with respect for its identity and values.”

Precisely.

This should be a warning to all immigrant populations, present and future. If you behave badly as a population, you should expect Americans will eventually demand that you leave.

The successful are those who are smart. They are the ones who get it right and the ones who don’t let anything stand in their way. The United States of America was made for go-getters. It was made for those who have a dream. With the power of the internet you can be the success that you have always dreamed. You can achieve this success by getting the engagement that you need. This means the views, the visits, or the sales. Whatever you deem to be success, you can reach it by using these five techniques:

  • Branch Out  
    1. The first thing that you need to consider is what alternative channels offer you. You could start a podcast, create videos, write tutorials, and so much more. Branching out is the fastest and easiest way to expand your reach, and in some cases, it can help develop brand loyalty. However, in order to branch out and be successful, you need to add value.
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    1. Pushing out content is one thing. Pushing out content that people actually want is another. That is why you need to try out different things and use analytics to see what is most successful. Finding the winning combination is difficult, but once you do you’ll have the unique selling point that will have people returning to you again and again, regardless of whether you are selling something, or are a content creator.
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    1. Search engine optimization is not dead. In fact, it is more important than ever. People still use search engines to find what they want, and not optimizing your site for SEO and using other white-hat techniques will ensure that users will never find your website via Google, even if they search for your name sometimes! Optimize your website, and you’ll be ahead of your competition and enjoy the majority of organic clicks from a single search.
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    1. Personalization is all the rage, because it is becoming easier and easier to do. Personalize a customer or reader’s experience, and you’ll increase your chances that they will return. This can be done through a process known as automated marketing. What is marketing automation? It is the ability to use the information you are given or have about a customer, from demographic information to search history, to better tailor their experience.
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Working with algorithms is the only way to succeed. That’s because the platforms you use are built not with the little guy in mind, but with themselves in mind. There is no point in complaining about how hard it is, instead, you need to work on building your own brand empire that can withstand these algorithms until they work with you, not against you. Once you reach that point your business will only grow.

Director Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey and Harvey Weinstein at The Los Angeles Premiere of ‘The Butler’ after party, on Monday, August 12, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Invision/AP Images.) (via PJ Media)

I’m remembering the coy saying about the French resistance. “If everyone who claimed to be in the resistance really had been, there would have been nobody left to collaborate.”

A few minutes ago I watched Oprah’s speech at the golden globes talking about empowering

women that has the left all a twitter (pun intended) about the possibility of an Oprah run for the presidency.

As nothing is impossible I won’t discount this completely but I want to remind all of you of something.

Oprah has been one of the most richest powerful women in the entertainment world for a very long time.  She is a person who can make or break a book or a film or a career.  All of Hollywood has paid homage to her for many many years.  The entire media complex hangs on her words, and as demonstrated this weekend when she talks about the plight of women, people listen.

And yet during all the year that Harvey Weinstein et/all were on the prowl she never bothered to speak out against him or give a platform for his victims to do so!

If anyone had the power to speak out and break this open it was Oprah.  Her power and influence was enough that Weinstein and the others would not be able to bring her down for talking, and if they had tried the public would have rallied behind her.  All she had to do was speak out and proclaim “Enough!”

She did not.

Oprah speech wasn’t brave, it wasn’t grand, it was designed to change the conversation away from a single basic fact that Glenn Reynolds put very well.

These guys were a huge source of cash and power for the left, and to expose them and to protect those women would expose the Hollywood left for what they were.

If Oprah really cared about all these things she talked about in her speech at the golden globes as opposed to being a member of the Harvey Weinstein left, she would have given that speech last year, or the year before or the year before that.

She did not.

Never forget that.

Update: Rose McGowan get it

ROSE McGowan has lashed out at the stars who wore black to the Golden Globes, accusing them of “Hollywood fakery” for failing to take a stand against the sex abuse claims sooner.

The Charmed star claims the famous females who united against the scandal “wouldn’t have lifted a finger” to help if she hadn’t gone public with allegations against Harvey Weinstein.


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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As a secondary ELA teacher of twenty-two years I have had a growing concern over the changes I’ve seen in education over the past few years, primarily with the advent of Common Core and its many forms.

I was against the principles of Common Core when it started and now that it is in nearly every classroom I am even more against it.  Do not be deceived: your district very likely has some form of this insidious curriculum in place.

Two articles of note to look at right now: the first is Bruce Dixon’s piece on standardized testing.  In my Louisiana district, we are on block schedule which means we complete a semester from August to January.  When I return to classes this week I will have all new classes.  In the semester just completed, we had four standardized tests in 10th grade English: one diagnostic test (two days), three interim exams (also two days each), and an End of Course test (three days).  We were also asked to give a practice test before the EOC (two days) and a final exam after the EOC (one day) because the EOC scores would not be back before the semester ended.  Count it up: that is fourteen days of high stakes testing.

That does not even include the time in class talking about testing or teaching kids how to take the test (required if you want your students to succeed.)

Given all that, I’m really interested in the subject of standardized testing right now.  Bruce Dixon addresses this subject perfectly. He refers to this test mania as “tyranny” and “an insidious virus.”

Consider this:

It might come as a shock to some politicians, but learning is not a competitive sport, so how about we stop treating it that way.  Why do we persist with ranking everything, naming and shaming schools by publishing test results like they’re sporting scores in league tables?

Neither is learning a zero-sum game- as in I learn, you don’t, or you learn, I don’t. Contrary to the core statistical assumption that standardized tests are built on, we can both learn, and both benefit. So why do we continue to treat learning as if there is only a fixed amount of knowledge that any one person can access at any one time?

Next, we need to be more public and open about the harm that these tests are inflicting on our young people. There have been literally dozens of papers, articles and books written on the damage and deceit of standardized testing, so take your pick.

I’ve seen what this non-stop testing does to kids.  The ones who care deeply about their GPA suffer one kind of crushing stress and the apathetic ones, the ones we have to work harder to reach, are affirmed in their feelings of failure and inadequacy.

Another article that I found revealing was from Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post:

The overemphasis on testing has led many teachers to eliminate projects and activities that provide students with an opportunity to be creative and imaginative, and scripted curriculum has become the norm in many classrooms. There is nothing creative or imaginative about filling in a bubble sheet for a multiple choice test. Students are so tired of prepping for and taking standardized test that some have protested by dressing up like zombies to protest — and thousands of families are opting their children out of taking high-stakes exams.

As a teacher who has tried to be innovative, creative, and work hard to engage my students, I can affirm that this is true.

The Common Core curriculum has given rise to the scripted curriculum which is supposed to serve as the magic bullet that has all teachers teach the same content in the same way in every classroom because some teacher somewhere said it worked in her classroom, or something.  This will vary a little from district to district, but in some schools teachers are expected to stick to the script, show the pre-prepared slides, and pass out the pre-prepared worksheets and graphic organizers.

As a parent, is this the classroom you want for your child?  As a teacher, I struggle with this.  It is very, very hard for me to do this, but we do it because we want to keep our jobs and we want to help the kids who look to us to lead them to success.

Because there is so little outcry from parents we can only assume that this is what they want.  Teacher-bots.

So many of us decried the principles of Common Core when they began to roll out years ago.  If you teach long enough you see these fads come and go through the years – one after the other.  They come and they go.

It’s time for this one to go.  It’s time to let teachers be the professionals they are, use the judgment they have as the professional in the room with the child, and to return creativity and innovation to the classroom before this type of instruction becomes entrenched and we lose an entire generation of kids.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Curly: Hey! What’s this stuff for anyway?
Larry: Why, it’s a cleaner, ya chump!
Curly: I know, it’s auto polish.
Moe: You boys really wanna know what it’s for?
Larry & Curly: [together]: Yeah.
Moe: It’s for sale, now get busy selling it.

The Three Stooges, Dizzy Doctors 1937

The New Year started in a bad way for the liberal news and sports media.

For the news media you had President Trump finishing strong, between Israel and the Tax cuts and worst of all the lowest recorded black unemployment rate since the government started taking figures by race. Add to that the prospect of a deal that would produce a border wall as the price for legalizing the “dreamers” (illegal immigrants brought to the US as children) you had a narrative of Trump success that was not only contrary to the narrative they’ve been selling all year, but unappealing to their niche market that has become increasingly anti trump.

At the NFL things weren’t looking much better, not only did you have a 2nd straight year of big ratings drops, thanks to the protests during the national anthem that continued all the way to the final week of the season but you had the prospect of the New England Patriots featuring Trump fans/friends Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft once again turning the entire playoff season until Superbowl Sunday into an afterthought.

After all what’s the point of watching the wild card and playoff rounds when everybody “knows” that the only question is:  Can anybody get by Brady / Belichick and the Patriots?

That’s the problem, both the news and sports media are stuck with two narratives of success (Trump & the Pats) that don’t appeal to a customer base that hates the former or is bored with the later.

That’s where Michael Wolff and ESPN’s Seth Wickersham come in. Both have come out with “bombshell” narratives that the news and sports media CAN sell.

Suddenly instead of ISIS in retreat, the Economy moving forward and the Russia / GPS Investigations suddenly turning on the left instead of Trump the Wolff Book give the MSM a narrative of a Trump White House occupied by a president who doesn’t want the job, of people who think he’s a traitor or a nut and supposedly the biggest detractor of this administration is the guy who ran his campaign. It’s Trump vs Bannon and the MSM is bringing you a front row seat

It doesn’t matter how improbable all this is, or the lack of actual evidence or even the lack of credibility of the storyteller for an entire week the print, online and cable media have a narrative that they can sell to their customer base.

For ESPN and sports talk radio it’s the same thing. Instead of once again droning on about the Patriots/Belichick system seemingly immune to injury and trying to sell a Tom Brady “decline” when he is once again the leading contender for league MVP and is two wins away from his 8th superbowl appearance and three wins away from his sixth ring, suddenly we have a tale of jealously, rivalry and the longest running dynasty since the Yankees of Stengel or the Celtics of Auerbach about to destroy itself as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick fight it out to the death.

These aren’t two different stories, this is the same story being sold for the same reason to pivot from a story that won’t grab the eyeballs and ears of their customer base  to a story that will.  

Now for ESPN and the sports media this narrative will sell the dupes that narrative right up until the Patriots actually appear in playoff games and the “Patriots falling apart” meme meets a less team trying to beat them.  While in any single game anything can happen, the  meme can’t stick unless they actually lose.

The Trump narrative will endure a bit longer sustained by the media bubble until the realities of the economy or Iran and the Norks or the Trump count picks or the tough votes for red state Dem senators force them out of the bubble and into real life.

And then they’ll find a new narrative to sell, because right now it’s all about the dollars because it’s the only thing they are sure of until the Democrats actually win control of something.



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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

Illinois bicentennial flag on the bottom

By John Ruberry

Illinois will have one of the most-closely watched gubernatorial contests this year. Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner has been a tremendous disappointment to me and just about every conservative voter I know. I enthusiastically backed the then-political newcomer in 2014, but this time around, as I explained here at Da Tech Guy, I’m supporting Rauner’s Republican challenger, state representative Jeanne Ives in the March primary election.

Ives is attacking Rauner, and to be fair, the Dems are too. Rauner has much to answer for. Actually he has little to answer for–as Rauner has not accomplished much of anything. For her part Ives is promoting common sense reforms that only public-sector union bosses and their enablers oppose, such as amending the state constitution so pension benefits can be changed, that is, so payment increases can be lowered, and having new state employees enroll in 401(k) plans.

Meanwhile Democrats are battling scapegoats, used here in the classical sense, that is, using something else to accept the sins of a people.

Deals with the Democrats’ state worker wing, the public-sector unions, that some Republican governors signed off on–but not Rauner–have burdened the Prairie State with $250 billion in pension debt. Retiring at 50 with full benefits is nice–except for chumps like me who have to pay for it. Illinois’ current budget is $36 billion and a whopping one-quarter of it goes to government worker pension payments. Illinois has suffered from the worst credit rating among the states for years, currently that rating is just one level above junk.

Illinoisans are responding sensibly and predictably–for four straight years Illinois has had negative population growth.

There is little to celebrate during Illinois’ bicentennial year.

Two candidates on the Democratic side are getting most of the attention from the media and presumably it’s a race between them, as there is currently no polling data on gubernatorial race. Billionaire investor JB Pritzker, a scion of the family that own the Hyatt Hotel chain, has collected the lion’s share of endorsements from prominent Democrats and the party’s union allies. He the only Democratic candidate regularly running ads on radio, television, and on the internet. The other prominent contender is Chris Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy who used to run Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.

Neither have much to say about Illinois’ long-running fiscal crisis and solutions for it, other than “taxing the rich.” But they don’t even talk much about that.

Pritzker on the left protesting Trump

Pritzker’s web advertisements are a daily presence on my Facebook and Pandora pages–in these Pritzker almost always attacks Donald Trump, as he does for instance in this YouTube ad. Trump has not visited Illinois since he was elected president.  Last year, in front of Chicago’s Trump Tower, Pritzker released his five-point plant to resist the president. And when the inevitable spring tornado tears through Illinois bringing death and destruction, who will Governor Pritzker call for help?

Since Trump has been monopolized as a scapegoat by Pritzker, Kennedy is left with smaller prey. One of his targets is a worthy one, at least for scorn. That one is Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, who is also the chairman of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization, better known as the Chicago Machine.  Pritzker owns a mansion on Chicago’s Gold Coast. He purchased a smaller mansion that sits next to his. The billionaire didn’t maintain it–and then he successfully appealed his property tax assessment with Berrios’ office because the other mansion was “vacant and uninhabitable,” saving Pritzker a bundle of cash. Berrios has been under attack by the Chicago Tribune for his assessing practices, which the Chicago Tribune says favors the rich over the poor. Kennedy is calling for Berrios to resign as assessor, but the tiny yet powerful law firm where the longtime state House Speaker and state Democratic Party chairman, Michael Madigan, is a partner was hired to lower the property taxes of a company owned by Kennedy’s Merchandise Mart.

Oops.

Last week Kennedy moved  on to another unpopular target, Chicago’s embattled mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

“I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration,” Kennedy said at a press conference held in a predominately African-American neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. “I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes,” he added.

Phrased succinctly, Rahm, according to Kennedy, is driving blacks out of Chicago.

Oops again.

For a variety of reasons, including most notably high crime and execrable unionized schools, in sheer numbers and by percentage, the black population of many large cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and even Detroit has been falling, as I stated in my own blog when I reported on this story. Kennedy’s claim is tin-foil hat stuff.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

And what does Trump and Emanuel have to do with Illinois’ pension debacle? Nothing with the former and a just a little bit in regards to the latter, since Rahm, a longtime prominent Illinois Democrat, was silent about the festering fiscal disease that is devouring ILL-inois. As for Berrios, I’ll place the party boss somewhere in the middle.

But the role of scapegoats, using the term in the modern sense, is to defer attention away from larger problems. And Kennedy and Pritzker don’t have solutions–or if they do they don’t care to share them with voters.

Boss Michael Madigan’s use of “Illinois math” to kick the pension problem down the road isn’t an option anymore. Illinois has reached the cliff.

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