By John Ruberry

I hate to interrupt your day by veering away from such issues, well, issues to some, such as the Donald Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia or that nation’s reputed hacking of the 2016 presidential election, but there is something more important that the mainstream media is only nibbling at the edges of: the Great American Pension Swindle.

What is it?

Underfunded pension plans in blue states, well mostly blue states.

Here are some media headlines from just this month:

I could go on and on.

As for that last one, many bond firms rate Chicago Public Schools’ bonds as junk. The collateral for its latest loan, and that’s a generous use of the term, is money owed to CPS by the state of Illinois, the Puerto Rico of the Midwest. Illinois’ public-worker pension plans are just 29 percent funded. Chicago’s pensions are worse–at 25 percent funded, the worst among 15 large cities surveyed.

I don’t have Schadenfreude over this situation. On a personal level the spouse of a friend of mine and one of my cousins are collecting Illinois State Police pensions. They were promised these retirement plans and they didn’t pay into Social Security when they worked for the state. There was no opt-out option for them in regards to these pensions. And their union, unlike AFSCME, wasn’t showering Illinois politicians, mostly Democrats, with copious campaign contributions while the state was shortchanging and even skipping payments into pension funds.

Now what?

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

I suspect bankruptcies in all but name, which I wrote about earlier this month in this space, are coming to Illinois and other states who see pensions as a reward system for political sponsors such as AFSCME. Here’s another possibility: run-of-the-mill taxpayers, many of whom are just getting by financially and have no pensions of their own, nor the ability to retire in their 50s, will have to cough up even more in taxes to bail out public worker retirement funds.

This tragedy is not the fault of the Russians. Vladimir Putin didn’t hack the pension funds.  But too bad that’s not what happened. Then perhaps MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times might devote more time to the Great American Pension Swindle.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

buffalo-roundupby baldilocks

Most of what I could say about the situation we, as a nation, find ourselves in has already been said. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I won’t bring up something new about Black Lives Matter™, Dallas, and/or related topics in the future. It does mean, that my brain is a tad fried and you’d be better off with reading the offering of those who are better able to focus on their topic and organize their thoughts.

The rest of Da Magnificent Seven is doing a fine job on the topic. And so are the following bloggers and columnists.

New Details Emerge as Parents of Dallas Cop Killer Micah Johnson Break Silence

Denial Dies in Dallas

Reboot, America: Step Back from the Brink Before it’s too Late

Dallas Police Chief David Brown Is Helping Pull a Nation Back from the Brink

Why Does CNN Hate Police?

Dallas #BlackLivesMatter protesters, counter-protesters, police face off…then pray for each other

Please Help’ — Black Lives Matter Asks For Donations To Pay Bail And Legal Fees

Infiltration of the Civil Rights Movement (Can’t vouch for accuracy in this very long piece; but then again I can’t vouch for accuracy in any of the other writings either.)

The last link isn’t about Dallas, per se, but contains many examples of how the Organized Left manipulates mass movements and connects many dots. Readers may member my post about Eric Hoffer, who wrote down his observations about True Believers. “Infiltration…” documents the battles between opposing true believers—and how both sides were manipulated into those battles.

What’s old is new again.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game (click on left sidebar image), was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>



In an effort to lead a healthier life, I decided to go vegan 3 weeks ago.  I’ve ended my long-lasting affair with ice-cream, meats and cheeses.  It hasn’t been easy, but I definitely eat more fruits and veggies than normal and have found I have more energy than I used to.

Yesterday I decided to try out a vegan restaurant in the Dallas area, so I discovered Veggie Garden in Richardson (north-east of Dallas).  It is only the second vegan place I’ve been able to find so far (the first being the Loving Hut in Addison which turned out to be very tasty).

I walked into Veggie Garden not sure what to expect given that it is really just part of a strip mall and there is nothing much on the outside.  The interior was pretty basic, too.  But, the food ended up being quite good.  I ordered the Kung-Pao Soy Chicken with white rice and my sister ordered the Soy Chicken burger with French fries:
















However, the humorous part of this adventure was the political overtone which we were not expecting.  First, we asked to get the password for the wi-fi and were given this piece of paper with the password:




We wondered if they were part of the original protest (see pictures of the Dallas OWS protest here).




We also noticed this sign was hanging on the wall:













And, in the corner they had a little area with books and literature containing a combination of vegan and political messaging.  Next to “how to become a vegan” is a sign-up for the Green Party (with no sign-ups so far).  They had Michael Moore’s book Stupid White Men and a flyer that said, “You can’t be all you can be if your dead” advocating not joining the military.








The bottom says that there are other ways to be patriotic than serve in the military.







Notice Stupid White Men towards the right.






Sign-up for the Dallas County Green Party.





Resources on how to be a vegan and Foreign Policy magazine, not the literature I was expecting.




I would have engaged the owners in a discussion about what exactly their message is supposed to be, but we had a hard time conversing with them (English not being their first language.  Our waitress was from China, but she only works there and doesn’t own the place).  I wanted to ask what these small business owners are trying to say and how they feel oppressed exactly given that it appears they travelled to the United States vs. choosing to stay in their country of origin.  I wanted to ask what type of justice they are seeking while living in a country and a state that allow them to make whatever type of statement they wish and live their lives the way they wish (Obamacare aside).

The food was good and the wi-fi was free, so being capitalists, they won me over with a great product and I will definitely be back.  I also humorously realized that my veganism may lead me to meet some interesting characters.  This will be fun.  My conservatism is non-negotiable, but I do enjoy engaging with those that have different points of view, especially as they espouse a position that is contrary to the very life they live and freedoms they enjoy.
















Here is their website in case you want to visit sometime:

Lisa @