An occasional series highlighting posts at the sites of my Magnificent Seven Writers (former and present)

Pat Austin at So it goes in Shreveport says the civil war is still being fought

You may recall that Mr. Epperson is attempting to have the Confederate Monument removed that stands in front of the courthouse on land given to the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1903.  I attended the Caddo Commission committee meeting when this was discussed and wrote about it here.  You can watch the video of that meeting here.  If you just want to skip to Mr. Epperson’s wandering, profanity laced tirade at the end, it starts at about 1:20 in the video.

Apparently Mr. Epperson’s wasn’t a big fan of Lincoln’s advice to “let em up easy” but nobody is more sore than a sore winner.

Earlier this month Juliette at Baldilocks wrote about a 2008 post whose point seems to be repeating itself

All too often these days, when the average person talks about principles, what they’re really talking about are their personal commodities—a fixed quantity to be sold under certain circumstances, with a finite set of buyers as well. Oh sure, this merchandise is labeled as “principles” but the definition of the word has become mutable–Truth become the Lie.

In her Carnival of Latin America at her blog Fausta provides evidence that History repeats itself:

Moscow Building Spy Site in Nicaragua. Signals intelligence facility part of deal for 50 Russian tanks (h/t Stephen Green). Not content with simply sending spy ships to Cuba, now

The Russian government is building an electronic intelligence-gathering facility in Nicaragua as part of Moscow’s efforts to increase military and intelligence activities in the Western Hemisphere.

While the MSM has no interest in the violence in Chicago At Marathon Pundit John Ruberry is keeping count:

It’s summer which sadly means that there will be more shootings in Chicago. This weekend seven people were shot to death and at least 48 others were wounded. Among the latter was a 19-year-old South Side woman who was shot twice shortly before noon on Saturday–she’s in critical condition.

At his site Author Tim Imholt PhD opines on some 80’s music that’s striking a familiar chord to him

Think about those words. We have two front runners in American politics for the 2016 Presidential election. Those are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Putting aside for a minute the thought that if these two are really the best, smartest, most qualified people in the nation for that job, we have a long way to go as a nation. Think about those words. These two political leaders are essentially living up to those words every day. Donald talks about himself more than anyone I know, and Hillary says look I held all these important positions with shockingly awesome titles. Perhaps Donald went bankrupt a lot and Hillary failed to perform in those jobs, but that’s beside the point. Politics is a show, and those two have people who have swarmed around that cult of personality in both cases. 

At Lady Liberty’s site AP Dillon doesn’t take sides in violent clashes between fascists but the MSM does

To me it looks like one fascist group attacking another fascist group. I’m not defending either side here, but the media is.  Google for news stories on the attacks and one can see the media has taken the side of BAMN.

One outlet cited the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) when describing who and what the Traditionalist Workers Party was. This is sadly hilarious, as SPLC helpsfund the UEAA, from which BAMN gets their money. Shockingly, the UEAA also gets money from Unions, but apparently not a lot according to UEAA’s 990 filings. Fun fact: When I called SPLC out yesterday on Twitter, they blocked me.

BAMN appears to be a far left, fascist style group who follows the rules of Saul Alinsky. From looking at their website, BAMN seems to believe that illegal immigrant sanctuary cities are not enough, whole states should be converted. Discover the Networks has some interesting history on BAMN.

It’s been a while since occasional contributor Jerry Wilson posted on his site, but that last post struck about Dawn Wisner Johnson struck a chord:

For the past few years, I’ve been working with, helping, and supporting a non profit – Forgotten Children – headed by my good friend, Paula Daniels. I never thought that this would hit so close to home.

Friends, please take a moment to watch this interview with a victim that escaped. If you don’t have the time to do that, would you “like” this post? The more likes, the more people will see it.

I’m also very sad that when I post on Facebook about human trafficking I may get 5 “likes.” Yet, when I post about my vacations or family, 50 to 100 “likes”. How sad that is to me.

People don’t like to be reminded of unpleasant realities, because it implies a need to do something about it

It’s been a while since Linda Suzuki blogged here and her site No one of Any import hasn’t seen much action lately either but this post is a great summary of the duties of a parent:

Here’s why:  I have NO opinion about my children’s future.  Unless:

  • They get hooked on illegal drugs
  • They sell illegal drugs
  • Their spouses get hooked on or sell illegal drugs
  • They abuse their spouses
  • Their spouses abuse them
  • They turn to other criminal activity as a source of income
  • They refuse to work, instead living off the government teat
  • They expect me & my husband to continue supporting them indefinitely
  • They irresponsibly go into large amounts of debt in a pursuit of unrealistic dreams

The end.  If none of the above apply, and my children are above 18, then I am a satisfied parent.

The job of a parent is to teach kids to be adults Linda seems to get it.


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Olimometer 2.52

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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

By John Ruberry

It’s Sunday morning and if he’s in Springfield, Illinois, Sen. Dick Durbin, the upper chamber’s second-ranking Democrat, won’t be receiving Holy Communion at Blessed Sacrament Parish in his hometown.

As Renew America reported last week, not only is Durbin not allowed to receive Communion in Springfield, he hasn’t been able to for some time. A pro-life activist recently emailed Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, who heads the diocese in Illinois’ capital city, inquiring about Durbin, who has attained 100 percent ratings from both the National Abortion Rights Action League and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Durbin owns a condominium in Chicago and shares a home with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) in Washington–there is no word on Durbin’s status with parishes there.

From Paprocki’s email:

Dear Mr. [name redacted], Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law. My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

And what is Canon 915? From the Vatican website:

Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.

Should Durbin choose to approach the altar of Blessed Sacrament Parish for Communion, the lifetime politician would only receive a blessing. Durbin doesn’t attend mass there anymore because of a “rather uncomfortable atmosphere,” the Quincy Journal says, although the senator makes exceptions for weddings and funerals.

The senator also supports same-sex marriage, which is also contrary to Catholic doctrine. However, Durbin quotes Pope Francis in speeches.

Five years ago then-US Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) was asked by his bishop not to receive Holy Communion.

The mainstream media response to this revelation about Durbin has been nearly non-existent. Only NBC 5 Chicago reported on it. Yes, that means the State Journal-Register, Springfield’s daily newspaper, has passed on this news, at least as of this writing.

Shameful.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit

West of Greensburg, Kansas in 2007
West of Greensburg, Kansas in 2007

By John Ruberry

Seven years ago ninety-percent of the small western Kansas town of Greensburg was destroyed by an F5 tornado. Two months later I visited there. Most of the rubble had been cleared away, FEMA housing was prevalent, as was the sound of rebuilding–power saws and hammers at work. The people I spoke with in Greensburg were hopeful and they didn’t expect me to feel sorry for them–I love the rural Midwest.

Later that year, Greensburg, which prior to the deadly twister was best known as the site of the world’s largest hand-dug well, made the decision to rebuild as a green energy town.

When the tornado hit, Greensburg, the seat of Kiowa County, had about 1,500 residents. According to the the US Census Bureau, only 777 people lived in Greensburg in 2010.

A week ago the Kansas City Star published a story with the headline, Greensburg, Kan., rebuilds from 2007 tornado — now it just needs more people.

From the Star:

International exposure, federal disaster aid and public-private partnerships gave rise to some of the greenest and most visually arresting public facilities of any city 100 times Greenburg’s size.

They included a $30 million hospital sporting angled, exterior walls and a new K-12 school campus that uses 55 percent less water than the destroyed one.

A whirring flock of wind turbines provides enough energy to the electric grid over the year to power every house, business and municipal building in Greensburg.

Patrons of the Bar H Tavern on U.S. 54 worry, though, that a community of 800 won’t be able to afford the maintenance on those turbines and the school’s dual-flush toilets. “Not everyone agrees with all this green stuff,” one local said. “What we really need is more people.”

So despite the many expensive platinum-level LEED buildings and the ten wind-turbine surrounding the town, “this green stuff” didn’t work out. Okay, that may be a cheap shot, since Great Plains towns such as Greensburg have been hemorrhaging people, believe it or not, since the end of the First World War. So Greensburg’s population almost certainly would have continued its slide had the tornado not hit.

Greensburg flags
Greensburg, late July, 2007

Cheap housing was one of Greensburg drawing cards, but home prices, although there is not a municipal requirement to build green, have more than doubled there since 2007. In most parts of America, home prices have plummeted since then.

Think about that.

Greensburg had hoped to lure green industry firms to the Plains, including solar-panel manufacturers, but officials are blaming the continuing languid economy for their absence.

I have another explanation: Perhaps green construction and renewable energy are a blind alley, at least in the short term. Maybe it will be that way forever. Sure, the wind turbines supply enough energy for a town with fewer than a thousand residents, but could the unreliable, unpredictable, and expensive power source work for nearby Dodge City?

What about Kansas City?

While I certainly give Greensburg credit for trying something new to end to the exodus from its corner of the Plains, perhaps it’s time for it to reverse course.

Or they can look forward to a time when the green movement is an historic curiosity, along the lines of the world’s largest hand-dug well, and then transform Greensburg into an environmentalist reenactment community–something like Colonial Williamsburg.

John ruberryJohn Ruberry blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s sunday and normally I would be pitching for this weeks $365 goal.

But right now it’s also March 30th. The Mortgage is due tomorrow. After a successful first year February was our worst month on record and March is about to outdo it.

As of yesterday when I hit the sack we were $797 of the mortgage.

To put that into perspective we could meet our weekly goal today AND match it tomorrow and still be about $70 short.

With God all things are possible but without your help it’s going to take a miracle to keep the bills paid around here.

I ask you to give that help and hit DaTipJar below.

 

If 61 of you hit Subscribe at $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills for a full year and things will be a lot more like Alito and Kagan around here than Kennedy & Roberts reliable..


 

Rauner

By John Ruberry

Pity the Land of Lincoln–four of its last eight elected governors have been convicted of federal crimes–one of them, Rod Blagojevich, is still in prison. He’s inmate 40892-424. Blago’s successor and two-time running mate, fellow Chicago Democrat Pat Quinn, is running for a second full term.

The Republican nominee is Bruce Rauner, a multi-millionaire venture capitalist who survived a surprisingly tough primary battle last week over state Sen. Kirk Dillard, who is best known outside of Illinois for his appearance in a 2007 Barack Obama campaign commercial.

Running against “corrupt union bosses” has been a theme of Rauner’s campaign. Public-sector unions have destroyed Illinois, which once enjoyed a rare American economic trifecta–it was an industrial, financial, and agricultural powerhouse. The Prairie State now suffers from America’s second highest unemployment rate, nearly $6 billion in unpaid bills, and over $100 billion in public employee pension debt.

Quinn’s “temporary” 67 percent income tax hike was supposed to fix all three problems–but it failed, failed, failed.

Since he has no record to run on, Quinn unleashed an Obama-style class warfare attack on Rauner immediately after the primary, focusing on the GOPer’s muddled stance on raising the state’s minimum wage and businessman’s immense wealth. Last week in a rare press conference, state House Speaker and party boss Michael Madigan, yet another Chicago Democrat, proposed a millionaire income tax.

Four years ago, off-topic attacks on the anti-abortion stance of his Republican opponent Bill Brady served Quinn well, he eked out a win over the downstate state senator who ran a sloppy campaign and who was largely AWOL in the key battlefield in all Illinois elections–Chicago’s suburbs.  Rauner is pro-choice and a moderate on gay issues.

And this year’s Republican nominee lives in the suburbs and as he proved in the primary election, Rauner won’t let attacks on him go answered–and he’s willing to spend his own money to do so.

Cutting taxes and attacking what former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg identified as the toxic “labor-electoral complex” will be the heart of the Rauner general election campaign.

AFSCME anti-Quinn poster
AFSCME anti-Quinn poster

What will Big Labor do? Line up behind Quinn? The surprising answer is ‘maybe.’ Quinn can count on the support of trade unions such as the United Auto Workers, but the public-sector unions, who contributed over $5 million to his campaign for the 2010 race, might ignore Quinn this time. Government unions donated over $1 million to the Dillard campaign, and the public-sector unions are angry with Quinn for signing a pension fix bill late last year, one that Rauner says does not go far enough. Those unions are suing Quinn to have the new pension funding law overturned– they claim it is unconstitutional.

But the public-sector unions will probably continue to run anti-Rauner ads. The Illinois Freedom PAC, largely funded by government labor groups, spent over $3 million on ads attacking Rauner during the run-up to the primary. Democratic crossover votes for Dillard almost succeeded in Big Labor’s goal of stopping Rauner.

In November Quinn faces the threat of Democratic crossover votes ending his political career. Newton N. Minow, John F. Kennedy’s FCC chairman who famously dubbed television “a vast wasteland,” quoted his old boss when declaring his support for Rauner on Thursday, “Sometimes party loyalty asks too much.”

Illinois’ 2014 gubernatorial race: it will be one for the ages.

John Ruberry blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Florida Palm TreesBy John Ruberry

Tuesday is primary election day in Illinois and most of the drama is on the Republican side. The winner of the GOP gubernatorial race stands a very good chance of defeating unpopular Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn.

The US Senate race until recently hasn’t been attracting much attention in the Land of Lincoln. Competing for the opportunity to face longtime incumbent Dick Durbin  are Doug Truax and Jim Oberweis.

Truax, 43, is a political newcomer who is a West Point and an Army Ranger School graduate. He runs his own healthcare consulting business. Oberweis, 67, has been serving as a state senator for a year. He enjoys terrific name recognition, his Oberweis Dairy stores can be found throughout the Chicago area.

This is the seventh time Oberweis has run for office in twelve years–and his third time running for the US Senate. “Obi” has competed for governor and twice for the US House–and after spending $10 million of his own money on these contests, he can only look at his state Senate run as a victory. Oberweis is known for his gaffes and his overall sloppy campaign style. He’s Joe Biden with a full head of hair.

Oberweis is concluding his worst campaign effort yet. Last week NBC 5 Chicago’s MaryAnn Ahern discovered that a little more than a week before the primary, Oberweis, who has been ducking debate challenges from Truax, was at his second home in southwestern Florida. When Ahern contacted Oberweis by telephone, he refused to reveal his location to her.

I can’t imagine even Dick Durbin stooping that low.

Morton Grove, IL on Wednesday
Morton Grove, IL on Wednesday

Oberweis and his wife claim their Florida home as a homestead exemption, gaining a $50,000 tax credit. If they used their Sugar Grove, Illinois home for the same purpose, they’d get only a $6,000 break. Oberweis’ wife has a Florida driver’s license and is registered to vote in the Sunshine State. She won’t be voting for her husband on Tuesday.

As for the Florida trip, Obi claimed that he promised his wife that he’d spend her birthday with her. Of course the Oberweises could have done that in Illinois, which got hit with another snowstorm while they were walking among the palm trees.

Prior to the Florida trip and its fallout, the better-known Oberweis enjoyed a huge lead in the polls. But should the political gadfly win, Durbin will certainly hand him his next defeat. If Truax pulls ahead and beats Oberweis, he still faces an uphill challenge. Maybe even an up-mountain challenge. But if 2014 turns into a wave election, as the American Thinker’s Richard Baehr muses, Truax can score an upset.

Durbin, 69, is just sort of there. He has never been well-liked even in this Democratic state. For nearly his entire adult life Durbin has been a politician, or worked for a politician. Durbin, the second-ranking senator in the Democratic caucus, never votes against the party line.

Professional pols have destroyed Illinois–which has the lowest credit rating of the states and suffers from an unemployment rate much higher than the national rate. The Prairie State has the most-underfunded public pension system of the 50 states.

Illinois just might vote for real change.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Sunday a new week and I hate to start it on a down note but we’ve now had three straight weeks without making our goal.

Without 15 $25 tip jar hits we will have no prospect of making mortgage this month.

I’m going to bluntly say I need you to hit this tip jar if you if this experiment is going to succeed.

Your call.

 

With 61 more $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills for a full year.

I would ask that you do subscribe by hitting the button below.  If your finances allow it, consider choosing Hat level or better.  A subscription comes not only with exclusive commentary, but on a weekly basis you will have the opportunity to get direct access to me by phone to provide feedback or suggestions to make sure this site is worthy of your financial support and patronage.


 

By John Ruberry

Isaac Asimov’s greatest and best-known work was the Foundation series. The plot is centered on the mathematical model created by Professor Hari Seldon–one that can scientifically predict the history of our galaxy. On the surface it appears to be a dry read, but plot twists and intriguing characters make the stories work.

Barack Obama is not a mathematician and he may not even be a reader of science fiction, but he is a believer in psychohistory. Obama all but tells us he knows how the future looks–and what will remain in the past.

Blogger defying the Pacific
Blogger defying the Pacific

Upon his clinching of the Democratic nomination in 2008, Obama the Oracle revealed, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Somehow Obama wasn’t able to predict our ongoing snowy and brutally cold winter.

In 2012, with the campaign slogan of “Forward,” Obama mocked the Republican position on women’s issues, declaring that it was “more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.”

After Vladimir Putin invaded the Crimea, Obama mournfully bemoaned that Russia was “on the wrong side of history.” John Kerry, his secretary of state, undoubtedly with White House approval, had this to say: “It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century.”

Back to Asimov: The most intriguing character in the Foundation series is a gnome-like, sterile, genetic accident nicknamed the Mule, who uses psychic powers to sway minds and to conquer planet after planet. Psychohistory did not account for the Mule because it measured group behavior, not that of an individual. And its 21st century follower, Barack Obama, did not ascertain the possibility that Putin would seize the Ukraine.

Obama–and this is a significant character flaw–still believes he knows how history will unfold, and most likely his vision of the future is of a world with few international disputes–and when they arise, they’ll be calmly settled by a United Nations committee.

But thugs like Putin, whether we like it or not, make history. 

Illinois BlagoBy John Ruberry

Isaac “Ike” Carothers used to be a Chicago alderman until he pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a developer seeking a zoning change. Ironically, his father, William, was convicted on similar charges three decades earlier  when he served as an alderman in the same part of Chicago.

Carothers is on the ballot again–this time he is running for an open seat on the Cook County Board. As the ex-con enjoys by far the biggest name recognition of the five candidates for that office, Carothers stands a good chance of winning in this month’s Democratic Primary, which will again make the Land of Lincoln a nationwide embarrassment, because in this heavily Democratic district, the general election will serve as a coronation.

In 2012, voters chose to send Derrick Smith, another Chicago Democrat, back to Springfield even though he was under indictment on bribery charges and had been expelled that summer from the state House of Representatives. An independent candidate was chosen by local pols to run against Smith in the heavily Democratic district–but Smith won easily anyway.

Smith, who is still awaiting trial, is on the ballot again this spring, but this time Democratic Party bosses are backing him.illinois lawyers

Not so with Carothers. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle held a joint press conference where they declared their support for Emanuel’s former political director.

Oh, I almost forgot. While state law prevents Carothers from running for a Chicago City Council seat, he can run for other offices, including US Congress.

This ignominy troubles the Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn, a liberal, who is calling for what he calls “Ike’s Law,” which would prevent ex-cons running for any public office in Illinois. That’s a great idea.

In a column last week, Zorn wrote of down-ballot offices, “But in races for smaller offices, voters will be less well-informed.”

Zorn moves on from there, but in that sentence he hit at the core of the problem as to why Ike’s Law is needed. What Rush Limbaugh dubs “low-information voters” are a key constituency of the Democratic Party. Generations of party and labor bosses have drummed into their followers these two words: “Vote Democratic.” Added by, “Just listen to us–only listen to us.”

That is why Derrick Smith won his seat back two years ago.Cook County sign

And the problem low-info voters extends beyond Illinois. At an Occupy Milwaukee rally two years ago, I watched in disgust as Gilbert Johnson, an AFSCME local president remark about the Tea Party, “What you have is a bunch of haters, people that tell lies, people that want to go back to the ’50s. White man rule. White man only.”

I’m pretty sure that hate-speech–by Johnson and others–was parroted by other union bosses across the nation during the 2012 campaign. And by precinct captains and even preachers at rallies of all kinds–not just Occupy gatherings.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said on the floor of the Senate last week to “turn off the Fox News” so people can only hear her version of the truth about ObamaCare.

Also last week, in a speech to political supporters, Obama called on them to reach out to Republicans “who watch the wrong newscast.”

If the low-information in voters  in Illinois start watching “the wrong newscast” or researching issues on their own instead of listening to ward-heelers, community organizers, and demagogues, the presence of Ike Carothers on a ballot would be good for one thing–a plethora of chuckles.

But the Democratic Party needs those low-info voters. And shame on Zorn, a nice fella by the way, for leaving that crucial fact out of his column.

Oh, imagine that–a president making choices about the “right” or “wrong” newscast.

How far we have fallen as a people.

California Orchard
Central Valley orchard in 2009

By John Ruberry

Al Gore brought his multi-media global warming circus to Kansas City last night. With photos and videos, Gore showed the folks of the City of Fountains downpours, dust storms, wildfires, drought, and rising sea levels that the so-called “settled science” of anthropogenic global warming will bring.

You’ve heard–or heard about it–again and again.

But in a Kansas City Star article about Gore’s speech, this Gore-acle about California’s drought-stricken Central Valley pounced at me like a wounded polar bear: “Think about that, the Dust Bowl is coming back, quickly, unless we act.”

The original Dust Bowl, which devastated the Great Plains from southern Canada to the Texas panhandle in the 1930s, was brought about by drought conditions that humans made worse by a few decades of reckless agricultural practices on marginal land.

Californians, on the other hand, have been farming the fertile soil of the Central Valley since the end of the Mexican War. The region is blessed by warm, but not hot, summers and cool winters–it has everything but steady rain. But irrigation from the reservoirs of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta remedied that problem–until 2007, when environmentalist Luddites won a court ruling that diverts water to the ocean to protect the tiny Delta Smelt. The ruling decreed that no more than 305 of them can be killed by water diversion. In National Review last month, Charles C.W. Cooke wrote that there are anywhere from 35,000 to 100,000 of the “little buggers.”

Central Valley strawberry field in 2009
Central Valley strawberry field in 2009

What Gore surely omitted from his KC speech, that unlike global warming, the Central Valley drought is truly man-caused.

All kinds of food is produced in the Valley–grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, nuts, and corn are just some. In fact, about 12 percent of the food we grow comes from there.

If the Central Valley does become a Dust Bowl, we can blame environmentalists like Gore and fellow global-warming believer President Obama.

But the disaster can be prevented if we quickly act: Open the gates and let the water in.

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Olimometer 2.52

Sunday is here and we are in the worst shape that we’ve seen in a while.

With six days to go in the month we are a full $702.89 cents short of our monthly goal.

We are heading toward the worst showing we’ve had since last June. The mortgage is due in six days and the money simply isn’t there.

I’m going to need to pull in nearly $120 a day simply to get the bills paid.

Put bluntly I need your help to keep me out of the hole this month, please consider hitting DaTipJar to move the ball forward.

Gerald R. Ford HwyBy John Ruberry

“Whether we like it or not, the American wage earner and the American housewife are a lot better economists than most economists care to admit. They know that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”
Gerald R. Ford, August 12, 1974.

Forty years later, a woman from Plainfield, Illinois, Kelly Alsip, is proving that Ford was a wise sage in regards to the acumen of the average American in regards to federal spending.

The Chicago Tribune’s Jon Yates writes a consumer affairs column, What’s Your Problem, that attempts to solve purchasers’ issues, things along the lines of “I got in a car accident and my insurer won’t pay my claim.”

Two years ago Kelly Alsip accidently made a $500 federal student loan payment–but she had already completely paid off that debt. Alsip promptly called the US Department of Education–and six weeks later she received a refund from the Treasury Department.

But last month out-of-the-blue Alsip received another $500 Treasury Department check. She suspects that it was a second refund from her 2012 error. Alsip tried to get an answer as to why she received that check, ignoring advice from her friends to just simply cash it.

And not surprisingly, she got nowhere, so she emailed the Trib’s Yates.

The Problem Solver called a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Education, who said she has no idea why Alsip received the check and her agency would have no way to find out. The spokeswoman suggested Alsip call the department’s National Payment Center or the Direct Loans Service Center.

Alsip tried both. She gave up on the first number after waiting more than 10 minutes without getting connected to a customer service agent. The second number was no longer in service, she said.

The Problem Solver also called a spokesman for the U.S. Treasury Department. That spokesman said he, too, had no idea and directed Alsip to call the Treasury Department’s Fiscal Management Service office in Kansas City.

After making another round of calls, she finally got a human being on the phone. That person instructed her to call another person in a different office.

The telephone number she was given was a general number, so she used the dial-by-name directory to find that individual. But that person’s name was not listed and there was no operator available to speak with.

“And the mystery of the $500 check remains,” Yates added.

Yeah, $500 is not a lot of money to the federal government. But it’s a lot to me. And how many more errant $500 checks have been sent by our leviathan of a government? Or $5,000 checks?

Or even $5 million checks?

Does anyone know?

Of course not.

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Olimometer 2.52

A new week has come with a new $350 goal to be made to pay DaMagnificent Seven and the less than magnificent mortgage.

Yesterday was a great imitation of Gave 6 of the 1976 world series. With less that two hours to go a single tip jar hitter made up the shortfall and gave us a full payweek in the last three.

It just goes to show you that the game isn’t over, until the last out is made.

The day has already started with a few hits of DaTipjar and if we can get another dozen tip jar hitter at $25 we can have the goal made at the beginning of the week rather than in the closing hours.

It will be much easier on my hairline and I don’t have all that much to spare.

Olimometer 2.52

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By John Ruberry

An article posted last week in Buzzfeed, Occupy Wall Street’s Final Implosion, caught my eye.

Occupy has devolved into a Twitter war.

Take a look at this Tweet:

 

Big deal. Occupy is all but dead and Tunney, a Google software engineer, is a general with no army, along the lines of the delusional “King” Viserys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. Actually the Occupy movement is dead, all that remains is the name calling and competing claims as to who founded the collective of leftists.

While I didn’t visit the Zuccotti Park Occupy camp, I did so at its counterparts in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Denver, and I attended an Occupy march in Milwaukee. Oh, were these people cocky. “We can change the world,” Vermin Supreme sang at an Occupy Chicago rally. The movement was going to morph the energy from Cairo’s Tahrir Square protests and the drive to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker into the far-left’s ultimate dream–a world wide uprising that would make the Russian Revolution look like a brush war.

But the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood became the ruling party in Egypt and Walker survived the recall challenge. And now Egypt is run by the military.

The world has changed–no one believes it won’t–but not the way Occupy Wall Street had in mind.

Meanwhile the Tea Party, a true grass-roots movement, is alive and well.  And while thousands of Occupy activists were arrested during its halcyon days, I’m still waiting for the first Tea Party bust.

Olimometer 2.52

It’s a new week with a slight change to our goal.

With the first of our Villagers writing today this brings the number of paid writers here to 9 thus our new weekly goal to pay the mortage and the writers is $350.

As we were short by $185 last week a five dollar higher goal might seem counter intuitive but given the record of the last three months and the last year I have faith that the readers will not only help us make the higher goal for this week 15 readers at $25 will do it

But will help make up last week’s shortfall to keep the monthly target in play

Olimometer 2.52

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Low res Rub

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