By John Ruberry

Around this time yesterday during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia one woman was killed and 19 others were injured when they were rammed and run over by a person driving a Dodge Challenger.

James Alex Fields Jr, 20, was allegedly the behind the wheel of that muscle car. He’s been arrested on numerous charges and presumably the case against him is very strong. According to multiple media reports Fields is a white supremacist and an admirer of Adolf Hitler. He was also prescribed anti-psychotic drugs. But that doesn’t mean Fields doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong.

In my opinion Fields is the archetypal contemporary member of the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party–a disturbed, and yes, dangerous person who has, as the British say, “toys in the attic.”

Multiple media sources are calling the racist rally, formally known as Unite the Right, a white nationalist event.

Every year, however, the Nation of Islam, which espouses black separatism, holds a Saviour’s Day event, usually in Chicago, to celebrate the birthday of the NOI’s founder, Wallace Fard Muhammad, who claimed that black people are divine and whites are wicked. According to Muhammad, whites were created by an evil scientist named Yakub. But because blacks are part of the victim class, according to establishment media mores, Saviour’s Day can never be a black nationalist rally. You can laugh off the Nation of Islam, which has about 50,000 followers, but one of its members, the since-executed John Allen Muhammad, was one of the Beltway Snipers who murdered 17 people–whites and blacks–in 2002. The other killer was John Lee Malvo, a teenaged illegal immigrant from Jamaica. One of the duo’s motives for the murders was to extort money in order to open a community for homeless black youths to be trained as terrorists in Canada.

Many Muslim groups condemn the National of Islam as a heretic sect.

Despite his surname, John Muhammad’s NOI membership was downplayed, even ignored by the mainstream media in its coverage of the attacks and the subsequent trials. He was not labeled a black nationalist. In 1995 Muhammad was part of the security of the Nation of Islam’s Million Man March, although the NOI leader, Louis Farrakhan, denies it.

None of us is all good–the potential to commit evil exists in all of us in different degrees. And of course no race or ethnic group is all good or all evil.

Yet here we are, well within the 21st century, and I have to point that out. Sad.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

“And it was inevitable that some of these people pushed back…”
Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles.

Could it be that the deep-blue residents of America’s second-most populous county, Cook County–Chicago is the county seat–have had enough?

Probably not, at least yet. But serious dissent may be bubbling as the effects of Cook County’s unpopular soda tax sink to the bottom of the glass.

Cook County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle, a former Chicago alderman who represented the University of Chicago area–the Obamas were among her constituents–touted that tax as a public health measure. The new tax covers not just soda but also many other sweetened beverages including those with corn syrup, such as diet sodas, some iced teas, and bottled sweetened Starbucks coffee–but not, for instance, cavity-causing Frappuccinos prepared at a Starbucks location by a barista. Even “free refills” are taxed now. But Preckwinkle, a hardened leftist, exposed her true colors by suing a retail association that delayed collection in a legal challenge of the tax for a month for $17 million of what she claims is lost revenue. That is how thug states such as Venezuela and Russia are run. Dissent will not be tolerated–enemies will be punished.

Preckwinkle defeated a Democratic incumbent in a 2010 primary election vowing to repeal an unpopular one-percent county sales tax. She phased it out, yes. But last year Preckwinkle brought it back.

And the soda tax was never about health. If it was, then why the lawsuit? Taxwinkle is a liar. Besides, federal law prevents taxing food stamp recipients–there are nearly 900,000 of them in Cook County–on their sweetened beverage purchases. Poor people consume larger amounts of sweetened beverages than wealthier folks and the health problems blamed on these drinks, such as diabetes and obesity, are more prevalent among the less wealthy.

The soda tax is a penny per ounce. That doesn’t seem like much, but the cost of a case of Diet Coke, as you seen in this Tweet, soars by 5o-percent after the Taxwinkle tax is figured in.

My friends and co-workers–and yes, there are some liberal Democrats within that group–are furious about the soda tax, even the ones who don’t drink what most people here call “pop.” Yesterday one man told me, “I live just south of Lake County, I’m going to buy all my Coke there,” adding, “There is a big sign outside the Target there, ‘No county sugary drink tax here.'” And of course he won’t only buy soda there–he’ll probably buy most, maybe all of his groceries there. Why wait in two long check-out lines? Grocers on the wrong side of the county line not only will face lower sales, some may be forced to close down and of course lay off their employees. Oh, I forgot to tell that new Lake County shopper that he should top off his gas tank up there, as there is also a Cook County gasoline tax.

And there are so many other taxes Cook County residents, particularly Chicagoans, have to endure. In an example provided by the free market Illinois Policy Institute, the base price of a two liter bottle of pop is $2.49. But when the 67 county soda tax is added, on top of the nation’s highest 10.25 percent sales tax, and an additional 3 percent Chicago soda tax, the true cost of that soda jug is $3.49. And if you accept a bag, paper or plastic, when you buy that sugary drink in Chicago, there is an additional 7 cent per bag tax. Unless you are paying by food stamps, formally known as SNAP–the “N” stands for nutrition–with your Illinois Link card.

When was the last time you devoured a grocery bag?

Keeping track of all of these taxes are a nightmare for retailers. That extra cost of course is passed on to consumers.

Last month Illinois’ income tax rate was hiked by 32 percent. Illinoisans are burdened with among the highest property rates in the nation. Yet, Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago are functionally bankrupt, which exposes another left-wing lie–fiscal stability in Democratic-run sinkholes is always only just one more tax hike away.

Why does Crook County need the soda tax, and yes, the next tax, what ever that one is going to be? To pay for lavish but woefully-underfunded county worker pensions and the Cook County Health System.

Chicago is a sanctuary city and Cook is a sanctuary county–Cook County health facilities are often the health care provider of choice of the area’s large population of illegal immigrants. No, I’m not saying we should cut off care to illegals with health concerns, but as a Cook County taxpayer, it’s fair to know what that care costs me.

Liberalism is very expensive.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

Next year Taxwinkle will face voters. She’ll probably be reelected. Rebellions take time to build, after all, it took ten years from the passage of the Stamp Act until the first battle of the American Revolution to be fought.

How did Preckwinkle fare in her last election? She ran unopposed.

Shame on you, Cook County Republican Party.

Meanwhile Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago continue to lose residents.

Quietly, the rebellion has begun.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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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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.

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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

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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.