Chicago’s South Side

By John Ruberry

I’ve been saying that Chicago will be the next Detroit for years, and on Thursday, syndicated talk radio show host–and former Tea Party congressman–Joe Walsh, was making the same prediction on his program.

Walsh was discussing a just-released pension study which the Chicago Sun-Times reported on.

Standard & Poor’s surveyed pension obligations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, San Antonio, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Dallas, Houston, Columbus, Indianapolis and Austin.

Chicago performed the worst across the board — registering the highest annual debt, pension post-employment benefits costs as a percentage of governmental expenditures and the highest debt and pension liability per capita.

And there is more:

The report noted that the “median weighted pension funded ratio of 70 percent” for the 15 cities “underlies a wide range of positions with Chicago only 23 percent funded across all plans and Indianapolis the most well-funded at 98 percent.”

Chicago’s pension burden is $12,400 per person–more than double that of New York City and it has the lowest bond rating of those 15 surveyed cities. The S&P report says that in 2015 Chicago “only made 52 percent of its annual legally required pension contribution.”

If you are looking for more bad news you came to the right place. More than five times as many people live in New York and Los Angeles combined–but there were more murders in Chicago last year than the total in both of those cities. As for Chicago’s population, it’s at a 100-year-low. Leading the exodus are middle class blacks.

CPS school on the West Side that closed in 2013

Chicago’s jobs program for people with education degrees, better known as Chicago Public Schools, has been cited by other middle class ex-Chicagoans, including your humble blogger, for decades as the main reason they abandoned the city. CPS bonds are rated as junk. Lack of money may lead to the last thirteen days of the school year being cancelled–and the CTU may add a fourteenth with a one-day strike in May to protest that early shutdown. Yep, I don’t get it either.

CPS officials have been battling the union for years to force teachers to pay more into their own pension funds. Yeah, they can afford it–of teachers in the largest school districts, CPS teachers rank in the top three in pay. But hey, the union members probably are thinking, “Why should we pay more when we have so many taxpayers who can foot the bill?”

But that’s the mindset that got Chicago into its mess. Oh that, and public-sector unions contributing heavily into the campaign funds of Democratic politicians.

Critics of my Chicago-is-the-next-Detroit hypothesis point out that large corporations have been moving their corporate headquarters into Chicago of late, the most prominent examples are ConAgra relocating its HQ from Omaha to Chicago and McDonald’s, which will move back to the city after four decades in suburbia. But no one can say how many of these corporate big shots will live in Chicago.

Two years ago Chicagoans were slugged with the largest property tax increase in the city’s history to pay for, yes, unfunded pension liabilities. Last year Chicago water and sewer taxes were hiked. Remember what what I wrote earlier, Chicago’s pensions are only 23-percent funded. Does anyone think that there aren’t additional massive tax increases in Chicago’s future? And when the producing segment of Chicago is even more depleted–chased out, that is–how will Chicago pay for street repair, schools, and snow removal–as well as adequate police and fire protection?

The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled that public-worker pensions cannot be reduced.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

Here’s what I base my Chicago dystopia projection on. Defenders of the status quo place blind faith into their hope that Chicago can somehow hang on until enough pensioners die, which probably won’t be until the middle of the century. They offer no credible solutions. Nothing. They’re as delusional as Gerald O’Hara meticulously counting out his Confederate bonds in Gone With The Wind–“All we have left”–after General Robert E. Lee surrendered.

There’s a way out–changing state law so municipalities and government agencies can declare bankruptcy, which is something Bruce Rauner, Illinois’ reform governor, favors. But the Democrats and the public-sector unions will never agree to that.

John Ruberry, who moved from Chicago to the suburbs in 1999, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Can I say “I told you so” now?

Louisiana elected John Bel Edwards in the last gubernatorial election because so many voters just couldn’t stomach David Vitter any longer; standing in judgment of Vitter’s decades-old moral lapse (one which his wife had long since forgiven), enough Louisiana Republicans crossed lines and voted a liberal, Obama-Democrat into the governor’s office despite my screeching pleas that he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

And now they feign indignation when Edwards isn’t acting like a Republican.

I won’t rub salt in the wounds because we have a long row ahead of us, but let me just point out the latest slap in the face from Edwards.

I can’t write the story any better than Ellen Carmichael did last week for the National Review.  You must read her article.  The gist is that during the campaign, Edwards promised to protect the state’s school choice program, but under the protective cover of a state budget crisis, Edwards is doing an about-face on that promise:

When the state’s budget pressures surfaced, Edwards saw his opportunity. He could send a signal to the public that its insistence on maintaining educational justice for impoverished families in the form of scholarships to private schools was simply not in line with the way he was going to run Louisiana. Teachers’ unions came before such kids as first-grader Nicole Jack.

The teachers’ unions, of course, supported Edwards heavily during his campaign.  His wife was a teacher.  I talked personally to many, many teachers who voted for him because they believed he would support them and they could not stand Vitter.

But what about these kids in failing schools?  What about his promise to keep school choice?

Carmichael makes an excellent point when she says:

And he had his excuse: budget cuts. While the state allocates nearly $3.5 billion to its education department annually, Governor Edwards’s team felt it appropriate to take away the $4,800 scholarship from 17 families who wanted to give their kids a better life. Meanwhile, Louisiana spends $10,490 for each pupil enrolled in the state’s failing public-school system. If Nicole Jack cannot escape the school’s waitlist in time, her education will cost the state more than double what they insist they’re trying to save, proving yet again that it’s not about dollars and cents. It’s not about the kids, either. It’s about politics.

It is, in fact, over five hundred families affected, not just seventeen as the article mentions.

In place of school choice vouchers, Edwards established the Every Student Succeeds Act panel by Executive Order whose mission is to bring public schools back up to par.  Joe Cunningham writing for The Hayride explains how this will work:

They’re going to say plans like the voucher program and expanding charter schools are taking valuable resources from the state and the schools, therefore they should be eliminated and attention turned back to the schools themselves. Which is what the school boards and teacher unions want. School choice is, after all, a direct challenge to how things are run. If public schools are forced to compete and improve, many could end up failing. But if there is no real challenge, then there’s less accountability. It’s not some evil plan to horde all the money and power so much as it is laziness on their part. The way things have always been is what’s gotten Louisiana into the educational pit it’s in…. Edwards and his supporters don’t want families to control where and how they get their education. They want the System to do it, and the System is far too concerned with itself. They must take money from the hands of the taxpayers and put it into the schools themselves rather than let families choose where it goes. You don’t get to choose. Let the State do it for you.

You can read more on the ESSA panel here.

Of course we want all of our public schools to succeed and to strive for excellence but until the deep housecleaning that will make that happen occurs, there must be options for kids like Nicole Jack, who for one brief moment, saw a bright future ahead of her at a private Catholic school, only to have that snuffed out by a politician.

The bottom line is that the school voucher program truly helps kids with academic potential who are languishing in failing schools and in the end could read huge rewards, both educationally and financially, for Louisiana if not for crony politics.

John Bel Edwards is simply paying his debt to teachers’ unions on the backs of our kids.

Now, who didn’t see that one coming?

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

CTU NATO Shirt
CTU member at 2012 Occupy rally

By John Ruberry

Whether it’s Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter or a teachers union, leftist protesters who block streets and disrupt private businesses claim they are the spiritual descendants of Martin Luther King and the 1960s Civil Rights movement. Many of the members of these groups–and there is some overlap–wish they had been a part of the Civil Rights movement so it’s understandable that they try to connect their causes with the legacy MLK.

When I complained on Twitter earlier this month about a February 3 Chicago Teachers Union rally–which they almost certainly didn’t bother applying a permit for–ruining an evening rush hour in downtown Chicago by blocking streets, a Twitter leftist of course defended in a reply to my Tweet that protest was a natural outgrowth of King’s use of civil disobedience in the 1960s and earlier.

I replied that these 21st century civil disobedience demonstrations are different because unlike blacks sitting at all-white lunch counters and Rosa Parks refusing to surrender her bus seat to a white man in 1955 as a protest against Jim Crow laws, CTU members, as well as Black Lives Matter and the Occupy activists, can vote provided they are old enough and they are United States citizens and, in some states, not convicted felons. The civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama didn’t have a permit in 1965; had they applied for one of course it would have been denied by the racist government authorities. And the blacks who lived in Selma then, despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act the year before, faced enormous obstacles if they wanted the register to vote. And before then, they couldn’t even do that.

“Throwing the bums out” via the ballot box wasn’t on option.

The Rosa Parks bus
The Rosa Parks bus

Sixteen CTU protesters were arrested during that protest. They were sitting on the floor and chanting inside of a Bank of America branch, they earned the union’s ire by loaning money at a high rate to the insolvent Chicago Public Schools. The chanters were trespassing and they deserved getting busted.

Not only can these teachers can vote, but they have lobbyists in Illinois’ state capital promoting their interests. And they have a political action committee.

One more thing, Chicago Teachers Union: Stop ruining rush hours. Unlike free speech, there is no constitutional right to block traffic. You’re teachers–you should know that.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Abandoned Detroit high school
Abandoned Detroit high school

By John Ruberry

Last week five public schools in Detroit were closed due to sick-outs, that is, these for-the-kids educators called in sick when they weren’t, likely by the direction of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

This is a strike in everything but name, and teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan. And no one it seems, except for Detroit News reporter Ingrid Jacques, to be angry about these phone-in walk outs. Why aren’t the parents up in arms?

Detroit Public Schools, a nest of malfeasance for decades, are currently being run by a state emergency manager. Next month DPS faces a balloon debt millstone–after which its debt obligations may exceed its benefits and payroll expenses. Bankruptcy may be coming soon to DPS.

You can cancel the “Detroit is Back!” party, although President Obama will be in the Motor City for North American International Auto Show and will undoubtedly hail the resurgence of Detroit.

Monday, according the Guardian, the teacher sick-out may spread to forty schools.

Will the “sick” teachers be punished? Will their union be cited for organizing an illegal strike? Will Detroit parents finally get angry? The parents should already be angry because for the fourth straight year Detroit’s elementary schools ranked last in reading and math scores among big cities.

Pick your cliché: Do you prefer “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?” Or is it “Fiddling while Rome burns?”

Let me conclude about Detroit’s so-called resurgence since the city emerged from bankruptcy in 2014. Yes, there are construction and rehab projects under way, mostly downtown, in Midtown, and in New Center. Yes, some hipsters have moved into those areas as well as Corktown. But eventually some of them will start families. The prospect of sending their children to a DPS school–along with the burden of a municipal income tax, will likely send those hipsters packing.

UPDATE January 11: 58 schools are closed today because of the latest sick-out.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Illinois signBy John Ruberry

It’s been four months since Illinois operated with a budget.

But the story goes back a year when Land of Lincoln voters tossed out Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn, Rod Blagojevich’s two-time running mate, and chose Republican businessman Bruce Rauner to, as his proclaimed in his campaign slogans, “Bring back Illinois” and “Shake up Springfield.” Rauner has certainly achieved the latter.

But the Chicago Democrats who run the gerrymandered-empowered General Assembly, House speaker Michael Madigan and Senate president John Cullerton, had a trap awaiting Rauner when he arrived in Illinois’ capital city. No, it wasn’t the dilapidated governor’s mansion, but a fiscal 2015 budget that assumed the supermajority of Democrats would make permanent a 2011 “temporary” tax increase pushed through in a lame duck session by Quinn. Yet Rauner and the General Assembly resolved that shortfall that spring, but the two sides are deadlocked over the fiscal 2016 budget.

Meanwhile Illinois lowest credit rating of the 50 states and the worst-funded state pension system. These millstones predate Rauner’s election.

For the first time in three decades Illinois is losing population.

Rauner signWho is willing to compromise? Well, Rauner is. Although he campaigned against a tax hike, Rauner says he will sign a budget that includes one–as long as it the General Assembly agrees to changes to the state’s expensive-to-employers workers’ compensation laws, tort reform, term limits, and taking the decennial legislative redistricting powers out of the hand of the General Assembly. The Democrats oppose all of these items, well, except the tax increase. It is they who are the stubborn ones.

Amazingly, Illinois government continues to function, sort of, as ninety percent of state funding continues, although the state’s backlog of unpaid bills, which also predates Rauner’s inauguration, is growing. But it is business-as-usual for most Illinoisans, including myself, as I no longer have a child in the public school system. Even if I did. I probably notice anything different. However, my license plates are up for renewal, and I won’t receive a reminder in the mail to purchase a new annual sticker because of the budget standoff.

Meanwhile, Saul Alinsky-style demonization attacks on Rauner are stepping up. On Friday Karen Lewis, the hardened leftist who is the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, called Rauner a sociopath in a speech while Madigan and Cullerton mutely sat in the audience.

Rauner has been governor for just nine months. Illinois’ fiscal failings go back nearly thirty years.

Slow and steady wins the race.

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

By A.P. Dillon

If it looks like a political stunt and smells like a political stunt, then it stands to reason it is a political stunt.

President Obama’s big shift in rhetoric on testing this past week comes at a politically convenient time.  In a total course reversal, Obama wants a cap that limits the testing on children to 2% or less of their class time. That 2%sounds great, but really it’s not changing anything if one realizes that 2% of a school year’s class time translates to somewhere between 20 to 24 hours worth of testing. Like I said, this is a stunt.

This administration has beaten the drum of ‘test and punish’ for seven years right alongside tying test scores to teacher evaluations — a move that has had teachers unions up in arms nationwide.

What better way to quell the powerful, big donors like teachers unions just prior to a Presidential election year than to offer a ‘testing cap’?

It’s bait in an election cycle where education is taking the main stage with voters.

Likewise, it’s an opportunity for this administration to subtly hit Hillary Clinton over the head again, as she has come out supporting Common Core, which has been anchored to two testing consortia and ‘testing accountability measures’.

This isn’t just about hitting Hillary over the head. It’s also about beating Congress over the head. Again.

Remember, the House pushed forward with the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, which strengthens over testing instead of stemming it. The reauthorization also solidified Common Core. It’s a nightmare.

A recent article at Front Page Magazine by Mary Grabar points this out. Here’s an excerpt, but do read the whole thing:

In a smooth move, the Obama administration called on Congress to fix a problem that had been foisted on the people without the consent of Congress—namely the national Common Core standards, even as the widely hated name was scrupulously avoided.  The Obama administration also told teachers to fix tests that they had not devised and were forced to administer.    

In an even smoother move, the New York Times summed up the blame this way:

The administration’s move seemed a reckoning on a two-decade push that began during the Bush administration and intensified under President Obama. Programs with aspirational names — No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top — were responding to swelling agreement among Democrats and Republicans that higher expectations and accountability could lift the performance of American students. . . . .”

Alas, the push began “during the Bush administration.”

Shorter: If JEB! needed a final coffin nail, here it comes.

Meanwhile, in Obama’s backyard of  Washington, D.C.,  only 1 in 10 DC students score ‘college ready’ on the new Common Core math tests.  The scores dropped in neighboring Maryland as well.  Let’s not even get into the results for Hispanic students; Obama has that one covered with a forced touchy-feely outreach program.

But for educrats like William Bushaw, who is the director of the agency overseeing the NAEP (Nations Report Card),  the narrative remains the same: Common Core is not to blame.

William Bushaw, executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees NAEP, tried to discourage connecting this year’s test results and Common Core in a telephone call with reporters Tuesday.

NAEP exams, while overlapping with the Common Core standards, are not tied to any specific curriculum or material used in public schools, Bushaw said.

He added that states might not have used Common Core in the same way.

We should not assume the Common Core has been evenly or persistently implemented in the country,” he said.
News and Observer 10/27/15

That’s an AMAZING admission right there, folks.  For the last 5 years, supporters of Common Core have maintained that the standards would be the same — everywhere.

About every five or so years, Educrats and Ed Reformers roll out some shiny new reform. None of these amazing reforms have moved the needle for our kids, nothing has changed for them.  Nothing has changed in the way these reformers window dress the failure of their amazing reform either; perhaps they took deck chair rearranging lessons in a past life.

It was vital kids be able to transfer from state to state and learn the exact same thing, even though the transient student population is less than 2% of the overall student population in the United States.

So not only was Common Core not being implemented the same way, it’s now clear the other major platform of Common Core has crumbled. That platform is consistent comparison of tests from state to state.

But don’t blame Common Core.  It’s the implementation. It’s the tests. It’s anything but the flawed and experimental standards that were rolled out rapid fire in order to yoke states into using them via the Race To The Top grant.

Having said all of that, Obama’s ‘test cap’ is an insulting band-aid on a machete wound that this administration has allowed to fester for the better part of his Presidency.

DM7 small LL1885A.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Heartland.org and Watchdog Wire NC.
Catch her on Twitter: @LadyLiberty1885

Illinois signBy John Ruberry

About 20 percent of Illinois’ operating budget goes to state worker pensions. With so much cash going to retired Prairie State employees, you would think that the state where I live would be on diligent in funding the system. But Illinois’ pensions are the worst funded among the 50 states.  Some years Illinois skipped or shorted pension payments–and public-sector unions (gasp!) supported that move.

But now because of a lawsuit brought forth by a former lobbyist for the Illinois Federation of Teachers union–long-suffering Land of Lincoln taxpayers have a poster child for pension abuse. A little-noticed 2007 bill sponsored by a Democrat allowed that lobbyist, David Piccioli, to qualify for pension from an education pension plan, the Teachers Retirement System. He is currently collecting a $31,000 annual TRS pension even though–except for one day–he never taught in a classroom

Let’s look at the one day–Piccioli was a substitute in a Springfield classroom and he earned $93 for his efforts–which probably consisted of popping DVDs into a player. But because of that 2007 law–Piccioli became eligible for additional $36,000 in additional TRS benefits. Another IFT employee, Steve Preckwinkle, also subbed at a school for a day and applied for a additional pension benefits as Piccioli did.

Suddenly self-righteous state lawmakers quickly removed the one-day loophole but last month Piccioli sued to get his classroom pension back.

There are many villains who created the Illinois public pension debacle and yes, politicians deserve most of the blame. For instance, allowing workers to retire at 50 and then collect most of their old salary when they will probably live another 30 years was a cataclysmic move.

But the unions–and people like David Piccioli–played their part in this disaster.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Chicago's Skyline
Chicago’s Skyline

By John Ruberry

Once the midterm elections are over another major political contest will begin–the Chicago mayoral race. Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief-of-staff, is expected to run for reelection. His three years in office have been at best a mixed bag. Violent crime is Chicago’s biggest issue, it was during his term that the city gained the unfortunate nickname “Chiraq.” Rahm has done little to address Chicago’s pension crisis, a problem he inherited from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley, who was mayor for 22 years. The city’s streets are in terrible shape.

But Emanuel, perhaps because of his star-power, has been able to convince some companies to move their corporate headquarters to Chicago, most notably Archer Daniels Midland. But unemployment remains high in the city.

Two possible opponents for Rahm next year are Ald. Robert Fioretti and Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis. Fioretti, a friendly gentleman who I know a little bit, in my opinion won’t be able to gain much traction as a candidate. I can’t ascertain what he stands for.

CTU member at Occupy protest in 2012
CTU member at Occupy protest in 2012

That’s not the case with Lewis. Even if she wasn’t morbidly obese, she would come across as bombastic. Lewis’ political philosophy is anchored by far-left positions. She favors imposing a transaction tax on each trade made by members of Chicago’s financial exchanges. That was a position championed by the defunct Occupy movement; Lewis’ CTU endorsed the extreme-left group. A race-baiter, Lewis blames “rich white people” for Chicago’s awful schools and utilizes that smear to justify a commuter tax on suburbanites. Yes, the implementation of Chicago’s charter school system has been flawed, but Lewis opposes the use of taxpayer money to fund them. On the other hand, charters are very popular with Chicago parents.

Lewis is black and she has great name recognition, which partly explains why she edged out Emanuel in a recent poll about the 2015 race. I imagine that once Lewis’ ultra-liberal stances become known, her support will drop. Even Chicagoans can tolerate only so much left-wing hooey.

The voters of America’s third-largest city should be wary of the anti-Rahm Lewis. The only other big-city mayor that I can think of who was a labor leader was Detroit’s Coleman Young, who misruled the onetime Motor City from 1974-1993.

You know the rest of Detroit’s story.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Monday on Morning Joe they covered a blockbuster story by Campbell Brown concerning the Teachers Unions in NY:

By resisting almost any change aimed at improving our public schools, teachers unions have become a ripe target for reformers across the ideological spectrum. Even Hollywood, famously sympathetic to organized labor, has turned on unions with the documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman'” (2010) and a feature film, “Won’t Back Down,” to be released later this year. But perhaps most damaging to the unions’ credibility is their position on sexual misconduct involving teachers and students in New York schools, which is even causing union members to begin to lose faith.

It’s big news and important news, the unions and the pols protecting teachers unions on this issue, Campbell Brown should be complemented for covering the story. And Morning Joe should be complemented not only for covering but for being only 27 months behind DaTechGuy blog

I’m sure that as soon as the New York Schools abandon celibacy and allow workers to marry this problem will totally disappear. Just like when the celibacy and marriage requirements were removed from Boy Scout leaders and the US Swim Team.

And the Anchoress:

In New York, Queens Assemblywoman Margaret Markey routinely presents a bill which seeks to open a year-long “window” into the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse cases, allowing victims whose cases may go back as far as 40 years to bring suit for damages.

Because the bill has -until now- been limited by Markey to impact the churches, exclusively, it has always either failed or been shelved. It is difficult to pass a bill that essentially finds some sexual abuse victims to be more worthy of redress than others.

And the The hermeneutic of continuity

The excuses are all now tumbling out. The New York City Mayor is concerned about the potential impact for taxpayers. Welcome to the real world, Mayor. Catholics in the pews have seen billions of dollars, donated by them over decades, paid out in compensation to victims of clerical abuse and episcopal failure. It is tough but we have to recognize responsibility.

The State Association of Counties has issued a memo of opposition citing the problem of “significantly aged and clouded” evidence. Well, as we have learnt in the Church, extending the statute of limitations is necessary because the nature of the crime means that it may take a long time before a person is ready to confront the abuse that they have suffered in the past.

The New York State School Boards Association has said that the revelation of past misdeeds would provide no extra protection for children. They should talk to Safeguarding Officials and good lay Catholics who know that the revelation of past crimes is a very strong motivation to provide robust safeguarding procedures.

or even dare I say it the New York Times

Until last year, proposals to change the statute of limitations would not have affected public bodies and fallen largely on the church. After much debate, the bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, a Queens Democrat, was amended to include governments and their employees.

Suddenly, lobbyists and advocates for school boards, counties and small towns spoke out.

Since Morning Joe normally jumps all over stuff in the Times Back in may of 2010 I wrote this:

I am simply dying to see how Joe and Mika choose to cover this. I wonder how they will approach it? I’m scheduling this post for Monday morning before the show, so we can see if they touch the New York Law.

Well it was a Monday, just a Monday 27 months later. Strangely nobody suggested ending celibacy or allowing public school teachers to marry as a solution.

If they only read DaTechGuy blog they would know around here we’ve managed along with others to hit the subject.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we are seeing the story and the subsequent blog posts elsewhere, who knows, with a little more staff and some luck they might catch up to us on a few more stories a little faster.

——————–

The DaTechGuy fundraiser lumbers on. With your aid this one man blog with the occasional post from RoxeAnne De Luca will continue to keep it’s 27 month lead on breaking news over MSNBC’s meager staff.

Any help is appreciated. For details click here for the progress check the thermometer to the right and to kick in hit DaTipJar”.





of Fascism and terrorism:

Make no mistake about it; this is a political attack on teachers for supporting democratic leaders who have stood up for education in our state. If passed, these fascist measures will silence the voice of teachers working to improve our schools, communities and our state.

and this:

“He has the power to stop this madness now,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner of Nashville said to loud shouts of approval at the teachers rally. “Governor Haslam, if you’re listening, please stop this terrorism against our teachers.”

Terrorism! (You know that a certain section of this crowd was, about three years ago, in the streets, marching and protesting that the Bush administration was over-hyping the threat of terrorism and complaining that the term “war on terror” was too broad and was an imprecise definition.)

One of the things I’ve noticed in interviewing people is that those who have actually lived under communism or fascism tend not to make these kind of statements, but leftism has as I’ve said before morphed into a quasi-religion where if you have the right beliefs are you counted among the righteous no matter how much money you take from murderous dictators.

All of this self-righteous posturing is all about being part of the suffering masses in the mind and has no relationship with actual reality:

The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method—by making him a kind of Childe Harold or Werther submerged in self-pity for imaginary distresses—you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were and unmask your whole stratagem.

I really thing that the left started to believe its own rhetoric during the Bush years and has never gotten over it. It’s going to take a really nasty piece of reality to shock them out of it.