Election Season is almost over–Election Day of course is on Tuesday.
Amy Coney Barrett is now America’s newest US Supreme Court justice, there is a solid 6-3, or mostly solid, conservative majority on the nation’s highest court.
Here’s something to think about now that November is here: we never got a solid answer on whether Joe Biden and Kamala Harris favors packing the Court with liberals.
Harris was particularly shameful in discussing court packing, claiming the Donald Trump has been doing that for the last four years. That’s a lie. Harris is hoping that enough uneducated voters fall for her pack of crap explanation that filling judicial vacancies, one seat for one seat, is court packing.
Court packing as a strategy goes back to Franklin Roosevelt’s second term. Frustrated by Supreme Court rulings against parts of his New Deal, FDR proposed adding seats to the Court. The Supreme Court has been fixed at nine seats since 1869.
Last month Harris and Biden hemmed and hawed over court packing and the subject was brought to them by by local reporters, not the elite media. Finally Biden said we’d get our answer on court packing after the election.
Who else besides me is fed up wearing a mask when shopping at a supermarket?
Or at work?
Or a restaurant?
I haven’t eaten inside an Illinois restaurant–or in a tent–since Governor JB Pritzker instituted his first lockdown in March. I’ve picked up take-out meals only.
Who has had enough of lockdowns?
As a person with a strong libertarian bent I don’t like being bossed around, pestered, or nagged.
But I’ve been coping with all of that for months.
I know ten people who’ve contracted COVID-19. Only two of them told me they were very ill. Two were asymptomatic. All of them are still with us–in fact, they’ve all returned to their jobs as if nothing happened.
So if you are over 70, and most people already know that seniors are more prone to death from COVID-19 than everyone else, you have a 94.6 percent of surviving. President Trump is one of those septuagenarians who has recovered. Yes, COVID-19 is serious, because those stats also say those 70 and over have a slightly higher than 5 percent chance of dying from it.
Here’s another situation where that percentage, 94 percent, comes in to play. Nearly two months ago the CDC said of those deaths from the novel coronavirus, 94 percent had “multiple chronic conditions.” In other words, they were already unhealthy. Every death is tragic. But part of life is getting sick, getting injured, getting old, and yes, passing away. You can fool, perhaps, your neighbors or co-workers about your true age with hair dye and plastic surgery, but never can you hoodwink Father Time.
Humans are intensely social animals, as are all primates. It’s in our genetic makeup. The most watched television shows and movies are centered on personal interactions. One of the most popular TV programs ever aired is “Friends.” There is not a show entitled “Hermits,” there is no interest in producing such a program because few people would want to watch it.
The death rate from COVID-19 is very low for the very young. Yet many of our schools are closed except for cold and impersonal Zoom sessions.
Usually our first and most lasting impressions with others of our species is by way of their faces. But the mask requirements in many states, especially blue ones like mine, take those connections away from us.
That wave just might be beginning. For instance, Chicago, which is just south of where I live, just instated another curfew because of an uptick in COVID cases. All businesses deemed non-essential for the next two weeks must close between 10pm and 6am. Bars and restaurants, already reeling from being closed down this spring, will be hit especially hard. Some of these businesses, especially those struck by looting this summer, will never re-open. Which means of course more people will be prone to suicide and drug and alcohol abuse. The workforce in the food and beverage industry is disproportionately young.
Mrs. Marathon Pundit was an early victim of the COVID-19 lockout layoffs. She’s fine–she has a new job in a different field. But her former boss was forced to downsize his business, which I believe his home mortgage was tied into. He sold his home this summer and moved into a much smaller residence.
There are millions of former business owners facing similar situations across America. And not all workers, such as Mrs. Marathon Pundit, will be able to land on their feet.
One “fix” to the drop in revenue for brick-and-mortar restaurants is to set up plastic tents next to them. Diners instead of eating indoors will be eating, sort of, outdoors in these tents, but still breathing each other’s air. Alongside them in cold weather climates, in the winter, will be space heaters, which are a well-known fire hazard.
Follow the science.
Take a deep breath before reading this next paragraph.
Based on my current age, overall health, and family history, I’ll probably live another 25-years. I do not want to spend those years wearing a mask. I don’t want to go running outdoors–and this really happened–as I run 50 yards past a couple who, in horror, hurriedly put their masks over their faces as I move, maskless, down the street that I live on as if I am Typhoid Mary. According to federal government data, there have been 624 positive cases of COVID-19 in the town I live in, Morton Grove, which has a population of 23,000.
Who frightened that Morton Grove couple? Not me, well not initially that is.
Will the mask mandates return–if they ever go away–when a more virulent than usual strain of the flu strikes?
Follow the science.
This is not a distress from me call but instead a call for action. For the sake of our overall health–while maintaining strict safety controls in places such as senior homes and hospitals–these lockdowns must end. But I suspect many politicians–such as Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago–don’t want the lockdowns to end. They are too in love with power. Lightfoot and Gov. Pritzker told us we needed the lockdowns to “flatten the curve” in the spring so hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Now they want to prevent all of us getting sick, which as we know is not possible.
The goalposts keep moving.
Years ago I read in a book about marathon training that stated that distance running, all things being equal, does indeed lead to a longer life expectancy. But more importantly, those extra years on this planet for runners usually mean they are enjoyable years. Who is going to sign up for an additional ten years of life if those years will consist of living in a nursing home in need of 24-hour care?
The quality of life for myself and millions of others is diminished because we are ordered to wear masks and to avoid each other.
I was raised by parents who kept a close eye on what my brothers and sisters and I watched on television. As we only had two TV sets, that was a very easy task for them as my folks didn’t socialize outside our home much. Until the early 1970s it was especially easy for them as television fare for the medium’s first 25 years was mostly G-rated fare. Otis Campbell’s drunkeness on the Andy Griffith Show was as bad as it got in the 1960s, although interestingly, the character was rarely shown consuming alcohol.
So in 1972 when Bea Arthur’s eponymous character in Maude, in a two-episode storyline became pregnant–she pondered an abortion and then went through with it–my parents made sure that our televisions were tuned to a different station those nights.
Abortion was not only very controversial in 1972, it was illegal in most states, although Arthur’s character lived in New York, where it was not. At that time I didn’t even know what abortion was.
Nearly five decades later, Big Tech and Big Media are trying to control what I see on my computer and portable devices. And because broadcast and cable news often takes its lead from what they view as “elite” media, their decisions effect what I see on my TV.
Our “betters” in the media, working for CNN, MSNBC, as well as onetime somewhat fair but left-leaning print outlets such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, are attempting to limit what information we consume. And in control of the metaphoric off switch is Big Tech, led by Twitter and Facebook.
Stories that are harmful to the reputation to President Donald Trump blare across the media, such as reports on Trump’s tax returns. The New York Times did not publish those returns, but it reported on them. The Old Gray Lady won’t say how it got them, but assuming reports on the returns are accurate, who ever gained access to them and gave them to the Times broke the law. The stories on Trump’s tax returns, where it was reported that he paid as little as $750 in federal taxes, were reported pretty much everywhere by the media, and posted, reposted, Tweeted, and re-Tweeted on Facebook and Twitter.
“Kids, kids, come to the living room! You need to see this news story on TV!”
Contrast Trump’s taxes to reports from the New York Post about the emails it accessed from a laptop that once belonged to Joe Biden’s troublesome son, Hunter. Because Hunter dropped of the computer at a repair shop and never bothered to pick it up, that computer became property of the shop’s owner. Emails found on that computer confirm accusations that Hunter used that Biden name to for influence peddling. Illegal? Maybe not. Sleazy? For sure. And the shop owner did not break the law.
And the media, with the exception of Fox News and other conservative news sources such as Breitbart, ignored or minimized coverage of Hunter Biden’s emails. Last week a Democratic Party shill masquerading as an ABC journalist, former Bill Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos, didn’t ask Biden about the New York Post revelations. Yeah, I get it, the format was a town hall, but ABC chose the participants and it knew what questions they would ask. Contrast Biden’s friendly treatment to the grilling Trump received from Savannah Guthrie at the NBC town hall the same night. Guthrie is married to Michael Feldman, the traveling chief of staff for Al Gore in the 2000 election. Guthrie brought up Trump’s tax returns, among other things.
That’s bad but what is worse is that Twitter and Facebook for a while blocked the posting and sharing of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email revelations. And it wasn’t yokels like me who suffered the indignity. Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, saw her Twitter account briefly suspended for Tweeting the Post’s Hunter story. The twisted explanation from Big Tech is that the Hunter Biden’s emails were hacked–they weren’t–and that the story was unverified. Remember, the NY Times never actually published Trump’s federal tax returns, which may have been hacked. But the Post did show images of some of Hunter’s emails. Even the New York Post’s Twitter account was suspended for a short time on the day it published the Hunter story.
“Kids…turn off that TV and go to your room!”
Of course these media and tech big shots are our “betters.” Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN analyst and New Yorker writer, a product of Harvard University, is one of them. But yesterday Toobin was suspended by CNN and the New Yorker after exposing himself and more–click here for the X-rated details–during a Zoom call simulating election night scenarios. Toobin is a scumbag. He had an extramarital affair with Casey Greenfield, the daughter of journalist Jeff Greenfield. Okay, I know, Trump has been unfaithful while married too. But Greenfield bore his child, which Toobin only acknowledged after a DNA test, and only then began paying child support. And while pregnant Toobin offered to pay for her abortion.
American media can do much better than Toobin and his fellow “betters.” I will write another entry on the sad state of the media after the election.
But right now we’re headed to Chinese government-style control of the media by the left.
A free press and free association are two things that French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville saw as two key safeguards in his landmark 19th-century work, Democracy in America.
But Big Tech and Big Media, as well as the increasingly far-left Democratic Party, are trying to minimize both.
We live in a perilous time.
UPDATE 7:30pm EDT: Correction, the New York Post Twitter account was “not suspended for a short time” as I wrote earlier. There are no new Twitter entries from @nypost since October 14. If the account has been suspended it clearly has been locked out. This is censorship.
The @nypost, the oldest and one of the largest news outlets in America, has been frozen out of Twitter for 6 days.
The Jussie Smollett outrage has not gone away. But the dropping of charges by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for the alleged hate-crime hoaxter, since reinstated after the appointment of a special prosecutor, are not the biggest campaign issue facing the suburban Chicago Democrat as she faces Republican and retired judge Pat O’Brien in the general election in November.
Rather it is the revolving door, or if you prefer, catch-and-release philosophy in regards to criminals used by Foxx, who was elected in 2016.
Disclosure: In the ’16 Democratic primary Foxx defeated incumbent Anita Alvarez. Her husband is a friend of mine.
Earlier this month Foxx backed out of a televised debate scheduled for later this month, bemoaning “Trump-like name calling and fear mongering” by O’Brien. Such behavior by the GOPer lives only in her head. It’s unclear if Fox will participate in a second debate scheduled in October.
The state guideline for charging shoplifters in Illinois is $300. In one of her first actions, Foxx raised that to $1,000. Shortly afterwards–and most notably well before the two rounds of looting that struck Chicago this summer–shoplifting flash mobs began popping up in the city. Other criminals are receiving light bonds and overly generous plea deals. Crime, not surprisingly, is skyrocketing in Chicago and the Cook County suburbs.
You see bits and pieces of the prosecutorial malfeasance by Foxx in the local media but to really get to the truth about her you need to read these two blogs, CWB Chicago and Second City Cop.
Here are a few examples of Foxx-trocities from the former.
Republicans face daunting odds in heavily-Democratic Cook County. In 2016 Hillary Clinton captured nearly 75 percent of the vote. But the Daily Herald–man, that must have been a horrible debate for Foxx–has endorsed O’Brien, as has the Chicago area’s most-read newspaper, the Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Sun-Times, which is partially owned by the Chicago Federation of Labor, backs Foxx. I feel compelled to mention that the group that owns the Sun-Times purchased the paper three years ago for $1.
And sure it’s just one home, but I feel the need to mention that on my way to work I drive past a home in Niles that is dominated by yard signs for Democratic candidates and liberal causes. All but one of them. There’s a Pat O’Brien placard on that lawn.
I’ve mentioned this profound sentenced from a 2016 Chicago Tribune editorial several times here before at Da Tech Guy. “As a result, Illinois government,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote, “is a massive retirement system that, during work hours, also offers some services.”
It’s actually worse than than that. Illinois is a racket where elected politicians, many of them legislators in gerrymandered districts created by longtime party boss Michael Madigan, rewards pals with unionized jobs. Those unions are public-sector unions such as AFSCME and SEIU, which plow campaign contributions from dues money into the coffers of Democratic politicians who protect unaffordable pension plans from any cuts. Okay, I know, in accordance with the state constitution pension benefits cannot be lowered. An amendment to that document to allow pension reform is vehemently opposed by Illinois Democrats.
Instead the Dems are pushing what they call the Fair Tax Amendment which will allow for a state income tax with graduated rates, currently only a flat rate is prohibited. Eight states, including Florida, Nevada, Texas, and Tennessee, which coincidentally are popular destinations for escapees for Illinoisans, have no state income tax. Most Illinoisans, we are promised by the pols hawking the Fair Tax Amendment, will see a tax cut, albeit one that is a pittance. If what I call the Unfair Tax Amendment passes, the “rich” will pay more but mark my words. Springfield politicians are liars and the tax rates will reach down in a few years to the middle class and the working poor. That’s because the rich will leave and those left behind will get stuck with the bill. Oh, the others will leave too. Don’t forget, Illinois has lost population every year since 2014.
The Fair Tax Amendment is on the ballot for Illinois voters to decide in November.
As I’ve also mentioned here before, Michael Madigan, the state House speaker for 35 of the last 37 years, has had his fingers on every state budget, and every failed pension fix, for decades. Those “fixes” for the most part kinda-sorta solved the pension crisis for five years or so. Which means they solved nothing.
If you trust Madigan to fix Illinois’ pensions and finances then you are a fool. The Prairie State’s second-most powerful politician, another Chicago Democrat, Governor J.B. Pritzker, was arguably put into office by the Madigan machine. Illinois’ lieutenant governor, Juliana Stratton, first run for public office, a state House seat, was a victorious one. In a very expensive race Stratton defeated another Democrat who dared to cross Boss Madigan. The Boss of Illinois even convinced Barack Obama to go after Stratton’s opponent.
In a conference call on Thursday Stratton threatened Illinois residents with a twenty-percent across the board income tax hike if the Unfair Tax Amendment fails. In 2017 the General Assembly overrode Republican governor Bruce Rauner’s veto to raise income taxes by 32 percent. Still at the end of 2019, Illinois’ unfunded pension liability went up by $3.8 billion to nearly $140 billion. Well, that tax hike didn’t work. Keep in mind Pritzker’s heavy-handed COVID-19 lockdown, which has severely impaired state revenues, promises to provide more financial shocks.
And I want to be clear, some Republicans, namely governors James Thompson, Jim Edgar, and George Ryan, deserve some of the blame for Illinois’ predicament. Democrat Rod Blagojevich, the recently freed convict who supports Donald Trump for president, was equally irresponsible in fiscal matters during his time as governor. Edgar supports Joe Biden over Trump. Man, oh man, is Illinois a crazy place.
Illinois cannot tax itself out of this human-made disaster. A Fair Pension Amendment, one that protects modest pensioners and Illinois taxpayers, is the best way out. Followed by a Fair Map Amendment. Madigan’s Picasso-like gerrymandering skills in drawing maps puts his lackeys in office in the General Assembly. For the most part the Illinois legislature functions like a private country club, one that allows a few Republican members inside to make it look genuine. Twice in the 2010s hundreds of thousands of Illinois voters signed petitions to put a Fair Map Amendment on the ballot. Twice an attorney with ties to Madigan successfully sued to block it.
How adept at gerrymandering is Madigan? In 2014, GOPer Rauner won 101 of Illinois 102 counties and defeated the incumbent Democratic governor. But Madigan didn’t lose a single seat in the state House that year and he kept his supermajority in the lower chamber. Yes, I’m aware that the GOP gerrymandered districts in 1991. That’s wrong too.
Illinois government is a failure.
And one party does not have all the right answers. Yes, that includes Republicans. Which is why we need two parties.
The Fair Tax Amendment is really a public-sector worker pension plan bailout where millions of Illinoisans, who don’t have a fixed-benefit pension plan, will pay for ones who do.
As I wrote in my own blog last week, “If Illinois politicians are ever given an unlimited budget–they will exceed it.”
The cure for a heroin addict isn’t a larger dose of heroin.
Illinoisans: Vote “No” on the so-called Fair Tax Amendment.
The demands on whoever is president are brutal. If CNN believes that Biden can’t handle challenging queries then that in my opinion disqualifies him to be leader of the most powerful nation on the planet. And if CNN is just shilling for the Democrats, then no one should take them seriously as a news outlet. Based on their poor ratings, most people already do not.
Here are some questions that responsible reporters should be asking Biden. The wonderful thing about the questions I’ve devised is that most of them can be posed to President Trump. Yes, a few of these queries have been given to Biden, but generally only once and with dismissive answers from the Democratic nominee.
Here we go:
Will you be releasing the names of your potential Supreme Court nominees, as President Trump did as a candidate in 2016 and did earlier this month?
Do you support “packing the Supreme Court,” that is, nominating additional justices to the court to go beyond nine members?
Do you unconditionally oppose Antifa?
Will a Biden administration investigate plots by Antifa and other groups to incite riots in cities such as Portland?
You favor a nationwide mask mandate to fight COVID-19. What is your legal basis for instituting one?
Do you support statehood for the District of Columbia? And for Puerto Rico?
Many states, such as Illinois, Kentucky, and New Jersey, have public-sector worker pension plans that are essentially bankrupt. Do you support a federal bailout of these and other state worker pension plans?
Numerous cities also have similarly under-funded pension plans. Will you back a bailout of those plans?
What is your position on bailing out states whose tax revenues have plummeted because of COVID-19 lockdowns?
Do you favor allowing states to declare bankruptcy?
Speaking of Illinois, in 2008 the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, was in the midst of a corruption investigation of Rod Blagojevich, the governor of the state, and Tony Rezko, a member of Blago’s inner circle who donated large sums to the campaigns of Barack Obama. Your ticket mate kept Fitzgerald in his post after becoming president. This year John Lausch, the current US Attorney in Chicago, is in the thick of investigating more public corruption. The center of this scandal appears to be longtime Illinois state House speaker Michael Madigan who is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party. If elected will you keep Lausch in his post?
If elected you will be older than Ronald Reagan, the oldest person to serve as president, was when he left office after two terms. Are you physically and mentally up to the office? If you are now what will happen if you one day are not?
Do you support the Green New Deal?
Do you support fracking?
Do you support nuclear power?
Do you support coal power?
Do you back amnesty for illegal immigrants?
Do you utilize teleprompters during interviews and question-and-answer sessions?
I’m sure there are many more questions readers can come up with.
I’ve been writing here about the Illinois Exodus for several years. The COVID-19 outbreak, as it has many other societal trends, is accelerating the people drain. But two rounds of riots and looting, one after the homicide of George Floyd, and the second last month, after false rumors that Chicago Police had killed a man now charged with murder, are gut punches that the city will not quickly recover from.
In my DTG post-second riot post about the decline and fall of the city, Welcome to Detroit, Chicago, I wrote, “But when Chicago’s downtown area is dominated by boarded up store-fronts with signs declaring ‘Move in now–lease rates reduced again–first month free!’ you’ll know the downtown descent is well under way.” The vacancy rate for luxury units in downtown Chicago are at their highest level ever recorded according to Mike Flannery (more on him in a bit).
I haven’t been downtown since that “Detroit” entry, but on my own blog, Marathon Pundit, an automated Google Ads banner from a downtown Chicago apartment building offered this promo, “First two months rent free.”
Decline and fall.
And keep in mind that over seventy percent of Chicago’s economic activity comes from the downtown area. And Chicago is of course Illinois’ largest and most important city.
Downstate things aren’t much better. AP is reporting on three towns in St. Clair County, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, that are considering merging because of “severe population decline.” St. Clair County, like Chicago and Cook County, are Democratic strongholds where corruption is widespread.
The Prairie State has lost population for six straight years. It’s a safe bet that when the counting is over for 2020 it will be seven.
On the usually-worth watching–Fox Chicago’s Flannery Fired Up, three cheerleaders for the city and one moderate skeptic talked about its descent and for the most part, it’s quick bounce back. But this weekend’s episode was an aberration. The show sucked. It was up to the host, Mike Flannery, to bring up the two 800-pound gorillas in Chicago’s otherwise looted basement: rampant corruption and the worst-funded municipal pensions in the nation.
Since 1973 over thirty members of Chicago City Council have been sentenced to prison. At one time he was the city’s most powerful alderman, but now Ed Burke is under indictment for allegedly shaking down a fast food franchisee. Do you want to bring your business to Chicago? You may have to endure having your pockets picked by a pol. Or by several of them.
Where do I sign up?
Burke has been an alderman since 1969. Chicago needs term limits. And so does Illinois. Boss Michael Madigan, who is from the same part of the city as Burke, has been speaker of the state House since 1983 except for two years in the 1990s when the Republicans had a majority in the lower chamber. Madigan is also a Chicago ward committeeman. He’s been chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party since 1997. Illinois’ most powerful Dem is also currently under investigation as part of an evolving federal corruption probe that has already ended the careers of several Chicago and suburban politicians.
There is no way out of Chicago’s pension bomb other than a municipal bankruptcy, one that may also force many city vendors to go under, or a federal bailout. Even if the the Democrats capture the Senate and the White House in November, such a rescue for irresponsible spending, a backhanded reward really, faces tall odds in Washington. But under current Illinois law, government bodies are prevented from declaring bankruptcy.
The “moderate skeptic” on Flannery Fired Up mentioned transportation as a city selling point. While O’Hare is one of the world’s busiest airports–it used to be ranked first in traffic–and Chicago is a rail hub and it has many miles of interstate highways, that “expert” needs to drive on Chicago’s streets. They are falling apart.
And if you don’t own a car and you use your feet to get around? Watch out, walking on crumbling sidewalks often requires strong ankles and a steady balance.
Violence in Chicago was declining over the last few years but shootings are way up since the pandemic was declared.
As I’ve mentioned before, like an alcoholic, Chicago’s cure won’t begin until it admits complete and utter defeat.
That point has not been reached. But it’s probably coming soon.
As it is for the rest of Illinois. The state’s pension programs are almost as poorly funded as Chicago’s.
The headline is a reference to the Sly and the Family Stone album from 1971, There’s a Riot Goin’ On. He’s largely forgotten now–although some his songs remain recognizable to the masses–but Sly Stone was the Prince of his day, a crossover artist, that is, he was very popular among blacks and whites. His band, unusual for the time, was multi-racial. Just like Prince and the Revolution.
The album title was a sarcastic reference to the riot that broke out when the band couldn’t, or Sly Stone wouldn’t, show up for a performance at Grant Park in downtown Chicago the prior year. Stone had a reputation for blowing off gigs, which added to the excitement, as well as the tension, of a Sly concert. Will the superstar show up?
Well on July 27, 1970 tension prevailed when Sly and the band were a no-show. Store windows were smashed, police cars were set on fire, rocks and bottles were thrown at cops, and three people were shot in what the contemporary media called a riot. Because it was one. The Chicago Sun-Times front page headline from the next day read “Rock fans in riot, 90 injured, 148 held.” Looking back to my own youth in the Chicago area I can now understand why my parents were horrified when I expressed my interest in going to rock concerts later that decade. The subhead of that Sun-Times article read, “Battle starts in Grant Park, spills over into Loop.” A look at the media images available on Google of the riot confirms the diverse spectrum of Sly Stone’s fan base.
Fifty years and a month later there was a riot goin’ on sixty miles north of Grant Park in a small Wisconsin city that has been devoured by Chicago and Milwaukee suburban sprawl, Kenosha.
Except Wisconsin’s largest newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, didn’t call it a riot, instead is chose such tame words as “unrest” and “disturbance.” Readers of the Journal Sentinel complained which led the paper to publish an article that explained the apologist tone (my words) of last month’s coverage of the Kenosha riots that broke out after Jacob Blake, a black man with an open warrant for his arrest, was shot seven times by a police officer in what is clearly a tragedy.
As we’ve seen in cities around the country this summer, protest participants and the activities surrounding them often change throughout the day and night. Peaceful protests can happen all day long and then fires can be set or violence occurs late at night by people not associated with the protesters. Would it be fair or accurate to label all that happened that day a “riot” — especially in a headline summing things up? We don’t think so.
And there are historical racial overtones in the use of that word in America.
As Dorothy Tucker, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said on the PBS NewsHour in June, “There is concern that it is automatically labeled as a riot if it is African-Americans who are protesting, but it’s not labeled as a riot when you see the same kind of destruction after a concert or after a sporting event. So there are words that have that association.”
Of course the Journal Sentinel sent reporters down Interstate 41-94 to see Kenosha for themselves. There was vandalism, arson, and looting. In short, a riot. I visited Kenosha–after the riots were over–twice last week. My blog reports are here and here. Downtown every business was boarded up. So were the churches. Most horribly, an automobile dealership with about 100 cars in its inventory saw nearly every one of its cars set ablaze. Near that dealership Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois teen, allegedly shot two people and wounded a third during the, ahem, disturbance.
What occurred in Kenosha met the commonly accepted, unless you are woke, definition of a riot.
Yes there are peaceful protests and peaceful activists protesting the death of George Floyd and other outrages. But Antifa and the like, as I’ve remarked before, are using these protests as a Trojan horse to raise hell. See Portland. Even Chicago’s liberal mayor, Lori Lightfoot, admitted so, albeit in slightly more moderate language last month as I noted in this space before. “What we’ve seen is people who have embedded themselves in these seemingly peaceful protests,” she told Face the Nation, “and have come for a fight.”
With such reporting on “facts” it’s easy to comprehend why readership of daily newspapers such as the Journal Sentinel continues to plummet as these publications are more concerned about appearing woke and satisfying the left-wing echo chamber they choose to inhabit.
Last week the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web James Freeman said of such contorted reporting and the questions of why the Journal Sentinel purses such a strategy, “No doubt citizens nationwide have the same question for many politicians and members of the press corps who have lately been extremely creative in conjuring euphemisms for destruction and lawlessness.”
Thankfully one such mainstream media euphemism for riots, which dates back to the Occupy movement, “mostly peaceful,” has been for the most part placed into forced retirement, but only because of repeated ridicule on Twitter and other social media platforms. As Mark Levin quipped on his show a few months ago, “Mostly peaceful means mostly violent!” But as you’ll see “mostly peaceful” has not been completely eradicated.
As for Kenosha, as I mentioned before, every downtown business was hit by looters. Even on the edge of the city malls were struck by vandals and thieves. Those businesses of course employ people. Families are supported by them.
There was a riot in Kenosha last month. A three-day long one.
Even if Milwaukee Journal Sentinel refuses to say so.
One state over in Wisconsin, during the rioting and looting in Kenosha last week, a 17-year-old from nearby Antioch, Illinois, Kyle Rittenhouse, was charged with murdering three people. The media is focusing on how the riots started–anger over police shooting Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old with a criminal record, seven times. Fair enough.
Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, responded to the mayhem by sending a small force of National Guard trips, 125 of them, on Monday, which was doubled the next day. After Tuesday’s shootings Evers doubled the deployment again and he’s since accepted Guard assistance from other states and from the federal government.
But what if Evers dispatched 500 National Guard troops to Kenosha as soon as the rioting started Sunday night? Perhaps that militia would have stayed home and Rittenhouse, who appears to be a troubled cop-wannabe that got his hands on an AR-15 rifle despite being a minor, would have remained home in Illinois.
Details are still coming in on the shooting death of a man during Saturday’s round of rioting in Portland, Oregon. Last night a pro-Trump group confronted Black Lives Matter in downtown Portland. In what the local police are calling a homicide–a man wearing clothing with a Patriot Prayer logo was shot to death in the middle of a street. The Oregonian is calling Patriot Prayer a far-right group. Of course the mainstream media never calls Antifa far-left, but that’s a subject for another post, of course.
The rioting, mercifully no longer called “mostly peaceful” by the media, has been a nightly event for three months in Oregon’s largest city. Portland’s ineffective mayor, Ted Wheeler, is deaf to the concern of law-abiding citizens of the Rose City.
It’s a new week. Hopefully last week’s riot deaths will be the last ones. And perhaps these homicides will finally compel mayors like Wheeler to take back their cities in the names of the rank-and-file citizens they claim to represent.
Never forget: The most important responsibility of any government is to protect its citizens.
As for the mainstream media, I believe they are too far gone to save themselves.
If you need more proof that America’s elite class feels that there are rules for them but not you, then take a look at Chicago’s floundering mayor, Lori Lightfoot.
America’s third-largest–for now–city isn’t at the abyss, it’s in it. Riots, looting shootings, unsustainable pension debt, and a declining population are what defines her Chicago. To be fair, the public worker pension bomb is largely the creation of Richard M. Daley, mayor of Chicago for all of the 1990s and 2000s.
Streets are regularly blocked off–not by police–but by protesters who don’t even bother apply for a rally permit. One march eight days ago, which was hampered by a poor turnout, had as its goal to close off off Interstate 90-94, known as the Dan Ryan Expressway, on the South Side. The right to peaceful assemble does not include blocking off an expressway, which, according to a police friend of mine, breaks a state law: unauthorized entry on to an interstate highway. I find it hard to believe that Chicago cops can’t find a law to allow them to arrest people who block traffic elsewhere in the city.
That march was a Trojan horse for agitators. The protest migrated to downtown, where it ended violently–even Lightfoot has ascertained that fact, telling Face the Nation, “What we’ve seen is people who have embedded themselves in these seemingly peaceful protests [emphasis mine],” she admitted, “and have come for a fight.” Downtown Chicago and the Near North Side earlier that week was struck by widespread looting, and that round of mayhem delivered a blow that the city may never recover from because 70 percent of Chicago’s economic activity comes from the downtown area.
One popular rally site has been the block in Logan Square on the Northwest Side where Lightfoot lives. But backed by a heavy police presence, protests are now banned there.
“I think that residents of this city, understanding the nature of the threats that we are receiving on a daily basis, on a daily basis, understand I have a right to make sure that my home is secure,” Lightfoot said last week.
Public figures receive threats regularly. If you don’t like that then don’t run for political office. But Mayor Lightweight is clueless on this fact. She’s clueless on many other things, but that’s another matter.
“That’s not what my wife and my child signed up for,” she declared while defending her action. “It’s not what my neighbors signed up for. We have a right in our home to live in peace.”
Meanwhile, murders in Chicago are up 50 percent this year over 2019 and they were 139 percent higher in July alone. Many business owners and their employees are coping with two rounds of looting in a little over two months. They are dreading increases in their insurance coverage–some are considering closing their boarded-up doors for good.
So much for the peasants’ right to “live in peace.”
Chicago police officers are working twelve-hour shifts to address the protests that often turn violent and the dramatic spike in shootings. There aren’t cops in Chicago sitting around looking for things to do. Duh! But Mayor Beetlejuice has her praetorian guard in front of here home, who last night arrested six protesters. All of them by the way, are from out of state, which belies the meme of the left that the protests are spontaneous outbursts by locals.
What else is going on in Lightfoot’s home base in Logan Square? Earlier this month a 14-year-old was told, “You’re a racist and you ain’t gonna do sh*t,” by a man as he allegedly stole the kid’s bike. It’s too bad there wasn’t an army of cops there when that happened, although the suspect was arrested a half-hour later after he allegedly committed two more crimes
And of course there is no army of police officers on each block of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods on the West and South Sides. As for violent crimes in the city it’s not just about guns. Last week a serial stabber of sleeping homeless men was arrested. Will Lightfoot blame knives-from-Indiana for those attacks, one of which was fatal?
On Saturday Black Lives Matter is planning a march on North Michigan Avenue just north of downtown. The area is, for now, known as the Magnificent Mile. It is, for now, packed with many retail stores. Don’t forget, a Chicago Black Lives Matter organizer said of looting, “That is reparations.” My guess is that the protest will be allowed tp proceed. Many people live on the Mag Mile too. My suggestion to them is to pool their funds and buy a condo for Lightfoot and pay her moving expenses.
And then there will be no more protests on North Michigan Avenue.