Chicago has most of the tools already to fight violent crime without additional federal help

By John Ruberry

Another federal crackdown on guns in Chicago is coming. Just like in 2017 when the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force was created by the federal government. Obviously it didn’t work well–because here we are in 2021 coping with out of control violent crime in America’s third-largest city.

According to Hey Jackass here are Chicago’s recent homicide and shooting totals:

Year       Homicides  Wounded
2021 
(to date)   443        2,023
2020	    456	       1,902
2019	    303	       1,307
2018	    338	       1,433
2017	    425	       1,813
2016	    414	       2,050
2015	    283	       1,358
2014	    243	       1,227

Already as you can see more people have been wounded so far this year than in any year since 2014, with the exception of 2016. And there have been more homicides–the totals comprised by Hey Jackass include other deaths, such as self-defense shootings–than any year except 2020, when there were 456 homicides. We’re already at 443 with a little more than five months left in 2021.

“2020 did have a lot of shootings in it,” Saniie said. “But it’s also important to put this into perspective.”

Here’s your perspective, Saniie: As I wrote earlier in this entry, violence is out of control in Chicago. A few weeks ago I wrote, correctly of course, “Chicago has a street gang problem not a gun problem.” There are ten gang members for every cop in the city. But let’s talk about guns. Chicago has among the strictest gun laws in America. Oh, don’t believe the long-time apologists’ line that guns from out of state are responsibile for this, or previous, violent crime waves. David Harsanyi ripped that pathetic argument to shreds last year in the National Review. And of course those out of state guns don’t fire themselves.

Chicago has plenty of other laws on the books to fight crime. But Kim Foxx is not a forceful prosecutor. The essential website CWB Chicago, unlike the city’s mainstream media outlets, honestly reports on Chicago crime and holds no punches. Since New Year’s Day it has been documenting the people in Chicago “accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for another felony.” Many of those earlier crimes involve guns. So far CWB Chicago has found 30 such individuals.

According to the same site, 32 people “were charged with committing murder, attempted murder, or aggravated battery with a firearm while free on bail for serious felonies in 2020.”

I don’t have any firm numbers on people in Chicago charged with new felonies while on electronic surveillance because I can’t find any. Perhaps the Chicago Sun-Times, which deems itself “the Hardest Working Paper in America,” or the Chicago Tribune, both of which have greater resources than internet stand-alones, can find out how many ankle-bracelet offenders there are if they put forth the effort. Perhaps such work can reverse their long decline in revenue and subscribers. But alas, both newspapers have a narrative to advance. A false one when it comes to crime.

Even though she is a leftist ideologue like Foxx, Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, is not politically close with the Cook County state’s attorney. They may even hate each other. But on the issue of crime they are in lockstep. Last week Lightfoot said Chicago “can’t arrest its way” of of its violence crisis.

Perhaps she is right. But Chicago–and Cook County–can jail and imprison its way, at least for now, out of its violent crime outbreak. But that probably won’t happen. Last month Foxx said that she might drop many low-level charges–her office hasn’t said which alleged crimes would be covered–because of a backlog of cases dating to the 2020 lockdown. Crime very well may pay in Chicago. Foxx is a supporter of “affordable bail.” Meanwhile Illinois’ no cash bail law goes into effect in 2023, two months after Gov. JB Pritzker, who signed that bill into law, faces voters. Al Capone and his henchmen picked the wrong ’20s decade to commit crimes, for sure.

Presumably Cook County judges and Foxx’s attorneys are well-rested from an easy 2020. They need to work harder and fulfil their duty to protect the public. Foxx can put on her lawyer hat and pitch in and help out in the courtroom, although if I was a criminal and she was the lead attorney against me I’d be confident of my chances for an acquittal.

While I’m sure federal assistance will help in fighting violent crime in Chicago, many of the tools are already in place for Lightfoot and Foxx to clean up Chicago now.

Only the Chicago Police Department needs to bring back stop-and-frisk searches, allow foot chases again, and reinstate its gang crimes unit, for starters.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from suburban Cook County at Marathon Pundit. And no, I did not vote for Kim Foxx.

The Realties of Portland, Sodomy, Media, Lemon and Sen Whitehouse Under the Fedora.

Yesterday I talked about the ads that Ted Wheeler ran in the NYT about coming to Portland and noting that times readers just might be dumb enough to buy what he’s selling.

But the LPGA isn’t:

The LPGA moved the Portland Classic to a suburb for the first time in 50 years due to safety concerns in the city.

The event usually takes place at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Northeast Portland.

Reality doesn’t care what the left’s meme of the day is.


Speaking of reality Joy Behar is apparently in trouble for making a joke about the reality of what being “Gay” is and I don’t see what the problem is myself:

I thought this entire month was supposed to be dedicated to how wonderful Sodomy is and how proud we are supposed to be of those who practice it and that anyone who thinks otherwise is a bigot. Why it’s almost as if reminding people what it actually is and actually entails might actually cause them to have a viscreal reaction that could change their mind about it.

It reminded me of when years ago the left did all they could to keep a broadcast of an abortion off the air because it’s hard to sell the idea that a baby isn’t a baby at 14 weeks when you see it dismembered.


Speaking of reality the left has done all it can to keep the American people in a liberal echo chamber but something jumped out from citizen free press which is a spot I visit daily for news:

The earliest date I could find for Citizen Free Press in the Wayback Machine was June 3rd of 2017 which means in that in four years they have outstripped ABC, NBC & the LA times and is on the verge of passing the Hill in monthly page views to break into the top 10 on this list. That’s without any cross promotion from any major media which does all it can to suppress what they cover.

The echo chamber may resonate but the reality is that millions every month are getting the information they are trying to suppress and the more the MSM remains an echo chamber the more likely alternate sites like Citizen free press will be sought out and grow.


Speaking of reality we keep hearing about how racist America is from places like CNN in general and from people like Don Lemon in particular to wit:

Lemon declared in a recent Washington Post interview that former President Donald Trump was “the necessary wake-up for America to realize just how racist it is.” Lemon, who recently penned a book, “This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism,” fancies himself an authority on the subject. 

It will come as no surprise however that he chooses to live in a town that is 3% black far away from the the various black lives matters protest that he has supported over the last several years and the violence of the communities that he downplays. I suspect that’s because reality doesn’t care about the rhetoric from a millionaire who talks about being oppressed when it comes to black lives mattering he’s referring to his own.


Finally I’m got a message for the American Thinker who used the title Sheldon Whitehouse has a racism problem. He does not. Yeah he’s a racist but it’s not a problem at least not for him. Anyone on the right who thinks that the Sheldon Whitehouse story is going to generate any outrage or traction from the left is fooling themselves.

Think for a second, if they didn’t follow thorough on Ralph “Blackface” Northam if it risked an election in Virginia and had no problem putting congressman Eric Swalwell back on the intelligence committee in the house when he’s banging a Chinese Spy what on earth would make anyone think that the left/media/democrat complex would say boo to Sheldon Whitehouse when he is the 50th vote for them in the Senate

The reality is that Marxists are always about power, ALWAYS.

A good man gone too soon

By Christopher Harper 

I lost a former colleague and good friend last week. 

Jim Sicile worked as a cameraman for many news outlets, particularly ABC, covering many of the most significant national and international events over the past 30 years. See https://www.yahoo.com/gma/abc-news-photographer-jim-sicile-175104719.html 

Jim started in the ABC News mailroom at the age of 18 and worked his way up to become a well-respected cameraman. He covered everything from the World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina to the Haiti earthquake and the Olympics. He interviewed world leaders and covered every president from Nixon to Biden, which was his final assignment that stopped abruptly because of illness. 

Jim was compassionate. At his funeral, ABC news anchor John Quinones recalled how Jim called one time about an ethical question. Jim had interviewed a man who had lost his job and his home because of the pandemic. Jim took some cash out of his wallet and handed the man the money. 

A bit later, Jim called Quinones to ensure he hadn’t violated some network rule to give the man the cash.  

I worked with Jim for nearly a decade at 20/20. In fact, he was there for my first segment for the broadcast in 1986. The shoot had been complicated, involving a helicopter, a speedboat, and an ill reporter. 

In the end, Jim, a bona fide foodie, remarked on only one facet of the seven-day extravaganza. He loved the huevos rancheros at a nearby San Diego diner! 

His taste buds became renowned. For example, he created a line of hot pepper sauces. Moreover, the prayer card at Jim’s funeral included a background of his famed peppers.

His family organized a bevy of food trucks from jerk barbeque to crepes for a “celebration of his life” after the funeral. A rock ‘n’ roll band played Jim’s favorites from Elton John and Billy Joel.  

But there’s also a maddening part of Jim’s death. During the pandemic, his doctors focused on COVID-19 and misdiagnosed his illness. During several conversations with Jim, an incredibly patient man, he told me about his frustration with his doctors.  

It turned out that Jim, who had never smoked, did not have COVID. Instead, he had lung cancer. It is unclear whether the several months of misdiagnosis would have made any difference, but I bet it would have given Jim some more time.  

Before he died, Jim told his family and friends: “People say I am stronger than the cancer. The cancer didn’t take my sense of humor from me, I am still a good husband and a good father and friend. In those ways, yes, I am stronger. The cancer did not win.”

At 66, a good man was gone much too soon!  

Crime pays as NYC DAs drop most post-death-of-George Floyd looting and rioting charges

North Michigan Avenue in Chicago last summer after rioting

By John Ruberry

A bit more than a year ago most large American cities were struck by widespread rioting and looting after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. 

Of course for the most part the rioting was termed “unrest” by the mainstream media. In case you think reporters forgot what the word “riot” means, the “R” word was front in center in January news coverage after a pro-Donald Trump mob stormed the US Capitol. 

Local television reporters across the country–who are generally more credible than their dead-tree media counterparts–brought viewers many scenes of unmasked people emptying out stores. Some of the looters even posted their crimes on social media.

Were these outrages open-and-shut case for prosecutors? Yes, but not in the way you think. 

From NBC New York:

NYPD data reviewed by the NBC New York I-Team shows 118 arrests were made in the Bronx during the worst of the looting in early June. 

Since then, the NYPD says the Bronx DA and the courts have dismissed most of those cases – 73 in all. Eighteen cases remain open and there have been 19 convictions for mostly lesser counts like trespassing, counts which carry no jail time. 

Jessica Betancourt owns an eyeglass shop that was looted and destroyed along Burnside Avenue in the Bronx last June.

Those numbers, to be honest with you, is [sic] disgusting,” Betancourt said when told of the few cases being prosecuted.

According to the NBC New York, prosecutors are claiming that there is a backlog of cases because of the COVID-19 epidemic. “If they are so overworked that they can’t handle the mission that they’re hired for, then maybe they should find another line of work,” says former NYPD Chief of Patrol Wilbur Chapman.  True, that.

There is a similar pattern of prosecutorial malpractice in Manhattan too. The DA in Manhattan is Cyrus Vance Jr, the leftist zealot who is on a Captain Ahab-like quest to charge Donald Trump with crimes.

The primary focus of any prosecutor should be to protect the public. But are prosecutors subject to the “CSI Effect” that plagues trials? That is, short of videotaped confessions of criminals, there is always room for a scintilla of doubt–because cases laid out perfectly when presented in a television drama.

Maybe. But instead I suspect there is an even worse possibility.

During the rioting last summer in Chicago I watched live coverage on WGN-TV of a couple of women calmly loading their car with what must have been looted goods. The license plate of their car was readable. Locating the criminals should have been quite easy. I wonder if Cook County’s state’s attorney, the woke Kim Foxx who of course dropped the hoax charges against Jussie Smollett–since reinstated with a special prosecutor in charge–botherered to investigate those two looters?

Yes, I had to bring up Smollett. As a black man and a gay man–that’s a two-fer–the former Empire actor is automatically a double-victim. And since many of the looters were minorities, they are victims too. Not of course the owners of stores that were looted last year even though many of those shop owners were minorities too. The criminals are the victims here, it’s not the other way around. If this quasi-reasoning makes sense to you then I recommend that you watch less CNN and MSNBC–and cancel your subscription to The Atlantic.

Some in the dead-tree media have called these riots and outbreaks of looting an uprising. Here and here, for instance. Meanwhile, the investigation of the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters, which The Media Elect is calling either a riot or an insurrection–is being aggressively pursued by federal prosecutors, and the allegd perpetatrors are being charged with low-level crimes such as tresspassing. Yes, they should be prosecuted. But to call the Capitol Riot, in the words some federal prosecutors, an “existential threat” to the republic is a gross exaggeration. And some of those alleged rioters are being held in solitary confinement in Gitmo-like conditions, including the moron who put his on Nancy Pelosi’s desk and the so-called QAnon Shaman. Yeah, I get it, the feds have jurisdiction over the Capitol attack, not New York or Chicago prosecutors. But the message to the public should be clear here.

Then there is Antifa, which for weeks was violently attacking nearly every night the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon. Where is the dogged federal investigation of those riots? 

But I fear some in prosecutorial circles sympathize with Antifa, as I strongly suspect they do in regards to the George Floyd “uprising.”

It seems that prosecutors are taking sides. And that in the right circumstances crime pays well for the criminals. 

But civil society cannot survive such a mindset. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Tapper Media Trap

I am the Editor

Cardinal Richelieu: [whispered to the King] I am the state, Your Majesty. Let us say it now, privately, so that we never have need to discuss it in public. I am France, Louis. I am the state. These men have set themselves above me, and it is I, Louis, and not you who sit in judgment. I render that judgment now.

The Three Musketeers 1948

One might wonder why Jake Tapper of CNN would put him self out there with a virtue signaling claim to the NYT that was so easily disproved by the people he was trying to appear superior to.

The first thought of course is given he was talking to the NYT he presumed that the audience there would never see the evidence to expose the lie since they live in a media bubble that will not report or acknowledge this evidence and to some degree this is likely correct but there is another factor to play here.

Fifteen, Ten or even Five years ago Jake Tapper was in a position where just about any media network would jump at him if available and he would be able to command a solid seven figure salary and bring in ratings and a reputation constant with such a pay.

Now however the law of diminishing returns is in play. CNN in general and Mr. Tapper in particular are now speaking to a dwindling audience which is more and more resembling a cult seeking affirmation rather that people seeking information.

Furthermore his employers whose corporates masters are dependent on the market that China provides and are thus requiring a narrative that supports such a message are not likely to be shy about enforcing that orthodoxly.

It’s easy to say: “I’m not going to sell myself.” But I don’t know what he has out for loans, or college debts for his kids or his mortgage situation or anything else and the bottom line is that there are plenty of people in his diminishing industry who would happily take over his seat at a tenth of the price he is currently commanding.

And if he finds himself off too far off the reservation it’s not just the CNN gig, it’s the prospect of book deals, or speaking engagements or all the other things that supplement his income that could suddenly vanish. Cure Henry Hill:

Henry Hill: And that’s the hardest part. Today everything is different; there’s no action… have to wait around like everyone else. Can’t even get decent food – right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I’m an average nobody… get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.

Good Fellas 1990

That’s the thing that I suspect restrains Jake Tapper in particular and prominent members of the media in general fear. Foot wrong and the same media companies that made them can toss them back into the mass of the people to live their lives as normal people. Without perks, without reputation, having to rebuild a living an an audience on one’s own merit.

This above all else is why the left has done all it can to create a post Judeo-Christian culture. Courage is one of the greatest virtues and fruits that comes from faith because when faced with such a situation we realize we are not alone.

Human Error My A**

This is how much the tech giants are owned by China these days:

Microsoft Corp on Friday blamed “accidental human error” for its Bing search engine not showing image results for the query “tank man” in the United States and elsewhere after users raised concerns about possible censorship around the Tiananmen Square crackdown anniversary. Users, including in the United Kingdom, Germany and Singapore, reported Friday that when they performed the search Bing returned the message, “There are no results for tank man.”

Let me ask anyone on the left who actually believes that a simple question:

If on the anniversary of the death of George Floyd the initial video that got things rolling in that case suddenly turned up “no results” would you buy the “human error” line.

This is a national and international disgrace. Get Duck Duck Go and Brave and get off of Bing and off of any other site owned by leftists who are trying to spin you.

Closing thought: How many times does this happen on smaller stories without your knowledge? I’m guessing a lot.

Wuhan Lab Leak When Everybody Finds Out what Everyone knows

Batman 407

This panel from this classic comic is the first thing I thought of when I read this story:

Adam Housley tweeted that he is being told the increased pressure on the scientific community to be open to and to review the theory that the China coronavirus was made in a laboratory in recent days is due to a defector with intimate knowledge bringing intel to the US that the coronavirus was leaked from a lab in Wuhan.

Corrupt FBI Director Wray didn’t know right away because lower-level FBI Agents wanted to make sure they got all they needed before telling him.  Note those in the FBI do not trust Director Wray so they kept this from him as long as possible.

I was wondering how the narrative had changed so fast and how the media, particularly social media was so willing to turn on a dime, it seems they wanted to get out ahead of this.

Alas for Dr. Fauci the book publishers were not in on this intelligence when they launched their campaign.

Here is the base tweet:

And the summery:

President Trump wasted no time calling for reparations from China:

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday blasted infectious disease expert and White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci for early misinformation on the coronavirus pandemic  — and demanded China pay the United States $10 trillion for ”the death and destruction they have caused.”

I suspect the elites have already gotten their reparations from China for helping to keep the rest of us in the dark.

You see I suspect the problem for the left/media here is the same one that existed in the Harvey Weinstein business. It’s one thing when everybody knows that’s OK when “everybody” is defined as the insider crowd. But if “everybody” includes the public, now we have a problem. As Sir Humphrey put it:

Bernard Woolley: I just found out the most terrible thing Sir. Humphrey.

Sir Humphrey: Oh Dear me.

Bernard: This contract was obtained by bribery

Sir Humphrey: Of course. All contracts in Kumran are obtained by bribery everybody knows that. It’s perfectly alright as long as nobody knows.

Bernard: Shouldn’t we tell the minister?

Sir Humphrey: Certainly not.

Bernard: But if everybody knows…

Sir Humphrey: Everybody else knows. Do not let a minister know what everybody else knows.

Yes Prime Minister: The Moral Dimension 1982

Remember Harvey Weinstein wasn’t expendable to the left until the public knew what the elites already did.

I predict that we will not see Dr. Fauci long in this government as the usefulness of this particular idiot to the elites is about to end.

Review: Season Two of Ragnarok

By John Ruberry

Late last week Season Two of Ragnarok began streaming on Netflix. The Norwegian series presents a modern telling of the ultimate battle, Ragnarök, between the Norse gods and their enemies, the jötunn, evil deities who are usually called giants in English. It is set in the fictional small fjord town of Edda, which is being poisoned by the town’s largest employer, Jutul Industries. The company is run by Vidar Jutul (Gísli Örn Garðarsson), the head of the jötunn quasi-family. His wife, Ran (Synnøve Macody Lund), is the principal of Edda High School, which Magne Seier (David Stakson) and his brother, Laurits (Jonas Strand Gravli), attend. Also students there are two other Jutuls, Saxa (Theresa Frostad Eggesbø) and Fjor (Herman Tømmeraas).

In Season One, my DTG review is here, teenager Magne suspects he is the rebirth of Thor. Yes, he’s another “chosen one.” In the final episode of that season, while Laurits humiliates Ran in a public address, Magne confronts Vidar in a battle. 

The second season picks up where the first ends. Somewhat diminished this season is the teen love anxiety–while the Norse mythology is elevated. There are few scenes at the high school. So there is a bit less of a Twilight feel this time around.

Laurits is a prankster so if you know a little bit about the Norse gods, you should have suspected in the first season that he is a modern representation of Loki, the mischievous god. Reluctantly and by happenstance, as Jake and Elwood did in The Blues Brothers, Magne is “putting the back back together,” and that includes Wotan Wagner (Bjørn Sundquist), Edda’s Odin, and Harry (Benjamin Helstad) as the militaristic god Týr. Edda is multicultural, so it’s not surprising that an immigrant from Sri Lanka, Iman (Danu Sunth), achieves goddess status as Frigg, a clairvoyant.

The powers–and the alliances–of the gods and the jötunn as told in Norse mythology are complicated–as they are here. So are the romances, particularly the one with Fjor and a human, Gry (Emma Bones).

According to the myths Loki was a shape shifter–that is not shown here–and some of those tales of the trickster god involve gender fluidity. Laurits is unsure of his gender–but more certain of his sexuality. Oh, there is also a brief sensual scene with two women.

All through Season Two the government is investigating the environmental devestatation Jutul Industries brings to Edda–as well as the company’s financial improprieties. 

Magne and Laurits’ mother, Turid (Henriette Steenstrup), does her best in keeping the family together while struggling with poverty and of course, raising two teen sons who are conflicted gods. 

The final episode, the sixth–Season One is also consists just six entries–brings forth another climactic confrontation. The door is open for a third season of Ragnarok and I’ll be back if there is. Although to be honest I probably would have lost interest during Season One has their not been a mythological foundation for the series. As of this writing Ragnarok is a Top Ten series on Netflix.

The streaming service gives viewers the option of watching Ragnarok in dubbed English or in Norwegian with English subtitles. There are also some passages, dubbed of course, in Old Norse. 

Season Two of Ragnarok is rated TV-MA because of foul language (and gasp!) smoking. In reality the series is more like a PG-13 movie in regards to possibly objectionable content. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

A much different type of diversity in journalism is needed than what Lori Lightfoot is looking for

By John Ruberry

Last week, Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, to mark the second anniversary of her inauguration, said that on that day she would only grant one-on-one interviews to black or brown journalists to protest the “overwhelmingly white” City Hall press corps. 

She was immediately attacked by journalists of all colors for this boneheaded move. And rather than backing down Lightfoot doubled down on her stupidity. A frog sitting in a polluted pond has more common sense she does.

Lightfoot wants more diversity among the members of the media who cover her. But the kind of diversity I have in mind is much different than what she envisions–but it is sorely needed. We need journalists who are regular people.

That’s a bold proposal, I know. But there are too many out-of-touch elitists telling us how they think the world is.

A leftist Democrat, Lightfoot is a special kind of awful for her to face such hostility from the local media, which, with the notable exception of John Kass of the Chicago Tribune, is overwhelmingly liberal. In the past two years Chicago’s murder rate has soared, it has been hit with two rounds of widespread looting and rioting, which that media has deemed instead “civil unrest,” and she hasn’t confronted Chicago’s millstone, the billions of unfunded public-worker pension obligations created largely by the indifference of longtime mayor Richard M. Daley. Her predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, at least made baby-step efforts to tackle the pension problem.

Of course Lightfoot will blame the COVID-19 pandemic for most of these problems. Her overbearing and pedantic press conferences on COVID probably lead most people to tune her out, which is a sound idea. And as I noted last year at Da Tech Guy, Lightfoot ordered the closing of Montrose Beach on a toasty August morning because the day before a large group of people gathered there despite her lockdown orders.

Wow! That will show ’em who is boss! The beach is closed! Go to your and stay there without your dinner! Grrr!! Grrr!

Later that night and into the following morning that second round of looting and rioting, which Chicago police officers, probably following orders from above, mostly just contained, not confronted. 

Let’s get back to that diversity crisis.

On this weekend’s Flannery Fired Up on Fox Chicago the host, Mike Flannery, a fair journalist by the way and a white fella like me, twice asked a panel gathered on Zoom consisting of a black journalism professor, an Hispanic alderman, and an African-American state legislator if a lack of newsroom diversity has prevented the acurrate reporting of a story. 

Here’s how Flannery phrased his query the second time, “Give me an example of a story that was poorly covered because white journalists were covering it instead black or Hispanic journalists.” 

The trio responded only with vagueness–although the professor did mention crime in a general sense. But none of them could cite a specific example of bias, or even poor coverage, to answer Flannery’s question.

Crisis?

The host said there needs to be more minorities in newsrooms. I agree. But let’s make the local media even more diverse. How about some conservative voices? Or perhaps some individuals who can bring what diversity advocates call “real life experience” into the conversation?

Let’s talk about those riots. I have a client, an Indian-American man, whose parents own a convenience store on the city’s West Side. He still helps out there once in a while. Twice last summer during the riots the store was emptied of all but debris. What about them? Oh, sure, the helicopter media will do an interview here and there with a merchant after rioting, oops, “civil unrest,” but reporters primarily focus mainly on the issues they see a more important, such as why the riots started in the first place. Yes, root causes shouldn’t be overlooked.

People are creatures of habit in many ways of course, including shopping. When my client’s family store re-opened, not all of their customers returned. Their pattern was disrupted. Restaurants in that area are facing the same problem. Grand re-openings cause a big splash–but will the journalism school alums who as adults have only worked jobs in the field have the instinct to follow up six months or a year later to see if normalcy really returned? The Tribune’s Kass, whose father was a grocer, knows better.

Let’s talk about the real life experiences within my family. After many years as a limousine driver Mrs. Marathon Pundit was laid off when the COVID lockdown began. How many journalists have a spouse who drives a limo? Too many journalists are married to other journalists–they’re an inbred lot. Real life experience anyone? We quickly ascertained the chances of a call back to her old job were bleak. So Mrs. Marathon Pundit decided to work as an Uber driver again. But this time there was a problem. There was an outstanding $200 parking ticket from 2005 that hadn’t been paid on a car that I usually drove that was registered to both of us. Now to become an Uber operator in Chicago a driver, among other things, must have a clean driving record and no outstanding parking tickets. 

The two prior times Mrs. Marathon Pundit was approved as an Uber driver that parking violation, which let me remind you was 16-years old, didn’t come up. Why is that? Also, in Chicago, there is–wait for it–no statute of limitations on parking tickets, which places that attack on society on the same level as murder and arson. 

Among the issues that Lori Lightfoot successfully ran on was a promise that she would do away with “draconian ‘anti-scofflaw’ laws” that prevent people from driving a cab or working as a rideshare driver, or even being employed by the city.

Of course if I was a City Hall reporter I’d ask Lightfoot, without bringing up my ancient parking ticket of course, “What about your vow in regards to what you called the ‘draconian anti-scofflaw laws’ on parking tickets as well as banning the used of the ‘boot” for parking violators?”

Followed up with, “Why is there no statute of limititions on parking fines in Chicago?” 

We paid that $200 ticket, even though I don’t recall parking my car where the City said I did all those years ago. A keypunch error–someone could have transposed a licence place digit–could be why we were cited. In Chicago, like many other places, the law is upside down in regards to parking violations. It’s up to the accused to prove themselves innocent.

Chicago–and every place–needs journalists who hammer public figures on issues such as parking tickets. And omnipresent red light cameras. Do you know that minorities in Chicago are hit harder by parking and traffic fines? Who says? Lori Lightfoot said so two years ago. “We can longer ignore the documented existence of racial disparities in Chicago’s fines, fees and collection practices,” then-candidate Lightfoot told voters. Instead, Lightfoot has doubled down on the fines. Since March Chicago drivers captured by traffic cameras going as little as six-miles-per hour over the posted speed limit face fines.

Of course such issues aren’t as meaty as the Holy Grail that all journalists strive for, breaking the next Watergate Scandal. But I can assure you that most Chicagoans care a heck of a lot more about being burdened by oppessive traffic and parking fines–as opposed to Lightfoot’s opinion that the City Hall’s media corps isn’t diverse enough for her.

Do I really have to go into detail about how most Chicagoans are abhored by rioting and looting?

Diversity isn’t a color. It’s a mindset.

John Ruberry, who has been working in sales for years, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

GOP senators knock down walls of Biden’s Potemkin Village at the border

By John Ruberry

One of Joe Biden’s first acts as president was to end construction of the wall at the southern border, a project heartily championed by Donald Trump.

Instead a different kind of wall has replaced it.

The Trump of the late 18th-century, in regards to what we now call fake news, was Catherine the Great of Russia. Historical gossip has it that Catherine was killed as a horse was lowered on to her for carnal purposes. Not true, as is the milder version of her demise that claims she died of her wounds after her bulk–she indeed was quite heavy– forced the collapse of the outhouse she was using. 

A stroke is what killed the empress of Russia.

Besides the urban legend about the horse, Catherine is best-known for the term “Potemkin Village.” Her governor in southern Russia–and her onetime lover–Grigory Potemkin, supposedly built facades of prosperous villages that hid the reality behind the proto-Hollywood sets. One of abject poverty that Catherine otherwise would see as she toured Potemkin’s region.

Most modern historians believe that these Potemkin Villages were either a myth or a gross exaggeration.

What is not a myth is that the Biden-Harris administration is attempting to hide a crisis at the southern border. Not with wooden facades, yet there is a metaphorical Potemkin Village there. Those figurative walls were knocked down Friday when a group of Republican senators, led by Texans Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, visited a detention facility in Donna, Texas, one that Cruz said was built for 250 people but is now holding 4,000

Cruz brought his smartphone as you can see.

Joe Biden promised transparency as president. That’s not happening at the migrant facilities at the border, where the media is banned. “What is occurring here at the border is heartbreaking and it’s a tragedy,” Cruz said shortly after his visit. “It is striking that not a single one of these cameras is allowed in the Donna facility. We requested media to come inside and the Biden administration denied us.” 

A day earlier during his only press conference as president Biden was pressured, gently of course, about when the media would be allowed at the migrant facilities. He unsteadily answered, “This is being set up and you’ll have full access to everything once we get this thing moving.” Translation: The situation at these camps will embarrass the Biden-Harris administration and as soon as we clean it up–or we are able to hide the worst scenes at these facilities–we’ll let reporters in.

For now, as Kevin Bacon laughingly said during the riot at the end of the movie Animal House, “All is well.”

Expect four more years–whether Joe Biden or Kamala Harris is in charge–of such opaqueness. The lapdog media–which only bares its teeth when a Republican is president–will guarantee it. They are the contributing architects to the Biden-Harris Potemkin Village at the southern border–and others that are likely to come.

All will be well.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.