Lots of Illinoisans are crossing the Wisconsin state line–permanently

By John Ruberry

“He crossed state lines with an AR-15” is a typical bellyache from leftist pontificators about Kyle Rittenhouse traveling from his home in Antioch, Illinois to help protect a business in Kenosha, Wisconsin during the riots (oops civil unrest) there last summer. 

The northern city limits of Antioch end at the Wisconsin state line. So for many people, including for Kyle Rittenhouse, travelling to Wisconsin is a daily trip. He worked in Pleasant Prairie, which is sandwiched between the Illinois state line and Kenosha. And Rittenhouse’s father and other relatives of his live in Kenosha.

Rittenhouse of course was found not guilty–and it was the correct verdict–of charges surrounding the self-defense shootings of three rioters (oops mostly peaceful protesters) in Kenosha last summer.

Do you need to fill up your gas tank? Only naive fools top off their vehicles in Illinois when there is a Wisconsin choice a short drive away. For instance, last month Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I visited Illinois Beach State Park in Zion. On our way out of the park I told Mrs. Marathon Pundit, “Let’s head up Sheridan Road and fill up our car.” And so we did. At the BP station there–which is just 50 yards north of the Illinois border, we paid 40 cents less per gallon than we would have south of the Cheese Curtain. The BP station is a large one–there were about ten vehicles filling up. And each one had Illinois license plates.

What about permanent moves to America’s Dairyland?

Just north of that border you see many manufacturing facilities and warehouses, most of them are newly built. Many of them are businesses that formerly called Illinois home. U-Line has a massive warehouse in Pleasant Prairie, they moved there, bringing 1,000 jobs, from Waukegan, Illinois in 2008. That facility has many neighbors that are equally massive. But on the Illinois side you see farms and some small scale businesses.

Why are they leaving?

Writing for the Badger Institute in 2019, Mark J. Perry said, “On 14 different measures of labor market dynamism, economic growth, various tax burdens, business climate and fiscal health, Wisconsin comes out ahead of neighboring Illinois on all but one of those measures — state individual income tax rate.” Perry added, “On net, Wisconsin has gained 116,000 Illinois residents between 2006 and 2017, an average of nearly 40 residents every day from 2014-’17.” 

Illinois has other substantial problems. Its public pension system is the second-worst funded of the 50 states–at just 39 percent–while Wisconsin’s public worker pensions are the best-funded at over 100 percent. Only an amendment to the Illinois constitution to eliminate the pension guarantee clause, a default, or hyper-inflation can solve the pension crisis. Illinois regularly contends for the title of most-corrupt state. Since I was born four Illinois governors have served time in federal prison. No governors of Wisconsin from that period have suffered the same disgrace.

Violent crime and robbery is a growing crisis in Chicago and its inner suburbs. Chicago will probably exceed 800 murders this year–numbers that the city hasn’t seen since the crack-fueled street gang wars of the mid-1990s. According to Hey Jackass there have already been over 1,400 carjackings in Chicago–nearly double than the yearly total of 2009. Flash mob robberies are occurring not just in Chicago but also the suburbs, such as this outrage where a gang of thieves on Wednesday filched over $100,000 in merchandise from a Luis Vuitton store in DuPage County. Two days later in Chicago’s downsized Magnificent Mile a flash mob of shoplifters struck Neiman Marcus–filling up three cars of merchandise. Wow, up until recently finding even an illegal parking spot was nearly impossible on the Mag Mile. Of course no one has been charged in these flash mob thefts. 

So crossing the Illinois state line into Wisconsin isn’t just a common occurrence. It’s the safe and smart move for people and businesses. 

Who knows? Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I might make that migration north too. Without a rifle. We only own a handgun.

John Ruberry regularly blogs just forty miles south of the Wisconsin border at Marathon Pundit.

How long can MSNBC viewers fall for the lies?

By John Ruberry

Sometime in her early 20s my wife, aka Mrs. Marathon Pundit, realized she’d been fed a stream of lies from the Soviet Union. The state media and the government schools put forth this whopper, for instance, that Estonia, Lithuania, and her own Latvia voluntarily joined the USSR in 1940, after the Red Army moved in

What else had they lied to her about?

Plenty of things. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster was one colossal series of disinformation. And she grew up with the false belief that Soviet citizens enjoyed a standard of living that was among the world’s highest. And some information was left out. While we were still dating we were looking up with amazement at the stars on a crystal clear and moonless night in rural Michigan. Then she asked me, “Did the Americans really send men to the moon?”

Let’s move up a few decades to MSNBC, the most reliable mouthpiece for leftist Democratic politicians and their supporters. 

Watching MSNBC you’ll be told that Critical Race Theory is not being taught in public schools. As I explained last week, while the original CRT texts probably aren’t being presented, lessons are being rammed down kids’ throats that put them into two camps for instance, oppressors and oppressed. And that America is incurably racist–well there is a cure. And that is of course CRT, even though it might be labeled “equity training.”

That conversation is morphing into their belief that conservatives don’t want racial history, including slavery, taught in schools. That’s just made-up nonsense. 

Just this morning on some MSNBC program called Velshi, one of the panelists made the claim that many of the protesters who spoke up at school board meetings aren’t parents, or perhaps she said they don’t have children at those schools. No matter. For instance as taxpayers these patriots have a right to voice their opinion on how the biggest part of their property tax bill is spent. Secondly if we take that twisted logic further, then Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, who has no children, should have no voice in how are youngsters are educated. 

MSNBC and CNN pushed the Trump-Russia collusion fallacy for most of the Trump presidency. It is the Elvis-sightings of political scandals. Elvis Presley died in 1977 and there was no Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Here’s another MSNBC fable–that Kyle Rittenhouse, in the words of one commentator on that network, was “arguably a domestic terrorist.” The MSNBC talking heads were infuriated that Rittenhouse crossed a state line from Antioch, Illinois–which borders Wisconsin, to travel during the riot (oops, unrest) in Kenosha, where his father lived and where Rittenhouse worked. The truth has since emerged that the then-17-year-old was just trying to help out in a lawless zone who was forced into a situation where he had no choice but to defend himself.

Oh, just so you know, I don’t believe that minors should be waking around with an AK-47. 

For months MNSBC has been following the Democrat Party line that inflation was all but non-existent, then it was “transitory,” and now while it is real, inflation is not a problem. After Velshi MSNBC’s next program, The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart came on. His first guest was the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who discussed rising prices. “Part of the reason that people are talking about inflation is that there are costs rising for American families across the county.” Duh! Her party’s solution? Of course it’s the expensive Build Back Better bill that includes child care money–and that will bring down costs for Americans. Wow. Give Jayapal her Nobel Prize for Economics now! Capehart didn’t bother to challenge Jayapal’s idiocy.

You probably believe that the typical MSNBC viewer is a hardened leftist who is immune from logic. Yes on the first and no on the second. MSNBC is telling its core audience what it wants to hear. But untruth can only be carried so far. Imagine for a moment a brothel that caters to men in their 50s like me. (Disclosure–I have not been to such a place.) You walk in and the women comment on how handsome you are–and that you are in incredible physical shape. They laugh at your jokes and when you bring up politics, “Republicans are racists, Biden is the best president since FDR,” one of the women winks at you and says, “Let’s continue this conversation upstairs in private.” And upstairs you go.

Eventually you learn that you are being played at that imaginary brothel–you ascertain that the sex workers are coyly reconfirming beliefs that you already have. “I’m a great looking guy.” Even though you’re not. You’re a guy in your 50s. Duh! They just want your money so they tell you want you want to hear.

MSNBC just wants your time. With so many choices for time–hundreds of cable channels, streaming services, podcasts, the internet, not to mention old school choices such as books and actually sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation with another person, time is an ever-precious finite resource. MSNBC is reconfirming the false beliefs–Trump colluded with Russia, Rittenhouse is a vigilante, inflation is not a problem–of its viewers to steal that time.

Sure it’s a trite expression, but time really is money.

What will MSNBC say if runway inflation–not to mention Jimmy Carter-era stagflation–is with us in a year? 

How many of its viewers will switch the channel? Forever.

MSNBC’s ratings are already way below those of Fox News. CNN is in even worse shape.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.