Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

Blogger in Big Bend Ranch State Park last week

By John Ruberry

After a ten-day vacation I’ve returned home to Illinois, which should be renamed ILL-inois.

Since I was born–let’s just say for the same of humility it was a really long time ago–Illinois and Texas had roughly the same population. The Land of Lincoln had slightly more than 10 million residents then, while the Lone Star State had about half-a-million fewer people. According to the 2020 Census, Texas was the home of 29 million people, with Illinois at just under 13 million. Overall, in the same time period the overall US population soared from 179 million to 329 million. 

Texas has prospered and continues to do so; Illinois has gone from stagnation to decline. The Prairie State has been losing population every year since 2014.

I know of many Illinoisans who have bailed on this state and moved to Texas. The most noted departure was that of Roger Keats, a former Republican state senator and onetime candidate for Crook County–oops I meant Cook County–board president. In his 2011 farewell letter to suckers like my wife and I, who remain here, titled “Goodbye and Good Luck,” Keats wrote, “I am tired of subsidizing crooks.”

Since I was born four Illinois governors, three Democrats and one Republican, have served time in federal prison. No Texas governors have suffered that indignity. Last month, Michael Madigan, who was Illinois’ most powerful politician until he was ousted as Illinois speaker of the House in 2021, was indicted on a whole slew of racketeering charges. Madigan, except for two years in the 1990s, served as House speaker beginning in 1981. From 1998 until 2021 Madigan was also chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. Overlooked in the rundown of Boss Madigan’s career by journalists after his indictment is this ironic nugget: his predecessor as speaker was George H. Ryan, a Republican, who is one of Illinois’ felon governors. 

While the numbers might be slightly different today, here are more highlights from Keats’ Parthian shot: 

Illinois is ranked 50th for fiscal policy; 47th in job creation; first in unfunded pension liabilities; second largest budget deficit; first in failing schools; first in bonded indebtedness; highest sales tax in the nation; most judges indicted; and five of our last nine elected governors have been indicted. That is more than the other 49 states added together!… “We are moving to Texas where there is no income tax while Illinois’ just went up 67%. Texas’ sales tax is half of ours, which is the highest in the nation. Southern states are supportive of job producers, taxpayers and folks who offer opportunities to their residents. Illinois shakes them down for every penny that can be extorted from them.

While flying into Dallas Fort-Worth Airport I saw numerous suburban subdivisions under construction. I remember those halcyon home building days in Illinois. But the biggest boom I saw was in the oil industry towns of Odessa and Midland on the Permian Basin. Homes, office buildings, and hotels are popping up there like dandelions in spring. Or like Illinois politicians in prison.

Southern Illinois could be a lucrative area for oil fracking. But our state’s Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, says he supports “clean energy” and it’s believed he opposes fracking. He’s up for reelection this year. Why aren’t his Republican opponents calling for fracking in Illinois?

No place is perfect, not even Texas. It has its own power grid, heavily dependent on wind power, which works great, until it doesn’t, as was the case after a large ice storm last year. Millions of Texans were without power for several days after that storm. But twice in the last decade, I was without electricity for several days, as were hundreds-of-thousands of others in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Unlike the Texas outages in 2021, this was not a national news story. My provider for electricity is Commonwealth Edison, which has been implicated in the Michael Madigan scandals.

Illinois is misruled by con-artists like Professor Henry Hill, the scoundrel from the play and the movie The Music Man, only our grifters are bereft of Hill’s charm.

We may not end up relocating in Texas, but Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I will leave Illinois. My family roots here reach back to 1850. When my great-great grandfather, another John Ruberry, arrived in Illinois from Ireland, this state was the land of opportunity. Illinois is now the land of corruption, high taxes, and decline. 

Like Keats, my wife and I are sick of subsidizing these crooks.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Morton Grove, Illinois at Marathon Pundit.

Boss Madigan graphic courtesy of the Illinois Policy Institute

By John Ruberry

Last week, yes know it’s a cliche, but hell froze over in Illinois when Boss Michael Madigan was indicted on 22 corruption counts. I was a common assumption that Madigan never used email–after all, the feds might be reading those messages.

But the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, led by a Donald Trump appointee, John Lausch, got the job done

Coded language didn’t work. Madigan cronies, in secretly recorded conversations, would avoid Madigan’s name, referring to him as “our friend” or “a friend of ours.” Ironically, the mafia name for themselves is “La Cosa Nostra,” which roughly translates from Italian into “our thing” or “this thing of ours.”

I’ve written about Madigan many times at Da Tech Guy. In short, he’s the man who destroyed Illinois. When Madigan was first elected as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, Illinois had 26 electoral votes. For the 2024 presidential election the Land of Lincoln will make do with just 19. Illinois has lost population every year since 2014 and over 100,000 people bailed on Madiganstan from July 2020 thru July 2021.

Corruption is rampant in Illinois. And Illinois faces a millstone with Madigan’s dirty fingerprints all over it, unfunded state pension obligations, among the worst among the fifty states. Madigan was more interested in rewarding his public-sector union pals than properly funding their pension plans.

In 1983, Madigan was elected by his fellow Democrats as state House speaker and served, with the exception of a two-year span in the 1990s when the Republicans won control of the lower chamber, until last year, when the hint of scandal finally caught up with him. In 1998 Madigan was elected chairman of the state Democratic Party. Madigan remains committeeman of Chicago’s 13th Ward, a post he’s held since 1969. That seems like an insignificant position, but in 2007 when another ethically challenged pol was elected of as chairman of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization, “the Machine,” there was just one nomination–for Joseph Berrios. Madigan nominated him.

Since the 1970s, the Boss has been a partner in a small but lucrative Chicago law firm, Madigan and Getzendanner, which specializes in property tax appeals. Who sets property tax rates? Politicians of course, most of whom are Democrats in Blue Illinois.

There is the Machine–but then there is what the federal indictment of Madigan calls “the Madigan Enterprise.”

From that indictment:

Defendant MICHAEL J. MADIGAN, defendant MICHAEL F. McCLAIN, the Office of the Speaker, the Thirteenth Ward Democratic Organization, Madigan & Getzendanner, and others known and unknown together constituted an enterprise as that term is defined in Title 18, United States Code, Section 1961(4), that is, a group of individuals and entities associated in fact (referred to herein as the
“Madigan Enterprise” or the “enterprise”). The Madigan Enterprise was engaged in,
and its activities affected, interstate commerce. The Madigan Enterprise constituted
an ongoing organization whose members functioned as a continuing unit for the common
purpose of achieving the objectives of the enterprise.

The purposes of the Madigan Enterprise included but were not limited to:
(i) to exercise, to preserve, and to enhance MADIGAN’s political power and financial
well-being; (ii) to financially reward MADIGAN’s political allies, political workers, and
associates for their loyalty, association with, and work for MADIGAN; and (iii) to
generate income for members and associates of the enterprise through illegal activities.

The illegal activities committed by members and associates of the Madigan
Enterprise included, but were not limited to: (a) soliciting and receiving bribes and
unlawful personal financial advantage from persons and parties having business with the
State of Illinois and the City of Chicago, or otherwise subject to the authority and powers
vested in MADIGAN and other public officials acting on MADIGAN’s behalf; (b) using
MADIGAN’s powers as Speaker, including his ability to affect the progress of bills in the
House of Representatives, as well as his control over the resources of the Office of the
Speaker, including its staff, in order to cause third parties to financially reward
MADIGAN, his political allies, political workers, and associates; (c) using threats,
intimidation, and extortion to solicit benefits from private parties; and (d) using facilities
of interstate commerce to coordinate, plan, and further the goals of the enterprise.

In short, Madigan, according to the feds, was running a racket. Madigan supporters, the indictment alleges, were given no-show or little-show jobs, and the graft goes beyond state and local government. Much of the indictment covers Madigan and his associates allegedly strong-arming Commonwealth Edison, the electric utility for Northern Illinois, in exchange for legislation favoring the company.

Madigan was typically unanimously or near-unanimously reelected House speaker and party chair. The rest of the Democratic Party was along for the ride. All the while they were calling Republicans evil, racist, and lots of other things.

More from that indictment.

MADIGAN utilized his position as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois to influence and garner loyalty from legislators by providing or withholding staff and funding to legislators and their
campaigns
[bold print emphasis mine]. MADIGAN utilized his position as a partner in Madigan & Getzendanner to reap the benefits of private legal work unlawfully steered to his law firm. MADIGAN
directed the activities of his close friend and associate, McCLAIN, who carried out illegal
activity at MADIGAN’s direction.

McClain, by the way, is a former member of the state House and a longtime Madigan crony.

As for Madigan, politically he is a soulless person, other than maybe thinking of himself as an FDR/JFK New Deal/New Frontier Democrat. Madigan was all about the power and the money to keep that power, reminiscent, not of the political bosses of old, such as New York’s Willam M. Tweed or his idol, Chicago’s Richard J. Daley, but as a political version of V.M. Varga from Season 3 of Fargo. That villain was fabulously wealthy, but Varga wore the same cheap business suit every day–he slept every night in a tractor trailer. Yes, Madigan lives well, but his first love, perhaps his only one, is power.

For sixteen years of Boss Madigan’s reign of error and terror, Illinois’ attorney general was his daughter, Lisa.

And do you seriously believe that his fellow Illinois Democrats didn’t smell the stench? After all, Madigan, who was also a master gerrymanderer, was good to them. With Madigan in charge in the state House and their party, they almost always won. Only when the Commonwealth Edison scandal got too close to the Boss did the Dems in the state House dump him. Madigan resigned his party chair post shortly after his ouster from the speaker’s post.

Illinois Democrats knew Madigan was running a cronyism machine. They always did. And they didn’t care.

Madigan won’t be on the ballot in Illinois this fall. But the Little Madigans will be.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit and is a Commonwealth Edison customer.

Famous Last Words: “I’m not black enough to be shot”

Posted: January 29, 2022 by datechguy in crime, culture
Tags:

Apparently the false media message that the only reason why black felons wielding weapons are shot by police is due to their race was taken to heart by a knife wielding man in New Jersey:

When one of the officers said, “I don’t want to shoot you,” Ackley showed a high level of political awareness by responding, “I’m not black enough to be shot?”

Life is often a journey toward knowledge and one of the final acts of Daniel Ackley thirty three years of life was the discovery that this information that the media imparted to him concerning white privilege and police was in fact in error:

Within 15 seconds, one of the officers fires his service weapon and Ackley stumbles to the ground, apparently struck by a bullet and stays seated, raising his now empty hands.

He would be life flighted to a hospital but pronounced dead on arrival clearing demonstrating that there is less to white privilege then meets the eye.

I’ll give the last word to Stacy McCain who notes that this police shooting is even less newsworthy nationally then the hundreds of death from black on black shooting in Chicago, LA or Baltimore:

Nobody looted Best Buy. No statues were toppled. White guys get shot by cops all the time, and CNN never seems to notice.

If only he identified as a black woman, than CNN could have gone with: “Police shoot potential Biden SCOTUS nominee”.

Update: Alas this was not the case so DaTechGuy’s 3rd law of media outrage applies:

The MSM’s elevation and continued classification of any story as Nationally Newsworthy rather than only of local interest is in direct correlation to said story’s current ability to affirm any current Democrat/Liberal/Media meme/talking point, particularly on the subject of race or sexuality.

Now I’m an old fashioned guy who thinks that race doesn’t matter when you’ve got a guy waving a giant knife around threatening people and that shooting such a person (because crazy people are dangerous) is justified in such a case.

But that’s playing by the old rules that our friends on the left no longer apply.

By John Ruberry

With Christmas past us it’s time to look back at the current year, 2021. And with a less than a week left we can say that 2021 was America’s worst year since 1864.

Why was 1864 so bad? While there were significant military successes for the Northern armies fighting to keep the United States together–Atlanta and Savannah were captured and General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was locked into siege warfare in Virginia–and a potential political victory of the Confederacy was averted by Abraham Lincoln’s reelection, Americans were still killing each other by the thousands. The following year was an improvement, despite Lincoln’s assassination. The Civil War ended in the spring of 1865 and the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, was ratified. 

As for 2021, it got off to a wretched start when hostiles, American ones, stormed the US Capitol in a riot. We have to go back to another horrible year for America, 1814, when the British Army seized the Capitol, for the only other time that happened. The hooligans who entered the Senate and House chambers on January 6 were not participating in an insurrection, despite claims made to this day by CNN and MSNBC. Sure, the rioters wanted to keep Donald J. Trump in power, but they had no plans for a coup, such as imprisoning Joe Biden, taking control of the military, and dissolving Congress.

Bad people? Yes. Nutty? That too. And sorry leftists, President Trump did not call for an insurrection.

And what about the people who were supposed to protect the Capitol, such as the Capitol Hill Police and the who they report to? You know, Congress, which is run by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They failed America.

In the fraught election of 2020, a feeble old man, Joe Biden, was elected president. “Lunch Bucket Joe from Scranton” was chosen as the Democratic nominee because he was viewed by many as the “safe” alternative to Trump, and not a radical like Bernie Sanders. Biden’s “good years,” assuming he ever had them, are well in the past. Biden, and the people who control him, such as Ron Klain or Susan Rice, went full-blown leftist on Inauguration Day. Economically, the result is the highest level of inflation in decades. These price increases, once dismissed by the Biden White House as “transitory,” will likely continue indefinitely, serving as a hidden tax for all Americans.

While not quite energy independent as Trump claimed, our nation was headed into that direction under his leadership. Shortly after his inauguration Biden suspended new drilling and fracking on federal lands. It has since been reversed in court, but the White House maintains a malevolent attitude towards the world’s most reliable form of energy, fossil fuels. Gasoline costs over $1 more per gallon since Biden became president. Biden also cancelled the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, essentially firing thousands of union workers.

An effective commander-in-chief, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, does his job so well it appears that he is doing nothing at all. While Trump certainly doesn’t have Ike’s soft touch, I’m of the belief that Trump would have seen the possibility of a supply chain crisis coming and would have taken steps to ensure we would not have seen the bottleneck of cargo ships outside America’s largest harbors. 

Meanwhile in the Biden administration the cabinet officer in charge of our supply chain, Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, went on an unannounced two-month paternity leave just as the shipping crisis began. Rather than resigning for failure or dereliction of duty, Buttigieg’s is being hawked by some Democrats as a possible 2024 Democratic presidential candidate should Biden choose not to run for reelection. While family is of course important, liberals often claim that public service is the highest calling. Buttigieg could have simply quit as Transporation secretary. Or not taken the job at all.

While not something that the federal government is directly in charge of, violent crime plagued America’s largest cities this year–and all of those cities are run by Democrats. A dozen cities endured record murder totals. Some jurisdictions, such as San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles County, Milwaukee County, and Cook County (Chicago), are burdened with woke prosecutors engaging in catch-and-release policies regarding criminals.

Biden was elected last November because more voters saw him as more capable to fight the COVID-19 epidemic than Trump. But wait, what’s this? There were more COVID deaths in the United States in 2021 than in 2020, despite the availability of vaccines. And lockdown and mask mandates are ramping up again with the new omicron variant, which so far has killed one American. That number will surely climb but I have a strong suspicion that omicron will not be killing 15,000 Americans a week as soon as next month, which is what the politicized CDC is predicting. 

In order to prove Trump wrong, Biden has proved him right in regard to enforcing the law at our southern border. In late October the Washington Post reported that a record 1.7 million people arrested while trying to cross that border. In addition to illegal aliens, it’s believed that large amounts of fentanyl have been smuggled across the border in 2021.

As Biden as Biden is, his vice president is even worse, the inept cackler, Kamala Harris.

I’ve saved the worst for last. America suffered a humiliating military defeat in Afghanistan. Biden vowed that our departure from Afghanistan would look nothing like our bugging-out from South Vietnam in 1975. He was right, it was worse. As with the border crisis, the Biden White House blamed Trump for the debacle. While Trump did enter an agreement to pull our troops out of Afghanistan this year, it was not a treaty. We could have back out. Trump says, and I believe him, that he never would have made our country look so feeble, yes, feeble like Biden physically and mentally is, if we had departed Afghanistan under his watch.

When the next international crisis comes, our allies will have understandable doubts about American resolve. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.