Posts Tagged ‘Da Magnificent Seven’

By John Ruberry

The foremost political issue in Illinois is crime. And we have plenty of other issues to choose from, including negative population growth and endemic corruption. The election of Kim Foxx as Cook County’s state’s attorney in 2016–her campaign was funded by radical leftist billionaire George Soros–set forth a rise in crime in Chicago and its inner suburbs that accelerated during the COVID-19 lockdowns

The spirt of Foxx’s catch-and-release philosophy of law enforcement will go statewide, but only worse, on New Year’s Day when the SAFE-T Act goes into effect. In case you missed my last two posts at Da Tech Guy, I cited a Democrat, Will County state’s state’s attorney James Glasgow, who had this to say to Fox Chicago’s Mike Flannery about the SAFE-T Act, “There are forcible felonies that are not detainable: burglary, robbery, arson, kidnapping, second degree murder, intimidation, aggravated battery, aggravated DUI, [and] drug offenses.” Which means these accused felons walk free with the promise of returning for trial. An exception for flight risks, which a former Cook County assistant state’s attorney, John Curran, who is now a Republican state senator, says is almost impossible to use for jailing accused criminals. Curran told John Kass last month in his Chicago Way podcast that the SAFE-T Act passed the state Senate at 5:00am in the morning on the last day of a veto session of the General Assembly. He was given one hour to read the 764-page bill.

Some critics of the SAFE-T Act are calling it “the Purge Bill,” a reference the 2013 movie, The Purge, where crime goes unpunished for a 12-hour span.

As I noted before, Pritzker notoriously claimed that the SAFE-T Act was about “making sure that we’re also addressing the problem of a single mother who shoplifted diapers for her baby, who is put in jail and kept there for six months because she doesn’t have a couple of hundred dollars to pay for bail.” I called on the fact-checkers–even contacting them directly–to vet that statement. I’m considering offering a $1,000 reward to the person who finds Pritzker’s “diapers mom.”

Kass, a former Chicago Tribune journalist who was essentially demoted after his woke colleagues falsely claimed that a column he wrote blowing the whistle on Soros was anti-Semitic, now writes essential articles at John Kass News. He’s been at the forefront of the battle against the SAFE-T Act, and he’s calling for its repeal. Illinois’ Democrat governor, billionaire J.B. Pritzker, is promising unspecific changes to it after next month’s general election. He’s up for reelection, his opponent is state senator Darren Bailey. 

Kass says, and I’ve been expressing the same view, that the Democrats are panicking about the SAFE-T Act. As they should, it’s a dangerous law that is a threat to public safety. He’s asking that Pritzker call an immediate special session of the General Assembly, “eat a few platters of steaming hot crow,” and repeal the SAFE-T Act. “J.B. Pritzker has the supermajority,” Bailey told NBC Chicago, which Kass recalled in his column. “Why hasn’t he called the legislature into action? Literally a text or a phone call, we could be demanded to meet in Springfield within a few hours. Why aren’t we meeting tomorrow at 9 o’clock hammering this thing out?” I believe I know the answer to that question. Pritzker wants to run out the clock.

Kass suspects that the SAFE-T Act is a woke exercise in credential building for the governor’s possible run for president. I’ll add my own theory. In addition to minting a badge of honor for himself, Pritzker is prepping himself for receiving a Nobel Peace Prize as the prophet who, at least in Illinois, atoned for the murder of George Floyd. Only the aftermath of an in-force SAFE-T Act will anything but peaceful.

Ads from the People Who Play By The Rules PAC focusing on violence have been very effective, even though at least three Chicago television stations have banned “The Scream.” A more recent ad, even more disturbing than “The Scream,” shows a robbery and a bloody assault that occurred last Sunday on Chicago’s CTA Red Line train. A few hours earlier my daughter was a passenger on the Red Line. One of the perpetrators in this attack has been arrested. He’s now locked up, amazingly, bail was denied to him. But the People Who Play By The Rules PAC has this message for Illinoisans, the attack you’ll below is “a non-detainable offense under Pritzker’s Purge law.”

Bailey, in my opinion, is still a decided underdog in the gubernatorial race, but the downstate farmer is closing his gap with Pritzker according to a recent Fabrizo, Lee, and Associates poll.

Twice last week non-political acquaintances of mine told me, “Hey John, you are wrong about the SAFE-T Act, I read a fact-check about it.” I exposed the phony SAFE-T Act fact-checks in an entry on my own blog a few days ago. Yet once again, and almost certainly not for the last time, I am compelled to point out that fact-checkers are primarily propagandists for various leftist narratives. And if you are told by someone that you are incorrect about the SAFE-T Act and they cite a fact-check as evidence, this needs to be your response: vomit on that person. 

Back to Pritzker: If he is really serious about addressing the numerous flaws in the SAFE-T Act, he’ll call for that special session of the General Assembly with the purpose of repealing all of it. His feeble and non-specific calls for changes to the SAFE-T Act are empty promises. 

Early voting for the November election in Illinois began last week. One way to block a Pritzker run for president is for voters to evict him from the governor’s mansion. A whole bunch of new state legislators in Springfield is needed as well.

By the way, no Republican legislators voted for the SAFE-T Act.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from suburban Cook County at Marathon Pundit.

A breath of fresh air for higher education

Posted: September 27, 2022 by chrisharper in education
Tags: ,

By Christopher Harper

During nearly 30 years in higher education, I saw first-hand the growing problems at colleges and universities.

When I started in the academy in 1994, my colleagues already had a decidedly leftist bent. But other trends took hold. Money flowed out of the classroom into administrative coiffeurs, mainly because the federal government insisted on the changes to fight “racism” and other leftist aims. As a result, the cost of tuition soared.

But U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has developed a solid solution for many of higher education’s ills.

Here are a few salient facts that Cotton points out in his argument for the Student Loan Reform Act of 2022:

–Almost one-third of college students drop out before graduation. Nearly two in five college graduates regret their major, over 40% of recent graduates are underemployed, and more than half work in fields they didn’t study. Yet, in the past 20 years, tuition prices have risen over 180%, and total student loan debt is now nearing $2 trillion.

–College endowments have grown to over $800 billion in value—with Harvard and Yale sitting on over $70 billion of untaxed wealth. Colleges use their massive fortunes not to serve their students but to pay for bloated bureaucracies. Between 1976 and 2018, total student enrollment increased by just 78%, while the number of college administrators ballooned by 616%.

The federal government’s guarantee of virtually unlimited student loans is the primary cause of this disconnect. In return for issuing trillions of dollars worth of loans and protecting these loans from bankruptcy, the government demands almost nothing from the colleges.

Here’s how Cotton’s proposal would fix some of these issues:

–It would penalize colleges that leave students in debt from undesirable and unmarketable programs, causing graduates to default years later. The proposal would require that colleges become guarantors of up to 50% of future federal student loans and would fine colleges 25% of the value of future defaulted loans.

–It pressures colleges to reduce the cost of tuition and to stop hoarding large amounts of endowment money. Any university charging over $20,000 a year for undergraduate tuition must gradually eliminate 50% of its administrative staff to qualify for future student loans. 

–The legislation also places a 20% luxury tax on undergraduate tuition above $40,000 and a 1% tax on the wealthiest private college endowments. The revenue raised from these taxes would go toward workforce education to help the majority of Americans who don’t have a college degree.

The legislation also requires universities to implement policies protecting campus diversity of thought. It would protect free speech and ban all forms of racial discrimination as a condition of participation in the federal student loan program.

As Cotton puts it: “This will lessen the grip left-wing ideologues have on college campuses and ensures their academic environments no longer impedes the intellectual growth of all students.”

If Cotton’s proposal becomes law, I might be convinced to come out of retirement!

By John Ruberry

The latest media controversy in Illinois is the mailing of what the liberals call “pink slime” newspapers. The term was invented a decade ago by Ryan Zickgraf, a Washington Post reporter, to describe newspapers that aren’t “real,” such as the copy of North Cook News which was mailed to my home last week. On the other hand, as you can see in the photo, the North Cook News is printed on paper and it contains, get this concept, news. North Cook News, and similarly named publications (yes, I said it), is published by Local Government Information Services, which is run by Dan Proft, a conservative activist and former Illinois gubernatorial candidate, who is a co-host of a morning talk radio show on WIND-AM Chicago, part of the Salem News Network.

Proft is also the chair of the People Who Play By The Rules PAC, which has run a series of commercials, including “The Scream,” that have drawn much-needed attention to the SAFE-T Act. Among other things, the law eliminates cash bail in Illinois. Riding off of the emotion after the murder of George Floyd, the voluminous SAFE-T Act passed the Illinois state Senate at 5am on the last day of the lame duck session of the General Assembly early in 2021. It passed the state House that same day. Illinois’ Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, signed it into law a month later. Sensing trouble, Dem legislators, or whoever wrote the law, pushed the date that the SAFE-T Act takes effect until January 1, 2023, nearly two months after the 2022 general election. 

Not a single Republican voted for the SAFE-T Act.

As I noted in my Da Tech Guy post last week, in a discussion about the SAFE-T Act, Will County State’s Attorney, James Glasgow, a Democrat, told Fox Chicago’s Mike Flannery on his Flannery Fired Up show, “There are forcible felonies that are not detainable: burglary, robbery, arson, kidnapping, second degree murder, intimidation, aggravated battery, aggravated DUI, [and] drug offenses.” Not detainable means they’ll be set free until their trial date. 

Crime, particularly in the Chicago area, has skyrocketed since 2019. Blame is being given to Cook County’s catch-and-release state’s attorney, Kim Foxx and the anti-police policies of Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot. The mayor was sworn into office in 2019, as was Pritzker. Foxx supports the SAFE-T Act, while all but one of the other 101 county prosecutors oppose it.  

The mayhem of Chicago and Cook County will spread statewide. And the Chicago area will suffer even more because of the SAFE-T Act. 

People Who Play By The Rules PAC television ads and the Proft “pink slime” newspapers must be working. Pritzker and Illinois’ attorney general, Kwame Raoul, say they are open to amendments to the SAFE-T Act–but they don’t offer details. My guess is that the Democrats are panicking. I have no sympathy for them, they’ve had nearly two years to make major changes to the SAFE-T Act.

Meanwhile, Pritzker, a billionaire, is pushing back. He cancelled an appearance at a forum with his Republican opponent, Darren Bailey, sponsored by the Daily Herald newspaper. That paper is published by Paddock Publications, which printed Proft’s Local Government Information Services newspapers; LGIS used Paddock’s bulk-mailing permit to distribute them. That infuriated Pritzker. The governor’s campaign manager, among other things, called Proft’s papers, “fake and misleading and newspaper-style mailers.” Tellingly, the Pritzker camp doesn’t specifically attack the content of Proft’s papers. They are committing the ad hominem fallacy. Paddock, in a statement, announced that it cancelled future printings of LGIS papers. The forum is back on.

The headline of my North Cook News is “Former Chicago chief of detectives: Violent offenders given ‘get out of jail free card.'” That’s true.

Not only have Pritzker and the Democrats, who thanks to gerrymandering enjoy supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, been negligent in fixing the SAFE-T Act debacle, so has the local media. With occasional exceptions, the newsrooms of Illinois’ major newspapers are woke echo chambers. They still claim to be the watchdogs for the public, but these so-called journalists are mostly interested in protecting and advancing leftist narratives. Contemporary reporters are a toxic combination of “the cool kids” in high school, with all of their arrogance, and the false ethical superiority of Iran’s morality police. Community newspapers usually only report on petty crime, but if you need to locate the nearest bake sale, well, you know where to find that information. These weekly papers are in fact weakly ones.

If the Illinois media performed their jobs honestly and capably, there’d be no need for “pink slime.”

Fact-checkers have been unkind to opposition arguments to the SAFE-T Act. The worst of these fact-checks comes from Jeff Cercone at PolitiFact. He deemed such opposition as “false.” Politi-Farce, that is Dan Bongino’s nickname for them, is partially funded by Facebook; the social media giant has used Cercone’s fact-check to blur out a video pointing out the flaws in the SAFE-T Act. Interestingly, Cercone’s Tweets are protected on Twitter. Is he afraid of his readers? I’m not. You can find me on Twitter. Come and get me, I’m not a coward!

Who did Cercone seek out as experts in his fact-check? Cops? No. Prosecutors? Nope. County sheriffs? Uh-uh. He called on Pritzker’s press secretary, Jordan Abudayyeh, and two criminology professors. Oh sure, he included links to articles with opposing opinions. As for Cercone’s experts, I don’t believe their defenses of the SAFE-T Act.

Instead, Cercone should have reached out to John Curran, a suburban Chicago Republican state senator who is a former Cook County assistant Cook County state’s attorney. That, my friends, is what I call an expert.

“You cannot take deterrence out of the system,’ Curran told John Kass last week in the former Chicago Tribune’s columnist’s Chicago Way podcast, “They’ve been doing that for years, the SAFE-T Act is the final straw. Crime is rampant because people don’t fear getting caught. They [the criminals] don’t stop, the police can’t pursue anymore because of insurance issues, coverage issues, and safety issues. They run and then when they do get caught–they know they are going to get processed, booked, and be back out that day. When there is no fear of accountability in the system, what is going to stop someone who sees something and says, ‘I want to take that?'”

Keep in mind, Curran is talking about the current status quo–before the SAFE-T Act kicks in. When that law goes live, Curran warns, what he described will “put that in place permanently.” Only worse, I’d like to add.

For flight risks, apologists for the SAFE-T Act claim, accused criminals can be detained. “The problem with that,” Curran pointed out to Kass, “is to show that someone is a willful flight risk the prosecutor has to prove that they are planning or attempting to intentionally to evade prosecution by concealing oneself. That is never going to happen,” adding, “You literally have to catch them with the plane ticket in their pocket going to the airport.”

So called fact-checker Cercone needs to listen to that Chicago Way podcast with an open mind.

As I mentioned earlier the SAFE-T Act, which is 764 pages long, passed on the last day of the 101st General Assembly. Curran said he was given one hour to read it.

Social media regularly blocks or suppresses stories that the “enlightened ones” deem false. Most notably is the New York Post’s initial report on the information found on the Hunter Biden laptop, which has since been found to be as genuine as today’s sunrise. On a personal note, I’ve been repeatedly warned by Facebook that my blog entries that I’ve posted on Facebook will be pushed lower into the general FB feed, meaning of course that fewer people will see my posts, because my writings have been labeled “false and misleading.” I am fairly certain I am “shadowbanned” by Twitter. I used to oppose setting up alternative social media platforms for conservatives–it’s best that the libs see the truth, was my reasoning.

Only they don’t see it.

Twitter and Facebook used to suspend accounts of users who claimed that COVID-19 was manufactured in a Chinese laboratory. That story, still not debunked, may end up being authenticated. There are numerous similar tales

What to do?

Well, as a resort, to get an alternative message out, conservatives can mail out “pink slime” newspapers. As a last resort there is always the Howard Beale approach. You can open the window and scream, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna to take it anymore!”

Proft is undaunted. In a statement he fired back at the billionaire, “Governor Pritzker believes his money guarantees him control of government and entitles him to make all media subservient to his government. He lords over Illinois through executive orders. He sees the Fourth Estate as no different than his equestrian estate in Wellington, FL. If he doesn’t like a television ad, it must be taken off the air. If he doesn’t like a newspaper, it must not be printed or circulated.”

Oh yeah, television. Two Chicago TV stations pulled a People Who Play By The Rules PAC ad featuring a Pritzker critic, which the governor says is “false and defamatory.”

In that same statement, Proft vowed that his papers “will continue to be printed and distributed even if we have to return to the Gutenberg press and must enlist fair-minded people across Illinois who want the truth, not Pritzker’s ‘truth,’ to hand deliver them door-to-door.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs from suburban Cook County at Marathon Pundit.

Philly: A Soros’ surrogate faces blowback

Posted: September 20, 2022 by chrisharper in crime
Tags: ,

By Christopher Harper

As crime in Philadelphia rages out of control, one of George Soros’ key legal eagles is facing increasing fallout, including from some Democrats.’

Bought and paid for by Soros, Larry Krasner is the district attorney for Philadelphia. As such, he has the worst record of bringing criminals to justice.

The state legislature recently convened a committee to investigate Krasner and his office and even issued a subpoena to have him testify.

But Krasner has refused to comply with the subpoena, calling it “illegal,” “anti-democratic,” and “wholly illegitimate.”

All five committee members formed to investigate Krasner’s actions— three Republicans and two Democrats — voted to hold Krasner in contempt for ignoring the subpoena. When the motion reached the floor of the House, the result was also a bipartisan condemnation of the district attorney. The chamber voted 162 to 38 to hold him in contempt, which included the votes of 10 Democratic members from Philadelphia.

Krasner faces the possibility of impeachment and conviction for failing to enforce illegal gun charges and letting other criminals off easy.

But there’s more. U.S. District Court Judge Mitchell Goldberg ordered Krasner to apologize personally to the family of a murder victim.

How did Krasner respond? Spokesperson Jane Roh told the press that they “strongly disagree with Judge Goldberg’s ruling and are evaluating our options.”

But there’s even more. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which Democrats control, recently criticized Krasner. In a 4-2 decision, the court attacked Krasner for his attempt to recast laws concerning the use of deadly force by police officers.

Justice Kevin Dougherty, a well-connected Democrat, wrote that Krasner appears to be ‘driven by a win-at-all-cost office culture’ that treats police officers differently than other criminal defendants. This is the antithesis of what the law expects of a prosecutor.”

Other progressive prosecutors face the same blowback around the country, as a bipartisan consensus has emerged that stopping crime is an essential part of the job. In a recall election, Chesa Boudin was ousted by San Franciscans, and George Gascon narrowly avoided a vote in Los Angeles.

Such recall elections do not exist in Pennsylvania. Here, impeachment is the only option.

I hope the state legislature, which fortunately has a Republican majority, will convince even more Democrats that Krasner has got to go.