Posts Tagged ‘woke’

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.

By John Ruberry

The big political news from last week, unless that is, your only news sources are MSNBC and CNN, was not the prime-time January 6 show trial masquerading as a hearing, but the resounding vote by San Francisco voters to recall radical leftist so-called prosecutor Chesa Boudin. 

Oh, he is a piece of work, this one. Boudin’s parents were Weather Underground terrorists, both of whom served long prison terms for their crimes, including murder. Boudin’s guardians were two other ex-Weather Underground terrorists, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, he attended an elite private high school, and he is a Yale law school graduate. Boudin was served a translator for Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. In 2019, campaigning as if he was a woke social worker, Boudin was elected district attorney for San Francisco. “We will not prosecute cases involving quality-of-life crimes,” Boudin the candidate said. “Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted.” Well, I’ll concede this fact to him. Boudin honored his campaign promises.

And criminals received the message. Shoplifting soared under Boudin, as well as what one Nation writer, Sasha Abramsky, called other “low-end crimes,” including burglary and car break-ins. To me, a low-end crime is littering or jaywalking, but I am not a leftist. For many people, particularly renters and the poor, an automobile is their most valuable asset. Low-end? Really? Abramsky, you are quite out of touch, but of course you are, you write for the Nation.

The murder rate went up under Boudin. His misrule was a validation of the Rudy Giuliani’s “broken windows” policy of policing. Notice that I didn’t call it the “broken windows” theory of law enforcement.

I’ve only visited San Francisco once, in 2010, which residents of the City on the Bay probably look back on as “the good old days.” I was appalled by the level of homelessness there, and by all accounts, there are now many more indigents sprawled out on San Franciso sidewalks. Tellingly, during my time there I noticed the strong smell of urine even in the best neighborhoods. Boudin couldn’t smell the pee?

I’ve heard there are Republicans in San Francisco, albeit very few. The two Republican opponents of Nancy Pelosi–her entire district is within the city–collected 11-percent of the vote in 2020. But 60 percent of voters in San Francisco voted to purge Boudin last week. Earlier this month, another Nation writer, Christopher D. Cook, warned of a “centrist uprising” against progressivism in San Francisco. And all of this time, particularly from the left, I’ve been told we need more moderation in our politics, which of course to them means conservatives veering over to their side. In fact, as Democrat policies, from Biden down to Boudin, prove toxic, it’s liberals who are heading to the center, which is best exemplified by Bill Maher’s regular attacks on the far-left. 

Over at the Washington Post, Perry Bacon Jr. warns of centrist Democrats attacking far-left policies on crime. Writing for the New York Times, Shane Goldmacher commented, “Centrists and former law enforcement leaders hailed the successful San Francisco recall as a crushing blow to progressives.”

Oh, those evil centrists, they are taking America down a treacherous moderate path.

Boudin, true to form for any leftist, blamed “right-wing billionaires” for his defeat. Oh, what’s this? Radical leftist billionaire George Soros contributed to an anti-recall political action committee.

The Democrats of course don’t possess the right side of the political spectrum. And they are losing the center. Or perhaps it’s already lost to them. Which leaves the Democratic Party with the extreme left, or to channel Biden’s insult on conservatives which ricocheted against him, the Ultra Left.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

On occasion I get accused of living in a right-wing silo, or if you prefer, bubble.

But it’s left-wingers who are more likely to dwell in their own political silo. And it’s hurting their side. 

Good.

And because many people, particularly leftists, are terrible listeners, I have to repeat myself yet again.

Here we go.

Even if I wanted to, I can’t remain in a right-wing silo. Besides–broadcast and cable media, as well as streaming services, are dripping wet with liberal and woke bias. And I can’t always avoid them. Last year, Mrs. Marathon Pundit underwent a minor medical procedure. In the waiting room I had to sit through ABC’s Good Morning America, hosted by Clintonista George Stephanopoulos, and then, on the same network, The View. 

Earlier this year I had some complicated dental work done. My dentist has TVs in front of each chair. What was on? The View. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was one of the show’s guests. 

“John,” my dentist calmly said to me as she drilled, “tell me if you experience pain.”

Conservatives–and if you are a regular viewer of MSNBC or CNN this will shock you–are more tolerant of people who hold opposing views.

It’s an old study, but Pew Research found that liberals were more likely to block or unfriend a conservative than the other way around. 

The mainstream media, the Biden White House, and big-city governments are leftist monocultures. Big tech too, but I’ll attack them again, I am sure, in a future blog post.

When you live in an echo chamber, you are bound to inadvertently come up with ideas that outsiders will mock. Or even, like a lit stick of dynamite with a long fuse, have them thrown back at you. 

Last month, a contender–and oh my, is the competition steep–for worst Biden cabinet member, Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, revealed the formation of the Disinformation Governance Board. Conservatives immediately pounced, and almost in unison, called the group “Orwellian” and labeled it “the Ministry of Truth,” which is where reluctant liar Winston Smith toiled in George Orwell’s novel, 1984. When it was revealed that a disinformationist, who had cast doubts on the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop, Nina Jankowicz, was the head of that panel, the Orwell analogy was complete. 

One rule of politics, one that the woke ignores because of what Ben Shapiro calls the left’s “unearned sense of moral superiority,” is that when (not if, because the right errs too) you make a whopper of a mistake, you must immediately correct it. So rather than eliminating the Disinformation Governance Board as soon as Mayorkas acknowledged its existence, “the Ministry of Truth” and Jankowicz dangled for three weeks. During that time the Orwellian memes of Jankowicz flooded social media, and an embarrassing TikTok video of Jankowicz, singing to the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” emerged, which gained her the nickname Scary Poppins.

Anita Dunn, who in 2009 cited the genocidal Mao Tse-Tung as one of her favorite philosophers, which led to her departure from the Obama White House, worked on the 2020 Biden campaign. She was briefly a senior White House advisor to Biden. Dunn is said to have been behind the president’s recent use of not only MAGA as a pejorative, but the heretofore unheard moniker “Ultra MAGA.” Conservatives on social media immediately and proudly declared themselves as “Ultra MAGA,” mirroring the response in 2016 when Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump supporters “deplorables.” During a speech earlier this month, Biden referred to his predecessor as “the great MAGA king.” On Truth Social, Trump struck back with a Lord of the Rings-themed meme as he gleefully adopted the nickname.

If Dunn didn’t live in a left-wing bubble, she would have seen all of those snarky responses coming.   

On the local level, last month Chicago’s inept leftist mayor, Lori Lightfoot, declared that the summer of 2022 will be “the Summer of Joy.” John Kass has derisively referred to the Summer of Joy in several of his columns and he poked fun at it in his most recent podcast. Hey Jackass, the sarcastic yet accurate tabulator of Chicago murders and shootings, is selling Summer of Joy T-shirts and coffee cups. Now that Memorial Day weekend has arrived, every time there is a mass shooting in Chicago–and we only have to look back a few hours to find the most recent one–bloggers and right-leaning social media users will quip something along the lines of “Wow, here is more ‘Summer of Love’ Chicago carnage for you.”

All Lightfoot would have needed to prevent this mockery is to have a politically moderate advisor–she would never hire a conservative–who would be bold enough to say, “I don’t think ‘Summer of Love’ is a wise idea, and here’s why.”

As Mary Poppins, not Biden’s Scary Poppins, said in that classic movie, “Sometimes a person we love, through no fault of their own, can’t see past the end of his nose.”

Such is the status of liberalism in 2022.

Which is why it will be a glorious election season for the right this year.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

After a long day at work earlier this month I clicked on the “Surprise Me” feature on Netflix. What popped up was Mike Myers’ new vehicle, The Pentaverate.

“Well,” I said to myself, “this might be pretty good.” 

In fact, The Pentaverate doesn’t even measure up to “pretty bad.” The six episode limited series is one of the worst shows I’ve suffered through. Oh, somehow I managed to view a couple episodes of The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer. I know about awful.

Warning: There are numerous spoilers and some rather disgusting things that I will mention in my review of this Netflix series.

The origin of The Pentaverate dates back to a throwaway line from Myers’ second film, So I Married an Axe Murderer, where the father of Myers’ lead character, also played by Myers, claims that a secret society, the Pentaverate, a five-man cabal, which at one time included Colonel Sanders as a member, rules the world. In this series narrator Jeremy Irons tells us, the original members of the Pentaverate discovered in 1347, contrary to the belief of the Catholic Church, it was fleas that spread the bubonic plague. 

As the first episode begins, the newest member of the group of five, Dr. Hobart Clark (Keegan-Michael Key), a scientist, is accepted into the Pentaverate after he is kidnapped. Apparently, he is the first non-white fellow of the all-male group, replacing a member who mysteriously died. The other members are played by Myers. Lord Lordington, an elderly Englishman, Bruce Baldwin, an Australian media mogul, who of course is based on Rupert Murdoch, Shep Gordon, a manager of various rock acts, a real person who is the subject of a documentary directed by Myers, and Mishu Ivanov, a Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin crony.

Warning! Not-safe-for-work language in the trailer.

But Myers isn’t done with his roles. The lead character of The Pentaverate is Ken Scarborough, a television reporter who wears plaid sportscoats; he is a quirky throwback from the 1970s who does man-on-the-street interviews of other oddballs, while overshadowing them. Scarborough works for, wait for it, Toronto-based CACA news. Yep, caca. 

The other four Pentaverate members manufacture a story that Dr. Clark, who was invited into the secret society because they believe he can reverse climate change, is dead. Clark’s phony passing occurs while attempting to mimic an internet video fad–kissing your own anus. Clark’s room at Pentaverate headquarters is guarded by a sasquatch, who immediately defecates outside the scientist’s door. 

In addition to a Shrek cameo, Myers plays two other characters, internet personality Rex Smith, a stand-in for Alex Jones, and Anthony Lansdowne, a conspiracy theorist from New Hampshire. 

Besides being an assault on good taste, The Pentaverate is an attack on right-wingers, with the implied message that all conservatives are conspiracy whackos like Lansdowne. He is a believer, or has been a believer, in QAnon, Pizzagate, and the Illuminati. His last words as he falls to his death is, “But what about her emails?” 

Lansdowne, in his bumper-sticker laden van, which not surprisingly has a malfunctioning portable toilet, drives Scarborough and his pre-woke Doctor Who-like young female companion, Reilly Clayton (Lydia West) to New York City, which looks nothing like today’s NYC, but more like your standard Doctor Who “future metropolis.” Scarborough, recently fired by CACA, is convinced by Clayton and Lansdowne to infiltrate Pentaverate headquarters, and he does so after a painful penis tug initiation. 

Clark, following an intimate evening with the Pentaverate’s executive assistant Patty Davis (Debi Mazar) in the Moon Room studio–did the Pentaverate fake the moon landings?–suddenly dies, this time for real. He is promptly replaced by casino billionaire Skip Cho (Ken Jeong). Oh, I have never thought Jeong was funny. Jeong recently showed his true political colors after childishly storming off the set of The Masked Singer after Rudy Giuliani was revealed as a contestant.

Myers seemingly hasn’t emotionally moved on from being an 11-year-old. Flatulence jokes are among the things that ruined his cinema take on Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, a children’s film, by the way. Scatological so-called humor also undermined another Myers movie bomb, The Love Guru

Outside of Myers’ fading fame, why did Netflix greenlight this debacle? Could it be that woke Netflix executives fell in love with The Pentaverate’s snide attacks on conservatives, who they probably believe are personified by Smith and Lansdowne? I have liberal friends. Really, I do. And many of them insist that I take marching orders from Alex Jones.

Here’s a tip for Netflix and Myers: the first rule of comedy is that comedies need to be funny.

Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022. Its stock value plummeted 35-percent last month. Yes, when you go woke you go broke. And I can’t think of a single Netflix dramatic series that is aimed at conservatives. Longmire was the closest show I can think of, but production of it ended in 2017, and Longmire was originally an A&E offering. And as I wrote in last week’s review of Ozark, that otherwise quite enjoyable show contorted itself to find ways to attack Republicans.

Over 70 million Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2020. That’s a lot of viewers, Netflix. We don’t live in vans with clogged toilets. We own televisions. 

Cloying use of easter eggs, that is, references to other works that do nothing to advance the story or add laughs–assuming of course there is even one laugh in The Pentaverate–is also another problem here. Winks to other Myers’ works, along with yet another tired replay of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as Game of Thrones, are simply annoying. Rob Lowe, a veteran of several Myers movies, makes an unnecessary appearance.

Myers’ acting, outside of his sympathetic portrayal of Scarborough, is subpar. In his review of The Cat in the Hat, Roger Ebert noticed that at times Myers sounded a bit like his Linda Richman “Coffee Talk” character from SNL. The use of convincing accents is supposed to be one of Myers’ strengths, but his Lansdowne character’s accent, rather than sounding like what you’ll hear from a rustic New Englander, varies from a Canadian to a New Yorker style of speech–that is, when Lansdowne isn’t coming across like Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World.

Oh, when there is a crack within the five members of the Pentaverate, who do you think is behind it? Why of course! It’s the casino billionaire and the Murdoch stand-in. 

I hated The Pentaverate. Hated, hated, hated. If you have any sense of taste or decency, you will hate it too. 

You have been warned. 

Oh, if you think I am just a grumpy old man with a minority opinion on this actual sh*t show, as of May 15, the average critic score on Rotten Tomatoes is just 20 percent. Only once in the last week have I noticed The Pentaverate ranking as a top-ten most viewed program on Netflix. And based on the CGI and the A-List (to some people) cast, I imagine Netflix wasted a lot of money on this fiasco.

The Pentaverate is rated TV-MA for full frontal (possibly with use of prosthetics) nudity, animals engaged in sex, violence, suicide, adult situations, foul language, and scatological references. Well, at least no one smokes in it. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.