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Stay safe and stay home

This is just a test call time to stay home. Stay safe and stay home.

Listen to the voicemail message I received 3 times over the last 2 days. The calls came from a number that is spoofing my area code and prefix. What is the purpose of this baloney? Has anyone else received these?

For some strange reason now I feel compelled to stay safe and stay home!

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Thoughts

Goodbye Chicago

It kinda hurts writing that headline. But, it’s true. I’m leaving Chicago for what I hope are greener pastures. I have mixed emotions about it but also feel the change is long overdue.

The tldr version of everything below is that I’m tired of Illinois’ multiple levels of corrupt government (here and here are the latest examples) and their out of control spending. People here scream for change but vote the same people into office time and time again. The people of Chicago and Illinois used to be salt of the Earth moderate Midwestern people. Now we’re a tax happy, SJW safe space, that has no tolerance for people that don’t think as they do. Since my vote won’t count to change anything the only thing I have left is to vote with my feet. At least any money going forward will not go to bankrupt governments.

The house where I grew up circa 2006. Before it was demolished for a strip mall.

No matter where I go when people ask me where I’m from I proudly say Chicago. Even in Europe where many people don’t know exactly where Chicago is I would still say it so I could explain the Midwest. Well, no more. I’m not that proud anymore. Where I’m going may end up not being any better. But, at least I’ll enjoy a lower cost of living.

I was born in Chicago in the mid 1960s and grew up in the Logan Square neighborhood. I lived there until I turned 18. Got married, moved to the suburbs, bought a house, had children, and lived a pretty good life. For 32 years I’ve lived in the same location. A location I love. Over those decades I paid my taxes and voted. I voted for people who I thought would keep the state in good shape. I voted for some Democrats but mostly Republicans. But as Chicago seized more and more control over the state each year things became progressively worse.

This is the parking lot behind my house in Chicago. It used to be our playground. Every sport except basketball. There were no rims here. This pic is from 2006 before a strip mall was put in.

Over the years I watched the places of my past get torn down and replaced by strip malls, fru fru coffee shops, and condo complexes. The people also changed. Gone were the gritty city types and in moved the hipsters. I thought the yuppies were bad back in the day but they were nothing compared to these hipsters. They turned Chicago neighborhoods, that had character into any other neighborhood in the country. It was sort of like being in a theme park where all the rides are the same. Brooklyn, Austin, San Francisco, and Chicago. It is getting difficult to tell things apart.

Pizza from Lou Malnati’s. Sadly they just opened a take out location walking distance from my house. One of the many things I’ll miss for sure.
Maybe the last real Chicago Mayor of Chicago.
He had tons of flaws and is partly responsible for the current fiscal mess (maybe even mostly) but at least he was of Chicago.

The State of Illinois was always in need of Chicago. It has always been the economic powerhouse of the state. But, Chicago still had to compromise with the people downstate. Chicago didn’t always get its way. Power in state government became concentrated with politicians from Chicago. So much so we are the point now in Illinois where Chicago runs everything. How else do you think J.B. Pritzker became our governor?

Our illustrious billionaire governor. Governor Fat Blagojevich.

This Democrat billionaire outspent the Republican billionaire by labeling him a right-wing extremist in lock-step with Donald Trump. Anyone that has ever taken a good look at Bruce Rauner can’t possibly see a right-wing extremist in lock step with Trump. If anything Rauner was a light weight Republican. He didn’t have the stones, on a daily basis, to call out the crooks currently running the state. How else do we end up with a governor that abused the property tax system to save $330,000.00 on a property he owns. None of the regular people get this kind of break.

The State of Illinois has been run by one political party. There are no dissenting voices. Only rubber stamps. There is a looming public employee pension debt of around $150 billion for the state. The local governments inside Cook County, the county in which I live, also have a public employee pension debt of around $150 billion. I guess those teachers’ strikes kind of add up over the decades don’t they (and somehow see themselves as non-essential during COVID-19). There have been lame attempts to try to fix the problem. None work because the numbskulls put public employee pensions in the state’s constitution. Every time laws are passed to fix things the laws get over turned at the state Supreme Court.

The public scream for things to change. But they continue to vote the same people into office. What is happening now is a push to increase the income tax rate for the state. Well, the proposal is a graduated tax but in the proposal the General Assembly will be able to raise the rates without any further voter input. And if you think they won’t raise them I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. After the Year of COVID-19 other taxes and fees will have to increase because God forbid the government start cutting their expenses.

Where I’m moving the property taxes are 1/3 what I pay in Illinois and the house is larger, newer, and with more land. My house in Illinois is worth a little over twice what I paid back in 1988. But my property taxes have increased 350% during that time! 350%!!!!

Chicago used to be the city of big shoulders. Now its the city of narrow minds. The State of Illinois used to be a moderate middle of the road Midwestern state. Now it’s a far left social justice warrior “safe space.”

I love my house. I love the location. I especially love a good Chicago winter. But I no longer like the people or the politics. I can’t stand insufferable busy bodies who live by the mantra, “better safe than sorry.” That is no way to live.

Yes, I’m leaving Chicago and Illinois, but honestly, the city and state left me decades ago. I won’t let the state’s crushing debt hit me on the way out.

Goodbye Chicago.

My humble abode for the last 32 years
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Thoughts

3 Reasons to Vote for Trump on November 3rd

Economy

President Obama’s economy was excruciatingly slow and stagnant for the lower 99% of the country. That’s the reason shortly after Trump was elected in 2016 that the stock market took off like a rocket and the U.S. economy’s growth accelerated. There was all this pent up demand and the entire US economy gave a huge exhale of relief once President Obama was gone.

It was best put in the Wall Street Journal today:

The Obama-Biden policy mix of easy monetary policy, higher taxes and hyperregulation skewed economic gains toward highly educated workers in industries such as tech and finance at the expense of other workers; toward asset owners at the expense of labor income; and toward larger companies at the expense of smaller. These inequities began to unwind under the Trump Administration.

The Wall Street Journal

Biden is proposing to do far worse than President Obama. The tax and regulatory regime that would come down on the population due to the socialist/environmentalist faction of the Democrat Party will suffocate the country. I can almost feel the stock market crashing upon a Biden win. Employment and salaries will return to stagnation or maybe even deflation. You can’t hire more people if you must pay them $15.00/hour.

Foreign Policy

The Democrats love to say that Trump “cozies” up to dictators. I’ve seen no evidence of it. I wondered how after Trump was elected that suddenly Russia became an enemy of the U.S. We were actively contracting with them to send astronauts to space. How do you trust them with the lives of your astronauts if they are your enemy?

If there was a problem with Russia it happened under President Obama. His constant “red lines” that he would draw and then do nothing once the line was crossed. No one feared what Obama would do and therefore just did whatever they wanted. Just ask Ukraine.

President Trump has put the world on notice that he would not allow them to walk all over us and use us as the world’s piggy bank and the world’s cop. China is especially aware of this now and would certainly welcome a more friendly Joe Biden as president. Under Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, China was allowed to steal the United States blind.

Before President Clinton the Chinese could not launch a rocket. Clinton relaxed the regulations on the export of technology and shortly thereafter the Chinese are launching satellites into orbit. Add to that U.S. high tech companies using cheap Chinese labor to manufacture high tech products allowed the Chinese to gain knowledge into how to build all kinds of devices.

Did the tariffs hurt the U.S.? Yes. But Trump is playing the long game here. The short term pain we feel will turn into a long term gain once the relationship regarding trade is set to a more reasonable level. I’m not talking about trade deficits either. Those are nothing but political fakery. I’m talking about countries like China that restrict U.S. companies’ entry to their market while we freely allow there companies to enter ours. There needs to be more openness to let the companies compete. If they restrict our businesses then we must restrict theirs in the same manner.

The Judicial Branch

Enough can’t be said about judicial appointments. For far too long the courts have been packed with left leaning activist judges. And the Supreme Court needs to be rebalanced so we can get away from these 5-4 decisions. If Biden is elected I believe almost immediately Justice Ginsburg will retire allowing Biden his first pick. There is no way a President Biden is going to appoint a judge that will adhere to the Constitution. He will do as he did with his pick for a running mate. He’ll have this political identity checklist of all the things a person must be to be appointed that has nothing to do with the law or the Constitution.

Conclusion

I didn’t vote for President Trump in 2016. On a personal level I don’t like him and never did. But, in 2020 President Trump has my vote.

I don’t pay attention to what politicians say. Instead I watch what they do. President Obama would tell you that he’s going to do the things that help average everyday people and the poor. Instead just about every action he took did the exact opposite. It resulted in almost a decade of just feeling like nothing good was going to happen and we had to live in this “new normal”. Trump, on the other had, says all kinds of stuff that I don’t agree with or that I think would be better off unsaid. But, his actions on things that matter helped the country a great deal. It helped all the country and not just the wealthiest at the top.

Once we get on the other side of COVID-19 hysteria a Trump presidency is the best chance we have of crawling out of the muck and mire of lockdown. Biden, on the other hand, will lock us all down on the advice of some unelected bureaucrat. Our lives can’t afford a President like that.

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Scott Adams unloads on Joe Biden and may vote Kanye!

This part of his Periscope chat was highly entertaining. Scott Adams is hung up on the media created phony story of Trump saying racists and Nazis are fine people after the Charlottesville protest. Anyone with sense knows Trump never said what they’re attributing to him but it doesn’t matter to the people that hate President Trump. No matter how you prove that he never said that they will never believe it.

Just give it up Scott! I think these conventions are irrelevant this election cycle. I think people made up there minds months ago. Either Trump will upset the world again or we’ll be stuck with a President that is obviously suffering from mild dementia.

One thing is for sure. No matter what happens in November the people that believe “very fine people” bit about Trump will believe it until they’re into the grave.

Below is the part where he denounces the Nazis and White Nationalists.

But the only part of this entire back and forth the media plays is about 10 seconds from this point.

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Chicago & Illinois wasted $66 million for unused McCormick Place temp hospital

$66 million for fabric cubicles?
Chicago Sun-Times

It doesn’t matter if the temporary hospital was needed or not. Let’s give the government the benefit of the doubt that they were actually worried the hospital system in Chicago would be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Let’s say they actually needed this facility that was capable of housing 2,750 patients. Instead of choosing a contractor that would charge taxpayers $66 million they could have gone with a contractor that would have charged NOTHING. That’s right… NOTHING!

McPier solicited proposals from three giants in construction: Walsh, Pepper Construction and Power Construction Company. And it hired Walsh even though Power said it either would forgo any fees or donate them to pandemic relief because it didn’t want to profit from the pandemic. Walsh charged $65.9 million, including more than $5.1 million in fees, records show.

Chicago Sun-Times

You can’t make this stuff up. A city and state that are both broke, that shutdown the state’s economy, and where lawmakers and union members received a raise this year opted to throw away $66 million on a temporary hospital that held exactly 38 patients!

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A vote for Joe Biden is a vote against the USA

I don’t agree with Joe Biden’s politics or policies. I always found him an affable man but one that is largely full of shit. You can say the exact same thing about President Trump without the affable part. But the difference between the two, and it is a giant difference, is that Joe Biden obviously no longer has the capacity to be a functioning politician let alone president. He’s become a willing, or unwilling, dupe in order to get elected.

On July 28 2020, Biden gave a speech that launches his campaign slogan “Build Back Better.” Yes, it’s a lame slogan, but it’s also taken from the far left pushers of the “Green New Deal.” Putting this part aside for the moment just watch the first few minutes of Biden’s speech. He tries to joke about is age and diminishing faculties but it really comes off as making him look feeble and suffering from mild dementia.

Now on to his slogan. Here is a video uploaded to YouTube on June 17, 2020, under the TEDx moniker, from Professor John Barry. Mr. Barry is a professor of Green Political Economy and Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queens University Belfast. What a mouthful of gobbledygook. In this video he talks about killing off capitalism, pushes his socialist agenda, and yes, he talks about “Build Back Better.”

A vote for Joe Biden is a vote against everything the United States stands for. The United States is not for equality of outcomes it is for equality of opportunity. State management of human lives has failed every time it has been tried.

A vote for Joe Biden is also a vote for someone who no longer has the mental capacity to be president. You’re voting ideology over country.

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New York Times writer Bari Weiss resigns with a scathing resignation letter

Wow. We all knew it was bad at places like the New York Times but this resignation letter written by one of their opinion writers, Bari Weiss, is a barn burner of a letter. She lets loose on the staff at the Times and describes such a hostile work environment that goes unchecked by the powers that be. They allow employees to be as bigoted as they please as long as their bigotry is aimed at those that don’t tow the far left liberal orthodoxy. Here’s an excerpt but you should really read the entire thing. And, when you read the New York Times keep everything she says in the back of your mind.

Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions.I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.

My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again.” Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.

There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I’m no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong. 

bariweiss.com
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An open letter and subsequent shit storm

A group of journalists, authors, writers, entertainers and academics signed on to an open letter in Harper’s Magazine. The subject of the open letter is the signatories’ concern regarding cancel culture and open debate and discussion of “controversial” subjects. The letter is short and is benign. Read it for yourself at the link above. Here’s the gist of what they said.

This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time. The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other.

Harper’s Magazine

Here’s some of the response that harmless letter engendered among the cancel culturists.

Because the American left is basically a war zone at the moment—or online it is, at least—what happened next shouldn’t surprise anyone: A group of us posted the letter and celebrated it, while another much angrier group denounced it and held it up as proof of…well, whatever it is they hate about us and want to get us fired over (this crowd likes calling the manager). Now, it shouldn’t have surprised me—I have been through multiple rounds of this stuff—but I have to admit it did.

One such reaction came from Parker Molloy, a staffer at the left-leaning Media Matters, who insisted, of a letter that includes Rushdie and Kasparov, “not a single one of them have been censored anytime in recent history.” In the subsequent tweetstorm, she said of the signatories:

“They want you to sit down.
They want you to shut up.
They want you to do as you’re told.
By them. Specifically.”

“They are totalitarians in the waiting,” she wrote. “They are bad people.”

Reason.com

The Millennial Generation once again showing that growing up being sheltered from anything that might harm them, mentally or physically, has made them quite sick. If you cannot handle arguing with people over different ideas what can you handle?

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We are all transgender now

I wish I was so elegant as to be able to write such an opinion. This op-ed in the Wall Street Journal regarding the recent decision by the Supreme Court on transgender rights is so beautifully written and the argument so wonderfully presented. I read it twice.

The decision handed down from the Supreme Court created law that made us all transgender and effectively removed any pretense of nature determining whether we are male or female. Now it’s all in your mind.

To say that a man who believes he is a woman is exactly the same as a woman is an affront, and should be offensive, to all natural born women. For men it is different. I do hold a bit of a double standard because I believe that men and women are truly different biologically. That is not to say one is superior over the other. Men and women are just different and no amount of judicial decision or legislation will take away the discrimination that exists in people’s heads.

The example shows the ruling’s totalitarian character. It requires everyone to live for all public and practical purposes as if what they know to be true in their pre-ideological experience of reality—the knowledge we imbibe with our mother’s milk—were officially false, a “stereotype.” Even worse, it requires everyone to live as if what they know to be false were officially true. Ironically, what is now “true” is nothing but stereotypes, that bundle of mannerisms, dress, makeup and hairstyles by which one imagines what it feels like to be a woman or a man. Worse still, it prefers them, especially when they are at odds with one’s actual sex. The war on pronouns, an assault upon the language by which we recognize a world in common, follows of necessity. What we are dealing with is nothing less than a war on reality itself. And everyone has just been pressed into service.

There is no totalitarianism so total as that which claims authority over the meaning of nature. Increasingly the courts are assuming this authority, though they typically exercise it in part unconsciously, even ignorantly, and in part dishonestly and subversively, all under the pretense of “neutrally” mediating between interests, rights, powers and authorities. Or in this case, simply parsing “plain English.” But this is bosh, and no one believes it.

Wall Street Journal
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Between 15% & 30% of health care is probably unnecessary?!?

I just read an opinion piece in the New York Times where cardiologist, Dr. Sandeep Jauhar talks about people not going to the doctor or hospitals during the COVID-19 bruhaha. In this article he talks about how perhaps we go to the doctor too much. I agree.

When you go to the doctor they’re don’t just examine you for the reasons you are there. Because of laws and insurance they must run a battery of tests and examine things you don’t want just to protect themselves from our wonderful litigious society.

The big revelation and talk about burying the lead Dr. Jauhar slips in this paragraph.

In a survey a few years ago, two-thirds of doctors in the United States admitted that between 15 percent and 30 percent of health care is probably unnecessary.

New York Times

I had no idea and I know I never saw this reported in the media. Maybe I missed it. Regardless, this should be huge news. What the hell are we doing?

In an effort to hear from physicians about the magnitude of the “too much medical care” problem, the Johns Hopkins research team—part of a national consortium exploring ways to reduce unneeded care—invited 3,318 physicians to complete a survey about health care practices. The survey was conducted between Jan. 22 and March 8, 2014, and a total of 2,106 physicians’ responses were included in the published research report.

The majority of the physicians who responded to the survey said they believed that at least 15 to 30 percent of medical care is not needed.

Breaking down the types of unnecessary medical care, survey respondents reported that 22 percent of prescription medications, 24.9 percent of medical tests, 11.1 percent of procedures, and 20.6 percent of overall medical care delivered is unnecessary. The median response for physicians who perform unnecessary procedures for profit motive was 16.7 percent.

Physicians with at least 10 years of experience after residency and specialists were more likely to believe that physicians perform unnecessary procedures when they profit from them.

Johns Hopkins University

This is truly scandalous.