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Georgia vs. Illinois on gun ownership

I have been living in Georgia for about four months and the differences between here and Illinois become more stark every day. A great example is obtaining a firearm concealed carry permit. It’s called a weapons carry license (WCL) in Georgia.

In Illinois you have to first obtain a Firearms Owner’s Identification (FOID) card. You can’t do anything firearms related without it. You can’t legally purchase a gun or ammunition if you don’t have this card. If you want to carry a gun for personal protection then you also have to obtain a Concealed Carry License (CCL). It’s only $10.00 for the FOID card but it’s a whopping $150.00 for the CCL. And it doesn’t end there. Illinois requires 16 hours of training and of course that’s not free. That will run about $250 plus 2 days of your time. What’s your time worth? Let’s go with the latest push for $15/hour minimum wage and 8 hour days. That’s equal to $240.00. All in, including your time, it costs around $650.00 to carry a firearm for self-defense.

In Georgia you don’t need anything to purchase a firearm or ammunition.

You do not need a WCL to purchase a firearm, only to carry one in certain situations.

Georgia.gov

You’re treated like a responsible adult citizen in Georgia rather than a potential criminal that wants to go out and shoot things up. In Georgia the process is simple. You need to be a citizen or permanent resident, have a valid state ID or driver’s license, complete a simple application, get fingerprinted, and pay $73.25. There is a background check and if all is well within 90 days you have your license. Snip, snap, done.

The strict gun laws in Illinois and Chicago haven’t done a damn thing to stop violent crimes committed with guns. They continue unabated. The politicians blame other state’s for Illinois’ inability to control crimes committed with guns. With the current government it’s going to get a lot harder. Governor Fat Blagojevich (aka J.B. Pritzker) and the Democrat majority in the General Assembly passed a law that will end cash bail. The bill was 700 pages and must have been bad because they had to pass it in the middle of the night during a lame duck session before new representatives were seated.

Republican lawmakers also roundly criticized the effort, with GOP Sen. John Curran of Downers Grove, a former assistant state’s attorney in Cook County, calling the measure “hyperpartisan.”

“This 700-plus page proposal was rammed through in the middle of the night with just hours left in a lame-duck session without the transparency and discourse expected in a democratic process,” Curran said in a statement.

Chicago Tribune

Illinois doesn’t want its residents to have firearms for protection, they make you pay dearly for it if you do, and with the laws these people pass you’ll need it. And they wonder why the state is losing residents.

Image by Jabbacake from Pixabay
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Thoughts

Why Georgia needs to remain red

I come from Illinois where the government never met a tax or fee it didn’t like. Living in Illinois for 53 years, never has a proposal been pushed to reduce taxes of any kind. We had one case where the state raised the income tax rate from 3% to 5% then rolled it back to 3.75% for two years. This only happened because the huge percentage increase was shocking to people. But the shock quickly wore off because the state increased it again to 4.95% where it sits today.

This takes me to Georgia where I currently reside. During 2020 when the nation was shut down Georgia cut it’s budget to weather the storm.

… lawmakers cut state spending by $2.2 billion because they feared tax collections would plummet due to the COVID-19 recession.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Illinois did no such thing. Georgia instituted a soft lockdown that didn’t completely destroy the state’s economy. Illinois had strict lockdowns all across the state crippling its already virtually bankrupt position. Georgia had better than forecast revenues into the state. Illinois also did better than forecast but the economy still cratered because there were no cuts to spending. Here’s where things get strange for me. Georgia is proposing to return money to the taxpayers.

Almost a year after the COVID-19 pandemic sent the economy tumbling and forced Georgia lawmakers to reduce spending, a revenue recovery has state House leaders looking to cut state income taxes.

House Ways and Means Chairman Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire, filed legislation this week to increase the standard deduction Georgians can take when they do their income taxes. By reducing the amount of income taxed, House Bill 593 would cut what’s owed by millions of Georgians who use the standard deduction when they fill out their returns.

“It’s the fairest way to help the most people keep more of their money,” Blackmon said. “If we are able to afford it, we ought to let people keep some more of their money.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

What a concept! It’s fair to help people keep more of their money?? I’ve heard of these things happening before but never experienced it. The news story was even fairly reported. Nothing about “how will we pay for this tax cut” baloney. If Georgia becomes controlled by the Democrat Party I will guarantee this state will never see this sort of thing again. The majority of my life Illinois was controlled by the Democrats at almost all levels of government. It resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded public employee pensions that are draining the taxpayers dry.

I just might like it here.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay
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Thoughts

Michael Madigan made a difference alright

Former Illinois Speaker of the House and current head of the Illinois Democrat Party announced his resignation. After nearly 5 decades of controlling the state he’s finally riding off into the sunset. Well… not quite. He’s only stepping down from his position as a representative of his district. He will remain the head of the party and the head of Chicago’s 13th Ward Democratic Organization.

The truest statement Mr. Madigan has made in recent memory is in his resignation statement.

Fifty years ago, I decided to dedicate my life to public service. Simply put, I knew I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.

Chicago Tribune

Under Madigan’s leadership the State of Illinois is bankrupt. He has refused to face up to the out of control spending and the crushing weight of public employee pension obligations. Madigan made sure public employee unions received gift after gift that allowed them to completely run roughshod over the people.

Just about a year ago Illinois’ debt was analyzed and found that the people owe more in pension obligations than they make in a year. Thanks for making such a big difference Mr. Madigan. Hopefully for the people that remain in Illinois your resignation is a good thing.

Our analysis at OpenTheBooks.com shows that an Illinois family of four now owes more in unfunded pension liabilities ($76,000) than they earn in household income ($63,585). In a state of 13 million residents, every man, woman, and child owes $19,000 — on an estimated $251 billion pension liability.

Forbes
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Thoughts

Illinois Senators unhappy with President Biden? Say it ain’t so Joe!

President Biden decided to fire the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois without consulting the two Democrat U.S. Senators. Why?

Is it possible that the Democrat party wants the trials that have implicated aldermen, executives of the state’s major electric utility, and the Speaker of the House of the Illinois General Assembly, to either disappear or to get watered down? Nah. Can’t be.

Joe Biden is swiftly pushing out almost all U.S. attorneys who served under his predecessor, which is increasingly the norm for new Presidents. But even Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, staunch allies of Mr. Biden, objected to his firing of Mr. Lausch, who has been a scourge of corruption in Democratic-dominated Springfield.

“While we agree with the Biden Administration’s criminal justice agenda, we are disappointed with the decision to terminate U.S. Attorney Lausch without consulting us,” the Senators said in a statement Tuesday. They cited the need to “conclude sensitive investigations” and added that “Mr. Lausch should be permitted to continue in his position until his successor is confirmed by the Senate.”

Wall Street Journal

Things were so bad in Illinois that even Durbin and Duckworth called for the Speaker to step down last year. He didn’t but was voted out as Speaker while he installed one of his top lieutenants to take his place. I’m sure the two Senators didn’t want it to look so obvious that the party needed some protection.

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Thoughts

How to rig an election without rigging the election

The conspiracy is now known and admitted. This article in Time Magazine breaks down how “The Swamp” and allies of The Swamp colluded to rig the election against Trump. The conspiracy is real. They call it exactly that but they frame it as if the conspiracy was altruistic to save the country. Instead I think they may have broken the back of our republic.

They changed the method of voting and poured hundreds of millions of dollars for the effort.

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. 

Time Magazine

Naked admission of a quest to have a “proper outcome” to the election.

This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum. It is the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. “Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated,” says Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy

Time Magazine

Fortifying is the new rigging. You can rig an election as long as you say you’re fortifying it.

That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream–a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it.

Time Magazine

COVID-19 was used to suppress in-person voting and push not only absentee voting but mail-in voting. Mail-in is far different from absentee and this group knew this was the key to beating Trump. $300 million was also funneled into the effort by Facebook… or rather the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Should a person investing that much into the election also be allowed to de-platform the person running for election?

In March, activists appealed to Congress to steer COVID relief money to election administration. Led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, more than 150 organizations signed a letter to every member of Congress seeking $2 billion in election funding. It was somewhat successful: the CARES Act, passed later that month, contained $400 million in grants to state election administrators. But the next tranche of relief funding didn’t add to that number. It wasn’t going to be enough.

Private philanthropy stepped into the breach. An assortment of foundations contributed tens of millions in election-administration funding. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative chipped in $300 million. 

Time Magazine

Progressive operatives figured out they couldn’t argue their ideas online and started their de-platforming campaign. They would use social media companies’ terms of service to find the hammer to smash the nail of wrong think.

The solution, she concluded, was to pressure platforms to enforce their rules, both by removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place. “The platforms have policies against certain types of malign behavior, but they haven’t been enforcing them,” she says.

Time Magazine

They flooded traditional media to push the narrative that mail-in voting is not subject to fraud.

Beyond battling bad information, there was a need to explain a rapidly changing election process. It was crucial for voters to understand that despite what Trump was saying, mail-in votes weren’t susceptible to fraud and that it would be normal if some states weren’t finished counting votes on election night.

Dick Gephardt, the Democratic former House leader turned high-powered lobbyist, spearheaded one coalition. “We wanted to get a really bipartisan group of former elected officials, Cabinet secretaries, military leaders and so on, aimed mainly at messaging to the public but also speaking to local officials–the secretaries of state, attorneys general, governors who would be in the eye of the storm–to let them know we wanted to help,” says Gephardt, who worked his contacts in the private sector to put $20 million behind the effort.

Time Magazine

They had a feeling Trump’s support was bigger than they feared. So the conspirators shared their data with the media so they would be aware to keep pushing stories that would suppress the Trump vote. They knew votes by mail would be the key to defeating him.

Podhorzer, meanwhile, was warning everyone he knew that polls were underestimating Trump’s support. The data he shared with media organizations who would be calling the election was “tremendously useful” to understand what was happening as the votes rolled in, according to a member of a major network’s political unit who spoke with Podhorzer before Election Day. Most analysts had recognized there would be a “blue shift” in key battlegrounds– the surge of votes breaking toward Democrats, driven by tallies of mail-in ballots– but they hadn’t comprehended how much better Trump was likely to do on Election Day. “Being able to document how big the absentee wave would be and the variance by state was essential,” the analyst says.

Time Magazine

If Trump won they planned to flood the streets with massive protests. Does anyone think these protests would be peaceful? They would have been conducted by the same groups that rioted and burned buildings in all the major cities in the United States.

Activists began preparing to reprise the demonstrations if Trump tried to steal the election. “Americans plan widespread protests if Trump interferes with election,” Reuters reported in October, one of many such stories. More than 150 liberal groups, from the Women’s March to the Sierra Club to Color of Change, from Democrats.com to the Democratic Socialists of America, joined the “Protect the Results” coalition. The group’s now defunct website had a map listing 400 planned postelection demonstrations, to be activated via text message as soon as Nov. 4. To stop the coup they feared, the left was ready to flood the streets.

Time Magazine

“As long as all the votes were counted…” I take this to mean, “As long as they were able to keep counting votes”. Trumps numbers were surging running up to the election and the cabal to defeat him knew they had to manufacture votes.

Election night began with many Democrats despairing. Trump was running ahead of pre-election polling, winning Florida, Ohio and Texas easily and keeping Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania too close to call. But Podhorzer was unperturbed when I spoke to him that night: the returns were exactly in line with his modeling. He had been warning for weeks that Trump voters’ turnout was surging. As the numbers dribbled out, he could tell that as long as all the votes were counted, Trump would lose.

Time Magazine

“TV anchors were bending over backward to counsel caution and frame the vote count accurately.” Frame the vote count? The word accurately is thrown in there to make it seem legit. But if the vote is accurate and you’re reporting it accurately then there is nothing to “frame”. All you have to do is report.

While he was talking, Fox News surprised everyone by calling Arizona for Biden. The public-awareness campaign had worked: TV anchors were bending over backward to counsel caution and frame the vote count accurately. 

Time Magazine

They basically threatened GOP leaders in Michigan with endless investigations should they even seem to agree with Trump that there were problems with the vote in Michigan.

If Trump were to offer something in exchange for a personal favor, that would likely constitute bribery, Bassin reasoned. He phoned Richard Primus, a law professor at the University of Michigan, to see if Primus agreed and would make the argument publicly. Primus said he thought the meeting itself was inappropriate, and got to work on an op-ed for Politico warning that the state attorney general–a Democrat–would have no choice but to investigate. When the piece posted on Nov. 19, the attorney general’s communications director tweeted it. Protect Democracy soon got word that the lawmakers planned to bring lawyers to the meeting with Trump the next day.

Time Magazine

The 2020 election was a shit show. Our elections were not and still are not transparent. All electronic voting machines should have open source code. The tally should be public information and not solely available to the Associated Press and other media outlets. De-platforming and flagging posts should be illegal unless you’re posting illegal content. Social media companies should not be allowed to discriminate content otherwise they are publishers and not platforms and should be regulated as such.

Trump was right. The election was rigged. The powers-that-be, both Republican and Democrat, the “deep state” if you will, all could not stand that an outsider got to the top of their club. They were determined from the moment he won in 2016 to make sure he would be gone and it didn’t matter what they had to do to the fabric of our nation. This “Secret Bipartisan Campaign” wanted the virus of Trump gone and they used COVID-19 as their carrier to push through changes to how we vote. They infected the nation and our republic may die because of it.

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Thoughts

Rand Paul for President

Senator Rand Paul seems to be the only person using his rational mind in examining the 2020 election. George Stephanopoulos comes off as a giant asshole and Paul rightly calls him out as less than a journalist.

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Thoughts

The tragedy and lost opportunity that was the Trump Administration

President Donald Trump is leaving the Office of the Presidency exactly as he came in, unapologetic, obstinate, and hated equally by Republicans, Democrats, and the media. The funny fact is he was perhaps the most malleable of all people to hold that office in the last 200 years. Here was a man interested only in his own legacy and would have done anything to have been great and to be loved. Too bad members of congress were just as selfish and narcissistic as the man they hated to see the opportunity before them.

Some of the goals of the Democrat Party were universal healthcare, a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, redistribution of wealth from people with high incomes (not wealth) to low incomes, and Green New Deal levels of socialism. I believe they could have accomplished almost all of this under a President Trump. He would have been loved to be perceived as the President that provided for the citizens of this country. He has never believed in “conservatism”.

Instead the Democrats hated him so much that they had to create scandals out of thin air. The Russian collusion hoax, the “very fine people” hoax, the Ukraine impeachment, and on and on and on. For four years the Democrats with a complicit media wasted time and opportunity attacking someone they could have used. They ended up with less than nothing. For half the country they bred distrust in our media fostered the feeling that they are to be ignored. They helped to create a wide chasm between the large urban parts of the country and the rest of the nation. They never sought to inform the public or address their concerns. They only offered disdain and condemnation.

The Republicans are just as reprehensible. There was a sizeable contingent of Republicans that could not stand that such a crass individual defeated their long roster of “qualified” candidates. Trump berated them during the primary of 2016 and showed them to be the weak paper tigers the public already knew in their hearts they were. Trump could not be forgiven for his off-the-cuff insults and they did all they could to make sure he would not get the adoration he wanted. The Republicans were smarter than the Democrats in that they knew they had someone they could use. They rammed through more judicial appointments than maybe any other time in history. They were able to tip the balance of the Supreme Court for at least the next decade. They didn’t totally lose sight of their agenda.

And now, what is the United States to do with this fractured nation? Trump is finally out. He knows he’s out. Yet the Democrats and the media continue their blind hatred and want to force a resignation or another impeachment with 12 days to go in the Trump Administration. Joe Biden called out the protesters as domestic terrorists. What end does this serve other than their narcissism? Do they expect to bring the country together with this? Do they care? Nearly half the country support President Trump and the Democrats will again waste the opportunity to use this moment to win them over.

The last four years exposed us for not having the courage of our convictions. We no longer believe in freedom of speech and liberty and justice for all. We give lip service as long as people do what we want them to do and say what we want them to say. The last four years have been shameful. Shameful that the hatred of one man prevented what could have been the most enlightening four years in United States history.

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Media disinterest in voter fraud and irregularities is irresponsible and harmful to the republic

I just watched a press conference by the Trump Campaign and the Republican Party. There are many serious allegations regarding the vote in Pennsylvania and Michigan. The Republican Party in Michigan have affidavits from people alleging fraud. They have a whistleblower from the City of Detroit alleging back dating of ballots.

Maybe it’s true and maybe it isn’t. But, why is the media so disinterested in this story? They seem to only like “whistleblowers” when it fits their political ideology. Why are they not assisting in investigating reports of voter fraud and election officials refusal to follow their own rules for elections? There is more evidence here for fraud and abuse than there ever was with the Trump/Russia collusion allegations.

This is bad for the country. The media is basically a pseudo arm of the Democrat Party and the politics of the progressives. How can we expect to get the real story when they won’t even approach it? We’re left to hope that the courts take this seriously and the cases get moved through the system in rapid fashion.

We won’t know what is true or not until this gets sorted out.

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5 good things that happened for republicans this election

Regardless of Trump winning or losing (I hope he continues the fight and smashes the crap out of the current systems of handling elections) there were many good things Trump did for the Republican Party. They only have Trump to thank for this and if they don’t continue Trump’s agenda they may lose

  1. An expanded Republican voter base
  2. Instead of a blue wave there was a red tide
  3. Trump forever exposed media bias
  4. Trump exposed big tech’s bias
  5. Trump’s coattails allowed Republicans to make gains in state legislatures

What will the Republican Party do should Trump not prevail with his legal challenges? My guess, since establishment republicans largely hated Trump as much as the democrats, they will squander all that was gained. They will go back to their old playbook and in the mid-term elections the blue wave that was averted will arrive.

When Republicans look at their own foot they for some unknown reason take aim and shoot.

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Trump exposed “The Swamp” for what it is

I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 but did last Tuesday. I still don’t like him on a personal level but believe he is better for the country than Biden. I have tremendous respect for his ability to fight. He has been attacked by the entire establishment. The media. The Republicans. The a Democrats. The Justice Department. The entire administrative apparatus of the United States. All the knives were out and none could penetrate his thick skin. I now hope he’s able to pull the facade off the early voting, mail-in ballots (not absentee), and electronic voting machines and expose them for the fraud vectors they are.

I never thought I would say this. But President Trump is what this country needs.

This election proves that voting needs to be simplified and less technological. New technology isn’t always an improvement. Any “mail-in” voting needs to be absentee voting where a ballot is requested and can more easily be verified. Counting of votes by mail should be on a regular schedule as they arrive (maybe weekly) and added to the count on election day. No votes by mail accepted after the polls close on election day. Get rid of “provisional ballots” and same day registration. Perhaps even make the national election day a national holiday eliminating any arguments that people can’t make it out to vote. Any computer software needs to be open source and regularly audited for legitimacy and security. ID must be required to vote. Uniform rules for voting and process can be made by Congress but need to also allow for local control of the process due to differences in geography and density.

Trump shouldn’t have tried to drain the swamp. He should have gone scorched earth and burned it all down. A wildfire sometimes brings a much healthier and robust forest when the damage is done.