UPDATE May 30, 2020: freedom to not get killed in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s deadly city
This is pretty basic. We all have the right to get up and go about our affairs without getting killed by random, out of control violence.
What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is appalling. So is politicizing an event best left to the judicial system while cities across the country burn. Establishing rhetorical boundaries of left and right will only spur further anger and outrage.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s F-you message to Donald Trump yesterday was loud and clear for a nation on fire to hear.
Imagine if the president had said that.
That’s not the point, though. We are so numbed to the words “shot” and “shooting” and “shootings” and “killed” coming from Lightfoot’s city, even when they are applied to children, that we don’t pay much attention any more.
Chicago has a new police chief. Memorial Day weekend saw 49 shootings. Lightfoot called it a “fail”33 but she didn’t blame herself, even though she’s had over a year to stop the killing. That’s not how it works in Windy City Democratic politics, especially where the mayor is concerned.
Do Chicago shootings matter less because the victims are predominantly black? That’s not a question Democrats will ever ask or answer. It is the message the city sends out every time a child is shot or killed. That’s fodder for Trump, but unlike Lightfoot’s vulgarity even he won’t cross that line.
The best the mayor can offer people whose lives are at risk just for living in her city is a veiled expletive directed at the president. He is a ready excuse for everything Democrats can’t control, including the loss of countless black lives in Chicago.
Last week we heard news stories about city violence that included the shooting of a five-year old girl.34 Fortunately Lightfoot has ready excuses to divert attention from her failure to protect the freedom of Chicagoans to simply stay alive.
Instead of trying to score points with her base over a tragedy that took place in another city, the mayor should do her job and keep her nose out of national politics. By Monday she’ll have another weekend shooting tally to blame someone else for.
UPDATE June 11, 2020: freedom from paying to bail out Illinois
There is debt and then there is Illinois, one of the most corrupt, debt-ridden states in the union.
Thanks to COVID-19 Governor JB Pritzker sees an out to the drop in revenue that wasn’t nearly enough to make up for Illinois’ destructive spending habits before the pandemic hit, much less now.
According to the Illinois Policy Institute, the state income tax would have to be raised by 50% to pay what we owe.35 Pritzker backs a progressive income tax, but the November election that could set the stage for turning this idea into law is still many months away.
Besides, when did an income tax hike ever help Illinois?
Enter the Federal Government and money from taxpayers in other states. As Chicago’s WBEZ reports, based on conversations with Senators Dick Durbin (D-NY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) the governor remains hopeful that Washington will recognize Illinois’ plight and step in to help.35
Perhaps Pritzker forgot who rules the Senate. Mitch McConnell already offered a possible solution: bankruptcy.
There is an implied threat in the governor’s bailout hopes. Taxpayers in our other 49 states will eventually have to pony up for Illinois whether it becomes the first state to declare bankruptcy or continues down the black hole of debt it created and continues to feed.
Thanks to Republicans in Washington taxpayers in other states still have some measure of freedom from Illinois Democrats. Meanwhile, the state will continue to spend, dole out amazingly generous pensions, and wring its hands over a problem Springfield has carefully nurtured for years while looking to the next big Democratic election win that will help it spend even more.
UPDATE July 2, 2020: freedom to celebrate the independence of our country
Ten days before the Fourth of July South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson introduced H.R. 7358, the Mount Rushmore Protection Act:
This legislation prohibits the use of federal funds to alter, change, destroy or remove the likeness, the name of, or any of the faces on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.37
It’s a very, very sad day for the country when we have to consider that the destruction of Mount Rushmore could be one election away. It’s worth noting that not a single Democrat signed on to cosponsor Johnson’s bill. If they have no intention of destroying this historic American icon then there is no harm in saying so.
Apparently this is not the case.
Forty-eight Democrats did, however, cosponsor the Confederate Monument Removal Act when it was first introduced in 2017. Now they are reviving the bill and its plan to spend $5,000,000 of our money to get the job done.
Johnson’s move to block federal funds for destroying Mount Rushmore was prescient to say the least. Democrats have plenty of supporters who would do the job for free, but that would cheat the union demolition people out of business so don’t look for that to save us any money when their sights shift west.
Yesterday Rep. Johnson introduced H.Res. 1036, “Expressing support for the Fourth of July, America’s birthday, and bringing celebration and fireworks to our Nation’s “Shrine of Democracy” at Mount Rushmore.” We’re still waiting to see if any Republicans agree to cosponsor.
By next year we will likely need more than a resolution to protect Americans who celebrate the Fourth of July, or at least we will if we are still permitted to utter “Fourth of July” and “Independence Day” in public. Democrats are clever with their dirty work. Watch out for a bill banning fireworks celebrations for public safety reasons. Down at the bottom where no one will notice look for a sentence that makes celebrating the Fourth a hate crime.
How many Americans will object?
UPDATE July 12, 2020: freedom to not be a Democrat
Much as Democrats like to bandy the term “melting pot” when they promote illegal immigration, they don’t have much regard for our differences when it comes to forcing their values on us.
On one hand, we have the rich tapestry of ethnic, cultural and religious traditions that infuse vitality into the economic and social aspects of our communities. 38
California Congressman Ted Lieu talks the party talk when he defends these differences:
I vehemently stand against any sort of racial, cultural, or religious intolerance that threatens to divide the melting pot our country has become.39
That works pretty well when Democrats defend illegal immigrants and other special interests and use them to divide left and right. It doesn’t work to defend the vast number of Americans who are not Democrats.
If you aren’t a Democrat you are a threat
Regulating any type of immigration to limit the explosive spread of COVID-19 comes from Trump supporters who harbor the wrong political beliefs:
Once again the Trump Administration is using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to further extreme anti-immigrant policies. Stopping immigrants from legally coming to this country serves no real economic or public health purpose and will only serve to pander to President Trump’s base and the extreme right in the lead up to the presidential election. 40
According to Nancy Pelosi even the president is “an ongoing threat to American democracy” and the Republican Senate betrayed the Constitution when it refused to do what she wanted and impeach him.41
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin claims that not trusting the media is another way Trump supporters undermine democracy:
President Trump is deliberately undermining public faith in the traditional arbiters of America’s democracy – the institutions that exist to separate fact from fiction and hold those in power accountable.
According to a recent poll, one-third of all Americans – and nearly two-thirds of Trump supporters – agree that the media are the enemy of the American people. 42
If Durbin is correct, then this is a fundamental flaw in how Trump supporters and Republicans in general think. I agree wholeheartedly that the real enemy of the American people is not the media. Our enemy is any Democrat who denies us the freedom to be an American if we aren’t a card carrying member of their party. Since they tend to stick together like glue, that means all of them.
More and more we hear the argument that Republican voters are excluded from our great American melting pot because of our beliefs. If you are a Trump supporter you are a threat. If you are a Democrat, or even an illegal immigrant presumed to be a future Democratic voter, you make this country great, or at least you make it great for Democrats.
So America can still be about the freedom to be different and dissolve in our great melting pot, as long as that difference means you are a Democrat.
UPDATE July 25, 2020: right to peaceful assembly
When the threat of violent protest becomes a political tool our right to peaceful assembly is in jeopardy. Just a handful of disrupters with rocks, frozen water bottles, fireworks, or other weapons in a crowd of thousands completely destroys the notion of peaceful protest. The crowd is a danger and the freedom of assembly turns against us.
The enormous political risk of peaceful assembly that’s not so peaceful has yet to penetrate Democrats’ thick, neo-liberal skulls. As much as they try to blame the president and piecemeal federal intervention in cities like Portland and Chicago for stirring up protest mobs, at the end of the day the left will wear the blame when freedom of assembly goes bad.
The left also wears the blame for foolish, irresponsible responses to destructive assemblies like Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s cowardly decision to cave to protesters and tear down two Christopher Columbus statues the night they arrived outside of her house to voice their displeasure. The only thing worse than ignoring the threat of bad behavior is rewarding it.
We’ve learned a lot about keeping crowds safe from sporadic post-9/11 terrorist attacks. Since peaceful assembly appears to be out of the question, when do we start checking protest mobs for implements of destruction because they are a threat to the safety and freedom of law-abiding citizens who understand that political dissent doesn’t mean destruction? The answer is never. Democratic city leaders who empowered the violence with irrelevant anti-Trump messaging can’t go back and they know it. What started with PR about the right to peaceful protest is now a political issue with no solution except to sit back and hope for the best until peaceful assembly becomes a too-dangerous freedom of the past.
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