Again I say: if you live in Illinois, LEAVE!!!

We’ve spoken more than once about Illinois’ financial woes in these pages, and Chicago’s in particular.  Now comes news that the situation is far worse than previously reported, because generally accepted accounting principles were not followed. The State of Illinois recently reported its biggest annual financial loss ever. Instead of clear reporting on that, we’ve seen perhaps the most glaring example yet of how the state’s finances can be misunderstood, misreported and intentionally distorted. The loss of $47 billion for the state’s 2018 fiscal year, shown in audited financial statements released late last month, is an astonishing number. For some perspective,

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Unintended consequences – the Cobra Effect

I was amused to read this article at the Foundation for Economic Education’s web site. In colonial India, Delhi suffered a proliferation of cobras, which was a problem very clearly in need of a solution given the sorts of things that cobras bring, like death. To cut the number of cobras slithering through the city, the local government placed a bounty on them. This seemed like a perfectly reasonable solution. The bounty was generous enough that many people took up cobra hunting, which led exactly to the desired outcome: The cobra population decreased. And that’s where things get interesting. As the cobra

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Refugees as an instrument of international blackmail

Having mismanaged its relationship with Turkey for decades, including paying a “subsidy” of billions of Euros to that country to persuade it to stop allowing Syrian and other “refugees” to flood into Europe, that continent is once again learning (the hard way) the lesson taught so well by Rudyard Kipling:  “If once you have paid him the Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane“. Reuters reports: Over a dozen migrant boats landed on Greece’s Lesbos island within minutes of each other on Thursday in the first such mass arrival from neighboring Turkey in three years, officials said, prompting Greece to summon Turkey’s ambassador.

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Walmart, guns, and safety

I note that Walmart has announced new restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition, and has asked its customers not to open-carry their firearms, even in states where this is legal. I have no problem with Walmart making whatever decisions are best for its business.  That’s entirely within the company’s purview.  What troubles me about these restrictions is that they’re public relations window-dressing.  They won’t actually do anything to solve the problem of the misuse of firearms for criminal purposes.  They’re feel-good measures, not actually do-good steps.  The Babylon Bee highlighted the difference in its usual masterly satirical way. In a bold move intended

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If we won’t help, why should police protect and serve us?

George Orwell said, in so many words: People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. Those “rough men” aren’t only soldiers.  Police fit that description too, and are indispensable in any modern society.  However . . . if the society for and within which they work won’t support them, why should they “stand ready” on its behalf? That’s a question law enforcement officers in California must be asking themselves today. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill striking down a law that makes it a crime to refuse a police officer’s

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“Treason doth never prosper” – British edition

John Harington, a well-known Elizabethan courtier and writer, famously (and cynically) noted: Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason. It’s hard to see what happened yesterday in Britain’s Parliament as anything short of treason, in the sense that it was a deliberate, widespread disregard of the will of the British people, clearly expressed in a referendum, by professional politicians who were (and are) certain that they know better than those who elected them.  In doing so, they abdicated their role as representatives of the people, and – in so many words – arrogated to themselves the

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Yet more proof that we have no privacy whatsoever in public

This article dates from 2016, but I’m sure things have only gotten worse since then. The NSA and the GCHQ are able to intercept data from passengers traveling on board commercial aircrafts. . . . At the end of 2012, in a presentation, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British equivalent of the NSA … disclosed a ‘top secret strap’, the term used for the highest level of classification, the content of the Southwinds programme, set up to gather all the activity, voices and data, metadata and content of the calls on board aircraft. The zone was still restricted to the regions

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“Social and emotional learning” – but by whose standards?

Over at Mad Genius Club this morning, I consider proposals to “establish social and emotional learning as a priority in education”.  I find them rather frightening, to put it mildly.  Here’s an excerpt from that article. My problem is this.  It looks very much as if CASEL is trying to “homogenize” our youth, teaching them the One True Way to deal with life issues, and inculcating a standard set of responses that ignore individuality and “program” them to deal with life, the universe and everything according to whatever approach is politically correct at the moment.  (Read more about it at their

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When ethics and morals drive corporate governance

Many corporations appear to be rethinking their role in society, and in the process losing their focus on the original reason(s) for their existence. The purpose of a corporation is to serve all of its constituents, including employees, customers, investors and society at large, the Business Roundtable said Monday in a statement. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., heads the group. “While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders,” the group said in the statement. “Americans deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through

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