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Articles Posted by jfd1776

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  • A Strawman Made of Bronze

    08/16/2017 7:58:31 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | August 16, 2017 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    Reflections on the anatomy of a setup… The news of the hour is about Charlottesville and its many copycats. For decades, there have been people agitating to take down monuments to Confederate heroes, and for just as long, there have been people defending them. But only in the summer of 2017 did this issue vault to the top of the headlines, above far worthier issues. The question of the hour should not be what to do about the statues. The question should be "Why?" Why is this issue arising, when there is so much in the world that is so...
  • When Twenty Deportations Aren't Enough

    07/31/2017 4:37:15 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 16 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | July 31, 2017 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The news of the day concerns a repeat offender, so we will begin with the news, then move on to the analysis: Sergio Jose Martinez, age 31, having been deported twenty times previously, was arrested in Portland, Oregon on July 24, having broken into the home of a 65-year-old woman, where he raped and beat her, then stole her car, a 2011 Toyota Prius. Now held on two million dollars bond, the police and prosecutors are gathering evidence for trial. Mr. Martinez’ long criminal record includes both felony and misdemeanor convictions over the years, such as repeated border-jumping, burglary, and...
  • Transgender Issues and the U.S. Military

    07/27/2017 5:21:51 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 9 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | July 27, 2017 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    The people whining about the Administration’s latest decision – formally returning to the exclusion of "transgendered people" from the military - apparently don't understand what the military is for. The Armed Services are not a corner bakery or grocery store. They’re not a school or customer service center, a factory or shopping mall. The military is not a social justice experiment. The military is a collection of government departments, constitutionally chartered to do certain things that only the government can do (as opposed to things that are better done by the private sector): keeping our borders secure, engaging or defending...
  • A Debt of Honor to Illinois Creditors?

    07/24/2017 2:28:53 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 13 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | July 24, 2017 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Let’s begin with a quick refresher: In July, 2017, the Democrat-dominated legislature of the State of Illinois, a state already suffering the loss of 95,000 residents per year, voted to override its governor and increase both the business and personal income tax by a third. To be specific, that’s a 32% increase in the individual income tax, and a 33% increase in the corporate income tax…thereby adding to a regulatory and tax structure that’s already so crippling, it’s driving out people and businesses at a rate faster than any other state, even states as famous for such flight as California...
  • The Bastille, Mob Rule, and Emptying of Prisons

    07/14/2017 4:14:14 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 30 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | July 14, 2017 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    Reflections on big city life on Bastille Day… Every year on July 14, the French celebrate Bastille Day, the beginning of the end for the Bourbon monarchy, and, ostensibly, the rise of the power of the people. Even here in the United States, an ocean away, with only the slightest connection to the French people and culture, we enjoy the day as an unofficial holiday. We drink French wine, enjoy brie and crackers, and sing Le Marseillaise (in the original French, of course). It’s an excuse for a sale, for a party, for a festival. As long as we don’t...
  • Want a Drink, Friends? Here's the Last Straw.

    07/10/2017 8:13:54 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 8 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | July 10, 2017 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    Reflections on doing business in Illinois in 2017… The pundit class, and our cousins in the political class as well, have said and written much about the spate of new taxes, spending, and regulations in Illinois that have hit, and will continue to hit, in Chicago, in Cook County, and across Illinois this year. First, the minimum wage was hiked… Illinois was already a dollar over the national minimum wage, so Cook County passed an ordinance to jump to $10/hour on July 1, 2017, then to increase by another dollar per year through 2020, when it would hit $13/hour… and...
  • George Washington and the Impossible Dream

    07/04/2017 2:00:29 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 4 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | July 4, 2017 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the anniversary of General Washington’s arrival at Cambridge, July, 1775, a year before the Declaration of Independence... Having been unanimously selected by his fellow delegates in the Continental Congress as Commander-in-Chief, on June 15, 1775, George Washington of Virginia was commissioned a General on June 19 and sent off to assume command of the newly created Continental Army… which was then little more than a fiction, as those awaiting him outside Boston really belonged to their localities and their states. When General Washington arrived at Cambridge, Massachusetts on July 3, 1775, he took command of a collection of...
  • Cook County Residents Rejoice at a Deus ex Machina

    06/30/2017 6:02:31 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 9 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | June 30, 2017 AD | John F. Di Leo
    Life in Chicagoland, and the unfulfilling refreshment of a temporary stay… (this is the third in a series on the new Cook County soda tax): For all we like to say about the great culture of THE ancient Greeks – for all intents and purposes, they invented theater, you know! – they were really just as human as the rest of us. Sometimes, no matter how well the story was going, they wrote themselves into a corner. There was just no way to resolve the situation and end the play. So what did they do? They rigged up a contraption...
  • Burdens of Taxation? Cook County's New Soda Tax Just a Drop in the Bucket

    06/28/2017 5:25:02 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 28 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | June 28, 2017 AD | John F Di Leo
    On July 1 – barring a court order or a last minute act of legislative wisdom or fear (at this point, we’ll take either) – Cook County will implement a “Soda Tax,” a brand new penny-per-ounce beverage tax on non-alcoholic drinks that exceed certain threshold of either regular or diet sweeteners. It will capture virtually all regular and diet soda pop, most juice drinks, and either many or most other flavored drinks, such as sport drinks, frappucinos, sweetened or diet iced teas, lemonade, etc. Much has been said and written about the outlandish nature of this tax. Charged in addition...
  • Cook County, A Soda Tax, and the Death of an Economy

    06/26/2017 5:27:46 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 30 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | June 26, 2017 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    Contemplations on the new Cook County Soda Tax... Cook County, Illinois - the home of America’s fourth largest city - Chicago, is, like many metro areas, broke. So, as many jurisdictions do when broke, they imagine a need to raise tax rates. The one they have chosen for July 1, 2017 is a soda tax, in addition to any applicable sales tax, which in Illinois can be as high as ten percent ad valorem already. This new “soda tax” is not just on soda, but on any beverage that is sweetened with either sugar or artificial sweetener (so it applies...
  • Money is Fungible... Especially in Cuba

    06/22/2017 8:47:43 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | June 21, 2017 AD | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the Trump Administration's changes to our Cuba policy: In 1959, following six years of organized Marxist-Leninist rebellion, mostly run by Fidel and Raul Castro and their partner Che Guevera, the Battista government of Cuba was overthrown and Fidel Castro claimed dictatorial powers, which he eventually turned over to his brother Raul, in 2008. The Castros spent their sixty years not only oppressing their people – robbing, raping, beating, imprisoning, torturing, and killing, as all communist governments do – but they also spent those years, particularly the years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, spreading violent revolution across...
  • A Look at President Trump and the State of the Nation on his Birthday

    06/14/2017 5:47:25 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 6 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | June 14, 2017 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    President Donald J. Trump was born on June 14, 1946, a day also celebrated as the birthday of the Continental Army (1775) and the United States Flag (1777). It’s a good day to be a patriot. At this writing, as he celebrates his 71st birthday, Donald Trump has been in office for less than five months. If the 100-day mark in a presidency is too early to judge a presidency, then so is this, so we mustn’t try. There is still room for almost all possible outcomes at the end of his four years (or eight). It is, however, a...
  • Truth, Lies, and The Paris Accord

    06/02/2017 11:49:25 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 27 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | June 2, 2017 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    In 2015, one of the endless subsets of the United Nations – specifically, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC – gathered to write a retreat from modernity based on the junk science known as “man-made global warming,” or, more recently, since the discovery of the undeniably fabricated “hockey stick” model that originally justified the idea, “man-made global climate change.” Representatives of 195 countries – yes, that’s almost every country on earth – signed onto the agreement, commonly known as The Paris Accord. In many cases, one representative’s signature was enough, and in others, the signature is...
  • Of States and Sects: When the Powerful Appear Powerless

    05/24/2017 5:05:39 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 8 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 24, 2017 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    Reflections on the War on Terror, in light of the Manchester Arena Bombing On Sunday, May 22, 2017, President Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia addressed a gathering of the political leadership of some 50 muslim-majority nations… and on Monday, May 23, an ISIS-inspired jihadist detonated a nail bomb in Manchester, England after a concert, killing over twenty innocents, injuring sixty more. Whether intended to be a response or not, this terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena must be directly assessed in light of King Salman's speech yesterday in Saudi Arabia… because it hammers home the special challenge of...
  • The Spoils of War - Learning Lessons from a French Election

    05/13/2017 3:52:36 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 12, 2017 AD | John F Di Leo
    The May 7 Presidential election in France gained the notice of American media far more than any other French election in fifty years. The American press is notorious for its poor coverage of world affairs, so the rare times that the MSM does choose to shine their light on a foreign country, it merits comment. In this case, the reason is easy to see: the press didn’t pay attention to France because of its geopolitical importance, or our shared history with the country, but because they had a chance to design a narrative that matched their politics: they imagined a...
  • Trade Deficits and the Quest for Culprits

    04/19/2017 12:02:22 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 14 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 19, 2017 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    The Trump Administration has announced its formal inquisition into America’s trade deficit, with a particularly loaded day of testimony scheduled for May 18, in which the administration hopes to learn the various causes for America’s huge import volume. The administration conjures up an image of evil old foreign prime ministers and their assistants – grasping witches with candy-covered cottages in the forest, looking for sweet little American manufacturers – Hansel Inc. and Gretel LLC – tempting them with tasty morsels and sweet confections, luring them off the American path, moving them permanently into their distant foreign domains. While the single-minded...
  • The Nation's Capital and the Wall

    04/10/2017 5:14:43 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 10, 2017 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    In the first week of April, 2017, a nostalgic nation watched as one of the grand old institutions crumbled into dust: the Senate filibuster was removed from the toolbox for presidential appointments. Many on both sides of the aisle shed a tear or two as the US Senate lost one of its most famous and romantic tools; until the Democrats overplayed their hand on the Gorsuch nomination, a single Senator could hold up a presidential appointee with a filibuster. No more. Before you shed any more tears, though, dear Gentle Reader, please consider who had long been empowered with this...
  • Tragedy and Reaction in 2017 Syria

    04/07/2017 11:15:44 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 7 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 7, 2017 AD | John F Di Leo
    What do we know about the modern Middle East, particularly the “hot zones” like Syria, the Gaza Strip, and Iraq? We know that people die before their time. Old people, young people, children, even babies. Innocent or guilty, they’re all targets of the Islamic jihadists’ war for the control of their regions, and ultimately, the world. In Syria, for example, where we have been horrified at the murders of little children by an apparent chemical weapon attack allegedly committed at the order of Bashir al-Assad, we must remember how other children were killed the very same week, even the very...
  • Health Insurance Reform and the American Entrepreneur

    03/08/2017 1:47:08 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 5 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | March 8, 2017 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    Part One of the House GOP’s official plan to repair/undo/fix/replace Obamacare was released this week, to utter shock and dismay. The authors say that everything America needs will be in the full packet, so it’s unfair to judge Part One without seeing the rest. That may be true, so here, let’s just look at the big picture, whether it’s one part, two parts, three or ten. America had a healthcare financing problem a decade ago. Conservative solutions, such as malpractice/tort reform, extending the tax-deductibility that employer-provided health insurance gets to individual policies too, and closing the borders to reduce the...
  • The Deep State: An Institutional Barrier Against Draining the Swamp

    03/06/2017 9:30:32 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 6 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | March 6, 2017 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    As the Trump Administration began, two terms took over our discourse, from keyboard warriors on social media to the formal political theorists of the mainstream media. These two terms are not exactly antonyms, as one is a gerund and the other is a noun, but they certainly are diametrically opposed to each other: Draining the Swamp on the one hand, and the Deep State on the other. Draining the Swamp was easy to say, easy to understand, easy to cheer for. We all know there’s corruption in the federal government, both in regular terms (people breaking the law while holding...