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Ship of Fools: A Journey to Reparations by Other Means

It's hard to add much when Kass is crushing on a tear.


Thinking back, however: How did Japan in 1941 think attacking the US was a good idea? Hitler's aspirations to take on a two-front war & commit genocide? Closer to home, our own decision to dive head first into the Vietnam war? I could go on...Modern civilization has come a long way but as Milt Friedman points out government officials are generally motivated by other forces besides your welfare. Sometimes those forces make for extraordinarily bad decisions. Of course, that's not true today.


Does greed motivate entrepreneurs and government officials to different results?




Ship of Fools: A Journey to Reparations by Other Means

By John Kass


November 10, 2023


A pause in the federal corruption trial of Edward Burke—a defense attorney came down with COVID—offers the rest of us a chance to step back and look at things with soft eyes.


Not about your soft attitude, or my soft attitude, or his. Burke is a hard-eyed realist. I’m not writing a bedtime story.


He’d despise that.


But soft eyes are necessary. Why? It’s a way of looking at things. Soft eyes help us see where we’re going on this ship of fools we’re on, out of sight of land, as the world gets ready to visit Chicago for its Democrat National Convention. The mayor has no clue.


As the blundering captain steers one way, then the other way, the confusion is ridiculous. Our focus becomes blurry and lost, all focus becomes lost, as federal crime-busters pursue those old political men in pinstripe suits, hunting the law, hunting and demanding order, even as barbaric mayhem visits taxpayers at their homes, in their cars, in their places of business, leaving them dead trying to drive home from a White Sox game in the city that used to work.


Is there a name for this? Taxpayers struggle living in fear of urban crime, people are afraid to say a word, even a peep, lest some group or another is angered by that fear and they are denounced as racists by political actors who despise them, and by legacy media that mocks and ignores them.


“I don’t think there’s a name for what you’re describing,” said a friend Mike who lives in oh-so woke Evanston. “Crime is happening all over, downtown, that woman in Beverly, and that woman shot at the ATM in Worth.


“I don’t know what to call it but reparations by other means.”


I don’t know what to call it either, but it sounds just about right.


It reflects our politics, the reality and the anguish of the people, as the Democrat Party’s imposes rogue prosecutors who won’t prosecute repeat violent offenders in the name of racial “equity”:


Reparations by other means. I can hear the knee jerk leftist reaction now. But all this was planned out, this offensive pose that racism could be couched as “social justice.” You could trace this back to George Soros, the billionaire financier who realized that he could swing district attorney (prosecutor’s elections) by heavily funding candidates who supported his twisted ideas of justice that is not justice but all about race.


It is the Marxist approach, focusing on de-prosecution and decarceration, Democrat Party buzzwords that are simply naked appeals to race-based politics.


The destruction proceeded from Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in Chicago to George Gascon in Los Angeles, Alvin Bragg in New York, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia, and 75 other cities.


American cities suffered. The people suffered. The great exodus to the red states intensified. Refugees fled. Justice suffered. Those of us who dared criticize Soros’ ruinous Marxist criminal justice policies were singled out for slander and intimidation, for cancellation by the rabid mob.


I suppose that by focusing so tightly on the federal corruption cases against Burke and Boss Madigan that I’ve done the one thing that a writer should never do:


Blind myself by my tunnel vision., as blind as some leftist apparatchik, blind to the consequence and cost of single-minded pursuit. In my career, I’ve focused on political corruption, perhaps as revenge for that 8-year-old boy who was told by his father to fill a shopping bag for the political hacks from City Hall who saw a way to squeeze a small businessman, and give a kid a lesson in The Chicago Way.


You’ve heard about tunnel vision? And soft eyes? Soft eyes are the opposite of hard eyes, sometimes called a hunter’s eye, or a predator’s eye. But hunters need a different perspective to see what’s out there, to notice patterns in the brush, seeing what shouldn’t be there, hearing the quiet sound of the dog that didn’t bark, but should.


Like the tiny white ring on a ringneck pheasant. The cottontail of a rabbit. What a politician avoided saying. A clue at a homicide scene.


What would soft eyes tell you?


That even while the federal Justice Department hunts Ed Burke, even as it protects Joe Biden, has protected his son Hunter and the rest of the Biden Crime Family, law enforcement pulls back on prosecutions of those who cull our neighbors, viciously. People are being killed as the Department of Justice chases politicians.


The neighborhoods are hollowing out. Michigan Avenue is becoming a ghost-town right before Christmas. They will flee Bridgeport because if they don’t, they know they’re next. The Democrat political clique that runs things keeps insisting that criminal justice should be all about “equity,” that political success should me measured by the decarceration of black and brown inmates at the County Jail. But the victims of repeat violent offenders are black and brown and white, and they are ignored by the “social justice” warriors that control the hammer of criminal justice, who are themselves protected and shielded by the corrupt legacy media.


The people look for a place to hide.


They’re growing sullen. A tinderbox eager for the spark. They see FBI hunting Burke and Madigan, and the editorial boards and pundits like me talk of the law, of order, and of political corruption. But rage becomes a white hot noise in their ears as they see is a series of arrogant thugs, killers and barbarians committing violent crime after violent crime, not being prosecuted by Foxx, the Democrat Party making excuses, media lecturing them about “social justice” and “restorative justice.” And the violent do it again, and again, filling the city’s river of violence that sweeps them all away.


There was Jonnie Angel Klein, 31, single mother of a 14-year-old son and a 10-year old daughter. She was the sole caretaker of her mother who is ill with cancer.


Klien was shot Saturday afternoon at Chase ATM. Police arrested two suspects, Tamara Jailynn Johnson, 22 and Jason Jerry Joseph Johnson, 23, both from Harvey and linked to a crime spree in the area and Northwest Indiana.


Chicago is that once-great city by the lake that is now on the verge of dying from an overdose of uncontrolled, rising violent crime. It is a real place suffering real pain. Some say the city is on life support, which is a polite way of saying it is dying.


And it’s not just Chicago. Violent crime is spiking in urban centers across America, from New York to San Francisco. This is what happens when the law is not enforced. Thugs are emboldened. And all people–black, brown and white–suffer.


The street gang wars are killing the city. But if politicians and media talked in terms of street gang wars, they’d be expected to do something to the street gangs. Instead, they call it “gun violence,” and push the issue to Washington and use it to organize against the Second Amendment to take the guns from law-abiding citizens.


But the street gang wars keep taking innocent lives, and in Chicago, every day more and more people avoid the city out of fear. This is not hysterical fear. It is reasonable fear, supported by evidence, from all the murders and shootings in the city, to the violent mobs descending on downtown at night, to the many hundreds of unsolved shootings on the the expressways. And through all this, the political furies of Chicago and Cook County are at work. They use Marxist notions of race and class to shape criminal justice in Cook County. These are not sisters of mercy, but of retribution and reparations. And the people suffer.


The other day there was that woman and her 12-year-old daughter confronted by armed carjackers at her home in Beverly. There was an arrest—a misdemeanor. That would be funny if the story wasn’t so depressing and sickening. CWB Chicago—the indispensable website for following crime in a city with woke newspapers—reported on it.


It it has been years now since Denise M. Huguelet, a retired 67-year-old special education teacher, was caught in street gang crossfire on the Dan Ryan shortly after leaving White Sox park in 2021. Police made two arrests, but prosecutor Foxx’s office cut them loose.


People loved Huguelet. She may not have counted with leftist ideologues like Kim Foxx or Boss Toni Preckwinkle, but many people loved her. Her students loved her. Her 11 grandchildren loved her.


No charges. Nothing.


You don’t hear Gov. JB Pritzker or Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle mention Huguelet’s name. And neither does the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, one of the Rogue Prosecutors elected on the influence of socialist billionaire George Soros. Or Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, whose handling of other cases demonstrates the job of mayor is far too much for him.


Huguelet is one of the forgotten. And people like me focus hard eyes on politicians like Ed Burke, and the feds hunt down the pin stripes and a once-great city groans. I am not suggesting he’s innocent. A jury will decide. But I do wonder about our priorities as we pursue justice, and the cost.


Justice was once thought of as blind in America, and the rule of law was how we ordered our passions and ourselves. Yet now in Chicago, home of the upcoming Democratic National Convention, we confuse wisdom with naked racial politics in the criminal justice system, and many defend this monstrosity as practical politics because it buttresses their progressive ambitions, even as we allow prosecutions and mercy by race, and the country is torn apart, as if by design.


And our ship of fools floats witlessly on a course set by lunatics, toward that deadly land of reparations by other means, where republics go to die.

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