Dan Savage is Right about Third Parties

Professional sexual deviant Dan Savage went on a profanity-laden rant recently against people who advocate voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein over Hillary Clinton. Here are some highlights:

“Yeah, let’s talk about the Green Party for just a moment, or third parties, getting a third party movement off the ground here in this country. Because we are sick of the two party system!

“Here’s how you fucking do that: you run people not just for fucking president every four fucking years.

“I have a problem with the Greens, I have a problem with the Libertarians. I have a problem with these fake, attention seeking, grandstanding Green/Libertarian party candidates who pop up every four years, like mushrooms in shit, saying that they’re building a third party.

“And those of us who don’t have a home in the Republican Party, don’t have a home in the Democratic Party, can’t get behind every Democratic position or Republican position, should gravitate toward these third parties. And help build a third party movement by every four fucking years voting for one of these assholes like Jill fucking Stein, who I’m sure is a lovely person, she’s only an asshole in this aspect.

“If you’re interested in building a third party, a viable third party, you don’t start with president. You don’t start by running someone for fucking president.

“Where are the Green Party candidates for city councils? For county councils? For state legislatures? For state assessor? For state insurance commissioner? For governor? For fucking dogcatcher? I would be SO willing to vote for Green Party candidates who are starting at the bottom, grassroots, bottom up, building a third party, a viable third party.

“You don’t do that by trotting out the reanimated corpse of Ralph fucking Nader every four fucking years. Or his doppelgänger, whoever it is now…”

The thing is, Savage is right. In my experience, third parties consist mainly of Democratic or Republican rejects, attention seekers, and people with poor social skills. If you can find a local chapter, they are mostly just discussion groups. No effort is made toward organizing, fundraising, and running candidates for public office. Every four years someone runs for governor or president, and barely hits five percent of the vote.

Continue reading “Dan Savage is Right about Third Parties”

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Citizens and the Media are Asleep: A Reply to Adam Andrzejewski

Yesterday at Forbes.com, Illinois political reformer Adam Andrzejewski asked why Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan refuses to prosecute public corruption. The answer is simple: she doesn’t want to–and not enough people care.

He writes, “She’s allowed felons to serve in municipal office; out-of-towners to serve as city alderman; many politicians to hold multiple – and conflicting – offices; a junior college to award more than $4 million in compensation to its president without a lawful board vote; and much more…”

When Lisa Madigan, daughter of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, ran for attorney general in 2002, she vowed, “It’s time that Illinois’ highest legal official takes an active, hands-on role in cleaning up government. And I will not let them down.”

What happened? Well, gullible voters believed her, and she got elected. A lot of politicians in Illinois run on promises of reform because Illinois’ politics is widely seen (rightly so) as corrupt. But then once they get into office, no one holds them accountable for these promises. Certainly not the media, and definitely not the voters, who continue to re-elect them year after year.

Continue reading “Citizens and the Media are Asleep: A Reply to Adam Andrzejewski”

USA Freedom Kids Lawsuit Doesn’t Look Good for Trump

Democrats said the performance resembled something from North Korea, but when U.S.A. Freedom Kids opened a Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida in January, they certainly caught national attention. Now, according to the Washington Post, Jeff Popick, parent of a performer, plans to sue the Trump Campaign for violating alleged verbal agreements.

If Popick’s allegations are true, it doesn’t look good for Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. In addition to other broken promises, Popick claims the Trump Campaign offered Freedom Kids a table where they could sell merchandise at the rally in Pensacola, rather than pay them to perform (Popick asked for $2,500). When they arrived, there was no table.

Popick also says he fronted the cost for a trip to Des Moines, Iowa, where a day earlier the Trump Campaign had called and asked if Freedom Kids could perform at the event. When they arrived, they were told there was a change of plans and they would not be performing. After, Popick says, “He was passed around between staffers; calls went unreturned even after calls were promised.”

Continue reading “USA Freedom Kids Lawsuit Doesn’t Look Good for Trump”

Classic Redirection

In the wake of the Wikileak Democratic National Committee email scandal, leading Democrats are practicing a classic technique in order to distract the public from the scandal. A security firm paid by the DNC blamed “Russian espionage groups” for the email leak, then implied they leaked the emails in order to help Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Experts are now saying that the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of actually helping Donald Trump,” Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, told CNN on Sunday.

So let me get this straight–“experts” paid by the DNC found something potentially damaging to their opponent’s campaign? How convenient. And why is this damaging, exactly?

Because Donald Trump once said something nice about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and vice versa. I guess it’s inappropriate for presidential candidates to reach out to world leaders and establish positive relationships (wait, isn’t Trump supposed to be damaging our international relationships? I’m confused).

Continue reading “Classic Redirection”

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Mother Extraordinaire

“As the mother of my three amazing children and the Representative of Florida’s 23rd congressional district, I know that electing Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future. I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory.” – Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, stepping down after being accused of favoring Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

Huh? How does Wasserman-Schultz being a mother of three children (amazingness aside) or a congressional representative have anything to do with Hillary Clinton’s qualifications for president?

New Article at Rockford Advocate Explores Rockford’s ‘End Demand’ Strategy

In an effort to increase penalties on people utilizing sexual services in Rockford, and thus ‘End Demand’ for those services, Rockford began impounding vehicles of drivers caught in the act. The impound fees are deposited in a fund, which is then used to help get women out of the sex trade. At least, in theory.

How effective is this program? How much money has it taken in, and how is that money being used? These are the questions I set out to answer. Click here to read the entire article.


Prostitution has long been an issue in the City of Rockford. Academic studies, news reports, and anecdotal evidence show Rockford is a popular sex tourism destination for men all over the stateline.

Though local law enforcement continues to conduct stings and arrests, prostitutes are still a common sight in some neighborhoods. Police estimate there are 15 to 20 prostitutes on Rockford’s streets at any given time, but many more ply their trade online.

Since 2015, Rockford has tried a new strategy to combat prostitution and human trafficking in the city. Its advocates call it the “End Demand Strategy,” focusing on targeting demand for sexual services. While too early to evaluate its success or failure, organizations like Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (RAASE), in cooperation with local law enforcement, have made small steps toward implementing this strategy.

Rockford took a step toward “Ending Demand” in 2015 by enacting an ordnance levying a new penalty for drivers caught soliciting a prostitute and committing other sex-trade related crimes. Individuals picked up for solicitation while operating a motor vehicle now have their car impounded, which costs $1,000 to recover.

On Jan. 5, 2015, Rockford aldermen unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s vehicle impound ordinance, Sec. 17-28(m), authorizing the city to deposit impound fees into a fund earmarked for rehabilitation, outreach and education services, GED attainment, and job training for former prostitutes and victims of human trafficking.

According to RAASE President Jennifer Cacciapaglia, her organization worked with the city’s code and regulation committee to craft the new ordinance. They based it on Cook County Code of Ordinances Sec. 58-164, which imposes a $500 fine, plus any towing and storage fees, for cars impounded in the course of committing certain sex and drug crimes. [Read More…]

New Article on Rockford’s Sex Trade

I recently wrote this in-depth article on the Rockford sex trade for Rockford Advocate. Prostitution is one of the city’s many social problems, but one which doesn’t get a lot of press. Click here to read the entire article.


Their faces are tired, aged, and embarrassed–evidence of a hard life on the streets.

Mugshots of men and womProstitution Related Arrestsen caught in high profile prostitution stings are a common sight in the Rockford news. For most residents, these stories are as close as they will come to the illegal sex trade.

Yet at street corners and motels in south Rockford, prostitution has become a way of life for dozens of women. Men travel from around the stateline to pay for sex with women as young as 14, to as old as 54. News stories, arrest records, and anecdotal evidence shows Rockford has become a popular Midwestern destination for sex tourism.

Law enforcement has grappled with this problem for decades, but in a city with some of the highest violent crime rates in Illinois, prostitution often takes a backseat. Many believe it is a victimless crime enjoyed between consenting adults. Others believe it is a humanitarian tragedy. Sorting through the myths and assumptions about prostitution to uncover this murky underworld can be difficult. Little by little, however, a picture emerges of a multimillion-dollar sex industry, right in our own backyard.

Communities typically view the sex trade as a problem for law enforcement. Police respond to prostitution complaints by conducting stings and arresting prostitutes to take them off the streets. Recently, however, law enforcement agencies have increasingly focused on combating human trafficking and cracking down on demand for sexual services. Technology, including smartphone apps and advertisements for sexual services on websites like Craigslist and Backpage.com, is presenting new challenges for law enforcement.

Illinois defines prostitution-related offenses under 720 ILCS 5/Art. 11 Subdiv. 15. These crimes include prostitution, solicitation of a sexual act, promoting prostitution, promoting juvenile prostitution, patronizing a prostitute, and patronizing a minor engaged in prostitution. [Read More…]