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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago

The Five Pillars

No, not the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the autobiographical account of the experiences of Lawrence of Arabia.

This one involves much less wisdom. So much so that it’s likely that there is no wisdom at all involved.

This is the grand plan of Chicago Democrat Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, to combat the increasing violence in Chicago this year even as the CPD find themselves on the back foot with mass retirements, funding cuts and prescriptive restrictions on how they interact with criminals.

  • Empower and heal those actively engaged in violence, whether victims or perpetrators.
  • Reclaim neighborhoods and safe spaces by directing resources to neighborhoods with most violence.
  • Improve relations between police and communities “by developing credibility, trust and authentic relationships.”
  • Consider the impact of ordinances and laws on violence and advocate for policies that will increase support for those impacted.
  • Constant collaboration, proactive planning and coordinated efforts between the city and … the justice system, community groups and private companies.

So how’s this approach been working out for the city?

As expected. At best things have not improved on 2020 and may turn out worse. Clearly the city’s District Attorney, Kim Foxx, is starting to (finally) feel the heat over all those people she’s refused to prosecute on gun laws and such, although rather than front up she sent out a minion who specialises in spin. However, after starting with a bang even he had to admit the obvious:

A top advisor to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told reporters last month that it’s a “misconception” to say gun violence is skyrocketing in Chicago. “2020 did have a lot of shootings in it,” Matthew Saniie, Foxx’s chief data officer, said. “But it’s also important to put this into perspective.”

“2020 was a pretty gross year for murder,” Saniie allowed. “June and July were the worst June and Julies that we’ve had going back 60 years…May was the 2nd worst May. September was the sixth-worst September.

Saniie told the reporters that there is no reliable data regarding the number of shootings from more than ten years ago. So, he looked at murder data, which goes back several decades instead.

“A good proxy for shootings is murder,” Saniie claimed.

But as the CWB pointed out:

But is it a good proxy? The city’s population has declined 25% over the past sixty years, 20% since 1970, and 11% since 1980. But Saniie did not adjust historical murder counts for population changes.

Here in New Zealand we don’t have the gun crime problems that Chicago has, but the thinking behind the Five Pillars approach is coming to New Zealand, if not already here in Andrew Little’s head. I expect it will have a similar failure.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 3, 2021 at 6:00 am

Your daily WSW

White Supremacy Watch that is. I’m thinking of making it a series, given how much White Supremacy we’re drowning in across the Western world.

So here’s your first daily dose of this focused news, with two good ones to share. First are fireworks and gun smoke.

Then there’s this from San Francisco, where one of the Liberal Luvvies who’s probably voted Democrat all her life, expresses a Bad Opinion…

… and finds herself in the crosshairs of her very own Democrat Party representative, Kate Chatfield, a senior director at the San Francisco DA’s office.

The DA is one Chesa Boudin, the son of legendary Weather Underground terrorists and convicted murderers, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert. He was raised by their friends, the un-convicted Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn in Chicago. If you’re thinking this might be a John Banks situation you would be wrong. Chesa has swallowed all the theories of Society As The Real Criminal and is trying to decriminalise a lot of crime in SF and release as many prisoners as possible.

Still, the SF crime increase seems to be more around theft of all types, plus muggings and general assault so I think “Michele” is being a bit OTT. In Chicago that’s all regarded as “meh”. If local DA, Kim Foxx, ever gets tired of the job maybe Chesa can swap places, since she thinks the same way as he does about crime and criminals.

They jumped the gun a bit on that and should have checked with the most trustworthy and accurate source for Chicago crime data, HeyJackass.com (“Illustrating Chicago Values”). The toll for the past weekend is now 104 shot and 19 killed. Luckily, when Mayor Lightfoot is not being insane with her staff, she’s on the job explaining how 99% of the questions she gets come from a source of racism and sexism.

Less than 100 rounds of quick hits

I’ve been very mean to the Golden State over the last few months as I looked at their failures on poverty, water, fire, and energy in my California Screaming series.

But the Peoples Democratic Republic of California deserves everything it’s getting for allowing itself to become a One Party state ruled by the Democrats, who have gradually imposed more and more of their dingbat ideas on a willing population.

Today’s news from the state is back on the energy front, With Its Power Grid Under Pressure, California Asks Residents to Avoid Charging Electric Vehicles:

Amid a West Coast heat wave that includes triple-digit temperatures, California’s power grid operators have called on residents to not use as much electricity so as to put less strain on the state’s beleaguered grid.

This is entirely predictable and makes the following visual joke more a reality every day.

Also, that whole argument about electric cars being cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles, may start coming under some pressure in California if the other aspect of combatting AGW, with “renewable energy” continues to push prices up at these rates, Blackouts Loom in California as Electricity Prices Are ‘Absolutely Exploding’:

Two inexorable energy trends are underway in California: soaring electricity prices and ever-worsening reliability—and both trends bode ill for the state’s low- and middle-income consumers.

Last week, the state’s grid operator, the California Independent System Operator, issued a “flex alert” that asked the state’s consumers to reduce their power use “to reduce stress on the grid and avoid power outages.” The California Independent System Operator’s warning of impending electricity shortages heralds another blackout-riddled summer at the same time California’s electricity prices are skyrocketing.

In 2020, California’s electricity prices jumped by 7.5%, making it the biggest price increase of any state in the country last year and nearly seven times the increase that was seen in the United States as a whole.

That’s on top of the already high prices they pay:

It could be worse. Imagine being stuck in the middle of this situation with an electric vehicle that’s running low on charge, courtesy of Not The Bee (the “Not Satirical” companion site to the Babylon Bee):

Why yes, that is a 100-round magazine on that machine gun, and yes, those are completely illegal in the USA and have been since the Firearms Act of 1934. One aspect of “gun control” rarely discussed in the USA by the Democrat party is the actual enforcement of the laws as they stand now.

Fortunately the young guy wielding it is about as good at handling an automatic weapon as all those jihadis you see waving AK-47’s over their heads as they hide behind brick walls. The mag apparently fell out and he was forced to resort to a semi-automatic pistol, as you can tell from the change in the shot sounds.

That was in the Peoples Republic of Chicago, specifically the South Side near the bullet-riddled neighbourhood of Englewood, and while Northsiders like me used to just shrug our shoulders at this stuff there are now shootouts occurring on the tony North Lake Shore Drive in the NorthWest of the city.

I’m sure Mayor Lightfoot will be right on it with more pressure on the White Supremacists who rule the place, especially since it’s starting to look like South Africa.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker

And it seems another Deep Blue stronghold is getting in on the action.

The Marine, Samuel Poulin, was touring the city with his family when a stray bullet ricocheted and hit him. He’s expected to make a full recovery, and his relatives sound like they’re an interesting group:

A relative of the victim — who was visiting the Big Apple from upstate Northville for a baptism — pulled the slug out and gave it to police, according to the sources.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his capitulations to the Far Left, including defunding cops, have produced a Times Square where a US Marine faces more danger than in combat.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 29, 2021 at 8:29 am

Never go full Twitter

A couple of weeks ago I was rather saddened to learn that one of my co-bloggers had fallen into the world of Twitter during the Great Wuhan Lung Rot pandemic.

I’ve never used Twitter and never will. From what I’ve seen it reinforces the worst aspects of human communication. The restricted text space should encourage people to be concise but seems to lead to poorly thought out, stupid comments that blow up in their face because they lack context and nuance. That is compounded by its addictive quality that pushes people into hammering out Tweet after Tweet when time off for reflective thought would be a better response. The cherry on top is that it enables one of the worst aspects of humanity – abusive pack behaviour.

I’ve lost track of the number of activists, journalists and ordinary people who have found themselves having to delete Tweets or even their entire account because of something stupid they said. The most recent example was one Richard Taite, founder of a Biden PAC (Political Action Committee) who responded to an incident where a Chicago man and his wife were dragged out of their car in a Black neighbourhood and shot.

The man was Gyovanny Arzuaga and he died. His wife, Yasmin Perez is still in critical condition. They were with their two kids, aged one and three, and were celebrating in the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade that’s been a feature of the city for decades. The flag sticking out of their car was, naturally enough, a Puerto Rican flag. How the hell anybody could mistake it for the old Confederate flag I don’t know, but he makes it quite clear that he’s cool with murder as long as the victims deserved it. Yet again, Twitter enabled the worst, not the best, of a human being. Mr Taite’s Twitter account has gone dark.

Twitter is a cesspool.

Recently a US survey was done that might explain some of this: it should certainly be shown to any members of PR or HR sections of public departments, ministries, NGO’s, corporations and any group with a public face that thinks it needs to do something or change something because a meme is “trending” on Twitter.

It’s not really a surprise. In the wake of the British Labour’s disasterous 2020 general election result one of the criticisms made of Labour activists was that they were so buried in Twitter that they thought it reflected the general population. Then there’s the growing censorship of the platform.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 25, 2021 at 8:55 am

All work and no play makes Lori a dull girl

Chicago’s Mayor needs a ‘Shining’ ability if she is to communicate her wants and needs to her staff effectively rather than how she’s doing it now with verbal and written communication.

‘Shining’ comes from the famous 1980 horror movie, The Shining, and is the term used by one of the characters to describe psychic abilities that enable mental telepathy between such ‘gifted’ souls.

The alternative is that Mayor Lori Lightfoot (MLL) will have to continue writing emails to her staff like this one recently discovered via FOIA request.

And you thought New Zealand had it bad with the mayors of Auckland and Wellington.

I won’t go so far as to say that Lightfoot is as crazy as a shit-house rat, and I can understand the incredible pressures she’s been under during the last year of Covid lockdowns and Burn Loot Murder/Antifa riots.

But this is not how you communicate with your staff and since she was a law partner you would think that she’d have learned that you don’t do this unless you want to have most of your staff quit and ultimately be fired because your team is not performing. It’s not surprising that her staff turnover has been huge. How she didn’t learn this in the private sector is perhaps more a reflection of the idiosyncratic aspect of law firms and partners.

But she also had many different types of jobs to pay for her university education, including working as an assistant for halls of resident and even as a cook for the school’s football team. She held factory jobs at home during summers to help pay for her education. This background was one of the reasons I had some hope for her as Mayor of Chicago, as well as the fact that she defeated the Daley-machine part of the Chicago Democrat Party so perhaps would not be beholden to those special interests.

Instead we have a fail on all counts.

The whole “Shining” thing arises because people made connections between Lightfoot’s email and this famous scene from the movie.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 19, 2021 at 4:03 pm

The Democrat Cities: Chicago just loses.

Having failed to keep BLM and their associated rioters and looters under control, Chicago is now reaping the whirlwind.

First up is the Chicago Police Department (CPD). After years of denigrating them Lightfoot is now also running them into the ground with overtime to try and get control of crime across the board, starting with looters.

Many cops have recently been working eleven days in a row, with 12-hour shifts as a minimum. In NZ you’re not allowed to drive heavy machinery for more than 70 hours in a week without getting a 24 hour break. Here we have armed men and woman pulling 84-hour weeks and 132 hours in eleven days. Sooner or later mental and physical exhaustion is going to lead them to make some very bad decisions.

And after making excuses for BLM and company in June, Lightfoot’s feeling threatened – literally – which means that all those fabulous protestors are not being allowed anywhere near her home.

The photo here does not show the police vehicles parked up nearby alleyways: almost 100 cops, four times what this district (coded 016 by CBD) has deployed on a typical midnight shift.

Locals have taken to calling it Fort Lori.

The Chicago Police Department has effectively banned protesters from demonstrating on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s block in the Logan Square neighborhood, ordering officers to arrest anyone who refuses to leave, the Tribune has learned.

It’s good to be Queen.

“I think that residents of this city, understanding the nature of the threats that we are receiving on a daily basis, on a daily basis, understand I have a right to make sure that my home is secure,” Lightfoot said.

Her refusal to “elaborate on the specific threats” looks a lot like the situation of alderman Ed Burke a few years ago. Burke is one of the most powerful city politicians, in office since 1969 when he was just 26 years old. Burke claimed he was getting threats and needed a CPD security detail but when nothing happened and it was being removed, he manufactured a threat from what was found to be a senile old man so he could keep the detail. As it turns out the only threat he’s under is from the FBI who raided his office, and charged him with extortion in 2019.

“I’ve talked to my fellow mayors across the country and, seeing the kind of things that have been done to them and their family members, I’m not gonna have that happen. That’s not what my wife and my child signed up for. It’s not what my neighbors signed up for. We have a right in our home to live in peace.”

Lori Lightfoot

So do her citizens, but thanks to various measures that she has taken they increasingly can’t live in peace. When certain neighbourhoods stood up for themselves and warned interlopers threatening to wreak havoc in their peaceful parts of town that it might be a bad idea, Lightfoot said that residents shouldn’t be taking the law into their own hands. And of course the most virulent anti-gun mayor in Chicago history is determined to make sure they can’t defend themselves – even as she pulls the Police back from those neighbourhoods and recycles arrested people with lengthy criminal records back into them.

She’s putting Chicagoans in an impossible position. They didn’t sign up for all of that shit either, and their phone calls to the Police don’t get this sort of response. Lightfoot’s administration has effectively abandoned the neighbourhoods and destroyed downtown. Like more than a few other Democrat mayors she thought that waving the white flag and talking the talk of Antifa/BLM, including trashing her own Police, would keep the Marxist/Anarchist loons at bay and they wouldn’t come for her.

Meantime the economic damage in Chicago grows, and this comes on top of a situation that had been declining ever faster in recent years, as I wrote about here.

  • The huge tourist attraction in the CBD, Navy Pier, has closed months ahead of the Winter schedule, so few are the numbers visiting through the lockdowns and the crime.
  • Macy’s is moving out of the seven stories in Watertower place, even as Lightfoot swears that they’ll be safe.
  • Hundreds of conventions are bailing out.
  • $1.6 billion (and counting) in lost hotel revenues
  • Concerts and shows that cannot be made up

Back in the 1990’s, as Detroit turned into nothing more than a punchline for Robocop, an occasional discussion at our parties was whether Chicago could go the same way. The general conclusion was that it wouldn’t because our city had a far broader range of business than Motor City and our Democrat politicians weren’t as incompetent and ideological.

I’m not so sure about that any longer. Lightfoot is by far the most ideologically Left-Wing and useless excuse for a Chicago mayor in living memory.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 31, 2020 at 8:08 am

The Democrat Cities: Chicago loses against BLM

I’ve been moving through the sad list of US cities controlled by Democrats that have been experiencing riots and general criminal mayhem over the last few months and since I started off with my second home, Chicago, a month ago, saw no need to re-visit what’s happening there.

But the events of a two weeks ago cannot be ignored. On the afternoon of Sunday, August 9, after false reports were spread by BLM on social media sites that the cops had shot a 15-year old boy, protests broke out. By the time the truth emerged that it was a 20 year old with a gun who’d opened fire on the cops it was too late. The shooter was wounded but survived.

Having started the “peaceful protests” at the scene of the shooting in the Englewood neighbourhood (the shittiest part of the city and a killing zone in general) the looters decided that richer pickings were possible in the CBD just to the East, which was hit two months ago around places like the famous Macy’s store on State Street. But this time they went for the jackpot:

Hundreds of people swept through the Magnificent Mile and other parts of downtown Chicago early Monday, smashing windows, looting stores, confronting police and at one point exchanging gunfire with officers, authorities said.

The “Mile” is Michigan Avenue, the premier shopping district in the city and one of the top ones in the USA and they went after the Northern end where it gets really tony. They also spread out into nearby areas of high class shops. You have to see it to believe it as the looters clean out stores like Gucci and Dior, smash their way through multiple stories of Watertower Place, a beautiful shopping spot I know well, and even exchange gunfire with the cops on Michigan Avenue, which is unheard of.

The looting began shortly after midnight as people darted through broken store windows and doors along Michigan Avenue carrying shopping bags full of merchandise. Cars dropped off more people as the crowd grew. At least one U-Haul van was seen pulling up.

U-haul? Well sure. The looters had little to fear from an overwhelmed Chicago Police Department (CPD).

You see a brave little kid fighting cancer.
I see a bundle of White Privilege.

They even went after the Ronald McDonald House, while terrified families with their sick kids huddled inside.

One of them was two-year-old Owen Buell, pictured here, who missed a trip home to celebrate his Birthday.

Aside from WBBM Radio, Fox news and a handful of RWNJ blog sites, this story saw little daylight.

Remember, nothing must be permitted to distract from the narrative that these “protests” are right and holy and that anyone who opposes them is a racist monster.

Similarly with other targets:

“I just don’t know what the next move is going to be,” said Mullins, the accessory store owner. “I’m out of work. They’ve destroyed everything, they’ve taken all the merchandise that I have to sell. This requires an investment of money to rebuild and replenish.”

Social Media is Da Bomb

The CPD did, eventually, pour 400 officers into the area. They arrested 100 people, with more following in the days afterward as social media sites were studied, including one where the idiot pictured here live-streamed the whole thing as she and her homies trashed and looted stores. But most of these people were bailed in short order and it may be that charges will be dropped or reduced down to misdemeanours if the Cook County DA, Kim Foxx sticks with her policies:

Foxx has dismissed felony cases brought by the police at a rate 35 percent higher than her predecessor. She raised the threshold for felony shoplifting from $300 to $1,000—and as a result, thieves steal brazenly in broad daylight as well as under cover of darkness.

I covered the shoplifting insanity in this post. Foxx was already infamous nation-wide for her refusal to prosecute D-grade actor Jussie Smollett in the wake of his faked attack by MAGA’s in one of the same expensive areas just trashed, Streeterville. And that 35 percent dismissal rate of felony crimes (eg. jail time) translates into a total of 25,183 defendants in one year to November 2019. It also includes any number of people arrested for illegal possession of guns. So much for Democrat gun control.

In these posts several Lefty commentators dismissed such stuff as being nowhere near as important as White Republicans being above the law. But that trite and moronic dismissal of such anti-law policies is no longer being so widely accepted in the wake of repeated riots and looting. It’s the opposite of Broken Windows policing; allowing small crimes has lead to more and larger crimes. Even two of the city’s famous firebrand activists got it:

This was obviously very orchestrated,” the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a prominent Roman Catholic priest and activist on the city’s South Side, told Chicago television station WBBM.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr, tweeted that the looting in Chicago “was humiliating, embarrassing, and morally wrong,”.

Mayor Lightfoot

Lightfoot and CPD Chief David Brown finally seemed to get the point too. In a press conference on Monday morning, perhaps realising that she faced a crucial test of leadership, Lightfoot, with slow-burning anger and a head-snapping reversal, this time made no excuses for the crimes. She also clearly attacked Foxx’s catch-and-release policy as a factor.

“This was straight-up felony criminal conduct,People believe there is no accountability in our criminal justice systemWhat we’re saying is, as a result of what happened last night, there have to be consequences,… But when we do make those arrests, our expectation is that this is going to be treated with the level of seriousness it should be. Period,”

Chief Brown made the same points and a few hours later a very defensive Foxx – who was notably not at the Mayor’s side – tried to fight back with her own press conference. The city awaits the outcome. My bet is nothing will change unless Foxx is booted at the next election.

Meantime Burn Loot Murder was having none of this. They released statements that said, among other things:

“In a predictable and unfortunate move, she did not take this time to criticize her officers for shooting yet another Black man. Lightfoot instead spent her time attacking ‘looters.’…

When protesters attack high-end retail stores that are owned by the wealthy and service the wealthy, that is not ‘our’ city and has never been meant for us.…… That is reparations,… Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance

The mayor clearly has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the CPD is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in….

Aside from attacking the Mayor they also went after Jesse Jackson with one Ariel Atkins of BLM-Chicago responding:

“Jesse Jackson was not there for the creation of Black Lives Matter. Jesse Jackson can keep his opinions to himself.”

I doubt they listened to what local community members said either, when BLM turned up to protest at the 7th district police station:

I ain’t see none of you motherfuckers when them kids got killed,” one man told the protesters, a video posted by Sun Times journalist Tyler LaRiviere showed. “Y’all don’t come out when the kids get shot. Y’all come out when it got something to do with the fucking police.”

“We’re out here every day watching our kids get their brains blew out with no fucking funding, no resources, but you motherfuckers getting all the resources and yall wanna come over here and disrupt our motherfucking neighborhood…”

BLM and Antifa thugs and propagandists can “White Supremacy” and “Systemic Racism” their lungs out, but I’d bet that guy speaks for a whole lot of Black folks who aren’t buying BLM’s shit.

In BLM the Democrats have a monster they can no longer control.

The Democrat Cities: Chicago

With all the recent mayhem in Minneapolis and some made-for-media events in other parts of the USA, Ye Olde Second Home, Chicago, has escaped the spotlight on the BLM riots.

It should not have. I’ve written before about the city’s increasing problems, but despite a spike in murders in 2014, crime did not seem like it was out of control, even if “minor” crimes were increasing as the DA refused to prosecute such crimes and the CPD, getting the hint, increasingly does not bother to make the arrests.

But no longer. The BLM riots in the city were more damaging than in most places, even if they did not involve the spectacular arsons of Minneapolis, and this has turned out to be no spike.

CHICAGO

The worst June in decades.

Incidentally only two of the victims were shot by the CPD and neither died. July has been much the same, with 53 shot and killed as of this writing, plus another eight murdered by other means.

Several years ago some private citizens established a website for Chicago gun crime, Hey Jackass (“Illustrating Chicago Values”) which contains an incredible amount of detail on all this. It’s been the weekends that have done the damage of course and even in early June they hit double digits of dead, so people began to suspect this was not temporary. At this rate the 2016 total of 808 could be beaten, especially since there is no sign the authorities know what to do.

And that starts with the Mayor, Lori Lightfoot (D).

At noon on Sunday, June 1st, after a night of BLM riots overwhelming the city, a teleconference was held between the Mayor and her Alderman. I don’t how many tough, “bad news” meetings you may have sat through in your lives but this is one for the ages: the 1 hour 18 minute recording is as much of a shit show as the streets. It’s incredible to listen to these traumatised “leaders” trying to get a handle on the situation right from the start of the recording:

Michelle Harris (8th Ward):  “What are we going to have left in our community? Nothing… My major business district is just shattered. Why would Walmart or CVS come back to our communities?”

Lopez (15th Ward): “In my area, Ashland & 47th street, it’s just like a war zone… The gang members are now getting involved and threatening everybody. They’re threatening to shoot any Black people they see.”

Emma Mitts (37th): “It’s like the wild, wild west out there.”

Ed Burke (14th Ward): This is far worse than it was in 1968″

Susan Sadlowski-Garza (25th Ward): “My ward is a shit show,… They are shooting at the police. I’ve never seen the likes of this. I’m scared.”

Mayor Lightfoot: “It’s off the charts. Thousands of locations. Big stores. Small stores. Strip malls. It is all over the city….At Pulaski and Madison it took us three hours to clear a spot. These people were gassed with pepper spray twice, they didn’t give a shit. These people were literally in armed combat with the Police. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen shit like this before, not in Chicago…”

The meeting came to an end with this exchange:

Lopez: “We can’t expect our Police to be able to control this… I’m not comfortable telling the churches, those people, to be the intermediary in the middle of a riot that’s city-wide… We only have 370 National Guard on standby… half our neighbourhoods are already obliterated. It’s too late… My fear is once they’re done looting and rioting… what happens when they start going after residents?.. What’ll we tell people?”

Lightfoot: “Next question.”

Lopez: “What? No! I want an answer. It’s not something you ignore.”

Lightfoot: “I think you’re a hundred percent full of shit.”

Lopez: “Maybe you should come out to my neighbourhood… You need to check your fucking attitude….”

The terrible truth was that tried-and-tested CPD anti-riot plans, like lifting the river bridges to isolate rioters, were ignored. But that was simply a momentary scandal and Lightfoot tried to compensate by cancelling all leave and throwing officers into 12 hour shifts.

The worse scandal is that Lightfoot has simply never backed the CPD in everyday policing, slamming them at every opportunity. Neither does the Cook County District Attorney, Kim Foxx, who released dozens of arrested rioters later, dropping their prosecutions. Both women have made it clear that Police misconduct is their primary concern – and other things also:

Foxx gave a speech to informed all the SAO investigators the importance of this day. She also provided a history lesson on Jubilee Day… During this meeting, Fox encouraged several white investigators to apologize for their white privilege, which they did.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) had already begun reopening decade-old, closed disciplinary cases, trying to create a history to prove that they were “tough on cops”, insisting that everyone (except the police) has perfect recall of incidents deep in the past. Lightfoot started her political rise by heading COPA.

As a result the CPD have lost all confidence in the city government, morale has collapsed, retirements have jumped and the remaining officers are exhausted and have “gone fetal“. They’ll patrol and investigate but that’s it. Pre-emptive policing is dead, and the rapidly increasing crime figures show it. The homicide rate is simply the tip of the iceberg of other crimes.

Long time Chicago Tribune reporter John Kass, who has no fear of tearing both GOP and Democrat politicians new assholes when deserved, pleaded with her via an article in the lead to the July 4th weekend:

How many more babies will be murdered in Chicago’s street gang wars? The people, numbed, lose count. A 1-year-old shot in his car seat. A 3-year-old dead. Two girls killed by gang fire from the street while in their homes in separate incidents. A 3-year-old girl was just shot in the chest as she played outside her home.

It’s time to stop the bleeding, Mayor Lightfoot. That’s the first priority. Stop the bleeding. And lead your city.

The problem is that you can’t lead if people won’t follow and Kass is not unaware of the cause:

The Chicago Police Department is demoralized, exhausted and confused, and much of that is her own doing. She’s worked them to the bone. She lost them with her sarcasm and that ridiculous Bobby Rush popcorn drama.

She’s thrown her police under the bus, but on Wednesday she announced a 180-degree change in course. She needs them. Now she wants her exhausted cops to sweep problem areas and make arrests, even if social justice warriors complain.

Desperate times can bring about a change in principles…

Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) won’t help her. He’s a soft billionaire, a marshmallow who wants to be liked and thinks he can become president. He cares about optics. He won’t order in the National Guard. If the killings happened in Wilmette and Winnetka, he’d send them in. He’d build a moat. But he’s not being pressured about the killings on the South and West sides.

… as well as the same realisation about BLM that’s starting to occur to others across the nation…

Notice that Black Lives Matter and their allies aren’t leading any angry demonstrations about Black and brown children being cut down in Chicago. Those dead babies have no political utility. Their lives don’t help the activists leverage the November elections. So those lives are ignored.

BLM likes optics that are politically useful – just like billionaire Democrat Pritzker. Who would have guessed?

I’m betting that this is just simple desperation, and this brings us to the heart of the problem:

She’s a brilliant woman, a person of integrity, and I still support her.

As goes Kass, so goes the rest of Chicago voters. The city last had a Republican Mayor in 1931. This is what you get from a One Party state: different ideas dismissed out of hand, let alone tried in practice.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 18, 2020 at 6:00 am

We Can’t Go on Like This Much Longer

My Photo

I stole this heading from Andrew Sullivan’s piece from New York Magazine, but I think it speaks for everbody in lockdown around the world:

All of that should make me a prime candidate to hang in, take this period as a disciplinary exercise, and generally be a good citizen. And I have been — I haven’t had any physical human contact for two months now, I wear a mask everywhere, I use rubber disposable gloves for groceries, I keep my six-feet distance so far as I can…

A cooperative citizen: the joy of governments everywhere.

But I can recognize signs of psychological and physical stress, and I’m beginning to lose it. This week, for some reason, Wednesday was a bad day. Or at least I think it was Wednesday. What day is it again?

And here’s the thing: I can’t see much on the horizon.

He does list the positives. First there’s the famous flattened curve that means hospitals were not overwhelmed, even in his NYC, where emergency backups like the Javits Centre and the USN Hospital ship saw hardly any victims of Chinese Lung Rot. Then there is the fact that the worst has not happened across the rest of the USA, irrespective of whether states were locked down or not.
But he cautions, as an AIDS survivor, on the prospects for both a vaccine and treatments. And he points out that this virus cannot be “wiped out”, that it will spread as society returns to normal, and that immunity is not a certainty here, given that other coronaviruses that cause the common cold, lead to a very weak immune response, so people can catch the same bug multiple times. But he’s now more worried about the economy:

Just because Trump has argued that the cure could be worse than the disease doesn’t mean it isn’t potentially true. The previously unimaginable levels of unemployment and the massive debt-fueled outlays to lessen the blow simply cannot continue indefinitely. We have already, in just two months, wiped out all the job gains since the Great Recession. In six months? The wreckage boggles the mind.

I do have to chuckle about the TDS folks like Andrew, who have to grind their teeth everytime Trump says something that they can’t deny. But moving on:

It is why protests against our total shutdown, while puny now, will doubtless grow. The psychological damage — not counting the physical toll — caused by this deeply unnatural way of life is going to intensify. We remain human beings, a quintessentially social mammal, and we orient ourselves in time, looking forward to the future. When that future has been suspended, humans come undone.

But I learned something from the AIDS years: Sometimes it is a catastrophe. And sometimes the only way past something is through it.

To that end I looked at the old home town of Chicago and found that the State of Illinois has extended its lockdown until the end of May, FFS!
Illinois Governor Pritzker
At the start of the lockdown, Governor Pritzker, a billionaire, promptly packed his wife and family off in a private jet down to Florida where they could shelter in place in greater warmth!
What’s noteworthy is the local MSM – even supporting Democrats as always in such a Deep Blue state – found out about this and questioned him hard on the matter, to which he responded in the angry and haughty manner of a Master who is not to be challenged by the serfs. He must envy our PM.
The Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has followed in his footsteps in both ways. Early on in the lockdown she toddled outside to get her hair done, a little subterfuge that fell apart when the hairdresser proudly put it up on Facebook. And as with Pitzker this has shamed Lightfoot not one bit as she has continued to walk around the streets haranguing citizens as they try to play and laugh and live at least a partially normal life.
Chicagoans being who they are, have not taken these edicts lying down. At one playground the kids – all Black – absolutely roasted Lightfoot on camera, which promptly went viral on Twitter and TickTok:Y’all need to find a cure, you’re talking about go home. You go home.
 
And what was funny was that this came just days after news emerged about a massive House Party in Glenwood (just down the street from two of our friends: fairly tony area), plus several others that went viral on Social Media at the same time  – one of them led by the son of a Chicago Fire Department Chief (HA!).

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was outraged on Saturday that people in Chicago are going to large parties during the stay-at-home order and the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will arrest you and we will take you to jail. Don’t make us treat you like a criminal. If you refuse to do what is necessary to save lives, we will take you to jail. Period. We’re not playing games. We mean business,” Lightfoot said.

Sounds like Mike Bush with his little “visit to our place“. You have to laugh. As one Chicago cop pointed out:

Jail….and then what? An I-bond from the District, a dismissal at Court, and a Civil Right attorney knocking at the door with a proposition for a lottery win.

An I-bond is basically an IOU for a bond: you don’t pay cash/cheque or anything and get sprung from jail anyhow. A ton of guys with assault charges, even with guns, have been using it to walk from Chicago jails, all of it with the enthusiastic approval of the likes of Lori Lightfoot. And of course that brings in this other point the cop raises:

Lightfoot and her ilk have spent their lives cultivating disrespect for the Rule of Law in general and police specifically. Now they act surprised when residents don’t want to follow a legally questionable “mandate.” They’re extra surprised when cops object to being thrown into a situation that endangers their physical and financial well-being after years of being painted as the bad guys.

And of course when she got her personal chance to grab those playground kids, with her bodyguards, the “merit” white shirts and some huge prick from Streets and Sanitation in yellow, with the MSM there to record her righteous zeal…. she pussied out:

This was your moment! You bragged about breaking up an underage drinking party the other day, scaring everyone out of an alley, but there were no witnesses to that one. Plus it was a reasonably quiet neighborhood. This was Ground Zero right there, the epicenter of homicides and mayhem for all of Chicago.

No one laid hands on this kid? No one chased him out of sight? No one had a robot armed with a tear gas grenade or something?

Oh, but you’re going to send the police in to “break up” house parties across the city and arrest everyone in sight?

Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot
Sounds like what happens with the NZ Police Force and Honi’s roadblocks doesn’t it? Incidently when it comes to respect for the law, Chicago Alderman have objected to Lori taking on almost sole authority over city spending decisions. Now normally that would be something to respect but since Chicago Alderman are among the most corrupt creatures on the face of the earth you can be certain that it’s about the fear that they may be missing their cut of the action.
Meantime, back at the State level, Pritzker’s latest executive order extending the lockdown has been challenged in court by one of those pesky people who have spent their lives cultivating disrespect for the Rule of Law, State Representative Darren Bailey, and the challenge won:

To his eternal credit, Judge Michael McHaney found the extended lockdown order unlawful, issuing a restraining order that blocks enforcement of the order against Bailey.  Addressing lawyers for the governor’s office, Judge McHaney said, “Every second this Executive Order is in existence, it violates the Constitution and shreds the Bill of Rights.

As with Lightfoot, Prtizker’s response lacked any sense of shame or self-awareness – and the pyschological projection was total:

Pritzker suggested that Bailey is playing politics with a crisis, “devoted to ideology and the pursuit of personal celebrity.” Pritzker seems not to realize that it is he who is blinded by ideology, a totalizing authoritarian ideology that can imagine only top-down, command-and-control solutions to problems.

Meh! That solution has increasingly led Chicago and Illinois astray. Just the other day in the Tribune, one of the only honest and fair Liberal reporters that remain there, John Kass, unloaded on Pritzker’s great plan to get out of lockdown:

Before Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker came out with his five-phase plan to reopen a state he shut down for the coronavirus pandemic — he forgot something. He forgot to seek input from the business that employs more workers than any other in the state: restaurants and bars.

That’s 500,000 workers to be precise. What genius. But what do those plebs know: if they had any business sense they’d be billionaires like Pritzker. I did laugh at the following piece of Kass snark after a quote from Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia, where he pointed out that:

“Chicago is an independent restaurant town. That’s what makes it such a great restaurant city. But independents need cash flow, and the governments want their taxes paid. But if something doesn’t change, we’ll lose at least 25% of our businesses, some say it could be 50%. And then what?”

To which Kass responds:

Then Chicago will look like DeKalb, or Bloomington, or most any other Midwest town off the interstate: with a Walgreens on one corner, a Chili’s on the next, and don’t forget that Asian crunch salad at Applebee’s, or is that TGI Fridays?

Hey! DeKalb and Bloomington are nice. Boring but nice. But there is a larger point there and it’s one we run into repeatedly in discussing the impact of this virus on business; that small and mediums ones will be hit harder than franchise operations and large businesses. And then there’s taxes:

While homeowners and businesses are hurting, you know who hasn’t felt the pinch? Government. Government hasn’t laid off anyone. Pritzker hasn’t, and neither have Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot nor Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. But they want those taxes paid.

How exactly are those going to be paid by businesses that are not running and property owners without jobs? Kass points out that although Pritzker has granted himself immense state emergency powers (just like Lori’s city powers in Chicago), he hasn’t demanded the Illinois General Assembly meet and act, and the state tax code is written largely by the legislature.
But I think the state reps have an answer to this, which would also just happen to solve the problems they’ve created over the last two decades with things like underfunded schools and pension funds. They’re going to get the great Federal sugar daddy to cover their debts.

State senator Don Harmon of Illinois, who was recently elevated to president of that body, wrote a letter to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in Washington.  Harmon suggested some of the things Illinois needs in the next phase of spending.  The quantified amounts come to $41.6 billion.  That does not include payments to hospitals or increasing the matching funds by the federal government for their Medicaid program.

More than half the monetized amount ($25 billion) is simply amazing.  Harmon wants a $15 billion “block grant” to Illinois and another $10 billion for pension relief, “directly for the state’s retirement systems.”  That is $15 billion in “free,” unrestricted money for whatever the Democrats that control Illinois wish to use it for.

Unfortunately for Illinois the Federal Senate has states that are far better run, and there is no way in god’s green earth that they’re going to approve of a scam like that.
In the meantime ordinary people will continue to suffer worse under these lockdowns, which was well exemplified by this series of tweets the other day from some nobody called Bethany S. Mandel, from which I’ll leave you with just two that apply to New Zealand as well:

Written by Tom Hunter

May 10, 2020 at 6:00 pm

Deck The Halls with Chutzpah

You really do have to see it to believe it as four people recently conducted their own type of Christmas shopping in a Chicago store…

This was not some bad part of my old home town either. No, this was Marshalls – one of the iconic stores of the city – and in Lincoln Park, one of the more expensive hipster locales.

Theft – with Panache

The men simply walk past the check-out lines one-by-one with piles of winter coats. As you can see, the second thief in line has so many coats in his arms that he can barely see over the top of the stack.

The third guy shows real panache as he keeps his stash of about a dozen coats neatly arranged on their hangers while trundling out the doors.

But wait! There’s more.

All of this was captured on phone video by a store “customer” and Facebook user named “Binky GZ“, who clearly thought the whole thing was cool with comments such:

“They walked out this bitch with hella coats.”
“They [Marshalls] just got dey dumb ass got”

You can also briefly see a stunned store worker trailing along behind, seemingly helpless to do anything about it. And he is:

“These the boosters that gne beat yo ass if yu touch them”

Well yes.

But he’s also helpless because as it turns out, Marshalls would not bother signing a complaint even if the store workers had called the police – which makes calling the cops a waste of time. And this is a standard policy now with most such stores in the Chicago area, especially the mall chain stores who are terrified of being the next Starbucks, guilty of racism. As one CPD cop noted:

Last week a unit responded to a H-and-M store in the South Loop when an employee, who saw a regular [shoplifting] crew in the store again stealing anything they could, called 911. Once on scene the officers observed the manager scolding the employee for calling the police as they were told by the store’s corporate headquarters that “H-and-M will no longer prosecute shoplifters because of prior incidents in the stores”.

And the cops are in the firing line as well. Responding opens up officers and taxpayers to potentially big payouts due to accidents, excessive force allegations and property damage claims.

If all this sounds insane you should understand that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx,  after taking office, raised the felony threshold for theft from $300 to $1,000, instructing her attorneys to reject felony-level retail theft charges unless a person is accused of stealing more than $1,000 in merchandise at a single event and already had ten felony convictions.

So far this year, Foxx’s office has rejected 69% of Chicago police officers’ requests for felony retail theft charges, according to data released by her office. And that only applies to those situations where the store signed a complaint. As noted above, that increasingly does not happen in the Chicago area.

Is it any wonder that reports of shoplifting increased by 20% in 2019. And since those are only reports it’s a fair bet that the increase in shoplifting itself is well above that figure.

I note that Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot recently fired the CPD Chief, Eddie Johnson. Unfortunately that wasn’t for being a useless Chief of Police.

Turns out that he lied to her about an incident where a police patrol found him asleep at the wheel of his parked, but still-running car in the downtown area. Realising who they had, the cops that found him bucked the problem as far up the chain as possible that night, but the story still got out. After a couple of weeks of various fibs about medical conditions and pills it turned out that Eddie had been having a few with some mistress of his.

Equally unfortunate is that Lightfoot has no similar power over Foxx, who is appointed at the State level. However, given her history on crime and punishment, it’s doubtful if the mayor sees things much differently than Foxx.

I wonder how they’d do under the British programme for rehabilitating criminals: Learning Together? Although admittedly that’s for criminals who’ve actually been convicted. The Chicago shoplifters are just laughing at the entire system of law and order.

The thing is that this is not just about such utilitarian factors as shoplifting and increases in such crime and potential losses of customers followed by loss of stores and the Detroitification of a city. It’s about an overall attitude in a society. There have always been, and always will be, criminals – but when they become this blatant and unpunished how long can a society hold together?

Written by Tom Hunter

December 27, 2019 at 1:36 am