Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pension Win

It seems that the Law, as written, has obligations and responsibilities - binding one might say:
  • A judge on Friday struck down the state’s landmark pension law that sought to fix Illinois’ $104.6 billion government retirement system debt, declaring the measure unconstitutional and clearing a path for a showdown in the Illinois Supreme Court.

    Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz agreed with public employee unions and retirees who challenged the December 2013 law, maintaining that it “without question” violates the state constitution’s provision that a public worker pension cannot be “diminished or impaired.”

    “The state of Illinois made a constitutionally protected promise to its employees concerning their pension benefits,” Belz wrote. “Under established and uncontroverted Illinois law, the state of Illinois cannot break this promise.”
Imagine that. And imagine the college that granted this twit a law degree:
  • Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she will appeal the decision to the state’s high court, where cases go when a state law is declared unconstitutional. She will ask justices to expedite the appeal to get a resolution to the long-festering pension issue, “given the significant impact that a final decision in this case will have on the state’s financial condition.”
And that's a impediment to the law how? We don't recall Lisa stepping in and telling folks, "You can't buy that house given the significant impact that ... this ... will have on [your] financial condition." Or maybe, "You can't sent your child to college given the significant impact that ... this ... will have on [your] financial condition."

The law usually assumes that adults make adult decisions. Unless of course, you're a democrat. Then the all-knowing state tells the banks to front you the money for a mortgage you can't possible ever pay back. Or to take out those student loans that saddle your child with a debt he won't be able to pay back in his lifetime. Or make pension promises that can only be fulfilled by making timely payments, adjusting the multiplier and yes, even raising taxes to keep up with obligations, no matter what it costs you at the polls.

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What Bit Me?

Well, if you're at HQ, it's either someone looking for a promotion or bedbugs:
  • There are some unwanted guests inside Chicago's Public Safety Building.

    The 35th and Michigan Avenue location has a bedbug problem.

    Both the Chicago Police headquarters and the Chicago Fire Department headquarters are located in the building.

    A spokesperson for CPD says the problem is being taken care of and should be fixed rather quickly.
Quickly? We had this up in the comments at least two months ago, maybe longer. That isn't "quickly." That's more like "one of these days."

Fill out those Exposure Reports boys and girls. Maybe FOP can somehow get some compensation for fumigating your house when you bring them home from work.

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Promotional Exams?

Someone said there's a sign up for an ET test. That probably means a class of ET's to be made shortly to burn the list out, but maybe not. In any event, long overdue. ET's are regularly handling homicides lately since there are only like seven Forensic Investigators any more. Sign up on CLEAR before 01 December.

Someone else said there is an announcement for K9? Both bomb dogs and drug-sniffers. We didn't think they had bottomed out those lists, but hey, any promotion is a good promotion nowadays. Does anyone know if that's on CLEAR, too?

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Here's What We Don't Get

There's a troll here who likes to pop in and say things like "How can cops be Republican? You're union people, Republicans want to screw you. etc etc" We'd publish it, but he calls everyone stupid and ignorant and has a potty-mouth, so we flush it.

We troll back at sites like that sometimes if we're bored. Like this:
  • How can any minority or millennial even pretend to be a democrat? The jobless rate for recent college grads is almost three times the national average. For blacks, it's double. Hispanic is above the national average, too. Almost 92 million people aren't even working.

    And here's Obama and the dems legalizing another 5 million? You know what that's going to do to the wage structure? The unemployment numbers?

    Got student loans? Hope you're comfortable with them. Good thing Obama infantilized that generation - stay on mom and dad's insurance until your 26, they can claim you as a dependent, and maybe you'll inherit the house since you won't be able to buy your own.
Talk about voting against your own self interests. Democrats want a dependent class....broke, taking handouts, disarmed. In other words, sheep.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Detectives in Uniform?

Couple e-mails saying everyone is in uniform in anticipation of a Ferguson decision coming down tomorrow. We wish they'd just pull the trigger on this and get it over with so we can get on to "healing" and "understanding" and whatever other liberal "excuse-of-the-day" is.

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Rauner Hoping for "Guidance"

  • Making his first post-election appearance at the Capitol on Thursday, Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner said he hopes the Illinois Supreme Court eventually will provide guidance on what changes are acceptable when it comes to fixing the state's more than $100 billion debt in the government worker pension system.

    The incoming governor may get some clues as early as Friday, when a lower court judge is expected to weigh in on the legality of a sweeping overhaul lawmakers approved nearly a year ago. The ruling by Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Belz could provide an early indication of whether the pension law violates a provision in the state constitution that prevents public employee pensions from being diminished or impaired, as unions have argued.
This is going to be litigated out the ass regardless. How about throwing together some austerity measures for state government and making sure Chicago pays its bills for starters?

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Don't Like Taxes? Don't Pay 'em

  • The Rev. Al Sharpton on Wednesday sharply criticized a New York Times article that explored his history of unpaid taxes, rent and other bills, calling the report “misleading and totally out of context.”

    During a news conference at the headquarters of his National Action Network in Harlem, Mr. Sharpton sought to refute the article’s assertion that there were $4.5 million in state and federal tax liens outstanding against him and the for-profit businesses he controls. He said that the liens had been paid down, although he declined to say by how much, and that he was “current on all taxes” he was obligated to pay under settlement agreements with tax authorities.

    “We’re talking about old taxes,” he said, adding: “We’re not talking about anything new. So all of this, as if I’m not paying taxes while I’m doing whatever I’m doing, it reads all right, but it just is not true.”

    State and federal tax records show, however, that the liens against Mr. Sharpton and his businesses remain active, meaning they have not been completely paid off. The article also noted that Mr. Sharpton had said in an interview that he had paid off some of the debt.
Some of these judgements date back decades to Al's race hustling days in New York, instigating riots, slandering law enforcement, inflaming mobs to kill innocents....hey, that sounds familiar.

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Ebola?

Three-hundred-fifty-seven being monitored in New York City, and this happens:
  • Just a week after Dr. Craig Spencer was declared 'Ebola-free', The Daily Mail reports a woman, who had arrived from Guinea 18 days ago (and was on the NYC Ebola monitoring list), dropped dead in a Brooklyn hair salon this afternoon. FDNY sent their Special Operations and Hazmat units but she was declared dead at the scene. Witnesses said she was bleeding from the "face, nose, mouth, everything."
Authorities are calling it a "suspected heart attack" at the moment, but FDNY suited up in full haz-mat gear to remove her. After all, heart attacks don't usually present with face, nose, mouth, everything" bleeding.

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Classy Fans

We like hockey. A lot. And this is one of the reasons why:



These were Canadian fans stepping up in the midst of technical difficulties to assist in completing the United States national anthem.

After the terror attacks in Canada, fans at NHL stadiums across the US stood in solidarity with the Canadian people. We're willing to bet there aren't many hockey fans who don't know the words to both the Canadian and US anthems. Fan rivalry is intense, but mostly respectful (except for those bastards from Detroit), and the fans at an NHL game are among the most knowledgeable in their following of the game....even those bastards from Detroit.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Missing Propoganda

A reader asked another question that someone in the media should have done months ago:
  • ...and where's the weekly Table Of Guns for the TV cameras?
And a reply:
  • Lol!
    They have "minders" not so much to secure the guns at these agit-prop "Look at ALL these bad guns" media events, but to keep people from scanning the inventory tags... They've been busted before for misrepresenting "seized last year" guns as "seized last month" or whatever time frame they select to prop up their propaganda narrative of the day.
Long time readers will recall that commenters here pointed out the startlingly similar numbers, makes and models of guns that were displayed at various press conferences held at different police facilities every Monday last year. Other commenters suggested that media folks compare inventory numbers of the displayed weapons, whereupon the media was forbidden from approaching the tables. Shortly afterward, the "gun-runs" were instituted where Districts desks are required to transport guns to ERPS on a daily basis after years of awaiting ERPS pick-ups two or three times a week.

Now the table of guns has disappeared and the CompStat monsters are mysteriously silent as the killings approach 400. But hey....Crime is down!

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Rahm Needs More Money

A pair of amusing rumors:
  • Word out of city hall is that Tiny Dancer is pissed about his convoy being caught and dragged through the media for running red lights, so he intends to respond after the new year with a new policy.

    Any city vehicle that is captured violating speed camera zones or red light cameras - including police - will have to drop a to-from justifying the violation. Those who do not prepare the report or whose violations are deemed by the hall not to be justified will be fiscally responsible for the cost of the fine.

  • Very True, if the to from is not submitted, The fine will be deducted from all who fail to address the violation.

    Also, a civian will find you responsible unless you can produce prood you were responding to an emergency. Real proof, tapes, etc. All civilian operations like streets and saniatation will be getting hit real goo, nothing can justify them running a light !!!

    Rahm is not playing, you will pay, like it or not. The union will grieve it nd it will take 5 years before you might get you money back, minus adminstrative fee's. Four drivers from water already got their pay docked for running a light.
Even if these aren't true, it makes for an interesting debate. We're pretty sure that when operating a marked squad, certain allowances are made. Many cops travel without lights and sirens to calls because they like to make arrests and sirens scare criminals away. Is this going to be specifically forbidden now? Are we going to be required to keep a minute-by-minute log to prove we were on the way to assist or arrest and not headed to a bathroom break? Or is it lights-and-sirens the whole way now in an effort to drive down arrests and court time?

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Pathetic Media

King Obama is going to announce a sweeping abuse of power tomorrow regarding immigration. We recall a war fought over this sort of behavior nearly 240 years ago.
Guess who isn't interrupting regular programming to broadcast the address to the nation?
  • The administration said today that Obama will be speaking live from the White House at 8 PM ET on Thursday. But ABC has the fall finale for Grey’s Anatomy on at that time, while CBS has ratings powerhouse The Big Bang Theory, NBC has reality show The Biggest Loser and Fox has Bones. As of right now, none plans changes to their regularly scheduled Thursday night November sweep schedules for the approximately 15-minute speech.
The cable networks will carry the speech, but not the mainstream media. Still in the bag for a lawless, ego-maniacal Chicago pol who will burn the country down because voters told him "no." You want to know why the left thinks and says American voters are stupid and easily led? Because the media abets it.

Maybe they'll be announcing Ferguson today...and this announcement will get lost in the rioting.

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Toy Gun

  • The owner of a bakery in Calumet City shot a man who was using a toy gun to usher him and an employee to the back of the store during a robbery, police said.

    The incident happened about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cal City Bakery, near State Line Road and 154th Place in the south suburb, said Calumet City police Chief Edward Gilmore.

    Unbeknownst to the bakery owner, one of the two men who tried to rob the store was wielding a toy handgun. The gun appeared “fairly realistic,” Gilmore said.

    The owner of the bakery watched the robbery unfold from closed-circuit television from the center part of the building. The man with the gun ushered an employee and then the owner toward the back of the building.

    The owner wondered why they were being taken to the back of the building after complying with the robbers' demands for cash.
There shouldn't be a store or store owner without a gun nearby after the Brown's Chicken massacre. The Chief of Police out in Calumet City pretty much cleared the bakery owner. Hopefully, the mayor out there gives him a medal.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

De Paul Cost Overruns

  • The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority is negotiating with a general contractor for the proposed DePaul arena near McCormick Place, but the two sides are struggling with a price tag that has soared to as much as $250 million, about 75 percent more than the original estimate, according to people close to the bidding process.

    McPier next week is expected to award a design-build contract for the arena and an adjacent 1,200-room Marriott hotel to a venture led by Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Construction Group, those sources tell Crain's. The cost of the 51-story hotel is expected to be in line with previous estimates, or a total of roughly $400 million.

    But a sticking point is the "dug-in" design of the 10,000-seat arena, which places its playing floor well below ground level. That feature has pushed construction costs above the $140 million that McPier and city officials optimistically projected when they announced the project in May 2013, sources said.

    Although a final price has not been set, the cost of that design, by New Haven, Conn.-based Pelli Clark Pelli, could be as much as $250 million, sources said.
Back in the real world, when you bid a construction job, you usually figure in somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% for cost overruns and extraneous items. Material costs fluctuate, gas prices, equipment failures, weather delays, maybe some overtime. But a lot of that can be alleviated by long term contracts with suppliers locking in prices, volume discounts, etc.

Anything approaching 20-25% means something went terribly wrong - maybe even criminally wrong. This stadium, for a PRIVATE UNIVERSITY, is projected to be 75% over budget. It might as well be a completely different contract in terms of money. And the City Council that voted for it in the first place doesn't seem to be able to revisit the contract and reevaluate the taxpayers' commitment to a cost overrun worth more than one-quarter of the City's pension obligation due next year.

FOP, you guys going to point this out? It's a gift.

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SEC to Investigate Rahm?

  • Chicago lawmakers are planning to send a formal request to the Securities and Exchange Commission for an investigation into donations to Mayor Rahm Emanuel from executives at financial firms that manage city pension money. The donations were first documented by International Business Times in a report quoting former SEC and federal prosecutors saying the contributions may run afoul of the agency's pay-to-play rules.

    The aldermen scheduled a City Hall news conference Tuesday to announce the action.

    In a letter to Andrew Ceresney, who directs the SEC's division of enforcement, Aldermen Bob Fioretti, Scott Waguespack and John Arena write the donations constitute "pay-to-play actions" that "have violated the public trust and are a breach of the fiduciary duty" by the Emanuel administration officials who oversee the city pension systems. They say "Chicago has a deep history of pay-to-play" and that their "goal is to end these tactics and protect the citizens of Chicago and employees' investments."
Why now? Why not decades ago when Rahm was pulling in $18 million as a "financial wizard" for a certain connected investment firm?

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Someone is Watching the Numbers

We don't usually link to leftist websites for the usual reasons. But this time, someone is actually taking the Chicago homicide number game seriously:
  • Chicago Murders in November 2014 up 50% during the same time last November. In November 2013 there were 28 total murders. There have already been 24 murders as of November 16, 2014 with 14 more days left in the month to count.

    During the month of November 2013 there were a total of 16 murders for the first part of the month. In the current month of November 2014 there have been a total of 24 reported murders a 50% increase in murders from the same time last year. Raw data was used from RedEye Tracking homicides in Chicago.

    Checking if this was an anomaly. Substance News compared homicides statistics for the months of September and October to last year during the same months. September 2013 had 43 total murders compared to September 2014 which had 44 total murders a 2.33% increase. In October of 2013 there were a total of 33 murders compared to October 2014 which a total of 38 murders a 15.15% increase. The totals for both months show an upward trending murder rate of 7.89%.
They even do a little digging and come up with this little fact:
  • The Chicago Tribune has not reported a homicide on its homicide tracking website, since November 4, 2014 2:17 pm, even though there have been 14 murders since then.
Wait...let us guess...the intern in charge of inputting the Tribune homicide tracker data is on vacation? It would almost be amusing except that Rahm is running for reelection and we're betting that McJersey and CompStat are going to figure heavily in his campaign. How better to grease the skids a bit by "neglecting" to keep the public updated with current homicide stats?

We heard, but can't yet confirm, that November will be the THIRD consecutive month of homicide INCREASES on a month (2013)-to-month (2014) comparison. Not only that, someone else said that these three monthly increases have pretty much wiped out the supposed "reduction" of 2014 compared to 2013. We'll let you know how true that one is shortly.

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Competing Polls

The Chicago Teachers Union thinks Rahm is headed to a runoff, even with Karen the Commie out of the race:
  • A new survey commissioned by the Chicago Teachers Union shows Mayor Rahm Emanuel could be forced into a runoff election folllowing the February primary.

    The data from the survey conducted by Lake Research Partners shows Jesus “Chuy” Garcia inching closer and possibly making the race for mayor tight.

    The survey found that between Emanuel, Garcia, and Ald. Bob Fioretti, Emanuel leads with 33 percent of the vote. He is followed by Garcia with 18 percent and Fioretti with 13.
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel holds a 19-percentage-point lead in a three-way race against his two top challengers and is within striking distance of avoiding a runoff before spending a penny of his $9 million warchest, according to a new poll conducted for the mayor’s super PAC.

    The poll of 601 likely voters was conducted last week by the Global Strategy Group, whose president Jefrey Pollock has done polling for Priorities USA, the super PAC that helped re-elect President Barack Obama, as well as for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a host of Democratic candidates nationwide. The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 4 percent.

    The results are better for Emanuel than the Chicago Teachers Union poll released earlier this week that also shows the mayor short of the 50 percent plus one he needs to avoid a runoff.
Polls showing the desired result for the organization that paid for the poll - must be election season.

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From Chaplain Brandt

A difficult topic, but as the years go by, an intelligent choice to make sure your wishes are respected:
  • END-OF-LIFE PLANNING WORKSHOP, HOSTED BY CPD CHAPLAINS' UNIT

    Come learn how to start the difficult conversation regarding end-of-life decisions. An attorney will also be present to offer free estate planning advice.

    Southsiders: Monday, 12 JAN, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the 022 District community room
    Northsiders: Tuesday, 13 JAN, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon at the Irish American Heritage Center

    There is no charge for the event. Get more information by contacting Chaplain Kimberly Lewis-Davis at Kimberly.LewisDavis@ChicagoPolice.org or 312-771-6638.

    RSVP by 05 JAN.


    EVENING RETREAT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

    CPD Chaplain Kimberly Lewis-Davis and Fr. Dan Brandt will be co-facilitating this evening for YOU involved in first response. Please consider taking a couple hours out of your schedule to enliven your soul.

    Tuesday, 13 JAN, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Resurrection Catholic Church, 3043 N. Francisco Avenue in Logan Square.

    (Due to popular demand, a February date will be added at a south-side venue; details forthcoming.)

    Registration required. Register at www.MayslakeMinistries.org or by calling 630-852-9000.
Comments closed here.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hey, How About Those Numbers?

So.....no one in the media or HQ mentioning this?
  • Hey SCC,

    After the honor students posted a shutout on Friday - the first shooting/homicide-free day since 5/23 - they proceeded to run up the score with 5 dead and another 16 wounded through Sunday evening.

    The same weekend last year tallied 1 dead and 18 wounded.

    As an added bonus, we're already sitting at 24 homicides this month. Last November posted 28 for the entire month.

    Illustrating Chicago Crime, Murder and Mayhem at heyjackass.com
All summer, everyone has had to listen and read about how crime is down, beyond historic lows, we haven't seen crime this low since Jean Baptiste Point du Sable had his bicycle stolen by some passing Indian "yutes."

It's all CompStat all the time. Chicago Magazine writes a gigantic two-part spread about how the numbers are manipulated and the crime is reclassified. The Slum-Times highlights a manslaughter incident involving the Daley clan, forces a guilty plea, and exposes files being found at the home of certain connected individuals.

And yet, when one guy running a website like HeyJackass.com, has the temerity to point out the simplest of the CompStat statistics - Weekend A from 2013 and Weekend B from 2014 - and the 500% increase in homicides - silence. And is anyone going to touch the November 2014 total is nearly at 2013 totals - and we're only halfway through the month?

You just know the media is hoping Ferguson burns to the ground so they can distract the masses once again.

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A Humble Suggestion

Maybe one of these for the Craft Pizza folks:

  • Chilean students of engineering have designed a prototype bicycle that ‘cannot be stolen.’

    The Yerka, which is designed by Cristobal Cabello, Andres Roi Eggers and Juan Jose Monsalve during a college engineering class, can be locked by some of its own parts.

    The students came up with the idea after Roi’s bike was stolen.

    The Chilean innovators have benefitted from techniques used in two other bicycles namely “Seatylock” and “Denny,” whose saddle and detachable handlebars are respectively used for locking them up.

    For Yerka to get locked, its lower frame opens up into two arms that are then connected to the seat post and locked to a post.

    Thieves would have to destroy the whole bike to get it unlocked, said Cabello, adding, “That’s why our motto is ‘a bike that gets stolen is no longer a bike.’ What we have here is truly an unstealable bike.”
This might test the ingenuity of bike thieves.

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Fundraiser

The Peace Officers Memorial Foundation of Cook County:


This organization recognizes Law Enforcement Officers from across Cook County who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Chicago, Suburban, State and Federal - over 700 all told.

Comments closed here - informational post only.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Snow Causes Crime

  • Five people were killed and at least 16 others have been wounded in shootings across the city since Saturday afternoon, police said.

    The most recent fatal shooting happened Sunday evening in the West Pullman neighborhood.

    About 5 p.m., police found a 30-year-old man unresponsive on the sidewalk in the 11600 block of South Racine with a gunshot wound to his back, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Someone got some 'splaining to do.

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Stroller Gang Busted

It's ridiculous that the media is making this into some sort of "cause," seeing as how (A) the bike was left unsecured by anything but a 8-foot-scalable-fence and (B) the owner of the pizza joint has already expressed an interest in "lecturing" the evil-doers:
  • Two people are charged in connection with a robbery caught on video at a Wicker Park pizza parlor last week.

    Gwenel McKeebey, 18, is charged with theft for allegedly stealing $10 from a tip jar at Craft Pizza.

    Police say surveillance video captured that incident, along with a juvenile male stealing the owner's bike out back of the restaurant. He has also been charged.
Anyone want to bet the defense attorneys find some way to say the police forced him to sign complaints or bullied him in some way? If there wasn't video of the whole thing, this is one of the larger non-stories in recent memory. We didn't realize that the pension problem had been solved, that tens-of-thousands of manufacturing jobs had suddenly migrated back into the state and Illinois' $80 billion debt had evaporated.

But hey, that theft clearance rate just ticked upward!

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Bears Won?

For the first time at home?

And 10G lost $20 grand on the game?
  • Hi SCC n Kids. 10 g here. Must make this short. On my way to Church. Went with 10 large on the OVER 46 in Bears/Minn game and same way on Minn +2 and the hook. Bears are the epitome of terrible. Cold is here. Can't wait for our Cruise. Good luck and luv you guys n gals.
Ouch.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bears by 3....2.5....Falling


Here we go....odds are dropping as we type.

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Ferguson Decision - Probably Monday

Lots of news outlets claiming Monday is Decision Day, and no one thinks it's going to go well.

Be safe, be aware.

Expect the usual nonsense downtown - a bunch of loud people making no sense.

But what happens elsewhere is the question.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Jane Byrne - RIP

Various media coverage all over the place. Here's a sampling:
  • Jane Byrne was not mighty, like her mentor, Richard J. Daley.

    She was not beloved, like her successor, Harold Washington.

    Nor was she long-serving, like her bitter rival, Richard M. Daley.

    But she was mayor, Chicago’s first and only female mayor — making Chicago the largest city in the United States to elect a female chief executive — serving a single, tempestuous term, ushering the city into the 1980s, leaving her own colorful legacy during a time of political change, social upheaval and financial crisis.
But of course, coppers will remember her supporting the efforts to organize. The argument can be made that much of that has been squandered away over the past decades, but at the time, it was the biggest beneficial change to come down the pike in history. 

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    Charges

    But the lawyers involved think the best defense is a good offense - or at least an offense that will inflame a jury:
    • A south suburban man has been charged in the beating of an off-duty Chicago Police sergeant who allegedly started the fight when he made a racist remark in an elevator in a downtown parking garage last month.

      Joseph E. Baskins, 28, of Country Club Hills, is charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in connection with the Oct. 30 incident, according to a spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. He was released in lieu of $25,000 bail on Wednesday, sheriff’s officials said.

      Baskins is accused of striking the sergeant repeatedly, causing major head injuries. He allegedly fled with the sergeant’s handgun — the reason for the gun-possession charge against him.
    And why should we believe Baskin's account?
    • In 2009, Baskins was convicted of burglary and sentenced to three years in prison. He was also convicted of resisting a peace officer in 2003, telephone harassment in 2009 and violating an order of protection in 2010, court records show.
    Well. That sounds like someone completely believable with no axes to grind against the system, doesn't it? And even if the allegation turns out to have a kernel of truth, there's something called "disproportionate response," that is, you don't get to beat someone into a coma and rob them over so-called fighting words...nless we missed something in Springfield or some press release by McStreetlightMarksman.

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    A Rose by Any Other Name...

    It's a quota. It's not a quota. It's a quota. It's not a quota.
    • Three patrol officers are suing the Normal Police Department, saying the central Illinois town improperly disciplined them for failing to meet arrest quotas.

      The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports the officers filed the lawsuit in McLean County Circuit Court. They say they were disciplined for not meeting a minimum number of arrests per month for traffic, criminal and ordinance violations.

      Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner and Normal City Manager Mark Peterson declined comment Wednesday. They said they haven't seen the lawsuit.

      Earlier this year the police chief said the department has performance standards but it doesn't have quotas.
    "Performance standards." "Index numbers." Even "VRI eligibility numbers." Creative words, but quotas in everything but the name. We aren't fans of not doing anything - there's plenty out there to keep everyone busy for a tour if you know how and where to look, but police work isn't always quantifiable the way number-crunches want it to be.

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    Friday, November 14, 2014

    Closing Arguments (UPDATES)

    (Post moved from 13 November 2014 12:03 AM)

    Word from someone watching things:
    • Hey Guys,

      Got information from a fellow PO today the states attorney called him trying to get PO's at the P.O.  Wortham murder trial. I guess tomorrow's closing arguments and they have not had any police officers in the court room during the entire trial. If you can please put out the information and hopefully somebody can make it on his behalf.  Room 606.  
    Stop by after your call. Takes a minute and means the world.

    UPDATE: We're being told Room 500? Ask at the sign-in room. They'll have the info.

    UPDATE: GUILTY - a small measure of closure - Rest in Peace Officer.

    UPDATE: Both GUILTY

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    The Bike is BACK!!!

    • A $700 custom-made bike has been recovered after a band of young people dubbed the "Stroller Gang" stole it and tip money from a Wicker Park pizzeria over the weekend.

      The bike was sold to someone who later saw the video and turned it in to police, according to 14th District police.
    We'd also like to thank the people who pointed out that Channel 7 ran this story the other night with all the faces blurred out - and then asked the viewers to contact the police if they recognized anyone involved in the theft. Yes, they were serious.

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    "Safe Passage" not so Safe

    • A man was killed while sitting in a vehicle in the Englewood neighborhood near the Jesse Sherwood Elementary school, one of two people injured in daytime Chicago shootings.

      At about 2 p.m., police responded to the 5700 block of of South Princeton Avenue for a shots fired call, said Chicago police spokesman Thomas Sweeney.

      When police arrived they found a 21-year-old man in a vehicle suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, Sweeney said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

      The shooting happened along a safe passage route near the Sherwood Elementary School, 245 W. 57th St.
    Evidently, no one got the memo that the supposedly "safe" passages have been abandoned after the second week of school. No one from HQ is out guarding the kids, the firefighters are warm in their houses, the Streets people are supposedly patching potholes, cleaning streets, prepping the plows for winter....there isn't any one on the Safe Passages aside from the $10 per hour folks...but no one is checking that they're actually there....most times, they aren't. In fact, we're surprised Rahm didn't have someone out taking down the signs so something exactly like this didn't happen.

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    Correlation Failure

    Someone who obviously attended the CompStat meeting last week noticed something odd:
    • Contact Cards are the be all and end all of CompStat and crime fighting. "Make contact with the right people" and the crime numbers will fall. So why is it that the 011th District led the city in Contact Cards over the last measuring period and also led the city in killings?
    Something doesn't compute. Was everything a lie? How can that be??

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    Poor Chicago

    • One in three Chicago residents can't go more than a month without a paycheck.

      According to the Springleaf Financial Strength Survey, 33 percent of Chicagoans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

      It also found that one in three Chicagoans has less than $250 in their bank account before payday and they're not consistently adding to any savings.

      The survey says rising costs and unexpected expenses are the main reasons for the lack in savings.
    No wonder politicians can't balance the budget - no one has any money.

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    Thursday, November 13, 2014

    Where's the Weed Money?

    • Chicago's most powerful aldermen want to know why a two-year-old ordinance that empowered Chicago Police officers to issue tickets for small amounts of marijuana has been a bit of a bust.

      At Wednesday's City Council meeting, Police Committee Chairman Anthony Beale (9th), Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke (14th) and Zoning Committee Chairman Danny Solis (25th) demanded City Council hearings into the disappointing results.

      "While the Police Department has clearly made great strides in implementing this law by logging fewer arrests for low levels of cannabis possession, I believe the City Council deserves to see all of the statistics firsthand and determine if we have successfully undertaken what the legislation intended, " Burke was quoted as saying in a news release.

      Solis championed the ordinance in hopes it would put police officers on the street for thousands of additional hours to fight more serious crime. He was also hoping to avoid saddling black and Hispanic young people with arrest records that would haunt them for the rest of their lives.

      On Wednesday, the alderman acknowledged that the results have been slower than he expected.
    Someone want to run through the entire process again for slower members of the City Council and the media? Here's a clue:
    • It saves no time and there is seldom any court time involved.
    Wait? What? A street stop, weed test, ANOV issued, test kit inventoried don't save time over a simple weed arrest? No, not really. With the miracle of computers and copy/paste, you can process multiple weed arrests faster and manage to get a court date out of it. In any event, we hear complaints constantly about "no test kits available" for the watches because the Tactical Teams took them all and locked them in the office because ::surprise:: they're under orders to produce weed arrests to make CompStat look good. Quota based policing to keep a spot - illegal, but winked at.

    Hold on - coppers make arrests to go to court? Um, duh? Is anyone here old enough to remember Sound Impounds and the four separate court calls at 11th and State? That room was packed. Hundreds of cases a week, literally. Then the city went and put it on a key and suddenly, a lot less sound impounds. Talk about killing the golden goose.

    Of course, in those cases, the city had a hammer to hold over the offender - they had their wheels, an actual asset to auction off if no payment was forthcoming. What do you have in a weed case? Half a blunt? Keep it, they'll grow more. No incentive, other than a Tact spot and nowadays, Tact is too often CompStat's bitch - get Cards, get ANOV's get weed tickets, and while you're at it, go to this detail - your day off is canceled. That's policing in the 2000's.

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    "Stroller Gang"

    Channel Two had a report on this.

    Someone made an amusing YouTube video with subtitles and catchy music:



    But the cBS reporting is especially amusing. A sampling:
    • The owners of a Chicago pizza shop are looking for help after being robbed by a gang of youngsters with a baby stroller. The robbery was all caught on surveillance tape.

      Five young people, one baby in a stroller, and an unusual pizza order at Craft Pizza in the 1200-block of North Damen in the Wicker Park neighborhood.

      [...] "Here's a young mother with her young cousins or friends, or whatever, and they are out stealing and robbing people. At that age, wow, it's unbelievable," said Scott Toth, Craft Pizza owner.
    Start them young. Hell, gypsies start even younger - and this guy is shocked, SHOCKED, to find out crime is happening in Chicago.
    • The owners think the call was a distraction, because at the same time, just outside the kitchen window, a young man was scaling the fence and opened the gate. He tried a few times to steal a worker's bag.

      "I'm glad he didn't take my bag, whew, because that's expensive, too," said Johnson.

      "He's not a millionaire. He works for his money," said Toth.

      He leaves the bag, but takes the worker's $700 bike. To top it off, Aaron Johnson has had six bikes stolen since he moved to Chicago five years ago!
    Six bikes in five years? Sorry Aaron, you're a moron. How about investing in a decent lock and chain and tell your boss you'd like an indoor bike rack? Unless maybe you work for a moron?
    • In releasing the video, the owners hope the young thieves are caught.

      "Something should be done. You know, they should be lectured and somewhat rehabilitated that this is wrong behavior and this is not the way to start your life," Toth said.
    Okay. Obviously, Aaron works for a moron. "...lectured...?" "...somewhat rehabilitated...?" "wrong behavior...?" Ooooooooo yeah. THAT'LL show 'em!!

    Earth to Scott - they don't care it's wrong. Lectures don't mean anything. "Rehabilitation" doesn't mean anything. An ass-whipping might, but you don't seem up to it. And we're sure you'd be right at the front of the protests if the cops administered one to any of these poor misguided individuals. Let us know when you're sick of losing tip-jar money and $700 bikes. We'll be over here filling out your report that the insurance company won't pay out on. Crime is Down!

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