Category Archive 'Chicago'
24 Jul 2017

Satire Versus Reality

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SATIRE: The Onion:

CHICAGO—Promising that every effort would be made to limit the impact on residents’ day-to-day lives, Chicago officials announced Wednesday that a fleet of plows was working around the clock to clear more than 18 inches of fresh bullet casings that had blanketed the metropolitan area overnight.

Sources at the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation confirmed that over 250 ammunition-removal vehicles had been deployed to deal with the knee-deep layer of spent cartridges, which have been steadily accumulating on Chicago’s streets, alleys, and pedestrian walkways since the previous evening.

“Our crews have been out there all night trying to make our roadways passable, but given how quickly the handgun and semi-automatic shells have piled up, it’s going to take some time,” DSS commissioner Charles L. Williams told reporters, thanking the public for its patience while crews made their way across the stricken municipality. “We’re making good headway, but as you can imagine, it’s not an easy job, especially with casings continuing to fall throughout the city.”

“So unless you have an emergency, we’re urging all citizens to stay put for the time being,” he added. “Right now, it’s just not safe to be out in such treacherous conditions.”

Williams stated that as casing levels surpassed 12 inches, scores of extra workers from outside the city were called in to help keep pace with the buildup. In addition, numerous dump truck crews have reportedly been tasked with carting off entire trailers full of cartridges from the hardest-hit areas and depositing them in nearby landfills before circling back to pick up more.

RTWT

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REALITY: Sun-Times 7/24:

Six men were killed and at least 35 other people were wounded in shootings across Chicago between Friday night and Monday morning.

The most recent deaths were the latest of 364 people fatally shot in the city this year, according to data maintained by the Chicago Sun-Times. In all, more than 2,075 people have been shot since the start of the year.

RTWT

02 Jul 2017

What She Said!

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Theater critic Hedy Weiss

Kyle Smith, at National Review, reflects on the over-the-top reaction from Chicago theatrical circles to some modest remarks in defense of the local police by one of the windy cities leading critics.

In Chicago, where there were more homicides last year than in Los Angeles and New York City combined, expressing any support whatsoever for the police is now considered an outrage. Should you point out that, say, a play seems to suggest cops are evil crackers, you may find yourself denounced as a racist and targeted for abuse and ostracization.

A theater writer has just found that out. In what the website American Theatre dubbed “the review that shook Chicago,” adding in a subhead that “Local theatre artists rise in revolt,” veteran theater critic Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times criticized a new play called Pass Over, which I haven’t seen but is being described as a kind of update of Waiting for Godot filtered through the sensibility of Black Lives Matter. The play, by Antoinette Nwandu, was mounted by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, perhaps the most celebrated outfit of its kind outside of New York City. Weiss found its racial politics to be a bit reductionist, and offered these thoughts in her review:

    No one can argue with the fact that this city (and many others throughout the country) has a problem with the use of deadly police force against African-Americans. But, for all the many and varied causes we know so well, much of the lion’s share of the violence is perpetrated within the community itself. Nwandu’s simplistic, wholly generic characterization of a racist white cop (clearly meant to indict all white cops) is wrong-headed and self-defeating. Just look at news reports about recent shootings (on the lakefront, on the new River Walk, in Woodlawn) and you will see the look of relief when the police arrive on the scene.

Cue unbridled rage. Steppenwolf charged her with “deep-seated bigotry.” An actor named Bear Bellinger announced that he would not perform if Weiss showed up at a workshop production he was appearing in. An ad-hoc coalition that might as well have dubbed itself the Blackball Hedy Movement (but is actually called the Chicago Theater Accountability Coalition, or CTAC) launched a petition via change.org to organize the theater world of Chicago against Weiss by denying her invitations to its plays. Several theater organizations have publicly agreed to join the blackballing effort, and dozens have offered noncommittal statements of support. The group’s broadside against Weiss reads, “Over the last few years especially, we have joined together to make it clear that inappropriate language or behavior does not have a place within our community, and that prejudice of any kind will not stand.”

Wait a minute — inappropriate behavior? Inappropriate language? Weiss cannot reasonably be accused of either of these things. She isn’t disrupting plays. She isn’t using curse words and slurs in her reviews. She isn’t, as far as I know, belching loudly during shows nor unwrapping candies during quiet moments. CTAC should be honest with itself and admit that its charge against Weiss is that she is thinking inappropriate thoughts. It was less than two years ago that Steppenwolf mounted a stage adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. Do these people not recognize their kinship with the thought police? Do they not see that “Shut up” is not an argument?

To join the Hedy Weiss Resistance seems self-defeating on the one hand and pointless on the other — she could, after all, simply buy tickets to the plays, and pass along the cost to her employers (the Sun-Times pledged such support in its editorial defending her). Moreover, if she actually were successfully kept away from plays in Chicago, those plays would lose the publicity fillip of being written about in a widely read newspaper.

And what part of Weiss’s review is indefensible? Is not most of the violence perpetrated against blacks in Chicago, and elsewhere, carried out by other blacks? Of course it is. I won’t bother to cite statistics because everyone knows this. Do not ordinary law-abiding black citizens respond with relief when mayhem is answered by the arrival of police? To say otherwise would be to charge black communities with valuing bloodshed more than order. As for whether the portrayal of the cop in the play is meant to indict all police officers, or whether that portrayal is simplistic and generic, I couldn’t say, not having seen the play. But expressing opinions on the depth and subtlety of a play is what all theater critics do. …

The theater world is a place where being “subversive” and “transgressive” are considered the highest of all virtues. But what’s going on in Chicago is a reminder is that greasepaint revolutionaries can barely handle even mild intellectual opposition. They picture themselves riding bravely into the battlefield of ideas. But if anyone shows up to fight for the other side, they cry meekly, “Excuse me, I don’t think you’re allowed here.”

13 Jan 2017

Time to Send in the Armed Forces

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26 Sep 2016

Racial Politics in Chicago and Crime

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chicagoshootingmap

Black people are always shooting one another in Chicago, thousands of times a year in their own neighborhoods. The numbers get into the papers and the level of violence is mentioned on the news.

Late last year, the Obama Department of Justice began investigating Chicago Police treatment of criminal class blacks.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the creation last December 1st of a Chicago Police Accountability Task Force, which predictably issued a blistering report finding that the cats were hostile toward rats and mice and prone to treat them roughly.

So, the Chicago Police, long noted for their toughness, have obviously been obliged to take a step back and avoid provoking complaints from the urban underclass population.

Whoever could have imagined that the next thing we read in the papers would be the shooting death of middle-aged white Chicagoan at what would previously have been considered a location totally safe from street crime in the very heart of downtown Chicago?

Jeffrey Carter, a blogger and upper middle-class resident of downtown Chicago, was naturally shocked and alarmed.

Yesterday, we drove back from Minnesota. As I pulled down Wabash an unmarked police car raced down the street in front of me. A policeman got out, left the door to his car open, and drew his gun. He started running.

We wheeled our way into our garage. There were police cars all over Michigan Avenue. That’s where the shooting was.

Turns out, a person on a bicycle shot a person walking on the sidewalk at Millennium Park. You hear a lot of stories about the violence in Chicago. Most of it is contained in one area of the city, not close to where you and your family would be if they were here.

This looks to be a random act of violence, not a gang crime or terrorism. No law in the world would have stopped it.

My neighborhood has the usual city crime. It has a lot of it-but it’s crimes of opportunity. Shoplifting. Stealing personal items from people. Small time robbery. Never shootings. There are bums on every street corner panhandling and many of them have gotten very belligerent. I saw that they are having similar problems in New York City. I have seen the same people panhandling in the same spots for years and years and years. …

The police force in Chicago is overtaxed. They are under assault from independent groups, and from politicians. Certainly, there are some bad apples and they can be taken care of. But, it feels like it’s a part of a much broader organized top down movement. Many of the arrests in Charlotte, NC were not local people. They were imported from out of state. No doubt, it’s because North Carolina is a state in political play. I noticed there were no protests in Oklahoma.

The shootings that go on in other neighborhoods are part of a broader gang war. If the US would change drug policy, the violence would decrease. Milton Friedman was right about the War on Drugs. There is only so much a city government can do to stop that kind of violence, although very liberal gun laws might help. Changing educational policy to allow for school choice would help. Lowering minimum wage and mandatory union laws so people could have better opportunities to find work would help.

Politicians say they want to do something-but their solutions are always the same. More laws, more regulations, higher taxes. At the same time, the gang leaders help them get out the vote, so there is little incentive to change when politicians are just interested in power and not helping the electorate.

If you lose the lakefront and the Loop, you will lose Chicago. My wife and I have always said, upper middle class and wealthy people will put up with a lot to live in a city. They’ll pay taxes to a point and absorb the increased cost, to a point. It is convenient and all the things that come with city living are great. But, as soon as they don’t feel secure, they are out.

We haven’t reached that tipping point, but that’s the way momentum is going right now.

The shooting victim, Peter Fabbri age 54, died on Sunday. (Chicago Tribune)

Chicago is a one-party city, and its democrat rulers are dependent on votes from minorities. If those pols continue to represent preferentially that particular constituency and to address its grievances, Chicago police will continue to be handcuffed, crime will increase dramatically and violent crime will expand into good neighborhoods. The inevitable consequence will be white flight, the collapse of commerce and real estate values, and the transformation of Chicago into Detroit.

07 Jun 2016

Lincoln Park Zoo Names New Calf “Alexander Camelton”

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06 Jun 2016

Chicago, Memorial Day Weekend

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ChicagoMemorialDay

Good thing they have that ultra-strict Gun Control.

07 Feb 2016

Final Proof of Death

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OsamaChicagoVoter

30 Dec 2015

Big City Machines Losing Control of the Monster They Created

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ChicagoPolice

Pretty nearly every major American city lives under a thoroughly corrupt, appallingly mismanaged one-party regime, whose permanent grip on power is based on the block voting of a property-less, non-tax-paying, practically illiterate, welfare constituency, residing under what amounts to a permanent military occupation.

Herschel Smith looks at the Chicago demonstrations demanding that Rahm Emmanuel resign over the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, and notes that the Chicago police were trained in “stability operations,” i.e. controlling an occupied population by the Israelis. American urban police, he notes, treat certain people, in certain neighborhoods, like an occupying army enforcing martial law.

While we aren’t dealing with millennia-old problems [as in the Israeli-Palestinian case], we are in fact dealing with at least fourth or fifth generation entitlement, with fatherless families, SNAP payments, welfare, “free” medical care, and so on. Just enough government largesse to keep the inner city blacks on a leash, not enough (yet) to create revolution against it. And therefore the elites get their voting bloc, which is the intended outcome all along.

But the monster this created is ugly and difficult to control. I’ve read comments about the rioters in Ferguson, to the extent that any protest against “the man” (or the state) is a good thing and they must be our ally (I’m not sure who “our” is). Such a view is a sign of lack of attention to detail, immaturity and weakness of mind. Most of the rioters in Ferguson would sooner gut you groin to throat with a knife and then rape your wife and daughter as to look at you. Anyone who feels an alliance with the rioters in Ferguson is a fool.

This is a monster the government and effete urbanite elitists created. The hive is coming apart at the seems, and the only way to keep it together is harsher and harsher stability operations. Make no mistake about it. The Chicago Mayor knows all about the tactics in use in Chicago and approves of them. The firing of the chief of police was a sacrifice to the masses.

The lesson for us is that police departments are more and more using stability operations as a model or paradigm for their work, with the approval of those in charge. As these tactics want to work their way into the fabric of American society like a cancer, one goal will be to kill the cancer before it takes over the host. This battle will be gradual, fought initially on the fields of town hall meetings, boards, blogs, and so on. If the battles are lost there, it will expand, and if lost entirely, dystopia (and maybe insurgency) will come to the American countryside.

The wars for the inner city cannot be won. America is going broke and the largesse cannot continue forever. Sooner or later, the riots will expand. The more important thing will be what happens to the medium and smaller towns of America?

Hat tip to Vanderleun.

25 Sep 2015

Chicago Welcome

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WelcometoChicago

31 Oct 2014

Jeppson’s Malort

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I’d never heard of this stuff before running into the ad yesterday.

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RedEye Staffers taste Malort for the first time. 1:51 video

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14 things about Malort.

10 Jul 2014

Chicago: Strictest Gun Control in the Country

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ChicagoGunControl2

The Onion: Environmental Study Finds Air In Chicago Now 75% Bullets

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Chicago and the Don Zaluchi Policy:

Don Zaluchi runs Chicago, although it’s actually grey-black powder.

If they had any sense or American identity left in them, they’d realize that they are every one his sacrificial pawns. The Don wants this, every child gunned down makes the case for firearms confiscation, and the reversion to slavery complete. But this, in this country, will never happen without risking civil war. And the Don knows, the rest of the country doesn’t care either and believes as he does. Who cares if soulless animals off each other? There’s no downside to letting this continue, or so he and his associates think.

The Don could stop this. But it would mean a severe squeeze on the rackets to make the streets safe. The Capo’s would get themselves a new Don. That the Don only calls ineffectively for firearms confiscation, while doing nothing to actually make the city safe for all People, “evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism”

20 Jul 2012

Small Business and the Government Hammer

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John Kass

Barack Obama’s Roanoke speech struck a deep personal chord for Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass. Kass, born in the early 1950s, was the son of a Greek immigrant grocer who can remember very well exactly what government did for his family.

When President Barack Obama hauled off and slapped American small-business owners in the mouth the other day, I wanted to dream of my father.

But I didn’t have to close my eyes to see my dad. I could do it with my eyes open.

All I had to do was think of the driveway of our home, and my dad’s car gone before dawn, that old white Chrysler with a push-button transmission. It always started, but there was a hole in the floor and his feet got wet in the rain. So he patched it with concrete mix and kept on driving it to the little supermarket he ran with my Uncle George.

He’d return home long after dark, physically and mentally exhausted, take a plate of food, talk with us for a few minutes, then flop in that big chair in front of the TV. Even before his cigarette was out, he’d begin to snore.

The next day he’d wake up and do it again. Day after day, decade after decade. Weekdays and weekends, no vacations, no time to see our games, no money for extras, not even forMcDonald’s. My dad and Uncle George, and my mom and my late Aunt Mary, killing themselves in their small supermarket on the South Side of Chicago.

There was no federal bailout money for us. No Republican corporate welfare. No Democratic handouts. No bipartisan lobbyists working the angles. No Tony Rezkos. No offshore accounts. No Obama bucks.

Just two immigrant brothers and their families risking everything, balancing on the economic high wire, building a business in America. They sacrificed, paid their bills, counted pennies to pay rent and purchase health care and food and not much else. And for their troubles they were muscled by the politicos, by the city inspectors and the chiselers and the weasels, all those smiling extortionists who held the government hammer over all of our heads. …

One of my earliest memories as a boy at the store was that of the government men coming from City Hall. One was tall and beefy. The other was wiry. They wanted steaks.

We didn’t eat red steaks at home or yellow bananas. We took home the brown bananas and the brown steaks because we couldn’t sell them. But the government men liked the big, red steaks, the fat rib-eyes two to a shrink-wrapped package. You could put 20 or so in a shopping bag.

“Thanks, Greek,” they’d say.

That was government.

Read the whole thing.

1:17 video

21 May 2012

$225,000 Lamborghini With Unskilled Driver

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How embarrassing!

15 May 2012

Battle of the Raptors

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(photo: Rick Remington)

In Chicago, this winter, a Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) took a go at a Snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus). A local birder named Rick Remington got some great photos and described the action.

North American Birding:

[The owl] would do a somersault just as the Peregrine approached and flash its nasty talons in an attempt to scare off the Falcon. The battle lasted for 5 full minutes before the Falcon headed off in another direction and the Snowy Owl flew down to the rocks by the lake. It was a surprisingly violent and noisy encounter, with both birds shrieking loudly and the owl extending its giant wings to intimidate the smaller falcon. I fully expected this to end badly for the owl based on what I was watching. In spite of the obvious mismatch, the Snowy Owl managed to hold its own and escape unscathed.

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