Category Archive 'Illinois'
16 Mar 2020
Deborah Frank Feinen, Mount Holyoke ’89, Illinois Institute of Technology Kent College of Law ’91, God/Empress of Champaign, Illinois.
With Coronavirus deaths in the US, as of 3/16, rising to 69, governmental responses have been enthusiastic and proactive, to say the least.
I think that a record of some kind was set by one Deborah Frank Feinen, two-term mayor of Champaign, Illinois, a small city of 81,000 souls in Central Illinois, joint home with its sister city Urbana of
a major satellite [Correction: the main] campus of the state university.
Deborah Feinen, last Friday, issued an Executive Order, confirmed immediately by the city council, which confers upon the mayor such deliciously complete powers that it seems an oversight that the edict did not also modify her title to God-Empress.
Her mayoralty’s ascension to Divine status and assumption of her full powers made national news on the basis of Provisions 6 and 7 which authorized her Imperial Supremeness to ban firearm sales and transfers and to confiscate them at will, but really the full 30 Provisions basically entitle the Divine Deborah to set aside the US Constitution, the entire corpus of Common Law, and all customary rights to personal freedom and property as she sees fit.
After the declaration of an emergency, the Mayor may in the interest of public safety and welfare make any or all of the following orders and provide the following direction:
(1) Issue such other orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property.
(2) Order a general curfew applicable to such geographical areas of the City or to the City as a whole, as the Mayor deems advisable, and applicable during such hours of the day or night as the Mayor deems necessary in the interest of public safety and welfare.
(3) Order the closing of all retail liquor stores, including taverns and private clubs or portions thereof wherein the consumption of intoxicating liquor and beer is permitted;
(4) Order the discontinuance of the sale of alcoholic liquor by any wholesaler or retailer;
(5) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, or giving away gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank properly affixed to a motor vehicle;
(6) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, dispensing or giving away of explosives or explosive agents, firearms or ammunition of any character whatsoever;
(7) Order the control, restriction and regulation within the City by rationing, issuing quotas, fixing or freezing prices, allocating the use, sale or distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods or services or the necessities of life;
(8) (a) Order City employees or agents, on behalf of the City, to take possession of any real or personal property of any person, or to acquire full title or such lesser interest as may be necessary to deal with a disaster or emergency, and to take possession of and for a limited time, occupy and use any real estate to accomplish alleviation of the disaster, or the effects thereof;
(b) In the event any real or personal property is utilized by the City, the City shall be liable to the owner thereof for the reasonable value of the use or for just compensation as the case may be.
(9) Order restrictions on ingress or egress to parts of the City to limit the occupancy of any premises;
(10) To make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing;
(11) Temporarily suspend, limit, cancel, convene, reschedule, postpone, continue, or relocate all meetings of the City Council, and any City committee, commission, board, authority, or other City body as deemed appropriate by the Mayor.
(12) Require closing of business establishments.
(13) Prohibit the sale or distribution within the City of any products which could be employed in a manner which would constitute a danger to public safety.
(14) Temporarily close any and all streets, alleys, sidewalks, bike paths, public parks or public ways.
(15) Temporarily suspend or modify, for not more than sixty (60) days, any regulation or ordinance of the City, including, but not limited to, those regarding health, safety, and zoning. This period may be extended upon approval of the City Council.
(16) Suspend or limit the use of the water resources or other infrastructure.
(17) Control, restrict, allocate, or regulate the use, sale, production, or distribution of food, water, fuel, clothing, and/or other commodities, materials, goods, services and resources.
(18) Suspend or limit burning of any items or property with the City limits and up to two (2) miles outside the corporate limits.
(19) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened areas within the City if the mayor deems this action is necessary for the preservation of life, property, or other disaster or emergency mitigation, response or recovery and to prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destination in connection with an evacuation.
(21) Approve application for local, state, or federal assistance.
(22) Establish and control routes of transportation, ingress or egress.
(23) Control ingress and egress from any designated disaster or emergency area or home, building or structures located therein.
(24) Approve the transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of City departments and agencies for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency or disaster services.
(25) Accept services, gifts, grants, loans, equipment, supplies, and/or materials whether from private, nonprofit, or governmental sources.
(26) Require the continuation, termination, disconnection, or suspension of natural gas, electrical power, water, sewer, communication or other public utilities or infrastructure.
(27) Close or cancel the use of any municipally owned or operated building or other public facility.
(28) Declare, issue, enforce, modify and terminate orders for quarantine and isolation of persons or animals posing a threat to the public, not conflicting with the directions of the Health Officer of the community.
(29) Exercise such powers and functions in light of the exigencies of emergency or disaster including the waiving of compliance with any time consuming procedures and formalities, including notices, as may be prescribed by law.
(30) Issue any and all such other orders or undertake such other functions and activities as the Mayor reasonably believes is required to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons or property within the City or otherwise preserve the public peace or abate, clean up, or mitigate the effects of any emergency or disaster.
If Deborah the Magnificent should decided to appoint herself a one-goddess Committee of Public Safety and take possession of all private and personal property and food and medicine, if she decided to confiscate all firearms, ban protests and assemblies, ban the personal movement of any or all of her 81,000 subjects, and erect a guillotine in Champaign’s Place de la Concorde, well, there you have it! the city council confirmed all of her powers.
Amusingly, national comment over the possible gun confiscations on the basis of a virus ensued, and faced with criticism, her honor the mayor quickly retreated from Olympus, issuing a public denial stating: “there is currently no firearm ban and no intent to seize property or close businesses. Additionally, there are no restrictions on the sale of alcohol or gas or the ability to enter or leave Champaign.”
The list of 30 powers and authority, sufficient to do anything and everything, was pruned down to a modest 11, and all the grandiose claims of powers over persons and property oddly enough went missing. And, in conclusion, we were all assured that nothing was going on here, we were completely mistaken in being concerned. Nothing was changed.
The Mayor has the authority to exercise other emergency powers under the Champaign Municipal Code Section 12-39, which have been in existence since 2006; however, and under the known circumstances, no further measures are anticipated.
Uh huh! Right!
21 Jun 2017
Illinois pols gave government employee unions the key to the vault and the state is now bankrupt and without a plan. John Kass has a modest proposal for what to do next.
Dissolve Illinois. Decommission the state, tear up the charter, whatever the legal mumbo-jumbo, just end the whole dang thing.
We just disappear. With no pain. That’s right. You heard me.
The best thing to do is to break Illinois into pieces right now. Just wipe us off the map. Cut us out of America’s heartland and let neighboring states carve us up and take the best chunks for themselves.
The group that will scream the loudest is the state’s political class, who did this to us, and the big bond creditors, who are whispering talk of bankruptcy and asset forfeiture to save their own skins.
But our beloved Illinois has proved that it just doesn’t deserve to survive.
So why not let our friendly neighbors like Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Kentucky just take the parts they want?
As you can see by the excellent “Kevorkian Illinois” map that accompanies this column, this plan is visionary.
The alternative is hell. Illinois hasn’t had a state budget for years. The state continues to spend money it doesn’t have, and the state’s credit ratings have dropped, increasing the cost of borrowing more money we don’t have to keep the rotten shebang going.
Bills pile up; Moody’s Investor Service says taxpayers are on the hook for $251 billion in unfunded public union pension liabilities.
Boss Mike Madigan, king of the Democrats who control things, wants tax increases but no real structural reform to bring stability to The Venezuela of the Midwest.
And the whispers of bankruptcy won’t help the average (remaining) taxpaying chumbolones like you and me who don’t want to leave our homes but who’ll get stuck with the bills.
Since our neighboring states are doing better, taking Illinois jobs and businesses and Illinois workers and taxpaying families, they might as well just take the rest of Illinois, too, dammit.
Wisconsin can have Chicago and begin calling it “South Milwaukee.”
Naturally, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will fight this. He needs a job. And he’ll most likely beg his friends at The New York Times and the Washington Post to write angry editorials to save him. And these will be full of concern for the republic and those dispossessed Midwestern salt-of-the-earth taxpaying Americans, as if.
Sadly, Wisconsin probably won’t want Rahm, either. So to spare hurt feelings, I propose carving out 40 acres around the mayor’s home so Rahm might be prince of his own country:
And Cook County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle will fight it, too, so she needs something to soothe her ambitions:
A grant of land as large as a case of the soda pop she taxes, so that she might stand on it and proclaim herself Queen of Taxwinkletopia.
If there are portions of Illinois that the other states don’t want, they may be left as federal territory, a wilderness where only the strong survive and peasants and friendly propagandists kneel and beg for crumbs.
17 Aug 2010
Rep. Melissa Bean, democratic incumbent of the 8th-IL congressional district (Phil Crane’s old district) turns in a remarkably unresponsive performance at a town meeting held at the Round Lake, Illinois Public Library on August 12. The congresswoman was accompanied by a large male who loomed threateningly over persons daring to ask questions.
This 6:30 video is clearly edited with partisan intent, but it shows enough that is obviously real to be disturbing.
Any bets on whether Rep. Bean will be returning to Washington next year?
Hat tip to Jim Hoft.
03 May 2010
An unnamed public official
Mark Brown, at the Chicago Sun-Times, is very amused by the determined efforts of the District Judge to keep a certain unnamed public official from having to testify in the trial of Rod Blagojevich
[A] three-paragraph letter that they say was turned over to the defense by prosecutors during a recent closed-door session in the governor’s chambers, laying out new information that convicted political insider Tony Rezko allegedly has told investigators, particularly this: that Rezko said he “believed he transmitted a quid pro quo offer from a lobbyist to the public official, whereby the lobbyist would hold fund-raiser for the official in exchange for favorable official action, but that the public official rejected the offer.”
It also said the public official “denies any such conversation.”
Without flat-out naming Obama as that public official, the governor’s lawyers did everything but draw us a picture, saying Obama “is the only one who can testify as to the veracity” of Rezko’s allegations.
In other words, they’re saying Rezko reported trying to bribe Obama, and that while Rezko said Obama turned him down, Obama said it never happened.
Even if the prosecution avoids using testimony from Antoin Rezko in order to avoid deposing that particular unnamed public official, the Blagojevich defense may yet succeed in dragging Obama into the mess to testify about his own role in the negotiations over Blagojevich’s appointment of a successor to Obama’s seat in the Senate.
According to Blagojevich:
On the day before he was elected president, then-Sen. Obama personally called a union official about his desire for Blagojevich to appoint Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to replace him in the Senate, according to Blagojevich’s defense filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
14 Dec 2009
Back in April of 2007, when Newt Gingrich was still being looked upon as a potential candidate in the upcoming presidential contest, during a debate with John Kerry, Gingrich climbed on board the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) bandwagon and even endorsed carbon regulation.
Distancing himself from AGW-skeptic Senator James Inhofe at the time, Gingrich said:
“My message I think is that the evidence is sufficient that we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon-loading of the atmosphere.”
And then proceeded to propose that the rest of the Conservative Movement should follow his own example by knuckling under to a popular delusion and developing a so-called “green conservatism.”
Campaigning over the weekend though in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District for Ethan Hastert, the son of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, it sounded like Gingrich has jumped back onto the right side of the fence on AGW. Gingrich said:
“Copenhagen in its current form is a fraud by the left around the world to take power away from people and give it to government and bureaucrats and is a combined effort by the bureaucrats and the academics to take power away from free people and turn them over to the international organization, and it is going to be a disaster. And we should be committed to not implementing Copenhagen [global warming treaty] in its current form under any circumstances.”
Gingrich was back in good form as well on Health Care Reform, advising democrats in danger of losing their seats that voting with Harry Reid may not be worth it.
“If the left manages to drive through a bill which is opposed by 65 percent of the country on health care, our commitment should be simple â€” when we get a majority, weâ€™re repealing the whole thing. And I want every Democrat who is about to sacrifice their seat for socialized medicine to understand: after you lose your seat, youâ€™re going to lose the socialized medicine too.”
21 Oct 2009
Government vehicles on scene of investigation
Last Sunday, the FBI conducted a mysterious large-scale raid on First World Management Meat Processing, an Islamic slaughterhouse, in Kinsman, Illinois, owned by Dr. Syed Hamid, a resident of Chicago. No one was arrested on Sunday, but apparently authorities were still searching the place on Monday.
Voz iz Neias?:
Federal agents conducted a raid Sunday afternoon at a goat meat processing plant near Morris, Illinois. The secretive operation was led by the Chicago FBI office, the Feds are being very tight-lipped on what they found and why they were even there.
Spokesman Ross Rice confirms agents were at 6260 Kinsman Road, in Kinsman, Illinois. The business is called First World Management. Rice would not say why agents were there but said nobody was taken into custody.
The FBI said the raid began Sunday morning and ended in the late afternoon. They were at the plant about nine hours total.
According to sources, the plant provides goat, beef and lamb meat which is prepared in the Halal way in accordance with Muslim custom.
The government workers inside First World Management meat packing plant in Kinsman Monday wouldn’t say why they were there or why scores of FBI agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were there Sunday.
The trouble is the FBI isn’t saying much about what happened at this rural Grundy County plant. A spokesman confirms that the plant, which has a Muslim prayer room, was raided as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
Several witnesses reported that the Grundy County Sheriff’s office was involved, as well, saying sheriff dept. vehicles were visible at the scene. The Sheriff’s department denies it was present.
When asked if the raid had something to do with undocumented aliens, the person wouldn’t say. A neighbor suggested that undocumented immigrants live in a trailer behind the facility and work there.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the agency assisted in the raid, but had no further comment. According to sources, many of the FBI and ICE agents were armed.
Several USDA criminal investigators were on site at the plant on Monday, but they would not comment on the situation.
One man who was talking about the raid was Jim Cavaness. He’s a handyman who occasionally works at the plant where goats, sheep and cows are slaughtered. On Sunday, he witnessed the raid and says he was questioned by FBI agents.
Cavaness says the FBI asked him if he had seen anything unusual at the plant. He says he’s never seen anything unusual, but, he says, judging by the amount of firepower on the scene, the FBI wasn’t just working an immigration case.
“Way too much overkill for immigration,” Cavaness said.
Neighbors who saw the raid on Sunday told CBS 2 it was a huge operation, involving more than 100 agents, police officers and even what one believed to be National Guard troops.
Sources say during the raid, the driveway was filled with more than 50 government vehicles. There was a helicopter flying overhead and a command center set up. On top of it were government sharpshooters with rifles at the ready.
Channel 2 (Chicago) 2:29 video
The Chicago Tribune (Tuesday) says “a source” told them that Dr. Hamid had been taken into custody at his home in Chicago.
Also raided on Sunday was the owner’s home and two other locations in Chicago.
31 Dec 2008
The Chicago Tribune’s John Kass advises. Playing the race card was a brilliant stroke which instantly put the national democrat party on the defensive.
Since he was federally charged with trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been wrongly caricatured as some kind of hapless jester prancing on the edge of madness.
Jesters hold rattles with a likeness of their heads on the end of a stick, and they hop off into a corner, prattling to themselves. That’s what jesters do.
Jesters don’t pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Democrat in the U.S. Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging.
Yet that’s what Blagojevichâ€”aided by former Black Panther-turned-Daley-machine-functionary Bobby Rushâ€”did at that stupendous news conference in Chicago on Tuesday. That’s when the governor appointed Democratic empty suit Roland Burris, an African-American, to fill the Senate seat vacated by Obama.
“Please don’t allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man,” said Blagojevich.
It was a brazen move, and a smart one, and though the race card was ugly, there was no passion in it. There was no lunacy involved.
“This is not about Roland, this is about Rod,” said savvy political consultant Thom Serafin when I called him while watching the circus of the politically bizarre. Serafin correctly predicted weeks ago that it would be Burris, shortly after Blagojevich was arrested and most other Senate hopefuls pulled out lest they be infected by the governor’s dilemma.
“This is Rod telling the political class that he’s still active, that he’s still around, that he’s still the governor,” Serafin said. “And how do they deny Roland Burris? They can’t.”
Read the whole thing.
15 Dec 2008
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
The Wall Street Journal notes that the Chicago Tribune isn’t only financially bankrupt. It’s ethically bankrupt as well.
The Tribune’s selfish decision to break the Blagojevich corruption story early probably prevented the FBI from catching the actual sale of a Senate seat (to Jesse Jackson, Jr.) on tape, losing federal authorities half the bust.
Conventional wisdom holds that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald ordered the FBI to arrest Rod Blagojevich before sunrise Tuesday in order to stop a crime from being committed. That would have been the sale of the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
But the opposite is true: Members of Fitzgeraldâ€™s team are livid the scheme didnâ€™t advance, at least for a little longer, according to some people close to Fitzgeraldâ€™s office. Why? Because had the plot unfolded, they might have had an opportunity most feds can only dream of: A chance to catch the sale of a Senate seat on tape, including the sellers and the buyers.
The precise timing of Tuesdayâ€™s dramatic, pre-dawn arrest was not dictated by Fitzgerald, nor was it dictated by the pace of Blagojevichâ€™s alleged â€œcrime spree.â€ It was dictated by the Chicago Tribune, according to people close to the investigation and a careful reading of the FBIâ€™s affidavit in the case.
At Fitzgeraldâ€™s request, the paper had been holding back a story since October detailing how a confidante of Blagojevich was cooperating with his office.
Gerould Kern, the Tribuneâ€™s editor, said in a statement last week that these requests are granted in what he called isolated instances. â€œIn each case, we strive to make the right decision as reporters and as citizens,â€ he said.
But editors decided to publish the story on Friday, Dec. 5, ending the Tribuneâ€™s own cooperation deal with the prosecutor.
Read the whole thing.
13 Dec 2008
Jonah Goldberg gleefully deconstructs all the shades of meaning in the Blagojevich indictment.
There are so many things to love about the Rod Blagojevich scandal itâ€™s hard to know where to begin.
Wait. Thatâ€™s not right. There are so many bleeping things to love about this bleeping-bleep Blagojevich scandal itâ€™s hard to know where to begin.
For starters, the folks at the Chicago Tribune are Christmas Pony Happy because Blago tried to strong-arm the Tribâ€™s owners to fire members of the editorial board. Instead, Trib editors will get to have a big tailgate party outside Blagoâ€™s cell window.
Newspaper people love that sort of thing. …
For partisans, thereâ€™s the schadenfreude that comes with watching the Democrats â€” self-proclaimed anti-corruption zealots in recent years â€” explain why Blagojevich shouldnâ€™t be lumped in with Congressmen Charlie Rangel (cut himself sweetheart deals), William Jefferson ($90,000 in his freezer) and Tim Mahoney (tried to bribe an aide he was sleeping with not to sue him â€” and you thought romance was dead) as part of a new Democratic â€œculture of corruptionâ€ storyline.
Thereâ€™s the enormous I-should-have-had-a-V8! moment as the mainstream press collectively thwacks itself in the forehead, realizing it blew it again. The New York Times â€” which, according to Wall Street analysts, is weeks from holding editorial-board meetings in a refrigerator box â€” created the journalistic equivalent of CSI-Wasilla to study every follicle and fiber in Sarah Palinâ€™s background, all the while treating Obamaâ€™s Chicago like one of those fairy-tale lands depicted in posters that adorn little girlsâ€™ bedroom walls.
Read the whole thing.
12 Dec 2008
For sale: One Senate seat. Goes to the highest BLEEP-ing bidder. Seller’s positive feedback rating: since Tuesday, just about zero.
Outraged by the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, more than a dozen people have put the state’s vacant Senate seat up for bid on eBay.
The offers popped up on the Internet auction site after Blagojevich was accused Tuesday of trying to benefit financially from his power to appoint a Senate replacement to President-elect Barack Obama.
Daniel Finnegan, a student at the University of Georgia, said he started an auction because he’s “extremely upset about what happened” and wants to voice his opinion.
Finnegan says he’s glad others posted similar auctions so the accusations against Blagojevich don’t go unnoticed.
University of Illinois student Matt Platino says he posted his entry to be funny, but also because he’s upset with Blagojevich. …
And folks are bidding, some jokingly. One posting (“Used Illinois Senate seat, all wood and leather, willing to deal on this one! Please be advised I will be away from my office for a while…”), had 78 bids and was going for $99,999,999.00 Wednesday morning.
Literal Senate seats have been eliminated as of this morning, but Internet domains named ObamaSenateSeat, newspaper clippings, and numerous joke references can be found.
10 Dec 2008
John Kass is gloating in the Tribune at seeing some of the local sleaze facing a cleanup.
Now that Gov. Dead Meat has been arrested at his home and charged with selling Illinois by the poundâ€”and Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat by the sliceâ€”let’s just savor the aroma.
I love the smell of meat over coals in the morning.
It smells like . . . victory.
The people of Illinois needed some good news and they got it. Former Republican Gov. George Ryan is in prison, and the arrest of his successor, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, surely means that the Illinois Combine that runs this state can stop with the rumors that U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald will be leaving town.
And, as Blagojevich most likely prepares to be Ryan’s bunkmate, let’s not forget the scores of other politicos, of all parties, who’ve gone down on corruption chargesâ€”including some of Mayor Richard Daley’s guys who helped rebuild that Democratic machine the mayor says doesn’t exist.
At a news conference in the federal building in Chicago, authorities were asked about Illinois corruption.
“If it isn’t the most corrupt state in the United States, it’s certainly one hell of a competitor,” said Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office. …
Though Illinois isn’t surprisedâ€”this is after all the home of the Chicago Wayâ€”the national media must be shocked.
They’ve been clinging to the ridiculous notion that Chicago is Camelot for months now, cleaving to the idea with the willfulness of stubborn children. It must help them see Obama as some pristine creature, perhaps a gentle faun of a magic forest, unstained by our grubby politics, a bedtime story for grown-ups who insist upon fairy tales. But now the national media may finally be forced to confront reality.
Barack Obama, of course, is an intimate associate of Illinois’ current governor, shared the same political contributors (Antoin Rezko), and was, like him, a loyal servant of the Daley Machine.