Chicago

Off The X Training Concepts Announces 2017 Preparedness, Self-Protection Classes In Glenview, Illinois

Any Chicagoland readers familiar with Off The X Training Concepts in Glenview, Illinois? I’ve mentioned the north suburban preparedness/personal safety training outfit before on Survival And Prosperity, but never really dedicated a full post to them. From their Facebook page:

Off the X Training Concepts was created to offer an extensive selection of training opportunities in the areas of preparedness and self-protection. It was founded on the belief that every individual should have access to information and training, better preparing them to take ownership of their personal safety and the safety of loved ones. Unlike many training schools and programs, OTX does not promote or teach a specific school of thought or discipline, but instead acts as a hub for a variety of training platforms and instruction. This allows the individual access to a variety of philosophies, which enables them the ability to find what works best for them…

The reason I bring up OTX, as they’re also known by, is that I spotted the following post this morning on their Facebook page regarding upcoming training opportunities:

WE ARE BACK!! OTX is pleased to announce several upcoming training offerings for 2017!!

In March and October we will be hosting Craig Douglas / Shivworks for their EWO and ECQC classes.

Also in March we will begin offering monthly boxing/conditioning groups instructed by Fernando (Beast) Rivera.

Beginning in April, OTX will be hosting an Illinois concealed carry class every other month.

In June we are super excited to be hosting a combined two day training to be taught by Cecil Burch of Immediate Action Combatives, Larry Lindenman of Point Driven Training and Paul Sharp of Sharp Defense. The course is entitled Dominating the entangled fight.

In July we have several course offerings to include a two day medical class being taught by Caleb Causey from Lone Star Medics, a firearms skill building class and a firearms home defense class.

And this is just the beginning. We look forward to introducing several new weekly and monthly training offerings. Specific event postings will follow in the days to come!!!!

(Editor’s note: Bold added for more information)

Sounds terrific. For more information about Off The X Training Concepts and these opportunities, head on over to their website here and Facebook page here (much more info on their Facebook page).

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from this blog and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 Health, Knives, Preparedness, Self-Defense, Training Comments Off on Off The X Training Concepts Announces 2017 Preparedness, Self-Protection Classes In Glenview, Illinois

Chicago Ties Birmingham, Alabama, For Highest Jobless Rate Among Large Metro Areas In December

This morning the U.S. Department of Labor handed the Chicago metropolitan area some bad news on the employment front. From a Bureau of Labor Statistics news release this morning entitled “Metropolitan Area Employment And Unemployment- December 2016”:

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H., had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.5 percent, followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., 2.6 percent, and Salt Lake City, Utah, 2.7 percent. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest jobless rates among the large areas, 5.4 percent each.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Worrisome.

You can read the entire BLS news release here (.pdf format).

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 Business, Employment, Government Comments Off on Chicago Ties Birmingham, Alabama, For Highest Jobless Rate Among Large Metro Areas In December

Signs Of The Time, Part 116

ABC News recently reported on the Chicago South Side Trauma First Responders Course, created by a local trauma surgeon as Chicagoans increasingly fall victim to violent crime plaguing the city. Angel Canales and Gillian Mohney reported last Friday:

On a chilly Saturday, 20 volunteers sat in a movie theater-turned-church located on Chicago’s South Side, taking detailed notes on how to properly tie a tourniquet, take a pulse and stop the bleeding from a serious injury as part of the inaugural Chicago South Side Trauma First Responders Course.

The course is a first-of-its-kind for the city, which had 762 homicides last year, according to the Chicago Police Department.

Dr. Mamta Swaroop, 39, a trauma surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, created the Chicago South Side Trauma First Responders Course…

Swaroop came up with the idea for the course after having multiple patients bleed out to death before they could be saved at the hospital. She noticed many had wounds in their arms and legs that, if properly bandaged, may have been survivable…


“Chicago Residents Train to Help Trauma Victims Amid Rising Violence”
ABC News Video

I applaud Dr. Swaroop, Dr. Leah Tatebe/project team, LeVon Stone, CeaseFire Illinois, and these pioneering volunteers for their effort. I suspect it may be only a matter of time before the lifesaving skills learned are called into action.

For more information about the course, head on over to the Northwestern Trauma and Surgical Initiative website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Canales, Angel and Mohney, Gillian. “In Chicago, Witnesses to Violence Turn to First Aid to Save Lives.” ABC News. 27 Jan. 2017. (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/chicago-witnesses-violence-turn-aid-save-lives/story?id=45050202). 31 Jan. 2017.

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 Crime, Health, Public Safety, Signs Of The Time, Training Comments Off on Signs Of The Time, Part 116

And The Most Violent Police Beat In Chicago Last Year Was…

Happy Monday everybody. For the first time in a looong time, the sun is actually out over this part of Chicagoland this morning.

I just got finished reading an insightful article on the Chicago Sun-Times website entitled “THE WATCHDOGS: The most violent police beat in Chicago.”

According to the newspaper, in 2016 that distinction went to Beat 1133 of the Chicago Police Department’s 11th District on the city’s West Side. Sam Charles reported Friday night:

Nowhere did the violence hit home the way it did in the Chicago Police Department’s Beat No. 1133, where Hosey, whose death remains unsolved, was killed.

Sixteen murders. Forty-five nonfatal shootings that left 55 people wounded. Three cops shot and wounded. And three people killed by the police.

That added up to more instances of gun violence in Beat 1133 in 2016 than in any other of the 303 beats the police department divides the city into, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis of police data has found.

The runners-up: Beat 1533 in Austin, with 12 murders and 44 nonfatal shootings; and Beat 1522, west of there and also in Austin, with 11 murders and 43 nonfatal shootings.

The area encompasses about one-half-square mile. It’s bounded by Jackson Boulevard, Roosevelt Road, Homan Avenue and Springfield Avenue…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Regular observers of Chicago crime and those familiar with that part of the city probably aren’t too surprised at the Sun-Times’ findings.

According to the Chicago Police Department’s CLEARMAP (Citizen Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting) Crime Summary web tool this morning, the 6th (Gresham), 7th (Englewood), 10th (Ogden), and 11th (Harrison) police districts had the most reported incidents of violent crime over the past 365 days.

The 11th District topped them all (2,407 incidents).

Head on over to the Chicago Sun-Times site here to read the entire piece.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, January 30th, 2017 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense Comments Off on And The Most Violent Police Beat In Chicago Last Year Was…

Reuters: ‘Chicago/Cook County’ Risks Losing $526.4 Million Annually In Federal Funds For ‘Sanctuary City’ Stance

It’s being reported U.S. President Donald Trump is serious about blocking federal funds to “sanctuary cities” like Chicago (first blogged about here).

A recent Reuters analysis of federal data determined “Chicago/Cook County” risks losing $526.4 million in annual funds for shielding illegal aliens.

Rory Carroll, Robin Respaut, and Andy Sullivan noted Thursday on Reuters.com:

The numbers do not include federal money for law enforcement, which was excluded in the executive order, and programs like Medicaid, which are administered by state governments.

Though details remain vague, the order could jeopardize billions of dollars in housing, health, education and other types of federal aid.

Carroll, Respault, and Sullivan reported $2.27 billion in annual funds from the feds for the nation’s 10 largest “sanctuary cities” (Chicago included) are threatened.

To see the breakdown by city/county, check out the Reuters graphic here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Carroll, Rory, Respaut, Robin, and Sullivan, Andy. “Top 10 U.S. sanctuary cities face roughly $2.27 billion in cuts by Trump policy.” Reuters. 26 Jan. 2017. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-sanctuarycities-idUSKBN1592V9?platform=hootsuite). 27 Jan. 2017.

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Friday, January 27th, 2017 Crime, Education, Government, Health, Housing, Immigration, Public Safety Comments Off on Reuters: ‘Chicago/Cook County’ Risks Losing $526.4 Million Annually In Federal Funds For ‘Sanctuary City’ Stance

Amended Illinois Tax Hike Plan To Hit Taxpayers, Businesses, And Employment?

Back on January 16 I published a post on Survival And Prosperity entitled “Illinois ‘Grand Bargain’ Legislation Includes 32 Percent Personal Income Tax Hike.” I started the piece with:

Illinois taxpayers may get hit with a significant income tax hike pretty soon…

Yesterday morning, I learned the potential “hit” could be a “combination of punches” directred at taxpayers, businesses, and employment.

From the Greg Hinz On Politics blog on the website of Crain’s Chicago Business:

There’s still no word on when lawmakers are going to vote on it, but an amended tax-hike plan has been introduced in the state capital.

It’s a doozy, with an even higher income tax, a limited service tax and a sort of minimum tax on business. But the soda pop levy is gone, as are a couple of those corporate loophole closings that business groups didn’t like…

The highlights:

The Individual income tax would go to 4.99 percent from the current 3.75 percent, and the corporate income tax to 7 percent from 5.25 percent. Combined, that would pull in about an additional $5 billion a year.

A new “business opportunity tax” ranging from a fee of $225 to $15,000 a year would be imposed, based on payroll. The intent is to make sure that all companies pay something, whether they are profitable or not. The state’s net on this is an estimated $750 million a year.

However, the research and development tax credit would be made permanent and the manufacturers purchase and graphics arts credits would be combined, as some businesses wanted.

A service tax—extension of the sales tax—would be imposed on certain items including repair and maintenance of personal property, use of amusement services including gyms, landscaping, laundry and dry-cleaning, and storage of personal goods such as cars and property. This would pull in a projected $400 million a year.

The telecom excise tax would be extended to cable and satellite services.

Both Radogno and Cullerton are said to have negotiated and support the above, pending action on the rest of the package…

Hinz does a good job summarizing the proposed expanded revenue grab. At this point, I want to go back to that bit about a new “business opportunity tax.” From the actual legislation for the so-called “Business Opportunity Tax Act”:

Section 1-10. Tax imposed.
(a) Beginning on July 1, 2017, a tax is hereby imposed upon each qualified business for the privilege of doing business in the State.
(b) The tax under subsection (a) shall be imposed in the following amounts:
(1) if the taxpayer’s total Illinois payroll for the taxable year is less than $100,000, then then annual tax is $225;
(2) if the taxpayer’s total Illinois payroll for the taxable year is $100,000 or more but less than $250,000, then the annual tax is $750;
(3) if the taxpayer’s total Illinois payroll for the taxable year is $250,000 or more but less than $500,000, then the annual tax is $3,750;
(4) if the taxpayer’s total Illinois payroll for the taxable year is $500,000 or more but less than $1,500,000, then the annual tax is $7,500; and
(5) if the taxpayer’s total Illinois payroll for the taxable year is $1,500,000 or more, then the annual tax is $15,000…

I can see a number of existing and prospective Illinois business owners having concerns with the proposed “Business Opportunity Tax Act.”

First, Illinois already has poor business reputation. For example, early last year Chief Executive magazine asked 513 CEOs to rank states they are familiar with on the friendliness of their tax and regulatory regime, workforce quality, and living environment. The “Land of Lincoln” came in as the 48th worst state in this annual survey, beaten only by New York and California in that order. The “Business Opportunity Tax Act” has the real potential of increasing the perception that Illinois is business-unfriendly.

Second, if my understanding of the legislation is correct, the larger the payroll an Illinois business has, the more taxes they will pay. Consider the following. If I’m an Illinois business owner with a payroll just shy of $250K who would like to bring on more staff, I may be dissuaded from doing so to avoid forking over an additional $3,000 to the state (unless I’m convinced the hiring would offset the $3K hit). And how might employee raises be impacted once payrolls start approaching a higher tax bracket? The proposed “Business Opportunity Tax Act” may not be too terrific for Illinois employment.

Third, readers of this blog may know that I am in the process of rolling out a research business focusing on specialized asset protection. It’s been my intention to launch in the Chicago area. Lately, however, I’ve been thninking of opening up shop in southeast Wisconsin (where my family has a residence) due to the direction Illinois looks to be heading with taxes and its treatment of the business community. The passage of the “Business Opportunity Tax Act” could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I wonder how many other prospective Illinois business owners might be in the same boat?

Stay tuned…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Hinz, Greg. “New, wider tax plan rolls out in Springfield.” Greg Hinz On Politics. 24 Jan. 2017. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170124/BLOGS02/170129931/springfield-lawmakers-roll-out-new-wider-tax-hike-plan). 26 Jan. 2017.

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Thursday, January 26th, 2017 Business, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Government, Political Parties, Taxes Comments Off on Amended Illinois Tax Hike Plan To Hit Taxpayers, Businesses, And Employment?

Illinois State Rifle Association: ‘Good Riddance’ Barack Obama

A January 20 press release from the Illinois State Rifle Association (“dedicated to education, safety training and support of Illinois firearm owners”) is making the rounds on the Internet. Executive Director Richard Pearson penned:

ISRA: Goodbye Barack… Hello Donald

“About eight years ago, I penned a letter to gun owners nationwide about my experiences lobbying Barack Obama when he was an Illinois State Senator. Among the adjectives, I used to describe Senator Obama were arrogant, rude, self-righteous, indignant and aloof. I warned gun owners that an Obama presidency would cast the darkest of days upon supporters of our Second Amendment. I advised gun owners that the only hope for preserving gun rights would be a sustained pushback against Obama’s attempts to obliterate civilian firearm ownership.

There was never any doubt in my mind that Obama would seek to crush the Second Amendment. Obama entered office with the very firm intention of satisfying the globalist ideal of knocking America down a couple of pegs. Thus, in no time at all, President Obama attacked two great American icons – General Motors and our superlative health care system. Next on his plate was an assault on the uniquely American sense of rugged individualism. As we all know, self-reliance is predicated upon the existence of the Second Amendment. Plain and simple – without a Second Amendment, individualism is just a fantasy. Yes, early in his tenure, Barack Obama was achieving his objective of making America more like the rest of the world rather than encouraging the rest of the world to be more like us.

When Obama charged headlong into the gun control fray, he was met with stubborn and determined opposition from everyday gun owners. We fought him in Congress. We fought him in the federal courts. We fought him in the court of public opinion. In the end, the good guys won and the promise of a nation-wide version of Chicago-style gun control faded into irrelevance. For that, gun owners owe themselves a hearty pat on the back.

Now enters Donald Trump- President Donald Trump. Trump has made a lot of promises to gun owners and I hope he keeps them. Copious promises notwithstanding, the nation’s gun owners must remain mobilized and prepared to fight the gun control movement whether the battle is at the national, state, or local level. The fight for gun rights is not over and will never be over.

In closing, I’d like to bid Barack Obama “good riddance,” and wish President Trump well in the monumental job he is about to undertake.”

The ISRA is the state’s leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

For more information about the Illinois State Rifle Association, head on over to their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Health, Hunting, Legal, Political Parties, Self-Defense, Shooting Sports Comments Off on Illinois State Rifle Association: ‘Good Riddance’ Barack Obama

Trump To Chicago: ‘I Will Send In The Feds!’ To Deal With Escalating Violence

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted the following Tuesday night about dealing with Chicago’s escalating violence (blogged about here):

If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible “carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Back on January 2, then President-elect Trump tweeted this about Chicago’s bloody 2016:

Chicago murder rate is record setting – 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016. If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for Federal help!

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

No response from “The Machine” as I type this.

UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the aldermen’s response to that Trump tweet is that they would welcome federal money to combat the violence. I’m sure they would.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 Crime, Government, Political Parties, Public Safety Comments Off on Trump To Chicago: ‘I Will Send In The Feds!’ To Deal With Escalating Violence

Chicago Weekend Shootings: 7 Killed, 48 Wounded

This past weekend in Chicagoland was pretty warm, with Saturday really feeling like late spring. As I washed the cars that day, I thought to myself, “Will be interesting to hear how ‘Beirut By The Lake’ fares this weekend with all this nice weather.” From the revealing HeyJackass! website (“Illustrating Chicago Values”) Monday evening under “This Weekend’s Stupidity”:

Just your average summer weekend complete with three doubles, six hat tricks and a grand slam, in January.

Final Stupidity Tally: 7 killed, 48 wounded

Astute observers of Chicago’s violence are noting the significance of January’s shooting gallery. AWR Hawkins repored on Breitbart.com last night:

January 2016 was the bloodiest start for a year in at least 16 years, yet the carnage of the first three weeks of 2017 surpassed it. And this is bad omen, especially when you consider the fact that bloody January 2016 set the tone for the rest of last year

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Bad omen” indeed. Stay tuned…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Hawkins, AWR. “Gun-controlled Chicago: Shootings, murder higher than this time last year.” Breitbart. 23 Jan. 2017. (http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/23/gun-controlled-chicago-shootings-murder-higher-than-this-time-last-year/). 23 Jan. 2017.

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense Comments Off on Chicago Weekend Shootings: 7 Killed, 48 Wounded

Chicago Restrictions To Gun Ranges Ruled Unconstitutional

The City of Chicago lost yet another court battle versus gun “rights.” From a news release yesterday on the website of the Second Amendment Foundation:

A three-judge panel of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today handed the Second Amendment Foundation a victory in its challenge of firearms regulations in the City of Chicago, striking down a zoning provision, reversing an earlier ruling that upheld “distancing” restrictions for gun ranges, and reversing an earlier ruling that upheld certain age restrictions.

Writing for the court, Judge Diane S. Sykes noted, “To justify these barriers, the City raised only speculative claims of harm to public health and safety. That’s not nearly enough to survive the heightened scrutiny that applies to burdens on Second Amendment rights.”

“We are delighted with the outcome of this lengthy case,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The extremes to which the city has gone in an attempt to narrow its compliance with the Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago can only be described as incredible stubbornness. In the 6½ years since the high court ruling in our McDonald case, the city has had ample opportunity to modify its regulations. Instead, Chicago has resisted reasonableness.

“We had already sued Chicago successfully to knock down its outright ban on gun ranges within the city,” he recalled. “Then they adopted new regulations that included the zoning, distancing and age restrictions that we contested in this legal action, known as ‘Ezell II.’

“The city tried to severely limit where shooting ranges could be located, and they failed,” he continued. “The city put up arguments about the potential for gun theft, fire hazards and airborne lead contamination, and they failed. Even the judge’s opinion today noted that the city had ‘produced no evidentiary support for these claims beyond the speculative testimony of three city officials.’ This nonsense has got to stop

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The “nonsense” Gottlieb speaks of is well-documented on the Chicago Tribune website this morning. From the Associated Press article:

Chicago has suffered a string of defeats in its efforts to restrict guns, which top officials have cited as a major reason for a sharp rise of violence in the city.

The U.S. Supreme Court forced the city to rewrite its firearms ordinance in June 2010, which had banned the ownership of guns in the city. In response, the city came up with an ordinance outlawing the sale of firearms in the city.

A judge ruled in 2014 the city’s ban on gun shops violated the Constitution.

Chicago imposed a blanket ban on shooting ranges in 2010. The Court of Appeals struck down the ban in 2011, prompting the city council to pass ordinances accomplishing the same thing. The Second Amendment Foundation and others took the city to court over the ordinances in 2014.

Sounds like City Hall could really use a refresher course on the U.S. Constitution.

Plus, how much more of the taxpayer dime was blown on this latest anti-Bill of Rights legal activity?

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Associated Press. “Appeals court rules restrictions to gun-ranges in Chicago are unconstitutional.” Chicago Tribune. 19 Jan. 2017. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-gun-range-restrictions-20170118-story.html). 19 Jan. 2017.

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Thursday, January 19th, 2017 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Hunting, Legal, Self-Defense, Shooting Sports, Training Comments Off on Chicago Restrictions To Gun Ranges Ruled Unconstitutional
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