City of Chicago

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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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel To ‘Kneel Before Zod’- Donald J. Trump?

The editorial board at Crain’s Chicago Business published the following about Chicago’s impending loss of clout in Washington, D.C., on the Crain’s website this past Saturday:

Chicago residents, regardless of their personal politics, are going to miss having one of their own in the White House.

As President Barack Obama moves on to his post-presidential life, he takes with him the last vestiges of our once-formidable clout in the nation’s capital. Chicagoans have become accustomed to the idea that, with the right connections, they can be just a phone call away from the highest levels of power. With the incoming Trump administration, that’s about to change

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity may recall what I blogged back on December 7:

If readers still don’t think there will be repercussions to Chicago from a Trump administration despite its unabashed support for Hillary Clinton on Election Day (the Democrat received 83.63% of the city’s votes on Election Day), its official policy of providing “sanctuary” to illegal aliens, and political grandstanding (Trump’s honorary street signs downtown were removed this past weekend, courtesy of the City Council), then consider what was published on the Bloomberg website yesterday:

“Chicago Faces Political Power Outage as Trump Succeeds Obama”

Chicago is racing the clock.

Nowhere will political power evaporate more dramatically at noon on Jan. 20 than in the third-largest U.S. city, a bastion of Democratic power that’s enjoyed special access to Washington during President Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House.

When Donald Trump becomes the 45th president, Chicago will trade a first family and top advisers with deep ties to the city for a chief executive who has repeatedly called it a violent mess embodying the failed policies of his predecessor and the Democratic Party…

Not since the era of Abraham Lincoln have Chicago and Illinois enjoyed such strong ties to the White House and Washington. Obama’s exit will bring an end to that

I wrote back on November 11 in a post entitled “Chicago Could Lose Billions In Federal Funding Under Trump Administration”:

Drip. Drip. Drip.

That’s the sound of federal funds to the “City By The Lake” drying up.

A real possibility. And a lot of moolah at stake…

Crain’s editorial board brought up the much-publicized planned renovation of Chicago’s Union Station in their piece. They penned:

As City Hall pushes for federal funding to revamp Union Station—a project that will require Trump administration support—Chicago may soon learn the limits of its clout in this new era.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If the presence of Trump International Hotel & Tower in downtown Chicago isn’t enough to gain the President-elect’s support for the renovation, then I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump requires the city to renounce its “sanctuary city” status and/or other concessions he deems important before federal funds are made available.

Will Mayor Emanuel be forced to “kneel before Zod”?

Stay tuned…


“Kneel before Zod!”
Clip from Superman II (1980)
YouTube Video

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

Source:

Editorial Board. “Chicago’s D.C. clout exits with Obama.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 14 Jan. 2017. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170114/ISSUE07/301149996/chicago-will-miss-president-barack-obama). 17 Jan. 2017.

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Moody’s On Chicago Public Schools Crisis: Consider Tax Levy, Pension Contribution Stoppage, Or Bankruptcy

“Chicago and New York rank at the bottom of a new analysis of fiscal strength based primarily on data from 2015 financial reports issued by the cities themselves. The analysis includes 116 U.S. cities with populations greater than 200,000.

Chicago’s position at the bottom of the ranking is no surprise to anyone who follows municipal finance. The Windy City has become a poster child for financial mismanagement, having suffered a series of ratings downgrades in recent years. Aside from having thin reserves and large volumes of outstanding debt, Chicago is notorious for its underfunded pension plans…”

The Fiscal Times, January 9, 2107

Moody’s Investors Service recently weighed in on Chicago’s well-publicized financial crisis. Last Thursday its Global Credit Research division published the following on the Moody’s website:

While unfunded pension liabilities will continue weighing on the City of Chicago’s (Ba1 negative) credit profile, plans to significantly increase contributions with higher taxes is a favorable departure from prior funding practices. However, the liquidity crisis at Chicago Public Schools (CPS — B3 negative) is worsening amid a continued budget impasse at the state level, Moody’s Investors Service says in two new research reports released today…

In “City of Chicago: Frequently Asked Questions,” Moody’s says despite the city’s expanding economy, revenue growth, and healthy liquidity, its pension burden is likely to remain among the highest of any rated, major local government for many years.

“While Chicago’s recent tax increases will provide revenue to significantly increase pension funding, the city’s unfunded pension liabilities exceed seven times its revenue and are projected to grow for at least 15 more years,” says Matt Butler, Vice President of Moody’s…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The well-known credit rating agency added this about the city’s public school system:

In a separate report, “Chicago Public Schools: Frequently Asked Questions,” Moody’s states CPS’ fiscal pressures are intensifying due to depletion of reserves following years of imbalanced operations, unrealistic budget assumptions, and escalating pension costs…

Moody’s says CPS could consider more difficult options to address its finances should the State of Illinois (Baa2 negative) be unable or unwilling to provide additional relief: levy for debt service on GO alternate revenue bonds, stop making employer pension contributions, or seek state authorization to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

MarketWatch news editor Rachel Koning Beals expanded on Moody’s suggestions for dealing with the CPS situation. She wrote Saturday:

Moody’s has a revised shortlist of painful fixes for the public school system in Chicago.

One idea is to approve another increasingly politically unpopular property-tax levy to pay off debt, as the nation’s third-largest school district just issued another batch of high-interest bonds.

The second idea from the credit-ratings agency is to skip a pension payment to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund, which would come just months after the district and its teacher‘s union hammered out an 11th-hour contract to avoid a second labor strike in a span of four years.

And last resort? Just declare bankruptcy already

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Who’s the say the City will act on any of these suggestions (at least, right away)? That being said, Chicago taxpayers and CPS employees/retirees might want to take heed of all this.

Head on over to the Moody’s Investors Service website here to read the entire release from the Global Credit Research division. It ain’t pretty.

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

Source:

Koning Beals, Rachel. “Maybe Chicago schools should declare bankruptcy and get it over with, says Moody’s.” MarketWatch. 14 Jan. 2017. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/maybe-chicago-schools-should-declare-bankruptcy-and-get-it-over-with-says-moodys-2017-01-13). 16 Jan. 2017.

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Mexican Paper Reports ‘Migrants Flee To Chicago Before Trump Becomes President’

In a post yesterday about Chicago, I offered up the following to residents who look to remain in the city through what I suspect will be increasingly tough times:

Do yourself a favor and take a good, hard look at your financial and personal safety capabilities for successfully navigating any “storm” that may lie ahead…

Here’s one more thing these Chicagoans might want to consider:

Learn to speak Spanish, if you don’t already.

Back in high school, I informed one of my Spanish teachers that I wanted to learn the language because I envisioned a future where being able to speak it might come in handy around Chicagoland and in other parts of the country.

It has. Immensely.

Almost a decade ago, I mentioned to my girlfriend that Chicagoans had better get used to a growing Hispanic influence in the city, based on the demographic trends I was observing.

Perhaps even more so now, after reading an article on the website of Mexican financial newspaper EL FINANCIERO. In the piece entitled “Migrants flee to Chicago before Trump becomes president,” Anabel Clemente reported Tuesday:

Before Donald Trump is acting president, on January 20, Mexico’s consul in Chicago, Carlos Martín Jiménez, reported that there is already a displacement of migrants to that city, as a point considered a sanctuary .

During the 28th Meeting of Ambassadors and Consuls, he said that undocumented people, living in localities near Chicago, began moving to that city, where their mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has implemented support measures , such as establishing a Special office called New Citizens , and has put a free phone for those who do not have documentation.

“We have Indiana, which is quite anti-immigrant, almost half the state, and we have a lot of people in Wisconsin . Although there is a new consulate, people are already very accustomed to the Chicago consulate and then they are migrating to Chicago, precisely because of the sanctuary issue, “he said…

(Editor’s notes: Bold added for emphasis; Translation exactly as provided by the Google Translate website.)

You can read the entire article here in English via Google Translate or here in Spanish on the EL FINANCIERO website.

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

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Chicago Tribune Letter: ‘Chicago, And Its Surrounding Areas, Have Become Hell on Earth’

This morning I headed over to the Chicago Tribune website to see what’s cooking locally. On their homepage was a “story” link with the following headline:

“Letter: I’m leaving Chicago and I’m never coming back”

Figuring this should make some “entertaining” reading while I finished my coffee, I checked out the proclamation. The author sure didn’t pull any punches. Here’s a snippet:

I’ve come to understand that Chicago, and its surrounding areas, have become Hell on Earth for any thinking person with a modicum of self-respect.

The caustic combination of corrupt politicians with nothing but contempt for the public; a police force so broken down in spirit it visibly resents interaction with even law-abiding citizens; a criminal underclass empowered by the incessant drone of liberal rhetoric wandering the streets posing clear and present danger to everyone around them; and the enablers, who are everywhere, to say nothing of the ugly, decaying infrastructure, poor economy and joyless entertainment and leisure opportunities – it is for these reasons I have made the decision to disconnect forever…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know, I am one of those who left Chicago (Northwest Side) only three-and-a-half years ago due to concerns over increasing government mismanagement, crime, and costs of living- in no particular order. Besides, even though I really liked the neighborhood I had lived in for eight years, it was time for a new pad and home prices were just too damn high!

My girlfriend and I did what was right for us at the time and in advance of what we suspect lies ahead. But Chicago is still a great city with fantastic people (minus the criminal element), so much so not only do I understand why one might still choose to reside there, but even I won’t go so far as to proclaim “I’m never coming back.”

I remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for the “Windy City.” That being said, I do believe conditions in the city will erode before improving again. For those dead set on remaining in town, please do yourself a favor and take a good, hard look at your financial and personal safety capabilities for successfully navigating any “storm” that may lie ahead. For example, how do your finances look with the real prospect of future tax hits down the road?

More later. And to read that entire letter sent to the Chicago Tribune, head on over to their website here.

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

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is 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 contained herein.)

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HeyJackass! On 2016 Chicago Murder Tally: ‘We’ll Most Likely Exceed The 800 Level’

“As the gunfire dies down, HeyJackass will finalize the numbers for 2016, the Department will lie about the other numbers, death investigations will be scheduled for reclassification, Rahm will pretend that 600 black people weren’t murdered in his city by other black people, another 3,600 weren’t maimed and that 25 police shootings are the real problem…”

-New Year’s Day post on Chicago police blog Second City Cop

Happy New Year everyone. Hopefully readers were able to ring in 2017 safely- particularly those in Chicago, where the last weekend of 2016 turned out to be another bloody one.

Just how bad were shootings and murders in the “Windy City” in 2016? Well, consider the following from the CBS News website yesterday:

One of the most violent years in Chicago history ended with a sobering tally: 762 homicides, the most in two decades in the city and more than New York and Los Angeles combined

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

That’s pretty awful. And once the final tally is in, 762 murders might be significantly lower than the actual body count.

From the popular HeyJackass! website (“Illustrating Chicago Values”):

Preliminary 2016 Totals
Shot & Killed: 713
Shot & Wounded: 3665
Total Shot: 4378
Total Homicides: 795

And under the section “New Year’s Stupidity” on the site:

While the 800 homicide gorilla awaits entry into 2016’s frunchroom, the fact is we’ll most likely exceed the 800 level soon after the New Year due to late passings and reclassified death investigations. Happy New Year!

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Stay tuned…

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

Sources:

SCC. “2016 Final Numbers- Pending.” Second City Cop. 1 Jan. 2017. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2017/01/2016-final-numbers-pending.html). 3 Jan. 2017.

“Chicago saw more 2016 murders than NYC, LA combined.” CBS News. 2 Jan. 2017. (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chicago-murders-shootings-2016-more-than-new-york-city-los-angeles-combined/). 3 Jan. 2017.

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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 Crime, Government, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

2017 Tax Hits To Chicagoans

“Broken record” time.

“New/higher fees, fines, and taxes, and less government services.”

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity (and older ones from my Boom2Bust days) know I’ve been warning about this for years now (since 2008?) concerning Chicago- as well as Cook County, Illinois, and lots of other places aroud the country.

And it’s pretty much what has transpired from what I’ve seen.

Particularly in the “Windy City”- where the hits keep on coming. Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

Chicago property owners hoping for a respite from rapidly rising taxes will be disappointed in 2017, when city government and Chicago Public Schools will continue digging deeper into their pocketbooks.

Two more major property tax increases are coming. So is a new tax on water and sewer service. And some city dwellers will face other rising costs: a fee for each store-provided disposable bag and slightly higher Park District fees.

Come mid-year, city and suburban residents will be paying a new sweetened beverage tax effective in all of Cook County, and another round of Metra fare hikes is coming soon. Here’s a look at what to expect…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Dardick did a good job summarizing the dents Chicagoans (and Chicagoland residents) could expect to their finances in the new year. Head on over to the Tribune website here to get the entire story.

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

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Further Confirmation Of Chicago Police Department’s Manpower Shortage

Reading the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop on a regular basis, I became aware several years ago of the manpower shortage going on in the Chicago Police Department.

Subsequently, I started blogging about the city’s truly “thin blue line” a little over five years ago.

Further confirmation of the depleted CPD ranks comes from Dan Mihalopoulos over at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he reported on their website this evening:

Even if Mayor Rahm Emanuel manages to add nearly 1,000 cops in the next couple years, his promised surge of new hires would barely make up for the decline in the Chicago Police Department’s ranks on his watch.

There were 6,244 rank-and-file police officers working the city’s 22 police districts as of Oct. 19, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show. That’s down more than 800 from the 7,047 beat cops shortly after Emanuel took office in 2011

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And then there’s retirements. Mihalopoulos added:

The already-brisk pace of retirements is rising. In October, the Sun-Times reported 274 officers declared their intention to retire by June 30, driven by an expiring offer of free health care for cops who are 55 years old…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Mihalopoulos wrote an insightful piece about this situation, which can be found here on the Sun-Times website.

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

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Friday, December 9th, 2016 Government, Public Safety Comments Off on Further Confirmation Of Chicago Police Department’s Manpower Shortage

Bloomberg On Chicago: ‘Nowhere Will Political Power Evaporate More Dramatically’ When Donald Trump Takes Office

If readers still don’t think there will be repercussions to Chicago from a Trump administration despite its unabashed support for Hillary Clinton on Election Day (the Democrat received 83.63% of the city’s votes on Election Day), its official policy of providing “sanctuary” to illegal aliens, and political grandstanding (Trump’s honorary street signs downtown were removed this past weekend, courtesy of the City Council), then consider what was published on the Bloomberg website yesterday:

“Chicago Faces Political Power Outage as Trump Succeeds Obama”

Chicago is racing the clock.

Nowhere will political power evaporate more dramatically at noon on Jan. 20 than in the third-largest U.S. city, a bastion of Democratic power that’s enjoyed special access to Washington during President Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House.

When Donald Trump becomes the 45th president, Chicago will trade a first family and top advisers with deep ties to the city for a chief executive who has repeatedly called it a violent mess embodying the failed policies of his predecessor and the Democratic Party…

Not since the era of Abraham Lincoln have Chicago and Illinois enjoyed such strong ties to the White House and Washington. Obama’s exit will bring an end to that

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I wrote back on November 11 in a post entitled “Chicago Could Lose Billions In Federal Funding Under Trump Administration”:

Drip. Drip. Drip.

That’s the sound of federal funds to the “City By The Lake” drying up.

A real possibility. And a lot of moolah at stake, which John McCormick describes in detail in that Bloomberg piece.

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

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 Government, Immigration, Political Parties Comments Off on Bloomberg On Chicago: ‘Nowhere Will Political Power Evaporate More Dramatically’ When Donald Trump Takes Office

Signs Of The Time, Part 115

This “Signs Of The Time” post is actually about signage.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s honorary street signs in downtown Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune reported this afternoon:

After much fanfare from Chicago aldermen over the righteousness of tearing down President-elect Donald Trump’s honorary street signs, city workers quietly removed the placards over the weekend.

A city sign shop crew pulled down the remaining two street signs on Wabash Avenue near Trump Tower at 8 a.m. Sunday, according to Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Claffey. A third Trump sign was stolen months ago…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity may remember me blogging about this decision by Chicago’s City Council last month. I wrote in a November 11 post entitled “Chicago Could Lose Billions In Federal Funding Under Trump Administration”:

Finally, there’s this little bit of political grandstanding more characteristic of the ruler(s) of some “Banana Republic.” Fran Spielman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website back on November 1:

Chicago may well have earned Donald Trump’s unflattering ‘war zone’ label after piling up 17 homicides last weekend and 633 already this year.

But don’t tell that to a City Council filled with Democrats.

On Tuesday, the Council followed through on its promise to strip the Republican presidential nominee of an ego tribute he covets: the honorary ‘Trump Plaza’ designation outside the 96-story Trump International Hotel & Tower on the Chicago River that bears his name in huge, white letters

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If rabid opposition and Sanctuary City-status didn’t already motivate U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to steer federal funds to other areas of the country, it’s a pretty good bet this stunt was the icing on the cake.

Trump tweet forthcoming?

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

Source:

“Chicago removes remaining Donald Trump street signs.” Chicago Tribune. 6 Dec. 2016. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-donald-trump-chicago-street-signs-removed-met-1207-20161206-story.html). 6 Dec. 2016.

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 Crime, Government, Political Parties, Signs Of The Time Comments Off on Signs Of The Time, Part 115
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