Democrats

Second City Cop Blog Breaks Down Chicago Violence

“11 people have been killed and 11 wounded in shootings over a 48-hour period in Chicago from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday morning, Chicago police said…”

-ABC7 Chicago website Thursday afternoon

In the wake of a bunch of kids getting shot and killed in Chicago the last couple of days, the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop explained very simply why the city is a shooting gallery. “SCC” wrote early Wednesday morning:

Gun laws go unenforced… Offenders are routinely released or sentenced to minimal time, so there’s nothing to fear from the judicial side of things- no consequences. No one in the “community” is willing to step up. Shame doesn’t work, appealing to a higher morality doesn’t work, humiliation doesn’t work…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Consider the following findings of a recently-released University of Chicago Crime Lab report entitled Gun Violence In Chicago, 2016 (blogged about here):

Individuals arrested for a homicide or shooting in Chicago in 2016 and 2015 had similar prior criminal records: around 90 percent had at least one prior arrest, approximately 50 percent had a prior arrest for a violent crime specifically, and almost 40 percent had a prior gun arrest. The average person arrested for a homicide or shooting in both years had nearly 12 prior arrests, with almost 45 percent having had more than 10 prior arrests, and almost 20 percent having had more than 20 prior arrests

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

SCC went on to add:

We guess it’s time to blame the police again…

And the Second Amendment. The NRA. Republicans. Trump. Bush. And on and on and on.

Yep. If there’s one thing “The Machine” has been good at, it’s directing Chicagoans’ attention away from the “unpleasant”…

“Hey you! Don’t watch that. Watch this!

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

Sources:

“11 Killed, 11 Wounded In 48 Hours In Chicago Shootings.” ABC7. 16 Feb. 2017. (http://abc7chicago.com/news/11-killed-11-wounded-in-48-hours-in-chicago-shootings/1757827/). 16 Feb. 2017.

SCC. “Two? Seriously, TWO?” Second City Cop. 15 Feb. 2017. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2017/02/two-seriously-two.html). 17 Feb. 2017.

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Signs Of The Time, Part 117

Any Survival And Prosperity readers use Facebook?

I originally signed up for the social media/networking service some years back with the intention of creating a “page” for my research/blogging.

I would create the additional page and populate it with material… and then it would magically be “reset” the next time I tried to access it (yes, I did select “save” when available).

Weird, huh?

So I gave up on that. And these days, I just use Facebook to stay abreast of what’s new with family, friends, and others.

But in recent times- coinciding with the 2016 campaign season heating up to be exact- I’ve been required to scroll down my “Home” page much more than usual to read posts about exotic travels, kids’ accomplishments, new pets, and other good stuff.

Why? Because the rest of that page is often heavily-populated by political posts “shared” or “liked” from my Facebook friends. Most aren’t very complimentary about President Trump and the Republicans, I might add (and not too surprising considering where I live).

But I’m not complaining, as my Facebook friends are entitled to post about their personal politics on their chosen social media platform.

As for me, I’m not too comfortable discussing politics with other people, save my girlfriend, who is a distant relative to an obscure former Senator from Wisconsin by the name of Joseph McCarthy and rather well-versed in government goings-on (being a former civil servant herself).

As individual politics vary so much and “anomalies” exist even among the political partisans (I’ve encountered a staunch defender of gun rights… who also happens to be a hardcore Democrat), I figure I’m bound to tick someone off with “deep conversation” about such matters. Which works well with running Survival And Prosperity, as it’s a project focused on financial/personal safety and not a “political blog.”

That being said, my decade-long track record (counting Boom2Bust.com) shows I don’t hesitate to assign blame- be it the Republicans or the Democrats- where blame is undoubtedly due and identification of the political party is central to the discussion at hand.

I’ll leave readers with this. Regarding all the animosity being directed against the Trump administration and the Republicans, while a good deal of it stems from ideological differences, personal dislike of the man, the fact that POTUS is a male, etcetera, keep in mind something that FOX 32 News (Chicago) political editor Mike Flannery pointed out while getting gassed at the Washington, D.C., riot on Inauguration Day:

Democrats currently hold fewer elected offices nationwide than at any time since the 1920s.

And what’s that old saying?

“Desperate times call for desperate measures”

“Desperate measures” will undoubtedly be taken to compensate for/attempt to regain that lost political power. That’s just how the politics “game” is played.

And the “resistance” will continue for the foreseeable future.

Even on Facebook, by the looks of things.

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

2/13/17 UPDATE: Regrettably, one of my Facebook friends has now been “unfollowed” for clogging my “Home” page with political posts. Like I said above, they’re entitled to post about their personal politics on their chosen social media platform. But consider the ramifications of such activity on the recipient(s) of this material. In this case, the number of political posts being authored, “liked,” and “shared” made navigating Facebook a real chore. I held out as long as I could- didn’t want to miss important achievements/events in this person’s life shared via Facebook- but it was just too much in the end.

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Illinois State Representative Rita Mayfield (D) Proposes 3.75 Percent Surcharge On Firearms And Firearm Parts

Illinois Democrats continue to push anti-gun legislation in Springfield, the latest being Illinois House Bill 1810 from State Representative Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan). From Brandon Merano over on the WSIL-TV (Southern Illinois ABC affiliate) website Friday:

A new bill headed to the Illinois House floor could increase what we pay for guns.

The bill would put a three-and-three-quarters percent charge on firearms and firearm parts, with revenue going to at-risk youth.

Language in HB 1810, introduced by State Representative Rita Mayfield defines “At risk Youth” as kids ages 16 – 22 who live in a “high crime area where the homicide rate is more than 4 times higher than the average rate of a community the same size.”

That suggests most of the funding would flow north to Chicago…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A week ago, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action reported on legislation introduced in the Illinois Senate by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights)- Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 9- warning:

Under SA 2, a 5% tax would be imposed on any membership or access fee for gun clubs, shooting ranges, hunt clubs, training classes and match fees. Not only is this an abhorrent tax on your Second Amendment rights, it also requires that any of those places/people to register with the state and pay an annual fee of $75 just so that they can offer their service or membership with the 5% tax added

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

To see the latest actions on Illinois HB1810, visit the Illinois General Assembly website here. And for activity regarding SB0009, head to that same site here.

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

Source:

Merano, Brandon. “Proposed Illinois law aims to tax gun purhcases.” WSIL-TV. 3 Feb. 2017. (http://www.wsiltv.com/story/34424940/new-law-aims-to-tax-gun-purchases). 5 Feb. 2017.reported

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Illinois State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D) Proposes Wide-Ranging Anti-Gun Tax

Now that the November elections are over, it was only a matter of time before the next assault was launched against the Second Amendment in Illinois.

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action published the following on their website Monday:

Illinois: Anti-Gun Tax Proposed on Exercising Second Amendment Rights

Last week, the Illinois Senate received Senate Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 9 from state Senator Toi Hutchinson. In an attempt to address the ongoing budget problem in Illinois, Sen. Hutchinson decided to tax Illinois residents’ Second Amendment rights, and by extension, their right to safety.

Under SA 2, a 5% tax would be imposed on any membership or access fee for gun clubs, shooting ranges, hunt clubs, training classes and match fees. Not only is this an abhorrent tax on your Second Amendment rights, it also requires that any of those places/people to register with the state and pay an annual fee of $75 just so that they can offer their service or membership with the 5% tax added.

By increasing the price of self-defense classes as well as any fee spent on range time and practice, this amendment is making it more expensive for Illinoisans to seek training to be able to defend themselves. SA 2 to Senate Bill 9 effectively sees Illinois residents’ right to safety as an opportunity to ease the budget burden on the entirety of the state. Further, any “repair, servicing, alteration, fitting, cleaning, painting, coating, towing, inspection, or maintenance of tangible personal property” is also taxable under SA 2. This section would include all gunsmithing and gun refinishing under taxable services.

It is extremely important that NRA members and Second Amendment supporters contact their state Senator and strongly urge them to oppose Senate Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 9. The Second Amendment rights and right to safety of Illinoisans is not something that the legislature should tax

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The NRA-ILA offers opponents of Senate Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 9 a way to take action via their website here.

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

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Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke: Mainstream Media Now Democrats’ ‘Propaganda Wing’ As Trump Defends Nation

Let’s turn our attention north of the “Cheddar Curtain” now. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr., appeared on FOX News Saturday morning and really let the mainstream media and opponents of strengthening the borders/homeland security have it. On the sparring between President Trump and the mainstream media, Sheriff Clarke informed FOX & Friends Weekend viewers:

Well, first of all, the mainstream media, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC- they have become the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party and of leftist ideology. They abandoned their responsibility under the Constitution, their First Amendment protection. And we want them to have First Amendment protection but we don’t want it to be used against people whose political views they don’t agree with or that they oppose. They’re supposed to be a watchdog but instead what they have become, like I said, is an echo chamber for leftist ideology. So I think it’s good because the media has changed. And organizations like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others do not realize that this is a new media age and every person in the United States now is their own reporter. And that is competition to them as well and they don’t like it.

On President’s Trump’s initiatives to protect the nation’s borders and strengthen homeland security, Clarke said:

First of all, I’m tired of these one-percenters like Mark Zuckerberg and others lecturing us about who we are. I know who I am, and most Americans know who we are. We are a sovereign nation. If you’re going to be a sovereign nation, you have to have borders and you have to protect those borders. Mark Zuckerberg has no idea of who’s coming into this country and what it takes to vet those individuals. I as a law enforcement officer- I’m in my 39th year- we do a lot of vetting of people. I know how it’s done. But you have to have databases with which to compare. So you take a name, someone coming in as a refugee. And we’re not talking about the kids. I’m tired of all this crocodile tears about the kids, the poor kids coming. We’re not talking that. We’re talking about abled-bodied, grown men, fighting-age, that should be back in Syria and back in the Middle East fighting for their country coming over to the United States to spread jihad. So that’s who we’re talking about. But if you don’t have a database, someone gives you a name, and you don’t have a database in Syria, because they don’t have the record systems and the databases like we have with people- you have nothing to compare it to. So they give you a name and you look and there’s nothing there. That doesn’t mean that they’re safe to come in. So Donald Trump is right on this. And I hope that the rest of the people in Washington, D.C., realize that this thing is a mess and we have to get our arms around it. And at least President Donald Trump recognizes that…

What’s interesting is former President Barack Obama said that they were already doing it. So if he said- and they weren’t- but if he said they were already doing it, and now President Donald Trump comes along and says we’re doing it and now these same people who said, “Well, hey, Barack Obama’s taking care of it”- these same people are now being critical of it. The hypocrisy of this is profound. But, President Donald Trump understands that his first obligation is to defend and protect American citizens, and defend and protect America from foreign threats. That is his first and most important obligation. So he is rising up to that. And people should be proud of that. It makes me feel more secure that finally, somebody understands that the defense of this nation is government’s number one priority.


“Sheriff Clarke: Mainstream Media Has Abandoned Its Constitutional Responsibility”
FOX News Video

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

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State Of Illinois’ Unpaid Bills Could Spike To $15 Billion By July

Bad news about the State of Illinois’ finances keeps rolling in. Monique Garcia reported on the website of the Chicago Tribune this morning:

The state has a record stack of unpaid bills that’s expected to hit $15 billion by July if nothing is done, and it must fork over interest when it’s late paying them. Putting a hard dollar figure on those interest costs is difficult, however…

The potential price tag is high enough that Senate leaders from both parties are pushing a plan to borrow billions of dollars to help whittle down the bill backlog and limit interest payments…

Under the plan being pushed by Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate, Illinois would borrow $7 billion over seven years to pay down the bill backlog and bring the payment cycle closer to 30 days…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Tribune article comes after Governor Bruce Rauner pointed out in his State of the State address last Wednesday:

We haven’t had a full year budget of some kind in a year-and-a-half- and we haven’t had a state budget that is truly balanced in decades. We have more than $11 billion in unpaid bills, a $130 billion unfunded pension liability, and the worst credit rating in the nation. We have the 5th highest overall tax burden and one of the lowest rates of job creation of any state

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Garcia’s piece took a close look at the interest payments associated with the bill backlog debacle, which you can read about here on the Tribune site.

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

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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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Warren Buffett: U.S. ‘Will Work Fine’ Under Trump, Stocks Headed ‘A Lot Higher’

Last Thursday, famed investor and Hillary Clinton backer Warren Buffett spoke to CNBC about his thoughts on the United States with Donald Trump at the helm. The third-richest man in the world told viewers:

Certainly he has the most important job in the world. But, America works. And I’ve said this before, it would work wonderfully under Hillary Clinton. I think it will work fine under Donald Trump. We’ve got the “secret sauce.” And it doesn’t work all the time perfectly. But you just look at where we go- milestone after milestone. And, never bet against America.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway also talked stocks. He predicted:

I have no idea what the stock market’s going to do in the next year. I do know it will be a lot higher 10 years from now and 20 years from now

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Warren Buffett says the US will do fine under Trump, because we’ve got the ‘secret sauce'”
CNBC Video

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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Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 Government, Investing, Political Parties, Stocks No Comments

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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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 No Comments
Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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