New York City

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s Advice To Chicago

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., recently spoke at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention. Sheriff Clarke, who first grabbed national headlines with a memorable Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office PSA he recorded around the beginning of 2013 (blogged about here), was interviewed right after his speech by Guns.com and had this to say about Chicago’s ongoing violence and its police superintendent, Garry McCarthy:

I’ve been at this for 35 years. I know what works. I know what doesn’t work. When it comes to policing, the first thing you have to do is establish a relationship with the community you serve in- because the people have got to be on your side. The overwhelming majority of people in these neighborhoods that are under siege by the criminal element- they are good, law-abiding people. I’m talking like 95 percent of them. They may be poor, they may be uneducated, they may be unemployed- but they’re good, law-abiding citizens that want to help and they just want to live in peace and they want safe neighborhoods for them and their families. So you create that relationship- they will help you identify the bad guys. Then you arrest the bad guys and you put together cases that will stand up in court. And after that you need a judiciary- judges at the state level- and you need prosecutors that are on the same page with the police that don’t undo the work and send those criminal right back out that revolving door and you keep them locked up for the longest period of time allowable by law. They did it in New York and you saw historic drops in crime and violence in New York. This is the model they used – it’s kind of the quality of life, broken windows theory. That stuff works. But everybody’s got to be on the same page.

My advice to the city of Chicago would be to get a new police chief. Because he doesn’t appear to get it. Just blame the gun stuff, blame the gun, blame the gun. The gun’s not the problem. It’s the person behind the gun, and that’s usually the career criminal that keeps being shown leniency, gets put back into circulation in the neighborhood, re-arms himself, and goes on to kill and maim, and rape and rob good law-abiding citizens. That would be my advice to them.


“Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke’s advice to Chicago: ‘Get a new police chief’”
(Chicago segment starts around 6:41)
YouTube Video

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

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Forbes: Chicago ‘Bringing Up The Rear’ In Job Growth

The other day I came across an article on the Forbes website entitled “The Best Cities For Jobs 2014.”

I always hope to find Chicago high up on any of these “best” lists.

That wasn’t the case here, however.

Joel Kotkin and Michael Shires wrote on April 28:

Bringing Up The Rear

Many large cities continue to lag. Philadelphia, despite being close to New York and its considerable urban amenities, ranks 51st, with paltry 0.9% job growth since 2008. Not much better off, despite its connections to the Obama White House, is Chicago, which places 47th. Not only is the Windy City not adding many jobs (0.5% growth since 2008) but every county in the area, according to recent Census numbers, is losing migrants to other parts of the country

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“0.5% growth since 2008”

Perhaps I should just be happy to hear there was any growth at all.

Still, I’m curious as to what “kinds” of jobs were added.

If they mirror what took place nationally, then they weren’t the high-paying positions that were lost during the Great Recession.

And as I’ve said before on this blog- I can’t see any meaningful economic recovery being sustained on the backs of burger-flippers.

(Editor’s note: No disrespect intended to burger-flippers. I respect their hard work and savor their end product)

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

Source:

Kotkin, Joel and Shires, Michael. “The Best Cities For Jobs 2014.” Forbes. 28 Apr. 2014. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2014/04/28/the-best-cities-for-jobs-2014/). 1 May 2014.

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Thursday, May 1st, 2014 Employment, Income, Recession, Recovery No Comments

Michael Bloomberg And Heavenly Hubris

The New York Times just published an article about former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. In it, the gun “control” and so-called “Nanny State” proponent reportedly said:

I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.

I once made the mistake of working for a guy who was supposedly a born-again Christian.

To date, he holds the distinction of being the biggest prick I’ve ever met- pardon my French.

And I’ve run into quite a few jerks during my four decades on this planet.

Getting back to Mr. Bloomberg though. I believe there is a God. And I also believe he doesn’t take to kindly to human beings who let hubris (excessive self-confidence) invade their hearts, minds, and particularly their souls.

“Blessed are the meek…”

I respect Michael Bloomberg for his accomplishments in business and public service (to a certain degree). I just hope he keeps an open mind on what truly merits being with God once we pass on, and practices it in his remaining years on this Earth.

I really do wish him the best of luck concerning this particular matter.

Now back to our regular programming…

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

Source:

Peters, Jeremy W. “Bloomberg Plans a $50 Million Challenge to the N.R.A.” The New York Times. 15 Apr. 2014. (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/us/bloomberg-plans-a-50-million-challenge-to-the-nra.html?ref=nyregion&_r=1). 16 Apr. 2014.

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Religion No Comments

Surviving A Nuclear Attack On Washington, D.C.

Personally, I think there’s a good possibility enemies of the United States will someday detonate nuclear devices in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Why?

Because these political and cultural centers in America are just too juicy of targets for the bad guys to ignore.

Particularly that new Freedom Tower (One World Trade Center), which is expected to open to the public this year.

I’m not the only one who thinks nuclear terrorism could be in the cards for us. Read further down my “About” page and you’ll understand what I mean.

And don’t forget this from March 24. I blogged:

Earlier today, President Barack Obama spoke at a news conference while attending the Nuclear Security Summit 2014 in Holland. The U.S. President brought up the danger of a nuclear device being detonated in one of America’s major cities. From a transcript provided by the Federal News Service:

And so my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is Russia’s actions are a problem. They don’t pose the number-one national security threat to the United States. I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Think POTUS knows something that we don’t?

Getting back to the nation’s capital, Marc Ambinder recently wrote an article on The Week website entitled, “If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?” Armbinder inquired in the April 14 piece:

I was wondering if the government had deigned to share with us citizens any tips for, you know, surviving something their own intelligence points to as the likeliest unlikely Black Swan event… it turns out that there is quite a lot that you or I can do if we get stuck in Washington when something like that happens. Choices we make could very well make the difference between our imminent death and a relatively full and happy life, assuming the bomb is a one-off.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory released a report in 2011 that spells all this out. It hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserves.

It’s called the “National Capital Region Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism” and it makes for fascinating reading…

It really does, and if I lived or worked in the nation’s capital, I’d read that November 2011 U.S. Department of Homeland Security-funded publication as if my life depended on it.

Because it very well might one day.

You can find the 120-page publication here (.pdf format) on the Homeland Security Digital Library website.

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

Source:

Ambinder, Marc. “If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?” The Week. 14 Apr. 2014. (http://theweek.com/article/index/259829/if-a-nuclear-bomb-exploded-in-downtown-washington-what-should-you-do). 15 Apr. 2014.

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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 Government, Man-Made Disasters, Terrorism No Comments

President Obama: ‘Nuclear Weapon Going Off In Manhattan’ Top U.S. Security Threat

Occasionally, I blog about the threat of nuclear terrorism for the United States.

Earlier today, President Barack Obama spoke at a news conference while attending the Nuclear Security Summit 2014 in Holland. The U.S. President brought up the danger of a nuclear device being detonated in one of America’s major cities. From a transcript provided by the Federal News Service:

And so my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is Russia’s actions are a problem. They don’t pose the number-one national security threat to the United States. I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan, which is part of the reason why the United States, showing its continued international leadership, has organized a forum over the last several years that’s been able to help eliminate that threat in a consistent way…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Think he knows something the majority of Americans don’t?

Personally, I’d be hard-pressed to live in or around New York City or Washington, D.C., if you catch my drift…

You can read the entire transcript on The Washington Post website here.

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

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Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 Europe, Foreign Policy, Government, Terrorism No Comments

Al-Qaeda Magazine Lists Willis (Sears) Tower, Chicago Board Of Trade As Potential Car Bomb Targets

I spotted the following on TV the other night while watching the news on Chicago’s ABC affiliate ABC7. Investigative reporter Chuck Goudie wrote Saturday on the station’s website:

Two Chicago landmarks are called out by name as suggested car bomb targets for al Qaeda sympathizers in a newly-released Inspire magazine, the publication considered required reading for American jihadists.

“America is our first target” are the un-minced words in the Spring 2014 edition of Inspire, the first publication from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in nearly one year.

The magazine offers a detailed, illustrated recipe for constructing a car bomb “in a few hours,” securing it in a vehicle and then detonating it. “It allows Muslims to train at home instead of risking dangerous travel abroad” explains the just-posted online instruction manual that requires easily purchased components.

“This type of car bomb is not usually used to destroy buildings, but is very effective in killing individuals.”

Two Chicago buildings are listed prominently by al Qaeda as locations where car bombs could accomplish that:

1. Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower), 108-story skyscraper, it held the title tallest building in the world for about 25 years.
2. The Chicago Board of Trade Building

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

In the ABC7 I-Team report, Goudie pointed out other suggested U.S. car bomb targets included Washington, D.C, Northern Virginia, New York, and Los Angeles.

I think it’s only a matter of time before Al-Qaeda, an affiliate, or devotee(s) carries out another terrorist attack within the United States.

That being said, as long as there’s still a sizable U.S. troop presence in the Middle East, I can’t help but feel that presents a much more “attractive” target to the jihadists.

Once they come home however, I suspect we’ll see attention shift to the “homeland.”

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

Source:

Goudie, Chuck. “Chicago targets in terrorist crosshairs, new al Qaeda magazine Inspire says.” ABC7. 15 Mar. 2014. (http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=9467587). 20 Mar. 2014.

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Disaster Preparedness And Response Funding Has Plummeted Since 2008

Any police, fire, or public health officials reading this who have been on the job since the early 2000s? Remember after 9/11, when the federal government made tons of money available to state and local governments to bolster disaster preparedness and response capabilities? I remember it clearly, as I used to help obtain these funds for the fire department I used to work at.

Since leaving the public safety field, I’ve heard a lot of this funding has dried up. According to a UPI piece I just finished reading, it looks like I heard right. From their website on January 9:

U.S. disaster funding distribution is deeply inefficient, with huge cash infusions disbursed after a disaster, only to fall abruptly later, researchers say.

Dr. Jesse Pines, director of the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences… said the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York City and Washington prompted large increases in government disaster preparedness funding to help communities respond and recover after man-made and natural disasters. However, this funding has dropped considerably since 2008

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

How considerable? I pulled up a paper from The Institute of Medicine Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events (January 7 final submission date) which Dr. Pines helped author. From the piece entitled “Value-Based Models for Sustaining Emergency Preparedness Capacity and Capability in the United States”:

The Department of Homeland Security administered 5 key grant programs to state and local governments during the period 2002-2007. These programs were to include the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP), the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP), the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS), and the Citizen Corps Program (CCP). The total appropriation for these five programs increased from $315.7 million in federal year (FY) 2002 to $1.66 billion in FY 2007…

In addition to the five key DHS-funded programs, HHS administered the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP). From FY 2006 to FY 2007, these programs received more than $2.1 billion in grants to all 50 states in addition to U.S. territories and 4 metropolitan cities (New York, New York; Washington, DC; Los Angeles, California; and Chicago, Illinois)…

From FY 2008 to FY 2013, appropriations have been falling for emergency preparedness. For example, in FY 2010, Congress appropriated $3.05 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for preparedness grants to “strengthen out nations’ ability to prevent, protect, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters and emergencies.” In FY 2012, this appropriation was reduced to $1.35 billion- a 56 percent cut. During the same period, FEMA pre-disaster mitigations grants declined from $100 million to $35.5 million- a 65 percent cut. SHSP funding was reduced from $2.06 billion in FY 2003 to $354.64 million in FY 2013- an 82 percent cut. UASI was less affected but nevertheless was reduced from $596.35 million in FY 2003 to $558.74 million in FY 2013. Funding for seven key initiatives in DHS totaled $3.08 billion in FY 2003. By FY 2013, DHS funding was focused on only three categories of funding totaling $968.38 million- a total percentage cut of almost 70 percent…

The decline in [PHEP] funding from 2008 to 2013 has been slightly more than 17 percent, with a total of 31 percent since FY 2004…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Disasters don’t wait until there’s money in the till again, so it’s incredibly disappointing to hear of these cutbacks. As was pointed out earlier in the paper:

Since the September 2011, 2001, attacks, there have been periodic but unremitting public health emergencies across the United States. Weather events such a Hurricane Sandy, H1N1, the Boston marathon attack, and outbreaks of foodborne illness from Salmonella and E. coli serve as examples of major local and national public health emergencies demonstrating that no community is immune…

And what if a major terrorist attack occurs? Fine time for funding to be cut with that prospect looming. Consider what a distinguished Harvard professor whose work I first became familiar with back in graduate school said at a forum in April 2007. From Graham T. Allison, director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and author of Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe:

This debate asks how likely is it that terrorists will explode a nuclear bomb and devastate a great American metropolis. In the judgment of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, the likelihood of a single nuclear bomb exploding in a single city is greater today than at the height of the Cold War. Nuclear Terrorism states my own judgment that, on the current trend line, the chances of a nuclear terrorist attack in the next decade are greater than 50 percent. Former Secretary of Defense William Perry has expressed his own view that Nuclear Terrorism underestimates the risk.

From the technical side, Richard Garwin, a designer of the hydrogen bomb who Enrico Fermi once called, “the only true genius I had ever met,” told Congress in March that he estimated a “20 percent per year probability with American cities and European cities included” of “a nuclear explosion—not just a contamination, dirty bomb—a nuclear explosion.” My Harvard colleague Matthew Bunn has created a probability model in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science that estimates the probability of a nuclear terrorist attack over a ten-year period to be 29 percent—identical to the average estimate from a poll of security experts commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar in 2005.

“The chances of a nuclear terrorist attack in the next decade are greater than 50 percent.”

By the way, Nuclear Terrorism was published back in July 2005.

I wonder what Dr. Allison would say America’s odds are now eight-and-a-half years on?

It’s only a matter of time before the next major man-made or natural disaster happens on U.S. soil. While public safety and public health personnel will strive to do all they can to lessen the impact of such events, ongoing cutbacks could have possibly impacted planning and preparedness for the incident and the overall response.

Keeping all this in mind, there’s probably no better time than the present for Americans to step up and take charge of their own emergency preparations.

You can read that paper (.pdf format) over on the Institute of Medicine website here.

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

Source:

“Experts: U.S. disaster funding deeply inefficient.” UPI.com. 9 Jan. 2014. (http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2014/01/09/Experts-US-disaster-funding-deeply-inefficient/UPI-52981389329033/). 16 Jan. 2014.

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Gun Registration Often Leads To Confiscation, As New Yorkers Find Out Once More

Why Gun Rights Advocates Oppose Gun Registration

A centralized registration system is the one usually proposed by gun control activists, and it is the type most feared by gun rights advocates. At the heart of resistance to registration is the belief that it encourages firearm prohibitions and ultimately leads to confiscation. (It is also why many choose not to comply and register weapons already owned.)

Those who favor more gun control often accuse gun owners of being paranoid, but the track record of firearms registration is not a good one.”

-GunCite.com, popular firearms information website, August 24, 2007

Supporters of more gun “control” in the United States routinely push for the registration of firearms.

And, “Don’t worry,” they like to say, “No one is going to take away your guns.”

Problem is, history repeatedly shows otherwise.

I blogged backed on January 14, 2013:

Gun registration often leads to confiscation. From the latest edition of Gun Facts, a popular firearm reference book:

Myth: Registration does not lead to confiscation

Fact: It did in Canada. The handgun registration law of 1934 was the source used to identify and confiscate (without compensation) over half of the registered handguns in 2001.
Fact: It did in Germany. The (before the Nazis came into power) required all firearms to be registered. When Hitler came into power, the existing lists were used for confiscating weapons.
Fact: It did in Australia. In 1996, the Australian government confiscated over 660,000 previously legal weapons from their citizens.
Fact: It did in California. The 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act required registration. Due to shifting definitions of “assault weapons,” many legal firearms are now being confiscated by the California government.
Fact: It did in New York City. In 1967, New York City passed an ordinance requiring a citizen to obtain a permit to own a rifle or shotgun, which would then be registered. In 1991, the city passed a ban on the private possession of some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and “registered” owners were told that those firearms had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city.
Fact: It did in Bermuda, Cuba, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, and Soviet Georgia as well.

Now, you can add the “Big Apple” to that list for a second time. Edmund DeMarche reported on the FOX News website earlier today:

The New York City Police Department is taking aim at owners of shotguns and rifles capable of holding more than five rounds, demanding such guns be surrendered, altered or taken out of the city.

The demand came in the form of some 500 letters mailed out to owners of registered long guns that are in violation of a 2010 city ordinance. The first option for the letter’s recipient is to, “Immediately surrender your Rifle and/or Shotgun to your local police precinct, and notify this office of the invoice number. The firearm may be sold or permanently removed from the City of New York thereafter.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“Surrendered, altered or taken out of the city.”

Sound familiar?

“Question: Why is it, every time I buy and register a gun in New York City, it gets confiscated?

Man, funk dat!”


Sagat, “Funk Dat” (1993)
YouTube Video

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

Sources:

Smith, Guy. Gun Facts Version 6.1. Guy Smith, 2012.

DeMarche, Edmund. “NYPD cracks down on long guns that hold more than five rounds.” FOX News. 5 Dec. 2013. (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/05/nypd-targets-owners-multi-clip-shotguns-rifles/?intcmp=latestnews). 5 Dec. 2013.

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One World Trade Center Terror-Resistant?

Yesterday, Chicagoans found out that New York City’s One World Trade Center will unseat Willis (formerly Sears) Tower as the tallest building in the country once it’s completed.

By the way, when did the skyscraper’s name change from “Freedom Tower” to One World Trade Center?

Chris Kokanes reported on the CNN website back on March 27, 2009:

“We’ve referred to the primary building planned for the site as One World Trade Center — its legal name and street address — for almost two years now, as well as using the name the Freedom Tower,” said Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority, in a statement released to CNN. “Many will always refer to it as the Freedom Tower, but as the building moves out of the planning stage and into full construction and leasing, we believe that going forward it is most practical to market the building as One World Trade Center.”

Okay. Seeing that Al-Qaeda attacked the original 1 World Trade Center (North Tower) and 2 World Trade Center (South Tower) in 1993 and 2001, I suspect the 1,776-foot building might very well be a mouth-watering target for these terrorists, perhaps wanting to demonstrate to the world they can keep such an iconic structure from rising from the ashes of its predecessors.

Which leads me to ask another question- what terror-resistant features are built into the new One World Trade Center?

Mara Grunbaum wrote on the Discover magazine website on September 8, 2011:

Security measures begin at ground level with a 186-foot base built to withstand a blast more powerful than the 1993 car bombing, which, according to the NYPD, was equivalent to 900 pounds of TNT. While the frame of the Twin Towers was erected entirely of steel, the base of the new building, as well as a core running up its center, will be forged from 5.4 million cubic feet of concrete, enough to fill 60 Olympic-size swimming pools. The concrete mix can withstand pressure of up to 15,000 pounds per square inch and is the toughest ever used for a New York City building. Its strength comes from a combination of reinforcing steel rods, a newly developed mix of materials, and a high-tech curing process. The chemical reactions that bolster concrete as it hardens are very sensitive to temperature, so as the mix is poured, engineers drop in microchip thermometers that wirelessly relay temperature readings.

The building’s surrounding steel frame will be just as tough. When planes struck the Twin Towers in 2001, the floors located just below the impact buckled beneath the weight above, setting off a domino effect that led to a total collapse. One World Trade will feature beams and columns welded and bolted together to distribute the weight, so that if any two columns fail, the rest can pick up the slack.

Grunbaum also added that of the 70 elevators planned, 5 will clock-out at 23 miles per hour, taking only 1 minute to reach the top floor of the 105-story skyscraper.

While I’d like to think these anti-terrorism features at the new One World Trade Center building won’t be tested by the bad guys, something tells me they very well might be.

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

Sources:

Kokenes, Chris. “Owners drop Freedom Tower name for new WTC skyscraper.” CNN. 27 Mar. 2009. (http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/27/no.freedom.tower/). 13 Nov. 2013.

Grunbaum, Mara. “The New WTC Tower: Tough on Terrorists, Easy on the Eyes.” Discover. 8 Sep. 2011. (http://discovermagazine.com/2011/oct/06-new-wtc-tower-tough-terrorists-easy-eyes#.UoQumeL4Lq9). 13 Nov. 2013.

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Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 Public Safety, Religion, Security, Terrorism, War No Comments

Quote For The Week

“When I was selling my New York house, I almost backed out; I just couldn’t bear the thought of leaving. But now I’m very happy here. I fly to New York and I realize I’m in a Third World airport. Then I get into a Third World taxi onto a Third World highway. The difference now just slaps me in the face. New York is a wonderful place, with the people and the vibrancy, but I can find the same vibrancy, if not more, in Asia.”

-Well-know investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers, talking about his move from New York City to Singapore in 2007 and subsequent return visits to the U.S. in a recent Barron’s interview (discussed here)

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

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Chicago Named ‘Murder Capital Of U.S.’

Back on August 6, 2012, I blogged about Chicago, Illinois, holding the title of “Deadliest Global City.”

And just this morning, I saw the “Windy City” being named the new “Murder Capital” of the United States.

From a GovBeat blog post on the Washington Post website yesterday:

FBI: Chicago passes New York as murder capital of U.S.

The city of Chicago registered more homicides than any city in the nation in 2012, surpassing even New York — despite the fact that the Second City has only one third as many residents as the Big Apple.

In new crime statistics released Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported 500 murders in Chicago in 2012, up sharply from the 431 recorded in 2011. New York reported 419 murders last year, compared with 515 in 2011…

I know what a number of you are thinking right now:

“How that gun “control” working out for you, Chicago?”

“Deadliest Global City.” “Murder Capital of U.S.” Real nice. My relatives buried in old St. Boniface Cemetery on Clark are probably rolling in their graves right now knowing the city they helped build has come to this.

If they were still alive and kicking, I have a feeling they’d demand the bad guys be put in their graves instead.

Anyway, for your reference, here are the FBI’s numbers for Chicago from the just released Crime in the United States 2012 report, with 2011 data in parentheses. From the Criminal Justice Information Services Division:

Table 8
ILLINOIS
Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
by City, 2012

Chicago2
Population- 2,708,382 (2,703,713)
Violent crime-
Murder and negligent manslaughter- 500 (431)
Forcible rape-
Robbery- 13,476 (13,975)
Aggravated assault- 12,272 (12,408)
Property crime- 112,466 (118,239)
Burglary- 22,748 (26,420)
Larceny-theft- 72,717 (72,373)
Motor vehicle theft- 17,001 (19,446)
Arson1-

1 The FBI does not publish arson data unless it receives data from either the agency or the state for all 12 months of the calendar year.

2 The data collection methodology for the offense of forcible rape used by Chicago, Illinois does not comply with national Uniform Crime Reporting Program guidelines. Consequently, its figures for forcible rape and violent crime (of which forcible rape is a part) are not published in this table.

To view the entire report, visit the FBI website here.

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

Source:

Wilson, Reid. “FBI: Chicago passes New York as murder capital of U.S.” GovBeat. 18 Sep. 2013. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/09/18/fbi-chicago-passes-new-york-as-murder-capital-of-u-s/?tid=pm_politics_pop). 19 Sep. 2013.

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Remember 9/11

“On September 11 of each year since 2001, I have asked my students to write their memories of the day that robbed this nation of its innocence. I have received heartfelt missives each year, some filled with fear because of our nation being attacked or because of relatives serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. Some have expressed their patriotism and love of the U. S. in words that would bring tears to the eyes of anyone who has served this country.

It has been the source of some of the best student writing I have ever seen, but my students will not be writing about their memories of 9/11 this year.

They don’t remember it.”

-Randy Turner, a Joplin, Missouri, English teacher, writing on the Huffington Post website, September 6, 2011

Lest we forget,

Christopher E. Hill
Editor

9-11 Heroes Stamp

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Lloyd’s Of London Releases Chilling Report On Solar Storm Risk To North American Electric Grid

One global threat I blog about from time to time is a massive disruption in the power grids from a severe solar storm. While many Americans may dismiss such an event as something out of science fiction, other parties take it seriously.

Enter Lloyd’s of London.

This morning, I read a new report from the British insurance market entitled “Solar Storm Risk to the North American Electrical Grid.” Put together with scientists from the Lexington, Massachusetts-based Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), the findings are quite alarming. Those living and working along the I-95 corridor between Washington D.C. and New York City, the Gulf Coast, and the Midwest (Michigan, Wisconsin) might find it particularly concerning. From the “Executive Summary”:

A Carrington-level, extreme geomagnetic storm is almost inevitable in the future. While the probability of an extreme storm occurring is relatively low at any given time, it is almost inevitable that one will occur eventually. Historical auroral records suggest a return period of 50 years for Quebec-level storms and 150 years for very extreme storms, such as the Carrington Event that occurred 154 years ago.

The risk of intense geomagnetic storms is elevated as we approach the peak of the current solar cycle. Solar activity follows an 11-year cycle, with the most intense events occurring near the cycle peak. For the current Cycle 24, the geomagnetic storm risk is projected to peak in early 2015.

As the North American electric infrastructure ages and we become more and more dependent on electricity, the risk of a catastrophic outage increases with each peak of the solar cycle. Our society is becoming increasingly dependent on electricity. Because of the potential for long-term, widespread power outage, the hazard posed by geomagnetic storms is one of the most significant.

Weighted by population, the highest risk of storm-induced power outages in the US is along the Atlantic corridor between Washington D.C. and New York City. This takes into account risk factors such as magnetic latitude, distance to the coast, ground conductivity and transmission grid properties. Other high-risk regions are the Midwest states, such as Michigan and Wisconsin, and regions along the Gulf Coast.

The total U.S. population at risk of extended power outage from a Carrington-level storm is between 20-40 million, with durations of 16 days to 1-2 years. The duration of outages will depend largely on the availability of spare replacement transformers. If new transformers need to be ordered, the lead-time is likely to be a minimum of five months. The total economic cost for such a scenario is estimated at $0.6-2.6 trillion USD (see Appendix).

Storms weaker than Carrington-level could result in a small number of damaged transformers (around 10-20), but the potential damage to densely populated regions along the Atlantic coast is significant. The total number of damaged transformers is less relevant for prolonged power outage than their concentration. The failure of a small number of transformers serving a highly populated area is enough to create a situation of prolonged outage.

Creepy stuff, huh?

The existence of early-warning satellites is often pointed out in discussions about how serious a threat solar superstorms really are. However, keep in mind the following from the Lloyd’s report:

Currently, four space satellites (SOHO- Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, ACE- Advanced Composition Explorer, and STEREO A/B- Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) monitor the Sun. Situated between the Sun and Earth or along Earth’s orbit, these satellites can provide warnings of incoming CMEs on a timescale of a few days to hours. These warnings allow electric grid operators to take protective measures (i.e., decrease the electric load in the grid and increase reactive power production) before the storm hits. However these satellites are all several years past their planned mission lives and only one has a replacement scheduled to launch in 2014.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

You can read the entire Lloyd’s of London report (.pdf) on their website here.

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

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Glenn Beck: ‘We Are The First Responders’

Glenn Beck, the conservative radio/television host, political commentator, and author, gave the keynote address at the National Rifle Association’s 2013 national convention that just wrapped up in Houston. Beck, who I actually met and spoke to briefly when I was in Dallas at the end of March for the FoodInsurance™ “Ready, Set, Prep” Summit, pointed out the following concerning the term “first responders” as he spoke about different firearms that “tell the story and teach the story of the 2nd Amendment.” From his speech:

9/11- Walter Reaver’s Revolver

September 11th, 2001. A moment in history that will define this generation. While victims were running away, men, were running into those buildings. Amazing men like young Walter Weaver, a member of the NYPD and an NRA life member. He was last seen in the World Trade Center trying to rescue people. He was in the lobby trying to free people trapped in an elevator. A servant fighting for the individual’s freedom until the very end.

After the towers fell and the nation mourned, we sifted through the rubble, this is all that was left as a reminder of Walter Weaver. A silent token of liberty.

Walter Weaver, I’m sure wouldn’t want to be called a hero.

He was simply an American.

He was an example of what we all should be—men, who just do the right thing when time calls our name.

When there is an emergency or trouble we are the ones that should run to help. We must be the action on the other end of the 911 call.

I don’t know, but I believe Walter Weaver would tell you that he wasn’t trained to be hero by the police academy.

But he was raised in a culture that taught him about self-sacrifice and to always do the right thing, even when no one else is watching. He had those things long before he wore a uniform.

How many of us can say that.

Good cops, bad cop, it doesn’t mean you take all the badges. It’s the people, not the badge.

As good as the policemen in our country are. When you are in trouble the average police response rate is 8 minutes; most crimes take less than one.

If a responsible citizen with a gun had been in that movie theater in Colorado, or if members in the audience in that theater were allowed to bring their gun into the theater and not leave them locked in their cars, how many lives would have been saved?

How many of the mourning, children would instead have been able to spend time over breakfast with their mom or dad this morning if someone good was allowed to have a gun?

While our politicians from the local to the federal level have spent us into oblivion, and our public services are being obliterated and our police force is being cut.

I will no longer accept the media falsehood nor reinforce it by calling our brave men and women in blue on our cities and streets first responders. It’s time for America to recognize WE are the first responders.

They are the 2nd responders, we are the first responders.

When there is trouble let us be the first on the scene to help.

Let us be the first responder when someone is sick or hungry or frightened.

Let us be the first to share our bread with the hungry; Let us be the first to open our hearts to the homeless poor; Let us be the first to remove the yoke of injustice.

I don’t know what America will choose. But for me and my family, I choose to stand with courage. I choose to stand with selflessness. I chose to stand with God with Malice toward none and charity to all.

That’s who we are.

Forget what the media says, I know that’s who we are.

You can read Glenn Beck’s entire speech here on GlennBeck.com.

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

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Columbia University Economist Decries Criminal Behavior On Wall Street, ‘Corrupt Politics To The Core’

Stumbling on the following made me reminisce about the “good old days” as editor of Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street,” when I would following the shenanigans on Wall Street a lot more than I’m able to today. From Jeffrey Sachs, an economist and Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, at the 31st Annual Monetary & Trade Conference on April 17:

A lot of what’s happened actually and what’s been revealed is in my view prima facie criminal behavior. It’s financial fraud on a very large extent. There’s also a tremendous amount of insider trading, and you can even watch it when you’re living in New York, how that works…

I believe we have a crisis of values that is extremely deep, because the regulations and the legal structures need reform. But I meet a lot of these people on Wall Street on a regular basis right now. I’m going to put it very bluntly. I regard the moral environment as pathological. And I’m talking about the human interactions that I have. I’ve not seen anything like this, not felt it so palpably. These people are out to make billions of dollars and nothing should stop them from that. They have no responsibility to pay taxes. They have no responsibility to their clients. They have no responsibility to people, counterparties in transactions. They are tough, greedy, aggressive, and feel absolutely out of control, you know, in a quite literal sense. And they have gamed the system to a remarkable extent, and they have a docile president, a docile White House, and a docile regulatory system that absolutely can’t find its voice. It’s terrified of these companies.

If you look at the campaign contributions, which I happened to do yesterday for another purpose, the financial markets are the number one campaign contributors in the U.S. system now. We have a corrupt politics to the core, I’m afraid to say, and no party is – I mean there’s – if not both parties are up to their necks in this. This has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. It really doesn’t have anything to do with right wing or left wing, by the way. The corruption is, as far as I can see, everywhere. But what it’s led to is this sense of impunity that is really stunning, and you feel it on the individual level right now, and it’s very, very unhealthy.

I have waited for four years, five years now, to see one figure on Wall Street speak in a moral language, and I’ve not seen it once. And that is shocking to me. And if they won’t, I’ve waited for a judge, for our president, for somebody, and it hasn’t happened. And by the way it’s not going to happen anytime soon it seems.


“SR 76 Wall Street”
YouTube Video

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

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