Northwest Side

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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Chicago Sun-Times On Shootings: ‘There Are Fewer Safe Spaces Left In The City’

Sorry about the “hiccup” in publishing new material on Survival And Prosperity earlier this week, but with Halloween and the Chicago Cubs playing in the World Series, my attention was diverted elsewhere these past couple of days.

Congratulations Chicago Cubs!

Now back to business. After the bloodiest weekend in Chicago this year I brought up a Chicago Tribune piece Monday which noted the geographical diversification of shootings throughout the “Windy City.” I wrote:

Many Chicagoans will tell you the shooting gallery is mostly confined to certain parts of the city known for such violent crime. Since the Chicago Police Department said “this past weekend there were shootings in every area of the city but the Far North and Northwest sides,” going forward it will be interesting to see if there’s a sustained spillover of such violence into the “safer” city neighborhoods.

That still remains to be seen. But consider the following from Mary Mitchell over at the Chicago Sun-Times. From the paper’s website last night:

There are fewer safe spaces left in the city.

You could be sitting in a car, walking down the street, lounging on a porch, riding public transportation or driving on an expressway and someone could start firing a gun…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Not exactly fearmongering. As the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop noted early this morning:

We knew it was bad. We didn’t know it was this bad:

October 2016: 79 killed, 348 wounded
October 2015: 31 dead, 203 wounded
October 2014: 39 dead, 215 wounded

Two years worth of Octobers rolled into one…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Holy Cow! As Harry Caray would say…

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

Sources:

Mitchell, Mary. “Mitchell: ‘Gang-related’ classification for gun deaths a cop-out.” Chicago Sun-Times. 2 Nov. 2016. (http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/mitchell-gang-related-classification-for-gun-deaths-a-cop-out/). 3 Nov. 2016.

SCC. “What an October!” Second City Cop. 3 Nov. 2016. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2016/11/what-october.html). 3 Nov. 2016.

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Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

Chicago Suffers Deadliest Weekend So Far In 2016: 59 Shot, 17 Killed

Over this past weekend I noticed there was quite a bit of reporting about Chicago shootings/murders in the local news. But I didn’t expect the final tally to be the deadliest weekend in the “Windy City” so far this year with 59 shot and 17 killed. From the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

The last weekend of October was the deadliest so far this year in Chicago, including among its victims an eighth-grade honors student and twin 17-year-old boys, according to police and data compiled by the Tribune.

Seventeen people were fatally shot in the city between Friday afternoon and early Monday, an extraordinary toll even in a year that is far outpacing last year in shootings and homicides

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Two disturbing details about this latest orgy of violence caught my eye. Tribune staff added:

This past weekend there were shootings in every area of the city but the Far North and Northwest sides, according to police. Of the 17 people who were killed, seven were younger than 20

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Just last week I blogged about the City of Chicago supposedly having knowledge of who’s behind most of the shootings/murders. From an October 26 post:

Violence-weary Chicagoans might want to focus what remains of their energy on something Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson has reportedly noted about the shootings/murders. From the Associated Press back on August 28:

About 1,400 people are driving 85 percent of the city’s gun violence. He added that the city has gotten very good at predicting who will be the perpetrators and the victims of gun violence…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“About 1,400 people.” Sounds like the City of Chicago has a pretty good idea of who’s behind much of this (future) violence.

Yet bodies are still piling up.

So what exactly is the City doing with this information to stem the growing carnage?

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The question still stands.

Many Chicagoans will tell you the shooting gallery is mostly confined to certain parts of the city known for such violent crime. Since the Chicago Police Department said “this past weekend there were shootings in every area of the city but the Far North and Northwest sides,” going forward it will be interesting to see if there’s a sustained spillover of such violence into the “safer” city neighborhoods.

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

Source:

“Deadliest weekend in Chicago this year: 17 killed, 42 more wounded.” Chicago Tribune. 31 Oct. 2016. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-weekend-shootings-violence-20161031-story.html). 31 Oct. 2016.

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Monday, October 31st, 2016 Crime, Government, Public Safety 2 Comments

Robert Shiller: ‘Neither Farmland Nor Housing Has Been A Great Place To Invest Money Over The Long Term’

Yale University Economics Professor Robert Shiller just torpedoed long-held notions about farmland and residential real estate in this country. The Nobel Prize winner, who correctly-called the dot-com and housing busts of the last decade, penned the following on The New York Times website on July 15:

Despite solid price increases over the last few years, land and homes have actually been disappointing investments. It’s worth considering why.

Let’s start by looking at the numbers. The best long-term data on land in the United States is for farmland, which is valuable in its own right and can also be considered a great reservoir that can be converted to housing and other purposes at opportune times.

Over the century from 1915 to 2015, though, the real value of American farmland (deflated by the Consumer Price Index) increased only 3.1 times, according to the Department of Agriculture. That comes to an average increase of only 1.1 percent a year– and with a growing population, that’s barely enough to keep per capita real land value unchanged.

According to my own data (relying on the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which I helped create), real home prices rose even more slowly over the same period — a total increase of 1.8 times, which comes to an average of only 0.6 percent a year.

What all that amounts to is that neither farmland nor housing has been a great place to invest money over the long term…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Neither farmland nor housing has been a great place to invest money over the long term”

Obviously, this goes contrary to what many Americans have believed all along.

However, the fact that farmland can produce income from crops should not be ignored.

Residential real estate may also offer benefits beyond property value. In my case, the single-family dwelling in the Chicago suburbs which my girlfriend and I own is a significant improvement in such areas as security and food production, for example, compared to our previous rental unit in a multi-family building on the city’s Northwest Side.

An interesting piece from Dr. Shiller, which you can read on the Times’ website here.

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

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Chicago Property Taxes Hiked As School Budget Passed

There are so many new and increased fees, fines, and taxes being proposed and implemented around the Chicagoland area these days, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. But here’s one Chicago tax hike that’s just been approved that’s making local headlines. Juan Perez, Jr., reported on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s school board on Wednesday unanimously approved a budget that relies heavily on borrowed money and the hope of a nearly $500 million bailout from a stalemated Springfield, with the specter of disruptive cuts in January if that help fails to materialize.

The $5.7 billion spending plan contains another property tax hike — an estimated $19-a-year increase for the owner of a $250,000 home — as well as teacher and staff layoffs. The Chicago Board of Education also prepared to go to Wall Street to issue $1 billion in bonds and agreed to spend $475,000 so an accounting firm can monitor a cash flow problem so acute that Chicago Public Schools mulled skipping a massive teacher pension payment at the end of June…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

My old neighbors on the city’s Northwest Side, in their single family homes that are selling just south of the $350K-mark on average these days, probably aren’t too thrilled to hear about this latest tax hike.

Oh, but it gets “better.” Perez added:

To help patch over a budget gap the district said exceeds $1.1 billion, CPS raised its property taxes to the maximum amount allowed under state law. But CPS may not be done — [Chicago Public Schools chief Forrest] Claypool has floated the idea of restoring a property tax levy dedicated to teacher pensions that would generate an estimated $170 million

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Keep in mind this is just the school’s portion of the Chicago property owner’s tax bill we’re talking about here.

Once again, a couple of bucks here, a couple of bucks there, and all these new and increased fees, fines, and taxes from various levels of government will have Chicago taxpayers going bonkers soon enough.

And Illinois taxpayers- note that bit about:

The hope of a nearly $500 million bailout from a stalemated Springfield…

You too could be on the hook for this debacle.

Head on over to the Chicago Tribune website here to get the full story on this latest tax hike.

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

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Thoughts On Chicago Home Invader Yelling ‘Fire! Fire!’

“According to the FBI, nearly 50,000 robberies within residences (the bureau’s classification for home invasions, not all of which involve violent entry) occurred in 2011, or about 135 per day…”

-NBC News website, September 9, 2014

Beware of the following. From Chicago’s ABC 7 website back on January 27:

Police are warning residents of a pair of home invasions on Chicago’s Far Northwest Side.

Authorities said a man broke into two homes, one in the 3800-block of North Pacific Avenue around 1:20 p.m. on Jan. 19 and one in the 6700-block of North Oxford Avenue around 2:50 p.m. on Jan. 21.

In each incident, police said the suspect forced his way through the front door, yelled, “Fire! Fire!” and ran out.

The suspect then got into a dark-colored vehicle driven by someone else and took off…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You can read the rest of that article here, which doesn’t give an explanation for why the home invader spent the time and effort breaking into these residences- only to shout “Fire!” on both occasions, then leave. Note the following comment on the piece though:

This is just bizarre; I think there’s more to this story than the article lets on. If they do find this guy, they definitely need to get him psychiatric help since he’s clearly mentally ill…

“Mentally ill.” Perhaps. But consider this alternative. The home invader broke into these homes, discovered he wasn’t alone, and in an effort to create confusion for a rapid escape, the “Caucasian or Hispanic man in his late 20s” subsequently yelled “Fire! Fire!”. Under these circumstances, it would have been easy for the (almost) victims to mistake the intruder as some Good Samaritan at first and set about checking the premises for fire before realizing what really happened.

Mentally ill? How about “fast-thinker” or “smart criminal”?

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

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Signs Of The Time, Part 78

Karma doesn’t look to be dialing down her bitch anytime soon.

Alexandra Chachkevitch and Rosemary Regina Sobol reported on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

Rahm Emanuel’s 17-year-old son was robbed near the family’s Ravenswood home Friday night, according to a mayoral spokeswoman and police reports…

Zach Emanuel was talking on his cellphone in the 4200 block of North Hermitage Avenue, across the street and a few houses down from the Emanuel home, when two males approached him from behind, according to the police report.

One of them “placed his arm around the victim’s neck in a rear chokehold,” and the second one struck the teen with a fist, knocking him to the ground. The robbers took the teen’s cellphone and patted him down, the police report said.

“The offenders then asked the victim, ‘What else you got?’ (and) forced the victim to enter his security code to unlock the phone,” the police report said.

The robbers then ran away. The teen was treated for cuts and bruises on his face by a personal physician at his home, according to the report…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Couple of things here:

1. Mayor Emanuel and his administration are known for claiming “crime is down!” in the city.

2. For those blog readers who don’t already know, the “Rahmfather’s” Chicago pad is heavily-guarded by the Chicago Police Department, including two or more cops in front, two or more in the alley, a heavy-weapons vehicle nearby, and a roving patrol (source: Second City Cop blog). By extension, the surrounding area is thought to be one of Chicago’s most secure as crime is concerned.

3. Glad to hear Zach’s injuries weren’t worse, since not resisting during a robbery is no guarantee the bad guy(s) won’t still injure/kill you.

4. I, too, was like Zach at that age, oblivious to my surroundings (no cell phone, but often found sporting a Sony Walkman). Then I started hearing/reading stories about the bad guys preying on people carrying on like that. By the time I was living in Chicago, I’d still listen to my mp3 player while walking down Northwest Highway- but not without a healthy dose of situational awareness.

Anyway, glad the young man is safe after the ordeal.

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

Sources:

Chachkevitch, Alexandra and Rosemary Regina Sobol. “Emanuel’s son robbed near family’s North Side home.” Chicago Tribune. 20 Dec. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-rahm-emanuel-son-robbed-20141220-story.html). 20 Dec. 2014.

SCC. “Hey Rahm, Crime is down!” Second City Cop. 20 Dec. 2014. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2014/12/hey-rahm-crime-is-down.html). 21 Dec. 2014.

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Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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