Pennsylvania

Some Clinton Supporters Protest, Riot After Election

In yesterday’s “Signs Of The Time” post, I noted that the Oath Keepers had recently conducted a webinar addressing how to prepare for the possibility of post-election civil strife and violence.

Apparently, a limited amount of social unrest kicked off on America’s “Left Coast” and elsewhere in the country early this morning after the conclusion of the U.S. presidential election.

Gemma Mullin reported on The Mirror (UK) website today:

Crowds of angry protesters have taken to streets across the United States chanting “Not Our President” while setting fires and smashing windows.

Hundreds of people descended on California minutes after it was announced that Donald Trump had won the election.

Hillary Clinton supporters were filmed setting fire to the US flag while marching through the streets of Portland, Oregon, shouting “F*** Donald Trump”.

Footage also emerged of activists setting tyres and rubbish bins on fire, blocking main roads and lighting flares.

People also burned an effigy of the President-elect, who will be officially sworn into office in January.

Meanwhile, a young student has reportedly been hit by an SUV and severely injured during a march in Berkeley, with one witness claiming the crash was intentional, according to NBC Bay Area…

Other protests have broken out in the San Diego, San Fransisco and San Jose areas, according to reports… A demonstration also unfolded at the University of California, Davis…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Thomas Fuller added over on The New York Times website this afternoon:

From Pennsylvania to California, Oregon and Washington State, hundreds of people hit the streets, according to reports by local news media and The Associated Press…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

After watching TV and surfing the Internet/social media sites earlier today, it’s clear to me that a number of Hillary Clinton supporters (and “Never Trumpers”) are absolutely livid about Donald Trump’s Oval Office victory.

As such, additional- and more intense- acts of civil disobedience/unrest are certainly possible tonight and in the coming days.

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

Sources:

Mullin, Gemma. “Trump win sparks riots across US as crowds burn American flag and chant ‘Not our president.'” The Mirror. 9 Nov. 2016. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/trump-win-sparks-riots-across-9225317). 9 Nov. 2016.

Fuller, Thomas. “Anti-Trump Demonstrators Take to the Streets in Several U.S. Cities.” The New York Times. 9 Nov. 2016. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/10/us/trump-election-protest-berkeley-oakland.html). 9 Nov. 2016.

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Afterthoughts: Chicago’s 2015 Mayoral Election

In case you hadn’t heard, Rahm Emanuel remains Mayor of Chicago after defeating Jesús “Chuy” García yesterday in a run-off election 55.7 percent to 44.3 percent with 98.7% of precincts reporting.

Here are some of my thoughts regarding the 2015 mayoral election in Chicago:

1. The fact that “Chuy,” a Cook County commissioner who was born in Durango, Mexico, forced Mayor Emanuel into a first-ever run-off election for the position signaled two things. One, a number of Chicago voters aren’t too happy with the way the “Rahmfather” is running the city. And two, Chicago’s Hispanics continue to flex their growing political muscle. Natasha Korecki reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website back on March 15:

According to census data from 2010, Hispanics make up just shy of 29 percent of the city’s population- but they account for only 13 to 15 percent of the electorate. (Garcia’s campaign says that number was at about 16 percent on Feb. 24.)

Should trends hold, I envision Latinos making significant gains with that percentage. Korecki added:

“The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing segment of the early-childhood population,” says Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, an Emanuel supporter. “Latinos make up 47 percent of students in CPS,. It’s a very significant population…

Last December, the U.S. Census Bureau forecasted that Hispanics will comprise 25 percent of the U.S. population within the next 30 years- up from approximately 17 percent right now.

At risk of sounding like “Captain Obvious” here, I’m thinking Chicago’s future will be a much more Latino one. Particularly as city government is concerned.

(Editor’s note: Back in the fall of 1988 I told my high school Spanish teacher I wanted to learn the language because I thought it would “come in handy” someday. Has it ever.)

2. After being forced into a run-off, the Rahm camp realized he’s rubbed a number of Chicagoans the wrong way. Which led to commercials like this:


“New Rahm Emanuel Ad: ‘I Can Rub People The Wrong Way’”
YouTube Video

So now that he’s won the run-off, what’s Mayor Emanuel “tune” now? Rick Pearson and Bill Ruthhart reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

After finishing a salad and bowl of matzo ball soup, Emanuel was asked what he learned from the runoff and whether he would, in fact, be a more inclusive mayor in his second term.

Emanuel responded by confidently saying the feedback he’d gotten from voters during the campaign would serve as his “North Star.” Asked by the Tribune if that meant he would take a different approach to running the city, Emanuel instead deflected the question by telling the reporter: “You’ll evaluate that, and my guess is you’ll tell me on a 24-hour basis.”

Pressed again on whether he had heard the voters and would change his often brusque style, Emanuel responded with just one word:

“Yeah.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Yeah. I don’t know about you, but the impression I get from that response is- something tells me old habits might be particularly hard to break with this one.

I can’t help but wonder if dead fish aren’t already on their way…

3. Chicago’s “financial reckoning day” is still fast approaching. And I don’t think it matters who’s in charge, as I believe we’re too far along in the deterioration and the required political will to do something about it just isn’t there. Still. I read a “funny” comment on the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop earlier today. From a Tuesday night post:

Anonymous said…

Blah blah blah. The city will not go.bankrupt. We are third in the country for tourists, we have numerous international and national companies world headquarters plus we have a 100s of millions in tif funds. Commie chuy was a police hater that had no plan for this city. Rahm ain’t no picnic either but next to chuy he was a genius.

Now consider what the National Journal’s John B. Judis reported on March 30:

Chicago is facing a truly grave set of problems– problems that are essentially more extreme versions of the challenges confronting city governments across the country.

The quandaries begin with Chicago’s dramatic social divide. To an even greater extent than is the case in, say, New York or Philadelphia, Chicago has become two entirely separate cities. One is a bustling metropolis that includes the Loop, Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, and the Gold Coast, as well as the city’s well-to-do, working-class, and upwardly mobile immigrant neighborhoods. The other Chicago consists of impoverished neighborhoods on the far South and West Sides, primarily populated by African-Americans. These places have remained beyond the reach of the city’s recovery from the Great Recession.

Meanwhile, even as it grapples with this extreme gap, Chicago is suffering from a severe fiscal crisis. Like plenty of other municipalities, Chicago lacks the revenue to pay its bills, particularly its pension obligations to city workers. According to a 2013 Pew report, 61 other U.S. cities face similar difficulties, but Chicago’s situation is one of the worst. “Voters must realize we are facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression,” says Roosevelt University’s Paul Green, the doyen of Chicago political experts. “If something doesn’t happen, the city is beyond the abyss.”

Those problems aren’t really Emanuel’s fault, but his efforts to fix them over the past four years haven’t yielded especially good results. For his part, Garcia—who has been at the forefront of Latino politics in Chicago for four decades and who has a history of bucking Chicago’s political establishment—has run a campaign long on general populist criticism of the incumbent, but short on credible ideas about what he would do differently.

All of which means that this election won’t yield much of a mandate for dramatic solutions to Chicago’s twin crises

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Translated: Probably doesn’t matter who won the election, because Chicago looks to “lose” with either at the helm.

Once again, the economic situation appears too far gone at this point, and the political will to truly get the city’s finances back on track just isn’t there.

I hope Judis is wrong. And I hope I’m wrong here.

But the numbers are looking pretty atrocious right now.

As much as I’d like to side with “Anonymous,” as Rahm Emanuel enters his second term as Mayor of Chicago, I feel that proverbial brick wall is still fast-approaching.

Perhaps the best Chicagoans can hope for at this point is a controlled crash landing.

I know one thing. If I were still living in the city, I’d be preparing for the coming carnage.

More on that topic soon.

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

Sources:

Korecki, Natasha. “Getting Hispanics to the polls in Chicago mayor’s race no slam dunk for Chuy.” Chicago Sun-Times. 15 Mar. 2015. (http://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/7/71/438985/getting-hispanics-polls-chicago-mayors-race-slam-dunk-chuy). 8 Apr. 2015.

Pearson, Rick and Ruthhart, Bill. “’Second chance.’ Emanuel says he’s ‘humbled’ by victory.” Chicago Tribune. 8 Apr. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-mayoral-election-20150407-story.html#page=1). 8 Apr. 2015.

SCC. “Mixed Bag.” Second City Cop. 7 Apr. 2015. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2015/04/mixed-bag.html). 8 Apr. 2015.

Judis, John B. “Broken city: Rahm Emanuel and the unraveling of Chicago.” National Journal. 30 Mar. 2015. (https://www.yahoo.com/politics/broken-city-rahm-emanuel-and-the-unraveling-of-115037357316.html). 8 Apr. 2015.

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Hacker ‘Guccifer’: Chicago And Unnamed Pennsylvania City To Be Nuked In 2015

According to the infamous hacker known as “Guccifer,” someone’s got Chicago and an unnamed Pennsylvania city in their crosshairs for a nuclear detonation next year. Andrew Higgins reported on The New York Times website on November 21:

The English-speaking prison psychologist, who attended my meeting with the hacker, rolled his eyes as Mr. Lazar started reading his explanatory text in good but heavily accented English. It was a compendium of wild conspiracy theories involving so-called Illuminati, a secret cabal that he believes runs the world. Most of the conspiracies were old hat, like ones relating to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, by Al Qaeda. But others, such as an alleged plan to set off a nuclear bomb in Chicago and an unnamed city in Pennsylvania next year, were clearly his own work.

The psychologist said he had heard them all before but nonetheless had no doubt about the state of Mr. Lazar’s mental health. “He is not really crazy at all”…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

That claim about the Pennsylvania city also being targeted is a new development in the story. I blogged back on November 11:

The recently-apprehended hacker known as “Guccifer” (Marcel-Lehel Lazar, an unemployed 43-year-old Romanian) is in the news today for something he told The New York Times while meeting with them. Andrew Higgins reported on the Times website yesterday:

Before agreeing to answer questions from The New York Times in prison, where he shares a cell with four others, including two convicted murderers, he read out a lengthy handwritten statement that he said explained the purpose of his hacking.

A potpourri of conspiracy theories about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the 1997 death of Princess Diana and alleged plans for a nuclear attack in Chicago in 2015, it said: “This world is run by a group of conspirators called the Council of Illuminati, very rich people, noble families, bankers and industrialists from the 19th and 20th century.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Guccifer is reported to have accessed the private e-mails of numerous top military, political, and intelligence leaders around the world- including e-mails of former U.S. President George W. Bush’s family.

So is the Romanian hacker just trying to save his skin somehow with such claims, or did he really uncover such a plot to nuke Chicago and the Pennsylvania city while engaged in criminal activity?

Hopefully, Higgins is able to get more info out of Guccifer going forward- if there’s anything to get.

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

Source:

Higgins, Andrew. “The Man Behind the Hacking: Talking to Guccifer.” The New York Times. 21 Nov. 2014. (http://www.nytimes.com/times-insider/2014/11/21/the-man-behind-the-hacking-talking-to-guccifer/?_r=0). 26 Nov. 2014.

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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

Study: 326 Chicago-Area Bridges Are ‘Structurally Deficient’

While I don’t drive over bridges too often here in the Chicagoland area, I thought Chicago-area readers should be made aware of an article published Wednesday by Art Golab and Rosalind Rossi on the Chicago Sun-Times website that noted 73 bridges in Chicago and 326 bridges in the metro area are “structurally deficient” according to 2012 federal bridge data. Golab and Rossi reported:

The nation is littered with such bridges— structures in need of “significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement,” according to a recent Transportation for America study that urges dedicated federal money for bridge repair…

Statewide, the Transportation for America study put the number of structurally deficient Illinois bridges at 2,311, or nearly 9 percent the state’s total bridges. That compares with 11 percent nationally.

From a Transportation for America press release yesterday:

Nearly 67,000 of the nation’s 605,000 bridges are rated “structurally deficient” and are in need of substantial repair or replacement, according to bridge inspections analyzed in The Fix We’re In For: The State of the Nation’s Bridges 2013. Nearly 8,000 are both structurally deficient and “fracture critical”, meaning they are designed with no redundancy in their key structural components, so that if one fails the bridge could collapse. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the backlog of troubled bridges would cost $76 billion to eliminate.

The report ranks states and the District of Columbia in terms of the overall condition of the their bridges, with one having the largest share of deficient bridges, 51 the lowest. Twenty-one states have a higher percentage of deficient bridges than the national average of 11 percent. The five states with the worst bridge conditions have a share over 20 percent: Pennsylvania has the largest share of deteriorating bridges (24.5%), followed by Oklahoma (22.0%), Iowa (21.7%), Rhode Island (21.6%), and South Dakota (20.3%).

At the other end of the spectrum, five states have less than 5 percent of their bridges rated structurally deficient: Nevada and Florida lead the rankings with 2.2%, followed by Texas (2.6%), Arizona (3.2%), and Utah (4.3%).

You can access the bridge report on the Transportation for America website here.

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

Source:

Golab, Art and Rossi, Rosalind. “Report: Busiest ‘structurally deficient’ bridge in area is Kennedy Expy. over Ashland.” Chicago Sun-Times. 18 June 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/20828373-761/report-busiest-structurally-deficient-bridge-in-area-is-kennedy-expy-over-ashland.html). 20 June 2013.

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Thursday, June 20th, 2013 Infrastructure, Transportation No Comments

Chicago Ranks 5th On List Of U.S. Cities With Highest Tax Burdens

New York City-based financial news and opinion organization 24/7 Wall St. recently released their 2013 lists of “American Cities with the Highest (and Lowest) Taxes.”

Alas, my hometown of Chicago ranked fifth on the “highest taxes” list. From the February 25 piece:

5. Chicago, Ill.
> Taxes for family earning $25,000: $3,898 (4th highest)
> Taxes for family earning $150,000: $14,814 (14th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 9.7% (12th highest)

As of 2011, Chicago residents paid the highest effective sales tax rate of any city studied, at 9.75%. This increased the tax burden for lower-income earners, who paid a higher percentage of their income in sales taxes. Partly because of the city’s sales tax, a Chicago family earning $25,000 had a state and local tax burden equal to 15.6% of their income, while for a family earning $150,000, the figure was just 9.9%. Poorer residents are also burdened by the state-level flat income tax, which was raised from 3% to 5% in 2011.

I’ll be the city’s poor don’t realize there getting screwed as bad as they are on taxes.

It looks to me these are the first 24/7 Wall St. lists of “American Cities with the Highest (and Lowest) Taxes,” so I can’t compare Chicago’s 2013 ranking to years past.

Rounding out the “top 5” on the “highest taxes” list were:

4. Louisville, KY
3. Columbus, OH
2. Philadelphia, PA
1. Bridgeport, CT

You can view this year’s “top 10” U.S. cities with the lowest tax burdens and highest tax burdens on the 24/7 Wall St. website here.

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

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Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 Main Street, Poverty, Taxes No Comments

Obama Backs New Gun Ban After Declaring ‘I’m Not Going To Take Away Your Guns’ In 2008

“A woman in the crowd told Obama she had ‘heard a rumor’ that he might be planning some sort of gun ban upon being elected president. Obama trotted out his standard policy stance, that he had a deep respect for the ‘traditions of gun ownership’ but favored measures in big cities to keep guns out of the hands of ‘gang bangers and drug dealers’ in big cities ‘who already have them and are shooting people.’

‘If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it,’ Obama said. But the Illinois senator could still see skeptics in the crowd, particularly on the faces of several men at the back of the room.

So he tried again. ‘Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress,’ he said. ‘This can’t be the reason not to vote for me. Can everyone hear me in the back? I see a couple of sportsmen back there. I’m not going to take away your guns.’”

-Mary Lu Carnevale and Christopher Cooper, Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog, September 5, 2008

David Jackson and Jackie Kucinich reported on the USA TODAY website tonight:

Obama backs new assault weapons ban

President Obama supports efforts to reinstate an assault weapons ban as part of a comprehensive plan to address gun violence, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Press Secretary Jay Carney added that Obama would back proposals to close the “gun show loophole,” which allows people to buy weapons without background checks…

Obama met with aides and others to develop a “comprehensive” plan that would include the education, social and mental health issues associated with gun violence. He is also “interested in looking at” possible restrictions on high-capacity ammunition clips, Carney said…

Obama “wants to move in the coming weeks,” Carney said.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“I’m not going to take away your guns.”

Truth-loving Americans will hold the President to that statement.

Sources:

Mary Lu Carnevale and Christopher Cooper. “Obama: ‘I’m Not Going to Take Your Guns Away.’” Washington Wire. 5 Sep. 2008. (http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/09/05/obama-im-not-going-to-take-your-guns-away/). 18 Dec. 2012.

Jackson, David and Kucinich, Jackie. “Obama backs new assault weapons ban.” USA TODAY. 18 Dec. 2012. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2012/12/18/obama-carney-newtown-assault-weapons-ban/1777793/). 18 Dec. 2012.

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Survival And Prosperity
Est. 2010, Chicagoland, USA
Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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