police

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy Keeps Pushing For More Gun ‘Control’ Laws

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy is not letting recent gun “control” setbacks for the City of Chicago blunt his constant push for more laws laws restricting firearms. CNN’s Tricia Escobedo reported this morning:

McCarthy is using the unwanted attention around the bloody Easter weekend to push legislators to pass gun control laws that he says will help police turn things around in Chicago.

“It’s just insanity that there’s such a proliferation of firearms that they’re so easy to get your hands on,” McCarthy told WGN Radio on Monday. “The studies show when there’s more restrictive gun laws, there’s less gun violence. It’s not brain surgery, it’s really really simple.

“It’s going to take us a while to fix poverty and the break-up of the family units and education and jobs. But we can do something about gun laws today and we’re just not doing it.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“The studies show when there’s more restrictive gun laws, there’s less gun violence.”

Like in “Chiraq?” “Murder City?” “Beirut By The Lake?”

For years, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, was considered “ground zero” for gun “control” in the nation.

And look what good all that gun “control” amounted to?

516 murders in Chicago in 2012 (source: Washington Post). 9 dead, 36 wounded in the “Windy City” last weekend. 4 killed, 36 shot the weekend before that. A veritable and regularly-occurring shooting gallery in certain parts of the city. Need I say more?

I will.

Again- “The studies show when there’s more restrictive gun laws, there’s less gun violence.”

Not any reputable studies that I know of.

As I’ve repeated many times on this blog through the years- criminals don’t follow the law- hence that “criminal” designation. The bad guys generally don’t acquire their firearms legally. Therefore, gun “control” laws don’t really have an effect on them. So what good does implementing more of these laws do besides penalize law-abiding citizens and gun owners?

Oh yeah- pushing more gun “control” makes it look like the politicians and their ilk are actually doing something to combat firearm-related violence (being mostly committed by “illegal” guns).

It’s my belief that Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois would be better off coming down hard- real hard- on the criminal element with “truth-in-sentencing” and other measures. On this point, I actually see eye-to-eye with Superintendent McCarthy. But many of the politicians don’t, their inaction based on fiscal, political, and/or racial justifications, as well as a belief held by many that “thugs just need a hug.”

Until they and their loved ones become the victims of a violent crime, right?

A number of former gun “control” advocates came to “see the light” in the wake of such events.

As for more restrictions being placed on firearms? Reality, like the example of Chicago- and not studies- keep demonstrating their ineffectiveness.

“It’s not brain surgery, it’s really really simple.”

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

Source:

Escobedo, Tricia. “Chicago’s murder rate is down, chief says.” CNN. 24 Apr. 2014. (http://www.kspr.com/news/nationworld/Chicago-s-murder-rate-is-down-chief-says/21051646_25636714). 24 Apr. 2014.

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Video: SHTF In Venezuela

Henry Reich, creator of the MinutePhysics series of videos on YouTube.com, shows the chaos going on in Venezuela these days in his latest work. Apparently, an illustrator for MinuteEarth- Ever Salazar- has a ringside seat to the dire situation the South American country is in (I blogged about the food shortages back on April 3).

Watching the video, I couldn’t help but wonder if the United States might not suffer something similar once our financial “day of reckoning” arrives. And then I heard Salazar say this:

At least half the population ratifies the disaster by voting in favor of the 15-year-long revolution…

Sound familiar?


“When Insanity Becomes Normal- Venezuela”
YouTube Video

Note the shortages of food and other items being mentioned.

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

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‘Criminals Are Victims Of The Evil Capitalist Society’

These days, there are lots of people out there speculating and writing about what a financial crash would be like- even though they’ve never lived through one.

On the other hand, some have and are actively sharing their experiences and lessons for surviving a similar event.

Once in a while on Survival And Prosperity I’ve mentioned Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre, who lived through Argentina’s economic collapse last decade and released The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse in 2009. A big “fan” of the book and the accompanying blog- Surviving In Argentina- I happened to be listening to the fourth installment in a series of video posts FerFAL has produced recently about “prepper myths,” when he talked about the recent violent mugging of an American tourist in a nice part of Buenos Aires. Apparently, the mugger- who was on the verge of being lynched by a crowd- was booked by police yet released later on that day. FerFAL- now based in Northern Ireland- lamented in the April 9 post:

And that’s the key of the thing. It’s not considered a bad thing. And it’s not just mugging, robbing- even hurting, raping, murdering- it’s not considered a bad thing from the perspective of the Argentine government. They have this crappy, commie, anti-capitalist, bullshit thing going on which basically says- and I got tired of hearing this time and again- but the official government point of view is criminals are victims of the evil capitalist society that are just trying to provide for their families. And when you say, “Alright, what about a rapist or a murderer? What is he trying to do there?” “Well, he’s also a poor victim because he didn’t have the populist, socialist education that we’re trying to promote and he didn’t know any better.” They’re always justifying. And this isn’t just something I perceive. This is something I’ve been told by an actual district attorney. He’ll tell me, “That’s what we get from the top. We’re being told not to put people behind bars. Find any possible way, even if a cop drags one- this guy actually murdered someone in front of my eyes. Even if that happens, the official point of view of this is- release them as fast, as quickly as possible. We don’t want people behind bars.” That makes for a very chaotic society, and that’s what’s been going on in Argentina for over a decade now. That’s why it’s so violent…

Any of what FerFAL said ring a bell to some readers? It sure did for me, as I type this from the Chicago area this wintry April evening.

Plenty of bad guys who should be locked up behind bars are roaming the streets of Chicago and other parts of Cook County these days.

“That’s why it’s so violent.”

By the way, check out Fernando Aguirre’s other “prepper myth” video posts here if you have the time. I found them very insightful and thought-provoking.

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

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Chicago’s Bloody Weekend: 36 Shot, 4 Killed, ‘Lax State And Federal Gun Laws’ Blamed

Sometimes, it’s just better to keep quiet about some things.

Which is what I thought City Hall might do after the bloodiest weekend of the year (so far?) in Chicago.

Jon Seidel reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website earlier this afternoon:

A day after one of the warmest and bloodiest weekends so far in 2014, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy again complained that “lax state and federal gun laws” are hampering his department’s ability to stem the violence.

And, he said, “weather doesn’t cause crime.”

“It creates conditions which may contribute to crime,” McCarthy said, adding: “It doesn’t prevent crime, either.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“‘Lax state and federal gun laws’ are hampering his department’s ability to stem the violence.”

To borrow a term often used by the gun “control” crowd these days, “common-sense” dictates criminals don’t follow the law. And in general, the bad guys don’t acquire their guns legally. So if the City of Chicago wants to introduce new gun law after new gun law to make it “ground zero” for gun “control” in the country in hopes of stemming the violence…

Oh wait. That’s already been tried. And we all know how that worked out.

Regarding that claim about weather not preventing crime, I’ve have a pretty good idea shootings and related fatalties were affected by the brutal winter in “Chiberia.” Now that it’s warming up (today being the exception, as the snow falls steadily in my part of Chicagoland), I, for one, can’t say that I’ll be surprised to hear about more weekends like the one Chicago just had:

36 shot. 4 killed. In 1 weekend.

Those remind me of the numbers that were being put up just the other year.

2012 is gently rapping, rapping at the Chicago City Council Chamber doors…

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

Source:

Seidel, Jon. “Chicago’s top cop: ‘Lax’ gun laws hamper crime-fighting.” Chicago Sun-Times. 14 Apr. 2014. (http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/chicagos-top-cop-lax-gun-laws-hamper-crime-fighting/mon-04142014-118pm). 14 Apr. 2014.

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Reports: Chicago Manipulating Crime Statistics

“Downgrade and reclassify.”

It’s something I’ve heard leveled against the City of Chicago with increasing regularity since I started this blog in 2010.

I really became aware of it from reading the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop.

From a July 24, 2013, post:

Again, here is where CompStat really shines. Reclassify the crimes from “Strong Arm Robbery” to “Theft from Person” and –tada!!!– Instant drop in violent crime. You don’t think they’re doing it? How about those juveniles that got caught the other day? The one had another smart phone and was charged with “Theft of Lost/Mislaid Property” probably because no one could identify who committed the actual robbery. Or the lack of police that is emboldening the robbers? If someone has to wait an hour for a police report, they might as well head home and do it over the phone….or not do it at all. –Tada!!!— another drop in crime!

Downgrade and reclassify? That’s just tin-foil hat talk, right?

Apparently not.

David Bernstein and Noah Isackson wrote on Chicago magazine’s website yesterday:

Chicago conducted a 12-month examination of the Chicago Police Department’s crime statistics going back several years, poring through public and internal police records and interviewing crime victims, criminologists, and police sources of various ranks. We identified 10 people, including Groves, who were beaten, burned, suffocated, or shot to death in 2013 and whose cases were reclassified as death investigations, downgraded to more minor crimes, or even closed as noncriminal incidents—all for illogical or, at best, unclear reasons.

This troubling practice goes far beyond murders, documents and interviews reveal. Chicago found dozens of other crimes, including serious felonies such as robberies, burglaries, and assaults, that were misclassified, downgraded to wrist-slap offenses, or made to vanish altogether. (We’ll examine those next month in part 2 of this special report.)

Many officers of different ranks and from different parts of the city recounted instances in which they were asked or pressured by their superiors to reclassify their incident reports or in which their reports were changed by some invisible hand. One detective refers to the “magic ink”: the power to make a case disappear. Says another: “The rank and file don’t agree with what’s going on. The powers that be are making the changes.”

Granted, a few dozen crimes constitute a tiny percentage of the more than 300,000 reported in Chicago last year. But sources describe a practice that has become widespread at the same time that top police brass have become fixated on demonstrating improvement in Chicago’s woeful crime statistics

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Two words come to mind here about these claims:

Truly disturbing.

The alleged manipulation of crime statistics goes beyond downgrading, reclassifying, and fudging.

Frank Main and Stefano Esposito reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website yesterday:

About one-quarter of victims of aggravated assault and battery failed to get counted in Chicago Police statistics for 2012, according to a city Office of the Inspector General report released Monday.

That’s because police didn’t count each person in a crime involving multiple victims as a separate offense, the inspector general’s office said.

The audit reviewed a sample of 383 assault-related incident reports out of a total of 83,480 for 2012.

Because of the findings, Chicago Police officials have agreed to review every aggravated assault and battery in 2012 and 2013 — and count each victim…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Remember, Chicago isn’t due to release the second part of its special report until next month.

If I were certain Chicago Police Department brass, I’d be seriously concerned about my job right now, as this developing situation looks to be a major blow to what credibility the City still has left with residents and others.

I know one thing. From now on, every time a City official brings up crime statistics, eyes will be rolling… long after heads may have due to this debacle.

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

Sources:

Bernstein, David and Isackson, Noah. “The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates.” Chicago. 7 Apr. 2014. (http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/May-2014/Chicago-crime-rates/). 8 Apr. 2014.

Esposito, Stefano and Main, Frank. “Chicago Police underreported number of 2012 aggravated assault and battery, audit finds.” Chicago Sun-Times. 7 Apr. 2014. (Chicago Police underreported number of 2012 aggravated assault and battery, audit finds). 8 Apr. 2014.

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Chicago Public Pension Crisis Latest

Last Tuesday, I blogged about Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s attempt to address some of the City’s public pension woes via larger contributions by City employees and $50 million tax increases for five straight years- beginning next year and continuing through 2019- for Chicago property owners.

There’s been a lot of chatter regarding this proposal and other pension “reform” activity today. Karen Pierog reported on the Reuters website:

Legislation to ease funding shortfalls in two of Chicago’s four retirement systems is a modestly positive credit step but not a permanent fix, Moody’s Investors Service said on Monday

Moody’s said that if enacted into law, the measure would immediately reduce the unfunded liabilities in the two funds.

“However, we expect that the (liability) would then escalate for a number of years before declining. Accrued liabilities would exceed plan assets for years to come, and if annual investment returns fall short of the assumed 7.5 percent, the risk of plan insolvency may well reappear,” the credit rating agency said in a report…

After breezing through an Illinois House committee on April 2, the bill has stalled. Moody’s said that even if the bill makes it out of the legislature, Governor Pat Quinn must sign it. The law would then face potential challenges to its legality under the Illinois constitution, which prohibits the impairment of retirement benefits for public sector workers…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So will the Illinois Governor and fellow Chicago Democrat sign off on Mayor Emanuel’s proposed legislation?

John Byrne and Monique Garcia reported on the Chicago Tribune website this afternoon:

Gov. Pat Quinn today came out against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to raise Chicago property taxes and cut retirement benefits as a way to shore up some of Chicago’s government worker pension systems.

The re-election seeking Democratic governor called the bill floating around Springfield “a sketch” that “kept changing by the hour” and blasted the property tax as a “lousy tax” because it is not based on the ability to pay…

“I don’t think that’s a good way to go,” Quinn said of hiking property taxes. “And I say it today and I’ll say it tomorrow, they’ve got to come up with a much better comprehensive approach to deal with this issue. But if they just think they are going to gouge property tax owners, no can do. We’re not going to go that way.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Now, as I pointed out in last week’s post about Chicago’s public pension crisis:

There’s still a state-required $600 million contribution due next year from the City to stabilize police and fire pension funds that this proposed property tax hike doesn’t address and has to be dealt with…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Plus, I read the following this morning by Chacour Koop on the website of The State Journal-Register (Springfield):

After addressing Illinois’ own employee pension crisis, lawmakers now face an equally challenging task with the state’s cities, as mayors demand help with underfunded police and firefighter pensions before the growing cost “chokes” budgets and forces local tax increases.

The nine largest cities in Illinois after Chicago have a combined $1.5 billion in unfunded debt to public safety workers’ pension systems. Police and fire retirement funds for cities statewide have an average of just 55 percent of the money needed to meet current obligations to workers and retirees…

The problems — a history of underfunding, the expansion of job benefits and the prospect of crushing future payments — mirror those that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel warned about when he asked the legislature for relief last week.

In 2016, state law requires cities to make required contribution increases — in some cases, more than an additional $1 million annually — so they’ll reach 90 percent funding by 2040. If they don’t, the state will begin doing it for them, diverting grant money now used by cities elsewhere directly into the pension funds…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Just like the Illinois General Assembly- dominated by Democrats- barely passed legislation on December 3, 2013, that was touted as a “fix” for the state’s $100 billion public pension crisis (it isn’t), something tells me an accommodation may be reached with fellow Democrats running the City of Chicago so they don’t have to pay the full amount of the state-required $600 million contribution due next year to stabilize police and fire pension funds.

That goes for those large Illinois communities as well.

Watch all the back-patting go on should that “fix” materialize as well.

And the inevitable “blowback” down the road.

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

UPDATE: From Fran Spielman over on the Chicago Sun-Times website early Tuesday morning:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and House Speaker Michael Madigan Monday stripped out controversial language from city pension legislation that had authorized the City Council to impose a property-tax hike, putting the stalled measure back on the fast-track at the state Capitol.

Madigan, D-Chicago, filed an amendment to Senate Bill 1922 after the House adjourned Monday without taking any action on the stalled legislation. Sources now expect the legislation to be voted upon as early as Tuesday.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Sources:

Pierog, Karen. “UPDATE 1-Proposed Chicago pension changes positive step but no fix -Moody’s.” Reuters. 7 Apr. 2014. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/07/usa-chicago-moodys-idUSL2N0MZ1AP20140407). 7 Apr. 2014.

Byrne, John and Garcia, Monique. “Quinn blasts Emanuel’s property tax hike for pensions.” Chicago Tribune. 7 Apr. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-quinn-blasts-emanuels-property-tax-hike-for-pensions-20140407,0,5432729.story). 7 Apr. 2014.

Koop, Chacour. “Illinois’ next pension issue: Police, firefighter funds.” Associated Press. 6 Apr. 2014. (http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140406/NEWS/140409562/-1/json/?tag=1). 7 Apr. 2014.

Spielman, Fran. “Analysis: Rahm’s pension bill revisions solve—and create—problems.” Chicago Sun-Times. 8 Apr. 2014. (http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/analysis-rahm%E2%80%99s-pension-bill-revisions-solve%E2%80%94and-create%E2%80%94problems/mon-04072014-728pm). 8 Apr. 2014.

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Signs Of The Time, Part 74

Any readers know who Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez is?

He was the young man charged with the attempted assassination of U.S. President Barack Obama back in November 2011 when he fired shots at the White House. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the attack.

The other day, I spotted this on the legal news site LawyerHerald.com. A staff writer reported Tuesday:

According to a Bloomberg report, an Idaho man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to firing an assault rifle at the White House from his car. 23 year-old Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez admitted to shooting at the White House from his car. His lawyers claimed in a memo to presiding US District Judge Rosemary Collyer that their client has the misguided idea that his action would make the public aware that an Armageddon is coming and that Ortega-Hernandez has no intention to hurt anyone nor President Barack Obama…

Ortega-Hernandez’s lawyers had asked Collyer to hand down only a 10-year jail sentence for their client…

According to the memo submitted to Collyer for a reduced sentence, Ortega-Hernandez allegedly fell under the influence of survivalists following a childhood where he has been living in many places and saw his parents separated…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Ah, it was the survivalists’ fault.

Apparently, Judge Collyer didn’t buy that argument.

But it was only a matter of time before someone demonized preppers/survivalists again after the Sandy Hook shootings.

Remember what was being said back then about one of the first victims of the violence- Nancy Lanza? I blogged on December 17, 2012:

I’ve come across two more web articles that don’t paint the modern survivalist movement in a positive light.

In fact, some might argue they’re attempting to connect prepping with the Sandy Hook school shootings.

From The Telegraph (UK) website yesterday:

Connecticut school shooting: Adam Lanza’s mother was preparing for disaster

The mother of the gunman who killed 20 children and seven adults in America’s worst school massacre, was a gun-proud “survivalist” preparing for economic collapse, it has emerged.

Nancy Lanza, whose gun collection was raided by her son Adam for Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook school, was part of the “prepper” movement, which urges readiness for social chaos by hoarding supplies and training with weapons.

“She prepared for the worst,” her sister-in-law Marsha Lanza told reporters. “Last time we visited her in person, we talked about prepping – are you ready for what could happen down the line, when the economy collapses?”

And then there’s this from The Independent (UK) site this morning:

Mother of Sandy Hook school gunman Adam Lanza was a ‘prepper’ survivalist preparing for economic and social collapse, say reports

Friends and family have portrayed Mrs Lanza as a paranoid ‘survivalist’ who believed the world was on the brink of violent collapse.

“Paranoid.” Regrettably, preppers and survivalists should expect more of the same from the establishment politicians, their “presstitutes,” and low-information supporters going forward.

Whereas I- not a prepper but gleaning ideas and knowledge from them- see these individuals for the most part as simply wanting to carry on with their lives and look after themselves, loved ones, and friends in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Did I mention that by their actions they free up police, fire, and other public safety agencies to attend to those who for some reason or another failed to prepare for a major crisis?

Paranoid, or actually patriots?

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

Source:

“Court hands out a 25-year prison sentence on White House shooter.” Lawyer Herald. 1 Apr. 2014. (http://www.lawyerherald.com/articles/5175/20140401/court-hands-out-a-25-year-prison-sentence-on-white-house-shooter.htm). 4 Apr. 2014.

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Graphic Shows Middle-Class Flight From Chicago

Back when I worked for a fire department in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, a veteran firefighter stopped by my office one day. I always assumed he was a lifelong resident of that area. He wasn’t. “Brendan” informed me that as a kid he grew up on Chicago’s West Side, near where the old Magic Kist Carpet billboard sign (those big neon red lips, remember?) used to be off the Eisenhower Expressway I think. I was told that the neighborhood was at one time very blue-collar, but by the late 60s-early 70s it was going to hell. His family saw what was happening to the area, and along with a number of other neighborhood families made the hard decision of leaving Chicago for something better in the suburbs.

I was reminded of that story when I came across a related one on the website of Chicago CBS affiliate CBS 2 last night. John Dodge reported:

The graphic that you are about to see is sobering, perhaps depressing, and you can’t take your eyes off it.

We have the exhaustive work of Daniel Kay Hertz, a masters student at the University Of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, to thank for that.

At the risk of sounding like an old carnival barker, step right up and watch the middle class of Chicago vanish before your eyes.

However, this is no side-show.

It shows the demise of the foundation of an American city.

Watch as the grey squares, which illustrate the middle class that dominated the most of the city’s neighborhoods in 1970s, quickly vanish over 40 years…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Dodge was right. The graphic (after the body of the piece) is sobering, to say the least.

But not surprising to long-time Chicagoland residents or someone who’s ever run into a “Brendan” and has learned about their origins.

By the way, if the name Daniel Kay Hertz rings a bell with regular Survival And Prosperity readers, it’s because I blogged about a comparison he performed last year of homicide rates in Chicago Police Department districts from 1990-1993 to rates from 2008-2011.

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

Source:

Dodge, John. “Amazing Graphic Shows Chicago’s Middle Class Disappear Before Your Eyes.” CBS 2. 3 Apr. 2014. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/04/03/amazing-graphic-shows-chicagos-middle-class-disappear-before-your-eyes/). 4 Apr. 2014.

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Must-Watch Speech: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke On Responsibly-Armed Americans

Heading north past the state line, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., is in the headlines again. Sheriff Clarke’s name may ring a bell with regular readers of Survival And Prosperity due to a memorable Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office PSA he recorded around the beginning of 2013. I blogged back on January 27, 2013

North of “Madiganistan,” there’s a new ad being aired on the radio:

I’m Sheriff David Clarke and I want to talk to you about something personal- your safety. It’s no longer a spectator sport- I need you in the game. But are you ready? With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal. Hide under a bed. Or you can fight back. But are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there. You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?

This safety message brought to you by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.

At a recent United States Concealed Carry Association Open House Event held in West Bend, Wisconsin, Sheriff Clarke spoke of that PSA and subsequent ones, including the support and disdain he received from them. Clarke told the USCCA open house audience:

I got tired of seeing the Second Amendment becoming the bastard child of the Bill of Rights. As far as I’m concerned, the Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment, it’s as important as the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures, it’s as important as the Fifth Amendment right to counsel, it’s as fundamental as the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and on and on and on.

And but for the Second Amendment, the other ones are not possible.

Because what leads to despots in our history- you first disarm people, you gain control of the media.

That gives rise to despots. And that’s the importance of an armed citizenry…

It’s a terrific speech about responsibly-armed Americans, which you can watch in its entirety (less than 15 minutes) below…

“Gutsy Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Delivers Unforgettable Speech at USCCA Event”
(Speech from 2:46 to 17:07)
YouTube Video

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

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Chicago Wakes To Proposed Property Tax Hike On April Fool’s Day

Many Chicagoans probably wish what’s being widely-reported in the local news this morning about a proposed property tax hike is just a silly April Fool’s joke.

It’s not.

Fran Spielman wrote on the Chicago Sun-Times website last night:

Chicago property owners will face $250 million in property tax increases over five years while city employees make increased pension contributions that will cost them at least $300 more a year, under landmark reforms unveiled Monday…

The new revenue the mayor had promised only after pension reform will come in the form of $50 million property tax increases for five straight years, beginning next year and continuing through 2019.

Top mayoral aides estimate that would cost the owner of a home valued at $250,000 with an annual property tax bill of $4,000 roughly $58 more or $290 over the five-year period. That’s on top of expected increases for the Chicago Board of Education and Chicago Park District…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A couple of thoughts here:

First off, is anyone really surprised this is happening?

Regular readers of this blog shouldn’t be.

Higher fees, fines, and taxes. Less government services.

I’ve been squawking this for quite some time now.


“Black Dynamite- Who saw that coming?”
YouTube Video

Second, a $250,000 home? When discussing a Chicago Board of Education property tax hike last August, I blogged:

$230,000? You’d be hard-pressed to find a home for that little money in my former stomping grounds on the Northwest Side.

The same holds true for a $250,000 one (especially if it’s a property big enough for a family and doesn’t require a ton of work).

Which means many of my old neighbors will be coughing up significantly more than just $58 annually/$290 over five years as a result of this proposed hike.

And they already pay a big chunk of change to the City’s coffers.

Third, Spielman added last night:

The bottom line, according to Emanuel, is a plan that spreads the burden between employees, retirees and homeowners without raising property taxes so high that it triggers a mass exodus to the suburbs…

“Mass” being the key word here, because an exodus has already started. Former Chicago residents who have awakened to the “writing on the wall” are moving to the suburbs (yours truly included), leaving Cook County, and departing the state.

The push to make “temporary” personal and corporate income tax hikes permanent and the pursuit of class warfare in the form of a proposed millionaire tax hike by the ruling political party in the city, county, and state certainly don’t help the situation either.

Fourth, I can’t stand when tax hikes are proposed despite the lack of significant belt-tightening. Think the City of Chicago is as lean-and-mean as it possibly can be with its operations and set-up?

As long as 50 aldermanic wards exist, I’d argue no.

Fifth, as it stands right now, there’s still a state-required $600 million contribution due next year from the City to stabilize police and fire pension funds that this proposed property tax hike doesn’t address and has to be dealt with. Hal Dardick an Bill Ruthhart reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

But the proposal the mayor and his top aides outlined late Monday would not address huge pension shortfalls for Chicago police, firefighters and teachers. Nor would it deal with the city’s most immediate, pressing financial problem: a state requirement to pay a whopping $600 million more toward police and fire pensions next year, a provision that could lead to a combination of tax increases, service cuts and borrowing

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You read right. Possibly more “tax increases, service cuts and borrowing” coming down the line shortly for Chicago residents.

Stay tuned…

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

Sources:

Spielman, Fran. “Pension deal pinches city workers and taxpayers.” Chicago Sun-Times. 31 Mar. 2014. (http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/exclusive-pension-deal-pinches-city-workers-and-taxpayers/mon-03312014-821pm). 1 Apr. 2014.

Dardick, Hal and Ruthhart, Bill. “Emanuel’s pension fix: Shrink benefits, raise taxes.” Chicago Tribune. 1 Apr. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-rahm-emanuel-pension-property-tax-increase-met–20140401,0,1662095,full.story). 1 Apr. 2014.

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Chicago To Host Nuclear Security Summit 2016

This morning, I found out Chicago will be hosting another international summit two years from now. Stacy St. Clair reported on the Chicago Tribune website a short time ago:

President Barack Obama will host the next nuclear security summit in Chicago in 2016, once again gathering world leaders in his hometown for a major international event.

Obama made the announcement this morning at the end of this year’s summit in the Netherlands, where the leaders from 53 countries participated. The exact date has not been announced.

This would be the second major international gathering held in Chicago during Obama’s presidency. In 2012, the city hosted a NATO summit that drew representatives from more than 60 countries as well as a sizeable group of protestors from around North America…

Ah yes, the protesters. I’m sure the Chicago Police Department are thrilled to hear of this announcement.

Here’s some video of the “civil disobedience” taking place at this year’s Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague:


“The Netherlands: Nuclear Security Summit draws protests”
YouTube Video

Not much unruliness going on from what I can see. Still, two years from now economic conditions may be significantly worse, with the gathering serving as a focal point for increased discontent.

For all you Chicagoans hoping to get out of Dodge during the summit, like St. Clair said, nothing’s been scheduled yet. However, the prior three summits have all taken place in late March-first part of April, if that helps.

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

Source:

St. Clair, Stacy. “Obama to host nuclear security summit in Chicago in 2016.” Chicago Tribune. 25 Mar. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-obama-to-host-nuclear-security-summit-in-chicago-in-2016-20140325,0,5154031.story). 25 Mar. 2014.

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Missing ABC7 I-Team Info About Illinois Concealed Carry Security Breach

Earlier tonight, my girlfriend and I were eating dinner in front of the TV when investigative reporter Chuck Goudie appeared with his latest ABC7 I-Team segment about a security breach with the Illinois Concealed Carry License application process. From the website of Chicago ABC affiliate Channel 7 late this evening:

The ABC7 I-Team has learned some people who applied for Illinois concealed carry gun permits are being notified of a computer glitch that may have allowed other applicants to see their personal information.

State police tell the I-Team the problem happened on the first day that people were able to apply using the Illinois concealed carry website. The problem was discovered January 5 and the letters sent out by state police are dated March 4…

A state police spokesperson says the problem lasted only during a short period of time and there’s no evidence any personal information was stolen.

The “investigative report” that my girlfriend and I watched on TV around dinnertime went into more detail about the extent of the “computer glitch,” including:

1. Credit card, debit card, and Social Security numbers could have been viewed

2. At least 2 unauthorized views were detected

Not cool.

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

Source:

“Some Illinois concealed carry applicants notified of security breach.” ABC7. 10 Mar. 2014. (http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=9461309). 10 Mar. 2014.

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Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy On IL Concealed Carry Licenses: ‘Stand By And Watch What Happens’

Many Chicagoans already know that Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy is not a big fan of Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses, or CCLs. And the former New York cop is predicting things will get ugly with these additional guns on the street- despite their being in the possession of vetted, law-abiding residents who’ve received more training than a number of their counterparts in the 49 others states where concealed-carry became legal prior to Illinois. From the website of Chicago CBS affiliate Channel 2 this past Tuesday:

McCarthy, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the law allowing Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms in public, warned there will be confrontations that could escalate into a deadly shooting – similar to January, when a retired police officer shot and killed a man who had been using his cell phones during the previews at a movie theater; or when a Florida man shot four teens – killing one – during an argument over loud rap music in 2012.

“There are going to be confrontation situations. We’re hearing stories across the country about people getting shot over ‘thug music,’ right? Or somebody throwing popcorn in a movie theater,” he said. “These things are going to come, as sure as we’re standing here.”

He said deadly shootings involving people supposedly acting in self-defense will be seen in Illinois now that residents can carry guns in public.

Stand by and watch what happens. The answer to gun violence is not more guns,” McCarthy said…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

A few things worth noting here…

“We’re hearing stories across the country about people getting shot over ‘thug music,’ right?” Stories? Or story? If we’re talking about recent shootings over “thug music,” I’m only aware of the Jacksonville, Florida, incident that took place on November 23, 2012, which the mainstream media and anti-gun/gun “control” supporters have been desperately trying to equate with the Trayvon Martin shooting.

“Or somebody throwing popcorn in a movie theater?” The individual charged with shooting the popcorn-tosser is a retired Tampa Police Department captain. While studying the gun “debate” these past several years, I’ve observed calls to no longer exempt retired/separated civilian law enforcement officers from those restrictions placed on other civilians (military police personnel I’ve worked in the past were quick to make that point) regarding the ownership/carrying of firearms. The incident involving Captain Reeves may have added fuel to the flames as far as this exemption is concerned. I’m not so sure Superintendent McCarthy wants to keep dragging up the incident involving Captain Reeves, lest more attention be focused on the above (although I understand the retired police officer did possess a valid Florida concealed-carry permit).

“Stand by and watch what happens.” Superintendent McCarthy predicts “deadly shootings involving people supposedly acting in self-defense will be seen in Illinois now that residents can carry guns in public.” Possibly.

To which I add this forecast. Based on the experiences of the 49 others states with legal concealed-carry, there won’t be “blood running in the streets” as the anti-gun/gun “control” crowd would like to make you think is going to happen.

Instead, numerous acts of violence will be thwarted by Illinois CCL holders.

And to tweak what Superintendent McCarthy said earlier, deadly shootings involving people acting in self-defense will be seen in Illinois now that residents can carry guns in public.

Criminals are bound to get perforated by law-abiding citizens in this changed environment more in favor of the victims.

All the while, I’ll be playing the world’s smallest violin…

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

Source:

“McCarthy Warns Of Dangers From Concealed Carry Law.” CBS 2. 4 March 2014. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/03/04/mccarthy-warns-of-dangers-from-concealed-carry-law/). 7 Mar. 2014.

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First Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses To Be Issued Next Week?

The first Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses, or CCLs, could be issued by the Illinois State Police next week. From the Associated Press yesterday:

Illinois State Police say they’re getting ready to issue the state’s first concealed carry permits in the coming days.

Police spokesman Monique Bond says that the first licenses could be issued by next week. Authorities were hoping to have the first permits issued in the spring…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

It still blows my mind that legal concealed-carry will finally be a reality here in Illinois in (quite possibly) just a couple of days.

I suspect it will take a Herculean effort by Illinois CCL holders to prevent blood from running in the streets, based on what happened in the other 49 states.

Just kidding.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the day when the bad guys in the “Land of Lincoln” finally have to worry about getting perforated by Illinoisans legally licensed to carry handguns.

For more information about the Illinois Concealed Carry License, drop by the Illinois State Police website’s “Concealed Carry Licensing” area here.

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

Source:

“Illinois State Police Prepare to Issue First Concealed Carry Permits.” Associated Press. 26 Feb. 2014. (http://www.wifr.com/home/headlines/Illinois-State-Police-Prepare-to-Issue-the-First-Concealed–247233201.html). 27 Feb. 2014.

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Thursday, February 27th, 2014 Firearms, Government, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments

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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