robbery

SP Intel Report- October 26, 2015

Welcome to the inaugural post of the “SP Intel Report.” On October 15 I blogged big changes were coming to Survival And Prosperity starting October 19. I wrote:

Each day will begin with an “SP Intel Report” (if it’s warranted), where I’ll be focusing on current events locally (Chicagoland area), nationwide, and overseas which I think readers should be aware of…

As luck would have it, my computer crashed October 19, delaying the implementation of these changes.

One week later, I’ve managed to repair my laptop, and I’m back in the saddle again.

So off we go then…

Chicago

“If City Hall ‘loses’ downtown to the bad guys… you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.”

Survival And Prosperity, May 4, 2011

The Chicago news media is reporting that two tourists from Minneapolis were robbed at knifepoint by three men near Oak Street Beach late Saturday evening. The male victim was stabbed during the holdup while trying to protect his girlfriend. Two of Chicago’s more upstanding residents have been charged with the crime (police are still looking for a third individual).

The last time I blogged about a tourist getting knifed downtown was back during the 2012 holiday season. Even though it’s been a while, I fear we’ll be hearing of similar incidents with increased regularity as the city’s financial health deteriorates and the Chicago Police Department keeps receiving lip service but not bodies (meaning manpower).

There will probably be plenty of the other based on recent trends.

Note to self. Study up on defense against knives.

Illinois

Speaking of deteriorating financial health, the State of Illinois was hammered by two of the major credit rating agencies in the past week. On October 19, Fitch Ratings announced in a press release:

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the rating on $26.8 billion in outstanding Illinois general obligation (GO) bonds to ‘BBB+’ from ‘A-‘.

In addition, the ratings on bonds related to the state based on its appropriation have been downgraded to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Three days later, Moody’s Investors Service stated in a release:

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the State of Illinois’ $26.8 billion of general obligation bonds to Baa1 from A3, while also lowering ratings on the state’s sales-tax (Build Illinois) bonds to Baa1 from A3, and on the state’s subject to appropriation bonds (issued by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and for the state’s Civic Center program) to Baa2 from Baa1. The outlook for all of these obligations remains negative…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Keep in mind the following observations by Karen Pierog over on the Reuters website on October 22:

Both general obligation bond ratings are now just three steps above the “junk” level… The downgrade by Moody’s marked the 17th by major credit rating agencies for Illinois since 2003… Even before this week’s downgrades, Illinois had the lowest credit ratings among the 50 U.S. states. Ratings histories from the three major credit rating agencies indicate few states have ever had their GO ratings fall below the A level…

Faced with a $105 billion unfunded public pension liability and a bill backlog of around $7 billion, I suspect Illinoisans will be on the hook for some sort of tax hike(s) in the near future.

International

Any Survival And Prosperity readers skeptical about the future existence of the Internet? Personally, I won’t be surprised if it goes kaput one day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m somewhat of a techie (driven by needs, not wants) and love the Internet. But I’m not sold on its staying power due to frailties with its infrastructure. A couple of years ago I remember reading about an elderly Georgian woman accidently cutting off neighboring Armenia’s access to the World Wide Web for up to five hours- using only a spade. And now there’s this from The New York Times website this past Sunday. David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt reported:

Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.

The issue goes beyond old worries during the Cold War that the Russians would tap into the cables — a task American intelligence agencies also mastered decades ago. The alarm today is deeper: The ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So the Russians could switch off the Internet. Or a rogue Uncle Sam could do it and blame the Russkies.

I told my girlfriend her brilliant nephew should get into the BBS game. Wave of the future?


“Apple II on a BBS in 2014!”
YouTube Video

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

Sources:

Sobol, Rosemary Regina. “$500K, $950K bails set for 2 accused of robbery, stabbing near Oak Street Beach.” Chicago Tribune. 26 Oct. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-police-2-held-following-armed-robbery-stabbing-near-oak-street-beach-20151026-story.html). 26 Oct. 2015.

Pierog, Karen. “UPDATE 2-Illinois bond rating cut again over budget impasse.” Reuters. 22 Oct. 2015. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/22/illinois-downgrade-moodys-idUSL1N12M2L120151022). 26 Oct. 2015.

Sanger, David E. and Schmitt, Eric. “Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort.” The New York Times. 25 Oct. 2015. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/world/europe/russian-presence-near-undersea-cables-concerns-us.html?_r=1). 26 Oct. 2015.

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Chicago Train Passengers Robbed At Gunpoint

“The National Rifle Association backs conceal-carry being extended to public transportation. Now the Chicago Transit Authority is weighing in, saying, ‘No way.’

The Chicago Transit Authority carries 1.6 million riders a day. The National Rifle Association says those riders should have the right to carry guns on board busses and trains under any Illinois conceal-carry law…

“We think it would be disastrous to allow passenger to carry concealed weapons on our trains and buses,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

Claypool said Thursday that the transit agency would fight all attempts to allow gun-carrying passengers on board trains and buses, even if legislators allow drivers to have guns in their personal vehicles…”

-Chuck Goudie, ABC 7 Chicago website, February 21, 2013

I’ll bet Survival And Prosperity readers could have guessed what was coming down the pipeline for the CTA.

The Chicago news media is reporting that a number of Chicago Transit Authority train passengers fell prey to armed robbers late this afternoon. Carlos Sandovi wrote on the Chicago Tribune website:

Two men armed with guns robbed several people on the Orange Line CTA train this afternoon, police said.

The armed robberies occurred at 4:15 p.m. as the train was between the Halsted Street and Roosevelt Road stops on the Orange Line, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Thomas Sweeney.

The men, whose descriptions were not immediately available, went into a train car on that line and announced an armed robbery, said Sweeney.

They robbed several people and fled with items when the train arrived at the Roosevelt stop, police said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I thought CTA trains were supposed to be “gun-free” zones? As a matter of fact, it says so right here on their website.

“Gun-free” zones. What a cruel joke. Glad to hear the passengers made it through the ordeal okay, considering one of them reportedly resisted (successfully) being robbed.

She’s lucky, if you ask me. More-hardened criminals might have turned to violence to make an example out of her for the others.

Hope the police catch these creeps.

As for the CTA and its riders? Something like this will probably happen again, unfortunately.

Why? It’s a “gun-free” zone. And criminals love gun-free zones.

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

Source:

Sandovi, Carlos. “Cops: 2 armed men robbed passengers on Orange CTA Line.” Chicago Tribune. 16 July 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-cops-2-armed-men-robbed-passengers-on-orange-cta-line-20140716,0,3250364.story). 16 July 2014.

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‘No Guns Allowed’ Signs Bad For Illinois Businesses?

A while back, I read something in one of the local papers about suburban Chicago businesses debating whether or not to post “no guns allowed” signage at their establishments once concealed-carry is in place in Illinois.

Their worry is that should they post these signs, will they lose business?

It’s a legitimate concern, if you ask me. Consider my experience with such signage…

Regular readers know I travel back-and-forth between the Chicago area and my family’s home in Wisconsin. I used to be a frequent visitor at the gas station down the street from the Wisconsin place. Not so much anymore. One reason why that’s the case is that shortly after the State of Wisconsin enacted concealed-carry in late 2011, I noticed a “no guns allowed” sign hanging near the entrance.

I expect violent crime will get steadily worse down the road. I suspect a significant number of gas stations are going to be robbed. I also suspect those stations posting signage prohibiting firearms may be at more risk of being targeted.

Personally, I already feel safer conducting business at gas stations which don’t turn away patrons permitted by the State of Wisconsin to carry a firearm on their person and who may keep the bad guys at bay by causing them to worry about whether or not they’re armed.

I respect the right of the Illinois business owner to decide how he/she wants to run their enterprise. At the same time, should they post “no guns allowed” signage at their establishment, they shouldn’t be surprised when I avoid doing business there.

IL No Guns Allowed Sign

Illinois State Police-approved “no guns allowed” sign
Or is it just “no Beretta 92s allowed”?

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

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Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 Business, Crime, Firearms, Self-Defense No Comments

Chicago’s Sears Tower Robbed

Chicago’s criminal element keeps growing more brazen by the day.

I just heard that a bank in the old Sears Tower downtown was knocked-off this morning.

From the Chicago Sun-Times website:

A bank on the first floor of the Willis Tower was robbed Thursday morning.

The robbery happened about 11:10 a.m. at the Fifth Third Bank branch at 223 S. Wacker Dr., according to the FBI…

The robber implied he had a gun and got away with about $2,000, police said. No one was injured.

I would have thought police presence would have been significant in that part of the downtown area.

Then again, seeing that the Chicago Police Department has been redeploying cops from “safer” districts to the problem neighborhoods…

What’s next? City Hall?

Probably not, since any assets worth taking were pillaged long ago.

Ubi Est Mea, right Chicago?

Mike Royko is rolling his eyes right now.

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

Source:

“Man robs bank in Willis Tower.” Chicago Sun-Times. 7 Nov. 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/23600884-418/man-robs-bank-in-willis-tower.html). 7 Nov. 2013.

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Thursday, November 7th, 2013 Crime, Government, Public Safety No Comments

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke: Give Law-Abiding Folk Back Their Guns

Regrettably, I haven’t been able to spend as much time up at my family’s residence in Wisconsin this summer as I would have liked to- with the new house and all.

Even though it’s only an hour-and-a-half away, the differences between the rural atmosphere there and Chicagoland is pretty substantial when it comes to a number of things.

Including firearms and self-defense.

In Chicago and many neighboring communities, the local politicians and their appointed police chiefs would rather you call 911 and leave it at that when your life is threatened (Colorado “peeing and vomiting” response may be an option too).

But across the “Cheddar Curtain”…

Gitte Laasby reported on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website on August 25:

People who shoot someone in self-defense should be able to get their guns back within 48 hours of being cleared of criminal charges, Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. told a crowd of more than 100 people who packed Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall on Milwaukee’s south side Sunday.

The crowd had gathered to attend a concealed-carry class at Kochanski’s. That’s the tavern where owner Andy Kochanski shot and killed a would-be robber this month.

Prosecutors announced last week that they would not charge Kochanski because he acted lawfully in defense of himself and two customers, but Kochanski has not yet received his gun back, Clarke said.

Clarke said Sunday that he intends to lobby some legislators to mandate expedited return of such weapons to people such as Kochanski.

“They’re taking his freedom away to possibly have to act again tonight,” said Clarke, who was dressed in brown cowboy boots, jeans and a cowboy hat. “If Andy would have reached for the phone instead of his firearm, we might have been out here today for a memorial service for Andy.”

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 the year. I blogged back on January 27:

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.

By the way- Gitte? Cowboy boots/hats? Milwaukee beer halls? Wisconsin German-Americans?

I wouldn’t be surprised if the following isn’t played whenever Sheriff Clarke steps foot inside those pro-gun parts of Milwaukee County…


Gitte Hænning, “Ich will ‘nen Cowboy als Mann” (Live, 1963)
(“I want to marry a cowboy”)
YouTube Video

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

Source:

Laasby, Gitte. “Sheriff Clarke touts Concertina owner, calls for quick return of guns.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 25 Aug. 2013. (https://www.google.com/search?q=milwaukee+journal+sentinnel&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb). 26 Aug. 2013.

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Is Chicago At A Tipping Point?

Several incidents that recently took place in the city of Chicago lead me to suspect my girlfriend and I may have moved out of there just in the nick of time.

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I think the “Windy City” is gusting in the wrong direction when it comes to areas such as finance, public safety, and leadership.

Which sucks, since I want nothing more than the Midwest metropolis to do well.

That being said, get a load of these recent developments…

Back in January 2011 I started to blog about Chicago’s growing problem with flash mobs, flash mobbery, mob actions, wildings, what have you. I subsequently warned in May of that year:

If City Hall “loses” downtown to the bad guys- or, in this case, bad boys and girls- you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.

You listenin’ Rahm?

More than two years later, the downtown is being “lost.” Wilding in the area is being reported in both the mainstream and alternative news media with increasing regularity. So much so that even this appeared in the Sunday Chicago Tribune paper:

Two visitors to Chicago received a rude welcome to the city Friday when one was robbed by a group of city teens and the other was punched while trying to help, officials said.

The two visitors – a 15-year-old Florida girl and a 51-year-old Michigan woman – were both walking on the Mag Mile Friday evening when the older woman was robbed of her iPhone by a group of eight juveniles, officials said…

“We had only been in town four hours and I got robbed,” Tammy said with the hint of a laugh during a telephone interview Saturday evening. “Welcome to Chicago.”

Welcome to Chicago, indeed.

The cat’s out of the bag so much that regarding the “Magnificient Mile”, aka Michigan Avenue, the storied boulevard is now being called “Muggers’ Mile.” From Chicago ABC affiliate Channel 7 News last night:

The Guardian Angels went as far as saying the “Mag Mile” is well on its way to becoming the “Muggers Mile.”


Channel 7 News Chicago Video

Instead of the usual “crime is down” line that’s been regularly touted by the Chicago Police Department this year, the Channel 7 News reporter in the segment, Michelle Gallardo, noted:

And while not all cell phone robberies are reported, police did insist in pointing out that in the last 28 days, only 3 robberies have been filed in this area.

Only 3 robberies in the last 28 days? That’s hard to believe.

The popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop shed some light on this matter early this morning. SCC wrote:

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?

Sadly, I’m convinced the wilding will continue to get worse because of the ongoing Chicago Police manpower shortage and the punks only getting slaps on the wrist. City Hall and CPD brass will keep dishing out the spin to try and prevent visitors from being scared away. And I suspect the Chicago mainstream news media will keep going along with the “official line” out of fear of finding themselves out in the cold, information-wise.

Don’t think the MSM isn’t doing this already? That story about the two out-of-town Magnificent Mile robbery victims from Friday night? It made the Tribune as “Breaking News” Sunday- on page 14.

And all that wilding that took place downtown around the Fourth of July? The Tribune covered the criminal activity- once the tourists cleared out of town.

At least they mentioned it though. I don’t recall hearing/reading anything about the wildings anywhere else around town.

Let’s see. Finances. Public safety. Oh yeah- political leadership. Anyone familiar with the word nepotism? From the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship.

I once worked as an assistant to a city administrator in a Chicago suburb where many residents happened to be related. This was reflected in the political structure of the city as well.

Not surprisingly, nepotism was not an unheard of event there.

I’ve experienced first-hand how family ties and nepotism can poison local, representative government.

Consequently, I believe responsible government should guard fiercely against this.

And then there’s the City of Chicago.

Mitch Dudek and Fran Spielman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website today:

Completing a process the Sun-Times first reported in January, state Rep. Deb Mell was sworn in Wednesday to replace her retiring father as alderman for the Northwest Side’s 33rd Ward…

Emanuel’s decision to write a Mell family sequel to Chicago’s long-running saga of “All in the Family” politics is unlikely to sit well with some independent voters.

It will look like a continuation of the longstanding tradition that has allowed fathers like former Ald. Anthony Laurino (39th) to handpick their daughters — like Marge Laurino — and wives — like Carrie Austin, who replaced her late husband, Ald. Lemuel Austin (34th).

After the swearing-in, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), who replaced his father as alderman in 1969, read the list of names of families that have had multiple members who served in the Chicago City Council.

It includes two Burkes, four Cullertons, two Ogdens, two Hoellens, two Knickerbockers, two Baulers, two Clark’s, three Keanes, two Sheridans, two Vrdolyaks, two Austins, two Beavers, two Sawyers, two Laurinos and now two Mells.

Too bad. The specter of Nepotism rears its ugly head again.

There should be no doubt that I predict tough times ahead for the city. But it’s not just me who harbors such suspicion. Even the Chicago FOX affiliate, Channel 32 News, is running a series called “Chicago at the Tipping Point” these days.

Chicago-based Survival And Prosperity readers can’t say the “signs” weren’t there.

I’ve already sprung into action.

Question is, what are they going to do about it?

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

Sources:

Regina Sobol, Rosemary. “Welcome to Chicago — now give me that iPhone.” Chicago Tribune. 21 July 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-chicago-crime-iphone-robbery-magnificent-mile-20130721,0,1601942,full.story). 24 July 2013.

Dudek, Mitch and Spielman, Fran. “State Rep. Deb Mell named to replace father in City Council.” Chicago Sun-Times. 24 July 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/21503401-761/state-rep-deb-mell-named-to-replace-father-in-city-council.html). 24 July 2013.

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Chicago’s Thanksgiving Weekend Violence

Regrettably, the long Thanksgiving weekend was a violent one here in the Chicago:

• 4 killed, 20 wounded from Wednesday to Sunday
• 451 murders in Chicago through November 11, the Chicago Police Department told the Chicago Sun-Times this weekend
• Friday morning, a 44-year-old woman was choked, knocked to the ground, and kicked in a failed purse-snatching incident just off the “Magnificent Mile” in Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast neighborhood- which recently suffered two other violent incidents. Once again, the man charged in the robbery attempt has an extensive rap sheet, is on parole, and was even wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle when arrested.
• Early yesterday morning, three individuals tried to rob a commercial bakery only a couple of minutes from me on Chicago’s Northwest Side. Some employees managed to escape the rest of their co-workers being rounded-up at gunpoint and forced into a walk-in cooler- and called police. The would-be robbers (killers?) fled the Jefferson Park establishment once they realized their “mistake.”

Even though the temperatures are dropping here in the “Windy City,” the criminals are not only still hard at work, but keep getting closer. Any remaining doubts I might have had about this being the case were dispelled the other weekend when an armed robbery went down in a nearby alley.

6 more months to go still before the planned move…

Source:

Lansu, Michael. “4 dead, 20 wounded in holiday weekend violence.” Chicago Sun-Times. 25 Nov. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/crime/16621046-418/4-dead-20-wounded-in-holiday-weekend-violence.html). 26 Nov. 2012.

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Monday, November 26th, 2012 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense No Comments
Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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