situational awareness

Congratulations Chicago Blackhawks!

Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks on their 2015 Stanley Cup win…


Dick Marx Orchestra and Choir, Here Come the Hawks! (1968)
YouTube Video

Any old school Blackhawks fans remember the sound of the “war drums” (boarded-up windows being pounded on) raining down from the rafters of the old Chicago Stadium when play got tense?

Good times. I picked up quite a few life lessons there with my family having Blackhawks season tickets in the 80s. Like situational awareness (errant slap shots can do a lot of damage to the unprotected human body). Plus food security (using food condiments where obnoxious/drunk members of the public can access it might not be a good idea). And Ron Duguay sucks.

“Duguay sucks! Duguay sucks!”

To this day I still don’t know why this particular Red Wings player drew the ire of certain Chicago fans. Perhaps it was that rocked-out hair of his (no helmet needed).

Anyway, reminiscing over. Back to our regularly-scheduled programming…

Christopher E. Hill
Editor

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Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 Food, Housekeeping No Comments

Chicago-Area Shopping Malls Targeted By Terrorists?

Muslim extremists are calling for terror attacks directed against Western malls. From the website of Chicago CBS affiliate Channel 2 Saturday night:

A terror group with ties to al-Qaeda released an online video Saturday appearing to call for attacks on Western malls, including at least one U.S. shopping center.

There is no credible, serious threat to a location in the Chicago region, but CBS 2’s Chelsea Irving reports one area police agency is taking the message seriously.

In the 75-minute video released Saturday, Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab calls for lone followers to attack Western targets.

The speaker specifically mentions the Mall of America in Minnesota. In the last five minutes of the video, the logo of Westfield shopping centers appears. The addresses in the video are for Westfield malls in England, but the speaker calls for attacks on any Westfield mall.

In the U.S., Westfield has 38 malls in eight states. Three are in the Chicago region: in Aurora, Skokie and Vernon Hills…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Specifically, those Chicago-area shopping malls are Westfield Fox Valley (Aurora), Westfield Old Orchard (Skokie), and Westfield Hawthorn (Vernon Hills).

Keep in mind authorities say “there is no credible, serious threat to a location in the Chicago region.” Personally, I’d just as soon visit these three malls as any other these days, maintaining optimal situational awareness during those “shopping sprees.”

You can read the entire CBS 2 piece on their website here.

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

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Signs Of The Time, Part 78

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Couple of things here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

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

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

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FBI, DHS Warn Syria Airstrikes May Embolden ‘Homegrown Violent Extremists’

When I heard last night that the U.S. and its allies had initiated airstrikes against Muslim extremists in Syria, I wondered how long it would be before a retaliatory attack was attempted. It’s nice to see the Feds anticipating the same from the jihadists and/or their sympathizers. From an Associated Press piece today on the FOX News website:

There is no indication of advanced Al Qaeda or Islamic State group terror plotting inside the United States, but airstrikes in Syria may have temporarily disrupted attack planning against U.S. or Western targets, according to a security bulletin Tuesday from the FBI and the Homeland Security Department…

In a five-page Joint Intelligence Bulletin obtained by The Associated Press, the government warned that airstrikes targeting the Al Qaeda-linked Khorasan and Islamic State groups could also embolden homegrown violent extremists inside the United States who already have grievances about the U.S. because of military action in predominantly Muslim countries.

While the intelligence community hasn’t viewed Islamic State an immediate threat to the U.S. homeland, officials have been very concerned about Khorasan operatives plotting attacks against the U.S.

The Khorasan group is a cadre of veteran Al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If “homegrown violent extremists inside the United States” do in fact strike, how will they carry out their assault? Bombing, mass shooting, poisoning some restaurant salad bar? Who knows? But keep the following in mind- something I blogged back in April 2011:

Consider what Gabe Suarez, a decorated veteran of Southern California law enforcement and president of the personal safety training outfit Suarez International, wrote in his blog Warrior Talk News on May 6, 2010:

Put yourself in the enemy’s shoes….err, sandals…..which option would YOU pick? Which offers the easiest implementation, least chance for detection, greatest chance for success – bombs or bullets?

The mass shooting and not the improvised and unsuccessful bomb is the “easy button”, and that fact cannot be ignored by us as it will not be overlooked by the enemy.

So what do we do?

1). We must identify who the enemy is. Please go back and peruse the list of events above, both failed and successful. What is the common thread connecting the attackers?

2). Carry your gun everywhere…..a REAL fighting gun….not some sissy “suitable for CCW” 5 shot “self defense gun”. The times are not such that concern over a mugger is the issue anymore. Carry extra ammo with you. It is not difficult at all to carry a full sized pistol with a couple of extra magazines. I have done so since 1983.

These are not the times to be seeking political correctness over public safety. It is not the time to fear false labels created and assigned by the mass media. The Israelis learned that lesson long ago. After all is said and done, it is better to be a live “intolerant racist” (as the MSM would call us) than a dead “co-existing”, tolerant “paragon of political correctness”. I suspect that had Shahzad’s bomb been successful, lots of tolerant, “co-exist” types would have died right alongside us “intolerant racists”. The times call for careful profiling and suspicious curiosity as well as daily preparation.

Dress everyday as if you had a business meeting in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 with a bunch of Jews, Christians, and atheist Americans at a cafe right across the street from the Jihad School Of Terrorism.

Be ready or be a victim.

“Be ready or be a victim.” Great words to live by.

Add to readiness a healthy dose of situational awareness, and I suspect those practicing both are leaps and bounds ahead of most Americans in being prepared to anticipate and react to the violent acts of some jihadist or sympathizer the Feds are warning about in that latest security bulletin.

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

Source:

“DHS says Syria airstrikes may have temporarily ‘disrupted’ terror plotting.” Associated Press. 23 Sep. 2014. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/23/dhs-says-syria-airstrikes-may-have-temporarily-disrupted-terror-plotting/). 23 Sep. 2014.

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Al-Qaeda Still Desires To Kidnap Americans, Other Westerners

“Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida, its affiliated organizations, and other terrorist groups continue to plan and encourage kidnappings of U.S. citizens and Westerners…”

-U.S. Department of State website, “Worldwide Caution” last updated April 10, 2014

Al-Qaeda is desperate to kidnap Americans. Reuters reported Saturday:

The al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has called on Muslims to kidnap westerners, particularly Americans, who could then be exchanged for jailed jihadists including a blind Egyptian cleric convicted in 1995 of conspiring to attack the United Nations and other New York landmarks.

In a wide-ranging audio interview, the al-Qaida leader expressed solidarity with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is facing a violent crackdown by the army-backed government in Egypt, and urged unity among rebels in their fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the Zawahiri tape, but the voice resembled that of the al-Qaida leader.

“I ask Allah the Glorious to help us set free Dr Omar Abdel-Rahman and the rest of the captive Muslims, and I ask Allah to help us capture from among the Americans and the westerners to enable us to exchange them for our captives,” said Zawahiri, according to the Site website monitoring service…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Regular observers of the terrorist group will point out this isn’t the first time the Al-Qaeda leadership has called for the kidnapping of “Westerners.” Chelsea Carter reported on the CNN website back on October 28, 2012:

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is calling on Muslims to kidnap Westerners, citing the success in the abduction of American aid worker Warren Weinstein in Pakistan.

In a two-part, more than two-hour video posted on jihadist websites, al-Zawahiri called for the abductions as part of a vow not to “spare any efforts” to free Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

“God the great and almighty granted us success to capture the Jewish American Warren Weinstein,” al-Zawahiri said in the video posted Wednesday, according to the terror monitoring group SITE Intelligence.

“We are seeking, by the help of God, to capture others and to incite Muslims to capture the citizens of the countries that are fighting Muslims in order to release our captives.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Traveling abroad anytime soon? It’s probably wise to exercise a good deal of situational awareness and take a number of other precautions before and during the trip.


“STRATFOR: How to Travel Safely – Tips from a Former Agent”
YouTube Video

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

Sources:

“Al-Qaida leader urges kidnapping of westerners to exchange for jihadists.” Reuters. 26 Apr. 2014. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/26/al-qaida-ayman-zawahiri-kidnapping-westerners). 28 Apr. 2014.

Carter, Chelsea. “Al Qaeda leader calls for kidnapping of Westerners.” CNN.com. 28 Oct. 2012. (http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/27/world/asia/al-qaeda-kidnap-threat/). 28 Apr. 2014.

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Signs Of The Time, Part 71

There’s talk this week in the mainstream media about a “new” game that certain teenagers are playing with increasing frequency these days:

The “Knockout” game.

New game my butt. That violent attack is old news here in the Chicagoland area. Kim Janssen reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website back on July 16, 2012:

Three teenagers accused of killing a 62-year-old father-of-12 in West Rogers Park were playing a game called “Pick ‘em out and knock ‘em down” when they videotaped themselves punching him in the face, prosecutors say.

Malik Jones, 16, Nicholas Ayala, 17, and Anthony Malcolm, 18, were caught after the video of Jones fatally punching Delfino Mora was posted on Jones’ Facebook page, according to authorities.

The three were playing a “game where the offender picks an innocent victim and knocks him out by striking him and likely robbing him as well,” Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Terry Clancy told Judge Israel Desierto in court Monday.

Anyway, back to new instances of this “game” being played. Chris Lingebach reported on the Washington D.C. CBS website on November 16:

A terrifying new ‘game’ that’s already caused deaths in Syracuse, St. Louis and New Jersey is sweeping the nation, and it preys upon unsuspecting people walking the streets, anywhere.

A recent report from New York-based CBS 2 shed light on the growing trend, displaying unsettling footage of teens participating in this game – which goes by the name ‘Knockout’ – and involves randomly targeting passersby, with the ultimate goal being to knock them out with one punch as they walk by.


“New Jersey Teens Attack People With Knockout Game!!!!”
(Warning! Graphic Violence)
YouTube Video

Little turds. I hope the victims in these attacks weren’t messed up too bad and had speedy recoveries.

In addition, I wonder if more “street smarts” and situational awareness wouldn’t have changed the outcome of these incidents?

Sources:

Janssen, Kim. “Prosecutor: Teens killed man in ‘knock ‘em down’ game.” Chicago Sun-Times. 16 July 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/13817699-761/prosecutor-teens-killed-man-in-knock-em-down-game.html). 20 Nov. 2013.

Lingebach, Chris. “Potentially Fatal ‘Knockout’ Game Targeting Strangers May Be Spreading.” CBS DC. 16 Nov. 2013. (http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/11/16/potentially-fatal-knockout-game-targeting-strangers-may-be-spreading-to-d-c/). 20 Nov. 2013.

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

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Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 Crime, Public Safety, Self-Defense, Signs Of The Time No Comments

Illinois Prepares For Summer Mob Attacks

Just in time for the flash mob/mob attack/wilding season in Chicago. Monique Garcia reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

People who use social media and other means of electronic communication to organize mob attacks could face tougher penalties under legislation House lawmakers sent to Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday…

Under the measure, which was approved 102-6, a judge would have the discretion to impose a more severe sentence on anyone who used social media, text messaging or email to orchestrate a mob attack.

According to the website of Chicago AM radio station 89 WLS yesterday:

During debate, Chicago democrat Monique Davis said this goes too far.

“Sometimes something occurs that creates what people see as mob action when it’s really just a bunch of young people with nothing to do! They can’t afford to go to the park because it costs money for a five or six week program. They can’t go free like I used to do!”

Try selling that that to the residents and tourists who’ve been assaulted, attacked, and injured, and downtown retailers who’ve had their wares shoplifted en masse, by these “young people with nothing to do.”

I suspect that when these residents, tourists, and businesses call in a flash mob/mob attack/wilding to the Chicago Police Department, it’s the real deal. If not, then I challenge Representative Davis and/or her staff to share those “sometimes something occurs” instances with Survival And Prosperity readers, at which time I’ll happily amend this post.

In the meantime, as summer rapidly approaches, residents and tourists would be wise to exercise situational awareness and be prepared to avoid or defend themselves as necessary when in downtown Chicago in the event such criminal activity occurs.

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

Sources:

Garcia, Monique. “Flash mob attack bill before Illinois governor.” Chicago Tribune. 11 May 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-flash-mob-crackdown-20130511,0,5034826.story). 11 May 2013.

“Illinois House approves crack down on violent flash mobs.” 89 WLS. 10 May 2013. (http://www.wlsam.com/common/page.php?pt=Illinois+House+approves+crack+down+on+violent+flash+mobs&id=37413&is_corp=0). 11 May 2013.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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