Monday, October 31, 2005

Some Monday Quick Hits

For the reader on the go:
  • Local fugitive goes national. Randy Rencher, the escaped convict who posed as a robbery victim and got a case report & ride to the "el" by some unwitting coppers, has resurfaced in Ohio, suspected of, what else? More bank robberies. This thing has the feel of one that might end badly at some point.
  • If they were smart, we'd be in trouble. Seems someone has worn a wire in the ongoing investigation of Governor Blago's administration (Channel 5; Channel 7; sun-times). That source we mentioned months ago who said Blago was a one-term seat warmer for Lisa Madigan is looking more and more prophetic by the hour.
  • Democrats are shocked! Shocked that Bush nominated a conservative to the Supreme Court (sun-times; tribune; Channel 5; Channel 7). Actually, so are we, seeing as how Bush has expanded government at a rate unseen since Johnson, doesn't care about border control, and is launching the costliest government program since FDR was in office. The funniest thing is the Dems are already on the defensive as the National Italian American Foundation is demanding apologies from liberals intent on smearing Alito as "Scalito."
  • Did anyone catch this story on Drudge? Seems CBS's John Roberts described the selection of Alito as "sloppy seconds" during a press conference today at the White House. One must wonder at the hatred the left holds of Bush that they will regularly bring in pornographic nomenclature to describe conservative nominees to the highest court in the land (like Howard Dean saying Bush is playing "Hide the salami" with the Miers nomination).

Over/Under Results

Unless something happened in the past couple of hours, everyone who had Starks over Halloween, wins! Congratulations!

Rumors abound once again of a Sergeant's class this week and the "merit" letters for Detective are due in next Monday. 100 or so new recruits started the Academy today so there are around 300 in the pipeline, which will just about cover the retirements from 2003, meaning we're still about 1,000 bodies down.

Hope everyone enjoyed the $40 bucks the city cut you all checks for when they screwed up the duty availability. Just once, wouldn't it be refreshing to see the city institute some program that didn't manage to f%&* everything up nine ways to Sunday? We think we have it figured out though - somebody, somewhere in the political process has a brother who's an accountant and somewhere around February, he's going to have posters up everywhere saying, "Remember how f#$&ed up your checks were this year with the retro and the federal taxes and the duty and uniform allowances? Well, for a mere $49.99, my firm of Dewey, Cheatem & Howe can keep you out of Federal prison. Contact us today!"

More Democratic Fantasies

Senator Harry Reid has said that the President and Vice President should apologize for the actions of their aides in the CIA leak case. They should also pledge not to pardon anyone convicted in the investigation.


Firstly, no one has been convicted of anything yet. For all we know, Scooter will be found innocent of all charges.

Secondly, why would Bush and Cheney have to apologize for the conduct of another person who appears to be over 21? Maybe Libby ought to apologize to Bush and Cheney for putting them in an unintended position, but to whom does Harry Reid expect Bush and Cheney to proffer this apology? Probably seventy percent of the American public couldn't pick Scooter out of a line up and couldn't identify his job title. If Bush has to apologize for Scooter, we want the democrats to apologize for Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Dick Durbin and the Clintons.

Thirdly, we'll spare lefty and shady of the time explaining away Clinton's last minute pardons of just about every administration official who sneezed in the presence of an FBI agent. Suffice it to say that the leader of the minority party in Congress ought not be making outrageous demands on the President or his people.

UPDATE: Now Harry Reid says Rove should resign. What a maroon.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Where You At?

Just out of curiousity, who is checking out this site from Jackson, Wyoming? Is it really Dick Cheney?

We were just cruising some of the site statistics and we noticed the Jackson visitor along with Leesburg and Sarasota, Florida; Caledonia, Wisconsin; and some people from Springfiled who seem to monitor the site for 3 and 4 hours at a time, reading dozens, sometimes hundreds of pages at one sitting.

Even More "Peacefulness"

  • An Islamic terror cell has smuggled two surface-to-air missiles into Europe in a plot to shoot down planes at one of France's main airports, it was claimed yesterday. French and Algerian extremists with links to al-Qa'eda bought the Russian SA-18 Grouse missiles from Chechens in 2002 and smuggled them via Georgia and Turkey, according to French anti-terror sources quoted in Le Figaro. Both missiles and several of the extremists are reportedly still at large.
Nothing like blowing a couple of airliners out of the sky to prove to everyone how "peaceful" and "oppressed" you are. Real "victims," eh?

And if that wasn't enough, this story out of Australia:
  • Police are being advised to treat Muslim domestic violence differently out of respect for Islamic traditions and habits. [ ... ] The instructions come in a religious diversity handbook given to Victorian police officers that also recommends special treatment for suspects of Aboriginal, Hindu and Buddhist backgrounds
What we appear to have here is a government sanctioning of separate laws based solely on religious background. So Islamic sanctioned wife beatings, "honor killings" and the like should be accommodated? Hindus fasting during the holy months should only be interviewed after sunset? Sikhs should not be disturbed while reading the Sikh Holy Script, a process that takes a minimum of 50 hours?

Political correctness run amok.

OK, this is just getting silly now

Sylvester Stallone, who did more to brand Vietnam veterans as whacked out loners and smoldering volcanoes of potential violence, has announced plans to make a FOURTH Rambo movie. Whoever is feeding this guy the overly moldy mushrooms, KNOCK IT OFF! We had trouble enough coming up with punchlines for his announcement of a sixth Rocky movie.

Quick! Who's going to make the next sequel that no one will ever see? Star Trek VII: The Search for Scotty? Sulu's Adventures on the Planet of the Amazons? How about Star Wars VII: Give George Lucas your Money? Or maybe Indiana Jones IV: An Incredibly Hot 20-something Archeologist that Digs Fossils like Harrison Ford? Are there NO original ideas in hollywood anymore?

More "Peaceful" Overtures

In it's never ending quest to be recognized as "The Religion of Peace," the followers of muhammed put forward the following arguments this weekend (all stories via LittleGreenFootballs):
  • Three christian girls, all about 16 years old, were beheaded in Indonesia. The BBC reports all three were on their way to class and the heads were found some distance away, one near the front steps of a church.
  • Saudi Arabia prepares to execute a 14 year old boy for a crime committed when he was 13, and in spite of the fact that the Saudi's are signatories to a treaty prohibiting the execution of persons under the age of 18
  • Three bombs rip through holiday crowds in New Delhi prior to the biggest Hindu and Muslim festivals. The United States issued travel warnings to its citizens a week ago of potential attacks in India and Indian authorities were in pursuit of a known al-qaeda terrorist. Coordinated, timed attacks are a hallmark of al-qaeda.
  • And for the third straight night, muslim riots in France over the deaths of two muslim teens who fled police by climbing the wall of a electrical relay station and were electrocuted. Upwards of 50 cars were torched over the three days and 23 officers injured. How come the mainstream media isn't reporting this?
  • The Prince of Wales will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11. The Prince, who leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day tour of the US, has voiced private concerns over America's "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam's strengths.

Pardon us your royalness, but we really don't see the ability to attack, kill and behead school girls, execute minor children, blow up families out shopping for the holidays and rioting continuously over two thugs fleeing police as "strengths." And at one time, neither did your country. Back when you ran India, it seems a British Officer came across a scene of "suttee." "Suttee" was the hindu traditional practice of cremating the widow upon the funeral pyre of her dead husband, alive. The British officer said that it was English custom to hang the chaps that did that sort of thing and the practice ceased (story via Mark Steyn).

Nowadays? This year, an English city council banned Piglet (from Winnie the Pooh) because a talking pig was deemed offensive to muslims (see coverage here, here, here). And were supposed to be less confrontational? Sorry, but no. We expect whomever forwarded the post about the two-year-old finding the gun and shooting the four-year-old to do same with this post and again accuse us of "racism." Perhaps this time, we'll get 2,000 visitors out of it?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Looking to Advertise

We think we are back for a bit. Hopefully, the repair holds and nothing else happens.

In the meantime, we have some more advertising material. More palm cards to be exact. Now, back in August, we sent out about 5,000 of these things to just about every Unit Rep we could find a listing for. And our readership spiked upwards to current levels of about 800+ hits a day. We'd like to up that a little more. So we need some advice.

We thought about resending cards, but those who distributed once might be sick of them. Those who trashed them might do so again out of spite. We thought about taking them to the top of very tall buildings in a few districts and tossing them into the wind, but that's not really efficient and might even lead to a lot of civilians wandering in. We don't want to be seen dropping them off. Any ideas? If anyone wants 20, 50 or 100 cards, you can drop us an e-mail at the contact name in our profile. You will receive no reply, but an envelope will arrive for you shortly via the mail. How else can we get these out to people who may be interested? Suggestions?

Technical Difficulties

The home computer took a giant dump this morning. We are posting from another undisclosed location (everyone, say "Hi" to Dick Cheney, who's graciously allowing us the use of his computer for a minute). We aren't sure how long it's going to take us to repair the damage, but we shall return to posting hopefully in the next day or so.
Anyhow, use this open post for whatever, we'll hopefully be up and running shortly. If we can locate Dick Cheney after his next move to an another undisclosed location, we'll update you.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Mountain Births a Molehill

Since Shady and Left have been talking about this in a couple of threads, here's a post just for them to pat each other on the back about how they've finally proved beyond all doubt that the Bush crime family outed a spy as revenge upon her husband's telling the truth about saddam and WMD and the whole war was just for oil and ... what's that?

Sources at AP and MSNBC tell us that the indictment ISN'T for outing a spy. Quoting from the article:
  • In his charges, Fitzgerald accused Libby of lying about his conversations with reporters, not outing a spy.
So Libby DIDN'T out an undercover agent. He lied about conversations with reporters to the grand jury and got indicted for that. But she WAS an undercover agent, wasn't she? Well, no, not really, according to New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof:
  • First, the CIA suspected that Aldrich Ames had given Mrs. Wilson's name (along with those of other spies) to the Russians before his arrest for espionage in 1994. So her undercover security was undermined at that time and she was brought back to Washington for safety reasons.
1994? Wasn't that about 6 years before Bush and Cheney and Scooter even arrived in Washington? So she had NO COVER since 1994 and was transitioning to a job at the State Department with diplomatic cover. Hmm. But she was outed from her non-existent cover as revenge, right? Because Joseph Wilson told the truth about WMD, yellowcake and saddam? Um, no. From the Wall Street Journal:
  • Mr. Wilson's original claims about what he found on a CIA trip to Africa, what he told the CIA about it, and even why he was sent on the mission have since been discredited. What a bizarre irony it would be if what began as a politically motivated lie by Mr. Wilson nonetheless leads to indictments of Bush Administration officials for telling reporters the truth.(emphasis mine)
So, the lying husband of a non-undercover CIA officer causes the Vice President's Chief of Staff to tell a lie to a reporter, who went to jail for a few months ... damn, is anyone else getting dizzy? Lying under oath to a Grand Jury is of course, a felony and ought to be punished appropriately, but for all the huffing and puffing and talk about "frog marching" various Bush administration officials into waiting squad cars and the like, what a let down, eh?

Note to Noelle Brennan

Maybe, as Federal Hiring Monitor, you ought to have a look at this. A Pass/Fail test for firefighters? And the "giant pool" of applicants will be "picked at random" for interviews and hiring? The city had better:
  • do the picks in a cinderblock room which will be completely empty and sealed with the lights on and a single window for you to view inside.
  • The names will be engraved on ping-pong balls and placed in a 55 gallon drum that rotates. A small monkey, specially trained for the task, shall enter the barrel, blindfolded, choose a ball and bring it to you and only you, passing it through a sealed airlock so as not to contaminate the pick.
Then, and only then, will we ever believe that the beginning process is truly random. Because as sure as god made little green apples, the sons (and sons of sons) of bosses, chiefs, captains and lieutenants will somehow score very well on the "interview" portion of the test and be pushed to the front of the hiring lists. This is the city after all, that created a police lieutenants exam that was passed by 100% of the test takers.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Did he Bounce?

After reading this story about the guy escaping from "Holy Tony's," we are forcibly reminded of old timers' stories about suspects who "fell down the stairs - all three flights - twice." Thank goodness it was County watching him rather than Marquette guys, because if it had been 010 watching him, someone might think that they had been hanging him out the window for info and he slipped, which of course, never really happened.


We mean it.

Stop looking at us like that.

Whispers and Rumors

So, since the Sox won it in four games and the players insisted on having the parade as soon as possible so they can all jet off to their winter homes and play some golf, will the city reschedule the canceled Sergeant's class? Don't bet money on it. We hear the hold up WASN'T the Sox at all. Word around 35th Street is that some political heavyweights were unhappy that certain people weren't on the list and they decided to hold up the whole thing while downtown re-did the "merit" list.

Now we realize that these stories pop up every single time there's a hold put on a list, but it's amusing all the same. Besides, it makes for good rumors. Any guesses on "Whom is Making Who" for this list?

Pension Board Election Results

Read them here or at the FOP Current Updates.
  • Information on Sergeants Trustee:
    472 Total Votes
    Sergeants Representative, Michael Lazzaro with 350 votes = 74.15%

    Information on Patrol Officers Trustee:
    2,485 Total Votes
    Police Officers Representative: Steve Robbins with 1175 votes = 47.28%

    Information on Retiree/Annuitants Trustee:
    5,698 Total Votes
    Retiree/Annuitant Representative: Kenneth Hauser with 3931 votes = 68.99%
Just a few observations here. 472 votes TOTAL for Sergeant Trustee? There are, what, 1,200 Sergeants on this job and 40% voted? That's pathetic. And ONLY 2,485 TOTAL VOTES FOR PO TRUSTEE?!?!?!??? And he didn't even win 50% of the votes cast? Pardon our incredulity, but what the fuck? That's a 22% turn out rate, which is beyond pathetic. It's downright embarrassing. How hard is it to fill out a scantron sheet and send it back in a paid envelope? Let's put it another way - 20% of the membership is deciding where the other 80% go. That's insane. Look at the retiree numbers. There are only about 6,000 retirees and almost 5,700 voted? Sheesh.

Oh my Aching Head

Did anyone get the license plate on that truck?

Sorry about the no posting today. Had quite a bit on our plates today. We're going to try to make up for it right now as we finally get a chance to surf the net and look for humorous stuff. Or not so humorous, who knows? Our head still hurts, but that could be the flu talking.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

World Champions!

It was a long time coming, but the Sox finally broke the baseball curse afflicting this city. Congratulations to the team that led the league since day one of the season and topped it off with a World Series Championship. Use this open thread for the remainder of the night and early Thursday as we will most likely be celebrating into the wee hours.

Any stories about riots or arrests can be tossed in here, too. What an amazing run.

UPDATE: Jermaine Dye MVP for the Series

So Close!

Sox up by one in the Eighth!

UPDATE: 3 outs away.

More Media Bullshit

Long post, but EVERYONE should read it.

We noticed around the internet and even in our little corner of it, people of the leftist persuation are trumpeting the deaths of 2,000 American service men and women as a reason to beat up on the president again. While 2,000 deaths should give all rational people pause and each is a tragedy to their friends, families and loved ones, we can't help but be appalled at how the media uses the specter of dead soldiers to attempt to shape public opinion and shake public confidence.

A little perspective: During the US Civil War, 7,000 soldiers on both sides died at Gettysburg, half during Pickett's doomed charge. Almost 600,000 died during the course of the four year war. Was preserving the Union NOT worth the lives of any of these men?

World War II cost America almost a quarter of a million soldiers over 4 years. At the Battle of the Bulge, 10,276 Americans lost their lives in the course of a month. Would anyone today claim that Hitler and nazism was a scourge NOT worth stopping and those 10,276 died for nothing? At Iwo Jima, 6,821 Americans lost their lives. A few months later 18,900 Americans died invading Okinawa. Would anyone today claim Japanese militarism was NOT worth stopping and that millions of Chinese and Koreans deserved their fate?

At "Frozen Chosin" in Korea, casualties tallied 2,500 dead for a single battle over 3 weeks. At it's peak, the war in Vietnam claimed 2,000 American lives A MONTH on more than one occasion.

And now we have Iraq. 2,000 dead is a tragedy, but it's also a bullshit number. Go to at this link. If you click on the top tool bar labeled "Fatality Details" and use the filters to look up "non hostile" deaths, you'll get 493 records. This number includes traffic accidents, suicides, illnesses, etc. But since they died in Iraq, the media and leftists use this number to slam the president and give aid and comfort to our enemies. Do any of these people remember Somalia? Blackhawk down? 18 US Army rangers died in a raid and the political administration at the time left skid marks pulling all the troops out. Osama and al-Qaeda specifically used this incident to motivate their followers into believing the US would cut and run and the first sight of blood. End result? 2,986 civilians slaughtered at their desks, in their travels, or as first responders to the attacks of 9/11.

Everyone should mourn the deaths of these soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, but recall that in the past 4 years, they have completely destroyed two corrupt regimes that would enslave you and yours because of the god(s) you do (or don't) worship and freed 50 million people living under an umbrella of terror. 1,500 combat deaths over the course of two-and-a-half years should stand as a tribute to the professionalism of today's armed forces and advances in protecting those who protect our freedoms.

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's ...

Harold Hohm?

Here's what we've heard bandied about: Hohm is running the new Helicopter Unit; it'll be attached to Special Operations; at least one of the people also in training was an Air National Guard pilot; the city is going to take one of the fire department helos and give it to the department; a second helo will be purchased; the choppers will be armed with Gatling guns and Air-to-Surface missiles and operate "weapons free" at all times (ok, we made that last part up ... but wouldn't it be cool?)

Here's what we don't know: What about the rest of the guys, including Hohm - do they all have pilot experience? Because training a unit to fly helicopters ought to take a bit more than 4 weeks; since SOS already covers the land and sea (Marine Unit), and now they're getting close air support, can the rest of us get some toys to play with? Tanks maybe? Or rifles? Rifles would be cool; who is in the unit and who is their whack? Did anyone see a request for pilot resumes or was this another typical city ... oh wait, stupid question.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Our Cardiac Workout for Today

These boys are determined to make it difficult on everyone, aren't they?

Someone Correct us if We're Wrong

We think (THINK) that tomorrow is the last day to get your pension board ballot in the mail. We think (THINK) is has to be postmarked and in by the 27th for counting on the 28th. We might (MIGHT) be mistaken, but we can't check on the FOP site because it's down (and has been down for more than a day according to our readers). Maybe one of the candidates has the deadlines posted on their sites - could someone check? We're busy watching the Sox comeback. Thanks.

The biggest problem facing this fraternal order is a lack of participation by the active members. We noticed a funny thing in the last election - every single retiree running for office? They won, every one of them. Granted, they were running for trustee spots, but that ought to give the young guys pause. Retirees ran for 5 or 6 or 7 spots and they won them all. The active membership ought to look at that display of cohesiveness and power and wish they could be that united when facing the next contract negotiations.

So go vote people, because if you don't vote, you really shouldn't be allowed to bitch.

Meeks' Church Detail

Ok, we've noticed a bunch of posts about this. Who can give us definitive info about how many on-duty cops are detailed to this. How much of it is typical PO exaggeration?

Don't look at us like that. The sun rises in the east, Chicago government is more crooked than your grandmother's spine and coppers exaggerate. Anyone who believes half of what goes on in the comments section ought to report downtown for a "wiz-quiz" tomorrow.

Someone find us something (ANYTHING!) that says 25 police officers are detailed to Meeks' church on-duty and we're sure someone will forward it to the media (hell, they tell federal lawyers about us, why wouldn't they tell the media?)

The City that Works (or doesn't)

Just got told by a friend of ours who works at 35th Street that all those phone calls they made Friday and Monday to the eligible personnel on the Sergeant's list were for naught. Today, Tuesday, they are calling everyone on the list back AGAIN and telling them the start date isn't Halloween now, it's been pushed back to at least 8 November, maybe beyond. These people kill us. If we owned stock in the city or the department, we'd be selling and selling short all the time. Who's got another rumor?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Is there a Lawyer in the House?

A decision in the Shakman v City lawsuit. Now if we could just get a cockro ... we mean a lawyer to explain it to us. What does it mean? What does this affect? Who does it apply to? Sgt Northern? What does Mike say?

Monday Fun Stories

A little under the weather today (no, were not hung over). We seem to have caught the nagging little cold that's making the rounds before flu season gets into full swing (hopefully, not avian flu).
  • Are Scandals Creating a Lawyer Shortage? We doubt it. Why, just this morning, we had to chase half a dozen off the front lawn and they've started nesting in the eaves again. Lawyers are like cockroaches - in fact, they are exactly like cockroaches. Six legs, living in garbage, and impervious to a nuclear holocaust. Actually, the article seems to be about a dearth of lawyers experienced in "Corruption Law," but we ask, "What better place to practice than Chicago? Practice makes perfect. In 5 years, we shall be the envy of all other corrupt cities without experienced attorneys."
  • Gun control fails in Brazil. In a landslide, the citizens of a nation with a higher rate of gun homicides than the US (despite having 100 million less people) 65% of the people said they trusted themselves to keep a gun for defense rather than the notoriously corrupt police and government. Pretty soon, the western hemisphere (with the exception of Chicago) will be the best armed hemisphere in the world.
  • This would definitely encourage faster play on golf courses. Or at least the unarmed would allow the armed to play through more often. But carrying a .45 around on the belt would really screw up our backswing (it doesn't do any good if it's in the bag), the ankle .38 would mess with our balance and don't even get us started on the shoulder holstered 9mm. Maybe if we just stuck a long gun in the bag disguised as an umbrella?

Is this the week?

Since everyone was burning up the rumor thread at the end of last week, let's try starting the week out with a rumor post on Monday instead. Who's leaving and who's going up?

Anyone have any idea what downtown has planned for mobilization for a Sox win? We can't see it nearly as bad as the Bulls riots were. Maybe 008, 009 and parts of 010 and 012? Who's got the order?

Time for a Little Reader Participation

We saw this suggestion in one of the comments sections and thought it'd make a decent post for today. Without naming names (to protect the innocent), what is the funniest Recruit/PPO story you've ever heard? Not veterans - recruits or PPOs

We'll begin with one we heard quite a few years back: seems a PPO completely unnerved his Patrol Specialist (Patrol Specialist, not FTO) one evening. You know that "swooshing" noise you hear as you drive past bridge supports? Well our Patrol Specialist and PPO were riding along under Lake Street and the veteran thought the "swooshing" noise was a little too loud. He looked over at the kid and the kid was watching the bridge supports flying past, turning his head and making the "swooshing" sound every time they passed one. The Patrol Specialist failed him shortly thereafter and we heard the kid went to the rubber gun squad afterwards until they could process him out. What the hell happened to the Psych test?

STAY ON TOPIC PLEASE - We want recruit stories. And no names.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Holy Crap


UPDATE: Crap, damnit Jenks!

UPDATE: Podsednik!

Sunday Night Stuff

Watching the game and hoping all 3 teams can pull out wins today. Bears won, Blackhawks won (hooray!) and the Sox just fell behind, damnit. Anyway, here's some amusing articles we ran across in our irregularly scheduled internet viewing:
  • That pesky homicide rate is climbing again. Double homicide in Logan Square this afternoon. That'll put us up about a dozen or so over last year. Here's our take on the whole thing - there's only so low you can drive a homicide rate when 2.8 million people live in close proximity to each one another. Call it 550 or so a year, and learn to deal with it.
  • Dateline - Mexico City. Motorcycle accident, police arrive, driver flees while leaving behind a dead body, but it isn't a recently dead body. The motorcyclist was driving around with a corpse! Again, a story that appeals to our darker sense of humor.
  • And of course, 100 people protest a police shooting, the very shooting we wrote about twice already, and the dead guy is identified as the #3 ranking gangster disciple in the city. The family is complaining that he was shot through and through under both arms and this proves he had his hands raised when the police shot him. What the family and the press AREN'T telling anyone though, is that his hands were raised in front of him, holding a gun in a shooting position, and drawing a bead on a cop. Second copper came around the side and drilled him through and through. Even OPS signed off on the shooting, so it's done with.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Game 1 in the Books

Was it just us, or did the Sox seem totally in control all night? They definitely appeared to be a well seasoned playoff team. It was Houston making all the adjustments, not the Sox, and if Crede isn't the front runner for MVP of the World Series, it'd be Jenks. Good job all around by the boys.

Saturday Traffic Slowdown

Of course, web site traffic is down on weekends anyway. We usually only run about 1/2 to 2/3 of our regular visits on Saturdays and Sundays because, like us, everyone else has things to do. This weekend is going to be a little different with the World Series going. We expect traffic to die off completely in the evening, so posting will be light or nonexistent while the games are on. And the Blackhawks and Bears play this weekend too, so it's going to be very busy on the sports front. Sox and Cubs fans can use this thread to taunt each other for a bit and whoever keeps making fun of us for supporting the Blackhawks can tease us again.

We're working on a couple posts for late Sunday, early Monday to start the week with a bang. But keep checking in - we'll have a couple of pieces up anyway; opinions, rants or general BS. We passed 50,000 total visits last night, surpassed our previous monthly total (16,000+) and there are still another 10 days to go in October, so it'll be another personal best. Thanks to everyone who's been visiting and commenting.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Can we talk? Or is that Illegal?

Rant Warning Ahead.

Free speech for me, but not for thee? That is the attitude we seem to be gathering from the 1,800 hit day we had Wednesday. If you'll recall, someone linked us to "The Raw Story," a decidedly liberal website with a penchant for writing exaggerated headlines and (evidently) no sense of humor. Of course, liberals spawn more liberals and two other websites linked to us:
  • (Chicago edition) tries to get a thread started by calling us a "racist pig," but is quickly shot down by 3 or 4 responders who obviously DID read our postings and realize (A) it's not us posting the trash talk and (B) recognize sarcasm for what it is. If you want to get a feel for their site, look at the bottom of the site and see all the cities they operate in - Boston, LA, Miami, NYC, Philly, San Diego, SF Bay area - all real hotbeds of conservative thought, eh? And calling us a "racist pig?" Dude, get out of the 60's already. We prefer "Tools of the Oppressor" or "Agents of Government Suppression."
  • is another touchy-feely artsy type site that accuses us - let's make sure we have this correct - of "racism and ignorance," of being "a real dipshit," a "fool" who quoted Ann Coulter, and hopes that we are not really a cop(s). He ends with urging all his readers to contact the Police Department and Mayor's office as "stupidity" like ours shouldn't be tolerated.
Well golly, we thought this was America - Freedom of Speech and all that. If there is one thing we cannot stand, it's a politically correct mope who screams "racist" and "intolerant bigot" every time someone has an opinion that doesn't mesh with his. Hey hippies, sorry to burst your bubbles, but we are The Police; we haven't posted anything remotely racist or ignorant (we haven't even admitted to being white, black, red or brown, male, female, PO, supervisor, one person, two people or multiple personalities, so your charge of racism is, in essence, bullshit); we'd compare our curriculum vitae against yours any day and would bet money we've worked with more diverse people than you ever did; sorry you don't see the charm of Ann Coulter; and we think the mayor and superintendent have better things to do than forbid us from exercising our constitutionally protected rights to Free Speech off-duty and in our own home, like looming Federal indictments and climbing homicide rate (up 11 or 12 as of last night!) As neither of these sites accepts open commentary, we marvel at their ability to throw stones at us while avoiding dissent on their own sites.

Your Opinion on ... (3rd edition)

Once again, seeking the opinions of our co-workers regarding the department and the world at large (see editions #1 and #2 in the attached links)

What is your opinion on the current Entrance Qualifications for the Chicago Police Department? We realize this is a loaded question, so we are going to expound on this a little. Try to restrict your answers to physical conditioning, education requirements, age restrictions and veteran points. STAY ON TOPIC PLEASE.

Old timers and retirees, go easy on the younger kids - yes, they might be book smart, but street unwise. So were you. We realize you've seen maybe hundreds of classes come up and they all seem dumber than the last. Maybe they aren't dumber, you just got smarter. Or maybe the drinking is killing your brain cells, who knows? This isn't a thread to rip whippersnappers.

KMA members, don't be siding with the "dinosaurs" and just ripping everyone with under 20 years. We know you've served your time and could leave tomorrow, congratulations. We're interested in today's qualifications. Be happy you did your tour and you're only staying around because you like the job, you like the people, you think you can still make a difference, or the spouse would kill you if they had to spend 24 hours a day with you.

All you middle of the road coppers (two stripes or better on the sleeve but no star), you are currently in the majority. You have also witnessed the BIGGEST changes in department history these past 10-19 years. However, you didn't invent police work. You haven't even perfected it in spite of your college requirements. This isn't an "us-them" thread where you rip the old timers for not being up on the newest technologies, crime mapping, and accountability crap or the young kids just for being new.

And new guys (under 10 years). You just grin and get older so you can join one of the above listed groups, and by the time you get there, there'll be another bunch of newbies to call "kid" and tell them they don't know shit. But your opinion is important too as you are the least removed from what actually happens at the academy. Compare the old timers war stories to what you experienced in an adult manner. Fire away people.

Friday Quick Hits

Just a few articles to scan while you think of a rumor to post in the previous thread:
  • If you leave the scene of an accident, and there is the appearance that you were drinking, they are going to hang you out to dry, you are going to lose your job and you are going to go to jail. End of story. Sun-times here. Trib coverage here. Channel 5. Channel 7. Yes, we realize they didn't charge him with DUI. They charged him with Reckless Homicide and guess how much harder the State's Attorney is going to push for a conviction?
  • Saddam loses a lawyer. This could be a positive development, and not just because there is one less lawyer in the world (that was sarcasm). Perhaps more lawyers will refuse to defend saddam and we'll be treated to the spectacle of him trying to defend himself before outraged families drag him from the courtroom and hang him from the nearest lamppost a la Mussolini.
  • Common sense gun legislation finally passes. Watch for the liberals (and lefty) to start screaming that gun manufacturers are getting a free pass over the dead bodies of tens of thousands of citizens. Listen, cars kill far more people than guns do, why not ban them? Oh, because a car isn't specifically designed to kill people? Neither are guns. Guns are designed to move a projectile at high speed toward an intended target. The gun industry isn't at fault that because it's product works exactly as designed. Enforce existing law and common sense liability on the end user. One less class action possibility for trail lawyers fatten their wallets on. This is actually a nail in the cult of victimhood. Now some real tort reform would be welcome.
  • And look here. The House passes a law banning lawsuits against the fast food industry for "making people obese." Common sense. Who'd have thunk it?

UPDATE: You know what we really like? When "leftisthebest" leaves himself wide open for a right hook. And we mean WIDE OPEN. He states in the comments "...since you came on the job how many police officers have been struck and killed by a vehicle? How many have been killed by readily available firearm?" and we reply with this link. Twice in recent years (1999 and 2003), vehicle crashes have killed more officers than guns. And if you look at the year-to-year trends, officer deaths by firearm are steadily decreasing while traffic deaths are steadily increasing. So we should all go back to foot patrols and outlaw cars? And "readily available" means what exactly? We fail to see where that implicates a gun manufacturer, which was the point of our post.

Is Today the Day?

Sergeant's list? Starks retires? Fed's indict the mayor? We don't know, but use this open thread to post ALL the lastest rumors.

Over/under on Starks remains Halloween.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Veterans & Retirees Welcome

We saw a recent comment lambasting a retiree for daring to browse a board "meant" for active coppers. Those who would assume we don't welcome retirees are mistaken. We even sent a nice collection of our advertising to the Chicago Police Association of Nevada to drum up retiree interest. The brain drain that hammered this department in recent years is incredible. We saw a comment (unconfirmed) that there have never been as many cops at Call Back as there are now. We feel this is directly related to the lack of old timers on the job who could tell and teach the youngsters how to behave, write good paper and stay out of trouble. Yes, the job is more technical now than it was for the old guys and there are cameras everywhere, but the old guys did it for years without computers, air conditioning or a union.

We make no claims at being a salty vet, but we certainly aren't wet behind the ears either - we remember where Dispatch used to be, teletype messages, mimeograph machines and manual typewriters. Suffice it to say we have way more than a few years on and a few less than thirty-five. So let's tone down the rhetoric about old timers not being welcome (because we like their stories) and having nothing to teach us - the day you think you know it all is the day you ought to quit, because you've gone from being a cop to being dangerous - to yourself and probably to your partners.

Rumors (and Facts)

Meritorious Detective letter is out (fact). Nominations are due around 07 November. This means that they are sitting on a Merit list of Sergeants (they've had the letter for 6 or 7 weeks now) and they are soliciting Merit nominees for dicks. Where they think they're going to get the manpower that this is going to short District Law Enforcement is beyond us. Are they going to disband a couple big units to make up the shortfalls (rumor)?

You Gotta Love the Irony

News from the War on Terror:
  • News out of Iraq. Seems British "journalist" Rory Carroll, who recently published this little article accusing the US military of being out of control and systematically targeting and assassinating members of the media, has himself been kidnapped by those peaceful, muslim non-extremist patriots fighting the "Great Satan." We'll bet money that if they keep him alive for more than a few days, he'll be begging to have an "out of control" US patrol target his captors and rescue his sorry butt.
  • Spain issues arrest warrants for three US soldiers who fired a tank round into a hotel from which they were taking fire, killing a Spanish reporter and a Ukrainian cameraman. Let's see - (problem #1) two dead reporters in the middle of a war zone who were in a hotel used as cover by irregular army troops, (answer #1) try to arrest US soldiers. (Problem #2) 200+ citizens slaughtered on commuter trains, (answer #2) vote out the government fighting terror, install a socialist regime, withdraw troops from Iraq, kiss osama's ass. Someone better alert NORAD. Spain might invade. Hahahaha

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Housing? Gone?

Post at the bottom of the "Interesting FOP Meeting" states Housing South has been disbanded. Can anyone confirm? We've heard this rumor once this week, but held off posting it until we could get another source. Our bad for sitting too long on it if true.

Strangers Among Us

We check our site twice a day, sometimes thrice. And we always take a look at the site meter to see what kind of traffic we're getting. We usually average between 20 and 50 visitors an hour. Imagine our surprise when we saw the hit counter spiking at over 300 hits during the 2PM period and trailing off over the next couple of hours after 1,000 visitors hit us in 6 hours. A little backtracking shows what happened.

Someone told a site called "The Raw Story" about our 10 October post entitled "They Grow up so Fast." The subject was the two-year-old child who shot the four-year-old in North Lawndale. In an example of creative headline writing, their story was entitled "Chicago 'Cop' slurs 4 year old latino on blog." Evidently, they failed to read (A) our bio which clearly states we are a Cop, not a 'Cop' (B) the tagline of our blog (sarcasm and silliness from a windy city cop) (C) the follow up post two days later whereby we recount that the latin king uncle was storing multiple guns at the home and (D) the tenor of the post where we were actually making fun of the lack of weapon discipline prevalent in the gang banger culture whereby a two-year-old child can get a hold of a loaded weapon and harm another child.

So on one hand, we are amused and not a little proud that we have topped 1,400 visitors (and still climbing) today. We are also amused that someone thought it necessary to misrepresent the intent of our postings and inadvertently directed 1,000 people who never would even have known of this blog to give us a look (thanks for that whoever you are). We are also going to take pains to note that this is and continues to be A PUBLIC BOARD, open to anyone with a computer. We are most heartened that the 1,000 people who visited the board must be more intelligent than "The Raw Story" gives them credit for as we have yet to see a disparaging comment about our readers, our job, our blog and our crabby pants comments.

UPDATE: 1,500 hits as of 2040 hours - getting hits from all over the country, Europe, Asia and Australia. Hi Everyone!!

UPDATE: 1,600 as of 2200 hours and still climbing. Yowza.

Report Hiring Abuse!

The Federal Monitor, Noelle Brennan, has set up a website for people to anonymously report illegal and political hiring (and as pointed out to us, Promotions and Transfers too) done by the city.

Now, not that we are encouraging any sort of abuse of this system, but we'd like to see everyone who reads this site drop off an anonymous tip for 100% of the recently made Captains and 30% of the recent Lieutenants. We're not doing this to be jagoffs, but to encourage the city to be more forthcoming in revealing it's criteria by which they make "merit" promotions.

Because an open process is a fair process.

UPDATE: We'll publish the webiste address when Noelle Brennan activates it.
UPDATE II: By the way, the Balckhawks sucked ass last night, 6-2 in Vancouver.
UPDATE III: Lookee here! Site active.

Late Quick Hits for Tuesday/Wednesday

Yes, we know it's Wednesday, but we didn't get to read the Tuesday paper until very late. Cut us some slack.
  • Job Openings! Sick of chasing criminals? Evil bosses with unrealistic expectations? Join the Fire Department and people will actually be HAPPY when you show up at their door.
  • Suicide by police. This is EXACTLY the situation that a TASER was made for. How long until the media is begging us to carry TASER's again after ripping us for months on that dumbass hype that died after being shocked?
  • You really shouldn't be quoted saying things like this, Sarge. Now we're going to have training videos on when we should write parkers and take away our discretion.
  • Powerball at $340 million. We aren't greedy, but we'd love to walk away with this payday and never look back. Anyone going to pick us up a ticket or three?
  • And finally, a practice in Central America that we might just want to adapt instead of stealing all of New York's ideas. Vigilante Justice Gone Wild!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Interesting FOP Meeting

Swung by the meeting today, just for fun (note to FOP: don't bother going through the sign-in books, we didn't bother today --- or did we?) and observed a few things that desperately cried out for commentary:
  • Recently expelled members attempted to gain entry into the meeting, but were rebuffed by the Sergeants-at-Arms. They left looking (in our opinion) kind of satisfied, as if they had proved some point by being denied entry into the building owned by an organization they no longer belong to. Does anyone have any idea what that was all about?
  • Steve Robbins, candidate for the Pension Board, was telling people at meeting that although he was approved by the board to seek reimbursement for up to $5,000 dollars in his bid to become the patrolmen representative, he would not submit any receipts for reimbursement and instead was running out of his own pocket, as his opponents are. This seems to remove what was becoming a large issue in the campaign. Robbins also had copies of all his timecards for the past few years demonstrating that he was, in fact, on his own time and not the city's dime when he attended Pension Board meetings.
Just to be clear, THIS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OF STEVE ROBBINS. But unnamed and anonymous postings on this site and those of other candidates liberally tossed about the accusation that Robbins was on city time when attending meetings. It appears to us that this rumor can be laid to rest.

We make no judgments as to the possible reimbursement of the $5,000 dollars however. It would seem to us that the possibility of recovering out of pocket expenses for an election might enable a candidate to spend a little more lavishly than one who is not backed, but Robbins agreeing not to seek reimbursement renders this moot. We would prefer maybe something along the lines of the Federal Election Commission that provides "matching funds" up to a certain limit for qualified candidates, but that in and of itself would seem to be counterproductive to an endorsed candidacy.

What say the readers? In light of one of the more gentlemanly campaigns conducted by all parties, we are actually taking an interest in this election as we haven't in the past.

UPDATE: Thanks to Fitzgerald, King and the other guys cooking at the BBQ after the meeting. Tasty eats as always.

Guns guns guns (Your Opinion #2)

What are your opinions on gun control? And we mean seriously thought out positions on it. Most cops we know (and we seem to know quite a few) are ambivalent about the whole thing. Some are adamantly NRA, Right Wing, "from my cold dead hands" types. Most seem middle of the road or completely uninterested. And everyone has heard the story about the recruit asking academy instructors if they needed to carry a gun if they had no intention of pulling it out of the holster.

This article is the main reason we ask. Florida recently passed a "Castle Doctrine" law in order to close an odd loophole. Under the previous law, persons were required to attempt every means of escape before using deadly force to defend themselves. The new law, based on English Common Law, states that you are entitled to use deadly force to defend you and yours in a place you have a right to be - like your home/castle. Makes sense to us. The measure passed 94-20 in the Florida house and unopposed in the Florida Senate, so it made sense to the legislature.

Of course, all the gloom and doom gun control freaks were out in force, claiming Florida would turn into a wild west shooting gallery, e-mailing travel agents to warn gullible europeans that Floridians were now permitted to shoot them for traffic violations and similar BS. The same arguments were made 18 years ago when Florida passed "Concealed Carry" and the homicide rate dropped precipitously.

We'll make no bones about it: We believe "An armed society is a polite society." The evidence backing the measurable drops in crime upon passage of concealed carry laws is just about unassailable, though the left tries to scare everyone into believing otherwise. And we are forcibly reminded of this press release a few years ago pointing out that the cities with the strictest gun control laws always seem to lead the nation in total homicides. What do you guys/gals think?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Holy Crap!

Did everyone see Albert Puljos just jack that homer?! Jeez. Don't know if Houston is going to wrap it up tonight. Might have to wait a day to see who the Sox have for an opponent. In the meantime, fire up those phones and computers people. Tickets go on sale tomorrow and start at $125 per ticket for the upper deck. Coverage here, here and here.

UPDATE: Sox have to wait another day. St. Louis pulls it out.

Rocky VI? Why?

Someone stop this guy. Please. No wonder Americans don't go to the movies anymore. This sounds like a "straight to video" venture.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Today's local media has some strangely conflicting information in it. On one hand you have this article, outlining how two kindergarten classes only a few miles apart have very much disparate outcomes based on how involved parents are, how much pre-school a child has and how many books a child is exposed to and owns. All well and good. We've read a lot of the studies and each of these things contributes immensely to a child's being able to succeed in school.

Then, you hop over to the Channel 7 website and find this article about teaching public school 5th graders ballroom dancing. Waltzes, Cha-Cha and Tango. OK, so we guess that all of these 5th graders are acing their tests? Everyone can read at a 5th grade level? Math scores looking up? Because if they aren't succeeding at a 5th grade level, ballroom dancing certainly isn't going to keep them from dropping out of school in a few years. Ballroom dancing isn't going to get them a job. In fact, this sounds suspiciously like a WASTE OF MY DAMN TAX MONEY AGAIN! Quick, someone find out which alderman or mayoral aide owns a struggling dance studio that just landed this contract.

The only upside to this whole thing is that we might finally see a real combination dance off and knife fight between the latin kings and the two-six or maybe the gd's and the vice lords, just like in West Side Story.

Overcoming your Fears

Evidently, Ted "the swimmer" Kennedy has been in therapy over the past 30+ years in an effort to overcome his fear of water. It's been a sort of half success as he was able to attempt a rescue of people in the water, but backed off when he realized he shouldn't be anywhere near a boat in his condition (i.e. breathing).
Read about Teddy's heroic phone call to rescue a bunch of fishermen who got stuck out on a jetty when the tide and waves rolled in. At least Ted has finally learned to use the phone instead of just letting people drown.

Do Index Numbers Serve a Purpose?

Back in the day, there were these things called "index numbers." They consisted of statistics tracked to kind of see how much production Commanders could squeeze out of their people. As we understood it, index numbers consisted of parkers, hazardous movers, school absentees for days and curfews for nights. It may or may not have included Part One arrests (some of the saltier vets can enlighten the rest of us as we are only slightly salty.)

The object of these numbers is of course a subterfuge to a quota system. The department has spent years and years denying there was a quota system, but everyone knew that if you produced a lot of "index" numbers, you got better evaluations, better start times, steadier cars and partners. The trouble with the system is that every year, at the accountability meetings, the powers that be demanded somewhere between a 3 to 5% increase in the index baseline numbers. In the face of declining criminal activity, you can't maintain a 3-5% increase without resorting to ... well, you get the idea.

So the question is - how does one track, grade and evaluate officer productivity nowadays? The rating cards have been out of existence for almost four years and they were a BS system anyway (way to much hanky panky and hanky spanky going on there - ask your local vets about that boys and girls.) No one seems able to maintain any sort of reasonably designed database to track activity and even if they could, they can't discipline officers who don't generate activity as there are no penalties built into the system (ain't civil service grand? You don't produce and there's no penalty for not producing!) Any ideas, stories or suggestions?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

What Did You Say?

Chicago is Going to Host the World Series.

Man, that sounds weird. Let's try it again:

Chicago is Going to Host the World Series.

Like we said - weird. Well, maybe the Cubs fans can let go of their inarticulate rage for a little bit and support the local team? No? Well, we tried to bring peace to the city (we are SO like Ghandi, but without the starvation and non-violence thing). Look at it this way though - Last year, the BoSox broke a 90+ year curse (was it 90 years?) This year, maybe the Sox can break a 90+ year curse (it is 90, right?) That means next year is the Cubs year.

Altar Boy Photos Next?

Story #2 in the Metro Briefs - according to people who weren't on the scene, Walter Armstrong had his hands raised and had no gun when police shot and killed him at 49th and Drexel. Also, after they shot the unarmed former altar boy and pillar of the community, they handcuffed him before they called for medical assistance. The former neighborhood activist, boy scout, and honor student presumably leaves behind a family and a thriving business where he contracted numerous youthful members of the community to help little old ladies cross the street at all hours of the day and night. He probably also rang doorbells for the democratic party, which released a statement today assuring relatives that his vote will be counted for at least the next 80 years as a straight party tally.

More good News from Iraq

More good news no one ever hears about - unless they read blogs. Last January during the Iraqi constitutional referendum, there were 347 attacks on polling places killing upwards of 100 people. Yesterday during the constitutional plebiscite? 13. And an estimated turnout of 70%. Read more about it at Instapundit and follow the links he has up to see blogs you'd would never have seen otherwise.

Confidence in the Department

There was some nice give and take between some anonymous posters in the "Your Opinion on ..." thread. The comments start around #21 (you'll have to count down to find it) but the entire dialogue is EXACTLY what we were hoping to provoke when we started this blog, so thanks for that. Some of the salient points about "confidence in the department":
  • There are recruits making it out of the academy who should never have passed. We think that's part of the city's (A) unwillingness to stand up to the inevitable lawsuits (B) surrender to political correctness at the expense of actual ability and (C) a willingness to accept unqualified personnel just to maintain the illusion of fielding a "full strength" force. Partly because of this, we are in a never ending and self sustaining morale tailspin.
  • Certain FTO's probably shouldn't be and some who should be FTO's, aren't (or won't) for whatever reasons. Combined with the complete unwillingness of the system at large to dismiss incompetent, unqualified and sometimes downright dangerous PPO's, is it any wonder that this important job is in disarray? The whole program could do with an overhaul, but how to effect change is the biggest question.
Perhaps it's time for the department to look outward, especially where the FTO program and promotional process are concerned. We seem to be stealing all sorts of crime fighting ideas from other police forces, but NOTHING that addresses the morale and confidence issues. The biggest morale killer (in our opinion) is the corrupt promotional process. Sooper-sekret study groups, 30% "merit," and family cronyism are killing the depatment. There is a lack of confidence in the organization as a whole and it can probably be traced to the promotion process, because it results in too many bosses completely incapable of making a decision. They're more worried about screwing up their shot at a unit or another promotion to actually do what they're supposed to do - LEAD.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Free Advice for Candidates

Far be it for us to claim we have all the answers to blogging. We are far from experts at computers; we type slowly; we're minimally capable of writing code. But if we may say so, we do have a knack for self promotion, an opinion about damn near everything, and a willingness to listen to and respond to what our readers want to see. And you must like most of what you see as we blew past a quarter million total page views earlier (250,000!!).

So, in this spirit, we offer a little advice to our newest linked bloggers - the Pension Board candidates:
  • Get a blog or a website - yes, we're talking to you Steve Robbins. The FOP backing is an 800 pound gorilla in this fight. You've definitely got the inside track. But a blog/website gives you the ability to answer and rebut a lot of the accusations flying around out there. You can also expound upon the postcard that was sent out.
  • Update frequently. We usually post three items a day. Sometimes as many as six or seven. Granted, there's only so much you can say about an election. State your positions and defend them we suppose, but according to the date headers, John Tierney's site hasn't updated in 8 days now. The site is stale and so is the message.
  • Open comments. Yes, you'll have to police them occasionally to keep the BS to a minimum, but you can address accusations, solicit suggestions, maintain contact and dialogue.
  • Make something stand out, BUT stand out in a good way. Kevin Jans has changed site design at least once and now it's exactly like ours. Blogger has a couple of dozen site designs, but he must like ours. We guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Tierney's site is certainly eye catching, but it hurts our eyes - the font colors are very LOUD.
And please, DON'T just copy and paste your latest post into our comments section. It just takes up space and annoys our readers. You are welcome to jump into our thread and tell everyone you put up a new post and toss in a link to YOUR website. Thanks and Good Luck.

One Away

Sox win another one, looking as dominating as they did the entire first half of the season. Why were they making everyone sweat the second half?

UPDATE: Blackhawks lose 4-3 to San Jose

Opinion Piece

We've been watching the comments section of a couple threads regarding the pension board election. While the rhetoric has gotten a bit heated here and there, some people have brought up an interesting point. We're not even sure how much of it is true and how much is so much hot air and misinformation. We are talking of course, about the $23 million.

$23 million is a lot of money when standing alone. $23 million is not a lot of money when you're talking about a $3.6 billion dollar fund. Under 1% of the total (.6 or so.) Let's say there are 10,000 cops who are employed right now (we know it's low, but we like round numbers.) By reducing their time on the job from 32 years (for max pension) down to 29 years, we just saved 30,000 man (and woman) years. 30,000 years. That's a lot of saved time for under .6% of the pension fund. And as we enter the era of the "20-years-and-out" police officer as opposed to the "lifers," the pension payouts would be smaller while the rate of contribution remained static (assuming a constantly maintained force of 10,000 officers.)

We realize we are being simplistic, but if the city was willing to acquiesce to saving 30,000 man-years for a mere $23 million, maybe the Pension Board and the FOP ought to look into leveraging another $23 million into an increase to an 80% payout, so long as we aren't draining the pension fund of it's equity. Daley's looking to save money to cover a $100 million hole in his budget - and we hold the potential to cover a sizable portion of it in our hands - for the right price. Why not explore the possibilities? Leverage doesn't do diddly for us if we don't apply it.

We are trying to look for an old article we saw a few years back that explained how the LAPD pension program became funded at 110% of outstanding liabilities and had become completely self perpetuating - which means officers didn't have to have pension deductions taken from their checks anymore - it went right into their pockets providing an instant 5 to 7% raise. If possible, THAT should be the goal of the Pension Board. Someone with actuarial and accounting experience can correct our math and assumptions in the comments section. We're sure we've made some errors somewhere here, but be polite about it. We're trying to educate ourselves as well as our readers.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Weekend Quick Hits

For your reading pleasure
  • City to Residents - "Fuck you." That pretty much explains the "50/50 Program." No refunds will be forthcoming. We only have one question: Why did Warmbir, Novak and Golab allow Fran "what truck?" Spielman to piggyback on their story?
  • Man sedates pigeons with vodka before operating on them. You can make your own punchlines for this one.
  • First, the Italians are associated with the mafia. Then they can't celebrate Columbus Day because it's not politically correct. Now, Italian cuisine is kicked to the curb when someone discovers a 4,000 year old dish of noodles in China. What next?
  • Speaking of the mafia, this is exactly the reason we prefer Chicago hits as opposed to New York killings. When you found a Chicago mob victim, everyone got the message that so-and-so was killed for such-and-such a reason. Who gets the message when there isn't a body to see?
Sox are up 5-0 and Blackhawks are tied 1-1. Let's go Chicago!

UPDATE: Sox win 5-2
UPDATE: Blackhawks go to OT tied at 2
UPDATE: Blackhawks win in a shootout! Hooray!

What's that in Your Pocket?

Heard a weird rumor today that someone tried to confiscate an elephant out of a traveling circus down south-side way. Anyone have any idea what that's about?

Uniform Change

As we posted 3 months ago or so, the Black Vest Cover has been approved for wearing as an outer garment. There don't seem to be any restrictions. Go check out Department Notice 05-40 for specs, rules and specifics.

Your Opinion on ...

We're going to try to initiate an occasional feature where we toss out an idea and ask your opinions on various subjects. This won't only be restricted to job related stuff - depending on the interest, we might expand it to other subjects as well. If we find an article, publication or something interesting, we might link to it and see where the conversation goes.

First up: What is your opinion of the FTO program? The FOP had an opinion piece in a past newsletter actually telling people NOT to take the test. That was kind of amusing to say the least and it is interesting to see how many people left the program after it started and what reasons they left it for. The city can't seem to pay people enough money to actually make it seem desirable, but it's one of the more important jobs there is. You don't want the kids with the (ahem) less able officers, but the working partnerships shouldn't be broken up because there are suddenly recruits around. What do you think? Is it salvageable? Should it be dumped? How does it get fixed?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

You are Free to Leave

Bwahahahahahaha! Read this link. Hahahahaha, oh lordy.

And we've got some swampland in Louisiana we'd like to sell you. Really. No, it doesn't flood that often. Yes, it's a little below sea level, but that adds to the charm.

The Funniest Quote

THIS has got to be the funniest quote we've seen in a long time. It comes from today's (Thursday) sun-times article by our favorite investigative reporters Tim Novak & Steve Warmbir (the Hired Truck guys) accompanied by Art Golab. The article is about the recently discovered scam of homeowners paying more, sometimes much more, than 50% of the replacement cost of their sidewalks:
  • But city officials insist no one should have assumed the city would pay half under the 50/50 sidewalk program.
Let's read that again, shall we?
  • But city officials insist no one should have assumed the city would pay half under the 50/50 sidewalk program.
Excuse us? No one should have assumed? Then why the FU$% would you name it the "50/50 Program?" Because the homeowners thought they'd pay 60%? 75%? Give us a FU$%^&* break. Someone was making money off of this BIG TIME. Warmbir and Novak even find a whole sh&*load of clout heavies who were paying less than 50% (some as low as 2%) of the replacement costs of their sidewalks. We'd say "unbelievable" but it really isn't. It really makes us amazed that the $100 million dollar hole in richie's budget isn't about $200 million dollars bigger.

New Links

Alright, the votes are in and twenty five of you actually stayed on topic! And around seventeen said "link them," so they are now linked. The three candidates we know of are listed in alphabetical order in the right hand column. The Robbins link is not connected to anything because we don't know if he has a site - but it's there in case one pops up. You, our readers, are entitled to the info available, so there it is.

Following the election, we will be removing the "candidate" tags off of their names and if there is no activity on their site after 30 days or so, we will de-list them. At this time, we make no endorsements of persons or positions. Check them out and be sure to ask questions you want answered.

Movement! We've Got Movement!

Tiny little movement - Daniel Alvarado is now the commander of Evidence and Recovered Property. Evidently Toby Burton retired at some point and nobody told us.
:::shaking our fist at readers:::
Let's try to get the rumor mill back on track people.

Boo Hoo! Cry us a River

Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch released a report Wednesday complaining that there are 2,225 adults in the US who are doing life in prison for crimes committed while they were "children." We haven't looked for an age breakdown because, to be frank, we don't really care. All of these goofs were sentenced under laws passed by an elected state legislature and the laws have evidently passed constitutional muster, because they're still on the books. Go bitch to the elected representatives in China or Iran or Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Cuba (... oh wait a minute).

Tell you what we will support though. If these prisoners renounce American citizenship (as they have already chosen to act outside the laws of this nation anyway) and Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch employees agree to take the prisoner into their homes overseas, we will donate to the relocation fund on a regular basis AND encourage our readers to do the same.

The penalty for attempting to re-enter America would, however, be death.

Is Today the Day?

Starks retires? New boss for 016? Sergeant's list? Who knows what Thursday holds?

An Idea Worth Pursuing

We post in a "stream of consciousness" type of method. We come up with an idea from things we've heard, things we've read, things we enjoy talking about and run with it. Tuesday night, we jokingly referred to an intoxicated conversation about disbanding the detective division. Lo and behold, what was intended as a gentle ribbing of the D unit generates some comments that could turn into something that might actually have some merit.
  • NYPD has a higher crime clearance rate because each precinct has their own detective division and, it would seem, that that setup allows more communication between dicks and patrol. Thanks to SCC for bringing up the issue & "thinking outside the box" - the question deserves, at least, some discussion. (Rue St. Michel in "A Crazy Idea ...")
  • Maybe it would be better if the Dicks were taken from the Area and assigned to a District. The PO's would know who to refer cases to...the Dick's would have a better handle on the usual suspects and they would not seem to be insulated from the PO's...what do you think....?? (anonymous poster in "A Crazy Idea ...")
With everything this department has been stealing from New York anyway, why not give this a whirl in an Area or two? Having the dicks close by and intimately familiar with the players would be a definite boon to the clearance rate and the wealth of experience being passed along to the younger coppers in regard to preliminary investigations, crime scene preservation and witness processing would be incalculable. Yes, a couple of exempts might lose their jobs, but we're "chief-heavy" anyway. It doesn't (it shouldn't) have any bearing on the actual merit of the idea - except of course, in Chicago. What say you?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Holy Horseshoes Batman!

We guess when you have a horseshoe up your butt, you take what you can get however you can get it. Should the Sox win this series, this is going to be one of the most controversial umpiring decisions ever made. Wow!

An Open Letter to our Readers

As we've said in other postings, we don't answer e-mail. We read everything we get, but two-way communication is out right now - too easy to trace things back to us. We DO take all suggestions into consideration for post material, and we've used quite a few already. We like to think we're at least minimally responsive to our reader's input. Very Minimally.

Anyway, we've been contacted by one of the candidates for the upcoming FOP Pension Board election and we are seeking reader input. As we've stated (and you may have assumed), we are keeping an open mind on just about all issues regarding the union. We're NOT shills for the Citywide Team, even though Mark Donahue was kind enough to mention us at a General Meeting (if only to deny that he knew us.) We confess to being not as disappointed as in years past with the current contract, so we have no axe to grind there. We are also not endorsing (or associated with) any of the other figures that ran for elective office. We don't have a dog in these fights.

Back to the issue at hand; we don't want to appear to be taking sides. This candidate has posted a couple of links to his website in our comments section and we're fine with that. It hasn't really drawn any responses, so we take that as non-interest on the part of our readers. It's the same thing with the two members who were recently expelled from the union. Both contacted us; both posted in the comments sections; both received no interest from our readers; so we didn't expound on it at all.

If we linked to this candidate, would that be viewed as a tacit endorsement of his candidacy? It isn't his fault (nor ours) that his opponent(s) haven't made the effort to create websites. But it also isn't our desire to have someone who's views we may or may not support piggyback on our success. What say you, the readers? STAY ON TOPIC PLEASE.

Quick Hits and Things we've Heard

For a Wednesday morning:
  • The two-year-old who shot the four-year-old? Seems the gun they're charging the uncle with might not be the gun used to shoot the child. The gun recovered was a Tec-9, but the uncle says the gun used in the shooting was tossed in a dumpster.
  • sun-times coverage of yesterday's shooting at 49th/Drexel. The same link takes you to the opening of the Federal class-action lawsuit alleging that CPD Detectives held people unconstitutionally for over four hours sometimes, to which we reply, "hahahahahahaha."
  • If this guy wasn't named Juventino Vallejo-Camerena, we would have assumed it was Stanley Karplotski. "Quickly, return me to Warsaw!" Where did he think he was going to go anyway?
  • And we don't know about you, but we always thought the smurfs deserved to get bombed. We mean, you have this village of blue people, only one woman among all of them, singing that annoying song, with weird names like Papa, Brainy, Dorky, Dumbass, etc. Someone needed to bomb these creatures. More links here and here. This lovely piece of film brought to you by (guess who?) the United Nations Childrens Fund! Your tax dollars at work.

Pieces of a Puzzle?

Remember a little while back, we talked about seeing a whole bunch of disjointed articles about seismic activity and wondered if all the clues pointed to the Yellowstone Caldera getting ready to erupt? We're getting that feeling again, but not about Yellowstone.
  • First, we had the Oklahoma "suicide" by explosive device that no media covered on 02 October. You can see some of our previous links to the stories here, here, and here.
  • Then on 10 October, three "devices" were discovered, one exploded and injured a janitor at Georgia Tech. These appear to be "MacGyver" type bombs (loud chemical triggered devices), but still quite disconcerting.
  • On 11 October, a small explosion near the UCLA campus resulted in a "minor" evacuation and the bomb squad detonated an additional device found at the scene.
  • Then comes word of a incident on 08 October near UC-San Diego where a student by the name of Khaled Yasufi (is that irish?) killed himself after police tried to check a suspicious odor. Yasufi denied the police entry, then shot himself. When police got in, they discovered a chemical lab. That can mean "meth lab" or it can mean "bomb factory," but no further info seems to be forthcoming.
And to top it all off, a plane stolen in Florida, turns up at an airstrip in Georgia. Not just a crop duster, but a twin engine jet (seats 7) with a range of over 2,000 miles that went missing for a day and a half without anyone reporting it. No flight plan was ever filed and the airstrip doesn't have a tower, so no witnesses to report when it arrived.

That feeling of something big just out of sight keeps getting stronger and stronger.

UPDATE: Arrest made in the case of the stolen jet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Crazy Idea that Just Might Work

So we were sitting around, shooting the breeze over a few beers, and of course, bitching about the job as coppers are wont to do. We reminisced about bosses we knew, bosses we liked, bosses we hated. We speculated on consolidating certain districts, eliminating certain jobs, disbanding certain units, all to alleviate the district manpower shortages, and suddenly, it came to us. A brilliant idea. A wonderfully evil, grinchy idea (apologies to Dr. Seuss.)

Disband the detective division.

It's brilliant on SO MANY levels. Firstly, you eliminate a whole bunch of higher paid positions - not just the D-2A spots, but the sergeants, lieutenants and exempts in the D units. The mayor would HAVE to love that. Second, the overtime question goes away. Again, the mayor would give us medals for the money we saved. Third, no more BS tests. The department is always looking to avoid lawsuits based on unfair test practices and "sooper-sekret" study groups being run out of 35th Street on the taxpayers dime. Fourth, you dump a whole bunch of experienced guys back in the districts to show all the new guys how to protect crime scenes, gather up witnesses, crap that always gets screwed up before the dicks even make it there.

And finally, the clearance rate would probably go up, which would make everyone happy. If you really need to keep the dicks around, let Farrell run the show and he gets to hand pick 200 guys to investigate stuff. The clearance rate would still go up. Now excuse us while we go sober up. The Blackhawks lost to St. Louis 4-1 and the White Sox lost 3-2. There is no joy in Mudville tonight
Newer Posts.......................... ..........................Older Posts