Monday, January 31, 2011

Blizzard Watch

  • If you thought the East Coast had it bad last week, brace yourself for the huge storm forecast to overtake the Chicago area this week.

    The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch starting Tuesday afternoon for much of Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana.

    All told, forecasters expect at least 8 inches in northern central Illinois, and at least 18 inches in the northeast and eastern central parts of the state. Accumulations of at least 18 inches could register in Northwest Indiana and reach 24 inches in some areas
OK, so it's a bunch of snow. At least Shortshanks has been saving salt and cutting back on Streets and San overtime for the past two years. So there should be plenty of both to go around and keep the city up and running, right?

On the other hand, he could just "Bilandic" the whole thing since he's not facing re-election. One last "screw you all" to the serfs.


Ridiculous Comment

People say the darnedest things. From the comments:
  • OT: yesterday in 018, the roving mob was out again, officer came on the air and asked the Sgt. if he could just lock them all up for mob action,....the response....just observe them for now, and let them know we are the tact teams just "were around the area"....THIS IS WHY THEY DO WHAT THEY more old school bosses that would just say..."LOCK THEIR ASSES UP" come this doesn't happen in the faster districts?....cause they know that they will be LOCKED UP....
Asked a Sergeant if he could lock them up? A number of other readers took this commentator to task:
  • Hey mr. "no more bosses with balls": does that mean the sgt had the coppers balls locked up in his trunk. Maybe the officer could have dusted off his own set of balls and locked them the fuck up like a real copper instead of trying to look for special dispensation first. This attitude is what's wrong with the department! You are given a car, a gun and arrest powers and you've got to ask permission to make an arrest. I can picture the testimony now: but officer why did you arrest my clients? " because my sgt. said to". So you observed no crime occur?

    Get the point yet?

    We all have the power to arrest, if you observe a crime being committed, do something about it! You don't have to ask for permission. And if they haven't done anything or you think they are suspicious, nothing says you can't do a field interview/ contact card. At least then we know who the hell they are then.

  • Seriously, you have to come on the air to ask permission to lock someone up? You must be one of those guys that has to front a Sgt. off on every call too. Man up and make a decision officer. If you see someone break a law lock them up, if you don't know the law, stay off the street!

  • How about being the fucking POLICE!!!! Why do you need your Sgt. approval to lock their asses up?? Are you not smart enough to find PC on them for something, give me a fucking break---Be the Police or go back to where the fuck you came from.
We understand not wanting to stick your neck out for this administration, but that doesn't mean putting your head in the sand.


Media Picks Up on Residency

Evidently, someone at the main stream media noticed the same thing our readers did - the Illinois Supreme Court language is opening a door:
  • The heads of the Chicago police and firefighter unions are commenting today on how the residency ruling for mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel might affect the rule requiring city workers to live within the city limits.

    Mark Donahue, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, says he’s tried for the past few years to get the legislature to change the law so Chicago police could go to the bargaining table with the city and negotiate over whether police could live in the suburbs. Donahue says the FOP will make that legislative push again this session.

    Donahue says he doesn’t know whether any legal connection can be made between yesterday’s Illinois Supreme Court ruling for Emanuel and the city’s employment rule.

    Chicago Firefighter Union leader Tom Ryan says he’s had members who’ve lost their jobs because they didn’t live in the city of Chicago. He says he doesn’t know whether yesterday’s Illinois Supreme Court ruling will have a bearing on those or any other cases.

As was pointed out in our comment section some time ago, the national FOP regularly wins residency lawsuits. Their winning percentage approaches that of the NRA's record over nonsense gun laws. And from what we see in the comment sections of the various media sites covering this portion of the story, most people would be happy to have the police move out of their neighborhoods. The words "no great loss," "leave already," "it's police kids who are the problem" appear with startling regularity. We had no idea that there was so much support for police and firefighters leaving the city.


New Old Teams - Again?

Everything old becomes new again:
  • Remember how all of the Area Saturation teams were recently disbanded, under the premise that manpower would be put back into the districts?
    Well, here we go again....

    It seems that A2 has decided that they cannot do without a team under their control. They have decided that each district in Area 2 needs to give up between 4-8 P.O.'s to be part of their new "64" Tact team. These officers will report to the district they work out of, pick up radios and cars, then report to Area 2 for assignment. They allegedly will keep two of the officers in Area 2 at a designated Hot Spot, while the rest will be sent back into their district to work on district problems. The only problem is these officers being sent back to their districts for the rest of the tour can be pulled in response to any urgent matter.

    How many days have you seen Area 2 NOT have a shooting? There's your urgent matter, and less people in the district where they normally work. Of course, think through the scenario, and see where the potential exists for grievances on this, never mind the ever increasingly dangerously low manpower levels in district law enforcement.

    Oh, and they are NOT being called Saturation teams, because we disbanded those...they are the new district tact teams (ie 364, 464, 564, 664, and 2264).
Re-inventing the wheel at the cost of manning the beat cars.


Burge Quick Hits

You knew Jesse Jackson had to make an appearance somewhere:
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday that he plans to file a lawsuit seeking to strip former Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge of his pension.

    The Chicago Police pension board split 4-4 on whether to allow Burge, who was convicted for lying about police torture under his watch, to continue receiving the payouts. Five votes were required to strip him of his pension.

    Jackson said Saturday that he will file a lawsuit over that vote because Illinois state law states pension benefits shall not be paid to public officials “convicted of any felony relating to or arising out of or in connection with service as a firefighter.”

We can't imagine how Jesse has any standing whatsoever in any lawsuit. He's injecting himself into something once again in a desperate effort to stay relevant.

And how about J-Fled?
  • Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis says he’s embarrassed by the police pension board decision allowing former Cmdr. Jon Burge to keep his pension.
It was put to a vote and the vote went Burge's way. What's to be embarrassed about? It's not like J-Fled ever served under Burge. He wasn't even in Chicago when any of these alleged incidents occurred. It's not like he was ever the police, period.

We're embarrassed every time J-Fled appears in sweats and a t-shirt representing the Department. We don't hold press conferences about it, though.


Police Shooting

Lost this one in the shuffle last night:
  • Chicago Police shot a man who allegedly lunged at them with a knife early Sunday in the Chatham neighborhood after the man was involved in a domestic incident on the Bishop Ford Freeway on the Far South Side.

    The incident began at 2:56 a.m. when Illinois State Police District Chicago state troopers responded to I-94 southbound at 103rd Street for a domestic disturbance in progress, according to ISP District Chicago Master Sgt. Michael Witt.

  • The 54-year-old man barricaded himself in a bedroom while armed with a knife and when officers entered the bedroom, the man lunged at the officers with a knife — causing one officer to shoot him, the release said. A police source said the man was not holding any hostages.
Good job all around.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

No Gun for Robbers - or Commander

This must have been two Mensa candidates trying to stick up the armored car:
  • The amazing move two armored truck guards pulled Friday morning to foil a robbery in Humboldt Park sounds like it was ripped from a Hollywood script.

    The results: The guards survived. One suspect was killed and another critically wounded — shot in the eye.

  • “And this all happened underneath a police camera,” [Area 4 Police Commander] Riccio said. “But it was actually watching a drug deal go down a little further west on Chicago Avenue. Once the officers monitoring the camera heard this was happening, they zoomed in.”

    What the camera saw was the escape attempt of the man who was shot in the eye as he stumbled and crawled down the sidewalk. He only made it a few feet.

    Another shock to investigators: “The shotgun was fake,” Riccio said. “It was two pipes taped together with electrical tape. I saw it. It looked very good. But the revolver was real.”

Two pipes and electrical tape going up against armed guards? Brilliant! But the best part? We got three separate e-mails on this one:
  • Dear SCC,

    As you can imagine, all the big bosses showed up at the armored car shooting, but the best part was seeing Henny Penny running around the scene - without a gun! That's right, running around screaming like a chicken with its head cut off, but no hat.....and no gun. This is almost as good as her showing up at the HBT incident last year with no vest on and being dropped off in front of the building where a rifleman was holed up inside. Where does J-Fled find these people?
We have no idea, but he seems to have found an endless supply of them.


Detroit Police Shooting

Very disturbing video released by the Detroit PD:

Another version is here with an intro by the Police Chief. Same basic video.

We can't think of any Chicago police station that doesn't have these types of security issues and can actually say that every current police Area desk is built almost exactly the way this Detroit police station is - open lobby, grade level desk that's easy to get over, little to no cover.

Detroit PD is lucky not to be planning half a dozen funerals after this disaster. And we can predict with near certainty that Chicago will do exactly nothing to protect their station desk crews from a similar attack in the future even though J-Fled was hired partly for his anti-terror credentials and spent unknown amounts of money for a Secret Service evaluation of building security following the unauthorized ride-along of the 13-year-old kid.


Maybe $10 for Taste?

  • The lone bidder to take over Taste of Chicago has cut its proposed admission fee in half — to $10 — hoping to appease Mayor Daley, who has declared that Chicago’s premier lakefront festival will “always be free.”

    “The city can keep doing what they’re doing without an admission fee. But, no private company is gonna do it for free. It’s impossible,” said a source close to the negotiations.

    “There’s a reason why only one company bid” in response to Daley’s request to privatize Taste and six other lakefront festivals.

Everyone knows the Taste is suffering from a bad case of indigestion. The fee for running a booth at the Taste has become cost prohibitive. The mayor is allowing suburban restaurants to supplant what was once a home-grown affair. Corporate chains have booths which kind of defeats the purpose of a unique Chicago "taste" of things. The "wilding" has become an epidemic and two of the last three or four years have had a shooting just within or just outside of the borders.

Now the initial effort to take back control of what used to be a showcase event runs into the lame-duck buzz saw of Shortshanks who doesn't want to offend busloads of underprivileged altar boys and future brain surgeons who come to enjoy the fresh lakefront air and easy pickings.

We can hardly wait until people see the fences that are going to go up around the Taste and the security that is going to have to be hired to secure the premises. Those videos are going to be epic.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Police Shooting

  • Police shot a person late tonight in the Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side, police said.

    About 10:10 p.m., shots were fired at police in the 2200 block of South Kolin Avenue, according to police News Affairs [...].

    Police then shot one person, although nothing was known immediately about the person’s condition[...]. No police were injured, according to preliminary reports.

Details as they become available.


Shrinking Checks

Anyone noticed the direction gas prices are going? How about food prices? Headed north in a hurry. Now this:
  • Mayor Richard Daley's administration today unveiled a plan for police and fire pension reform that would increase employee contributions as part of a package it hopes would save Chicago property taxpayers $240 million per year compared to a bill Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law earlier this month.

    Gene Saffold, the city's chief financial officer, said the Daley administration has not spoken to state lawmakers or labor leaders about supporting the city's alternate plan. But Saffold hopes the new General Assembly will address Daley's concerns that the new pension reform law will place an onerous burden on taxpayers with a $550 million property-tax hike beginning in 2015.

    The administration's proposal would raise police officers' contribution to their pension plan from 9 percent to 12 percent between 2015 and 2018, and raise firefighters' share from 9.1 percent to 12.1 percent.
And of course, more "conditions" to avoid paying the freight they should have been paying for years ago:
  • The city's proposal also would require that the public safety pension systems be funded only to 80 percent rather than 90 percent of their total obligations, and extend the timeline to reach that benchmark from 30 years to 50 years.
This hole that Shortshanks has dug for Chicago just gets deeper every time you turn around. If he had been putting money where it belonged instead of using it to buy votes via shoddy construction, connected contracts, questionable grants and outright theft, the pensions would be in better shape and the taxpayers (which we all are) wouldn't be on the hook for billions.

That's the truly sick part - we're going to be bailing ourselves out via increased pension contributions from our checks along with property tax increases, raised fees and reduced services, which come out of our checks, too.


Class Act

Thank you Des Plaines:
  • SCC, an interesting footnote to this whole incident. The Des Plaines Police Chief came to the 024th District roll call at 5:30am to personally thank the officers involved in the arrest of this animal. It speaks volumes when a Chief from another department sees fit to visit coppers from another DEPARTMENT to acknowledge good work and Jody can't even make a statement to the media (which he seems to have on speed dial) praising his officers.
Classy move. The Chief could teach more than a few people here how to be a leader.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Illinois Supreme Court Decision

The entire decision is linked here via the Sun Times.

Here's the interesting section though:
  • Finally, it should be noted that today's decision will raise questions beyond the facts of this case. Because the court holds that residency has one settled meaning, and that meaning rests on a person’s intent, today’s decision will have implications for residency requirements for in-state tuition, residency requirements for municipal employees such as police officers and firefighters, residency requirements for school districts and other similar situations. This court should be prepared to address those issues as firmly and expeditiously as we have done today.

    Because of the breadth of today’s decision, we do not join the majority's holding that residency is the equivalent of domicile and that intent, therefore determines residency, even in the absence of any physical presence. Rather, we would answer the narrow question that was actually raised by the objectors in this case: Does a person lose his permanent abode if the [abode] is rented during the relevant residency period? To that question we answer "no." For that reason alone, we join in the judgment of the majority.
Looks like the door is opened wide to a challenge, and the ticket that embraces this opportunity might swing a union election shortly.

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And Another Example

Not just the Subway robber from yesterday. Not just the homeless bastard knocking out yuppie teeth downtown. There are more out there:
  • A 53-year-old man arrested more than 250 times was in custody again Thursday night, accused of trespassing at O'Hare International Airport, according to Chicago police.

    Elijah Goodlett, whose last known address was on the 1000 block of North Central Avenue, was charged with criminal trespassing and soliciting unlawful business, both misdemeanors.

    Goodlett was arrested at about 11:30 a.m. after trying to get travelers to let him carry their luggage.

Once again, the police are doing their jobs. The State's Attorney and judges aren't doing theirs.


Subway Robber Rap Sheet

Yet another shining example of what the Cook County court system allows to roam the streets:
  • Did you see this savage's rap sheet. My God. Twenty some odd felony arrests. 6 convictions. Been doing armed robberies since '95. Nice career choice. I am sure he was just about to turn his life around before the SUBWAY clerk attacked him for no reason. Wanted to study electrical engineering. Cook County justice, farce.
How many deals were made for this piece of crap to be out roaming the streets? And all for an inflated conviction rate so some political hack can run on their "record."

Does anyone think Cook county voters will ever wake up?


Want to End Downtown "Wildings"?

  • [Gurkha] soldiers have long been known the world over for their valor and these khukuri-wielding warriors winning the British many a battle have become folklore.

    A retired Indian [Gurkha] soldier recently revisited those glory days when he thwarted 40 robbers, killing three of them and injuring eight others, with his khukuri during a train journey. He is in line to receive three gallantry awards from the Indian government.

  • “They started snatching jewelry, cell phones, cash, laptops and other belongings from the passengers,” Shrestha recalled. The soldier had somehow remained a silent spectator amidst the melee, but not for long. He had had enough when the robbers stripped an 18-year-old girl sitting next to him and tried to rape her right in front of her parents. He then took out his khukuri and took on the robbers.
The Gurkha's weapon on choice?

That would pretty much ruin a chain/phone snatcher's day.


Low Tech Smuggling

Who needs an underground tunnel when you have medieval technology?
  • Surveillance video shows drug smugglers using an old invention as a new way to move marijuana across the border from Mexico to Arizona.

    National Guard troops operating a remote surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station say they observed several people preparing a catapult and launching packages over the fence late last week.

    A Mexican army officer says the 3-yard tall catapult was found about 20 yards from the U.S. border on a flatbed towed by a sports utility vehicle.

    The officer says the catapult was capable of launching 4.4 pounds of marijuana at a time. He says soldiers seized 35 pounds of pot, the vehicle and the catapult.

We're going to call this a distraction ploy as another semi tractor load comes rolling over the border along with a few rail cars underground.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rahm Stays on Ballot

  • The Illinois Supreme Court ruled today that Rahm Emanuel can stay on the ballot for mayor of Chicago.

    The decision comes without a moment to spare; early voting for the Feb. 22 city election begins Monday, Jan. 31.

Let the games begin.


Two Thousand Hires

  • Mayoral candidate Gery Chico on Wednesday said he'll hire 2,000 more Chicago police officers if elected, but did not offer specifics on how he'd come up with the money to pay for them.

    The former Chicago Board of Education president insisted he would find an extra $200 million over four years for the extra police, even though the city budget has had shortfalls of hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years.

    Chico said if he can't rearrange the budget to fund such a hiring spree, he shouldn't be running for the city's highest office.
We wonder if there are even 2,000 eligible names on the most recent test list. The fact is that Chico is making this push while Rahm is on the defensive over his residency court loss. It's a sound strategy even if it's a bit dishonest. We don't see how he'd find $200 million in a budget that's been $500 million short a few years in a row.

We did like how the Tribune runs with a headline of "Chico Calls for Hiring 2,000 More Cops" but tops it with a picture of Rahm at a community meeting. They're not too obvious about being in the bag for Daley's preferred candidate, are they?


The Undercover Commander

Some people just can't stay out of their own way:
  • Slightly off topic:.
    It seems Penelope beleives she is a "COVERT COMMANDER" who drives around in her personal car following "ON DUTY" units in her PERSONAL VEHICLE!.

    It is being reported that henny penny was in her PERSONAL VEHICLE and spotted beat 11XX at Belmont and western and decided to come up on the radio and find out the status of this unit. Well I am sure henny penny thought she had this unit for being out of the district but she forgot that it is qualification time. It is also reported that she was spotted driving around the "north end" of 011 and "checking the status" of units thru the zone while in her PERSONAL VEHICLE.

    Somebody care to inform henny penny that using your personal vehicle while on duty for any police act is strictly prohibited by General Order! Or does that not apply to the "chosen exempt" who think they are above the law?
Well, Henny Penny has already proven herself to be above the rules and regulations as we know it. And while it is completely within her duties to check on a car she spotted out of district, cruising around hot spots in her own car seems foolish should anything untoward happen to bystanders if police action were required to be taken and she had a perfectly serviceable exempt vehicle available for duty.


Nice Job Officers

  • A police officer tackled a carjacking suspect who officials say crashed a stolen taxi after a wild chase through several suburbs.

    The high-speed chase -- in which the carjacker ran through stoplights, around vehicles and crossed into oncoming traffic -- originated in Des Plaines around 6 a.m. Wednesday. The chase continued through at least five suburbs, including Morton Grove, Niles, Skokie and Evanston, and ended with a car crash just before 7 a.m. at North Clark and West Columbia in Rogers Park.

    Just before he was captured, the driver clipped a school bus, partially tearing off the front bumper of the bus, and hit a light pole. He then climbed out of the vehicle through the driver's side window and was chased on foot by Chicago police, who tackled and arrested him after he slipped on an ice patch.

The chase was extensively covered on the news and showed only the professionalism of the department on full display. Nothing untoward on display, no question about actions. In short, exactly what the overwhelming majority of officers, city and suburban, do day in and day out, even when the cameras aren't on.


More Quinn Problems

As if a pending SEC inquiry wasn't enough, now his budget from two years ago suddenly doesn't exist anymore:
  • In a stunning blow to Gov. Quinn’s administration, an Illinois appeals court Wednesday tossed out the $31 billion construction program passed in 2009 that has been a centerpiece of his job-creation efforts.

    In so doing, the three-member appeals panel also invalidated video poker, partial state lottery privatization, higher liquor and sales taxes and other revenues that add up to $1.1 billion, money that was designed to support massive borrowing for the bricks-and-mortar program.

    Quinn vowed an immediate appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

At the heart of the suit is that the Illinois legislature is required to pass bills that deal with single issues, not a multitude of issues rolled into a giant mess of a bill. The suit was filed by Rocky Wirtz of the Blackhawks over provisions taxing liquor while simultaneously borrowing money through bond issues, a hot issue seeing as Quinn just asked for another $8.75 billion in borrowing and will now have to go back and ask for permission to restructure the $2.2 billion already borrowed two years ago.

Wouldn't it make more sense to do things right the first time? Not here we guess. This one might cost taxpayers another pretty penny.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

CFD Backs Chico

  • Mayoral candidate Gery Chico picked up the firefighters union's endorsement Tuesday and opened the door to dropping the long-reviled requirement that city workers live in Chicago.

    Police, firefighters and other municipal employees have pined for decades for permission to be allowed to move their families to the suburbs. With city workers concentrated in a handful of neighborhoods at the fringes of the Northwest and Southwest Sides, lifting the residency requirement could lead to a transformation of what are now solidly middle-class enclaves.

    Chico stopped well short of endorsing such a move, but said it's a topic he would consider at the request of firefighters and police officers. He said he doubted workers would flee the city if the restriction was eliminated.

    "If I thought it was threatening to the middle class of Chicago, I wouldn't put it on the table," he said. "I think we're absolutely mature enough to put the issue on the table to discuss."

Rational people can agree to at least discuss changes in the current rules instead of following Shortshanks' declaration that it's his ball, he's not playing with you and just to make sure, he's asking grandma to lock the ball away in a closet.

Is Chico pandering? Sure, a bit. So was Rahm. It's what politicians do.

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Not So Fast

  • Chicago's top election official today suggested voters might want to hold off before voting early next week, given the uncertainty surrounding the ballot.

    The comments by Langdon Neal, chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, came after the Illinois Supreme Court today reinstated mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel and agreed to hear his appeal that he belongs on the mayoral ballot.

    “If the voters have any questions, any doubt, any uncertainty, I would encourage them to wait until the end of the 18 days,” Neal said, noting that early voting ends on Feb. 17. “It’s up to the voters.” Early voting starts Monday at 51 locations across the city. As of now, Emanuel's name will be on the ballot.
So he's on the ballot, but not eligible at the moment.

Th only people making out on this whole thing are (A) the election lawyers, and (B) the Printer's Union since they're doing double the work and will probably get another contract for stickers that are going to have to be put on upwards of a million ballots either blanking out Rahm's name of adding it into an open slot.

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An SEC Investigation?

In the middle of another round of commercials encouraging Illinois companies to move out of state to escape higher taxes, news of some import:
  • Another day. Another Republican governor taking potshots at Gov. Quinn and the whopping income-tax increase he helped implement this month.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appeared in a series of ads that debuted Tuesday in Illinois media touting his state’s business climate and asking, “Had enough of outrageous tax increases?”

    Christie’s jabs came on the same day it was learned that the federal Securities and Exchange Commission had opened an “inquiry” into cost-savings estimates from the Quinn administration from a 2010 pension-overhaul law.

  • Quinn [...] downplayed the SEC inquiry, and an aide insisted the questions about $300 million in potential savings from last year’s pension-reforms, which raised the retirement age to 67 for new state workers, did not rise to the level of a formal investigation.
$300 million in "potential savings" on a $3.7 billion (billion with a B) bond issue? The Sun Times probably ought to move those quotation marks from the word "inquiry" and put them around the words "cost-savings estimates." As businesses and people who can afford to move out of Illinois actually do so, that so-called "savings" is going to evaporate damn quickly.


Luis, You Scumbag

  • Squaring off against Chicago’s top federal prosecutor and victims’ families, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez is helping push parole for a one-time leader of a violent Puerto Rican separatist group responsible for 120 bombings nationally that killed five people.

    Gutierrez (D-Ill.) believes Oscar Lopez Rivera, who headed the Chicago wing of the FALN, should be released from a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., after serving 29 years for seditious conspiracy, armed robbery and twice scheming to escape prison.

  • The group simultaneously took over the Chicago presidential campaign offices of Jimmy Carter in 1980 and the New York campaign offices of Republican George Bush, holding campaign workers at gunpoint while ransacking the offices and stealing supporter lists.

    Lopez Rivera, who oversaw the takeover of the Carter office, also directed the placement of five bombs in the Loop and suburbs in late 1979 and oversaw the 1980 armed takeover of an Oak Creek, Wis., National Guard armory.

This is the type of "person" Gutierrez thinks should be released back on the streets of society. An unrepentant terrorist who actually turned down clemency from Clinton when Slick Willie was pardoning terrorists to garner support for Hillary's Senate run. This is also the main sticking point we have with Chico accepting Gutierrez's endorsement. It's unfortunate that we're going to have to hold our noses while punching Chico's ticket, because it could have been so much cleaner.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Uptick in Line of Duty Deaths

  • A spate of shooting attacks on law enforcement officers has authorities concerned about a war on cops.

    In just 24 hours, at least 11 officers were shot. The shootings included Sunday attacks at traffic stops in Indiana and Oregon, a Detroit police station shooting that wounded four officers, and a shootout at a Port Orchard, Wash., Wal-Mart that injured two deputies. On Monday morning, two officers were shot dead and a U.S. Marshal was wounded by a gunman in St. Petersburg, Fla.

    On Thursday, two Miami-Dade, Fla., detectives were killed by a murder suspect they were trying to arrest.

The total for January deaths has already matched last year's and there's still a week to go.

Please be careful, be aware, be safe.

UPDATE: Don't bother reading the comments in the linked story. You'll give yourselves ulcers.


Dennis Byrne on Pensions

  • Illinois, the worst is yet to come.

    All you state retirees: Do you really believe that your pension was in any way secured by those blow-off-the-roof income tax increases? All you hospitals and social services that are owed billions: Think that check will arrive soon?

    Should we think that tax increases will halt the torrent of state borrowing that put us so deep in debt in the first place? Will it drag the state's credit rating from off the floor?

    Truth is, you've been chumped. None of that is happening.

Make no mistake about it, pensions are going to be the hot button issue the next few years. The FOP really needs to think about getting in front of this issue with graphs and math and silly poster boards showing the problem isn't police and fire pensions, but politicians double and triple dipping, last minute boosts to pension multipliers for the connected and pensions that dwarf actual salaries drawn. It also couldn't hurt to point out that we contribute over 9% of our salary to our own pensions and, thanks to Rostenkowski, receive no Social Security.

UPDATE: post amended for percentage contributed.


Funny Quote

  • A tip led Chicago police late Sunday to a West Side warehouse where they seized an estimated $700,000 of high-end marijuana. One person was taken into custody.

    Police executed a search warrant at the warehouse at 5101 W. Lake St., which they described as an unlicensed auto body shop.

    Harrison District tactical officers found about 115 pounds of marijuana, and also seized eight handguns and a shotgun from the shop and the home of the shop's owner, police said. One of the guns was stolen. Police also found a quantity of ammunition.

    "Our tactical guys had a better day than the Bears," said Sgt. Edward Sullins. "We were able to develop information from a source and obtain a search warrant. Our guys found a large amount of high-end pot, probably worth just under $1 million on the street." Police later lowered that estimate to $700,000.

One hundred fifteen pounds might fill a rolling garbage can - not much in the grand scheme of things, but the Bears quote is funny.


Thirteen Million

We slipped past 13 million visitors sometime right after the Bears disaster.

Once again, thanks to everyone who stops by to read, comment, rant or commiserate.

We couldn't do it without your input. Stay safe.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Rahm Off The Ballot?!

We are indeed living in interesting times:
  • Rahm Emanuel should not appear on the Feb. 22 Chicago mayoral ballot, according to a ruling issued by the state appellate court this morning.

    Two of the three judges on the panel said Emanuel does not meet the residency requirement. The judges reversed an earlier decision by the Chicago Board of Elections that determined Emanuel was eligible.
Read the ruling here.

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Four Police Shot in Detroit

  • It was just before 4:30 p.m. Sunday when the gunman came into the police station and started shooting.

    A female sergeant in a hallway was hit first. Commander Brian Davis raced out of his office, exchanged fire with the gunman and got shot in the back.

    Then the gunman rushed the horseshoe-shaped front desk with his pistol grip shotgun. Sgt. Ray Saati and Officer David Anderson also were shot before the gunman was killed.

It should certainly give anyone working our desks pause - there isn't a district station in Chicago that isn't wide open, exposed, vulnerable. The older stations are built with low counters and the new ones, while having raised desk areas, are surrounded by open space and glass. Prime targets for certain motivated individuals without a doubt. Stay alert boys and girls.


Two Sets of Rules (Again)

And if you question J-Fled, Masters Masters Masters will get you:
  • Is it true JFed called James Jackson last Sunday night and told him his Admin LT was being dumped without Jackson's knowledge around midnight?

    I'm not sure when the dumping occurred, but I know why it did happen. The LT. made the mistake of asking why the policy group and crystal ball people were exempt from going out to work operation protect youth and was retaliated against for questioning 3M and company.

    What a bunch of assholes these people are.
What, you're surprised? We're sure our readers could come up with dozens, maybe even scores of this sort of thing happening more often that even makes these pages.

The Policy Group is not to be questioned under any circumstances. That means nothing about all the missing LESO equipment from Ray Ray's past, nothing about holding coppers' lives in limbo by hiding dozens of CR investigations in an empty file cabinet, nothing about being paid out-of-grade and getting a company car involving a deliberately misclassified job description....

Hey, wait a minute. Isn't that exactly what Pappas is in trouble for? Misidentifying jobs so political cronies can get more money? It is, isn't it. Imagine that.

And under no circumstances will you question the use of Code 049 so certain people can travel on the taxpayers dime for an organization that allegedly misrepresents itself to uniform companies to get free material outside of the authorized processes established by the Department. That just won't do at all.
  • I am also 80% certain that the WTA had the department purchase tactical clothing for WTA members.

    It's worse that that. I wont burn my source, but I work in a neighboring suburb and one of my jobs is meeting with some of the uniform reps for our uniforms. I've had two of them tell me that KB told them that she and her "Superintendents group" were doing all the uniform testing for the CPD. The guys said they gave her several thousand dollars worth of gear and uniform pieces to test. Over a year later nothing had been done, and when they kept finally asking what was going on, they were passed to the actual person who does the uniform testing.

    The company reps said they were burned by KB for all the gear, and that KB has a reputation in their industry as someone not to deal with.
It sure seems that J-Fled is turning a blind eye to blatant corruption, cronyism and criminal acts by his handpicked people. Reformer, our asses.


Another "Flash Mob"

Twice in three days? Or just getting more coverage:
  • Some time this evening, around 6:30 p.m., a group of African-American teenage shoplifters swarmed a downtown Chicago GAP clothing store.

    Police said the juvenile offenders were caught on tape stealing merchandise from the Michigan Avenue retailer.
The blog has been airing stories for over a year or two now about roving gangs randomly beating people and robbing them all over downtown. Now that businesses are getting hit, all of the sudden it's newsworthy to the mainstream media, but only one time. They wouldn't want to make this look like a regular occurrence or an on-going problem or anything now or what?

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Underdogs Again

  • The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have met 181 times in the NFL's longest standing rivalry dating back to 1921.

    Only once have they played with this much at stake.

    Chicago hosts Green Bay in the NFC championship game Sunday in the teams' first playoff meeting since Dec. 14, 1941.

    The Bears' 33-14 victory over the Packers at that time put them in the NFL title game, and a win Sunday will accomplish a similar feat. While there's sure to be mention of the rivalry between franchises with a combined 48 Hall of Fame players, the history between Chicago and Green Bay takes a back seat to a Super Bowl berth being on the line.

The Bears thrived as the underdogs this season and the current line has the Pack favored by 4. We expect a very intense game. Good luck Bears.


J-Fled Still in Charge

And he's letting everyone know:
  • What's being spoken of in hushed whispers among the Gold Stars is that a meeting was called Thursday evening by J-Fled & EB with all exempts. After they all arrived HQ, They were all told that "Weis still runs things, he's still the Supt., and anyone who doesn't like it can pack a bag and be dismissed from the Exempt ranks.'

    Apparently, it's come to a head that NONE of the exempts will support Supt. 'So-Stupid,' as evidenced by the fact that for the past 4 months, possibly longer, Weis has been forced to hold all his major BS press conferences ALONE. None of the exempts want to be photographed or videotaped standing too close to the guy; it's pretty well established that whoever gets the nod for Supt. after the Mayoral election, the vast majority of the 'high command' will just about all be history. They're all pretty much about as useful as tits on the proverbial bull.

    Apparently, Peterson and Weis have now had a falling out, evidenced by 3M snatching all of the 'glamour' units away from 'ol bullet head and keeping them for himself, under the "Supts. Office" umbrella. The circus continues, with the cast of clowns constantly being updated! My, but what a 'Peyton Place' PD we have become! HAHAHAHA!
We had noticed that the last few months of press conferences all seemed to be held with only J-Fled present or with Peterson hanging out in the background. Now, even that fig leaf of support from his own command staff may have been stripped away. The exempts smell change in the air and no one wants to be closely associated with J-Fled, Downtown Brown or Masters Masters Masters.


More PODS for Everyone

An idea that takes officers off the street and puts them in a room just got worse:
  • Letter came down from the Techies the other day...... POD rooms to be set up in other districts (016, 017 025). Seems DTEB likes Henny Penny's POD room idea, and wants to have more.
Pardon our questions, but when the Department was giving tours of the Fusion Center or whatever it was called at the 911 Building, wasn't the idea to have light duty or retired cops monitoring all the cameras so as to free up able bodied persons to respond to observed incidents? So why are we shorting already short Districts by taking cars off the street to monitor the cameras?


Unannounced Changes

Popping up in a few comment sections, some changes that are being made under the radar:
  • Tobias takes over Keating's spot at Central Control Group. We thought that spot was reserved for a sergeant, but we guess not;
  • Kirby moves into the Brust vacancy at Professional Standards. Does she have to worry about a sergeant hiding 30 or more CR files while being paid for work he wasn't doing anymore?
  • Price leaves Intelligence and takes over Legal Affairs;
  • Rejoice 017! Mealer is leaving the District to take over Intelligence;
  • Lt. Melissa Staples takes over 017
Can anyone verify these and any others in the works?


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Look Into My Crystal Balls

  • It was a bit like a scene from “Minority Report,” the 2002 Tom Cruise movie that featured genetically altered humans with special powers to predict crime.

    In October, the Chicago Police Department’s new crime-forecasting unit was analyzing 911 calls for service and produced an intelligence report predicting a shooting would happen soon on a particular block on the South Side.

    Three minutes later, it did, police officials say.

Could we get the documentation on this one? Because this should have been blasted all over the television, radio and internet if even remotely true.

And if true, then the results should be easily reproducible. To date, we haven't heard of a single incident of the Crystal Ball Unit (or it's predecessor) successfully predicting a single crime, including the one cited as the basis for this entire article.

The tongue bath continues:
  • That got police Supt. Jody Weis thinking.

    He wondered if the department could produce intelligence reports even quicker. Next time, officers might have an hour’s notice before a shooting — instead of just a few minutes.

That's an amazing thing in and of itself - thinking that they actually "predicted" a shooting. It has been said that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. This prediction was obviously a blind squirrel/nut scenario and a monumental confluence of coincidences.

We aren't going to bore you with the entire load of nonsense, but the article states the prediction area was over a mile square. Shit, we could pick a box measuring a mile square on each side, drop it in the middle of 007, 006, 011, 010, or 015 and have a positive prediction ratio approaching easily approaching 70%. It's a joke. Oh heck, here's the portion we're citing:
  • The Predictive Analytics Group, which sorts through crime statistics and demographic data, was formed by Weis last spring.

    At the time, the department was generating weekly citywide intelligence reports on violent crime and identifying “hot spots” of more than a square mile.

    Weis said the goal of the Crime Analytics Group was to produce twice-a-day intelligence reports concentrating on smaller hot spots.

    Nine months later, that’s been accomplished, said Goldstein, who said his unit also is working with detectives to identify robbery patterns.

    Goldstein said he expects the intelligence reports will eventually go out more often than twice a day “as we move closer to real-time architecture.”

    But the science behind the reports remains a mystery. Goldstein won’t give specifics on how his unit makes its predictions or identify the targeted areas, saying he does not want to tip off criminals.

Science? This guy wrote a program for restaurant reservations for pete's sake. He didn't invent crime fighting. He doesn't even have 18 months of street time and now he's a crime scientist?

Specifics? We'll clue you in Frank Main - there are none. It's a "mystery" because it's smoke, mirrors and a daily helping of bullshit, specially imported from Lincoln Park Zoo's Bovine Emporium. Detectives were identifying robbery patterns with push pins and big maps decades before the four-year wonder Director was a gleam in his daddy's eye. The only difference now is the computer generated maps are way cooler than before and the pushpins don't stick you in the ass when you fold up the map to take it on the street with you.

If there was a science to it or any real results available, it would be all over the press releases and touted as the next big thing. Someone would be looking to make some real money as consultants or analysts or selling the software or visiting professorships with prestigious universities and think-tanks. None of that is present or even on the horizon.

The best part of the article isn't actually in the article though. It's in the comment section and it references Dugan's retirement party:
  • Why does the media keep drinking the kool aid from this imposter and padding his resume?
    Retiring Deputy Superintendent Dugan said it best in his retirement speech, "This department will hopefully return to its better days when this joke of an experiment is over."
Hopefully, Dugan said exactly that, because it's true. Our readers have been saying it for almost three years now. Too bad it wasn't said sooner, louder and by more people in power.

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Reorganizing Again?

From the comments:
  • OT, order came out tonight. Counter terrorism and Intel is now under the Supt.s office. What the fu*& is goin on? Pretty soon the Supt. Office will be one of the largest units on the department. Another Masters power grab?
And word just in that all Deputy Chief offices have been cut down to two Officers and a Sergeant, total. No more Gun Teams, Project Safe Neighborhood teams, Saturation Teams, or Abandoned Building Officers - everything has been farmed out to other units.

If true, this would mark something like the fourth or fifth major reorganization of the Bureaus and Divisions. It would also make the Deputy Chiefs just about completely irrelevant.

Who has the scoop? What's brewing?


No Cable?

A particularly nasty vicious rumor has sprung up that all cable hookups to Department facilities will be cut off an hour before game time Sunday. No word on restoring the service.

On a side note, our brothers at the CFD have agreed to host officers during game time with a very nice spread of sandwiches, drinks and snacks. A number of area hospitals have also agreed to have televisions available in the ER's, cafeterias, waiting areas and maybe even a nurses' lounge or two.


4.5 Years for Burge

Probably not the last word on the whole thing, seeing as how appeals might take another few years, but we suppose if you hammer the same theme over and over and over again, something is going to stick eventually:
  • In a packed courtroom with more than half a dozen deputy U.S. Marshals keeping watch, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow sentenced former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge to 4 ½ years in prison, telling him she believed he lied under oath in the trial before her and defiled justice in his time as a police official.

    In remarks that capped an emotional two-day hearing – one that saw the hard-edged Burge reduced to tears -- Lefkow castigated law enforcement authorities for failing to put a close to the ugly chapter in the city’s history decades earlier and gave weight to claims of torture at the hands of Burge and his underlings.

So Lefkow blames a lack of supervision over Burge, but doesn't even begin to speculate why none of them are before the bench? And then, not a whisper or a hint over the State's Attorney who was running the show, making cases with supposedly coerced testimony, when all of this allegedly took place?

If this is the case, we supposed we can all take comfort in the fact that the tradition of inadequate, irrelevant and incompetent management continues to this very day.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Rahm Closing In on 50%

  • Rahm Emanuel is closing in on the majority he needs to end the mayor's race next month and avoid a one-on-one runoff, a new Tribune/WGN poll shows.

    The former White House chief of staff had the support of 44 percent of those surveyed. Emanuel enjoys a wide lead among women and white voters and has substantial support among African-American and Latino voters.

    Former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and onetime Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico are battling for second place in hopes of advancing to an April runoff. But they also must stop Emanuel from getting more than 50 percent and winning outright on Feb. 22.

    Braun had 21 percent support and Chico 16 percent, with City Clerk Miguel del Valle at 7 percent and 9 percent undecided. The poll of 708 likely registered voters was conducted Saturday through Wednesday and has an error margin of 3.7 percentage points.
And Braun is in second??? What the hell is in the water here?


Baby, It's COLD Outside

  • Get ready to wear every single item of outerwear you own, and possibly buy a few more. Artic air spreading across the Midwest will make it feel like 20 degrees below zero Thursday night in the Chicago area.

    The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday and lasting until 11 a.m. Friday.

    By Thursday evening, temperatures will quickly drop into the single digits shortly after sunset and continue to fall overnight, the weather service said. Much of the area will see low temperatures near or below zero, with winds of 15-25 mph expected to last through the night.

    Wind chill readings of 20- to 29-below are expected. Wind chill values at this level can cause frostbite to exposed skin within 30 minutes, the weather service said.

Does anyone know if they even bother keeping the playing surface of Soldier Field covered prior to game day? Because we can only imagine it's going to be like running and tackling on concrete.


Birds of a Feather

  • Hailing him as “a man of vision,” Mayor Daley introduced Chinese President Hu Jintao at a formal dinner in Chicago on Thursday night that included a Who’s Who of Illinois business and politics.

    After the crowd of more than 500 gave the mayor and Chinese president a standing ovation, Daley said he plans to make Chicago “the most China-friendly city in the United States.”

From one totalitarian dictator to another. From one short, power wielding midget who would gladly jail every media dissident, every political opponent, and shut down every alternative media website to one who already does all of that and more. Praise for a man who continues to jail a Nobel Peace Prize winner actually deserving of the honor. A "man of vision" who presides over a military-industrial complex that has based its entire existence on piracy and espionage.

Yeah, we can see where Shortshanks is envious of this guy.


Hot Pursuit

  • A man is facing a slew of charges Thursday after allegedly attempting to rob a Wicker Park home, then taking off with a police officer in the back of his getaway car.

    Police responded at 2 p.m. Wednesday to a call of a burglary in progress in the 1600 block of North Winchester, Shakespeare District police Capt. Marc Buslik said.

    Two men allegedly attempted to burglarize a home but fled down a gangway and into an alley toward their still-running car when the homeowner gave chase, Buslik said. Police officers found at least one of the suspects, identified as Timothy Davenport, 23, in the alley, Buslik said. He was Tasered after he allegedly punched an officer, the captain said.

    Davenport allegedly continued to resist police and drove away as police tried to remove him from the car, Buslik said. One officer was thrown from the moving car while a second officer became locked in the backseat.

No officers seriously hurt at last report. But fleeing with an officer in the back seat? How the heck are you going to get away from him? "Oh man, this guy is still following me. I can't shake him!!"

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Wilding Shoplifters

  • A teenage shoplifting gang snared more than $5,000 in stolen loot from Michigan Avenue stores Wednesday night before they were arrested, police say.

    Five girls and six boys allegedly brazenly grabbed clothes from The North Face at 875 N. Michigan, AX Armani Exchange at 520 N. Michigan and Filene’s Basement at 830 N. Michigan, then fled on foot before they were arrested on the first block of East Pearson at 6:30 p.m.

    The arrests follow a spate of similar shoplifting incidents over the last two weeks on Michigan Avenue in which large groups of youths use their sheer numbers to overwhelm and confuse store employees, staff at all three stores said.

    “More than 15 of them came in the store, and then one of the boy’s shouted ‘Snatch!,’ and all you could hear was hangers being ripped off rails,” said a worker at Filene’s Basement, who asked not to be named because she is not authorized to speak with the press.

Trib coverage here.

An alternative media outlet has been covering it and report upwards of twenty juveniles are pulling these guerrilla-type raids on a whole bunch of high-end stores. Can you guess why the lame-stream media hasn't said a word about it until now? Because all the kids are black.

Whoops! We said it. Now Eric Holder is going to say we can't have a serious discussion about race in this country because we pointed that out. Shame on us.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vanecko Again?

Is there anyone who didn't see this one coming? Anyone? Yeah, we didn't think so:
  • Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's nephew is hoping to cash in on the coming video gambling market in bars and clubs across Illinois.

    Mark Vanecko, who's been an attorney for Chicago bars and the Lollapalooza concert, is a partner in Lattner Entertainment Group Illinois, which has applied for a state license to operate slot machines in liquor-serving establishments.

And of course, everything was on the up-and-up:
  • Lattner Entertainment didn't disclose Vanecko's relation to Daley or a company campaign contribution on a state form, submitted in October, that provides the only information made public about license applicants.

    The form requires applicants to list "relatives" of "public officials or officers" who are involved in the company as well as campaign contributions made directly or indirectly by the applicant in the last five years.

    When the Tribune raised questions, Lattner Entertainment partner William Bracken issued a statement conceding "a mistake made with our application" and saying the firm wants to be transparent.

Ah yes, a "mistake." We seem to see a lot of those darn things over the last 20 years. Mostly occurring on Election Day over and over again.

Has anyone cross referenced these lists of applicants against the Chicago Crime Commission's "Who's Who" of Outfit connected individuals? We're willing to bet there's a few more surprises tucked away in there.


Code 049 Back?

We thought the Department had discontinued Code 049 except in very specific circumstances. What's all this then?
  • Scc how is it that the president of the wta (KB who is now detailed to intelligence) can be a WTA exhibitor at the Las Vegas "Shot Show", taking pictures with Matt Hughes (UFC) and Steven Segal WHILE BEING CARRIED CODE 49 by the department. Explain to me exactly what intel she is gathering and why my taxes are paying for it when I can't get code 49 to attend training at the academy. This is criminal. They are slick though, they haven't approved the A & A's yet. Sitting in preliminary waiting to see if there is any fallout first. Welcome to the unit Barbie Doll.
We recall a comment posted months ago about members of the Pipe & Drum bands not being allowed to be Code 049 for a trip that honored slain police officers in another jurisdiction. It must be nice to be connected to J-Fled, Ray Ray and Masters (Masters Masters) so you can run an outside organization on Department time and not have to burn through time due, all while on the taxpayer's dime.


It's Official

  • Chicago’s police union endorsed Gery Chico in the mayor’s race today, choosing the former Daley administration official over Rahm Emanuel because officers believe they would fare better with him on key issues, especially changes to their pensions.

    On a small stage where a couple dozen beefy cops in suits packed themselves around Chico, Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue called the candidate “a Chicago guy” and lauded his track record working to bolster the police department’s ranks during his term as Daley’s chief of staff in the 1990s.

Thanks for the "beefy cops in suits" comment you lefty pinko slanted-reporting ignoramuses. Here's something that needs to be rectified though:
  • Support for Chico and Emanuel was about even in the balloting, Donahue acknowledged. Ballots were sent to 17,000 union members in December. Not all members responded. Donahue confirmed that the two candidates were separated by less than 100 votes, though he could not immediately say how many ballots were cast. He pointed out, many union members cast their ballots before the candidates began to answer questions publicly about how they view the need for pension reform.
Participation was rumored to be low, so low that Donahue was embarrassed to even mention a number at the meeting. We realize that to many cops, living in a democratic controlled town is an anathema to their political leanings and the lack of affordable housing in quiet neighborhoods dilutes any chance of creating a formidable bloc of voters. But for something as simple as sending back a pre-printed envelope that arrives on the doorstep, participation ought to be well into the 80 and 90 percent ranges.

UPDATE: The envelope wasn't prepaid - it was pre-printed. Post corrected.


Aldercreature Sues Cops

  • Ald. Sharon Dixon (24th) is suing three Chicago police officers she says falsely accused her of driving drunk on Jan. 20, 2009 — the day of President Obama’s inauguration.

    Dixon says she had a couple of glasses of wine at a friend’s house in Evanston and was driving home when she was cut off by a police car on Sheridan Road where officers were trying to control traffic near the scene of a fatal Rogers Park fire.

    Dixon says she attempted to explain that the police roadblock was confusing and dangerous — but the officers became angry and agitated.

Yeah, we usually get that way when we stop people driving over hoses, endangering police lives and firefighters ability to save lives. Here's a clue dumbass - if you see blue lights, stop. If you see hoses on the street, stop. If you see fire equipment blocking the street, stop.
  • “When they resisted my input, were indignant over my suggestions and disrespectful of my personhood, I stood up to them,” said Dixon at a Wednesday news conference announcing the suit. “I asked them for their badge numbers ... that, asking them for their badge numbers, is what triggered my arrest.”

    Police claimed Dixon smelled like alcohol and failed sobriety tests after arguing for 30 minutes.

Her input? From a drunk who disregarded state law and common Illinois Rules of the Road concerning emergency vehicles? And it seems like it was your drunken behavior that triggered the arrest, not the silly demand for star numbers.
  • She was arrested, refused a Breathalyzer test, and had her license suspended

If she had nothing to hide....isn't that the reasoning politicians use on us all the time?
  • Dixon said she spent seven hours cuffed to a police station wall — and argued that the fact she could endure the lengthy detention without a washroom break was proof she was not drunk.

Not that we're bragging, but we used to be able to go for twice that without breaking a sweat. Lack of urinary function proves nothing.
  • Dixon also contends “police forced me to wait until the press had arrived and then made me walk out of the front door.”

    In February of last year a judge found there had been no probable cause to arrest Dixon for DUI — and the charge was later dropped. Dixon did, however, plead guilty to obstruction of traffic and paid a $200 fine.

Well, it's not like there are any dishonest judges in Cook County, right? The obstruction charge alone could have been interpreted as Probably Cause in any other court in the nation.

What an idiot.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FOP to Endorse Chico

  • Emanuel “sat on his hands, looked the other way and took the cash” when presented with an “Enron-style” scandal at Freddie Mac, said challenger Gery Chico, who is expected to be endorsed by Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police today.
We're going to say this is probably the best decision to be made at the moment. Rahm is saying straight up that he's going to cut pensions for current city employees. In light of years worth of compromises and promises made to the police and fire departments to accept less money or different compensation (uniforms, duty availability, etc) in return for adjustments to pensions and the like to assist the city, any vote for Emanuel flies in the face of reasonable decision making.

Now get over to the Board of Elections website and register to vote.


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Rahm is Qualified

  • Chicago mayoral contender Rahm Emanuel got the big boost of a Bill Clinton visit Tuesday, basking in public praise at a rally and counting campaign cash raised behind closed doors.

    The former president said Chicago is "critical" to the nation's future and needs "a big person for the job" of mayor.

    "Rahm is not even 6 feet tall. He probably weighs about 150 pounds dripping wet," Clinton said of Emanuel, who served him as a top White House aide. "But in all the ways that are important, he is a very big person. He has made big decisions."
So he's like Shortshanks-lite? With a mean streak?

It's nice to see his rivals bringing up some dirty laundry finally:
  • Two candidates for mayor used former President Bill Clinton’s visit Tuesday to suggest that Clinton’s plum appointment of Emanuel to the board of government mortgage giant Freddie Mac means Emanuel shares some blame for the nation’s foreclosure crisis.

    Emanuel “sat on his hands, looked the other way and took the cash” when presented with an “Enron-style” scandal at Freddie Mac, said challenger Gery Chico, who is expected to be endorsed by Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police today.

Maybe someone will bring up the millions Rahm made from shady utility company deals when he was helping them out for a mere year or so. Must be nice to be connected and be able to roll in the dough.


Airlines Sue Chicago

  • United and American Airlines on Tuesday made good on their threat to sue Chicago to stop the city from issuing bonds to finance the remainder of the expansion project at O’Hare International Airport.

    The airlines, which say they cannot afford to help pay for new runways that will not be needed for years, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court just days after sending a letter on Friday to Mayor Richard Daley, asking for negotiations on the future of the O’Hare Modernization Program. The letter said the expansion must proceed based on future increases in flights.

    [...] “We don’t need to spend the money now,” an airline official said Tuesday, adding that the number of flights at O’Hare are 5 percent lower than 2003 levels.
Giant air carriers are attempting to restore fiscal discipline to an out-of-control municipal government? The O'Hare modernization project has been a fiscal black hole and getting worse every year for a while now. Phase One (of four phases) is years behind schedule and already double or triple the original cost estimates and that's in billions of dollars. There's no way the airlines were going to sit still for this in the shape they're in. It's cheaper to pay the lawyers.


Nice Going Sun Times


    An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Ald. Edward M. Burke received campaign donations from a contractor who built homes in Burke’s ward for a reputed drug kingpin. The contractor never made campaign contributions to Ald. Burke. Burke received campaign donations from a constituent and longtime family friend who had the same name as the contractor.

So we'll have to revise our estimate that "any zoning change in the city of Chicago probably involves a payoff, a connected construction firm and a whole lot of winking and nodding" downward from 99.9% of the time to a mere 99.8% since it doesn't appear to be the case here. Boy are we embarrassed.

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Get Them While They're Hot

  • A limited number of tickets went on sale to the public this afternoon for Sunday’s NFC championship game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers -- and were either sold or accounted for in less than a minute, a Bears spokesman said.

    Tickets are considered accounted for if the buyer has selected the tickets and is entering his or her payment information. Tickets for last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks sold out in less than six minutes.
That was for about 4,100 tickets. The report ways there will be another 6,000 tickets on sale Wednesday. After that we heard it's all brokers, contests and friends of friends.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Way to Go Ed Burke

  • To one of Chicago’s most powerful politicians, Saul Rodriguez was just another young real-estate developer. Rodriguez, then only 24, wanted to build five condominium buildings in Ald. Ed Burke’s 14th Ward in 1999. So he hired William Barbaro Construction, whose owner, William Barbaro, was a regular contributor to the campaign funds of Burke and then-Ald. William Banks (36th), head of the City Council’s zoning committee at the time.

    In July 1999, Rodriguez applied for the zoning change he needed for the project. City planners objected, questioning the proposed increase in residential density of the Southwest Side neighborhood. But as the alderman for the ward, Burke all but had the final say, according to City Council tradition, and he gave the go-ahead. In early 2000, the City Council’s zoning committee and then the full council approved the project.

    Rodriguez built five two-story buildings on the south side of the street in the 2700 block of West 37th Place in Brighton Park. He estimated each building would cost $190,000. One factor Burke says he didn’t know at the time: Rodriguez was a reputed narcotics trafficker.

A 24-year-old real estate mogul? With enough sense to know to go directly to the aldercreature for a zoning change? And to hire a construction firm that was a regular political contributor to the aforementioned aldercreature?

Burke may not have know diddly-squat, but he knew not to ask the right questions, that's for sure. And he's a clue for any newbie reporters skimming through the Chicago political sewers - 99.9% of any zoning change in the city of Chicago probably involves a payoff, a connected construction firm and a whole lot of winking and nodding. Investigate that why don't you?

UPDATE: See post for 19 January

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So Who's Running?

We're looking for police or pro-police candidates running for the City Council to support in the upcoming election. The majority of names we've seen appear to be north side candidates but we're sure there have to be a few south side races we haven't heard about. It appears that there are multiple police candidates running in at least one ward.

We just looking for names at the moment and any associated websites so interested voters can gather information.


Got a Spare Grand? Or Two?

  • Bryan Holst has four tickets to the biggest game in the 90-year rivalry between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers.

    On Monday, he put them up for sale.

    Holst, a Bears fan from Marengo, said he wrestled with the decision. But the potential of a big payday proved too tempting and he posted his tickets on Craigslist for $850 each.

  • On Monday, $134 seats in the upper reaches of Soldier Field were selling for about $500 each, according to brokers and several ticket resale Web sites. Seats in the stadium’s lower levels are going for up to $2,000, said Melissa Janes, who works for a Chicago-area ticket broker.
Of course, selling the tickets to this game could pay for a good portion of next season's entire ticket package. Decisions decisions.


What a Goof

Another out-of-touch anti-gun liberal who can't be bothered to research the facts:
  • The San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Northern Illinois University. Now, a Tucson shopping center. These horrific American disasters have a common denominator that has numbed America’s will to change. Its latest incarnation: a Glock semi-automatic with a 33-round magazine. For decades, these weapons of mass destruction have enabled evil and psychotic killers whose only wish is to kill greater and destroy more. Can anyone still make a legitimate case for an automatic weapon?

    Certainly not Democratic lawmakers, who bring a long record of extreme cowardice and dysfunction on this issue. The People of the Gun have lobbied our “leaders” into the ground. Political calculations have forced a retreat on restricting or — my preference — outright banning the sale and possession of these weapons.

    Tucson should be a credible wedge issue to hammer the gun lovers into political insensibility.

    Even the most powerful won’t take them on. Last week, President Obama made a mighty fine speech in Tucson at that grand memorial for the massacre victims. He offered no eloquent words or lofty phrases for the cause of gun control.

    How many more massacres will it take to drag politicians out of their dark corners of cowardice and defiantly spurn the NRA’s blood money? If they only knew what I believe — that if we ban the sale and possession of automatic weapons and assault rifles, the vast majority of Americans would back them up.

Laura Washington from the Sun Times makes astounding leaps of insanity throughout her most recent screed.

First, she identifies the weapon used as a "semi-automatic" pistol, then spouts off against automatic weapons and assault rifles, neither of which was used in the Arizona attack and calls for a complete ban on the weapons that weren't used. She conveniently ignores the fact that the wounded democratic congresswoman has a long history of supporting Gun Rights and Second Amendment issues. Then, in complete lockstep with the leftist group-think, she uses words like "extreme cowardice" describing those who don't agree with her and calls on others to "hammer the gun lovers" and rails against "NRA blood money." She also studiously avoids any mention that the weapon used was purchased legally thanks to a lack of mental health reporting and one very credible report of the local sheriff covering for an employee's relative. And finally, her contention that a "vast majority" of American's would support her insanity is laughable seeing as how 49 states now have some form of concealed carry or will-issue, Illinois being the lone hold out.

Isn't this the type of language and "secret code words" that motivated a twisted mind to depravity in the first place?



  • Authorities in Kane County seized 60-pounds of marijuana from the trunk of a vehicle during a traffic stop.

    Pablo Galeana-Rueda of Washington State and Jose Hernandez-Calderon of California both face several felony charges-- including possession and trafficking.

    They were allegedly hauling the high-quality marijuana from the West Coast to the Chicago area. Sheriffs police stopped the men Friday morning when they failed to pay the toll on the off ramp for Route 31 in North Aurora.

    Bond was set at $1 million for each of the men.

    The estimated street value of the drugs is $1 million.

They lost $1 million in pot over an eighty-cent toll? Something tells us these boys aren't going to make bail, and that's probably a good thing for their continue good health.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Bears Move On

  • The Bears won before a sellout crowd who braved sub-freezing temperatures and snow flurries to watch one of the team’s better displays this season -- at least for three quarters.

    They came prepared for the elements, cheering beneath blankets, behind scarves and inside hoodies. They stashed hand warmers and foot warmers inside their gloves and boots. They placed their feet on strips of cardboard to keep off the chill from the icy cement.

Kind of a nail-biter at the end as they barely covered the spread. Our wings and chili went over well and everyone left happy. We're keeping next week's schedule open if anyone has an invite or a skybox available.


Murder "Touches" Family?

  • Murder has touched the Chicago Heights family of Demetrice Staten twice in the last month.

    One of her sons stands accused of killing a woman in December after a nightclub argument. Another son awaits burial, gunned down Friday by an unknown assailant.

    Such grim fates are not unusual in the family's tough neighborhood, Staten said, a fact that has done nothing to lessen her grief. She is now turning to her other children, hoping to keep them safe from the crime and violence that overtook her sons.
If your son murders someone, that isn't murder "touching" your family. Your piece of garbage son has inflicted grievous harm on someone else's family, causing them pain and suffering.

Of course, "mother of the year" doesn't quite see it that way:
  • It was a hard blow for Staten, 41. Jeffery is the second oldest of her 10 children, and though he had gotten into his share of trouble, she said, he had never been accused of anything like murder.

    Staten expressed hope that the accusation wouldn't hold up: Witnesses told her that other people had been shooting at her son when Campbell was killed, she said.
And her other son who got killed?
  • Staten said her son was not in a gang, but she acknowledged that some of the people he socialized with were part of "the wrong crowd."
Ten kids at age 41, one headed to prison after murdering a woman over a nightclub dance, one dead after hanging with the "wrong crowd" and mom begging for money to bury him. This is what passes for journalism?


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