Chicago’s Suburbs Corrupt Too

A former Chicago alderman is pushing for the creation of a suburban inspector general’s office to thwart corruption in the 1,200-plus government agencies spread throughout the suburban landscape.

In a report released Monday, Dick Simpson, a former alderman and current head of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s political science department, cited more than 100 cases over the past three decades involving suburban officials convicted of corruption.

via DailyHerald.com.

The article provides a couple of examples of corrupt behavior by suburban pols.  Nothing surprising; and missing some of the bigger players (Mayors Blaze & Stephens.)

What’s missing from the article, and from the report apparently, is any mention of the dynamic duo of legal prosecution Ms. Anita Alvarez and Ms. Lisa Madigan.  Both of these positions have investigation divisions.  Each is certainly capable of putting corrupt politicians in jail.

That Anita and Lisa simply refuse to protect the citizens from corrupt politicians means they both need to be replaced.

Obama Campaign Shuts Down Website

Hagmann, CEO of Hagmann Investigative Services, Inc., a private investigative agency serving a roster of Fortune 500 clients, was given 48 hours by GoDaddy to find a new home for his website before it was deleted.

Hagmann was told the reason for the shut down was because the website featured “morally objectionable” material. After GoDaddy refused to identify the complainant, only saying that it was not “any official government agency,” further investigation by Hagmann revealed that the order came from a group tied to Obama campaign headquarters.

Speaking with the chief investigator in the GoDaddy Abuse division, Hagmann discovered, “Ultimately it was found that the complaint originated ostensibly with a group associated with the campaign to re-elect Barack Hussein Obama.”

Turning to his contacts within government, Hagmann then spoke with another source who confirmed that the ‘Obama Truth Team’ was responsible for the shut down order.

“I’m laying this right on the doorstep of the Obama Truth Team,” said Hagmann.

via Infowars.

Obviously disturbing.

Illinois lags in science, tech, engineering, math grads

Bad News:

Illinois is producing fewer graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math than the national average, according to the June release of the Illinois Innovation Index. …

According to the Illinois Innovation Index, the number of STEM degrees granted to Illinois graduates hit a high-water mark of 20,248 in 2003 before dropping through 2007. The number rose by nearly 5 percent between 2009 and 2010, the most recent year for which data are available. But the 2010 number, 18,400, is well below the 2003 peak. Furthermore, STEM degrees represented 11 percent of all 2010 Illinois degrees, lower than the national average of 14 percent.

via Chicago Tribune.com.

This is a problem.

Illinois generally and Chicago specifically cannot grow out of debt without high tech jobs. Our manufacturing businesses are dying and the city’s not helping. We live in a global economy and on the manufacturing front Chicago’s losing.

Tech is the future. If you don’t have tech, you’re future’s not very bright. It’s really just that simple.

CTU looks like it’s going to strike CPS because teachers making $80,000+ for 189 days of work say it’s not enough. I’d be happy to give the teachers more money… when Illinois’ in first place nationally for math and science scores.

 

Google and the Merchandise Mart

Good News!!

Crain’s Chicago Business reports: Google is in talks to lease some 500,000 square feet in the Merchandise Mart, sources say.  The deal would include a rooftop deck.  The Internet search giant, looking to move employees from the Libertyville headquarters of its recently acquired Motorola Mobility, has an office for tech workers near the Mart.

via Chicago Tribune.com.

Chicago is ripe for a tech explosion.  Of course we have a serious debt problem in this city, and state.  That will make some companies too scarred to move/expand here.  But if we can get that under control Chicago can become a major player in the tech space.

If Rahm and Quinn can get our pension issues under control companies will relocate here from California.  Our taxes in Illinois are way too high and complicated — a/k/a suck — but the situation is far worse in California.  It’s freakishly expensive to do business there.

This could just be the beginning of hope.  Now we just need to fix race relations, balance the budget, improve our schools, hire more police, find a State’s Attorney who will actually ask that criminals be placed in prison, find an Attorney General who’s not related to the most corrupt politician in the state, and fix an aging infrastructure.

Chicago’s Unreported Race War

We’ve gone national!

According to a statement in the Chicago Tribune, reporting on the race of individuals involved in news events, such as mobs attacking, robbing and vandalizing, is irrelevant.

A news anchor at the ABC affiliate in Chicago goes even further: Anyone who reads or writes about the epidemic of racial violence in Chicago is an “idiot” who engages in “meaningless … race baiting,” says Ravi Baichwal.

City officials and the media might be the only two places left where people still deny Chicago is under assault from more than 50 episodes of black mobs attacking, beating, robbing and vandalizing over the last three years in and around downtown. Many of them are on display at YouTube.

via NWD.

We as a society have to figure out how to handle this.  It’s not a political issue — it’s a fabric of society and a media issue.

The facts are pretty clear:

  • There have been a great number of crimes committed by mobs of black youths in the greater downtown area.
  • These sorts of crimes have been going on for years in other parts of the city and the media turned a blind eye to it.

As to the first part, we know damn well that if a band of pick-up truck driving white dudes wearing confederate flag bandanas sent a group of old black businessmen to the hospital with broken bones the media would be all over it.  There would be marches, and rallies, and protests in every part of the city.  The double standard when blacks commit crime on whites is obvious.

The media has a responsibility to its consumers/customers to disclose the race of the perpetrators of these crimes so that others can protect themselves.  Especially ludicrous are the stories devoid of any details on race yet end with, “police are seeking anyone with information to come forward.”  No one is well served by removing race from articles about crime.

This is the Tribune, SunTimes, and local ABC (and all the others) just pandering to the liberal overlords that run this place.  They don’t want this information getting out.  And the media needs access to local politicians in order to make its job easier.  So media doesn’t want to make politicians angry; lest they be cut off and have to actually work for a living.  Most media in this town is not journalism, it’s public relations.

That mob thuggery has been going on for years doesn’t help the media’s case to withhold race from news stories.  The black community should rightfully be upset with local media outlets about covering these events when they occur on tony Michigan Ave but ignoring similar crimes in Englewood & West Garfield Park.

The vast majority of crime in the City is black-on-black crime.  That’s where we need to focus more police attention.  We need black children to grow up and know that they can live in a crime free neighborhood.  That dealing drugs is not normal.  That knowing ten people who’ve been shot is not normal.  That burying a brother or sister is not normal.

You cannot reclaim Michigan Ave and make it “safe” when bullets are flying 5 miles to the west and no one says a thing.

Of course, the stunning lack of leadership from Jesse Jackson, Fr. Pfleger, Mary Mitchel, and the liberal choir of media voices is disappointing as well.

Illinois’ Pensions are the Worst

A new report being issued today — see the bottom of this post — from the Pew Center on the States says that Illinois once again ranks 50th of the 50 states in assets relative to liabilities.

But while Illinois’ absolute position did not sink — a mathematical impossibility — its relative position did erode, as the shortfall in terms of dollars here worsened faster than it did on average in other, better-positioned states.  …

Illinois “is on an unsustainable course,” said David Draine, the chief author of the report by the Washington, D.C.-based public policy and research group.  …

According to the report, Illinois as of the end of fiscal 2010, the latest year for which national figures are available, ranked dead last of the 50 states, having on hand only 45 percent of the assets needed to pay $139 billion in accrued pension liabilities.

The report concerns the state’s five retirement funds, covering state workers, teachers who work outside of Chicago, professors in the University of Illinois system, judges and members of the General Assembly.

The total unfunded liability as of the end of fiscal 2010 — that was June 30, 2010 — was $75.73 billion, somewhat less than the current $83 billion figure cited earlier this year by the Legislature’s economic watchdog unit.

via Crain’s Chicago Business.

Public sector unions need to understand the reality.  Retirees are in serious danger of not getting paid what they are owed.  Default is becoming a more and more real possibility.

Heck!  These numbers don’t even include the Chicago Teacher’s Union.  So the situation is even worse.

JP Morgan: Public Employee Pension’s Set to Explode

But they wanted to keep the story to themselves:

JPMorgan recently circulated a “strictly confidential” report among leaders at the bank and with trusted hedge fund allies outside of the bank which details an impending public pension crisis. And we mean big time nastiness.

Massive cuts in services will have to happen, or massive tax increases will have to happen, or both, to keep many pensions and municipalities from going over a cliff. The politicians know that disaster is coming. JPMorgan and their hedge fund buddies know that it’s coming. The public, though it has a sense of impending doom, still doesn’t grasp the avalanche that is headed toward states and cities in the very near future.

Charlie Gasparino details in the attached article that JPMorgan did not want the information in the report to become public because it feared angering the politicians in the municipalities and states where default due to public pensions is a very real possibility. Many local politicians are lying when they tell their fire fighters and teachers that pensions are in good shape. According to what the report supposedly says these workers should probably start making alternative plans for retirement. But to say that is very messy politically.

JPMorgan didn’t want to lose its very profitable muni bond underwriting business in these same localities, which is determined to a large degree by these same lying local politicians, so this information was kept quiet.

via AgainstCronyCapitalism.org.

To the actual article:

OK, it’s no secret that nation’s public pension funds are in big trouble, holding large “unfunded” liabilities owed to public workers once they retire. But most politicians (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is an exception) will tell you the problem is fairly containable, that there are simple fixes — such as raising taxes on the rich or pruning benefits. …

Not so, warns a “strictly confidential” report JP Morgan issued last year. It describes in straightforward, frightening detail how underfunded pensions are huge ticking timebombs for many of the nation’s big cities and states.  …

Nationwide, the actual size of unfunded public pension liabilities is four times larger than the $900-plus billion that officials are ’fessing up to. That’s right, the bank sees a $3.9 trillion hole; to plug that, states and cities will need large tax hikes, massive budget cuts or both. Plus, public-sector unions will have to accept smaller retirement packages, and later retirement ages, to keep the pension systems going.  …

In New York, for example, JP Morgan said state officials would have to immediately cut spending by 12.3 percent or raise taxes on everyone by 7.4 percent. And they’d need to make these tax hikes and budget cuts permanent for the next two decades to fully fund public-employee pensions.

New Jersey faces an even bigger hole. Even after Christie’s reforms, it would still have to cut spending 30.8 percent or raise taxes another 17.2 percent, keeping them in place for two decades, to solve the problem.
via NY Post.

No word on how Illinois fares.  But as we are the #1 unfunded pension state in the union it’s no doubt a bad, bad, bad situation.

Gun Ownership Up, Crime Down

Gun-control advocates are noticeably silent when crime rates decline. Their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts are designed to manufacture mass anxiety that every gun owner is a potential killer. The statistics show otherwise.

Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011. The number of murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all went down, continuing a pattern.

“This is not a one-year anomaly, but a steady decline in the FBI’s violent-crime rates,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “It would be disingenuous for anyone to not credit increased self-defense laws to account for this decline.”

via Washington Times.

Well right thinking people have known this for years.  However looks like many in the media still have their head in the sand.

What’s also interesting is that:

Mr. Arulanandam pointed out that only a handful of states had concealed-carry programs 25 years ago, when the violent-crime rate peaked. Today, 41 states either allow carrying without a permit or have “shall issue” laws that make it easy for just about any noncriminal to get a permit. Illinois and Washington, D.C., are the only places that refuse to recognize the right to bear arms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence did not respond to requests for comment.

I guess when the facts don’t fit the Brady Campaign’s preconceived notion of crime they have nothing to say.

Gun Turn-In Weekend in Chicago

Using the lure of $100 gift cards, the Chicago Police Department is encouraging people to get guns out of their homes and turn them in this Saturday, during the annual gun turn-in program.  …

First Deputy Supt. Alfonza Wysinger says anyone who turns in a real gun will get a $100 gift card. Replicas and BB guns are worth $10.

“No questions asked,” Wysinger said. “Just show up at the church, and hand over the weapons to the CPD officer that will be there, and get your $100 gift card. So we strongly suggest that people come out that have weapons lying around the house, or weapons, maybe, that they don’t necessarily want in their house. This is a chance to get some money for their weapon, and get another dangerous weapon on the street.”

via CBS Chicago.

I wish I heard about this a few weeks ago.  I could have pick-up a few cheap old worthless guns at an auction in Indiana or Wisconsin and made a few bucks.  Maybe I’ll get myself ready for next year.

Kudos to the CPD for completely wasting taxpayer money on a program that does absolutely nothing to reduce crime.  Functioning illegal guns are worth more on the  street than $100.  Simple economics dictate that this program is nothing more than a PR event.