15 y/o Arrested 19th Time After Armed Robbery

A 15-year-old boy with nearly 20 arrests on his record has been charged with armed robbery after he held up a man near his home, police said.It was Jesus Castaneda’s 19th arrest, according to police, and his second gun-related charge. He was last arrested in August 2012 for unlawful use of a weapon, police said.

via Chicago Tribune.

Where’s Anita Alvarez on this?  Where’s the court system on this?

Why has the Tribune disabled the comments for this story?

New Manufacturing Institute Coming to Chicago

Gov. Pat Quinn will announce today in his State of the State speech that the Urbana-Champaign school, in partnership with its National Center for Supercomputing Applications and private companies, will be forming an Illinois Manufacturing Lab likely to be located in the central area of Chicago.

The facility will be a somewhat smaller, more applications-based version of the UI Labs tech-research center that was announced in January by U of I President Robert Easter and others. The prime goal will be to make the state’s manufacturers more competitive, something that has become increasingly challenging as overseas firms take control of many of the world’s factories.

via Crain’s Chicago Business.

Quinn thinks this is going to be like 1871 for manufacturing.  It won’t be.

Manufacturing is going high-tech.  There was a story (I’m too lazy to find right now) a few weeks ago about the new Apple factory in the U.S. is much touted and “moving tech. manufacturing back to U.S. soil.” However the details are such that the new Apple plant will have very few workers.  All the manufacturing will be done by machines, robots.  Humm….

That is the future.  The old days when some dude (or dudette) got paid a decent wage to assemble something complicated are gone.  The more complicated the design to more automation is used in place of human labor.  The robot never needs to use the bathroom.  The robot doesn’t eat lunch, or have a sick kid, or get carpel tunnel.  And one person can manage several dozen robots.

What Chicago really needs is to lower the cost of doing business so that a paper plant on the west side can hire 100 workers to do meaningful low skill work for a decent wage.  Multiply that by 50 and you got a nice little recovery in Garfield Park.  Repeat in Lawndale, Pilsen, Rogers Park, Pullman, etc.

We need to get 25-30 thousands people working.  Very few have the skills to be a computer programer (a la 1871.)  But nearly all can learn to drive a fork truck, run a hydraulic press or a large paper cutting machine.  Most can learn how to operate a CNC machine or a laser/plasma cutter.

It’s time to get this place working.  But it can’t happen until the broken and corrupt Illinois government gets out of the way.




TSA PreCheck System Flawed – No One Surprised

“Using a website I decoded my boarding pass for my upcoming trip.

“It’s all there PNR [passenger name record], seat assignment, flight number, name, etc. But what is interesting is the bolded three on the end. This is the TSA PreCheck information. The number means the number of beeps. 1 beep no PreCheck, 3 beeps yes PreCheck.”

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) did not respond to a BBC request for a statement, but has previously said: “TSA does not comment on specifics of the screening process, which contain measures both seen and unseen. In addition, TSA incorporates random and unpredictable security measures throughout the travelling process.”

via BBC News.

As usual the MSM is silent on the farce that is the TSA.

It’s amazing what a complete and udder failure the TSA has become.  From the millimeter machines that pounded you with radiation and made pictures of your naughty bits to the number of TSA employees who have been busted for everything from child porn to stealing laptops it seems that TSA is the symbol for irresponsible government run amok.

Perhaps the greater failure is that the Obama admin has done nothing to correct the issue.

TSA provides nothing but the illusion of security by harassing and abusing law abiding citizens.  It’s a national embarrassment.

30,000 Unfilled Jobs in Illinois

Say “skills gap” to any manufacturer, and invariably they’ll respond with the number 600,000. That’s the gaping hole of unfilled jobs at U.S. manufacturers — for Illinois, estimates point to 30,000 unfilled jobs. The talent shortfall carries serious consequences. In a Manufacturing Institute 2011 skills gap report surveying more than 1,100 U.S. manufacturers, 74 percent of respondents said a lack of skilled production workers was harming productivity or hindering their ability to expand operations.

That skills gap will widen. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, based in Dearborn, Mich., predicts the number of unfilled manufacturing jobs will reach 3 million by 2015.

via Crain’s Chicago Business.

Holy Cow!!

To be fair, the rest of the article talks about how wages for machinist have not kept pace with inflation; that may be true.  But isn’t taking a job at $13 or $14 an hour better than sitting home watching Judge Judy and playing xbox all day?

These jobs are fun too.  In a former life I used to work with a lot of machinist and injection molding operators and tool & die guys, and other people who I think had cool jobs.  You get to build things.  You get to play with equipment that costs more than your house.  At the end of the day you can go home and tell your family that you did something with your day.  You didn’t just move paper from one side of the desk to the other (like I do now.)

What we have here is evidence of the complete failing of our educational system.  Children not only don’t have the most rudimentary math skills necessary to become a machinist or CNC operator but they don’t have the intellectual curiosity and patience to solve complicated puzzles.  That’s what these jobs really are… puzzle solvers.  Figure our how to make something better than it’s being made today, faster, cheaper.

We have to turn this around.  Show kids that learning is fun and that building (and breaking) stuff can lead to a rewarding job that might not get you a house in Lake Forest but will certainly allow you to put food on the table, gas in the car, and take a decent vacation every year.

We will not survive as a nation if people will stay home rather than work for a living.