Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Uptown CAPS Beat 2311 Meeting Tonight, August 10

Beat 2311 meets at 7:00 p.m. this evening at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Avenue in the Faculty Room. Beat 2311 is bordered by W. Lawrence south to W. Montrose, and N. Clark east to N. Broadway. Beat Meeting Agenda 1. Introductions 2. Top crimes in the beat 3. Old business 4. New Business CAPS Beat 2311 meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. CLEARpath 23rd District Site: https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/Communities/Districts/District23/Events

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What REALLY Happened On Argyle and at the Broadway Armory on Sunday, August 1 (Rumors Be Damned)

Exclusive Report by Tom Mannis - The Chicago Police Department’s Bomb and Arson unit is probably still laughing about this - nervously. This story is about two of the most bizarre events I’ve written about in Chicago. It's about two separate incidents, joined by wild rumor. The only real connection is the commonality of Bomb and Arson's involvement. We’ll talk about crazy rumors, drunken poker players, a refilled grenade, an imaginary meth lab, a pizza box filled with something very disgusting, a lucky blanket and x-rays. Who could ask for more? A rumor spread quickly on Sunday night, August 1 from Uptown north into Edgewater. According to street buzz, there was a bomb threat at an apartment building on W. Argyle Street, in which police supposedly found three dead bodies, grenades, and a meth lab -- all in one unit. According to the rumors, the dead guys were shot in the back of their heads execution style in the white residential building on the southeast corner of N. Kenmore and W. Argyle in Chicago’s “Little China Town.” The rumor was already making the rounds when, coincidentally, a suspicious package caused CPD’s Bomb and Arson unit to block off streets around the Broadway Armory at 5917 North Broadway, nine blocks north of Argyle (see map). Both incidents happened in the 46th Aldermanic Ward. The rumors so distorted reality that explanation is needed. Since nobody else has done so, we will. Here’s what really happened, and what did not, thanks to a conversation we had on August 6 with Sergeant Jeffrey Sacks, Chicago Police Department and CAPS Beat 2024. (Their next meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on August 19 at Margate Park.) Sgt. Sacks told Chicago News Bench that "It all started with a poker game gone bad." Three men were drinking and playing cards all night, beginning late on Saturday, July 31. They were in a third-floor apartment at 1027 W. Argyle Street. A disagreement led to a fight. In anger, one of the men fired one bullet from a semi-automatic pistol at the floor, sometime around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 1. The bullet went through the floor and into the second-story apartment below. The noise of the gunshot awakened the woman who lives there. She looked around and noticed a bullet resting on her blanket. She and the blanket were unharmed because the bullet was slowed down as it passed through the floor-ceiling, enough so that it merely dropped softly onto her bed. Later, around 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, that woman waved down a police officer who regularly patrols the neighborhood. She told him about hearing a gunshot, finding the bullet on her blanket, and a mysterious hole in her ceiling. The officer, with backup that arrived quickly, paid a visit to the third floor apartment. That was at 3:33 p.m., according to the police report. The police officers knocked on the door of the third floor apartment and were allowed to enter. All three poker players were still there, and one of them admitted to firing a gun at the floor. The police now had probable cause to search the apartment for a firearm, and they soon found a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol under a dresser. But that’s not all they found. During the search, the police found a “small caliber rifle,” ammunition and magazines (ammo clips). The item that probably caused the rumor to blow up (pardon the expression) was the makeshift grenade that was also found. According to Sgt. Sacks, it was originally the kind of “fake” grenade that you can buy at many novelty stores. They are hollowed out and harmless, but according to the police report that Sgt. Sacks consulted for us, this one had been filled with... something, and replugged. Was it filled with explosive material? Sgt. Sacks said the police report did not say, and here’s why: Fearing the possibility that the grenade might actually be explosive, the officers on scene called for Bomb and Arson. The building was evacuated as a precautionary measure at approximately 4:30 p.m. What had been a quiet investigation now spilled out onto Argyle Street in a big way. Shoppers, tourists and merchants suddenly became aware that something was wrong in the building and on the street. Seeing the evacuation, and hearing about “a grenade,” plus the sight of the Bomb and Arson van, some folks exaggerated the story until it morphed into the rumor about three murdered men, a meth lab and a bomb threat. In fact, nobody was dead, not even injured. There was no meth lab and nobody had threatened to blow up the building. One of the unlucky poker players was charged with reckless discharge of a firearm. The other two were released after questioning without being charged. Sgt. Sacks said that none of the men admitted to owning the any of the guns, so for the time being there are no additional charges. The suspicious, maybe-explosive grenade was destroyed by Bomb and Arson when they exploded it in a special container in their van on the street. Therefore, charges will probably never be brought against anybody for possession of the grenade because there is, literally, no longer any evidence of it. It was blown to smithereens. Sgt. Sacks justified this action by saying the threat of people being injured by the grenade, whether on site or later, was too great not to destroy it immediately. He said that this is the usual procedure with such dangerous items. This is where we segue to another Bomb and Arson incident, a few hours later, nine blocks north, at the Broadway Armory. There, at approximately, 10:00 p.m., a suspicious package caused a vigilant pedestrian to phone 911. The contents of the suspicious package were, shall we say, darkly amusing. In yet another case of the Big Media being unfamiliar with Chicago’s neighborhoods, ABC7 erroneously called the Broadway Armory the “Edgewater Armory” in an August 2 report. Let’s give Channel 7 some credit, however, as their lean report was the only one that any Big Media outlet thus far has run about the incident. Only one blog made mention of it: Edgewater Community Buzz referred briefly to the ABC7 piece and linked to it. Chicago News Bench, on the other hand, was actually on the scene about half an hour after the initial 911 call came in of a suspicious package. We arrived at Thorndale and Broadway just before 11:00 p.m. on Sunday night. Police had streets around the Armory area closed off with yellow tape from N. Broadway east along W. Thorndale to N. Winthrop, and south from Thorndale along Broadway to W. Rosedale Avenue. Winthrop was not closed off because the suspicious package was at the Armory's Broadway entrance. Now owned by the Chicago Park District, the Broadway Armory used to be a National Guard Armory, and it’s walls were designed to withstand small bomb blasts and explosions. Had the suspicious bomb actually exploded at the front door, the blast would have posed no danger to anybody on Thorndale east of Broadway. That also explains why the CTA’s Red Line trains, which pass nearby just east of the Armory, were allowed to continue running normally, and why shops remained open. I observed the CPD officers on Thorndale for about 45 minutes and I left just as the Bomb and Arson van pulled up. However, that van was on the Broadway side of the building, so we could neither see nor photograph it. I first became aware of the crazy rumors involving the Argyle Street incident as I stood on Thorndale. A local came up to me and said, "You know, this all started down on Argyle Street this afternoon." Despite the stench of alcohol on his breath, I was intrigued. "Oh?" I inquired. "There was three guys shot in the back of the head in a meth lab in an apartment building," he said. "The cops brought out tons of weapons and three grenades." (Over the next several days, I heard this rumor repeated at least a dozen times.) I left the area but kept my police scanner on. At exactly 11:53 p.m., one of the CPD officers at the Armory radioed a request for an ambulance to stand by just in case anybody happened to get injured by the could-be bomb. (It struck me as odd that nobody had thought to do this when the 911 call was made nearly two hours earlier.) What was actually in the package? Dana Fritz, Aldermanic Aide to 48th Ward Alderman Mary Ann Smith, told Chicago News Bench that it was a “pizza box wrapped oddly” and laid on top of a folded U.S. flag. Mr. Fritz is Ald. Smith’s Public Safety Liaison, and he added that the box was “blown up without looking inside.” (That's partially correct, as we will see in a moment.) As with the grenade, CPD wisely chose the safest option. To open the box would have been foolhardy. So... what was inside the pizza box? Sgt. Sacks told Chicago News Bench that the pizza box was filled with “human excrement.” That’s right, poop. In addition to the poop, there were “wires and metal things” that were probably put there to make the package look dangerous in case it was x-rayed. Although the box was not actually opened, the police know this, he said, because they actually did x-ray the box. They then analyzed the remains of the contents after it was exploded on the scene, in a special container similar to the one used for the grenade on Argyle several hours earlier. I asked Sgt. Sacks what brand the pizza was. He didn't say. There you have it, then. The rumors can be put to rest now.

RISE UP, PATRIOTS (Two Great Videos)

Jeremy Hoop is a powerful singer/songwriter, as demonstrated by this song from Tea Party - The Documentary Film. Hoop's website is powerful, too. Watch his "Rise Up" video here, then watch the other video just below it, which is a trailer for "for the upcoming Restoring Honor Rally in Washington DC on 8/28/2010."

(Updated) 911 Call For Woman Peeing In McDonald's

She just couldn't hold it, I guess. At 11:56 a.m. today, Chicago police got a call from the security guard at the McDonald's restaurant at 1004 W. Wilson Avenue in Chicago's exotic Uptown neighborhood. A woman "urinated in the dining area" of the busy fast food joint, commonly called the GangDonalds by locals because it's frequented by the little devils. UPDATE: A security guard at the McDonalds told Chicago News Bench that the woman came in as a customer. She ordered her meal, but was apparently unhappy with the counter service. Even so, she took her food and quietly ate it at a table. Finished, she politely emptied her tray into the trash, but then silently lowered her pants and proudly pee'd on the floor in front of everybody. That was, apparently, her way of complaining about the service. She then walked out, unapprehended. No charges were filed as a result of her pissy-fit. The store is on the northwest corner of N. Sheridan Road and W. Wilson Avenue, an area notorious for gang activity. It's one of the few intersections in Uptown that has a police camera. 46th Ward Ald. Helen Shiller fought against that several years ago, but CPD and CAPS fought her hard enough to get it. To this day, there is no camera two short blocks away at W. Wilson and N. Broadway, where it is not unusual for gangs to open fire on each other from across the street. Shiller has always justified her resistance to police cameras by claiming that they discriminate against the poor. Talk to any poor person in Uptown (and they are plentiful), and most will tell you that poor folks can be crime victims too - and they like the camera at Wilson and Sheridan. Odds are good that the urinating woman at McDonald's is one of the many mentally ill people who reside in Uptown, dumped into SROs and "nursing homes." Many are heavily medicated. You can often pick them out from a block away by their slow shuffle, hunched shoulders and blank-eyed look. Most are allowed to walk around unattended, which makes them ideal victims of anybody determined to mug somebody. These poor souls are so numerous in Uptown that the neighborhood is, in effect, one big open-air insane asylum. The "46th Mental Ward" is a legacy that Helen Shiller can take to her grave. Walk through Uptown's 46th Ward and you'll likely see people urinating in the open, often making no attempt to hide what they're doing. As you step over homeless people sleeping or begging on the sidewalks, you might see the occasional pile of human excrement. Puddles of vomit are also a common sight. If you've ever wondered what it's like to walk the streets of Calcutta or Hanoi, just stroll along W. Wilson between N. Sheridan and N. Clark. You'll get the same other-worldly feeling and, with some luck, your nose will catch that same other-worldly aroma.

Humungous Ice Island Breaks From Greenland (But Don't Be Too Quick To Blame Global Warming)

Reuters reports that an "ice island four times the size of Manhattan broke off from one of Greenland's two main glaciers, scientists said on Friday, in the biggest such event in the Arctic in nearly 50 years." The ice island has been named "Petermann Ice Island." The knee-jerk reaction by many will be to blame global warming. But hold on. Reuters goes on to give us this caveat (my emphasis added):
"The freshwater stored in this ice island could keep the Delaware or Hudson Rivers flowing for more than two years," said Muenchow, whose research in the area is supported by the National Science Foundation.... He said it was hard to judge whether the event occurred due to global warming because records on the sea water around the glacier have only been kept since 2003. The flow of sea water below the glaciers is one of the main causes of ice calvings off Greenland. "Nobody can claim this was caused by global warming. On the other hand nobody can claim that it wasn't," Muenchow said.
So there. Maybe it's global warming, maybe not. Muenchow, a top scientist, admits that nobody can really know for certain if global warming is a factor in the ice island breaking off of Greenland. Contrary to what Al Gore preaches, the science of all of this is not over. Inquiry - and open minds - must prevail. Environmentalists area already having spasms, however, as their knees jerk uncontrollably. The New American notes this with some humor, but gives a serious explanation of just why it's foolish to rush to the conclusion that global warming is the cause of this calving of the ice: ...calving is not the same as melting. Calving happens when a section of ice breaks off a glacier, iceberg, or ice shelf, which may have nothing to do with melting. Obama's chief science advisor, John Holdren, described calving caused by too much ice in a 1971 essay warning of the dangers of a coming ice age: "Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping of the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history." Admittedly, such an outlandish prediction does undermine Holdren's credibility, but it is true that calving is just as likely to be caused by buildup of ice as by melting. In the case of the Petermann Glacier, it is more likely because the Greenland ice sheet increased by two inches per year from 1993 through 2003, and "radar stations in northern Greenland are rapidly being surrounded by the growing ice sheet," reports [Science and Public Policy Institute] (SPPI). - The New American... The New American also reports that, “...even though the Petermann Glacier calving can hardly be classified as a threat to the environment or a portent of impending disaster, depend upon major media to warn otherwise. Just remember, Greenland didn't get its name by being covered with ice as it is today. And as SPPI noted, 'the Greenland ice sheet was entirely absent 850,000 years ago: therefore, even if Greenland's ice were to melt, its disappearance would be entirely within the natural variability of the climate'." RELATED: 35 Inconvenient Truths - The Errors In Al Gore's Movie SPPI Fallacies About Global Warming SPPI

Help Find Doletha Parker, Missing Uptown Chicago Woman

A 60-year-old woman with Alzheimer's Disease is reported missing. The Chicago Police Department is asking for the public's help in finding her. Doletha Parker was last seen about 2:30 a.m. Friday (August 6, 2010) on the 4500 block of North Malden Street, police said (see map). That's in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, where flyers for Ms. Parker have been seen posted on light poles and shop windows for two days now. Ms. Parker might have boarded the CTA Red Line at Wilson and Broadway, in an attempt to get to a son's house near 50th Street and Washington Park Court, police said. She recently moved to Chicago from Minnesota and is carrying Minnesota identification, and she might appear confused because of her medical condition. Ms. Parker is described in a missing person alert as black, 5-foot-6, 140 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black and white housecoat and flip-flop shoes, and was carrying a gold purse. Anyone with information is asked to call the Belmont Area Special Victims Unit at 312-744-8266. The above report was largely by Heywood Hoffman as found at Chicago Breaking News, based on information from the Chicago Police Department. Some rewrite and additional information was added by Tom Mannis.

Found! Missing South Side Chicago Woman

A 79-year-old Chicago woman with dementia was found by police Friday morning after vanishing from her South Side home Wednesday [August 4, 2010]. Police found Martha Barrett in the 6700-block of South Stony Island before reuniting her with family. More at ABC7 Chicago... We love happy endings :-)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

UPDATE #2: Guns, Shots Fired, Stabbings In Chicago

August 7, 2010 - 10:24 PM - Person with a gun reported, 5500 block N. Magnolia, Chicago Police responding.... 10:36 PM, More officers on scene, transporting at least one arrestee to the station. THREE SHOTS FIRED, 10:30 PM - 4700 N. Dover, Chicago - Chicago police responding... MULTIPLE (?) STABBING, 10:48 PM - 4200 N. Maplewood - Chicago police responding... possible ice pick attack... PERSON WITH A GUN - 10:52 PM - 4416 N. Magnolia - Male black with a gun with 20 other males... UPDATE: CPD says this is a gangster memorial for "recently slain" gang banger, "orderly," but CPD swinging by "as a show of force" - Also see "Uptown: Gang Members Converge on Magnolia" at Chicago News Report Man shot in chest, critically wounded on Far South Side Chicago Breaking News 1 killed, 3 wounded in Ada Park shooting Chicago Breaking News 8-year-old suffers graze wound to his head Chicago Breaking News 3 injured in drive-by on South Side Chicago Breaking News

IL State Senate Candidate Adam Robinson Would Support Higher Taxes

Adam Robinson "won" last November's Republican primary in the 7th Illinois State Senate District -- unopposed. Despite running as a Republican, Robinson does not call himself one on his website. And, worse yet, he says things that are downright non-Republican. More the heart of the matter, the self described "libertarian-Republican" says things that are downright non-conservative. The word "Republican" does not appear even once on his website. (republican site:electadamrobinson.com/) On March 10, 2010, Robinson put out a press release in which he admitted he would support higher taxes in Illinois (emphasis added):
"I cannot support a budget that demands higher taxes from our citizens without first forcing the state government to do everything it can to cut spending to a level that reflects reality."
In other words, if and when Springfield does "everything it can" to cut spending "to a level that reflects reality," Robinson says he's willing to support higher taxes. WTF? Excuse me, but calling for higher taxes is INCONSISTENT with libertarian, Republican and conservative philosophy. It is ONLY consistent with Liberal, Democrat, Progressive ideology. To whose "reality" was Robinson referring? He didn't say. He also offered no suggested course of action, no list of programs or items to trim in order to cut back that budget. Robinson wrapped up the press release with this: "It's time for elected leaders to show political courage and make decisions that serve the people’s interests rather than their own. I call on Governor Quinn to rethink his approach and to put people first." "People first" is so warm and fuzzy, but it's as void of substance as "hope and change." It took no political courage for Robinson to offer this empty criticism of Quinn's horrible budget plan, but Robinson offers no hint that he himself has any decisions to offer as an alternative. It's one thing for the average joe to sit around and criticize, but when a candidate for the State Senate does so we expect that person to offer at least a vague suggestion of their alternative plan of action. Robinson did not do that in March, and has not done so yet. An interesting quote that applies: "Liberal Republicans actually do more harm to our country than Liberal Democrats, because they are hijacking the party that is supposed to FIGHT socialism. That's why Bush was able to get away with expanding government more than Clinton, and Nixon more than Johnson." ~ Conservatives Don't Let Conservatives Support Liberal Republicans, Facebook group RELATED: Republican in Name Only (RINO) definition at Conservapedia

Black Guy Examines Black Loyalty to Democrats (Video)

Macho Sauce Productions pulls no punches in yet another great political video. I dare Democrats and Liberals to call this guy a racist.

Reasons To Vote For Democrats In November (Video)

A must-see video for everyone, especially Democrat voters. Grateful hat tips to iOwnTheWorld and All American Blogger.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Updated - CPD's Mobile Strike Force Invades Uptown

August 6, 2010 - 8:15 PM - CHICAGO - You'll see more police than usual on the streets of Uptown tonight. Between 40 and 44 Mobile Strike Force (MSF) vehicles are making a show of force on the troubled streets of Uptown tonight. UPDATE: Shots Fired in Uptown: 7-Eleven at 4155 N Broadway at Chicago News Report "They'll be responding in force to just about everything," a well-place CPD source told Chicago News Bench tonight. "Broken windows, prostitution, everything. They're out to clean it up." You might also see a helicopter or two tonight. The MSF consists mostly of special-duty officers who are not restricted to any particular beat or district. The MSF moves into an area as needed, and it's been decided that it's time for them to make a rare North Side appearance. The MSF was created in 2008. Uptown is on the far north side of Chicago, along the shore of Lake Michigan. Although it might not be as bad as some areas of Chicago, there are parts of it that are as bad as the notorious Austin District on the West Side. The area from N. Sheridan and W. Wilson west to N. Magnolia, for example. On July 28, two men were shot in the late afternoon in the 4500 block of N. Magnolia. One died immediately, falling dead in the street (the media reported incorrectly the nontruth from CPD that he died after 1:00 a.m. the next morning in a hospital). The next day, July 29, there was retaliatory gang shooting a few blocks away. Nobody was reported injured during that afternoon spree near W. Sunnyside and N. Sheridan. Those shooting incidents are only two of many that have occurred in Uptown's 46th Ward over the years. For more about shootings in Uptown, click here. While some may criticize the MSF presence in Uptown the sign of a "Police State," we say it's a rational, welcome and overdue response to the growing Gangster State.

Pat Quinn's Tax Holiday - Good Idea, Bad Execution

Ask most Democrats about lowering taxes to help the economy and they'll roll their eyes and tell you that taxes are good and everybody ("especially the rich") need to pay more. Ask most Democrat state legislators in Illinois why they don't lower taxes to help the economy and you'll get a similar reaction. And yet, yet... Sometimes a temporary burst of sanity hits a Democrat square between his eyes. Illinois Governor Quinn, for example, who is currently touting a "sales tax holiday." Clout Street (Chicago Tribune) reported this on August 6 (my emphasis added): Gov. Pat Quinn today defended his push for a back-to-school sales tax holiday despite the cost to a state government that's badly in the red. The governor predicted that waiving the 5 percent state sales tax will result in more revenue for the state because it will entice more shoppers into stores. Once there, those shoppers will spend on items such as electronics and sports equipment that aren't covered by the tax holiday. More at Clout Street.... Gov. Quinn is correct, of course, but his stand on this only highlights his - and his party's - contradictions about taxes and their effect. Look, this "back-to-school sales tax holiday" is temporary. Now, if Quinn thinks that lowering taxes will (a) result in more revenue for the state because (b) it will "entice more shoppers" to shop, why can't he - and his party - understand that a permanent sales tax cut would do the same thing but for a much, much longer period of time? Furthermore, if Quinn is so cocksure that this will encourage people to buy more back-to-school merchandise, why is it so difficult for him - and his party - to grasp the reality that lowering the sales tax on other merchandise would similarly boost consumer spending and, thereby, sales tax revenues? Note that, unlike Quinn, I speak of "lowering" the sales tax, not "waiving it." I acknowledge the need for some taxation, but the level at which Illinois (and Chicago and Cook County) tax people on just about everything is over the top. What Quinn admits is that lower taxes spur higher levels of consumer purchases. What he does understand is that lowering those taxes significantly would have the same effect, and boost the state's tax revenues even more than his plan would. In addition, why not lower the sales tax on the non-school items that Quinn referred to? Sure, the tax holiday on school items would increase shopping by parents with kids in school. But is Quinn - and his party - really so ignorant as to think that all of them will also "spend on items such as electronics and sports equipment that aren't covered by the tax holiday?" What about the many people in the market for those items who are not shopping for back-to-school items? What's to entice them to buy electronics, sports equipment or anything else in Illinois rather than crossing the border? Gov. Quinn has the right idea in theory, but his plan to execute it is completely wrong. The fastest way to generate more tax revenue for virtually bankrupt Illinois is to lower the sales tax on all items and services. Don't even get me started on the income tax and the myriad number of fees that Illinois imposes on people. As I wrote here on July 13, this may seem counterintuitive, but makes perfect sense: Lower the taxes and suddenly more people can afford to buy more things. From the sales tax on a pack of gum, a washing machine or a condominium, part of the cost is taxes. Your real income is less because it, too, is taxed. When you raise taxes, people have less disposable income. They buy less or go to a neighboring city, county or state where the sales taxes are lower, or move there because the income tax is friendlier. This is simple, basic economics. Any kid running a lemonade understands that higher prices - whether they're higher because of taxes or not - result in fewer sales.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Alderman Smith Won't Run Again in 48th Ward Chicago

So long to Ald. Mary Ann Smith. She won't run in the February, 2011 Chicago aldermanic election. Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th) acknowledged Thursday that she would not seek re-election, reported the Chicago Sun-Times on Aug. 5, 2010. Smith, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee, is the second longest-serving woman on the City Council. She was elected in 1989, the same year Mayor Daley took office, and has “never lost a precinct.” But, Smith said Thursday that “after 21 years of trying to be all things to all people,” the current term would be her last. Update, August 6: Ald. Smith sent this email to 48th Ward constituents: Dear Friends, It is with mixed emotions that I have decided not to run for re-election in February. My 20 years as Alderman of the 48th Ward have been the most productive and fulfilling of my career. I am so proud of what we have accomplished together to improve the quality of life in our community. Despite the continuing challenges, our streets are safer, our schools are better, our housing has improved and our businesses are strong. But I believe it is time I move to a new phase in my life. I want to focus my energy on environmental issues, especially climate change and the health of the Great Lakes; mental health and nursing home reform, and animal welfare. I believe I can do this more effectively as a focused advocate for these causes. Thank you for your help and support. It has been my privilege to serve you. And I pledge to devote my full energy to working on behalf our community as your Alderman until my term expires next May. With warmest regards, Mary Ann Smith Ald. Smith is one of a handful of aldermen to whom we would extend best wishes for success, and we do. But isn't it always amusing to hear an elected official say that they are leaving their position of great influence and power so that they can be, well, influential and powerful? What is it about being a Chicago alderman that Mary Ann Smith thinks is limiting her ability to affect "environmental issues, especially climate change and the health of the Great Lakes; mental health and nursing home reform, and animal welfare?" Just asking. Now, let's continue the northward trend of incumbent aldermen deciding not to run. Recently, 46th Ward Ald. Helen Shiller of Uptown infamy announced her decision to not run again. Retiring in Edgewater is Smith in the 48th, just north of Shiller's 46th Ward. Can we pleeeeeeeease hear a similar announcement soon from the 49th Ward, just north of Edgewater, where Ald. Joe Moore has annoyed developers and imported thousands of Section 8 vote slaves into Rogers Park since 1991? Please?

UPDATED - Machine Gun Report In Uptown, Chicago

6:33 P.M., AUGUST 5, 2010 - FLASH: CPD DISPATCH REPORTS A SHOOTER NOW WITH A MACHINE GUN "FIRING INTO THE AIR" IN THE 4500 BLOCK OF N. BEACON IN CHICAGO'S UPTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD... CPD IS RESPONDING. UPDATE, 6:37 PM - CPD gave a "disregard" because they did not see anybody with a gun as they drove through the block. HOWEVER, somebody called that in. Was this bona fide, and if so, where did Mr. Machine Gun run off to? (Far too often the police respond to calls of "shots fired" by driving past the reported scene, without bothering to get out do a proper inspection or even talk to anybody.)

Idiot Shoots Self in Hand at Broadway and Sunnyside

August 5, 2010 - Chicago - At 6:00 p.m. a person suffered a gunshot wound to their own hand. The were standing at the intersection of N. Broadway and W. Sunnyside, near the new Target store in Uptown. It is not known why the person had the gun or why they shot their own hand. At 6:12 p.m., Chicago police radioed that the victim was being taken to nearby Weiss Memorial Hospital. This might be related to an earlier shooting today at 2:45 p.m. at nearby Hazel and Sunnyside. Uptown Update has that...

Updated: Alligator Story Highlights Incompetence by CPD, Animal Control and NBC5

August 5, 2010 - Chicago News Bench was the first to report that Chicago Police responded to a bona fide alligator sighting on the city's north side today. Subsequently, we've seen an incredibly lousy report about it by NBC5 Chicago, incompetence by the Chicago Police Department and stupidity by Animal Control. Read the full story at CPD Loses 3-Foot Alligator On Chicago River ... UPDATE, AUGUST 6: They caught the damned thing...

UPDATE#3 - CPD Loses 3-Foot Alligator On Chicago River

An incredibly lousy report by NBC5 Chicago, incompetence by the Chicago Police Department, stupidity by Animal Control and more (below), but first, my original report, which I wrote as I listened to the police on my scanner: UPDATE, AUGUST 6: They caught the damned thing... August 5, 2010 - 12:25 PM - A three-foot long alligator was spotted sunning itself on the east bank of the north branch of the Chicago River around 11:45 a.m. today. Chicago police are standing by at 3400 N. Rockwell Street (map), where the river flows past DeVry University, just south of Lane Technical High School. Chicago police are sending one of their Marine Unit boats up the river to attempt a live capture of the cold blooded reptile. Animal Control was called, but they told CPD that they do not respond to alligator calls (really). Instead, some guy called "the Snake Man" from a private reptile handling organization is on his way to assist the police with the situation, but as of 12:28 p.m. nobody has shown up to help the police. We'll update you as/if/when we get more info. UPDATE at 1:30 PM: "The conservation officer came out," said a CPD officer. The critter went into the water, but "tell the conservation officer that the boat alone will scare it out" of the river. What clusterfuss. The Snake Man, according to CPD conversation on the scanner, has assured them that he will get the gator. But at this moment, two hours after the first call, the alligator is still at large in the river. CPD officers shoot dogs often enough in this city, so why couldn't they have just shot this potentially deadly animal and been done with it? Now, at 5:00 p.m., let's look at the incredibly lousy report by NBC5 Chicago, incompetence by the Chicago Police Department, stupidity by Animal Control and more. NBC5's IDIOTIC STORY story goes to hell after the headline, "Hunt For Gator Temporarily Suspended" (emphasis added): "Someone called 911 to report saying they saw a reptile-like creature in the water at around 11:30 a.m., Chicago Police News Affairs said," wrote Andrew Greiner. "A viewer emailed NBC Chicago around the same to report the rumor, but hadn’t seen the creature. Chicago Animal Care and Control Officials are taking over the investigation and members from of the Chicago Herpatological Society are assisting. Experts say its likely someone's pet." I was listening to the police on my scanner. Unlike Andy, I know that Chicago Police News Affairs is full of crap because it's not meant to provide information, it's meant to provide cover for the CPD as a public relations function. I heard the police say that they actually saw the alligator and they continued to keep an eye on it for well over an hour. At least one officer said he was looking at the alligator on the river bank. Graphic: Screen shot of NBC5's stupid alligator report. Click to enlarge. The police actually saw the alligator, or so they said to each other. Later, an officer told dispatch that the creature had gone into the river. So, for Andy to essentially dismiss the gator siting as nothing more than a "rumor" reported by "a viewer" is not only highly inaccurate, it's extremely lazy "journalism." Feeling compelled to run a photo of an alligator, NBC5 ingeniously ran a photo of... of lemurs. Perhaps they couldn't find an alligator photo. Maybe nobody at NBC5 knows what an alligator looks like. Or worse, the editor at NBC5 might actually think that lemurs are a type of alligator. I don't know, of course, but it seemed like a stupid choice for the story. The Chicago Sun-Times had a slightly better report. POLICE INCOMPETENCE plays into this odd story as well. For a considerable amount of time, at least one officer observed the gator on the river bank. I don't blame him for following orders and city policy, but it is incompetent policy that prevented him from shooting the animal. Sometimes, when a police officer is confronted with a threatening dog, the dog is shot and killed. In this case, we had a three-foot long alligator that could easily cause the death of any swimmer in the river. The alligator is not native to Illinois. Why the police on scene did not shoot it is beyond me. As reported, it is now free in the river. Good luck catching it. THE STUPIDITY OF ANIMAL CONTROL is legendary. Essentially, if involves an event with an animal that is small, cute and cuddly they'll respond to it. Remember the cougar that police shot and killed in Roscoe Village two years ago? On April 16, 2008 my report for Chicago Journal's Booster newspaper noted the following: The big cat was first spotted at about 7:30 Monday morning by a teacher at Audubon Elementary School, half a block north of where Chicago police shot and killed the cougar 10 hours later. According to Principal John Price, one of his staff saw the cougar in an alley just east of the school, behind the 3600 block of North Hoyne. "We called 911 at 7:30," Price said, "and about an hour later, three animal control officers came to the school and spoke with us." Price could not say what the animal control officers did after they left Audubon Elementary. On April 23, 2008, I did a followup story for Booster ("The missing part of our cougar story"). It was a quick interview with Mark Rosenthal, Chicago's Animal Care and Control's operations manager. Rosenthal unwittingly painted a picture of a department that is ill prepared and incredibly incompetent: BOOSTER: Witnesses who live one block from the original sighting, and right on the alley where the cougar was shot, say they did not see Animal Care and Control until about 7 p.m., more than an hour after the cougar was shot. ROSENTHAL: We can't knock on every door. BOOSTER: But these people live only one block away. You said your officers knocked on doors for a several-block radius. ROSENTHAL: We can't knock on every door. BOOSTER: Why didn't the police have dart guns for the cougar? Nearly 10 hours passed between the first sighting and shooting. Was there a disconnect between the police department and Animal Care and Control? ROSENTHAL: You'd have to ask [CPD spokeswoman] Monique Bond about that. BOOSTER: Witnesses say they did not see Animal Control people with the police, not until after 7 p.m. ROSENTHAL: If you watch the Fox video you'll see one of our officers there. BOOSTER: I only saw police officers in that video. How many Animal Control officers responded with the police? ROSENTHAL: Just one officer. BOOSTER: What was the officer's name? ROSENTHAL: I don't see what that matters. BOOSTER: I'd like to ask him some questions. ROSENTHAL: I don't know his name. BOOSTER: You only had one officer on the scene of a cougar shooting and you don't know his name? ROSENTHAL: No. BOOSTER: Did he have a dart gun? A tranquilizer gun? ROSENTHAL: No, but his supervisor did. BOOSTER: So, there were two Animal Care and Control officers there? I thought you said there was only one of your officers there. ROSENTHAL: I didn't say that. BOOSTER: You said there was only one there and you don't know his name. How it is you don't know which officer was at such an event? ROSENTHAL: There was one officer. There was also a supervisor. Only supervisors carry tranquilizer dart guns. BOOSTER: OK, so there were only two officers, one being a supervisor with a dart gun. Would be correct to say, then, that the majority of Animal Care and Control officers do not carry dart guns? ROSENTHAL: Only the supervisors are trained to use them. BOOSTER: Would it be correct to say that the majority of your officers are not supervisors, so therefore a minority of your personnel are trained in the use of dart guns? ROSENTHAL: Yes. BOOSTER: At 8:30, Animal Control knew there was a cougar in the area. Why no dragnet other than a few people knocking on some doors? Why weren't the Animal Care and Control people waiting, poised to go with the police? ROSENTHAL: Animal Care and Control is very busy, we respond to lots of calls all over. Dogs, stray deer... BOOSTER: Those are quite different from a cougar. ROSENTHAL: We had several calls during the day. Our people drove up and down the alleys. Cougars are very big, you know, so that makes it very easy for them to hide in places, under things that a lot of animals can't go. BOOSTER: The only calls I'm aware of was the 7:30 call from the teacher and a call just after 5. CPD swooped in almost immediately. Why weren't there more Animal Control people waiting in the neighborhood, able to swoop in with the police? ROSENTHAL: We have a limited number of people to handle lots of calls all over. What the Animal Control officers did today with the cougar was nothing. Think about that. A friggin' cougar - a man killer - on the loose and it took animal control an hour to respond, and then with only three people initially. Many hours later, about 20 cops opened fire on the cornered cat, killing it in a hail of gunfire. As Rosenthal admitted, there was only one Animal Control person present when it ended. A woman who lives nearby said that Animal Control did not come to the site of the cougar's death until about 7 p.m., 90 minutes after it had been killed by police. She wondered what animal control was doing between the time the cat was reported early in the morning until 90 minutes after it was killed. As I said before, they did nothing. With today's alligator incident, Animal Control again did essentially nothing. Granted, the alligator did not pose the same kind of threat to human life that the cougar did, However, it seems that Animal Control is useless for anything other than bothersome dogs, cats, squirrels and racoons. They told CPD that they don't handle alligators. They were not prepared for a cougar two years ago, and they have apparently not prepared themselves for something as relatively simple as a three-foot long alligator.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chicago Aldermen As Nazis, #3 In Series

Why would we do something as sophomoric as make Chicago aldermen look like Nazis? Click image to enlarge it. Because, mainly, these sophomoric assdips called everybody who supports Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law "Nazis," or remained silent while other did so during the debate of the Chicago City Council's resolution to condemn that state for having the gaul to enforce existing federal laws. I also do it because I enjoy shoving Alinsky tactics up their Marxist arses. It's always fun to watch Democrats such as these fly into hissy fits when the kind of mockery that their camp has heaped on the Right for decades is heaped right back on them. "Fear no art," they say, but hypocrites fear this, and this is art whether you fear it or not. As Saul Alinsky wrote in his Rules For Radicals, "Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon." I say fight ridicule with ridicule. The resolution was sponsored by four Latino aldermen: George Cardenas (12th Ward), Ariel Reboyras (30th), Ray Suarez (31st) and Ricardo Munoz (22nd). Although the Arizona law applies equally to any illegal alien no matter what their race, enthnicity or national origin, these little hitlers did their Democrat best to make it a race issue. All four said that SB 1070 was an attack on Latinos (in fact, it's not an "attack" on any ethnic group but, instead, a strong response to people who have violated U.S. federal laws). The most aggregious insult to Arizona came from Danny Solis, 25th Ward, who acted as the loudmouthed pitbull for the four sponsors, making the Nazi comparison for them. The Sun-Times reported that "They likened the Arizona law to the progressive denial of civil liberties that preceded Adolf Hitler’s 'final solution': the extermination of six million Jews in concentration camps." They may not have used the word "Nazi," but it's hard to miss the direct comparison there. Like Ald. Solis (right), the four sponsors either did not read Arizona's SB1070 or chose to deliberately lie about it - or both. ALSO SEE: Chicago Aldermen As Nazis, #1 In Series Chicago Aldermen As Nazis, #2 In Series

Gold Coast Jihadi: Feds Arrest Chicago Man In Terror Plot

August 4, 2010 - From ABC7 Chicago: For nearly two years, counterterrorism agents in Chicago say they have been secretly following a 26-year old Streeterville man as he planned and plotted to become a global Jihadist and even dreamed of executing a suicide bomb attack on American soldiers. After determining that Masri had airplane tickets to leave Chicago this morning to carry out his mission, federal authorities say they stopped Masri and arrested him.... Masri is an American citizen born in Alabama according to details in a 24-page FBI affidavit unsealed Wednesday. From AP via MercuryNews.com: Federal prosecutors say a 26-year-old Chicago man was plotting to go to Somalia to become a suicide bomber with al-Qaida. Shaker Masri (shah-KEER' MAHZ'-ree) was charged Wednesday with attempting to aid a terrorist organization and use a weapon of mass destruction outside the United States. Authorities contend Masri told an FBI informant of his plans and asked the informant for money to help buy guns once they got there. According to WBEZ radio in Chicago, "Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown set the next hearing date for Monday, Aug. 9.If convicted, Masri could face up to 30 years in prison." RELATED: Local Man Charged With Aiding Somali Terrorists CBS2 Chicago

FBI Turns To Chicago News Bench For Help

The sleuths at FBI Criminal Justice Information Systems (IP 153.31.113.26) in Fairmont, WV are using Chicago News Bench as a research tool in their investigation of Sunrise Equities and Salman Ibrahim. Here's what they looked at on CNB today: DATE/TIME: August 3, 2010, 15:45:30 PAGEVIEWS:
  • www.suntimes.com/news/blogentries/index.html?bbPostId=Cz8OXTrOeXM0wB29mdluhFSfuB6lp0UfM2097CzACfuJxfh2Lk&bbParentWidgetId=B8k88rWwXopuz5STgLeVwBLu
  • http://rogersparkbench.blogspot.com/2008/10/obama-connected-to-sunrise-equities.html
  • DATE/TIME: August 3, 2010, 15:46:26 PAGEVIEWS:
  • www.suntimes.com/news/blogentries/index.html?bbPostId=Cz8OXTrOeXM0wB29mdluhFSfuB6lp0UfM2097CzACfuJxfh2Lk&bbParentWidgetId=B8k88rWwXopuz5STgLeVwBLu
  • http://rogersparkbench.blogspot.com/2008/10/obama-connected-to-sunrise-equities.html
  • DATE/TIME: August 3, 2010, 15:46:31 PAGEVIEWS:
  • www.suntimes.com/news/blogentries/index.html?bbPostId=Cz8OXTrOeXM0wB29mdluhFSfuB6lp0UfM2097CzACfuJxfh2Lk&bbParentWidgetId=B8k88rWwXopuz5STgLeVwBLu
  • http://rogersparkbench.blogspot.com/2008/10/obama-connected-to-sunrise-equities.html
  • DATE/TIME: August 3, 2010, 15:46:40 PAGEVIEWS:
  • http://rogersparkbench.blogspot.com/2008/10/obama-connected-to-sunrise-equities.html
  • http://rogersparkbench.blogspot.com/
  • Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Solar Storm Hitting Earth Now!

    August 3, 2010 - In light (no pun intended) of the big solar blast heading Earth's way‎ tonight, and in anticipation of the resulting, extended auroras, we thought we'd put together a quick sampler of Sun-related items for your reading and viewing pleasure. The coronal mass ejection (CME) burst from the Sun on Sunday, and is now striking Earth with full force. The CSMonitor tells us where to best see the Aurora Borealis ("Northern Lights"), while the 3News.co.nz (New Zealand) tells us about the Aurora Australis, ("Southern Lights"). SpaceWeather.com is reporting (at 8:30 p.m. EDT) that "The first of possibly two incoming CMEs hit Earth's magnetic field today at approximately 1730 UT (1:30 pm EDT). As a result of the impact, a polar geomagnetic storm is brewing. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras after nightfall."


    This event will be fun and non-destructive (we're told), but the truth is that nobody knows how damaging it might be to satellites and other electronic systems, such as power grids. As sure as the Sun will rise tomorrow, you can bet that one day the Sun will destroy this planet. When? Probably not in our lifetimes, but according to NASA the Sun could bring civilization-destroying havoc as early as 2012. FoxNews also has a good report about the potentially destructive solar storms predicted for 2012.

      Heliophysics is not something I excelled at in college. The fact that I didn't take any physics classes probably had something to do with that, but it hasn't curbed my enthusiasm for the subject. (True geeks will love this site: http://www.solarcycle24.com/) Below is a video that explains how the Sun works and its effects on the solar system, of which you and I are but tiny parts. (Also See: Interstellar Energy Cloud + Sun = Uh Oh!)

    Chicago Shootings Continue Overnight in Uptown and Roseland

    August 3, 2010 - When will it end? Despite earnest and "uneasy" candlelight vigils to remember the dead and ward off evil spirits, the gangs and criminally insane just keep killing. To wit, a shooitng last night around 11:00 p.m. in the 10500 block of South LaSalle Street, another shooting about an hour later in the 12300 block of South Normal Avenue, and a third just past 2:30 a.m. in Uptown today. According to Chicago Breaking News, "a 20-year-old man was shot in the abdomen in the 1000 block of West Lawrence Avenue. He was reported stable at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center." Details, full story... Chicago News Bench has learned that the man's first name is Warren and he was accompanied by two females when he was shot. The Lawrence Avenue shooting happened about half a block from the home of James Cappelman, candidate for 46th Ward alderman. There were no Official Positive Loiterers present to keep Lawrence Avenue free of crime. State Senator Heather Steans would not return my phone calls about her own positive loitering efforts even if I tried to call her. RELATED: Chicago Killings Continue Despite Useless Uptown Peace Vigil

    A Disturbing Statement from the CYR Board of Governors

    August 3, 2010 - I received a very nice note for Meredyth Richards today. She's the new President of the Chicago Young Republicans (CYRs) who replaced Jeremy Rose yesterday (see "Pat Brady Prunes Rose From Chicago Young Republicans"). I'd sent Ms. Richards a simple note saying only, "Congratulations on your new position as President of the Chicago Young Republicans." Ms. Richards wrote back: "I am/we are also happy to sit down with you and talk about these unfortunate events, our success as an organization, our future plans, or anything else. Ideas or thoughts you have for our group as we rise above this difficult time are certainly welcome and appreciated." That's appreciated, but she/they might not want me in the same room with her/them after they read this post. (Jeremy Rose once bought me coffee seeking the same "ideas or thoughts.") In the post-Jeremy Rose world of the Chicago Young Republicans, life goes on -- but with a sharply defensive tone. Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady forced the ouster of Rose from his Cook County Republican Party Executive Director position, amidst allegations of a sex scandal CYR. Days later the same powers forced Rose from the presidency of the CYRs. The following statement appeared on the CYR website today. Let's look at the statement, and rip it apart as we go along: CYR Board of Governors Statement We have not taken the attacks against our organization and our president, Jeremy Rose, lightly. As many by now know, Jeremy has resigned from his position as President of the Chicago Young Republicans amid false allegations of inappropriate conduct from June 2009. He has done so for the ultimate good of the Republican Party. COMMENT #1: This is significant. By calling the still-uninvestigated allegations against Rose "false," the CYR Board of Governors is essentially saying that Pat Brady acted without justification and crucified an innocent man. We steadfastly support the conclusion reached over a year ago by the officials in the state Young Republican organization responsible for addressing the incident. On July 1, 2009 a complaint against Jeremy was lodged, and quickly thereafter it was thoroughly investigated. As of July 22, 2009 all involved agreed that the issue had been appropriately resolved, which included an apology from Jeremy himself. COMMENT #2: "Thoroughly investigate?" Really? Chicago News Bench requests the CYRs to immediately release all documents, including meeting minutes, of the so-called investigation. We also request a definition of "appropriately resolved." Furthermore, if allegations against Jeremy Rose are "false" and Rose is innocent of any sexual misconduct, what exactly did he apologize for? Though the matter was addressed to everyone's complete satisfaction more than a year ago, over the past few weeks partisan factions have spun the story for their own political advantage and continue to circulate false information. Despite their manipulation of the facts, at no point were Jeremy and the complainant ever alone. Two others, including one female, were present in the same room throughout the evening. COMMENT #3: The matter was obviously NOT "addressed to everyone's complete satisfaction more than a year ago." Had it been, Jeremy Rose would still be the Exec. Director of the Cook County Republican Party and President of the Chicago Young Republicans -- and we would not be analyzing a CYR Board of Governors statement about the subject in August, 2010. While we denounce inappropriate sexual behavior in all forms, this incident never rose to the level now suggested. All questions of criminality are wildly inappropriate and unfounded. This same conclusion, we repeat, was reached by the external investigation conducted last July.

    COMMENT #4: The CYR Board of Governors seems guilty of Freudian uncertainty. On the one hand, they state that Rose is absolutely innocent of any sexual misbehavior. Yet here they hint that perhaps Rose did something inappropriate but that it wasn't as bad as alleged. You can't have it both ways: Either he engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior or he didn't. As for the "external investigation," what the heck is that? The one in July 2009 "by the officials in the state Young Republican organization responsible for addressing the incident?" You call YRs investigating YRs "external?"

    Unfortunately, this sort of infighting is common in politics, but that does not excuse it.

    COMMENT #5: No, it's really not. It's not common for charges of serious sexual misconduct to be lodged against the leadership of any organization, whether in politics or otherwise.

    The CYRs take pride in our ability to unite the Republican Party in Chicago and across Illinois. After all of our hard work this past year reaching out to the City’s young people, building a 1000-person member base, and hosting Chicago’s largest Republican gathering in decades, we realize our success has made us a target. We are angered by the personal attacks against Jeremy and the organization.

    COMMENT #6: Nobody, up until now, was attacking "the organization" (the CYRs). This blog and others have pointed out the allegations against Rose and the coverup of them by Pat Brady, Lee Roupas and some of the individuals within the CYR. The organization itself is not the problem, it was - and seems to remain - some of the individuals within it currently.

    Were it not for the countless hours and personal sacrifices he and the other volunteer board members have poured into the group, the CYRs would not be where we are today: the premier Republican organization for young people in the City. After two years of consistent growth, the CYRs fill a critical void in left-leaning Chicago and will continue to thrive in spite of recent developments. Particularly in such a critical election year, the CYRs will not allow this manufactured controversy to disrupt our great work in Chicago or detract from our electoral goals. Calls for candidates will continue, ground-breaking events will inspire courage and action from diverse new members, and formerly hidden Republicans will mobilize over the coming months for victory in Illinois.

    COMMENT #7: They call the allegations against Rose a "manufactured controversy," but that ignores reality and their own contradictory statements. The sexual misconduct allegations have not been investigated by a truly independent body, and the CYR Board of Governors itself said that Rose apologized for ... for something. There's more, however, to this affair than the allegations against Rose. There's the secrecy and coverup aspect, which is quite real and certainly not manufactured. Even if all allegations against Rose are false, they should have been openly investigated. They weren't, and that's what led to avoidable - but not manufactured - controversy. The blame for this lies squarely in the lap of IL GOP Chair Pat Brady.

    In accordance with our bylaws, Board Officers have elected Meredyth Richards the new President of our organization. Meredyth has been instrumental to our success over the past year, and is ready to lead us through the critical phase of the upcoming political cycle. She has the full backing of each and every Board member. Moving forward, we ask everyone, including those who have wished us ill in the past, for support and guidance. The consequences are too great in November -- we must join together again.

    COMMENT #8: We have no reason to question the integrity of Ms. Richards, and wish her and the CYRs all the best for continued success in the future. We would suggest, however, that both she and the members of the CYR Board of Directors sign up for Press Statements 101 at the nearest community college.

    Remembering Helen Shiller (Video)

    46th Ward Alderman Shiller has announced that she won't seek re-election next year. Just for fun, let's flash back to a wonderful event in Uptown on August 17, 2009 when Alderman Helen Shiller was yelled at by angry 46th Ward residents and chased off the Truman College campus. Ah, memories.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    The Witch Is Dead: Cappelman Statement On Shiller Retirement

    46th Ward Alderman Helen Shiller proved long-standing rumors true by confirming that she will not run for re-election in February, 2011. Candidate James Cappelman issued this puzzlingly tepid response: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 46th Ward Alderman Candidate James Cappleman Statement On Alderman Shiller’s Retirement Monday August 2nd, 2010 CHICAGO: “We have learned this morning that Ald. Shiller has chosen not to run for reelection. My first memory of Ald. Shiller was witnessing her as a strong advocate for those living with HIV, during the time when the general public had such strong fears and prejudice toward those with this disease. Her support helped open the eyes of others to realize that help was sorely needed. "It’s clear that the ward was seeking a change and Ald. Shiller knew that was the case. We need someone in office who is more focused on open communication and community input. Residents living in apartments, shelters, condos, and affordable housing also wanted a more proactive response to crime in the ward. “Now is the time for true change and reform. We should not repeat our mistakes from the past, but take this opportunity to choose an alderman who knows the community well and has a track record of accomplishments improving the ward. I will continue to fight for the people of the 46th ward because we deserve better." The ward also deserves an alderman who is willing to call a witch a witch. Cappelman completely avoided calling out Shiller for her abuse of TIF funds, her confrontational attitude toward the police, and her importation of more than the ward's share of Section 8 and mental patients. Shiller single handedly turned the 46th Ward into one of the largest open air, no-walls insane asylums in the world. Mr. Cappelman offers praise for the woman that one would have expected him to savage in a debate, yet all he says about her departure is "Her support helped open the eyes of others to realize that help was sorely needed." Helen Shiller used those who needed help in a cynical and successful bid over 20 years to build her political duchy in Uptown, and Mr. Cappelman knows that. Much of the crime in Uptown is due directly to Shiller's coddling of the criminal element and those who nurture the violent ones. She may have helped others realize that help was "sorely needed," but that help remains sorely lacking. If it were up to Helen Shiller, all of the 46th Ward would have become a gargantuan public housing project. Fortunately, she only partly succeeded in achieving that part of her utopian dream. Cappelman's campaign website is http://www.jamesforchange.com/

    Pat Brady Prunes Rose From Chicago Young Republicans

    August 2, 2010 - Last week, Illinois Chairman Pat Brady forced the resignation of Jeremy Rose from his position as Exec. Director of the Cook County Republican Party. Today we learn that Brady has also forced Rose out of his position as President of the Chicago Young Republicans. Rose is replaced by Meredyth Richards as the new President (photo). Did Pat Brady take the advice of Chicago News Bench? We'd like to think so, but the thought processes within the GOP leadership seems so befuddled that it's hard to tell. Anyway, bittersweet hat tip to the Huffington Post for beating me by about an hour on this: At the behest of Illinois Republican Party Chair Pat Brady, the president of the Chicago Young Republicans has been ousted amid a growing scandal for the state GOP. An allegation of sexual misconduct against CYR President Jeremy Rose -- and the alleged cover-ups, blind eyes turned and retributions made in its wake -- resulted in Rose vacating the post Monday. Chairman Brady said Rose's continued involvement with the Young Republicans was "a distraction to what we're trying to accomplish." In addition to being the longtime CYR president, Rose was hired by Cook County Republican Party chairman Lee Roupas as political director in 2009. He was promoted in early 2010 to CCRP Executive Director, though Roupas knew full well of the allegations against Rose. More at HuffPo... Questions remain: When will Pat Brady also force the resignation of Lee Roupas for his role in the covering up of the alleged sex scandal and also for the disgusting way in which he and Rose conspired to overthrow the elected leadership of the Chicago Republican Party? For that matter, when will Pat Brady step down? After all, like Lee Roupas, Pat Brady also knew "full well" of the allegations against Rose for months and months, yet he was content to let it slide until the pressure from the blogs and his own party members became too much to bear. Pat Brady deserves the same contempt for this coverup as does anybody else. Note to Ms. Richards: You might want to replace the "Message From The President" blog entry, dated July 17, at the CYR website. It's from your predecesor. RELATED: Chicago News Bench entries under "Jeremy Rose"

    Chicago Killings Continue Despite Useless Uptown Peace Vigil

    We told you so, but we didn't need a crystal ball. We have been harshly critical of peace vigils in the past as being useless ceremonial rituals that accomplish nothing apart from offering a temporary (and false) sense by participants that they are "doing something to end violence." After last week's candlelight peace vigil at the scene of a July 28 fatal shooting in the 4500 block of N. Magnolia, we noted that it would do nothing to stop the wave of often-fatal violence in Chicago. Sometimes, we hate being right: August 2, 2010 - Chicago - At least 10 people were reported wounded overnight in separate shootings on the city's South and Northwest Sides, officials said. More at Chicago Breaking News... RELATED items from Chicago Breaking News: Autopsy: Englewood girl, 2, beaten to death August 2, 2010 Man shot, killed in West Pullman, August 1, 2010 2 killed, 2 wounded in drive-by shooting at South Side party, August 1, 2010 Woman shot in neck in domestic incident, August 1, 2010 RELATED from other sources: Best Friends Killed In Chicago And Another 14 Shot Global Grind (blog)

    Sunday, August 1, 2010

    When Women Talk Politics (Cartoon)

    Another great cartoon by friend Chris Muir. See the "Day By Day" strip daily here by scrolling down under the postings, or you can check out Chris's cool website here.

    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    Search Warrant For Chicago's Mayor Daley?

    July 31, 2010 - Chicago police officers were overheard talking about both a search warrant and Mayor Daley at 9:43 p.m. tonight. The officers, whose names are unknown, did not know that one of their microphone keys was "open," or pressed down, which allowed their conversation to be overheard on police radio scanners. We overheard the conversation on frequency 460.050, which is used by CPD Zone 2, Districts 19 and 23 on the city's north side. The female dispatcher frantically called out to all officers on that frequency to "Watch your keys, watch your keys, you're talking about a search warrant." Moments later, she said, "Watch your keys, you're talking about the mayor!" The mayor does not approve search warrants. That requires a judge. So why were the officers discussing a search warrant and Mayor Daley? Is Daley the warrant's target? Also See: Chicago Police Frequencies ChicagoScanner.com Live streaming Chicago Police frequencies ChicagoScanner.com

    Humbolt Park Shooter Not Moved By Uptown Peace Vigil

    July 31, 2010 - Golly, I guess the criminal who shot this guy didn't get the message from last night's peace vigil in Uptown, Chicago. Huh. A 36-year-old man was shot and critically wounded this afternoon as he stood on a corner in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood, police said. The man was in critical condition at Mount Sinai Hospital this evening, according to a police media release. More at Chicago Breaking News... Also: At least 10 wounded in separate Chicago shootings, Aug. 2, 2010 Chicago Breaking News

    Friday, July 30, 2010

    (Video) Rep Jan Schakowsky Praises Charlie Rangel, Calls Him "My Leader"

    July 30, 2010 - No surprise, really. Crooks of a feather flock together. Rep. Jan Schakowksy (D-IL) is married to convicted check kiting felon Robert Creamer, so she feels completely comfortable praising tax cheat Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and admitting in the video below that she looks to him as a guide for how she should vote in Congress. She also thinks he's the greatest thing since sliced bagels. Marathon Pundit wrote about this today with an interesting take on the affair: In her speech to the National Black Leadership Commission, Schakowsky praised Rangel as "my leader, Charlie Rangel" and declared, "People may look to see how I vote, but that's 'cause I look first at how Charlie’s voting." Hey Jan, why not listen to your constitutuents instead of sleazeballs like Rangel?In 2005, while the Republicans still controllled Congress, Schakowsky gushed in The American Prospect, "Think about what it would mean for progressives if Nancy Pelosi were House speaker and congressional committees were chaired by people like George Miller, John Conyers, Charlie Rangel, and Henry Waxman." More at Marathon Pundit... Yes, well, we no longer need to imagine. Five years later we're deep into the Hope And Change Nightmare. Rangel is in deep trouble, and Democrats are in a panic about it now that it will embarrass them so close to the mid-term November elections. Many are calling for Rangel to resign, including Comrade Obama Himself. They're not calling for Rangel to resign out of any sense of what is morally correct. They want him as far away in the shadows as possible when his criminal trial begins. Meanwhile, Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) faces charges of misusing her office. What was it that Nancy Pelosi said about cleaning up Congress in 2006? Do you remember that? RELATED: More Calls for Rangel to Resign‎ Wall Street Journal Will the Rangel trial hurt Dems in November? The Hill Anthony Weiner's rant captures Dem impotence The Plum Line WaPo buries Dem fundraiser's fraud, highlights GOP fundraising scandal Washington Examiner