Saturday, August 31, 2013

Safe Passage in Chicago

Rahm's really done a great job for the city, hasn't he?

"Chicago pupils get safety escorts to new schools; Parents are wary that city’s show of force will fade" by Don Babwin |  Associated Press, August 27, 2013

CHICAGO — Thousands of Chicago children whose schools were closed last spring walked to new ones on the first day of school Monday under the watchful eye of police officers and newly hired safety guards there to provide protection as the children crossed unfamiliar streets — many of them gang boundaries.

No incidents of trouble were reported, police said. While that didn’t surprise parents and grandparents, they said they were still concerned that the city’s obvious show of first-day force won’t keep their children safe in the weeks and months to come.

‘‘I think it’s just show-and-tell right now,’’ said Annie Stovall, who walked her granddaughter, 9-year-old Kayla Porter, to Gresham Elementary School, which is about five blocks farther from home than Kayla’s previous South Side school. ‘‘Five, six weeks down the road, let’s see what’s going to happen.’’

Kathy Miller stood in front of Gresham Elementary with her three children, waiting for a bus that would take them to another school. She scoffed at the Safe Passage program, in which guards clad in neon vests line Chicago streets, saying it won’t be long before brightly colored signs announcing the program’s routes will be riddled with bullets.

‘‘Those signs don’t mean nothing,’’ she said.

You mean anything. 

Man, Chicago schools ARE bad.

The preparation and show of force shows what’s at stake for Chicago public schools....


Chicago School Closings
Closing Chicago's Schools
Chicago Teachers On Strike

And now it is a call to WAR!

For months, parents, teachers, and community activists have warned that forcing children to pass through some of the city’s more impoverished and dangerous neighborhoods — where some were walking in the middle of the street to avoid being ambushed by gang members — to get to school puts them at undue risk.

And yet Chicago has the toughest gun control laws on the books.

Statistics suggest those concerns are valid....

Why do I sense the presence of a "but" coming? 

If the attention Chicago received after a 15-year-old honor student was killed about a mile from President Obama’s home in January is any indication, there is no doubt a similar media firestorm will occur if a child is caught in gang crossfire on the way to or from school.

But, if still, in any event, nevertheless, not good words for a news report.

One officer standing outside Gresham Elementary summed up the pressure the Police Department and City Hall are under this year, joking that children ‘‘better not get a splinter or we’ll all be out of a job.’’

No you won't, and it is no joke.

With the hope of preventing problems, the financially strapped city hired 600 workers at a rate of $10 an hour to supplement a Safe Passage program that has existed since 2009, launched the same year a Chicago honor student’s beating death was videotaped.

Police worked with residents and CPS to map out routes near 52 of the so-called ‘‘welcoming schools’’ that are taking in students from the closed schools. Along those routes, the city has put up scores of ‘‘Safe Passage’’ signs.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel also deployed city departments to repair sidewalks, replace street lights, paint over graffiti, and board up nearly 300 abandoned buildings.

Last week, Emanuel told about 1,000 people at a training session that the program is ‘‘about more than just building a route to school.

‘‘It is about building a route to college, career, and beyond,’’ he said.

To the ball-and-chain of student debt as you slave away at some sales job or serving in the military, kids.


More drags for taxpayers:

"Ill. governor suspends lawmaker pay over pensions" by SARA BURNETT and SOPHIA TAREEN |  Associated Press, July 11, 2013

CHICAGO — Governor Pat Quinn suspended Illinois lawmakers’ pay on Wednesday, following through on his warning of consequences if they failed to come up with a solution to the state’s nearly $100 billion pension crisis, the worst of any state nationwide.

The Chicago Democrat said he used his line-item veto power in a budget bill that was on his desk, and vowed to not accept a salary himself until a deal has been reached. Lawmakers, who receive an annual salary of $68,000 and additional pay for leadership positions, would have to vote to reject his changes if they want to get paid.

Quinn, who has made pension reform his focus for nearly two years, said he wanted to spur lawmakers into action.

‘‘They must have that alarm bell ringing in their ears, and the best way to do that is to hit them in the wallet,’’ he said at a news conference in downtown Chicago.

Legislators, whose relationship with the governor has grown increasingly tense in recent weeks, said Quinn’s actions wouldn’t help matters — and could make an already politically difficult situation worse. The Democrat-controlled General Assembly has been unable to agree on how to address the pension shortfall, despite years of trying.

‘‘Instead of giving us leadership on this issue, he’s giving us political games,’’ said Senator Matt Murphy, who sits on a panel trying to forge a compromise on the issue.

That's all we ever get here in Amerika now.

Senate President John Cullerton, also a Chicago Democrat, called it ‘‘political grandstanding.’’

Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said she’s seeking a legal review to determine if what Quinn did is constitutional.

Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension liability because lawmakers either skipped or shorted payments to the state’s five retirement systems for decades.

Who stole the money?

Inaction on solving the problem has led to repeated credit rating downgrades while governors from other states have used it as a basis to poach jobs from Illinois.

RelatedGlobe Cuts Illinois Pensions

Also see: Public pension funds in Mass. get failing grades

Related: Checking My Mass. State Pension Statement 

Just wanted you to see where the money was going.

Quinn set numerous hard deadlines, including two special sessions for lawmakers to resolve the crisis, but none has produced any results. Members of a bipartisan panel charged with finding a compromise blew past another deadline Tuesday, saying they needed more time to crunch numbers and try to work out a deal that can get legislative approval. Quinn had warned there would be consequences for lawmakers although he had not outlined what he planned to do.



"Illinois became the 20th state in the nation to allow the medical use of marijuana Thursday, with Governor Pat Quinn signing some of the nation’s toughest standards into law. Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, focused his remarks on how medical marijuana will help seriously ill patients, including veterans, which have been a key focus during his time in office. He also played up Illinois’s standards."

I thought he was smoking something, which is something you would have to do to believe this next item:

"American sentenced to 35 years for plotting Mumbai attack" by MICHAEL TARM and SOPHIA TAREEN |  Associated Press, January 25, 2013

CHICAGO — Minutes before an American was sentenced to 35 years in prison for helping to plan a deadly attack on Mumbai, India, one of his victims tearfully pleaded for a harsh punishment despite the terrorist plotter’s widespread cooperation with US investigators following his arrest.

David Coleman Headley, 52, shifted uncomfortably and kept his eyes fixed on the Chicago courtroom floor Thursday as he listened to the American children’s author describe the violent chaos during her 2008 vacation to India.

Turns out he was a "double agent," meaning he was the AmeriKan case officer overseeing the operation.

Bullets flew past her check and panicked diners dived under tables as gunmen burst into a hotel restaurant then walked around executing people one by one, recalled Linda Ragsdale, at times almost shouting as she stood just a few feet from Headley during the sentencing hearing. More than 160 people died in the attack, including children....

Others victimized by the attack that has been called India’s 9/11 said they were disturbed and upset that Headley did not get the maximum life sentence he faced. With credit for good behavior, he could walk out of prison before he turns 80.

See: The Mumbai Myth Takes Hold

‘‘He lost his right to live life as a free man. He doesn’t deserve to be let out. He gave up that right when he played a role in the attack,’’ said Kia Scherr, whose husband Alan, and 13-year-old daughter, Naomi, were at the same table as Ragsdale and died.

It was prosecutors who pressed for leniency for Headley's almost immediate cooperation after his 2009 arrest and providing intelligence about terrorist networks, including the Pakistani-based group that mounted the attack. Rewarding Headley with the hope of at least a few years of freedom, they said, would encourage future suspects in terrorist cases to spill their secrets. 


A somber Judge Harry Leinenweber sounded reluctant about imposing the lesser sentence, saying the Mumbai assault was so unfathomable and terrifying that, ‘‘perhaps the lucky ones were the ones who didn’t survive.’’


‘‘I don’t have any faith in Mr. Headley when he says he’s a changed person and believes in the American way of life,’’ he said....

Because it is now the AmeriKan way of life.


Also see: Mumbai Cover-Up Complete

He won't be able to help Rahm, the Israeli mole, Emanuel carry out the next false flag -- if he is truly in jail. 


Ill. couple, wed 71 years, die same day 
Ill. abortion notification law upheld after 18-year court fight

I suppose that's "life."