Chicago alderpeople are not known for their intelligence or common sense. They tend to come up with the dumbest things. 43rd Ward alderwoman Michele Smith ends the year in the realm of you can’t make this s**t up.
“See something, blow something.” I thought of something naughty, but I am not going there.
Running towards armed robbers while blowing a whistle surely will terrify armed robbers and make them stop, right? People can be official whistleblowers. Maybe next, she can arm the good citizens of Lincoln Park with bubble guns, rubber band guns, or Super Soakers.
Suppose they do not have whistles or any of the above weapons. In that case, they could run into danger, yelling, “CITIZENS ARREST, CITIZENS ARREST.” That would surely stop the crime in progress, forcing the robbers to flee.
Folks, you elected circus clowns to govern Chicago.
Michelle Smith also misrepresented the numbers of police officers deployed to the 018 District. Either the Police Department lied to her, or she lied to give her constituents a false sense of safety. Either way, public safety in Chicago is built on a house of lies.
COVID cases and violent crime keep on rising side by side. We live in a dangerous city. If COVID does not get you, our violent criminals will. It looks like 2022 will be just as horrible as 2021. Alderwoman Smith thinks violent crime is a joke. The joke is on her, as she is, for now, the official laughingstock of Chicago. It is a sure bet one of our elected officials will steal her title soon.
All aldermanic silliness aside, when are these clowns going to unite and tell the mayor enough is enough? When will they care about us instead of offering dangerous, ridiculous suggestions? When are they going to demand accountability from the mayor? When are they going to hold Kim Foxx’s and Machine Boss Toni Preckwinkle’s feet to the fire? Why are they being cowards? Are they afraid to go up against those two darlings of Chicago’s Barney news media? “We love Kim. We love Toni. We know we’re full of bulloney’ We’re best friends like friends should be”
Folks, we are being conned by the mayor, the aldermen, the State’s Attorney, and the barely visible Machine Boss. They are committing fraud at the highest level of political criminality. Our lives and well-being are of no concern to this quartet with blood on their hands.
When will the mayor fire the inept bush-league cowpoke she hired as Superintendent of Police, David “Tex” Brown? He overstayed his welcome and overplayed his incompetency. Most normal people change course when their plans or policies do not work. Chicago politicians double and triple down on failures touting them as successes. In the meantime, the body count and traumatization keep happening daily.
The 2023 election cycle starts after the New Year. It is time to remember and remind the deadly quartet their jobs are at stake. What do we have to lose by cleaning house? Our lives and safety are at stake. Remember, the first and highest law of nature is self-preservation.
Christmas is past. My greatest gift was spending time with my family. Hopefully, I will spend more time with friends before the holiday season is over.
With COVID making a new surge, life does not appear to be changing for the better. We may be going back to mandates. Life has been challenging for many without social contacts at work, school, family, and friends.
Violent and other crimes are spiraling out of control in the city I love. Like COVID, the situation is not improving. Like COVID, crime keeps us at home more or seeks hopefully safer places to recreate or shop. Too many of us live in fear of becoming collateral damage, innocent victims of violent crime.
Many holiday celebrations were curtailed or canceled due to the COVID resurgence and the Omicron variant. We still live in our safety pods of people we know and trust to stay safe. I know friends or their family members who recently tested positive. I wish them well.
2021 was a horribilis annus. Though it does not seem so, we hope 2022 will be a better year.
People start making New Year’s resolutions most will not keep about this time. I rarely make resolutions. This year will be an exception. My resolutions will be based on things I enjoy or want to try.
We are Chicago. We are a forward-looking people. We can change the dynamic in this city. Most of us can’t change the world, but we can change the small part of it we inhabit. Since COVID struck, our worlds grew smaller. It is easier to change a small world. I will look around my community and see what I can do to leave some positive effect or outcome, even in a small way.
If time and money allow, I want to expand my creativity into other art genres. I believe it is essential to create, to make, things. That I will do, even if it is for my personal enjoyment.
I am a fierce critic of Chicago and Cook County governance, especially their epic public safety failures. In the New Year, I will continue to criticize. I will also showcase the things, past and present, that make Chicago the best city in America, including some people who made this city so special.
Since I love to cook and eat, I will add more food writing, especially about the restaurants and ethnic grocers in the neighborhoods. Maybe I will toss in some recipes or how-to pieces.
I want to try new things this upcoming year. I may try podcasting or vlogging if I can get the few pieces of necessary equipment I need. I want to explore Chicago neighborhoods again with a fresh eye to record the changes since my last visits.
Please do not drink and drive if you are going out for New Year’s Eve, AKA Amateur’s Night. I witnessed the devastation driving under the influence caused, both personally and professionally. The Great Comedian created cabs and ride-sharing to keep people safe from drunks and drunks safe from themselves. Plan ahead. Take a taxi or some other transportation. Maybe get a room close to wherever you are celebrating. Do not become or cause a catastrophe or fatality.
Happy New Year. Live, love, laugh, eat the sandwich.
I am sitting in my neighborhood coffee shop. Jazzy Christmas music is playing. Christmas is two days away. My shopping is done. All that is left is picking up the orders from the grocer.
Many holiday celebrations will be canceled with COVID cases on the rise and the Omicron variant. I know one friend whose spouse tested positive. He canceled the large family celebration at his home. Another person I know was exposed to COVID at work. She will not be with her family. Our celebration will be three of us. There will be feasting on Christmas Eve (Seafood) and Day.
I always looked forward to Christmas. I only experienced one bad holiday, a New Year’s Eve. The rest were good to great. I loved the feasting with family members. I get nostalgic thinking about past Christmases. My family, whether they realized it or not, created fond memories.
I worked many Christmases, sometimes both the eve and day. It never bothered me, as I found ways to celebrate around the work schedule. When my daughter was young, I worked midnights. I would sneak in the house around 4 am, put the gifts under the tree, and go back to finish my shift. I would sneak back in at 6 am, and sleep on the couch until she and her mother woke up. My daughter still talks about finding me on the couch in my uniform.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of hope and joy. With all that is going on in our city, country, and world, it can be easy to lose hope or find little joy. Christmas is its own special season. As Father John Cusick related on Rick Kogan’s radio show, Christmas is the everything season. It has its own colors, music, rituals, and traditions. It is supposed to be a time of good cheer, giving, and hope.
Christmas leads to the New Year’s celebrations. We hope the next year will be better.
For those of you old enough to remember, this is a take on a poem Win Stracke recorded, whose title escapes me.
Santa was gearing up for his midnight run through Chicago on Christmas Eve. As the elves loaded the last packages and retired to raid the liquor cabinet, Santa kissed Mrs. Claus, gave her a hearty swat on the ass, and prepared to depart.
Out of the swirling snow, a long-haired, bearded, robed figure appeared. There was a golden aura surrounding him. It was Jesus Christ.
Jesus asked Santa if he could accompany him on his trip to Chicago. The big man in red knew that when the Son of God asks for something, the request should be considered a Commandment, willfully and cheerfully obeyed.
Chicago style, St. Nick, put his hand’s palms up, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Yeah. Sure.”
The sleigh’s flight path took it into Chicago over the lake from the Northwest. The first stop was Uptown. It was not a home but a homeless shelter. Jesus noted the men, women, and children, especially the children. There would be no sugar plums dancing in their heads this eve. By morning they would be on the cold streets again. Santa left packages with toys, gloves, scarves, toiletries, and other items.
The next stop was the Gold Coast. Lights twinkled along Michigan Avenue. The streets were adorned with decorations. Santa and Jesus went from home to home, high rises, townhomes, and single-family homes to drop off gifts. Christ noted the finery of the houses, the best that money can buy. He also noted excess of every kind, the gluttony of riches.
They traveled into the city, circling the Loop. The streets and stores were decorated to celebrate “The Holiday.” Jesus took note of that too. Nowhere was Christmas to be found. Not even a sign proclaiming “Peace on Earth. Goodwill towards Men”. Nothing except something called “Holiday.”
Then, Santa did something unusual. He went underground. Not literally under the earth, but through the underground Wacker and Michigan Avenues. He knew every nook and cranny where homeless street denizens of the underground slept. He left packages for them. These were people who gave up all hope except the will to live, at least another day.
Jesus took in the sight of people sleeping in cardboard boxes, wrapped in layers of clothing, with all their possessions stacked on the ground or loaded into shopping carts. He noticed the pungent odor of the unwashed. Santa saw a look of profound sadness on Christ’s face.
The sleigh alit atop City Hall. Jesus noticed a peculiar smell, the perfume of graft and corruption, the smell of money. Santa delivered the fat envelopes stuffed with cash to each alderman’s desk. He knew about pay-to-play, the Chicago Way.
Santa wanted no trouble from city officials next year.
The next stop was Stroger Hospital, where the poor seek treatment for their ills, and the seriously injured or wounded are brought. The waiting area for the emergency room was packed to overflowing. In various states of illness and injury, men, women, and especially children are all waiting patiently and not so patiently to be treated.
Sirens blared as ambulances delivered more charges. Triage personnel tried to sort out the most serious—the decision of who would get treated and who would wait all night and into the next day.
In the Trauma Unit, heroic doctors and nurses, battled to stabilize, patch up, or valiantly save the lives of people who were shot, stabbed, beaten, or victims of other violence and mayhem. Their movements were energetic, but their eyes relayed weariness. Santa left the staff presents in their break room.
The night was wearing on. There was still much work to do.
They flew through the westside, the Lawndale neighborhood, where hope goes to die, and dreams are stolen. They entered the homes of the poor. Santa left parcels at each one, taking special care to arrange the children’s just right. Jesus noted the lack these people suffered. He saw children sleeping, sometimes two, three, or more, in a single bed. Stoves and ovens provided extra heat.
There was racket coming through the walls of various buildings and homes, yelling and screaming. The noise of domestic disturbances and arguments by people whose desperation makes them so angry, they lash out at the ones they love.
While flying to another block, Jesus noticed blue lights swirling through the snow. Santa flew the sled lower. A police car was parked in an alley, the doors open, and blue Mars lights twirling. Two burly cops were standing over the latest victim of mayhem in Chicago. A teenager whose crimson blood was staining the pure white snow. His dead eyes were staring at the sky. The screams of an ambulance pierced the night air.
Off they flew until Jesus saw red blinking lights and a flurry of activity. There was a huge orange glow lighting up the night sky. The smell of thick black smoke was strong. There were cold, huddled masses on the street watching firefighters try to put out a blaze and rescue the inhabitants of a large apartment building. Icicles hung from several firefighters’ helmets.
They entered the parts of the city where the working classes live. As they went house to house, Jesus noted piles of stuff filling every nook and cranny of the homes. Every child and adult toy or gadget imaginable. Santa lamented that easy credit and rampant consumerism were making his job harder and harder.
Then it was off to the south side. As the sled approached the Englewood neighborhood, Santa started taking evasive action. Jesus asked why. Santa replied that for the Son of God, he sure did not know much. Santa patiently explained he was dodging bullets. Jesus just shook his head.
When they hit the Southside neighborhood known as the “Hundreds,” Santa put the sleigh down. He guided it through the streets, as it was worse than Englewood to fly through. Then, out of nowhere, an armed group surrounded the sleigh. They interrogated the fat man, ensuring he was not from an outside gang or drug operation poaching on their turf. Once assured he was harmless, they grabbed several packages and let him go on his merry way.
The sleigh detoured to the Southwest and Northwest sides, the outer neighborhoods. As Santa made his deliveries, Jesus noticed some family members missing, the police, firefighters, and other emergency responders working on this night.
There was something else He noticed it in some homes. It did not escape His attention during all the other stops. Pictures. Pictures of men and women in dun-colored uniforms, some looked like they were armed to the teeth. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen, from across the social, racial, and economic demographic spectrum deployed far from home.
After they landed back at the North Pole, Jesus noticed a single package left in the corner of the sleigh. He pointed it out to the fat man. Santa sighed, grabbed the package, and gave it to Him.
“This one is for you.”
Jesus opened the package. Inside was a can of WD-40, a roll of duct tape, a baseball bat, and a card with various vulgar, obscene words and phrases on it. He shot Santa a questioning look.
Santa kindly said, “This is my gift to you. Those are the four items Chicagoans use to fix everything. You have a lot of work to do.”
Jesus walked off, shaking His head, and disappearing into the swirl of Arctic snow.
On the first day of Christmas Chicago gave to me, a murder in an alley.
On the second day of Christmas Chicago gave to me, two carjackings and a murder in an alley.
On the third day of Christmas Chicago gave to me, three rolling shootouts, two carjackings, and a murder in an alley.
On the fourth day of Christmas Chicago gave to me, four murdered teens, three rolling shootouts, two carjackings and a murder in an alley.
On the fifth day of Christmas Chicago gave to me, fiiiive robbrrrries, four murdered teens, three rolling shootouts, two carjackings and a murder in an alley.
On the sixth day of Christmas Chicago gave to me six smash and grabs, fiiiive robberrries, four murdered teens, three rolling shootouts, two carjackings and a murder in an alley.
On the seventh day of Christmas Chicago gave to me seven flash mobs robbing, six smash and grabs,, fiiiive robberrries, four murdered teens, three rolling shootouts, two carjackings and a murder in an alley.
On the eighth day of Christmas Chicago gave to me eight people shot, seven flash mobs robbing, six smash and grabs , fiiiive robberrrries, four murdered teens, three rolling shootouts, two carjackings and a murder in an alley.
On the ninth day of Christmas Chicago gave to me nine beaten bus drivers, eight people shot, seven flash mobs robbing, six smash and grabs , fiiiive robberrrries, four murdered teens, three rolling shootouts, two carjackings and a murder in an alley.
On the tenth day of Christmas Chicago gave to me ten shooters fleeing, nine beaten bus drivers, eight people shot, seven flash mobs robbing, six smash and grabs , fiiiive robberrrries, four murdered teens, three rolling shootouts, two carjackings and a murder in an alley.
On the eleventh day of Christmas Chicago gave to me eleven felons not charged, ten shooters fleeing, nine beaten bus drivers, eight people shot, seven flash mobs robbing, six smash and grabs , fiiiive robberrrries, four murdered teens, three rolling shootouts, two carjackings and a murder in an alley.
On the twelfth day of Christmas Lightfoot gave to me Chicago, living in fear, eleven felons not charged, ten shooters fleeing, nine beaten bus drivers, eight people shot, seven flash mobs robbing, six smash and grabs, fiiiive robberrrries, four murdered teens, three rolling shootouts, two carjackings and a murrrrder in an allley.
Unless you are a well-known person, lived a fascinating life, or someone pays for a few paragraphs for you, your obituary will be boring. It will be clinical. It will read just like the rest of the people who die in alphabetical order every day.
John Bland: John Bland, aged 98. Bland was the loving husband of Dorthea (nee Boring), who predeceased him in death, loving father of John Jr.(Hazel) and Joseph (Wanda). He was the loving owner of two dogs, five cats, three parakeets, and a ferret. Services were private.
You could get creative or have someone write an obituary for you, like this one:
Richie Racer: Richard “Richie” Racer, aged 70, a lifelong resident of Phuquing, Illinois, left this world the way he lived it, in the fast lane. If he could not eat it, drink it, steal it, or fuck it, he broke it. He was the philandering husband of Glory (nee Peeler). He was the father of children known and unknown to him. He rushed through life as if there was no time to lose. His motto was live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse.
Mr. Racer was a very impressionable man. He left the impressions of his mistresses on motel mattresses all over town. Mr. Racer was an animal lover. He loved animals more than people, including his own family. He especially loved horses, betting on them at the Phuquing Racetrack.
Mr. Racer lived a full and rewarding life. He enjoyed drinking, gambling, and carousing. He loved to sing, dance, and party. His last words were, “I ain’t gonna dance no more.”
The wake will be held at the Weboxem funeral parlor. Funeral services will be at the Crystal Meth. Church of Phuquing. What is described as a Bacchanal celebration of his life will be held, per his final request, next month at the Phuqing Pussy Cat Gentlemen’s Club.
Look, death is eternal and depressing. You may as well make it fun, quirky, and humorous. Give the mourners something to remember and laugh about.
Multiple street robberies are a daily occurrence. Some are being described as flash mob robberies in many areas.
With crime, especially violent crime affecting every neighborhood in Chicago, do you feel safe in your community? Do local businesses feel safe? Do you feel safe going out for a walk or driving?
In Chicago, there is no longer a safe community. We are all potential crime victims, no matter where we live or go.
It is the responsibility of our local government to arrest, prosecute and punish criminals. Our local officials are irresponsible by setting them free without consequences or accountability. This is one reason we are witnessing rampant criminality over the past two years. It is systemic institutional stupidity.
We have a County Board president who will not allow the courts to function properly. The State’s Attorney will not prosecute felonies, allows violent criminals to plea bargain down to misdemeanors, and has little objection to low or no bail. Our mayor gave up and caved in to the County Board President and State’s Attorney. Her past criticisms generated over-the-top emotional responses with the generous assistance of our doting news media. The mayor was shut up and shut down.
We have an incompetent Superintendent of Police who should have been fired well over a year ago. All of his plans, deployments, and strategies failed and continue to fail. The rank-and-file officers are demoralized and overworked with their days off canceled.
Local government’s first responsibility is public safety. Our county and city governments are not protecting us. Our elected do not care about the crime victims, their families, the communities, or the businesses victimized and traumatized by criminals. They do not possess a scintilla of empathy. Our news media, which are supposed to be watchdogs, are lap dogs. They love to get their ears scratched, maybe a belly rub, and some kibble from elected officials. They are loyal pets.
I care about the people in my city. I care about the businesses, large and small. I worry about families who may just want to leave home without the fear of getting shot, robbed, or carjacked. I think of parents who worry about sending their children off to school, out to play or any other activity away from home.
Public safety is the first responsibility of governance. Our public servants are epically failing us. Chicago is spiraling out of control, and our officials could care less. They are gearing up for the 2023 election cycle. Soon they will be touting their failures as achievements.
We elected these people, and we can get rid of them. They should get the message loud and clear, protect us now, or we will oust you in 2023.
On another issue, 33rd Ward Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez denied a zoning change for an apartment and townhouse development in her ward. The developer submitted changes to their plan. Her response to their timing is priceless and typical of our lazy Chicago politicians.
“They didn’t communicate with us until after we let them know we were going to deny their zoning change. Then Lexington responded that they were going to make significant changes they were going to send me,” Rodriguez-Sanchez said. “Next week is winter break, what are you talking about? You want us to check your revisions over the holidays?” (Block Club Chicago)
Yes, alderwoman, we expect you to work over your “winter break.” You are a mere servant. You serve us. We pay you an over-generous six-figure salary with Rolls Royce benefits and perks for what is, by definition, a part-time job. So, yeah, we expect some value for money. Maybe you should resign and get a real job if anyone would be irresponsible enough to hire you.
“When you have youths smashing glass and stealing $2 million worth of stuff, that’s a sign that the glue holding our society is definitely weakening… “It’s a sign of what I want to call … bad faith,” the pastor said on his 26th day on the rooftop. He said youths with “bad faith” don’t trust the world anymore. They see it as “every man, every person for themselves.” “So the question is: where did this glue [holding society together] begin to unravel?” the pastor said.”Does it begin in the home? Does it begin with poor educational systems?” the pastor continued. “Or does it begin with government dependency? At this point we can debate where the problem was created, but we’re beyond debates right now.” (Pastor Corey Brooks/Fox News)
Pastor Brooks tells us what most people in law enforcement already know. Unfortunately, our elected officials and their aiders and abettors in the local news media put out propaganda from their academic experts with no expertise. We are led to believe that rampant crime, especially violent crime, is the result of systemic and institutional something or other.
The elected officials refuse to see this crime pandemic as an emergency and treat it as such. No one cares what the supposed societal causes of criminality are anymore. People want it curbed and curbed yesterday. Time is running out. How many more people must die, be traumatized, and how many more businesses must be victimized multiple times? Why do politicians keep doubling down on failure?
Crime is a topic of discussion everywhere I go, even at Christmas parties. People are concerned and scared. A secretive community group in the Bucktown-Wicker Park neighborhood hired a private security company to patrol the streets at night due to daily street robberies and carjackings. No one in elective office is addressing the problem. The city is spiraling out of control. All we get is silence.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is silent. Mayor Lori Lightfoot is silent. Chief Judge Tim Evans is silent. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is silent.
Silence is consent. Our elected leaders consent to the criminality. All are cold-hearted, pitiless, and merciless. They only display emotion when they are publicly challenged or criticized. Then, they produce emotional Academy Award-winning performances attacking the challengers and critics. They get all sexy and pornographic when they produce data and analytics, the statistics liars use.
After the first of the year, the cycle for the 2023 election will begin. It is up to us now. The news media in Chicago will do nothing. They will willingly and obediently allow the elected officials running to lie to us and help them spread their lies about public safety. Their editorial boards will gush over them, touting them to high heaven.
When incumbents start campaigning in public, we should call out their lies. Yes, call them liars. They will be touting their public safety successes, which are epic failures. Liar is a perfectly acceptable word for lies.
What terrorizes elected officials? The terror they will not get reelected. The voters should instill that terror in the incumbents. They fear going out into the real world to work and make an honest living. If they refuse to do their jobs and cling to their social or political philosophies versus keeping us safe, they do not deserve your vote. Let them know you will vote for their opponent in the primary and general elections. Make it loud and clear.
Preckwinkle, Foxx, Lightfoot, and Evans are past the disaster stage. Voters have the real power, and it is time to let them know their jobs are at risk. It is up to us to change the dynamic and bring some semblance of safety back to Chicago.