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Month: May 2024

The silly season

This Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer season. This is also the beginning of Chicago’s violent and crime ridden season. It also kicks of a season of silly ideas coming from Springfield and the Chicago Mayor’s office.

“Illinois legislators have passed legislation that would change the word “offender” to “justice impacted individual” in state law, a move Republicans say disrespects victims of violent crime.” (CWB Chicago)

Justice impacted individual? One could wonder what those legislators are smoking down in Springfield? What next? Impacted connotates it is the justice system’s fault that offenders commit crimes. What about the victims of crime- the offended? They get no consideration.

House Bill 4409 amends the language of the Illinois Crime Reduction Act. What does changing offender to justice impacted individual have to do with reducing crime?

In this new “progressive”- whatever that means- era it is mandated that names are changed so as not to offend. Evidently, it is offensive and stigmatizing to call an offender an offender. Will the addle-brained legislators change the name of the criminal justice system to the justice impacted system? Will offenses be relabeled mistakes? Will criminals be labeled victims of societal ills?

How about we change the name of prosecutors to justice enablers since prosecute sounds like persecute. Judges could be called justice impact mediators. Should change the entire system to eliminate any mention of crime or the victims of crime? This way, “justice impacted” individuals will not feel stigmatized by the system. They can feel better about themselves and not feel threatened by their “mistakes.”

Our lawmakers, mayor, and current State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx care more about the tender sensitive feelings of criminals than they do about the victims of crime. Chicago will not be a safer city if these trends keep up. The mayor believes that investing in people will make Chicago safer and stronger. He does not specify what investing in people is. It is just the typical gobbledygook he pontificates when he cannot or will not answer a question.

The Chicago City Council voted 34-14 to keep the ShotSpotter contract and take the approval out of the mayor’s hands. Mayor Branson Johnson in reply, said he and only he has the power to approve and end contracts.

There is a lot of noise and hot air about the ShotSpotter including over-policing- whatever that means, systemic racism, flaws, and on and on and on. There is one and only one reason Johnson wants ShotSpotter gone. The Chicago Teacher’s Union, his former employer and biggest cheer leader, wants it gone. Why? Adam Toledo. The 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer who with his partner responded to an accurate ShotSpotter alert of shots fired. Toledo’s older companion was shooting at cars before he handed off the gun to the teen, leading to Toledo’s death.

 CTU has been lobbying the city from the day after the shooting to eliminate ShotSpotter. When Johnson ran for mayor, he made ending ShotSpotter a top priority. Apparently, he will cancel the contract to obey the orders of and satisfy the CTU who helped him get into office.

Mayor Johnson unveiled his safety plan for Chicago, “The People’s Plan for Community Safety.”  Johnson has this proclivity for naming everything “The People’s This, the People’s That,” The People’s” Whatever. It reminds one of the old Soviet or Maoist appellations of programs, laws, and other things.

There is nothing about the “People” in this plan. The people, citizens did not vote on or approve of it. The alders, the representatives of the “People” did not approve of the plan. “The People” have no say in this new non-sensical boondoggle experiment. The plan reads more like his campaign speeches than a detailed plan. Johnson thinks he can wave a magic wand and undo decades of issues leading to the root problems of crime overnight. He will fail.

Mayor Brandon Johnson has a lot to learn

“When he becomes challenged about this by other people, his baseline is, ‘I know this stuff better than you do.’… It’s like he’s offended that people are questioning his leadership.” (Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th)/Sun-Times)

It is past time for Mayor Brandon Johnson to demand Dorval Carter resign or he should fire him as president of the CTA. Carter’s replacement should be someone who has experience in running and financing transit systems. We do not need another political hack running one of the gems of this city.

Some of the alders are fed up and making their demands known through a resolution.

Brandon Johnson has little to show for during his first year in office. He bungled too many issues, including the migrants. Chicago is not a safer city under his rule. He went to Springfield to tout the Bears boodle and boondoggle lakefront stadium. He could not convince the smarter people down there this was a good idea.

Rick Tealander wrote this piece on why the new stadium should not be built. A friend of mine posted on social media that the plan would destroy bird habitat and kill birds. Johnson should move on from this fiasco. It will not benefit the city or the taxpayers.

Then Johnson went to Springfield claiming the state “owed” Chicago $1billion dollars for Chicago schools.

“It’s not as if CPS has been suffering a decline — or even a leveling off — of state funds since Pritzker took office in 2019. State contributions to CPS have increased 14% in that time frame to more than $2.1 billion, from less than $1.9 billion. The percentage increase is substantially more when one accounts for the 10.4% decline in students attending Chicago Public Schools over that period. Looked at that way, state contributions per CPS student are up 30%.” (Chicago Tribune)

Maybe Johnson should get his financial facts straight. He should also read “How to Make Friends and Influence People.”

Johnson has thinner skin than Lori Lightfoot. He also has an overblown sense of entitlement. He is the mayor. He forgets we citizens are his employer. Everything is his way or the highway. They name streets after people like Johnson, One Way and Dead End.

Johnson is a narrative of his progressive ideas- whatever progressive means. Ideas, wherever on the political scale they are, do not always make good policy. Worse, when they are enacted and problems or failures arise, politicians do not make the necessary changes to make the policies effective. A perfect example is the Safe-T Act. The no cash bail policy is not working. It would not take much to tweak this. Yet, like little children, our politicians refuse to listen, stamping their little feet and banging their chubby little hands.

“Moving forward, a better, stronger, safer Chicago requires us to collaborate and work together. And that’s what we’re doing,” (Brandon Johnson/Sun-Times)

Chicago is not a stronger or safer city and will not be one under Johnson. Neighborhoods all over the city are experiencing violent robberies, car jackings, and other assaults on a daily basis. His “People’s” plans will take years- if they come to fruition- to work. You cannot solve decades old issues overnight. Johnson talks a good game. He is all talk and no action.

Summer is coming. We will see if Johnson’s pipe dream will make Chicago a “stronger and safer” city. Do not get your hopes up.

“From the very beginning, I hit the ground running,” Johnson said. “If there’s another administration that has accomplished more than what I’ve done in the first year, I would like to see it.” (Brandon Johnson/Block Club Chicago)

Ok, Richard J. Daley, Jane Byrne, Richard M. Daley, and Rham Emanuel. Harold Washington would be on the list if 29 members of the City Council did not stymy him.