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The complete history of Barack Obama's second term -- click Views/Repies for top stories
 
 
 


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Beckwith

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As shootings in Chicago pass 1,000, Rahm Emanuel deploys hashtag, announces police reforms

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Twitchy is reporting that a little less than a month ago, Jesse Jackson expressed his disgust that there was no media coverage and no public outrage over the 778 shootings and 142 homicides in Chicago in the first three months of 2016 alone.

We disagree on both counts, but especially on the lack of media coverage. Here's some covering today's unwelcome landmark:

If there's any good news to be had, it's that the statistic counts the number of shootings, not homicides, although that number currently stands somewhere above 160, a 64 percent increase over last year. CBS Chicago reports that 13 people were shot over a 14-hour period Wednesday, including the thousandth victim, a 16-year-old boy.

It's not as though Jackson doesn't have ready access to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was busy today announcing the immediate implementation of a set of police department reforms recommended by the city's Police Accountability Task Force.

"As a city, we cannot rest until we fully address the systemic issues facing the Chicago Police Department, and the steps announced today build on our road to reform," said Mayor Emanuel in a statement.

Police will now be trained in "restorative justice methods," where they will take advantage of a "safe space" in which to discuss race, bias, perception and cultural differences, as well as attend community bridge meetings to assist them in restoring public trust and overcoming long-standing cultural differences with the neighborhoods they serve. The city has also expanded its deployment of body cameras, certified more officers in the use of Tasers, and beefed up its Bureau of Internal Affairs.

The mayor and police superintendent also hope that the citizens of Chicago will live by the promise of hashtag and have enlisted local DJs to help.

Hashtag campaigns didn't exactly convince Vladimir Putin not to roll tanks into Ukraine, nor did they inspire Boko Haram to "bring back our girls." Maybe this one will do the trick.

In the meantime, Chicago can take solace in knowing it's not solely responsible for last year's huge uptick in homicides.

Aren't those all Democrat-run cities with some of the strongest gun control laws on the books?


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Beckwith

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How the Democrats destroyed Camden

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John Perazzo (FrontPage) is reporting that a century ago, Camden, New Jersey was a thriving model of prosperity. Indeed, the city was home to 365 active industries that employed scores of thousands of people in companies like RCA Victor, Campbell's Soup, and the New York Shipbuilding Company. But today, Camden is an economic and social basket case. Virtually wherever one looks, one can readily see evidence of its decline: abandoned houses with collapsing roofs, crumbling facades, missing or boarded-up windows, and "lawns" choked with several years worth of weeds and brambles; churches with bullet holes in their stained glass windows; walls of buildings defaced by all manner of graffiti; the stench of sewage pervading run-down streets and avenues; and small, melancholy shrines (often adorned with empty liquor bottles) marking the spots where someone was once murdered.

Camden has not had a Republican mayor since 1936. The first mayor of this Democratic era was George Brunner, who served six terms from 1936-59. He was followed by Alfred Pierce (1959-69), a native of Camden who was raised in poverty and grew up to practice law. As mayor, the white liberal Pierce emphasized the need for racial diversity in city government, urging blacks and Hispanics in particular to run for City Council.

But Pierce's efforts to promote racial harmony were unable to quell the black militancy that was rising in Camden, as in so many other American cities, during the Sixties. Violent race riots -- complete with arson and looting -- struck Camden in 1969 and again two years later. Though some degree of "order" was eventually restored, the city has never been the same since the riots. In the aftermath of those uprisings, legal businesses left Camden in droves and were replaced, to some degree, by unlawful ventures. It is estimated, for instance, that the city today has approximately 175 open-air drug markets -- outdoor locations throughout Camden where dealers make rapid, furtive transactions in streets and alleyways -- through which some $250 million worth of narcotics move each and every year. Most of these illegal dealers are affiliated with gangs like the Bloods, the Latin Kings, Los Nietos, and MS-13.

Also in the decades that followed the riots, Camden's government was beset by high levels of malfeasance and mismanagement as the Mayor's office took on some of the qualities of a police line-up. Mayor Angelo Errichetti (1973-81), for instance, was convicted of federal corruption charges and went to prison in 1981; Mayor Arnold Webster (1993-97) pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges in 1998; and Mayor Milton Milan (1997-2000) was convicted in 2000 on 14 counts of drug-money laundering, insurance fraud, and taking bribes from organized crime leaders. All were Democrats.

During these decades of political corruption and economic decline, Camden became increasingly dependent upon financial help from New Jersey's state government. This had a profoundly negative impact on Camden as a whole because it was a period during which the city's population and tax base alike were declining at a rapid rate -- and thus a period when local government should have been scaled back accordingly. But instead, Camden's Democrats exploited state aid as a means of artificially propping up their city's hollow economy while continuing to expand Camden's government apparatus. Between 2000 and 2008, city spending in Camden rose by 20% -- a trend propelled in large measure by steep hikes in the salaries and benefits of city employees. Today those seeds of financial improvidence are bearing a bitter harvest, as Camden's $150 million annual budget dwarfs the meager $25 million it receives in tax revenues each year.

In short, Camden, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars it has received in loans, grants and direct aid from the state, remains a financial train wreck. Its annual per capita income of $12,581 is 56% below the national average and scarcely one-third the statewide average. The city's median household income, meanwhile, is $22,043 -- about 60% below the national median. And its 42.6% poverty rate is about 4 times higher than New Jersey's statewide average.

In 2011, Camden's political leaders sought to close a $26.5 million budget deficit by laying off one-fourth of all city government workers -- including half of the 375-officer police force. Camden residents, already fearful of the rampant crime in their city, knew that lawbreakers would be further emboldened by this development. "They'll be coming into the houses," one resident ruefully told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. "They know you can't call the cops. There won't be any cops to call." 

This was hardly an exaggeration. Indeed, there were occasions in 2011 and 2012 when no more than a dozen officers at any given time were tasked with patrolling the entire city of Camden. Dispirited and overwhelmed by this state of affairs, Camden police began taking sick days in record numbers. As NBC reporter Mike Taibbi put it: "After the 2011 layoffs, police went into almost total retreat. Drug dealers cheerfully gave interviews to local reporters while slinging in broad daylight. Some enterprising locals made up T-shirts celebrating the transfer of power from the cops back to the streets, [bearing slogans like] 'It's Our Time.'" "They let us run amok," recalls a Camden-based ex-convict and drug addict. "... It was like Armageddon." 

In 2011 Camden's violent crime rate was an astounding 7.3 times the national average, including 12.9 times the national average for murder, 3.2 times the national average for rapes, 9.7 times the national average for robberies, and 6.3 times the national average for assaults. The bloodiest year in Camden's history was 2012, when 67 homicides were committed in this city of just 77,000 people. On average, someone in Camden was shot every 33 hours. 

"The carnage," wrote Mike Taibbi, "left Camden's crime rate on par with places like Haiti after its 2010 earthquake, and with other infamous Third World hot spots, as police officials later noticed to their dismay when they studied U.N. Statistics." Camden Police Chief J. Scott Thomson lamented that his city's murder rate, on a per capita basis, was "somewhere between Honduras and Somalia." "It's gotten to the point where even in our daytime hours in this city people are scared to leave their homes," added Thomson. Locals, meanwhile, observed that the police were "just out here to pick up the bodies." 

But crime and poverty have not, by any means, been Camden's only serious problems. The children who grow up in fear of the mortal danger that constantly surrounds them in this city are herded, en masse, through one of the most dysfunctional education systems ever created. As of 2013, Camden was spending more than $25,000 yearly per public-school student -- more than twice the average for school systems nationwide. Yet the Washington Post reports that in terms of standardized test scores, fully nine-tenths of Camden's public schools are in New Jersey's bottom 5%. Moreover, just 2% of the city's high-schoolers scored above 1550 (out of a possible 2400) on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), compared with 43% of students nationally.

Camden is a pathetic, dying testament to the decay and destruction that decades of Democratic leadership have brought to city after city after city across the United States. But the residents of Camden have not, by any means, been unwitting victims of those Democrats. Rather, they have been their willing partners in a dance of death, where an endless parade of Democrat victories at the ballot box predictably bring ever-greater levels of pathology to a population that simply refuses to abandon -- or to even question -- its blind faith in the Democrat Party



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Beckwith

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Democrats succeed by destroying people's lives

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Democrat policies have landed more people in poverty starting way back with FDR’s horrific policies that turned the Depression into the Great Depression.

Cue the "War on Poverty" by LBJ which actually kept more people in poverty. Under Obama, poverty has hit a 50 year high. So much for Democrats who care about children going hungry.

Long before the federal government intervened in health care, there were charity hospitals across the country. These hospitals took care of those who couldn't afford health insurance voluntarily and through donations.

Thanks to the federal government's intrusion into health care, more people can't afford insurance today than ever before. And those that purchase health insurance under the Obama regime often can't afford to get the healthcare they need because they can't afford the out-of-pocket expenses or deductibles!

Republicans are (supposed to be) for a free market economy. One that enables and allows businesses and therefore employees to thrive. Democrats prefer massive regulations that not only slow business growth but also slow down the economic drivers in the country -- see ObamaCare for starters.

There are thousands upon thousands of regulations on businesses across the country that do nothing but hurt business, the economy and of course workers.

Democrat policies have given us cities like Detroit:

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And after creating these disasters, the Democrat Party's response to this blight?

Send us more money!



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Reply with quote  #29 
Al Capone will be proud...of Chicago (Valentine's Day Massacre)
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Beckwith

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Chicago man gunned down while live streaming on Facebook

Ahhh, the Democrat's utopia of Chicago! Obama's home town. They're having a hell of a year there.

Already this year Chicago has had 817 shootings and 150 murders.

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That's more than 9 shooting every day so far in 2016, and the "busy season" of summer is still three months away.



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Beckwith

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"These are the people that voted for Obama"

Carmine Sabia (BizPacReview) is reporting that a new video of a man traversing the streets of Southside Chicago is a real eye opener.

In the video, posted to Liveleak, the disgusted man lamented the garbage on the streets and in the local park.

"These are the people that voted for Obama and look at what he's done for them," the man said. "He don't even have their park on the Southside cleaned up."

Though he conceded "there's only so much the government can do for you."

"They say the white man is keeping them down," he said. "I don't think the white man is keeping you from putting garbage inside your garbage can."

Watch the entire video below.


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Beckwith

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Fraud, theatrics and murder in Obama's adopted hometown

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The NRA-ILA is reporting that Barack Obama's hometown of Chicago has been controlled by his political party since at least 1931. The city is a reflection of a certain style of politics and philosophy, one in which single-party rule, corruption, and the casual disregard of human rights all go hand-in-hand. Perhaps the city's residents have become accustomed to this state of affairs, but for the rest of us, the Windy City is a cautionary tale of what America could look like if Barack Obama and his cronies were allowed to reign unopposed and unchecked.

Last year, for example, we reported on a lawsuit by a group of Chicagoans that claimed a "civil right" under state law to impose Chicago-style gun control upon other localities. Among those leading the charge in this effort was antigun activist and Obama "spiritual advisor" Father Michael Pfleger, infamous for engaging in provocative and dramatic publicity stunts, which among other things have included leading his flock in a gun shop protest that included threats to "find" and "snuff out" the business's owner.

The plaintiffs asserted that illegal gun use in Chicago's African American neighborhoods leads other local residents "to seek and obtain guns," including by legal means, which supposedly leads to "a high level of disorder and violent crime" that makes these neighborhoods a less desirable place to live. They asked the court "to put in place by ordinance or regulation the kind of measures or methods of administration … set forth in the City of Chicago's own municipal code to replace or supersede the current lax methods of administration or licensing of dealers …."

In perhaps the most unsurprisingly legal development to date in the 21stCentury, the court dismissed that suit on Feb. 25, finding that the plaintiffs' allegations were too generalized and indistinct to establish their standing to sue. The court went further, however, noting that even if the plaintiffs were able to establish standing, they failed to establish the requisite link between the gun control policies of the defendant villages and the extreme violence of Chicago's mean streets.

For the plaintiffs, however, articulating a serious legal theory, much less prevailing in court, was likely beside the point. The suit served the purpose of giving them a few days' worth of headlines, the appearance of activism to the uninformed, and yet another soapbox from which to scold and point fingers. Rarely at a loss for words (or shame), Pfleger indicated that the legal fight would continue with an appeal or an amended complaint and expressed his "sadness" that "the judge cares more about the rights of the (gun) stores than the rights of the people …." Fortunately, the judge (though expressing sympathy for the plaintiffs' goals) cared most about the law, as is his sworn duty.

Regard for the law, sadly, did not hinder the murderer of Tyshawn Lee, the victim of a crime so brutal and shocking that it managed to distinguish itself from the carnage that has become so routine in Chicago as to pass mostly unnoticed. According to police, nine-year-old Tyshawn was playing basketball in a park on the city's South Side last November, when he was lured into a nearby alley and shot multiple times, including in the head, in an execution-style killing. Investigators believed the killing was gang-related retaliation against the boy's father, who media reports indicated refused to cooperate in helping to bring his son's murderers to justice, even as he was reported to be selling $50 Tyshawn memorial t-shirts.

This week came the welcome news that police have identified and charged the suspected triggerman in Tyshawn Lee's slaying, 22-year-old Dwight Boone-Doty. Fox News reports that Boone-Doty had been sentenced to five years in prison in July 2013, but he was paroled just three months before he allegedly killed Tyshawn. The Fox report also notes that Boone-Doty has additionally been charged in an Oct. 18 shooting that killed an 18-year-old girl and wounded a 20-year-old.

Against this dystopian backdrop, Barack Obama and his inner circle of Chicago activists would have America believe that the fault lies not with inept leadership, the revolving doors of justice, the prioritization of theatrics over policy, or the collapse of civilized norms in his adopted hometown. Rather, they would tell you it's the "ready availability" of firearms, if not in Chicago itself, then within a continually expanding sphere that eventually reaches to America's borders and beyond.

Fortunately, America is a lot a bigger than Chicago, but we've already seen the effects of seven years of Chicago-style politics emanating from the White House. That can be stopped this November, but only if freedom-loving Americans make their voices heard at the polls.


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The most shameful injustice


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Beckwith

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The traditionalist rebel

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Daniel Greenfield (Politichicks) says leftist movements begin with rebellion and end with conformity. No Utopian movement can tolerate rebels for long because there is no room for dissent in paradise. An ideal society, the goal of leftist political movements, not only has no room for war, racism, greed and all the other evils the conformist paradises of the Left hope to eliminate, it also has no room for disagreement.

The perfect society and its perfect ideology are also the perfect tyranny. Against this Utopian collectivism, which promises paradise and delivers a prison, is the traditionalist rebel who finds virtue in the acknowledgement of human flaws rather than in the unthinking pursuit of an unchanging perfection.

The traditionalist rebel is not seeking perfection, but humanity. He is a skeptical idealist who is interested in character rather than movements. He is above all else an individualist with an instinctive distrust of any movement that requires him to abandon his rights for the greater good.

The traditionalist rebel is the snake in the liberal Eden because he does not have faith in the noble motives of the bureaucratic activists who claim to be the gods of this Eden. He knows enough of human nature to reject the fallacy that the right ideology makes men so righteous that they can be trusted with absolute power without absolute corruption following in their wake. He knows that socialists have not risen above the crimes of selfish self interest that they condemn mankind for.

Their Utopian Eden is a false paradise built on lies and maintained by abuses. It is not the paradise where mankind can return to a state of innocence, but a hell whose innocence is only a willful ignorance of the crimes being committed in its name, whose followers maintain their false virtue through a steady diet of moral outrage over the crimes of everyone but their own superiors and their own ideology.

The traditionalist rebel values innocence, but has learned the lessons of experience. He knows that virtue is an individual struggle and that it cannot be achieved through self deceit. He has learned long ago that we do not become better people by lying to ourselves.

He has built his character by being honest with himself and he does not believe that any man is infallible enough to demand blind faith or that any movement which punishes even the mildest dissent is anything but the worst self of humankind wrapped in deceit and self deceit.

The traditionalist rebel does not believe that collectivist institutions can make us moral. He relies instead on individual institutions of character and honor, empathy and morality. He trusts people individually to do the right thing more than any government. And when he has to trust institutions, he prefers those that are built on honor and integrity, and on simple decency, than those tangled mazes of academic theory whose premises followed to their terrible conclusions assert that human beings are expendable for the sake of utopian ideologies.

It is his individualism that makes the traditionalist rebel so ornery. He has natural anti authoritarian instincts, he demands reasons for restrictions and has a tendency to defy for the sake of defiance. And yet he is not a destroyer, but a builder, he does not want to smash things for the sake of smashing, instead he smashes that which prevents him from building his own values and his own relationships.

Unlike his leftist rebel enemies, he does not fight to impose his system on others, but to defy their attempts to impose their system on him. That is why he is an authentic rebel and they are aristo tyrants playing at being rebels because even bad guys hate seeming like bad guys.

The traditionalist rebel is slow to anger. Unlike the social justice warrior and the crybully, he does not derive his sense of self from manufactured conflicts only meant to reinforce a collective identity, but from his own values. His anger is patient, but also more decisive. It is not the fanatical hysteria of the neurotic leftist who, like the Mohammedan suicide bomber sees paradise in the destruction of perceived enemies, but is a cold, hard determination to be free of them.

It is not the Leftist Utopian who wants freedom, but the traditionalist rebel who sees his right to speak, to worship, to marry and raise children, to protect his family and his home, and to go through his life without being accountable to anyone but G-d and his conscience every minute of the day, instead of the ears, eyes and tentacles of government, under attack who truly fights for freedom.

The traditionalist rebel values structure that derives from his own values. He does not believe that mankind can be saved by an external police state, but by the awakening of the authentic voice of the internal conscience. Like America’s Founders, he believes that we should build institutions with faith in the Creator and skepticism toward man.

He knows that we cannot make paradise happen by being dishonest about human nature and pretending that the snake of our worst impulses is our god. And so he is naturally skeptical of any grandiose effort at global and national improvement over the improvement of the self that pretend that a better world can be built out of the same materials as the old through sheer collective organization.

The traditionalist rebel is not interested in a better world, but a better self which can be used cooperatively in the building of a better family, a better community and perhaps, a better future, not through top down regulation, but through daily interaction.

Systems are by definition inhuman. Utopian ideologies scale them higher and bigger, nationally and globally, making them ever more inhuman. The traditionalist rebel instinctively rebels against inhuman systems in favor of human connections, he rejects centralized authority for local authority, unelected officials for elected ones, national regulations for human values and mandates for conscience.

At every turn, the traditionalist rebel seeks to scale down issues to character while the Leftist authoritarian seeks to scale them up to institutions. This is the conflict that will decide our future.

Will we be a human nation or a massive system? Will we continue to be a nation of individualist rebels or a collectivist nightmare of frightened, angry drones who are convinced that utopia is one more purge away.


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Beckwith

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The  stats are in for January -- it was a productive month for Chicago's gangbangers

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In Barack Obama's hometown #BlackLivesMatterOnlySometime -- only when their deaths can be made political -- for the rest, no big deal.



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10 days into new year -- more than 100 people shot in Chicago

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that seven people were shot to death and 30 more were wounded across Chicago over the weekend, raising the number of shootings in the city to more than 100 in just over a week into the new year, according to police.

The fatal shootings included two teens killed by a store clerk during a robbery in the Gresham neighborhood on the South Side, and one of three people shot at a party four blocks from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home.

As of Monday morning, at least 19 people have been killed in gun violence in Chicago this year and at least 101 more have been wounded, according to data compiled by the Tribune.  This time last year, nine people had been killed and another 31 wounded, according to statistics kept by the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi released a statement blaming most of the violence on "chronic gang conflicts."

"Every year Chicago Police recover more illegal guns than officers in any other city, and as more and more illegal guns continue to find their way into our neighborhoods it is clear we need stronger state and federal gun laws," Guglielmi said in the statement. "So far this year, the majority of the gun violence we've seen are a result of chronic gang conflicts driven in part by social media commentary and petty disputes among rival factions. Despite an overall lack of cooperation from gang members, detectives are working aggressively and making optimistic progress in several cases."


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Beckwith

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America doesn't have a gun problem -- it has a Democrat problem

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2015 Chicago gang violence stats -- 2,995 people shot -- more than 8 per day

Daniel Greenfield (SultanKnish) says America's mass shooting capital isn't somewhere out west where you can get a gun at the corner store. It's in Obama's own hometown.

Chicago is America's mass shooting capital. There were over 400 shootings with more than one victim. In 95 of those shootings, 3 or more people were shot. 

2,995 people were shot in Chicago last year. Shootings were up, way up, in Baltimore. With an assist from Al Sharpton and #BlackLivesMatter, Baltimore beat out Detroit. But Detroit is still in the running. Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit all have something in common, they're all run by the party of gun control which somehow can't seem to manage to control the criminals who have the guns.

The murder rate in Washington, D.C., home of the progressive boys and girls who can solve it all, is up 54%. The capital of the national bureaucracy has also been the country's murder capital.

These cities are the heartland of America's real gun culture. It isn't the bitter gun-and-bible clingers in McCain and Romney territory who are racking up a more horrifying annual kill rate than Al Qaeda; it's Obama's own voting base.

Gun violence is at its worst in the cities that Obama won in 2012. Places like New Orleans, Memphis, Birmingham, St. Louis, Kansas City and Philly. The Democrats are blaming Republicans for the crimes of their own voters. 

Chicago, where Obama delivered his victory speech, has homicide numbers that match all of Japan and are higher than Spain, Poland and pre-war Syria. If Chicago gets any worse, it will find itself passing the number of murders for the entire country of Canada.

Chicago's murder rate of 15.09 per 100,000 people looks nothing like the American 4.2 rate, but it does look like the murder rates in failed countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. To achieve Chicago's murder rate, African countries usually have to experience a bloody genocidal civil war.

But Chicago isn't even all that unique. Or the worst case scenario. That would be St. Louis with 50 murders for 100,000 people. If St Louis were a country, it would have the 4th highest murder rate in the world, beating out Jamaica, El Salvador and Rwanda.

Obama won St. Louis 82 to 16 percent.

New Orleans lags behind with a 39.6 murder rate. Louisiana went red for Romney 58 to 40, but Orleans Parish went blue for Obama 80 to 17. Obama won both St. Louis and Baltimore by comfortable margins. He won Detroit's Wayne County 73 to 26.

Homicide rates like these show that something is broken, but it isn't broken among Republican voters rushing to stock up on rifles every time Obama begins threatening their right to buy them; it's broken among Obama's base.

Any serious conversation about gun violence and gun culture has to begin at home; in Chicago, in Baltimore, in New York City, in Los Angeles and in Washington, D.C.

Voting for Obama does not make people innately homicidal. Just look at Seattle. So what is happening in Chicago to drive it to the gates of hell?

A breakdown of the Chicago killing fields shows that 83% of those murdered in Chicago in one year had criminal records. In Philly, it's 75%. In Milwaukee it's 77% percent. In New Orleans, it's 64%. In Baltimore, it's 91%. Many were felons who had served time. And as many as 80% of the homicides were gang related.

Chicago's problem isn't guns; it's gangs. Gun control efforts in Chicago or any other major city are doomed because gangs represent organized crime networks which stretch down to Mexico. And Democrats pander to those gangs because it helps them get elected. That's why Federal gun prosecutions in Chicago dropped sharply under Obama. It's why he has set free drug dealers and gang members to deal and kill while convening town halls on gun violence.

America's murder rate isn't the work of the suburban and rural homeowners who shop for guns at sporting goods stores and at gun shows, and whom the media profiles after every shooting, but by the gangs embedded in urban areas controlled by Democrats. The gangs who drive up America's murder rate look nothing like the occasional mentally ill suburban white kid who goes off his medication and decides to shoot up a school. Lanza, like most serial killers, is a media aberration, not the norm.

National murder statistics show that blacks are far more likely to be killers than whites and they are also far more likely to be killed. The single largest cause of homicides is the argument. 4th on the list is juvenile gang activity with 676 murders, which combined with various flavors of gangland killings takes us nearly to the 1,000 mark. America has more gangland murders than Sierra Leone, Eritrea and Puerto Rico have murders.

Our national murder rate is not some incomprehensible mystery that can only be attributed to the inanimate tools, the steel, brass and wood that do the work. It is largely the work of adult males from age 18 to 39 with criminal records killing other males of that same age and criminal past.

If this were going on in Rwanda, El Salvador or Sierra Leone, we would have no trouble knowing what to make of it, and silly pearl-clutching nonsense about gun control would never even come up. But this is Chicago, it's Baltimore, it's Philly and NOLA; and so we refuse to see that our major cities are in the same boat as some of the worst trouble spots in the world.

Lanza and Newtown are comforting aberrations. They allow us to take refuge in the fantasy that homicides in America are the work of the occasional serial killer practicing his dark art in one of those perfect small towns that always show up in murder mysteries or Stephen King novels. They fool us into thinking that there is something American about our murder rate that can be traced to hunting season, patriotism and bad mothers.

But go to Chicago or Baltimore. Go where the killings really happen and the illusion comes apart.

There is a war going on in America between gangs of young men who bear an uncanny resemblance to their counterparts in Sierra Leone or El Salvador. They live like them, they fight for control of the streets like them and they kill like them.

America's horrific murder rate is a result of the transformation of major American cities into Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda and El Salvador. Gun violence largely consists of criminals killing criminals.

As David Kennedy, the head of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control, put it, "The majority of homicide victims have extensive criminal histories. This is simply the way that the world of criminal homicide works. It's a fact."

America is, on a county by county basis, not a violent country, just as it, on a county by county basis, did not vote for Obama. It is being dragged down by broken cities full of broken families whose mayors would like to trash the Bill of Rights for the entire country in the vain hope that national gun control will save their cities, even though gun control is likely to be as much help to Chicago or New Orleans as the War on Drugs.

Obama's pretense that there needs to be a national conversation about rural American gun owners is a dishonest and cynical ploy that distracts attention from the real problem that he and politicians like him have sat on for generations.

America does not have a gun problem. Its problem is in the broken culture of cities administered by Democrats. We do not need to have a conversation about gun violence. We need to have a conversation about Chicago. We need to have a conversation about what the Democrats have done to our cities.


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Happy Thanksgiving -- 82 people shot, 15 murdered over weekend in Rahm Emanuel's Chicago

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Sarah Fisher is reporting that Chicago racked up 82 shootings, 15 of them fatal over the holiday weekend.

"It's Groundhog Day in Chicago," Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.

"He shouldn't have been on the street," McCarthy said several times while talking about the alleged offenders. "It all comes down to guns. Too many guns coming in, too little punishment going out."

McCarthy said that gang members are afraid to surrender and turn over their guns when they are pursued by police because they are afraid of their gang leaders.

Between 4 p.m. Thursday, July 3, and 3:30 a.m. Monday, 82 people were shot on the streets of Chicago. Fourteen of them died. McCarthy cited lower numbers- and a shorter time span from 6 p.m. Thursday to midnight Monday - during his news conference.

Some of the incidents involved an exchange of fire between perpetrators and police. "Police wounded five people, killing two of them, in those shootings."

"Officers do not relish using a weapon in the course of their work. But when they find themselves in confrontations... they must do what is best to protect themselves and the public," he said.

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Stilton Jarlsberg says let's get a few things out of the way first: the mass shooting at the Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic is an awful tragedy which should never have happened. Whatever the gunman's twisted motives (which remain unclear, although he mentioned "no more baby parts" in a rambling, disjointed conversation with police) he is nothing more, and nothing less, than a psycho killer who deserves capital punishment as quickly as the system will allow.

Clearly, the world would have been better off if this lunatic didn't have a gun. But Hope n' Change is struck by the hypocrisy of Barack Obama declaring "enough is enough" over this shooting of 12 people (3 killed, 9 wounded) while showing less interest in the holiday weekend's body count in Chicago (15 killed, 67 wounded) than he shows in sports scores.

And the reason is simple: Obama's goal remains to take guns out of the hands of the law abiding while doing nothing to curb the endemic inner city gun violence which takes so many black lives (which apparently don't #Matter to him much.) So his selective outrage is clearly political rather than moral.

#NotAllBlackLivesMatter



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Hawaii declares state of emergency for homelessness -- guess what their solution is?

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Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is reporting that Hawaii, with it's usually ideal climate, now has the worst homeless problem in the country. What do you suppose causes that? With the highest cost of living in the nation, it is small wonder that if someone falls on hard times that they wind up on the street. It's also a magnet, climate wise, for those who know they will be on the streets.

The Hawaiian government is notoriously controlled by Democrats. Their progressive policies have created this mess. But, never fear, they've come up with a solution! Yep, they are going to take real estate that no one else wants and put what they call "transitional housing" on it. This "housing" is made up of shipping containers, divided in half to form a duplex of sorts. If that's what you can call it.

Each one has 73 square feet... big enough for bunk beds and for two adults to sit in them. That's it. They have one window and a screen door with an awning. There is reflective paint on top of them and no air conditioning. Bathrooms and showers are communal in a trailer nearby.

From the Associated Press:

HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii Gov. David Ige has declared a state of emergency to deal with the state's homelessness crisis just days after city and state officials cleared one of the nation's largest homeless encampments.

The move will help the state speed up the process of building a homeless shelter for families, and the state is considering four possible sites, Ige said at a news conference Friday.

"We are making sure that we have options for those who are homeless to move into an emergency shelter, and the biggest deficit in the system is shelter space for families," Ige said. "So the emergency proclamation would allow us to stand up shelters for families in an expeditious manner."

Hawaii saw a 23 percent increase in its unsheltered homeless population between 2014 and 2015, and a 46 percent increase in the number of unsheltered families, said Scott Morishige, state homelessness coordinator.

There were 7,260 homeless people in Hawaii at the latest count, meaning Hawaii has the highest rate of homelessness per-capita of any state in the nation.

The state has identified $1.3 million to expand services to homeless individuals and families, Morishige said. In addition to a new shelter, the money also would go to the state's Housing First program, which provides homes and services to chronically homeless individuals without requiring them to get sober or treat mental illness first, and programs that help families pay deposits and rent.

The new transitional shelter the state is envisioning would house about 15 families at a time, Morishige said. Two of the sites under consideration are in Kakaako, the neighborhood where the large homeless encampment was cleared, and the other sites are in Liliha and near Sand Island.

The recent clearing of the Kakaako homeless encampment could be used as a model in other parts of the state, Ige said. By coordinating with service providers, more than half of the estimated 300 residents of the encampment, including 25 families, were moved into shelters and permanent housing, the governor said.

"They definitely are off the streets and in a better situation where we are in a position to provide them services that will help us move them permanently out of the state of homelessness," Ige said.

Meanwhile on Friday, crews were installing converted shipping containers for Honolulu's latest homeless shelter on a gravel lot on Sand Island. The rooms in the first units were designed for couples and are 73 square feet.

"If they're living in tents now, the individual units are going to be just as large or larger," said Chris Sadayasu, asset management administrator for the Honolulu Office of Strategic Development.

The rooms, which were made from new shipping containers, each have a window and a screen door for ventilation. The structures are insulated, and the roofs have white reflective coating, and an awning will provide shade for relaxing outside, said Russ Wozniak, an architect and engineer from Group 70, an architecture firm. The coating and insulation keep the units about 30 degrees cooler than they would otherwise be, Wozniak said.

"It's kind of as comfortable as you can get without mechanical air conditioning," Wozniak said.

A trailer on-site holds five bathrooms that each have a toilet and shower, and there's a separate portable toilet and shower that are accessible to the disabled.

When completed in December, the shelter in an industrial part of Honolulu will temporarily house up to 87 clients at a time.

To give you context, a jail cell is 12x7, which is 84 square feet. That includes a toilet and a sink. These do not. Prison cells are bigger, better equipped and more pleasant than these containers. These are what I call sweat boxes.

This is humane? I suppose it is better than living in tents and the mud, but I'm not sure about that.

There is no requirement to get sober or seek mental health assistance first, so do the math here. It will be unpleasant, crowded and dangerous.

How about putting these people to work? The Mormons put them in apartments and give them jobs so they can get back on their feet. But not Hawaii. No, you see... this is the Agenda 21 model they have in mind for all of us. Living in tiny homes, preferably shipping containers, and just living to work and exist.

I find this abhorrent. I don't see this as a kindness or a real solution for the homeless. Typical Democrat solution. It will create more problems than it solves.



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Illinois limits Lottery payouts to $600 or less

The Illinois News Network is reporting that the State of Illinois Lottery players who hit a winner worth more than $600 will have to settle for a promise.

As of Thursday, retailers will still pay out winners of $600 or less from their cash registers, but winners of bigger amounts will have to wait until the state has a budget.

Put simply, the Lottery's check-writing account is exhausted, the state agency said.

"Once a budget is passed in Springfield, all outstanding claims will be paid," the Illinois Lottery said in written statement.

This is the second such action by the state. In late August, the Lottery said it would limit payouts to $25,000.

That action sparked a lawsuit by some winners, including factory foreman Danny Chasteen of Oglesby, who's waiting on a $250,000 payout.

"I heard about the $600 last night," Chasteen said Thursday. "I think it's just totally wrong. If you buy a Lottery ticket and you win, you should get paid," he said.

If the state can't pay out on its winning tickets, it should halt sales until it can pay winners, he said.

With 2015 revenues exhausted and no appropriations bill in place for the current fiscal year, the state's comptroller doesn't have the legal authority to pay winners, the Lottery says.

Illinois Lottery spokesman Steve Rossi said the payout restriction also applies to multi-state games played in Illinois, such as Mega Millions and Powerball, because the state that sells the winning tickets is responsible for making the payouts.

Elliot Frome, a Las Vegas-based gaming analyst and author, said Illinois will almost certainly see a reduction in ticket sales.

While a $25,000 limit probably hurt some games, a $600 will reach all the way down into the games that people play daily or several times per week, he said.

"Illinois is predictably going to lose some revenue during this period of time as a result," he said.

"Lotteries are all about the money," Frome said. "People are not going to play at the same rate for promise of payment as they are for money."

Ben Friedrich, who was playing the Lottery in Aurora on Thursday, told Illinois News Network the $600 restriction struck him as unfair.

"If they're still going to have the games and you're still able to win the money, then you should be able to collect on the money," he said.

Illinois is now in its fourth month of fiscal year 2016 without a budget as first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats have been unable to reach an agreement.

Rauner says the Democrats have sent him a plan billions heavier in spending than revenue. While Rauner says he's willing to discuss new revenue, he says he won't sign off until he gets at least some of his agenda items, which he considers fundamental reforms.

Democrats complain Rauner and the GOP have been unwilling to work with them until the governor gets what he wants, and they don't consider his agenda items directly related to the annual budget.

Rauner answers that his proposals are necessary to improve the state's economy and retain jobs and population.

Even without a master budget, the state is spending at clip said to be driving it toward a $5 billion shortfall by the end of the budget year.

It's my understanding that lotteries are run out of a separate trust. That Illinois hasn't the money to pay off its winners tells me that Illinois Democrats have been raiding that trust and using Lottery funds for purposes other than lottery payouts. A "new budget" won't be able to reimburse the lottery account because budget money comes from tax revenue. The money that should be in the lottery trust is gone.

This news will -- or should -- cause players to stop playing, and that will, in turn, provide less revenue to pay off the existing IOUs. Illinois will eventually be forced to cancel its lottery.

Winners, holding those IOUs will be SOL!


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Rahm Emanuel blames the cops for Chicago's crime

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John Byrne is reporting that Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday stood by his contention that Chicago police officers are becoming "fetal" out of concern they will get in trouble for actions during arrests, blaming officers second-guessing themselves in the wake of high-profile incidents for rising crime rates in Chicago and elsewhere.

Last week, the mayor was part of a meeting in Washington, D.C., with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a group of mayors and police officials from across the nation to discuss a spike in homicides and other crime.

"We have allowed our Police Department to get fetal, and it is having a direct consequence. They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don't want to be a news story themselves, they don't want their career ended early, and it's having an impact," Emanuel said, according to the Washington Post.

On Monday, Emanuel pointed to that tentativeness as one of the causes of an increase in crime here this year. "What happened post-Baltimore, what happened post-Ferguson is having an impact," Emanuel said. "And I still believe recent events over the last year or 18 months have had an impact. And officers will tell you that. And I tried to speak up for the good officers that are doing community policing that make up the men and women of the Chicago Police Department."

Emanuel's decision to blame violent crime increases in part on the after-effects of the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody in Baltimore and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., cases that led to rioting in those cites, comes as Chicago sees violence on the uptick.

September was Chicago's deadliest month since 2002, with 60 homicides. Through Sept. 27, homicides and shooting incidents had risen 21 percent from the year-earlier period, Police Department numbers show. Most of the City Council's black aldermen last week called for Emanuel to fire police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, but the mayor said he supports his top cop.

The president of the union representing rank-and-file Chicago officers said police are concerned about increasingly being under the microscope, but he denied officers are laying down on the job.

"They don't stop policing. They're a very resilient group," said Dean Angelo, president of Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police. "They're out there working their buns off, and they're looking for a fair shake. They go to work and positively impact people in their everyday lives."


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Gun control works -- Chicago has the deadliest murder month in 13 years

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Daniel Greenfield says they're always talking about gun control in Chicago. And it never seems to work.

With at least 60 murders citywide, last month was the deadliest September in Chicago since 2002, reports the Chicago Tribune.

According to CBS Chicago, the explosion of homicides last month pushed the murder rate for the year to date to 21 percent above last year. Compared to 2014, shooting incidents were up 19 percent, and the number of shooting victims was up 14 percent. Overall crime -- including robberies, burglaries, and thefts -- was down 7 percent.

The Ferguson Effect is still doing its work. Because #BlackLivesMatter.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the department has begun a new plan to track illegal weapons, and reduce the number of shootings. The station reports that the plan includes assigning every illegal gun possession case to a dedicated detective who will track the "origin and flow" of the gun. Police will use that information to prosecute anyone who illegally transferred or sold the gun at any point.

"We are handling every single gun arrest as if it were a robbery or a burglary, with a detective response, and gathering of evidence, to ensure that we can do everything that we can to ensure that that case gets prosecuted to the fullest extent that we can," McCarthy said.

Sounds like a plan. Or you could start dealing with the gangs that are running your city.

"We know that gang violence is the number one cause of what's happening on the streets, and we're gathering more and more intelligence, and trying to refine that intelligence to intercept issues before they happen," McCarthy said.

You don't need intelligence. You need arrests. In and out.

Instead of chasing guns, chase gang members. You don't have a gun problem. Guns don't shoot people. Gang members do.

Oh look, it's also the deadliest month in Cleveland.

September became the deadliest month of 2015 after a series of weekend shootings left three people dead.

At least 13 people were shot and three killed in the month's final weekend. The circumstances of many of the shootings remain under investigation.

Cleveland tallied 97 homicides as of Monday morning, a drastic increase over recent years setting the city on track to experience one of its deadliest years in nearly a decade.

Police are still working to determine what's behind the uptick, but investigators have said that many shootings are related to ongoing battles between local street gangs.

The problem with going after gangs though is the intimate links between gang members and the Democratic Party. Take Chicago, please.

At some of the meetings, the politicians arrived with campaign materials and occasionally with aides. The sessions were organized much like corporate-style job fairs. The gang representatives conducted hourlong interviews, one after the other, talking to as many as five candidates in a single evening. Like supplicants, the politicians came into the room alone and sat before the gang representatives, who sat behind a long table.

The former chieftains, several of them ex-convicts, represented some of the most notorious gangs on the South and West Sides, including the Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples, Black Disciples, Cobras, Black P Stones, and Black Gangsters. Before the election, the gangs agreed to set aside decades-old rivalries and bloody vendettas to operate as a unified political force, which they called Black United Voters of Chicago.

Gangs can provide a decisive advantage at election time by performing the kinds of chores patronage armies once did.

"An alderman ain't nothing without the backing of the neighborhood," says a top-level Gangster Disciple from the South Side. "Without the gangs, it's hard [for politicians] to exist."

A Latin King, interviewed at Cook County Jail, recalls how the top leader of his gang, the Corona, ordered every member in his area to vote for Ricardo Muñoz, the 22nd Ward alderman. "Every chapter had to vote for that guy, anyone who was eligible to vote," says the Latin King. "That was a direct order. That means you can't say no. If you do, you face a violation" -- typically a beating, or worse.

This is why you can't fix gun violence as long as the Democratic Party is in power. The Democratic Party isn't just a pro-crime party, it's a party of criminals. It's their own political foot soldiers who are doing the killing.

Related:  Gangs and Democrat politicians in Chicago -- a MUST read

 


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The People's Republic of Chicago has another bloody weekend

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The Chicago Tribune reports that fourteen people were shot over a 15-hour period in Chicago starting Monday evening, with six of those people succumbing to their injuries.

Of the eight wounded, one was an 11-month-old and one was a 2-year-old; among those killed were a pregnant mother, a grandmother, and the mother of a 4-year-old. Ten of the victims were gunned down at two locations just a few miles apart on the South Side.

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Mayor Doofus' response was, "It's time that our criminal justice system and the laws as it relates to access to guns and the penalties for using [them] reflect the values of the people of the city of Chicago."

What values?

Democrat values -- progressive values -- creating protected classes based on race and ethnicity that are exempted from the law?

Democrat values -- progressive values -- blaming the thing, not the person for the crime?

Under Democrat rule, Chicago is a war zone.

Here are the box scores for Chicago in 2015 -- 2,314 shot -- 347 shot & killed -- total homicides 395 -- and there's still three more months to go.

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Chicago has almost 13,000 police officers and the toughest gun laws in the country, but leads the nation in gang-related shootings.

And Mayor Doofus, and the rest of the Democrats that run Chicago haven't got a clue.

Emanuel famously said, "never let a crisis go to waste."

Well, he's got a crisis, now let's see what he plans to do with it.



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49 Shot in Chicago over the weekend -- and it's all the fault of those rotten Pilgrims

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S. Noble says that it's not only the tough gun laws in Obama's home town, it's the policies that have made Chicago less safe than Kabul. It's a war zone. The law-abiding citizens don't have guns.

Chicago's gangland is being ignored and legal gun owners are the targets of the Chicago mayor.

I shouldn't say that. Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of gangland, did address it in 2012. Obama's former chief of staff told anchor Scott Pelley:

"We've got two gangbangers, one standing next to a kid. Get away from that kid. Take your stuff away to the alley. Don't touch the children of the city of Chicago. Don't get near them."

The Chicago Police Chief says he knows what the problems are -- it started with the Pilgrims from 300 years ago. During a radio talk show in 2012, he patronizingly said:

"It's a big issue. It's a long time coming. We've done a lot of things wrong in policing in this country. I'm willing to admit that, but this goes back 200 to300 years to the time when Pilgrims came here and things developed from that, the African American experience in this country."

The chief also blamed the white police officers:

"Who has been the people enforcing those laws that were problematic for the African American community all these years? And that's to me where it all starts. It starts with the recognition of how we got here and figuring out how we are going to move forward. By first confronting the issue. Recognition is the first step towards reconciliation. So that's what I bring to the table. It's one of those things that a lot of police chiefs in this country are afraid to talk about. I'm not afraid to talk about it because it's out there and we've got to address it."

The talk host blamed the court system as the new Jim Crow. He had some interesting ideas but mostly not.

They need to get off ancient history, stop blaming pilgrims, police, legal gun owners, the justice system, and go after the parents, drugs, and the bad educators.

The police chief said he has been taking back corners since 2012 holistically. Someone needs to tell him it's not working. He advised that he wasn't going to fix the narcotics problem, he was going to fix the corners.

At the end, about 10:49, a reporter from Washington Times Communities makes some great comments. He'd make a better police superintendent.

In 2011, when he began as Superintendent, he told the congregation of a liberal black church that the cause of gun violence was slavery, Jim Crow and government-sponsored racism. He never mentioned gangs or AWOL parents. He tells the people what they want to hear.

"So here's what I want to tell you. See, let's see if we can make a connection here. Slavery. Segregation. Black codes. Jim Crow. What did they all have in common? Anybody getting' scared? Government sponsored racism. I told you I wasn't afraid [of race]. I told you I wasn't afraid.

"Now I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of the African American history in this country, and tell me if I'm crazy: Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms into our urban centers across this country, that are killing our black and brown children."

In an investigative article by Chicago Magazine reporters David Bernstein and Noah Isackson, it was asserted that the decline was in part due to the unjustified re-categorization of murders as undetermined and then if it is later determined to be a murder, tallying the total to the prior years' statistics.

McCarthy responded that the article is "patently false" and criticized its reliance on anonymous sources.

A 2012 audit by the Chicago Inspector General determined that the Chicago Police Department had under-counted aggravated assault and aggravated battery victims by 25 percent by not following state guidelines by counting each incident rather than each victim. McCarthy attributed the error to the administration of the prior police superintendent, Jody Weis.

If we had two people die from Salmonella, it would be on the front page of all the newspapers, on every TV station, and they would hunt the culprits down. When it's gangsters killing people, they are not hunted down and they are part of a revolving door justice system. No one will take their guns away. They could do sweeps of those neighborhoods and get their guns. Stop & Frisk works!

Instead they pass absurd policies like safe streets. The put up a sign, call it a gun free zone and expect criminals to abide by it but they don't.

Chi-town has the strictest gun laws and gun bans in the country and the highest crime rate, that is according to FBI statistics.

Violence is soaring: a 40% increase in shootings and 29% more homicides in the first three months of the year.

They won't stop by blaming guns. This is gang violence and this is what is killing black youth.

Gangland's culture of violence is still not being addressed as the Chicago leaders go chasing windmills.

Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. They've even banned gun stores unconstitutionally. Imagine how many would have been shot if they didn't have these laws restricting legal gun owners!?! It's ridiculous.

Chicago also has ‘Safe Passage' routes to make the streets safer for school children going from home to school as part of the ‘culture of calm'. The program was started in 2009 with Stimulus money.

It's become a killing field. Most of the routes are near sex offenders.

Chief Garry McCarthy still says it's the gun laws -- they're too weak.

"Black lives do not matter," Sheriff David Clarke said. One of the new dimensions is the assault of the police. They can't do their job. "There are too many guns on the streets of Chicago, too many felons, career criminals are armed, the law-abiding people are not," Clarke said.

These corrupt Democrats nee to look in the mirror. They'll see who's to blame.


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In New York City, thousands are sleeping on the streets -- 80 homeless encampments

Shekhar Bhatia is reporting that they are sleeping in front of the Empire State building, sprawled in front of the doors of Macy's, and panhandling outside Grand Central.

New York is in the grip of a homeless epidemic so bad that it has raised fears of the city slipping back into the disorder of the 1970s and 1980s.

The city's police chief this week said that as many as 4,000 people are now sleeping rough in the city, in a crisis which even the city's ultra-liberal mayor has finally acknowledged after months of denials.

Police officers have identified 80 separate homeless encampments in the city, 20 of which are so entrenched that they have their own furniture, while its former mayor Rudolph Giuliani has spoken scathingly of how his successor is failing to keep order.

This week New York governor Andrew Cuomo said bluntly that "it's hard not to conclude that we have a major homeless problem in the city of New York" while the city's police chief Bill Bratton described the scale of it as "a tipping point."

And even Bill de Blasio, who has spent months refusing to acknowledge that the growing scale of rough sleeping was anything other than a "perception problem" finally said there was "a reality problem."

Now Daily Mail Online can reveal how a toxic combination of cheap drugs and softly-softly policing are fueling the epidemic -- and that beggars are making as much money as someone on the city's minimum wage in cash each day.

Homeless people spoken to by Daily Mail Online said that they were making $70 dollars every day from panhandling.

The amount is the same as working an eight-hour day in a minimum wage job in New York, where the state-mandated minimum wage is $8.75.

One homeless man -- a former professional who had become a drug addict and ended up one the streets -- said:

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"People... are very kind and and give me food and on a good day I can get about 70-80 dollars which shows you the kindness of New Yorkers."
/blockquote

And Patrick Kolher, who begs outside the Trump International Hotel at Central Park West, said he regularly saw donations of $70 a day into his collection tin.

If the amount of money they can make is encouraging people on to the streets there is little policing to drive them off.

Daily Mail Online has established figures which show how little police action has been taken against the problem.

Arrests for offenses normally associated with the homeless and street dwellers and assessed under the quality of life bracket, have dropped drastically since the election of Bill de Blasio as mayor.

The self-proclaimed champion of "the progressive agenda" came into office after a campaign in which he was critical of the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk tactics.

He set himself as a reformer who would move away from the aggressive policing championed by former mayor Rudolph Giuliani and his successor Michael Bloomberg, which was credited with dramatically cutting crime in the city, which went from being one of the most dangerous in the US, to one of the safest.

But figures provided by the NYPD suggest that their 35,000 officers -- of whom around 20,000 are on regular, uniformed patrol duties -- are making far fewer arrests for the sort of quality of life crimes which blight streets.

Many, many photographs here . . .


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Illinois doesn't have the money to pay its lottery winners

Dave Blount says if you must gamble, be sure you can trust the people you do it with. For example, don't gamble with the notoriously corrupt, bloated, and irresponsible Democrat government of Illinois:

Danny Chasteen and his girlfriend, Susan Rick, thought they had gotten their big break last month when Chasteen won $250,000 from the Illinois Lottery. Instead, they got an IOU.

The Chicago Tribune reported that disbursements of Illinois Lottery winnings of more than $25,000 have been halted because the state doesn't have a budget.

Good thing Illinois isn't a private outfit. The people running it would be headed to jail.

danny-chasteen

Chasteen should have gone to Las Vegas.


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Team Obama's fight to keep the homeless living on your streets

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Betsy McCaughey is reporting that America's homeless are lawyering up to fight for a "right" to live on the street -- your neighborhood and personal safety be damned.

From Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, cities are struggling with a surge in people living in cardboard boxes and doorways. Local lawmakers are trying to ban "camping out" in public, and ordering police to clear the fetid encampments.

But lawyers for the homeless are pushing back. They're demanding that "sleeping rough" be legally protected. In Denver, where living on the street is outlawed, lawyers for the homeless want to guarantee vagrants "the right to use and move freely in public spaces without discrimination."

Outrageously, Team Obama is siding with vagrants against local governments. Obama's Justice Department is trying to block Boise, Idaho's ban on sleeping in public. Cities around the country are worried their own laws may be next.

Not New York, of course. In our city, lawyers for the homeless already run City Hall. One of Mayor De Blasio's top advisers is Steven Banks, a lawyer who spent three decades at the Legal Aid Society and has sued the city numerous times on behalf of the homeless.

Under de Blasio's tenure, 311 calls complaining about the homeless are up nearly 60 percent. The mayor dismisses that as "hysteria," insisting the vast majority of homeless "don't bother anybody."

Los Angeles -- the homeless capital of the nation -- is trying to halt the spread of cardboard shanties -- "ObamaVilles." But the city has lost a string of lawsuits, as judges ruled the homeless have constitutional rights to sleep in cars and store their possessions on the sidewalk.

Los Angeles is short on shelter beds, but beds alone don't solve the problem. In New York, homeless families generally go to shelters. But 80 percent of vagrants are single adults with mental illness or drug addiction. Their insistence on street living punishes the rest of us. We have to endure the heart-wrenching sights of human beings in rags lying on sidewalks.

Jail may not be the answer, but allowing street living isn't, either. There has to be an involuntary mental-health alternative. De Blasio is sending treatment teams to the streets for individualized care. But it's voluntary. Many will reject help. The city should also get vagrants off the street. That is, if the feds allow it.

Boise is trying to ban street encampments it deems unsanitary and unsafe. But on Aug. 6, the Obama Justice Department intervened to stop the city. The DoJ argues that depriving people of a "right" to sleep on the street if there are no shelter beds is a "cruel and unusual punishment," violating the Constitution. Not enough beds? The city insists there are.

The DoJ's intervention is a warning to cities everywhere. Homeless advocate Carol Sobel warns that cities must "figure out how to respond to the causes of homelessness and not punish people for their status." That's the wacky ideology cities will be battling in lawsuit after lawsuit -- that living on the street is acceptable and deserves legal protection.

Sadly, that's the prevailing mentality in the de Blasio administration as well. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani considered homeless encampments a scourge. But de Blasio says "it's not against the law to be homeless." His emphasis is on serving the homeless, increasing funding for "homeless services" by $1 billion. Not protecting the public.

Never mind the violent crimes committed by mentally ill street dwellers. On June 23, a woman was attacked by a machete-waving vagrant in Bryant Park; on July 25, a tourist was hospitalized after being assaulted by a homeless man; Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is warning that street dwellers are using a synthetic marijuana that makes them "irrational, impervious to pain, and very dangerous."

De Blasio blames "inequality" for the danger and disturbing sights on our streets.

Wrong. It's progressive ideology at work.



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Five ways the progressive utopia of San Francisco has descended into a disaster

James V. Lacey is reporting that the City by the Bay is in a state of progressive dysfunction.

Progressive Democrats have secured total control of the city's elected offices. Being a Democrat isn't enough anymore. In a city where there are more than six Democrats for every Republican, political campaigns are decided by which candidate is the true progressive.

With no evil capitalists or conservative Republicans to thwart their plans, San Francisco should be a socialist utopia. Income inequality solved. Affordable housing provided to all. Criminals rehabilitated. Women guaranteed equal protection under the law.

Yet, the city hasn't made much "progress" on much of anything. Here's a progress report on every liberal's pet issues.

Income Inequality

A recent study by a Bay Area consulting group found the Bay Area is home to the nation's worst income inequality. The middle class no longer exists in the Bay Area. The top 20 percent of households make $263,000 more than the poorest 20 percent of households.

"That's 50 percent higher than the gap nationwide," Jon Haveman, author of the study, recently told KQED. The Bay Area's middle class is disappearing as a result of the high cost of living and exorbitant housing process, which are forcing people to leave the area.

While middle class private sector workers have been squeezed, public sector employees have reaped the benefits of electing liberal Democrats to state and local offices. More than 10,000 public employees in San Francisco earn six-figure salaries. More than a third of the city's public workforce earns at least $100,000 in total compensation. Eighty-four city employees earn in excess of $250,000 each year in total compensation.

Affordable Housing

This spring, the average rent in San Francisco hit a record high of $3,458 per month. Even if you're willing to cram into a tiny studio, you'll pay more than $2,000 per month. Thanks to liberal policies restricting new developments, the region has learned what happens when supply remains constant and demand increases.

Many Bay Area residents have turned to the sharing economy to make ends meet by renting out a spare bedroom. But, that could soon end as the city seeks to criminalize the sharing economy. This November, voters will consider an initiative that limits short-term rentals, bans in-law unit rentals, and allows citizens to police their neighbors with lawsuits to enforce the anti-Airbnb measure.

Homelessness

In 2004, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom promised a "Ten Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness."

How'd it work out? San Francisco taxpayers have spent roughly $1.5 billion over the past decade on leftist solutions to the city's chronic homeless problem. At a cost of roughly $77,000 per homeless person, the city has seen its problem get worse.

"The homeless population is up 3 percent since 2005," an in-depth analysis by the San Francisco Chronicle found. "In one of the richest cities in the world, an estimated 2,200 public school students lack permanent homes."

Crime

The Bay Area's crime problem is epitomized by the tragic Pier 14 murder of 32-year-old Kate Steinle. The San Francisco Sheriff's Department went to the trouble (and expense) of bringing a five-time deported illegal immigrant felon out of a federal prison in Southern California to free him in San Francisco. How could the Sheriff's Department be so incompetent, and so conflicted?

Progressives see the justice system as inherently biased against people of color. Criminals aren't to be held accountable for their actions because they're victims, too.

"California should be a leader in enlightened criminal justice," San Francisco lawmaker Tom Ammiano, the longtime chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, explained of his philosophy to crime.

Women's Issues

When San Francisco's Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi isn't busy letting illegal immigrant felons out of jail, he's busy dealing with his own legal problems. The co-founder of the Green Party, who became a Democrat in 2010, was charged with domestic violence, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness in a legal proceeding, and plead guilty to one count of false imprisonment after a New Year's Eve altercation with his wife in 2011.

He was able to retain his office even though pleading guilty to a crime, because the San Francisco Board of Supervisors could only muster seven of its 11 members to remove him from office. Liberals are right about the "war on women," just wrong about who is leading it.


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It takes two!

Liberal-progressives want these signs everywhere in America.

NoGuns.jpg

And jihadis couldn't be more pleased.

HaHaNoGuns.jpg



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20 Years of cleaning up New York City pissed away

Tom Wilson points to this as an up-close look at a quality-of-life offense the City Council wants to decriminalize.

NYPissedAway.jpg

This urinating vagrant turned a busy stretch of Broadway into his own private bathroom yesterday -- an offense that would result in a mere summons if Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and her pals get their way.

Wrapped in rags and a Mets blanket the hobo wandered into traffic at around 10:30 a.m. and relieved himself as cabs, cars and buses whizzed by between West 83rd and 84th streets on the Upper West Side.

He finished his business at a nearby garbage bin, then strolled back to the front of a Victoria's Secret store at Broadway and 85th Street, where he camped out for the rest of the day.

Mark-Viverito in April announced plans to decriminalize public urination along with five other low-level offenses: biking on the sidewalk, public consumption of alcohol, being in a park after dark, failure to obey a park sign and jumping subway turnstiles.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton -- who in the early '90s implemented a "broken windows" approach to policing to dramatically cut crime -- is against the new plan, saying such offenses lead to more serious crimes.

Bill Caprese, 38, who lives on 82nd Street with his 6-year-old daughter, was appalled by the street urinator.

"It's absolutely a failure of government. It's a total abject failure," he said. "The mayor could fix it. The governor could fix it. We need asylums."

An employee at the Victoria's Secret, where the homeless man often lounges, said he drives away business.

"He curses people out, threatens lives," said the employee, who works in the lingerie chain's loss-prevention department.

"Customers complain about him all the time."

And the growing problem isn't solely on city streets.

Transit hubs, including Penn Station, are plagued by surging numbers of homeless people who publicly masturbate, harass bystanders and demand free food as the city looks the other way, commuters complain.

"It reminds me of the pre-[Rudy] Giuliani era," said Jim Hoover, 60, who has been commuting through Penn Station since 1986. "The police aren't chasing them away anymore."

Just outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal, a homeless man drunkenly knocked a woman to the floor while stumbling around the sidewalk.

The bum, who goes by "Monk," was arrested by a cop at the scene and taken away by an FDNY ambulance.

"He's going to get a hospital bed and a slap on the wrist," said Timothy Arroyo, who was watching from a crowd that gathered.

"He'll be back out here tomorrow."

A PA source said there has been a "noticeable uptick" in vagrants at the terminal in recent months.

"It's a trend," the source said.

No it's not!

It's Democrats!



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