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Archive for September, 2010

Seeing red.

Anyone who knows anything about Enzo Ferrari loves to tell the story about how the little Italian man decided to build road cars in order to finance his racing team.  I’m reminded of the obvious parallels of my life and his.  Similar hair color, automobile racing, hyper-educated in a not-at-all sort of way, the Italian thing.  I’m just sayin’.  I spent Saturday evening at a store that sells and services said road cars, snapping pictures of suburban socialites.  Nice people, I’m sure.  Slightly more interesting however, were the several machines in attendance, and the fine scotch.  Yeah, they were pretty excited about this scotch.  200 years old, filtered through the liver of a goat.  Tasted pretty scotchy to me, but I was excited about myself regardless.  Here’s a comprehensive sampling of the evening:

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Black gold.

What’s it going to take to get this oil-handling thing worked out?

Seems we’ve ‘spilled’ oil just about everywhere we can think of.  The ocean, the rivers, random ponds, sewers, the middle of the road.  If you can think of a place, I bet we’ve leaked oil on it, in it, near it.  Today, a 3 foot pipe carrying crude oil broke under a street in Romeoville.  A ville of Romeos?

Indeed, we have 3 foot pipes that carry crude under some of our streets.  Probably a very necessary piece of infrastructure, except that today, it broke.  Now there’s Texas Tea flowing down Parkwood Ave in a suburb that I wouldn’t normally choose to visit.  But- here I am, watching monster-sized tanker trucks, one after the next, after the next- suck crude off of the road.  Meanwhile, I’m still stuck on how Romeoville got its name.

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My job is done here.

Well, so much for ridiculous sound bites and sneaky infrastructure destruction.

Daley is checking out.  He’s done with the scrutiny.  After all, he gets “scrootened every day, by each and every one of us.”  Never more so than the hours and days after he illegally bulldozed the downtown airport in order to protect the city against Arabs bouncing experimental gliders off of the Sears building.  “Mickey Mouse has a no-fly zone,” but not us.  Until then, Daley generally hung in the area of cronyism and memorable emotion.  He’d hire his friends in the morning and lose his shit in front of the cameras in the afternoon.  Pretty benign, really.

Then he broke the runway with a Caterpillar, sparking a spree of questionable managing.  He hired mob trucks to do city work.  That didn’t work, unless the goal of that program was to prompt a federal query into hiring practices at city hall.  Said query resulted in criminal charges.  Then he started selling stuff.  First the Skyway.  Curious, but who cares?  Then the parking garages.  Then the parking meters.  Then Midway airport- but not really.  Then, back to the parking meters, because, HOLY SHIT THE PARKING METERS!  That went over like a wet fart in church.  Now all of a sudden, this dude’s an idiot.  There was finally a direct relationship between something Daley did and some inconvenience to our daily lives.  We stood cold, trying to press frozen buttons on a ticket kiosk located a block away.  We didn’t appreciate having to tolerate the shortcomings of a completely different revenue collection system.  We also don’t appreciate having to swap the word ‘meter’ with ‘kiosk.’  I know we resist change, and I’m pretty sure we’re still pissed.  Then, someone actually noticed that the city’s gun ban violated the US Constitution.  Interesting.  In what other areas does the city blatantly disregard federal law?

So now, Daley has a half-billion dollar budget gap, terrible schools, rampant violent crime, a disgruntled police department, a half-built airport and no olympics.  Not all at surprising that now is probably a pretty good time to slide out the rear exit.  The O’Hare bullshit is getting deeper all the time.  A billion here, a billion there.  The expansion that started at 7 billion is projected to double by the time it’s not done.  But hey, with 6 parallel runways, it’s like an airshow all day, everyday.  747’s lined up like the Blue Angels?  No risk there, I’m sure.

Anyway, Aloha Mr. Mayor.  That was good times.

PS.  the flowers on Michigan Ave are exceptional.

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Uh-oh, part 2.

It’s official, now EVERYBODY seems to have something negative to say about the Jody Weis peace talks.  In the last 24 hours, US Dist Attorney P Fitzgerald, and now, gang members can be added to the list of critics.  The gangs sent out a press release announcing a news conference for this morning’s claim that their civil rights were being violated by police.  Wearing a baseball cap with the words: “Mess with the best, die like the rest,” a member of the Vice Lords insisted that: “We will not be responsible for anyone’s actions but our own.”  In other words, we may be a gang, but we’re not ‘together,’ per se.  Every mainstream media outlet in the city attended.

Fast forward 5 hours.  At 2p today, a 17 year-old was shot to death at 79th and Cottage Grove- in the alley behind a funeral home that was hosting a wake.  The attendees were young black folks.  Purely coincidence.

There is something about kids, bikes and guns.  Not sure what it is, but, seeing an abandoned bicycle on the scene of a teenage murder is always more powerful than the generic pictures of cops walking about looking for shell casings.

Anyway, the gang summit hasn’t had an immediate impact.  Perhaps it’s more of a long-term strategy.

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Uh-oh.

You had a what?  With who?  Called what?

Meeting.  Gangsters.  Chicago Gang Violence Reduction Initiative.

Yeah.  We found out this weekend that the CPD superintendent had a sit-down with gang leaders a few weeks ago and announced that he’s had it up to HERE!  Goddamnit.  He told the group that violent crime is too high and people are beginning to notice.  Then he essentially said: “One more word out of him and YOU get it!”  That’s right.  When any one of the Vices Lords cap someone, the leader will be harassed with parking tickets and other random ordinance violations.  No bullshit.  This was the threat.  He also cited some unenforceable federal racketeering statute that prohibits things like gang-banging.  Which brought up a quality, two-part observation:  1) since they’re sitting right there in front of you, maybe…just…grab them?  b) less importantly, how did you get a bunch of gangsters to come to a meeting?  Well, one answer settles both.  Police told them it was a parole meeting.  They served chips.  Probably Doritos.  Doritos are really good.  I’d go to a Dorito party, no questions asked.

I give you that background, to say this:  The beat cop is pissed.  Like, way more pissed than regular people, who are also pissed.  But, the beat cop also hates this current police chief, Jody Weis.  Beat cops like and respect other cops.  Weis was never a cop, but rather a 20 year FBI guy hired by Daley to clean up the riddled CPD.  Daley thinks you don’t need to be a cop to run a police department.  Cops, apparently,  disagree.  They also dislike his polo shirts.

How do I know this?  SecondCityCop, aka: SCC.  http://www.secondcitycop.blogspot.com/  It’s an anonymous blog and CPD bitch forum by cops, for cops.  It’s a well followed blog for good reason.  It appears to be a relatively legitimate sampling of the views and concerns of the CPD’s rank-and-file.  I found it after a post about my arrest for taking a news picture of a dead guy shot by an off-duty cop.  It’s…curious- this website.  The author is amusingly critical of just about everybody.  CPD brass, the media, the public.  SCC has significant issues with all of them.  Fair enough.  I do too, sometimes.  But, it’s not so much the blog posts- but the reader comments that stand out on this site.  It reads like most of the commentors are indeed cops.  Cop vernacular, meeting details, department directives.  It’s definitely them.  While the collective message may sometimes be bad enough, the individual comments can often be downright scary insight to what some of these dudes think.  The gangster-meeting story brought in nearly 200 comments.

*This little stunt just gave these assholes legitimacy as leaders.
*All this meeting did was give the impression the gangs are a formidable force. What was he thinking……what force do he intend to use against the gangs since the CPD has shown a virtually no intention of working for him? It will be a long, lonely road Jody Weis.

*Give the police back their teeth.

*The old time bosses such as Eddie King would never stoop to this embarrassing shit. They’d simply order up the troops and leave the gangs in such a condition that one would mistake the area as the results of an airstrike.

*Instead of letting police be the police and backing them up he would do a COZZI on any copper that does the correct thing! The pussification (sp) of CPD marches on!
(Cozzi is the cop that used a club to beat the ever-loving hell out of a guy cuffed in a wheelchair.  Instead of protecting his own, Weis turned this case over to the feds, where he got 3 years.)

*Truly one of the most stupid ideas in the history of policeing (sp).

*The first step is to take the GPS out of the cars. Send a message to the troops to take the gloves off. Second is to intercede on the behalf of Bill Cozzi and get him released via your FED connections. Third take the stupid cameras out of the cars and sell them.
*I’m not pulling a single car over at the behest of a boss that saddled me with an in car camera. Get bent jfled….stop em yourself.

Seems cops and cameras are kind of, a thing.

The comments go on, and on, and on.  The curious part is…what’s the point?  What makes it so necessary to anonymously express one’s self about issues that one probably grossly misunderstands?  Is expressing an opinion really worth the disgrace and disgust it brings to back to the whole CPD and the City of Chicago?  Obviously, I’m all for free speech.  Stupid speech…not so much.  Saying dumb things just because you can doesn’t accomplish as much as one might think.  I feel I can advise, as I have an above-average understanding of this.  Exhibit A:  Jody, you don’t have a clue. If you want to look like a complete hand job, do it on your own time you spandexed, botoxed, beady eyed, cat loving, clueless queen. Nice.  After the audience attempts to imagine what ‘a complete hand job’ actually looks like, we’ll notice that not much is offered here.  Further complicating the statement is the chance that the poster’s or blog owner’s identity somehow becomes known- since nothing online is truly anonymous.  Next stop: court,  begging for the very job that some of these people have no business having to begin with.

These online representatives of the CPD need some direction.  Offering an open mic to the uneducated, racist, bigoted hatters that normally live in the comment section hasn’t really worked.  Exposing, then HIGHLIGHTING the stupidity of the rank-and-file should not be the message.  They obviously edit this comment section.  Edit better.  Right now, SCC makes the CPD look kind of like PETA.  Regardless of what issue they’re drawing attention to, you dislike the methods of communication, and ultimately end up disliking them.  I might have thought the lady in the mink coat was kind of ridiculous, but now that she’s covered in red paint, I’m somehow on her side while secretly wishing the assailant gets crushed by a piano.  See how quickly that changed?

I have a sneaking suspicion that the SCC blog does very little, if anything at all, to promote and further any of the causes it chooses to write about.  There’s just no way to take it seriously.  I liken the aim of this blog to my 5 year-old pressing buttons on my notebook.  If you just press all the buttons, eventually something interesting will happen.  The computer will respond.  However, the likelihood of the machine crashing far exceeds any good you can do by pressing 7 buttons at the same time.  Stabbing keys has the appearance of incompetence.  SCC has the appearance of incompetence.  They just do stuff.  No point, no direction.  Really just happy to watch and see what happens when you press this button.  Then, the commentors arrive, bringing with them proof of why they don’t have them involved in determining police policy.  The “airstrike” comment?  What’s the suggestion?  Kill all the suspected gangsters?  LA rioted when a couple of the cops in the King beating got off.  All they did was hit the guy with a stick 50 times.

Back to the gangster/police meeting.  Daley is for it (“if I can save your son’s life, you’d want me to sit down with them”), Quinn is against (“I don’t think that’s the way to go.”), and neither knew it was going to happen.  The argument?  “It’s like negotiating with terrorists.”  How in the hell is this anything like negotiating with terrorists?  The police chief beat his chest, threatened parking tickets and used chips to try to buy a cease-fire.  He didn’t entertain a list of the gangster’s demands.  Requiring them to attend a parole meeting does not equal a seat at the table, sorry.  This little stunt just gave these assholes legitimacy as leaders. Shooting people does this also- so I’m going to go with the possibility that the legitimacy was there before the parole meeting.  Plus, doesn’t the police department negotiate with kidnappers and hostage takers all the time?  I thought the dudes even had jackets that say NEGOTIATOR, no?  Productive debate, though.  Thumbs up!

In hilarious news…I stumbled on another Chicago Police blog this morning.  Check out the banner photo!  Click this picture.

Wild guess who gets the photo credit?  Let’s go ahead and Google: copyright infringement.

You just can’t teach this kind of stupid.

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