Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Quinn Suspends Illinois Lawmakers' Pay

Quinn Suspends Illinois Lawmakers' Pay | NBC Chicago:
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced Wednesday he will use his veto power to suspend state lawmakers' pay after they missed his deadline to deliver pension reform. "This is an emergency," Quinn said. "This is a crisis. This requires the full attention of those who were elected to the General Assembly." Quinn said he informed the comptroller of his intentions to suspend all legislative salaries and stipends for the General Assembly and for himself until the reform is on his desk. 
He described the pay halt as a wake-up call for those who have failed for two years to take action on the state's pension crisis
[emphasis added]

No, this is a wake-up call for the legislature because they overrode his veto on the Concealed Carry bill!

... Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Buffalo Grove) said the move does "nothing to move us toward a solution to our pension crisis and only serves as an unnecessary distraction."
Quinn's gubernatorial opponents called it a stunt.
"The pension crisis won’t be solved by political stunts," Bruce Rauner said. "It will be solved by bold leadership that’s willing to take on the powerful interests in Springfield."
"It is obvious to everyone by now that this governor is long on press conferences and short on results," Bill Daley said. "This media sideshow doesn’t get things done, in fact it stands in the way."
The move comes a day after the Illinois legislature handily overrode Gov. Pat Quinn's amendatory veto to the concealed-carry bill.
This is The Illinois Machine talking.  

Imagine, only yesterday I thought I couldn't be more disgusted by Power Politics.

Now I realize that I can .. I am!


Good News for Chicago; Bad News for "The Machine"

Illinois Becomes Last State To Approve Concealed Carry | NBC Chicago:
Both the Illinois House and Senate on Tuesday voted to override Gov. Pat Quinn's revised gun bill, making the state the last in the country to allow firearms to be carried in public. 
The Senate voted 41-17 after the House's 77-31 vote to override Quinn's amendatory veto that wanted to keep guns out of places that serve alcohol and impose a one-gun limit. The votes came just before a midnight federal appeals court's deadline to allow Illinois residents to carry concealed guns. 
 Quinn used his amendatory [sic] veto last week to make changes to the compromise concealed carry bill already passed by the legislature.

In a not-so-surprising move, Illinois State Legislatures decided to support the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (as interpreted by the Supreme Court of The United States - SCOTUS) and over-ride the wishes of the Governor of that not-so-great state.

We in the rest of the country have heard that The Machine .. the political entity which controls politics in Illinois and especially in Chicago ... was and always will rule the state regardless of any 'outside' influence; such as SCOTUS.

Quinn's "amendments" would, among other points, limit the number of firearms one person could carry "concealed" to one (?), limit the number of magazines to one, and limit the number of rounds of ammunition carried to ten.  It would also mandate that the firearms carry 'concealed' would be "CONCEALED!" .. whatever that means.

Local Trepidation:

Not everyone in Illinois is jubilant about the new gun laws:   In an MSNBC article,  (titled:

Despite Chicago bloodshed, Illinois will allow concealed carry

...   one writer offered:

Some lawmakers from urban jurisdictions like Chicago voted against the concealed carry law, fearing it would lead to even more gun violence. The city has struggled to bring down the rate of murders and shootings, but over the 4th of July holiday weekend, at least 60 people were shot and 12 were killed in Chicago. Over Father’s Day Weekend, more than 40 people were shot and seven were killed by gun violence.
Tuesday’s passage was a significant victory for the NRA, after Congress failed to pass a bipartisan bill that would have strengthened background checks for all commercial gun purchases. Although President Obama continues his pledge to pressure Congress to pass stricter gun legislation, the state where he served as a senator voted to expand gun rights.
Oh, was anyone unaware that Chicago and Illinois are the center of Liberal Democrat politics?

But of course, it's all the fault of the NRA. 

The assertion that Chicago has " .. .struggled against gun violence ..." seems somehow a violation of the 'you can't have it both ways' rule.  "Gun Violence" is already rampant in Chicago, specifically, and  Illinois, generally.  Are shooting deaths going to go UP just because people can now defend themselves?  If so .. it's going to be the gang-bangers who suddenly must consider that the home-owner they are accustomed to terrifying may now be armed.  Wouldn't THAT be a rude awakening?

Increased restrictions on private possession of firearms hasn't worked, so what has the Governor of Illinois done to 'struggle against gun violence'?  He has tried even harder to prevent honest citizens from possessing the means to prevent Gun Violence and protect themselves.   Doesn't sound to ME that Governor Quinn has 'struggled' all that hard, considering that he is protected by armed guards at all time.

The proposed "concealed carry permit" would piggyback on a fee for a license to own a handgun, and why the CCP would cost $150.  (Not known yet whether that is per permit or per gun, but one assumes that it's "per permit" .. surely no responsible local government would double-bill a "per gun" permit!)
Nobody has yet mentioned that this would constitute an intolerable tax on the poor, who can probably ill-afford to purchase a firearm except at street-prices; expect stolen-gun prices to go up in the immediate future, by the way.  It's just business, driven by the Democratic Machine and their whining juvenile efforts to ensure that if they don't get to have everything their own way ... somebody else is going to pay!

For a comparison, some counties only charge $65 for a CHL ... but I'm sure Illinois knows best how to serve its citizens.  After all, they've done so well to date.


Back in the early 1960's, then-President Dwight David Eisenhower posted armed federal marshals at the entrance to public schools in the Deep South to ensure that black students could attend 'mixed race' schools depending on their residential address .. not "separate but equal" schools, based on their race.

This Illinois acceptance of a Federal mandate is perhaps equally as significant as the true integration of educational opportunities.

Which is to say, not only must the states pay more than 'lip service' to the Constitution, but the states must also be prevented from undermining the clear intent of the Bill of Rights by imposing draconian and pettifogging restrictions on the civil rights of their citizens.

Chicago, we're looking at you here.  No more Tammany Hall; no more one-man rule.

This is a HUGE step forward for Gun Rights Advocates:

For too many years, we have heard of, and read the words of, citizens who have decided to leave their home state and move to where they can freely exercise their Civil Rights.  In this case, we're talking about the Second Amendment.

But this is not the only reason to move;  gay rights, excessive taxation, and other 'local rules' have brought about a forced migration.  It doesn't much matter what your personal issue is, or whether you are personally in favor of (or opposed to) the display of a Christian Cross on public land .. to cite just a few examples.   The Constitution is The Law of The Land, and this simple document defines the freedom of America.

It is  "Rule By Law".

Tough Time in Chicago

I know there are going to be 'troubles' in Chicago.  Somebody will take advantage of the new laws, and will be found guilty of 'brandishing' a firearm when he or she feels intimidated.  They will go to jail.  Some people will be shot; some of those people will not deserve it.

When you've been held down for so long, and you finally have the RIGHT to defend yourself, you may be lost in the heady reality of personal choice.

Illinois already had a tragic history of stupidity. Senseless shootings are reported on a DAILY basis.  Now, there will be a new twist for reporters; it's not just gang-bangers shooting the innocent, it will be the Honest Citizen who hasn't learned to merge his new freedoms with his new responsibilities.

But I am going out on the limb here and suggest that gang-bangers will learn a new brand of civility.

In the words of Robert Heinlein:  "An armed society is a Polite society."

Chicago may take a while to learn the lessons of civility, but the penalty for slow-learners has just increased.  Other states have learned these lessons with relatively few "hiccups" let us hope that Illinois citizens can learn to be Free Citizens rather than Subjects as easily, and with as few over-reactions.

And that's "A Good Thing"!

Monday, July 08, 2013

"Linked" text

It has come to my attention that recently sometimes text is red-highlited and, when it is clicked on it leads to some pop-up comment or explanation of the individual word.

You will recall that I mentioned a while back that I inadvertently (read: "stupidly") allowed some unwanted software was loaded on my computer.  This is one of them.  I'm still searching for that, and other "features" so I can delete them.    So far I haven't found all of them.  I can't even find the vendor on this one, so I can't do an "UNINSTALL".

Yes, I have gone through the control panel looking for recent installs;  Also, I've looked through my huge list of 'cookies', and everything else I can think of.

I'll continue to work on the problem.  If you have any suggestions, I'll be pleased to see if there's anything I've overlooked.

In the meantime, I beg your patience and forbearance.

This is embarasing!

Joe Biden: "The Distinguished Windbag from Connecticut!

I realize it's probably  ... low-brow to blog oneself, but this 2006 commentary on Joe Biden (The then-Distinguished Senior Senator from Connecticut" and today "Vice President of the United States of America did then, and remains today, the pro-typical and recalcitrant vision of our Fearless (almost) Leader (almost).

I'm reminded of this because, as of today, this is the most popular blog entry in my entire umpteen (okay, almost 9) years of blogging.  I prefer to consider that statistic to be an exemplar of the few, the very few blog articles which have reverberated in America's heart ...

okay, and maybe I feel a little vindicated in the sense that perhaps I'm not the only man in America who considers Joe Biden to be a bloviating Windbag!

Read and believe.  Or not.
It's an opinion article from a lustrum of prescience about the ineffectuality of Joe Biden in any governmental office whatever .. and that our new (a while back) President chose him for his Vice President speaks volumes about his own ineffectualiyt.

Cogito Ergo Geek: Yin and Yang: Peggy Noonan: Yesterday I called Mark Steyn "one of my all-time favorite political commentators". That hasn't changed, but now I see it's time to introduce another: Peggy Noonan. Ms Noonan often writes for the Wall Street Journal (see the link on the sidebar, under WSJ Opinion Journal), and if Steyn's style is to go for the gonads (in the nicest possible way), Noonan's style is to go to the heart (in the deadliest possible way). Steyn and Noonan are the Yin and Yang of political commentary. I love this lady. She has style, she has verve, and she has the sharpest knife in the drawer. She can slice and dice you in 600 words, and you wouldn't feel a thing as she cuts out your heart. Today her target was Joe Biden. For twenty years, I have referred to him as "The Distinguished Windbag from Delaware". Imagine how rewarding it is to read the following paragraph from today's column, as Ms Noonan typifies the congressional interrogation of Judge Samuel Alito by Senator Joe Biden. In part:
Go, and read the whole thing.

Or not.

Illinois towns reject call to pass assault weapons bans | Fox News

Illinois towns reject call to pass assault weapons bans | Fox News: SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –
 As Illinois prepares to become the last state in the country to allow the concealed carry of firearms, few of its communities appear concerned that the window allowing them to ban assault-style weapons will rapidly begin closing next week. 
Despite encouragement from Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon -- and on the verge of almost-certain enactment next week of a law allowing residents to carry concealed weapons -- only four communities have adopted semi-automatic gun restrictions out of more than two dozen taking them up. 
 According to interviews and information from gun-rights groups such as the Illinois State Rifle Association, 14 communities have rejected or decided not to act on proposed bans. Ten have yet to vote or have delayed consideration. All of them are in the Chicago metropolitan area. 
Those adopting bans -- Highland Park, North Chicago, Melrose Park, and Skokie -- join eight other cities, also near Chicago, that already regulate possession or sale and transfer of illegal weapons, according to research compiled by the Illinois House Democrats' staff.
High Hopes and Low Expectations.

Until Illinois gets rid of its ineffectual politicians (Illinois governor Pat Quinn, and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, there is little or no hope that the people who actually have to LIVE in this state .. outside of gubernatorial mansions .. will ever feel safe.

Islamic extremists kill 30 in school attack in northeast Nigeria | Fox News

Islamic extremists kill 30 in school attack in northeast Nigeria | Fox News: POTISKUM, Nigeria –

Islamic extremists have killed 29 students and one teacher in an attack on a boarding school in northeast Nigeria. Survivors being treated for burn and gunshots wounds say some students were burned alive in the attack before dawn Saturday on Government Secondary School in Mamudo town in Yobe state. As he wept over the bodies of his two boys, farmer Malam Abdullahi swore he would withdraw three remaining sons from a nearby school. He complained there was no protection for students despite the deployment of thousands of troops since the government declared a state of emergency mid-May in three northeastern states. Dozens of schools have been torched and unknown scores of students killed among more than 1,600 victims slain by extremists since 2010.

Apparently, it's not just Chicago which cannot find a solution to violence in the streets.

When will politicians notice that laws and troops don't bring peace when only the lawless are armed and that a peaceful society is not effected by the application of gutted laws and gutless troops?

A Case for Soccer Ball Control?

Brazil soccer referee killed during match; his head displayed on stake midfield | Fox News:
A soccer referee was beheaded and his head displayed atop a wooden stake at midfield after a match erupted in violence in Brazil.
 The bloody brouhaha began when the match’s referee, Ot├ívio Jordan da Silva de Catanhede, became embroiled in an argument with player Linda dos Santos Abreu over a disputed call during a game in the town of Pius XII.
 The argument reportedly ended with Jordan ejecting Abreu. Following the player’s ejection from the game, Abreu and Jordan began to fight. During the fight, Jordan produced a small knife and stabbed Abreu, 31, who reportedly died of his injuries en route to a local hospital.
 “A crime will never justify the other." - Valter Costa, law enforcement official Friends and family of the deceased subsequently rushed the field, tied up Jordan, 20, fatally stoned him, quartered his body, and then, according to the Associated Press, which cited local media accounts of the murder, staked the referee's head at midfield of the soccer pitch.

Obviously, Brazilian Style Soccer will never survive a holiday weekend in Chicago.

Which is possible the single viable argument in favor of the municipality of Chicago.

On the other hand .. can't we just nuke them all?

Okay, that statement is definitely out of line.
In the words of Gremlins2: "Fun, but in no sense Civilized!" (paraphrased)

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Media Slant: I have no respect for "The Media"

Aaron Hernandez leased secret ‘flop house’ with boxes of ammo found by�police | SI Wire:
The evidence continues to mount against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.
 After being charged with first-degree murder in June for the execution-style shooting of acquaintance Odin Lloyd, and subsequent findings of links to other shootings and incidents, the 23-year old Hernandez is now reported to have rented a secret “flop house,” a place typically reserved for minimal services such as storage.
SI Wire: Report Aaron Hernandez involved in domestic disturbance incident last year
According to a report Wednesday from the Associated Press, Hernandez, who is now one of 29 NFL players arrested since the Super Bowl, had reportedly leased a $1,200 per month apartment in Franklin, Mass., where state police found boxes of ammunition, a sweatshirt and a baseball cap, among other items.
I don't really know what the facts are behind this story.  I don't care for spectator sports (such as football) and certainly I don't pay much attention to sports stories.

But this story caught my eye, because of the way the media instinctively slants news stories to support their preconceived notions.

Primary in their first three paragraphs are the words "flop house" and "boxes of ammunition".

First ... a $1,200 apartment isn't a "flop house" to most of us.  I recognize that Hernandez (about whom I've never heard before this week, and I know absolutely nothing about .. what's his first name?) is probably making more money in a month than I make a year.  But $1200 a month isn't chump change to most of us.

The use of words to make a point is the definition of  'yellow journalism'.  The author is painting a picture which exists in his mind's eye.  It doesn't exist in mine.

Second, the use of the phrase "boxes of ammunition" is vague ...

  • Five boxes of .45 ammunition (the caliber of the shells found on Lloyd’s body), five boxes of rifle ammunition, and one box of .22-caliber ammunition.
Let's interpret:

  1.  ... five boxes of .45 (one assumes that's ".45 ACP") is at 50 rounds per box ...  250 rounds of .45 ACP ammunition.  I take that much ammunition to a single IPSC match, because the minimum round count at even a club match is ~130 rounds, and you never know if you're going to have to reshoot a stage or two.  For some people, that may constitute "an arsenal"; for others of us, it's the Minimum Daily Requirement for "A Day At The Range".
  2.  ...  five boxes of rifle ammunition.  That's also the MDR for a day of varmint shooting. At 20 rounds per box, it's 100 rounds.  A bit more than I would usually carry for deer hunting, I admit.  But when you add in sight-in days at the range before the start of season, it's ample for the entire annual season if you want to be sure that all of your ammunition will perform at the same level of expectation.
  3. ... one box of .22-caliber ammunition.  Again, that's at 50 rounds for box.  (NOTE: a "BRICK" is ten boxes, for a total of 500 rounds.  The article said "Box", not "Brick".) Generally speaking these rounds are appropriate for plinking, or small-size varmint hunting, or for target shooting.
Given the level of hype which The Media has apparently applied to this story, it's impossible to tell what the kid was planning to do  with this ammunition.  And  that's The Point.

The Point is that the news story presents the possession of less ammunition as "A Bad Thing" .. by strong inference, since it's the main issue of the story.

NOBODY has been convicted of a crime in court, as well as I can determine.

NOBODY has even charged with the egregious  attempt to overthrow the government with (at my best guess) 400 hundred rounds of mixed ammunition.   Somebody died in relation to this individual, the "Hernandez".

Here, the Media in the person of Sports Illustrated Wire has not-too-subtly insinuated that this individual must have had nefarious intent when he accumulated 400 rounds of ammunition in a "flop house" .. the inference is that he kept the ammo in a throw-away residence for the purpose of nefarious activity.  Yes, I know know I used the word "nefarious" twice;  that's the effect of the article in it's yellow-journalism phraseology.

I have no views on the Hernandez meme in terms of the presentation .. which is hypothetical at best, and misleading at worst.  As I said, I don't know the facts of the story and I don't much care.

What bothers me more (with apologies to Hernandez, if I seem to be ignoring the main point in HIS life story) is the careless use of inference that mere (legal) possession of (legal) ammunition somehow infers or implies guilt.

After all, if he was an "Honest Citizen", why would he need to own 'so much ammunition'. And why would he 'hide it' in a 'flop house'???

The answer is .. the man has broken no laws here.   IMPLYING that he has done so, or that the mere possession of ammunition suggests that he had nefarious intent, is entirely irresponsible for a publication which purports to be about sports; not about politics.

THAT, my friends, is the very definition of Yellow Journalism.

And it sucks.

To Live and Die in Chicago

At least 9 dead, dozens wounded in Chicago during holiday weekend shootings | Fox News:

CHICAGO – Shootings in Chicago during the Fourth of July holiday weekend have left at least nine people dead and several dozen wounded, including two boys shot in different parks.
Gov. Pat Quinn said Sunday that such continued violence underscores why he dramatically altered a gun bill that will end Illinois' last-in-the nation ban on carrying concealed firearms -- a prohibition that's been declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.
 "That ought to be an alarm bell to all of us that we need strong laws that protect the public safety, especially when it comes to guns," the Chicago Democrat told reporters after speaking at a church on the city's West Side. "It's time to end the violence."
 Definition of "Insanity":   Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.

Open Letter to Illinois governer Pat Quinn:
Dear Governor Pat,
one of the greatest cities in America, the most free nation in the history of the world, has one of the most pitiable histories of firearms violence .. and restrictions.

Yet in Chicago there are some of the most extreme restrictions to firearms restrictions in the country.  You and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have supported bans on firearms ownership, carry, and usage.  You are, I hope, aware that there are only two legal gunshops in the near vicinity of the Chicago metropolis?

You blame the constantly expanding ownership of guns on imports from other states.  You pass more laws restricting ownership for the purpose of .. what?  Keeping them out of the hands of criminals?

The recent spate of shootings in Chicago underlines the success of your programs, and you response is to impose even more laws.   It ain't working.

Pat, you are a well-beloved and dear, personal friend.  You and Rahm and I have spent many pleasant evenings over drinks in the comfort of the private "Chicago Club" chatting about this problem.  I have often suggested that you reconsider your policy of imposing restrictions on ownership of firearms by honest citizens, and you seem deaf to my friendly suggestions that ... it's not working, pal!

May I once again suggest that the problem is not that the laws aren't well-intended.  The problem is that the people who are causing all the problems aren't the people who obey the laws.  The problem is that you have a bunch of drugged-up gang-bangers who see no reason why they shouldn't just go out and blast away at will.

Doesn't it seem reasonable to experiment with allowing your honest citizens to arm themselves in self-defense?

What do you have to lose?

The common objection to "Concealed Carry" is that "... there will be slaughter in the streets!"

Well .. what do you have now?

You and Rahm both know that otherwise-honest people have guns, even though you haven't allowed them to do so legally.   But most people there are honest and law-abiding; they're reluctant to break the law, because of the risk that they will be imprisoned for their attempts to depend hearth, home and family.  They're just struggling to do the best they can, without any help from you or Rahm.  And you're fighting tooth and nail against federal changes to this arbitrary restriction:

Quinn, who has advocated for a statewide assault weapons ban, spent much of the holiday weekend discussing the violence. He drastically altered a concealed carry bill that lawmakers sent to him, calling it a matter of safety.
Illinois lawmakers have to come up with a law by Tuesday and are expected to override Quinn's changes, which call for a one-gun limit on the number of weapons a person can carry and a ban on guns at establishments with liquor licenses, among other things.

Pat, an 'assault weapon' is any gun that you deem it to be; you deem every weapon an 'assault weapon'; and as long as you restrict access to all firearms, your citizenry .. your constituency .. is being slaughtered in the streets.  Pretty soon, you'll only get votes from gangsters.  Pretty soon, the only people left in Chicago will be gangsters.

It occurs to me that you and Rahm .. and his predecessors, and your predecessors .. have been trying for decades to resolve this "Gun Violence" issue by putting more laws on the books.  It should be as obvious to you as it is to your constituents and to outside observers that Gun Control just ain't working for you.  Or for them.


Because the gang-bangers and the crazies have no fear of reprisal  Sure, once in a while your cops ("Chicago's Finest!") arrest someone for a shoot-em-up-in-the-streets.  He becomes a hero to his brothers, and the beat goes on.  Nothing changes, and more people die because they can't defend themselves or their families.  These honest people already know they can't depend on YOU to defend them.  The nation is amazed that there are still a few targets left in Chicago for your hoods to hunt down and slaughter.  God knows YOU aren't establishing any effective measures to stop the slaughter.

If you let people defend themselves, maybe some of these hoodlums will get shot down.  It's an accepted significant statistic that 10% of the people cause 90% of the problems.  If enough of those bad guys die while killing innocents, it won't be long before you see a decrease of gun violence.  And the headlines will soon be running less headlines about  "Firearms Violence" and more about "City Remains Peaceful During Fourth Of July Week"!

They'll hail you for your imaginative leadership, and you'll get re-elected.

What's that you say?  You expect to get re-elected anyway?

I'm sorry you feel that way, Pat.  I can only offer two words of advice to a man who won't look at a situation and be willing to try another approach.


Yes, you and your buddy Rahm, too.

Thank GOD I don't live in Chicago!