And the answer is?
To the continuing carnage in Chicago and the never-ending issue that it’s the cops’ fault because there is no trust in the community. That, however, seems to be just a talking point of the race baiters, cop haters, and the news media that really don’t like you, either.
Actually you can add the prosecutors to that list. Nothing I have seen from them can change my jaded mind.
It’s not just a Chicago problem, although everything is obviously exacerbated in this city. Yes, there are a few bad cops in our profession (as in any profession). Policing is a microcosm of society but to continue to blame police for the never-ending violence is ridiculous.
And police involved in violent confrontations would be minimized if people comply, don’t carry or use unlicensed weapons, don’t commit crimes, or run.
Running, just like with bears and mountain lions, can capture the interest of any cop on the street. You are trained to pursue and that you should do, despite the activists and press now suggesting that you allow people to run away. Fat chance.
I think most people who are honest are not buying into racist police, white privilege, or the temperature for the violence. Media types are just desperate and keep salivating over the same old talking points that “fake news” provides.
Yes, it’s poverty, degrading neighborhoods, lack of opportunity, and other ills of society. But that means it’s okay to shoot a 17-year old girl in the face, an 11-year old on a bike, or a 62-year old trying to sleep?
More cops, more prosecutions, higher bonds, jail time, and tough policing backed by politicians can go a long way to minimizing the carnage.
Blaming race, whiteness, or the heat is dumb. Local aldermen have recently suggested the fault of parents, and the need for watchful parents and the lack of religion as culprits in the violence.
There is no major economic plan says another. And others say drugs and blood money, not getting the education people need, and no hope since the government is giving up on them. More liberal dribble.
Really, it’s the government? I guess Ronald Reagan was right, eh?
Others, including JB Pritzker, blame Rauner. Hey, I don’t like Rauner, but I find it hard to believe he is at fault. This has been a problem long before Rauner became governor.
And then there is a “values” problem that causes an allocation of resources, like to Lollapalooza instead of to endangered communities.
So in my limited brain capacity and years giving wisdom to the cop world, I would say it all comes down to this. People are scared to come forward. Unless we make the arrests, the prosecutors make the bonds high and the judges keep the bad guys in jail, folks just won’t come forward.
Police can’t protect witnesses and can do nothing to secure their safety, short of putting someone in a witness protection program, which is not happening on a local level. Order of Protections are useless, too.
So unless you can keep these assholes in jail, nothing will change. They kill because they are assholes. That’s what assholes do, despite all hand wringing and meetings and opinions on the cause.
And unless the system will guarantee a witness’ safety, they will not come forward because they know the next bullet will be for them.
Vita é bella.
Before the column starts, I just want to say, as far as unions go:
Together we bargain Divided we beg
Here it is!
Yes, my annual “Shark Week” column has arrived. Feel lucky — it could be “Snake Week” if my favorite snake catchers Simon and Souixe of the television show Snake City had an annual event.
As you know, sharks are a lot like politicians. Sneaky, crafty, mean, without mercy, and just waiting in the murky waters to make you bleed. And just like sharks, politicians have a huge PR group with fundraising abilities.
Politicians always have the proper spin on why they lie, cheat, defer responsibilities, have lax moral turpitude, and why they always have their hands in your pockets.
Sharks have numerous spokespeople telling us cretins that they don’t hunt us, we are not on the menu, all while sharks bite and sometime consume people of all shapes and sizes throughout international waters.
Some shark experts, while feeding you with this bull will, speaking of bull, advise us that bull sharks are the most dangerous sharks in all of the world. They actually will chase you and eat you up just like your local property tax bill eats up your dollars, courtesy of your local politicians.
And fundraising? Here’s a sample of the Save the Sharks mantra every time a shark gobbles up some stupid surfer (nice alliteration, eh?). No offense meant to stupid surfers.
• Project Aware
• Shark Angels (I particularly like this one)
• Shark Savers
• Sea Shepard
• Predators in Peril
• Shark Friendly Marinas (Like gender friendly restrooms maybe?)
• Shark Research Institute
• White Shark Trust South Africa
• The I.C.U.N Shark Specialist Group
And there are many more. In a bit of politico connection, some shark charities have been flooded with donations after an interview with Stormy Daniels where it was alleged that President Trump told her he was terrified of sharks and hoped they would all die.
I’m assuming he will propose a wall to be constructed on both sides of the USA as well as the Gulf of Mexico to keep these fish that reportedly do injure some bathers out of sight and mind.
Politicians have enormous amounts of money from their fundraising benefactors, fueling the hatred of both political parties and their sycophants.
• The Koch Brothers
• Big Business
• Oil and Gas
• Labor Unions
• George Soros
• And the folks with no brains who give to these morons
So aside from the moronic “tweets” that Discovery Channel insists on killing me with, I enjoyed the week of chum, large sharks, science, and of course, “Bob the Shark” on the Shark after Dark show.
Until next year. Don’t be fooled — stay out of the water. And away from politicians. They do, as you can see, have much in common.
Vita é bella.
Why stay in the union?
I have been serving the law enforcement community for about 63 years. And yes, I’m older than that. Almost 25 ½ years as a cop and 38 years or so as a union guy.
During that time, I have seen police officers in all kinds of emotional states; happy, joyful, courageous, prideful, determined, funny, dedicated, and serving with honor.
I’ve also seen sadness, depression, PTSD, inconsolable, full of pain and sorrow, with a sense of discord for tomorrow. But through it all — the good, the bad, and the really, really ugly — there is utmost professionalism. The sense of duty and honor that makes them all strap on their duty gear is prevalent, despite a never-ending criticism by the public, press, and politicians, or what I call the three P’s.
Sometimes this discord comes from the inside, too. Self-centered and narcissist chiefs, brass, and mayors who would throw you under the train without a second thought when it suits them.
So we banded together and formed associations and unions to fight the dastardly deeds of Snidely Whiplash. (Just in case you don’t know Snidely, you do. He is the stereotypical villain to be found in cartoons and most police departments or village halls.)
And now after the Janus decision, administrations feel a sense of empowerment. They see a door open to rid the public sector, and especially cops, of the evil dirge of collective bargaining and unions. The billionaire republican sees a chance to destroy what so many of us have built up over the years to provide you with:
• A fair, bargained contract
• Life and health insurance
• Court pay
• Redress of your grievances
• And the most important — legal protection
Don’t be fooled. A few, but not many, cops are already looking to opt out to save union dues. But it’s the union who provides you with all of the above. Unions did that, not your benevolent father in the mayor’s office, or your step-dad in the chief’s chair. They will take care of their own. And you should take care of your own.
Opting out of a union to save a dime will cost you a buck in a few years. Yes, they will pretend to take care of you and encourage you into opting out to save some dues.
But you must see right through this. It will last only long enough to defeat you and then if you want increased wages, they will smile and snicker as they tell you it’s not in the budget.
You know, I’m retired now, but when I was a union thug (I’ve always loved that one) I have heard every bullshit argument from the dark side and I could miraculously see through the lies. I pray that you do, too, and do not fall for the evil doings of Snidely Whiplash.
Stay with your union, for your sake as well as your brothers and sisters in law enforcement.
Vita é bella.
It’s not unexpected
No, the recent ruling by SCOTUS on fair share dues was not unexpected. Labor, if they are honest, are not surprised. It was coming for a long time. Unions, like AFSCME, opened the door a long time ago by forcing fair share dues on employees who really did not need to be unionized. More on that in a moment.
Yes, I think individuals who do not want to pay dues but benefit from a bargained contract are selfish and think only of themselves. They are in all walks of life and since the rise of camera phones, there is a reason they call pictures of themselves “selfies.”
Forget the satire. But fair share folks have been around a long time, this is nothing new. The Republicans just noticed in the last few years that this door was open — and they walked in. I saw the problem when I started MAP years ago. While MAP still has fair share members, there are not many. But over the years, we refined our union and some positions should not be unionized. Common sense.
But especially in law enforcement, cops, deputies, corrections and other units need not only wage and contract benefits, but legal defense. MAP initially started in legal defense and coalesced into collective bargaining in 1985 when it was legalized into Illinois law.
In today’s hatred of all forms of policing, with accusations of improper conduct coming in every shift, the need for legal defense is pre-eminent. Doing this job without it is just asking for trouble. And trouble will come if you are not protected.
Your chief, sheriff, mayor, and supervisors and fellow employees will not help you, or have the wherewithal to do so. Accordingly, in my vision for all of this to be successful, I provided affordable union dues and free legal defense for any on-the-job allegations of misconduct not deemed criminal in the price of union dues.
You’re a voluntary member, you receive free legal defense. You want to be fair share, you do not receive free legal defense. After a fair share member gets in trouble (and there are a few) they call and have seen the proverbial light. But they do not receive help for past misconduct allegations when they were fair share.
Also, MAP was not interested in taking $45 a month, or $500 a year, from a home care employee. My philosophy is to let them go. They can bargain with themselves for themselves. There are some positions that just do not need to be forced to be unionized or pay dues. Know the differences. MAP is not greedy. Our pitch for members is based in sound financial and ethical principles — not to fatten our rolls or coffers.
Labor screwed up; it wasn’t unexpected. However, unions will live and live long enough to laugh in the face of SCOTUS and Republicans.
Don’t be without the voice of a union or legal defense. Be smart about it.
Vita e bella
Make the bad man go away
One legislator, Rep. Skillicorn (R-IL) recently discussed what lawmakers dropped the ball on this past session. Can you guess? Come on now — think. Yes! Bingo! He says the legislation has failed to address and tackle pension reform.
The pension is underfunded!
Oh my — here we go again as another Republican wades into the muck of pension reform. They are the number 1 issue that drives up costs and drives down services he exclaims. He worries that the $130,000,000 pension debt will drive millennials out of state. Really? This is a new one. Maybe we should just let them go, huh? But they won’t leave unless mom and dad do, if you think about it.
So now we are up to $130,000,000, soon to be $200 billion, then $300 billion, and not far off, we will mirror the national debt of $25,000,000,000 (that’s trillion).
Y’all worried about that? What if we all leave the USA over that? Go to Haiti, maybe, or the Turks and Caicos where I bet no one knows what the debt is.
When you think of it, most of the national debt is what we owe ourselves. Can you say Treasury notes? Of course, I’m being somewhat fatuous, but does anyone really worry about a debt that is now impossible to eliminate? Except, of course, those white-haired guys on TV and Glenn Beck, who want you to buy gold. Another dead meat investment that rich folks try to con you into.
So my solution is to just think of pension debt as money we owe ourselves — the price of safety and security. Easier to swallow.
But lawmakers like Skillicorn want a constitutional amendment on the ballot asking the public if politicians should amend the Illinois Constitution. You know, the document the Illinois’s Supreme Court will not allow these lying liars to change or diminish as it pertains to our pensions.
We are safe for now, as all efforts to advance such a referendum have failed. None were advanced or even hit the debate stage.
Maybe I can suggest instead of millennials leaving, how about they do?
Vita é bella.
Can't have an opinion
News flash: A Decatur police detective commented to a local newspaper that some drug sniffing dogs would have to be euthanized if marijuana is legalized. He felt the animals would have to be put down because they can’t be retrained.
So it’s reported that the police chief, after seeing this comment, “was left scratching his head and apologizing.” Really? Apologizing for his detective’s opinion on a matter which could ultimately prove correct? Why does everyone feel the need to apologize for everything? What did the detective say that was so terrible?
The chief said the detective used a bad choice of words and wishes he didn’t say it. What was he supposed to say? That Lassie was going to see Rin Tin Tin in doggie heaven? Of course, after seeing his boss scratch his head and apologize, the detective could see he might have a problem.
An article in the Tribune reports that “experts” in the wake of the detective’s remark have dismissed the assertation of euthanasia for these drug dogs. I guess the article has significance as the story confronts the issue that the role of these dogs may change if the deadly weed actually is legalized.
Other experts say that it may be difficult and costly to retrain these dogs, but it can be accomplished by withholding rewards (treats, affection) so the doggie knows sniffing out some Columbian Gold will not yield a positive result.
But what I find interesting was one expert’s statement that there was no reason for any dogs to be euthanized because the plant that makes you fly would be legalized. That’s extreme, he says, and it’s almost like the officer was trying to coerce the people who are going to be voting on the proposed law.
Now I’m scratching my head on such a ridiculous comment. It’s obvious that you shouldn’t give an opinion that may be construed as anti-cannabis legislation, according to the experts. My, how the world has turned.
Vita é bella.