Monday's HOT MIC
Here's some good news today:
The number of murders in Chicago this year is on track to top last year's carnage. The grim total for 2016 was 792 murders and more than 3500 wounded.
This past weekend, 6 Chicagoans lost their lives and 35 were wounded during a hot and humid summer weekend. Much of the violence was reported in city parks, where inner city residents gather on sultry nights.
There have been at least 391 homicides this year, four more than last year when violence reached levels not seen in two decades, according to data kept by the Tribune.
The number of people shot, however, is down from last year: 2,112 compared to 2,337.
The first homicide of the weekend occurred Friday night when 23-year-old Brendon Frazier was killed in the 8800 block of South Eggleston Avenue, the South Side block where he lived.
Early Monday, an ambulance responded to the same block to treat a man for a gunshot wound to his right ankle. He told police the shooting happened near the 400 block of East 87th Street. Neighbors said the ambulance arrived at the same home where Frazier lived.
Between Saturday and Sunday mornings, a 35-year-old man was killed in Humboldt Park on the West Side, and an 18-year-old was fatally shot in Marquette Park on the Southwest Side. In Avalon Park on the South Side, a 40-year-old man was killed and three others were wounded. The surviving victims gave officers different accounts of what happened, police said.
Random shootings on Chicago's expressways and tollways have everyone on edge. This year, there have been 30 such shootings across the area.
In New York City, murders and violent crime are way down. Other big cities are violent but not near as bad as Chicago.
Authorities are at a loss to explain it. Law enforcement will cite the fact that Chicago is a key hub in the illegal trafficking of drugs and there is fierce, often violent competition to move product.
But the bottom line is that Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut the police force drastically 4 years ago and it will take another couple of years for the department to recover its previous numbers. He also seems more concerned about the police shooting civilians than thugs killing citizens.
The politicians and civic leaders are all screaming for more gun control. Gun laws are already as draconian in Chicago as anywhere in the nation, but the first refuge of liberal scoundrels when talking about violence is going after the guns.
It won't help, of course. Which is why the city will remain a shooting gallery for the foreseeable future.
Understand Your Teen Will Likely Experiment at Some Point. Parents must be realistic and remember that despite their best efforts their teen will try colluding with Russia at a party, in their friend’s basement, or even in a hotel room after the prom. Your teen should understand that if he has been out late colluding with Russia he should never, under any circumstances, get in a car — especially a nondescript windowless van with diplomatic license plates. He should understand that you will come get him and give him a ride home no questions asked!
He seems nice.
Professor calls McCain a 'war criminal,' annoyed at well wishes after senator's brain cancer diagnosis.
You spend one weekend away from the news, and this is the kind of thing you'll miss.
KGTV reports that those who have criticized San Diego State University professor Jonathan Graubart for his comments include students enrolled at the college.
“I find myself annoyed at the groundswell of good wishes for John McCain after his diagnosis of glioblastoma and have been thinking through why," Graubart wrote on Facebook Friday, the same day McCain went public with the illness.
Graubart then made an analogy about elite lives and ordinary lives and circled back to McCain.
“McCain is a war criminal and, more to the point, someone who as a politician has championed horrifying actions and been lousy on state commitment to public health," the professor said. "So dying or not, he's a risible public figure (I have no idea what he is like on the personal level and don't care).”
Graubart concluded by saying, “But ultimately what troubles me is the urge to send such well wishes to an utter stranger as it reinforces the notion that some lives are more important than others. There are lots of people with glioblastoma and who have died from it (including my mother 20 years ago).”
You know, items like this one make it easy to believe that some people really are worth less than others.
Steve, the strange Romney/Kid Rock pairing in 2012 always felt really, really off. The kind of thing your campaign manager makes you do so you can seem relevant with "the youths."
Kid Rock/Trump is something I can at least wrap my brain around.
I'm sure this is nothing to worry about.
Stuff just got real.
Would you vote for Kid Rock?
This makes sense on a number of levels. Trumpianism—or whatever you want to call it—is not really Republicanism in the traditional sense, any more than the borderline fascists running the opposition party represent Democratic values. The divides in the GOP are deep and perhaps irreconcilable, so at least on a philosophical level, a party split seems like the logical next step. Let's just admit we have two parties and formalize it already. But, of course, it's not that simple. Conventional wisdom says that third parties doom the divided party to electoral failure. But that was before Trump. Would he have enough clout to carry Trump Party candidates in congressional races? Certainly some, but how many? And how many current Republicans would be willing to defect to a new party? The main obstacle to the success of any attempt to build a new Trumpian party is that there are no term limits. Republicans in safe seats like it that way. They're risk-averse creatures of Washington and jumping party would require a principled, calculated risk. And you can bet that every last one of them would have their eyes on 2020 and/or 2024 when Trump is out, wondering if/when the Trump bubble is going to pop.
I mean, really -- what's the problem?
Pursuant to my previous item below, the "resistance" to the laws of the United States by people who are sworn to uphold those very laws is reaching a tipping point:
The federal immigration boss’ threat to flood sanctuary cities with agents is being blasted by Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, who called the threatened surge a waste of resources — while Mayor Martin J. Walsh says he’ll “stand strong” with immigrants. Curtatone told the Herald his sanctuary city always cooperates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement when it comes to violent criminals.
Curtatone called for an “honest conversation” about immigration — including local police on what works in neighborhoods. “Terrorizing immigrants isn’t on that list,” Curtatone said. Walsh said in a statement, “I continue to stand strong with our immigrant community and make them feel welcome here in Boston.”
That supposes that enforcing immigration law -- one of the things that got the current president elected -- constitutes "terror." If to you it does, you might want to step down from the mayor's office, Mesrs. Curtatone and Walsh, because you're in the wrong line of work. And that's as honest as one Walsh can be to another.