Selective Pandemic Cautions/ None for Epidemic Cautions/ Both Evils are Real/ But NOT for Voters or Violence Victims/ The Governor of Illinois even Offered the National Guard For One?
today at 1:38 pm
A few days ago John Kass of the Tribune asked a curious question about election day in Illinois. With all of these closings and the restrictions of no gatherings of 100 or more folks, why on 17 March are the elections in Illinois still taking place? If you’ve ever been to a Chicago polling place (and I have been to dozens working as a Chicago cop) they sometimes are held in cramped basements, storefronts, and schools where scores of people wait in line, use pencils, pens, and touch machines to cast votes. Kass has the answer, because, well, its politics you know. The lower the turnout the better it is for the selected Democratic favorites. Folks who need the machine candidates for such things as jobs, union salaries, and favorable contracts, (you know! the great hidden Machine) WILL make it to the polls come hell or high water. Those Machine regulars that keep the 89-year tradition of Democratic rule going in Chicago and Pritzker is a member of that Tribe.
Being a Chicago cop for 33 years, I can honestly say, I’m not surprised by second guessers, neither am I sensitive to them. A cop’s life is sometimes challenged to make a split-second life decision that sometimes is scrutinized for years. There are so many agencies and keyboard experts that bubble up after the fact, to list them would take up this entire post. Starting with the press and ending with all the experts on social media it’s a favorite past time for thousands of critics who are weighing in, even before the facts are completely known, most times relying upon a snippet from a video from an I phone cinematographer. So I have put some thought into my curiosity without second-guessing a governor no less.
I agree the Coronavirus is a dangerous killer and steps had to be taken to save lives. Even if we look back on all the precautions in the future and realize maybe we overreacted to the threat. The Marine Corps teaches that all threats have to be eliminated, to not do so is dangerous and can lead to dire consequences, so the hell with people being inconvenienced. Bars, restaurants, and most gathering places, including all schools in Illinois, and hundreds of more places of close encounters are shut down until further notice, on orders from the Governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker, non-affectionately called “Toilets” by his critics for being a billionaire and removing toilets from a property he owned in order to beat paying $300,000 in property taxes, an issue still possibly under scrutiny by the U.S Attorneys office. I insert that because to some people it goes right to character, something Illinois has had trouble with in selecting governors. See Blago, Ryan, Kerner, and Walker all did time in prison.
For the last 6 days, the governor probably has become a bigger star than President Trump. Every newscast and newspaper breathlessly await his every word on the latest edict, whether it be the closing of schools, institutions, bars, and restaurants or a scorecard of every new Coronavirus case that pops up in Illinois. Now all of this Pritzker protection takes a wee bit of a turn. As Kass has reported a week before the election, the Cook County Board of Elections made a plea to the Governors Office to postpone the election because of obvious concerns of safety for election workers, and voters alike. Election Judges were dropping out because of virus fears and several locations had to be changed at the last minute. Of course, the answer from the Governor was full speed ahead, the election will not be called off. Now here is where my antenna started to buzz around my head. They offered the assistance of the NATIONAL GUARD to help cope with any problems that might arise.
I have no problem with the safety measures in place. The virus is a killer and unless measures are taken, if past history means anything pandemics and epidemics kill massive amounts of people. The Asian Flu in 1957 killed 70,000 Americans; the Hong Kong Flu in 1968-69 killed 33,000; and of course, the Spanish Flu killed at least 50 million worldwide. Governor Pritzker has been in office for 14 months and take my word this is not his first epidemic. Chicago and Cook County have been dealing with another epidemic that just keeps rolling along, THE VIOLENCE EPIDEMIC. I will give you the numbers and you decide for yourself. In the last 6 1/2 years over 3,700 souls have been murdered in Chicago and well over 20,000 have been shot. Maybe not pandemic but surely an epidemic. At least from my standards.
As you can see in the above photo it’s continuing virtually unabated and skyrocketing upwards. That headline drew no gubernatorial press conferences or mayoral press conferences for that matter. In fact Mayor Lightfoot seemed so shocked by it she asked the University of Chicago Crime lab if they had an answer. Now their answer holds a curious thought in our minds, I say ours because even the lowest beat cop knew the answer to all the “VIOLENT CRIME IS DOWN” crap the politicians were selling last year.
It was the WEATHER stupid. 2019 was the year of the POLAR VORTEX that lasted through March and April which is prime gang killing season. In fact, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his hand-picked Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy always maintained that weather had nothing to do with crime. That is until it did and then the spin started. When McCarthy pushed this theme you can bet any credibility he did have slipped into the abyss. However, it seems that they had to hear it from high academia (University of Chicago) Violent crime was down in 2019 and skyrocketed in 2020 because of weather conditions. All that blather about scientific methods and better cop strategies was all bullshit.
Yea! respect the Pandemic, do everything possible to keep people from harm’s way, but my question is why are we not treating the epidemic of gang killings and wounding our youth with a sense of emergency. So far Illinois has had one death from the Coronavirus and 160 souls infected a number sure to grow rapidly as we move along. In 2 1/2 months, Chicago has had over 95 people murdered,a startling 43% increase from 2019 and over 450 people wounded. Anybody who buys into that crime is down dance is having a heaping gulp of cool-aid. Governor Pritzker are you noticing or am I missing something? Chicago’s cops have no less than 14 oversight watchdogs, including the press and 1,000s social media experts. Chicago’s gangs who are involved in thousands of shootings and killings have NONE. Chicago even lacks a stand-alone Gang Crimes Investigative Unit. WHY? Because it’s curious.