Wednesday, June 30, 2010

McDonald v. Chicago fallout

AP - Chicago Moves Quickly To Draft New Gun Ordinance

Found this via Newsalert. Expect there to be restrictions on number of handguns per city resident, on placing guns in lockboxes, trigger locks or even liability insurance. Expect there to be a challenge to the insurance component:
When the court's decision was announced Monday, gun rights supporters said they would challenge any attempt to require insurance, saying, for example, that if it costs too much money it would amount to discrimination of the city's poorer residents. On Tuesday, Georges said the city was still grappling with such a requirement and has not yet figured out how it would work in way that is not too expensive.
Clout City - City Council Doesn't Act on New Gun Ordinance Because There's No Ordinance To Act On

Again no big surprise, the Daley administration hasn't been very straightforward about their plans. A proposed ordinance is being considered on the city council today!

Clout City - Gun-Rights Meeting Is On After All—But Not at Tuley Park 

Found this out via a comment at The Sixth Ward. I guess Chicago State University is more willing to pay host to such a meeting than the Chicago Park District.


GML - Does Mayor Daley enable violence?
Do you think Mayor Daley is the violence enabler, committing or allowing genocide in Chicago by trying to keep guns out of the hands of law abiding, 2nd amendment protected citizens? Did he enable torture practices, when he was state's attorney? 
Followed by videos of his recent programs discussing this idea.

Sun-Times - City: One handgun per person 'sufficient' 

More about what the city has in mind for gun control also via Newsalert!

Radio Equalizer - Sharpton: My Listeners Overwhelmingly Support Court's Gun Rights Decision 

Via Instapundit.

Wall Street Journal - Is His Gun-Control Concurrence Justice Thomas’s Finest Hour?

Also via Instapundit!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Advice to Black Republicans

Zack Issacs' PR/Media blog takes a look at ways Black Republicans can appeal to the Black community. As we all know Blacks have often overwhelmingly voted Democratic for decades.
• UNDERSTAND THE MINORITY PLIGHT Minorities (read as people of color) deal with more poverty and discrimination than other groups. So, don't come to them saying it's their fault that they aren't successful. They want solutions, not causes for their problems. Understand why the Democrats have done a better job at reaching them and then counter act it.

• USE THE PUSH APPROACH Come to the minority community! Don't just beckon minorities to you. Create a dialogue about black politics, either using community panel discussions or direct mail, to present your ideals. The pull approach- getting minorities to come to you- is not working at all.

• STOP BEING CONTROVERSIAL, ON PURPOSE Watch your words. If you know that Black, Latino, and Native American folks love the President, then criticize his advisors and not him. That's what I do. When folks see the Sarah Palins and Bill O'Reillys and Michelle Malkins just talking for the sake of controversy, it makes matters worse.All of these are very valid points. If the GOP has a message to the Black community then they should tailor that message to that community.
I talk about my time debating on message boards overtime. Well one day I tried to get away from what I thought of as typical GOP/conservative orthodoxy towards minorities and was virtually shouted down. No one heard one thing I said.

One thing I said was that history wasn't bring Blacks to the Republican Party. It may well be true that Blacks when they started voting associated themselves with the GOP (who just so happened to be the party of Abraham Lincon and Emancipation), but what should bring blacks into the Republican fold today?

Even worse than that some derided my ideas on this issue as saying Republicans should offer more welfare programs for blacks. Great someone is misconstruing what I believe in and coming to a conclusion that really wasn't there.

To be sure there are issues that I hope could resonate for Blacks. Education is one thing that deserves a debate in the Black community. We should discuss the value of a public education and what we expect out of public education. We should also discuss whether or not blacks should have school choice and ways to take their children out of poorly performing schools.

That's not the only issue but a great start. Besides it wasn't that long ago when a Democratic state senator from Chicago's far south side decided to bring school vouchers to the floor of the Illinois General Assembly only to see it shot down. It may not be considered an issue that would bring him many fans that form the constituency of the Democrat Machine, but it something that deserves a fair hearing.

Capitol Fax: Slow down or risk a backlash

Looks like politicos in Illinois are already getting ready to bring concealed carry to Illinois. Rich Miller however says that Illinois isn't ready for that yet. Even in areas that are pro-gun concealed carry may have a tough acceptance.

If 2010 in Illinois is ripe for an expected Republican takeover, pushing or pulling hard for concealed carry may cost them a lot of elections. Even if no one is particularly excited about the opposition who are the incumbents!

To be sure I'm not entirely sold on concealed carry. While I do believe I should be able to have a gun at home, I'm not entirely certain that we should allow citizens to carry concealed in the city. Of course in some of those 40 states that offer concealed carry, they do allow permits for that which is something I would support.

BTW, I want to refer you to this article about how Democrats are coming to grips with the McDonald v. Chicago ruling via Instapundit:

“It removes guns as a political issue because everyone now agrees that the Second Amendment is an individual right, and everybody agrees that it’s subject to regulation,” said Lanae Erickson, deputy director of the culture program at centrist think tank Third Way.

A House Democratic aide agreed that the court’s decision removed a potentially combustible element from the mix.

“The Supreme Court ruled here that you have a fundamental right to own and bear arms, and that means at the national level it’s harder — whether it’s Republicans or whether it’s the [National Rifle Association] — to throw that claim out: If Democrats are in charge. they’re going to come get your guns,” said the aide. “It pretty much took that off the table.”

The likely removal — or at least neutralization — of the gun issue this fall is of no small matter in the battle for the House and Senate. The Democratic majorities in both chambers were built, in part, on victories in pro-gun states and districts that had until recently been difficult terrain for Democratic candidates as a result of the national party’s position on gun control.
Even an Illinois Democratic Congresswoman chimed in:
“The decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution is a major victory for Americans,” said Deborah Halvorson (D-Ill.), who represents a district that extends well beyond the Chicago metropolitan area and who is in a competitive race with Republican challenger Adam Kinzinger.
Depending on the situation it sounds like smart politics, although whoever is donating money to their campaigns well they may not like this development in the least.

More McDonald v. Chicago links

Second City Cop - McDonald Decision 

Posted the morning of the SCOTUS decision. And later yesterday evening was the recipient of an Instapundit link.
CHICAGO COP likes the McDonald decision, mocks Daley Administration.
Even posted that on The Sixth Ward's Facebook page as soon as I found it!

The Illinois Georgist - Guns, Drugs and Schools

Alright! Protect a citizen's right to self-defense, decriminalize narcotics, and school choice. This decision for them would open up other avenues for safer urban neighborhoods. An approach for "liberty-minded" politicos.

Tribune - Court took cheap shot at city's crime rate, Chicago officials contend

Found this link via Newsalert! Steve Bartin would just say that city officials aren't often used to criticism:
The ruling went on to state that if the petitioners are correct in asserting that law-abiding citizens feel their safety would be enhanced by having a handgun in their homes, then "the Second Amendment right protects the rights of minorities and other residents of high-crime areas whose needs are not being met by elected public officials.''

Chicago officials led by Mayor Richard Daley on Monday challenged the implication that the police were not providing enough protection for residents and that more guns in the hands of citizens would create a safer city.

"To suggest that Chicago's elected officials haven't done enough to protect our city residents shows that many of our highest-level officials don't understand that gun violence pervades America and not just Chicago," Daley said. "Across the country, cities are struggling with how to address the issue. Common sense tells you we need fewer guns on the streets, not more guns."
Garrard McClendon Live:  Colleen Lawson talks about gun ban

You know you can actually watch that interview here! Lawson is actually one of the other defendents in this Supreme Court case in addition to Otis McDonald an elderly man from Chicago's south side who is considered the lead defendant.
 
Chicago News Bench - Alert! Chicago City Council To Discuss Supreme Court Handgun Ruling

Very sharp writing as always:
It should be a good show. While you're there, notice that even as Mayor Daley speaks about the evil of guns, the City Hall chambers will be protected by people who have - you guessed it - guns. Daley's own bodyguards, positioned nearby, will be carrying guns. Aldermen are (were) excempted from the handgun ban, and so there's a good chance that a few of them will be packing heat, too.
That's right city alderman do have the priviledge of carrying heat. I know at least one however who claims that she doesn't carry.

Crimefiles: Why Daley Can’t Restrict Guns In Chicago Like In DC.
It’s been two years since the gun ban in the District of Columbia has been defeated. DC officials required training, testing, fingerprints, ballistic samples to obstruct would be gun owners. That crap will never work in Chicago. ... Chicago is very different since Chicago residents can buy guns from any dealer or private party in the State of Illinois and bring them into Chicago if they have a valid Illinois firearm owner’s identification card. The City of Chicago cannot prosecute you for a law they make after you bring the gun into the city or before they make their laws. They may make some reasonable requirements to allow you to register that gun but they have no control over how you obtain it.
I really would like to offer some thoughts, but offer some from before the gun bun was ruled upon by the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) and perhaps some after thoughts as well.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Today the US Supreme Court ruled in the case of McDonald v. Chicago

Instead of my opinion what I want to do is give you a series of links that I have run across on this issue. Perhaps at a later point I can talk more about this issue.

The Sixth Ward - Supreme Court extends gun rights in Chicago case

So basically here is not only a story from Chicago Breaking News about the SCOTUS ruling, but also an indication of how city Aldermen will vote. Not only a possible no vote from one alderman indicated on the blog (which is a neighborhood blog for Chicago's Sixth Ward district), but also some possible yes votes in favor of gun rights for Chicago residents.

Clout City - Mayor Daley Vows to Put New Gun Regulations in Place But Won't Say What They Are 

Well, this isn't a surprise a lot of articles in the lead up mentioned that Daley was considering a response to the expected ruling, but for some reason he's keeping his response close to his chest. That leads to the next link that came much earlier in the day.


Clout City - City Council to Consider New Gun Regulations Tuesday 

This shouldn't be a big surprise. The fight over gun control in Chicago will not end with this ruling, but this link is of note because this may indicate another possible yes vote in favor of individual guns rights in Chicago.

Backyard Conservative - Isaac Hayes Lauds Court Decision for Chicago

Republican Issac Hayes is running against Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in his bid for Illinois' 2nd Congressional District seat.

Chicagoist - Supreme Court reverses city handgun ban
According to SCOTUSblog, the case is now remanded back to the Seventh Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals which upheld the ban last year after ruling that the 2nd Amendment did not apply to state and municipal laws.
The Capitol Fax - This just in… SCOTUS rules against Chicago gun ban

A series of links and excerpts from various blogs and newspapers about this ruling and of course excerpts from press releases from those organizations for whom this ruling effects.

Here are some links provided by Instapundit

NY Times: Room for debate- What Bolstering Gun Rights Will Mean

The Instapundit himself made this comment there:
Most interesting to me about the Thomas opinion in McDonald is its frank recitation of the racist roots of gun control laws, which were intended to disarm blacks, especially after the Civil War and — in the case of New York’s Sullivan Law — sometimes recent immigrants as well. Justice Thomas relies heavily on Bob Cottrol and Ray Diamond’s pathbreaking article on this subject, which I highly recommend to interested readers.
The Faculty Lounge: McDonald v. Chicago as Paradox

To understand the paradox, think of the two arguments Chicago made to the Supreme Court.  First, Chicago argued that the Second Amendment is not incorporated via the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.  Five of the nine Supreme Court Justices agreed with Chicago on this point -- Justice Stevens in his lone dissent; Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor in Justice Breyer’s dissent; and Justice Thomas in his concurrence in the result.  To be fair, Justice Thomas had a different reason for agreeing with Chicago than the others, but he ultimately agreed that the Due Process Clause does not incorporate the Second Amendment.

Second, Chicago argued that the Second Amendment is not incorporated via the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause.  This argument was based on the 1873 Slaughter-House Cases, which seriously restricted the meaning of that clause.  Although that decision has been criticized from all quarters, the Court has stuck to it, including eight Justices today.  Those Justices relied on the Slaughter-House Cases, as well as the 1876 case of United States v. Cruikshank, which specifically said that the Second Amendment was not incorporated pursuant to the Privileges or Immunities Clause.  The four Justices in the plurality stated that they “decline[d] to disturb” Slaughter-House, and the four dissenters followed the case as well.  Only Justice Thomas argued for overturning Slaughter-House, saying that he “reject[s]” the case.  He had more damning words for Cruikshank, saying that it “is not a precedent entitled to any respect.”

Thus, Chicago won 5-4 on its Due Process Clause argument and won 8-1 on its Privileges or Immunities Clause argument.  Yet all the headlines are about a victory for gun rights.
Instapundit - Glenn Reynold's thoughts on the ruling in McDonald v. Chicago

Crain's Greg Hinz - 'Glorious day' for pro-gun forces—but is it really?

If there are more links of notes expect them tomorrow!

Sen. Rober Byrd dies

I was watching C-Span Washington Journal this morning and saw a flag at half-staff. I wondered what that meant because I don't know of any deaths of any public official. We all know or at least should know what a flag at half-staff means.

Anyway, Sen. Byrd was the longest serving US Senator ever and it seems he is referred to as KKK Byrd because of his previous history as a member of that racist organization. In the last decade he was even caught using the n-word referring to white-n*ggers.

Either way this is news worthy of note. Condolences to the Byrd family and we see that the US Senate seat held by him will remain Democratic until his full term is up by 2013. I'm sure for many there is hope that this seat will not only go Republican (due to the current political environment) and we will see a Republican President by then as well.

Read this post by The Swamp.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Remember Cory Maye?

Over two years ago I posted a video from Reason about him. He was a convicted murdered who claimed that the police who performed a raid on his home didn't announce themselves as police officers. As a matter of fact the person he murdered was a police officer who was raiding his home.

When you get a chance you should watch the video as there was a gamut of issues discussed. It was an issue of Cory's race and the difference of opinion between white and black on this case was stark. In addition at issue in the drug war.

Well today I see that the Mississippi Supreme Court is going to take up Cory's appeal. Although according to this update by Reason, there isn't a lot of certainty to the outcome of this appeal. No one knows if he is going to be acquitted, remain in jail or even receive a new trial.

Via Instapundit!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stunning images as storm breaks over Chicago

From the UK Times online, Pictures of lightning strikes on Willis (Sears) and Trump Towers in Chicago from the storms of the past week. They have seriously battered our city. In fact in my backyard there's still a branch from a tree that I haven't removed yet. Either way the pics depicted there are breathtaking so you should take a look!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A definite case of environmental racism?

Rich Miller at the Capitol Fax goes at length to discuss a man from Kankakee who is under federal indictment for allegedly hiring people to strip asbestos from one of his buildings and then placing them in a field in another town called Hopkins Park. Miller goes on to discuss that Hopkins Park is a low-income and predominantly Black town which was ravaged by tornadoes earlier this month and Kankakee county officials failed to declare that town a disaster area. That forced Gov. Pat Quinn to unilaterlly declare Hopkins Park a disaster area. Unfortunately, this indictment wasn't huge news in Kankakee County as the main newspaper there only gave this story four paragraphs.

Check out Miller's take on this news and the treatment of Hopkins Park, Illinois.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mayor Daley: Violence Proves Chicago's Handgun Ban Is Needed

Yeah, a SCOUT ruling on Chicago's gun ban will be a long fight even if the justices knock it down as unconstitutional.
Mayor Richard M. Daley defended the Chicago's handgun ban Tuesday after a spate of shootings that left 10 people dead and dozens wounded, saying the violence bolsters the city's argument that the 1982 ordinance is needed.
Daley said the city must continue to fight against handguns even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the ban as unconstitutional. The court is expected to rule later this month.
"Look at all the guns that shot people this weekend. Where did they come from? That is the issue," Daley said at a South Side high school Tuesday.

Ten people have been killed and more than 60 others wounded by gunfire since Friday, city officials said. Daley said about 75 percent of the recent shootings involved people who knew each other.
Chicago officials have said that if the Supreme Court rules against the city, they would look for ways to change gun restrictions so they aren't unconstitutional. Chicago's ordinance that makes it illegal to possess or sell handguns in the city.
This AP article may well have found one supporter of continued gun control in Chicago:
Beatrice Sumlin, who raised her children on the city's South Side and said she knows lots of people whose children joined gangs, agreed with the mayor on the danger of family and friends hurting each other.

"People get in heated arguments, drinking and what have you," said Sumlin, 70.
A lot of people who discuss guns will just point to incidents where the people who were shot knew each other. People got drunk and started shooting. I still have to question if that's a good reason to not allow otherwise clear thinking people from purchasing a gun. But to be sure yeah, there are those who shouldn't be anywhere near a gun.

Via CapFax morning shorts!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Your second amendment rights matter

Well the title of this post was taken from a post over at Wolf Files. He linked to a Sun-Times article about the wave of gun violence over the past weekend:
Ten people were killed and at least 44 others were shot across the city Friday night into early Monday, including a baby girl who suffered a graze wound to the neck when gunfire erupted at a Near West Side barbecue.

The latest victims were found naked, shot to death and lying face down on railroad property near West 91st Street and South Holland Road on the South Side about 8:50 a.m Monday, according to a Calumet Area sergeant. Both were shot at some point Sunday night.

The victims, black males believed to be between 16 and 20, remained unidentified as of late Monday afternoon.
Then it goes on and on about other incidents around the city over the past weekend. I'll let you read the rest.

BTW, Wolf Files quotes Glenn Reynolds who also linked to that very story,
So how's that Chicago gun-control law working out?
I know people will be like WTF??? at that quote especially if there are many who believe that guns are the problem. People like Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington who advocates for the city to continue their efforts at gun control:
There are too many guns -- in the wrong hands.

If the city's gun ban goes down, Chicagoans will be able to keep guns in the home, presumably for self-protection. Those weapons can also be grabbed by angry young men like Valencia's alleged killer.

Women are at much higher risk of violence from male intimates than from strangers, and a gun in the home heightens the risk that a woman will be killed, according to a 2003 study in the American Journal of Public Health.

A 1998 study published by the Journal of Trauma found that guns in the home were four times more likely to be used in accidents than to injure or kill in self-defense. Guns were seven times as likely to be used in criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 times more likely to lead to attempted or completed suicides.

In Illinois, firearm-related suicides jumped from 372 in 2006 to 423 incidents in 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This cannot be the end of gun control. The Daley administration must go into overdrive and find new strategies to tighten city laws regulating gun access.
Finally I posted about this Clout City post over at my other blog, The Sixth Ward.
City officials continue to show no interest in examining the effectiveness of gun restrictions, their leading strategy in fighting violence.
The latest example came Friday morning, when the City Council’s police and fire committee held a rally for the city’s handgun ban—and Mayor Daley’s still-unfolding plans for curtailing access to firearms in the likely event that the ban is overturned by the Supreme Court.

Of course, that wasn’t the stated purpose of the event in council chambers. Officially the committee met for a hastily called “hearing to discuss violence and fire arm registration regulation.”

But from its opening moments, the hearing became a platform for city officials, gun control advocates, and community activists to argue that the city needs to continue to find ways to keep Chicagoans from legally acquiring guns. In nearly two hours of testimony, not one witness raised questions about the utility of the gun ban or other gun restrictions, nor did anyone discuss other potential causes of violence—even though Chicago averages several shootings a day even with the ban in place.

Police committee chairman Anthony Beale, alderman of the Ninth Ward, said there was no need to hear from opponents of the ban, or even skeptics. “I think anybody who’s fighting common-sense gun legislation will be considered the bad guy,” he said. “We’re trying to make our streets safer.”
Looks like in Chicago, the effort will continue to be at gun control with no interest in re-examining the ban on handguns for law-abiding citizens.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Agony of the Liberals

Looks like this writer at the New York Times isn't very happy with President Obama.
From MSNBC to “The Daily Show,” from The Huffington Post to the halls of Congress, movement liberals have had just about enough of Barack Obama.

The catalyst was last week’s lackluster Oval Office address, but the real complaints run deeper. Many liberals look at this White House and see a presidency adrift — unable to respond effectively to the crisis in the gulf, incapable of rallying the country to great tasks like the quest for clean energy, and unwilling to do what it takes to jump-start the economy.

American liberalism has always had a reputation for fractiousness and frantic self-critique. But even by those standards, the current bout of anguish over the Obama presidency seems bizarrely disproportionate.

This is the same Barack Obama, after all, who shepherded universal health care, the dream of liberals since the days of Harry Truman (if not Thomas Paine), through several near-death experiences and finally into law. It’s the same Obama who staked the fate of the American economy on a $787 billion exercise in Keynesian pump-priming. It’s the same Obama who has done more to advance liberal priorities than any president since Lyndon Johnson.

Yet many on the left are talking as if he’s no better for liberalism than Bill Clinton circa 1996 — another compromiser, another triangulator and another disappointment.

At work in this liberal panic are two intellectual vices, and one legitimate fear. The first vice is the worship of presidential power: the belief that any problem, any crisis, can be swiftly solved by a strong government, and particularly a strong executive. A gushing oil well, a recalcitrant Congress, a public that’s grown weary of grand ambitions — all of these challenges could be mastered, Obama’s leftward critics seem to imagine, if only he were bolder or angrier, or maybe just more determined.
Well if you believe the NY Times in general has a leftist slant I want to refer you to this column from Hugh Hewitt:
There is a vast, coast-to-coast recognition of "oiiohh" -- Obama is in over his head. I have offered the T-shirt to my radio audience, and they are moving quite briskly. The "messiah" has become a punch line.

What could he do to turn it around, I asked John Podhoretz, editor of the newly energized and sparkling Commentary magazine. "Things his ideology will never allow him to do," John replied, and we went on to talk about extending the Bush tax cuts and standing resolutely beside Israel in the face of serial provocations.

There are other steps, and the House and Senate could actually try to control spending rather than hold useless show trials of already convicted BP execs. Voters from coast to coast know the issue is the stalemated recovery and the exploding spending that is doing nothing to turn on the jobs machine.

If the GOP runs on extending the existing tax rates five years while bringing a massive ax to the federal budget, they will sweep all before them. "Enough!" is the one-word bumper sticker showing up across the country and uniting every candidate from the center to the libertarian right.
The first column is via RealClearPolitics and the second is via Instapundit! Graphic via HughHewitt.com.

BTW, some would say that they have seen this coming since before he was elected close to two years ago. Some could tie this in to his lack of executive experience. It will be said that other than his winning campaign in 2008, he had never managed anything.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Juneteenth

I really wanted to do a post about this yesterday, but I didn't even thing about it until I saw this post at Instapundit. Really that post is merely a link to a Wiki article about Juneteenth.

This holiday is normally celebrate on June 19th and it's significance is that in the state of Texas on that date in 1865 the Emancipation Proclamation was read to slaves there. Texas according to Wikipedia had largely resisted this document which was already in force since January 1, 1863.

Essentially this is a celebration regarding the ending of Slavery in the United States. It is however largely celebrated by blacks. For the most part however I know nothing about it or it's significances.

As a matter of fact many years ago there was a festival in my neighborhood park. There were like a little carnival in addition to some BBQ or what not. It was a lot of activity and that was a long time ago. So far there have been know observances that I know about in Chicago.

It's an obscure observance perhaps we should celebrate the end of slavery or Black culture. At that who says we need to only observe that during Black History Month. And of course on this day we can celebrate other aspects of the Black experience in this nation.

Perhaps next year we can have more to say about Juneteenth than it was a post on another blog that is merely a link to a wiki article. ;)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gun ruling may trigger new legal fights

Well it should be apparent right now that if the Supreme Court of the US does rule against the City of Chicago's gun ban ordinances, the city itself may not want to concede defeat just yet. Almost like how Washington, DC in light of the SCOTUS ruling last year did attempt to play around with some ideas to maintain some gun control.
As Chicago awaits a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month that could overturn its 28-year-old handgun ban, City Hall is considering a host of countermeasures that might set off another round of legal fights with gun advocates.

In an interview with the Tribune, Mayor Richard Daley acknowledged an uphill battle against the gun industry, which he described as the most powerful lobby in the United States. Even so, he vowed that in the event residents are allowed to have handguns at home, the city would take steps to ensure that officials can account for the weapons.

The mayor said his primary goal would be to protect police officers, paramedics and emergency workers from being shot when responding to an incident at a home. He said he also wants to save taxpayers from the financial cost of lawsuits if police shoot someone in the house because the officer felt threatened.

"If the ban is overturned, we will see a lot of common-sense approaches in the city aimed at protecting first responders," Daley said. "We have to have some type of registry. If a first responder goes to an apartment, they need to know if that individual has a gun."
I first got wind of this article via Publius Forum who cut up the reasons why Daley wants to protect his first responders from the implications of the ruling against Chicago's gun ban:
And I like how Daley's argument against the Constitution has morphed over the last few years. Initially he was claiming to be the protector of the City's children by banning firearms in his realm. He was going to save lives in a city constantly on the list of the highest murder rates in the nation (and that quite despite his decades-old gun banning efforts). But now that this spin was defeated all of a sudden Daly is now all worried about his "emergency workers" safety.
Let's continue from the Tribune article:
Chicago already requires registration of rifles and shotguns, which are legal in the city, and those regulations could easily be applied to handguns, according to the city's corporation counsel, Mara Georges. The city also has the option of rewriting its current ordinance to include stronger, more controversial measures, such as databases that track a gun from the manufacturer to the gun shop to its current owner, and ballistic fingerprinting, which requires manufacturers to test-fire guns and keep a record of the unique ballistic markings left on bullets and shell casings.
...
Daley said he likes all aspects of the D.C. law and that Chicago could look there for ways to strengthen its licensing procedures. After its gun ban was overturned, the district adopted stringent requirements for prospective gun owners, including a four-hour class on firearm safety, at least an hour of firing training and passing an exam. The newly purchased gun also must undergo ballistics identification firing by police.

Next year, the district will require semi-automatic pistols to be micro-stamped, a controversial technique in which serial numbers are marked on cartridge cases that can be traced back to registered gun owners. California also has adopted a requirement for micro-stamping, a technology that was recently developed and is not yet in use. New York's legislature is considering a micro-stamping bill.
What I placed in bold makes a lot of sense to me. If we may have to live with the idea of owning guns as an individual right then perhaps we should be forced to be trained in firearm safety. Too bad that this is the spin of this situation:
Daley, who has made gun control a cornerstone of his administration, said he and other mayors struggle daily with the common philosophy that places too much value on guns and too little emphasis on the consequences of gun ownership.

"What has happened in this nation is we really believe that guns are better than the law to settle things," the mayor said. "We're not talking about hunters and gun collectors, but this whole idea that America should be governed more by guns than by the law. That really disturbs me."

The federal government, Daley said, has abdicated its responsibility of regulating interstate commerce in guns and placed that burden on local governments, without giving them leeway to make decisions based on situations in their own communities.

"It's their responsibility, not ours," Daley said. "Guns come here from other states, and we have to figure out how to respond to it."
He isn't the only one that feels that way. I above all do not want to place the gun above the individual. As a matter of fact I don't believe the gun is a substitute for settling dispute with the law. Also no one should argue that we need to have emphasis on the consequences of gun ownership.

The issue is for those who do understand the consequences or the responsibility of firearm ownership why should they be forced to abide by a ban because there are those who for whatever reason don't understand the consequences of gun ownership.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More signs of a bursting bubble in higher education

Glenn Reynolds on the grim pospects of law school students however what I'm excerpting is his thoughts on high education in general or I would apply it to higher education in general:
Just casualties of the recession? Or more signs of a bursting bubble? The only positive angle I can contribute is this: With a college degree now functioning, essentially, the way a high-school diploma used to, a law degree is the closest graduate equivalent to the traditional liberal-arts B.A. The biggest problem, though, is the staggering expense. Not all law schools are that expensive, but even state schools are pricey now, and for out-of-staters may cost as much as private schools. If I were looking at law school today I absolutely wouldn’t go into debt except for an absolute top school — like Yale, Stanford, Harvard. And even then I’d be wary. The debt is too enormous, and the prospects too uncertain — not only because of the economy, but because of the uncertain future even of big law firms.

Meanwhile, I have a structural solution: Make institutions of higher education partially liable when students are unable to pay student loans. A really strict system would make the school a co-signer, but making it even 5 or 10% liable for missed payments would really change the dynamic. Give schools some skin in the game. . . .
First point: What Reynolds describes is what I would describe how I might have pursued higher education. The more prestigious degree the better as I have today. Although if you describes the undergrad degree as functioning the way a high school diploma had in the past then I have one expensive high school diploma! If that's the case then I can understand why many would choose to go to a less-pricey state school.

Second point: I think I can agree with this. Is it in a school's best interest to allow students to take on a debt they may not be able to repay? I do think it's a students responsbility to know how much debt they can take on, however the school could be affect in other ways if a student can't repay the debt. Especially if such schools expect to recieve alumni donations at some point. Since I went to a pricey private college I have to deal with such a debt myself.

Another aspect to consider I suppose is maybe we may want to re-evaluate the expected outcome of an undergrad degree. What should it's value be today, should it be considered as functioning the same way as a high school diploma?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Call the police! Someone is opening a new business in Chicago!

A case of government inspectors overstepping their bounds when it comes to entrepreneurial and innovative ideas and businesses. If I had a lawyer on retainer and this was MY business I would sue the city for this!
When Flora Lazar—an IJ Clinic client who owns “Flora Confections”—and others applied for a license to run a food service business out of Kitchen Chicago, a rental kitchen, a city representative said he could not give more than one license to operate at one address.  Unwilling to believe that the city would outlaw their meticulously run businesses simply because they shared a mailing address, the kitchen owners and renters proceeded to make their meals.
   
No sooner had they started than all the businesses renting from the kitchen got letters from the city ordering them to stop operating immediately.  Flora contacted the city again seeking a license.  She was told she could not get one.  Speaking to a supervisor, she insisted that he accept her application.   Finally, after Flora’s alderman called the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and insisted that they review her application, the city sent health inspectors to Kitchen Chicago.
   
The health inspectors did not ask Flora how she prepared the pureed fresh fruit she bought from local farms and stored in the Kitchen Chicago freezer.  They did not ask her whether she operated after the cease-and-desist letter was issued—which she had not.  They did not ask her about her impeccable knowledge of food safety or her culinary training.  They instead opened her bags of fruit, dumped them in a trash can and poured bleach all over them.  Amazingly, a Chicago Tribune reporter was there at the time planning to write a story about how open the city has been to new culinary ideas, and she caught this outrage on video.  Flora got her license the day after the inspection.  Nonetheless, after losing her irreplaceable fruit, she had to pay a fine of $500.
   
When government assumes the power to destroy new businesses, inspectors can be frightening, destructive bullies.  Moreover, when the government codifies lots of rules describing what an acceptable business must look like, it stifles innovation.  Complex laws written to govern a traditional business model—a restaurant with a single operator in a particular space—often outlaw future innovations as an unintended consequence.  Government needs to give entrepreneurship space to grow and bear fruit, rather than poisoning it with senseless rules, red tape and bleach.

The incredulous video is below.
 

Consider me laissez-faire in my economic ideas, although I'm not all at opposed to sensible regulations. At the same time this is an idea a community commercial kitchen idea that should at least have a hearing. Unfortunately no one seemed very apt to let this establishment operate. At that destroying product without asking questions and for no documented reason. For all this woman had to go through to get a fair hearing, this craziness almost seems like a form of payback!

Via Newsalert!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

EU: 'Apocalyptic' vision as some states run out of money

Hey we're talking about Europe here. I would've thought Europe is in bad shape, but instead they're hobbling economic wise. But what's this talk about "apocalyptic vision"?
John Monks, former head of the TUC, said he had been ‘shocked’ by the severity of the warning from Mr Barroso, who is a former prime minister of Portugal.

Mr Monks, now head of the European TUC, said: ‘I had a discussion with Barroso last Friday about what can be done for Greece, Spain, Portugal and the rest and his message was blunt: “Look, if they do not carry out these austerity packages, these countries could virtually disappear in the way that we know them as democracies. They've got no choice, this is it.”

‘He's very, very worried. He shocked us with an apocalyptic vision of democracies in Europe collapsing because of the state of indebtedness.’

Greece, Spain and Portugal, which only became democracies in the 1970s, are all facing dire problems with their public finances. All three countries have a history of military coups.

Greece has been rocked by a series of national strikes and riots this year following the announcement of swingeing cuts to public spending designed to curb Britain’s deficit.

Spain and Portugal have also announced austerity measures in recent weeks amid growing signs that the international markets are increasingly worried they could default on their debts.
...
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who visited Madrid last week, said the situation in Spain should serve as a warning to Britain of the perils of failing to tackle the deficit quickly.

He said the collapse of confidence in Spain had seen interest rates soar, adding: ‘As the nation with the highest deficit in Europe in 2010, we simply cannot afford to let that happen to us too.’

Mr Barroso’s warning lays bare the concern at the highest level in Brussels that the economic crisis could lead to the collapse of not only the beleaguered euro, but the EU itself, along with a string of fragile democracies.
...
Mr Monks yesterday warned that the new austerity measures themselves could take the continent ‘back to the 1930s’.

In an interview with the Brussels-based magazine EU Observer he said: ‘This is extremely dangerous.
'This is 1931, we're heading back to the 1930s, with the Great Depression and we ended up with militarist dictatorship.

‘I'm not saying we're there yet, but it's potentially very serious, not just economically, but politically as well.’

Mr Monks said union barons across Europe were planning a co-ordinated ‘day of action’ against the cuts on 29 September, involving national strikes and protests.
...
Leaders are expected to thrash out a rescue package for Spain’s teetering economy. Spain is expected to ask for an initial guarantee of at least £100 billion, although this figure could rise sharply if the crisis deepens.

News of the behind-the-scenes scramble in Brussels spells bad news for the British economy as many of our major banks have loaned Spain vast sums of money in recent years.

Germany’s authoritative Frankfurter Allgemeine Newspaper reported that Spain is poised to ask for multi-billion pound credits.
...
The looming bankruptcy of Spain, one of the foremost economies in Europe, poses far more of a threat to European unity and the euro project than Greece. 

Greece contributes 2.5 percent of GDP to Europe, Spain nearly 12 percent.

Yesterday’s report quoted German government sources saying: ‘We will lead discussions this week in Brussels concerning the crisis. It has intensified to the point that the states do not want to wait until the EU summit on Thursday in Brussels.”’
I think I almost excerpted the whole article.

Perhaps there is a lesson here. The past repeats itself in spite of any optimistic designs that may have existed. Perhaps Europe isn't immune to the issues that affect other parts of this globe.

Via Instapundit!

Students take academic hit when a slaying is close to their home

Perhaps an answer for those who believe that students in urban schools don't perform as well as students in suburban or rural schools:
Neighborhood homicides can have a detrimental effect on Chicago schoolchildren's academic performance, whether they witness the violence or not, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using Chicago crime reports and the reading and vocabulary assessments of a sample of Chicago children, sociologist Patrick Sharkey of New York University found African-American children scored substantially lower on reading and vocabulary tests within a week of a homicide in their neighborhood.

The effect on performance was seen regardless of whether the children were physically harmed, were witnesses to the crime or had merely heard about the violence, the study reported.

"The impact of violence is not limited to those victimized or those who directly witness an act of violence but is felt by children across a community who live in close proximity to extreme violent events," Sharkey said.

The study did not examine what specifically caused children to get lower scores, but research on how children react to stress points to reduced concentration, inability to focus and sleep disturbances.
I'll be waiting for that study that does examine the specifics of what causes young school students to get lower scores on standardized exams. Obviously something is going on here it could be the violence in their neighborhoods or it could be some other factor. Someday we'll find out what that factor is.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Privatize Public Transit?

Robert Loerzel takes us through the history of public transportation in Chicago. Remember that prior to the 1947 creation of the CTA, public transportation was under private operation. One company operated the L, another operated the buses, and another still operated the streetcars. This story goes through all the political intrigue that you might expect out of Chicago, Illinois. :P

Via CapFax morning shorts!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is a college degree still worth it?

Higher education seems to be taking a beating the last couple of weeks or so. From LA Times:
After spending tens of thousands of dollars on higher education, often taking on huge debts along the way, many face a job market that doesn't seem to need them. Not only is the American economy producing few new jobs of any kind, but the ones that are being added are overwhelmingly on the lower end of the skill and pay scale.

In fact, government surveys indicate that the vast majority of job gains this year have gone to workers with only a high school education or less, casting some doubt on one of the nation's most deeply held convictions: that a college education is the ticket to the American Dream.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that seven of the 10 employment sectors that will see the largest gains over the next decade won't require much more than some on-the-job training. These include home healthcare aides, customer service representatives and food preparers and servers. Meanwhile, well-paying white-collar jobs such as computer programming have become vulnerable to outsourcing to foreign countries.

"People with bachelor's degrees will increasingly get not very highly satisfactory jobs," said W. Norton Grubb, a professor at UC Berkeley's School of Education. "In that sense, people are getting more schooling than jobs are available."

He noted that in 1970, 77% of workers with a bachelor's degree were employed in professional and managerial occupations. By 2000, that had fallen to 60%.

Of the nearly 1 million new jobs created since hiring turned up in January, about half have been temporary census jobs. Most of the rest are concentrated in such industries as retail, hospitality and temporary staffing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
...
Economists say it's understandable that the early stages of the recovery are benefiting less-educated workers. They were the hardest hit during the downturn; they're also cheaper and often easier for employers to bring on board than better-educated workers.

No one is arguing that higher education isn't beneficial. Even now, the unemployment rate for college graduates stands at 4.7% — less than half of the figure for workers with only a high school diploma.

Also, federal statistics for 2008 show that men 25 and older with a bachelor's degree pulled down a median salary of $65,800. That compares with a median of $39,010 for men in the same age group who had completed only high school. Earnings for women were broadly smaller, although the pay gap by education was similar in percentage terms to that of male workers.

"In my mind, the data is overwhelmingly clear: The B.A. is worthwhile," said Stephen Rose, a labor economist and research professor at Georgetown University.

What's not as clear as it used to be is whether pursuing higher education will continue to guarantee a substantially more affluent and secure life. Higher degrees today don't always bring higher earnings.

And there's good reason to believe that a bachelor's alone may not be enough to command rising premiums over a lesser education or to open doors to the kinds of jobs that college graduates have been accustomed to.

Increasingly, the job market has become polarized, with the fastest-growing occupations on either the low end or the high end, often for positions that require more education than a bachelor's degree.

Middle-skilled occupations such as sales, office and administration — positions perhaps most readily open to community college graduates — have shown little or no growth over the last decade, and they fell sharply during the recession, according to research by David Autor, an economics professor at MIT.

Meanwhile, record numbers of people are enrolling in colleges. Those in two-year colleges made up 43% of the 16.4 million enrolled in degree-granting institutions in the fall of 2008, the latest year for which numbers are available. Even so, Autor's research shows that inflation-adjusted wages of workers with less than a four-year college degree fell steeply between 1979 and 2007, particularly for men.
Via Newsalert who also cited a column by Glenn Reynolds who argued that the higher education bubble is about to burst:

It's a story of an industry that may sound familiar.

The buyers think what they're buying will appreciate in value, making them rich in the future. The product grows more and more elaborate, and more and more expensive, but the expense is offset by cheap credit provided by sellers eager to encourage buyers to buy.
Well I would look forward to re-evaluating the cost of a post-secondary education. Especially on the undergrad level. In addition to that we may well need to re-evalution what one is expected to recieve from a Bachelor's degree.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hawaii Five-0 is coming back, this fall!!!


I like to watch reruns of this classic show on Me-Too a local Chicago TV channel dedicated to classic shows. Me-Too is a companion channel to not only Me-TV but also Channel 26 WCIU.

Anyway new episodes of a rebooted series are to be seen next TV season on CBS. Here you will see a preview of  the new series. Changes have been made to many of the familiar characters. Some of them are of a different gender now. Other changes have the cast being seen as having more personality than in the original series.

While TV series remakes haven't always fared very well over the years this is one remake that I will look forward to seeing. Looking to this preview it looks very good!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites

I rarely follow international affairs, but this article caught my eye this evening:

Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.

In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran. To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.

“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”

Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one.

The four main targets for any raid on Iran would be the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, the gas storage development at Isfahan and the heavy-water reactor at Arak. Secondary targets include the lightwater reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete.
I got this link via Instapundit with the introduction, "HOPE".

I support any nation's right to self-defense, Israel included especially since the stakes are seemingly really high at this moment. I just found it odd that Saudi Arabia will be willing to say that if Israeli warplanes pass through Saudi airspace then the Saudis will pretend they see nothing. Perhaps this is a practical way of allowing Israel to handle Iran, and to settle some sensitivities on this particular issue in the Saudi Kingdom.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this issue?

Wrigley Field Fans Boo Beleaguered BP

Today when sports fans in Chicago have a great reason to celebrate there are a segment of sports fans who find something negative!
Chicago - Fans at Wrigley Field let out loud boos when the BP Crosstown Cup was presented Friday afternoon before the Chicago Cubs game against the White Sox.

BP, which is under fire for its handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, just became a sponsor of the traditional Crosstown Classic series between the Cubs and Sox.

Fans say when the cup came out before the game people started yelling and booing.

The cup goes to the winner of the crosstown series or the team that wins the final game if there's a split out of the six games played.

Both teams sent out press releases Friday saying they plan to stay with BP as the sponsor but promotions during the games have been scaled back.
You know I haven't exactly been following this disaster, but from what I do know my finger isn't only pointed at BP. My finger is pointed at our government! BP isn't the only one we should be booing!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Evanston Moves Forward With Baggy Pants Rule

Looks like Evanston, Illinois will come forward to ban baggy pants. I've blogged at least twice about other cities choosing to ban this fashion trend.
Wearers of saggy pants that dip too low could be in violation of city decency standards under an ordinance that moved forward in Evanston Monday night.

Members of Evanston's Human Services Committee voted in favor of a redefinition of public nudity.

Under the proposed ordinance, nudity would be defined as "the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic areas or buttocks, or female breasts with less than a full opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple."

Women breast feeding in public are exempt from the definition.

Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste proposed the ordinance in response to a trend among some youth wearing their pants too low.

Jean-Baptiste also expressed concerns about the long-term health effects of saggy pants on wearers as they walk and try to keep their pants hitched up.

The issue first came to the committee's attention in a police report.
I think I understand and may agree with what they're trying to do, however, I think there are much more important issues than regulating how a person dresses.

Chicago Black Hawks 2010 Stanley Cup Champions

This video below shows the Black Hawks being presented and then hoisted the trophy over their heads to celebrate in Philadelphia earlier tonight!

This next video shows the crazy goal that was the Stanley Cup clincher for the Hawks in sudden death overtime!


Initially there was no signal, but eventually it was ruled that a goal was scored and the puck was said to be stuck in the netting. I thought it crossed along the goal line through the crease. Then all the sudden I saw the Hawks removing their gear and celebrating on the ice.

I cannot believe the Stanley Cup is coming to Chicago!!! :)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Marathon Pundit: Anti-ShoreBank Tea Party

John Ruberry posted his report on the Tea Party at a ShoreBank branch across from City Hall today. You can even see a picture of his sign and his gangster style suit. :P

Interesting day today

I met the Marathon Pundit, John Ruberry today and a congressional candidate Joel Pollack who is running for Congress against Jan Schakowsky at the tail end of a tea party rally across the street from City Hall. I got wind of it from Ruberry's blog earlier this week.

The protest was about the government bailout of ShoreBank last month. If you want to know more about the position against ShoreBank here is a flyer for you to check out.
Click on scan for larger resolution!
Then I followed Ruberry and another friend of his, Paul Miller, to another rally near LaSalle and Monroe. This is a rally Alan & Kfir of Protest Warrior would've been happy to see.

Israel supporters shouting down the very vocal free Palestine Group. Not to say that I've heard it all from supporters of the Palestinians, I will said that the Israelies were definitely vocal calling for Hamas to Free Gaza, to stop terrorism and other slogans.

BTW, Ruberry during this time was largely running around getting pictures. For sure you got to move around to get the story. He even asked if I had my camera with me but was still running around at the moment.

I got a couple of pictures with my mobile phone but my regular camera well I made sure I brought it with me and this rally would've been perfect. It's just that I left without batteries. Anyway here are a couple photos I could fire off although due to storage issues I'm largely loathe to take many pictures on my mobile phone anyway. As soon as I get a Blackberry that issue will be rectified.
Only sign I managed to photograph of Israeli activists
Then I got this shot of the Palestinian crowd across the street
Anyway it was a few minutes of observing the scene and chants and for the first time the presence of the Chicago Police Swat Unit in green fatigues before I told Ruberry that I was heading out. Besides I wanted to go to the store so that I can enjoy tonight's Black Hawks game against the Philadelphia Flyers. It's not one to miss since this could be the game that the Hawks will clinch to win the Stanley Cup.

Gene Healy: Repeal the 17th Amendment?

Being a watcher of the Glenn Beck program on FOX News Channel, this issue was brought up either earlier this year or sometime last year during Obama's first year in office. This isn't entirely a new idea and this column isn't the first I've heard of it:
"Let the state legislatures appoint the Senate," Virginia's George Mason urged at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, lest a newly empowered federal government "swallow up the state legislatures." The motion carried unanimously after Mason's remarks.

So it's probably fitting that it's a George Mason University law professor, Todd Zywicki, who has done the best work on the 17th Amendment's pernicious effects.

Zywicki shows that selection by state legislatures was a key pillar of the Constitution's architecture, ensuring that the Senate would be a bulwark for decentralized government. It's "inconceivable," Zywicki writes, "that a Senator during the pre-17th Amendment era would vote for an 'unfunded federal mandate.' "

In the grade-school morality tale offered by Egan and others, noble Progressives pushed the amendment as an antidote to corruption. Yet Zywicki found "no indication that the shift to direct election did anything to eliminate or even reduce corruption in Senate elections."

Indeed, "the increased power of special interests was the purpose of the 17th Amendment," Zywicki writes. "It allowed them to lobby senators directly, cutting out the middleman of the state legislatures."

Maybe that's why corporations and urban political machines -- Progressives' supposed enemies -- supported the amendment.

Together with the 16th Amendment establishing an income tax, the 17th Amendment helped transform the states into little more than administrative units for the federal behemoth. The feds have the gold, and they increasingly make the rules -- in education, health care, and more.
...
Unfortunately, repealing the 17th Amendment would be almost impossible. Since Congress won't propose the repealing amendment, you would need two-thirds of the states to call for an amending convention -- something that has never happened.

And repeal might not change anything. By 1913, more than half of the states had already adopted mechanisms that effectively bound state legislators to the voters' choice, and it's hard to imagine their 21st century counterparts ignoring the people's will in senatorial selection. "Democracy is popular," Zywicki notes dryly.

Repealing the 17th is a noble but quixotic goal. However, by focusing on the damage that amendment did, the Tea Partiers have drawn much-needed attention toward the problems that plague us. And diagnosis, one hopes, is the first step toward an eventual cure.
OK, so it's unlikely that the 17th Amendment will be repealed. US Congress isn't eager to put such an amendment on the agenda and two-thirds of the states have NEVER called for an amending convention. We have a long way to go on this issue.

You know when Ousted governor was arrested in Dec. 2008 one of the charges against him was attempting to auction President Obama's old US Senate seat. The corruption this article refers to was someone was able to bribe a state legislature to get his Senate seat. Thus the change where a US Senator is directly elected by the people.

Back to Blagojevich (Ousted governor) well we see other changes to the Constitution. Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold has proposed an amendment where a vacating US Senater (at least before his term is up or due to death) must be elected in a special election. Personally I would support allowing the state legislature in making the appointment or the Governor can make the appointment upon the approval of the state legislature. Almost similar to how the President of the United States can only appoint people but with the confirmation of the US Senate.

You know that idea could go a long way to restoring the states to prominence in the Federal system even if it's a bit weak. For right now however "democracy" is still popular. Not to sound "anti-democracy", however, I want to note that we're a "republic" and this country isn't like Britain in so far that whoever wins the majority in Parliament rules. We need to define or at least redefine what exactly this country is and what role the sovereign states have and the role of the federal government.

Via Instapundit!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Clout City: Weis Struggles to explain how the gun ban is working

Mick Dumke discusses at a poorly attended presser hosted by J-Fed...errr Police Superintendent Jody Weis comments made or not made about Chicago's gun ban ordinance...
Top city officials still aren't saying exactly what they think Chicago's handgun ban is accomplishing. I'm wondering whether they can't—or just won't because sticking up for the ban gives them cover for their inability to cope with our city's persistent violence.
...
Nevertheless, the superintendent went on to highlight some of the department's other successes, including weapon seizures. From the beginning of 2010 through the end of May, Weis said, Chicago police had confiscated 3,513 weapons—an average of about 22 a day. Among them were 130 assault weapons, or about one a day. This is a good thing, Weis told us—the numbers are up from 2009. But he obviously couldn't explain how the gun ban was stopping the flow of arms into the city. When a reporter asked him about the ban, he resorted to the company line. "We're optimistic—we're hoping the Supreme Court will uphold the current ordinance," he said.

He went on to cite a disturbing recent murder as an example of why the ban is important—a woman shot to death Saturday in the Calumet Heights neighborhood after a dispute over a card game.

"People get upset, they get angry—if that gun wasn't in the house there's probably an excellent chance that woman would be alive today," Weis said. "It's a perfect example of the dangers of having a weapon inside of a home with folks who in my opinion do not have the emotional maturity and stability to have such a weapon inside the house."

The superintendent wasn't willing to weigh in on the case of the 80-year-old west-side man who shot and killed an armed intruder a couple of weeks ago. The man's wife has said he saved their lives. But by owning the gun he was breaking the law.

"We're still gathering the evidence on that," Weis said.
The company line which may well be the line of the Democratic machine or more likely Mayor Daley is to say that guns are bad. Also the case of a west-side couple whose lives were saved because one man chose to break the law and own a gun and at that shot an armed home intruder.

That's the funny part, I would say that story illustrates why people should own a gun at home. It may be the only justifiable reason to use the gun. Yet because of situations such as the aforementioned card game NO ONE can own a gun.

Monday, June 07, 2010

We're back!

Heh! Meant to post this a lot earlier! :P

I see that Blogger has finally resolved the issue that didn't allow me to post here from last night to this afternoon. I know for sure that John Ruberry had issues posting this morning. He largely had to mobile blog today.

I put up a number of posts over at Unconventional Wisdom which became sort of a back-up to this blog today. Hopefully you'll take a look at them. Some of those posts will be put up here in the near future. Thank you!

Oh yeah I also know that I put out more of an output there than I had here.

'Black flight' changing the makeup of Dallas schools

I've always thought about the idea of "black flight" where for whatever reason blacks will leave urban communities and would be replaced by whites. I'm talking gentrification somewhat because that does appear to be what happens in changing minority or low-income communities.

Still whats going on in Dallas' school system:
The movement mirrors, on a smaller scale, massive white flight from the district in the 1970s.

Black students formed a majority in Dallas schools through the 1980s and '90s. Over the last 10 years, though, the number of black children has fallen by nearly 20,000, or about a third. Meanwhile, Hispanic children have filled their seats as the district's overall enrollment remains fairly flat at about 157,000.

Today, about 41,000 black students attend DISD schools. They make up 26 percent of the district compared with 106,000 Hispanic children, or 68 percent. White students are 5 percent of the district.

The trend seen in Dallas schools is part of a larger national move away from inner cities for many black families, but the plunge is steeper in Dallas ISD than other urban districts in Texas and is among the biggest declines nationally.

Interviews with dozens of parents reveal that the exodus is not fueled by a single reason, but by myriad forces including issues of race, class, perceptions of problems within DISD, an explosion of charter schools and the quest for the American dream in the suburbs.

Adelfa Callejo, a Latina civil rights activist, said it's like history repeating itself.

"They're doing exactly what the whites are doing, abandoning the school district," Callejo said. "That will leave us with a lack of black leadership. You need leaders of all races to make it happen."
I can understand the quest for better schools. When it was time to send me to high school once upon a time safety trumped quality. It was of less concern to my parents to send me to a better school than to insure that I would still be safely tucked away in the neighborhood. Thus I didn't go to a good school during my teenaged years. W

ell I still don't have to worry about sending any kids to school since I don't yet have any. At the same time I want the best education for those children I plan to have. It's unlikely that I would ever move to insure that since there are those schools in the public school system where my children could have a quality education.

I think Ms. Callejo makes a valid point about a lack of diverse leadership. Everone has a hand in making a public school system viable. Especially in an urban area where we hear all too often how the system has failed our young people.

Via Instapundit!

Stanley Cup finals series Hawks lead 3-2

I've basically held off posting on this series for a while. Perhaps I was disappointed that the Black Hawks dropped two games in Philadelphia. Either way I was glad the Hawks came back to win 7-4 in game 5 at the United Center.

Here are highlights from the last two games in Philadelphia. Game 3 was a very good game, but the Hawks let game 4 get away from them.

Game 3


Game 4


Finally back in Chicago for Game 5

 

In the sidebar you might see the Black Hawks "Indian Head" obscured under the number 1. That denots the last game the Hawks will have to win in order to clinch the Stanley Cup. Game 6 will be played in Philadelphia on Wednesday starting at 8PM Eastern.

Well this hasn't been seen since the Hawks won the first two games of this Stanley Cup final series so here's the "win" flag for the Black Hawks.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Whites in California 'below the replacement' level

Some interesting facts from the SF Gate:

California's white population has declined since 2000 at an unprecedented rate, hastening the day when Hispanics will be the state's largest population group, according to newly released state figures.

There were half a million fewer whites in California in 2008 than in 2000, a period when the state's overall population grew by 4 million to 38.1 million, according to a study released Thursday by the state Department of Finance.

By 2008, whites made up 40 percent of Californians, down from 47 percent at the turn of the century. In 2000, Hispanics comprised 32 percent of the population; that number grew to 37 percent in 2008.

Analysts said the decline can be attributed to two main causes - a natural population decrease as Baby Boomers enter their later years and die at a faster rate than younger whites have children, and a migration from California since 2001 among whites who sought affordable housing as real estate costs soared.
...
The study also confirmed projections that a steadily growing Hispanic population will surpass whites as the state's largest racial demographic in 2016. Hispanics are expected to become a majority of all Californians in 2042, Heim said.

Most Bay Area counties reflected the state's shifting numbers - Alameda County, for example, dropped from 41 percent white to 36 percent - while showing spikes in Hispanic, Asian and multirace categories.

Yet, San Francisco's racial mix remained consistent. Forty-four percent of the city was white in 2008, 30 percent was Asian and 14 percent was Hispanic, just as it was in 2000. Only the city's African American population showed a slight decline, from 7 percent to 6 percent.
...
Hans Johnson, a demographer at the Public Policy Institute of California, said white women in recent decades have tended to pursue higher-education degrees and stay in the workplace, leading them to have fewer children. The white population is now "below the replacement" level, Johnson said. "They're simply not replacing themselves."

Johnson said migration into California was a national trend until the 1990s, when the number of out-of-state transplants began to decline.

Lower-paid California workers headed to cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Seattle, where they could make similar wages but pay less for housing.

"California is no longer attracting large numbers of people from other states," Johnson said. "And a lot of those who did come to California from other states were white, reflecting the ethnic composition of the country as a whole.
Some of these issues we have been hearing about for years. I'm not so much concerned about the racial or ethnic transformation as I am about the conditions that are causing people to either leave or not migrate to California. On top of that we know about the fiscal pressures facing that state as well!

Via Newsalert!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Scenes yesterday near the Federal Plaza

Not a lot of media there on Thursday afternoon after I left the downtown library, but I knew that this was the day when the Blagojevich trial started. The media trucks from ABC7, FOX 32, WGN, and even CNN were all parked along Plymouth Court between Jackson and Van Buren, right across the street from the Dirksen Federal Building.






 BTW, I posted this link in another posting, but I'll share it again today. Rich Miller rounds up the media coverage of the Blagojevich trial. He also has a round-up for jury selection in this trial. It seems like what Blagojevich doesn't want on his jury the judge will attempt to keep them on the jury.

Can't believe he may be up for almost 415 years behind bars!