Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chicago's Magnificent Mile Is Now Mugger Mile

Janet Tavakoli emails her latest report from the epicenter of broke local governments and out of control roaming gangs. I am not in sync with all her recommend solutions, but the facts she presents are alarming:
This year, all hell has broken loose in downtown Chicago. Years of under-hiring have resulted in a police force that is unprepared for wildings and gang violence. Moreover, concealed carry in Chicago is illegal, unless one follows the Constitution.

Tourists and residents have been attacked by mobs of youths on buses, on beaches, on bicycle paths, near the shops of the Magnificent Mile, and outside their homes. Mobs of shoplifters plagued "Mug Mile" stores...

It is still technically spring in Chicago, and wildings have made Chicago and its beaches unsafe. Poorer neighborhoods have long been war zones. The murder rate and gang violence in Chicago has been unacceptable for years...

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with less than a month in office, has called for the arrest of all the youths involved in last weekend's mob attack that included an attack on a shopper and on two middle-aged doctors -- in separate incidents -- visiting for an oncology convention. Yet there have been ongoing incidents of wildings that didn't make the front page of local papers as did this last attack on tourists...

 Mainstream media has finally started to report crime in the more fashionable parts of town, but only because it has spun out of control into anarchy. The most reliable source of crime-wave information has been Second City Cop, a blog started by a member of the Chicago police force.

Based on my conversations with friends and neighbors, citizens of Chicago feel lied-to by Acting Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. On Memorial Day, North Avenue beach, in one of Chicago's more affluent areas, was closed after gang violence. This is unprecedented. McCarthy repeatedly told the media it was due to people succumbing to the hot weather. Not true. Violence was out of control as beach-goers were harassed by mobs and cyclists were pulled off their bikes and beaten.

Mainstream media now contradicts McCarthy's feeble spin. One police officer told the media that 500 youths exited public transportation for the lakefront and while they were there, citizens were harassed.

CBS reported wilding incidents at this beach earlier in May, and police patrols had already been stepped-up. Two bike riders on the North Avenue Beach path had been mobbed by about 100 teens. They were knocked off their bikes and then thrown into Lake Michigan. Yet Near North District commander Kenneth Angarone said police responding at the scene did not find a "bona fide incident."

Mobs have swarmed local businesses, shoplifted and intimidated shoppers at high-end stores, attacked bus riders, attacked shoppers near Michigan Avenue, attacked tourists and more. Shortly after Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he would round up perpetrators of last week's mob attack, NBC reported that a mob of 15 to 20 youths beat and robbed two people in Chicago's downtown shopping area.

In response to the weekend violence, my network of friends emailed around news articles. Mary McCarthy, a friend of a friend, emailed local papers about a mob pulling people from cars and taxis right outside her upscale apartment building. When the police arrived 15 minutes later, the crowd had scattered. Here's an excerpt:

At about 11pm last Friday night, June 3rd, I heard shouting, screaming, horns blaring and tires screeching from my apartment...When I looked out my window to the street below I saw a crowd of about 20 young people...directly across the street from the entrance to my building. They were leaning on parked cars and clogging the street. They were screaming at people walking and driving by. I watched them stop vehicles, including taxi cabs, and pull people from the vehicles...It was a frightening scene and I was sure someone was going to be hurt.

The Sun-Times wrote of Mary McCarthy's report and Police Near North District commander Kenneth Angarone said that police responded but did not find a "bona fide incident.'' I believe Ms. McCarthy.

After being subjected to a national financial crime wave with no meaningful consequences for white collar criminals, the middle class, the core of many cities and communities, is being subjected to a physical crime wave...
Illinois and Chicago are ground zero for the consequences of our local and national fiscal folly. Pension funds are woefully underfunded. Last minute sweetheart deals to crony-connected retirees have contributed to the problem along with bad investment decisions...
The State of Illinois is behind on many of its bills. Chicago's city budget is in dire straits...Illinois state income taxes rose this year from 3 percent to 5 percent, a 66.7 percent increase. That is in addition to sales taxes, utility taxes, phone taxes, various automobile taxes.

Chicago is not alone. Cities throughout the country recently experienced wildings, and it will get worse for them as it did for Chicago. Illinois may have the most severe budget crisis in the country, but states like California, New York, New Jersey and more are troubled.
Bottom line: The country is being destroyed from within. As money grubbing politicians cut deals with cronies, including unions that lobby for minimum wage laws that make it near impossible for many, especially black youth, to find jobs, the youth are now unemployed and roaming. This is another reason Bernanke will keep pumping money. He will want to prop up these local governments, so that they can keep paying some semblance of a police force. But Bernanke's money printing will only create price inflation, make the gangs more desperate and bold, and on top of it screw anybody that will be down the line in getting newly printed Fed funny money.  The collapse has begun.


  1. Good thing I live in SC where I can carry a gun (with limitations of course). Chicago needs to figure out its neo-liberal leaders suck big time, and quick. And start ignoring their ridiculous gun laws.

  2. I think it is important to also point at that when the media talks about "gang violence" they're really talking about consequences of the nonsensical drug prohibitions where lucrative black markets become very attractive to the disaffected and unemployed.

  3. You are correct. It has begun.
    This is a must read book for everyone who lives in a major US city.
    buy it. read it. and survive a hostile city.

  4. It's easy for the gangs in Chicago.
    They know no one is armed.
    If the citizens were armed the gang member might think twice about getting his head blown off.

  5. Seems clear enough that no one posting above me actually lives in Chicago. Blast away, rednecks.

  6. Do you call me a redneck because I believe in my constitutional right to possess a firearm? By the way, I lived in Chicago for over ten years and finally moved out a year ago.

  7. "Seems clear enough that no one posting above me actually lives in Chicago. Blast away, rednecks."

    Doesn't know what he's talking about. Even safe places in Chicago have crime rising. It would take another Bernie Goetz to end this.

  8. I agree with the gun carriers, and I was born in Evanston and lived in Chicago or less than 1/4 mile from it, for 20 years. My family had been there since the 1870s and we have all left, never to return. When we were kids we used to use the El to get to the Museum of Science and Industry and home again near Fullerton and California.

    Who instigated these flash mobs?

  9. I support gun ban but I also think liberals are too soft on the criminals. I believe all gang members deserve execution. Criminals don't deserve rights and dignity. They did it to themselves. I firmly believe mercy to the criminals is cruelty to the victims and other law abiding citizens. Those who treat the good people cruelly deserve cruelty. In China there's way less street crimes in the cities, because they have very harsh laws. Murder in there is almost an absolute death sentence. Drug trafficking is another thing that usually results in death penalty. If we make sure those criminals get shot by the firing squad, we won't have so many people get shot by those criminals.

  10. I have retired, rented out my condo just off the Mag Mile, and moved out of the US. I can't sell it. When I bought it and moved in only a few years ago, I couldn't get over how beautiful and safe the area was. I don't know what will happen now, but I hope I can sell it in a couple of years and I don't want to ever go there again.