I’ve been considering writing this article for a few weeks but hesitated because I felt some would believe I was just being melodramatic. Just this week I noticed a couple of prominent conservative news sites featured articles sharing the same exact concerns so I decided this was the proper article for me to write at this point in time.
There are so many factors that have led to my anxiety concerning violence and the upcoming election.
The political left has demonstrated an affinity for violence. The amount of violence they have perpetrated just the last year is staggering. In Portland Oregon alone ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter rioted for over 100 days. How many cities were burned by leftists over police involved shootings this year? We all have clear memories of leftists rioting on President Trumps Inauguration Day. What are the chances of leftists rioting if President wins? I believe they are high especially if it is a contested election.
I believe that there will be a tremendous amount of confusion over election results in many key states thanks to mail in voting. It is widely believed by us on the political right that mail in voting is a tool to steal the election from President Trump. There are far fewer safeguards when it comes to mail in voting and a tremendous amount of fraud has already proven to have taken place. There is a very chance that the Supreme Court will have to settle some state elections and the election will end up in the House of Representatives where President Trump should win. That would trigger a tsunami of violence from the left.
The news media has been trumpeting very loudly polls declaring that Joe Biden has a commanding lead over President Trump. I believe these polls are fraudulent and the media are pushing them on purpose to stir up the left even further after a surprise Trump victory. The author of this American Thinker article How Likely Is a Violent Transition of Power This Election?
Just as in 2016, nearly all political pundits predict a victory for the Democrat candidate. The vast majority of MSM downplay any polls showing Trump leading the race and overplay the ones for Biden. This bias toward the Democrat shapes the perception of the Democrat party (Republicans are mostly skeptical about those polls), setting false expectations for the Election Day results. The pure-evil-fascist-Trump simply cannot be allowed to reign another term. A wide array of the leftist groups is already coordinating efforts to ensure substantial public protests after the election to “defend the vote counting.” “If Trump tries to stop the counting of mail-in ballots after Election Day, or otherwise tries to short-circuit the results, the scale of protests would be that of “the BLM protests on steroids,” they warn.
How many times have the news media speculated that President Trump may not step down if he looses? This is an attempt to cast doubt on a contested President Trump victory and to further inflame the political left, resulting in more violence from the left.
I am worried that the level of violence from the political left will be far greater after a President Trump victory than we have seen so far. Hopefully governors and mayors take proper precautions. I fear a lot of Democrats in authority will not.
Just as I was getting ready to publish my article I came across this Federalist article which proves my fears are more than justified.
Riot and protest instigators plan to “make sure Trump leaves the White House” by any means necessary after the Nov. 3 election, according to website posts from the group Shut Down DC and their allies. “W]e’re making plans to be in the streets before the polls even close, ready to adapt and respond to whatever comes our way,” the group says on its website currently.
The headline is a reference to the Sly and the Family Stone album from 1971, There’s a Riot Goin’ On. He’s largely forgotten now–although some his songs remain recognizable to the masses–but Sly Stone was the Prince of his day, a crossover artist, that is, he was very popular among blacks and whites. His band, unusual for the time, was multi-racial. Just like Prince and the Revolution.
The album title was a sarcastic reference to the riot that broke out when the band couldn’t, or Sly Stone wouldn’t, show up for a performance at Grant Park in downtown Chicago the prior year. Stone had a reputation for blowing off gigs, which added to the excitement, as well as the tension, of a Sly concert. Will the superstar show up?
Well on July 27, 1970 tension prevailed when Sly and the band were a no-show. Store windows were smashed, police cars were set on fire, rocks and bottles were thrown at cops, and three people were shot in what the contemporary media called a riot. Because it was one. The Chicago Sun-Times front page headline from the next day read “Rock fans in riot, 90 injured, 148 held.” Looking back to my own youth in the Chicago area I can now understand why my parents were horrified when I expressed my interest in going to rock concerts later that decade. The subhead of that Sun-Times article read, “Battle starts in Grant Park, spills over into Loop.” A look at the media images available on Google of the riot confirms the diverse spectrum of Sly Stone’s fan base.
Fifty years and a month later there was a riot goin’ on sixty miles north of Grant Park in a small Wisconsin city that has been devoured by Chicago and Milwaukee suburban sprawl, Kenosha.
Except Wisconsin’s largest newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, didn’t call it a riot, instead is chose such tame words as “unrest” and “disturbance.” Readers of the Journal Sentinel complained which led the paper to publish an article that explained the apologist tone (my words) of last month’s coverage of the Kenosha riots that broke out after Jacob Blake, a black man with an open warrant for his arrest, was shot seven times by a police officer in what is clearly a tragedy.
As we’ve seen in cities around the country this summer, protest participants and the activities surrounding them often change throughout the day and night. Peaceful protests can happen all day long and then fires can be set or violence occurs late at night by people not associated with the protesters. Would it be fair or accurate to label all that happened that day a “riot” — especially in a headline summing things up? We don’t think so.
And there are historical racial overtones in the use of that word in America.
As Dorothy Tucker, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said on the PBS NewsHour in June, “There is concern that it is automatically labeled as a riot if it is African-Americans who are protesting, but it’s not labeled as a riot when you see the same kind of destruction after a concert or after a sporting event. So there are words that have that association.”
Of course the Journal Sentinel sent reporters down Interstate 41-94 to see Kenosha for themselves. There was vandalism, arson, and looting. In short, a riot. I visited Kenosha–after the riots were over–twice last week. My blog reports are here and here. Downtown every business was boarded up. So were the churches. Most horribly, an automobile dealership with about 100 cars in its inventory saw nearly every one of its cars set ablaze. Near that dealership Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois teen, allegedly shot two people and wounded a third during the, ahem, disturbance.
What occurred in Kenosha met the commonly accepted, unless you are woke, definition of a riot.
Yes there are peaceful protests and peaceful activists protesting the death of George Floyd and other outrages. But Antifa and the like, as I’ve remarked before, are using these protests as a Trojan horse to raise hell. See Portland. Even Chicago’s liberal mayor, Lori Lightfoot, admitted so, albeit in slightly more moderate language last month as I noted in this space before. “What we’ve seen is people who have embedded themselves in these seemingly peaceful protests,” she told Face the Nation, “and have come for a fight.”
With such reporting on “facts” it’s easy to comprehend why readership of daily newspapers such as the Journal Sentinel continues to plummet as these publications are more concerned about appearing woke and satisfying the left-wing echo chamber they choose to inhabit.
Last week the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web James Freeman said of such contorted reporting and the questions of why the Journal Sentinel purses such a strategy, “No doubt citizens nationwide have the same question for many politicians and members of the press corps who have lately been extremely creative in conjuring euphemisms for destruction and lawlessness.”
Thankfully one such mainstream media euphemism for riots, which dates back to the Occupy movement, “mostly peaceful,” has been for the most part placed into forced retirement, but only because of repeated ridicule on Twitter and other social media platforms. As Mark Levin quipped on his show a few months ago, “Mostly peaceful means mostly violent!” But as you’ll see “mostly peaceful” has not been completely eradicated.
As for Kenosha, as I mentioned before, every downtown business was hit by looters. Even on the edge of the city malls were struck by vandals and thieves. Those businesses of course employ people. Families are supported by them.
There was a riot in Kenosha last month. A three-day long one.
Even if Milwaukee Journal Sentinel refuses to say so.
One state over in Wisconsin, during the rioting and looting in Kenosha last week, a 17-year-old from nearby Antioch, Illinois, Kyle Rittenhouse, was charged with murdering three people. The media is focusing on how the riots started–anger over police shooting Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old with a criminal record, seven times. Fair enough.
Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, responded to the mayhem by sending a small force of National Guard trips, 125 of them, on Monday, which was doubled the next day. After Tuesday’s shootings Evers doubled the deployment again and he’s since accepted Guard assistance from other states and from the federal government.
But what if Evers dispatched 500 National Guard troops to Kenosha as soon as the rioting started Sunday night? Perhaps that militia would have stayed home and Rittenhouse, who appears to be a troubled cop-wannabe that got his hands on an AR-15 rifle despite being a minor, would have remained home in Illinois.
Details are still coming in on the shooting death of a man during Saturday’s round of rioting in Portland, Oregon. Last night a pro-Trump group confronted Black Lives Matter in downtown Portland. In what the local police are calling a homicide–a man wearing clothing with a Patriot Prayer logo was shot to death in the middle of a street. The Oregonian is calling Patriot Prayer a far-right group. Of course the mainstream media never calls Antifa far-left, but that’s a subject for another post, of course.
The rioting, mercifully no longer called “mostly peaceful” by the media, has been a nightly event for three months in Oregon’s largest city. Portland’s ineffective mayor, Ted Wheeler, is deaf to the concern of law-abiding citizens of the Rose City.
It’s a new week. Hopefully last week’s riot deaths will be the last ones. And perhaps these homicides will finally compel mayors like Wheeler to take back their cities in the names of the rank-and-file citizens they claim to represent.
Never forget: The most important responsibility of any government is to protect its citizens.
As for the mainstream media, I believe they are too far gone to save themselves.
If you need more proof that America’s elite class feels that there are rules for them but not you, then take a look at Chicago’s floundering mayor, Lori Lightfoot.
America’s third-largest–for now–city isn’t at the abyss, it’s in it. Riots, looting shootings, unsustainable pension debt, and a declining population are what defines her Chicago. To be fair, the public worker pension bomb is largely the creation of Richard M. Daley, mayor of Chicago for all of the 1990s and 2000s.
Streets are regularly blocked off–not by police–but by protesters who don’t even bother apply for a rally permit. One march eight days ago, which was hampered by a poor turnout, had as its goal to close off off Interstate 90-94, known as the Dan Ryan Expressway, on the South Side. The right to peaceful assemble does not include blocking off an expressway, which, according to a police friend of mine, breaks a state law: unauthorized entry on to an interstate highway. I find it hard to believe that Chicago cops can’t find a law to allow them to arrest people who block traffic elsewhere in the city.
That march was a Trojan horse for agitators. The protest migrated to downtown, where it ended violently–even Lightfoot has ascertained that fact, telling Face the Nation, “What we’ve seen is people who have embedded themselves in these seemingly peaceful protests [emphasis mine],” she admitted, “and have come for a fight.” Downtown Chicago and the Near North Side earlier that week was struck by widespread looting, and that round of mayhem delivered a blow that the city may never recover from because 70 percent of Chicago’s economic activity comes from the downtown area.
One popular rally site has been the block in Logan Square on the Northwest Side where Lightfoot lives. But backed by a heavy police presence, protests are now banned there.
“I think that residents of this city, understanding the nature of the threats that we are receiving on a daily basis, on a daily basis, understand I have a right to make sure that my home is secure,” Lightfoot said last week.
Public figures receive threats regularly. If you don’t like that then don’t run for political office. But Mayor Lightweight is clueless on this fact. She’s clueless on many other things, but that’s another matter.
“That’s not what my wife and my child signed up for,” she declared while defending her action. “It’s not what my neighbors signed up for. We have a right in our home to live in peace.”
Meanwhile, murders in Chicago are up 50 percent this year over 2019 and they were 139 percent higher in July alone. Many business owners and their employees are coping with two rounds of looting in a little over two months. They are dreading increases in their insurance coverage–some are considering closing their boarded-up doors for good.
So much for the peasants’ right to “live in peace.”
Chicago police officers are working twelve-hour shifts to address the protests that often turn violent and the dramatic spike in shootings. There aren’t cops in Chicago sitting around looking for things to do. Duh! But Mayor Beetlejuice has her praetorian guard in front of here home, who last night arrested six protesters. All of them by the way, are from out of state, which belies the meme of the left that the protests are spontaneous outbursts by locals.
What else is going on in Lightfoot’s home base in Logan Square? Earlier this month a 14-year-old was told, “You’re a racist and you ain’t gonna do sh*t,” by a man as he allegedly stole the kid’s bike. It’s too bad there wasn’t an army of cops there when that happened, although the suspect was arrested a half-hour later after he allegedly committed two more crimes
And of course there is no army of police officers on each block of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods on the West and South Sides. As for violent crimes in the city it’s not just about guns. Last week a serial stabber of sleeping homeless men was arrested. Will Lightfoot blame knives-from-Indiana for those attacks, one of which was fatal?
On Saturday Black Lives Matter is planning a march on North Michigan Avenue just north of downtown. The area is, for now, known as the Magnificent Mile. It is, for now, packed with many retail stores. Don’t forget, a Chicago Black Lives Matter organizer said of looting, “That is reparations.” My guess is that the protest will be allowed tp proceed. Many people live on the Mag Mile too. My suggestion to them is to pool their funds and buy a condo for Lightfoot and pay her moving expenses.
And then there will be no more protests on North Michigan Avenue.
About twelve hours after I finished my DTG post last week about Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s get-tough policy on sunbathers in Chicago at Lake Michigan, Chicago became Detroit. That’s not to say that you can now drive for miles in America’s third-largest city–for now–and see nothing but a few lived-in homes among the vacant lots and abandoned houses. Just as you didn’t encounter that in Detroit after the destructive riots there a few days after the 1967 riots faded away.
The Motor City hit rock bottom in 2013 when it declared bankruptcy.
These things take time. Detroit is turning things around now. But its vacant lots will be there for many years.
“Seventy percent of Chicago’s economic activity takes place in and around downtown,” Mike Flannery said last night on his Flannery Fired Up program on Fox Chicago, “and it’s in more peril now than ever before.”
And that’s where the looting, likely directed by Antifa, was centered late last Sunday night and early Monday morning–in and around downtown. Flannery called it “Sad, organized-crime looting.”
So the simple story is that economically speaking, the heart of Chicago is the Loop and North Michigan Avenue, the latter has been known as the Magnificent Mile for decades. You kill that and Chicago dies. Welcome to Detroit.
Last Sunday afternoon a 20-year-old Englewood man was shot by Chicago police officers; he has since been charged with first-degree attempted murder. The accused allegedly shot at the police. A rumor spread online–or was it a manufactured lie?–that the cops shot instead shot an unarmed 15-year-old boy in the same impoverished Englewood neighborhood.
Then came the looting later that night.
The coordinated manner of the looting consisted of mobile criminals, a few of them armed, that quickly descended on the Mag Mile. Some of them came with specialized tools such as drills to hasten the break-ins. There were reports of U-Hauls being packed with stolen goods. The thieves were more organized, Flannery remarked, than the 400 police officers dispatched downtown to confront them.
Much like the people of Englewood, the residents of the downtown area–and the business owners–don’t feel safe there. That’s not to say the folks of the South Side–or the even-worse off West Side–don’t deserve to feel safe. They certainly do. Some of that 70-percent-of-Chicago’s-economic-activity makes its way to the city’s poverty-stricken areas. Should they receive more of it? Probably, but that discussion will belong to shoulda-happened-looking-back rants that you’ll find on Reddit soon.
A few days after the most recent round of looting it was reported that Macy’s is considering leaving the glitzy Water Tower Place mall on North Michigan Avenue, or just perhaps they’ll just downsize there. Under the Marshall Field’s name Macy’s was an original tenant of the mall. What of the smaller operations, the family-run retail outlets who have been devastated with two rounds of looting in just over two months? When they leave, because they don’t have the big names, it won’t make big news. But when Chicago’s downtown area is dominated by boarded up store-fronts with signs declaring “Move in now–lease rates reduced again–first month free!” you’ll know the downtown descent is well under way.
As for the residents of the Loop, the Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview, unlike those people in Englewood, they can afford to move and swallow selling their homes at a loss. A lot of them will. “Why should I stay here?” many will wonder, “there is so much crime, there are no good restaurants here, and there are no decent places to shop.”
You don’t believe me? Here’s what Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd), a Lightfoot opponent, said on that same Flannery Fired Up show. He decried “the economic devastation and the blow to our collective psyche,” as well as “the sense that people have that they can’t live here anymore, their safety is at risk if they try to live here.” Hopkins believes with the right actions Chicago can be saved. Lightfoot certainly knows that she is facing a severe crisis. But I suspect because she is an ideologue she is incapable of instituting meaningful policy changes.
Right now I believe that for Chicago it’s a matter of mitigating its decline and fall. The looting and riots are of course just a symptom. Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1931 but it’s best-known mayor–and possibly its best-ever–was machine boss Richard J. Daley, who ruled America’s then-second-largest city with an iron fist from 1955 until 1976. He was a New Deal Democrat–with a strong law-and-order bent. But Lori Lightfoot is Chicago’s first leftist mayor. After the spring round of looting and riots she seemed more interested in protecting the rights of protesters than protecting citizens and businesses. Sadly the line between rioters and protesters in 2020 is blurry and that sentiment was expressed by a Black Lives Matter organizer who said last week in front of a Chicago Police station about looting, “That is reparations.”
Yesterday a march on the South Side evolved in a violent confrontation downtown between protesters and the police. Cops were attacked with mace, one police officer was repeatedly struck with a skateboard.
Many accounts of this latest round of looting mentioned that the criminals seemed emboldened. Of course they are.
Chicago has other serious problems. Its municipal pension programs are the worst-funded of any major city. Detroit’s fall was hastened by enacting a commuter and municipal income tax in 1963. Chicago doesn’t have either of those but it has its pension bomb. So does Cook County and the rest of Illinois. Lightfoot, to be fair, didn’t create the Chicago pension crisis. It was Boss Daley’s son, Richard M., another long-serving mayor, who bears most of the responsibility for that disaster.
Welcome to Detroit.
If there is a way out for Chicago, here it is. State law needs to be changed so municipalities and government agencies can declare bankruptcy. This move will in the short-term be painful as pensioners will receive a “haircut” and vendors will end up with ten-cents on the dollar or so for money owed to them. And the federal government needs to allow states to do the same.
Yep, just like Detroit.
I’m not gleeful about such a move. I have friends and relatives who are collecting those pensions. And as a man of the private-sector I don’t like seeing businesses getting short-changed. As a property owner living just five miles from the city limits I might get caught up in the financial tsunami too.
But the money wasn’t there for pensions in Chicago before COVID-19 and the riots. There’s less of it now.
I was born in Chicago and I’ve lived one-third of my life there. This story is tragic.
Agitators in Chicago complain of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy.” Perhaps. But then again perhaps not. Lightfoot, Foxx, as well as the Cook County president, Toni Preckwinkle, are African-American women. Chicago’s new police chief is a black man, he succeeded another African-American male. The chief judge of the Cook County Circuit Court is a black man too.
Another way to cushion Chicago’s fall is its citizens to vote, regardless of party-affiliation, for leaders who are results-oriented and not ideologues.
Chaos erupted in downtown Chicago early Monday morning, with widespread looting at countless businesses, property damage and shots fired both at and by police.
The unrest began at around 12:20 a.m., when police were called to reports of a mob scene on Michigan Avenue. Large crowds gathered outside the Saks Fifth Avenue and Coach stores, with hundreds of people yelling and throwing things at officers.
Looters were captured on video in multiple locations, with merchandise taken and storefronts vandalized. Officers were told to respond wearing helmets and there were multiple reports of gunshots.
And they thought the George Floyd Riots were a one off.
Here is a screen shot of a live report from the local NBC affiliate
This is being called “the commute that wasn’t” because getting into the city was restricted after this started.
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that these aren’t Trump voters.
Apparently unlike Seattle and Portland where “justice” involves burning down Federal building and attacking police, in Chicago “justice” is grabbing what you can so one can say the folks are at least a tad more pragmatic.
Pinball capital not withstanding I don’t think I’m planning on visiting again anytime soon.
Closing thought: The last republican Mayor in Chicago left office in 1931. That’s four years before the late Olivia DeHavilland who just died at 104 got her 1st big break staring with Errol Flynn in Captain Blood.
A week earlier a riot, where 49 police officers were injured with 18 of them being hospitalized, broke out at the Grant Park Columbus statue, fireworks and frozen bottles of water were thrown at the cops by the rioters. Amazingly, the media, as far as I can tell, didn’t call this melee a “mostly peaceful protest.” So there is a bit of good news in this story.
Although removal of the statues was called “temporary” by Lightfoot mark my words: If these bronze monuments ever escape from the Raiders of the Lost Ark-type warehouse where they are hidden, they’ll end up indoors in a museum behind bullet-proof glass and proximity alarms.
At my own blog, Marathon Pundit, I called it a victory of the rioters’ veto. The anarchists won–law, order, and tradition were defeated.
Even before the riots and the overreaching COVID-19 lockdown, Chicago and Illinois were losing population. The trickle will become a flood.
Mayor Lightweight believes she has satiated the leftist beast–her base is the far-left by the way. But the regular protests outside her home by that base of hers should serve as a warning. Now that the Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other leftists have learned that riots bring results, they’ll push for more. Power gained, or I should stay seized, is not casually abandoned by usurpers.
City parks may be next.
This is not just a Chicago story. I’m only singling out America’s third-largest city because of my familiarity with it. They same battles will be coming to your woke city and town too.
There are over 600 parks within the Chicago Park District. One of them is named for Columbus. I’d be surprised if a year from now the great explorer’s name will be on it. There’s a Jackson Park on the South Side, where the Obama Presidential Library will be built. That park is named for Andrew Jackson, a slaveholder who forced Native Americans out of the southeast on the Trail of Tears. Chicago doesn’t have an Obama Park. It’s pretty easy to predict what Jackson Park’s new name will be.
About a mile away from Jackson Park is Washington Park, of course our first president. Up until a few months ago I would have told you that changing the name of this park was an absurd notion. In this era of wokeness, it’s not. On the edge of the park is a statue of General Washington on horseback, which was recently vandalized. Washington Park offers the leftists a two-for-one bargain. A park to be renamed and a statue to topple.
Last week Douglas Park, named for Abraham Lincoln’s Democratic rival Stephen A. Douglas, was renamed Douglass Park, in honor of civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass. The legacy of “the Little Giant” is complicated, through his wife he was a slaveowner and his Kansas-Nebraska Act initiated the carnage of Bleeding Kansas, but as a US Senator he laid the foundation that transformed his adopted hometown of Chicago into the major city it is now. Douglas was a fervent supporter of the Union and Lincoln after the Civil War broke out, which is forgotten because he died in the summer of 1861. Last month I wrote that the Lincoln and Douglas statues on the sites of their famous 1858 debates could be endangered. So far they are safe. But Michael Madigan, the longtime state House speaker and state Democratic chairman, though a statement (Boss Madigan rarely communicates directly with the media), has called for the removal of the Douglas statue on the state capitol grounds.
Douglas is buried in a tomb on the grounds of his former Chicago estate on the South Side. No one, so far, is calling for him to be exhumed but three state legislators want to take down the statue of him, which rests on a 30-foot high obelisk.
Back to the parks. Chicago has two parks honoring Thomas Jefferson, and a Battle of Fort Dearborn Park. That last one refers to what was called the Fort Dearborn Massacre when I was a kid. The battle was between soldiers and Chicago settlers with the Potawatomi.
Will those park names vanish?
When the leftists win the park wars they’ll move on to street names. A tougher fight, yes, as businesses and even run-of-the-mill residents balk at such name changes. But those conflicts are coming to Chicago and many other cities and towns.
Unless ordinary folks stand up, that is. A few have already did so in Chicago Saturday’s Back the Blue march.
The Democrats Mayors are united in demanding the President Trump not send in or remove the Department of Homeland Security in cities where they’ve been deployed protect federal property (like Portland Oregon) as they cede control of their cities to the mob:
BUT we are told by these same people that when strangers call their house to ask them who they are going to vote for, any suggestion that a large cross section of GOP voters in general and Donald Trump supporters in Particular are not being forthcoming is nonsense.
Chicago’s largest shopping district, and its best-known, is North Michigan Avenue, which is just north of downtown. It’s known internationally as the Magnificent Mile.
The Mag Mile is dominated by luxury department stores and boutiques, including Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdale’s, Cartier, Macy’s Tiffany, Burberry’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Rolex, and many more.
So naturally it was a target of the Antifa-driven riots of last weekend in Chicago.
I was on the Mag Mile Thursday. Nearly every building was boarded-up at street level. Not all were looted, I assume. But who knows?
Someone tried to break down the glass doors at Rolex apparently with a sledgehammer, after which another hooligan sprayed “F*ck Trump” on one of the shattered doors.
Spontaneous protests aren’t attended by sledgehammer wielding thugs carrying cans of spray paint.
Many stores were looted–probably most.
There’s an American Girl Store on the Mile–it was boarded up. The Disney Store on North Michigan was not the happiest shop in the world–it was sealed off by plywood too.
There was rioting and looting all over Chicago and in the suburbs. On a personal note the area where I live, the inner northern suburbs, was not hit by rioting and looting.
The George Floyd homicide was an abomination. But I don’t believe there is any justification for the rioting, looting, and the arson, the latter of which didn’t strike the Magnificent Mile.
The Illinois lockdown is harsh. Dine-in restaurants are still closed–outdoor dining was allowed on May 29, except in Chicago, which had a June 3rd partial re-opening date. Many of the aforementioned retailers had been closed since late March and were looking at a June 3 reopening.
Then came the riots.
Chicago and Illinois’ recovery from the Great Recession was a slow one–political mismanagement, corruption, and unfunded pension liabilities saw to that. And those three underlying failures, particularly the pension bomb, have gotten worse since then.
Chicago and Illinois seem destined for more misery.
I want to add one more thought. Police brass botched the initial response to the downtown and Magnificent Mile riots. The Chicago River draw bridges were not immediately raised, an opportunity to block or at least separate the mob was lost. And Chicago police officers were guarding Chicago’s 18 miles of lakefront parks from walkers, runners, and cyclists, as they have been for over two months, while the riots and arson raged.
When I woke up on Thursday (when I wrote this post at first) I thought of my friend Hanna who had escaped from Iraq and now lives in Worcester MA.
I interviewed her for my interviews with immigrants series a while back and thought how familiar the violent scenes that she thought she had escaped must be and how she is reacting.
But it also hit me that she must also have experience in prep for these matters so as long as she and her family kept her head they were likely do better than Americans not experienced with this kind of thing and while there is tragically a lot of experience in my family defending one’s home and business from people trying to harm or kill us, most of it happened before I was born so I had to come up with a plan which I wrote it this post below. I thought of mothballing it but now it’s Saturday and I’ve read this:
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is reportedly taking further steps in the murder case of George Floyd. Ellison is expected to up the charge against Officer Derek Chauvin to murder in the second degree. Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he audibly said that he could not breathe, which ultimately led to his death on the scene; he was originally arrested on a charge of third-degree murder and manslaughter last week.
and realized this is a recipe for disaster. He is upping the charges to a level that requires intent to kill rather that reckless action the chances are excellent that a good lawyer can win this case meaning the chances are even better for a 2nd round of rioting (if that was the goal of his move is a post for another day) given that possibility I think it’s worth publishing my plan of action post for others future reference after all. Here it is. (note that 1, 2, 4-7 & 11 are good for any natural disaster)
Have a bag packed with two days of clothing and some toiletries. If you are forced to flee you have more to wear than the clothes on your back. If the worst doesn’t happen go on an overnight with family sometime in the month so you can use the clothes and get them washed.
Get a credit card count that you never plan to use and keep that card in that bag (if anyone charges you know it’s fraud) and if you have to flee and need cash or credit you have your full line to use.
Make sure anything that can be used as a weapon against you is put away. No gas or oil for the mower or combustibles in view of a passing “protest” no cobblestones or other items to be thrown through your windows in easy reach of the yard.
Have an escape route planned. If you are not planning to defend your property or even if you are and reach the point where such a defense is untenable know how you are leaving and by what route. If you get any news that said route is about to or has the potential to be cut off leave at once.
Arrange at least two “bolt holes” in advance to hold up with family and / or friends. If at all possible choose definable locations & people who you know are well armed.
Plan for contingencies. Will you lose power, will you lose internet? Will a lot of people be fleeing in one directly.
Make sure you have key data on a SD card and at least one device “laptop, phone, etc ready to go. Make sure you have spare cables and chargers packed.
Remember that if you are planning to defend your property make sure your loved ones are safe and gone. If they are nearby you will be distracted worrying about their safety which will get you hurt or killed.
Know the lay of the land. What route are potential attackers coming from? Are there choke points where they can be stopped before reaching your home (bridges etc) that are more defensible?
Base any defense on the weapons you have at hand. If the only weapons you have are for close quarters don’t get in a situation where you can be overwhelmed. If they are ranged then keep your distance and your advantage.
Adjust to developing situations. It’s axiomatic that no plan survives contact with an enemy. Keep an eye on what is happening and adjust your strategy accordingly. Being signed on to some kind of police band is useful here.
REMEMBER THE GOAL IS THE SAFETY OF YOUR HOME AND YOURSELF! You are not there to “punish” anyone you are there to keep yours safe. Be ready to defend an attack but don’t invite one or taunt those going by if they choose to go by even if they are taunting you. Choose the hill you’re going to die carefully because you may end up doing so and one rock through one window isn’t it.
If there is no chance to save your home, BUG OUT. This isn’t the Alamo and you’re not Jim Bowie. If you can’t save your property get to safety.
FINALLY. Lethal force is the absolute last resort to be used when every other option is gone but once you decide to use it USE IT. If you’re at the point where it is do or die DO! But be damn sure before you do that you are ready for the consequences of that choice physical and legal.
Postscript:Know yourself! If you are not capable either physically or temperamentally or mentally to defend your property or family calmly and rationally or make life or death decisions in a crisis follow steps one to seven, ignore the rest and get the hell out.