Wednesday, May 27, 2009

That Could Be a Lot of People . . . .UPDATE!

UPDATE: Alderman. Who had alderman in the pool? That pays . . . uh . . . . actually, given the odds of retiring from an aldermanic position in Chicago without at least one indictment, if you bet on the alderman you still owe money.
But I'm sure he's probably innocent, it's all a big mistake, etc. etc. etc.
". . . a staunch ally of Mayor Daley," eh? Well, then it really must be a mistake. Daley wouldn't tolerate corruption in his close associates. Carothers has already been unfairly railroaded by The Man several times, most famously on the "Clout List."

Apparently the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago has a 2 p.m. press conference scheduled today, and according to the Chicago Tribune the scuttlebutt is that "an elected official" is going to be indicted.
That's not terribly specific in Chicago . . . whom do you think we're talking about here?
Yet Another Alderman?
Jesse Jackson, Jr.?
Someone none of us are expecting?

Dave Hardy: Crazy Old Pirate

I love David Hardy. There. I've said it and I'm glad.


I was going to write all kinds of brilliant things here. I've got posts in my head about:
  • Oral arguments yesterday in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (working title: "Who On the 9th Circuit stole Judge Posner's Girlfriend?") in the McDonald v. Chicago case.
  • Alan Gura's thoughts on Sotomayor and how her confirmation affects McDonald v. Chicago.
  • Appleseed (remember when that was a Huge Internet Dramaball?)
  • Other things.
However, my wife insists that she must now do work for her job, so she's kicking me off the computer. So for now, go read Crystal's posts about why and how Brad Paisley is being mean to her family. (Yes, that Brad Paisley.)

(Corrected to satisfy the Grammar Police, who also insist on calling people by their real names for some reason. More mission creep.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chicago 2nd Amendment Freedom Rally 2009!

Yes, we're doing it again! For the second year in a row, on June 26, 2009, Illinois gun owners will gather at the Thompson Building in Chicago (that's across the street from Mayor Daley's offices) to show that Chicago is not the anti-gun capital that people think. It's the Second Amendment Freedom Rally!

SAFR 2009 is now only a little over a month away, and I haven't even made a thread for marshal volunteers yet!

So, here's your chance. If you were a marshal last year, you know it was no problem at all. There will be one or two changes this year, including a little clearer system for everyone to know where their area of responsibility will be, but the venue is a really good one and I don't anticipate any problems. There are no bad seats on the plaza, so no one will be missing anything to be a marshal.

If you didn't get a chance to help last year, and you'd like to pitch in this time, jump aboard and welcome!

For those unfamiliar with the marshals' jobs, we do a variety of things:

  • Define the area and keep people out of the street for safety,
  • Keep the crowd from blocking entrances to the building or the sidewalks around the plaza,
  • Help people find signs, information, restrooms, water, etc.
  • Communicate with security and police personnel to handle emergencies (like the medical emergency at the Capitol during IGOLD this year)
  • Look cheerful and answer questions, and most importantly:
  • Seriously, this next thing is really important, so pay attention:
  • Enjoy ourselves and have a fun day with like-minded people.

Last year, I anticipated helping with cleanup, but as it turned out, our crowd just doesn't produce much garbage, and a few of us spent maybe 10 minutes at most picking up a few things and counting chairs. Last year, at the very first SAFR, we drew a crowd between 500 and 1000, which filled the plaza pretty well. This time could be a great deal larger; there's more grassroots advertising going on in Chicago itself this time.

So, who wants to help?
Please post or PM reliable contact information. Email is best.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Security Theater Bredalucion Solidarity!

Update: Here's the link to the locks I mention later in the post.

Reading about Breda's experience being felt up by TSA agents* (and finding on the way back that they might stop at 2nd base if you tell them about your prosthetic leg up front--who says the system doesn't work) made me think about my experience traveling to the Blogger Weekend at the Training Facility Formerly Known as Blackwater. But when she found that all the intrusive, humiliating pretend-security had failed to locate her knife through the use of metal detectors, I felt true kinship. You see, I too have smuggled a deadly terrorist weapon into a secure area. The main difference is that mine was a .45 caliber pistol and ammunition and it went into checked baggage rather than carry-on.

I was sure I had written about this, but I can't find any mention of it other than this short teaser I put up as part of a wrap-up post after the trip:
Guessing game: Can the TSA's Reveal Imaging CT-80 scanner detect a steel/aluminum pistol and one box of ammunition packed in an ordinary pistol case? Place your bets; I'll tell you this evening.
Only, as near as I can tell, I never did tell anyone. Since this was before I acquired the Gun Blog .45, I was using my beloved SIG P220 as a carry gun. I had read the airline's regulations on transporting firearms quite carefully. I was to put the pistol, unloaded, into a locked hard case. The ammunition was to be packed in factory boxes, and I was to declare the firearm at the ticket counter, where I would be given a "declaration" form to fill out. Then, the luggage containing the case was to be taken to the security station, where I could declare it once more and the security professionals would open the case (I bought a specialized lock designed to be opened by TSA keys after being advised that I might be separated from my luggage and the TSA would cut my lock if they couldn't open it--leaving me on my own to find another lock, if I could, or be prohibited from flying with the firearm) and then add my declaration to the case before locking it again and sending my luggage on its way.

Flying with the firearm without the "declaration" form locked inside the case, I found, was considered a serious violation and could land me in a heap of trouble. But when I flew out of St. Louis, the process was no worse than the average professional dental tooth cleaning. It wasn't until the Blackhawk bus dropped me off at the Norfolk airport for my return that the ominously yellowish clouds appeared above the trailer park that was my evening. I declared my firearm and procured my declaration form without incident, then walked my overstuffed baggage about twenty feet to the right, where a grandfatherly gentleman with a kind smile was helping another customer. As soon as he'd finished putting the young lady's bags through the Reveal Imaging CT-80 scanner, he picked mine up and tossed it onto the conveyor.

"There's a firearm in that one, sir," I told him in chipper tones, "but I've got the declaration form here."

"OK, it'll set off the scanner, but we'll get it when it comes out." That sounded fair enough, but it was at this point that my phone rang, and I made the fatal error of answering it as the friendly old man turned to another traveler. I closed the phone and turned back just in time to see another highly-trained security professional pick up my bag and chuck it with considerable panache through the plastic curtain that led to the rear, "secure" area from which it would be loaded on the plane.
"Uh, that bag had a firearm in it! I need to put this declaration with it, don't I?" I asked with my charming midwestern naivete. His shrug was surly, yet expressive and soulful, and he turned and left without a word. I can only assume it was time for a coffee break and the union would have penalized him if he'd stayed to help. I turned to my friendly old man and explained to him that the bag with the firearm had just been panache-chucked into the loading area. I admitted that I hoped no one would think I was attempting to smuggle anything on board the plane. He considered my situation for a long moment, looking from me to the Reveal Imaging CT-80 scanner to the inscrutable plastic curtain as if checking my story and decided that I was telling the truth. He considered my options, the legal and ethical issues involved, and came up with an elegant solution:

"Well," he told me, "it didn't set off the scanner, so I guess it'll be OK."

We're all friends here, so I'm going to admit to a certain skepticism bordering on cynicism. The truth is, I thought he might be kidding. He was not, and he resented the implication. Words were exchanged, gestures were made, but he made no move to retrieve the bag. Strike two for Don. Eventually, I think it dawned on him that I must be very early for my flight and therefore would not sigh and go running for the gate soon, and he offered to get his supervisor. I very carefully and politely told him that I would appreciate it if he would do that for me. The supervisor, alas, did not find my predicament compelling.

"I mean," she allowed, looking up at me earnestly, "it made it through the scanner and didn't alert security, so it'll just get off at the next stop and you can get it then. Are you going to go nonstop from here?"
"Well, no, I have a stopover in Philadelphia first."
"OK, see, the luggage will go straight from plane to plane, so it probably won't go through security again. It'll be fine."
"Uh . . . right, but . . . if it does go through security, or I get caught with an undeclared .45-caliber pistol and ammunition on an airliner some other way, I'll be in Philadelphia. What do I tell them? The TSA supervisor in Norfolk said it'd be OK?"
The next moment was probably shorter than it seemed. There was silence and staring. I blinked, but I don't think she did. In retrospect, I wonder if the synchronizers on the gearshift of her mind were not a bit worn; she seemed to be having trouble downshifting. In the end, life unexpectedly animated her features and a smile spread across her face. She'd had an idea.

"Sir, would you like me to go get the bag out of the back so you can do the declaration?"

"I . . . would . . . appreciate that very much. Thank you."

*Google returns 37,700 results for "felt up by TSA agents." Just thought you should know.


Dave Hardy is going back to the hospital. Good luck, Dave.


Oh, Akron Beacon Journal, you do put a smile on my face.
Brady Campaign president wants gun-law reforms in United States
Akron Beacon Journal - Akron,OH,USA
Paul Helmke, who heads the grassroots organization named after Jim Brady — President Ronald Reagan's press secretary who was seriously injured during a 1981 ...
See all stories on this topic

I'm now taking bets on how long it'll be before the ABJ refers to the NRA-ILA as a "grassroots organization." Actually, I might even click through and read this article . . . . but then again, maybe I won't. I'm pretty sure I've read it before.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chicago and Muggers and Politicians . . . Oh, My

Politicians and muggers . . . . two things found in ready supply in Chicago. You can tell them apart because the politicians are the ones the police are afraid to chase.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Second City Cop Takes Note of Dishonesty in Chicago

Apparently, the government of Chicago is not above using misleading statistics. I thought you should know, because frankly, I was shocked.
Here's the thing that bugs us most about the "low arrest numbers" memo being circulated around:
  • According to everything that HQ is releasing to the media, crime is down;
  • Homicides are down;
  • Burglaries, Robberies, even Thefts are down;
  • Gun Seizures are up (but over 200 of those "seized" were a gun collection owned by a cop who died...shhhhh);
  • Aggravated Batteries are up, but no one is talking about those, so they don't exist
Well, "shocked" is a strong word. But I very nearly raised my eyebrows.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quotes of the Day

Quote of the Day The First:
"You know, I've heard people say, 'If you can only reach one, it's worth it.'
Unfortunately, that's just not true. I've had several people tell me that it's just the particular school I'm in that's the problem, and to not let it discourage me. Too late. It's just not worth dealing with the 10 apathetic and the 3 outright demonic students I have for every decent student."
Quote of the Day The Second:
A very good math teacher (VGT) who used to work at our school reported this quote of the day exchange to another teacher here yesterday:
VGT: "Time to knock that off; we have work to get done today."
VBS: "Just shut up! You're a fuckin' ho'!"
VGT: "What did you just say?" (This is often a mistake)
VBS: "You heard what I said. I said 'you're a fuckin' ho.'"
Good thing he cleared that up, huh?

Friday, May 8, 2009

NRA Playing "Kill Bill" Against IllinoisCarry

I've been hoping this could be resolved without resorting to publicly "outing" the NRA, but they were told that this press release would be going out, and they weren't willing to make a change. I want the NRA on our side in Illinois, and that means I want them to commit themselves to supporting License-To-Carry legislation no matter who wrote it. Please read this whole thing carefully before you make any phone calls or send any emails.

With friends like these - who needs enemies . . .
NRA Lobbied Against License to Carry Bill in IL

A little background first. For the past decade and a half license-to-carry bills introduced in the IL General Assembly have become routine and hold little to no expectation of passing due to opposition from the Chicago/Cook Co. legislators. That opposition means every year the same old bills calling for statewide preemption which would force the carry law into Chicago guarantees the bill is dead on arrival. A bill or two may make the headlines but never to the floor for a vote largely due to the opposition of Mayor Daley and Cook County legislators. The likelihood of a statewide preemption bill being passed is greatly reduced by the fact that bills preempting home rule status require 71 votes for passage rather than a simple majority of 60. Double or triple that reduction by the fact that in Chicago it is illegal to even own a handgun let alone carry one for self-defense purposes. We find it somewhat ludicrous to even consider a statewide preemptive bill passing in the state of Illinois given those circumstances.

Other states like Ohio and Nebraska faced years of major opposition like this. They finally won their battle by passing a carry law which we in Illinois would call "subject to home rule". An imperfect bill that allowed major cities to opt out but did provide a means for license-to-carry to get a foothold in the state. Pro-Second Amendment groups in Ohio were then able to prove carrying firearms for self-defense works and they came back in just a few short years and successfully expanded the law to include everyone. Nebraska, just two short years after passing their license-to-carry bill now has statewide preemption according to their state's Attorney General and are now working to amend their law.

With those recent successes in mind many license-to-carry supporters in Illinois were very excited when
down state Representative Brandon Phelps courageously decided it was time to try the same strategy in Illinois - how about a bill that would require only a simple majority of 60 votes, would provide an opportunity for license-to-carry to get a foot in the door, something similar to what has been so successful in Ohio and Nebraska . . . how about a "subject to home rule" bill which would allow home rule municipalities to opt out if they so chose but citizens in the vast majority of the state would be free to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms? The Citizens Self-defense Act, HB 2257, was born.

Keeping in mind a statewide preemptive law is the ultimate goal, IllinoisCarry members, including members residing in municipalities sure to ban the practice, have given their full support to the idea of subject to home rule carry and believe the premise behind it is the best hope of getting any kind of license-to-carry bill passed in the state of Illinois.

HB2257 started off with good promise, the sponsor reported he felt sure he could garner the 60 votes needed to pass it out of the House. So it came as a huge shock and disappointment to learn from legislators that the NRA was actually lobbying against it.

When contacted by lllinoisCarry the NRA-ILA lobbyist confirmed the NRA-ILA was indeed lobbying against the bill and vowed to kill it. The reason given for the opposition was that the bill did not include statewide preemption, that it would create a patchwork of ordinances all across the state which could be detrimental to license holders, and it would ultimately be vetoed by Gov. Quinn and still need 71 votes for a veto override. Therefore we should continue to wait and work toward a change in the political makeup of the IL legislature.

IllinoisCarry maintains that statewide preemption didn't pass even when we did have a more favorable party in office and continuing to wait for countless more years will only result in more defenseless victims being violently assaulted and murdered. Citizens in the rest of the state where license to carry is being welcomed should not be denied the right to defend themselves just because other municipalities choose to infringe on their citizens' rights.

Furthering the argument for a subject to home rule bill like HB2257, IllinoisCarry is confident it will lead to statewide preemption as it has in Ohio and Nebraska. IL firearm owners already have to work within a patchwork of city ordinances concerning firearms and a look at the listing of city ordinances on the
Illinois State Police website would verify that fact. Although Gov. Quinn may very well veto the bill, we will never know that if every such bill is killed by the NRA-ILA without a good hard push for passage.

We need the NRA-ILA and their hardworking lobbyists on the IL Second Amendment team. But we differ greatly on this issue of denying an opportunity for a subject to home rule bill to come to a vote. The NRA-ILA lobbyist for Illinois is one of the best in the country and has been invaluable in the battle to curtail bad gun bills in the state of Illinois. We recognize a lobbyist must follow the bidding of the organization they represent. We have been assured by him that if the NRA-ILA changes their stance on the issue to one of support then he will support the issue also.

Now after weeks of conversation with the NRA-ILA, their leadership team has temporarily changed their position from opposition to neutral while they claim to study the issue. It is our opinion a subject to home rule license-to-carry bill will not advance in Illinois without the support of the NRA-ILA. We need the NRA to SUPPORT subject to home rule carry in Illinois.


If you are an NRA member, resident of Illinois, visit Illinois, or even travel through Illinois please call the numbers below - REMEMBER BE POLITE BUT FIRM- and tell them you want their support for subject to home rule license-to-carry in Illinois. If you are a resident of Chicago or any other municipality that might exercise the right to "opt out" of concealed carry, assure the NRA-ILA that you know the most effective and expeditious way to get concealed carry into your area is to get it into the rest of the state first. Do not let them get caught up in HB2257 specifically - bills can be amended, it's the issue of subject to home rule we want them to support.

Contact the following NRA-ILA leadership team:

Chris Cox
Executive Director
1-703-267-3973 fax

Scott Christman
Assist. Ex. Dir.

Randy Kozuch
ILA-State and Local Affairs
703-267-3976 fax

To follow this topic, ask questions, or join in the discussion

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Taxpayer Funded "Reasoned Discourse"

At the moment, the anti-gun lobby in Illinois is not making much headway, despite large infusions of cash, strategy and expertise from the Joyce Foundation and groups like the Legal Community Against Violence, or LCAV. They could be forgiven for being frustrated; they came into this year thinking that they had just won big in the elections and were about to get rolling again, and so far they've generally gotten rolled instead. They lost their biggest priority by two votes in the Illinois House last year and picked up three additional seats in the elections, but they only ended up losing the same bill by a much larger margin this year. But these people are the heads of a hydra, and you can never stop to crow about cutting off one head lest you be swallowed by two more.

The latest Big Idea(tm) coming down the pike is House Joint Resolution 51, which would create the "Interstate Gun Trafficking Task Force" to recommend methods for dealing with illegal gun trafficking. The findings at the beginning are full of questionable "facts," several of which come from fairly new "research" projects such as the U of Chicago Crime Lab--pretty clearly the new wave of anti-gun "research" foundations and funding are part of a broader plan to chip away at public support for gun rights. But today I want to focus on the makeup of the proposed "Task Force," as follows:

  • The Director of the Illinois State Police or his designee (Jon Monken)
  • The Illinois Attorney General or her designee (Lisa Madigan)
  • The Cook County State's Attorney or designee (Anita Alvarez)
  • The Cook County Sheriff or designee (Tom Dart)
  • Superintendent of Chicago Police or designee (Jody "J-Fed" Weis)
  • Three (3) appointees of the Governor
  • Three (3) appointees of the Mayor of Chicago
Hmm. Let's put that through the Flunky Filter, shall we? In Illinois, it's important to know who will have the most flunkies on any panel, committee, or board. So who's really going to control this thing?
  • Quinn
  • Madigan
  • Alvarez
  • Dart
  • Daley
  • Daley
  • Daley
  • Daley
  • Quinn
  • Quinn
  • Quinn
By my math, that means Daley gets four flunkies, Quinn gets four flunkies, with Madigan, Alvarez and Dart less controlled (but since all three are consistent anti-gun activists, I don't think they'll be bucking Daley very often as long as the "Task Force" is discussing guns. Everyone on this "Task Force" is going to walk into each meeting knowing exactly what the findings will be; that was decided long ago. I suppose they ran out of chairs before they got to anyone who might have a different opinion or a new idea.

Another Chicago Public School Student Killed

The meme for Chicago anti-gunners for the last couple of years has been consistent: These people with their guns are killing our children. Witness the number of "CPS students" killed every year." They're counting on the hope that the pro-gun side will be too uncomfortable at being called callous, uncaring racists to point out the obvious flaw in this argument--yes, young people are dying in Chicago, and it's tragic enough to raise tears if you really stop and think about it (I don't mean thinking about how it will help you pass gun control laws, but actually stopping to think about what it means for someone to die for no good reason before his life really begins.) But . . . . you knew there had to be a But, right? But . . . .

But the truth is that these kids aren't dying because I own guns. They aren't even dying because their killers have guns. They're dying because some parts of Chicago are exclusively gang territory and nobody can really stay out of the current gang wars no matter what they do. Second City Cop has the story of the late
st angel, Alex Arellano. Like all these innocent victims, Arellano was just an unassuming CPS high school student who was going to make something of himself and get his life together, and he certainly had nothing to do with crime or gangs.
Oops. Strike that last one. The cop commentators at Second City Cop don't all agree on the kid's exact affiliation, but the consensus is that he's disrespecting the Latin Kings in this photo (their sign is being "thrown down" with his left hand) and pledging his fidelity to either the 12th Street Players or "Two Six". Looks like the rabbit from the Two-Six bunch to me, but I'd never heard of either of those gangs until today, so don't take my word for it. Even so, Arellano was 15 years old when some thugs murdered him for who knows what reason, and that's enough to make you sit and quietly contemplate. The whole "CPS student" meme is a bit of a stretch, though, as cops commentating say it's known that the kid hasn't been to school in 8 months. That means he quit going to school in September, for those of you who don't feel like doing math today.

Kids willing to fight and die over the right to sell crack on a corner so they can get fly platinum teef grills and Bentleys on spinny dubs are a lot harder problem to solve than a bunch of law-abiding people who own guns, but they are the real problem, and the death toll in Chicago is not going to go down until somebody finds a way to do something about them. Banning somebody else's guns, or requiring onerous background checks on FOID card holders, are not serious attempts to solve the problem at hand.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oops! Illinois State Police Politics

War On guns has the story of the Illinois State Police seizing a Hemi-powered Charger and giving it away to the guy in charge of the "Illinois State Police Merit Board" as his "company car." In Illinois, we refer to this as "The Way Things Work Around Here." You may have heard Rod Blagojevich refer to teaching people "The Way Things Work Around Here" or possibly a related philosophy of government, "How We Do Things Here."

The Illinois State Police are the issuing agency for the much-hated Illinois FOID (Firearm Owner Identification) card, but they don't spend much money or manpower on getting the cards issued. They've been building up a backlog of applications for a few years now, and in the past year the average has reached heights greater than 70 days' wait for FOID card renewals, despite the state law that sets a hard 30-day limit for issuance. That was a serious issue, because in Illinois it's a felony to possess so much as one round of am
munition without a valid FOID card, and "I applied for a new card with 60 days to spare, but the ISP has now exceeded their legally-allotted time to issue my new card by 40 days" is not a legally-sanctioned excuse.

Now the ISP says they've added people to the problem division, cranked up the mandatory overtime and cut through the backlog, so their new average is less than 30 days. That's good news, I guess, though if they'd decided to pack the whole thing in and forget the cards completely, I'd have played along with a smile on my face. I have to apply for a new card this week, so I'll be interested to write about how that goes later on, but what made me chuckle was the soft-focus article in the Springfield State-Journal Register*, which somehow failed to report on the backlog that threatened people with felony arrests, but put the supposed solution of the problem on its Sunday front page! Remember, kids, there's no such thing as media bias, especially in your local media friends.

The best part of the story is the awkwardly-inserted word "unexpected," as in
"An unexpected backlog in Illinois FOID card requests and renewals that began in October . . . ."
Unexpected? Seriously? Began in October, huh? What could have been going on in October of 2008 that would have led to a giant spike in the number of people buying guns? Whatever could it have been? Well, who knows why these things happen, really? Best not to think about it too much. Hey, there's another one!
"Typically, after hunting season winds down each fall, FOID applications slow down, which allows workers who handle FOID cards to catch up. However, things never slowed down last fall. In fact, applications unexpectedly skyrocketed, as did the volume of firearm purchases in Illinois."
Is there anyone out there reading this who was surprised when that happened? I just wish I could figure out some reason why people might have started buying guns and ammunition in October . . . . continued until November, then actually accelerated . . . . and continued buying guns and ammunition by the pallet up to the present day. If only there were some way to explain it. And while I'm being a sarcastic jerk, I'd like to take this moment to point out one more thing this means: when the Brady Campaigns and ICPGV's of the world said that all this panic buying and hoarding was meaningless because it was just gun nuts hoarding a few more guns, they were lying. In Illinois, gun owners already have FOID cards. The only people who would have needed a new FOID card when Obama was elected were people who were buying their first guns and ammunition. The normal, "expected" spike in the fall is down to renewals from hunters who have forgotten to get it done before the fall deer season starts; any dramatic spike above that normal number represents brand-new gun owners in Illinois courtesy of Barry Obama.

*Lovingly known as the "Urinal-Register" to all true Springfieldians.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Oops! Small Town Politics

Oops! We got it backwards!
Any Chicago Aldercreature can tell you, first you get elected, then you do the felonies. Don't shoot your wad early.

Wanna know how odd and dramatic small-town politics get in CoalBean country? For the last eight years, our Mayor was our local school-bus driver/maintenance guy/gun dealer, and it worked pretty well. He was pretty good. I believe he could have won again this year, but after eight years he was probably ready for a break. His successor is a retired school teacher who also ran the town's public swimming pool for years and heads "The Board" of the local volunteer ambulance company. Another pretty good guy.

My impeccable sources tell me the new Mayor lives two houses down from the Alderman-elect in that news link at the top, but the fun of being him doesn't stop there. In addition to being neighbors, the two aspiring politicians are apparently, as Ambulance Driver would say, "Husbands-In-Law." And Ambulance Driver can tell you that there are few bonds as special or as permanently unbreakable (try as you might) as the forged steel link between a Mayor and the Alderman-elect who used to be married to the Mayor's wife (she really is a wonderful lady, but some situations are uncomfortable and anyone who says they aren't is generally sparing someone's feelings. By lying.) So, apparently, the Husband-In-Law called the Mayor and told him that the State's Attorney was being a real jerk about this "no felons in elected office" law and asked his advice.

If the Mayor gave the advice, "Go back in time and don't run for office with two felonies on your record," he's not telling. He says he simply told his Husband-In-Law to get a lawyer and review his options. I don't think he has very many, though; the state law seems pretty straightforward. Why did he run for office knowing that it would be illegal for him to be seated if he won? According to the local newspaper, he says he knew about the law, but it's "bogus." And why didn't anyone else raise the question until after it was too late? My source says, "Sure, I knew all about his felonies, but I figured everybody knew that and nobody seemed worried."

I think it will get even more complicated for everyone involved before long. Apparently municipal law says the Mayor has to appoint a replacement for an alderman-elect if the candidate can't serve. My guess is that the Mayor will simply appoint the man who lost the election for Ward 5. If he doesn't, I predict swift, long-legged, tireless rumors of conspiracy and collusion to gallop and gambol wildly about. The idea, I predict, will be that the Mayor and the Alderman-elect schemed to get the Alderman-elect into office, figuring it as a win-win. Either the Husbands-In-Law would control the Mayor's office plus one reliable seat on the council, or the Alderman-elect would be removed from office, leaving the Mayor still free to appoint anyone he wants to represent that ward--even someone who couldn't have won election. Expect school consolidation, coal mine contracts, and Al-Qaeda sleeper cells to figure in at various times and dramatic high points in these stories.

Ahhh . . . . small town politics. Just like Mayberry, only different.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hey, As Long As We're All Gonna Die Anyway . . .

Can we start calling this thing the "Swan Flu" or something? The swine thing is just undignified, plus it probably offends somebody somewhere. I'm just trying to make sure our entry in the history books is a little more dignified, people. Somebody has to think about these things or nothing gets done.