MEDIA WATCH: RAHM STAGES A 'GANG TAKEDOWN!' (Honest, you can't make this stuff up...). Rahm struts, gangsters smirk, and preachers fill the till... Rahm joins Gerry McCarthy in Pullman publicity stunt that could have been scripted in 'The Wire'

In Chicago, on May 15, 2012, on the eve of the NATO debacle that is being staged to display the law enforcement talents of the city's Rookie Mayor, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel did what he called a "Gang Takedown" in the same community that was served by former Chicago community organizer Barack Obama a generation ago: Pullman. During his carefully staged media event in 2012, Emanuel displayed once again the muscular version of his mayoralty, complete with carefully staged backgrounds of gritty urban life. But first, a reflection on another take on Chicago and the problems of drug gangs in the cities of the USA (and why Rahm's War on Teachers will never help the children in those communities that need the help most).

From TIME magazine four years ago. "In Baltimore, where over the last twenty years Times Mirror and the Tribune Company have combined to reduce the newsroom by forty percent, all of the above stories pretty much happened. A mayor was elected governor while his police commanders made aggravated assaults and robberies disappear. School principals in Baltimore and elsewhere in Maryland were obliged to teach test questions to pump scores at the expense of meaningful curricula. Politicians then took credit for the limited gains that were, of course, unsustainable as the students aged into middle school. Politically sensitive casework was butchered or pursued selectively by political interests and departmental indifference. Notable killings and machinations in the drug world were the talk of the streets.

With Chicago drug gang members having taken on fictional names going as far back as the 1980s (and the street names of the characters from "Colors"), there are now street children in Chicago sporting names like "Omar." Above, the character Omar Little from "The Wire.""And yes, in real life, there wasn't much written about such in my city. Amid buyout after buyout, the Baltimore Sun conceded much of its institutional memory, its beat structure, its ability to penetrate municipal institutions and report qualitatively on substantive issues in a way that explains not just the symptomatic problems of the city, but the root causes of those problems.

"The Sun began doing so in the 1990s -- before the internet, before the Tribune Company did its worst -- when beat reporting and any serious, systemic examination of issues was eschewed in favor of "impact" journalism, special projects and Pulitzer sniffing. It continued doing so into the present decade as the Tribune Company followed the Times-Mirror buyouts with even more ruthless abandon. And now, with the economic vise that is the internet tight around her, The Sun - like so many once-worthy regional newspapers -- is fighting for relevance and readers..." (David Simon, written following the airing of the final episode of "The Wire").

One of the many capitalists in "The Wire" was the character Stringer Bell who read Adam Smith (but not Ayn Rand) and who understood that the business he was in was just a very competitive example of market capitalism, the same as was being played along the Baltimore waterfront by those with more firm genetic and City Hall connections to power.On May 15, 2012, most Chicago reporters were herded, again, by Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a carefully choreographed and scripted ghetto reality scene to highlight, once again, what a tough guy Chicago's pirouetting prince is. According to the mayor's version of reality, the recent "crackdowns" on Chicago's drug gangs is going well, and it proves, once again, that Chicago will not tolerate — rerun that WILL NOT TOLERATE — the drug gangs the operate one corner of American capitalism within a few blocks of every major exit off the city's major expressways, so that the suburban customers for their product don't have to delay long in the purchase of their illegal party favors. You can get off the Skyway and still cop at "South Cs" and then get back on in less than ten minutes, and if traffic is right, you're back in Crown Point within a half hour with your buddies, or all the way down to Purdue.

On May 15, 2012, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Gerry McCarthy staged one of those scenes out of "The Wire" by announcing that they had been cleaning up a small part of Chicago's ghetto out in Pullman. The stage was set at a local church, which has been sponsoring "anti violence" activities for 20 or 30 years, and utilized, as usual, a cast of dozens. It made for good staging, even if it was a parody of reality, albeit supposedly reality based. Rahm has added a piece of his own scripting, telling reporters that under his administration the neighborhood received "wraparound services" and that it was, henceforth, the job of those left behind after dark to keep the gangs at bay.

The characters and script from "The Rahmshow" are not yet ready for prime time, and veteran teachers and Chicago police laugh at the idea that Rahm Emanuel and his expensive team of scriptwriters and flacks from City Hall to CPS will ever get close enough to the realities of Chicago's communities and public schools to do justice to the city's teachers, parents, and children.Substance will once again recommend that readers re-watch "The Wire", especially that final season, which depicted the ethical bankruptcy of the Tribune company (which by the time The Wire was airing had bought and gutted the Baltimore Sun).

But that last season is so 2008, the final year of George W. Bush, No Child Left Behind, and the color-coded "War On Terror" (which ran parallel to the eternal "War on Drugs"). Now we're in the third year of Audacious Hope, and instead of George W. Bush we have Barack Obama, instead of No Child Left Behind we have Race to the Top (No Child on steroids), and instead of the War On Drugs we have...

Well, there is always the War on Drugs to give a tough guy mayor and a tougher guy police chief a chance to strut around on camera, while the Disciples snicker in the background.

Here is Rahm's official version of reality from that visit to Pullman on May 15, 2012:

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy may never have the sense of style and humor of Bill Rawls from "The Wire," but their ability to cuddle with power could be taken straight out of the script from the "Rahm Show" and Rahm Emanuel's announcement in Chicago on May 15, 2012, that he was going to do a GANG TAKEDOWN. Honest.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. May 15, 2012 CONTACT: Mayor’s Press Office 312.744.3334


Part of Anti-Gang Strategy to Diminish the Impact of Gangs, Guns, and Drugs; Build and Sustain Economically Vibrant Communities and Strong Families

Although "The Wire" aired its final season on HBO in 2008, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel continues the traditions of hypocrisy and cluelessness in the face of urban realities and drug gangs (and their peculiar form of entrepreneurial capitalism and competition for market share) in 2012 in Chicago. The press release above was actually issued on May 15, 2012 by Chicago's mayor, without an ounce of irony, following another publicity stunt featuring the usual cast of preachers and "community leaders" posing against "violence." What was left out of Rahm's May 15, 2012 was that the community he chose was the one where Barack Obama supposedly did all that community organizing 20 years ago. And nothing has changed, except for the worse, since. "The Wire" is still available for those who want to update it in light of current events.CHICAGO- Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the City’s new Strong Blocks/SAFE Communities Wrap-Around Strategy. The initiative combines targeted police enforcement with City services and community engagement. “We have developed and implemented a comprehensive anti-gang strategy that stabilizes communities and reduces the likelihood of violence,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With strong community leadership, cross-sector commitment, and community engagement, we will continue to move forward with our goal of ending violence through creating strong blocks and safe communities.”

Four recent investigations by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) Narcotics and Gang Investigation Divisions on the West and South Sides resulted in the arrest of over 50 offenders on a variety of charges. After the takedowns, a series of successful community meetings with residents in the affected 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, and 11th districts were held to engage and mobilize nearly 200 community residents and community leaders. City service departments have already completed nearly 600 service requests, most within 48 hours of the takedown action.

“The impact on the community following these investigations is immediate and positive," said Superintendent McCarthy. "However, the added services provided through the Safe Blocks initiative, and the collective involvement of every concerned stakeholder will ensure lasting results in a thriving community,” he added.

Following each takedown, through the Strong Blocks/SAFE Communities Wrap-Around Strategy, the City coordinates a City services blitz that includes graffiti removal, streetlight repair, tree trimming, pothole repair, rodent abatement, abandoned property, vacant lot clean-up, trash removal, abandoned vehicles, troubled business investigations.

Community based programs work with CAPS to engage community members in a variety of support programs, including family advocacy, after school programs, ex-offender programs, drug treatment referral, job training, family counseling, and inspirational hours on the block and truancy programs. A steering committee is then formed to assign accountability for each block and ensures regular monitoring. The Department of Family and Support Services connects community members with community and city services. The Strong Blocks/SAFE Communities Gang Takedown and Community Wrap-Around Strategy is part of Chicago’s anti-violence plan which includes a combination of prevention, intervention, response and re-entry initiatives with the goal of reducing violence in Chicago by 50 percent by 2020. The plan has a special focus on prevention as a long-term strategy by creating strong, self-sustaining and stable communities where violence is not perceived as either acceptable or necessary.

In addition, Chicago has recently enacted a number of public safety initiatives aimed at reducing crime including: putting more officers back into districts and on the streets to keep communities safe; introducing CompStat, a data-driven approach to fighting crime; proposing state-wide gun registration and titling; and collaborating with federal law enforcement agencies to bring in additional resources to our communities.

Chicago street cops and detectives know that the drug gangs will never be stopped or even slowed down by headline grabbing publicity stunts like those engineered by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his Hollywood scriptwriting team (known in 2012 as "The Mayor's Press Office"), but some things blur the lines between fact and fiction.And that nonsense is then passed around by corporate Chicago as "news". With not one reporter (let alone one mayoral press flack or CPS propaganda minion) deciding to walks 115th St. after dark for a couple of nights, or visit the site on 111th St. where Derrion Albert was murdered and Eric Halder saw the chance for a quickie publicity stunt (and to pour $65 million into another wasted publicity stunt, this one back when the mayor was Richard M. Daley and the CEO of CPS was a guy named Ron Huberman...). One reporter (this one) has taken three months off from attending Rahm's publicity stunts and watching, except on that rare occasion, the mayor's phalanx of hacks, flacks, and wrecks trying desperately to manage the dwindling moments before it all crashes down. When he staged something like his LONGEST SCHOOL DAY thingy at Disney II, it's half worth covering (especially when his guards keep out parents who disagree with him...). But not usually.

The reasons are many (not the least of which is how disrespectful the whole show is of the truth and reality of Chicago, there the murder rate is zooming thanks to Rahm's Unreality), but one is that I can't stop a memory from pirouetting through my mind every time I'm at one of those Rahmfests or watching another chapter of the Rahmpage against Chicago's teachers.

For a moment, I think of "The Wire" and some quote from there.

But then comes pounding in a much more relevant quote to top off the event — just about any Rahm event. "A tale told by an idiot..."

But the full quote deserves to be aired here, now. What I enjoyed teaching, in MacBeth, is how the passionate MacBeth greets the news that his wife, who had goaded him into regicide in order to get all that power, has killed herself. You know from early in the play that the guy really loved her (loved her physically enough to let her goad him into murdering the king). By the time she checks out, however, all he can say is:

"Feeling lucky, Rahm?..." During the five seasons of "The Wire," the character of Omar Little (even after his demise) haunted many viewers, who recognized better than Chicago's mayor and police chief the contradictions between Hollywood staging and the ballets of the streets after dark.She should have died hereafter;

There would have been a time for such a word.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury

Signifying nothing. — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)


May 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM

By: Theresa D. Daniels

Chicago's pirroueting prince of a mayor

George has captured the strutting vapidity of the mayor and his inane performance in his created scenarios perfectly here. Congrats!

May 17, 2012 at 12:33 AM

By: J.S. Whitfield

NATO Overtime Class Action Grievance

And like in "The Wire", police here in Chicago are having trouble getting their overtime payments made properly to them. This is from an email I just got from the FOP, Lodge # 7. Chicago Police department Union, Fraternal Order of Police. I have been getting their emails since having ridden with Lodge # 7 to Springfield for the Pension solidarity rally at the capital building,ssigned to do so by a CTU official, since the teacher buses were full.

NATO Overtime Grievance

The Lodge filed a class action grievance on behalf of all members who work overtime during the NATO summit and request to be credited with compensatory time instead of receiving a cash payment.

The Department has printed new overtime slips (blue) that have already been completed with the "Money" box checked. Any member who wishes to be credited with compensatory time should cross out the money line and check the "Time" box on the slip. Members should keep anecdotal records of the denial of time for overtime.

Section 20.2 of our contract is clear. Officer have the option of electing either time or money for any overtime that is worked. The NATO summit does not trump our contract. This is an attempt to defer the overtime costs of this summit to the Federal Government. Apparently, the City does not have the ability to defer the costs of time to the Feds.

Statements of Financial Interest

The City Service section of the City of Chicago website lists the following information regarding the Board of Ethics Statement of Financial Interest.

The Governmental Ethics Ordinance requires City employees compensated at the rate of $80,700 for 2012 and certain City officials to file a 2012 Statement of Financial Interests in the Spring of 2012. On or about March 1, 2012, the Board will send notice to City employees and officials who, City records show, are required to file them with the Board.

NOTE: Some City employees and officials will not be required to file a Statement of Financial Interests at that time, but may be hired at an annual salary rate, or receive a raise, title change or appointment later in the year that makes them required to file.

Those required to file should be aware that:

City law (Section 2-156-150(a) of the Municipal Code of Chicago requires that the 2012 Statement of Financial Interests be filed with the Board of Ethics before the end of day onTuesday, May 1, 2012;

Those who do not file their Statement before the close of business on May1, 2012, will have to pay a $20.00 filing fee;

Failure to file a Statement on or before May 31, 2012 constitutes a violation of City law that subjects the non-filer to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from City service; and,

Our office cannot accept incomplete forms.

The site fails to mention that the same ordinance requires notice to be sent to City employees in writing. The Board of Ethics apparently decided to ignore that part of the ordinance and sent notice via email. Several members have now received notice that they are required to pay a late fee and file by June 1, 2012.

The Lodge has advised the Management and Labor Affairs Section of the actions of the Board of Ethics. This same scenario happened last year. Late fees for members were waived. We are awaiting a decsision on what will happen this year.

May 17, 2012 at 2:31 AM

By: John Kugler

CPD Computers Hacked

THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012


We've been informed about "virus warning" type windows popping up on the Department computers lately. We're told it occurs dozens of times during the processing of a simple arrest.

Guess what happened? And guess who predicted it?

NATO protestors have infiltrated the CPD computers with a worm that is wreaking havoc across the board. 35th Street and OEMC are in a full panic. The entire Department Intranet is in danger of a meltdown on an unimaginable scale, just in time for a potential "mass arrest" situation this weekend that would bring the Department to a grinding halt.

Did you see that latest AdMin Fax that told everyone to change their passwords if they haven't been altered in a few years and that efforts were underway to have passwords changed every 90 days? That gaping security risk, pointed out by SCC readers almost a year ago, is coming home to roost. Good thing CPD trimmed the in-house I.T. people and never spent the money/effort on a decent internet security protocol.

This is going to cost big time. And be careful with those detachable drives - you might bring home presents for your own personal computer by accident.

May 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM

By: J.S. Whitfield

"The Wire" and caring.

At George Washington HS at 114th and Ave. 0, on Chicago's East Side, we had an interim principal many years ago, Dr. Klimish, who I think is still with the Board of Education, who told the staff, "It's about caring."

He had been director of schools in Latin America, and could be seen in the halls interacting with students and staff, with a hands on approach. He also said, that he never left home saying he was going to work, but that he was going to school.

Years later at Washington, we had a retired detective, and a retired Cook County officer talk to the staff about societal problems, and how they affect our students.

Afterward I asked detective Underwood and Officer Frierson about the corruption, and just how is it that all these hard drugs get dumped on our inner city communities? And how high up does the corruption go? I also mentioned to them to recollect that some in congress tried to address this problem in congressional hearings decades ago. Congresswoman Maxine Waters for one, was subquently quieted, and effectively hushed up to a large extent.

This was after the advent of crack cocaine began to sweep inner city America, decades ago. Robert Parry, who did much to break the "Iran-contra" scandal, wrote about how high up it went (drugs being allowed into America) in "Contras, Cocaine, and other Crimes." As did Gary Webb (now deceased)in "Dark Alliance." Webb was dismissed from his job as a reporter with the San Jose Mercury News for blowing the whistle about how high up it went.

"Coverup, Behind the Iran-Contra Scanda" is a good movies to see about how the drug trade went back to the Viet Nam war days, and the cloak and daggar crowd that has influenced many administrations in Washington.

Back to the staff meeting, detective Underwood, queried to the whole Washington staff, "well, how do you think we got those fancy police boats out on Lake Michigan . "Read into that what you may, so he acknowledged the corruption. But what is new? Police corruption as in the Wire to get the funds needed to bring down drug gangs, is one thing. But that isn't the point I am trying to make here.

So we have the never ending debate about the war on drugs. We have jails and prisons full of fellow Americans with medical problems, because they are addict. And we have the Cook County Jail at 26th & California, which has been declared the largest mental hospital of all, with patients languishing there with with mental illnesses, something that Dorothy Dix, and other activists fought against in the 1850s. May is mental Health months and many in the Occupy movement are protesting the closure of mental health clinics during the NATO protests and beyond.

So, while we have this "The Wire" type of scenario, here in Chicago, perhaps as much or even more than in Baltimore, where the The Wire takes place, that is The Police, the press, city hall, the homeless, and the fear and loathing of drug gangs on the streets, one shoudn't be duped that into believing that it is the way it is and that's all, without taking a look at the overall picture, and the scandalous corruption, not to sound redundant, that goes on at the national and International scene. Who does allow all these hard drugs in, to poisen our communites? Like the NATO protestors out there, it is all about caring isn't it?

Do we want endless war, and our brothers and sisters of all colors, drugged into oblivion, and then to rot in jail?

John Whitfield, GWHS CTU delegate in exile

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