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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chicago's Soaring Murder Rate & the Illusion of Hope - July 13, 2012

Chicago is on course to surpass 500 murders this year. This is only half the records of near 1,000 in decades past but is 40% higher than in 2011. The current tally is 272 and is more than any other U.S. city, even those with much greater populations. The number is also higher than U.S. troop combat deaths in Afghanistan. The war zone in the city is primarily occurring in the black neighborhoods of the city on the south and west side where gang violence is on the rise. There are numerous gangs in Chicago and they are all competing for turf to sell drugs. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been forced to reduce police staff due to budgetary constraints but has placed more manpower on the streets particularly in the city's worse neighborhoods. Throughout the week the news media has interviewed many people about what has caused Chicago to become the murder capital of the country. They blame the upsurge in homicides to gang conflicts, guns, heroin, economic hardship and even the weather. All these factors have merit, but I think the root of the problem goes much deeper and reflects culture, race, and politics.

There is no evading the gang culture in many Chicago neighborhoods. According to police estimates there are over 100,000 gang members within a city of less than 3 million. Concentrating the influence of gangs is that they are largely limited to the black and Mexican areas of the city. For decades gangs have been pervasive and are a way of life which has been largely accepted. Many youth grow up believing not in the American Dream but self actualization through gang membership. Government can throw millions of dollars into infrastructure, police, schools, and various programs, but it will not change the values or culture of the inner city. In prison, I have learned how ingrained the gang culture is within black and Mexican inmates. I have also learned how dismantled their communities and families are. Most black prisoners did not have a father in the home, and many do not even know who he was. The percentage of single mothers is multiple times higher than the national average and I can only speculate how the lack of good parenting has increased negative influences. Unfortunately, there was no Bill Cosby in their lives, only gangs, guns, drugs, and hip hop music.

This week, Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP and his reception, as expected, was poor. The Republican presidential candidate was even booed when he spoke of ending entitlements and Obamacare. Blacks have come to expect welfare, affirmative action, and vast amounts of public assistance programs. Some even demand such redistribution of wealth because they feel it is due to them. However, these social subsidies have only created a race of people dependent on government. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and blacks have failed to seize the opportunity of freedom and the responsibility which goes with it. When the nanny state takes over peoples' lives it takes away the impetus to be responsible and ambitious or succeed through individual achievement. Liberal politicians have made sure to see that the only way African Americans believe they can advance in society is through them, and not on their own merit. Although Democrats will accuse Republicans as being racist, I cannot believe there is a more racist and oppressive political party in the U.S. than Democrats themselves.

Interestingly, Barack Obama chose to blow off his black constituents by not speaking to the NAACP. Obama is a Chicago politician and he knows how much the African American vote is slave to the Democratic Party. Although Illinois is "The Land of Lincoln," the Democratic machine controls Chicago. The city has been dominated by Democratic mayors and aldermen since time infinite. I cannot remember a time Republicans have held control in the city and I imagine it has been this way since long before I was born. As Democrats have a stranglehold on Chicago, they also have a tight grip on the black vote across the U.S. In fact, according to exit polling 95% of African Americans vote Democratic. The Democratic Party thinks of their black constituents similarly to trained animals who continue to pull the lever voting Democratic so a morsel of food will pop out of the machine. Liberal, pseudo-Marxist ideology especially where so thoroughly entrenched such as in the city of Chicago, however, has decimated black communities.

During Newt Gingrich's campaign for the Republican nominee he repeated a slogan that instead of food stamps he will bring jobs back. This was not well received by the black community and liberal media had the nerve to call him a racist. Gingrich was not being a racist in the least but boldly contrasting the great divide between liberal and conservative thought. Whereas liberals seek to ration out fish to people, conservatives want people to learn how to fish. This disparity is also shown in Barack Obama's continued attacks on his Republican opponent Mitt Romney for being a rich capitalist. Democrats seem to believe there is something wrong with being a successful businessman. They seem to hold the viewpoint of static economics where there is only so much of the pie to go around, and if Mitt Romney has a lot of pie it must mean he stole it from someone else. The economy does not work that way and neither does venture capitalism such as at Bain Capital. What occurs through the success of Romney and other businessmen is the financial pie actually gets bigger so everyone has more. While Barack Obama wants to tax and redistribute wealth, Mitt Romney wants to cut taxes and increase wealth causing economic growth rather than economic implosion such as occurred in the Soviet Union and now in the socialist countries of Europe.

It is ironic how Obama tries to paint Romney as the evil rich "1%" when he, in fact, is also a part of the "1%". Barack Obama is not your average Joe and is a multimillionaire. He, like Romney, owns a million dollar plus home, although I doubt it has potential for a car elevator. Obama is also not your dog lover as he presents himself, and has actually eaten dog meat. He has turned it into a joke but how many Americans would consider eating dog? Then there are the accusations of Romney outsourcing while the owner of Bain Capital, despite how he had already left control to others, although Obama is Commander and Chief Executive of outsourcing American wealth and jobs. There is an enormous difference when a private business seeks to create wealth by outsourcing and when the president does it. Business has a duty to create profit for the owners or stockholders. The president and U.S. legislature have a duty to create legislation which will benefit America. I do not understand how giving Brazil $2 billion to drill offshore when denying permits to U.S. energy companies or for the Keystone Pipeline is good for the country. Nor do I see the wisdom in supporting Chinese solar panel makers or windmills made in Europe. America is drowning in debt and unemployment, and yet Obama has the audacity to accuse Romney of being immoral for being a successful businessman. By the way, the unemployment rate is above 8% and this figure is double for African Americans. Even illegal immigrants are slowing their invasion of the southern border due to the lack of employment. Yes, Barack Obama may have government aid for the black people who vote for him but he does not have any jobs.

Unfortunate those working on Romney's campaign continue to play Obama's game of racial politics. A few weeks ago, Marco Rubio, a Puerto Rican senator from Florida, was rumored to be his vice presidential choice. This was obviously a ploy to cater to Hispanics when the immigration problem was in focus. Now, Condoleezza Rice, a black female and former secretary of state is said to be high on the list of running mates. Rice, however, will never be chosen as vice president because she not only lacks executive or political experience but conservative credentials. Her only attribute is her experience in foreign policy but this experience will be connected to the Bush administration which is unpopular. Thus, the true purpose of Republicans publicly discussing the possibility of her as vice president is to counter Democrats' racial politics and futilely attempt to gain African-American votes. John McCain only received 4% of the black vote in 2008, and possibly if Romney can peel off a few percentage points from Obama in key states, he can win. I think campaign managers are dreaming and they should instead focus on their candidate's ability to grow the economy and reduce unemployment which is a concern of every racial demographic.

In Illinois, Democratic Congressman Jessie Jackson, Jr. has been AWOL. No one knew where he was or what happened to him until just a few days ago. Family members finally disclosed he was being treated for a "mood disorder" at a psychiatric hospital. Initially there were rumors by top Democratic officials that Jackson had attempted suicide but those have not been validated. In fact, nothing is being officially released about the type of mood disorder or its severity. Despite how the congressman has been a terrible public official for his constituents in Chicago before his mental breakdown, he will easily be reelected come this November. Even a federal investigation into corrupt practices including attempting to buy the empty senate seat left by Obama and a congressional probe into misconduct, does not change his chances of winning yet another term in office. African-Americans will not even consider voting for his Republican challenger. With the gangs, drugs, poverty, and a surging murder rate, I would tend to believe voters would seek change. However, almost like drug addicts, blacks continue to vote Democratic despite its destructive results.

Police representatives will say a large cause for the upswing in Chicago's murder count this year is due to the fragmentation of gangs and the resulting disputes over turf. From the 1970's through to the 90's, Chicago crime was mainly controlled by large criminal organizations. However, these groups have been broken up into numerous cliques and competing subsidiaries. There are estimates of 600 various fractions of gangs on the city's streets. In prison, I have also noticed how the major gangs have fragmented especially amongst black inmates who at one time dominated the Illinois Dept. of Corrections. This is probably proof that law enforcement efforts outside and inside the prison have been successful, but what cops nor security staff in the penitentiaries cannot change is the root problems which cause gang culture. As in Afghanistan, the military can crush the enemy when using enormous force and oppression, however, the culture of the country will remain the same. Furthermore, with unemployment and upward mobility stifled by the president and other liberals, joining gangs and selling drugs will become ever more prevalent. There has been been an exponentially growing problem of heroine addiction which coincidentally is linked to Afghanistan's increased supply of opium. The drug trade is a huge business in the impoverished areas of Chicago and enormously enticing to black youth who have little chance to succeed otherwise. Almost $10 billion annually is made by the sale of drugs in the city, and needless to say, this is the most lucrative business in most Chicago neighborhoods.

A similar problem can be seen in Mexico where thousands of people have been murdered. The government's war on drug cartels has splintered their organizations creating enormous bloodshed as new gangs or fractured ones fight amongst themselves and police. Mexico has recently had presidential elections and the corrupt party which had ruled the country for over 70 years retaken control. It seems the public has grown tired of war and seeks new ways to address the problem, however, I believe they will be disillusioned because the root cause of the violence has not and cannot be addressed, especially with a corrupt and socialist government. The vast demand for drugs in the U.S. and the money which can be made trafficking opium, cocaine, and marijuana has been a fact for decades and probably decades to come. The Mexican government with a liberal agenda is unable to create growth and upward mobility for the vast proportion of their citizens. Like in the ghettos of Chicago and other big cities, the allure of participating in the cartels is immense. The former administrations had begun to decimate the drug gangs but it, like its U.S. counterpart, was unable to change the underlying socio-economic factors.

Oddly, America has fought a war in Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban which was seen as allowing the incubation of terrorists groups such as Al Qaeda. The Taliban which was supported by U.S. forces during the Soviet Union's attempt to take over the country, was a conservative religious group with no tolerance for drugs. Before the Taliban, however, the various fiefdoms of Afghanistan permitted and even encouraged the production of the poppy. Severe poverty and no alternative profitable business made farmers turn to growing fields of poppy plants until the country was the world's leading source of opium. Now that the U.S. has dismantled the Taliban's authority, farmers have once again returned to growing the drug with a weak central government and willingness to turn a blind eye to keep the populace content. A couple of years ago I was outraged that a "60 Minutes" program showed how U.S. troops were actually de facto guardians of the poppy plantations instead of burning them and punishing the farmers. The broad based mission in Afghanistan was ridiculous to begin with but with the country contributing to 70% of the U.S. heroine market, it grows more insane.

The so called "Dream Act" proposed by the Obama administration and in part enacted through executive decree is a pure propaganda stunt. It is meant to give the illusion to the public that amnesty for millions of Mexicans is aligned with the America Dream, however, nothing could be further from the truth. The American Dream is that through individual achievement anyone could be successful regardless of their economic status. Conservatives embrace the system and ideals of a meritocracy, but the "Dream Act" does not reward the hard work, intelligence, or ambition of the individual. Contrarily, it is yet another hand out by Democrats. What have Mexicans done to deserve reward by breaking American law and crossing the southern border? Why is it that millions of people around the world who wish to become U.S. citizens must go through a naturalization process while Mexicans can just come and demand citizenship ahead of them? America's citizenship laws already are ridiculous and unlike many other countries do not take into consideration the education, skills, or cultural background, and other assets of those applying. Absurdly, there is even a lottery for U.S. citizenship and people can travel onto U.S. soil and have children who are automatically citizens. People who want to become U.S. citizens should have to earn it. It is not an entitlement or a government handout despite how liberals would love for this to be true.

Barack Obama is a skilled propagandist and even the Orwellian Big Brother Government in the book "1984" would be impressed by his use of "double-talk." Even Obamacare has been misleadingly called "The Affordable Health Care Act," although there is nothing affordable about it. Insurance companies will certainly raise prices and quality of care will diminish. The legislation will also cost taxpayers $2 trillion over 10 years and impose taxes on individuals and businesses who do not comply with the government mandated program. Yesterday, President Obama was asked by CBS news anchor Dan Rather what his largest mistake during his first term in office was. Incredibly, he answered he focused too much on getting the policy right and not effectively communicating his story to the American people. I tend to believe no one will say Obama has not been an impressive public speaker. Obama came into politics due to his success as a community organizer in Chicago. There is no problem with his speaking abilities. It is his policy and ideology which has and will continue to cause irreparable harm to America. As an experienced snake oil peddler, Obama knows how to turn a negative question on its head. However, the conceited, elite pseudo-Marxist may actually believe what he said.

The Marxist rhetoric of the president is manipulating people who are not of color and vote Democratic without question. The Occupy Wall Street protesters are mainly young naive Caucasians who have succumbed to drinking the Kool Aid of Obama and this is largely due to the fact they also have fallen into the trap of government dependency. The youth have grown up accustomed to easy times and had the illusion that opportunity and success would just jump into their laps. They expected cheap tuition rates and well paying jobs despite the irresponsibility of their choices. Thousands of college students sought out worthless degrees which have no potential to ever pay for the enormous loans they took out. They stay living at home, unemployed or with low salary jobs and put their hands out to Uncle Sam to take care of them. They demand their debt be cut, prestigious jobs or welfare checks while staying on their parent's health care plans until they are 26. It is outrageous those people blame the rich and demand their chop from the "1%" for their own poor decisions. If anything, they should be Occupiers of Washington, D.C.

The power the U.S. enjoyed after two world wars which devastated the globe leaving America to reap in the spoils for decades is gone. While other countries got lean, mean, and hungry, Americans became fat, lazy, spoiled incompetent children under the riches of global capitalism and a nanny state. America which once was an industrial exporting might has become a heavily indebted consumer nation. Like in Europe, America has produced a nation of grasshoppers and when times get tough, they come to the ants asking for handouts if not demanding them. They fail to realize that even if the king of the grasshoppers gets his way and taxes the 1% at nearly 50%, it will not have a dent in the country's debt. It also will not bring jobs and good times back. America must grow its way out of this mess and cut spending. Increasing taxes and big government will only lead to continued economic and social declines.

The gang violence on the streets of Chicago this year is symptomatic of a myriad of causes. However, the loss of upward mobility and jobs, particularly amongst minority groups, is certainly a factor as well as the decline of responsibility and values perpetrated by government dependence. The gang culture in the city has been around for decades as has the domination of Democratic politics. I nor criminologists can say whether the 40% rise in homicides this year is a trend or just an aberration. However, I tend to believe the underlying cultural problem is not transient. Like when Barack Obama was a community organizer in Chicago, he promised a message of hope. However, as people have discovered, his rhetoric was illusive and manipulative. His leadership does not bring hope but only continued despondency.