Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Rahm kicks the can down the road, again


     One point worth mentioning that got cut out of the column below when it was being whittled to fit into the paper.  As much as I wish the "Rahm thinks your stupid" trope were a genius divination of my own, the truth is that Chicago Teacher Union president Karen Lewis told it to me in an interview several years back. Though I did have that "Yes!" moment of total agreement when you're presented with an idea you are certain is true. Still, credit where due, she's the one who said it first. 

     Rahm Emanuel thinks you're stupid.
     Don't feel bad. It's not just you. He thinks I'm stupid too. You, me and everyone else in the city, apparently.
      Not without reason of course. Often we are stupid. Credulous, easily distracted, oblivious to the real problems before us, nevermind their difficult solutions.
     Take his performance last week over the ongoing scandal that is the Chicago Police Department.
     So Rahm rushes home from his vacation in Cuba. And does what? He announces that police will be equipped with more Tasers and be trained more in crisis intervention to "de-escalate" situations.
     Problem solved, right? Give police more equipment, make 'em take a course, and we'll all be living on Sesame Street.
     Anyone believe that? Show of hands?


To continue reading, click here. 

17 comments:

  1. Very interesting that the cops are reading and reacting to your column.

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  2. Where's Oprah when we so direly need the power of positive thinking?

    john

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    1. She's too busy doing her Weight Watchers ads.

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  3. I really can't believe you brought that self-serving creep into the conversation... even as a joke.

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  4. I have an idea that may help the situation. The Federal Government maintains a list of phone numbers people can sign onto, penalizing telemarketers who violate the do not call list rules. What we need is a do not kill list. If you sign up, and a federal agent or police officer kills you when you are unarmed, there will be consequences. They will have a stern letter of reprimand go on their permanent record, that cannot be expunged.

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    1. Sure, that should work just about as well as the telemarketing prohibitions.

      john

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  5. Well written as always, but subject to the objections that so often occur in this age of punditry. How do you know what Rham thinks? Are you his confidant? Did Rham claim that what he proposes would solve all problems? If his actions fall so far short what more should he be doing? If Taser use might have unintended bad consequences what preferable non lethal (and non magical) devices are available to cops who need to subdue people behaving in a troublesome manner. After all, if Tasers had been supplied when requested by cops on the scene the kid would still be alive, the trigger happy cop wouldn't be in the dock and there would be no demonstrations on the Magnificent Mile.

    As for the clever cop who said he only remembered the catered lunch perhaps he's in the wrong occupation. I don't think we really want people holding life and death responsibility who concede that they're untrainable.

    Unfair of me to be so critical, I suppose. For a columnist being provocative is sometimes the equivalent of being interesting. Cops killing people unnecessarily is indeed a serious problem, but, being fond of quotations, two come to mind. What the lawyers say about hasty "solutions:" "Hard cases make bad law." And H.L. Mencken's famous remark: "For every complex problem there is a simple solution. And it's wrong."

    Tom Evans

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    1. You are tiptoeing toward Al-non-Anon territory of automatic gainsaying, but you're not there yet. To answer briefly, I know Rahm thinks we're stupid by his words and actions. That's the point of the piece. It seems you're reacting to the opening sentence without taking the subsequent argument into consideration.

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    2. It would actually help if you spelled his name correctly!

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    3. I don't know about Tom, but I've always had difficulty spelling "rhyme," "rhythm," and "Rham."

      john

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    4. I didn't want to point that out. It seemed ... well, everybody makes spelling errors.

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    5. I also make spelling errors, as I have some minor dyslexia,, but I've noticed that many people seem to deliberately misspell Rahm's first & last names. They add an extra "m" to the last name. His name appears in far too many places for people to not see the correct spelling.
      If you use Firefox, misspellings are underlined in RED when you comment, just like in MS Word. You can correct it or add the word to your personal dictionary in Firefox.

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  6. Rahm's problems started on Day 1, when he didn't have the city file bankruptcy.
    He has compounded his problems by not dumping almost all of Daley's corrupt policies.
    As far as I know, Daley still has a city car & city paid for off duty cops as bodyguards.
    Why?
    That thief makes over a million bucks a year, he can damn well buy his own car!
    What's worse is that McCarthy wasn't the police department's problem, Rahm's corrupt/ and/or incompetent corporation counsel, Steven Patton is the problem. McCarthy submitted a huge plan to restructure the police dept., but Patton refused to allow it to go into effect. One of Patton's hires, Jordan Marsh was ripped by a judge for concealing evidence & might be disbarred for that. In addition, what idiot parents name their son after a department store in Boston?

    He also got the wimpy city council to give him a huge tax increase, but didn't lay off a single useless city employee.

    Rahm has risen & gone above his level of incompetence, as has his former boss, president Obama!

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    1. Glad to see the President take a stronger stand against the gun lobby. The far right actually wonders why he has to go around Congress??????? The tired slogans of the NRA and their baloney talk about twisted freedom comments is so tiresome at this point.

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    2. He's done barely nothing with this executive order he gave this week. It's barely above the "it's a joke" level. It will be challenged in court within a couple of days & he will lose in some circuits & win in others, causing it to go to the Supremes & who knows how they'll decide on it, although the current makeup leans towards throwing out his executive order.

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  7. A long way to tip toe I should think. I usually find myself in agreement with your view of things, but then don't like to think being a faithful reader requires membership in an Amen Chorus.

    Regarding the Mayor and his motivations, I will readily concede that you are in a better position than I to judge. But you do say it is a national problem, predict it will get worse and blame Rahm for that. Maybe. But one would like to know what other big city mayor is dealing with it better and how they are going about it.

    TE

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  8. Damned if he did or didn't- Rahm would take more flak if he didn't return from early from his trip.

    One of the problems is he really has no power over the police union.

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