Remember the Worst Maritime Disaster on the Great Lakes

On July 24, 1914, some 2,500 passengers and crew crowded aboard the S.S. Eastland. The boat capsized while still docked in the Chicago River.

The S.S. Eastland tipped over in the Chicago River only three years after the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic. With a death toll of 844 passengers, the disaster took half as many lives as that famous shipwreck, but it hasn’t received nearly half the attention.

On July 24, 1915, more than 2,500 employees of the Western Electric Company in Cicero — many of them Czech immigrants — piled onto the Eastland for a picnic excursion to Michigan City. The overloaded boat listed to port, then finally tilted over entirely.

It was the worst maritime disaster in the history of the Great Lakes, but today, it is only memorialized by a historical marker at the corner of LaSalle and Wacker. In the words of Jay Bonansinga, author of The Sinking of the Eastland: America’s Forgotten Tragedy, the ill-fated boat was “a blue-collar Titanic.”

The Eastland’s fatal flaw was that it had been designed like a cargo ship, which carries its weight in lower holds, not like a passenger ship. Its ballast system was not nimble enough to balance a top-heavy load.

In spite of that, the ship’s owner, the St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Company, never paid a price for the loss of life. The company’s officers fled to Michigan to avoid a federal charge of operating an unsafe ship. They avoided extradition to Illinois with the help of defense attorney Clarence Darrow and were acquitted by a judge in Grand Rapids. Had they been extradited to Chicago, says Coppola, it would have been “a much more hostile trial” in front of a much more hostile judge: jurist Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who would later become the first Commissioner of Baseball.

“These were wealthy shipowners who had almost no experience owning a steamship,” Coppola says. “To me, the damning point is that they knew this was not a perfect steamship, but they thought putting 2500 passengers on board was an acceptable risk.

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Pritzker calls Illinois a ‘firewall’ against Trump immigration policies, signs bills protecting undocumented children


Pritzker calls Illinois a ‘firewall’ against Trump immigration policies, signs bills protecting undocumented children

The new laws would create a pathway for citizenship for undocumented children who have experienced trauma and extend legal guardianship for children whose parents have been detained.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs two immigration bills at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen. Tina Sfondeles/Chicago Sun-Times

Responding to President Donald Trump border policies dubbed “wrong for America” and “wrong for Illinois,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday moved to strengthen Illinois’ immigration laws — signing bills designed to protect the children of undocumented residents.

The new laws would create a pathway for citizenship for undocumented children who have experienced trauma and extend legal guardianship for children whose parents have been detained.

They are the latest in a series of immigration bills the Democratic governor has signed, prompting Pritzker to vow “the state of Illinois stands as a firewall against Donald Trump’s attacks on our immigrant communities.”

Pritzker signed the measures the same day that protesters lined the Marriott Marquis Chicago in Chicago as the hotel hosted a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conference.

It was also Day One of a new Trump Administration policy that will fast-track deportation regulations to include the removal of undocumented immigrants who can’t prove they have been in the country for two years or more.

“As you know, I do not agree with the President of the United States with his Department of Homeland Security, his CBP and others who are enforcing these wrongful new regulations, and I think we need to speak out, and we need to speak out loudly today as they are in town,” Pritzker said. “Perhaps they will hear us louder and more clearly, today.”

One of the bills ensures that children are able to have short-term guardians if their parent is detained or deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, commonly known as ICE. The short-term guardianship would double the 365 days normally allowed. It also allows a judge to grant guardianship if a parent can’t provide consent because of a separation.

“As long as Washington is dominated by a philosophy that threatens Illinois families, we can and will give parents the dignity of knowing that their children are in trusted hands, allowing them to name a short-term guardian in the case of their own detention or deportation,” Pritzker said.

The other measure enables adoption, family, juvenile and probate courts to petition for a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, a visa for children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned, the governor’s office said.

Speaking of Trump’s announcement on Tuesday of a new class of undocumented immigrants to be subjected to expedited deportation, Pritzker said the president is “demonizing people who don’t look and think like they do.”

“That’s wrong for America and it’s wrong for Illinois,” Pritzker said. “I believe in an Illinois that is proud to call the 1.8 million immigrants our neighbors and friends — a state where one in six workers is an immigrant and where 120,000 immigrant business owners fuel our economic growth.”

Amid a threat of ICE raids in Chicago last month, Pritzker signed three other immigration measures. Those included banning private civil detention centers; prohibiting law enforcement from engaging in federal immigration enforcement with ICE and allowing undocumented and transgender students to receive Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants.

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Cook County judge rules Illinois lawmakers cannot reject their own pay raises

State lawmakers were wrong to freeze their own pay between 2009 and 2016, said a Cook County judge who ruled in favor of two former state senators who want their back pay.

On July 2, Cook County Circuit Judge Franklin Valderrama ruled the Illinois Constitution prohibits changes to lawmaker compensation in the middle of a lawmaker’s term. The judge did not order the state to issue back paychecks, instead scheduling a hearing Aug. 7.

Former state Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, sued the state comptroller shortly after he retired in 2017, seeking repayment for himself and all other members of the General Assembly who passed eight bills rejecting their annual cost-of-living raises. Noland, too, voted for at least one of the pay freezes in 2012.

Of course now that they voted for a myriad of Taxes on the people of Illinois, it’s Back to the Public Trough to gobble up more for themselves rather than pay the Debt they are responsible for!

I guess the issues that affect Illinois Taxpayers always take a back seat to their Personal agenda’s. Business as usual👎

I do not feel sorry for any of these clowns. Rauner was trying to hold Illinois in check. We couldn’t afford raises. But now that JB is in office, they get raises, and every union gets a raise. The only one’s not getting a raise are those that have to pay said raises.

Posted in #madigoon, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, lightfoot, lobbying, mental health, mike madigan, political satire, politics, Pritzker, Rauner, referendum, robert martwick, Roy F. McCampbell, state representative, Taxation, Union, USCongress, vote | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Former Alderman and Schiller Park Lobbyist Hires Criminal Defense Lawyers as Feds’ Net Widens

Since last fall, the IRS has slapped two liens on Zalewski and his wife.

On Oct. 12, 2018, the Zalewskis were hit with a lien for $85,864 for unpaid income taxes in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

On March 15, 2019, the Zalewskis got a second IRS lien for $99,770 for unpaid income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While a member of the City Council, Zalewski moonlighted on the side as a lobbyist, listing himself as president of Z Consulting Group.

Z Consulting was hired in 2018 by the Schiller Park Board Of Trustees to provide governmental lobbying services. See Schiller Park Board agenda for December 20, 2018:

Z Consulting Group has been registered to lobby state government since at least 2001, often working as a subcontractor to other Springfield lobbying firms.

In 2019 Zalewski is registered to lobby on behalf of the Village of Schiller Park, Wight & Co., Animal Welfare Institute, Comcast Cable Communications Management, Home Run Inn, PACE and the Village of Bridgeview.

On a related front, indicted Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) disclosed this week that he paid $35,000 in campaign funds to his longtime political operative and co-defendant Peter J. Andrews.

The April 1 payments, labeled simply as “consulting,” came two months before Andrews was named in a federal indictment accusing him of helping Burke shake down two businessmen trying to renovate a Burger King in the 14th Ward.

Records show Burke had never previously paid Andrews more than $10,000 a year from his campaign funds — and only paid him $5,000 a year since 2014.

But Burke also was just coming off one of the toughest re-election campaigns in his 50-year career, and Andrews runs his ward organization.

Just last month, federal investigators raided the ward office of another City Council veteran, Ald. Carrie Austin (34th). It was subsequently revealed a federal grand jury was seeking, among other things, information about the construction and financial arrangements involving Austin’s home.

As part of their City Hall probes, federal agents are known to have conducted extensive telephone wiretaps of both Burke and Ald. Danny Solis (25th). Solis later cooperated with authorities and made undercover recordings of Burke.

While it’s not known why Zalewski is under investigation, public records show he has had recent tax troubles with the Internal Revenue Service.

Former Ald. Michael Zalewski (23rd) has hired one of the city’s leading criminal defense law firms, the first confirmation he is caught up in the sweeping federal investigation of the City Council.

Newly-disclosed campaign finance reports show Zalewski paid $25,000 in May to Breen & Pugh, whose name partners Thomas Breen and Coy Pugh are considered among the city’s go-to lawyers for politicos in trouble. 

Some of their recent clients have included former Donald Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation; former Mayor Richard M. Daley nephew R.J. Vanecko, sentenced to 60 days in jail for the death of David Koschman; Chicago police officer Joseph Walsh, acquitted of conspiring to falsify reports in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald; and Cook County Judge Joseph Claps, acquitted of bringing a gun into the courthouse.

Breen declined comment and Zalewski could not be reached. The former alderman has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Zalewski resigned his aldermanic seat in May 2018, in partial recognition of the overwhelming Hispanic majority in the 23rd Ward that would have made re-election difficult. He was replaced by state Rep. Silvana Tabares, an ally of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Zalewski served 23 years as alderman. At the time he quit, Zalewski was chairman of the Aviation Committee, one of the more influential positions on the City Council because of its involvement with contracts at the airports.

Zalewski drew the money used to pay his lawyers from his two campaign committees, taking $12,500 each from Friends of Mike Zalewski and the 23rd Ward Democratic Organization.

While it’s not known why Zalewski is under investigation, public records show he has had recent tax troubles with the Internal Revenue Service.

Federal agents recently executed a search warrant on the Southwest Side home of retired Chicago Ald. Michael Zalewski, and sources familiar with the investigation say they were seeking records regarding the alderman’s longtime political ally, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

In a related move, federal investigators subpoenaed documents and other information from utility giant Commonwealth Edison regarding the company’s state government lobbying activity. ComEd officials confirmed they received the subpoena and said the utility is cooperating in the ongoing federal investigation.

Zalewski’s attorney, longtime Chicago defense lawyer Thomas Breen, confirmed to WBEZ and the Better Government Association that the former alderman’s home was searched by federal agents in May. Around the same time, authorities raided the home of Kevin Quinn, a Madigan operative whose brother is alderman of Madigan’s 13th Ward power base. The Zalewski search has not previously been disclosed.

“Despite the government’s interest in getting documents, we are confident there was nothing wrong in any of [Zalewski’s] conduct,” Breen said, describing the former alderman as “a working stiff for the people.”

Part of the probe centers on efforts to get work for Zalewski at ComEd and the interactions between Madigan, Zalewski and longtime ComEd lobbyist and Madigan confidant Michael McClain, according to three sources familiar with the federal investigation. The three sources declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak about the investigation.

Asked whether Zalewski had been hired in any capacity by ComEd, a utility spokeswoman declined to answer. But in a statement, ComEd spokeswoman Jean Medina said the utility and its parent company, Exelon, recently were contacted by federal agents.

“Exelon and ComEd have received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Illinois requiring production of information concerning its lobbying activities in the State of Illinois,” she said in an emailed statement. “Exelon and ComEd have pledged to cooperate fully and are cooperating fully with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in expeditiously providing the requested information.”

Posted in #madigoon, #taxation, Economic Development, Economy, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, legal services, lobbying, Mayor Caiafa, mike madigan, political satire, politics, pork, Pritzker, referendum, robert martwick, Roy F. McCampbell, Schiller Park, Social Media, Taxation, vote | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CDC Warns Doctors to Look for Early Signs of Mysterious Polio-Like Illness

Don’t delay in getting your child to a doctor if they’re showing possible symptoms. And don’t allow the doctor to dismiss your concerns.

Since 2014, three outbreaks of the rare polio-like illness called acute flaccid myelitis have occurred in this country, according to the warning issued by the Center for Disease Control. Explaining that AFM “is a rare but serious syndrome (a pattern of symptoms) that causes limb weakness, mostly in children,” the CDC is urging doctors to pay attention to early symptoms.

Putting some numbers behind the AFM outbreaks, CNN reports that:

Last year saw the highest number of cases of acute flaccid myelitis so far — 233 confirmed cases in 41 states. It tends to spike between August and October every other year, including outbreaks in 2014 and 2016 with 120 and 149 cases, respectively. So far this year, there have been 11 confirmed cases in eight states out of 57 patients under investigation.

If recent trends are any indication, those 11 cases will undoubtedly rise. Speaking to reporters, CDC’s Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said, “AFM is a devastating illness for patients and their families. We know families are facing uncertainties when it comes to their child’s recovery from AFM, and we want parents to know that we are keeping their children front and center and working with our partners to better understand this illness, its risk factors and ways to treat and prevent it.”

The CDC believes that doctors pinpointing the illness in patients early is key to helping researchers better understand AFM and to finding potential treatments. They instruct doctors and other medical care providers to be on the lookout for “patients with acute flaccid limb weakness, especially after respiratory illness or fever, and between August and October.”

Mysterious diseases are scary enough, but AFM seems to strike children at a much higher rate than adults. The average age for those afflicted with AFM in 2018 was only 5. The onset of paralysis makes it all the more frightening for parents. Like most illnesses, early detection is key and the CDC is encouraging doctors to act with an abundance of caution. Not only will early detection help researchers understand AFM but it also raises the odds that the patient recovers.

As we enter the time of year that sees the most AFM diagnoses, parents should be on the lookout for any symptoms.  One of the scariest statistics in CDC’s warning is that “On average, CDC received reports of suspected AFM cases 18 days after patient’s limb weakness began.”

Parents often don’t want to be perceived as overprotective, but AFM is no joking matter. It’s worth the risk of feeling foolish to insist that your child’s doctor consider AFM if the child is demonstrating any of the symptoms. Remember, any sign of limb weakness after respiratory illness or viral infection accompanied by a fever is cause for concern. Don’t delay in getting your child to a doctor. And don’t allow the doctor to dismiss your concerns.

Posted in Health, health risk, Illinois, illinois politics, infrastructure, legal services, make a wish foundation, Medical, mental health, News, polio, Pritzker, Roy F. McCampbell, Social Media, vaccines | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Every U.S. Census since 1850 Asked About Citizenship Status Until Obama Administration Removed That Question.

There’s a lot of whining by various factions of the U.S. media, because the Presidential Administration wishes to reinstate that the 2020 U.S. Census would ask about Citizenship-Immigration status.  

What they don’t tell you, is that the Citizenship question has been a part of EVERY U.S. CENSUS from 1850 to 2000. The Barack Hussein Obama administration REMOVED this question from the 2010 census. (fyi.. The U.S. population count/census is taken every 10 years.) 

What is striking in the 2010 census form is the lack of citizenship or birthplace question.  

It appears that this is the first census to omit this inquiry. Question 13 of the 2000 census form specifically asked the following.: 
Is this person a CITIZEN of the United States? 
-Yes, born in the United States—>Skip to 15a 
-Yes, born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Northern Marianas 
-Yes, born abroad of American parent or parents 
-Yes, a U.S. citizen by naturalization 
-No, not a citizen of the United States 

The 2010 Census website explains the issue, but fails to answer why the form changed suddenly this year. While it may be Constitutional to count every person living in the United States, it should not preclude the Census Bureau from knowing what is the legal status of those living in the country. 

Just like today, the media was extremely liberal in 2010. They didn’t report the sudden removal of the Citizenship question from the 2010 Census, because they knew why the Obama Administration did it. More Democratic voters, and potentially more taxpayer dollars to Blue states, like California. In addition, the Obama Administration could not be held accountable for allowing many millions of law-breaking non-citizens to enter and live in the United States, if Congress had no idea how many were here, and where they were living. 

The Obama Administration thought Americans were too stupid to know they were being screwed by ObamaCare, and too dumb to understand the significance of removing the citizenship question from the 2010 U.S. census. To Obama’s dismay, Americans proved him wrong, and voted most Democrats out of office, all over the country, from 2010 thru 2016.  

Now the current Presidential Administration wants to return the 2020 U.S. Census to ask about citizenship, like it did from 1850 to 2000. 


Posted in census, citizenship question, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, mental health, political satire, politics, Rauner, referendum, Social Media, Taxation, Union, USCongress, vote | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Betsy Ross Was Part of Massive Anti-Slavery Group

What social justice warriors like Kaepernick are unaware of is that the Quakers were one of the first religious groups in America to condemn slavery both in the U.S. and abroad.

Ross was an anti-slavery Quaker who should be respected by all Americans, politics aside. I won’t hold my breath waiting for an apology from the washed-up former football player, but he certainly owes one to Ross and every other American.

According to a history of Quakers and Slavery by Bryn Mawr College, “The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) was the first corporate body in Britain and North America to fully condemn slavery as both ethically and religiously wrong in all circumstances.”

Former quarterback-turned-social-justice-warrior Colin Kaepernick caused a stir right before the July Fourth holiday after somehow convincing Nike’s top brass that a patriotic shoe it was set to release represented slavery.

In a last-minute move as the Air Max 1 Quick Strike “Betsy Ross flag” shoes were hitting store shelves, Nike pulled its release and immediately made national headlines.

And Ross’ name was subsequently dragged through the mud.

But before Kaepernick — a man who once donned socks that depicted police officers as “pigs” — continues to push the narrative that Ross’ 13-star flag somehow connects connects her to slavery, he might consider a quick lesson in U.S. history.

According to Biography, Ross was born as Elizabeth Griscom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in January 1752, and grew up as a Quaker — a religious group also known as the Society of Friends.

What social justice warriors like Kaepernick are unaware of is that the Quakers were one of the first religious groups in America to condemn slavery both in the U.S. and abroad.

According to a history of Quakers and Slavery by Bryn Mawr College, “The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) was the first corporate body in Britain and North America to fully condemn slavery as both ethically and religiously wrong in all circumstances.”

The Quakers also spent considerable time attempting to sway public opinion on the evils of slavery. They even provided education and resources for formerly slaves.

How much more anti-slavery can a group possibly be?

It’s unfortunate that no one at Nike did their homework before the company kowtowed to Kaepernick’s demands. It could have saved everyone else a lot of time.

Nike issued a ridiculous statement concerning the decision to cancel the shoe’s release, according to ESPN.

“We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services. NIKE made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.”

Ironically, the company went against its own intentions of not detracting from July Fourth by making such a poor decision that caused a national stir.

Nike sure doesn’t seem proud of its American heritage, given the fact the company pulled a shoe that had no connection to slavery whatsoever.

If Kaepernick hadn’t told his followers to be offended by the shoe, they wouldn’t have been. It was just another attempt to create division in America — something Kaepernick’s proven to be a master at.

The 13-star flag represents the Revolutionary War and the courage it took for people in that era to give us the freedoms we currently enjoy.

Obama’s Inauguration in 2012…….notice the flags !!!

Posted in Army Navy Game, Betsy Ross, California, california, Dianne Feinstein, coward, Crime, Illinois, kaperneicke, mental health, nike, political satire, politics, Roy F. McCampbell | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CEO of Goodwill Raked In Almost $730,000 in Salary While Paying Employees with Disabilities Pennies petition zooms to a quarter of a million people protesting the “Greedwill” giant.

— Read on

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Thanks Mike Madigan : Illinois Has The Highest Overall Tax Burden In The US

Illinois in 2019 was again ranked as having the nation’s highest overall tax burden, at just shy of 15% of median household income. Adding another superlative by having Illinois residents pay the nation’s highest base vehicle registration fees is another reason for drivers to head for the state line and keep on going, just like 313 people a day on average have chosen to do for the past five years.

A March 14 report has found that Illinois has the costliest state and local tax burden in the country. Statewide, the median Illinois household pays $8,162 in annual state and local taxes, including sales taxes, property taxes and income taxes.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, released its annual ranking of states’ tax burdens. The report combines statewide taxes with local taxes to create an overall effective state and local tax rate for the median household in each state.

Illinois was ranked the worst in the nation, with state and local governments effectively taxing median households at 14.76 percent. WalletHub used several taxes to calculate Illinois’ percentage; however, the most damning was the property tax. Illinois ranked second-worst in the nation for property taxes. People in homes with the U.S. median home value pay $4,105 annually in Illinois, according to WalletHub. Illinois’ crushing property taxes combined with income and sales taxes make the Prairie State the most taxed in the country. 

And high taxes are driving Illinoisans to the border. From 2006 to 2015, a net 700,000 people migrated out of Illinois. Polling by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute showed 47 percent of Illinoisans want to leave the state, and the single biggest reason is Illinois’ high tax burden. 

Some state politicians want to make this tax burden even worse.

The Illinois Senate is currently negotiating its so-called “grand bargain” budget deal, which includes billions of dollars in tax hikes for Illinoisans. Among the Senate’s ideas: a permanent 33 percent income tax hike, implementing a tax on sugary beverages, raising taxes on food and drugs, and expanding the sales tax to include previously exempt services.

And in exchange for raising and implementing a slew of taxes, the Senate is offering a mere two-year property tax freeze with exceptions for costs related to debt service, pension payments and public safety ̶ some of the biggest cost drivers of property taxes. The short-lived freeze does nothing to curb local cost drivers, such as collective bargaining and expensive state mandates, and would not be enough to give relief to overburdened Illinois homeowners.

The “grand bargain” also calls for more than $200 million annually to go to the Chicago Public Schools teachers’ pension fund, despite the fact that Chicago students receive more state funding than the average Illinois student.

These proposals are out of touch with what Illinoisans want. Polling commissioned by the Illinois Policy Institute reveals a majority of Illinoisans want a budget without tax hikes. Another poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research shows 66 percent of Illinoisans are opposed to income tax hikes.

Senators considering the “grand bargain” should realize their constituents already have the highest tax burden in the nation and shouldn’t have to cough up more. Illinois lawmakers should embrace real reform by going after the cost drivers that are bankrupting the state and implementing a five-year property tax freeze to give Illinois families some much-needed relief. Without real reform, Illinois households will continue to pay more for the same services

Posted in #madigoon, News, political satire, politics, Pritzker, robbed, robert martwick, Roy F. McCampbell, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Taxation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Needle Exchange Legislation Adopted By Illinois will litter streets, playgrounds with dirty needles, reports show

Dirty needles littering Illinois sidewalks and playgrounds will almost certainly be one of the side effects of legislation establishing a statewide needle exchange program for intravenous drug users, news reports of exchange programs in other states show.

The bill, SB 1828, authorizing the program is before Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and he is expected to sign it into law.

Posted in Crime, e cigarettes, Illinois, illinois politics, lightfoot, Medical, mike madigan, needle exchange, News, Norridge, politics, Pritzker, robert martwick, Roy F. McCampbell, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment