Thursday, July 6, 2017
by Timothy Benson |
If you are one of the poor, unfortunate souls who pays attention to public policy or politics and spends any time on the Internet, you have surely heard the term "virtue signaling."
Coined by British journalist James Bartholomew, virtue signaling, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is the "action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue."
More pithily, it's a cheap and easy way of showing off your own righteousness. Think of it as a kind of conspicuous consumption for the politically correct.
What set Bartholomew off was a poster in Whole Foods touting the company as "part of a growing consciousness that is bigger than food — one that champions what's good," virtue signaling is most virulent on social media. Remember when all your heterosexual friends on Facebook added a rainbow filter to their profile picture after the Obergefell v. Hodges decision was delivered, or when everyone changed to the tricolor filter after the Charlie Hebdo massacre? That's virtue signaling.
A more topical example of virtue signaling — and one not exclusively confined to social media — is the recent decision made by a group of mayors on behalf of their cities to sign the "We Are Still In" pledge, a commitment to meet the Paris climate accord's carbon-dioxide emissions reduction guidelines despite President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the agreement.
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel tweeted out a picture of the city skyline lit up in green "in honor" of the Paris accord and signed an executive order to formalize the pledge.
Under Emanuel's watch, Chicago has shrunk faster than any city in the country, with its millionaires leading the exodus. The city's pension systems have been so woefully underfunded they're now $40 billion in the hole; its bond rating is literally junk, while Chicago Public Schools' rating is even junkier; and each resident household is on the hook for more than $63,000 in local-government debt. All this despite a record property tax increase passed in 2015 and another looming around the corner.
To top it all off, everyone within city limits is being murdered. (All right, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but when the satirical newspaper The Onion can write headlines like "City Of Chicago Working Around Clock to Clear 18 Inches of Bullet Casings from Streets," you know you have a problem.)
So, yeah, Chicago is basically the municipal equivalent of that widely used dumpster fire GIF, but Emanuel has more important things to worry about than Chicago's long descent into becoming an insolvent killing zone: He has to let the climate mandarins know that he's with them.
Emanuel's office announced Chicago is going to play host to a climate summit in conjunction with the "Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy." The summit's planners say it will "bring together Mayors from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico to outline each city's respective commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change via new programs and initiatives."
Whatever these "programs and initiatives" turn out to be, something tells me they won't amount to substantial emissions decreases. Chicago already made one futile and stupid emissions pledge under the previous mayor, Richard M. Daley, saying the city would reduce its emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. That pledge has gone so smoothly that Chicago is on pace to be 62 percent above that emissions target by 2020.
Amusingly, Emanuel's targets are actually weaker than the ones Daley had pledged. But meeting the emissions targets is not the point. The point is to pretend you're going to meet a target, bask in the accolades, and then ignore the pledge entirely. In other words, virtue signaling.
Emanuel, like Daley before him, will end up getting exactly what he wants: to take a victory lap and be feted for being an enlightened, progressive environmental steward, and to have no one notice when it all turns out to be a sham.
Timothy Benson (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a policy analyst with The Heartland Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan free-market think tank headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
By George Marlowe
Late into the night of July 1, Chicago police shot and killed a man in the highly impoverished Lawndale area of Chicago’s southwest side. While the Chicago Police Department (CPD) claims he was heavily armed and confronting them, the family are demanding the police body camera footage of the shooting be released.
The victim was 37-year-old Quintec Locke. After being shot by the police at 10:45 pm, he was taken to Mount Sinai hospital and died in the hospital at 12:26 am. The autopsy produced by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office revealed he had died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Police claim that he was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and that they shot him in the head when an “armed confrontation” broke out. Witnesses have contradicted the official police statements, as is often the case in police-involved shootings, and Locke’s family have denounced the police killing.
According to witnesses, the officers did not announce themselves or ask Locke to drop his weapon, and they dispute that he was shot in the head—witnesses claimed he was shot in the back.
Speaking to WGN-TV in Chicago, Eric Russell, who works with families of police-involved shootings, stated that there are “several narratives” about what happened.
Russell said that Locke may have been “shooting at some people he allegedly was having an altercation with.” He added, however, that “The Chicago police acted as judge, jury and executioner. He did not command [Quintec] to drop his gun or announce himself. He didn’t kill anybody although he had a gun. Maybe he would have surrendered.”
Other witnesses have noted that gunshots are regularly heard in the neighborhood, suggesting that Quintec may have not fired his weapon at all. Regardless, Chicago police, as across the country, have a history of shooting to kill without ever resorting to tactics of de-escalation. The actual body cam footage may reveal more damning details, as is frequently the case with police-involved shootings.
In January, a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation—following the cover-up of the police murder of Laquan McDonald—came out with a scathing report detailing a pattern or practice of use of force and violations of basic constitutional rights by the CPD. The Justice report found that officers frequently failed to de-escalate and carried out brutal and horrific crimes against the working class and the poorest layers of the population, many of them African-American and Hispanic.
Meanwhile, not a single high-level official has been prosecuted. Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic mayor of Chicago, has worked with the entire political establishment to cover up their role in sanctioning police murders in Chicago and across the country.
In the wake of the exposure of the McDonald killing, all organizations of police “oversight” and accountability, including the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) and the Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA), were found to be implicated in the cover-up of police violence and brutality. The Justice report revealed these so-called “independent” review organizations failed to investigate the majority of cases that they are required to investigate.
While IPRA is slated to be replaced by yet another “oversight” agency named the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), this is widely seen as a cosmetic facelift that will not produce any meaningful reform of the police organization. No measures have been put into place which will guarantee any form of genuine independent oversight of cover-ups of police violence by the political establishment.
Recently, three police officers were indicted by a special prosecutor for the murder and cover-up of in the case of McDonald. Higher-level political figures such as Emanuel have not been charged for their role in the cover-up at all. Neither have charges been brought against the city’s aldermen, who paid the family millions of dollars in order to suppress the video evidence of the brutal murder, which show the police officers firing sixteen shots into his body.
Following the murder of McDonald, Emanuel promised a series of steps that would reform the CPD, which has a decades-long history of torture and abuse. In reality, police murders and violence have continued under his watch despite all pretenses of “reform.”
Recently, Emanuel backed away the DOJ recommendation that the city of Chicago enter into a court-enforced consent decree to enact police reform. Such court-enforced measures have been used in other cities across the US, but have not fundamentally stopped the national reign of police violence. Instead, Emanuel has promised to work together with the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on a toothless “memorandum of agreement” to reform the department.
Under the pretense of cracking down on gun violence, Democrats and Republicans are calling for greater police enforcement across the state of Illinois. Emanuel, who has met several times with Trump, is now working to expand a partnership with the Trump administration to bring more federal agents to Chicago to expand police powers.
According to statistics of police murders, compiled by killedbypolice.net, more than 600 people have been killed so far this year. Over one thousand were killed in both 2016 and 2015.
In the city of Denver and across the state of Colorado, there has been a spike of police-involved shootings, with more than eight separate shootings by police officers since June. Five of those incidents have resulted in fatalities. Last Friday, police officers shot and killed a female carjacking suspect after a long car chase spanning multiple cities. Another man was shot that same evening by police, claiming he had a weapon. Not even an hour later, officers killed a 23-year-old man on a foot chase.
The next day, officers from the Fort Collins Police Department and Colorado State University police force shot and killed 19-year-old Jeremy Holmes near the campus. According to his mother, Holmes suffered from schizophrenia. Police claim he was armed with a knife before they shot and killed him.
A 30-year-old man was killed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in a deadly police-involved shooting. In Cincinnati, in the state Ohio, state troopers shot and killed 36-year-old Dana Dubose, who police claimed was a suspect in a homicide.
AMERICA: LAND OF FREE COP MURDERS ON INNOCENT PEOPLE
Of the 25 people shot to death by the police in
the past week, beginning with Tyre King, at
least half were white, according to the grisly
tally kept by killed by police.net.
Of the 702 people shot to death by police this
year, according to a database maintained
by the Washington Post, 163 were black men,
about 23 percent of the total. Whites made up
roughly half the victims, while Hispanics,
Native Americans, Asians, black women
and people of mixed race made up
EVANSTON, ILLINOIS surrenders to LA RAZA
THE MEXICAN OCCUPATION and LA RAZA SUPREMACY EXPANDS BORDER TO BORDER!
A municipality just outside Chicago, Illinois has now pledged itself to be a home for illegal aliens who want to be shielded from federal immigration law, officially claiming the mantle as a sanctuary city.
Posted by The Mexican Invasion & Occupation at 8:09 AM