Category: Hot Topics


Police superintendent Jody Weis has recently caught flack for meeting w/ refuted Westside gang leaders in an attempt to reduce the violence on the streets.  The move, or threat as some view it is part of Chicago’s Gang Violence Reduction Initiative.  During the meeting, Weis warned gang leaders like Labar “Bro Man” Spann, an alleged Four Corner Hustlers leader and Jettie “Bo Diddley” Williams, the 50-year-old reputed leader of the Traveling Vice Lords to stop the killings or life for them would become miserable.

To carry out his threat, Weis told the gang leaders to remember the word RICO, and how homes, cars and other assets would be seized while conspiracy cases were brought upon gang leaders.  Many of the gang leaders in attendance said there’s no way I can be held responsible for what someone else does, and even hinted at the fact that they can’t control the young gang members.  After keeping up w/ this story, it’s interesting that gang leaders have really shown their true colors as being powerless (food for thought).

So is group responsibility a good way to quell the violence amongst rival gang members, senseless crimes, and other horrible behavior?

Should gang leaders be held responsible for the actions of the members below them & could this method work?

Share your thoughts…

-Ron

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Everytime you turn on the local news in Chicago, u hear about it.  Another person being shot or killed due to gun violence.  As the summer heats up, the streets seem to get even hotter.  Youth especially are dropping at an alarming rate.  Whether we look at how more than 36 CPS students died in 2009, or how more than 40 people were shot this past weekend, something has to be done.

Mayor Daley and a host of others have proposed a Chicago Handgun Ban throughout the city.  The purpose behind the new law is to decrease the number of guns on the street, while creating harsher punishments and consequences for thugs or delinquents who possess weapons.  I like the means behind the idea but it also put many at a disadvantage.  The biggest problem w/ the new law though is that its unconstitutional.  Chicago citizens have a constitutional right to keep & bear arms.  The other huge problem w/ this law is that now everyday working class citizens have a true reason to feel unsafe.  If a gun-toting home invader walks into someone’s home w/ the intent to steal, what leverage does the home owner have? It’s illegal to have a weapon in one’s own home, according to the new handgun ban.  This law makes home owners and citizens in general very uneasy, considering how often some see and hear about violence in their neighborhoods. 

Imagine, gang members & other criminals walking around w/ illegal weapons but you have nothing to fend for yourself nor family.  It’s a scary situation.  Even though the Supreme Court has struck down this handgun ban, something has to be done.  Mayor Daley plans to revise the ban but I don’t think it solves the bigger issue at hand.

Any suggestions???

-Ron

Los Problemas

On the Mexican American Holiday of Cinco de Mayo,  a symbolic Holiday representing liberation and freedom, the  Phoenix Suns will be wearing their Los Suns jerseys against the Spurs in protest of the new Arizona immigration bill SB 1070. The bill would allow authorities to question and search individuals who they suspect may be illegal immigrants and require them to have documents to be in the U.S. on them at all times. Many believe that this law encourages racial profiling of Hispanics and is at the center of  local and national political debate. The idea to wear the jerseys came from the team’s owner Robert Sarver who was born and raised in Arizona and is frustrated with the law. He stated

“However intended, the result of passing the law is that our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law are being called into question,” he said, “and Arizona’s already struggling economy will suffer even further setbacks at a time when the state can ill-afford them.”

The Suns opposing second round rival the San Antonio Spurs also motioned to wear the Spanish version of their jerseys although it was already too late for league approval to occur. Suns guard Steve Nash has openly spoke about his views on the law and wearing the jersey saying

“I think it’s fantastic (the jerseys).I think the law is very misguided. I think it’s, unfortunately, to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties. I think it’s very important for us to stand up for things we believe in. As a team and as an organization, we have a lot of love and support for all of our fans. The league is very multicultural. We have players from all over the world, and our Latino community here is very strong and important to us.”

The NBA as a whole has denounced the passing of the law and many athlete’s across the professional sports world are of Hispanic descent and/or from foreign countries including Nash who is originally from Canada. Unless some detailed modification takes place on the bill we can expect the controversial law to continue to generate more opposition.

-Erik

When Sex Ed Goes Illegal

The District Attorney of Juneau County Wisconsin,  signed a new law that could hand out jail time for teaching comprehensive sex education in schools. This specifically includes teaching about how to properly use a condom and/or birth control. Teachers caught in violation of teaching on this subject could face 9 months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Can we all say WOW!?! I guess its safe to say stories about storks, birds, and bees may become a whole lot more common in High Schools in that area.

District Attorney Scott Southworth is said to be a devout Evangelical Republican. Wisconsin itself is very conservative and even has laws that can land teens under 17 in jail for having sex. Apparently the D.A. was offended when the Democratic Governor, Jim Doyle signed a state law requiring schools that teach sex education to include comprehensive teachings about contraceptives. He states that such teaching are encouraging minors to have sex and therefore assisting in illegal activity.

I imagine some people are in agreement with the new practice but there are many parents, teachers, and teens harshly speaking out against it. But there is a catch. Southworth can’t really override what is already state law. So in all likely hood even if he tries to prosecute someone in his district of Mauston Wisconsin,  for teaching comprehensive sex ed , the case probably wont hold up in court because its legal in state law to do so. Which makes Southworth a true Cheesehead!

Like This guy

-Erik

Many times adults and youth feel as though local government doesn’t provide enough or equal opportunity of resources in certain communities versus others.  I definitely see the disparity but I can’t place all the blame on one group (ex. government).  Now is the time for us to step up.  With that said, we have to fill out our U.S. Census 2010 Packets.  It’s only used as a counter for people in the area and nothing more.

Benefits to filling out Census Info:

  • The govn’t has 400 billion dollars to spend and alot of it goes
  • Your community receives funding to help improve your schools
  • Resources for hospitals
  • Provides job training programs in your community
  • Can enhance public transportation
  • Less money may be needed for sales taxes if we get money from federal govn’t.

Have your parents filled out their census forms?

-Ron

Now, that’s a crazy thought.  I know many students are smiling at the thought of this new bill that the House has OK’d.  The idea behind it is that since many local governments are strapped for cash, they could change the school week from 5 days, to 4 days.  Less money for transportation in rural areas where students have to catch the bus to and from school, and less money spent utility costs for buildings.  On the flip side, students would either have shorter vacations or go to school for 10 hours as opposed to the 7-8 hours that they are currently in school for.

Some people are against this new bill and find it wrong to try and “balance the budget on the backs of babies,” said Rep. Monique Davis, D-Chicago.

Is this new bill right or wrong? Would you want to go to school for 4 days instead of 5…meaning you would have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off? Weigh in…

-Ron

Florida’s Attorney General Bill McCollum announced in a press conference, that he had the support of 9 other state’s to aggressively oppose the health care bill to be signed into law today. States including Alabama, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington are all expected to formally sue the US government?!? (didn’t know you could even do that). 

No monetary amount was named in the announcement but all 10 states are suing against if it is constitutional for the bill to force citizens to pay a fine if they don’t purchase health care. Coincidentally all 10 states have Republican Attorney Generals who claim this is not a political move.

McCollum also says that the bill would force states to spend money they don’t have on health care instead of other things like eduction or incarcerated prisoners. After the announcement White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the Obama administration expected to win any lawsuits filed against the health care bill. I guess we will have to see how this one turns out meanwhile best believe white house Democrats are still celebrating.

-Erik

Update 3/24/10: The number of states suing against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is now up to 14. The Attorney Generals of Louisiana, Michigan, Idaho, and Colorado added to the conceding states to dispute over if the bill is constitutional. All but one (Buddy Caldwell of Louisiana) is Republican.

I just want to take the time and say congratulations to Englewood Urban Prep Academy Class of 2010!! You all defeated tumultuous odds and through determination and hard-work you all were able to make it to the next level, college!  That’s right, everyone was accepted into a 4-year college and/or univeristy.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the entire male population from Chicago’s Englewood Urban Prep Academy is on their way to colleges which include Morehouse, Howard, Northwestern, and University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana just to name a few. 

What makes this story so remarkable is the obstacles these young men have overcome.  Peer pressure, drugs, violence, poverty, fear for safety while traveling to and from school, teen pregnancy, and motivational factors could have all taken these young men out of the classroom and into a life of crime, but that wasn’t the case.  Only 4 percent of this year’s senior class read at grade level as freshmen, said Tim King, the school’s founder and CEO.  To combat this issue, students are in school longer, need twice as many English credits to graduate, and are issued school counselors from day 1.  If you’re currently looking for a school w/ an enriched academic focus, maybe you should check out this school…

The students even received recognition from Mayor Daley who provided all the students w/ a free prom.

My hats go off to the graduating class of 2010 from Englewood Urban Prep Academy.  Way to take the lead in a society where many people choose to follow.  Please continue to set the example and standard throughout your communities.

-Ron