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CHICAGO – The Chicago Police Department has set up far more roadside sobriety checkpoints in minority communities in recent years than it has in predominantly white communities, a Chicago Tribune investigation has found.

Out of 152 roadside sobriety checks, 127 – or 84 percent – were in black or Hispanic police districts between February 2010 and June 2014, the most recent period with complete data, the newspaper reported. At the same time, fewer than 4 percent of the DUI checkpoints were in majority-white police districts, even though those areas accounted for 25 percent of the city’s alcohol-related crashes during at least part of that time period.

The newspaper said its review found some of the districts with the most checkpoints had relatively few alcohol-related accidents. The stepped-up enforcement in minority areas led some to wonder if officers are using DUI checkpoints as a pretext to stop people in certain neighborhoods and look for other criminal activity.

“They pull (drivers) over under the guise of DUI, but they’re running them for warrants, making sure their paperwork is in order,” defense attorney Donald Ramsell told the Tribune.

Information from: Chicago Tribune,
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This diary covers multiple civil rights violations against an individual.  Violation of HIPPA and medical privacy, presumption of guilt, presumption of mental illness, violations of the 2nd and 4th amendments and loss of personal liberty.  Fortunately in this case justice has been served.  Now we will wait to see if an example has been set for police forces that routinely place themselves above the law.

First the facts of the case:

In August of 2012 Art Lovi was in therapy following the death of his wife Cindy from cancer.  Mr. Lovi felt anger towards a doctor who had treated his wife, believing that her cancer had been missed and the doctor negligent.  While working through his grief in a confidential therapy session, Mr. Lovi made a threat against the doctor.  Despite not believing the threat to be credible, and despite not believing Mr. Lovi to be a threat to himself or others, the therapist nonetheless violated medical privacy by reporting the threat to the local police of Arlington Heights, IL.

Later that day the police called Mr. Lovi, inquiring as to whether he owned any firearms.  Mr. Lovi truthfully admitted that yes we was a legal firearms owner with a valid FOID card.  That night Mr. Lovi's 2nd and 4th amendment rights were violated.  Police illegally searched his home without a warrant and illegally seized his antique and unloaded firearms.  No ammunition was present in the home.

Two days later Mr. Lovi called police to arrange the return of his stolen property.  A police officer came to his house and began interrogating him without a lawyer present.  When Mr. Lovi became upset he was ordered by police to undergo a psychiatric evaluation under the coercion of arrest and the possibility of bodily harm if he did not comply.  Mr. Lovi agreed to be evaluated.

Mr. Lovi was released a few hours later, declared not to be a danger of himself or others.  He was not charged with any crime or formally arrested.  Mr Lovi's firearms were not returned to him until months later after he secured legal representation.


So what say you?

87%34 votes
0%0 votes
10%4 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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The Illiana Tollway, a proposed 47 mile Interstate Tollway that would link I-55 and I-65 south of Chicago has long been opposed by a coalition of environmental groups.  The tollway is environmentally destructive to sensitive wetlands, will bulldoze thousands of acres of prime farmland in a time of climate change and growing food insecurity.  It will increase urban sprawl and C02 emissions.
Studies have also failed to show that the tollway will ever attract enough traffic to pay for itself, leaving taxpayers on the hook potentially up to $1.1 billion dollars to pay for this wasteful and unnecessary boondoggle.

But a first victory has been achieved.  In one of his first acts, Gov. Rauner has frozen all funding for the project.  It is now hoped that with the undemocratic fast-tracking of the project blocked, that it will receive much greater scrutiny during later reviews and the Illiana tollway will be cancelled for good.

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Schaumburg, IL mulls $100,000 fee for medical pot dispensary

Assistant Village Manager Paula Hewson said the recommended fee is intended to cover public safety costs the village doesn't believe should be borne by other taxpayers. These include the potential for an increase in crime and police calls due to the fact the dispensaries will do all their business in cash and be bringing an otherwise illegal, controlled substance to the area, she said.
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A neighborhood in Arlington Heights, IL is on edge after a woman was sexually assaulted and robbed in her home one night at 2am.  It's natural for people to be fearful and look for answers after an event like that.  What's not usual is the "solution" they seem to have decided on.  Yes, it's come to this.  Garage sales must be banned to keep us safe.

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Act 309 of 2006
"An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if . . . [t]he individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent" the imminent death, great bodily harm, or sexual assault of himself or another individual."[

Stand Your Ground laws have a new limit in court.  A person knocking on your front door at 3am does not give rise to a reasonable belief of imminent death or bodily harm.

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In November Cook County, IL will place two non-binding referendums on the ballot.  One deals with increasing mental health funding, which I will vote for.
The second is a gun control referendum which unnecessarily combines two separate gun control issues, background checks and an assault weapons ban, making the background check measures I support much less likely to pass.

It is likely to fail, as the poll on the Chicago SunTimes article asking if an assault weapons ban is supported is currently failing 97% to 3%.

Why aren't these separate ballot initiatives, since they are very different issues?


Do you support a single or split referendums for these issues?

28%15 votes
50%26 votes
21%11 votes

| 52 votes | Vote | Results

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In January of 2013, three Schaumburg, IL (Cook County) police officers were arrested and charged with running a massive drug dealing operation.  They ran their scheme by busting small time drug dealers and stealing their cash and drugs.  They would place a small amount of the seized drugs into evidence, charge the dealers with a minor offense, and keep the rest.  They believed that by giving lenient charges they would buy the dealers' silence and never get caught. The officers blackmailed a former police informant into moving their product in neighboring DuPage County, and were even so blatant as to use their police squad cars to deliver drugs to their dealer.

The scheme unraveled when Carol Stream, IL  police found cocaine in a storage shed linked to the drug dealing informant.  The informant took a plea deal and laid bare the entire operation. Later in January, the three officers were caught on tape breaking into another storage facility, stealing drugs and $20,000 in cash.

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My newspaper this Sunday had a Letter to the Editor from a Republican trying to sound like a moderate on the issue of abortion.  He asks 5 “sensible” questions on abortion and wants answers.  My answers are too long to reprint in the paper, so I give my reply here.  Feedback is welcome, I will be sending the author my replies.  I wonder if he will ponder it?

Moderators’ questions in political debates are meant to enlighten voters on where candidates stand on various issues.  As we have discovered recently, then unfortunately don’t always succeed.  However, in our own lives, good questions do prompt us to more deeply consider issues and force us to ponder why we believe what we believe.  They often are the only catalyst to changing one’s mind.  With that, I would like to offer five questions to help us all develop a thoughtful, not a reflexive position on abortion.

1)  If you do not believe that human life begins at conception, when do you believe it begins?  At what stage of development should an unborn child have human rights?

2)  Currently, when genetic testing reveals an unborn child has Down syndrome, most women chose to abort.  How does one answer that this phenomenon resembles the “eugenics” movement of a century ago – the deliberate “weeding out” of those who society would deem “unfit” to live?

3)  In many states, a teenager can have an abortion without her parent’s consent or knowledge but cannot get an aspirin from a school nurse without parental authorization.  Do you support any restrictions or parental notifications regarding abortion access for minors?

4)  If a pregnant woman and her unborn child are murdered , do you believe the criminal should face two counts of murder and serve a harsher sentence?

5)  Do you believe abortion should be legal once the unborn “fetus” is viable – able to survive outside the womb?

Many of us take a pro-choice position of disapproving of abortion ourselves but not wanting to force our beliefs on others.  To those, I would pose a final question:  What if the issue were slavery rather than abortion?

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The major economic news in Chicagoland today is that Motorola Mobility (MMI), now wholly owned by Google, is cutting 4000 jobs worldwide.  700 of those job cuts will be made in Chicago’s northern suburb of Libertyville, IL.  This will reduce Motorola Mobility’s Illinois work force from 3000 to 2300.  The significance of that 2300 number is laid out below the fold.

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A little background, Rep. Joe Walsh is the newly elected Republican representative of my district, IL-08.  As many of you know, he has refused to accept federal health insurance for himself and his wife, preferring to purchase a plan through private insurance on the open market.  His wife has a pre-existing condition which makes it unlikely he will find a plan he can afford, without special favors.

Rep. Walsh feels that not taking health insurance is the will of his constituents.  Below the fold is the letter I wrote to tell him otherwise.

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The Dan Seals (D) campaign for the IL-10 seat yesterday criticized House candidate Robert Dold (R) for attending a campaign event and political rally on Friday night, the start of Yom Kippur.  Dan Seals spokeswoman Aviva Gibbs said:

(Attending the event) "on the most sacred day of the Jewish year is just plain disrespectful".

I disagree with this statement in the strongest possible terms.  I cannot believe that a Democrat’s campaign has actually said that a candidate for office must observe any religious holiday, especially one not of the candidate’s own religion.  This is base political pandering and a clear violation of the separation of church and state.

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