Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The risk of immunity deals

I didn't like the immunity deal offered to Shane Lamb when it was given. Lamb got a free ride on involvement in the murder of Brian Carrick, when he said that he likely threw a punch that resulted in Carrick's death but Mario Casciaro "made me do it" (or words to that effect).

The McHenry County State's Attorney office went for the jugular on Casciaro and let Lamb go. Not that Lamb was an upstanding citizen or anything, but ...

Casciaro's trial attorney, Brian Telander, summed up Lamb at Casciaro's trial by saying that Lamb was "lying about lying about lying."

Now Lamb says it ain't so. He didn't have anything to do with it, nor did Casciaro.

See yesterday's article in the Northwest Herald, if you haven't already read it.

Have prosecuting attorneys been inclined or willing to do "anything" to get a gold star by their name in the Conviction column in the Great Ledger of Law? I watched their antics in certain cases that still stick in my mind. By this, I mean I was in the courtroom, watching.

However, I was not in the courtroom during Casciaro's last trial, when the State's Attorney's office made its sale. Remember, if you are ever in court and charged with a crime, don't expect to see justice or a fight for Right. It's about winning, and it's about losing.

The State will be trying to win; i.e., to convict you. The defense attorney's job is to keep them from winning. And the jury? It's going to "get sold", by one side of the other. If you have watched McHenry County juries, they aren't rocket scientists. A jury of your peers may be just the reason to ask for a trial by judge, but then you have to hope you don't get a "hangin' judge".

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sheriff's race - which one?

The Northwest Herald carries an article today with information about each candidate for sheriff in the November 4th general election.

The candidates are Independent Jim Harrison and Republican Bill Prim.

The article probably raises more questions than it gives answers. For example, one sentence reads, "Each sat down with the Northwest Herald to discuss the issues running up to the Nov. 4 election." OK, so did they sit down at the same time with representatives of the paper? Or did they meet separately? And who from the paper interviewed them? Was only the reporter, Chelsea McDougall, there?

Maybe there is an editorial on another webpage.

Read the article for yourself. And be sure to read the Comments from readers.

And don't miss the photo. The photo of Prim  appears to have been taken on the first floor of the County Administration Building, looking toward the main building that houses the courts and the sheriff's department. Don't miss the cowboy boots. And the white pants - straight out of the 1970s, aren't they?

Harrison has a fundraiser on Tuesday. Don't fall for the blather from the Prim campaign about having a lawyer for sheriff. Size up each man for his qualifications, education, experience, platform and intentions.

Be sure to vote in the Reader Poll.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Harrison-for-Sheriff fundraiser - Sept. 30

Remember Jim Harrison's fundraiser at the Woodstock Country Club on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Join them because "Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their county."
Please R.S.V.P. asap, no later than Sunday, September 28, 2014 (that's tomorrow) ....Tickets are also available at the door for latecomers.
See the full flyer about this event on the Harrison-for-Sheriff website at http://jimharrisonforsheriff.com/
In just over one month, one of the most important elections in recent McHenry County history will take place. If you aren't registered, there is still time - barely. So register! And vote on November 4.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Now, THIS is a Sheriff!

 Will McHenry County get this kind of sheriff, when voters go to the polls on November 4?

"As long as I'm the sheriff in this county," says Wicomico County, Maryland Sheriff Mike Lewis, "I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my citizens of their right to bear arms. I can tell you this, if they attempt to do that, it would be an all-out civil war, no question about it." 

Which candidate would take this position? Either one?

A good way to find out would be to ask the question at a public debate, such as the one proposed for October 8 and to be sponsored by the Northwest Herald and the McHenry County League of Women Voters.

The problem? Republican candidate Bill Prim says he has something better to do. His supporters should persuade him to agree to the debate!

NW Herald Opinion Poll (9/23/14)

Today's reader opinion poll on the Northwest Herald website (www.nwherald.com; scroll down to find it on the right) asks:

"Does a candidate refusing to debate affect how you vote?" Yes? No? Prim supporters are up early and have already voted No. Anyone else?

The question refers to Sheriff's Republican candidate Bill Prim and his refusal to debate Independent candidate Jim Harrison in a debate that was to be co-sponsored by the McHenry County League of Women Voters and the Northwest Herald on October 8.

Prim apparently told the sponsors he had a "scheduling conflict." What a load of B.S.! So, Bill, clear your schedule. What are you afraid of?

The Northwest Herald article included this line: "Prim also had concerns about the debate format that he said went unaddressed. He declined to explain the nature of those issues."

Did Prim ask the League and the newspaper not to ask him any embarrassing questions? Did he ask them not to ask him about the explosive news regarding the man he claims is "just a volunteer"? Did he want to limit questions about anyone else in his inner circle? Or who he has in mind for key positions, should he be elected?

Ducking the debate is like flipping the bird at McHenry County voters.

Come on, Bill. Man up. Do you really think you are so far out in front that you can snub voters by refusing to debate?

If you change your mind and do show up, wear a suit, like you did the last time. Just leave the cowboy boots at home. McHenry County is not in Wyoming.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Prim refuses to debate Harrison

In a press release dated September 22, 2014, candidate Jim Harrison announced that Bill Prim, the Republican candidate, has refused the debate that was put together by the McHenry County League of Women Voters. Read his press release below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 22, 2014
Citizens to Elect Jim Harrison Sheriff
Contact:  Jim Harrison
Post Office Box 10
Ringwood, IL 60072
EMAIL:  jimharrisonsdesk@gmail.com
PHONE:  815-575-4001

Bill Prim Declines To Debate Jim Harrison

Independent Sheriff’s Candidate Jim Harrison criticized Republican Sheriff’s Candidate Bill Prim’s refusal to face-off against Harrison in a live debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters that was scheduled for October 8, 2014 at MCC.  Although Harrison accepted the invitation to debate, Prim declined.

Prim’s refusal to debate came on the heels of the disclosure of Prim’s campaign chairman’s violent criminal background.  “What else does Bill Prim have to hide from the voters,” Harrison inquired?  By declining the debate, Prim directly contradicted his earlier statement made in a December 28, 2013 press release:

“When, if ever, Mr. Harrison becomes a certified candidate, as I have for the office of Sheriff, I would be happy to debate him.”  Bill Prim

Harrison was certified as a candidate back in June of this year, following his record-setting filing of 9,500 petition signatures endorsing Harrison’s candidacy to become McHenry County’s first-time-ever “Independent” Sheriff. 

In Prim’s December 28, 2013 press release, Prim criticized his primary election opponent Andy Zinke’s decision to pull out of the only scheduled debate, calling it:

“…a decision that denies the people of McHenry County a chance to weigh for themselves the qualities and abilities of the two candidates…”  Bill Prim

Prim claimed that failing to debate:

“…deprived the voters of an excellent opportunity not only to learn our positions on the issues but to get a sense of the man behind the positions, and how we conduct ourselves in a high-stakes, high-pressure environment.  The Sheriff’s Office, and law enforcement in general, is frequently stressful.  Voters want to see for themselves how a candidate for that office operates when he has to think on his feet and make rapid decisions.”  Bill Prim

In December of 2013, Bill Prim denounced the act of refusing to debate, calling it: “…a feeble showing indeed.”  However, when the time came for Bill Prim to debate Jim Harrison, Prim started whistling a different tune.  “That’s a problem with Bill Prim,” Harrison said; “he says one thing and does another.”  “By refusing to debate, Prim has attempted to limit the ability for voters to make an informed choice for Sheriff,” Harrison added.  “I believe McHenry County voters are a lot smarter than Bill Prim gives them credit for being,” Harrison concluded.

Will Sheriff candidates debate?

There may or may not be a debate (or forum) on October 8th at MCC, at which voters can size up Bill Prim and Jim Harrison.

Cal Skinner reported on Prim's fundraiser yesterday and quoted Bill Prim as saying, "I don't throw dirt." Prim was referring, apparently, to a quote in a book about Texas Sheriff Ed Tom Bell campaign, in which Bell reportedly said, “If you’re throwing dirt, you’re losing ground.”

One of the problems in the Sheriff's campaign, as I see it, is that Prim isn't throwing anything. He's not throwing statements, for example, about his position on militarization of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department.

Prim's position became clear to me at a meet-and-greet before the spring Republican Primary, when his only words to me were, "You're the guy who doesn't like militarization." He didn't give me a chance to ask him what he meant, and he didn't ask me why. What I don't like is the improper use of military-type equipment.

I'm continuing to read A Government of Wolves - the emerging American Police State, by John W. Whitehead.

If you are almost brain-dead from watching Dancing with the Stars and American Idol and other mind-numbing shows on TV and are not paying attention to the continuing encroachment on your rights, wake up now, before it's too late. Start paying attention to militarization and the mind-set behind it. And read Whitehead's book.

Is anyone investigating how much military might is currently held by the McHenry County Sheriff's Department and the police departments (large and small) just in McHenry County? For example, take a look at Spring Grove P.D. The population in Spring Grove is 5,758 (2010). What possible need could they have for their own militarized equipment?
Bill Prim is a cop. He thinks like a cop. He'll continue to think and act like a cop. That's who he is. But does he think like a cop whose first allegiance is to the people he is there to protect and to serve?

Look where MCSD ended up in the Nygren Reign. Nygren was a cop. He should have known better than to park next to me in the Jewel-Osco parking in 2009, glare at me in an effort to intimidate me, and then accuse me of stalking him. Since when can a stalkee drive up and park next to a "stalker" and then claim he is being stalked?

Will Prim meet Harrison on October 8?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Need power-washing?

Need power-washing around the place?

Call Josh Harrison, owner of JH Power Cleaning in Woodstock. Call him at 815.218.5090 and check out his Facebook page, JH power cleaning services.

Why Josh?

He pitched in to clean graffiti from the garage of a McHenry home where racially-charged vandalism occurred earlier this week. See the photo and story on the Northwest Herald website today.

Thank you, Josh!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Illinois concealed carry - apply yet?

Last year (2013) the Illinois General Assembly passed a concealed-carry law, finally giving law-abiding citizens the lawful privilege to carry a loaded and concealed firearm in public. Did you apply yet?

If you did - even just apply - you gave up important rights. Did you know that?

Section 30 of the law reads:

"430 ILCS 66/30
Sec. 30. Contents of license application.
(a) The license application shall be in writing, under penalty of perjury, on a standard form adopted by the Department and shall be accompanied by the documentation required in this Section and the applicable fee. Each application form shall include the following statement printed in bold type: "Warning: Entering false information on this form is punishable as perjury under Section 32-2 of the Criminal Code of 2012."
(b) The application shall contain the following:
(1) the applicant's name, current address, date and

year of birth, place of birth, height, weight, hair color, eye color, maiden name or any other name the applicant has used or identified with, and any address where the applicant resided for more than 30 days within the 10 years preceding the date of the license application;
(2) the applicant's valid driver's license number

or valid state identification card number;
(3) a waiver of the applicant's privacy and

confidentiality rights and privileges under all federal and state laws, including those limiting access to juvenile court, criminal justice, psychological, or psychiatric records or records relating to any institutionalization of the applicant,..."

Have you been pounding on your legislators to change this? To restore your rights, if you have already applied? You haven't? Why not?

Consider what could happen the next time you get stopped for speeding or a burned-out license plate light. The cop says, "I'm going to search your car and your person."

You say, "No, you're not. I have rights."

The cop says, "My in-car computer says you have an Illinois concealed-carry license. You don't have those rights any longer."

The NRA and the ISRA rolled over and gave up the fight. They apparently have failed, so far, to drag the State of Illinois into court over this. The NRA lobbyist said in about April 2013 that he had the votes to block a bad bill. He didn't.

Don't go soft as time passes. I knew immediately that I would never apply, so I moved out of Illinois.

I guess that deputy with MCSD was right. When I telephoned in 1996 to ask how to apply for a concealed carry permit, he laughed at me and said I would never get a permit in Illinois.

If you have paid your $150 and have applied, call your lawyer now and ask how to protect yourself, if it's even possible now, regarding those rights that you gave up. What did you give up? When you signed that application, you gave up your "privacy and confidentiality rights and privileges under all federal and state laws."

Not just to "juvenile court, criminal justice, psychological, or psychiatric records"; you gave up ALL your rights, including those.

An attorney as Sheriff? Why?

In speaking with friends in McHenry County from 800 miles away, I keep hearing, "I don't want an attorney as Sheriff." Yesterday I got to thinking how glad I was that Jim Harrison is not a car salesman! He certainly has an uphill battle!

I urge you to go to his campaign website and read the material under "Jim's Message". Did you know that nearly one-quarter of the sheriffs in Illinois are attorneys. I didn't. The only one I knew of was Tom Dart, the Cook County Sheriff.

So, take ten minutes and read that section. Then browse around the rest of his website. You'll find it at http://jimharrisonforsheriff.com/

Read his views about taking politics out of the Sheriff's Department.

Find Jim and meet him. Ask him your questions.

National Cheeseburger Day!

Today, September 18, is National Cheeseburger Day.

Be sure to celebrate appropriately - and responsibly.

Be alive to celebrate next year. No Dashboard Dining today...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


That's the sentence that Judge Kapala dished out to disgraced McHenry County Sheriff's Department former Sgt. Greg Pyle. Fifty years. It might as well be Life. That'll be a life sentence for Pyle.

In a hearing in Rockford today that lasted about two hours, Judge Kapala hammered Pyle for his horrendous and despicable acts - sexual acts against a child. And, if you remember from State charges filed by the Illinois State Police in McHenry County prior to the Federal charges, those charges involved a family member.

Judge Kapala denied a motion to close the hearing and ruled that it would remain open, so those in the courtroom heard the statement by Pyle's former wife.

Why did Pyle get 50 years? Because his victims were children - his children. Because he produced pornography. Because he distributed it.

Enough about Pyle. He's going away for what will likely be the rest of his life.

But some local questions linger. At least, for me. Maybe for you, too.

Who were Pyle's closest buddies at the Sheriff's Department? Who was in the small clique with Pyle that made life difficult for some McHenry County residents? To what extent did they operate outside the law? Who has closely examined that clique and searched for embarrassing problems?

Pyle seemed to be a favored deputy by Sheriff Nygren. Why didn't Nygren get a whiff of what was going on? Maybe Nygren spent too much time in Wisconsin and Florida and too little time at 2200 N. Seminary Ave. in Woodstock. The Department spent a lot of money on Pyle, sending him to FBI schools. Did Pyle's deviant attitude and actions make its way into Department business?

Who among Pyle's buddies had a hunch about Pyle's deviant interests and failed to take action? Anyone? Was there not even one person at MCSD who suspected Pyle was into some bad stuff?

Pyle took a shot at ruining a number of lives. His sons. His wife. His parents. Neighbors. People who thought they were friends. Buddies at work.

The work now will be for those people to rebuild their lives. The right kind of therapy is critical. The Court heard that more therapy is needed. The problems are with availability and cost. It must be with the right therapists. There are resources available, if funds are short or non-existent.

There is to be a hearing on October 21, at which restitution will be discussed. With all due respect to the Court, what a joke that is. What restitution? From what sources?

Now I'll go and see what the Northwest Herald and the Chicago Tribune have to say.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Harrison smear in NWH comments

There is a substantial smear campaign underway against McHenry County Independent candidate for Sheriff Jim Harrison. Many comments are being posted on the Northwest Herald website, mostly by anonymous writers, some of whom are obviously supporters of Bill Prim.

You owe it to yourself to go to Jim's campaign website and read under the tab "Straight Answers to Crooked Questions".

I have received e-hate mail and text messages, some bordering on threatening language, for writing my own comments to the Northwest Herald article. Ask me if I'm worried. (I'm not, just in case you don't want to ask.)

Go to www.jimharrisonforsheriff.com and read Jim's answers. Then decide for yourself. But get the facts, folks. Don't just jump in on the smear train. All hot and bothered about Jim's earnings as a Special Assistant State's Attorney? Or the "land deal"? Read the facts.

The Northwest Herald article is here.

For more complete details about the Iowa criminal charges and the Jerome, Arizona DUI, click on the Media tab on the Harrison-for-Sheriff campaign site.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Harrison-for-Sheriff fundraiser

The Jim Harrison for Sheriff campaign will hold a fundraiser on Tuesday, September 30, at the Woodstock Country Club. This is your next opportunity to meet Jim and to ask him your direct questions about his campaign and how he would conduct the Office of Sheriff of McHenry County.
Jim is the Independent Candidate in this contested General Election for Sheriff. The sheriff is elected for a four-year term, and this is the first time in many years that the incumbent or a hand-picked successor is not on the ballot.

Meet Jim from 5:30PM to 7:30PM at the Woodstock Country Club, located at 10310 Country Club Road, in Bull Valley.

View the complete poster for this event on the campaign website at http://jimharrisonforsheriff.com/events/

And mark your calendars for October 8 at MCC, for a debate between Jim Harrison and Bill Prim. It is my understanding that the Northwest Herald and the McHenry County League of Women Voters are trying to put this together.

When should SWAT be used?.

When is the appropriate time to use a Specials Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team? What do you think?

"Remember, SWAT teams originated as specialized units dedicated to defusing extremely sensitive, dangerous situations." (A Government of Wolves, N.Y., SelectBooks Inc. 2013, p. 65) Maybe I didn't even need that quote from this book. Many readers would have answered in a very similar way.

But how is SWAT used now? Even right in McHenry County?

Remember when six deputies showed up at a woman's house (in Island Lake, wasn't it?), because she had some unpaid fines at the McHenry County Courthouse? How does a Sheriff's Department get away with that ________ (fill in the blank here)? That happens when the wolf is in charge of the henhouse.

Was that an extremely sensitive situation? a dangerous one? Well, it was for the teen-age girl at home, while her mother was at work! One deputy could have gone to the house to search the warrant! Instead, six suited up in all their glorious gear and went "out to play". It's a wonder they didn't go there in the MARV!

In fact, one of the deputies even told me he could have served that warrant by himself. Better yet, a clerk could have called the woman to remind her that she had unpaid fines. How did the fines get overlooked? The paperwork was in the glove compartment of her car, when it was wrecked and towed away.

How many other times has SWAT been improperly used at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department in the past five years? Any? Many?

Consider this. If someone is pounding on your front door in the middle of the night and breaks down the door, are you going to start shooting when men (and women?) in dark clothing come busting into your home? SWAT doesn't always get the right house, you know.

Be glad you don't live in Indiana, where courts have said the cops are right, even if they get the wrong house - just because they are the cops. "In May 2011 the Indiana Supreme Court broadly ruled in Barnes v. State that people don't have the right to resist police officers who enter their homes illegally." (ibid., p. 18) Anybody else worried about that mindset among judges??? Could that decision creep into Illinois? Or into other states?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sheriff candidates' views on militarization

Where do the two candidates for Sheriff of McHenry County stand on the issue of militarization of the County Sheriff's Department?

Militarization hit the national news after Ferguson, Mo. exploded and, in my opinion, took a bad hit. I don't mind use of some previous military equipment by police and sheriff's departments, but its use must be carefully controlled.

In Ferguson I didn't mind seeing the armored vehicles on the scene of what could have quickly turned into a nasty and prolonged riot.

Obama stuck his nose into it, looking for the sympathetic vote from the libs. The heck with the peacekeepers, he seems to have said. But police are using the MARVs and the MRAPs in advance of clear and present danger. See John Whitehead's book, A Government of Wolves.

I personally learned Bill Prim's stand on militarization at a meet-and-greet in Woodstock. After I said hello to him, he said something like, "You're the lib- , err, guy who doesn't believe in militarization" and he walked away.

When I was doing the deputy thing in Colorado for almost eight years, I was a citizen first and a cop second. I believed, even then, that cops ought to be first to obey the law, not the last. In the DUI refresher class, all the other students moved away from my chair, when I said I'd arrest a drunk cop in uniform driving home.

An in-depth discussion or argument between the candidates on the topic of militarization would give voters an excellent idea of where the candidates stand and who they really are.

Does McHenry County want a sheriff like the ones around the country who are ready to face off against Obama and the politicians who want to bury the Second Amendment? Or does the County want a Sheriff who thinks citizens can be trusted with guns? Now is the time to find out. Before the election.

You'll have to ask them. I don't know. Ask them where they stand. Tell them where you want them to stand and find out if they agree.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Harrison comes out swinging

Independent candidate for McHenry County Sheriff, Jim Harrison, came out swinging in a press release that can be viewed on his campaign website at www.jimharrisonforsheriff.com/media  Jim sinks his teeth into Bill Prim and Bill's choice of campaign manager.

I received my first text message about it early this morning. All who are interested in this important race should read it and start asking questions.

Will there be a debate or a forum before this critical election? Will voters get a chance to size up the candidates in person?  Will the candidates make themselves available?

Will voters get a real chance to ask tough questions, or will any debate/forum be a watered-down, milk-toast program designed to lull the audience to sleep?

Less than two months remain until Election Day, November 4. If you aren't registered to vote, there is time to register. If you moved, find out if you must re-register.

Do not miss this election! This is the first time in many years that the voters won't have to buck an incumbent or a Party-chosen candidate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A must-read : A Government of Wolves

I just came across John W. Whitehead's book, A Government of Wolves - the Emerging American Police State (published in 2013). I'm only to Page 16, but this is a must-read for anyone concerned about his rights, as in his Rights.

This quote leads off Chapter 1: "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." Who said that? Abraham Lincoln!

I'm sure it's no coincidence that I'm reading this on the eve of September 11th. Whitehead hammers the USA Patriot Act. How many of us understand even a small part of it?

Whitehead writes, "The Patriot Act drove a stake through the heart of the Bill of Rights, violating at least six of the Constitution's ten original amendments."

Get this book and read it for yourself. Buy the hardcover edition ($13.72 from Amazon) and start marking it up with Government actions you don't like. You're going to make a mess of the book, but then you can buy another copy.

Right now, click on the link above (the book title). When you get to the Amazon webpage, click on the book cover and read a few pages. That part's free.

Panera Bread gun "rule"

Tonight I had a nice meal in Panera Bread, and no one realized I was armed. Not even the cafe manager, as he and I stood close to one another while I thanked him for the good food and courteous staff.

And that's the whole point. When a law-abiding citizen carries a concealed firearm, it is supposed to be concealed. 

Shannon Watts (MOMS Demand (you be defenseless)) wants me to be a duck in the shooting gallery, if an armed robber comes into Panera and starts shooting up the place. Sorry, Shannon. It's not going to happen.

CEO Ron Shaich sided with Shannon (sort of), when he said that he doesn't want armed customers in his businesses unless they are law enforcement officers. I wonder what tune he'll be singing, if an armed robber injures or kills an employee or a customer, while a licensed customer is in the place but without his firearm.

Shannon and Ron should read From Luby's to the Legislature, especially the final five pages.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

City Council gets bamboozled

The week's The Woodstock Independent (TWI) carries a front-page story that the Woodstock Police Department (WPD) will install new camera equipment in ten squad cars and on one motorcycle that will run for the officer's entire shift. On August 19 the Woodstock City approved approved the purchase 6-0 (Councilman Mark Saladin was absent).

Thoughts, anyone?

This has got to be one of the most outrageous knee-jerk decisions to follow in the wake of the uproar from Ferguson, Missouri.

Where is the trust level between the Department and the officers on the street?

Current equipment records when the vehicle's emergency equipment is activated. Unknown to many civilians, but well-known among the officers, is that the recording equipment captures the 30-to-60 seconds of view prior to activation. So the weaving of the vehicle driven by a drunk or the lack of taillights at night or the speeding will be preserved as soon as the emergency equipment is turned on.

Chief Lowen told the Independent, "[The video cameras] help us in the prosecution of cases - in particular, DUIs." That's true. The current cameras do that.

It's not the $2,800 cost per vehicle (probably plus installation), but it's the Big Brother monitoring of trained employees. The officers must feel that the trust level has sunk to Zero. I won't ever know, because they know to keep their mouths shut. Any WPD officer interested in career security would not show up at the City Council meeting to voice his opinion; that's for sure.

Then you must read the TWI editorial, which spews the same lines that inflamed Ferguson. "tragic events in Ferguson, Mo." - "shooting death of unarmed black teenager ... by white police officer". And promotes vest-worn cameras. Then they drag Chip Amati into the editorial.

I doubt that the "many good police officers" agree that they would gain "protection" from vest-worn cameras.

Will Public Works employees be fitted with "vest-worn cameras" that will show how many minutes of idle time there are in an 8-hour workday?

Will employees in the City Manager's Office have to wear vest-mounted cameras? Will they be able to turn them off when they enter the restroom?

Big Brother is watching. Big Brother is creeping into everyone's lives. I wonder what the Fraternal Order of Police had to say about the new in-car cameras.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

THIS is a President!

Thanks to a Woodstock friend for sharing this video with me on Facebook.

THIS is the kind of President we need - not the one now in the White House!

Watch your words at the library!

I was at the library last Wednesday to pick up a book I had reserved - James Patterson's new Invisible (published June 2014). I had requested it online, and the library had notified me it was available.

As I stood at the desk, a woman approached me and asked, "Did you figure it out?"

I responded with, "What?"

She asked again, "Did you figure it out?"

I: "Well, not really."

She said, "The _________ did it."

Then she observed my expression more closely and asked, "Oh, haven't you read it yet?"

I was standing in the check-out line, not the return line!

She apologized profusely and I, as kindly as possible, told her not to worry and that I'd just forget she told me that. I finished all 399 pages last night. She was right. (I won't spoil the ending.)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

NWH reporter DID see Leist's report on Zinke

Remember when Undersheriff Andy Zinke spoiled a DEA investigation by revealing it to a political contributor and friend of Sheriff Nygren? That was a case in which the DEA believes a truckload of drugs was headed for that political contributor's company in Crystal Lake.

And how EEO and Legal Affairs Officer Don Leist "investigated" the leak of that information and determined that Zinke had done no wrong?

And how the McHenry County Sheriff's Department has refused to release Leist's "investigative" report?

Read yesterday's Northwest Herald story, which reports that reporter Sarah Strzalka (better known to readers at the time as Sarah Sutschek) had eyes on the confidential report.

The story was on the paper's website for a short time and quickly became "old news". Now you have to know about it to search for it, because the paper has already cleared it off the homepage.

According to the story, both Nygren and Leist testified on Wednesday and denied showing the report to Sutschek. Part of Leist's testimony was that he handed the report over to Zinke.

Keep in mind that Zinke was the employee who was investigated by Leist!!!!!

If you read the story in FirstElectricNewspaper.com (the electronic news published by Pete Gonigam), you learn that Leist left the report in a room with Zinke and Sutschek (Strzalka). Sutschek claimed journalistic privilege and refused to say who showed her the report.

Gonigam's attorney wanted Judge Meyer to fetch Zinke right on the spot. Instead, he continued the matter to October, which will give Zinke plenty of time to get his story "right" or develop amnesia. (The Northwest Herald article omitted the date of the October hearing, although it would have been set in court.)

The Case Number is 13MR000309, if you are interested in following it.

How many FOIA Officers?

Just how many Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officers does the McHenry County Sheriff's Department have?

How many would you think it ought to have? One; right? There ought to be one (1) FOIA Officer; i.e., one designated employee who serves in that capacity. One person who makes the decisions. Yes, there will be employees who do some of the work, but there ought to be just one official, designated FOIA Officer.

Earlier this year Sgt. Carolyn Decman identified herself as "FOIA Officer" in a response to a FOIA request submitted from outside the State of Illinois (not by me).

Now there is the FOIA request from me that is pending; it's about the domestic violence incident involving a deputy - the one in which reports list the deputy as the Suspect.

MCSD employee Timberlee Hall is identified as the FOIA Officer in correspondence with the Public Access Bureau of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.

And within that correspondence, as MCSD struggles to avoid responding thoroughly to my request, is a letter on MCSD stationery to the Public Access Bureau from Duane Cedergren, Commander, FOIA Officer.

And, on August 13, when I telephoned the Records Division of the MCSD, a Lori (last name was refused) took the call when I asked for the FOIA Officer and told me she was "one of them".

When Mrs. Jan Weech was the FOIA Officer, MCSD got along just fine with one FOIA Officer. Why, now, do at least four people identify themselves as FOIA Officers?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Unseal Brown juvie records?

A court case begins today in St. Louis, Mo. to unseal the juvenile criminal records, if any, of Michael Brown. An investigative journalist (these are few and far in-between and are a rare, almost-extinct breed in today's media) filed a case in St. Louis to find out whether Brown was the "gentle giant" or someone else.

Just how much of a "someone else" is hinted in the video of Brown's strong-arm robbery of the Quik Trip in Ferguson, Mo., minutes before she was shot to death on a Ferguson street. In that video Brown can be seen shoving a store employee and then menacing him after the clerk followed him to the door. The clerk, of small stature compared to Brown's 6'4", 285 lb. size, was smart and backed up.

Charles C. Johnson, founder of GotNews.com, apparently got a whiff of important, secret information about Brown.

The hearing to unseal any juvenile criminal records of Michael Brown, 18 when he died on August 9, begins today before Judge Ellen Siwak, according to The Examiner on August 27.

ABC News reports that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has also filed a lawsuit to unseal any confidential juvenile criminal records of Brown. The St. Louis paper got scooped by GotNews. Would it have sought this information on its own?

The ABC article reports that Brown family attorney Crump refuses to comment about any possible juvenile criminal record. OK, so if Brown was clean, wouldn't Crump be hollering and waving his arms and complaining about Johnson's lawsuit to unseal records.

If there are juvenile criminal records, why don't Crump and the Brown family hold a press conference and say so?

By the way, if you look at the homepage of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this morning (7:00AM), you won't see one word about the paper's lawsuit to unseal these records, if they exist.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fed up with Ferguson, Mo.!!!

I added the Bill Whittle video on Tuesday morning, Sept. 2. If you agree, please comment. The following comments are my own.

I am fed up with Ferguson, Mo. and the media.

I grew up in University City, Mo., about six miles south of Ferguson. Ferguson was a different community then. Heck, University City was a different community then. I think there was one black student at University City High School in 1957.

The protestors in Ferguson are directly responsible for converting the shooting of Michael Brown into a national racist problem. They want justice. What they really want is Ofc. Darren Wilson swinging at the end of a rope over a tree limb in front of the Ferguson Police Department. And it's not going to happen.

Protestors were planning to shut down interstate highways  in the St. Louis area today. They will be directly responsible for getting some stupid protestor killed. The police had better be taking names and numbers, and they ought to be kicking some butts about now.

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald S. Johnson needs to start acting like a law enforcement official and telling protestors that, if they enter the highways, they will be arrested. End of story. No more B.S. No more "Mr. Nice Guy". He should start acting like the cop he is are paid to be. And if he can't, he should be replaced.

Some (white or black or brown or yellow or red) motorist in Missouri is going to become fearful at a swarm of black protestors in the highway and start shooting. Is that what that jerk, Zaki Baruti (one of the protest organizers), wants? If that happens, he should be charged with contributing to a homicide or inciting a riot.

If citizens want to protest peacefully and not act in a threatening manner toward the cops or other citizens, fine. Get a permit and march through the park or something. Stay out of the highways.

By now the police must be so fearful of stepping on a crack that they won't be able to begin to do their jobs. And that has to end. The sooner, the better.

How to answer calls from unknown numbers

This one arrived in an email today. I think I'll use it...