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Second City
Discrediting the Blue Model One Crisis at a Time

Last February, an investigation revealed that Chicago had a detention facility that lawyers claimed was “the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site”; those in the Homan Square site experienced a number of abuses, including being held without access to an attorney and suffering beatings by police. In a followup to its February investigation, the Guardian has released more information on the scandal. Some of the key findings from the new report:

  • Between September 2004 and June 2015, around 3,540 people were eventually charged, mostly with forms of drug possession – primarily heroin, as well as marijuana and cocaine – but also for minor infractions such as traffic violations, public urination and driving without a seatbelt.
  • More than 82% of the Homan Square arrests thus far disclosed – or 2,974 arrests – are of black people, while 8.5% are of white people. Chicago, according to the 2010 US census, is 33% black and 32% white.
  • Over two-thirds of the arrests at Homan Square thus far revealed – at least 2,522 – occurred under the tenure of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former top aide to Barack Obama who has said of Homan Square that the police working under him “follow all the rules”.

These abuses occurred in a deep blue city in one of the bluest states in the country. That shouldn’t surprise us. Blue modelers, of course, have seemingly endless faith in the power of big government to do well by the people it governs, especially the most vulnerable. Their rhetoric turns on the claim that blue policies alone can help the poor, and they brand those who disagree as racists who hate the poor. And when it turns out that no one was guarding the guardsmen, and that institutions have abused the power they’ve been given, blue modelers are surprised and disappointed, but somehow still earnestly convinced that the solution is…yet more big blue government.

Chicago, with its metastasizing pension crisis, its poorly functioning school system, and, as we now know, this detention site abuse, is one giant, city-sized argument to the contrary. Long hailed as the “city that works” in contrast to obviously failing places like Detroit and New Orleans, Chicago, too, is coming under pressure as the accumulating failures of an obsolescent social model reduce its economic viability and degrade its institutions. Handing over more power to blue institutions isn’t the way to help the poor; often, it is precisely that concentrated power that is turned against the most vulnerable.

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  • Kevin

    These a uses are not peripheral to the blue system, they are an essential element of it. A key element of urban Democratic politics is economic disenfranchisement and police suppression and of an impoverished (mostly) black minority.

  • Boritz

    “Handing over more power to blue institutions isn’t the way to help the poor; often, it is precisely that concentrated power that is turned against the most vulnerable.”

    The vulnerable:  But we like it and wouldn’t vote for anything else.

    • JR

      This goes right to the crux of the problem. Most people are poor not because of cruel indifferent fates but because of they make bad decisions. Making bad decisions leads to bad consequences.

      • Suzyqpie

        Government subsidizes poverty and failure. We get more of whatever government subsidizes. The plan is working?

    • Suzyqpie

      The vulnerable: We are happy participants in Game Show Government, vote for me I’ll give you cash and prizes.
      Because #freeshitmatters.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “Blue modelers, of course, have seemingly endless faith in the power of big government to do well by the people it governs, especially the most vulnerable.”

    “blue modelers are surprised and disappointed, but somehow still earnestly convinced that the solution is…yet more big blue government.”

    It is the “Feedback of Competition” which provides both the information and motivation which forces continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price, in free markets. The Government Monopoly like all Monopolies including the Big Business Limited Monopolies all suffer from the same disease, the lack of the “Feedback of Competition”. It is the “Feedback of Competition” that is responsible for all human advancement, as nothing of lesser power, can get people who hate change and will avoid it at nearly all costs, to change.

    If mankind really wants to get better, it must limit the Government Monopoly to only those responsibilities and authorities which a free people cannot do on their own. Namely Defense, Foreign Relations, and Justice, everything else needs to be left in the Free Market where the “Feedback of Competition” will force continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price. Most people will recognize that this is exactly how the United States started out, and swiftly rose to dominate the World. Unfortunately the US Constitution has been over thrown in the name of more and more power for the Politicians.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Some of this makes some sense on other subjects, but you are tagging it onto an article focused on the abuses of law enforcement in the “Justice” category, one of those “responsibilities and authorities” you have assigned to the “Government Monopoly”. We all know that big cities are going to run police departments. When certain people in those departments—-especially the middle management—- run themselves outside of sensible lines, the “Feedback of Competition” which is needed is from citizens, the press and possibly the Feds. We don’t fix the police with more talk about free markets.

      • Donald Campbell

        I would consider that favorite of Blue Model claims, the need is to look at ‘root causes’. Why are 82% of the arrests from 1/3 the population? Could it be the cycle of dependence and broken homes fostered by the Blue Model have some part in the pathology? Could it be that Chicago is a segregated city with whites and blacks living apart? Could it be the job benefits and/or the high unemployment rate of the Obama ‘recovery’?
        Police respond to the environment they are in. Gang shootings and a total disregard for life by some of Chicago’s residents might indeed wear-off on the Police to lower their regard for the same segment of the population. Nothing quite hardens your views than being shot at.

        • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

          Why is half of Chicago illiterate? And that half, needless to say, is not chocolate/vanilla swirl.

        • FriendlyGoat

          You raise important conundrums. We all know urban areas have difficulties in this country and all others where people are stacked into metro areas.

          There is, however, NO credence to tacking Obama’s name onto the recovery of diminishing benefits and high unemployment. None. Zilch. Those negative characteristics are caused by dual impacts from high-end tax cuts and globalization.

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            No, they are caused by millions of people believing in a lie: that “experts” and “leaders” can solve ALL their problems FOR them. Which of course, is a central assumption of the Blue Social Model.

            Were people responding to the truth, they would adapt to globalization (even as they benefit from the lower costs it produces) by exercising the personal initiative to be productive AND enforce their value in the marketplace … and were resources kept in their hands, instead of seeing what they could be getting paid sucked up so that a relative few myopic bureaucrats can act out their delusions of omniscience, they would benefit even more.

            But instead, we have people whose ENCOURAGED lack of initiative leaves them ever more vulnerable to the errors/greed/mendacity/delusion of the “experts” and “leaders” … and among other things, the “problem” of wealth inequality keeps getting bigger because people are leaving their piece of pie on the counter, because they have been led to believe that they need a waiter to serve it to them … when they could grab that pie and a fork, and start digging in.

            Bitterly clinging to that Blue Model is what is keeping the “little guy” down.

  • Josephbleau

    Once the Blue Revolution wins power, the first step of the leadership is to kill all the Blue Revolutionaries.

  • Dale Fayda

    They wanted big, oppressive, unresponsive, secretive government – they got it, good and hard. More of the same to come.

  • M Snow

    Where is Loretta Lynch on this? Sounds horrific.

  • jeburke

    I must say, TAI is off base here, parroting criticism from The Guardian, of all places. Chicago is awash in bloody crime, mayhem and daily murder. Many neighborhoods are such shooting galleries that passing through in your car is dangerous and transiting on public transit out of the question. ALL of this crime and mischief is attributable to Black and Mexican street gangs engaged in endless wars over drug selling turf and derivative quarrels over god knows what — plus the inevitable crimes against ordinary citizens by legions of money needy addicts. There are NO WHITE STREET GANGS. Not one. Consequently, however many white people live in Chicago, there are precious few arrests of white people. This is really elementary.

    • CapitalHawk

      Wait, there are no white street gangs? But, I just watched West Side Story and there was totally a white street gang in it.

      Anyway, assuming your assertion of no white street gangs is correct, this is just more evidence of racism in America. We must not rest until the street gangs of America look like America. There is a clear disparate impact in the formation of street gangs. WE NEED MORE WHITE STREET GANGS!!!!!

  • alboalt

    The blue model assumes an enlightened government run by caring and altruistic politicians and bureaucrats who serve a populace that won’t cheat and will pay their fair share in return for a fair share of benefits.

    But that has no relationship to reality. And humans aren’t like that.

  • catorenasci

    Chicago has the government it voted for. It is very difficult to have any sympathy. Chicago has been a one party Democratic machine since 1931 – that’s more than 80 years since there was a Republican. And the place has been an authoritarian machine and union dominated sinkhole ever since. It was “the city that works” on graft and corruption until the vig got too high. No reform is really possible; it’s only a matter of time until in collapses like Detroit. There’s absolutely nothing done in Chicago that couldn’t be done elsewhere, today. It’s coasting on having been a great transportation and manufacturing hub. Detroit was essential to the auto industry until it wasn’t. Give Chicago another 20 years of Democratic rule and it will be Detroit.

  • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

    If only there was some national figure, with political roots in Chicago and a proven civil rights record to take this on….. Forward.

  • Nate Whilk
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