Quick Hits – November 18, 2021

Quick Hits – November 18, 2021

Turn out the lights, the party’s over!

I’ve got to stop saying it can’t possibly get any worse because it always does!

It’s one thing to be blitheringly incompetent, but it’s another thing entirely for the “good guys” to subvert jurisprudence in a win-at-all-costs trial maneuver depriving the defense of significant evidence.

I’ve dealt with prosecutors personally, privately, and professionally long enough to know that withholding the hi-res drone video from the Rittenhouse defense was not a “mistake” as they’ll most certainly claim. It’s another perfect example of how prosecutors intentionally cheat because they so fervently believe the “good guys” are above the rules.

And if this was somehow unintentional, it’s even worse!

Then, after purposely withholding that evidence, the prosecution was stupid enough to play the hi-res video during their closing argument. As you might imagine, the defense quickly caught on and filed a motion asking the Judge to vacate any guilty verdict and declare a mistrial with prejudice. That means Rittenhouse will walk out of that courthouse a free man.

Despite my vast disdain for that little piece of shit, considering how the prosecution already tried to trample on his Miranda rights, were I Schroeder, I’d let the jury finish their deliberations and if they convict, I’d swiftly grant the JNOV (judgement notwithstanding the verdict) mistrial motion.

I’m sure some of you chalk up my prosecutorial loathing to my own experiences, including but not nearly limited to being a 20-year subject of the Unabom investigation. But I’d counterargue my hard-earned capacity to set aside personal feelings before I attack the keyboard generally wins out.

Think about it! First, the prosecution had to compress the drone video and THEN they had to send it to the defense. And by allowing a computer algorithm to complete the compression process, it materially alters the video such that it’s no longer the original.

I’d also argue this abjectly egregious example of foul play proves my prosecutorial point beyond any reasonable doubt.

 

Geneva sets a terrible precedent

If anyone can tell me when our county boards, city councils, and village board will start standing up for the taxpayers they so fervently purport to represent, I’m all ears! I’m not gonna start holding my breath, it’s just that I’d like to know.

Citing rising labor and materials cost, Geneva’s municipal office cleaning company, Citywide Building Maintenance of Itasca, asked the City to increase their rate by 10 percent for the final five months of their contract. That means, before it’s over, the City will pay $3,470.15 more than the expected rate.

And in a semi-surprising 6 to 4 split vote, the Geneva City Council actually said, “Why not! It isn’t our money!” and they capitulated. Though I still have (mildly) high hopes for him, Fourth Ward Alderman Gabriel Kaven rationalized that exceptionally bad decision this way:

I don’t know if this has the possibility of causing additional headaches for the next three or four months if they choose to submit the 10-day [contract] termination and walk away. But this is only for four to five months to make sure that the service is still getting completed. I’m not sure this is worth the aggravation to the city if we can’t find someone else to do it.

Yes Gabe! It is worth any potential aggravation because as Second Ward Alderman Marks aptly noted, allowing a vendor to renegotiate a contract 1.5 years into the game sets a terrible precedent. With that one in the books, what’s to stop every other vendor from showing up at city hall with their right hand out?

Haven’t they all been hit by COVID?

Since we’re talking, what on god’s green earth is Geneva doing signing any contract that a vendor can terminate with a simple ten-day written notice? The citizens of Geneva spend almost a-half-a-million dollars a year on city manager and a wholly unnecessary assistant city manager and neither one of them could be bothered to red flag a contract that isn’t really a contract?

It reminds of the Seinfeld Episode where Jerry goes on his classic rant about the rental car company that fails to understand the meaning of the word “reservation.”

Oh! And I’m sure Citywide offered Geneva a healthy rebate when they didn’t have to clean those offices nearly as much during the COVID shutdown.

Considering what municipalities have had to contend with these days, I understand why they wouldn’t want to have to worry about finding a new cleaning company for five months, particularly when we’re talking about 0.03 percent of a $103 million budget. But it’s abundantly clear that none of those councilpeople have played poker before.

Because if Citywide actually did execute that absurd 10-day termination clause, word would spread like wildfire and they’d never get another northern Illinois gig again. That means if those six alderman had just one-third the sense god gave a billy goat, they would’ve called Citywide’s bluff knowing damn well that walking away from a contract 19 months in would’ve been the equivalent of committing corporate suicide.

All city councilmen aside, I’m more than stunned Citywide even attempted this absurdly moronic move because insiders have already told me they will no longer be considered when the cleaning bid comes up in April.

So, because these corporate geniuses don’t begin to understand that a contract is your word, for a scant $3,500 short term windfall, they’ll lose out on the 92 grand they likely would’ve made over the next two years of the new contract. And if word of their successful blackmail attempt gets around, they’ll likely lose even more bids.

And the era of stupidity marches on!

 

The Saint Charles School Board really does suck!

And that’s statement’s something coming from the writer who’s frequently posited that “Threatening to throw someone off a school board is like threatening to stop beating them with a two-by-four.”

Now, I’m no genius – I know this because my readers tell me – but aside from the always pressing fiscal issues, the only priority on our collective school board minds should be bringing our children back from their plague-induced educational abyss as swiftly as possible.

As The First Ward reported last week, the ISBE’s most current school report card noted:

  • Pre-K and kindergarten enrollment dropped 17 and 8 percent.
  • Chronic school absenteeism rose 13.4 percent.
  • Students meeting grade level standards in math and English declined 18 and 17 percent.
  • High school freshman on track to graduate in four years dropped 5 percent.
  • Black, Hispanic, and lower income children have lost a full year of learning.

But what’s the St. Charles D303 School Board’s pressing preference? Wait for it… They want to hire a company to do an “equity audit.”

That’s right! They want to, in their own words “conduct a comprehensive review of the district’s current practices and educational outcomes to ensure every student has access to and participates in meaningful learning opportunities that result in positive outcomes, regardless of individual characteristics or group membership.”

When Geneva School Board President Taylor Egan had her daughter address that body on the efficacy of masks, I thought that was the pinnacle of poor judgement. But even I can’t begin to comprehend this level of blatant tone deafness.

So, at a time when our children are suffering developmentally because they’re forced to wear masks when they’re not at risk. At a time when they’ve suffered serious mental health issues from the undue isolation of an absurd year out of the classroom. At a time when test scores are plummeting. And at a time when this could be considered a Critical Race Theory move which will be a catalyst for even more threats against board members, they still somehow manage to make this kind of epically stupid decision?

Equity is by no means a bad thing, but when it pops up in the in the middle of a plague it conjures up the image of Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burns.

St. Charles! You have to vote these nitwits out at your first opportunity, or better yet, run for school board yourselves. It can’t possibly get worse than this bunch of loons.

 

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