Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Adventure in Obamaland (aka Grant Park)

Tuesday night, I decided to venture downtown to see what was going on at the Obama rally in Grant Park. I decided that I would look at the festivities outside the park rather than what was going on inside the park.

I rode in on the train as parking for the event was going to be hard to come by, and expensive. Yes, I'm a bit of a cheapskate. On the train, the groups boarding were mostly young, and diverse in appearence. However, they were not diverse in opinion or goal. I overheard one group discussing the 2000 election and how Gore got the popular vote but not the electoral vote.

Once downtown, I took note of the law enforcement presence. There were Chicago Police Officers, CTA officers, traffic cops, private security, and more. The presence was massive, with as many as a dozen LEOs at each street corner.

I walked along Jackson on my way to Grant Park and took note of the many street vendors. This would be quite common, as I found out, along Michigan Avenue as well.

All sorts of items were being sold. Buttons, T-shirts, banners, posters, etc.

When I got to Michigan, I saw several people playing music on various instruments. Some bands had real instruments, while others were using 5 gallon pastic buckets.

There was also a guy at Michigan and Congress handing out religious material. I took one, and it was non-political, but talked about the need to be reborn. The guy was handing them out to anyone who passed by.

I then went to the east side of Michigan Avenue to see what was to be found. In front of the main entrance to the Obama rally, World Can't Wait was set up with their tables and banners.

They seemed to go all out, enjoying the night.

In addition to the World Can't Wait folks, there were others who demanded to be seen with their signs at the ready. Here's a guy who claimed the election is a distraction. A distraction from what, I have no idea.

There were also a colorful couple, dressed in a pig suit and a skeleton. Each held a sign. Miss Skeleton held an anti-Palin sign, while Mr. Pig had much more class. His sign simply read "Fuck McCain".

Moving on, I took note of a car with Obama and "Punch #1" on it. This is a relic of the punch card days in Cook County when they'd tell you when number on the ballot a specific candidate was to make it easier to him/her.

I also took a look at the crowds waiting to get into the park, standing in a line about two to three blocks long along Michigan Avenue.

They also rode their bikes to the event. Bikes were parked everywhere. Trees, lamp posts, bike racks, where they were by the dozens. These "green" people also left trash in mounds, overflowing the trash cans,a nd in piles on the ground. Randomly on the ground.

I caught a few scenes around the area as I was wandering on the edge of Grant Park. I overheard a guy ask "What state does Biden represent?". An Obama supporter who doesn't know where Biden is from.

I then turned my attention to the Obama stage in Hutchinson Field. Looking across the railroad tracks, I saw what appeared to be a crown of light above the stage. There were several beams, all radiating from the same spot.

I then started on my way back to the train station, and found a most humorous marquee offering drinks for that evening.

When I got back to the train station, I heard a rather large, but not tall lady talking to the air. I realized she was talking to a Bluetooth phone. She was whining about how the "rednecks" couldn't take the election away after Obama was declared to be the winner. Another group, behind me, said "They can't steal this one". However, the train ride home was uneventful, and actually pretty quiet. Quite the change (heh) from the blaring of car horns and shouting along Michigan Avenue.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Why Senator Obama will never be President

Chicgaodudewhotrades keeps the hits coming with this one about why Senator Obama will never be President.

I don't think Obama will be elected president in 2008. In fact, I don't think he will ever be president. I will even go so far to say he will probably only be a 1-term Senator and then lose re-election.

Why do I think this? My reasons are long and varied. But it comes down to the simple fact that the more I learn about him, the less I like him. I have come to regret voting for him in November 2004. Why did I vote for him in the first place? He was running against Alan Keyes. Keyes is a good man, but the only thing he ever talked about during the campaign was abortion. Abortion is a important issue, but being a Senator involves more than abortion issues.

Let me start by talking about the man himself. His supporters say he is smart. Yes, when he gives a prepared speech he can speak quite well. However, when he makes off-the-cuff statements he doesnt do as well. I think when the debates happen, Sen. McCain will roll over him. This is probably why Sen. Obama has gone from wanting debates to seeming to dodge them. When Obama bombs in the debates, even this country's liberal media won't be able to successfully spin it for him (expect to hear plenty of "he had a headache/he was sick/ he was tired" type spin). When the American people see this, they will spot a empty suit begin to realize he isn't ready for the White House.

Here are a few more questions I have about Sen. Obama:

* He was President of the Harvard Law Review (HLR), but can he or anybody point to a single accomplishement of his while he was President of the HLR?

* Have his grades at Harvard ever been released? How about any important papers he wrote when he attended there?

* When he worked in a law firm, did he handle any important litigation or cases?

* What accomplishments can he point to as a Chicago community organizer?


Let us take a minute to look at Sen. Obama's friends. His friends and big supporters are some unrepentant terrorists and a racist anti-American preacher. Enough said.


I take Michelle Obama at her word when she says she hasn't been proud of America until her husband ran for office. I think those represent her true feelings for the USA. It would be interesting to learn if Michelle recommended Trinity United to her husband, or if the church was recommended to the Obamas by others. If she recommended the church it woulld speak volumes about her and her beliefs.

Is Obama's family in Kenya Muslim? Raila Odinga (who says Barack is a cousin) the current Prime Minister of Keyna wants to bring Sharia to Kenya. I have some personal problems with Islam, I think Islam is imcompatabile with modernity. If Obama is a true 'progressive' as he claims, then why hasn't he ever called out his cousin on this?


Folks, I think the Democrats have some serious problems. I think the Dem convention will be a mess. First of all, the convention is short of money. Their kooky hard-left base will be protesting outside and making fools of themselves and the Dems. Seriously, when you have a group called 'recreate '68' coming to town, does anybody think anything good will happen?

Another thing to consider is the fact that technically, Obama is not the offiical Dem party candidate yet. That won't happen until the voting actaully happens on the convention floor. Hillary Clinton only stopped her campaign, she didn't concede or turn her delegates over to Obama. It is a slight chance, but I think she will go Brutus on Obama and pull a fast one against him.

Even if he is the Dem nominee after Denver, I think there are enough upset Hillary supporters who will sit on their hands (or even vote for Sen McCain) on Election Day


Does he have a single position today that was the same on January 1 2008? Okay, I'm being sarcastic, but not by much. He has flip-floped on Iraq, FISA, federal campaign money, just to name a couple. Plus, I think his and the Dem's 'no drilling for oil, at anytime, anywhere' is going to kill them both in November.


I think race-hustlers like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Rev. Wright will secretly work against Sen. Obama. Why? Kinda hard for them to make a living race-hustling when a African-American is living at 1600 Pennslyvania Ave. Plus I think there is some resentment of Obama by both Jackson and Sharpton. Obama has had more poliitical success in the last few years then they have had combined over their lifetimes. That has got to hurt deep down. I also don't think they like their positions of leadership in the African-American community being taken over by Obama.


I think some of the shine is coming off Sen. Obama among even his base. I think they are beginning to realize he is just a politician and not somebody special like he claims to be. He was the anti-war candidate, now that he is trying to back-track on that, and also FISA, in a effort to seem centrist, his base is getting upset with him. Also I don't expect the much talked about 'youth' vote that always gets hyped very four years to you know, actually VOTE for him. They will be busy on election day and not bother to go to the polling place and pull the lever. think I'm joking? Remember 'Obama Girl'? She was the internet video sensation that sang songs about Obama, but on Primary Day in NY/NJ did she vote for him? Nope, she was too busy clubbing that day.

To wrap it up, There are multiple reasons why I think Sen. Obama will not be the next President of the United States of America. Feel free to argue/comment/etc. with me about this. I can be reached at

Saturday, July 19, 2008

When will Israel hit the Iranian nuclear program? (part 2)

Chicagodudewhotrades is back with another installment from last week's post.

First of all, I want to thank everyone who read the first part of this. I also want to thank all my friends with blogs who post my articles. Part 2 is mostly your thoughts and ideas about Israel hitting Iran. There are too many people who shared their thoughts with me on this subject, so I'd need pages to name you all. I just want to say "Thank You" to all of you. This article is more random thoughts/possibilities, then a hard article. But it is interesting to just brainstorm this stuff out. Here we go:

Israeli/US possibilities short of airstrikes:

Naval blockade of Iranian ships entering/exiting Persian Gulf: Iran has publicly stated if attacked they will close the Straits of Hormuz. If they can threaten International shipping then why can't we threaten Iranian shipping? Iran makes money if their crude gets out to the market. If their shipping is blocked, there goes their entire economy quick. Granted, Blockades are considered a act of war, but hey, If Iran can threaten this, then I don't see why they can't have it done to them. Another way to do it, would be to allow Iran crude to be exported, but incoming refined product not being allowed into Iran. A not well known fact about Iran is the dismal state of their national refining capacity. This is a country that sits on a sea of the stuff but they have GAS SHORTAGES because their refining capability sucks. If we block tankers from delivering refined gas to Iran their country shuts down.

Something related to the above involves tanker insurance. Readers have noted that the Iranians don't have to totally shut down the Straits to achieve their goal. If they attack 1 or 2 tankers the insurance cost goes through the roof. Once again, this tactic could be used against tankers that carry Iran crude. If you make tankers carrying Iran crude a target, no more tanker trips to Iran. Even if Iran starts hitting tankers, I'm sure the US, Japan (totally dependent on imported gas) and maybe other countries would step up and foot the bill for tanker insurance. Another possibility is 're-flagging' tankers under the Stars and Stripes and giving them USN protection. If Iran hits a US-flagged tanker, then it is game over for Iran.

Some type of airburst of a tactical nuke over Iran that would trigger an EMP-caused shutdown of a lot of Iranian electronics: In case people don't know what an Electromagnetic Pulse is, here is a link of what it is: and here: Personally, I view this idea as extremely unlikely. Even tactical nukes detonated in the air is a huge red line that cannot be taken lightly. Therefore, unless Israel has convincing proof that Iran was about to nuke them, I don't think Israel is considering this as a viable option. Other facts to consider about the EMP idea. The pulse wouldn't stop at Iran's border. Also, I don't think Iran is as fully computerized/technology-dependent a nation like the nations in the West. Yes, an EMP strike over Iran would do them damage, but not on the scale, say, an EMP over London would do.

Israeli hacker attack on Iran's computer systems: Again, doubtful for the reason mentioned above.

This seems to be the limit of non-airstrike ideas. Let us move back to airstrikes and what types could be launched.

Israeli airstrikes on Iranian economic targets: I like it. Make the cost of Iranian nuclear weapons development too expensive for Iran to afford. Effects on Iran's economy already discussed above. Downside: Iranian leadership doesn't seem to give a damn about their people. Iran seems willing to sacrifice their nation in the pursuit of nukes. Therefore , economic problems for their citizens may not even compute to the leadership. Something worth pondering is the affect any type of airstrike would have on the people of Iran. Would they get all nationalistic and rally around the Mullahs, or do the opposite? I just don't know enough about the Iranian people to say anything one way or the other. One more imponderable.

A couple of reader comments about if a Israeli strike would happen before or after the US elections:

"Make Obama take a side on the issue. if he condemns Israel, he could dry up his jewish support including cash. If he supports Israel. the left goes nuts".

"Conventionial wisdom says Israel won't do anything before the US election".

Here are my thoughts. Yes , Israel views the US as a friend, but their domestic security needs will trump the concerns of a effect on US domestic elections any day of the week. PM Olmert looks to be in deep sh$% because of personal corruption issues. I hate to be cynical, but maybe he would green-light an Op to take heat off him? Another personal thought: I think deep down some Israeli political leaders just don't trust Obama to not sell them out. They may as well hit Iran while the US president is a friendly one.

What are Iran's options when they get hit? Would Hezbollah hit targets outside the Mid-East? If Israel hits, would Iran wait until after the US elections to retaliate? Do the Iranians view President Bush as a political aberration? Do they view Obama as more 'understanding' of them? I think Israel needs to get ready for a multi-front retaliatory strike. They may face strikes from Syrian-controlled Lebanon, Gaza, and maybe long-range missiles from Iran.

The Israeli Air force is way smaller than the USAF. If they hit Iran by themselves, because of their smaller size, there is a greater demand for them to get the strikes right. On the bright side, Israel has pretty much been in never-ending conflict since 1948. That type of existential threat to their very lives tends to produce a first-class military. When Israel hits Iran, I think they will do some things that will just totally leave the Iranians 'shocked and awed'. When the IAF hit the Syrian facility back in September, there were some media reports of "On the ground, Syria's formidable air defences went dead." and "since the alleged IAF foray over Syria last week there have been severe disturbances in Lebanese communications systems and cellular frequencies." Here are some links about the September 6 strike:

When Israel hits Iran, it will be interesting. Israel has been fighting against enemies equipped with Soviet gear since 1948. I'm sure the Israelis can write the handbook for some Soviet gear they face better then the original Soviet designers can.

The next couple thoughts aren't really related to a Israeli strike on Iran, but I think they are worth mentioning:

Last week the Iranians test fired over a couple days a bunch of missiles. It turned out that some of the missile launches were duds and had to be photo-shopped to make them look successful.I think the Iranians know they are about to get hit, and are trying to look more powerful then they actually are. They want to try to deter a attack against them. Another reason is that Iran wants to be head of the Muslim world. They want to be the 'biggest, baddest kid on the Muslim block'. To be a leader in the Muslim world, you need to have a powerful military.

I'm not sure about the possibility of this, but it is worth throwing out and talking about. If Iran was to get their hands on nukes, would Israel be the first target for them? There is a huge amount of historical hatred between Muslim Sunni and Shia. Would Shia Iran launch their nukes against Sunni Saudi Arabia? Settle the hatred between them once and for all? Plus, Iran takes out the main competitor of Iranian oil exports. Iran would dominate the global oil market and therefore set the price. I'll admit, this probably isn't likely, but worth the thought.

Once again, I'd like to thank all the folks who offered their ideas about Part 1 of this. I'd also like to apologize that this is more a brainstorm type article then a better organized piece, but I think all these ideas are worth debating.

Thanks for your time,


Monday, July 7, 2008

Chicagodudewhotrades: When will Israel hit the Iranian nuclear program?

And yet another great guest post from LGF lizardoid minion chicagodudewhotrades:

When will Israel hit the Iranian nuclear program?

I believe that the Israelis will bomb Iran's nuclear weapons program soon. By 'soon' I mean between now and October. Israel views the Iranian bomb as a threat to it's very existence. Israel has only 2 options in dealing with the Iranian bomb: either stop the program, or live life every day with the threat of being wiped off the face of the earth. Living life like that is not viable. I believe the Israelis will launch a attack by themselves. The Israelis don't have to hit every single target that is part of the Iranian nuclear program to succeed. If they inflict enough damage and /or kill enough nuclear technicians to set the Iran bomb project back, that will be a win for them. I don't believe that the US will actively participate in the bombing strikes. If the US is involved it will be on the sidelines in the form of Tanker/Electronic Warfare/Jamming support. The main US participation will be in the form of the US giving overflight rights to the IAF as the strike package flies over Iraqi airspace.

What could be the possible Iranian reactions? That depends honestly on a lot of factors that I'll admit I'm not knowledgeable enough to talk about, but here I go:

The Iranians have publicly stated that if attacked, they will close down the Straits of Hormuz. Yes, the Straits are a pretty narrow chokepoint, but to totally close it down and prevent shipping to exit/enter the Gulf is still a challenge. Their navy is a joke. When the Iranian navy went up against the US Navy in the late 1980's (Operation Preying Mantis) Their navy was soundly thrashed. Today , they have a few ex-Russian Kilo-class subs, but I don't think the overall material condition of the subs and also their crews's training standards are that high. They do have a lot of small fast speedboats . If they load one up with explosives and suicide it into a tanker that will probably kill a tanker. They could get very lucky and sink a tanker right in the straits, but even that outcome will hurt the Iranians too. After all, Iran exports oil out of the gulf just like everybody else. Since the only way the Iranians make money is by exporting oil, their economy will get crushed if the straits are blocked for a long period of time. The Iranians have in the past dumped contact mines into the gulf and damaged a few tankers, but again, if the Iranians succeed with the mines, their own economy takes a hit too.

Since it looks like any Iranian attempt to shut down the Straits will hurt them just as much as everyone else, what other cards can the Iranians play? Iran possesses a number of ground missiles with the range to hit targets across the gulf. they could hit US bases in the gulf. However, we have anti-missile systems like Patriot to handle this threat. Besides, if one of those missiles goes off target and say, instead hits downtown Kuwait City, then the Iranians may have to deal with Israel airstrikes against them turning into other gulf nations taking up arms against them too.

The best course of action the Iranians have is doing something against Israel. They can use their surrogates in Syria and Hezbollah to launch terror attacks in Israel and/or step up the never-ending rocket strikes on Israeli border communities. I don't think the Syrians would launch conventional military attacks across the Golan. But, if they did, the Syrian Military would have a couple very exciting days before getting wiped out. If the Syrians did throw in with the Iranians, the end result would be Merkavas parked on the lawn of the Syrian presidential palace in Damascus and baby Assad taking a one-way flight to Tehran (provided he hadn't already been bombed or his presidential jet smoked out of the sky as he attempted to flee).

Another factor to consider in any Iranian reaction to airstrikes on it's nuclear facility is the Iranian national will to respond to airstrikes. Yes, the Iran nuke program is considered a point of pride by the Iranian people. but, if the Iranian people realize that their nuke program is hurting them they will probably drop support for it. There is already high Inflation and Unemployment along with low Economic growth. The Iranian leadership is already unpopular because of the domestic economic issues, if their desire to possess nukes causes a great deal of national pain...... well, Iran is a country that has had a revolution, nothing says the people can't have a second one to throw out the religious leadership. Granted, Iran is a police state, so a popular overthrow of the government is unlikely but not impossible. There are way too many possibilities to consider when thinking about a popular overthrow of the government (for example, would the Iranian military back up the government or side with the people?) to write about right now. but I do think a popular overthrow of the religious leadership is possible.

What would a attack on Iran's nuclear program mean for the rest of the world? The price of oil will shoot up, that is a given. I could see Crude Oil trading at about $200/barrel in the aftermath of any strike on Iran. Gold and Silver would also shoot higher (for the purposes of full disclosure, I'm a self-employed day-trader, I currently have small buy positions in both gold and silver because of the possibility of strikes on Iran). I think the price of Crude would depend on the amount and type of airstrikes against Iran. Again, this involves too many variables to consider (if the airstrikes are a single day's worth of airstrikes versus a days long campaign, if only Iranian nuke program targets are hit, instead of strikes that include Iranian military targets, if Syria decides to throw down with Iran, etc.).

One other possibility to consider is the effect a strike against Iranian Nuclear assets would have on the coming US presidential contest in November. Once more, there are too many possibilities to write about, but I think the aistrikes would hurt the Obama campaign and the Dems. Why? they stand together against any possibility of domestic oil drilling here. If Oil goes to $200/barrel with the resulting rise in domestic gas prices this will kill any Dem chances to win in November.

To wrap things up, here is where I see things. I believe the Israelis will hit the Iranian Nuclear weapons program soon, within the next few months. Crude Oil prices will move higher in the aftermath of any strikes. Their exact rise and how long they stay at elevated levels involve too many probabilities to figure out fully. Other commodity prices, especially, Gold and Silver will rise also. The range of possibilities in the aftermath of airstrikes goes from no Iranian reaction all the way to a regional war that could include the use of WMD'S. Sorry, this is the best I can do for outcomes. There are just too many things that need to be considered when pondering the aftermath of airstrikes. If you have any thoughts, questions, gripes, etc., feel free to email me at

Thanks for your time,

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Is America in economic decline?

Don't you just love it when life gets in the way of blogging? Well, today I'm back with more, a guest post by Little Green Footballs lizard chicagodudewhotrades:

Is America in economic decline? Everyday, it seems there is a new economic statistic about a weakening US economy or a news report about the US$ dropping in value against other currencies. My answer is: NO. Maybe right now the dollar is at a low level and portions of the American economy could be better, but the overall economy is solid and the dollar weakness is temporary. If you read history, it seems to be a good rule to never underestimate the American people or our economy. In fact, i think some of the nation's best economic times lie ahead.

I'm writing this mostly because I'm a member of a very popular website called Little Green Footballs ( Due to my online name (chicagodudewhotrades) I get asked a lot of stock market and economic questions by my fellow LGF'ers. Writing this I hope will help my LGF friends out. This is my first attempt at writing something like this, so don't beat me up too bad!!!

I'm also writing this because I get tired of the mostly negative coverage of the economy by the national media. This is my small attempt to try and convince my fellow Americans that the economy isn't as bad as portrayed.

What gives me the right to write about economic issues? In a word: Nothing. I'm not a economist or a CEO of a business. I don't have a PH.D in Economics or International Finance. The bulk of my professional trading experience comes from several years spent working as a clerk in the trading pits of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. However, I have been able to make a decent living from day-trading the last few years. Day-trading is a very brutal, Darwinian profession. You either make money at this or go bankrupt. I'm still doing this, so I figure my ideas and advice have some credibility.

I think the best way to explain why I believe America's best economic days are ahead of us is to run down what is happening in the world and what I think may happen in the future.


The European Union has become a huge entity whose member states have a combined population of nearly 500 Million (1). However, I have come to believe that they are too big, too slow ,and most damaging, too bureaucratic.

Yes, right now the Euro is doing well against the Dollar. However, people seem to forget that a few years ago, the euro was trading at a record low of 82 cents against the dollar. (2)

Inflation is above the European Central Bank's public goal of 2% and rising (3). Western Europe has also always had systematic higher unemployment historically than the US. Eventually, economic fundamentals like these will catch up to the Euro.

You may read a lot about the grim future of Social Security. That is true. Basically, starting in a few years, more money will start being taken out of the program than going into it. However, Europe faces the same demographic issue. The big difference is that the working-age population of Europe is declining while America's is increasing.


Today when you think of Asia, one country comes to mind: China. China is a huge country with a huge population. Because of low wages, China has become the manufacturing center of the world. All that manufacturing has brought huge sums of wealth into China.

But China has many issues. All that manufacturing has lead to huge environmental problems (4). Thanks to China's brutal 1-child policy and a Asian cultural preference for male babies, China has demographic imbalances in their youngest generations. How can a nation be successful with a demographic imbalance like that? China's biggest problem however, may be it's own Communist government. Folks, I don't know any other way to say it.: Communism , Socialism, etc, just doesn't work.. Eventually, China will pay a huge price because of their system of government. Free, democratic, open market economies work, nothing else comes close. It is truly that simple and basic.


It is hard to write off a entire continent, but unfortunately that is what I'm basically doing with Africa. I don't think Africa has moved beyond a tribal identity yet. They will not grow or be economically successful until the people of Africa start thinking in terms of national identities and not just tribal.

Middle East

Currently the Middle East is doing well because of high oil prices that bring huge amounts of wealth into their nations. Historically, however nations with commodity-dependent economies do not succeed in the long run. There is a theory in economic circles called the 'commodity curse" . The theory states that commodity-dependent nations get politically and economically lazy because of the easy money pouring into their economy. I think this will happen in the Middle East someday. The Mid-East has one principle export: oil. What happens when that export runs out? There are questions about the true proven reserves of both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (5). Back in the late 1990's when oil prices were low. Saudi government bonds were rated 'junk' status. This will give you a idea of what happens to the economic prospects of the region when the wells run dry.

Latin America

Latin America seems to be taken a turn for the worse lately. A couple governments seem to be going back down the Socialist path. Once again, democratic free market economies work, everything else doesn't come close. Democratic open market Brazil and Colombia are doing well. The ones going down the socialist path like Venezuela and Bolivia will have problems.

I see some parallels between the Middle East of today and the Japan of the 1980's. Remember how everyone thought back then that 'Japan, Inc." was going to be the world's largest economy and how they would be the globe's dominant economic power? How did that work out for Japan? I do think that the sub-prime mess and resulting housing price slump will continue to hurt the American economy.But this is a incredibly flexible economy that will survive this mess. In fact, i think the sub-prime problem will hurt other economies worse than ours just because our national economy is so resilient and others aren't.

I wanted to keep this brief. I didn't want to write 1 huge piece that went into all the above issues in detail. However,I plan on writing more about this. I want to learn from you as well as maybe teach a thing or two. If you have questions, criticisms, any thoughts about this, feel free to contact me. I can be reached at

Thanks for your time.


1. Website of the European Union

2. Wikipedia's entry for the Euro Currency

3. Website of the European Central Bank

4. Financial Times article. China Report. Environment: 'Devasting price to pay for rampant growth' By Jamil Anderlini. Published: 9 Oct 2007

5. Reuters. "Kuwait oil reserves only half official estimate-PIW" . Published 20 Jan 2006

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Robbery My Rear End, The Tinley Park Killer Was There For Something Else

On February 2, 2008, a man entered the Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park where Harlem Avenue (IL-43) meets Interstate 80. He killed five of the women in the store, and left one survivor, who police believe, he also intended to kill. They called it an attempted armed robbery gone wrong. I don't think robbery was the motive.

If armed robbery had been the motive, there are several better prospects for quick cash at that interchange. There are several gas stations, convenience stores, and fast food resturants there with easy cash on hand, and lot of it in the tills. So why pick a Lane Bryant, a clothing store where most purchases are made via credit cards?

I am proposing an ulterior motive based upon the killer's looks in the sketch, the place he chose to do his crime, and the victims.

1. Since there are better prospects for quick cash via armed robbery, armed robbery and a botched robbery attempt seems not to be the motive.
2. The store he chose is a women's clothing store where there are unlikely to be any men.
3. All six victims were women.
4. He had each of them tied up in the backroom and he shot them execution style to make sure they were dead.
5. There was a police squad car in the parking lot. The squad responded to the shooting at the store because of the 9-1-1 call placed by the store's manager, not to any shots fired. I find it very odd that no one ever reported any gunshots. I suspect he was using a silencer on his weapon. What armed robber uses a silencer?
6. The sketch of the gunman shows him wearing a skullcap and a braid. To me, he appears to be stereotypical Nation of Islam. Whether he is or isn't is up for debate, but stereotypes exist for a reason.

Due to all of these, I suspect the shooting at the Lane Bryant were not motivated by robbery, but by something else, possibly sudden jihad syndrome (SJS). SJS seems a likely motivation here due to the target chosen, the victims chosen, and the way it was performed. This was done to instill terror, not to rob the store. Again, as in the NIU shooting, there is not concrete evidence, but many of the signs seem to point in that direction.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Was the NIU Shooter a muslim with SJS?

It's been too long again for posting, but I plan on doing expose`s here rather than reporting. Too many people do reporting already.

It's been a little over a week since Steve Kazmierczak stepped onto the stage in Cole Hall at Northern Illinois University and killed five before committing suicide. Debbie Schlussel suggests that he may have have been a muslim committing SJS or Sudden Jihad Syndrome. I think I concur with her.

There were several things that stuck out as the incident being SJS, but they did not reveal themselves to me until the Chicago SunTimes published an article by a close friend of his Rasmieyh Abdelnabi. Here's the quick rundown of why it could be a case of SJS:

1. Steve Kazmierczak studied Arabic and became rather fluent in it. This in of and by itself means nothing, but his close friend was a religious muslim. According to Bruce Keegan, Rasmieyh Abdelnabi was known for writing pro-Hamas/anti-Israel artices in the paper.
2. He seemed to shoot mostly at the women in the class. Of the deaths, four were women, and one was a man protecting his girlfriend. I'd like to see a breakdown by gender of the injured. I suspect it will be overwhelmingly female.
3. He premeditated the entire event. He deliberately purchased guns for the event. Good guns too, that would not jam on him. He also erased any trace the police and FBI could use to figure out his motive.
4. His association with Rasmieyh Abdelnabi, his religous muslim friend is potentially the biggest clue we have. The mosque she goes to seems to yearn for the "early glorious days of Islam". It is unknown if he went to the mosque.
5. His radical muslim friend also mentions in the SunTimes article that he had come around on his opinions about Hamas while sidestepping what those opinions might be. Given that she is a religious muslim, I suspect he came around to favoring Hamas.
6. He was a sociology major who specialized in religion in prisons. The largest growing religion in prisons is Islam. He at least had an interest in it, if not embraced it.

In addition, Derrick Shareef, the guy who attempted to bomb and shoot up the CherryVale Mall in Rockford was a jihadi from DeKalb County. He hailed from Genoa, but attended the Islamic Society of Illinois Northern University Mosque. The same mosque Rasmieyh Abdelnabi belongs to.

Given this, I suspect, but cannot prove that the NIU shooting is a case of SJS. However, it is an angle that should be pursued. I suspect it will yield more clues than any other angle on this incident. Everything here is circumstantial, and could be wrong, but I suspect they might be right.

To the five deceased, rest in peace with God.