Does Anybody Care?

By Lloyd Graff

Chicago is appalled by the disgusting and brazen looting of stores like Gucci and Nordstrom’s on its Magnificent Mile. Our Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, is furious and humiliated that her city’s elite shopping area has now been ransacked several times by bands of young thugs that communicate by cell phone, coordinating when to strike and who to hit first. They come by car and train and overwhelm the police so they can grab clothes, electronics, and booze.

There is good camera surveillance, so the authorities can pick up many of the looters later if they are inclined, but the State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, seems disinclined to prosecute them and put them in jail. She is a political foe of Lightfoot, allied with Toni Preckwinkle, the Mayor’s archenemy who was trounced by the newcomer in the last election.

Chicago is broke, the state of Illinois is broken with its longtime Svengali, Mike Madigan, possibly on the verge of being prosecuted in a utility bribery scheme, for which Commonwealth Edison was fined $200 million dollars. People are fleeing the state for Indiana and Florida and Idaho, while I see my state and local taxes balloon.

It all stinks and everybody knows it.

While the city is being looted by politicians and thugs in different ways, I find it very ugly to follow the unfolding saga of the once-great Eastman Kodak, king of film that nobody uses anymore. Kodak was recently awarded a $765 million dollar federal government loan to start making the drug components that are no longer made in this country but are vital in the manufacturing of antibiotics and many key pharmaceutical products.

Target that was looted near Noah Graff’s condo in Chicago

When the loan was announced a couple of weeks ago, the $2 stock, still listed on the New York Stock Exchange, went nuts. It rose to $60 a share in a couple of days. This was when a member of its board of directors, George Karfunkel, gifted 3 million of his 6.3 million shares to a small religious institution that he happened to be the president of, enabling him to book a $116 million dollar donation. The charity received its charitable designation a year ago.

The whole deal may well be found legal if the loan to Kodak is not tainted by illegal bribery but rather a shrewd political contribution. Karfunkel was on the Kodak board for several years while the company was limping along, looking for a new blockbuster product in Rochester, New York.

The profit was neatly packaged as a contribution to a Jewish Orthodox synagogue in Brooklyn. The donation will hopefully do good in the world, but for Karfunkel and his wife, Renee, the write off will be worth at least $40 million dollars, usable for several more years. The suckers who made it possible were naive stock market gamblers whose shares are now worth a fraction of what they threw into the pot to buy them.

Can you draw a straight line from the brazen thugs who came from Chicago’s West and Southside slums to smash the windows at Gucci for the third time, to the sophisticated financial gamer, who sold his Kodak shares and gifted them to his favorite personal charity? I am curious what you think.

Question: Who is more disgusting, looters in Chicago, or Wall Street thieves?

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8 thoughts on “Does Anybody Care?

  1. Mark

    It’s about holding people accountable. Just the thought of “accountability” makes an SJW nervous. CNC machines function on logic, if it’s flawed the product is flawed. Logic, Accountability, Morality, Responsibility, are all bad words that can get you banned on social media. Sadness, madness, badness and Anarchy, rule our Democrat run Cities. Rioters are no different than “Corporate Fraudsters” who rip off good people who have invested their life earnings in what probably was once a great Company. I keep a list of Corporate raiders that have cost me money and immediately bail on a stock that has their fingers in it, when I’m able to catch them. The problem is when the Fraudsters take their game to the .gov and your favorite Religious institution. God help us!

  2. Poliquin Machinery Inc.

    Well said Mark!
    In answer to the Swarfblog’s title: YES! But apparently not the people who continue to vote for Democrat’s who are running most of our big cities into the pit.
    Thank God I’m a country boy.

    1. Peter Schroth

      I’m saddened to say that crooks come in all flavors, Democrat and Republican. It seems that unchecked power is the problem, whether from the brazen looter, the corporate raider or police officer.

  3. Steve

    Is it me or does the lackadaisical resistance to these thugs seem to promote more looting. Watching these people on video they seem to know they are exempt from any retribution. In other countries where these outbreaks are met with fast and hard resistance they seem to have less issues. I would never want our country to be governed like those. But there are times, like these, when we need to find some middle ground.

    Is this the results of never spanking your child? Now they throw their tantrum on main street. It’s a disgrace for certain, destroying a persons hard work because you have a beef with some unrelated issue.

  4. Cleetus Pattyson

    I have been thinking for the last couple of months when Chicago would see the same issues as some of our large cities have been seeing with the rioting and destruction over the black lives matter issue. I think that while the true black lives matter is a noble and positive movement, it is being hi-jacked by the criminal element in our country. Why would the people that live in these cities destroy their own property and ruin their lively hoods. The answer is they are not the people that is responsible for this destruction these are outsiders and the criminal element that are not associated with any movement. We need to find a way to deal with these people and I think the way the mayor of Chicago is dealing with the criminal element involved, she is on the right path by confronting the criminal element and get as many off the streets as possible. I think that while our police departments are not perfect, the very idea of defunding the police is a total joke.

    1. Joe

      I would urge people to “do the push ups”- go to BLM’s website. It is not a “noble and positive movement”, by virtue of it’s swearing off of the nuclear family as is the norm in western culture. Any reasonable person recognizes the breakdown of the family as America’s waterloo.

  5. Andy B

    Lloyd, I certainly can agree about the frustration of the state of Illinois. We live roughly 3.5hrs west of you on the Hwy 20 corridor right along the Mississippi river. The 2 lane portion of Hwy 20 from Freeport west is a dangerous piece of junk, it has been that way since it was originally paved. Our state tells our local officials that there is not enough traffic on that road to warrant an upgrade even though it is a main thoroughfare. Any decent business that starts up in our area gets wooed to Iowa as we are right across the river or Wisconsin which is also within a 10 min drive. Local leaders have tried many times unsuccessfully to get any help from Springfield when a business is thinking of moving. Another note that ties into your story a little. We have a large resort community in our town that is very popular with anyone in the Chicago region. Home prices and availability in that community have been stagnate for years, right now prices are going up and availability is going down quickly.


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