During last week’s blizzard, Amtrak’s website stated that regular train service was running with only minor delays. Meanwhile, nationwide more than 6,000 flights were canceled at American airports. Interstate routes were covered and blizzards kept motorists going slow, if they were on the roads at all. The only dependable form of transportation during Blizzard 2011 was Amtrak. What again about cutting Amtrak subsidies, Mr. Speaker?
Just like during the days of no flights immediately after 9/11, Amtrak has proven to be an invaluable resource of relief for thousands of traveling Americans during times of trouble. This is why rail expansion is important, among other reasons.
I was pleased to see Ald. Sam Cahnman’s recent letter to the editor. His acquittal should not result in his arrest and prosecution being forgotten just yet. The process by which this occurred smacks of misuse of the powers of the police department and prosecutor’s office to achieve political ends.
I read “Police Beat” in the State Journal-Register fairly religiously. Over the years I have read many reports of prostitution stings where the arrestee solicited an undercover officer on the street. Not once, however, do I recall seeing a report of a prostitution sting similar to that in which Cahnman was arrested, where one or more undercover officers sit next to a customer in a bar and actually solicit the customer!
The arrest and prosecution of Ald. Cahnman presents far too many unanswered questions for it to be swept under the rug. These include: (1) Who ordered or authorized the sting that resulted in the alderman’s arrest? (2) How many other times have the police officers, who sat next to Cahnman in the bar, done the same thing to other bar patrons? (3) How and why did these officers select Cahnman as their target? (4) Why were the police even doing a prostitution sting in a downtown bar, when the State Journal-Register recently reported that there has been only one prostitution arrest downtown since 2000, which occurred in 2006 and did not happen in a bar? (5) What are the political ties and affiliations of those who authorized the sting and the two officers who sat next to Cahnman?
The citizens of Springfield deserve answers. Only a thorough investigation conducted by a neutral third party, such as the Illinois State Police, will result in definitive answers to these questions. The ISP did a similar investigation of SPD Detectives Paul Carpenter and Jim Graham, so there is precedent for it, and it should be done again.
MESSAGE TO PHARAOH
As a citizen of and believer in democracy, I applaud the efforts of the Egyptian people. Their efforts are similar to what happened following the election in Iran and the most recent revolution in Tunisia.
President Mubarak, you have had 30 years to lead Egypt and have failed the people by your own choosing. The days of the regime are finally coming to an end as it appears the desire for freedom will continue to sweep among the Arab nations.
Accordingly, let the call go forth among all citizens of Egypt that your brothers and sisters of democracy from all over the world are with you during every trial and tribulation you may encounter during this crisis. To the people of Egypt, the trumpet of freedom beckons you to rise in protest and ensure your voice to preserve your sacred heritage, promote your children’s future and obtain the blessings of liberty we all cherish. As was spoken to an Egyptian Pharaoh many years ago by another enslaved people: Let my people go!