Amidst ongoing corruption trials, a scandal involving top cops who've been changing crime statistics to show crime going down when it’s not, and an economy reeling from the twin salvos of runaway tax increases, and a public pension mess, Chicago has come up with a solution to their economic woes and maybe to their crime fighting woes as well.
The city is going to fund giant street performing puppets, some as high as 50 feet tall, for merely millions of dollars.
Yes, apparently the performing puppets that they have at City Hall, at police headquarters and crawling all over Streets and Sanitation haven't done enough yet to ruin Chicago's reputation. So now the city has to bring in outsiders.
Pretend outsiders, that is.
“Chicago has come up with a really big idea to boost tourism,” writes the Chicago Tribune, “giant puppets roaming the city's streets for days in an elaborate theatrical presentation. A multimillion-dollar deal is in the works to make Chicago the stage for Royal de Luxe, a French street theater company featuring marionettes as tall as 50 feet, during the summer of 2016, according to sources.”
No word yet on whether these puppets will make an appearance in some of Chicago's most notorious neighborhoods for crime and murder, like South Shore, Chicago Lawn, and New City.
So far this year, homicides have been down over last year, but no one knows whether that's because of top cops cooking the books, or because of policing efforts.
In 2011, Chicago had to disband two police rapid response units because the cops were as bad as the criminals. These units were responsible for deploying to high crime areas and had a history of shaking down drug dealers.
After finishing 2012 leading the nation in murder, Chicago cops came upon a novel way to reduce homicides: change homicides in the books to death by unknown cause.
In January the department announced that homicides were down 18%.