Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Revenge of the Thin Blue Line 38: Cat Convertor: More than meets the Eye

Is Crime Up or Down?  Well... it depends.  

You see, Faux News, rightwing provocateurs and Republican liars have a delicate balance to maintain their conservative drones in a constant state of frothing fury and racist agitation.

That's why the Border Crisis is always a go-to segment.  Far enough away from most Republicans to not make them shoot at their local landscaper but, always visible as a source of Replacement Anxiety. 

Therefore, in order to make crime a continual cudgel to bash the weak on crime liberals but, to make sure conservatives never question why Republicans don't solve crime inside a week as Donald John Trump said he could do, the right adopted a see-saw balance of Fear & Anger.  Because keeping their racist base in constant state of either of those emotions would be untenable but by bouncing them back-and-forth between the two it allows the rightwing lizard brain a reset.

But, what can not be discussed is root causes of crime/disorder nor can the hierarchy of criminality ever be discussed.  That's how Republicans can shamelessly support the strangulation of a homeless person on the New York subway or claim the homeless criminals in San Francisco brutally assaulted a retired Fire Chief Don Carmignani and ignore whatever underlying reason for the man's condition or (forbid) the structural inequalities which lead to homelessness in the United States in general.

So one of the methods of keeping conservatives afraid and angry without directly implicating their own performance and competence is to decry those Liberal (((Soros))) backed District Attorney's and Democrat run Cities and those dastardly liberals who won't take the handcuffs of the Police!

Republicans are explicit Fascists now, but they are following the Leninist Agenda in many regards, accusing their enemies of the crimes they themselves are committing and undermining the traditional society to destroy the current administrative state which they will replace with their NeoConfederate Unequal Rule of a Vicious Minority.

In Chicago, we've been facing an epidemic of catalytic converter thefts for the past few years.

The devices created to help deal with automobile exhaust are easily accessible in the undercarriage of most vehicles by simply lifting the vehicles and cutting the pipes in the underneath muffler/exhaust system.  All the thieves in question need is a car (often stolen) a reciprocating saw and a 2-ton floor jack are all they need.  Of course, since this is America all the criminals have guns.  But, having stolen these 3 foot long, mud, mud, grime, and exhaust coated metal tubes what do the thieves do with them?  
Palladium is so easy to recover even 
a Cave (Iron) Man can do it!

Theories were promoted that the thieves were stealing the catalytic convertors for the precious metals inside the air-cleaning contraption.  As though they were Iron Man, recovering and smelting Palladium and forging them into untraceable ingots to be deposited at the giant Zurich North American Headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois for the thieves Swiss Bank Accounts.  

But, even worse I read a critical reach from a Cook County Sheriff's Department "source" who told the Deputy that thieves were breaking the ceramic parts out of the catalytic converters, crushing them, and snorting/smoking them.

It was mind-bogging this "intel" was passed along as it's obscenely ludicrous.  I hope the source was just fucking around.  Or perhaps "the source" really did see someone try to crush and smoke the "honeycomb" parts of a catalytic convertor.  But, I think it's more likely the source in question was feeding shit to the CCSPD which they passed along.  The CCSPD has a habit of passing along dubious information from the Intel division as when they told every in the Chicago collar Counties of the 30,000 strong Antifa Army amassing to storm Gettysburg.

I did my own research (amazing how that phrase has turned to shit now that rightwingers have co-opted it) and discovered a story from September 2021 from an Autoblog about smoking catalytic converter ceramics as a "New Drug Craze" in Kinshasa in Africa.  This was picked up and re-reported by the New York Post.

The obvious answer was to sell them to automotive shops in and around Chicago for resell.  The shop pays $300-500 per convertor and pipe, cleans them up and resells them to the public (to replace the stolen one) at $1000.

So, it was no surprise, to me, when Cook County Sheriff Tommy Dart announced an arrest had recovered 600+ catalytic convertors from the back yard of a Tow Truck Company owner.  You see this is America and in the United States we never, ever address root causes of crime but only target and treat symptoms.  Thus, the Police response was to patrol and chase the thieves driving away in stolen cars with a trunk full of cut catalytic converters.  Instead of figuring out to whom the thieves were selling these items. 

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