Going up the country

By Christopher Harper

After living in Philadelphia for the past 15 years, it’s difficult for me not to look at the news there.

Unfortunately, almost all of the news is bad!

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts’ annual State of the City report, Philadelphia’s average unemployment rate last year trailed only Detroit and Cleveland among 10 major U.S. cities. 

Philadelphia’s average unemployment rate of 12.2% was more than four points above the U.S. average, compared with a difference of less than two points in 2019.

The jobless statistics suggest that Philadelphia faces a more challenging economic situation than similar cities. Washington, for example, had slightly higher unemployment than Philadelphia before the pandemic. But the nation’s capital saw its average jobless rate increase just 2.4 percentage points last year, while Philadelphia’s increased by seven points.

Pew did not explain why Philadelphia fared worse than other cities. But it noted the sectors that helped fuel the city’s resurgence during the last decade — hospitality, restaurants, and arts and culture — shut down early in the pandemic. Philadelphia also faces high poverty rates, lower educational attainment, and other issues.

But there’s more bad news.

Another Pew study found that the pandemic hit Philadelphians hard in ways that affect their jobs, economic security, and mental and physical health. See https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2020/10/how-covid-19-has-undercut-philadelphians-physical-and-financial-well-being

After the deaths of civilians at the hands of police and the resulting civil unrest, Philadelphia residents said they feel less safe in their neighborhoods than at any other time in recent memory. 

Only 49% of Philadelphians say they feel safe outside in their neighborhoods at night, the lowest figure Pew has recorded in more than a decade of polling. Typically, the percentage has been in the 55% to 60% range. Blacks and Hispanics said they are less likely to say they feel safe than in past surveys.

More than 40% of Philadelphians say that events related to the pandemic and the demonstrations have made the city a less desirable place to live. Amazingly, about two-thirds of the population said they expect to be living in the city five to 10 years from now. 

Maybe they feel trapped by family or a job. Whatever the case, I feel fortunate that my wife and I could get out of Dodge! 

My Very Simple Brian Sicknick Question

Who is more likely to invent a false narrative and spend weeks selling it to the public: A group of people who won an election fair and square who are not afraid of scrutiny of their honest election victory OR a group of people who stole an election from the voters of a nation who are desperate to keep scrutiny away from what has been done and discredit those who call them out?

or as I’ve been saying for a while

I’ll believe those who say that claim that election 2020 was stolen are simply a conspiracy theory when those who loudly claim that such claims are a conspiracy theory stop acting like conspirators with something to hide.

Report from Louisiana: Dogs

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I have two rescue dogs; one is a black lab who my son found near death abandoned by a dumpster when the pup was about six weeks old. We named him Jazz and he is now twelve years old. We have another rescue, Kipper, who turns four this week. Kipper’s mother was a Boston Terrier and nobody knows what dad was, but everyone that sees Kipper thinks he looks like an American Pitbull. I do not. Kipper is not that big, not that chunky, not that muscular. But he sure is cute.

I have a real soft spot for dogs and I know the names of more dogs in my neighborhood than I do people. There is Toby who walks by everyday with his person. Toby has some sheepdog in him; he is also a rescue. Toby is one of those dogs that is just goofy and has such a happy look on his face. We always go outside and visit with Toby and his person when they come by. In fact, Toby will stop on the sidewalk in front of our house and wait for us to come outside. As soon as we open the door he will bound across the yard to say hello. He makes me smile.

Buddy is a black lab mix that lives around the corner and I see Buddy whenever I walk the block. Buddy lives on a corner lot and so there is a lot of traffic by his fence; his people have used brackets to put a wire basket filled with tennis balls on the outside of the wrought iron fence so people can say hi to Buddy and throw a ball for him. Buddy has more friends than most people I know.

Rico and Colt live next door to me. Colt is an Australian Shepherd and never ever sits still. He is the very definition of a live-wire. Rico is a Chow and he has some kind of lupus that causes sores on his nose. His nose is always raw and it is aggravated by the sun. His people have installed a series of large umbrellas across their patio to protect Rico from too much direct sunlight when he is outside. Rico seems totally unbothered by his condition, however, and is as happy and loving as he can be. He is a stunningly beautiful dog.

Demi lives across the street. Demi’s mother used to have the most beautiful, manicured yard that she worked in all of the time, but dogs have a way of changing the way you live, and Demi digs holes. There is an iron fence around their front yard and I can see Demi digging holes from my front window. Some of the holes are probably close to the water table; sometimes I look over there and can see nothing  but Demi’s tail and dirt flying.

There is something about a dog that makes me happy and calms me down. There’s that whole unconditional love thing, but it’s more than that. They are always glad to see you; they never question you and they don’t care about your politics. I can not imagine a home without a pup, and when we lose them it is like losing a family member. It hurts just as badly. I have a friend who is a chemist, and she lost her dog of twelve years about three years ago. She and her son still drive out to his grave, in a local Pet Cemetery, two or three times a month to place flowers.

I’ve always believed rescue dogs are more grateful, but that probably is not true. It’s just that I’ve always had rescue dogs. Even as I type this, Kipper is asleep next to me on the couch and Jazz is asleep on the floor at my feet. Just another lazy afternoon. And the older I get, and the crazier the world gets, I find that I more often prefer the company of dogs than to people.

Any dog lovers out there? Tell me about your dog!

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport, at Medium, and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Still Fake, It’s getting Drafty, Victoria’s Mask, NBA Crash and Ugly Uniforms Under the Fedora.

I still can’t get over people on the right being surprised over “Joe Biden flip flops” or “Joe Biden doing ‘x'”, “Joe Biden saying ‘Y'” or “Joe Biden claiming ‘z'”. Please stop pretending that what he “says” matters because:

  1. All these things “he” has “done” all pale before stealing the election.
  2. Joe Biden is no more in charge of this government than I am.

This needs to be mentioned in every piece, in every write up and in every statement concerning the Biden administration. Don’t conceede their fantisy.

I have to laugh at all the talk about women in the draft heading to SCOTUS for two reasons.

  1. If you have a volunteer army and you create a disincentive for people to join then naturally you need to find them elsewhere so of course you need women in the draft and an active draft to boot.
  2. I suspect none of the people involved in the discussion are willing to define “woman” in public.

Speaking of laughing outloud today as I was heading back from lunch I saw a woman wearing a branded Victoria’s Secret mask as I passed and literally could not contain myself and broke out in laugher.

As she was in a large group nobody knew why I was cackling seriously Victoria Secret masks? Is she really going to wear it in an intimate moment and if you’re at work and your attire is not shall we say, in the style of Victoria’s Secret (as it would not be at work) what’s the point?

P. T. Barnum would be proud.

I see the NBA viewing number are setting a new “not watching” record to beat last year’s “not watching” record set in a year when people were stuck at home with nothing better to do.

It’s a variant on Field of Dreams instead of: “If you build it they will come” we’ve gotten “If you insult them they will leave.”

The same thing is happening with baseball except they didn’t have anything near the NBA to start with.

Finally while as I said I’ve not watched an inning of baseball last year and thanks to the Atlanta BS I’ve not done the same this year because I went out to eat this Saturday I did notice the Red Sox playing.

Of course I wasn’t sure it was them as they were wearing a God Awful looking uniform that resembled the 74 A’s.

I understand it was supposed to be some kind of commemoration of the Marathon Bombing but I don’t think wearing something that looks like someone throwing up is quite what fits the bill.

Yet another reason to be glad I’m not watching or listening or reading updates online.

My “Defund the Police” Compromise

It is in the best traditions of the American Experiment that two sides holding opposing views that can’t be easily reconciled find a compromise that will accommodate them both. I believe I have found one on the whole: “Defund the police” thing.

An apparently large amount of the activist left community continues to demand that the police be defund while a large amount of the population seem to think that doing so leaves them vunerable to violent crime so in an age where cell phones are ubiquitous and data is easily gathered those who wish to defund the police be allowed to one they sign the following pledge:

I, the undersigned no longer wish the police to be funded nor wish my tax dollars to be spent in said funding. In return for this I on behalf of me and my family formally renounce police protection and any call for assistance to protect me, my family or my property shall be ignored by police in this or any other jurisdiction and said police and/or jurisdiction that they represent shall not be held liable for any inaction on their part in any emergency involving myself, my family or property. This pledge does not preclude police from responding to any call where they have cause to believe me or mine are suspected of criminal behavior.

In most ages this would be impractical but in an age where people have cell phones that track them and police have access to data bases of data it would take seconds to determine if a call for help comes from a person who has signed such a pledge it can be safely ignored. This will allow a shrinkage of the police force which will please those who sign and submit their information and I suspect will please both those who oppose this position who don’t want their resources spent on them and the police who would be loath to protect such people.

In fact as part of the deal their houses and cars should have signs and stickers upon them advertising:

This property is a police free zone

It’ would be the ultimate in virtue signaling and I’m sure there will be many people who will see such a sign with approval, particuarly those who don’t like the police to begin with.

It will be especially fun to see woke corporations agonize over signing on or not.

Information on the Adam Toledo killing that the mainstream media is overlooking

By John Ruberry

If you receive your news only from mainstream media outlets then you probably don’t know that Adam Toledo, a thirteen-year-old Chicago seventh-grader, was likely a member of the Latin Kings gang, a criminial organization whose reach is worldwide.

Toledo was killed in a police shooting at 2:30am on March 29, It was a Monday, which is what my parents called “a school night.” That night the young teen was with a 21-year-old, Ruben Roman, who was on probation for gun crimes

Chicago’s former police superintendant, Garry McCarthy, places the blame on Toledo’s death on street gangs, not the cop shot who shot him. “They have the ‘shorties’ who they give the gun to,” McCarthy told WBBM-AM. Toledo apparently was one of those “shorties.” Youngsters such as Toledo, if caught, usually end up in the more lenient juvenile court system, although with Kim Foxx as Cook County’s prosector, the adult courts are quite lenient too.

Police officers were responding to a reports of gunfire in the Southwest Side Little Village neighborhood when they found Roman, who was quickly taken into custody, and Toledo, who ran. In a just-released police bodycam video, which is difficult to watch and contains profanity, it appears that about a second before he was fatally wounded, Toledo dropped his gun. 

There have been scattered local media reports about Toledo’s reputed membership in the Latin Kings. A British newspaper, News Corp’s The Sun, has been quite direct. Of the national media that has spoken up, left-leaning “fact-checking” site Snopes classifies such speculation as “Research in progress.”  But for the most part the big-time national media hasn’t reported about Toledo and his apparent Latin Kings ties.

To be fair the Chicago Sun-Times reported a few days after the shooting, “Chicago police leaders warned their cops that factions of the Latin Kings planned to retaliate following the fatal police shooting of a 13-year-old. Gang members were instructed to ‘shoot at unmarked Chicago police vehicles,’ CPD warned.”

The national mainstream media clearly has another of their narratives to protect, in regards to this one, it’s that racist police officers are indiscrimanetly shooting members of the minority community, particularly young ones. Meanwhile, the Hey Jackass! site says as of today, 165 people have been shot to death in Chicago so far this year–and 759 others have been wounded. Of those killed in 2021, again according to Hey Jackass, over 90 percent of the victims were minorites. And finally, yet again according to the same source, there have been only eight police shootings in Chicago so far this year–three of them fatal. 

Some people are unfairly blaming Toledo’s parents for his death. Good people sometimes raise kids who end up bad. Toledo was reporting missing by his mother on March 26, three days before his death, but he returned home the next day.

At 13 there was plenty of time for Toledo to turn his life around. 

The Chicago Teachers Union, which for months has stubbornyl blocked school re-openings despite the fact that children are the least harmed age group by COVID-19, said in a statement, “Adam Toledo was loved. He was one of ours.” While students have been truant since the first schools took in kids, remote learning leads to even more of it. Chicago’s elementary schools only opened, part time, for in-class learning a few weeks before Toledo’s killing. The high schools re-open in a similar fashion only tomorrow.  In February, the Centers for Disease Control, declared with safeguards, it was safe to re-open schools, even without vaccination.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The crypto tidal wave is here. What does it mean for conservatives?

But what’s in your wallet?

Two big cryptocurrency news stories hit recently. This week, Coinbase, a large cryptocurrency exchange, went public on the NASDAQ stock market. It direct listed its stocks and is trading now around 340 dollars a share. When you look into the 8K and other filed forms, you see Coinbase is actually a profitable company, unlike many of the IPOs during 2020. The other big news is that Visa is partnering with Anchorage, a cryptocurrency bank, to process transactions in US Dollar Coin (USDC). It’s big news because most people probably haven’t heard of stablecoins before, only being familiar with the often violent stock movements of Bitcoin.

When I wrote earlier about cryptocurrency, I had in mind that by the end of this year, we’ll have more normal people using crypto and it becoming less of a big deal to do so. For conservative groups, now through the 2022 election cycle is going to be a time where everyone and their brother gets labeled as a hate group. The SPLC deliberate mislabeling of groups that resulted in Visa and Mastercard canceling their accounts was just the first act in the long war. If you thought Facebook and Google filtering wasn’t bad enough, I’m already seeing Parler become “inaccessible” when searching through Google, but pops up just fine on the Brave Browser using Tor.

Cryptocurrency is going to be the way you go about your lives and stop being canceled. If gun stores have their credit card accounts turned off “for auditing purposes” or some other baloney excuse, what are you going to do? Withdraw lots of cash, which not only is declining in value thanks to our printing volumes of money, but is automatically tracked by your bank and can trigger yet another investigation? If you’ve ever taken a large amount of cash on a plane or withdrawn from a casino, you’ll know what forms I’m talking about. And while that level of scrutiny normally sits at $10,000, it can be lowered without much fuss by executive order.

Your free exchange of value for goods is being threatened by a group of left wing nut cases that would be happy for you to die, and that’s not an exaggeration. By attempting to drive conservatives out of the marketplace, they are trying to make the basic day to day transactions and economic engagement so hard that conservatives have little time for anything else. Putting conservatives on a defensive gives these nut cases a chance to push more of their agenda. Boycott all you want, but if you don’t have a credit card, routine living becomes very difficult, and most people will cave if they don’t have another option.

Now is the time to start practicing. Get a crypto account (I recommend Coinbase because its easy, use this link to start) and put some money in it. Practice transferring money from a wallet. Get your hardware wallet and set it up. All of these things will become swamped once the left wing nut cases start really tightening the screws on people. Instead of the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, you’ll have the Great Cryptocurrency Shortage of 2021. Above all, don’t let losers shut you out of an economy that you helped build and should be allowed to participate in.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

The Saddest Words (and least Surprising) words I’ve read all year

“When pressed, none of the bishops I queried could report a single diocesan seminarian inspired to pursue priestly life by the current Pope. None took any pleasure in acknowledging this.”

Francis X. Maier in a research study done on

The 2nd quote from Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas who links Maier commenting on this quote isn’t much happier.

Again, this parallels my own experience from lectures and retreats I have given to numerous seminarians. In fact, in my spiritual direction of seminarians, I have also had the unenviable task of trying to convince them (and young priests as well) not to give up on the priesthood, so dispirited are many by Francis.

As Usual Fr. Z puts this is perspective:

Popes come and go.  There have been good Popes and bad Popes, important Popes and forgettable Popes.  Men pick them, not the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit’s role in their election is to make sure that the Pope isn’t a total disaster for the Church.  Some disaster, maybe.  Total disaster, never.  Moreover, generations of faithful Catholics lived and died without even knowing the Pope’s name.   In a lot of ways, in daily life, they just aren’t that important.

Pray for him.

Democrats warn the Court

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey and three House Democrats announced their plan to expand the Supreme Court from 9 to 13 Justices this week. They were careful to couch their bald power grab in media-friendly terms, sputtering their concern for the “Court’s legitimacy” and insisting they were not packing the Court, they were “unpacking” it. Orwell had today’s Democrats in mind when he wrote “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” Hardly a day goes by where they aren’t caught trying to change the very definition of words to suit their political needs.

The plan, notwithstanding media hype, is DOA. Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had “no plans” to bring it to a vote. Associate Justice Breyer, one of the stalwart liberals on the Court, warned against expanding the Court as well. And with the late revered-by-progressives Justice Ruth Ginsberg – whose opinion, you might think, would matter to leftists on Court matters, of all things – on the record as against the idea, there’s little pressure on Senators Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema to fall in line. The Democrats don’t have the votes.

Which isn’t the point anyway. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer didn’t expect to win votes with the charisma-deficient Markey leading the charge. Instead, the whole announcement was about something else entirely.

Like everything else the Democrats do with respect to the Court, this was all about abortion.

The Democrats are terrified that Republicans might actually have the votes to seriously curtail, if not outright overturn, Planned Parenthood v. Casey (and Roe v. Wade by extension). Which would throw the issue of abortion back to the state legislatures.

So the Democrats are simply attempting to warn the Court what might happen if they do.

Did I mention Markey’s announcement came two weeks after the Supreme Court agreed to hear their first abortion case since Associate Justice Amy Barrett gave conservatives a 6-3 seeming majority?

There was similar noise back in 2012, prior to the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare. And with his decision to uphold President Obamas signature law, Chief Justice Roberts proved to the Left he could be intimidated.

Can Kavanaugh? Gorsuch? Barrett?

We may soon find out.

Leftist Lies, Projection, More Lies, Fighting Back and the Writing on the Wall Under the Fedora

So now that the election is safely won stolen the media thinks it’s safe to say that the Trump Russia bounty story is BS. At least this time Mitt Romney can take solace in the ends justifying the means in a Democrat big lie.

The same day that the we discovered that this story was bunk Joy Reid started hinting that Ron DeSantis was involved in Sex Trafficing. Commenting on the story Sarah Hoyt who has really earned her reputation as required reading over the last three month asked these questions:

Do you ever wonder at the stories the left thinks plausible? Pee gate. Sex trafficking.

Do you ever wonder why?

I don’t wonder. I just presume the left’s skill at projection is why they’re so entrenched in the movie business.

Speaking of projection and falsehood two years after he was driven out of his own company we now know that ‘Papa John’ Schnatter was driven out of the company he founded over a lie.

Again this was one of the previews of coming attractions of the punishment that companies might face for defying the left, which is likely why so many were willing to fund.

Speaking of defying the left Mike Lindell continues to do so and has now started a site called My Store.

He hopes to compete with Amazon on it. I’m thinking of listing my book there and perhaps the next one (if we ever finish the proofreading that is) to get it some exposure although it will likely put a target on my back.

Lindell has a deep faith in God which provides him with courage and to those who say it’s impossible to compete with Amazon I have three letters and two words for you:

AOL & Internet Explorer

Finally I notice that Coke & Delta were notably absent from the latest round of meeting of company to unite behind the woke flag deciding at this point to shut up and brew and fly.

Apparently Kurt Schlichter is right about the backlash the dam is breaking and when it does, it will be fast and furious.