The military never cared about religion

While I don’t have a print subscription to the Military Times newspapers, I still get their morning email, and today’s headline featured the US Navy not accepting any religious exemptions for the COVID vaccine:

As the deadline for active-duty sailors to get the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine passed Monday, the sea service has yet to grant any vaccine exemptions on the basis of religious accommodation, according to figures released Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, 2,531 requests for exemption from the vaccine mandate had been filed by sailors on religious grounds, though officials could not say how many of those requests had been ruled upon.

Navy Times

I’m not surprised, because in my experience, the Navy (and most services) don’t really care about your religious beliefs. Never have, never will, because in today’s service, the service is the religion.

I noticed this trend when I first joined the Navy. I remember having to beg the Commanding Officer on my submarine to get a mere 45 minutes off on Sunday to hold Catholic services. Mind you, we weren’t on mission, at war, or even strapped for time, but he couldn’t be bothered, and it wasn’t until I talked with the squadron chaplain that I was grudgingly granted the time. This was despite the fact that there are plenty of instructions stating that time and space will be provided unless a submarine is on mission or executing critical duties. My Commanding Officer viewed my request as a nuisance, and he told me as much to my face.

It wasn’t just one CO though. At multiple duty stations, there would be this unwillingness to grant military members the time off to celebrate their faith, be it Christian, Jewish or anything else. In Bahrain, where Sunday is considered a workday, I essentially caused a small office revolt by going to noon Mass on Sunday and telling my boss I simply wasn’t going to work yet another 12 hour work day when we weren’t in crisis mode. I distinctly remember the Admiral there telling us at an all-hands call that he was expecting 6 day work weeks, and even most Saturday mornings, despite no apparent need to do so. It was like the Navy was his “god,” and he couldn’t pray enough while slogging through the mass of self-induced paperwork at his desk.

If the Navy can’t provide a simple hour for Mass once a week, its no surprise they won’t approve vaccine exemptions. Now, to be fair, I encourage people to vaccinate because I think its far better than catching COVID, but I also don’t really think its a hill worth dying on or kicking people out over, similar to why I don’t think we should be stopping everything to chase the extremely tiny number of extremists that might exist in the ranks.

Kicking people out over a COVID vaccine is just one more reason the Navy is going to be hurting for recruitment come 2024-2025. The lip service paid to everything from ship maintenance and strategy to human resources and bonuses is becoming more obvious every day. People are catching on that the Navy views itself as its own religion, and if you’re not willing to worship, then you’ll be shown the door.

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. If you liked this article, consider supporting the author by purchasing his book for either yourself or as a Christmas gift.

Coddling college students

By Christopher Harper

The pandemic may have a devastating impact on education that few people could have predicted.

Instead of focusing on making up for losses in educational attainment, students and faculty are concentrating on how to exacerbate the problems the pandemic created.

During the pandemic, Temple University, like many other institutions of higher learning, encouraged faculty to be more lenient about deadlines and grading policies. In fact, Temple gave students the option to change to a pass-no pass grading system rather than the typical A-through-F standards.

As a result, returning students seem more interested in complaining about the past months of the pandemic than buckling down to determine what they didn’t learn and needed to.

I am teaching courses on ethics and media law during the fall semester. As I did during the pandemic, I am teaching the courses online, and the students have opted to choose this form of learning even though in-person sections exist.

I have never had more requests for extensions on assignments! It is as though many students have lost the ability to organize their time.

In the past, I have allowed students to hand in materials up to a week late for 70 percent credit. Now students—many of whom have obtained waivers under disability arrangements for attention-deficit disorder and similar ailments—are demanding full credit up to a month after an assignment is due.

As a professor of journalism, I demand that students understand grammar, punctuation, and style. Three mistakes, I advise, will result in a deduction of 10 percent. I suggest that students pay $20 a month for an excellent program at grammarly.com.

The adherence to such standards has become almost irrelevant this semester since many students could care less about such requirements. Instead, the students simply take the deductions rather than learn how to write appropriately and effectively. One student responded “lol,” or laughing out loud, to my suggestions.

But the administration does not tell students that they need to hunker down. Instead, Temple and other institutions coddle the students.

Only last week, my college encouraged students to “take a break to prioritize self-care.”

During the event, students had the opportunity to participate in:

  • Mini massages with a licensed massage therapist
  • Paws N’ Play session with a therapy dog
  • Hot chocolate bar with all the fixings
  • Pumpkin painting contest
  • Volleyball and cornhole
  • Wellness Resource Center table
  • Prize wheel, Plinko board, and more!

Simply put, I cannot tolerate the notion that feeling good rather than working hard has become the dominant underpinning of a college education. Moreover, I think the current climate will leave many students poorly prepared for what they’ll find in the workplace.

There will be no Biden reset

By John Ruberry

After a summer of failures, including the resurgence of COVID-19, horrid job numbers, the crisis at the southern border, rampant urban crime, and our humiliating exit from Afghanistan, there was hope within the Biden White House, cheered on by the compliant media, that a reset was due with the new season.

But over this weekend, which isn’t over yet as of this writing, things got worse. In a flashback to the Obama years, the Pentagon chose Friday afternoon–a Friday news dump–to reveal not only that the August drone strike in Afghanistan didn’t slay any ISIS-K terrorists, but the bombing killed an aid worker and nine members of his family, including seven children. Also that afternoon France recalled its ambassador to the USA after the Biden administration, behind France’s back, announced a deal with Great Britain to sell nuclear submarines to Australia. But France already had a deal, now cancelled, with the Aussies. If you ever worked as a salesperson and saw a sleazy co-worker swipe a lucrative sale from you, then you know that feeling of betrayal.

Also on Friday, in a story that is largely being ignored by the national media except for Fox News, a Third World-style shanty town, with thousands of illegal immigrant inhabitants, was discovered on the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas.

There will be no reset for Joe Biden and his administration. That’s because, as I’ve written at DTG over these last few weeks, it is very likely that the president is suffering from cognitive decline. There are people in their seventies and eighties who still have nimble minds. Biden, who turns 79 later this year, is not one of them. Age-related cognitive decline is not reversible. And with crisis after crisis emerging, it’s becoming clear that no one is in charge at the White House, even though, as John Kass remarked, Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, is openly referred to as “President Klain.”

I get it. Sometimes calamity after calamity happens. Lyndon B. Johnson suffered an entire year, 1968, like that. And LBJ of course decided not to run for a second full-term as president that year.

But some of Biden’s debacles were preventable, such as his abandoning Donald J. Trump’s remain-in-Mexico policy regarding migrants, which led to the crisis at the southern border. No one, outside of military contractors, wanted our military involvement in Afghanistan to indefinitely continue. But Biden promised our withdrawal from Afghanistan wouldn’t look like our departure from South Vietnam. Well, Biden was right on that vow–our exit from Afghanistan was worse than that.

The administration’s response to COVID-19, once seen as a strong point for Biden, is also a problem for him. Last week a poll revealed that for the first time a majority of Americans don’t approve of the way Biden is handling fighting the virus. 

So far Biden has gotten a pass for gasoline prices being 40-percent more than they were one year ago when that mean Tweeter with the orange hair was president. Escaping blame for Americans paying more at the pump can’t last forever. for Biden. As temperatures cool urban crime will decline but it will bounce back, as it always does, in the spring. That will give Biden and the Democrats another headache in 2022. Look for Republicans running for House and Senate seats to use crime fears as a central theme in their television commercials, as they did with great success last year. Despite denials the Democrats are the party of “Defund the Police.” Biden has gotten a pass for inflation for now. But his reckless policy of printing money will likely create even more inflation.

What else?

I’ve mentioned this quote before but it needs to be repeated.

Barack Obama reportedly once said of his vice president, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up.” And that was before Biden’s cognitive decline set in.

I don’t like quoting myself, but I really think my Tweet of mine from last month hit the nail on Biden’s head.

“If I just awakened from a 10-year long coma and I saw what a mess America finds itself in now I would come to one quick conclusion. Somehow Joe Biden became president.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Unfiltered Afghan Trips, Moderates vs Progressives, Masks in MA, Goose and Ganders at SCOTUS & Harris shows the side she’s on Under the Fedora

Rep Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Rep Peter Meijer (R-MI) took a secret trip to Afghanistan to see for themselves the situation on the ground. This has gotten the Army, the Administration and the State Department’s knickers in an uproar. I can see why. Given the degree of the failure of the Biden Administration the last thing they want is for congress to have a clear idea of what is going out unfiltered by the administration.


There is a lot of talk about the clash between “moderates’ and “progressives” in the House over the hold up on the infrastructure and budget bills that the Biden Administration has been desperate to get passed.

The clash is not so much between “moderates” and progressives as it is between Democrats who don’t have to worry about being re-elected and Democrats who do and with the Biden Administration debacle in Afghanistan it’s going to be a lot harder to press those Democrats who aren’t anxious to be identified with the administration.


Charlie Baker through his education commissioner has reinstated a Mask mandate for schools at least until October. Charlie has made a few wrong turns on this but has generally been sane, but with an election coming up next year in a state that’s as blue as it comes I guess he’s not willing to make any fights that he doesn’t have to.

It was be nice if we had a Redder and more Trump like governor, but until we focus on educating the public in this state Mr. Baker is likely the best we can do.


The Supreme Court rejected the Biden Administration attempt to block a lower court can not block a lower court ruling re-instating the Trump “Return to Mexico” policy.

This is ironically the same method that was used to force the DACA policy on the Trump administration.

I think that the former ruling was a bad precedent as it makes laws without lawmaking however that’s not going to change until the left starts getting burned by it.


Finally Kamala Harris in Vietnam on the anniversary of John McCain’s death put down a wreath at a war memorial celebrating the shooting down of his airplane.

Reportedly she was warned that this was not a Memorial TO McCain but celebrating him being shot down but she reportedly overruled her advisers who warned her thus. Apparently she wanted to photo op.

I’d object but as she’s owned by people who are America’s enemies and is in fact on their side I’d just as soon she not pretend otherwise.

What does the White House staff and the media know about Biden’s cognitive decline?

Connie Mack in 1938. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

By John Ruberry

The United States’ worst week in my lifetime was the prior one. 9/11 was a horrific tragedy but after that attack Americans were united in a way, albeit briefly, that it probably hasn’t been since World War II and sadly, we probably won’t see such unity again.

While our leaving South Vietnam in 1975 after years of fighting there was a major blow to our psyche–the South Vietnamese military still hung on for over two years after America’s combat role ended. 

Afghanistan fell to our enemy, the Taliban, last week, nearly a month before President Joe Biden’s withdrawal date, September 11–which was later changed to August 31. Americans, friendly Afghans, and our allies who want to leave Afghanistan are unable get to the Kabul Airport. And people at the airport are being killed by the Taliban.

The Soviet puppet state in Afghanistan managed to maintain power for three years after the USSR returned home.

The situation in Afghanistan is so awful that the mainstream media, CNN and the New York Times for instance, have slowly turned again Biden. They’re not as hostile as they were with Donald J. Trump. but it’s a start. I suspect they are holding Biden accountable only to protect what remaining credibility they have with the ten-percent of Americans who whole-heartedly believe their spin and lies.  

When Biden began his third presidential run two years ago something was very evident. Let’s just say the spin was off of his fastball, that it appeared that “Good ole Joe” wasn’t “all there” anymore, even as he squinted at his teleprompter reading remarks written by someone else. 

I’ll be returning to baseball a bit later.

Last week Biden, or more likely the president’s protectors among his family and this staff, chose the most sympathetic interviewer they know, former Bill Clinton senior staffer–and donor to the tainted Clinton Foundation–ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, to give the president the opportunity to explain why the Afghanistan defeat is not a debacle.

Notice that I didn’t call Stephanopoulos a journalist.

Even Biden’s dwindling number of apologists admit the ABC interview went poorly for him..

But the worst part of the ABC interview ended up on the cutting room floor, as Tucker Carlson pointed out on his show. When Stephanopolous questioned the chaotic nature of our withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden replied.

Look, that’s like askin’ my deceased son Beau, who spent six months in Kosovo and a year in Iraq as a Navy captain and then major– I mean, as an Army major. And, you know, I’m sure h– he had regrets comin’ out of Afganista– I mean, out of Iraq.

Amazing. Biden can’t immediately keep straight where his son served and with which branch. Beau Biden never served in Kosovo or Afghanistan. And Beau was in the Army. Not the Navy. Had Trump expressed such confusion some Democratic blowhard, probably Sen. Chuck Schumer, would be calling for the president to take a mental acuity test and suggest enacting the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. 

What else is on the cutting room floor of other Biden interviews, both as a candidate running from inside his “basement bunker” or as president? As a resident of the White House there isn’t much Biden material to work with. Since being sworn in as president Biden conducted only nine sit-down interviews. At the same point in their presidencies Barack Obama had done 113 and Trump 50. Someone is afraid of the media, a media that until this month was quite friendly to Biden.

In the sad later years of Connie Mack’s unprecedented 50-year tenure as manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, he often couldn’t remember the names of his current players but he’d call for substitutions with players who hadn’t played for the A’s in decades. Imagine Chicago White Sox manager Tony LaRussa, who used to manage the Athletics, calling for pinch hitting Jose Abreu with Mark McGwire.

Are there moments like that with Biden? Does the media know? Do they have videotape of it? Stephanopolous of course has the recording of Biden confusing his son’s miltary service. What about prior Stephanopolous interviews of Biden? Those should be made public in their entirety immediately by ABC News.

Mack owned the Athletics so firing him was problematic–but he was eventually forced out by his sons in 1950 when he was 87.

If we have not just a confused but also a senile man as president then removing him from office is the duty of Congress. And the rest of media, if they have evidence of Biden’s cognitive decline, then they need to cough it up now.

And that goes for Biden’s staff as well. When Mack made his non-sensical calls as manager of the Athletics, his coaches would calmly overrule “the Grand Old Man of Baseball.” Is Biden’s staff stepping in and overruling their old man?

Who is in charge? Or as Chris Wallace this morning asked of Biden’s secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, “Does the president not know what’s going on?” Note how Blinken doesn’t answer Wallace’s question in this clip.

Mack ran the Athletics into the ground after many great years at the helm, leading his team to nine American League pennants. Biden never had any great years. Mack’s A’s were just a baseball team. America of course is so much more–not just here at home but to the rest of the world.

Afghanistan is not the only failure of the Biden presidency. There is the border crisis and his inconsistent policy on COVID-19. Are these flops the work of a man who is mentally adrift?

And has Biden’s open borders policy with Mexico made the COVID resurgence worse? Failure seems to be piling upon failure–and we are just seven months into Biden’s term.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Opinions on Haiti, Woke Raytheon, A Matter of Honor, Catholics Demanding Refunds and a name for What’s been happening to my wife Under the Fedora

Saw this at Don Surber’s site this morning on the assignation of the president of Haiti:

Why do I get the feeling the Clintons and their fake foundation are entangled in this mess?

Maybe it wasn’t an assassination.

Maybe it was Arkancide.

My best friend at work is a 70 year old Hattian man who is a naturalized citizen. When I asked him about the assassination last week he offered a similar opinion on what happened over there.


My first employer out of college was Raytheon and I worked there with secret clearance for three years during the climax of the cold war (until I opened my comic book store). now I’m thinking that I might want to take that off my resume after this:

ATTENTION EMPLOYEES, MOVE OUT OF THE WAY BY GETTING ANOTHER JOB NOW:  Raytheon CRT Training: White Employees “must work on ‘recognizing [their] privilege’ and ‘step aside’ for minorities”.

The company will then go the way of every company that hires for reasons other than competence. And they deserve it.

As this is a defense contractor as long as the left has power their bottom line is not endangered but I’ll bet a lot of 80 year old Russian spies are wishing they had managed to pull this off 30 years earlier.


My favorite show when I was seven years old was the Richard Greene series The Adventures of Robin Hood which was televised on WMUR about 30 minutes before I had to wake up for school. While they had it on the air I never was late getting up.

I was reminded of the show or rather a particular line I saw this story out of Boston:

Judge William Young has just announced in court that he is withdrawing the Opinion he issued dismissing the case brought by a Boston parents group over the so-called Boston “Zip Code Quota Plan.” For background see our posts:

The key bit:

“This was my opinion, my signature’s on it, I was misled”

“The opinion is wrong, it’s wrong because the facts on which it was based … an opinion I issued under my signature is factually incorrect”

“I’m inclined to withdraw the opinion, I’ve never done that [before in 35 years]”

“I work very hard on my opinions, and this one’s no good.”

The clerk will enter the note: “The opinion entered in this case is withdrawn on the ground the court is satisfied it is factually inaccurate in certain material effects.”

Any judge appointed in Massachusetts over the last 35 years is likely a liberal but a person of that age might not like the idea of their personal honor being tarnished. In the old days even a villains didn’t want to be seen as breaking their word in public.

Give it a few years more and I’m sure the state with only those brought up woke to choose from will not have to worry about this problem again.


One of the things I constantly argue is that things will not change until there are consequences for the left, like this:

Anthony and Barbara Scarpo noted how the Academy of the Holy Names in Tampa even named its auditorium “Scarpo Family Theatre” after their huge pledge in 2017, saying they were helping it raise $9 million in total.

But now the parents want their money back — including tuition paid for their two daughters — in outrage at how the school turned its back on Catholicism to go “woke,” their 13-count, 45-page lawsuit claims.

The Scarpos claim they were betrayed by the school suddenly “embracing the new, politically correct, divisive and ‘woke’ culture where gender identity, human sexuality, and pregnancy termination among other ‘hot-button issues,’ took center stage,” the lawsuit said.

I couldn’t help but remember when my oldest had been offered a big scholarship at the Anna Maria College but when we visited it it turned out to be “Catholic” in name and fundraising only (although the president in response to my letter to the bishop claimed otherwise. Which thanks to this story turned into yesterday’s lead post twelve years later.

A lot of catholic institutions make a lot of money off of donors who don’t know that their Catholic identity is only visible when asking them for checks.


Finally I just got this link via email concerning Long Haul COVID-19 Syndrome (LHCS) a sample:

The Long Haul COVID-19 Syndrome (LHCS) is an often debilitating syndrome characterized by a multitude of symptoms such as prolonged malaise, headaches, generalized fatigue, sleep difficulties, smell disorder, decreased appetite, painful joints, dyspnea, chest pain and cognitive dysfunction. The incidence of symptoms after COVID-19 varies from as low as 10% to as high as 80%. LHCS is not only seen after the COVID-19 infection but it is being observed in some people that have received vaccines (likely due to monocyte activation by the spike protein from the vaccine). A puzzling feature of the LHCS syndrome is that it is not predicted by initial disease severity; post-COVID-19 frequently affects mild-to-moderate cases and younger adults that did not require respiratory support or intensive care.

The symptom set of LHCS in the majority of cases is very similar to the chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, although in LHCS, symptoms tend to improve slowly in the majority of the cases. Furthermore, the similarity between the mast cell activation syndrome and LHCS has been observed, and many consider post-COVID-19 to be a variant of the mast cell activation syndrome. LHCS is highly heterogenous and likely results from a variety of pathogenetic mechanisms. Furthermore, it is likely that delayed treatment (with ivermectin) in the early symptomatic phase will result in a high viral load, which increases the risk and severity of LHCS.

This describes what happened to my wife (who is still out of work since March and things are starting to get tight around here) perfectly. But I note that some people who have gotten this because of the vaccines.

Now I don’t blame the developers, these vaccines were done in a hurry because of the emergency and this was a new disease but it’s one more thing to consider when deciding if you want to get the shot or not.

Having already had COVID I don’t see the need myself, I’ve already got the antibodies.

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.

School lockdowns lead to urban carjacking spike

By John Ruberry

The COVID-19 school lockdown continues in America’s biggest cities, despite clear evidence that children are unlikely to become seriously ill from that virus.

One unintended consquence of the closing of public schools to all but remote learning is more crime–and especially more carjackings. 

It is no longer just conservative media calling attention to the link to the school lockdowns and carjackings in big cities. Although CBS was artful in its report in a story last week. “Investigators say the trend is driven by 12 to 15 year olds with time on their hands during the pandemic,” CBS News said. These kids have more time on their hands because their schooling consists of Zoom instruction something CBS omitted in its story.

Last month a 66-year-old UberEats driver, Mohammad Anwar, a Pakistani immigrant, died while clinging to his vehicle in Washington DC after being tased in a carjacking by two girls, a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old. A bystander took video of the crime–which has gone viral. 

“You know, idle minds are the devil’s playground. And a lot of these kids, they’ve been idle for a year and a half now without going to school. And that’s been a big problem,” Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo told Fox News last week.

In that CBS story referenced earlier it was also reported, “The number of carjackings has exploded during the pandemic. Carjackings have increased by more than 100% in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. They are up more than 343% in Washington, D.C.”

Let’s look at Chicago. The pusillanimous nature of the local media creates an opening for straightforward sources. One of those news sites is Hey Jackass! and it reports the raw numbers of carjackings. Well sort of. Stick with me on this one. In 2019 there were 603 reported carjackings and 1,396 last year. So far in 2021 there have been 404. But here’s the kicker. “Carjacking data comes directly from the CPD’s own data set,” Hey Jackass! warns, “so add 20% to obtain the true number.” 

There’s a lot of speculation about why carjackers commit their crimes. Thrill is probably one of them, but also often vehicles are carjacked to aid other crimes. Perhaps it’s a mix of the two. Just last night, another great local crime site, CWB Chicago, told us of a 55-year-old woman who was pushed to the ground inside a Target parking lot as her Audi was carjacked. The criminals drove away with her car and the one they arrived in, a Kia, which was likely carjacked near the University of Chicago a couple of hours prior. Percentage-wise since 2017 the arrest rate for Chicago carjackings has been in the single digits, according to Hey Jackass!

On April 19 Chicago’s public high schools are scheduled to re-open, although how that occurs varies from school to school. Of course the recalcitrant Chicago Teachers Union, citing new COVID-19 numbers, is opposed.

Mental health among students has suffered during the lockdown

Once the school lockdowns end–and I believe they will one day–don’t expect the carjackers to give up their horrible hobby. 

Businesses in Chicago, already suffering from 13 months of lockdowns, rioting, and looting, are receiving another hit. Suburbanites, for good reason, are afraid to travel to the city. And the carjackings occur in all neighborhoods, rich, poor, and in between.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The violence of lockdowns

By Christopher Harper

Violence from firearms nearly doubled in Philadelphia—a trend that occurred throughout the United States—during the city’s lockdown for much of last year.

That’s the conclusion of a group of doctors and scientists from Temple University and published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association. See 10.1001/jama.2021.1534

“These analyses provide evidence of a significant and sustained increase in firearm violence in Philadelphia following the enactment of COVID-19 containment policies. Counts of individuals shot per week continued to increase during protests following the killing of George Floyd and remained high during the partial lifting of containment policies until the end of the study period,” the authors found.

This study accessed data from the Philadelphia Police Department’s registry of shooting victims from January 1, 2016, through November 26, 2020. This registry is updated daily and includes all individuals shot and/or killed with a firearm. There were no changes in data collection policies or practices in 2020. Compared with trauma center records, the police registry contains approximately twice the number of individuals shot with a firearm. 

The authors examined the data after three events:

  • The enactment of Philadelphia’s first COVID-19 containment policy (closure of nonessential businesses; March 16, 2020).
  • The killing of George Floyd (May 25, 2020).
  • The partial lifting of containment policies (June 26, 2020). 

During the 256 weeks included in the study, 7,159 people were shot in Philadelphia. The shootings stood at 25 per week before the lockdown in March. However, after the lockdown, the incidents jumped to 46 people shot per week in the 37 weeks of the policy. 

During 2020, Philadelphia saw 499 murders, an increase of 40 percent over the previous year and the second-highest rate in homicides since 1960. The city had 500 murders in 1990. Other cities saw similar increases. See https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/94292-us-homicide-rates-skyrocket-in-2020-exacerbated-by-the-covid-19-pandemic 

“The sustained nature of the increase in firearm violence observed in this study may be related to longer-term effects of COVID-19 containment policies, including intensifying unemployment and poverty, particularly in lower-income Philadelphia communities where shootings are most concentrated,” the analysis found.

Jessica Beard, a physician at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, headed the inquiry.

Philly’s COVID mess

By Christopher Harper

Amid charges of chaos and corruption, Philadelphia’s plan to provide vaccines for the Covid viruses has been an absolute disaster.

Less than a month ago, Mayor Jim Kenney announced a major initiative with Andrei Doroshin, the CEO of Philly Fighting Covid.

What was the first indication that there might be a problem? Doroshin is a 22-year-old graduate student without any background in health. His organization included various college friends who had experience in technology, so they used 3-D printing machines to make face shields.

On October 7, he presented a slideshow via Zoom in which he described how he and his colleagues planned to create vaccination sites throughout Philadelphia to provide vaccines.

That’s when the second indication of a problem appeared. In the live stream of his presentation, Doroshin planned to manage five mass vaccination sites and 20 smaller sites scattered throughout the city. He claimed his team could vaccinate between 500,000 and 1.5 million people.

“This is the juicy slide,” said Doroshin, explaining the financing plan. “How are we gonna get paid?” He explained that the vaccine doses were free, provided by the federal government. But Philly Fighting Covid could bill insurance companies $24 a dose for administering it.

“I just told you how many vaccines we want to do—you can do the math in your head,” he said.

A month later, Doroshin made a similar presentation, complete with colorful maps and a $2.7 million projected budget, to the Philadelphia City Council. He said his team at Philly Fighting Covid had begun submitting plans for building out five high-capacity sites that could each take up to 10,000 patients a day.

Within days, the organization faced a variety of scandals. A nurse accused Doroshin of spiriting away doses of the vaccine to give to his friends and family. A City Council member and his family also got preferential treatment.

Ultimately, it turned out that a top Department of Health official gave Doroshin key information about how to handle the accounts and get the job.

The city never signed a formal contract with Philly Fighting Covid nor gave the organization any money, but it did provide its unofficial sanction and publicity. Most important, the city turned over thousands of doses from its vaccine allotment to the group and helped it find recipients by sharing lists of residents who were newly eligible for the vaccine.

Last week, the City of Philadelphia finally cut ties with Doroshin and his group. Still, the organization served as a major clearinghouse to register for vaccines, and now everyone has to sign up again.

Unfortunately for Philadelphia Democrats, they can’t blame Donald Trump for this incredible mess.