COVID wallpaper

No, I’m not talking about putting up wallpaper with little COVID molecules on it. Maybe I’ll consider that for a Halloween haunted house though, to scare all the liberals into wearing masks 😉

I’m actually talking about how COVID has covered over a whole list of other serious issues. For the past two years, the main topic of discuss in almost all suburban homes has been COVID and its impacts on the home and family. It’s difficult to have a conversation with any of my friends that doesn’t touch on the disease in some way. The problem with this is it removes focus from a lot of other problems.

For example, our military is facing a manpower crisis. If you only read some headlines, you’d see that the Navy met its recruitment goals for the year. But that covers up the fact that its hemorrhaging manpower at a higher than normal rate. It can’t fill its sea billets that contribute the most to its ability as a fighting force, and it can’t keep Surface Warfare Officers.

Evaluating personnel data from 2004 to 2020, the agency found from Navy data that retention for SWOs was so low that the service changed how it inducted junior officers to ensure an adequate number of department heads for surface ships.

USNI News

In my community, my detailer already announced that there were significantly more retirements than expected, and they will simply be gapping billets. I’m not even mad at the detailer, he is simply working with what he has.

Gee, who could have seen this coming?

What about our economy? Everyone is focused on COVID’s impact to the supply chain, but there has been little focus on the brittleness of our economy. The fact that most of our advanced microchips come out of one country (Taiwan), or that most if not all of rare earth metals come from one country (China), or that our infrastructure has been ravaged for years by poor management and maintenance with nobody held accountable (see multiple dam collapses that past two years), or that we can’t seem to manage water in the state that produces most of our produce (California), or that we have a massive power crisis because we’ve been shutting down nuclear power plants (even Vox! says its a problem).

These economic problems have solutions that take years to implement. Some solutions are finally coming, such as Intel’s new chip plant being placed in Ohio. But its woefully behind schedule, and a glance through Biden’s “Build Debt Better!” plan didn’t show much resolution for any of these. In most cases, its not financing that is the issue, its holding the people responsible for the day-to-day management of these problems accountable, something that government in general has a bad track record of accomplishing.

But probably the worst bit of COVID wallpaper is cultural. COVID has become the excuse for people to live out their worst tendencies. Want to publicly shame people online and in-person? Want to kick people out of their jobs for personal medical decisions? Want to make demands of other people’s children? Want to do all this from the isolated safety of your home while you work on your laptop? Then COVID was just the thing for you! It’s no surprise that so many people don’t want the COVID restrictions to go away, because it removes their ability to boss others around.

COVID is like cheap wallpaper. It’s covering up a whole magnitude of other problems, and as the crisis goes away, we’re going to realize that we have always had much more important problems to solve.

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 like this post, please consider supporting the author by purchasing his book.

Why my kids are still masked

On his first day in office, Governor Youngkin signed an executive order repealing the mask mandate. Contrary to popular media belief, he didn’t make it illegal to wear masks in school. You can in fact still have your child wear a mask if you want to. In typical liberal fashion, people began suing the governor for providing the freedom to choose whether to mask your child or not. The list includes plenty of people that I personally know.

Now, you might think I’d be the first one to tell my kids to remove their masks. And yet, I’m not.

Why is that? Did I suddenly get cold feet when all this freedom was given to me? Am I secretly a germaphobe that has been called out into the open? Did I suddenly lose my spinal cord like so many senior military members?

Nope, none of that. The simple reason is that while the mask mandate is gone, my school district has some insidious rules that punish students for not wearing masks. Not directly of course, because that would open the spineless bureaucrats to lawsuits and more public shaming. These are instead indirect consequences, conducted in a sort of administrative warfare that is most often found at your local DMV.

If your student doesn’t wear a mask, and there is an outbreak, then he or she (or meow, or whatever you want people to call you) will have to quarantine at home for at least 5 days and take a bunch of COVID tests. But if your student is wearing a mask….no quarantine.

Yup. So if you choose freedom, you’ll get punished if anyone tests positive for COVID in a classroom. But keep that mask on, and you can still go to school.

So for the parents that want their kids to stay in school, rather than be virtually schooled, you take a massive risk of 5 days of at-home babysitting if your kid doesn’t wear a mask. If both parents work, or its a single parent family, will you risk that? Will you tell your job you need more flexible hours? Will you risk the hassle of losing another week due to some kid testing positive for COVID, even if they aren’t showing signs of actual sickness.

Some people might. Most won’t. So it’s not a surprise that most parents in my school district are still sending their kids with masks. Its not because we don’t want the freedom. It’s because the school district decided to impose its will anyway via administrative means. And until we dump these people to the curb like the trash that they are, all the executive orders in the world won’t bring the freedom they promise to the average family in Virginia.

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 enjoyed this article, please consider purchasing my book on Amazon or Audible to help me and my family.

Review: Ozark, Season 4 Part 1

By John Ruberry

After a nearly two-year gap, the Netflix series Ozark is back with Season Four. Actually, this is Part One of Season Four, which consists of seven episodes. Part Two of this season, also consisting of seven episodes, will be released later this year and then Ozark will conclude.

The series, if you haven’t heard of it, is centered on the Byrde family from the Chicago suburb of Naperville. Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) is a financial planner whose firm launders money for a Mexican drug cartel. As I mentioned in my first Ozark review, this is not a wise idea. As he is about to be murdered after the cartel discovers money is being skimmed, Bryde convinces his assassins that the Lake of the Ozarks area of Missouri is an ideal place to launder even more money for the drug fiends. Byrde quickly departs for the Ozarks with his family, which is comprised of his wife Wendy (Laura Linney), their teen daughter Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz), and their younger son Jonah (Skylar Gaertner). 

The Lake of the Ozarks area is hardly crime free paradise, and they quickly encounter two other criminal families, the Snells and the trailer dwelling Langmores. 

Skipping way ahead to season four, the interactions, alliances, and betrayals among these three families continues. The FBI, here shown as an underhanded and conflicted agency, you know, kind of like the real FBI of the 21st century, is trying to break the cartel–through the Byrdes. Oh, the Kansas City mob has a presence here too. As does a big pharmaceutical firm.

By the time viewers reach the current season, the plots and subplots of Ozark are quite complicated. So if you want to enjoy Ozark–and I believe you will–you must start with the first season. However, Ozark hasn’t had a new episode in two years and memories, mine for sure, tend to fade. So I found myself, while watching the new episodes, having thoughts like this one: “Hey, whatever happened to that guy, wasn’t he murdered a couple of seasons ago? Who killed him again? And why?” Clearly, Ozark now needs Game of Thrones style recaps.

Bateman, Linney, Hublitz, and Gaertner all deliver captivating performances. However, topping them all is Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore. She’s already received two Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Emmys and I cannot imagine her not getting another nomination at the very least. Also quite good is Lisa Emery as Darlene Snell. Her character is involved in a complex relationship with Ruth’s cousin, Wyatt Langmore (Charlie Tahan). 

There’s even a rift in the drug cartel between its head, Omar Navarro (Felix Solis), and his nephew, Javier “Javi” Elzondro (Alfonso Herrera).

While it is set in the Ozarks, most of Ozark is filmed in Georgia. In the latest batch of episodes unlike Season One, the Chicago scenes were filmed in Atlanta. So I found it amusing to see a streetcar in what is supposed to Chicago’s Loop. Chicago hasn’t had streetcar service in decades. A new character, a street-smart Chicago private detective, Mel Sattem (Adam Rothenberg) travels to the Ozarks to investigate a disappearance. He also has a New York accent, not a Chicago one. I mean, hey, if Heath Ledger, an Australian, can do a Chi-CAW-go AXE-cent as the Jokerthe Dark Knight was filmed in Chicago–so can others. Here’s a tip: talk through your nose. In an unintentional bit of humor, while discussing a potential move back to Chicago, Marty tells Charlotte that Chicago will be “safe.” Clearly, they haven’t been following the dramatic rise in crime in the city since their move to Missouri, including in Lincoln Park, a neighborhood they are considering. 

Wendy was a Democratic Party operative in Illinois. She’s conspiring, as she did in season three, with Republicans to buy respectability for the Byrdes. During that alliance-building the Republicans look really bad. But I have to point out Illinois, which is essentially a one-party state, a Democrat one, is one of the most corrupt states in the country. And let’s not forget Wendy is the matriarch of a money-laundering family. But the Republicans are the villains here. In Season Four, “Republican” is used in the dialogue twice. “Democrat” not once. 

Coincidence?

All four seasons of Ozark are streaming on Netflix. It is rated TV-MA for graphic violence, drug use, obscene language, and nudity.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

A dystopian and real 48 hours to commit crimes in Chicago

By John Ruberry

“You got him for 48 hours,” a prison official says to Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) in the movie 48 Hours.

And “him” was Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy), a prison inmate who is given an unauthorized furlough to assist Cates in solving some murders. 

In Chicago and suburban Cook County we have a different kind of 48 Hours. 

“When someone goes missing with home-monitoring–when they leave the house unauthorized,” state Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove) said on this weekend’s Flannery Fired Up on Fox Chicago, “they have to be gone for 48 hours before they can be charged now.”

“We’ve had stories, several stories,” Curran told the host Mike Flannery, “about people on home-monitoring committing additional acts of violent crime when they go missing.”

“And any violation [of electronic-monitoring] should bring an immediate charge–not a 48-hour window,” Curran added.

What type of people are on home-monitoring in Cook County? 

“Seventy-five to 80 percent of my people on home monitoring are charged with a violent offense,” Cook County sheriff Tom Dart revealed in an online discussion last week. “I have about 100 people on home-monitoring who are charged with murder.”

The essential CWB Chicago site earlier this month reported on a Halloween carjacking where the accused was on electronic-monitoring for two armed robberies and a gun charge couldn’t be charged for violating his home confinement because he didn’t break the 48-hour threshold. 

Last week some of Dart’s officers shot a Chicago man who fired at them first. The suspect is accused of a slew of sexual assault charges after he violated that 48-hour electronic-monitoring window. 

There have been many other crimes committed by accused criminals under electronic-monitoring that don’t involve that two-day threshold. Some of them just simply remove the EM ankle bracelet.

Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, claims that 15 people were accused of murder while on Cook County home-monitoring in 2021. While the real number may be around 10, even that is a frightening number. Lightfoot is calling for changes in Cook County’s EM system, but her political position is weak because of her unpopularity; she is not politically close to Kim Foxx, the state’s attorney of Cook County who is one of those woke George Soros-funded prosecutors who apparently sees law enforcement as some elaborate psychological experiment rigged to enable criminals to be undercharged or to walk free. Equally culpable for this parlor-game-from-hell insanity is Cook County’s chief judge, Timothy C. Evans. 

Chicago endured over 800 murders in 2021, the highest total since the crack epidemic gang wars of the mid-1990s. There were over 1,800 carjackings in Chicago last year, three times the total of 2019. And lately the Chicago area has been plagued by flash mobs of shoplifters. 

Leftist apologists of course will blame the COVID-19 pandemic for the crime epidemic. Puh-leaze. While there are still mask mandates in the Chicago area, the lockdowns have been over for more than a year. 

And a 48 hours free-pass in-all-but-name is only a tip of the crime iceberg in Chicago and is suburbs. As is overuse of electronic-monitoring.

And in Illinois, which saw over 100,000 people leave in 2021, there are always darker days on the horizon. Next year the state’s no-cash bail law goes into effect.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from suburban Cook County at Marathon Pundit.

Easy Republican issue to win: stop police lying

As I said previously, Republicans have been a party of losers because they take the position of not doing anything, while more radical Democrats push for ever more changes that make us look more like California and the old Soviet Union. Republicans need to actually rally under something more than just lowering taxes. I’ve got a few ideas, so let’s start with an easy one: stop cops from lying.

Now, that sounds odd right. Would police officers really lie? Isn’t that illegal? Well, fun fact, police officers can lie to your face to try and get you to confess to a crime. We’re not talking about misrepresenting truth, or talking around the issues, or any other nuanced conversation. Nope, cops can straight up lie to you. They can literally tell you they have evidence that makes you guilty when they have nothing.

Worse still, this is protected by the Supreme Court! So its totally OK for this to happen. Are we surprised when this gets abused? Let’s take the folks currently jailed for the January 6th protests. Can you bet the police and prosecutors are lying to them right now, threatening to jail them forever under the same laws used to prosecute actual terrorists? I can guarantee we’re going to start hearing these horror stories from people this year, if not sooner.

Or how about something closer to home? Virginia Beach police got caught using knowingly false, completely made up DNA tests to pressure people to confess to crimes. Yup, that just came out, conveniently right before a new Republican Attorney General takes over this weekend. Even worse, in one case this fake evidence WAS PRESENTED IN COURT! It had fake signatures and everything. How on earth can we trust a court process when DNA evidence, which is supposed to be a gold standard in a court room, can be faked?

Want to bet Mr. Miyares is going to find even more examples of this once he starts digging? I’d stake more than a few dollars on him finding out that there are plenty of abuses happening in Virginia right now.

Here’s the worst part: police get away with it. Nobody is being sent to jail over this.

Now, think about this: if you’re a young man, particularly a young black man, and you read stories like this about police falsifying evidence, and you already have some distrust of them, and you see these officers and prosecutors walk away unscathed, why on earth would you put any trust in them?

I’ve experienced this first hand myself. NCIS pulled me into a room a few years ago and interrogated me over some travel expenses I took while traveling for the Navy. The investigator, a super pushy a**-hat of a man, rattled off dates of trips I took over two years ago and said “So why did you take this trip?” I fired back that I had no idea (my memory isn’t that good), but that every trip had a description section, which I always filled out to explain why I was traveling. He told me, to my face, that all the sections in DTS (which is the Defense Travel System, an online database where government members book travel arrangements) were empty, and that he had checked that himself. I finally told them to pack sand (in a nice way) and that I would send them a written statement of the reasoning behind my trips.

Not surprisingly, when I got back to my office and logged into DTS, what did I find? ALL THE TRIPS HAD REASONS LISTED! Every, single, one. I even had additional documentation anytime a trip went over a weekend to explain the cost savings to the government. Agent A**hat had lied to my face in an attempt to get a confession. When I sent him a wonderful 3 page memo outlining all the reasons and raising the question about whether he would like to press actual charges and suggesting we should sit down with a lawyer, suddenly the investigation disappeared.

Now, I’m an angry, bitter Sailor and I tend to punch back at people. Most people aren’t like me. How much would you bet that Agent A**hat had successfully intimidated people into confessing before? How much you want to bet that he’ll do it again? If you’re in the Navy, or have a son or daughter in the Navy, doesn’t it bother you that people like Agent A**hat can operate with impunity?

Police intimidation and lying is real. It happens at all levels of government, and its getting worse. It is absolutely intimidating to sit on the wrong side of a police officer or prosecutor, worse still when they are a jerk-off loser, and be told you’ll be rotting in jail unless you confess. Republicans should make this tactic illegal, and should make it easy to prosecute anyone that uses it, especially at the federal level. Want to stop stupid cases like Kyle Rittenhouse? Start with laws that punish police officers and prosecutors from abusing their power. Republicans need to champion this cause, which affects everyone, but especially young black people, and make it a legislative priority. This is an easy win.

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. For the NCIS agents reading this, I have nothing but disgust for the dirty tactics you use, and you should be ashamed of yourselves and all the innocent people you’ve intimidated and punished.

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out my book? It’s an even better read, and you can even listen to it on Audible.

People Joe Biden needs to fire in 2022

By John Ruberry

Joe Biden endured the worst year of any president since Jimmy Carter in 1980. Stagflation, the Iranian hostage crisis, and his well-deserved thumping at the hands of Ronald Reagan made it an annus horribilis for Jimmah–and America. 

Sadly, we are facing three more years of Biden. But in case I missed it, I don’t believe Biden fired a single person in 2021, despite a series of debacles. His predecessor, Donald Trump, wasn’t afraid to hand out pink slips.

Here’s a list of people that Biden needs to fire. 

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of the CDC is, well, you know. And despite Biden’s campaign promise to “shut down the virus.” He hasn’t and nor has Walensky. Despite vaccines, more people have died of COVID-19 in 2021 than 2020. And last year the Delta and Omicron variants emerged. 

Walesnky is a dope–or perhaps a budding tyrant. In November she praised China’s “really strict lockdown” that allegedly resulted in a low death rate. What rational person can trust the ChiComms on COVID? 

Last month the CDC admitted that it greatly overestimated the number of Omicron cases in the United States.

Merrick Garland, Attorney General. Political junkies remember Garland being touted as a moderate, not a hard liberal, when Barack Obama nominated for the US Supreme Court seat that became vacant after the death of conservative jurist Antonin Scalia. But “Moderate Merrick” is a real as Bigfoot. In October Garland directed the FBI to target Americans who protest the school boards and administrators that allow bigoted critical race theory to be taught in schools. This move is an intimidation tactic against protesters and besides, any such threats, if there are any, should fall under the purview of local law enforcement. 

Garland would better serve America if he concentrated on real threats to public safety such as Antifa.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A proponent of a woke military, Milley, a Trump-appointee, presided over America’s humiliating defeat and withdrawal from Afghanistan. An honorable person would have resigned after the Afghanistan catastrophe. 

Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense. See above. 

Anthony Blinken, Secretary of State. There are still hundreds of Americans trapped in Afghanistan

Ron Klain, White House chief of staff. Many believe, including longtime political reporter Brit Hume, that Biden is senile–including me–and a figurehead. Then who is really president? Some say it’s Klain. If so, then he’s responsible for Biden’s turn to the hard-left. Yes, Biden is another phony moderate. Anyway, it’s not working.

The White House anti-fossil fuel policy has driven up the price of gasoline and the pumping of cash has given America its worst inflation in nearly four decades. 

Susan Rice, director of the United States Domestic Policy Council. Ric Grenell, former acting head of National Intelligence under Trump, says Rice is really president. Perhaps she is co-president with Klain? Biden needs to fire both of them and replace them with real moderates. America is still a center-right country.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Trump should have fired Fauci in 2020. St. Tony of Wuhan is an embodiment of the DC Swamp, he’s been in office for nearly four decades. His greatest talent is keeping his job and getting himself on television.

Over 800,000 Americans have died of COVID. Fauci has given conflicting advice on things such as wearing masks to prevent COVID–not needed, then needed, and still needed, for starters. And Fauci lied when he said that National Institute of Health didn’t fund gain-of-function research on bats and coronavirus at Wuhan. Such research may be responsible for the COVID outbreak. 

Yes, I will almost certainly vote for a Republican for president in 2024. But I love this country too much so see America fail badly for three more years.

And in regard to the headline, when I say, “People Joe Biden needs to fire in 2022,” I mean sooner as opposed to later.

How ’bout the first working day of the new year?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

America’s worst year since 1864

By John Ruberry

With Christmas past us it’s time to look back at the current year, 2021. And with a less than a week left we can say that 2021 was America’s worst year since 1864.

Why was 1864 so bad? While there were significant military successes for the Northern armies fighting to keep the United States together–Atlanta and Savannah were captured and General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was locked into siege warfare in Virginia–and a potential political victory of the Confederacy was averted by Abraham Lincoln’s reelection, Americans were still killing each other by the thousands. The following year was an improvement, despite Lincoln’s assassination. The Civil War ended in the spring of 1865 and the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, was ratified. 

As for 2021, it got off to a wretched start when hostiles, American ones, stormed the US Capitol in a riot. We have to go back to another horrible year for America, 1814, when the British Army seized the Capitol, for the only other time that happened. The hooligans who entered the Senate and House chambers on January 6 were not participating in an insurrection, despite claims made to this day by CNN and MSNBC. Sure, the rioters wanted to keep Donald J. Trump in power, but they had no plans for a coup, such as imprisoning Joe Biden, taking control of the military, and dissolving Congress.

Bad people? Yes. Nutty? That too. And sorry leftists, President Trump did not call for an insurrection.

And what about the people who were supposed to protect the Capitol, such as the Capitol Hill Police and the who they report to? You know, Congress, which is run by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They failed America.

In the fraught election of 2020, a feeble old man, Joe Biden, was elected president. “Lunch Bucket Joe from Scranton” was chosen as the Democratic nominee because he was viewed by many as the “safe” alternative to Trump, and not a radical like Bernie Sanders. Biden’s “good years,” assuming he ever had them, are well in the past. Biden, and the people who control him, such as Ron Klain or Susan Rice, went full-blown leftist on Inauguration Day. Economically, the result is the highest level of inflation in decades. These price increases, once dismissed by the Biden White House as “transitory,” will likely continue indefinitely, serving as a hidden tax for all Americans.

While not quite energy independent as Trump claimed, our nation was headed into that direction under his leadership. Shortly after his inauguration Biden suspended new drilling and fracking on federal lands. It has since been reversed in court, but the White House maintains a malevolent attitude towards the world’s most reliable form of energy, fossil fuels. Gasoline costs over $1 more per gallon since Biden became president. Biden also cancelled the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, essentially firing thousands of union workers.

An effective commander-in-chief, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, does his job so well it appears that he is doing nothing at all. While Trump certainly doesn’t have Ike’s soft touch, I’m of the belief that Trump would have seen the possibility of a supply chain crisis coming and would have taken steps to ensure we would not have seen the bottleneck of cargo ships outside America’s largest harbors. 

Meanwhile in the Biden administration the cabinet officer in charge of our supply chain, Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, went on an unannounced two-month paternity leave just as the shipping crisis began. Rather than resigning for failure or dereliction of duty, Buttigieg’s is being hawked by some Democrats as a possible 2024 Democratic presidential candidate should Biden choose not to run for reelection. While family is of course important, liberals often claim that public service is the highest calling. Buttigieg could have simply quit as Transporation secretary. Or not taken the job at all.

While not something that the federal government is directly in charge of, violent crime plagued America’s largest cities this year–and all of those cities are run by Democrats. A dozen cities endured record murder totals. Some jurisdictions, such as San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles County, Milwaukee County, and Cook County (Chicago), are burdened with woke prosecutors engaging in catch-and-release policies regarding criminals.

Biden was elected last November because more voters saw him as more capable to fight the COVID-19 epidemic than Trump. But wait, what’s this? There were more COVID deaths in the United States in 2021 than in 2020, despite the availability of vaccines. And lockdown and mask mandates are ramping up again with the new omicron variant, which so far has killed one American. That number will surely climb but I have a strong suspicion that omicron will not be killing 15,000 Americans a week as soon as next month, which is what the politicized CDC is predicting. 

In order to prove Trump wrong, Biden has proved him right in regard to enforcing the law at our southern border. In late October the Washington Post reported that a record 1.7 million people arrested while trying to cross that border. In addition to illegal aliens, it’s believed that large amounts of fentanyl have been smuggled across the border in 2021.

As Biden as Biden is, his vice president is even worse, the inept cackler, Kamala Harris.

I’ve saved the worst for last. America suffered a humiliating military defeat in Afghanistan. Biden vowed that our departure from Afghanistan would look nothing like our bugging-out from South Vietnam in 1975. He was right, it was worse. As with the border crisis, the Biden White House blamed Trump for the debacle. While Trump did enter an agreement to pull our troops out of Afghanistan this year, it was not a treaty. We could have back out. Trump says, and I believe him, that he never would have made our country look so feeble, yes, feeble like Biden physically and mentally is, if we had departed Afghanistan under his watch.

When the next international crisis comes, our allies will have understandable doubts about American resolve. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Lightfoot’s blame-the-victim response about flash mob thieves reminiscent of pre-woke SNL sketch

By John Ruberry

If you give a press conference and the result looks like a Saturday Night Live sketch, a pre-woke version of the show that is, then you have a big problem.

So it was last week with Chicago’s inept leftist mayor, Lori Lightfoot, when she blamed retail crime victims for the rise of flash mob thieves plaguing Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping area.

“We still have retailers that won’t institute plans like having security officers in their stores, making sure that they’ve got cameras that are actually operational, locking up their merchandise at night, chaining high-end bags,” the first-term Democrat said. “These purses can be something that is attracting a lot of organized retail theft units.”

So it’s the victims’ fault.

Just like it was in this SNL skit from 1991, featuring Chicago native Joe Mantegna, where he blames New York City crime victims for their problems.

“Yeah, I was flying to Florida, and we had a stopover in New York,” a caller to a talk radio show told Mantegna. “Well, while we were sitting on the ground a group of ‘wilding’ teenagers boarded the plane and beat with me on the head with a pipe.”

“And which airport was this,” Mantegna asked,

“LaGuardia,” was the reply.

“Well, there you go,” Mantegna scolded the caller.

Chicago Police brass were said to have a plan in place to combat smash-and-grab thieves and avoid scenes such as what happened when a Burberry’s on North Michigan Avenue was emptied of purses–each handbag was worth more than a thousand dollars. 

If there was a plan by the CPD, then it clearly didn’t work. Since Lightfoot’s delusional presser a North Face store on the Mag Mile was struck twice. But proving that the Burberry’s looting was just a tame opening act, yesterday a luxury car dealer just off of the Magnificent Mile was robbed of an estimated $2 million worth of high-end watches–which, are you paying attention Mayor Lightfoot?– were locked up inside a locked glass display case. Yep, $2 million.

The dealership is now seeing customers on an appointment basis only–its doors are locked during store hours. Welcome to the new Chicago.

On Friday night’s Flannery Fired Up show on Fox 32 Chicago, host Mike Flannery estimated that 20 percent of the storefronts on North Michigan Avenue are empty. Regular readers of my posts know that the Mag Mile was devastated by two rounds of looting–oops, I mean “mostly peaceful protests”–in 2020. 

The luxury dealership, which sells Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, and Lamborghinis, is owned by Joe Perillo, who is rethinking operating in Chicago.

“It is wrong for someone to break into a place – if they get caught, they get let out!” Perillo explained to ABC 7. “If they get arrested, they get let go. So, how do you intend to ever solve that problem?” He added, “If they don’t do anything about this, they’re going to lose a lot of businesses. They lost Macy’s. They’re losing Neiman Marcus. They may lose this store.”

While Neiman Marcus still has a store on the North Michigan Avenue, the Gap and Disney have also left in the last year. And remember what Flannery said about Mag Mile vacancies. 

It’s not just Lightfoot’s fault.

Kim Foxx is one of those woke so-called prosecutors whose campaign was funded by radical leftist George Soros. She’s received plenty of well-deserved scorn for her mishandling of the Jussie Smollett case. But the greater sin of the Cook County state’s attorney is her catch-and-release policy involving criminals accused of serious offenses. Even some alleged murderers are out of jail on electronic surveillance.

How ’bout if a non-woke SNL updated that skit with a Chicago twist?

“Hello, my store was emptied of merchandise by flash mob looters,” a caller to that SNL-radio show might say.

“What do you sell,” Lori Lightfoot would reply.

“Purses worth more than $1,000.”

Lightfoot’s retort would be, “Well, there you go.”

Retail groups have been complaining that shoppers are now afraid to visit North Michigan Avenue. Who can blame them?

Chicago is dying. The cause of death? Woke politicians.

Well, there you go.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Illinoisans need to organize and fight back against impending no-cash bail law

By John Ruberry

There have been over 1,000 murders this year in Cook County, Illinois–where I live–and the county where Chicago dominates hasn’t seen that many killings since 1994. As for Chicago it has, as of three days ago, endured 777 murders in 2021. 

Liberals like to talk about root causes of crime. Indeed, the current situation is horrible. Apologists for the dramatic increase in crime over the last two years like to blame the COVID-19 outbreak. But the worst outbreaks are concentrated in deep-blue metropolitan areas with so-called prosecutors, many of whom that accepted campaign contributions from funds tied to radical leftist George Soros. 

People like Kim Foxx, the state’s attorney of Cook County. 

Here is one of those roots from one of Foxx’s poison seeds. Before the COVID outbreak Foxx, shortly after her first election in 2016, announced that her office would not pursue felony charges against accused shoplifters unless the value of the goods stolen exceeded $1,000. State law puts that threshold at $300.

And what happened? Retail threats soared. Here’s a story about that from 2019.

Five years later criminals, many of them wearing face masks, are emboldened. They don’t fear getting caught and if they are, because of the low-bail or no-bail policies of Foxx and Cook County judges–they are elected too–they are out on the street almost immediately.  Chicago and its suburbs are being plagued by gangs of flash mob thieves.

Crime will get worse in thirteen months–and the problem will be statewide as a no-cash bail law that Gov. JB Pritzker, a Democrat, goes into effect. 

Small time criminals move on bigger crimes. Rudy Giuliani’s broken-windows theory of policing should be known as broken-windows fact.

And Chicago, with about 100,000 street gang members, has plenty of big-time crooks. 

Carjackings are out of control in Chicago and its suburbs. In the city there have been 1,444 carjackings so far this year–nearly double the annual total of just two years ago. Last month Chicago police arrested an 11-year-old “prolific carjacker.”

 As I mentioned last week John Kass, a columnist formerly with the Chicago Tribune, was demoted after back-stabbing liberal co-workers at the Trib complained that his column on Soros and the leftist “prosecutors” he funds was anti-Semitic. They lied and they know it.

Kass’ new columns and his podcasts can be found at JohnKassNews.com.

In his latest podcast Kass interviewed former local and federal prosecutor Robert Milan. It was a wide-ranging conversation, but I want to focus on his comments on the no-cash bail law, which is absurdly known as the SAFE-T Act.

“The new bill is going to make it easier to get out [of jail], Milan said, “in 2023 this already dire situation is going to get worse.”

He continued, “People have to organize victims of crimes and stand up and say, ‘This isn’t going to happen.”

Milan added, “Dangerous people should not be on the streets, period.”

So far in 2021, again as I mentioned last week, 56 people, as reported by CWB Chicago, have been accused of “killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony.”

A knee-jerk response of course is to vote-the-bums-out. That’s not so easy in Illinois, which, after a third-straight decennial redistricting, is burdened by gerrymandered districts designed to benefit the Democrats. Still, now is the time for Illinois’ feckless Republican Party to find an issue to rally on–and present itself as the party of personal safety. 

I believe the fight against no-cash bail will be up to rank-and-file Illinoisans, especially crime victims. The no-cash bail law, which fortunately still allows the most-heinous accused criminals to be locked up without bail, was largely a project of African-American legislators. But it is minorities, particularly blacks, who are usually the victims of violent crimes, particularly murder

Let’s get going, Illinois. Let’s get organized. Let’s make it not happen.

We’ve tried fighting crime the leftist way. It doesn’t work.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Lootings Will Continue Until there are Consequences

Captain Disko: I guess there’s nothing left for it [rears back and hits Harvey who’s been threatening them]

Harvey: You HIT me

Captain Disko: Now you just lie there and think about it

The mass looting of stores in broad daylight has spread from San Francisco.

At least two Minneapolis-area Best Buy stores are the latest victims in a flash mob that ransacked the premises, providing a possible alternative meaning to the supply chain crisis and the associated empty shelves.

Similar dystopian looting unfortunately occurred in San Francisco, Los Angles, and other lawless areas controlled by pandering, soft-on-crime Democrats on the traditional big shopping day known as Black Friday and before.

The effect of this is going to be far beyond the actual insurance loss, it’s going to mean that normal shoppers are not going to feel safe in such places.

But never fear our friends on the left have a solution for this looting problem:

As the Bay Area grapples with a wave of seemingly organized smash and grab robberies this weekend, policing and journalism analysts are cautioning against the use of the term looting…To some, the distinction may be small, but Lorenzo Boyd, PhD, Professor of Criminal Justice & Community Policing at the University of New Haven, and a retired veteran police officer, emphasized that words matter.

Because not calling it looting will make it all better.

How does this stop? Well being Sicilian the first thing that came to mind was this scene from Godfather three (which is not as bad as everyone said it was, it just wasn’t an all time great picture like the first two but I digress) where two assassins come to kill Vincent (Andy Garcia) and take Grace(Bridget Fonda) hostage:

Now the lesson here isn’t to start shooting these guys which while it would be effective in stopping it in it’s tracks and appeal to the Sicilian in me also would offend my Catholic sensibilities so I can’t advocate that, but the lesson is there has to be consequences for these actions.

Put simply until the cost for looting is prohibitive there is no incentive for people to stop doing it. Sort of like stealing elections, as long as people think they can get away with it they will do it.

When Democrats treat looters as harshly as they are treating those still being held in the Jan 6th protests it will stop.

And it’s in the best interest of people for this to stop because if the authorities decide to let this go eventually the people will turn to Vincent’s solution and it won’t turn pretty.

Ok Democrat Cities, your call.