Candidates are being vetted now…are you part of the process?

With everyone focused on November elections, its easy to forget that right now, as we speak, candidates are being vetted to run at the local, state and federal level. Especially for local elections, where the winner often wins by less than a thousand votes, and frequently less than a hundred votes, now is the time when candidates get setup with the party architecture and start building their campaign and fundraising.

This is also the time where upstart candidates have a chance of booting out the establishment folks in the primaries and caucuses. We hear about this for federal candidates, but surprisingly little for state and local candidates. The big reason is that the local parties are run by very few people, who often wield significant influence.

Which brings me to my main point: are you getting involved now? Are you attending your local Republican or Libertarian meetings? Are you part of that process? Are you asking the hard questions of the candidates? Are you donating to candidates you like? Are you getting signatures to get them on the ballot?

Too many times, we have trusted party leadership to vet a slate of candidates and assume that they will do a good job. That’s how we wind up with the Lisa Murkowskis, Liz Cheneys and Arlen Specters of the world, who win elections but don’t actually support the policies that their party supports. They sneak in because the majority of people aren’t part of the selection process.

Now is the time to get involved. Everyone is busy, but find the one thing you’re able to do. Maybe its walking around getting signatures for your school board and local representatives to get them on the ballot. If so, do that. Maybe you’re more extroverted and are good at asking hard questions at a party meeting. If so, do that. The point is, find what you’re capable of and do it now, while encouraging your friends to get involved as well.

We can’t make the Republican party great in November if we don’t start today.

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 help the author by purchasing his book.

Biden and Western weakness will hand Ukraine over to Russia

Bumper sticker that reads, in Ukranian, “Putin is a d*ckhead.”

By John Ruberry

“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” Ronald Reagan.

Contrary to the lessons that are almost certainly taught in American universities by leftist professors, large military budgets are not a precursor to war. In reality history teaches us something different.

As the Ottoman Empire declined in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Turks were faced with numerous rebellions and wars. They were on the losing side in nearly all of them, as ethnic groups and nations saw their opportunities, and for the most part, took them. One of those opportunistic states was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, itself in decline. Its annexation of Bosnia, nominally still part of the Ottoman Empire, in 1908 nearly caused a war in the Balkans. But a few years later there were two conflicts, the First Balkan War and the Second Balkan War, which, along with the assassination of the heir apparent of Austria-Hungary in Bosnia in 1914, and to be fair some other European disputes, set the table for World War I. 

The First World War brought us World War II, arguably the same conflict with a two-decade intermission, which led to the Cold War, then the collapse of communism, with eventually, former KGB agent Vladimir Putin becoming the de facto president-for-life of Russia.

Do you see where weakness leads us?

Last year, with the inauguration of Joe Biden, an emphasis on wokeness and diversity was pushed by our military leaders, instead of more important things, such as defending America and confronting enemies. Far worse for the appearance of American military strength was the rapid fall of Afghanistan. As bad as the fall of Saigon was for the image of the USA, the South Vietnamese were able to hold off the communists for two years after the departure of American combat troops. Afghanistan fell before Joe Biden’s pullout date. 

Which brings us back to Putin. 

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. As soon as this week, Russian troops, including some in Putin’s client-state of Belarus, could invade the rest of Ukraine. While I am not an advocate of sending troops to Ukraine, now that is, if Biden had sent a tripwire contingent of American and NATO ally troops to Ukraine last summer, that very well may have been enough to scare off Putin. We have troops in South Korea that aren’t sizable enough to defeat the North Koreans, but an invasion from the north would almost certainly lead to a national outrage and call for a swift response to avenge American casualties and to protect South Korea. There are NATO troops in the Baltic States, and yes, Estonia, Lativa, and Lithuania are members of NATO, which are serving a similar role

For those calling for an economic boycott of Russia. Good luck with that. The best way to punish Russia in the pocketbook is to stop buying Russian oil and natural gas, the latter is a crucial energy source for western Europe. That will not happen. 

Biden projected weakness early in his presidency by waiving sanctions against the Russian company building the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 originate in Vyborg, Russia. It’s important to remember that between the world wars, Vyborg was part of Finland, but the Soviet Union seized it in the Winter War of 1939-1940

As for fossil fuels in America, Biden is instead hitching his shaky wagon to Green New Deal follies. 

Humiliating defeats don’t necessarily lead to more debacles. The first major World War II battle between American forces and the Nazis was the Battle of Kasserine Pass in North Africa, it was a fiasco for the Allies. 

What happened next?

The American commander, General Lloyd Fredendall, was sent stateside and was replaced by General George S. Patton.

After the Afghanistan rout, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, still has his job. 

Was anyone fired after the fall of Kabul? I don’t believe so. 

Worse, Putin likely sees Biden as not only weak, but as someone suffering from cognitive decline. At the very least, Biden and his top aides, were indecisive as Afghanistan collapsed, according to recently declassified documents.

Which brings us back to that Reagan quote. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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.

Democrats exposed as complete frauds on gerrymandering

By John Ruberry

The latest, I think, Democratic Party Chicken Little existential crisis is “voting rights.” In attacking a Georgia voting reform law, President Joe Biden called it “Jim Crow on steroids,” a hateful and thoroughly dishonest claim.

C’mon man!

The end of partisan gerrymandering was one of Biden’s selling points as he stumped for his “voting rights” bills.

“For too long, partisan gerrymandering has allowed politicians to rig the political process and draw districts in their favor.” Biden said on Twitter two days ago,” voters should choose their representatives — not the other way around.” The was president celebrating a court victory for Democrats challenging a Republican-drawn state legislative map in North Carolina.

Biden and other prominent Democrats are silent on egregious gerrymandering by their party. For instance, New York currently has 27 congressional seats, slow population growth brings that number down by one for the next Congress. The current New York congressional delegation has nineteen Democrats and eight Republicans, but the new map, passed by the state Assembly, could bring a new tally, 22 Democrats and just four GOPers. 

The Dems are also quiet on Democratic gerrymandering in Maryland. That state’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, last year called on Biden to ask attorney general Merrick Garland to sue Maryland over partsian gerrymandering. Garland is probably too focused on using his FBI to harass parents who protest school boards.

Illinois, under the iron-fist rule of Boss Michael Madigan, the longtime state House speaker and Democratic party chairman, perfected Dem gerrymandering with his 2000 and 2010 remaps. Madigan was finally ousted as speaker last year and he quickly resigned his party office, but the chicanery continues.

With the departure of Madigan, Illinois’ governor, J.B. Pritzker, is finally the most powerful Democrat in the Prairie State. In 2018 he repeatedly promised to veto gerrymandered remaps. The grandiloquent rhetoric continued after his election. “As I’ve said since I was a candidate, I will veto any map that is unfair,” Pritzker said in 2019. “It’s the right thing to do. We’re going to have to make sure that here in Illinois we’re not gerrymandering, that we’re drawing maps that are fair and competitive. That’s what’s best for the voters of the state, that they have choices when they go to the ballot.” 

Last year Pritzker signed the gerrymandered legislative and congressional remaps into law.  

Leftists who read this blog post will howl out, “What the gerrymandering in Texas, Tennessee, and Florida?”

Well, what about it?

Okay, yes, that’s wrong too. But the GOP is not cloaking themselves, as Biden and the Democrats are, in the memory of Martin Luther King and John Lewis. The Democrats are the bigger hypocrites here. 

Barack Obama and his first attorney general, Eric Holder, have been frequent critics of Republican gerrymandering, however, and you shouldn’t be surprised by now, they are mum on gerrymandering that favors the Democrats. 

On Twitter last week, Holder also praised the court ruling against the North Carolina state legislature remap.

Holder is the chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which, because of its selective silence, can rightly be called a front group for supporters of Democratic partisan gerrymandering.

Don’t look for the hack mainstream media to blow the whistle on this blatant hypocrisy by the Democrats.

A responsible parent knows how to counter the “but-everyone-else-does-it” defense from a naughty child.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from gerrymandered Illinois at Marathon Pundit.

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.

2020 election was “the most secure in American history” according to Democrats, but now Biden is already questioning 2022 midterms

By John Ruberry

Shortly after Joe Biden declared victory in the 2020 presidential election–one that Donald J. Trump said repeatedly was “rigged,” staff from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency declared that election “the most secure in American history.” 

Left-wingers, particularly those in media, viewed that statement as sacrosanct, a papal bull for liberals. But a radio host, I believe it was Mike Gallagher, issued a sagacious response to that sentiment, which went something like this, “If 2020 was the most secure election in American history, which one was the second-most secure?”

Silence.

In short, that statement on the “secure” 2020 presidential elections was a hollow as the one from 60 former national security officials about the Hunter Biden laptop, where they made the since-debunked claim that emails from Hunter’s laptop showed signs of being part of a Russian disinformation campaign

So if the 2020 presidential election, in the mind of leftists, was really “the most secure in American history,” how did we go from that to Biden, in last week’s rambling press conference, questioning the results of elections where the ballots haven’t even been printed yet, the 2020 midterms.

“Well, it all depends on whether or not we’re able to make the case to the American people that some of this is being set up to try to alter the outcome of the election,” when asked by a reporter about whether those races would be “fairly conducted” and “legitimate.”

Wow. The Democrats and their media allies continue to pillorize Donald Trump for casting doubt on the results of the ’20 election, but here is Biden calling into question the upcoming midterms. 

It’s difficult to say if Biden was having one of his great-grandpa moments or was succumbing to the Democrats’ wont to cast every political issue as an existential crisis. Perhaps both. Jen Psaki once again had to conduct a clean-up in the supermarket aisle as Star Trek’s John Gill created another mess. 

The Democrats have been in a hyper-tizzy for almost a year because of the recently-enacted Georgia voting law, which expands early voting but also establishes controls to minimize vote fraud. Biden called it “Jim Crow on steroids,” a hateful insult, because until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, black voters were disenfranchised in most of the southern states, including Georgia.

The 2021 Georgia reforms are in fact about election integrity.

Despite multiple calls from conservative pundits, Democrats haven’t come up with a single person who was unlawfully denied the right to vote in 2020.

Adding oxygen to the Dems fire, earlier this month Biden likened opponents to what he calls “voting rights” to notorious racists Bull Connor, George Wallace, and Jefferson Davis. All three were Democrats, by the way. Here is some more history for you. Nineteen senators voted against the 1965 Voting Rights Act, seventeen of them were Democrats. Some of those Dems were still members of the Senate when Biden was elected to that body in 1972.

While of course it is many within the Republican Party, led by Donald J. Trump, who question the result of the 2020 presidential election, it was the Democrats, of course without scolding from their media allies, who did the same after Trump’s victory in 2016 and George W. Bush’s narrow win in 2000. Just two weeks ago it was revealed that Vice President Kamala Harris’ new communications director, Jamal Simmons, repeatedly questioned Bush’s 2000 victory.

At the very least, the overuse of ballot drop boxes in states that Biden narrowly won, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia, just might have nudged Biden over Trump in those states. The drop boxes were brought into the voting process because of COVID-19.

Who filled out those drop box ballots? Who deposited them into those boxes?

But don’t worry. The experts said it. The 2020 presidential election was “the most secure in American history.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Easy issue for 2022 Republicans: reform adoption laws

Fortunately, people are beginning to write about how they don’t simply want Republicans to win elections, they want them to, you know, actually make some conservative wins in our government. Some are also saying “Hey, you haven’t won yet,” which is very true, since actually counting the votes seems to matter more than voting itself. To truly win though, as I pointed out earlier, its not sufficient to go back to the way things were, because that’s a regressive message that is, frankly, loser speak. Republican legislators need to advance issues that matter to us beyond tax reform.

So, let’s start picking some, and let’s start with adoption.

Anyone that has tried to adopt a child knows that the process is absolutely miserable. The state will come and inspect your home, check your background and during the whole process treat you like a common criminal. They’ll point out that you don’t have enough bathrooms, or enough safety devices, or enough whatever, which pushes would-be parents to spend thousands on their homes. Then, when that’s done, it can take months to find an eligible kid, even though there are literally thousands of kids in foster care that deserve a good home.

When a friend of ours (white) adopted a young boy from Africa (black), she caught a bit of flack for not adopting someone of “her kind.” She told me it was far easier to adopt a kid from overseas than from the US, and after we talked about the struggles she went through with the local state adoption agency, it all made sense. Another friend of mine tried to adopt his wife’s daughter (she was divorced and remarried), but because he was military and moving, the local state government held that against him and kept the daughter with her dad in a substandard home.

These sad cases point to a problem: a deep-state bureaucracy of adoption workers that have an interest in making sure the system is difficult and expensive. When over a half a million children are in need of a family, this is entirely unnecessary, yet I haven’t heard one politician actually try to fix the issue.

A winning strategy would look like what President Trump did to the VA. He cleaned house and began firing underperforming staff, then set about reforming the way VA claims were handled. He created a White House hotline for VA claims that has proven successful at clamping down on the filthy bureaucrats that drag out the process and cost veterans thousands of dollars in lost payments. While the VA isn’t perfect, its far better than it was a few years ago.

We need the same for adoption. Republicans should put a cap on the cost of adoption. Would-be parents shouldn’t spend thousands to give a kid a loving home and a far better chance at life. How is it we’re paying foster parents while charging would-be parents and then more often than not denying them a child? Isn’t that theft? Isn’t that redistribution of wealth in another form? One might even argue its a form of modern day slavery.

How about “6 months to a good home” as a motto? Republicans won big when they pushed legislation that made concealed carry permits a shall-issue permit, instead of letting local sheriffs deny otherwise lawful Americans the right to protect themselves. If a would-be set of parents has a good home, it should take no more than 6 months to place a kid identified as a good match. Period. Six months from “We would love to give Johnny a home” to “Johnny is now in our home.”

Not only would this begin to save our children that need a good home, it would also provide a counter to abortion. Making it easier to adopt begins chipping away at the argument that you’re destroying someone’s life with an unwanted pregnancy. It’s a compassionate way to help women that somehow became pregnant and cannot, for whatever reason, support their child. Rather than lecture women on whether they should accept the consequences of their actions (always a losing formula), adoption gives a far better option of preserving life while avoiding the lecture.

This also pushes back on assaults on the family. While so-called elitist liberals talk about forcing people to give up their kids, its not enough to just say “That’s a bad idea.” One has to come to the table with something better and, here’s the kicker, actually do something about it.

So get onboard Republicans. Give the wonderful people that are trying to adopt children and make this world a bit better for a deserving kid a voice in your election run and some help against the towering bureaucracy that has been denying homes to children for a very long time.

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.

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.

Review: The Silent Sea on Netflix

By John Ruberry

On Christmas Eve, Netflix began streaming an eight-episode South Korean science fiction series, The Silent Sea, which is based on a short film from 2014, The Sea of Tranquility. Both projects were directed by Choi Hang-yong.

The show brings us to a dystopian world nearly all of Earth’s water is gone. What water remains is of course rationed. 

Such environmental havoc hasn’t prevented the Republic of Korea’s Space and Aeronautics Administration from building an expansive base, Balhae, on the Sea of Tranquility on the moon. 

Han Yoon-jae (Gong Yoo) is recruited to lead a mission to retrieve a valuable scientific sample from the Balhae base. Five years earlier 117 people were killed by a radiation leak and the base was abandoned. Han has an ill daughter whose proper treatment depends on receiving a higher water ration classification. Also recruited for the mission, for reasons no one can ascertain, is Dr. Song Ji-an (Bae Doona), a former astrobiologist, now an ethologist. 

Here’s the plan: In a space shuttle-type craft, the SAA launches the 11-person crew, most of them armed with handguns, so they can land at the Balhae base, locate the sample, and quickly return home. Things don’t go well–the poorly briefed crew doesn’t know what to expect. Some crew members know more than others, the chief engineer, Ryu Tae-seok (Lee Joon), is among them.

Laying out plot twists will produce numerous spoilers, so I’ll leave them out of my review. Being the first Korean science fiction series set in outer space, The Silent Sea is understandably derivative. It owes much to John Carpenter’s brilliant 1984 sci-fi thriller, The Thing.

Although subtle, there is a Christian influence in The Silent Sea as well. Quite unlike the blatant image of a golden calf hurtling through space in another recent Netflix release, Don’t Look Up, which I only saw short segments of while I walked through our living room when Mrs. Marathon Pundit was watching.

Viewers of The Silent Sea will enjoy a suspenseful ride with compelling acting. On the flipside, the series is a bit long. It appears to be a six-episode series that has been stretched out to eight. And the ending was a bit of a letdown for me. 

Amazingly, the desertification of Earth here is not blamed on human-caused climate change. 

The Silent Sea is currently streaming on Netflix, it is available in Korean with subtitles with bits of English dialogue, and in dubbed English with subtitles. It is rated TV-MA for violence and foul language.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.