Monday, April 12, 2021

A Little Humor: Why I Worked At The Philadelphia Quartermaster

After I was discharged from the U.S. Navy in the 1970s, I began working as a civilian clerk at the Defense Department’s procurement depot in South Philadelphia, known locally as the Quartermaster. 

Although I would later be promoted into positions that were interesting and personally rewarding, I found the clerical work in those early years to be boring and seeming pointless. 

I wanted to be a writer, but as I could not then get a job in journalism, and there few jobs of any other kind available, I stayed at the Quartermaster. 

Thankfully, there were many, many pretty young girls working there as well.  

Before the age of office cubicles, our desks were lined up in rows in an open area in a building that was a converted warehouse. 

My desk was situated in a spot where many of those pretty girls passed by my desk as they went about doing their daily jobs. 

One day one of my bosses watched me watching the parade of beautiful girls. 

“Admit it,” he said. “You’re working here just for the fringe benefits.”

Postscript: I later married one of those beautiful girls and we are still together after all these years.

You can read about the Philadelphia Quartermaster via the below link:

Paul Davis On Crime: The Philadelphia Quartermaster Revisited 

Babylon Bee: Nation Braces For Most Peaceful Protests Yet

 The Babylon Bee takes a satiric shot at biased reporters who claimed past violent protests were “mostly peaceful.” (Especially the idiot TV reporter who made that claim as buildings burned visibly behind him in his much mocked video report).

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—As the Derek Chauvin trial continued this week, the nation began bracing for the most peaceful protests so far. 

"We're getting ready for some really peaceful protests," said one business owner as he boarded up his storefront. "We ain't seen nothin' yet when it comes to just how peaceful Black Lives Matter can be."

While last summer, BLM unleashed their mostly peaceful brand of protests, they said at the end of this trial, they will be unleashing their most powerful weapon: entirely peaceful protests, involving even more peaceful bricks, Molotovs, and more peaceful deaths.

Black Lives Matter representatives announced that that they will definitely be rioting if Derek Chauvin is acquitted. They also said they would riot if he is convicted. Additionally, they said they would just be rioting no matter what so everyone should get ready.

"We will riot if Chauvin is acquitted," said one spokesperson for the movement gathered outside the courthouse in Minneapolis. "And also, you know, if he's convicted. Yep, we'll still be rioting then. In fact, we'll be rioting no matter what happens, so buckle up, America. You thought last summer was bad? Get ready for peace."

You can read other humor piece via the below link:

The Babylon Bee | Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satire. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

A Little Humor: Navy Boot Camp Medical Condition

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy when I was 17 in 1970. 

I attended Naval Recruit Training at Great Lakes, Illinois which sailors call Boot Camp, back in February of 1970. 

I recall suffering through one particularly freezing and grueling day on the grinder, marching and doing strenuous exercises with a 12-pound rifle. 

I finally had enough and I told the drill instructor that I had a medical condition. He told me to report to sick bay. 

I saw a Navy corpsman in sick bay and I told him I had a back problem.

About a half hour later the corpsman ushered me into the Navy doctor's office. 

The doctor consulted a sheet and asked, "You have a back problem?" 

"Yes, Sir," I replied. "I wish I was back home in Philadelphia." 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Law Enforcement All Hands On Deck: Acting U.S. Attorney Williams and 15+ Philadelphia-Area Federal Agency Directors Issue Letter To Citizens Announcing Initiative To Combat City’s Gun Violence Epidemic And Fight Violent Crime In Philadelphia


 The U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of PA released the below information:

PHILADELPHIA – During a press conference held on Independence Mall this morning, Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams (seen in the above photo) was joined by senior officials from more than 15 federal agencies operating in the Philadelphia area to announce their collective effort to combat the raging epidemic of violence in the city and support the work of the Philadelphia Police Department, which was represented at the event by Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. In a letter addressed to the The citizens of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, federal leaders pledged an “All Hands On Deck” effort from their respective agencies to identify, investigate and hold responsible perpetrators of violent crime.

“The violence in Philadelphia affects all of us, not just residents of the city – millions of people travel in and out for work, school, medical care and more. The mission of the federal agencies gathered here today is to keep our entire District safe in partnership with local authorities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “That is why we are here today: to announce that together, we are ‘All Hands On Deck’ to stop the violence and support the Philadelphia Police Department in their work. Violent criminals should be on notice that we are re-doubling our efforts and we are coming for you. We have had enough.”

“Our citizens, our children, and even our officers are being victimized as a result of the continued violence in the city. Enough is enough. The PPD and our federal partners recognize the gravity of the challenges that we face. We must continue to work together—citizens, police, and stakeholders - in order to make headway against the scourge of gun violence. We truly are in support of and need ‘All Hands On Deck’,” stated Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

To the Citizens of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania:

The current violence in Philadelphia affects all of us. Over 1.5 million people live in the City, and millions more travel into the City for work or school, to receive medical care, and to enjoy the City’s parks and cultural attractions. The impact of the ongoing violence is felt in Philadelphia as well as far beyond the City’s limits.

As federal law enforcement, our mission is to keep our entire District safe, and the current state of affairs puts the safety and well-being of everyone in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at risk. Murders and shootings in Philadelphia continue to rise at an alarming pace. In 2020, 499 people were murdered—a 40% increase from the 356 homicides that occurred in 2019. And in 2021, we are on pace to surpass 600 murders, a horrifying milestone.  Importantly, these numbers do not tell the whole story because they do not include the victims of violence who were lucky enough to survive, nor do they address the harm caused to Philadelphia’s commerce and spirit as people find themselves afraid to venture outside after dark.

These statistics are grim. We cannot allow violent criminals to hold Philadelphia hostage.

That is why we, the undersigned leaders of federal law enforcement agencies, have come together to deliver this message: We are outraged and have had enough. 

Many of the federal agencies below investigate violent crime as part of their mission. But even those that do not have joined this letter to show their commitment to the cause. We are joining together, like never before, to use every tool at our disposal to find and arrest the most dangerous criminals. From obtaining search warrants, to reviewing cell phone records and ballistics evidence, to mobilizing our network of sources, we are sharing information and working every angle—standing shoulder to shoulder with Philadelphia police—to do all that we can to reverse this trend. And when we find those who are committing violence, we will prosecute them and obtain stiff sentences when they are convicted.

We know what the City needs: it needs All Hands On Deck to stop the violence. And that is what we are committed to provide.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

My Philadelphia Weekly 'Crime Beat' Column On The FBI And Cyber Crime


Philadelphia Weekly ran my Crime Beat column on the FBI and cyber crime today.

You can read the column via the below link or the below pages (and click on them to expand):

FBI reports cybercrime increases during COVID - Philadelphia Weekly



Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Wall Street Journal: A Soft-On-Crime Backlash - Philadelphia Democrats Decline To Endorse A Progressive Prosecutor.

The Wall Street Journal offers an editorial noting that the Democratic City Committee voted not to endorse Philly DA Larry Krasner for reelection. The editorial also mentions Philadelphia Weekly and quotes challenger Carlos Vega from my Crime Beat column. 

Prosecutors promising easier bail and fewer criminal prosecutions have swept to power in several big cities in recent years, but a backlash may be underway as crime spikes. Witness last week’s developments in Philadelphia. 

On March 31 the Democratic City Committee voted not to endorse incumbent District Attorney Larry Krasner for May’s primary election. He won in 2017 after denouncing the city’s police and prosecutors as “both systemically racist” and has spent his time in office touting his efforts “to end mass incarceration” by bringing fewer charges and urging lighter sentences. 

But Mr. Krasner now faces a primary challenge from Carlos Vega, a former homicide prosecutor whom he fired. 

In December 2020, Mr. Krasner filed 525 charges for violent crimes, compared to 757 in December 2017, the month before he took office. The decrease doesn’t reflect a safer city; nearly 500 people were murdered in Philadelphia last year, compared to 315 in 2017. 

Last year saw more than 2,200 shootings, and the vast majority of victims were black. Auto thefts have risen sharply, with some 9,295 vehicles stolen last year compared to 5,694 in 2017. 

“Victims are an inconvenient truth that Larry ignores,” Mr. Vega told Philadelphia Weekly in December. “He never talks about the victims.” Mr. Vega says he’s running “to make our city safer.” 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-soft-on-crime-backlash-11617748124?st=0g5ln9brztyabq2&reflink=article_email_share  

You can also read my Philadelphia Weekly Crime Beat column on Carlos Vega via the below link:

Paul Davis On Crime: My Philadelphia Weekly 'Crime Beat' Column: A Conversation With Carlos Vega, The Former Homicide Prosecutor Challenging Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Hemingway: A Writer - Part-One Of The Three-Part Ken Burns and Lyn Kovick Documentary Series On Ernest Hemingway

Tonight my wife and I enjoyed part-one of the three-part PBS documentary series on one of my favorite writers, the late, great Ernest Hemingway. 

I thought the Ken Burns and Lyn Kovick episode was well researched and well-presented. I especially liked hearing actors and other writers reading from his letters, short stories and novels.

I look forward to watching the other two episodes. 

You can watch the first part via the below link:

Hemingway | A Writer (1899-1929) | Episode 1 | PBS

You can read my previous post on the series, which also links to some my writing on Hemingway.

Paul Davis On Crime: The Man. The Myth. The Writer Revealed: A Panel Discussion About The Upcoming PBS Hemingway Documentary By Ken Burns And Lynn Novick 

Ralph Cipriano: Revenge Of The Bambino and Chris Columbus: Philadelphia Councilman Squilla, 47 Italian-American Organizations File Civil Rights Suit Alleging Ethnic Discrimination Against Mayor Kenney

 Ralph Cipriano at BigTrial.net offers a piece on a lawsuit against Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney by Councilman Mark Squill and 47 Italian American organizations. 

You could call it the revenge of the Bambino; and Chris Columbus too. 

In U.S. District Court this morning, City Councilman Mark Squilla joined a coalition of 47 national and local Italian-American groups in filing a civil rights lawsuit against Mayor Jim Kenney. 

The lawsuit charges that by unilaterally dumping Columbus Day as a city holiday, and replacing it with Indigenous Peoples' Day, Mayor Kenney is guilty of discriminating against Italian-Americans and violating the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  

The lawsuit further argues that the mayor's executive order to cancel Columbus Day as a city holiday was only the latest in a "long line of divisive, anti-Italian American discriminatory actions" previously undertaken by Kenney.  

In addition to canceling Columbus Day, the lawsuit states, Kenney has stereotyped Italian-Americans in public rhetoric as "Cousin Guido" and "vigilantes." 

He's put the South Philly zip code where most Italian-Americans live last on the list when it comes to distributing city-wide COVID vaccines, the lawsuit charges. And for the final insult, Kenney targeted the Rizzo statue and the Columbus statue for destruction.  

"Mayor Kenney previously took unilateral actions against two iconic Italian American statues prominently displayed for decades within the City of Philadelphia," the lawsuit states.  

"First, the removal of the Frank L. Rizzo statue (in the middle of the night) from the plaza at the Municipal Services Building. And, second, the attempted removal of the 140 year-old Christopher Columbus statue from its longtime home at Marconi Plaza."

"No other statues in the city (amongst the many hundreds)," the lawsuit notes, "have been targeted by the Mayor." 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Councilman Squilla, 47 Italian-American Organizations File Civil Rights Suit Against Mayor Kenney Alleging Ethnic Discrimination | Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog 




Monday, April 5, 2021

Fox News Launches Greg Gutfeld As A Weeknight Comedy Alternative From The Right

 I used to watch and enjoy Greg Gutfeld’s Red Eye humor show at 3 am on Fox News, and I’ve occasionally watched him on The Five. He is intelligent, clever and funny.

And beginning tonight, Greg Gutfeld will air a comedy show at 11 pm, Gutfeld! on Fox News.

I’ve set my DVR to record the show.

Ted Johnson at Deadline.com offers a piece on the new program.  

Fox News recently purchased a billboard on Hollywood Boulevard and local spots during Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and other late-night shows to promote its new nightly entrant, Greg Gutfeld, with the line, “Cancel culture just got canceled.”

As much as the news channel might be presenting the show as an alternative from the right, Gutfeld’s biggest challenge is the same one that all of the other shows face: being funny, night after night.

As many have noted, Fox News’ programming of Gutfeld! — as the April 5-premiering show is called — is another example of how the network has been expanding its nighttime doses of opinion, in the post-Donald Trump presidency. Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch suggested last month that the job of the network during Joe Biden’s presidency would be to act as the loyal opposition, while outlets like Newsmax have made a run for the disaffected Trump voter.

You can read the piece via the below link:

Greg Gutfeld’s New Fox Show Is Alternative To Late-Night Of The Left – Deadline 

FBI Releases Internet Crime Complaint Center 2020 Internet Crime Report, Including COVID-19 Scam Statistics

 The FBI released the below information:

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has released its annual report. The 2020 Internet Crime Report includes information from 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime—an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019—and reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion. State-specific statistics have also been released and can be found within the 2020 Internet Crime Report and in the accompanying 2020 State Reports.

The top three crimes reported by victims in 2020 were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion. Victims lost the most money to business email compromise scams, romance and confidence schemes, and investment fraud. Notably, 2020 saw the emergence of scams exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic. The IC3 received over 28,500 complaints related to COVID-19, with fraudsters targeting both businesses and individuals. 

In addition to statistics, the IC3’s 2020 Internet Crime Report contains information about the most prevalent internet scams affecting the public and offers guidance for prevention and protection. It also highlights the FBI’s work combating internet crime, including recent case examples. Finally, the 2020 Internet Crime Report explains the IC3, its mission, and functions.

The IC3 gives the public a reliable and convenient mechanism to report suspected internet crime to the FBI. The FBI analyzes and shares information from submitted complaints for investigative and intelligence purposes, for law enforcement, and for public awareness.

With the release of the 2020 Internet Crime Report, the FBI wants to remind the public to immediately report suspected criminal internet activity to the IC3 at ic3.gov. By reporting internet crime, victims are not only alerting law enforcement to the activity, but aiding in the overall fight against cybercrime.

2020_IC3Report.pdf 

A Little Humor: Three Stooges Die On Easter And Go To Heaven

 Three stooges died on Easter Sunday and went to Heaven.

St. Peter greeted them at the Pearly Gates and told them that to enter Heaven each one of them had to answer a question correctly. If they gave the wrong answer, they would end up in Hell.

St. Peter turned to the first stooge and asked: “What is Easter?”

The first stooge replied “That’s when kids get dressed up in costumes and go door to door collecting Trick or Treat.”

“No, stupid”, said St. Peter. “That’s Halloween. You’re down to Hell!”

St. Peter turned to the second stooge and asked “What is Easter?”

The second stooge answered “That’s when the fat man in the red suit comes down the chimney and leaves gifts for everybody.”

“No, you moron”, said St. Peter. “That’s Christmas. Go down to Hell!”

St. Peter turned to the third stooge and asked, in a very exasperated tone of voice, “What is Easter?”

The third stooge said, “That’s when Jesus rises out of his grave.”

“And???” said St. Peter.

“And, if he sees his shadow there’s another six weeks of winter!”

Note: The above photo is of Shemp Howard, one of The Three Stooges.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Babylon Bee: Roman Authorities Investigating Jesus For Violating Stay-In-Tomb Order

 Gotta love the Bee’s satire.

JERUSALEM—Roman authorities are investigating controversial religious leader Jesus of Nazareth for violating the Empire's clear "stay in tomb" order. After crucifying him and laying him in the tomb, Roman guards put Him under strict orders to stay there and not come back, rising victorious over sin and death. But Jesus, answering to a higher authority, refused to stay dead and busted out of the tomb, establishing a kingdom that would never end -- again, in clear violation of the government's orders.

"Jesus is a dangerous rebel, refusing to bend the knee to Caesar and not abiding by the law of sin and death," said one Roman official. "He clearly broke the law by leaving the tomb, and we're going to be issuing a citation and placing him under mandatory quarantine for these crimes."

After coming into contact with many large groups over the course of approximately 40 days, Jesus ascended into heaven and is currently thought to be reigning on high.

Authorities are also investigating Him for planning to gather with a large multitude of every tribe, tongue, and nation. He says he currently has no plans to obey any earthly king on the matter, pressing ahead with the gathering of those who believe He died and rose again and trust Him alone for their salvation.

You can read other humor pieces via the below link:

The Babylon Bee | Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satire. 

The Chosen: A New TV Series On The Life Of Jesus Christ


 As I’ve noted here before, every Easter my wife and I try to rewatch Mel Gibson’s brilliant film about Jesus Christ, The Passion

This year we will be watching The Chosen, an interesting series about the life of Jesus Christ and the backstories of him and his disciples. 

This ambitious and reverent series was made with individual donations rather than a Hollywood studio and most of the actors were previously unknown. Although the series does not have the high production values of The Passion or Franco Zefferi’s TV series Jesus of Nazareth (another favorite of mine), it is still well worth watching. 

One can watch the series free on Youtube.com or via Paramount on cable TV. 

Watch the Show Dedicated to Christ | The Chosen TV (vidangel.com)

James Merrick offers his take on the series at the National Catholic Register.   

It all began with a box office bomb and a Christmas short. That’s what led Dallas Jenkins, a Bible-believing evangelical, to create The Chosen — a projected eight-season TV series on Jesus Christ. Though the first season was released a year ago, word is just now getting out, thanks in part to a “pay it forward” campaign making the show available on YouTube..

Although his father is famous for fictionalizing the fundamentalist interpretation of Revelation in the bestselling Left Behind series, Jenkins isn’t uncomfortable reimagining the Gospels and doesn’t give us a rigid reading. Still, he sincerely intends The Chosen to be faithful to Scripture. The result is what the show’s Catholic consultant, Holy Cross Father Davis Guffey, described as an Ignatian meditation on the Gospels. 

Jesus Is the Eternal Lord

The Chosen gives us a soundly biblical Jesus in a profoundly biblical world. He’s cast not as an esoteric sage, self-help guru, hippy commune leader or political activist, but as the Lord who knows and possesses us utterly. 

This comes out powerfully in the first episode. It opens on a roughly 5-year-old St. Mary Magdalene interrupting her sickly father praying. He playfully points to the “big new star” and asks if the bright light woke her. She says she’s scared. “What do we do when we are scared,” he asks. “We say the words,” she replies, ready to recite Isaiah 43:1:

Thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.’
 

Mary’s father repeats the phrase “you are mine” as she turns to gaze at the star. 

She then wakes up to a real-life nightmare 20 years later. She is a demon-possessed prostitute who goes by “Lilith.” By the end of the episode, she comes close to jumping into the sea, only to drown herself in drink instead. Just when she is about to end her life, Jesus appears. As the demons shudder insider her, he calls her by her name, cleverly bringing out that detail from the later Resurrection scene. He then exorcises the demons by pronouncing the same prophecy her father taught her. When he asserts “you are mine,” it’s clear he is more a king who repossesses her than a therapist sorting out her personal baggage. 

Thankfully, this scene isn’t at all romantic, even if full of love. Rather, Jesus has such command over the human soul because he is the Creator God.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

‘The Chosen’ is a New and Promising TV Series on the Life of Christ| National Catholic Register (ncregister.com)

You can also read my column on The Passion via the below link:

Paul Davis On Crime: A Look Back At Mel Gibson's 'The Passion Of Christ'     

Saturday, April 3, 2021

A Look Back At The Unabomber Case: How The Unabomber’s Writings Helped Lead Investigators To His Door 25 Years Ago

 The FBI released the below piece:

No two people write alike.

It was something Terry Turchie, the lead FBI agent on the UNABOM Task Force, remembered a creative writing teacher saying to him in school. Although that advice came many years before Turchie was investigating a serial bomber, it would prove crucial to solving the case.

The Unabomber began his campaign of violence with a package bomb he left in a parking lot of the University of Illinois’ Chicago Circle Campus in 1978. He would go on to place a bomb on an aircraft and leave others in university buildings and by computer stores. He would also mail powerful bombs to a number of university professors and to businesses and executives. He unleashed 16 bombs that killed three people and injured nearly two dozen before he was arrested on April 3, 1996.

Despite being active for nearly 20 years, the Unabomber was meticulous about leaving no evidence that could be traced to him and took pains to avoid being seen.

“He was the most careful serial bomber anyone had ever seen,” said Special Agent Kathleen Puckett, who worked on the UNABOM task force and led efforts to profile the bomber. (Both Puckett and Turchie are now retired from the FBI.)

But when the bomber began communicating, first in letters to some of his victims and then with the media, Turchie said he was also inadvertently communicating with the FBI. Investigators were analyzing his every word.

“We didn’t have any line to him except the letters he started sending in 1993,” said Puckett. “It was a bonanza of information.” The letters pointed investigators to ideas he held, topics he studied, and books that were meaningful to him. To Puckett, who was working toward her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, they revealed things about his education, age, and personality.

After lethal bombings in 1994 and 1995, the Unabomber wrote to several publications asking them to publish an essay that he believed would memorialize his achievements and his ideology. Although the bomber promised to cease his bombs if his writings were published, FBI leaders pushed for publication with a different goal in mind: using the Unabomber’s own words to identify him.

“Somebody would recognize this,” Turchie said of the decision. “The writings were very passionate—that there’s no question this man really believes in what he’s writing here. So he probably held these beliefs his entire life.”

Puckett pointed to very particular spellings and phrases—such as the British spelling of the word “analyse”—as unique identifiers in the text that she hoped would catch someone’s eye.

Sure enough, a few months after the manifesto was published, a lawyer representing David Kaczynski called the FBI. He provided them with a 23-page essay his client’s brother, Theodore Kaczynski, wrote in 1971. The agent who first read it immediately spotted similarities.

Turchie said that when he got a copy of the essay, the phrase “sphere of human freedom” jumped out at him. He said he went back to the Unabomber’s manifesto and found this line:

“We are going to argue that industrial-technological society cannot be reformed in such a way as to prevent it from progressively narrowing the sphere of human freedom.”

The similarities in the texts along with other evidence that came to light as agents investigated more of Kaczynski’s past and records made Turchie more and more certain that they had their man. “The little things started adding up,” he said. “Several of us believed we had identified the Unabomber.”

That was enough to get a search warrant for the rustic cabin in Montana where Kaczynski lived. Among the evidence found in the cabin were thousands of pages of Kaczynski’s handwritten notes, including confessions to all 16 bombings. His words helped agents find him, and they helped prosecutors build the case against him.


Friday, April 2, 2021

Babylon Bee: In Push For Diversity, Military Canine Units To Give Equal Opportunities To Chihuahuas

 The Babylon Bee mocks the Biden’s administration’s social engineering in the military.

LACKLAND AFB, TX—Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has directed all branches of the military to step up diversity efforts when it comes to working dogs in canine units. For the first time, the military-- which has always favored German Shepherds in the past-- will admit other breeds such as Chihuahuas and Pomeranians.

"We've always had this narrow-minded view that the German Shepherd is the best dog for chasing down dangerous terrorists and sniffing out improvised explosive devices," said Austin. "But why not Chihuahuas? Why not poodles? Bringing in more dog breeds will increase our diversity-- which is the greatest strength any military can have."

So far, there have been no Chihuahuas capable of taking down a 250-pound man by the arm, so the military has elected to eliminate that test altogether. 

Military leaders confirmed the current plan is just to invite every breed of dog and hang out, eat doggy treats, and have a good time while taking diversity courses.

"We're proud of this beautiful mosaic we have created here," said one Staff Sergeant while knitting a cute sweater for Squeaker, his working dog. "This is what our military is all about!" 

You can read other humor pieces via the below link:

The Babylon Bee | Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satire. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

My Philadelphia Weekly 'Crime Beat' Column On Mike Chitwood On Homicide And Gun Violence


Philadelphia Weekly ran my Crime Beat column on Mike Chitwood and his views on homicide and gun violence.

You can read the column below:



You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine Q&A with Mike Chitwood via the below link: 

Note: You can click on the above to enlarge.

Former Intelligence Analyst Pleads Guilty To Disclosing Classified Information

 The U.S. Justice Department released the below information: 

WASHINGTON – A former intelligence analyst and former military servicemember pleaded guilty today to illegally obtaining classified national defense information and disclosing it to a reporter. 

According to court records, Daniel Everette Hale, 31, of Nashville, Tennessee, served as an enlisted airman in the U.S. Air Force from July 2009 to July 2013. After receiving language and intelligence training, Hale was assigned to work at the National Security Agency (NSA) and deployed to Afghanistan as an intelligence analyst. After leaving the Air Force in July 2013, Hale was employed by a defense contractor and assigned to the NGA, where he worked as a political geography analyst between December 2013 and August 2014. In connection with his active duty service and work for the NSA, and during his time at NGA, Hale held a Top Secret // Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS//SCI) security clearance and was entrusted with access to classified national defense information. 

“Hale has now admitted what the evidence at trial would have conclusively shown: that he took classified documents from his work at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), documents he had no right to retain, and that he sent them to a reporter, knowing all along that what he was doing was against the law,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department's National Security Division. “This conduct undermined the efforts of our Intelligence Community to keep us safe. Hale’s plea is another step in the Department’s ongoing efforts to prosecute and deter leaks of classified information.” 

“Those who are entrusted with classified information have a duty to safeguard that information in order to protect our Nation’s security,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “As an analyst for the Intelligence Community, Daniel Hale knowingly took highly classified documents and disclosed them without authorization, thereby violating his solemn obligations to our country. We are firmly committed to seeking equal justice under the law and holding accountable those who betray their oath to safeguard national security information.” 

According to court records, beginning in April 2013, while enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and assigned to the NSA, Hale began communicating with a reporter. Hale met with the reporter in person on multiple occasions, and communicated with the reporter via phone, text message, email, and, at times, an encrypted messaging platform. Then, in February 2014, while working as a cleared defense contractor at NGA, Hale printed six classified documents unrelated to his work at NGA and soon after exchanged a series of messages with the reporter. Each of the six documents printed were later published by the reporter’s news outlet. 

According to court records, while employed as a cleared defense contractor for NGA, Hale printed 36 documents from his Top Secret computer, including 23 documents unrelated to his work at NGA. Of the 23 documents unrelated to his work at NGA, Hale provided at least 17 to the reporter and/or the reporter’s online news outlet, which published the documents in whole or in part. Eleven of the published documents were marked as Top Secret or Secret. 

According to court records, in August 2014, Hale’s cell phone contact list included contact information for the reporter. He also possessed a thumb drive that contained a page marked “SECRET” from a classified document that Hale had printed in February 2014 and had attempted to delete from the thumb drive. In addition, Hale possessed on his home computer another document that he had stolen from NGA. 

Hale pleaded guilty to retention and transmission of national defense information, and he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on July 13, 2021. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Jennifer C. Boone, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office made the announcement after the plea was accepted by Senior U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gordon D. Kromberg and Alexander P. Berrang and Senior Trial Attorney Heather M. Schmidt of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column: 'The Short Life of Hughie McLoon: A True Story Of Baseball, Magic And Murder'

 The Washington Times ran my On Crime column on Allen Abel’s The Short Life of Hughie McLoon. 

Veteran sportswriter, reporter, and author Allen Abel’s “The Short Life of Hughie McLoon: A True Story of Baseball, Magic, and Murder,” recounts the life of a deformed youngster who navigates through 19th-century professional baseball, boxing and organized crime in Philadelphia, my hometown.

 

As Mr. Abel tells it, the professional athletes at the time were a superstitious lot, and sports teams adopted human mascots, such as a short hunchback, as good luck charms.

 

Hughie McLoon (1902-1928) was deformed by a fall at the age of 3. He became one of the best-known mascots after he told Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack in 1916 that he could break the teams’ losing streak. The legendary baseball manager hired McLoon as a bat boy and McLoon stayed with Mack for three years and then shifted to boxing, where he brought good luck to several legendary boxers.

 

This led to his becoming a boxing manager and a manager of a Philadelphia speakeasy during Prohibition for Max “Boo Boo” Hoff, the Philadelphia king of illegal booze.

 

I reached out to Allen Abel and asked him why he wrote the book.

 

“After a dozen years on the Hill and in the White House briefing room, writing the 100% true biography of a murdered hunchbacked bat boy was a delicious change-of-pace,” Mr. Abel said. “Philadelphia was politically corrupt, morally bankrupt, murderously violent, and too drunk to care. Philly embraced Prohibition with all the passion of Donald J. Trump kissing Rosie O’Donnell.”

 

I asked how he would describe Hughie McLoon..

 

“He’s a wise-cracking, street-smart, umpire-baiting, fatherless boy searching for love and acceptance and finding it at the highest level of sport, celebrity, and organized crime — a broken boy who lived a leprechaun’s life and died a gangster’s death.” 


You can read the rest of the column below or via the below link:



https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/mar/30/book-review-the-short-life-of-hughie-mcloon/







Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A Little Humor: The Curse Of The Diamond

 I recall being seated next to a woman at a wedding. 

I could not help but notice the huge diamond she wore on a necklace. 

I told her that her diamond was the largest I’d ever seen. 

Although my comment was an observation rather than a compliment, she thanked me 

“It is the Youngman Diamond,” she said. “The Youngman Diamond is rare, beautiful and large, but alas, it comes with a curse.” 

“What’s the curse?” 

“Mr. Youngman, my husband.”    

Note: The above photo is of the late actress Elizabeth Taylor.

Babylon Bee: Nike Factory Graciously Offers To House Unaccompanied Migrant Children

 Gotta love the Babylon Bee’s spot-on satire. 

BEAVERTON, OR—Sneaker manufacturer Nike has graciously reached out to the Biden administration with an offer to house thousands of unaccompanied migrant children at their factories around the globe.

 “Nike is committed to being a good corporate citizen. We are proud to assist the Biden administration by caring for these unaccompanied migrant children,” a spokesman for the company said Friday. “We have plenty of factories all around the globe with lots of room for kids. We’re here to help!” 

The spokesman said that the migrant children will be fed, clothed, and educated by Nike employees until permanent homes can be found for them. In addition to a regular school curriculum, Nike said they will focus heavily on recreational activities. 

“The core of our plan is our arts and crafts program,” the spokesman said. “These lucky kids will get to spend up to 18 hours each day on fun activities such as leather-working, sewing, and embroidery. What could possibly be more fun than that?” 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the move makes sense on many levels. “When it comes to looking after thousands of orphaned children from impoverished countries, nobody has more experience than Nike,” she noted.  

You can read other humor pieces via the below link:

https://babylonbee.com 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Nation To Observe Vietnam War Veterans Day

I’m thinking of my late brother Ed Davis (seen in the above photo), as today is Vietnam Veterans Day. 

My older brother served in the U.S. Army at Chu Lai in South Vietnam in 1968. 

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk on "Yankee Station" in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam in 1970-1971. 

David Vergun at the DoD News offers a piece on Vietnam Veterans Day. 

On March 29, Americans will come together to commemorate the service and sacrifices made by the nearly 3 million service members who served in Vietnam. 

In 2012, President Barack Obama signed a presidential proclamation, designating March 29 as the annual observance of Vietnam War Veterans Day. 

The signing of the proclamation marked the 50th anniversary of the departure of the last American troops from Vietnam — March 29, 1973. Only U.S. embassy personnel and support staff remained in South Vietnam until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. 

"The Vietnam War is a story of service members of different backgrounds, colors and creeds who came together to complete a daunting mission," the proclamation states. "It is a story of Americans from every corner of our nation who left the warmth of family to serve the country they loved. It is a story of patriots who braved the line of fire, who cast themselves into harm's way to save a friend, who fought hour after hour, day after day to preserve the liberties we hold dear." 

More than 58,000 Americans were killed and many thousands more were wounded and injured or determined to be missing. 

The proclamation also states: "In one of the war's most profound tragedies, many of these men and women came home to be shunned or neglected — to face treatment unbefitting their courage and a welcome unworthy of their example. We must never let this happen again." 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Nation to Observe Vietnam War Veterans Day > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Story

You can also read my previous post on the Vietnam War via the below link:

Paul Davis On Crime: The Vietnam War Was Winnable  

Note: Below is a photo of me and a photo of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk: