Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

Slouching toward Philadelphia

Posted: July 19, 2022 by chrisharper in crime
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By Christopher Harper

It’s only been about a month since 73-year-old James Lambert Jr. died–one of the most disturbing murders in Philadelphia’s violent history.

But his death has almost faded from the media coverage and the public conscience as other brutal crimes continue in the City of Brotherly Love.

Here are the pertinent facts: surveillance video shows a teen hoisting a traffic cone above his head before striking Lambert. Then, a girl in her stocking feet with a pair of sunglasses atop her head can be seen retrieving the cone and appears to do the same thing. It looks as if she strikes the older man not once but twice. Another child seems to be holding up a phone to videotape what is happening as another rides his scooter. 

Lambert died while walking in a neighborhood about a mile from Temple University, where I worked for many years. 

Two “children”—a 14-year-old boy and girl—have been charged with murder for killing Lambert with a traffic cone that struck him in the head.

Back in the day, “the neighbors were the village. They policed you. They parented. They would tell your parents if they saw you doing something that you weren’t supposed to do, and before they told your parents, they would say something to you. You really couldn’t get away with a lot,” Christine Brown, director of community services for Beech Companies and who grew up near where the attack took place, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Things are just different. Children don’t speak to their seniors, and seniors are afraid to live in their own community, and that’s sad.”

“Back in the day” was a long time ago. Maybe the early 1960s? Since that time, Philadelphia has become a mess, mainly because Democrats have led the city to the brink of despair and disparity. 

Philadelphia isn’t much different from a lot of cities. The school system is bankrupt, and a new superintendent seems more interested in an “anti-racist” curriculum than a formula for learning.

The police chief has neutered her officers.

The district attorney is a George Soros post child.

The mayor has given up even though he has a year left in his term.

The only change after Lambert’s death is a new curfew. Those aged 17 and younger must be indoors and off the streets by 10 p.m.; those 13 and younger must be home by 9:30.

If the schools don’t teach children much, the police chief and district attorney don’t enforce the law, and the mayor has given up, I find it unlikely a curfew, which won’t be enforced, will change Philadelphia’s slide toward anarchy.

A school superintendent who emphasizes learning may make a difference, but school vouchers would be a better solution.

A change in the attitudes of the police hierarchy and the prosecutor would make a difference. 

A new mayor—preferably a Republican—also might make a difference. The Democrats have run the city since 1952, and maybe 1952 was “back in the day” when times were, in fact, better.

Bye, bye, Philly!

Posted: March 29, 2022 by chrisharper in Uncategorized
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By Christopher Harper

Philadelphia lost more than 25,000 residents from 2020 to 2021, the largest exodus from the city since 1975.

While politicians and social scientists scratch their heads over the decline, I find it appalling that it took a pandemic for people to realize how bad Philadelphia has become.

Democrat Mayor Jim Kinney locked the city for nearly two years, bankrupting businesses both small and large. Hospitals became almost solely the home for those dying of COVID while many patients couldn’t get essential surgeries, which meant more people died last year in the city than were born.

He actually hired a police chief named Outlaw—Danielle Outlaw. She has managed to oversee the largest number of officers retiring from the force because she doesn’t have their backs.

The city elected Larry Krasner, a card-carrying member of George Soros’s leftist vision, as district attorney.

As a result of this triumvirate, more people have been murdered in Philadelphia so far this year than last year, which ended with a record 562 homicides.

My wife and I joined the exodus a year ago after Black Lives Matter demonstrators frolicked through our neighborhood, forcing affluent businesses in our upscale neighborhood to erect plywood and extra security to confront the threat of theft and damage.

In a neck-snapping analysis in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the news organization determined that the flight was caused by several factors: a desire to flee crowded urban centers, a movement of young people back to their parent’s homes, and a need for more green space.

It’s clear that the news organization hadn’t paid attention to its own reporting. People were afraid to go out on the streets for fear they would be mugged or murdered.

After a high-profile murder near Temple University, parents hired private protection for their kiddies because they thought the university police force, the second largest in the state, couldn’t keep their loved ones safe.

Philadelphia is not alone. New York lost nearly 400,000 residents. Los Angeles saw more than 200,000 people leave. Washington stood at a net loss of more than 60,000.

What do these cities all have in common? Democrats run them!

Going up the country

Posted: April 20, 2021 by chrisharper in Uncomfortable Truths
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By Christopher Harper

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

Unfortunately, almost all of the news is bad!

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

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

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

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

But there’s more bad news.

The murder rate is headed for an all-time high after reaching the second-highest level in the city’s history only last year when 499 people died.

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

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

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

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

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

By Christopher Harper

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

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

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

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

The authors examined the data after three events:

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

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

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

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

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