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The Feds Let Go of Dozens of Convicted Murder Illegal Immigrants, See Where They Are on This Map



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The Center for Immigration Studies has used information provided to the office Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) to map out the locations of where convicted killers were let go by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in 2013. The killers were booked out in 24 states and were associated with 96 different cities, according to the CIS report. The following map shows with red dots the ZIP codes where they were released and with blue squares the ICE centers where they were booked out:

The state where the greatest number of illegal immigrants with homicide-related convictions were reportedly released was California. CIS says the city or town with the greatest concentration of convicted-killer illegal immigrants was Miami, followed by Los Angeles and the Bronx. See the full, interactive map here.

White House: ISIS Could ‘Pivot’ to 9/11 Style Attack



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The execution of American journalist James Foley by ISIS represents a terrorist attack against the United States, a White House official told reporters Friday, adding that the organization could “pivot” to attacks on the scale of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“When you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack,” White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters. ”That represents a terrorist attack against our country, against an American citizen, and I think all of us have the Foley family in our thoughts and prayers.”

Rhodes also defended President Obama’s oft-repeated description of ISIS as a junior varsity team. “I think what the president was speaking to a few months ago was the fact of the after is, you have many different groups operating across the middle east and North Africa,” Rhodes said. ”As we shift from a situation in which the counter-terrorism threat principally emanated from al Qaeda core, we are going to need to evaluate which of these groups pose a threat to the United States, which of these groups pose a threat to our personnel in the region, and which of these groups are more localized militia type forces that are potentially dangerous but can be handled by local security forces.” 

Asked if ISIS could carry out a 9/11-style attack, Rhodes said that the group doesn’t appear to be planning one. “To date, we have not seen them focus on that type of planning, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to be very mindful that they could quickly aim to pivot to attacks against Western targets outside of the region,” he said. “If they show the intent or they show plotting against the United States, we’ll be prepared to deal with that as necessary.”

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Poetry



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O’NEILL AND THE SEA

I.
The greatest metaphor of them all
In the end stands only for the rise and fall
Of itself. The tides, boats and sailors,
Even the seagulls, symbolize the great substitution
Of one reality for another
Of gray skies for bad weather
Or trouble, which it is.
The sea rolls over itself
A compass in a gale that can never fail,
As timeless as a ship in the distance
That doesn’t move
Then is gone in a moment,
In the sweep of a gull’s wing overhead
As the sea rolls back into place.
A ring-billed gull stands still as a statue out on the jetty
As fishermen lash bait into the surf
And the spray seems to answer them
Thrown against the rocks.
The tide withdraws and all are there,
The sandpipers sweeping a vast apron of sand,
The couples and families and loners
watching them in the twilight.

II.
O’Neill was the last sea writer to summon
The waves to obey him as he told his tale,
Scanning horizons and charts,
Bound for Wales or Argentina,
Swedes, Wobblies, black sheep
From New England farms, young, old,
Confident, crazy, an occasional accused spy.
Whatever information the sea held
Was hidden in the pace of the waves,
The endless push and struggle and swelling
Of the water to overtake itself, become
More than it was or ever could reach
Before settling for the old tidal release and return
To the depths to gather strength.

— This poem appears in the September 8, 2014, issue of National Review.

Web Briefing: August 28, 2014

Washington Post Editorial Board to Cease Using ‘Redskins’



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The Washington Post’s editorial page announced that it will no longer use team name the local Washington Redskins because it “unquestionably offends not only many Native Americans but many other Americans, too.” The paper’s editorial board becomes just the latest group of journalists and broadcasters to stop using the name, which it replaces with “the R-word” at one point in its explanation.

In its Friday editorial, the board commended former National Football League referee Mike Carey, who recently reveal that he requested the league not assigned him to Washington game due to his objection to the name. It also notes that conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer has also called for the name to change.

While the editorial board will cease to use the “insulting” name except “when it is essential for clarity or effect,” the newspaper’s news division will continue to use the name in its coverage.

Last year, the Washington Post–owned left-wing website Slate announced it would no longer use the word “Redskins,” joining other left-wing news organizations such as Mother Jones and The New Republic. Other national newspapers, like the Kansas City Star and San Francisco Chronicle, have banned the word from its coverage altogether, as have a handful of reporters and sports columnists.

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Swedish Artist Sentenced for Racist Posters



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A Swedish court has sentenced artist Dan Park to six months in prison and fined him about $10,000 for works deemed insensitive and denigrating to blacks and Roma people. He was sentenced for incitement to racial agitation and defamation.

Park’s controversial works were presented in a Malmö art gallery last month. The posters portrayed black men with nooses, as well as a local Roma figure with text appearing to condone crime, according to the Associated Press.

The Local, an English-language Swedish news site, reports that gallery’s chief was also fined and received a suspended sentence.

This isn’t the first time Park has faced legal repercussions for his art. In 2011, he made headlines by targeting a national black leader named Jallow Momodou by portraying him in chains in a poster with the text “Our negro slave has run away”; Momodou had called for action following a university party in which a group of students dressed as slaves were “sold.”

Park has said his works are an exercise in free speech and satirical in intent, according to the AP.

None Dare Call It Evil?



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Over at CNN.com James Dawes, director of the Program in Human Rights at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, takes me to task for suggesting that we should call ISIS evil.

Is ISIS evil?

The problem with that question is that the answer is as easy as it is useless. Yes, ISIS is evil and must be stopped. Saying so over and over again could very well make it harder to stop them.

The flip side is that “evil” is also a word that stops us from thinking. There is only one good reason to denounce a group as evil — because you plan to injure them, and calling them evil makes it psychologically easier to do so. “Evil” is the most powerful word we have to prepare ourselves to kill other people comfortably.

There is no point in trying to understand evil because it is, in the most typical phrasing, “inhuman,” “senseless” or “beyond comprehension.” It is a fool’s quest to analyze the local realities and strategic imperatives of unthinking savages. There is something almost offensive about trying to understand such evil.

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg tried to shame those who are trying to think seriously about ISIS. In a recent tweet, he mocked the attempt to understand ISIS in its social and political context, suggesting that we should focus instead on one fact: “They’re evil. They do obviously evil things for evil ends.”

The fact is, there are few things more dangerous now than allowing ourselves to think that way.

Dawes gets just about everything wrong here — and in the rest of his essay. For starters I didn’t “mock the attempt to understand ISIS in its social and political context.” Rather, I mocked those who try to understand ISIS without acknowledging the most salient moral fact: They’re evil. Here’s my full tweet:

The rest of the piece is just a string of question begging assertions and strawmen wrapped in a lot of self-congratulatory intellectual preening about his willingness to do the serious thinking others won’t do. For instance:

Even if U.S. military force could effectively destroy ISIS, there will be similar groups waiting in the wings. If we are to have any hope of preventing the spread of extremist ideologies, we must do more than bomb the believers. We must understand them. We must be willing to continue thinking.

How is ISIS able to achieve the support it needs? What drives people into its ranks? What social pressures and needs, what political and regional vacuums, make it possible for a group like this to thrive? We can choose to answer these questions in two ways.

We can say they are evil people doing evil things for evil ends. Or we can do the hard work of understanding the context that made them, so that we can create a context that unmakes them.

Where to begin? First of all, the ideology driving ISIS is hardly a novel phenomenon requiring fresh inquiry. No one needs to hie to their dog-eared copy of the Koran to glean new understanding of what is driving these people. Indeed, it’s a bit outrageous to suggest that ISIS’s belief system is one deserving of that kind of respect. Second, who says that no one is thinking about the issues Dawes lays out? Every defense and Mid-East analyst I’ve read or talked to has asked the kinds of questions Dawes says we must consider. And guess what? After doing their due diligence, they’ve concluded ISIS needs to be destroyed. Heck, this is the consensus among the leaders of the “believers” Dawes says we must understand. Even the Saudi Grand Mufti says ISIS is Islam’s greatest enemy. Dawes seems to think that using force against ISIS is proof that we’ve failed to understand the complexity of the situation. The trouble with that kind of thinking — violence equals failure —  is that it’s non-falsifiable. Maybe the decision to use force reflects an appreciation of the complexity of the situation?  He refers to “political and regional vacuums” that helped ISIS thrive. Well, those vacuums — American withdrawal, the weak Iraqi government, the civil war in Syria — created a space for ISIS to fill. Understanding that fact isn’t necessarily an argument against force. As Charles Krauthammer notes today, the greatest advantage ISIS had was the perception they were unstoppable. 

But more fundamentally, I find it more than a little appalling to be lectured to about the evils of calling ISIS evil, particularly from a person who specializes in the issue of “human rights.” I understand that in our culture saying that “some people can’t be reasoned with” is seen as closed-minded. But sometimes you can be so open-minded your brain falls out. If the view of the human rights community is that it is simply useless to describe ISIS as evil, than what good is the human rights community?

Maybe I’m the fool here, but it just seems obvious to me that a group that crucifies its theological enemies, buries children alive, forces young girls into sexual slavery, and seeks global dominion isn’t a great candidate for reasonable conversation and compromise. Moreover understanding the “whys” behind their behavior strikes me as a moral dead end. 

Let us recall once again the story of British general Charles James Napier. When assigned to British-run India, he was informed that he just didn’t understand Indian customs. He couldn’t ban the practice of wife-burning, he was told, because it was an ancient and valued tradition in India. He said he understood and appreciated that. “This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”

Boeing-Commissioned Research That Supports Boeing Is Independent, Says Boeing



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The “all hands on deck” lobbying campaign to save the corporatist Export-Import Bank is really getting going: The campaign is placing a gigantic amount of paid and self-interested op-eds in newspapers throughout the states. It’s also paying for industry experts to write reports to support their cause. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this, as long as the financial connection is disclosed clearly. Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been the case, and pro-Ex-Im lobbyists have been a little misleading with some of the research they cite to support their case.

Earlier this week, for instance, Politico Influence reported that the Aerospace Industries Association, a key pro-Ex-Im industry lobbying group, and Boeing, Ex-Im’s single largest beneficiary, have cited the work of Vadim Linetsky in at least two letters to Congress urging the bank’s reauthorization: In a July letter to Congress, the AIA cited Linetsky’s work on commercial airplane financing. Later in August, Tim Keating, a senior vice president for government affairs at Boeing, also cited Linetsky’s research in his letter to Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling.

Dr. Linetsky certainly has the technical chops to comment on the issue: He is a professor of industrial engineering and management services at Northwestern University and an expert on financial-markets pricing.

But there’s one important detail that the AIA and Boeing forgot to mention: Boeing has paid Dr. Linetsky for research in the past and these groups are citing research that a Boeing-funded industry group paid for. In fact, it appears that the two groups have explicitly downplayed any association between them and Linetsky: Boeing described Linetsky as a “widely recognized expert” while the AIA called him an “independent technical expert” without noting that he published paid industry research for the groups in the past.

Initially, Boeing tried to downplay the “mistake.” A company spokesman told Politico that the study they referenced was commissioned by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a neutral non-governmental organization. Even if this was the case, Boeing still should have disclosed that Linetsky had been hired to do research on their behalf in the past. The Northwestern University website states that Linetsky’s research has been funded by the Boeing Capital Corporation. Boeing should have been honest upfront to avoid further embarrassment.

It turns out that Boeing was wrong about the OECD report too, as Politico later reported. The study that Boeing referenced in the letter to Congress was not commissioned by the OECD, but by another industry group called the Aviation Working Group. A 2010 report that Dr. Linetsky prepared for the AWG lists his relationship as an “independent technical advisor to the Aviation Working Group.” Boeing should be aware of these facts — since it’s a member of the Aviation Working Group..

The problem is not that Boeing, the AIA, and the AGW are citing research that they themselves have commissioned, but that they did not disclose their relationship with the scholar. Linetsky’s work should stand on its own merits, regardless of who signs his checks, but many people are naturally suspicious of paid research that supports the policies of its funders. We deserve honesty from companies that engage in these practices, like Boeing, so that we know when to apply stricter scrutiny.

Critics Says R Rating for Movie about Gay Couple Is Homophobic



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Is the Motion Picture Association of America homophobic?

That is what many are wondering after learning that the MPAA, which is responsible for distributing film ratings, gave the new film Love Is Strange — which depicts the romance of two gay men, played by Alfred Molina and John Lithgow — a restrictive “R” rating, though the film has no sex, nudity, or violence. According to the MPAA, the rating is for language.

Films are rarely rated R merely for language, but there have been notable instances: The King’s Speech (2010), in which Colin Firth’s character (King George VI) drops the F-bomb several times as a technique to conquer his stammer; and the 1995 romance, Before Sunrise, which starred Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

The MPAA — the members of which are six major Hollywood studios, and which is currently chaired by former Democratic senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut — regularly earns criticism for its ratings, and for the lack of transparency about how it determines them.​

Below, the trailer for Love Is Strange:

Via the Guardian.

The British Government Wants to Turn the People’s Knives into an Angel Statue



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Per the BBC:

The family of a man killed after being stabbed 52 times in a Wrexham pub are backing an amnesty on knives.

Craig Maddocks, 34, was attacked with a flick knife during an incident in a toilet cubicle in June 2013.

His mother and sister are now supporting the campaign to try to prevent more stabbings.

Knife banks will be set up in towns and cities in several counties with the blades being melted to create a statue in memory of knife crime victims.

Not just any statue, mind you:

Metal from the knives collected will then be turned into a 24ft sculpture of an angel as a tribute to those who died as a result of knife crime.

What happened to Mr. Maddocks was terrible. But this instinct — to remove from the citizenry anything that is remotely dangerous – is becoming almost laughable. Because catharsis for grieving families is held to be more important than basic human liberty, Britons now live in a country in which single mothers are warned by the police if they use knives to scare away intruders (actual quote: “Hertfordshire police warned her she should not have used a knife to scare off the youths because carrying an ‘offensive weapon’, even in her own home, was illegal”); in which men who defend themselves when attacked by armed maniacs can be charged with murder; in which, despite assurances that the strict gun regulations worked and that firearms threats have therefore been diminished, police are beginning to arm themselves as a matter of routine; and in which even the Olympic shooting team is forced go to Zurich to practice their sport. Worst of all, perhaps, there exists no meaningful debate about these measures. As Dan Hannan learned recently when he correctly recorded that the British handgun ban was the product of press-driven hysteria and not sober inquiry, to so much as suggest that disarming everybody might be a touch extreme is inevitably to be accused of hating children:

Yesterday, irked by the bandwagon of outrage set in motion by Nigel Farage’s support for the licensing of handguns, I Tweeted that the rationale for the original ban had been false, and that it had been brought in following a nasty tabloid campaign.

If you know Twitter, you’ll easily imagine the response: murderer, fascist, moron, resign, blah blah. I’ve been getting these remarks from Lefties for so long now that, as the poet says, they pass me by as the idle wind which I respect not. But, this time, they weren’t just coming from permanently outraged teenagers; they were coming from a number of Labour MPs – including Jim Murphy, a member of the shadow cabinet, who wanted me to apologise for my “repulsive” comments about “the murder of innocents”.

Hannan was rightly irritated by the “authoritarianism” of this response:

Seventeen years on, they no longer have the excuse of being overcome by the horror of the moment. Theirs is an authoritarianism born, not of high emotion, but of self-righteousness – or perhaps of calculated cynicism. It’s an authoritarianism that regards criticism as morally rather than intellectually wrong. An authoritarianism that cannot understand the difference between disapproving of something and banning it. Save us from such politicians.

This is fair. But his exasperation is ultimately directed at the wrong target. These “politicians” only get away with their “calculated cynicism” because the general public demands it. In the last fifty years, British voters have happily given up their right to keep and bear arms, their right to defend themselves in their own homes, and — in a more basic sense — their unalienable right to self-defense per se. Now, a good number will hand in their knives so that the state may turn them into art. This isn’t the fault of the political class. It’s the fault of the people themselves.

Becoming Enthusiastically Pro-Abortion



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What used to be called the pro-choice movement is morphing into an agenda that is enthusiastically and unabashedly, pro-abortion. Why? As I explain in my First Things biweekly column:

Mendacity has its costs. Understanding the public’s sentimentality about babies, pro-choice apologists often falsely claimed their goal was simply to make abortion “safe, legal, and rare.” That worked for a time. But conceding that abortion should be “rare” implicitly accepted the pro-life movement’s fundamental premise—that the entity terminated in an abortion is far more than an inflamed appendix. Eventually, the sheer force of logic and fact helped push the country in a more pro-life direction.

This means the never-changing abortion is about to change:

I expect that in the coming years abortion rights supporters will execute a tactical retreat that admits the humanity of the unborn, conjoined with a strong counter-offensive dismissing the moral relevance of that biological fact. What matters, advocates will increasingly assert, is the state’s guarantee that women’s reproductive desires are fulfilled—with abortion viewed as a positively good way of doing so. Pro-lifers had better quickly discern how to counter the new candidly explicit pro-abortion advocacy.

“Pro-choice” is out. Roe v. Wade is to be overturned as too restrictive.

Pro-lifers take notice: That approach took a big step forward with a recent court ruling comparing abortion access to the Second Amendment. For more, hit this link.

Lowry: Obama’s ‘JV-Squad’ ISIS Comments ‘Not Just Flatly Wrong, but Juvenile’



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Poll: Republican Tom Foley Up in Connecticut Governor’s Race



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For the second time this month, a poll finds Republican challenger Tom Foley with a sizeable lead over Democratic governor Dannel Malloy in Connecticut’s gubernatorial race this fall.

Foley, who lost by less than one percentage point when the two faced off in 2010, is now up seven points among likely voters, according to Rasmussen Reports. He leads Malloy 45 percent to 38 percent.

The GOP candidate has looked good in polls over the past few months, with all but one giving him the lead — and that one had him tied with Malloy. A Gravis Marketing poll from earlier this month mirrors the recent Rasmussen findings: Foley leads 46 percent to 38 percent over Malloy.

Harry Reid Doesn’t Think Asians Are Smarter Than Anyone Else, Can’t Tell Them Apart



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Senate majority leader Harry Reid rattled off a couple of race-based jokes to an Asian audience, according to new video from American Rising.

Speaking before the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas, Reid commends them on their success and says, “I don’t think you’re smarter than anyone else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are.”

Later, Reid admitted he struggles with telling some of the event’s participants apart. “One problem I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight,” he said.

While on the campaign trail in 2010, Reid criticized Republican challenger Sharron Angle for her own “Asian” comments. Angle came under fire for telling a group of Hispanic students that “some of you look a little more Asian to me.”

Via Time.

UPDATE: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes tweeted that Reid has apologized for his comments:

Scott Brown Statistically Tied with Jeanne Shaheen



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After trailing by as much as twelve points earlier this summer, Scott Brown is now statistically tied in the New Hampshire Senate race against Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen, according to a new poll.

A new WMUR Granite State Poll finds Brown, a former Massachusetts senator now running in the neighboring state, trailing the incumbent Shaheen 44 percent to 46 percent. The two-point difference falls within the margin error.

A June survey by the same group of pollsters showed Brown down twelve points to Shaheen. Two July polls conducted by CBS News/New York Times and NBC News/Marist also didn’t look promising for Brown: Shaheen held ten-point and eight-point leads, respectively.

Brown has recently gone on the offensive in the wake of the ongoing border crisis, hitting Shaheen for her stance on immigration and her support on the president’s policies. Brown is expected to prevail next month’s Republican primary, after which his campaign should gain further ground.

A Conservative Infrastructure Program



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My latest column for the Washington Post argues for a “conservative infrastructure program.”

I first argue that our infrastructure needs to be repaired and upgraded. I point out that the left’s approach is lacking, but that that isn’t a reason for the right to ignore the problem.

Instead, a conservative approach to infrastructure would begin with a question: What are some projects that we actually need to fund? We all know by now that “shovel ready” projects are rare. So we should take some time to actually figure out which projects offer the highest value to society. We should put in place a multi-year program of infrastructure investment, not sugar-economics Keynesian stimulus.

Who should pick the projects? Primarily states and localities, where most of the responsibility and relevant knowledge lies. They should be free to figure out how to fund their share of the costs, as well. (And government at all levels should couple the projects with regulatory reforms to ensure they are completed on a private-sector timeline and with minimal expense.)

I also argue that such a program should prioritize helping low-income Americans to earn their own success in the labor market.

More important, a conservative infrastructure program should prioritize a conservative goal: Helping the working class to rise.

What, specifically, could this help look like? We know that urban areas characterized by a high degree of socioeconomic segregation often have relatively low mobility rates and high unemployment rates. One way to support employment and earnings is to spend money on transportation infrastructure to connect low-income workers with jobs.

I encourage you to read the entire column, which you can find here. (And remember, writers don’t get to pick their own headlines!)

— Michael R. Strain is a resident scholar in economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. You can write to him on Twitter at twitter.com/MichaelRStrain.

Report: Obamacare Led to Chicago Cubs ‘Tarp Gate’ (UPDATED)



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Has Obamacare struck out with Chicago Cubs fans?

At Tuesday evening’s game against the San Francisco Giants, the Wrigley Field grounds crew had such trouble pulling the tarp over the infield during a 5th inning downpour that umpires were forced to call the game after waiting four and a half hours for the field to dry — an embarrassing incident Windy City residents are calling “tarp gate”:

Now insiders at the ball club report that the real culprit is Obamacare. Because the Affordable Care Act requires offering health benefits to employees who work more than 130 hours per month (“full time”), the Cubs organization reorganized much of its staff during the off-season. Sources that spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times claimed that, on Tuesday night, the crew was drastically “undermanned.” The Sun-Times reports:

Sources say 10 crew members were sent home early by the bosses Tuesday night with little, if any, input from the field-level supervisors

[Cubs spokesman Julian] Green doesn’t dispute that but says it’s common practice when the forecast calls for clear weather as he claimed Tuesday’s forecast did (contrary to several reports that day).

But sources say this year’s [grounds crew] protocol has changed dramatically since the off-season shakeup with game-day personnel in anticipation of the ACA taking effect — along with the experience level in many areas because of resulting attrition.

The unusual incident prompted the Giants to file an official protest with the league. Because the game was called in the 5th inning, the Cubs, who were leading, were given the win. The Giants won their protest, becoming the first such successful protest in 28 years.

CORRECTION: The original post incorrectly stated that the Giants won the resumed game, 5-3. The Cubs won the resumed game, 2-1. The Giants won the following two games in the three-game series, 8-3 and 5-3, respectively.

 

 

On Paying Ransom



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The Wall Street Journal has an interesting discussion on the role of ransom in terrorist kidnappings such as that of James Foley. As a matter of policy, the United States and most other countries refuse to pay ransoms and discourage friends and family from paying ransoms, sometimes with the threat of criminal action — the government considers such ransom payments illegal funding of terrorist activities.

That’s probably the right policy.

But in the real world, people pay ransoms. Big companies whose names are familiar to you quietly pay ransoms every year. They budget for them. The paying of ransoms is such an ordinary part of doing business in much of the world that a very large and robust insurance market exists for ransom and extortion policies. The more sophisticated kidnapping operations have pretty good intelligence about who has ransom insurance and what their policies are worth. (Years ago, I did some occasional work for a company in this field.) If you are going to get kidnapped, far better that it is by somebody with an economic motivation rather than an ideological one.

It is worth appreciating that, rhetoric and genuine fanaticism notwithstanding, a great many political terrorist organizations start off as crime syndicates (the Taliban) or end up as crime syndicates (Shining Path). That is, in an odd way, a promising fact: If ISIS et al. should ultimately evolve into a problem that can be solved with money, that would be an excellent thing — exactly the sort of problem you want to have if you are a rich country. 

Friday Links



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Happy Birthday, Dorothy Parker, born on this date in 1893: quotes, poems, bio, and the weird journey of her ashes.

Twenty-five perfectly timed dog pictures.

George Orwell reviews Mein Kampf (1940) and “bag of wind” Jean-Paul Sartre’s Portrait of the Antisemite (1948) (“books on antisemitism tend to be mere exercises in casting motes out of other people’s eyes . . .”).

Video: compilation of all of the Quentin Tarantino movie deaths, set to music.

Stanford University biologist explains the science behind Captain America and the Hulk’s amazing superpowers.

Fourteen things you don’t know about Back to the Future.

ICYMIThursday’s links are here, and include the invention of the chicken nugget, what airlines owe you when you’re stranded, disappearing smells, and a squirrel-launching compilation.

This Is Not a Joke



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Derek Draplin of the College Fix:

The former Michigan governor whose leadership oversaw a severe economic downturn, skyrocketing unemployment, Detroit’s emerging bankruptcy, and the meltdown of the automotive industry, is now a professor specializing in job growth.

This fall, Michigan’s former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Mulhern Granholm is teaching a graduate course focused on “creating jobs through better government policies,” the class description states, adding “it is designed to help to launch the American Jobs Project at UC Berkeley.”

Yet as governor from 2003 to 2011, Michigan’s unemployment rate soared from 6.6 percent at the beginning of Granholm’s term up to 14.2 percent in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Obama’s America Is September 10th America



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Our barbaric jihadist enemies – the ones President Obama repeatedly assured us he had “decimated” and put on “the path to defeat” – are now stronger than ever. Not stronger than they have been in years, or decades – stronger than ever. They have seized a country-size swath of territory (and growing). They have just beheaded an American journalist – which is the sort of thing they do as a matter of routine but has obviously, and finally, gotten our attention.

Not to worry, though: The Obama Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation. I’m sure ISIS is quaking.

The Obama administration has spent six years miniaturizing the global jihad as a series of non-ideological, unconnected groups of “violent extremists,” pursuing parochial political objectives through acts of “workplace violence.” The enemy kills our ambassador to Libya, a palpable act of war, and the administration pretends it’s about a video. The enemy decapitates an American because he’s an American, and the administration announces the opening of a criminal investigation. The enemy bombs and beheads, we subpoena and indict.

The title of this post, “Obama’s America Is September 10th America” is not a random description of the now. It’s the title of a column I wrote six years ago … when then-candidate Obama was promising policies that would, inevitably, lead to an increasingly imperiled America – a provocatively weak America that regarded our enemies as mere defendants, just as we did before 9/11 … when our enemies responded by attacking us again and again.

The column was prompted by then-Senator Obama’s remarks during an astounding 2008 campaign speech:

What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks — for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated. And the fact that the [Bush] administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, “Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims.” So that, I think, is an example of something that was unnecessary. We could have done the exact same thing, but done it in a way that was consistent with our laws.

As I noted at the time, this was “a remarkably ignorant account of the American experience with jihadism.” The vast majority of terrorists responsible for attacks against us had not been “brought to justice.” In fact, the major terrorists who orchestrated strikes against us – Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to name just a few – remained at large for a decade or more despite being under indictment. From foreign safe havens far removed from the writ of American courts and the authority of American law-enforcement, they continued choreographing terrorist attacks against the United States. To the extent top jihadists were “neutralized,” it was because our armed forces killed or captured them. We had no chance of suppressing the enemy by relying on American judicial processes.

Here was my conclusion in mid-2008: 

The fact is that we used the criminal justice system as our principal enforcement approach, the approach Obama intends to reinstate, for eight years — from the bombing of the World Trade Center until the shocking destruction of that complex on 9/11. During that timeframe, while the enemy was growing stronger and attacking more audaciously, we managed to prosecute successfully less than three dozen terrorists (29 to be precise). And with a handful of exceptions, they were the lowest ranking of players.

When an elitist lawyer like Obama claims the criminal-justice system “works” against terrorists, he means it satisfies his top concern: due process [for the terrorists.]. And on that score, he’s quite right: We’ve shown we can conduct trials that are fair to the terrorists. After all, we give them lawyers paid for by the taxpayers whom they are trying to kill, mounds of our intelligence in discovery, and years upon years of pretrial proceedings, trials, appeals, and habeas corpus.

As a national-security strategy, however, and as a means of carrying out our government’s first responsibility to protect the American people, heavy reliance on criminal justice is an abysmal failure.

A successful counterterrorism strategy makes criminal prosecution a subordinate part of a much broader governmental response. Most of what is needed never happens in a courtroom. It happens in military operations against terrorist strongholds; intelligence operations in which jihadists get assassinated — without trial; intelligence collections in which we cozy up to despicable informants since only they can tell us what we need to know; and aggressive treasury actions to trace terror funds.

That is how you stop the homeland from being attacked, which is what we have done for the last seven years. And it is that from which Obama wants to move away.

Obama would bring us back to September 10th America. And September 10th is sure to be followed by September 11th.

Admittedly, that was before Obama empowered the virulently anti-American Muslim Brotherhood; made Islamic supremacists key administration advisors; blinded our national security agents by purging Islamic-supremacist ideology from training materials; colluded with Islamic-supremacist countries to restrict American free speech rights; tried to give civilian trials to enemy-combatant terrorists responsible for mass-murdering Americans; imported enemy-combatant jihadists for civilian trials despite congressional proscriptions; waged an unauthorized war in Libya that enabled our enemies to kill American officials and besiege North Africa and the Middle East; negotiated with Iran-backed terrorists in trading jihadist leaders for the remains of British casualties; negotiated with Taliban terrorists in trading jihadist commanders for a deserter; assured Iran’s acquisition of nuclear arms; issued visas to terrorist operatives for consultations on American foreign policy; sided with Hamas during its latest war of aggression against Israel; and declined to acknowledge that the jihadist mass-murder of 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood was a terrorist attack.

But I still think it holds up fairly well.

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