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Prison Rape



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Ramesh, there may be some things to dislike in that article, but there’s a lot to agree with too. This section comes to mind:

“Despite promises (or threats) in the new law [which is primarily concerned with gathering statistical data on the topic] to take prison officials or state governments to task for failure to stop rape and assault, the real cause probably lies in a more mundane and intractable reality: Inmates will attack inmates if enough of them live in sufficient proximity, with insufficient internal security, for long enough periods of time. That means that while Congress funds lots of studies, we already know that the key variables are really the sheer rates of incarceration in the United States, the density of prison housing, the number and quality of staff, and the abandonment of any meaningful attempts at rehabilitation. If it is honest, the new DOJ commission created by the law will suggest what we already know is necessary: that we lower incarceration rates, reduce the prisoner-to-space ratio, train huge numbers of new guards to protect prisoners, and abandon the purely retributive and incapacitative function of prisons. But there is no political will for such changes, which is perhaps why we fund studies of the obvious in the first place. The truth is that the United States has essentially accepted violence—and particularly brutal sexual violence—as an inevitable consequence of incarcerating criminals.”

Unfortunately, that is true – and that acceptance is, quite simply, barbaric.


Naacp Excludes Minorites



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In Illinois, the GOP accuses the NAACP of closing off a Senate debate to an Indian-born cndidate and a black, both Republicans. Here’s the story.

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Patience, Progress & Iraq



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Bernard Kerick, at a press setup with the President just now, had a great line about his response to people who say it is taking too long in Iraq: Try setting up 30 police precincts in New York City. Depending on who is on the City Council, it might take eleven years. (That’s all from memory. I’ll update with it verbatim when I see the transcript.)

Web Briefing: October 21, 2014

Rush Correctives



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K-Lo, I urge Corner readers to check that Slate piece, because Allen Barra is a very respected sports stat-cruncher. His opinion on Donovan McNabb’s performance carries weight, even if the sports squabble goes on.

Also, Brent Bozell weighed in yesterday with some quotes that show how liberal sports writers cheer black athletes, such as:
Last January 8, New York Times columnist Selena Roberts did precisely that: “Didn’t Michael Vick decode the Falcons’ system ahead of the normal curve? Didn’t Donovan McNabb prove he would decipher defenses from the Eagles’ pocket after he broke a spoke on his ankle? Hasn’t Steve McNair managed to outsmart defenders despite missing Titans practices because of pain? As the playoffs have revealed, there’s progress, but so little change. There are proven black quarterbacks and coaches, but race relations are running a reverse in the NFL.”

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Awful Morning, The Sequel



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The morning shows are doing both Arnold a Nazi? and Rush a Druggie? today. The only solace is that it totally blows away the notion that the media turned down Clinton scandals for years at a time because it was so journalistically careful…

L.a. Times Vs. Arnold



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For every email in my inbox that expressed disappointment in Der Arnold for his boorish behavior toward women, I’ve received half a dozen that expressed outrage at the L.A. Times for holding its Arnold-is-a-groper story until yesterday morning, less than a week before the recall vote. The editors of the Times certainly have some explaining to do.

For what it’s worth, I myself doubt that the Times story was part of an orchestrated smear. To quote Daniel Weintraub of the Sacramento Bee (and you’ll find his invaluable website here):


The story is long, detailed and explosive. It was almost certainly edited at multiple levels and vetted by the Times’ attorneys. Knowing the kind of bureaucracy that can be at work at a major newspaper, I suspect that the piece only now has cleared all those hurdles. [And]…I think Schwarzenegger is helped as much as he is hurt by the timing. The campaign has prepared the world for the possibility of late charges of a personal nature….

Jolt For Justice



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The “human rights” lobby at Amnesty International is protesting an electric stun belt on John Muhammad, who is very strongly suspected of having terrorized the entire DC area for three weeks in addition to masterminding the murder of 13 innocents.

Has Amnesty International ever thought of protesting the human rights violations of Muhammad?

Prediction



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Raymond Arroyo’s upcoming book on Mother Angelica will be the hit of next Christmas. She fits into a panoply of categories: religion, women, business, inspiration. And Arroyo is a great storyteller. Watch for it.

The New Cardinals & The Next Pope



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Raymond Arroyo takes a look at the newly appointed cardinal-designates and looks toward the future:


The journalistic art of ranking candidates strikes me as a foolish exercise. What I can offer is an image of the next pope. He may be non-Italian, possibly from South America or Africa. He will be expected to travel, and he will very likely be an older man. The cardinals I’ve spoken with don’t seem to relish the idea of another young pope ruling the church for decades. Still, nobody really knows.

Catholic teaching maintains that the Holy Spirit (through the conclave) selects the next pope. Since the spirit has undoubtedly made the selection already, why not leave the outcome to him.

It’s Time



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to show Jacques Chirac some manners!

Graham Goner?



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K Lo: The Washington Post picks up this morning where you left off last night, with a story headlined “Graham Reviewing Strategy.” Apparently the strategy of raising almost no money and attracting little support hasn’t worked. When Graham got in the race earlier this year, a lot of people wondered if he was really campaigning for veep. Given the near-total lack of interest in his candidacy, he’s probably weakened his chances even for that.

Al Jazeera, “Easily Cowed by U.S. Pressure”



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This actually sounds a little silly. Al Jazeera pulls two “inflammatory” cartoons off their websites after “Washington” pressure. Sounds like someone in Washington could have time to kill and misplaced priorities.

Slate Defends Rush



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Randy, Puh-Leeze



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I was not using “hearsay” in a court of law but in this happy Corner, Randy, and hence in the sense appropriate to everyday conversation, which, my handy American Heritage dictionary informs me, is “gossip, talk, talk of the town, tittle-tattle, chat.”

This morning, in short, the L.A. Times made what had merely been vague tittle-tattle into charges that were concrete and specific–and Der Arnold then admitted that “there’s no smoke without fire.” To repeat, what had been hearsay became established fact.

The Latest Schwarzenegger Bombshell



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And Then There Were Nine (Again)?



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Picky Evidence Law Correction



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Peter Robinson writes:

“[I]t’s one thing for vague rumors to circulate, another
for the L. A. Times to publish dates, descriptions, and, in several
cases, the names of victims. What was once hearsay is now
fact.”
No, what was once hearsay, is still hearsay–though some of which at
least has now been admitted to be true by Arnold. A statement can be
perfectly true and still be hearsay. Hearsay is an ‘out of court
statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted.’ All these
statements, some of which are unattributed, are still out of court
(though now on the record) and even if you shift the hearsay concept to
newspapers rather than courts, it is still not testimony under oath and
subject to cross examination (a main function of having a hearsay rule).

Sorry Peter, its just my former prosecutor, and evidence law professor,
hormones kicking in. Besides, impressionable law students may be
reading the Corner.

Rush and Drugs



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We don’t yet know if there is any truth behind this story, of course, and, until we do, all that we have is the hypothetical. Assuming, however, that there is some truth in today’s reports, this is a tragedy for Rush Limbaugh – as it would be for any other addict – possibly (again we don’t know) partly explained by the pain of his appalling ear problems. Should he be prosecuted if he turns out to have broken the law? Well, maybe that’s easier for me to answer than for some around here. So far as I can see, prosecution of drug users serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever – other than the interests of the pushers and the prison-industrial complex. It’s a bad idea – always. That’s the morality, but when we come to the practical (and worries over the selective enforcement of what is, after all, the law), this seems to be a classic case where any prosecutor should, as he is entitled to do, use his discretion and save the taxpayer a few bucks. For what it’s worth (and for those who are keeping tally) there seems to me to be a difference between the ‘abuse’ of drugs that would be legal but for the lack of a piece of paper from a doctor and those that are always illegal. That’s not an entirely rational distinction, but somehow it seems to make his alleged offense appear rather less serious than some of the alternatives.

So, if these tales turn out to be true, is Rush a hypocrite? I don’t listen to his show enough to know for sure, but from what I have seen quoted today, it seems that, on the question of drugs, he is. Now, no-one is perfect and what we sometimes call ‘hypocrisy’ is no more than a lapse, the occasional failure to live up to the standards that we proclaim. As I said, no-one is perfect. While ‘addiction’ is a concept that is abused even more than the drugs that are supposed to cause it, it’s easy to see how a temporary ‘lapse’ into drug use can become a habit. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to read some of Limbaugh’s earlier comments on drugs without – at the very least – lifting an eyebrow.

The larger problem will be if he returns to his earlier stance. Limbaugh can be ‘anti-drugs’, sure, (there are, for example, many former alcoholics who are opposed to the demon drink) but if he were to argue that drug ‘abusers’ should be jailed, he’s going to face one very awkward question.

So why weren’t you?


Prison Rape



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There’s a lot to dislike in this left-wing screed on the subject, but easily the most contemptible line is this parenthetical one: “The clear interest of [conservative evangelical groups] in promoting religion among inmates has helped create a strange-bedfellowship with leftist prisoners’ rights groups” on the prison-rape issue. Conservative evangelicals can’t be legitimately against prison rape. They can’t even have been awakened to the issue by their work with prisoners. No, they’ve got an ulterior motive.

The authors also assert that to fight prison rape we would have to take up rehabilitation and “abandon the purely retributive and incapacitative function of prisons.” Well, obviously. It’s a good thing they don’t waste our time making an argument for this view.

“God Blessed You With a Very Special Package”



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John McGinley, who plays Dr. Cox on Scrubs was on CNN today talking about his son, who has Down Syndrome. He had some neat things to say:


HARRIS: Any part of that surprise you?

MCGINLEY: No, it’s nice to be riding their coat tails for one more year. It’s fantastic to follow a winner like that.

LEON HARRIS: …

But I’ve got to talk to you, first of all, about the Buddy Walks. You’re going to be participating in an awareness program that has basically been very successful since 1995. How long have you been involved with these Buddy Walks?

MCGINLEY: A couple of years ago, my son, Max, who is six now, was born with Down syndrome. When some of his challenges cleared up, I got involved with the National Down Syndrome Society. One thing we’ve done together is the Buddy Walk which is a day of empowerment, inclusion, and advocacy for children with special needs, primarily children with Down syndrome.

And we have 185 walks every year. Almost 220,000 people are going to come out and walk with us. We’re going to have one in New York on the 18th up in Central Park. And we just couldn’t be more excited about it. It’s just a thrilling day of love and inclusion.

And look, when you have a child who was born with special needs, it’s very confusing and disconcerting and you really don’t know which end is up and you feel like you’re from Mars and you did something wrong. It turns out that God blessed you with a really special package. And how to take care of that child is the real challenge.

And at the National Down Syndrome Society, there’s a fantastic Web site to go to, an unbelievable resource, called www.BuddyWalk.org. And there’s so much information there that I can’t encourage parents of children with special needs enough to check in there.

HARRIS: Good deal. I want to make sure we mention that Web site one more time before we get out of here.

How many other cities are having these walks?

MCGINLEY: We have 185 throughout the year. And October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. And so it’s just a great initiative to raise money for local education programs, and advocacy groups for children with Down syndrome.

HARRIS: You know, don’t you think, though, a lot — well, you tell me. How much progress do you think has been made in raising awareness about it since 1995? We’re seeing characters on television shows. You notice it happens now, people don’t react. People don’t really freak out when they see that sort of thing.

MCGINLEY: No, absolutely. Look, the progress that’s been made for all people with special needs and challenges is just profound. And children with Down syndrome are — you’ve got to remember, when you and I were growing up, their life expectancy of a child with these challenges was about 25 because they were institutionalized immediately.

And now they find love and an inclusion in a community and society that’s encouraging them and trying to elevate them to be whatever they want. And are able to be.

HARRIS: Well, listen…

MCGINLEY: What an amazing thing to be able to say about children with those kind of challenges.

HARRIS: Amen, brother. You’re right about that. I agree with you 100 percent.

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