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Apologies…



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…for Corner slowness yesterday. We will do better today.

Follow The Money



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Is some of the money the EU gives the Palestinian Authority being diverted to terrorists? According to some Members of the European ‘Parliament’, Chris Patten doesn’t want to say.

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Person The Guns



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The British Army is, er, under fire for sexism. Amongst its crimes, referring to “manning” rather than ‘staffing”. Full details are available in a taxpayer-funded report called Gendered Bodies, Personnel Policies and the Culture of the British Army.

Its title tells you all that you need to know.


Web Briefing: August 29, 2014

Drug War Follies (Ctd)



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Amongst the greatest of the many stupidities of the asinine ‘war on drugs’ is the government’s crusade against ‘medical marijuana’. In the latest chapter of this endless, and depressing, saga, federal prosecutors have now distinguished themselves by securing the conviction of one Ed Rosenthal for growing marijuana – marijuana that was going to be used to treat the sick. The judge who heard the case ruled that the jury could not be told that Rosenthal’s crop was part of Oakland’s medical marijuana program, a plan developed by the city in the wake of the California vote ‘legalizing’ the medical use of the normally prohibited plant. Mr. Rosenthal now faces years in jail and some members of the jury that convicted him are said to be appalled that they were denied the right to hear the full facts before they came to their verdict.

It’s a case that has, understandably, infuriated many (check out Instapundit for more), but the truth is that, while the Justice Department team can – and should – be criticized for wasting government resources in choosing to prioritize the prosecution of a case like this, they were only doing their job. Equally, the judge who excluded any discussion of the ‘medical’ defense was technically quite correct. This seems like a clear case where federal law overrides a state’s jurisdiction and federal law simply does not recognize the defense of medical necessity. What’s more, as Jacob Sullum points out over at Reason, it appears that the jurors did know why the defendant was growing marijuana, even if the poor man was not allowed to talk about it in court.

No, it’s no use blaming the Justice Department, the trial judge or the jury. They all did what they were meant to do. The system worked. And when the system is used to enforce an unjust law, the result will be injustice – as the luckless Mr. Rosenthal has now discovered.

The only solution is to change the law at the federal level. Hoping for a retreat from prohibition is, alas, too much to hope for, but a small, faltering step in the direction of sanity and compassion would be the legalization of medical marijuana.

How about it, Doctor Frist?


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Perle Tells It Like It Is



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Doomed From Day One



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Ecumenism Under Fire



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The Episcopal Church in New York directed the Rev. Chloe Breyer (whose memoir I reviewed here) to coordinate its effort to rebuild an Afghan mosque destroyed by American bombs. The liberal church leadership is disappointed that more parishioners didn’t donate money for the cause. And conservative Episcopalian leaders want to know if their liberal co-religionists are as charitable to Christians in the Third World whose churches were destroyed by Muslims.

Help-Inuits



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There was an awesome article today in the New York Times about how anti-fur activists have devastated the lifestyle of Native Canadians, and harmed the environment to boot. I love this kind of story, and want to try to write a column about it. If you know anything about this topic please get in touch.


(P.S.-I know I’m one of the worst bleggers on The Corner and haven’t really been holding up my end on other posts-but I’m going to have to take more than I give until my book project is finished (I hope!) in a few months. But I always appreciate the responses, even if I don’t answer every one-they are truly invaluable.)

It All Pays Off



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Jonah,

Congratulations are in order – you got my 17 year old son to start reading NRODT.

I left a copy of the latest issue on the kitchen table. My wife came into the kitchen and found my son laughing hysterically. He was reading your article “Soy Vey.” (My son loves meat.)

Note this is a kid who doesn’t read anything but Star Wars books and video game chat.

I think you’ve scored a breakthrough!

Honesty From The Anti-War Crowd



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I don’t have the opportunity to talk much with anti-war people from the Left. Nearly all of the anti-war people I know are on the Right. Listening to some of them, particularly those who defend the United Nations (perhaps for the first time in their lives), I get the feeling that they are like the doves columnist Matthew Parris (himself a dove) describes here:

Like the admiral who gave 12 reasons for not firing a salute, the twelfth of which was that he had no powder, a certain kind of doveish commentator’s position can be summed-up thus: “I’m against war because I’m not convinced Iraq is harbouring weapons of mass destruction, but even if they are I’m against war because the UN has not authorised it, but if they do I’m against war because an invasion would prove a military fiasco, but even if it didn’t I’m against war because toppling Saddam would destabilise Iraq, but even if it didn’t I’m against war because it will antagonise moderate Arab opinion.”

This will not do. It is not honest.

In this Times of London essay, Parris suggests several things anti-war people should do to keep themselves honest.

Monitoring Mosques



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Re Rod’s post on the FBI plan to monitor mosques: Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), John Conyers (Mich.), and Russ Feingold (Wisc.) are protesting the FBI’s plan to require its field offices to count the number of mosques and Muslims in their regions. They are calling the order “an unconstitutional abuse of power.” How is it unconstitutional to open up a phonebook and draw up a list? The hamstringing of our intelligence services is shameful. Is it too much to ask that the FBI should be able to do things that 8-year-olds can do, such as surf the Internet and gather information that is available to the public?

Re: Child Rapist Free



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Regarding the Pa. sexual predator to be released Friday, a reader writes:

I was an assistant district attorney in Pennsylvania for 3 years, 1 of which was spent prosecuting juvenile offenders. The story of Brian Calabrese, unfortunately, is neither rare nor unusual. I have seen several young sexual predators who should be locked up forever, but will be released, without supervision on their 21st birthday. What is maddening is that everyone, from judges, DA’s, defense attorneys, to juvenile probation officers know that these kids are ticking time bombs just waiting to explode, but nothing can be done about them.

It is truly frightening how many kids like Brian Calabrese are out there. A good many are repeat pederasts who have been setting fires and torturing animals since they were 10 years old. Without fail, every one of these kids suffered horrible physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their “parents” and never had a chance to be normal. However, that being said these kids are a clear and present danger, but there is no way to protect society once these kids turn 21. Inevitably someone has to be raped or even killed before the adult system becomes involved.

Do I have a solution? No, I don’t. Off the top of my head, the only possible thing I could think of is what we call a “302 commitment” under the Mental Health Act. This is an involuntary commitment wherein a person could ask the Commonwealth to commit an individual to a mental health facility on the basis that they are a danger to themselves or others. Still, that is not permanent, and sadly, someone is going to have to pay a horrid price for this gap in the law.

Bush On Columbia



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President Bush at the Columbia memorial: “This cause of exploration and discovery is not an option we choose; it is a desire written in the human heart. We are that part of creation which seeks to understand all creation. We find the best among us, send them forth into unmapped darkness, and pray they will return. They go in peace for all mankind, and all mankind is in their debt. Yet, some explorers do not return. And the loss settles unfairly on a few.”

“The God of California”



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The Vatican has a new document out warning against New Age religion (“the god of California” says one cardinal, in an apt phrase), but doesn’t take a hard line against any of it. “There is no condemnation here,” says a key archbishop. Ugh. Rome should talk to its own exorcists.

Hubris



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The two finalists for the building(s) to replace the World Trade Center have been announced. They would be among the tallest buildings in the world. I know I’m in a minority here at NR when I say this, but I think this is a mistake. Yes, it’s satisfying to defy the S.O.B.’s who destroyed the WTC by building something taller than before, but it can’t be denied that doing so would present irresistible targets to future terrorists. Everybody knows that, so who is going to want to work in those buildings, especially in the upper floors? Some would, but many wouldn’t. And who is going to want to insure them? Has anybody estimated the costs of insurance? Furthermore, does it really make economic sense to concentrate offices in skyscrapers in the Internet age (e.g., telecommuting)?

True



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A reader writes: “Here’s my comment on the search for Christa MacAuliffe’s heritage: Who cares? She was an American.”

Christa Update



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We still don’t have a definitive answer to the burning question of the day: “Was Christa MacAuliffe an Arab-American?” A number of readers have pointed out that her maiden name was Corrigan, which is Irish. Other readers draw attention to the fact that her mother’s maiden name was George, which could easily be an Americanization of a Lebanese or Syrian name. There were lots of Lebanese immigrants to the area where this woman grew up, and some of them either Americanized their names, or had it done for them by Ellis Island guards. The search for an answer continues.

Golden Arches Never Win



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McDonalds’ litigation hell continues. First the burger chain is sued because its products are too easy to eat, now it is being sued because they are too difficult to chew.

Breaking



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APNewsAlert

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ U.N. inspectors report finding another
empty chemical warhead.

Understatement of The Year



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A convicted Pennsylvania child rapist is going to be set free this week, on his 21st birthday. He’s threatened to rape again (he fantasizes about raping 4-to-6-year-old girls) and his therapists say he has homicidal tendencies. There is nothing that can legally be done in his state to stop him. He can’t even be tracked, nor will his new neighbors be notified about his past. “The law needs to be changed,” says a law enforcement officer in this story. Yeah, ya think?! Pennsylvania needs a law like other states have that keep sex offenders in jail past their sentencing, as long as psychiatrists believe they are a danger for re-offending.

The child rapist’s name is Brian Calabrese. Just so you know.

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