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Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

The American Conservative has been a bit unwieldly from the start, attracting dubious characters whose only “conservative” instinct was isolationism rooted in the very unconservative impulses of pacifism and alienation from the values of fellow Americans.  Pat Buchanan has had little involvement for a while.  Taki left and started his own magazine, which now appears to be headed towards self-destruction.   What remained has been adrift for quite a while. Now, confirming for the millionth time the truth of O’Sullivan’s First Law, the American Conservative under the leadership of Ron Unz has started to question the immigration reform views of traditional conservatives, suggesting that fears of Hispanic Crime–which tends to be 3X the rate of native-born whites–are overstated and exaggerated. Don’t we have the Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal to promote such mythology?

Of course, crime is not the only reason to oppose massive Latin American immigration.  There are other issues like the job security of native born Americans and the ways that Third World values corrupt our political culture and collective ways of life.  Ignoring these other concerns shows a real lack of conservatism, and the suggestion that these fears are irrational is not only stupid, but is easily refuted factually, as Heather MacDonald and Steve Sailer have done for years.   But the bigger question is:  why, even if crime were absolutely a non-factor in Latin American immigration, would a conservative, concerned with conserving a particular American way of life from change and degradation, support what has been one of the most significant drivers of our national dissolution, disunity, and decline.  I would not want millions of people from anywhere coming here, even if they all were quite pacific.  Conservatism is supposed to be about conserving something, but Unz has demonstrated (again) a marked indifference to the survival of America as a coherent and historical entity.

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I’ve often thought that liberalism was a kind of secularized Christianity where the universiality and compassion of Christianity is writ large and made into a political value, with the difficult commands for personal transformation totally removed. But sometimes that liberalism “in the air,” so to speak, infects views of believing Christians. This, I believe, is what happened to Mike Huckabee, the governor and pardoner extraordinaire of Arkansas. Like Bush who thought he “could see into Putin’s soul,” Huckabee had great power in his ability to discern redemption in the con-artists, liars, and violent thugs who know to a man how to game the system and appear contrite. Huckabee apparently some years ago released the guy who murdered four cops in Washington State. This violent animal had apparently 70 years to go on his sentence–and many violations of probation to boot–when Huckabee thought he had mended his ways and gave great weight to his youth in sentencing. Well, guess what, violent youths are often violent adults. And certain acts of violence are so severe that the only safe course is confinement until very old age.

This horror show will definitely deep six Huckabee’s ability to get a Republican nomination, if he ever had one. But will he realize that his view on the meaning of Christianity is too abstract, sentimental, maudlin, and divorced from the realities of the criminal element to do him any good? Part of the structure of life and the good of government is punishment to the wicked. It’s not merely necessary for the common good, though it is, but it’s also to the good of the offender. It’s a way to pay back to society the harm one caused, reflect on the disorders of one’s soul, and be kept apart from innocent people whom one might harm in a fit of passion. This is missing in the view of Huckabee and other sentimentalists. The “once saved, always saved” idea that we’re “reborn” forever in Protestantism can’t make sense of the drama of human life and the need for social control. It ignores the passions and the broken souls and has a thoroughly immature and, lately, feminized view of the Gospels and of government. We see a bit of this in Catholic anti-death penalty crusaders, as well. Do they not believe in Divine governance of the universe and the ultimate disposition of souls justly and mercifully in the next life?

We’re told to be scared of the religious right. But how much more harm has the religious left wrought with its ignorant campaigns to release criminals, redistribute wealth through socialism, and open borders?

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About two years ago, not long after Channon Christian and Chris Newsome were murdered in a hateful and all-too-typical act of interracial crime–complete with the obligatory rapes–I parted ways with AFF Brainwash on account of my strong language regarding the issue.  We can’t be too passionate on these things, you see.   Budget deficits and the tax code, yes.  Things that happen every day and that destroy lives and worry ordinary people a great deal, they are confined to whispers and the scrawl on bathroom walls.

Well, the victims are still gone, and their families are still grieving, but at least some small measure of justice took place as the first of these four predators, Letalvis Cobbins, was found guilty today.

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It’s not too hard to figure out what “teachable moment” now means: one more chance to remind white people that they’re insensitive, don’t get it, and can’t understand the horrible plight of black people in America that is “worse than ever.”

Violence to Enforce Jim Crow–Teachable Moment

So this makes the Gates Affair the perfect teachable moment for Obama: see everybody, racism still happens, even to fancy professors in their own homes.

And the Beer Summit is supposed to teach something else important: Obama is the nation’s best interpreter of teachable moments, because he alone can teach this racial reality to whites in a nonthreatening way that an obvious race hustler like Al Sharpton cannot.

Gates Arrest–Teachable Moment

But there is one kind of event that might otherwise be a teachable moment, that has become an unspeakable and unrecognizable moment. A moment that cannot be named. A moment that teaches nothing and from which nothing can be learned. A moment that is not important or relevant in any way for race relations or anything else. And that moment is when black criminals victimize white victims.

The Duke Rape Hoax is the archetypal teachable moment. It was supposed to show privileged white guys secretly victimizing blacks and provided a chance for everyone (including whites) to show their good moral sense by climing on the bandwagon of condemnation. The story’s falsehood was a minor detail.

A few months later, the murder and robbery of a white UNC co-ed by black thugs, was most definitely not a teachable moment.

Eve Carson’s Murder–Not a Teachable Moment

More recently, Professor Gates’ very brief and minor scrape with the law, the kind most people would be embarrassed about, has become a nationwide “teachable moment.” Contrast how much less news there has been about Lily Burk, a beautiful young girl still in high school,  who at the age of 17 was murdered by a black “man,” a man who had been in and out of prison his entire life before he kidnapped Lily, robbed her, and then slashed her throat.

Lily Burk’s Murder–Not a Teachable Moment

It’s an absolutely sickening story, but we’re not supposed to learn anything from it. It’s just a “collision of two worlds” according to the LA Times. It does not tell us anything negative about blacks in general, nor does it serve as one more data point in reminding us that blacks commit seven times more murders than whites. It cannot serve to remind us that blacks more crimes against whites than whites commit against blacks, even though blacks are only 12% of the population.  It’s not even an indictment of a justice system that, far from imprisoning “too many black men” as we’re often told, does not imprison enough of them, as shown by the numerous other atrocities committed by recidivists. These murders are just a “collision,” i.e., an event without moral meaning or social significance.

Looking at crimes like this as relevant evidence pointing to a disturbing and repetitive pattern is not allowed. Such insights are unspeakable and therefore unteachable. Our knowledge of them is reduced to samizdat, spoken of in back alleys of the internet like American Renaissance or Vdare. The race of these crimes’ perpetrators–usually apparent enough from the m.o.–can only be found if a photograph is present in an early news story. Suspects on the lam are never identified by race; they’re just “men” in sweatshirts and sneakers and other useless identifying information.

The contemporary language of racism, which repeats a narrative of black victimization and white oppression, is incomplete without discussing the explosion of black crime and the concomitant white victimization of recent decades.  This is the unspoken anxiety that many whites feel and discuss quietly with one another, but are taught to deny, feel ashamed of, and never to mention among mixed company.  It’s not “teaching” anything to repeat the racism narrative that we all began to recite as early as elementary school. It’s propaganda, plain and simple, complete with suppression of alternative viewpoints, willful blindness to inconvenient facts and patterns, and condemnation of dissenters.

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I grew up in Orlando, Florida.  Once upon a time, it was a reasonably safe city, a tourist mecca, and a land of relatively cheap houses and good schools.  It was anchored by certain conservative, southern traditions, not least strong support for law enforcement by the populace, expectations and models of decency that cut across racial lines, and tough juries on criminal cases.  Newcomers–such as my family–often were fleeing from frustration with corrupt, ill-managed, high tax, and high crime northern cities. They often embraced the local values, especially the freewheeling capitalism and “law and order” ethos of the New South.

About ten years ago, or so, things began to change, as did Orlando’s populace. Poverty became more disbursed.  The city suffered as various anchors like NASA, the Navy Base, and the construction industry declined or disappeared.  Fragile, poor neighborhoods like Parramore became further corroded by high rates of illegitimacy and crime.  Large numbers of poor, low skill immigrants arrived, spawned by family reunification provisions of the immigration laws, low housing costs, and flight from Cuban-dominated Miami (particularly in the case of Puerto Ricans and Haitians). While many of these newcomers work hard and abide by our laws, a good many of their under-supervised kids do not.  The mostly black and Hispanic gang culture that has blighted Southern California began to appear with the newcomers.  The poor of all races (and their problematic kids) became dispersed among hitherto orderly neighborhoods through the social engineering of Section 8 housing vouchers. Areas of the city formerly middle or working class quickly became suburban ghettos:  white picket fences coupled with daylight murders.

One striking thing about Orlando’s rising crime is how brazen the criminal class has become, raping and murdering as an afterthought.  While Florida has some tough mandatory sentencing laws, too often they are not enforced, are undermined by a perverse “code of silence,” and in any case do little to affect violent juveniles.  The murder rate shot up from 45 in 2001 to 123 in 2008. Like crime everywhere, much of this stems from internecine fighting between criminal drug gangs.  But it spills over to convenience store clerks, promising graduate students, and the elderly.  Sadly, increasingly violent robberies, rapes, home invasions, and other horrors are now reported on a daily basis.

A review of a few weeks’ stories from the local paper–which scrupulously avoid suspect descriptions–reads like something out of a Clockwork Orange:

11 Year Old Raped by Two Illegal Aliens

Body Dumped in Residential Neighborhood

College Girls Raped in Home Invasion

Woman Raped in Front of Boyfriend in Home Invasion

Two Teens Shot at Apartment Complex

There is little hope in sight.  Gun sales and CWP permit applications have increased a great deal, as the crime wave shows few signs of abating.  The husband-wife team of Val and Jerry Demmings as Orlando’s Police Chief and Orange County’s Sheriff, while thankfully enjoying a certain freedom from criticism because of their African-American ancestry, face tighter budgets, indifferent juries, and demographic trends that are outside their control.   There is little organized outrage.  Impotent comments on news stories suggest a quiet, disorganized majority that does not know how to reverse the tide other than through personal preparation and security.  It’s a scary time, and the extent to which Florida has particularly hard-hit by the housing crisis–both on the housing and jobs side–makes it clear that we’re in for a very rough ride.

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I knew someone once whose entire frame of reference to the world was through TV and movies. If something happened in a movie, it became part of his factual compass about how people do and could behave. This is more common than admitted and very dangerous, of course. Hollywood distorts the world through lies of commission and omission. From Hollywood, you wouldn’t know that more Americans go to Church on Superbowl Sunday (and every Sunday) than watch the Superbowl itself. You’d probably not know that Stalin and Mao’s regimes murdered more people than Hitler’s. And you would probably presume some wrong-headed things about the demographics of crime, particularly as it relates to the generally uninteresting and low IQ perpetrators of most real crimes.

Reality is so much more interesting, yet it’s scandalous.  It doesn’t quite fit the liberal script. Orlando, Florida, once a relatively safe tourist town, has seen its murder rate basically triple in the last five years due to a variety of demographic changes: growing population, mass immigration of poor, low skill groups from violent parts of the Third World (along with their unsupervised teenage children), and weakening sense of community. Nonetheless, this week has seen some real gains by the good guys in my hometown of Orlando, Florida.

A passerby–almost certainly a lawful concealed weapon holder–intervened during a brazen three-on-one robbery of a lady doing some last minute Christmas shopping. One of the suspects (as usual left undescribed by the Sentinel) was found later with a gunshot wound.

Then, the next day, a 91 year old man shot at the perpetrators of a home invasion robbery and saved his elderly wife. The article said:

Johnson bought his revolver for protection decades ago. A former citrus grove manager and plumber, Johnson said, “I’m still active. I still garden. We want to get a message out to other people. Be prepared. Keep your doors locked. And be alert.”

His wife added, “And have a gun ready.”

The Johnsons weren’t worried that the home invaders might return.

“If he comes back he’ll be sorry,” Johnson said. “I’m ready for him.”

The press is woefully irresponsible in general. Suspects are not described because of alleged group sensitivities, but this practice conceals facts about actual crimes and on-the-loose criminals. When combined with the more interesting but unrepresentative crooks on the TV and movies, this omission distorts our collective sense of danger. Likewise, stories about good things happening with guns are hidden, while rare accidents and accounts of “too many guns on the street” get front page billing.

If more of these two “man bites dog” stories were reported widely–and they certainly are common enough occurrences–it might slow down the criminal element from preying on the general public as much as they already do.

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Lawrence Auster describes the way the media obscures moral agency in criminal behavior, particularly when minorities are involved:

 But the Times lowers its own credibility by referring to the event as a “robbery gone wrong.” There should be zero tolerance for this nihilistic phrase which has the effect of removing the quality of moral judgment from both the robbery and the murder. “Robbery gone wrong” is meant to suggest that the criminals intended an armed robbery, not a murder, and that an armed robbery is not so bad, but that somehow the event got out of hand and they ended up, against their own intention, killing people. It just happened, don’t you know. It’s just one of those unfortunate things that just keep happening to people, especially to black people who never had a break. But of course when criminals commit armed robbery they are prepared to kill their victims. That’s why they’re armed. The readiness to murder, and the likeliness of murder, are even more evident when the criminals break into their victims’ residence and hold them at gun point.

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I’m sure we can expect Iowans to start looting, raping one another, and acting like animals on account of the recent flooding.  I mean, this is what flooding–and the incompetent response of President George W. Bush–do to communities, you know.  There’s no other factors of note that make people rape one another, shoot at rescue helicopters, and the like.

When liberals see these two distinct responses to similarly unfortunate and stressful situations, to what do they attribute it, I wonder.  When in doubt, flush it down the memory hole, I guess.

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Fascinating article from the Atlantic that documents the rise of crime in smaller cities and suburbs, even as crime has declined in large cities like NY and Chicago.  Cities like Memphis, Fayetteville, and Orlando are becoming the highest in crimes per capita.  The authors relay studies that attribute these spikes to the changing living conditions of the poor through the Section 8 housing program.  The program was conceived at first as a way to place long-term welfare cases in more middle class environments in the hope that their middle class neighbors’ habits would rub off.  While in some cases that happened, in many others the new residents simply brought their ghetto habits with them, and that includes a much higher rate of crime. 

Instead of the Robert Taylor Homes, we instead have working class apartment complex dotted around the periphery of cities that change from liveable (if drab) to violent and ghetto overnight:

In the most literal sense, the national effort to diffuse poverty has succeeded. Since 1990, the number of Americans living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty—meaning that at least 40 percent of households are below the federal poverty level—has declined by 24percent. But this doesn’t tell the whole story. Recently, the housing expert George Galster, of Wayne State University, analyzed the shifts in urban poverty and published his results in a paper called “A Cautionary Tale.” While fewer Americans live in high-poverty neighborhoods, increasing numbers now live in places with “moderate” poverty rates, meaning rates of 20 to 40 percent. This pattern is not necessarily better, either for poor people trying to break away from bad neighborhoods or for cities, Galster explains. His paper compares two scenarios: a city split into high-poverty and low-poverty areas, and a city dominated by median-poverty ones. The latter arrangement is likely to produce more bad neighborhoods and more total crime, he concludes, based on a computer model of how social dysfunction spreads.

Studies show that recipients of Section8 vouchers have tended to choose moderately poor neighborhoods that were already on the decline, not low-poverty neighborhoods. One recent study publicized by HUD warned that policy makers should lower their expectations, because voucher recipients seemed not to be spreading out, as they had hoped, but clustering together. Galster theorizes that every neighborhood has its tipping point—a threshold well below a 40 percent poverty rate—beyond which crime explodes and other severe social problems set in. Pushing a greater number of neighborhoods past that tipping point is likely to produce more total crime. In 2003, the Brookings Institution published a list of the 15 cities where the number of high-poverty neighborhoods had declined the most. In recent years, most of those cities have also shown up as among the most violent in the U.S., according to FBI data.

Getting rid of the concentrated epicenters of dysfunction that were traditional housing projects made a lot of sense.  They were depressing, violent, and poorly maintained places.  But so long as public assistance does not involve greater monitoring and control of the government’s wards, these people and their kids will continue to create problems for themselves and their neighobors. 

I am not opposed in principal to local and state governments helping the poor, assisting them with getting back on their feet, and making sure their kids are housed, clothed, and fed.  For a lot of reasons, not least deficiencies in IQ and upbringing, some people just can’t easily make it or come upon hard times.  But if one can’t make it on her own with a job and the help of family and friends, limitless freedom is not beneficial.  A semi-institutionalized state, akin to the old Poor House, should be considered.  Some people need more control and supervision to survive and thrive, even if they do not belong in prison or loony bin.  The old warehousing solution was a disaster, as is the Section 8 program.  Instead of concentrated inner-city ghettos, we’re turning entire cities into semi-ghettos, where random crime now strikes people that could once avoid it by moving out to the ‘burbs, places where picket fences and manicured lawns now conceal the threat of the same violent, fatherless young men who used to live in the projects.

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Vanishing American provides some welcome data in reference to a passing comment I made at Takimag.com about Katrina.  Apparently it’s now conventional wisdom that the atrocity stories from the Superdome were myths or made up, even though numerous contemporaneous accounts with double and triple sourcing were featured at the time.  Since New Orleans had the highest murder rate per capita of any city in America, it’s not exactly surprising that the brokest of the broke who made it to the Superdome were disorderly, violent, and sinking into their worst habits.

There was no Rodney King verdict to attribute the savagery post-Katrina.  And the violence in New Orleans had no parallel in outlying suburbs and other parts of the Gulf Coast.  So this tale of black criminality has been erased from our collective memory banks.  Now it’s just a story about George Bush’s incompetence.  It was that, no doubt, but that incompetence was magnified by the incompetence of Ray Nagin and the lawlessness of too many residents of New Orleans, something quite apparent to anyone who has spent time there.

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Teenagers beating up a former friend and risking life in prison all to have it on You Tube. I have to say, Morrissey knew his age quite well:

I must move fast,

you understand me

I want to go down in celluloid history

Fame, fame, fatal Fame

It can play hideous tricks on the brain

But still I’d rather be famous Than righteous, or holy,

any day, any day, any day

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The teenage girl fight in Lakeland, Florida is pretty disturbing.  Basically six girls pummeled one of their erstwhile friends and fellow cheerleader after being insulted by some (possibly forged) myspace postings of the victim.   “Demarcus” even said she did it, according to audio of the video.  In the wake of this event, facile explanations focusing on myspace and youtube have ignored the larger cultural factors involved including the rise of lower class standards among society as a whole.

There are probably even fewer fights among white suburbanites than there were 20 or 40 years ago. I don’t think myspace or camcorders are to blame of this and other fights. What’s changed, I think, is any sense of fair play and proportionality. 

In the past, fights were one-on-one, no weapons, and there was some sense of a “fair fight.”  I know this from personal experience and my dad’s numerous tales of growing up in an Irish neighborhood in NYC in the 60s.  The tribal ways of our new neighbors and lowest classes are spreading, particularly among the young, with their high regard for superfluous achievements like “keeping it real,” i.e., ghetto authenticity.  Imagine how much more disturbing a video of the sucker-punching brutes in the Jena Six case would be, if it were extant.

I also think we need to look at some individual factors as far as these girls and this neighborhood is concerned.  Lakeland has some trashy areas, where blue collar people close to the earth aren’t afraid to throw down. 

And, frankly, these particular girls all look sorta funny . . . . like “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” funny.  I’m not joking.  This is a disease associated with violence and poor impulse control.  Notice the wide set eyes, dull expressions, thin upper lips, and small chins on all but the first girl  Take a look:

Of course, this had to happen in Florida.  We are the home of all things weird.  Our only rival might be Clear Lake, Texas, home to nutty astronaut Lisa Nowak and the would-be cheerleader-killing mom, Wanda Holloway.

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One thing that liberals have done quite effectively is take advantage of our collective ignorance by re-writing the past.  Under their worldview, the Allies were complicit in the Holocaust; America was a hateful and oppressive hell-hole until the mid-60s; women had no jobs or other opportunities before the rise of feminism in the 70s; and blacks were uniformly oppressed, held down, disrespected, and mistreated for no reason by racist whites.  Just as liberals rewrite the past, they rewrite the present.  We all know of the rape accusation levied against the Duke Lacrosse team.  Do we know there are higher rates of crime among Hispanic and black communities? Do we know about the black-on white horrors of Auburn, UNC Chapel Hill, and Knoxville?

Consider how the following story from Time Magazine in 1957 reveals the innacuracy and moral poverty of the standard leftist account of “our racist past”:

The most ticklish law-enforcement fact in many a big Northern city is that the crime rate among Negroes is far higher than that of any other segment of the population—and few elected officials want to antagonize vote-conscious Negroes by saying so. None knew this better than the unhappy city fathers of Kansas City, Mo., who, during the first three weeks of 1957, saw the number of armed robberies, burglaries and thefts run 40% beyond the 1956 rate, while four out of five robbery victims reported that the holdup men were Negroes.

One day last fortnight, seven Negro businessmen called on Kansas City’s Police Chief Bernard Brannon to complain that robberies and burglaries in the Negro district were threatening to put them out of business. Suddenly, Chief Brannon thought he saw his chance.

How would Negro leaders react if the police staged a mass raid on Negro nightspots to round up suspects? asked Brannon tentatively. To his surprise, the businessmen assured him that they would speak up to defend the police if the Negro community raised an outcry. A few nights later, in Kansas City’s biggest police raid since 1941, nine teams of detectives—with at least one Negro cop on each team —stormed into Negro-district bars, restaurants, pool halls, nightclubs. Three paddy wagons shuttled back and forth for three hours, hauling 276 men and three women to headquarters for questioning. The police released most of the suspects that night or the next day, but held 50 on assorted charges from shoplifting to narcotics peddling. Acting on tips from men arrested in the raid, the cops jailed another score of suspects, including holdup men who had pulled off 49 known robberies within the previous two months.

Consider all the details:  black businessmen partnering with law enforcement; a major national magazine candidly discussing higher rates of black crime; politicians (then as now) afraid to anger voters of any race; pre-Miranda law enforcement actions that still preserved the rights of the innocent; cooperation among black leaders with the white “city fathers” against the black lower classes; and, an aggressive, but popular, approach to crime that employed racial profiling, but cannot reasonably be called racist.

The Time search engine is a real asset, a way to look into the past without the filter of today’s propaganda-laden universities and journalists.  It shows a healthy, sometimes complicated, American past that belies the tales of woe and misery that Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama have spun in recent weeks. 

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Thomas Sowell speaks some sense on the emotional hostility to prisons among liberals and their utopian belief in alternatives that address “root causes”:

Back in 1997, New York Times writer Fox Butterfield expressed the same lament under the headline, “Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling.” Then, as now, liberals seemed to find it puzzling that crime rates go down when more criminals are put behind bars.

Nor is it surprising that the left uses an old and irrelevant comparison — between the cost of keeping a criminal behind bars versus the cost of higher education. According to the Times, “Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, and Oregon devote as much or more to corrections as they do to higher education.”

The relevant comparison would be between the cost of keeping a criminal behind bars and the cost of letting him loose in society. But neither the New York Times nor others on the left show any interest in that comparison.

In Britain, the total cost of the prison system per year was found to be £1.9 billion, while the financial cost alone of the crimes committed per year by criminals was estimated at £60 billion.

The big difference between the two kinds of costs is not just in their amounts. The cost of locking up criminals has to be paid out of government budgets that politicians would prefer to spend on giveaway programs that are more likely to get them re-elected. But the far higher costs of letting criminals loose is paid by the general public in both money and in being subjected to violence.

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We’re dumber than ever, according to Susan Jacoby.

We want to be happy in a sedated, unchallenging way, according to Eric Wilson, and it’s killing our creativity.

Our Marxist educators are now giving rapists their talking points:  in North Carolina, a black rapist says to white victim that it was payback for slavery.

For Black History Month, George W. Bush just had Al Sharpton–architect of perjury, slander, race riots, and arson–as a guest at the White House.

It truly does take audacity to have hope in an age like this.

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