Friday, August 25, 2006
A fight over "grass cutting skills"? Priceless.
Instapundit directs us to a disturbing series of stories about police seizing property and keeping it. The happy professor is right—these cases are an outrage. I used to prosecute down in Georgia, and I worked closely with two of the local drug task forces – one with the local PD, and one with the Sheriff’s Dept. The problem with seizures of property as discussed in the post linked by the good professor, which are entirely unjustified and egregious, is even more pronounced with drug-related forfeitures. I reckon that seizing the money in a drug dealer’s pocket is fine, and forfeiting it to the state is okay, since the money is the proceeds of the sale of contraband and the dealer shouldn’t get to keep. The problem becomes “mission creep”—the cops end up loving taking the dealer’s money so much that they want to take his cell phone. And his gold teeth (I have seen that, believe me). And his car. And maybe his house. After a while, the focus of law enforcement becomes less about the substantive crime and more about what the cops can take from the dealer – while taking out the dealer may make the community safer, the public profits very little from the seizure and forfeiture of the dealer’s property (which usually isn’t worth much anyway). Permitting seizure and forfeiture of property to the state perverts the system, and makes law enforcement about something other than its original goal.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I mean, really:
Kerry accused the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate of "adopting the rhetoric of Dick Cheney," on the issue of Iraq.Yep--almost president he was. So completely tone deaf that he can't read a simple poll. Keep it up, John Kerry! You may turn out to the most entertaining stupid smart guy there ever was!
"Joe Lieberman is out of step with the people of Connecticut," Kerry added, insisting Lieberman's stance on Iraq, "shows you just why he got in trouble with the Democrats there."
Kerry called Lieberman's independent bid a "huge mistake" and applauded businessman-turned-politician Lamont as "courageous" for challenging Lieberman on the war.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Har dee har har.
The argument then goes that left-wingers everywhere, the ALP in Australia, Democrats in the US and social democrats in Europe, are all so tolerant and never let race enter their heads when they are making decisions. In contrast, right-wingers, the Coalition parties here, Republicans in the US and conservatives in Europe, are a lot of red-necked bigots, and on social welfare, immigration, refugee or security issues are anti-black and anti-Muslim. This line is hammered so much it is becoming part of the folklore.Read the whole thing--it's quite entertaining, if you're a redneck conservative bigot who happens to live amongst the tolerant left.
But some recent research shows a different picture. Shanto Iyengar, a professor of communications at Stanford University, has just completed some experiments in partnership with The Washington Post on the attitudes of people to giving aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The ABC here and its handmaiden lefties in the US have never let us forget that the evil George W. Bush did nothing to help in New Orleans and deliberately so because the victims were mostly black or Hispanic. But what does the research actually show?
Democratic voters, of course, voted to give more money to hurricane victims and for a longer period. Hardly surprising, that: Democrats, like Labor voters here, are keen on giving away other people's money and, for them, a natural disaster is as good an opportunity for doing so as anything else.
But wait, what's this? The research shows Democrats were prepared to give $1500 more to victims if they were white than if they were black. What, give less money to innocent victims just because they were black? I'm afraid so. Moreover, Democrats would give more money to whites than to other minorities such as Asians and Hispanics.
Friday, August 04, 2006
I have never been particularly impressed with comparisons of our current "global war on terror" with World War II, but Mr. Hanson makes some valid points:
Read this too:
Our present generation too is on the brink of moral insanity. That has never been more evident than in the last three weeks, as the West has proven utterly unable to distinguish between an attacked democracy that seeks to strike back at terrorist combatants, and terrorist aggressors who seek to kill civilians.Read the whole thing.
It is now nearly five years since jihadists from the Arab world left a crater in Manhattan and ignited the Pentagon. Apart from the frontline in Iraq, the United States and NATO have troops battling the Islamic fascists in Afghanistan. European police scramble daily to avoid another London or Madrid train bombing. The French, Dutch, and Danish governments are worried that a sizable number of Muslim immigrants inside their countries are not assimilating, and, more worrisome, are starting to demand that their hosts alter their liberal values to accommodate radical Islam. It is apparently not safe for Australians in Bali, and a Jew alone in any Arab nation would have to be discreet — and perhaps now in France or Sweden as well. Canadians’ past opposition to the Iraq war, and their empathy for the Palestinians, earned no reprieve, if we can believe that Islamists were caught plotting to behead their prime minister. Russians have been blown up by Muslim Chechnyans from Moscow to Beslan. India is routinely attacked by Islamic terrorists. An elected Lebanese minister must keep in mind that a Hezbollah or Syrian terrorist — not an Israeli bomb — might kill him if he utters a wrong word. The only mystery here in the United States is which target the jihadists want to destroy first: the Holland Tunnel in New York or the Sears Tower in Chicago.
In nearly all these cases there is a certain sameness: The Koran is quoted as the moral authority of the perpetrators; terrorism is the preferred method of violence; Jews are usually blamed; dozens of rambling complaints are aired, and killers are often considered stateless, at least in the sense that the countries in which they seek shelter or conduct business or find support do not accept culpability for their actions.
Yet the present Western apology to all this is often to deal piecemeal with these perceived Muslim grievances: India, after all, is in Kashmir; Russia is in Chechnya; America is in Iraq, Canada is in Afghanistan; Spain was in Iraq (or rather, still is in Al Andalus); or Israel was in Gaza and Lebanon. Therefore we are to believe that “freedom fighters” commit terror for political purposes of “liberation.” At the most extreme, some think there is absolutely no pattern to global terrorism, and the mere suggestion that there is constitutes “Islamaphobia.”
Read this too:
God forbid the Left should analyze when it’s so much more joyful to simply criticize — and simplicity is everything to the furious. Hence, this “connect the dots” front page of one of Britain’s more simplistic papers, the Independent, where even the normally sane Malcolm Rifkind waxes indignant, angry about what has passed him by, but clueless about where to go next. This is global politics as seen by John and Yoko, it’s sex-as-a-tantrum, and it becomes clear reading this kind of rubbish that for the British Left the only thing that would save Israel’s Jews from the deeply complex problems confronting them is if they were little, furry animals. Like those who hate Bush so much they want to see American reverses around the world, Blair-haters, angry at being ignored more than anything else, are happy to see the kind of guarantee of future bloodshed an “immediate ceasefire” would produce so long as it means humiliation for the man they love to hate.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
This imbalance of scrutiny is not terribly bothersome to television journalists, because it does not undermine their ability to create gripping theater. News segments, for the most part, require simple, compelling human dramas that can be delivered to the home audience in extremely small packages. The camera demands emotion and plot, not fairness, context, or intellectual rigor. To the camera, there is no right and wrong, no terrorist and victim.
This kind of reportage has created a relationship of co-dependency between terrorists and the media: The fetishization of suffering results in a morally obtuse emphasis on civilian casualties, and the ensuing outcry from world organizations and opinionated foreign governments intimidates and hamstrings Western militaries attempting to defeat terrorists. And the more that Western forces are undermined by oppositional coverage, the greater the incentive for terrorists to maximize civilian casualties and thereby keep the media pressure on their enemies. Operating without moral restrictions, Hezbollah has endeavored to do exactly that — and with magnificent, arguably unprecedented, success. Because democratic governments cannot endure in conflicts that the public believes to be immoral, the task of groups such as Hezbollah is to undermine the Western public’s sense of moral clarity in the fight. And, in too many cases, in the television news media Hezbollah has found a willing partner — as have other terror groups like Hamas and Fatah.