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Sessions' First Speech as Attorney General...

| 23 Comments
...is less than three minutes and to the point.  My take-away is this:  Wishful thinking is out, hard thinking is in. Endless, mushy conferences are out, targeted action is in. We have a serious problem with rising crime, and we will use the full forces of the Department to deal with it.

This is almost enough to make me want to sign back up as an Assistant US Attorney. Almost.

The Attorney General's remarks, with the President listening, are here.

23 Comments

Do you agree, Bill, with AG Sessions' prediction that the recent uptick in violent crime is the start of a "dangerous permanent trend"? If so, I would love to hear why you think that such a trend is now "permanent."

I really found that adjective curious and worrisome in what was an otherwise measured statement.

AG Sessions is clearly not reading from a script here. He acknowledges some uncertainty about whether recent increases are a "blip" or something else.

"Permanent" is an awkward choice of word for the "something else" because nothing in this area is truly permanent. It would have been better to say a long-term trend. But I've made a few awkward word choices when speaking off-script, so I won't fault him for that.

The double-digit single-year jump in the murder rate is worrisome. It could be a blip, but the AG said his best judgment is that it is not. I don't find his statement worrisome.

I appreciate your accounting here, Kent, and I had the same mental spin. But I presume AG Sessions has been "grinding" over crime numbers as he prepared to be AG, and I was thus inclined to wonder if he is seeing something that others may not be seeing (but that perhaps Bill also sees).

Sorry to be late to the party. There's just too much pineapple to pick around here.

"Permanent" is an odd word to use in the context of public policy; as Kent notes, precious little there is "permanent" in the literal sense.

Starting in about the early Sixties, crime went on a tear for 30 years. It must have looked permanent to the people living through it. It did to me at the time. But it wasn't.

In 1991, largely as a result of get-tough policies that had been percolating for several years, crime started a precipitous drop. It fell dramatically for 23 years, until near the end of 2014.

At that point and since, sparked (we think) by unbalanced and vitriolic criticism of the police; the ensuing Ferguson effect; a related acceptance of the culture of laxity and excuse-making; and more illicit drug dealing, especially but not limited to heroin, crime has seen a startling rise. It is so startling that it may seem permanent to some.

I hope it is big-time temporary, as I'm sure General Sessions does. Indeed, my guess is that he will measure the success of his tenure primarily by whether he can get the current crime surge turned around.

It's going to take time. Crime is a lagging indicator of the culture, and crime statistics are a lagging indicator of crime. Because I believe Pres. Obama encouraged a culture more hospitable to the attitudes that breed crime -- and toward the end of his two terms, started to reap what he had spent years sewing -- it is going to take a massive effort of both education and enforcement by General Sessions to put us back on the correct, bi-partisan path that was so successful under Clinton and Bush.

This is an admittedly quite long answer to your question. I can't know whether the two-year-plus surge in crime we are seeing is permanent, but I would bet ten zillion bucks that General Sessions' deepest hope and most earnest ambition is that it is not.

Doug, I think you are fly-specking. I get that you believe that we are over-incarcerating and that Sessions troubles you on that front. But an AG, faced with troubling indicators of a burgeoning violent crime problem, is remiss if he doesn't jump on that issue with two feet. Lest we forget, an uptick in the murder rate equals more dead bodies.

Perhaps not your intent, but your comment looks a lot like so-called "concern trolling." I don't recall you fly-specking Obama's or Holder's pronouncements on Ferguson before Officer Wilson was completely exonerated. I don't recall you fly-specking Obama's selling of his clemency spree, which included a fair bit of sophistry.

I am not "fly-specking" anything, federalist, but rather trying to get smart people who seem to know AG Sessions and his thinking better than I do to help me better understand what he might have meant by the phrase "dangerous permanent trend."

Unlike you, federalist, I am not filtering everything through a partisan lens, and I share the concern about the "burgeoning violent crime problem." Indeed, I think Trump's EO to have a crime task force is a VERY good idea, and I will be doing a post on my blog over the weekend giving it praise.

I root hard for wise work and successful results no matter which party is in control, and I am hopeful AG Sessions and Prez Trump will find ways to make our country even more safe (ideally without requiring a lot more taxpayer expense on incarceration). I am also eager to hear more about the nation's problems with voter fraud if, as the Prez asserts, millions of illegal votes are being case in our elections.

"I am also eager to hear more about the nation's problems with voter fraud if, as the Prez asserts, millions of illegal votes are being case in our elections."

It has been reported that the Trump Administration is not going to make this priority number 1.

Don't you think voter fraud should be priority #1, federalist, if we have millions voting illegally and thus surely changing election outcomes in many state and local races?

I take this Prez at his word that he truly believes this is a massive problem. He may be wrong in that belief, but I sincerely think it critical to our democracy that we sort this out as best we can before the 2018 elections. Do you not agree that this problem cuts to the very heart of a democracy?

My, heavens, Doug. I have never seen you pick apart the words of a Democrat with even a fraction of the tenacity.

Nothing is "permanent" and you know Sessions knows it. It was a poor choice of words. It is easier for you to talk about that red herring than the mounting evidence that letting bad people out of prison leads to bad things.

As far as voter fraud, Trump is FOS about the number, even if fraud very well may have given the dirtbag Franken his seat. He has a tendency for such eruptions. We know that.

I wish you would give half the attention to the outright dishonest spin your "side" puts out when new and troubling crime numbers come out.

Tarls, if you are fair reader, you know I have consistently taken the Brennan Center and others to task for effort to spin recent crime increases as nothing to see. And, more to the point, statements by the Prez and by the AG --- especially when they are brand new and setting out their vision and priorities in this arena --- are much more important and worthy of examination that statements/spins by advocates.

And, please, for the sake of our nation, can you and other stop looking at everything as a matter of "sides." That framing is, in my view, harmful in so many ways, especially in the criminal justice space. I surmise you often think there is one side that loves American and another side that "hates Amerikkka," but I think reality is much more nuanced and I think responsible people who truly love America should try to see and promote that nuance.

Douglas stated: "Tarls, if you are fair reader, you know I have consistently taken the Brennan Center and others to task for effort to spin recent crime increases as nothing to see."

An occasional broad criticism is very different than nitpicking every word in order to torture it into the least flattering interpretation.

Whatever you think of him, Sessions is a brilliant man and you know damn well that the word "permanent" was a misspeak.

You stated: " And, more to the point, statements by the Prez and by the AG --- especially when they are brand new and setting out their vision and priorities in this arena --- are much more important and worthy of examination that statements/spins by advocates."

All being equal, I would agree. The problem is that all things are not equal. You are throwing a hissy fit over the word "permanent."

You stated: "And, please, for the sake of our nation, can you and other stop looking at everything as a matter of "sides.""

Look at my post. I put that very word in quotes in order to make the same point. Try to keep up.

That said, let's not pretend that there is not a group in this country that almost always wants the nation to go easy on bad people and another group who feels that bad behavior should be punished.

If you have a better word for these groups than "sides", let me know.

You stated: "I surmise you often think there is one side that loves American and another side that "hates Amerikkka," but I think reality is much more nuanced and I think responsible people who truly love America should try to see and promote that nuance."

Your favorite lawyer trick. You "surmise" things, whether it be about Bill, Federalist, or me, almost always incorrectly. Whenever someone else makes a good point, you "surmise" the worst possible motivations to them without a shred of evidence (the very definition of surmise being a supposition without evidence). It is lawyerly, dishonest and is a red herring as the argument becomes about that rather than the original point. Do you know what would be a great example of nuance? You not not automatically attributing motivations to people with no evidence.

This is not the courtroom. It should be more about looking for truth than winning a debating point.

Tarls, it seems you are the one ever inclined to throw a "hissy fit" and assume motives. I did not know (and still do not know) that the use of the word "permanent" by AG Sessions was "was a misspeak" and that is exactly why I inquired. I am not upset nor even critical of the use of this phrase; rather, I was eager to better understand what others might think was meant by it (especially because the media has continued to quote it). I especially fail to see how I "torture[d] [what Sessions said] into the least flattering interpretation." I called it "curious and worrisome" because made me curious about the meaning and worried about what AG Sessions might know or be predicting.

So, Tarls, you plainly are the one quick to assume motives and/or meanings. I am just looking for an explanation for the words important people use. Kent and Bill both provided helpful explanations (and without gratuitous criticisms), whereas you and federalist apparently assume my motives are impure. So be it. Meanwhile, I am still looking for you to explain why you claimed most commentators on my blog "hate Amerikkka." I am forced to "surmise" on this front because you have never explained your thinking or motives.

As I look for truth, Tarls, what I too often see are far too many people too eager to take "sides" or talk about "hate" rather than do the hard work of moving constructively forward toward seemingly shared goals of having less crime AND less punishment.

I agree that some people are much more eager to focus on achieving less crime than less punishment, while other folks are much more eager to seek less punishment rather than less crime. But the truth is that there ought to be at least some ways to bring the "sides" together to achieve both and I am hopeful AG Sessions will aspire to do just that. I do not know AG Sessions at all, but I hope he is, as you say, "a brilliant man" who can appreciate the need and opportunity for the Justice Department to bring together a fractured country around shared values. (I also hope he figures out the reality of voter fraud ASAP, because it seems the Trump White House is eager to make this an enduring story and concern.)

Douglas stated: "Tarls, it seems you are the one ever inclined to throw a "hissy fit" and assume motives. I did not know (and still do not know) that the use of the word "permanent" by AG Sessions was "was a misspeak" and that is exactly why I inquired."

You are the one making a mountain out of a molehill. It is absolutely absurd to believe that Sessions may thing the uptick in violent crime is "permanent." It is similar to when Obama mentioned 57 states, coming on a message board and asking, "What does Obama mean by 57 states? Is he going to split current states up into 57? Seize Canada and make them 7 more states?"

You stated: "I am not upset nor even critical of the use of this phrase; rather, I was eager to better understand what others might think was meant by it (especially because the media has continued to quote it)."

Calling it "worrisome" is not a compliment.

You probably will dodge this, but I would love to hear what YOU believe he meant by it. How is it worrisome? Is it REALLY your position that the sitting AG believes the violent crime hike is permanent, in other words, will go on in perpetuity for the entire history of the Republic with no chance of turning it around? That we are stuck in a society that will get more and more violent until the nation looks like a zombie apocalypse movie?

When someone says, "It is raining cats and dogs outside," do you look to the heavens in order to see Fido and Max falling to their death?

You wanted to nitpick. So, you did. If only you parsed every word of Lynch and Holder to the same degree.

You stated: "So, Tarls, you plainly are the one quick to assume motives and/or meanings.

Doug, any motivations I may have assigned to you were due to the evidence provided, that no sane or honest individual could believe Sessions meant "permanent" there. Your garbage about me thinking anyone who disagrees with me is un-America was completely made up with no evidence provided. Big difference.

You stated: "I am just looking for an explanation for the words important people use... Meanwhile, I am still looking for you to explain why you claimed most commentators on my blog "hate Amerikkka." I am forced to "surmise" on this front because you have never explained your thinking or motives."

Red herring. I did explain, at least twice, and am not inclined to do so again. Your forum is a pit and that is enough said on that topic. What I NEVER said is that most people who disagree with me hate America, which is what you claimed in this thread. It is libelous and you are wrong.

You stated: "As I look for truth, Tarls, what I too often see are far too many people too eager to take "sides" or talk about "hate" rather than do the hard work of moving constructively forward toward seemingly shared goals of having less crime AND less punishment."

You brought up hate. Not me. And there is nothing wrong with taking sides if there are sides to an issue. Even though it is against the nature of all living beings, I would be thrilled with solutions that have less crime and less punishment. I am a sentient being though and can easily see that less punishment has resulted in more crime to this point and your side still continues to push less punishment. That is unacceptable.

Tarls, what Bill said as a helpful reply to my inquiry is a cue to what I thought AG Session might have had in mind:

"At that point and since [the end of 2014], sparked (we think) by unbalanced and vitriolic criticism of the police; the ensuing Ferguson effect; a related acceptance of the culture of laxity and excuse-making; and more illicit drug dealing, especially but not limited to heroin, crime has seen a startling rise. It is so startling that it may seem permanent...."

In other words, I thought AG Session might be saying/thinking that once the Ferguson effect was unleashed, there really is no going back. He might also be saying/thinking that the heroin epidemic is so entrenched and so difficult to tackle that increases in crime are very likely to persist. He might also be saying/thinking that (inevitable?) high rates of recidivism for those released from prison mean that even if we keep punishment steady, we will still likely get more and more crime.

Long story short, the word had me thinking/worried that AG Sessions is quite pessimistic about the prospect of reducing crime in the US in the coming years. And because I respect AG Sessions and the unique information he is privy to and the challenges he faces, I would find such actual pessimism to be "worrisome."

I hope that helps you understand, Tarls, why I did not see the use of this word by Sessions to be akin to when Obama mentioned "57 states." I can understand why some, Tarls, might see what AG Sessions said as just an obvious blunder. But it was not so clear to me, and that is why I asked smart folks here to help improve my understanding. Is that a cardinal sin in this arena? After all, Bill's post was about what AG Sessions had to say.

You are right that we could "nitpick" to death the statements of any public official, but that is not my goal here or elsewhere. Rather, I was just looking for others' views on a curious part of a notable first statement by AG Sessions flagged by Bill, and you seem so very eager to attack me for that effort.

Meanwhile, you misrepresent what I said, Tarls, as I never stated that you think "most people who disagree with [you] hate America." Rather, I said, based on your sharp criticisms of commentators on my site, that you may often think one side in a debate "hates Amerikkka." Because you used that phrase repeatedly to attack my commentators, I still see you as the one too quick to assume motives and/or meanings. If you read my statement as implying something broader, I am sorry. I just remain bothered and troubled by the smear that someone "hates" the US just because they advocate for a change in policy or just because they criticize aspects of US history. It is a kind of "low blow" that I find unbecoming of individuals engaged in civil discourse.

Moving on to substance, if you are so inclined at this stage, I wonder if you think the ending of alcohol Prohibition was a "solution" that enabled the US to have less crime and less punishment.

Douglas stated: "Long story short, the word had me thinking/worried that AG Sessions is quite pessimistic about the prospect of reducing crime in the US in the coming years. And because I respect AG Sessions and the unique information he is privy to and the challenges he faces, I would find such actual pessimism to be "worrisome.""

Pessimistic about reducing crime in the coming years is a far cry from "permanent." Long story short, even you did not think he meant it literally and he was essentially saying what I suggested.

Douglas stated: "But it was not so clear to me, and that is why I asked smart folks here to help improve my understanding. Is that a cardinal sin in this arena? After all, Bill's post was about what AG Sessions had to say."

Got it. You did not get what was obvious to anyone else. My apologies.

Doug stated: "Meanwhile, you misrepresent what I said, Tarls, as I never stated that you think "most people who disagree with [you] hate America." Rather, I said, based on your sharp criticisms of commentators on my site, that you may often think one side in a debate "hates Amerikkka.""

It is NOT what you said at all. To wit: "And, please, for the sake of our nation, can you and other stop looking at everything as a matter of "sides." That framing is, in my view, harmful in so many ways, especially in the criminal justice space. I surmise you often think there is one side that loves American and another side that "hates Amerikkka," but I think reality is much more nuanced and I think responsible people who truly love America should try to see and promote that nuance."

You were referring to my use of the words "sides" in a previous post, not any conversations from months ago. You did not even bother to reference such a conversation until I pointed out that you were making an accusation without evidence.

Try some honesty, Doug.

Yes, Tarls, I was referencing your use of sides AND I was expressing my concern, based on your smear of commentators on my blog, that "you often think ... [one] side hates Amerikkka" --- namely the "side" that will advocate in various ways for less use of incarceration in our criminal justice system.

I am not trying to misrepresent your views/beliefs, Tarls, but rather continue to try to understand your perspectives on persons involved in debates over crime and punishment. You have explained above, I think, that you consider it "unacceptable" to now be advocating for less use of incarceration. In turn, I am genuinely curious to know if you think many (or most or all) of those who are still advocating for less use of incarceration are haters of America.

I am trying to be honest here, and I am honestly sorry if you thought I was asserting that you think everyone who disagrees with you Tarls is an America hater. That is not what I was saying and not what I meant. Rather, I am still hung up on your "hate Amerikkka" smear directed to those who comment on my site, and that has led me to believe that you think many advocating for less use of incarceration are haters of America. (For the record, some comments Bill makes strike me to be in the same spirit, especially when he talks about the BLM folks.)

So, in the name of honesty, Tarls, I hope you can and will clarify these matters in a response. To restate, I would like to know if you think many (or most or all) of those who are these days advocating for less use of incarceration are haters of America.
Thanks.

You stated: "Yes, Tarls, I was referencing your use of sides AND I was expressing my concern, based on your smear of commentators on my blog, that "you often think ... [one] side hates Amerikkka" --- namely the "side" that will advocate in various ways for less use of incarceration in our criminal justice system."

Nonsense. You did not refer to any comments about your blog until later. You are trying to add in a factor that just wasn't there.

You stated: "I am not trying to misrepresent your views/beliefs, Tarls,..."

Of course you are. That is why you brought in a discussion from several months ago into this one. In neither one did I ever say that those who disagree with me "hate Amerikkka." I said an overwhelming majority ON YOUR BLOG may. Are you claiming that they are statistically representative of America?

You stated: "...but rather continue to try to understand your perspectives on persons involved in debates over crime and punishment. You have explained above, I think, that you consider it "unacceptable" to now be advocating for less use of incarceration."

Another fib. I said more crime due to less punishment is "unacceptable."

Has your profession so thoroughly destroyed your moral compass?

You stated: "I am trying to be honest here, and I am honestly sorry if you thought I was asserting that you think everyone who disagrees with you Tarls is an America hater."

Yet another lie. You specifically accused me of EXACTLY that: "I surmise you often think there is one side that loves American and another side that "hates Amerikkka,..."

All I need is one thing. A single statement from me saying that anyone who disagrees with me hates America. Quote me with link.

Lots of words and lots of accusations, Tarls, without any direct answers to my questions about your views on those who advocate now for less incarceration. Again, it seem like all you want to do it attack me, while I am genuinely trying to understand your words and meanings and beliefs. I will try again even though it seems you are ever eager to think the worst of me as this discussion continues. I have never accused you of fibbing or lying or lacking a moral compass or being dishonest or otherwise sought to impugn your character. I am just trying to take stock of what you are saying and what you mean and what you think about my commentors and those who advocate for less incarceration.

1. In this thread, you said you "can easily see that less punishment has resulted in more crime to this point and your side still continues to push less punishment. That is unacceptable." This was the basis for my statement that I thought you consider it "unacceptable" to now be advocating for less use of incarceration. You have now said that this is not your view, and so I am hoping you can further clarify if you understand and/or have respect for those who are still advocating for less use of incarceration.

2. You said an "overwhelming majority" of commentators on my blog hate America. What seems to me to be a characteristic of many commentators on my blog is an interest in less use of incarceration and/or a less punitive US criminal justice system. Ergo my question, Tarls, as to whether you think many (or most or all) of those who are these days advocating for less use of incarceration are haters of America.

I do not know how to more sincerely and respectfully indicate my desire to understand your words and meanings and beliefs. For whatever reasons, you seem to think my motives are impure, but I really just want to understand your perspectives and what you to better explain your views on those who are these days advocating for less use of incarceration.

First, Doug, I must note that I asked for a single quote of me claiming that anyone who disagrees with me on criminal justice issues "hates America." Not only did you fail to provide the quote, you did not even address my request.

You stated: "without any direct answers to my questions about your views on those who advocate now for less incarceration."

What are you talking about? It is not my responsibility to prove a negative. It is YOUR responsibility to provide evidence that I DO believe those who disagree with me hate America. The burden of proof is yours. As the saying goes, "put up, or shut up." (Please do not respond with a butt hurt comment about how rude it is to tell you to shut up.)

You stated: "will try again even though it seems you are ever eager to think the worst of me as this discussion continues."

Give me a reason to think otherwise, Doug. Stop claiming that you did not say what you clearly did, etc. Stop pretending that I said anything near what you claim, that I believe those who disagree with me "hate America." Or, back it up with quotes and links. Stop acting like a lawyer trying to win a case by any (dishonest) means necessary and I will stop thinking of you as a lawyer trying to win a debate by any means necessary.

You state: "I am just trying to take stock of what you are saying and what you mean and what you think about my commentors and those who advocate for less incarceration."

No, you are trying to impute meaning into my words that are not there. Your board does not represent America. It is much further to the left, is over-represented by defense attorneys, etc. You are smart enough to know that a comment about them does not equate to a comment about all "soft on crime" people in this country. Your connection is absurd...and dishonest.

1) What's to clarify? I clearly said that more crime due to less punishment is unacceptable. You decided to turn it into something I never said, that it was unacceptable to have the less punishment position.

2) I have addressed this countless time and am not going to do it again.

Tarls, I continue to struggle to understand how/why you claim that I asserted that "anyone who disagrees with [you] on criminal justice issues hates America." I did not say that nor did I assert that. I said that I surmise that you think that a particular side in most CJ debates hates America. And that view was based on your statements that most commentators on my blog hate America.

Let's go over two (undisputed?) propositions providing the basis for my thinking/statement:

1. You said repeatedly that nearly all commenters on my blog "hate Amerikkka." You do not dispute that, do you?

2. Many commenters on my blog are defined largely by taking one side --- call it the "less punishment" side --- of CJ debates. Do you dispute that?

It is the fusing of these two propositions that lead me, as I said, to "surmise" that you often think that one side in CJ debates "hates Amerikkka." (I did not say nor did I mean to assert that you accuse everyone who disagrees with you hates the US. I sincerely apologize if my statement gave that impression, and I do not think (nor mean to imply) that you disdain everyone who disagrees with you.)

I am not trying to make absurd or dishonest connections, Tarls. Rather, I am continuing to try to fully understand the basis and meaning and import of your assertion that nearly all commenters on my blog "hate Amerikkka." I am not "pretending that you believe those who disagree with you 'hate America'." I am not pretending anything. Again, I am just eager to fully understand the basis and meaning and import of your assertion that nearly all commenters on my blog "hate Amerikkka."

If you do not want to talk anymore about what you mean by this "hate Amerikkka" smear and who it applies to and what its implications are for criminal justice debates, so be it. I have tried now via multiple comments to get you to explain this smear and its reach, but you seem to think my desire for greater understanding of your perspective somehow makes me dishonest. I truly, truly want to better understand how you (and others) think about these matters, but it seems you find my inquiries here immoral or about "scoring debate points" for some reason. I am not even sure what kinds of "points" could be scored here, but I am sure I still remain puzzled by the meaning of your "hate Amerikkka" smear toward my commenters. Ergo my enduring interest in more explanation.

Doug stated: "Tarls, I continue to struggle to understand how/why you claim that I asserted that "anyone who disagrees with [you] on criminal justice issues hates America." I did not say that nor did I assert that. I said that I surmise that you think that a particular side in most CJ debates hates America. And that view was based on your statements that most commentators on my blog hate America."

Sentences 1 and 3 mean almost indentically the same thing. The only things you could really quibble about are the definitions of debate/issues, etc.

And stop pretending that you brought up the blog initially. You used (and continue to use) that months old conversation for cover, after the fact.

It's hilarious. You refute your own argument. You "surmised" something about me (surmise meaning to make a supposition WITHOUT evidence) and then when called on it use an old conversation as supposed "evidence." It's one or the other, Doug.

You stated: "Let's go over two (undisputed?) propositions providing the basis for my thinking/statement:
1. You said repeatedly that nearly all commenters on my blog "hate Amerikkka." You do not dispute that, do you?
2. Many commenters on my blog are defined largely by taking one side --- call it the "less punishment" side --- of CJ debates. Do you dispute that?
It is the fusing of these two propositions that lead me, as I said, to "surmise" that you often think that one side in CJ debates "hates Amerikkka.""

Wow. It is logical fallacy wrapped in logical fallacy and ensconced in logical fallacy.

A complete non sequitur. I answer "yes" to both one and two. Guess what? Your conclusion is off by a mile.

Your snake pit contains a bunch of people who "hate Amerikkka" not because it contains people who are on the "less punishment" side, but because they are on the "hate Amerikkka" side.

I know a ton of people who are "less punishment" types; professors, civilian corrections workers, attorneys, etc. They have never used the word "AmeriKKKa". They sincerely care about the victims of crime. They do not blame American society for the criminal failures of individuals. They do not claim that those who believe in the DP are bloodthirsty neanderthals and that America has to CHANGE to be more like EUROPE in order to be considered a "civilized" culture. They do not lie and say that they want LWOP for murderers when everyone knows they also believe that is extraordinarily cruel and do not want that either. They do not give knee jerk credence to every claim of a murderous thug while the cop/DA is always the liar. They do not endorse the beliefs and tactics of BLM and other fascist protest groups. They do not treat Mumia Abu Jamal (and those like him) as a Christ figure. They do not endorse all of even the flimsiest of claims that [Insert Murderer Name Here] was "exonerated." They do not attack wives of people they disagree with on message boards or compare the looks of others to Nazis. They do not lie about being attacked by cops (that lovely gentleman from Texas whose name escapes me).

So, no, I do not see those who disagree with me as "hating "Amerikkka." I reserve that for people who actually hate Amerikkka.

You stated: "I truly, truly want to better understand how you (and others) think about these matters, but it seems you find my inquiries here immoral or about "scoring debate points" for some reason."

Doug, when you lie, it IS immoral. For example, your claim that I said having a soft on crime position is "unacceptable" when I clearly said that the result of that position (more crime) is unacceptable.

This is a helpful accounting, Tarls, of what kinds of crime/punishment statements you think are made/supported by those who "hate America." I appreciate your explanation (though I disagree that all or most or even many actually hate America).

I do not appreciate your eagerness to call me a liar, nor your tendency to smear so many who engage on my blog who do not make any of the statements listed by you above. But it seems you have decided that I am a jackal along with many who comment on my blog, and it seems I would be wasting my time and energy to keep trying to convince you of my good faith in this setting.

Doug stated: "I do not appreciate your eagerness to call me a liar,..."

Then don't lie (for example, that I stated having an opinion different than me was "unacceptable.") And don't come up with faux outrage such as below.

You stated: "...nor your tendency to smear so many who engage on my blog who do not make any of the statements listed by you above."

Let's not pretend that I just walk around disparaging your blog. The first time I did it was in response to your pejoratively calling a poster here, this blog, and another blog "alt-right." Now, before you go into your inevitable defense that you did not know "alt-right" was a pejorative term, keep in mind that the only descriptive phrases you gave in reference to "alt-right websites" was about a bunch of conspiracy nuts sitting around talking about Hillary dying.

The other times I have mentioned those commenting on your blog have almost always been in response to you pushing for more information about the topic from me as a type of red herring. You bring up your blog (and my comment) exponentially more times than I do.

And posters on your blog have made virtually all of the comments listed above in my explanation of why so many "hate Amerikkka."

You stated: "But it seems you have decided that I am a jackal..."

I would normally let this go, but if I do not address it, you will use this moment in time as verification that I consider you a "jackal."

It's your word, not mine. I consider you a typical member of the defense bar and academia, more concerned with winning a debate by any means necessary than exposing the truth. You want less incarceration, so you downplay every and all data that shows it raises crime. If you cannot do that, you change the subject to my comment about your posters. Or, you find the most unflattering possible interpretation of my words and make that the topic.

You stated: "...along with many who comment on my blog..."

I have never compared you to those who comment on your blog. Not even close. I have no doubt that you love this country and have never said otherwise.

You stated: "... and it seems I would be wasting my time and energy to keep trying to convince you of my good faith in this setting."

Completely your call.

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