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What's that Sound You Hear of Academics Running?

No, they're not running to blockade Heather MacDonald's next campus appearance. That's tomorrow at their "Social Justice Warriors Rally for Inclusion, Except for You" What they're scurrying away from today are the nationwide data showing a second consecutive sharp increase in murder.  This is after a generation of steep declines, almost all of it under the get-tough policies of Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush.

The number of murders last year was 17,250, a staggering increase of more than 3000 corpses, or 20% more, than what the country had just two years before (14,164). The statistics are found in the revised UCR report, here

To put it in perspective, the UCR shows that we have not had this many people murdered in one year in America for 20 years.  Or to put it more graphically, in the last two years of Obama's Presidency. we lost nearly two decades of progress against murder.

That situation is a shock and crisis under any sane understanding.  Will any lessons be learned?  Will any sobriety return?

From the usual Leftist crowd that insists we must adopt "evidence-based policies," beware this afternoon's stampede to spin, belittle, dismiss, or just ignore this morning's evidence  --  or to claim that, gosh, it's all just a mystery.  But the one danger you won't face is hearing any of the previous trumpeting about the "success" during these same years of state "sentencing reform" programs that gave shorter sentences and earlier release to thousands upon thousands of criminals. But it's not hard to find the earlier chest-thumping with just a little looking, e.g., here. and here.

Still, I must concede, it's true:  Incarceration has indeed been reduced.  Are we, as sentencing reformers promised us ten thousand times, "just as safe?"  What does the evidence say?

The wages of reality-free policy-making is, literally, death.

Our pal Doug Berman is, as usual, fast on the uptake for the "sentencing reform" side. He writes on his blog:

As readers surely know, rising crime rates always provide fodder for politicians and others to championing tougher sentencing regimes, and we have heard both Prez Trump and Attorney General Sessions stress rising violent crime as a justification for certain policies. I suspect we may soon see these new FBI data appearing in speeches by DOJ officials and others, though folks eager to push back on concerns about a modern new crime wave have already been talking up the recent Brennan Center analysis discussed here suggesting crime rates may be stabilizing or declining in 2017. 

At the risk of seeming a bit too Pollyannaish, I think the FBI report that property crimes in 2016 dropped for the 14th consecutive year is a big piece of the national crime story very much worth celebrating. Though violent crimes rates understandably get the most attention, property crimes impact the most people -- there are, roughly speaking, more than five property crimes for every violent crime -- so drops property crimes can end up meaning a lot more persons and families experienced a crime-free year even when there are spikes in violent crime. 

A few notes:

--  When statistics shine a more favorable light on an argument for softer sentencing, they become "evidence for scholars."  When they shine a less favorable light, they become "fodder for politicians."

--  Yes, President Trump and Jeff Sessions did indeed say during the 2016 campaign the violent crime was rising  --  for which PoliFact's  "Fact Checker" handed out a "Pants on Fire" rating, here.  It got called on its unyielding fabulism by the American Enterprise Institute, but wouldn't budge, earning it my "Pants Inferno" rating.  PoliFact knew full well that violent crime had been sharply rising for at least a year and a half at the time it wrote its article (June 2016).  Its contrary claim was a point-blank lie, as it could not have helped knowing.

--  The Brennan Center is a far left advocacy group that's no stranger to peddling, shall we say, not-necessarily-accurate news about crime.  But not to put too fine a point on it,  it was Professor Berman himself who  noted just in July that, as he quoted the well-respected and neutral data analysis outfit Five Thirty Eight,  "Murder Is Up Again in 2017, but Not as Much as Last Year."  Doug ended his entry with this quite fair observation:

As regular readers know, Attorney General Sessions has made much of rising crime rates in his criticisms of Obama era criminal justice reforms and in his defense of his recent decision to toughen federal prosecutorial charging and sentencing practices. This kind of data [noted in Five Thirty Eight] showing still further (though smaller) increases in murders in 2017 on the heels of significant increases in 2015 and 2016 will likely only reinforce the views of AG Sessions and others in the Trump Administration that "tough and tougher" federal sentencing policies and practices are needed to enhance public safety.

I will leave it readers to judge whether to credit Five Thirty Eight or the slick ideological defense bar Brennan Center.

--  It's encouraging that property crime continues to fall (if it does  --  property crime (along with sex crime) is so notoriously under-reported that the reliability of published statistics is, at best, problematic).  But, as Doug concedes, it is violent crime, and murder in particular, that by far most concerns the public, and for which understandably the public most urgently demands answers.

In addition, one must wonder whether the continued decline in property crime, assuming as I do that it exists, is more a funcition of increased private encryption, survellance and security than public policies of the sort the Justice Department can have a hand in promoting.


I wonder why the left didn't focus on property crime when it was rising far faster than violent crime in California...you'd almost think the most important factor is not the type of crime, but whether it fits their anti-prison narrative.

I wonder why the left didn't focus on property crime when it was rising far faster than violent crime in California...you'd almost think the most important factor is not the type of crime, but whether it fits their anti-prison narrative.

Bill, I think it worth nothing that the murder RATE, even with the increases in 15 and 16, was still historically very low in 2016. In 2016, at 5.3/100,000, the murder rate was lower than every year of the GWB Admin, and MUCH lower than every year of every prior Prez Admin until back in in the Kennedy/Johnson years.

In other words, even with increased murders in the last 1/4 of the Obama years, the 8 years of the Obama Prez were the safest in terms of homicide of any modern Prez (and the safest by far). Put another way, any progress "lost" during the last 2 years of Obama era was really only losing progress gained during the first 6 years of the Obama era as the 2016 murder RATE was still lower than the murder rate EVERY SINGLE YEAR from 1966 to 2008.

I stress these facts only to provide critical context for the latest numbers. (Also, speaking of context, the number of persons who died in traffic accidents is 2.5 times the number of homicides, and the number of overdose deaths are 3.5 times.)

In short, every homicide is a tragedy and we should be eager to prevent them --- but we continue to do a pretty good job minimizing these kinds of deaths relative to recent history and relative to other modern threats. Moreover, as I have stressed in other comments, I continue to wonder why you and Kent and AG Sessions and Prez Trump and others are not pushing a narrative that we need much, much more use of the death penalty as a response the uptick in homicides.

Doug: Not good form to soft pedal murder in the streets. Who needs 'context' on an issue of this magnitude that undermines public safety for all, particularly minority communities.

To provide context in the form of data and historical perspective is not to "soft pedal" anything --- rather it is critical (1) to ensure that "evidence-based policies" are really based on evidence, and (2) to enhance understanding needed to effective respond to what the data is telling us.

Are you saying, mjs, when speaking of "an issue of this magnitude," that a homicide in Chicago or Baltimore is obviously of much greater concern than multiple deaths cause by a drunk driver or overprescribed opioid pain pills? Please understand, I think a forceful argument can be made that we ought to devote many more resources and give much more attention to homicides than to more prevalent accidental deaths. But I do think we already do devote many more resources and give much more attention to homicides than to more prevalent accidental deaths. So my goal was not to "soft pedal" the latest troublesome FBI homicide numbers, but rather to provide a reminder that there are other social problems causing even more carnage that tend to be getting far less attention.

That said, another disconcerting part of the story here are discouragingly low clearance rates in the most violent cities. I'd really like to see AG Sessions talk more and focus more on this issue, especially since I think those who avoid capture after one homicide are those most likely to commit another in short order.

Doug --

1. The three certainties: Death, taxes, and that the leading advocate for more lenient sentencing would try to make 3000 more corpses in two years seem, well, hey, not all that critical in the Great Scheme of Things. Aren't sentencing reformers supposed to be compassionate and all? Every life counts? No? Am I getting this wrong?

Please don't misunderstand. I like and respect you, and I'm glad the reform side has someone who cares about honesty (it should have many more, but it doesn't, and instead has liars galore, to be blunt). But I must agree with mjs that trying to minimize thousands more murder victims over a scant two years does not seem like the way to go.

2. Is there a single statement of fact in my post you think is incorrect? I didn't see you dispute any.

Is it true that the number of murder victims has increased by 3000 in two years?

Is it true that this is a 20% increase from just 2014 (not coincidentally, the year of the upsurge in the BLM Movement)?

Is it true that the country now has more annual murders than we've had for two decades?

And which do you think more worthy of belief: The advocacy-oriented Brennan Center claim that murder has started to go down, or the neutral Five Thirty Eight claim (that you published without suggesting any doubt) that it's still going up?

2. This is not a partisan issue. I give all credit to Bill Clinton along with Bush, and I did so explicitly in the post.

3. We heard for months that the murder spike was just a "fluke" or "statistical noise," not to be taken for more than that. That's false, isn't it?

4. "...the number of overdose deaths are 3.5 times [the number of murders]"

Glad to hear you say this expressly, but to me, it provides a reason to be shocked about drug availability, not (relatively) at ease about the skyrocketing number of murders.

5. "In short, every homicide is a tragedy and we should be eager to prevent them --- but we continue to do a pretty good job minimizing these kinds of deaths relative to recent history and relative to other modern threats."

Why settle for a "pretty good job" when we can do better, and quite recently have done much better? And it's no mystery HOW we did better. We used aggressive policing (as opposed to say, consent-decree policing now employed in bloody Chicago and Baltimore), saturated policing in high-crime neighborhoods, and we embraced the incapacitating effects of increased incarceration.

6. Academics, like your colleagues and mine, are expert at -- indeed, they're addicted to -- parsing niggling details while blanking on the big picture. Here it is:

As the prison population recedes, policing becomes more subdued, and the old, failed ideas about the (mostly non-existent) efficacy of rehab make a comeback, violent crime surges. Murder in particular surges.

We know how to do better because, in only the recent past, WE DID BETTER. It is not merely wrong-headed policy, but in my view immoral, to abandon what we know works, embrace what we know fails, and do both knowing that our naïve attitude will have, and is having, lethal results.

1. Bill, it is because I sincerely do think "every life counts" that I mentioned that so many more lives were cut short by car accidents and drug overdoses than by homicide in 2016. That reality --- nor noting that we still had a historically low homicide rate in 2016 --- does not means I am minimizing the import of an increase in homicides. It does mean that I think we need to place this data in context in order to map out the most efficient and effective government responses to the latest data.

For me, I think policing issues and clearance rates in those areas seeing the largest uptick in homicides should be a primary focus. But, as I have suggested repeatedly, perhaps a renewed commitment to the death penalty. Less clear is how a escalation of the drug war through longer terms of imprisonment for drug offenders would help, though incarceration levels are a function of more than just that story. To me, really understanding the details is not "niggling," it is what serious people do in response to complicated serious issues. And my first response was about providing more important details.

2. I did not assert any of your statements are wrong, and I do not think you have claimed any of my statements are wrong, either. Ergo my point: there is a lot to say about the latest FBI data. One frame is to note an increase in murders from the record lows of 2014, another is to note that even with the increase, the murder rate is still near historic lows. As for what 2017 will be bringing, time will tell. I suspect we are both rooting for crime rates to move down again, as should everyone.

I agree this is not a partisan issue, which is also why you should be giving Prez Obama a lot of credit since he presided over the safest period in modern US history. I get that you'd rather praise Clinton than Obama, but Obama's record is actually pretty comparable to Reagan's in that both helped achieve pretty significant crime drops during their first years in office and then saw crime increase toward the end of their time in office. And the Prez with the very ugly record is GHWB ---
your former boss, right? --- as the period from 1989 to 1992 was really ugly despite proactive policing and even increasing prison population.

3. I think two years of consistent data should be called a trend, not a fluke. But just as the ugly trends during the GHWB years involved lots of factors, so too do I think the current numbers. I know you are reasonably inclined to say the emergence of BLM is a big part of the story, and maybe so. Especially because it is gun homicides that are spiking, I think the large increase in gun purchasing after Sandy Hook might be part of the story. And there may be so much more which demands "niggling details" in order to better understand what works best now.

4. I am worried about increase murders and increased traffic deaths and increased overdose deaths, and none put me at ease. But some of these issue seem easier to tackle than others based on existing data. For example, we have seen a 20% reduction in ODs in states with medical marijuana reform. That suggests we might save 10,000+ lives if federal prohibition were modified. If every life really counts, why is this a non-partisan, evidence-based solution we ought to try?

5. I do not want to settle for only a "pretty good job," but I do worry about government (over)investment in strategies that may not work well or that have costs we are unwilling to bear. Balancing limited state power and pursuit of public safety is always a challenge and keep all of us academics in a job.

6. When you hear someone advocating for the incarcerate rate we had in 1965, I will worry about a return to the past. In the interim, I will reasonably conclude that most serious folks are seriously trying to be wise, not naive, about what can work best in the months and years ahead.

Police work, government programs, and any other resources you care to devote will not solve the homicide problem in the inner city. The core problem is one of culture-a culture that expresses disdain for the "bourgeois" values that built this country.

Your second point-the lamentably low clearance rate for inner-city homicides is also a "culture issue."
Inner-city culture teaches that police are the enemy-not to be trusted or respected. Hence, interactions between police and black citizens are tense affairs-marked by a wariness by both parties. Black are more likely to challenge the authority of officers/or not follow officer's instructions often leading to regrettable results. An outgrowth of this attitude is the no-snitching mantra prevalent among minorities which leads to poor homicide clearance rates.

Sincere follow-up query, mjs:

Do you think the modern drug war and/or high levels of incarceration make the "culture" problem better or worse in "the inner city"?

Doug: Ironically, it was the Great Society government programs and not mass incarceration that destroyed the black family. Prior to Great Society programs in the 1960's, the non-married birthrate for inner city blacks was around 25%. Currently, that birthrate is 72%.It would be difficult for mass incarceration to destroy a family structure that doesn't exist in reality.

Back in the early seventies when I had my first caseload, there were many boyfriends and "fiances" in jail but very few husbands.

Fair points about family bonds, mjs, but I am still interested in an answer to my question because family structures are only one (big) part of "culture" --- especially w/r/t to citizen-police interactions and attitudes. So, I will ask again with a slight refinement:

Do you think it misguided if/when criminal justice reform advocates believe, circa 2017, that ending the modern drug war and reducing high levels of incarceration could help with the core "culture" problems you stress?


Two points in response.

First, the "drug war" was raging full blast 1991 - 2014, but crime plummeted. Even if there were 0.0% causation (something no serious person believes, given the established tie between drug trafficking and violence), won't you settle just for the wonderful correlation?

Why should we believe that if we reverse course on suppressing drugs, we'll get the same good results we got 1991 - 2014? Isn't the greater likelihood by far that, if we head back to the more lenient policies of the Sixties and Seventies, we'll start getting the crime-laden results of the Sixties and Seventies?

Same deal with levels of incarceration. Our experience, over at least five decades, is that less use of incarceration is associated with higher crime rates, while higher use of incarceration is associated with lower crime rates. These data are unambiguous and very consistent. and fifty years of this experience is giving us a lesson we are ignoring (literally) at our peril.

Second, why is the problem even conceptualized ab initio as the drug war and incarceration rates? The problems the public (correctly) finds damaging are DRUG USE (with, as we now dramatically see, its increasingly lethal effects); and SERIOUS CRIME (rather than implementation of the very incarceration that's part of the reason crime fell).

As mjs points out, the heart of the answer is not to change the way the government behaves. It's to change social messaging to improve the way INDIVIDUALS behave.

To the extent government behavior has a role to play, however, the government should behave in a way that has shown for a generation helps depress crime, rather than the way it showed for the generation before that inflames it.

Inner city culture will not improve until residents adopt the primacy of the nuclear family, the need for discipline, hard work, and the ability to delay gratification. Unfortunately, the post-Obama world views these virtues as part and parcel of the world of White Supremacy and counter to the current mantra that all cultures are equal.

I'm afraid that the sides have ossified and we are further from change in inner city culture than we have ever been.

Sorry to hear you are so discouraged, mjs, but I would still like a response to my question: "Do you think it misguided if/when criminal justice reform advocates believe, circa 2017, that ending the modern drug war and reducing high levels of incarceration could help with the core 'culture' problems you stress?" I surmise you are saying that you think nothing can now change the current culture problem. But I still would like to know if you think it misguided for others to believe ending the modern drug war and reducing high levels of incarceration could help with these 'culture' problems you stress.

Meanwhile, Bill, in looking at modern drug war correlations, you conveniently leave out the fact that Nixon got it started in the early 1970s and that crime skyrocketed to record levels during its first two decades --- peaking in 1991-92, a few years after your old boss GHWB kicked the drug war into another gear in Sept 1989. Thereafter, Prez Clinton began a subtle pull-back on the drug war, and that pull back accelerated in subsequent year (especially at the state level and especially w/r/t marijuana). One can reasonably argue that, in fact, the correlation is more drug war = more crime from 1972 to 1992, less drug war = less crime from 1993 - 2013.

The crime correlation with incarceration levels is a lot more complicated, but it is not nearly as clear cut as you are always eager to assert ---
e.g., in modern times, US incarceration rates were going down from 2008 to 2014 as crime was heading to record lows, though violent crime is now moving up (while property crime continues to go down even further).

I agree that our goal should be to try to change how individuals behave, but how government criminalizes/punishes is real important in that area. Again looking to history, alcohol Prohibition made many more Americans behave like criminals when they just wanted to be consumers of alcohol (and created new opportunities for real criminals like Capone). Repealing Prohibition turned many criminals back into consumers without an actual change in behavior. Pulling back on the drug war might help as well, though I continue to be open-minded and unsure about how lots of other factors necessarily complicate any simple kind of analysis.

I will conclude by noting an old Reagan-era lawyer who is now asserting that aspects of the federal drug war AG Sessions is supporting is now is tantamount supporting ISIS: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2017/09/to-oppose-the-medical-marijuana-amendment-is-to-provide-material-assistance-to-isis-and-other-intern.html

Thought my answer to your question was rather obvious but no I do not believe current proposals will have a salutary effect on our problems. In fact, this type of disparate impact theory logic has exacerbated the problem.

A few very brief comments, perhaps with more to follow.

-- The reference to "Nixon's" drug war is a red herring worthy of Nixon himself. The blockbuster piece of anti-drug legislation -- the CSA -- was passed by an OVERWHELMINGLY DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS, right? Or, in law classes at OSU, do they teach that the Executive Branch enacts legislation?

-- It's quite true that there is a lag time of years between the adoption of beneficial legislation (such as the SRA of 1984) and its positive results (the beginning of the massive crime reduction starting after 1991). Of course you knew that, although your comment pretends you don't (or that I don't).

-- That we had a scaled back drug war in the Bill Clinton years is something I want to watch you tell your pals in the pro-legalization movement. It will be the first time I have actually seen someone's head explode.

-- I will happily state under oath, in any court you like or before Congress, that, when the country has emphasized relatively more incarceration, crime went down, and when it has emphasized relatively less, crime went up. This has been true for at least 50 years.

-- Comparisons to Prohibition, which ended 84 years ago in a country whose demographics, law, politics, culture and race relations were unrecognizably different from what they are now, is not only unenlightening, it's useless and diversionary.

-- I love it -- really, just love it -- when my opponents say that my position (and Jeff Sessions' position) against going soft on drugs is "tantamount to supporting ISIS." In the next breath, these same people bemoan that we no longer have a civil and collegial debate.

Far out!!!

-- While we're at it, though: Since you support more money for indigent defense, rehab, and community services -- money that could otherwise be spent on anti-terrorism operations -- aren't you too, by logic identical to Bruce Fein's, taking a position "tantamount to supporting ISIS"?

Inquiring minds want to know.

I get, mjs, that you do not believe CJ reforms will help with culture problems, but I was trying to see if you could understand/respect the view of some reformers who do sincerely believe CJ reform can help with the kinds of culture problems you cite. Tom Tyler and other social scientists have strong evidence that people follow the law more when they respect the law, and I think some of the "culture" problem emerges from disrespect for the law and patterns of enforcement. I keep bringing up alcohol Prohibition because that was a big lesson from a century ago that we have largely forgotten --- though then it was the jews, Italians and Irish who were in the inner city populations deemed to have a culture problem that Prohibition was supposed to help fix.

Bill, the CSA was a bipartisan bill and it could have help usher in a public-health approach to drug issue. It would have helped if Nixon had embraced the Shafer Commission's recommendation to decriminalize marijuana. But Nixon rejected that approach and otherwise empowered criminal justice forces at the federal level to eclipse public health efforts. Reagan ramped this up, and GHWB ramped it up further, and crime get going up and up and up. There sure is a lot of lag time between a big time drug war in the 1980s and a real decline in crime starting in 1993. Spin it all you want, but the data does not support your claims.

I agree that lots of folks on the left see Clinton as one of many villians in the modern CJ reform story. But those who know better know he helped get the federal drug safety valve in place, and that prosecution efforts were relaxed with his folks in charge (see data from Frank Bowman and Michael Heise on this front).

I know you believe it is a simple story that correlates tough on crime and crime reduction, but the data is just not that simple and anyone who claims it is necessarily is more interested in selling a story than in getting the facts right.

I figured you would enjoy seeing a former Reagan official accuse Trump and Sessions of being an ISIS supporter. And, meanwhile, I am not sure that I do "support more FEDERAL money for indigent defense, rehab, and community services" in the operation of state CJ system. I'd like to get the feds out of a lot more parts of the CJ system so that money is spent on matters of greater priority nationally.


-- I was in DOJ for most of the Clinton Administration, and I can tell you from firsthand experience in the USAO that Clinton and his people were, at the time they had power, much more on my side of the drug war than on yours. The safety valve affects an infinitesimal number of all the crimes picked up by UCR reports and was -- would you believe -- a wonderfully shrewd move by DOJ to deflate more ambitious "reform" efforts. Clinton was an exceptionally canny politician, and was always one step ahead of the Lefties in his Party.

-- The reported real decline in crime started in Bush's last full year in Office, 1992, not 1993. But it was the law that (a mostly divided) Congress enacted during his years as President, and Reagan's, that set the stage for the Great Crime Reduction to follow. Fortunately, Clinton and George W. Bush were smart enough to say "yes" to success.

-- I actually do not enjoy gutter-level accusations from Bruce Fein or anyone else that people on the other side of the CJ debate are "supporting ISIS," said accusations being false, disgusting and below the standards governing this blog.

It is enjoyable, in a way, to see the Holier-Than-Thou reform crowd tell us all about civil discourse, then ten seconds later toss in a grenade about how their opponents are "supporting ISIS."

-- As to mjs's point: I really don't give a hoot if smack and opioid pushers "respect" the law. They will obey it or else.

But now that we're on the subject, did they and other fast-buck thugs "respect the law" so much more when they were doing vastly less business for an entire generation? Really? Where's the evidence for that?

Seems to me that criminals did so much less business in the 90's and 00's because they knew there was a steep price to pay if they kept on. Or do you really think that it was their enhanced respect for law that kept them doing less and less crime essentially every year during Clinton and Bush?

I will say that this "we-need-for-criminals-to-respect-the-law" business is wonderfully indicative of how naïve the sentencing reform crowd actually is. What we need is for these folks to grow a conscience or, failing that, to understand that there are consequences to acting strictly from greed.

Doug: As to your respect for the law point, I submit the following:

The inner city "culture" problem doesn't emerge from the residents disrespect for the law;

Disrespect for police and the rule of law emanates from inner city culture.

I don't like or necessarily respect the need to crawl along at 15mph in a school zone but I follow the law nonetheless.

The criminal subculture does not respect any law-no matter how meritorious and they view anyone who does as a "chump".

I agree Clinton was "canny" --- as most liars are --- and you can certainly speak better to what was afoot inside DOJ those years than I can. But federal drug enforcement got a bit softer in the Clinton years according to the Bowman/Heise data during the same period in which UCR started to go down. I am not noting all this to assert that softening the drug war will always reduce crime, but only to highlight that there is actually very little correlation to toughening the drug war and reducing crime.

Sorry the Fein piece got under your skin, I thought its rhetoric was silly and stunning. Perhaps you will complain to the Washington Times, which ran it. I thought it notable that right wing folks can also be inclined to silly hyperbole in these debates. Fortunately, we have an AG who will protect the right to say offensive stuff (though I know the ugly exercise of that right led you to stop commenting on my blog, which still saddens me).

Finally, because humans are complex individuals, it is difficult to predict behavior. I agree that punishment can and does influence behavior, but so do a lot of other factors, and history teaches that culture is always evolving and always changing behavioral patterns. As this unfolds, I continue to appreciate hearing varied perspectives on how the law can and should engage with the enduring problems of crime and punishment.

It was unfortunate that it got to the point where leaving the SLP comments section was my least bad option. We should do more live debates at law schools; we've always had fun at those, and I think the audiences liked them.

I've also occasionally tried to engage on FB, but that seldom gets off the ground. I can't prove, but I suspect, that your SLP commenters prefer to avoid a forum, like FB, where they would have to show their names -- which, regrettably but revealingly, says a lot about why I vamoosed.

Always appreciate the efforts to engage and perhaps we can do something together at GU that leads folks to complain about not being able to get in to see us.

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