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As this pie chart illustrates (click on the graph for a larger view), that is not remotely close to the truth. Why the silence?
But here is a problem with Europe's decision-makers, and it connects to decision-makers in America.
Damning "the elites" is often a mindless, phony and manipulative game. Malice and delusion combine to produce the refrains: "Those fancy people in their Georgetown cocktail parties," "Those left-wing poseurs in their apartments in Brussels." This is social resentment parading as insight, envy posing as authenticity.
But in this crisis talk of "the elites" is pertinent. The gap between those who run governments and those who are governed has now grown huge and portends nothing good.
Rules on immigration and refugees are made by safe people. These are the people who help run countries, who have nice homes in nice neighborhoods and are protected by their status. Those who live with the effects of immigration and asylum law are those who are less safe, who see a less beautiful face in it because they are daily confronted with a less beautiful reality--normal human roughness, human tensions. Decision-makers fear things like harsh words from the writers of editorials; normal human beings fear things like street crime. Decision-makers have the luxury of seeing life in the abstract. Normal people feel the implications of their decisions in the particular.
It's good to see President Obama and members of Congress take an interest in criminal justice reform, but their emphasis is wide of the mark. Rather than focus on building on our success in decreasing crime rates, advocates of "sentencing reform" seem to think that massively decreasing incarceration will rebuild trust in the justice system. But truly restoring trust will not come merely from empowering the federal courts to lower sentences through more "discretion"--which they used carelessly in the 1960s and '70s--but from returning most law enforcement to the local level and criminal law to punishing the truly guilty.
Local communities' willingness to incarcerate those who were destroying their neighborhoods helped create far greater safety in inner cities across our country. In fact, our criminal justice system is arguably the most successful domestic program in the last half century. Today, we have more than five million fewer serious crimes per year than we did a generation ago. We have ten thousand fewer murders. The crime rate is half what it was in the early '90s.
The Route 29 Batman, whose roadside encounter with Montgomery County police three years ago made him a viral sensation around the world, has died.Prior posts on Mr. Robinson are here and here.
Lenny B. Robinson, the 51-year-old Maryland man who drove a custom-made Batmobile and dressed as the Caped Crusader to visit sick children in hospitals, was struck by a car on Interstate 70 on Sunday night near Hagerstown, Md., after the Batmobile broke down. He was coming home from a car show in West Virginia.
In the years since leaving the Air Force, I have been appalled and horrified at the casual attitude of many high government officials in their handling of classified information, and also at the lack of serious consequences for major breaches of security.
Northwest true crime author Ann Rule has died.
Rule, 83, had been in declining health in recent years. She appears to have died Sunday night at a Seattle-area hospital.
Andrea Vitalich, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in King County, Washington noted her passing.
Ann Rule was an asset to true-crime writing: she did not sugar-coat the horrible things her subjects did to other human beings, she did not glamorize her subjects, she was a meticulous researcher, and she always paid respectful tribute to the victims. She was well-liked and well-respected by everyone in law enforcement who knew her. She was also a very nice person.
Once upon a time, reinvention was an integral part of the myth of the American Dream. As the story went, one could leave the old country or old neighborhood, without looking back -- fashioning one's own second chance by stepping into a newer, better identity, crafting a redesigned life story out of whole cloth if necessary. As one legal historian noted, "American culture and law put enormous emphasis on second chances." For most of the 20th Century, this notion of the second chance was also alive and well in the American criminal justice system, as rehabilitation was considered its primary goal. My earlier article, "A Good Name: Applying Regulatory Takings Analysis to Reputational Damage Caused by Criminal History," couched the need for rebiography upon reentry in terms of the ongoing reputational damage suffered by the previously convicted. Then, regulatory takings analysis was applied to that reputational damage. In doing so, it analyzed the critical property-like characteristics of reputation, concluding that reputation is a form of "status property" and that such continued stigma attachment and reputational damage constitutes a "taking" without just compensation. Finally, it was argued that rebiography can serve as "just compensation" for this type of taking.