Recently in Social Factors Category
A five-month police investigation into an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, described in graphic detail in a Rolling Stone article, showed no evidence the attack took place and was stymied by the accuser's unwillingness to cooperate, authorities said Monday.
Ah, yes, our old friend the "national conversation."
The article entitled "A rape on campus" traced the story from a student identified only as "Jackie," who said she was raped at a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house on September, 28, 2012. Police said there were numerous discrepancies between the article and what they found in their investigation.
"All I can tell you is that there is no substantive basis to conclude that what was reported in that article happened," Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said.
Longo said Jackie first described a sexual assault in May 2013 when she met with a dean about an academic issue, but "the sexual act was not consistent with what was described" in the Rolling Stone article. When she met with police, she didn't want them to investigate the alleged assault.
She also refused to talk to police after the article was printed in November and ignited the national conversation about sexual assaults on college campuses.
The DOJ must acknowledge that the killing of Michael Brown was a justifiable homicide. It must abandon its contrived legalisms and defend Wilson, by condemning unequivocally the entire misguided campaign against him, which resulted in threats against his life and forced his resignation from the police force. Eric Holder owes Wilson an apology for the unnecessary anguish that Wilson has suffered. As the Attorney General for all Americans, he must tell the protestors once and for all that their campaign has been thoroughly misguided from start to finish, and that their continued protests should stop in the interests of civic peace and racial harmony. In light of the past vilification of Wilson, it is not enough for the DOJ to publish the report, and not trumpet its conclusions. It is necessary to put that report front and center in the public debate so that everyone now understands that Wilson behaved properly throughout the entire incident...
The "trunk cause," to continue with the arboreal metaphor, is antisocial attitudes. Some people have the attitude that they do not have to obey rules, they do not have to respect the rights of others, and they can simply take what they want whenever and from whomever they like. The "root causes," then, are the influences that cause people to develop such attitudes.
One root cause is bad parenting. Two main types of bad parents are those who don't give a damn and those who care very much but are misinformed. Prominent among the latter are parents who have bought into the "self-esteem" nonsense that kids should be lavished with praise at all times whether they have done anything to deserve it or not.
On Monday, an article was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled Origins of Narcissism in Children. The abstract follows the break. Lenny Bernstein has this article in the WaPo.
There are two parts to the column, as there are two reports out of Ferguson. The first part is the exoneration of Officer Wilson and the discrediting of the reports that were so widely reported and believed. He notes that some witnesses were afraid the tell the truth and contradict "the narrative reported by the media" for fear of reprisal in the neighborhood.
Now there's a story for the media: A community in which honest people can't tell the truth for fear of running afoul local thugs enforcing "the narrative reported by the media." Or is that more of a story about the media?The second part has to do with the second report about the larger picture in Ferguson, and particularly that report's use of statistics. Here we run into our old adversary, the fallacy that I call The Fallacy of the Irrelevant Denominator.
Because the person who commits the crime (up to and including murder) is actually a victim -- and in particular a victim of society's callousness/malice -- it would be unjust to punish him at all. The drive toward abolishing punishment, and replacing it with welfare, is actually what this movement is about.
MARIE HARF, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: I think there are a few stages here, right now we are trying to take their leaders and their fighters off the battlefield in Iraq & Syria, that is where they really flourish.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Are we killing enough of them?MARIE HARF: We're killing a lot of them. And we're going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians and Jordanians, they're in this fight with us. We can not win this war by killing them. We can not kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium and longer term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it is lack of opportunity for jobs...
The shooting death of a young black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last year touched off a national discussion about everything except the aberrant behavior of so many young black men that results in such frequent encounters with police....Homicide is the leading cause of death for young black men in the U.S., and around 90 percent of the perpetrators are also black. Yet for months we've had protesters nationwide pretending that our morgues are full of young black men because cops are shooting them. Around 98 percent of black shooting deaths do not involve police. In fact, a cop is six times more likely to be shot by someone black than the opposite. The protestors are pushing a false anti-cop narrative, and everyone from the president on down has played along.Any candid debate on race and criminal justice in this country would have to start with the fact that blacks commit an astoundingly disproportionate number of crimes. Blacks constitute about 13 percent of the population, yet between 1976 and 2005 they committed more than half of all murders in the U.S. The black arrest rate for most offenses--including robbery, aggravated assault, and property crimes--is typically two to three times their representation in the population. So long as blacks are committing such an outsized amount of crime, young black men will be viewed suspiciously and tensions between police and crime-ridden communities will persist. The U.S. criminal justice system, currently headed by a black attorney general who reports to a black president, is a reflection of this reality, not its cause. If we want to change negative perceptions of young black men, we must change the behavior that is driving those perceptions. But pointing this out has become almost taboo.
Charlie Wells has this article in the WSJ on financial education of kids and their financial behavior as adults. It has nothing to do with crime, but it sounds a cautionary note about the argument we hear all the time. "Studies show that educational program X is correlated with positive outcome Y. Therefore we must spend more on X to produce Y, and that is more important and more cost effective than the solution only you ignorant rednecks believe in, Z." It does not follow.
The administration no-shows were not a failure of optics, or a diplomatic misstep, but were instead the logical result of the president's years-long effort to downgrade the threat of terrorism and move on to other things.
"The analogy we use around [the White House] sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant," Obama told the New Yorker magazine in a January 2014 interview. The president was referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria but was also suggesting in a broader sense that a number of post-9/11 offshoot terrorist organizations aren't worth the sort of war-footing mobilization that took place in the George W. Bush years.
******************************Fast forward to January 2015. The attackers at Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hyper Cacher kosher market in Paris would undoubtedly qualify as JV-level terrorists under Obama's new classification. But their work was enough to shock Europe and motivate more than a million people to gather behind dozens of heads of state at the unity rally Sunday.
And that is where I get off the ship. America, the "prison state" (when 0.7% of the population is incarcerated, virtually all because of their own greedy or violent choices; 99.3% of the population is not). "Race-baiting" conservatives (when essentially all of the race-baiting and its allied race-based bullying is done by Mr. Osterweil's buddies). "Spy agencies and kangaroo courts" (when spying has next to nothing to do with criminal convictions, and the courts provide process to the point that it's overtaken substance). "The most horrific piece of a fundamentally racist...society" (It's not just that Amerika stinks, it's that it's horrific).
In her first book, The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison in America, historian Naomi Murakawa demonstrates how the American prison state emerged not out of race-baiting states'-rights advocates nor tough-on-crime drug warriors but rather from federal legislation written by liberals working to guarantee racial equality under the law. The prison industry, and its associated police forces, spy agencies and kangaroo courts, is perhaps the most horrific piece of a fundamentally racist and unequal American civil society. More people are under correctional supervision in the United States than were in the Gulag archipelago at the height of the Great Terror; there are more black men in prison, jail or parole than were enslaved in 1850. How did this happen?
Law enforcement fatalities in the United States rose 24 percent in 2014 to 126 and ambush-style attacks were the No. 1 cause of felonious officer deaths for the fifth straight year, according to preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
The NLEOMF report said 126 federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty this year, compared to 102 in 2013. The number of officers killed by firearms in 2014 -- 50 -- is up 56 percent from the 32 killed last year.
Fifteen officers nationwide were killed in ambush assaults in 2014, and the recent shooting deaths of New York City Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos have attracted national attention and contributed to tension between police and the city's elected leaders.
The total of 15 ambush assaults matched 2012 for the highest total since 1995.
The hate war against the police is not directly responsible for most, or perhaps any, of this. At the same time, those insisting that hate has no consequences are lying to themselves and to us.