Category Archives: Crime

The Over-Criminalization of American Life, by Charles Hugh Smith

You’re probably committing a crime virtually every day of your life. Not because you’re a bad person, but because there are so many laws. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The over-criminalization of America has undermined justice, the rule of law and legal egalitarianism.
While the corporate media devotes itself to sports, entertainment, dining out and the latest political kerfuffle, America has become the Over-Criminalization Capital of the World. The proliferation of laws and administrative regulations, federal, state and local, that carry criminal penalties has swollen into the tens of thousands.
The number of incarcerated Americans exceeds 2.3 million, with the majority being non-violent offenders–often for War on Drugs offenses.
Holly Harris has written an important summary of this profoundly destabilizing trend: The Prisoner Dilemma: Ending America’s Incarceration Epidemic (Foreign Affairs, registration required).
The over-criminalization of America is a relatively recent trend. As Harris notes:
It wasn’t always like this. In 1972, for every 100,000 U.S. residents, 161 were incarcerated. By 2015, that rate had more than quadrupled, with nearly 670 out of every 100,000 Americans behind bars.
The over-criminalization of America is rooted in federal laws and regulations, and state and local governments have followed suite. here is Harris’s account:
The burgeoning U.S. prison population reflects a federal criminal code that has spiraled out of control. No one—not even the government itself—has ever been able to specify with any certainty the precise number of federal crimes defined by the 54 sections contained in the 27,000 or so pages of the U.S. Code. In the 1980s, lawyers at the Department of Justice attempted to tabulate the figure “for the express purpose of exposing the idiocy” of the criminal code, as one of them later put it. The best they were able to come up with was an educated guess of 3,000 crimes. Today, the conservative Heritage Foundation estimates that federal laws currently enumerate nearly 5,000 crimes, a number that grows every year.

 

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To Ted Cruz: Further Militarizing Mexico’s Drug War Is a Horrible Idea, by Brain Saady

Ted Cruz proposes spending billions more on the futile drug war, sending the US military down to Mexico to help its government. At least now you’re not considering a flaming crazy if you suggest legalizing various drugs. The needle moves, but slowly. From Brian Saady at antiwar.com:

Ted Cruz recently provided an exclusive interview to Breitbart News. He asserted that the U.S. military should be working in conjunction with the Mexican government to fight the cartels. He didn’t suggest a full-scale invasion, but he did propose something similar to our program, “Plan Colombia.”

If you’re not familiar, Plan Colombia is officially the U.S. foreign military aid program for Colombia aimed at preventing drug trafficking. The U.S. has provided the Colombian government with $10 billion of military aid over the last 15 years.

Senator Cruz said of Plan Colombia, “It was treated less as a law enforcement matter than as a military matter. Where our military went into Colombia and helped destroy the cartels.” His assessment was partially accurate because Plan Colombia isn’t purely an anti-drug strategy. Instead, it is essentially part of a broader U.S. geopolitical strategy in which our country uses the pretense of the drug war to resurrect Cold-War-style intervention.

However, Cruz’s belief that Plan Colombia helped defeat the cartels is completely wrong. First of all, that gives the impression that the program effectively reduced drug production. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The White House released a report in March stating that cocaine production in Colombia had reached record levels last year, roughly 710 metric tons.

Secondly, the program went into effect in 1999, which was many years after the Medellin Cartel had fallen and not long after the leadership of the Cali Cartel had been captured. Plan Colombia was first implemented when the most powerful drug trafficking organizations weren’t traditional crime organizations. Instead, the drug trade was fueling the country’s civil war between the right-wing paramilitary group, the AUC, and the communist rebels, the FARC.

Proponents of Plan Colombia believe that U.S. military support was a factor that led to the eventual disarmament of the FARC and the end of Colombia’s 52-year civil war. That point is debatable. But, even if you concede it, “peace” was reached at what cost?

To continue reading: To Ted Cruz: Further Militarizing Mexico’s Drug War Is a Horrible Idea

The Left Has One More Argument: Kill Them, by Ann Coulter

Trump Derangement Syndrome has violent manifestations, but a lot of the left’s lunacies do. From Ann Coulter at anncoulter.com:

After a Bernie Sanders supporter tried to commit mass murder last week — the second homicidal Bernie supporter so far this year — the media blamed President Trump for lowering the bar on heated political rhetoric by calling his campaign opponents cruel names like “Crooked Hillary” and “Lyin’ Ted.”

As soon as any conservative responds to Trump’s belittling names for his rivals by erupting in a murderous rage, that will be a fantastically good point. But until then, it’s idiotic. Unlike liberals, conservatives aren’t easily incited to violence by words.

What we’re seeing is the following: Prominent liberals repeatedly tell us, with deadly seriousness, that Trump and his supporters are: “Hitler,” “fascists,” “bigots,” “haters,” “racists,” “terrorists,” “criminals” and “white supremacists,” which is then followed by liberals physically attacking conservatives.

To talk about “both sides” being guilty of provocative rhetoric is like talking about “both genders” being guilty of rape.

Nearly every op-ed writer at The New York Times has compared Trump to Hitler. (The conservative on the op-ed page merely called him a “proto-fascist.”) If Trump is Hitler and his supporters Nazis, then the rational course of action for any civilized person is to kill them.

That’s not just a theory, it’s the result.

A few months ago, 38-year-old Justin Barkley shot and killed a UPS driver in a Walmart parking lot in Ithaca, New York, then ran over his body, because he thought he was killing Donald Trump. During his arraignment, Barkley told the judge: “I shot and killed Donald Trump purposely, intentionally and very proudly.”

In the past year, there have been at least a hundred physical attacks on Trump supporters or presumed Trump supporters. The mainstream media have ignored them all. (You can click the Anti-Trump Hate Map to see some of them here — http://www.amren.com/news/2017/05/anti-trump-hate-map/.)

To continue reading: The Left Has One More Argument: Kill Them

Russia-gate Flops as Democrats’ Golden Ticket, by Robert Parry

Perhaps things would be working out better for the Democrats if there was some objective proof that the Russians actually colluded with the Trump campaign. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

Exclusive: The national Democrats saw Russia-gate and the drive to impeach President Trump as their golden ticket back to power, but so far the ticket seems to be made of fool’s gold, writes Robert Parry.

The national Democratic Party and many liberals have bet heavily on the Russia-gate investigation as a way to oust President Trump from office and to catapult Democrats to victories this year and in 2018, but the gamble appears not to be paying off.

The Democrats’ disappointing loss in a special election to fill a congressional seat in an affluent Atlanta suburb is just the latest indication that the strategy of demonizing Trump and blaming Russia for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat may not be the golden ticket that some Democrats had hoped.

Though it’s still early to draw conclusive lessons from Karen Handel’s victory over Jon Ossoff – despite his raising $25 million – one lesson may be that a Middle America backlash is forming against the over-the-top quality of the Trump-accusations and the Russia-bashing, with Republicans rallying against the image of Official Washington’s “deep state” collaborating with Democrats and the mainstream news media to reverse a presidential election.

Indeed, the Democrats may be digging a deeper hole for themselves in terms of reaching out to white working-class voters who abandoned the party in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to put Trump over the top in the Electoral College even though Clinton’s landslide win in California gave her almost three million more votes nationwide.

Clinton’s popular-vote plurality and the #Resistance, which manifested itself in massive protests against Trump’s presidency, gave hope to the Democrats that they didn’t need to undertake a serious self-examination into why the party is in decline across the nation’s heartland. Instead, they decided to stoke the hysteria over alleged Russian “meddling” in the election as the short-cut to bring down Trump and his populist movement.

To continue reading: Russia-gate Flops as Democrats’ Golden Ticket

Next up: a special counsel to probe Team Obama’s obstruction of justice, by Paul Sperry

The Russiagate investigation should be give a decent burial, but there are still many matters crying for investigation. From Paul Sperry at nypost.com:

By using fired FBI Director James Comey to attack the new Republican administration, Democrats have opened up a legal can of worms for the Obama administration.

Under sworn questioning, Comey has veered off the topic of President Trump and Russia and revealed several damning incidents in which his predecessor’s administration politically interfered in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And now the Senate will investigate Team Obama for obstruction of justice.

Specifically, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced last week it will hold hearings to “examine then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s involvement in the Clinton email server investigation.”

The findings of the powerful panel, which has oversight of the Justice Department and FBI, could lead to a separate criminal investigation and the naming of another special counsel — exactly what Trump needs to distract attention from his growing legal woes.

What Lynch did reeks of obstruction. According to Comey, his ex-boss:

  •  Ordered him to mislead the public about the criminal investigation of Clinton by calling it a “matter” rather than an investigation. (He complied with her wish, even though it made him feel “queasy.”)
  •  Refused to recuse herself from the case after Comey confronted her about a secret June 2016 meeting she had with former President Bill Clinton — five days before his wife was scheduled to be interviewed by the FBI. (Hillary was cleared three days later.)

There are also concerns, raised by a New York Times report, that Lynch privately assured the Clinton campaign she would keep FBI agents in check and wouldn’t let their investigation “go too far,” according to a message the FBI intercepted involving then-Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Worried his boss had a “conflict of interest” overseeing the Clinton investigation, Comey testified he “considered whether I should call for the appointment of a special counsel” to take over the case. That would’ve been the right move. Curiously, Comey instead shut down the probe and let Clinton off the hook — three weeks before her presidential nomination.

To continue reading: Next up: a special counsel to probe Team Obama’s obstruction of justice

He Said That? 6/20/17

Paul Joseph Watson weighs in on the Finsbury Mosque terror:

Creating Oswald, by Seth Barron

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, many noted the atmosphere of outright hatred stoked by right-wing extremists in Dallas. The left is being disingenuous, claiming their veiled and not so veiled incitements to violence don’t incite violence. From Seth Barron at theburningplatform.com:

Democrats may be horrified by the attempted massacre of the GOP House baseball team by an avowed progressive, but their incendiary demands for “massive resistance” since November have been an open plea for the escalation of words into violent action. The daily repetition that President Trump is an illegitimate usurper who stole the election through collusion with foreign powers has been a hypnotic incantation in search of an Oswald: a siren call for an assassin.

We don’t have to look too hard to find extremist rhetoric from influential people whose appeals for violence are only partially veiled. In March, former attorney general Loretta Lynch made a brief video in which she called for people “who see our rights being assailed, being trampled on and even being rolled back” to follow the example of freedom fighters of the past. “They’ve marched, they’ve bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again.” The Senate Democrats shared Lynch’s call for street action leading to bloody sacrifice on their Facebook page.

At the Women’s March on Washington the day after Trump’s inauguration, Angela Davis’s appeal for militancy was met with cheers. “Over the next months and years we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations,” announced Davis, who in 1970 bought the shotgun used two days later to murder a judge. “Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out,” she concluded. At the same event, pop legend Madonna spoke about her fantasies of “blowing up the White House.”

To continue reading: Creating Oswald