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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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SEPTEMBER 15-16, 2022

WHAT AN HONOR:  The race to the bottom, from Daily Mail: 

New Orleans overtook St. Louis as the US murder capital in the first half of this year, as the city struggles with its lowest police staffing level in modern history amid a crisis of officer morale. 

In the first six months of 2022, New Orleans recorded 41 murders per 100,000 population, a higher homicide rate than any other US city, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from the Major Cities Chiefs Association. 

By comparison, the first-half murder rate per 100,000 was 11.5 in Chicago, 4.8 in Los Angeles and 2.4 in New York City.

In New Orleans, the homicide rate has soared 141 percent compared with 2019, while shootings are up 100 percent, carjackings up 210 percent and armed robberies up 25 percent, according to the city's Metropolitan Crime Commission.

A separate analysis from Rochester Institute of Technology ranked St. Louis as the US murder capital last year, with a full-year murder rate of 61 per 100,000. 

New Orleans would easily top that if the current 2022 trend holds, with a full-year murder rate of 82, compared to the city's second-place rate of 56 last year. 

Because the FBI has not released its nationwide Unified Crime Report since the 2019 reporting year, comparing the murder rates in different cities has become fraught with difficulty at times.

However, the sources available show that violent crime rates have soared in many cities across the country, a surge that follows psychological and financial stress from the pandemic as well as police cutbacks in response to Black Lives Matter protests.

In New Orleans, the police budget has actually increased significantly in 2022, rising to $215 million from $178 million in 2021.

It's about $570 per resident, approaching the city that spends the most per capita on police, New York, where the outlay for the massive police department is about $653 per resident. 

Hoping to beef up its meager police department, New Orleans officials last week announced a three-year $80 million plan offering raises for all officers, free health care and $30,000 in incentive payments for new hires. 

Some in New Orleans have blamed soaring crime rates on Mayor LaToya Cantrell, a Democrat who was re-elected last year, accusing her of failing to be tough on crime. 

But Cantrell blames a decade-old pact with the Justice Department that she says has made it difficult to recruit new police officers by putting their actions under microscopic scrutiny.

COMMENT:  New York, under Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, lowered its murder rate 80%, making New York the safest large city in the world.   You'd think other cities would follow the New York methods.  But, sadly, politics, and especially racial politics, too often get in the way.  In addition, there are leftist blocks in some large cities, including cities in the South, who believe that criminals are simply victims of society, and should be treated as such.

And that is the way civilizations commit suicide.

September 15-16       Permalink

 

COURAGE, AND THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES:  A new group of college professors put their careers on the line by forming an organization promoting real free speech on college campuses.  You may be sure that each professor will be targeted for this outrageous stand.  From College Fix:

Professors from across the state of California and a wide range of scholarly disciplines have one major thing in common — they are willing to defend free speech and academic freedom at a time when doing so publicly can literally put their jobs in jeopardy.

Nearly 160 professors from all 23 California State University campuses have signed an open letter stating “intellectual discourse and scholarly truth-seeking require open debate and free inquiry.”

“All ideas are subject to scrutiny and critique. Illiberal tactics that silence opinions and discourage dissent in the academy should be rejected,” the letter states, citing tactics such as mandatory ideological statements, cancel culture and administrative discipline without due process as part of the problem.

The open letter comes at a time when professors are expected to support diversity, equity and inclusion in efforts such as teaching, research and service — mandatory criteria during hiring and tenure reviews.

San Diego State University English Professor Peter Herman, one of the letter’s signers, praised his fellow signatories for their courage.

“It is one thing for full professors to sign a letter like this, it is quite another for an associate, an assistant, and God knows, an adjunct — a lecturer — to sign something like this,” said Herman, a full professor, in an interview with The College Fix.

A few like-minded professors from across the system, which employs about 56,000 faculty and staff, began to connect online about a year ago to discuss concerns about how diversity, equity and inclusion requirements on campuses have actually stifled open debate and free inquiry.

“The talk on campus is about building community, but it is a forced community,” said Arlette Baljon, an associate professor of physics at San Diego State University and another of the letter’s signers, in an interview with The College Fix.

During their online meetings, the scholars “felt free to express opinions that, until then, were either whispered in hallways or kept to themselves,” according to the group’s organizers.

The open letter is a result of that budding online group.

COMMENT:  Definitely read the rest.  It is well worth it.  Our kids aren't being educated in college.  They're being indoctrinated, and every indoctrinated student becomes an ideological soldier for this nation's enemies.  In fact, that may be the whole point of the thing, but so-called journalists refuse to ask probing questions. 

September 15-16     Permalink

 

A KEY DEVELOPMENT THAT WILL DELAY THE "CASE" AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP:  A special master has been appointed.  From The Hill: 

A federal judge on Thursday denied the Justice Department’s motion to access the classified records stored at Mar-a-Lago and installed a recently retired judge to serve as the special master former President Trump requested.

The duo of orders from federal district Judge Aileen Cannon will ignite a Department of Justice (DOJ) appeal to the 11th Circuit and also selects Judge Raymond Dearie to serve as the special master — the one candidate both the DOJ and Trump’s legal team could agree on.

The order requires Dearie to complete his review by Nov. 30 — a slightly shorter deadline than the 90-day window Trump requested, but one that punts the determination past the midterms. In a rare instance of siding with the DOJ, Cannon required Trump to pay for the full cost associated with a special master.

Cannon’s decision came after the DOJ asked for a partial stay of the judge’s motion, arguing they should be able to review the more than 100 classified documents taken during the search as Trump could have no possible claim to the records as either personal property or under executive privilege.

“If the court were willing to accept the government’s representations that select portions of the seized materials are—without exception—government property not subject to any privileges, and did not think a special master would serve a meaningful purpose, the court would have denied plaintiff’s special master request,” Cannon wrote.

“The court does not find it appropriate to accept the government’s conclusions on these important and disputed issues without further review by a neutral third party in an expedited and orderly fashion.”

The order is the latest blow to the DOJ, where the investigation based on those documents is largely blocked until the completion of the review. While the intelligence community-led damage assessment of the fallout from the mishandling of the documents has been allowed to continue, the DOJ made clear it will be difficult to complete while the FBI is siloed from its other intelligence partners.

Dearie only announced his full retirement in late August from the U.S. District Court for Eastern New York after working as a senior judge since 2011. While he was initially proposed by Trump, in a later filing the DOJ agreed to his possible selection, listing him as among the proposed candidates with “substantial judicial experience … including federal cases involving national security and privilege concerns.”

A Reagan appointee, Dearie has worked as a judge since 1986, including a seven-year stint on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court.

During that time Dearie was among the judges to approve the 2016 warrant to surveil Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page as the Justice Department investigated Russian interference in the presidential election.

COMMENT:  A good development.  Dearie's experience – and he may have been lied to as a FISA judge – provides a strong credential.  There is no point in speculating about what he'll find.  But he seems a trustworthy guy.

September 14, 2022       Permalink

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 14, 2022

PROGRESS? Well, we hope so.  There are some indications that Republican Senate candidates are inching up on their opponents.  We urge caution.  There are still almost two months to go to the election, and the Dems are no doubt planning some kind of stunt in October.  But we'll take some good news, if only for morale.  From NBC:

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., has closed the gap in his re-election race, erasing a seven-point deficit to take a one-point lead over his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, according to a new poll released Wednesday. 

Johnson is the Republican incumbent.  We must hold this seat.

While Johnson’s 49%-48% lead among likely voters is within the poll’s margin of error, it’s a huge reversal for Johnson in the Marquette Law School poll, considered the gold standard of polling in Wisconsin. In last month's Marquette survey, Barnes led Johnson by seven points, 51% to 44%.

The most recent poll also showed Gov. Tony Evers holding his lead over GOP nominee Tim Michels, with 47% of those queried favoring Evers to 44% choosing Michels for governor. 

The survey of 801 Wisconsin registered voters was conducted Sept. 6-11 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.3%. 

The poll’s director, Charles Franklin, in his live delivery of the results, said the Senate race shift happened as voters learned more about Barnes and as Republicans began running ads targeting him. Those ads have depicted Barnes as too far left for Wisconsin voters.   

Johnson senior adviser Ben Veolkel said the Republican's campaign would keep those themes going. “We’ll make the next two months awful for him as we continue to expose the truth about him to Wisconsin voters,” Voelkel said.

COMMENT:  There is other good news, again tentative.  In Nevada, Republican Adam Laxalt is pulling even with incumbent Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.  This could be a Republican pickup if things continue this way.  In Georgia, Republican football great Herschel Walker is closing on incumbent ultra-Liberal Raphael Warnock in some polls.  This could also be a Republican pickup, but it's a tough fight.  Both men are African-American.  Walker, however, has no political experience, but is learning.

No race has gotten more coverage than the Pennsylvania Senate race between doctor and TV personality Mehmet Oz, a Republican, and Democratic lieutenant governor John Fetterman, a nut case.  The latest poll shows Fetterman up by five points to fill the seat being vacated by Republican Senator Pat Toomey.  Fetterman, though, has deficiencies, and the momentum appears to be with Oz.  Another Republican seat we must hold.

We'll watch the polls, and the politics around the polls.  But nothing in any of these races is set in concrete. 

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy announced tonight that the Republicans will present their four-point plan for America on September 23rd.  That could be important, a list of what Republicans will actually do if elected.  I'm looking forward.

September 14, 2022       Permalink 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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