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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Foreign drug cartels come to Colorado on: June 07, 2016, 08:04:39 AM
"Mexican DTOs and other criminal organizations are involved in producing and dealing Colorado marijuana nationwide."

How?  by funding front businesses? by bribery?  political corruption at the local and state levels.  How is a legitimate company cannot supply people?

It Wasn't Supposed to Work This Way
Foreign drug cartels come to Colorado.


Elaborate conversions of homes into pot factories require sophisticated--but illegal and dangerous--electrical infrastructure.
Credit: Pueblo County Sheriff's Office

Colorado Springs
Local authorities in Pueblo, just 40 miles south of Colorado Springs, were recently alerted by a vigilant resident to a possible illegal marijuana grow operation. Within days, on March 31, sheriff’s deputies from the Special Investigations Narcotics Section raided a single-family home that was in the process of being converted into a "grow house." Authorities discovered 127 marijuana plants, over $100,000 in growing equipment, and two Cuban nationals.

At first, no one seemed to take particular note of the individuals, Adriel Trujillo Daniel, 28, and Leosbel Ledesma Quintana, 41, who had recently moved to Colorado from Florida. They were arrested on felony drug charges but local authorities initially believed it was an isolated event.

But in the span of the next week and a half, local authorities would arrest at least four more individuals in the Pueblo area in similar cases, with similar backgrounds. All were recent transplants to the state. All were reported by neighbors or by other Pueblo residents who had witnessed suspicious activity. All were transforming residential homes into elaborate marijuana grow operations. And all were Cuban nationals.

"We have quite a bit of evidence" to believe they are members of "Cuban cartels," Pueblo sheriff Kirk Taylor says in an interview.

Local, state, and federal officials believe it's not just isolated to Pueblo. "It's across the entire state of Colorado," DEA assistant special agent in charge Kevin Merrill says. "It's just basically taken over the state, these residential grows."

Merrill likens the danger to that of meth labs in homes. Besides the criminal element, turning a house into a greenhouse invariably destroys the home. "The destruction of the homes and neighborhoods is even greater."

It is what Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers calls "the total nightmare" scenario, a byproduct of the state's recent legalization of first medicinal, and later recreational, marijuana.

People from out of town or even foreign countries move to Colorado and "buy or lease houses by the hundreds if not thousands," explains Suthers, who previously served 10 years as attorney general of the state.

The new residents then convert the residential homes to industrial grow operations. They're "basically trashing the houses because they're making so much freaking money they don't care, and growing hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of plants in each house. And transporting it out of state to marijuana markets nationally and internationally. Literally. Marijuana is going back to Mexico from Colorado," asserts Suthers.

This criminal activity undermines a key argument used for legalizing marijuana in the first place. "One of the big arguments was, we're going to get the cartels out of the marijuana business. Because we're going to have all these legitimate businesses selling it. The Mexican cartels are going to dry up and go away," he says.

But now things are different. "Mexican cartels are no longer sending marijuana into Colorado, they're now growing it in Colorado and sending it back to Mexico and every place else."

With legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana came the ability for locals to grow up to six plants at home—and sometimes up to 99, if they are a designated caregiver under the state law that legalized medicinal marijuana. "That has created an enforcement nightmare for the police," the state's former top cop says. "But it's going beyond that. Because of that aura of no enforcement, organized crime has come to Colorado to grow the marijuana."

"The surprising element is Cuban—Cuban cartels," Suthers says.

The DEA official insists the international element is increasing. "It's not just Cubans. We have Vietnamese-based organizations, Russian organized people. But we have seen a large influx of Cubans coming here. And we believe that all the organizations are here because we have a perceived lack of enforcement."

Thanks to the ubiquity of marijuana in the state of Colorado, when they come, "they don't really have to hide," says the DEA official. "Their [main] risk of arrest or prosecution is when they move the marijuana outside the state."

Another reason the problem is particular to Colorado—and not in the other 22 states and the District of Columbia that have some form of legal marijuana—is that Colorado has uniquely loose medical marijuana laws, which are meant to allow the ailing to grow substantial crops at home. "In Colorado, if you go to a physician and you get a recommendation, you can grow 99 plants, so if you live with four others, you can grow almost 500," says Merrill, the DEA official. He has never seen any sort of mid- to large-scale home operation actually being used for medical marijuana. It is one of "the unintended consequences of the medical marijuana" law, Merrill contends.

The state's marijuana czar appears to agree with Merrill's contention—and has called for further regulation. "There has been evidence that people will abandon the black market for a regulated market, even at higher prices. However, as long as there is both an economic incentive to grow in Colorado and ship out of state, as well as legal loopholes to allow unlicensed individuals to grow large quantities of marijuana, it will be difficult for law enforcement to shut down the black and gray markets," says Andrew Freedman, the coordinator of marijuana policy for Colorado. "Interestingly, these loopholes are found in our medical marijuana laws, not in our recreational marijuana laws."

Which suggests John Suthers may find widespread support when he soon proposes to the legislature to eliminate the influx of foreign crime by outlawing home grows. That's a law even the legal growers and sellers of marijuana will likely support.

"A few more of these huge busts, and there will be lots of them over the next several months," Suthers predicts, and "I think they're going to say, give me a break, let's clean that problem out."

Daniel Halper is online editor of The Weekly Standard.
52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Is legal marijuana hurting cartels? on: June 06, 2016, 04:30:16 PM

I have already debunked these loonatarian talking points. Mexican DTOs and other criminal organizations are involved in producing and dealing Colorado marijuana nationwide. Now, Mexican super lab meth gets traded for Colorado weed for distribution. It's got the cartels operating in Colorado.
53  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cops stood aside as Trump people attacked on: June 05, 2016, 04:43:06 PM

When law enforcement doesn't do it's job, or even worse, is politicized,this does not bode well for the nation.
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / an Obama-Curley America on: June 04, 2016, 05:28:34 PM

President Obama's Wealth Destroying Goal: Taking The 'Curley Effect' Nationwide

Mark Hendrickson ,   CONTRIBUTOR
I write about economics, politics, and human-interest stories.  

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

It’s hard to think of anything more perverse in American politics than the Curley effect. The Curley effect historically has been an urban phenomenon, but President Obama seems bent on taking the entire country down this wretched path.

As defined by Harvard scholars Edward L. Glaeser and Andrei Shleifer in a famous 2002 article, the Curley effect (named after its prototype, James Michael Curley, a four-time mayor of Boston in the first half of the 20th century) is a political strategy of “increasing the relative size of one’s political base through distortionary, wealth-reducing policies.” Translation: A politician or a political party can achieve long-term dominance by tipping the balance of votes in their direction through the implementation of policies that strangle and stifle economic growth. Counterintuitively, making a city poorer leads to political success for the engineers of that impoverishment.

Here’s an example of how the Curley effect works: Let’s say a mayor advocates and adopts policies that redistribute wealth from the prosperous to the not-so-prosperous by bestowing generous tax-financed favors on unions, the public sector in general, and select corporations. These beneficiaries become economically dependent on their political patrons, so they give them their undivided electoral support—e.g., votes, campaign contributions, and get-out-the-vote drives.

Meanwhile, the anti-rich rhetoric of these clever demagogues, combined with higher taxes to fund the political favors, triggers a flight of tax refugees from the cities to the suburbs. This reduces the number of political opponents on the city’s voter registration rolls, thereby consolidating an electoral majority for the anti-wealth party. It also shrinks the tax base of the city, even as the city’s budget swells. The inevitable bankruptcy that results from expanding expenditures while diminishing revenues can be postponed for decades with the help of state and federal subsidies (“stimulus” in the Obama vernacular) and creative financing, but eventually you end up with cities like Detroit—called by Glaeser and Shleifer “the first major Third World city in the United States.”

The Curley effect is extensive. Perhaps you have seen the chain e-mail listing the ten poorest U.S. cities with a population of at least 250,000: Detroit, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, St. Louis, El Paso, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Newark. Besides all having poverty rates between 24 percent and 32 percent, these cities share a common political factor: Only two have had a Republican mayor since 1961, and those two (Cincinnati and Cleveland) haven’t had one since the 1980s. Democratic mayors have had a lock on City Hall despite these once-great and prosperous cities stagnating on their watch. This is the Curley effect in action.

Let me comment on the city on that list that I know the best—Detroit. (I grew up a few miles from its city limits.) In the 1920s, Detroit was arguably the richest city in the world. Today it is broke—a shadow of its former self after 51 years of Democratic hegemony and a Curley-like agenda.

I’m going to say something provocative that leftists will surely quote out of context, but it needs to be said: Detroit was a lot better off in the 1950s, when the city funded one of the best zoos in the country but had not yet built today’s gravy train for favored segments of the human population. Detroit’s decline has paralleled a shift toward funding far fewer zoo animals and far more human beings.

Critics may take this to mean that I value animals more than people. On the contrary, it is because I value humans more than animals that I find the policy shift to be morally offensive in addition to being so obviously destructive economically. It is bad enough to see a trapped lion carrying 80 pounds of flab that a lion in the wild would never have, but why would you reduce human beings to a similarly pathetic dependency? The bars that ensnare humans behind the economic and psychological cages of the government dole may not be physical, but it is pathetic to see people reduced to lives of unproductive idleness and despair, all in the name of “compassion” and, of course, for the sake of cementing Democratic mayors in office.

What is most troublesome about the Curley effect is that it is spreading beyond its historical setting of cities. Entire states—most notably our most populous, California—are manifesting all the symptoms of the Curley effect: Democrats enjoying electoral hegemony; businesses and middle-class individuals, more Republican than Democratic, emigrating to states with less oppressive tax regimes; reduced job opportunities; a budget careening toward bankruptcy

The ultimate political prize for the Democrats, of course, would be to control the national government. (Note: Yes, I know that technically we have a “federal” government, but if Big Government Democrats find a way to forge a permanent majority, you can kiss the last vestiges of federalism goodbye.)

Everything Obama has done has been designed to strengthen Democratic constituencies (e.g., stimulus spending steered predominantly toward unions and strategically allied state and municipal entities; waivers from Obamacare for unions; a hefty 23 percent increase in the Index of Dependence on Government during Obama’s first two years) and to weaken Republican constituencies (e.g., making small business formation more difficult by impeding venture capitalists; refusing to amend Sarbanes-Oxley; using Dodd-Frank regulations to discourage loans; fewer waivers from Obamacare; proposing lower tax rates for large corporations, but not on the “S” corporations that are the preferred choice of small business owners; constant efforts to raise taxes on the “rich”—which means, as we’ve seen in Detroit, California, and other Curley effect victims, higher taxes on the middle class).

Obama’s smash-mouth, Curley-like politics is all about choosing winners and losers. Reread his State of the Union address from January, and you see a parade of proposals to take from A to give to B, to encourage businesses to do C and discourage them from doing D. Indeed, Obama seems incapable of suggesting a single economic policy that does not redistribute wealth from his political opponents to his political allies. The message is clear: He wants Americans to be dependent on the government; consequently, he is hostile to the private sector, because a vibrant private sector enhances economic independence and self-reliance.

If Obama and his fellow progressives succeed in applying the Curley strategy on the national level, Americans will no longer be able to move to a new city or state to escape the withering economic impact of Curley-effect policies; their only option would be to leave the country. However, it appears that Obama has anticipated that response. To close the escape hatch from an Obama-Curley America, the president signed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act that mandates closer monitoring of Americans’ offshore accounts. apparently approves of policies to impose financial penalties on anyone desiring to give up U.S. citizenship, and periodically calls for “global minimum taxes.”

The Curley effect already has inflicted great economic damage on important American cities and states. It now presents an existential threat to our entire country. That one of our major political parties has based its own success on such a ruthlessly cynical strategy is disgusting, if not diabolical. How we get off this suicidal path is one of the most urgent challenges facing us today.

 Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.
55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Follow up to "Stratfor: China'r military reorganization" on: June 04, 2016, 05:07:45 PM

In December, the Chinese announced the establishment of three new services: a separate ground forces command; the elevation of the Second Artillery to the status of a service; and the creation of a separate service to control China’s space, electronic warfare, and computer network attack forces. Subsequently, the Central Military Commission was reorganized from four General Departments to 15 departments, commissions, and offices.

Finally, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has announced a transition from seven military regions to five theater or war zone joint commands. Coupled with the announcement of a 300,000-man cut in the size of the People’s Liberation Army made in September 2015, the PLA is clearly undergoing a massive, fundamental overhaul.

It is not clear why the Chinese defense budget increase was scaled back, although some analysts think it may reflect China’s slowing economy. It is worth noting, however, that the increase in the People’s Liberation Army budget is still substantially higher than the growth of any Western military.

It also remains to be seen how the growth in the Chinese external security budget (i.e., for the PLA) compares with that for internal security, including the People’s Armed Police (PAP) and provincial-level public security forces. For the past several years, the internal security budget has grown more quickly than the defense budget, to the point where overall spending on internal security may outpace that for external defense.
56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: June 04, 2016, 05:03:12 PM
As much money as Beijing puts into upgrading the PLA, PLAN, PLAAF, they put even more into the CCP's "Internal Security" entities. That is the CCP's biggest worry. The PLA and the "People's Armed Police" are trained and equipped to kill as many Chinese as needed to keep the CCP in power.

57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: June 04, 2016, 03:40:20 PM

"As our enemy, they have neglected to take action against little Taiwan for all these years even knowing Obama would do nothing to stop them.  Something is stopping them."

If they move on Taiwan and fail, it would quite possibly topple the CCP from power.
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: SEc Def Carter proposes teamwork with China on: June 04, 2016, 02:39:53 PM

59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Obama, ISIL people in the US, and the Second on: June 04, 2016, 01:28:28 PM

You can make a case against them and prosecute them for actual violations of the law. Also, he could secure the border and stop importing jihadists if he really cared.

60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Increase of Food Stamp recipients under Obama on: June 04, 2016, 12:26:05 AM
Please check my math on this, the increase alone of Food Stamp recipients under Obama, 16 million more people on food stamps under Obama, is equal to the population of 13 states:  Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming.

That's a good thing, right?

Revise and extend my remarks:

32 million on food stamps when Obama took office.  Peaked at 47 million, roughly a 50% increase.  

7.4 million on disability assistance when Obama took office.  11 million today, roughly a 50% increase.

More people in poverty.  More people unable to work because of a disability, millions more.  More people need assistance to buy health insurance.  And more people on food stamps, tens of millions more.  This is what we call a "recovery".  How would it look differently if the economy sucked?

Seriously, where do we go with this.  Is there a disability epidemic?  Is the Surgeon General aware of it, doing something about it?  The Medical Journals, do they know?  Or does everyone know with a wink and a nod that it's just more free stuff.  People are willing to give up work for free stuff.  Same goes for food stamps.  We advertise for food stamp customers.  Great program.  20% of households are using it.  Maybe more people should check it out.

What part of This Is Leftist Failure do they not understand?  The more he grows the stagnant economy, the more people don't work in it.  Can't even eat without help.

They are taking us on the same path as Venezuela; we are just at a different point on the time line.

Math update:  The total number of people on food stamps, 46 million, is the same number of people that live in the 25 smallest states.  All the people in half the states!  So, what is the poverty rate after we pay all this money?  Same as it was before.  The Census Bureau does not count in kind payments as income.

Recovery summer 2016! Just ask Wesbury, everything is awesome!
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: June 04, 2016, 12:24:21 AM
This business of getting in a snark fest over whether a "Mexican" judge can fairly judge him is beyond stupid.   angry angry angry

Anyway, let's keep our eye on this site and see what we think:

I'm intrigued.

The more rioting by illegals and marxists I see, the more I am willing to vote Trump, no matter all my previously stated issued with Trump.

I wonder how many rioters are bringing voters to Trump, that would have voted otherwise.
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Katie Couric, serial felon on: June 03, 2016, 06:35:47 PM

Lucky for her, the dem get out of jail free card is in effect. Laws are for the little people.
63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The cold civil war getting closer to a hot civil war on: June 03, 2016, 12:24:11 PM

Vox editor: If Trump comes to your town, start a riot

Share on Facebook 88 88 SHARES
Golly, mightn’t this play hob with the accusation that Donald Trump is the one inciting riots? Vox’s “deputy first person editor” Emmet Rensin took to Twitter last night to declare that, since Trump is a racist and a fascist (in Rensin’s opinion, at least), then all forms of violence short of murder have become completely legitimate. I wonder whether the mayor of San Jose might rethink his blame-throwing for yesterday’s violence from a leftist mob after this:

 Emmett Rensin ✔ @emmettrensin
Advice: If Trump comes to your town, start a riot.
10:10 PM - 2 Jun 2016
  119 119 Retweets   113 113 likes
So …. who exactly is the fascist in this scenario? The Week’s Michael Dougherty seemed to wonder that himself, asking Rensin what exactly he saw as the limits of “legitimate” political violence. The answer? Murder’s out … but that’s about it:

 Michael B Dougherty ✔ @michaelbd
@emmettrensin Wait, this is a diversion. What is legitimate to do to Trump or his supporters? What isn’t?
 Emmett Rensin ✔ @emmettrensin
@michaelbd Destroying property is legitimate. Shouting down is legitimate. Disruption of all events is legitimate. Murder isn't.
10:06 PM - 2 Jun 2016
  13 13 Retweets   18 18 likes
So any violence short of murder is legitimate, as long as the political aim is pure enough, presumably. If you’re wondering what kind of violence isn’t legitimate, Jeryl Bier found this line in Rensin’s sand from last year:

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
 Jeryl Bier @JerylBier
Here's @emmettrensin on "literal violence":
7:45 AM - 3 Jun 2016
  3 3 Retweets   6 6 likes
A “Stop Hillary” wifi password is literal violence, while destruction of property and shutting down free speech is just legitimate political action. Can’t wait for the Voxsplainer on that! Mediate’s Alex Griswold rounds up some of the reaction to Rensin’s rant, including a number of familiar reminders of Vox’s editorial integrity. No one’s mentioned the Gaza-West Bank Bridge yet, but I’m sure that will be literal violence too when it comes up.

By the by, Rensin’s asinine ideas about political violence don’t amount to literal incitement either, at least not in a legal sense. Incitement has to be specific to a time and place, and have a very clear and direct direction; Brandenburg restricts such legal action to “imminent lawless action.” Rensin’s statements are far too abstract for him to suffer any legal impact from his “advice.” His credibility, on the other hand, should suffer plenty of figurative violence, as should Vox’s.

The best remedy for bad speech is more speech, not fascist mob actions to silence people and intimidate others out of the public square. Calling for the latter demonstrates intellectual and moral impotence.  It debases politics to a calculation of who has the biggest rocks and guns in order to impose the rule of mob force rather than reasoned self-governance … and that’s definitely a feature of fascism.

Update: The mayor is from San Jose, not San Diego. I fixed it in the first paragraph. Thanks to C. T. Rex for the correction. My apologies to San Diego …
64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Compare and contrast on: June 03, 2016, 11:17:18 AM

2008 Obama: "Argue w/neighbors, get in their face."
2010 Obama: "Punish our [Republican] enemy"
2016 MSM: GOP rhetoric encourages violence!
65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Uh oh , , , OTMs from Jihadi countries on: June 03, 2016, 10:50:29 AM

Since Buraq Hussein is busy importing jihadist refugees, at this point, what difference does it make?
66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glcik: What the US is really up to in the Middle East on: June 03, 2016, 09:44:07 AM

Anyone shocked to read this?
67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Is Facebook wiretapping you? on: June 03, 2016, 07:20:41 AM

68  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Concealed Carry saves lives! on: June 02, 2016, 02:21:02 PM

Stuttering moron in the white house not available for comment.
69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: War Criminal working for TSA in DC. on: June 02, 2016, 08:48:43 AM

What could possibly go wrong?
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Guitar Factory Under Siege on: June 02, 2016, 08:34:18 AM
71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Welcome to Swedenistan…and have a lousy day on: June 01, 2016, 11:22:16 PM

Welcome to Swedenistan…and have a lousy day

MY new neighbor, Dan, is a semi-retired orthodontist, working two days a week in a private clinic. His wife, Karla, was his nurse until her career was cut short by rheumatoid arthritis.
Though still Swedish passport-holders both describe themselves curiously as ‘former Swedes’ and their dearest wish is for their 30-year-old school-teacher daughter to leave Stockholm and join their doctor son in Canada.
And, if not the Maple Leaf nation, then Israel, the USA, Britain or Australia.
Now in their 60s, Dan and Karla – not their real names – came to Mallorca, partly to eke out their silver years in the balmy climes of a laid-back Club Med state, but, effectively, as they say, ‘asylum-seekers.’
‘All my life I’d been grateful to be part of a civilized society,’ explains Dan, whose parents were among almost the entire population of 8,000 Danish Jews, who were secretly ferried from Nazi-occupied Denmark in 1943 to sanctuary in neutral Sweden.
‘And, until about 2005, I felt blessed to live in a true social democracy, where people willingly paid high taxes for a fine welfare system and liberal values.’
So what prompted – or rather drove – the amiable Dan and his gentle wife, creator of the world’s most lip-smacking gravidlax, to sell their Malmö shoreline home, rip up their roots and migrate to Spain?
‘Sure, the sunshine and lifestyle played some part in our decision,’ he explains. ‘But the real reason was Sweden’s changing demographics and politics. The radical, Left-wing establishment became totally obsessed with multiculturalism and political correctness, which we didn’t need reminding had been part of Swedish ethos for centuries.
‘But this was different. It was verging on authoritarian diktat and the open-door immigration policy was threatening the nation’s cohesion. Only a fool couldn’t see this, but there was a conspiracy of silence, or rather a policy to whitewash the adverse effects of accepting half-a-million immigrants from the Middle East, who plainly weren’t interesting in adopting Sweden’s values and Swedish culture.
‘The politicians, the media, the intellectuals…they all played their parts in pandering to this dangerous ideology and, sadly, it’s changing the fabric of Swedish society irreversibly.’
Karla, who’d sat passively, occasionally nodding in agreement at Dan’s analysis, then interrupted, saying, ‘If you disagree with the establishment, you’re immediately called a racist or fascist, which we’re definitely not. At times I felt that this was what it must have been like to live in the old Soviet Union.’
Many Swedes wholeheartedly concur with the sentiment that Sweden’s long, noble record of liberalism has become perverted and are appalled at their extreme-socialist government’s incompetent, doe-eyed handling of the immigration issue.
‘It’s like a laboratory experiment gone horribly wrong,’ one told me. ‘But the scientists won’t admit they’ve made a monstrous mistake. So Sweden isn’t Sweden as we knew it – it’s become Swedenistan.’
For any in doubt, former Swedish Prime Minister, Frederik Reinfeldt, infamously stated in 2014 that Sweden now belongs to immigrants, not to the Swedes who have lived there for generations.
And the evidence stacking up in favor of kowtowing to incomers – a ‘lemming complex’, as Dan termed it – is growing increasingly stark and eccentric.
Displaying symbols, like the national flag, are frowned upon; Haribo, the candy-maker, was accused of ‘racism’, because its Skipper Mix included African masks; and children’s author, Jan Lööf, was pressured to self-censor his best-seller, Grandpa Is A Pirate, which featured characters like the wicked buccaneer, Omar, and street peddler, Abdullah.
All this coincided with the nation that gave the world flat-pack furniture and smorgasbord welcoming 500,000 incomers, mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the overwhelming majority Muslim, though the government releases no official figures about migrants’ religious affiliations.
In this land of mystical forests and tranquil islands, whose population of around nine million remained relatively unchanged until contemporary times, such an influx was bound to have consequences, especially given where the huge wave of immigrants originated.
So, the impact on Sweden’s Jewry has been predictably disturbing.
Malmö, Dan and Karla’s former home and Sweden’s third largest city, has seen a dramatic surge in anti-Semitic violence over the last decade, in tandem with the exponential rise of its Islamic community, now numbering at about 75,000.
In 2009, its Jewish center was set ablaze and, since then, Jewish cemeteries have been repeatedly desecrated, worshippers abused on their way home from prayer, and Jews in the streets targeted with anti-Semitic insults by men of ‘dark and foreign’ appearance.
The case for historic toleration wasn’t helped by the city’s then mayor, far-Leftist, pro-Palestinian Ilmar Reepalu, who was accused by Malmö’s Jewish leadership of deliberately stoking animosity by claiming what Jews perceived as naked anti-Semitism was ‘just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy.’
(But – naturally – Reepalu is quick to add, ‘Of course, I’m not an anti-Semite.’)
Then, earlier this year, Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wällstrom, caused a diplomatic storm by alleging Israeli forces carried out extrajudicial killings of Palestinians.
Unsurprisingly, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, slapped her down, calling Wallström’s comments ‘a mix of blindness and political stupidity.’
Meanwhile, as the pattern of unrest is being replicated throughout Europe, the ancient prejudices of the Middle East have spread their tentacles further and deeper into Sweden, where the dwindling, 20,000-strong Jewish community has been strongly advised against wearing any outward signs of their faith in public.
Like Dan and Karla did, many Swedish Jews are now contemplating futures away from a country that long boasted toleration as its totem. But no longer.
As Dr. Richard Prasquier, former president of France's national Jewish association, noted, ‘Jews are a litmus test of what’s going on in a country. It’s not only Jews who will leave. And it’s not only the country which will go down the drain; it’s not only Europe, it’s the entire Western world.’
For Sweden, then, the sands of time are running down.
72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Well, well, looky here on: June 01, 2016, 09:40:08 PM

73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Well, well, looky here on: June 01, 2016, 09:30:16 PM

No shock here.
74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: June 01, 2016, 08:45:45 PM
Didn't they try this once already?

The strategy behind China’s ADIZ in the East China Sea
While the world wonders whether the People’s Republic of China is taking incremental steps towards establishing an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, detailed analysis of Beijing’s already established ADIZ in the East China Sea seems to point to an interesting conclusion: it may not be actively enforcing the zone and it could be part of a sophisticated “bargaining” strategy.

The above concept — and many other interesting conclusions detailing the declared East China Sea ADIZ along with an exploration of a possible South China Sea ADIZ — are part of a new report released by the US-China Economic and Security Review titled “ADIZ Update: Enforcement in the East China Sea, Prospects for the South China Sea, and Implications for the United States.”

The idea that Beijing might not be enforcing its ADIZ in the East China Sea is not entirely new. Indeed, Japanese scholars and retired defense officials on the sidelines of conferences I have personally attended over the last several years have also said as much. One prominent retired Japanese Defense Force official at a conference I attended in 2014 called it “An ADIZ on paper only.”

Chinese Su-27 fighters
Chinese Su-27 fighters can hit targets in East China Sea.
Reinforcing such ideas to a wider audience, the report nicely pulls together various strands of evidence of why China declared the zone and the reasons why enforcement today would be difficult — even with untold billions of dollars spent to modernize Beijing’s armed forces.

No integrated command

The report points out two big shortcoming China would need to overcome militarily. The first is the issue of command structure, something often overlooked. As the report explains:

“China is moving toward greater jointness in the administration of its ADIZ. China has established a joint operations command center (JOCC) in the East China Sea.  A May 2015 report from Kanwa Defense Review—a magazine focused on Chinese defense issues—suggests the JOCC integrates People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, Navy aviation, and Army aviation forces. Administering the ADIZ through a JOCC would facilitate the integration of radar data and the coordination of interceptors. It is unclear when China established its East China Sea JOCC. China previously may have lacked an integrated command center for the administration of its ADIZ, which may have hampered China’s ability to identify, track, and intercept foreign military aircraft.”

Radar lacking?

The second is important radar infrastructure, which could be lacking — and points to greater problems in maritime and air domain awareness:

“China’s network of land-based radar systems probably is broadly capable of tracking aircraft in its ADIZ, although some analysts suggest its effectiveness may suffer from a gap in coverage resulting from a division of radar assets between the PLA Air Force and PLA Navy. In addition to its land-based radar systems, China has more than a dozen airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft that could increase the PLA’s monitoring capabilities. It is unclear to what extent AEW&C aircraft are integrated into China’s ADIZ enforcement operations. A PLA Daily report from January 2014 indicated China planned to keep at least one AEW&C aircraft available at all times to support the ADIZ.”

Rely on ‘ratchet effect’

Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands claimed by Japan and China
Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands claimed by both Japan and China.
So if China may not have the full capability of enforcing an ADIZ over the East China Sea, why make such a declaration in the first place? Here, the report, citing research by the always smart US Congressional Research Service, points out that:

“[China] may be seeking to advance its position [in the East China Sea] over the long term after a short spike in tension, leaving a new status quo with the East China Sea ADIZ in place. [China] would acquire strategic advantage by asserting a maximalist position, then seeming to back down, while preserving some incremental gain — akin to a ‘ratchet’ effect. According to this theory, [China] would project a calm image and justify the East China Sea ADIZ as a ‘reasonable’ step to which foreign nations should not object. If there is an accident, crisis, or loss of life, Beijing could then blame Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, or Washington.”

In other words, China seemingly asserts itself with the strongest of possible negotiating positions — that of a grand ADIZ in the East China Sea, laying down the largest of markers possible in the contested space above the Senkaku Islands. Publicly, and most likely for purposes of domestic politics, Beijing can take a very hard line towards its long-time rival Japan. It has the option of enforcing the zone selectively, just as Beijing sends various types of naval vessels near the Senkakus to enforce its claims on the water, having the ability to ratchet up or down the level of activity as it desires.

South China replay?

In times of lowered tensions or when it so wishes, Beijing could announce it is easing restrictions in its ADIZ, all in an effort to show it is pursuing a so-called “restrained” approach. Or it could offer to ease restrictions as part of a bilateral negotiation with Japan — say limiting its ADIZ to just military and not civilian aircraft. But as time passes, and as China’s military prowess increases, it can slowly (if it so chooses), enforce the zone with greater confidence — if accurate, a very smart strategy indeed. In fact, China loses nothing with declaring an ADIZ it may have difficulty enforcing and looks strong, while Japan, South Korea and the United States all scramble to react and look weak — as many perceived was as the case in late 2013.

And this would all have repercussions in the South China Sea. Beijing could take this same approach, declaring an ADIZ in the months or years to come, using the same playbook as described above. Indeed, with China building islands in the South China Sea — with new airfields being a big part of this approach along with radar sites and anti-aircraft batteries — Beijing may already be on its way towards implementing such an approach.

Harry Kazianis (@grecianformula) is a non-resident Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Center for the National Interest , a non-resident Senior Fellow at the China Policy Institute as well as a fellow for National Security Affairs at the Potomac Foundation.  He is the former Executive Editor of The National Interest and former Editor-In-Chief of The Diplomat. The views expressed are his own.
75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China set to declare ADIZ over S. China Sea on: June 01, 2016, 08:27:26 PM

Smart power!

Don't make Obama bust out his red line!
76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: word games - must stop on: June 01, 2016, 03:47:41 PM
We cannot continue to let the Left change the language from accurate to disingenuous descriptions that serve their agenda.   What part of the description "ILLEGAL" is not understood?:

Illegal Alien

Also known as an "Undocumented Alien," is an alien who has entered the United States illegally and is deportable if apprehended, or an alien who entered the United States legally but who has fallen "out of status" and is deportable.

8 U.S. Code § 1325 - Improper entry by alien

Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

US Code
prev | next
(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

(b) Improper time or place; civil penaltiesAny alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of—
(1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or
(2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection.
Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.
(c) Marriage fraud
Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both.

(d) Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud
Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, or both.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 8, § 275, 66 Stat. 229; Pub. L. 99–639, § 2(d), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3542; Pub. L. 101–649, title I, § 121(b)(3), title V, § 543(b)(2), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4994, 5059; Pub. L. 102–232, title III, § 306(c)(3), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1752; Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title I, § 105(a), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–556.)
77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / If the USG were a person... on: June 01, 2016, 03:07:20 PM
78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: the Illustrated Road to Serfdom on: June 01, 2016, 02:57:38 PM

79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: June 01, 2016, 02:55:10 PM
This to me is very politically damaging.

"max out" your cards to go to school.   angry

Well I haven't heard from the majority of students who Trump says give the University high marks.  Where are they?  Has anyone seen or heard from THEM?

Actually using credit cards rather than student loans makes better sense. Often better interest rates, and you can discharge CC debt through bankruptcy. Now, it has to be a better school than Trump U to actually be worthwhile...
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / the Illustrated Road to Serfdom on: June 01, 2016, 02:52:00 PM

Pass it on.
81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: " schadenfreude " on: June 01, 2016, 02:42:46 PM
If your like me and needed help with this one:

Anyone shocked that the Germans have a word for taking pleasure in the suffering of others?
82  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palestinian education on: June 01, 2016, 02:02:27 PM

Partners in peace!
83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH on Trump U. on: June 01, 2016, 01:41:28 PM

Are the victims here also considered "Trump Americans" ?
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More Deceptive Editing From Pay Channel "Documentarians" on: June 01, 2016, 01:38:21 PM

More Deceptive Editing From Pay Channel "Documentarians:" AR-15 Rifle Inventor's Quote Truncated to Suggest the AR-15 Is Just as Deadly as Its Military Cousin the M-16
He did say the AR-15 was just as deadly as the M-16, a quote that HBO's "Real Sports" (real except for all the lying) included.

What they deliberately omitted was what he said immediately after saying the AR-15 was just as deadly as the M16 -- "When firing semi-auto only" and that "the select fire M16 on full auto is of course more effective."

If their case is so strong, why do they have to continuously lie about it?

Alternately, this could be yet another case of willful ignorance by the anti-gun assholes. They honestly do not seem to understand the difference between single-shot and burst-fire weapons most of the time, or at least seem to think that any gun that "looks sort of military-ish" is a burst-fire weapon.
85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Facebook's bias on: June 01, 2016, 01:35:04 PM
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Prosecutors: Colorado sees increase in homicides motivated by marijuana on: June 01, 2016, 12:30:32 PM

Prosecutors: Colorado sees increase in homicides motivated by marijuana
POSTED 9:58 PM, MAY 24, 2016, BY DAVID MITCHELL, UPDATED AT 06:40AM, MAY 25, 2016

DENVER -- Some prosecutors in Colorado say they're noticing a new trend: An increase in murders motivated by marijuana.

In Aurora, the last 10 of 15 drug-related homicide cases were connected to marijuana.

Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said it's not the big-time dealers who are involved. For the most part, it has been the small-time ones on the streets.

In Jefferson County, a burned-up car had a dead body inside, and investigators later determined the victim was harvesting marijuana nearly 100 miles away in Agate. When he was killed, he was stuffed into the trunk.

"There is increased crime, sometimes violent crime, associated with legalization of marijuana," Brauchler said. "That's not what you'd expect. You'd expect the harder-core drugs."

Man recent marijuana murder cases involve small-time street dealers getting killed for their marijuana and money.

"If cash is the only way to acquire marijuana, crime follows cash," Brauchler said.

Mark Chafant, 19, is one of many victims. He was allegedly trying to sell a bag of marijuana to some teenagers when he was shot and killed. Calvin Banks and two other juveniles were charged with the crime.

Other cases involve local dealers accused of killing tourists. Brauchler believes the legalization of marijuana is partly to blame for the rise in crime.

"It is easier for there to be black market in a legalized system than there was before," he said.

Brauchler said until law enforcement figures out a way to slow the flow of black market marijuana and the cash that comes with it, the marijuana-related death rate in the state will continue to grow.
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Mary Matalin joins Libertarian Party on: June 01, 2016, 11:22:18 AM

Well, so much for that.
88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: What can be learned from the crisis in Venezuela on: June 01, 2016, 10:47:53 AM
But, but, it's scientific!

I hope Denny is well and has a plan in place to get through this, and I wish the best for all who have to deal with the man-made tragedy of the Venezuelan economy

Venezuela is facing a human tragedy.  People can't buy basic things, according to so many reports.  They are facing a near total breakdown of all things economic.  The crisis brings immediate questions, what can be done right now to survive this, and longer view questions, why did this happen?

"Maybe they went too far."  [with socialism and statism]  That is the best answer I have heard from the left here as to why socialism failed Venezuela (yet we keep pursuing same or similar policies here.)

If economic freedom is the engine of propulsion, then social programs, centralized authority and cronyism are the brakes.  When the brakes are stronger than the engine, the system halts.  There is a limit to how badly you can cripple your private economy without stalling it and there is a limit to how heavy of a load it can carry.  Don't cripple production and weigh down the load at the same time, but isn't that the way these things go?

Zero growth, like we have in the US, is not the limit of dysfunction.  Zero production is.  In a closed system, zero production means death, literally.  Venezuela doesn't have zero production, but they have real qand significant decline that has the potential to spiral further downward.  When you don't have electricity, water, gas, food or even rule of law, you can't produce if you want to. 

In the US, we have the contention of a formerly dynamic private economy fighting against the weight of an ever-growing public burden.  The corporate tax rate is the highest in the world, and that is just one of the burdens slwoing activity and chasing out capital.  The number of people on food stamps doubled in recent years, and that is just one indicator that the weight of the load is increasing.  We have a some economic freedom left and some rule of law remaining.  After you are quadruple taxed and quadruple taxed again, you are free to keep the remaining fruits of your labor, and keep your factory open if you pay overtime healthcare and the like.

The strength remaining in our weakened private economy is about equal to the weight of the anchor we carry in this period of zero growth.  Our anchor will pull us all the way down if we add more weight to it or lose another ounce of strength.  We don't have any more room to do things any worse and not face collapse and crisis.

In Venezuela, they did all those things we hypothesize about in the heated talk about income or wealth inequality.  They cut out the capitalists, gave the money to the people [and to government and to the cronies], right up until they ran out of people to take from.  As Margaret Thatcher correctly observed and predicted, they ran out of other people's money.  Now we see how well a central authority replaces a free market. 

This time, as always, Socialism failed.

89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The man has a point here on: May 31, 2016, 11:44:10 PM

We are so fcuked.
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Opening to "Saving Private Ryan" on: May 30, 2016, 09:14:05 AM
I ran across one last night that resonates with me:

"Honor the fallen by living a Life worthy of their sacrifice."

91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Britain:Knife jihadi hits four women on: May 29, 2016, 04:17:47 PM

Diversity is strength!
92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Telemundo staging the news at anti-Trump rally on: May 29, 2016, 01:24:08 PM
#Invalid YouTube Link#

93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016, this is where we are on: May 28, 2016, 05:52:37 PM

Caution: DNA present
94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Did the Clinton Email Server Have an Internet-Based Printer? on: May 27, 2016, 05:17:04 PM

Keep in mind that if any of us did this, we would be sitting in a cell right now.

95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / If meat eaters acted like vegans on: May 27, 2016, 04:56:11 PM

#Invalid YouTube Link#

96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nature, animals and race relations? Grizzlies and Polar Bears are now mating on: May 27, 2016, 03:55:26 PM
To me this looks like race relations; to the authors it is a climate change story. 

"Grizzlies and polar bears are now mating"

It has happened before. I guess all the polar bears didn't drown.
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hey Bernie, how many vets died under your watch? on: May 27, 2016, 03:40:02 PM

On health care, Bernie betrayed vets to protect unions
By Betsy McCaughey February 9, 2016 | 8:27pm
Modal Trigger On health care, Bernie betrayed vets to protect unions
Bernie Sanders Photo: EPA
The conventional wisdom is that Hillary Clinton is the candidate with the honesty problem. But on at least one important issue, Bernie Sanders isn’t shooting straight.

Sanders falsely claims he’s been leading the fight to save veterans from the corruption and deadly medical care delays at the Veterans Affairs Department — a message intended to resonate with New Hampshire’s large vet population. The truth is, as chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Sanders sabotaged VA reform.

Sanders’ allegiance is to public-sector unions, and to serve them, he betrayed vets. You wouldn’t know that from his campaign-trail boasts.

The next contests are Nevada, with a quarter-million vets, and South Carolina, home to eight military bases and some 418,000 vets. You can bet Sanders will keep repeating his bogus claims, but he ought to be called out on them.

Sanders brags about the 2014 Veterans Choice and Accountability Act: “We went further than any time in recent history in improving health care for the men and women of the country who put their lives on the line to defend us.”

Yet since the law was passed, wait times are longer, not shorter, and ailing vets still get the runaround.

Last week, the VA inspector general reported that a Colorado facility systematically faked records, and kept sick vets from getting appointments with private doctors. Meanwhile, the feds reversed the demotions of two VA executives for a corrupt scheme that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The laughable justification was that it would be unfair to punish them when so many others did the same and got away with it.

All along, Sanders’ priority has been protecting VA jobs.

In April 2014, a whistleblower exposed scandalous abuses at the Phoenix VA, where staff concealed wait lists to make themselves eligible for bonuses while sick vets suffered without care. In response, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) proposed empowering the VA secretary to fire managers linked to such deceptions.

But Sanders killed Rubio’s bill. Public-sector unions were among the top contributors to Sanders’ Senate campaigns. No wonder he insisted on protecting “due process” rules that make it almost impossible to fire public employees.

Three months later Congress passed the Veterans Choice and Accountability Act, with Sanders taking his bows. But that law was a sham from Day One.

Sanders made sure of it. He demanded the bill protect VA wrongdoers and blocked vets from accessing civilian care.

The law gives vets a “choice card,” but it’s a joke. First, vets must live 40 miles away from a VA facility or wait 30 days to be eligible for a doctor’s appointment to be eligible. Then they need a letter confirming eligibility from the VA — good luck with that.

Next, their civilian doctor has to call for pre-approval before treatment — fat chance getting that call returned. After all that, outside treatment is capped at 60 days.

Like you can cure cancer in two months.

Why the limit? VA jobs are tied to how many vets use the system. And Sanders protects civil-service jobs like nobody else.

To date, only a handful of senior VA executives have been fired for the falsified wait lists even though a staggering 110 facilities were implicated.

Don’t count on Sanders’ rival, Hillary Clinton, to fix the system, either. Until recently, she brushed off VA corruption as overblown. Now she wants to “modernize” the department, while darkly warning of a Koch brothers’ conspiracy to “privatize” the VA.

In truth, none of the GOP front-runners proposes closing down the VA, but all pledge to put vets in the driver’s seat, allowing them to choose where to get care — without roadblocks.

It’s about time.

The nation needs a president who will battle not only VA corruption, but more broadly, the entrenched civil service that answers to no one and bleeds taxpayers dry.

The big question is which one of the GOP front-runners can actually pull it off? The lives of thousands of vets hinge on it.

Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.
98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Professional Journalists find this story un-newsworthy for some reason... on: May 27, 2016, 11:17:43 AM

99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Watch Bernie Sanders panic at this question on: May 27, 2016, 09:56:23 AM

The non-verbals are awesome.
100  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Scenes from the growing chaos on: May 27, 2016, 09:36:09 AM

Grievance Theater Night at the L.A. Police Commission

Pity the man who is so unfortunate as to have to appear before the Los Angeles Police Commission. First, he must endure the trip to downtown Los Angeles, an hour’s drive or maybe much more from some of the city’s outlying communities. Then he must find a place to park, no easy task amid all the construction and street closures that are often added to the customary gridlock around the civic center. If he manages to find a spot on the street, he must be mindful of the time, for his car will be ticketed or perhaps towed if it remains in the spot even seconds beyond the posted limit. If he parks in a parking lot, he will be charged an exorbitant sum for the privilege. And, no matter where he parks, as he walks to the police headquarters building he will encounter any number of panhandling vagrants who have wandered away from nearby skid row in search of “spare change.” Upon arrival at the headquarters building, he will subjected to a security screening akin to those performed at airports.

After all of that, he will be allowed to take a seat in the police commission meeting room to await his turn to speak. And it is at this point that all of the inconveniences described above will seem trivial.

Public meetings in any city or town – city council, school board, or what have you – attract their own regulars: the gadflies and cranks who appear at meeting after meeting and demand to be heard, most often reciting some variation of the tale they’ve been telling for weeks, months, or even years. The L.A. police commission has its share of these people, and in a city of four million people, that share is quite large. But lately, added to this usual roster of gadflies and cranks have been the crankiest people in town, the local chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement. So while our hapless citizen waits patiently to plead his case before the commission, he must sit and listen as the BLM people parade to the microphone, using their allotted two minutes (and usually more) to berate, belittle, and insult the commissioners and police chief Charlie Beck, often in language that is unprintable here.

If you want to know why LAPD officers are dispirited these days, if you want to know why they may be feeling the weight of the “Ferguson effect” and are reluctant to place their mortal hides on the line in the cause of reducing crime in the city, look no further than the commission that oversees the department. The police commission is a five-person body whose members are appointed by the mayor. It sets policy for the LAPD, and every member of the department, from the greenest rookie to the chief, serves under its authority.

In theory, this system of civilian oversight is an admirable arrangement. It becomes less admirable when that oversight is provided by people who are disconnected from the more unpleasant realities faced by police officers on the streets, and who in some cases are even hostile to the officers they purport to lead. Bear in mind that commissioners are selected not on the basis of any expertise they might have in law enforcement. Rather, they are chosen so as to satisfy demands for “diversity” on the panel. But this diversity, as is most often the case when the term is used today, does not extend to a diversity of thought or political opinion, only of race, sex, and sexual orientation. As it’s currently composed, the police commission is uniformly liberal, albeit with some members leaning farther to the left than others.

So how troubling it must be for the commissioners, good liberals all, to sit there and listen to the relentless invective spewing from people with whom, if the commissioners were candid enough to admit it, they are largely in agreement.

Last September, I wrote here on PJ Media on the abrupt departure of Paula Madison from the L.A. police commission. In discussing a controversial police shooting, Madison had made it a bit too clear that she was motivated by a racial grievance agenda, and in so doing she became a liability to Mayor Eric Garcetti. As I wrote at the time, “Mayor Garcetti does not necessarily object to his police commissioners being motivated by a racial agenda, but he insists that they be more guarded about it in their public pronouncements.”

So out the door she went, leaving it to Mayor Garcetti to appoint entertainment attorney Matthew Johnson to fill what we might call the black seat on the panel. Johnson was promptly voted in as president of the commission and now serves as its front man during what for it has been a tumultuous time. The commission holds its public meetings every Tuesday morning, and at these meeting members of the LAPD, most often headquarters types, make presentations, usually accompanied by PowerPoint slides, on matters which both the presenters and the commissioners pretend to understand. Members of the public are invited to speak for two minutes on agenda items, and are required to submit a written request before being allowed to speak.

All well and good, in theory if not always in practice. Rather than serving as an exercise in open, participatory governance, the commission meetings have devolved into farce, with the meetings regularly disrupted by protesters who defy calls for them to behave themselves. A typical scenario goes like this: at the time designated for public comment, BLM protesters, having submitted their cards, take turns at the microphone trying to outperform the previous speaker. When they talk beyond their allotted two minutes, Mr. Johnson gives them several warnings, including multiple “last warnings,” before asking a handful of beleaguered police officers to escort the person back to his seat or, in the case of the more obstreperous ones, out of the room. But the officers are under strict orders not to lay a hand on anyone, so things often turn into comical ballets in which a speaker dances around and continues to heckle the commission while the officers try to coral him without touching them. This brings an uproar from the offending speaker’s cohort, who themselves begin to chant and carry on, forcing the commission to interrupt the meeting and clear the room. This happens nearly every week.

In a lame attempt to curb these theatrics, Mr. Johnson wrote an op-ed piece in the May 12 edition of the Los Angeles Sentinel, a newspaper marketed to L.A.’s black community. In that piece, titled “Dialogue, not disruption, is the path to LAPD reform,” Johnson made it clear that he is very much in agreement with the sentiments of the Black Lives Matter Movement, but not its tactics. In his more than 1,500 words, he detailed the LAPD’s “checkered past which contributed to civil unrest in 1965 and 1992.” But he emphasized that he and his fellow police commissioners are now firmly in charge of the department and that those bad old days are truly over. Nowhere in the piece does he offer any encouraging words for the officers he purports to lead, nor does he address the city’s rising crime that disproportionately affects black neighborhoods. To cite just the most startling number in recent crime statistics, in the LAPD’s Southwest Division, murders are up 275 percent this year over the same period in 2015.

And Johnson is not the only member of the police commission whose priorities would seem askew. At the May 17 meeting (you can watch it here), Robert Saltzman, current occupier of the commission’s homosexual seat, opened the meeting by saying he had been a speaker at a police academy graduation ceremony the previous Friday. He went on to say how pleased he was that the graduating class was 11 percent black and 22 percent female. All well and good, one supposes, but it then fell to Mr. Johnson to address the issue of the two LAPD officers who had been shot later on that same Friday. It’s probably too much to ask, but in the future Mr. Saltzman might delay the diversity bean-counting discussion until after the matter of two wounded cops has been addressed.

In a career that lasted more than 30 years with the LAPD, I had occasion to meet just two police commissioners. I am led to believe by my former colleagues that the current commissioners are not in the habit of getting out and mixing with the troops. Watch just a few minutes of the meeting linked to above, or of any of the meetings available at that website, and it will be apparent why this is so.
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