Category Archives: crime

The lessons we only learn through pain

Corporations funded the Democrat party and now openly push its policies. It’s time to give them a lesson in economic pain to make them stop.

For anyone hoping that this is some weird S&M post, you’re at the wrong place. Instead, it’s about the fact that, while praising good behavior is an excellent way to encourage it, that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t experience painful consequences for their bad acts. In the political world, we’re seeing this play out in a terrible way across America.

What made me think of this is something my daughter said. I’m a dog person, so she grew up around dogs. Now, though, she’s gotten herself a cat and has learned, somewhat to her surprise, that dogs and cats are very different in terms of their interaction with humans.

The main lesson she’s learned is that cats will let you know in no uncertain terms if they dislike something you’re doing. When she was younger and wanted to carry around or cuddle one of the dogs, if the dog didn’t want that “treat,” it would struggle, leading her to try to subdue it. Eventually, the dog would give up or it would break free. That meant that she either got what she wanted or suffered a small, transient disappointment.

Her cat, she says, has been much more effective at teaching her about an animal’s “personal space.” If my daughter wants to cuddle and the cat doesn’t, the cat scratches her. For my daughter, it was an instant, painful lesson that, just because she wants something, that doesn’t mean the other party to the encounter does. “Pain,” my daughter said, “can be an effective teacher.”

She’s right. As long-time readers know, my mantra as a parent has been “catch them being good.” If you’re a parent who only scolds, your child will stop listening. And while the child knows what incurs a parent’s irritation or outright anger, that’s not a guide to good behavior. After two decades of this kind of parenting, I use “catch them being good” with everyone in my life, whether friends or strangers with whom I interact over the day. If at all possible, I find something good that merits praise, and then give that praise.

However, I never forgot that I was also their teacher. The word “discipline” doesn’t have “pain” or “punish” at its root. Instead, it comes from “discipulus,” the Latin word for “pupil.” Discipline is meant to teach, not to hurt or destroy. However, sometimes teaching requires punitive measures or the pupil never learns the lesson.

Sometimes the consequences are natural. If you tell your child not to touch the stovetop because it will hurt him, that’s merely information. If the child touches a cool stovetop and nothing worse happens than your scolding him for disobeying you, he’s learned only that the stovetop is allied with mom’s wrath, not with a direct consequence from the stovetop. But if your child touches that hot stovetop and is burned (not badly, one hopes), he’ll have learned well a painful lesson.

So, what does this have to do with politics? A lot. First, in leftist world, the leftists are incentivizing and punishing things in a completely bass ackwards way. Before lefties got the bit in their mouth and ran with it, our society had unpleasant consequences for crime. In a pre-modern world, with limited police forces, the consequences were extremely painful: crucifixion, drawing and quartering, hanging, beheading, amputations, whippings, branding, facing wild animals in a stadium, etc. That was the only way to give ordinary, law-abiding citizens some protection from malfeasors. The bad guys knew that, if they got caught, the consequences would be horrific.

As we became more sophisticated at providing policing, offering more protection to ordinary citizens, the punishment became less onerous: Prison. Admittedly, prison is not a nice place. People who are accustomed to “nice” in their lives didn’t want to be there. Likewise, prison is not a safe place, so people who aren’t at the top of the pecking order didn’t want to be there either. Still, it’s better than the old punishments of old. And for some, prison is a reasonable price to pay for a criminal career.

Dissatisfied with even the lesser consequences of our modern prison system, leftists are removing all unpleasant disincentives for crime. In one leftist-run jurisdiction after another, the pain principle for discouraging crime is gone: Police are being defunded and, worse, intimidated. Cash bail, which kept repeat offenders off the street, is vanishing. More jurisdictions are deciding that property crimes aren’t worth dealing with at a criminal level.

The result is that crime is exploding across America. I’m too lazy to look for data, but you don’t have to look too hard to find data showing that assaults, murders, rapes, and property crimes, are skyrocketing everywhere. The punitive lessons that criminals need to learn are no longer being taught.

What will inevitably happen, of course, is vigilante justice. We see that on a regular basis in third-world countries with dysfunctional criminal justice systems. When citizens catch a rapist, murderer, or thief, they will beat or burn the person to death. That’s because what the leftists have forgotten is that one of the reasons our criminal justice system developed was that the system was less punitive than frightened, angry citizens. The system promised the citizens that they’d be kept safe. In return, the system could use lesser amounts of pain to teach bad guys a lesson.

Of course, leftists have a two-tiered justice system. If you’re black or a black ally, and you shout “BLM! Defund the police!” as you loot, assault, rape, and murder, you get a pass. However, if you support conservative values and like President Trump, the smallest deviations from the law will result in hugely punitive outcomes. The point is to cow opposition. And leftists know that nice, middle-class people are easily cowed.

The lack of pain also shows up in the way leftists have been massively rewarded for heinous, anti-democratic, anti-constitutional, deeply unethical behavior over the past five years. Since Trump was elected, leftists have gotten away with weaponizing provably false lies intended in order to destroy a duly-elected president’s ability to function (etc., the Russia Hoax, the Fine People hoax, the Ukrainian phone call hoax, the January 6 hysteria, etc.).

In 2020, in their drive to destroy Trump, leftists got away with destroying the American economy by reacting to COVID as if it were Ebola or the plague, rather than a bad flu that, sadly, struck old people very hard (in part because, in the beginning, doctors treated it wrong). There was an additional, and possibly unexpected, byproduct for them. They learned that a year of fear and imprisonment, rather than angering the American people, brought them to heel. Indeed, in leftist communities, people learned to love their prisons. I’m again too lazy to look, but there have been several articles that leftists have written bemoaning the fact that they have to emerge into the real world as the virus diminishes. It’s Stockholm syndrome on a national scale.

And of course, Leftists got away with election fraud on an epic level. Nothing in the world will ever convince me that 81 million people voted for a corrupt, senile old man who barely left his basement and, when he did hold rallies, was only able to get crowds in the tens to gather for him. And no, I don’t believe that people hated Trump so much that they forced themselves to vote for the perverted, gropy Joe.

Instead, I believe that illegal and unconstitutional changes to election rules allowed leftists to submit tens of thousands of faked ballots and ballots from people who can’t legally vote. In addition, I’m certain that in many areas they double and triple counted ballots. They subtracted Trump votes when possible and transferred them to Biden. They also did other things (such as shutting down the Hunter Biden story) that vaulted a drooling, evil idiot into the White House, along with his cackling, stupid, and America-hating sidekick.

And you know what? None of these criminally and morally evil acts have been punished. Instead, leftists have been rewarded with virtually unlimited power. Their propagandists in the media still have their platforms, still spin their lies, and still collect their big paychecks. Their lackeys in the federal government get massive book deals, which is simply a washed form of bribery.

For leftists in the Pentagon, the military is simply a highway to the highly profitable military-industrial complex. On the road there, the Pentagon’s leftists are turning the military into a vast social justice experiment with troops incapable of waging war. God forbid these troops ever have to face the Chinese because the slaughter will rival what happened when the Soviets threw unarmed soldiers against the Germans for one reason: To absorb German bullets, leaving Germans without weapons and far from their supply chain. Unlike the Russians, though, the Americans won’t win; they’ll just die.

But we, the American people, still have some power to be punitive. The main thing we need to do is embrace a leftist tactic: Boycotts. You see, the money behind all this corruption comes from two major sources: Unions and American corporations. Regarding the latter, we have developed into a nation of pure fascism. This does not mean Naziism. It simply means democracy has been supplanted by an almost all-powerful alliance of governments and corporations.

When it comes to fighting a corrupt government, we’re at a disadvantage. Election fraud, which Democrats are trying to make permanent through killing the filibuster and passing H.R. 1, leaves us disarmed at the ballot box. Our votes no longer count for much.

However, we can still fight the corporations. We do this by hanging onto our money. In Georgia, where Democrats from Biden on down are fighting tooth and nail to prevent voter ID for absentee ballots, the corporations have piled on to support the Democrats. How can you fight this? Don’t fly Delta, don’t drink Coke’s unhealthy products (including those from its subsidiaries), and don’t have anything to do with Major League Baseball. Don’t watch the games so ad revenue dries up; don’t attend the games; and for God’s sake, don’t buy the merchandise.

As far as I’m concerned, at least 81,000,000 Americans voted for Trump — and these were real voters, not phantoms. We still have the power to give the corporations who’ve waded into leftist politics a very painful lesson. And yes, people who work for them will lose their jobs but that doesn’t matter. This is war. Look at my Passover post to understand that, when there is tyranny, people always suffer. The best thing to do is to end the tyranny quickly.

Going back to my daughter’s lesson from the cat, the most important thing we can do is to give a lesson in pain to those corporations that are using their power to destroy America’s constitutional system, substituting in its place a form of crony socialism, aka fascism.

IMAGE: Angry cat from Pexels.

Austin is trying to deter crime the ‘Minority Report’ way

By shifting money from policing to encouraging abortions, Austin is fulfilling the eugenicists’ dream of a world in which no criminals exist.

The Minority Report was a 2002 movie (based upon a Philip K. Dick short story). The premise was that law enforcement had moved to a point at which it was able to arrest murderers before they committed their crimes. Tom Cruise was a police officer who found himself accused of a future murder.

It occurred to me that, in a weird way, Austin, Texas, is embarking on the same kind of futuristic law enforcement effort — and I mean “futuristic” as in it’s decided to use its money to deter future criminals rather than using its money to deal with present crime.

Austin, the most leftist city in Texas, is having a serious murder problem:

Analysis conducted by the Wall Street Journal found that homicides have spiked in 36 of the nation’s 50 largest cities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to WSJ’s data, Austin leads the country in percentage increase of total homicides compared to the previous year, ahead of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

In response, the city council made an interesting decision. Instead of beefing up it law enforcement budget, it cut that budget and channeled the money to beefing up abortion:

The Austin City Council voted unanimously Thursday to gut its police budget. The Austin Police Department, which is already about 200 officers below full strength, will have its budget cut by one-third.

[snip]

Not only will defunding police get innocent people killed, but the city council doubled down on that: Some of the funds that would have been devoted to law enforcement will be diverted to cover abortion in the city.

The proposal to cut police funding by about one-third of its total $434 million budget calls for immediately cutting around $21.5 million from the department. This would include reallocating these funds to areas like violence prevention, food access, and abortion access programs.

Margaret Sanger, racist founder of Planned Parenthood, undoubtedly would approve.

Bryan Preston, who wrote the above post, believes that it’s about money and power. Having relayed the facts about Austin’s financing decisions, he adds:

In crass political terms, the Austin City Council has moved public funds from police, who tend to be conservative, over to abortionists, who tend to pour millions of dollars into Democrat campaigns.

I’m sure that’s one element of the Council’s decision-making. However, I couldn’t help but think that there’s a Minority Report element here too. Think back to the single most quoted point from Steven Levitt’s and Stephen Dubner’s entertaining and thought-provoking book from 2005, Freakonomics.

In the introduction to their book, the authors talked about the massive drop in crime during the 1990s. They note that experts talked about a good economy, gun control laws, and innovative policing, which saw murders in New York fall from a high of 2,262 in 1990 to a low (as of the book’s publication) of 540 in 2005. These theories, though, say the authors, had a problem: “they weren’t true.” (p. 3.)

What really dropped crime levels, said Levitt and Dubner, was Roe v. Wade, in 1963, which made abortion legal:

So how did Roe v. Wade help trigger, a generation later, the greatest crime drop in recorded history?

As far as crime is concerned, it turns out that not all children are born equal. Not even close. Decades of studies have shown that a child born into an adverse family environment is far more likely than other children to become a criminal. And the millions of women most likely to have an abortion in the wake of Roe v. Wade—poor, unmarried, and teenage mothers for whom illegal abortions had been too expensive or too hard to get—were often models of adversity. They were the very women whose children, if born, would have been much more likely than average to become criminals. But because of Roe v. Wade, these children weren’t being born. This powerful cause would have a drastic, distant effect: years later, just as these unborn children would have entered their criminal primes, the rate of crime began to plummet. It wasn’t gun control or a strong economy or new police strategies that finally blunted the American crime wave. It was, among other factors, the reality that the pool of potential criminals had dramatically shrunk. (p. 4.)

Aborting criminals before they commit crime was a principle that Ruth Bader Ginsburg supported. During a 2009 interview, she made clear her belief that Roe v. Wade, had it been implemented equally all over America and had federal funds been used to advance abortion, that would have cut down on criminals (emphasis mine):

Ginsburg: The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.

Emily Bazelon: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

Ginsburg: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the Court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

Looking only at the highlighted language, people have accused Ginsburg of racial eugenism. That’s not a fair accusation. What she stands guilty of is broader than that. She supports the original eugenism. This was an ideology that hated everyone who destroyed the perfect world that America’s white, college-educated, middle- and upper-classes at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century thought was within their reach.

If you go back and read Sanger or any of the other American eugenicists, you discover that, while they were happy to lump blacks, Italians, and other races into the list of populations they wanted to shrink, their real goal was to get rid of crime. For example, Jean Webster, a Vassar-educated Fabian socialist, writing in 1915 in her epistolary novel, Dear Enemy, made the classic early-20th-century progressive intellectual’s argument for stopping the “feebleminded” (emphasis mine):

It seems that feeblemindedness is a very hereditary quality, and science isn’t able to overcome it. No operation has been discovered for introducing brains into the head of a child who didn’t start with them. And the child grows up with, say, a nine-year brain in a thirty-year body, and becomes an easy tool for any criminal he meets. Our prisons are one-third full of feeble-minded convicts. Society ought to segregate them on feeble-minded farms, where they can earn their livings in peaceful menial pursuits, and not have children. Then in a generation or so we might be able to wipe them out.

There you have it: Better living through science (and carefully targeted murder). Americans were receptive to these arguments phrased, as they were, for the greater betterment of society. In the first third of the 20th century, as Dinesh D’Sousa compellingly shows in The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, progressives made a lot of headway sterilizing the “unfit”:

“America led the way in legalizing and promoting coerced eugenic sterilizations,” historian Angela Franks writes. [fn. omitted.] Progressives had their first success in 1907 when Indiana passed a law requiring sterilization of “confirmed criminals, idiots, imbeciles and rapists.” Over the next thirty years, twenty-six other states passed similar laws. In the early 1930s, when the Nazis came to power, American states were sterilizing 2,000 to 4,000 people a year. In all, around 65,000 people were sterilized against their will as a consequence of progressive eugenic legislation in the United States. (D’Souza, Dinesh. The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, Kindle Locations 2579-2583. Regnery Publishing.)

There’s no doubt, as I said, that the eugenicists considered blacks and other “dark” races presumptively unfit, but the cultural purity that fueled their dreams went far beyond race. They imagined a world in which forced sterilization and abortion would prevent or end the lives of all babies whose mothers or fathers were criminals, alcoholics, drug abusers, or even “low-IQ” individuals.

I think that it’s this kind of cultural (not racial) purification that lurks behind the Austin City Council’s decision to divert money from policing to a radically backward form of crime prevention: As far as the Council is concerned, in a few years, Austin won’t need police. Through the city’s affirmative abortion policies (which sees the city actively pushing women into abortion mills), future policing will take care of itself. Austin has gone one step beyond the Minority Report. Rather than catching people before they commit a crime, the city is completely removing those people from the gene pool.

Image: A modification of Baby Face by Asvar Aras; CC Share Alice 4.0 International license.

Hillary Clinton: Everyone Has The Right To Immigrate To America!

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-8-52-45-pm

By: Mike McDaniel   The United States of America is without peer in generosity, not only of pocketbook, but of spirit. No nation in history has been as altruistic, and as willing to sacrifice blood and treasure for the welfare of others. We give foreign aid–at last count just under $50 billion per year–to 96% of all nations in the world. The amount is likely considerably larger as the means for determining what, exactly, is “foreign aid” are remarkably flexible.

Go here to read the rest…

What About a Youthful Offender Statute similar to Alabama and/or Florida?

I am interested in overcriminalization.  I think legislatures tend to not trust judges with sentencing decisions.  What should be done is more judicial discretion and then make sure solid discreet men and women should be appointed to the bench as a priority.

In my efforts to try to find opportunities to give chances to young offenders to reform and repent rather than incarceration (the system that has obviously failed in this nation) I came up with the grand larceny threshold (not claiming it as my idea – I learned it as a member of the Richmond Crusade for Voters which I think I still am!) that I advocated at this blog today.

Now I found this statute recently:  The Alabama Youthful Offender Act.  Here’s the first and next to last section of this statute:

(a) A person charged with a crime which was committed in his minority but was not disposed of in juvenile court and which involves moral turpitude or is subject to a sentence of commitment for one year or more shall, and, if charged with a lesser crime may be investigated and examined by the court to determine whether he should be tried as a youthful offender, provided he consents to such examination and to trial without a jury where trial by jury would otherwise be available to him. If the defendant consents and the court so decides, no further action shall be taken on the indictment or information unless otherwise ordered by the court as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) After such investigation and examination, the court, in its discretion, may direct that the defendant be arraigned as a youthful offender, and no further action shall be taken on the indictment or information; or the court may decide that the defendant shall not be arraigned as a youthful offender, whereupon the indictment or information shall be deemed filed.

***

(a) No determination made under the provisions of this chapter shall disqualify any youth for public office or public employment, operate as a forfeiture of any right or privilege or make him ineligible to receive any license granted by public authority, and such determination shall not be deemed a conviction of crime; provided, however, that if he is subsequently convicted of crime, the prior adjudication as youthful offender shall be considered.

(b) The fingerprints and photographs and other records of a person adjudged a youthful offender shall not be open to public inspection; provided, however, that the court may, in its discretion, permit the inspection of papers or records.

What this means is if an offender is under 21 (the age of majority at the time this law was passed and apparently that is what the Alabama Supreme Court held in 1997) and the offender is placed in the Youthful Offender status, and IF the offender complies with all terms, the offense is treated as if it was not an conviction (except for sentencing for a future offense, if any) and he or she is not a felon.  they can vote, hold office and be a upright citizen of the state and nation.  (I am not sure how this law affects the right under Federal law to own or possess a firearm.)

Florida has a similar law.  This is the pertinent section of this statute:

958.04 Judicial disposition of youthful offenders.

(1) The court may sentence as a youthful offender any person:

(a) Who is at least 18 years of age or who has been transferred for prosecution to the criminal division of the circuit court pursuant to chapter 985;
(b) Who is found guilty of or who has tendered, and the court has accepted, a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to a crime that is, under the laws of this state, a felony if the offender is younger than 21 years of age at the time sentence is imposed; and
(c) Who has not previously been classified as a youthful offender under the provisions of this act; however, a person who has been found guilty of a capital or life felony may not be sentenced as a youthful offender under this act.

(2) In lieu of other criminal penalties authorized by law and notwithstanding any imposition of consecutive sentences, the court shall dispose of the criminal case as follows:

(a) The court may place a youthful offender under supervision on probation or in a community control program, with or without an adjudication of guilt, under such conditions as the court may lawfully impose for a period of not more than 6 years. Such period of supervision may not exceed the maximum sentence for the offense for which the youthful offender was found guilty.  (Blogger’s note:  Words bolded were done by me)

 

The records of a youthful offender are sealed as well.  I draw your attention to the bolded words:  “with or without an adjudication of guilt”.  Now I am not allowed to practice law in Florida but I would say if a Virginia law had words like that it means that if the court chooses, he or she may give the adult but youthful offender the chance to keep his or her record clean.  (There is a fierce debate among and between the judiciary and the General Assembly about diversion of adult felonies in cases where the statute does not specifically authorize it.)  The Florida law states that only capital or felonies with a maximum life sentence are beyond the reach of this law.

What’s the point Sanders?  I would not say Florida or Alabama are liberal jurisdictions (although Florida is more progressive than Alabama by far!) yet they found these laws to be helpful to the administration of justice.  It might be good incentive to give some young adult offenders a one time chance (especially if it is a non-violent offense) to keep a record clean.

Perhaps it might be good to study these laws (another study bill!) or even discuss and debate a Virginia Youthful Offender Act.  (We have acts for such offenders in this Commonwealth but they do not expunge or seal a record but rather mitigate the sentence to boot camp or similar program.)  I am not yet advocating such a law or how far the law should go but overcriminalization and incarceration needs new answers.  This post could start such a debate.

 

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Time to Consider Raising the Grand Larceny Threshold

Yet another area I have become keenly interested in is the grand larceny threshold.  Part of overcriminalization is the proliferation of felony offenses that then bar offenders from voting and some professions.

The value threshold that converts larceny (common law term for theft) from a misdemeanor to a felony is only $200 and that has not been changed since the 80s.  Other states have increased their felony threshold to at least $500 and some much more (and I looked up the statute for each state cited!):

  • DC – $1000
  • MD – Also $1000
  • NC – Also a grand (So is West Virginia!)
  • Delaware – $1500
  • PA is a whopping $2000!

Even Alabama has a $500 threshold, Mississippi a thousand dollars, Georgia $1500 and South Carolina is $2000!

In light of that, Republican Senator Reeves introduced this bill raising the grand larceny threshold to $500:

SB 23 Grand larceny; increases threshold amount of money taken, etc.

Introduced by: Bryce E. Reeves | all patrons    …    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:

Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.

The other patron is my new hero, Del. Sam Rasoul!  The costs of felony prosecutions are greater by definition than misdemeanor ones (the payment for the court-appointed attorney is generally larger to start with) and it would place the Old Dominion in line with most of its sister states, even Deep South ones like Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina.

I invite the members of the General Assembly to “steal” this idea and at least raise the threshold to $500 (I think $1500 or $2000 is too much – maybe $1000 is about right but $500 is a good start.) and prevent some future over-criminalization.  My next blog entry might shock the readers and the General Assembly!

 

 

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders