People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Pity The Poor Rapists & Murderers

The Roanoke Times this morning comes out in support of Senator James "Soft On Crime" Webb's efforts to make our prisons less harsh. America's sex offenders, murderers, and terrorists are no doubt thankful.

Apparently these guys just can't get past the fact that we lock up a lot of miscreants who broke the law and deserved to be punished:

Editorial: Break out of the prison paradigm

Virginia's junior senator is taking up a good fight -- against the nation's devastatingly high rate of imprisonment.

Virginia's Sen. Jim Webb might have just the tough-guy credentials to take on the nation's shameful incarceration rate without being slimed as "soft on crime."

The United States has 2.1 million people locked up in prisons or jails, many of them prisoners of the so-called war on drugs. Their numbers amount to a 500 percent increase in inmates over the past 30 years, according to The Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group for sentencing reform and alternatives to incarceration. (link)
2.1 million "people."
It's as if our prisons operate in a vacuum, snatching innocent citizens off the streets and tossing them into the gulag.

Here's a question that's vital to this discussion but one these geniuses will never ask:

If these "people" are being locked up so as to reduce the rate of crime in this country, is the plan working?

Let's look at the latest data from the Department of Justice. (Researchers there put the numbers in line graph form so that even newspaper editorial personnel can understand them).

First, trends relating to violent crime (note that line showing overall violent crime since the Republicans took control of Congress and "Three Strikes You're Out" was implemented in many states).

How about property crime rates:

Crimes involving a firearm?

A normal person might ask the question: What is prompting these startling positive trends?

I wonder ....
The weak of mind however (liberals all), look only at this last graph and cry in anguish over the plight of those poor murderers, rapists, and thugs who might have led such exemplary lives if it weren't for that harsh prison system that kidnapped them from the seminary and turned their lives into one big tale of woe.
Earth to Roanoke Times: Incarceration rate up crime rate(s) down.

Me? I say lock 'em up. Throw away the key. What you see above is no accident. And no crocodile tears from the ignorant amongst us is going to change things.

Charts courtesy of the Department of Justice.

The 'Reality-Based' Left & The Coming Messiah

Yeah. They're grounded in reality all right:

Don't laugh.
They're dead serious.

Bathroom Sex & Idaho's Hall of Fame

I'll bet someone out in Idaho is cursing the bad timing:
Craig's Hall of Defame

October 8, 2007 -- Boise, Idaho - Sen. Larry Craig is to be inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame next week, despite his recent arrest in an airport sex sting - and some Republicans are asking that the induction at least be postponed.

The hall's board picked Craig for the honor back in March, months before he pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct after a Minneapolis Airport undercover cop accused him of soliciting sex in the men's room. (link)
How embarrassing.

It seems, by the way, that Senator Craig's antics have launched a new Hall of Fame. Or Stall Of Fame, as the case may be.


Here's Where We Come In

The Baltimore Sun ran a heartstrings-tugging and thoughtful piece a week ago on a young boy whose family had relied on the federal government's SCHIP program for health insurance. Before, that is, President Bush and the heartless bastards in the Republican Party decided to take it away from them.

This sets up the story:
Bonnie Frost works for a medical publishing firm; her husband, Halsey, is a woodworker. They are raising their four children on combined income of about $45,000 a year. Neither gets health insurance through work.

Having priced private insurance that would cost more than their mortgage - about $1,200 a month - they continue to rely on the government program. In Maryland, families that earn less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level - about $60,000 for a family of four - are eligible.
And this sets the mood. The son:
"My parents work hard and always make sure my sister and I have everything we need, but the hospital bills were huge," he says in the address. "We got the help we needed because we had health insurance for us through the CHIP program. But there are millions of kids out there who don't have CHIP, and they wouldn't get the care that my sister and I did if they got hurt."
I ... need ... a ... moment ... to ... collect ... myself.

The first tipoff that there's something amiss here is this:
The Senate staffers wrote the script for [the boy].

Here's where the real investigators (the World Wide Web) jump in to do what we always relied on "reporters" to do in the past. Get the facts.

Mark Steyn in The Corner:
"icwhatudo" at Free Republic ... showed rather more curiosity than the professional reporter paid to investigate the story and did a bit of Googling. Mr Frost, the "woodworker", owns his own design company and the commercial property it operates from, part of which space he also rents out; they have a 3,000-sq-ft home on a street where a 2,000-sq-ft home recently sold for half a million dollars; he was able to afford to send two children simultaneously to a $20,000-a-year private school; his father and grandfather were successful New York designers and architects; etc. This is apparently the new definition of "working families."
And about that $1.200 a month insurance bill:
Insureblog, also demonstrating more journalistic initiative than [the reporter], checked out that last bit: A check of a quote engine for zip code 21250 (Baltimore) finds a plan for $641 with a $0 deductible and $20 doc copays.

Adding a deductible of $750 (does not apply to doc visits) drops the premium to $452. That's almost a third of the price quoted in the article. Doesn't anyone bother to check the facts?
Here's what's startling about all this. (Well, two things. First, is journalism the last repository for those who are too incompetent to do anything else?)

This family, affluent by historical standards, is already on government assistance. And the Democrats want to expand the program to help even more "poor people" like the Frosts.

And there's the larger point. We've all come to expect the mainstream press to play fast and loose with the facts in such matters. But, there's a new sheriff in town. To their constant chagrin no doubt, an internet army of fact checkers are out here watching over them. Every day. Always.

Steyn's conclusion:
Bad things happen to good people, and they cause financial problems and tough choices. But, if this is the face of the "needy" in America, then no-one is not needy. And, if everyone needs assistance from the federal government, so be it. But I don't think I want to drive down the road where Bonnie Frost wants to take us - because at the end of it there are no free-born citizens, just a nation where everyone is a ward of the state.
HillaryCare II. Where everyone is a ward of the state.

Not if we can help it. Score this one Blogs 1, New World Order 0.

Obama The Believer

On the man's deeply held belief in God:

"Asked by CNN if he talks about faith more in churchgoing South Carolina than he does in the other early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Obama said: 'I don't talk about it all the time, but when I'm in church I talk about it.'"

Obama attends church regularly. Every time he visits South Carolina.

* From cnn.com