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ISIS isn't the worst terrorist group

All the campaign talk about ISIS...and they're not top of the threat list. But we don't care about Nigeria as much as we do about the Middle East, for oily reasons.

The World’s Deadliest Terrorist Group (The Atlantic)

The 2015 Global Terrorism Index, published by the Institute for Economics & Peace, found that Boko Haram, the Nigerian jihadist group, was responsible for 6,644 deaths in 2014, compared with 6,073 at the hands of ISIS. Boko Haram, which was founded in 2002 as an Islamist movement against Western education and morphed into an armed insurgency in 2009, has rapidly expanded its scope and ambitions over the past two years, achieving international notoriety in the spring of 2014 by kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls. Much like ISIS, the organization controls territory in Nigeria (although it has lost some of it over the past year) and has declared a caliphate in that territory.

Hitler has only got one ball. And cushy treatment in jail

Newly published prison records show that Hitler and fellow Nazis got special treatment in prison after the "Beer Hall Putsch"...and also seem to confirm an old joke/rumor about Adolph's genitals.

Records show Hitler enjoyed special treatment in prison (Yahoo News)

Fleischmann's 552-page book also appears to confirm a British WWII-era joke about Hitler. A doctor who examined Hitler on his arrival in Landsberg recorded that the Nazi leader was "healthy, strong" but suffered from an undescended right testicle, also known as unilateral cryptorchidism. The congenital condition can increase the chances of infertility.

Cop privilege is real, a matter of contract

I've posted before about the idea of "police privilege", how the system gives special rights to police in a way that's in direct contraction to the "Peelean principles" that are supposed to be at the heart of the profession. This is a good look at how these privileges are actually written into contracts. Seems to me someone ought to bring federal lawsuits under the equal protection clause for this nonsense; a cop accused of a crime should get the same treatment as anyone else. (Which in most cases means we should give the accused better treatment more than treating cops accused of crimes worse.)

9 ways police have more protections than you do when they're arrested (Mother Jones)

Earlier this month, four activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement launched Check the Police, a database of police union contracts from departments in 50 cities. After scrutinizing the documents, the project's creators identified four key provisions by which the contracts shield officers from accountability, or receive rights and courtesies not available to most civilian suspects. These common provisions stipulate:

"DNC Is Nothing More Than An Arm For The Clinton Campaign" - Jim Webb

Well, duh. That's been obvious for some time now. The problem is that Sanders has been giving the Democratic leadership credibility by playing their game, rather then tearing down the whole rotten, corrupt, undemocratic, and infantilizing two-party system. It's no good making a deal with the devil and then acting surprised when he double-crosses you.

Jim Webb: ‘The DNC Is Nothing More Than An Arm For The Clinton Campaign’ (The Daily Caller)

Former Democratic presidential candidate and Virginia senator Jim Webb backed Bernie Sanders in his fight with the Democratic National Committee on Friday, saying: “Good for Bernie. The DNC is nothing more than an arm for the Clinton campaign.”

Good for Bernie. The DNC is nothing more than an arm for the Clinton campaign. https://t.co/nI0Ua2BPwE

— Jim Webb (@JimWebbUSA) December 18, 2015

Sanders more electable than Clinton, Dems ignore this, are doomed.

The Democrats seem bound and determined to nominate a candidate who will guarantee high turnout for the GOP and who has little support with independents. The GOP -- once the Trump bubble bursts, as it will -- will probably nominate someone quite a bit younger and more charismatic than Clinton, and will spend a few years in the wilderness with the White House, the Senate, the House, and the majority of states under Republican control -- and no one to blame for it but themselves.

Who's Spoiling Now? Polling Indicates That Democrats Underrate Sanders' Electability at Their Peril (The Huffington Post)

The Q-Poll findings: "Sanders does just as well [as Clinton against Rubio], or even better, against [the other] top Republicans [Trump, Carson,and Cruz]." Against each of the latter three, Sanders' winning margin exceeds Clinton's by an additional 2%, 3% and 5% respectively, compared to a survey margin of error of +/- 2.6%.

It is by just such narrow margins that modern elections are won or lost. For example Slate opines it to be "a sign of how accustomed we've become to razor-thin margins of victory that Obama's 2.3-percent popular-vote victory [in 2012] seems almost like a rout...[T]hree out of four of our last elections have been decided by a popular-vote margin of less than 3 percent" which, the author observes, "best resembles the Gilded Age" when choice was similarly limited to pluto-Dum and pluto-Dem candidates.

Sanders' additional margin of safety places him beyond the margin of polling error around which Clinton's fluctuating numbers for her Republican match-ups are more commonly found. Sanders' numbers also seem "almost like a rout" compared to a toss-up for Clinton.

Democratic voters therefore have it exactly backwards. It is Sanders that should be attracting their near certain (87%) confidence of victory next November now accorded Clinton, while their doubts about a Sanders toss-up (49%) should properly attach to Clinton. Democrats are not just misinformed, but grossly misinformed, about the key issue of whether Clinton or Sanders will more likely win against Republicans.

Bruce Schneier on "CYA Security"

The inimitable Bruce Schneier just posted about how the response to the LA bomb theats was an incident of "CYA security" -- the purpose of which is not to make a community more secure but to insulate authorities from blame: He first discussed that topic back in 2007, and the post remains all to relevant:

CYA Security - Schneier on Security (www.schneier.com)

If someone left a backpack full of explosives in a crowded movie theater, or detonated a truck bomb in the middle of a tunnel, no one would demand to know why the police hadn't noticed it beforehand. But if a weird device with blinking lights and wires turned out to be a bomb -- what every movie bomb looks like -- there would be inquiries and demands for resignations. It took the police two weeks to notice the Mooninite blinkies, but once they did, they overreacted because their jobs were at stake.

This is "Cover Your Ass" security, and unfortunately it's very common.

Rubio polling ahead of Clinton, is even among young voters

Nominating Clinton is suicide for the Dems, but they seem determined to do it.

Why Young Voters May Choose Marco Rubio Over Hillary Clinton (Slate Magazine)

As with other groups that lean Democratic, Rubio doesn’t have to win young voters. He just can’t afford to lose them all....

A new NBC poll reveals just that. The headline number shows the Florida senator with the win: At this moment, if all adults had to choose, Rubio would beat Clinton, 48 percent to 45 percent. And while Clinton has an advantage with blacks and Latinos, she ties Rubio among Americans who are 18 to 34 years old, 45 percent to 45 percent....[I]t comes as Team Clinton fights for support among millennials—and young women in particular—who aren’t thrilled with Hillary, even as she vies to be the first female president.

NC small town bans solar farms over ridiculous fears

The only problem with democracy is the people. (But it's an even worse problem in every other system we've come up with.)

Woodland rejects solar farm (www.roanoke-chowannewsherald.com)

During the public comment period preceding the rezoning vote, citizens expressed distrust and fear of the solar panels.

Calling out the militia in Maryland in 1942

At the always interesting blog "The Volokh Conspiracy", David Kopel has dug up a 1942 decree by Maryland governor Herbert O’Conor calling on armed citizens to serve in a reserve militia to defend the state against Axis "parachute troops, saboteurs, or organized raiding parties" or the actions of "enemy sympathizers within our State". It's notable for its plain statement that volunteers would be expected to provide their own weapons and would be expected to have basic competence with them -- even at this relatively recent date when the standing army was well-established as a tool of American imperialism and the foundations of the military-industrial complex had been laid.

This is what the "well-regulated militia" in Amendment II means -- a citizen body familiar with the use of arms is necessary for the security of the nation. ("Well-regulated" here does not have the meaning of "subject to extenisve regulatory law" but rather "effective and precise" -- in the same way that a mechanical timepiece is "regulated". In order to have people familiar with arms, it is necessary for the people to have them. Therefore, the Second Amendment tells us, the new nation shall not interfere with the vitally important -- not just for individual liberty but for the security of the nation -- natural right of the people to arm themselves.

Oklahoma City cop Daniel Holtzclaw convicted of using position to commit rape

When you create a criminal class by means of laws prohibiting consensual acts, you create a class ripe for exploitation by cops. The blame for this lies not just with the monstrous Holtzclaw and whoever of his colleagues covered for him and maintained the blue wall of silence, but with every legislator who voted for criminalizing drug use and prostitution and every voter who supported such laws.

Former Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw Found Guilty Of Rape (BuzzFeed)

Former Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw has been found guilty of multiple counts of rape — first and second degree — as well as sexual battery, procuring lewd exhibition, and forcible oral sodomy.

Holtzclaw has been on trial since Nov. 2. He was accused of sexually assaulting 13 women in the community he patrolled from December 2013 to June 2014. His 36 charges ranged from stalking and indecent exposure to forcible sodomy and rape. Of the 36, he was found guilty of 18.

...Prosecutors say that Holtzclaw deliberately chose women he thought were unlikely to be believed — black women with criminal records from an impoverished neighborhood.

Six of the women alleged that Holtzclaw raped them — he was found guilty of four of the six charges. He was found not guilty of a handful of the lesser charges, including two rape charges, one rape by instrumentation charge, four sexual battery charges, three forcible oral sodomy charges, five procuring lewd exhibition charges, and one charge each of burglary, stalking, and indecent exposure.

...

The defense pointed out that most of these women had criminal records — charges related to prostitution, drugs, assault and battery — and that some had provided police over the years with multiple aliases, social security numbers, phone numbers, and birthdates.

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