Showing posts from January 11, 2015

NYPD Slow: Times Square had 1 million reveling, zero tickets written

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[Can someone explain why only arresting people for serious crimes is a bad thing? *RON*]

By Colleen Long and Jennifer Peltz, Washington Post, 10 January 2015

NEW YORK — Of all the statistics from the recent New Year’s Eve in Times Square — 1 million revelers, a ton of confetti, thousands of police officers, dozens of surveillance cameras — there is one number that stands out: zero, as in zero tickets for low-level crimes.

No tickets for having an open container of alcohol, no tickets for public urination, no tickets for double parking, no tickets for furry, costumed characters hassling tourists to take their picture. Add in low-level arrests, and there was just one, for a subway-related offense.

And that wasn’t just on New Year’s Eve. That was for the entire week containing the holiday. During the Christmas week, when the neon-lighted streets were every bit as jammed, the total for such infractions was 23 — compared with more than 650 summonses per…

The Paris Attack Is ‘The New Normal,’ U.S. Officials Say

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["Eliminating the threat is impossible..." Possibly if we stop blowing up foreigners whose oil we covet things would be different? Just saying. See also This Muslim Man Saved Several Hostages During The Paris Kosher Market Siege. Je suis Lassana. Also Paris shootings: Ahmed Merabet's killers 'pretend Muslims' says brother. Jes suis Ahmed. *RON*]
By Nancy A. YoussefShane Harris, The Daily Beast, 9 January 2015 Get ready for more attacks like the horrific ones that his Paris this week. American officials say they can’t stop all of the homegrown terrorists now living in the West.

Charlie Hebdo attackers Said and Cherif Kouachi were well known jihadist wannabes who not only gave press interviews during their decade-plus of extremist activity—but also served jail time for terrorism-related activity. And yet they still slipped by French authorities.

How? And could jihadists like the Kouachi brothers get by U.S. authorities?

In …

Harper preaches pushback against Islamists, and sells weapons to the Middle East

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[Literally anything for a buck. "When in the spotlight, Stephen Harper condemns the 'international jihadist movement' and says Canada will do what it can to eliminate the threat embodied by this movement. Yet out of the spotlight, he's selling large amounts of weaponry to the very part of the world where he says this threat is coming from." *RON*]
Warren Bell, Vancouver Observer, 10 January 2015

Only days before the murderous assault on Charlie Hébdo staff in Paris by heavily armed men claiming allegiance to Al Qaeda, Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to support the global Arms Trade Treaty, which came into force on Christmas Eve, 90 days after the 50th nation ratified it.

While doing so, Harper also facilitated more Canadian arms sales this past year than previous governments have ever sanctioned – a $14.8 billion contract over 10 years to sell Light Armored Vehicles (LAV III) made in Ontario. They are being assembled a…

Non-Chart of the Day: Where's the Austerity?

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[A good illustration of the fact that you have to know what is pertinent about data trends before you can present them meaningfully. See also 2014 is the year American austerity came to an end*RON*]

—By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones, 10 January 2015

Tyler Cowen passes along the following chart, a modified version of one Matt Yglesias used to show the trend of total government expenditures (federal + state + local) and declare "2014 is the year American austerity came to an end":

This comes from Angus, who comments incredulously: "From this graph I concluded one of two things must be true depending on one's definition of austerity. Either austerity means nominal cuts and we never had any of it, or austerity means cuts relative to trend and we are still savagely in its grasp."

Oh come on. There's an obvious third option. Let's take a look at this chart done right:

This is real per-capita government expenditures (using …