Category Archives: Crime

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

You can tell it’s spring at last here in the Great Land when the sound of snow machine motors is replaced by ATV motors.

Our ATVs.

We don’t yet have a snow machine (in the 48 you call them snowmobiles) but we have two ATVs, a big six-seat Polaris Ranger for taking guests on tours, and a neat, agile little Polaris Sportsman that I mostly use for getting out in the woods after grouse or just indulging in one of my favorite activities – woods-bumming.  If you like the outdoors and live up here, one or both of these machines is a hell of a handy thing to have.

Now then…

On To the Links!

No shit, Sherlock.

Florida Man rides again.

And in the end, we’ll go further and further into debt.

And nothing will come of this.

Sanctuary city, my ass.

Another one leaving Chicago.

Impossible.  IEDs are against the law.  And I’m pretty sure this is a no-IED zone.

Because they are ruled by morons.

Atlas is shrugging.

Just when you think you couldn’t get any more disgusted.

Senator Murphy:  Come on out here to the Susitna Valley and try to take our guns.  Let us know how that works out for you.

OK, is there anybody in this group who isn’t a Fed?

This isn’t a good sign.

“Missing?”  One wonders if cement overshoes are involved.

The red-pilling of Elon Musk continues apace.

Haw haw haw!

I’ll take my chances.

This Week’s Idiots:

Salon’s Heather Parton is an idiot.

Whoever thought this was a good idea is an idiot.

Minnesota is run by idiots.

An actual photo of Brian Stelter.

Brian Stelter is an idiot.  And a potato.

New York Magazine’s Ed Kilgore is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Policies designed by morons result in epic cluster-fuck.  Film at eleven.

Slate’s Michael J. Socolow is an idiot.

How can you tell when Joe Biden is saying something stupid?  His lips are moving.  And again.

MSNBC’s Steve Benen is an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

I love Japan.

This is Masayuki Suzuki, who does a lot of soundtracks for Japanese television and so forth, in addition to pure musical work.  I’m not sure what genre he falls under, but these two songs are from the soundtrack of an anime called Kaguya-sama:  Love is War, they’re kind of fun, and a little different than our usual servings.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Urban Renewal News

Before we begin, check out the latest chapter of Fire and Ice over at Glibertarians!

Now then:  CNN’s Nathaniel Meyersohn has decided to lecture us on the real reason stores are closing in big cities, and as you might expect from CNN, he’s full of shit:

Several forces are pushing chains out of some city centers: a glut of stores, people working from home, online shopping, exorbitant rents, crime and public safety concerns, and difficulty hiring workers.

To reinvent downtown retail, drastic changes may be required.

That means denser neighborhoods with a broader mix of affordable housing, experiential retail, restaurants, entertainment, parks and other amenities, which won’t happen overnight.

“Once [these cities] become true urban neighborhoods, then you will find retailing start to come back in different ways and forms,” said Terry Shook, a founding partner at consulting firm Shook Kelly.

How policymakers remake their downtowns — with retail as a crucial attraction — will be crucial to cities’ fiscal health and regional economies.

Hey, Nathaniel, here’s a thought:  How about we do something about the rampant, consequence-free shoplifting?  How about the rampant drug use, people overdosing on the sidewalks?  How about the tent cities lining city streets, the decrepit RVs parked all over?   How about the unhoused bums dropping trou and shitting on the sidewalks?  How about the open gang warfare in some neighborhoods?  Don’t those seem like more important tasks to take on than building “true urban neighborhoods?”

This piece of crap article is the very definition of fiddling while Rome – or Los Angeles, or San Francisco, or Detroit, or Baltimore – burns.  I’d offer more in rebuttal, but this clip has already summed this up very well.

Rule Five Understanding Crime Friday

Check out my latest column over at the American Free News Network!  If you aren’t visiting that site daily, you should be.

Now then:  I recently stumbled across a very interesting piece by Francis Menton over at the Manhattan Contrarian on understanding urban crime.  It’s accepted that violent crime is a serious urban problem, but what’s not apparent, or at least not intuitive, is how concentrated most high-crime areas are.  Read it all, but here are some highlights.  As Mr. Menton points out:

What rural and suburban readers may be missing is an understanding of the extent to which serious and violent crime is concentrated in a handful of quite small areas. It is understandable that many people fail to appreciate this phenomenon, because it is difficult to find good information on the subject. The press almost completely misses the issue, when not intentionally burying it. The mainstream sources will not report on the concentration of violent crime in a few areas because they think (correctly) that accurate reporting on this subject will reflect badly on minority communities; and the conservative sources are afraid to appear racist, and are mostly happy to report city-wide crime statistics as sufficiently demonstrating the disaster of governance by progressive Democrats.

This much is, of course, accurate.  While I live in a rural setting now (you don’t get much more rural than the Susitna Valley) and grew up in a rural setting (you also don’t get much more rural than Allamakee County, Iowa) I did live in the suburbs of Denver for many years, and have done business in a wide range of urban settings, from Boston to Shanghai.  I don’t trust cities and never will, and while I understand part of that is sheer bias on my part, not all of it is – but what many of us don’t get is how much violent crime happens in a few small areas.

Mr. Menton adds:

Here are some more data on crime concentration by geographic location, this time from Chicago:

[I]n 2019, the United States had a homicide rate collectively of about five per 100,000. Chicago that year . . . was close to about 18 per 100,000. If you look at just the 10 most dangerous neighborhoods in that city, it was over 60 per 100,000. If you look at the most dangerous neighborhood in that city, which was West Garfield Park in 2019, their homicide rate was 131 per 100,000. If you compare that to the 28 safest neighborhoods in the city of Chicago that year, their collective homicide rate was less than two per 100,000 for some of those neighborhoods or for a good chunk of those neighborhoods, the homicide rate was zero per 100,000.

Chicago had 630 homicides in 2022, for a rate of about 24 per 100,000. I think you can be sure that most to all of the neighborhoods that had zero murders in 2019 still had zero murders on 2022. Meanwhile, if West Garfield Park had an overall murder rate of 131 per 100,000, and almost all of the victims were from the one-eighth of the population that are young adult men, then the murder rate among young adult men would be over 1000 per 100,000 — more than 1% per year. Over a ten year period, that would give a young man in that neighborhood around a 10% chance of getting murdered.

That’s horrifying.

What Mr. Fenton doesn’t get into is root causes.  In fact I haven’t seen anyone do what I would consider to be a robust root cause analysis for this phenomenon.  Remember, root cause is always at the point where a person or group of people made a decision (or several decisions) and Mr. Fenton concludes with some bad ones:

However, I should note that Bessette’s piece in the Claremont Review also includes a review of another book titled “What’s Prison For? Punishment and Rehabilitation in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” by Bill Keller. Keller is the former executive editor-in-chief of the New York Times, and now working at something called the Marshall Project. On his examination of the current state of our criminal justice system, Keller reaches more or less the opposite conclusions from myself and Mangual. A few quoted by Bessette:

“Decriminalize such minor crimes as ‘low-level drug offenses’; divert some criminals to ‘mental health and addiction programs, or probation or community service’; . . . ‘raise the age at which accused youngsters are subject to adult punishment’ . . . .”

I guess that Keller has been reading the crime coverage of his old newspaper, which makes a point of hiding from the readers everything important about what is happening.

So, were I to conduct a cause analysis here, one of the first cause/effect chains I’d look hard at is the ‘urban policy’ path.  We’ve seen these results time and again, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, St. Louis and many other places.  But I’d also (and Mr. Fenton doesn’t mention this) look hard at the educational pathway.  Our big-city schools are failing, horribly, with some of them cranking out only single-digit percentages of graduates that are proficient in math and written English.  That can’t help.

Add in the inexplicable growth of a toxic, brutal, misogynistic urban “thug” culture, and you have a recipe for trouble.

One thing supporting the ‘urban policy’ pathway, of course, is easy to find:  New York under Giuliani.  In the 90s New York was one of the safest major cities in the world, and that happened when Rudy Giuliani set the policy of vigorously pursuing career criminals and showing no tolerance towards petty acts of vandalism, theft and hooliganism that can lead to more serious acts.

Our major cities are melting down.  I’m not sanguine about things turning around any time soon; Chicago just suffered four years of incompetent leftist leadership by an incompetent mayor, and reacted by kicking her out of office and electing an even more incompetent leftist, on the theory that if ‘progressive’ policies don’t work, then one just needs to ‘progressive’ harder.

A combination of Giuliani-like policies and education reform (and by reform I mean privatize, and if that means kicking the teacher’s unions to the curb, all the better) might save our major cities.  But I don’t see any of that happening.  America’s great cities are destroying themselves, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Animal’s Daily Corrupt Pols News

I’d say something like “The Bidens are in real trouble now!”  Except, of course, they won’t be.  Nothing will come of this latest reveal, about which Fox News’ Gregg Jarrett has this to say:

The sheer magnitude of Biden family corruption uncovered by the House Oversight Committee can only be described as breathtaking. It is also deeply alarming. If the fruits of Chairman James Comer’s investigation are exactly what they appear to be, Joe Biden may have jeopardized our nation’s security by selling out America for cold hard cash.

Documents show that over $10 million in foreign money flowed like a river into more than 20 shell companies and LLCs created for the Bidens’ financial benefit, said Comer. Much of it was then surreptitiously shuffled around various accounts before it landed in the hands of nine members of the president’s family. Those companies have no apparent business purpose other than to serve as a receptacle for hiding cash derived from suspected influence peddling schemes overseas.    

The incriminating evidence comes from thousands of subpoenaed banking records, wire transfers, and electronic transactions contained in more than 170 suspicious activity reports (SARs) that were flagged by banks and sent to the criminal division at the Treasury Department. The Biden administration refused to cough up those records until the Committee recently forced its hand. There are still more documents to be examined, suggesting that the Biden profiteering could far exceed the millions of dollars already tracked.

In Washington, where corruption and graft are endemic, the Bidens appear to have taken it to dizzying heights. While greed was the likely motive, concealment was the key to success. In just one deal alone more than a million dollars involved 16 different wire transfers ran through five different bank accounts before the funds eventually landed in Biden family hands. This and other transactions were well hidden “in a web of deception and corruption,” noted committee member Rep. Byron Daniels. Cycling through this many companies serves no other purpose but to disguise illicit, if not illegal, payments, he concluded.  

If there were any principled politicians in the Democratic party – there are none that I’m aware of – they would be demanding, at the very least, that the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration answer some very pointed questions, and to answer the specific allegations of those documents.  But we all know that won’t happen.  Why?

Because there are no principled politicians in the Democratic Party.  It’s all about The Side.

See, that’s the thing about principles.  If a thing (bribery) is wrong, then it’s wrong no matter who perpetrates the act.  Taking bribes from foreign nations, laundering them through shell corporations and family members, then serving up favorable policies to reward those paying the bribes – those things are wrong in principle, and they would be wrong no matter who sought or paid or in any way facilitated those bribes.  But because the perps have a “D” behind their names, they have the most effective “Get Out of Jail Free” card ever devised.

Imagine the howls of outrage from Congressional Dems had the Trump Administration been the subject of just such a reveal.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Democrat.

Jarrett concludes:

This is exactly what our Founding Fathers feared the most. They worried that a future president might violate his sacred oath of office by secretly conspiring with malign foreign actors to betray our nation for self-enrichment.

The money trail uncovered so far is a damning indictment of corruption at the highest level of government — the current occupant of the White House.

All likely.  And it’s even more likely that nothing will be done about it.

Animal’s Daily San Franmeltdown News

It seems the latest to bail on San Fransicko (hat tip to Michael Shellenberger) is Nordstrom.  The reliably left-wing Guardian reports:

Nordstrom has announced it is closing all of its San Francisco stores, blaming the ‘changed dynamics’ of the city which has seen numerous major chains turn-tail in the face of soaring crime.

The retailer told employees it would not be renewing its leases at the Westfield Mall or at the Nordstrom Rack across the street. The mall location will shutter at the end of August, and the Rack store will remain open until July 1, according to the Washington Post.

Nordstrom chief stores officer Jamie Nordstrom blamed the state of San Francisco in recent years for reducing foot traffic ‘and our ability to operate successfully.’

Westfield Mall said in a statement to the Washington Post that the move was brought on by the ‘deteriorating situation in downtown San Francisco’ which has left customers and staff unsafe.

Read through the article for an extensive list of closures, and for another description of how Target has locked up their entire inventory behind theft-proof glass.

And yet the people of San Francisco keep electing the very same kind of morons who put them in this state.  And it’s not just them; the whole of California seems to be infected with this virus, aided by their jungle primary system that effectively freezes out any opposition.

I’ve pretty much stopped wondering how far down the Left Coast can go.  I think things will pretty much have to descend to the Medieval period before anyone can turn it around; the cognitive dissonance of California voters (remember what it means when you try the same thing over and over and expect different results?) is just sunk in too deep.

Ayn Rand foresaw this, just on the wrong coast:

He stepped to the window and pointed to the skyscrapers of the city. He said that we had to extinguish the lights of the world, and when we would see the lights of New York go out, we would know that our job was done.

Look at California.  Look at the energy policies they are pushing.  Look at the businesses fleeing the state.  Look at the state government’s celebration of failure.  Could Atlas be shrugging – just on the wrong coast?  I’m beginning to think so.