New York City is headed for a record-low number of murders in 2009, according to the New York Times for December 28. As of December 27, 461 murders had been committed, nearing the current lowest record of 496 in 2007.
As the Airbus 300 from Amsterdam packed with holiday travelers descended toward Detroit on Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab returned to his seat after spending about 20 minutes in the lavatory. Upon returning to his seat, Abdulmutallab pulled a blanket over his legs and stomach, informing the passenger seated next to him that he wasn’t feeling well.
When the New York Times announced in their lead article on the front page of their Christmas Eve edition that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating Goldman Sachs for allegedly self-dealing, it was a moment of surprise for many and, for others, a moment of clarity and confirmation.
The FBI’s preliminary crime statistics for the first half of 2009 show the crime rate falling all across the nation despite high unemployment and a deep recession. Even murder and manslaughter dropped 10 percent during this time.
Did you know that, technically, it is illegal to cram a week’s worth of medications into one convenient bottle? And if airport screeners want to randomly check your carry-on for valid prescription labels, they may — and without probable cause, too? Remember Rush Limbaugh and baggage screeners’ inspection of his bottle of Viagra? Suddenly, actions nobody ever thought about are suspect to bureaucrats, whose primary purpose in life is to ensure increases in the size of their workforces and budgets. The Drug Enforcement Agency is just one more government entity that now has a role in Homeland Security.
It is a bucolic region of verdant meadows, rolling hills, and babbling brooks, a largely peaceful place where big city hustle and bustle and crime are very far away. Yet, like a pig in a beauty contest, within this pastoral setting lies something incongruent: a Jihadist training center. In this compound, women are taught to slit throats and mount assault-weapon attacks and, presumably, some brand of Islamic piety is the order of the day. But this place isn’t found in the Mideast’s Fertile Crescent or in sub-Saharan Africa. It's name is Islamberg. It's in the town of Hancock.
George Orwell, in his chilling classic, 1984, described how people could commit crimes without any physical act at all. This type of offense, a "thoughtcrime," was not originally coined by Orwell. Victor Kravchenko, the high ranking Soviet official who left his slave empire while he was stationed in America in 1944, used the word "thoughtcrime" in his 1946 book, I Chose Freedom. Our minds are free, or so America from colonial days on has maintained. We are free to wish for whatever we want, provided that we take no overt measures to implement a crime.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has found that during the last several years the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has improperly collected intelligence on American citizens and lawful U.S. residents on multiple occasions.
“The Bush administration constructed a legal framework for torture, but the Obama administration is constructing a legal framework for impunity,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in a post originally published on the leftist DailyKos blogsite.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has placed five employees on administrative leave pending the results of the agency’s investigation of how a confidential passenger-screening manual was posted online without proper redaction of classified information.