PowerLine -> Edmonton Terrorist Is a Somali Refugee – In Re: Puerto Rico

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> Edmonton Terrorist Is a Somali Refugee – In Re: Puerto Rico

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • Edmonton Terrorist Is a Somali Refugee
  • How the Associated Press Spins the Supreme Court
  • A Reckoning for Silicon Valley Coming?
  • In Re: Puerto Rico
  • Coates’s world
Edmonton Terrorist Is a Somali Refugee

Posted: 01 Oct 2017 04:31 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

You have probably heard about last night’s terrorist attack in Edmonton. It began when a man driving a Chevrolet Malibu crashed through a police barrier associated with a sports event and struck an Edmonton police officer, throwing him 15 feet through the air. The terrorist, who had an ISIS flag in the front seat of his vehicle, then jumped out of the car and attacked the officer with a knife, stabbing him repeatedly. This part of the attack was recorded on video:

This is a photo of the ISIS flag inside the vehicle:

After trying unsuccessfully to steal the officer’s gun, the terrorist fled. Several hours later, police stopped a U-Haul truck and checked the driver’s identification. They recognized that the driver’s name was the same as or similar to the name under which the Malibu was registered. That caused the terrorist to flee in the U-Haul, driving over pedestrians whenever he could. Four pedestrians were hospitalized after being intentionally struck, one of whom has a fractured skull.

Police chased the U-Haul truck, which ultimately tipped over. They caught the driver and arrested him.

The terrorist has now been identified as Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, a Somali national who was granted refugee status in Canada. Like most such terrorists, he is a “known wolf.”

Police chief Rod Knecht said at a Sunday afternoon news conference that the man, who came to the attention of law enforcement in 2015 for “espousing extremist ideology” is believed to have acted alone.

Sharif was on a “police watch list,” but apparently he wasn’t being watched closely enough. It is worth noting that Somalia is one of the countries on President Trump’s travel ban order. If that order were in effect, Abdulahi Hasan Sharif would not have been permitted to enter the United States. I have written that the president’s travel ban doesn’t go far enough to do much good, but this is one example of a terrorist attack that the travel ban, if in effect when the terrorist sought to enter the U.S., would prevent.


How the Associated Press Spins the Supreme Court

Posted: 01 Oct 2017 12:35 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

The Associated Press is a loyal servant of the Democratic Party and its liberal components. If you doubt that assertion, consider today’s AP article on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court term by reporter Mark Sherman.

Like pretty much all AP reporters, Sherman is a liberal, as you can see from his Twitter feed. So how does a liberal reporter spin his coverage of the Supreme Court? It’s easy: he just frames every legal issue with the liberal narrative and turns exclusively to liberal sources for comments on the Court’s controversial cases.

Sherman begins today’s article with Justice Ginsburg’s pronouncement that this year’s term will be “momentous.” He says that conservatives have high hopes due to the presence of Justice Gorsuch, “an ally of the court’s most conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.”

Now on to the cases the Court has accepted for review:

The very first case of the term, set for arguments Monday, could affect tens of millions of workers who have signed clauses as part of their employment contracts that not only prevent them from taking employment disputes to federal court, but also require them to arbitrate complaints individually, rather than in groups.

Arbitration clauses are common in many types of employment contracts. In general, the law favors arbitration of disputes. But Sherman doesn’t tell you that. Instead, he turns to a left-winger for comment:

“I’m very fearful, given the new Supreme Court, of what will happen,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The other side is not represented.

Next, Sherman turns to the Janus case:

Just on Thursday, the justices added a case that has the potential to financially cripple Democratic-leaning labor unions that represent government workers.

Taken together, the two cases “have a real chance of being a one-two punch against workers’ rights,” said Claire Prestel, a lawyer for the Service Employees International Union.

Janus is a workers’ rights case, all right. The issue is whether a public employee can be forced by law, against his or her will, to contribute money to a union that siphons off much or most of that contribution to support political candidates and causes of which the employee disapproves. But Sherman doesn’t tell you that. Instead, he goes for comment to a representative of a union that has a major financial interest in the case.

Next, up is redistricting. Democrats are challenging the current state assembly map in Wisconsin as “excessively partisan.” Where does Sherman turn for comment? To a Republican, perhaps? Just kidding. Sherman goes to former Obama administration official Donald Verrilli.

The Colorado wedding cake case comes next. The issue, as Sherman writes, is “whether Phillips, who regards his custom-made cakes as works of art, can be compelled by the state to produce a message with which he disagrees.” For the answer, Sherman turns to–who else?–another former Obama Justice Department official, who speaks for the anti-baker side of the case:

The Trump administration is supporting Phillips in this case. Former Justice Department official Martin Lederman said the administration’s high court filing is the first in American history in favor of an exemption from civil rights laws.

Sherman didn’t think it necessary to find anyone to speak on behalf of Phillips. That’s not the side he is on.

Next, a gratuitous swipe at the Trump administration:

The administration also has reversed course in two cases before the justices. In the arbitration case, the administration now is supporting employers over their workers. In the other, the administration backs Ohio’s efforts to purge its voter rolls, over the objections of civil rights groups.

“Civil rights groups” are advocating for the voting rights of dead people, apparently. To continue his attack the Trump administration, Sherman turns to a neutral observer–the ACLU.

David Cole, national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said plenty of other cases will test “whether and to what extent the court will be playing an independent role in checking the Trump administration’s positions with respect to basic rights protections.”

The Associated Press plays this game every day, in pretty much all of its coverage. Frame issues the way the Democratic Party wants them framed, then turn to liberal “experts” for comment. Are reporters like Mark Sherman fooling anyone? No, which is why trust in the media is in the toilet. Yet the incessant repetition of left-wing talking points has an effect, like rain wearing down a rock.


A Reckoning for Silicon Valley Coming?

Posted: 01 Oct 2017 10:59 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

I’m not closely following the vote for independence going on this weekend over in Catalonia, but the news caught my eye that Google has acceded to the ruling of a Spanish judge that it must shut down the mobile phone app that referendum supporters had ginned up. Maybe this is the proper course, though it should also raise questions about whether it is a case study in what happens when you don’t have robust protections for free speech.

Beyond this instance, we know that Google, Apple, and other Silicon Valley tech giants are utterly supine in the face of demands for their cooperation with heavy government censorship, especially in China. It is curious that Google and Apple, so confident in their pronouncements about How Things Should Be in America (example: Apple CEO Tim Cook saying he can’t understand why there is any debate at all about DACA—I guess the rule of law only counts when it’s being used to protect Apple’s intellectual property rights), are so timid when it comes to Chinese demands. Does China really want to eschew what Google has to offer? I can recall when American companies told South Africa that they would not cooperate with Apartheid laws there, and the South African government capitulated rather quickly.

A couple days ago the Financial Times ran a good feature on “Silicon Valley ‘Superstars’ Risk a Populist Backlash.” Excerpts:

What is perhaps most fascinating about this is that Silicon Valley has largely escaped the populist anger that Wall Street or cheap Chinese labour has attracted. As University of Chicago professor Raghuram Rajan has pointed out, this may be because the job-disrupting effects of technology are harder to see than those of trade. Of the nearly 6m manufacturing jobs lost in the US between 1999 and 2011, only about 10 per cent can be directly traced to Chinese imports — yet those losses are concentrated in just a few rust belt communities. The more subtle, dispersed nature of the changes driven by Silicon Valley makes it a less obvious target for voter rage. . .

Tech giants should pay attention — or they risk replacing China and Wall Street as the target of populist outrage.

The question is: will the populist backlash against Silicon Valley come from the Occupy Left or the Bannon right? Maybe both?


In Re: Puerto Rico

Posted: 01 Oct 2017 10:58 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

The only surprising thing about the total catastrophe in Puerto Rico is that it took so long for the “Trump-Is-A-Bigot-Who-Hates-Brown-People” refrain to get cranked up to eleven, Concerning which, a few observations.

First, people are calling the federal response “Trump’s Katrina.” What do we know of Katrina? First of all, it wasn’t enough for the left to attack the Bush Administration for slowness or incompetence. They had to call Bush a racist. Remember Kanye West: Bush doesn’t care about black people, he said. (Of course this was not new; recall the infamous James Byrd TV spot in 2000, which implied that Bush was somehow complicit.) The media was happy to go along with this narrative and failed utterly to report on the criminal incompetence of state and local government in Louisiana that inhibited the federal response because it would have reflected badly on Democrats. Only years later did Donna Brazile, former chair of the Democratic Party, admit that “Bush came through on Katrina.” The narrative is in place, however, and won’t change now.

One difference today that is Bush was too much of a gentleman to respond to the demagogic attacks from the left. And one thing we know about Trump is that he is no gentleman and won’t take these attacks. Hence his tweets yesterday attacking Puerto Rico’s political leadership, which would be appalling in the abstract, but given the way, the left operated after Katrina, what does he have to lose? And maybe the left, having called Bush a racist after Katrina, might want to re-read the old fable about the boy who cried wolf?

I don’t trust media reporting on Puerto Rico any more than any other subject. But the exceptions should be noted, such as the Bloomberg story “No, Trump Didn’t Botch the Puerto Rico Crisis.” The story is mostly an interview with retired Navy Captain Jerry Hendrix, who has extensive experience in disaster relief operations. This particular comment jumps out:

Puerto Rico is an island that suffers from its position in the middle of the Caribbean and its physical separation from the U.S. Its roads were in disrepair and its electrical grid was antiquated prior to the hurricane. The island has also suffered for years from ineffective local government and rising local territorial debt.

If anything this is an understatement. I’ve seen one report that dockworkers in Puerto Rico are either striking or refusing to unload and distribute supplies unless they are paid first. Beyond this, Puerto Rico’s effective bankruptcy has been the talk of the public finance community for a while now. (We’ve covered the story here, for instance.) Puerto Rico has more than $70 billion in public debt it has no chance of paying back, accumulated through the usual blue-state governance model. The weakness of its electricity grid may be related to skewed spending for public employee pensions and the usual liberal boondoggles instead of physical infrastructure. Even before the hurricane, it was clear that bondholders were going to take a large haircut in any restructuring; now I suspect Puerto Rico may default completely.

Prediction: The end result of the Puerto Rico disaster will either be statehood or independence. I prefer the latter.


Coates’s world

Posted: 01 Oct 2017 08:48 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

If you are a man or woman of the left, it is amazing what you can get away with. Not only get away with but be celebrated for. Minnesota’s own Ilhan Omar presents a case study. Omar was recently recognized by Time in its September 18 double issue on women “Firsts” for her election to office as the first Somali legislator in the United States, I noted in this City Journal column the more surprising “firsts” Omar has chalked up. Time somehow overlooked them.

Ta-Nehesi Coates is another case in point and an even better example. Coates’s Between the World and Me may be the worst book I have ever read. It is pretentious. It is stupid. It wanders. The distance between facts and conclusions is galactic. I can say in its favor that it is short, barely book length. On a feels-like basis, however, Coates makes Proust seem the soul of wit.

The book is also overwritten to the point of hilarity. Speaking of his experience at Howard University, to take just one example, this is how Coates says that he got poor grades: “I wanted to pursue things, to know things, but I could not match the means of knowing that came naturally to me with the expectations of professors.” (The quote comes from page 48; the translation is mine.)

I summarized the leading qualities of this atrocious book in the City Journal column “An updated racial hustle.” I larded the essay with quotes from the book so readers could get a fair taste of what Coates had on offer.

With an eye on Between the World and Me, the New York Times certified Coates as the left’s angry black man of the moment in Jennifer Schuessler’s 2015 New York Times profile. Today in the Times Jennifer Senior reviews (or “reviews”) Coates’s new book on the Obama years. Senior writes: “A new book from Coates is not merely a literary event. It’s a launch from Cape Canaveral. There’s a lot of awe, heat, resistance.” The overwriting is contagious. My point, however, is the continuing role played by the Times in promoting this sodden mediocrity and others of his ilk. It’s all politics.


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