When was the last time you heard “Thou shalt not kill” or “Love thy neighbor as thyself” spoken by a politician, or media personality, or teacher, or even religious leader?

Why did this happen?  This is the question everyone asks when horrific events occur like those in Dayton and El Paso.  This is partly a search for a solution and partly a search for some semblance of control.  We hate to think that these killers cannot be identified and their crimes cannot be prevented.  But I’m not sure we really want to know the answer.

After the Las Vegas shooting last year, the New York Times published a piece, Mass Shooters Are All Different. Except for One Thing: Most Are Men.  I don’t take the NYT’s word for anything, so I decided to look into this.  Are there really no significant common factors for mass shooters?  I didn’t want to spend my time investigating the killers individually, so I did a very quick survey of reports on the topic.  (A number of these are summarized, briefly but well, at Statista.  You can also find data via FBI crime statistics and various Justice Department sources.)

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This morning, President Trump addressed the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. 

C-SPAN has the transcript of the President’s full remarks here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?463254-1/president-trump-condemns-racism-bigotry-white-supremacy-mass-shootings&live=

 

 

rats

President Trump recently was criticized for calling Baltimore, “rat infested.”  It turns out, Baltimore is rat infested.  In fact, according to the Orkin company, based on commercial and residential rodent treatments, Baltimore is one of the 10 most rat infested cities in the US.   This list includes Chicago,  Los Angeles, New York City,  and San Francisco.   These cities have also seen a drastic increase in diseases linked to rats including typhus and other diseases.

These top 10 most rat infested cities have several things in common.  First, all 10 are Democratic controlled and have been for decades.  They all have strong public unions for employees (including pest and sanitation control staff).  They all have high numbers of homeless.  In fact, several of these municipalities also made the list for 10 Cities with the Most Homeless People.   These cities all have high crime rates.  These cities have significant and rising income inequality.  Nearly all are Sanctuary Cities.

These characteristics point to how the administrations of these cities address public services.  With their Progressive bent, their policies utilize a centralized approach, filtered through social and environmental justice principles, relying on heavy regulation for enforcement and high taxes for funding.  In short, they address big problems with big solutions run by big government.  Just not very well.

How does this approach deal with something as immediate as rat infestations?  Responding quickly to complaints from environmental groups, CalEPA has banned commonly used (and effective) rodenticides statewide as being harmful to regional predatory wildlife, especially California’s cougars and coyotes who eat rats and other pest rodents.

 

 

Last week, the US House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Barr and Commerce Secretary Ross in criminal contempt over the census dispute. This week, the DOJ responded (as required by law):

“The Department of Justice’s long-standing position is that we will not prosecute an official for contempt of Congress for declining to provide information subject to a presidential assertion of executive privilege …. Across administrations of both parties, we have consistently adhered to the position that ‘the contempt of Congress statute was not intended to apply and could not constitutionally be applied to an Executive Branch official who asserts the President’s claim of executive privilege.'”

–  Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen

“We all agree that fighting so that each person is free to believe, free to assemble, and to teach the tenets of his or her own faith is not optional – indeed, it is a moral imperative that this be permitted. All people from every place on the globe must be permitted to practice their faith openly – in their homes, in their places of worship, in the public square – and believe what they want to believe. This week, we need input from all of you on how we can best advance that religious freedom…I want you to know that America’s commitment to religious freedom will never waver. We stand with you and for you in each stage of this fight.” – Sec. of State Mike Pompeo

The second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom is currently going on in Washington DC, hosted by the US State Department.  The Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom brings together leaders from around the world to discuss the challenges facing religious freedom, identify means to address religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, and promote greater respect and preservation of religious liberty for all.  You can stream the event live, read transcripts of speakers, and view biographies of survivors here: https://www.state.gov/ministerial-to-advance-religious-freedom/