Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Liberals block the most promising path in Baltimore

Featured image Many liberals and some conservatives would like to force a major reduction in the prison population, even though current incarceration rates contributed significantly to sharply reduced crime rates. One objection to the crusade to reduce incarceration is high recidivism. Nearly 70 percent of released prisoners are arrested within three years. To deal with this objection, proponents of reform call for rehabilitation and training programs for prisoners. They sometimes talk as »

My take on Britain’s general election

Featured image I was surprised that so many were surprised by the Conservative Party’s victory in the British election. The two key drivers in most national elections are (1) the state of the economy and (2) the quality of the candidates. The state of the British economy provided no basis to believe that voters wanted a change. As Frank Luntz points out, unemployment was low and economic confidence high. As for the »

What really ails our cities

Featured image My impression is that Baltimore was particularly hard hit by the last recession and hasn’t really recovered. But, as I have argued, this doesn’t mean that cities hit less hard are immune from the kind of rioting that followed the death of Freddie Gray. Colbert King of the Washington Post makes this point. He contends that Washington, D.C., which is nearly recession-proof, shares the same basic ills as Baltimore, and »

Freddie Gray’s knife, Part Two

Featured image The prosecutor in the Freddie Gray case contends that it was not unlawful for Gray to be carrying his knife — a “spring-assisted, one-hand-operated” device — and that therefore it was improper to arrest him. I argued here that the prosecutor is likely wrong because Baltimore city law makes it unlawful to “possess any knife with an automatic spring or other device for opening and/or closing the blade. . . »

Freddie Gray’s knife, Marilyn Mosby’s bias

Featured image One of the charges brought by prosecutor Marilyn Mosby in the Freddie Gray case is false arrest. The police arrested Gray for carrying an illegal knife, but Mosby has announced that Gray’s knife was not an illegal switchblade under Maryland law. Defense attorneys contest this claim. They have filed a motion to inspect the knife. Who is right about the knife? Without having seen the knife, I can’t say for »

Fareed Zakaria’s recurring dream

Featured image Fareed Zakaria argues that with Israel ascendant and largely unthreatened, it now has “an extraordinary strategic opportunity” to bring about a Palestinian state. Just how Israel would go about this — i.e., what concessions it should make — Zakaria doesn’t say. Zakaria’s premise is that reality in the Middle East “has changed dramatically in Israel’s favor.” He cites “the disappearance of the Arab threat” (Iraq, Syria and Egypt are “in »

Netanyahu forms government with no votes to spare

Featured image In March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a decisive victory at the polls. Yesterday, he announced that he had finally scraped together a coalition of 61 Knesset members — the bare minimum required — with which to govern. What happened? In essence, Netanyahu was unable to persuade either of two big party bosses to back him. Avigdor Lieberman of the right-oriented Yisrael Beytenu (Israel Is Our Home) party leader has »

Report: Freddie Gray task force perceived no homicide

Featured image CNN reports that the Baltimore police investigation into the death of Freddie Gray doesn’t support some of the charges, including the most serious, filed by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. The police investigators thought that, at most, manslaughter charges might be warranted. Yet, Mosby charged Caesar Goodson with second degree murder. CNN also reports that, according to the police, homicide investigators, after being briefed by the medical examiner’s office, »

The war on standards makes major headway in New York City

Featured image Bob McManus of the New York Post wonders whether Demetrius Blackwell, who shot NYPD officer Brian Moore dead, would have been on the street with his gun had the old stop-and-frisk policies, which Mayor de Blasio eliminated, been in effect. Chances are that Blackwell, a reckless hard core thug, would have been, but we will never know for sure. More broadly, McManus wonders about the consequences of what he calls »

Mike Huckabee enters four years late

Featured image Mike Huckabee announced today that he is entering the race for president. He’s considered by most a second-tier candidate for the Republican nomination. However, Huckabee proved in his last outing that he’s an excellent campaigner/debater and capable of outperforming expectations. Even so, I can’t help but think that Huckabee missed his best chance for the nomination by not entering the 2012 race. In his absence, Rick Santorum became the favorite »

A sign of things to come in the Democratic party

Featured image Last night at a public hearing on the budget in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a flyer with the following headline was circulated: From Baltimore to Jerusalem It’s the Same Game. In 10 years Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin sent 1.2 billion dollars of Maryland Federal taxpayer money to the Apartheid state of Israel to build schools, roads and other infrastructure while saying Maryland doesn’t have the money to help »

Bill Clinton’s howlers cast doubt on his usefulness to Hillary

Featured image Will Bill Clinton be an asset to his wife’s campaign for the presidency? A week ago, I would, without hesitation, have said yes. After all, the former president remains popular and surely is a better politician than Hillary. But after his comments to NBC’s Cynthia McFadden, I’m not so sure. Consider his defense to charging $500,000 or more for a single speech. Serving up an instant classic, Clinton told McFadden »

New York police officer dies, killed by man who should have been in jail

Featured image Brian Moore, the New York City police officer who was shot over the weekend by an ex-con, has died. Moore was 25 and had already received several police decorations. Moore’s assailant, Demetrius Blackwell, reportedly has nine prior arrests, including two for assault on police officers. He was convicted of attempted murder for firing shots into a car, which is how he killed Moore. Thus, Blackwell had done it all before »

Carly Fiorina to run for president and pursue the vice presidency

Featured image Carly Fiorina has announced that she is running for president. Fiorina disclosed her intention on ABC’s Good Morning America show. She stated: “I think I’m the best person for the job because I understand how the economy actually works. I understand the world; who’s in it.” In a sense, Fiorina is the Herman Cain of 2016. Both lack any experience in elected office, but both ran major businesses. Fiorina ran »

Vigilant police officer shot; vigilant policing under assault

Featured image A plainclothes New York City police officer was shot in the face in Queens yesterday when an ex-con opened fire into his unmarked patrol car, the New York Post reports. According to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, the police officer, Brian Moore, and his partner were on patrol when they spotted the suspect “adjusting an object in his waistband.” When they pulled up and tried to question the suspect, he pulled »

Marilyn Mosby: hypocrite, grandstander, ideologue

Featured image Alan Dershowitz, the famous defense lawyer, has called the case against the six Baltimore officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray “a show trial.” The actions of prosecutor Marilyn Mosby “had nothing to do with justice,” but instead amounted to “crowd control,” Dershowitz said in remarks reported by the Daily Caller. With regard to the second-degree murder charges against Caesar Goodson, Dershowitz stated that “there’s no plausible, hypothetical, conceivable »

Additional thoughts about the Freddie Gray case

Featured image I have posted my initials thoughts on the criminal charges against six Baltimore police officers. Former federal prosecutor Bill Otis has offered more extensive, and better-informed, observations. Among them are the following, all of which make good sense to me: Will the mob tolerate an acquittal? The calls in recent days have been for “justice.” I have considerable doubt whether those doing the loudest calling have even a slight interest »