The Myth of Mass Incarceration

I never do this, but I am republishing this whole piece. The stats in it are incredibly important but since WSJ is hidden behind a pay wall, few will get to see this stuff. So, as much for myself as you, the reader, I am reposting this here so that I can reference it later.Just a reminder to anyone coming to this site, this site is not a money maker for me, so I am not making $$ of someone else’s work, here. But this info is just too important to lose behind a pay wall.

The most shocking revelation in Mr. Latzer’s piece is that only 1.2 percent of America’s African American population are incarcerated. This makes the lie that blacks are being “warehoused” in prisons. That makes the lie to the Black Lives Matter movement, too.

Finally, this article makes the lie to the push for “sentencing reform” being pushed by both Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

The Myth of Mass Incarceration
-By Barry Latzer
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 22, 2016

Violent crime, not drugs, has driven imprisonment. And drug offenses usually are for dealing, not using.

It has become a boogeyman in public discourse: “mass incarceration.” Both left and right, from Hillary Clinton to Rand Paul, agree that it must be ended. But a close examination of the data shows that U.S. imprisonment has been driven largely by violent crime—and thus significantly reducing incarceration may be impossible.

Less than one-half of 1% of the U.S. population is incarcerated, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), so “mass” is a bit of hyperbole. The proportion of African-Americans in prison, 1.2%, is high compared with whites (0.25%), but not in absolute terms.

There’s a lot of historical amnesia about the cause of prison expansion, a mistaken sense that it was all about drugs or race and had very little to do with serious crime. This ignores the facts. Between 1960 and 1990, the rate of violent crime in the U.S. surged by over 350%, according to FBI data, the biggest sustained buildup in the country’s history.

One major reason was that as crime rose the criminal-justice system caved. Prison commitments fell, as did time served per conviction. For every 1,000 arrests for serious crimes in 1970, 170 defendants went to prison, compared with 261 defendants five years earlier. Murderers released in 1960 had served a median 4.3 years, which wasn’t long to begin with. By 1970 that figure had dropped to 3.5 years.
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The Myth of Mass Incarceration”

Wall Street Journal: Supporting Palestinians Means You Are a Blithering Idiot & Immoral, Too

-By Warner Todd Huston

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens has an excellent, clarifying piece explaining why if you support the so-called Palestinians that you are pretty much a moron, and an immoral moron at that. And he is dead on, too.

In his July 28 piece, “Palestine Makes You Dumb,” Stephens made the salient point that in a war set in an urban area, civilians die. Period. It happened in WWII, it happened in Iraq, it’s happening in Gaza. It is what happens when an enemy hides its facilities among a civilian population.

That latter part is key. Civilians are not dying because Israel is mean and evil. Civilians are dying because Hamas operates among the civilian populace.

Stephens goes on with another extremely important point. He points out that this body count we keep getting of dead Palestinian civilians is most likely completely bogus. Why? Because the media is using the numbers supplied them by… Hamas! The one group that has a vested interest in making sure there is a large civilian death rate–whether there really is one or not–is the one “reporting” those statistics. And the western media is lapping it up.

To cast doubt on the 82 percent civilian deaths statistic Hamas is reporting, Stephens notes that Hamas also reported exactly the same percentage in the 2008-09 Gaza conflict. Gee what a coinicdence, eh?
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Wall Street Journal: Supporting Palestinians Means You Are a Blithering Idiot & Immoral, Too”

Public Trust in Newspapers Falls to New Lows

-By Warner Todd Huston

A new poll on newspapers and television news shows that Americans’ confidence in the news industry continues to erode in this era of mass communications, reaching a low not seen since 2007.

The Gallup polling firm finds that trust in newspapers has fallen to 23 percent. This is down from 25 percent in 2012 and 28 percent in 2011.

The previous low was recorded in 2007 when trust in newspapers reached 22 percent.

Trust in newspapers has undergone steady erosion since its 1979 high of 51 percent, Gallup reports.

Television news fares no better in the estimation of those polled by Gallup. Trust in TV news tied that of newspapers with 23 percent saying they trust TV news sources. This is down from a 1993 high of 46 percent–when Gallup first began asking about it.
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Public Trust in Newspapers Falls to New Lows”

Charges That Wall Street Journal Bribed Chinese Officials Appear Unproven

-By Warner Todd Huston

Charges that the Wall Street Journal bribed Chinese officials in exchange for inside information on the Chinese government appear unsubstantiated according to an internal investigation conducted by the paper. The investigation was conducted with an outside investigative firm and was mandated by the federal government.

The Journal reports that an internal audit of financial records “found no evidence to support the claim,” according to “government and corporate officials familiar with the case.”

These allegations came to light during the federal government’s wider probe into WSJ’s parent corporation, News Corp., in connection with the wire tapping and bribery probe allegedly perpetrated by the company’s tabloid papers in the United Kingdom.

According to WSJ, the allegations of bribery of Chinese officials came from a “whistleblower who claimed one or more Journal employees had provided gifts to Chinese government officials in exchange for information.”
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Charges That Wall Street Journal Bribed Chinese Officials Appear Unproven”

The Next Attack on Pope Francis

-By Warner Todd Huston

The Old Media has been looking for ways to attack the new Pope, Francis I, since he was introduced to the world. Initially, the media attempted the needle the new Pontiff into “reforming” the Church or face failure, but this week it seems that there is a new line of attack: he is an advocate for dictators.

Of course, by “reform,” the Old Media means that they want the new Pope to change Church doctrine on such things as ordination of women, support of gay marriage, and other liberal shibboleths. But discussion of what the Old Media thinks is “reform” is yesterday’s snipe.

This week the Pope is being portrayed as a supporter of the so-called “Dirty War” waged between political factions in Argentina and The New York Times is the chief proponent of the idea that Pope Francis faces “entanglements” in that War.

In a piece headlined, “Starting a Papacy, Amid Echoes of a ‘Dirty War’,” the Times associates Pope Francis with several priests who unfortunately supported government officials guilty of oppression and violations of civil liberties in the Dirty War and notes he has “never apologized” for the fact that the Argentine Church never came out vociferously against the military Junta between 1976 and 1983.
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The Next Attack on Pope Francis”

James Taranto Mentions Warner Todd Huston in Wall Street Journal

Neato. I got mentioned by James Taranto in The Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web.

Yes, I am getting all fanboy-like. Sue me.


Meanwhile, blogger Warner Todd Huston notes a two-year-old Slate piece by Ron Rosenbaum, in which Rosenbaum argues that it’s racist to prefer white meat. No, Rosenbaum isn’t speaking figuratively; he actually detects a racial subtext to one’s preference in cuts of turkey:

White meat turkey has no taste. Its slabs of dry, fibrous material are more like cardboard conveyances, useful only for transporting flavorsome food like stuffing and gravy from plate to mouth. . . .

Why have we broken the chains of the whiteness that bound us to fatally tasteless white bread while still remaining imprisoned in the white-meat turkey ghetto? . . .
Do [people] still associate white meat with refinement? It was enough to make me wonder whether there could be a racial, if not racist, subtext here. Perhaps there is a clue in the shifting fate of the “other white meat”–pork. I’ll never forget the moment when I learned the antebellum racial origin of the phrase “living high on the hog.” . . .
It hails from the plantation days, when the white slave owners dined on choice pork chops cut from “high on the hog” while the slaves made do with the lower parts of the pig–the ham hocks, the pigs feet, the pork bellies, and the innards. White meat was high on the hog, but not higher on flavor than other (often darker) cuts. Indeed the “other white meat” now available most frequently in lean and tasteless pork chops and cutlets has little more taste than white meat turkey.

On the avian gustatory question, we’re with Rosenbaum. Not only do we vastly prefer dark meat to white, we had duck for Thanksgiving. But he’s wrong about pork. All pork contains myoglobin, the substance that distinguishes white meat from dark. Try cooking a pork tenderloin medium rare, as we do, and you’ll see it’s quite mouth-wateringly pink.

But wait. One thing that white meats–chicken and turkey breasts and wings, and many types of fish–have in common is that they’re all lean meats. “Lean” is a synonym for “skinny,” which, as we know from reading Slate, is a code word for “black.”

That suggests that Obama’s choice of “white turkey chili” was not a joke at Romney’s expense but an expression of his own identity–and that Ron Rosenbaum is the real racist.


Alas it is a mere mention but it is a mention nonetheless.

Wall Street Journal ‘Corrects’ Source on Obama Event Attendance

-By Warner Todd Huston

Last week a story appeared at The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog that made an unsupported claim that President Obama packed 18,000 people into a Wisconsin arena that only sports 5,000 seats. At the time it was posted, The Journal did not offer a source for the 18,000 attendee count, but today there has been an addition updating that source.

Now, according to Washington Wire, that source has been identified as Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

The Wall Street Journal wasn’t the only news outlet that blindly regurgitated the 18,000 attendee claim. Politico and the Associated Press both used the seemingly impossible number.
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Wall Street Journal ‘Corrects’ Source on Obama Event Attendance”

John Fund on Why Voter ID Law is Good for Minorities

-By Warner Todd Huston

John Fund visited with Robert Bluey of the Heritage Foundation to discuss why voter ID laws are good in general but also good for minorities.

Visit The Scribe for more info.
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John Fund on Why Voter ID Law is Good for Minorities”

Nany, Nany Noo Noo: Peggy Noonan Jumps the Shark Over Donald Rumsfeld Memoir

-By Warner Todd Huston

In her March 11 column, Peggy Noonan (a former special assistant to Ronald Reagan) savaged Donald Rumsfeld as “The Defense Secretary Who Let Bin Laden Get Away .” Noonan also ripped his new book, “Known and Unknown,” as a tome whose “stupid little spine” she wanted to break in anger. I’d like to suggest that while she was “flinging” books, she did so while jumping the shark.*

Noonan (did you know she once worked for Ronald Reagan?) simply hated Rummy’s book. In fact, it seems that she was particularly incensed that the book made her buddy and TV show comrade, Bob Woodward, out to be a liar. Victoria Coates reports the crux of the matter in her latest posting and handily eviscerates Noonan’s (who once worked for Ronald Reagan) shallow article.
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Nany, Nany Noo Noo: Peggy Noonan Jumps the Shark Over Donald Rumsfeld Memoir”