As we approach Thanksgiving, you may have heard (or personally experienced) that the cost of Thanksgiving…
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Stat of the Day: Thanksgiving Costs Up a Record 20%, but Prescription Drug Prices Decline

As we approach Thanksgiving, you may have heard (or personally experienced) that the cost of Thanksgiving dinner this year is up a record 20%.

Meanwhile, guess what's actually declined in price, according to the federal government itself.  That would be prescription drug prices, which declined 0.1% last month alone.

Perhaps the Biden Administration should focus on helping everyday Americans afford Thanksgiving, rather than artificially imposing innovation-killing government price controls on lifesaving drugs, which are actually declining in price and nowhere near the inflation rate afflicting other consumer costs.…[more]

November 17, 2022 • 11:48 AM

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Jester's Courtroom Legal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts
To Reduce Crime, Incarcerate to Incapacitate Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 22 2022
Apart from perhaps New York, crime-infested Illinois is the last place that one would expect politicians to actually soften criminal laws.

Last week’s video of a hatchet-wielding maniac terrorizing patrons in a New York City McDonald’s deepened the sense that it’s the 1970s again in New York.  

The footage resonates even more deeply for symbolizing an increasing sense of random lawlessness across America, particularly after the assailant was released without bail under New York’s “bail reform” laws.  

Accordingly, a man who should remain jailed under any reasonable standard was instead unleashed upon the public without spending a single day behind bars.  

In a similarly grotesque incident a month ago in New York, a convicted sex offender who sucker-punched and nearly killed an innocent bystander for no reason whatsoever was also allowed to walk free after the crime.  Back in March, career criminal Eugene Clark beat a 67-year-old man to death and was charged with second-degree murder, only to be released immediately after arraignment on his own recognizance.  

These aren’t inflammatory aberrations, nor are they confined to New York.  

This is no blip.  It’s becoming the new normal.  

To wit, the U.S. murder rate jumped a record 29.4% in 2020 alone.  For context, the previous record increase was a comparatively tiny 13% in 1968.  In 2021, instead of declining back toward the pre-2020 norm, that rate actually increased another 5%, along with other violent crime:  

The number of 2021 homicides in the cities studied was 5% greater than in 2020 – representing 218 additional murders in those cities – and 44% greater than in 2019, representing 1,298 additional lives lost.  Aggravated and gun assault rates were also higher in 2021 than in 2020.  Aggravated assaults increased by 4%, while gun assaults went up by 8%.  Robbery rates increased slightly after dropping in 2020…  Motor vehicle theft rates were 14% higher than in 2021 than the year before.  Domestic violence incidents increased by nearly 4% between 2020 and 2021.  

Not coincidentally, the upward trend in crime has occurred during a period of declining incarceration, according to U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) data:  

The combined state and federal imprisonment rate of 419 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents in 2019 was the lowest imprisonment rate since 1995.  The imprisonment rate in 2019 marked a 17% decrease from 2009, a 3% decrease from 2018, and the 11th consecutive annual decrease.  

Equally notably, that correlation contrasts with the period between 1995 and 2008, when U.S. incarceration rates increased while crime rates decreased:  

The imprisonment rate rose 23% from 1995 to its peak in 2007 and 2008 (506 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 residents in both years).  It then fell back below the 1996 level (which was 427 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 residents) in 2019.  

Those contrasting trends demonstrate that America isn’t experiencing an over-incarceration problem, we’re experiencing an under-incarceration problem.  

To understand why, it’s important to realize that a very small percentage of the population commits a disproportionately high percentage of crimes.  The same person inclined to commit a seemingly minor violation like jumping a subway turnstile or shoplifting is far more likely than the average American to commit a grave violation like armed robbery, kidnapping or murder.  

Accordingly, by incarcerating someone even for seemingly “minor” violations we incapacitate them during that period of incarceration from committing other, potentially more serious crimes.  

Once again, the DOJ’s own official data confirms that reality.  

Specifically, in a multi-year study released in 2018, the DOJ found that an astonishing 83% of prisoners were rearrested at least once during the decade following their release, with an average of five arrests per released prisoner:  

Overall, 68 percent of released state prisoners were arrested within three years, 79 percent within six years and 83 percent within nine years.  The 401,288 released state prisoners were arrested 1,994,000 times during the nine years after their release, an average of five arrests per released prisoner.  On an annual basis, 44 percent of prisoners were arrested during the first year after release, 34 percent were arrested during the third year and 24 percent were arrested the ninth year.  

This is all a straightforward correlation, and tough-on-crime policies at the federal, state and local levels successfully reduced crime until anti-police and soft-on-crime policies became more fashionable in recent years.  

Sadly, many refuse to acknowledge that simple connection, which ends up costing thousands of lives each year.  

For example, effective January 1, 2023, the state of Illinois will eliminate mandatory cash bail for almost all criminal defendants.  It almost seems too absurd to be real, but there will be no automatic detention for crimes ranging from burglary to kidnapping to arson to armed robbery and even second-degree murder.  Apart from perhaps New York, crime-infested Illinois is the last place that one would expect politicians to actually soften criminal laws.  

Unfortunately, it will apparently require more years and more avoidable tragedies before some jurisdictions re-learn the lesson of the 1980s and 1990s.  

To bring crime back under control, the first step is incapacitation of criminals who commit most of society’s crimes.  

Quiz Question   
The first U.S. oil-producing well was founded in 1859 near which of the following towns?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"Florida is divesting from investment giant BlackRock, becoming the latest state to pull assets from the firm over its environment, social, and governance (ESG) policies.The Sunshine State's chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, announced Thursday that the Florida Treasury would immediately begin removing roughly $2 billion in assets from BlackRock's control in a process that should be completed…[more]
 
 
—Breck Dumas, Fox Business
— Breck Dumas, Fox Business
 
Liberty Poll   

Congress is debating adding $45 billion more than requested to defense spending for 2023. Considering a fragile economy and geopolitical threats, do you support or oppose that increase?