Thursday, 10 January 2008


Ken Berwitz

No, not THAT Hillary.

Sir Edmund Hillary died today at the age of 88.

Sir Edmund was the first man (that we know of anyway) to successfully climb Mount Everest.  He was a daring man who made other dangerous climbs as well, and was a hero to millions.

May he rest in peace


Ken Berwitz

I always liked that song "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", which was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and sung by Dionne Warwick. 

One of its last lines starts "What do you get when you fall in love, you only get a life of pain and sorrow...."  And, in thinking about it, I can't help also thinking about two Gubernatorial examples of the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade (LAMBs), Jon Corzine of New Jersey and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. 

Here are excerpts from two articles which show you why they come to mind:

NJ nears undermining Electoral College

TRENTON, N.J. --New Jersey is close to entering a compact that would eliminate the power of the Electoral College to choose a president if enough states endorse the idea.

The state Senate voted Thursday to approve delivering the state's 15 electoral votes for president to the winner of the national popular vote. The Assembly approved the measure in December and needs Gov. Jon S. Corzine's signature to become law.

"The bill is subject to a thorough review, but Gov. Corzine has long been a supporter of this concept," Corzine spokesman Jim Gardner said.

The measure could result in the electoral votes going to a candidate opposed by voters in New Jersey, which has backed Democratic presidential candidates since 1988.

The compact would take effect only if enough states -- those with a majority of votes in the Electoral College -- agreed to it. A candidate needs 270 of 538 electoral votes to win.

So far, Maryland -- with 10 electoral votes -- is the only state to pass the compact into law.


Patrick eyes in-state tuition for illegal immigrant students

By Associated Press  |   Thursday, January 10, 2008  |  |  Local Politics

Governor Deval Patrick says hes researching whether he can take unilateral action to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges.

The governor made the comments while speaking to education and business leaders this morning.

Patrick, who has long supported the idea, says his legal team is looking into whether the change can be made without approval from the Legislature.

House lawmakers soundly rejected in 2006 a bill that would let undocumented immigrant students pay in-state tuition.

Supporters argue that children of illegal immigrants who have graduated from Massachusetts high schools should pay the same tuition as their classmates.

But opponents say he state shouldnt be educating undocumented students so they can take higher paying jobs from legal residents.

Let's review:

Jon Corzine, who bought a senate seat and then a governorship (but...but... the rich guys are all Republican, right?), along with his fellow Democrats who control New Jersey's statehouse, are on the verge of passing legislation that makes New Jersey residents meaningless in a presidential election.  

That's right.,  Meaningless.

What would the legislation say?  It would say that if the country votes a certain way, New Jersey's position would be  "Ok, it doesn't matter if we think any differently, if YOU say you want a candidate, we agree to go along with YOUR decision.   If we disagree?  That's irrelevant 'n' immaterial."

In other words, New Jersey would not vote as a state, it would simply defer to what everyone else says.  Hey, why not save the $$$ and not have a state vote for president at all? 

For that matter, why stop there?  Why not have a national consensus on decisions a governor would make within the state too?

What's that you say?  It's ridiculous?  New Jersey has issues that are specific to itself and can't be subjected to what other states think it should do?  New Jersey voters count?  Well, HELLO THERE.,  That's the point.

And then we come to Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.  This genius wants to hand illegal aliens a tuition break for attending colleges they have no legal right to attend because the schools are located in places they have no legal right to be in.  And who is paying the difference?  Why the LEGALS, of course. 

So, in Deval Patrick's bizarro world, not only are illegals invited in, but they are subsidized by the people who are here legally. 

And since not even Massachusetts' legislature would ever go for this, Patrick is looking into ways of just doing it without them.  Sort of the way fidel castro operates.

"What do you get when you elect a LAMB, you only get policies of pain and sorrow..." 

Dionne Warwick, a New Jersey native, could record the updated version, just as she recorded the original lyrics.  And I guarantee it would sound a lot better than Corzine or Patrick making a speech to tell us that their policies are now in force.

Hey, since Dionne is into psychic phenomena, maybe she ALREADY has recorded it. 


Ken Berwitz

Bill Schneider is the senior political analyst at CNN.  I can't say I always agree with him, not by a long shot.  But when he's right he's right.  In this case, he is not only right, he is understating.

Here is Mr. Schneider's take on a possible presidential run by New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg:

Mayor Bloomberg is from the most Democratic part of the country: the Northeast. And his views are much closer to the Democratic party than to the Republican party. So there's a good chance Bloomberg would split the Democratic vote and help elect a Republican. Just what the Democrats need: a Ralph Nader, with money.

That is dead-on right.  100%

Michael Bloomberg is a Democrat.  A hugely rich Democrat.

When Bloomberg aspired to become the mayor of New York City there were plenty of Democrats just like him to compete with.  So as a practical matter he changed registration and ran as a Republican.  Republicans, for their part, were thrilled because, since Rudy Giuliani was prevented from running a third time by term limits, he was about the only guy who had even a slight chance of winning for them.  Plus, Bloomberg had the means to fund his own campaign -- very important in a city which is so heavily Democratic.

Never mind that Bloomberg was, and remains, a liberal Democrat on social issues (and a good number of others as well).  The Republican perspective was that if your choice is to win ugly or lose, you go for winning ugly.  And that's what they did.

Now in his second term, I think most people would say Bloomberg has been a pretty successful mayor.  He certainly has been a popular one.  It can be argued that Bloomberg's popularity was because he never performed in a way that could be classified as Republican;  reasonable enough, since he was Republican in name only.

Then, last year, Bloomberg decided to end the pretense (hey, he couldn't run for another term anyway).  He left the Republican party and is now an independent.

If Michael Bloomberg runs for president, it will not matter that he started late.  Nor is money an issue:  he can personally fund a national campaign and stay rich beyond belief anyway.

And who would Bloomberg's natural constituency be?  Based on who he is and how he has performed, it would be a combination of social liberals, New Yorkers and Jews (a good many would be two or all three of those classifications simultaneously). 

How many votes does this take from the Republican base?  Not many.

How many votes does this take from the Democratic base?  Lots and lots.

Further, the votes a guy like Bloomberg takes are going to have high impact in several major states, and could literally be the difference between them staying blue or going red. 

Illustratively, suppose Bloomberg runs independent and the Democratic nominee is Hillary Clinton (who would have had to defeat Barack Obama to get the nomination).  Between the votes Bloomberg siphons off and the number of Black voters who will decline to vote for Clinton because she defeated Obama, suddenly New York goes from near-certain Democrat to probable Republican.

And that little combo could also move Illinois and Pennsylvania into the Republican column, as well as solidifying Florida for them. 

The result?  A Republican victory in November, with plenty of electoral votes to spare.

Like I said, Bill gets this right.  He's just understating.


Ken Berwitz

So what do you do if your pal dies before cashing his social security check?

Here, courtesy of the Associated Press, is a novel that definitely comes under the heading "you can't make this stuff up":

Men wheel in corpse, try to cash check in N.Y.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK New York Detective Travis Rapp has seen his share of corpses, but this was new: two men wheeling a rigid, pale body down a Manhattan street in a red office chair, drawing a suspicious crowd.

Looking out the window of the restaurant where he was having lunch, Rapp initially assumed "it was a mannequin or a dummy," he said. "I thought it was a joke, honestly."

A closer inspection showed it wasn't. The man was dead, and two of his friends had hauled his corpse to a store to cash his $355 Social Security check, police said. They were arrested before they could get the money.

The suspects, David Dalaia and James O'Hare, both 65, were arrested and charged with attempted forgery, attempted possession of a forged instrument and petty larceny.

Their friend, Virgilio Cintron, 66, appears to have died of natural causes within the past few days, though the medical examiner's office said Wednesday that further tests were needed.

The trouble began Tuesday when Dalaia and O'Hare tried to cash Cintron's check at a store in Hell's Kitchen on their own, police said. The man at the counter told them Cintron had to be present to cash the check, so they went back to his apartment, which one of the suspects shared with the dead man.

Cintron was apparently undressed when he died. Police said Dalaia and O'Hare proceeded to dress him in a faded T-shirt, pants they could get only part way up and a pair of sneakers. They threw a coat over his waist to conceal what the pants couldn't cover, police said.

They then put him on the office chair and wheeled the corpse over to the check-cashing store.

The men left Cintron's body outside, went inside and tried to cash his check, authorities said. The store's clerk, who knew Cintron, asked the men where he was, and O'Hare told the clerk they would go and get him.

About the same time, Rapp confronted the men as they were trying to haul the body into the store. He said that even after he identified himself as a police officer, O'Hare told him, "I have to get my friend in here. I have to cash his check."

He ordered the men to back away from the victim. They feigned surprise when paramedics declared him dead, Rapp said.

"When [paramedics] said, 'Your friend is dead,' they said, 'Oh my God, he's gone?' " .

I wonder if they thought about what to do if the cashier asked "what combination of bills do you want?" 

Or how they were going to get the corpse to pull out his ID card, not to mention putting the money in his wallet.  "Oh, he's got a little arthritis, I'll do it for him".

I mean, pushing a corpse down the street in a wheelchair?  That's cold ---- in more ways than one.


Ken Berwitz

Paul Mirengoff is one of the principals at  Here is his take on Hillary Clinton's victory speech, made after she cried her way to victory in New Hampshire. 

It is short, dead on target and so well articulated that I have nothing to add to it:

Dueling speeches

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have now given their post-election speeches. Obama made a brief passing reference to terrorism and al Qaeda. Clinton didn't see fit to mention either.

Obama seemed to be warming up for South Carolina, as he delivered a rousing speech, the theme of which was "yes, we can," in a cadence of which Jesse Jackson would not have been ashamed. Obama lost tonight, but he remains formidable, and it will be fascinating to see whether he can rally African-American voters in the numbers he'll apparently need to offset the votes of white women.

Clinton's speech was pedestrian to the core. She had only one notable line, which she directed to the people of New Hampshire: "I liistened to you and in the process I found my own voice." But how pathetic is that? Clinton has been in public life forever, in the Senate for seven years, and in the campaign for about a year, and she's only now finding "her own voice?" While on the brink of defeat, with tears on her face at a cafe in Portsmouth?

It shouldn't require "shock therapy" for a candidate to find her voice. John McCain, for one, never lost his.


Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I commented that President Bush seems to have lost his spine and I miss the version of him that has one.

Based on the following Associated Press article, I may have been too harsh in that assessment.  I'm not sure one way or the other - subsequent events will inform my opinion of course - but I acknowledge that there is at least some possibility that he still has backbone when it comes to the middle east.

Here is the article.  The bold print is mine:

Bush Strongly Warns Iran on Naval Clash
Jan 9 07:04 PM US/Eastern
AP White House Correspondent

JERUSALEM (AP) - President Bush warned Iran of "serious consequences" if it meddles again with U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, opening a Mideast peacemaking mission Wednesday on an ominous note. He told Israel to dismantle unauthorized settlement outposts and demanded that the Palestinians halt rocket attacks from areas controlled by Hamas Islamic militants.

Bush, on his first visit as president to Israel, acknowledged widespread doubts about whether he can break through decades of distrust to achieve his goal of a major peace agreement by the end of his presidency in January, 2009.

"I'm under no illusions," Bush said at a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "It's going to be hard work."

Unpopular at home, Bush got an extremely warm welcome in staunch ally Israel. With his presidency slipping away and skepticism about the seriousness of his commitment to Mideast peacemaking, Bush hopes an accord would improve a legacy tarnished by an unpopular Iraq war, economic anxieties and other problems.

Already a troubling issue for Bush, Iran jumped back into the spotlight Sunday when Iranian boats harassed and provoked three American Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. U.S. officials said Iran threatened to explode the vessels, but the incident ended peacefully.

Bush said "all options are on the table" to protect U.S. ships. He said the Iranian boats "were very provocative and it was a dangerous gesture on their part. ... And they know our position, and that is: There will be serious consequences if they attack our ships, pure and simple. And my advice to them is don't do it."

Bush already was on the defensive about Iran because a new U.S. intelligence report contradicted White House assertions that Tehran was building a nuclear weapon. The National Intelligence Estimate found Iran halted its program in 2003 under international pressure.

Iran is a particularly sensitive subject here because Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for Israel's destruction, and Israelis wonder whether Bush has the resolve to deal with Tehran, especially in light of the new intelligence.

Saying he still regarded Iran as a dangerous threat, Bush said, "We'll continue to keep the pressure on the Iranians. And I believe we can solve this problem diplomatically."

After a red-carpet airport arrival in Tel Aviv, Bush flew by helicopter to Jerusalem for talks with Olmert and Israeli President Shimon Peres, who cautioned that peace negotiations "may be slow, but the progress can be sweet."

Olmert said Israel would not accept a peace agreement unless there is a halt to rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, controlled by Islamic militants dedicated to Israel's destruction. The U.S.-backed Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, wields authority in the West Bank but not in Gaza, meaning the Palestinian population is effectively split between two governing entities.

"There will be no peace unless terror is stopped," Olmert told Bush. "And terror will have to be stopped everywhere. He said that "Gaza must be part of the package and that as long as there will be terror from Gaza, it will be very, very hard to reach any peaceful understanding between us and the Palestinians."

The threat to Israel was underscored Wednesday when Palestinian militants in the Gaza bombarded southern Israel with rocket and mortar fire.

On Thursday, Bush will fly to the West Bank and question Abbas about just that.

"As to the rockets, my first question is going to be to President Abbas, `What do you intend to do about them?'" Bush said.

"Because ultimately, in order for there to be the existence of a state, there has to be a firm commitment by a Palestinian government to deal with extremists and terrorists who might be willing to use Palestinian territory as a launching pad into Israel."

Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser, sounded pessimistic about Hamas joining the peace process.

"Nobody, unfortunately, is very optimistic that they will make that choice," Hadley said. "Hamas came to power in election; it will have to submit itself at some point to the people of Gaza in terms of their approval of the job they have done. And at this point, it's a pretty depressing situation in Hamasin Gaza for all those people who live there."

The administration set low expectations for Bush's eight-day Mideast journey, which also includes stops in Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Bush said it would be unproductive for him to "butt in and actually dictate the end result of the agreement."

But that did not stop him from telling Israel what to do about settlements.

"In terms of outposts, yes, they ought to go," Bush said. "Look, I mean, we've been talking about it for four years. The agreement was, `Get rid of outposts, illegal outposts,' and they ought to go.'"

Israel has established some 120 settlements in the West Bank, which are home to about 270,000 Israelis. In addition, there are more than 100 outposts, most of which are tiny encampmentsbuilt by hardline activists without authorizationmeant to serve as the seeds of future settlements.

The U.S.-backed peace plan known as the "road map" calls on Israel to remove dozens of outposts and freeze settlement activity, including construction in existing settlements.

Olmert repeated his pledge not to build any new settlements, but indicated Israel will continue building in major settlement blocs and east Jerusalem.

Bush was silent on Olmert's claims to the settlement blocs and east Jerusalem. This was disappointing to the Palestinians, who say all settlements are illegal.

The Palestinians want all of the West Bank and east Jerusalem for their future state. Israel wants to keep east Jerusalem and the large settlements in the West Bank under a final peace agreement.

Bush offered support to Israel on one of the core issues in the conflict. "The alliance between our two nations helps guarantee Israel's security as a Jewish state," Bush said.

Bush has referred to Israel as Jewish state in the past but the referencehere in the regionhad special significance. Palestinians oppose the term, saying it rules out the right of Palestinian refugees to return to lost properties in Israel.

Let's get one issue out of the way right up-front.  The NIE report said Iran halted nuclear weapons activity in 2003, but also said that the nuclear activity they are engaged in can easily be converted to nuclear weapon usage. 

This little headline, clearly inserted with intent by the CIA which has never been a fan of Bush's, was meant to give our "neutral media" a chance to make claims that politically damage Bush without actually lying about Iran's capabilities.  And our "neutral" media jumped at the chance to use it that way.

As far as Iran's intentional provocation in the Strait of Hormuz?  Let's be honest; Iran's "brain trust" (maybe, for accuracy, I should eliminate the first 't' of trust) has spent the last two years trying desperately to create a military confrontation with Israel and/or the USA.  Neither has taken the bait yet, so Iran has escalated its provocations.  Eventually (maybe very soon judging by what happened yesterday) the USA will be forced to take ahmadinejad & Co. up on it. 

If this happens, not only will there be severe military repercussions, it will also have a huge effect on the domestic political calculus.  What happens when President Bush is attacked by Democrats for acting against Iran under these circumstances?  

Let's wait and see.  I hope Iran will start acting rationally so it will be a long wait, but their recent behavior makes me doubt it.

As far as Israel goes, President Bush's comments are somewhat less spineless than they were days ago. There is no mention of talking about the so-called "right of return", which would result in millions of Arabs entering Israel, challenging the ownership of all land there and demographically turning it in to an Arab state - one ruled by hamas, if the previous elections are any indication.  Israel agreeing to this would be Israel agreeing to a suicide pact.

Further, the demand that palestinian Arabs end terrorist attacks as condition of any peace agreement is an almost certain deal-breaker since, based on 60 years of history, palestinian Arabs are not going to do this. 

The bottom line is that I remain skeptical about how President Bush is comporting himself on these issues.  But at least there is a glimmer of the old Bush somewhere in the mix. 


Ken Berwitz

Just a short time ago, John Kerry, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, took time out from ducking T. Boone Pickens and gave his endorsement for president.

Who did he give it to?  Barack Obama.  Not Hillary Clinton.  Not John Edwards, his own running mate in 2004. 

Here are the particulars, from the Associated Press:

2004 Dem nominee Kerry endorsing Obama

By GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer 18 minutes ago

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Barack Obama is being endorsed by fellow Sen. John Kerry, the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee who lost to George W. Bush that year with John Edwards as his running mate and gave up his own plans for a 2008 run a year ago.

Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, planned to announce his support Thursday at a rally with Obama at the College of Charleston, arguing that the Illinois senator can best unite the country, said a Democrat familiar with the decision. Kerry was timing his announcement before South Carolina's Jan. 26 primary, a contest that has taken on extra importance for Obama after Hillary Rodham Clinton beat him in New Hampshire.

Kerry lost the South Carolina Democratic primary in 2004 to Edwards, the former North Carolina senator who now is running third in the 2008 campaign behind Clinton and Obama.

Besides any potential help for Obama, the endorsement was a slap at Edwards, Kerry's former running mate. The two had their differences during the campaign over strategy and spending, and Edwards has said he would have been more aggressive in challenging the unsubstantiated allegations of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth questioning Kerry's military record.

Edwards responded to the endorsement with a statement released Thursday in Chapel Hill, N.C.: "Our country and our party are stronger because of John's service, and I respect his decision. When we were running against each other and on the same ticket, John and I agreed on many issues."

Kerry's endorsement also was a jab at Clinton, the New York Democrat who won the New Hampshire primary after a loss to Obama in the Iowa caucuses.

Kerry had withheld his endorsement, hoping to have an impact on the race and avoid the fate of fellow Democrat Al Gore, the 2000 nominee who endorsed Howard Dean in 2004 shortly before the former Vermont governor's campaign imploded. Gore has made no endorsement so far this year.

While Kerry has been close to Clinton's husband, the former president, he was incensed in 2006 when she chided him after Kerry suggested that people who don't go to school "get stuck in Iraq." Aides said Kerry meant to jab at Bush and say "get us stuck in Iraq," and that he didn't appreciate Clinton piling onto the criticism he was already getting for the remark.

Kerry himself had considered running for president in 2008, but that plan fizzled with the botched remark. For many Democrats, his words revived bitter memories of his missteps in 2004, when he lost to Bush.

As for Obama, Kerry gave the young Illinois state senator his first turn in the national spotlight when he chose him to deliver the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Later that year, Obama won election as a U.S. senator.

Since announcing a year ago he would not make the run, Kerry has prodded Democrats to take a stronger anti-war stance, pushing for troop withdrawal deadlines. In another area, he has backed environmental causes, writing a book with his wife on the issue.

Kerry should be able to provide some organizational muscle to Obama.

Since losing the 2004 race, Kerry has kept a national network of supporters intact. He has an e-mail network of 3 million supporters, according to aides. He also has traveled extensively raising millions of dollars for Democratic candidates nationwide

Considering Kerry's presence within the Democratic party and the fact that he, very deservedly, is an icon to its hard-left wing, this is great news for Senator Obama and a genuine setback for Senator Clinton. 

Anyone who doubted that the Democratic nominating process would be a street fight should know better now. 

Hillary's single best chance to be president - maybe her only chance - is 2008.  She has to take out Barack Obama to be the nominee.  And with Kerry on his side that just became a lot harder.  It means the attacks on by Ms. Clinton on Mr. Obama will be that much sharper and that much more vicious.  Count on Mr. Obama to respond in kind.

John Edwards, the human oil slick, is probably so depressed he's going to sue a hospital and a couple of doctors out of business.


Ken Berwitz

I sometimes think of Norway as the Ted Kennedy of countries.  It is fabulously wealthy because of circumstances unrelated to any of its own accomplishments (Ted had daddy Joe, Norway has north sea oil).  And that wealth by proxy has enabled it to create a welfare-state culture that would be impossible if the revenues were not available in such abundance. 

I would say that there is also a similarity in weight between the two, but that would be cruel.

Simply stated, Norway is the nanny state that many people in the USA wish we were.  Virtually unlimited funds allocated to social programs for everything.  Classic womb to tomb care. 

Wouldn't you think a paradise on earth like Norway would be pretty crime free?  If I didn't know better I would certainly think so.   What reason would there be for crime when the government gives you so much.

But I am cursed with the knowledge that this is not true.  And since we have people touting welfare-state government for the USA as some kind of panacea for curing every social ill, I think it's important that you know too.  Here is an example of what I'm talking about, courtesy of the Norwegian news venue, Aftenposten:

Police can't keep up with criminals in Oslo

The Oslo Police District is snowed under by the sheer number of criminal cases in the capital, and only 21 percent of reported offenses were handled last year. Investigators claim they don't have the time, staffing or resources to cope with their workload.

Jan Olav Frantsvold is among those overwhelmed by the number of criminal cases the Oslo Police District is expected to handle.


The situation worsened when investigators refused to work overtime at the end of the year. More than 10,000 cases remained in the legal queue in Oslo when 2007 came to a close.

"This is unfortunate for the credibility of and confidence in the police," said Oslo district chief public prosecutor Morten Yggeseth. He added that this trend has significance for the countrys security.

The Oslo Police District also is faced with a large number of vacant positions in its legal department tnat have been difficult to fill. Norway's labour shortage and strong economy apparently has hit the police district's recruiting ability. Fully 80 positions, 10 percent of the total, remained vacant last year.

Oslo Police Chief Anstein Gjengedal said he was "surprised and disappointed" that police lawyers refused to work overtime, while other employees took part in a year-end campaign to improve the 2007 statistics.

Gjengedal says the police have had to prioritize which cases they pursue, with cases involving violence at the top of the list. "If the choice is between a violent case and a shoplifting case, its obvious which one will be shelved," said Gjengedal.

Oslo Police District Union leader Jan Olav Frantsvold said that the refusal to work overtime shouldn't have come as a surprise to the Oslo Police top executives. He says the Norwegian Parliament was warned about the situation 10 months ago.

"This is a vicious circle," explained Frantsvold. The older the cases, the more inquiries we get from the frustrated victims of crime. Many are upset, with good reason, when even cases with known perpetrators are not concluded after many months."

He adds that as a result, an undue amount of time and resources are used on explaining the situation to those who complain. .

How can this be?  Norway is a northern European state, operates on a socialist paradigm, the people are friendly and non-violent, there is no poverty, no problems, it is the antithesis of the USA.  Right? 


People commit crimes.  Even in friendly places like Norway.  Oslo is a city, and in cities there is crime.  Lots of it.  And, as you can see from the above article, Norway does not appear to have a serious capability to deal with it.

The reason for posting this is to show that people who think a nanny-state concept in which government provides just about everything is prone to anti-social behavior, just like any other country.  Very much including violent behavior.  It is part of the human condition and handing people things doesn't make it go away.  Maybe it even accelerates the problem.

That's something to remember then next time you're told how culterally inferior we are to places like Norway.  Or, put another way, it's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to be a shoplifting victim there.


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