Criminology and Economic Theory
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High-Tech crime prevention program connects neighborhoods with cops

High-Tech crime prevention program connects neighborhoods with cops | Criminology and Economic Theory |
It’s the latest tool in the fight against crime and it may be coming to your neighborhood soon.
Via Christa Miller
Kimberly's comment, September 27, 2012 3:30 AM
I think that this app is pretty cool. It is a good way to alert people in the neighborhood about what is going on. In ways it can be bad because there are always going to be dishonest people out there. Especially because it is free people can post things that aren't true and it will act as a deterrence while they are off burglarizing another home or place. It is an overall good idea, and another step closer to catching and deterring crime. Hopefully it will scare off criminals, and make the neighborhood a safer place to be. I wonder if we will ever have an app like that in Fairbanks.
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A Swedish politician is advocating for the ultimate workplace benefit: paid breaks for sex

A Swedish politician is advocating for the ultimate workplace benefit: paid breaks for sex | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Per-Erik Muskos, a 42-year-old local council member for Övertorneå in northern Sweden, proposed this week that Swedes should take a one-hour paid break from work to go home and have sex with their partners. Muskos expressed concern about couples who do not have enough time together, and noted that “studies” show that sex is healthy
Rob Duke's insight:
Um? ok, I guess.....
Brenden Arthur Couch's comment, Today, 2:28 AM
I am kind of speechless too, maybe I move to Sweden, my problem is that you'd end up having more kids and I have enough pregnant women in my life. IDK will this better their economy? This is weird I had to read it.
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The Economist explains: Why the yakuza are not illegal | The Economist

The Economist explains: Why the yakuza are not illegal | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

THE Yamaguchi-Gumi, one of the world's largest and most ferocious gangs, is estimated to earn over $6 billion a year from drugs, protection, loan-sharking, real-estate rackets and even, it is said, Japan’s stock exchange. This year, the organisation's 100th, over 2,000 of its 23,400 members split away, leaving police nervous about what fallout might follow; a war between rival gangs in the mid-1980s claimed over two dozen lives. And yet membership of the yakuza—as Japan's crime syndicates are known—is not technically illegal. Finding a mob hangout requires little more than a telephone book. Tokyo’s richest crime group has an office tucked off the back streets of the glitzy Ginza shopping district. A bronze nameplate on the door helpfully identifies the Sumiyoshi-kai, another large criminal organisation. Full gang members carry business cards and register with the police. Some have pension plans.
The yakuza emerged from misfit pedlars and gamblers in the Edo period (between 1603 and 1868) that formed into criminal gangs. During Japan’s turbo-charged modernisation, they reached deep into the economy; after the second world war they grew powerful in black markets. Their might peaked in the 1960s with an estimated membership of 184,000. At their zenith, they had strong links to conservative politicians and were used by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Japan’s post-war political behemoth, to break up unions and left-wing demonstrations. Such ties may not have completely faded. 
This history may explain in part why the gangs are not exactly illegal. But partly under pressure from America, which wants Japan to rein in financial crime, the mob is being brought to heel. Yakuza-exclusion ordinances, introduced three years ago, stop companies from knowingly engaging in business with gangsters. Businesses from banks to corner shops are now obliged to confirm that customers have no ties to organised crime. Known gangsters cannot open bank accounts. Still, there are no plans to criminalise the gangs themselves. The police believe that would drive crime underground, says Hiroki Allen, a security and finance consultant who studies the yakuza. At least now they are regulated and subject to the law, he says: gangsters have often been known to surrender by walking into police stations. “If one member does something bad you can call in the boss and take the whole gang down,” he says.

The upshot is that the yakuza still operate in plain view in a way that would be unthinkable in America or Europe. Fan magazines, comic books and movies glamorise them. Major gang bosses are quasi-celebrities. Though membership has shrunk to a record low of 53,500, according to the National Police Agency, "muscle work" is subcontracted to freelancers with no police records. A tougher core of gangsters has migrated from the mob's traditional cash cows into financial crimes that may be harder to detect. The yakuza have also been involved in the Fukushima nuclear cleanup and are thought to be eyeing rich pickings from construction and entertainment ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. As long as violence from the recent split does not spill over into the streets, nobody expects the yakuza to be seriously impeded. Japan, it seems, prefers organised crime to the disorganised alternative.

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Anchorage land-use specialist tapped to head Alaska's alcohol and marijuana office

Erika McConnell, who helped guide implementation of Anchorage's local marijuana land-use regulations, will now head the office tasked with overseeing alcohol and marijuana in Alaska.
Rob Duke's insight:
A land planner was appointed to head the regulatory and enforcement agency in charge of alcohol and cannabis in Alaska....hmm...
Jonathan Beardsley's comment, February 22, 5:07 PM
I can see why they would want someone who is a land planner to be in charge of marijuana since the most regulated part of the industry is where you can and can't grow. The zoning is very important to the local production of recreational marijuana, But for alcohol I don't see how being a land planner can be useful.
Brenden Arthur Couch's comment, Today, 2:46 AM
I think it will be interesting to see where this goes and how this benefits. If he was in charge of how land for growing marijuana is used perhaps he will be familiar with the new sets of laws and regs that go with it. It could be a good thing to benefit the people within the state if it is spent and/or saved properly.
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The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to take up a challenge to Alabama's lethal injection method

The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to take up a challenge to Alabama's lethal injection method | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to take up a challenge to Alabama's method of lethal injection.
Jonathan Beardsley's comment, February 22, 5:43 PM
Regardless of my views on the death penalty The fact that the state wants to use a more available drug that could cause more pain during lethal injection is not ok with me. I agree with the supreme court that if there is a less painful alternative then the proposed method of death penalty should be turned down.
Manisha Misra's comment, February 22, 5:49 PM
Well this is kind of crazy. I feel like because the death penalty isn't as widely used nowadays is because of cruel and unusual punishment, then why would it even be considered to use a drug that is seen as cruel and unusual punishment because of the level of pain it causes. I think that by purposefully using a method that is known to be more painful, we're bordering on torture with the issue, which is absolutely not okay.
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Police 'warn' of cows trying to sell dairy products

Police 'warn' of cows trying to sell dairy products | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Police in Connecticut are reminding people to not open their doors to "any unfamiliar cattle" after a pair of cows escaped from their pen and were found near a home a couple of houses away.
Rob Duke's insight:
...and now for something completely different:
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Number of Alabama inmates dropping, but not without consequences

Number of Alabama inmates dropping, but not without consequences | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The law made possession of drugs, including heroin, a felony not punishable by jail time for first-time offenders.
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The Heiress Who Buzz Sawed Her Boyfriend

The Heiress Who Buzz Sawed Her Boyfriend | Criminology and Economic Theory |
MUNICH, Germany—After sawing off the head of her bound and blind-folded boyfriend in the midst of a sex game, Gabi P. just pulled a blanket over the body, closed the door and didn’t enter the room for the next few months. It was only when she went on holiday half a year later that her new boyfriend, Christian K, an aspiring techno DJ who was freshly in love with her, accidently discovered the rotting remains when dropping by to feed her cat. (German privacy laws do not allow the publication of last names ongoing court cases.)
A friend of Christian’s remembers how, several years later, Christian once broke down sobbing in the street. Christian confessed: Gabi murdered her ex-boyfriend and he’s buried in our garden.
“And you didn’t ask him any further questions?” the judge, incredulous, asked Christian’s friend in a Munich courtroom Thursday.

Last week, 32-year-old Gabi P. was on trial here for murdering Alexander H. with an electric circular saw after a fight in 2008. But what looks like coldly premeditated slaughter (Hey, let me blindfold you and get out my saw!) may have been an “act of desperation” brought on by Alexander’s insistence on degrading sex in their relationship.
At least, that’s what the defense is arguing. Most of Gabi’s own testimony is closed to the public. But from other witnesses the judge wants to know: Was Alexander very dominant with Gabi? Did he beat her up? Did he demand and pressure her into BDSM sex?
By the time police officers got around to unearthing Alexander’s remains from Gabi’s yard last year, his parents had long given up the search for their adoptive son. Yet on the fourth morning of the trial, Alexander’s mother walked up to her son’s alleged killer and shook her hand. “They’ve made up!“ an old lady in the audience whispered excitedly.
“I don’t have any hate,” Alexander’s mother told the court on Tuesday, while fighting back tears. “This is terrible for all of us.”

In court, Gabi speaks very quietly. She keeps her face covered and only looks at the judge. Her red hair dye is growing out, revealing roots that have already gone grey.
She’d started dating Alexander (whom she only refers to as “Herr H.”—Mr. H) when she was 16 years old. He, five years older, had made the moves on her. Back then, she thought it was cool “that he made such an effort.”
Rob Duke's insight:
You've heard the old saw (pun intended): Life is stranger than fiction....
Jennifer Slingerland's comment, February 20, 1:05 AM
It really sounds like the case is going to be an easy one. They have their confession, they just have to decide sentencing. It's sad, but I've seen how frustration can lead people to do absolutely crazy things. I have a cousin (in jail for assault) who went after her abusive boyfriend with a knife after years of emotional and physical abuse. I think that sometimes people can be pushed too far and will react purely on the overwhelming emotions they experience in the heat of the moment. As the saying goes, it's the straw that broke the camel's back.
Manisha Misra's comment, February 22, 5:56 PM
First things first, why did this new boyfriend just go along with everything when he found the body. Obviously, Gabi wasn't around when he found the remains so why didn't he go to the police and then get himself as far away from her as humanly possible. I also find it really interesting that Gabi committed such a heinous murder and went about living her life normally like nothing even happened. It seems as though she doesn't have any remorse and doesn't feel any guilt but she's just more concerned with what's going to happen to her.
Jasmine Lowery's comment, February 22, 10:53 PM
This case is just crazy. I can see Gabi P. case being featured on the investigation discovery show deadly women a show that views criminal cases about women who kill. This case is clearly premediated a sex game on wrong oh come on there was way to this case than that. Murdering someone with a saw is completely out of control overkill. Its just sickening she showed no remorse just went about life its distributing. Gabi murdered Alexander and had her new boyfriend help her and buried him in a garden. She knew what she did and then tried to cover it up. One thing that stands out to me more than anything is that the parents stopped looking for Alexander that is just strange to me. The family didn’t notice any red flags in their relationship? Whether Alexander was verbally, emotionally or physically abusive or not no one deserves to be killed especially in this manner. You never really know what is going to set someone off mentally and that is just scary. It seems like Gabi P. had an overly inflated ego control and selfishness at its finest. Gabi mentioning that lie to police that Alexander wanted to move on with new girl to Romania. I think to an extent that maybe Alexander was tired of her. It is like absolute control freak murder motive if she couldn’t have him no one can. If Alexander was as horrible as Gabi claimed why didn’t she just leave him? I think there is a lot more to this story that has yet to be explained. It is just heinous and disturbing how someone can harbor so much rage towards someone else.
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For children who survive gun violence, road to recovery can be long

For children who survive gun violence, road to recovery can be long | Criminology and Economic Theory |
In the midst of gun violence in Chicago that has taken the lives of three kids, ABC News looks at the impacts of shootings on those who do survive and their communities.
Jonathan Hall's comment, February 19, 8:05 AM
I can't fathom being that young and not even being able to play basketball near an elementary school safely. I would like to have read more about the services as Briana pointed out. That level of violence does definitely constitute "out of control" in my mind.
Dustin Drover's comment, February 19, 11:38 PM
I never realized how many kids were shot before. I would have guessed that number to be way lower. I also didn't realize how much pain and suffering this leaves on a child, not only the actual physical wounds, but the mental ones as well. I never thought about how this can hurt their classmates, friends, and family either. I am also wondering if President Trumps threat to send the FBI is going to be actually implemented now that these kids have been shot and crime is still on the rise? I hope that these families and kids have the right rehabilitation programs to get them through their emotional pain.
Jennifer Slingerland's comment, February 20, 1:09 AM
So sad. This is one of those topics that I feel tends to get overlooked; we wax day in and day out about gun control, but no one seems to talk about the psychological impact it can have on the survivors. It's sad that we don't have more supportive programs to help people on both sides; maybe if we focused more on placing importance on mental health, we'd have fewer people feeling as if shooting another human being is the best way to solve their own issues.
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Immigration agents detain domestic-abuse victim in court

Immigration agents detain domestic-abuse victim in court | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Six federal immigration agents went to the El Paso County Courthouse last week and arrested an undocumented woman who had just received a protective order alleging that she was a victim of domestic violence.

The detention has alarmed officials who fear that that the arrest will scare undocumented victims of domestic abuse into staying with their abusers for fear of being deported and separated from their children or other family members.

“Our clients come to us at the lowest point in their lives,” said El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal, whose office represents domestic-abuse victims when they seek court orders against their abusers. “Many of them are so frightened of coming to us because of possible immigration concerns.”

Bernal said her office is taking steps to relieve those fears in the wake of last week’s arrest.
Rob Duke's insight:
I guess it depends on the circumstances.  I didn't want my community members pushed into the arms of the gangs or cartels, so we ignored most immigration violations (we weren't empowered to enforce these Federal laws), but there were some folks who were involved in criminal activity that we asked for help from ICE....
Eric Villasenor's comment, February 16, 7:39 PM
People shouldn't have to fear turning in an abuser because of deportation concerns. However, in most cases, they shouldn't be here illegally in the first place. It is not as difficult as people make it seem to gain residency. Those that prove their worth, can become residents.
Martha Hood's comment, February 19, 10:07 PM

If we want people to report domestic violence they should not have to fear deportation at the same time. There were better ways for ICE to handle this, they could have waited to arrest her, unless she was a serious threat. It is also suspected that the tip was from her abuser, which means that she is still suffering at the hands of her abuser. We need to protect women, even if they are not here legally.
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How the Internet's Just Starting to Transform Cuba

In the past two years, Cuba has started rolling out public access to the internet. Wifi is now available through a network of hotspots-- but access is expensive, and the connection can be patchy and slow. This week, Bloomberg Technology's Pia Gadkari visits Cuba, exploring what life looks like when a country's just starting to get online. Pia and Aki Ito hear from local entrepreneurs how the Internet is helping them grow their businesses, and discuss the potential for U.S. tech companies on the island.
Eric Villasenor's comment, February 16, 7:43 PM
This is great. I think Cuba is finally becoming part of the rest of the modern and developed world. I was just recently looking on at houses in Havana. You can rent a Spanish near mansion like accommodations for $20 a day. This will only improve their economy now that travel from the US is allowed and the internet is booming and becoming part of their trade. What a success for their country.
Angela Webb's comment, February 17, 6:19 AM

I think it’s really good that Cuba is becoming more familiar with the internet. It can be a very helpful and amazing thing. It can be a great boost for the economy. helping people grow their business will further help the economy and the wellbeing of the country.
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Old doors in Palmer courthouse to get a makeover

Though the project to replace or restore nearly 70 locks and doors has an estimated value of up to &u0024;500,000, state courts officials don't expect it to cost nearly that much.
Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, February 15, 7:38 PM
haha, I have worked on that building before, and yes the roof does indeed need to be replaced but I didn't think the doors would need to be replaced if the locks are just worn out.... Order new locks??? seems pretty obvious to me.
Angela Webb's comment, February 17, 5:55 AM
I find it interesting when they are having other more serious problems like the issue with the roof they would rather get the doors replaced. It is important for court rooms and important rooms to be secured but it seems that the locks still work and they just want the doors to be a little more sound proof. I don't see the need for this issue to be fixed before the roof. If there was tuns of money just laying around wishing for something to do then maybe it would be ok to fix the doors but I don't think its necessary right now.
Camden Pommenville's comment, February 19, 4:10 AM
It is important to maintain the security of our federal and state buildings and keep them from falling into disrepair. 500 thousand dollars seems a bit excessive in my opinion. If the doors are only taking 100 thousand, what are they planning on using the other 400 from the appropriation for?
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Life is but a stream: China’s new craze for live-streaming | The Economist

Life is but a stream: China’s new craze for live-streaming | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |
LAST YEAR ZHAO XINLONG, aged 25, and his wife and baby boy moved from his parents’ farm into a mid-rise apartment in town. It has been a tough adjustment. Luan County is a rustbelt community on the polluted outskirts of the steel city of Tangshan in north-east China.
Jasmine Lowery's comment, February 22, 10:54 PM
This article definitely shows that anyone and everyone today can have access to anything and everything. Everything being so accessible because of social media people tend to jump to social media and tend to put physically talking to other people to the way side. But at the same time it Live streaming and social media in general does create a platform for people to expand their business. So live streaming and social media does have its upside.
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Daily chart: How colleges affect social mobility in America | The Economist

Daily chart: How colleges affect social mobility in America | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |
IS THE American elite born or made? A new study by a team of economists tackles this question. By matching data from the Department of Education with 30m tax returns, the authors examine in unprecedented detail how much graduates of different colleges earn, and how earnings vary according to parental income.
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DEA, Troopers, FPD To Discuss Opioid Addiction With Public At West Valley Feb. 23rd | CBS News 13

DEA, Troopers, FPD To Discuss Opioid Addiction With Public At West Valley Feb. 23rd | CBS News 13 | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Chasing the Dragon' is a film produced by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration that depicts the harsh reality of heroin and opioid addiction.

There will be a showing of the film Thursday, February 23rd, at the West Valley Performing Arts Center, starting at 5:30 p.m.
The Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, the US Attorney's Office, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District are presenting the film.

After the showing, there will be a Q & A session with representatives from the DEA, U.S. Attorney's Office, Alaska State Troopers, Fairbanks Police Department, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, and the School District.

This event has been organized on of the heels of Gov. Bill Walker's public health crisis declaration earlier this month.
Rob Duke's insight:
While you can't ignore enforcement, Harm Reduction programs are where you really reduce the deaths and market demand for opiates.  Few people want to be addicted or to die of an overdose, but enforcement of users sends these folks underground where they have few treatment options, they share needles, and eventually, they overdose.  A good Harm Reduction program combines needle exchange, methadone, and readily available Narcan/Naloxone shots.  It also includes treatment so folks learn to manage their addiction and to cope with whatever led them to opiates in the first place (pain, lifestyle, PTSD, or other psychological trauma).
Law enforcement should focus on those who import and traffic the drug.
Caitlin Mattingly's comment, February 22, 5:48 PM
I think it is important that they are doing this. Informing kids about addiction can really make a difference in their future.
Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, Today, 1:53 AM
This is a very serious issue within our communities, not just here in Fairbanks but everywhere in the nation. I have wondered for a long time though how many people do to the underground to buy pain pills because they don't have a way to get them through a prescription when they are in need of them. I remember after my back surgery they tried to cut my script as part of the nation's attempt to cut down on the illegal sales of opioids and they almost cut mine when I actually needed them.
Brenden Arthur Couch's comment, Today, 2:38 AM
I believe public awareness campaigns are crucial to raising awareness community wide, especially when the penalties to a great number of crimes within the State are in flux as a new senate bill takes effect. If I had the time I would love to go see this but unfortunately I am really busy currently. I hope to catch it on youtube or on some public domain.
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Fighting crime using social media

Fighting crime using social media | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Sergeant Mickey Keaton of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office talks about how social media helps them solve crimes.
Jonathan Beardsley's comment, February 22, 5:04 PM
I find that the use of social media is a great tool for police departments. The way that I look at it is a person's facebook or any other type of social media is you digital public life. In that sense a police department has a great resource that allows them to better monitor crime.
Caitlin Mattingly's comment, February 22, 5:51 PM
I think social media is a great way to catch criminals. They can show warning signs before they commit a crime just by what they are posting about. Plus social media can provide all the evidence needed to convict a criminal and its funny because basically we have people convicting themselves.
John Oulton's comment, Today, 12:36 AM
I wonder how significant social media has helped police since almost everything is digital. I did not think that Sergeant Kenton can spend an entire day for weeks monitoring FB and online sources. I think using social media is a great idea because it connects you with community and makes them aware that there is some one watching. Pretty soon they are going to be using drones. I think it will be interesting if a police department does.
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John Rawls

John Rawls | Criminology and Economic Theory |

WHEN young, John Rawls was a talented athlete. Instead of becoming one of America's most distinguished political thinkers, he could have been a baseball player. Thin, quick and gangly, he would have made a perfect third baseman, a position requiring lightning reflexes and no time to think.

In the line he chose, however—close argument—Mr Rawls was a slow mover. He noted queries in pencil, responded to every objection and often begged for time with, “I'll have to think about that.” Many philosophers treat their theories as extensions of themselves; his seemed more like a common enterprise. He was modest, claiming that he took up philosophy because he was not clever enough for music or mathematics. Others at his level were quicker. Few were as thorough.

The germ of “A Theory of Justice”, the book that to his surprise made him famous, began to circulate in draft soon after he reached Harvard from Princeton and MIT in 1962. By the time of its publication in 1971, Mr Rawls had done his best to work in answers to every possible objection. His assiduity made the book hard-going. It also meant that it met a test proposed by Hilary Putnam, a logician and colleague, for a philosophical classic: the smarter you get, the smarter it gets. The book has sold getting on for 400,000 copies, and exists in dozens of languages, most recently Arabic.

In “A Theory of Justice”, Mr Rawls attempted to lay out a defendable basis for an equality-minded liberalism. Its pillars were two principles of justice: the inviolability of individual rights and the idea that when justifying social inequality—some degree of which was inevitable in a flourishing and prosperous society—absolute priority should be given to the needs of the worst off. By putting rights back at the centre of the enterprise and by re-invoking the old idea of a notional social contract among putative equals, Mr Rawls did much to free political theory in America and Britain from apparent cul-de-sacs. It also encouraged philosophers to think more practically about moral issues in the public arena.

Problems of redistribution
Challenges were not long in coming. Much fire was concentrated on Mr Rawls's famous “veil of ignorance”: what principles of justice would we choose, he asked, if we did not know our talents, wealth or opinions? Would we be as risk-averse as he seemed to think? This eye-catching device actually mattered less to the whole than it looked. A more notable attack came from Robert Nozick (who died in January). In “Anarchy, State and Utopia” (1974), Nozick argued that Mr Rawls's two principles of justice were in irreconcilable conflict. Attempts at redistribution to correct for inequality were bound, Nozick believed, to infringe on personal freedoms.

Conservatives took up Nozick's charge with alacrity. Though socialists were lukewarm to Mr Rawls, the two men were soon represented outside the academy as prizefighters for right and left: in the blue corner, Nozick, in the red corner, Rawls.

For all its importance, the issue of redistribution arose for Mr Rawls from a deeper concern. How can people with conflicting ideas about morals, religion and the good life agree to principles that will allow them to live together in a decent society? Though the need for toleration is perfectly general, because of America's divided history and his own family background, Mr Rawls felt its demands with unusual acuity.

He was born to a wealthy, professional family from Maryland, a slave-owning border state that stayed in the Union during the civil war. The father was a Baltimore lawyer who, to the son's chagrin, shared the racial bigotry of his class and time. His mother campaigned for women's rights.

Mr Rawls grew up with a powerful conscience. Though not conventionally religious, there was something deeply moral about him. At one time, he thought of becoming a minister of religion. Colleagues remember his kindness and wry humour. He was almost universally admired, even loved. Not all of us can be so good, of course. Isaiah Berlin, an Oxford political thinker, referred to him teasingly as Christ. Political opponents chided Mr Rawls for overplaying human decency and underestimating our selfishness. A conservative writer called him an innocent.

Holier than some might wish, perhaps. But innocent, never. In 1943, Mr Rawls signed up as an infantry private and fought on the Pacific beaches. A rare example of direct political action was his protest in 1945 against the Hiroshima bomb. Like his reconciling hero, Abraham Lincoln—whose memorial he visited on trips to Washington—Mr Rawls appealed to our better natures. But he knew from experience what people and states were capable of. Not to see this darker, more pessimistic side is to mistake what he was about.

In his later work, Mr Rawls paid more attention to “how” questions of fair process and tried to extend his principles from what struck some as their unduly western, not to say American, context. He lived behind a veil of privacy with his wife and four children, accepting few honours, giving few interviews and devoting spare time to hiking and sailing.

Rob Duke's insight:
One of the greats.....
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Why Are Shootings Deadlier In Some Cities Than Others?

Why Are Shootings Deadlier In Some Cities Than Others? | Criminology and Economic Theory |
What explains the disconnect? On the most basic level, shooting rates don’t always align with murder rates because shootings are more deadly in some cities than others. I was able to get a breakdown between fatal and nonfatal shootings10 for 14 of the above 17 cities through a mix of publicly available data, requests to police departments and private citizen tallies. Looking at gun violence like this shows that Baltimore had the highest murder rate among the 14 cities in 2016 because shootings were more lethal there.
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Chasing thunder: Searching for Alaska's most legendary cannabis strain

Myths surround the history of the Mat-Su marijuana strain that once defined Alaska cannabis.
Us Woodards's comment, February 19, 10:45 PM
I just read this article before starting my homework. I find the comments on ADN more enlightening than the article itself. The issue of legal weed is one that is still playing itself out, and one that is staunchly divided among Alaskans. I personally think that the public perception of marijuana is more of a nuisance than a criminal act, much like chronic intoxication. So I think the legalization of the drug is just following suit with the public opinion. I do find it interesting how analytical grow operators approach the hunt for MTF. It is surprising to me just how business oriented some of the growers are. I think in this new era of legalisation, proponents of marijuana use have a huge responsibility. If there is any hope in normalizing the drug, it must be done by showing responsible use. Stereotypes of the burned out loser must be broken. The worst thing that can happen is for people to go overboard, and drive stoned, or associate the drug with criminal acts. Marijuana seems to be at a crossroads, and this article proves it. Hopefully adults who partake are responsible, and keep it to themselves. That way it remains legal. Otherwise, they risk criminalizing it again.
Dustin Drover's comment, February 19, 11:15 PM
I first heard of this "strain" back in high school. A lot of the stoners still continue to talk about it. Whats interesting to me is that no one actually still has it. I also think that some of the public overreacts when it come to marijuana. Law enforcement, I think has done a good job at enforcing marijuana laws. From what I have seen on some of the several Alaska shows, pot usually used in law enforcement to find other information out about someone. I am interested in how the legalization of marijuana in Alaska has changed things. Has it made cops jobs easier? Harder? And how does this work with federal laws?
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U.S. Cities Experienced Another Big Rise In Murder In 2016

U.S. Cities Experienced Another Big Rise In Murder In 2016 | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Murder almost certainly increased substantially in the U.S. in 2016, one year after it rose at its fastest pace in a quarter century. The government won’t relea…
Rob Duke's insight:
The Institutional ownership of the right to use force shifted away from the police.  Into this vacuum, stepped extra-legal groups like the cartels and gangs.  The true costs of this shift will be borne by ordinary people.
John Oulton's comment, February 21, 2:22 AM
Dustin I had the same thought as why some cities have spiked in crime over the years. I also want to know if the cities share the same crime characteristics as each other such as gangs and drugs. Trump has stated that Chicago mayor needs federal help due to its record number of murders. What about the murder rates for the other cities? St Louis has held the number one spot for the last two years and I did not know about this. I think it really comes down on the politicians who run these cities who need to find whats effective and whats not.
Rob Duke's comment, February 22, 1:16 AM
John. Yes, good point. Is Trump going after Chicago because it's really that bad or because Chicago is where Obama's protege Rahm Emanuel is Mayor....?
John Oulton's comment, Today, 1:13 AM
Mr. Duke- Trump views that it is unacceptable to have such violence under his administration. On his recent press conference he stated that he inherited a mess and I totally agree. We really need to crack down in crime and we cannot move forward when half the country supports him. I also think he wants to prove a point that he can be effective and bring justice to Obamas hometown.
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The Islamic Englightenment: A counter-argument to the “clash of civilisations” | The Economist

The Islamic Englightenment: A counter-argument to the “clash of civilisations” | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason. By Christopher de Bellaigue. Bodley Head; 398 pages; £25. To be published in America by Liveright in April; $35.

FEW topics are as bitterly contested today as the nature of Islam. America has just elected a president who speaks pointedly of “Islamic terrorism”; his predecessor balked at connecting Islam with violence and said those who did, including terrorists, were misreading the faith.

In Western intellectual debates, meanwhile, some maintain that Islam stultifies its followers, either because of its core teachings or because in the 11th century Islamic theology turned its back on emphasising human reason. Others retort indignantly that the Islamic world’s problems are the fault of its Western foes, from crusaders to European colonists, who bruised the collective Muslim psyche.

A new book by Christopher de Bellaigue, a British journalist and historian of the Middle East, hews to the latter side, but with an unusual twist. He describes how Islam’s initial encounter with modernity, two centuries ago, had some benign consequences and he sees that as a basis for hope. Sceptics will inevitably call the book’s title, “The Islamic Enlightenment”, naive or oxymoronic.

Still, having focused for a number of years on Iran and modern Turkey (from where he reported for The Economist), Mr de Bellaigue is well-placed to tease out at least one strand of the debate about Islam: the reaction to European influence as it unfolded over the 19th century in the political and cultural centres of the Muslim world following Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798.
The author succeeds in his main purpose, which is to show that in Cairo, Istanbul and Tehran, prominent figures embraced aspects of Western thought and technology with discernment and gusto while remaining good Muslims. His heroes are writers, doctors, generals and sultans. They include Abdulrahman al-Jabarti, an Egyptian sheikh who articulated the fascinated shock with which his compatriots greeted the arrival of Napoleon, accompanied by scientists and scholars. Jabarti had grown up believing that his own faith’s superiority should assure success in war. However, his honest, lively mind had to acknowledge both the invaders’ more effective firepower and the intellectual heft which the French were bringing to the study of his homeland.

In Istanbul the sultan, Mahmud II (pictured), responded to the rising strength of Western powers by imitating them. He curbed the rapaciousness of his civil servants and clerical reactionaries. By removing religious restraints on the study of the body, he ushered modern hygiene and medicine into a region ravaged by plague. 

In Persia, meanwhile, Abbas Mirza, a charismatic prince, drew on French and British help to modernise an army run on medieval lines. Young Persians were sent to train in Britain and proved quick learners. One of them, Mirza Saleh, wrote a remarkable account of his travels and became the country’s first journalist.

Mr de Bellaigue shows that in the Islamic world, just as in the West, efficient forms of transport and communication made it easier for intelligent individuals, including women, to share ideas. This is one example of the rich detail that his research brings to the stories of these Muslim modernisers and the violent reaction they sometimes triggered.

In the book’s final two chapters, there is an abrupt change of pace as the author speeds through Islam’s dealings with European colonial powers during the late 19th and, above all, in the early 20th century. It is a fairly accomplished gallop through difficult terrain and its purpose is to show, in very broad terms, why relations between Muslims and Westerners would eventually turn so sour. Western policies became greedier and more cynical, especially during and after the first world war, and this triggered a sharp reaction in the Muslim world, enraging humble, pious folk as well as clever elites.

The author empathises with the resentment felt by Muslims over being used as geopolitical pawns and over the arbitrary borders that were drawn by Europeans. That prompts him to write with a degree of understanding about all the popular movements that successively shook Islam’s heartland, including Turkish nationalism, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and even the Iranian uprising of 1979.

He acknowledges that these last two movements amounted to a form of “counter-enlightenment”, reinstating theocracy, but he insists that even the mullahs’ Iran has some modernising features: they educated an unprecedented number of girls.

Mr de Bellaigue is equally adamant that the positive legacy of the period closest to his heart (the early and mid-19th century) is still partially intact. For him, the very fact that there was once an era in which the Islamic world drew, selectively and intelligently, on Western ideas and technology while remaining true to itself, still gives hope. For one thing, it means that Muslims now migrating to the West retain, deep in their collective memories, an intimation that Islam can flourish in an enlightened form. His book thus offers a refreshingly optimistic counterpoint to the idea that Muslim and Western world-views are doomed to clash.

Rob Duke's insight:
Many authors have concluded that Islam is neither monolithic nor universally violent.  See, for instance, Roxanne Euben's excellent book: Enemy in the Mirror; and, Heaven on Earth: A Journey through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World, by Sadakat Kadri.

See also Cleveland and Bunton's "A History of a Modern Middle East" and Findley's "Turkey, Islam, Nationalism, and Modernity" and Arjomand's "The Turban for the Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran" for excellent discussions on the periods of peace and disruption in the Sacred Law systems.

It is far from true to depict Islam as always closed, backward, and violent.  It has had significant periods of peace, prosperity, and enlightenment.  It should be our task to define what leads to disruption and what contributes to stability and peace.
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Seven Hong Kong policemen jailed for assault on democracy activist

Seven Hong Kong policemen jailed for assault on democracy activist | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A Hong Kong court sentenced seven policemen to two years jail on Friday for beating a handcuffed pro-democracy activist during mass democracy protests in 2014, a rare case of police brutality in the financial hub that triggered public outrage.
Jennifer Slingerland's comment, February 20, 1:16 AM
I’ll just never understand this sort of thing. How many stories have we had now where police find themselves struggling to justify the use of force in situations like these? It’s truly unfortunate, and sometimes makes it seem like all police forces are run by criminals. Surely it can’t be legal for a police officer to assault someone for peacefully demonstrating, right? I’m sure Hong Kong’s political structure is different from the US – perhaps they don’t have the same emphasis on freedom of speech or protest as we do – but this truly boils down to a humanitarian standpoint. How long can we continue to numbly scroll through these articles and wonder when the world will change?
Rob Duke's comment, February 22, 12:41 AM
Yes, two issues here really: 1. cops response to protests. I read a blog last year where soccer hooligans in the U.K. mocked American cops as being "wooses" when they went to a match in the U.S. They liked the tough U.K. cops who could trade blows and then, most likely, not even file charges against them...that was just plain "fun" to these hooligans. 2. China was roundly criticized for coming down too hard on protesters and seen as going back on their agreements from 1999 that they could take control of Hong Kong without rolling back the civil liberties under British rule. These protests brought many questions forward and it's interesting to see the Chinese government has decided to reprimand the cops...actually nice to see them move more towards transparency and a rule of law.
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After a decade fighting the cartels, Mexico may be looking for a way to get its military off the front line

After a decade fighting the cartels, Mexico may be looking for a way to get its military off the front line | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Mexico's decade-old drug war and the military's role in it has brought on a number of abuses, but the government may be trying to change its strategy.
Briana Whiteside's comment, February 19, 2:37 AM
it is interesting to see how the one drug war is going it is also interesting to see how the people react to the changes or the fight itself. Because of the involvement and the crack down it sounds like the people dont want the president of Mexico in office.
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A protest style dating back to 1970s Germany is resurfacing in the US, and police are worried

A protest style dating back to 1970s Germany is resurfacing in the US, and police are worried | Criminology and Economic Theory |

Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, February 15, 7:24 PM
I was aware of this incident when it occurred, I enjoy listening to Milo on various platforms; he is actually quite entertaining as well as educated and intelligent. Interesting though that the students organized as such; seems like it (black bloc) is an effective method for causing the police trouble and confusion. I also found it intriguing that the students seem to see themselves in the right... Perhaps this is a showcase of the younger generation and their agenda(s)...? How do we continue the rights to free speech and to assemble if these are going to continue to occur? Do those rights then be terminated/suspended temporarily until we discover how to keep everyone calm and cool?
Samantha Pershing's comment, February 19, 7:19 PM
It really sucks that a few people out of many can make protesting look like a bad thing. I really like this article because it explains what really happened. What I mean is that it doesn’t make the situation look like everyone was violent. It also makes me think how hard it is for law enforcement to handle situations with violent protestors, because it is hard to tell if a protest would be likely to turn to violence, as well as deal with finding the violent protestors out of the peaceful ones. Furthermore, the more law enforcement pushes, the harder that the violent protestors will push back.
Martha Hood's comment, February 19, 10:19 PM
What I find really sad is that a lot of people do not know about this, they think it is all the protesters. I think the Black bloc is just a bunch of people who don’t want to make a statement but just want to cause trouble. If they really cared about the issues that they are supposedly protesting, then they would not bring such bad light to the protests. They make everyone else look bad and take away from the message.
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Convicted Sex Offender Arrested in Killing of Ohio State Student

Convicted Sex Offender Arrested in Killing of Ohio State Student | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Police in Ohio have arrested a suspect in connection with the shooting death of 21-year-old Reagan Tokes, who was a senior at Ohio State University.
Ashley DeLoney's comment, February 18, 5:34 PM
My heart dropped the moment I read this. It seems more and more these days women and being taken, raped and killed. I can't believe that the time for kidnapping and raping is only 6 years. Especially if he kills his next victim...
Jonathan Hall's comment, February 19, 7:56 AM
That is scary. It sounds like something from a TV show. I must agree with Ashley. 6 years does not seem like a long enough sentence for kidnapping and rape.
Manisha Misra's comment, February 22, 6:02 PM
I think that this is a pretty big testament on our justice system that this man was released after 6 years for kidnap and rape. Why are sentences so minimal. Aren't we a society that says the punishment should absolutely fit the crime, when did our justice system stray so far from that. A convicted rapist was let back out into society and committed an even more violent crime but it's very possible that he still won't face a punishment that fits his crimes. And that seems to be an alarmingly popular problem with our justice system as a whole.
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Meet Mr Green

Meet Mr Green | Criminology and Economic Theory |

IMMANUEL KANT (1724-1804) never set foot outside his native East Prussia. For all but a few years of his long, uneventful life he lived and taught in the Baltic port of Königsberg. Yet no philosopher since Aristotle has exercised such influence. Kant's thought transformed how the modern world approached enduring problems in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics. “The Critique of Pure Reason” ranks among the most important works of philosophy ever written; it is still one of the most difficult. Lord Macaulay, a great English historian, was exasperated to discover that he could not understand a word of it.

Kant was one of the first thinkers to concentrate on philosophy alone, and the difficulty of his writing arises partly from a deliberate attempt to professionalise the subject and give it the rigour of experimental science. Yet his true originality went far deeper. Kant sought to reconcile two dominant but conflicting traditions: the rationalism of Descartes and the sceptical empiricism of Hume. Our experience of the outside world is never bare, Kant argued, but comes, as it were, ready clothed in thought; yet thought about an objective world is itself necessarily limited by the range of possible experience. The result, if true, was to throw humanity back on its own cognitive resources. God, the soul, immortality became hypotheses, things in themselves were inaccessible to human perception, and certainty was possible only within the limits dictated by the apparatus of human thought. The entire structure of metaphysics and theology seemed to totter under the rigour of Kantian criticism. Even though his intention had not been to subvert religion or the state, he was dubbed der Alleszermalmer, the “all-crusher”. Yet the instrument of his critical philosophy was not the blunt hammer of a Nordic god, but the clarifying precision of systematic thought.

That precision is famously reflected in the folk memory of the philosopher, partly based on early biographers who knew him only in old age, which depicts him as a pedantic, solitary, slightly absurd bachelor whose entire life was run according to inflexible rules and whose habits were as regular as clockwork. This “machine man” derives from the popular image of Kantian ethics, which is founded on the metaphysical concept of the categorical imperative. Formulations of this moral principle vary. Sometimes Kant says: “Act as if your maxims were to serve at the same time as a universal law.” Alternatively he emphasises the importance of treating others “always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means.” The categorical imperative was easily vulgarised: into a duty to humanity in general rather than to anybody in particular, and more sinisterly into the elevation of race, class or any other collective above the individual. Kant's most famous passage evokes “the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me”, the existence of which, unlike that of God, is not conjectural. Though a man of the Enlightenment, Kant also believed, however, that humanity had a natural propensity to “radical evil”.

Manfred Kuehn's excellent new life is the first substantial biography of Kant since Germany's historical catastrophe, and the figure who emerges is not the familiar caricature of a withdrawn Prussian professor. The young Kant overcame his humble origins to become an elegant man-about-town. Oddly, Mr Kuehn glosses over the fact, evident from his portraits, that Kant was pigeon-breasted and slightly hunchbacked. His gregariousness is thus all the more striking, and Mr Kuehn goes so far as to say that conversational dialogue was of decisive importance to his thought: “His critical philosophy,” he writes, “is an expression of this form of life.”

Indeed, it is fascinating to learn from Mr Kuehn's account how large a debt Kant owed to his daily talks with a scholarly English merchant, Joseph Green, of Green, Motherby & Co. It was under Green's influence that the dandy developed into the ascetic, devoted to duty and with a missionary zeal to rescue philosophy from the entropy of scepticism. Green it was who spent every afternoon conversing with Kant until seven o'clock sharp (neighbours set their watches by the moment at which the professor emerged from their conclave), Green who shared his hero-worship of Hume and Rousseau, Green who showed Kant how to live his life according to strictly applied maxims, Green who guided Kant's modest investments, Green with whom he often dozed off as they smoked their pipes together. “Green's effect on Kant cannot be overestimated,” concludes Mr Kuehn.

So the greatest German philosopher was also, we learn, a great Anglophile. He was, in this respect, not untypical of Frederick the Great's Prussia, and especially of the Hanseatic ports. The combination of English commerce and German intellect was evidently unbeatable. During the years of Anglo-German enmity, Joseph Green was forgotten. Today, it would be a splendid gesture for the many German firms in London to commemorate the unknown Englishman who helped Kant to greatness and thereby made Germany a home of philosophy for the next two centuries.

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