Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad is the Rodney Dangerfield of jihadism: He can’t get no respect. Accused of killing an Army soldier and wounding another at a Little Rock, Ark., recruiting station two years ago, Muhammad is being tried in Arkansas state court rather than in federal court. He feels slighted by this.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Muhammad, 24, was born Carlos Bledsoe in Memphis but converted to Islam at a Tennessee mosque. He traveled to Yemen, where he was arrested for overstaying his visa and “holding false Somali papers.” He became radicalized while in a Yemeni jail. Six months after returning to America he attacked the Little Rock recruiting station, killing Pvt. William Long, 24, and wounding Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18. He was arrested hours later at a police roadblock.
In May, Muhammad wrote to the judge in his case:
The facility where the shooting took place was a federal building. The army recruiters outside that federal building were federal employees. I was under federal investigation at the time of the shooting by the FBI. Why then is this a state case in state court, which the state seeks my execution? Injustice!
Gosh, your honor, I’m stuck here with the road company out in flyover country while my fellow jihadis are playing Broadway. Can’t a guy catch a break in this business? Injustice!
This is Police Week in Washington, D.C., a time when police officers from across the country gather in the capital to honor their colleagues who have died in the line of duty. The names of more than 19,000 such men and women are carved in the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Judiciary Square, with new ones added each year in conjunction with Police Week.
One of the names on those walls is that of Trooper Werner Foerster of the New Jersey State Police, who on May 2, 1973, was murdered while making a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Assata Shakur was convicted of the murder (and other crimes) and sentenced to life in prison. She escaped from prison in 1979, and in 1984 she fled to Cuba, where she remains today.
Shakur is something of a folk hero in some quarters, and among her admirers is one Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., known to the world as the rapper Common. Mr. Lynn produced what some generously label a song about Shakur and gave his daughter the middle name of Assata her honor.
Despite this, Mr. Lynn was invited to the White House Wednesday evening for President and Mrs. Obama’s night of poetry, at which he performed a bit of banal, adolescent doggerel that betrayed his barely nodding acquaintance with the concepts of meter and rhyme but nonetheless seemed to hold the audience spellbound.
We were asked to forget about Jeremiah Wright. We were asked to forget about William Ayers. Soon we’ll be asked to forget about this, too.
Stories like this have become almost a trademark at the Los Angeles Times. In Monday’s edition, they report on the travails endured by Norma, who asked that the Times not reveal her last name “because she fears that speaking out may jeopardize her case.” (That fear apparently does not extend to the publication of her photograph, which prominently accompanies the story.)
Norma, the Times mournfully informs us, is facing deportation after being arrested in San Francisco for domestic violence. She was not charged in the case, but she was nonetheless referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
Says the Times:
More than once, Norma recalls, she yearned to dial 911 when her partner hit her. But the undocumented mother of a U.S.-born toddler was too fearful of police and too broken of spirit to do so.
In October, she finally worked up the courage to call police — and paid a steep price.
Officers who responded found her sobbing, with a swollen lower lip. But a red mark on her alleged abuser’s cheek prompted police to book them both into the San Francisco County Jail while investigators sorted out the details.
With that, Norma was swept into the wide net of Secure Communities, a federal program launched in 2008 with the stated goal of identifying and deporting more illegal immigrants “convicted of serious crimes.”
But Norma was never convicted of a crime. She was not charged in the abuse case, though the jail honored a request to turn her over to immigration authorities for possible deportation.
How awful, the reader is all but commanded to say. The poor dear!
But wait. One must read through more than half of the 1,500-word story before coming across this little tidbit, which some might consider relevant: “Norma . . . had left the country voluntarily after an immigration arrest in 2002 but returned the same year, ICE officials said.”
With this story and so many others like it, we are being asked to endorse the proposition that illegal immigrants should be unburdened by the fear of deportation unless they are convicted of a serious crime. I’m not unsympathetic to Norma, but we are either a nation of laws or we are not. She should have remained in her native country in 2002, and she should be sent back there today.
Anyone who follows the farce that affirmative action has devolved into will find no surprises in this story. The U.S. Department of Justice has directed the Dayton, Ohio, Police Department to lower the standards for applicants because the number of blacks who passed the qualifying exams was deemed insufficient. Where applicants once had to score a 66 on one part of the test and a 72 on the other, now a 58 and a 63 will serve as passing grades, the equivalent of a F and a D.
Actions such as this are ordinarily couched in terms of “culturally biased” tests that favor whites, Asians, or what have you. It’s actually refreshing to finally see the bald-faced admission that the only way a sufficient number of applicants from favored groups can meet hiring standards is by lowering them.
I linked to the below video in my most recent column, but I find it so astounding that it bears further comment here. Behold the young man featured prominently in the video, and pity the proprietors of Noodles restaurant in Madison, Wis., where the labor pool evidently is of such low quality that he is employable. Among his resentments are having to arrive at work on time and being expected to serve food in a manner prescribed by the restaurant’s owners. Imagine living under such oppression.
You can find plenty of talk about Charlie Sheen elsewhere, and I had hoped to avoid discussing him at all. His behavior in the below video speaks for itself, but what I found even more disturbing than Sheen’s rants was the sycophantic toadying by the man at the other end of the phone conversation, who is either ignorant of or indifferent to Sheen’s self-destruction. Perhaps he’ll be one of Sheen’s pallbearers, for which there may soon be a need.
The Los Angeles Times investigates wasteful spending on construction at L.A.’s community colleges. You’ll be appalled.
Most will remember Len Lesser as Jerry’s Uncle Leo on the Seinfeld series, but I also fondly recall him as Abe, half of an ill-fated duo who took on Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) in The Outlaw Josey Wales. He had an acting career to be proud of, one that began in 1949 and continued for 60 years. R.I.P.
All the recent talk about President Reagan’s 100th birthday put me in mind of this piece I wrote for National Review Online on the occasion of his death back in 2004. We sure could use him today.
Like most military officers, most cops are conservatives. But just as military officers have been known to adjust their political ideologies so as to conform to those held by people who might assess their worthiness for higher rank, so too do police officers if such an adjustment suits their ambitions.
Witness George Gascón, formerly a deputy chief in the Los Angeles Police Department. Gascón left the LAPD in 2006 to become chief of police in Mesa, Ariz. In 2009, he was appointed as chief of the San Francisco Police Department. Earlier this month, departing Mayor Gavin Newsom named him as district attorney for San Francisco, replacing Kamala Harris, who was elected California attorney general.
In a move clearly calculated to enhance his prospects for reelection when his term expires, Gascón, who once described himself as a longtime Republican, has changed his party affiliation to Democrat.
From the San Francisco Examiner:
In an interview, Gascón told The Examiner he picked the political party “to fit my beliefs.” He said he voted for President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “I’ve always voted for the person,” he said.
Yes, convictions are fine until they become a burden on your path to higher office, at which time they can be altered or shed altogether.
Three years ago, in my very first column here at PJ Media, I wrote about the consequences that would result if federal and local authorities proceeded with implementing one provision of the consent decree under which the Los Angeles Police Department was operating. In a misguided effort to avert corruption, officers assigned to anti-gang and narcotics units were ordered to provide personal financial information so as to detect any among them who might be inordinately wealthy. I predicted many officers would balk at this intrusion and accept reassignment to other duties rather than submit to an examination of their private financial affairs.
With the March deadline for implementation of the policy coming near, we are witnessing the harvest. As reported by KABC News here in Los Angeles, many gang officers are indeed choosing to accept reassignment. In fact, at some of the LAPD’s 21 police stations, including some covering the most gang- and crime-plagued neighborhoods in the city, entire gang units have been or soon will be shut down for lack of officers willing to disclose their finances.
Crime has fallen steadily in Los Angeles for ten years, but this development may soon change that.