Friday, November 03, 2017

The Research Proves The No. 1 Social Justice Imperative Is Marriage

By Glenn T. Stanton
November 3, 2017
A foundational value in our nation is the opportunity for all its citizens to be able to compete for a fair and meaningful shot at the American dream. This begins with access to citizenship, educational opportunity, and securing meaningful work that leads to greater life opportunities via commitment, diligence, and self-sacrifice. But an important contributor to putting and keeping men, women, and children on the escalator toward the American dream is little-known and widely ignored.
Just 70 years ago, social mobility and protection from poverty were largely a factor of employment. Those who had full-time work of any kind were seldom poor. Fifty years ago, education marked the gulf separating the haves from the have-nots. For the last 20 years or more, though, marital status has increasingly become the central factor in whether our neighbors and their children rise above, remain, or descend into poverty. The research is astounding.
Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute explains in his important book “Coming Apart: The State of White America” that in 1960, the poorly and moderately educated were only 10 percent less likely to be married than the college educated, with both numbers quite high: 84 and 94 respectively. That parity largely held until the late 1970s.
Today, these two groups are separated by a 35 percent margin and the gap continues to expand. All the movement is on one side. Marriage is sinking dramatically among lower- and middle-class Americans, down to a minority of 48 percent today. No indicators hint at any slowing. It’s remained generally constant among the well-to-do. This stark trend line led Murray to lament, “Marriage has become the fault line dividing America’s classes.” He has company in this conclusion.

Marriage Matters Lots More than Income and Race

Jonathan Rauch writing in the National Journal, certainly no conservative, notes that “marriage is displacing both income and race as the great class divide of the new century.” Isabel Sawhill, a senior scholar at the center-left Brookings Institute, boldly and correctly proclaimed some years ago that “the proliferation of single-parent households accounts for virtually all of the increase in child poverty since the early 1970s.” Virtually all of the increase!
Professor Bill Galston, President Clinton’s domestic policy advisor and now a senior fellow at Brookings, explained in the early 1990s that an American need only do three things to avoid living in poverty: graduate from high school, marry before having a child, and have that child after age twenty. Only 8 percent of people who do so, he reported, will be poor, while 79 percent who fail to do all three will.
Sociologists have referred to keeping these things in proper order as the “success sequence.” It remains true, according to a new research investigation from the Brookings and the American Enterprise institutes. It takes a deeper look at this “first comes love, then comes marriage” sequence by class and generation.
The increase of baby carriages coming before marriage is terribly alarming among the working poor. Working-class women are nearly three times more likely to have babies out of wedlock than upper-class women. Poor women are about five times more likely. These two groups are far less likely to be married overall and twice as likely to be cohabiting, suffering further from inherent instability of living together without marriage.
These troubling family-path trends leading to decreased life success are unfortunately true for millennials, as well.
recent report on this topic focusing on millennials reports that 97 percent of those who follow the success sequence—earn at least a high-school diploma, work, and marry before having children—will not be poor as they enter their 30s. This is largely true for ethnic minorities and those who grew up in poor families. But sadly, fewer millennials are keeping these things in order, compared to their Boomer and Xer forbearers.
The success sequence of “first comes love” is so much more than moral choice or romantic idealism. These are deeply pragmatic, economic decisions powerfully affecting class mobility, where people live on the social scale, and the opportunities they will be able to provide for their children. This is because of the extraordinary economic power of marriage.

Marriage Boosts Every Measure Of Human Well-Being

A consistent and irrefutable mountain of research has shown, reaching back to the 1970s and beyond, that marriage strongly boosts every important measure of well-being for children, women, and men. Pick any measure you can imagine: overall physical and mental health, income, savings, employment, educational success, general life contentment and happiness, sexual satisfaction, even recovery from serious disease, healthy diet and exercise. Married people rate markedly and consistently better in each of these, and so many more, compared to their single, divorced, and cohabiting peers. Thus, marriage is an essential active ingredient in improving one’s overall life prospects, regardless of class, race, or educational status.

This is why it’s not merely one-parent versus two-parent families that makes the difference. The U.S. Census Bureau finds the poverty rate for children living with two unmarried cohabiting parents is similar to that of single-mother homes than to those living with their married mother and father. Married people, regardless of how much they have, tend to manage their money differently than divorced, single, and cohabiting people.

Only 4 percent of homes with a married mother and father are on food stamps at any given time. But 21 percent of cohabiting and 28 percent of single-mother homes require such public assistance. Likewise, 78 percent of married people own their own home—a central goal in achieving the American Dream—while only 41 percent of cohabiting adults and 44 percent of singles do. Data indicates that marital status boosts home ownership more than home ownership increases marital opportunities.

Shotgun Marriages Also Confer Big Benefits

Robert Lerman, an economist at the Urban Institute, reports the marriage benefit holds for even the most poor, and to a lesser degree but still consequentially for those who marry between conception and the birth of their first child. Despite “academic ability, school completion, family background, race, and age at pregnancy, women who are married between pregnancy and the birth of their first child averaged a 30 percent higher income-to-needs ratio and a 15 percent lower degree of [financial volatility].”

These numbers are not insignificant. Such marriages were associated with reducing the number of years the mother, father, and children spent in poverty by half, compared with those who did not marry before the birth of their first child. Remarkably, this difference was even greater—by substantial margins—for black mothers and those with low educational test scores. Lerman concludes, “Even among the mothers with the least qualifications and highest risk of poverty, marriage effects are consistently large and statistically significant.”

Even women entering marriage between the conception and birth of their first child, regardless of class, education, and race, benefit from a greater standard of living by the following percentages.

  • 65 percent over a single mother with no other live-in adult
  • 50 percent over a single mother living with a non-romantic adult
  • 20 percent over a single mother living with a man
Shotgun weddings are not just a moral action. Even among households with similar incomes, and comparable demographic and educational characteristics, the following statistics demonstrate that, over the past year, married households are at least half as likely to have difficulty meeting their basic monthly living expenses and bills. This was most pronounced for black families.
A major 2014 report from the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies at the University of Virginia reports that:
  • Adjusting for family size, family income is 73 percent higher for married women compared to that of their unmarried peers.
  • Married men benefit from an average annual economic “marriage premium” of at least $15,900 per year compared to their unmarried peers.
  • This investigation also finds that the marriage premium is even more substantial for the most disadvantaged.

Marriage Is Good for People of Every Race

The advantages of growing up in an intact family and being married extend across the population. They apply as much to blacks and Hispanics as they do to whites. For instance, black men enjoy a marriage premium of at least $12,500 in their individual income compared to their single peers. The advantages also apply, for the most part, to men and women who are less educated. For instance, men with a high-school degree or less enjoy a marriage premium of at least $17,000 compared to their single peers.
So marriage is far more than just a personal, sentimental institution, giving folks something to feel-good about at each year’s anniversary. It produces profoundly practical and essential value. The scholars at the National Marriage Project working from the University of Virginia explain this is not simply because the well-to-do are more likely to marry, but that marriage itself is “a wealth-generating institution.” The sociological evidence on this fact is dramatic.
Marriage generates wealth largely because marriage molds men into producers, providers, and savers. Singleness and cohabiting don’t. Nobel-winning economist George Akerlof, in a prominent lecture more than a decade ago, explained the pro-social and market influence of marriage upon men and fathers: “Married men are more attached to the labor force, they have less substance abuse, they commit less crime, are less likely to become the victims of crime, have better health, and are less accident prone.”
Akerlof explains this is because “men settle down when they get married and if they fail to get married, they fail to settle down.” This is precisely why every insurance company offers lower premiums on health and auto insurance to married men. Settled-down men also work more, earn more, save more, and spend more money on their families than on themselves. They boost the well-being of women and children in every important way.
If You Really Care About Inequality, You Support Marriage
The evidence is impossible to ignore or explain away. Even The New York Times noted its importance in a major story some years ago entitled “Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do.’” Marriage drives well-being and upward mobility. The absence of marriage diminishes it. Thus, the growing class divide. Any smart and compassionate effort to alleviate poverty and increase the well-being of our communities and its citizens cannot ignore this fact.
Today, many unfortunately believe that to be concerned about what kinds of families adults create and raise children in should be no one’s business. It’s a personal matter. Such people have no idea what a family is or does anthropologically. Each family is as much a public institution as it is private, if not more so. Its strength and weaknesses are felt throughout each community in countless ways. Government expands as marriage declines.
Working for healthy, well-formed, enduring marriages is one of the most effective ways we can do the work of social justice. That the effort is not hip and trendy has no bearing on its ability to change lives for the better. Decades of research and the lives of real people make the case over and again every day, for good or for bad. Let’s resolve as a nation to choose and work for the good and halt the ever widening chasm of class.
Glenn T. Stanton writes and speaks about family, gender, and art, is the director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family, and is the author of eight books including "The Ring Makes All the Difference" (Moody2011) and "Loving My LGBT Neighbor" (Moody, 2014). He blogs at

Thursday, November 02, 2017

On team full of great stories, George Springer, World Series MVP, might be the best

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George Springer hits a double off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish during the first inning of Game 7. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (AP)
When the final out of Game 7 of the World Series was in the books, when Dodger Stadium fell silent, except for a few thousand Astros fans screaming to the skies, Houston center fielder George Springer started sprinting toward the infield. Was he looking for teammates to hug or a mosh pit to join with a giant leap?
He had one target in mind — the pitcher’s mound. The main Astros mass-hug-and-jump was erupting 10 yards away, but before he joined it, Springer ran to the pitcher’s rubber.
The highest point of the field. The center of everything. No other place would be fitting for Springer, who stood the tallest of any player in this first Houston World Series title and, for the past six games of this seven-game battle was, quite literally, at the very center of everything that was best about the Astros.
Let Springer, who won the Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player Award with five home runs, 29 total bases, a .379 batting average and ludicrous 1.471 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, stand for all the Astros who beat the Dodgers convincingly, 5-1, on Wednesday night.
Not bad for a guy who hit .115 in the American League Championship Series before striking out in all four of his Game 1 at-bats against the Dodgers.
Granted, Houston will have to rebound far more than any Astro. But the point remains the same: a team set out to exemplify a virtue for the sake of its traumatized city. Because that’s what they had to offer, what they could do. Hang tough, keep going, even if it takes 11 innings and a dazzling comeback against super-closer Kenley Jansen to win Game 2 and 5 hours 17 minutes to break the heart of Clayton Kershaw and the will of a 104-win Dodgers team in a 13-12 classic in Game 5.
“This is a dream come true. That ‘Houston’ on our chests means a lot. They have endured a lot,” said Springer, talking about his city and everything it has battled because of Hurricane Harvey. “We’re coming home a champion, Houston!”
The 27-year-old Springer personifies this team in so many ways. From his status as a gifted first-round draft pick who will be a core Houston star for years to come, to his resilience in the past month while he battled a horrid hitting slump to his decision long ago to use his baseball notoriety to stand for a larger cause than himself, Springer exemplifies the best in all of them.
The Astros center fielder and leadoff man not only began Game 7 with a double off Yu Darvish, but, one inning later, knocked the Dodgers starter out of the game with a booming home run to center field for a 5-0 Houston lead.
“Oh, we weren’t calm,” said Astros Manager A.J. Hinch with a laugh. “But George Springer leads off with a double and off we went.”
How could Springer go from one of the Astros biggest worries after Game 1 to its Series MVP? Springer has explained it many times; he’s had to learn to overcome frustrations that others can’t imagine. Just to open his mouth and give a postgame interview constitutes a triumph for a man who still fights a stutter, although if you didn’t know it, you could hardly tell.
As a spokesman for Camp SAY (Stuttering Association for the Young), Springer always takes the opportunity to speak up. He even got miked up in the outfield during the All-Star Game to give running commentary on the game in progress.
Just as Springer dedicated himself to that cause for years, he and all his Astros teammates have taken the Houston community to heart after Hurricane Harvey and attempted to exemplify “Houston Strong” on the largest stage they could find. Oh, and how they did it, with two of the most amazing, exhausting indomitable victories in World Series history. With Springer at the center of both.
First, the Astros rallied to win Game 2, a huge victory that allowed them to return to Houston tied at a game apiece. Springer’s two-run homer in the 11th inning was the decisive blow, this after he already had a walk, a single and a double in that marathon. Then they captured Game 5 by the insane score of 13-12, in 10 innings with enormous help from, yes, Springer, who walked twice and scored both times, then hit a titanic homer to tie the game at 8 after his own misplay of a line drive in center field had put Los Angeles ahead. Can’t let stuff hold you down.
After that homer, Springer wasn’t finished in Game 5, getting another hit, then pushing the eventual winning run into scoring position in the 10th inning with a walk off Kenley Jansen.
Other motors have driven the Astro machine in various games. But Springer, who hit 34 homers, scored 112 runs and batted .283, was a constant force.
The fulcrum of this Series, and of Springer’s play, was Game 2. After his seven disastrous games against the Yankees, then his four-strikeout start to this Series, a player can hardly fall harder and lower on a bigger baseball stage.
But Hinch refused to move him down in the lineup and gave him a public vote of confidence. “No, he’s not [moving down in the lineup]. He’ll be leading off,” said Hinch. “He had a tough night at work, and a lot of our guys did. George has struggled. But if he hits the first pitch tomorrow into the gap . . . you’d be amazed how good he feels.”
Instead, Springer just started hitting balls over walls, joining Reggie Jackson and Chase Utley as the only men ever to hit five homers in a World Series.
After his four-strikeout start, Springer said, “You know it. And you press. And you want to do things that you can’t do. For [Hinch] to have my back — hey, you’re still going to hit first, and you’re still going to set the tone for us — it slowed me down. . . . For him to have my back, it means the world to me. And I’ll always have his back.”
Springer’s speech difficulties, which were severe and made him feel solitary and mocked as a boy, were often caused because he simply couldn’t slow down once he started trying to talk. Now, his voice is central to the Astros.
The Astros were so awful for so long that they were able to land a series of high draft picks that panned out. But Springer, who went to the University of Connecticut, was the first prominent talent — the 11th overall pick in ’11.
After him came the Astros’ magnificent shortstop, Carlos Correa, still only 23, who will probably be a perennial MVP candidate for years. Lance McCullers Jr., who started Game 7 but only lasted 2⅓ scoreless innings, was also a first-round pick. Finally, the Astros landed brilliant third baseman Alex Bregman with the second overall pick in the 2015 draft. Now, a little more than two years later, Bregman has emerged as an all-around star and got the game-winning hit in Game 5.
Perhaps nothing distinguishes the Astros more than their combination of youth, talent and poise. Get used to these names, you’ll be hearing them for years. In 2014, Sports Illustrated did one of the most prescient cover stories in its history, proclaiming the Astros as MLB’s champions of 2017.
The cover boy? Springer.
“I just think when the lights turn on even brighter you tend to subconsciously press, and you want to succeed so bad that you start to do things that you wouldn’t do, or you start to come out of an approach that has worked the whole year,” Springer said during the Series. “This is my first experience at playing this far, playing this long and in [games] of this magnitude. So, for me to understand, ‘Hey, slow yourself down.’ I understand now why some guys struggle in the postseason and some don’t.”
For more than a half-century the Astros were always the team that was told what it couldn’t do, how often it came up short and then, in its only previous World Series appearance in 2005, got swept. Ignoring the negative and believing in yourself despite odds has served Springer and the Astros well. Now they hope it aides their damaged but recovering city in some vague yet valuable way.
“When that last out is made, you finally breathe,” said Springer after one of the Astros probability defying wins.
In truth, when that final out was made Wednesday night, the least of the Astros concerns was breathing. Their joy demanded far more than that. They screamed. They went crazy. The moment many said would never come for the Astros, arrived at exactly the moment when their city needed it most.
In that final celebration, everyone congregated, bouncing and back-pounding on the Dodger Stadium mound. None leapt higher than Springer. He was right where he wanted to be — the center of everything. Exactly the place he’d been throughout one of the most thrilling World Series ever played.

After the West Side Highway Jihad: What Does ‘Extreme Vetting’ Mean?

Our immigration system needs to take Islam into account, to distinguish pro-American Muslims from sharia supremacists.

By Andrew C. McCarthy — November 1, 2017
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To the surprise of exactly no one, it turns out that the Uzbek-born jihadist who murdered eight people on the streets of New York City on Tuesday was invited into the United States under the cockamamie “Diversity Visa Program.” (Paul Mirengoff has the details at Powerline.) Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a sharia supremacist and Islamic State supporter, came to our shores seven years ago, as a young Muslim man of 21.

I wrote about the Diversity Visa Program in The Grand Jihad, my book about the sharia supremacist strategy for infiltrating and “destroying the West” (to quote the Muslim Brotherhood). As detailed there:
Since the Bush 41 administration, the State Department has also been running a “Diversity Visa” program, the very purpose of which is to promote immigration from countries whose citizens resist coming to the United States — i.e., to encourage our cultural disintegration. It is a hare-brained scheme, concocted by hard-Left Senator Ted Kennedy, because the Irish (yes, the Irish!) were purportedly underrepresented in our gorgeous mosaic. Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies, describes the consequences: Fully one-third of the annual diversity-visa lottery winners now come from Islamic countries, which means that the program has become a disproportionately important immigration vehicle for Muslims. 
Thanks to [this and other federal immigration] policies, another million or so Muslims reside in the United States (i.e., in addition to the roughly million-and-a-half American Muslims). It is impossible to say for sure what the precise number is because our crack Homeland Security Department keeps track only of immigrant entries into the U.S. — not whether these aliens leave, much less whether, once here, they adhere to their stated purpose for coming. It bears repeating, however, that these aliens are not American Muslims. They are legal and illegal immigrants whose fealty is to some other country, or, more realistically, to the ummah [(i.e., the notional worldwide Islamic community)]. This is a matter of no small importance when we are well aware of the supremacist Islamist design: Immigration not to pursue the American dream but to become the American nightmare — a jihad to transform the United States.
It has been nearly a decade since I wrote that passage. In the interim, it has become only clearer that the jihadists are only the tip of the spear. We are dealing with an ideological enemy whose aim — they are quite explicit about this — is to supplant Western culture and law with sharia’s repressive societal system and legal code. This is the objective of all jihadism. These violent attacks cannot happen, at least not with regularity, unless the militants have a support system: ideological enclaves that foster incitement, recruitment, training, fund-raising, and moral support.

As night follows day, we learn that, in the years leading up to yesterday’s attack, Saipov gravitated to the Omar Mosque in Paterson, N.J. Sharia supremacism’s inroads have made the community the object of counterterrorism investigations for over a dozen years.

Because of the centrality of immigration issues to the Trump campaign and presidency, we have been debating visa and refugee policy. I’ve thus tried to point out, any number of times: While the potential that trained jihadists could enter the country by masquerading as good-faith immigrants is serious, it is not the primary danger. The overarching threat is self-created: an immigration policy that promotes assimilation-resistant enclaves in which sharia supremacism embeds. Though we worry about the jihadist of today, we must be at least as concerned about the ten-, twelve-, 15-year-old kid who settles into a sharia-supremacist enclave and, like Saipov, is a jihadist seven years from now.

Ever quick with a tweet, President Trump reacted last night by asserting (among other things): “I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this.”

But he is being politically correct. After all, what is it that “Extreme Vetting” is vetting for? No one wants to say. Why? Because, as we’ve been contending here for months, the ill-considered, ineffectual “travel bans” have pushed the Trump administration into a posture that makes screening for sharia supremacism much more difficult.

I revisited this problem after the Supreme Court allowed these travel restrictions to go into effect last summer:
As I have been arguing, the executive orders in question have been a disaster because they provide no meaningful improvement in security, yet the litigation over them has done serious damage to the overarching goal of an improved vetting system. In order to defend the president from the claims of anti-Muslim bias, the administration has argued that the travel-ban orders have nothing to do with Islam. Thus, the administration has been lured into supporting, at least tacitly, the proposition that restrictions on alien admissions would be constitutionally invalid if they took Islam into account.Yet, without taking Islam into account — i.e., without sorting anti-American sharia supremacists from pro-American Muslims supportive of the Constitution — there is no way to restrict the entry of Muslims who would increase the threat of jihadism and undermine our society. That is, if we cannot vet for sharia supremacism, there is little point in what Trump calls “extreme vetting.” 
Have you watched President Trump’s recent canoodling with the Saudis? Have you noticed the Trump State Department’s intervention on behalf of terror-supporting Qatar and reluctance to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood? I have, and it bolsters my long-held suspicion that, when push comes to shove, the Trump administration does not really grasp what “radical Islam” is and would have no stomach for a battle over factoring sharia-supremacist ideology into account when vetting aliens who seek to enter our country.
Now, let’s go back to the president’s tweeting after yesterday’s atrocity in Manhattan:
Right . . . except it’s never going to be “Enough!” until the Swamp is willing to acknowledge what the challenge is. It is not ISIS. Jihadist organizations are a symptom. The pathology is sharia supremacism. If you don’t vet for it, you’re going to keep having attacks long after ISIS, which started as al-Qaeda, transforms into whatever the next flavor-of-the-month jihad group is.
Sharia supremacism is not a religion. It is a totalitarian political ideology with a religious veneer. This is the critical distinction — ideology, not religion. If we cannot vet for sharia supremacism because the political establishment decides it is not a political ideology but an Islamic religion entitled to all First Amendment protections, then we cannot protect the country. Period.

So maybe we can stop the bombast about how the vetting must be extreme and get down to the business of winning the debate over what the vetting must be about.


— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

November 1, 2017
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Sayfullo Saipov
Earlier this year, a final settlement was reached in the war on the NYPD’s counterterrorist Islamic surveillance. The Manhattan courtroom where the lawfare effort to dismantle the NYPD’s ability to stop terrorist attacks was heard is blocks away from the site of the latest Islamic terrorist attack in New York.
Walk two blocks down to City Hall. And then head down Chambers to the West Side Highway. That’s where the terrorist attack that killed eight people ended when an NYPD officer shot the terrorist. If he had kept going down the West Side Highway, instead of crashing into a school bus, he would have eventually been within attack range of the 9/11 Memorial. And maybe that was his original plan.
But his message was very clear. He shouted it as he left the truck with which he murdered 8 people.
“Allahu Akbar”. These were the last words on the Flight 93 flight recorder. Mohamed Atta had advised his fellow 9/11 hijackers to, “Shout, 'Allahu Akbar,' because it strikes fear in the hearts of the infidels.”
Sayfullo Saipov, the Muslim terrorist who carried out the latest attack, was just listening to Atta’s advice. The 16thanniversary of the attacks has passed, but the hatred of Allah’s killers burns as hot as ever.
And the attack carried clear echoes of 9/11.
Saipov had listed an address in Paterson, NJ. Paterson, known to the locals as ‘Paterstine’ for its sizable Islamic community, is where the PLO terror flag flies over City Hall and where Islamic terrorist sympathizers celebrated after their compatriots murdered thousands on 9/11.
Paterson is also where 6 of the 9/11 hijackers lived.
The terrorist reportedly rented the truck used in the attack in Jersey City. That’s where the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center rented the van they used in the attack. And Jersey City was where some of the terrorists lived. And it’s where Muslims were caught celebrating the September 11 attacks.
The attack by the Muslim settler from Uzbekistan was almost identical to previous Car Jihad attacks in Europe. Right down to using a fake firearm. But New York City had avoided the non-stop terror wave that engulfed Paris and other European cities thanks to the hard work of the NYPD.
But every time the NYPD broke up an Islamic terror plot, the media and its leftist allies would howl that the racist police had entrapped another innocent mentally ill Muslim. When the Newburgh Four plotted to bomb synagogues in the Bronx, the media was in their corner. HBO even aired The Newburgh Sting, a piece of propaganda whitewashing the terrorists. The revisionist documentary played at the Tribeca Film Festival. And Tribeca is the site of the latest Islamic terrorist attack.
Linda Sarsour, the leading Islamic activist on the left, defended Ahmed Ferhani, who had also plotted to blow up a synagogue, and Shahawar Matin Siraj, who was convicted of plotting to blow up a Manhattan subway station, as victims of NYPD entrapment.
But it’s hard to think of a NYPD or FBI terror bust in New York that the media didn’t undermine. The Nation and the Guardian led the lynch mob. But soon CBS, The Atlantic and the New York Times joined in. All the Muslim terrorists that the NYPD had stopped were really immature and easily manipulated young men. The plots had been invented by paid informants. And it didn’t stop there.
For the last four years, the ACLU and other pro-terror groups had waged an effective lawfare campaign to cripple the NYPD’s counterterrorism. And they succeeded. The NYPD’s ability to send informants into mosques was handicapped. New York cops were now required to consider the “impact” of informants on mosques after Islamist groups claimed that their presence discouraged mosque attendance. The approvals required made it much harder to use one of the more effective terror prevention tools.
The Demographics Unit, one of the most important big picture intel tools for the NYPD, was shut down. But that wasn’t enough. Even when the NYPD agreed to a settlement, Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. insisted that it didn’t go far enough to protect “law-abiding Muslims and believers in Islam who live, move and have their being in this city.”
Sayfullo Saipov moved his being and the truck it was in over the bodies of New Yorkers leaving tire tracks over corpses. The Manhattan attack, like every Islamic attack before it, could have been stopped. But the NYPD’s hands had been tied. And the left had done the tying. It defended every Islamic terrorist that the NYPD had arrested. And prevented the NYPD from investigating mosques and radicalization.
Now it has what it really wanted. Dead Americans. And it has their blood on its manicured fingers.
The Uzbeki Islamic terrorist had listed an address in Paterson, New Jersey. The NYPD had come under attack for conducting surveillance in New Jersey. One of the targets was a mosque in Paterson. Other targets were in Jersey City. That was where Saipov allegedly rented the truck used in the attack. The Uzbeki Muslim terrorist also links back to Florida. The media has largely ignored or tried to cover up the string of Islamic terrorist attacks linked to Florida, from the Pulse Massacre in Orlando, to the latest Islamic terrorist plot to bomb the Dolphin Mall on Black Friday.
Sayfullo Saipov had come here in 2010. In that short amount of time he managed to amass criminal records in Pennsylvania and Missouri for traffic offenses. After stints in at least three other states, he went on a killing spree that took eight lives and wounded as well as traumatized countless others.
Dem leaders in New York are already rolling out the standard messages urging everyone to go back to life as usual. Mayor Bill de Blasio called the attack “cowardly”. But the attack wasn’t cowardly. It was vicious and murderous. It’s Bill de Blasio and the other politicians who crippled the NYPD because they were afraid of political pressure from Linda Sarsour and CAIR who are the real cowards.
They are cowards with blood on their hands.
The New York media’s first response after the attack was to try and blame road rage. Before long, you will see it running the standardized “Muslims fear backlash” stories that are a staple of every effort to sweep the latest Islamic terrorist attack under the rug along with the blood and the bodies.
Islamic terrorists like Sayfullo Saipov are able to do what they do because they have a long list of collaborators like the ACLU, Democrat politicians, Federal judges and the mainstream media.
While law enforcement fights a desperate battle to stop the next Saipov, the men and women tracking the terrorists know that if they get their man, the media will make them the villains. Just ask the good people who brought down Ahmed Ferhani, James Cromitie, Shahawar Matin Siraj and so many others.
Sane societies celebrate those who risk their lives to keep them safe. The leftist culture machine does everything it can to destroy them and to aid the Islamic butchers who run over pedestrians for Allah.
The way to stop the next Saipov is to untie the NYPD’s hands.
After every shooting, the left insists that anyone who opposes gun control wants people to die. But guns don’t hop off the shelf and shoot people. And trucks don’t run over pedestrians on their own.
Islamic terrorists drive them into crowds, over pedestrians and cyclists, in London, Nice, in Berlin, in Jerusalem and in New York City. And leftists who refuse to stop them might as well be behind the wheel.
Leftists who would rather control the police than the Islamic terrorists want people to die.

Jihad on the Bike Path

By Mark Steyn
October 31, 2017

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Sayfullo Saipov

Fourteen years ago, I wrote a column for The Wall Street Journal on "The Bike-Path Left":
There was a revealing moment on MSNBC the other night. Chris Matthews asked [Howard] Dean whether Osama bin Laden should be tried in an American court or at The Hague. "I don't think it makes a lot of difference," said the governor airily. Mr. Matthews pressed once more. "It doesn't make a lot of difference to me," he said again... So how about Saddam? The Hague "suits me fine," he said, the very model of ennui. Saddam? Osama? Whatever, dude. 
So what does get the Dean juices going? A few days later, the governor was on CNN and Judy Woodruff asked him about his admission that he'd left the Episcopal Church and become a Congregationalist because "I had a big fight with a local Episcopal church over the bike path." I hasten to add that, in contrast to current Anglican controversies over gay marriage in British Columbia and gay bishops in New Hampshire, this does not appear to have been a gay bike path: its orientation was not an issue; it would seem to be a rare example of a non-gay controversy in the Anglican Communion. But nevertheless it provoked Howard into "a big fight." "I was fighting to have public access to the waterfront, and we were fighting very hard in the citizens group," he told Judy Woodruff. Fighting, fighting, fighting. 
And that's our pugnacious little Democrat. On Osama bin Laden, he's Mister Insouciant. But he gets mad about bike paths. Destroy the World Trade Center and he's languid and laconic and blasé. Obstruct plans to convert the ravaged site into a memorial bike path and he'll hunt you down wherever you are.
The Hudson River Greenway is not, formally, a 9/11 "memorial bike path". But it does run within 300 feet or so of the World Trade Center as it begins its progress up the West Side Highway toward the Bronx. So close enough. Yet on the central point I was wrong. The "bike-path left" will surrender the bike path as they surrender everything else.

As I write, eight are dead - all men, five Argentines, one Belgian, all in the path of an Uzbek Muslim who decided to take a Home Depot pick-up truck down the bike path for 20 blocks mowing down bicycle after bicycle after bicycle before exiting the vehicle and yelling - go on, take a wild guess - "Allahu Akbar!" Well, I never! You could knock me over with a feather duster - which the Mohammedans will no doubt find a way of weaponizing any day now.

So two hours after the attack, Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and other New York bigwigs assembled for the usual press conference to give the usual passive shrug - this is the way we live now, nothing to be done about it, etc, etc. Every so often in New York, as in London as in Stockholm as in Berlin as in Nice as in Brussels as in Paris as in Manchester as in Orlando, your loved one will leave the home and never return because he went to a pop concert or a gay club or a restaurant or an airport, or just strolled the sidewalk or bicycled the bike path. "Allahu Akbar"? That's Arabic for "Nothing can be done". So Andrew Cuomo ended with some generic boilerplate about how they'll never change us:
We go forward together. And we go forward stronger than ever. We're not going to let them win...We'll go about our business. Be New Yorkers. Live your life. Don't let them change us.
But they are changing us. I've written before about what I've called the Bollardization of the Western World: the open, public areas of free cities are being fenced in by bollards, as, for example, German downtowns were after the Berlin Christmas attack, and London Bridge and Westminster Bridge were after two recent outbreaks of vehicular jihad. This is a huge windfall for bollard manufacturers - Big Bollard - and doubtless it's a huge boost for the economy, if your town's nimble enough to approve the new bollard plant on the edge of town, or if your broker is savvy enough to divest your tech stocks and go big on the bollard sector. As I write, Geraldo is on Fox demanding to know why this bike path wasn't blocked off with concrete barriers.

Why? Why does every public place have to get uglified up just because Geraldo doesn't want to address the insanity of western immigration policies that day by day advance the interests of an ideology explicitly hostile to our civilization? Instead Geraldo wants to tighten up vehicle rental. Why? Why should you have to lose an extra 15 minutes at an already sclerotic check-in counter because Hertz and Avis and UHaul have to run your name through the No-Rent list? Why should open, free societies become closed, monitored, ugly, cramped and cowering?

And Bollardization doesn't even solve the problem, does it? Last week I was tootling through Williston, Vermont, which has just reconfigured its highway system to run green-painted bike paths down the center of the streets. And the thought occurred to me that, once you've bollarded off every sidewalk, what's to stop jihadists mowing down cyclists? After all, if the eco-crowd are installing them in the middle of the roadway, they're kind of hard to bollard off. And then a second thought occurred: As inviting a target as bike paths are in enviro-poseur communities, they're even more inviting in genuine bicycling cultures such as the Netherlands or Scandinavia.

And now eight people are dead and dozens more injured - at the hands of a guy who came here in 2010 because he won a Green Card in the so-called "diversity lottery". Why was that stupid program not suspended on September 12th 2001?

Because even 3,000 dead cannot be allowed to question the virtues of "diversity". The other day, the Australian government lost its working majority because, thanks to the usual boneheaded jurists, an Aussie-born citizen who chances also to share, say, New Zealand citizenship is deemed to be ineligible to sit in Parliament. [UPDATE: See my note to our Oz commenter below.] Er, okay, whatever. But at the same time we're assured that an Uzbek or a Somali or a Yemeni becomes a fully functioning citizen of a free, pluralist society simply by setting foot on western soil. That's not so. And the price of maintaining the delusion is blood on the pavement.

And so, on a buckled, broken bicycle on the Hudson River Greenway, the wheel comes full circle. America and every other major western nation thought the appropriate response to 9/11 was to show how nice we are by dramatically increasing the rate of mass Muslim immigration. Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov was among the many beneficiaries of the west's suicide by virtue-signaling. "Sayfullo" is a Central Asian rendering of "Saifallah" - or "Sword of Allah". Hmm, what a fascinating name! Do you think whichever brain-dead bureaucrat who gave Sword of Allah's online Green Card application the once-over (assuming anyone did) so much as gave the name a second glance? And so, because we did not take an act of war seriously in 2001, we are relentlessly harassed and diminished by unending micro-jihad - in Copenhagen, in Toulouse, in San Bernadino, in Calgary, Barcelona, Parsons Green ...and now on a bike path 300 feet from where we came in sixteen years ago. Three months ago, on the anniversary of 9/11, I wrote:
In any war, you have to be able to prioritize: You can't win everything, so where would you rather win? Raqqa or Rotterdam? Kandahar or Cannes? Yet, whenever some guy goes Allahu Akbar on the streets of a western city, the telly pundits generally fall into one of two groups: The left say it's no big deal, and the right say this is why we need more boots on the ground in Syria or Afghanistan. Yesterday President Trump said he was committed to ensuring that terrorists "never again have a safe haven to launch attacks against our country". 
By that he means "safe havens" in Afghanistan. But the reason the west's enemies are able to pile up a continuous corpse count in Paris, Nice, Berlin, Brussels, London, Manchester, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Orlando, San Bernadino, Ottawa, Sydney, Barcelona, [Your Town Here] is because they have "safe havens" in France, Germany, Britain, Scandinavia, North America, etc. Which "safe havens" are likely to prove more consequential for the developed world in the years ahead..? In Afghanistan, we're fighting for something not worth winning, and we're losing. In Europe, Islam is fighting for something very much worth winning, and they're advancing. And, according to all the official strategists in Washington and elsewhere, these two things are nothing to do with each other.
So now eight grieving families and dozens more who'll be living with horrific injuries for the rest of their lives are told by Cuomo and De Blasio and the rest of the gutless political class behind their security details that there's nothing to do except to get used to it.

I don't want to get used to it - and I reiterate my minimum demand of western politicians that I last made after the London Bridge attacks: How many more corpses need to pile up on our streets before you guys decide to stop importing more of it?

If your congressman or senator says that's not on his agenda, what he means is he's willing to sacrifice you and your loved ones in the suicide lottery of diversity.

~Mark will be talking about the latest developments in the Lower Manhattan terrorism attack with Tucker Carlson tomorrow, Wednesday, on Fox News, live at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. If you're a Mark Steyn Club member, feel free to weigh in in our comments section. We appreciate the Club is not to everyone's taste, but, if you're minded to give it a go, either for a full year or a three-month experimental period, we'd love to have you. You'll find more details here - and, if you've a loved one who'd like something a little different for a birthday or anniversary, don't forget our new gift membership.