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Posts published in “Jones”

America’s credibility chickens

jones

The Trump Administration is having trouble convincing our allies of the necessity of a confrontation with Iran. Administration claims that Iran is posing an increasing threat to U.S. interests in the region have been met with skepticism by a number of governments.

American efforts to enlist our European allies in an effort to crack down on Iran have fallen flat. A senior British general, who serves as deputy commander of the U.S. coalition against the Islamic State, typified their response. On May 14, he said, “there has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces.”

When the Secretary of State made a surprise visit to Iraq on May 7 to share threat information, Iraqi officials were not impressed. That response might be taken with a grain of salt because our ill-conceived invasion of Iraq drove that country much closer to Iran. But, it does demonstrate a troubling credibility gap in a critical part of the world.

It may be that Iran has plans to harm American interests in the region, requiring a U.S. response, or it may be that Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, the Administration’s Iran hawks, are just trying to pave the way for another unnecessary military conflict. The problem is that truth-challenged, seat-of-the-pants foreign policy is seriously eroding America’s credibility around the world and putting our country at risk.

There is something to be said for employing a certain amount of uncertainty in dealing with our enemies. An element of bluffing is fair game in dealing with an adversary. However, it must always be carefully employed and rooted in reality. A chaotic policy or one based on untruths will not deter our enemies.

And, when dealing with allies, it is essential to be truthful and respectful. When we surprise our partners with policies harmful to their interests, fail to be truthful with them, or fail to honor our commitments, it erodes our credibility and ability to advance our national interests.

Foreign governments, both friends and foes, carefully follow American politics. They see tallies of the untruths attributed to the President. They are aware of the wide policy swings that can occur in a short period of time--an immediate pullout from Syria one day, a retraction several days later, something else a short time later. Or, in this hemisphere--off-and-on promises to help the people of Venezuela rid themselves of a dictator, or alternating threats and promises to Central American countries regarding aid to keep their people at home.

When our friends and enemies can’t rely on predictability and a certain amount of truthfulness from the U.S. government, it damages our moral standing and harms our national interests. This month our allies won’t buy our case for confronting Iran because they have seen a lack of candor on other issues. What will it be next month and the month after? Once credibility is lost, it is hard to restore.

The icons of the Republican Party - Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan - stood up for the moral dignity of the United States. While they were not perfect and may have strayed from the absolute truth on occasion, they understood the need to let both friend and foe know where America stood, what they could expect from the U.S. and the consequences of transgressing our national interests. It is not too late to restore America to its position as moral beacon of the world. Let’s demand it of our leaders.
 

The sixth extinction

jones

The United Nations just released an alarming report that should knock the socks off of all of those who still wear them. The report, which was approved by the U.S. and 131 other countries, says the Earth is headed into a mass die-off of plant and animal species. Up to one-eighth of the planet’s species are in danger of extinction unless humans make dramatic changes in their planet-fouling behavior.

The report points to a number of factors that have seriously degraded the environment and threatened global biodiversity in recent decades, including deforestation, overhunting, invasive species, overfishing, pollution, pesticides, and ruinous farming and mining practices. The nearly 7 billion people engaged in these activities have altered the natural world at a rate “unprecedented in human history.”

Climate change poses the most serious danger to the world’s species in coming years. The report says that about 5% of Earth’s species will face extinction if the average global temperature rises another degree Celsius. Plants and animals that cannot adapt will perish.

The report concludes that “around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken.” The panel’s chair wrote that “the health of ecosystems on which we and all species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

It may be that many of these plants and animals are not grand specimens--pesky insects and nondescript plants--but they still play a crucial role in maintaining life on the planet. Many lowly insects pollinate crops, break down feces, recycle and enrich soil and provide a food source for grander species which then provide a food source for even grander animals. Many of the lowly plants are also a critical food source for animals and even ingredients in medicines and other useful products for humans.

What makes our dire situation more discouraging is that the report does not tell us something that we did not already know. Scientists have been concerned for years about what is called the Sixth Extinction. About four years ago, I read an excellent, but frightening, book with that title.

The book’s author, Elizabeth Kolbert, writes: “Over the last half billion years, there have been five major mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us.”

The present extinction is the result of human activity and we are doing precious little to head it off. Rather than making a concerted effort to bring a halt to practices that cause great harm to species which play a critical role in the food chain, we continue merrily along our destructive course. Instead of taking the drastic action needed to reduce pollution and curb planet-killing greenhouse gasses, we argue about whether climate change is a hoax.

The time for taking action to keep this planet from turning into a hell hole is running perilously short. We need to get with it and blunt the present extinction to the greatest extent possible. Continuation of a ho-hum attitude is not an option.
 

Forget election, focus on aggression

jones

Christopher Wray, the FBI director, warned on April 26 that Russian interference in the 2020 election presents a “significant counterintelligence threat.” His warning followed the Worldwide Threat Assessment (WTA) issued by U.S. intelligence agencies in January.

The WTA predicted that in 2020, “Moscow may employ additional influence tool kits--such as spreading disinformation, conducting hack-and-leak operations or manipulating data--in a more targeted fashion to influence U.S. policy, actions and elections.” Wray characterized Russia’s malign cyberwarfare as “pretty much a 365-day-a-year threat.”

Despite Robert Mueller’s detailed and chilling report on the extent of Russian efforts to manipulate the 2016 election, President Trump remains unconvinced and unconcerned. He has not taken it upon himself to rally Americans against this serious threat, nor has he taken decisive punitive action against the aggressors.

Instead, Trump has either ignored or downplayed the malevolent Russian attack on our country. When the former Homeland Security Secretary tried to organize a coordinated defense of our 2020 election, she was discouraged by Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s chief of staff. Mulvaney reportedly told her that the Russian interference issue “wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below [Trump’s] level.

Trump’s son-in-law, apparently taking his cue from the top, blew off the Russian election attack as “a couple of Facebook ads.” He should read the 199 pages of Volume One of the Mueller Report, where Kushner appears with some regularity. Mueller details a concerted Russian effort to influence the 2016 election by illegal hacking of computers, distribution of hacked documents, and sophisticated targeting of social media.

Some Congressional Republicans have urged a much more muscular response to Putin’s aggression and have worked with Democrats to put a stop to it. The President has gone along grudgingly but nowhere near sufficiently. I fervently pray it is not because he hopes to once again benefit from Russian help.

Trump seems to think that acknowledging the wide-ranging nature of the Russian influence operation and its potential impact on the election result is a threat to his legitimacy in office.

Get over it, Mr. President. You won and nobody is going to be able to dislodge you from office simply because of Putin’s handiwork. The Russian influence operation may have been sufficient to swing the election in your direction, or that could have been accomplished by Jim Comey’s blundering efforts, but it is water under the bridge.

What is critical at this juncture is to put the election behind and govern--protect the country from its enemies, rebuild our infrastructure, try to solve the growing income equality in the country, work to reform the immigration system, try to preserve the American dream, combat the existential threat of climate change and so much more.

The President reminds me of some clients I had during my 25 years of private law practice. Instead of moving forward with their lives, they insisted on relitigating the past - dwelling upon past mistreatment and slights, rather than living to make a better life in the present and future. It is a losing strategy, both for that person and for those around the disgruntled person.

It’s high time to move past the 2016 election and focus on the future. Whether or not the election result was questionable, there is a future to deal with, problems to address, lives to productively live. A bruised presidential ego does not take priority over the security of the United States.
 

Celebrating Law Day

jones

The first day of May is Law Day, which was first designated by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958 to celebrate our remarkable legal system. The rule of law is the bedrock of our society. The law protects us, our freedoms and our property against arbitrary government action.

The United States grew into an economic powerhouse because foreign governments and businesses recognized and trusted our dedication to following our laws, including our treaty obligations. The honest system of laws set up by the Founding Fathers has made our country the moral beacon of the planet.

One of the most admired features of our legal landscape is that even the most powerful individuals are subject to the law. As President John Adams so aptly stated, “We are a nation of laws, not of men.” Or, as President Teddy Roosevelt put it, “No man is above the law, and no man is below it.”

Unfortunately, many of the actions of our current President have tarnished America’s reputation for lawfulness, both at home and abroad. He seems to feel unconstrained by laws that the rest of us must follow.

The most glaring examples are the efforts of the President to obstruct the Mueller investigation, including his order that White House counsel Don McGahn fire Special Counsel Mueller, then that McGahn commit the felony offense of lying to Mueller about it, then trying to cover up the whole thing. But for a questionable DOJ opinion that a sitting President cannot be held accountable for criminal misconduct, Trump would likely be facing criminal charges. This is all a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s mandate that the President “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

But, this is just part of a pattern of ignoring the laws of our great country. During his first two years in office, the President has lost over 90% of the court challenges to his administration’s policies--everything from Medicaid expansion, to teen pregnancy prevention, to amnesty policy, to rollback of environmental regulations. Of 63 court losses in that period, two-thirds were for failure to comply with the 73-year-old Administrative Procedures Act, which bars arbitrary government action.

The President has repeatedly violated our treaty obligations by making false claims that tariffs against the products of close allies, such as Canada, are justified by national security concerns. It is somewhat doubtful that Canada will launch an attack against the U.S. in the near future, unless we keep treating it and our other valued allies as enemies.

The President has sicced government agencies on persons and companies that he regards as enemies. He tried to override postal regulations by demanding that the U.S. Postal Service increase rates for Amazon, because he perceived that the Washington Post, owned by the founder of Amazon, was being unfair to him. That smacks of authoritarian action.

Trump wanted the Justice Department to block AT&T’s merger with Times Warner because he was torqued off at CNN, an AT&T asset. The administration lost the suit. This certainly appears to have been an abuse of government power.

Law Day is a time to reflect upon the economic strength and moral authority this great country has derived from its reliance on the rule of law. We have been that “shining city upon a hill” President Ronald Reagan often spoke about because of our exceptional legal system. Instead of abusing that system and disparaging its judges, we should respect and celebrate it. That job starts at the very top position in our government. If we recognize the great benefits the rule of law has bestowed upon us as a people, it will remain the protector of our society and the envy of the world.
 

Sense on immigration

jones

Congressman Mike Simpson has once again distinguished himself as the member of Idaho’s Congressional delegation who can think for himself. Simpson reportedly told the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday (April 16) that undocumented immigrants in the U.S. should be given permanent Green Card status.

That would allow them to live and work in the country without fear of being uprooted and deported, so long as they do not commit a deportable offense. Simpson observed what should be fairly obvious - that deporting the undocumented population “would be devastating for our economy.” Recent estimates put that population at around 11 million people.

Green Card status would allow undocumented workers to continue working without having to worry about being rounded up and tossed out of the country. A large number of these folks perform necessary work that American citizens simply won’t do.

Idaho’s multi-billion-dollar dairy industry would not be able to sustain itself without immigrant labor. About 7,000 of the 8,300 workers on Idaho dairies are immigrants and around 5,000 of them are undocumented. Thousands of other agricultural-related jobs in our state are being performed by immigrants who don’t have valid papers.

Idaho’s economy is growing faster than other states and construction is booming. Many of those construction jobs are held by workers without proper documentation. They are helping to build our economy, which would suffer if they were to be sent home.

The unemployment rate across the country is well below the historic average. The February jobless rate in Idaho was 2.9%, while the national rate in March was 3.8%. Those who want to rid the country of undocumented workers have not indicated who would fill the jobs left vacant if millions of them were deported. Kicking these folks out of the country would amount to economic suicide.

Simpson correctly concludes that comprehensive immigration reform is the answer to the problem because we can’t or won’t get rid of this immigrant population. Giving permanent status to those who are helping to build and sustain our economy just makes common sense.

Many of these folks are paying taxes and contributing to Social Security and Medicare. However, some are being paid off of the books, either because they fear they will be discovered or because their employers want to avoid the taxes or pay less than minimum wage. Simpson’s proposal would bring these workers out of the shadows for their protection and for the benefit of the tax system.

While Simpson has not proposed that the undocumented population be provided a path to citizenship, I think that is the ultimate solution. There is no reason why people qualified for the DACA program - people who were brought to the U.S. as minors--should not be given citizenship. There are about 800,000 so-called “Dreamers” in the country, over 3,000 of whom live in Idaho. Many of them did not even realize they were not citizens until years later.

There should also be a path to citizenship for others in our undocumented population. Some say that we should only grant citizenship to people who have advanced skills, like engineers and physicists. We should certainly welcome those folks as immigrants, but I doubt that many of them would fill the back-breaking jobs that citizens won’t touch in packing plants, dairies, orchards, and the like.

Thanks for bringing some common sense to the immigration debate, Mike. I hope you can make some headway in your efforts to get both sides of the aisle engaged in the effort to comprehensively reform the immigration system.
 

Commemorations

jones

Every year, there are days we remember for better or for worse. They play an important part of who we are--birthdays, wedding anniversaries, historic events, accidents and illnesses, triumphs and tragedies. Yearly remembrance of the important days in our lives allows us to reflect on how they have affected us--to appreciate the good events and to avoid a repeat of the bad ones. April 11 is an important day for me.

On the positive side of the ledger, the 11th of April is the birthday of my wife and dearest friend, Kelly. Although I won’t reveal which birthday this is, I can say that she has been a wonderful partner in our journey together. In addition, she is an accomplished writer and a great help in my journalistic endeavors. Kelly is just in the process of publishing her fifth novel and has been tremendously helpful in getting my second book--a Vietnam remembrance--ready to go to press.

On the other hand, I’ll never forget what happened on April 11 fifty years ago in the former Republic of Vietnam. The convergence of two extraordinary events has left me with lingering questions regarding that troubling war.

I lived and worked with South Vietnamese forces at the Tay Ninh Province Headquarters (Sector), about 50 miles northwest of Saigon. The Communists routinely fired artillery rockets and mortars at Sector, but were rather poor marksmen. The night of April 11, 1969, they got extremely lucky. A rocket landed in one of the buildings where our Vietnamese allies had negligently stockpiled about 240 tons of mortar and artillery shells, other explosives and ammunition of all sorts.

The place blew sky high, killing about 80 South Vietnamese soldiers, 50 suspected Viet Cong or draft dodgers, and more than 10 civilians. It was a rare and extremely tragic event. I would likely have been part of the casualty count but for the fact that my superior, Major Painter, insisted I stay the night at my unit’s base camp about two miles away. That evening I’d gotten an award for helping a local orphanage and when I started to return to Sector, the Major strongly urged me to stay and play poker with the other officers. I’d only spent two duty nights away from Sector in the six preceding months.

I still think about those who tragically perished in the explosions, particularly every year when April 11 rolls around. The futility of the Vietnam War also crosses my mind.

In January of 2018, Kelly and I visited Tay Ninh City—my first trip back to Vietnam. There were no remaining vestiges of Sector or any sign of the wartime U.S. presence in the city. I expect that most of the Vietnamese soldiers with whom I served had been killed, imprisoned, or fled the country after the Communists took over in 1975. There was no sign of them. But everyone we met was friendly and welcoming, despite the bitter struggle. The people genuinely like America and Americans. It makes you wonder what things would have been like if we had let the Vietnamese work their problems out among themselves in the first place.

I also wonder on April 11, and at other times, what caused the award ceremony to coincide with the Communists’ lucky shot and Major Painter’s entreaties that I not go back to Sector that night--just dumb luck or something more. Whatever the answer, we should use anniversaries of unfortunate events as a time to reflect on how we can help keep ugly things from happening again. The yearly milestone of happy events should be a reminder of the great blessings we have as citizens of this great country. Thanks for making life joyful, Kelly, and happy birthday.
 

Helter-skelter foreign policy

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On March 28, a headline on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website proudly declared, “Secretary Nielsen Signs Historic Regional Compact with Central America to Stem Irregular Migration at the Source, Confront U.S. Border Crisis.” The story under the headline told of how El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras would continue to work cooperatively with the U.S. to address the “ongoing humanitarian and security emergency at our Southern Border.”

The only effective means of stopping the flow of immigrants from these countries is to provide them financial and technical support to cut violence, produce jobs, and keep their citizens at home. El Salvador is a success story for that policy. Border apprehensions of Salvadorans decreased from over 72,000 in 2016 to less than 32,000 in 2018. The policy has yet to take hold in the other two countries but it can work.

On March 30, the President announced he was cutting assistance to the three countries because, “They haven’t done a thing for us.” The two-day timeframe might have been a little short for the historic March 28 policy to produce dramatic results. Do people in the White House coordinate with one another?

This is just another example of a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants foreign policy that endangers the security of our country. The North Korean dictator is first a lying murderer, but then a trustworthy pal. Now, he is an estranged love interest. Everyone who understood the North Korean dictatorship knew it would end this way. Kim was not going to give up his nukes.

Syria is another example of the President’s ill-considered policy making. During a testy phone call with Turkey’s autocrat leader, Trump blurted out that the U.S. would yank 2,000 troops out of Syria immediately, leaving it to our enemies. But a few days later, under great Congressional and public pressure, he changed course. Next, he said we were going to leave 400 troops in the country for a short time, but later said it may be for a longer duration. What the heck is it??

More recently, he first said we might resort to military force in Venezuela, but then announced we wouldn’t. As the U.S. dithers to decide upon a Venezuela policy, a stalemate has set in there, and the dictator, Maduro, might not be dislodged from power.

Our allies in NATO and the European Union are sometimes our friends and sometimes our enemies. We may withdraw from NATO one day, but we might not the next day. Canada and Mexico are valuable trading partner at times but a national security threat at others. The U.S. has become an untrustworthy trading partner, driving allies in both Europe and Asia to seek trading alliances with China.

This type of helter-skelter foreign policy is extremely disconcerting to our friends, particularly our North American and European allies. Our friends need to have some predictability as to American policy and should be consulted before a dramatic swing takes place. Our enemies need to understand when there are red lines they dare not cross. An erratic foreign policy blurs the location of those critical lines.

Because our President is enamored with the Russian dictator, who is also the enemy of our closest allies, is it likely that those allies will share sensitive intelligence with us regarding the common Russian threat? With our President so beholden to the Saudi despot, can we ever disengage our support for his murderous and failing war in Yemen?

The U.S. presidency is not an ideal place for on-the-job training in foreign policy. If a novice ends up in the White House, he should recognize his limitations and hire competent people to do the job for him. That has not happened yet in the Trump White House and it endangers our alliances and the security of our beloved country.
 

Climate change: Now, or later

jones

Thousands of people were forced from their homes when the so-called “bomb cyclone” storm hit the U.S. Midwest in March. The storm caused record flooding and tremendous property damage. On the other side of the world, a record cyclone struck Mozambique and surrounding countries, displacing hundreds of thousands and causing widespread devastation. February ended the hottest summer on record in Australia, which saw devastating fires and over 200 heat records broken.

Climate change is bearing down on the planet and it is only going to get much worse if we keep pumping tens of billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year. The warmer air holds much more evaporation from warming oceans, which then dumps onto the earth in torrential downpours--think Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Violent weather is becoming commonplace around the world. While some areas are subjected to monumental flooding, other areas suffer drought, crop failures, starvation and massive wildfires.

More people in the U.S. are realizing that we have an existential climate problem on our hands, but some are concerned by the claims of climate deniers that it would be too expensive to deal with the problem--to seriously and substantially cut down on carbon dioxide emissions. It will take dramatic action and trillions of dollars, but we simply have no choice if we hope to leave an inhabitable planet to our children and grandchildren. If we put off trying to fix the problem until it reaches intolerable proportions, it will cost much, much more and may be too late.

There were 14 weather and climate disasters exceeding a billion dollars in the U.S. last year, with damages totaling nearly $100 billion. The total for natural catastrophes in 2017 was over $300 billion. Those are primarily damages for loss of property. As the climate continues to warm, those costs will dramatically increase. For just one small example, increasing property loss claims will cause increased insurance rates, which will raise business costs and be passed on to consumers.

Large areas of the country (and the rest of the world) will be unable to sustain crop production because of drought, devastating downpours, or changing soil conditions. For instance, saltwater intrusion from rising seas is rendering areas along the East Coast incapable of crop production. Changing weather patterns will affect the type of agriculture that can be sustained in Idaho and other inland areas.

And, speaking of coastal areas, the ice sheets on Greenland and both of the Earth’s poles are melting at an increasing rate. The melt water is raising water levels along our coasts and threatening some of our major cities. If there is no concerted effort to cut carbon dioxide levels and hold the melt rate in check, the cost of protecting our cities from rising waters will be astronomical.

The 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment issued by the Trump Administration’s intelligence agencies warned that extreme weather events “can compound with other drivers to raise the risk of humanitarian disasters, conflict, water and food shortages, population migration, labor shortfalls, price shocks, and power outages.” The financial and human cost of that devastation would be incalculable.

It is time to get serious about trying to avert climate disaster and it is going to take a very substantial investment, which should create an enormous number of American green energy jobs. If we can poop away $1.5 trillion of federal revenue for an unnecessary tax cut, we can certainly find the money to save the planet for future generations.

This may all sound alarmist but there is much to be alarmed about. What do we have to lose by converting to clean, renewable, green energy? If the deniers are right and climate change is a hoax, we will have built a lower-cost energy system and developed valuable spin-off technology to fuel our economy. But, if we fail to heed the dire warnings of the climate and intelligence communities and they turn out to be right about the existential threat of climate clinic, we will leave our children an uninhabitable planetary hothouse.
 

The white supremacist threat

jones

In the aftermath of the massacre of fifty Muslims by an avowed white supremacist at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, President Trump was asked whether he saw white nationalism as a growing threat around the world. He replied, “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.” While the President may not regard these extremists as a threat, they most decidedly are and we, as a nation, should be working to eliminate that danger to our safety.

White terrorists are nothing new to America. Unfortunately, they surface from time to time to wreak their havoc on vulnerable groups in our country. For decades, the Ku Klux Klan lynched, burned, shot, and otherwise brutalized African-Americans. The KKK also terrorized our Jewish population.

The KKK was a power across the country, including in Idaho, in the nineteen-twenties. Years later, Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, was motivated by white power and hatred of the government to kill 168 people. More recently, Dylann Roof killed nine black worshippers in their Charleston church in 2015.

The current white supremacy movement in the U.S. is now linked with white power enthusiasts across the globe, thanks to social media. Brenton Tarrant, the murderer in New Zealand, was inspired by Anders Breivik, a Norwegian white power terrorist who killed 77 people, mostly kids. Christopher Hasson, the Coast Guard officer who was arrested in Maryland in February before he could fulfill his dream of setting off a race war, also drew inspiration from Breivik.

These people share the perverted grievance that white folk are in danger of being replaced by people they regard as inferior. They often make reference to “white genocide” and speak of the country being “invaded” by lawless immigrants and undesirable “others.” The cadre of torch-bearing white nationalists marching around Charlottesville in August of 2017 were chanting “Jews will not replace us.” It is doubtful that the hateful group contained many “very fine people.”

The threat is dangerous and growing. Robert Bowers killed 11 of our Jewish brothers and sisters at their Pittsburgh synagogue last October. This outrage is enough, in and of itself, to constitute a serious threat to our country. Bowers, Roof, McVeigh, Hasson, Breivik, and Tarrant are just the tip of the iceberg. They have many followers who applaud their actions, as demonstrated by the supportive response they receive on social media.

The FBI and Homeland Security Department warned in May 2017 of the threat of “lethal violence” posed by white supremacist groups. However, the extent of white terrorism is not readily apparent because it is not monitored and dealt with the same as foreign-inspired terrorism. Rather than being charged with terrorist activity, home-grown terrorists are often charged with murder, assault and other garden variety crimes.

The Anti-Defamation League has conducted a review of extremist killings and concluded that the majority are committed by white supremacists. The ADL reported: “White supremacists have killed more people in recent years than any other type of domestic extremist (54% of all domestic extremist-related murders in the last 10 years).” There has been an uptick in such crimes in the last couple of years.

And, even a small white extremist group can pose a serious danger. The Aryan Nations group in Hayden did not appear to be a large group but Idahoans considered them to be a threat. We rose up and said we would not tolerate their perverted creed. They were soon gone.

Incidentally, the ADL played a significant role in that effort, along with many Idahoans of good will. Let’s now demand that effective action be taken to clamp the lid on white terrorists across the country. A small group with very, very serious problems can threaten us all.