The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014
Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology
The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
April 9, 2014
Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?
Samuel G. Freedman
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
May 30, 2013 / 21 Sivan 5773
Should we fear ex-Marine --- or those who detained him?
A. Barton Hinkle
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, everyone wanted to know why the people in charge of national security had been caught napping. Various agencies had various pieces of information; why didn't anybody connect the dots?
After Seung-Hui Cho's murderous rampage at Virginia Tech in 2007, similar questions arose. Various individuals had been concerned about Cho's mental state. Why didn't anyone take more steps to forestall the looming tragedy?
It was the same after the Boston Marathon bombing: Why hadn't U.S. officials heeded Russian warnings about the Tsarnaevs?
And after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Americans spent a couple months debating whether the nation needed better monitoring of the mentally unstable.
So when alarms went up last year about some potentially ominous postings on Facebook by a Marine Corps veteran, you can understand why law enforcement agencies thought they should look into the matter.
What happened next is less easy to understand. Or accept.
On Aug. 20, officers from three different agencies - the Chesterfield police, the FBI and the Secret Service - paid a visit to Brandon Raub, a 26-year-old former Marine with kooky views about the U.S. government. Raub is a "truther" - someone who thinks the federal government was behind the 9/11 attacks - who also thinks Washington's leaders want to "merge the United States into a one-world banking system," and "put computer chips in you," and so on.
On Facebook, Raub had written that "the Revolution is here. And I will lead it." And: "Sharpen up my axe; I'm here to sever heads." The latter turned out to be some rap lyrics - but they take on a new resonance in light of last week's terrorist attack in London.
The authorities interviewed Raub, then took him into custody. But they did not arrest him, and they did not read him his rights. Rather, on the advice of mental health workers, he was placed under a 72-hour temporary detention order and held for psychiatric evaluation. Four days later, a special justice ordered that he be transferred to another hospital and held for 30 days.
By then the Rutherford Institute, which is based in Charlottesville, had intervened. Attorneys - including former Virginia Attorney General Anthony Troy, working for a private firm - won Raub's release a week after he was taken into custody. Circuit Judge Allen Sharrett found the transfer order "devoid of any factual allegations," albeit largely because of the special justice's failure to check certain boxes on the form.
With the help of the Rutherford Institute, Raub is now suing for violation of his constitutional rights. His district court complaint makes some valid points - and some others that sound rather less so.
"At no time," it notes, "did Raub make any threat to do harm to any person or to himself." Nor "has any person offered evidence that Raub has harmed or threatened" anyone. Moreover, the mental health worker who advocated committing Raub did so without having met him. And the strongest evidence for holding Raub even longer? Raub "had long pauses before answering questions" and was "very labile" while being questioned by the Secret Service. (That means he was emotional. Many people would be.)
The complaint also asserts that Raub fell prey to a program called Operation Vigilant Eagle. According to a 2009 article in The Wall Street Journal, Vigilant Eagle tries to head off lone-wolf attacks. It was created as a response to what an FBI memo termed "an increase in recruitment, threatening communications, and weapons procurement by white supremacy extremist and militia/sovereign citizen extremist groups."
Finally, the complaint alleges that federal authorities wanted to label Raub mentally ill "to suppress and chill Raub's political views." They were, it says, "motivated by an intent to retaliate against and suppress" constitutionally protected speech. It's hard to know precisely what the authorities were thinking, because - thanks to Raub's lawsuit - they aren't talking. But that allegation seems too tinfoil-hat to be credible, and is probably a legal tactic to win punitive damages, which depend on a finding of wanton misconduct.
Anyway, motives are largely ancillary. The Cliff's Notes version of the story is straightforward: A U.S. Marine veteran was held against his will for a week on the basis of nothing stronger than vague concerns fueled by some intemperate writings. This bears a distant, yet uncomfortable, echo of Soviet days - when dissidents were consigned to mental wards because, after all, anyone suicidal enough to confront the jackboot of communist totalitarianism had to be nuts.
In trying to distinguish between batty but harmless cranks and genuine fanatics who pose an imminent threat, those charged with protecting America face a serious dilemma. But if their default position becomes broad enough to routinely detain anyone who posts a rambling diatribe on the Internet, then the country faces a policy dilemma as well.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch
Comment by clicking here.
• 05/23/13: Professor of Constitution goes to war against it
• 05/23/13: REVEALED: IRS letter to tea party groups
• 05/15/13: Today on NPR: The smothering tax burden
• 04/30/13: What does Boston say about diversity?
• 04/25/13: For some libs, 'courage' = agreeing with them
• 04/18/13: Utterly outraged by their president's callous betrayal
• 04/11/13: Cognitive dissonance on guns
• 04/04/13: Do unto others, but not unto us, say the media
• 04/01/13: Observations from the auto shop holding pen
• 03/14/13: The nation-building follies
• 03/12/13: Will the right come around on pot?
• 03/07/13: Another U.S. dupe falls for a dictator
• 02/28/13: How dare you say that here!
• 02/26/13: Eating Frito-Lay chips at gunpoint
• 02/20/13: Death Star petitions are just what we need
• 02/13/13: ObamaCare proves law correct --- deep down you knew it would
• 01/29/13: It's Time to Get Judgy About Incompetency
• 01/23/13: Look who's mocking fascist fear-mongering now
• 01/16/13: Only in Washington could you get away with referring to spending and tax increases as spending 'cuts'
• 01/09/13: Obama begins his second term, Bush's fourth
• 01/07/13: Who's Attacking the Constitution Now?
• 01/03/13: Why, historically, January is the perfect time to debate the filibuster
• 12/26/12: When libs devalue diversity
• 12/20/12: Mark Your Calendars
• 12/13/12: Gun control, ad infinitum
• 12/11/12: Fracking can help fix the CO2 problem
• 12/06/12: Let's open the door to lots more immigration
• 12/04/12: Who's watching the kids? Just about everyone
• 11/29/12: The Real Middle-Class Champion was Mocked and Opposed
• 11/26/12: It's time to cut a deal on the budget
• 11/20/12: The case for a carbon tax
• 11/15/12: Cue the hysterics. Reports of Democracy's Death Greatly Exaggerated
• 11/07/12: The $4,000 Trash Can: We need regulation, but not this much
• 10/23/12: The Ballad of Islamist Rage Boy
• 10/17/12: Undermining the values that enable people in poverty to escape it? Sadly, yes
• 10/11/12: How Much Is This Tax Cut Gonna Cost Me, Doc?
• 10/04/12: Warrantless spying skyrockets under Obama
• 08/20/12: The wrong side absolutely must not win
• 08/14/12: America was not built on dirt alone
• 08/02/12: Libs Discover Their Inner Cheney
• 07/30/12: Feds want to help you --- whether you want help or not
• 07/23/12: Barack Obama, Storyteller-in-Chief
• 07/23/12: Nation's worst outsourcer? You
• 07/19/12: Listen up, America: You need to knuckle under
• 07/12/12: Obama, Romney: As Different as Two Peas in a Pod
• 07/05/12: Are teenagers big children --- or little adults?
• 06/25/12: Minorities treated as mere numbers
• 06/21/12: Memo to the the Little Guy: Seemingly innocuous activity could bring the federal hammer down out of a clear blue sky
• 06/19/12: We mustn't let America be buffaloed
• 05/31/12: Drop and Give Uncle Sam 20
• 05/15/12: The feds would like to know if you enjoyed that video
• 05/03/12: Obama inspires: 'America --- Still Not as Bad Off as Venezuela!'
• 04/26/12: It's everyone's favorite time of year again
• 03/29/12: GOP disillusionment is a good thing
• 03/27/12: Just what America needs: more red tape
• 03/20/12: Nation wondering: what happening to language?
• 02/21/12: Culture warriors resort to propaganda
• 02/15/12: Step away from that cookie and grab some air
• 02/08/12: Lessons in heresy
• 02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips?
• 01/11/12: Shut up, they explained
• 12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports!
• 12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas
• 02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
• 12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
• 06/15/10: The Presinator
• 05/26/10: More than equal
• 04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ugly?
• 02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
• 02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
• 01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books
• 01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
• 12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home
© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle