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Senate Republicans Vote To Kick Children Out Of America

Today, Republicans in the United States Senate voted in favor of H.R. 240, a bill that would kick large numbers of children out of the United States – in the name of Homeland Security.

Right wing conspiracy theorists come up with all kinds of crazy ideas about secret plans by FEMA to set up concentration camps, guillotines in Georgia, and jack-booted thugs everywhere. Today, however, these same right wingers applauded Republican politicians as they voted for a plan that would actually send agents of the federal government across the nation, ripping families apart, and seizing children from their homes. So much for the GOP being the party of family values.

Only one Republican didn’t vote for the bill. That was Senator Mark Kirk, who simply couldn’t be bothered to show up for the vote.

Light the White House Purple Petition Gets Swift Obama Response. Pardon Edward Snowden Petition? Obama Response now 592 Days Overdue

592 days ago, on June 22 2013, just 13 days after it was created, the petition to pardon civil liberties whistleblower Edward Snowden surpassed a hundred thousand signatures.   That 100,000 mark is crucial, because as an official petition on the official “We The People” petition website set up by the White House, it is guaranteed an answer by the Obama administration if it surpasses 100,000 signatures within 30 days.  The people speak, the President responds.  That’s how democracy is supposed to work, and those are the terms to which President Barack Obama and his administration agreed.

Just a month after a petition to light the White House purple reached its necessary threshold, the White House responded to that petition.  In one week and one day, it will have been 600 days since the petition to pardon Edward Snowden passed the threshold for a response — and still no response has been provided by the Obama administration.  Warrantless surveillance matters.  How we treat whistleblowers matters.  Democracy matters… but apparently not to the presidential administration of Barack Obama.


Bush To Run For President – With The Green Party!

A month ago, I wrote of the extremely poor offering of presidential candidates presented by the Green Party so far. Midge Potts, conspiracy theorist sits next to Charles Brannan, who says he has been called by the Holy Spirit to run for President “to force this country back to it founding roots with God at the center”, and Robert Milnes, who seeks to encourage political coalitions with Nazis.

Please, I begged the Green Party, could you come up with a better presidential candidate, one that people could support without cringing? A few days ago, as if in answer to my plea, a new candidate for the 2016 Green Party presidential nomination filed paperwork with the FEC.

You’ll never guess who it is…

willita bush for presidentBush is running for President, on the Green Party ticket!

No, I’m not talking about Jeb Bush. I’m talking about Willita Bush.

Willita Bush is a 36 year-old resident of St. Louis, Missouri. She’s worked as an empowerment consultant, advising clients on civil rights litigation, though she is not a lawyer herself. She has recently entered law school. Last year, in the context of the shooting of Michael Brown, she campaigned as a write-in candidate for Executive of St. Louis County.

As far as anyone knows, Willita Bush is not a relative of the Bush family that includes former presidents George W. and George H.W., or Jeb.

Willita Bush has not shared any of her ideas about what she would do with the power of the presidency, or any strategy she has for being more successful than previous Green Party presidential candidates have been. Stay tuned for more information about this, the content of her campaign, when it becomes available.

Huckabee And Kids With Guns

It’s a story that we hear over and over again. A tiny child finds a parent’s gun and disaster results. This time, a 3 year-old boy shot both his father and his pregnant mother in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Other recent incidents in the United States include a 2 year-old who shot his mother to death in a Wal-Mart, and a 5 year-old who shot his baby brother in the head.

mike huckabee children and gunsOf all these incidents, my mind keeps on going back to the 9 year-old girl who shot her gun instructor with an Uzi in Arizona. I’m thinking of this particular tragedy because of the similarities it has to the childhood narrative of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Last week, Mike Huckabee took to the airwaves to lecture Northerners about how they’re not raising their children right, depriving them of guns. “I had a first BB gun at age 5, and a pellet gun at age 7, and a .22 rifle at age 9. But I grew up also never imagining that I would point it at someone and murder anybody over it,” he said.

Of course the young Mike Huckabee didn’t have murder in mind when he picked up his very own rifle at the age of 9. The 9 year-old girl with the Uzi wasn’t planning on killing anyone either, though.

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Mike Huckabee that placing a gun within reach of a young child is an unwise decision. Teaching children about how to shoot guns doesn’t guarantee safety, either, as the shooting death of the gun instructor shows.

I’m not literally worried that, if Mike Huckabee is elected President, American children will have more guns. Under Barack Obama, our nation’s gun laws are already too lose. We regulate child seats in cars, but don’t require any safety measures to require parents to keep firearms safely away from their children. So, too many children in our nation are already within easy reach of a gun.

My concern is about the lack of mental discipline that Huckabee’s longing for a rifle in the hands of every child suggests. I wonder, if Mike Huckabee is eager to give guns to kids, what other poorly-conceived plans is he willing to embrace? Huckabee in the Oval Office wouldn’t just have authority over guns. As Commander-In-Chief, he would have the power over nuclear weapons.

Thankfully, we voters are not children. We have the maturity, I hope, to see the danger in Mike Huckabee’s trigger-happy politics, and to disarm his political ambitions.

When A Notary Public Should Lose His License

unethical notary publicWhen should a notary public lose his license?

How about in this situation? A man comes in to his office with paperwork to file with the FEC for the creation of a presidential campaign, including a handwritten note that begins, “I Phillip K Hill SR afirm that I Need a Secrcert Service Security Detail Imeadly Because People Have Try To Kill Me. 1988-89 Someone cut my steering rod on my car I broke while going around a Bend in the Road Brownsville Hospital Brew* PA VA Hospital Pgh Pa 1983 I was living in a one Room above a Bar in cheswick Pa Someone put vidmark on all OF my Pants…” – and then the notary certifies the document, signs his own name to the statement that “On this 29th day of DECEMBER, 2014, before me, the undersigned officer, personally appeared PHILLIP K. HILL, SR., known to me or satisfactorily proven to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument, who acknowledged that he executed the same for the purposes therein contained. Upon personal observation, he appeared to be lucid, in control of his faculties, to understand the nature of the within instrument, and to be acting voluntarily in affixing his signature thereto.”

This unfortunate scenario has actually taken place. Less than a week ago, a Pittsburgh notary actually signed his name, certifying that Phillip K. Hill, Senior was lucid and in control of his faculties when he brought a scrawled, barely coherent note asking for protection by the Secret Service as a presidential candidate because of a conspiracy, dating back to the 1980s, to murder him.

The regulations that require notaries to affirm that their clients appear to be sane exist for a reason. Mentally ill people can damage their livelihoods and reputations by filing legal forms in outrageously inappropriate ways. Notaries aren’t trained psychologists, of course, but it doesn’t take any formal education in mental health issues to judge that it’s strongly possible that Phillip K. Hill, Senior is not lucid and not fully in control of his faculties. This notary failed in his professional obligations, and exposed his client to ridicule. He should have his license to serve as a notary public suspended, at the very least.

Phillip K. Hill, Senior has a legal right to run for President in 2016. He does not, however, have a legal right to have his documents certified as lucid when they are not.

Moral Mondays Surge Back in North Carolina on February 14, 2015

Moral Mondays have become a North Carolina tradition.  With the spring of every new year and the convening of the North Carolina State Legislature, citizens who support reproductive rights, the freedom to marry, the right to vote, public financing of elections, citizen control, public schools, health care, a clean environment and economic opportunity hold marches in the state capital of Raleigh.  Here in Maine, the snow is blowing fiercely, but spring comes early to North Carolina and so does the season of activism.

In an inspiring blog post, Doc Dawg announces the first march of the season… this time on a Saturday.  If you live in North Carolina, don’t let it slide into the red.  Show up at 2 East South Street in Raleigh on  9 AM on Saturday, February 14th and get ready to make some noise.

As always, the Moral Mondays marches are organized by the North Carolina NAACP — find official information on the march here.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Time for a Legislative Gut Check

Number of years that the federal minimum wage has been in decline, accounting for inflation: 6

Number of American workers earning the federal minimum wage or less: 3.3 million

Number of bills before the 114th Congress to raise the federal minimum wage: 1

Number of Congressional cosponsors for legislation to raise the minimum wage: 19

Number of bills before the 114th Congress regarding the game of football: 4

Number of Congressional cosponsors for legislation about the game of football: 39

Nathan Norman, The Presidential Candidate Who Isn’t Running For President

Over the last few weeks, a person writing under the name “Citizen Norman” has popped up here now and again at Irregular Times, leaving comments indicating that he is running for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination in 2016.

nathan norman kook for presidentYesterday, Nathan Norman complained to Robert Milnes, a loose-tongued Green Party presidential candidate, that, “At least Mr Wood acknowledges your existence. He hasn’t written anything about me or my campaign.”

It is true that, until now, I have not written anything about the Nathan Norman for President campaign. There is a good reason for that: The Nathan Norman for President campaign does not exist.

Nathan Norman has a web site in which he claims to be campaigning for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination. However, Nathan Norman has not taken even the very simple step of filing paperwork with the FEC to officially register any presidential campaign. Even profoundly mentally ill presidential candidates have managed that much.

Besides, even if Nathan Norman had actually begun a presidential campaign, he has declared that he has no intention of actually representing the Libertarian Party in the general election. Instead, he pledges to “hand it over to Newt Gingrich” if he wins the Libertarian Party nomination.

Nathan Norman writes, “Gingrich can win this election for Libertarians and end the two party system that is tearing this great nation apart.” Gingrich, win a presidential campaign? Newt Gingrich has already run for President, and was soundly defeated. Newt Gingrich is one of the most unpopular politicians of our time. He was run out of Congress by voters in his own political party who were tired of his embarrassing tantrums. Anyone who believes that Newt Gingrich can unite the country behind him is either ignorant, deluded, or joking.

I’m inclined to believe that the third option is closest to the truth. I can’t help but think that when Nathan Norman says that he’s running for President, he’s intending it as some kind of prank. This attitude is indicated by the character of the comments he leaves around the Internet:

“California should be split into four states. Homotopia, Tittiesville, Redwoodland, and Bakersfield.”

“Why not focus on more important environmental issues such as human relocation and terraformation of Mars?”

“Frack Siberia! Research Space! Terraform Mars! Relocate!”

Nathan Norman wouldn’t be the first person to attempt to run a fake presidential campaign for comedic effect. Stephen Colbert and Dick Gregory have done it before. However, while Stephen Colbert and Dick Gregory are funny, Nathan Norman isn’t. Even as satire, the Nathan Norman for President campaign lacks coherence.

Could Nathan Norman officially begin a presidential campaign some day? I suppose. If that campaign can’t manage to summon more effort than what Nathan Norman has shown so far, however, a Nathan Norman for President campaign wouldn’t even be worth paying attention to for idle entertainment.

After Somali Immigrants arrived in Minneapolis, did Crime change differently than in other Minnesota Cities? (Fact Check)

There are some people on the internet, writing for websites with names like “Stormfront” and “Stuff Black People Don’t Lie,” who make a cottage industry out of posting a link every time a Somali immigrant is charged with a crime and blowing that single incident into a blanket condemnation of immigrants, Somalis, Africans and people with dark brown skin.  Minneapolis, Minnesota is one city that has welcomed a large number of Somali refugees seeking a new life.  The race-baiters write about Somali immigrants to Minneapolis in derogatory terms with dire accusations of a crime wave:

  • “None of these Somalis in any city of the United States should be in the country, if the government was actually concerned with creating a strong future for the nation’s actual citizens. It is not. Minneapolis once was a city with one of the lowest crime rates in America and the highest standard of living; social capital (the necessary building-block for building strong communities) was at a premium. Enter the Somali refugees and the importation of crime that the city needed if it was to compete with other vibrant cities in the diversity lottery.”
  • “Violent crimes against Americans are sure to rise as the number of Somalis increase…. As the number of Somalis increase the crime rate will increase and the city and state will be bankrupted from all the foreign welfare freeloaders and welfare cheats.”
  • “After the Somalis arrived in Minneapolis, violence in the city intensified and the crime rate exploded.”

As I showed in a post last November, a simple check of the violent and property crime rates from 1992 (the year before Somalis began arriving in Minneapolis) to now show that both violent and property crime rates have declined, not gone up, in the city.  This trend is directly at odds with the claims made above.

A more subtle if still-racist point is being made by some correspondents: that surely the crime rate has been falling everywhere in the United States lately, and that surely the places with more Somali immigrants have crime rates that are decreasing along with everywhere else, but decreasing at a smaller rate because those nasty, criminal Somalis must be counteracting the general curve.

Let’s test this claim.  I’ve gone to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for its latest 5-year counts of people of Somali descent in of the 905 incorporated cities of the state of Minnesota.  Results confirm that the city of Minneapolis has the highest number of people of Somali descent living there (12,702) and the highest percent of residents who are of Somali descent (3.26%).  I’ve also gone to the Uniform Crime Reports data tool supplied by the FBI and looked up the violent crime rate and property crime rate for every city in Minnesota with a population of 50,000 of more (crime rate is measured as number of crimes per 100,000 population).

The combined result is shown in the tables below.  Unfortunately, the violent crime can only be reported through 2004 because after 2004 many Minnesota cities began reporting rape data in a way that is inconsistent with the Uniform Crime Reports; the FBI has therefore excluded post-2004 years from UCR reports for Minnesota cities.  Still, data that is available is fairly clear:

City 1992 violent crime rate 2004 violent crime rate 1992-2004 Change % Change in Rate % Residents of Somali descent Population
St. Cloud 274.1 427 152.9 55.8% 1.40% 65996
Rochester 190.5 247.7 57.2 30.0% 1.90% 108179
Bloomington 184.4 199.4 15 8.1% 1.40% 84451
Maple Grove 100.8 104.1 3.3 3.3% 0% 63065
St. Paul 939.5 851.8 -87.7 -9.3% 1.90% 288802
Coon Rapids 206.5 178.3 -28.2 -13.7% 0.20% 61782
Blaine 162.9 139.7 -23.2 -14.2% 0.20% 58358
Woodbury 77.8 66.2 -11.6 -14.9% 0% 63352
Brooklyn Park 507.5 406.8 -100.7 -19.8% 0.20% 76781
Burnsville 165.7 131 -34.7 -20.9% 2.30% 60838
Minneapolis  1642.8 1256.1 -386.7 -23.5% 3.30% 389112
Eagan City 144.2 110 -34.2 -23.7% 0.60% 64691
Duluth City 413.5 307.7 -105.8 -25.6% 0.02% 86234
Plymouth 149.7 88.9 -60.8 -40.6% 0.10% 71852
Eden Prairie 149.1 88.4 -60.7 -40.7% 2.70% 61516
Minnetonka 96.9 56.7 -40.2 -41.5% 1.20% 50523
Lakeville 145.4 60.2 -85.2 -58.6% 0% 56758


For property crime, the full 1992-2012 change is available:

City 1992 property crime rate 2012 property crime rate 1992-2012 Change % Change in Rate % Residents of Somali descent Population
Duluth City 5504.8 4446.6 -1058.2 -19.2% 0.02% 86234
Bloomington 4991.8 3796.9 -1194.9 -23.9% 1.40% 84451
Maple Grove 2826.3 2036.9 -789.4 -27.9% 0% 63065
Brooklyn Park 4867.3 3399 -1468.3 -30.2% 0.20% 76781
Coon Rapids 4872.1 3077 -1795.1 -36.8% 0.20% 61782
Eagan City 3794.4 2341.2 -1453.2 -38.3% 0.60% 64691
St. Paul 6736.6 4091.2 -2645.4 -39.3% 1.90% 288802
St. Cloud 5626.3 3374.2 -2252.1 -40.0% 1.40% 65996
Woodbury 3872.3 2291.5 -1580.8 -40.8% 0% 63352
Burnsville 5055.5 2956.6 -2098.9 -41.5% 2.30% 60838
Blaine 6006.2 3316.5 -2689.7 -44.8% 0.20% 58358
Rochester 4653.4 2505.9 -2147.5 -46.1% 1.90% 108179
Minneapolis  9460.6 4960.8 -4499.8 -47.6% 3.30% 389112
Plymouth 3494.6 1663.4 -1831.2 -52.4% 0.10% 71852
Minnetonka 3511.1 1647 -1864.1 -53.1% 1.20% 50523
Eden Prairie 3602.2 1551.9 -2050.3 -56.9% 2.70% 61516
Lakeville 3933.4 1330.9 -2602.5 -66.2% 0% 56758

As you can see, in terms of violent crime and property crime the city of Minneapolis is actually fairly typical.  Some cities actually saw a rise in their violent crime rates — but not Minneapolis.  Only a few, not most, of Minnesota cities experienced sharper declines in property or violent crime rates than Minneapolis.  Minneapolis ends up looking pretty good in comparison to many of its neighbors. Comparing Minneapolis to its sister cities in Minnesota, it does not appear that Minnesota has had a comparatively shallower decline in its crime rate.  The arrival of Somalis did not have the criminalizing effect on the city that critics of Somali immigration claim.

As the tables above reveal, the presence of residents of Somali descent is not limited to Minneapolis.  Is the share of a city’s residents who are Somali related to the crime rate?  Scatterplots graphing % Somali in a Minnesota city against % change in crime rate for the city doesn’t show support for the positive relationship suggested by anti-Somali critics:

Scatterplot of Change in Property Crime Rate from 1992 to 2012 compared to the Change in the property crime rate in the same period for large Minnesota cities Scatterplot of Change in Property Crime Rate from 1992 to 2004 compared to the Change in the violent crime rate in the same period for large Minnesota cities


And in case you’re wondering, multivariate regression analysis, whether controlling for city size or not, fails to show a statistically significant of effect of a city’s share of Somali immigrants on its change in the crime rate since Somali immigrants started coming to Minnesota.

In short, it’s simply not true that Minneapolis and other cities with significant Somali populations experienced more crime (or a lower drop in crime) after Somali immigrants began to arrive.  It’s just not true.

Aaron Schock Says No Jobs Can Be Created Unless America Burns Huge Amounts Of Dirty Coal

It sounds like an exaggeration, but these are the words that actually came out of the mouth of Republican Congressman Aaron Schock yesterday: “No corporation, however globally well-positioned or integral to our state’s economy, can create or save American jobs given the current administration’s anti-fossil fuel agenda.”

Representative Schock was complaining about regulations designed to protect American consumers from the deadly pollution and economically devastating climate change that results from the inefficient and unsustainable generation of electricity by burning fossil fuels. Air pollution from coal burning power plants alone causes 13,000 deaths every year in the United States, and leads to 1.6 million lost work days due to health problems.

aaron schock on jobsCoal burning is a huge drain on the American economy. Yet, Aaron Schock wants the United States to continue to depend on the outdated technology from the last century that the coal industry still employs.

Representative Shock believes that Americans should continue to breathe dirty air and suffer from accelerated climate change because there is no other way for corporations to create jobs in Illinois than to allow corporations from Big Oil and Big Coal to have free reign to do as they please. Schock’s claim is very clear: He says that no corporation can create, or even keep, jobs in the United States unless the current environmental regulations of fossil fuels are repealed.

Is this true? Let’s take a look at the evidence. Let’s take a look at what’s happening with jobs in Aaron Schock’s home state of Illinois.

– According to the most recent economic census, there are over 12,800 manufacturing corporations that employ people in the state of Illinois.

Monster.com lists a huge number of jobs that corporations in Illinois are seeking to fill.

Illinois Work Net has 101 pages of corporate job listings.

A quick search brings up ample evidence that Aaron Schock’s claim that corporations can’t make or keep jobs under current fossil fuels regulations isn’t true by any stretch of the imagination.

What Aaron Schock may mean to have said is that the coal and oil industry won’t be able to keep employing people if America switches to clean, renewable energy sources. That’s true, but green energy jobs can replace the old fossil fuels industry jobs, and having a healthy workforce will improve the economy, enabling the creation of even more jobs in Illinois and across the country.

Why does Congressman Schock care so much about the coal and oil corporations in particular? It could have to do with the fact that he has taken tens of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuels industry over the last two years, and has won re-election thanks to even more shadowy independent expenditures from the industry.

After Arrival of Somali Immigrants, was Lewiston a Crime Outlier for Maine?

Up here in Maine, if you ask a bunch of people on the street which is the most dangerous, crime-ridden town in the state, more than half will name Lewiston.  Lewiston, Maine has a reputation for crime that many people blame on immigrants from the country of Somalia.  There’s just one problem with that claim: it turns out that the violent and property crime rate was far higher before Somali immigrants came to town than after they arrived.   Since I started covering the issue of perceptions toward Lewiston and its Somali community a few years ago, a fair number of people have rejected the story told by crime statistics and insisted that they knew the real story, that the statistics must just be wrong.

One new argument posted to Irregular Times is more reasonable and more testable.  This new argument claims that the crime rate has gone down just about everywhere, and that the Somali community in Lewiston must pose a crime problem because crime has gone down in Lewiston more slowly than everywhere else.  The person who made this claim didn’t cite any source, but fortunately we can make use of the Uniform Crime Reports data tool provided by the FBI for relevant data.  Let’s test that claim by looking at the change in crime in Lewiston from 2001 (when Somali immigration to the town began) to 2012, the last available year in the UCR data toolkit.  But let’s not just look at the change in crime in Lewiston; let’s look at the change in crime over the same 2001-2012 period for every one of the 19 towns in Maine with at least 10,000 population.  (Yes, Maine is a small-town place.)

First, let’s look at the FBI category of violent crime.  Violent crime is measured by the FBI as a rate, per 100,000 population.  How does Lewiston’s change in its violent crime rate compare to the change in the violent crime rate for the other Maine towns of reasonable size?

2012 population Violent Crime Rate, 2001 Violent Crime Rate, 2012 Change
Augusta 18,893 229.6 460.3 230.7
Sanford 20,913 81 305.9 224.9
Biddeford 21,324 241.3 443.9 202.6
Waterville 15,897 88.9 273.7 184.8
South Portland 25,126 89.2 195.3 106.1
Saco 18,848 23.6 129.1 105.5
Kennebunk 11,023 37.8 92 54.2
Gorham 16,764 84.1 133.9 49.8
Bangor 32,744 182.6 230.1 47.5
Lewiston 36,422 211 219.1 8.1
Falmouth 11,468 28.8 26.7 -2.1
Brunswick 20,354 103 98.3 -4.7
Scarborough 19,252 64.2 52.7 -11.5
Windham 17,363 113 99.7 -13.3
Orono 10,663 43.5 28.9 -14.6
Westbrook 17,647 214.8 188 -26.8
Portland 66,256 308.4 260.5 -47.9
York 12,695 69.4 15.9 -53.5
Auburn 22,948 260.5 204.3 -56.2

Lewiston’s violent crime rate is essentially unchanged over the period (and much lower than the average rate for the decade before 2001), a fact that doesn’t support the “Somali crime wave” story very well at all.  But don’t just pay attention to that trend.  Also notice that in 2012, there are actually 7 other towns with higher violent crime rates than Lewiston.  Finally, also notice that there are nine towns in Maine with greater rises in violent crime than Lewiston, and nine towns with declines in violent crime that are greater than Lewiston’s.  Lewiston is right in the middle of the pack.  The change it experienced in violent crime is entirely typical of the changes seen by Maine’s towns.

What about the trends for property crime in Maine’s towns?  Let’s take a look:

2012 population Property Crime Rate, 2001 Property Crime Rate, 2012 Change
Biddeford 21,324 3174.8 5644.3 2469.5
Scarborough 19,252 1448.1 2634.1 1186
Sanford 20,913 2819.3 3794.5 975.2
Westbrook 17,647 2774.5 3463.8 689.3
Augusta 18,893 5579 6203.9 624.9
Brunswick 20,354 2447.7 2924.8 477.1
Auburn 22,948 4526.6 4882.2 355.6
Waterville 15,897 4584.4 4825.3 240.9
Falmouth 11,468 1249.4 1488.3 238.9
Orono 10,663 1990 1978 -12
York 12,695 1988.9 1943.2 -45.7
Kennebunk 11,023 1522.7 1426.7 -96
South Portland 25,126 4108.1 3850.6 -257.5
Portland 66,256 4342.9 3963.1 -379.8
Gorham 16,764 1737.8 1290.2 -447.6
Windham 17,363 2473.2 1905.7 -567.5
Bangor 32,744 6145.5 5575.7 -569.8
Lewiston 36,422 4664.2 3798 -866.2
Saco 18,848 3604.9 2532.9 -1072

Again, Lewiston has a pretty run-of-the-mill property crime rate for Maine: there are 6 towns with higher property crime rates than Lewiston.  And again, Lewiston’s property crime rate has gone down, not up, since Somali immigrants began to arrive.  But wait, there’s more: it turns out that of all the 19 biggest Maine towns, Lewiston had the second-biggest decline in property crime rates.  Lewiston’s change means that compared to its fellow biggish towns in Maine, Lewiston’s actually had a bigger, better, more positive turnaround in crime since 2001.

It’s hard for us to let go of our preconceptions, but sometimes we need to let them go.  Systematic evidence contradicts rumors and anecdotes: Somali immigration simply has not triggered a Lewiston, Maine crime wave.