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Seven years ago, I wrote in VDARE.com about a local crime to use as an example of how improvements in technology were making it harder to be a career street criminal, a theme Steven Pinker elaborated upon three years later in The Better Angels of Our Nature:

One of the creepier experiences I had last year was walking past the TV as the local news reported on a woman who had been knifed repeatedly in the neck and face by a robber in her apartment. As the broadcast introduced more details about the nameless victim, I started to feel a horrible sense of inevitability: the victim was somebody I knew. Finally, when the reporter mentioned the victim had been a Peace Corps volunteer, I found my wife to tell her that some intruder had attempted to murder her friend T., but that she was in stable condition in the hospital.

Just two weeks later, T. was back at work, speaking through a voice amplifier. She said that while doing paperwork on her bed on Saturday night, she had fallen asleep and failed to lock her door. The robber had walked in at dawn and awakened her. When she said, “Take my laptop,” he replied, “But you’ve seen my face,” and started stabbing her (seven times, by one report). Her screaming brought neighbors out of their apartments, so the would-be killer made a run for it, taking her computer, cell phone, and credit card.

A day or two later, however, I had another TV news-related hunch, this time an encouraging one. I was driving past the North Hollywood Police Station and there was a local news satellite truck pulled up out front with a vaguely familiar TV reporter preparing to go live. I thought, “Maybe the cops caught the bastard!” I hurried home, turned on the news, and they went immediately to their man out in front of the police station announcing the arrest of the attempted murderer of my wife’s friend.

[The perp] wasn’t exactly a criminal mastermind. He used her credit card at his local Jack-in-the-Box and called all his friends in his Latino street gang on her cell phone. When the cops came down hard on the gangmates, they rolled over on him and said he always went to Jack’s for breakfast. There, the police collared him the next day.

All these years later I have some more good news to report. The victim got some very good plastic surgery, got married, and, recently, had a baby. My wife spent a few hours with her old friend last week, and reports the baby is adorable.

So, chalk one up for the emerging Surveillance State.

I was going to post a picture of the baby, but decided not to due to the emerging Surveillance Society. My original article did a good job of balancing detail with protecting the privacy of the victim — I got an email from the victim’s cousin, who turned out to be a VDARE reader, thanking me for telling his cousin’s story, but nobody outside her extended family figured out to whom I was referring. But now with Google offering reverse image lookup, I hesitate to post even a picture of her baby, even though all babies look kinda alike (to me, although my wife would definitely disagree with that).

 
36 Comments to "A Happy Ending"
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  1. countenance says: • Website

    “Improvements in technology”

    Smartphone video from North Charleston, South Carolina, e.g.

    BTW, Ann Coulter basically cut and paste a bunch of iSteve prose to make her column this week. She probably left out the literal use of the word “catfishing” just to keep it from being obvious.

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/ann-coulter-on-narrative-collapse-can-the-left-come-up-with-one-true-story

    Read More
    • Replies: @Penguinchip
    Ann does credit Steve unhesitantly. Maybe not in this column specifically, but I've seen her do so on Fox. So it's a clear win for our team having a nationally distributed columnist who peruses Steve's product daily.
    , @Penguinchip
    Ann does credit Steve unhesitantly. Maybe not in this column specifically, but I've seen her do so on Fox. So it's a clear win for our team having a nationally distributed columnist who peruses Steve's product daily.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
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  2. OT:

    slashdot.org

    As Reddit’s interim CEO, Ellen Pao (“on her crusade to bring gender equality to the tech world”) won’t employ people who are good negotiators. Not even in sales. Would be sexist. And prolly raciss, too. Commenters are mostly peeved, most nerds aren’t all that pc.

    Read More
  3. Whiskey says: • Website

    The downside of course is that people are now electronically next door to say, some unemployed former security state worker in Romania. And so are their bank accounts, credit cards, etc. And of course the security state can be used to pursue into the weeds any social dissenters. Provoking an even harder response in return.

    For example, the security state in the UK can pursue relentlessly (and does) anyone who posts anything ever critical of Muslims and Islam, particularly after the next Rotherham type revelations or terrorist jihad. However, the same technological dependence and ubiquity makes it relatively easy to outsource bad things to people who have harmed your family. There are no doubt easily found Romanian, Russian, Bulgarian hackers etc. who for a low low fee can wreak havoc with say, someone who pimped out a young girl with no circle of male protectors.

    Regardless, technology empowers those who are clever and have foresight, and punishes those who don’t think ahead beyond the next ten minutes. [Your smarter criminal works the card skimmer angles, particularly gas stations, with higher powered blue tooth connections so that the skimmer is installed once, then data pulled out wireless. Gas stations have less cameras and worse security than bank ATMs for sure. Its pretty low risk, high reward. No one very bright stages home invasions for random burglaries of ordinary people.]

    Read More
  4. Grumpy says:

    That is a happy ending to a terrible story.

    OT: In the news here today, the big story is that a local Minnesota girl has been accepted to all eight Ivy League universities, plus Stanford.

    http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/28748860/minnesota-high-school-senior-accepted-to-all-8-ivy-league-schools

    …and she wears a headscarf.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    She is from Somalia or her parents are and she was born here
    http://www.startribune.com/local/east/281505591.html
    , @tokugawa
    Has anyone else noticed how every year now there's at least one of these "kid got accepted into all 8 Ivies!" stories, and every time the student turns out to be an African immigrant?
    , @Reg Cæsar

    …a local Minnesota girl has been accepted to all eight Ivy League universities, plus Stanford…

    …and she wears a headscarf.
     
    I'm all for planting Somali girls on trendsetting campuses across America. They have excellent fashion sense, and we need something to counter the tattoos-denim-and-asscrack scourge.

    Of course, good Christian lasses in great grandma's ginghams would be even better, but good luck finding them.
  5. “Yes, that reminds me. Just before I started up here this afternoon my
    wife got the _Ladies’ Home Journal_ of month before last. It had been
    following us around for six weeks, from London to Paris, to Berlin, to
    Munich, to Vienna, to a dozen other places. Now she’s fixed for the
    night. She won’t let up until she’s read every word–the advertisements
    first. And she’ll spend all day to-morrow sending off for things–new
    collar hooks, breakfast foods, complexion soaps and all that sort of
    junk. Are you married yourself?”

    “No; not yet.”

    “I never thought I would see a magazine used as a weapon in a fight scene, but Bourne doesn’t just use it to beat the guy senseless: He also uses the magazine to blow up the guy’s house afterwards. I pray that the real CIA trains our assassins to be this creative.”

    http://nomorequo.blogspot.com/2007/08/top-5-jason-bourne-improvised-weapons.html

    I’m good with the endings part. Happy is for women and children.

    Read More
  6. New uses for Rolling Stone.

    You can put it in the toaster for break fast action.

    Read More
  7. Lugash says:

    So, chalk one up for the emerging Surveillance State.

    Emerging as in “Fully developed, but coming out of the shadows”, or “Developing”?

    Read More
  8. Clyde says:
    @Grumpy
    That is a happy ending to a terrible story.

    OT: In the news here today, the big story is that a local Minnesota girl has been accepted to all eight Ivy League universities, plus Stanford.

    http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/28748860/minnesota-high-school-senior-accepted-to-all-8-ivy-league-schools

    ...and she wears a headscarf.

    She is from Somalia or her parents are and she was born here

    http://www.startribune.com/local/east/281505591.html

    Read More
  9. Boomstick says:

    At this point I think it’s a good policy for regular people to keep your photo off the web, if you can. Facial recognition is advancing quickly, and I would be surprised not at all if it comes into commercial use–a company points a video camera at the in door, does a facial recognition, then looks up the customer for targeted marketing.

    In fact I’ve been seeding some phony information about me on the web.

    Read More
  10. Martin says:

    off topic. the PC insanity continues in Sweden:

    Military puts focus on equality in design

    http://www.thelocal.se/20150404/military-puts-focus-on-equality-in-design

    The Swedish military is launching a major equipment design overhaul in the interests of equality. The aim is to ensure all military gear, from uniforms to weapons, is suitable for everyone serving, regardless of gender or body size.

    (…)
    In addition to uniforms, weapons will be looked at anew. Their size and weight should be appropriate for different levels of strength.

    “A more equality-based design is good for everyone,” Wallentin Åström said. “Lighter and better balanced weapons are more effective and easier to carry for longer, regardless of gender.”

    The equipment overhaul is set to be complete within five years. As the new designs are created, they will be tested by soldiers, especially women.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    A general rule of thumb for modern firefights is: He who lugs in the most depleted uranium ammunition wins.
    , @Busby
    So much for the old ways.

    What size?

    38 regular

    Here

    This is a 40 long

    Next
    , @Reg Cæsar
    Sweden ditched the draft in 2010, as did Germany. I wonder how much of that decision was due to the dissonance of all-male conscription with "gender equality" ideology.

    Norway took the opposite tack. They now draft women. Without the Israeli loopholes.
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    I'm all for redesigning all military equipment -- and anything having to do with war -- to fit and suit women. Men like my father and grandfather fought, died and suffered in wars for thousands of years while women cheered or complained from behind the lines. Let's reverse that and see how they like it.

    I grew up fearing I would be drafted and sent to die in the jungles of Vietnam. My sisters and my girlfriends did not.
    , @IBC

    In addition to uniforms, weapons will be looked at anew. Their size and weight should be appropriate for different levels of strength.

    “A more equality-based design is good for everyone,” Wallentin Åström said. “Lighter and better balanced weapons are more effective and easier to carry for longer, regardless of gender.”

     

    Good news for all the child soldiers out there looking to upgrade to Swedish steel!

    In places like the Congo and Sierra Leone, access to lighter, more compact, and lower-recoil assault rifles is supposedly one of the reasons that child soldiers have become relatively more common and are now even recruited. Smaller weapons make it easier for smaller people to use deadly force.

  11. @Martin
    off topic. the PC insanity continues in Sweden:

    Military puts focus on equality in design

    http://www.thelocal.se/20150404/military-puts-focus-on-equality-in-design

    The Swedish military is launching a major equipment design overhaul in the interests of equality. The aim is to ensure all military gear, from uniforms to weapons, is suitable for everyone serving, regardless of gender or body size.

    (...)
    In addition to uniforms, weapons will be looked at anew. Their size and weight should be appropriate for different levels of strength.

    “A more equality-based design is good for everyone,” Wallentin Åström said. “Lighter and better balanced weapons are more effective and easier to carry for longer, regardless of gender.”

    The equipment overhaul is set to be complete within five years. As the new designs are created, they will be tested by soldiers, especially women.
     

    A general rule of thumb for modern firefights is: He who lugs in the most depleted uranium ammunition wins.

    Read More
  12. unit472 says:

    It cost money to apply to schools. Transcripts and applications aren’t free ( at least they weren’t for me in my day) and bombarding a dozen elite schools with applications would be expensive for the normal student and with the elite schools only admitting one out of every thirty for forty applicants and with each school wanting an essay on why you wished to attend what kind of person would apply to each and every elite school in the nation? What reason would a Somalian refugee girl in Minnesota have to say that Brown or Dartmouth were her first choice over Yale or Stanford?

    Read More
  13. athEIst says:

    What about the real victim (of society)? The one whom you so biasedly termed “perp”. No doubt he has now been rehabilitated and is a productive member of society.

    Read More
  14. @countenance
    "Improvements in technology"

    Smartphone video from North Charleston, South Carolina, e.g.

    BTW, Ann Coulter basically cut and paste a bunch of iSteve prose to make her column this week. She probably left out the literal use of the word "catfishing" just to keep it from being obvious.

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/ann-coulter-on-narrative-collapse-can-the-left-come-up-with-one-true-story

    Ann does credit Steve unhesitantly. Maybe not in this column specifically, but I’ve seen her do so on Fox. So it’s a clear win for our team having a nationally distributed columnist who peruses Steve’s product daily.

    Read More
  15. @countenance
    "Improvements in technology"

    Smartphone video from North Charleston, South Carolina, e.g.

    BTW, Ann Coulter basically cut and paste a bunch of iSteve prose to make her column this week. She probably left out the literal use of the word "catfishing" just to keep it from being obvious.

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/ann-coulter-on-narrative-collapse-can-the-left-come-up-with-one-true-story

    Ann does credit Steve unhesitantly. Maybe not in this column specifically, but I’ve seen her do so on Fox. So it’s a clear win for our team having a nationally distributed columnist who peruses Steve’s product daily.

    Read More
  16. Dahlia says:

    Steve, that’s wonderful news! Thanks for sharing it with us. I can’t believe it’s been seven years since you wrote about it. I’ve thought about attempted murder of your wife’s friend from time to time (not knowing who she was) because it’s one of those things that deeply affects you, perhaps profoundly even, when you know someone who has had such an experience.
    I’ve mentioned multiple times that I had a friend who was murdered when we were children and there isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t think about her; obsessions were created and the trajectory of my life changed, of this I have no doubt.
    My friend obviously, though, couldn’t share those horrible details to me about what happened: what her intuition was telling her, how afraid she was, what it felt like, etc., that I imagine this woman shared with your wife. Hearing the story of an attempted murder from the victim who is a personal friend, I imagine, must be traumatizing.

    Read More
  17. Busby says:
    @Martin
    off topic. the PC insanity continues in Sweden:

    Military puts focus on equality in design

    http://www.thelocal.se/20150404/military-puts-focus-on-equality-in-design

    The Swedish military is launching a major equipment design overhaul in the interests of equality. The aim is to ensure all military gear, from uniforms to weapons, is suitable for everyone serving, regardless of gender or body size.

    (...)
    In addition to uniforms, weapons will be looked at anew. Their size and weight should be appropriate for different levels of strength.

    “A more equality-based design is good for everyone,” Wallentin Åström said. “Lighter and better balanced weapons are more effective and easier to carry for longer, regardless of gender.”

    The equipment overhaul is set to be complete within five years. As the new designs are created, they will be tested by soldiers, especially women.
     

    So much for the old ways.

    What size?

    38 regular

    Here

    This is a 40 long

    Next

    Read More
  18. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I heard Laura Ingraham read a snip from an old Sailer immigration article on her radio show last year when Obama was doing his exec amnesty. She quoted from the article on two different days.

    Read More
  19. tokugawa says:
    @Grumpy
    That is a happy ending to a terrible story.

    OT: In the news here today, the big story is that a local Minnesota girl has been accepted to all eight Ivy League universities, plus Stanford.

    http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/28748860/minnesota-high-school-senior-accepted-to-all-8-ivy-league-schools

    ...and she wears a headscarf.

    Has anyone else noticed how every year now there’s at least one of these “kid got accepted into all 8 Ivies!” stories, and every time the student turns out to be an African immigrant?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Has anyone else noticed how every year now there’s at least one of these “kid got accepted into all 8 Ivies!” stories, and every time the student turns out to be an African immigrant?

     

    Here's another recent story about a New York high school student accepted to all eight Ivy League schools. He too is a black African immigrant.

    http://fox17online.com/2015/04/06/new-york-teen-accepted-to-all-8-ivy-league-schools/
  20. Very touching story regarding your wife’s friend. It’s good to know that despite all the problems occurring in the internet era some good things still do happen in the lives of everyday people.

    Thanks for posting. And sharing.

    Read More
  21. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “Has anyone else noticed how every year now there’s at least one of these “kid got accepted into all 8 Ivies!” stories, and every time the student turns out to be an African immigrant?”

    It would make for a much better and more emotional satisfying story if they could work into it “… and then she saw the Statue of Liberty!”

    Read More
  22. @Martin
    off topic. the PC insanity continues in Sweden:

    Military puts focus on equality in design

    http://www.thelocal.se/20150404/military-puts-focus-on-equality-in-design

    The Swedish military is launching a major equipment design overhaul in the interests of equality. The aim is to ensure all military gear, from uniforms to weapons, is suitable for everyone serving, regardless of gender or body size.

    (...)
    In addition to uniforms, weapons will be looked at anew. Their size and weight should be appropriate for different levels of strength.

    “A more equality-based design is good for everyone,” Wallentin Åström said. “Lighter and better balanced weapons are more effective and easier to carry for longer, regardless of gender.”

    The equipment overhaul is set to be complete within five years. As the new designs are created, they will be tested by soldiers, especially women.
     

    Sweden ditched the draft in 2010, as did Germany. I wonder how much of that decision was due to the dissonance of all-male conscription with “gender equality” ideology.

    Norway took the opposite tack. They now draft women. Without the Israeli loopholes.

    Read More
  23. @Grumpy
    That is a happy ending to a terrible story.

    OT: In the news here today, the big story is that a local Minnesota girl has been accepted to all eight Ivy League universities, plus Stanford.

    http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/28748860/minnesota-high-school-senior-accepted-to-all-8-ivy-league-schools

    ...and she wears a headscarf.

    …a local Minnesota girl has been accepted to all eight Ivy League universities, plus Stanford…

    …and she wears a headscarf.

    I’m all for planting Somali girls on trendsetting campuses across America. They have excellent fashion sense, and we need something to counter the tattoos-denim-and-asscrack scourge.

    Of course, good Christian lasses in great grandma’s ginghams would be even better, but good luck finding them.

    Read More
  24. NickG says:

    all babies look kinda alike

    Because all babies look like Winston Churchill.

    Read More
  25. Because all babies look like Winston Churchill….

    …until he firebombs them…

    Read More
  26. SnakeEyes says:

    Another trend in the “accepted at all 8 Ivies” stories is that the subject’s SAT and GPA are treated as a state secret.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Truth
    "Another trend in the “accepted at all 8 Ivies” stories is that the subject’s SAT and GPA are treated as a state secret."

    Snakeyes, please except my personal invitation to the NSA...

    "Overall, the 17-year-old straight A senior at Elmont Memorial High School in suburban Elmont, Long Island, who boasts a grade-point average of 100.55% and a SAT score of 2270,"

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/lifestyle/nigerian-immigrant-harold-ekeh-accepted-to-all-ivy-league-schools/article/430129
  27. “improvements in technology were making it harder to be a career street criminal, a theme Steven Pinker elaborated upon three years later in The Better Angels of Our Nature”

    So … thanks to forensics technology, the era of white flight is over? We can all move back into the inner cities and take the trolley to work and our kids can walk to school? People living in the big cities in 1950 or even 1890 must of had an awful time with the pre-Pinkerton super-high crime rates.

    Read More
  28. @Hippopotamusdrome Steve is emphasizing the “career” part. It is harder to make a living as a street criminal, in the sense of acquiring enough revenue to cover your living expenses etc.

    A strange mirror image of the many (formerly) productive careers which have vanished because they cannot compete with automated performance of the same task, e.g. Kodak vs Instagram.

    OF course, crime rates have been depressed over what raw demographics (race, children of single-parent-homes) over the last quarter century. My best hypothesis is easily accessible porn and videogames are enervating and entertaining the increasing neer-do-well population.

    Read More
  29. Truth says:
    @SnakeEyes
    Another trend in the "accepted at all 8 Ivies" stories is that the subject's SAT and GPA are treated as a state secret.

    “Another trend in the “accepted at all 8 Ivies” stories is that the subject’s SAT and GPA are treated as a state secret.”

    Snakeyes, please except my personal invitation to the NSA…

    “Overall, the 17-year-old straight A senior at Elmont Memorial High School in suburban Elmont, Long Island, who boasts a grade-point average of 100.55% and a SAT score of 2270,”

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/lifestyle/nigerian-immigrant-harold-ekeh-accepted-to-all-ivy-league-schools/article/430129

    Read More
  30. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @tokugawa
    Has anyone else noticed how every year now there's at least one of these "kid got accepted into all 8 Ivies!" stories, and every time the student turns out to be an African immigrant?

    Has anyone else noticed how every year now there’s at least one of these “kid got accepted into all 8 Ivies!” stories, and every time the student turns out to be an African immigrant?

    Here’s another recent story about a New York high school student accepted to all eight Ivy League schools. He too is a black African immigrant.

    http://fox17online.com/2015/04/06/new-york-teen-accepted-to-all-8-ivy-league-schools/

    Read More
  31. @Martin
    off topic. the PC insanity continues in Sweden:

    Military puts focus on equality in design

    http://www.thelocal.se/20150404/military-puts-focus-on-equality-in-design

    The Swedish military is launching a major equipment design overhaul in the interests of equality. The aim is to ensure all military gear, from uniforms to weapons, is suitable for everyone serving, regardless of gender or body size.

    (...)
    In addition to uniforms, weapons will be looked at anew. Their size and weight should be appropriate for different levels of strength.

    “A more equality-based design is good for everyone,” Wallentin Åström said. “Lighter and better balanced weapons are more effective and easier to carry for longer, regardless of gender.”

    The equipment overhaul is set to be complete within five years. As the new designs are created, they will be tested by soldiers, especially women.
     

    I’m all for redesigning all military equipment — and anything having to do with war — to fit and suit women. Men like my father and grandfather fought, died and suffered in wars for thousands of years while women cheered or complained from behind the lines. Let’s reverse that and see how they like it.

    I grew up fearing I would be drafted and sent to die in the jungles of Vietnam. My sisters and my girlfriends did not.

    Read More
  32. IBC says:
    @Martin
    off topic. the PC insanity continues in Sweden:

    Military puts focus on equality in design

    http://www.thelocal.se/20150404/military-puts-focus-on-equality-in-design

    The Swedish military is launching a major equipment design overhaul in the interests of equality. The aim is to ensure all military gear, from uniforms to weapons, is suitable for everyone serving, regardless of gender or body size.

    (...)
    In addition to uniforms, weapons will be looked at anew. Their size and weight should be appropriate for different levels of strength.

    “A more equality-based design is good for everyone,” Wallentin Åström said. “Lighter and better balanced weapons are more effective and easier to carry for longer, regardless of gender.”

    The equipment overhaul is set to be complete within five years. As the new designs are created, they will be tested by soldiers, especially women.
     

    In addition to uniforms, weapons will be looked at anew. Their size and weight should be appropriate for different levels of strength.

    “A more equality-based design is good for everyone,” Wallentin Åström said. “Lighter and better balanced weapons are more effective and easier to carry for longer, regardless of gender.”

    Good news for all the child soldiers out there looking to upgrade to Swedish steel!

    In places like the Congo and Sierra Leone, access to lighter, more compact, and lower-recoil assault rifles is supposedly one of the reasons that child soldiers have become relatively more common and are now even recruited. Smaller weapons make it easier for smaller people to use deadly force.

    Read More
  33. @theo the kraut
    OT:

    slashdot.org

    As Reddit’s interim CEO, Ellen Pao ("on her crusade to bring gender equality to the tech world") won't employ people who are good negotiators. Not even in sales. Would be sexist. And prolly raciss, too. Commenters are mostly peeved, most nerds aren't all that pc.

    Thanks, I’ll post.

    Read More
  34. Rob McXa says:

    In some countries such as Britain, this capacity for total surveillance (CCTV, phone and credit card tracing, etc.) is an instrument of anarcho-tyranny. In theory almost every criminal could be caught and convicted. It is a matter for the authorities to decide which ones to pursue. The 2011 rioters got a nasty shock when an alarmingly high proportion were tracked down and convicted. Most of them were used to robbing and attacking people with impunity as long as it was only random isolated crimes. But the powers that be decided rioting was not to be tolerated.

    Read More

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