[Ed. note: Can you really be a “rising Democratic star” if you just lost a $100 million Senate race that was supposed to be a nail-biter by 16 points?] -Fox News
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Under fire for her office's inaction over alleged overmedication at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin [D-Wis.] abruptly ousted one of her top state staffers late last week. Marquette Baylor, deputy state director for Baldwin and chief of her Milwaukee office, was let go on Thursday without explanation. Baylor has been offered a cash payout as part of a severance package if the former aide agrees to keep her lips zipped. ‘It looks like they're trying to pin the blame on her,’ a source said of Baylor's dismissal by Baldwin. But Ryan Hon, a former Tomah VA employee who has acted as a whistle-blower, said Sunday that Baylor is just one of several Baldwin staffers who mishandled the matter and should be let go. He said he talked with Baylor for two hours in late November about the problems at the Tomah medical center and that the Baldwin aide discouraged him from going public with his concerns, saying that doing so might get her and others fired.”
[The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched the first part of an agency wide overhaul to better assist veterans receive their benefits.] -Fox News
50 years ago today, the Shelby GT 350 made its debut. The supercharged version of the Ford Mustang stayed in production throughout the 1960s and remains a valuable collector’s item. Carroll Shelby, was a high endurance race car driver before retiring to become a car designer. Shelby passed away in 2012 leaving an enduring and interesting legacy. Online buying guide, Supercompressor examined some little known facts about Shelby the man and Shelby the car. He quickly became one of the world’s best drivers when at his first road race, he took a British MG and beat his entire engine class and the class above him. Shelby was a stubborn man often driving races with major injuries and illness including broken hands and a bout of dysentery. The Shelby almost never materialized. It was a car designed with the sole purpose of allowing Ford to compete in the Sports Car Club of America series. -Fox News
Although Emerson, whom I admire for his moral courage and investigative skills, immediately apologized for his "terrible error" of saying that cities like Birmingham, England, "are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don't go," he did not address the larger question of whether no-go zones, in fact, do "exist throughout Europe" and are places where governments "don't exercise any sovereignty."
Is he right about this?
After spending time in the banlieues (suburbs) of Paris in January 2013, as well as in their counterparts in Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Malmö, and Stockholm, however, I have had second thoughts. I found that those areas "are not full-fledged no-go zones" --- meaning places where the government had lost control of territory. No war lords dominate; Shari'a is not the law of the land. I expressed regret back then for having used the term no-go zones.
So, what are these places? A unique and as-yet un-named mix.
On the one hand, West European states can intervene anywhere and at any time in their sovereign territory. As the shoot-out in Verviers and the subsequent raids in Belgium suggest, their overwhelming advantage in force – including military, intelligence, and police – means they have not ceded control.
On the other hand, governments often choose not to impose their will on Muslim-majority areas, allowing them considerable autonomy, including in some cases the Shariah courts that Emerson mentioned. Alcohol and pork are effectively banned in these districts, polygamy and burqas commonplace, police enter only warily and in force, and Muslims get away with offences illegal for the rest of population.
The Rotherham, England, child sex scandal offers a powerful example. An official inquiry found that for sixteen years, 1997-2013, a ring of Muslim men sexually exploited – through abduction, rape, gang rape, trafficking, prostitution, torture – at least 1,400 non-Muslim girls as young as 11. The police received voluminous complaints from the girls' parents but did nothing; they could have acted, but chose not to.
According to the inquiry, "the Police gave no priority to CSE [child sexual exploitation], regarding many child victims with contempt and failing to act on their abuse as a crime." Even more alarming, in some cases, "fathers tracked down their daughters and tried to remove them from houses where they were being abused, only to be arrested themselves when police were called to the scene." Worse, the girls "were arrested for offences such as breach of the peace or being drunk and disorderly, with no action taken against the perpetrators of rape and sexual assault against children."
Instead of no-go zones, I propose semi-autonomous sectors, a term that emphasizes their indistinct and non-geographic nature – thus permitting a more accurate discussion of what is, arguably, West Europe's most acute problem.