“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, June 19, 2017

Criminalizing Politics

DERSHOWITZ: This is becoming very political, when you have the Justice Department itself being on both sides, prosecuting the president - possibly - and also serving as defense witnesses for the president. This is just becoming too political on both sides.

We have to stop criminalizing political differences. The criminal law should be reserved for obvious violations of the criminal law that exists, not for making political points against your political enemies on both sides.


  1. More hate from the hateful alt-racist left:

    As Rep. Steve Scalise lay in his hospital bed recovering after he was shot by a maniac gunman who was hunting congressional Republicans, an MSNBC host asked whether the House Majority Whip’s life-threatening injuries meant Americans had to “ignore” his political positions.

    Joy Ann Reid on Saturday cited Scalise’s positions on ObamaCare and gay marriage as among the concerning “moral” issues she felt couldn’t be overlooked despite his critical injury at the hands of a left-leaning lunatic who opened fire at a GOP baseball practice on June 14.

    “There’s a whole country out there and a lot of people, at least in my Twitter timeline, and it’s a delicate thing, because everybody is wishing the congressman well and hoping that he recovers, but Steve Scalise has a history that we’ve all been forced to sort of ignore on race,” Reid said.

    She added later: “He also co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He co-sponsored the House health care bill which, as you said, would gut health care for millions of people including 3 million children and he co-sponsored a bill to repeal the ban on semiautomatic weapons. Because he is in jeopardy and everybody is pulling for him, are we required in a moral sense to put that aside in the moment?”

    Scalise, R-La., was among five people shot by James Hodgkinson on the morning of June 14. The gunman was killed by Capitol Police officers who were part of Scalise’s security detail. The personal life of one of those officers prompted a tweet from Reid promoting the segment.

    “Rep. #Scalise was shot by a white man with a violent background, and saved by a black lesbian police officer, and yet… #AMJoy,” she wrote.

    1. In short, he got what he deserved.

      MSNBC Compassion Central

  2. DERSHOWITZ should be eliminated.

    He's polluting The Narrative.

    1. Alan is 78.

      Probably within a decade there will be blessed silence.

      Shutup, Slaves!

  3. From James Freeman, WSJ. ---- Mass and Cal vs Trump.

    From the Golden State comes encouraging news for Democrats. The San Jose Mercury News reports that one of the party’s congressional candidates is setting fundraising records. In just two months, this rookie candidate reported receiving more than $450,000 from a total of more than 7,000 California supporters. It’s a remarkable donor base for a first-timer, and it’s even more remarkable considering that the candidate isn’t appearing on any California ballots.

    His Golden State donors couldn’t care less. Nationwide, progressive leftists have decided that Jon Ossoff, who is technically running to fill the U.S. House seat in Georgia vacated by Tom Price, is the perfect vehicle for the anti-Trump “resistance.” Mr. Price is now Mr. Trump’s health secretary.

    The Boston Globe says that California contributions to Mr. Ossoff over the course of his campaign total at least $1.8 million, more than the $1.3 million the paper estimates he’s collected from New Yorkers, which in turn is more than he appears to have collected from donors in Georgia, where the election actually occurs on Tuesday.

    Mr. Ossoff is setting fundraising records for a House race, with more than $23 million in total reported contributions. But as the Globe notes, it’s not easy to determine the sources of all the money because campaigns don’t need to collect detailed data on donations of less than $200.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on June 8:

    It was not immediately clear how much of Ossoff’s donations came from outside of the district, which stretches from north DeKalb to east Cobb, but his last report showed only about 1 in 20 contributions were from Georgia residents.

    While the Boston Globe relies on a ProPublica analysis to say that Massachusetts contributions total at least $500,000, Mother Jones says that the Bay State is also home to critical machinery driving donations to the Democratic candidate. In an article entitled, “The $2 Billion Powerhouse Behind Jon Ossoff,” the leftist magazine describes how an organization called Act Blue, based outside Boston, channels nationwide progressive rage into money that Mr. Ossoff can spend in Georgia.

    Armed with roughly five times as much campaign money as GOP opponent Karen Handel, Mr. Ossoff is now clinging to a razor-thin lead, assuming recent polls are to be believed. If elected, will he primarily serve the interests of the moderate suburbanites near Atlanta who vote, or the blue-state leftists who fund his campaign?

    Mr. Ossoff doesn’t seem to want to answer that question, at least until the polls close on Tuesday night. The estimable Kyle Wingfield, a former Journal colleague and now a columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, describes a recent television debate between the candidates. When asked by the moderator how he would remain independent of the national Democratic party on which he relies for campaign support, Mr. Ossoff managed to entirely avoid answering the question.

    1. continued:

      The Washington Post reports:

      Ossoff has seized on Handel’s fragile hold on Republican voters and courted them with centrist platitudes, all while rousing the Trump “resistance” movement that has come to see his cause as their own — and raising more than $23 million in the process.

      Whenever he has been asked in recent months whether he supports House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Ossoff has said, as if on cue, that he has not given it “an ounce of thought.”

      Can this possibly be true? Nancy Pelosi was elected to Congress the year Mr. Ossoff was born and has been the leader of House Democrats for his entire adult life, including the period when he worked for...a House Democrat. Ms. Pelosi routinely shows up in polls as the best known Member of Congress and according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year, a full 82% of Americans have formed an opinion of her. But Georgia voters are now asked to believe not only that Democratic candidate and former congressional aide Jon Ossoff is among the 18% of Americans who don’t have an opinion about Ms. Pelosi; he claims he hasn’t even considered the question.

      By now Georgia voters may have a sneaking suspicion that just maybe they aren’t getting the straight story from Mr. Ossoff. But perhaps they should take a moment to consider another possibility that some may find even more disturbing: What if he’s telling the truth? It may sound preposterous, but this column recently noted another Post report that Democratic “strategists” were concerned that their candidate might not appear “serious enough” to voters.

      There may not be a standard definition for an unserious person. But anybody who can work in an organization for years without ever giving a thought to the person who runs it probably qualifies.


    2. So people who don't live in a district are sending money to a candidate who does not live in a district to represent a district.

      Sounds oh-so-Progressive to me ...

    3. Assoff can't vote for himself. He doesn't live in the district, or hasn't lived there long enough to vote if he has moved there now.

    4. In our cities out this way one has to live in the city to run for city councilman and sit on the council.

      We had the case of one Mr. Brown, who had gone to school with me all the way through high school and was living there when first elected. He wife however developed some medical condition and had to move to Spokane, so Mr. Brown ended up in Spokane for part of a four year term. He made the mistake of selling his Moscow home. This caused a huge to-do among The One World Cafe Folk who demanded he resign.

      He bought another home in Moscow and that settled the issue in Mr. Brown's favor. He was born in Moscow, had run a business there all his life.

    5. Mr. Brown is not a One World Cafe Folk type of guy.

      Being in business all his life he was of a quite sensible turn of mind.

    6. Mr. Brown's real name is not Mr. Brown, but what you call it, a pseudonym.

  4. Shakespeare is in the News -

    June 19, 2017
    Shakespeare Would Defend Trump
    By James Lewis

    If Shakespeare were alive today, he would instantly recognize the New York Times and its treasonous ilk, because Shakespeare feared nothing more than treason and civil war -- which is exactly what happened to the Roman Empire after the plotters stabbed Julius Caesar to death in the Forum.

    In our Civil War, a war fought about the Constitution and freedom, 600,000 people died; it was far and away our worst war, and today's demagogues are still trying to twist the reality of that war to sucker all the airheads of the left.

    In American history it was the Democrats, of course, who fanatically supported African-American slavery, and who stirred up rebellion against the constitutionally elected president, one Abraham Lincoln, an outsider to the whispering cliques of DC. Lincoln was fiercely hated by selfish Deep Government of the time.

    It was also the Democrats who started the Ku Klux Klan, to terrorize African-Americans, and to stir up treason by lynch mob. More recently it was Senator Robert (Sheets) Byrd who started his political career as a segregationist KKK lynch mob leader, hating on blacks.

    If it had been up to the establishment of Lincoln's day, African-American slavery would still be here. Instead, far too many inner city black people are still chained to welfare, endemic violence, broken families, and other liberal contrivances, all in Democrat-dominated inner cities.

    Shakespeare served the Court of Queen Elizabeth, filled with power-hungry plotters like Jim ("Li'l Leaker") Comey and John Podesta, who started the Russia scam that now has the airheads of the media fulminating. In Elizabeth's Court the Russian rumor would have called been a Spanish plot, but that's the only difference.

    We certainly have our share of Democrat demagogues ready to whip up ignorant mobs, including Obama's Jerry Wright and Al Sharpton (who whipped up a Harlem mob to burn down a Jewish-owned clothing store). The New York Times has been in close cahoots with Sharpton ever since.

    The Bard might have had John Podesta in mind when he wrote:

    Yon Cassia has a lean and hungry look... such men are dangerous.

    Within 24 hours of Hillary’s defeat Podesta had cooked up the Russia hacking story, suggesting that he may have set up the phony Russian plot before the election, to prepare a "stab in the back" legend for the Three Stooges, Jim Comey (FBI), John Brennan (CIA) and Jim Clapper (DNI), all swamp snakes of the worst kind. They rose during the Clinton-Obama years, so they are loyal to the Democrat left, not to the United States of America.

    1. Shakespeare hated mobs, and the New York Times whips up mobs every day for breakfast.

      But the Bard has Marc Anthony yelling at the mobs

      "You sticks, you stones, you worse than worthless things!"

      But it didn't do any good, any more than reasoning with the NYT does any good today.

      The NYT is Holy of Holies of the fake news industry, as it has been ever since it covered up the criminal regimes of Hitler and Stalin in the 1930s.

      A strong constitutional cxecutive --- a Donald Trump --- was the Founders’ answer to the long history of bloody civil war in human history, swarming with an endless series of blood-dripping knife plotters.

      To Shakespeare, the murder of Julius Caesar was a great catastrophe, a trigger for the long and bloody civil war that followed, splitting the Roman armies under Marc Anthony and Brutus. That's what the play is about.

      As for Brutus, today's Brutus is Robert Mueller, who presents himself as "an honorable man" but is anything but that. That's the point of Marc Anthony's sarcastic speech, repeating the phrase "But Brutus is an honorable man," when in fact Brutus struck the dagger blow that convinced Julius Caesar to finally give up. That is our "honorable" Special Prosecutor, our Witch Hunter General.

      We can't expect the functional illiterates of the NYT to understand that, of course. For them, Shakespeare is just another big name, like Macy's or Nordstrom's. For people who actually read Shakespeare, he is full of ominous warnings about sedition and treachery in politics and war, which have not changed one little bit.

      The New York Times, which is paying for the enactment of murder of the duly elected President of the United States, is filled with hotheads of the Stalinist persuasion, people who are not liberals at all, but believers in violence and arbitrary power over the voters of the United States. Yes, they have their limos, just as the Soviet Apparat had its, but they are run by a deep wish for war and violence, because normal people simply won't buckle under to their central commands. They are psychological persecutors just like the Spanish Inquisition, because contrary to all the facts they believe they are the Good People, who must punish the Evil Little People for their own good. That leftist conviction resulted in 100 million dead innocents in the last century, but in the nature of fanatics, actual evidence means nothing.

      No power is more arbitrary and unchecked than that of unelected Washington bureaucrats, nominally subordinates of the Chief Executive, who are now in open rebellion against him, ready to stab him to death.

      The Founders would never in a million years support today's assassins, especially Jim Comey and Robert Mueller. The whole Special Prosecutor scam is in plain and obvious violation of the US Constitution, which was written to limit abuses of power. No wonder the Obamas of this world hate and despise the US Constitution.

      Which is really what this fight is about. The left hates the Constitution, while conservatives revere its wisdom and strength. Donald Trump is not the biggest issue: The US Constitution is the real issue.

    2. Today it looks like our fakest Native American, Senator Liz Warren of Massachusetts, is joining the hysterical mob by "warning" Trump that "nasty women have really had it with guys like you!”

      Senator Warren is not just a fake Native American, having made her phony Harvard Law career based on an affirmative action lie, she is also a phony Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, in her characteristic pose, leaning over that wooden lectern to harangue her imaginary Bolsheviks to go hang some more helpless peasants.

      Image of Lenin Speaking
      Picture of Fauxcohantes speaking like Lenin

      Warren is Hollywood's idea of Vladimir Lenin, and this whole charade is being staged as street theater.

      Like his mentor Saul Alinsky, Barack Hussein Obama believes that what matters is not power, but the appearance of power. That is the plain purpose of the current street theater against the constitutionally elected President of the United States, our current successor to Abraham Lincoln, who was also an outsider, doing his level best to beat down the poisonous swamp snakes of DC.

      William Shakespeare would be applauding Trump, because the alternative is too awful for words. Shakespeare believed in duly constituted authority to keep the peace in England. He was right then, and conservatives also support duly constituted authority. If the left wants to go back to Stalin, they will have to destroy the US Constitution to get there.

  5. Georgia Special Election
    Trafalgar: Handel Takes Late Lead


  6. The Hindus have know this from time out of mind -

    Power Causes Brain Damage

    Over time, leaders lose mental capacities—most notably for reading other people—that were essential to their rise.

    Justin Renteria

    If power were a prescription drug, it would come with a long list of known side effects. It can intoxicate. It can corrupt. It can even make Henry Kissinger believe that he’s sexually magnetic. But can it cause brain damage?

    When various lawmakers lit into John Stumpf at a congressional hearing last fall, each seemed to find a fresh way to flay the now-former CEO of Wells Fargo for failing to stop some 5,000 employees from setting up phony accounts for customers. But it was Stumpf’s performance that stood out. Here was a man who had risen to the top of the world’s most valuable bank, yet he seemed utterly unable to read a room. Although he apologized, he didn’t appear chastened or remorseful. Nor did he seem defiant or smug or even insincere. He looked disoriented, like a jet-lagged space traveler just arrived from Planet Stumpf, where deference to him is a natural law and 5,000 a commendably small number. Even the most direct barbs—“You have got to be kidding me” (Sean Duffy of Wisconsin); “I can’t believe some of what I’m hearing here” (Gregory Meeks of New York)—failed to shake him awake.

    What was going through Stumpf’s head? New research suggests that the better question may be: What wasn’t going through it?

    The historian Henry Adams was being metaphorical, not medical, when he described power as “a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim’s sympathies.” But that’s not far from where Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor at UC Berkeley, ended up after years of lab and field experiments. Subjects under the influence of power, he found in studies spanning two decades, acted as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury—becoming more impulsive, less risk-aware, and, crucially, less adept at seeing things from other people’s point of view.

    Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at McMaster University, in Ontario, recently described something similar. Unlike Keltner, who studies behaviors, Obhi studies brains. And when he put the heads of the powerful and the not-so-powerful under a transcranial-magnetic-stimulation machine, he found that power, in fact, impairs a specific neural process, “mirroring,” that may be a cornerstone of empathy. Which gives a neurological basis to what Keltner has termed the “power paradox”: Once we have power, we lose some of the capacities we needed to gain it in the first place.....

    ....For Winston Churchill, the person who filled that role was his wife, Clementine, who had the courage to write, “My Darling Winston. I must confess that I have noticed a deterioration in your manner; & you are not as kind as you used to be.” Written on the day Hitler entered Paris, torn up, then sent anyway, the letter was not a complaint but an alert: Someone had confided to her, she wrote, that Churchill had been acting “so contemptuous” toward subordinates in meetings that “no ideas, good or bad, will be forthcoming”—with the attendant danger that “you won’t get the best results.”....

    1. The Hindus have known this from time out of mind

    2. Absolute power then must cause total brain death, and that may be why so many people, who envisage 'God' in this way of absolute 'ruler', feel the 'God' of this world is actually an inscrutable irrational brain dead monster.

  7. Under this outlook, all politicians, kings, etc., if they last long enough, will become brain damaged criminals.

    Therefore we ought to think of our Constitution as an anti-criminal device, with its separation of powers, regular elections, etc.

    And we should have a Constitutional Amendment allowing term limits.

  8. Otto Warmbier has died. Obama and Kerry should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Happy Father's Day, Mr Warmbier.

    2. Hey, but at least no one pissed of the NORKS.

    3. Otto seemed to have died in something like peace.

      His folks said they felt he knew they were around, and he had relaxed. He was home.

      RIP Otto Warmbier

    4. Kim Jung is in fear of being assassinated. Damn right.

  9. One way or another Kim is coming to an awful end, if not in this life, certainly in the next.

    Karma is bliss, or a bitch, depending....


  10. 'Hunt Republicans' Tweeter – Democrat Strategist James Devine – Quadruples Down

    Democratic strategist James Devine continued to defend his controversial ‘hunt republicans’ tweet that sparked outrage earlier this week.

    Posting from his Twitter account on Wednesday, hours after Rep. Steve Scalise was critically wounded at a GOP baseball practice shooting, Devine created #HuntRepublicanCongressmen and #HuntRepublicans.

    He went on to say the attack was a predictable and preventable outcome of 40 years of increasingly vitriolic, violent, corrupt and corporate-controlled rhetoric.

    In an interview with My Central Jersey, Devine said a case could easily be made in which Scalise’s shooter, James Hodgkinson, was utilizing his Second Amendment rights by using Republicans' gun-rights rhetoric.

    Devine further added his thoughts on Facebook:

    “I have little sympathy for the Republican Congressman who got shot today because he viciously opposed President Obama's effort to reduce gun violence and instead, he accepted more gun lobby money than all but 15 other members of the House of Representatives.”

    When New Jersey 101.5 approached Devine for comment, he said he would not back down from his stance.

    “It is insensitive and I don’t care. You want me to be politically correct? I don’t have time for that anymore,” he told the local radio station.

    Scalise remained in critical condition after undergoing more surgery on Thursday. He was one of five people injured after Hodgkinson opened fire at a Republicans’ early morning baseball practice.

    1. Tucker asked him, since he has advocated for more restrictions on gun ownership, if Devine, after such a tweet, thought he himself ought to be allowed to possess a gun ? :)

      Well, of course, Devine thought he ought to be allowed to have a gun.

      After all, I am adding this, how can one "Hunt Republicans" without one ?

    2. Blanche • 3 days ago

      What an idiot. The right to bare arms was intended to protect innocent citizens from death, crime, and murderers. To even remotely suggest that Hodgkinson opened fire because he had gun, is insane. The guy mentally deranged, and out of control, and exercised his own free will to kill.

    3. I thought The right to bare arms was a women's rights issue, allowing Megyn Kelly to wear whatever she pleases.

    4. :)

      I thought the right to bear arms wasn't so we could shoot deer but so we could shoot tyrants. I get that from Judge Napolitano.

      It's not a good fit for this situation because we are not living in a tyranny, though Hodgkinson seemed to think so.

    5. The tyranny of the Media/Dem/Quirk complex.

    6. Media/Dem/SMIRK'n'QUIRK Complex

    7. They always be hatin' on The Donald.

  11. One last text to mom.

    Teen running from a bear calls his brother before being killed, official says

    Shoulda carried an assault pistol instead of a cellphone.

    1. "Assault Pistols" are all the rage in the MSM these days.

    2. The right to be armed around bears.

  12. To North Korea and back: Otto Warmbier's strange, sad trip

    WYOMING, Ohio (AP) — Over and over, Otto Warmbier apologized and begged — at first calmly, then choking up and finally in tears — to be reunited with his family.

    North Korean officials seated at long tables watched impassively, with cameras rolling and journalists taking notes, as the adventuresome, accomplished 21-year-old college student from suburban Cincinnati talked animatedly about the "severe crime" that had put him there: trying to take a propaganda banner for someone back home, supposedly in return for a used car and to impress a semi-secret society he wanted to join, and all under the supposed direction of the U.S. government.

    "I have made the worst mistake of my life!" he exclaimed as his formally staged Feb. 29, 2016, "confession" to anti-state activities ended in Pyongang.

    More than 15 months later, he has finally been reunited with his parents and two younger siblings...

    Dad has good things to say about Trump.

    Had bad things to say about Obama.


  13. I'm a Democrat (and ex-CIA) but the spies plotting against Trump are out of control

    I'm a Democrat and it's time for our party to apologize to America


  14. Over the past few months, America has lurched from partisan warfare to the cliffs of an existential crisis.

    Multiple reports show that my former colleagues in the intelligence community have decided that they must leak or withhold classified information due to unsettling connections between President Trump and the Russian Government.

    Said an intelligence officer: “I know what's best for foreign policy and national security… And I'm going to act on that.”

    Some of us might applaud this man, including a few of my fellow Democrats. In their minds, this is a case of Mr. Smith Goes to Langley to do battle against a corrupt President Trump.

    One small problem. The intelligence officer quoted above was actually Aldrich Ames, a CIA traitor whose crime of treason in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in the compromise of more than 100 assets. Many were tortured and executed as a result.

    Ames’ flawed logic is eerily similar to that of his present-day colleagues who are engaged in a shadow war with their commander in chief. They, too, have decided that their superior judgment is more important than following the law.

    For the sake of argument, however, let’s assume that these officials are somehow different than Ames. Let’s suppose that they have compelling pieces of information that indeed suggest Trump or his staff have committed treason.

    When you’re trained as a spy, you’re taught how to handle these kinds of situations. Upon learning the information, it gets tightly compartmented (restricted) and sent to the Department of Justice or Congress for investigation. If the evidence is found to be credible, the constitution makes clear what happens next: impeachment.

    That’s how American democracy should work.

    And that’s precisely how it has been working. According to former Vice President Biden, there’s been an on-going investigation into the alleged connections between Trump and Russia. All of us should take heart in knowing that the system is functioning exactly as designed.

    However, some of America’s spies are deciding that that’s not enough. For reasons of misguided righteousness or partisan hatred, they’ve taken it upon themselves to be judge, jury, and executioner. They have prosecuted their case in the court of public opinion, with likeminded media outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, and the Washington Post serving as court stenographers.

  15. McCain Institute Funded By George Soros....DRUDGE

  16. Our Strength is Our Diversity:

    3 Fresno men arrested after fight at Avila Pier fractures woman’s skull

    Witnesses at the scene told authorities that 20-year-old Gregory Rodriguez and 18-year-old Nicholas Rodriguez, along with two other men, approached the victim, identified as a 20-year-old woman from Merced County, and her friends.

    A fight broke out between the two groups, officials said, and they allege that Gregory Rodriguez grabbed a beer bottle and threw it at the woman, hitting her in the head. She was taken to a local hospital with a fractured skull.

    Three of the men were arrested, the Sheriff’s Office said.

    Gregory Rodriguez and Nicholas Rodriguez were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, and assault causing serious bodily injury, the Sheriff’s Office said.

    The third man, Andrew Michael Alonso, was arrested because he had a $200,000 warrant out of Fresno for domestic violence, the Sheriff’s Office said.

    As of Monday afternoon, Gregory Rodriguez remained at San Luis Obispo County Jail on $175,000 bond. Nicholas Rodriguez was being held on $150,000 bond.

    Alonso was not listed as in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail as of Monday afternoon.

    A gang enhancement was also added to their charges, as all three men are admitted gang members from the Fresno area, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

    1. Alonso looks to have probably made bail from an earlier large drug sale, being a gang member from Fresno.

      Maybe he had been holding the drug money due to the Rodriguez brothers, also being gang members from Fresno.

      Alonso ought to head to Mejico till things blow over.

  17. The Mechanical Engineering Industry Association, known by its German initials VDMA, says that that goal of the two-year negotiating process is "damage limitation" because Brexit won't benefit either side.

    Once agreement has been made in this phase of the talks, the second phase discussing the future trade relationship can begin. On Sunday, the International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, flew to Washington DC on his first trade trip since the election.

  18. Anti-terror Muslim peace march in Cologne was expected to draw 10,000, but only 1,000 show up
    By Pamela Geller - on June 19, 2017


  19. Under assault in Iraq and Syria by a U.S.-led coalition as well as Russia and Iran, Islamic State is losing ground in its original strongholds. While good news for Iraqis and Syrians, this has raised concerns that Islamic State, like al-Qaeda before it, will increasingly metastasize and grow more potent in other places.


    1. How present is Islamic State in the Philippines?

    Four insurgent groups, each from a different part of Mindanao, have pledged their allegiance to the movement and appear to have formed an alliance with each other. Philippine authorities now refer to them as a collective.


    2. How do the groups operate?

    They are all notorious for bombings, killings, extortions and abductions for ransom. Abu Sayyaf beheaded two Canadians last year after ransom demands weren’t met.


    3. What was their plan for Marawi?

    Rebels linked to Islamic State were planning to burn down Marawi City on May 26, the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to the nation’s top government lawyer, citing military intelligence reports. The plan was to spark additional uprisings across Mindanao with the ambition of establishing a province there under Islamic State rule.

    Quick Take Q&A

    1. Always a great start to Ramadan -- burn down some city or other.