Maybe the bombings in New York and New Jersey and the mass stabbing at the shopping mall in Minnesota, the former attributed to a naturalized Afghan, the latter to a naturalized Somali, will suggest a few things:
* The totalitarian culture of much of the Islamic world -- a culture that oppresses women and homosexuals and monopolizes religion -- does not wash out quickly but seeps down through the generations.
The suspect in the bombings is reported to have traveled back to Afghanistan several times and to have been “radicalized” there.
Minnesota has thousands of Somali immigrants and refugees, and many of their young men have been recruited by Middle Eastern terrorist groups, though fortunately they have left the country.
* Millions of people around the world are striving to get out of their countries for economic or political reasons and do not come from cultures that despise democratic and humane values.
* Screening immigrants for the risk of political terrorism is nearly impossible, especially since their native or ancestral country or culture can reassert itself at a great distance in time.
* Admitting immigrants and refugees is an entirely discretionary matter.
So with so many candidates for admission, why is the United States accepting any immigrants at all from Religious Crazy Land? Who needs the risk? How does it benefit the country?
SO WHAT IF MALLOY WANTS TO KNOW?: Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy's office, according to The Hartford Courant, recently instructed state agency publicists to make a daily report detailing inquiries from news organizations. This has prompted much snickering from Connecticut's ever-diminishing number of journalists that the governor's office is trying to put its spin on everything state government does, the more so since civil-service protections for the publicists were recently removed and their jobs were made political appointments.
But is it really such a scandal that the governor should want to know promptly what news organizations are looking into so he can be prepared or even look into the same things and possibly avert or shorten problems? Is it such a scandal that he should want to oversee the messages being conveyed by the agencies for which he is responsible? Or that he deems himself entitled to have particular confidence in spokesmen for his administration? (After all, the problem with state government is not that too many people can be fired for cause or even fired at all.)
The Malloy administration has not been especially friendly to freedom of information. But then left on their own, state government agencies have not been especially friendly to freedom of information either. So the new procedure of notifying the governor's office won't necessarily diminish transparency. It will depend on how the procedure is used -- on whether the governor's office will use its greater knowledge of journalistic inquiries to facilitate or obstruct or just to prepare to be accountable.
If the choice is obstruction, it will remain the work of journalists to exact a price for it by making a stink about it.
FAULTY SCHOLARSHIP AT UCONN: Only self-serving nonsense can be expected from Connecticut's liquor industry in defense of its anti-competitive privileges in state law. But more might have been expected from the University of Connecticut professor and the UConn doctoral student who argued in a newspaper essay the other day that the state's minimum alcohol-pricing system saves lives by discouraging consumption of a product that causes health problems.
The professor and his student failed to note that the extra revenue from the pricing system flows only to the liquor distributors, wholesalers and retailers. If higher prices are to be imposed by law in the name of social policy, the government should get the extra money.
Chris Powell is the managing editor of the Journal Inquirer, in Manchester, Conn., and a longtime essayist, mostly on social, governmental and political matters.