Friday, May 25, 2007

Female chauvinist sows at work again

Post lifted from Taranto. See the original for links

What you are about to read is shocking but true. In the 21st century, in America, there are still institutions of higher education that refuse to admit students simply because they belong to a minority. And in the pages of the Boston Globe, the president of one such college, Joanne V. Creighton, has the temerity to defend this discriminatory policy:

A woman's college . . . is the equivalent of Virginia Woolf's "room of one's own," a college of women's own, free of many of the inhibiting presumptions of the male-dominated world. With its own powerful traditions, norms, and values, and a sense of wholeness sui generis, a women's college helps to develop in students a sense of confidence, competence, and agency. Graduates are more able to see gender-repression when they encounter it and to distinguish between personal and systemic barriers to success. Women's colleges are not about separating women from the world but about encouraging them to be active agents within it.

Well, gosh, when you put it that way, maybe it's not so bad to have a few female-only colleges. Vive la diff‚rence and all that. Knock yourselves out, gals--but how about extending us guys the same courtesy if, say, we want to join a boys-only private club?

Palestinians are victims -- victims of their own fanatics and of other Arabs

TERROR in Tripoli. Havoc in Gaza. Palestinians assassinating the innocent and blaming it on their own victimization. Sounds a lot like 1982. Except that yesteryear's political hit-men are now fanatics. And the Palestinians have blown yet another chance - to the relief of their fellow Arabs. No Arab potentate wants the Palestinians to build a successful, rule-of-law state that co-exists with Israel. Nor does a single Arab ruler like democracy in Lebanon.

The Lebanese army's siege of the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Tripoli is an act of desperation. Forced to accept the autonomy of Palestinian bastions on Lebanese soil, a succession of Beirut governments has had to watch the growth of Islamist radicalism as rich Arab states played up the Palestinian cause - and ignored flesh-and-blood Palestinians. The camp under fire (by the way, the shelling isn't indiscriminate - the Lebanese gunners just aren't very good shots) has 32,000 registered residents. The real number may be closer to 50,000, all crammed in a ghetto where poverty reigns and ignorance rules - exactly the kind of situation in which Saudis, Syrians and Gulf Arabs like to keep Palestinians. The destitute camp - really, an urban slum - would seem to be a perfect recruiting ground for fanatics. Yet most of the local refugees, who have lived in Lebanon for a full generation, are siding with the Lebanese government. They don't like being shelled, but they want the terrorists gone. For their part, the terrorists hope the fighting will spread to other camps.

And who are these terrorists whose actions brought the Lebanese army down on their heads? Fatah al-Islam is one of those countless splinter groups right out of Monty Python's "Life of Brian" - except for its murderous bent. Aligned with al Qaeda and backed by Syria, its immediate mission is to make Lebanon ungovernable. So the bodies pile up as the buildings burn.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian try at self-government in Gaza is an even greater shambles. When Israel withdrew its forces in 2005, Palestinian leaders had an unprecedented chance to prove that they could govern competently. With aid in the pipeline (from the West, of course) and goodwill abounding, they could have given the people they ruled a chance. Instead, they gave them anarchy, economic collapse, rampant criminality, a return to "honor killings" and a society broken by blood feuds and internecine hatred.

Last week, the Gaza fighting spun out of control, and Fatah forces, whose leadership now quietly leans on Israel for support, proved tougher than the Hamas thugs expected. With newly trained security-forces in play, Fatah threatened to seize the local initiative. Hamas responded by launching waves of missiles against civilian targets in Israel. By week's end, the Hamas barbarism had become intolerable. Israel responded by killing dozens of Hamas terrorists - including senior figures - with stand-off weaponry. The result? A fragile truce to which Fatah had to agree in the name of Palestinian solidarity. But the Pal-on-Pal fighting will resume soon enough. After winning the last election, Hamas outed itself as a pure-terrorist organization obsessed with killing Israelis and grabbing power for itself - not a party dedicated to improving the lives of the people.

Average Palestinians would like to get on with the shabby lives left to them. And some are staging a quiet rebellion against Hamas: A significant number of the targets Israel struck over the past several days were identified via Palestinian tip-offs.

Arab societies have a genius for self-destruction (look at Iraq), but President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party may prove readier to deal sensibly with Israel than any Palestinian faction in the past. Abbas recognizes that, today, the greatest danger comes from within, not from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. As for the mess in Lebanon, Syria's inability to refrain from deadly mischief is a blessing in at least one respect: It makes it harder for the advocates of phony Realpolitik (such as former Secretary of State Jim "Have you hugged your dictator today?" Baker) to push us back into yesteryear's cozy relationships with genocidal Arab despots.

But who really are the victims here? Obviously, Israelis continue to suffer from Arab terror-as-self-actualization. But the global media hates Israel. So don't expect to hear much about the rockets raining on Sderot, beyond a perfunctory aside from a dismissive anchor-babe. Of course, the Lebanese have been the long-standing victims of meddling Arab powers and the refusal of larger and far richer Arab states to give Palestinians hope for better lives. If the Saudis love the Palestinians so much, why not build a model city in the Kingdom for the 400,000 or so stranded in Lebanon? (Actually, few Palestinians would choose to live in such an oppressive place.) And couldn't the tasteless Donald Trumps of Dubai spare at least one of those gold-plated, gated condo developments for deserving Palestinians?

The truth is that other Arabs want the Palestinians to continue to suffer. It's useful as an excuse for all their failings. They have about as much sympathy for the refugees as all those good Germans had for the Jews whose real estate was suddenly available. But the ultimate victims of this round of Palestinian violence are the Palestinians themselves. After passing up so many chances for peace and statehood, they can no longer be classed as victims of Zionism. Yet the Palestinians are victims - of the other Arabs who exploit them and neglect them. And of the madmen spawned from their own kind.

If you need someone to blame for the current carnage, blame the Palestinian terrorists for whom violence has become a way of life (and death). Forget the rage of the dispossessed and all that sanctimonious claptrap. For the Palestinians preying upon their brethren, terror's a business. And business is good.


Muslim pests driving cabs in Australia too

Applying their version of Sharia law in defiance of Australian law. Decent people are kind and helpful to blind people but kindness and helpfulness must have got left out of the Koran

TAXI drivers regularly refuse to carry blind passengers with guide dogs - including Australia's Human Rights Commissioner - with many citing religious reasons, or other excuses like allergies. Human Rights and Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes, who is blind and reliant on his guide dog Jordie, is a regular Sydney cab user and said he was refused service on average once a month, including twice in two days recently. He has been told on a number of occasions that it would be against a driver's religion to allow a dog in the cab. Mr Innes has also been refused by drivers claiming to be allergic to dogs - or afraid of them - and was even left clutching at air on busy Market St by one belligerent driver who told him he had to take the non-existent cab in front.

Mr Innes yesterday received the backing of Vision Australia (VA), which said taxi drivers refusing to carry blind passengers with guide dogs happened with "too much regularity". VA policy and advocacy head Michael Simpson said that the problem was worse in the Sydney metropolitan area where there were more drivers unwilling to carry dogs based on Muslim objections. "It is fair to say that the (Islamic) religion has made the problem worse in the metropolitan areas than regional areas, where I've found taxi drivers are generally excellent," he said.

Mr Simpson, who has been blind for 30 years but uses a cane instead of a guide dog, said he was refused service at the airport because his two companions had dogs. "We asked the driver for his accreditation number and he gave us the wrong one," he said. It was only because an airline staff member had accompanied us that we got the right number and could properly complain about being refused."

Mr Innes was compelled to speak out after the Daily Telegraph last week revealed how an intellectually impaired man had been slapped with $1000 in train fare evasion fines even though he cannot understand what the offence is. He called for better training for all front-line public transport staff in NSW in dealing with disabled passengers. "I'm a lawyer and I know exactly what my rights are so I force the issue but my concern is for those for whom a refusal can be a damaging experience and discouraging," Mr Innes.

NSW Taxi Council spokeswoman Tracey Caine said complaints about refusing guide dogs were rare. "The problem has been much worse in Melbourne," she said. Ms Caine said all NSW drivers were spoken to by disability advocates as part of their training and there had been a number of awareness campaigns in the industry publication Meter Magazine: "It is illegal to refuse to take a guide dog and all drivers know it."


The anti-democratic Leftist media

Comment below by Greg Sheridan

THIS week I had the considerable pleasure of meeting a genuine hero, a military hero and a democratic hero, a moderate Muslim and a hero in the struggle for democratic self-determination. I refer to Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. A long-time Kurdish freedom fighter, he has been an indefatigable campaigner for Iraqi human rights and democracy.

Note, therefore, this incredible occurrence. Zebari held a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on Monday. Yet The Age in Melbourne, the nation’s most left-wing newspaper and the paper that has most strongly opposed every aspect of the coalition action in Iraq, did not see fit to print a word about it on Tuesday. This is as glaring a case as you could imagine of simply not reporting the facts because they don’t fit your preconceived narrative.

The Age has spent tonnes and tonnes of newsprint excoriating the coalition efforts to liberate Iraq from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and give it a chance of establishing democracy. But it certainly did not want to hear the views of an Iraqi who has the legitimacy of 12 million Iraqis voting three times so that he could be Foreign Minister.

This is, sadly, all too representative of the irrational turn the Iraq debate has taken, where nobody is the slightest bit interested in any evidence that does not support their already held position.

The Australian carried my interview with Zebari yesterday and I don’t intend to recapitulate it here, except for one central consideration. This is what he said would be the result of a rapid pullout from Iraq by the coalition forces led by the US and including Britain and Australia. Zebari said a rapid coalition pullout would mean: “The country would disintegrate, it would be divided. There would be civil war, slaughter, sectarian war. There would be mayhem. International terrorists would find there would be a safe haven in Iraq, a much more important and sympathetic safe haven than they found in Afghanistan, and they will attack others from there. Iraq’s neighbours will be tempted to cross its borders and establish zones of influence there.”

Now here’s the thing. If Zebari is right, rapid withdrawal would be an unmitigated strategic disaster. It would be a tremendous victory for the terrorists and nothing would be more likely to cause conflict within the Middle East. Yet that is the logic of Labor’s position under Kevin Rudd, with the important qualification that Rudd would withdraw Australian troops after consultation with the US and not necessarily suddenly.

This is an issue that very few people discuss honestly. This is a US-led operation and the key question is when the Americans leave. Either they will leave because their own political will collapses or because the Iraqis can finally take care of security themselves. If it is the former, then the disastrous results that Zebari sketches are a strong possibility. If it is the latter, then the whole Iraq mission has been redeemed and the infamy of a genocidal tyrant justly brought to a close.

But in much of the Western debate, not least in Australia, you get the impression that commentators hate George W. Bush and John Howard more than they love the Iraqi people. Just as the international Left cared not a fig for the human rights of Vietnamese, Cambodians or Laotians, and in general didn’t mind a genocide or two once the communists were in power, so too you get the feeling they will rapidly lose interest in any amount of suffering by Iraqis provided the Americans and their allies have been comprehensively humiliated.

The other intriguing aspect of Zebari’s visit was his general praise for the Australian troops in Iraq and his report that they enjoyed a very high reputation in Iraq. This is significant in part because it echoes what several other critically credible sources have said in the past few weeks. It also demolishes the proposition of the Australian Left that somehow or other our participation in Iraq, which by the way is under the authorisation of a UN resolution, is somehow damaging our international reputation.

Ali A. Allawi, a former defence and finance minister in recent Iraqi governments, has written the definitive account of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, entitled, appropriately, The Occupation of Iraq. In it he deplores the amateurism and incompetence of some of the staff of the Coalition Provisional Authority under the leadership of Paul Bremer. However, he goes out of his way to contrast this with the professionalism of the Australians, especially the Australians involved in reconstruction.

Similarly, the recently published memoirs of the former chief of the CIA, George Tenet, are instructive on this point. Tenet has become a critic of Bush and his memoirs are designed to limit his guilt by association with the Iraq operation and put as much distance as possible between himself and the Bush administration. His remarks on Howard, though - again, strangely unreported - are instructive. He says that he and Bush agreed to delay the announcement of his resignation as CIA chief because Howard was due to visit and they didn’t want to detract from the attention the US media should pay to Australia’s Prime Minister. Tenet writes: “Howard had been one of our closest allies. Not only had he deployed troops to Iraq, but he’d also had the enormous political courage to say that he’d gone to war in Iraq not because of what the intelligence said but because he’d believed it was the right thing to do. The President didn’t want to do anything to step on Howard’s visit. Nor did I.”

This is much how many people see Howard internationally, unless they are dedicated haters of the coalition operation in Iraq. Australia, and Australia’s Government, are seen as immensely successful internationally.

The final word, though, belongs to Zebari. One of his most likable traits is loyalty to friends. I asked him if he had any sympathy for Paul Wolfowitz, the former US deputy defence secretary and a key architect of the operation in Iraq, who resigned this week as head of the World Bank. Zebari told me he had a lot of sympathy for Wolfowitz: “We Iraqis consider him a friend. He was a believer in Iraqi democracy. He has been criticised very unfairly. He was a close and determined friend of the Iraqi people and he never wavered in his commitment to our cause.” It is of course entirely right to receive a lesson in loyalty and consideration for a friend from a distinguished Iraqi democrat.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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