UK police arrest homeowner for burglar's fall
A homeowner was arrested after a burglar plunged from the balcony of his top-floor flat. The intruder suffered head injuries and is fighting for his life after falling around 30ft on to a concrete path. Later police arrested the owner and are investigating whether the intruder was pushed.
The incident happened early on Monday when Patrick Walsh, 56, awoke to find the 43-year-old man rifling through his flat. They argued and the confrontation moved towards the rear window of the flat. It is believed the intruder then smashed the window and clambered out on to a narrow ledge and fell to the ground.
Mr Walsh phoned police and at around 6.30am officers found the man on the ground outside the smart Victorian apartment block in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, He was taken to hospital with serious head injuries.
Officers arrested Mr Walsh on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and are trying to establish whether the intruder was forced out of the window. The arrest is expected to fuel arguments about the rights of householders to defend themselves against burglars....
Another resident said: "I presume we will have to respect the burglar's rights while his victim has the nightmare of court hanging over his head. It all seems so unfair."
Mike Adams on CAIR
I've written about a number of threats to the First Amendment in recent years. But few have riled me up as much as a recent letter written by attorney Joseph E. Sandler (email@example.com). Sandler was hired by CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) after the organization learned that Robert Spencer was about to give a speech called "The Truth About CAIR" at the National Conservative Student Conference held by the Young America's Foundation (YAF).
Here's what Sandler wrote to my friend Ron Robinson, President of YAF: "You should be aware that Mr. Spencer, a well-known purveyor of hatred and bigotry against Muslims, has a history of false and defamatory statements. Several of those statements have falsely accused CAIR of activity that would constitute a federal offense."
After failing to provide a single "false and defamatory" statement by Spencer, Sandler went on to exercise his constitutional right to praise CAIR for its work in fighting terrorism. (Note: This is not to suggest that such praise is in any way deserved, just that it is protected by the First Amendment).
After, a) citing specific evidence in support of the notion that CAIR is an anti-terrorist organization, and b) citing no evidence of false and defamatory statements by Spencer (nor any of the evidence supporting Spencer's contrary opinion), Joseph E. Sandler (firstname.lastname@example.org) made a rather outrageous request that is worth reproducing in its entirety:
"For these reasons, we demand that YAF cancel the subject session (at which Spencer is speaking), or else take steps to ensure that false and defamatory statements are not disseminated at that session. Our clients have instructed us to pursue every available and appropriate legal remedy to redress any false and defamatory statements that are made at the session. Please let us know by the close of business today whether you intend to comply with these requests. Joseph E. Sandler, email@example.com, (202) 479-1111"
This notion of preventing "offense" by forcing people to relinquish their First Amendment Rights is itself offensive. Certainly, when one of my Muslim friends offends me - by forcing his wife to leave the room without speaking as soon as I come over - I just let it go. But maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I should start my own organization called CAIRS, The Council Against Islamic Repression and Sexism. But, for the time being, please join me in the fight against Muslim censors (and the lawyers who love them) by taking the time to do at least one of four things today:
1. Write Joseph E. Sandler (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell him to stop helping Muslim extremists wage a Jihad against the First Amendment in the United States of America.
2. Call Joseph E. Sandler (202-479-1111) and tell him to stop helping Muslim extremists wage a Jihad against the First Amendment in the United States of America.
3. Fax a Xerox copy of the First Amendment to Sandler, Reiff & Young at (202) 479-1115.
4. Fax a Xerox copy of your extended middle finger to Sandler, Reiff & Young at (202) 479-1115.
For those of you who follow option #1 or #2, there are a few questions you should ask Mr. Sandler: What exactly are the false and defamatory statements made by Spencer that would justify the prior restraint of free speech? Why not sue over those statements instead of threatening to sue over statements not yet made? And, finally, is it not also defamatory to falsely accuse someone of defamation? I plan to follow option #4. And I also plan to write about this incident in my weekly internet column. That is, unless Mr. Sandler tries to stop me beforehand.
CUBAN REVOLUTION IS NEITHER DEMOCRATIC NOR COMMUNIST, SAYS GRANDSON OF CHE
The revolution in Cuba "was not democratic" and neither is it communist now, "but rather a vulgar State capitalism also called 'Fidelismo,'" affirmed the grandson of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Canek Sanchez Guevara.
In a letter and a "self-interview" that is being published today in the Mexican weekly "Proceso," Canek harshly criticized the "messianism" of Fidel Castro and the change of direction he made for the revolution, transforming himself from "the young revolutionary to the elderly tyrant" who "falsified" an ideal. "The revolution gave birth to a bourgeoisie, a repressive apparatus intended to protect itself from the people and a bureaucracy that distanced itself from the people. But above all it was anti-democratic due to the religious messianism of its leader," he indicated.
In his writings, Canek strips bare, one by one, the reasons why the Cuban revolution distanced itself from its original purpose, such as "the criminalization of being different" by means of the "persecution of homosexuals, hippies, freethinkers, anarchist and poets" and the installation of a "socialist bourgeoisie... pretending to be proletarian." "The revolution died years ago in Cuba: it had to be murdered by those who invoked it to keep it from turning against them, it had to be institutionalized and smothered by its own bureaucracy, by corruption, by nepotism and by the verticality of that famous organization: the 'revolutionary' Cuban state," he said.
In addition, he didn't hesitate to brand the Castro regime as a dictatorship and accused Castro of betraying the initial ideals of the revolution. "In effect, Fidel liberated Cuba from Batista's gangster dictatorship, but with his obstinate permanence in power he only achieved a reversal, turning himself into a dictator," he asserted. "All of my criticism of Fidel Castro begins with his distancing himself from libertarian ideals, from the treason committed against the people of Cuba and the fearful surveillance established to keep the State predominant over its 'people,'" he added.
The eldest grandchild of Che Guevara stated that the repression that exists in the island, with its "perpetual surveillance over individuals" and "the prohibition of associations that might exist at the margin of the State" is nothing but "a vulgar State capitalism" that, according to him, will die with Fidel. "Let's be honest, a young rebel like Fidel Castro used to be would be immediately executed in today's Cuba, not condemned to exile," he stated.
[Canek] Sanchez Guevara ended by saying that Marxism in Cuba is "only a scholarly classification" and that it is from a Marxist perspective that "one can see the noisy collapse of a falsified ideal."
America is the refuge again
Lately my thoughts have been turning to my great-grandparents, whose images adorn my wall here in London. I have only one photograph of them and that is it. All I know is that the family name was Karash and that this bearded, sad man was a great rabbi in Bialystok. Like so many of Jewish ancestry I do not have a family tree, as opposed to my British friends, some of whom can trace every ancestor back to 1066 and the Battle of Hastings.
It is odd that I ended up in Europe after the struggle my ancestors endured to find their way to the United States. Now that I am embroiled on a daily basis in the anguished `anti-Boycott Israel' movement in Britain and feeling less and less welcome in a land I thought would be my permanent home, I am feeling a strong kinship with those Jews who left Europe a hundred years ago to escape pogroms and conscription into the Czar's army.
But how, you may ask, could England possibly be mentioned in the same breath as the pogroms or the Pale of Settlement? Here is my answer: In my first feature for World Jewish Digest I reported on the string of boycotts being instituted by various British trade unions. The anger and hatred I have felt in the past year from many people here has made me understand the despair of my great-grandparents and their children, who begged, borrowed and bartered to get passage to the United States.
Right now I am trying to work out an economical way to ship my worldly goods to the USA, and though I am not on the receiving end of beatings and rape as had proliferated in Czarist Russia, that feeling of `I have to get out of here' has hit me for the first time in the thirty-one years I have resided in Britain. I understand how my ancestors felt and I am counting the days until I can see the Statue of Liberty, as they did one-hundred years ago.
What has caused me profound shock is the news that the combined Protestant and Catholic Irish Congress of Trade Unions, representing 800,000 members in both Ulster and the Irish Republic, has united in its condemnation of Israel and instituted a Resolution in the week of July 16th calling for an all-out boycott of all things Israeli.
Considering that it is only a few months since Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley, the leaders of the IRA and Ulster Unionists respectively, had finally shaken hands after a near-century of Protestant-Catholic bloodletting, it is a disturbing turn of events to see the Irish workers' union uniting against Israel. As reported in `The Jewish Chronicle' of 20 July, the Resolution was proposed by the Belfast and District Trades Council and Derry Trades Council. Ulster's largest union, the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance, had already made a decision to boycott Israeli goods in the manner of the boycott in the era of South African apartheid.
The combined Irish resolution urges a complete divestment from Israeli companies and pension and investment funds as well as pressing members to encourage colleagues in all walks of life to follow suit. What is going on here?
I have a theory. European countries are not engaging in boycotts. In fact, the Seventh Research Framework Programme of 2007 links Israel and the EU in well-funded academic cross-fertilisation. The reason why I think Britain and Ireland are at the forefront of these punitive measures against the Jewish State is because -- despite the Blitz -- mainland Britain was never occupied by Germany and its citizens were not forced to live under the jackboot of the Third Reich. Ireland was not occupied, and neither country watched its Jews being marched off to death camps.
Europe was occupied by the Nazis and still fresh in the minds of many of its citizens is the genocide committed against its Jewish population. Likewise Europeans are less likely to engage in the condemnatory rhetoric being used in Britain to characterise Israeli policies. It is interesting, too, that Britain has such a small Jewish community -- less than 300,000 -- and yet the aggressive language being used by the media, politicians and trade unionists borders on anti-Semitism. France has a much larger Jewish population but boycotts are not proliferating.
In addition, Israel was the last bastion of British Empire. There is deep bitterness amongst many Britons, even so many decades on, about the lynching of British soldiers and the bombing of the King David Hotel by the Irgun and other Jewish resistance groups in post-war Palestine. For thirty-one years I have heard over and over again at dinner parties the stories of British soldiers and sailors being terrorised by the Stern Gang, and the mantra, `You people invented terrorism!'
Notwithstanding this, the anger directed towards me in social situations these days goes beyond British bitterness over an episode in Jerusalem sixty years ago. I find it disturbing and unsettling that I am spending more and more time alone, blessedly away from my fulminating non-Jewish circle; on the rare occasions when I socialise it is with two Jewish friends, both expatriates and both also now planning to return to their native countries after many, many years in Britain.
As I, like my ancestors, try to scrape together the resources to ship myself and my belongings to the USA, my thoughts return to my Bialystok family who found a home in Philadelphia away from the hatred they had left behind in a festering Europe. Like them I long for the day very soon when I, with one-way ticket in hand, can pass Lady Liberty and watch her lift her lamp beside the golden door.
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 INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.