The brutality of "Multicultural" Britain again
In a north London suburb last week, a schoolgirl was beaten, gang-raped and then had drain-cleaning fluid poured on her body apparently to destroy DNA evidence. In the eternal cesspit of senseless urban crime, I feel that a dreadful nadir of sorts has been reached, a benchmark of slaked lust and casual, sadistic cruelty. Police sources say the 16-year-old will never fully recover from the injuries caused by the caustic soda and, at the time of writing, she remains under heavy sedation in a burns unit, fighting for her life.
One could weep an ocean for this young woman, her life ruined by these savages, who hunted in a pack like animals and dragged her to an empty house, caring nothing for her wellbeing or future. Drain cleaner? The callous premeditation is shocking, and underlines the fact that some of the rootless delinquents who roam the London streets are now scraping the bottom of the barrel of humanity. I'm almost embarrassed to say that the attackers have been described as "five black youths", in case you think I'm being racist in highlighting this crime.
Yes, these are the peculiar times we live in, particularly in a week when Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has pointed out that "white flight is accelerating" as Britain becomes increasingly polarised along ethnic lines.
Following the controversy started by the Bishop of Rochester, who said that some Muslim enclaves were "no-go areas" for Christians, it all seems to suggest a country that is becoming increasingly fragmented; a patchwork of rigidly delineated little pockets of race and religion, knots of unyielding humanity who just can't rub along with each other.
This is not a Britain many of us would care to recognise, or even want to live in, although it is true that certain sectors of the middle class are fleeing from inner London like pashmina-wrapped lemmings, desperate to escape the creeping spread of urban decay. Last year, nearly a quarter of a million decent, law-abiding citizens packed their bags and left the capital for good, seeking what they hope will be a better life elsewhere. They moved to outer boroughs, other city suburbs, rural areas, abroad, the back end of beyond, anywhere but here.
While their fairytale, roses-around-the-door belief in the safety of the countryside and the romantic ideal of a thatched cottage for two is touching, it does point to an underlying urban unease. I would rather take my chances in the city than the country, but one can hardly blame them for wanting to move.
Elsewhere in London this week, a medical student was stabbed to death in a row over an orange in a Brixton fruit shop. A pupil who was expelled for allegedly having a knife took his school to the High Court. And about the time most of us were sitting down to dinner, watching The Bill on television or putting the children to bed, a teenage girl underwent an unimaginable ordeal in an ordinary suburban street.
What is going to happen to those of us left to live here if youths across the city continue to feel quite comfortable and confident in running amok? That's before you even factor in the older, more professional criminal gangs from more than 25 countries, who operate prosperous drug trafficking, people smuggling, prostitution, money laundering and fraud rackets on the capital's streets.
London is a welcoming city, where home-grown and particularly international criminal networks are flourishing nicely. Somewhere in the city, a great termite nest of law-breaking and corruption grows by the day, nourished by immigrants, some of them illegal, from Algeria, Nigeria, Jamaica and Pakistan, among others.
Is it racist to point that out, too? I don't know any more. All I know is that London has room to absorb them all, particularly as so many of its citizens have recently left in a hurry. And while cosy family evenings by the fire remain one of the few benefits of a wet British winter, how alarming that fewer and fewer people feel safe doing this inside their own homes.
A politically progressive friend of mine always seemed to root against baseball teams from the South. The Braves, the Rangers, the Astros -- he hated them all. I asked him why, to which he replied, "Southerners are prejudiced."
The same logic is evident in the complaint the American political left has with conservative voters. According to the political analysis of filmmaker Michael Moore, whose perception of irony apparently does not extend to his own words, "The right wing, that is not where America's at . . . It's just a small minority of people who hate. They hate. They exist in the politics of hate . . . They are hate-triots."
What about liberals? According to University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone, "Liberals believe individuals should doubt their own truths and consider fairly and open-mindedly the truths of others." They also "believe individuals should be tolerant and respectful of difference." Indeed, generations of academic scholars have assumed that the "natural personality" of political conservatives is characterized by hostile intolerance towards those with opposing viewpoints and lifestyles, while political liberals inherently embrace diversity.
As we are dragged through another election season, it is worth critically reviewing these stereotypes. Do the data support the claim that conservatives are haters, while liberals are tolerant of others? A handy way to answer this question is with what political analysts call "feeling thermometers," in which people are asked on a survey to rate others on a scale of 0-100. A zero is complete hatred, while 100 means adoration. In general, when presented with people or groups about which they have neutral feelings, respondents give temperatures of about 70. Forty is a cold temperature, and 20 is absolutely freezing.
In 2004, the University of Michigan's American National Election Studies (ANES) survey asked about 1,200 American adults to give their thermometer scores of various groups. People in this survey who called themselves "conservative" or "very conservative" did have a fairly low opinion of liberals -- they gave them an average thermometer score of 39. The score that liberals give conservatives: 38. Looking only at people who said they are "extremely conservative" or "extremely liberal," the right gave the left a score of 27; the left gives the right an icy 23. So much for the liberal tolerance edge.
Some might argue that this is simply a reflection of the current political climate, which is influenced by strong feelings about the current occupants of the White House. And sure enough, those on the extreme left give President Bush an average temperature of 15 and Vice President Cheney a 16. Sixty percent of this group gives both men the absolute lowest score: zero.
To put this into perspective, note that even Saddam Hussein (when he was still among the living) got an average score of eight from Americans. The data tell us that, for six in ten on the hard left in America today, literally nobody in the entire world can be worse than George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
This doesn't sound very tolerant to me -- nor especially rational, for that matter. To be fair, though, let's roll back to a time when the far right was accused of temporary insanity: the late Clinton years, when right-wing pundits practically proclaimed the end of Western civilization each night on cable television because President Clinton had been exposed as a perjurious adulterer.
In 1998, Bill Clinton and Al Gore were hardly popular among conservatives. Still, in the 1998 ANES survey, Messrs. Clinton and Gore both received a perfectly-respectable average temperature of 45 from those who called themselves extremely conservative. While 28% of the far right gave Clinton a temperature of zero, Gore got a zero from just 10%. The bottom line is that there is simply no comparison between the current hatred the extreme left has for Messrs. Bush and Cheney, and the hostility the extreme right had for Messrs. Clinton and Gore in the late 1990s.
Does this refute the stereotype that right-wingers are "haters" while left-wingers are not? Liberals will say that the comparison is unfair, because Mr. Bush is so much worse than Mr. Clinton ever was. Yes, Mr. Clinton may have been imperfect, but Mr. Bush -- whom people on the far left routinely compare to Hitler -- is evil. This of course destroys the liberal stereotype even more eloquently than the data. The very essence of intolerance is to dehumanize the people with whom you disagree by asserting that they are not just wrong, but wicked.
In the end, we have to face the fact that political intolerance in America -- ugly and unfortunate on either side of the political aisle -- is to be found more on the left than it is on the right. This may not square with the moral vanity of progressive political stereotypes, but it's true.
Does Big Government Help Women?
When the first woman to be a major party candidate for president wins her first presidential primary by playing the gender card it tells you something. The Romantics were right and the rationalists were wrong. Life really is all about feelings and not about reason. That was a week ago. Now the first woman candidate for president is trading racial smears with her chief rival for the Democratic nomination.
The question that I would like to ask our women friends is this. Was it for this that women, inspired by Simone de Beauvoir, boldly emerged into the public square from out of the darkness of endless ages of oppression? If so, what's the point?
I say this because there is much for a woman president to do. In many ways women are as oppressed and as marginalized today as they ever were in the Dark Ages of the patriarchy.
Today in our government schools little girls are forced to learn their lessons according to a unisex curriculum imposed and enforced by activist feminists. Mothers who would prefer a little less feminism and a little more education are out of luck.
Today in our society teenaged girls are encouraged to experiment with sex by educators and pressured to have sex by teenaged boys. Nobody seems to have the courage to tell the girls that they don't have to put up with this abuse.
Today in our society women in their twenties live under heavy social pressure to devote themselves to a career and un-devote themselves to marriage. The result is that in the prime of their sexuality and fertility they give away their favors to men for nothing. For this their grandmothers chained themselves to railings?
Today in our society thirtysomething women are frantically trying to get pregnant in their few remaining years of fertility. And that's if they're lucky and haven't got divorced.
Today in our society women of all ages are encouraged to divorce if their marriages aren't up to snuff. Divorced women, of course, often don't get to have the number of children they want. They usually suffer significant economic hardship. And they don't really improve their lives through divorce.
Today in our society women of all ages are encouraged to channel their energies away from home and family in paid employment or in a career. But for most women the most important things in their lives are their relationships and their children.
Today when women get old they get bustled off into institutions. Their daughters are encouraged to fill their mature middle years with jobs and careers, and have been socialized to be too busy to care for their enfeebled parents. Older women, surviving often into their nineties, are very weak and very feeble. And very often they are very frightened.
Two words best describe the society that has marginalized its women in this way. Cruel and unjust. In the name of womens' liberation our society has chivvied women out of their homes and neighborhoods and the life that many women prefer: family, children and cooperative relationships with other women. Above all it has bullied them out of their instinctive culture of giving and helping and into full-time paid (and taxable) employment. Meanwhile the first woman candidate for president is busy trading racial barbs with the first black candidate for president.
The odd thing is that the political party that has created this unjust world for women gets most of their support. The "gender gap" means that more women support the big government party than the limited government party.
John R. Lott has explained how this works in "Women's suffrage over time," excerpted from his book Freedomnomics. Women are more risk averse than men, he writes, and since they have gotten the vote they have expressed their preference by voting for more government programs. Federal government spending started increasing in the 1920s when women got the vote and it has kept increasing ever since.
Women voted for big government because they were told that big government gave them security. But did it? Is it really true that big bureaucratic government with its one-size-fits-all top-down model can really provide better security and freedom from risk than a conservative society of family, church, neighborhood association, and mutual aid?
Conservatives would say: No. Big government creates big dependency. Women today face uncertainty and risks in their lives that they never faced when they created security for themselves in marriages that could not be easily terminated and when they controlled the social services of their communities because they were the social services of their communities.
Of course, women today do not face the privations that their grandmothers faced a century ago. But the biggest cause of poverty in women is still single parenthood. The challenge to conservatives is clear. If we want to succeed in reforming big government we have to persuade women that big government means big risks for women.
Another "peaceful" Muslim in Australia
A man who had ammunition in his pocket and a loaded pistol on the back seat of his car when he was pulled over told police he was, "going hunting with my uncle". The gun was ready to fire when police pulled over Mahmud Jihad, 26, in Rooty Hill on Tuesday. Also in a bag in the back seat was a tazer, Mount Druitt local court heard yesterday. A further three pistols - including a Russian semi-automatic - were found when police raided Jihad's Shalvey home later the same day. Along with the cache of guns and ammunition found in the bedroom of the builder's labourer, was $59,550 in cash.
Jihad yesterday faced court on 15 charges, including having a firearm in a public place. The court heard Jihad was sentenced to 12 months' jail in 2005 for similar offences. Jihad's estranged parents and sister were in court yesterday when he applied for bail. His lawyer Charles Zarb argued that although his client had priors for similar offences, he had always turned up at court, even when a jail sentence was likely.
But prosecutor Pauline McCann said Jihad's actions demonstrated that he was an active risk to the public. Jihad was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear again on March 28.
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.
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