Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Is this the stupidest political correctness yet?

Police afraid to use technology to catch criminals because it is "racist"

We wouldn't want to imply we were looking for a racial bias in hair follicles, blood, and semen, now would we? Wired Magazine has an interesting article this Christmas, about a molecular biologist, Tony Frudakis, who said he could determine a suspect's race by analyzing his genetic material. In March of 2003, desperate police investigators turned to the scientist in hopes of solving multiple murders by narrowing down the race of the suspect. They sent him a "blind" DNA test with swabs from 20 people to identify their race. The result? 100% success.
On a conference call a few weeks later, Frudakis reported his results on their killer. "Your guy could be African-American or Afro-Caribbean, but there is no chance that this is a Caucasian." There was a prolonged silence, followed by a flurry of questions. They all came down to this: Would Frudakis bet his life on his results? Absolutely.

Quickly changing course, the authorities soon turned up the file of Derrick Todd Lee, a 34-year-old black man with an extensive rap sheet for domestic violence, assault, stalking, and peeping. The police got a subpoena, took a cheek swab, and a few days later had an answer: Lee's sample matched DNA collected at the crime scenes.
The system Mr.Frudakis uses is called "DNAWitness" which analyzes DNA from 176 locations of the known genome. Sequences of DNA are able to differentiate African, Indo-European, Native, or Asian heritage. There is no other known technology which can assist police in determining the race of a suspect they are looking for. But, somewhat unsurprisingly, police have been reluctant to use it, and the molecular biologist may soon be unable to afford the continuance of the program.

The reasons boil down to two usual suspects. The cost is spicey, at basic tests running more than a $1,000. The second, and more important issue has to do with offending people. Since DNAWitness is based on determining the race of a suspect, it becomes a "racial profiling" tool, a politically unpopular item to be branded with.
"Once we start talking about predicting racial background from genetics, it's not much of a leap to talking about how people perform based on their DNA - why they committed that rape or stole that car or scored higher on that IQ test," says Troy Duster, former president of the American Sociological Association.
People believe that testing like this will lead to the slippery slope of racial comparisons and analysis. But the creator insists it's about crime fighting, and a way of narrowing down the suspects. As Tony Clayton, a black prosecutor in Baton Rogue says, if it were not for Mr.Frudakis they would still be looking for a white guy driving a white pickup.

Incredibly, however, the same man doesn't like the idea that DNA shows that humans are different on a genetic level, no matter how remotely tiny: "If I could push a button and make this technology disappear, I would."


Denying the connection of Jews to Israel

World Jewry, so I concluded, must be splitting before our own eyes into two camps, the history-minded and the history-mindless and, for some strange reason the former tends to concentrate in Israel, the latter in the US. Thank God, I consoled myself, that we still have Hanukkah to unite us -- how forward-thinking it was for those Rabbis who canonized a chunk of Jewish history as a religious holiday,and thus protected it from our collective amnesia.

But upon reading the Journal's Holiday issue (Nov 30)I realized that Hanukkah too was splitting before our eyes and, while Israelis were singing in one voice:"We fought the Greeks and the victory is ours," and their kindergartens were re-enacting the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty, American Jews were agonizing over Christopher Hitchens' discovery that the Maccabees were a gang of Jewish Taliban.One essay even suggested that Hanukkah should be cleansed from its historical contaminants and focus on the spiritual, the miracle, the Temple, the candles, the latkes, the dreidel, anything but history, anything but freedom and sovereignty. Indeed, history is ugly and dreidels are beautiful.

Continuing this sterilization of the Jewish experience one can further argue that the notion of Jewish sovereignty, because it risks violence, civil wars and other public embarrassments, is foreign to the Jewish spirit, hence, the only true carriers of "Judaism spiritual values" are Neturai Karta and Noam Chomsky's followers, for they are the only Jews who openly object to the ugly notion of a Jewish State. All the rest of us, historical Jews, having been praying for 2000 years for regaining sovereignty in the birthplace of our history, are not really truthful to those immaculately conceived "Judaism spiritual values."

I, for one, do not buy this sterile notion of Jewishness and of Hanukkah. True, history itself can be ugly, but historical narratives and holidays are defined not by their embryonic origins, but by what they mean to and how they motivate people at this day and age. Regardless of whether Hanukkah started as a war of liberation against the Greek, a war of zeal against the assimilated, or a supernatural miracle in the Temple, the meaning of Hanukkah lies in the new consciousness created when H.N. Bialik wrote (after the Kishinev pogrom, 1903) "Are these the sons of the Maccabees?." It came in the energies inspired when the pre-1948 Zionist pioneers sang:

"A miracle did not happen to us
We have not found a vessel of oil
We carved the rock till we bled
And there was light!"

and it comes, of course, in the spirit of family warmth and people-hood that we Jews feel today when we light the candles and tell our children about that mischievous oil vessel.

Two weeks ago my wife Ruth and I were invited to the White House, where President Bush used our family menorah to usher in the holiday. I was relieved to discover that President Bush, had no problem whatsoever explaining to fellow Americans what the meaning of Hanukkah is all about.

"During Hanukkah," he said "we remember an ancient struggle for freedom." Plain and simple, free of Jewish hang-ups. He then narrated the story of the Maccabees: "A band of brothers came together to fight this oppression. And against incredible odds, they liberated the capital city of Jerusalem." Again, Bush talked as if fighting oppression and liberating one's capital is as natural as American apple pie and, more importantly, he took it as self-evident that people who call themselves "a people" would find pride and inspiration in celebrating pivotal events from their collective past; in other words, he took it as self-evident that Judaism and Jewish history and Jewish nationhood are inextricable.

This brings me back to the Annapolis Summit meeting. As President Bush was recounting the story of the Maccabees struggle for freedom and self-determination, his words rang as faithful reminders of one delicate issue that was conspicuously missing from the Annapolis' agenda but which nevertheless continues to hold the key to any progress toward a two-state solution: Arabs denial of the indigenous historical connection between the Jewish people and the land of the Maccabees.

This historical connection, bluntly denied by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, adamantly refuted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, uniformly ridiculed by Arab intellectuals, meticulously purged from textbooks in the entire Muslim world, deceptively minimized by anti-co-existence professors in the West, and skillfully avoided by post-Zionist Jewish writers in America, more than any other point of contention, has the power of unleashing the confidence-building energy that the "peace process" requires to gain traction.

That is why I see Hanukkah as the pink elephant of Annapolis. The obvious historical connection of Jews to the holy land, so clearly symbolized by Hanukkah and the president's Hanukkah speech, was hush-hushed in Annapolis - while everyone knew that only by agreeing on this connection can the post-Annapolis process move toward a compromised two-state solution.

Everyone knows that nothing can move forward unless Israelis are convinced that a final-status agreement will be considered permanent by the Arab side, and not be used as a stepping stone for another armed struggle. Likewise, everyone knows that Palestinians would not consider an agreement permanent that unjustly expropriates their land to a "colonial intruder" (i.e. Israel). Thus, the road to a permanency and commitment must go through a paradigm shift, whereby the intruder becomes a legitimate, equally indigenous, co-owner-partner, one who returned from 2000 years of forced exile holding a wrinkled trust deed: Hanukkah.

Such a profound paradigm shift in the Arabs' perception of the conflict would obviously be a slow and gradual process, but it is a process that must somehow be triggered, the first step of which is recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state" (more accurately, "a state of the Jewish people") as demanded by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert prior to the Annapolis meeting. Such a move would have sent an irreversible message of historical co-ownership to Arab school children and, thus, would have given Israelis the first ever proof of an Arab intention to make the "final-status agreement" truly final.

It is no wonder that, when PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat proclaimed "the PA would never acknowledge Israel's Jewish identity," Olmert reacted angrily with: "we won't hold negotiations on our existence as a Jewish state... Whoever does not accept this cannot hold any negotiations with me." Translated: "Whoever refuses to tell his children that Jews are here by moral and historical imperative has no intention of honoring his agreements in the long run, so why negotiate?" Olmert's subsequent retraction of this condition may mean one of two things.Either he believes that the needed recognition can be obtained in the course of further negotiations, or that he already wrote off the negotiations as a meaningless exercise and is now just waiting for an exit strategy.

In either case, since the final joint communique at Annapolis omitted any reference to a Jewish state, it seems apparent that both sides find it expedient to turn a blind eye to the pink elephant on their table, at least for the time being. The message of Hanukkah and of President Bush's remarks merely reminds us that the elephant is still there and that it is getting harder and harder to pretend otherwise.


I'm on the side of the African father in this one:

I never once laid a hand on my own son during his childhood but I did not have a son like this guy does

A TERRITORY [Australia] father who allegedly held his 12-year-old son captive in dog chains and gave him a "flog" has been banned from seeing the boy.

The father made a nine-minute emotional speech to contest the no-contact order in the Darwin Magistrates Court on Friday, blaming his son's punishment on the "unprofessionalism" of NT police to control the boy. But Magistrate Greg Cavanagh said the African refugee was not to contact his son - who was now in the care of Family and Children Services - without supervision, as the boy had been allegedly found by police "tied by dog chains to his bed with other restraints to his ankles and hands". It was not revealed how long the boy had been tied up for.

The father, raising his voice to the magistrate, said he "did nothing wrong to my son" and was trying to discipline him for "running with gangs". "My son has been misbehaving in a way that you cannot support it," he said. "(He) tried to burn out the house that I'm renting (and) damaged the car of one of our relatives." He said his son was also planning to steal "people's bags" from a nearby supermarket. "What a shame," he told the court.

"We call police several times. They can't do anything. So I tried to discipline him in my own way. "Not to kill him, not to hurt him, not to do anything. I gave him a flog, that's what I do ... And I'm telling you that I use the (dog) chain to chain (him) so that he cannot run away."

The father said he was "a very responsible parent". "I'm not an alcoholic, I don't smoke, I don't take marijuana. I'm a Christian." He said he had been "the target of the Northern Territory police" and begged Mr Cavanagh to help him and his family flee Australia. I didn't come to Australia to get another war. I run from the war (in) my country," he said. "But I found another war in Australia from the NT police."


Want to be as bigoted and as violent as you like? Become a Muslim!

That seems to be the Leftist gospel anyhow -- as we see from the Australian Leftist love-affair with Australian terrorist David Hicks

According to Terry Hicks, his son David has no reason to apologise to anyone about anything. This explains why the anticipated apology was missing from David Hicks's statement, which was read to the media by the lawyer David McLeod after his client's release from Adelaide's Yatala prison last Saturday. The absence of an apology has been welcomed by members of David Hicks's fan club and the civil liberties lobby. Certainly no known supporter of Hicks has argued that he should be contrite for his past statements or deeds.

Yet there is no need to analyse the case against Hicks advanced by the United States and Australian governments and/or other agencies. The case against the self-confessed terrorist supporter is evident in the letters that he wrote to his family in Adelaide shortly before his capture by Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan, who handed him over to US forces.

Some of this correspondence was released by Hicks's family and was cited in the Hicks-friendly documentary The President Versus David Hicks, which was directed by Curtis Levy and Bentley Dean and shown on SBS TV in 2004. Other Hicks letters were presented to the Federal Magistrates Court in December, during the Australian Federal Police's successful application for a control order with respect to Hicks that went into operation after his release from prison.

We know from Hicks's own hand that he (i) joined the Taliban in Afghanistan, (ii) trained with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and personally met its leader, Osama bin Laden, on numerous occasions, (iii) attempted to kill (and maybe did kill) individuals on the Indian side of the Kashmir Line of Control, and (iv) advocated the overthrow of what he termed "Western-Jewish domination". We also know that Hicks expressed the view that "Western society is controlled by the Jews with music, TV, houses, cars [and] free sex". And we know that he praised Islamist beheadings for those who disagree with Muhammad, and proclaimed the benefits of "being martyred" and being "well trained for jihad".

The David Hicks fan club and its allies in the civil liberties lobby are engaged in an unpleasant double standard here. Just imagine what this lot would have said if the Reverend Fred Nile, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party in NSW, had claimed that "the Jews have complete financial and media control" in Australia. Or just imagine what would have been the response had Nile boasted that he had fought on the Indian side of the Line of Control and fired "rocket-propelled grenades 200 metres from a bunker" holding two soldiers of the Muslim faith.

Without question, in such a situation, a Christian like Nile would have been condemned as an anti-Semite and a Muslim killer. But a different standard applies when a Muslim convert like Hicks engages in anti-Semitism or admits to trying to kill Indian soldiers, of whatever faith.

Yet the response to Hicks from his supporters is a combination of gush and denial. Writing in the Adelaide Independent Weekly, Hendrik Gout described Hicks as an "idealistic and foolish would-be mercenary". Since when did support for the terrorist bin Laden and the murderous al-Qaeda group amount to idealism? Moreover, Hicks has never denied fighting with Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Nor has Hicks denied crossing back into Afghanistan from Pakistan after al-Qaeda's attacks on the US on September 11, 2001.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph last weekend, the Democrat senator Natasha Stott Despoja criticised the Australian Federal Police for outlining "in excruciating detail everything they had on file about Hicks" to the Federal Magistrates Court. It seems she is in denial about his evident anti-Semitism and his past support for terrorism. Stott Despoja also criticised the fact that the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, supported the AFP's application for a control order over Hicks - maintaining that the Rudd Labor Government "failed its first test on national security and has shown itself to be little more than a clone of its predecessor". In fact, the control order does little to inhibit Hicks's freedoms and makes sense in view of what he himself has said about his past association with terrorism.

Certainly, as the former foreign minister, Alexander Downer, has acknowledged, the US mishandled the Hicks case and was too slow in placing him before a military commission. I argued this, both publicly and privately, in the lead-up to Hicks's military commission last year. But the fact is that Hicks's legal team, in the US and Australia, erred in refusing to accept a plea bargain when it was available.

As Leigh Sales documented in her book Detainee 002: The Case Of David Hicks, "Hicks could have been back in Australia years ago, instead of sitting in Guantanamo Bay for several years" but for the stance taken by his friends. Sales was criticised in The Age by the academic lawyer Gerry Simpson for her "distracting insistence on balance and pragmatism". It was yet another example of a Hicks supporter wanting to avoid the facts.

In his statement Hicks maintained that his "readjustment will be a slow process and should involve a gentle transition away from the media spotlight". Right. Yet the David Hicks fan club is already talking up the prospect of his selling his story to the media. Many of its members are well-off professionals. If 500 of them contributed $1000 each to his rehabilitation, there would be a $500,000 fund for Hicks and no need for him to risk his health by moving back into the media spotlight. A good idea, to be sure. But don't bet on it. It's a lot easier to endorse moral stances than, as the saying goes, to tap the mat with hard cash.



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 is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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