Post below recycled from Interested Participant . See the original for links
(London, England) Expected today, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will announce new knife control rules in an attempt to reduce the crisis in knife crime throughout the United Kingdom.
Ms Smith has written to police chief constables to highlight their powers under the Violent Crime Reduction Act to crack down on licensed premises that could be at the centre of unruly and criminal behaviour. The police are to force pubs and clubs associated with knives or guns to search people on entry, under threat of losing their licences.So, before a person can enjoy a pint and a game of darts, he/she will have to be searched. Business-owners are being forced to frisk their customers for fear of losing their licenses to operate.
Home Secretary Smith expressed shock at the tragedy of knife crime and has vowed to "increase the visibility of sentencing" for knife crimes. However, she rejects the idea of sending knife criminals to jail, saying it's too simple a solution.
I'm perplexed. No, better yet, WTF! It sounds like Jacqui Smith wants to make it more well-known that knife criminals don't go to jail. Does that make a lick of sense to anybody?
Frankly, I believe there are people in Britain who would like to outlaw knives completely, as was done with guns. Unfortunately, there is one seemingly insurmountable hurdle to the banishment of all knives. It's called "the kitchen."
Something Is Ironic In The State of Denmark - Listen Up, America!
Another Independence Day comes and goes, with the usual fireworks, parades and patriotic tunes. Seems to me that we should be the happiest people on earth, given being blessed with living in the greatest nation the world has ever seen. However, a recent study found that Denmark is the happiest nation on earth, and America is 16th. A closer look at the study, the results and the two nations noted is interesting, amusing and revealing, to say the least.
The Study and Results
The study in question, headed up by University of Michigan political scientist Ronald Inglehart, will be published in the July 2008 issue of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Going back an average of 17 years in 52 countries and involving 350,000 people, its results surprised scientists who have long believed that relative happiness among societies is stable over time. In fact, 40 of the 52 nations saw a rise in happiness, contradicting what most scientists who study happiness believe.
Inglehart's team speculate that this rise in happiness is tied to those nations' enhanced economic situations; greater democracy; a sharp rise in gender equality and a greater tolerance of ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians in developed societies. Controlling for variables, Inglehart concluded that the happiest societies are those that allow people to choose how to live their lives.
If freedom, democracy and greater tolerance are strong factors in societal happiness, why was America 16th on that happiness survey? Part of the answer may be found in a recent Pew Research Center public opinion poll that found that 81% of Americans believe that their country is on the "wrong track," which is the most negative response in 25 years. Apparently, most Americans believe that this country has lost its way and is headed in the wrong direction.
Now, common sense dictates that if people think we are going in the wrong direction, the correct direction is where we have come from, which is the America that gave us the kind of patriotism, determination, assertive spirit, love of country, courage, integration, and international leadership of the past. Believe it or not, there was a time when the entire world looked to America for leadership, resolve, excellence and a blueprint for success. The America of that time did what was right, took the steps necessary, made the tough decisions and showed assertive resolve like few nations have ever done in history. It welcomed immigrants with friendly arms yet merely expected loyalty, contribution, respect and unselfish participation from them in return which, given the beautiful gift of living here, was a reasonable and generous offer.
What direction has this nation taken in the past decades? It is increasingly handcuffed by political correctness, emasculated by a pathetic need to be loved throughout the world no matter what and tragically hypnotized by a habit of ignoring its own greatness while blaming all of the world's ills on itself.
No wonder most Americans are unhappy. Half of them are dismayed to see their once great nation turned into a sheepish, confused, inconsistent and morally bankrupt free-for-all. The other half, in turn, are vulnerable sheep easily intoxicated by the mainstream media's anti-America poison. Lost in all of this is the simple fact that, despite America's relative "unhappiness," it is still the greatest nation on earth, despite its twisted self-perception.
The Two Nations
I was amused by the finding that Denmark was the happiest nation studied, and that the study then tied the relative happiness of societies to perceived freedom, tolerance and economic prosperity. While Denmark is a relatively successful industrialized nation, it is presently embroiled in a great struggle over immigration. It seems that many Danes feel threatened by a 4.8% immigrant population experiencing somewhere between 65% and 81% unemployment. Many Danes see these immigrants as welfare cheats who care little about the country that has taken them in.
So great is this concern that Denmark has seen some of the strictest immigration legislation in Europe, leading to charges of racism. These charges were not appeased by the infamous cartoons offending Muslims, or by a 60 Minutes report which practically depicted Denmark as a racist and intolerant society. So, you see, my friends, something is indeed rotten in the state of Denmark, but it is not racism. It is, simply, the same debate that has swept all industrialized nations. Namely, how do these nations deal with their immigration population in a manner that is compassionate, considerate and welcoming as well as reasonable, fair and protective of the nation itself?
Despite the cries of many in this nation who depict America as an evil monster which eats foreigners for lunch, history tells a different tale of the most welcoming, open and tolerant nation the world has ever seen. Such truth, however, is not popular among those who hate to give America its due and prefer to blame it for everything from world hunger to world pollution. America, they say, is arrogant, selfish, insensitive and intolerant. As usual, fools ignore history to serve their mindless, pathetic purposes. Sadly, the lazy listen to the fools most often because their rhetoric and drivel is most available, requires the least analysis and is served in the brightest plates for consumption.
As we pass yet another birthday for this great nation, we must ask how the great gap between its greatness and its perceived greatness developed. Why do so many so blessed people believe so fervently that they are so unfortunate to live in this great land, despite the evidence to the contrary?
One answer may lie in previous happiness research, which has found that relative happiness is an inherited trait. At one time, Americans inherited a tradition of pride, patriotism, resolve, personal responsibility, loyalty and love of country. Tragically, increasing numbers of Americans are now inheriting a negative, twisted, pessimistic, victimized, insolent, ungrateful, defiant and destructive perception of the place they call home.
Another possible answer may lie in a simple approach to life which is increasingly lost in this society. As God, flag, family and personal responsibility have increasingly been pushed aside in favor of a diluted, rationalized and arrogant insolence; this nation has stumbled from the path that fed its greatness. Like a pompous drunk lost in the woods, it boasts of its ability to play God and play with fire, completely oblivious to the mess it makes along the way.
The greatest irony is that precisely those who wail how wrong this country is are the ones who are leading it off a cliff. America's greatest gift to each of us is the freedom to see our lot as an opportunity or a prison; it is our choice and our path.
Happy Birthday, America. Land of the free, home of the brave and zip code of the ungrateful.
On the day the Colombian military freed Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other long-held hostages, the Italian Parliament passed yet another resolution demanding her release. Europe had long ago adopted this French-Colombian politician as a cause celebre. France had made her an honorary citizen of Paris, passed numerous resolutions and held many vigils.
Unfortunately, karma does not easily cross the Atlantic. Betancourt languished for six years in cruel captivity until freed by a brilliant operation conducted by the Colombian military, intelligence agencies and special forces -- an operation so well executed that the captors were overpowered without a shot being fired.
This in foreign policy establishment circles is called "hard power." In the Bush years, hard power is terribly out of fashion, seen as a mere obsession of cowboys and neocons. Both in Europe and America, the sophisticates worship at the altar of "soft power" -- the use of diplomatic and moral resources to achieve one's ends.
Europe luxuriates in soft power, nowhere more than in l'affaire Betancourt in which Europe's repeated gestures of solidarity hovered somewhere between the fatuous and the destructive. Europe had been pressing the Colombian government to negotiate for the hostages. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez offered to mediate.
Of course, we know from documents captured in a daring Colombian army raid into Ecuador in March -- your standard hard-power operation duly denounced by that perfect repository of soft power, the Organization of American States -- that Chavez had been secretly funding and pulling the strings of the FARC. These negotiations would have been Chavez's opportunity to gain recognition and legitimacy for his terrorist client.
Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe, a conservative and close ally of President Bush, went instead for the hard stuff. He has for years. As a result, he has brought to its knees the longest running and once-strongest guerrilla force on the continent by means of "an intense military campaign (that) weakened the FARC, killing seasoned commanders and prompting 1,500 fighters and urban operatives to desert" (Washington Post). In the end, it was that campaign -- and its agent, the Colombian military -- that freed Betancourt.
She was, however, only one of the high-minded West's many causes. Solemn condemnations have been issued from every forum of soft-power fecklessness -- the EU, the U.N., the G-8 foreign ministers -- demanding that Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe stop butchering his opponents and step down. Before that, the cause du jour was Burma, where a vicious dictatorship allowed thousands of cyclone victims to die by denying them independently delivered foreign aid lest it weaken the junta's grip on power.
And then there is Darfur, a perennial for which myriad diplomats and foreign policy experts have devoted uncountable hours at the finest five-star hotels to deplore the genocide and urgently urge relief.
What is done to free these people? Nothing. Everyone knows it will take the hardest of hard power to remove the oppressors in Zimbabwe, Burma, Sudan and other godforsaken places where the bad guys have the guns and use them. Indeed, as the Zimbabwean opposition leader suggested (before quickly retracting) from his hideout in the Dutch embassy -- Europe specializes in providing haven for those fleeing the evil that Europe does nothing about -- the only solution is foreign intervention.
And who's going to intervene? The only country that could is the country that in the last two decades led coalitions that liberated Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Having sacrificed much blood and treasure in its latest endeavor -- the liberation of 25 million Iraqis from the most barbarous tyranny of all, and its replacement with what is beginning to emerge as the Arab world's first democracy -- and having earned near-universal condemnation for its pains, America has absolutely no appetite for such missions.
And so the innocent languish, as did Betancourt, until some local power, inexplicably under the sway of the Bush notion of hard power, gets it done -- often with the support of the American military. "Behind the rescue in a jungle clearing stood years of clandestine American work," explained The Washington Post. "It included the deployment of elite U.S. Special Forces ... a vast intelligence-gathering operation ... and training programs for Colombian troops."
Upon her liberation, Betancourt offered profuse thanks to God and the Virgin Mary, to her supporters and the media, to France and Colombia and just about everybody else. As of this writing, none to the United States.
Death-wish values in Oregon
I am on the MAX Red Line light rail car going from downtown Portland to the Airport. Some things socialists do better. Among them are public transportation, recycling, French poetry readings, yoga, coffee, artisan food and arthouse cinema. Would it that the counterscale were not so much more loaded.
We are leaving Zinnlandia, after all - that great land of the Pacific Northwest, rich in good wine, including zinfandel, and other bounties of nature. Howard Zinn and his doppelg,nger, Noam Chomsky, are to the coastal zones of this blessed land what St. Patrick is to the Emerald Isle. And, like Finlandia, Jutlandia and Hollandia, Zinnlandia too has much Northern European DNA. Zinnlandia is in Amerikka - that racist, capitalist land of injustice, sexism, specieism, lookism, theism, militarism and homophobia. As a material and cultural Marxist, and skillful propagandist, Zinn - a master of sieving American history for its worst nuggets - is the perfect avatar for the self-flagellating white inhabitant of this land.
A Zinnlandian I met on this trip, a WASP physician endowed with the best education much money can buy, told me that he does not celebrate July 4th because the Declaration of Independence had been written by a slave owner and signed by other slave owners. He was just as hotly critical of the "racism" of Americans in dealing with the growing Muslim immigrant minority. The conversation unfolded over a bottle of Oregon Vino Pinko, with the likeness of a notorious Cuban mass murderer on the label.
Besides the pervasive lefty obtuseness as to the true nature of Che Guevara, there is one central paradox in this Zinnlandian, as there is in all of them. In the case of the good doctor, he donates his time and money to schools and clinics in Tanzania, where he has visited several times. And Tanzania, particularly Zanzibar, is a living memorial to the horrors of slave trafficking by Moslem Arabs and black Africans -- far larger and crueler than the slave trade that soiled the New World, preceding it by a thousand years, evident still in the 1960s, and ended only due to Western insistence.
So we have here a mind twisted into self-contradicting loops designed to screen out everything good about "us" and everything bad about "the other." This particular dhimmi-in-training has managed not only to block out all the greatness and goodness of the American Founding Fathers, and the merits of the nation that they launched, but also to overlook that his favorite country, Tanzania, exemplifies the horrors he purports to abhor and that, unlike America, it has hardly any countervailing merits.
Behavioral psychology has names for various information perception and analysis biases, but at least fifteen of those would have to be added to encompass the depth and width of the Zinnlandian's - let's not beat around the bush - craziness. Take, among others, the Bias Blind Spot, add some Omission Bias and Selective Perception, leaven with white racial guilt propaganda. Whip that into a mixture of Belief Bias, Selective Memory, Bandwagon Effect, Deformation Professionnelle and Disconfirmation Bias. Pour the mixture into a pie shell made of Neglect of Probability, My Side Bias, Optimism Bias and Positive Outcome Bias, and bake for 30 years in an oven designed specifically by mainstream media and the educational system to make that kind of dough rise. Voila!....
Of the 26 riders in my light rail car, three seem Latino. One, who looks illegal to me, sleeps sprawled over a fat, natural blonde. The other two are more established, judging from their new shaves and clothes and their $150 Timberland boots. This in contrast to the rest of the passengers, all lower middle class whites, half of whom wear flip-flops. Such flimsy footwear on people who will soon be shuffling in long security lines and dragging heavy suitcases through crowded airports bespeaks of thoughtless insouciance. These people cannot imagine a hard heel stepping on their exposed toes, let alone a soft "diversity," voluntarily imported, rising to stomp on their faces, one day.
Starting right here, in this car. "An assault by five teenagers on a North Portland MAX train this week revived worries about mass transit safety since several high-profile incidents last winter," reads the opening paragraph in The Oregonian's news today. The story goes on, "Teenage boys and girls punched, used racial epithets and stole the purse of a 28-year-old Vancouver woman who was taking her first-ever MAX ride early Monday evening. The woman, who is white, had just had a conversation with the teens, who are African American and were harassing another woman".
It's uncharacteristic for the progressive press of this progressive town - just what are they progressing toward? - to disclose the racial identity of violent perps, since this could dent the very foundation on which Zinnlandia and all postmodern Western civilization are built on: that all people, and all racial, ethnic, gender and national groups of people, are equal in their proclivities, abilities and merits, and are equally deserving of uncritical acceptance. They just have different "narratives," you see. But it's interesting how gingerly the racial identity is mentioned, when it is, with what curious, for a newspaper, waste of words. The story could have opened, after all, "An assault by five black teenagers on a North Portland MAX train this week. etc".
As to the "several high-profile incidents last winter," the story is less forthcoming. The reader is reminded that "a 16-year-old boy" was just sentenced to 91/2 years in prison for pounding a 71 year-old man with a baseball bat at another stop of this rail system. The account does not mention that the "boy's" name was Abel Chavez-Garcia and his smashing the old (and white) man, Laurie Lee Chilcote, to pulp was also accompanied by racial taunts. One has to fish through another article to find out about the hoodlum that he is an illegal alien. And it takes yet another, much earlier article to find out that Mr. Chilcote, whom the savage "Hispanic" punk has gifted with, among others, partial paralysis, double vision, dimmed hearing and a speech impediment is so brainwashed, good Oregonian that he is, that the only question he voiced after the attack was "what would make a teenager swing a baseball bat at an elderly man." (1)
The story then goes on to remind the reader that "Weeks after the beating, a 19-year-old man was stabbed in the chest at the Rockwood Transit Center, and on Christmas Eve a woman was groped at a MAX stop in Gresham." Curious about the identity of the stabber and the groper I do a little research on my laptop, soon after arriving at the Departures lounge of the PDX Airport terminal.
The groper - and it was a full-fledged assault - was a Mario Santiago-Montelongo. More extensive research, later, reveals that Santiago-Montelongo, who got 22 months in prison for this assault, is a Mexican illegal immigrant (2).
I cannot find anything more about the stabber, though the report implies that the police are in possession of such information (3). But a paragraph mentioning this crime also informs that four days after this stabbing "Thaymon Earl Watson, 19, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for stabbing to death a 19-year-old in December 2006 at a Gresham transit station." So we have here another activist minority, though this one homegrown.
In the course of my 15-minute visit with Google, I also find out that on January 08, 2008 a Mr. Mynor Guerra Perez, 29, tried to force a woman into the trunk of an automobile and stabbed her in the stomach and left chest. The stabbing caused a lockdown at three Beaverton schools. Also on the same date, in the same supersprawling Latino magnet town, a 46-year-old woman was assaulted in her bed by a night invader. Although the man has fled, his sketch, based on the woman's description, leaves little doubt as to the wonders of the great mosaic of our strength in diversity.
A few months earlier, a 40-year-old was stabbed in the stomach on a crowded bus of the same transit system. Although it's certain that witness testimony was recorded as to the race of the stabber, the news report prefers to avoid a "sensitive subject," but still tips off the knowing by noting that the perp was wearing a white do-rag. The same television station reports of a fight on another TriMet bus: "When police showed up, they saw several people running from the bus and heard several shots fired." There must have been something else the police noted about the fleeing perps, but it's not disclosed.
And in Hillsboro, "police are looking for two teenagers who attacked a Gresham man near a MAX station last week. The teens reportedly followed him and beat him with their fists, rocks and chunks of concrete. The suspects are described as teen males, 16 or 17 years old." No, they must have been described otherwise too. And it's far from irrelevant. Also in Hillsboro, a "16- and 15-year-old" were arrested for attacking two boys near a MAX station. One of the victims had a fractured skull after being hit on the head with a hammer. Could there have been a common denominator for the attackers other then their teen age?
It seems endless. "Sixteen-year-old Joe Crane is afraid to ride Portland's MAX light-rail. Four years ago he was attacked on a MAX platform near the Lloyd Center. And recently he was jumped at night by three men, who pulled him off the MAX, kicked him in the head and stole his wallet, cash and cell phone." At the end of the story, there is a reference to surveillance camera footage "as pictured above." What's "pictured above" are three young black men pouncing on Joe Crane like beasts of prey on a cornered doe.
The article goes on to blame the transit police for its insufficient presence. Such arguments are now ubiquitous in the Portland media's editorials, demanding more funding, more TV cameras, better lighting, better inter-agency cooperation. Everything is discussed, everything is noted - except for the 10-ton rhinoceros wearing a tutu and, balanced on his horn, spinning pirouettes right in the middle of the room. For what is required is a better populace, not better lighting. And to have a better populace, its rotten part must be clearly identified, watched, and punished for every crime committed, to the full extent of the law. Punished and cordoned off from society, rather then left to the "compassionate" ministrations of the social saboteurs proliferating among the ruling, clueless and cowardly Western elites.
And inasmuch as young blacks and `Hispanics' in America produce a widely disproportionate number of criminals, a normal people would demand of its quisling leaders that police and security forces employ crime profiling - including by race, gender, nationality and religion - and that Hispanic criminals be headed off a lot more effectively at the border, rather than courted by US presidential contenders once they have jumped the fence. But we are still in denial relative to even the first part of the solution, identification. The media are either staying clear of the issue or engaging in its active camouflage. Mute white politicians, police chiefs and judges are being attacked vociferously for the disproportionate number of blacks in prison, as though that, per se, were proof of pervasive white racism rather than of pervasive black criminality.
America's presumptive president, BH Obama, and all black political leaders and TV talking heads distort every possible crime statistic, with no national politician, even from the allegedly "conservative" wing of the Republican Party, putting them on the spot for it. The black demagogues, and their enablers such as Mr. Obama, shift blame from black criminals onto white "racism," faults in the law and its application, society etc. The racial "healing" and coming together Mr. Obama sells on the stump is a veiled promise that inconvenient truths will no longer be tolerated, and a trillion dollars more will be dumped down the drain for a "cure" of the willfully imaginary social "causes" of black and brown crime.
For black and Hispanic crime is not the result of poverty or of racism. One is safe walking among the poor in Thailand, the disfranchised Ainu in Japan, or the downtrodden Jews still living among Moslems. Until the crazies took over Islam again, for the nth time in history, a white person could walk - and this author did walk- through the poorest sections of Arab cities without fearing for one's life. One may sometimes suffer violence at the hands of unemployable young sociopaths in white-only precincts of Birmingham or Bratislava, but murder and serial rape are not a feature of everyday life there.
Everyday, in the U.S., in Great Britain and elsewhere in the West, there are headlines attesting to barbarity, reflexive violence, lack of any moral restraints and grave societal danger posed by large numbers of blacks, Mexicans and Central Americans, Albanians and other Moslem immigrants living among people of Euro-Christian ancestry. When one reads a headline, "Pack of cigarettes ignites 200-person ruckus at Fort Myers gas station," it no longer matters whether the race is mentioned or the photos shown, because everyone knows. Or does he?
Two young white men in Dallas are locking up their fledgling recording studio. The men and the studio are devoted to Christian causes. Two young black men drive up and ask for a cigarette. A conversation develops that lasts 30 minutes. With this man, who then pulls out a gun and executes the white innocents for a take of $2.
For white Westerners born in the last 50 years are all honorary Zinnlandians. They have grown up indoctrinated to squash their own survival impulses, to be ashamed for preferring their own people and culture, to admire the "authentic" and "noble" savage.....
Perhaps the time has come to give more attention to the existential AIDS that has disabled the immune system of the West. There is nothing intrinsically worse about Moroccans, Mexicans or Memphis blacks than there was in 1950. What has changed is the cultural immune system of the Euro-ethnics around the world. The Moroccan in 1950 did not live in Amsterdam, and the Mexican did not in Portland. They wouldn't and couldn't. The black was in Memphis then and now, but in 1950 he had the church if he was a good man, and long-term, harsh prison if he was not. Nowadays such institutions grate on the Zinnlandian sensibility.
Opportunistic infections do not penetrate but decaying organisms. Non-discrimination as the central organizing principle of Western society does to a body politic what AIDS does to a living body.
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.