Monday, September 08, 2008

Stupid British "human rights" laws give free rein to a monster

An Australian-raised English murderer and serial rapist sent back to Britain after his release from jail faces life behind bars after a sex attack on a pensioner. Simon Wilson, 50, who was deported after his release from a Queensland jail in January, yesterday pleaded guilty in a London court to three charges, including rape, relating to an April attack. Wilson migrated to Canberra with his family as a toddler. After becoming a drifter, he committed 77 offences in Australia, including a killing and six rapes - one in Melbourne.

He was released in January after serving 16 years for the murder of Mackay spinster Joan Randell and deported under tough Australian laws on foreigners who abuse their residency. The detective who dealt with the case described Wilson as a "freak" who needed constant supervision and should never be allowed to return to society. But in Britain, his case was found not to meet criteria for any control orders, leaving him free to go where he pleased. Authorities were also powerless to force Wilson to sign the sex-offender register when he refused to do so. He agreed to meet police and agencies regularly, though lack of resources meant he could not be placed under 24-hour surveillance.

In April, Wilson attacked a 71-year-old woman on her doorstep in central London, slashing her face and body as he tried to rape her. Yesterday, Wilson stared at the ground as he mumbled his guilty pleas in an Australian accent. Prosecutor Constance Briscoe told the court: "We will certainly be making submissions at sentence that this defendant is highly dangerous and ought not to be released in the future." Wilson was remanded in custody until October 10 for a pre-sentence report.

In 2005, 66-year-old Robert Excell returned after 37 years in an Australian jail for child sex convictions. In March, prolific pedophile Raymond Horne, 61, was deported from Australia, where he had lived for more than 50 years. This is in marked contrast to Britain, where criminals such as Italian-born Learco Chindamo, who moved to Britain aged five and went on to kill teacher Philip Lawrence, cannot be deported because of his human rights.

Tory MP Philip Davies said: "Our policies in this country should be more in tune with the way the Australians do it. "They have a zero-tolerance approach while we pussyfoot around. We are far too bothered about the human rights of criminals rather than the rights of citizens."


Most Leftists reject evolution too

In their usual inconsistent and dishonest way
"And the religious right has been the chief force against teaching evolution." (Quoted from Barbara Forrest, a Southeastern Lousiana University philosophy professor and prominent critic of creationist science.)
It's a widespread view, but true in only a narrow sense. People who say they are against teaching the theory of evolution are very likely to be Christian fundamentalists. But people who are against taking seriously the implications of evolution, strongly enough to want to attack those who disagree, including those who teach those implications, are quite likely to be on the left.

Consider the most striking case, the question of whether there are differences between men and women with regard to the distribution of intellectual abilities or behavioral patterns. That no such differences exist, or if that if they exist they are insignificant, is a matter of faith for many on the left. The faith is so strongly held that when the president of Harvard, himself a prominent academic, merely raised the possibility that one reason why there were fewer women than men in certain fields might be such differences, he was ferociously attacked and eventually driven to resign.

Yet the claim that such differences must be insignificant is one that nobody who took the implications of evolution seriously could maintain. We are, after all, the product of selection for reproductive success. Males and females play quite different roles in reproduction. It would be a striking coincidence if the distribution of abilities and behavioral patterns that was optimal for one sex turned out to also be optimal for the other, rather like two entirely different math problems just happening to have the same answer.

The denial of male/female differences is the most striking example of left wing hostility to the implications of Darwinian evolution, but not the only one. The reasons to expect differences among racial groups as conventionally defined are weaker, since males of all races play the same role in reproduction, as do females of all races. But we know that members of such groups differ in the distribution of observable physical characteristics--that, after all, is the main way we recognize them. That is pretty strong evidence that their ancestors adapted to at least somewhat different environments.

There is no a priori reason to suppose that the optimal physical characteristics were different in those different environments but the optimal mental characteristics were the same. And yet, when differing outcomes by racial groups are observed, it is assumed without discussion that they must be entirely due to differential treatment by race. That might turn out to be true, but there is no good reason to expect it. Here again, anyone who argues the opposite is likely to find himself the target of ferocious attacks, mainly from people on the left.

Next consider the whole nature/nurture debate, in which the left has, for half a century or more, mostly taken a strong pro-nurture position. It is hard to see how humans could have evolved intelligence if intelligence is not heritable.

Finally, consider the question of how maleable human nature is or isn't. It is not logically impossible that we evolved as general purpose computers, with all details determined by the program, not the hardware. But it does not seem likely, given the obvious advantages of hardwiring in whatever rules worked in the environment where we evolved. Nor does it seem plausible given that most of our evolutionary history predates human rationality, making it likely that humans retain quite a lot of pre-human traits.

To be fair, one of the most important supporters of the evolutionary view in this particular context is also a prominent left wing intellectual: Noam Chomsky. His professional reputation, after all, was largely due to convincing arguments for the proposition that human linguistic abilities were to a large extent hardwired. I am sure he is not the only example; it is possible to defend conclusions, left, right, libertarian, or other in a variety of different ways. Not everyone on the left rejects the conclusions of evolution, any more than all Christians do.

Nonetheless, I think there is a pretty clear pattern. Almost everyone on the left believes that he believes in evolution. Yet I find it hard to think of any proposition popular on the left that is deduced from that belief. And, as I think I have shown, important dogmas of much of the left are inconsistent with it.


Sarah Palin, Margaret Thatcher and the "sisters"

American feminists have always had a tough sell to make. To the rest of the world, no females on earth have ever had it as easy as middle-class American women. Cosseted, surrounded by labor-saving devices, easily available contraception and supermarkets groaning with food, their complaints have always seemed to have no relationship to reality.

Education was there for the taking. Marriages were not arranged. Going against social mores had no serious consequences. Postwar American women (excluding those mired in poverty or the odious restrictions of race) have always had the choice of what they wanted to be. They simply didn't decide to exercise it until it became more fashionable to get out of the home than to run it.

Sarah Palin has put the flim-flam nature of America feminism sharply into focus, revealing the not-so-secret hypocrisy of its code and, whatever her future, this alone is an accomplishment. As she emerged into the nation's consciousness, a shudder went through the feminist left-a political movement not restricted to females. She is a mother refusing to stay at home (good) who had made a success out in the workplace (excellent) whose marriage nevertheless is a rip-roaring success and whose views are unspeakable-those of a red-blooded, right-wing principled pragmatist.

The metaphorical hair stood up on the back of every licensed member of the feminist movement who could immediately see she was a monster out of a nightmare landscape by Hieronymus Bosch. Pro-life. Pro-oil exploration in Alaska, home of the nation's polar bears for heaven's sake. Smaller government. Lower taxes. And that family of hers: Next to the Clintons with their dysfunctional marriage, her fertility and sexually robust life could only emphasize the shriveled nature of the one-child family of the former Queen Bee of political female accomplishment.

Mrs. Palin's emergence caused a spasm in American feminism. Caste and class have always been ammunition in the very Eastern seaboard women's movement, and now they were (so to speak) loading for bear. Sally Quinn felt a mother of five had no business being vice president. Andrea Mitchell remarked that "only the uneducated" would vote for Mrs. Palin. "Choose a woman but this woman?" wrote Baltimore Sun columnist Susan Reimer, accusing Sen. McCain of using a Down's syndrome child as qualification for the VP spot.

The hypocrisy was breathtaking. Only nanoseconds before the choice of Mrs. Palin as VP put her a geriatric heartbeat away from the presidency, a woman's right to have a career and children was a shibboleth of feminism. One always knew that women with views that opposed those of official feminism were to be treated as nonwomen. To see it now out in the open was the real shocker.

The fact that this mom had been governor of a state was dismissed because it was a "small state," as was the city of which she had been mayor. Her acceptance speech, which knowledgeable left-wing critics feared would be effective, was dismissed before being delivered. She would be reading from a teleprompter. The speech would be good, no doubt, but written for her.

Had she been a man with similar political views, the left's opposition would have been strong but less personally vicious: It would have focused neither on a daughter's pregnancy, nor on the candidate's inability to be a good parent if the job was landed. In its panic, the left was indicating that to be a female running for office these days is no hindrance but an advantage, and admitting that there is indeed a difference between mothers and fathers that cannot necessarily be resolved by having daddy doing the diaper run.

All the shrapnel has so far been counterproductive. The mudslinging tabloid journalism-is Mrs. Palin the mother or grandmother of her Down's baby?-only raised her profile to a point where viewers who would never dream of watching a Republican vice-presidential acceptance speech tuned in.

Watching the frenzied reaction was deja vu from my years as a political columnist in Margaret Thatcher's Britain. Modern history's titan of female political life suffered a similar hatred, fuelled to a large extent by her gender. Mrs. Thatcher overcame it magnificently, but in the end, the fact was that she was female and not one of "them"-a member of the old boys' club of the Tory establishment-played a significant role in bringing her down.

She was bound to be disliked vehemently by the left once she began to reveal her agenda of deregulation, sensible industrial relations, and tax reduction. Still among most of her enemies this had to do more with her ideas than her ovaries at the beginning. It was the aristocracy of her own Conservative Party that could not bear the notion of being led by "that woman." "Until she became leader," says Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph and authorized biographer of Mrs. Thatcher, "it was assumed she could not be it because of her sex."

Mrs. Thatcher was originally given the education portfolio by Prime Minister Edward Heath, though she wanted to be Chancellor of the Exchequer, the equivalent of the U.S. Treasury Secretary. Education was considered a woman's job, and regarded as far less important than it would be today. In the education portfolio she was excluded from higher counsels and out of the way. When she challenged Heath for the party leadership in February 1974, at age 49, she turned the tables and used her gender to appeal to the gallantry of disaffected Tory backbenchers. "She's a very brave girl," they would say.

Mrs. Thatcher, a good-looking woman, used her sexual attractiveness to its legitimate hilt. She was known to flirt both with caucus members and the opposition, her face tilted girlishly in conversation. She succeeded politically with those leaders with whom she could flirt-including Ronald Reagan, Francois Mitterrand and most unlikely of all, Mikhail Gorbachev. Her stylish, hint-of-Dr. Zhivago wardrobe for a 1987 visit to the Soviet Union became something of a national obsession. Such attractiveness had the opposite effect on the Tory grandees. Books have been written on what it was that nurtured their contempt. After all, they were in the same political party, and their fortunes rested on her popularity.

No doubt part of the animosity arose from her origins as the daughter of a Grantham grocer, a woman whose home address was a street number rather than an estate with simply the house name. Lord Ian Gilmour of Craigmillar dismissed Mrs. Thatcher as "a Daily Telegraph woman"-code language for some ghastly suburban creature wearing a tasteless flowered hat. Winston Churchill's son-in-law, Christopher Soames, a man of much genuine intelligence, allegedly called her "Heath with tits"-an inaccurate and inelegant description, but one that captured exquisitely the contempt his class had for her. Both Gilmour and Soames were fired by Mrs. Thatcher in the housecleaning that took place during the late '70s and early '80s. But the core of High Tories remained active in the party waiting to bring her down.

The British feminist movement at that time was of little import. "I owe nothing to women's lib," Mrs. Thatcher remarked, thus assuring herself of a permanent place in their pantheon of evil. During her years in power, Mrs. Thatcher could and did use the rhetoric of home economics in a way a prudent male politician no longer dared do. Metaphors of kitchen and gender abounded in her speeches: "it is the cock that crows," she would say, "but the hen that lays the eggs."

Mrs. Thatcher would have recognized the guns aimed at Sarah Palin as the weapons of the left with feminist trigger-pullers. She also would have known that Mrs. Palin has less to fear from East-Coast intellectual snobs in egalitarian America than she had to fear from her own Tory base in class-prejudiced Britain. She would have told her to stand her ground and do her homework. Read your briefs, choose advisers with care, and, as she once said to me, my arm in her grip and her eyes fixed firmly on mine, "Just be yourself, don't ever give in and they can't harm you."

It wasn't quite true, of course. She did read her briefs, did stand her ground, and in the end they pulled her down, those grandees. But she made history. If a grocer's daughter can do it, a self-described hockey mom cannot be dismissed.


Sarah Palin and the Two Americas

Liberals have long lamented the existence of two nations in America. They are right to do so today, but in a way they never meant. It is not the divide between rich and poor which soon will be causing serious pain on the left. Sarah Palin's pending nomination for Vice President is exposing the depth of the cultural divide between Middle America and the leftists who have taken over the education, media, and cultural establishment of our country.

The announcement of Palin's selection by Senator McCain last Saturday reportedly triggered outright laughter in newsrooms across the land, a nearly unanimous opinion that she would be a disaster for McCain. To the sort of people who believe themselves sophisticated citizens of the world and feel a sense of pride at saving the planet by purchasing carbon offsets, a woman who has borne five children is incomprehensible. Add in moose-hunting, a champion snowmobiler husband and a pregnant 17 year old daughter, and the phrases "white trash" and "trailer trash" are deployed.

A desperate race is underway, with the liberal media scampering to define Sarah Palin to the public as a dangerous religious fanatic and naive hick, some kind of back woods primitive incapable of effectively discharging the awesome job of president, soon to be thrust upon her as John McCain expires right after his inauguration. Tonight, Governor Palin will have her opportunity to speak directly to the American people, and thanks to the blizzard of critical coverage, she will be no doubt attract an enormous audience.

She has the rarest of qualities: authenticity. Media and Beltway types can't fathom what that is. It goes right over their heads. Not even on the radar screen. Her multiple facets -- beauty queen, moose hunter, mother, member of an Assembly of God Church, and ferocious reformer of corrupt politics may baffle sophisticates, but ordinary Americans see all the pieces fitting together, and they recognize a type of person they know and love.

Think of Marge Gunderson, the fictional chief of police of Brainerd, Minnesota in the Oscar-winning movie Fargo, taken as a comic send-up by the swells in New York and Hollywood, with her Midwestern twang (shared by Sarah Palin), funny hat, and kitsch-artist husband. The kind of woman who probably rides snowmobiles with her husband, for crying out loud. Yet in the end, Marge Gunderson solved the murder despite the sneers of her betters in the Big City (Minneapolis), and won the hearts of movie audiences. Americans like their heroines full of common sense and spunk.

Sarah Palin is the ultimate All-American Girl, beautiful but not glamorous, powerful but unpretentious, high-powered but down-to-earth, a reformer who speaks up while others cower in fear of rocking the boat. Like Ronald Reagan, she can reach right through the television camera into people's minds and hearts. We recognize one of us.

The left, so wrapped in artifice and fakery, are driven crazy by this. Her behavior appears bizarre, inexplicable. In their minds, she is a disaster and they pretend to be gleeful, asking when McCain will dump her. All while panicking, because they can see the energized GOP base and the failure of Barack Obama to garner the ten-to-fifteen point post-convention bounce to be expected after his speech before the multimillion-dollar Greek temple set and fireworks at Invesco Field only 5 days ago. Those who planned the classical Greek theatrical stage never for second contemplated the possibility of a deus ex machina named Sarah.

So now they hurl ridiculous, self-discrediting accusations (the fantasy that Palin was not the mother of her baby Trig and was covering for her daughter was published by The Atlantic) and cannot understand that they won't work on a mom who's about to become a grandma while caring for a Down syndrome baby. They regard the public as fools to be manipulated, and know that with the MSM megaphone, they can sell practically anything. They turned Ken Starr from a vigorous prosecutor into a sex-obsessed fanatic, didn't they? The Chicago Annenberg Challenge remains unknown to the vast majority of voters.

Sarah Palin, a woman who took down the corrupt politicians dominating her state, may be a tougher nut to crack. She simply doesn't know her place, at least as others have constructed it. She does what's right and tells people what's on her mind. When you believe in the founding principles of the land and see yourself answerable to God, it reinforces an already steely will. If you happen to be gifted with brains, beauty, energy, health, and the charisma of a star, you might just pull off genuine reform.

Republicans are thrilled by what they see in Sarah Palin. Reform Republicanism with a younger generation in charge could knock the left out of power for a generation. The genius Bobby Jindal, out to reform Louisiana as Palin reformed Alaska, awaits the 2012 VP nomination with Sarah at the top of the ticket, if McCain wins this election. Suddenly the Republicans have a claim on being the vote for change.

Despite having been written off as a hopeless cause by political insiders and media know-it-alls, the Grand Old Party is about to renew itself amidst catcalls from the opposition. The same sort of swells who laugh at Sarah Palin as trailer trash categorized Ronald Reagan as an amiable dunce when in a charitable mood, spelled his name Ray-Gun, and felt ashamed to have a graduate of Eureka College, not some Ivy League campus, representing America on the world stage. Ronald Reagan never let the contempt of the cultural, literary and journalistic elites bother him. He simply spoke over their heads directly to the American people. And changed the world. In Sarah Palin, we may well have a figure able to do the same.



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 readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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