Thursday, June 11, 2009


The increasingly indispensable Muqata blog has published an impossible story.

As we know, those wild-eyed Jewish "settlers" living in Judea and Samaria--ohhh, pardon me, "the West Bank"--want nothing more than to expell all those Ayyrabs they can't murder, and of course steal their precious olive trees, goats and chickens. We know this because the lamestream media relentlessly pounds this into our heads, day after day, month after month, decade after decade. So how can we reconcile Jameel's story of dozens of "settlers"--joined by the equally eeeeeevil Israeli "occupation soldiers" --successfully working with Arab rescue teams to save the lives of several Arab passengers involved in an horrific car crash? As Jameel brilliantly notes:
"I've been present at accidents before where there was cooperation between Jews and Arabs in the West Bank. This wasn't the first time I've worked side by side with Palestinian Red Crescent EMTs. However, what struck me as unique was the teenage volunteers.

Teenagers in Israel volunteer for a myriad of activities -- among the popular ones in the settlements are Magen David Adom emergency medical service, and the Fire Department's Fire and Rescue service. These teens spend their free time helping others in some of Israel's most mission critical assignments; saving lives. These teenagers came as part of the ambulance and fire rescue crews and cooperated fully, professionally, and ethically -- as one would expect.

Except: These same teenagers were the exact same ones on the Outpost hilltops...the Ramat Gilad hilltop I posted about last week. The same teenagers vilified by Israel's Leftist establishment.

The same settler teenagers who build the land and defend the land, are the same ones who save lives...of Jews and Arabs alike."
Well said.

I must take issue with one assertion of Jameel, who wrote that it was "irrelevant" that all of the victims were "Palestinian." No, amigo, it is NOT irrelevant when the multitudinous forces of evil of the world, mindlessly assisted by the even more multitudinous cowards and moral cretins, are constantly accusing you of genocide, attempted genocide, and conspiracy to commit genocide against the noble Balesdinian beoble.

When America's disgusting and disgraceful President spewed out his recent 17-hours-long "address to the Muslim world" in Cairo, he didn't take issue with one single blood libel, didn't ridicule a single insane anti-Jewish Arab rumor, didn't knock down a single vulgar lie propagated by the gutter Arab press. So publishing truthful, day-in-day-out stories like this, and specifically noting the good works of those eeeeeevil settlers towards the Balesdinians, is NOT irrelevant. It needs to be said, if only to make up for the intellectual vacuum left by our morally cretinous President and his Judenrat/collaborator posse.


Genetic links in a criminal chain

THE idea that a person's genes or hormones can lead to criminal behaviour has long been out of favour and provokes hostility among most criminologists. Yet startling discoveries in genetics and neurology that have prompted a biological turn in other social sciences also have led to the emergence of a subfield incriminology.

Biocriminology, or biosocial criminology, emerges from the shadows of eugenics and social Darwinism, long condemned as pseudo-scientific and vilified for stoking the German Nazi movement.

In the late 19th century, Italian "father of criminology" Cesare Lombroso claimed he could prove scientifically that criminality was inherited and criminals uncurable. For him they were evolutionary throwbacks who could be identified by "atavistic stigmata" such as beaked noses, fleshy lips and shifty eyes: features suspiciously suggestive of race. As recently as the 1960s the criminal "feeble-minded" in American asylums were forcibly sterilised.

Such precursors do not benefit biocriminology, the study of how biological and social causes of crime intersect. While the biosocial approach is only nascent, it "promises to dominate criminology and other behavioral sciences for decades to come", writes Nicole H. Rafter, a senior research fellow of criminal justice at Northeastern University in Boston, the US, in her recent book, The Criminal Brain: Understanding Biological Theories of Crime (New York University Press, 2008). Her reasoning: The new biosciences are coming on so strong that criminology will be unable to ignore them. Rafter's book attempts to describe the new field and separate the wheat from the chaff. While she finds that a good deal of the new research consists of naive attempts to dip into large surveys of social and biological information and pull out statistically significant links, on balance, she says, the new approaches hold great promise.

By taking into account that humans are not just social and cultural creatures but biological ones, too - in fact, biologically inclined to be social and cultural - criminologists will learn more about the sources of crime, she says, and that should lead to better policy.

Rather than insisting that biological and character traits are hard-wired into individuals and groups, biocriminologists wish to explore the interactions of human biology and environments - both staggeringly complex - and how various conditions may influence any biological predispositions people may have.

"The environment is still critically important," says Kevin M. Beaver, an assistant professor of criminology at Florida State University in the US. "Genes and environment are completely entwined."

Beaver enjoys a reputation as the most prolifically published biocriminologist. His work is designed to clarify why only some people with particular genetic or social characteristics commit crime. That has led him and several US colleagues - including Matt DeLisi, of Iowa State University; Michael G. Vaughn, of Saint Louis University; and John P. Wright, of the University of Cincinnati - to study large databases of biological and social information. Beaver and his colleagues have looked, for example, at the interactions between experiences such as childhood sexual abuse or contact with the criminal justice system and biological factors such as whether subjects possess genes that have been associated with aggression or low self-control.

They emphasise that links between behaviour and such interactions do not mean that those interactions lead inevitably to criminality; rather, the links identify what is possible or probable. That, they say, is how their approach differs from the determinism of eugenics.

Biocriminology has been criticised, in fact, for lacking focus and methodological rigour and for taking on a broad range of phenomena, including whether people with certain genes also have low heart rates or levels of the hormone cortisol, itself associated with aggression. Studies have focused on chromosomal, neurological and hormonal abnormalities, drug and alcohol abuse and poor diet. All those factors, biological and social, may interact to make criminal behaviour likelier, biocriminologists argue.

Beaver and others in the field say they have been inspired by pioneers such as psychologists Terrie E. Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi, who both hold appointments at Duke University in the US and King's College London, and Adrian Raine of the University of Pennsylvania in the US. The work of Raine, a professor of criminology, psychiatry and psychology, suggests how complex the new approaches can and perhaps need to be. Using brain imaging and neuroendocrinology, he focuses on how conditions including poverty and mental illness may provoke traits such as aggression and antisocial personality disorder.

Only one or two dozen biocriminologists are publishing actively. But many graduate students, reared in the age of genetics and neuroscience, are flocking to the field, despite its lack of institutional strongholds.

Publishers report strong sales of books and journals in the field. But mainstream criminologists are not eager to adopt biosocial perspectives. Beaver says that peer reviewers for criminology journals have objected to his articles on ideological grounds. He often publishes in other kinds of journals, including publications devoted to public health and to psychology.

Simon A. Cole, an associate professor of criminology, law and society at the University of California at Irvine, says he and other mainstream criminologists are likelier simply to ignore the articles that are published by biocriminologists. "They are almost never cited by anyone other than the authors themselves," he says.

Looking for biological causes of criminal behaviour is a waste of time and money, says Cole. "Even a cursory glance at the phenomenon we call crime would suggest that, if it is caused by gene-environment interactions, the environment seems to be doing a whole lot more work than the genes," he says. The exception may be the "sociopathic, Hannibal Lecter-type murderer" who is "essentially irrelevant from a public policy perspective".

Biocriminologists, he adds, are on an age-old holy grail quest for a ready developmental, psychological, and biological explanation of all antisocial behaviours and disorders. But putting biology in the foreground will usher in "cheap, technical, pharmaceutical solutions that allow government to once again evade addressing the causes of the overwhelming majority of criminal acts: poverty, inequality and other social conditions", he says.

Exactly, says Jeff Ferrell, a professor of sociology at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, US, and editor of the New York University Press series Alternative Criminology. The discipline's main goal, he says, has been to explain that what societies take to be delinquent or criminal behaviour is constructed out of elaborate, complex cultural forces that include, among other things, folk tales, mass media and changing legal codes. Biocriminology, by looking inside human bodies rather than at the inherent ambiguity of crime's social context, "strikes me as misguided at a minimum, if not morally and politically questionable", he says.

Even some biocriminologists question their field. Among them is Guang Guo, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who has expertise in the biosciences that is rare among biocriminologists. In 2008 he and colleagues published a paper based on data in the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, an extensive, federally financed survey of social, environmental and biological factors begun in 1994 and much mined by biocriminologists. His findings, he says, were modest and led him to take stock of some difficult issues in biocriminology.

One was that while the biosciences require an extremely high level of statistical significance in findings of, say, genetic links to disease, biocriminologists accept weak indications of causation. A second stumbling block appeared crippling - small population samples yield questionable results, yet, as sample sizes grow, researchers are less able to control for environmental factors that may influence behaviours.

Some practitioners of the new approaches worry, along with their critics, that demagogues could distort and misuse their findings. The danger is all the greater, they say, given how readily the public has accepted tools such as DNA testing.

Could the increasing sophistication of biological and behavioral information lead the public to accept early childhood screening for criminal tendencies and the medication of children with certain genes? To genetic engineering or the abortion of foetuses identified as having problematic genes or hormones? What may be done under the banner of "helping people"?

Certainly, says Rafter, the new findings will provoke policy debates. Some biocriminologists hope for a future study that would identify the genetic links to psychopathology. Others foresee contributions from another emerging field, social neuroscience, which studies how biological systems influence social processes and behaviours, such as the way that humans are able to think about one another's thoughts. "Unless suddenly the floor drops out of genetic and neuroscientific research, we'll probably continue to see the parallel trend in criminology," Rafter says.


In Cairo, the president pandered

by Jeff Jacoby

PRESIDENT OBAMA went to the Middle East, he said, to speak frankly and forthrightly about the issues that bedevil America's relations with the Muslim world. "Part of being a good friend is being honest," he had said in an interview just before his trip. He warned his Cairo audience that he intended to be blunt. "We must say openly the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors," he declared; so he was going to "speak as clearly and plainly as I can."

About some things, the president was indeed direct. He conveyed his impatience with those -- there are many in the Middle East -- who blame the 9/11 terrorist attacks on a Jewish or American conspiracy. "Let us be clear: Al-Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day" and "the victims were innocent men, women and children. . . . These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with."

He was even more scornful about Holocaust denial, which is also rife in the Arab world. "Six million Jews were killed" by Nazi Germany, Obama said -- "more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful."

Would that the rest of his remarks had been equally plain-spoken. As the first American president with Muslim roots, Obama benefits from much acclaim and goodwill in the Middle East. Rarely has a president had a better opportunity to openly address the pathologies and prejudices that drag Islamic societies backward, trapping so many of the world's Muslims in cultures that are unfree and unenlightened. As a candidate for president, Obama had argued that his experience of Muslim life gave him the moral authority to speak truth to Islamic power. "I can speak forcefully," he told The New York Times, "about the need for Muslim countries to reconcile themselves to modernity in ways they have failed to do."

Alas, that is just what he didn't do. Instead Obama pandered to his audience. He repeatedly praised Islamic history and teachings, repeatedly drew attention to American or Western shortcomings -- and repeatedly avoided speaking frankly about the dysfunctions in contemporary Islam.

He spoke of democracy, for example, but only in gauzy platitudes about "the freedom to live as you choose" and the need for "government of the people and by the people." Obama could have mentioned that democracy is almost entirely absent from the Arab world, or called for the release of imprisoned dissidents. He could have used his bully pulpit to urge an end to Egypt's repressive "state of emergency," which has lasted 28 years. He could have contrasted Iraq's hard-won constitutional democracy with the Middle East's ugly autocracies and dictatorships. He could have offered hope and encouragement to persecuted reformers and pro-democracy activists. Why didn't he?

"I want to address . . . women's rights," the president said, as well he might, given the appalling subjugation of women in so many Muslim countries. But about that subjugation -- the gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia, the fanatic misogyny of the Taliban, the widespread female genital mutilation, the "honor" killings of women who get pregnant out of wedlock -- he spoke not a word. The closest he came to denouncing the thugs who blow up girls' schools and murder their teachers was to observe tepidly that "a woman who is denied an education is denied equality." He disagreed, he said, with those who think "that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal." But what about women who are forced to wear a hijab? About them, Obama was silent.

Most astonishing of all, Obama never spoke the words "Islamist" or "Islamism." In a speech directed to Muslims worldwide, he made no effort to refute radical Islam's endorsement of global jihad. He spoke only of "extremists" -- as in "violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security" -- but said nothing about the totalitarian religious ideology that drives them. For Obama, speaking in the heart of the Arab world at a seat of Muslim learning, it was the perfect moment to strike an intellectual blow against radical Islam. It was the ideal venue to implore Muslims to rise up, vocally and en masse, against the jihadists who preach and commit violence in the name of Islam.

What the Brandenburg Gate was for Ronald Reagan in 1987, Cairo University could have been for Obama. Reagan seized the moment, spoke the truth, and helped liberate half a continent. All Obama did was give a speech.


Australia. Racial tensions in Sydney: Sydney police in denial

Indians are a generally polite and unaggressive people (remember Mahatma Gandhi's gospel of non-violence? The Mahatma is still revered throughout India) and that makes them targets for more predatory groups. In Melbourne the attacks on them mostly emanate from young African men but in Sydney it is young Lebanese Muslim men. In both cities the Indians know who their attackers principally are and have become hostile towards their oppressors. Only energetic police pursuit of all wrongdoers could quieten the situation but that looks like too much work to them

Progress in Victoria: Victoria's chief cop has now admitted that much of the violence is racial and is promising increased police action. We will believe that when the prosecutions of the attackers begin

Two people were arrested and more than 100 others were told to move on after an Indian community in Sydney's west held a protest against racial violence last night. Up to 150 Indian people from the community stormed the streets of Harris Park about 8 pm in protest against claims of years of racial slurs and attacks in the area. Police were forced to close of an entire block of Harris Park around Marion and Wigram Streets.

This comes after a young Indian men and some middle eastern men clashed in the same area on Monday night. They chanted "justice" as police told them to stay calm. At one point officers told a large group to walk away and when they refused threatened to arrest them for not complying. No-one was injured and talks are expected to be held with police about the violence in the area.

The Daily Telegraph spoke to the protesters last night, many of whom said they would form their own vigilante-like groups to patrol the streets at night. Harris Park local Kush Ghai, 22, said the local Indian community held the protest last night because they wanted more police protection after claims of years of racial abuse. "We want peace, justice and protection," Mr Ghai said. Sarabjot Singh, 25, said Indians living in Harris Park have been victimised for the last few years and accused police of doing nothing about it. "This (the attacks) is the story every day. But now we cant take it anymore," he said. By 10:30 pm, all the protesters had been moved on from the area by police.

Within hours of another great hosedown in this city - police declaring the disturbance in Harris Park on Monday was not race-driven - groups of Indians and Lebanese again began circling each other in the suburb's streets. Again police intervened to separate them and again it was hosed down as an incident of no great note.

Then this, from a Lebanese woman who walked into one of the few remaining Lebanese shops in Harris Park: "It has become unbearable." Her tolerance dead, she was speaking of the Indians who stand in the street when she wants to park her car and refuse to make way for her. "One of them attacked me one day," she said. "He left his car and came walking towards me and people were sitting there and they didn't even want to stop it."

She did not want to give her name. "I am not scared of giving my name but I have got no trust in them," she said. "Keep your distance. That's it."

The authorities' formal dismissal of Monday's incident as being of no great gravity has done exactly the reverse of what police and the NSW Government had hoped. It has inflamed tensions. Both populations now feel even more slighted by a society refusing to acknowledge their problem.

Across the road, Bhavin Jadav spoke for an Indian population feeling persecuted by young Lebanese men. He said Indian students are seen as a "soft target" by these men, who prey on their civility. "That's why they attack Indian students, they don't believe in violence," he said. He was robbed last year when a group of Lebanese men took mobile phones and wallets from his group of friends. Then, just the other day, a petrol bomb was launched at an Indian home on Albion St. The Lebanese are the problem, he said, with much the same authority in his voice as Joseph Gitani when he declared: "It's mini-Bombay, to be honest with you."

Mr Gitani is 49 and was born in Australia but is of Lebanese descent. Yesterday he went to the scene of Monday's disturbance. As each side vented its anger at the other, a 16-year-old Lebanese boy was at home, sleeping off the night before. With three friends, he was returning from dropping a girlfriend at home when they turned into a group of 300 protesting Indians. As bad timing goes, this about tops it. The Indians were drawing attention to another racial attack they believe went unrecognised earlier that evening. According to Mr Jadav, about 15 Lebanese men had attacked a young Indian man walking in Wigram St. "Just near those three cars," he said.

So the Indian population rallied, peaking when a car carrying young Lebanese men turned into their path. The Indians rocked their car until eventually a door was opened and the 16-year-old was hauled out. Two others were also dragged out, while the last broke free. All were punched and kicked and eventually ended in hospital with superficial injuries. They were shouting, "You Lebanese bastards," said Joseph Gitani, who, like everybody - on both sides - has had enough. It was his son being attacked.



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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