Thursday, December 31, 2009
After the Airline Bomb Scare, Is It Time to Start Ethnic Profiling at Airports?
This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 28, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated
ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: In the "unresolved problem" segment tonight, is political correctness to blame for allowing that would-be bomber from Nigeria on the Northwest Airlines plane? Think about it. The guy was on a watch list. He paid cash for his ticket. He had no luggage. Meantime, elderly grandmothers are getting stripped searched before they can board. Is it time to start profiling passengers?
Joining us now is Ann Coulter, author of the book "Guilty: Liberal Victims and their assault in America" now in paperback. And from L.A., Matthew Littman, a former senior advisor for the Obama campaign.
Ann, I'm going to start with you. Boy, you know, so what if we profile? They're trying to kill us. Jihadists are doing whatever they can, pulling things out of the book trying to kill us. And it's like we're fighting with one or two hands behind our back. Profiling, good or bad?
ANN COULTER, ANNCOULTER.COM: No, I've been a big proponent of it for quite some time. I mean, we should have started 20 years ago with the Pan Am flight 103 that went down over Lockerbie. We certainly should have started after 9/11. And instead, as always happens when there is a terrorist attack like this, there are a billion inconvenient procedures put on two million passengers a day only in the United States. Think of this. For seven years, we've been opening our computers, turning over lip gloss, taking off sweaters and jackets. And this guy gets through? And now they have more useless procedures they're coming up with, not allowing passengers to go to the bathroom for the last hour of the flight. Well, okay. Blow it up two hours before the flight lands. Ending the in flight entertainment. Allowing no one to have anything on a lap during that last hour. It's just - it's - it is the perfect solution from politicians who don't have to fly commercial air and let the rest of us be treated like sheep for no purpose whatsoever.
BOLLING: Right. Matthew, what about it? So what if I profile a guy who is really, you know, I mean, let's face it. There are Islamism jihadists out there. I don't hear the Christian groups looking to blow planes up over Yemen.
MATTHEW LITTMAN, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: Right.
BOLLING: Why is that such a bad thing?
LITTMAN: Well, first, I actually am surprised myself. I did agree with some of what Ann said, which shocks me. But I think in this case, it's just a question of more competence rather than profiling. I mean, this guy was on a list of a few hundred thousand people as a potential terrorist. So he is somebody who should have been stopped at the airport, fully searched and not allowed to fly into the United States. We don't need anybody on that list to fly into the United States.
So, I don't think it's necessarily an issue of profiling. I think it's an issue of competence. And right now, look, Ann is right. For seven years, we've had to take off our shoes at the airport. Can't go to the bathroom for the last hour of a flight. You know, we keep getting lucky with some of these terrorists that they're incompetent that the guy chose not to blow up the plane from the bathroom, but went to his seat. I have no idea why. Maybe to make a bigger deal out of it, but we're lucky in that they're incompetent. We're not always going to be lucky.
LITTMAN: We have to be able to - I'm sorry.
BOLLING: Well, no, let me throw it over to Ann real quick. You know, we have three Navy Seals in January, who are going to go to trial and try not to be court martialed for trying to get some information out of a man...
BOLLING: ...who killed four people in Iraq. So, again. Go ahead, go ahead.
COULTER: I mean, we also have, you know, the Army doctor at Fort Hood, who had been talking about how we need to cut - it's his religious duty to cut off the heads of infidels and pour hot oil down their throats. And the war on terrorism is a war on Islam.
The problem is, I mean, it isn't just competence. Once you start down the line of saying we not only will not consider whether the Army doctor is a crazed radical Islamist, or whether the passenger who bought his ticket with cash in Nigeria and who's own father has warned us, it's -- once you start (INAUDIBLE) will not consider whether the person is an Islamic radical, you inevitably end up with the situation we're in now.
And I also would like say, especially with a former Obama advisor on the program, I mean, this is - this was part of the selling point of for Obama liberal. Andrew Sullivan pointed out, you know, what are these radical Islamists going to do when they look and see the president of the great Satan. And you know, he has brown skin. And he attended madrassas. And he talks about how he's so moved by the call to prayer five times a day. He used to hear in Indonesia. If anyone can say we're going to look for radical Islamists, it ought to be President Obama. If he does that, if he institutes racial profiling at the airports, I'll vote for him.
Bowing to Muslim demands for special treatment just encourages the fanatics
Generally speaking, showing respect to other cultures and religions is a great virtue that can create peace and harmony among different civilizations. However, it is vital to distinguish between, for example, traditional dancing and the stoning of women until death as parts of various cultures. Tolerance for the former is useful; however, tolerance of the latter is entirely destructive. It is also fundamental to know the effects of respecting some cultural or religious aspects on those who belong to the culture or follow a particular faith. There is a delicate balance between showing respect and showing weakness to some cultures.
For example, after the publishing of the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad by the Danish newspaper in late September of 2005, there were no violent demonstrations by Muslims for a four-month period. The violent response to the cartoons occurred in early February of 2006; only 72 hours after the magazine apologized for publishing the cartoons. This apology was likely perceived by radical Muslims as weakness, and thus initiated a wave of Islamic violence that spread to many parts of the world.
Similarly, making concessions to Islamic Shariah law can serve as a provocation to radical Islam, as it gives the radicals the impression that the West should bow to their Islamic laws. These radicals will remain unsatisfied until the West complies with all of their demands to practice additional aspects of Islamic Shariah law, including cruel punishments and discrimination against women, gays and non-Muslims.
For example, if the decision-makers in U.S. were to accept that Muslim taxi drivers should be allowed to refuse to transport passengers carrying dogs or alcohol with them on the grounds that doing so is "un-Islamic" (as Muslim taxi drivers demanded in Minneapolis in 2007), then these decision-makers should also be ready to exempt other Muslims from paying taxes in the U.S., assuming that the Muslims considered paying such taxes "un-Islamic"! Are the decision-makers here ready to allow this to happen under the banner of religious freedom?
Another crucial point in this regard is the question of how much we should change our laws to accommodate the Islamists' demands. Making concessions to Shariah law is a potentially endless process that could ultimately result in the passage of unconstitutional and barbaric laws within the U.S. If every religious group in the U.S. is allowed to practice its own tribal or religious law instead of constitutional law, then the whole notion of a unified country will no longer exist.
In addition, the decision-makers in the U.S. need to realize that allowing mosques inside secular institutes such as universities was one of the earliest steps that aggravated the phenomenon of Islamism in other parts of the world, as it allowed radicals to have easy access to, and enough time to meet with and radicalize, motivated young Muslims. The U.S. must be aware of this possibility and reject the Islamization of its secular institutes under the banner of religious freedom.
In 2008, to accommodate Muslim students, Harvard tried having women-only gym hours. This could be seen as a form of discrimination against male students, who had to change their workout schedules as a result of the new policy. This is a clear form of sex discrimination. Furthermore, what if the Muslim students ask that gays not be permitted in the gym at any time, as homosexuality is a grave sin in Islam? Will the university bow to this as well to respect the religious demands of such Muslims?
Harvard should be also ready to apply the same principle if some followers of a certain faith ask the university one day to prevent Muslims from entering the gym as, in their view, the presence of Muslims in the gym offends their feelings and goes against their religious values. In such a case, would the university also accommodate the religious demands of this religious group -- just as it accepted the demands of Muslim students -- and prevent Muslims from entering the gym? The only way to get out of this dilemma is to ask both Muslims and non-Muslims to fit themselves within the non-discriminatory framework of the university.
In brief, accepting the idea that our constitutional laws can be broken to satisfy the Muslim population can actually open the gate for both discrimination against non-Muslims and the practice of many unconstitutional and inhumane Shariah laws.
We also need to distinguish between religious values, such as fasting, that predominantly affect the person who practices them, and those religious values that have a negative effect on others. The U.S. must insist that Muslims here practice their faith and fit it within the borders of the American legal system, and not the other way around.
PC Brigade's threat to Britain's fire service: Harman's 'equality' drive will discriminate against middle-class areas
Fire stations in middle-class neighbourhoods are set to close under 'class war' plans being drawn up by Harriet Harman. The Equality Bill being pushed by Labour's deputy leader will impose on councils the duty to allocate fire protection on the basis of social class. The Bill, described as 'socialism in one clause', has already created controversy by forcing local authorities to tackle 'socio-economic disadvantage' when making decisions on 'spending and service delivery'.
But ministers have admitted it also means fire chiefs will also have to prioritise the poor when drawing up plans. The theory is poorer areas need better cover because they tend to suffer from a greater number of fires owing to the worse state of their homes and a lack of smoke alarms.
Fire authorities are funded by a levy on council tax - and middle-income homes already pay more for their fire cover through having higher council tax bills. Yet fire chiefs could be forced to downgrade fire stations and their equipment in middle-income areas in order to concentrate their limited cash on the threat of 'chip pan fires' in poorer neighbourhoods.
The new rules will affect around half of the fire authorities in England and Wales - and Miss Harman is actively considering extending them to all authorities. Michael Foster, a minister in Miss Harman's Government Equalities Office, revealed in a Parliamentary answer: 'The duty will apply to local authorities, and therefore to fire and rescue authorities (FRAs) where these form part of a local authority. 'We are discussing with the Fire and Rescue Service and other appropriate stakeholders whether the duty should be extended to all FRAs.'
The plans will first hit fire authorities in shire areas with county councils - namely Tory territory.
Miss Harman's plans are expected to exacerbate dramatically the number of fire station closures across rural and middle England.
Former deputy prime minister John Prescott made it easier to close stations as part of Labour's 'modernisation' process of the fire service. Fire chiefs were told to concentrate their efforts on 'local authority and housing association' properties, 'single parent families' and 'drug abusers'.
The Queen's local fire station in Windsor, Berkshire, is being closed at night - despite the devastating 1992 Windsor Castle fire.
The decision to impose the same obligations on fire chiefs as councils was quietly slipped through last month when the Equality Bill was making its way through the Commons. The Bill returns for its committee stage for three days in January, and officials say that Miss Harman is 'very determined' to see the legislation pass before the General Election. The Liberal Democrats have said they support the decision to extend inequalities obligations to the fire service.
But Caroline Spelman, Tory communities spokesman, said: 'The public will be shocked that Harriet Harman's new law may force cuts to local fire stations and fire protection for certain homes just because they don't tick the right box for Labour ministers. 'It is already the case that local fire stations have been axed thanks to Whitehall rules imposed by Labour. These proposals have nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with Labour's obsessive class war. 'Given fire coverage is paid for by a levy on council tax, every home deserves fair and proper coverage to keep families safe whatever their background. 'The public want to see fair play, not special treatment for narrow partisan advantage.'
The Government has justified the Equality Bill on the grounds that 'social class still holds a powerful grip over people's lives'. A spokesman for the Government Equalities Office said: 'Everyone benefits from a fairer, more equal society. The socio-economic duty is about providing fair opportunities for everyone, regardless of their background. 'It will not mean less resources, it will actually mean authorities will need to consider how they deliver their services.'
Teach Your Children to behave
Rampant discussion swirls through our society as to whether or not there has been a degradation of cultural values. The question of whether civility has been sacrificed to the altars of personal convenience and “non-judgmentalism” concerns many Americans who are entrusted to pass this value to future generations. If you want to see the struggle in its full majesty, enter one of our modern theatres of community interaction – the family restaurant.
Since the passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960s, the family restaurant has become a center of shared communality. There may be other places, but nothing allows multiple generations to interact across cultural and economic levels quite like a moderately-priced local restaurant. Unfortunately, the rules of civil behavior seem to be disintegrating before our very eyes. This devolution has manifested itself through our children.
It has become apparent that while today’s parents want to take their children to restaurants, they are often unwilling to instruct their kids how to properly behave in this public forum. It used to be that children would go to a restaurant and stay in their seats. If a child started to misbehave, one parent would take the youngster out of the restaurant until he (or she) settled down. Regrettably, that no longer appears to be standard behavior.
After observing frequent occurrences of children aimlessly walking, climbing over the back of seats and generally disrupting other diners’ peaceful enjoyment of their meals, it was time to consult the professionals and see if standards had really changed.
I started with the servers, and the large majority stated that they had observed a significant change in how parents control their children. Their general impression was that standards have slipped substantially, and they often feel frustrated and helpless as they watch parents allowing their kids to run rampant. Servers must often move through small spaces while carrying large food platters. They prefer – if only for everyone’s safety – that patrons stay out of their pathways. They are reluctant to confront parents because they’re concerned both about what management might say as well as the impact on their tips (which are often a significant portion of their compensation). So they leave the matter to management.
Management feels a little less helpless, but not much. One restaurant manager with 30 years in the industry described how basic manners have deteriorated in the past 15 years. Children, she said, frequently disrupt restaurant operations and the parents too often are unwilling to rein in their behavior. Managers, she continued, were in a difficult position because people don’t like to be told how to raise their kids. If the manager confronts the parent, they risk losing a loyal customer. But if they don’t, it’s the other patrons who start to get upset.
That sometimes leaves it to the customers themselves to make comments. Occasionally this occurs and a war can break out. One manager stated that she recently had to break up an argument between a regular customer seeking a peaceful meal and another patron unwilling to control their child. The manager had to arbitrate the dispute knowing that one of the customers would probably be lost for good. A choice had to be made and, unfortunately, the real loser was the restaurant.
This manager suggested that perhaps this was regional behavior, principally related to the loose interpretation of proper parenting often found in Southern California. But when the same question was asked of restaurant employees around the country, it was found that sadly, the manager was incorrect – in fact, bad behavior appears to be occurring everywhere. Parents appear increasingly unwilling to rope in their children, and fellow patrons are suffering the effects.
The importance of this is larger than one might first perceive. Children have often misbehaved at home, but parents would always make sure they respected others in a public forum. Last week, a friend related a story about his own children. He was told how well-behaved his kids were by someone who saw them frequently. The man replied that he wished they acted that nicely at home. But he didn’t really understand the larger issue – all children are challenging at home, but it’s most important how they act in public environments.
If children of today aren’t given any guidance about proper behavior in public, what will be their guideposts when they get older? How will they act when they go away to college or move away from home? If they aren’t taught by their parents that being considerate of others in public forums is essential behavior for a civil society, where and when will they learn?
Graham Nash wrote a song called “Teach Your Children” that had a different focus, but I suspect he would not have thought that our society would be faced with such basic challenges as controlling young children in public. If we cannot accomplish this as a society, where are we headed?
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 or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.