Sunday, December 13, 2009

Black crime in Britain: Stop shooting messengers and face the truth

Sometimes knowledge is uncomfortable. But it is the mark of a civilised society that we do not sweep it under the carpet

In 413BC a traveller sat down in a barber’s shop in Piraeus, the Athenian port, and readied himself for a shave. He commiserated with the locals for the loss of their recent military expedition to Syracuse. The horror dawned; the traveller was first with the news. The barber flung down his tools and ran to the city, crying the news. His reward? The Athenians refused to believe that their navy had been destroyed, that their sons and brothers were dead or working as slaves in Sicilian mines. As Plutarch tells us, the barber was “fastened to the wheel and racked”.

This is how we so often treat those who tell us the truth we do not want to hear. History is littered with examples of messengers being shot, tortured and pilloried, literally and metaphorically. To quote Sophocles’ Antigone: “No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.” To misquote Corporal Jones: “We don’t like it up us.”

We assume that we are different from our forefathers; more tolerant and more willing to allow uncomfortable truths to be aired. We have a liberal democracy and we congratulate ourselves on a commitment to freedom of speech. Yet when the truth sits uncomfortably with our notions of what is right, when it clashes with our dearly held notions of tolerance, we are as squeamish as any of our ancestors. Few are as intolerant as the self-consciously tolerant.

Vitriol, if not bodily torture, awaited the columnist Rod Liddle who wrote on a blog for The Spectator this week: “The overwhelming majority of street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London is carried out by young men from the African-Caribbean community.”

A predictable storm engulfed Liddle, with accusations of racism flying. Yet here are the statistics from the Ministry of Justice. Some 12 per cent of London’s population is black. In 2007-08 black people accounted for 31.2 per cent of arrests for violence against the person; 31.4 per cent of arrests for sexual violence; 58.1 per cent of arrests for robbery; 29.8 per cent for theft and handling; 39.8 per cent for fraud and forgery 22.1 per cent for criminal damage, 38.7 per cent for drugs.

Liddle’s phrase “overwhelming majority” may be a distortion for effect, but there is undoubtedly some awkward reading in these figures for a society that wants to be colour blind, and has honed its righteous anti-racism. But what do we do with these figures? Stick our fingers in our ears and hum the National Anthem? Ignoring the truth is an insult to the victims and the perpetrators of these crimes. Both are products of something rotten in the state of urban black culture. Only by confronting the truth can we hope to address it.

But we draw away, afraid of the consequences of acknowledging the bald statistics. Truth meets our preconceptions and quails. In science, Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, describes this as “uncomfortable knowledge”: the idea that research can cause us to question how we order our society.

There is much uncomfortable knowledge to be found in genetics, and in our increasing understanding of the brain’s miraculous workings. Take the notion that men and women’s intelligence is different: women cluster around the average where men display more extremes of intelligence. Helena Cronin, a philosopher at the London School of Economics, calls it the “more dumb-bells, more Nobels” effect. I shudder at being the average shadow of more brilliant men, but I have no wish to shuffle the theory under a carpet and sit on it.

Our ever-deepening understanding of behavioural genetics throws up uncomfortable knowledge. It’s the old nature-nurture argument writ large, but with the implication that we are prisoners of our genes.

There is growing evidence, for example, that genes play a role in criminality: an idea that smacks dangerously of the determinism of Victorian phrenologists. A range of behavioural traits from depression to aggression has been linked to genes. A study in Nature this month found that obesity can be linked to a specific genetic defect.

Genetic research is in its relative infancy, and there is much still to understand about the interaction of our genes with our environment. But the implications are obvious and extreme. If intelligence is written in our genes, why aim for equal opportunities? Can criminals be culpable if they are genetically predisposed to be criminals? If genes are so dictatorial, what is free will? If fat is a genetic issue, sod it, I’ll have a Crunchie.

But there is a difference between the possession of uncomfortable knowledge and what we do with it. We can rise above our genetic inheritance and choose to have a society that celebrates the acquisition of knowledge, and the airing of truth, even when it hurts.

There seems to be a rising acceptance that unpalatable truths should be aired. Speech must be free, even where it is impolite to speak. A judge this week dismissed a case against a Christian hotelier couple accused of verbally abusing a Muslim guest. Their remarks were offensive, but not criminal. Sharon Vogelenzang told Ericka Tazi that her Islamic dress was a form of “bondage and oppression”. Less an uncomfortable truth, more an uncomfortable opinion, but one widely held.

We must fight against the type of dogma that does not allow itself to be challenged; whether it is of an isolationist Islam or Western middle-class cultural relativism. We must be braver about facing the truth, wherever it is found. A racist can look at the crime statistics and reach an abhorrent conclusion. A liberal can look at the same statistics and wonder how we can change them. Only a fool ignores them.


British Court Declares Judaism "Racist"

Given my frustration with First Things magazine’s registration problems, I probably should wait until this essay comes out from behind the registration wall to tell you about it. However, my disgust at the British Court’s recent rulings against Jews trumps my aggravation at First Things clunky on line registration glitches.

I have received the print edition for January 2010. Having read this appalling news, I am compelled to let you know about it. I can’t provide a URL for this essay, but next month it should be available (and by then I’ll be no less apoplectic about the UK court but perhaps the website issues of First Things) will have been resolved. David Goldman writes (and I am forced to transcribe by hand):
Since Oliver Cromwell allowed Jews to settle in England in 1656, Britain’s Jews have often suffered indignities, but have they ever undergone a legal assault on the practice of their religion within their own institutions? Certainly they have now.

On June 26, a British court of appeals labeled “racist” a founding premise of Judaism: the election of Abraham and his descendants and the determination of Jewish status by matrilineal descent. That the court’s decision is preposterous is the least of the matter. Not since the Middle Ages have Jews had to defend their religion before state authorities. And not since the Treaty of Westphalia have states claimed the right to compel changes in religious doctrine. For the first time in many years, a secular liberal state has arrogated to itself the right to determine the legality of millennia-old practices of a monotheistic religion.

Britain’s chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, was apoplectic, declaring, “An English court has declared [the religious definition of Jewish status] racist, and since this is an essential element of Jewish law, it is in effect declaring Judaism racist. To be told now that Judaism is racist is distressing. To confuse religion and race is a mistake.”
The leaders of the various forms of Judaism - Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform - have joined Rabbi Sacks in his condemnation of this ruling.

The Catholic Education Services of England and Wales gave public support to their Jewish colleagues. Oona Stannard, the director, said:
It is important that the right to determine who is a member of any religions ought to lie with the religious…I am extremely dismayed that the ruling has so far gone against our Jewish colleagues/providers of schools with a religious character. England’s chief Catholic prelate…fully backs the CES statement.
So what does the Archbishop of Canterbury say? Birds chirp in the bare, ruined choirs. Silence. They won’t be issuing a statement is what they said.

Meanwhile, that segment of Judaism known as the suicidal Jews (probably with a few Unitarians thrown in for good measure) hailed the ruling (warning: barf bag moment coming up here) because it would make Judaism “more inclusive”. There goes the idea of God’s chosen people, right down the chute with the rest of those who would attempt to differentiate themselves. Lovers of their own culture, nationalists, believers in sovereignty, those who thought the wall between Church and State was pretty well established...Forget it; we’re all racist hamburger now.

Except the Muslims, of course. They can continue to make their arrogant, in-your-face demands for their religious tenets. No pork, no Christmas, disruptive five-times-a-day prayer (wherever), separate schools, separate hospitals, separate pools, different rules, public threats to destroy the UK…that all pales beside the Jewish law regarding matrilineal descent.

This is a new low-water mark for British jurisprudence. You can read the full essay shortly, when it becomes the “current issue” on line at First Things. Meanwhile, I’ll close with Mr. Goldman’s final statement:
More than any other major Jewish population in the Diaspora, Britain’s Jewish community has attempted to steer clear of controversy - for example by keeping its distance from the state of Israel…but much as Britain’s Jews have tried to avoid trouble, trouble has come looking for them.
There is a moral in that somewhere…one that I hope Israel considers very carefully before it hands over any flu vaccines to Gaza. Just one Muslim death and the bombs will be flying, Jews will be dying.

Such perverted altruism has to stop before it gets any more people killed. Just as the rest of the world, particularly America, has got to take off its blinders regarding zombie jihadists like Major Hasan. We knew with fair certainty he was psychotic, but in the name of saving his superiors’ precious careers, we let him go on his merry way, until he had killed enough of us for people to take notice. Even then, it’s “shush, shush, can’t say it aloud/killing kufar makes the Jihadist proud”. No, the mantra is, instead: “wrong, wrong, you Islamophobes. The Religion of Peace shall rule the globe.”*

Close your eyes, cover your ears, yell real loud. Then when the blade is on your throat, or the bullet lodged in your son’s heart, you won’t be able to feel it till everything is over. Painless, right?

What a price to pay for a deeply false sense of security: a paralyzed fear that cannot speak its name.


Obama the antisemite

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Pamela Geller, founder, editor and publisher of the popular and award-winning weblog She has won acclaim for her interviews with internationally renowned figures, including John Bolton, Geert Wilders, Bat Ye’or, Natan Sharansky, and many others, and has broken numerous important stories — notably the questionable sources of some of the financing of the Obama campaign. Her op-eds have been published in The Washington Times, The American Thinker, Israel National News, Frontpage Magazine, World Net Daily, and New Media Journal, among other publications. She is the co-author (with Robert Spencer) of the soon to be released, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America (forward by Ambassador John Bolton).

FP: Pamela Geller, welcome back to Frontpage Interview. I would like to talk to you today about Obama, his administration and anti-Semitism. Let’s begin with Obama’s anti-Israel policies, your thoughts on them and what you think explains them. Tie this into the role of his friends and advisers.

Geller: Obama had a disturbing track record from the beginning. The Obama landscape, the landscape of his personal and professional associations, is littered with anti-Semites and rife with Israel haters.

Only three weeks after Barack Hussein Obama took office, Israeli pundit Caroline Glick noted that “since it came into office a month ago, every single Middle East policy the Obama administration has announced has been antithetical to Israel’s national security interests.”

Obama in April 2009 asked Congress to revise American laws preventing financial aid to terrorist organizations so that the United States could keep funding the Palestinian Authority even with Hamas as part of the government.

Then in May 2009 came the revelation that the United States and allied military, under the command of Lt. Keith Dayton, was training 1,500 Palestinian troops. Would American-trained Palestinian troops one day go into battle against the forces of American ally Israel? It was possible.

On September 23, 2009, Barack Obama made a speech at the UN that former UN Ambassador John Bolton called “the most radical anti-Israel speech I can recall any president making.”

Obama was the most anti-Israel President the United States had had since the State of Israel was formed. Yet American Jews voted in large numbers for this man. They should have known better.

FP: Tell us about some of Obama’s advisers in this context.

Geller: Well, let’s begin with one Obama foreign policy adviser, Samantha Power, who, in a 2002 interview with Harry Kreisler of the Institute for International Studies at Berkeley, called for military action against Israel to secure the creation of a Palestinian state.

Power said that establishing a Palestinian state would mean “sacrificing — or investing, I think, more than sacrificing — billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence.” She said that this would “require external intervention.”

Many observers quite reasonably concluded that in this Power meant that the United States should invade Israel in order to secure the creation and protection of a Palestinian state. Confronted about this during the Obama presidential campaign, Power made no attempt to explain or excuse her statement: “Even I don’t understand it…This makes no sense to me….The quote seems so weird.” She assured supporters of Israel that she did not believe in “imposing a settlement.”

But Power was not alone. The anti-Israel statements of Robert Malley, whom Obama tabbed for an important mission right after he was elected President, were even worse than Power’s.

Early on in his campaign, Obama named Robert Malley one of his primary foreign policy advisers – to the immediate consternation of Israeli officials. One Israeli security official noted in February 2008: “We are noting with concern some of Obama’s picks as advisers, particularly Robert Malley, who has expressed sympathy to Hamas and Hizbullah and offered accounts of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that don’t jibe with the facts.”

Once Obama was elected President, he sent Malley to Egypt and Syria. “The tenor of the messages,” explained an aide to Malley, “was that the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests.”

Malley had nothing on Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Adviser during the Carter Administration. Obama consulted Brzezinski for advice during his campaign, calling the octogenarian Brzezinski “one of our most outstanding scholars and thinkers” and saying that he was “someone I have learned an immense amount from.”

Bizarrely, Brzezinski called for the United States to protect Iran from an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. “We are not exactly impotent little babies,” he declared in a September 2009 interview. If the Israelis struck Iran, he said, “they have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?” Brzezinski advocated military action against Israel to stop it from striking Iran: “If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not.”

Brzezinski holds no official position in the Obama Administration. But Rosa Brooks does: she is an advisor to the undersecretary of Defense for policy. Brooks is venomously anti-Israel. During Israel’s defensive action in Gaza in January 2009, Brooks wrote an op-ed in the Times entitled, “Israel can’t bomb its way to peace.” Stephen A. Silver of the media watchdog Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America pointed out that while Brooks gave the number of Palestinian casualties in this conflict, she didn’t mention that most of these were combatants, not innocent civilians. “She also takes no interest,” noted Silver, “in the fact that Hamas fires missiles at Israeli civilians from the midst of Palestinian population centers — a double war crime specifically intended by Hamas to manufacture Palestinian civilian casualties for public relations purposes whenever Israel tries to defend itself from Hamas terror.”

Former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) would probably have agreed with Brooks. According to the Jerusalem Post, he was “one of a handful of senators who frequently didn’t sign AIPAC-backed letters related to Israel and the peace process during his time in the Senate and opposed additional sanctions on Iran.” In the Senate he amassed a significant track record as one of a hardline hater of Israel who would not affix his name even to the most innocuous pro-Israel initiative. In late October 2009 Obama appointed Hagel co-chair of his Intelligence Advisory Board.

These were Barack Hussein Obama’s closest advisers. And the effect of all this showed in his policies, beginning almost immediately when he took office.

FP: What explains this hatred of Israel in Obama’s administration? What is it that is motivating Obama and these anti-Semites around him?

Geller: Obama’s anti-Semitic associations go all the way back to the beginning of his career: the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who worked with Louis Farrakhan and gave him an award from Trinity United Church of Christ; Bill Ayers, whose Communist rhetoric from the 1960s – the Weather Underground manifesto Prairie Fire — was full of anti-Semitic attacks on Israel; and others. Israel has always been an ally of the United States and was an enemy of the Soviet Union and socialist internationalists. Barack Obama is a socialist internationalist, as are the people he has surrounded himself with. It’s no surprise in light of that that his administration would be so anti-Israel.

Little attention is paid to Obama’s childhood study of Islam and his Koranic studies in Indonesia. Knowing what we know about Islamic anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred in the Koran, it may have been a powerful influence on Obama’s attitudes towards the Jewish homeland.

More here

The Privatization of the First Amendment

President Obama’s nomination of Chai Feldblum to be a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) represents one of the most serious threats to religious freedom we have seen in a long time. True, we have seen other radical homosexual activist nominated to significant posts (see Kevin Jennings, among others), but the current political and cultural climate, the particular position, Feldblum’s reputation among the liberal elites and her extremely radical views are a lethal combination. Lethal for the First Amendment, that is.

Feldblum is a radical homosexual activist whose views on “homosexual rights” are among the most extreme. Although our right to religious freedom is expressly guaranteed by the Constitution, Feldblum argues that the “homosexual rights” judges have read into the Constitution should be held higher. She has said, “As a general matter, once a religious person or institution enters the stream of commerce ... I believe the enterprise must adhere to a norm of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity….”

Under Miss Feldblum’s view, a Christian person running a daycare could not refuse to hire a man who dresses as a woman from a job taking care of your kids. You, as the owner of that business, must suppress your religious beliefs, which are again expressly guaranteed by the Constitution, just because you want to work to take care of your family.

The reason Feldblum is so dangerous is because she tries to appear “reasonable” and argues that she understands that religious people have rights, but she believes in the end “homosexual rights” should win out. She said, “While I was initially drawn to the idea of providing an exemption to those enterprises that advertise solely in very limited milieus (such as the bed & breakfast that advertises only on Christian Web sites), I became wary of such an approach as a practical matter….”

Her view of the Constitution demands that you renounce your God publicly if you want to be part of society. But don’t worry, you can still believe whatever you want privately. I guess the next “evolution” of the Constitution is the privatization of the First Amendment.

The position to which she is being nominated is also very important because there was another important figure in our history who served in this office early in his career. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was Chairman of the EEOC from 1982 to 1990, before becoming a judge at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and later a Justice of the Supreme Court. Feldblum’s liberal reputation and credentials put her in prime position to follow a similar path.

She has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the radically pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign (HRC), is a law professor at the Georgetown University Law School, clerked for First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Frank M. Coffin, and also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun – the infamous liberal activist who authored the disastrous Roe v. Wade decision.

Her comments on her experience at the Supreme Court also reveal a distorted view of the law. Even liberal scholars today agree that Roe was essentially made-up law. And Feldblum apparently agrees with that, but doesn’t really care. In a New York Times piece on Justice Blackmun, she acknowledges that his “ability and desire to look behind the law and see the people is not the classic way to do law,” and said, “He brings a sense of caring and compassion that will be missed” (emphasis ours).

She has apparently learned well as she now tries to impose the new judicially made-up “homosexual rights” over our expressly guaranteed right to the free exercise of religion. If she were ever to become a judge it would be disastrous to our foundational principles of liberty. No question we have here the makings of a judicial activist all too willing to “look behind the law” to achieve “progress.”

If you pay attention to politics at all, you are well aware that the current political atmosphere provides the best possible climate for the development of Feldblum’s radical ideals. Liberals control both the House and the Senate with ample margins and their agenda has gone as far left as they can push it. The recent passage of federal “hate crimes” laws is a prime example. And the upcoming attempt to enact the Employment Non-Discrimination Act – which Feldblum helped to write — represents another weapon that she will be able to use in playing her role at the EEOC.

After a lifetime of radical activism for “homosexual rights,” does anybody doubt where her focus will be when working for “equal employment?” The government should not use its power to advocate one group of people over another, especially when that advocacy infringes on fundamental constitutional rights. This week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is set to take up Feldblum’s nomination, and unless we make our voices heard, her nomination will go through unscathed, and we will pay the consequences for years to come.

No matter what your political party, no matter your religion or if you have none at all, we should all be concerned about loosing our most cherished liberties. It is those liberties that lie at the foundation of everything we believe as a nation.

That is what is at stake with the nomination of Chai Feldblum to the EEOC. And every senator should approach it with that type of urgency. But it is up to us to make sure senators know we are watching and that we will remember how much they value our religious freedoms.



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 is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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