Wednesday, March 17, 2010

British police being held accountable? Is the sky falling?

It's just a charade, most likely

Ten police officers are being investigated over the way they handled the case of a mother and her disabled daughter who suffered years of abuse from youths and were found dead in a burnt-out car, a watchdog said yesterday. Police were contacted 33 times in 10 years about yobs bullying Fiona Pilkington, her daughter Francecca Hardwick, 18, and her severely dyslexic son Anthony, 19, in the street where they lived in Barwell, Leicestershire. But despite repeated pleas for help, Ms Pilkington, 38, received only eight visits from police officers and was not offered sufficient protection.

Ms Pilkington, a single mother, became so depressed with the repeated failure of the police to respond to her pleas that she doused her car in petrol and set it alight. She was found dead alongside her daughter in the car, which was parked in a lay-by on the A47 in nearby Earl Shilton, in October 2007.

An inquest in September last year found that the failings of the police contributed to their deaths, the inquest jury ruled. After the inquest, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it would look into the way Leicestershire Constabulary dealt with the family’s complaints in the years before their deaths.

Yesterday, the IPCC said that police and council officials had co-operated fully with its investigation. The officers under investigation range in rank from constables to inspectors. The statement added: “We have now served advisory notices on a total of ten Leicestershire police officers and this situation is being kept under review. “Such notices are not judgmental in any way, but are required under police misconduct regulations, and served on officers to advise that their conduct is under investigation.”

It added: “This complex inquiry is going back over police contact with Fiona Pilkington, her daughter and neighbours over a period of several years. “We are assessing information from family members, neighbours, the authorities involved, records of police contact, and the accounts of relevant police officers themselves. “The extensive nature of the investigation means there is still substantial further work to do, and enquiries to be made by the IPCC. “We are progressing this rigorous investigation as swiftly as possible and will make our findings public in due course.”


Might we juxtapose a moment?

I sat in the midst of a gathering this weekend and the strained relationship between the U.S. and Israel became, briefly, the focus of conversation.  Someone wondered aloud what right the U.S. had to criticize Israel and someone else responded it had much to do with all the money given by America to the Jews (as if the U.S. gave nothing to the Palestinians).  I mused aloud why the U.S. would be criticizing something that only months ago was praised (and by the same people) but then decided to simply shut up.  History has shown that this topic isn't one easily discussed amongst this bunch.  And so rather quickly, the topic changed.

Today I come across two pieces.  One brought by Mike Todd, a self -described progressive Christ follower and to which I think one could easily add the moniker of anti-semite.  Here's a Huffington Post piece Mike calls "a good and direct editorial" that I believe substantiates the charge:
For me and countless other Americans, Israelis, Palestinians (and anyone anywhere who reads beyond the front page) the billboard could just as well refer to the Israeli government's persistent defiance of international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, dozens of U.N. resolutions and U.N. fact-finding committees (e.g., the Goldstone Report), and some basic rules that govern common decency.

Enough already! Or as the name of Peretz Kidron's Israeli anti-occupation group states, "There is a limit!"

Israel's victory in the Six Day War of 1967 does not give it license to oppress its neighbors and continue building Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Ironically, it is the Fourth Geneva Convention Rules of War, adopted in 1949 by the international community in response to Nazi atrocities, which forbids a victorious military from occupying, building, expanding, and then moving its citizenry onto conquered land. U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden was correct last week to condemn Israel's plans to build an additional 1,600 housing units in hotly contested East Jerusalem.

But then he fumbled, bumbled, and played the lapdog. For him to later temper his criticism by saying that the United States has "no better friend than Israel" is absurd. Anyone who has traveled off the beaten path in the Arab world (and many who remained on it) knows that friends like Israel are what generate enemies for the United States.
Never mind that many of the assertions made as premises to the argument are disputed and hotly so.  It's a good and direct editorial according to Mike and according to many a progressive Christ follower.   I guess I'd like to understand what's good about it.  Especially when I compare what you've just read with what you're about to read:
Fatah just held a ceremony in Ramallah, naming a central square in honor of a terrorist. Keep in mind that Fatah are viewed as “moderates.”

Also keep in mind that Barack Hussein Obama has created a major crisis with Israel over Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish neighborhood in Jewish Jerusalem in the Jewish State.

Not a word from Obama, Biden, Clinton, or Axelrod about Fatah's glorification of Jew-killing. Let's take a look at the bloodbath these savages choose to honor:
On the morning of March 11, 1978, [Dalai] Mughrabi and her Palestinian unit of eleven members, including one other woman, landed on an Israeli beach, killed an American photographer named Gail Rubin and hijacked a taxi, killing its occupants. They proceeded along the coastal highway shooting at traffic along the way. They next hijacked a bus and later a second bus, from which the passengers were transferred to the first one. The bus was finally stopped at a police roadblock. A shooting battle ensued. Eventually, Mughrabi blew up the bus which became a large deathtrap of fire. Many of the passengers were killed. In total, Mughrabi and her team killed 37 people, including at least 10 children. Some 71 people were wounded. Mughrabi and several other attackers died.
Via Wikipedia

Look, I have no illusions about the so-called Palestinians. They are a proudly Jew-hating group who have no desire to establish a state, only to destroy Israel. The so-called peace process is a fool's errand.
As is the notion that the first piece can be called good... by a self-described Christ follower.

There are no perfect nations... and I'm sure that Israel has at times acted in ways that make peace loving people cringe. But what modern day nation faced with similar circumstances hasn't?

To ignore that she is surrounded by those who desire her annihilation and who make that desire the centerpiece of their ideology is to side with her enemies.  I simply can't get around that. Seraphic Secret, the author of the juxtaposed piece, concludes:
Peace will come, as it did to Japan and Germany, when the West—meaning America—gets fed up and utterly lays waste the Arab Muslim terrorist states. Arab Muslim terrorists cannot be appeased. The beast is always hungry. Unconditional surrender is the only language barbarians comprehend.

Barack Hussein Obama spent over twenty years as a faithful member of Jeremiah Wright's openly anti-American, Jew-hating Church. Obama is a man of the hard left who has spent his entire life in the company of fashionable anti-Zionists and rabid Jew-haters. It's in his intellectual DNA. The notion that he is a reliable ally to Israel is proof that the 78% of American Jews who voted for Barack Hussein Obama exist in a willfull state of cognitive dissonance.

Here's the crux of the matter: Barack Hussein Obama cannot dictate where Jews can and cannot live. Jews have the right to live anywhere and everywhere. We have the right to live in Ramat Shlomo, Brooklyn, Paris, Cairo, London, Los Angeles, etc. Once you accept the notion that one patch of earth is legitimately made Judenrein, than the Jewish people are doomed. And then the Arab Muslims will come for you.
It's a hard and ugly truth I agree with completely.  It's a hard and ugly truth progressive Christians ignore at great peril.


Atheist immaturity on show

If the meek really do inherit the earth, it won’t be the atheists who turned out in force in Melbourne at the weekend for what organisers believe to be the world’s biggest atheist conference.

It probably does mark in some way a coming of age for the militant atheist movement: they are visible and vocal, energetic and starting to become organised. They are gaining in confidence, which is no bad thing — but, as a couple of brave speakers observed, they would be much more persuasive if a touch less strident, a touch less dogmatic, a touch humble.

We are all enriched when people think through serious issues rather than inheriting parental or cultural assumptions, and when atheists advocate a view of a better society they must be taken seriously. By implication, of course, they must extend the same courtesy.

One lesson the atheist movement is learning, as the convention shows, is that it must broaden its appeal, reaching out to secularists, rationalists and others who share similar goals.

Evaluating the convention depends on what one considers its purpose. If it was to validate hardline atheists to themselves and give them confidence, it was a triumph. If it was to take a mature look at how to advance the cause of secularism, politically and socially, the speakers should probably have spent less time ridiculing religion and more on positive and practical ideas.

It was superfluous for speaker after speaker to point out that believers are deluded fantasists who believe in a magic friend who does magic tricks, because for almost everyone at the conference that was an article of faith already.

Many there would be horrified at how similar it was to evangelical meetings I have covered, down to the bouffant-haired televangelist prototype in Atheist Alliance International president Stuart Bechman, who was master of ceremonies. Every jibe brought a burst of applause — all that was missing was the “hallelujahs”.

A convention about something you don’t believe in is an odd thing. I wondered last week on my blog whether it risked being a self-congratulatory gabfest of like-minded people united mostly by their disdain for believers. It wasn’t. Certainly there was plenty of disdain, but the general atmosphere was less smug than expectant, eager, hopeful. Although a couple of speakers were crude polemicists or intolerably shallow, the key speakers offered much more.

When he talks about science, Richard Dawkins is articulate, accessible and passionate, and I was impressed by philosophers Peter Singer, A.C.Grayling and Tamas Pataki, and by Taslima Nasrin, whose personal story of being exiled for fighting for women’s freedom in Muslim Bangladesh reduced many to tears.

In Australia, as a sociologist told me, organised atheism is a nascent movement that has yet to learn to articulate its own viewpoint without misrepresenting others. But it took Christians a long time to learn that, and some still haven’t.

Here’s my advice. If atheists can reduce their contempt for believers and work harder for their positive goal — reducing the footprint of religion in society — they may begin to exert more of the influence they feel they deserve.

But, to be effective, they need clear and focused targets. Some of these were identified, such as removing funding for religious schools, removing tax exemptions for religious agencies, and working to make separation of church and state more explicit.

When it comes to secularism, they have more support than perhaps they realise. Many Christians and agnostics support secularism, as long as it is understood as a voice for all in which none is privileged, rather than the removal of any religious voice from the public arena (which would be undemocratic).

The humour at the convention was in some ways the most revealing aspect. Some I found very clever; but some it would be charitable to categorise as inept. American comedian Jamie Kilstein bellowed a monologue at about 600 words a minute, making him hard to hear: just as well, perhaps, as two-thirds of the words began with ‘‘f’’ and ended with ‘‘k’’, and the rest were very specific about gay sexual practices. More than one present confided that it was the low point for them, especially with children there.

Also unworthy were ABC science presenter Robyn Williams offering “a devastating argument against religion in two words: Senator Fielding”; former Hillsong member Tanya Levin: “I’m finally getting to hang out with the adults”; and Rationalist Society president Ian Robinson, asking whether there were any believers in the audience. “OK, I’ll speak really slowly.” (Wild applause after each.)

What was missing was any sign of self-deprecation. Atheism will be a mature movement in Australia when atheists can laugh not just at the religious, but at themselves.


Hate-filled atheists

Comments below by Andrew Bolt. It is most unlikely that the fanatics described below are typical. I'm guessing that they are just common or garden variety Leftists. I am myself an atheist and know many other atheists -- conservative ones -- who are most respectful of Christianity

THE Global Atheists Convention in Melbourne last weekend worked a miracle on me. I’ve never felt more like believing in God. Especially the Christian one.

My near conversion occurred because the convention’s speakers managed to confirm my worst fear. No, it’s not that God may actually exist, and be cross that I doubted. It’s that if the Christian God really is dead, then there’s not much to stop people here from being barbarians.

I’d have hoped that the Atheists Convention’s speakers would have reassured me not just by fine words but finer example that a godless society will nevertheless be a good one. But what did they show me instead? First there was the world’s most famous atheist, former Oxford don and Selfish Gene author Richard Dawkins (above), who smeared Joseph Ratzinger as the “Pope Nazi” and mocked Family First Senator Steve Fielding as dumber than an “earthworm”. The insult to the Pope is truly vile. As a 14-year-old, Ratzinger was conscripted by the Nazi regime into the Hitler Youth, then compulsory for all German boys.

Yet Dawkins was far from the only speaker to unleash the hatred he claimed Christianity inspired. ABC Science Show presenter Robyn Williams boasted he could mount “a devastating argument against religion in two words: ‘Senator Fielding“‘, an insult which the hooting crowd clapped. Added Williams: “Richard Dawkins said his IQ is lower than an earthworm, but I think earthworms are useful.”

Rationalist Society president Ian Robinson joined in, asking if there were any believers in the audience, adding: “OK, I’ll speak really slowly.”

The fourth speaker, Age columnist Catherine Deveny, saved her worst for the ABC’s Q&A show on Monday, tweeting from the set that fellow panellist Peter Dutton, the Opposition health spokesman, had “a face of a rapist”.

Yes, I know godlessness need not mean good-lessness. I’m agnostic myself, yet think myself morally serious. But I’m certain both the Pope and Fielding would feel their Christian faith prevented them from vilifying Dawkins as his fellow atheists freely vilified them.

So why do leading atheists, so sure of their superior morality, feel licensed to be meaner than leading Christians? Is this what morally superior people do when God has gone? In that case, bring God back.



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.


1 comment:

Robert said...

If the atheists are to make the society they have in mind be a FREE society as well, they are going to have to be able to answer satisfactorily, "Where do people's rights come from?" The best answer I could think of them providing is "Every person is inherently born with them." They will then have to satisfactorily and convincingly be able to answer, "Says who?"