Saturday, January 15, 2011
The Other (Endless) Massacre
Tucson Tragedy Eclipses Minority Murders
Since Saturday, our media have reveled in the aftermath of the avoidable slaughter in Tucson, where a young madman--ignored by “tolerant” social, educational and law-enforcement systems—gunned down, among others, a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl, while gravely wounding a Congresswoman reaching out to her constituents.
Caught out in his incompetence, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County, Arizona, railed against conservatives, who the “lawman” blamed for the massacre on his turf. Other leftists rushed to blame the Tea Party (conveniently overlooking the murderer’s internet claim that The Communist Manifesto was one of his favorite books—oops!).
The fact is that the shooter wasn’t a political creature, but a psychopath. And a hyper-liberal social climate allowed him to go unchecked, despite no end of warning signs and documented complaints from his fellow citizens.
Meanwhile, another massacre occurred on the doorstep of our nation’s capital, but the media and left-wing activists ignored it: In the first eleven days of 2011, eleven people were gunned down in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Their deaths were irrelevant to the political discourse—because they were black.
We do, indeed, have a violence problem and an intolerable culture of the gun in this country. But it has nothing to do with honest citizens who go hunting every autumn. It’s a creation of the Democratic Party, which will take no serious measures to impose the rule of law and foster quality education systems in minority-populated districts, preferring to keep blacks and Latinos down on their electoral plantations.
Prince George’s County should be a shining success story. Bordering the District of Columbia, it has the highest per capita income of any black-majority county in the country, thanks largely to federal jobs. Yet, its levels of violence are breathtaking, the last county executive and his wife have been charged with whopping corruption, the police are dysfunctional (and frequently indicted), and the schools are third-rate. It’s a poster community for the effects on minorities of leftist policies designed by white elites.
How did county officials respond to eleven dead in eleven days? By telling citizens not to worry, since the killers and victims mostly knew each other and at least six of the crimes were drug-related. That made it okay.
Want to see racism in action? You don’t have to call up images of Selma five decades ago. The media weep for white victims in Tucson, but turn up their collective noses at the ongoing slaughter in minority communities. Intolerable drop-out rates from incompetent school systems exacerbate a multi-generational cycle of poverty and culture of violence. Wherever Democrats rule, minorities get the scraps from the overseer’s table, while the party’s professional blamesters tell them their problems stem from slavery that ended a century and a half ago, from lack of opportunity ascribed to prejudice, and from old-fashioned white bigotry.
Whites aren’t killing blacks. Blacks are. But facts are inconvenient.
To be fair, the apostles of blame are historically correct. The problem is that correct history isn’t taught. The racist Democratic Party gave this country the Confederacy, which fought a four-year war to preserve slavery, resulting in over a half-million deaths. When war failed to keep blacks chained, Democrats created the Ku Klux Klan and preserved Southern segregation into the 1960s. Lack of opportunity? Look at the union-ravaged schools where minority students aren’t expected to learn (and where they’re certainly not taught the history of “their” Democratic Party). Then the Democrat-spawned Great Society robbed black communities of their pride, addicting them to hand-outs. It’s a blot on our nation’s conscience—on all of us, liberal or conservative—that we have tolerated policies that left once-thriving minority communities with less promise and social integrity than they enjoyed in the years of segregation.
Dead young blacks don’t count in Washington politics or for the media. And that is a position so immoral and repugnant that future generations will excoriate our callousness and bigotry as savagely as we castigate the records of Bull Connor and Lester Maddox. The shocking human wastage among minorities in this country should mobilize us all to demand safe streets, disciplined schools and the dignity of achievement for our fellow citizens debased by leftist policies.
It’s up to conservatives to push for reforms with bite, since leftists never will. They thrive on the alienation of their own victims.
As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century, our country needs all the educated, hard-working talent we can generate. At present, we seek it from immigrants, while ignoring the politically segregated and willfully marginalized fellow citizens in our ghettos, barrios—and Democratic Party strongholds, such as Prince George’s County.
This column doesn’t stem from political bias, but from outrage. I’m ashamed of the terrorist act committed by a psychopath in Tucson—a young killer unleashed by a combination of do-your-own-thing-no-matter-what tolerance and a local bureaucracy conditioned to avoid responsibility. But I am far more ashamed of the media’s and society’s willingness to write off minority Americans—except when it’s politically convenient to pander to them.
Responsible journalism? Consider one more nauseating example of media racism (despite the rise of minority anchors and reporters): For years we’ve been treated to breathless reporting about a missing middle-class teenager, Natalee Holloway, who was white, blond and photogenic. Does any reader of this column believe that, had that girl been black and poor, she would have gotten a single prime-time mention? Social justice? Don’t make me laugh. If she ain’t white and cute, networks don’t give a hoot.
The Tucson tragedy was inexcusable. But it also was an anomaly. The slaughter in minority communities is 24/7. Meanwhile, even our first minority president perpetuates the culture of failure essential to Democratic politics: Instead of crusading vigorously for safe, quality schools in minority neighborhoods—schools for the benefit of their students, not unionized teachers--he debased the prestige of his office by phoning a sports hustler to praise him for giving an abusive criminal and overpaid sports star a “second chance.” The children of millions of parents who voted for Obama won’t get a first chance.
We all pray that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will recover. But will our minority fellow citizens ever recover from leftist policies thrust upon them by white ideologues?
We’ll bury the dead of the Tucson tragedy with fanfare. But the dead of Prince George’s County will go ignored. It’s un-American.
Libraries are just for the privileged white middle class... says white middle-class British Library chief
A quango chief has enraged campaigners fighting to stop the mass closure of public libraries by claiming they are the preserve of ‘the privileged, mainly white, middle class’.
Roy Clare, chief executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, suggested dozens of local protest groups were out of date, commenting: ‘Public libraries will not be preserved by wishful thinking and aspic.’
Almost 400 libraries nationwide are threatened with closure, and with half of councils yet to announce their plans the total could reach 800. In some counties more than half of all libraries are set to close, with rural areas worst hit by the spending cuts.
But this week in a controversial email to librarians, many of whom face losing their jobs, Mr Clare urged them to ‘nourish change and embrace development’. The MLA, which ‘promotes best practice’ in libraries, and Mr Clare’s £127,000 a year job are also being axed, but campaigners who fear communities will be badly damaged by the loss of so many libraries have reacted furiously to his comments.
Children’s author Alan Gibbons said the remarks were ‘a very cheap shot’. He said: ‘Around the country campaigners from all walks of life are out petitioning and protesting to defend their libraries. ‘Groups other than the “white middle class” are well-represented because libraries serve the whole community.’
Mr Gibbons said the planned closures were ‘wholly disproportionate, unnecessary and fail even to achieve the Government’s stated aim of saving substantial amounts of money’.
He added: ‘What’s more, some of the libraries targeted for closure have only recently been refurbished. ‘This is depressing in the extreme and utterly nonsensical.’
A spokesman for Voices For The Library campaign group, a head librarian who asked not to be named, said he was ‘shocked and disgusted’ by Mr Clare’s comments.
One library under threat is in Hesters Way, Cheltenham, a deprived area where a significant proportion of the population is unemployed or on minimum wages. It is a hub of the community and provides the only access many have to the internet.
Campaigner Johanna Anderson, an academic librarian at the University of Gloucestershire, said: ‘We have been overwhelmed by support from people of all backgrounds. ‘What Roy Clare is saying is complete and utter nonsense.’
The most savage cuts announced to date are in the Isle of Wight, which is set to lose nine of its 11 libraries.
The boycott bluff: trading to good neighbourly relations
The Middle East is full of contradictions. It’s hard to know what’s real and what’s bluff. If you call the wrong bluff, you can end up blown to pieces. And if you miss a real opportunity, you can end up a real sucker.
“Peace activists” attack with knives and rocks. “Human Rights” groups willfully ignore the persecution of Christians. “War crimes” are attributed to self defense, but not to shooting children or pregnant mothers at point blank range.
Judges condemn protection of civilian populations while ignoring the use of private homes, mosques, schools and hospitals as shields for military operations.
Israel is accused of being an apartheid state, even though its minorities can live anywhere, are entitled to all the rights of the mainstream population, and are represented in parliament, in the judiciary and all walks of life. But when Palestinian President Abbas territories says "I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land" and when selling land to a Jew is punishable by death, no-one even blinks.
But what about the hypocrisy of the tidal wave of delegitimization tactics aimed at Israel, by people who want to fully exploit the benefit of their contact with the Jewish state? We are asked to shun Israeli academics and universities by a boycott movement headed by Omar Barghouti - who studies for his doctorate at Tel Aviv University.
The same Palestinian Authority that asks the world not to buy produce from "settlements" approves tens of thousands of its citizens to work in those communities. Building them is an obstruction to the peace process - while the PA sends the construction workers to do the work.
So while you are being asked to deprive yourself of the unique know-how and innovation that has brought so many Israeli inventions in every field to the world, and won Israelis and Jews such a disproportionate number of Nobel and other prizes, consider the following:
In March of this year, the hugely innovative Israeli agricultural industry will hold its annual showcase event - the AgroMashov - at which hundreds of Israeli companies will present their unique achievements. Israel has long been known as an agricultural innovator. A well known example is drip irrigation systems, which were developed here, and are now exported everywhere. The organizers invited me to join a preview tour to some of the exhibitors, where I saw
* a farm which had developed a unique strain of pitaya fruit,
* leading edge bull sperm collection techniques (did you know that 98% of cattle were born via artificial insemination?),
* the way the Hebrew University researches the best vegetation to plant in hot climate with little water,
* a bee farm developing new (and surprisingly tasty!) health products,
* a nursery applying modern inventory management techniques to factories around the globe supplying fresh spices, flowers and other plants to supermarkets and other outlets,
* new packaging techniques for vegetables,
* and more.
From this little taste, I could understand why visitors would come from all around the globe to learn, to share, to form relationships and to shop. But farmers are not the only ones who ignore anti-Israel boycott attempts. The Palestinians won't deprive themselves of the opportunity.
As in every year, Palestinian farmers and industry representatives will be there in force. Around 200 have already registered. Not only that, but a large pavilion will hold exhibits specifically of Palestinian produce and farm machinery produced in the West Bank. And the delegation will be led by Palestinian Agriculture Minister, Dr. Ismail Daak.
This spirit of mutual dialogue, cooperation and trade, which is so essential if we are ever to see peace, is happening outside the spotlight of politics, and without the destructive grandstanding and double-talk of the boycott nonsense.
It is not just happening in agriculture. The jewelry industry is another example of co-existence. In July, the annual Jovella jewelery exhibition will be held in Tel Aviv. For the last four years, the Peres Center for Peace has organized delegations from the West Bank to come and visit Jovella. Last year they brought 44 delegates - and another 20 Palestinians just turned up under their own steam.
So is it a bluff? And if you are a farmer or in the jewelery industry, will you lose out by listening to the anti-Israel "human rights activists" who urge you to boycott Israeli products and exhibitions, while the Palestinians are attending?
Confused? Welcome to the Middle East, where real life is rarely as reported in the mainstream media.
Very few working-class votes in homosexual marriage
Christopher Pearson comments from Australia. Pearson himself has "come out". He is commenting on the Australian Labor Party, Australia's major party of the Left
ONE of the more startling facts about contemporary politics is the way the ALP is being steadily cannibalised. On one hand, it is bleeding a growing share of inner-city professionals to the Greens. On the other, it seems determined to vacate the field in the outer suburbs to Tony Abbott's brand of mild social conservatism.
Where once Labor's Right provided most of the party's ballast and intellectual leadership there is now almost a vacuum, the political culture that enabled the rise of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
No one now in federal cabinet seems able to project a view of the ALP's abiding values that would have been recognisable to the people who first elected the Hawke government. Labor has become, almost by default, the aggressively secularist party Lindsay Tanner wanted it to be.
The gap between the party's elected representatives and its traditional support base has been emerging as a given since the Keating era. Accordingly, Labor hardheads such as Gary Johns, Keating's special minister of state, and The Australian's editor-at-large, Paul Kelly, have often waxed eloquent about the electoral prospects of seemingly entrenched mainstream parties that stray too far from their origins.
Dennis Glover, a speechwriter for Labor leaders from Kim Beazley to Mark Latham, has a more optimistic take on matters. Writing in Thursday's edition of The Australian, he said: "In a world in which public administration has become complex and global, requiring ever higher levels of education, technical command and cultural sophistication, there is an inevitable tendency for politicians to become distanced from working-class voters.
"There is a reason why train drivers no longer become prime ministers and it's not just because Labor has supposedly been hijacked by 'the dregs of the middle class', as some of Labor's false friends often put it. Professionalism affects all parties."
It's worth noting in passing that the author of the line about Labor's capture by the dregs of the middle class was Kim Beazley Sr, who as a long-serving MHR was well-placed to make such a judgment. It also seems to me that what Glover calls professionalism could more aptly be described as the triumph of the apparatchiks.
A clear majority of ALP candidates were previously union operatives or political staffers. The same is true of a small percentage of Liberals, but on the whole the people who occupy the Coalition benches come from a much more diverse range of occupations.
Is it true, as Glover claims, that politicians with more education and sophistication will inevitably tend to become distanced from working-class voters?
It may be increasingly the case with senators elected on a party list, but for MHRs I suspect the answer is not necessarily, unless they have safe seats and can delegate most of their constituency work to staffers. The holders of marginal seats normally have a fair idea of popular sentiment in their own neck of the woods.
Again Glover takes a sunny-side-up approach, blaming the caution of parties of the Left on timidity and being misled by focus groups and talkback radio. "Too many progressive politicians have internalised the idea that the working class is a bastion of political, social, economic, cultural and environmental reaction." To put it another way: "Social-democrat parties almost invariably discount the progressiveness of their electoral base, especially their working-class base."
Why is he so confident? It turns out that Glover has been conducting a focus group of his own. "At a series of recent extended family get-togethers and school reunions I made a point of asking people's opinions about the one issue we are forever being told lies at the heart of the supposedly unbridgeable cultural divide between the conservative working class and the permissive inner-city 'elites': gay marriage."
He concedes some problems with the sample. "I'm prepared to admit they comprise a statistically meaningless collection of a little more than two dozen individuals between the ages of 40 and 75, gathered mostly from the outer suburbs of Melbourne."
However, he argues: "Because I know these people, their families, the schools they went to and the influences that formed them, I know also that they represent the heart of post-war working-class Australia."
In the unlikely event that nervous members in marginal seats are carried away by this sort of rhetoric, let me sound a note of caution. As a homosexual member of the baby-boomer generation with a working-class father and a middle-class mother, I've out of necessity made a lifetime's study of Australian attitudes on this and related questions.
In my experience, prior to the late 1970s men of all classes were markedly more inclined to adopt a live and let live attitude than women, especially if they'd served in the war or done national service. What would at the time have been called respectable working-class people of both sexes were generally more disposed to stern judgment than their middle-class counterparts until well into the 90s. An at-least-notionally relaxed attitude was a marker of upward mobility from the mid-60s and a default position for most university graduates from the 80s.
As I see it, what lie at the heart of post-war working-class Australia are extended family and tribal bonds of attachment. Anything that's likely to impinge adversely on family life, in the way coming out openly as a homosexual so often does, is apt to be perceived as a threat.
Then there are all the households of every social class where religion plays even a residual part. I doubt that Glover or most of the self-styled progressives could imagine what the sacrament of marriage means to them and the strength of their opposition to same-sex weddings.
It is worth spelling out that none of the mainstream churches sanctions homophobic behaviour - not even the Sydney Anglicans - these days. That doesn't mean that they don't or shouldn't take a hard line on homosexual activity. They mostly do.
Only one of Glover's focus group of 25 said he was opposed to gay marriage and that it wouldn't influence his vote because "he had bigger concerns".
Glover says the rest of his friends, and especially the women, "instinctively grasped that gay marriage is about justice . . . This shouldn't surprise us, because people such as Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and Elton John have made gay equality a given."
I give working-class Australians far more credit than that. They didn't need foreign television stars and singers to teach them about equality in the first place and most of them will rely on far more discerning judges when the pros and cons of gay marriage are debated.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). 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.