Sunday, May 29, 2011

Girl risks her life to rescue woman from hoodies - as scum British police sit in their car and do nothing

A young woman told yesterday how she risked her life to stop a street robbery – while two police officers sat in their patrol car a few yards away.

Marie Wastlund, 27, was walking home from a night out when she saw three hooded thugs throttling and kicking a woman in view of the police vehicle. The student waved and shouted to get the attention of the officers – parked only 25 yards away – but they did nothing.

So she waded in herself and pulled the thugs away from their victim by their hoods – at which point they fled. Astonishingly, she then had to dial 999 to summon police help and sat cradling the distraught victim in her arms for ten minutes.

At one point the two officers got out of their car but, apparently not noticing what was going on, they got back in again. In fact, the pair only ventured out to investigate the incident when Miss Wastlund’s friend arrived and rushed over to their car and knocked on the window.

Even if the officers didn’t initially see what was happening, it was claimed they should have been alert enough to cotton on to an attack that went on for several minutes so close to their car.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary yesterday pledged a full investigation into the incident in the St Paul’s area of Bristol.

‘I was waving and shouting at them to come and help,’ said Miss Wastlund. ‘It was pretty clear something was going on in the road – anyone with half a brain could have seen something was happening. ‘They should have done something. It’s disgusting – they are paid to protect people. ‘It could have been me being attacked. It’s a scary thought that police were so close to the incident and did nothing.’

Miss Wastlund came across the robbery at 5am after a night out at a street festival. She saw two youths and one woman beating the victim who was on the ground at the side of a road. After Miss Wastlund’s screams for help went unnoticed, she grappled with the gang – all of them white and in their 20s. One of them told her the woman owed them money before running off with a small amount of her cash.

Miss Wastlund, who lives in Bristol city centre, said: ‘I realised there was no point running after them. I didn’t want to put myself in any more danger. ‘I suddenly realised that I could have been stabbed or something in trying to protect the woman. I went back to her and tried to calm her down and called the police.’

Miss Wastlund added: ‘After the gang fled I was on the floor with the victim for about ten minutes. She was crying and I was cradling her. She was in a dreadful state. ‘I couldn’t leave her to run to the police car so I dialled 999. I told them to get on the radio to that squad car straight away. ‘They did get out of the car at one point – but didn’t come over. They had probably gone off to get doughnuts or something.’

Her friend, who had also been at the festival, walked by and came over to help. ‘It was only when my friend came over that I told her to go and get them.’

The police car was parked facing away from the assault but Miss Wastlund insists officers must have seen her in their mirrors or heard her screams for help. She said: ‘There was nothing but road between the attack and the car. They were only about 25 yards away. When they finally did get out they said they had not seen anything. They are paid to be aware and look out for trouble.’

The two officers then spoke to Miss Wastlund and her friend, who asked not to be identified, before taking the victim, 29, to hospital.

Avon and Somerset police confirmed it was investigating the assault and robbery and the police reaction to the incident. Superintendent Ian Wylie said: ‘I am grateful to the witness for reporting the incident and bringing to our attention her concerns about a police car nearby. We take allegations such as these very seriously.’ [Only when newspapers make them]


Jared Loughner and our crazy system for trying the insane

The fact that a federal judge this week deemed Jared Lee Loughner incompetent to stand trial does not mean he will never face a jury. Subdued by antipsychotic drugs, the man accused of killing six people and wounding 13 outside a Tucson supermarket in January may eventually start behaving himself well enough to get through what he loudly derided as a " freak show" on Wednesday.

But by agreeing that Loughner is so "gravely mentally ill" (as his lawyers put it) that he cannot comprehend what is going on in court, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns seemed to bolster the claim that Loughner is not responsible for his actions because his disease made him kill. That insanity defense follows logically from an argument that was widely heard after the Tucson massacre: To prevent such crimes, we should make it easier to lock people up before their mental illness drives them to violence.

Both that freedom-denying prescription and the responsibility-relieving insanity defense rely on subjective, unverifiable judgments by experts who are not equipped to predict future actions or peer into past states of mind.

We should not let their pseudoscientific pronouncements replace the moral principles that tell us when it is appropriate to punish someone or deprive him of his liberty.

Under federal law, an insanity defense requires showing that the defendant "was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts" due to "a severe mental disease or defect." According to the diagnosis on which Burns relied, Loughner does suffer from a severe mental disease, schizophrenia, so the question becomes whether it prevented him from understanding the nature of his actions.

Since the vast majority of people diagnosed as schizophrenics never commit violent crimes, the relevance of this label in explaining Loughner's behavior or in justifying a policy of preventively detaining people like him is open to question. Yet University of Maryland political scientist William Galston says the Tucson shooting spree illustrates the need to eliminate the requirement that "seriously disturbed individuals constitute a danger to themselves or others" before they can be confined to mental hospitals. Instead, he says, "a delusional loss of contact with reality should be enough" to justify involuntary treatment.

The clear implication here is that Loughner's loss of contact with reality, as demonstrated by his weird YouTube videos and strange comments in college classes, led him to do things he otherwise would not have done.

While advocates of forcible psychiatric treatment such as Galston, syndicated columnist Mona Charen and Time essayist Joe Klein diagnosed Loughner from a distance, the government-appointed psychiatrist and psychologist who judged him too crazy for trial concurred, after five weeks of in-person evaluations, that he suffers from "delusions" and "disordered thinking" caused by schizophrenia. Yet this judgment, too, was ultimately based on the odd things Loughner said and did, not on any medical test that pinpointed an underlying defect in his brain - a defect that supposedly caused him to gather guns and ammunition, drive to the shopping center where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was meeting with constituents and methodically shoot 19 people.

If Loughner is never deemed sane enough to be tried, a jury will never have a chance to decide whether he was sane enough on Jan. 8 to be found guilty. He may instead wind up confined indefinitely to a mental hospital, the same fate that would have awaited him even if he were acquitted by reason of insanity. Either way, his uncertain legal status highlights the troubling extent to which freedom and responsibility hinge on psychiatrists' dubious claims to see into men's souls.


Block Big Brother’s Internet snoops

Online protections against the government’s unconstitutional Web searches are needed

Americans are moving more and more of our personal data onto the Internet. We send and save emails through Hotmail and Gmail. We share photos with Flickr and post videos on YouTube. We set up everything from our calendars to video rentals so they can be managed remotely from our cellphones and multiple computers.

What most Americans don’t realize is that if the government wants to read your emails, look at your pictures or gain access to any data that you have stored online for more than 180 days on sites including Yahoo! Google Docs and online backup sites, it can do so without a search warrant. Data saved online is not protected by the Fourth Amendment in the same way that information is protected if it is stored on a home computer, CD or detachable hard drive.

A new bill introduced by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, is a good step toward closing this huge loophole. The bill would extend due-process provisions against illegal wiretapping in the ancient and outdated 25-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). It would update the ECPA to include personal files and information that is stored in online data centers owned and operated by third parties, known in tech circles as the “cloud.” Under Mr. Leahy’s bill, the government would be forced to secure a warrant if it wanted access to emails or other information you have stored online.

Right now, the law only protects the privacy of data while it’s moving across the network. It leaves vulnerable any information that might be saved in the thousands of data centers nationwide. These are virtual lockboxes, with no functional distinction from a home PC disk drive, which in turn has little functional distinction from a locked desk drawer. As online services and applications evolve and become more popular, it is critical that these privacy and due-process protections extend to data saved online. Public cloud infrastructure, applications and platforms are growing rapidly. A comScore study calculated that more than 153 million people visited Web-based email providers in November 2010 alone. And the International Data Corp. found that at the end of 2010, 34 percent of Internet users stored personal pictures online, 7 percent stored personal videos, 5 percent paid to store files and 5 percent backed up their hard drives by uploading data to websites. These numbers are all expected to grow.

Today, the government can access most of that personal data without even bothering to get a search warrant. And law enforcement agencies already have shown that they will take advantage of any lack of specific constitutional safeguards to access private data. Using the Patriot Act, the FBI demanded that phone companies turn over thousands of calling records of U.S. citizens in what amounted to a fishing expedition under the guise of the war on terror. The courts found this illegal. The new bill would codify this and require federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to provide a name, address and probable cause before demanding a search warrant for private phone records. The same would apply to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and the geolocational information that cellphones and dashboard navigational devices collect.

This protection is badly needed. At the same time, the bill could be strengthened even more if, as the American Civil Liberties Union suggests, there were stricter reporting requirements about the use of online surveillance and greater safeguards against the use of “emergency exemptions” that could undermine the bill’s aims.

The current ECPA was passed in 1986 and is in desperate need of updating. It was written when communications were mostly done over land-line phones. The Internet was just in its infancy and still unknown to most. The Fourth Amendment delineates the right of citizens to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.” Our legal system needs to keep up with technology instead of giving government ways to use it for end runs around the Constitution.


The Mistake of Global Democratization

We are hearing a great deal about a budding “Democracy movement” spreading throughout the Middle East. Many are calling it an “Arab Spring.” The belief is that after centuries of totalitarian oppression, the Arab street is suddenly pining for more freedom; rebelling against the elitist ruling class of kings, emirs, despots and tyrants. This is most likely true for a great number of those filling the streets of Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Bahrain and myriad other Middle Eastern, predominantly Muslim nations. But there is a less than honorable component amongst the rebellion that simply waits for the “right” to a democratic vote. Contrary to how the idea of a move to Democracy presents, in the volatile Middle East there are elements in play that could make it a move in the wrong direction.

Each and every day we hear the misnomer that the United States of America is a Democracy. We hear it from the average man on the street, the mainstream media and even from those we have elected to office. But the fact of the matter is this: we are not a Democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic. A thorough and convincing exhibit of the facts surrounding this reality is presented in Notes on Democracy: And the Republic for Which It Stands. The fact that this issue is even in need of address is a scathing commentary on the constitutional illiteracy of the American electorate and serves as a sobering reminder that, often times, what sounds good – what “feels good” – isn’t always as it presents.

The distinction – between the benefits of a Democracy and a Constitutional Republic – is incredibly important, and while some describe our nation as a Democracy in an error of ignorance, others – some with schemes of political opportunism – do so with a nefarious purpose and bad intentions.

James Madison, recognized as the Father of the US Constitution, said this about factions and Democracy in Federalist No. 10:
“Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people...From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.”

Why is this important in the context of what is happening in the Middle East at this very moment? Simple; it is important because “factious tempers,” and “local prejudices of sinister design” are prevalent throughout not only the ruling classes of the Arab-Muslim world, but exist – and on a tremendously popular level – throughout the Middle East, Arab culture and around the world in Islamic populations.

In Lebanon, Democracy and the democratic election process brought legitimacy to the terrorist group Hezbollah, a group, created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard after the Islamist Revolution of 1979, responsible for the greatest number of American and Western deaths until al Qaeda exploded onto the scene, no pun intended. Through a scheme of “providing” for enough people in Southern Lebanon to win elections, Hezbollah was transformed from a ruthless Shiite-Islamist terror organization (a moniker still bestowed upon it by the US State Department and freedom-loving governments around the world) into an officially elected entity in the Lebanese Parliament, its influence expanding year after year.

In the Palestinian-held Israeli territories, the Palestinian Authority, born of the Palestinian Liberation Organization – recognized at its genesis as a terrorist organization before the United Nations bestowed legitimacy on it, has seen an accord between the Fatah faction of the West Bank and the Hamas faction of Gaza; Hamas, a Sunni-Islamist group, recognized as a terrorist organization by the US and other non-Arab nations around the world. Hamas, like Hezbollah, but after an armed coup against Fatah in Gaza, held “democratic elections” establishing itself – although questionably so – as the democratically elected government of Gaza. Like Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas achieved legitimacy – albeit ever so suspect – through the process of Democracy.

Another example of Democracy not serving freedom – or liberty – are the elections held in the former Soviet state of Russia. During the Soviet Era, Soviet Premiers had to at least subject themselves to the scrutiny of the elitist class Communist Party members who made up the Soviet politburo. Today we see a former KGB colonel, in Vladimir Putin, not only usurping the intent of the Russian constitution by installing a puppet president to “insert” a term into the mix before he runs, yet again, for the Russian presidency, but we see a system so corrupt that it has re-installed the same mindset of global power acquisition as seen before the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact, it is argued in many circles that not only is the Cold War not over, but the West is now playing defense.

But perhaps the most alarming sign that democracy does not serve the purpose of freedom and/or liberty comes in the report that a faction of the Egyptian “awakening” has announced the formation of a “Nazi party with a contemporary frame of reference.”

Let me state that again...Egyptians benefiting from the “Arab Spring” want to form a Nazi Party in that country. Al-Masry Al-Youm, an Egyptian publication, reports:
“A group of Egyptians have announced their intent to establish a Nazi party with ‘a contemporary frame of reference,’ an independent Egyptian news website said on Wednesday.

“Al-Badeel, a leftist news portal, quoted founding member Emad Abdel Sattar as saying the party would bring together prominent figures from the Egyptian society. The party’s founding deputy is a former military official.

“Abdel Sattar told Al-Badeel that members are increasing at an unexpected rate, and several people came to ask about the nature of the party and its plans.

“The party has a one-year plan to develop Egypt, unlike the ‘marginalized liberal parties, which are like dead bodies,’ he said.

“The founders want to avoid media attention until they are fully ready, the source said.”

With God as my witness, I never thought I would see the day when we would need to address the possibility of having to combat Nazism on the world stage once again.

If, in fact, this newly formed Egyptian Nazi Party organizes in the style of Hamas or Hezbollah – or the American Progressive Movement, for that matter (it is a fact that American organized labor had boots on the ground in Egypt in the beginning days of this so-called “Arab Spring”) – what is to keep them from using the democratic process to bring to power a 21st Century Nazi Party, complete with a 21st Century “Final Solution” for Israel and the Jews?

We are a Constitutional Republic because our Founders and Framers understood the absolute danger of a pure Democracy. We use a democratic election process to determine the awarding of Electoral College votes by each state, but we do so to empower a constitutionally Republican form of government; a government of laws and not men; a government where the minority’s rights are protected just as viciously as the majority’s, or so it is supposed to be.

A stunningly frank examination can be viewed here. Succinctly, we in the West – and especially in the United States – should be promoting a move toward liberty in the Middle East, not a move toward Democracy.

Democracy leads to Democratic Socialism, which leads to Socialism, which history proves always fails, leading to totalitarian and despotic rule. Anyone with a cursory knowledge of world history understands this. Alas, we do not, today, place any importance on history in our schools. Perhaps that’s because Progressives are too busy rewriting history. Perhaps that’s why we are looking at a resurrection of the Nazi Party in Egypt.

On May 24, 2011, the military government of Egypt announced it was permanently opening its border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

If the world screams, “Never again,” again will the leaders of the free world hear us? Or are they to busy burying their heads in the sand to care?



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


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