Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Censored Race War?

 Thomas Sowell

When two white newspaper reporters for the Virginian-Pilot were driving through Norfolk, and were set upon and beaten by a mob of young blacks -- beaten so badly that they had to take a week off from work -- that might seem to have been news that should have been reported, at least by their own newspaper. But it wasn't.

"The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News Channel was the first major television program to report this incident. Yet this story is not just a Norfolk story, either in what happened or in how the media and the authorities have tried to sweep it under the rug.

Similar episodes of unprovoked violence by young black gangs against white people chosen at random on beaches, in shopping malls or in other public places have occurred in Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles and other places across the country. Both the authorities and the media tend to try to sweep these episodes under the rug as well.

In Milwaukee, for example, an attack on whites at a public park a few years ago left many of the victims battered to the ground and bloody. But, when the police arrived on the scene, it became clear that the authorities wanted to keep this quiet.

One 22-year-old woman, who had been robbed of her cell phone and debit card, and had blood streaming down her face said: "About 20 of us stayed to give statements and make sure everyone was accounted for. The police wouldn't listen to us, they wouldn't take our names or statements. They told us to leave. It was completely infuriating."

The police chief seemed determined to head off any suggestion that this was a racially motivated attack by saying that crime is colorblind. Other officials elsewhere have said similar things.

A wave of such attacks in Chicago were reported, but not the race of the attackers or victims. Media outlets that do not report the race of people committing crimes nevertheless report racial disparities in imprisonment and write heated editorials blaming the criminal justice system.

What the authorities and the media seem determined to suppress is that the hoodlum elements in many ghettoes launch coordinated attacks on whites in public places. If there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sided race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over.

It may be understandable that some people want to head off such a catastrophe, either by not reporting the attacks in this race war, or not identifying the race of those attacking, or by insisting that the attacks were not racially motivated -- even when the attackers themselves voice anti-white invective as they laugh at their bleeding victims.

Trying to keep the lid on is understandable. But a lot of pressure can build up under that lid. If and when that pressure leads to an explosion of white backlash, things could be a lot worse than if the truth had come out earlier, and steps taken by both black and white leaders to deal with the hoodlums and with those who inflame the hoodlums.

These latter would include not only race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson but also lesser known people in the media, in educational institutions and elsewhere who hype grievances and make all the problems of blacks the fault of whites. Some of these people may think that they are doing a favor to blacks. But it is no favor to anyone who lags behind to turn their energies from the task of improving and advancing themselves to the task of lashing out at others.

These others extend beyond whites. Asian American school children in New York and Philadelphia have for years been beaten up by their black classmates. But people in the mainstream media who go ballistic if some kid says something unkind on the Internet about a homosexual classmate nevertheless hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil when Asian American youngsters are beaten up by their black classmates.

Those who automatically say that the social pathology of the ghetto is due to poverty, discrimination and the like cannot explain why such pathology was far less prevalent in the 1950s, when poverty and discrimination were worse. But there were not nearly as many grievance mongers and race hustlers then.


Judge Takes a Chisel to the Ten Commandments

God Almighty needs an editor, according to a federal judge in Virginia. At least, He does when the Ten Commandments are on government property.

The ACLU had sued the Giles County district for posting the Ten Commandments in its public schools, and U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski sent the case on Monday to mediation, suggesting a compromise: deleting the first four commandments. Here’s the short version of those:

1. I am the LORD your God. You shall have no other gods before me.

2. You shall not worship idols, for I am the LORD your God.

3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

An Obama appointee, Judge Urbanski also issued a preliminary injunction on behalf of the ACLU in February prohibiting the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors from “invoking the name of a specific deity associated with any one specific faith or belief in prayers given at Board meetings.” No word yet on how much this ticked off the local Hittites and voodoo priests.

It’s all part of the campaign for “religious equality,” in which atheism and tree worship are considered equal (or superior) to the nation’s founding faith. The only surprise Monday was that the ACLU didn’t immediately object to leaving intact the commandment against adultery.

Among the items displayed alongside the Ten Commandments at Narrows High School are the Declaration of Independence, the Mayflower Compact, the Magna Carta, the words to the Star-Spangled Banner, and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

Since none of the other 10 documents is being challenged, it’s obvious that the Ten Commandments are offensive solely because they are religious in origination, and remind people of America’s dominant faiths, Christianity and Judaism. In a brief filed on behalf of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the ACLU says the presence of the Decalogue violates the Establishment clause of the First Amendment.

For 10 years, the Ten Commandments had been posted in a frame in each of the public schools of Giles County. They were gifts to the schools from a local pastor, who thought they would be a good addition in the wake of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado in 1999.

The displays were not a problem until December 8, 2010, when the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to the superintendent demanding that the displays be removed after a single complaint by a student and the student’s parent.

The schools tried a variety of solutions, including replacing the Ten Commandments with a copy of the Declaration of Independence. This didn’t sit well with many in the community. On Jan. 11, 2011, a meeting was held with about 200 people, including pastors, and a short time later, the school board voted to reinstall the displays.

The Commandments were re-posted, and then taken down again upon the advice of counsel. A local attorney proposed a display that would include the Decalogue in a historic exhibit about Western foundational law and government.

It’s unclear whether the ACLU will accept the judge’s offered compromise, since the six remaining commandments came from the God Who is not supposed to be mentioned on government property, even though it’s part of the universe that He created.

“We intend to show that the School Board cannot simply shroud its religious purpose for posting the Ten Commandments by surrounding it with historical documents,” said ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg.

The ACLU’s press release notes that “The Ten Commandments are posted on a main hallway at the high school, near the trophy case and on the way to the cafeteria, where it is seen by students every day.”

If that’s not enough for a sensitive, easily offended student to lose his or her lunch, what is?

According to Liberty Counsel, which is representing the school district, “The Virginia Standards of Learning requires students to know about the foundational principles of civilizations, including the Hebrews, and the foundations of law and government. Secular textbooks published by Prentice Hall and McGraw-Hill trace the roots of democracy and law and specifically refer to the Ten Commandments and many of the documents posted as part of the Foundations Display.”

To the ACLU, the other documents are fig leaves:

“Given the history of the School Board’s Ten Commandments displays, any alleged secular purpose for the current displays are [sic], and will be perceived as, a sham. The displays were erected with the primary aim of advancing religion.”
It’s a warped reversal of the ACLU’s logic back when they argued that fig leaves like Hugh Hefner’s hedonistic “Playboy Philosophy” essays turned his skin magazines into constitutionally protected works of literary merit. Hefner’s primary aim, of course, was to advance pornography (and his wallet), but in the ACLU’s world, that’s more than okay. So what if it was a sham?

C.S. Lewis observed that the agenda of the Left is to make religion private and pornography public. In Virginia, the ACLU, otherwise known as the devil’s law firm, is still doing its best to live down to that demonic goal.


Constitutional  limits on media censorship in Australia

Bloggers seem safe from regulation

Scouring the internet for opinions on the constitutional powers of the Commonwealth to regulate the media in the manner proposed in the Finkelstein report, I came across a submission to Finkelstein's own inquiry from the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, part of the University of New South Wales

The submission is dated 14 November 2011, and does not appear in the official list of submissions (as far as I can see, let me know if it is there) and deals precisely with the issue in question: namely, to what extent the Commonwealth has the power to regulate traditional and new media.

One question that must be asked immediately is why the submission is omitted from the list on the Inquiry web site. It was sourced via the Gilbert + Tobin Centre's own index of submissions. There may be a reasonable explanation for this, but in the interests of transparency it should be stated.

UPDATE: The Inquiry responded to my email about this, stating:
"It is an oversight that the submission has not been published. The submission will be published shortly."

The submission now appears on the consultation page.  Here are a few relevant extracts:
The Australian Constitution does not confer upon the Commonwealth any general power to regulate the all types of news media. Instead, the degree to which the Commonwealth can regulate in this area varies across mediums....


The Commonwealth has no direct head of legislative power with respect to the print media. However, the Commonwealth may nonetheless regulate the print media by virtue of indirect heads of power such as those relating to trade and commerce, taxation, corporations, external affairs and the Territories. The most significant of these is the corporations power – its potential application to news media regulation is expanded on below. In addition, the Commonwealth may regulate print media where doing so is incidental to the exercise of a direct head of power – for example, it can limit ownership and control of print media as a condition of radio and television broadcasting licenses issued by virtue of section 51(v).


The extent of Commonwealth power over matters concerning the internet, including journalism that is published online, is yet to be considered by the High Court. However, it is likely that the internet falls within the scope of section 51(v) either as a ‘telephonic’ or ‘other like service’, and that federal regulation could validly extend to the means of online communication, such as infrastructure (eg, the installation of fibre optic cables) and the conduct of internet service providers (ISPs). Other heads of power, such as those mentioned above, may also support Commonwealth regulation of online content. The potential for this is explored further below.

So far, then, the Commonwealth has the power to regular print media indirectly, through the corporations power, or incidentally to the postal and telegraphic power. It also appears the Commonwealth may regulate internet and online media through the means of communication. However, the following paragraph reveals that Finkelstein's desire to regulate every blogger in Australia with more than 15,000 hits is beyond the powers of the Commonwealth:
To the extent that online journalism is carried out by constitutional corporations, it will be open to federal regulation via the corporations power in the same way the print journalism is. However, the extent of federal power is less certain where the online content is published by an entity that is not a constitutional corporation. A large number of individuals and bodies fall into this category, including any news outlets that operate as sole traders or partnerships, individual bloggers, and individuals posting on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

So where an organisation is a corporation, it can be regulated under the corporations power, but apart from that, there is no power to regulate their activities.
The extent of Commonwealth power to regulate online journalism of this nature is unclear. As noted above, it seems likely that section 51(v) authorises regulation of ISPs as bodies responsible for the transmission of online content. However, on current authority, it is doubtful that it extends to the regulation of the creators of content such as individual bloggers. Where news or other content appears online through a service such as Facebook which is controlled by a foreign or for-profit corporation, this could be regulated under the corporations power.

"Doubtful that it extends to the regulation of the creators of content such as individual bloggers" - this means that if Finkelstein's regime were to be enacted, it would have to place the burden on ISPs to censor content from blogs which fell foul of the regulatory framework, since there would be no power to act against the blogs themselves (unless they were corporations, and let's face it, few are).

Furthermore, the submission concludes:
The Commonwealth has extensive, unrealised potential to further regulate the Australian media, including the print media. The corporations power in particular provides a basis upon which to establish new regulation in this field. However, such regulation is subject to the limits of existing powers. In particular, the corporations power only extends to entities that are incorporated and operate as a financial, trading or foreign corporation. In the circumstances, it must be recognised that, although it has extensive power, the Commonwealth does not possess the legislative power to comprehensively regulate the media in Australia. The only means of achieving this would be via cooperation with the States.

And with New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland  controlled by conservative state governments, they can kiss that idea goodbye.


Australia: Criticism of homosexual marriage renders you judicially incompetent?

Diversity of views not allowed, apparently. The "personal reasons" mentioned below would be to reduce the flak he was getting

A member of Victoria's Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission board has resigned after stirring controversy by signing a petition opposing gay marriage.

Professor Kuruvilla George is also the state's deputy chief psychiatrist and one of a group of 150 doctors who wrote to a Senate inquiry on marriage equality.  The doctors' submission argued children with a mother and father were healthier than children with same-sex parents.

The petition has drawn criticism from other doctors and families of same-sex couples and yesterday prompted Victoria's chief psychiatrist to issue a statement defending Professor George.

Dr Ruth Vine said Professor George signed the petition "in his capacity as a private citizen", therefore he had not breached the code of conduct for public sector employees.

The Victorian Government also stepped into the debate, with Deputy Premier Peter Ryan saying the professor was not at fault.  "He's made his statements on a private basis, he's made them in that capacity," Mr Ryan said.  "He was not speaking on behalf of the Commission. "It's a point of view that he has expressed privately."

Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) chairman John Seale says Professor George made the decision to resign from the EOC board because of time constraints and for personal reasons.  He thanked Professor George for his service.

The petition to the Senate inquiry, submitted by the group Doctors For The Family, says children raised in heterosexual relationships "do better in all parameters".

Its convener Lachlan Dunjey, a right-to-life campaigner who has run as a Senate candidate for the Christian Democratic Party, told ABC News Radio the group was concerned about the health consequences for children of gay marriages.

"It's well proven that children who grow up with a mother and a father in a biological mother-and-father family do better than children who don't have the opportunity to grow up in that kind of family," he said.

AMA president Steve Hambleton has rejected the claims, saying there is no evidence that children with same-sex parents are any different to those with heterosexual parents.



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 WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  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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