Thursday, October 03, 2013
There's nothing like a bit of multiculturalism
Jewellery cases smashed. Mobile phones ripped from displays. Cash registers emptied. Alcohol stocks plundered.
For the second time in two months, Kenyan security forces that moved in to control an emergency are being accused of robbing the very property they were supposed to protect. First the troops were accused of looting during a huge fire in August at Nairobi's main airport.
Now shop owners at Westgate Mall are returning to their stores after last week's devastating terrorist attack to find displays ransacked and valuables stolen.
One witness told The Associated Press that he saw a Kenyan soldier take cigarettes out of a dead man's pocket.
The shock revelation that looting businesses and robbing bodies took place comes a day after the first pictures from inside the mall were revealed.
Shopping trolleys abandoned, bags dropped on the floor and beer bottles left where they stand, these haunting images show the shops which were deserted in the aftermath of the Nairobi mall massacre which left 67 people dead and dozens more missing.
Carts full of goods were left standing in Westgate Mall as shoppers fled for their lives when jihadi terrorists rushed the building and started gunning down customers.
The photographs show how people apparently dropped bags on the ground as they made their escape, forming a disturbing portrait of the moment chaos broke out.
Shopkeepers spent Monday carting merchandise and other valuables out of their stores and restaurants to prevent any more thefts. No one can say for sure who is responsible, but Kenya's security forces are strongly suspected.
Soon after the attack began on September 21, Kenyan officials put a cordon around the mall, allowing only security forces and a few government personnel to pass through.
Since then, alcohol stocks from the restaurants have been depleted. One business owner at the mall said money and mobile phones were taken from bags and purses left behind in the mayhem. The owner insisted on anonymity to avoid retribution from Kenya's government.
Employees of a book shop on the mall's second floor returned to find registers yanked open and cash gone. The store's laptops were also stolen. All the shop's books remained in place, said owner Paku Tsavani.
Perhaps reluctant to blame Kenyan security forces, Tsavani said he doesn't know who took his goods. 'Obviously the terrorists wouldn't steal those things, so we just don't know,' Tsavani said.
Sandeep Vidyarthi went into the mall Sunday to help a relative retrieve equipment from his dental practice. Inside he said he passed shop after shop that had been looted, including the Rado store that sells high-end Swiss watches.
As he was leaving the mall, Vidyarthi passed a jewellery shop near the front entrance. The owner, he said, was presenting security officials with a long list of missing precious stones and high-end necklaces. 'The jeweller had written down this very long list,' he said.
It is ironic, said the management team of one Westgate business, that store owners must now make reports of stolen goods to the same security forces suspected of doing the thieving.
Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku confirmed the reports of theft Sunday in a news conference. The majority of the responders to the terrorist attack came from Kenya's military. A military spokesman did not answer repeated calls for comment.
'Those responsible for looting will be prosecuted,' Lenku said.
The mall attack also saw good Samaritans. Paresh Shah, a volunteer who helped evacuate the injured and recover the dead during the first day, said he carried out the body of Aleem Jamal.
Shah frowned at the memory and said he saw a Kenyan soldier take Jamal's cigarettes while in the ambulance. 'I could never do that, take a dead man's cigarettes,' Shah said.
Jamal's family retrieved the body at the morgue, where his wife, Taz Jamal, said her husband's wallet was missing.
A team of terrorists entered Westgate Mall shortly after noon on a busy Saturday, firing guns and throwing grenades. The attackers - the Somali extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility - held off Kenya's military and controlled at least parts of the mall for four days.
The attack killed at least 67 people. The mall now has a gaping three-story hole in it from the siege.
FBI agents, along with investigators from Britain, Canada and Germany, are participating in the investigation into the attack and are aiding Kenyan forensic experts. Results are not expected until later this week at the earliest.
Kenyan authorities have used anti-terrorism laws to detain a total of 12 people in connection with the attack, including one on Sunday. Three have been set free, including a British man with a bruised face who was reportedly arrested last week as he tried to board a flight from Nairobi to Turkey while acting suspiciously, the British Foreign Office confirmed Monday.
Ndung'u Githinji, chairman of parliament's foreign relations committee, said officials will 'rethink' Kenya's hospitality in supporting refugee camps, a reference to Dadaab, a camp near Somalia filled with more than 400,000 Somalis. Security officials say some elements in the camp support and facilitate terror attacks.
In addition to the 61 civilians and six troops reported killed in the attack, the government has said five of the attackers were killed by gunfire and at least one more is thought to be in the building's rubble.
The militant group al-Shabab has said it carried out the mall attack to punish Kenya for sending its troops into neighboring Somalia to fight the Al Qaeda-linked militant group that had seized large parts of that country for years before being dislodged from the capital, Mogadishu.
Kathy Shaidle doesn't think much of her native Canada
Will Canadians call for her beheading?
In Canada, David Gilmour is what passes for a famous author north of the 49th parallel. That is, he puts out a new novel every few years that sells well under a thousand copies before it’s remaindered. He’s handed awards at respectable intervals and shows up on prize juries and the occasional TV or radio show....
Hunkered down in my office, I kept half-hearing televised news reports murmuring from the living room about some kind of shocking incident taking place on or about a University of Toronto campus.
From the grave tones being affected by reporters, I briefly feared some lone loony named “David Gilmour” had just gunned down a dozen or so female students at Victoria College à la the Montreal Massacre.
The truth was nowhere near as exciting.
No, 67-year-old novelist and university lecturer Gilmour has merely granted an interview to a previously unheard-of publication and was now being mocked and denounced in international news stories and opinion pieces.
His crime against humanity? When asked about which books he assigns to his U of T students, Gilmour replied:
I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women.…
Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth.
Dryly humored and notoriously petulant, as well as a crashing bore on the topic of his many ex-wives, Gilmour has never been in danger of being dubbed “Canada’s Most Lovable Writer.” It’s easy to imagine him uttering his now notorious “racist, sexist, homophobic” words through his familiar perma-smirk, perhaps to amuse himself while submitting to the time-wasting questions of a female reporter who fell below his “boinkability” standards.
Need I tell you that calls for Gilmour’s dismissal came thick and fast? Or that the most “offensive” statement he made last week was his defensive, semi-sucky “apology”?
Despite the stale Marxist jargon being pitched in Gilmour’s general direction, this “controversy” reveals less about “patriarchy” than it does about parochialism.
Never mind the proverbial “small stakes” of academia. There really is no puny, pointless “controversy” quite like a Canadian one.
Whereas British or American politicians can at least be relied upon to indulge in some ill-advised screwing once in a while, the closest Canada’s had to a sex scandal in recent memory involved the cabinet minister who left his briefcase on his girlfriend’s coffee table and no, I’m not joking.
Meanwhile, the Gilmour Affair is at least slightly more entertaining than our last literary cause célèbre, when a foreign Giller Prize juror joked about the overstock of “dreadful” Canadian novels comprised mostly of “flashbacks to Granny’s youth in the Ukraine or whatever,” and Noah Richler, son of novelist Mordecai (and who normally presents himself in public as a world-traveling gourmand) responded with a wounded, humorless word-fart in the pages of the nation’s paper of record.
(As you had guessed, the CanLit crowd is more inbred than the mythical “hillbillies” who populate their treasured anti-American fever dreams.)
At one of Lord Black’s London dinner parties, diplomat (!) Daniel Bernard famously called Israel a “shitty little country,” a remark Lady Black duly reported and condemned in the Daily Telegraph.
Although my fellow Canadian, the former Barbara Amiel, is conventionally patriotic, I wonder if she’d agree with me that at times like this, that inelegant phrase is a pretty apt description of “our home and native land.”
A Free Press, Swedish Style
Sweden is proud that it guarantees freedom of the press. Every news outlet is free to publish anything it wants — provided that it agrees with the consensus of the government and the major political parties, if the minister of culture has her way.
Swedish media outlets depend on government subsidies for the survival of their operations. Without the help of taxpayers’ kroner, a newspaper would find it hard to survive, as attested by the recent experience of Dispatch International.
Up until now the government has guaranteed the impartiality of press subsidies. No matter the opinion expressed, the government would not curtail the funding of any newspaper. But what the government may grant, it may also withhold, and the temptation to manipulate content by withholding state subsidies is all but irresistible.
One suspects that this principle of government neutrality has been more honored in the breach than in the observance, even in Sweden. However, the real state of affairs has now been revealed — the iron fist is out of the velvet glove.
According to Fria Tider:
"Swedish Government: Press subsidies must depend on attitude to immigration
Stockholm (Fria Tider). Swedish minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn-Liljeroth (Liberal) is critical of a Parliamentary committee and its decision to uphold the rules stating that press subsidies may not depend on newspapers’ political content.
According to the responsible minister, a “democracy clause” should be included in the new legislation, barring “immigrant-critical” news outlets from receiving the statutory subsidies.
“One example is the debate that occurred while the pronounced immigrant-critical newspaper Nationell Idag received press subsidy” Adelsohn-Liljenroth writes in an article published on SVT Debatt.
She notes that it was against this background [that Nationell Idag was granted press subsidy] that she gave the Parliamentary Committee on Press Subsidies the directive to determine whether rules should call for “respect for the ideals of democracy” or otherwise ensure that subsidies are justified from a “democratic perspective”. The wordings denote the sharing of views on migration policy proposed by the Swedish government, most political parties and mainstream media. However, the ministerial directive to the committee resulted in an unwelcome conclusion. Mrs. Adelsohn-Liljeroth: “The Committee concluded that such a requirement could be seen as a way to hinder the printed word. I disagree with that assessment”.
Now the government threatens to introduce a political section in the subsidy rules nevertheless — even though all members of the relevant parliamentary committee oppose it. “I am now awaiting the respondents’ views on the proposal of the Press Subsidies Committee. I hope the responses provide a basis for imposing a democracy clause in the new press subsidy regulation,” Adelsohn-Liljeroth concludes."
British government minister: I'll kick out illegal migrants BEFORE they get chance to appeal
Foreign criminals, terrorists and illegal immigrants will be kicked out of Britain before they get the chance to claim their human rights are being breached.
In a massive shake-up of immigration law, Theresa May today tells the Daily Mail the Government plans to ‘deport first, and hear the appeal later’ – after they have been put on a plane home.
The Home Secretary will also slash the number of grounds on which migrants can lodge an appeal from the current 17 to just four after the fiasco of the deportation of Abu Qatada, who finally returned home to Jordan earlier this year after a 12-year legal battle.
Home Office officials expect the crackdown to more than halve the astonishing 68,000 cases lodged against the Government every year.
‘I am clear that the law must be on the side of people who respect the law, not those who break it,’ Mrs May said.
Her move came as David Cameron gave the strongest signal yet that the Tories are ready to quit the meddling European Court of Human Rights.
The Prime Minister said he would do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure Britain can throw out people who pose a threat to the country and have no right to be here.
The court’s interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is enshrined in British law in the Human Rights Act, has been condemned by many Conservative MPs.
Asked if the party is considering complete withdrawal, the Prime Minister said: ‘It may be that that is where we end up.’
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling will tell the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today that the court has become a ‘big international frustration’.
A Tory government, he will insist, would ‘scrap Labour’s Human Rights Act and make sure that with legal rights go legal responsibilities’.
Ministers have tried for years to take a hard line against preachers of hate, foreign criminals and illegal immigrants. But they can drag out the appeal process for years – usually by citing the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.
The ECHR has been invoked by scores of people fighting deportation from Britain. They argue its provisions mean they are entitled to various rights, including the right to a family life. As soon as an appeal is lodged, deportation proceedings are halted.
In a Daily Mail interview, Mrs May said public trust was being undermined – and tens of millions of pounds squandered – by migrants and their lawyers playing the system.
In future, officials will be told to throw people out of the country as soon as their case has been decided by the Government – a system which is already in place in France. They can still appeal, but only from their homeland.
The only exception would be in cases where there is a ‘risk of serious irreversible harm’, such as torture or execution.
Migrants who claim to have a right to a ‘family life’ under article 8 of the Human Rights – the biggest frustration to the public – can still be thrown out.
Tory backbenchers will hope the tough stance, which will be unveiled in Mrs May’s speech to the conference today, will help to win back voters who have defected to Ukip.
Mrs May said: ‘The Abu Qatada case proved that we need a dramatic change in our human rights law. We’re going to cut the number of appeal rights, extend cases where we deport first and hear the appeal later, and use primary legislation to make sure judges interpret the “right to a family life” properly.’
Mrs May also wants to end the farce of migrants being able to build up ‘rights’ to stay in Britain by stringing out an appeal for as long as possible. The longer a person can remain in the UK - even if they are facing removal - the easier it is to claim they have established a ‘family life’.
A new Immigration Bill will be introduced when Parliament returns. The 17 existing rights of appeal will be cut to just four. A right of appeal will only exist where the decision is complex and fact-specific.
The Tories say it will reduce the number of appeals by nearly 60 per cent, leading to an estimated net saving of £219million over ten years.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.