Wednesday, February 12, 2014
More multiculturalism in Australia: Gang rape by Africans
COMMUNITY leaders have warned of possible reprisal attacks by Blacktown’s Pacific Islander community targeting young African-Australian men in the wake of the gang-rape attack on a 14-year-old Islander girl.
Blacktown Uniting Church Reverend Liva Tukutama said it was vital he and other Pacific Islander leaders reached out to African leaders to stop the young men of their communities seeking vengeance.
Meanwhile the victim’s mother says her daughter has been “broken into pieces” after what police described as a “horrendous” sexual assault by up to six men.
With tears welling in her eyes, the mother of the girl said she was heartbroken, furious and wanted to kill the attackers who had left her daughter traumatised beyond words.
The devastated mother’s comments came the same day a CCTV image of a man at a nearby bottleshop provided to The Daily Telegraph was passed on to police as part of the extensive investigation into the incident which has shocked the city.
“I’m feeling angry and disgusted at what’s happened to my daughter and I want to catch those mongrels and kill them,” the girl’s mother said.
“My daughter is broken into pieces. To herself, she feels ugly. Since this happened she is always putting her head down …. It’s disgusting what they did to her. “She is a beautiful, nice girl — beautiful, beautiful.”
She said the 14-year-old was too traumatised to tell her or her sisters about what had occurred and was devastated that online bullies had already targeted her daughter for simply being in the park where the sexual assault took place at night.
She was reportedly “hanging out” with two friends in Bill Colbourne Reserve, Doonside around 11pm on Saturday night when the trio noticed “five or six” African-Australian men drinking alcohol.
The Daily Telegraph has obtained CCTV footage of a man buying a bottle of alcohol from the Doonside Cellars about 9pm on the night, who was yesterday identified by one of the victim’s friends as a member of the group in the park. Police are reviewing the CCTV image from the bottle shop and other businesses as they hunt down the rapists.
Bottle shop staff have confirmed that the timestamp vision is 90 minutes slow since the CCTV’s timer is not calibrated to the correct time.
A receipt corresponding to the filmed purchase show indicate the sale was made at 8.58pm.
At 11pm that night the teenage girl became the victim of a prolonged gang rape described by Superintendent Gary Merryweather as “horrendous” and “unprovoked”.
It is understood the girl — who was being consoled by friends at school yesterday — was walking home when one of the men “touched her inappropriately”.
That man and the remainder of the group then allegedly “overpowered” the teenager in the park before raping her in an ordeal that last 30 minutes, Supt Merryweather said.
After the rape, the victim raced to the nearby home of her friend whose family members described her as “almost inconsolable” and “practically hysterical”.
The victim’s friend, who cannot be identified, told The Daily Telegraph he had seen a group matching a description of the alleged offenders drinking from a liquor bottle shortly before his friend was raped.
“We were just hanging around,” he said. “I had to leave the park ...(The victim) is stressed today.”
The girl’s friend said the men were known drug dealers and that that the third friend in the group had intended to make a purchase.
The friend’s mother is understood to have called police and the young victim was taken by ambulance from the home a few hours later.
“Being of such a tender age she is traumatised to an extent that I can’t even describe at this stage,” Supt Merryweather said.
Swiss voters back limit on immigration
Voters in Switzerland on Sunday narrowly backed a plan to limit immigration, in a blow for the government after it had warned that the measure could harm the Swiss economy and relations with the European Union.
Swiss public television SRF reported that some 50.3 per cent of voters had backed a proposal by the nationalist People's Party to introduce quotas for all types of immigrants. About 49.7 per cent had voted against the plan. The difference between the two sides was fewer than 30,000 votes, with a turnout of about 56 per cent.
The decision means that the Swiss government will need to renegotiate treaties on the free movement of workers that it had painstakingly hammered out with the EU. Until now, citizens from most EU member states could live and work in Switzerland with little formality, while Swiss citizens could do the same in the 28-nation bloc that encircles the Alpine nation.
Two years ago Switzerland introduced quotas for immigrants from eight central and eastern European nations, a move that had already drawn heavy criticism from the EU. Ahead of Sunday's referendum business groups warned that many of the 80,000 people who had moved to Switzerland last year were vital for the country's economy, and curtailing immigration further could cost Swiss citizens' jobs too.
"We always thought the argument about jobs would win people over," said Urs Schwaller, a lawmaker with the centrist Christian People's Party. "Clearly that wasn't enough."
Mr Schwaller said the Swiss government would now need to launch a diplomatic offensive, explaining to the EU that its hands were bound by the referendum while trying to avoid sanctions from Brussels. "We need to show the European Union that we're a reliable partner," he said.
The new proposal forces the government to draft a law extending quotas to immigrants from western Europe and introduce limits on all foreigners' rights to bring in family members or access Swiss social services.
EU Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said it was disappointed by the vote. "This goes against the principle of free movement of persons between the EU and Switzerland," he said. "The EU will examine the implications of this initiative on EU-Swiss relations as a whole."
Almost a quarter of the 8 million people living in Switzerland are foreigners. This is partly due to Switzerland's healthy economy and high salaries.
But Switzerland's restrictive citizenship laws also mean many people who were born in the country or have lived there for a long time don't have a Swiss passport, inflating the share of foreigners compared with other countries.
The People's Party - which has more than a quarter of seats in the lower house of parliament - launched a massive campaign in favour of limiting immigration, hoping to emulate the success of other referendums in recent years that targeted foreigners. Some posters showed a huge tree crushing a map of Switzerland, while others depicted a heavily veiled woman beneath the headline "1 million Muslims soon?"
Official figures say 500,000 people in the nation of 8 million identified themselves as Muslim. Many of them are former refugees who fled to Switzerland during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Only a minority are actively religious.
In a local referendum in the eastern municipality of Au-Heerbrugg, voters decided to impose a ban on Muslim girls wearing headscarves at a local primary school.
The leader of Britain's main eurosceptic party has hailed Swiss voters for backing curbs on EU immigration. Nigel Farage, the head of Britain's Independence Party, said Switzerland had stood up to bullying from Brussels and it was "not a matter of race but of space".
Mr Farage, who is a member of the European Parliament, said it was wonderful news for national sovereignty and freedom lovers throughout Europe, describing Switzerland as wise and strong.
The U.N. Assault on the Catholic Church
A high-profile sex-abuse report is an attempt to bully the church into bowing before the altar of Turtle Bay
In the name of protecting children,the United Nations is now preaching to the Vatican. A report on the Holy See—released by a U.N. committee last week to much media fanfare—alleged that tens of thousands of children have been abused by Catholic clerics, and that the Vatican has helped cover it up.
The committee strongly urged the Vatican: "Ensure a transparent sharing of all archives which can be used to hold the abusers accountable as well as those who concealed their crimes and knowingly placed offenders in contact with children."
That's rich coming from the U.N., which has still not solved its own festering problems of peacekeeper sex abuse, including the rape of minors. Exposing abusers and holding them to account is a great idea. The Vatican has spent years addressing the scandal of its own past handling of such cases. But the U.N. hardly engages in the transparency it is now promoting.
The U.N. releases only generic statistics on violations committed by personnel working under its flag. The U.N. doesn't share with the public such basic information as the names of the accused or the details of what they did to people the U.N. dispatched them to protect. Blue berets accused of sex crimes are simply sent back to their home countries, where in the majority of cases they drop off the radar.
Though the U.N. has been recording a drop in sex-abuse cases since it began releasing numbers in 2007, the number of alleged instances of rape and exploitation each year still runs into the dozens. (This may understate the realities, given the hurdles to victims coming forward, often in societies in tumult or at war.) From 2007-13, the U.N. reported more than 600 allegations of rape or sexual exploitation, with 354 substantiated—many of them involving minors. The numbers do not convey how ugly some of these cases get. Details can occasionally be gleaned when an incident seeps past the U.N. wall of omerta and makes it into the news, as with the peacekeeper gang rape in 2011 of a Haitian teenager, whose agony was caught on video.
In such matters as sex abuse, it is reasonable to hold the Vatican, or any other organization, to standards higher than the low bar the U.N. sets for itself. But hypocrisy is just one of the problems with this 16-page report on the Holy See, which further assails the Vatican for not subordinating itself wholesale to a much broader U.N. agenda. For example, the report calls for the Vatican to drop its opposition to adolescent abortion and contraception, condone underage homosexuality, and use its "authority" and "influence" to disseminate world-wide a roster of U.N. views and policies that run counter to those of the Catholic Church.
The real issue here is that whatever changes the Vatican and the world's 1.2 billion Catholics might consider, the U.N. is supremely ill-qualified to serve as a guide. The body that produced this report is the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child. Its job is to monitor compliance with the U.N.-engendered Convention on the Rights of the Child, a lengthy and intrusive treaty that went into effect in 1990.
When the Holy See became one of the early parties to this treaty, it did so with explicit reservations meant to safeguard its own authority and religious character. Now the committee, in its report on Wednesday, is pressing the Vatican to "withdraw all its reservations and to ensure the Convention's precedence over internal laws and regulations." The committee's recommendations are nonbinding but can influence public opinion. In this report the Vatican is publicly shamed—and then urged to redeem itself by bowing before the altar of the U.N.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child consists of 18 panelists advertised as "independent experts," serviced by a secretariat housed in Geneva under the umbrella of the U.N.'s dubiously named Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The committee members are nominated for their posts by the governments of their home countries and elected by an assembly of treaty members that reflects the despot-heavy tilt of the U.N.
From 2009-13 the committee included a member put forward by the government of Syria, where in 2011 the Assad regime began making world headlines for torturing and murdering children. Currently, the committee includes members from such human-rights-challenged countries as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Bahrain and Egypt. This panel issues reports via a process that in practice entails neither uniform standards of judgment nor urgent attention to some of the world's most horrifying abuses of children.
Officially, all parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child are supposed to self-report every five years. The U.N. committee then responds with its own volume of "concluding observations"—which is what just hit the Vatican. In practice, however, some treaty members miss their deadlines by years, and when they do clock in, the committee is chronically slow to respond. Iran has for years led the world in juvenile executions, yet the committee last reported on Iran in 2005. Its next report on Iran is not due until 2016.
A stark example of selective reporting can be found in the committee's most recent observations on Saudi Arabia—issued eight years ago. That report mentioned the case of a 2002 fire at a girls school in Mecca, a disaster in which 15 girls died and dozens more were injured. Expressing "grave concern" that "the school building did not meet adequate safety standards for children," the committee recommended that school buildings be made safer and that staff be trained for such emergencies.
What the committee did not mention was that when the schoolgirls tried to escape the fire, Saudi Islamic-morality police drove the students back into the burning building because they were not covered head-to-toe in the scarves and abayas required in public. Saudi journalists had the courage to report on this monstrous element of the tragedy. The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child left it out.
Or take North Korea, where state policy has led to famines that resulted in the stunting and mass starvation of children, and where disloyalty to the supreme leader can be punished by sending three generations of a family, including children, to prison-labor camps. In assessing North Korea, the U.N. committee in its most recent report released in 2009 expressed concern about"severe ill-treatment" of children and noted with "deep concern" that "the overall standard of living of children remains very low." But there was none of the fervor with which the committee has denounced the Vatican for failing to explicitly forbid corporal punishment. On that the committee was more than merely concerned, scolding the Holy See to ensure that "all forms of violence against children, however light, are unacceptable."
The Vatican has responded to this U.N. satrapy with a statement that its headline-grabbing report was "unjustly harmful" and went beyond the committee's competencies "to interfere in the very doctrinal and moral positions of the Catholic Church." Pope Francis might want to consider that it is precisely to avoid gross intrusion by unaccountable U.N. "experts" that the United States has signed but never ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This treaty has less to do with children than with political power plays, and a fitting reform at the Vatican would be to walk away from it.
Ongoing Threats to Free Speech in the USA
The Obama administration and other liberal proponents of "net neutrality" were dealt a significant blow last month when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided that 2010 FCC regulations on Internet providers were invalid. However, conservatives should remain alert to one caveat: the ruling affirmed a Federal Communications Commission right to regulate the Internet, leaving open the possibility for more tailored regulations by executive fiat.
"Analysts say it would be unwise for [internet service providers] to take initiatives that set off a consumer backlash or public relations battle, giving Democratic lawmakers an opening to propose new broadband legislation," reported Investor's Business Daily. "While the door might be open for ISPs to seek fees from bandwidth-gobbling websites, over-reaching could make it more likely that Congress will step in."
And so, while the "free market" prevails in this court battle between the FCC and Verizon, this is a tenuous victory, and businesses must still balance their desire to innovate against the threat of Congressional intervention. And before the market reacts to the change in FCC rules, congressional leaders are charging into the breach to defend the open internet. The "Open Internet Preservation Act" was introduced by House Democrats on February 3. "The Internet is an open marketplace where everyone can participate on equal footing," stated Democratic Senator Al Franken (MN) regarding the bill, which also has a Senate companion. Sen. Franken and the other co-sponsors say they'd like it to stay that way, and perceive a threat from big business.
Ross Kaminsky, writing for the American Spectator, has a different take: "The reason the Internet is one of the most successful achievements in human history is that it's been almost entirely unregulated (other than attempting to prevent already illegal acts like dealing drugs or distributing child pornography, etc.)" (emphasis added).
"The idea that anything the FCC would do is likely to increase innovation is ridiculous on its face," argues the senior fellow at the conservative Heartland Institute (emphasis in original).
"Tuesday's [court] victory, although in an important battle, must be seen in the context of a never-ending war against a patient and determined enemy," he asserts. Particularly, "With Net Neutrality dead for the time being, I expect renewed focus by the partisan [FCC Chair Tom] Wheeler on a new version of the ‘Fairness Doctrine' in which the FCC will work to weaken conservative dominance over talk radio and cable TV news."
As Accuracy in Media has long argued, a revival of the Fairness Doctrine is fully possible under the Obama administration, although it may occur under the guise of diversity and media ownership rules, or some other promotion of "media diversity." This makes it all the more disturbing that the FCC has reportedly launched a $900,000 study in Columbia, South Carolina that will, according to The Hill, "ask journalists and station owners about their news philosophy and story selection process."
Yet the media has been virtually silent about this study and what it might mean for the American public's ability to access news without government interference. The Daily Caller published an article on the study in late October of last year. Then, in December it published an article questioning whether the study will actually take place, given an apparent lack of outreach on the FCC's part. "More than six weeks after the Federal Communications Commission announced a broad probe of political speech that raised serious First Amendment concerns, the city where the program was scheduled to begin has yet to hear from the Feds," they wrote. "Some FCC watchers speculate that Wheeler does not share [former acting chair Mignon] Clyburn's interest in the CIN survey."
If so, this would mark a significant turn of events, especially since Wheeler himself clung to the survey as a fact-finding mission in his testimony before the House.
"In order to make that kind of a judgment you have to have facts," said Wheeler. "In order to have facts you do studies. And what we did was, there is a study that has been proposed by a consulting firm that we were working with, and we put that out for public notice to exactly get the kind of input that you're suggesting."
Time magazine described Wheeler last year as a top Obama bundler and an Obama "true believer."
But why did the FCC choose a consulting firm like Social Solutions International, Inc., which is "dedicated to the creation of social and health solutions to improve the welfare of underserved populations worldwide," according to their website. "Founded on the values of diversity, social responsibility, and quality, Social Solutions International's corporate culture is grounded in the concept of positive change," states their website (emphasis added). These factors may just skew the data the FCC collects.
"The prospect of government-sponsored researchers querying independent journalists about their news judgment is constitutionally questionable-and wholly unnecessary," asserted the National Association of Broadcasters regarding the study last July.
"Although the Commission's stated reason for the report is to inform the Commission in taking deregulatory action to lower ‘market entry barriers for entrepreneurs and other small businesses,' it is hard to read this and see it for anything other than what it is: Fairness Doctrine 2.0," asserts a GOP letter which was sent on December 11, 2013, the day before the aforementioned hearing.
Diversity in media ownership is a core goal of the Obama administration. "As president, Obama will encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum," states his 2008 agenda. Obama has also voiced his support for net neutrality.
In mid-2007 the Center for American Progress released a study entitled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio," a transparent attempt to boost liberal viewpoints on the airwaves through the manipulation of FCC licenses, which radio stations and other broadcast entities have to periodically renew in compliance with regulatory standards. They found that "Quantitative analysis conducted by Free Press of all 10,506 licensed commercial radio stations reveals that stations owned by women, minorities, or local owners are statistically less likely to air conservative hosts or shows" (emphasis in original).
To make their goal even more transparent, they write: "Ultimately, these results suggest that increasing ownership diversity, both in terms of the race/ethnicity and gender of owners, as well as the number of independent local owners, will lead to more diverse programming, more choices for listeners, and more owners who are responsive to their local communities and serve the public interest." By diverse programming, they mean more progressive viewpoints. We called it what it is back in 2008: a nascent Obama Fairness Doctrine.
This is not the only threat to free speech on the horizon. The Hill reported last month that "Thirteen House Democrats have proposed legislation that would require the government to study hate speech on the Internet, mobile phones and television and radio." Who wants to guess what they would classify as "hate speech" in the end? Just look at what we've reported about the Southern Poverty Law Center, a media go-to for anti-"hate speech" quotations and expertise, for a clue.
Indeed, the enemies of free speech are patient, and those who love free anything-the Internet, broadcast cable, the radio-must remain ever vigilant themselves in order to preserve a free society from threats like these.
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 and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.