Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The Isla Vista shootings
In their usual brain-dead way, liberals are blaming the shootings on an inanimate piece of metal -- a gun. That the shooting was actually done by a person seems to have escaped them. For anyone who is able to think, however, what made the person concerned do what he did is surely the crucial question. And the plain fact that he had long been psychologically unwell -- to the point of having undergone therapy several times -- is an obvious thing to point to.
But his ability to convince the police that he was a 'perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human' indicates that he was not too bad. Given different circumstances he might have made something of himself. So what were the circumstances that led him down the wrong road? I think that is fairly clear. Modern Left-based ideas of child-rearing and education teach that everyone is a star and everyone is entitled to win and have all they want without effort. And it is certainly clear that Elliot Rodger did have a strong sense of entitlement. He thought that success should come to him rather than feeling that its lack was his problem and that should go out and work for it.
If he had had an old-fashioned Christian upbringing, however, he would have learnt that man is a fallen and imperfect creature who has to work for his blessings and must be thankful for what he has.
In short, Leftist nonsense pushed a fragile man over the edge; A Christian upbringing might have saved him and his victims.
I reproduce below two things: An account of the terrible loss that this badly guided man inflicted and a commentary on the claims that more gun control is needed. That three of the victims were knifed to death may undermine the anti-gunners a bit, though. Do we need knife control as well? It may be noted that in Britain, where only blacks and farmers have guns, fatal stabbings are common -- but even the British have not attempted knife control, though it is talked about.
Father of Veronika Weiss, shooting victim, speaks
When Bob and Colleen Weiss learnt that their daughter may have been a victim in the Isla Vista shooting rampage, they immediately got in their car late on Friday night and drove from their home in Thousand Oaks, California to Santa Barbara.
But once they arrived in the Santa Barbara County coastal community around midnight, authorities were unable confirm whether 19-year-old Veronika Weiss was among those killed. It was hours before they heard back from sheriff’s officials.
"It was 4 o'clock in the morning and Veronika's not a 4 o’clock in the morning type of girl," Bob Weiss said in an interview on Sunday. "I'm not a fool. I knew what happened."
After a student riot broke out in Isla Vista in March, Veronika called her parents and told them, "I'm safe in my room. Don't worry about me."
This time she didn't call. They used her "Find my iPhone" app and her phone was in the middle of one of the crime scenes, her dad said.
Bob Weiss said his daughter was wise and mature beyond her years. He said he would go to her for advice sometimes if he was having a problem with her brothers, Cooper, 17, and Jackson, 15, or even a minor argument with his wife.
Weiss said his daughter was always a tomboy. She played four sports in high school, which is a rarity. She participated in cross country, baseball, swimming and water polo and she earned straight A's. Her strength was maths.
Starting at age six she loved playing softball, he said. Later she played baseball. He said she was the only girl out of 500 players in the Westlake baseball league.
"She was tough," he said. "She was a big strong girl and she was tough."
On the water polo team at Westlake High School, which she graduated from, the coach always put her as the defence player against the top scorer on the opposing team.
He said she always organised events for her circle of friends. He described her friends as nerds and serious students. They would study every Friday night and it was not unusual for her to spend Sundays working on her advanced maths work. "She loved it," he said.
He said many of her friends went on to other prestigious schools such as Princeton and she wanted to go to the University of Washington. But the out-of-state tuition and financial situation made that prohibitive.
"She would always wear her purple and gold University of Washington sweatshirt," he said.
"She wanted to be a financial wizard, and use her high aptitude with complicated math."
He said her mother and grandmother belonged to the tri-Delta sorority so it makes sense that she would join it too at UCSB. She didn't know many people at the Santa Barbara campus but the sorority gave her a built-in circle of friends, he said.
He described her as being gregarious. She liked to laugh a lot, he said. She was loud and "she made everybody else laugh".
"She was happy all the time," he added.
She graduated high school with a high, 4.3 grade point average.
He said she would sometimes visit him at his office in Newbury Park. She would just come over spontaneously and bring him lunch and they would eat together. "Who does that? How many high school kids are thoughtful like that and want to spend time with their parents?"
Veronika and her parents had just gone snowboarding together two weeks ago. That was their last trip together. They had planned to spend Sunday together. Bob Weiss and his wife had planned to drive up to Santa Barbara to take her to lunch and go shopping.
He said he doesn't know what happened on Friday night but he does know that Veronika would have put herself in harm's way to help her friends or even the young man who shot her. "She always reacted to a situation quickly. She always wanted to help. She was very courageous."
"She will be an inspiration to me every day of my life," he said.
"There was never a day I wasn't proud of her. Never a single day."
Elliot Rodger is Proof that Gun Control Doesn’t Work!
By now, you have probably heard about the recent mass-shooting in Isla Vista, California.
First of all, I want to express my condolences to the victims and their families. This kind of senseless violence is absolutely deplorable and could shock everyone's conscience, regardless of political affiliation.
Unfortunately, the gun control advocates are at it again, arguing that if Federal and State gun control laws were just a little stricter, this tragedy could have been avoided. This couldn't be farther from the truth!
It didn't take long to get a statement from the shooter's family. Alan Shifman, the lawyer representing the family, announced that they were "staunchly against guns," support gun-control laws, and would devote the rest of their lives to stopping tragedies like this from happening again… In this press release, the family blamed the NRA and gun culture in America for allowing their son to arm himself.
Really? They are blaming the NRA because their liberal son bought three guns over a period of months and chose to indiscriminately shoot people? Is it just me, or does it seem like the family is blaming everyone except their own son?
Residents of California know how ridiculous it is to blame the state’s gun control laws. California's gun laws are the strictest in the nation and still, for a deranged and plotting teen who flew under the radar, they did nothing to stop him from arming himself. This shooting is a textbook example of how no amount of gun control laws can stop an individual hell-bent on causing harm to people.
Elliot Rodger was also able to buy all three of his handguns legally, which in California is no easy task. A prospective gun owner has to jump through a number of hoops before they are allowed to take ownership of a gun, let alone three.
If Elliot Rodger bought his weapons from a gun store, which is likely, he would have had to submit to a thorough background check that ran his criminal history, mental health history, and even the applicant's fingerprints. This costs $25. Then, the gun buyer has to wait exactly ten days before he or she is allowed to actually take ownership of the firearm (providing they passed the background check). This operates under the assumption that waiting 10 days to take ownership of a pistol will stop “crimes of passion.”
California also has a law prohibiting the purchase of more than one handgun a month, meaning that Elliot Rodger's would have to have built his collection of handguns over a three month period.
California prohibits citizens from carrying a loaded gun on their person or in their car unless they demonstrate an impossible to meet "good cause." Elliot Rodger broke the law when he took loaded pistols into his car.
California and Isla Vista also have laws against indiscriminately discharging firearms into crowds of people. Elliot Rodger, like other violent criminals, disregarded this law.
At every step of the way, gun control laws failed to stop Elliot Rodger from committing these murders. Even if they were successful at stopping Rodger from arming himself, the fact the first few victims were actually stabbed to death shows that this type of hatred will always find a tool to commit the crime.
Gun control advocate are chomping at the bit to introduce a piece of legislation that would have “prevented” the shooting. But the entire premise of putting words on a piece of paper to deter deranged killers is ludicrous. Elliot Rodger broke a plethora of gun laws. Suggesting that one more would have made a difference is ridiculous.
The only reason you aren't seeing gun control advocates like Dianne Feinstein calling for more gun control measures is because this happened on a weekend. You can rest assured that come Monday morning, these Liberals will be out in force trying to take away YOUR Second Amendment rights because of the actions of a liberal, disturbed young man in Commiefornia.
Five-month-old boy taken from loving parents and put up for adoption after father 'was hostile towards social workers'
Who wouldn't be?
A five-month-old boy who has not yet been given a first name by his parents must be put up for adoption, a judge has ruled.
Mrs Justice Parker said it was ‘emotionally harmful’ that the boy had not been named as she made the ruling at a Family Court hearing in Watford, Hertfordshire.
The judge described the case as 'terribly sad' but said there was a high risk of the child suffering significant emotional harm and a possibility of him being caught up in violence.
She highlighted that his father had assaulted one social worker, by punching him several times in the face, and threatened to kill another after accusing workers of being 'invasive'.
She said the father could be 'dangerous' and accepted that the child's mother was in a vulnerable position as she had been diagnosed with a learning difficulty.
In her ruling, the judge said the father had been behind the decision not to name the baby but did not address the reason as to why. She said: 'His father has refused to give him a name. I think ideally the mother independently would not have taken that view. ‘Every child needs a name. I truly think that it is emotionally harmful not to give a child a name.’
The court heard the couple also have a two-year-old son, who was taken into care last year over similar concerns, and the mother has a third child who is currently being looked after by a relative.
Mrs Justice Parker said the man and his partner believed they did not need any help from the local authority and had become 'increasingly frustrated and intolerant' towards social workers.
Commenting on the case, she said: 'I think I'm a fairly hardy plant. But I have to say I found his simmering anger quite difficult to cope with. 'I think he can be dangerous.'
She continued: 'I am in no doubt there is a high risk of significant harm to baby. Due to a combination of the vulnerability of the mother and the father's attitudes and behaviour.'
Mrs Justice Parker accepted that neither parent had set out to deliberately physically harm their sons.
'This is a terribly sad case because father and mother, each of them, have many excellent qualities,’ she said. ‘It is absolutely plain to me that both of them love each of their sons, their boys, from the bottom of their hearts.'
She said as there was no family member available to care for the child, then it was 'quite clear' that adoption was the only answer.
Mrs Justice Parker ruled that the family could not be identified but Hertfordshire County Council who took the case could be.
The child's father and his partner have indicated that they will appeal the adoption ruling.
Race riot in Britain after Gypsy influx
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett has called for tough police action after a violent street fight between rival groups of immigrants.
The Labour MP spoke out after Page Hall in Sheffield - part of his constituency - was consumed by violence on Monday, which led to several arrests and one teen needing hospital treatment.
He had warned last November that tensions between local people and Roma migrants in the are could escalate into rioting unless action was taken to improve integration.
Tensions came to a head when more than 25 people got involved in the mass disturbance which broke out in the residential area at around 8pm.
A 17-year-old boy suffered a suspected broken arm in the disturbance, which was watched by dozens of concerned residents who poured into the street to watch the clash unfold.
Several rang 999 after becoming concerned at the scale of the disorder and many have now called on the authorities to do more to help ease community tension.
Mr Blunkett said: 'We were all very apprehensive about the emergence of the long warmer nights, and recognise this was going to be a moment of pressure.
'The police have devoted sufficient manpower and expertise, but what is required is a clear, visible presence in the evening, so there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind about the determination to clamp down on any kind of unacceptable behaviour.
'It’s fine having the numbers but they have to be there at the right time. Those who perpetrate unacceptable behaviour need to understand the police mean business.
'The cause of the problem is believing they can behave in this fashion.'
One local said: ‘Members of the existing community are tired and quite frankly frightened at the swiftness of how the situation became enflamed.
‘Council and Government agencies need to be aware of the truth and how the decent residents of this troubled district need support and assurance that they are safe to walk the streets.’
South Yorkshire Police has not revealed the ethnicity of the 25 people involved in the disturbance but confirmed no arrests have yet been made.
A Section 60 order, which allows officers to stop, search and disperse individuals, was issued in the area to help ease tensions.
Inspector Richard Burgess said: ‘There was a police presence in the area throughout the evening to ensure no further issues developed and we will continue to provide a high visibility policing presence in the following days.
‘Officers are thoroughly investigating and are continuing with enquires. We are determined that those responsible for this outbreak of disorder will be held to account for their actions.’
Last year Mr Blunkett warned of potential rioting in the suburb which is plagued by unrest among ethnic groups.
The MP, who was born in the city, said the area could ‘explode’ in the same way that street warfare broke out in other northern towns between ethnic groups two decades ago.
‘We have got to change the behaviour and the culture of the incoming community, the Roma community, because there’s going to be an explosion otherwise,’ he said at the time.
He also accused the coalition Government of ‘burying their heads in the sands’ over the sheer scale of gipsy arrivals.
The Roma population in Sheffield is said to be between 2,000 and 4,000 and growing. More than 1,000 Roma patients are registered to two GP practices alone.
Fairtrade 'fails to help poor farmers': Damning investigation says profits sent to help in Uganda and Ethiopia do not reach much of the workforce
The Fairtrade scheme is not helping the poorest workers it was set up to support, a damning investigation has found.
Fairtrade goods, which include bananas, coffee and chocolate, generate annual UK sales of £1.78billion. Farmers signing up to the scheme must agree to meet social, labour and environmental standards set by Fairtrade International.
But research by the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies has found that on Fairtrade farms in Uganda and Ethiopia, profits failed to trickle down to much of the workforce.
The Government-sponsored report claimed the scheme, established more than 20 years ago, has not effectively improved the lives of the poorest people.
It even concluded that wages on non-certified farms were actually higher than for those growing Fairtrade products.
Researchers also found evidence of ‘widespread use’ of child labour – with some workers as young as ten – when doing checks on 1,500 Fairtrade workers.
One of the report’s authors, University of London economics professor Christopher Cramer, said: ‘Wages in other comparable areas and among comparable employers producing the same crops but where there was no Fairtrade certification were usually higher and working conditions better.
‘In our research sites, Fairtrade has not been an effective mechanism for improving the lives of wage workers, the poorest rural people.’
The study found that some social projects funded through Fairtrade were found not to provide equal benefit to all.
In one example, modern toilets funded through the scheme were reserved for managers, while poor workers did not have access to proper facilities.
Meanwhile, when workers aged over 14 years were interviewed, ‘a very large proportion of them said they had been working since the age of 10, or even earlier’, the report said.
‘What is clear... is that very significant numbers of young, school-age children are having to work for wages in the production of agricultural export crops, including Fairtrade-certified commodities.’
The authors attacked a ‘combination of idealism and naivety’ to explain why Fairtrade did not reach the poorest people.
‘One possibility is that Fairtrade producer organisations are always established in significantly poorer, more marginalised areas where an accumulation of disadvantages means smallholder farmers are unable to pay even the paltry wages offered by smallholders in other areas without Fairtrade producer organisations,’ the report said.
‘Fairtrade attempts to support and subsidise co-operative groups of ‘smallholder’ producers on the remarkably naïve assumption that the benefits of this support are distributed evenly amongst the group. This assumption about egalitarian distribution is unwarranted.’
Fairtrade International said in a statement that the report was ‘unfair and generalised’.
A spokesman said: ‘In several places it compares wages and working conditions of workers in areas where small-scale Fairtrade-certified tea and coffee farmers were present with those on large-scale plantations in the same regions,” it said in a statement.
‘The report itself identifies farm size, scale and integration into global trade chains as major factors influencing conditions for wage workers, but then its conclusions appear to be based on unfair and distorted comparisons between farms and organisations of dramatically different size, nature and means.
‘When comparisons are based more on like-for-like situations, such as the study’s own analysis of Ugandan coffee in small scale coffee production set-ups, it finds key areas where workers in areas with Fairtrade-certified farmer organisations in fact had better conditions compared with those in non-certified, such as free meals, overtime payments and loans and wage advances for workers.
‘This is in sharp contrast to the more generalised conclusions being presented by the School of Oriental and African Studies team.’
Fairtrade was founded by overseas development and consumer groups including Oxfam and the Women’s Institute - and has grown into one of the world’s most trusted ethical schemes.
It is involved with 1.24 million farmers and workers around the world, and the Fairtrade Foundation contributes to the funding of schools, health clinics and sanitation projects.
Farmers joining the scheme must agree to meet social, labour and environmental standards.
Fairtrade products are not only popular with individual consumers but also served by Starbucks, the House of Commons and airline Virgin Atlantic.
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.