Monday, January 19, 2015
Some multicultural mothering
A NEWBORN baby girl was set on fire in the middle of a road near Philadelphia. She later died. Now a New Jersey woman, believed to be the mother of the child, has been charged with murder.
Burlington County prosecutors said Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 22, of Pemberton Township was jailed on $500,000 bail.
Police responded to a Friday night call about a fire in the middle of a residential road in the township, about 50 kilometers east of Philadelphia. Officers found the baby in flames and put out the fire.
The child reportedly was alive and breathing at the time she was flown to a hospital in Philadelphia, said Joel Bewley, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office. She died about two hours later, he said in a news release. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
Authorities believe the mother doused her baby with an accelerant then set her on fire, Bewley said. They do not have a motive. The woman was taken into custody Friday night.
Prosecutor Robert Bernardi said details of the baby’s birth were still being investigated. The baby’s age has not been disclosed. Bernardi would not comment on whether the mother has a criminal record or if she has been involved with child welfare officials.
Dave Joseph, 45, of Pemberton Township told The Burlington County Times that he saw a young woman get out of her car and light something on fire in the middle of Simontown Road. He said the woman told him she was burning dog waste.
Joseph said the woman appeared calm and soon tried to flee the scene, but residents stopped her. “It was just mind-boggling,” Joseph said. “It was a nightmare even if you have a strong heart.”
What freedom of speech?
The photos of 40 of the world’s government leaders marching arm-in-arm along a Paris boulevard on Sunday with the president of the United States not among them was a provocative image that has fomented much debate. The march was, of course, in direct response to the murderous attacks on workers at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by a pair of brothers named Kouachi, and on shoppers at a Paris kosher supermarket by one of the brothers’ comrades.
The debate has been about whether President Obama should have been at the march. The march was billed as a defense of freedom of speech in the West; yet it hardly could have been held in a less free speech-friendly Western environment, and the debate over Obama’s absence misses the point.
What’s going on in France, and what might be the future in America, is the government defending the speech with which it agrees and punishing the speech with which it disagrees.
In the post-World War II era, French governments have adopted a policy advanced upon them nearly 100 years ago by Woodrow Wilson. He pioneered the modern idea that countries’ constitutions don’t limit governments; they unleash them. Thus, even though the French Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, French governments treat speech as a gift from the government, not as a natural right of all persons, as our Constitution does.
The French government has prohibited speech it considers to be hateful and even made it criminal. When the predecessor magazine to Charlie Hebdo once mocked the death of Charles de Gaulle, the French government shut it down -- permanently.
The theory of anti-hate speech laws is that hate speech often leads to violence, and violence demands police and thus the expenditure of public resources, and so the government can make it illegal to spout hatred in order to conserve its resources. This attitude presumes, as Wilson did when he prosecuted folks for publicly singing German songs during World War I, that the government is the origin of free speech and can lawfully limit the speech it hates and fears. It also presumes that all ideas are equal, and none is worthy of hatred.
When the massacres occurred last week in Paris, all three of the murderers knew that the police would be unarmed and so would be their victims. It was as if they were shooting fish in a barrel.
Why is that? The answer lies in the same mentality that believes it can eradicate hate by regulating speech. That mentality demands that government have a monopoly on violence, even violence against evil.
So, to those who embrace this dreadful theory, the great loss in Paris last week was not human life, which is a gift from God; it was free speech, which is a gift from the state. Hence the French government, which seems not to care about innocent life, instead of addressing these massacres as crimes against innocent people, proclaimed the massacres crimes against the freedom of speech. Would the French government have reacted similarly if the murderers had killed workers at an ammunition factory, instead of at a satirical magazine?
And how hypocritical was it of the French government to claim it defends free speech! In France, you can go to jail if you publicly express hatred for a group whose members may be defined generally by characteristics of birth, such as gender, age, race, place of origin or religion.
You can also go to jail for using speech to defy the government. This past weekend, millions of folks in France wore buttons and headbands that proclaimed in French: “I am Charlie Hebdo.” Those whose buttons proclaimed “I am not Charlie Hebdo” were asked by the police to remove them. Those who wore buttons that proclaimed, either satirically or hatefully, “I am Kouachi” were arrested. Arrested for speech at a march in support of free speech? Yes.
What’s going on here? What’s going on in France, and what might be the future in America, is the government defending the speech with which it agrees and punishing the speech with which it disagrees. What’s going on is the assault by some in radical Islam not on speech, but on vulnerable innocents in their everyday lives in order to intimidate their governments. What’s going on is the deployment of 90,000 French troops to catch and kill three murderers because the government does not trust the local police to use guns to keep the streets safe or private persons to use guns to defend their own lives.
Why do some in radical Islam kill innocents in the West in order to affect the policies of Western governments? Might it be because the fruitless Western invasion of Iraq killed 650,000 persons, most of whom were innocent civilians? Might it be because that invasion brought al-Qaida to the region and spawned ISIS? Might it be because Obama has killed more innocent civilians in the Middle East with his drones than were killed by the planes in the U.S. on 9/11?
Might it be because our spies are listening to us, rather than to those who pose real dangers?
What does all this have to do with freedom of speech? Nothing -- unless you believe the French government.
Islamophobia Is a Myth
Why do liberals fear the working class and ignore anti-Semitic murder? Because they are bigots.
The British press has never seemed as out of touch as it is today. All our broadsheet papers are packed with pleas to the people of France, and other European populations, not to turn into Muslim-killing nutjobs in response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre. The Guardian frets over “Islamophobes seizing this atrocity to advance their hatred.” The Financial Times is in a spin about “Islamophobic extremists” using the massacre to “[challenge] the tolerance on which Europe has built its peace.” One British hack says we should all “fear the coming Islamophobic backlash.” And what actually happened in France as these dead-tree pieces about a possible Islamophobic backlash made their appearance? Jews were assaulted. And killed. “Don’t attack Muslims,” lectures the press as Jews are attacked.
Across Europe, among the right-thinking sections of society, among the political classes, the response to the massacre of the cartoonists and satirists has been the same: to panic about how Them, the native masses, especially the more right-wing sections of the French population, might respond to it. The blood on the floor of the Charlie Hebdo offices was still wet when brow-furrowed observers started saying: “Oh no, the Muslims! Will they be attacked?” It’s the same after every terrorist attack: from 9/11 to 7/7 in London to last year’s Sydney siege to Paris today: Liberals’ instant, almost Pavlovian response to Islamist terror attacks in the West is to worry about a violent uprising of the ill-educated against Muslims. The uprising never comes, but that doesn’t halt their fantasy fears. What’s it all about?
The unreal, unhinged nature of this elite preemption of mass Muslim-bashing has been thrown into sharp relief by the foul events in Paris over the past few days. The massacre of journalists by Islamists was followed today by a violent hostage-taking in a kosher shop in Port de Vincennes by a gunman reported to be part of the same small cell of Islamic extremists from which the Kouachi brothers, who shot up Charlie Hebdo, sprung.
Why invade a kosher shop? Well, it’s very likely there will be Jews in there, and if there’s one thing Islamists love more than executing those who insult their prophet, it’s attacking Jews. The kosher-shop siege and hostage situation is now over, and while the information coming out of France is sketchy, Reuters says four of the hostages — who may well have been Jews — are dead. So the gulf between the fears of he multicultural elite and the reality on the ground in France is colossal. “Leave Muslims alone,” they plead as the news wires report that four kosher shoppers have been killed. Many European observers seem far more exercised about the possibility of Islamophobic violence than they are by the reality of anti-Semitic violence.
It’s not surprising that there is such a gaping chasm between liberals’ hand-wringing over a potential violent and sweeping Islamophobic backlash and what is actually happening in France and elsewhere. Because the idea of Islamophobia has always been informed more by the swirling fantasies and panics of the political and media elites than by any real, measurable levels of hate or violence against Muslims. Yes, some dud grenades were thrown into the courtyard of a mosque in the French city of Le Mans after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, though mercifully they didn’t explode and no one was around to be injured. That is a foul act and the person or people who did it should be found and punished. But fears about widespread anti-Muslim violence, about the spread of toxic Islamophobic hate through the streets and in workplaces, are unfounded, because their driving force is the anti-natives, anti-pleb prejudices of the elites rather than any hard evidence of extreme hostility to Muslims.
Liberals’ angst about violent anti-Muslim uprisings always proves to be empty. So after the 7/7 Tube and bus attacks in London, there were wide and wild warnings of a violent backlash against the Muslims of Britain. Journalists predicted bloodshed. National Health Service workers were encouraged to keep their eyes peeled — i.e., spy — for any signs of anti-Muslim agitation among their patients. But there was no spike in anti-Muslim crimes. According to Crown Prosecution Service crime figures for 2005–06, covering the months after 7/7, only 43 religiously aggravated crimes were prosecuted in that period, and only 18 of those crimes were against Muslims. “The fears of a [post-7/7] rise in offences appears to be unfounded,” the Director of Public Prosecutions later admitted.
After the Boston Marathon bombings there were loads of media panic about the “ignorance and prejudice [that arise] in the aftermath of a terrorist attack” and concern that Muslims in America would get it in the neck. But Muslims have not been assaulted en masse by stupid Americans in recent years, including in the wake of 9/11. According to federal crime stats, in 2009 there were 107 anti-Muslim hate crimes; in 2010, there were 160. In a country of 330 million people, this is exceptionally low. After the Lindt café siege in Sydney at the end of last year, there was once again heated fear on the pages of the broadsheets about dumb Aussies going crazy and attacking brown people. Nothing happened. No mob emerged. Muslims were not attacked.
Islamophobia is a myth. Sure, some folks in Europe and elsewhere no doubt dislike Muslims, just as other losers hate the Irish or blacks or women. But the idea that there is a climate of Islamophobia, a culture of hot-headed, violent-minded hatred for Muslims that could be awoken and unleashed by the next terror attack, is an invention.
Islamophobia is a code word for mainstream European elites’ fear of their own populations, of their native hordes, whom they imagine to be unenlightened, prejudiced, easily led by the tabloid media, and given to outbursts of spite and violence.
The thing that keeps the Islamophobia panic alive is not actual violence against Muslims but the right-on politicos’ ill-founded yet deeply held view of ordinary Europeans, especially those of a working-class variety, as racist and stupid.
This is the terrible irony of the Islamophobia panic: The fearers of anti-Muslim violence claim to be challenging prejudice but actually they reveal their own prejudices, their distrust of and disdain for those who come from the other side of the tracks, read different newspapers, hold different beliefs, live different lives. They accuse stupid white communities of viewing Muslims as an indistinguishable mob who threaten the fabric of European society, which is exactly what they think of stupid white communities.
Labour's private hospital stitch-up: Shocking evidence of how the Left sabotaged NHS success story
Shocking evidence of how Labour and union figures had the first privately run NHS hospital declared a failure has been uncovered by the Daily Mail.
There are growing calls for an inquiry into how Hinchingbrooke in Cambridgeshire was rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission watchdog – only months after winning an award for patient care.
But the Mail has learned that:
Individuals who helped draw up the CQC’s damning report have close ties to the Labour Party and unions which oppose NHS privatisation.
The local NHS body, which suddenly slashed the hospital’s funding and imposed arbitrary fines, is heavily influenced by Labour activists.
The watchdog’s lead inspector, Dr Jonathan Fielden, was previously a senior member of the doctors’ trade union, the British Medical Association, and has warned of the dangers of privatisation.
A second inspector, Dr Nigel Sturrock, has been associated with the Keep Our NHS Public group.
And a doctor employed by the hospital who is suspected of briefing the CQC about its supposed failings happens to be the Labour candidate to be the area’s MP. Dr Nik Johnson is believed to have influenced the report’s severe criticism of children’s services in the A&E unit.
The inspection report by the CQC last week led to Circle, the firm running Hinchingbrooke, withdrawing its contract. The hospital has now been placed in special measures and could be closed down.
MPs whose constituents include hospital staff and patients are urging the Health Secretary to begin an inquiry into the inspection. They say the report’s findings are entirely at odds with an award last May naming it as the best performing NHS trust in the country.
David Campbell Bannerman, Tory MEP for the Eastern Region, said: ‘This is a Labour stitch-up. I wonder how many of the CQC’s other inspectors are quietly sympathetic to keeping the NHS public
‘I’ve heard the local union reps are delighted. These people would rather the hospital closed down than see it succeed under private management.’
Steve Barclay, Tory MP for North East Cambridgeshire, said: ‘It is important that patients receive reassurance that the review conducted by the CQC has been conducted in a professional manner.’
The CQC has previously been severely criticised for missing major scandals in hospitals and care homes, including the appalling abuse of adults at the Winterbourne View care home in Bristol in 2011.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, said: ‘We stand fully behind our assessment that safety, caring and leadership at Hinchingbrooke Hospital were inadequate. There is no reason to question the integrity of any member of the inspection team.
‘Our findings highlight the significant failings at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. They are not a judgment on the role of the private sector in the NHS or on franchise arrangements. Our priority is the care that patients receive. Where hospitals are failing to promote good care, we will say so regardless of who owns and runs them.’
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.