Monday, May 01, 2017

A politically correct appointment to the London police

Cressida Dick was appointed Metropolitan Police commissioner last week. She had previously held senior roles in the Met’s anti-terror division and had headed up Operation Trident, established to investigate ‘black-on-black gun crime’. Her new role is the most senior position in London’s police force, and was previously held by Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who retired earlier this year after being in the job since 2011.

Commentary on Dick’s appointment has focused either on her gender or her sexuality – or both. Dick is the first woman to head the ‘macho’ Scotland Yard, the Daily Mail says. The Telegraph celebrated her for the same reason. Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn described her appointment as a ‘historic day for London’. One media profile discussed her same-sex relationship with an officer called Helen, arguing that ‘diversity [is] at the heart of her role’ as Met commissioner.

A great day for London? Please. Dick’s history in the force leaves much to be desired. In a clear case of protesting too much, one Metropolitan Police source told the Telegraph that Dick had ‘not been appointed because she was a woman but because she was the best candidate’. This claim rings hollow, given Dick’ s record has been far from distinguished.

Most obviously, Dick narrowly avoided blame for the botched anti-terror operation that led to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station in 2005, in the heated anti-terror climate after the 7/7 attacks. Dick held overall responsibility for the officers who mistook the 27-year-old Brazilian electrician for a suicide bomber. Apparently, one of the officers under Dick’s command nipped away for a toilet break when he was supposed to be videotaping Menezes. It was this pressing toilet engagement that apparently led to Menezes being misidentified.

The inquest into Menezes’ killing found that senior officers in the investigation had received wrong information about his identity, which meant they avoided personal culpability. The jury at the inquest recorded an open verdict, leading Menezes’ family to complain about a whitewash that had benefited Dick. In November 2007, in perhaps the most euphemistic prosecution in history, the Met was convicted of criminal ‘violation of health-and-safety regulations’ for shooting Menezes to death, with Dick again absolved of personal responsibility.

Menezes’ family did not consider Dick to be blameless, however. In a letter published following her appointment last week, they said: ‘We cannot be expected to accept that the most senior police officer in the country, a post that is expected to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, to command public confidence and ultimately be responsible for ensuring that no police officer acts with impunity, be filled by someone that is clearly tainted by her failure to live up to any of those requirements.’

Of course, Menezes’ family are still angry, and with good reason. But the question for the British establishment is why the death of an innocent man on Dick’s watch had so little impact on her career prospects. It appears that being a woman is enough to win the Met’s forgiveness. Dick’s gender overrides her less-than-brilliant oversight of certain operations.

Dick hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons again in 2009, just four years after the Menezes killing. This time she came in for criticism over the arrest of Tory MP Damian Green. Green was arrested and held for nine hours over alleged leaks from the Home Office. She apparently played a ‘vital role’ in his arrest and defended it to then Tory leader David Cameron. A subsequent report found that the arrest was ‘disproportionate and ill-advised’.

Dick then headed up investigations into the MPs’ expenses scandal. There had been claims about widespread fraud, but in fact the investigation ended with only four MPs serving short prison sentences for false accounting. And it was largely dependent on evidence supplied by the Telegraph. It was a damp squib.

So why should we welcome the ‘first woman’ to take charge of the Met? Why should we care about having a diverse police force? I would rather our police officers were competent. Competent enough not to oversee operations that lead to the killing of innocent people or the arrest of politicians on overblown claims. Dick has done little to warrant the top job. It was not a great day for London.


Liberal Groups Attack Civil Rights Official for Enforcing Civil Rights Act

They are in effect demanding Apartheid

It’s odd to defend clear-cut violations of the law and then complain that the law isn’t being enforced harshly enough. But that’s what the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and a gaggle of other left-wing groups recently did.

They fault the acting head of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Candice Jackson, for having objected in the past to clear-cut violations of the civil rights laws that she is now charged with enforcing, such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

They cite a recent Pro Publica article, noting that Jackson once objected to universities’ limiting class sections to members of particular races—a practice they euphemistically refer to as “equal opportunity/affirmative action policies”:

“In past writings, Ms. Jackson appeared to be ignorant of the history and continued presence of race and sex discrimination, as evidenced by her claims that equal opportunity/affirmative action policies discriminate against White students.”

These letters defend practices that the courts have ruled illegal, and every current U.S. Supreme Court justice would find illegal. It is illegal to have race-based classes, which no court ruling has ever suggested is valid under an affirmative-action or diversity rationale. Civil rights laws do not contain exceptions for particular races, much less countenance segregation. Title VI says that “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Title VI, which OCR is charged with enforcing, has been construed by courts as banning race-based scholarships reserved for a particular race. (Podberesky v. Kirwan, 38 F.3d 147 (4th Cir. 1994) (striking down race-specific scholarship for blacks under the Constitution and Title VI)).

In 1976, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that whites are protected by the civil-rights laws against racial discrimination. (McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transp. Co., 427 U.S. 273 (1976) (interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to forbid race-based firings of whites)).

The Supreme Court has struck down other race-specific programs by lopsided margins.  (See, e.g., Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. 495 (2000) (7-to-2 Supreme Court ruling invalidating race-based election reserved for Native Hawaiians)). While the Supreme Court has allowed race to be used as a “plus factor” in college admissions to promote integration or diversity, it has never allowed racial segregation, blanket exclusion, or race-specific classes or sections.

Ironically, after attacking Jackson for complaining about discrimination, these groups lecture Education Secretary DeVos about her need to “demonstrate a commitment to core American values of equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, and … the rule of law,” including enforcement of “schools’ responsibilities under Title IX.”

As we noted earlier, their vision of Title IX enforcement is a very strange one, that demands censorship and micromanagement of college discipline at the expense of due process and free speech.

For example, an October 20, 2015 letter urged the Education Department to pressure colleges to ban anonymous social media applications such as Yik Yak, after some students used them to say things that were sexist, racist, or intimidating. This letter was signed by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and many of the other groups that also signed the April 24th letters to Secretary DeVos and to Sens. Alexander and Murray. Their 2015 letter urged the blocking or “geo-fencing of anonymous social media applications that are used to” make bigoted or otherwise “harassing” remarks, and “barring the use of campus wi-fi to view or post to these applications.”

Such demands for nanny-state bans under Title IX and Title VI were foolish and counterproductive, and had no statutory basis, as even liberal writers noted. As Amanda Hess of Slate pointed out, it was ironic that:

“Feminists and civil rights groups are trying to get universities to block the very app that gives marginalized students a voice on campus. … The app [Yik Yak] is massively and broadly popular among American college students, including female students, LGBTQ students, and students of color. … Yik Yak is an essential outlet for many college students who are adjusting to a new community and exploring their own identities ... Students routinely use Yik Yak to discuss experiences with mental illness or same-sex attraction or other intimate subjects they don’t feel comfortable announcing on the quad.”

These censorship demands were, as I noted in the Chronicle of Higher Education (quoting Justice Felix Frankfurter) like “burning the house to roast the pig.” I also cited UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh’s related commentary in the Washington Post that  “correctly described [the anti-Yik Yak groups] as a ‘national coalition in favor of campus censorship.’” Contrary to what these demands suggested, “There is no racism or sexism exception to the First Amendment on campus, as court rulings like Dambrot v. Central Michigan University (1995) make clear.”

These same groups have also defended Education Department rules imposed under the Obama administration without notice and comment, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, that micromanage college discipline and ignore Supreme Court rulings limiting Title IX liability.


Muddy Maxine Waters: A corrupt black

Are you freaking kidding me? Thirteen-term Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Beltway barnacle permanently affixed to USS Government, is now the fresh-faced "rock star" of the Democratic Party.

"Auntie Maxine" is stoking the resistance, inspiring millenials, combating hate, crusading against corruption and invoking the counterinsurgent cry to "stay woke!"

I do not have enough guffaws to give.

This new spokesmodel for civility and clean government has stoked division and exploited taxpayers for decades.

Change agent? She has served on the Democratic National Committee since 1980 — when the Atari 2600 was cutting-edge, Kim Kardashian was a newborn, and Al Franken was hamming it up on "Saturday Night Live."

Waters has spent 37 years in office — many of those years as head of the Congressional Black Caucus — promising to make life better for constituents in economically ravaged South Central Los Angeles.

What do the denizens of her district have to show for it? Staggering levels of persistent unemployment, poverty and gang violence as the 25th anniversary of the L.A. riots looms this coming weekend.

What does Rep. Waters have to show for it?

She's earned a lifetime of left-wing adoration for whitewashing the deadly riots as a "rebellion," excusing the week-long shooting, looting and arson orgy as "a spontaneous reaction to a lot of injustice and a lot of alienation and frustration," and coddling Crips and Bloods gang members — with whom she performed the Electric Slide as part of her "fearless support and understanding of young people and their efforts at self-expression."

I covered Waters in the early 1990s as an editorial writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Her federally funded Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center was a gang-infested boondoggle.

She embraced Damian Williams, the infamous thug who hurled a chunk of concrete at white truck driver Reginald Denny and performed a victory dance over the bloodied innocent bystander.

And she and her family personally profited from her rise to racially demagogic power.

She owns a tony mansion in predominantly white Hancock Park, several miles outside her congressional district.

She secured an ambassadorship to the Bahamas for her husband, a former pro football player and car salesman whose main qualification was having traveled to the island for a vacation.

Her daughter, Karen, has scooped up nearly $650,000 in payments from Mama Waters' slate mailer operation for her federal campaign committee since 2006, the Washington Free Beacon reported this week. And Mama Waters owes her well-heeled daughter an additional $108,000.

Waters also mau-maued the House Veterans Committee into hiring two black staffers.

And she walked away with a slap on the wrist from the toothless House Ethics Committee in 2012 after being charged with multiple ethics violations related to her meddling in minority-owned OneUnited Bank.

Reminder for all the new fangirls and fanboys suffering from Maxi-mnesia: Her husband, Sidney, was an investor in one of the banks that merged into OneUnited. As stockholders, they profited handsomely from their relationship with the bank.

It was a mutually beneficial relationship. After Waters' office personally intervened and lobbied the Treasury Department in 2008, OneUnited received $12 million in federal TARP bailout money — despite another government agency concluding that the bank operated "without effective underwriting standards" and engaged "in speculative investment practices." After the federal bailout of Fannie/Freddie, OneUnited's stock in the government-sponsored enterprises plunged to a value estimated at less than $5 million. Only through Waters' intervention was OneUnited able to secure an emergency meeting with the Treasury and then-Secretary Henry Paulson.

Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president, reported that Waters' friend and fellow California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren helped delay her scheduled 2010 House ethics trial on the matter by stalling subpoenas and improperly firing two attorneys working on the investigation. Six of 10 House Ethics panel members quit the case in 2012 over questions about their partiality. An outside investigator absolved Waters of any wrongdoing.

The newfound Maxine Waters Fan Club might want to know that Waters' government cronyism and self-dealing earned her a "Most Corrupt member of Congress" designation from the left-wing Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington five times — in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2017.

Now, Muddy Maxine is leading the charge to drain the swamp that sustains her. What a riot.


Which genius gave this Islam idiot a soapbox?

Piers Akerman writes from Australia

AS idiots come, they don’t get much bigger than the silly Muslim woman Yassmin Abdel-Magied, but as stupid as she so obviously is, those who have fallen over themselves to promote multiculturalism across the private and public sector are of far greater ­concern.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who hosted Abdel-Magied and the hate-preacher Sheik Shady Al-Suleiman, along with media hog Waleed Aly and his wife Susan ­Carland, last year at Kirribili last year must take note.

Abdel-Magied had already distinguished herself earlier this year when her principal backers at the ABC put her on a Q&A panel enabling her to proclaim to great hilarity that Islam was “the most feminist religion”.

She was always bound to utter greater inanities and she didn’t fail with her ­ridiculous (and extremely ­offensive) Facebook remarks about Anzac Day last Tuesday.

She’s so deficient in judgment that she didn’t even ­realise her remarks might have been disgustingly offensive until someone else explained the matter to her.

“It was brought to my attention that my last post was ­disrespectful, and for that I ­unreservedly apologise,” she later wrote.

The ABC displayed similarly absurd thinking when its media manager Sally Jackson released a statement standing by its part-time presenter and noting that Abdel-Magied’s post was “subsequently retracted, apologised for and ­deleted”.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is responsible for spending taxpayers’ money on the ABC and should do more than be merely critical of the fool but whether or not she is dismissed from her part-time job as an ABC presenter is ­ultimately up to the new CEO, Michelle Guthrie, and the new chairman of the ABC board, Justin Milne. It is they who now wear the asses’ ears and it is their gross lack of judgment that Australians should be ­protesting about.

The young hijab-wearing Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian Muslim is a non-entity ­despite her relentless self-promotion and would not have come to notice had it not been for the oafs within the Australian government who are ­determined to push the failed concept of multiculturalism despite the overwhelming weight of empirical evidence which shows that all cultures are not equal and that the ­fanatical adherents of Islam, some of whom Abdel-Magied has sought advice from, do not support Australia or Australian values.

Yet it was the geniuses within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who plucked this halfwit from obscurity and paid for her to visit Islamic nations across the Middle East and in North Africa to ­promote her book on her experiences as a Muslim hijab-wearing woman in Australia.

Throughout the three-week jaunt, Australian taxpayers were picking up her cheque as she was duchessed and waited upon by DFAT officers.

The Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is now said to be pondering whether Abdel-Magied has a future on the Council for Australian-Arab Relations, one of the little perks run by DFAT. But the real question is why was she ever chosen to do anything by anyone of any ­intelligence in government (OK, the oxymoron trigger warning should have come ­before that last thought).

Of course, she is, as Senator Eric Abetz noted, “unfit and (she) lacked the judgment” for the DFAT role but that means the judgment and fitness of the individuals who initially selected her is what must be questioned and dealt with.

It is just over a year since the Australian navy’s hijab-wearing Muslim adviser ­Captain Mona Shindy exposed her ineptitude through a ­Twitter account described as the ­“Official Royal Australian Navy Islamic Advisor Twitter account”, to publish political views in tweets critical of Tony Abbott during and after his prime ministership.

Again, who were the numbskulls responsible for creating the position Shindy held and the account she operated?

Were they the same senior naval officers responsible for the two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide which can be seen lashed to the wharves in ­Woolloomooloo this past month and more, unable to go to sea because of “propulsion problems”?

The most land lubberly of observers might well have thought that the prime function of the navy was to ensure that its ships, even those worth some $3 billion, could go to sea and that “propulsion” might be key to that ability but apparently not so.

Neither the naval brains trust nor the Defence Minister Marise Payne can tell the taxpayers what their mechanical problems are but they can tell us how inclusive and multicultural the immovable fleet is.

Given that the navy embarrassingly bought two rust buckets from the US navy in the early ’90s — commissioned them as HMAS Manoora and HMAS Kanimbla — and sold them for scrap in 2013 after getting about 10 real years of service out of them, the lesson is that the Defence Department is hopeless at negotiating a deal and more concerned with politically ­correct appearances than ­operating efficiently.

Too much weight has been given to the ridiculous identity politics of political correctness at the expense of real policies delivering real gains for the ­nation, whether it’s at the ABC, within the navy, or across ­private sector boards.

Don’t deny nonentities their right to freedom of speech but at least deprive them of having a hand in the public pocket while they’re on their silly soap boxes.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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