Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ninth Circuit Decides: The Mt. Soledad Cross Will Come Down

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to stay Federal District Judge Gordon Thompson's order to remove the Mt. Soledad Cross pending an appeal. Thus, the City of San Diego must remove the Cross by August 1, 2006, or face fines of $5,000 per day thereafter. In its decision, however, the Ninth Circuit scheduled oral arguments on the matter for the week of October 16, 2006, weeks after the Cross is to be removed. The 43- foot Cross was erected in 1954 and currently is the centerpiece of a national memorial honoring American veterans of all wars.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been fighting to save the Cross since 2004 when it received information that the private memorial association operating the memorial site and the City were about to agree to settle the case, which had been on going for 15 years, by removing the Cross.

Richard Thompson, the Law Center's President and Chief Counsel, commented on the recent order: "It is an outrage and insult not only to Christians, but people of all faiths, that this memorial site to our veterans and fallen war heroes would be desecrated by removal of a universally recognized symbol of sacrifice just because one atheist was upset about it. We will continue our legal fight to save the cross. A quick answer to the current legal challenge would be for the federal government to step in and take the land under its power of eminent domain. So far they have remained silent."

Continued Thompson, "The Cross and memorial honors those Americans of all faiths who have given their lives to preserve our religious freedom; we are now called upon to do whatever it takes to prevent the courts from destroying the Cross that symbolizes our religious heritage and their sacrifice."

Rob Muise, a Law Center trial counsel who has authored many of the pleadings in this case, indicated that further legal action will be taken to preserve the cross and memorial. Said Muise, "Friends, comrades, and family members of thousands of our fallen veterans have chosen the Mt. Soledad memorial as a place to honor and remember their fallen heroes. As a former Marine officer and veteran of the first Persian Gulf War, I am sickened by the thought of the pain that these court decisions must be causing for these grieving families. Our veterans deserve better than this."

In December 2004, as a result of legal research and urgings by the Thomas More Law Center, Congress and the President designated the Mt. Soledad Cross, the land on which it stands, and the granite memorial walls surrounding it a national veterans memorial. The congressional action authorized the Department of the Interior to accept a donation of the property. The Secretary of the Interior would administer the Memorial as a unit of the National Park System, giving the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association the right of continued maintenance of the Cross and surrounding granite memorial walls and plaques.

However, despite widespread support, the San Diego City Council declined to make the donation. As a result, a religiously diverse, grass roots organization, "San Diegans for the Mt Soledad War Memorial," headed by Jewish businessman Philip Thalheimer, obtained more than 100,000 signatures on petitions, calling on the council to reverse its decision. In response, the City Council opted to place the question authorizing the transfer as Proposition A on the July 2005 special election ballot.

Plaintiff Paulson's attorney filed a second lawsuit, this time in state court, seeking to stop the vote. Despite the fact that the ballot proposal passed by an astonishing 76% of the vote, State Court Judge Patricia Cowett ruled that Proposition A violated the California constitution. Her order is being appealed as well.


A reply to a racial extremist

People like the Rev. Wayne Robinson do a disservice to all Americans by blaming white America for the sins of blacks. By doing so, he excuses the actions of those who have found it easier to blame others than to accept their own responsibility for bad behavior. That behavior - not racism - has resulted in the failure of black society today.

Out-of-wedlock births are condemning future generations to lives that will never reach their full potential, yet we celebrate the hip-hop and rap artists who glamorize that lifestyle. The few whites who dare to speak out against this destructive behavior are instantly silenced by the threat of the new scarlet letter "R." Even well-respected blacks who dare to criticize their own are threatened with ostracism and negative labels.

White Americans ended slavery, and hundreds of thousands of whites died in that cause. I do not hear their ancestors calling for reparations from the government. In the interim, many decent and responsible blacks have assimilated into our culture, and for a while, integration seemed to be succeeding, but then diversity and the cult of victimization was born. Whites as well as blacks are taught to ridicule the history of our country, because it is primarily a history of white accomplishments. It is being rewritten to marginalize the white race and elevate the black.

Rather than focusing on the real reasons for the decline of society today, Robinson and others like him prefer to distract our attention with inflammatory rhetoric and liberal cliches.

Brainwashed by the media and intimidated by the demagogues, whites are being taught to believe that their own race is evil. The anti-white climate in America is so oppressive that today only one group is forbidden to express pride in its heritage - whites. To do so is to be labeled a racist and morally inferior.

Robinson says, "Young black men still struggle with the aftereffects of our nation's 250 years of slavery." This attitude is the sword that extremists such as Robinson and his ilk continually hold over our heads, and it has effectively stifled honest discourse about race in this country.

It is time for black America to throw away the crutch of victimization, to tell people like Wayne Robinson that they don't have a clue, and to demand accountability from those in their community who are responsible for destructive behavior and the consequences it brings.

I was raised to believe that if I studied hard, respected authority, and like a man, accepted responsibility for my actions, I was entitled to enjoy the privileges afforded to every American citizen. Yes, every American citizen is entitled, but first you must earn those privileges.

It is clear that Robinson is an extremist who will say anything, no matter how pernicious and false; in order to promote his agenda. He disguises his anti-white rhetoric in the garb of a man of the cloth, but he is a cretin with a collar, and a man of hate, not of God. The accusations he makes in his article are belied by the fact that this country, which so many long to call home, was founded and made great by a race and a culture he and others are intent on destroying. What sort of country do you think America will be when that day arrives?


A dangerous politically correct bureaucrat

Australia's Cowardly Cowdery has always been the criminal's friend

One of the top law-enforcement officials in NSW has been denounced by police and criminologists for proposing to fight crime by spending less on policing and more on welfare and education.

Criminologist Paul Wilson of Bond University said yesterday there was no evidence anywhere in the world that the scheme outlined by NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery would work. He rejected Mr Cowdery's assertion that social and education programs were the only way in which crime could be deterred in advance. "There is no evidence from anywhere it makes any difference," Professor Wilson said.

Mr Cowdery had called for a reallocation of resources in the fight against crime, speaking at a weekend conference of the NSW Teachers Federation. He argued that the Neighbourhood Watch scheme did not reduce crime, nor did police visits to schools in which officers explained the consequences of drug use. Mr Cowdery's weekend comments are not the first time he has attacked proponents of tough law-and-order policies.

Two years ago, he accused the Carr government of indifference towards people getting a fair trial, saying it was more interested in police numbers and full jails. In February, he accused Bob Carr's replacement as Premier, Morris Iemma, of undermining public confidence in the judicial system by making statements that could jeopardise the fairness of trials over the Cronulla riots. But Mr Iemma, who had referred to the rioters as "grubs", refused to withdraw his description, saying there was "barely a person in NSW" who would disagree with his comment.

The man brought in to tackle crime problems in the Queensland city of Ipswich more than a decade ago, security consultant Stacey Kirmos, also said Mr Cowdery was on the wrong track. He said his proposal focused on long-term issues when there was a clear need to address immediate crime problems. Two years ago, Ipswich city officials said the overall crime rate had fallen by 78 per cent from its peak.

Professor Wilson said he agreed with Mr Cowdery's analysis of the crime problem "but I don't think his solution follows from his analysis at all". There was considerable evidence that crime rates would fall if "the opportunities for crime" were reduced by adopting the same crime-busting tactics as former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Professor Wilson said. Under Mr Giuliani, overall crime rates in New York fell by 57 per cent and murders were reduced by 65 per cent. And while Mr Giuliani's tactics were sometimes described as a get-tough campaign, Professor Wilson said they really amounted to smarter, more focused policing. "Australia is not going to change from a criminal justice approach to crime to a welfare approach to crime," Professor Wilson said. "The US spent millions on a war on poverty during the Kennedy era. It made no difference to crime rates whatsoever. It was a big flop." He said massive education programs aimed at reducing crime rates "don't seem to work". "They might be good for other reasons but as a crime prevention strategy they seem to have no effect."

Professor Wilson said a better way of reducing crime rates would be to focus on hot spots, try to reduce opportunities for crime as much as possible and make more effective use of police. Increased police numbers were part of the solution "if they are employed effectively in areas where they are needed". NSW Police Association vice-president Scott Weber said the value of increased police numbers and zero tolerance had been demonstrated in New York. Police Federation of Australia chief executive Mark Burgess said fewer police on the streets would lead to more crime.


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