Friday, August 14, 2009

Nancy Pelosi Reconvenes House Un-American Activities Committee

HUAC has long been a bete noir to American Leftists but they are not slow to emulate it

It is nothing short of a complete political meltdown. Congressional reaction to their own constituents’ opposition to ObamaCare has transformed into a theater of the absurd. And there will be a stiff political price to be paid. For years, it has become increasingly clear that Congress largely ignores the people they serve. But now it is apparent they actually disdain them, as well. And would like very much if they simply went away. Only, they won’t. So the elected elite is now resorting to ugly threats and name-calling

To put the icing on the cake, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer yesterday leveled the charge that those protesting ObamaCare at town halls nationwide are somehow “simply un-American”. That’s right, the position of the ruling class is that they—and they alone—have the right to debate public policy. In the pages of USA Today, Pelosi and Hoyer wrote, “These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.”

This is quite simply disgraceful. So much for the patriotic duty to dissent. So much for “open covenants openly arrived at.” Instead, Congress is attempting to intimidate and silence dissent by the American people.

That the American people have dared to challenge the single-most radical changes ever proposed to the American health care system is wholly unsurprising. What is surprising is that Pelosi and her ilk have so little respect for those who believe it is their voices that have been drowned out by a political elite and their media handmaidens.

What, exactly, were the members of Congress expecting? That constituents would be throwing rose petals at their feet when they returned home for August recess touting a $1.5 trillion monstrosity that threatens to ration health care into scarcity?

And yet, Congressman Steve Kagen (WI-CD8) said residents attending a Green Bay town hall meeting were “uncivilized.” Congressman Baron Hill (IN-CD9) said he wants to “control” his town halls: “What I don’t want to do is create an opportunity for the people who are political terrorists to blow up the meeting and not try to answer thoughtful questions.”

Actually, it is Congressman Hill—and all Congressmen for that matter—who should be answering questions.

“Political terrorists”? “Un-American”? These are American citizens—folks who in many cases fought for their right to boldly state their opposition to Congress’ plans to run their lives from afar.

The very flawed argument being leveled by Congress is that by passionately expressing displeasure with their government—a constitutionally-guaranteed right—that ObamaCare opponents are somehow infringing on the prerogatives of Washington’s high-handed and mighty

There are 535 elected members of Congress. Over 500 thousand elected officials in the entire country at the national, state, county, and local level. 2 major political parties. And dozens of minor political parties. And they have instant access to over 1,300 television stations, over 12,000 radio stations, over 1,400 newspapers, and millions upon millions of web pages.

In short, nobody’s voices are being “drowned out,” except for those of the American people’s—who overwhelmingly oppose the radical nationalization of health care. According to Rasmussen Reports, just thirty-two percent of voters nationwide favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone. Fifty-seven percent are opposed to a single-payer plan.

The fact is, Congress has rightly been given an earful by their constituents, who do not want government bureaucrats rationing health care and making medical decisions for them.

Voicing dissent to an unaccountable government Hell-bent on taking over the nation’s entire health care system is not “un-American.” It is the very essence of what America is all about. And Pelosi, Hoyer, Kagen, Hill, et. al., owe the American people an abject apology.


Brave African shames emasculated Brits

Courage was once a virtue in Britain. No more. "Safety" is all. Besides, the police are just as likely to lock up the victim as the criminal. So most Brits turn away these days

The fleeing robber was bigger than him and could have been armed, but shop assistant Amevi Kouassi didn't think twice about tackling the burly yob who attacked an old woman. 'I had to help,' he said. 'The way I was brought up in my home country of Togo, if you hear someone call for help, you have to go to their aid. It's what we are taught as children. 'It doesn't matter if you know them or don't know them. If someone is in trouble you need to help them. It is wrong to ignore them and walk away.'

As this dramatic CCTV footage shows, Mr Kouassi, 30, was true to his word. After hearing the 70-year-old pensioner's screams he grabbed the man who had just mugged her in Sheffield city centre, wrestled him to the ground and locked him in a nearby church hall office while he waited for police to arrive. The mugger, Marc Smith, 37, escaped out of a fire exit, but the description given to police and CCTV evidence led to his swift arrest and conviction.

Yesterday the modest have-ago-hero was praised by police for his bravery after Smith admitted robbery and was jailed for five-and-a-half years at Sheffield Crown Court.

Mr Kouassi, who is starting an information studies degree course at the University of Sheffield next month, had just left work at Marks & Spencer in Sheffield and was walking home on a June evening when he heard the woman's cries for help. 'I saw a lady on the floor and a man running. She shouted that he had got her bag so I chased after him and grabbed him,' said Mr Kouassi.

'You can't stand by and let something like this happen. The man had picked on a helpless old person and I didn't want him to get away. 'I managed to grab his arms, I pushed them down through his t-shirt and pinned them behind his back. 'He was shouting "you have got the wrong man", but the old lady was saying ''no you haven't''. 'I took him to a church hall nearby and a man there locked him in the office.'

Mr Kouassi, from Manor Park, Sheffield, who is 5ft 9in tall and ten and-a-half stone, arrived in the UK from Togo in 2006 and has been given Home Office permission to stay for five years. He added: 'I don't consider myself to be a hero. I was just doing what I have been taught to do. 'He was taller and heavier than me but I managed to pin his arms behind his back. 'Someone said afterwards that he could have had a knife but I didn't think of that at the time.' He added that the elderly victim had sent him a thank you card.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Jade Brice, of South Yorkshire Police, said: 'It is thanks to Mr Kouassi's brave actions that we have been able to arrest and convict the offender. 'He put himself in harm's way in what was an incredibly brave action.'


Britain's useless political police again

Insulting a homosexual is about the only thing that will get a quick response from them. They took FOUR hours to respond to nurses being threatened with rape. And even that was only after heavy intervention from a magistrate

A chief constable has apologised personally to two student nurses who had to wait four hours for help after a gang of intruders threatened to rape them. Flatmates Amy Overend, 19, and Melissa Cooper, 22, barricaded themselves in their rooms and rang 999 when four men sneaked into their hospital accommodation shouting abuse. But when they called again after an hour they were told they were classed as a ' secondary emergency' because they were behind locked doors.

Miss Overend then called her father, an ex-magistrate, who repeatedly called the control room to demand that someone was sent round. By the time officers arrived the gang had run off, but the nurses were worried they would return.

Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Julie Spence said the force's response fell 'well below' the standards expected. She added that the fact that it was dealing with a high volume of calls at the time was 'no excuse for the poor handling of the incident'.

The gang burst into the flat in Peterborough at about 8pm on August 3. The girls bravely ordered them outside, but one climbed on to a roof and continued to hurl abuse. After an hour and a half and two calls to police the intruders ran off and Miss Overend rang her father, Chris. He made three calls to police and each time an officer was promised - but none arrived until midnight, four hours after the girls' initial call.

Miss Overend said: 'If it happened in a normal detached house and a group of men walked in and threatened a group of girls, can you imagine what the response would have been? Just because we are in flats, their response should be no different. They were all very, very aggressive. 'My flatmate told them to get out. At that point, it was more anger taking over. Afterwards, we were very scared. 'As they were leaving, they said, 'We are going to remember your faces and names, and next time, we are going to rape you'.

Last night her father, a 55-year-old publican, said: 'If four males threatening two young girls in secure nurses accommodation isn't considered a priority then something's badly wrong.'

Mrs Spence - who was last year tipped to become Britain's first female head of the Metropolitan Police following Sir Ian Blair's departure - has also promised an investigation. A force spokesman said it had been dealing with 40 incidents at the time [It would be interesting to know what those "incidents" were. On form, they would have been mostly trivial]. He added that the men who threatened to rape the two trainee nurses are still being hunted.


Australian police trying to whitewash Muslim terrorism

Comment from the Jewish Community Council of Victoria

The tragic reality of modern life is that almost no day passes without a terrorist attack somewhere in the world. Recent terrorist events, particularly last month's bombings of Jakarta hotels which killed Australians as well as persons of other nationalities, and last week's allegations of a plot to attack the Holsworthy Army Base, bring danger closer to home and make the need for action even more pressing.

The JCCV is far from alone in regarding contemporary terrorism as the greatest immediate danger facing the Western world and its values today. While some are reluctant to say so - and Muslim theology and the directives of its religious leaders are sometimes contradictory - it is an inescapable fact that this terrorism is almost entirely carried out by persons purporting to act in the name of Islam.

That the Australian Government recognises this is apparent. To take one proof, as of May 2009 it had proscribed seventeen terrorist organisations. All except one are Islamist in nature (and even the secular exception, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), has utilised Sunni Islamic beliefs to mobilise support).

As part of a strategy to combat extremism, Victoria Police with the support of the Federal Government, has undertaken this project looking at the ‘Lexicon of Terror'. While this project is still in progress, comments made by Assistant Commissioner Fontana and Australia's Attorney General Robert McClelland, suggest that the ‘Lexicon of Terror' project will likely recommend that the language around terror be sanitised, avoiding all possible reference to Muslims in the belief that this will reduce their alienation and hence their radicalisation.

In the JCCV's opinion - and that of many learned experts on terror - this would be an ill-considered and likely counter-productive outcome. There is widespread disagreement on what makes a terrorist. Mooted causes include indoctrination, alienation, poverty, anger at the West for its military action against Islamic countries, hatred of the West for its values, doctrinal differences, individual pathology, personal tragedy and more. For every theory there are both exceptions to the rule and countering views, hence making both proactive and reactive approaches all the more difficult.

However one fact almost always emerges from the uncertainty about what motivates terrorist behaviour. Whatever the true reason may be, it is invariably couched in theological language, at its simplest "I commit this act because it is Allah's will". Western governments and other institutions cannot counter this belief, certainly not in Islamic countries, nor in the West where faith-based schools and home teaching can facilitate hatred of the host society.

Only Muslims themselves with the requisite will and inclination can turn the tide in the war against terror. However they can not and will not do so if they do not acknowledge that they have this power. And a ‘Lexicon of Terror' that infantilises and absolves Muslims of responsibility by creating a generic, overly careful and politically correct language will doom us all to failure.

The various elements that constitute the terrorist movement proudly proclaim Islamism as their motivator. If Government, its institutions, the media and other moulders of opinion, and most importantly, the mainstream Muslim community do not take them at their word and clearly state that a particular interpretation of Islam lies at the root of terror (and that there are alternatives), then it will be impossible to move followers of Islam to a more moderate view of the world.

The Victorian Jewish community believes that the real clash in today's world is not between civilisations as some contend, but within each civilisation or religion, a clash between the forces of extremism and those of moderation and acceptance of diversity. We must give the moderates the tools to fight the former. While this means clearly recognising that moderate and mainstream Muslims are both in the majority and are allies of democrats in this war, this must be done without denying the motivation and actions of the minority who give Islam and Muslims a bad name. In short, the application of a form of censorship to the way in which terrorist acts are reported or referred, so that the underlying motivation for such acts is in effect denied, will not achieve the desired outcomes. It is far more important that we all work together to empower the moderate Muslim community to speak out against the perpetrators of these acts.



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, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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