Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Commander oblivion


I Have Seen the Future, and it Is Idiocy

by Theodore Dalrymple

Yesterday morning, as I was sitting in the flat on Paris that I have rented for a time quietly finishing my latest book, Murderers I Have Known (and I have known quite a few), a furious row broke out in the street six floors below. I went out onto the terrace—the flat is on the building’s top floor—to see what was going on. There were several other equally curious people standing on their balconies on both sides of the street.

A little knot of young black men, with two or three girls among them, was having a furious row. It was obvious that they were in earnest, though goodness knows about what, as I could not make out any words. I was like a dog; I went by the tone of their voices.

One of the young men struck another and he fell, his face covered in blood. The man who had struck him kicked him with full force and got down on him to punch him as hard as he could. He got in several very hard blows before some others hauled him off. If he had not been hauled off, I think he would have beaten him to death. I was very glad that neither of the two, the beater and the beaten, had a gun, for I am sure that in their heightened state of emotion, whatever it was about, one of them would have used a gun to kill. Of course, there will be those who say that if each of them had thought the other had a gun, they would not have fought in the first place.

It was strange to see cars crawl by this scene, the drivers obviously seeing what was going on but doing nothing about it. Some passersby passed by and others tried to intervene. More than one called the police.

Oddly enough, once the man had been hauled off his prostrate associate (former friend? longtime enemy?), the group reformed and went up the street, still arguing furiously. A couple of shopkeepers came out to tell them to calm down, as the frightening fury was presumably bad for trade.

This all continued for several minutes. The police never came. They probably had other things to do.

As it happens, their slowness to react (infinite slowness, in fact, since they did not react at all), contrasted oddly with an experience I had the previous Sunday. A couple of American filmmakers came to Paris to interview me—it always surprises me that anybody would take so much trouble to interview anybody, let alone me—and decided that the little park opposite my flat, with a pretty little bandstand, would be a good place to do so. They set up the camera, but a few seconds later, before they could ask me a single question, a municipal policeman arrived. They were not allowed to film here without a permit from the mairie of the arrondissement, he said. I explained that these were Americans, come all the way from Texas expressly to interview me. He, a very pleasant and polite man of African origin, phoned his chief to see whether an exception could be made. As I suspected, it could not.

I told the film crew that we should make no fuss; the man was only doing his job, silly as that job might be. As it happens there were several drunks in another part of the park making aggressive-sounding noises and breaking bottles, but them he did not approach, perhaps wisely, as they were several and he was only one. He thought he would have more luck with someone wearing a tweed jacket and corduroy trousers as I was. We found a café willing to accommodate us.

The contrast between the authorities’ alacrity on one hand in preventing innocent filming for a matter of a few minutes (the policeman said authorization was necessary because it might cause a disturbance, and, being kind, I refrained from laughing), and on the other their slow response to a nasty incident that might have ended in murder, was emblematic of the modern state’s capacity to get everything exactly the wrong way around, to ascribe importance to trivia and to ignore the important. There are, of course, many more employment opportunities in trivia, since there is much more that is trivial in the world than is important.

France is not unique in this respect, or even the worst example I know. In London I once parked outside a hotel where I proposed to stay. Parking was forbidden outside, but I stopped only to take my baggage inside. I received a parking ticket within sixty seconds, a miracle of efficiency (I genuinely admired it in a way), though it was perfectly obvious from my car’s open doors that I did not propose to stay long and was only taking my luggage into the hotel. But on another occasion when my wife telephoned the police to inform them that youths were committing arson in our front garden before her very eyes, they had no time to attend to it. A more senior officer, however, did find the time a quarter of an hour later to complain to my wife that she had wasted police time by complaining in the first place.

It often seems, then, as if modern state authorities live in a looking-glass world: What normal people regard as important is for them of no importance, while what they regard as of supreme importance normal people regard as of no importance. For them the respectable are suspect and the suspect respectable. A tweed jacket is a sign of menace, while a broken bottle is a sign of harmless intent.

One must not exaggerate the degree to which official idiocy impinges on our lives. The exaggeration of misery is one of the royal roads to political disaster. Still, I have seen the future, and it is idiocy.



Early Skirmishes in a Race War

Officials and media aren’t being honest about the violence

By Thomas Sowell

One of the reasons for being glad to be as old as I am is that I may be spared living to see a race war in America. Race wars are often wars in which nobody wins and everybody ends up much worse off than they were before.

Initial skirmishes in that race war have already begun, and have in fact been going on for some years. But public officials pretend that it is not happening, and the mainstream media seldom publish it at all, except in ways that conceal what is really taking place.

For American society, a dangerous polarization has set in. Signs of this polarization over the years include opposite reactions between blacks and whites to the verdict in the O. J. Simpson murder case, the “rape” charges against Duke University students, and the trials resulting from the beating of Rodney King and the death of Trayvon Martin.

More dangerous than these highly publicized episodes over the years are innumerable organized and unprovoked physical attacks on whites by young black gangs in shopping malls, on beaches, and in other public places all across the country today.

While some of these attacks make it into the media as isolated incidents, the nationwide pattern of organized black-on-white attacks by thugs remains invisible in the mainstream media, with the notable exception of Bill O’Reilly on the Fox News Channel.

Even when these attacks are accompanied by shouts of anti-white rhetoric and exultant laughter at the carnage, the racial makeup of the attackers and their victims is usually ignored by the media, and public officials often deny that race has anything to do with what happened.

These attacks have sent many people to the hospital, and some victims have died, but the attacks are often carried out in a festive atmosphere. What are called “troubled youths,” in this and other contexts, are often in fact young people enjoying themselves greatly by creating big trouble for others.

Some of these many attacks are covered in detail in a book titled White Girl Bleed a Lot, by Colin Flaherty. It was a phrase that I recognized immediately from my own previous research.

That phrase was uttered by one of a group of black attackers who descended on a group of whites at a July 4th fireworks show in Milwaukee. But what happened there was not unique, either in itself or in the efforts of police and political authorities to downplay what happened — and to say that race had nothing to do with it.

When the Chicago Tribune was criticized for editing out the race of the attackers in a series of similar organized attacks in Chicago, it replied that race was irrelevant. Yet race is not considered irrelevant when indignantly editorializing on a disproportionate number of young black males arrested and imprisoned.

Sadly, what happened in Milwaukee and Chicago were not isolated incidents. They were part of a pattern repeated in dozens of cities, in every region of the country. Colin Flaherty’s book, which is subtitled “The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It,” reveals this pattern in painful detail.

Other books are emerging that are more clearly a white backlash, in the sense that they attack behavior patterns among contemporary blacks in general.

Perhaps the most clearly “backlash” books are those written by Paul Kersey, whose central theme is that whites have created thriving cities, which blacks subsequently took over and ruined. Examples include his books about Birmingham (The Tragic City) and Detroit (Escape from Detroit).

Kersey even takes a swing at Rush Limbaugh (and at yours truly) for saying that liberal policies destroyed these cities. He says that San Francisco and other cities with liberal policies, but without black demographic and political takeovers, have not been ruined. His books are poorly written, but they raise tough questions.

It would be easy to simply dismiss Kersey as a racist. But denouncing him or ignoring him is not refuting him. Refuting requires thought, which has largely been replaced by fashionable buzzwords and catchphrases when it comes to discussions of race.

Thought is long overdue. So is honesty.



Attempted Land Grab Ends With Voters Booting Entire City Council

Government officials like to use eminent domain for the convenience of their preferred policies and/or the enrichment of themselves and their buddies. Usually, they get away with it, because the folks on the receiving end are too few and powerless to hold their tormentors to account. In Hackensack, New Jersey, however, the officials who targeted Michael Monaghan's property for seizure as part of an "area in need of redevelopment,"  even while denying him the right to develop it himself, pushed too many people around, too often. Last month, voters booted out the entire city council.

From the Institute for Justice:

    "Michael Monaghan has wanted to develop his property on Main Street in Hackensack, New Jersey, just a few miles away from Manhattan.  Yet the city twice denied two applications for banks to build on his land.

    Instead, Hackensack’s Planning Board designated Michael’s and another owner’s land as an “area in need of redevelopment,” authorizing the use of eminent domain to condemn and seize the properties.  “I've stood up and tried to protect my property for the last eight years,” he said in an interview with a local paper.

    Adding insult to injury, this designation was completely unwarranted.  According to Michael’s attorney, Peter Dickson, the board “did not make the Constitutional finding of blighted, and did not have any evidence that would support such a finding.”

    Last month, the Appellate Division of the state Superior Court agreed, ruling the Planning Board didn’t properly prove that those properties were blighted and “in need of redevelopment.”   The city council intended to appeal the appellate court’s decision.

    But fortunately for property owners, Hackensack’s entire city council was booted out of office.  The grassroots group Citizens for Change won every single seat on the city council, despite being outraised 2:1.  Their slate of candidates successfully ran on a platform against costly litigation, nepotism, and corruption.  (For example, Hackensack’s police chief was recently convicted for official misconduct and insurance fraud.)  Citizens for Change also sharply criticized Hackensack’s redevelopment projects, calling them “sweetheart deals and special privileges for politically connected property owners and developers.”

A happy outcome like this is no surefire guarantee that eminent domain won't be abused in the future. But it is a sign that, even in New Jersey, government officials have to keep the bullying below the public's pain threshold.



Conservative white Republican  exploits black racism to win election

A WHITE candidate who tricked voters into believing he was black to win a local election is unapologetic about his deception.

"Every time a politician talks, he's out there deceiving voters," Dave Wilson, a conservative white Republican who ran for office in Houston, Texas, told the local K Houston TV station.

Wilson, whose tactics were labeled "disgusting" by opponents, sent out fliers to his overwhelmingly black Democrat constituency strongly implying he was black.

The fliers had on photos of smiling African-Americans and were captioned "Please vote for our friend and neighbour Dave Wilson."

One of the fliers referred to an endorsement from Ron Wilson, a name local voters were likely to associate with a former Houston state representative who is also black. In fact the endorsement came from Wilson’s cousin who lives in Iowa and shares the politician’s name.

The tactic worked and Wilson - an anti-gay activist who opponents call a "right-wing hate monger" – won election to the Houston Community College System.

Bruce Austin, the longtime Democrat incumbent pushed out by Wilson, said: "I don't think it's good for both democracy and the whole concept of fair play. But that was not his intent, apparently."


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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