Thursday, January 28, 2016
A Leftist view of the Cologne attacks
Australia has a far-Leftist webzine called "New Matilda" that I often read to get near to where the Leftist beating heart lies. It is not in mainstream politics so its writers can let it all hang out. And they are of course enthusiastic defenders of Islam. Leftist haters and Muslim haters understand one another. So I was interested to read their take on the mass sex attacks by young Muslim males on German women in Cologne on New Year's eve.
A recent article in "New Matilda" by one Randa Abdel-Fattah (I dare not guess his/her religion) gives a take on it. Like most "New Matilda" articles it is long and rambling so I am not going to reproduce any of it but it can be summed up quite simply. It is of course yet another exercise in moral equivalence and its central contention is that condemnation of the Cologne events is "racist".
Why is it racist? Because Westerners too have done bad things in the past and we do not condemn such attacks when they are committed by white men. That's the argument.
It is difficult to know where to start in refuting such a feeble argument but let's start with its central pillar: that the Syrians and others in Cologne were "brown". I quote "Is the concern about sexual assault against women, or sexual assault against women when the perpetrators are brown men?"
As far as I know, Syrians would normally be classed as white. They are not as fair as Northern Europeans but are pretty similar to Italians, who are undoubtedly white. Let that slide however. Maybe we are racist about off-white people.
That's not very plausible, however. Not very long ago Australia's most populous State, New South Wales, was almost entirely run by people of Italian and Greek ancestry -- the Iemma administration. And they were voted into power by the people of NSW.
So the question is whether we are equally scandalized by the same class of offence when it is committed by white and off-white people. Abdel-Fattah obviously thinks we are not. But he has a problem: Where has there been anything remotely equivalent to the Cologne events that was committed by white people? There has not been, of course.
So fat Abdul trawls through history back to the '50s to find some bad deeds committed by white men. And he finds a few. Even if we allow such things as comparable, however, he would have to show that they were not condemned by other whites. He does not even attempt to do that. His article is an outpouring of hate. It is nothing logical
I think he should be called Abdul Fathead.
The Demand for Villains
By Thomas Sowell
The latest tempest in a teapot controversy is over a lack of black nominees for this year’s Academy Awards in Hollywood.
The assumption seems to be that different groups would be proportionally represented if somebody were not doing somebody else wrong. That assumption carries great weight in far more important things than Academy Awards and in places more important than Hollywood, including the Supreme Court of the United States.
In an earlier era, the groupthink assumption was that groups that did not succeed as often, or as well, were genetically inferior. But is our current groupthink assumption based on any more hard evidence?
Having spent decades researching racial and ethnic groups around the world, I have never yet found a country in which all groups — or even most groups — are even roughly equally represented in most endeavors.
Nor have I been the only one with that experience. The great French historian Fernand Braudel said, “In no society have all regions and all parts of the population developed equally.” A study of military forces around the world failed to find a single one in which in which the ethnic makeup of the military was the same as that of the society.
My own favorite example of unrepresentativeness, however, is right at home. Having watched National Football League games for more than 50 years, I have seen hundreds of black players score touchdowns, but I have never seen one black player kick the extra point.
What are we to conclude from this? Do those who believe in genetics think that blacks are just genetically incapable of kicking a football?
Since there have long been black colleges with football teams, have they had to import white players to do the opening kickoff, so that the games could get underway? Or to kick the extra point after touchdowns? Apparently not.
How about racist discrimination? Are racists so inconsistent that they are somehow able to stifle their racism when it comes to letting black players score touchdowns, but absolutely draw the line when it comes to letting blacks kick the extra point?
With all the heated and bitter debates between those who believe in heredity and those who believe in environment as explanations of group differences in outcomes, both seem to ignore the possibility that some groups just do not want to do the same things as other groups.
I doubt whether any of the guys who grew up in my old neighborhood in Harlem ever went on to become ballet dancers. Nor is it likely that this had anything to do with either genetics or racism. The very thought of becoming a ballet dancer never crossed my mind and it probably never occurred to the other guys either.
If people don’t want to do something, chances are they are not going to do it, even if they have all the innate potential in the world, and even if all the doors of opportunity are wide open.
People come from different cultures. They know different things and want different things.
When I arrived in Harlem from the South as a kid, I had no idea what a public library was. An older boy who tried to explain it to me barely succeeded in getting me to get a library card and borrow a couple of books. But it changed the course of my life. Not every kid from a similar background had someone to change the course of his life.
When Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe arrived in New York in the 19th century, they were even poorer than blacks from the South who arrived in Harlem in the 20th century. But the Jews crowded into public libraries because books had been part of their culture for centuries. New York’s elite public high schools and outstanding free colleges were practically tailor-made for them.
Groups differ from other groups all over the world, for all sorts of reasons, ranging from geography to demography, history and culture. There is not much we can do about geography and nothing we can do about the past. But we can stop looking for villains every time we see differences.
That is not likely to happen, however, when grievances can be cashed in for goodies — and polarize a whole society in the process.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio Endorses Trump for President
A man who has been styled as “America’s toughest sheriff” for the pink underwear he’s handed out to inmates, who long has been at odds with the Obama administration over illegal aliens and more, has endorsed Donald Trump for president.
The announcement of the endorsement by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, was announced by the Trump campaign Tuesday afternoon.
Both Arpaio and Trump are leaders who are unafraid to state their case – especially on the important issue of illegal aliens in the United States. Arpaio was the first to sue Obama over his 2014 administration orders that another four or five million illegals be given a legal status in the United States.
And when he announced his campaign, Trump took on Obama’s open borders policy by calling for a crackdown on the number of illegal aliens allowed into the country, and allowed to remain.
Trump said, “I have great respect for Sheriff Arpaio. We must restore law and order on the border and respect the men and women of our police forces. I thank him for his support of my policies and candidacy for president.”
Arpaio said: “Donald Trump is a leader. He produces results and is ready to get tough in order to protect American jobs and families. I have fought on the front lines to prevent illegal immigration.
“I know Donald Trump will stand with me and countless Americans to secure our border. I am proud to support him as the best candidate for president of the United States of America.”
Trump has visited Arizona twice since announcing his campaign in June and Arpaio has been at those rallies.
The announcement from the Trump camp came only hours after another significant endorsement was announced, that of Jerry Falwell Jr.
The endorsement from the president of Liberty University was personal and not on behalf of the university. But he said he saw parallels between Trump and his late father.
“Like Mr. Trump, dad would speak his mind. … Dad explained that when he walked into the voting booth, he wasn’t electing a Sunday school teacher, or a pastor, or even a president who shared his theological beliefs. He was electing a president of the United States to lead a nation.”
How the Justice Department Is Funding Progressive Groups
When a big corporation is charged with antitrust or regulatory violations, and fined billions of dollars, have you ever wondered where that money goes? You might assume that it is deposited in the United States Treasury, for general purposes, or that it goes to victims of the companies’ misconduct. In some cases, you’d be right, but it turns out an awful lot of that money is being funneled straight into progressive non-profits, at the express direction of the Department of Justice.
According to an exposé in the Wall Street Journal, the DOJ often mandates as part of settlements that the defendants pay a certain share of their fines to non-profit organizations. Looking at the list of these organizations, a certain bias becomes apparent. Some of the names include the National Council of La Raza, the National Urban League, and Neighborworks America, all of which promote causes of the political left. It’s unclear whether any right leaning organizations ever benefited from this program.
To make matters worse, the DOJ incentives these donations by weighting them double. In other words, if a company owes $100 million in fines, they can pay $50 million to liberal groups in lieu of the full amount. In this way, the government funds its own supporters to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
There is a tendency to forget that government bureaucrats are people like you and me, and like all people, they possess political opinions and bias. The idea that a person collecting a government paycheck is motivated by an urge for public service rather than advancing his own ends is a myth perpetrated by those who don’t want too many questions asked about the locus of political power.
Even those of us who accept that government officials will always be incapable of true impartiality may have underestimated just how partisan and unjust some of their behavior has become. We were shocked when we discovered that the IRS had been abusing its power to target political non-profit groups, potentially ensuring Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012, but we shouldn’t have been. It was merely the actions of self-interested people, acting as self-interested people will when given too much power over their fellow man and stripped of all means of accountability.
This new scandal is perhaps even more upsetting. The discovery that the Department of Justice—that name rings awfully hollow now—is outright funding organizations sympathetic to its agenda using the legal authority of the federal government is disgusting on a visceral level. Imagine the outrage if the situation were reverse; if the DOJ was collecting fines and funneling them to churches, the National Rifle Association, and FreedomWorks instead of these bastions of progressive thought. Democrats in America would go on an all out rampage over such a miscarriage of justice, and they would be right to do so.
Instead, all we’ve heard from the mainstream media—with the notable exception of the Wall Street Journal—has been silence. It’s vital that we shine a light on these corrupt practices and make it clear that the American people will not tolerate such a blatantly partisan use of the Justice Department. This is just one more example of how the Obama administration has usurped power from Congress, and twisted the law to promote itself over the well-being of the Republic.
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Posted by JR at 1:24 AM