Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Town to immigrants: you can't kill women

Town to immigrants: you can't kill women
By David Ljunggren Wed Jan 31, 8:45 AM ET
OTTAWA (Reuters) -

(NOTE ** All emphasis and comments purely mine)

Photos - BBC
Immigrants wishing to live in the small Canadian town of Herouxville, Quebec, must not stone women to death in public, burn them alive or throw acid on them, according to an extraordinary set of rules released by the local council. The declaration, published on the town's Web site, has deepened tensions in the predominantly French-speaking province over how tolerant Quebecers should be toward the customs and traditions of immigrants.

"We wish to inform these new arrivals that the way of life which they abandoned when they left their countries of origin cannot be recreated here," said the declaration, which makes clear women are allowed to drive, vote, dance, write checks, dress how they want, work and own property. Therefore we consider it completely outside these norms to ... kill women by stoning them in public, burning them alive, burning them with acid, circumcising them etc."

No one on the town council was available for comment on Tuesday. Herouxville, which has 1,300 inhabitants, is about 160 km (100 miles) northeast of Montreal. Andre Drouin, the councilor who devised the declaration, told the National Post newspaper that the town was not racist.

"We invite people from all nationalities, all languages, all sexual orientations, whatever, to come live with us, but we want them to know ahead of time how we live," he said.

The declaration is part of a wider debate over "reasonable accommodation," or how far Quebecers should be prepared to change their customs so as not to offend immigrants. Figures from the 2001 census show that around 10 percent of Quebec's 7.5 million population were born outside Canada.

Earlier this month the Journal de Montreal newspaper published a poll of Quebecers showing that 59 percent admitted to harboring some kind of racist feelings. The Herouxville regulations say girls and boys can exercise together and people should only be allowed to cover their faces at Halloween. Children must not take weapons to school, it adds, although the Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled that Sikh boys have the right to carry ceremonial daggers.

Salam Elmenyawi, president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, said the declaration had "set the clock back for decades" as far as race relations were concerned.

"I was shocked and insulted to see these kinds of false stereotypes and ignorance about Islam and our religion ... in a public document written by people in authority who discriminate openly," he told Reuters.


Last year a Montreal gym agreed to install frosted windows after a nearby Hasidic synagogue said it was offended by the sight of adults exercising. Newspapers say a Montreal community center banned men from prenatal classes to respect Hindu and Sikh traditions and an internal police magazine suggested women police officers allow their male colleagues to interview Hasidic Jews.

Montreal's police force is investigating one of its officers after he posted an anti-immigrant song called "That's Enough Already" on the Internet.

"We want to accept ethnics, but not at any price ... if you're not happy with your fate, there's a place called the airport," the officer sings.

The Herouxville declaration is available, in English and French, at the "avis public" section of the town's Web site,

And of course, the follow-up damage control...

Montreal police officer could face disciplinary action for writing a song urging immigrants in Quebec to assimilate. Police spokesman Yan Lafrenière insisted the song does not represent values upheld by Montreal police. The song — currently circulating on the internet — is called That's Enough Already, and suggests Québécois culture is being denigrated by a wave of new immigrants who insist on practising different religious traditions. The song berates immigrants for expecting Quebec to bend over backwards and accommodate their differences, and suggests that those who don't like it should hitch a ride to the airport.

The song was posted on a site called Humour Québec.

Police launch internal investigation

The 37-year-old officer, a 15-year veteran of the police force, will appear in front of a Montreal police disciplinary committee Monday, amid protests from his union. There's no reason to discipline the officer, who has a clean track record and maintains good relations with his colleagues, said Yves Francoeur, president of the Montreal Police Brotherhood.

The force intends to pursue the enquiry until it establishes the officer's real motive, said spokesman Yan Lafrenière Sunday.

"For us, it's a main preoccupation, to see what the intention of the officer [was], why he did that, and was it his own opinion, or was it a song, by itself," he said. "Is it because of a possible root of intolerance? It is important for us to find that out."

SHOCKING!!! "A possible root of intolerance"!!!! Mai Oui............

Lafrenière insisted the song does not represent values upheld by Montreal police. But that kind of message is still damaging, according to Fo Niemi, co-founder of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations.

Fo Niemi, co-founder of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations, worries about the effects of the lyrics.Fo Niemi, co-founder of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations, worries about the effects of the lyrics.

"The effect of this kind of lyric is to legitimize this kind of xenophobic remark, and eventually it's going to be used by many other people to tell immigrants if they don't like it here, they should go back to where they came from," he said.

Uh... What's Your Point?

'Code of conduct' debate

The song appeared on the internet as the debate on "reasonable accommodation" was snowballing across Quebec. On Saturday, a small town near Shawinigan, in the Mauricie region, made headlines after its city council drafted and approved a "code of conduct" outlining appropriate behaviour for all residents, including new immigrants. The code of conduct in Hérouxville declares women have the right to drive a car, sign a cheque and dance, and should uncover their faces if they teach in schools. The guidelines were a response to what town leaders deem "excessive" accommodation to other religious beliefs, said Hérouxville municipal Coun. André Drouin. Mr Drouin said most e-mails were supportive of the new declaration.

Muslim groups have repudiated the code of conduct, calling it divisive.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest said Monday the code does reflect a more generalized feeling of anxiety among Quebecers, but he doesn't anticipate other towns to follow suit.

Well, at least the Quebec Premier seems to find some justification...

"I can't see how the situation in Hérouxville will have any repercussions elsewhere. I don't expect other municipalities to pursue this line of action," he said Monday.

I haven't been able to find the song yet, but I'm sure YouTube will have it up - at least for awhile...the Humour Québec site maybe has it, but I couldn't locate the song there.

I think they are on to something here. Let our poor, tired and hungry know up front what the rules of living in a civilized country mean. These are the THINGS YOU MAY NOT DO. Simple. Fuck Shari'a.


Monday, January 29, 2007

The Offensiveness of Taking Offense

I work in a 'multi-cultural' environment. That is to say, there is a broad spectrum of nationalities, races, native languages, and religions among the professional staff with whom I work. In four years there, I have never found it necessary, prudent, or even desirable to intentionally give offense to anyone for who they are, or what they believe, or who they worship. That's on a micro level, though. On a macro level it could well be that someone would take offense at the views I hold or give voice to. And I don't care if, on the macro level, that they might take offense. Because on the macro level, an impersonal level, it's necessary and imperative to speak the truth, and lay my cards on the table. There may come a time when it is necessary to give offense to those who want to take offense on a micro level. The alternative is to be dishonest to myself, and of service to no one. The following article is a refreshing essay on the subject of giving and taking offense.

American Thinker

January 29, 2007
The Offensiveness of Taking Offense
By Selwyn Duke

"The voicing of the unpopular being the very soul of free speech, the right to give and take offense shall not be infringed."

Sometimes I think it is time to insert the above into our First Amendment. Whether it's an off-color joke or colorful commentary, it's now hard to make anything but the most plain vanilla statements without offending somebody. In fact, so ingrained is the notion of being offended that it's become a topic of TV commercial satire. Just think about GEICO's commercials with stone-age characters taking umbrage at the slogan, "So easy a caveman can do it."

Ironically, associating cavemen with being thin-skinned is quite apropos, since it is a frailty born of the more ignoble aspects of man's nature. As to this, I think about documentarian Alby Mangels who, while visiting primitives in Papua New Guinea, warned against "knocking back their hospitality." Prudence dictated he be wary, as those less spiritually and morally evolved are ruled by pride, the worst of the Seven Deadly Sins.

And, lest we entertain the fancy that it is the superior person who doesn't give offense, know that it is actually the superior one who doesn't take it. It's hard to offend the humble. In truth, though, our civilization is not as overcome by pride as by duplicity. And this is what is truly offensive (in the way an odor is so) about this offensiveness business: Screaming "That's offensive!" is nothing but a ploy. Yes, you heard it here first, few who emit that utterance are actually offended.

They just don't happen to like what you're saying. I'll explain precisely what is going on. Liberals trade on this ploy, using it as a standard response whenever their sacred cows come under scrutiny. If they were tolerant, they would simply accept that some will espouse what we despise. If they were honest, they would simply say what they mean. But tolerance is just another ploy, and honesty, well, it has never served the ends of the left, and never less so than here. A translation of what they really mean to say will illustrate why: "I hate what you're saying, it makes me angry and you should shut your mouth! [expletives omitted]"

Of course, to exhibit such petulance would reveal their vaunted tolerance for the facade it is and demonstrate their moral inferiority. And telling others to shut-up is the stuff of neither polite society nor effective debate, so a different strategy is in order. And the "Offensiveness Ploy" (OP) is ideal, as it shifts the onus from them to you. A direct command to still your tongue would make them appear the villains, intolerant, immature, imperious clods, incapable of brooking dissent. It would be offensive. But the OP makes you seem the offensive one. When told to shut-up, we feel transgressed against and know we occupy the moral high ground, a place from which taking the offense is justified.

The OP, however, casts us as the transgressors, cowing us as we look up from our valley of disgrace. It works: Accusing others of giving offense is the best offense, as it places them on the defense. But you don't have to read Sun Tzu's The Art of War to know strategies change with the situation. And this is why, when the bounds of propriety are loosed and the power is all theirs, liberals often show their true colors, resorting to a tactic blunter and less sophisticated but even more effective: Force.

Just think about the "students" - they don't deserve the designation - who attacked Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist at that institution of lower learning, Columbia University. Think about incidents where other conservative speakers were given the same treatment on other campuses, a phenomenon that prompted pundit Ann Coulter to retain bodyguards. You may think I'm painting the left with too broad a brush but, I can assure you, the very same spoiled brats would use the OP in any situation wherein the balance of power didn't favor them. But in a bastion of liberalism, where accountability is as absent as sensibility, they don't have to. And here's their message: "I hate what you're saying, it makes me angry and you should shut your mouth! And you're going to shut your mouth whether you like it or not. We don't have to take it anymore [expletives omitted]."

I suppose it's the one situation where you could say that honesty is definitely not refreshing. Would that anyone claim I'm wrong, he has much to explain. Like, for instance, why these tolerant, inoffensive liberals, upon achieving institutional power, become similarly heavy-handed and use the principles of tolerance and offensiveness to squelch ideas they dislike. They have given us speech codes at universities and in corporations and hate speech laws in foreign countries. And the sanctimony, oh, the sanctimony. As they ostracize, penalize, terminate and arrest those who sin against political correctness, they tell us they're just protecting others from hateful feelings when they really just feel hateful.

Can there be doubt of this? This oh-so-sensitive set is the very one that defends the immersion of a crucifix in a jar of urine as artistic expression and the equation of 9/11 victims with Nazis as academic freedom. If the truth about the OP hasn't raised your ire yet, understand that it is nothing less than part of the groundwork necessary for social engineering. If you want to effect social and legislative change, you must win the social and political debates so as to garner support for it. But if you can't defeat your adversaries in the arena of ideas, you have to keep them out of the competition; if you can't refute what's argued, you must stop it from being spoken.

So, first you demonize speech refutative of your agenda by labeling it "offensive," which cultivates social codes and attendant social pressure facilitative of the change you desire. Then, as these social codes become more widely accepted and entrenched, expressing them through rules and laws becomes more acceptable. This leads to the next stage, the organizational expression of them - the speech codes in various private institutions. And once sufficiently inured to these, it's time for the last stage of this imprisoning of ideas: The legislative expression of these social codes known as hate speech laws.

Case in point: It becomes harder for traditionalists to argue against homosexual marriage if they're scorned and ostracized for saying homosexual behavior is sinful, destructive or disordered. It becomes harder still if those who do so are punished within the context of our schools and businesses. And it becomes impossible if the government arrests you for such expression. Tyrants agree: the easiest way to win a debate is to prevent the other side from debating.

Thus, there is a lesson here we ignore at our own peril. You can have freedom from being offended or you can have freedom of speech, but you cannot have both. This is why I have no tolerance for the Offensiveness Ploy. It is manipulation by the mediocre, victory for the vacuous, derision by the dull. It is the protestation of a child, one with neither the brute force to be a Brownshirt nor the executive force to be a Blackshirt. If someone is offended by truth, the problem lies not with it being uttered. If someone doesn't want it uttered, he has a problem with truth.

The great victory of the left is that it has made us apologize for being right. A few may be truly offended, being in the grip of primitive pride. But, mostly, we are in the grip of a primitive ploy. We need more offensiveness, not less. We must offend the liars, the degraded, the darkness, the destroyers of civilization.

So my answer to the offended is, you have every right to be offended. Now, grow up. If you can't sit at the table of reasoned debate, go back to your bread and circuses. Let the adults figure out the problems of the world.

Selwyn Duke is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.

Cursing the Darkness

"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.."
- Quaker proverb

Missing: 50 million Indian girls
Swami Agnivesh, Rama Mani and Angelika Köster-Lossack

International Herald Tribune
Friday, November 25, 2005
Rohtak, India

In recent years, the world has been shocked by the Taliban's ruthless suppression of women in Afghanistan, the practice of female genital mutilation in parts of Africa and the abuse of female domestic labor in places like Saudi Arabia. Yet it is the world's largest democracy that is the undeclared winner in the contest of violence against women.

In India, female foeticide - the sex-selective abortion of girls - has led to an alarming "gender gap" in the country's population. In 1990, when the census showed that there were 25 million more males than females in India, the government reacted by introducing a law making it illegal to detect the sex of a foetus through ultrasound examination. Yet by 2001, the gender gap had risen to 35 million, and now experts estimate it as high as 50 million.

The practice of female infanticide has a long history in India: Because of the widespread cultural preference for sons, many baby girls used to be killed after birth. But modern technology, particularly the ultrasound machine, has made it easier for parents, and highly profitable for doctors, to practice female foeticide without great risk of detection and punitive legal action. Assumed to be prevalent among Hindus, because of their custom requiring male progeny to perform cremation rites, female foeticide is in fact found today to be equally rampant among Sikhs, Muslims and Christians.

Likewise, the practice has usually been presumed to be most prevalent among the poor and illiterate, because of spiraling dowry demands made on brides by the groom's family, as well as other traditional prejudices. However, recent UN and Indian studies reveal that female foeticide is today most frequent among the rich and highly educated. One study maps the increased frequency of female foeticide with rising levels of education - lowest among women with a fifth-grade education and highest among women with university degrees.

The consequences of female foeticide and the resulting gender gap are already unfolding: Girls are being trafficked from impoverished neighboring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal or from disadvantaged or tribal areas in India and sold into marriage for the equivalent of about $200 (in Haryana State, a bull costs $1,000). With 50 million girls already missing today, the result of this dangerous practice is ineluctable: A society without women, even if today it is the world's second-most populous, is doomed to eventual extinction.

Early this year, after Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss expressed despair at the government's inability to re- verse this calamitous situation despite legislation and other policies, religious leaders of all faiths convened an "Interfaith People's Yatra (or Journey) of Compassion," a kind of traveling protest march, on female foeticide. It wasorganized by the Arya Samaj, a reformist social-religious movement founded in 1875, with the support of the central and state governments, Unicef and Unifem.

Earlier this month, participants in the Yatra traversed India's worst-affected northern states in their motor convoy, generating a mounting wave of awareness and action among religious and political leaders, civic activists, women's groups, students and teachers. As we marched, we shouted in our thousands, "Sons and daughters are the same! Save our daughters to save our country!" Our position is categorical: Ending female foeticide is not in itself enough. All forms of gender injustice must be stopped.

The treatment of women as second-class citizens is deeply embedded in the Indian mindset, whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jain or Parsee. Despite legislation making dowry illegal, dowry demands are exorbitant and still result in an estimated 25,000 dowry deaths a year, at the hands of avaricious grooms and in-laws. Child widows are meted execrable treatment and are denied the right of remarriage.

Even when daughters are allowed to go to school, they are burdened with household chores, leading to high drop-out rates. Across all the religions, the birth of a son is celebrated while the birth of a daughter is mourned. Until sons and daughters are treated equally, until life is made safe for the Indian woman, the country remains morally under siege. Our march demands not only an end to female foeticide, but to all forms of violence against women. It demands respect for women's rights and dignity from birth to death.

Swami Agnivesh, a former education minister of Haryana State, is president of the Arya Samaj. Rama Mani is course director at the Geneva Center for Security Policy. Angelika Köster-Lossack is a former member of the German Parliament for the Green Party.

But sometimes you have to curse the darkness, before you care enough to light a candle.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Liberal Mind

The one big question I wake up with and go to sleep with each day is: How deeply into the psyche of America is this cultural Marxist hegemony wedged?

And is there a deeper level yet not touched by its vileness? For America's sake, and the world's, I hope so. I know that there are many in the Western World who do not fall for the false hopes of a Godless solution to the world's ills. Will that be enough? I hope that the values engendered by 2000 years of Judeo-Christian values, which produced Europe and America, and instilled in our societies will be sufficient to recognize and to answer the call to throw off the false secular ideology of cultural Marxism.

I don't believe there is a secular solution, but rather a spiritual solution is necessary. Spiritual solutions always begin with oneself. And the problem there is that we have rejected most of the spiritual archetypes of our ancestors. I see this as failure of pedegogy and of the clergy the world over. So we are left with raw emotion, raw courage to enter the arena, and hopefully, an innate living memory instilled by God. And yet we are doing it - we are living our lives, trying to follow the good. We have had the freedom to live and possibly to grow spiritually - because of our forefathers' stand for liberty. What we are fighting for now is our children's and their children's freedom to do the same. But we must understand that in order to grow spiritually, we need to wake up and look within ourselves in honest appraisal. We are a society too focused on our own goals. We need to open up the boundaries of our own limited goals to include the world's needs, as well.

What was once a solid, Republican base has now become tarnished by its own greed and ambition. Since there is no viable third party whose values reflect a moderate, conservative platform, we are kind of stuck with the Republicans for the foreseeable future. And there are yet good, strong voices on the right. I pray that the agenda of the cronys leave some room at the table for clear-minded leaders to come to the fore.

And as I have been writing of disorders of the psyche, here is one explanation of what we are up against:

From Town Hall

Monday,Dec 4, 2006

Dr. Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr. - a forensic psychiatrist - explains the madness of liberalism in his new book, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.

The following is an excerpt from his book:

Like all other human beings, the modern liberal reveals his true character, including his madness, in what he values and devalues, in what he articulates with passion. Of special interest, however, are the many values about which the modern liberal mind is not passionate: his agenda does not insist that the individual is the ultimate economic, social and political unit; it does not idealize individual liberty and the structure of law and order essential to it; it does not defend the basic rights of property and contract; it does not aspire to ideals of authentic autonomy and mutuality; it does not preach an ethic of self-reliance and self-determination; it does not praise courage, forbearance or resilience; it does not celebrate the ethics of consent or the blessings of voluntary cooperation. It does not advocate moral rectitude or understand the critical role of morality in human relating. The liberal agenda does not comprehend an identity of competence, appreciate its importance, or analyze the developmental conditions and social institutions that promote its achievement. The liberal agenda does not understand or recognize personal sovereignty or impose strict limits on coercion by the state. It does not celebrate the genuine altruism of private charity. It does not learn history’s lessons on the evils of collectivism.

What the liberal mind is passionate about is a world filled with pity, sorrow, neediness, misfortune, poverty, suspicion, mistrust, anger, exploitation, discrimination, victimization, alienation and injustice. Those who occupy this world are “workers,” “minorities,” “the little guy,” “women,” and the “unemployed.” They are poor, weak, sick, wronged, cheated, oppressed, disenfranchised, exploited and victimized. They bear no responsibility for their problems. None of their agonies are attributable to faults or failings of their own: not to poor choices, bad habits, faulty judgment, wishful thinking, lack of ambition, low frustration tolerance, mental illness or defects in character. None of the victims’ plight is caused by failure to plan for the future or learn from experience. Instead, the “root causes” of all this pain lie in faulty social conditions: poverty, disease, war, ignorance, unemployment, racial prejudice, ethnic and gender discrimination, modern technology, capitalism, globalization and imperialism. In the radical liberal mind, this suffering is inflicted on the innocent by various predators and persecutors: “Big Business,” “Big Corporations,” “greedy capitalists,” U.S. Imperialists,” “the oppressors,” “the rich,” “the wealthy,” “the powerful” and “the selfish.”

The liberal cure for this endless malaise is a very large authoritarian government that regulates and manages society through a cradle to grave agenda of redistributive caretaking. It is a government everywhere doing everything for everyone. The liberal motto is “In Government We Trust.” To rescue the people from their troubled lives, the agenda recommends denial of personal responsibility, encourages self-pity and other-pity, fosters government dependency, promotes sexual indulgence, rationalizes violence, excuses financial obligation, justifies theft, ignores rudeness, prescribes complaining and blaming, denigrates marriage and the family, legalizes all abortion, defies religious and social tradition, declares inequality unjust, and rebels against the duties of citizenship. Through multiple entitlements to unearned goods, services and social status, the liberal politician promises to ensure everyone’s material welfare, provide for everyone’s healthcare, protect everyone’s self-esteem, correct everyone’s social and political disadvantage, educate every citizen, and eliminate all class distinctions. With liberal intellectuals sharing the glory, the liberal politician is the hero in this melodrama. He takes credit for providing his constituents with whatever they want or need even though he has not produced by his own effort any of the goods, services or status transferred to them but has instead taken them from others by force.

It should be apparent by now that these social policies and the passions that drive them contradict all that is rational in human relating, and they are therefore irrational in themselves. But the faulty conceptions that lie behind these passions cannot be viewed as mere cognitive slippage. The degree of modern liberalism’s irrationality far exceeds any misunderstanding that can be attributed to faulty fact gathering or logical error. Indeed, under careful scrutiny, liberalism’s distortions of the normal ability to reason can only be understood as the product of psychopathology. So extravagant are the patterns of thinking, emoting, behaving and relating that characterize the liberal mind that its relentless protests and demands become understandable only as disorders of the psyche. The modern liberal mind, its distorted perceptions and its destructive agenda are the product of disturbed personalities.

As is the case in all personality disturbance, defects of this type represent serious failures in development processes. The nature of these failures is detailed below. Among their consequences are the liberal mind’s relentless efforts to misrepresent human nature and to deny certain indispensable requirements for human relating. In his efforts to construct a grand collectivist utopia—to live what Jacques Barzun has called “the unconditioned life” in which “everybody should be safe and at ease in a hundred ways”—the radical liberal attempts to actualize in the real world an idealized fiction that will mitigate all hardship and heal all wounds. (Barzun 2000). He acts out this fiction, essentially a Marxist morality play, in various theaters of human relatedness, most often on the world’s economic, social and political stages. But the play repeatedly folds. Over the course of the Twentieth Century, the radical liberal’s attempts to create a brave new socialist world have invariably failed. At the dawn of the Twenty-first Century his attempts continue to fail in the stagnant economies, moral decay and social turmoil now widespread in Europe. An increasingly bankrupt welfare society is putting the U.S. on track for the same fate if liberalism is not cured there. Because the liberal agenda’s principles violate the rules of ordered liberty, his most determined efforts to realize its visionary fantasies must inevitably fall short. Yet, despite all the evidence against it, the modern liberal mind believes his agenda is good social science. It is, in fact, bad science fiction. He persists in this agenda despite its madness.

Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD is the author of The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago and served for two years as a psychiatrist in the United States Army. He is currently in private practice in the Chicago area.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A "man's" Gotta Do What a "man's" Gotta Do (Islamic Version)

AMMAN, Jordan: A father shot dead his 17-year-old daughter, having suspected her of having sex, and surrendered to the police in the latest case of the so-called "honor killings" that have brought international opprobrium on Jordan. An autopsy found the girl to be a virgin.

Weeks earlier the girl had returned home from a family protection clinic after doctors had vouched for virginity and the father had signed a pledge not to harm her, a state forensic pathologist said Thursday.

The man shot dead his 17-year-old daughter and surrendered to police, saying he had done it for family honor, a state forensic pathologist said Thursday.

The father suspected his daughter of having sex and continued to doubt her chastity even after a clinic said she was a virgin, said the pathologist, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity owing to the sensitivity of the issue.

The father shot her four times in the head on Tuesday. An autopsy was performed on Wednesday, and this showed "she was still a virgin," the pathologist said.

For the rest of this sad and tragic chapter in the pathological social ideology known as Islam, go here.
As long as you are on the International Campaign Against Honor Killings, I invite you to take a look around the site. It's worth a few minutes of your time.

There are thousands of stories like this. Every year an estimated 5000 young women and girls are killed. Countless others are maimed as a result. And that's just the women. Men are also attacked and for the same rationale: The family's "honor" has been stained. Dig deeper, and one will always find an imbalance in the Arab male psyche at the root. He fantasizes a 'femme fatale' as the ideal woman for himself, projects that image onto the woman (be it wife, daughter, sister, doesn't matter), then spends the rest of his sorry life, trying to make sure the females in his family don't become that fantasy. So when one of the females even appears to be taking that route, the other men know the deal, and know that the appearance of impropriety is seen as fact in the Arab village mentality. At least, that's my take on it, ala Carl Jung.

Now, many western men do that, too. They just don't have the burden of "family honor" to uphold, so when it all goes bad, they just take off. Look for another woman to project their fantasy onto. Women do it too. It would seem that the whole world is sick. So it's a damn good thing we do have the Judeo-Christian values holding the moral side of human contracts together. The Islamists see only our weak side, they are ignorant of, and can't relate to the process of human involution and evolution. Too bad. In their tiny minds they think that some illiterate, sheep-humping imam knows better than God. Such presumption, such effrontery will not fly in the Western World. No sir. And it's time they got that message.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Women (Females) in Crisis

There is something universally fundamental to the phenomenon of the wanton destruction of the females of our species. I do not believe the practice of 'infanticide' is widely practiced by Muslims. In fact, reading early accounts of Islam, Muhammed may have put a stop to the practice in his part of the world. Gendercide, that's another story. The so-called 'honor killings' of family females is certainly an accepted practice across a wide spectrum Islamic countries, with the justification that the actions on the part of some female in the family has brought 'dishonor' to the family name. The genocide that took place in Kosovo, Bosnia, and Croatia in the 1990's, targeted Muslim men and boys of fighting age. That was essentially a political wartime decision, and such decisions are not without precedent as can be seen throughout history. These kinds of gendercide are usually of short, brutal duration.

But in certain Asian countries, infanticide is most certainly a widely accepted practice, and has been part of the culture of China and India for centuries. And most often the mothers themselves are the perpetrators, or willing participants in killing their own baby girls, to whom they gave birth, and there is a wide level of acceptance by these societies of such practices. Why?

It's so easy to ask 'why?' I only ask the question as a point of departure. There are no easy answers. I have other questions, as well. Why, over the ages, has there been no self-correcting moral counter to the practice of killing baby girls? The birth of a baby daughter is still so dreaded today in many cultures, and considered a painful burden. Though there are no easy answers, the questions must be asked.

But this series will not be about male-bashing, either. In this whole business regarding women's rights, women's freedom and the killing of babies, from a moral point of view, the women involved are rarely the innocent victim, either. Nor am I about to start pointing fingers. This is not an attack on Islam, per se. As Dennis Prager points out, there is religion, and then there are the practioners of religion. Just trying to frame this in a way that makes the most sense to me. Ideally, the information will be loosely framed within a moral equation based on the notion that unless clear moral lines between free societies and fear societies are drawn, the result will simply be another moral quagmire (a notion that Natan Sharansky puts forward in an interview with Jamie Glaznov in Front Page Mag in Dec, 2004). That is, free societies produce peace and good; repressive, totalitarian societies produce fear and evil.

That said, I realize I may have painted myself in a corner. Is this series talking about infanticide, or about gendercide, or about Islamic fanaticism? Actually, I will try to raise this to a different level and talk about the spiritual interplay between men and women, as I believe that is where the problems lie. I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, which wouldn't be unusual for me. When I started out with this women in bondage theme, I had not planned to go into the whole infanticide phenomenon. But several stats kept jumping out at me, like the 100 million to 300 million women who statistically are unaccounted for, by the UN demographers, at any rate. This figure is disputed, but if it is even wildly close to being accurate, something is terribly amiss in the world. And I think light needs to be let in.

Alright, enough of my rambling. One aim of this blog is to give tribute to the true fighters for freedom everywhere. In scouting out who is actually taking a stand against the Totalitarian Wahhabi notion of Islam, one discovers that among the most vocal, most articulate are in fact women. It is they who have begun to stand up to the enforced servitude, to reject the bitter pill of debasement, distrust, derision and death and are the true warriors of today; these women risk all to speak out against Islam which, as it is being increasingly practiced, crushes the woman's spirit.

One such remarkable woman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali explores some of the factors.

Women and 'gendercide'

Worldwide, at least 113 million women are 'missing.'
By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
April 04, 2006 CS Monitor

AMSTERDAM – As I was preparing for this article, I asked a very good friend who is Jewish if it was appropriate for me to use the term "holocaust" to portray the worldwide violence against women. He was startled. But when I read him the figures in a 2004 policy paper published by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, he said yes, without hesitation.
One United Nations estimate says that between 113 million and 200 million women around the world are "missing." Every year, between 1.5 million and 3 million women and girls lose their lives as a result of gender-based violence or neglect. As the Economist, which reported on the policy paper, put it last November, "Every two to four years the world looks away from a victim count on the scale of Hitler's Holocaust." How could this possibly be true?

Here are some of the factors:

• In countries where the birth of a boy is preferred, selective abortion and infanticide eliminate female babies.

• Young girls die disproportionately from neglect because food and medical attention is given first to males.

• In countries where women are considered the property of men, their fathers and brothers can murder them for choosing their own sexual partners.

• The brutal international sex trade kills uncounted numbers of girls.

• Domestic violence is a major reason for the deaths of women in every country.

• Six thousand girls undergo genital mutilation every day, according to the World Health Organization. Many die, and others live the rest of their lives in crippling pain. All these figures are estimates; registering precise numbers for violence against women is not a priority in most countries. It is comfortable for us to ignore these issues, especially when the problems are so widespread and for many, so far away. And by "us," I include women. Going forward there are three challenges: Women are not organized or united. Those of us in rich countries, who have attained equality under the law, need to mobilize to assist our fellows. Only our political pressure can lead to change. Next, there are the forces of obscurantism that want to close the world off. The Islamists are engaged in reviving and spreading a brutal and retrograde body of laws. Wherever the Islamists implement sharia, or Islamic law, women are hounded from the public arena, denied education, and forced into a life of domestic slavery.

Lastly, cultural and moral relativists sap our sense of moral outrage by defending the position that human rights are a Western invention. Men who abuse women rarely fail to use the vocabulary the relativists have kindly provided them. They claim the right to adhere to an alternative set of values - an "Asian," "African" or "Islamic" approach to human rights. This mind-set needs to be broken. A culture that carves the genitals of young girls, hobbles their minds, and justifies their physical oppression is not equal to a culture that believes women have the same rights as men.

Three initial steps could be taken by world leaders to begin eradicating the mass murder of women.

A tribunal like the International Court of Justice in The Hague should look for the 113 million to 200 million women and girls who are missing.

A serious international effort must urgently be made to precisely register violence against girls and women, country by country.

And we need a worldwide campaign to reform cultures that permit this kind of crime.In the past two centuries, those in the West have gradually changed the way they treat women. As a result, the West enjoys greater peace and progress. It is my hope that the third world will embark on this effort. Just as we put an end to slavery, we must end the "gendercide."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch legislator, lives under 24-hour protection because of death threats against her by Islamic radicals since the murder of director Theo van Gogh, with whom she made the film "Submission."

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Submission, film by van Theo van Gogh and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

This is the beginning of a series of posts on the role of women in the world. Specifically, the predicament of women within the world of Islam will be explored. I will be looking at the question of whether or not Muslim women can change the nature of Islam as it is practiced today. And if they could and are willing to do so, what can we do to support such a move?

Secondly, I will be looking at the practice of infanticide as it is occurs worldwide. Again, specifically the slaughter of baby girls throughout the world will be the focus. I will be posting more, if Blogger lets me. Having problems with wysiwyg.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Convert to Islam or Die?

Where are the voices of moderate Muslims? Why are the so-called enlightened Muslim scholars not speaking out against Bin Laden and Al Queda and all their ilk? I want to warn you so-called moderate Muslims that America will lose her patience at some point. And it will not go well for you. You may think, judging from appearances, that the Right and Left are different animals. We are not. Many of the differences are the result of a confused ideological self-image, fostered by poor education. By poor, I mean insufficient and lacking in quality and scope. But here in America, because of our freedom and liberty, our education doesn't end with a high school diploma, or a college degree. That's when our education begins. And when Americans do realize their freedom is on the line, the political spectrum will get unified in a hurry. When that happens, what will be unleashed will be both awful and sublime.

When the Japanese, who thought they and their big Shinto religion were invincible, finally realized what they were up against, they lost heart, literally. And I'm not even talking about the A-Bombs Truman dropped on them. The Japanese were already defeated, when they saw the endless flow, day after day after day, of jeeps, guns, and munitions coming from America. It just didn't seem possible for that kind of war production to kick in. The bomb was for others to witness. Just in case they got any ideas. Oh, Hitler also made a slight miscalculation regarding our will as a Nation, to take on a feckless fascist regime an ocean away. You say the Qu'ran says you have to warn us three times? Ok, bring it on. Fuck with us and suffer the consequences.

Al-Zawahri was reiterating a fundamental concept of Salafi Islamic teaching, the fountainhead of extremist thinking. Yet the authors of the American government's recent intelligence report on terrorism's spread seem not to have been listening.

Zawahri's threat is based on a saying of the Prophet Muhammad as written in Sahih Al-Buchary, a central book of Salafi Islamic teaching. This hadith, or fundamental concept, states: "I have been ordered by Allah to fight and kill all mankind until they say, 'No God except Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah' (Hadith Sahih)."

Based on this hadith, early Muslims used the sword to spread Islam throughout the world. The same hadith inspires contemporary Islamic terror including this summer's thwarted London airplane explosions. Other rationales that terrorists use to justify terrorism - the Arab-Israeli conflict, America's involvement in Iraq - are simply useful propaganda cover stories, not the actual causes or goals of terrorists' actions.

Americans must be wary of political leaders who accept the propaganda explanations. To win the war on terror, America's leaders must recognize the powerful role of the Islamic religious principle of jihad, Islam's belief that it must conquer the world, which derives from the above hadith. Belief in jihad is what causes so many Muslims worldwide to cheer terrorist acts such as 9/11, European subway bombings, and Hezbollah and Hamas attacks against Israel.

Allowing jihadist teaching to continue is like allowing cancer cells to survive in a human body.

The human immune system demonstrates that nurturing normal cells and respecting their variance sustains life. A healthy body nourishes cell diversity. A healthy body politic, similarly, must value respect for different beliefs. At the same time, if an immune system shows any tolerance whatsoever for cancer cells, the latter will terminate that body's life. The immune system of a body politic must have a similar zero tolerance for beliefs that incite violence against its citizens.

Cancer can be overcome if an individual has a strong immune system that acts to triumph over the killer cells. Similarly, the cancerous teachings of Salafi Islam could become insignificant if the majority of Muslims were to vocally oppose them.

Unfortunately, however, the vast majority of Muslims, Islamic organizations and Islamic scholars have not publicly objected to these teachings. There have been no powerful Muslim demonstrations to denounce Osama bin Laden and not a single fatwa by top Islamic scholars or organizations to consider bin Laden an apostate - as was done to Salman Rushdie just for writing a novel.

Because the teachings continue, a significant proportion of the world's Muslims have become passive terrorists, peaceful citizens whose sympathy in their hearts and support with their purses enable terrorism's spread.

If Islamic scholars and organizations in America disapprove of jihadist teachings, they must speak out against them. Americans should consider Muslims to be moderates, and Islam a peaceful faith, only if, in English and in Arabic, Muslims clearly denounce their violent hadiths and strike them from the books that educate their next generation.

In addition to internal immune reactions, externally applied interventions also can destroy cancer cells. Like cancer-fighting chemotherapy, strongly applied military might can reduce large tumors. America eliminated al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan, but the verdict is not yet in on whether Israel this past summer similarly decimated Hezbollah.

To conquer the metastases of extremist Islam, however, words may be the most potent weapons. Outspoken condemnation of the theological sources of terrorism by American intellectuals and politicians, reinforcing the self-examination of Muslims themselves, could make a vital difference.

Addressing the theological wellsprings of Islamic terrorist motivation is essential if America is to succeed in its war against terrorism. Pope Benedict XVI has begun leading the way. Neither political correctness nor Muslim outrage must be allowed to prevent further realistic talk about the religious underpinnings of Islamic violence. Otherwise Islamic teaching will continue to spread jihad's cancerous beliefs.


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Friday, January 19, 2007

Iran clears teenage woman sentenced to death

When societies
are not encouraged to govern it's citizens in such a way as to allow Natural Law to prevail when it comes to men's and women's roles within the family context, unnatural social contracts will arise. This is not the time for a discourse on Natural Law. Wikipedia has excellent articles on the subject, especially School of Salamanca. Suffice it to say, I'm not talking about some Utopian view here. But false values, whether ideological, religious, or economic, or some combination of those, are driving men and women farther apart in understanding and compassion, and in doing so, are making it nigh impossible to have a healthy, harmonious family life. In Western Europe families are not even procreating any more (see Mark Styne, America Alone). In America we have problems, of course, but making babies is not one of them - not yet, anyway.

In Muslim countries, it's another whole story. They make lots of babies, but are living in a completely artificial atmosphere. Interesting word, atmosphere - it comes from the Sanskrit; atmos is directly related to the word 'Atman', which means The Self, Jiva, Soul, the essence within each of us, which is neither created nor dies. Sphere means realm. So atmosphere means, realm of the living essence. Our every word, thought and action help create the quality of the atmosphere in which we live, from the individual, to the family, to societies.

However you look at it, a typical Muslim family, with it's accepted 'honor killings', etc - is not exactly fun city. They live under a completely artificial ideology, which at best makes for very weird relationships between men and women, and at it's worst, a living nightmare for the women.

This next story is a natural follow-up to my previous post. As you may recall, the Iranian girl, Nazanin and her 15-year old cousin, were the victims of (a probably opportunistic) rape attempt. She defended herself and her cousin, and a man died. Nazinin was tried, convicted and sentenced to be hung. Many people have been following this story

Iran clears teenage woman sentenced to death

January 15, 2007
TEHRAN -- An Iranian court has cleared of murder charges a 19-year-old woman who was originally sentenced to death for killing a man that she said tried to rape her, the press reported Monday.

Mahabad Fatehi, known as Nazanin, was cleared by a Tehran provincial court of premeditated murder but still ordered to pay blood money of 260 million Iranian riyals ($30,600) to the victim's family, the Etemad newspaper reported.
Fatehi, whose case achieved international notoriety when it was taken up by a Canadian beauty queen of Iranian origin, said that she stabbed the man in an act of self-defense after he tried to rape her and her niece in March 2005.
In January last year, Fatehi was put on trial and sentenced to death by a criminal court, a verdict that was then quashed by the supreme court in an unprecedented move, the report said.
Her case then was referred to the Tehran provincial court, whose five judges cleared her of the charge with the majority of votes January 10, the report said.

"Two bikers held me and my niece, Somayeh, and asked us a dirty favor. I stabbed Yusof and released myself and Somayeh. But Yusof attacked me again and I stabbed him again," Fatehi said.
She maintained that she had no other option but self-defense, otherwise she and her niece would have been raped by the attackers.
She explained that she and her 15-year-old niece had gone out with two other men when the attackers trapped them in a remote location outside Tehran.

In January 2005, after seven years of legal wrangling, the Iranian judiciary acquitted a woman who killed a senior police officer that she said had attempted to rape her on the Gulf island of Kish.
According to the current Iranian law, which is under modification, a boy can be executed from the age of 15, and a girl from the age of nine. However, the execution is in practice normally carried out when the offender is over 18 years old.
The European Union and international human rights groups have been pressuring Iran to stop executing those under age 18, and the UN General Assembly has adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing the practice of executing minors in Iran.
Iran's ultraconservative judiciary has responded to critics by saying that minors are not executed in the Islamic republic. It has also proposed a law that would prohibit the death penalty or flagellation for those who were minors at the time of the crimes.

Last year at least 154 people were executed in Iran according to press and witness reports.


So I guess we'll have to wait for another opportunity to hold Rep. Keith Elliot's feet to the fire. Some of us were revving up to get Elliot to sign a petition to protest Nazanin's fate. I'm relieved for her. Other opportunities await Mr. Elliot's pleasure.

In the same edition of the Middle East Times, under the Women section, is an article describing a scene in Cairo, in which boys/men went on a sexual frenzy, apparently because they heard tickets to a movie being shown were no longer being sold. How's that for self-restraint? Anyway, whether or not that would be considered acceptable behavior to the police, it got the gals' dander up, and now they have a blog, in Egypt where women can begin to vent their frustration and outrage at such behavior.

Leading the charge is a young Egyptian female - preferring to remain anonymous due to the nature of the campaign - who has started an Arab-language feminist blog called Atralnada (morning dew). In a country where Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise, and the status of women a subject of much debate, this young activist has made her struggle public, and her blog is empowering Egyptian women to speak out in turn.

Bravo. If there are any women Arabic speakers (Egyptian colloquial) listening, go give your support. They are going to need it.


Further developments on the Nazanin story...

h/t Zee, for Pointing out the Canadian connection.

The former Miss Canada, Nazanin Afshin-Jam has set up a website:

The injustice of this case propelled Nazanin Afshin-Jam to take immediate action and start a petition to help save the life of her namesake. The petition now has over 330 000 signatures from around the world.

Since initiating the Save Nazanin Campaign with Mina Ahadi- the Head of the International Committee Against Execution and Stoning- and through the help of other human rights groups and individuals, they have been able to engage the UN, Canadian Parliament, the EU, Amnesty International and others to pressure the Iranian Officials to spare the life of this child.

At this point, because Nazanin's family is very poor and unable to make payment of the bail or blood money your generosity is urgently requested to secure Nazanin Fatehi's freedom as soon as possible. The Nazanin Fatehi Trust fund has been set up. See Donations page.

There is more on this story...

And a cool video of the whole story: Be's rather emotional.

It helps to be beautiful. And compassionate. And persistent. And diligent. The former Miss Canada, Nazanin Afshin-Jam is all of the above.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Speaking Out Against Islamic Totalitarianism

I've been investigating some home-grown terrorists here in America. In researching the Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a terrorist organization of American Black Muslims, founded by Sheikh Mubarik Ali Gilani (see above), I came across this interview with Wafa Sultan on the MEMRI website: I had seen it once before, but didn't know how to make it appear on this blog. It seems important to take time out and post this for those who may not have seen it. Apparently, the women of the Middle East have the strongest voice, in speaking out against the Muslim missionaries (well, hey - they are on a mission, right?).

Right Truth

The following text was taken from an interview with Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American Psychologist, who lives in California. If you would like to see the actual video from Al Jazeera TV (Qatar) broadcast February 21, 2006. The audio is in Arabic, but you can read along with the English sub-title translation at the (bottom of the film). I'm posting the text version for those who for some reason, can't get the video to play.

(Wafa Sultan) "The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs in the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs in the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights on the other hand. It is a clash between those who treat woman like beasts, and those that treat them as human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete."

(Al Jazeera) "I understand from your words that what is happening today is a clash between the culture of the West, and the backwardness and ignorance of Muslims."

(Wafa Sultan) "Yes, that is what I mean."

(Al Jazeera)"Who came up with the concept of a clash of civilizations? Was it not Samuel Huntington ?" "It was not Bin Laden." I would like you to discuss this issue, if you don't mind..."

(Wafa Sultan) "The Muslims are the ones who began using this expression. The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said 'I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger.' When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash and began this war. In order to stop this war, they must re-examine their Islamic books and curricula, which are full of calls for 'takfir' and fighting the infidels."

(Wafa Sultan) "My colleague has said that he never offends other people's beliefs. What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names they did not choose for themselves ? Once he calls them 'Ahl Al-Dhimma', another time he calls them the 'People of the Book', and yet another time he compares them to apes and pigs, or he calls the Christians 'those who incur Allah's wrath'. Who told you they were 'People of the Book' ? They are not 'People of the Book,'they are people of many books. All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking. What gives you the right to call them 'those who incur Allah's wrath' or 'those who have gone astray', and then you come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the religious beliefs of others ? I am not a Christian, a Muslim or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it."

(Muslim Imam) "Are you a heretic?"

(Wafa Sultan) "You can say whatever you like. I am a secular human being who does not believe in the supernatural..."

(Muslim Imam) "If you are a heretic, there is no point in rebuking you since you have blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran..."

(Wafa Sultan) "These are personal matters that do not concern you. Brother, you can believe in stones as long as you don't throw them at me. You are free to worship whoever you want, but other people's beliefs are NOT your concern, whether they believe that the Messiah is God, son of Mary, or that Satan is God, son of Mary. Let people have their beliefs."

Wafa Sultan) "The Jews have come from the tragedy of the Holocaust and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people."

(Wafa Sultan) "The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues to rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a mosque, kill a Muslim or burn down an Embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they can demand that humankind respect them."
If you missed my post on
Brigitte Gabriel, go here. On the page there is a link to the video of the speech recorded at She is another woman of the Middle East, Lebanon, who lives here in the US, and she is taking the fight to the Muslims, just as Wafa Sultan is. Very powerful stuff.

On the Jamaat ul-Fuqra business, see the Baron's post on Gates of Vienna.
He has already done some quite extensive research on this. For even more on the doings of
Sheikh Mubarik Ali Gilani, go to the Politics of CP website.

- No Apology

Friday, January 12, 2007

It's OK. The Democrats Will Fix It. Right?

This video is just too good to pass up.

h/t to Something...and Half of Something, who sent me toThe Bullwinkle Blog,

where I found this copy of the video, which I can share with you, Whew!
It's a damn good thing it's the weekend. Otherwise, I might start to feel depressed.

Video: Clueless Democrats

But it is the weekend, and life is just too good for even the Pelosi Posse to get me down.

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber - Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Source AP

PHOENIX -- A judge struck down a tactic prosecutors say helped stem illegal immigration from Mexico into Arizona, the country's busiest illegal entry point. State prosecutors had won a special court order in September to seize wire transfers flowing into Mexico that originated in other states. Authorities suspected the transfers were payments to smugglers who were using Arizona as their illegal gateway.A judge, in a ruling released Wednesday, struck down the practice, saying it violated constitutional protections on interstate and international commerce and that prosecutors didn't show that the wire service customers in question were involved in crimes. "We had lots of indications that we were on the right track and that what we were doing was supported at many levels of the judiciary," Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said. "So I guess to that degree it is a concern and was not expected." State authorities estimate immigrant smuggling is a $1.7 billion a year business in Arizona. Goddard's office has used special court orders for four years to seize $17 million in wire transfers to the state that authorities said were payments to smugglers. Goddard said in a statement that the special court orders were responsible for deterring many illicit money transfers and led to the arrests of more than 100 immigrant smugglers. Prosecutors said their efforts were so successful that smugglers began to route their payments from other states to Mexico, even as traffickers continued to sneak people in through Arizona. Prosecutors seized about $200,000 in money transfers to Mexico in three days in September before Western Union challenged the practice and a judge issued a temporary hold. The transfers had been sent from 28 American states to locations in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. In the ruling released Wednesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fields concluded prosecutors hadn't shown they have jurisdiction for the broader approach. The judge also barred prosecutors from seizing money that wasn't sent to or received in the state.
Western Union President and CEO Christina said they pursued this case because they felt strongly about defending the rights of their stockholders and degenerate drug dealers consumers.

Goddard said he plans to seek a reversal of the decision at both the district and appellate court levels.

In another story being reported by many bloggers - these stories just get more incredible:

Source AP
PHOENIX - A prosecutor plans to ask state and federal lawmakers to investigate why National Guard members backed off from armed men who were near them at the Mexican border.
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said he was troubled by the retreat and questioned whether the rules the National Guard members operated under at the border were appropriate.
"This is a terrible precedent to set," Thomas said Tuesday. Border Patrol officials are investigating the incident, which happened Jan. 3 near Sasabe. A group of armed men were spotted about 100 yards from a Guard observation post and the four-man team decided to move to a safer position. A Border Patrol spokesman said after the incident that it was minor.
"There were no shots fired, no attacks, no overrunning of the National Guardsmen," nor any contact with the group, spokesman Mario Martinez said.
The National Guard troops are in Arizona and the three other border states assisting Border Patrol agents in a variety of roles, such as operating surveillance cameras, repairing border fences, constructing vehicle barriers and reporting illegal entries. The team involved in the recent incident were armed. Thomas said a more independent probe was needed because the Border Patrol was involved in the incident. Even though Maricopa County does not share a border with Mexico and the incident happened outside the county, Thomas said drug and immigrant smuggling has caused huge problems.

Meanwhile, a state legislator said he will interview Maj. Gen. David Rataczak, head of the National Guard in Arizona, in a hearing of the new Homeland Security and Property Rights Committee soon.

"Why would this be allowed to happen?" asked Rep. Warde Nichols, the committee's chairman. "Why do we have National Guard running from illegals on the border? Are they (National Guardsmen) armed? Do they have bullets in their guns? We need some answers to some of these questions."

Rep. Russell Pearce, the Legislature's strongest voice on border security, said two National Guardsmen who work on the border told him their weapons do not have bullets.
Pearce said the unarmed soldiers are in harm's way and called the situation "absolutely outrageous."

h/t Beach Girl and Euphoric Reality

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Mexico's Sick Economy

Relying on oil and illegal workers' wages leads to long-term disaster.

May 15, 2006
by Victor Davis Hanson
Tribune Media Services

Economists have long pointed out that relying on oil as a natural resource can be a long-term disaster for a developing nation. The income from exporting petroleum provides cash infusions that can distort a country's economy and mask structural problems while impeding reform. Petrodollars act like a lethal narcotic: A formerly impoverished country depends on short-term relief from oil profits at the risk of being reduced to an enfeebled addict.

Easy oil income also often promotes dictatorial government by allowing nationalist thugs to buy pricey weapons to threaten neighbors or to buy off internal dissent with lavish cash subsidies. Take away oil from Venezuela and Hugo Chavez would be just another failed Castro. Evo Morales is able to offer the old bankrupt socialism to poverty-stricken Bolivia largely due to the country's natural gas reserves.

Mexico also suffers from this unhealthy oil-exporting syndrome, as the government uses profits from its inefficient state-run industry to spread around subsidies in lieu of enacting long overdue wealth-creating measures. But worse still, Mexico suffers a double whammy by also receiving between $10 billion and $15 billion annually in remittances from its expatriate population in the United States.

Exporting its own poor turns out to be about the cash equivalent each day of selling on the open market about half a million barrels of $70 a barrel oil. The muscles of Mexico's former residents can prove just as deleterious as oil derricks to the long-term health of the country's economy.

Millions of unemployed Mexicans are now dependent upon money wired from the United States, where low-skill wages are now nine times higher than in Mexico. On the national level, such subsidies, like oil windfall profits, allow just enough money to hide the government's failure to promote the proper economic conditions — through the protection of property rights, tax reform, transparent investment laws, modern infrastructure, etc. — that would eventually lead to decent housing and well-paying jobs.

It may be counterintuitive to think that checks from hard-working expatriates are pernicious. But for a developing nation, remittances can prove as problematic as the proverbial plight of the lottery winner — sudden winnings that were not earned. In short, remittances, along with oil and tourism — not agriculture, engineering, education, manufacturing or finance — prop up an otherwise ailing Mexican economy. This helps explain why half of the country's 106 million citizens still live in poverty.

The billions of dollars Mexicans in the U.S. send back to their country pose another economic and ethical dilemma. Many illegal aliens in the U.S. allot nearly half their weekly paychecks to relatives in Mexico. But such deductions come right out of the workers' food, housing and transportation budgets here. So to survive, illegal aliens in the U.S. must endure cheap, substandard and often overcrowded housing. They cannot easily purchase their own health care or invest in safe and reliable cars.

Because the United States is a caring nation, the state often intervenes to offer illegal aliens costly entitlements — emergency-room medicine, legal help and subsidized housing and food — that provide some sort of parity to all its residents.

And when aliens are often paid in cash — that is off the books — the problem of remittances only worsens: The beneficiary Mexico still gets help from workers' pay, while the benefactor United States does not collect taxes.

Along with the lack of English, illegal status and insufficient education, remittances explain the poverty of many Mexican aliens in the U.S. In the American Southwest, it is now possible to see apartheid communities of Mexican nationals whose standard of living does not meet national norms.

Americans are often blamed for such disparities, as we saw in the recent immigration protests. But the tragedy is more complicated than the failure to offer workers sufficient compensation — especially when such communities are often the recipients of millions in federal dollars to improve schools, roads and police forces that cannot be maintained through customary taxation of local residents.

It might be cruel should remittances somehow come to an end. But it may be even crueler in the long run not to deal with a broken system that facilities such massive transfers — both for millions here in dire need of retaining all their earnings, and millions more in Mexico in more dire need of vast structural reform.

©2006 Tribune Media Services

We must continue to put pressure on both governments - otherwise, they will do nothing to solve this problem.