The European Union, faced with a growing and increasingly restive Muslim population from centuries of colonialism and proximity to the Middle East, consistently refuses to face the problems caused by this community. In its latest report on anti-Semitism, the EU has rewritten its conclusions to avoid offending Islamist groups:
A study released by the EU’s racism and xenophobia monitoring centre astounded experts by concluding that the wave of anti-Jewish persecution over the last two years stemmed from neo-Nazi or other racist groups. “The largest group of the perpetrators of anti-Semitic activities appears to be young, disaffected white Europeans,” said a summary released to the European Parliament . “A further source of anti-Semitism in some countries was young Muslims of North African or Asian extraction.
“Traditionally, anti-Semitic groups on the extreme Right played a part in stirring opinion,” it added.
The headline findings contradict the body of the report. This says most of the 193 violent attacks on synagogues, Jewish schools, kosher shops, cemeteries and rabbis in France in 2002 – up from 32 in 2001 – were “ascribed to youth from neighbourhoods sensitive to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, principally of North African descent.
“The percentage attributable to the extreme Right was only nine per cent in 2002,” it said.
Why did the EU rewrite the headlines and misrepresent the data in the report? For the same reason it suppressed a German report last year that fingered Arab gangs for the large uptick in violence against Jewish victims: the EU doesn’t want to face the problem of its Muslim immigrants. One does not need to be a closed-borders fanatic to recognize that the growing masses of poor, disaffected, and unassimilated Muslims cause enormous problems in Europe — especially in France and Germany, the former of which has gone so far as to outlaw any religious ornamentation in its schools in order to gloss over the sectarian tensions.
The EU apparently has decided to abdicate its role as a protector of its citizens in order to appease the most unruly of its communities by making excuses and averting its eyes. It wouldn’t be the first time that the Europeans sacrificed their Jews in order to buy peace from a fanatical minority, although the last time, at least most of them had the taste to wait until they were occupied by the Nazis. This time, apparently, they want to get ahead of the curve. Not only does this point out a strong lack of character on the part of European leadership, it also demonstrates the utter cluelessness of the very people with whom the American Left insists that we must reach consensus on our national security.
UPDATE: The AP apparently only read the headlines and the conclusion.
Paul Hornung, who had an illustrious, Heisman Award career at Notre Dame and a brilliant Hall of Fame NFL career, may have had his Al Campanis moment last night in a radio interview when he stated that Notre Dame needed to lower its academic standards in order to attract black athletes:
Football great Paul Hornung said in a radio interview that his alma mater, Notre Dame, needs to lower its academic standards to “get the black athlete.”
“As far as Notre Dame is concerned, we’re going to have to ease it up a little bit,” Hornung told Detroit’s WXYT-AM in an interview before the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame banquet Tuesday. … “We can’t stay as strict as we are as far as the academic structure is concerned because we’ve got to get the black athlete,” Hornung said in the interview. “We must get the black athlete if we’re going to compete.”
Notre Dame, for its part, vehemently disavows itself from Hornung’s statement, which come at an unusual time for the storied Notre Dame football program. First, as any Fighting Irish fan will tell you, the sidelines look tremendously diverse on any given Saturday in South Bend. Second, the Irish hired their first African-American head coach two years ago, after stumbling with George O’Leary, who had engaged in a little resume padding during his career. While it’s true that ND has gone a long time between national championships — its second-longest drought — they have been competitive for the most part.
Notre Dame has always maintained that scholarship and athletics were not mutually incompatible programs, and for decades has fielded the teams that proved it. As recently as 1988, Notre Dame won a national championship with these same standards while benching star athletes for academic and rules violations. Rather than being proud of the integrity of his alma mater, Hornung instead endorsed the notion that a national championship justifies the exploitation of young men, challenging the Catholic university to lower its standards for athletes to those of Florida State and USC.
It’s sickening, and Notre Dame should cut all ties with Hornung. We fans of the Irish love this university not because we attended it — I didn’t — or because of Irish heritage, but because it has stood for integrity and excellence for over a hundred years, and we have few other examples of this in college sports. If Hornung can’t be proud of that, then he needs to find somewhere else to work.
In a state that George Bush would love to win and Kerry can’t afford to lose, Kerry has dropped seven points in the past five weeks:
John Kerry’s numbers have slipped in Pennsylvania, a statewide poll released Tuesday shows.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee lost ground to President Bush in the latest poll conducted for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Keystone poll by Franklin & Marshall College showed Bush leading Kerry 46 percent to 40 percent among 565 registered voters. Kerry lost 7 percentage points since the last Keystone poll in February. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
The drop mirrors the free-fall that Kerry has experienced nationwide over the same period of time. Kerry dropped from 47% to 40% while Bush’s numbers held firm at 46%, and Kerry’s disapproval numbers went up the same amount. Nader’s entry has pulled 3% of voters away from the two national candidates, but presumably mostly from Kerry. Kerry only leads among those voters 65 and older. The Keystone poll reports responses from registered voters instead of likely voters, which tend to favor Republicans a bit more, so the news is doubly bad for John Kerry and the Democrats. The poll was conducted over the weekend, after the fallout from the Clarke testimony and book publication.
Just to remind everyone, Al Gore carried Pennsylvania by 5 points in 2000. If Bush can take Pennsylvania, it puts Kerry in a deep hole, since the Keystone State represents 21 electoral votes. Having George Bush poll this strongly in a Rust Belt state while the economy is still revving up signals a deep problem with the Kerry campaign, who should be holding onto a state so close to his own. If this continues, Kerry will take his rightful place amongst the giants of electoral flops, McGovern and Mondale. (via The Corner)
Addendum: Here’s a handy Electoral College vote calculator. You’ll notice that had the 2000 census been applied to the 2000 election, Bush would have won 8 more EC votes. Changing PA to Bush puts him 60 EC votes ahead of Kerry…
We may have the most gymnastic presidential candidate ever fielded in modern American history. John Kerry has mastered the art of the flip-flop, changing positions with blinding speed on such issues as the war in Iraq, funding the troops, gay marriage, and corporate taxation. Now Kerry has changed positions on the gas tax in a desperate bid to find an issue on which to recapture any momentum possible to reverse his free-falling poll numbers:
Seeking to drive down crude oil prices, the Massachusetts Democrat called for a policy in which the United States applies greater pressure on oil-producing nations to increase production and said U.S. officials should temporarily suspend filling U.S. oil reserves. … Kerry argued that diverting oil intended for U.S. reserves directly to the market will help depress gas prices, although analysts say that probably would have a negligible effect. …
The political ad released today by the Bush campaign contends that Kerry supported raising the gas tax 11 times in Congress and backed a 50 cent a gallon tax increase.
In 1994, Kerry publicly supported, but did not vote for, a 50 cent per gallon increase in the gas tax, as one way to help balance the federal budget. Soon after, Kerry backed away from that idea and, as a presidential candidate, now opposes any increase. He did vote several times for a smaller increases in the gas tax in 1993.
Then there’s also this silly sort of flip-flop that just puts a bit of icing on the cake:
Kerry has no plans to deviate from his new strategy of focusing on domestic policies and staying generally more positive than Bush in ads, the strategist said. There are no plans for a more aggressive Kerry push back.
Yet in speeches, Kerry is often harshly critical of Bush. At a fundraiser Monday night in San Francisco, Kerry said, “It is a disgrace that this president and his party traffic in prejudice against gays and lesbians and others in this country.” Wade said the “others” includes African-Americans, citing Bush’s position on affirmative action and appearance at Bob Jones University in 2000.
Yes, I can see how calling Bush a racist bigot maintains Kerry’s facade as the more “positive” campaigner.
The problem with gas prices is not just crude-oil supply, although that certainly has an impact. Despite what Kerry says about ANWR, domestic drilling would relieve pricing pressures to a degree and allow the US to bargain more effectively with OPEC. Kerry wants it both ways — he takes the administration to task for not being tougher on OPEC but then sides with environmentalists in tying both of Bush’s hands behind his back. Until we have the political will to produce our own oil, OPEC will continue to play hardball with us. This dynamic was proved out in the Reagan administration, which encouraged domestic oil production and broke OPEC’s back on pricing, leading to several years of inexpensive fuel costs.
But the other problem the US faces is refinery capacity. The US has built no new refineries in 30 years, thanks to the efforts of environmentalists that have protested each proposed facility. Whenever a refinery experiences a temporary shutdiwn, as a major Midwestern facility did a couple of years ago, regional prices shoot through the roof as fuel must be shipped in to cover the shortfall, usually from the Gulf Coast. A President Kerry beholden to environmental interests would likely be highly unwilling to correct this problem. In fact, a President Kerry would likely be part of the problem.
Until we address a realistic and non-hypocritical view of supporting our own needs for oil production, gas prices will remain high, and Kerry has no realistic proposals for lowering them.
President Bush received a storm of criticism when he withdrew the US from the International Criminal Court, claiming that its mandate was much too broad and checks on its power too few, which would lead it to pursuing political ends through bogus criminal prosecutions. Well, if it the World Court is any guideline, it looks like Bush’s critics may owe him an apology:
The International Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that the United States violated the rights of 47 Mexicans on death row and ordered their cases be reviewed. The United Nations’ highest judiciary, also known as the world court, was considering whether 52 convicted murderers had received their right to assistance from their government in a case filed by Mexico. …
In hearings in December, lawyers for Mexico argued that any U.S. citizen accused of a serious crime abroad would want the same right, and the only fair solution for the 52 men allegedly denied diplomatic help was to start their legal processes all over again. Juan Manuel Gomez said that Mexico “doesn’t contest the United States’ right as a sovereign country to impose the death penalty for the most grave crimes,” but wants to make sure its citizens aren’t abused by a foreign legal system they don’t always understand.
U.S. lawyer William Taft argued that the prisoners had received fair trials. He said even if the prisoners didn’t get consular help, the way to remedy the wrong “must be left to the United States.” In its written arguments, the United States said that Mexico’s request would be a “radical intrusion” into the U.S. justice system, contradicting laws and customs in every city and state in the nation.
The problem with the court’s ruling is twofold. First, it has no standing in the American criminal justice system and therefore its rulings have no legal weight to overturn jury verdicts or appellate court rulings. Therefore, any expectation that their decisions must carry legal weight within the US is a violation of the sovereignty of our own judicial system, which would be made subservient to the World Court under these conditions. That should be unacceptable to all Americans, especially considering that the World Court recognizes no appellate authority.
Second, and somewhat related, is that such a ruling, if accepted by the United States, would end state sovereignty over criminal justice by forcing all cases to be tried through federal courts. Most criminal law exists as state penal codes, not federal law, and each state has its own court system to try cases resulting from violations of those codes. The federal appellate system only has jurisdiction in regards to ensuring that the states act within the federal Constitution. Federal courts cannot just insert themselves into non-federal criminal cases, and an expectation that they can underscores the lack of basic understanding that the World Court has of the US justice system. (The judge who handed down the decision is from China.)
The notion that an arresting officer must inform suspects of their consular rights is ludicrous. Americans don’t require “papers” for internal travel the way most other countries do, and often the nationality of suspects at the time of arrest can’t be known. That’s what lawyers are for, and our courts routinely throw out convictions for failure to provide effective legal counsel. Either American police would have to tell people they can contact their consulate at every single arrest — a ludicrous and confusing instruction for Americans being placed into custody — or the US would have to require everyone to start carrying papers identifying their nationality and right to travel internally. Neither would be practical, and the latter would be a serious restriction on our freedom.
But that’s not really what the World Court wants anyway. The ICJ intends on complicating as many death-penalty cases as possible for political purposes regardless of jurisdiction or common sense. I am no fan of the death penalty; I oppose it for religious as well as pragmatic reasons, but I’m outvoted, and I accept that. However, that doesn’t mean that I want the UN or its autocratic, appeal-less bureaucracy involving itself into American jurisprudence.
For the past few months, the American public has accepted as established fact that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction, thanks in part to the David Kay report, which held out little hope of finding any WMD caches in Iraq. However, the finality of the WMD status may not be as cut-and-dried as Americans imagine, as the current weapons inspector keeps finding more references to them in his ongoing investigation:
In prepared testimony, the CIA’s new chief Iraq weapons inspector said he does not rule out finding weapons of mass destruction, adding “we regularly receive reports, some quite intriguing and credible, about concealed caches” of weapons. … Duelfer is testifying Tuesday behind closed doors before the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees. His comments contrast with those of his predecessor, David Kay, who has said he does not expect that any weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq.
In prepared testimony, Duelfer said fear of retribution is still a significant stumbling block as the Iraq Survey Group he heads seeks information from Iraqi managers, scientists and engineers.
Duelfer agrees with Kay’s assessment of Saddam’s Iraq as having maintained programs, especially in biological weapons research, that were in clear violation of UN sanctions, which would be more than sufficient to justify military action on its own. However, Duelfer’s continuing investigation leads him to believe that there’s fire to go with all of the smoke, and that cooperation of the engineers and scientists that worked on these programs will assist as soon as more of Saddam’s regime is rounded up.
This may not be the best time to go public with Duelfer’s optimism on WMDs; after all, if it turns out that Duelfer’s wrong, or that he can’t lay his hands on any this year, it may backfire on the US internationally all over again, just like last year when Kay’s report seemed to put an exclamation point on the search. However, since the rest of the world has already written off any possibility of discovery of stockpiles of chemical and biological agents or weapons, perhaps there is no real downside in talking about it now. While I don’t think that military action in Iraq needed WMDs for justification (there were plenty of good reasons outside of that), finding some now would certainly silence some of our critics overseas, and not just a few of them here at home, for that matter.
Comrade Commissar at the Politburo Diktat has crafted another of his ingenious maps of Bloggahland. With accuracy guaranteed (all disputes will be settled by the Party, so Trotskyites be warned!), the Commissar shows how the alliance of the Vast Right Warlike Confederation has the Moonbat Colony of Leftieland surrounded. The map itself provides links to many different bloggers, arranged as only the Commissar can do. Definitely a must-see!
Guest judge Jon from QandO — a smart and informative blog that should be on your daily reading list (like you need me to tell you that) — has made the final decisions in this week’s Captain’s Caption Contest. Just to refresh your memory, in case you can’t scroll down three posts, here’s the picture:
Here’s Jon’s picks, in his own format …
After a lengthy review, we have a 44 way tie for “You Sick Bastard”. My god, people, go call your mother and apologize. Immediately.
However, only one of your mothers will be talking to a winner. The results are:
Runner-up #3 (or: The “topical, pithy, amusing….you’re Jay Leno!” award)
“Actually, I pulled her away from the bus before I pushed her under it.”
Posted by Pat Curley March 27, 2004 08:23 AM
Runner-up #2 (or, The “ewww….I never thought I’d miss the relatively discreet days of Al and Tipper Gore getting it on” Award)
John, dear, they’re on the other side.
Posted by Stephen Macklin at March 27, 2004 03:48 PM
Runner-up #1 (or, The “I worked in every single joke about John Kerry known to man, because quantity should still count for something, right?” Award)
After accidentally fracturing his wifes arm in three places while recreating the infamous “sonuvabitch-knockdown technique” for the press, President-wannabe Kerry finds himself divorced from his primary source of campaign funding. In unrelated news, the French-looking senator will be announcing a new television program, airing on the Fox Network, titled “A Millionaire wants to Marry Who?,” where thousands of bachelorette’s will compete for the war-veteran’s hand, based on their liberalness, family fortune and desire to fund his run for the Presidency.
Posted by scotty at March 26, 2004 04:31 PM
Winner – (or, The “I laughed, I cried, I projectile snorted pea soup out of my nose” Award)
The power of John compels you! The power of John compels you!
Posted by Edward Yee at March 28, 2004 01:59 AM
Report to Sick Bay Immediately (or, The “I am simply shocked that you would reopen the wounds of Vietnam for Caption Contest gain” Award)
Kerry to reporters: “So I was sneaking up on the little VC bastard, just like this and …”
Posted by Bill at March 30, 2004 02:46 PM
Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks for joining in the fun! As always, comments will remain open on this post for those who wish to impugn the character of the judge, the Captain, or the people in the picture. Feel free to throw in more suggestions, even if the contest is over, if you’re in a Dennis Kucinich type of mood.
If anyone has a great idea for this Friday’s picture, drop me an e-mail with the URL or the picture attached — and let me know if you want to guest judge the contest as well!
US detainment at the Guantanamo military camp has received more than its share of abuse, especially from the BBC, as an affront to “international law”. However, deep within a story about the latest violence in Uzbekistan, the BBC itself shows that the Guantanamo policy has kept terrorism from spreading in Central Asia.
First, the report shows that the Uzbek secular dictatorship gets results in its battle with terrorism:
Uzbekistan says 20 suspected militants have blown themselves up during a fierce gun battle with special forces in the capital, Tashkent. … Witnesses said four armed militants entered a house, which was then surrounded by the security forces.
An interior ministry statement read out on television said 20 militants blew themselves up with home-made explosives after being surrounded. Three policemen were killed and five were injured.
Uzbek authorities blame a long-standing Islamic group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, for the violence, but its London representatives disavow any connection to terrorism or armed resistance. Another group, well-known throughout Central Asia, could also be the source of the violence, even though they have been quiet of late. The reason for their relative silence is that their leaders aren’t there any longer. Guess where they are?
Another group under suspicion is the home-grown Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). The group initially aimed to overthrow Mr Karimov and replace his administration with a Muslim government, although in 2000 its objective changed to establishing a radical Islamist state across Central Asia.
The group’s leader Tahir Yuldashev is accused of orchestrating a series of deadly bomb attacks in Tashkent in 1999, one of which nearly killed Mr Karimov. However, Shahida Tulaganova of the BBC’s Central Asia Service says the group, which fought alongside the Taleban during the Afghan conflict, is now in tatters with many of its leaders being held by the US in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The IMU picked the losing horse in Afghanistan — probably believing a little too much of what they heard in the British and French press about the futility of armed action in Afghanistan — and got rounded up with the rest of the Islamofascists. Since they’re in Guantanamo, their organization has been unable to do much damage … which is exactly why we aren’t just releasing terrorists back into Central Asia.
It’s nice of the BBC to finally recognize this, even if they bury it at the bottom of their articles.
Just a quick note to let everyone know that Mitch Berg’s fine site, Shot In The Dark, had its ISP disappear out from underneath him yesterday — and it took his domain name with it, at least temporarily. His site can be accessed at http://www.shotinthedark.info … be sure to update your blogrolls and bookmarks!