Christmas and Mohammeds

December 24, 2005

Mark Steyn notes that men called Mohammed are responsible for an inordinate amount of violence. But it doesn’t follow that we should treat all Mohammeds as bad actors – since it’s Christmas, a suspicious stare will suffice.

Here’s Steyn (my emphasis):

These days, whenever something goofy turns up on the news, chances are it involves a fellow called Mohammed. A plane flies into the World Trade Center? Mohammed Atta. A gunman shoots up the El Al counter at Los Angeles airport? Hesham Mohamed Hedayet. A sniper starts killing petrol station customers around Washington, DC? John Allen Muhammed. A guy fatally stabs a Dutch movie director? Mohammed Bouyeri. A terrorist slaughters dozens in Bali? Noordin Mohamed. A gang-rapist in Sydney? Mohammed Skaf.

It gets worse (my emphasis):

Hizballah terrorist Mohammed Ali Hamadi, convicted in Germany of murdering US Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem aboard a hijacked airplane, has been freed.

A husband and wife who dedicated their lives to helping African children were murdered in cold blood by Islamic terrorists, an inquest heard yesterday…Det Chief Insp Jill Bailey told the hearing that last month four men, including Mohammed Ali Essa, who fired the AK47, had been convicted of murder and sentenced to death by firing squad. The terrorists shouted “Allah Akbar” (God is Great) after being sentenced and are still awaiting execution.

And then there’s Mahmoud, DU’s Nuke Target For 2006 (my emphasis):

CAIRO, Egypt – The leader of Egypt’s main Islamic opposition group said yesterday the Holocaust was a “myth,” and he slammed Western governments for criticizing disclaimers of the Jewish genocide.

The comments by the Muslim Brotherhood chief, Mohammed Mahdi Akef – made on the heels of his group’s strong showing in Egyptian parliamentary elections – echoed remarks made recently by Iran’s hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which sparked international outrage.

Still, the cheerful and efficient guys running the London rental office I visited yesterday looked to be Muslims, and the sales clerk who wished me a Merry Christmas was a Mohammed. So – since it’s Christmas – let’s be comforted that there are plenty of decent Mohammeds in our societies.


Crime And Punishment, US Style

December 22, 2005

This is a perfect example of the US criminal justice in action – inconceivable in Europe.

New York transport strike nears end

Transport workers will return to New York’s buses and subways today as talks take place to end the illegal strike that has brought the city to a standstill.

The breakthrough, apparently the result of late night talks at a Manhattan hotel, came after a judge in Brooklyn had summoned three senior union officials to consider whether to send them to prison or to levy fines on individual transport workers who have taken part in the strike.

Local 100, which reportedly had $3.6 million (£2 million) in cash at the beginning of the week, has been fined $1 million (£572,000) a day since the strike began.


Crime And Punishment, European Style

December 22, 2005

European governments’ softness on criminals and indifference to victims reflects weaknesses in their democratic mechanisms, while the successful US criminal justice system reflects its democratic strength.

From a utilitarian perspective, societies execute or incarcerate felons to prevent them re-offending – if they’re never going to repeat the crime, why waste resources on them?

So how often do felons re-offend? Here are recent numbers for the UK:

More than 60 per cent of young male thugs and muggers are convicted of another offense within two years of ending their sentence. Three quarters of young male burglars and thieves also re-offend, according to the Home Office figures placed unannounced on its departmental website.

A massive 90 per cent of offenders on the drug treatment and testing order, designed to tackle the link between drug use and prolific offending, go on to commit more crimes. The programme costs the Government £53 million annually. There is also a high dropout rate by offenders given the orders, which were introduced across England and Wales five years ago.


These numbers understate the problem, since not all criminal are caught, and not all those caught are convicted. If we assume a (high) capture+conviction rate of 50%, then all crimes with a re-conviction rate over 50% must have a recidivism rate of 100%!

The criminal justice system in the UK is imposed by its elite and is poorly regarded by Brits – every opinion poll since the abolition of capital punishment has shown that vast majority want to bring it back. European criminal justice systems are similar to the Brit one – no capital punishment, light sentences, and high crime rates.


Here are Interpol 2001 crime statistics (rate per 100,000):

4161 – US

7736 – Germany

6941 – France

9927 – England and Wales

Thus the US has a substantially lower crime rate than the major European countries!

All of which supports the US practice of executing heinous murderers and incarcerating repeat offenders for decades. In contrast, Europeans are victimized by criminals because their criminal justice systems don’t take felons out of circulation.

So, not unusually, the US has made much better policy choices than European nations. That’s because the US is a genuine democracy whereas European nations are modified monarchies in which elites wield the absolute power previously held by monarchs. Since members of elites live in safe areas and have good security, they don’t see crime as important.

All of which explains why a surprisingly large number of Brits I’ve talked to recently are planning to move to the US.


A Murdered American Exposes Merkel

December 21, 2005

The German release of a heinous murderer of a young American tells us all we need to know about Merkel’s new government.

U.S. Navy Diver Robert D, Stethem (AP)

Here’s what the released Hezbollah terrorist and his buddies did to Petty Officer Stethem (hat tip LGF):


When the plane was at the Beirut airport in Lebanon, Petty Officer
Stethem was singled out because he was in the US military. After many hours of
being cruelly beaten, tortured, and finally killed by the terrorists, they threw
his body from the plane in a final disgraceful, cowardly act. The wounds were so
terrible that his body had to be identified by its fingerprints.

Throughout the ordeal, Robert Stethem did not yield, and instead
encouraged his fellow passengers to endure by his example. He was posthumously
awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for heroism and bravery. He is buried
at Arlington Cemetery.

The release of the killer must have had Merkel’s approval, so that tells us that she’s another anti-American in the Schroder model, who thinks she’ll never need help from the US. German-lovers must hope she’s right.


Germany Reverts To Type?

December 20, 2005

Merkel’s new administration has released a Hizballah terrorist serving life without parole for murdering an American – and two days later Iraqi terrorists released a German hostage, so It’s probably a hostage swap. This may be typical Eunuch anti-Americanism, but there’s a more chilling alternative – Germans may be reverting to type.

The swap:

A Lebanese man serving a life sentence in Germany for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner and killing of a U.S. Navy diver has returned to Lebanon after being paroled in Germany, security and guerrilla officials said Tuesday.

TWA flight 847 from Athens, Greece, to Rome was hijacked in June 1985 to Beirut, where the hijackers beat and shot U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem, 23, of Waldorf, Md., and dumped his body on the tarmac.Stethem was the only casualty during the hijacking ordeal, in which 39 Americans were held hostage for 17 days. He received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart decorations, and a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer is named in his honor.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said there was no connection between Hamadi’s release and the recent freeing of former hostage Susanne Osthoff, a German woman released over the weekend after spending more than three weeks as a captive in Iraq.

According to Debka, the Germans are lying:

Hammadi was serving a life sentence without parole for hijacking a TWA airliner to Beirut in 1985 and throwing a Navy SEAL diver, Robert Dean Stethem, out of the window to his death. A US extradition warrant was on file in Berlin with a promise it would take effect if the hijacker were ever released. A few days after the terrorist was flown to Beirut, Osthoff was freed by her Iraqi insurgent captors.

Recent examples of German anti-Americanism include condemnation of the execution in California of the man who murdered an entire family and protests about US “torture” of terrorists. The conventional explanation is that the Germans hate the Anglos for defeating them, and now they’re free of the Soviet threat are making up for 50 years of resentment.

Another possibility is that there’s a defect in the German psyche that prevents them comprehending degrees of evil. They can’t see the difference between the state executing a convicted murderer and the heinous acts of that murderer, or the difference between US infliction of mental stress on terror suspects and the German vivisection of their captives in WW2. If that’s the case, they really won’t understand why they shouldn’t save the life of one of their citizens by freeing a brutal murderer.

German indifference to degrees of suffering led them to wage two terrible wars in the 20th century. Their current actions suggest that, despite their protestations, they have not changed.


Blair’s New Friends

December 19, 2005

The EU MSM confirms that in folding to the French, Germans and Poles, Blair ignored his duties as Brit Prime Minister to buy the votes of foreigners.

BRITS

Daily Telegraph:

Mr Blair has betrayed his word and his electorate. His budget surrender will be hung, albatross-like, around his neck and invoked every time he raises taxes. He will quickly come to rue the day that he embarked for Brussels.

London Times (my ellipsis):

(The Tory leader) said that Mr Blair had set himself three objectives on the budget – to limit its size, ensure fundamental reform of the CAP and keep the British rebate unless reform occurred. “Isn’t it now clear that you failed in every single one?” he asked.


Assorted Eunuchs (my ellipsis):

FRANCE

‘Everyone realized it took a lot of courage from Mr Blair . . . This negotiation shows that Franco-German co-operation was constant at all times and perfect’ President Chirac

(i.e. it was the usual Franco-German sandbagging)

GERMANY

‘The big cloud has been lifted from Europe. This deal is in the European interest’ Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor

(see France)

POLAND

‘I consider myself a young man and I feel young now and all I can say to this is yes, yes, yes!’Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Polish Prime Minister

(OK, Poland gets lots of Brit cash, still, better check his medication. The Brits helped Poland into the EU and they’ve repaid the favor contemptibly).

SPAIN

‘A good result for Europe and certainly Spain’Pedro Solbes, Spanish Economy Minister

(i.e. Spain keeps feeding off the Brits)

GREECE

“The British presidency deserves praise for its constructive role in a complicated negotiation and for the courage it showed in giving up part of its rebate.”Costas Karamanlis, the Greek Prime Minister

(See Spain)

EU

‘It was a great result for the British presidency. . . What would be the signal to public opinion if we can’t agree on a budget?’José Manuel Barroso, European Commission President

(“Public opinion” thinks the EU is broken, and this latest refusal to face reality merely confirms it).


Traitors

December 18, 2005

A reader criticized as unfair a post which labeled the 16,000 or so news gatekeepers of the MSM Enemies of Freedom. However the publication by the MSM of stolen state secrets to the enemy removes any uncertainty – the writers hate our culture and seek its destruction. That makes them traitors.

Here’s the president:

Mr. Bush also expressed outrage that someone leaked to the New York Times information about a National Security Agency (NSA) program to eavesdrop on Americans suspected of communicating with al Qaeda operatives overseas.

“The existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations,” he said. “As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk.”


Of course terrorists expect their phone calls and emails may be intercepted by the NSA, but they also know that it’s impossible for the NSA to review each of the zillions of calls and emails sent each day, and that encryption will red flag their message. So, when they’re prepared, they use simple phrase codes.

But when a ring is busted, codes may not be pre-agreed, so real communication has to occur. If the NSA knows who to listen to, the communication is intercepted and quite probably lives are saved.

The New York Times has now revealed who is being targeted and how, so they will switch channels, and next time the bombs may get through.

So the MSM that pontificated endlessly about the “outing” of a worthless CIA cube monkey is now acting as a mouthpiece for individuals who have revealed real state secrets and put real American lives at risk

Enemies of freedom is too mild a term for the MSM. Traitors fits the bill.


Iraq Rises

December 18, 2005

To the obvious irritations of the MSM and other lefties around the world, about 70% of Iraqis voted, al Queda was marginalized, and the Baathists decided to vote rather than kill. This outcome will have profound and positive effects on the Middle East, and profound and negative effects on the Dems election prospects.

Here’s an edited version of an excellent assessment:

Al Qaeda was humiliated during the elections, after having proclaimed that voting was against Islam, and that good Muslims should rise up and prevent this abomination. About 70 percent of eligible voters turned out, and there were few incidents of violence. The word on the street was that al Qaeda had called off its anti democracy campaign. This bothered al Qaeda so much that they issued a statement denouncing it. But al Qaeda claims that they did attack the voters rang hollow. The Sunni Arab community had decided to either vote, or not try and fight those who were.

In areas where al Qaeda still has a presence, local tribal or Mosque based militias put out armed guards to keep al Qaeda away from the polling places. These guys are usually shooting at government or American troops. But on election day, they were left alone by Iraqi troops, as everyone turned out to protect the voters from Islamic terrorists.

This relentless progress of democracy is causing quite a commotion throughout the Arab world. While it is fashionable to denounce the American presence in Iraq, and what the Americans were doing, the Arab language buzz on the net is going in unexpected directions. Because of al Jazeera and the Internet, young Arabs everywhere are not only able to observe what it happening in Iraq, but to
discuss it with young Iraqis. These discussions are not noted much in the West, because they generally take place in Arabic, and often via email and listservs.

The non-Iraqi Arabs are impressed at the proliferation of media in Iraq, and the eagerness of Iraqis to vote, and make democracy work. The economic growth in Iraq is admired, and is already attracting entrepreneurs from other Arab countries. The more cynical non-Iraqis believe that it will all come to nothing, and that another Saddam will eventually emerge and shut down all this democratic nonsense, as is the case in most of the Arab world. But the pessimists appear to be in the minority. Arabs are tired of dictators, economic stagnation, the corruption and living in a police state. Moreover, there’s a nimble quality in Arab thinking that allows them to simultaneously blame the Americans for going into Iraq, and praising the result.

So the objective of catalyzing democratic change in the Middle East now looks feasible. And because the Dems foolishly played the defeatist Quagmire card against the administration and US armed forces, the president and our soldiers who made all these events happen emerge with their stature increased. Their opponents are dishonored and diminished.


Blair Folds

December 17, 2005

After promising Brits he’d never give up the “rebate” they get in their financing of the EU, which keeps the Brits as number 2 funder of the EU after Germany, he’s folded. Winners are the heavily corrupt EU institutions and states that feed off the Brit payments, Brown, Blair’s opponent, and possibly the opposition Tories. Losers are Blair who’ll have to resign, Brit taxpayers, and ultimately the EU if the Brits pull out.

This was Blair in June::


Mr Blair has made a cut in farm payments a precondition for any renegotiation of the rebate, which was secured by Mrs Thatcher 21 years ago.

Mr Blair publicly rebuffed Mr Chirac, saying that without the rebate Britain would be paying a “quite unfair -proportion” of the EU’s budget.

“Britain has been making a gesture, because over the past 10 years, even with the British rebate, we have been making a contribution into Europe two and half times that of France. Without the rebate, it would have been 15 times as much. That is our gesture,” he said at 10 Downing Street.

Here’s Blair today:


Tony Blair has sacrificed an extra £2.7 billion to salvage an EU budget deal which he insists is in Britain’s interests. The Prime Minister had already surrendered £5.5 billion in rebate cash ahead of a crucial summit in Brussels. During fraught negotiations he offered up a further £1.7 billion from the rebate which was won by Margaret Thatcher in 1984. And increases agreed in the 2007-2013 budget after 17 hours of talks will cost Britain another £1 billion.

“This is an agreement that allows Europe to move forward,” the Prime Minister said.

Thats £10.9 billion, and all he got in return is an agreement to a review in 2008 of the French snout in the EU trough, with any changes delayed until 2014.

With the Brit public finances in heavy deficit and growth diving to continental levels, it won’t be possible for it to fund this out of borrowing. So taxes will rise.

Blair’s replacement, Brown, will use the EU deal as cover for a general tax increase. Then everything depends on the economy. If it quickly recovers, the Brits will probably accept with bad grace their financing of the EU. If it moves into recession, the next government will be Tory and the Brits will head for the EU exit.

I think Blair’s deal makes the Brits the biggest paymasters of the EU, and will post the numbers when more details emerge.


The March Of Corruption

December 16, 2005

Low corruption in a nation is crucial to its wealth and freedom. But states must work to stay honest – kids need educating, leaders must set examples, and law breakers prosecuted. Right now, many Germans think their society is becoming more corrupt, and Schroder provides a good (bad) example.

Transparency International reports each year on how outsiders see the corruption of each nation. They just published a report on how people they see their own nations. Nothing very surprising – just a slight tendency to underrate the corruption seen by outsiders – people get used to dishonesty.

The perceived trends are interesting:

In the United States and in Germany, 65 and 66 percent
respectively of those surveyed believe corruption has worsened in the past three
years, and 56 and 57 percent respectively expect this to continue.

I suspect the US trend is caused by the mess of corruption in Louisiana exposed by Katrina. But the situation in Germany is more serious, here’s Schroder just 3 months after ceasing to be Chancellor:

State-owned Russian gas firm Gazprom announced last Friday that Mr. Schroeder will become supervisory board chairman of the North European Gas Pipeline Co., a joint venture between Gazprom and German firms E.ON and BASF to build a pipeline through the Baltic Sea and pump Siberian gas to Germany.

Analysts and politicians from all parties, including Mr. Schroeder’s Social Democrats, balked at the notion of a German leader taking Russian paychecks and said the move smacked of favoritism, given Mr. Schroeder’s close friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Schroeder and Mr. Putin were instrumental in arranging the joint venture, announced two weeks before Germany’s September election.

The affair also revived criticism that Mr. Schroeder’s ties with Mr. Putin led him to overlook abuses of democracy and human rights in Russia.


Germany is still a high-trust, low corruption society, hence the criticism. But Schroder clearly thinks he can get away with it, and if he does, Germany will go further down the slippery slope.

This is not Schadenfreude – Tony Blair has had a succession of rogues in his government.

UPDATE: This full post replaces the partial version accidentally published earlier, apologies to XML feeders.


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