Tuesday, August 20, 2002

'Housekeeping' announcement


One or two teething troubles on the technical side (most significantly, moving to monthly from weekly archiving) have necessitated a switch:

Lincoln Plawg posts from 11 August to 19 August, are now to be found here. No further posts will be made.

From now on, posts will be made here, same name, same URL as before.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Chocolate City pantomime back on the road!


I can't say I've followed the DC Democratic mayoral primary with much attention. But, from what I have seen, it's a pretty sorry tale.

First there was Barry, the population of DC's vehicle for flipping off their ultimate lords and masters on the Hill. Caligula put a horse in the Roman senate, Washingtonians put a cokehead in charge of their city.

Then, sanity, and Williams, prevailed. After the fuss about the 'niggardly man' , so far as I'm aware, Williams went on to do a pretty good managerial job.

DC started to be the sort of place folks moved to. There was even something of a blacklash, in the form of Natalie Hopkinson's notorious article in the Washington Post (scroll down).

Surely the guy's reelection was a no-brainer?

And that, it seems, was precisely what his election team thought,
judging by the signatures farrago.

According to the Washington Times, included amongst those purportedly supporting William's candidacy were:

Dudley Moore (deceased British entertainer);
Kelsey Grammer; and
Tony Blair (presumably, to judge from the other signatures the Tony Blair).

He should surely be dead in the water now (though he's mounting a 'dog ate my homework'-type appeal).

Especially if this Post columnist is to be believed. Except the guy wants to have it both ways: Williams has the reputation of a suit, happier in a tux at the opera [ie, with white folks] than down home with his constituents. But, when he tries to get amongst the people and show some passion: he's a phoney!

Looks like his best hope of the mayoralty is a Barry-style resurrection in 2006.

Out of Africa: phoney stats


After dubious UN statistics , the NY Times wises us up to fantasy numbers from the Dark Continent.

Numbers on disease, for instance:

"......kids tend to die of more than one condition at a time......But each program would `take credit' for the death, so the total number of annual deaths, when you added up the claims of programs, would exceed the actual number of annual child deaths."

And the snow job performed with consummate skill by NGOs and globalophobes in relation to the '15,000 Malian slaves' on Ivory Coast cocoa plantations.

The uncontrollable yen of Western media for a sanctimonious liberal newgasm (provided there are decent pictures, of course!) can always be counted on......

(Not, of course, that the intention to deceive embodied in African stats is likely to be greater, in general, than in those from anywhere else. Point is, it's unlikely to be less.

And, that's before considering the manifold practical difficulties that the fairest agency would experience in collection and analysis of data; with their consequential effect on the reliability of the stats produced.)

WTO: That explains the Bush farm giveaway!


An article on the expected travails of upcoming trade talks suggests a definite plus to the farm subsidy bill: raising the base from which US can offer subsidy cuts in the WTO negotiations!

The 'Zoellick plan'

"....would cut American [agricultural] subsidies from $19 billion to about $10 billion a year, a reduction that is a bit more than the subsidies that the new farm bill provided."

So, the US is offering to reduce subsidies to a tad below the pre-Bush level. The farmers are not much worse off, and the trade negotiators have $10bn or so to put on the table. Enron or what?!

Not that that impresses the EU:

"While annual American farm subsidies would fall by almost half, by Mr. Zoellick's estimate, [under his plan] European Union subsidies would drop by about 80 percent, to $12 billion from $60 billion."

But think how much worse it would be without George's handouts.

Of course, that probably wasn't how things were explained to the US farm lobby......

Podunk judge: no death penalty, county can't afford it!


Capracorn? A lost episode of 'Ed'?

Whatever, the latest contribution to the jurisprudence of capital cases comes from Hicksville, Ohio. Or, more precisely, that Oliver Wendell Holmes of Vinton County, OH, Judge Jeffrey L. Simmons .

".....The court finds that the potential impact of financial considerations could compromise the defendant's due process rights in a capital murder trial.".

So, rather than risk a succession of appeals against a death sentence, the learned judge prefers - a succession of appeals against his decision.

Even the Public Defender's office shows a strange attitude to the law relating to the death penalty:

"There's a lot of procedural rigmarole that applies only in death penalty cases....".

Doesn't sound as if his heart's really in it, does it?

(Though, given that a panel of the Federal 5th Circuit has decided (reversed en banc) that a person on death row, whose lawyer was

"asleep for long periods of time during the questioning of witnesses",

had nevertheless received 'effective assistance of counsel', commitment (leave alone, competence) is scarcely something to be expected by a defendant in a capital case.)

Sunday, August 18, 2002

The Naievty of Diversity


This is a piece I posted to Usenet on August 12, on a rather extraordinary article on the teaching of 'diversity' in journalism school.

Owing to the fact I am unable (pro tem) to get Blogger to accept many more than 400 words per post (for reasons as yet unexplained, and at which a mere novice like me cannot guess!), I'll be keeping my longer contributions, including this one , elsewhere for the moment.

Naturally, they will all be linked from here!

ADA's Asylum: First Casey's Cart, now Flipper Boy


Via Volokh , a sad tale of a bad law screwing up decent folks' lives.

There's no deep pocket for the sleazoid shyster trial lawyers to extract their contingent fees from, but the law manages to cause havoc regardless.

Jury = Justice? Forget it!


Probably the scariest article I've read this year.

It amply demonstrates the fundamental weaknesses of the jury system:

1 The finding of facts, marshalling the findings, and coming to conclusions from those facts is a highly specialised and difficult job.

Even a lot of the best lawyers in the country would not be up to the task.

The US system, as with all common law jurisdictions, delegates this job to rank amateurs. And in the most serious and most complicated cases, too.

In England, fortunately, jury trial in civil cases has been quite rare since the mid 1930s. Law and fact are both decided by judges. There is no regret, that I am aware of, that the change was made.

One only needs to look at some of the judgements of English trial judges to see the complexity of the process laid bare.


2 Juries, as well as being amateurs, do not give reasons for their decisions.

Reasons are vital in regulating any intrusion of the state upon the individual. Government departments (in the UK, certainly) are often bound by statute to give reasons for their decisions. Judges almost inevitably do so.

Reasons serve two main functions: they require the decider to come up with an explanation that will sound reasonable when read out in court; and give tribunals with appellate jurisdiction a much better chance of identifying errors of law and fact whereby those decisions deserve to be struck down.

And, for the most vital decisions, sometimes affecting whether the state is to kill a man, we have no reasons at all. We deliberately put ourselves in the dark. As some bizarre medieval act of faith, making as much sense as trial by combat.


In England, the situation is worse, in that any research into jury deliberations constitutes a criminal offence! At least, US jurors are allowed to condemn themselves out of their own mouths.


It's high time this antique institution was consigned to the junkyard.

Never going to happen? Think slavery: in 1720, everyone in England thought it was fine - even that eventual vanguard of anti-slavery, the Quakers; in 1833, it was abolished in British colonies. That, I reckon, is about the timetable for the demise of the jury......

Saturday, August 17, 2002

Mining companies care more about AIDS victims that Mbeki!


This one must be a real trial for the anticapitalists!

SA mining companies stepping forward with cash for AIDS treatment while the Witch Doctor fights tooth and nail to deny the problem exists!

Having fought to the highest court in the land the obligation to offer nevirapine to pregnant women.

And these are the same mining companies which Mbeki is proposing to rob blind to fill the pockets of those 'comrades' who continue loyal and useful. Can't help feeling that ever-faithful houseboy Manto Tshabalala-Msimang won't be waiting to receive his reward in heaven. Which is probably just as well.

Buenos Aires machinations - the plot thickens


Having delved a little deeper following my initial researches earlier in the week, it seems the possibility of there being some kind of 'dangerous liaison' between persons drawn from the spheres of the police, politics and organised crime in Buenos Aires Province is very much alive.

A good deal of smoke in the media, what I've seen of it. Though whether it's of the smokescreen variety, or smoke-and-mirrors, or the smoke of which there is proverbially 'none without fire', I can't tell yet. Still delving: watch this space.

For the moment, a flavour of the story as told.

From here ,

'Por su parte, el viceministro de Justicia bonaerense, Marcelo Sain, [ally (?) of Cafiero, on the outs with the provincial PJ (ex-Peronists)] admitió esta mañana la posibilidad de que la trágica muerte del adolescente Diego Peralta forma parte de un "complot", pero no del sector policial, sino del "político", y dijo que en su origen habría que buscarlo en "la interna del justicialismo bonaerense".


From here ,

'Para Sain, el presunto "complot político" contra la gestión de Juan Pablo Cafiero al frente del Ministerio de Justicia y Seguridad, se debe a que tanto él como Cafiero "molestamos porque no pertenecemos al aparato peronista provincial......"
.
.
.
'Sain explicó que "hay un vínculo histórico entre la policía provincial y la política". Y agregó: "Nadie puede negar el financiamiento policial de la política a través del narcotráfico, el juego y la prostitución. No hay posibilidad de que funcionen sin el amparo de la política".'


There has been a rash of kidnappings and murders of policemen in the province; and conflict (to put it mildly) between Cafiero, the BA governor, Felipe Solá, and the Federal government over the handling of security issues.

Elections for BA governor are due (next year, I think), and possibly not unconnected with the furore.

It's conceivable that all of this is the usual political slapstick, with a Latin intensity, which only someone trying to get up to speed handicapped by unfamiliarity with the detail of Argentinian affairs (such as me) would take any notice of.

Certainly, it's not something the world's media seems to be following closely: they've given much more coverage to the (clearly cosmetic) 'snubbing' of George Bush by Mexican President Vicente Fox over the execution of Javier Suarez Medina in Texas.

Time will tell.

Lancaster County, PA 'nigger' case - more thoughts


Via Howard Bashman , a calm and collected reflection on the Overly case from a local lawyer.

I doubt he'd pretend to be an expert on constitutional law; but he's uncowed by the possibility of hounding by the PC mafia so far as to opine that the PA harassment law as applied in the case infringes Overly's First Amendment rights.

Friday, August 16, 2002

VHP a registered English charity


Those who remember the carnage in Gujarat earlier this year may be surprised to learn that a key component in the alliance that that fomented the (vastly preponderant) Hindu end of the violence is present in England as a registered charity .

According to the Charity Commission site , the first aim of the charity is

"to promote the advancement of the Hindu religion".

(In India, it evidently seeks to achieve this goal by thinning the ranks of those of other faiths . But, thankfully, not in the UK. Yet.)

In recent years, the charity has enjoyed, it seems, an annual income of around £200,000, apparently expended unexceptionably.

(I note that it seems to have a growing surplus of income over expenditure, in 1999-2000 of nearly £80,000. No doubt, prudently investing for the future.)

'Farce of UN inequality stats' - NY Times!


Alerted by InstaPundit to a nifty little article which rips into UN income inequality stats that gladden the hearts of globalophobes everywhere.

It's Enron-style accounting, only without the intent to deceive. I suppose.

For instance,

"Some agencies didn't adjust for the fact that Ethiopia is cheaper than the U.S"!

And the presentation of the numbers is misleading because they count countries and not people - in the stats, the large number of small, poor African countries blot out the rise in living standards of the Chinese and Indians.

Cui bono? Unfirable UN apparatchiks in cushy billets with programmes to boost, for starters......

Argentina: first whiff of the next junta?


For a couple of months around the turn of the year, I took an interest in the country in the expectation that, in view of the shambles, the brass hats would make a return.

They didn't, of course. So, attention naturally wandered.

Now, there's official support for the belief that the reports of the death of the caudillo may have been exaggerated.

Juan Pablo Cafiero, Security Minister for Buenos Aires Province, and a fairly senior guy in the Partido Justicialista (ex-Peronists), so far as I can see, says

"'Hay un sector de la policía que no me responde. [Cafiero] consideró que una parte de la bonaerense está alineada a sectores políticos que proponen una salida autoritaria.'

Apparently, he's only been in post a month or so, parachuted in from his position as Vicepresidente of the Argentine Cámara de Diputados (lower house of parliament) to sort out the BA police. Though nothing in this earlier article suggests that the problems included subversion of the State.

Perhaps, it's just silly season talk (and it was a radio interview, not a White Paper) in which the suggestion of

"sectores políticos que proponen una salida autoritaria"

was made. (Though, of course, it's winter in Argentina.)

On the other hand, why would he make such a statement if it's patently without foundation?

(OK, I remember Steve Tshwete's Mbeki 'murder plot' . But is there a loony in charge of Argentina?)

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Spain's African 'colonies' revolting?


After the farce of the Moroccan 'invasion' of Perejil (or 'Parsley Island', as gleeful British journos called it), there's more trouble in Spain's African empire.

Demonstrations in Melilla, supposedly involving Islamic fundamentalists, may lead Spain to close the frontier, thus leading to major economic disruption, both for the 'colony' itself and the neighbouring city of Nador which dwarfs it in population.

Schadenfreude in Gibraltar and Britain would, of course, be thoroughly morally reprehensible and simply not cricket, but....

And the top story in Belgium is....


......the price of courgettes is going through the roof.

That's the domestic news page on the site of one of Belgium's leading papers. And courgettes are the lead story.

Slow news day all round......

Nike First Amendment Case - Story so far


A rather helpful article on the background to the case.

At stake is whether (as decided by the California Supreme Court in Kasky v Nike ), corporations must fight assaults on their reputation with one hand tied being their backs, on account of being entitled to a lower grade of First Amendment protection for their defence than that available to their assailants.

The hope is that the Supreme Court will grant certiorari in short order. And, given the commendable vigour with which they struck down the virtual child pornography law in the Free Speech Coalition case, there is some basis to think they will be keen to protect the speech of more mainstream business!

Mbeki's cronies plan Steal of the Century


Willie Sutton is notoriously supposed to have said he chose banks to rob because "That's where the money is."

In South Africa, it's mines and minerals . And Mbeki and Co don't need to muss their Armani to haul away the loot: a nice majority in Parliament will do the trick.

Any resemblance to Mugabe's land grab is purely deliberate: Mbeki's larceny is orderly, polite - and much more lucrative. But confiscation is every bit as much his game as Mugabe's. And the beneficiaries?

Will the resources confiscated be held for the benefit of the people? As a fund to pay for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, for instance? Or devolved under cover of the 'black empowerment' smokescreen into the hands of the more particularly deserving comrades?

'"There will be pain for many people. But there is no gain without pain," said Penuell Maduna, minister of justice.'

You just know he had a smile on his face when he said it.

Gaza has its own Great Escape


If Gaza is one big prison camp, it's only right that it should have its own tunnels !

On the fortified Pink Line (!) separating the territory from Egypt, there's something of a DIY civil engineering boom underground, according to the Nouvel Obs article.

The Israelis say the tunnels are used to smuggle arms and terror equipment (the Karine A kit was supposedly to have been passed through the tunnels having been transported across the Sinai on camel-back by Bedouins); the Arabs say it's ordinary, decent smuggling.

The cat-and-mouse game seen in the film - tunnels discovered, destroyed, replaced - goes on in Gaza. With casualties, too, of course - the article mentions three Arabs dying in a tunnel collapse, their relatives having to ask the IDF to dig the bodies out.

Not in any way a light-hearted story: but at least, a change from the endless grind of predictable stories from the war.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Sahara: Manuscripts rotting for the sake of a few dollars more


The manuscript libraries of Timbuctoo and Araouane in Mali - featured, I recall, in the TV series of Henry Louis Gates' jaunt around Africa - are only halfway to the paradise of conservation.

According to this article , Timbuctoo alone has 60-80 private collections; of one collection of 5,000 manuscripts, 3,000 have been catalogued, the balance being kept in chemical limbo pending the funds to deal with them. Other manuscripts are not even that protected.

The thing that got Gates excited was that these manuscripts contain not only texts in Arabic, but also texts in songhai, bambara and other Saharan languages.

Quite how much cash is required to conserve the remaining manuscripts is not mentioned, unfortunately. Not much in relation to their historical value, I suspect.

Thatcherite rollback in France?


Having been turned off French politics by the Jospin bore-athon, and deceived by the presidential first round into thinking something interesting might be on over the Channel [it wasn't - Le Pen and the FN were hit by a standard third party squeeze, more or less, as I understand it], I'm just dipping a toe back in the water.

So, looking for a reliable online news source, I naturally turn to Le Monde . Unfortunately, though the content can be great, the site is a mess. So many stories are kept on the 'inside pages' ('France', 'Société', etc) for days at time, leaving you racking your brains as to whether you've read a particular story before!

Whereas the Figaro site looks much cleaner - 6-8 pages, 6-8 stories per page (all, I assume, fresh each day). And it is, I suppose, as close to being the 'Government' newspaper as is possible these days. So, it's on extended trial.

Starting with this very August story on government intentions on rolling back the Jospin laws making layoffs difficult for employers.

The signs are not good (according to the spin given to the Figaro journo):

"Le ministère de l'Emploi tente en effet de résister à l'offensive politique du patronat, et cherche à gagner du temps."

And

"L'idée.....consisterait alors à renvoyer l'élaboration d'un nouveau texte à la négociation interprofessionnelle."

Hopefully, all that means is that Raffarin is pacing himself.

After all, Thatcher's trade union reforms took a decade to complete. On the other hand, I don't think she ever contemplated allowing a 'beer and sandwiches' meeting of unions and bosses to draft the legislation!

Dutroux - if the Belgians don't care.....


Belgium , the unspoilt paradise for anthropologists!

How to explain the strange transformation of Dutroux from monstrous trigger of near revolution to thundering bore?

Seeing the throngs in Brussels the day of the 'White March', I felt sure that the eternal cry of the pathetic onlooker - 'Something must be done!' - was to be turned into action: a glorious day for the common man.

Silly, twisted boy! Machine politics has a grip on Belgium that Tammany would have envied. The 'common man' in Belgium knows on what side his bread is buttered.

There never was going to be a Capraesque ending.

If the Belgian pols get their way, there won't be an ending at all.

The New 'Ten Little Niggers' Mystery


Typical BBC report - omitting the vital details!

"Pat Bottrill, chairman of the Royal College of Nursing's governing council, was calling members of the committee back from a coffee break when she used the phrase "10 little niggers", the title of an Agatha Christie novel."


So, what happened?

Did she say, "Come along, you ten little niggers, time to get back!" Use of 'nigger' in direct address would, no doubt, have been unwise.

Or did she allude to the nursery rhyme (a version here ) to which the Christie title refers, as the committee members left the coffee-break area one by one?

Or did she comment, to fill an awkward pause, that she'd been reading an Agatha Christie over the weekend, "the one that used to be called 'Ten Little Niggers'"?

Because if all she'd been doing was referring to a nursery rhyme or a book - what standard are we setting up here: no public employee to use the word in any context?

And - is this the first time she's used the word? Perhaps this she is something she says - whatever it is she said - every meeting break, her little joke, groans all round.

Because I strongly suspect that the woman's enemies in the organisation have jumped at the pretext to whip up a shock-horror PC newsgasm and get rid of her.

Witch Doctor Mbeki and the 'barbarians'


Like any politician worthy of the name, when he cannot provide bread, the Witch Doctor puts on a circus .

And at an African pol's circus, bashing Whitey always goes down a treat. And history, too - getting as far away from the situation you're responsible for as possible.

To Mr Virodene, who fought tooth and nail to keep HIV mothers from getting nevirapine to help prevent them passing the virus on to their unborn children - the Hans Christian Andersen of AIDS fairy-tales - any distraction from the suffering his inaction has wrought is welcome.

Who, one may ask, is the true 'barbarian'?

And, as for his 'people' - what truer mark of civilisation, no doubt, that so many believe that sexual intercourse with a virgin is a cure for AIDS! And not a few act on the belief: over 21,000 reported child rapes in 2000; and, in 2001, the rape of a baby of 5 months old.

Leader and people well matched when it comes to barbarity, one might say.

As for the Hottentot Venus herself, I'm not sure that the Witch Doctor, in the company of the Western media, isn't jumping to conclusions. Even disregarding the insistence on anachronism - hers is a time when slavery and 6 year olds down the mines were a feature of life under the British Crown - it's not necessarily true that she was the utter victim that she's popularly made out to be.

I'm not clear - from the very slightest amount of research - that we know a great deal of her life: it's her anatomy that obsesses today's media, as it did the media of her day.

Was she paid, for instance? Obviously, an animal or slave thus exhibited would not have been. If she was, that would rather suggest she was thought of as neither. Chang and Eng did pretty well from their deformities, after all.

This snippet suggests she enjoyed rather more autonomy than would fit her assigned role of agitprop martyr.

All we know is, for her supporting act in the ju-ju man's big tent, she got not a brass razoo! Efficiency in RSA government spending at last. But what of the dignity of labour?

UMich Law School - will Bush finally oppose race preferences?


Courtesy of Howard Bashman , this article offers some hope that the Administration will take a stand against the Law School admission preferences upheld in the controversial May ruling of the Sixth Circuit.

Despite the evidence of the latest round (Adarand v Mineta) of the Adarand litigation (summary to March 2002 here ), where they defended Department of Transportation preferences in the government brief on the merits, Ashcroft and Olson, stern opponents of preferences in earlier incarnations, will, the author suggests, finally show their true colours in the Michigan case.

She gives two main reasons:

(a) in the Adarand brief, the principles argued for were a stern view of 'strict scrutiny' - A&O could only defend the DOT by perversely supposing that it met the standard.

(b) the Adarand brief left out any appeal to 'diversity' - on which the UMich case will turn.


Sounds to me like whistling Dixie.

I take guidance from the experience with Jim Crow: how many years did fine, liberal men in Congress shake their heads at the absurdities of legal segregation, while being unable even to pass so much as an anti-lynching bill for fear of upsetting the voters back home! (Not even Truman could get one through, with the example of Auschwitz in the background.)

All the running in dismantling Jim Crow from the Guinn (grandfather clause) case in 1915 till the mid 60s was made by the courts - and not generally on the motion of organs of government. Legislative and administrative action lagged far behind.

So, I believe, with the (equally absurd) apparatus of affirmative action. Whether it will take the same 50 years to get rid of AA, who knows?

Abo land rights - again


The background to the recent High Court case of WA v Ward - the 10 years of litigation following the judicial brainstorm in the Mabo case - is available in a remarkably happy-clappy series in the 'Australian' of a couple of months back (look now before it gets put behind the pay-per-view firewall!).

The Ward judgements are not for the fainthearted (well over 1MB of HTML) - I can't pretend to have done more than scanned them. But 'native title' has always been a slap-up feed for lawyers' and the majority in Ward do nothing to limit the size of the trough. 'Maximum complication, minimum value', seems to be the watchword as far as abo rights are concerned.

The bonanza of a share in mineral rights is finished off with a good clean head-shot. But in most other cases, they say most native rights are intact. (Though subordinated in their exercise to other rights. The rights that people acquired from governments, under the fond illusion that they would be not effectively be welshed on.)

So the cases in Ward get the treatment the lawyers love: remitted to the lower courts for the decision on the facts in accordance with the High Court decision. Lovely jubbly!


[Except: who is paying the abos' lawyers? I had thought they'd be working on contingent fees, as that sort of case would be handled in the US. But, at first sight, that sort of arrangement seems to be prohibited in Australia. (All of Australia? Certain states? Certain types of case?)

The abos might have had the prospect big money if their minerals claims had come through; but that wouldn't exactly have been liquid resources. And now....Whatever the future value of their claims, I doubt whether they've ever had a brass razoo to spare for the $500 an hour brigade.

So, who is it? Bleeding-heart plutocrat, NGO or - surely not the taxpayer?]

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Bush's Strategic Case for an Iraq War


[No sooner asked than answered !]

A 'reverse-engineered' view of the Bush case:

"Since the Bush administration has a strong national security team, it is reasonable to assume that its strategy is not formulated frivolously nor adhered to mechanically."

A smooth tour d'horizon, Foreign Office-style; it even posits, before rejecting, the notion of US repudiation of Israel!

In essence, Bush's reason for war, apparently, is that the US needs a win right now.

"[The war] would set the stage for changing the psychological configuration in the Islamic world and imbuing the movement [of radical Islam] with a sense of failure and hopelessness, undermining its ability to operate."


The piece reads like the précis of a much longer and more informative paper.

Old UN resolutions still good for new Iraq war?


A plausible argument made in a rational tone. (War Party please note.)

The 1991 resolutions are all the UN fig-leaf that's likely to be available for the forthcoming invasion; but then,

"In essence, the UK justified its participation in US-led Operation Desert Fox, which bombed Iraqi WMD facilities over four days in December 1998, on the basis of a "revival" of the authorisation of the use of force in UN Resolution 678."

If 678 was still fresh in '98, no reason why it should be stale in '02.

Over to the Peaceniks.

Lynn, MA - race self-flagellation update


Hearings of the case before the District Court are apparently due to end in September (no indication of when the judge's decision might be forthcoming).

(Copies of the complaint and one or two other pieces of documentation here .)

Presumably, it will find its way to the First Circuit in due season, and thence, who knows?

Meanwhile, the social engineering continues.

[There is, BTW, a flagrant error in the Times piece - the Michigan Law School decision in May was from the Sixth Circuit, not the Supreme Court. (Documentation here , opinions (Grutter v Bollinger) here .)

Constitution 101, gentlemen?]

More TV Judicial Travesties....

Courtesy of Howard Bashman a review of the past season's TV 'Supreme Courts' in The New Republic from Jeffrey Rosen.

I've seen neither (and, thanks to the article, never will!).

Of 'The Court', Rosen writes

"[Sally] Field played Kate Nolan, a tough but fair former governor who relaxed by walking soulfully up the Supreme Court steps to gaze at the legend "Equal Justice Under Law." (Throughout these inspirational walks, you kept imagining her gathering up her robes, stretching out her arms, and taking off: the Flying Justice.)"

He also reviews the memoirs of the law clerk to 'Four Horseman' Justice McReynolds - who seems to have been Aaron Sorkin's idea of a conservative: personally as well as politically repulsive.

Monday, August 12, 2002

Israel's Attorney-General and the IDF beating


A story seriously lacking in the 'Five Ws'. If the A-G was standing anywhere near to the Arabs getting worked over, he'd have heard. Unless he was upstairs, and they were getting it in the basement. Or he'd gone outside for a smoke. Or....

No doubt, we'll never know. Just a pity the journos seemed satisfied with a story half told.

Did Labour hack the BBC?


Or is this just more of John Simpson's witterings? I think we should be told....

Pygmy dance pushes PC buttons


It's Belgium - where the Great and the Paedophile have taken great care (for obvious reasons) to ensure that Marc Dutroux's day in court is postponed to the Greek Kalends.

But, even so. A bunch of dancing pygmies can't possibly be having a fun trip and earning a few bob to take back with them to Africa. The sort of working holiday that, oh, say, a bunch of white kids might have.

No, in the warped mindset of the guardians of our racial morals, they have to be up-to-date Hottentot Venuses. Mere agitprop victims. The pygmies' opinion on the matter is irrelevant. (Did any of the do-gooders ask them before they tried to get them the sack, I wonder? I doubt it, because they'd know the reponse would have been 'Allez vous enculer'!)

It's the bleeding hearts ('My grandad chopped off hands for King Leopold - Ooh, the guilt!') who view the pygmies as zoo animals.

'British whites will be outnumbered' - (soon to be) official!


The Guardian tendency may be frit - but apparently we're finally to get the statistical proof .

By dint of massive immigration (legal and (mostly) illegal) and the fact that the coloured populations are breeding like rabbits,

"15 times faster than the white population",

the majority of the British population will be coloured; and the ONS figures will give us a pretty good idea when.

Though - what's the betting that the figures will get stuck in a drawer Somewhere in Whitehall (especially if it's getting too close to the next General Election)?

Only 15% of NYC public school students are white


Just flipping through the latest outpouring from the busomaniacs at Harvard, to read, on page 21:

"In New York City, our largest public school district, white students are 15% of total student enrolment."


One supposes that, since it comes from Harvard, the number is right: just a tad surprising, though.

Any lingering doubt might derive from the utterly perverse definition of 'segregation' that they use.

Before, under Jim Crow, it referred to a regime of legal prohibition. Now, it refers to a state of affairs brought about by citizens' choices of where to set up home.

It's like equating consensual sex to rape. (But, then, perhaps the
Harvard guys believe that, too....)

Of course, so many years after the end of Jim Crow, perhaps the 'civil rights' people feel they need to keep the pot boiling to keep their empire intact.

(For more on the weaselly stretching of the 'segregation' concept, the case of Lynn, MA is instructive. That well-known flower of the Confederacy, where oft the cowhide was plied, the chain-gang flourished, sharecroppers turned off by the men in bed-linen. Not.

Some Yankee folk with 'guilt about not having guilt' (Massachusetts was the first state to abolish slavery, I believe) decide they want a piece of the desegregation hair-shirt, and volunteer for the treatment.

Only in America....)

BBC journalism neutered by Oryx libel case?


The Beeb, it seems, is running so scared after the Oryx fiasco that the mere threat of a writ makes them squeal.

They're not the first to find something not quite right in the governance of Antigua, evidently.

And what weight of evidence does the gentleman who runs the place bring to bear?

"He denounced the accusations as false, and Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua's high commissioner to Britain, yesterday said that a report by a commission of inquiry, published last week, did not substantiate the BBC allegations."

Who set up such an inquiry?

"Sir Ronald said the inquiry was set up by the governor-general on the advice of Mr Bird, after he accepted there were serious problems with the fund."

So that's all right, then.

Although, perhaps one is a mite curious as to who sat on the inquiry, and - oh, off the top of the head - what relationship they might have had with the gentleman in question.

The remnants of BBC journalism had, and, I suspect, still have, one or two questions on the matter, too.

But, thanks to the buffoons who 'investigated' Oryx, they're waiting for the last tube on the Line of Least Resistance.

There's still time for the BBC suits to show some backbone, of course. Doubt if anyone's making a book on it, though...


The New Ghetto: First Palestine, now Golders Green.....


In Palestine, they're building a dirty great fence.

In North London , it's a bit subtler.....

Atheist Ayatollah teacher bars letter to Jesus


There are - God knows! - a continent and a half full of religious fanatics - Moslem Deobandis, Wahabis, Iranian Shiites, Hindu VHP and RSS, and their (for the moment, less violent) Christian counterparts.

But, lest it be thought that gods had all the best tunes for their hymns of intolerance, step forward the (unnamed) teacher of one Phillip Vaccaro .

Scion of that fine American Progressive tradition that, in its finest hour, gave us that other vowel, Al Capone.

For this monkey trial, I suspect Darrow would be on the side of the devout Mr Vaccaro. And the Bryan role would appear to fit the teacher like a glove.



Ambulance-chasers put the mockers on school playtime?


So it's not the drug-pushers hanging round schools that are the main intrusion into children's education, it's the sleazoid shysters .

Really? Or is it the morons who expect a guarantee of absolute safety for their little darlings (who naturally can do no wrong), and are down the school at the drop of a hat with a writ or a bunch of fives at the slightest provocation?

Haven't the crowd of empire-building, government-contract-grubbing NGOs in the field of 'children's rights' helped to foster a tinder-box atmosphere liable to flare up into hysteria at the sign of the first paediatrician, let alone dangerous climbing-frame?

Whichever, it's clear who loses.


Sanity on abo land rights 'bonanza' - High Court


The temporary judicial insanity Down Under on 'native title' seems at last to have abated a little.

The abos, having thought they had not much; and then being told they'd being buying Croesus out; are now back to having not much.

And a waggonload of lawyers, who told them the the sky was the limit, are feeling pig-sick.

So the effort wasn't completely wasted, then....


[NB The High Court of Australia is the top court in the hierarchy of the Australian court system.]

[The case (the judgements in total come to more than 1MB!) is, needless to say, a little more complicated than this, on the basis of a first skim-through. The bottom line, though, remains, so far as I can see, dashed expectations for the abos.]

Gurbollocks update


I'm sure we'll all be glad to learn that the hush money for Tony's favourite Sikh is better than we hoped: £120,000 will buy him a few gallons of Bolly to drown his sorrows - hopefully keeping a decent distance from members of the local constabulary, just in case.

Bizarre, though, that earlier reports in the BBC and the Guardian, both assiduous anilinguists to any of duskier hue, failed to mention these choice mots:

"What, fuck you, don't you know who I am? I know Blair, do you know him? Ian fucking Blair."

"[Singh] then walked towards [PC] Hambleton with clenched fists, shouting, 'You fuck.' "

[To various policemen] "I will fucking have you."

Did they need Board approval before they could report that a - no doubt devout - member of a religion other than Christianity (which is, of course, fair game for any insult) could swear like a rampaging Millwall supporter? As well as act like one....

Sunday, August 11, 2002

£100,000 for threatening to nut a copper? That's Racial Equality!


A nice little earner for the CEO of the Race Relations Industry: get rat-arsed, threaten violence against a policeman - and pick up a net £99,445 (less tax) !

Anything less, no doubt, and he'd have been hammering straight away at the doors of a tribunal for 'racial discrimination'.

Even now, some ermined rentagob race-whiner is saying, more or less, that the police should have let him off.

Just imagine the reaction if, say, the Commissioner of theMetropolitan Police had done what Singh did to a coloured employee of the CRE? Would the race warriors be saying that the police should'exercise discretion' in his case? Or would they be doing the Mandela United Football Club jog and getting out the spare tyre and petrol can?

And, mark what he said when restrained from committing actual violence:

'I'll have your jobs. Do you know who I am? Blair is going to hear about this.'

[The report says he's referring to 'Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police deputy commissioner' - but can you be sure?]

Again, if this were a white man offering violence to members of a largely coloured institution, and threatening to use his influence to get them sacked - do you think his friends would rally round to say what a great chap he was?


We should be grateful to Singh for this: to show up as clearly as may be the 'racial cringe' of the political class in this country; that they prefer to use enough of your money to pay for a dozen heart bypasses and stuff it in the mouth of this violent criminal, rather than confront him with the consequences of his actions.

The next time the CRE go round to the police or whatever institution asking for an abject Stalin-showtrial confession to the Ultimate Thought Crime, let's hope the reply is:

'Let Singh pay back the money first!"


1st Amendment under threat in Amish country



An interesting test of the 'fighting words' exception to 1st Amendment protection.

The ACLU, with apparent sluggishness , have "weighed in" with a less than ringing endorsement of the defendant's 1st Amendment stance.

Hopefully, their reluctance is not 'content-based'.
To start with, one or two items from last week.

Blair miscarriage - so much for family planning!



'Feckless, irresponsible girls breeding like rabbits on the housing estates of Britain': meet the wife of the Prime Minister ......

The point (which seems to have got lost somehow) was simply to mark the contrast between the teenage pregnancy reduction policy of a government obsessed with 'how things look'; and the conduct of the wife of the head of that government, with three teenage children, who appears to be either serially negligent about contraception, or to have deliberately sought a pregancy with the much increased risks associated with a mother of her age.
My entry into a pretty crowded market.

Keeping the aim modest: commenting on the political and legal from the perspective of a cynical, more or less libertarian, Brit.

The material will (to start with, at least) be stuff I put on Usenet - which I'll link to.

As for Lincoln - my hero, to the extent that a cynical libertarian can have one. I just love that First Inaugural...