כּנור דוד

Kinnor David - "a most attractive blog".

Monday, October 31, 2005

Post Number 100 - A Reply to Chip

Chip said in relation to my last post that "this is crazy", and said that the death penalty in the US is only applied for murder.

For the avoidance of doubt, I disagree with the Singaporen law, and to the extent necessary, apologise for what may seem, especially to American ears, like undue flippancy in the said post. However, I would like to make a few comments, if only to set a few things straight. Sorry, sometimes I can't help doing that!

Death Penalty for Rape and Other Offences in the US

Historically, the US has executed people for everything from sodomy to horse-thieving. In modern times, this has changed. During the period 1930-1967 (the latter being, coincidentally the last year that an Australian government, that of Victoria, actually carried out the death penalty) 455 prisoners (12% of the total executions) - ninety percent of them African American were executed for rape; 70 prisoners were executed for other offences. During the same period, the U.S. Army (including the Air Force) executed 160 persons, including 106 executions for murder (including 21 involving rape), 53 for rape, and one for desertion.

In 1977, the Supreme Court declared in Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584 (1977) that applying the death penalty in rape cases was unconstitutional because the sentence was disproportionate to the crime. Coker resulted in the removal of twenty inmates - three Caucasians and 17 African Americans - awaiting execution on rape convictions from death rows around the country. That is, in 1977, there were 20 people on death row for committing the crime of rape; African Americans from south of the Mason-Dixon, were disproportionately likely to end up ridin' the lightnin' for rape.

Felony Murder, Poisoning, and Drug Trafficking

In addition to murder, there is also what has been called "felony murder", that is, broadly speaking, unintentional killing in the course of the commission of a crime of violence; I'm no criminal lawyer, nor do I know a great deal about the criminal law of the various US States, but if I am robbing a Texas convenience store, and I drop my gun, and it discharges, thus killing Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, then what might ordinarily be an accidental death, or an act of manslaughter, becomes a Capital Murder that could have me cooling my heels for 10-20 years on death row, with nothing to look forward to but a nasty injection at the end.

No doubt, if I knowingly sell you booze laced with arsenic, which, if used as the manufacturer (of the booze) intends, I am clearly guilty of murder if and when you die.

Conversely, consider my selling you heroin, knowing that it is of such uncommon purity, that it is therefore almost inevitably going to kill you by overdose when you use it in the intended manner. Of course, I know what you intend to do with it. Nobody's that stupid. What if death by overdose, or by poisoning by rat-poison (arsenic again!) with which the heroin has been "cut" is not "almost inevitable", but only "substantially probable" or merely "likely"?

The Singaporean death penalty only applies where intended supply to another is proven (or the rebuttable presumption of intended supply is not rebutted). That is, when caught with more than "x" grammes, the law presumes that you are intending to supply, and you have to prove that it's for personal use only; that's a common enough provision in anti-drug statutes. The Singaporean (and Malaysian, for Singapore is not alone in this) laws may be "crazy". I happen to believe that they are - even though there is some suggestion that they have a deterrent effect. Indeed, some criminologists have argued that the less likely clemency, the stronger the deterrant effect. However, the moral distinctions are not always as clear as they at first seem. Is the Texan convenience-store thief who accidentally shoots Apu any more morally culpable than the trafficker who flogs poison to addicts for money?

The point is, I suppose, that drug trafficking is not a "victimless crime", and by selling you drugs, I can kill you just as easily as by putting a bullet in your head. A reckless, or merely negligent thief can end up on death row, and yet, in many countries a trafficker with as guilty, or guiltier mens rea can get off comparitively lightly.

It's not an easy moral or policy question, is it?

Incidentally, the point that Latif raised (but articulated imperfectly) is that the arguments for clemency raised by some activists highlight all the race / nationality based capriciousness and inconsistencies that American anti-death penalty activists have raised for years. But he does so to enforce, rather than oppose the penalty. Ironic, eh?

Your comments are welcomed.

Inevitable that Australian will Die

Just as it is inevitable that I will weigh into this controversy.

For those of you who are unaware, a Melbourne man of Vietnamese extraction is facing the noose in Singapore, for drug trafficing. He was not attempting to bring drugs into Singapore, he was simply passing through en route from Cambodia to Australia.

Now, Singapore is one of the most if not the most enthusiastic (per capita) neck-breakers in the world, and like Texas, it's practically impossible to get a reprieve once the appeals process is exhausted. Unlike Texas, the appeals process takes a couple of months, rather than a decade or more. His mother's latest ploy to secure a reprieve has been to write to Her Majesty the Queen. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of reprieves granted by the President of Singapore in the last few decades. I doubt a plea from the Queen could save Prince Harry from the noose, but full marks for trying.

Don't get me wrong, on balance, I'm against stringing people up for drugs charges. Just as I'm against the shari'ah that bans Cabernet Sauvignon throughout most of the Middle East (actually, perhaps if they had a tipple now and then, violent jihaad would be less the rage. Just a theory; but I digress). Were I to get caught in the Magical Kingdom "experimenting" with a good bottle of Australian red, or even a beer, I know that I would be in a world of trouble and I would have no-one to blame but myself. Incidentally, I'm well aware (before someone accuses me otherwise) that draconian Singaporean punishments like caning people bloody and breaking their necks are hang-overs from English Common Law, and have no basis in Islam.

Asad Latif argues on the basis of reasons of sovereignity and international comity, that the calls for Nguyen Tuong Van's reprieve are misguided. That is true, particularly when such calls are based upon his nationality, or the fact that the drugs were not destined for the Singaporean market. Such arguments either value Singaporean lives less than Australian ones, or they value them more. That's a fair point.

Nguyen Tuong Van's legal team, unlike some Amnesty International types, have based their appeals for clemancy on bases that might at least some chance of success. They argue that their client is able to give evidence against others in the drug trade. Of course, that will almost inevitably lead to more hangings. One would expect that to carry some weight with the notoriously authoritarian Singapore government. Naturally Amnesty International and others opposed to the noose on principle run a mile from that sort of argument!

Now, like Justice Scalia, I have no moral or religious objection to the death penalty; and unlike some enthusiastic opponents thereof, I can say with a clear conscience, that, for example, the Nurnburg Judgments were on the whole just (except, for example, to the extent that the indictments were based upon attrocities actually committed by the Red Army, but falsely blamed on the Nazis, such as the Katyn massacre). But that cannot excuse Auschwitz and Treblinka. I think the same about Israel's hanging of Eichmann; nor would I have shed any tears if Arafat ended up at the end of a rope instead of in a (no-doubt luxurious) French hospital.

Anyway, this biographical piece on the front page of last Friday's Australian, complete with semi-naked photo that could turn Andrew Sullivan straight, strikes me as ghoulish. Apparrently, he's a really nice chap. I won't re-print the photo, or excerpt from the story. Readers can satisfy their morbid curiousity by reading all about Mr Singh's life and his work at The Australian. But Mr Singh is credited with being the only executioner in the world to single-handedly hang 18 men in one day - three at a time. In his favour, he's tried to quit, and uses the British long-drop method of hanging, which almost invariably results in instant death.

Anyway, if The Australian can be ghoulish, so can David. Here's a picture of the gallows in my home town, last used in 1964, to hang a particularly nasty piece of work called Glen Sabre Valance, for shooting his boss, and raping his boss's wife amongst her husband's remains. Like I said; a nasty piece of work.

Vatican to Sup with The Devil

It's not the Levantine Arabs this time. It's Beijing, as the Times of London and The Australian are reporting. This represents one of those particularly difficult moral condundra for the Holy See; what can be done to protect the rights of mainland Chinese Catholics, without:
  • ignoring the rights of Taiwanese Catholics, or
  • appearing to bless the Chinese Communist revolution (and let's face it, the Beijing government is almost as pro-Catholic / pro-religious freedom as the chaps in Saudi Arabia, and the Taipei government is arguably the legitimate goverment of China).

Glad I do not have to make the policy on that one.

On the "legitimate government" point, it is interesting to recall when various Latin American states were over-throwing their Spanish and Portuguese colonial administrators, the Church faced a similar dilemma. In those days, the Catholic Monarchies of Portugal and Spain appointed Catholic Bishops in their territories. The Church got around the problem by deciding that if the old regiemes of Spain and Portugal could re-establish authority on the ground within a reasonable time (in fact 15 years), then that was all well and good, and the old system of monarchial appointment could continue. Otherwise, the Vatican would take over the process and appoint its own Bishops.

Perhaps a sane way of bowing to the inevitable. Now that the Holy See appoints Bishops everywhere (I stand corrected if there is are one or two exceptions), is there really a problem with the Vatican appointing Taiwanese Bishops, even if they don't send a Nuncio to Taipei? That leaves the persecution of the Chinese Church as a major sticking block. Let's hope that in a few years' time, His Holiness is not pulling out the German-Chinese dictionary to translate Mit Brennender Sorge into Mandarin.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Piggy-Banks Banned in Britain

LGF reports that piggy banks have been banned by some British banks, because practitioners of the Mohammedan faith might get offended. Rightasrain commented:

Religious Jews have avoided pork for thousands of years.
Jews have also worked in the banking industry.
We never went berserk over "piggy banks."
The UK really needs to think about this.

Chip, of Politics and Religion fame said:

Maybe you should rethink all that blending in and courtesy. If Jews issued fatwas, got offended when the wind blows, beheaded some innocent people, and blew stuff up, the world might trip over itself trying to appease you.

A fair point.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Australian Foreign Policy Becomes More "Independent"

...but, as Greg Sheridan argues, in a way guaranteed to get the UN-loving, Israel hating bien-pensants of the commentariat foaming at the mouth. Now that's the kind of "independant foreign policy" I'll happily support.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Trafalgar, 200 Years On...

As the United Kingdom celebrates the Bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar, Tom Utley argues that Lord Nelson must be turning in his grave:

One of the new regime's first acts, apart from sending any organisers of resistance to the guillotine, would have been to sweep away the Common Law, and to establish in its place the Napoleonic Code. Like so many dictators - from the Roman emperors to Hitler, Stalin, Chairman Mao and Pol Pot - Napoleon was a tidy-minded rationalist who believed in universal laws, applicable to all mankind. From a dictator's point of view, the trouble with Britain's common law is that it is an organic growth, based not on first principles, but on human nature and accumulated experience.


Unlike the earlier French revolutionaries, who thought that Italy should be governed by Italians and Spain by Spaniards, Napoleon was never a believer in nation states. He believed in centralised European government - one law and one authority for the whole of his empire. This was the fate from which Nelson and Collingwood saved the peoples of Britain, 200 years ago today.


If Nelson had lost at Trafalgar, Britain would have been locked into a centralised, protectionist Europe. Instead, his victory opened up the markets of the whole wide world to British enterprise. Two hundred years on, we could do with another Nelson.

The Inculcation of Mediocrity and Confronting Turbulant Priests

Dr Kevin Donnelly writes yet again, about the pernicious fad of "outcomes-based-education" sweeping the Australian public education systems. He gives the example of a teacher trying to teach "the best way to drive from Melbourne to Sydney":

Based on OBE, not only are teachers denied a syllabus detailing the best way to Sydney, but children negotiate their own way in their own time, and as long as they eventually arrive, whether via Perth or Brisbane, all are considered successful.

Sometimes, I have to weep for future generations. That's ironic, because, in Tasmania, for example the essential "subjects" include such things as "[t]hinking, communicating, personal futures, social responsibility and world futures". Now that's the intellectual equivalent of masturbation. It may feel good to its practitioners, but it's ultimately sterile. Worse, it looks to me like a fig-leaf for the indoctrinaation of students into the kind of politically-correct shibboleths that reign supreme in the humanities faculties of too many Universities. But then, what does it matter if children cannot read, write or spell, so long as they know how to fight "Amerikkkan cultural hegenomy" and understand that the oeuvre of Michael Moore represents the highest achievement of western civilisation.

In the same newspaper, Christopher Pearson looks at mainstream Christianity's response to the Howard Government's proposed industrial relations reforms, and accuses the churches of adopting a neo-Marxist approach to politics that overlooks, if not ignores, firstly, the taxation and social security reforms of the last thirty years, and secondly, the needs of the unemployed.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Uniting Church, having given up believing in God in favour of abstract notions such as "social justice" is the worst sinner:

Dean Drayton, the president of the Uniting Church, says the Fair Pay Commission's mandate "is to keep wages low rather than assess what workers need to live a decent life", which strikes him as "incompatible with Christianity. Christians are called to challenge systems and structures that breed hate, greed, oppression, poverty, injustice and fear. Anything less than this is a watered-down expression of our faith."

To which Pearson scathingly responds:

My guess is that this kind of quasi-Marxist rant doesn't cut much ice any more, even among Drayton's rapidly dwindling flock

No wonder the pews are empty. Pearson asks:

Why, in the name of abstract notions of wage justice, should the churches help to keep people locked out of the workplace and dole-dependent?

Why indeed?

The same abstract notions bedevil the Catholic Church's response to minimum wages. John Ryan, the executive officer of the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations, has just written a paper, The Common Good and Industrial Relations. In it, he writes that "Catholic social teaching calls for the fixing of a wage that is based on the needs of a family, not the needs of a single person". This is offered as though it were one of the proverbial "laws of the Medes and the Persians, never to be repealed".

Yet Catholic social teaching changes and develops through time, responding to emerging circumstances. John Paul II overhauled the church's position on the role of the market economy, for example. It's hard to imagine the encyclicals Ryan has in mind were written in the era when a dual-income family was becoming normative and significant welfare transfers were broadly available to help support dependents.

Ryan's position is schizoid. On the one hand, he acknowledges the growing role of the public purse in providing for dependents of workers, including those on minimum wages. On the other, he continues to maintain that the Fair Pay Commission's preparedness to take into account the needs of families is the test by which it should be judged and, ipso facto, bound to fail.

Pearson's argument is not that wages for the borderline employable should be permanently low, rather that the taxation, industrial relations and social security systems can work together to give people the dignity of work and a decent standard of living. Its compassion is more sophistocated than the outdated red-rag lunacy of some church beaurocrats.

Waleed Aly Talks Sense on "Honour Killings"

This blog is normally no fan of Melbourne Lawyer Waleed Aly, Executive Member of the Islamic Council of Victoria and sometime spokesman for pandering to Muhammadan sensibilities. But this article, makes a great deal of common sense:

VERY little of what I was taught in my second-year criminal law class remains in my memory, but I will never forget the day we encountered R v Dincer. This was a homicide case in which a man became so enraged with his daughter's premarital relationship that he killed her.


Dincer's lawyers implored the jury to consider how offensive his daughter's conduct would have been to her father. They argued that an ordinary Turkish Muslim might be provoked to execute their daughter in these circumstances, and that accordingly, his crime should be reduced from murder to manslaughter. Worst of all, it worked. A rotten exploitation of a rotten defence.

The Common Law doctrine of Provocation was used to justify obnoxious cultural practices that must be seen as simply wrong in any functioning society. Aly considers the recent case of MSK in which Senior Counsel for the convicted rapist blamed cultural and religious influences for his client's brutality. According to Aly:

It won't do. No law or moral code of decency, least of all an Islamic one, tolerates the deplorable murder or rape of people, irrespective of the culture or religion of the assailant. One must sink to the depths of egotism and immorality to lay the blame for their barbaric criminality at the door of a rich cultural tradition, or worse still, God.

Credit where credit's due. In this instance, Aly is right.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Knee Deep in the Blood of his People

Yet another homicidal maniac is lauded by the United Nations as his people cry out for freedom:

Reuters reports:

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe denounced U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair as "unholy men" on Monday, comparing them to fascist leaders trying to dominate the world.

Speaking at 60th anniversary celebrations of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Mugabe said the United States and Britain had illegally invadd Iraq and were looking to change governments in other countries.

"Must we allow these men, the two unholy men of our millennium, who in the same way as Hitler and Mussolini formed (an) unholy alliance, formed an alliance to attack an innocent country?" Mugabe told the conference.

"The voice of Mr Bush and the voice of Mr Blair can't decide who shall rule in Zimbabwe, who shall rule in Africa, who shall rule in Asia, who shall rule in Venezuela, who shall rule in Iran, who shall rule in Iraq," he said.

Delegates attending the FAO conference applauded Mugabe at the end of his speech.


The European Union has already imposed a travel ban on Mugabe after accusations of vote rigging in parliamentary polls in 2000 and in Mugabe's re-election two years later.

However, he is allowed to travel to EU countries to attend U.N.-sponsored events.

Of course, Mr Mugabe's rule in Zimbabwe has been a light unto the nations, and a model for UN-fellated despots everywhere, as this e-mail recently forwarded to me well demonstrates:

I reckon that these are the last days of TKM and ZPF. The darkest hour is always before dawn.

We are all terrified at what they are going to destroy next........I mean they are actually plowing down brick and mortar houses and one white family with twin boys of 10 had no chance of salvaging anything when 100 riot police came in with AK's and bulldozers and demolished their beautiful house - 5 bedrooms and pine ceilings - because it was "too close to the airport"..so we are feeling extremely insecure right now. You know - I am aware that this does not help you sleep at night, but if you do not know - how can you help?

Even if you put us in your own mental ring of light and send your guardian angels to be with us - that is a help - but I feel so cut off from you all knowing I cannot tell you what's going on here simply because you will feel uncomfortable. There is no ways we can leave so that is not an option. I just ask that you all pray for us in the way that you know how, and let me know that you are thinking of us and sending out positive vibes... that's all.

You can't just be in denial and pretend its not going on. To be frank with you, its genocide in the making and if you do not believe me, read the Genocide Report by Amnesty International which says we are IN level seven (level 8 is after its happened and everyone is in denial). If you don't want me to tell you these things then it means you have not dealt with your own fear, but it does not help me to think you are turning your back on our situation.

We need you to get the news OUT that we are all in a fearfully dangerous situation here. Too many people turn their backs and say - oh well, that's what happens in Africa. This government has GONE MAD and you need to publicize our plight or how can we be rescued?

You can't just say "oh you attract your own reality". The petrol queues are a reality, the pall of smoke all around our city is a reality, the thousands of homeless people sleeping outside in Celsius with no food water, shelter and bedding are a reality.

Today a family approached me, brother of the gardener's wife with two small children. Their home was trashed and they will have to sleep outside. We already support 8 people and a child on this property and electricity is going up next month by 250% as is water. How can I take another family of 4? And yet how can I turn them away to sleep out in the open?

I am not asking you for money, or a ticket out of here - I am asking you to FACE the fact that we are in deep and terrible danger and I want you to pass on our news and pictures and don't just press the delete button for God's sake. Help in the way that you know how. Face the reality of what is going on here and SEND OUT THE WORD. The more people that know about it the more chance we have of United Nations coming to our aid. [Sorry, the UN's on the other side]

Please stop ignoring and denying what's happening. Would you like to be protected from the truth and then if we are eliminated how would you feel? Surely you would say "if only we knew how bad it really was we could have helped in some way". I know we chose to stay here and so we "deserve" what's coming to us. For now we ourselves, have food, shelter, a little fuel and a bit of money for the next meal - but what is going to happen next? Will they start on our houses? All property is going to belong to the State now. I want to send out my Title Deeds to one of you because if they get a hold of those I can't fight for my rights.

We no longer have SW radio which told us everything that was happening because the government jammed it out of existence - we don't have any reporters, and no one is allowed to photograph. If we had reporters here they would have an absolute field day. Even the pro government Herald has written that people are shocked, stunned, bewildered and blown mindless by the wanton destruction of everyone's homes which are supposed to be "illegal but which a huge percentage of them actually do have licenses for. Please my children - have some compassion and HELP by sending out the articles and personal reports so that something can be DONE.?

How-diddly-doo Omar Shamshoon!

Omar Shamshoon, is just like Homer Simpson, except, as David at Israellycool notes, he's not funny:

"Omar Shamshoon," as he is called on the show, looks like the same Homer Simpson, but he has given up beer and bacon, which are both against Islam, and he no longer hangs out at "seedy bars with bums and lowlifes." In Arabia, Homer's beer is soda, and his hot dogs are barbequed Egyptian beef sausages. And the donut-shaped snacks he gobbles are the traditional Arab cookies called kahk.

That's according to WSJ.com.

Some longtime "Simpson" fans who are Arabs are incensed over the Arabized version. "This is just beyond the pale," wrote As'ad AbuKhalil, a professor at California State University, Stanislaus, whose blog, angryarab blogspot, often touches on politics and the media. After viewing a promotional segment of "Al Shamshoon," Prof. AbuKhalil wrote, "It was just painful....The guy who played Homer Simpson was one of the most unfunny people I ever watched. Just drop the project, and air reruns of Tony Danza's show instead."

Tony Danza. Ouch.

Few shows have more obsessed fans than "The Simpsons," and their vast online community is worried about whether classic Simpsons dialogue can even be translated. One blogger wrote, "'Hi-diddly-ho, neighbors!' How the h -- are they going to translate that? Or this great quote: Mr Burns: Oooh, so Mother Nature needs a favor?! Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys! Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese."

Given the popularity in Egypt of a certain television mini-series based upon the infamous forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, I venture that al Shamshoon will translate the Stonecutters' Song into Arabic thus:

Who controls the British crown?
Who keeps the metric system down?
Jews do, Jews do!

Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
Jews do, Jews do!

Who holds back the electric car?
Who makes Steve Gutenberg a star?
Jews do, Jews do!

Who robs gamefish of their sight?
Who rigs every Oscar night?
Jews do, Jews DO!

Something Completely Different...

  1. Check out BYF's outback holiday photos.

  2. This Discarded Lies guest post on "Sukkot; Symbols & Symbolism" is both interesting and informative.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Pakistan Accepts Israeli Aid (sort of...)

Haaretz is reporting that Pakistan will accept Israeli aid after all, so long as it is channelled through third parties.

Of course, Haaretz being Haaretz, most of the article is comprised of editorial comment to the effect that Pakistan really has nothing against Jews or Israel, and implying that the whole mess was Israel's fault for denying the "palestinians" a state.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Odgers SC: Gang Rapes "Unavoidable"

A violent gang rapist should have been given a lesser sentence partly because he was a "cultural time bomb" whose attacks were inevitable, as he had emigrated from a country with traditional views of women, his barrister has argued.

MSK, who, with his three Pakistani brothers, raped several girls at their Ashfield family home over six months in 2002, was affected by "cultural conditioning … in the context of intoxification", Stephen Odgers, SC, told the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday.

Traditional Muslim attitudes towards women? What about traditional Muslim attitudes towards alcohol?

MSK, 26, MAK, 25 and MMK, 19, are appealing against the severity of their sentences after they were found guilty of nine counts of aggravated sexual assault in company - a crime carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment - against two girls, aged 16 and 17, in July 2002.

MSK and MMK were jailed for 22 years, with a non-parole period of 16½ years, and 13 years, respectively, and MAK for 16 years (12 years non-parole).

Mr Odgers said "new evidence" showed MSK had a "mental disorder" at the time of the rapes and had stopped taking his medication - supplied by his father, a general practitioner.

He also said Justice Brian Sully had made a "clear error" in sentencing them to an extra six years on two counts, rather than one - referring to an act in which MMK withdrew his penis and took off the condom and then continued to rape one of the girls.

"It was the same victim, it occurred in the same location, there was no relevant difference in the nature of the act. The time gap between the offences was minimal," he said. Mr Odgers said a forensic psychologist, David Greenberg, had diagnosed MSK with "atypical compulsive obsessive disorder".

The latter submission simply beggars belief. Surely exposing the victim to the risk of sexually transmitted disease must aggravate the sentence; whether the withdrawal and removal of the condom is seen as a separate act of rape (and it is very strongly arguable that it is), or a factor tending to aggravation of the sentence. The report continues:

"The applicant was a cultural time bomb," Mr Odgers said. "It was almost inevitable that something like this would happen. His culpability is lessened because of that combination."

"Your Honour, my client couldn't help it. He's a Muslim, you see....". So much for treating Muslims as morally mature aldults, with a fully developed sense of right and wrong befitting one of the "world's great religions". Moreover:

The father, who said at the trials that he was with his sons on the night of the rapes, told the court he had diagnosed MSK with schizophrenia.
"He told me … Satan come to him and tell him different things. He told me that sometimes even the green grass whisper to him."

He refused to place his hand on the Koran when sworn in because he said he had not washed.

A spokesman for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Nicholas Cowdery, said he was unable to confirm whether the father would be charged with perjury over evidence he gave at the trials.

One of the most chilling aspects of these trials, apart, of course from the brutality of the crimes themselves, has been the wholesale retreat from moral responsibility and rush to blame everyone and everything but the perpetrators exhibited by the perpetrators and their supporters, and in particular, their parents. One might venture that this is a phenomenon familiar to those dealing with the victims of Middle Eastern "honour killings".

Monday, October 10, 2005

20,000 - 30,000 Dead, and Pakistan Snubs Israeli Aid

Israel's offer of humanitarian aid to Pakistan has gone unanswered.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Despite a very public warming of Israeli-Pakistani ties over the last two months, things have still not heated up enough for Islamabad to publicly accept humanitarian aid from the Jewish state.

Even though Pakistani President Pervez Musharaf called for international assistance to help his country deal with the massive earthquake that hit his country Saturday, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told the cabinet Sunday that Israel's offer of humanitarian aid to both Pakistan and India has as of yet gone unanswered.

A spokesman for the Indian embassy in Tel Aviv said that Pakistan was hit far worse than India by the trembler, and that India has not asked for aid. Indeed, India has offered aid to Pakistan, its long-time enemy.

Foreign Minister spokesman Mark Regev said that although no formal channels of communication exist with Pakistan, Israel has let Islamabad know of its willingness to help. He did not provide any details about what type of aid was offered.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

What "Advice and Consent" Means

Right-wing firebrand Ann Coulter excoriates President' Bush's latest Supreme Court nominee. Leaving to one side the somewhat shrill insults - for example comparing Meirs to Bush's dog Barney and accusing her of being unfit to play a Supreme Court Justice on The West Wing, Coulter has a point. She argues for an appointee devoted to what former Australian Chief Justice Dixon called a "strict and complete legalism". No doubt she would have agreed with Justice Heydon's 2002 Quadrant address Judicial Activism and the Death of the Rule of Law.

Those Supreme Court decisions of which Conservatives have been most critical - Roe v Wade, and restrictions on the death penalty, for example, could not survive such a legalistic approach. Indeed in my view, Roe is barely comprehensible, and certainly not intellectually credible, even if one supports the policy upon which it it based, and even if one takes the view that judicial activism is not necessarily a bad thing.

Coulter's fundamental argument is that if the measure of a good Judge is his "strict and complete legalism", then you want a "conservative nerd" who has mixed it with radicals in the best Law Schools. But President Bush does prefer to reward loyalty (or "cronies", as the cynics might say).

Australia has, with a few notable exceptions, had a history whereby important ethical and policy issues such as these were decided by the State and Federal legislatures, who, as Heydon J points out, are better equipped to properly deal with them. Perhaps in this regard the US could learn from us.

Cognitive Dissonance: Turkeys for Christmas and Queers for "Palestine"

Zombietime lambasts "Queers for Palestine", otherwise known as "Queers Undermining Israeli Terror", pointing out that Israel, unlike the Palestinian Authority does not persecute homosexuals, and certainly does not punish gay sex with the death penalty. As he correctly points out, most queers in "Palestine" are desparately trying to escape to the "Zionist Entity", and it ain't for the gefilte fish. Zombietime concludes:

This is the essence of cognitive dissonance -- the condition of holding two differing beliefs that are so incompatible and contradictory that the only way to internally reconcile them is to, well, go insane (to use the layman's term). Because, try as I might, I can't comprehend any other justification for being a member of QUIT other than insanity.

I have heard such people justify support for the Arab cause on a number of bases; somewhat respectable ones, such as "Arab denial of gay rights does not negate the objective justice of their claims vis-a-vis land in the territories" and silly, factually false ones that verge on antisemitic, ones such as "Arab intolerance is a result of the harsh treatment of the PLO Arabs by the Jewish State".

That said, the last thing the world needs is another State with a Shari'ah-based legal system, that forces women to wear sacks, stay in the home and submit to marital beatings, and stones people for having sex in a non-Shar'ee way.

However, that sort of hellish theocracy represents a vision of a "shining city on a hill" for a large number of Yesha Arabs.

Appeasing Allah II: Teacher Told to Drop Star of David

Norway's Aftenposten reports that a (non-Jewish) teacher in a municipal school has been ordered to stop wearing a Magen David pennant to avoid offending you-know-who.
A municipally employed teacher in Kristiansand has been prevented from wearing a Star of David around his neck. Kristiansand Adult Education Center, where the man works, ruled that the Jewish symbol could be deemed a provocation towards the many Muslim students at the school, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports.

Teacher Inge Telhaug said he feels this is a violation of his freedom of speech.

"I can't accept this. It is a small star, 16 millimeters (0.6 inches) that I have around my neck, usually under a T-shirt. I see it as my right to wear it," Telhaug told NRK.

Telhaug teaches immigrants Norwegian language and culture at the education center. Telhaug is not Jewish.

"I see it as the oldest religious symbol we have in our culture, because without Judaism there would be no Christianity," Telhaug.

The principal of the school, Kjell Gislefoss, feels that the Star of David can also be interpreted as a political symbol for the state of Israel, and is afraid the star can provoke and offend students, for example immigrants from the Palestinian territories.

"The Star of David would be a symbol for one side in what is perhaps the world's most inflamed conflict at the moment. Many have a traumatic past that they have escaped and then we feel that if they are going to learn Norwegian then they can't sit an at the same time be reminded of the things they have traveled from," Gislefoss said.

Telhaug has hired a lawyer and refuses to give in.

The head of the Education Association in Kristiansand, Heidi Hauge Uldal, called the school's decision "unacceptable". Uldal said her group did not want to go the way of France and forbid all religious symbols in schools, a topic that is currently becoming relevant in Norway as well.

[Via LGF]. Of course Muslims are not offended by the existance of infidels who stubbornly refuse to say their shahada and convert to Islam. Like so many on the left, Gislefoss sees this as all about Israel's "occupation" of the territories. Little does he understand that, if Israel is provocative to Islamists, it is because it insists on existing as the Jewish State, and refuses to meekly submit to Arab/Muslim genocide. How dare they! As Golda Meir once said,

If we are criticized because we do not bow because we cannot compromise on the question ‘To be or not to be,’ it is because we have decided that, come what may, we are and we will be.

In my view, that is the characteristic of the Jewish State that most "offends" Islamists.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Appeasing Allah

As Allah's "warriors" self-detonate for a second time in Bali, Hitchens exposes the leftist fraud that is the "peace movement".

Mark Steyn, as usual, says it well when he exposes the west's suicidal respect for the Mohammedan faith, in this article:

.....When the Queen knights a Muslim "community leader" whose line on the Rushdie fatwa was that "death is perhaps too easy", and when the Prime Minister has a Muslim "adviser" who is a Holocaust-denier and thinks the Iraq war was cooked up by a conspiracy of Freemasons and Jews, and when the Prime Minister's wife leads the legal battle for a Talibanesque dress code in British schools, you don't need a pig to know which side's bringing home the bacon.


Piglet is deeply offensive and so's your chocolate ice-cream, but if a West End play opens with a gay Jesus, Christians just need to stop being so doctrinaire and uptight. The Church of England bishops would probably agree with that if, in their own misguided attempt at Islamic outreach, they weren't so busy apologising for toppling Saddam.


When every act that a culture makes communicates weakness and loss of self-belief, eventually you'll be taken at your word. In the long term, these trivial concessions are more significant victories than blowing up infidels on the Tube or in Bali beach restaurants. An act of murder demands at least the pretence of moral seriousness, even from the dopiest appeasers. But small acts of cultural vandalism corrode the fabric of freedom all but unseen.

He asks the obvious question:

By the way, isn't it grossly offensive to British Wahhabis to have a head of state who is female and uncovered?

CNN is asking whether it is time to change the English Flag, to appease the Mohammedans.

The television news in Australia has been editorialising as to the "inexplicable" nature of terrorism. Wrong. Islamists kill for Allah; they want to kill "infidels" and establish the Caliphate. We need to ask ourselves how consistant with western civilisation that is.

Hence the Cox and Forkum cartoon.