This fascinating article is from Canada Free Press, by Kelly O’Connell:
In Honduras, a novel undertaking has been constructed—private cities whose purpose is to maximize safety and happiness (also referred to as “Free Cities”, “Charter Cities”, “Model Cities”, or in Spanish, “RED—Regiones Especiales de Desarollo”, and “Ciudades Modelo”.). This idea is a capitalist’s dream, but a liberal’s nightmare. And in a most fascinating manner, the idea of a privately owned commons has brought to the surface the multifarious contradictions of the modern age—with our continual demand for “liberty” while the deified state grows into a malignant colossus. …
The full 18-member Honduran Supreme Court must still rule on President Lorbo’s agreement. But even if the idea does die in Honduras, private cities—like those modeled in early colonial America, Singapore and India’s old British empire, are still an option for virtuous, libertarian minded souls. …
The real questions raised by the rise of private cities is what is the nature of the city, man, law and moral authority. Specifically, what is the meaning of law and the state? Further, what gives a country moral authority in which to erect statutes, establish courts, prisons and pass and enforce sentences? …
The idea — a city built by private funds, with rules not derived from a state legislature, but the settlement’s founders. Add to that a private security force and strong walls. And so a libertarian entrepreneur answered the call for action:
Last Tuesday, the government signed an agreement with private investors led by Michael Strong—a libertarian entrepreneur and close associate of Whole Foods co-founder and CEO John Mackey—to construct a city-from-scratch in one of at least three special development regions (“las Regiones Especiales de Desarrollo” or “REDs”) scattered around the country. REDs possess the legal right to establish—or outsource to foreign governments and companies as necessary—their own hospitals [for profit], schools, judges, and even police, all independent of Honduran law. …
The REDs are the brainchild of Paul Romer, the New York University economist who has proposed building “charter cities” as a solution to endemic poverty. Romer believes that importing sound laws and policies into small corners of badly run countries will help leaders reform their governments from the inside-out. Honduras certainly qualifies—the original banana republic is still grappling with the political fallout of a 2009 coup while cocaine traffickers have pushed its murder rate to the highest in the world.
In early 2011, aides to Honduran president Porfirio Lobo invited Romer to the capital of Tegucigalpa to make his case to Congress. Within weeks, Congress passed a constitutional amendment granting Lobo’s government the power to create and administer the REDs.
Is it inherently immoral for private citizens to buy land, recruit residents, write their own laws, and then begin operating as a franchise community? If so, why? After all, what is it that makes a city, state or country legitimate? On the alternative, given the socialist direction many countries in the West are following, is it possible that only a self-derived city could chart a course against the political grain here? Or does mankind have to bow and scrape at the feet of the modern government colossus irrespective of whether it is just, moral, or effective—simply because it is called “government”? …
It’s certainly not “immoral” to establish a private city and “operate as a franchise community”. Morality doesn’t come into it.The first question is: will states, will governments – all to a greater or lesser extent in the hands of statists, liberals, collectivists – allow it? Will the Honduran Supreme Court allow it? We wait to see.
If private cities are inherently illegal, what about the foundations of America, which were done along these same lines? Interestingly enough, the debate in the American colonies was over whether an immoral government had the right to dictate to men how to act. The Founders decided it did not. So the question raised is whether immoral modern governments can derail moral private communities? After all, what is a government in the first place?
What would characterize a “moral government”? If by “moral” is meant “democratically elected and not oppressive”, aren’t all governments in actuality oppressive to some degree and so to some degree “immoral”? And if so, is it not because oppression is inherent in the nature of government and therefore inescapable?
We think that even if the answer to that question is yes, state government is nevertheless necessary – to uphold the rule of law and protect the nation from foreign invasion. Which is where we part company with libertarians (while remaining sympathetic to libertarianism) and anarchists.
Certain anarchists declare their position somewhat confusedly on this question:
A group of writers calling themselves Private-Property Anarchists have taken on [ie challenged] the theory that only the state possesses the inherent ability to organize a government or police its citizens. In a most obvious way this makes perfect sense since government will always be assembled from some group of residents who then decide upon rules, structure and powers of government. Why must we assume one group of freely assembled persons are more acceptable than another? Further, with the failure of much of modern government to address basic needs, how can anyone help but try to find a better way to manage the affairs of men? …
Several aspects of law should be mentioned on this issue. The first is that it is a fairly recent development for the state to own all official policing powers. According to Bruce Benson’s The Enterprise of Law, Justice Without the State, the Anglo-Saxon law was fixated on protecting property. Further, with the development of English lex mercatoria, ie mercantile law, much enforcement and many remedies to this day were created for enforcement by private parties.
In fact, even the criminal code was mainly enforced by private parties in the history of Anglo-Saxon law. … Englishmen also resisted public prosecution because “a private prosecutorial system was necessary to check the powers of the Crown. If not so limited the power of criminal prosecution could be used for politically oppressive purposes.”
The great fear in the liberal establishment is that a private system of government and law will be antinomian, that is—lawless and a mere tool for the use of greedy capitalists and megalomaniacs. Yet, the opposite is true. In fact, people allowed to build their own justice systems for their own small city-states are apt to be more motivated to create justice and order than those presiding over the legislatures of far-flung empires.
But to build a justice system, big or small, is to establish government.
American citizens are certainly not pleased with the state of our justice system. For example, Edward P. Stringham in Anarchy and the Law argues, if the American legal system and police powers are so successful, and in effect the only game in town, why do private police, i.e. security guards, outnumber official state police?
The debate over private cities begs the question of what is a government in the first place. Let’s remember Jefferson’s sublime words from the Declaration:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
If critics attack the lack of inherent authority of private communities, what is their basis? If a private city creates a better economy, a more just police and legal system, and a safer environment than public communities—is it not the latter which are truly the immoral and lawless frauds? We do well to ponder the foundation of legitimate, God-given government. This can only be established upon the rule of law, civil rights and respect by the leaders for the consent of the governed—or all we have left is an illegitimate tyranny.
While we cannot fathom what the meaning of “God-given” can be here (it makes no sense at all, even if everyone who founds a nation and everyone in power is a believer in “God”), we see the writer’s point. “Legitimacy” as commonly perceived on whatever grounds does not in itself make for good governance.
What we wonder is: How would the forum, whatever it is called, set up in a private city to “create a better economy” (ie let an economy run itself, we hope) and establish a police and legal system, be different from any other democratically elected government? If the people as a whole retain too much power over it, will it not soon fall apart under the pressures of conflicting expectations and demands? And if they retain too little, won’t it gather power, grow, and become the enemy of the people just as every government does, even those democratically elected?
We are all for private cities. We like the idea immensely. We would like to see them established. We would like to live in one. We don’t see why they shouldn’t be self-governing. We think the government that such property owners would elect stands a good chance of doing a better job of governing than existing governments do. But we do not think that, given the minimum power it would need to be effective, it would be immune from avarice for power, or resist the temptation to find a compelling necessity to expand and oppress. How to prevent that; how to limit the power of government, is the perpetual problem of all democracies, great and small.
This useful explanation of what the Cloward-Piven strategy is, comes from Family Security Matters, by Frank Salvato:
In 1966, two Columbia University sociologists, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, collaborated on a theory … referred to as the “Cloward-Piven Strategy.” People who are familiar with the likes of Saul Alinsky and William Ayers are familiar with the strategy, as are the full complement of the Progressive Movement.
In a nutshell, the underlying principle of the Cloward-Piven Strategy is to so overload the entitlement system – to add so many to the entitlement rolls, that the country’s economic system collapses, unleashing chaos and violence in the streets, thus affecting radical Leftist political change in government. Up until recently this theory has been just that, a theory, and a theory that anarchists and Progressives have salivated over for their want of execution. But today, we are seeing the fruits of the Cloward-Piven Strategy played out to success in Greece and several other financial destitute countries in Europe. …
To summarize briefly the Cloward-Piven Strategy, I turn to Richard Poe who wrote an article of the same name, which is featured at DiscoverTheNetworks.org.
Mr. Poe observes that Mr. Cloward and Ms. Piven sought (and “seeks,” in the case of Ms. Piven) to facilitate the fall of Capitalism by “overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.” …
In a 1970 New York Times interview, Cloward is quoted as saying that poor people can only advance when “the rest of society is afraid of them.” He then theorized that activists should refrain from demanding that government provide more for the poverty stricken and, instead, should strive to pack as many people on the welfare (read: entitlement) rolls as possible, creating a demand that could not be met, facilitating the destruction of the welfare system and massive financial crisis. As a byproduct, rebellion would be ignited amongst the people; chaos would rule the streets and governments would be damaged beyond repair, many falling to history making it possible for new radicals to assume the roles of oligarchs, ushering in new systems of government and the dismantling of the Capitalist system in particular.
Both Cloward and Piven understood that it would take pushing the American citizenry to the point of anarchy, to the point of the populace affecting violent chaos in the streets, for there to emerge an opportunity to damage our Republican form of government and our Capitalist system to the point where people would accept radical political as well as economic change. Cloward and Piven, using the philosophy of Saul Alinsky (who, by-the-by, was their inspiration in fomenting their “strategy”), knew that they would have to achieve chaos, so as to introduce the Progressive political ideology – the ideology of Democratic Socialism – to the masses as a saving grace.
“Democratic Socialism” – remember – is a cover name for Communism.
As Frank Salvato says, the calamitous outcome of “overloading the welfare/entitlement system” is being “played out to success in Greece and several other financial destitute countries in Europe”. And it is starting to play out in the USA, under Saul Alinsky’s follower, the “community organizer” President Barack Obama.
We quote from an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily:
In the “now they tell us” file, add a vast array of reports that have come out since the election showing just how weak the economy really is. …
Here’s just a sampling of what we’ve learned since voters decided to give Obama four more years to “experiment” with the economy.
Earnings falling: The Labor Dept. reported on Thursday that real average hourly earnings dropped again in October for the third month in a row …
Poverty rising: A new Census Bureau report, also released after the election, finds that the number of poor people in America climbed 712,000 in 2011. …
Food-stamp enrollment skyrocketing: Another government report conveniently timed after the election found that food stamp enrollment exploded by more than 420,000 in August. The number of people getting food stamps has climbed more than 15 million — or 47% — under Obama. … Today, almost 15% of the population is collecting food stamps, up from 7% just a decade ago.
Jobless claims jumping: The number of new jobless claims shot up to 439,000 last week, up 78,000 from the week before … The two states with the biggest increases in jobless claims the week before that were Pennsylvania and Ohio, thanks to layoffs in the construction, manufacturing and auto industries.
Inflation creeping up: We also learned that the annual inflation rate climbed to 2.2% in October … the third consecutive monthly increase.
Coal plants closing: A report by the liberal Union of Concerned Scientists, released (naturally) a week after the election, finds that as many as 353 coal-fired plants will close as a result of Obama’s environmental rules.
Small banks disappearing: Fortune reported three days after the election that the “overwhelming conclusion” of industry analysts and consultants was that Dodd-Frank would cause thousands of small banks to disappear. …
Obama keeps saying that his top priority for his second term is jobs and growth, but the only thing he’s pushed since his re-election is a massive tax hike on the so-called rich.
That’s despite the fact that Obama knows these tax hikes will hurt economic growth. … We know that Obama’s tax hikes will kill 710,000 jobs.
One by one, businesses will be forced to close, like this one, putting thousands out of work:
Hostess, the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, is going out of business, closing plants, laying off its 18,500 workers …
The Irving, Texas, company said a nationwide worker strike crippled its ability to make and deliver its products. …
Hostess had warned employees that it would file a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to unwind its business and sell assets if plant operations didn’t return to normal levels by Thursday evening. …
“Many people have worked incredibly long and hard to keep this from happening, but now Hostess Brands has no other alternative than to begin the process of winding down and preparing for the sale of our iconic brands,” CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said in a letter to employees posted on the company website. He added that all employees will eventually lose their jobs, “some sooner than others.”
Thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike last week after rejecting in September a contract offer that cut wages and benefits. … Hostess has said that production at about a dozen of the company’s 33 plants has been seriously affected by the strike. Three plants were closed earlier this week.
Now they are all closing.
The economy is being systematically wrecked. How long can it be before America reaches the stage of the general strikes, riots, blood on the streets, anarchy? Then the administration may take “emergency powers”. Congress is already being bypassed as Obama rules by executive order.
Obama has the temperament of a dictator. Will he soon be a dictator?
Is the terrible triumph of Saul Alinsky, Richard Andrew Cloward, Frances Fox Piven and Barack Obama near at hand?
A tense drama, more full of nerve-racking suspense than the most gripping cliff-hanger any thriller-writer or epic movie-maker has ever conceived, is being enacted right now, in reality, on the world stage.
It is potentially the most devastating tragedy of all recorded history; more destructive than the terrible plagues that ravaged populations in the Dark and Middle Ages; more totally and irredeemably catastrophic for humankind than all the wars ever fought put together.
And yet, at the same time, it is a prodigious comedy, a gargantuan farce.
Here’s the plot:
Two tribes are scheming to change the world, each to something nearer to their heart’s desire.
The one is the tribe of the Masters. They are self-annointed kings, tsars, chieftains, tyrants. They know what’s right for humankind. They believe themselves to be brilliantly cunning. Their aim is to re-organize all the nations of the world and hold them in perpetual control. Their hope is that everyone now living, and everyone born from this time on, will be kept in a place performing a task or suffering a destiny that the Masters will assign to him or her, and none will dare to disobey.
The other is the tribe of the Loonies. They are child-like romantics, fantasists, fanatics, wild-eyed maniacs, psychopaths. They know what’s right for the Earth. They believe themselves to be irresistibly persuasive. Their aim is to reduce the population of the world, by any and all effective means, however ruthless, to about one tenth of the present number. Their hope is that those (very thin) persons permitted to survive, and to breed to the extent the Loonies may allow, will live in caves on wild berries and such vegetation as they can scratch from the soil beneath their feet; in helpless fear of man-eating beasts of prey; having no cures for pain or illness; no literacy; no possessions other than something that cuts, something that holds water, something that wraps, and sandals perhaps. (About sandals they haven’t yet made up their minds; they are doing some studies.) They are against civilization because they believe it is unfair to flora and fauna, to rocks and stones and trees, to oceans and rivers. So for as long as we humans are necessary to the earth at all – and that may not be very long – we must go back to the life of the savage (“solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”, as Thomas Hobbes described it).
The Masters would not allow the world’s population to shrink to a tenth of its present size. They have no liking for beasts of prey. They require literacy because they plan to indoctrinate. They can use medical science for their own ends. They must be able to depend on the assured continuation of the human race since they need to have people in their power. In sum, they do not share the vision of the Loonies. They despise it. But they understand that their plan will not appeal to many people, whereas the vision of the Loonies unaccountably attracts a lot of sympathy. They do not argue against it. They listen to the Loonies describe their vision and nod as if in sympathy. They need the Loonies.
The Loonies need the Masters to start the process of depriving people of their ability to support and defend themselves.
If the Masters attain their objective, they will eliminate the Loonies. If the Loonies attain their objective, there will be no Masters. Each side knows this. Neither says it. Each side believes that it is able to make use of the other and then dispense with it, and each believes it will prevail.
So they meet, usually at a place in North America called Turtle Bay, but sometimes in cities on other continents, such as Kyoto, Copenhagen, Rio. And they smile at each other, and whisper to each other, and nod and nod. They compose documents and issue them. The Masters having the power of governments behind them, spread the Loonies’ message that human life must change, that the earth must be saved from the alleged depredations of civilization, that people must be forced to serve the planet. And many people are persuaded that the planet needs to be saved from dangers imagined by the Loonies, and so accept the need for re-organization and concerted action which the Masters propose. And the Masters are careful to make cautious demands for changes that will not look and feel as transformational as they or the Loonies have in mind.
Together, thus far, they are making progress. The first act, Separate Plotting, is long over. The second act, Conspiracy and Co-operation – highly amusing to those in the audience who realize the bluff that’s going on from each side – is underway. The third act, Success and Subjugation, will bring all people everywhere under world government by the Masters. The fourth act will be a fierce battle to decide the denouement of the drama: Communism or Savagery, depending on which tribe will be the ultimate victor.
Whichever side wins, the human race will lose.
Now we must show you that though we may embroider a little we are not merely fantasizing or grossly exaggerating.
The United Nations, the headquarters of the Masters, has a “Sustainable Development” program which is called Agenda 21. It is a socialist program concerned with the use of land and natural resources, the size of populations and the distribution of wealth, the organization of communities. It is being stealthily implemented in the name of environmental protection, with the hope that Western electorates will not notice that it is a socialist agenda.
In the name of preserving the environment, populations are being “nudged” by states and local authorities to move from the countryside into towns and cities. Suburbs are marked for demolition. This will require the expropriation of private property by the state.
And what will be done with the emptied countryside?
The Loonies have a program for it, and a word to describe it: “RE-WILDING“.
The following quotations and factual information come from an article by Kelly O’Connell at Canada Free Press:
‘Re-wilding” — or returning huge tracts of land to wilderness and re-establishing wild animals on it is -
One of the most dramatically anti-human ideas ever conceived, defined [as] “the scientific argument for restoring big wilderness based on the regulatory roles of large predators,” [by] Soul and Reed Noss in their landmark 1998 Wild Earth article Rewilding and Biodiversity….
The goal is to provide large carnivorous animals with “big parcels of land so the elite caste might macro-manage earth according to their dictates.”
The term “rewilding” was coined by Dave Foreman, founder of Earth First! — one of the most radical and violent environmentalists in history. Foreman’s book, Rewilding North America: a Vision for Conservation in the 21st Century, is a primary codex for those seeking a radical reduction of humanity’s presence on earth.
The Rewilding Institute elucidates Dave Foreman’s book:
Three major scientific arguments constitute rewilding, justifying emphasis on large predators.
1. The structure, resilience, and diversity of ecosystems are maintained by “top-down” ecological (trophic) interactions initiated by top predators.
Translation: Trophic means having to do with what animals eat. Big animals that eat other animals are (the Loonies believe, and have persuaded the Masters) essential for the maintenance of “ecosystems”.
2. Wide-ranging predators usually require large cores of protected landscape for foraging, seasonal movements, and other needs; they justify bigness.
Translation: Because big beasts are the best ecosystem preservers, they must be given all they need to do their work, and they need lots of space.
3. Connectivity is also required because core reserves are typically not large enough in most regions; they must be linked to insure long-term viability of wide-ranging species…
Translation: Their spaces, however large, must lead into one another over the whole of a continent.
The US Congress – no doubt “nudged” by the UN – was convinced that this was the way forward. It passed the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act 0f 2010, calling for “wild animal bridges and tunnels, and increasing roadless areas.”
Implication: Roads must be taken away, and bridges and tunnels (whether in existence or having to be specially built) must be provided for the use of animals. (Though why, if they have the whole of the wild, and there are no roads, they will needs tunnels or bridges is a puzzle. Perhaps the Loonies want them to be able to get though mountains and over rivers, the grass being always greener, and the prey always plumper, on the other side of any barrier.)
Of course, reintroducing large carnivores where they do not live at present, “will drive out humans“. But this is not a problem. It is in fact “the ultimate intent of the re-wilding project, as its planners admit”.
Quotation from Loonies – probably Soul and Reed:
“If native large carnivores have been killed out of a region, their reintroduction and recovery is the heart of a conservation strategy. Wolves, cougars, lynx, wolverines, grizzly and black bears, jaguars, sea otters, and other top carnivores need restoration throughout North America in ecologically effective densities in their natural ranges where suitable habitat remains or can be restored. Without the goal of rewilding for large areas with large carnivores, we are closing our eyes to what conservation really means — and demands.”
This the Masters can probably organize. But it will not be enough to satisfy the Loonies, zealots for whom the restoration of a pre-civilized world requires the resurrection of extinct species. Not possible? Well, they think it may be. The idea is -
- to find DNA materials to recreate extinct animal groups. For example, under this plan, well-preserved extinct animals — such as glacier-bound woolly mammoths, recently disappeared passenger pigeons, or the La Brea Tarpits’ saber toothed cats - could be raised as fetuses from scratch.
On this Science Daily published A Plan for Reintroducing Megafauna to North America:
“Dozens of megafauna (large animals over 100 pounds) — such as giant tortoises, horses, elephants, and cheetah — went extinct in North America 13,000 years ago during the end of the Pleistocene [Period]. As is the case today in Africa and Asia, these megafauna likely played keystone ecological roles via predation, herbivory, and other processes.”
So they must be resurrected.
In the American Naturalist, 12 scientists provide a detailed proposal for the restoration of North America’s lost megafauna. Using the same species from different locales or closely related species as analogs, their project “Pleistocene Rewilding” is conceived as carefully managed experiments in an attempt to learn about and partially restore important natural processes to North American ecosystems [which were] present for millennia until humans played a significant role in their demise 13,000 years ago. …
The Loonies much prefer wooly mammoths to human beings.
French explorer Bernard Buigues and Larry Agenbroad [of] Northern Arizona University hope that Jarkov Wooly Mammoth sitting inside a 23-ton block of ice will contain flesh samples with some perfectly preserved DNA. That and some proven cloning technology could resurrect a long-gone species.
What Buigues and his team would do is something similar to the process that created the famous sheep Dolly: extracting the nucleus of one adult mammoth cell and inserting it into an empty egg cell. The embryo would then be implanted in the uterus of an Asian elephant, the mammoth’s closest living relative, a surrogate mother that would gestate it as its own but without transferring to the baby any of the elephant’s genes.
A certain number of trained human beings will be necessary to do this work. They will be allowed the necessary equipment, such as sedatives for Asian elephants while they are being operated on. But the rest of humanity will not have so much as a white coat. The reduced masses will have to huddle close, to leave as much space as possible for the hairy mammoths and other “megafauna”.
The Wildlands Project would claim 50% of the North American continent for “wild land”, protected from “human use”, in order to preserve “biological diversity”.
“Moral and ethical guidelines for the Wildlands Project are based on the philosophy of Deep Ecology”, according to which:
- Personal possessions must be kept to a minimum.
- All life, human and non-human, has equal value.
- Consumption of resources above what is absolutely vital for human needs is immoral.
- Human population must be reduced
- Western civilization must radically change its present economic, technological, and ideological structures.
- Believers have an obligation to try to implement the necessary changes.
To a certain extent the Masters and the Loonies are able to agree on ideals, but what the Masters see as means, the Loonies see as ends.
Both want to “sow chaos into human history to cause anarchy”.
The Masters would then step in to restore order.
The Loonies, however, would want anarchy to continue as long as human beings continued – which shouldn’t be very long. According to them:
Rewilding is the process of undoing domestication. In [the philosophy of] green anarchism and anarcho-primitivism, humans are said to be “domesticated” by civilization. Supporters of such human rewilding argue that through the process of domestication, our wildness has been tamed and taken from us. Rewilding, then, is about overcoming our domestication and returning to our innate wildness. Though often associated with primitive skills and relearning knowledge of wild plants and animals, it emphasizes primal [ie primitive] living as a holistic reality rather than just a number of skills or specific type of knowledge. Rewilding is most associated with green anarchy and anarcho-primitivism or anti-civilization anarchy in general.
But this is not what the Masters envisage. They need the human race to be not just “domesticated” and “tamed”, but firmly ordered. By them.
As the probable outcome of the drama becomes clear to the audience, people will ask themselves which fate they would rather embrace:
Living in serfdom enforced by the gulag, the lash, and the firing squad – which is to say, in an illusion of security,
Scratching a bare living out of the soil until dying soon of famine or incurable disease, or in the jaws of a predator beast – which is to say in an illusion of freedom.
It would be best to reject both now, and destroy the UN while we can.
Change? Yes, there is change under the Obama administration.
A free democracy is being turned into a tyranny.
How is this being done?
One way is by unleashing anarchic mobs; tying the hands of the police; criminalizing the victims of mob-violence; and systematically discrediting civilized values, as described in this column by Thomas Sowell on the “Occupy” movement:
The unwillingness of authorities to put a stop to their organized disruptions of other people’s lives, their trespassing, vandalism and violence is a de facto suspension, if not repeal, of the 14th Amendment’s requirement that the government provide “equal protection of the laws” to all its citizens.
How did the “Occupy” movement acquire such immunity from the laws that the rest of us are expected to obey? Simply by shouting politically correct slogans and calling themselves representatives of the 99 percent against the 1 percent. But just when did the 99 percent elect them as their representatives? If in fact 99 percent of the people in the country were like these “Occupy” mobs, we would not have a country. We would have anarchy.
Democracy does not mean mob rule. It means majority rule. If the “Occupy” movement, or any other mob, actually represents a majority, then they already have the votes to accomplish legally whatever they are trying to accomplish by illegal means. Mob rule means imposing what the mob wants, regardless of what the majority of voters want. It is the antithesis of democracy.
In San Francisco, when the mob smashed the plate-glass window of a small business shop, the owner put up some plywood to replace the glass, and the mob wrote graffiti on his plywood. The consequences? None for the mob, but a citation for the shop owner for not removing the graffiti.
When trespassers blocking other people at UC Davis refused to disperse, and locked their arms with one another to prevent the police from being able to physically remove them, the police finally resorted to pepper spray to break up this human logjam. The result? The police have been strongly criticized for enforcing the law. Apparently pepper spray is unpleasant, and people who break the law are not supposed to have unpleasant things done to them. Which is to say, we need to take the “enforcement” out of “law enforcement.”
Everybody is not given these exemptions from paying the consequences of their own illegal acts. Only people who are currently in vogue with the elites of the left – in the media, in politics and in academia.
The 14th Amendment? What is the Constitution or the laws when it comes to ideological soul mates, especially young soul mates who remind the aging 1960s radicals of their youth?
Neither in this or any other issue can the Constitution protect us if we don’t protect the Constitution. When all is said and done, the Constitution is a document, a piece of paper.
If we don’t vote out of office, or impeach, those who violate the Constitution, or who refuse to enforce the law, the steady erosion of Constitutional protections will ultimately render it meaningless. Everything will just become a question of whose ox is gored and what is the political expediency of the moment.
There has been much concern, rightly expressed, about the rusting of bridges around the country, and the crumbling and corrosion of other parts of the physical infrastructure. But the crumbling of the moral infrastructure is no less deadly. …
If everyone takes the path of least resistance – if politicians pander to particular constituencies and judges give only wrist slaps to particular groups or mobs who are currently in vogue, and educators indoctrinate their students with “non-judgmental” attitudes – then the moral infrastructure corrodes and crumbles.
Another way is by criminalizing citizens who are going about their lawful business. This method is as ruthlessly pursued by the Obama administration, in the name of preserving the environment and species, as the promotion of mob-rule.
How it is done is described in this study by Joe Luppino-Esposito, a Visiting Fellow at the the Heritage Foundation:
How did a law originally enacted to target poaching of migratory birds evolve to authorize an armed raid of a guitar factory in search of wooden veneers imported without the proper paperwork? The Lacey Act was the first federal wildlife conservation statute, narrowly targeted at the interstate sale in poached game. But in the century since its enactment, the statute’s scope has been enormously expanded to the point that it now incorporates the wildlife and trade laws of every foreign nation. As a result, it has become a trap for the unwary, placing honest businessmen and businesswomen at risk of criminal liability for unknowing violations of hyper-technical foreign laws and regulations.
In short, the Lacey Act has become the poster child for the phenomenon of overcriminalization and should be at the top of Congress’s list for reform. …
The original Lacey Act was … a modest addition to federal authority. In effect, it promoted federalism by preventing poachers and pot hunters from circumventing the states’ game laws. And it expanded criminal liability hardly at all, making federal crimes out of conduct that was already prohibited under state law rather than creating a new federal mandate. The penalty for a violation was a not-inconsequential $200 fine.
Over time, however, the scope of the Lacey Act expanded as federal legislators became more comfortable with passing broad federal environmental laws. In 1935, Congress increased the penalty for violations to $1,000 with a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment. Congress also empowered Department of Agriculture agents to arrest citizens for violations in their presence and to execute warrants. Most important, Congress also extended the Act’s list of predicate offenses to include foreign laws. This meant that if a bird was “captured, killed, taken, shipped, transported, or carried” in violation of the foreign state from which it originated, the United States could prosecute that individual or organization. …
In 1981 … indigenous plants were added to the list of covered species, including those that are considered endangered under U.S. law and those identified in the appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). … The Act’s criminal offenses were divided into felonies and misdemeanors, with the former carrying a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a $20,000 fine and the latter a maximum of one year’s imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. …
The most significant change occurred in 2008, when Congress expanded the statute’s reach once again to criminalize improper marking and labeling of protected plants. As amended, the statute prohibits the “knowing” import or export of a prohibited fish, wildlife, plant or the “knowing” conduct of a sale of prohibited fish, wildlife, or plant. Additionally, anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct prohibited by any provision of this chapter … and in the exercise of due care should know that the fish or wildlife or plants were taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of, or in a manner unlawful under, any underlying law, treaty or regulation” may be subjected to criminal punishment.
This amendment was hailed by proponents as the first ban on illegal logging operating across international borders. Critics, however, have explained that tracking wood products back to their sources is incredibly difficult and that the “due care” provision is too vague.
Since the beginning of the debate on the Lacey Act, Congress has been concerned about how the statute may affect legitimate business. The result, one century later, is that individuals who try to act within the law are too often ensnared by the Lacey Act.
David McNab and Abner Schoenwetter, who were engaged in the lobster trade, were convicted under the Lacey Act for importing undersized lobsters in 1999. In addition, some of the lobsters were also egg-bearing, and all of them were shipped in plastic bags instead of cardboard boxes. These were not requirements of American environmental law, but requirements of Honduran law—requirements that Honduran courts later determined were invalid. Nonetheless, McNab and Schoenwetter were sentenced to eight years in prison. Due to the low level of criminal intent required for conviction, it did not matter that the two men were unaware of the Honduran environmental regulations.
More recently, armed federal agents raided Gibson Guitar facilities …
Gibson Guitar Corporation being “the world’s best known and most respected maker of fretted instruments” …
… to seize imported woods intended for fingerboards, for the second time in two years. Although no formal charges have been filed, Gibson believes that it is being targeted for their importing of ebony from Madagascar in 2009 and from India this past year. The Justice Department has confirmed that a criminal investigation is under way.
The case appears to turn on the thickness of the wood and what constitutes “finished” wood. The Indian tariff code “HS 4407” is meant for wood that exceeds 6 millimeters in thickness, which cannot be exported. Wood thinner than that is identified as “HS 4408” and may be exported. In this case, the Indian export documents labeled the fingerboard blanks as “HS 9209,” which refers to “[p]arts (for example, mechanisms for music boxes) and accessories (for example, cards, discs, and rolls for mechanical instruments) of musical instruments,” which may also be exported. But the import forms identified the wood as “HS 4408.” An affidavit filed by a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alleges that the Lacey Act declarations incorrectly identified the wood as finished veneers rather than unfinished wood that exceeded 6 millimeters in thickness. …
In effect, Gibson was raided because of an otherwise harmless paperwork error. At worst (although even this is unclear), the company may have violated regulations pertaining to the export of unfinished wood that were intended to protect jobs in India. In any event, neither the law in question nor the pending investigation seems based upon the alleged violation or appears to have anything to do with protecting the environment.
Beyond criminal intent, both of these cases also raise questions regarding the requirements of foreign law. In the lobster case, evidence was presented showing that the Honduran regulations at issue were invalid because the size restriction had never been signed by the President of Honduras. The Honduras Attorney General issued an opinion confirming that without the presidential signature, the law was, in fact, invalid. [But] the U.S. court determined that this testimony by an expert on Honduran law was not sufficient to reverse convictions.
As for Gibson Guitar, the company claims that Indian officials permitted the export of the unfinished wood.
If that claim is correct, it appears that in both cases, the United States government is now attempting to make a federal crime out of foreign conduct that the foreign countries do not hold to be unlawful.
Finally, both cases suggest that enforcement of the Lacey Act has deviated far from the Act’s purpose of respecting existing environmental laws to its current use in enforcing laws concerned with trade protection and economic advantage. The Indian regulation that Gibson stands accused of violating exists only to protect Indian workers from foreign competition … And McNab and Schoenwetter were victims of an anonymous fax to the Fish and Wildlife Service by a competitor who lost out on the bid for the lobster shipment.
Environmental protection was not even at the heart of either case. …
The Lacey Act has now become a casebook example of federal overcriminalization run amok.
The abandonment of law and order along with contemptuous disregard of the Constitution on the one hand, and over-regulation to criminalize the innocent and productive on the other, provide a double-barreled means of bringing free America to its knees. “Change – or else!”
And the change to tyranny is also helped along, of course, by Obamacare, the redistribution of wealth, the growingof the national debt, the corruption of the Department of Justice, the implemention of “Agenda 21″* …
* For the evils of Agenda 21, see our posts: Blessed are the slimy, May 5, 2012; Beware “Agenda 21″, June 24, 2011; The once and new religion of earth-worship, October 27, 2011; Agenda 21: the “smart growth” conspiracy, November 21, 2011;Three eees for environmental equalizing economics, December 4, 2011; Prepare to be DICED, March 23, 2012.
Zombie lists the “Occupy Wall Street” protest supporters, sponsors and sympathizers:
Communist Party USA. Sources: Communist Party USA, OWS speech, The Daily Caller
American Nazi Party. Sources: Media Matters, American Nazi Party, White Honor, Sunshine State News
Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran. Sources: The Guardian, Tehran Times, CBS News
Barack Obama. Sources: ABC News, CBS News, ForexTV, NBC New York
The government of North Korea. Sources: Korean Central News Agency (North Korean state-controlled news outlet), The Marxist-Leninist, Wall Street Journal, Times of India
Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam. Sources: video statement (starting at 8:28), Black in America, Weasel Zippers, Philadelphia Weekly
Revolutionary Communist Party. Sources: Revolutionary Communist Party, Revolution newspaper, in-person appearance
David Duke. Sources: Talking Points Memo, video statement, davidduke.com
Joe Biden. Sources: Talking Points Memo, video statement, Mother Jones
Hugo Chavez. Sources: Mother Jones, Reuters, Examiner.com
Revolutionary Guards of Iran. Sources: Associated Press, FARS News Agency, UPI
Black Panthers (original). Sources: in-person appearance, Occupy Oakland, Oakland Tribune
Socialist Party USA. Sources: Socialist Party USA, IndyMedia, The Daily Caller
US Border Guard. Sources: White Reference, www.usborderguard.com, Gateway Pundit, Just Another Day blog
Industrial Workers of the World. Sources: IWW web site, iww.org, in-person appearances
CAIR [the terrorism-supporting Council on American-Islamic Relations]. Sources: in-person appearance, Washington Post, CAIR, CAIR New York
Nancy Pelosi. Sources: Talking Points Memo, video statement, ABC News, The Weekly Standard
Communist Party of China. Sources: People’s Daily (Communist Party organ), Reuters, chinataiwan.org, The Telegraph
Hezbollah. Sources: almoqawama.org, almoqawama.org (2), almoqawama.org (3), wikipedia
9/11Truth.org. Sources: 911truth.org (1), 911truth.org (2), 911truth.org (3)
International Bolshevik Tendency. Sources: bolshevik.org, Wire Magazine
Anonymous. Sources: Adbusters, The Guardian, video statement
White Revolution. Source: whiterevolution.com
International Socialist Organization. Sources: Socialist Worker, socialistworker.org, in-person appearance
PressTV (Iranian government outlet). Sources: PressTV, wikipedia
Marxist Student Union. Sources: Marxist Student Union, Big Government, marxiststudentunion.blogspot.com
Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Sources: FightBack News, fightbacknews.org
ANSWER [Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, an anti-war umbrella protest group]. Sources: ANSWER press release, ANSWER web site, Xinhua
Party for Socialism and Liberation. Sources: Liberation News (1), pslweb.org, The Daily Free Press, Liberation News (2)
The list is far from complete. It doesn’t include George Soros or his front organizations, for instance.
But Zombie is not finished -
UPDATE: Thanks to the hundreds of readers who have made suggestions for additional entries on this list. I now have a large pile of potential new OWS supporters to investigate, and will work on updating this list over the upcoming weeks. When I’ve made it more thorough, I will re-launch an updated list that will be much more “official” in its comprehensiveness, sometime later this month.
We’ll be watching for it.
We like this article by Andrew Klavan, both what he says and how he says it:
The true test of a philosophy is not what it promises to make of the world but what it makes, in fact, of its adherents. Human nature is remarkably recalcitrant, but ideas do affect people over time, for good or ill, and the societies people make will ultimately bear the image of those effects and thus of the ideas. … Our beliefs arise from who we are and we become what we believe …
Leftism is bad for people. It makes them awful. The unwashed, ill-mannered, anti-Semitic, entitled, and now violent mobs littering various parts of the nation under the banner “Occupy” believe their ideas will lead to a better society — but they actually are the society their ideas lead to. Their behavior when compared to the polite, law-abiding, non-racist demonstrations of so-called tea partiers tells you everything you need to know about the end results of statism on the one hand and constitutional liberty on the other.
This is not, of course, to say that every left-winger is a miscreant but rather that the natural, indeed inevitable, result of statism is to produce nations of miscreants. When the state is permitted to make the individual’s moral choices, the individual is forced to become either a slave or a criminal; when the state is permitted to redistribute wealth, it chains the citizen into a rigid, two-tiered hierarchy of power rather than freedom’s fluid, multi-layered rankings of merit and chance; when the people are taught to be dependent on entitlements, they are reduced to violence when, inevitably, the entitlement well runs dry; when belief in the state usurps every higher creed, the people become apathetic, hedonistic, and uncreative and their culture slouches into oblivion. I need hardly expend the energy required to lift my finger and point to Europe where cities burn because the unemployable are unemployed or because the hard-working won’t fund the debts of the indolent; where violent and despicable Islamism eats away portions of municipalities like a cancer while the authorities do nothing; where nations that once produced history’s greatest achievements in science and the arts can now no longer produce even enough human beings to sustain themselves.
Why wait to see such results come home? Leftism is an ignoble creed on the surface of it. Its followers display their awareness of its shamefulness by projecting its evils onto their opposition. Leftists accuse conservatives of avarice, but which is greedier in a person: to seek to hold on to what is his own, or to seek, as the leftists do, to plunder what belongs to others? Leftists call conservatives racist and sexist, but who is it who wants race and gender enshrined in law? Who penalizes white or male babies for sins they never committed on the long-exploded theory that evil can undo evil? Leftists call conservatives hateful… I would answer “Read the papers!” but the papers lie because our journalists are leftists and they know down deep what they’re like, who they are. Compare instead the rhetoric and honesty — not of those selected by the media, or those quotes they’ve selected — but of those in equivalent positions at equivalent times. The gracious and open-hearted George W. Bush versus the divisive, self-serving, and dishonest Barack Obama, just to take one example.
Every one who sympathizes with the Occupy movement should take a good look at them — not as they will be in the paradise of their aspirations but as they truly are this minute. Look at them, and understand that that’s what tomorrow will look like if they have their way today.
As a perfect illustration of what Andrew Klavan is talking about, here’s Roseanne Barr:
We are libertarian conservatives, “minarchists”, emphatically not anarchists.
Having a libertarian bent, we like much of what John Stossel writes in an article at Townhall:
Here’s my fantasy: Libertarians are elected to the presidency and to majorities in Congress. What would happen next? Well, if libertarians were “in charge,” you’d have more freedom and prosperity.
Freedom frightens some people. They say if no one is in charge there would be chaos. That is intuitive, but think about a skating rink. Before rinks were invented, if you proposed an amusement in which people strap blades to their feet and skate around on ice at whatever speeds they wish, you’d have been called crazy. There’s got to be speed limits, stoplights, turn signals. But we know that people navigate rinks safely on their own. They create their own order, with only minimal rules.
Society would work the same way — and does to a large extent even today. “Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government,” Thomas Paine, the soul of the American Revolution, wrote. “It has its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. … Common interest (has) a greater influence than the laws of government.”
Yes. Common interest is the wellspring of morality.
If libertarians were “in charge,” there would be laws to protect us from foreign enemies and those who would steal from us or injure us. Today, by contrast, under the rule of Democans and Republicrats, we’re drowning in rules — 160,000 pages’ worth. Micromanagement kills opportunity and freedom.
Maybe if there were a way to have more competition among governments, things would be better. Competition forces people to become more efficient and to get rid of stupid rules. What if we let people take over some unused land in America to create areas with fewer rules, simpler legal systems, smaller government?
Stossel quotes Michael Strong , who with his wife Magatte Wade founded the Free Cities Project.
Strong said, “We want to encourage thousands of people to create new governments that have different rules, each competing for customers with the best education and best health care, the most peace and prosperity you could imagine.”
We expect that where government interfered least with the economic life of the people there would be the greatest prosperity. Where it had nothing at all to do with education or health, the people would stand the best chance of being well educated and effectively cured. Where it most strongly protected liberty, they would probably endure the least crime. Where it armed the people most formidably they might least expect to be invaded.
Are there any free cities along the lines Strong and Wade envision?
“Hong Kong and Singapore are the best examples,” Strong said. “Now they are among the wealthiest places on earth.”
True – and proof that small government, doing little more than enforcing the rule of law, works well.
And there is a free city in Dubai because the emirate wanted to create a financial sector …
And did, though the emir had to abandon sharia law in the free city to achieve what he wanted:
“Dubai was brilliant,” Strong said. “They looked around the world. They saw that Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, Chicago, Sydney, London all ran British common law. British common law is much better for commerce than is French common law or sharia law. So they took 110 acres of Dubai soil, put British common law with a British judge in charge, and they went from an empty piece of soil to the 16th most powerful financial center in world in eight years.”
It’s what libertarians have said: Freedom works, and government, when it grows beyond the barest minimum, keeps people poor.
As liberty is most likely to bring prosperity, why are libertarians a political minority?
Is it because many people fear it, and if so why?
Some want governments to be parental and care for them “from the cradle to the grave”. They think such welfare governments can guarantee that they’ll be fed, housed, educated, medically treated all through their lives.
They could not be more wrong. The welfare states of Europe are rapidly going bankrupt.
And besides, what a government provides a government can withhold. To put yourself wholly in the power of a government is to put yourself not into safety but into danger. You are most safe when you control your own life, and the government does no more than guard your liberty. (And as everything governments do they do badly, it is wise to own a gun.)
Some need to feel that there is “someone in charge” – a king, a chief, a Secretary-General of the Communist Party, a powerful president, a Father in Heaven.
We don’t want someone in charge. Neither on earth nor “in heaven”. Throughout our earthly lives we want the rule of law, that wholly abstract authority, emotionless, fixed. (As Lord Denning, the British judge, said: “Be you ever so high, the law is above you”.)
And we delight in a universe that does not have and does not need “someone” to make, maintain, rule, watch over, manipulate, or give a damn about it.
(Hat tip Andrew M)
The rioting in England that we wrote about yesterday (see our post Anarchy immediately below) is not being perpetrated by members of any one particular ethnic or religious group. The leftist anti-Semitic Guardian newspaper singled out just one “ethnicity” to put a name to, that of three or four Hasidic Jews who were watching the violence in Tottenham and, along with others, were “jeering at the police”.
The arsonists, vandals, and looters are said to be mostly young and male, and of mixed backgrounds. They are Children of the Welfare State, lacking none of the basic amenities of life except, in many cases, fathers. But they have daddy-the-state to support them. Daddy-the-state does not put every luxury their hearts desire within their reach, but a riot can.
There is nothing particularly British about their cushioned condition or their easy resort to violence. Their kind is to be found almost anywhere in Europe. At the drop of an entitlement they are likely to riot, as they do here and there from time to time, on one pretext or another or none at all.
In one European country, however, the violence is continual – and one religious group is responsible for it.
It is the subject of an essay by Nidra Poller titled A French Intifada, published in the Winter 2011 issue of the Middle East Quarterly, a shocking account of the destructive and terrifying lawlessness that has become endemic in France.
Quoting from it doesn’t do it justice; it needs to be read in full. But here is part of what she writes:
A process described by some as the Islamization of Europe, by others as the failure of Europeans to integrate Muslim immigrants, has reached a breaking point in France. One of the most troubling manifestations of this discord is the development of a particular type of violence that is more than the sum of its parts. A sampling of this year’s news reports reads like a catalogue of stomping, stabbing, shooting, torching, and sacking; attacks on teachers, policemen, firemen, old ladies, and modest retirees; turf wars, tribal fights, murder over women, over attitude, over nothing; dead youths, murderous youths, bodies scattered across a national battlefield.
Is there a connection between the endless series of seemingly disparate criminal incidents and markers openly displayed in insurrectional riots and demonstrations — kaffiyeh face masks, Hezbollah flags, intifada slogans, Islamic chants? A general French tendency to withhold information and a deliberate decision to avoid ethnic and religious symbols leads to white noise coverage of criminality. Names, photos, and background information about perpetrators, suspects, and victims are usually suppressed, especially those that might create a negative image of Muslims.
Yet there is ample evidence that immigration has brought specifically Islamic antipathy to Jews, contempt for Western values, and other antisocial attitudes reinforced by religious zeal and aggravated by the clash between an authoritarian family structure and permissive French society. …
The French republic is in danger as the anti-Jewish thuggery has been extended to the general population, the “dirty Frenchies” and “filthy whities.”
The twisted logic and adulterated ethics devised to blame Israel for failing to bring peace on earth has come back to haunt the French. A compassionate discourse that excuses Palestinian atrocities against Israeli civilians as a reaction to “injustice” also excuses French domestic criminality as payback for colonization, discrimination, exclusion, unemployment, and police harassment. … The “disproportionate reaction” accusation played like the ace of spades against Israel turns into a joker when riot police are portrayed as Robocops oppressing a “Palestinized” immigrant population. …
Palestinian terrorists are called “militants,” Gaza Flotilla jihadists are presented as “humanitarians,” and the young French criminals are “youths“. This deceivingly generic term used to mask the identity of local Maghrebi and African thugs is a paradoxical translation of the Arabic shabab. Indeed, it is not rare to read of a “36-year-old adult youth” involved in a rumble or suspected of murder. …
During the 2005 uprising, when rioting Muslim youths torched cars and public buildings in housing projects throughout the country and clashed with the security forces trying to restore law and order, Parisians believed they were safe inside invisible walls as fires burned on the other side of the ring road. “It’s just the banlieue [working class suburb],” they said. A second round of discourse about the urgent need to improve housing, infrastructure, transportation, and job opportunities circumscribed the problem. Before the year was out, flames were rising in the center of the city and the banlieue problems spread like wildfire.
Five years later … the discourse is similarly sterile. Newspapers string out a litany of violent incidents in a repetition of stock phrases and opaque vocabulary. Honey-voiced newscasters warble little tunes of tribal violence as if turf wars and fatal stabbings in retaliation for a look, an attitude, or a woman were all in a day’s work. Bucolic place names redolent with memories of Impressionist boating parties are now the sites of bloody murder. Fatal stabbings in schools named after resistance heroes are attributed to the influence of video games and a hunger for consumer products stimulated by capitalism. …
She lists examples of “bloody murders” as reported with insufficient information by the media.
What happened next? Were the circumstances elucidated? The perpetrators apprehended? Convicted? We may never know. Convinced that the identity of culprits is withheld for ideological reasons, readers do the detective work with telltale clues and exasperating similarities. Youths, knives, the banlieue? Twenty against one? Drug wars? Turf wars? Gang fights? The puzzled citizen situates each incident somewhere on a line traced from the intimidating rowdiness observed in public to mass revolts seen on television …
Delinquent immigrants are acquitted of responsibility for their antisocial behavior and self-destructive strategies. … Housing projects are dilapidated by their own delinquent residents only to be displayed as proof of social injustice. …
No matter how much is done or given, it is never enough; no matter how wild the behavior, it is always explained away. Here, there, and everywhere, ethical boundaries are erased and logic surrenders to magical thinking. When mothers offer their children to die as shahids … the very horror of their vengeance is held as a measure of the degree of oppression they endure. In France, every form of brutality, including the murder of Ilan Halimi — a young French Jew kidnapped by a banlieue gang in January 2006 and tortured to death over a period of three weeks — is attributed to some form of “exclusion.” … Lawyers for the defense organized press conferences and wrote op-eds to deny banlieue anti-Semitism and portray their clients as misguided underprivileged youths. …
No French outlet would touch the “Hamas on the Seine” report by photojournalist Jean-Paul Ney, published … on May 31, 2010, describing enraged kaffiyeh-masked, pro-Palestinians chanting, “Zionist sellout media,” “Jews to the ovens,” “F–k France,” “Sarkozy the little Jew,” “Obama the Jew’s n —-r”, repeatedly breaking police lines, determined to reach the Israeli embassy and vent their rage over the Gaza flotilla incident. Joined by anarchist “black-blocks,” the insurgents destroyed property, threw paving stones at the police, and wreaked havoc for several hours at the Champs Elysées Circle. Ney distinctly heard orders broadcast to the riot police: “Don’t try to stop them.” …
The 2005 riots were triggered by the death of two minors who sought refuge in an electrical substation, allegedly pursued by the police, allegedly for no good reason. In November 2007, several policemen were wounded by gunfire in a battle with some 200 youths in Villiers le Bel (Val d’Oise) after two youths without helmets sped down the street on a prohibited mini-cycle, crashed into a police car, and were killed. … After a similar accident in Woippy, a banlieue of Metz, gendarmes were pelted with stones, fourteen vehicles including a bus were torched, telephone booths and a school were sacked. These are but a few of many incidents where youths in stolen cars or motorcycles, running away from the police, crash and kill themselves.
Yet, no matter how far-fetched the version of the “aggrieved” party, it always takes precedence over the official version in French media. Any police investigation is, by the media’s definition, suspect. …
The media offered a brief tour when the police raided a housing project in the Parisian banlieue of Sevran (Seine Saint Denis) controlled by drug dealers. Graffiti arrows indicate “shops”; residents tell how they pass through checkpoints to access their buildings, and TV cameramen were lucky to escape with their footage. “Militants” responded to the raid with the now-familiar torching, sacking, and shooting at policemen. Government promises to enforce the law provoke an outcry from compassionate sociologists, left-wing magistrates and mayors, members of do-good associations who protest that “repression is not the solution.”Imposing undue restraint on the police has simply emboldened their adversaries. Over 5,000 were injured in the line of duty in 2009, and in January-February 2010, some 1,100. In recent incidents, police have been surrounded, pelted with paving stones, kicked, punched, hit on the head with hammers, humiliated, and treated like mugging victims, not agents of law enforcement. …
Contrary to expectations, the government did not slip away for the August vacation … The president … announced a series of tough measures, and dared to link crime with immigration. Not all crime, not all immigrants. But he broke the taboo, simply by stating the obvious and followed with a promise of harsh measures for criminals who shoot at the police. Moreover, naturalized cop-killers will lose their citizenship. Tax officials will be sent into the projects to crack down on people living in luxury while on the dole. The drug market will be dismantled. Severe delinquency, polygamy, and female circumcision will also be grounds for withdrawal of nationality (this provision was subsequently withdrawn). …
The government’s straight talk has shaken France to the timbers. President Sarkozy was accused of cynically fishing for right-leaning-populist Front National voters, replaying the disgraceful Vichy past collaboration, separating the French-French from the foreign-French (akin to death-camp selections) …
Not a day goes by without a barrage of statements condemning the president. Former Socialist prime minister Michel Rocard — remembered for declaring in the early 1980s that “France cannot take in all the world’s misery” — stuck the Nazi label on President Sarkozy and accused him of fomenting civil war. Every opposition leader big or small took up the keyboard or microphone to vilify the president in the most emphatic terms. No Holocaust metaphor is left unturned. … The rhetoric has come full circle: “immigrants” (meaning Arab-Muslim and sub-Saharan Africans) are today’s Jews when in fact the people who are now persecuting Jews belong to that lawless class loosely defined as “immigrants.”
The media are giving wall-to-wall coverage to the president’s most severe critics while limiting the defense of strict law enforcement to officials, giving the impression that the government stands alone — the 2 percent increase in approval ratings for the president and Prime Minister François Fillon notwithstanding. …
Hundreds of punk jihadists screaming “F–k France” can go amok but no one has the right to say they belong to a specific group or current. No one is even allowed to speculate on what they might have in common with other lawbreakers — unless one portrays them as hapless victims of injustice. …
Every law enforcement effort entails the danger of igniting a generalized insurrection on an overwhelming scale. It is easy to scold President Sarkozy as did The New York Times, parroting the French leftists, or on the other hand, to mock the president with a long list of unfulfilled law and order promises. But it would be wiser to ask why authorities in this western European nation with so much to lose keep mollifying antagonistic elements in the vain hope of avoiding a confrontation.
How long can this go on? In France and all the Western European countries, anger is growing among the indigenous populations. Anywhere, everywhere, explosions of violence could become so sustained as to develop into civil wars. The continual conflict in France could already be described as “low intensity warfare” - a sub-heading in Nidra Poller’s essay.
What might save the Europeans, paradoxically, is the economic collapse of their welfare states. If governments have no choice but to stop providing housing, health care, monetary hand-outs, their countries may no longer attract Muslim immigrants from the miserable Third World.
Post Script: This morning there are reports from England of residents turning out to protect their towns from advancing mobs of vandals, whole streets of shops being boarded up, and – particularly to be noted – synagogues having to be protected by volunteers. The police continue to be defied with impunity.
“Youths” are rioting in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Leeds and Nottingham. The Washington Post reports:
Rampant looting and raging fires engulfed swaths of London on Monday as the wave of civil unrest that has gripped this sprawling capital escalated sharply …
Police in London arrested more than 160 people over the weekend after two nights of rioting that left several neighborhoods seriously damaged. Dozens of officers were injured. …
Gangs of youths roamed one south London neighborhood while carrying molotov cocktails …
Overwhelmed by the scope of the violence, the embattled Metropolitan Police called in reinforcements from police forces outside London. …
The increasing unrest — spreading in part via BlackBerry text messages as well as postings on Twitter and other social networking sites — was taking root mostly in the powder keg of poorer neighborhoods… But there were outbreaks of severe violence in even gentrified neighborhoods such as Clapham, as well as reports that 50 youths had vandalized shops in the famous shopping district of Oxford Circus.
Police said 250 people had been arrested over the past three days, and at least 69 people have been charged with offenses. …
The violence first erupted Saturday night … after the fatal shooting of a black resident by police investigating gun crimes.
An anonymous London policeman writes:
The next 48 hours are vital for British policing.
If we fail to protect the law-abiding public once more, we will cease to exist in our present form, and rightfully so.
We could end these riots very quickly. …
Now the public can meet the people we have been made to call ‘customers’. It’s not very nice. We have been saying this for years but no one listens. Well, they are listening now.
It’s embarrassing to be a police officer (again) at the moment. As for the 450 we have arrested, we all know nothing will happen to most of them. It never does, I say it again and again. …
So here is the challenge: give us the legal authority in writing and a guarantee of support if we use force and we will sort it by Wednesday tea time.
What is the rioting really all about? And are the police being restrained from using force to put a stop to it?
Winston Smith answers those questions on his always interesting blog:
The underclass are rising up. No longer content with simply burglaring and mugging the decent law abiding working classes that have the misfortune to dwell amongst them, they have now decided to torch and terrorise the very communities they come from. What we are witnessing in London and in other cities across Britain at the moment is an attack upon the decent and law abiding citizenry of the country. Their places of work have been attacked, looted and even burned down. Opportunisitic burglaries have occured and violent attacks upon the police and innocent individuals are widespread. Fear is endemic and people are anticipating a fourth night of chaos and disorder. The once great nation of Britain is being brought to its knees by a festering parasitic underclass that has been fostered by decades of failed social policies in the spheres of education, criminal justice, social services and welfare provision.
The abandonment of effective discipline in schools, the namby-pamby non-judgementalism that pervades social services and .. a compliant state that funds dissolute lifestyles are all contributory factors to the chaos on our streets. The forces of law and order that are putatively the guardians of the peace are stymied in their efficacy by a political class that eschews robust policing when it is needed.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, is responsible for law and order. The party in power calls itself Conservative*, but it is indistinguishable in its sentiments from the opposition Labour Party. (Both have sentiments instead of principles to guide their policies.) When the police wanted authorization for the use of water-cannon to disperse the rioters, Theresa May refused to give it – just as a Home Secretary under Tony Blair would have done.
She said: “The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon…the way we police in Britain is through consent of communities.” I am sure if she consulted the vast majority of people on this island she would discover that very few people would be too concerned about a few thousand drenched tracksuits if it meant a return of law and order and an absence of terror within communities. She then went on to assure us that, “people will start to see the consequences of their actions”.
Now, just what will these consequences be you may ask? Well, for those over eighteen whatever custodial sentences they do receive, if any, they will no doubt serve just a fraction of their sentences as is common for most criminals in the UK. …
In what will clearly be a perversion of justice, those rioters under eighteen will be treated as if they too are the victims of the very crimes they have commited, as this is the ethos at the heart of the youth justice system. … Within a few weeks many of these rioters that you are now watching loot, burn and terrorise on a twenty four news channel will be on an Intensive Surveillance and Supervision Programme [ISSP], where they will spend the majority of their ‘sentence’ being escorted to gyms, adventure centres, DJ courses and having their lunches bought and paid for and they will even be given the bus fares to attend their ‘punishment’. There will be a minimum of community work as part of their ISSP and in some parts of the country the Youth Offending Service will fail to implement this part of the ISSP. …
Another part of their ISSP will involve them sitting in on classroom based sessions where staff will ask them what feelings they were experiencing prior to setting their community alight and how best they could channel those feelings in the future. We may even get them to do some ‘poster work’, as I have heard it referred to, where they will draw and colour in examples of criminal behaviour just in case they were not aware that torching local businesses and throwing masonry at the police, fire brigade and passers by were indeed criminal acts.
Feel, draw, color in.
When this is the system charged with preventing youth crime is at any wonder we have such high rates of recidivism amongst the more serious of young criminals? Many of the rioters you see on the streets will have been through this sytem. They know there are no real consequences for their actions and thus they behave in the manner we are now viewing. …
These disturbances are not political in nature, or as a result of one ethnic group feeling disenfranchised. This is a rainbow coalition of the underclass, all shades and colours are present on the streets. If it was political in nature the main targets of the rioters would be the state … [but in these riots] the perpetrators are more concerned with acquiring the contents of high street shops. These riots are purely criminal and materialistic in nature and it is the state and its failed social policies that have bred the savage and feral mentality of the perpetrators as well as tying the hands of the police from taking the kind of swift and robust action to deal with the situation.
When wetting criminals and louts is seen as a step too far on behalf of those charged with protecting us is at any wonder we fear another night of chaos?
We hope they get to take the pencils and stuff home with them when the punishment session is over.
Footnote * David Cameron, now Prime Minister, famously urged his fellow Brits some years ago to “hug a hoodie”.
Post Script: Iran has told the British government it should stop using violence against the rioters. However restrained and gentle a Western government might be it can never be gentle enough to meet the standards of Iran.