Thursday, March 31, 2005

Iraqis detained on Mexican border

Associated Press:

Four Iraqis were detained at an airport in the border city of Mexicali for allegedly carrying false passports, and two more were caught at a highway checkpoint, authorities said.

The four Iraqis arrived Friday at the airport in Mexicali, across from Calexico, California, on a flight from Mexico City and were detained after immigration officials discovered the Dutch passports they were carrying were false, said Abraham Sarabia, an attorney general spokesman in Baja California state, where Mexicali is located.

Alya Kiryakous Dawood Sako, an American citizen and the sister of one of the Iraqis, was also detained and questioned. Dawood was released after immigration officials determined her passport was legitimate but she was turned to immigration officials and is awaiting deportation, Sarabia said.

Sarabia said immigration officials noticed the men became nervous during routine questioning and once in custody of federal authorities they confessed their true identities.

The men were carrying Dutch passports under the names of Richard Richters, who Mexican officials say is Yacer Yoser Hana; Mikel Leewen, who turned out to be Basam Kiryakous; Jan Pieter Drijfhout, who is Basam Toma Jou and Robert Schurtman, whose real name is Sabham Kamel.

"Once in custody they told authorities they intended to sneak into the United States," Sarabia said. "They said they started their journey in Greece, traveled to Spain and then to Mexico City."

The men were being held at a prison in Mexicali pending charges for using false documents.

Also Tuesday, soldiers detained two Iraqi men traveling on Greek passports at a roadside checkpoint near Mexicali.

The two men were traveling aboard a bus bound for Mexicali. However, the photo on one of the men's passport's had been altered; he was also held pending charges, while the other man was held pending deportation.

Around the Blogosphere:

6 Iraqis arrested in Mexico near CA border

Ramblings' Journal Has It Right

Are The Minutemen Racist Gun Toting Vigilantes?

12.7% of teachers in South Africa are HIV positive

Andiswa Mesatywa:

A study commissioned by the Education Labour Relations Council has found that 12.7% of teachers in South Africa are HIV positive.

However, blacks are most likely to be HIV positive compared to whites, coloureds and Indians.

This finding was based on a nationally representative sample of 17,088 teachers who gave an oral fluid or blood specimens for HIV testing - with a response rate of 83%.

The study, carried out by the Human Sciences Research Council, found that HIV prevalence was the highest in the 25 to 34 age group followed by the 35 to 44 age group.

Here are the demographics:

Women have a higher HIV prevalence than men, as women are generally more vulnerable to HIV infection because of their biological make-up and their low socio-economic status.

There were also major racial differences in HIV prevalence: blacks have a prevalence of 16.3% compared to whites, coloureds and Indians, who have a prevalence of less than 1%.

The differences in age distribution among the different racial groups may partially account for the higher HIV prevalence among black teachers, as there was a higher concentration of black teachers in the high HIV risk age group of 25 to 34 than in other race groups.

The report notes, blacks were also more likely to find themselves in a lower socio-economic position than other race groups.

Teachers with a low socio-economic status had a much higher HIV prevalence than those in the high socio-economic group, and teachers living and working in rural areas had a higher HIV prevalence than their colleagues in urban schools.

HSRC executive director Olive Shisana said: "Black teachers were most likely to be HIV positive compared with the other groups.

And this only included teachers who provided specimens for HIV testing. Who knows how many HIV-infected teachers there are that haven't been tested?

Blacks, Hispanics and blogging

Heather Mac Donald:

As for minorities, the skills gap in reading and writing means that, at the moment, a lower percentage of blacks and Hispanics possess the verbal acumen to produce a cutting-edge blog. For decades, blacks and Hispanics have scored 200 points below whites on the SATs' verbal section. Black high-school seniors on average read less competently than white 8th graders; Hispanic 12th graders read only slightly better than white 8th graders. And those are just the ones who are graduating. In the Los Angeles school system, which is typical of other large urban districts, 53 percent of black students and 61 percent of Hispanic students drop out before graduating from high school; most of the dropouts exit in the 9th grade. Assuming, generously, that those dropouts have 5th-grade skills, they are unlikely candidates for power blogging.

Here's Steven Levy's minimum prescription for joining the ranks of Alpha blogging: "You have to post frequently . . . link prodigiously," and, like one technology guru he describes, spend two hours daily writing your weblog and "three more hours reading hundreds of other blogs." If you have difficulty reading, you're probably not going to find that regime attractive. Obviously, many individual blacks and Hispanics possess more than the necessary skills to power their way into the top 100 blogs. But diversity zealots don't look at individuals, they look at aggregates. And in the aggregate, blacks and Hispanics lag so far behind whites in literacy skills that it is absurd to blame racial exclusion for the absence of racial proportionality on the web. Junking “progressive” pedagogy, with its absurd hostility to drilling and memorization, is the only solution to the education lag; diversity bean-counting is window-dressing.

No one has succeeded in closing the skills gap yet, but over the years we've developed numerous bureaucratic devices to paper it over. These devices will undoubtedly prove highly useful in addressing what Levy calls the web's "diversity problem." Levy proposes, as an initial matter, that the power-bloggers voluntarily link to some as yet unspecified number of non-male, non-white writers. The history of 'voluntary' affirmative action efforts need not be rehearsed here; suffice it to say, once 'voluntary' race- and gender-conscious policies are proposed, mandates are not far behind.

The great thing about blogs is that they allow you to write what you want and link to sites that you find interesting. If blacks and Hispanics want their blogs to become more popular then they should write about subjects that others find interesting. Graduating from high school would probably help too.

Black district attorney found guilty of discriminating against white employees

A federal jury has ruled that Eddie Jordan, New Orleans' first black district attorney, discriminated against 43 white employees when he fired them after he took office in 2003.

The jury also awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay and damages, but no punitive damages -- a break for Jordan.

The jury found Jordan liable in his capacity as a public official, but not personally liable. A finding of personal liability could have forced Jordan to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money.

The 10-person jury -- eight whites and two blacks -- returned the unanimous verdict in the third day of deliberations after a three-week trial.

Definitely a good day for the U.S. justice system.

The Minuteman Project and the Mexican military

Lupita Murillo:

Later this week, the spotlight will be on Southeastern Arizona. Starting Friday, the month-long Minuteman Project will have volunteers, some armed, watching and waiting for illegal border crossers.

It's gaining international attention. Tuesday, Mexican officials met with the Mayor of Douglas to discus how they will handle potential violence.

Angela Castillo Lopez and her 10-year-old granddaughter live in Agua Prieta Sonora. They cross daily into Douglas to visit family and to buy groceries.

But with word of the Minuteman Project, Lopez says she won't be crossing after April 1st. She feels its too dangerous.

That concerns Agua Prieta Mayor David Figueroa and Douglas Mayor Ray Borane. They met privately to discuss the situations.

Mayor Borane showed fugueroa a flyer distributed over the weekend by a group calling themselves National Alliance.

Borane says, "I think they are concerned, maybe a little bit more, because its going to be dealing with their compatriots."

That's why the Agua Prieta Mayor called a meeting with 50 other local and national officials.

It was one of those officials who bought another flyer to distribute to Mexican citizens. It warns people about crossing the desert in April.

The flyer states, "vigilantes" will be patrolling 24 hours and might be armed.

Mayor Figueroa says his plan is to be cautions and to maintain a low profile. The last thing he want is to provoke violence.

David Morales, a spokesman for Agua Prieta says, "We understand it can become a volitale situation and we don't want to contribute to that in any form."

The Mexican military is on stand-by. One unit has about a thousand soldiers. They're located just across the border.

They're united with the Mayor of Agua Prieta and they're saying they're hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

Why is the Mexican military on "stand-by"? The Minuteman volunteers are going to be on the U.S. side of the border. Does the Mexican military intend to cross the border in order to stop the Minuteman volunteers?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Census data on education, gender and race

Reno Gazette-Journal:

The new census data looks at educational levels for those 25 and older in 2004 broken down by a number of characteristics.

Those who have a high school diploma or higher education nationwide reached record numbers, with 85 percent of those 25 and older reporting they had completed high school and 28 percent earning at least a bachelor’s degree.

High school graduation rates for women continued to outpace those of men, with 85.4 percent compared with 84.8 percent. Men continued to top women when it came to earning bachelor’s degrees, with 29.4 percent compared with 26.1 percent.

Non-white Hispanics led in high school graduation rates with 90 percent earning their diplomas, followed by Asians with 86.8 percent, African Americans with 80.6 percent and Hispanics with 58.4 percent.

Asians led the way in earning bachelor’s degrees with 49.4 percent, followed by non-white Hispanics with 30.6 percent, African Americans with 17.6 percent and Hispanics with 12.1 percent.

The proportion of the foreign-born population with high school diplomas was 67.2 percent, lower than that of the native population’s 88.3 percent.

The data were collected in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey.

The lower percentages for Hispanics does not bode well for claims that more Hispanic immigrants will help the long-term performance of the U.S. economy.

Hispanic women are converting to Islam

Tampa Bay Online:

Perez's sentiments seem to resonate with U.S. Latinas, who are embracing Islam in increasing numbers. They join a faith dominated in the United States by blacks, who make up about half the estimated 6 million followers, according to a 1990 study by the American Muslim Council, the most recent available. Followers of South Asian and Arab descent constitute about 35 percent.

Numbers of Muslims are difficult to determine since faith is not included in the U.S. census, but there is abundant anecdotal evidence that more Hispanic women are adopting Islam.

"We're definitely seeing more Latina converts," said Ahmed Bedier, director of the Central Florida Office of the Council on American Islamic Relations. "It's really a phenomenon because the stereotype is that Islam oppresses women, so why would they want to choose a religion that would restrict their lifestyle?"

Helping fuel the growth is an increase of information available to Hispanic converts, Bedier said.

Korans written in Spanish and other works are available, and distribution has been on the rise, he said.

There is support online for Hispanic Muslims from groups such as the Latino American Dawah Organization and

Mohamed Moharram, head of the local Muslim American Society, is not surprised by the growth in Latina converts.

"At the last open house we had four Latinas in one day convert to Islam," he said. "The fact is, Islam elevates the status of women. Muslim women see it [the faith] as a liberation from undue hardships that society puts upon them."

Is this what liberals mean when they say that Hispanics are assimilating into the American mainstream culture?

Economics of Immigration

A letter to Steve Sailer:

The immigrationists got it backwards. Countries aren't prosperous because they take in immigrants, but they take in immigrants because they are prosperous. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are there to prove that countries can become prosperous fast without benefit of immigration.

Brazil and Argentina demonstrate that countries can take in a lot of immigrants without attaining great prosperity. Between 1880 and 1960, Brazil received about 4 million immigrants. (Two of those immigrants were my Dutch parents who emigrated from the Netherlands to Brazil in 1953.)

In fact, as you pointed out, countries can grow economically while exporting people. Between 1840 and 1965, there was both a lot of emigration from Europe and rapid economic growth there.

For most people who are pro-immigration, long-term economics have little to do with the reasons for their support. For Republicans, immigrants are a source of cheap labor while for Democrats they are potential future voters. The fact that immigrants often cause social and economic problems is unimportant to our political "representatives".

European Union voters prefer Ukraine to Turkey

EU voters would rather extend membership to Ukraine than to Turkey:

Ukraine's campaign to join the EU today receives a boost from an opinion poll which shows greater support in Europe for Ukrainian membership than for Turkey.

A survey of some 6,000 people in the EU's six largest countries found 55% of voters would like Ukraine to become part of the union. This compares with 45% who support Turkey's bid to join, a process which is due to be formally launched on October 3.

Pro-Ukraine campaigners will use the results to increase pressure on European leaders to give Kiev a start date for accession talks.

Laurent Dondey, spokesman for the pro-Ukraine Yes campaign, said: "This survey is very significant and a great surprise. There has been a big debate about Ukrainian membership but until now nobody was interested in the views of European citizens."

The Yes group commissioned the TNS Sofres polling group to survey opinions in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Britain and Poland.

Voters in Poland, which spearheaded the EU's diplomatic efforts to end the presidential standoff in Ukraine, are overwhelmingly in favour, with 77% for and 12% against.

Forty-nine per cent of voters in Britain support Ukrainian membership, with 27% against. French voters are broadly in favour (58% to 37%), but German voters are opposed by 53% to 41%.

The findings contrasted with the opposition to Turkish membership. French voters are strongly opposed (59% to 37%), as are the Germans (60% to 36%).

Only Poland (55%) recorded a majority in favour of Turkish membership. Half of British voters support Turkey, with 32% against.

Pro-Ukraine campaigners will be careful not to use the figures to criticise Turkey for fear of inflaming arguments about race.

Emmanuel Riviere, of TNS Sofres, said: "People who are against Turkish membership but who accept Ukraine feel it belongs to the European area. They see Turkey as outside their geographic area."

Unfortunately, the EU tends to ignore the wishes of the voters.

Race and genetic medicine

The importance of ethnic differences in genetic medicine:

Scientists have repeatedly said there is no genetic basis for race — no distinguishing Asian, white or black gene.

Why, then, do groups show genetic differences?

The reason, scientists say, lies in the long periods of geographic isolation that mark much of human history.

Until relatively recently, groups of people lived far apart. That isolation encouraged certain genetic traits, not just external traits such as a particular skin color, but also internal traits, like cellular function. Now, genetic medicine is revealing just how much these internal traits can vary from group to group.

African-American women, for example, are known to suffer from more aggressive breast cancers. Doctors hope to reveal if these women have unique gene features.

"I really want to compare Africans, African-Americans and mixed-race women and see if there is a genetic profile," said Dr. Denise Johnson, a breast cancer specialist at Stanford University Medical Center. "We didn't have the tools before, but now we do."

In the news:

Earlier cancer tests urged for blacks

Around the Blogosphere:

Colon Cancer is a Socially Constructed Disease

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Are Islamic schools teaching anti-Jewish and anti-Christian hatred?

Daniel Pipes:

New York City: An investigation by the New York Daily News in 2003 found that books used in the city's Muslim schools "are rife with inaccuracies, sweeping condemnations of Jews and Christians, and triumphalist declarations of Islam's supremacy."

Los Angeles: The Omar Ibn Khattab Foundation donated 300 Korans (titled The Meaning of the Holy Quran) to the city school district in 2001 that within months had to be pulled from school libraries because of its anti-Semitic commentaries. One footnote reads: "The Jews in their arrogance claimed that all wisdom and all knowledge of Allah was enclosed in their hearts. … Their claim was not only arrogance but blasphemy."

Ajax, Ontario, 50 kilometers east of Toronto: The Institute of Islamic Learning is a Canadian emulation of the extremist Deobandi madrassahs of Pakistan. It focuses exclusively on religious topics, has students memorize the Koran, demands total segregation from the Canadian milieu, and requires complete gender separation. Former students complained about the school's cult-like devotion to its head, Abdul Majid Khan, and complained that it is a "twisted religion."

In the news:

Islamic teachers suspended for praising essay on killing Jews

Michelle Malkin has a new immigration blog

Immigration blog

Check it out if you want to learn about the problems created by illegal immigration.

Latino activist wants boycott of "racist" Arizona

More leftwing craziness:

A Latino activist riled by legislation that targets undocumented immigrants wants businesses and corporations across the nation to boycott Arizona and book their events elsewhere.

Salvador Reza is working with a California-based immigrant rights group to organize the boycott and hopes to publicize it through Latino organizations across the country. Without an immigrant workforce, he says, Arizona's economy would collapse.

"To all the businesspeople that are bringing conventions here, people that spend money in Arizona, people that bring the golf conventions, people that vacation here, go to somewhere else," said Reza, who runs Phoenix's Macehualli Work Center. "Don't come to Arizona. It's a racist state."

Rep. Russell Pearce, the Republican sponsor of several immigration bills, called the attempt to bring about a boycott "outrageous."

"Americans ought to be the ones protesting," said Pearce, of Mesa. "Those who came here legally ought to be protesting. Those whose neighborhoods that have been destroyed ought to be protesting."

Reza and other Hispanic leaders and residents think that legislation sponsored by Pearce and other Republican lawmakers could give Arizona a bad image, similar to what the state suffered in the late 1980s over the lack of a holiday to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

No, what will give Arizona a "bad image" is doing nothing while Vicente Fox uses the state as a dumping ground for Mexico's excess population.

Was Gandhi a racist?

Gandhi may not have liked black people:

The British-trained barrister was supposed to have been on a brief visit in 1893 to represent an Indian company in a legal action, but he stayed to fight racist laws after a conductor kicked him off a train for sitting in a first-class compartment reserved for whites.

Outraged, he started defending Indians charged with failing to register for passes and other political offences, founded a newspaper, and formed South Africa's first organised political resistance movement. His tactics of mobilising people for passive resistance and mass protest inspired black people to organise and some historians credit Gandhi as the progenitor of the African National Congress, which formed in 1912, two years before he returned to India to fight British colonial rule.

However, the new statue has prompted bitter recollections about some of Gandhi's writings.

Forced to share a cell with black people, he wrote: "Many of the native prisoners are only one degree removed from the animal and often created rows and fought among themselves."

He was quoted at a meeting in Bombay in 1896 saying that Europeans sought to degrade Indians to the level of the "raw kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness".

The Johannesburg daily This Day said GB Singh, the author of a critical book about Gandhi, had sifted through photos of Gandhi in South Africa and found not one black person in his vicinity.

Ironic when you realize that Gandhi was supposed to have inspired Martin Luther King.

Hispanics and teen-births

Hispanics may cause a rise in teen-births:

The nation's fast-growing Hispanic teen population could end declining teen birthrates, says a researcher who calls for more Hispanic-oriented teen-pregnancy prevention programs.

The national teen birthrate, fueled by declines in all ethnic groups, dropped by 33 percent between 1991 and 2003. The latest rate is fewer than 42 births per 1,000 teens.

But Hispanic teens -- especially Mexicans and Puerto Ricans -- are maintaining relatively high pregnancy and birthrates, said Child Trends researcher Suzanne Ryan, co-author of a recent paper on Hispanic teens.

These factors, coupled with a projected 50 percent increase in the Hispanic teen population by 2025, means that Hispanic teens could "definitely ... slow down the decline in the national [birthrate]," Ms. Ryan said.

And, of course, the U.S. taxpayer will end up paying for these additional unwanted births.

Gang will target Minuteman vigil on Mexico border

Mexican gang threatens violence against Americans:

Members of a violent Central America-based gang have been sent to Arizona to target Minuteman Project volunteers, who will begin a monthlong border vigil this weekend to find and report foreigner sneaking into the United States, project officials say.

James Gilchrist, a Vietnam veteran who helped organize the vigil to protest the federal government's failure to control illegal immigration, said he has been told that California and Texas leaders of Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, have issued orders to teach "a lesson" to the Minuteman volunteers.

"We're not worried because half of our recruits are retired trained combat soldiers," Mr. Gilchrist said. "And those guys are just a bunch of punks."

More than 1,000 volunteers are expected to take part in the Minuteman vigil, which will include civilian patrols along a 20-mile section of the San Pedro River Valley, which has become a frequent entry point to the United States for foreigner headed north.

About 40 percent of the 1.15 million foreign nationals caught last year by the U.S. Border Patrol trying to gain illegal entry to the United States were apprehended along a 260-mile stretch of the Arizona border here known as the Tucson sector.

Of course, if the Minuteman volunteers are forced to use violence to defend themselves then the pro-illegal immigration types in the media will use it as an excuse to attack Americans who want to protect our borders.

Around the Blogosphere:

More Bad News On Hispanic Gang And High School Graduation Rates

British border police

The British conservatives are really getting serious about dealing with illegal immigration:

A new police force charged only with securing Britain's borders would be created under Conservative plans.

The new force would bring together officers from customs, Special Branch and immigration currently working at ports and airports.

Tory leader Michael Howard said Labour had "totally failed" to enforce the controls needed to limit immigration, fight crime and prevent terrorism.

Labour says it is tightening controls. Lib Dems also want a new border force.

Internal surveys by the Tories and Labour have suggested that immigration and asylum are one of the electorate's key issues and have the potential to swing large numbers of votes.

Mr Howard publicised the new proposals as he tried to shift attention away from the continuing row over his decision to sack Tory MP Howard Flight.

"Our immigration system is being abused - and with it Britain's generosity," he said.

He pointed to reports that immigration officials allow people with fake or suspect identity papers to enter Britain for 48 hours - instructing them to return later for questioning or deportation.

Mr Howard said: "Does anyone seriously imagine that someone with the clear intent to inflict harm or terror in Britain would turn up? It's hard to imagine a laxer system.

"We face a real terrorist threat in Britain today - a threat to our safety, to our way of life, and to our liberties.

"But we have absolutely no idea who is coming into or leaving our country."

Now if only Howard could talk a little sense into President Bush.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Kenyan immigrant jailed for 66 years for rape

A HIV-positive Kenyan immigrant has been jailed for 66 years for raping two teenage girls:

William N. Karanja, 34, received 40 years for two counts of second-degree rape, 20 for two counts of second-degree sex offence and six for two counts of knowingly attempting to transmit HIV.

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge, Louise G. Scrivener, also gave Karanja 15 years for three counts of recklessly endangering a minor, to be served concurrently.

"I believe from the evidence that Karanja is a sexual predator," Scrivener said.

And as Karanja began his long stretch in a US Federal jail, it emerged yesterday that he had a history of sexual offences dating back to his youth.

A close relative who spoke to The Standard in London said: "Karanja has previously raped women in Kenya, but his victims were too scared to come forward."

"My family is devastated, 66 years in a foreign jail, ailing with HIV-Aids, it’s most regrettable, our heart goes to his wife and the victims," the cousin, who did not wish to be named, said.

According to The Gazette, a Montgomery County newspaper, the incident happened in June 2003 when Karanja invited the then-14-year-old girls to a ‘party’ in his apartment on 13200 block of Bristlecone Way, Germantown in Montgomery County.

When the girls arrived that night, they realised they were the only guests and called another male friend to join them, Assistant State Attorney, Mary Herdman, said.

Karanja supplied the girls and their friend with alcohol, and all three juveniles ultimately passed out in various locations in the apartment.

At about 1 am, a neighbour said he heard a girl screaming "No" from inside Karanja’s apartment. He looked in through a window and saw Karanja having sex with one of the girls while she attempted to push him away, Herdman said.

When police arrived, they found all three children partially or completely naked and unresponsive to the officers’ attempts to wake them up.

Both victims, now 16, made emotional appeals to the court.

"He stole from me in order to get pleasure for himself," one said. "I was violated, taken advantage of and humiliated".

The other said tearfully: "I think there should be no sympathy for him..."

Assistant State Attorney Sherri D. Koch described Karanja as a ‘callous’ man who not only raped two minors but also knowingly exposed them to HIV.

"He has absolutely no regard for human life," Koch said. "He could have potentially given them the death sentence."

Both girls have been tested for the virus, and so far, the results have been negative, she said.

The state’s attorneys also argued that Karanja lied to his now-estranged wife about his HIV-status and knowingly infected her, as well.

But the defence lawyers, Vicky Tyler and Melanie Creedon, maintained Karanja did not know he had HIV until his wife was tested during her pregnancy.

They plan to appeal the sentence.

Karanja will be eligible for parole after 33 years. He had been held without bond at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Clarksburg since his arrest in June 22, 2003.

After serving his sentence, Karanja — who was in the United States on a visa — will be deported to Kenya, Judge Scrivener said.

Karanja is the first Kenyan to be sentenced to a hefty jail term exceeding three decades in a foreign prison.

Six years ago, another Kenyan, Rashid Musa, 28, was jailed for life by a UK court for raping a teenage boy in a train toilet and an office cleaner at knifepoint in London.

In November 2003, another Kenyan, Mohammed Dica, 40, was jailed for eight years at Inner London Crown Court for infecting two women with the HIV virus.

He was the first person in UK to be convicted with what became known as Biological Grievous Bodily Harm (B-GBH).

If we have to let immigrants into the United States can the government at least do a better job of screening out the criminals?

Pandering for Muslim votes in Britain

Gordon Brown:

Gordon Brown last night paid tribute to British Muslims as "modern heroes" who brought hope and idealism to the country.

The Chancellor said they had contributed to Britain spiritually and economically because Islam was a religion that encouraged fair play, social justice and equality.

"Islam teaches us that we are all part of one moral universe, that humanity is intertwined and interlinked like different parts of a human body, reflecting each other's condition. This is a universal moral principle we can all learn from," he said.

Many of Britain's 1.5 million Muslims supported Labour until the Iraq war and the party is now working hard to try to win them back.

"As Chancellor, I want in particular to thank you for the enormous contribution the Muslim community makes to our economy. I have learnt much from your entrepreneurial flair and talent," Mr Brown said in a speech at the Muslim News awards for excellence.

"But the contribution of British Muslims to British life goes far beyond the economic realm."

Mr Brown, whose father was a Church of Scotland minister, praised the teachings of Islam and defined a hero as "someone who has given their life to something bigger than themselves".

He went on: "So I want to honour you and members of the Muslim community as our modern heroes: standing for the highest ideals, bearing burdens, and bringing hope to Britain."

He said Muslims had contributed economically ever since they started migrating to British towns and cities in large numbers in the 1950s.

"What we share in common is the belief in fair play, in social justice and in the equality and potential not just of some but of all," he said.

I guess Gordon Brown thinks that "honor killings" are just good old-fashioned family values.

Around the Blogosphere:

Dhimmitude in Britain

So how are illegal immigrants treated in Mexico?

Here's how:

The State Department says that the Mexican government, angry that a thousand American volunteers will begin an Arizona border vigil next month, consistently violates the rights of illegal immigrants crossing its southern border into Mexico.

Many of the illegals in Mexico, who emigrate from Central and South America, complain of "double dangers" of extortion by Mexican authorities and robbery and killings by organized gangs.

The State Department's Human Rights Practices report, released only last month, cites abuses at all levels of the Mexican government, and charges that Mexican police and immigration officials not only violate the rights of illegal immigrants, but traffic in illegal aliens.

Although Mexico demands that its citizens' rights be protected when they illegally enter the United States, immigrants who cross illegally into Mexico "are often ripped off six ways until sundown," says George Grayson, a professor at the College of William & Mary and a fellow at the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

Mr. Grayson, who wrote a report for the center on Mexico's abuses of aliens, says "very little" is being done by Mexico to protect the welfare of the Central Americans and the others who cross into Mexico.

Mexican President Vicente Fox said last week that his government will sue in U.S. or international courts if the volunteers -- part of the Minuteman Project, which is designed to protest the Bush administration's lax immigration policies -- break the law.

"We totally reject the idea of these migrant-hunting groups," Mr. Fox said prior to yesterday's Baylor University summit in Waco, Texas, with President Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, at which the countries agreed to improve security and unify business practices.

"We will use the law, international law and even U.S. law to make sure that these types of groups ... will not have any opportunity to progress," Mr. Fox said last week.

In response, Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, urged Mr. Fox to respect America's right to defend its borders and "demonstrate perhaps a little less disdain for the rule of law north of the border."

Mr. Kyl said Mr. Fox's "pre-emptive threats" to file lawsuits on behalf of those crossing the border unlawfully "is hardly helpful, since it presumes that illegal aliens have more of a right to break American law than American citizens have to peacefully assist authorities in enforcing it."

Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, says Mexico had "raised the bar on chutzpah" by criticizing efforts by the Minuteman volunteers to protest immigration enforcement by the U.S. government.

"Since when are 'Neighborhood Watch' citizens 'vigilantes'?" Mr. Tancredo asked. "President Fox thinks we should tear down the fence that keeps illegal aliens out? Then why doesn't he put up a welcome sign on his southern border with Guatemala instead of using his military to keep poor Guatemalans out? Such hypocrisy about borders defies historic parallel."

In a press conference yesterday in Waco, President Bush described the Arizona volunteers as "vigilantes."

Alfonso Nieto, spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, said the presence of "vigilantes" on the border "will only exacerbate a climate of unease and provide sources of confrontation that will not contribute to solving the flow of economic migrants demanded by the U.S. government."

Mr. Nieto would not comment on suspected immigrant abuses in his own country, but Mexican government officials earlier said Mr. Fox created a national program on human rights to address problems.

James Gilchrist, one of the Minutemen organizers, who expects to send 30 private planes aloft to patrol the border, said the volunteers will not confront the aliens, but report them to the Border Patrol. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona said it will post legal observers to monitor the Minutemen.

Mr. Grayson says most of Mexico's abuses occur along its 600-mile border with Guatemala, and that three groups -- criminals, local police and immigration agents -- account for most of the mistreatment. He said Mexico's efforts to promote professionalization among its own border officials "thus far have achieved limited success."

Vicente Fox definitely has a "do as I say, not as I do" approach to illegal immigration.

Immigrants Can't Bail Out Social Security

Edwin S. Rubenstein:

In fact, Social Security’s cost projections probably overstate the benefit of immigration. Thanks to totalization agreements, foreign workers can now qualify for Social Security after working as few as 6 quarters—a far cry from the 40 quarters demanded of U.S. citizens before vesting.

Foreigners who began working as illegals and later obtain legal status can even use their illegal earnings to qualify for Social Security. Social Security makes no effort to collect payroll taxes due on back income.

Even if immigrants return to Mexico the Social Security check follows them. And because they are relatively low income workers, the “rate of return” on their social security contributions is higher than that of the average native worker. It’s a progressive system, offering better returns to lower incomes.

Bush’s amnesty/ guest worker program will further exacerbate Social Security’s problems. Following the last such amnesty—the 1986 IRCA legislation—immigration surged more than three-fold, to 1.8 million per year. Most of the new immigrants had worked here illegally for years. Many promptly qualified for Social Security—i.e. were burdens, not benefits, to the Social Security system.

There are far more illegals working in the U.S. today than in 1986, yet Social Security has not factored an amnesty into its projections. The rosy scenario lives.

Unfortunately, the rosy scenario is particularly popular with our immigration-loving President.

All-Arabic Preschool Classes in Swedish City for children of Muslim immigrants

Fjordman on the latest insanity in Sweden:

Malmö, Sweden's third largest city, which should be known to those following Muslim immigration to Scandinavia, has now taken another step towards its Islamization: Starting from the fall of 2005, the district of Hyllie will begin education in Arabic only for groups of immigrant preschool children. This seems logical, given that Muslims already make up close to one third of its population, and may well be the majority within a few years as native Swedes are leaving the city in record numbers. The idea is that once the children learn the language of their parents, it will become easier for them to learn Swedish as well. So the Swedish state paying for educating Swedish citizens on Swedish ground in Arabic is somehow supposed to increase integration. The idea is so ridiculous that even the regional newspaper Sydsvenskan is skeptical.

Perhaps being good dhimmis and teaching in Arabic can stop one of the latest fads in Sweden: Burning schools. At least 139 schools in Sweden burnt during 2003 alone. Such as this one in Malmö, where three schools were put on fire during one night. "Teenage boys" are suspected to behind the arson. Malmö is descending into general chaos. Fights in the city's movie theaters have become a recurrent problem. Meanwhile, immigration to Sweden continues at full speed, with most of the established parties and the Socialist government in particular keeping a lid on all attempts to start a genuine immigration debate.

I wonder if Bush has any Swedish ancestry?

The nature of normal human variety

A Talk with Armand Leroi:

Of course, there will be people who object. There will be people who will say that this is a revival of racial science. Perhaps so. I would argue, however, that even if this is a revival of racial science, we should engage in it for it does not follow that it is a revival of racist science. Indeed, I would argue, that it is just the opposite.

Definitely, a fascinating interview. Check out the link for more on the scientific study of race.

North African slave raids on Europe

Scholar claims more than 1m people were captured by African pirates:

North African pirates abducted and enslaved more than 1 million Europeans between 1530 and 1780 in a series of raids which depopulated coastal towns from Sicily to Cornwall, according to new research.

Thousands of white Christians were seized every year to work as galley slaves, labourers and concubines for Muslim overlords in what is today Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, it is claimed.

Scholars have long known of the slave raids on Europe. But American historian Robert Davis has calculated that the total number captured - although small compared with the 12 million Africans shipped to the Americas in later years - was far higher than previously recognised.

His new book, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800, concluded that 1 million to 1.25 million ended up in bondage.

Prof Davis's unorthodox methodology split historians over whether his estimates were plausible but they welcomed any attempt to fill a gap in the little-known story of Africans subjugating Europeans.

By collating different sources of information from Europe over three centuries, the University of Ohio professor has painted a picture of a continent at the mercy of pirates from the Barbary Coast, known as corsairs, who sailed in lateen-rigged xebecs and oared galleys.

Villages and towns on the coast of Italy, Spain, Portugal and France were hardest hit but the raiders also seized people in Britain, Ireland and Iceland. According to one account they even captured 130 American seamen from ships that they boarded in the Atlantic and Mediterranean between 1785 and 1793.

In the absence of detailed written records such as customs forms Prof Davis decided to extrapolate from the best records available indicating how many slaves were at a particular location at a single time and calculate how many new slaves were needed to replace those who died, escaped or were freed.

To keep the slave population stable, around one quarter had to be replaced each year, which for the period 1580 to 1680 meant around 8,500 new slaves per annum, totalling 850,000.

The same methodology would suggest 475,000 were abducted in the previous and following centuries.

"Much of what has been written gives the impression that there were not many slaves and minimises the impact that slavery had on Europe," Prof Davis said in a statement this week.

"Most accounts only look at slavery in one place, or only for a short period of time. But when you take a broader, longer view, the massive scope of this slavery and its powerful impact become clear."

Prof Davis conceded his methodology was not ideal but Ian Blanchard, professor of economic history at the University of Edinburgh and an authority on trade in Africa, said yesterday that the numbers appeared to add up.

"We are talking about statistics which are not real, all the figures are estimates. But I don't find that absolute figure of 1 million at all surprising. It makes total sense."

The arrival of gold from the Americas and the shipping of slaves from west Africa squeezed the traditional business of the Barbary merchant fleet which was transporting gold and slaves from southern to northern Africa, so they turned their gaze to Europe, said Prof Blanchard.

However David Earle, author of The Corsairs of Malta and Barbary and The Pirate Wars, said that Prof Davis may have erred in extrapolating from 1580-1680 because that was the most intense slaving period: "His figures sound a bit dodgy and I think he may be exaggerating."

Dr Earle also cautioned that the picture was clouded by the fact the corsairs also seized non-Christian whites from eastern Europe and black people from west Africa. "I wouldn't hazard a guess about the total."

According to one estimate, 7,000 English people were abducted between 1622-1644, many of them ships' crews and passengers. But the corsairs also landed on unguarded beaches, often at night, to snatch the unwary.

Almost all the inhabitants of the village of Baltimore, in Ireland, were captured in 1631, and there were other raids in Devon and Cornwall.

Reverend Devereux Spratt recorded being captured by "Algerines" while crossing the Irish sea from Cork to England in April 1641 and in 1661 Samuel Pepys wrote about two men, Captain Mootham and Mr Dawes, who were also abducted.

Last year it was announced that one of the richest treasure wrecks found off the coast of Devon was a 16th-century Barbary ship en route to catch English slaves.

Although the black Africans enslaved and shipped to North and South America over four centuries outnumbered Prof Davis's estimates of white European taken to Africa by 12-1, it is probable they shared the same grim conditions.

"One of the things that both the public and many scholars have tended to take as given is that slavery was always racial in nature - that only blacks have been slaves. But that is not true," said the author.

In comments which may stoke controversy, he said that white slavery had been minimised or ignored because academics preferred to treat Europeans as evil colonialists rather than as victims.

While Africans laboured on sugar and cotton plantations the European slaves were put to work in quarries, building sites and galleys and endured malnutrition, disease and maltreatment.

Ruling pashas, entitled to an eighth of all captured Christians, housed them in overcrowded baths known as baños and used them for public works such as building harbours and cutting trees. They were given loaves of black bread and water.

The pasha's female captives were more likely to be regarded as hostages to be bargained for ransom but many worked as attendants in the palace harem while awaiting payment and freedom, which in some cases never came. Some slaves bought by private individuals were well treated and became companions, others were overworked and beaten.

"The most unlucky ended up stuck and forgotten out in the desert, in some sleepy town such as Suez, or in the Turkish sultan's galleys, where some slaves rowed for decades without ever setting foot on shore," said Prof Davis, whose book is published in the US by Palgrave Macmillan.

Robert Davis provides an interesting insight into a largely ignored part of Afro-European history.

Racial quotas for hiring black college professors have failed

John H. Bunzel:

For the past 35 years, one of the issues confronting higher education has been how to increase the number of black and other minority group faculty members. It has proved to be a discouraging task.

College and universities across the country have tried many different ways to change the ethnic and racial composition of their faculties.

Officials were aware it was impermissible to deny opportunities for a faculty appointment on the basis of race or color, but they also knew deliberate efforts had to be made to include women and minorities in the pool of candidates.

Their initiatives were joined by the federal government, which wanted quick results. But even the most aggressive methods to hire more racial minorities did not produce the desired results.

In 1988, the University of Wisconsin pledged to hire 70 new minority faculty members by 1991. Duke University asked each of its 50 departments to hire at least one new black faculty member by 1993. Other schools took similar steps.

What was never clear, however, was where they were going to find such talent in such a short time. Self-imposed "goals" and "timetables" may have scored political points, but in practical terms, they were simply unrealistic. There were not enough minority Ph.D.s to satisfy the recruitment efforts of colleges and universities to diversify their faculties.

In the 1970s, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, seeking what it called "equalized results," informed the 19 campus presidents of the California State University system that faculty positions were to be left unfilled if there were no minority applicants, even if qualified white applicants were available. (The plan was eventually abandoned because of challenges to the legality of the "set-asides.")

In language that struck the college presidents as even more ill- considered, the commission recommended that because only a few black and other minority candidates had Ph.D.s, the requirement of the doctorate should be dropped, and black candidates with only a master's degree should be considered in the same way that white candidates with a Ph.D. would be considered.

Today, the shortage of black (and other minority group) professors remains a problem of supply, not demand.

By 2001, black Americans earned only 6 percent of the 40,744 doctorates nationwide. They represent 5 percent of all full-time faculty members, and half of them work at historically black institutions.

The proportion of black faculty members at predominantly white institutions is the same as it was 20 years ago: 2.3 percent.

A just-published five-year study, "Increasing Faculty Diversity," reveals a root problem of why so few minority undergraduates pursue a doctorate and become professors.

The prime reason given by minority students was lower undergraduate grades. In the sample of 1,518 African American students, only 65 selected the academic profession as their intended career -- and they were the ones with excellent grades.

"Students with lower grades are more likely to want to become businesspeople and teachers," the study found. "If African Americans and Latinos had the same grade distribution as white students, there would be a meaningful increase in the proportion selecting academia as a first-choice career."

Some insist the situation is the result of discrimination. While it would be foolish to deny the existence of discrimination, the problem runs deeper.

Far fewer blacks of 18 to 19 years old complete secondary school than white students.

On average, black high school graduates achieve levels of literacy well below those of white students. A National Science Foundation study pinpointed a serious gap in math achievement between black and white high school students.

There is no quick fix that will close the gap between black and white achievement.

What colleges should do is abandon their "diversity" goals and concentrate on hiring the best people to do the teaching. That way students can have absolute confidence in the ability of their professors regardless of their skin color.

News from Crazyworld: "Porking Yard" sign must be changed because it offends Muslims

Pure stupidity:

A man who was made subject to an Anti-Social Behaviour Order for putting up a sign saying "porking yard" in his pub car park, because it was offensive to Muslims, today described the court action as "a joke".

Leroy Trought, 42, was given a two-year Asbo at a hearing at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Magistrates ordered him to change the wording of the "porking yard" sign at The Swan With Two Necks in St Judes, Bristol, to "parking yard".

He was ordered not to display any signs that may be threatening, abusive or insulting at the pub, which is next to a Somali mosque.

The order was sought by Avon and Somerset Police and Bristol City Council after a series of complaints from residents in the St Judes area.

A spokeswoman for Bristol City Council said: "The Asbo was sought after we received a number of complaints from the wider community who found the sign to be racially and sexually offensive."

But Mr Trought today said that imposing the Asbo was a joke.

He said the sign was intended to commemorate the large number of butchers' shops that used to be located in the area and he had never intended to cause any offence.

He said: "We ran a competition in the pub to think of a funny name for the car park and one of the customers came up with the name "the porking yard".

"I grew up in Bristol so I know that this area has traditionally had a lot of butchers. It was always known as "pork alley" so "the porking yard" just seemed to fit.

"There's a butcher across the street that has been here for more than 100 years. It's political correctness gone mad.

"At the end of the day to receive an Asbo for this is a joke. We had no intention to cause any offence whatsoever.

"What really annoys me is the complaints that the sign is sexually offensive. Well, I can't see anything sexual about it. The people who thought that must have dirty minds."

Somali-born Khalil Abdi, who is street warden in the area, said the sign was deliberately provoking the Muslim community.

Speaking to the Bristol Evening Post, he said: "Because of my faith I am required to attend the mosque in the education centre to pray.

"I regularly use the learning centre in Wade Street, which is near to the pub, with my fellow Somali friends.

"Muslims do not eat pork but the sign has a picture of a pig and the words "porking yard".

"My friends and I were angered and upset by the sign and we have welcomed the court ruling ordering the sign to be changed. I definitely think it is provocative and insulting to Muslims."

Beat manager Adrian Williams, of Avon and Somerset Police, welcomed the Asbo.

He said he had received complaints about the sign from school teachers, community leaders and members of the Somali community.

He said: "We are very pleased that the order has been made following complaints from the community.

"It shows that this kind of behaviour, which is provocative, will not be tolerated."

Muslims would be a lot better off if they were less offended by silly signs and more offended by so-called honor killings.

Racial "kill list" was a hoax

13-year-old used hoax to fit in with other black students:

A 13-year-old African-American boy who was trying to "fit in" confessed to a hoax that prompted parents to pull their kids out of Laredo Middle School on Wednesday, officials said.

The boy, a Laredo seventh-grader, created two "kill lists," discovered Tuesday, that included a racial slur and threatened harm to roughly a dozen black students, police said. The suspect included his own name, said Kathleen Walsh, spokeswoman for Aurora police.

One list was scrawled in pencil in a boys' restroom, Walsh said. An African-American student reported finding a second list in his locker.

News of the boy's arrest stunned parents.

"It's a shock," said Rachel Turk, one of more than 40 parents who pulled their children out of Laredo on Wednesday after hearing about the threats. She said she was "horrified" by the kill list.

Turk's son, who is black, went to school Wednesday, but her husband pulled him out. The thought that the list was made by a black student had crossed her mind, Turk said.

"I said to my husband, 'I hope it's not one of our kids playing games."'

Walsh said the boy may have been motivated by a desire to fit in with other black students. Another possible motive is that he was worried about getting into a fight and created the list as a distraction.

The suspect was released to his mother and may face misdemeanor charges of racial intimidation, harassment and interference with an educational institution.

He has also been suspended and could be expelled, said Michelle Ancell, spokeswoman for the Cherry Creek School District.

The suspect confessed to Aurora police on Wednesday. Inconsistencies in one list and a handwriting analysis led police to him.

In the news:

School holds forum on "kill list" incident

Colorado teen's 'kill list' a hoax

Thursday, March 24, 2005

African-American and Latino students are earning high school diplomas at alarmingly low rates

A new study by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University warns that California's high school graduation rates are not accurate and that African-American and Latino students are earning high school diplomas at alarmingly low rates:

California's overall graduation rate -- or the percentage of freshman who earn a regular diploma four years later -- is about 71 percent, according to both state officials and the researchers.

But the state does not compute statewide graduation rates by race or ethnicity, and when the researchers did that with a new formula, they found that only 57 percent of African-American students and 60 percent of Latino students graduated on time in 2002.

It's even worse for male students: 50 percent for African-Americans and 54 percent for Latinos.

But most troubling, the researchers said, was the graduation rate they computed for Latino and African-American students in the state's 10 largest school districts. The researchers did not examine other districts, including those in Santa Clara County.

``Large urban school districts in California have become dropout factories,'' said Gary Orfield, director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, who called for more accurate reporting. ``The economic and social impacts of this dropout crisis are too enormous for Californians to ignore.''

State education officials said the study's conclusion, which computes graduation rates using enrollment data tracked through grade levels, is not surprising. And while they report a graduation rate of almost 87 percent to the federal government for the 2001-02 school year using a federal formula, they also report on the Department of Education Web site that the rate is probably closer to 71 percent.

To resolve that conflict -- and get a much clearer picture of how many students start and then finish high school -- they want to implement a system that would track individual students as they move from grade to grade and even school to school in California or out of state. At the moment, for example, if a student leaves San Jose Unified and moves to Arizona or Mexico, there's no way to determine if the student is still in school.

But while that tracking program has been approved by the Legislature, the state's budget crisis has delayed implementation for at least another year.

``The reality is that no one knows the exact figure,'' said Jack O'Connell, California's superintendent of public instruction.

Students leave school for a number of reasons. Academic struggles, teen pregnancy, poverty, and the need to care for younger siblings are all factors. Others are expelled, in jail, leave the country, move to other states or go straight into community college programs before their graduation date.

``There's clearly a problem,'' said Donna Rothenbaum of the California Department of Education. ``Our graduation rate has been around 70 percent, and it's alarming. It's a number that we want to see go higher. More than 70 percent of our kids should be graduating high school after four years.''

Santa Clara County files an annual dropout report with the state, but officials say the figures are considered to be unreliable because individual students are not tracked.

In that report, the county listed its 2002-03 dropout rate as 6.4 percent. The figure is an estimate of students who would drop out over a four-year period, based on information collected in a single year. The statewide dropout rate for the same period is 12.6 percent. For San Jose Unified, the figure is 4.2 percent.

There is no official countywide graduation rate. However, districts are required to file their own rates -- as well as that of their individual high schools -- to conform with federal No Child Left Behind requirements.

In that report, San Jose Unified lists its graduation rate for the class of 2002-03 as 93.8 percent, but officials say that figure is almost certainly overstated. For the same year, the district said the dropout rate among Latinos in the district was 6.1 percent, among Asians it was 0.3 percent and among whites it was 3.3 percent.

In the news:

Report blasts state over dropouts Graduation rates inflated, study finds

Calif. Dropout Problem Said Underestimated

Civil rights group finds California underestimated dropouts

Half of Latino, black students drop out of San Diego schools

High school dropout rates underreported

Graduation rates lower than stated

Study finds California dropout rates higher than thought

Many Zimbabweans want white racist government back

Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times:

The hungry children and the families dying of AIDS here are gut-wrenching, but somehow what I find even more depressing is this: Many, many ordinary black Zimbabweans wish that they could get back the white racist government that oppressed them in the 1970's.

"If we had the chance to go back to white rule, we'd do it," said Solomon Dube, a peasant whose child was crying with hunger when I arrived in his village. "Life was easier then, and at least you could get food and a job."

Mr. Dube acknowledged that the white regime of Ian Smith was awful. But now he worries that his 3-year-old son will die of starvation, and he would rather put up with any indignity than witness that.

An elderly peasant in another village, Makupila Muzamba, said that hunger today is worse than ever before in his seven decades or so, and said: "I want the white man's government to come back. ... Even if whites were oppressing us, we could get jobs and things were cheap compared to today."

His wife, Mugombo Mudenda, remembered that as a younger woman she used to eat meat, drink tea, use sugar and buy soap. But now she cannot even afford corn gruel. "I miss the days of white rule," she said.

Nearly every peasant I've spoken to in Zimbabwe echoed those thoughts, although it's also clear that some still hail President Robert Mugabe as a liberator. This is a difficult place to gauge the mood in, because foreign reporters are barred from Zimbabwe and promised a prison sentence of up to two years if caught. I sneaked in at Victoria Falls and traveled around the country pretending to be a tourist.

The human consequences of the economic collapse are heartbreaking. I visited a hospital and a clinic that lacked both medicines and doctors. Children die routinely for want of malaria medication that costs just a few dollars.

At one maternity ward, 21 women were sitting outside, waiting to give birth. No nurse or doctor was in sight, and I asked the women when they had last eaten meat, eggs or other protein. They laughed uproariously. Lilian Dube, a 24-year-old who had hiked 11 miles to get to the hospital, said that she had celebrated Christmas with a morsel of goat meat.

"Before that, the last time I had meat was Christmas the year before," she said. "I just eat corn porridge and mnyi," a kind of wild fruit.

An elementary school I visited had its fifth graders meeting outside, because it doesn't have enough classrooms. Like other schools, it raises money by charging fees for all students - driving pupils away.

"Only a few of the kids who started in grade one are still with me in school," Charity Sibanda, a fifth-grader, told me. "Some dropped out because they couldn't pay school fees. And some died of AIDS."

As many as a third of working-age Zimbabweans have AIDS or H.I.V., and every 15 minutes a Zimbabwean child dies of AIDS. Partly because of AIDS, life expectancy has dropped over the last 15 years from 61 to 34, and 160,000 Zimbabwean children will lose a parent this year.

AIDS is not President Mugabe's fault, but the collapse of the health system has made the problem far worse.

The West has often focused its outrage at Mr. Mugabe's seizure of farms from white landowners, but that is tribalism on our part. The greatest suffering by far is among black Zimbabweans.

I can't put Isaac Mungombe out of my mind. He's sick, probably dying of AIDS, and his family is down to one meal a day. His wife, Jane, gave birth to their third child, Amos, six months ago at home because she couldn't afford $2 to give birth in the hospital. No one in the family has shoes, and the children can't afford to attend school. They're a wonderful, loving family, and we chatted for a long time - but Isaac and Jane will probably soon die of AIDS, and the children will join the many other orphans in the village.

When a white racist government was oppressing Zimbabwe, the international community united to demand change. These days, a black racist government is harming the people of Zimbabwe more than ever, and the international community is letting Mr. Mugabe get away with it. Our hypocrisy is costing hundreds of Zimbabwean lives every day.

In the news:

Zimbabwe's cruel paradox

Around the Blogosphere:

Today's Bit of Man Bites Dog News

The Hraka Advantage


Africa...Dictators...Corruption (Once More)

Operation Predator arrests more immigrant sex offenders

Another Operation Predator success:

Twenty-one foreign-born men who have committed crimes since they came to America were arrested Wednesday in Westchester County and could be deported, an immigration official said.

Their crimes included rape, sexual abuse and stalking, with victims as young as 6, officials said. The arrests were part of "Operation Predator," a federal program targeting sex criminals that has resulted in more than 5,300 arrests nationwide.

Thirty arrests were made in Westchester a year ago under the same program. In August, 60 aliens with sex crime convictions were arrested in New York City, and earlier this month, 28 arrests were announced in Suffolk County.

"We are putting every sex offender and child predator on notice," said Salvatore Dalessandro, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

More than 85 percent of those arrested have been foreign nationals, and more than 2,100 of them have been deported.

Most of Wednesday's arrests took place when the men were asked to report to a county probation office, only to be met by federal agents and taken to Paterson, N.J. for detention.

Because of their immigration status _ 14 were illegal aliens and seven were legal permanent residents _ their crimes made them eligible for deportation to their native countries, Dalessandro said. If their crimes do not warrant automatic deportation, they will have hearings before an immigration judge, he said.

The men came from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico and Paraguay. Five were supporting families in the United States. Officials said the families would "not necessarily" be deported as well.

Most of the convicts had been on probation for "a year or so" since their convictions, said Rocco Pozzi, Westchester's commissioner of corrections and probation. It took that long for their alien status to be confirmed and communicated to the federal government, Dalessandro said.

Pozzi said 19 of the men were arrested in an "orchestrated" roundup at the county probation office in White Plains as they complied with a request to report. He said the men had been fulfilling their probation requirements since being convicted.

Two other men were arrested in the street, Dalessandro said. Six more are being sought. 60 aliens with sex crime convictions were arrested.

In the news:

20 Sex Offenders Arrested In “Operation Predator”


Feds move to deport sex offenders

ICE Arrests 5,000th Predator

Bush attacks Minuteman Project

Bush obeys his Mexican master:

George W. Bush listens to his boss Vicente Fox
President Bush yesterday said he opposes a civilian project to monitor illegal aliens crossing the border, characterizing them as "vigilantes."

He said he would pressure Congress to further loosen immigration law.

More than 1,000 people — including 30 pilots and their private planes — have volunteered for the Minuteman Project, beginning next month along the Arizona-Mexico border. Civilians will monitor the movement of illegal aliens for the month of April and report them to the Border Patrol.

Mr. Bush said after yesterday's continental summit, with Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin at Baylor University, that he finds such actions unacceptable.

"I'm against vigilantes in the United States of America," Mr. Bush said at a joint press conference. "I'm for enforcing the law in a rational way."

The Minuteman Project was born out of a long-held perception among many residents that more Border Patrol agents are needed to handle the flow of illegal immigrants.

Mr. Bush was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats earlier this month for failing to add 2,000 agents to the Border Patrol, as set out in the intelligence overhaul legislation he signed in December.

The president's 2006 budget allows enough money to add only 210 agents for the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico.

Mr. Bush said he will "continue to push for reasonable, common-sense immigration policy." He has proposed legislation to grant guest-worker status to millions of illegal aliens already in the United States.

The legislation has attracted scant support in Congress, where it is widely regarded as another amnesty that will encourage even more illegal immigration.

Around the Blogosphere:

Illegals Protest Potential Drivers Liscense Law

Thank You Washington Times

Bush Misrepresents 'Minuteman Project'

Curious George and the Fox

Mr. President, you are wrong!

Bush Slams Minutemen calls them Vigilantes



Do Your Job Mr. President


Then Do Something About It

Islamic teachers praise anti-Jewish essay

Teachers suspended:

An Islamic school in Ottawa's west end suspended two teachers on Wednesday after they praised a student essay about martyrdom and killing Jews in Israel.

The administrators of Abraar School were shocked by the student's tale of ambushing and killing Israeli soldiers, said school principal Aisha Sherazi.

The eight-page story, written in Arabic, was about avenging last year's death of one of the founders of the Hamas terrorist movement. It included a cover page illustrated with a burning Star of David, a machine gun and a Palestinian flag flying from the top of the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine in Jerusalem.

"Without thinking, Ahmed took his M-16 machine gun and threw the bombs and he showered the Jews, this result in the killing of the soldiers," the student wrote in one passage.

A teacher wrote on the title page: "God bless you, your efforts are good."

Sherazi said the school of 200 students, ranging from kindergarten to Grade 8, does not condone this kind of thinking.

"Encouraging or inciting hatred is strictly prohibited at our school," she said in a prepared statement. "We will take all measures to investigate this matter and ensure that it does not reoccur."

In the news:

Islamic school suspends teachers over student's hate-filled tale

Around the Blogosphere:

Islamic Indoctrination of Children

Does the southwestern United States belong to Mexico?

Here is an interesting poll from 2002:

A healthy majority of Mexicans claim that their country rightfully owns much of the southwestern United States, while most Americans believe Washington should adopt stricter immigration standards and deploy U.S. troops along the border, a new poll says.

According to a just-published survey conducted by Zogby International, the polling firm found that a majority of Mexicans say the U.S. southwest "rightfully belongs to Mexico," and that Mexican citizens should be able to come into those areas freely, without U.S. permission.

The poll found that 58 percent of Mexicans agree with the statement, "The territory of the United States' southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico." Zogby said 28 percent disagreed, while another 14 percent said they weren't sure.

Meanwhile, a similar number – 57 percent – agreed that "Mexicans should have the right to enter the U.S. without U.S. permission," while 35 percent disagreed and 7 percent were unsure.

"There is obviously a large and significant gap between the attitudes of Americans and Mexicans," said Robert Goldsborough, president of Americans for Immigration Control, which commissioned the poll.

"While most Americans want immigration reduced, most Mexicans think they don't even need permission to enter our country," he said. "The poll clearly shows there is less common ground for immigration negotiations between Mexico and the U.S. than the leaders think.

"Support for a porous border and a loose immigration policy occurs only on the Mexican side, not in the U.S.," said Goldsborough.

The poll found that 58 percent of the 1,015 Americans polled between May 28 and May 30 want the government to admit fewer immigrants each year, compared to 30 percent who want to keep immigration at current levels and just 6 percent who want to admit more.

Fully 65 percent of Americans, Zogby said, don't support granting amnesty to illegal immigrants currently in the U.S., as President Bush has advocated, compared to 26 percent who do support it.

Also, 68 percent said they agreed that U.S. troops should be temporarily deployed along the U.S. border "to help the U.S. Border Patrol curb illegal immigration." Twenty-eight percent disagreed, while 3 percent said they weren't sure.

This probably explains why Vicente Fox is so arrogant with his anti-American views on immigration since a large percentage of his population regards a significant part of the United States as stolen property.

Correction: Thanks to the reader who pointed out the error in my original title.

Lou Dobbs and Mexico's "heroes"

Illegal immigration:

The ninth U.S.-Mexico Border Issues Conference spotlighted immigration and national security, issues that have dominated the gathering since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The March 15 conference, at the Library of Congress, drew some 200 policymakers, business leaders and experts from the United States and Mexico in such fields as health, the environment and diplomacy.

Participants included the National Council of La Raza and the Embassy of Mexico.

One panelist, CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, for several years has used his nightly business program to attack undocumented immigration. His stance on the issue has been widely criticized by immigrant-rights groups and Mexico, but he says that the groups and the government of Mexico don't want to acknowledge that a problem exists.

Recently, Mexico Interior Minister Santiago Creel, who had planned to attend the conference but canceled at the last minute, called undocumented emigrants that country's heroes.

Dobbs said that the comment demonstrates Mexico's cynicism on the issue.

"Each one of those illegal aliens is a testament to the failure of Mexico's policies, economic and social," said Dobbs. "For him to say they are heroes is a horrible rationalization for the government of Mexico. I don't think Secretary Creel should take so much pride nor do I think he would hold them up as heroes if those illegal immigrants were not sending back to Mexico $17 billion every year.

"Mexico's principal export this year will be illegal aliens, not petroleum, not manufactured goods, and that should make (Mexican President) Vicente Fox and the Mexican government not more arrogant but more humble."

Around the Blogosphere:

Report From Not Quite Occupied America: Cynthia Tucker vs. Georgia Patriots

Canada's growing minority population

Minority population growth in Canada:

Roughly one out of every five people in Canada, or between 19% and 23% of the nation's population, could be a member of a visible minority by 2017 when Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, according to new ethno-cultural population projections.

Under the scenarios considered for these projections, Canada would have between 6.3 million and 8.5 million visible minorities 12 years from now.

Depending on the growth scenario, this would be an increase ranging from 56% to 111% from 2001, when their number was estimated at about 4.0 million. In contrast, the projected increase for the rest of the population was estimated at between only 1% and 7% between 2001 and 2017.

In 2001, 13% of the population identified themselves as belonging to a visible minority group as defined in the Employment Equity Act.

Data from past censuses showed that the visible minority population is growing much faster than the total population. Between 1996 and 2001, the total population increased 4% while the visible minority population rose 25% or six times faster.

The study showed that regardless of the scenario (low growth or high growth) the visible minority population would continue increasing at a faster pace than the rest of the population between now and 2017.

The same would be true for Canada's populations of immigrants, allophones and non-Christian religious denominations.

In the news:

Toronto, an Asian city?

Canada's Minority Populations Expected to Soar


How the lines between races are blurring

Study on immigration trails reality of city

Visible minorities to top 50% in Vancouver by 2017

Violent deaths eight times more likely in South Africa

Violent deaths in South Africa:

Violence was the leading cause of non-natural deaths in 2003, accounting for 48% of them.

This was disclosed in the fifth National Injury Mortality Surveillance System (NIMSS) annual report, released in Durban yesterday.

The report contains information and statistics gathered by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of South Africa from 36 mortuaries in seven provinces.

Researchers scrutinised a total of 22,248 non-natural deaths and found that 10,499 were attributable to violence.

The data also revealed there was a high incidence of gun violence in Johannesburg and Durban. Firearm suicides were high in Pretoria.

The report, which was edited by the MRC's Richard Matzopoulus, showed that in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, violence was the leading cause of non-natural deaths.

In Pretoria, road accidents were the leading cause, making up 39.7% of fatalities, while violence accounted for 31.4%.

Dr Etienne Krug, of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said Cape Town had the highest rate of fatal violence, with 66 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by Durban with 61, Johannesburg 52 and Pretoria/ Tshwane 24.

WHO estimates that more than 1.6-million people are killed violently worldwide each year.

Krug said that in 2000 there were more than 32,000 violence-related deaths in South Africa, which translated into 72 per 100,000 people - about eight times higher than the global rate of 8.8.

But despite the statistics, NIMSS researchers were confident that fatal injury rates in the country were declining. Only suicide was on the increase.

Another area of concern that arose from the report was the prominence of firearm-related deaths.

Despite the tightening of gun laws, gunshot injuries were the cause of 52% of violent deaths. Of these gun-related fatalities, 87% were caused by violence, while 12% resulted from suicide.

Transport-related deaths accounted for 27.7% of fatalities, and suicides and unintentional injuries such as burns, falls and drownings each accounted for 11% of injury deaths.

The report showed that more people are killed violently in December and March than any other month.

South Africans were more likely to die on the weekend, with 23.6% of violent deaths taking place on Saturday and 21.3% on Sunday.

Sunday was also the preferred day for suicide, followed by Monday.
Violence was at its peak between 8pm and 11pm while transport-related deaths were at their peak between 6pm and 9pm and 6am and 8am.

The report also found alcohol in the blood in 11,390 of the 22,248 cases. In all four cities studied, males aged between 15 and 55 were most at risk of death from injury and in many cases these deaths occurred at night when the victims were under the influence of alcohol.

The report showed that 50.8% of people killed violently tested alcohol-positive and 53.3% of people killed in transport incidents were also alcohol positive.

In the news:

Violence reigns in CT - report

Durban second in violent deaths

Violence accounts for half of all injury deaths: report

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

News from Crazyworld: Laws shouldn't protect the public from mentally ill

Some British politicians believe that it is wrong to protect the general public from dangerous mental patients:

MPs and peers today condemned government proposals to protect the public from dangerous mental patients.

In a scathing report, a cross-party committee urged ministers to abandon measures which they claim would breach the civil rights of the mentally ill.

The committee said that the Government's draft Mental Health Bill "places too great an emphasis on protecting the public from a small minority of dangerous mentally-ill people".

It said the main aim of new laws should be to improve services, strengthen safeguards for patients and "reduce the stigma of mental disorder" - not to protect the public.

It seems that the British parliament has quite a few dangerous mentally-ill people of its own.

Bush still pandering to Mexico

Bush still doesn't get it:

With Mexico, Fox is pushing the United States to back immigration reform. Bush's hopes for a guest-worker program were dashed by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, which refocused U.S. attention on securing borders.

Bush still advocates liberalizing immigration, but the proposal has generated broad opposition among conservatives, a core Bush constituency.

"There's some million people a day crossing the border from Mexico into the United States, which presents a common issue, and that is how do we make sure those crossing the border are not terrorists or drug runners or gun runners or smugglers," Bush said. "I have told the president that I will continue to push for reasonable, common sense immigration policy with the United States Congress."

If there is an opening for a job an American doesn't want to take — a "willing worker and a willing employer" — that job ought to be filled by a legal immigrant.

"I think we ought to have a policy that does not jeopardize those who stood in line to become legal citizens," he said. "But there's a better way to enforce our border, and one way is to be compassionate and decent about the workers who are coming here to the United States."

How about being compassionate to the people who were born in the United States and to those who use legal means to come here? What Bush fails to realize is that one of the reasons why there are jobs that "an American doesn't want to take" is because employers know that they can hire illegal immigrants at wages on which a native-born American couldn't support a family. Without the illegals, employers would be forced to raise the wages that they were offering which would encourage native-born Americans to take the jobs.

In the news:

Fox astray on immigration

Mexico's Fox Is Not Going To Force-Feed Us His Workers

A "Whiny American" Speaks Out Against Illegal Aliens

Illegal Immigration Unimpeded Since 9/11


The Cost of Illegal Immigrants

Strangers among us

Many of Oklahoma immigrants are undocumented

Israeli Jewish views on intermarriage

A new survey has been conducted on Israeli Jewish opinions on intermarriage:

According to the survey, 43% of Israelis are unwilling to marry, or have their children marry, Ethiopians. More than 50% refuse to live in the same neighborhood as Arab families, 25% would not want their children to marry religious Jews and more than 10% were averse to their children marrying Sephardim. And these numbers are only the tip of the survey's iceberg.

Apparently Israeli Jews have almost as much problems with each other as they do with the Palestinians.

The death of the west

Mark Steyn on how the West was lost:

Almost every issue facing the EU - from immigration rates to crippling state pension liabilities - has at its heart the same glaringly plain root cause: a huge lack of babies. I could understand a disinclination by sunny politicians to peddle doom and gloom were it not for the fact that, in all other areas of public policy, our rulers embrace doomsday scenarios at the drop of a hat. Most 20-year projections - on global warming, fuel resources, etc - are almost laughably speculative. They fail to take into account the most important factor of all - human inventiveness: "We can't feed the world!" they shriek. But we develop more efficient farming methods with nary a thought. "The oil will run out by the year 2000!" But we develop new extraction methods and find we've got enough oil for as long as we'll need it.

But human inventiveness depends on humans - and that's the one thing we really are running out of. When it comes to forecasting the future, the birth rate is the nearest thing to hard numbers. If only a million babies are born in 2005, it's hard to have two million adults enter the workforce in 2025 (or 2033, or 2041, or whenever they get around to finishing their Anger Management, Systemic Racism and Gay Studies degrees). If that's not a political issue, what is? To cite only the most obviously affected corner of the realm, what's the long-term future of the Scottish National Party if there are no Scottish nationals?

When I've mentioned the birth dearth on previous occasions, pro-abortion correspondents have insisted it's due to other factors - the generally declining fertility rates that affect all materially prosperous societies, or the high taxes that make large families prohibitively expensive in materially prosperous societies. But this is a bit like arguing over which came first, the chicken or the egg - or, in this case, which came first, the lack of eggs or the scraggy old chicken-necked women desperate for one designer baby at the age of 48. How much of Europe's fertility woes derive from abortion is debatable. But what should be obvious is that the way the abortion issue is framed - as a Blairite issue of personal choice - is itself symptomatic of the broader crisis of the dying West.

Since 1945, a multiplicity of government interventions - state pensions, subsidised higher education, higher taxes to pay for everything - has so ruptured traditional patterns of inter-generational solidarity that in Europe a child is now an optional lifestyle accessory. By 2050, Estonia's population will have fallen by 52 per cent, Bulgaria's by 36 per cent, Italy's by 22 per cent. The hyper-rationalism of post-Christian Europe turns out to be wholly irrational: what's the point of creating a secular utopia if it's only for one generation?

Of course, Muslims are experiencing a population boom precisely because they don't buy into the politically correct hogwash that Europeans and Americans have been swallowing for much of the second-half of the twentieth century.

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