Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Avoiding Humiliation Woden'sday Rant


kyra phillips
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
CNN journist accidentally takes live mic to toilet while President Bush is making a speech.

She said nice things about her husband, but maybe that was all ****

16 comments:

Weasel said...

It’s bad enough that friends of Hezbollah terrorists could trick so many journalists with just a tall story and a rusty Lebanese ambulance.
Worse is that some of those journalists seemed so eager to believe this ambulance was indeed wickedly blown up by an Israeli missile fired straight through the big red cross on its roof—leaving not even a scorch mark.

But worst is that even now that this hoax has been exposed, none of the countless writers and commentators who fell for it have admitted to passing on as fact the propaganda of terrorists.

It is this refusal to admit that suggests there was an agenda, after all, to so much of the hysterical reporting of the war in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah.

(Click on title for full article)

No wonder Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer damned that coverage at a conference in Brisbane this week of Australian newspaper publishers: “What concerns me greatly is the evidence of dishonesty in the reporting out of Lebanon.”

Downer could have picked half a dozen examples of that dishonesty—or of incompetence married to a bias. But few are as good as the Case of the Holey Ambulance.

It started on July 24, when Israel was already being accused by much of the Western media of carelessly killing Lebanese civilians. And it started with a cautious paragraph in a media release from the Lebanese Red Cross:

“According to Lebanese Red Cross reports, two of its ambulances were struck by munitions, although both vehicles were clearly marked by the Red Cross emblem and flashing lights that were visible at a great distance. The incident happened while first-aid workers were transferring wounded patients from one ambulance to another.”

That same day, Cathy Gannon, a correspondent with the AP news agency, filed the first dramatic account of this latest example of Israeli badness.

She quoted a local Red Cross worker as saying Israeli jets had blasted two ambulances with rockets: “One of the rockets hit right in the middle of the big red cross that was painted on top of the ambulance.”

Another worker showed Gannon video of the vehicles he said had been attacked. Gannon wrote that it showed “one large hole and several smaller ones in the roof of one ambulance and a large hole in the roof of the second”. She added: “Both were destroyed.”

Britain’s ITV news promptly accused Israel of war crimes, and showed the same film, given to it by what it called a “local amateur cameraman”. Who, exactly?

Britain’s Left-wing Guardian added the colour: “(T)he blue light overhead was flashing, and another light illuminated the Red Cross flag when the first Israeli missile hit, shearing off the right leg of the man on the stretcher inside. As he lay screaming beneath fire and smoke, patients and ambulance workers scrambled for safety . . .”

The Boston Globe confirmed there had indeed been an explosion in the ambulance, quoting medic Qasim Chaalan, later pictured lying in hospital, bandages on his head: “A big fire came toward me . . .”

The story now reached Australia. On July 25 The Age listed those injured in the attacks (a list that varied in many reports): “Three patients—a woman, her son and grandson—were all injured further, the son losing his leg to a missile.”

The Australian the next day reported: “One of the Israeli rockets pierced the centre of the large red cross marked on the roof of one of the ambulances, as if it was used as a target.”

The Age then ran the longest and most dramatic account, by a correspondent with the Los Angeles Times, insisting: “Both ambulances were hit, directly and systematically, by Israeli bombs, the medics said . . .”

This was followed by countless other reports. In Australia they were carried by almost every mainstream paper, including the Sydney Morning Herald, Herald Sun, Advertiser and Courier-Mail.

The anti-Israeli tone of it all was exemplified by the Financial Review’s Brian Toohey, who scoffed: “Israel would like Australian troops to join a new international force to save it the pain of occupying Lebanon after the latest exercise of its right to self defence included attacks on ambulances . . .”

The usual Israel-damners seized on it, with the Sydney Morning Herald’s Mike Carlton asking “why an Israeli missile slammed with deadly accuracy into the unmistakable red cross atop a Lebanese civilian ambulance”.

And on TV and in print we were shown again and again the proof: a picture of “the” ambulance that was hit—Ambulance 782, presumably the worst damaged of the two—with a missile hole right through the cross-hairs of the Red Cross sign on its roof.

Ah yes, that picture. Soon some bloggers, the media watchdogs of the internet, looked closer and saw something very odd.

Check the pictures on this page. You could even see where the screws went. What’s more, the damaged parts of the roof were mottled with the rust of ages.

The bloggers—notably an American one known as Zombietime, whose research I’ve drawn on—dug out other damning photographs.

A side view of the ambulance, revealing the interior, showed no sign of fire or explosion, or anything to indicate a missile had slammed through the roof and landed . . . where? There was not even a dent in the floor.

The front windscreen was collapsed inwards, not outwards as you’d expect from an explosion that had blown up an ambulance and taken off a patient’s leg, and the side windows were intact.

There was more. Chaalan, the medic last seen lying in hospital with thick bandages over his chin and ear, was filmed some six days later giving another interview.

But this time he had no bandages—and the skin once covered by them had no scratch, scab, scar or even stain. A fast healer.

See the complete evidence on http://www.zombietime.com/fraud/ambulance. You will, I’m sure, conclude that if Israel fired a missile through the roof of any ambulance, it wasn’t this one. And if such a strike had injured a medic, it probably wasn’t Chalaan.

In fact, the proof that Israel had fired a missile through the roof of a Lebanese ambulance seemed to rely largely on a fake prop, the word of an exaggerator, and an inconclusive video given to the media by an unnamed Lebanese man.

Was an ambulance truly attacked by Israel? Where’s the proof? What we’ve been shown so far is a hoax.

But it hasn’t been the only hoax in the reporting from Lebanon. Reuters had to fire a freelance photographer in Lebanon who’d been caught by bloggers photo-shopping a picture to make a pall of smoke seem thicker.

The cover of US News and World Report magazine showed a picture of a Hezbollah soldier posed with the flames of Israel’s vengeance behind him—flames actually rising from a burning tip.

Then there was the Green Helmet Guy, a Lebanese rescue worker—or so reporters said—who always bobbed up at the sites of alleged Israeli atrocities, parading the victims and instructing foreign photographers on how to get the best shots.

There was also the Passion of the Toys, in which spotless, heart-rending toys kept featuring in the foreground of news agency pictures of Lebanese buildings bombed by the Israelis.

On it went, all uncovered by bloggers. A photogenically grieving Lebanese woman was pictured in front of a succession of houses we were told were hers—and each bombed flat by Israel.

The New York Times even ran a shot of a dead Lebanese civilian, posed just like a pieta of Christ in the ruins—only for later pictures to show him back on his feet.

What does all this tell us?

That news agencies, which hire local staff in dangerous places, can’t be sure bad guys aren’t dictating the coverage.

That so many media “errors” in this past war seemed to hurt Israel, not Hezbollah, indicating something more than chance was to blame.

That Western journalists are often too trusting of the claims of terrorists, and too hostile to the excuses of democracies.

And that the media has a new watcher—internet surfers who ask the awkward questions that too many journalists seem not to ask themselves. Not, that is, if the answer would help Israel.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_not_the_whole_truth/

The mistake is one a reader or listener might never pick up. A listener or reader expects a journalist to check facts. Yet we don't get facts from media, but opinion.

I'm not interested in journalist opinion, unless I'm reading an editorial. Dan Rather made a great show about resigning, or something, after a falsified document about President Bush surfaced .. yet nothing seems to have changed in the program.

There is bias in general media reporting of US or Israeli affairs. No amount of evidence seems to convince the true believers.

Weasel said...

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gets blunt:

Rumsfeld recited what he called the lessons of history, including the failure to confront Hitler in the 1930s. He quoted Winston Churchill as observing that trying to accommodate Hitler was “a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.”

“I recount this history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism,” he said.



“Can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?” he asked.

“Can we truly afford to return to the destructive view that America - not the enemy - is the real source of the world’s troubles?"

Significantly, Rumsfeld, a Herald Sun reader, was speaking just hours after our own Jill Singer wrote:

Now, I am as scared as Steyn is about Islamist terrorists, but a faith-based US President also scares the bejesus out of me.

According to Steyn, the Muslim faith is a problematic business for the rest of us. But our problems are more far more complex than this. Steyn’s wholehearted support of the US and Israel, together with his extreme aggravation of Muslims, is hardly a recipe for peace.

And Rumsfeld seems to agree with Alexander Downer about the media..

Rumsfeld:

Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths and lies and distortions being told about our troops and about our country.

Downer:

THE media has been attacked by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer for dishonesty, lazy journalism and ignoring the facts in its reporting of the Lebanon conflict.
Mr Downer said media reports in Australia and around the world tended to treat all Lebanese casualties as civilians when, in truth, many of those killed or injured were armed Hezbollah militants.

He also accused some of the world’s top news outlets, including London-based Reuters, of fraudulent coverage following Israel’s recent offensive into southern Lebanon.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/rumsfeld_warns_the_jill_singers_fascism_not_the_us_is_the_big_enemy/

But those journalists, they 'just wanted to believe.'

So sad that ones so mentally young should be disillusioned.

Weasel said...

Here’s a tragic tale of two best mates, two bottles of whisky and the senseless death of one of them. It also shows the tough task judges often face in deciding whether to jail someone or accept they made a stupid mistake and give them a second chance. Here’s the facts of the case as given to the court. What would your sentence have been?

Dan Henry Leatham and Benjamin Peter James had grown up together. They lived near one another, went to primary school and secondary college together and later both took the safe TAFE course to become motor mechanics. Friends and relatives described the two 18-year-olds as “inseparable” and “the best of friends”.

On Friday September 3, 2004, Dan telephoned Ben and invited him to his house to play cards, Relucatant to agree at first because he was tired, Ben finally said yes and Dan drove to pick him up. On the way back to Dan’s home, which he shared with his disabled mother, the pair bought two bottles of whisky.

The two spent the night playing cards and drinking to the point where, the Victorian Supreme Court was told, both were “extremely drunk”. When Ben decided about 1am to go home because he was tired, an argument broke out between the two in the street outside the house.

There was some pushing and shoving and eventually Dan punched Ben in the face. Ben fell backwards and hit is head on the road. He died about 17 hours later in hospital from head injuries.

Dan pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

The judge said in sentencing Dan on Monday that alcohol and young men was a dangerous mix. “What is perhaps less well known and certainly less appreciated is that the drinking of spirits by young men of your age is a particularly dangerous way to become intoxicated,” he said. “Whilst all intoxication is fraught with the risk of injury either to oneself or to others, intoxication by the drinking of spirits has particular risks. The whisky which you were drinking before you killed your best friend was about eight times stronger than full strength beer. Despite what the manufacturers of such drinks might say in their advertisements, the drinking of spirits by 18 year olds, whether mixed with fizzy additives or not, should not form part of appropriate recreational activities for people of either sex – if for quite different reasons.”

So what sentence did the judge give Dan? A three year suspended jail sentence.

While conceding that even serving three years in jail would be normally considered as “perhaps too lenient” for manslaughter, the judge said the circumstances in this case were “exceptional” and suspended the term of imprisonment, allowing Dan to walk free. But on the other side of the sentencing equation was Ben’s devastated mother, who had told the court in her victim impact statement that she believed Dan should have been charged with murder, not manslaughter.

Did the judge get it right?

http://blogs.news.com.au/news/crime/index.php/news/comments/best_mates_booze_and_death/

While I'm sure the judge has interpreted the law correctly, I have little tolerance for drunks. I hate being accosted by drunks. My mother was a hurtful drunk. I would charge the community with neglect, and sentence it to paying for a wastrel behind bars for twenty years.

Weasel said...

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gets blunt:

Rumsfeld recited what he called the lessons of history, including the failure to confront Hitler in the 1930s. He quoted Winston Churchill as observing that trying to accommodate Hitler was “a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.”

“I recount this history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism,” he said.



“Can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?” he asked.

“Can we truly afford to return to the destructive view that America - not the enemy - is the real source of the world’s troubles?"

Significantly, Rumsfeld, a Herald Sun reader, was speaking just hours after our own Jill Singer wrote:

Now, I am as scared as Steyn is about Islamist terrorists, but a faith-based US President also scares the bejesus out of me.

According to Steyn, the Muslim faith is a problematic business for the rest of us. But our problems are more far more complex than this. Steyn’s wholehearted support of the US and Israel, together with his extreme aggravation of Muslims, is hardly a recipe for peace.

And Rumsfeld seems to agree with Alexander Downer about the media..

Rumsfeld:

Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths and lies and distortions being told about our troops and about our country.

Downer:

THE media has been attacked by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer for dishonesty, lazy journalism and ignoring the facts in its reporting of the Lebanon conflict.
Mr Downer said media reports in Australia and around the world tended to treat all Lebanese casualties as civilians when, in truth, many of those killed or injured were armed Hezbollah militants.

He also accused some of the world’s top news outlets, including London-based Reuters, of fraudulent coverage following Israel’s recent offensive into southern Lebanon.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/rumsfeld_warns_the_jill_singers_fascism_not_the_us_is_the_big_enemy/#commentsmore

I don't think most people care about belief or administration. Lives are busy and full, few have the time or desire to create a 'false front' that manipulate the lives of strangers. The result is, when someone of strong opinions (read difficult) appears, most reasonable people accomodate them as it is easier, and less oppositional.

So many hear the lies of Islamo-Fascists and are willing to accept them because challenging them is all too hard. So an IF apologist will campaign against a local synagog, and when a reasonable person suggests that the protest is anti semitic, the IF comes back with a spray about imaginary atrocity to pretend family. Yet the press endorse the IF account. Bureaucracy like UN endorse the IF account. It is no wonder that the average person will often accept IF lies. Nazi lies were similarly spread, and many reasonable people accepted them.

Winston Churchill was labelled unreasonable for opposing Nazi ideology.

Weasel said...

Felicity Hampel, one of three Liberty Victoria officials who have been made judges by the Bracks Government, rules:

A MUSLIM woman has been granted leave to change her guilty plea to charges relating to a car rebirthing scheme.

County Court judge Felicity Hampel said she was satisfied the woman’s earlier guilty plea was not made as a result of free choice or an understanding of what pleading guilty meant.

Instead, Shahida Karim-Hawchar had acted in accordance with religious and cultural requirements that she obey her husband.

I’m confused.

Other civil libertarians argue the very opposite - that Islam actually empowers women. Hear it from Omeima Sukkarieh, a Muslim woman and a community liaison officer with Victoria’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission:


These verses have taught me that as Muslim women, we are acknowledged as an independent personality, in possession of human qualities and worthy of spiritual aspirations. Our human nature is neither inferior to, nor deviant from that of man.

UPDATE. Geneive Abdo of the Washington Post reports:

I have traveled the country, visiting mosques, interviewing Muslim leaders and speaking to Muslim youths in universities and Islamic centers from New York to Michigan to California—and I have encountered a different truth. I found few signs of London-style radicalism among Muslims in the United States. At the same time, the real story of American Muslims is one of accelerating alienation from the mainstream of U.S. life, with Muslims in this country choosing their Islamic identity over their American one.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/judge_rules_against_islam/

Religion is a personal choice that does not abrogate civil responsibility. It concerns me that this judge has denied this woman her right to act as a responsible citizen. Sounds to me like thiws is a case of bridge building into secret womens business

Weasel said...

The Australian also has some questions for the ABC’s Media Watch:

Memorandum to Peter McEvoy, Media Watch executive producer: Is the point of your program to expose biases and shortcomings in the Australian media, or simply to push a barrow for the ABC’s own obsessions?

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/watching_media_watch/

The ABC's Media watch is a threat to its boast of competency. In many respects, it is little more than a propaganda arm of the ALP (as in dirty tricks).

Weasel said...

A sample of Iran’s many brave bloggers, the symbol of the truest hope of liberation and reform…

Either the world should stop calling us “terrorists” or we should stand up and shout that we are not. If we can not change the way Iran is introduced to the world by our president, we should change the way we introduce ourselves to the world. The true Iran should be blogged and it is the time to break the fake mask.

- Adventures of Mr Behi

Please help us in our plight for freedom in Iran by adding your voice in support of our concerns. We demand the safe release of Ahmad Batebi whose life is in danger after more than one week on hunger strike.

- A Glinting Glimpse from Above the Wall

"Hey guys! Lets go to the newly opened club” all of us turned back when Amirhossein entered the cafĂ©.

“Club? Which club do you mean?”

“Haven’t you heard nuts!? The only Iranian club… It is Ahmadynejad’s good news...! The club even has yellow cakes!”

We laughed for our membership in “nuclear club"… a loud, sad, bitter laugh.

- A Journalist from Iran

“No, the driver is right,” I jump in. “As long as Iranians don’t pay taxes the government will not answer to them.”

“There is no country in the world with no taxes AND a government that answers to them. You have to have taxes,” the driver says. “Look at Europe. They pay a lot of taxes. They have good roads, good hospitals, governments that answer to them.”
- View from Iran

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/just_a_reminder_of_another_islam_121/

These people need our protection and attention. There lives are at risk for their activity. The sincerity and import of their words can be measured in that they have to say them .. at great risk.

Weasel said...

Jack Thomas, who trained with al-Qaida and was freed by the Victorian Appeal Court, explains why we have nothing to fear from him:

I reject killing innocent people, of any type. I reject killing flies; it’s what I’ve been taught by mum and dad, and it’s what Islam teaches us.

I believe in an eye for an eye.

I hope that’s clear.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_jack_thomas_code/

It is clear that Thomas is too stupid to be an honest citizen. He needs to be locked up for our protection.

Weasel said...

Animal liberationist and Greens philosopher Peter Singer has previously discussed the rules of having sex with animals, suggesting that “occasionally mutually satisfying activities may develop”:

This does not make sex across the species barrier normal, or natural, whatever those much-misused words may mean, but it does imply that it ceases to be an offence to our status and dignity as human beings.

The rules have now been clarified for the curious. From the UN’s experience in East Timor it turns out that one bleat means “no":

In 2001, two Jordanian soldiers were evacuated home with injured penises after attempting sexual intercourse with goats.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/neigh_means_neigh/

There would be fewer injuries to Jordanian soldiers if they were given some basic training. The best goats haven't teethed ;-)

Weasel said...

Julian Burnside QC, of Liberty Victoria, gets a chance to preach to the sensible readers of our news.com.au website about our Tampa shame.

He promptly comes under heavy return fire, leading him first to admit too much:

Sajb thinks I am condescending in my language. I am sorry for that. It is the way I speak.

Then complain too much:


I suspect that a lot of the harsh views we are seeing in this blog are the result of the selfish thought that YOU will never be a refugee.

And exaggerate too much:

Scooter says “(Tampa) was heading for an Indonesian port, once the “refugees” found this out they demanded the boat be turned around and go to Australia”. Not quite right. A few of the refugees complained about goinf to Indonesia. The women and children said nothing; most of themen said nothing.

“Just “a few” of the Tampa “refugees” simply “complained”?

Here is how the captain of the Tampa, Arne Rinnan, actually described to Latelinethe way he was persuaded to turn around and head for Australia:

GEOFF THOMPSON: But the rescue was welcomed with threats and demands to land on Australian soil.

ARNE RINNAN: And they were behaving in a very aggravated, highly excited manner.

Then the body language was kind of threatening and was all up in my face.

To the Observer, Rinnan said:

A delegation of five men came up to the bridge. They behaved aggressively and told us to go to Australia. They said they had nothing to lose.

Burnside also glides over the strongest moral case for the Howard Government’s smashing of the people smuggling networks:

Hundreds of people have died in the attempt to save themselves.

Acturally, hundreds of people drowned in the attempt to reach Australia when we had more “compassionate” touch-the-sand-and-stay policies. None have died trying to reach us since the Government removed that temptation.

Yes, the “cruel” policies Burnside apposes actually saves lives.

But the end of his stint on news.com.au, Burnside reassures his supporters:

But don’t be upset by the posts from people who think my views are stupid. At least we are talking about it.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/burnside_tests_his_tampa_ideas_on_the_public/

I work with refugees a lot. I have nothing but love for most of them. I think it is in their interests that Australia have the secure borders favoured by Howard, over the ridiculous, dangerous ands endangering policy of ALP.

With some 20 million refugees worldwide, it is better to improve conditions of home states than it is to promote a utopia for those lucky enough to survive the depraved indifference of people smugglers and difficult journey.

Our current refugee debate is a throwback to when the ALP abrogated Australia's responsibility to Vietnamese. For the sake of all refugees worldwide, let us hope Burnside never gets electoral mandate.

Weasel said...

Hezbollah can’t even help in an honest way:

Perhaps you saw the images in your newspaper or on television:


“A Lebanese man counts U.S dollar bills received from Hizbollah members in a school in Bourj el-Barajneh, a southern suburb of Beirut, August 19, 2006. Hizbollah handed out bundles of cash on Friday to people whose homes were wrecked by Israeli bombing, consolidating the Iranian-backed group’s support among Lebanon’s Shiites and embarrassing the Beirut government. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (LEBANON)”

This scene and dozens more like it flashed around the planet. Only one thing was missing--the thin wire security strip that runs from top to bottom of a genuine US$100 bill. The money Hezbollah was passing was counterfeit, as should have been evident to anybody who studied the photographs with due care.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/hezbollahs_counterfeit_help/

I'm sure Nasrallah thinks it clever to counterfeit money. It ties in well with federal ALP monetary policy.

Weasel said...

The truth comes too late to destroy the lie, of course. But we can now dismiss those screaming headlines that accused George Bush or his wicked puppetmaster, Karl Rove, of outing Valerie Plame as a CIA agent to punish her husband, the war-critic:

The leak of information about an undercover CIA employee that provoked a special prosecutor’s investigation of senior White House officials came from then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, according to a former Armitage colleague at the department.

Armitage told newspaper columnist Robert D. Novak in the summer of 2003 that Valerie Plame, the wife of a prominent critic of the Iraq war, worked for the CIA, the colleague said. In October of that year, Armitage admitted to senior State Department officials that he had made the remark, which was based on a classified report he had read.

Armitage was in fact a critic of Bush’s war policies, and his outing of Plame was accidental. But I’m sure the truth won’t stop Bush haters from pushing the conspiracy theory instead.

After all, the truth doesn’t stop them from believing Plame’s husband was right when he said Iraq never asked Niger for uranium, and he’d told the lying Bush regime just that. The truth of that, of course, is that Joe Wilson lied - and Bush didn’t.

Weasel said...

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/another_lie_about_lying_bush_nailed/

It is difficult watching the left twist and turn to find nasty things to say about President Bush. There are many who pride themselves in making up detail. Google Bombing 'failure' as the president's resume (or miserable failure). placing thousand of lines of the President's words on online quote engines.

WMD were found in Iraq. The Democrats have not acted responsibly in opposing US policy. The President has acted with great distinction in working for all of his people, and for the world's needs.

Weasel said...

’ve mentioned before the 21st century version of Schopenhauer’s old dictum:

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed because the Right said it. Second, it is violently opposed because events are proving the Right is ... right. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident because the Left said it instead.

Oh, and the Right are still bastards.

London’s Daily Telegraph gives a perfect example, speaking to a headmaster forced out from his school more than 20 years ago:

There are no photographs of him pictured with his students. But that was all a long time ago now. Mr Honeyford, 72, “retired” more than 20 years ago as the headmaster of a school in Bradford. Or, at least, that was when he was vilified by politically correct race “experts”, was sent death threats, and condemned as a racist. Eventually, he was forced to resign and never allowed to teach again.

His crime was to publish an article in The Salisbury Review in 1984 doubting whether the children in his school were best served by the connivance of the educational authorities in such practices as the withdrawal of children from school for months at a time in order to go ‘’home” to Pakistan, on the grounds that such practices were appropriate to the children’s native culture. In language that was sometimes maladroit, he drew attention, at a time when it was still impermissible to do so, to the dangers of ghettoes developing in British cities.

Mr Honeyford thought that schools such as his own, the Drummond Middle School, where 95 per cent of the children were of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin, were a disaster both for their pupils and for society as a whole. He was a passionate believer in the redemptive power of education, and its ability to integrate people of different backgrounds and weld them into a common society. He then became notorious for, among other things, his insistence that Muslim girls should be educated to the same standard as everyone else.

Last week, 22 years on, he was finally vindicated. The same liberal establishment that had professed outrage at his views quietly accepted that he was, after all, right. Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, made a speech, publicly questioning the multiculturalist orthodoxies that, for so long, have acted almost as a test of virtue among “right-thinking” people. As Miss Kelly told an audience:

“... We have moved from a period of uniform consensus on the value of multiculturalism, to one where we can encourage that debate by questioning whether it is encouraging separateness. These are difficult questions and it is important that we don’t shy away from them. In our attempt to avoid imposing a single British identity and culture, have we ended up with some communities living in isolation of each other, with no common bonds between them?"

The whole article is worth reading.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/racist_then_right_now/

I believe there to be nothing wrong with an international education. It is true that there are difficulties that need to be overcome as a result of long journeys. However, many of the kids I know who go on long jaunts weren't cut out for research science anyway, but often have much to offer cultural studies and linguistic studies.

I believe the criticism hyper. I think the difficulties exaggerated. I think the rewards ignored in favor of an easy rant. Other than that, we agree.

Weasel said...

I wrote only last week about the children we were knowingly leaving in danger. Now this:

IT SHOULD be a happy moment, a child’s first birthday. Yet Robbie Gillett never had a chance to see the goodness in this world.

Two weeks after this photograph was taken, he was dead in what police now suspect was murder - the culmination of repeated physical abuse at the hands of an unknown person…

It is understood the injuries had been sustained over months…

Police would not elaborate on the family’s background, or whether there had been any prior reports of abuse to welfare agencies or police.


Want a bet? I repeat: Are we right to be so slow to remove children from terrible parents? Shouldn’t we “steal” more of them, as we once did?

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/steal_them_to_safety/

One of the more bizarre moments I faced was a civic minded drunk who took her motherly duty seriously enough to front parent teacher night. She was fat, and decked with all types of chains hanging from the nose, ears neck and wrists. She wore bike leathers, and her gloves were cut to expose her fingers. She slurred when she spoke. She gave me permission to beat her son for being naughty, if I had to. It was a train wreck, happening in slow motion. I could do nothing to help the poor, but angry boy.

Weasel said...

The Australian is going after Foreign Minister Alexander Downer for saying the story of Israel firing a rocket through the roof of a Lebanese ambulance was a hoax.

Today its Beirut reporter Martin Chulov checks again with his original source. This is Chulov’s story today:

Ambulance driver Qassem Shalim was closing the doors of the ambulance when the vehicle was hit. ``I am sure the missile was fired from a drone. The blue light was flashing on our roof, the red cross was clear and there was a light on the Lebanese Red Cross flag above me. Everything I said happened did happen,’’ he told The Australian in Beirut.

Everything he said happened did happen?

But this is how Shalim described the event in Chulov’s original story on July 26:


One of the Israeli rockets pierced the centre of the large red cross marked on the roof of one of the ambulances, as if it was used as a target…

The convoy was struck by two rockets fired from an Apache helicopter, just before midnight, severely injuring all six people on board…

In another ward, Qasin Shalin, the driver of the first ambulance, and the only one of six people to have escaped with light injuries, sat upright in bed, surrounded by the orange-clad men of Lebanon’s Red Cross, who have come to be known as the country’s bravest civil servants…

Mr Shalin was spared more serious injuries by the armoured vest he was wearing and the driver’s canopy that protected him from a direct hit.

He remembers nothing after the flash and bang of the missile then the crunch of the crash as his ambulance veered off road.

A helicoptor has become a drone. The man at the wheel becomes the man at the back of the ambulance. A moving ambulance becomes a stationary one.

And still no explanation how a rocket fired through the roof of his ambulance leaves a neatly machined hole right where the ventilation cover used to be, and then ... vanishes. No scorch marks. No sign of an explosion. No hole in the floor.

Nor does Shalin explain how the injuries he suffered on his face, requiring huge bandages, left not a scab or scar when he was filmed six days later with his face uncovered. Very odd.

UPDATE. Tony Eastley does no better when he tries on the ABC’s AM program to explain the inexplicable to Alexander Downer:

It may have been like some, much of the ordinance, it didn’t actually explode when it pierced the vehicle. So you still stand by what you said?

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_holey_ambulance_the_backside_covering_begins/

Principle of Ockham's Razor applies here. Do we believe Hezbollah made up and sold a lie to Western media? Or, do we believe in the restorative powers of hate based faith?