US tries to catch Rwanda genocide suspect, gets blamed for his escape and informant death

This story epitomizes the anti-American animus so prevalent in The Guardian. “Bloody end as trap for man behind massacres backfires: US attempt to catch tycoon blamed for slaughter of 800,000 in Rwanda results in death of key informant”.

The United States government spends time, money and other resources trying to catch someone who financed the massacred of 800,000 Rwandans in 1994. They offer a $3 million reward. A Kenyan businessman agrees to help so he can get the bounty. He gets killed. The US gets blamed. Typical.

Why are the US bothering? Clearly there is nothing in it for them except blame when it goes wrong, so why are they financing and helping to catch this man? What possible good does it do the US to pursue and bring to justice a Rwandan genocide suspect?

Their own security is under grave threat. I am sure the American tax payers would rather their tax dollars are spent on self-defense rather than trying to seek justice for a bunch of unappreciative Africans.

Also see the anti-American hate doggerel ‘poem’ by Harold Pinter in the same newspaper today.

Here they go again,
The Yanks in their armoured parade
Chanting their ballads of joy
As they gallop across the big world
Praising America’s God.

There is more, unfortunately, and I am not making this up. It really IS that bad.

Met start to nail ethnic mafia

Radical action was needed to slow the murder rate in the capital, which is growing rapidly due to drug mafia violence. No doubt there will be moans from the £95,000 a year lay race advisors, who like the old Soviet political commissars, have to be consulted before these sorts of actions can be taken.

I read somewhere yesterday (or the day before) that the lay race advisors were not consulted before the Finsbury Park raid. Damned right. They should have no veto and are a massive security risk. They can find out after the fact.

I also read today in the Guardian that “One of the world’s leading Islamic scholars denounced the police raid as “a desecration” yesterday. Professor Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the president of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, condemned Islamist extremism but added: “This does not justify the police to desecrate the sanctity of the mosque, the house of God should not be stormed in this way. Have the police in Britain ever stormed into a church?”.

If the Professor had bothered to read about the raid, he would know that the worship area was not entered, only the offices of the Mosque. It is the equivalent of raiding the vicars cottage or the priests offices rather than storm troopers kicking over the sacristy and pissing of hosts. And yes, churches have been raided. More would be raided if they harboured terrorists and counterfeiters, but they don’t.

Common misunderstandings of memes (and genes): The promise and the limits of the genetic analogy to cultural transmission processes

By Francisco J. Gil-White (fjgil@psych.upenn.edu ; http://www.psych.upenn.edu/~fjgil/)

Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.

Short Abstract: ëMemeticsí suffers from conceptual confusion and not enough empirical work. This paper attempts to attenuate the former problem by resolving the conceptual controversies. I criticize the overly literal insistenceóby both critics and advocatesóon the genetic analogy, which asks us to think about memes as bona-fide replicators in the manner of genes, and to see all cultural transmission processes as ultimately for the reproductive benefit of memes, rather than their human vehicles. A Darwinian approach to cultural transmission, I argue, requires neither. It is possible to have Darwinian processes without genes, or even close analogues of them. The cognitive mechanisms responsible for social-learning make clear why.” MORE

Lessons from the fall of an empire [FT]

“It is the time of year when people are casting about for good books to read to resolve the current perplexity. If you are sitting in Washington, there are few guides to the unique position of the US, whose military expenditure exceeds that of the next 14 countries combined.

The most frequently cited historical parallels, Britain and its 19th-century pax Britannica, or 16th-century Spain, the first country to grasp New World prosperity to dominate the Old World, do not really fit modern America. Both were locked in rivalry with other nearly equal European powers: France and (in the British case) Germany.

Washington readers could do worse than go back to a study of the first real exerciser of unipolar power, the Roman Empire. The book to read is Edward Gibbon’s classic study, whose first volume was (by chance) published in 1776, the year of the signing of the American declaration of independence. Gibbon’s advice immediately looks quite attractive and relevant to today.” MORE

"…a cornucopia of made-for-the-media whoppers."

Heather MacDonald on Homlessness in New York and Slave reparations in the latest City Journal.

Her new book, “Are cops racist?” has just been published and I have it on order from Amazon.He is an exerpt from the Amazon.com review:

The forces of opposition to “racial profiling” threaten to obliterate the crime-fighting gains of the last decade, especially in Americaís inner cities. This is the message of Heather Mac Donaldís new book, in which she brings her special brand of tough and honest journalism to the current war against the police. “The anti-profiling crusade,” she charges, “thrives on an ignorance of policing and a willful blindness to the demographics of crime.” In careful reports from New York and other major cities across the country, Ms. Mac Donald investigates the workings of the police, the controversy over racial profiling, and the anti-profiling lobbyís harmful effects on black Americans. The reduction in urban crime, one of the nationís signal policy successes of the 1990s, has benefited black communities even more dramatically than white neighborhoods, she shows. By policing inner cities actively after long neglect, cops have allowed business and civil society to flourish there once more. But attacks on police, centering on charges of police racism and racial profiling, and spearheaded by activists, the press, and even the Justice Department, have slowed the success and threaten to reverse it. Ms. Mac Donald looks at the reality behind the allegations and writes about the black cops you never heard about, the press coverage of policing, and policing strategies across the country. Her iconoclastic findings demolish the prevailing anti-cop orthodoxy.

Rover Scruton on American and British conservatism

“For the conservative temperament the future is the past. Hence, like the past, it is knowable and lovable. It follows that by studying the past of America — its traditions of enterprise, risk-taking, fortitude, piety and responsible citizenship — you can derive the best case for its future: a future in which the national loyalty will endure, holding things together, and providing all of us, liberals included, with our required sources of hope.” MORE

The aphorisms of T.H. Huxley

Here is a sample from the first few “pages”:

Proclaim human equality as loudly as you like. Witless will serve his brother.

Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty, and self-respect, are the qualities which make a real gentleman

Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.

The only freedom I care about is the freedom to do right; the freedom to do wrong I am ready to part with on the cheapest terms to anyone who will take it of me.

“Learn what is true, in order to do what is right,” is the summing up of the whole duty of man, for all who are unable to satisfy their mental hunger with the east wind of authority.

There is no alleviation for the sufferings of mankind except veracity of thought and of action, and the resolute facing of the world as it is when the garment of make- believe by which pious hands have hidden its uglier features is stripped off.

History warns us that it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.

No delusion is greater than the notion that method and industry can make up for lack of motherwit, either in science or in practical life.

The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.

The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

“I take it that the good of mankind means the attainment, by every man, of all the happiness which he can enjoy without diminishing the happiness of his fellow men.”