Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Liberal Mind

San Francisco is a sanctuary city. This means it does not cooperate with federal authorities when processing illegals caught committing crimes. This is especially true with juveniles. So what do they do with the influx of Honduran "juveniles" who are caught selling heroin and cocaine?

Read it sitting down:

Rather than have the drug offenders deported, [juvenile probation officials] have recommended that Juvenile Court judges and commissioners approve city-paid flights home to Honduras for the offenders with the aim of reuniting them with their families.

The practice ... does nothing to prevent offenders from coming back, while federal deportation legally bars them from ever returning. Federal officials say U.S. law prohibits helping an illegal immigrant to cross the border, even if it is to return home.

Those who are arrested routinely say they are minors, but police suspect that many are actually adults, living communally in Oakland and other cities at the behest of drug traffickers who claim to be their relatives.

Nonetheless, city authorities have typically accepted the suspects' stories and handled the cases in Juvenile Court, where proceedings are often shielded from public scrutiny.

"Some of them have been arrested four or five times," Capt. Tim Hettrich, until recently the head of the narcotics unit, said. "That is one of the big problems with being a city of sanctuary."

He scoffed at San Francisco's strategy of returning the offenders to their home country. "They probably get the round trip and the next day, they will be right back here," Hettrich said.

Joseph Russoniello, the U.S. attorney in charge of the San Francisco area, said he was "flabbergasted that the taxpayers' money was being spent for the purpose of ferrying detainees home. You have to have a perfect storm of dumb moves to have it happen."

William Siffermann, chief of San Francisco's Juvenile Probation Department, said .... the city's stance is that it does not have to report illegal immigrant minors to the federal government, even if they are found in Juvenile Court to have committed a crime.

Siffermann stressed that the city ships out juvenile offenders to their home countries only after all other rehabilitative efforts have failed, including probation, foster care and juvenile detention.

The strategy is appropriate, Siffermann said, because deporting young offenders would doom them from ever becoming productive residents of the United States. "It might prevent them from obtaining citizenship," he said, denying them a chance to "take a different course."

A recent count showed 22 of the 125 minors in custody at juvenile hall were immigrants and had no legal guardians in the United States, Siffermann said.

So the people of San Francisco pay for the arrest, processing, detention, probation, and flights back to Honduras for criminals who may not even be juveniles, so that nothing goes on their record that would keep them from someday becoming citizens of the U.S.

Isn't this precisely who we want as citizens of this country, people who came here illegally to sell crack cocaine to destroy the lives of those who use their merchandise?

Here's an idea. Let's deport Sifferman to Honduras.


Richard Dawkins, Call Your Office

The LA Times has a story about how Christianity in China is growing by leaps and bounds. Here are some excerpts:

Christianity -- repressed, marginalized and, in many cases, illegal in China for more than half a century -- is sweeping the country, swamping churches and posing a sensitive challenge to the officially atheist ruling Communist Party.

By some estimates, Christian churches in China, most of them underground, have roughly 70 million members, about as many as the party itself. A growing number of those Christians are in fact party members.

Christianity is thriving in part because it offers a moral framework to citizens adrift in an age of Wild West capitalism that has not only exacted a heavy toll in corruption and pollution but also harmed the global image of products labeled "Made in China."

Some Chinese Christians say their faith is actually a boon for the party, because it shores up the economic foundation that is central to sustaining communist rule.

For decades, most of China's Christians worshiped in secret churches, known as "house churches," that shunned attention for fear of arrest on charges such as "disturbing public order."

But in a sign of Christianity's growing prominence, in scores of interviews for a joint project of the Tribune and PBS' "Frontline/World," clerical leaders and worshipers from coastal boomtowns to inland villages publicly detailed their religious lives for the first time. They voiced the belief that the time has come to proclaim their place in Chinese society as the world focuses on China and its hosting of the 2008 Olympics in August.

The growing popularity of the religion is being led not by missionaries but by evangelical citizens at home. Where Christianity once was confined largely to poor villages, it's now spreading into urban centers, often with tacit approval from the regime. It reaches into the most influential corners of Chinese life: Intellectuals disillusioned by the 1989 crackdown on dissidents at Tiananmen Square are placing their loyalty in faith, not politics; tycoons fed up with corruption are seeking an ethical code; and party members are daring to argue that their religion does not put them at odds with the government.

This rise, driven by evangelical Protestants, reflects a wider spiritual awakening in China. As communism fades into today's free-market reality, many Chinese describe a "crisis of faith" and seek solace from mystical Taoist sects, Bahai temples and Christian megachurches.

Today, the government counts 21 million Catholics and Protestants -- a 50% increase in less than 10 years -- though the underground population is far larger. The World Christian Database's estimate of 70 million Christians amounts to 5% of the population, second only to Buddhists.

At a time when Christianity in Western Europe is dwindling, China's believers are redrawing the world's religious map with a growing community that already exceeds all the Christians in Italy.

Let's not dwell on the Times' squeamishness about saying exactly what it is the Chinese Christians are placing their trust in (it's not "faith" or "megachurches" - it's Christ). What is happening in China is truly remarkable, and it's not just China. There are reports from all over the world, especially the southern hemisphere, of a resurgent Christianity. People are realizing that the tenets of secular atheism are like dust in the mouth of those who need to slake their spiritual thirst, and they're turning by the millions, apparently, to the one source of water that can wash the dust away. How long will it be before the northern hemisphere takes notice?



Imagine that you could be brought to trial by an anonymous accuser who claims he was offended by something you said or wrote. In Canada you can be. If one person complains to the Canadian Human Rights Commission that your speech was offensive you can be tried for "hate crime."

David Warren writes in The Ottawa Citizen about this Kafkaesque system he says has been foisted upon slumbering Canadians by left-wing ideologues. Here's part of his column:

Truth is no defence, the absence of harm is no defence, there are no rules of evidence -- due process is entirely subverted. The inquisitors of these kangaroo courts may ultimately reach any "judgement" they please, after months or years of playing cat-and-mouse with their selected victim.

A Protestant minister in Alberta was, for instance, recently ordered to publicly renounce his Christian beliefs, as well as pay a big lump sum to the anti-Christian activist who had prosecuted him, in a case I mentioned in a previous column, and which I am pleased to see is getting wide publicity in the United States even if not up here. "Re-education" programmes are frequently assigned, for which the victim must also pay.

All of the complainant's expenses are paid by the taxpayer, as well as all of the overheads and expenses of the jet-setting "human rights" bureaucrats, who do all the prosecutorial work, as well as providing both judge and jury. The system is, in principle, indistinguishable from that in place during the Cultural Revolution in Maoist China. It was perpetrated by leftwing activists on the Canadian people while they were sleeping. It is a system of the activists, by the activists, and for the activists.

The people are still sleeping, but some "blowback" has finally begun to occur. Given its very eccentric inquisitorial practices, which have been documented and publicized on the Internet, the CHRC is now under an RCMP investigation, a Privacy Commission investigation, and there is a Parliamentary investigation pending. (As a public relations exercise, the CHRC has also hand-picked its own "independent" investigator to do what we can only assume will be a defensive whitewash, as usual at taxpayer expense.)

Unwanted attention and publicity has been drawn to these Star chambers by the case of Mark Steyn who had been charged with hate speech by a Muslim who didn't like what Steyn wrote in his best-seller America Alone: The End of the World as We Know it.

It is against this background the CHRC decided that the better part of valour is discretion, and that it truly did not need to be prosecuting such high-profile targets as the bestselling author, Mark Steyn, and the mainstream newsweekly, Maclean's, at the present time. The CHRC can retrench, and return to its bread-and-butter business of destroying little people who command no publicity -- biding their time until circumstances are propitious to "extend their mandate" again.

Vigilance is the price of liberty, and it is crucially important that we not take the heat off Canada's HRCs when they retreat. Canadians need to know the whole truth about what these vile "human rights" investigators have been doing, and in due course, their past victims should be exonerated.

Given what has already occurred, it is not enough to simply fire the people responsible for specific abuses. The Human Rights Code must be rewritten to eliminate future challenges to free speech and press, and the HRCs themselves taken down. The very notion that "your freedom ends when I begin to feel offended" must be shown for what it is: totalitarian flotsam in the foetid swamp of "politically correct thought."

Steyn's case was dismissed by the Ontario Human Rights Commission perhaps because they didn't want the ridicule they'd be inviting if they pursued it any further, but to give an idea of the sort of people who run this inquisition Warren cites an outrageous statement from its chief commissioner, Barbara Hall, to the effect that Maclean's (The magazine which published excerpt's of Steyn's work) was guilty of publishing "hate," nonetheless. She regretted that her commission had no mandate to try the case, but looked forward to a time when this mandate would be extended.

Free speech is endangered in the United States but it seems an almost totally alien concept in Canada, and indeed in many European countries where liberal fascism has been able to impose its will.