Sentencing at heart of Victorian youth crisis, say cops

Sentencing at heart of Victorian youth crisis, say cops, by Sam Buckingham-Jones.

The head of Victoria’s police union and the state’s Victims of Crime Commissioner have lashed lenient sentences handed out by the state’s courts, as it emerges most African youths sentenced for violent crimes in the past year were given average or below average punishments ­despite Premier Daniel Andrews repeatedly insisting they would feel the “full force of the law”.

Analysis by The Weekend Australian reveals that of the 17 offenders of Sudanese, South Sudanese or Kenyan descent who were sentenced in Victorian county courts in the past year, only two were given sentences above the average for the crime. In one case, despite the offender having 15 prior convictions, he was fined $100 and given a 188-day sentence after being charged with a theft and an affray that involved him stealing a 30cm knife and using it to stab another man in the leg in a brawl. …

Other offences committed by young African men that were given below-average sentences ­included armed robbery, theft, causing serious injury, indecent assault, theft, reckless conduct ­endangering life, affray and ­robbery. …

PC word-smithing to the rescue:

Victims of Crime Commissioner Greg Davies said the “therapeutic jurisprudence” approach of the past 30 years did not appear to be working. …

The lay person’s definition of ‘the full force of the law’ is not necessarily the same definition as the courts.

We call that “lying,” because we were deceived by their words.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Islamist extremism: dance with an enemy we dare not name

Islamist extremism: dance with an enemy we dare not name, by Chris Kenny.

The Islamist extremists are winning. Victory is unlikely and, in any event, a long way off but their immediate aims are being ach­ieved, if not in the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, then at least in the democracies of Europe and the Western world.

The signs are ominous in Australia, where 15 years after the Bali bombings this is the enemy whose name we are too often too timid to mention. The extremists have us second-guessing the cultural superiority of our Western liberal democratic model and have conjured a collective and misplaced guilt among us about the treatment of Muslims.

From the fundamentalist preachers to the bloodthirsty terrorists, the ultimate goal of Islamist extremists is simple: global Islamic dominance. To achieve it they need to weaken and harm the West, fuel Muslim grievances and assert their cultural power through demographic changes and political influence.

They loathe our tolerance, freedom of expression and plurality, yet skilfully use these Western strengths against us as they subvert our ways by convincing many of us that we are to blame for their atrocities. We can see the Islamist success in shaping this narrative all around us. …

PC allies:

The success of Islamist propaganda can be seen in the fact after a Muslim man allegedly mowed down 19 people on a Melbourne city street and referred to “mistreatment of Muslims” to explain his actions, Victorian police denied there was any evidence of a connection to terrorism. …

The paradoxes generated by the politically correct virtue-signallers who have taken over our politics, bureaucracies and, it seems, even the upper echelons of our law enforcement agencies are deeply worrying.

After the Martin Place siege in Sydney and the Flinders Street attack, police and media downplayed terrorism but talked up mental health issues. … At Martin Place, NSW police delayed action and hoped to wear down Man Haron Monis as they would in a domestic siege situation, rather than treating it as an Islamist terror attack where loss of life was inevitable. …

Unpalatable as they are, we must start with the facts.

We are told not to stigmatise mental health issues yet we see it used as an explanation for mass casualty attacks. As bollards go up in our cities are we to believe this is to protect us from the mentally ill or the drug-addicted? Why has this suddenly become a problem? …

There is a disturbing pattern here of police and politicians bending over backwards to discount terrorism even when there are obvious indications Islamist extremism is the motivation.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Oregon Court Upholds $135,000 Fine Against Christian Bakers Who Refused to Bake Gay Wedding Cake

Oregon Court Upholds $135,000 Fine Against Christian Bakers Who Refused to Bake Gay Wedding Cake, by Charlie Nash.

The Oregon Court of Appeals has upheld a $135,000 fine against two Christian bakers who were ordered to pay the money to a lesbian couple after declining to bake them a gay wedding cake in 2013, before gay marriage was legal in Oregon. …

The Kleins are evangelical Christians. Their lawyers argued in court that the government’s penalties against the Kleins violated their rights to free speech, free exercise of religion, and due process under the U.S. Constitution. … “The Oregon Court of Appeals decided that Aaron and Melissa Klein are not entitled to the Constitution’s promise of religious liberty and free speech.” …

The court sentenced the Christian couple to a fine of $135,000 for the “emotional damage” they had allegedly caused the lesbian pair. Rachel Cryer-Bowman and Laurel Bowman-Cryer had accused the Kleins of “mental rape,” adding that they had suffered a “loss of appetite” and “impaired digestion” from the ordeal, which remarkably led to simultaneous “weight gain.” …

Though the [Kleins] repeatedly served customers of any sexual orientation, they did not feel comfortable custom-designing the wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. They likewise have declined to customize cakes for divorce parties, bachelor parties, and even Halloween — anything that is inconsistent with their personal understanding of their Christian faith.

“We lost everything we loved and worked so hard to build,” Melissa Klein proclaimed following the incident.

The government court is playing fast and loose with both natural justice and the US Constitution, in order to play favorites with identity groups in accordance with the current PC narrative. Punish the unbelievers! PC supremacy!

hat-tip Stephen Neil

‘Accept the Will of the People on Migration, Culture, or Hit the Road’: Orbán Tells Europe’s Leaders

‘Accept the Will of the People on Migration, Culture, or Hit the Road’: Orbán Tells Europe’s Leaders, by Victoria Friedman.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that Europeans are “asserting their will” by supporting leaders who reject mass migration and support Christian foundations, and gave a warning to politicians who deny the “natural order of democracy”. …

Asked by the 180 Minutes host what made him think that after two years, since the migrant crisis, progressive leaders would listen now, Mr. Orbán said: “Because in the meantime elections are being held in Europe.”

Those who argue for a “mixed population” and to “abolish societies based on national and Christian foundations” in favour of living in multicultural societies “are continually losing ground in national elections”, he observed. …

In France, “the entire political elite was swept away” and likewise in Germany, which he noted is three months without a government post-election, “immigration has changed the balance of political power”.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Right Wing Populism Could Become ‘New Normal’, No End in Sight For Surge: Tony Blair Institute

Right Wing Populism Could Become ‘New Normal’, No End in Sight For Surge: Tony Blair Institute, by Oliver Lane.

The “populist surge” in Europe has far from peaked and is the most significant change to the European order since the end of the Cold War, a new report by former British left-wing Prime Minister Tony Blair’s own think tank has claimed. …

To the contrary, the Institute’s own research shows “the trend line suggests that populists will continue to gain strength in the next round of elections”, and particularly in Eastern Europe, the report noting: “Populists are strongest in Eastern Europe. They routinely out-compete the political mainstream and have already taken power in seven countries: Bosnia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, and Slovakia.”

Populism could instead prove to be “the new normal” and may “drive European politics into a more nationalist and protectionist direction… governments would move decisively towards restricting net migration flows; make access to some social benefits conditional on citizenship status; and undermine minority rights in key respects.”

It is hard to think of anyone who has caused the British more harm in the last thousand years than Tony Blair. “Labour wanted mass immigration to make UK more multicultural, says former adviser,” by Tom Whitehead in 2009:

The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”, according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

He said Labour’s relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to “open up the UK to mass migration” but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its “core working class vote”. …

And then there’s Rotherham etc., enabled by Blair’s climate of PC.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Populist Woman Mayor Wins Rome by Landslide: ‘New Era’ Begins

Populist Woman Mayor Wins Rome by Landslide: ‘New Era’ Begins, by Thomas Williams.

Virginia Raggi, the telegenic populist candidate from Italy’s 5-Star Movement (M5S), has won a landslide victory to become the first female mayor of Rome, defeating the Democratic Party candidate Roberto Giachetti by more than thirty points in Sunday’s runoff election.

“This is a historic moment, a turning point,” said Raggi, who has been called “the Trump of Rome.” …

The decisive victory of the populist movement in Rome and Turin is also indicative of a larger trend throughout Europe marked by diffidence toward what many see as the gradual surrender of national sovereignty to the European Union, especially in the face of a mismanaged European migrant crisis.

Trump, the Insurgent, Breaks With 70 Years of American Foreign Policy

Trump, the Insurgent, Breaks With 70 Years of American Foreign Policy, by Mark Landler.

President Trump has transformed the world’s view of the United States from an anchor of the international order into something more inward-looking and unpredictable. …

The plush new NATO HQ :

President Trump was already revved up when he emerged from his limousine to visit NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels last May. He had just met France’s recently elected president, Emmanuel Macron, whom he greeted with a white-knuckle handshake and a complaint that Europeans do not pay their fair share of the alliance’s costs.

On the long walk through the NATO building’s cathedral-like atrium, the president’s anger grew. He looked at the polished floors and shimmering glass walls with a property developer’s eye. (“It’s all glass,” he said later. “One bomb could take it out.”) By the time he reached an outdoor plaza where he was to speak to the other NATO leaders, Mr. Trump was fuming, according to two aides who were with him that day.

US$1.2 billion. Reminds me of Canberra.

He was there to dedicate the building, but instead he took a shot at it.

“I never asked once what the new NATO headquarters cost,” Mr. Trump told the leaders, his voice thick with sarcasm. “I refuse to do that. But it is beautiful.” His visceral reaction to the $1.2 billion building, more than anything else, colored his first encounter with the alliance, aides said.

Globalist vs. Nationalist:

For some of Mr. Trump’s advisers, the key to understanding his statecraft is not how he deals with Mr. Xi or Ms. Merkel, but the ideological contest over America’s role that plays out daily between the West Wing and agencies like the State Department and the Pentagon.

There’s a chasm that can’t be bridged between the globalists and the nationalists,” said Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist and the leader of the nationalist wing, who has kept Mr. Trump’s ear since leaving the White House last summer.

On the globalist side of the debate stand General McMaster; Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis; Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson; and Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary D. Cohn. On the nationalist side, in addition to Mr. Bannon, stand Stephen Miller, the president’s top domestic adviser, and Robert Lighthizer, the chief trade negotiator. On many days, the nationalist group includes the commander in chief himself.

The globalists have curbed some of Mr. Trump’s most radical impulses. He has yet to rip up the Iran nuclear deal, though he has refused to recertify it. He has reaffirmed the United States’ support for NATO, despite his objections about those members he believes are freeloading. And he has ordered thousands of additional American troops into Afghanistan, even after promising during the campaign to stay away from nation-building. …

Mr. Trump acknowledges that being in office has changed him. “My original instinct was to pull out,” he said of Afghanistan, “and, historically, I like following my instincts. But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil