Monthly Archives: April 2017

Restriction on Guns and Knives Increase Acid Attacks In Britain By 70%

Acid Attacks On the Rise UK

On April 21, police in Manchester in northern England, said a pregnant woman and a man suffered “severe discomfort” when someone threw bleach in their eyes from a passing car.

“It’s a growing problem, there’s no question,” said Jaf Shah, executive director of Acid Survivors Trust International, a London charity that supports victims, predominantly in South Asia, where acid attacks are more common.

Shah said acid attacks in other countries usually involve men targeting females. The reasons are often over spurned marriage proposals or sexual advances. In Britain, young men are mainly targeting other young men in violence that is often gang-related. British law is not specific about banning acid as a weapon, so gang members may use it to avoid prosecution, he said.

Even so, acid attackers are often convicted of assault or a more serious charge of grievous bodily harm, which carries a maximum life sentence. Since 2015, the government has required vendors to report suspicious transactions involving sulfuric acid to police because it can be used to manufacture explosives.

“(Corrosive substances) are extremely easy to get hold of (in Britain). You can buy them from hardware stores and don’t have to register why you’re purchasing it or what you want to use it for,” said Simon Harding, a professor of criminology at London’s Middlesex University.

“If you throw (acid) in someone’s face it’s going to affect their eyes and eyesight so you have a high chance of getting away with it. It’s a very easy thing to do. You can ride up to someone on a bike and throw it at them.”

By contrast, guns are very hard to get in Britain, unlike in the United States. As a result, there are only 50 to 60 gun homicides in England and Wales each year, a rate of about one for every 1 million people, according to the Geneva Declaration of Armed Violence and Development, a multinational organization. In the U.S., about 30 per 1 million people are killed in gun homicides. The Gun Violence Archive, a database of gun-related violence in the U.S., says 13,286 people were killed and 26,819 injured by firearms in the U.S. in 2015.

Victims of acid attacks say they must deal with life-long repercussions. Australians Prue Fraser, 20, and her sister, Isobella, 22, were among those sprayed at the Mangle club.

“I ended up in the middle of this fight and I was thrown over the barrier near the bar with all my stuff,” Prue Fraser told the London Evening Standard.  “Getting up I could feel my arm was burning. It was like boiling water had been poured over me but like I was cut as well. I have never experienced anything like it, it was excruciating. We saw six other girls who had it in their eyes, faces and chest areas they were screaming and crying.”

Isobella Fraser said she sustained third-degree burns on her arms and back.

Daniel Rotariu, 31, of Leicester in central England, was blinded in both eyes and suffered burns to 32% of his body when his lover, Katie Leong, threw sulfuric acid on him as he slept following an argument last July. Leong, 52, was convicted of attempted murder in March and sentenced to life in prison.

“I have nightmares. … I see it every day, every hour, like it was yesterday,” Rotariu said in his victim-impact statement in court. “More than half of my life I’m gonna have to live it like this. … Sometimes I wish I was dead and I didn’t survive.”

Jane Onyanga-Omara , USA TODAY

Expert Group Discovers 5 Reasons Why Colleges And Universities Are Not Safe

Campus Crime Dale Yeager Blog

One in Four College Women Will Be Raped Before They Graduate, According to Justice Department Study

The SERAPH Research Team, consisting of education and law enforcement experts, has discovered five reasons for unsafe college campuses.

The SERAPH Research Team provides a bi-yearly schoolsafety report for Congress and in 2006 prepared an assessment of the “The Virginia Tech Review Panel Report”.

In its analysis of security concerns at colleges and universities across the country, SERAPH has determined:

1. Since the Columbine massacre in 1999, police departments across the United States have been training in “active shooter” response. This has been a well-established practice for use in public [K-12] schools.

However, our survey of college and university security directors and police chiefs shows that few have had this training. Two reasons were given: Administrators often do not want to pay for the training or in some cases bar campus security/police from participating in training to avoid what they perceived to be a “militaristic campus atmosphere”.

2. College administrators have no training in security or police operations and as a result micromanage security operations on their campuses. This is problematic because of the obvious delay it causes in response time. In addition, when a college or university has a police department, administrative micromanagement can violate state law regarding obstruction of justice.

3. A proper security audit is vitally important to campus security. However, our survey of security directors / police chiefs indicates that most college administrators will not allow these assessments to be done out of fear of liability exposure and the chance the audit would require changes in management systems.

4. Threat assessment as a science has existed in the United States since the early 1940s. Predication and prevention of violence is a critical aspect of campus security and one that, in SERAPH’s experience, seriously is lacking on higher-education campuses. All Resident Assistants, security / police and department administrators should be trained to identify violent behavior in students, staff and visitors.

A lack of systematic monitoring of people on campus contributes to crime.

5. An emergency plan is only as good as the data in it and the ability of key personnel to use it effectively.

Training is important for the effective management of an emergency by key personnel. You cannot ask untrained people to do what trained people do.

Those ‘Snowflakes’ Have Chilling Effects Even Beyond the Campus

College Fascism

Student thuggery against non-leftist viewpoints is in the news again. Agitators at Claremont McKenna College, Middlebury College, and the University of California’s Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses have used threats, brute force and sometimes criminal violence over the past two months in efforts to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray, Ann Coulter and me from speaking. As commencement season approaches, expect “traumatized” students to try to disinvite any remotely conservative speaker, an effort already under way at Notre Dame with regard to Vice President Mike Pence.

This soft totalitarianism is routinely misdiagnosed as primarily a psychological disorder. Young “snowflakes,” the thinking goes, have been overprotected by helicopter parents, and now are unprepared for the trivial conflicts of ordinary life.

“The Coddling of the American Mind,” a 2015 article in the Atlantic, was the most influential treatment of the psychological explanation. The movement to penalize certain ideas is “largely about emotional well-being,” argued Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and Jonathan Haidt of New York University. The authors took activists’ claims of psychological injury at face value and proposed that freshmen orientations teach students cognitive behavioral therapy so as to preserve their mental health in the face of differing opinions.

But if risk-averse child-rearing is the source of the problem, why aren’t heterosexual white male students demanding “safe spaces”? They had the same kind of parents as the outraged young women who claim to be under lethal assault from the patriarchy. And they are the targets of a pervasive discourse that portrays them as the root of all evil. Unlike any other group on a college campus, they are stigmatized with impunity, blamed for everything from “rape culture” to racial oppression.

Campus intolerance is at root not a psychological phenomenon but an ideological one. At its center is a worldview that sees Western culture as endemically racist and sexist. The overriding goal of the educational establishment is to teach young people within the ever-growing list of official victim classifications to view themselves as existentially oppressed. One outcome of that teaching is the forceful silencing of contrarian speech.

At UC Berkeley, the Division of Equity and Inclusion has hung banners throughout campus reminding students of their place within the ruthlessly competitive hierarchy of victimhood. One depicts a black woman and a Hispanic man urging fellow students to “create an environment where people other than yourself can exist.” That’s not meant as hyperbole. Students have been led to believe they are at personal risk from circumambient bigotry. After the February riots at Berkeley against Mr. Yiannopoulos, a columnist in the student newspaper justified his participation in the anarchy: “I can only fight tooth and nail for the right to exist.” Another opined that physical attacks against supporters of Mr. Yiannopoulos and President Trump were “not acts of violence. They were acts of self-defense.”

Such maudlin pleas for self-preservation are typical. An editorial in the Wellesley College student newspaper last week defended “shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others.”

Offending “rhetoric” frequently includes the greatest works of Western civilization. In November 2015, a Columbia sophomore announced on Facebook that his “health and life” were threatened by a Core Curriculum course taught by a white professor. The comment thread exploded with sympathetic rage: “The majority of why?te [sic] students taking [Contemporary Civilization] and on this campus never have to be consistently aware of their identities as white ppl while sitting in CC reading racist, patriarchal texts taught by white professors who most likely are unaware of the various forms of impact that CC texts have on people of color.”

Another sophomore fulminated: “Many of these texts INSPIRED THE RACISM THAT I’M FORCED TO LIVE WITH DAILY, and to expect, or even suggest, that that doesn’t matter, is [obscenity] belittling, insulting, and WAY OUT OF [obscenity] LINE.” Those “racist” texts include works by Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Rousseau and Mill.

Many observers dismiss such ignorant tantrums as a phase that will end once the “snowflakes” encounter the real world. But the graduates of the academic victimology complex are remaking the world in their image. The assumption of inevitable discrimination against women and minorities plagues every nonacademic institution today, resulting in hiring and promotion based on sex and race at the expense of merit.

Seemingly effete academic concepts enter the mainstream at an ever-quickening pace. A December 2016 report on policing from the federal Office of Community Oriented Policing Services includes a section on “intersectionality”—the campus-spawned notion that individuals who can check off multiple victim boxes experience exponentially higher and more complex levels of life-threatening oppression than lower-status single-category victims.

Faculty and campus administrators must start defending the Enlightenment legacy of reason and civil debate. But even if dissenting thought were welcome on college campuses, the ideology of victimhood would still wreak havoc on American society and civil harmony. The silencing of speech is a massive problem, but it is a symptom of an even more profound distortion of reality.

Ms. Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “The War on Cops” (Encounter, 2016).


On This Date We Remember…

Armenian Genocide

On this date in 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals – Christians, for the most part – were forcibly deported from the Turkish capital of Constantinople. The number soon escalated into the thousands, and most were eventually murdered.

So kicked off the Armenian Genocide, the persecution of Christian Armenians by the Muslim Young Turks, who wanted to cleanse the country of the troublesome non-coreligionists in preparation for the new Turkey in the aftermath of the collapse of the Ottoman regime, and supposedly in order to ensure against the possibility of the Armenians siding against the Central Powers in World War I. By the time the genocide was over – and it lasted from 1915 to 1923 – hundreds of thousands of Armenians had been killed, with top-range estimates putting the total number at 1.5 million. Massive atrocities, from forced death marches to placing women and children aboard ships and then deliberately sinking them, were carried out by Turkish government-backed forces.

As CNN reports:

While the death toll is in dispute, photographs from the era document some mass killings. Some show Ottoman soldiers posing with severed heads, others with them standing amid skulls in the dirt. The victims are reported to have died in mass burnings and by drowning, torture, gas, poison, disease and starvation. Children were reported to have been loaded into boats, taken out to sea and thrown overboard. Rape, too, was frequently reported.

Why The US And Uganda Ended The Hunt For Joseph Kony

Joseph Kony

NOTE: In high school and college my son and daughter were heavily involved in the organization Invisible Children.

In fact my daughter spent half a year in Uganda during her undergraduate studies and worked with the children who were rescued from Kony’s cult / terrorist organization. His capture is of great interest to our family.

This week, the international manhunt for Joseph Kony came to an undistinguished end. Both Uganda and the United States said they were withdrawing forces dedicated to catching the warlord, who remains on the run despite a multi-year, multimillion-dollar chase.

Just five years ago, Kony became one of the world’s most-feared monsters. More than 100 million people watched the viral 30-minute “Kony 2012” video, which detailed Kony’s brutality during the two-decade insurgency he and his Lord’s Resistance Army waged against the Ugandan government.

But it’s been a long time since Kony was the menace the video made him out to be.

The Lord’s Resistance Army is now a shadow of its former self, having dwindled from a force of roughly 2,000 to fewer than 100 men. The group hit its peak more than a decade ago, when it terrorized northern Uganda, killing more than 100,000 people and forcing another 2 million out of their homes.

By the time “Kony 2012” was released by the San Diego-based nonprofit organization Invisible Children, the LRA was already on the run. Kony had been pushed out of Uganda and chased across the wilds of Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

The LRA continues to carry out intermittent attacks, but it has not been responsible for major atrocities since 2010. The group is believed to be operating from a remote and largely ungoverned region at the intersection of Sudan, South Sudan and the CAR known as Kafia Kingi.

Ben Shepherd, an analyst and consulting fellow at London’s Chatham House think tank, says it’s now hard to tell the groups apart from other armed factions taking advantage of the instability in central Africa.

“There is no sense under which Kony and other senior leaders should be allowed to fade into obscurity because of what they did,” he said. “But as an immediate strategic calculation, can one differentiate between them and smugglers, armed herdsmen, bandits [or] random folks running around in bits of Kafia Kingi? Probably not at this point.”

But advocacy by Invisible Children and other U.S.-based groups continued to boost Kony’s profile – and make the case for American military intervention. The U.S. provided military support to Uganda beginning in 2008 and deployed 100 special operations troops to serve as advisers in the hunt for Kony in 2011.

“If you look at it from a regional perspective, it’s been a bit surprising that there was so much attention to that group, and it was mainly because of internal American reasons,” said Kristof Titeca, a lecturer at the University of Antwerp who studies rebel movements in East and Central Africa.

The group’s legacy of horrors made them seem particularly extreme, he added.

“At that time, you didn’t have many other actors which were committing these mass atrocities. There was no ISIS yet, there was no Boko Haram,” Titeca said. “If you look at the world stage of rebel groups or the world stage of terror, they were the ultimate evil.”

Only part of the LRA’s subsequent decline is because of the military mission against Kony.

In 2000, Uganda created an amnesty program that allowed roughly 13,000 former LRA fighters to lay down their weapons and come home without prosecution. The program encouraged defections via loudspeakers on helicopters and in leaflets. Combined with military pressure, the amnesty policy has been credited with significantly reducing the LRA’s fighting force.

To hear the United States and Uganda tell it, the decision to withdraw is proof that you don’t necessarily have to catch your enemy to beat him. At some point, they argue, you can say enough is enough.

The United States has spent more than $780 million on the anti-Kony operation since 2008. Before taking office this year, a Trump administration transition team questioned its value, according to the New York Times.

The operation has similarly stretched Ugandan resources and provided several moments of bad press. The Ugandan military faced allegations that soldiers committed rape and sexual violence against women and girls in the Central African Republic. Human rights groups have also accused the military of committing atrocities of its own during the earlier years of civil war in northern Uganda.

Still, Kony’s group has proven remarkably resilient. The LRA has taken advantage of its remote hideout among crisis-stricken countries, and is said to have killed three people and abducted nearly 150 more this year, according to the LRA Crisis Tracker . One person was killed and two were injured in an incident as recently as last week.

That has some analysts and advocacy groups worried that Kony will use diminished military pressure against him to regroup and rebuild.

“The withdrawal of Ugandan and U.S. troops is going to leave a huge vacuum,” argued Martin Ewi, a senior researcher at the South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies.

“It is true the group has been weakened,” he said. “But it has not been defeated, so therefore we can’t sit comfortably and say this group does not pose a threat to us.”

The United States apparently agrees. Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the head of U.S. Africa Command, told reporters on Thursday that U.S. forces will continue to help train militaries in central Africa.

“We will continue to work with those countries with training and exercises,” Waldhauser said. “Even though we are officially ending [the mission], we are certainly aware of the fact that we do not want to leave a void there.”

By JULIAN HATTEM | Special to The Washington Post |


The People History Forgot: VICTIMS BY THE NUMBERS 100 Million

Memorial to the Victims of Communism Prague Czech-Republic

How many victims has communism claimed? The answer depends on how you define victim. In one sense, every man or woman living under a communist regime is a victim, since this tyrannical ideology restricts their rights and denies their human dignity. Under this definition, in China alone there are almost 1.4 billion current victims of communism, not to mention the approximately 130 million victims in Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, and Laos. This amounts to one in five people alive today. Add in the several generations that suffered under Soviet tyranny and top it up with the other countries of the communist bloc and the number of victims runs into the billions.

A narrower definition of victim would be limited to those people whose lives were suddenly extinguished or dramatically foreshortened by the acts and policies of communist states. Historiographical debates regarding intentionality aside, it is reasonable to go beyond direct executions and include here state policies whose implementation could reasonably have been expected to result in the deaths of innocents. Stalin’s policies of forcible food requisitions in Ukraine, for example, led to famine; and mass deportations to Siberia without adequate cold weather provisions resulted in the deaths of millions. The examples go on.

Understandably, the numbers involved in this tally are subject to disagreement. Some interpretation of the historical and political record is required, and differences may arise based on definition, methodology, or bias. There are scholars who seek to minimize the numbers of the dead, and others who seek to maximize it. Given that many of communism’s victims died anonymously without record, there will never be a comprehensive list of names of the victims of communism, so we will always have to rely upon estimates.

Without seeking to establish the relative scholarly value of any particular estimate, it is a valuable exercise simply to observe how widely they range, as even the lowest estimates represent a profound moral indictment of the communist political system.

Perhaps the most widely known estimates are those provided in The Black Book of Communism (1997), which are as follows:

China: 65,000,000

USSR: 20,000,000

Cambodia: 2,000,000

North Korea: 2,000,000

Africa: 1,700,000

Afghanistan: 1,500,000

Eastern Europe: 1,000,000

Vietnam: 1,000,000

Latin America: 150,000

International Movements not in power: 10,000

When the book was published, the estimated total number of deaths was 94,360,000. Over the last 19 years, many scholars have re-examined the history of communist states and sought to establish revised and more precise estimates of communism’s human toll. For instance, in Mao’s Great Famine (2010), Frank Dikötter estimates that 45,000,000 Chinese perished—rather than the 30,000,000 commonly estimated—as a result of the famine that lasted from 1958 to 1962 and was directly attributable to the decisions of Chinese Communist leaders. The earliest years of the People’s Republic, from 1949 to 1953, are also being reassessed after long being considered a revolutionary golden age.

A brief survey returns the following high and low estimates for the number of people who died at the hand of communist regimes:

China: 29,000,000 (Brzezinski) to 78,860,000 (Li)

USSR: 7,000,000 (Tolz) to 69,500,000 (Panin)

North Korea: 1,600,000 (Rummel, Lethal Politics; figure for killings) to 3,500,000 (Hwang Jang-Yop, cited in AFP; figure for famine)

Cambodia: 740,000 (Vickery) to 3,300,000 (Math Ly, cited in AP)

Africa: 1,700,000 (Black Book) to 2,000,000 (Fitzgerald; Ethiopia only)

Afghanistan: 670,000 (Zucchino) to 2,000,000 (Katz)

Eastern Europe: 1,000,000

Vietnam: 1,000,000 (Black Book) to 1,670,000 (Rummel, Death by Government)

Latin America: 150,000

International Movements not in power: 10,000

The combined range based on the estimates considered, which derive from scholarly works, works of journalism, memoirs, and government-provided figures, spans from 42,870,000 to 161,990,000. While reasonable people will disagree in good faith on where the true number happens to lie, any number within this range ought to provoke horror and condemnation. And as previously mentioned, these figures estimate only the number of people who perished, not those who were merely tortured, maimed, imprisoned, relocated, expropriated, impoverished, or bereaved. These many millions are victims of communism too. The commonly cited figure of the deaths caused by communist regimes, 100 million, falls midway through this range of estimates. As scholars continue to research the history of the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, and other communist regimes, and as they gain access to previously inaccessible records, the scale of communist crimes will gradually come into even sharper focus.

Works Consulted

Brzezinski, Zbigniew. Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the 21st Century. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010.

Courtois, Stéphane, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartošek, and Jean-Louis Marolin. The Black Book of Communism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

“Cambodians Recall Massacres.” AP, May 22, 1987.

Fitzgerald, Mary Anne. “Tyrant for the taking.” The Times (London), April 20, 1991.

Katz, Lee Michael. “Afghanistan’s President is Ousted.” USA Today, April 17, 1992.

Li, Cheng-Chung. The Question of Human Rights on China Mainland. Republic of China: World Anti-Communist League, 1979.

Panin, Dimitri. Translated by John Moore. The Notebooks of Sologdin. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.

Rummel, R. J. Death by Government. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1994.

Rummel, R. J. Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1917. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1990.

Tolz, Vera. “Ministry of Security Official Gives New Figures for Stalin’s Victims.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report. May 1, 1992. (The figure of seven million direct executions under Stalin, given by a member of the security services heading a commission for rehabilitation, may be taken as an absolute baseline figure to which should be added the many deaths suffered by labor camp inmates and the deaths preceding and following the Stalin period.)

“Top defector says famine has killed over three million Koreans.” Agence France Presse, March 13, 1999.

Vickery, Michael. Cambodia 1975 – 1982. Boston: South End Press, 1984.

Zucchino, David. “’The Americans … They Just Drop Their Bombs and Leave.’” Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2002.

Matthew White’s website Necrometrics provides a useful compilation of scholarly estimates of the death toll of major historical events.