Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Working class white boys are officially the worst-performing group in English primary schools, official figures show. Fewer than half of white British boys from the poorest homes started secondary education with a decent grounding in the basics last summer, it was disclosed. Only 48 per cent of 11-year-olds eligible for free school lunches reached the standard expected of their age group in English and maths. Figures published by the Government on Thursday show they fell further behind their classmates over the last 12 months. The disclosure comes amid fears that thousands of white British boys from deprived areas risk being turned into an educational “underclass” as they fall further behind their classmates. They are already less likely to get good GCSEs, go to university and get a good job than most other pupils.
Almost 600,000 children took Sats in English and maths this summer. Figures published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families on Thursday represent an official breakdown of results by ethnicity, gender and deprivation. White British boys on free meals were the lowest achieving group behind Gypsy, Roma and traveller pupils, although they account for fewer than 700 children. Nationally, some 71.8 per cent of pupils reached level 4 – the standard expected of their age – in the two subjects. It meant working-class white British boys were 23.8 percentage points behind. The gap has grown since last year when it stood at 23.1 percentage points.
There are 31,237 white British boys that are eligible for free meals – the Government’s standards measure of poverty. Among white British boys who are not eligible for free lunches, 74.2 per cent reached level 4. Some 51.6 per cent of poor black boys hit the target, along with 54.7 per cent of poor boys from a Pakistani background and 54.2 per cent of boys with a mixed heritage. Boys and girls from Chinese backgrounds were the highest performers, with 81.8 per cent of pupils hitting official targets in English and maths.
Naturally the left bloggers are in uproar about these figures.
* tumbleweed blows across road *
* you wait. Time passes. Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold.*
* a bus passes the Radcliffe Road end *
Hmmm. Must be 'mission accomplished'.
(the only coverage I can see is at Conservative Home, FWTW.)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Foreign investors get ripped off all the time in many countries. What makes this story unique is the state officials working together to steal $230m from the Russian state itself. The sharks have started to feed on their own blood.What makes it even more worrying is that the Russian government took no action to recover the money when we reported the crime. Rather than going after the rogue officials and criminals, the government turned the full weight of the law enforcement apparatus against us for reporting it. They arrested our lawyer, Sergey Magnitsky, who uncovered the tax rebate fraud. He has since been kept in pre-trial detention on cases I believe were fabricated.
A lawyer representing Hermitage Capital Management, the fund manager, has died in jail amid a dispute between the fund's co-founder Bill Browder and Russian authorities. The death of Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year old father of two, is set to reignite concerns about investing and doing business in Russia. Irina Dudukina, a spokeswoman for the investigative committee of the Interior Ministry in Moscow, told The Moscow Times that Mr Magnitsky had died of heart failure and toxic shock.
I don'ty know what the word is for this sort of political system. It's got some medieval features, some gangster features, some free(ish) market features heavily moderated by the gangsterism and powerbroking, all wrapped in something marked 'democracy'.
UPDATE - more here and details of Magnitsky's formal complaint (in September) to the prison authorities over his treatment here.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
In fact Obama is reviving GW Bush's amnesty plan.
With unemployment in the double digits, Americans losing their homes and borders that remain unsecured, Janet Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security Secretary has decided to resurrect the 2007 McCain/Kennedy/Bush immigration reform failure to pay off Obama’s political debts to certain special interest groups.
As a result, on Saturday there were more than 50 anti-amnesty rallies held around the nation protesting the Obama’s Administration’s attempt to shove another unwanted program onto Americans who are struggling to stay afloat.
The number one issue on American’s mind is “it’s the economy stupid.” A lagging economy coupled with a withering job market hardly seems like the ideal time to dump an estimated 20 million illegal aliens into the U.S. job market.
The Secure Communities program is another agenda DHS touts as a success. However, many look to the program as another reason amnesty is doomed to fail. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) nabbed more than 111,000 criminal aliens in one year. Great. But the new program has only deported 9,500 criminal illegal aliens. This leaves more than 100,000 criminal aliens in America.
The statistics in the state of California are even more staggering. The illegal inmates residing in California prisons tally 30 percent, one-third of all births are to illegal immigrants and the FBI reports most of the Latino MS13 gang members are here illegally. Los Angeles’ sanctuary city status forbids Los Angeles police officers to question the legal status of the most violent gang members in the country.
That bit about not deporting foreign criminals feels awfully familiar. But the point is that the south-western United States in becoming more like Mexico. The Latino gangs north of the border are forging links with the cartels to the south.
The BBC report on La Familia (on the western, LA side of Mexico) and the Guardian on the Zetas (eastern, Houston side) - but this is not only a Mexican problem :
Within the US, the Zetas' influence is widespread – cells operating across the country, distributing drugs, their contacts laundering money through established banks and other channels.
Across the Rio Grande, in the burgeoning Texan city of McAllen, a businessman with family roots in the area for 150 years said that not only had the Zetas sealed off the bridges around Reynosa, but international bridges into the United States as well.
"The Americans do nothing, the press says nothing, but they do it to show us all – this side and that – that they can control traffic across the border. I get a call sometimes, ahead of time, telling me, 'Get what you need shipped over before noon, we're shutting it down.'
Via FaceRight, who I'm glad to see posting again, In The Hat blog chronicles the LA/Mexico connections.
What we're talking about here is a developing phenomenon that first showed up along the border and making its way into our local neighborhoods. Based on information from reliable sources, border cops making their usual intercepts of migrant workers are also coming across Mexican nationals already tattooed up with U.S. gang identifiers. Basically these individuals already have some working or personal relationships with U.S. street gangs even though some of them have never been north.
I was recently sent some unpublished photos of the aftermath of the big Tijuana shootout between Mexican Federal Police and some cartel shooters. At least two of the cartel guys appeared to have been shot in their vehicles while trying to blast their way out of the perimeter. It's interesting to note that both vehicles wore California license plates. That's a fairly clear indication that the cartels are operating freely on both sides of the fence and probably have allies they can count on to run whatever business needs to be run.
All the indicators are pointing to some troubling times ahead for local and Federal U.S. law enforcement.
In The Hat blogger Tony Rafael is the author of The Mexican Mafia and he's a worried man.
The massacre at Fort Hood this week has made headlines around the world. As it should. Contrast this event, however, to the massacre of union leader Margarito Montes Parra and 14 family members and associates in Sonora, Mexico last week. The Parra event barely broke through the background news noise. The Times and some other big papers covered it but it barely caused a blip on the average American's radar screen.
We're at a point where wholesale slaughter in Mexico is the norm rather than the exception. We've slowly been de-sensitized to Mexican drug violence to a point where it will take a 9/11 type event to finally wrap the public's head around the fact that Mexico is augering in like a lawn dart. And if it goes, we'll be sharing the border with a nation that resembles Afghanistan more than it does Canada.
The big fear, or course is that this level of paramilitary organized violence will eventually seep across the border. As Mexico has been de-sensitized, we're been also being immunized to body counts. Eight years after the Twin Towers fell, we've got a significant portion of the population that has already given up the fight and urging the administration to do something other than kill the Islamists responsible for 9/11. If 3,000 plus dead isn't enough to sustain a vigorous search and destroy mission, how quickly will those same people shy away from a fight when only a dozen or so civilians are cut down by a cartel assassination squad on U.S. soil?
He also recommends this book.
For the student of the subject, this book is a no brainer for acquisition. You just gotta have it in the library if you're going to speak with authority on the subject. For cops, correctional officers and prosecutors, the book is invaluable for doing the job. The people who should be forced to read this book, or have it read to them while jetting around the country or riding in the back of chauffered limos are the politicians and policy makers. Policy decisions and laws cannot and should not be made based on information filtered through staff panels, social scientists, mis-informed or biased "advocates, " or groups who have a financial interest in the outcome of policies.