Monday, December 29, 2008

Huge increase in black men killed/killing by firearms

Last year, for example, 426 black males between the ages of 14 and 17 were killed in gun crimes, the study shows. That marked a 40% increase from 2000.

Similarly, an estimated 964 in the same age group committed fatal shootings in 2007 AE a 38% increase from seven years earlier. The number of offenders is estimated because not all crimes are reported, said Northeastern criminologist James Alan Fox, who co-authored the study.

"Although the overall rate of homicide in the United States remains relatively low, the landscape is quite different for countless Americans living, and some dying, in violence-infested neighborhoods," Fox said.

[ There is an expectation that Obama will sort this problem out. ]

Downturn Boosts "Far-Right" Groups

Far-right groups across Europe could be gaining support as the financial meltdown continues.

The warning comes at a time of increased racist violence and attacks on gypsy communities across Europe.

A far-right group called the Hungarian Guard, which has been accused of persecuting gypsies, says it will defy attempts to ban it, as governments become increasingly concerned at the rise of the right.

It is feared that extremist parties could make significant gains in European elections next June, particularly in eastern European countries.

[ In Hungary people are forming militias in the countryside as gypsies are increasingly murdering them. Their own government, and (of course) the Left and the international community condemn such attempts at self defense. ]

Juries Not As Racially Diverse As The Communities From Which They Are Drawn

In his article, Sommers notes how a county in the U.S. has a sizeable number of African-American citizens. Across various trials, not a single jury had enough black jurors to indicate a jury composition representative of the more general racial demographics. The facts describe Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, just prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Various reasons exist why juries are often less diverse than the surrounding communities. Members of racial minority groups are often relatively underrepresented when it comes to driver's licenses and voter registration, both of which are lists often used to select people for jury duty.

Even when a diverse group of people shows up for jury duty, lawyers often consider race in deciding whom to challenge during jury selection. Prosecutors are often inclined to remove minority jurors from the panel because of expectations that such individuals are less likely to vote guilty in a case, even though the U.S. Supreme Court prohibits them from excluding jurors based on race.

[ Another factor, conveniently omitted here, would be that an extremely high proportion of African Americans are convicted felons According to Human Rights Watch in the year 2000, 1.4 million African American men, or 13% of black men, are disenfranchised from voting (and also jury duty) due to felony convictions, a rate seven times the national average. ]

Science discovers a lack of empathy between races

The results of the study, reported in the December issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reveal that we are better able to detect anxiety in members of our own racial group than in people of different racial backgrounds. Only the same-race observers detected an increase in anxiety when participants were engaged in an interracial encounter; different-race observers failed to detect this change. And even more interesting, only the same-race observers noticed changes in anxiety that matched up with the participants' actual stress levels (as determined by measuring cortisol).

The authors suggest that "race-matched observers appeared to draw upon subtle nonverbal indicators of intergroup anxiety that were undetectable to race-mismatched observers." They note that being out of tune to the emotional states of people from different backgrounds "may make it difficult to develop a sense of shared emotional experience."

[ "People from different backgrounds" is not really what they mean. What they mean is people who are racially (therefore very genetically) different - race is not "background". After all, you can have people from a variety of backgrounds who are still the same race - and this research suggests they can detect anxiety amonst each other. But scientists are on thin ice with such politically incorrect, yet biologically correct, observations. ]

What is the real motive behind the Israeli attack on Gaza

Israel's right-wing Likud party, widely favoured to win an election in February 10, has elected a candidate list dominated by hawks who believe in a 'Greater Israel' which includes the Palestinian lands: Arab east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

While two relative moderates took second and third place behind party chairman and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the list was heavily weighted towards hardliners, results showed on Tuesday.

"Israeli public opinion is leaning to the right because it is sure that a peace agreement with the Palestinians is not possible at this stage," said Gideon Doron, a political science professor at Tel Aviv university.

[ The Kadima party has decided that their chances of re-election are substantially boosted if they show a tough line towards Palestinians. ]


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