Rex Murphy on convenient parking as a human right:
Well, all of us know what a trauma it can be when one or more of your side-mirrors gets dinged. On the scale of oppression and misery it’s even worse than a flailing, about-to-fall-off wiper, and just short of an oil pan leak - milestones of grief and torment both. So… the much beset Ms. Howson went to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, pleading - obviously - a diminishment of her human rights. Ms. Howson is herself a former investigator for the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, so she brings to this matter an expertise that only first-hand exposure to the nebulous clouds of current human rights thinking can supply… We begin with the idea that here in Canada, nothing is too small or, on the face of it, too ludicrous to be matter for a human rights complaint… I would offer it as an axiom that if a human rights complaint even contains the word “Mazda 5,” someone has stepped off the bridge of reason altogether.
Theodore Dalrymple on crime, punishment and the bien-pensant evasions of China Miéville:
In his article on London in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, titled Oh, London, You Drama Queen, novelist China Miéville writes: “The aftermath [of the recent riots] was one of panicked reaction. Courts became runnels for judicial cruelty, dispensing sentences vastly more severe than anything usual for similar crimes.” This is the statement of a typical intellectual whose indifference to the actual lives of the urban poor masquerades as compassion for them. Miéville fails to mention that most of the sentences handed down were for people with criminal records, no doubt in many cases long ones. The real judicial cruelty - not to the criminals but to their victims - was the leniency before the riots that gave the rioters a hitherto justified sense of impunity. [...]
One cannot say often enough that the victims of crime are, like the perpetrators, more likely to be poor than rich. For example, single-parent households in Britain have a more than one-in-20 chance of being burgled in any given year; and since most burglars are recidivists, indeed multiply so, it follows that the class of victim is much larger than the class of perpetrator. Leniency toward criminals is not therefore a form of sympathy for the poor, but a failure to take either their lives or their property seriously.
Indeed. 75% of the rioters and looters who appeared in court had previous convictions. Some had more than fifty. Not that such details inhibited the Guardian’s Marxist philosopher Nina Power, who preferred to see the muggers, thieves and arsonists as the “dispossessed” fighting against “entitlement.” Because “fighting entitlement” entails beating up pensioners, robbing children of their clothes and burning women out of their homes. The muggers’ own rather prodigious sense of entitlement was of course excused by Laurie Penny, the self-styled ‘riot girl’ of Wadham College, who told us with trademark certainty that “violence is rarely ever mindless” and that “nicking trainers” is “a political statement.”
For some reason I’m reminded of the words of Thomas Sowell:
The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.
Feel free to add your own in the comments.