Ten Tribes Tribal Report no.20

11 May 2009 17 Iyar 5769
1. US Democrats Hate Jews More!
2. France: The French are wide awake to the joys of life
3. Scotland's unique 15-strong juries will not be abolished


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1. US Democrats Hate Jews More!
Survey: Jews are Blamed for Economic Crisis
by Hillel Fendel
( A survey conducted by the Boston Review in its May/June issue shows that nearly 25% of American non-Jews blame "the Jews" a moderate amount or more for the financial crisis.

Furthermore, a total of 38.4% of the non-Jews in the U.S. attribute at least some level of blame to the group [i.e. to the Jews!].

Neil Malhotra, Assistant Professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, and Dr. Yotam Margalit of Stanford University, conducted the study. It was part of a survey of 2,768 American adults exploring responses and anti-Semitic sentiments vis-a-vis the economic collapse. 

They found that Democrats were significantly more prone to blaming Jews than Republicans: while 32% of Democrats accorded at least moderate blame, compared to only 18.4% of Republicans.

The researchers noted that the greater tendency among Democrats than Republicans to blame Jews is somewhat surprising, given the presumed higher degree of racial tolerance among liberals, and the fact that Jews are a central part of the Democratic Party's electoral coalition.

2. France:
The French are wide awake to the joys of life
By Celia Walden
The French live their days, rather than sleepwalking through them

What is it about the French that exempts them from the normal rules of life? They eat foie gras and pastries, but are among the world's slimmest people; smoke, but rarely come to resemble the long-serving cast members on EastEnders; have powerful unions and long, wine-sodden lunches, but still possess one of the world's largest economies. And do they lose sleep over it? Au contraire: the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has revealed that the French sleep longer than any other nation. At the end of his eclair-hoovering, Gauloise-spewing, part-time-working day, your average Frenchman will take to his bed for a full nine hours, before leaping up, refreshed, to kick-start another day of ritual self-indulgence.

Anyone would think the French were hell-bent on enjoying life. But as someone who was brought up in France, and has worked there, I know the truth. Underlying the laissez-faire attitude is an iron discipline. Yes, my French girlfriends eat foie gras, but just the merest soupcon; yes, they flaunt those cigarettes in public like the intellectual props that they are, but you rarely catch them puffing away at home. They work fewer hours than us, breaking up the day with two-hour, three-course lunches, and take 30 days' paid leave to our 20 ? but the rest of the time they pack in the productivity, uncluttered by trips to Starbucks, hourly chats by the water-cooler or other methods of procrastination beloved of the Brits.
Rather than filling the day with a series of half-pleasures, the processed muffin on the train in the morning, the mid-morning packet of crisps, the triangle of limp bread at lunch, the French prefer to wait and savour the real thing. Like their coffee, they take strong, sharp hits of life, while we dilute ours to the extent that the flavours of work and play become indecipherable.

So, yes, the French might get more sleep than us - but that is because they live their days, rather than sleepwalking through them. Unlike the bovine British, they subsist on angry, nervous energy. Not once, when living in Paris, did I watch as a bank teller was forced to call out twice to a person to come forward. People are, by and large, impatient to get on with their day, not happy to stand indefinitely in frozen humility.

The French also drink less than the Brits enabling them to sleep more, and less fretfully. But their charmed lives aren't always what they seem. Thin, clever, efficient and indulgent the French may be, but they are also the biggest hypochondriacs I have ever come across. Huge areas of their bathroom cabinets are covered with supplements and elixirs one of those, no doubt, being of the sleeping-pill variety.

Really, it comes down to contentment: spend your days avidly sucking the goodness from life, and the satisfaction will help you sleep easy. An issue-ridden American friend of mine, immersed in therapy, once passed on the deeply unimaginative self-help mantra that she had found most helpful: "This is your life to live: live it now." The French would find it extraordinary that someone should have had to point it out.

3. Scotland's unique 15-strong juries will not be abolished
PLANS to axe the historic 15-person jury in Scottish criminal trials have been ditched by ministers, The Scotsman can reveal.
Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, said that after extensive consultation, he had decided the only system of its kind in the world should be retained ? and that Scotland had got it "uniquely right".

Mr MacAskill admitted he had been sceptical about the 15-person panel, amid criticism that such big juries could be unwieldy and it can be hard to find 15 suitable jurors for every trial.

But he told The Scotsman: "The matter of jury numbers was part of the review I launched last year and I was sceptical at that time about the fact Scotland was unique in the world in having 15 members. But as the information has come in, I'm persuaded that this may in fact be one of those examples where Scotland has got it uniquely right."

He added: "When you take into account that we don't have the expense in time and money of retrials because a simple 8-7 majority is sufficient, we have a pretty efficient system already."

In the consultation process, some advantages of 15-person juries were noted as being that people still have confidence in the system, larger juries lead to fairer verdicts, they are less likely to be influenced by prejudice, they allow for majority verdicts and are composed of a greater cross section of the public.

Against this were arguments that 15-person juries often lead to unwieldy discussions and that the juror pool is being stretched by the requirement of having so many jurors for each trial.

John Scott, who tabled a consultation submission against a reduction in the size of jurors on behalf of Scotland's solicitor advocates, said: "The system works as it is. In the vast majority of cases the juries get it right and there is a dynamic with 15 that we couldn't guarantee to be there if we tinker with it."

Defence lawyers were one of the groups to generally favour larger juries. A straw poll of advocates and solicitor advocates at the start of the consultation process found not a single voice in favour of reducing the size.

Ian Duguid QC, Chairman of the Faculty of Advocates Criminal Bar Association, summed up the general sceptical view: "There doesn't seem any reason to change it if it is not broken."


THE Scottish system is thought to have the largest number of jurors in the world.

Many jurisdictions have 12 jurors but Scotland has 15.

Curiously, there seems to be no clear explanation for the size of a Scottish jury. Professor Lindsay Farmer of Glasgow University said recently: "There isn't any evidence that there was some particularly Scottish reasoning in alighting on 15 as the jury number any more than there was in England for choosing 12 as jury trials evolved in the Middle Ages across Europe.

"Most of the justifications for the difference between the two jurisdictions ? were developed as rationalisations during the period of Scottish legal nationalism in the mid- 19th century. But in reality they just happened." Neither is there thought to be any ancient numerological magic underpinning the constitution of a jury, nor modern actuarial analysis of the best number for an optimum collective decision.

At present a Scottish jury can convict or acquit on a simple majority. An accused can be sentenced to life on the basis of an 8-7 vote.


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