Sunday, February 29, 2004

FOOD CORRECTNESS

"Obesity" as a new tool for the dictatorial class:

"Government on all levels has also been gradually restricting health insurers’ ability to charge overweight people higher premiums. This means the guy who works out five times a week and watches his diet is increasingly being asked to pay the same amount of money for health insurance as the guy who loafs on the couch and dines on bacon sandwiches. ...

The aim of Jennings and these lifestyle activists is to shift responsibility for individual health away from individual Americans, and onto the American public as a whole. Once that happens, the case for massive government intervention in what, when, where and how we eat falls on a more receptive audience.

If I’m paying for my neighbor’s high cholesterol, I’m more open to the idea that perhaps government ought to start regulating what he eats. If we’re all paying for one another’s trips to the doctor, we’re all more likely to support government regulation of what McDonalds can and can’t put on its menu, what Safeway or Kroger ought to stock on their shelves, and maybe it’s not such a bad idea to ban Kraft and Nabisco from advertising cookies and corn chips — especially to kids.

Conversely, if I know my health is my own responsibility, and that my medical bills will be coming out of my own savings account, I’m a little more likely to take care of myself.

Personal responsibility goes hand in hand with personal freedom. We can’t regulate away responsibility without regulating away consumer and personal choice. Worse, countries that have attempted the social engineering efforts now advocated by Jennings and his ilk (Sweden, for example) have seen poor returns, leaving the citizens of those countries both overweight and less free.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

GUN CORRECTNESS

These PC wackos just love punishing kids. Only the pressure of publicity caused them eventually to back down.

A third-grader at Sun Valley Elementary was suspended this week for bringing a G.I. Joe toy handgun to school. Austin Crittenden, 9, and his family say the school in eastern Birmingham went too far by sending him home for bringing a tiny plastic handgun that accompanied a G.I. Joe action figure. "It's about an inch long," said Vicki Stewart, the boy's grandmother and guardian. "(The principal) had to tape it to a piece of paper to keep from losing it."

The length of the suspension has yet to be determined, said Birmingham City Schools spokeswoman Michaelle Chapman. Possible punishments for a Class III violation such as this one include expulsion and alternative school, she said.

There have been questions recently about whether strict adherence to such codes has gone too far, especially after a Clay-Chalkville teen was sent to an alternative school for violating the school's zero-tolerance policy after being caught taking a Motrin. Last April, two boys at Oak Mountain Middle School received one-day suspensions for playing with toy guns one had brought for a project on Treasure Island. A 10-year-old was arrested in October at an Alabaster school, accused of threatening someone with a toy gun.

It's not just Alabama: Last month, an 8-year-old was suspended from a Spokane, Wash., public school for taking two similar G.I. Joe guns to school.

In cases like this, it's up to the community to let schools know how they feel about the policies, said William Modzeleski, associate deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. But it's the schools' responsibility to use common sense enforcing them, he said. "The punishment has to fit the crime," he said. "On some zero-tolerance policies, the punishment far outweighs the crime."

More here

Thursday, February 26, 2004

STUDENTS FIGHT PC DISCRIMINATION

"A conservative group at Texas A&M University has established a $10,000 essay contest for students who disagree with affirmative action. The Young Conservatives of Texas are asking prospective writers to discuss 'how you or a family member have overcome institutionalized discrimination and/or the stigma imposed by policies giving preference to particular racial and ethnic groups in college admissions, employment, and other competitive arenas.' YCT established the contest in response to Texas A&M's 'Graduate Diversity Scholarships' and new race-based hiring quotas in the College of Engineering."

More here

IMMIGRATION CORRECTNESS CRUMBLING

"Governments across Western Europe are rolling up the welcome mats. The stunning decision by the Dutch government to expel an estimated 26,000 rejected asylum applicants last week was only the latest in a series of actions by European Union countries to tighten border controls and limit immigration to some of the world's most generous social-welfare states. Even center-left and leftist leaders such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson have in recent days responded to popular pressure to check uncontrolled flows of cheap labor -- not only from developing countries but from some poorer Central and Eastern European countries set to join the European Union on May 1."

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

SOWELL ON THE INSANE CORRECTNESS OF EQUALITY

Some ethnic groups have an average age that is a decade older than the average age of others, and whole countries like Germany and Italy have average ages that are two decades older than the average age in Afghanistan or Yemen. Is that a level playing field? No! It is an unfair advantage to those with more experience and the increased capabilities that come with experience.

Other differences are due to the sins of man - discrimination, conquest, slavery and more. Yet, whatever the sources of the differences among people, those differences are huge and the economic consequences are huge.

None of this is hard to understand in itself. But much of it gets confused and twisted by the rhetoric, the visions and the crusades of the intelligentsia, politicians, mush heads and hot heads.

Even our courts of law are ready to consider different distributions of groups in employment as evidence that the employer discriminated, since it is apparently beyond the pale to consider that the groups themselves may differ, whether in quantifiable ways like age or in intangible ways like attitudes.

So deeply ingrained is this egalitarian dogma that different rates of passing tests from one group to another are taken as evidence that something is wrong with the tests. Different rates of promotion at work or in school are taken as virtual proof that the employer or the school is doing something wrong.

Best-selling author Shelby Steele has argued persuasively that whites are afraid of being considered racists and blacks are afraid of being considered innately inferior - and that both do many foolish and counterproductive things as a result. Such attitudes apply even beyond racial issues.

A nation's laws and policies need to serve more serious purposes than allowing people to escape their psychological hangups. The time is overdue for these laws and policies to be based on realities and geared toward consequences.

More here

Quakers

Excerpts from a sarcastic article by Mike Tremoglie:

In keeping with the current trend to remove all names that are, or could be, considered offensive to ethnic, racial, religious, or gender groups, The University of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and all corporations and concerns must remove the word "Quaker."

The University of Pennsylvania football team is called the Quakers. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is called the “Quaker State.” There is also the Quaker Oats company and dozens of other businesses and concerns using the name Quaker.

However, there is one problem with this name. The name is an ethnic slur and should be banned from sports.

The Encyclopedia Britannica states, “George Fox, founder of the (Society of Friends) in England, recorded that in 1650 “Justice Bennet of Derby first called us Quakers because we bid them tremble at the word of God.” It is likely that the name, originally derisive, was also used because many early Friends, like other religious enthusiasts, themselves trembled in their religious meetings.” Webster’s dictionary confirms that the term Quaker was originally a religious slur.

It is shocking that Penn, an institution so politically correct that it once suspended a student for calling someone a “water buffalo,” permits the use of such a slight. All citizens of Pennsylvania should, in the spirit of reconciliation, demand that Penn and these other institutions bowdlerize this name.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

MARTIN LUTHER KING FAILED

My problem with Martin Luther King Day is that it celebrates a civil rights revolution that achieved the opposite of King's intention. Today we are judged by the color of our skin. This conclusion is inescapable wherever we look.

Those with darker skins have become "preferred minorities" with rights to employment, promotions, training programs, university admissions, and federal contracts that are greater than those of "whites." New crimes known as "hate crimes" are being created that only "whites" can commit and only "preferred minorities" can suffer. If a "white" assaults a "black," the charge will be assault and a hate crime. If a "black" assaults a "white," the charge is only assault.

"Preferred minorities" have special rights to be offended that "whites" do not have. Indeed, a "white" who offends a "black," whether intentionally or unintentionally, can be charged with racial discrimination or with a hate crime. Preferred minorities can call whites names, but whites cannot call preferred minorities names. Ordinary language has become a minefield for whites, who must tiptoe around, aware that the slightest mishap can bring a lawsuit or destroy a career.

These persecutions happen in the name of "diversity," but diversity suffers. There can be black fraternities and organizations, but not white ones. Southern cultural symbols, together with all symbols of the South's defense of states' rights, are headed down the memory hole. Is there never to be an end to Reconstruction?

Whites are demonized in movies, theater, rap lyrics, and school textbooks. Christopher Columbus and the American Founding Fathers have been reduced to evil racists who practiced white male European hegemony over minorities and women. Any textbook author who described preferred minorities in comparable language would be driven from academic life.

Was there ever a time when whites were taught to judge blacks by the color of their skin? Many people may have had prejudices that produced a similar result, but blacks were not demonized. If we insist that blacks were demonized, how is it an improvement to demonize whites? Today, blacks are taught skin color judgments, just as feminists teach gender judgments, and communists teach class judgments. Whites are taught the same skin color judgments, which explains the predominance of "white guilt."

More here.

Monday, February 23, 2004

SOVIET-STYLE BRITISH SOCIAL WORKERS

Ken McLaughlin says that any "backlash" against Political Correctness has a long way to go. Excerpts:

Issues of academic independence and freedom of speech have routinely been dismissed by social work academics as liberal ideas that are rooted in Western values of freedom, tolerance and individualism. Defending freedom of speech and academic independence became equated with upholding Western racism

Most importantly, talk of a PC backlash overlooks how these 'radical' theories and practices are now embraced by most sections of the British establishment. It is not only the social work profession that talks about endemic, institutional or unwitting racism - the police and judiciary are just as likely to use such language.

For all its talk of empowerment, anti-oppressive theory betrays contempt for the masses, whose behaviour and thoughts do not match current middle-class ideals. Its conflation of words and action, public and private, political and personal in social work theory has provided the authorities with ever increasing justification for intruding in people's lives.

WHY WE MUST RESIST THE JOKE POLICE

By CHRISTIE DAVIES (Excerpts)

AN IRISHMAN went into a shop and asked for a bar of soap. The assistant asked if he would like it scented. "No, I'll take it with me now," was his reply. How do you conduct a census in Scotland? Drop five pounds in the street and count the crowd. How do you get a Welshman on to your roof? Tell him the drinks are on the house.

These jokes might be in the robust tradition of British humour, but they could not be broadcast today. Indeed. anyone telling such gags at a public function or in the office could be reprimanded or, even worse, might be asked to explain themselves to police or Britain's Commission for Racial Equality.

After months researching the way politically correct censorship is constraining our right to make jokes in public I have concluded that one of Britain's greatest assets - its sense of humour - is under threat from the malign and growing influence of the political correctness demagogues.

A vibrant sense of humour is a sign of a tolerant, open society: a powerful, self-confident civic culture knows jokes are not a danger to the social order but an indicator of its health, for true comedy flourishes where freedom is at its strongest; It is the totalitarian regime which usually has the greatest fear of public laughter. That is certainly the lesson of British history.

For centuries. the British sense of humour has been recognised across the world. It helped produce the bawdy delights of Chaucer, the unforgettable characters of Dickens, the wordplay of Shakespeare, the hilarity of the Ealing films such as The Lavender Hill Mob and The Ladykillers and the brilliance of television shows such as Fawlty Towers.

Poking fun at national stereotypes, sniggering at established mores and laughing at calamities are central parts of this tradition. It was one of the reasons Britain. unlike most other European nations in the 1930s, did not have a significant Fascist movement. The British found all those uniforms, rallies and goosestepping rather comic.

Today, the freedoxn to make jokes is being curtailed; self-appointed guardians of acceptable thinking. It is doubtful if Fawlty Towers could be made now, with its running joke about the idiocy of the Spanish waiter Manuel and its hilarious attack on the Germans...

Broadcaster Robin Page utters a quip at a countryside rally about the rights of one-legged black lesbians in the West Country and is placed in a police cell for using offensive language. And prison officer Colin Rose is sacked for telling an Osama bin Laden joke because the governor feared it might have been heard by Muslim visitors.

There has always been, in British culture, a tension between the attitudes of the establishment and public humour.... But today politically correct censorship is far more pervasive, reaching into every aspect of society...

The official crackdown on jokes is riven with double standards. Our airwaves are awash with obscenities and sex, yet officialdom becomes hysterical at any joke which might touch on a stereotype. Those from groups deemed to be "oppressed" can say what they like. But woe betide an "oppressor" trying to do the same.

So Christianity is an easy target for comedians (The BBC is about to broadcast a series called Popetown, ridiculing Catholics) but they never dare to attack Islam.

This hypocrisy should end. It is time we stopped being so fearful about officialdom and started to reclaim our sense of humour. Without it, we lose not only our jokes but one of our essential liberties.

The above article appeared in the Brisbane (Australia) "Sunday Mail" on February 22, 2004 (p. 58) but does not appear to be online anywhere other than in these excerpts. Christie Davies is a well-known academic expert on humour

Sunday, February 22, 2004

A PARTIAL BACKDOWN

From "Opinion Journal"

"The thought police are on the defensive on at least one liberal college campus. An instructor at the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus "has apologized after a student said during a class discussion that he opposed homosexuality--and found himself singled out by the teacher for hate speech," reports the Raleigh News & Observer:

In an e-mail message sent Feb. 6 to her "Literature and Cultural Diversity" students, the lecturer, Elyse Crystall, wrote, "[W]hat we heard [T]hursday at the end of class constitutes 'hate speech' and is completely unacceptable. [I]t has created a hostile environment." Crystall went on to name the student, identified as Tim, and said he was a perfect example of the topic of discussion during class: privilege.

She referred to Tim as "a white, heterosexual, [C]hristian male" who "can feel entitled to make violent, heterosexist comments and not feel marked or threatened or vulnerable."

On Monday, Crystall apologized in another e-mail: "I regret that my e-mail to you last week crossed a line and inhibited free discussion," she wrote. "And I am sorry if anyone was offended by my e-mail; my intention was to promote respectful conversation among us, not to censor anyone. We should not make specific examples of anyone, and I should not have named anyone.""

FEMINISM AMOK

I don't often agree with Quiggin but I think he has a point here:

"In the middle of yet another scandal about American college sports, the NYT chooses to run an editorial calling for cheerleading to be recognised as a competitive sport (It is implied, though not clearly stated, that this sport would be open only to women).

I prefer watching cheerleading to watching American football and I have no problem with claims about its athleticism and so on. And I'll concede Allen's arguments that injuries might be reduced if the activity were run on a more professional basis (of course she doesn't use the dreaded word 'professional', anathema to the NCAA).

Nevertheless, this seems to me to be a case where unsound premises have been pushed to their logical conclusions, with predictably bizarre results."

Saturday, February 21, 2004

AMERICAN INDIANS TOTALLY INCORRECT

From an American Indian blogger

"Indians have been outlawed in California. Jacki Goldberg, the great white `Indian killer,' finally counted coup. The California Assembly just passed a law (AB 858) which will make it illegal for all public schools in the state to use the name "Redskins" in any context, for any reason. No Redskins allowed in Central Valley.

At least, no white people will be allowed to play Indian anymore.

But if you have "black" skin, you might get by with it. Outkast, the hip-hop group, performed "Hey Ya" just last week, as they received the Album of the Year award at LA's Grammys. And their "Indian" outfits were more inauthentic and insulting to Indians than any mascot that has ever been banned.

Did Assembly member Ms. Goldberg not write up that law quite accurately? Is there some confusion over who can play Indian and who can't?

Goldberg has been trying to ban the use of American Indian names, mascots, and logos for two years. In 2002, she couldn't find enough Indians to protest. Indians simply weren't offended. Later, her AB 2115 called for the elimination of any name or image that could possibly be associated with American Indians, like "chiefs," "warriors," and even "braves." When it was voted down, Indian students and tribal elders of the Pala Reservation rejoiced. Their Fallbrook Union High School has used the name "Warriors" since 1936.

But Goldberg is relentless. She doesn't want a single visible sign of Indians in her state. She revived her first failed bill, AB 858, and began another onslaught. This time she scored. The bill passed January 29, 2004, and may be implemented in 2006. Goldberg doesn't want another nickel of public funds used to preserve Indian names or images.

In her imagination, Indian images are irreparably damaging, humiliating, and derogatory, and must never again be seen in public.

In her "white" judgment, Goldberg doesn't even want Indians to play Indian at our own schools, or schools where many Indians attend. She turned a deaf ear to the Pala Reservation elders before, but, to get her AB 858 passed this time, she conceded that schools located near "Indian-controlled land," whose Indians mascots had been endorsed by Indians, would be allowed to keep their own image. A noble gesture, Jackie.

(Wait. "Indian-controlled land"? Is Goldberg out to remove Indian "reservations," too? Such devotion must bring a great sense of cultural security to all Indian country.)"



And a comment with some relevance to the above from "Opinion Journal"

First Lt. David Hoe, a member of the U.S. Army's 608th Ordnance Company, has an inspiring letter to the editor in the Washington Post:

I want to thank the Washington Redskins cheerleaders for visiting us in Fallujah, Iraq, on Valentine's Day. I find it odd and impressive that the first entertainers to risk boarding a Black Hawk helicopter to fly into the most restive and hostile town in Iraq were cheerleaders. Not to discredit their visits, but we have all become accustomed to watching on TV as celebrities such as David Letterman, Robin Williams and WWE wrestlers land at the airport in Baghdad, smile for the cameras, entertain a few soldiers from the 1st Armored Division and then fly home.

The Redskins cheerleaders had the courage to take a daytime helicopter ride over Fallujah to visit with the soldiers who are fighting in the front lines of this war.

Sort of puts all the whining about the Redskins' "racist" name in perspective, doesn't it?

Friday, February 20, 2004

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS ABOUT POWER

American political scientist Paul Gottfried argues that "multiculturalism" has very little to do with immigrants (in Australia polls show only 3% of immigrants consider racism a problem ) and everything to do with a new class of post-socialist leftist bureaucrats, lawyers and academics. As their old socialist dream of economic control has gone down the drain, these "born again" interventionists seek new frontiers for power in regulating personal behaviour.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

ONLY "EQUALITY" IS CORRECT

Sowell says (Excerpts): The reigning dogma of our time is equality -- and anything that seems to go against it creates an automatic response, much like the conditioned responses of Pavlov's dog....

It is an undeniable fact that different groups have different performances across a whole spectrum of activities. Does anyone seriously believe that whites usually play basketball just as well as blacks? Is anyone surprised when Asian American youngsters walk off with science prizes, year after year?...

Those who are politically correct may try to claim that these are all "stereotypes" or "perceptions" but hard data show the best selling beers in America to be those created by people of German ancestry. It is the same story on the other side of the world, where China's famed Tsingtao beer was also created by Germans.

What upsets some people is the inference that performance differences reflect innate differences in potential. But there are huge differences in all the things that turn potential into performance.

Back in the early 19th century, a Russian official reported that even the poorest Jews there somehow managed to have books in their homes and "their entire population studies," while books were virtually unknown among most of the surrounding population.....

Recognizing the equal humanity of all peoples, and a need to treat everyone with decency and compassion, is very different from insisting on a dogma that their performances are all equal.

It is not just a few readers but government agencies and the highest courts in the land that dogmatize against any recognition of differences in behavior or performances among groups. Statistical differences in outcomes automatically fall under suspicion of discrimination, as if the groups themselves could not possibly be any different in behavior or performance.

Any school that disciplines black boys much more frequently than Asian American girls can be risking a federal lawsuit, as if there could not possibly be any differences in behavior among the children themselves. Employers can be judged guilty of discrimination, even if no one can find a single person who was discriminated against, if their hiring and promotions data show differences among ethnic groups or between women and men.

The biggest losers from these dogmatic notions are people who very much need to change their behavior, but from whom that crucial knowledge is withheld by their "leaders" and "friends."

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

A RARE WIN

Wallpapering over "old history"' with new: "In late September of 2003, a now familiar scene played out at a School Board meeting in Richmond, VA. A board member, who is apparently a black activist, was attempting to obliterate one aspect of Southern history for another part of Southern history. Specifically, board member Carol Wolf wanted to change the name of Stuart Elementary School (named for J.E.B. Stuart, the dashing Confederate cavalry general) to Hill-Tucker Elementary (after Oliver W. Hill and Samuel W. Tucker, two prominent Richmond civil-rights lawyers).

Surprisingly, this effort went down to a resounding defeat. Across the South there has been a systematic effort to eradicate not just some, but practically all history prior to the 1880's, and in some cases history prior to the 1960's (except for references to slavery, for which black activists want money from the government). Time and again we see political correctness run amuck as the names of schools, streets and bridges are changed, losing the link to our past in favor of honoring someone of a more recent past, and maybe even someone still alive.

I have no complaint with the desires of people to honor those who have contributed to society and have had an impact on how we conduct ourselves as a people. What I do object to is the biased, bigoted manner in which one group is stomped underfoot for the sake of propping up the socialist ideology of egalitarianism. Granted, concerning schools, as a neighborhood changes, and the ethnicity or racial makeup of a neighborhood changes, it is not unreasonable to point out that the name of a school might not hold the significance it once did to the people attending it. However, many of these schools suffering name changes are old and will most likely be replaced in the not too distant future. Why slap one part of the community in the face with forcing this change when the change can come naturally when a new facility is built and the old one is demolished due to age and unsuitability for use? Why must the change be forced in such an antagonistic way as to perpetuate hostilities between the races?

It's not just the schools. Why must a road name be changed erasing the heritage of one aspect of the South for another aspect. Why must the older parts of our Southern heritage go to the back of the bus for the more recent parts of our heritage?

Tuesday, February 17, 2004



BBC Censors Discussion of Multiculturalism:

News release from the Libertarian Alliance (U.K.) -- Feb. 16, 2004

Today, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of Communications for the Libertarian Alliance, was invited to take part in a discussion of multiculturalism on the BBC World Service. Also taking part was Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a regular columnist for The Independent. Dr Gabb was taken off air just half-way into the discussion and told he was no longer required.

The Libertarian Alliance is urgently seeking a tape of the discussion, with a view to lodging a formal complaint against the BBC, which is funded by a compulsory levy on all homes which have a television set. For the moment, here, quoted from memory, are some of Dr Gabb's comments on air:

"I do not necessarily object if people want to come to this country to look for a new life. I do object if they want this at my expense - at my expense as a tax payer, and at the expense of the constitutional rights which are my birthright." "Every so often, someone stands up and tells us what benefits we have had from diversity. Such may be, but we must also consider that part of the price has been a police state. In this country, we have severe restrictions on freedom of speech, on freedom of association and on freedom of contract - all in the name of good race relations." "The Libertarian Alliance believes in repealing all the race relations laws and in shutting down the Commission for Racial Equality."

When Yasmin Alibhai-Brown objected that this would remove all controls on racial attacks and on discrimination, Dr Gabb replied: "Yasmin, are you saying that the white majority in this country is so seething with hatred and discontent that it is only restrained by law from rising up and tearing all the ethnic minorities to pieces?" Her answer was yes, though she seemed to think better of this answer immediately after. She did not deny that the white population was only kept in line by criminal laws to restrain them from attacking ethnic minorities. When Dr Gabb asked if she seriously believed he wanted to murder her, his microphone was turned off and he was "released" from his engagement with 20 minutes of discussion still to run.

The Libertarian Alliance, which believes in freedom of migration, and is opposed to all forms of collectivism, including racial collectivism, finds it disgraceful that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is allowed to make racist comments against the white population of this country, while a liberal defender of civil liberties, freedom of association and free speech is censored. How would it be, if a white person had said that blacks were only kept from raping and looting by fear of the police?

Indeed, the BBC's decision on what it is "politically correct" to broadcast underlines Dr Gabb's comment on the programme that the price of multiculturalism appears to have been censorship and the creation of a police state.

Dr Sean Gabb is available for media comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at sean@libertarian.co.uk. He is the Director of Communications for the Libertarian Alliance and edits its journal “Free Life”. His latest book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: The Real Battle for Britain, is available from Hampden Press at www.hampdenpress.co.uk.

WHAT'S SAUCE FOR THE GOOSE IS SAUCE FOR THE GANDER

"A student group at Roger Williams University is offering a new scholarship for which only white students are eligible, a move they say is designed to protest affirmative action. The application for the $250 award requires an essay on 'why you are proud of your white heritage' and a recent picture to 'confirm whiteness.'"

More here

AMERICAN INDIANS WITH GLASS JAWS

To use a boxing expression

"CBS apologized Friday to American Indians angered by OutKast's Grammy Awards performance, which featured feathers and war paint. ... As the final act of Sunday's Grammy telecast, OutKast's Andre '3000' Benjamin and several dancers swirled wildly around a green tepee as he sang 'Hey Ya!' Costumes included war paint, feathers and fringe. The San Francisco-based Native American Cultural Center, calling the performance racist, urged a boycott of CBS; OutKast; Arista, their record company; and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which sponsors the Grammys."

More here

Monday, February 16, 2004

NEW YORK FOLLIES

New York State Education Department censorship

Extract from: "You Can't Say That"

By DIANE RAVITCH

"So here is how New York made itself an international joke. The state's guidelines to language sensitivity, citing Rosalie Maggio's "The Bias-Free Wordfinder," says: "We may not always understand why a certain word hurts. We don't have to. It is enough that someone says, 'That language doesn't respect me.'" That is, if any word or phrase is likely to give anyone offense, no matter how far-fetched, it should be deleted.

Next the state asked: "Is it necessary to make reference to a person's age, ancestry, disability, ethnicity, nationality, physical appearance, race, religion, sex, sexuality?" Since the answer is frequently no, nearly all references to such characteristics are eliminated. Because these matters loom large in history and literature -- and because they help us to understand character, life circumstances and motives -- their silent removal is bound to weaken or obliterate the reader's understanding.

Like every other governmental agency concerned with testing, the New York State Education Department devised its own list of taboo words. There are the usual ones that have offended feminists for a generation, like "fireman," "authoress," "handyman" and "hostess." New York exercised its leadership by discovering bias in such words as "addict" (replace with "individual with a drug addiction"); "alumna, alumnae, alumni, alumnus" (replace with "graduate or graduates"); "American" (replace with "citizen of the United States or North America"); "cancer patient" (replace with "a patient with cancer"); "city fathers" (replace with "city leaders").

Meanwhile, the word "elderly" should be replaced by "older adult" or "older person," if it is absolutely necessary to mention age at all. "Gentleman's agreement" must be dropped in favor of an "informal agreement." "Ghetto" should be avoided; instead describe the social and economic circumstances of the neighborhood. "Grandfather clause" is helplessly sexist; "retroactive coverage" is preferred instead. The term "illegal alien" must be replaced by "undocumented worker."

Certain words are unacceptable under any circumstances. For example, it is wrong to describe anyone as "illegitimate." Another word to be avoided is "illiterate." Instead, specify whether an individual is unable to read or write, or both. Similarly, any word that contains the three offensive letters "m-a-n" as a prefix or a suffix must be rousted out of the language. Words like "manhours," "manpower," "mankind" and "manmade" are regularly deleted. Even "penmanship," where the guilty three letters are in the middle of the word, is out.

New York identified as biased such male-based words as "masterpiece" and "mastery." Among the other words singled out for extinction were white collar, blue collar, pink collar, teenager, senior citizen, third world, uncivilized, underprivileged, unmarried, widow or widower, and yes man. The goal, naturally, is to remove words that identify people by their gender, age, race, social position or marital status.

Thus the great irony of bias and sensitivity reviewing. It began with the hope of encouraging diversity, ensuring that our educational materials would include people of different experiences and social backgrounds. It has evolved into a bureaucratic system that removes all evidence of diversity and reduces everyone to interchangeable beings whose differences we must not learn about -- making nonsense of literature and history along the way."

More here (Subscribers only)

Sunday, February 15, 2004

EAST GERMANY FED UP WITH PC SCHOOLING

They had a gutful of that under Communism

Germany is quietly moving away from PC in education: "How pleasant at last to find a place where political correctness is actually in retreat, where old values are treasured, common sense is respected and history is not treated as a rubbish dump to be forgotten, but as vital, irreplaceable experience. Welcome to the former East Germany, struggling to rebuild civilisation in the ruins of Socialism...Here, until 1989, political correctness took solid form; equal this, equal that, equal the other. Every slogan on every daft radical demonstration you have ever seen was turned into official policy. Everybody was so equal they had to put up a large fence and build miles of minefields to keep them all in, and keep them all equal.... Herr Box and two colleagues who also experienced the old days, Christine Michaelsen and Verina Runge, all independently agreed that the new system was both far better and more equal in outcome than the comprehensive system which it replaced. They are particularly pleased that bright children no longer have to be held to the pace of the slowest in mixedability classes, and can move ahead from the earliest possible age."

BRITAIN'S POLITICALLY CORRECT "FAMILY COURTS"

"Jenkins notes that many reforms introduced in the name of child protection in recent decades have involved sweeping attacks on traditional Anglo-American legal rights and protections. These rights include: the right to due process, the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, the right to be tried in public, the right to confront one's accusers, and the right to 'equality of arms' (that is, not to be tried under significantly less advantageous conditions that those enjoyed by one's opponent). Other protections, such as restrictions on the use of hearsay evidence, the right to consult the expert of one's choice, and even the right to communicate in confidence with one's lawyers (legal professional privilege) also suffered.

Such traditional legal protections were challenged by what Jenkins calls 'therapeutic values, the sense that neutral professionals were working in the best interests of the child and should not be hampered by outdated technicalities' (6).

Our child welfare courts have therefore become accustomed to a model of therapeutic jurisprudence, in which the best interests of the child are paramount (7). This has certain analogies with a Soviet-style conception of justice, which emphasises outcomes over processes, and which requires the judge to carry out social policy, rather than act as an independent arbiter.

At present, parents accused of posing a threat to their child must take on not one, but two arms of the state: the local authority, and the Orwellian-sounding CAFCASS, which acts for children. One or more social workers, or experts, may interview a parent, but no tape-recording is made. Sometimes the parent is not allowed to have anyone else present, even to take a note. Parents accused of posing a risk to their child may also be pressed to admit 'guilt' in order to get the child back. As many parents recognise, this is a catch-22.

If social workers decide that a child should be removed from its parents because there are concerns about its safety, they can get an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) from a magistrate, without the parents having the right to be heard in opposition. The evidence put before the magistrates is not formally recorded in an affidavit, and the order can then be presented as a 'fait accompli'. This can set in train a destructive downwards spiral of intervention, culminating in official demands that the child should be separated permanently from its parents by adoption. Even newborn babies can be taken away at birth and subsequently put up for adoption: an extraordinarily harsh measure, which has been criticised by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (8).

Family courts in this country operate in a climate of extreme secrecy. Both press and public are routinely excluded. Sometimes parents may be injuncted from telling anyone that child protection proceedings have been initiated against them. They are not supposed to show documents in the case to anyone else.

It is hardly surprising if abuses occur. In May 2003, a judge noted examples of a social worker lying both to a child's mother and even to a court, on the instructions of two superiors. The judge castigated the social worker for a 'grossly unprofessional and wholly improper stratagem' and the local authority for 'wholly unprofessional and quite shocking conduct' (9). It seems that nothing was done to punish the local authority, however, beyond the judge's 'censure' and an order that the local authority pay legal costs. This seems woefully inadequate".

More here

Saturday, February 14, 2004

PC TRUMPS SCIENCE

The scientist behind Kennewick Man writes his side of the story: "Kennewick Man, the ancient skeleton found in the Columbia River with a spear point in his hip, had an adventuresome life more than 9,000 years ago. He's at the center of more tumult in death, as American Indians backed by the federal government battle scientists for possession of his remains.... To the eye as well-trained as Owsley's, Kennewick Man's bones could indicate what he ate, how he lived and what life was like 450 generations ago. That spear wound, for example, apparently healed: He lived with a stone point in his hip for a while.... Owsley, like the first expert to examine the bones, paleontologist consultant James Chatters, could see that Kennewick Man's skull is unlike the skulls of American Indians. It most closely matches a people from northern Japan called the Ainu... He highlights the irony of the U.S government standing in the way of scientific progress." For more on the Kennewick man controversy see here, where it says: "Indeed, the remains seemed more 'Caucasian' than Indian" and here

And WHY is everyone so keen to get him reburied? Because his bones suggest that "Native Americans" were themselves once conquerors:

What is "native American?" "When two teenage hikers came upon the remains of a man's skeleton on the banks of the Columbia River in 1996, little did they know they'd set off a controversy over the meaning of 'native American.' Radiocarbon dating confirmed that the bones -- named 'Kennewick Man' after the nearby town in Washington State -- were between 8,340 and 9,200 years old. Initial research found the man to have Caucasoid features, different from today's native Americans although similar to the Ainu people, an indigenous group in northern Japan. Further testing suggests he may have been a Pacific Islander."

ANOTHER SMALL WIN

Maybe the Fascistic PC Juggernaut is at last being stopped

Victory for free speech at William & Mary: "A student group, the Sons of Liberty, saw its satirical protest unlawfully halted by W&M in November; it was one of many such protests nationwide that were shut down on campuses this past fall. While W&M allowed the group's bake sale to proceed without incident this time, W&M President Timothy J. Sullivan issued a statement denying that his administration acted improperly in stopping the same protest just months before."

Friday, February 13, 2004

HOW DELINQUENT CHILDREN ARE TREATED IN MODERN-DAY BRITAIN

They are put into local council "care" and then this is what happens at the institutions concerned:

"All of the children take drugs. If they didn’t when they arrived at the home, peer pressure ensures that they soon do. And there is perpetual sex and violence. In one home the going rate for a blow job was 75 pence. Then a new girl joined and undercut the price, charging only 50 pence. So the others kicked her head in. If you’re not appalled at the moral issue here, you might at least be outraged by such illiberal protectionism.

All the social workers can do is watch — they have no leeway. ‘There is absolutely no sanction. If they say they’re going out at ten o’clock at night, then we can’t stop them. We can ask them politely not to, but this, you know, doesn’t really work,’ said one residential care worker. So a 14-year-old rent boy is allowed to go out to meet paedophiles — as happens every night in one of the homes I’m dealing with here — and all the social workers can do is inform the police that there is a missing person and hope that he gets picked up before he’s turned another few tricks. But they rarely are picked up by the police.

‘We know this kid is in touch with a paedophile ring, a central telephone number he can call which will provide him with lots of work. We know this, but there’s not a thing, legally, we can do about it.’

There was the case recently of a promiscuous 14-year-old girl who was receiving letters from a paedophile serving time in prison for his activities. The social workers knew about the letters and so did the prison authorities. But the prisoner could not be stopped from sending them because this would infringe his human rights. And the girl could not be stopped from receiving them because that would infringe hers.

‘The letters said stuff like, oh, I’ve heard you’re a good shag, I can’t wait til I get out, here’s what I am going to do to you,’ said one of the social workers, shaking his head in exasperation. ‘And there is absolutely nothing that we can do about it.’

The greatest threat the staff can impose upon the kids is to withhold the use of the house PlayStation, unless a kid has pawned it for drug money (which was the case in one of the homes). Oh, and they can also stop up to two thirds of their weekly allowance (of up to £7.40). But a few blow jobs can sort that problem out pretty quickly, even at just 75 pence per go. And so the children laugh at such threats....

But the real scandal, of course, is the total absence of any means by which these children can be persuaded to change or modify their behaviour. A deliberate, institutionalised absence. Anything which might instil fear into the children — fear of opprobrium or sanction — is specifically outlawed.

‘When we were kids we would get up to all sorts of mischief but there was a line beyond which we would not go — because somehow we knew it was too wrong. These kids have none of that. None of it at all. There is no line.’ Another social worker explained: ‘The real problem is that the children are never identified, by society or, as a result, by themselves, as perpetrators. They are identified only as victims. And that’s how they see themselves. They can do no wrong, only have wrongs done to them. They have a peculiar, warped view of the world.’

All of the social workers I spoke to were united in one belief: that a ‘short, sharp shock administered very early on’ would possibly save them from their later, ultimately self-destructive behaviour. One social worker told me, ‘How about a boot camp for a few weeks? Instead of this, they get a nice house with a Jacuzzi, video player, PlayStation, guaranteed income and total and utter freedom. Why should they do as they’re told, if the greatest sanction we can hold over them is to cut their pocket money?’

Another social worker, who has been in the business for six years and has been a school governor for 14, blamed the heads of the social services departments. ‘There is no support from the senior managers,’ he said — just a conviction that one must adhere to an outdated and discredited ideology.

More here

THE REAL MOTIVE BEHIND PC

Peter Hitchens reflects on the recent discovery that there are in fact vey few homosexual couples in Britain:

"Almost all the supposedly persecuted minority groups in modern Britain are the excuse for social change, no other reason for it. I suspect most homosexuals do not want or need this new law. In the same way, few women want to be firefighters or soldiers or fighter pilots. And most black Britons want above all to be treated just like everyone else, not given special attention because of the colour of their skin.

The invention of persecuted minorities has been going on for decades because their alleged oppression provides the pretext for accelerating social change. If we really wanted the happiness of minorities, the liberation of women or the abolition of racial discrimination, we would not adopt the aggressive and divisive policies that we do. These suit only the militant and the extreme, often at the expense of the normal.

Why is it assumed that all women want to be wage slaves or single mothers? Research published last week shows that many just want to stay at home and look after their children, but cannot afford to.

Why is it assumed that all homosexuals want to make a public declaration out of a private matter? Why are rioters, rather than family-minded churchgoers, assumed to be representative of Britain's black population?

The answer is that our old friend, the non-existent ultra-sensitive disabled black lesbian, is at work - the revolutionaries' constant excuse for forcing unwanted change on us and silencing those who object by accusing them of being 'bigots'.

Most of us wish to be kind and tolerant, and quite right too. The cleverness of political correctness is that it harnesses this generous impulse for a mean end. It uses it to camouflage a relentless assault on all we have and are, from marriage and family to love of country."

Thursday, February 12, 2004

NO FREE SPEECH AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY

From "Opinion Journal"

"Those of us with libertarian impulses agree that government shouldn't prohibit gay sex between consenting adults. We may even be sympathetic to the call for marriagelike benefits for same-sex couples. But we also believe in free speech and thus are quite troubled by stories like this one, from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.:

A high school teacher in British Columbia, punished for writing publicly against homosexuality, is not protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the province's Supreme Court has ruled. . . .

In 2002, the British Columbia College of Teachers suspended [Chris] Kempling for one month for "professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a BCCT member."

It had been investigating a complaint received after Kempling wrote a series of letters to his local newspaper between 1997 and 2000 saying homosexuality was wrong.

Reuters quotes Justice Ronald Holmes, who wrote the decision: "Discriminatory speech is incompatible with the search for truth." Even if we accept for the sake of argument the proposition that Kempling's speech was "discriminatory" and false, it is still arrant nonsense to call it "incompatible with the search for truth." The search for truth inevitably entails exposure to many false ideas, some of them obnoxious. The "liberal" agenda Holms advocates is actually a profoundly illiberal one: the imposition by bureaucrats and judges of a preapproved "truth.""



CATHOLICISM INCORRECT

Christianity wrong, paganism right: "In March of last year, student Alexis Linton, a pagan, complained to school officials that her philosophy teacher, Dr. James Tuttle, stated in class that he was a Catholic and his faith shaped his personal philosophy. In her complaint, Linton considered Dr. Tuttle's beliefs offensive and recommended he be given "counseling for tolerance." In an attempt to resolve the issue, Dr. Tuttle revised the course description to include a statement identifying himself as "a committed Catholic Christian philosopher and theologian." None of this set well with James L. Brown, the Dean of Arts and Humanities at Lakeland Community College, who decided to punish Dr. Tuttle by reducing his course load and, thereby, his pay. Dean Brown would also "subject him to classroom monitoring by a fellow professor before reaching a final decision on whether to actually fire him."

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

MEN INCORRECT

In a terminal attack of political correctness, the Church of England has declared that the three wise men at Christ's birth may have been three wise women!

ATTACK ON PC SCHOOLS IN AUSTRALIA NOW BIPARTISAN

Political correctness in Australian schools seems to be similar to what is taught in U.S. and U.K. schools but it is under attack in Australia. Christopher Pearson notes that both Australia's conservative Federal government and the Federal leader of Australia's major Leftist party (Latham) are agreed that the PC rot in the schools must be stopped. I understand that Pearson has declared his own homosexuality so his remarks on that subject are hardly "homophobic". Some excerpts:

"PAMELA Bone, an associate editor of The Age, artlessly encapsulated the education debate last week. "State schools are not so much politically correct, as John Howard charges, as ideologically sound." It is a classic example of a distinction without a difference. Still, Bone ploughed on. "So are most private schools, for that matter. But it's an ideology to which - one would think! - not even the Prime Minister could object" - of caring, sharing and self-esteem.

This is reminiscent of the early 1990s when the political correctness brigade would all but deny the existence of the phenomenon and say that they were simply being "good mannered". Note how, by implication, anyone who didn't follow their example was at best boorish. The coerciveness of this strategy, a self-serving tautological loop, plainly wasn't apparent to all but the slyest of its practitioners. They really thought that all civilised people either shared their world view or would in time come around to doing so. It reminded me at the time of William Blake's line about "the mind-forged manacles" of man....

Peter West, head of the research group on men and families at the University of Western Sydney, wrote last week in praise of Mark Latham's plans to educate and support parents experiencing difficulties. He says that the web of authority that children and boys especially need has been weakened. "Parents can't provide authoritative parenting. Schools are wary of saying the wrong thing. My teacher/education students are terrified about saying almost anything but the blandest praise about Aborigines or immigrants, for fear that someone might attack them." If only the curriculum were less transfixed by noble savages living in peace with one another and mystical harmony with the land. If some teachers at least believed in authoritative plain speaking as thoroughly as, say, Noel Pearson, without fear of being labelled racists, how much more productive a national conversation we'd be able to have.

There is abundant further evidence that PC (or, since the term's been over-used, what might for convenience sake be called coercive groupthink) is more than just the stuff of right-wing fantasy. Parents, whatever their political allegiances, ought to reflect on the Australian Education Union's policy pronouncements on sexuality. Take, for example, the union's rejection of "the assumption that heterosexual sex and relationships are 'natural' or 'normal"'. Would you want your or anyone else's sons and daughters to be exposed to teachers who shared their union's view and preached it?

It's possible to hold and demonstrate non-discriminatory attitudes towards what Peter Berger called "the erotic minorities" without questioning the naturalness of the majority and ordinary procreation. Likewise, it's possible, and indeed perfectly legitimate, to argue in schoolrooms about the necessity or propriety of waging war on Iraq. But was it proper of the Victorian branch of the AEU to advise teachers "to suspend normal classroom instruction to read a statement to their classes and present or undertake a peace activity"?

The imagination cringes at what a peace activity might be -- holding hands while gathered around a few candles, perhaps, or singing John Lennon's Imagine. At any rate I suspect most parents would prefer debate and some attempt at balance rather than proselytising from teachers. However, when the Victorian branch urged teachers to "come into the city after school to a rally outside the State Library", plainly groupthink pressure was being applied to them as well as their students.

One welcome aspect of the Latham ascendancy is a likely greater convergence between the major parties on education. The Opposition Leader's attitude towards the teachers' unions has been nothing if not forthright: "The greatest obstacle to progress in this state's schools is the leadership of the NSW Teachers Federation. It is a serial offender when it comes to opposing high standards, basic skills and accountability. It has tried to obstruct every effort by the Carr Government to move in this direction. The federation is locked in a time warp, practising the education beliefs of the 1970s."

PC LIVES IN A LOCKSTEP WORLD OF ITS OWN

Is a little intellectual diversity too much to ask? "A life-size photography exhibit put on display this week depicts a George W. Bush look-alike in a drunken stupor fondling a woman's breasts. The artist described it as symbolizing the President's "imperial infidelity," for whatever that's worth. As fascinating as it is that this is someone's version of art, even more puzzling is who would display such an exhibit. Of course, once The New York Times and The New Yorker had the good sense to refuse, the artist had only one place left to turn: academia. Sure enough, the exhibit found a home on the walls of Lehigh University's political science department, with the approval of administration and faculty alike.

Compare this with an occurrence at California Polytechnic State University, where a little over a year ago a student attempted to post a flier in the campus multicultural center advertising an upcoming speech by a black author. The flier contained the speaker's name and picture, the time and place of the speech, and the name of the speaker's book, which argues that African-Americans are too dependent on government programs. Students at the multicultural center asked the student to leave their public campus space, then called campus police and complained of "a suspicious white male passing out literature of an offensive racial nature." The student was forbidden to post his flier and forced to apologize for his monumental offense to the multicultural students.

Thus is the wonder of the world of higher education, where portraying a President in compromising sexual positions is considered to advance political discourse, but suggesting that minority students come hear another point of view is grounds for police action. Only high inside the ivory towers of academia, the breeding grounds for those to the left of left, could such logic exist.

College students love to complain about how campuses are removed from "reality," which is generally defined as living in subsidized housing, sleeping on a park bench, or working in a makeshift medical clinic in Africa. But these same students seem completely oblivious to how far removed their campuses are from the rest of the nation's political discourse. In the country as a whole, Democrats and Republicans are almost evenly split, but studies indicate that academic faculties are often skewed at least 10 to 1 in Democrats' favor....

The most disturbing aspect of this phenomenon is how students on both sides of the political spectrum - most paying astronomical tuition - are being shortchanged. Schools often structure their curricula around professors' specialties; thus when liberal thought is so drastically overrepresented, it is bound to overshadow necessary curricula. During most of my terms as an undergraduate, the journalism school I attended offered at least three advanced courses on race, poverty, gender or the evils of the death penalty, but not a single class on editorial writing.

Although many classes attempt to examine issues from both sides, conservative arguments are bound to be less convincing when rarely advanced by anyone who believes them. This is regrettable for both conservative and liberal students - for conservatives because they are not taught the most defensible form of their arguments and for liberals because their own views are not adequately challenged. Sure, students can make an effort to push the envelope themselves, but shouldn't the bulk of that burden belong on the faculty? After all, they are the ones paid to foster diversity of thought....

One can't help but wonder if such one-sided education prepares students for the world outside the comfortable confines of the college campus. The cold harsh truth is that, as deluded as professors may consider them, most Americans accept that George W. Bush is our constitutionally elected President, that Ronald Reagan was not trying to kill off homosexuals, and that we need to fight terrorism. Hopefully, most students understand this and take professors' personal mantras to the contrary with a grain of salt. For those who don't, graduation and the working world are going to be quite a culture shock. But then, if reality is a little too much to face, they can always seek jobs in academia."

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

THE BEGINNINGS OF FREE SPEECH AT U.S. UNIVERSITIES?

"An actual debate on the merits of racial preferences has taken place on an American campus, Utah State University. Whether the Guinness World Records book is interested in this news is not certain. I know I am. Astonishingly, the university administration did not step in to halt the proceedings on the grounds that feelings might be hurt. The debate was civil, with some booing and cheering on both sides. Some students seemed a bit testy or angry. But as one student sponsor of the debate said, "that's part of politics and discussing divisive issues." This breakthrough raises a startling question: is it possible that other universities will begin experimenting with free speech?.... Another factor in the new atmosphere is that conservative students are now a bigger presence on campus. A Harvard poll in the fall found that 61 percent of U.S. college students supported President Bush, at a time when only 53 percent of all Americans supported him.... Repressive speech policies are under heavy pressure and starting to break down."

JOKES ABOUT ASIANS INCORRECT

No more Irish jokes either?

"It began, like so many office controversies, with an e-mail message. Responding to a note seeking someone to adopt a puppy, a partner in the London office of the law firm of Dewey Ballantine wrote, "Don't let them go to a Chinese restaurant."

Some of the firm's associates found the message offensive and said so; dozens of Asian-American law student associations and bar associations have criticized it as well. Senior partners at the firm almost immediately sent out a firmwide apology. So did the author of the message....

It is rare but not unheard-of for dog to appear on the menu in a restaurant in China, and dog is even less likely to be offered by Chinese restaurants in other parts of the world. The message was offensive, associates at the firm say, because it seemed to mock Chinese people.

"People say, 'Oh, you're just being oversensitive,' but I think it's a symptom of something underlying," said Karen Y. Tu, a second-year law student at Columbia who is co-chairwoman of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. She later said: "What is going to change this environment? What is going to make it easier? What is going to make Asian-Americans comfortable about going back to Dewey?"

The incident shows that lawyers, who handle lawsuits filed over discriminatory treatment and all manner of other disputes, send e-mail messages that can lead to accusations of racism, too. And when they do, the firms they work for are subject to the same forms of protest as those messages wend their way around the world....

"There is no defense in these situations," said Roger Cramton, a law professor at Cornell. He added that law professors have had to rethink the examples they use to illustrate legal issues in classes. "This is such a politically correct world.""

More here

Monday, February 09, 2004

DON'T MENTION THE FRENCH!

You can make all the derogatory remarks about Americans in the world but you dare not criticize French Canadians!

The combative co-host of Canada's most popular ice hockey TV show will be censored after suggesting that players from French-speaking Quebec were cowards for wearing protective visors, the country's public broadcaster said yesterday. Although Don Cherry has made disparaging remarks about French Canadians — and others — previously, his comment on "Hockey Night in Canada" that "most of the guys that wear [visors] are European or French guys" sparked a backlash....

Canada's official languages commissioner has started a probe into Mr. Cherry's comments, which federal minister Denis Coderre said were outrageous. "I find it despicable, I am hurt. People have got to stop continually resorting to these kinds of stereotypes," said Mr. Coderre, who is from Quebec. "This is starting to go far too far ... when you're talking about this all the time and calling Frenchmen wimps, it's unacceptable," he told reporters. Jean Augustine, minister of state for multiculturalism, later told reporters that "the government will not tolerate statements that create dissonance in our society and disrespect for others." She and Mr. Coderre demanded that the CBC take action.

It seems to me that the babyish response of the French Canadians quoted above PROVES that they are wimps!

CRACKDOWN ON PC IN AUSTRAILA

"THE Federal Government will force schools to reintroduce policies allowing teachers to fail students and make them repeat years if they cannot pass benchmark standards.

Education Minister Brendan Nelson said primary schools in particular now routinely sugar-coated students' results and refused to acknowledge failures. "I think we need to be able to say 'your son has not been able to meet the standard required', " he said. "I think there are circumstances when it is of much more benefit in the long term for them to repeat a year if necessary."

Dr Nelson said he was designing a funding model that would make school reporting standards a condition of receiving Federal Government money.

Since Dr Nelson complained last month that schools did not assess students in plain language any more, his office has been inundated with copies of school reports parents say they do not understand. The reports – largely from primary schools – no longer fail students but provide encouraging words such as "working towards", "emerging" or "developing". Dr Nelson said schools need not use the word "fail" but should provide some tough love when providing results.

More here

Sunday, February 08, 2004

ALL RISK IS POLITICALLY INCORRECT

Not because the PC types care about people but because they want to appear wise. "By their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7: 20)

Politically correct risk-aversion leads to people not getting the best medical treatment: "In areas where new science and technologies are being employed, an excessive focus on risk, without considering benefit, is to the overall detriment of appropriate and timely decision-making. With respect to human healthcare, unreasonable avoidance of risks leads to inappropriate therapeutic decisions and consequentially poorer medical outcomes for patients"

MUSLIMS PRACTICE EQUALITY EVEN WHEN THEY DON'T

According to our media anyway

From Opinion Journal:

"Along similar lines, consider this passage from an earlier AP report on the hajj:

"In a show of equality, men wear seamless white robes and women are covered from head to foot except for their hands and faces".

Describing Islam's starkly disparate treatment of men and woman as "a show of equality" is downright Orwellian. For whatever reason, Western journalists, commentators and politicians engage in an awful lot of self-censorship and convoluted reasoning to avoid casting an unfavorable light on Islam."

Saturday, February 07, 2004

A TEETH-GRINDER FOR THE PC TYPES

On exaggerations about black "inventors". Excerpt:

The records show that Morgan was far from being the only person to take out a patent for a traffic regulating device, although you might never learn this fact, if you were a student in some classrooms. Fouch, cautiously advises that a patent document in and of itself "does not convey any meaning about the significance of the patent or the person." As many blacks know well, Morgan is just one such figure whose achievements have been elevated beyond his genuine contributions.

"Fouch, set out to see what else he could learn about the work of black inventors, and his research has resulted in a book, Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation. He trained his sites especially on Shelby Davidson (1868-1930), Lewis Latimer (1848-1928) and Granville Woods (1856-1910), three men who, says Fouch,, "are brought out every year during Black History Month as representative of black greatness and then reduced to their names, a patent number and some kind of artifact."

Riordan writes, "Though they were all important figures, Professor Fouch, said that his goal was not to solidify their status as icons but, rather, to present them as three-dimensional human beings." Fouch, is quoted as discreetly claiming, "We must rescue the complexity -- the greatness and imperfection -- of black inventors to understand more fully their relevance in America today." And he prudently concludes, "We have to create a new metric of what success is. We can still consider them as African-American heroes or champions. But it's most important that we develop a deeper, more nuanced understanding of what their lives were like and what their relationships were to the larger world."

In straight talk, does this mean there's a need for an honest approach to black history and that it's time to drop the Afrocentric exaggeration and dissembling?"

The above appeared on Issues & Views -- a site run by black Americans.

NO ESCAPING PC POLITICS AT THIS UNIVERSITY

How they teach "WORKPLACE SAFETY"!

As the new semester gets underway, bias complaints from across the country have begun to filter in. One of the most outrageous comes courtesy of a student at Indiana University.

At the start of last term, the student enrolled in a class that purported to be on the topic of "workplace safety." To his great surprise, the professor, a senior lecturer named Cheryl Holmes, dedicated most of the course to lecturing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a pro-PLO perspective and to condemning America's foreign policy approach and involvement in Iraq.

The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, confronted Holmes about the inappropriate content of the course, but was told that if he was unhappy he should simply drop the class.

Email correspondence between the student and Holmes confirms his allegations that she hijacked her class for political purposes. "The point was made that the United States has conducted operations in a variety of nations that can be interpreted as `terroristic' acts, including assassinations, bombings, and killing civilian populations," Holmes wrote. She continued, "I will not avoid discussing this conflict, because it is critical to understanding motivations for terrorism and conflict in our world. If you feel you would be more comfortable in another class, I encourage you to drop this one and take another."

Further proof is provided by an examination of the course materials for this class which are available online. Course worksheets ask leading questions about Middle East politics. "After the partition, what did some Jewish terrorist groups do?," one questions asks. "After the Six Days War, how many more Palestinian Arabs were placed under military control?"

More here

Friday, February 06, 2004

THE ROT SPREADS

Practical Penumbra has a good post on how even Master's Degrees have become pure Political Correctness propaganda. She speaks from experience. Excerpt:

"What is this travesty of educational dollars? you wonder. Well, it's Human Relations Management. So far we have devoted 75% of our time and energy to sexual harassment in the workplace, and the other 25% to workplace diversity.

Now, I can certainly see how these two topics are worthy of coverage. But wouldn't a simple "sexual harassment bad; diversity good" have sufficed? Do we still have to be obsessing over it 7 chapters into the book? Do we have to be assigned a 6 page paper "case study" on a sexual harassment case from 1994?

Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm just too sensible. Or maybe I'm just too old to be offended by suggestive remarks very easily. The victims in case study were all barely out of their teens, after all. And teenagers, as I know too well, are to drama as cows are to methane. Now I'm not saying that young ladies should tolerate being groped by their lecherous bosses or even their lecherous co-workers. Nor should they lose their jobs when they say "Leave me the hell alone!" But we've covered that, already. It's time to move on. The next two chapters are on Workforce Training and Performance Management. I hope nobody's groping anyone in them, otherwise I'm really gonna wonder about the author of this text... "

HELL INCORRECT

And the PC crowd are even picking on 7 year olds now! They really hate kids, that is obvious

The Pittsburgh school district is investigating the suspension of a Stanton Heights second-grader who was tossed from school for saying the word "hell" to a classmate.

Brandy McKenith, 7, a pupil at Sunnyside Elementary School in Stanton Heights, returned to school Wednesday after the one-day suspension. Brandy said she told a boy that he was going to go to hell for swearing to God.

School board President Bill Isler said he discussed the incident with Superintendent John Thompson, and that the schools chief said he is conducting an investigation and will report back to the school board.

Thompson's office referred all calls to district spokeswoman Pat Crawford, who did not return calls for comment.

More here

Thursday, February 05, 2004

PC POLITICS DOMINATE IN THE HARD SCIENCES TOO

"I am associate professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. I receive teaching evaluations that run from average to outstanding. I have more scholarly publications than half the full professors in my department. But as I sit here writing, three of my four classes have been cancelled. I am scheduled to be moved out of the office I have occupied for the last twelve years into a dank hole in the basement that was never intended to be used as office space. Recent events are the culmination of four years of retaliation, intimidation, and harassment. You see, I don't have the right politics. What's worse is that I'm not submissive and I refuse to be bullied and intimidated."

More here

INCORRECT VALENTINES

No more roses for YOU!

"'The Vagina Monologues' (the VMs) are coming to a theatre near you ... again. Eve Ensler's PC-feminist play is being dusted off on campuses and in communities around North America for production, often at taxpayer expense. Since 1998, the play has been part of a V-Day drive to convert February 14th from chocolates and Valentines to Vaginas and Violence -- that is, to spotlighting male violence against women. But the backlash may surprise this year's promoters. The hostile reception provides another indication that society is no longer willing to tolerate political correctness."

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

THE BITTER FRUITS OF INSANE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

"In November 1996, Dustin Seal, then a high school senior, was expelled after authorities at his Knoxville, Tenn., high school found a 3-inch knife in his car. Even though the knife wasn't Dustin's, and even though the friend who'd left the knife in Dustin's car claimed responsibility for it, the administration didn't budge: Under the school's 'zero tolerance' policy, every student found with a weapon on campus had to be expelled. ... Almost two years after his son's suicide, Dennis Seal is suing the Knox County school board for wrongful death, claiming that Dustin's suicide was a direct result of his expulsion."

More here

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

TOO LITTLE TOO LATE IN FRANCE

Taki on how a muddle driven by political correctness and the desire to be "universal" led to France's headscarf ban:

"When Jean-Marie Le Pen first signalled the dangers of unlimited Muslim immigration, the establishment held its nose and called him a filthy racist. For good measure they threw in an anti-Semite label, because, according to PC law, if you are a nationalist like Le Pen, you are also a racist, an anti-Semite, and, of course, pro-Hitler. Monsieur le Pr‚sident, honest Jacques Chirac, refused to debate with Le Pen in the last presidential election, leaving Jean-Marie, whose only crime seems to be that he cares more for French men and women than Muslim men and women, talking to himself.

Now the chickens have come home to roost, as they used to say in Hong Kong before the latest bird-flu scare. The dress-code farce shows the feminists who were in favour of banning the scarves as symbols of female oppression to be as full of horse manure as Chirac, who first called the scarves 'aggressive'. Once the Muslims complained that they were being singled out, Luc Ferry banned all religious symbols, including 'religious beards', whatever that may mean.”

Monday, February 02, 2004

OPPOSITION TO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS "RACIST"

Funny! I thought afirmative action was racist! And you can't even say "black" any more! What do you call them? "Whites"?

A female Jewish High School student gets oppressed by a PC educational system:

I poured it all out, given the opportunity because the discussion was on womens rights and for some reason my teacher asked me if I agreed with affirmative action. Does affirmative action relate to womens rights? Not in my world it doesn't. I guess in her world where being against illegal immigration and calling African-Americans "black" are racist, it does.

Well, if asked a question, I am compelled to answer honestly. My mother suggested I could have asked her what it had to with Mary Wollstonecraft, but I was so flustered by her laughter at me, I replied. I said "No". And did that cause commotion! She went as far as to say "Poor ____! He's black!" (I earlier was miming/mocking liberal colleges by saying, "Poor black kid, lets let him in because of his race---" before she interrupted me, shocked I would say "poor" and "black" in one sentence. Perhaps she was more shocked because of the verboten politically incorrect word "b-l-a-c-k". Thank G-D its not the same as the other one. But the way she reacted was as if I did.)....

"Yes, but I don't agree illegal immigrants should be given priority. I don't believe colleges should have to accept them just because of their race or part of town they live in".

She interpreted my "illegal immigrants" referring to the Hispanics and assumed I was racist, again.

Then a Hispanic girl next to me started giggling as if everything were cool and I was stupid and ignorant and should be excused. The class chimed in I was ignorant and narrow-minded and had no valid arguments

But the teacher questioned my sentence in which modern feminists are overly concerned with their uteruses. When I read it aloud, she doubled up in her plastic chair, laughing like I was too stupid to be taken seriously.


THOSE LOVABLE MIDDLE EASTERNERS AGAIN

In PC land they can do no wrong

A TOP-secret NSW police report predicting the recent murders and shootings in the city's south-west was ignored by senior officers.

Instead, the report lay in a safe gathering dust, and its recommendations to fight organised crime were never acted on. A copy of the report - which warned that gang violence in Sydney was on the rise - has been obtained by The Sunday Telegraph.

Written in October, 1999, by former Assistant Commissioner Clive Small, it accurately forecast that violence between gangs of criminals with a Middle Eastern background would escalate unless something was done

More here

Sunday, February 01, 2004

THE AUSTRALIAN CRACKDOWN CONTINUES

Australia's conservative Federal government is cracking down on PC schools: "Education Minister Brendan Nelson's personal crusade to remove "political correctness" and impose "plain language" on the nation's school report cards has reaped a mail bag of examples from angry parents. However, his plans to boost accountability in schools go much further than the humble school report card. Dr Nelson flagged plans yesterday for report cards on schools ranking their students' strike rates on jobs, apprenticeships, TAFE and university.... "


Andrew Bolt summarizes the “mainstream values” that Australian teachers (the AEU -- similar to America’s NEA) claim they teach:

But wait a bit. Is this the same non-ideological and mainstream AEU that told teachers to read anti-war statements to their students during the Iraq war?

Is this the same mainstream AEU that attacks the "assumption that heterosexual sex and relationships are 'natural' or 'normal' ", tells teachers to push their "human rights issues within their educational practice", accuses Australia of "attempts of genocide" of Aborigines, and demands the "stolen generation" myth be taught as true?

Is it the same AEU that insists schools produce "equal educational outcomes", which it says means not promoting or even streaming gifted children?

Is it the same AEU that "rejects any form of assessment which is competitive", and sabotaged statewide tests for Year 7 students despite great support for them from parents sick of not knowing how well their children were taught? ....

Isn't this the same state school principal who attacked "heavily masculinised contact sports" because they "serve to define dominant masculinity, connecting manhood with violence and competitiveness and often marginalising girls and women"?