Thursday, April 13, 2006

Reshaping the American mind

Shortly before the confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, Senator John Kerry (who still apparently harbors presidential hopes) had warned ominously that Alito's confirmation would cause "irreversible damage to our country." Now the irony and sheer chutzpah of such hypocrisy never fails to gall me, though we are exposed to a constant barrage of similar perverse remarks that stream constantly from the mouths of liberals. That statement is so ironic because the determination of conservatives to get a bona fide Constitutional jurist on the bench (one who recognizes and respects the limits that are intended upon his authority) was specifically aimed at reversing the damage to our country that has been done by activist liberal judges who don't view the Constitution as an instrument that should be respected and adhered to. It is, to them, a relic of the past, written by dead white men, and must therefore be updated to correspond with the more enlightened thinking of the modern era. Those of us who see the seeds of our destruction in their "enlightened" rulings are simply ignorant bigots and religious fanatics who must be silenced, our judgments suppressed.

I have been distracted of late by some disturbing developments at my place of employment that concern a larger issue I have wished for some time to try and elucidate, but have not been able to until now. I shall endeavor to be clear, but I may come off as some raving, paranoid conspiracy theorist. Bear with me.

I am employed at a university that has recently proposed some new policies and regulations (to bring us in line, I am told in lawyerese, "with the current state of the law") that will soon be implemented. The changes instituted and the methods used are instructive for those who keep tabs on the New World Order and its progress in subsuming the culture and sovereignty of all the nations under its flag.

The new policies were delivered one at a time in a manner that likely went unnoticed by the university community. I'm sure you've all heard the analogy of the frog in the pot: If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, he'll move heaven and earth to get out, but if you put him in cold water, then turn the temperature up one degree at a time, he'll stay in the pot until he boils to death. This is how they are turning the temperature up one degree at a time: First a new "diversity statement" was added to the personnel handbook of the university, which highlights the university's desire to "recruit, hire and retain employees who bring a diversity of viewpoints, cultures and a broad range of human experiences to the university", and, of course, "it is expected that all in the university community will appreciate and respect the dignity, individuality, and the uniqueness of our individual community members. Sounds harmless, right? A bit heavily laden with liberal feel good words, but to the average person, it would sound reasonable and fair, almost.well, heck.almost Catholic. Except that this statement was preceded by a campus climate survey that focused on sexual orientation and whether or not gays felt "safe" on the campus. One didn't have to be clairvoyant to see where this was going.

Right after the diversity statement was issued, the committee on Equal Opportunity and Diversity for the campus asked for a volunteer to work on the Diversity Committee, whose responsibilities would include reviewing campus climate surveys, and recommending "ways in which the university can broaden opportunities for all members of the community to participate in institutional efforts to enhance the diversity among faculty, students, and staff," and to propose "programs that foster greater appreciation of and sensitivity to the importance of diversity within the university community."

Well, as anyone with a brain could anticipate, the next step was to add sexual orientation to the EEO regulations of the university, which automatically makes it fall under the campus "diversity statement" adding that to the individual differences and life experiences we are all supposed to appreciate, respect, and promote. Phase 3 was the kicker, though, as some vague and subjective language was added to the sexual harassment policy which virtually shut down any discussion outside of specific classes that pertains to the topic, lest someone be made to feel "unwelcome". (So much for the "diversity of viewpoints" the diversity statement claims to encourage.) So now "diversity" has become a euphemism for enforced ideological conformity.

Campus speech codes and other infringements on free speech, freedom of association, religious freedom and expression, and freedom of the press, are rampant on campuses and in corporate and government places of employment. By placing free discussion about a political and social issue of great concern to all under the threat of "sexual harassment" charges, they create a de facto "hate speech" law that does exactly what a real hate crimes law would do -- muzzle public dissent or any speech which opposes the homosexual political and social agenda. And the universities and corporations that institute such policies now hold the livelihood of their employees hostage to compel them to conform to that agenda. People have been fired, expelled, and disciplined for refusing to toe the line. If the university had simply added sexual orientation to the EEO regulations and applied the same objective US government definitions of sexual harassment to that as to everything else, it would probably not raise an eyebrow. Authentic harassment (sexual or emotional) could be dealt with in the same way for homosexuals as for heterosexuals without crossing the line between compelling civil conduct and speech (which an employer has the right to impose) and compelling ideological conformity (which violates the civil liberties of the employees). But the addition of a "diversity statement" reveals an agenda with broader implications than simply keeping the peace or trying to prevent lawsuits.

In an earlier column, I remarked about how grade schools had become early training grounds for secular humanist morality. The recent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' against parental rights in determining what kinds of "education" the schools have the authority to expose children to also suggests an agenda at work. (A current bill in the California state legislature to add "gender" and "sexual orientation" to its antidiscrimination policies is a case in point. If the bill is signed into law, schools will now be forced to "teach school children as young as kindergarten to accept and embrace transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality in all its forms," according to the president of the Campaign for Children and Families in that state, Randy Thomasson.) There are increasing efforts to normalize and compel acceptance of what is clearly abnormal to any rational thinking person, and we are seeing it in sex education that includes a curriculum aimed at desensitization toward and acceptance of homosexuality (including homosexual marriage and adoption), transexualism, transgenderism, transvestitism, and adult-child sex.

Books such as Heather Has Two Mommies and Jim's Two Dads accomplish in grade school what "diversity statements" accomplish in colleges and corporations: Under the pretext of creating a "safe" environment for learning or working, what is really happening is people are being indoctrinated and opposition silenced, and the methods are sometimes coercive. At the same time, religious values are being treated as backward and bigoted, and requiring remedial "programming". Though it is no where stated in law, sexual orientation is being given status as a "civil right", possibly laying the groundwork for adding it to existing civil rights laws. The persistence of Democrats in Congress (led chiefly by Sen. Ted Kennedy) in trying to offer legal protection to homosexual behavior via hate crimes laws (which will be used to censor speech against the homosexual lifestyle), and the more successful efforts in Canada and many European nations to criminalize speech and to recognize sexual orientation in human rights laws makes it clear that this is what we are being groomed to accept. Sexual orientation will be a protected class as soon as society is made ready to accept it. This agenda seems so surreal. It is hard to believe that so many ordinary people oppose this, yet so many people in positions of power are implementing it. But the evidence is there that we are being indoctrinated in preparation for that day.....

It is useful to look at the European Union to get a feel for how human rights are being redefined, and how member states are being pressured to get on board with the more "progressive" states in promoting, for example, "reproductive health services" and gay rights. The pressure is tremendous, and the economic penalties for resistance or refusal could be harsh, just as it might be against the lone individual who stands against an employer trying to indoctrinate him with secular humanist ideologies, just as perhaps it is for those employers and for universities who don't go along with the dictates of the Working Group (or other organs of the government) charged with bringing us into compliance with those international treaties. The failure, indeed the obstinate refusal, of the European Union to acknowledge the Christian roots of European civilization in its Constitution, and the kind of bullying now taking place to compel submission to the full spectrum of secular movements rings an ominous warning for the rest of the world. In the past, governments have found faith useful in controlling its populations, and so encouraged faith, sometimes enforcing it. But authentic faith recognizes the rule of law, and the duty to obey that law until the law comes in conflict with the laws of God. Then authentic faith must take a stand. It isn't popular, it's not the easy way. Thomas Jefferson famously wrote in another Declaration, the Declaration of Independence:

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

We can still avoid that kind of conflict, but it's going to take fortitude, courage, and character, and a rebirth of manly virtue of the kind we glimpsed so briefly during the September 11 attack on our nation. Surely there are still enough heroes among us who will stand up for God, family and country

More here


There's no doubting the popularity of Jamie Oliver right now. Having previously been the often-lambasted frontman for a laddish food culture, he has reinvented himself as social entrepreneur by training unemployed kids at his restaurant Fifteen - and his ascension to secular sainthood was confirmed by last year's TV crusade, Jamie's School Dinners.

The result of the Channel 4 series was an extra o280million from the government to be spent over three years, increasing food budgets to 50p per head in primary schools and to 60p per head in secondary schools. Many parents seem to believe that school meals are now better than before. A BMRB poll reported in the UK Observer suggests that three-quarters of parents think school grub has improved, and almost half think Oliver was the biggest factor in changing things.

However, the results of this poll are at odds with parents' actual response to the TV series - and Jamie is not a happy bunny. Far from increasing uptake of school meals, the series seems to have put many parents off them completely - even in areas where 'healthy' options have been introduced. This fall in numbers taking school dinners is not so surprising, however, if one recalls the overblown horror stories Oliver cooked up (see Hard to swallow, by Rob Lyons).

For example, officials in Gloucestershire, one of the first to make the switch to healthier dinners, have watched the numbers of primary school children taking meals falling from 11,600 to 9,800 out of a total of 40,000 pupils. The biggest decrease was in Suffolk, where the total number of school meals served last year fell from 19,000 to 13,000. In the country as a whole, 400,000 children have reportedly turned their backs on school meals - a 12.5 per cent fall. There are now concerns that with so few children taking hot meals, the service may soon cease to be viable (1).

Many parents are choosing to send their kids to school with packed lunches instead. Kevin McKay, chair of the Local Authority Caterers Association, told the Independent on Sunday: 'People's perception of meals is what they saw on TV. Many authorities were already doing healthy meals. They also saw a decrease. More and more children are now bringing their own packed lunches in, which have been proved to be not as healthy.' (2)

Jamie Oliver was more forthright. Packed lunches 'are the biggest evil. Even the best packed lunch is a shit packed lunch', he declared (3). A bog-standard packed lunch apparently consists of a white bread sandwich, a packet of crisps, a chocolate bar and a fizzy drink - just the kind of low-fibre, high-salt and high-sugar combination that sends the food police apoplectic.

Thankfully, packed lunches are not (yet) under the control of government inspectors, and so parents have control over what goes into them. And given that parents aren't around during school hours to force their kids to eat things they don't like, it's no wonder they tend to play safe and make sure the boxes are full of stuff that will be eaten. Parents have to make a judgement call on these kind of things - and it is precisely that judgement which is called into question by the likes of Oliver.

He seems to think that parents cannot be trusted to feed their kids properly. Jamie's School Dinners featured plenty of asides about how we must feed children better at school because we don't know what they get at home. And Oliver is not alone. There has always been a school of thought in authority that looked down on the efforts of parents - particularly working-class parents - to bring their children up in the appropriate manner. However, having battered us into submission with panics about obesity and educational underachievement caused by additives and malnutrition, parents are more open to such intervention into their parenting behaviour than ever before.

It must be a source of considerable wonderment to Oliver that human beings survived for thousands of years without olive oil and broccoli. In fact, true nutritional deficiency is very rare in Britain today. Even so-called 'junk' food contains plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals - and just to be on the safe side vitamins are added to all sorts of foods, from breakfast cereals to sugary drinks. For all the furore about food, children eat better now than ever before.

It is true that children are getting fatter on average than in the past, but the numbers involved and the risks associated with obesity are hotly contested (4). The diminishing opportunities for independent exercise and play must be at least as important in that process as the food children eat.

Getting children to eat better food is no bad thing. But for Oliver and others, there seems to be only one right way to raise children. Parents who haven't provided their kids with five portions of fruit and veg a day, or who insist on providing convenience food over home-cooked organic meals, are increasingly seen as deficient.

While Oliver bangs on about re-introducing compulsory cooking lessons to schools, the real lesson of the day is that experts are keen to butt into the most basic aspects of our lives, even how we feed our children. We should tell them to get lost - and when it comes to schools, we should be worrying far more about the paltry fare being dished up in classrooms than what children are scoffing in the canteen.


No food panic in the Australian government

As he completed a charity bike ride raising more than $300,000 for diabetes research, the federal Minister for Health, Tony Abbott, ruled out a ban on junk food ads on children's television. The rate of diabetes, mostly caused by poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, is soaring in line with children's obesity.

However, Mr Abbott said children's eating habits were an issue for parents and schools, not government nor the advertising industry. "The only person responsible for what goes into my mouth is me, and the only people who are responsible for what goes into kids' mouths are the parents. "What we really need is more responsible dietary behaviour from parents, from individuals and school canteens. I won't at this point in time, or I suspect down the track, be demanding that they ban ads." Mr Abbott was among more than 80 cyclists who rode from Brisbane to Sydney to raise money for a diabetes research laboratory at the Westmead Millennium Institute.

The Greens yesterday released the findings of a survey showing that teenagers who watch a lot of television ads are not only more likely to eat more junk food but are less likely to favour healthy food. "It is time for [Abbott] to admit what everyone else has known for years: junk food advertisements work and we need to protect children from them," the Greens leader, Bob Brown, said.


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