Self-righteous Swedes again
With typical socialist authoritarianism, their idea of equality must be IMPOSED. What the couple concerned want does not matter
BRIDES in Stockholm who want their fathers to walk them down the aisle are likely to be told it can't be done, as some pastors are refusing to allow the practice they say is sexist, a pastor said today. "In Sweden we have worked hard in many different ways to eliminate everything that is unequal," a Lutheran Church vicar in the Stockholm region, Yvonne Hallin, told AFP. She said she would not allow the custom in her parish, and noted that Stockholm's bishop issued a recommendation in 2003 that pastors discourage it.
Couples who marry "are equal when it comes to finances, politics, values ... but when they come to the church ... the woman suddenly turns into a man's property", she said. Hallin said she has informed a father who was to walk his daughter down the aisle tomorrow that he will not be doing so.
The mother of the bride, who was shocked by the news, told Swedish news agency TT that the ceremony will go ahead as planned but the couple has had to give in to the pastor's wishes. "In this case it wasn't the couple who became angry but the parents," Hallin said, adding that most people "don't find it strange".
She noted that the custom of fathers walking their daughters down the aisle "is not a Swedish tradition - it has been imported from American and British films".
Binge drinking is good for you
I think that the inimitable Jeremy Clarkson has a good and serious point after the mockery below
Who are they? The people who decide how we should run our lives. The busybodies who say that we can't smoke foxes or smack our children. The nitwits who say that we should have a new bank holiday to celebrate traffic wardens and social workers. Where do they meet? Who pays their wages? And how do they get their harebrained schemes into the statute books? Honestly? I haven't a clue. But I do know this. It's very obvious that their new target is people who drink alcohol - ie, everyone over the age of eight.
Over the years we've been told that we can't drive a car if we've had a wine and that we should avoid alcohol if we're pregnant. But now they seem to be saying that all people must steer clear of all drinks always. Having told young people that they must stop drinking while on a night out, in case they are stabbed or end up having sex with a pretty girl, they now say that older people, who think it's acceptable to enjoy a bottle of wine with their supper, are clogging up hospital wards that could otherwise be used to treat injured foxes. We are told that alcohol rots your liver, makes you impotent, gives you stomach ulcers and turns your skin into something that looks like a used condom's handbag.
Only last week we were shown photographs of a stick-thin man with a massive stomach who had died at the age of 36 because he'd had too many sherry trifles. The BBC says that if you drink too much your brain stem will break and you will die. The British government tells us that if a man drinks more than two small glasses of white wine a day he will catch chlamydia from the barmaid in the pub garden after closing time. Rubbish. If a man drinks two small glasses of white wine every day it's the barman he needs to worry about.
Me? Well, what I love most of all is binge drinking. Really getting stuck in. Hosing back the cocktails until the room begins to swim and my legs seem to be on backwards. It's not just the recklessness and freedom that result when massive quantities of alcohol unlock the shackles. It's the promise that in the morning you can share your pain with a bunch of other similarly afflicted friends. Normal pain, such as an eye disease or toothache, is a lonely and solitary pursuit, but a group hangover is a problem shared and that seems to bring out the best in us. Like the blitz. Like when you've just stepped off a terrifying rollercoaster ride. Everyone's in it together. And a problem shared is a problem pared.
Of course, the trouble these days is that the binge drinking that is necessary to produce collective hardship is a complete nono. They say that if you go out and get blasted you'll die in a puddle of blood and vomit down a back alley long before you get the chance to catch chlamydia from the barman, and that no one will come to your funeral.
Happily this is rubbish. I've just done a calculation and on holiday this year I drank 55 units of alcohol a day. I would start at 11 o'clock with a beer which, because it was hot, was like trying to irrigate East Anglia with a syringe. So I would have three more. Then I would guzzle wine and mojitos throughout the afternoon, the evening and the night until I fell over somewhere and slept. Am I now dead? No. In fact, because I drank so much I was more relaxed, which means that I'm back at home now feeling fresher and more rested. So there you have it. Serious binge drinking is not only a nice thing to do and jolly good fun, but also - and here's something that you won't get from the mongers of doom - it's good for you, too.
The point of binge drinking is that you drink and then you stop drinking. And this is the key. The real problem is when you drink - and you keep on drinking. This is known as alcoholism and that, so far as I can tell, is the worst thing in the world. There is nothing quite so pitiable and wretched as an alcoholic. I know plenty of people who take drugs, drive too fast and kill foxes. And they're all good company. But honestly, I would rather do time in a Turkish prison than spend time with a drinker. They ramble, they fall over, they think they are 10 times more interesting than is actually the case - and if they get the slightest inkling that you disapprove or are bored a great many become aggressive. These are the people whom the busybodies should be concentrating on. Not with stern words and dire warnings, neither of which will make the slightest bit of difference, but with help and understanding and patience.
Seriously, by telling me that I'm an alcoholic because I binge drink on holiday and share a bottle of wine with my wife over supper every night is the same as persecuting everyone who breaks the speed limit. We need to make a distinction between someone doing 32mph and someone doing 175mph. And it's the same story with child abuse. By telling me that I'm breaking the law every time I smack my children's bottoms, you are taking the pressure off those who lock their kids in a broom cupboard and only let them out to go thieving. My handy hint this morning, then, is simple. Leave the normal people who do normal things alone. Forget about the people who drink for fun and worry only about those who drink to live.
Deliberately Dividing America
Some 40 years ago when the civil rights movement eliminated legally enforced segregation (Jim Crow), we were told repeatedly that this would end ethnic and racial divisions in America. We were all Americans, and we would all share in the benefits of our unique society. There are some who did not get that message. For years, they have perpetrated and relished the politics of "ethnic identity."
When Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959, there were those who warned that Hawaii's multiple ethnic makeup would make it difficult, if not impossible, for that territory to assimilate into American society. They were wrong -- at least for the first 41 years of Hawaii's statehood. Every year, Hawaiians would mark the anniversary of statehood with parades, fireworks, speeches, and American flags flying high. In 2000, then-Governor Ben Cayetano put an abrupt halt to all that.
In more recent times, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal visited the Hawaiian Islands and found a totally different attitude. Instead of a celebration of the islands' Americanism, the streets there have been taken over by demonstrators crusading for "Native Hawaiian rights," and for the Akaka bill (more on that below).
Anyone visiting the beautiful island of Hawaii until recently would have marveled at the harmony and color-blind mentality that has existed there. Obviously, the multiculturalist busybodies were not about to allow that to stand. No way. They can't have a multiracial society living in harmony. That's not the kind of thing that generates angry voting blocs. Just as politicians desire to have as many poor people out there amongst the populace as possible -- the better to keep them angry and vulnerable to the siren songs of the class-hatred mongers -- so too are they desirous of having an angry agitating racial minority well-organized so as to enable politicians to play on their fears of injustices, real and imagined. Never mind that polls show Hawaii's opposition to the Native Hawaiian Bill, including among the Native Hawaiians, themselves.
As this column noted on Sept. 5, 2005, and June 5, 2006, there is legislation pending on Capitol Hill that would lead to the creation of a race-based government -- the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity (NHGE) for the estimated 400,000 Native Hawaiians -- not just in Hawaii itself -- but living throughout all 50 states of the USA. The Akaka Bill -- so named after Hawaii's junior Senator Daniel Akaka -- would empower that separate nation's government to negotiate with the U.S. government on a broad range of issues -- including criminal and civil justice jurisdiction, civil rights matters, and delegation of powers from the U.S. to the NHGE -- as well as transfer of land, natural resources, and other properties.
And what defines a "Native Hawaiian"? Anyone who is a direct descendent of the "indigenous people who resided on the islands on or before Jan. 1, 1893," or one of the "native peoples of Hawaii who was eligible in 1921 for programs authorized by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act or is a direct lineal descendent" of such a person. When you consider all the inter-marriages over the years and the fact -- again -- that these people are scattered hither and yon all over America, one can imagine that this would -- if enacted -- lead to more racial conflict and of course, the enrichment of the trial lawyers (might have known they were involved somehow) as a result of legal confusion that would surely follow.
Advocates of the Akaka Bill argue that all they're doing is providing the same rights to Native Hawaiians as those accorded the American Indians (or "Native Americans") and Alaska Natives.
A memo written last year by Heritage Foundation scholars Edwin Meese (a former U.S. Attorney General) and Todd Gaziano argues that the analogy does not work. "Hawaiians [regardless of blood purity] are not and cannot be an American Indian tribe," they write. "The term `Indian tribes' mentioned in the Constitution has a fixed constitutional meaning that cannot be changed by a simple act of Congress. They are limited to the pre-existing tribes of North America, or their offshoots, that were thought to be `dependent nations' at the time of the framing of the Constitution. Such American Indian tribes must have an independent existence and predominately separate `community' apart from the rest of American society, and their government structure must have a continuous history for at least the past century." "By these standards," Meese and Gaziano conclude, "Hawaiians could never qualify as an Indian tribe."
On May 2, a House Committee approved the 2007 version of the Native Hawaiian Bill. On May 10, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs did likewise. The Bush administration, which had held back from taking any position in public up until then, surprised the Senators at the last minute with a position strongly and openly opposing it. This fall, it is likely the full Congress will take it up for a vote. The question is whether it will pass both houses with a veto-proof majority. If it does not, then a presidential veto would probably kill it, unless enough arms could be twisted to provide the two-thirds majority required to override.
If this is allowed to sail through -- to the total disregard of our Constitution and Bill of Rights -- then what will follow? An African-American nation, a Hispanic-American nation? (The latter would feed into the movement in some quarters to take back the southwest U.S. for Mexico.) Chinese American? German American? Our Congressmen and Senators need to hear from you. Is the United States of America to be torn asunder?
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.