I now have at the bottom of each day's postings a comments facility. This is the last of my blogs where I have enabled that. What appears here seems likely to provoke comments, however, so the facility may be useful. Comments are not moderated but anyone posting personal abuse will be IP banned.
U.S. House Approves Race-Based Government for Hawaii
The U.S. House of representatives today approved a far-reaching bill that would create a race-based government with substantial power over the affairs of the state of Hawaii. The "Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007" (H.R. 505, also called the "Akaka Bill") was adopted by a 261-153 vote.
Members of the Project 21 black leadership network say the legislation directly conflicts with the spirit of inclusion and equality that civil rights activists fought so hard to create. "It is contemptibly dishonest, not to mention completely disingenuous, for the very politicians who are best known for decrying racial division to eagerly push legislation to institutionalize race as the guiding principle for a body of government within our United States," said Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie. "Surely, such a radical proposal deserves more attention and certainly a lot more debate."
The Akaka Bill, which has not been adopted by the Senate, would create a native Hawaiian government with sovereign immunity akin to that enjoyed by Indian tribes. This proposed government is likely to be determined on racial terms, restricting eligible voters exclusively to those of Hawaiian ancestry. Experts say this limits the voting pool to approximately 400,000 Americans nationwide - roughly 160,000 of whom do not even reside on the Hawaiian Islands. Critics say the proposal would create a virtual caste system on the Hawaiian Islands and might even allow those affiliated with this race-based government to ignore various laws and safety regulations.
President Bush has said he will veto the measure should it reach his desk. Gerald Reynolds, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, has said the Akaka Bill "would authorize a government entity to treat people differently based on their race and ethnicity... This runs counter to the basic American value that the government should not prefer one race over another." [And the 14th Amendment] The U.S. Supreme Court overwhelmingly ruled in 2000 that a similar "Hawaiian only" provision for voting for the trustees of the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) was unconstitutional.
A May 2006 poll commissioned by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii found almost 67 percent of the population of Hawaii opposed the Akaka Bill as introduced in the previous session of Congress, while over 80 percent generally oppose race-based preferences. Almost 70 percent of Hawaiian residents also preferred a statewide referendum on such a proposal rather than having it decided by the U.S. Congress. "Polls have been conducted and federal Civil Rights Commission hearings have been held that find strong and legitimate public opposition to the Akaka Bill. Rushing a vote now is dismissive and disrespectful," added Project 21's Massie, "Instead of representing all people equally, regardless of race and ethnicity, it seems congressional leaders want to ram this legislation through before logic and cooler heads can prevail."
Crooks OK because they're Asian?
Asian-American groups don't like the increased public scrutiny that Hillary Clinton's mysterious Chinese dishwasher donors are getting. To which I say, in words that should be universally understood: Boo-freaking-hoo.
In the wake of eye-opening investigations by the New York Post and Los Angeles Times of more dubious foreign funny money flowing into Hill's coffers, ethnic grievance organizations are stepping forward to condemn these stories as examples of "negligent journalism." Yep. The newspapers are guilty of "negligence" because they actually broke news instead of covering it up.
Both papers uncovered dishwashers, cooks and other suspect Hillary campaign contributors in New York's Chinatown, Flushing, the Bronx and Brooklyn who were limited-income, limited-English-proficient and smellier than stinky tofu. One Asian donor admitted to the Los Angeles Times "to lacking the legal-resident status required for giving campaign money." Another, Hsiao Wen Yang, told the New York Post she was reimbursed for her $1,000 donation -- setting off clear alarm bells over yet another possible straw donor scheme on the heels of Norman Hsu-gate.
The reports prompted Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote, a "national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes civic participation of Asian Pacific Islander Americans in the electoral and public policy processes at the national, state and local levels," to issue a press release this week carping about the media's "undue scrutiny on a specific ethnic subgroup." Lisa Hasegawa, APIAVote board member, expressed her dismay over the campaign finance probes zeroing in on New York City's Chinatown: "We are alarmed by the potential negative impact of irresponsible reporting and the harm it may have on legitimate political participation by members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. It is imperative that the media approach these serious allegations with deliberation, focus and the highest levels of journalistic integrity. As the Asian American and Pacific Islander community embraces their right to participate in the civic process, it is important that the greater balance and responsibility be taken when addressing this important issue." Translation: Lay off the Chinese Dishwashers for Hillary, you racist, xenophobic, ethnic smear-mongers!
The only ones guilty of irresponsible behavior here are the political apologists for Hillary and the media organizations that would rather kowtow to political correctness than follow in the journalistic footsteps of the New York Post and Los Angeles Times. The Clinton campaign is counting on left-wing editors to capitulate under heat from Asian-American groups who want to deflect attention away from suspicious foreign donations. "I'm going to keep reaching out to everybody in our country. I want to be a president to everybody," said a defiant Hillary in defense of her indiscriminate fundraising. "Asian-Americans in Chinatown and Flushing have the same right to contribute as every other American," Howard Wolfson, a campaign spokesman, told several newspapers. "We do not ethnically profile donors."
"Ethnic profiling" is the rhetorical bugaboo the Clintons hope will stave off more investigations and invocations of Asian-American donor scandals past. Learning well from their far-left minority counterparts, these Asian-American groups have tried to turn the debate away from candidate and donor responsibility to the collective "rights" of the entire "Asian American and Pacific Islander community."
The identity politics tribe can call it "ethnic profiling." I call it learning from history. We've been here so many times before. With convicted DNC fundraiser John Huang and Charlie Trie and Pauline Kanchanalak and Maria Hsia. With the Chinese Buddhist monks and nuns who helped engineer a Gore campaign reimbursement scheme and shredded documents related to their temple fundraiser. With former Chinese-American Democrat governor of Washington, Gary Locke, who also took money from Chinese temple donors who couldn't speak English, couldn't remember when they donated or couldn't be located.
Democrats apparently believe that only Americans should be saddled by Byzantine campaign finance regulations while foreign donors get a pass. Asian-American lobbyists apparently believe minority groups should get less scrutiny from the media than everyone else -- lest "their right to participate in the civic process" be undermined.
If it's "ethnic profiling" to be extra-careful of Chinatown donors who can't speak English, live in dilapidated buildings, have never voted, can't tell Hillary Clinton from Hunan Chicken or simply can't be found, then "ethnic profiling" should be the standard procedure of every responsible campaign. Discrimination is not a dirty word when it comes to keeping dirty money out of American politics.
The Marxist doctrine of equality still dominant in Western society
Professor Helmuth Nyborg at Aarhus University did research which revealed that there are differences between the sexes when it comes to intelligence. This triggered massive resistance and accusations, later disproved, of flawed scientific practices. According to Nyborg -
"Within the realms of psychology you are not allowed to talk about intelligence. You cannot measure intelligence and you cannot rank people according to intelligence. The entire field of intelligence is a so-called `no-go-area.'"If you still choose to proceed, you are a bad person, one who is willing to rank other human beings according to their worth. If you also look at differences between groups of people, sexes or races, you are simply immoral.
According to Professor Annica Dahlstrom, an expert in neuroscience, men are found at the extremes of high and low intelligence, and although female geniuses do exist, they are much less frequent than their male counterparts. She has also stated that children should be left primarily in the care of their mother during their first years of living. The feminist establishment are angry and claim that she has misused her position as a scientist to reinforce gender stereotypes.
As Dahlstrom says, "The difference between boys and girls, in terms of their biology and brain, is greater than we could ever have imagined." Differences between the sexes emerge even in fetuses and are clearly recognizable at the age of three. The centers of the brain dealing with communication, the interpretation of facial expressions, body language and tone of voice are more developed in girls even at this early age. Forcing boys to behave like girls are vice versa is unnatural and will inevitably hurt them. Such a policy could even be viewed as "mental abuse" of children in her view. Yet this is exactly what is happening, and sometimes with government support.
Journalist Kurt Lundgren reported on his blog about a magazine aimed at preschool teachers who take care of children between the ages of 0-6 years old. It included recommendations to promote "gender equality" and "sexual equality." He said that in a kindergarten in Stockholm, parents were encouraged by the preschool teachers to equip their sons with dresses and female first names. There are now weeks in some places when boys HAVE TO wear a dress. Lundgren considers this sexual indoctrination to be worse than political propaganda:
"To give sex education to preschool children, to force them to have an opinion on gay sex and queer (lesbians, transsexuals, bisexuality, fetishism, cross over, sex change etc..) I regard as abuse of children. (.) Little children, we are talking about three to six-year-olds here, cannot in the preschool protect themselves from these sexual assaults. Their parents are not there, the children are totally left to themselves."This is presented as sexual liberation, but it is actually about breaking down the traditional Judeo-Christian culture and the nuclear family. Such practices leave the state more powerful since it can regulate all aspects of life and indoctrinate children without undue parental influence.
In Norway, a specialist in early childhood education stirred debate by supporting "sexual games" for children of pre-school age. "The only thing that is absolutely certain is that children, sooner or later, will play sexual games and examine each other," pre-school specialist Pia Friis said. She thought children should be able -
"to look at each other and examine each other's bodies. They can play doctor, play mother and father, dance naked and masturbate. But their sexuality must also be socialized, so they are not, for example, allowed to masturbate while sitting and eating. Nor can they be allowed to pressure other children into doing things they don't want to."Family therapist Jesper Juul conceded that "many are disturbed by children's sexuality, but I think it's important to put it on the agenda."
Most Norwegians send their children to the kindergartens before they begin school at age six, and many average citizens were shocked by this. "I thought at first that this was a joke," said Karin St†hl Woldseth, a spokesman for the Progress Party. "Children don't need more exposure to this in kindergartens. We think it will damage their health."
Child psychologist Thore Langfeldt in an interview apparently admitted that these sex games were encouraged by those who feared we could become infected by conservative Christian groups and wanted to make children immune to Christian morality as early as possible.
I do not believe sex in itself is sinful and disagree with the celibacy rules of Catholic priests because I don't think it is natural for most human beings, men in particular, to totally repress these instincts throughout their lives. However, being civilized means precisely that you have to control your urges and natural impulses. Sex in this situation isn't "natural," it is specifically being used for destructive ideological purposes.
This sexualization of childhood is prevalent all over the Western world. A report published by the American Psychological Association (APA) warned against the early sexualizing of young girls, especially through media and marketing. They also found that teachers and parents are among the influences in the over-sexualization of children. Joseph D'Agostino of the Population Research Institute (PRI) wrote that radical feminism teaches girls that chastity is a form of oppression:
"They have taught that there are no natural limits to sexuality. Based on feminist principles, why shouldn't little girls sexualize themselves? And why shouldn't adult men and women view them as sexual if there is no such thing as unnatural sexuality?"One interpretation of this trend is that its promoters want to destroy any form of civilization whatsoever. French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed civilization corrupts human beings. This could be a reflection of the Rousseauan idea of liberation through dismantling all forms of social restrictions imposed upon us by society. Perhaps it is also the result of people who lack any religion and transcendental purpose to their lives. Eric Hoffer has explained this in his book The True Believer:
"Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both."Hoffer encapsulates well what is happening in post-Christian Western Europe. However, I suspect the obsession with equality in Socialist nations such as Sweden comes from the influences of Marxism, at least Marxism in a particular form.
"There is perhaps no more reliable indicator of a society's ripeness for a mass movement than the prevalence of unrelieved boredom. In almost all the descriptions of the periods preceding the rise of mass movements there is reference to vast ennui; and in their earliest stages mass movements are more likely to find sympathizers and support among the bored than among the exploited and oppressed."
"It is obvious that a proselytizing mass movement must break down all existing group ties if it is to win a considerable following. The ideal potential convert is the individual who stands alone, who has no collective body he can blend with and lose himself in and so mask the pettiness, meaninglessness and shabbiness of his individual existence. Where a mass movement finds the corporate pattern of family, tribe, country, etcetera, in a state of disruption and decay, it moves in and gathers the harvest. Where it finds the corporate pattern in good repair, it must attack and disrupt."
Marxists theoretician Gramsci concluded after WW1, when the Revolution in Russia failed to spread, that the Marxist was blocked by the "Christian soul" of the West. Hence, breaking down this identity became a matter of great importance. In 1919, cultural Marxist Georg Lukacs became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the short-lived Communist regime in Hungary. He set plans to de-Christianize the country by undermining Christian sexual ethics among children.
It is not difficult to hear an echo of this strategy now. The sexualization of children is promoted in order to break down their sense of modesty. However, some of the people advocating this show much more respect for Islam than for Christianity. Muhammad married a six year old child, so maybe sexualizing children is a form of soft-Islamization?
In general, Leftists hate Judeo-Christian values far more than they like Islam. Perhaps they think they can control Islam, or perhaps they are attracted to its totalitarian mindset. Either way, it is a fact that many of them are more aggressive against Christianity than against Islam.
Maybe I have a conspiratorial mindset, but the way left-wingers condemn Christianity and praise Islam is so consistent and aggressive that I cannot help but ask whether some of them have deliberately set out to uproot the plague of Christianity from our culture once and for all. They ridicule it at any given opportunity and destroy the values of the native culture, and at the same time they import a rival religion and groom it to replace the traditional one. When the day comes that people get sufficiently tired of nihilism, Christianity will have become so discredited as to have been eliminated as a viable alternative, and people are left with Islam.
In Sweden, the natives have been subject to ridicule of Western culture -- and Christianity in particular -- for generations. They are supposed to abase themselves in front of immigrants and tell them how worthless their culture is, or alternatively how much they lament the fact that they don't have a culture. Swedish girls are told to be sexually liberated and end up getting raped and called " infidel whores" by Muslim immigrants. Meanwhile, Swedish boys are taught to be as "gender neutral" as possible.
To sum it up, I see some indications that our obsession with non-discrimination is rooted in classical liberalism, which became more radical after the Second World War. However, there are also impulses from Marxism at work. The notion that men and women are identical would have been considered ridiculous by most human cultures throughout history. It was pushed in the West by radical Leftists groups, but has since become adopted by society as a whole. In this case, conservatives fought a rearguard battle which they have constantly lost. At best they have managed to slow down the advances of ideas emanating from the Left, without ever being able to stop them.
"Progressive" myths encourage child abuse
Comment from Australia:
The initial reference below is to a recent and notorious Australian case in which an underclass mother shook her toddler to death and then dumped his body in a pond. The toddler was Aboriginal (black). Welfare authorities knew of the case before the killing but probably threw up their hands from the beginning as Aboriginal families are very commmonly severely dysfunctional, with child abuse frequent. And it is absolutely VERBOTEN to take children away from black families. That used to be done sometimes but in recent years the Left set up a huge howl about "The stolen generation" (the black children fostered out to white families) in reference to the practice. The authorities obviously now feel that it is better to let black kids die than risk any more of that abuse
The family of the dead toddler Dean Shillingsworth this week gathered by the Ambarvale pond where his body was found stuffed into a suitcase. In his honour they launched a small boat on which was written: "An eye 4 an eye." As one of the relatives told this newspaper's Jordan Baker: "There is a lot of emotional blaming."
Since Dean's body was discovered last week and his mother, Rachel Pfitzner, was charged with his murder, there has indeed been a lot of blame going around. But the idea which seems to have taken popular hold, that the Government, or "the system", is entirely to blame for the two-year-old's tragic end is a sign of something amiss with our concept of personal responsibility. As one reader asked me in an email: "Who actually killed the child in the duck pond? A social worker? A clerk? A policeman? A member of Parliament?"
While the NSW Department of Community Services has been an incompetent bureaucratic basket case for years, you have to have some sympathy for the minister, Kevin Greene, when he says there is "no foolproof way" for DOCS to prevent all child deaths. DOCS has failed in the past to intervene when children were in danger, so the suspicion it has failed again is not unreasonable. But reflexive attacks on overloaded social workers, regardless of the evidence, not only absolves families of the prime responsibility for their children but also deflects attention from the growing community dysfunction which is the root cause of child abuse. However, Greene's absurd claim that one in five children in NSW has been reported to DOCS as being "at risk", does make you worry about the department's judgment.
It is no secret what kind of social conditions breed child abuse and neglect, so you would expect public servants with limited resources to narrow their focus if they are going to be any use. It might suit progressives babbling on ABC radio to claim abuse and neglect occurs in all families, and it's just that the richer ones "hide it behind closed doors". The facts say otherwise, and efforts to soft-soap them are part of the intellectual corruption of the elites, which has trickled down to the bottom of the social heap and wreaked such havoc over the past 40 years. It is stating the obvious to say child maltreatment occurs predominantly in the welfare-dependent underclass, whether it's in a remote indigenous community in the Northern Territory or a public housing suburb on the outskirts of Sydney.
Joblessness, jail and illegitimacy are a way of life for so many people in these chaotic parts of Australia that what the Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson describes as the "basic social cultural norms that underpin any society" have collapsed. The expectations that children will be brought up safely, of mutual obligation between citizen and society, of public order and safety that the rest of us take for granted, do not exist.
The solution is "structure", says the sociologist Peter Saunders, from the Centre for Independent Studies. "There is no doubt that work is what puts structure and discipline in people's lives. It is what makes people get up in the morning and have a shave. "You sound like a wowser [killjoy] when you say this but it's rules, responsibility, consequences for actions. You've got to enforce laws when laws are broken - including the drug laws." A life of welfare dependence "undermines autonomy and capacity and encourages you to believe you have no control of your life". It underpins the breakdown of social organisation in communities, the "anomie" described by the 19th-century French sociologist Emile Durkheim.
As a social libertarian, Saunders has always believed that people should be free to do whatever they want as long as they are not harming others. But he is coming to the more complex idea "that you have to have one rule for one population and another for another. You've got to start discriminating." While aiming to increase the autonomy and freedom of individuals in society we should recognise that we need "paternalistic intervention . for those who don't cope at the bottom or their lives will descend into chaos".
For instance, Saunders and readers of this newspaper might agree with the plan by Sydney's Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, to liberalise drinking laws to allow more small bars to open in Sydney, while also supporting the Government's crackdown on grog in the Territory, as alcohol has caused such distress and dysfunction in indigenous communities.
To avoid the charge of hypocrisy, Saunders says we need to distinguish between those who are competent to manage their affairs and the minority who "engage in such self-destructive behaviour that any reasonable person would understand the need to intervene". It is natural to feel squeamish about demanding restraints on the behaviour of others down the social scale that you would not tolerate for yourself. But warnings from conservatives that the social upheavals of the past 40 years would have their most tragic consequences on the most vulnerable have been ignored. The elites have grabbed the social freedoms to which they feel entitled, devaluing the role of fathers and the value of the old-fashioned nuclear family and proclaiming tolerance of all lifestyles as the greatest virtue.
The trickle-down effect has been disastrous, as recounted in Theodore Dalrymple's book Life at the Bottom. There is no doubting parents in the underclass love their children, but for too many, their child-rearing philosophy is what Dalrymple, a former British prison psychiatrist, calls "laissez-faire tempered by insensate rage". They "live in a torment of public and private disorder [which is] the consequence of not knowing how to live". It is the behaviour and lifestyle of these parents, particularly the mothers, which leads to the abuse and neglect of their children. So government social policies need to be focused on changing that behaviour, rather than sanctioning it by providing welfare without obligations, and refusing to be judgmental about lifestyles that are obviously detrimental to children.
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.