Monday, October 22, 2007

PC Mr Men not so masculine

My stepdaughters always used to identify me as "Mr Forgetful" -- which I am in daily life -- so the Mr Men do help children to cope with their world

LONG-loved children's book characters Mr Men have had a radical transformation in the name of political correctness. Thirty-five years since Mr Strong, Mr Grumpy and others first hit the bookshelves, they are having digital cosmetic surgery to appear on TV. Fans of the original books will see roly poly Mr Lazy trimmed down to a a new skinny self. Other Mr Men have undergone sex changes to address the gender imbalance. [!!!!]

Only 25 of the original 83 Mr Men and Little Miss characters are in the new TV series. British company Chorion, which owns the rights to Mr Men, said characters were modernised to attract a new audience.

One manager of Children's book store Mary Martin said it was ridiculous to change Roger Hargreaves' much-loved characters. "It's treating children like idiots and makes everything bland," Kelly Heald said. "Next on the chopping block will be the hungry caterpillar for encouraging binge eating."

The Mr Men TV series will be on Foxtel's Cartoon Network next year.


Martin Amis: Another Leftist who has seen the light

Put your hands up, said Amis, if you think you are morally superior to the Taliban. When a minority of the audience did so, Amis muttered: `About 30 per cent.' His implication is that, in our current relativistic climate, it is taboo to assert your superiority to anything - even the Taliban. Anyone who values freedom, Amis says, should have a problem with Islamism. He graphically went through some of the feudal punishments that the Taliban metes out to women who step out of line. `We're in a pious paralysis when we can't say we're morally superior to the Taliban', he said. His attack on cultural relativism is welcome, and it certainly exposed moral sheepishness amongst the assembled at the ICA. But I couldn't help thinking: is that it? Is that what it means to be `Enlightened' and principled today - to be Not-The-Taliban? Amis didn't go any further on the matter.

Islam, in Amis' view, `is a religion that's having a nervous breakdown'. And Islamism is a variation on a death cult - an `ideology within a religion, a turbo-charge, steroid version of murderous belief'. He made some interesting points about suicide bombing, describing it as a `paltry' act, signifying nothing but a `besplattering' of the self. What the Islamic world needs, he said, is dramatic progress: `Martin Luther, John Calvin. religious wars, then Enlightenment, then you enter the modern world 300 years after that.' He argued that it is the Western world that is giving Islamism its power to commit atrocity, even helping to legitimise that atrocity, by trying to `understand it'. Society does not question or interrogate Islamist values openly out of fear of becoming the target. Amis, however, is the Dirty Harry of the literary world. Come on, mad mullah, make my day. `I want to be a target. There are no Switzerland positions here', he said.

Amis was particularly scathing in his assessment of certain Western liberals who, in the course of `listening' to Islamist grievances, end up treating the views of Osama bin Laden - and those who blow themselves up at his bidding - with respect. Bin Laden, he announced, `is the Che Guevara of the current age, the poster boy for this amoral doctrine'. Amis argued that some admire bin Laden's ascetic lifestyle. `He lives in a cave, drinks contaminated water, suffers.' It's eco-friendly, borderline holy. But in truth, Amis said, Osama and his crew are not only murderous criminals, they are completely ridiculous figures. `At one time', he said, all Osama's henchmen `had one eye. They are tin-legged zealots, amputeed mullahs, they're all in bits. Osama is a very stupid man. But he did at least have the wit to stay in one piece.'

John Pilger, the veteran investigative journalist, also came in for a hiding, as did London Mayor Ken Livingstone. Amis quoted Ken's words: `[T]he Palestinians don't have jet planes, don't have tanks, they only have their bodies to use as weapons. In an unfair balance, that's what people use.' Amis then puckered up his lips and blew a fully formed raspberry of disgust. Is blowing yourself up really going to help matters, he asked?

There are many problems with Amis' argument. It is juvenile to melt down Islamism with Nazism and Stalinism into one big cauldron of evil - first, because these are three very different things; and second because violent Islamism, certainly of the al-Qaeda variety, remains a pretty insignificant threat to the Western way of life. Nor can the threat of Islamism simply be countered by Western liberals telling the Islamic world what to do about it (`Luther, Enlightenment, wait 300 years', etc). Indeed, over the past 50 years Western intervention itself - in Egypt, the Middle East, Afghanistan - did a great deal to nurture Islamic zealots as a counterweight to genuinely secular and anti-imperialist mass movements. Some of the very zealots who Amis loves to hate are a product of not-very-Enlightened policies on the part of Western governments. I would rather trust the people of the Islamic world to sort these zealots out, rather than officials in London or Washington or notable authors seated on the stage of the ICA.

And yet, it is important that Amis is allowed to speak as freely and as radically as he pleases. And he is only made to look better by the petty attacks that have recently been launched upon him. Towards the end of the debate at the ICA, a curly-haired member of the back row asked Amis for his views on the Muslim Brotherhood. Was he saying they're all murderers? `I think Islamists subscribe to a murderous ideology', Amis replied. `So you mean they're all murderers?' demanded guerrilla comedian Chris Morris (for it was he!). `No, but I believe the ideology they subscribe to is murderous', Amis restated.

This went on and on - Amis sticking to his guns, while `TV's greatest satirist, the shaggy-haired Swift of our age' got more and more upset. `What about Palestine?' Morris wanted to know. Amis muttered something about Israel being surrounded by hostile countries but was instantly cut off with a wail from Morris: `Oh my God, he's defending Israel now!' It seems that in our era of bland consensus, even liberal medialand can't bear to hear anything that smells like an alternative view.


US Court Rules Pharmacists Must Have Rights of Conscience Respected

The rights of pharmacists and other health care professionals to refuse to dispense abortifacient drugs have taken a step forward, according to a statement from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). A long running dispute between the state of Illinois, pharmacy owners such as Walgreens and Walmart stores and several pharmacists who refused to dispense abortifacient drugs has resulted in an agreement that pharmacists must be allowed to opt out.

In 2005, Walgreens pharmacist Rich Quayle was suspended from his job and said he would look for other work rather than agree to dispense the "morning after pill" in accord with a recently passed law. In April 2005, Governor Rod Blagojevich said that the "right of conscience does not apply to pharmacists" and issued an edict attempting to force all pharmacists in the state to distribute the drugs.

In response the ACLJ filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that Walgreens engaged in unlawful religious discrimination by suspending indefinitely Quayle and two of his colleagues who requested accommodation of their religious objections to dispensing the "morning-after pill."

By the end of 2005, the ACLJ was involved in a series of interconnected legal actions in the matter, including suing Walgreens, Walmart and Governor Blagojevich on behalf of seven pharmacists on the grounds that the governor's rule violated pharmacists' constitutional and statutory rights under Health Care Right of Conscience Act.

The ACLJ issued a media release this week saying that the state of Illinois has agreed that the Governor's rule "does not apply to individual pharmacists, and that the state will never apply it to individual pharmacists". ACLJ lawyer Frank Manion said that despite cases still pending against Walgreens and Walmart, "we've now got his attorney general's office on our side when it comes to the question of whether or not pharmacists are covered by the Right of Conscience Act".

"Considering what we we've been up against in this state, these are all significant developments," he wrote. The governor has "been forced to retreat from his original position" and recognize pharmacists as health care professionals with a right of conscientious objection. The state must now find a way to try to acknowledge their objections and establish a procedure to accommodate most situations.

Manion wrote, "We forced the most pro-abortion Governor in the country to eat his words and to backtrack a long way from his April 2005 bluster and we've now got his attorney general's office on our side when it comes to the question of whether or not pharmacists are covered by the Right of Conscience Act."

The question of exactly how the rule will apply is still open but, Manion writes, "The major question has been settled." "Objecting pharmacists cannot be threatened, harassed, or forced to dispense Plan B against their conscientious convictions without their employers a) violating the state's Rule; b) violating the Health Care Right of Conscience Act."


This is the sort of thug that Australia's major Leftist party intends to put into Federal Parliament

This is one of several who have now been unmasked. How many more of their numerous union candidates are this type?

A LABOR candidate has been forced to resign on the eve of Kevin Rudd's crucial televised election debate with Prime Minister John Howard. Labor campaign headquarters forced the candidate for the Queensland seat of Maranoa, Shane Guley, to quit after allegations he acted as a union thug, assaulting one of his managers and routinely intimidating co-workers. Mr Rudd has pledged to adopt a "zero-tolerance" policy towards "violence or thuggery in any workplace."

The resignation follows a concerted campaign by John Howard in which the Prime Minster has claimed Labor is controlled by the unions and that Mr Rudd will be powerless to stand up to them if he wins government. The claims have been backed by an advertising blitz pointing out that 70 per cent of the Opposition frontbench have union backgrounds.

Queensland State Secretary Milton Dick confirmed the resignation. Mr Guley's letter read: "Dear Milton, I write to tender my resignation as the endorsed Australian Labor Party candidate for Maranoa. I take this step in response to the re-surfacing of allegations made against me more than six years ago. These matters were dealt with by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, and my claim was upheld. However, I take this step today so that my candidacy does not distract in any way from the election of a federal Labor Government. Yours sincerely, Shane Guley". Mr Dick said in a statement: "Nominations for Maranoa will be re-opened on Monday and we expect to have a new candidate in the following days."

Mr Guley is a former AMWU delegate who held a number of union positions and worked for Queensland Rail at the Rockhampton Railway Workshops. It's now been revealed that, in 2001, he was sacked after years of persistent violent behaviour that included:

* Assaulting a manager in a pub in front of several work colleagues;

* Making a threatening phone call to the same manager, saying: "I will f****** get rid of you, you're No 1 on my hit list ..."

* Threatening to call in his political connections in the Queensland Labor government to get rid of people on his "hit list";

* Threatening and intimidating a work colleague who had made allegations against him of bullying and harassment;

* Intimidating investigators brought in to investigate employee complaints against him, and;

* Allegedly making vexatious and vindictive allegations against other employees in response to their legitimate complaints.

Following two Queensland Rail investigations confirming Mr Guley's repeated bullying and threatening behaviour, he made an unfair dismissal claim to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. The QIRC upheld his claim on a due process technicality but found he had engaged in repeated bullying and intimidation of co-workers. It refused his application for reinstatement on grounds that his conduct "was unacceptable and inappropriate behaviour to the extreme."



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 is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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