A new battlefront in the war to erase politically incorrect civil liberties is taking place across corporate America under the innocuous-sounding banner of "Wellness." Wellness certainly sounds nice; what kind of person is against wellness? That sounds as crazy as being anti-hope, or standing in the way of change.
Obviously we all want to be well, but now it appears you won't have much choice in the matter. Be well or face consequences beyond the state of one's health. But always remember: We're doing this for your own good.
The latest thing that's in our best interest is a renewed focus on quitting smoking, or as they say in more sophisticated circles, smoking cessation. And I'll take a brief time out to recognize that, indeed, quitting smoking is in a smoker's best interest, however, what's different this time around are the tactics employed. Before we discuss them, let's do a review of liberal social engineering programs from inception to execution. These steps should prove generally predictive of smoking cessation efforts currently underway.
* A group of individuals anoints themselves as better-informed than the rest of us. They base this largely on the fact that they listen to the same programs on NPR and consistently vote Democrat.
* The self-defined elite group comes to an agreement that the rest of us are not as enlightened as they. This is expressed in many ways, usually involving code words such as "clinging", "mean-spirited", or "greedy". If you hear these words being applied to you or your associates, this is a clear indication that you are not one of the elites.
* The elites begin to develop a sense of responsibility for their lessers. This is often expressed in statements like, "It's just makes me so sad to see them like that. I wish there were something we could do to..."
* The elites form a plan. The plan generally involves making everyone else behave like them. As enthusiasm rises, what were once "differences" become "problems" and finally metamorphose into a "crisis". When the word "crisis" appears, this usually signals the end of planning phase. The Plan predictably contains the following elements: coercion, moral superiority, lack of debate and voting, and a succession of "experts" who testify on its behalf.
* The plan is imposed. If the legislative branch refuses, the judiciary is prevailed upon to conjure up a constitutional justification.
* The plan begins to fail. This step is usually followed by demands for more resources to "properly implement the plan", (see the War on Poverty), and angry accusations at non-elite groups for their mean spirited, clingy refusal to change.
* The plan fails.
* The elites meet to form a new, better plan.
The smoking cessation plan seeks to turn recalcitrant smokers -- those so far unaffected by health education, high taxation and appeals to self-interest -- into non-smokers through the imposition of a "smoke free campus". What this means essentially is that no one is allowed to smoke anywhere on company property. Not content with banning smoking indoors and segregating it outdoors, it is now banished entirely like some wayward cleric in 13th century Europe, (or in the case of Islam - 21st century Europe). In many cases, these smoke free campus programs make it a company offense to even retire to your own vehicle and smoke a cigarette with the windows rolled up. The justification: your car is parked on our property and we don't approve of smoking!
What are your options if you still stubbornly wish to assert your right to smoke? Put on your walking shoes; you're going on a hike. Keep in mind that many corporate headquarters sit on multi-acre sites, and you realize that the afternoon smoke break is turned into something resembling the Boston Marathon. Harried smokers trekking across vast empty lawns to stand across the street, puffing furiously to make up for the ten minutes wasted traversing the tobacco-free DMZ. We may as well take this to its logical conclusion and hang a scarlet "S" around their necks while we're at it.
At this point you may well question my motivation for this cynical diatribe against change. Chalk it up to my basic lack of hope. Let me go on record as stating that although I did smoke as a younger man, I have not engaged in this self-destructive habit since New Years Eve 1994. I do not write this from the point of view of a disgruntled smoker forced to tint his car windows or purchase ergonomic walking shoes in order to continue the habit. I have no dog in this fight. Instead I use these corporate anti-smoking campaigns as an example of the stark differences between liberal and conservative ideology. As a conservative I don't see it as my job, much less my right, to make other people do things that are "in their best interest". As a conservative, my assumptions are:
* I have no idea what someone else's "best interest" is;
* Other people's "best interest", by definition, is none of my business.
It's a little concept called liberty. And by the way, it's the cornerstone of the Enlightenment, and a document known as the U.S. Constitution. The Founding Fathers were very fond of liberty and fought a couple of wars with England on the very subject. Ditto a whole lot of civil rights workers in the 50's and 60's.
Freedom is the right of emancipated adults to make choices for themselves and accept the responsibility for the consequences. Don't think that the good intentions of the elites stop at the point of preventing you from putting smoke in your mouth. There are all those bad choices people make about what to eat just begging for correction.
The exercise of personal liberty, for all its flaws and imperfections, is far superior to the alternative, which for all my searching to avoid an over-used, often clich‚ term, is best defined as fascism. Not the jack boot, kick your door in at 3AM variety. But the more insidious, smiley-face variety described admirably by Jonah Goldberg as Liberal Fascism.
So the next time some well meaning do-gooder comes along and tries to take away your freedom of choice remember to mention John Locke and George Washington. Point out that you're not monitoring their "lifestyle choices" and would appreciate it if they returned the favor. Instruct them that freedom is a messy proposition and doesn't come with the right to make other people's decisions for them. Tell them to put that in their pipe and smoke it (metaphorically of course, because we all know smoking's bad for you).
Muslim threat to a blogger
Post below recycled from Infidels are Cool. See the original for links
Another moronic thug spewing hatred and evil towards anyone who criticizes Islam, now directing their threats right here at the nearly famous Infidels that are cool enough for some Islamo-hatemail. Here's the hate mail/death threat I received last night: The IP is based out of a hosting company in Netherlands but the IP location is inside the UK:
firstname.lastname@example.org | 22.214.171.124Him mentioning "SMS boys" refers an offshoot of the The Muslim Boys gang operating in South London called "South Man Syndicate", also known as "South Man Dem". I posted about these gangs back in January 2008. And Adrian Marriot was killed in 2005 by members of the Muslim Boys gang for refusing to convert to Islam. More info here:
Are you fucking smacked. If I ever find out who you are my SMS boy's will come and blow holes in your face like we did to Adrian Marriot.
SperoThe BBC also covered this in 2005: Man `killed by Islamic zealots'. Jihad Watch was on it too: UK: The rise of the Muslim Boys. So should I feel intimidated or scared? Hell no.
The gang that ordered Adrian Marriott to convert to Islam is called The Muslim Boys. Until the killing, its ascendancy passed mainly unnoticed by the media. The Muslim Boys were viewed as just another of the many gangs that operated in south London, with names such as the Stockwell Crew, the Peel Den Crew, Mad Crew or Mad4T, the SMS (South Man Syndicate, also known as South Man Dem) and PDC (Poverty Driven Children). The police took the threat of the Muslim Boys more seriously. When Adrian Marriott's funeral took place in Brixton, the ceremony was guarded by armed police.
The Muslim Boys drew their recruits, mainly young black youths, from Brixton, Peckham, Lambeth, and Streatham. They targeted run-down housing projects such as the Angel Town Estate in Brixton where Adrian Marriott lived with his mother, his brother David, sister Tara and other siblings. The gang's core membership originally came from another housing project in Brixton called the Myatt's Field Estate. The Muslim Boys made most of their income by committing robberies, stealing from drug dealers and laundering money. They gained a fearsome reputation amongst their peers through their forced conversions to Islam.
Before Adrian Marriott was given the order to convert to Islam or die, his sister Tara had already become a target of the Muslim Boys. Tara Marriott and her friend Jade Okai gave in to the gang's demands and converted. They were given hijabs, Muslim headscarfs, which they were ordered to wear. They were also given Muslim books, DVDs and copies of the Koran, by two men who would later be charged with Adrian's murder.
In September 2005 three young men, Marcus Archer, Aaron Irving-Simpson and Marlon Stubbs, all aged 24, stood trial for the murder of Adrian Marriott. A jury at the Old Bailey heard that a few days before his murder, Adrian told his brother that Marlon Stubbs and two other individuals had threatened him at gunpoint and demanded 500 pounds ($979). Shortly after this, Marriott and an associate "accosted" Archer at Loughborough Junction train station. Stubbs then telephoned Marriot's sister Tara and said: "Your brother is a little tadpole. He just messed with a shark, a whale." Stubbs already had a conviction for raping two schoolgirls.
There's this thing in America we call free speech. That means I can speak about the dirty prophet mohamed all day long and be proud that I am able to do so. Sadly this kind of thing would probably get me prosecuted in other countries like Canada (Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn) or in the UK (Lionheart) not to mention the countless bloggers in Muslim countries who are either in jail or in hiding for speaking the truths in which they believe.
So, to this Mahamed, commenter. You'll never silence me or any of the "Anti-Jihad Blogger Coalition" with you pathetic comments. Come meet my M&P .40 [pistol]
Post below recycled from Discriminations. See the original for links
Earlier today I indicated (here) some skepticism about underground, hidden, subtle "institutional and structural" racism. Whether because of luck or co-incidence or simply a terribly confused contact list, I just received an email notice from an assistant editor at Ms. Magazine informing me of an article in the new issue, "`Too Poor to Parent?,' on institutional racism in the U.S. foster care system."
Curious to learn more about "institutional racism," and hoping to find a good example of this undercover, subtle, hard to pin down but nevertheless pervasive evil, I went to the above link, which provides only an excerpt from the article, not the whole thing. Still, it was revealing (or not, if you're a skeptic ... or an overt or covert racist). It begins quite dramatically:
When a recurrent plumbing problem in an upstairs unit caused raw sewage to seep into her New York City apartment, 22-year-old Lisa called social services for help. She had repeatedly asked her landlord to fix the problem, but he had been unresponsive. Now the smell was unbearable, and Lisa feared for the health and safety of her two young children.A sad story, to be sure, but at this point some of you may be wondering the same thing I was: where, or what, is the "institutional racism"? What I think is the attempt at answering this question quickly follows:
When the caseworker arrived, she observed that the apartment had no lights and that food was spoiling in the refrigerator. Lisa explained that she did not have the money to pay her electric bill that month, but would have the money in a few weeks. She asked whether the caseworker could help get them into a family shelter. The caseworker promised she would help-but left Lisa in the apartment and took the children, who were then placed in foster care. Months later, the apartment is cleaned up. Lisa still does not have her children....
Black children are the most overrepresented demographic in foster care nationwide. According to the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO), blacks make up 34 percent of the foster-care population, but only 15 percent of the general child population. In 2004, black children were twice as likely to enter foster care as white children. Even among other minority groups, black mothers are more likely to lose their children to the state than Hispanics or Asians-groups that are slightly underrepresented in foster care.Color me dense, but I still don't get it. The fact that poor people are "22 times more likely to be involved in the child-welfare system" (why only 22?) than wealthier families is evidence of "institutional racism"?
The reason for this disparity? Study after study reviewed by Stanford University law professor Dorothy Roberts in her book Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books/Perseus, 2002) concludes that poverty is the leading cause of children landing in foster care. One study, for example, showed that poor families are up to 22 times more likely to be involved in the child-welfare system than wealthier families. And nationwide, blacks are four times more likely than other groups to live in poverty.
Similarly, if "poverty is the leading cause of children landing in foster care" and blacks are "four times more likely than other groups to live in poverty," why is the fact that blacks are "twice as likely to enter foster care as white children" regarded as evidence of "institutional racism"? Why, that is, are blacks the "most overrepresented demographic" if poverty is the cause of "representation" in foster care, blacks are four times more likely to live in poverty, but only twice as likely to be in foster care? Alas, I'm afraid "institutional racism" remains too subtle for me to grasp.
Australia: Catholic schools join same-sex lockout
CATHOLIC schools in Queensland have joined the crackdown against students escorting gay partners to Year 12 formals. With the formal season under way, Catholic secondary students have been reminded by their school administrators that it would be inappropriate for same-sex couples to attend major school events such as the formal. "The Catholic Church has a particular vision of family and sexuality flowing on to a responsibility to model this vision for children through formal activities in the life of the Catholic school," said Queensland Catholic Education Commission executive director Mike Byrne. "As such it is not seen as appropriate for students to attend an event such as a school formal as a same-sex couple."
Brisbane's Anglican Church Grammar School last month banned male students from taking same-sex partners to the school formal on June 19. But other secondary schools are more relaxed about who students can take to their formal. Brisbane Girls Grammar School principal Amanda Bell said the school imposed no restrictions on who pupils could take to the dance. "Guests may include male or female friends, cousins, parents, siblings, anyone," she said. "Some girls choose not to bring a guest. The school encourages the girls to invite someone who will support and enjoy this event in a positive spirit."
Karen Spiller, the principal of St Aidan's Anglican Girls School in Brisbane, said the school had "no policy" on who students could or could not bring. "We're very happy for our girls to go along and enjoy their formal in the company of their own friends and cohorts or to bring a friend or a partner," she said. "The focus is on appropriate behaviour and enjoying their relationships with their cohorts."
Queensland state high schools also have their own guidelines regarding school formals, with no restrictions on same-sex couples.
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.