Saturday, October 11, 2008

Only in Britain

Gardener Ordered to Remove Barbed Wire Fence on Grounds It Could 'Wound Thieves'

A British gardener's local council has ordered him to remove a 3-foot high barbed wire fence around his property in case thieves hurt themselves on it, the Daily Mail reported Thursday. Bill Malcolm, 61, installed the wire at his Worcester property after burglars robbed his tool shed and vegetable plots three times in four months, stealing more than $500 worth of hardware.

But Malcolm's local council told him the wire was a health and safety hazard and warned him they would remove it by force if he did not do it himself, the Mail reported. "The council said they were unhappy about the precautions I had made but my response was to tell them that only someone climbing over on to my allotment could possibly hurt themselves," Malcolm told the Mail. "They shouldn't be trespassing in the first place but the council apologized and said they didn't want to be sued by a wounded thief."

The council said that a fence on the property must be a post or rail fence, not barbed wire. "With regard to the barbed wire, when this is identified on site, we are obliged to request its removal or remove it on health and safety grounds to the general public as this is a liability issue," a council spokeswoman told the Mail.


British council workers fired over giving mother $340,000 a year in welfare benefits

Publicity works (See here): Three council workers have been sacked after an Afghan mother was given $340,000 a year in benefits to live in a $2.4 million home

Ealing Council was paying mother-of-seven Toorpakai Saiedi housing allowance of 12,458 pounds a month, nearly five times the rent for a similar property in the same road. She also received 400 pounds a week in benefits. The sacked housing officers, David Lewis, Gemma Calliste and Salma Khan claim they have been made scapegoats by Ealing Council.

Mr Lewis, 37, said: "We are shocked and stunned that we've lost out jobs as we were just doing what we were told. "We were just doing our job, but it's a stupid system. I thought 12,000 a month was a lot but it was agreed by Rent Services so it was OK. "We have basically been sacked with no notice. We were about to get permanent contracts and all of that has been taken away from us."

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions James Purnell has now called for a review into housing benefits. Mr Purnell said: "It was never intended that the Local Housing Allowance could result in a payment of this magnitude and I am shocked and concerned by this situation. "I have already asked my officials to carefully examine this issue as part of our current Review of Housing benefit and expect them to report to me as a matter or urgency."


Churches vs. Cities

A church building's doors forced shut. Its members not allowed to meet in their own building. Sounds like something missionaries report from foreign countries unfriendly to Christians-like from behind the Iron Curtain. But not this time.

This time, once again, it's happening right here on our own turf. Carlinville Southern Baptist Church planned to renovate a former Wal-Mart building in their central Illinois city. They met resistance from the start. City officials attempted to block the congregation's purchase, renovation, and use of the structure. Because that move violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act - a federal law which was enacted to protect churches from discrimination in land use disputes with local governments - the church sued. They did so with the assistance of Alliance Defense Fund Allied Attorney Daniel P. Dalton.

Thankfully, Dalton was able to secure a settlement with the City of Carlinville for the church's renovation project to continue. In return, the church agreed to drop its suit. Dalton negotiated that settlement with members of the city council, including the mayor. Then, shockingly, the mayor vetoed the agreement. The church had already commissioned volunteers to remodel the structure for ministry use and ordered hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of building supplies.

This seemingly hopeless cycle went around and around at least three times this summer. The city would propose terms of agreement to the church, only to add more restrictive terms in an apparent attempt to drive the church and its pastor out of town. After the church publicly took a stand against the impasse, the city proposed a better settlement, and the church accepted.

"It's simply wrong for a city to keep a church from using property because officials would rather see it used to generate commercial tax revenue," said ADF Senior Counsel Joe Infranco. "And forcing a church to endure bureaucratic nightmares over the matter is even worse. We're pleased that this settlement clears the way for the church to begin preparing the property for worship services."

Unfortunately, members of the Carlinville congregation are not the only ones facing city restrictions for wanting to worship in the building of their choice. ADF attorneys, right now, are fighting a similar situation in Yuma, Arizona.

Churches bring life, charity, and healing to communities. Restricting where they choose to meet is not only a violation of federal law, it is wrong. Please pray as we continue to represent, free of charge, churches across the country who are simply trying to gather to worship our Lord.


"Jews are the most religious people in America -- but their religion is not Judaism"

Note that the proprietors of the NYT are of Jewish background but clearly have another loyalty

In honor of the Jewish New Year, which reaches its culmination on Yom Kippur, a solemn day of fasting and repentance that falls this year on Oct. 9, I'd like to take a moment to recognize the open Jew-baiting that is enthusiastically enjoyed by our nation's leading newspaper.

The Oct. 7 edition of the New York Times featured a cheerful article about a video that is circulating on the web called "The Great Schlep." It stars (if that's the right word) a comedienne named Sarah Silverman. The Times identifies Silverman as having "created an Internet sensation" back in January with a video that "declared, in the starkest possible language, that she was having a torrid affair with the actor Matt Damon." That's New York Times speak. If you look it up, the video is called "I'm F-ing Matt Damon." Ms. Silverman is all class. But hey, she's obviously mainstream. Her video won an Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. That's 21st century American popular culture folks. Didn't "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" win an Oscar?

Silverman's new video is equally sexually vulgar but adds a new dimension. She begins her little romp by offering that if Barack Obama loses the election in November, she plans to blame the Jews (picture of a hooked nose in background). Yes, says Silverman, she's aware that Jews are the most "liberal, scrappy, civil-rightsey people there are" but some Jews, specifically those in Florida otherwise known as grandma and grandpa, are not planning to vote for Obama because he has a "scary name." She then proposes that younger Jews persuade their grandparents to vote for Obama by showing them how much blacks and Jews have in common. They all love "Cadillacs," and "things and bling and money and jewelry." Younger Jews can swing the election by threatening not to visit their grandparents unless they pull the lever for The One.

The Times finds it charming: " to Ms. Silverman these provocative comedy bits are all reflections of a consistent sensibility, one that trusts her audience will know when she is totally kidding and when is only sort of kidding." And if Barack Obama "emerges victorious on Election Day, with the swing state Florida in his win column, a modicum of credit may be due Sarah Silverman."

As Silverman admits in the Times profile, she isn't really Jewish. Though she comes from a Jewish background and can pronounce a few Yiddish words, she is not a Jew. "I have no religion. But culturally I can't escape it. I'm very Jewish."

Maybe from the point of view of the Times she is. And certainly because she claims Jewish ancestry, she gets a blanket immunity from the charge of anti-Semitism -- and apparently from the charge of racism as well.

Silverman may think of herself as edgy and new, but she is actually a stereotype herself -- the non-Jewish Jew who substitutes liberal politics for religion. For at least a century, large numbers of nominally Jewish Americans have demonstrated far more attachment to liberal politics than to actual Judaism. They declare that Judaism demands social justice, equality, gun control, liberal abortion laws, and an increase in the capital gains tax and they adhere to these tenets, well, religiously. Columnist and radio personality Dennis Prager likes to say that Jews are the most religious people in America -- but their religion is not Judaism. (This does not include observant Jews.)

Judaism does command social justice of course -- just start with the prophets. But normative Judaism is not the Democratic Party at prayer. Abortion, for example, is traditionally forbidden except to save the life of the mother. The Ten Commandments take a dim view of open marriage. Capital punishment is sanctioned for some crimes. And above all, Judaism demands that human beings worship God, not themselves.

It's a free country and secular Jews can believe and say whatever they like. But it is tiresome as well as false for them to parade their liberalism as the authentic expression of a great faith.



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, OBAMA WATCH (2), 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 readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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