Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Leftist bigot resents popular Jewish songs
JEWISH SONGWRITERS have created some of the most enduringly popular songs of the season -- Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," of course, but also "The Christmas Song," "Silver Bells," and "I'll Be Home For Christmas," among others. Some people might view that as a heartening, only-in-America expression of interfaith goodwill and warmth. But not Garrison Keillor:
"All those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck," he fumed in a recent column for the Baltimore Sun. "Christmas is a Christian holiday -- if you're not in the club, then buzz off." His piece bore the sour headline: "Nonbelievers, please leave Christmas alone."
Remember the days when Keillor was endearing and witty? It's a shame to see him grown so cranky and intolerant. What kind of grinch thinks "White Christmas" is "dreck?"
Well, here's hoping that all the songs written by those "Jewish guys" didn't put too big a damper on Keillor's Christmas this year. And let's hope no one ruined it entirely by letting him know that the Jewish connection to Christmas didn't start with Irving Berlin.
British photographers issue plea to end police hostility towards them
More than 350 photographers have issued a joint plea to end the "hostile" and "humiliating" use of anti-terror laws to prevent them taking pictures in public. The professional and amateur photographers have signed a letter, published in The Sunday Telegraph, calling on ministers and the police halt the practice of them being stopped and searched while they are taking images in public places.
Their plea comes despite a warning from senior police to junior officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) not to misuse the controversial legislation.
The letter, whose signatories include Rosemary Wilman, the president of the Royal Photographic Society, and the photographer and historian Professor John Hannavy, says: "Rather than treat photographers as terrorists, the Government should amend the Anti-Terrorism Act to prevent its misuse and explain to police forces that a hostile attitude towards photographers is unwelcome."
It said those using cameras in public were frequently being searched, which they found "humiliating". Among those to have been targeted by police is Grant Smith, one of the country's leading architectural photographers, who was apprehended by seven officers while taking pictures of a church in the City of London.
Earlier this month, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) sent a warning to the chief constables of 43 forces in England and Wales to remind them that "unnecessarily restricting photography, whether from the casual tourist or professional, is unacceptable".
In response its treatment of photographers, the City of London Police earlier this month released details of an arrest made by officers who spotted a man filming on his mobile phone, which it said had helped to avert a terrorist attack on the capital. Footage shot on the Algerian man's Nokia N95 mobile phone showed he had filmed at railway and tube stations and shopping centres. Senior officers said it was a "hostile reconnaissance" video. Counter-terrorism police and MI5 discovered that the man and his brother, in their 40s, entered Britain on false passports a decade ago. The pair have since been deported after being convicted of fraud charges and serving their sentences.
In a separate reminder to his own officers, assistant Metropolitan Police commissioner John Yates said: "These are important yet intrusive powers. They form a vital part of our overall tactics in deterring and detecting terrorist attacks. We must use these powers wisely. Public confidence in our ability to do so rightly depends upon your common sense."
British Equality Bill: Will A New Law Essentially Outlaw Evangelical Christianity And Roman Catholicism In The U.K.?
Did that headline get your attention? It should. A new law is dangerously close to becoming law in the U.K. that would essentially outlaw evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism. Not that "The Equality Bill" specifically designates those faiths as illegal in the legislation itself. Rather, the bill outlaws specific beliefs and practices that are fundamental to both evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism. In fact, experts are saying that "The Equality Bill" would create a volcanic eruption of litigation in U.K. courts and would ultimately force those who wish to continue to practice anything that even looks like traditional Christianity to go underground.
So just what is the Equality Bill? The Equality Bill allegedly aims to consolidate all existing anti-discrimination laws into a single legal framework. However, it actually goes much farther than any "anti-discrimination" laws in the U.K. have ever gone before. On the surface, this legislation seems like a good idea. After all, who wants to discriminate against old people or people of other races? You can read a summary of this legislation put out by backers of the bill right here. It actually contains a few good proposals.
But it is also a vicious attack on traditional Christianity. The Telegraph quotes a top level official from the "Ministry for Equality" as saying the following when he was asked whether the Equality Bill would lead to legal action between churches and atheists.... "Both need to be lining up [their lawyers]," he said. "The secularists should have the right to challenge the church."
Secularists should have the right to challenge the beliefs and practices of the church? What in the world? So exactly what would the Equality Bill mean for churches in the U.K.?
Evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics would be wide open not only to lawsuits but also to unlimited government fines and even criminal prosecution if....
* They are found to discriminate against homosexuals or transsexuals in any area of employment - including the hiring of pastors and priests.
* They are found to discriminate against homosexuals or transsexuals in any preaching or teaching.
* They are found to discriminate against hiring married men or women as priests as the Roman Catholics have done for centuries.
* They are found to insist that pastors or priests remain celibate (as in the case of Catholics) or only have sex within marriage (as in the case of evangelicals).
* They are found trying to prevent any of their clergy from entering into same-sex civil partnerships.
* They are found to be trying to prevent their pastors or priests from having sex change operations, living openly promiscuous lifestyles or engaging in any other form of sexual expression.
So essentially, if the Equality Bill is fully implemented, no religious organization is the U.K. will be able to preach or teach against sexual immorality, will be able to discriminate against the sexually immoral when hiring clergy or will be able to take a formal moral stand against sexually immorality in any way whatsoever.
Some analysts are even claiming that if the Equality Bill is adopted, all hiring for church positions that do not spend at least 51 percent of their time leading worship and preaching would be subject to regulations that would ban discrimination against those from other religions. So, for example, a Baptist church would be forced to consider an Islamic candidate for a position that ministers to the youth but that also performs other non-teaching functions much of the time as well.
Basically the Equality Bill would be a total nightmare for both evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics in the U.K. The fact that the law is written in such vague terms would open up the floodgates for all kinds of endless litigation. If the Equality Bill becomes law, free speech and free expression in churches in the U.K. would be deeply chilled as church leaders struggle with the never ending threat of lawsuits, fines and criminal prosecution.
* The days when churches in the U.K. could openly preach against sexual sin would be over.
* The days when churches in the U.K. could openly have any say over the sexual behavior of their clergy would be over.
* The days when churches in the U.K. could openly discuss what the Bible says about "right" and "wrong" would be over.
* Thus this would essentially mean that end of legal evangelical Christianity and legal Roman Catholicism in the U.K.
That sounds quite dramatic, but that is the truth of the matter. In fact, Baroness O'Cathain, a Tory lawmaker and an evangelical Christian, said last week that the Equality Bill is the "single most damaging Bill to come before the House in my 18 years as a Member".
Are you starting to get the idea? We are living in the last days, and the truth is that Christian persecution is exploding all over the world. Christians in western nations have always thought that it was something that happened "over there", but now Christian persecution is moving forward with blinding speed in places such as the U.K. Ultimately, there will be no escaping persecution. If you plan to be a Christian in the last days you will face persecution as long as you are on this earth. You better get ready for it. If you are a Christian and you are not already being persecuted, you will be soon.
The Leftist version of "openness" in Australia
As Obama has vividly shown, saying one thing and doing the opposite is the Leftist way
KEVIN Rudd's government has refused more freedom of information requests in its first full financial year of power than John Howard's did in its last full financial year in office despite Labor's stated program to increase transparency of public information. The annual report of the Freedom of Information Act, which was quietly released just before Christmas, shows that 1530 requests, or 6.09 per cent, were refused in the 12 months to June 30. In the 12 months to June 30, 2007, the last full financial year of the Howard government, 1499 requests were refused, or 4.39 per cent. The refusal rate in the past financial year was also higher than in the power change-over year of 2007-08 when 1368 requests were refused, or 4.36 per cent. The percentage of requests granted in full in the past financial year compared with 2006-07 also declined, from 80.6 per cent to 71 per cent.
However the government's response times improved. In the 12 months to June 30, 83.29 per cent of FOI requests were dealt with in less than 30 days, compared with 67.89 per cent in the previous financial year and 77.15 per cent in 2006-07.
The Prime Minister's own department granted full access to 12 of 32 requests (38 per cent), while in 2006-07 Mr Howard's department granted full access to six of 16 requests (37.5 per cent).
The tighter flow of information came despite the government embarking on a series of major reforms of the FOI Act, including the abolition of conclusive certificates, which allowed ministers to veto FOI releases without any reasonable public interest explanations for their actions.
The opposition seized on the figures and accused the government of keeping a tighter rein on the flow of information. Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis said the Rudd government's performance on FOI was "yet another example of the mismatch between the government's rhetoric and the reality of its performance". "Early this year, the then Special Minister of State Senator (John) Faulkner launched a new FOI policy and promised a fundamental change towards a pro-disclosure policy," Senator Brandis said. "But it has sunk without trace and has not been prosecuted by the new minister, Senator (Joe) Ludwig. "The heroic pro-disclosure rhetoric stands in stark contrast to the cold, hard statistical reality that would show that there is less freedom of information under the Rudd government than under the Howard government."
A spokesman for Senator Ludwig said the government remained committed to FOI reform.
The report said that about 80 per cent of FOI requests related to personal information, with Centrelink (37 per cent), Veterans Affairs (22 per cent), and Immigration and Citizenship (21 per cent) receiving the most requests.
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.
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