Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pathetic: British children's charity cuts all alcohol references from Drunken Sailor nursery rhyme

First sung in the days when Britannia ruled the waves, it became a favourite in schools and nurseries, handed down through the decades. But the old sea shanty What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor? may finally be sunk by a broadside from the good ship Political Correctness. The government-funded charity Bookstart, which promotes reading for children around the country, has changed the lyrics to remove any reference to alcohol. It means the 'drunken sailor' has been transformed into the rather tame 'grumpy pirate'. 'Put him in the brig until he's sober' has been replaced by the insipid 'Do a little jig and make him smile', while 'Round with the rum and scotch and whiskey' has become 'Tickle him till he starts to giggle'.

The cleaned-up rhyme was made into a songsheet sent to libraries across the UK to encourage children to read. But parents and education experts insisted that children could be trusted with the original version. Nick Seaton, of pressure group the Campaign for Real Education, said: 'Changing the words of a much-loved children's nursery rhyme is simply trying to re-write the history and tradition of this country. 'Organisations such as Bookstart should know better and not start to tinker with traditional songs which were written many years ago. 'Once you start doing that you are asking for trouble. If they want to sing a song about pirates, why don't they simply write a new one?'

Bookstart is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department of Work and Pensions to help parents share books with their children from as early an age as possible. Mother Caroline Graham, 29, attended one of their sessions with her son Jacob, two, at her local library in Rainham in Kent. She said: 'I don't know why they bother. It is clearly meant to be politically correct but surely children that young can't be offended by a harmless nursery rhyme. 'It makes me angry that during the current economic climate people are being paid probably more than my husband earns to come up with stuff like this. It's pathetic really.'

Karen Sanders, 34, also went to a session with her girl Clara, one. She said: 'It's a song I sang when I was growing up and I don't think it did me any harm. It seems silly to change the lyrics because they are quite funny - everyone laughs at the image of a drunken sailor.' Former Ofsted inspector and grandmother Margaret Morrissey said: 'This is just nonsense. 'Children are great levellers and no matter how politically correct the Government and their quangos become, they will still sing the original nursery rhymes because they are funny.'

The song was sung by sailors on the Royal Navy's ships of the line in the 19th century. It was often sung when raising a sail or lifting the anchor - hence 'Up She Rises' in the song's chorus - or when sailing into battle. The lyrics tell of how the ship's crew might deal with one of their shipmates after a belly full of rum stops him from helping with his deck duties.

Katherine Soloman, spokesman for Bookstart, admitted she could see how some would think the change was politically correct. But she said the change was to fit in with a 'pirate theme' it was promoting. She said: 'We are keen on all the old favourites and we believe we do a good job in getting young children reading and enjoying books.' Bookstart, established in 1992, is an initiative run by independent arts charity Booktrust. As well as government funding, children's book publishers and booksellers support it with sponsorship.


`A nasty little piece of smug class warfare'

A "Green" holiday firm's promise of `chav-free holidays' for the middle classes exposes the snobbery that underpins radical eco-tourism.

Activities Abroad, a green-leaning travel firm based in Northumberland, England, has caused a stink by guaranteeing its clients `chav-free holidays'. For the benefit of non-British readers, `chav' is a derogatory term for working-class British youth, the tracksuit-wearing, blinged-up, lager-swilling kind, who are said to populate areas such as Croydon, Bermondsey and Birmingham, but who are most frequently found hanging around in the minds of panicked middle-class, Middle England hacks. In a promo email sent to 24,000 subscribers at the end of last week, Activities Abroad (AA) promised that no such despicable, slovenly people will ever be found on one of its trips overseas.

Under the heading `Chav-Free Activity Holidays', AA said: `...Children with middle-class names such as Duncan and Catherine are eight times more likely to pass their GCSEs than children with names such as Wayne and Dwayne. This got us thinking. Are there names you are likely to encounter and not encounter on an Activities Abroad holiday?' (1) It did some quickfire research and discovered that on an AA trip you are unlikely to encounter people called `Britney, Kylie-Lianne, Dazza, Chardonnay, Chantelle and Candice' (in short, thugs and slags), and are far more likely to run in to people called `Sarah, Alice, Lucy, Charlotte, James and Joseph' (in short, middle class and mild).

Eleven of AA's email subscribers complained; one denounced the mailshot as `a nasty little piece of smug class warfare' and promised never to patronise AA again (2). The Guardian seemed especially miffed by the embarrassing mailout, conscious, perhaps, that AA is the kind of trendy, liberal, eco-aware holiday firm that it normally advertises in its pages. AA's holidays include husky safaris in the Canadian wilderness and volcano hiking in Costa Rica, which can set travellers back 2,000 pounds, and last year it won a silver award for `most environmentally responsible small tour operator' at the British Travel Awards (3). Yet its managing director, Alistair McLean, was unapologetic about the email, telling one complaining customer: `I make no apology for proclaiming myself to be middle class and a genuine contributor to our society.' (4) Unlike those Waynes, Dwaynes, Chantelles and Candices, who of course contribute nothing.

AA's anti-chav advertising tactics are disturbing, and more than a little dumb, but are they really so shocking? Poisonous snobbery towards `chavvy' and working-class holidaymakers is rife today - only it tends to be expressed in code, in underhand concerns about CO2 emissions, trails of noxious gases in the blue sky, the dangers of cheap flights, and the denigration of foreign cultures by unthinking Brits. AA's mistake was to forget the coded lingo and state out loud the prejudices that underpin new forms of oh-so-superior eco-travel. Perhaps it has done us a crude service, then, by revealing for all to see the naked loathing of the young and horizon-exploring working classes that motivates much of the contemporary debate on tourism.

Much of what AA's Alistair McLean said in response to the 11 complaints about his email went entirely unreported in the Guardian's article, or anywhere else in the British press. This scion of Green travel - hailed by ethical columnists, decorated by the British Travel Awards, and a member of the Responsible Travel coalition (`holidays that give the world a break') - let rip against the Great Unwashed in one online discussion forum. To one complainant, he spat: `Do you encourage your children to go off and play with the shell-suited [a shell-suit is trackpants with a matching top], Lambert and Butler sucking teenagers who hang around our shopping centres at night?' He laid into the `shell-suited urchins who haunt our street corners'. And he pointed out that where his travel firm makes `a positive contribution to our economy' - by paying `corporation tax, income tax, PAYE. and [making contributions] to AIDS projects in South Africa and other charitable organisations' - he is tired of watching economic resources being `frittered away by people who simply can't be bothered ("bovvered")' (5).

It's nasty stuff, fuelled by hysterical images of feral working-class kids running riot and old-style prejudices about the poor sponging off decent society. Yet the idea that lower-income communities - these `urchins', these cigarette-sucking teenagers - are destructive, especially when they go on holiday, is widespread. In recent years, `cheap flights' has become a thinly-disguised codeword for `cheap people', for those Dwaynes and Waynes who apparently only go overseas in order to drink, puke and fornicate. Eco-activists and commentators try their best to present their opposition to cheap flights as being driven by concern for the environment or even, laughably, as a radical anti-capitalist stance against `the toffs' who allegedly populate Ryanair's 5 pound flights to Riga. Yet their mask of eco-respectability frequently slips to reveal a sneering snobbery underneath.

Caroline Lucas, leader of the UK Green Party, has written of the `stratospheric cost of cheap flights' and demanded `an end to cheap stag nights in Riga' (6). She fails to explain why a flight for a stag night in the Latvian capital is more destructive than, say, a flight to one of AA's husky safaris in the Canadian wilderness. Plane Stupid poses as an edgy campaign group that wants to ground the cheap flights of `second home owners'. Yet in their more unguarded moments, its members spout bile about one kind of travel only. Its founder says: `Our ability to live on Earth is at stake, and for what? So people can have a stag do in Prague.' (7) In another statement, Plane Stupid said: `There's been an enormous growth in binge-flying with the proliferation of stag and hen nights to Eastern European destinations chosen not for their architecture or culture but because people can fly there for 99p and get loaded for a tenner.' (8) That's not edgy - it's the age-old middle-class prejudice against pointless, wasteful working-class tourism dressed up in a little bit of environmental garb.

Whether they're dissing `cheap flights' (the correct code), `stag night attendees' (the code starts to slip), or vile `shell-suited urchins' called `Dwayne and Wayne' (the code completely falls apart), the target of the eco-aware is always the kind of hedonistic travel indulged by youthful members of lower-income communities. Beneath their environmental concerns there lurks the long-standing prejudice that some forms of travel, involving huskies and volcanos, are worthwhile, and other forms, involving kicking back, relaxing, having unadulterated fun, are low, coarse, destructive and literally `noxious'.

Tourism and travel have long been the targets of vicious snootiness. When in the Victorian era British workers first started venturing to the seaside, thanks to one Thomas Cook, snobbish commentators complained that `of all noxious animals, the most noxious is a tourist' (9). Later, in the modern era of the 1920s and 30s, the middle classes who had long been travelling to places like Italy and Greece were alarmed to see the lower middle-classes, and even Americans, following in their wake. The British literary snob Osbert Sitwell described American tourists as a `swarm of very noisy transatlantic locusts'. His sister, the poet Edith, said tourists were `the most awful people with legs like flies, who come in to lunch in bathing costumes - flies, centipedes' (10). In more recent times, from the 1980s onwards, commentators have attacked `the vile behaviour of British tourists' in places like southern Spain, the `disgusting inebriation, oral sex and other beachside practices [that would] startle a Blackpool donkey' (11). The image of the `Blackpool donkey' is telling: the sentiment is that `these people', these destructive urchins, should really stay put in places like Blackpool rather than fouling the sophisticated world with their filthy habits as they get `loaded for a tenner'.

Paul Fussell argued in his 1982 book Abroad: British Literary Travelling Between the Wars that: `From the outset, mass tourism attracted the class-contempt of killjoys who conceived themselves. superior by reason of intellect, education, curiosity and spirit.' The language changes over the years - from `animals' to `locusts', `centipedes' to `yobs' and `drunks' - but the sentiment remains remarkably similar: these people are noxious, whether metaphorically, as described by that Victorian observer, or literally, in the way that they are now described by today's snobs as being `harmful to the environment'. AA's fantastically crude reduction of entire sections of the population to `chavs', `urchins', cigarette-suckers, all instantly recognisable by their ridiculous first names, reveals the deep snobbery that still underpins the tourism debate. Because it is about betterment and exploration, about escaping the local and dipping a foot into the global, about having ideas way, way above one's station, travel invites the undiluted snobbery of those who consider themselves `superior by reason of intellect' like no other single issue.

We should challenge the fake distinction made between `enlightening travel' and `filthy travel', and insist that travel is in itself a positive thing. Whether people go abroad to hang out with huskies or to chat up girls, to donkey-trek in Peru or to sunbathe in Magaluf, it's all about escaping, exploring and experiencing, and urchins who smoke and sponge off society (allegedly) should be as free to do that as the kids named Lucy, Charlotte and Alice.


No Platform for anyone called Rothschild

I know how Douglas Murray feels after being disinvited from a university debate. I was once rejected due to my surname

By Nathalie Rothschild

Organisers of a London School of Economics (LSE) debate titled `Islam or Liberalism: Which is the Way Forward?' came up with a Third Way this week: pre-emptive censorship. Douglas Murray, a self-described neoconservative and critic of Islam, was disinvited from chairing the debate between Dr Alan Sked, senior lecturer in international history at the LSE, and Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, a Muslim writer and lecturer, on the basis that his presence might rile some students. I know how he must feel. I was once turned down from a university debate on the basis that my surname - Rothschild - might upset sensitive attendees.

The decision to bar Murray from the debate, which went ahead without him on Monday, was not based on anything he had said or done. The Telegraph reported Dr Sked saying that Murray had `never said anything objectionable' in previous appearances at the LSE (1). Instead, the LSE asked Murray not to attend `in the interest of public safety' (2). According to Dr Sked, `radical students' have recently caused trouble, including by occupying LSE buildings (3). A one-week protest over Israel's war in Gaza had just taken place at the LSE when Murray received notice that it was no longer appropriate for him to chair Monday's event.

The purpose of the LSE debate was to evaluate `how far Islam and liberalism are compatible' (4). Perhaps the organisers should do a follow-up discussion on how far the LSE and liberal values are compatible. Free and open debate ought to be the mainstay of any university worth its name, yet the managers of this prestigious institution don't seem to have the guts to uphold freedom of speech.

Two years ago, I spoke on a panel debate with Murray at the Battle of Ideas, looking at what lay behind `the veil row' - that short-lived but incendiary controversy sparked by former foreign secretary Jack Straw's description of the niqab as a `visible demonstration of separateness'. I didn't find Murray's warnings about the `Islamification of the West' convincing, and neither did most of the audience, which included representatives of the radical Islamic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir. However, there was no global jihad at this heated debate; radical young Muslims simply challenged Murray from the floor, and he challenged them back. The idea that people will go berserk upon hearing controversial arguments - a fear that apparently haunts the imagination of LSE professors - is unfounded.

It is not just professors who feel the need to tiptoe around students' supposed sensibilities. Shortly before that Battle of Ideas debate - in October 2006 - I had been recommended as a speaker for a panel debate at Greenwich University titled `Does the Veil Stop "Community Cohesion?"'. The event was organised by a Further Education Black Students Officer at the National Union of Students (NUS). Yet when this elected NUS representative, whose primary job was to deal with issues affecting ethnic minorities in Britain's colleges, found out that my surname is Rothschild, he decided I was persona non grata. Apparently, it is not appropriate for a person with a Jewish name to sit on a panel discussing Muslim issues.

The organiser's excuse for not inviting me to speak was that he feared the debate would turn into a discussion about Israel/Palestine on the basis of my name, instantly recognisable as Jewish. Yet when I saw the full outline of the event, it was clear that there was no reason why the debate would `descend into a row' about the Middle East. The debate aimed to address four questions: `Is the veil stopping community cohesion and why will the Muslim community not integrate? Are the Muslim community intolerant of whether people find the veil uncomfortable? Does the war on terror have anything to do with this? What are Muslims doing to alleviate any fears of the wider non-Muslim community?' These are all issues I have written on or spoken about, yet the organisers decided not to accept me as a recommended speaker because of the R-word: Rothschild.

Then, three days before the debate was scheduled to take place, they became desperate to find a final speaker. So desperate that they seemed to overcome their qualms about having someone with a recognisable Jewish name on the panel. They emailed asking me to take part, demanding `please get back to us ASAP!'. This time, I declined.

The whole saga was pretty insulting. But it wasn't proof of some endemic anti-Semitism; it simply showed up the prejudice and cowardice of one individual. I quite easily brushed the incident aside. After all, with a name like Rothschild, I have been mistaken for everything from a global international conspirator and an `ally of genocidal communism' to a multibillionaire playboy who hangs out with Russian oligarchs and Tories (also named `Nat Rothschild'). So what if some ignoramus deduced from my family name that I could not address a student union debate on Muslim veils without promulgating some `Jewish interest'? That was his problem.

However, both my experience and that of Douglas Murray point to the rise and rise of new forms of pre-emptive censorship - the curtailing of debate `just in case'. Both the NUS officer who declined me as a speaker and the professors at the LSE who disinvited Murray insulted their prospective audiences, presuming that they would be offended or incited by the presence of a Jew, in my case, or a neocon critic of Islam, in Murray's case.

Students, professors, politicians and commentators increasingly feel the need to tiptoe around people's perceived sensitivities, particularly in relation to the Middle East. Fearing complaints and controversy, they end up practising pre-emptive censorship in the name of `public safety' or `avoiding offence'. This was also the case when Random House publishers pulled Sherry Jones' novel, The Jewel of Medina, a Mills-and-Boon style story about the prophet Mohammed's relationship with his 14-year-old wife Aisha. Random House said the book `might be offensive to some in the Muslim community' and it could `incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment' (5). Again, the `just in case' principle rules: withhold a novel from publication `just in case' it incites anger.

Others argue that radical Muslims should be banned in case they offend Christians or stir young Muslims to become suicide bombers. Indeed, some of the right-wing conservative commentators who were up in arms about the LSE retracting its invitation to Douglas Murray, all self-proclaimed defenders of Enlightenment values, often call for censorship, too. For example, Daily Mail columnist Melanie Philips has demanded the banning of Muslim groups such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir (6). Sean Gabb, director of the Libertarian Alliance, called for the resignation of the LSE professor who took the final decision to disinvite Murray. Gabb was right to say that universities have a commitment to free speech and that the professor undermined this by disinviting Murray (7). However, his reaction also points to a censorious impulse simply to get rid of those who offend certain ideals rather than to challenge them.

As it happens, the NUS, through its censorious `No Platform' policy, has managed to ban Hiz-but-Tahrir on many British campuses. Sensitivity censorship is rife in British universities: leftists try to ban fascists, right-wing groups oppose radical Muslims, and Muslims try to stop Jews from speaking. When I was a student at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, a handful of students formed a Jewish society, yet the Islamic Society complained that the student union had allowed a `Zionist organisation' to set up on campus. Recently, students in Oxford demanded the cancellation of a speech by Israeli president Shimon Peres. Elsewhere, students have campaigned to censor anti-immigrant professors, the youth wing of the British Nationalist Party, Christian Unions, the Daily Mail, and Eminem songs. One university recently banned political groups from participating in freshers' week - the first week of the academic year when students normally get the chance to mingle and sign up to societies.

Rather than feeding into this bizarre game of `No Platform' one-upmanship, professors, students, publishers and others should stand up for freedom expression for all - and that includes Muslim extremists, neocons, and people with famous surnames.


A View from the Target Zone

These words are written a short distance away from the most northern hit, so far, of the Hamas missiles, which are methodically aimed only at civilian population in Israel. For eight years, approximately 5,000 rockets have been sent deliberately into Israeli population centers by the Hamas terrorists. The rockets are extremely inaccurate. The good news is that they often hit an empty field. The bad news is that, when they do hit buildings and people, they kill, maim and destroy. It is a very ugly game of Iranian Roulette.

But the most significant fact is that the undisputed purpose of the rockets is to kill civilians in a random manner. Since they miss entire towns, they could not possibly be aimed at military or strategic targets. No claim is made by Hamas of anything other than a deliberate attempt to kill civilians within Israel. The world knows about the rockets but rarely mentions that they are aimed only at the civilian population and at nothing else.

Hamas consistently refers to Israel itself as "the occupied territory." It refers to any town in Israel as an "illegal settlement." Its declared aim is to destroy Israel. It has proudly endorsed, initiated and sent numerous suicide murderers into Israeli buses, supermarkets, shopping malls, weddings and other crowded places. It explicitly states that it will continue to do so. Since Israel succeeded in preventing the suicide murders by a combination of the protective wall, other defensive measures and good intelligence penetration, the missiles became the preferred way of killing Israeli civilians.

Hamas is declared to be a terrorist organization, not only by Israel, not only by the U.S., but also by the European Union, which is not suspected of being pro-Israeli. This is the same European Union that refuses to label the Hizbullah as a terror organization, but repeatedly and officially declares Hamas as such. Hamas is fully funded and largely controlled by Iran, a country openly and totally committed to the destruction of Israel, while continuing to enjoy trade with much of the western world.

The Hamas media, and especially its independent TV station, carry daily children programs (including programs for kindergarten age) depicting the Jews (and not only the Israelis) as pigs, dogs, scum of the earth and creatures that must be killed. One of these programs features a rabbit which eats Jews. There is plenty of documentation of these programs, including animations and programs with child presenters. Major western news media never report on this phenomenon, while some of them publish op-ed pieces by declared Hamas leaders.

The favorite hour of launching the daily Hamas rockets during the last eight years was 7:45 in the morning, but only on weekdays. Why? Because this is the time in which the streets are full of Israeli children, on their way to school. No one wants to waste rockets when no children are in the streets, during the weekend. Eight year old children in the Israeli town of Sderot, a few miles from the Gaza border, live, since they were born, with these rockets. They know no other life. When the alarm sounds, they have exactly 15 seconds to reach an improvised cover. Eighth grade children, age 13, have never gone to school, since kindergarten, without the real threat of having a rocket hit them on the way. Their parents have never felt safe about sending their child to school. It is very difficult for anyone living in a normal safe place, to imagine what it means to send your child to school, every single day, for eight years, with the fear that he or she may never reach school because of a missile attack, aimed at killing the children. The world seems to accept this.

Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005. Not one Israeli soldier or civilian remained there. Everything was ready for the people of Gaza to start a new life and economic development. There was no blockade, border crossings were open. Instead came increased shooting of rockets into Israel, a Hamas coup, throwing Fatah Palestinians from roofs of buildings to their death and torturing their own people in their prisons. It is regrettable that Israel did not react with full force to the very first rockets after its withdrawal from Gaza, but there was always the naive illusion that perhaps talks, discussions, verbal threats and temporary closings of the border crossings might do the job.

Much more here


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 readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Vicious British social workers yet again

'They say we're too old to care for our grandchildren': Social workers hand brother and sister to gay men for adoption -- DESPITE the little girl being fearful of men. The welfare of the children was obviously NOT the priority of these Leftist animals

Two young children are to be adopted by a gay couple, despite the protests of their grandparents. The devastated grandparents were told they would never see the youngsters again unless they dropped their opposition. The couple, who cannot be named, wanted to give the five-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister a loving home themselves. But they were ruled to be too old - at 46 and 59. For two years they fought for their rights to care for the children, whose 26-year- old mother is a recovering heroin addict. They agreed to an adoption only after they faced being financially crippled by legal bills. The final blow came when they were told the children were going to a gay household, even though several heterosexual couples wanted them.

When the grandfather protested, he was told: 'You can either accept it, and there's a chance you'll see the children twice a year, or you can take that stance and never see them again.' The man said last night: 'It breaks my heart to think that our grandchildren are being forced to grow up in an environment without a mother figure. We are not prejudiced, but I defy anyone to explain to us how this can be in their best interests.'

Social workers themselves have admitted that the little girl is 'more wary' of men than women. The case, in Edinburgh, raises worrying issues about state interference in family life. It will also fuel concern over the practice of gay adoption, which has been promoted by Left-wing ministers and council bosses.

Some local authorities forbid adoption by smokers and obese people but actively support gay fostering and adoption - even though research shows overwhelmingly that children are best brought up by a mother and father.

The grandparents first stepped in because the children's mother was unable to look after them. But council social workers became worried that the grandparents' ages and health problems meant they would also be unable to care for the children properly. The 59-year-old grandfather, a farm worker, has angina while his wife is receiving medication for diabetes. The children were taken into foster care during the two years of court hearings.

When the grandparents eventually conceded defeat, they were assured by social workers that they would still have regular contact with them. The fostering arrangement worked well, but the council decided that the children should be adopted, to give them a permanent home. The grandparents agreed - as long as they could be assured that the adoptive parents would be a loving mother and father. The couple were then told an adoption had been arranged - but the grandfather 'hit the roof' when he discovered that the adoptive parents were two gay men.

Social workers dealing with the case admitted that heterosexual couples who were approved as adoptive parents had also been keen to adopt the children. The decision was taken even though a confidential social work report - now part of the court records held by the grandparents - contained that the little girl is generally not as happy around men. The report says she 'has tended to be more wary of males in general.'

Her grandparents insist they are not homophobic. But they reject the view of social workers that the decision to allow the gay couple to adopt the children was made 'in accordance with who can best meet their needs.' When they made their opposition clear, however, the couple were told that social workers would 'certainly look' at allowing them access to the children 'when you are able to come back with an open mind on the issues'.

The grandfather was told by a social worker: 'If you couldn't support the children [in the gay adoption], if you were having contact and couldn't support the children, and were showing negative feelings, it wouldn't be in their best interests for contact to take place.' He said last night: 'The ideal for any child is to have a loving father and a loving mother in their lives. 'But in our society the mother is generally the cornerstone of the family and the most important person for a young child.' His wife added: 'It's so important for children to fit in, and I feel our grandchildren will be marked out from the start when they draw pictures of their two dads.'

The last time the couple saw their grandchildren was shortly after the agreement for them to be adopted but before the decision to place them with a gay couple. They took dozens of photographs and tried, for the sake of the youngsters, not to break down. 'Granny, I'm not going to see you for a very long time,' said the five-year-old boy. 'Maybe when I'm in Primary Seven I'll be able to see you.' 'We'll try our very hardest to see you soon,' said his grandmother, choking back tears.

The boy told his grandfather: 'Grandad, if you want to see me you will have to pick me up because I will be a very long way away.' Then he added innocently: 'We are getting a new mummy and daddy.'

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic church condemned the council's decision last night, warning that the children's welfare could be jeopardised. He added: 'This is a devastating decision which will have a serious impact on the welfare of the children involved. 'There is an overwhelming body of evidence showing that same-sex relationships are inherently unstable and reduce the life expectancy of those involved. 'The social work department have deliberately ignored evidence which undermines their decision and opted for politically-correct posturing rather than providing stability and protection for the children.'

The City of Edinburgh Council said last night that it could not comment on individual cases. Adoption by gay couples in Scotland was approved by MSPs in 2006 - despite an official consultation process which showed that nearly 90 per cent of people opposed it.


Tuscan city under fire for banning foreign food

The Italian city of Lucca faced accusations of "culinary racism" on Tuesday after it banned new foreign eateries from opening in its historic center. The city council recently voted to deny new licenses to any bar or restaurant whose style of cooking was non-Italian within the Renaissance-era walls encircling the city center. Tuscany's center-left regional government criticized the ban as discriminatory and warned against measures "introducing hidden forms of 'gastronomic or culinary' racism." "The defense of quality is one thing, discrimination is another," Paolo Cocchi, the regional councilor for commerce, said on the region's website.

A spokesman for Lucca's town hall defended the new rules, saying they were meant to safeguard the city's traditional and cultural identity and that it also applied to sex shops, fast food restaurants and take-away pizza parlors. "The ban targets McDonald's as much as kebab restaurants," he said.

The town council is also urging foreign restaurants to include on their menus at least one course typical of Lucca, prepared exclusively with local ingredients. "It's an invitation, not an order," the town hall spokesman said.

Italy, which prides itself on its rich culinary tradition, has fewer foreign restaurants than other European countries. But their number has risen in recent years as increasing immigration has brought new culinary influences. Lucca's spokesman said the four kebab shops already in the city center would be allowed to continue operating as normal.


Ethnic crime coverup

Probably Hmong, a group known for gang crime. Most Hmong in the USA come from Laos. Google "Chai Vang" for America's most famous Hmong

A curious story from Wichita, Kan., crossed the Associated Press wire yesterday:
Police say two people were killed and seven wounded in a shooting during a wake at a house in Wichita. Sgt. Ronald Hunt says all the victims of Saturday night's shooting were adults. He did not know their ages or genders. Hunt says one victim is in critical condition, while as many as four others are in serious condition. Police say the shooting occurred around 9:30 p.m. on the ninth day of the wake, which was being held for an elderly woman buried earlier Saturday.

Deputy Police Chief Robert Lee could not say how many shooters were involved but says some of the shots came from outside. Police won't say if they believe the shooting is gang-related. Officers had trouble communicating because many of those at the house did not speak English. Police are looking for a pickup truck seen leaving the home.
Supposedly no one has any clue who the perpetrators or the victims were, except that the AP hints the shooting might have been gang-related and tells us that "many of those at the house did not speak English." Did they speak any other language? The AP doesn't say. We had a hunch, which we explored by checking the local paper, the Wichita Eagle. It had stories on the shootings Sunday and Monday, but the only additional detail came was this, from the Sunday story:
[Neighbor John] Kemp said that the woman who the wake was for and her husband ran a restaurant in the neighborhood. "They were doing well," Kemp said. That restaurant was closed Sunday afternoon.
Hmm, we have an old couple who ran a restaurant, a gathering of non-English speakers, and hints of gang activity. It sounds as though an ethnic community in Wichita is plagued by violence--though which ethnic community it is, is a closely guarded secret.

Well, closely guarded by the Eagle and the AP, anyway. KSNW-TV, the local NBC affiliate, was able to dig up (although not to spell properly) the fact that somehow eluded the eagle-eyed Eagle reporters: "The crowd was made up of Laotion-Americans and Laotion immigrants."

This did not surprise us, because the story, as vaguely described as it was by the AP and the Eagle, reminded us of a scene from "Gran Torino," the new Clint Eastwood movie, which involves a Laotian gang in an inner suburb of Detroit. It says something about the state of journalism in Wichita that people who see Hollywood movies are better informed than people who read the local paper.


Myth of the noble terrorist takes an overdue battering

Jason Koutsoukis in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald reports on the brutality of Hamas towards Gaza's citizens

PALESTINIAN civilians living in Gaza during the three-week war with Israel have spoken of Hamas's attempt to hijack ambulances. Mohammed Shriteh, 30, is an ambulance driver registered with and trained by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. "Mostly the war was not as fast or as chaotic as I expected. We would co-ordinate with the Israelis before we pick up patients, because they have all our names, and our IDs, so they would not shoot at us."

Shriteh said the more immediate threat was from Hamas, who would lure the ambulances into the heart of a battle to transport fighters to safety. "You hear when they are coming. People ring to tell you. So we had to get in all the ambulances and make the illusion of an emergency and only come back when they had gone." Eyad al-Bayary, 32, lost his job as a senior nurse at the Shifa Hospital because he is closely identified with Fatah.

Since the ceasefire was declared on January 17, Hamas has begun to systematically take revenge on anyone believed to have collaborated with Israel before the war. According to rumour, a number of alleged collaborators have already been executed. Taher al-Nono, the Hamas Government's spokesman in Gaza, told the Herald that 175 people had been arrested so far on suspicion of collaborating. And if the sentence is death? "We will respect the decision."

The commander of one al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade unit, who used the name Abu Ibrahim, said he would never accept peace or negotiation, even if it might lead to the creation of a Palestinian state. reports that Hamas may have inflated the death toll in Gaza:

ITALIAN newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Thursday that a doctor working in Gaza's Shifa Hospital claimed that Hamas has intentionally inflated the number of casualties resulting from Israel's Operation Cast Lead. "The number of deceased stands at no more than 500 to 600. Most of them are youths between the ages of 17 to 23 who were recruited to the ranks of Hamas, who sent them to the slaughter," according to the newspaper article. The doctor wished to remain unidentified, out of fear for his life.

A Tal al-Hawa resident told the newspaper's reporter: "Armed Hamas men sought out a good position for provoking the Israelis. There were mostly teenagers, aged 16 or 17, and armed. They couldn't do a thing against a tank or a jet. They knew they are much weaker, but they fired at our houses so that they could blame Israel for war crimes."

The reporter for the Italian newspaper also quoted reporters in the Strip who told of Hamas's exaggerated figures, "We have already said to Hamas commanders: why do you insist on inflating the number of victims?" These same reporters mentioned that the truth that will come out is likely to be similar to what occurred in Operation Defensive Shield in Jenin. "Then, there was first talk of 1500 deaths. But then it turned out that there were only 54, 45 of which were armed men," the Palestinian reporters told the Italian newspaper.

Denis Maceoin in The Jerusalem Post:

WATCH those films of Hamas gunmen dragging screaming children along with them to act as human shields, watch how they fire from behind the little ones, knowing no Israeli soldier will fire back. And even as they put their own children's lives at risk, they shout to high heaven that the Israelis are Nazis and the Jews are child-killers. Hamas has become proficient at resurrecting the blood libel, just as its fighters use the Nazi salute, just as their predecessor in the 1930s and '40s, Haj Amin al-Husseini, conferred with Hitler about building death camps in Palestine and raised a division of SS troops in Bosnia to fight for the Reich.

It is all self-contradictory: The Left supports gay rights, yet attacks the only country in the Middle East, where gay rights are enshrined in law. Hamas makes death the punishment for being gay, but "we are all Hamas now". Iran hangs gays, but it is praised as an agent of anti-imperialism, and allowed to get on with its job of stoning women and executing dissidents and members of religious minorities. If British Prime Minister Gordon Brown swore to wipe France from the face of the earth, he would become a pariah among nations. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens to do that to Israel and is invited to speak to the UN General Assembly. Israel guarantees civil liberties to all its citizens, Jew or Arab alike, but it is dubbed an apartheid state; Hamas, ever the bully, kills its opponents and denies the rest the most basic rights, but we march on behalf of Hamas.



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 readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Florida stupidity

All states are equal, apparently. Why else ignore that there are higher storm-damage risks there?

State Farm Insurance Cos. said it will drop all its homeowner policies in Florida, a move that could increase the strain on a state still contending with the aftermath of hurricanes in recent years. The nation's largest insurer of cars and homes said it is pulling out of the Florida homeowners-insurance market because it wasn't able to charge high enough rates. Florida regulators rejected State Farm's request last year for a 47% rate rise. "We have to take this serious step to avoid further financial weakening," said Chris Neal, a spokesman for State Farm Florida Insurance Co., the unit that writes homeowners policies in the state.

Florida was ravaged by hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, which caused tens of billions of dollars in damage. As a result, some insurers have stopped writing new policies or are jettisoning existing customers. State Farm's potential impact is far-reaching because the insurer had 703,357 homeowners policies in force in Florida as of Sept. 30, as well as tens of thousands of policies covering condominium units, boats and renters. State Farm has the second-largest share of the Florida homeowners market.

"I was shocked. I'm quite nervous," said Jennifer Bitner, a Tallahassee, Fla., homeowner. She said she has been a State Farm customer for several years, paying more than $1,000 a year for her coverage. Policyholders may now be forced to find new coverage in a state where some other large national insurers have also been seeking to pare their risk, given the potential for large losses due to hurricanes. They also could end up paying higher rates with other companies.

Many State Farm customers could wind up with the state-created insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Citizens has grown in recent years to become the largest insurer of homes in Florida. An influx of former State Farm policyholders could increase the financial pressure on Citizens, which has been trying to shed policies.

Another alternative is likely to be a group of smaller insurers, some of which are relatively new, issue policies only in Florida or haven't been tested by major hurricanes. It isn't clear how many policies those companies could absorb. State Farm, based in Bloomington, Ill., said it will take more than two years to drop all the policies. The insurer will keep selling car and life insurance in Florida.


A new Hitler Jugend for Australia?

OK. That heading is a bit unfair. I think Prime Minister Rudd is a bit misguided but I don't think he is a bad man at all. It is however entirely in keeping that a Leftist would have a scheme to organize the nation's youth into some form of government-run youth organization. There was the Hitler Jugend, Stalin's Komsomol, Putin's "Nashi" and Obama also has proposed something of the sort. Rudd's version, however, seems reasonable enough, though undoubtably socialistic (government-run)

Kevin Rudd wants to recruit an army of young volunteers to help the elderly, feed the homeless, and clean up the environment. In exchange for giving up their time, members of the new Community Corps would get discounts on their university HECS debts. The proposal could attract tens of thousands of volunteers from the 1.3 million Australians with a higher education debt. The average ex-student has a $12,000 HECS debt, which typically takes more than seven years to pay off. The scheme could wipe out students' debts as they accumulate hours of community service, the Herald Sun reports.

The plan, backed by top business minds and embraced by community and welfare groups, emerged from the Prime Minister's 2020 summit. The Government is expected to adopt it within days when it releases its final 2020 summit report.

Mr Rudd, who has pleaded for Australians to pull together to beat the rapidly worsening economic downturn, has described the idea as "a very practical trade". Corps members could deliver meals on wheels, youth and Aboriginal services, become volunteer firefighters, or assist the disabled and elderly. Landcare and water projects could also benefit. It is understood the Corps would operate within Australia, unlike the US Peace Corps, which works on projects across the globe.

The plan is believed to be one of about six big ideas from the 2020 summit to get the green light. After the summit, Mr Rudd said: "We need more volunteering in the community, and students are emerging from university with a whole lot of debt. "The idea . . . where young people would go out and provide voluntary service in the community in exchange for reducing their HECS debt . . . is one we want to consider."

Brotherhood of St Lawrence chief executive Tony Nicholson said there would be plenty for Community Corps members to do. "It could range from assisting with recreational programs to driving a community bus, to assisting disadvantaged people get to the doctor or do their shopping," he said. Mr Nicholson said those with special skills, such as IT graduates, would be particularly useful.

When the idea was floated at the summit, the architect of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme, Prof Bruce Chapman, said it would appeal to wealthier students. Poorer students, he said, would probably prefer to enter the paid workforce.


It's happened again! Tiny baby found alone, abandoned and screaming in a closed childcare centre

This is gross negligence on the part of staff. I have always said that the only place for little children is in a loving home but this just reinforces that

A woman broke the window of a Darwin childcare centre with a brick when she arrived to find the building locked, the lights out and her tiny son trapped inside. Yula Williams, 30, said she could hear her eight-month-old baby Xavier "screaming and crying". "It made me terrified to know that my son was inside the centre, locked and in the dark," she said.

Ms Williams had dropped her son off at the centre in the Darwin suburb of Wagaman around 8am (CST) on Tuesday and went to work. She had dropped her car off at a local mechanic and arranged for one of her cousins to collect her son from the centre before it closed at 6pm (CST). But when she arrived home later that night her son was not at the house. "It was just a mother's instinct that I went back to the childcare centre and looked around," she said.

Ms Williams arrived at the centre shortly before 6pm but staff had already left the building. After scanning all the the security screens the frantic mother climbed the back of the building to call Xavier's name through elevated slats. "I couldn't hear him from the outside but when I walked around and called through the vents to the bedrooms I heard him scream," she told ABC radio in Darwin. Desperate to get to her tiny son, Ms Williams then picked up a brick from the garden bed and smashed it through a window. Police arrived at the scene about 7.30pm (CST) after they were called by one of the mother's relatives, who told them a baby was missing.

St John Ambulance officers also attended the centre to ensure the child was in good health. They gave Xavier the all-clear.

Ms Williams said that while she could understand the misunderstanding with her relative over the pickup arrangements, she could not understand how the centre had not called her to let her know that no-one had come to collect her son. Police said they were continuing to conduct investigations into the incident.


More photography madness

"Bordering on the absurd" understates it. This story is from Australia but there have been many similar stories from Britain

A Perth library has declined to display an inoffensive photograph of two toddlers because of fears of a post-Henson backlash. Earlier this month, photographer Nicole Boenig McGrade submitted her picture, Kids in Suburbia, for an exhibition. Concerned that the photo might prompt complaints, the exhibition organiser suggested it be left out and Boenig McGrade agreed. The photographer declined to name the venue yesterday, but The Australian has since confirmed it is the Subiaco Library.

"They're just being cautious and I can understand that because no one wants to be put in a position where they might cause other people to be upset," said Boenig McGrade. But she said she was shocked to think her photo of two children playing on the footpath outside their WA home might be considered offensive. "This is an image of Australian lifestyle -- this is who we are. Children are part of our history and that's how I see my photographs," she said.

The photo, taken in 2006, shows an 18-month-old boy and his three-year-old sister, both with their shirts off. Their parents asked Boenig McGrade, a mother of two, to take the image, and they attended the photo session.

Library manager Colleen Harris is on leave and unavailable for comment, but it is understood that she was also concerned about the Australia Council's new protocols for artists working with children, released on January 1. The protocols, introduced after last year's national furore over Bill Henson's photographs of naked children, do not apply to Boenig McGrade because she receives no government funding.

Executive director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, Tamara Winikoff, said yesterday the council protocols would hinder artistic freedom. "Because of justified anxiety over the protection of children, what we're seeing here is a complete overreaction which is bordering on the absurd now," she said.

Australia Council chief executive Kathy Keele last night defended the guidelines. "I certainly hope -- and it's been our intention all along -- that this does not exclude children from our arts body of work in Australia," she said. "But we will all have to work hard to interpret what's in front of us, and talk about what it means." [More talk is not what is needed. The deficit is of realism and commonsense]



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 readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another episode from Britian's vicious social workers

Targeting decent people is all they seem to want to do. Feral parents can (and do) kill their kids without the social workers lifting a finger. I guess that in their elitist world the kids of dysfunctional families don't matter

Social services banned a mother from being alone with her baby after she took him to hospital with a tiny mark on his ear. Lyndsey Craig worried that six-month-old Daniel might have meningitis after she found the blemish. But doctors who examined him referred the case to social services who then banned Mrs Craig and her husband Tim, 30, from being alone with the child while they investigated.

Responsibility for Daniel had to be handed to his grandparents. Mrs Craig, 24, who works as an accounts assistant, took Daniel to Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool last month as he was suffering from vomiting and had a small purple mark on his ear.

She said doctors took blood tests and confirmed he did not have meningitis, but decided to keep him in overnight for scans. During this time, she and her husband were asked questions about domestic violence and a social worker was sent round to check their home in Liverpool. When the scans and X-rays came back clear the Craigs expected to be given an apology from social services. But instead they were told they were not allowed to be left alone with Daniel. Mrs Craig said: 'They said that if I took him home, they would be able to arrest me and put both of my children into foster care. That's when I broke down.'

Daniel was discharged from the hospital when his grandparents Florence and Jim Craig signed a form promising to 'support, supervise and monitor' his care until a child protection conference on January 8. The couple, from the Lake District, who are both retired and in their 60s, had to move in with the family.

Social services visited the Craigs, who also have a three year old son Sam, three times during the ban. Officers finally visited them on New Year's Eve to say the ban was lifted, more than three weeks after their ordeal began. But they weren't officially cleared until the child protection conference on January 8 in which ten people voted unanimously against putting Daniel into care. Mrs Craig requested a photograph of the mark on her son's ear and showed it to those attending the conference. She said they were shocked when they discovered the tiny blemish had been the cause of the problem. It has since disappeared and remains unexplained.

Mrs Craig said: 'Right now, there are probably thousands of children who are getting beaten up and abused and they have wasted all this time and money on us.' A Liverpool council spokesman said: 'We recognise these situations are stressful. However, we do have a legal duty to investigate.' An Alder Hey spokesman said the referral was standard practice for any child admitted to hospital with 'unexplained injuries'.


School sport coach sacked after big WIN

The "no-one must be offended" version of political correctness is steadily encroaching into sport

A high school basketball coach was sacked after he refused to apologise for his team's 100-0 thrashing of a crosstown rival. The Covenant School in Dallas, Texas, beat the Dallas Academy by the stunning margin in a match played on January 13. Last week, the school posted a message on its website apologising for the win. "It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christlike and honourable approach to competition," the message read.

The Covenant coach, Micah Grimes, wrote an email to the Dallas Morning News over the weekend rejecting the idea that his team should be ashamed for winning. "We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologise for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honour and integrity," his email read. He was fired the same day, reported.

Dallas Academy has not won a game in the last four seasons of the local private schools competition. reported the school has only 20 female students, eight of whom make up the basketball team. It said a parent who watched the game praised the conduct of the Covenant team, but said other spectators and an assistant coach were "cheering wildly" as the score neared the 100-point milestone.

It reported that the Dallas Academy team had also been congratulated for refusing to give up.


Real Fascists attack a nominally Fascist family

For reasons only they know, and haven't chosen to share with the rest of us, Holland Township, New Jersey residents Heath and Deborah Campbell named their oldest child Adolf Hitler Campbell. His younger sisters are named Joyce Lynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlnn Hinnler Jeannie Campbell, the latter name apparently an illiterate tribute of some sort to SS Chief Heinrich Himmler.

Mr. and Mrs. Campbell - both of whom are disabled, unemployed, and receive welfare subsidies - insist that they are not Nazi sympathizers. There is compelling evidence that they are avid publicity seekers. Their child made international headlines a few weeks ago when they demanded an apology from the management of a local grocery store when its bakery refused to inscribe Adolf's full given name on a birthday cake (a customer request that was eventually carried out by a Wal-Mart).

About two weeks ago, child "protection" bureaucrats from the New Jersey Department of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) materialized in the Campbell household in the company of a police officer. Referring to a conveniently anonymous report alleging some unspecified "imminent danger" to the kids, the DYFS child-nappers seized the Campbell children and placed them in foster care.

Sgt. John Harris of the Holland Township Police was the officer assigned to accompany the child-nappers "to keep the peace and protect the [social] workers," as he told ABC News. Harris points out that the couple had not been charged with any crime. Nor was he aware of any complaint that had been lodged against either parent for any form of domestic abuse or neglect.

In fact, the police officer, who has known Mr. Campbell for a decade, could actually serve as a character witness: "Just from knowing Mr. Campbell from the past ten or so years, I've never known him to abuse his children, and when he has talked about his children he has been very much into his kids. [He's] very loving."

This characterization is supported by Harris's boss, Police Chief Van Gilson. "He loves his kids - there are no ifs, ands or buts about that," Gilson told the New York Times, adding that Heath Campbell "broke down" on hearing that his children were to be seized and taken away.

These comments summon an important question: Since the Campbells are innocent of any crime, and no complaints had been filed with the police, why did Sgt. Harris permit the DYFS officials to abduct the children? His moral and constitutional responsibility was to prevent the kidnapping of the Campbell children, not to act as an armed accomplice to it.

The role played by Sgt. Harris in this crime illustrates a fact that simply cannot be repeated too often: In our system, the police do not exist to defend our rights, but rather to enforce the will of the nearest state functionary who claims the "authority" to violate our rights.

The Campbells have odd and reprehensible taste in names for their children, certainly. But it was the conduct of Sgt. Harris - who was only following the orders of his superiors - that displayed the same authoritarian conformity that facilitated the evil acts carried out by the National Socialist regime.

New Jersey DYFS spokeswoman Kate Bernyk insists that "We wouldn't remove a child based on their name," and maintains that some unspecified "danger" prompted the removal of the children from an eccentric but by all accounts loving home. True to form, the agency has shut the children off from parental contact, slapped a gag order on the parents, and started the familiar tactic of drawing out legal hearings in the matter as long as possible.

The isolation of the children and the use of dilatory measures will help the agency create an after-the-fact rationale for its kidnapping, thereby justifying either permanent separation of the children or the imposition of a "parenting plan" to re-educate Heath and Deborah Campbell regarding their parental roles.

Not including their traumatic separation from their parents at gunpoint, there is only one documented sense in which the children have been recently endangered: Somebody sent a death threat to the parents. If this is the "imminent danger" DYFS refers to, then finding and prosecuting the author of the death threat is the appropriate course of action, rather than breaking up a viable family.

The fact that the Campbell household is entirely dependent on government transfer payments italicizes one little-understood facet of the Welfare State: The same government that pays to feed and shelter the children implicitly claims them as its property, and stands prepared to exercise that claim whenever its functionaries see fit to do so. This principle was laid out with admirable frankness by H.G. Wells (yes, that H.G. Wells), a supporter of Britain's Fabian Socialist movement, in his 1919 book New Worlds for Old....

It should surprise nobody that Germany's National Socialist welfare/warfare state operated on exactly the same principles. Hitler and his clique earned the support of many traditionalist Germans by condemning the Communist assault on conventional social institutions.

However, as G.K. Chesterton, the Catholic social commentator who was a passionate critic of all forms of collectivism, pointed out, the National Socialist approach was just as inimical to parental rights and the traditional home: "Hitler's way of defending the independence of the family is to make every family dependent on him and his semi-Socialist State; and to preserve the authority of parents by authoritatively telling all the parents what to do.... In other words, he appears to interfere with family life more even than the Bolshevists do; and to do it in the name of the sacredness of the family."

To examine the case of the Campbell family is to collide with the irony that it is the supposed protectors of the Campbell children who are acting on collectivist assumptions identical to those of the Nazis. To be sure, naming a child after a Nazi is in incomprehensible bad taste - but isn't acting like a Nazi under the color of government authority a much more serious offense?


BBC personality made 40 false rape allegations against her ex-boyfriend

Another instance of something that feminists claim never happens

A BBC personality has shattered her ex-boyfriend's life by falsely accusing him of rape. The woman, who has broadcast to television audiences of millions, accused him of raping her 40 times throughout their two-and-a-half-year relationship. He was arrested, held in a police cell and handcuffed as police searched his flat for evidence of his crime. But she retracted her allegation weeks later, and the officer investigating the claims described them as 'inconsistent' and 'not credible'.

Despite the lack of evidence, the incident remains on the Police National Computer thanks to a legal loophole, which campaigners say is blighting the lives of falsely accused men. Even if the 'victim' withdraws their allegation, it will show up under enhanced Criminal Records Bureau checks that are undertaken regularly on people who apply for jobs with employers such as the NHS or schools. It will also prevent them from travelling to the United States.

The boyfriend cannot be identified to protect his accuser's anonymity, but wants to make his case public. He said: 'The lies she told have ruined my life. Yet, while I have lost out on jobs and been left paranoid and scared of women, she has got away without punishment. We're not even allowed to reveal her identity. Rape is a horrific crime, and there is no way I am capable of committing it. 'I don't care how successful she is, she should be sent to prison. Of course, the BBC doesn't know what she has done. But if they were to find out I would like to think they'd sack her.'

Fewer than six per cent of reported rapes result in a conviction, but according to Tim Murray of the False Rape Society, this case is typical. 'Thousands of innocent men are tainted for ever by an unfair system,' he said. 'The accused should have the right to remain anonymous until a conviction. If they are cleared, the incident should be erased from their records.'

Robert - not his real name - is an articulate man in his 50s who met the BBC star in London in 2003. A keen amateur photographer, he was there to take promotional shots. The woman, who we will call Charlotte, was working for a commercial television station and asked Robert if he would take some publicity pictures to help further her career. Within weeks they had embarked on a physical relationship. 'In addition to being very beautiful she was intelligent and funny. She was, still is, ambitious. Her career and becoming famous meant more to her than anything,' he said.

The pair filmed many of their encounters at his Central London flat, something he said was Charlotte's idea. 'It turned her on and I enjoyed it too,' he said. 'We agreed from the start that we'd have an open relationship. But we didn't just have sex. We cooked together, went to restaurants. I supported her whenever she was down.' Robert, who separated amicably from his wife, with whom he has two teenage children, ten years ago, was introduced to her friends, but not her family. 'They have strict views on sex before marriage and Charlotte wanted them to believe she was a virgin.'

Still in her 20s, there was a considerable age gap between the two. 'It was flattering at first,' he admits. 'But as the months went by I became more self-conscious about it. Plus, I started to mistrust Charlotte. She lied to me about her whereabouts. And I knew she wanted to marry another boyfriend.' By March 2006 he decided to end the relationship. He arranged to visit Charlotte's London home to pick up the keys to his flat from her.

Yet as he was waiting outside in his car, he was arrested. He was taken first to Hendon Police Station in North London, then to Marylebone police station, where he was accused of raping her, spiking her drinks, blackmailing and threatening to kill her. 'I was confused and powerless. I imagined myself in prison for life. I respect women and would not dream of touching one against her will.' While in custody, Robert, a former employee of an international trading company, suggested the police visit his flat to pick up the DVDs he and Charlotte had made. 'I knew they should prove my innocence,' he said. He also thinks the footage was the reason for his arrest in the first place. 'Once I ended the relationship she became paranoid I would blackmail her with the DVDs,' he said. 'But she was judging me by her standards.'

After seven hours, he was released on bail. 'I dreaded telling my children and ex-wife what had happened,' he recalled. 'Charlotte had befriended them, even picking my children up from school. Luckily they supported me from the start.'

In police records, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and seen by The Mail on Sunday, Charlotte claimed that Robert had been blackmailing her by threatening to sell the DVDs to the Press. She said he spiked her drink before they had sex and threatened to kill her if she left him. 'It was all nonsense, fabricated to substantiate her claim,' he said. 'She once told me she had been raped twice before. Now I think she uses both the allegation, and sex in general, as some kind of tool to get what she wants.'

As the days passed, the police began to find Charlotte's evidence increasingly 'tenuous'. The DVDs showed that Charlotte 'would appear to be fully participating in sexual acts'. On May 18, perhaps knowing her account contained, as police put it, a 'number of inconsistencies', she withdrew the allegation. The police officer recorded the incident as 'no crime'.

Robert then received a letter saying he was released from bail and that no further action would be taken. 'But there was no apology from Charlotte or the police,' he says. His anger was exacerbated when police told him in a letter that 'the matter remains recorded as rape'. It was eventually downgraded to 'an allegation of rape' after he protested. Although the allegation had been withdrawn, one police officer had written in his records that: 'There is insufficient additional verifiable information to determine that no notifiable offence has been committed.'

Surprisingly, the law permits officers to register their disagreement with the outcome of a case in police records, with potentially devastating repercussions. While Charlotte's anonymity is guaranteed by the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act of 1976, Robert's ordeal will remain on his file indefinitely. He believes he has been rejected from a job as a Home Office interpreter because he failed to clear criminal checks. An application for a US visa requires him to state whether he has ever been arrested for a crime, and he says he did not apply for a job as a photographer in London schools because his records would stop him being offered it.

A police spokesman would not discuss individual cases but said: 'The current Association of Chief Police Officers guidelines state that police forces retain allegations of serious crime for ten years. We are liaising with ACPO and the Information Commissioner about a review of this policy.'



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 readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The "charities" are guilty, not the BBC (for a change)

The Corporation is right not to run the Gaza appeal. Oxfam and others are clearly anti-Israel

Mark Thompson, the Director-General of the BBC, is quite right to refuse to broadcast the appeal of the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) for humanitarian relief for Gaza, but not for the reason he thinks. He is under the impression that it will damage the BBC's reputation for impartiality in reporting the Israel-Palestine question, but the fact is that the BBC does not have any such reputation, having for years been institutionally pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli. The reason that his decision is brave and right, however, is that many of the 13 charities that make up the DEC are even more mired in anti-Israeli assumptions than the BBC itself.

Mr Thompson rightly appreciates that the issue of humanitarian relief in this conflict is quite unlike humanitarian relief for victims of a tsunami or a famine.

Who adjudicates on which victims to support via such charitable aid - and according to whose political morality? Why did the BBC not launch an appeal for the victims of collateral damage during Nato's bombing of Serbia in 1999 during the Kosovo campaign? And had it done so, would it have given money to ethnic Serbs as well as to Kosovars and Bosnian Muslims, all of whom were "cleansed" during the Balkan wars of that decade? What about the victims of insurgencies and counter- insurgencies in Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Chechnya or Georgia? Or Israeli victims of the next Hamas suicide attack? Indeed, what about the Palestinian victims of Hamas's hideous human rights abuses, still so shamefully under-reported by the British media as a whole?

And who are these supposedly impartial charities who are attacking Mr Thompson's (albeit belated) attempt to uphold the Corporation's traditional standards? While groups such as the British Red Cross and Christian Aid are generally impartial in other areas of the world, that cannot be said to apply to their role in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, where they regularly view the conflict through a deeply partisan lens.

In the months prior to the decision by Hamas to end the six-month ceasefire and resume rocket attacks, these charities issued a flood of one- sided denunciations aimed at Israel. Their campaign repeated tendentious and often highly inaccurate terms such as "collective punishment" and "violation of international law". On March 6, 2008, CARE International, Cafod, Christian Aid and Oxfam (among others) published a widely quoted report under the headline "The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion". The authors did not bother to hide their political bias against Israel, repeating standard Palestinian political rhetoric and including claims that Israeli policy "constitutes a collective punishment against ordinary men, women and children" and is "illegal under international humanitarian law".

The report was wrong on many counts, including allegations over the availability of food and basic necessities, which were later contradicted by both the World Bank and World Health Organisation, neither of which are exactly Israeli stooges. The fact that Hamas chose to pursue war with Israel rather than the welfare of its people, was not covered in these reports. There was no sense that any of these claims might be disputed by the other side or by genuinely neutral observers.

During the three-week war, Oxfam and other charities were extremely active in the ideological campaign that highlighted Palestinians as the sole victims and Israelis as the sole aggressors. Numerous Oxfam press statements included language such as: "The international community must not stand aside and allow Israeli leaders to commit massive and disproportionate violence against Gazan civilians in violation of international law."

Violence against Israelis, including deaths, are virtually ignored by Oxfam officials, who have referred to "collective punishment illegal under international humanitarian law yet tolerated by the international community". For those of us who reject such gross ideological bias, which absolves the Hamas leadership for a confrontation which they openly sought, such statements by charities are unacceptable and should not be rewarded by the BBC.

The final issue is the fraught one of the practicability of actually distributing the aid on the ground. After Hamas seized total control of Gaza in June 2007 there have been many well-documented reports of Hamas officials diverting assistance for themselves. On February 7 last year, for example, the Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported that "at least ten trucks with humanitarian aid sent to the Gaza Strip by the Jordanian Red Crescent Society were confiscated by Hamas police shortly after the lorries entered the territory". Journalists also reported that the aid was "unloaded in Hamas ministry warehouses" and that a similar seizure took place in January 2008.

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas, used to say that Hamas was like a bird that needed two wings to fly - the armed branch, but also the charitable-welfare side of the organisation. Do the 13 charities and their political allies that are so vocally attacking the "cowardly" BBC really have the guts and wherewithal to do a proper audit on how those monies might be spent in today's Gaza Strip? I, for one, do not believe it.


Roe and Doe, 36 years on

by Jeff Jacoby

A new anti-abortion TV ad appeared last week, just in time for the inauguration of a president whose support for abortion rights is unqualified. The ad shows the ultrasound image of a fetus in the womb. As the camera slowly moves in, a message gradually appears onscreen:

This child's future is a broken home.
He will be abandoned by his father.
His single mother will struggle to raise him.
Despite the hardships he will endure. . .
this child will become. . .
the first African-American president.

Then, alongside a picture of President Obama, comes the closing message: "Life: Imagine the Potential."

Last week also brought the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, and with it the annual March for Life on Jan. 22. Tens of thousands of Americans, most of them in their teens and 20s, gathered in Washington to implore the new president to help end "the intentional killing of an estimated 3,000 pre-born boys and girls each day," in the words of an open letter on the March for Life website. For his part, Obama issued a statement restating his support for abortion rights and insisting that Roe v. Wade "protects women's health and reproductive freedom."

Endlessly, the abortion battle goes on. The absolutists -- the "Keep Abortion Legal" and "Stop Abortion Now" contingents -- are forever polarized, but most Americans want to have it both ways. In poll after poll, substantial majorities say that abortion should be legal only in limited circumstances, if not banned outright. Only about one voter in five wants abortions to be legal at any time for any reason -- i.e., abortion on demand. Yet by equally clear majorities, Americans say that they support Roe and would not want it overturned.

But these are irreconcilable positions. Contrary to popular belief, the Supreme Court did not allow states to ban late-term abortions or restrict abortion on demand only to the first three months of pregnancy. To be sure, it appeared do so. Justice Harry Blackmun's majority opinion in Roe declared that states could not regulate abortion at all in the first trimester and could do so thereafter only "in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health." Once a fetus became viable, Blackmun wrote, states could regulate and even prohibit abortion, "except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother." Those 20 words became the exception that swallowed the rule.

Roe wasn't the only abortion case the court decided on Jan. 22, 1973. In a companion case, Doe v. Bolton, the justices decided that "medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors -- physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age -- relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment."

Taken together, Roe and Doe meant that abortion could not be barred at any stage of a pregnancy. The "attending physician" could always say that in his medical judgment, the woman's "emotional" or "familial" health made it necessary to abort her unborn child. The result has been 36 years of abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy.

Americans can be forgiven for not realizing what Roe really wrought. It has never been easy for its supporters to acknowledge its true impact. Chief Justice Warren Burger, who concurred in the decision, was sure that abortions would be performed only "on the basis of carefully deliberated medical judgments," not merely for reasons of convenience. "Plainly," he wrote, "the Court today rejects any claim that the Constitution requires abortion on demand."

Burger was wrong, but he wasn't alone. Right from the start, the media have gotten it wrong, too. The morning after the decision, The New York Times reported on Page 1 that the high court had "overruled today all state laws that prohibit or restrict a woman's right to obtain an abortion during her first three months of pregnancy." That mistake has been repeated endlessly in the 36 years since.

Since 1973, more than 40 million US pregnancies have ended in abortion: Ours is the most liberal abortion culture in the advanced world. Reasonable people can differ over whether to preserve Roe or overrule Roe. But surely the way to begin is to understand Roe.


Why is Israel Suspicious of the United Nations?

1. Before 1990, Security Council passed 175 resolutions, 97 were directed against Israel (It is 55% of all resolutions).

2. Before 1990, UN General Assembly voted on 690 resolutions, 429 were directed against Israel (It is 62% of all resolutions).

3. The UN was silent when Jordanians destroyed 58 Synagogues in Jerusalem.

4. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

5. The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

6. The UN was silent while for 18 months Israel was terrorized by indiscriminate suicide bombing campaign unleashed by PA leadership.

7. There are 60 Muslims countries in the UN. As well as many more are others Arab oil dependant states.


9. Israel is the only country excluded from the U.N.'s regional group system. Since Israel does not belong to any group, it is the only country of 190 member states that is not eligible to serve on the numerous U.N. commissions.

10. In recent years, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights has annually passed five resolutions condemning Israel. This year, they passed seven. By contrast, each of the following countries/regions has been the subject of only one resolution: Afghanistan, Burundi, Congo, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Russia/Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Southeast Europe and Sudan.

11. Nov. 29 is the United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People. No other people has a U.N. Day of Solidarity.

12. Israel is the only state to which a special investigator with "an open-ended mandate to inspect its human rights record" is assigned by the U.N.

13. It is the only state targeted by two special committees and special units of the U.N. Secretariat ostensibly devoted to the Palestinians but in reality dedicated to Israel-bashing worldwide, costing millions of dollars a year.

14. UNIFIL, the U.N. force stationed on the Israel-Lebanon border, hid a videotape of Israeli soldiers being abducted by Hezbollah in October 2000. After finally admitting to having the tape, the U.N. would only show an edited version (in which Hezbollah faces were hidden) to the Israeli government.

15. UNESCO, in Paris, began passing resolutions about protection of Jerusalem holy sites and access for Muslims in 1968. No resolutions about protection or Jewish access were passed from 1946 to 1967 when Jordan controlled Jerusalem and barred Jews from entering.


The BBC does it again

Note that this was not broadcast live. It was a version pre-approved by the BBC. But of course "There's no such thing as right and wrong" to Leftists

The foul mouth of shamed Jonathan Ross put his BBC career on a new knife-edge yesterday-just minutes after he returned to Radio 2 from his three-month suspension. The mega-bucks star's crude joke about sex with an 86-year-old woman infuriated listeners. And last night as it emerged that the woman is a REAL PERSON with ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE there were mounting calls for Ross to be SACKED from his 6 million pounds-a-year job.

The shocking blunder came while ad-libbing on air with producer Andy Davies about an elderly woman neighbour then urging him to "give her one last night". They were a mere eight minutes and 35 seconds into yesterday's big comeback show following Ross's Beeb ban over the Sachsgate scandal, when he and comedian Russell Brand left filthy phone messages for 78-year-old actor Andrew Sachs. It came just after 10 o'clock in the morning when families and children were listening.

Ross, 48, and freelance 43-year-old Davies had been discussing how they spent their time during the suspension. Davies said he did some bricklaying in the garden of his villa in Spain but kept getting grabbed by a frisky 80-year-old woman. Ross finished up by declaring: "Eighty, oh God! I think you should, just for charity. "Give her one last night, will you? One last night before the grave. Would it kill you?"

The banter ended abruptly there without any explanation. The Ting Tings' record That's Not My Name was played and the pair did not return to the story afterwards. It's not known if Ross was ordered to stop the sequence. But reaction was swift. Tory MP David Davies was listening to the show with his young children and demanded the BBC immediately sack Ross. He raged: "On Radio 2 you don't expected X-rated references to sex, and especially sex with an 80-year-old, during the day. "I was listening with my kids to this. There's a place for humour but it has to be appropriate to the time of the day. And that clearly wasn't. "He should have gone ages ago. There's no way this man should be on the air. He needs to be replaced now! "It's obscene, especially given the amount of money Ross is being paid. It could also be highly offensive to this woman if she's a real person."

Last night at producer Davies's home near Granada in Southern Spain his wife Abigail-who listened to the broadcast there-confirmed that the pensioner DOES exist. She said: "It's very sad because she has Alzheimer's Disease. She takes a fancy to any man in the street and tries to kiss them." Giggling, she added: "I shouldn't be laughing because, as I say, it's very sad, and she doesn't really realise what she's doing. "I sometimes walk her home because she gets confused about where she is."

Meanwhile former Home Secretary David Blunkett called for Ross's pay to be docked as a result of this latest incident. He said: "It's time for Ross to donate some of his salary to charity."

Regular Radio 2 listener Nigel Langstone, 43, from Leamington, Warwickshire, was furious over Ross's comments and said: "I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "He gets kicked off air for three months for hounding an old man with disgusting comments about his grand-daughter. "Then virtually the first thing he does after getting back is start telling a gag about sex with an 80-year-old woman. How insensitive can you be? "It just shows he's learned absolutely nothing and is a loose cannon who can't be controlled. "What's worse is that the exchange happened with his own producer-the man who's supposed to control him. "The BBC is totally OUT of control. They've no idea how much offence they're causing. "Ross should be taken off air immediately. He's a timebomb waiting to go off."

Ross's latest gaffe came a day after BBC bosses heavily censored his comeback TV show, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

Mediawatch, which campaigns for "socially responsible broadcasting", last night joined the call for the star to go. Director John Beyer said: "Making jokes like this is not acceptable. He should have gone three months ago and I haven't changed my view."

But Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, refused to condemn Ross. He even declined to listen to a transcript of the crass comments and said: "You're not going to expect me to make any comment on this, are you?" BBC Director-General Mark Thompson - on 816,000 a year of licence-payers money - REFUSED to discuss the incident and hung up on us. Later the corporation defended Ross in a statement which said: "Regular listeners will be familiar with Jonathan's irreverence and innuendo. "This light-hearted exchange contained no offensive language, named no individuals and there was clearly no intention to offend anyone."

But Ross himself was clearly embarrassed as he tried to wriggle out of his latest gaffe when he was confronted by the News of the World at his 3 million home in Hampstead, North London, last night. At first his wife Jane answered the door and insisted he had done nothing wrong. But when we asked if Ross was hiding behind his wife he came to the door and said: "I hope no one has been upset by the show. "It was a kind of light-hearted remark about giving her a cuddle. "It wasn't `give her one'-I meant, `Give her one last cuddle.' You know there was no malice intended. There was no harm intended, OK?"

That was at 5.30pm. But two hours later he issued a statement through his public relations expert attempting to wriggle yet further and shift the blame. His second version of what happened said: "It was a spontaneous, light-hearted remark made in response to an anecdote set in Spain, where no one was named or ever likely to hear the broadcast. "As far as I was concerned, the story may even have been apocryphal or exaggerated for comedic purposes, as is common practice on radio and comedy shows across the country. "Absolutely no offence to any individual was intended and, if the media wasn't hell bent on stirring up controversy, I'm sure none would be taken."

In fact, the story was completely ACCURATE, as confirmed by Andy Davies's wife. She also contradicted Ross by pointing out that she-like thousands of other ex-pats who listen in on the internet-heard the whole show perfectly clearly at her Spanish home. Strangely her husband, who commutes from Spain to London, last night claimed in a statement issued through Radio 2 and approved by senior BBC bosses: "It is completely untrue to suggest that I was referring to a real individual on the programme, nor would I have told such a story about anyone suffering from dementia. "The story was poetic licence based on the warm and affectionate behaviour experienced in Spanish village life. I did not identify an individual because there isn't one."

Yet three hours earlier, in a phone interview with the News of the World, his wife Abigail had confirmed she actually KNOWS the woman, she DOES have Alzheimer's and even gave us the pensioner's name. She is well-known to locals but we are keeping her identity secret to protect her privacy.



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 readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.