Sunday, May 31, 2009

More soft Fascism from Canada

Woman to fight fine for not holding Montreal subway handrail

The Montreal woman who was handcuffed and fined $420 for not holding a subway station escalator handrail is planning to fight the tickets, saying she was treated like a "criminal" for trying to avoid germs. "They are dirty!" said Bela Kosoian about the rubber handrails. "How many people touch them every day? Thousands!

"I cannot believe I was handcuffed - like a prisoner. Like I committed a crime." Kosoian, 38, a Chess Federation of Canada co-ordinator, was fined on May 13 for having "disobeyed a directive or pictogram" showing that the handrails in Montreal subway stations must be held by all escalator users.

Laval police said Tuesday they issued three separate warnings to Kosoian before handcuffing her. "The third time, she crossed her arms," said Lt. Daniel Guerin of Laval police. "The two officers acted appropriately and within the procedures."

The officers first issued a ticket totalling $100, followed by another "for obstructing an inspector in the exercise of his duties," to the tune of $320. Kosoian at first refused to provide identification papers "because I did not do anything wrong," she said. As a citizen of France who lived in Eastern Europe, Kosoian never expected this kind of encounter with authority when she came to Canada in 2003. I lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union. Civil war in Georgia. And famine, where you had to fight for a piece of bread."

She won't let this incident go, Kosoian vowed: "I have nothing to hide. I want everybody to know what happened."

Guerin refused to release a complete video record of the incident - which lasted about 14 minutes, both on the escalator and in a holding room at the station. But he said it will be provided to the Police Ethics Commission if Kosoian issues a complaint to that body.

Isabelle Tremblay of the Societe de transport de Montreal said that if Kosoian wants a copy of the video, she will have to file a formal access-to-information request with STM lawyers.


10,000 penpushers a year are hired by British local councils

And guess who pays for them?

Town halls have hired more than 30,000 extra staff over the past three years, figures revealed yesterday. The workers, mostly penpushers and bureaucrats, were also given higher pay rises than teachers, policemen or firemen.

According to a breakdown of council finances, between 2006 and 2008 the number of teachers employed fell but the number of ‘other local government staff’ increased by 31,000, from 1,084,000 to 1,115,000. They also enjoyed the highest pay rises of any council group, up by 7.6 per cent in 2006, 7.2 per cent in 2007 and 3.3 per cent in 2008, the Department of Communities and Local Government figures showed.

‘Other local government’ workers include school support staff and others whose jobs directly serve the public. However, town halls also employ highly-paid managers and a growing army of equality officers, outreach workers and sustainability advisers.

Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Councils need to get back in touch with what people want and start focusing on delivering better frontline services and cutting back bloated administrations.’

And Tory local government spokesman Caroline Spelman said: ‘It is very telling that under Gordon Brown the number of teachers being employed is falling while the number of people employed to deal with red tape and bureaucracy is soaring.’


Australian Prime Minister embroiled as tensions rise over racist attacks on Indian students

Despite the predictable official denials, these attacks are overwhelmingly by young African "refugees" that the government has kindly lumbered Australia with. Not only do the Africans contribute little themselves (they are mostly on the dole) but they attack those who do -- greatly damaging Australia's reputation in the process. Education is one of Australia's major export industries and it is under attack by these criminals. Letting moronic and useless thugs loose on the students concerned is disastrous. The thugs concerned should be relentlessly rounded up and jailed for long periods instead of being treated "sensitively" because of their origins. But that would depend on a sudden influx of honesty into the corrupt Victoria police and that is a big ask. The deliberately blind Victoria Police are letting the whole of Australia down at the moment

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has spoken to his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, amid growing anger in India over attacks on Indian students in Australia. The issue has raised diplomatic tensions between the two countries. In a telephone conversation, Mr Rudd congratulated Dr Singh on his recent re-election but the pair also discussed the recent series of violent assaults, sources told The Age. A statement released last night indicated Dr Singh spoke strongly to Mr Rudd about the attacks. The Indian Prime Minister had "suitably" conveyed his concerns about the vicious attacks, it said.

The Indian foreign ministry called in Australia's high commissioner to India, John McCarthy, yesterday to discuss the matter. "I told him that the Australia Government is also very concerned, that Australian ministers had expressed this, and that we are doing everything we can to address the issues," Mr McCarthy said. Mr Ravi conveyed to Mr McCarthy the Indian Government's "deep anguish and continuing concern" about the welfare of its students in Australia, a statement released last night said. It was the first time Mr McCarthy has been called in by the Indian Government since the 2007 arrest of Muhammad Haneef, an Indian doctor working in Australia, on terrorism-related charges.

As the diplomatic temperature rose yesterday, Indian Foreign Minister S.N. Krishna spoke to Foreign Minister Stephen Smith about the issue. Mr Krishna said the Australian Government had assured him that steps were being taken to protect Indian students. "We hope these aberrations that have taken place will be dealt with," he said. "They said that they are going to take stern steps and they have assured us that every student from India will be adequately protected."

Meanwhile, agents in India who arrange student placements have warned that Australia's lucrative education industry could pay a high price for the attacks. "These attacks will definitely have an impact on the market because parents are calling me up and they are very concerned," said Bubbly Johar, who runs a Delhi education consultancy and is vice-president of the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India. "The media coverage here is encouraging parents to rethink whether they should send their children to Australia for studies. We can't assure them that they will be safe."

In Melbourne, India's high commissioner to Australia said Victorian police were insensitive towards some Indian crime victims. Sujatha Singh said many students felt insecure and some were unhappy with police treatment. Her comments came as Victoria Police again denied that the increasing attacks — which the Indian student community claims could be as many as 70 in 12 months — were racially motivated.

Mrs Singh said the Indian high commission in Canberra had received complaints from students about police. When an incident was reported, there was a perception that there was sometimes "a delay in reacting and … perhaps a lack of sensitivity dealing with the issues".

Mrs Singh flew to Melbourne from Canberra to meet Premier John Brumby and police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland following the attack on Sravan Kumar Theerthala, 24, last weekend. He was allegedly racially abused and stabbed with a screwdriver at a party at a house in Hadfield, near Glenroy. Last night he remained in a coma in intensive care at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. A 17-year-old from Glenroy has been charged with attempted murder. It was the third serious attack this month.

In two of those, the victim or witnesses have told The Age of specific racial abuse. But Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said yesterday he had "no specific data" on that. [He doesn't want to hear it] "They (Indian students) are seen as vulnerable soft targets … I don't deny it may have happened but my sense is that these are opportunistic crimes, not racially motivated crimes." Mrs Singh said she had told police about the racial element in some attacks. She did not believe Australia was racist but "some of these attacks have not been opportunistic".

Trauma psychologist Dr Michael O'Neill, who works with Indian victims of crime in Melbourne, said he saw on average one bashed student a week and about half of those attacks were racial.


Australia: Writers festival gags student critics

They can't stand being laughed at. Since most of them will have been Leftists, the solution was obvious

Since 2004, UTS [University of Technology Sydney] journalism students have, for the few days the festival, produced a free daily, Festival News. Last year, the festival confiscated the first issue, declaring itself unhappy with both the students' behaviour and the content of their organ which was, the director, Wendy Were, wrote, "riddled with disparaging content about the festival and its supporters". In particular, the festival rejected a report that the arts minister, Frank Sartor, had been "booed" (the current online wording is "greeted with grudging applause") in presenting the Premier's Literary Award. There was passing mention of Morris Iemma's conspicuous absence and some gently gleeful discussion of Macquarie banker Bob Carr's declaration he didn't read Australian books.

Pretty mild stuff. Refreshing, compared with the usual pap, if perhaps a little undergrad. Given that both Arts NSW and Macquarie Bank are major funders, it makes you wonder. Was the festival just another "be nice to sponsors" week?

This year, it happened again; students and others had their paper impounded and their persons allegedly threatened with arrest. Excuse me, what? Are we suddenly transported to Burma? The festival's droll manager, Ben Strout, may argue "free voices does not mean freedom to blurt … whatever … wherever". The Walsh Bay precinct manager, Luke Mead, who apparently gave the order, may yell down the phone at any who ask that "it's private property and we'll stop people handing out papers if we want to". But in truth, they're both wrong. Free speech does mean pretty much whatever, wherever, and the festival wharf - unlike much of Walsh Bay - is still public domain.

The students, understandably, claim harassment and censorship. They point out the paper was wholly UTS-produced and funded, and a disclaimer distanced its views from the festival's. More importantly, they defend their independence. "We're journalism students," writes one, "not public relations students".

The UTS humanities dean, Theo van Leeuwen, attempted to make peace, posting an apology on the festival website, but only poured kero on the embers. The students felt betrayed. Their professor, Wendy Bacon, defended them, and free speech, only to find herself promptly banned from a panel on radicalism, when she'd simply been polishing her credentials. The festival denies the ban, but emails make it clear her presence was not acceptable.

All looking strange indeed, until the explanation emerged that puts both parties in a bizarre light. A contract - titled "Education Partner Agreement" - signed in 2006 by van Leeuwen (for UTS) and the then festival director, Caro Llewellyn, commits UTS journalism students to produce Festival News at UTS's cost. The contra for UTS includes their writers' involvement in festival panels, the festival launch of a UTS student anthology and the UTS logo on the festival website. Neither the staff nor students producing News knew of the contract's existence.

What are two supposed bastions of intelligent and unfettered debate doing colluding in the first place, in a covert sweetheart deal that leaves the university looking like a PR firm and the festival like some tacky trade fair?

They need their heads knocked together if they cannot see that teaching journalism students to think like copywriters is quite as dangerous and more insidious than fettering them to a military junta.

Postmodernism loved to blur boundaries - between disciplines (viz neurogeography), between races and cultures (Eurasian, Spanglish), between genders (metrosexual, retrosexual) and also between journalism and PR.

More universities are merging journalism into PR and "communications" faculties, as though who pays the piper matters not a jot. This is almost as ugly, and parochial, as a writers' festival stifling criticism.



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.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

The egregious bloodymindedness of bureaucratic Britain

Bureaucrats have contempt for those they have power over. It was only the intervention of a Member of Parliament that squeezed some semblance of decency out of them. In Britain, yellow lines beside the kerb indicate that parking is not permitted there

Ruth Ducker always legally parks her Volkswagen Golf around the corner from her house, so it came as a shock when she discovered it had disappeared from its spot - and in its place was double yellow lines. Her confusion deepened when Lambeth council claimed to have no knowledge of where her car was.

It took three weeks for the council to admit its contractors were behind the disappearance, and then add insult to injury by telling the 44-year-old graphic designer she owed more than £800 in fines. In fact the car had been carefully lifted out of the way for the double yellows to be painted in Gordon Grove in Camberwell, then replaced on the new restrictions by the contractors responsible. The same day a different set of parking enforcers spotted the 'illegally parked' car, and had it towed away - after photographing it on the newly painted double yellows.

Mrs Ducker had left the runabout without its battery, meaning she knew that it had not been stolen. She said: 'My little VW disappeared a week before Christmas. I had parked for years on an unrestricted stretch about 40 yards from my home. When I returned on 19 December to replace the battery my car had disappeared and yellow lines had suddenly appeared. There’s no way I could have driven onto those lines. 'Initial inquiries with the council found no trace of the car. It was three weeks before I received my first official notification.'

It took a further two months and the involvement of her local MP Kate Hoey to make the council back down and waive the fines, which by now totalled £2,240. 'What they did was disgraceful,' said Mrs Ducker. “I’m very grateful to my MP. When I saw the photos of my car on the yellow lines I was furious. 'I knew that to pay up would be an admission of guilt, so I decided to fight them. But I didn’t get the car back until the middle of February and they offered a paltry £100 to compensate for lost road tax, insurance and inconvenience. Needless to say I still haven’t received a penny.'

In a letter to Ms Hoey the council said contractors had told them the 'vehicle may have been lifted in order to facilitate the painting of lines' and admitted residents had not been advised of the planned work. The letter also confirmed that penalty notices were not due to be issued until the day after Mrs Ducker’s car was removed. Lambeth council blamed a 'breakdown in communication' between its contractors and has now offered Mrs Ducker £150 compensation.

A council spokesman said: 'This was an unacceptable case and when the council became aware of it we acted to cancel all the charges. We are very sorry for the distress this has caused Mrs Ducker. 'We have raised the case with our contractors in order to avoid something like this happening again in the future. While one case like this is one case too many, this is very much an isolated incident, and all our figures show that in general parking is becoming fairer in Lambeth.'


Pregnant Women Have No Right to Their Jobs

By John Stossel

Sales consultant Holly Waters says she was a top performer for the drug maker Novartis. But when she was about go on maternity leave, she was fired. "I was seven-and-a-half months pregnant. There was no way I was going to be able to go out and find a job at this point," she told me for my ABC special "You Can't Even Talk About It."

Waters knew the law is on her side. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal to fire, or not hire, a woman because she is pregnant. The law even restricts workplace speech. Employers are warned that in a job interview they must never ask questions like, "Might you start a family?"

If Congress thought the law would end claims of workplace discrimination, it was wrong, as usual. Companies are increasingly being sued. Even a maternity-clothing chain was sued. Waters's lawyer, David Sanford, filed a class-action lawsuit against Novartis. "If you get pregnant, you're in trouble at Novartis," he told me. Novartis denies wrongdoing and points out that Working Mother magazine named it one of America's 100 best companies for women.

Sanford claims that his $200-million lawsuit will teach Novartis and other companies not to discriminate.

But Carrie Lukas says such lawsuits do more harm than good. Lukas is also a working mom, vice president of the Independent Women's Forum. "If my employer decides they no longer want me as an employee, then it should be their right to fire me." she told me. "I understand the desire for people to have government step in and try to protect women, but there's real costs to government intervention."

These costs are rarely talked about publicly. But once Congress creates protected groups, some employers avoid hiring members of those groups. After the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, it was assumed more disabled people would enter the workplace. But a study by economists at MIT found employment actually "dropped sharply."

Likewise, "pregnancy protection" creates problems for women. "Sometimes laws that are intended to help women like me actually end up hurting women like me," Lukas said. "All of a sudden, a potential employer is looking at me and thinking, 'She just might turn around and sue us.' That makes it less likely that I'm going to get hired. You raise the cost of hiring a woman like me."

And while some pregnant women work harder than any man, she says, let's be honest: Most pregnant workers impose costs on employers. "Responsibilities are shifted each time I go to a doctor's appointment," Lukas said. "That means I'm unavailable to do whatever work needs to be done during that time, which means one of my colleagues is often picking up the slack."

As free-market economists have long suggested, there's a way to resolve such a conflict: voluntary exchange for mutual benefit. Carrie and her employer made a deal that works for both of them. She works fewer hours and earns less money.

I confronted Sanford with the idea that lawsuits he files actually harm women because companies view them as potential lawsuit bombs. He was unfazed: "If they do take that position, they'd be violating the law. If companies lose money because of it -- and they may -- that's not necessarily a bad thing from a societal perspective."

I think it's a very bad thing. Employment and productivity matter. But viewers agreed with him. I got hate mail: "It is unbelievable that ABC would consider airing this piece! ... This turns back the clock 30 years, and Betty Friedan is rolling in her grave!" "What in the heck is wrong with you, John Stossel? This kind of backwards thinking only exists in third world countries." "Fire Stossel."

How would the job market work without discrimination laws? "You don't have to hire me, and I don't have to work for you," answers Carrie Lukas.

Who would hire pregnant women? "Plenty of employers. ... Women are incredibly productive members of the workforce," Lukas said. "We have a lot to offer. If an employer is going to discriminate against enough people, it's going to be bad for them in the long run. It's a bad business practice. And that's the best way to prevent discrimination."


While Christian population dwindles in Muslim Middle East, it thrives in Israel

Pope Benedict XVI's journey through Jordan, Israel and the West Bank prompted Ethan Bronner, Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times, to report on the declining Christian population across the Middle East. But his May 12 story, "Christians in Mideast Losing Numbers and Influence," misleads on crucial facts about this troubling trend among Palestinian and Israeli Christians. (The article also appeared May 13 in the International Herald Tribune.) First, while the Christian population is diminishing throughout the Middle East, including the Palestinian areas, the opposite is true in Israel – a key fact Bronner inexplicably ignores.

Second, contrary to Bronner's article, Palestinian Christians are not emigrating simply because of the "economy, economy, economy," but largely as a result of systematic Muslim persecution. Again, Bronner neglects this significant factor directly related to the topic of his story.

The thrust of the Times story is that all societies in the Middle East are inhospitable to Christians, who have little future anywhere in the region. Sadly this is true in the Muslim-dominated nations surrounding Israel but it's not the case in Israel itself.

The Situation Across the Mideast: As Bronner notes, the Christian population throughout the Middle East has been declining for decades. In 1914, Christians constituted 26.4 percent of the total population in what today is Israel, the Palestinian areas, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, while by 2005 they represented at most 9.2 percent (Phillipe Fargues, "The Arab Christians of the Middle East: A Demographic Perspective," in Christian Communities in the Arab Middle East, Andrea Pacini, ed, Oxford University Press, as cited in Justus Reid Weiner's Human Rights of Christians in Palestinian Society, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.)

The Ignored Exception: The exception to this regional trend is Israel, where the Christian population has thrived.

As documented in the Central Bureau of Statistics' Statistical Abstract of Israel 2008 (Chart 2.2), in the last dozen years, Israel's Christian population grew from 120,600 in 1995 to 151,600 in 2007, representing a growth rate of 25 percent. In fact, the Christian growth rate has outpaced the Jewish growth in Israel in the last 12 years! In 1995, there were 4,522,300 Jews in Israel, and in 2007 there were 5,478,2000, representing a growth rate of 21 percent – 4 percent less than the Christian population grew during the same time....


Must not favour your own citizens?

A FRENCH anti-racism group has filed a legal complaint against the Louvre museum, arguing that a policy to allow free admission to European young people is discriminatory.

Earlier this year, French President Nicolas Sarkozy deflected accusations that he was not committed to culture by proudly announcing that EU citizens between 18 and 26 would be allowed free entry to national museums.

The Louvre, which houses one of the world's finest art collections, is the most visited museum in France and duly applied the measure along with other institutions, including the Palace of Versailles.

But the campaign group SOS Racisme has filed a legal complaint claiming that by focusing on EU citizens, the policy deliberately excludes young people of other nationalities and breaches human rights legislation.

The group's vice-president, Samuel Thomas, described the preferential treatment for Europe's young adults as "the translation of an ideology of the extreme right". The group said it would file legal complaints against other museums that had adopted the policy.

Earlier this month Culture Minister Christine Albanel was questioned on the policy by a Paris MP from the Green party. Ms Albanel said she was "fully aware" of the problem of young non-European adults living in France who wanted to visit museums. She added that she had asked officials in her ministry about the possibility of extending free entry to non-EU citizens aged 18 to 26 who could provide a resident's permit or French student card.

France has debated the model of free access to permanent national collections, but has shied away from any sweeping measure.



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, May 29, 2009


Funny how every single Euro-Muslim demonstration quickly blossoms into an orgy of arson, assault, theft and general mayhem, after which the media does its best to minimize the chaos caused by the "Asian youths"...But a rather low key affair with one (1) broken window is described as follows by the supposedly respectable Daily Mail:

Nine arrested after masked mob's march against Muslim extremists turns violent

By CLAIRE ELLICOTT Last updated at 4:29 PM on 25th May 2009

Nine people have been arrested after hundreds of anti-Islamist protesters clashed with police yesterday. The streets of Luton descended into violence after demonstrators, many hiding their faces behind balaclavas, brandished England flags and chanted at officers. A group called March for England was said to have organised the rally as a peaceful protest against Muslim extremists. They were joined by a local group United People of Luton.

Two of those arrested have been charged: one man for possessing an offensive weapon after stones were found in his pockets, and a woman was charged with breaching an anti-social behaviour order. Another man was fined £80 for a public order offence. [compare these offenses with the mass destruction that routinely attends Euro-Muslim demonstrations--J.O.]

The other six people, all men, have been bailed without charge pending further inquiries. [IOW, 9 arrests, 3 petty charges for the whole "mob"--J.O.]

During the protest, the mob, which included teenagers and women, held banners with slogans such as 'No Sharia Law in the UK' and 'Respect our Troops'. [PRETTY SCARY!!]

After looking at the 2 new vids, what do you think? I doubt as much as 1% of the crowd has "masks," but that's what the Mail focused on. Hmmmmmmmmmm


Cheers For Cheney

Dick Cheney clearly drives the liberal media nuts. As much as they'd like to bask in the glow of the new and glorious Obama Era, they simply cannot achieve that requisite state of nirvana with Cheney around. They spent eight long years packaging Cheney as some evil and deadly combination of Darth Vader and the Ebola virus. Now they can add to the descriptors a new title: Count Dracula. The man refuses to die.

That's why every speech he makes draws a ferocious chorus of media boos of outrage at the idea he would dare to think he has freedom to speak in the first place. CNN's Anderson Cooper was so flustered over Cheney's latest speech at the American Enterprise Institute that he asked Cheney's daughter Elizabeth: "If a Democrat was doing this in a Republican administration, wouldn't be the Republicans be saying, this is traitorous?"

This is just too rich. When President Bush was in power, he was regularly assaulted with rhetorical flame-throwers. He was a mad bomber, a dictator, a grand ayatollah, a world-class dolt, even a "smirking chimp." He was Gomer Pyle, all Three Stooges and Dan Quayle Redux. His tactics were comparable to the KGB, the Nazis and the Khmer Rouge. And his critics were painted as the essence of patriotic dissent.

But when Cheney protests the Obama administration weakening the war on terror to the point it won't even call it terror (just a "man-caused disaster"), bam! He's Benedict Arnold.

Cindy Sheehan insisted Bush killed her son in Iraq and literally suggested Team Bush was traitorous: "George and his indecent bandits traitorously had intelligence fabricated to fit their goal of invading Iraq." Everywhere she went, the media laid out the red carpet. But when Cheney defends himself, it is "traitorous"?

Cheney was blunt about waterboarding. "To call this a program of torture is to libel the dedicated professionals who have saved American lives, and to cast terrorists and murderers as innocent victims."

Cooper savaged Cheney's daughter with Evil Empire analogies on harsh interrogation techniques. "These are techniques which have been around. I mean, the Nazis used them. The Khmer Rouge used them. The North Koreans used them." Does Cooper really believe that America is just like those mass-murdering dictatorships? We waterboarded the architect of 9/11, but Cooper's addled outrage implies that the man with the water pitcher is as evil as the man with the wet face who sent more than 3,000 American men, women and children to their deaths.

When it comes to Bush and Cheney, activists in the media can't produce anything but distorted caricatures. Here's CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on Cheney's speech: "He chose to speak in a chilling code, in which methods of torture such as waterboarding became 'enhanced interrogation,' in the way that death might be called 'enhanced sleep.'" In their fevered imaginations, waterboarding is a piece of rhetorical Saran Wrap removed from execution.

Dick Cheney knows this is all wildly exaggerated. That's why he spoke out against "feigned outrage based on a false narrative. In my long experience in Washington, few matters have inspired so much contrived indignation and phony moralizing as the interrogation methods applied to a few captured terrorists." He added "that people who consistently distort the truth in this way are in no position to lecture anyone about values."

Anderson Cooper and Jeffrey Toobin: He's talking about you.

Some of those distorters of truth call themselves the "news" media, but their "values" are often at odds with the national interest. Getting the story first and getting the Pulitzer Prize seems like less of a social responsibility than keeping the country safe.

The former vice president didn't pull punches on media irresponsibility. One passage that caused a stir was his attack on the New York Times for blowing the secrecy of the Terrorist Surveillance Program. "After 9/11, the Times had spent months publishing the pictures and the stories of everyone killed by al-Qaeda on 9/11. Now here was that same newspaper publishing secrets in a way that could only help al-Qaeda. It impressed the Pulitzer committee, but it damn sure didn't serve the interests of our country, or the safety of our people."

The New York Times didn't find that passage "fit to print." They hailed Obama's "nuanced" approach, while denouncing Cheney's speech as implying "absolutism in the defense of liberty is no vice."

Dick Cheney was right to support an aggressive war on terror then, and he's right to get out on the public stage and support an aggressive war on terror now, as the Obama administration makes crucial decisions on whether we stay aggressive, or lay our defenses down. Liberal outrage at this volume tells you he's doing something very right.

Where was he from 2001 to 2008?


Harold Koh Is Too Dangerous for America

Does Barack Obama really want to make Americans subject to foreign law and courts? That is the question senators should ask when they vote on his nomination of Harold Hongju Koh, former dean of the Yale Law School, to be the top lawyer at the State Department.

Koh is encumbered by a long paper trail that proves he is eager to use foreign and international law to interpret American law. He calls himself a transnationalist, which means wanting U.S. courts to "domesticate" foreign and international law -- i.e., integrate it into U.S. domestic law binding on U.S. citizens.

Koh wants to put the United States under a global legal system that would diminish our "distinctive rights culture," such as our broad speech and religion rights, due process and trial by jury. Koh complains that our First Amendment gives "protections for speech and religion ... far greater emphasis and judicial protection in America than in Europe or Asia."

Yes, our Constitution does give individuals more rights and freedom than any other country, and we Americans like those rights and freedoms. But Koh thinks we should bow to foreign rules and court decisions, and to United Nations treaties whether or not we have ratified them.

The State Department's chief lawyer is not just any lawyer. He becomes the voice of the United States on international legal issues, such as the negotiation and U.S. interpretation of treaties and U.N. pronouncements.

Importing treaties and foreign law into American law could impose lots of rulings that the American people don't want, such as approval of same-sex marriage, unlimited abortion, legalized prostitution and abolition of the death penalty. This would be a broadside assault on American sovereignty.

Foreign law is fundamentally different from American law. Whereas our Constitution sets forth limited governmental powers and recognizes broad individual rights against government (such as freedom of religion and speech), European constitutions proclaim entitlements to government services such as education, health care, maternity leave, housing and environmental protection.

We certainly don't want to import law from foreign countries that recognize polygamy, arranged marriages between cousins, so-called honor killings of women who reject such arrangements, cutting off hands as punishment for theft, stoning women to death as punishment for adultery and prohibiting the private ownership of guns.

As Judge Robert Bork has written, international law is really not law as Americans understand the term -- it is just international politics. Not passed by any legislature, international law is often written ex post facto and administered by foreign or U.N. bureaucrats pretending to be judges.

Unfortunately, Koh's views are not unique among left-wing lawyers or even among Supreme Court justices, and it's long past time for us to rise up and put an end to this un-American nonsense. The confirmation of Koh would give legal support to the Supreme Court justices who have already said they favor using foreign law.

Justice Stephen Breyer, who calls himself a "comparativist," suggested in a dissent in Knight v. Florida that it is "useful" to consider court decisions in India, Jamaica and Zimbabwe on allowable delays of execution. Zimbabwe may have much experience with executions, but we don't need its guidance about due process.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been making speeches advising lawyers that "your perspective on constitutional law should encompass the world. ... Our island or Lone Ranger mentality is beginning to change."

While still on the High Court, Sandra Day O'Connor told a Georgetown University audience that international law "is vital if judges are to faithfully discharge their duties. ... International law is a help in our search for a more peaceful world."

Even Justice Anthony Kennedy invoked foreign "authorities" when he couldn't find any language in the U.S. Constitution to justify overturning the Texas sodomy law in 2003. His decision cited non-American sources, including a committee advising the British Parliament, decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, a brief filed by former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson and "other nations, too."

Kennedy emphasized the "values we share with a wider civilization." In fact, most other countries do not share American values, and we certainly do not want to share theirs.

During his confirmation hearings, Chief Justice John G. Roberts pointed out a particular danger of using foreign law. He said that reliance on foreign law wrongly "expands the discretion of the judge" and substitutes a judge's "personal preferences" for the U.S. Constitution.

Citing foreign law gives a veneer of respectability to liberals who espouse the "living Constitution" heresy and want to change it without obtaining the approval of the American people through the amendment or legislative processes.

The Senate should reject the nomination of Harold Koh. Then, the Senate should require all judicial nominees to proclaim their adherence to the U.S. Constitution as written, and their rejection of the use of foreign or international law to interpret American law.


Elena Bonner on Israel

Excerpt below: Elena Bonner is the widow of Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov

Throughout the years of Israel’s existence there has been war. Victorious wars, and also wars which Israel was not allowed to win. Each and every day — literally every day — there is the expectation of a terrorist act or a new war. We have seen the Oslo Peace Initiatives and the Camp-David Hand-shake and the Road-map and Land for Peace (there is not much land — from one side of Israel on a clear day you can see the other side with the naked eye).

Now, there is a new (actually, quite old) motif currently in fashion (in fact it’s an old one): “Two states for two peoples.” It sounds good. And there is no controversy in the peace-making Quartet, made up of the U.S., the UN, the EU, and Russia (some great peace-maker, with its Chechen war and its Abkhazian-Ossetian provocation). The Quartet, and the Arab countries, and the Palestinian leaders (both Hamas and Fattah) put additional demands to Israel. I will speak only of one demand: that Israel take back the Palestinian refugees. And here a little history and demography are needed.

According to the official UN definition, those who have fled from violence and wars are considered refugees — but not their descendants who are born in another country. At one time the Palestinian refugees and the Jewish refugees from Arab countries were about equal in number — about 700,000 to 800,000. The newly-created state of Israel took in the Jews (about 600,000). They were officially recognized as refugees by UN Resolution 242, but not provided with any UN assistance. Palestinians, however, are considered refugees not only in the first generation, but in the second, third, and now even in the fourth generation. According to the UN Works and Relief Agency’s report, the number of registered Palestinian refugees has grown from 914,000 in 1950 to more than 4.6 million in 2008, and continues to rise due to natural population growth. All these people have the rights of Palestinian refugees and are eligible to receive humanitarian aid.

The entire population of Israel is about 7.5 million, among them about 2.5 million ethnic Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. Imagine Israel then, if another five million Arabs flood into it; Arabs would substantially outnumber the Jewish population. Thus created next to Israel will be a Palestinian state cleansed of Jews, because in addition to the demand that Palestinian refugees return to Israel, there is also the demand that Judea and Samaria be cleansed of Jews and turned over to Palestinians – while in Gaza today there is not a single Jew remaining.

The result is both strange and frigthening, and not because Israel will be actually destroyed – it’s a different time and different Jews. It is terrifying to see the short memory of the august peace-making Quartet, their leaders and their citizens if they let this happen. Because the plan “two states for two peoples” is the creation of one state, ethnically cleansed of Jews, and a second one with the potential to do the same thing. A Judenfrei Holy Land - the dream of Adolph Hitler come true at last. So think again, those who are still able, who has a fascist inside him today?

And another question that has been a thorn for me for a long time. It’s a question for my human rights colleagues. Why doesn’t the fate of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit trouble you in the same way as the fate of the Guantanamo prisoners?

You fought for and won the opportunity for the International Committee of the Red Cross, journalists, and lawyers to visit Guantanamo. You know prison conditions, the prisoners’ everyday routine, their food. You have met with prisoners subjected to torture. The result of your efforts has been a ban on torture and a law to close this prison. President Obama signed it in the first days of his coming to the White House. And although he, like President Bush before him, does not know what to do with the Guantanamo prisoners, there is hope that the new Administration will come up with something.

But during the two years Shalit has been held by terrorists, the world human rights community has done nothing for his release. Why? He is a wounded soldier, and fully falls under the protection of the Geneva Conventions. The Conventions say clearly that hostage-taking is prohibited, that representatives of the Red Cross must be allowed to see prisoners of war, especially wounded prisoners, and there is much else written in the Geneva Conventions about Shalit’s rights. The fact that representatives of the Quartet conduct negotiations with the people who are holding Shalit in an unknown location, in unknown conditions, vividly demonstrates their scorn of international rights documents and their total legal nihilism. Do human rights activists also fail to recall the fundamental international rights documents?

And yet I still think (and some will find this naïve) that the first tiny, but real step toward peace must become the release of Shalit. Release — not exchange for 1000 or 1,500 prisoners who are in Israeli prisons serving court sentences for real crimes.

Returning to my question of why human rights activists are silent, I can find no answer except that Shalit is an Israeli soldier, Shalit is a Jew. So again, it is conscious or unconscious anti-Semitism. Again, it is fascism.

Thirty-four years have passed since the day when I came to this city to represent my husband, Andrei Sakharov, at the 1975 Nobel Prize ceremony. I was in love with Norway then. The reception I received filled me with joy. Today, I feel Alarm and Hope (the title Sakharov used for his 1977 essay written at the request of the Nobel Committee).

Alarm because of the anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiment growing throughout Europe and even further afield. And yet, I hope that countries, their leaders, and people everywhere will recall and adopt Sakharov’s ethical credo: “In the end, the moral choice turns out to be also the most pragmatic choice.”



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, May 28, 2009

British town halls will no longer bow to 'compensation culture' with plans afoot for thousands of new adventure playgrounds

Town hall chiefs performed a U-turn yesterday by calling on parents to shake-off the 'cotton wool culture'. Local Government Association members pledged they would 'not bow to the compensation culture' and vowed to press on and build thousands of adventure playgrounds.

However, local authorities have for years been behind bans on traditional games such as conkers and snowball fights, amid health and safety fears. In 2006 alone, 33 laws and more than 1,000 regulations were introduced designed to reduce possible risks faced by youngsters.

Experts have warned that anxious parents are raising a generation of 'battery-farmed kids' denied the independence, experience and education that comes from exploring the outdoor world. Just one in ten children play regularly in parks, fields and woods according to a survey commissioned by Natural England. Yet 81 per cent say they would like more freedom to play outside.

To address these concerns, the LGA is to sweep away the 'no ball games' culture with zip wires, tree houses and tunnels installed in parks. Council-run holiday schemes are also offering activities such as BMX biking and surfing. More than 3,500 playgrounds will be built or refurbished by 2011 under a £235million Government scheme.

LGA chairman Margaret Eaton said: 'Children playing outside is a fundamental part of growing up. 'We do our youngsters no favours by wrapping them up in cotton wool. Town halls are determined not to bow to the compensation culture.'


Those generous California taxpayers again

In 1992, after he stopped wearing clothes to his UC Berkeley classes, Andrew Martinez was something of a walking only-in-Bezerkeley joke as the campus' own Naked Guy. But his life was no laughing matter.

Around 1997, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In 2003, he was arrested for assaulting a staff member at a halfway house where he was a resident. He spent the next two-and-a-half years in Santa Clara County jail, its acute psychiatric unit, Napa State Hospital, and Atascadero State Hospital -- until at age 33, he killed himself by suffocating himself with a plastic bag in a jail cell on May 18, 2006.

Last week, Santa Clara County announced that it settled a wrongful death lawsuit and would pay $1 million to his mother, Esther Krenn. The county also agreed to notify families when inmates try to kill themselves or have a breakdown, which the county's lead Deputy County Counsel John Winchester told The Chronicle's Henry K. Lee it already had been doing informally.

On Tuesday, California voters rejected five budget measures on the special election ballot. Yet this settlement demonstrates how impossible it is to expect state and local governments to deliver leaner, smarter services. The incentives in government reward spending, not saving.

To start, $1 million seemed an awfully large sum to award a mother for a son with little to no earning power. Granted, the system fails whenever a mentally ill person kills himself in jail. But if you agree with Krenn's complaint that county staff "were deliberately indifferent" to Martinez's safety, violated his civil rights and wrongfully caused his death, it's still hard to understand what value there is for mentally-ill inmates in seeing $1 million go to Krenn's and attorney Geri Lynn Green's bank accounts.

"The value is the idea of the value of a schizophrenic's life. There are 18 million people in this country who suffer" from serious mental illness, Green told me. "They can work. They can become productive members of society. They can become taxpayers."

Sorry, but Martinez didn't even last in a halfway house. Winchester told me that the county settled because, "The cost to pursue the case through trial may have exceeded the county's insurance deductible" of $500,000. The insurance covered the other $500,000.

In her suit, Krenn had named the county, various local agencies and 11 staffers in their individual and official capacities -- which meant huge legal bills for the county. And you never know if a kooky jury might award an even larger bonanza to the Naked Guy's mom.

Walter Olson of noted that "as soon as you sue people personally, the atmosphere changes. There is fear in the office. Everyone is more grateful to the lawyers for getting that off the plate. That translates into higher settlement values, and the lawyers count on that."

It's not clear if the family-notification policy that was part of the settlement will save a single life -- because the inmate has to consent to treatment, and many mentally ill inmates may not want their families to know they need treatment.

There is another effect, however, of policy by litigation, Olson noted: It adds up. With excessive litigation, law-school clinics and government bodies choosing to settle because it's "near-term" cheaper, jail policies constantly are rewritten until you see "a way of running jails and prisons that very few people would have designed from scratch," Olson noted. "Outside management by litigators" amounts to "management by no one at all."

Let us not forget the other laws at play in this saga. Specifically, Martinez had the right to refuse a plea bargain and the legal ability to fight attempts to treat his mental illness.

Green railed against "incarcerating mentally ill folks" and "criminalizing a health care problem" when an individual really needs help. Treatment, she said, was "just what he wanted; it just wasn't available to him."

That's not what prosecutor Dana Overstreet told me. "The rest of us all recognized that this is someone who was insane at the time he committed his crime" and that he "did not belong in prison" and needed to be in a mental health facility. Her office was working on a "not guilty by reason of insanity" plea with Martinez's public defender, she added, but "the missing piece is getting him on board."

(By the way, the county did not even call Overstreet before settling with Martinez's mother.)

A mentally ill person can use the system to fight needed treatment -- and if he harms himself in the process, it's a jackpot for mom. This is the same mother who on Monday told Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson, "The Naked Guy thing didn't bother me because I knew there was a lot of thought behind it and he meant well."

Because Martinez killed himself in jail, she gets $1 million. Attorney Peggy Doyle, who has represented municipalities, noted, "Some tragedies seem inevitable, the only question being when and where they finally happen. The unpredictability doesn't make them any less tragic. It does make them more prone to litigation. For the defendant, there can be a luck-of-the-draw factor."

For the taxpayers, for the mental health workers and criminal justice officials caught in this snare, the cards were losers. Taxpayers can be squeezed and county workers can be accused, but they cannot win.


Respect or Revulsion?

In his much ballyhooed commencement address at Notre Dame, President Barack Obama urged protagonists in the abortion debate to respect the opinions of those whose views differ from their own. Should abortion opponents respect the views of those who advocate abortion on demand? Absolutely not!

Abortion is an act of wanton barbarism perpetrated on an innocent child. In a saline abortion, the unborn child is poisoned and scalded in utero by toxic chemicals, resulting in the delivery of a dead baby. In a dilation and evacuation, the child is systematically dismembered and sucked from the womb piece by piece with a powerful vacuum. In a partial birth abortion, an intact child is delivered partially from the womb, only to have its skull pierced, its brains sucked out, and its head crushed before the rest of its tiny body is finally delivered.

If a child should somehow miraculously survive one of these Mengele-like attempts to end their existence, a number of abortion proponents—Barack Obama included—believe that the child should be killed on the table rather than permitted to enjoy the life that they refused to yield in the womb.

Pray tell, Mr. Obama, what is it about the opinions of those who advocate these acts of wanton violence that is worthy of respect? Please, don't wrap your response in the rhetoric of "choice." We aren't talking here about the right to choose between chocolate and vanilla. We are talking about the so-called right to choose to kill an innocent child. Where on God's green earth or in the Constitution does that "right" come from?

A gifted communicator like you knows that people resort to euphemisms when they want to conceal the ugliness of that which they advocate. And as a skilled advocate, you know that "choice" is a euphemism for "I want to be free to kill my innocent child," but no "pro-choice" politician is willing to say it.

Your attempt to invoke the virtues of "tolerance" in this discussion is merely more rhetorical manipulation. Your side hasn't shown any tolerance toward the opinions of judicial candidates whom they feared might chip away at Roe v. Wade and its progeny. Would you have pro-lifers emulate the "tolerance" of your supporters at N.O.W. or N.A.R.A.L. toward folks like Robert Bork, John Roberts, or Sam Alito? Perhaps you would have them model the "tolerance" of your friends on the Left like Perez Hilton toward the opinions of people like Carrie Prejean (Miss California)?

Mr. Obama, your supporters advocate zero tolerance for the opinions of those who discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation, but they seem to have no problem with the opinions of those who advocate discrimination on the basis of age, size, or location. Do those classifications provide a rational basis for discrimination? Are the opinions of those who advocate discrimination on the basis of such categories more worthy of respect than those who advocate discrimination based on the other categories? Would you honestly have us believe that those who are older have more worth than those who are younger; that big people are worth more than small ones; or that our membership in the human family depends on where we happen to reside?

Mr. Obama, by your own measure, you are guilty of bigotry—and worse. You not only affirm the right to discriminate against human beings because they are young, small, and in the womb—you embrace the "right" to destroy them. Which is worse—to discriminate, or to destroy based on "unalterable characteristics of our human existence?"

No doubt you would have the pro-life community at least respect the sincerity with which you hold your convictions. Sorry, we can't even affirm that. Sincerity is not the measure of truth. You may sincerely believe that taking poison will heal you, but you will be sincerely wrong and sincerely dead—as are 50 million unborn children since 1973.

The debate over abortion is not going to go away, Mr. Obama. At times, it will become emotional and raucous and loud as it did at Notre Dame—as it should be when the lives of human beings are at stake. Perhaps one day you will search your heart and realize that you have aided and abetted a terrible wrong of gigantic proportions. Perhaps one day you will change your mind and seek to protect the least among us. Then, and only then, will pro-lifers respect your opinion


Senior judge blames slow police response times for Britain's 'vigilante culture'

A senior judge has warned of a rise in vigilante crimes caused by slow police response times. Richard Bray said citizens were increasingly taking matters into their own hands because of lack of confidence in the forces of law and order. He was speaking as he sentenced a father and his sons for attacking a man they thought had vandalised their car.

Mr Bray, a circuit judge at Northampton Crown Court, said: 'Nobody bothers to phone the police any more. They go round and sort it out themselves - and I know why. 'It is because the police do not actually come round so people go out themselves and deal with it.'

A police pledge, to which all 43 forces in the country have signed up, promises that in urban areas police will arrive within 15 minutes and in rural areas in 20 minutes. But Judge Bray's scathing comments make clear he feels they are falling short of those commitments.

The attack which prompted his outburst occurred last year when Henry Smith, 48, and his sons Ian, 23, and Jamie, 19, decided to take revenge for damage to their car. The men, from Kettering, went to a nearby house and punched a man to the ground. Ian Smith and his brother then punched and kicked him on the floor, leaving him with injuries to his face, teeth and mouth. Both admitted grievous bodily harm at a previous hearing.

Ian Smith was given a suspended jail sentence of 50 weeks and ordered to pay £1,000 to the victim. Jamie Smith received a 40-week suspended sentence and ordered to pay £1,500 compensation. Their father had pleaded guilty to affray and was ordered to pay costs. They were ordered to complete 390 hours of unpaid work between them. Matthew Sinclair, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'It is refreshing to hear a judge accept the extent to which ordinary people are being forced to fend for themselves thanks to the failure of the criminal justice system. 'This will continue so long as the police are forced to respond to the priorities of politicians rather than ordinary people. They'll spend their time trying to meet arbitrary and distorting targets rather than trying to catch serious criminals.'

A spokesman for the Home Office said it did not keep figures on how quickly officers responded to callout times, despite its pledge. The spokesman added that it was not possible to keep specific figures on vigilante crime.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: 'The judge is entitled to his opinion but it is one we do not share. In the case he refers to, the incident in question was not reported to us so we were not in a position to respond. 'We invest heavily in officers, staff, training and technology to ensure members of the public can be confident of receiving a good service from Northamptonshire Police.'



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, May 27, 2009

Is it Okay for Liberals to Call Blacks the ‘N’ Word?

By Lloyd Marcus

“Maybe this nigger should shut up and learn his place” is one of numerous racist hate-filled comments posted on YouTube attacking me, a black Conservative, for writing the American Tea Party Anthem. And who is spewing this racist hate? So-called “tolerant” liberals.

But how can this be? According to the biased media, liberal Democrats are saviors saintly protecting blacks from evil rich white conservative Republicans. Regretfully, their “devoid of the truth” marketing plan has been extremely successful. For generations, like zombies, blacks have awarded liberal Democrats 90 percent of their vote.

Like the woman in the old diet infomercial, I want to scream to my fellow blacks, “STOP THE INSANITY! Liberals Democrats are NOT OUR FRIENDS!” They want to keep us on their “you’re a victim” plantation. Simply put, liberal Democrats HATE “uppity” blacks who achieve without their programs such as Affirmative Action.

Here are my outrageously stupid beliefs which have caused libs to call me the “N” word on numerous occasions: I love my country; I tell youths all limits are self-imposed; no one is entitled to the fruits of someone else’s labor; and I refuse to see myself as a victim.

Liberal actress-comedian Janeane Garofalo, diagnoses blacks who think like me as suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome”. Garofalo, in her arrogance, is REALLY saying, “Get your black ‘A’ back on the plantation. Who do you think you are? You are NOT free. You are an eternal victim. Every white American will ALWAYS owe you! GOT IT, you dumb, ‘N’?”

And yet, with help from their local buddies in the media, Democrats successfully brand Conservative Republicans as racists. History reveals the truth that blatant racism has been the elephant in the liberal Democrat’s living room for years. See this site for the facts.

FACT! Conservative Republicans do not persecute black achievers. Liberal Democrats DO! Blacks achieving without Liberal Democrat assistance are targeted for destruction. Examples are former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. These two brilliant blacks should have been held up to black youths as shining examples of what can be achieved in America via character, education and hard work. Instead, Liberal Democrats despise Rice and Thomas. Rice and Thomas severely weaken the lie that America is racist with limited opportunity for minorities.

Also, the “victim business” can be extremely profitable. Remember when the NAACP got $54 million from Denny’s because some blacks received slow service? Give me a break! And then, there is the dirty little secret among liberal black Democrats. Rice and Thomas broke an unspoken rule which goes as follows: to be true to one’s blackness, one MUST always harbor, at least a minimal, resentment against white America!

Here are more examples of liberal racism. A white blogger posted a doctored photo of black former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele in white minstrel blackface. The caption read, “Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house.” Liberal cartoonists published vicious racist cartoons of Rice. They even called her “Aunt Jemima.” Former KKK member, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.), used the “N” word in an interview. Senator Byrd apologized and everyone moved on. A few Republicans who made far milder gaffes were verbally flogged within an inch of their lives and subjected to high-tech lynchings.

The media ignores liberal Democrat racism. I guess they consider it a kind of ‘tough love’ to reign in us blacks who have wondered off the victim plantation. When they call us the “N” word, it is only because they care. “Ouch, I’m movin’, easy with that whip!”

It is time for blacks to wake up and smell the betrayal. Democrats’ so-called compassionate policies and programs have destroyed many black families. Before Democrat President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” in 1965, most black families were intact. Today, over 60 percent of black kids grow up without dads. Again, I refer you to this site for the facts. The media and Democrats are co-conspirators in keeping as many blacks as possible crippled with a victim mindset and dependent on Democrats and government. Totally disgusting.

So, you libs and Dems, keep calling me the “N’ word. It only strengthens my resolve to keep standing up for the truth. In my best Charlton Heston as Moses impression, I command, “Liberal Democrats, LET MY PEOPLE GO!”


Criticism of minorities in Hungary

Gypsies ("Roma") often behave in very anti-social ways and attract odium wherever they go. Hungary has large numbers of them

On paper, Krisztina Morvai is the kind of woman that any political party would like on their ticket: an attractive blonde working mum, who juggles a high-flying legal career with bringing up three children. Yet for someone notably more photogenic than many of her party followers, Dr Krisztina Morvai gets called some ugly names.

"I am a decent politician and a mother of three children, yet you in the West keep on portraying me as a Nazi and a fascist," scolds the would-be MEP for Hungary's Jobbik movement, just one of many extremist parties hoping for a breakthrough in next month's European Parliamentary elections. "Don't think you can keep doing this forever."

Meet the coiffeured, fragrant new face of the Far Right in Europe, whose blonde bob, customary red jacket and campaigning feminist background make her arguably the world's only cross between Hillary Clinton and British National Party leader Nick Griffin. Or rather, don't meet her. Having agreed to be interviewed by The Telegraph in Budapest last week for an interview, she changed her mind at the last-minute after taking offence at British newspaper reports linking Jobbik to anti-Semitism and anti-Roma violence.

"I am seriously considering as a lawyer to sue because of the damage they have done to my reputation," she warned, the red, lipsticked smile that radiates from billboards all over Hungary suddenly fading.

Yet for all the claims of being misrepresented - or perhaps because even because of them - parties like Jobbik are finding ready audiences across Europe before the June 4 polls, capitalising on mounting joblessness and social unrest caused by the global economic meltdown. Continent-wide, they are expected to return at least 25 MEPs into the 736-seat parliament, passing a threshold that entitles them to status as a formal political bloc, and annual funding worth up to £1 million.

In Britain, where Mr Griffin has been tipped as the bloc's possible leader, the key to success has been to drop any bootboy image in favour of suited respectability. But in Hungary and elsewhere, the approach has been to combine the two.

While Dr Morvai will be its respectable face in Brussels, the Jobbik, whose name means "Movement for a Better Hungary", also has its own uniformed street militia, the Hungarian Guard. A self-styled citizens' defence force, its stated aim is to prevent crime by the country's half-million strong Roma community. But critics say it bears a disturbing resemblance to the Arrow Cross, Hungary's Second World War fascist militiamen, who collaborated with the Nazis in killing tens of thousands of Hungary's other prominent minority, the Jews.

"We are not racist or Nazi," protested Jobbik spokesman Zoltan Fuzessy, whose party insists the Hungarian Guard's uniforms are simply national folk costume. "But there is a problem with the Roma and we need to talk about that."

Be they Boy Scouts or modern-day Brownshirts, Dr Morvai, 46, is still an unlikely bedfellow for such a movement. Indeed, her CV looks more like that of a polician of the liberal left. A professor of law at Budapest University, she is a practising human-rights lawyer, the author of a respected book on domestic violence, and won a Red Cross "Freddie Mercury" prize for promoting Aids awareness.

Her politically correct halo slipped, however, after she was ousted from a United Nations committee on gender rights, where the Israeli government objected to comments she made about the plight of Arab women in the Palestinian territories. Since then, she has drifted ever rightwards, flirting first with the conservative Fidesz opposition party, and last year joining Jobbik as it sought wider electoral appeal.

While she is careful to avoid inflammatory talk on race, her campaign speeches play directly to a populist sense among Hungarians that they have been treated as "second class citizens" since joining the European Union in 2004. "We are getting further from West-European countries, being reduced to an almost colonial level," she said. "Hungarian businesses, farmers, growers go bankrupt one by one."

Jobbik has also capitalised on widespread disillusionment with Hungary's domestic politicians, who are seen to have squandered its early advantage as the most Western-leaning and economically dynamic of all the ex-Eastern bloc countries. Since then, Hungary's low-cost, high tech manufacturing sector, making everything from car to circuit boards, has been among the hardest hit in Eastern Europe by the global economic crisis, and unemployment has hit an 11 year high of 8.4 per cent.

Like her party, Dr Morvai denies being anti-Semitic, homophobic, or racist in any way, dismissing such criticisms as the "favourite topics" of an "ignorant and misled" European Union.

But magazines supportive of her party’s aims openly play on such fears. One publication available at the venue of a Jobbik press conference last week contained an item entitled “Who decides?” on Hungary’s future. The non-Jobbik options were either a dreadlocked Jew, a pair of naked homosexuals, or a dark-skinned thug. Such inflammatory rhetoric comes amid a recent wave of violence against Hungary's Roma community, in which Roma homes have been petrol-bombed and in which seven people have died.

But it has gone down well in towns like Pomaz, a well-heeled commuter settlement nestling in the forested Pilis hills outside Budapest, where Jobbik held a rally last week. Aside from a few skinheads hanging at the door, the assembled company of middle-aged couples with their children could have been a school parents' evening.

"Is this paramilitary clothing?" asked Jobbik's grey-haired, donnish vice-president, Balczo Zoltan, as he gestured to the local Hungarian Guard members in their uniforms of black boots, trousers and waistcoasts with white shirts. "No, it is traditional Hungarian clothing and they have no weapons, not even a stick."

Local Guard organiser Timea Karsai, a demure, bespectacled 33-year-old whose day job is as a psychiatrist, added: "We demonstrate in towns where families have been attacked by gypsies, but we also help gypsy families themselves when they have been threatened by other gypsies. I am not a racist, just a nationalist."

Indeed, it is the "respectable" votes of people like Ms Karsai, who do not consider themselves bigots in any way, that is likely to do most to boost the showing of the Far Right in the elections. Far from signalling a new wave of Neo-Nazism, many analysts say it shows how mainstream parties have simply dismissed understandable concerns about racial problems and future immigration from Africa and Asia.

"Mainstream political parties avoid dealing with sensitive issues like Roma and immigration by dismissing it as the talk of the Far Right," said Robin Shepherd, a Europe expert at the Henry Jackson Society, a London thinktank. "But that is an easy and lazy designation, which plays into extremists' hands."

All the same, many Hungarians still find Jobbik's image unpalatable. "We are disappointed by the main parties because they are always quarrelling and lying," said Peter Nehoda, 29, an IT worker drinking coffee in a Budapest cafe. "But I wouldn't consider voting for Jobbik. The Roma people are not the only ones to blame for our problems."


Catholic Church is living with one foot in Hell

Comment from Britain

Understandably distracted by our own little crisis of trust, we have perhaps not taken in the apocalyptic import of a bigger one across the Irish Sea.

Perhaps it is a vague sense that we knew it all; perhaps reluctance to engage with the horrid details of the Ryan report into child abuse by Irish clerics. Perhaps some think it is old history, a 1950s horror. Maybe there is even a decorous sense that — as a new Archbishop of Westminster is enthroned here — it is tasteless to dwell on the wickedness deliberately concealed by his Church right into the 1990s. Or maybe our own child protection system now looks so shaky that we cannot bear to contemplate the toothless, deferential Irish respect for the priesthood that enabled thousands of children to be starved, raped, enslaved and beaten even as Ireland moved into its tiger economy in the new Europe.

But don’t look away. There are wider lessons. Ireland is at least looking squarely at it now, and trying to understand how history twisted its public values into obeisance to unanswerable clergy, so that cruelty and child rape became endemic. It was not only in orphanages and schools but in parishes where families dared not protest. For it was the courageous Colm O’Gorman who helped to prise this all open, when he spoke of his repeated rape, at 14, by Father Sean Fortune in his home village. He successfully sued the Church and challenged the Pope (whose nuncio hid behind “diplomatic immunity”).

The victim was accused by the Vatican of being part of a conspiracy; “Canon Law” defences were invoked and the first report — the Ferns report — ignored. “How can it be,” asks Mr O’Gorman, “that a church hierarchy who comment on a children’s film [Harry Potter] can fail to comment on a report, commissioned by this State, that found Rome culpable in the rape and abuse of Irish children?”

Now the wider, more terrifying Ryan report has met with almost equal evasion and the Church — which raked in millions from government subsidy over decades — has even managed to slough off most of its financial responsibility.

I am not exaggerating; rather the contrary. The Ryan report, merciless and forensic, finds the crimes “systemic, pervasive, chronic, excessive, arbitrary”. It speaks of the deliberate protection of priests and religious by their hierarchy; of inspectors and police backing off respectfully and senior clergy refusing to help the inquiry. It says that the order that housed the worst sadists, the Christian Brothers, made only a “guarded, conditional and unclear” apology, and cut a deal that no individuals should be named.

The children’s own testimonies are too harrowing to repeat: beaten, stripped, humiliated, hung from windows. Some got pregnant, some killed themselves. Sexual attack came not only from their keepers but visiting functionaries; one little boy who spoke of being assaulted by an ambulance driver was beaten by the nuns “to get the evil out of him”.

Enough. There is no defence, the evidence is overwhelming. It was a sickness of cruelty, exploitation, official cowardice and inward-looking hypocrisy traceable all the way to the Vatican. Catholicism has not been cleaned up, only lightly dusted. Some Irish dioceses have become properly robust, and Cardinal Seán Brady, the Primate of All Ireland, speaks of being “deeply ashamed”; but I do not notice him pointing his condemnation upwards or rejecting the culture of hierarchy and obedience, anonymity and deniability.

Our own new Archbishop, Vincent Nichols, expressed due horror, but then enraged survivors by praising the “courage” of clergy “who have to face these facts from their past”. Incredibly, in an interview on Five Live, he also observed: “it is a tough road to take, to face up to our own weaknesses. That is certainly true of anyone who’s deceived themselves that all they’ve been doing is taking a bit of comfort from children.”

Weakness? Comfort? God save us! It gives an insight into why the Church, quick to absolve, blithely moved known abusers on to fresh fields and fresh victims.

“They had their own laws that were written to ensure they were never in the wrong” says Mr O’Gorman, simply. And they covered their backs: when the former Archbishop of Dublin was told that he could be liable if abusers were returned to parishes, he did not prevent this happening. He just took out an insurance policy against financial losses from such claims.

It has been an Irish disaster, but has lessons for us all about the perils of respectful naivety. Archbishop Nichols, after his predecessor moved a paedophile priest to Gatwick, where he offended again, said that little was known about paedophilia then; well, he still knows little if he can talk about men “taking a bit of comfort from children”.

This is pure celibate silliness: we are not talking about cuddles here, but rape. I grew up with the Catholic doctrine of forgiveness of sins, I know the territory: but to forgive your own team and ignore their victims is not holy. It is corrupt.

When good people are smug and bad ones are slippery, great evils grow. When any institution slaps on a self-approving label — whether it is “Holy Catholic Apostolic” or like our MP’s, “Honourable” — and uses it to defy cynical inspection, the weak will suffer. What seems not to be fully understood by the hierarchy is how much damage this has done.

It gives me no pleasure to say so: I was raised a Catholic, and know what high ideals of gentleness it expresses, and how beautifully.

I learnt at 12 years old not to believe in the automatic holiness of the religious, in a South African convent where nuns hit us and spoke contemptuously of “kaffirs”. I then learnt not to condemn the lot, when I moved back to a kindly, intellectual English convent where they honestly tried to live the holy dream. I have always been able to believe the tales of evil without rejecting the whole shebang.

Many Catholic clergy do great good. The remarkable Colm O’Gorman, after decades of struggle, does not reject the ideal either: he says he wept for Father Fortune’s suicide and hopes that in afterlife he finds forgiveness.

Now that’s holiness for you, and without a smug label round its neck. And until the institutional Catholic Church recognises that, abases itself, pays up, allows whistleblowing and faces the unthinkable, it remains a disgrace. Until it learns humility, it has no hope at all. It is a Church living with one foot in Hell.


The real story of a homosexual hero

This Friday would have been slain San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk’s 79th birthday, and California state senator Mark Leno has introduced legislation to mark the date with a state holiday. The bill doesn’t call for a furlough from work, but instead instructs the governor to proclaim a “Harvey Milk Day” and designates “that date as having special significance in the public schools and educational institutions” and encourages them to “conduct suitable commemorative exercises.” The legislation passed muster with the state senate in overwhelming fashion last week. Though only about one in five Californians polled supports the measure, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill last year, Leno is optimistic. “If there’s one thing Arnold Schwarzenegger understands, it’s box office,” Leno relates. “And Harvey Milk now has box office.”

Indeed he does—and critical acclaim, too. Earlier this year, Sean Penn won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Milk in the eponymous biopic. A quarter-century ago, the Harvey Fierstein–narrated The Times of Harvey Milk won an Oscar for best documentary film.

Milk makes a rather unremarkable subject for the silver screen. In his seven years in San Francisco, he made four bids for elective office, only emerging victorious in his last—a 1977 run for city supervisor. For his persistence, Milk jokingly referred to himself as the “gay Harold Stassen.” He served for less than a year. In naming the onetime camera-shop proprietor one of the 100 most important people of the twentieth century, Time conceded, “As a supervisor, Milk sponsored only two laws—predictably, one barring anti-gay discrimination, and, less so, a law forcing dog owners to clean pets’ messes from sidewalks.” Eleven months on the city council hardly seems the stuff of Hollywood legend. So Hollywood invented a legend.

Rather than the gentle, soft-spoken idealist portrayed by Sean Penn, the real Harvey Milk was a short-tempered demagogue who cynically invented stories of victimhood to advance his political career. During his successful run for city supervisor, for instance, Milk’s camera store was the object of a glass-shattering attack by low-grade explosives. Milk blamed singer Anita Bryant, the outspoken opponent of gay-friendly legislation. “Years later friends hinted broadly that Harvey had more than a little foreknowledge that the explosions would happen,” biographer Randy Shilts noted. One friend explained to Shilts: “You gotta realize the campaign was sort of going slow, and, well . . .”

The stunt would hardly have been the sole instance of Milk’s employing deceit to further his standing within the victimhood cult. In the upside-down world of San Francisco politics, Milk curried favor with voters by boasting that his homosexuality had resulted in a dishonorable discharge from the Navy in the dark ages before the sexual revolution. But far from the in-your-face, ponytailed “Mayor of Castro Street” of the 1970s, Chief Petty Officer Milk of the 1950s was a closeted homosexual whose discharge papers reflected four years of honorable service.

Milk was far more cavalier about the privacy of others than he was about his own. When Bill Sipple became a national hero for tackling gun-toting kook Sara Jane Moore before she could kill President Gerald Ford in 1975, Milk anonymously leaked news of the former Marine’s homosexuality to the media. “It’s too good an opportunity,” Milk reasoned. “For once we can show that gays do heroic things.” Just as Milk anticipated the “outing” tactics of ACT-Up and Queer Nation, his rhetoric, too, foreshadowed the hyperbole of AIDS activists of the following decade. Milk liberally tossed the “Nazi” label at opponents of various gay-rights proposals and even compared politically moderate homosexuals to Nazi collaborators. “We are not going to allow our rights to be taken away and then march with bowed heads into the gas chambers,” Milk proclaimed at 1978’s Gay Freedom Parade in San Francisco.

Such unflattering details made neither the final draft of the “Harvey Milk Day” legislation nor the final cut of the Milk biopic. Milk’s cheerleaders are guilty of sins of omission and commission. What the film and legislation insinuate—in an effort to depict Milk as a martyr for the gay rights movement on par with Martin Luther King’s martyrdom for the Civil Rights movement—is that homophobia killed Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978.

But Harvey Milk’s homosexuality played about as much of a role in his murder as San Francisco mayor George Moscone’s heterosexuality played in his. Their murderer, troubled political neophyte Dan White, had donated $100 to defeat the Briggs Initiative, which would have empowered school boards to fire teachers for homosexuality. White hired a homosexual as his campaign manager and voted as a city supervisor to fund a Pride Center for homosexuals. White wasn’t driven to murder by Milk’s vision of gay rights but rather by something more pedestrian: the petty politics of City Hall. What makes for good history doesn’t always lend itself to good theater.

In a sign of the instability he would so dramatically display on November 27, a cash-strapped White had resigned his seat on the Board of Supervisors on November 10, only to demand four days later that the mayor reappoint him. Mayor Moscone publicly responded by saying that he still regarded White as a member of the board, handed back his letter of resignation, and promised him the seat. Enter Harvey Milk, who saw White as an obstacle to progressive initiatives. As the movie depicts, Milk successfully lobbied Moscone to refuse to reseat the former policeman, fireman, and Vietnam veteran. Believing Milk and Moscone guilty of perfidy, the tightly wound, sore-loser White assassinated Moscone and then Milk.

Perhaps the most amazing historical detail of the murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone is that their dramatic assassinations weren’t the biggest story to hit San Francisco in November of 1978. Bowdlerized from the Hollywood treatment is the role Harvey Milk played in the news story that eclipsed his own murder.

Nine days prior to Milk’s death, more than 900 followers of Jim Jones—many of them campaign workers for Milk—perished in the most ghastly set of murder-suicides in modern history. Before the congregants of the Peoples Temple drank Jim Jones’s deadly Kool-Aid, Harvey Milk and much of San Francisco’s ruling class had already figuratively imbibed. Milk occasionally spoke at Jones’s San Francisco–based headquarters, promoted Jones through his newspaper columns, and defended the Peoples Temple from its growing legion of critics. Jones provided conscripted “volunteers” for Milk’s campaigns to distribute leaflets by the tens of thousands. Milk returned the favor by abusing his position of public trust on behalf of Jones’s criminal endeavors.

“Rev. Jones is widely known in the minority communities here and elsewhere as a man of the highest character, who has undertaken constructive remedies for social problems which have been amazing in their scope and effectiveness,” Supervisor Milk wrote President Jimmy Carter seven months before the Jonestown carnage. The purpose of Milk’s letter was to aid and abet his powerful supporter’s abduction of a six-year-old boy. Milk’s missive to the president prophetically continued: “Not only is the life of a child at stake, who currently has loving and protective parents in the Rev. and Mrs. Jones, but our official relations with Guyana could stand to be jeopardized, to the potentially great embarrassment of our State Department.” John Stoen, the boy whose actual parents Milk libeled to the president as purveyors of “bold-faced lies” and blackmail attempts, perished at Jonestown. This, the only remarkable episode in Milk’s brief tenure on the San Francisco board of supervisors, is swept under the rug by his hagiographers.

Sean Penn’s Harvey Milk is as real as Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man. Who has time for the sordid details of purportedly staged hate crimes and boosterism of America’s most prolific mass murderer when there is a gay Martin Luther King to be mythologized? Even the fervent atheist Milk understood the need for patron saints. When confronted by a jaded supporter over his fabricated tale that the Navy had booted him out because of his sex life, Milk responded: “Symbols. Symbols. Symbols.” He understood his movement better than his movement did. When the facts didn’t fit the script, both Milk and his present-day admirers adjusted the facts. As the elected sponsors of Harvey Milk Day realize, Californians are more likely to remember the celluloid hero they saw depicted by Sean Penn earlier this year than the obscure city official who walked largely unnoticed in their midst three decades ago.

The advocates of a Harvey Milk Day know box office. They don’t know the real Harvey Milk.



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.