Friday, March 19, 2010
Srebrenica fall linked to homosexual soldiers
It's not in the nature of most Dutch to be gutless, so this fits. It will of course be officially denied but dishonest political correctness pervades the announcements of most Western governments these days -- not that official claims have EVER been very reliable
A RETIRED US general today said Dutch UN troops defending Srebrenica in the Bosnian war failed to prevent the 1995 genocide partly because their ranks included openly gay soldiers. John Sheehan, a former NATO commander and senior Marine officer, made the remarks at a senate hearing where he argued against plans by US President Barack Obama to end a ban on allowing gays to serve openly in the US military.
Gen Sheehan said that after the end of the Cold War, European militaries changed and concluded "there was no longer a need for an active combat capability". He said this "socialiSation" process "included open homosexuality" and led to "a focus on peacekeeping operations because they did not believe the Germans were going to attack again or the Soviets were coming back". "The case in point that I'm referring to is when the Dutch were required to defend Srebrenica against the Serbs," he said, referring to the UN peacekeeping force deployed to protect Bosnian Muslim civilians.
"The battalion was understrength, poorly led, and the Serbs came into town, handcuffed the soldiers to the telephone poles, marched the Muslims off and executed them."
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin, pressed him to clarify his comments about Srebrenica. "Did the Dutch leaders tell you it (the fall of Srebrenica) was because there were gay soldiers there?" asked an incredulous Senator Levin. "Yes," Gen Sheehan said and added: "They included that as part of the problem." Gen Sheehan, who retired from the military in 1997, said he had been told that by the former chief of staff of the Dutch army.
Senator Levin vehemently rejected Gen Sheehan's allegation, saying that drawing a connection between the massacre at Srebrenica and gays in the Dutch military was "totally off-target". The failure of the Dutch UN troops to fend off an attack by Bosnian Serb forces had "nothing to do with sexual orientation" but was related to "their training and the rules of engagement", Senator Levin said.
Nearly 8000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed after Serb forces captured the eastern town on July 11, 1995, in the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.
The sky really has fallen: Some incompetent British social workers have been fired
Six social workers at a Birmingham City Council, criticised over the death from starvation of a seven-year-old girl have been sacked, after they showed "no sign whatsoever" of meeting expected standards. It emerged this morning that the staff at Britain’s biggest local authority were dismissed over the past year for not doing their jobs properly at the council which is taking part in a serious case review into the death of Khyra Ishaq. The girl died in May 2008 from starvation; her mother and stepfather were both jailed last week for her manslaughter.
Colin Tucker, director of children’s social care at the council who was brought in last year after Ofsted inspectors branded aspects of Birmingham City Council’s children’s department as "inadequate", told BBC news: "We are not appointing some staff, as well as that we have dismissed six staff in the last year. "There is a clear indication we are serious about our standards. "They did not adhere to standards and expectations that we laid down. "They showed no sign whatsoever that they were keen to do so, so we dismissed them."
The dismissals at the council follow a number of child deaths over recent years, although they are not believed to be directly linked to Khyra's death. More dismissals could follow once the serious case review is published.
An official report last year on child protection services in Birmingham written by the council's own councillors condemned them as “not fit for purpose" after the spate of young deaths. The criticism was made after eight children known to social services died in only four years after suspected neglect and abuse. The report found that there had been “a decade of underperformance”, with dozens of initiatives and projects being launched and then shelved, resulting in little improvement.
Lack of senior management was a “major risk” and a shortage of experienced staff “hampered progress”. One in five social workers was off work sick at any one time, undermining any continuity of care for children at risk.
Khyra Ishaq died when her body succumbed to an infection after months of starvation at her home in Handsworth, Birmingham. She had been removed from school in December 2007 and social workers made several attempts to visit her home. Her mother, Angela Gordon, was jailed last week for 15 years over her death, while her former partner Junaid Abuhamza was jailed indefinitely with a minimum term of seven-and-a-half years.
During the trial, judge Mrs Justice King said "in all probability" Khyra would not have died had there been "an adequate initial assessment and proper adherence by the educational welfare services to its guidance".
British woman harassed because she was pregnant
A Mothercare worker claims she was ‘bullied’ into keeping silent about her pregnancy in case it upset colleagues who had experienced abortions or miscarriages. Traci Winchcombe, an assistant manager with the baby clothing giant, says she was told not to mention she was expecting in case it hurt the feelings of staff who had suffered birth traumas.
She told a tribunal that her former store manager's attitude towards her ‘changed’ when she broke the news that she was pregnant in March last year. An assistant at Mothercare claims she was asked not to discuss her pregnancy at work in order to avoid upsetting her colleagues. The 32-year-old said Jacque McDonald suddenly became ‘abrupt’ and ‘rude’ in her dealings with her at a high street branch of the store in Canterbury, Kent.
Ms Winchcombe, from nearby Westgate-on-Sea, said she was reduced to tears after the harassment she received daily at work got ‘worse and worse’. She told an employment tribunal in Ashford: ‘I didn't understand why I was not allowed to mention my pregnancy. ‘This really upset me - I felt I had been singled out. I was three months pregnant and felt some of my staff should know - I was beginning to show. ‘I felt Jacque and Mothercare wanted to get rid of me because I was pregnant.'
Ms Winchcombe claimed she was ordered not to discuss her pregnancy with other members of staff who had suffered abortions or miscarriages because staff were 'getting fed up with it'.
Mrs McDonald denied asking Ms Winchcombe not to mention her pregnancy but said she did request that she stop discussing abortions in front of staff, some of whom had suffered miscarriages. She added: ‘I found out from one of my staff members that she had been discussing abortion on the shop floor. ‘I felt this was inappropriate and asked her to refrain from these conversations on the shop floor. ‘I was aware of one employee in the store who had suffered two miscarriages.’
Ms Winchcombe was dismissed from her post in May after a series of administrative mistakes - unrelated to the bullying claims - over her handling of till procedures and gift cards. She was fired after admitting her performance had been at ’50 per cent'.
Whilst accepting those failures, Ms Winchcombe still alleges she was singled out and treated differently to other staff who were less harshly dealt with for similar breaches. And she insisted when she sent a text message to Mrs McDonald - informing her about her pregnancy - that the treatment towards her ‘deteriorated’ further. She added: ‘I don't know why she was like that - her attitude just changed. ‘It was fine when I first started but after I told her I was pregnant everything just got worse.’ ‘She would frequently shout at and abuse me in front of staff and colleagues.’
One colleague supported Ms Winchcombe's claims, saying she overheard ‘coarse to the point of shocking’ treatment directed against her. An internal review by an area manager found no evidence of bullying or discrimination.
Mrs McDonald said she had offered Ms Winchcombe the company's ‘maternity matters’ guidance and made sure she was not required to do any heavy lifting. ‘I deny my treatment changed in any way - I did not frequently shout at or abuse Traci in front of customers. ‘Given the nature of our business, a number of female staff become pregnant - I am well used to them taking maternity leave. ‘We talked about her pregnancy and we went through the maternity matters pack. I am abrupt and can be direct at times but only if someone does something wrong.
Chris Thompson, representing Mothercare, added: ‘Particularly in a store like Mothercare if there are conversations about abortion it's probably not a very sensible topic for the shop floor.’ He accused Ms Winchcombe of lying. A decision on the case is expected within six weeks.
If successful Ms Winchcombe - who is not claiming unfair dismissal - could be awarded a compensation sum up to £25,000 for ‘injury to feelings’.
Do Discrimination Laws Actually Help?
“A great bachelor pad for any single man looking to hook up,” is how Stonebridge Apartments, a complex in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio, advertised its studio apartments on CraigsList. For that, they face a lawsuit from the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center. For discrimination.
Still confused? The Dayton Daily News explained in its most recent issue: the Fair Housing Center took offense to the ad because, by advertising specifically to “bachelors,” Stonebridge’s ads were “suggesting families were not welcome.” Now, Stonebridge is being sued for $25,000 and a mandate that the apartment firm’s employees receive mandatory “fair housing law training.”
First off, there are a couple glaring logical fallacies at work here. The first being that just because someone speaks favorably of one thing, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re speaking unfavorably of another thing. To say that encouraging bachelors to live in your apartment complex means discouraging couples from living in your apartment complex, is like saying that to love the color red means to hate the color blue.
Furthermore, if we are to broaden the legal definition of “discrimination” to include everything, then everyone is guilty of all kinds of discrimination. You are guilty of discrimination when you consciously choose to only date other bachelors or bachelorettes–after all, you are discriminating against people who are already in relationships! Apartment complexes that forbid pets are discriminating against pet-owners. Apartment complexes that advertise their apartments as being $500/month are discriminating against people who cannot afford to pay $500/month. The list could go on and on.
This particular case is, of course, one of the more absurd and twisted examples of political correctness run amuck in this country. But the issue raised goes much deeper, and has important implications for the notion of private property rights. The real question is: are government laws against “discrimination” really even necessary?
Let’s examine what happens in a free and unhindered market when discrimination on the basis of some superficial characteristic (race, for instance) occurs. Let us say that Restaurant Owner Joe hates black people and will not serve them. If 10% of the population of his town is black, Joe has effectively alienated 10% of his potential customer base, right off the bat. The presence of a large population of blacks who want to visit a restaurant presents a profit opportunity for any of Joe’s competitors who are savvy enough to take advantage of it. As Joe’s racism continuously results in lost profit opportunities for himself, and increased profits for his non-racist competitors, Joe continuously has less and less market power, while Joe’s competitors gain more and more market power. The free market ceaselessly punishes those entrepreneurs who are too stupid or bigoted to take advantage of profit opportunities, and rewards those entrepreneurs who serve as many consumers as possible.
In fact, just the other day, I found a flier underneath my windshield wiper advertising an “Alternative Lifestyle” (i.e. gay and lesbian) Night at a local bar. The bar owner, who I speak with often, has nothing good to say about gays, and commonly refers to them with a two word pejorative (each word beginning with the letter “f”). However, there is a sizable gay and lesbian community in this area, and–without any government prodding whatsoever–he saw the profitability of not just holding his nose and serving homosexuals, but going out of his way to cater specifically to them.
But what about if an employer discriminates against hiring a particular employee, based on some superficial characteristic? Let’s say that Restaurant Owner Joe gets two applicants for a job–Greg, who has light skin, and Chris, who has dark skin. Greg, if hired, would bring in $7 of revenue per hour for Joe (i.e. Greg’s marginal revenue product is $7/hour). Chris, if hired, would bring in $8 of revenue per hour for Joe (i.e. Chris’s marginal revenue product is $8/hour). Joe, who hates blacks, decides to hire light-skinned Greg, instead of dark-skinned Chris. However, Joe’s competitor, Sally, sees Chris’s potential, and hires him. Not only does Joe miss out on $1 in opportunity costs every hour, for not hiring dark-skinned Chris, but Sally (Joe’s competitor) outproduces Joe to the tune of $1 every hour. As Joe misses out on lost profit opportunities, while his competitors reap it in, Joe loses more and more market power, while his competitors gain.
So, what good do government “discrimination” laws really do? Nada.
Not only are these regulations superfluous (since they compel businesses to do what market forces would eventually compel them to do anyway), they waste businesses’ time and money that could be spent actually serving consumers; the fines and penalties imposed on businesses divert resources from productive market activities to unproductive bureaucratic activities; the salaries of the bureaucrats necessary to enforce these regulations also represent a diversion of resources from productive to unproductive activities; and perhaps worst of all, these legal precedents dilute the concept of private property rights, which has served as the bedrock of all the past several centuries’ phenomenal increases in prosperity and living standards, which all Americans have benefited from.
The Miami Valley Fair Housing Center and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission may feel that they are helping the downtrodden, but they are doing nothing more than wasting time and resources.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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