Monday, April 26, 2010
Discrimination is necessary
Subjecting kids to weirdos undermines standards of decency
First-graders should not be forced into the classrooms of teachers undergoing sex changes. Religious broadcasters and faith-based summer camps should not be forced to hire cross-dressers. Women should not be forced to share bathrooms with people with male body parts who say they want to be females. Yet those are some of the likely results if Congress passes H.R. 3017, the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which is due for a vote this week by the House Education and Labor Committee.
ENDA purports to "prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity." Clever politically correct wording aside, this is a direct attack on common sense. On some matters, it is good to be discriminating. It is right to discriminate between honesty and dishonesty, between politeness and impoliteness, between right and wrong. And it assuredly is right to be discriminating in choosing who teaches our children. ENDA would make it impossible for a non-church-based charter school, for instance, to remove from the classroom a "she-male" who insists on exposing her pupils to her unnatural transformation.
This is no idle threat. ENDA would supersede the laws of 38 states that do not have laws treatingthose with an unusual "gender identity" as a legally protected "class" of citizens. Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition wrote in the April 20 edition of Roll Call about several examples of cross-dressing or sex-changing teachers who claimed protections under state disability laws (in the 12 states that do indeed protect "gender identity") and were able to remain in the classroom despite parents' protests. Perhaps the worst was at California's Foxboro Elementary School, where a music teacher underwent surgery to become a man, but parents originally were not even notified because administrators feared running afoul of medical privacy laws.
Even if California wants to be so foolish, the residents of the 38 states without such absurd legal strictures shouldn't be forced to do the same. States have a sovereign right to set standards governing behavioral - as opposed to immutable - personal characteristics.
ENDA does provide supposed exemptions for churches and church-based schools to refuse to employ sex-changers and cross-dressers. But the exemption is far less than meets the eye. Even religious organizations, under the standards cited, are prohibited from making employment decisions based on the worker's sex. ENDA opponents rightly cite last year's 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals note in Prowel v. Wise Business Forms that "the line between sexual orientation discrimination and discrimination 'because of sex' can be difficult to draw." In short, courts easily could decide that even parochial schools must hire she-males to teach their kindergartners.
Similar problems abound in this bill, which treats a conscious decision to choose a new or different sexual identity as if it were an inherent, unavoidable condition. But it's not. It's actually a psychological disorder, officially listed as such by the current American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Our children and our co-workers should not be forced by law to be held hostage to such disorders, nor should employers be forced to have psychologically troubled persons as the public face of their businesses.
PC Alert: Rev. Franklin Graham Banned by the Pentagon for Telling the Truth About Islam
Franklin Graham, distinguished Christian minister and son of an American evangelical treasure (i.e. Billy Graham) was banned from praying at the Pentagon for their upcoming May 6th National Day of Prayer event because he called Islam “evil.”
Apparently Franklin didn’t get the memo that we can’t say squat about Islam anymore. Oh, hell no. Muslims are groovy no matter what they do, and anyone who says otherwise … is … well … evil … in the eyes of the thought police who’re heading up the United States of Political Horse Smack.
Check it out: When Muslims kill 3,000 Americans, we can’t call them “wicked.” When they abuse women, cut off little girls’ clitorises, stone unruly wives, honor kill their teenage daughters for texting someone not named Achmed, and keep precious women in stone-age bondage worldwide, we can’t say that’s BS because that might offend them. And God forbid we should offend folks who’re six bubbles off level and don’t get basic women’s rights.
I’m scratching a bald spot on the back of my head on this one because we won’t put up with that bollocks with any other people or religion except with Islam; they get a free pass. Yes, we’re being whipped into believing that we’re misjudging them even though the preponderance of historical evidence indicates that those who believe they’re bogus are spot on.
I think it is legitimately safe to say—and extremely sad to say—that Political Correctness has officially seeped its fetid sewage into the brass inside the beltway.
Matter of fact, I’m wearing black today because I’m in mourning. As far as I’m concerned, it’s calamitous when the U.S. Army bans a solid Christian minister and upstanding citizen (who has added much to America’s Christian heritage and the well-being of millions of suffering people worldwide) from praying for our troops just because he called Muslim crap crap. You can read the full horror story here.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Franklin for having the holy testosterone—amidst the many craven and neutered capitulating clerics, pundits and politicians across our land—to call Islam’s actions wicked because … duh … they are. Good job, old chap. It seems as if only South Park, Robert Spencer, David Horowitz, a smattering of other analysts (mostly women) and Graham will come out and verbally hammer these cats for their “faith”-inspired atrocities against non-Muslims and their own women.
Oh, by the way: If you’re not convinced Islam is evil, check out this video.
Bill Clinton Explains How Middle East Utopia is Just Around the Corner, Just Tell Israel and Palestinians How to Make Peace
It's truly amazing what some people say about the Middle East without anyone noticing the inaccuracies and contradictions. An interview former President Bill Clinton gave to the ABC news' program "This Week" is a wonderful example of this situation.
As a friend of mine who's a policy analyst just put it in evaluating another, roughly similar article: "Everyone should have views that approximate reality. There's still plenty of room for argument within that space."
I will now show, point by point, how almost everything Clinton said, however, is outside that space. Still, Clinton-who was an okay president-is savvy enough to make one terrific argument which shows he really does understand the shortcomings of Obama Administration policy.
Of course, as a fellow former president, a Democrat, and husband of a certain secretary of state, Clinton isn't going to trash the current government's stances. But his statements force him into saying some very silly things. I will give you one point for each of them you spot. Read each paragraph, think of one or more major problems with it, and then read my analysis.
"If [Obama] decides to [issue his own peace plan], I will support it," said Clinton, suggesting that such an action would be like what he did at the Camp David meeting and later in the Clinton peace plan, both in 2000.
What's wrong with this?
Answer: Clinton did not really present his own peace plan in either case. On both occasions, he was presenting a plan which he had cleared with Israel's prime minister. This was appropriate since the Israeli government had agreed to make some major concessions if it received certain things in return. In sharp contrast, however, Obama would be proposing a plan demanding Israeli concessions which not only hasn't been approved by Israel's government but which the president knows it would oppose.
Incidentally, as we will see in a moment Clinton knows-despite his support-that this is a serious mistake. If the president puts forward a plan both sides will reject he does no good and ends up looking very foolish. Moreover, what about Clinton's own experience: offering a great deal to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and watching them turn it down. Shouldn't he be warning Obama--and his spouse--more about how the PA is unwilling or unable to make peace?
Next, what's wrong with this:
"We need to do something to deprive both sides of any excuse not to engage in serious negotiations."
Answer: If the goal is to get talks going, the way to do so is not to propose a comprehensive peace plan which both sides will certainly reject but to start with small things on which they can agree. To put forward such a plan would be the best "excuse not to engage in serious negotiations" of all!
But, by the way, might it be relevant that the PA has refused to talk for 15 months while Israel's government has been ready to meet during this entire period? So Clinton knows Israel is not looking for any excuse not to engage in serious negotiations. The PA is. But to be "even -handed," Clinton is covering up for PA intransigence. And who should know better about PA intransigence then the man who was humiliated by Yasir Arafat's refusal to make peace in 2000?
At this point, Clinton does give some good advice: "The current Israeli government, with its current coalition, almost certainly would reject it. And the argument is that that makes us look weak." Right. Why put forward a plan that's going to be rejected. The Obama Administration already looks dangerously weak. Once both sides reject its plan, things will really be at a dead end.
But soon we are back in fantasyland. So what's wrong with this:
Clinton said that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would vastly reduce the level of terrorism in the region: "Half of the energy coming out of all this organization and money-raising for terror comes out of the allegations around the unresolved Palestinian issue."
What's wrong with this?
Answer: Suppose you are the kind of Arab who supports terrorist groups politically and gives them money. Would a two-state compromise agreement make you stop doing that? Of course not, you would say that the Palestinian Authority had betrayed the Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims, while the United States was a horrible enemy that had destroyed the chance for destroying Israel and creating a Palestinian Muslim Arab state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.
Consider Hamas. If an agreement was made leaving it aside, would it fold up? Stop terrorism? Cease receiving money? Lose all popular support? Forfeit the backing of Iran, Syria, and the Muslim Brotherhoods? And how in Hades are you going to have and implement such a solution without the Gaza Strip?
See if you can spot the pattern: King Abdallah of Jordan made a deal with Israel and was assassinated. President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt made a deal with Israel and was assassinated. President Bashar Gemayel of Lebanon made a deal with Israel and was assassinated. Ah, "President" Mahmoud Abbas, please just sign right here and terrorism will just disappear. Nothing to worry about!
What planet is Bill Clinton living on if he believes this?
Much more HERE
Battle against the Burka is not based on bigotry
Comment from Australia
FRANCE'S move to extend its ban on the Islamic headscarf and outlaw the full-face veil appears to be catching on. Belgian MPs will vote on whether to prohibit it and similar laws have been drafted in Italy. Europe's rising Muslim population, which exceeds 20 per cent in some cities, has ensured a groundswell of support for these moves.
The debate in Europe has stirred interest in Australia too. Some commentators have seized on calls to ban the burka, which they judge to be "un-Australian". Others, including this writer, saw the French move as a xenophobic overreaction, more likely to inflame social tensions than ease them. However, this glib interpretation does not withstand an hour's conversation with a key architect of the hijab ban, French scholar Gilles Kepel, who visited Australia recently.
Kepel was a member of a commission established by the French government in 2003, which recommended forbidding the hijab, along with other religious symbols such as the Jewish yarmulke and large Christian crosses, from government-run schools.
Kepel is no xenophobe. He's the son of Czech migrants and has an Algerian wife. He is also one of the world's most esteemed authorities on political Islam.
Kepel argues persuasively that interpreting the French position as a symptom of xenophobia is a profound misunderstanding of the pivotal role of secularism in the French nation-state. He makes a considered and compelling case that, for a country founded on secularity, a policy of multi-culturalism that allows overt displays of religiosity poses a threat to the unity of the state. Whether the same can be said of Australia is a provocative idea that merits sober consideration.
The concept of laicite (secularism) is at the core of the French constitution. Its origin was a law passed in 1905 separating church and state to counter the oppressive domination of the Catholic Church. Laws passed even earlier made schooling -- until then limited and largely Catholic controlled -- mandatory, free and secular. "France had to make a law to be free of Catholic Church hegemony," Kepel explains.
"It was conceived as a reaction to the overwhelming influence of the church."
Laicite was always controversial, detested by monarchists who would prefer Catholicism as the state religion and increasingly resented by Islamists as a bar to free religious expression. Nonetheless it has remained an article of faith in French political and social life.
The French government is constitutionally prohibited from recognising any religion. Religious buildings were made the property of city councils. There is no question on religion in the French census and public schools are seen as a crucial bastion.
Generations of Muslim migrants were encouraged and obliged to embrace this conception of citizenhood. In an essay in The National Interest, Kepel writes that the promise of future French citizenship was "part and parcel of a workable imperial dominion".
"As soon as the former colonized set foot on French soil in their new migrant-worker garb, they took Paris at its word and France paid its colonial debt through a process of cultural and political integration," he writes.
Thus, like the Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Poles and Czechs who had come before them, a new generation of mostly Muslim migrants became French citizens, in an "intermingled culture, forged on a daily basis between the native Gaul and the immigrant Arab and Berber". This policy of cultural integration -- distinct from the more insidious "assimilation" with its connotations of cultural cleansing -- has "worked pretty well", says Kepel. The North African dish couscous is now the favourite food and a second-generation French Algerian soccer star, Zinedine Zidane, the national hero.
The crushing of Islamist sentiment during the Algerian civil war and a state security apparatus vigilant against its re-emergence have played an important role in France's success. But a willing "cultural acquiescence" has been the key. For most of France's Muslims, French citizenship seemed a fair trade for an overt religious identity.
Contrast this with Britain's policy of multiculturalism, under which migrants settled in enclaves in cultural isolation. "In Britain, one is born English, end of story," notes Kepel. Instead their "Islamness" became a kind of new national identity. While France banned foreign Islamists from entering the country, Britain gave them asylum, creating in "Londonistan" a crucible for the jihadist movement that would eventually blow back on Britain, which now has the worst home-grown terrorist problem in the world, illustrated by the 2005 London train and bus bombings, the attempted Glasgow airport attack in 2007, and dozens of similar thwarted plots. In contrast, France has not had a successful terrorist attack on its territory since 1996.
But back to the hijab. In 2003 then president Jacques Chirac established a commission to examine how the principle of laicite should be applied in today's France. Kepel co-authored its December 2003 report, which led to the hijab ban. He points out it applies only to minors in government-run schools, because "you can't make a law on what people wear on the street", and a majority of Muslims supported it as a necessary compromise.
Importantly, the commission called for the ban to be offset by a suite of reforms to combat socio-economic disadvantage in the Paris ghettos where many Muslims live.
The Chirac government ignored this crucial recommendation. A year later the Paris riots erupted, as mostly Muslim youths burned cars and looted shops in protest against a lack of jobs and economic opportunities. Kepel says it was a lesson to the French government for ignoring its responsibility to ensure socio-economic equality to safeguard the "cultural acquiesence" on which France's ethnic and religious harmony is built.
On a visit to Sydney's southwestern suburbs, Kepel saw many similarities to both Britain and France. "Leb-kemba" is like "Londonistan" in many respects. Inter-generational unemployment is common. Some residents live in cultural isolation, their "Islamness" the closest they have to a national identity. Kepel remarked on the open hostility displayed by some of those he encountered toward the outsiders intruding on their patch. A few angry individuals in insular communities like this have become home-grown terrorists and planned attacks on Australian soil
These similarities should neither be exaggerated nor ignored. Australia is a land of immigrants, like France, but one with an entirely different migration history and far greater ethnic, religious and cultural diversity. No convincing case has been made for banning either the hijab or the full-face veil here. But a powerful case exists for ensuring our Muslim countrymen and women have a strong stake in sharing the national identity and social harmony their fellow Australians enjoy.
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 or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.