Monday, May 03, 2010
British Christian preacher vows to fight after he's arrested for ‘public order’ offences after saying homosexuality is a sin
A Christian was arrested and treated like a 'common criminal' after saying that he thought homosexuality was a sin. Street preacher Dale Mcalpine was held in a cell for seven hours and charged with a public order offence after telling a gay police community support officer that homosexuals were going against the will of God.
But yesterday the 42-year- old said he would fight to have the charge - usually used to tackle rioters or football hooligans - dismissed.
Mr Mcalpine was talking to shoppers and handing out leaflets when he was allegedly warned he was committing an offence by PCSO Sam Adams - who introduced himself as his force's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liaison officer.
When he continued preaching, Mr Mcalpine was arrested while debating his views with a passer-by.
'I think justice will be served and this will be found to be a ridiculous charge,' he said.
Mr Mcalpine is just the latest preacher prosecuted for speaking out against homosexuality, and his arrest comes days after a top judge was criticised for ruling that Christian beliefs are not entitled to special protection by the courts.
It also follows an attack by veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell who branded such police actions 'heavy-handed' and an attack on free speech.
Mr Mcalpine, who works in the energy industry, was helping a full-time preacher in the centre of his home town of Workington, Cumbria, when the confrontation took place last month.
Yesterday he told how he was speaking to a woman about behaviour that he believed the Bible regarded as sinful, including blasphemy, adultery, drunkenness and homosexuality, while being watched by two PCSOs.
After she walked away, he claimed one - Mr Adams - approached to warn him they had received complaints and that if he made any racist or homophobic comments he would be arrested.
'I told him homosexuality is a sin, and he told me "I am a homosexual, I find that offensive, and I'm also the liaison officer for the bisexual-lesbian-gay-transsexual community",' he said yesterday. 'I told him it was still a sin.'
Mr Adams last year represented Cumbria Police at the Gay Pride march in Manchester. On the social networking site MySpace, he describes his orientation as gay and his religion as atheist.
After the warning, Mr Mcalpine took over preaching for 20 minutes, although he claims he did not cover homosexuality. But while he talked to a passer-by the PCSO radioed for assistance and he was arrested by uniformed officers.
He was taken to a police station, had his pockets emptied and his mobile phone taken along with his belt and shoes, and was kept in the cells for seven hours where he sang hymns to keep his spirits up.
'They treated me like a common criminal,' he said.
He was later charged with using abusive or insulting words or behaviour contrary to the Public Order Act 1986 and released on bail, appearing before magistrates in the town last week.
The self-proclaimed born-again Christian, who is single, insists he has a right to express his views. 'It's not just my right I'm fighting for, it's everyone's',' he said.
'We're going down the route of a police state. Some people in the homosexual community may not like me after this. But it would be very intolerant of them to not allow me to have my say.'
Mr Mcalpine is being backed by the Christian Institute, which supported Christian hoteliers Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang after they were charged under the same Act.
A white British convert to Islam complained they had insulted her religion during a heated discussion, but they were cleared in what was hailed a victory for free speech.
Yesterday an Institute spokesman said: 'This case should be thrown out at the earliest opportunity. The police aren't doing enough to protect free speech - no member of the public made a complaint, it was the PCSO who took exception.'
Last week in the Appeal Court Lord Justice Laws dismissed pleas from campaigners to give Christians special rights.
The senior judge said Britain would become a religious dictatorship if the views of one faith were given priority over others in legal matters as he dismissed a case brought by a Christian marriage counsellor who refused to counsel gay couples.
The farce of British policing after 13 years of Leftist rule
Listen to any radio phone-in or read the comments on newspaper web forums and it is clear which three issues really concern voters: immigration, the criminal justice system and benefits.
The electorate is right to be concerned. All three issues lie at the heart of what is going wrong in our society. Yet all three parties are failing to address these issues, let alone offer solutions.
I have dubbed this policy vacuum The Great Disconnect. And for this special series, I have spent weeks examining the way it has betrayed ordinary voters.
On Saturday, I explained how Labour's open door policy on immigration is costing middleclass tax payers in services and welfare. Today, it is the turn of the criminal justice and benefit system.
In a poll held for the UK General Election 2010 website, the public ranked crime and justice second only to immigration and ahead even of the economy as their top concern.
Never has the police had so many officers, so much money or such access to technology. Yet never have the public been so dissatisfied. According to a recent poll, our belief in the ability of politicians to control crime fell from 86 per cent in 1997 to 58 per cent in 2007.
Or as one caller to a radio phone-in argued: 'Why does it take ten policemen to check fare dodgers on buses around here, but when a house is being burgled or there is a fight between youths you cannot find a policeman for love or money?'
We spend more on criminal justice than any other industrialised country. Yet when I spent a year investigating the system, I saw every aspect was failing to give people what they wanted. Is the public being unreasonable?
It starts with the Home Office. They judge each police force's efficiency by how many crimes they detect and clear up. The public want something different. They do not want the crimes to occur in the first place. Police foot patrols out on the beat preventing crime is their top priority. Actual crime detection comes way down the list.
It's clear the Government isn't listening - as shown in the excellent book The Renewal Of Government by Neil O'Brien and Ross Clark.
For every £1 spent on prevention, £80 goes on treating crime. As one constable wrote on an online Police Forum: 'I remember when it was a matter of pride to come back after a night shift to find no crimes had happened. Now all we are asked is why no one was locked up.'
Neighbourhood policing was meant to fix this, but this very good initiative is being cut back.
What does the public get instead? They get more police, but less policing. Police are spending more time in front of the computer completing the volumes of paperwork required for even the simplest conversation with the public.
Tayside police counted 1,150 different forms for various purposes.
In 2004-05, the Metropolitan Police calculated that it spent more than £100 million on the wonderfully called 'non-incident-related paperwork'. This was double what it spent investigating domestic burglaries.
A young girl recently told a radio phone-in that it had taken her two hours to report a stolen handbag - every answer painstakingly typed in by the police sergeant. 'How long would it take to report a rape?' she asked listeners.
But what really riles the public is police targets. Targets take precedence over the priorities of the local community. Police have to fulfil a certain amount every month. They admitted they often take the easy option and arrest the law-abiding citizen for a minor infringement.
At the same time they appear unable or unwilling to deal with one of the public's biggest fears - violent gangs of youths.
The public are right to be afraid. Violent crimes committed by young people and children have increased by a third over three years.
The ineffectiveness of the authorities flummoxes the public. As one radio caller said, if it is not the job of the police to arrest these people, 'then why are we paying them'? Another angrily declared: 'Time to forget meeting targets, ticking boxes and meeting diversity challenges and to re-establish authority.'
Sentencing, prison and probation raises even more passion. The sheer lack of competence and common sense baffles most members of the public. 'Five years should mean five years,' said one outraged lady. She had just learned of the practice of releasing large numbers of offenders at, or even before, the halfway point of their prison sentence.
What is the reaction of politicians? Are they heeding voters? On the contrary, Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, even describes the sentencing system as a 'benign deception of the public'.
How wrong he is. The public is not deceived nor do they view a system as benign when 65 per cent of those released go on to re-offend. Indeed, some of the most horrific murders of recent years have been committed by repeat offenders on probation.
The rape, torture and murder of 16-year-old Mary-Ann Leneghan in Reading was committed by six gang members, four of whom were supposedly under the supervision of the Probation Service.
Dano Sonnex, a career criminal who robbed and brutally murdered two French students, and Damien Hanson, who murdered John Monckton in Chelsea, were also under Probation supervision when they committed their crimes.
Hanson was halfway through a 12-year sentence for attempted murder, yet was still subjected to a low level of monitoring by the Probation Service.
It is not just murder. The public sees the same incompetence and ineffectualness of the authorities when dealing with something many of us live with every day - anti-social behaviour.
The attitude of politicians and top policemen is summed up by a remark made by my then local borough commander when I complained of crime in my area. He said: 'The biggest problem is the public's fear of crime rather than crime itself.'
Or as a senior politician intoned: 'Crime is historically low.' Is that so? In 1950, there were just 6,000 recorded incidents of violence against the person. By 1995, that had increased to 213,000. By 2005-06, it had topped a million.
Reports of anti-social behaviour stand at 3.6 million a year. Denis O'Connor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, says the true figure is more than seven million.
Take Fiona Pilkington, who made dozens of complaints to officers over several years. Nothing was done to tackle the abuse of her and her family from youths in Hinckley, Leicestershire. Finally, last year, she was driven to kill herself and her disabled daughter.
And at the 2008 trial of five teenagers accused of her husband Garry's murder, Helen Newlove described how police had failed to tackle local gangs, despite numerous complaints from residents in Warrington.
A snapshot survey by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary revealed officers did not even turn up to 23 per cent of anti-social behaviour complaints. Understandably, almost all victims said they were unhappy with the police.
One in five victims who were repeatedly targeted described themselves as disabled in some way.
The police complain about paperwork, yet not one piece of paper refers to a crucial fact. Has that person already made a complaint for the same offence? More than half of the 43 forces in England and Wales cannot identify repeat victims, despite all those forms.
Leicester police reacted to the Fiona Pilkington tragedy by classifying repeat crimes against disabled people as 'hate offences'. 'I'm confused,' said one caller to a radio station. 'Shouldn't repeated crimes against anyone be seen as a hate offence and taken seriously?'
How out of touch the Government is on this important issue is clear. The policing the public want is very different from the policing we get.
Why Do Daily Kos and Alternet Support a Racist Program?
With the possible exception of the war on drugs and public (i.e., government) schools, it would be difficult to find a government program that is more damaging to inner-city poor people, especially blacks, than the minimum wage. Yet, liberals, who have longed claimed to love the poor, needy, and disadvantaged, especially racial minorities, continue to steadfastly support this vicious and racist government program.
The first thing one notices whenever liberals advocate the minimum wage is their stinginess, for they always limit their calls for a minimum wage to no more than $10 an hour. Despite their supposed love for the poor, you never see liberals calling for a minimum wage of, say, $100 an hour. They always keep it down to the $10-an-hour area.
Let’s examine why it’s a good thing, at least for the poor, that liberals don’t call for a $100-an-hour minimum wage. It will help us to see how liberals attack the poor, and especially the poor who are black, with their $10 or lower minimum wage.
In every economic trade, people are giving up something they value less for something they value more. That’s why they trade. They aim to improve their economic well-being through the trade.
For example, suppose A has five apples and B has five oranges. Let’s say they enter into a trade in which A gives B four apples in return for one orange. Is B the winner and A the loser in this exchange? No. They’re both winners because they both have gained from the exchange. Each of them has given up something he values less for something he values more.
It’s no different in a labor exchange. In any consensual labor relationship, each side gives up something he values less for something he values more.
Suppose, for example, an employer hires a worker at a monthly pay of $1,000. Both sides have gained; otherwise they wouldn’t have entered into the exchange. The employer values the money less than he values the work provided by the employee. The employee values the money more than the other things he could do with his time.
What’s important to keep in mind, however, is that all these valuations are entirely subjective. That is, they are in the eyes of the beholder. A person’s subjective valuation of something, including an employee, will inevitably turn on an infinite array of factors, including the amount of wealth he happens to possess and how he prefers to allocate it.
An employer, for example, will place a subjective valuation on a prospective employee. He will subjectively determine how much in additional revenue that person is likely to bring to the firm, especially compared to how much the firm is paying him. How much to offer him will be based on such factors as availability of capital and how much other firms are offering.
Suppose one day in June, a company’s employment office encounters 10 teenagers who have just graduated from high school, all of whom are seeking a job. The company and the teenagers reach a deal in which the company agrees to pay each of them $15 an hour. All of them are hired.
What that means is that the company has made a subjective valuation of their work potential, one that makes it worthwhile for the company to pay them $15 an hour. It also means that the teenagers are happy with the deal, again from an entirely subjective standpoint.
The teenagers begin work. One week later, the liberals enact a minimum-wage law requiring companies to pay their workers $100 an hour.
Do you see the problem? While the company concluded that those teenagers are worth $15 an hour, it is quite unlikely that it is going to feel the same way about paying them $100 an hour. After some quick deliberation, the company decides that it’s just not worth it to pay the higher, mandated wage rate. Its subjective determination is that the teenagers are worth no more than $15 an hour and certainly not $100 an hour.
So the law leaves the employer with no effective choice. The company lays off the teenagers. They go in search of new jobs, but every company tells them the same thing: “It’s just not worth it to us to pay you $100 an hour. We don’t have that kind of money, your skills aren’t yet sufficient to bring in significant revenues, and we’d soon go broke if we paid you that amount of money.”
So what do those teenagers do? Well, they starve to death. Or they steal. Or they push drugs. What other alternative has the $100 minimum law left them? Oh, they can also go on welfare because liberals, always concerned about the plight of the poor, enact a law that taxes the company that laid them off and uses the tax money to provide a welfare dole for the teenagers. Thus, unable to break into the labor market and learn a work ethic because of the $100 minimum-wage law, the teenagers remain on the dole through adulthood and possibly through their entire lives.
You see, the $100 minimum wage has permanently locked them out of the labor market. When libertarians show up and call for the minimum wage to be repealed, liberals hoot them down with such cries as “You hate the poor! You hate welfare! You believe in exploitation!”
But nothing can change the fact that it is the liberals — with their minimum-wage law — who have locked those teenagers out of the labor market, which then causes liberals to initiate welfare-state programs that make such people helpless, dependent wards of the state.
“But the minimum wage isn’t $100,” liberals cry. “It’s only $7.25 per hour.” But the economic principles are no different, and this is where the racist aspects of the minimum wage come into play.
Everyone whose labor is valued by employers at less than $7.25 an hour is locked out of the labor market by the minimum wage law. It might well be fewer people than if the minimum wage were set at $100 an hour, but the fact remains: For all those people whose labor is subjectively valued in the marketplace at less than the legally established minimum, the minimum-wage law becomes a death sentence or at least one that leads to a life of crime or welfare-state dependency.
After all, don’t forget that the minimum-wage law doesn’t force any employer to hire anyone. It simply says that if you do hire someone, you must pay the mandated minimum. Thus, the law prevents those whose labor is valued by employers at less than the mandated minimum from working.
That brings us to black, inner-city teenagers, a group of people who oftentimes are extremely poor, not very well dressed, and not very well educated by the government schools they are forced to attend. Employers subjectively place a valuation on their work that is less than the government-established minimum wage.
Yet, in the absence of the minimum wage those black teenagers could find employment. They could out-compete their richer, better-dressed, better-educated, suburban white counterparts by offering to work for less. They simply would keep lowering the wage at which they’re willing to work until they met the subjectively determined valuation of an employer. That might be, say, $1 an hour. But at least the teenager could use the opportunity to learn the trade, thereby enabling him to acquire the skills that could help him start a business down the road, perhaps even competing against his employer. The $7.25 minimum wage law prevents him from ever getting that foothold. It keeps him entirely out of the labor market.
As George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams, who authored the book The State Against Blacks, wrote in a recent article, “The Cruelty of the Minimum Wage,” “One of the more insidious effects of minimum wages is that it lowers the cost of racial discrimination; in fact, minimum-wage laws are one of the most effective tools in the arsenals of racists everywhere....”
So why do the liberals at Daily Kos and Alternet and other liberals continue to do it? Why do they continue to support a program that is so clearly an attack on the poor, and a racist one at that?
The most likely explanation is the one I provided in my response to Sumner’s article — economic ignorance. When it comes to understanding economics, liberals have a blind spot. They honestly believe that all that is needed to end poverty in the world is passing laws.
Poverty in Haiti? Just pass a law forcing every employer to pay a minimum wage of $100 an hour, or at least $7.25 an hour. Voilà! Poverty is eliminated.
But as we all know, life is not so simple. If poverty could be eliminated by the enactment of minimum-wage laws and other welfare-state laws, poverty in the world would have come to an end a long time ago. After all, it doesn’t take much for a government to enact a law.
Instead, such laws always have terrible consequences for the very people liberals claim to help — the poor. When faced with such consequences, they always have a ready response: “Please judge us by our good intentions. We really do mean well.”
But why should we care about their good intentions? Why should the poor care about them? Why should inner-city blacks whom they have damaged so severely care about them?
All that matters are the consequences of government programs. The minimum-wage law has done untold damage to the poor, especially inner-city black teenagers. Liberals should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to support this vicious, destructive, and racist program.
Government Controlled Speech on the Internet?
Whether it is "little punk staffers," or talk radio chatter, or the various Tea Party groups, suddenly a chorus of our elected representatives on Capitol Hill is calling such comments or speakers "dangerous" or "scary." Really? Occasionally impolite perhaps, but more likely they just don't like what's being said, and then feel free to engage in their own overblown hype undergirded with hubris.
In other words, our elected officials continue to try to gain politically by bullying those who would speak freely as is their constitutional right.
This is just one of the many reasons why the schemes for government to gain control of the Internet (the overt goal of those who support so called network neutrality) are wrongheaded. Failing in their legal fight they now support the dramatic--either congressional action to hand the Federal Communications Commission control of broadband or to have the FCC reverse its own decade old precedent and suddenly decide it should heavily regulate the Internet.
And of course the desire does not stop there. As has been made clear, regulating the content of the Web, whether by support of state-operated "media" or in other ways, is the endgame.
But the real problem is "control" of any sort. Who can be certain that if broadband is subsidized, controlled by, or dependent on the government, that citizens have some guarantee of "neutrality"?
Remember that the First Amendment is not a grant of power to the government, but rather a restriction placed upon government requiring it to allow free speech. That's because the Founders, and the courts and the people since then, knew that government could not be trusted to umpire speech.
Free-marketers and others who are leery of FCC dominion over broadband--like the dominion the FCC had over telephones--are not arguing for corporate control of the Internet. Rather, control is not needed--neither government control, nor corporate control. What is needed is a balance much as we expect elsewhere, with good law enforcement making sure that good companies do not go awry.
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.