Thursday, May 20, 2010

Housing in a socialist paradise

Despite all the Hopey Change, Sweden is still ahead of us on the road toward collectivism. Let's see how easy it is to find housing in a place where it's regarded as a "human right":
Long waiting times and high black market prices have long characterised Stockholm's rental housing market… The sheer hopelessness of the situation faced by newcomers to Stockholm looking to rent an apartment has been exposed once again by a report on the findings of the major public housing firms…

The most common scenario is that many tenants keep hold of their rental apartments after having moved. As the waiting times for inner-city Stockholm apartments can run to as long as 20 years many fear never being able to re-enter the market again if they were to surrender their contracts.

Waiting lists are to be expected under socialism, but Stockholm is particularly awful. Of eight comparable EU cities studied in a report by the Swedish Property Federation,
Stockholm stood alone as the city with a long waiting list. It was also the only city with a generally regulated housing system.

As usual, the crisis is a result of Big Government getting its foot in the door.
Hans Lind [a professor of housing economics at the Royal Technical College in Stockholm] explained that the system of regulated rents was introduced in the 1950s as a temporary measure and that now, almost sixty years later, the somewhat unique situation is very difficult to change.

Lind was asked,
Defenders of rent regulation argue that the current system allows people of all incomes and classes to live in the inner-city. Can you see any advantages with the system?

"Only for those who happen to find an apartment. Now it is very much by chance, or for those with a lot of money and the right contacts, or after a very long wait," Lind argued.

"To suggest that the regulated rental market fulfils a social function is just hypocrisy. Take Stockholm. Anyone can see that the rich live in one place, the less well-off somewhere else. There are very few areas where they are mixed."

Some will always be higher on the totem pole than others. In a free country, you climb or slide on your merits. In a socialist country, everything is frozen in place by the bureaucracy. This is why socialism is favored by elitists.
Eric Clark [a professor in human geography at Lund University] on the other hand argued that the rental market should fulfil a social function. "It is a question of whether you see housing as a human right," he said.

When progressives start blathering about their coercive concept of "human rights," it means their moonbattery cannot be defended.


Time's up for these grasping women

By Amanda Platell

The facts are depressingly familiar. But the conclusion, happily, is different. Yet another professional woman made a six-figure claim for compensation, crying sexual harassment. This time, however, the judge unceremoniously threw her case out of court.

Mrs Haley Tansey, 39, was a £39,000-a-year business manager at HBOS. She claimed she was entitled to a £600,000 pay-off for what she described as eight years of hideous sexual harassment, starting in 1998. But Mrs Tansey took until 2007 to make her first complaint - and that was when she was afraid of losing her job.

At that stage, a full nine years on, the blonde banker felt no hesitation in listing a catalogue of complaints: a naked colleague had appeared in her bedroom on a business trip; another colleague said he'd like to 'sh**' her; a third played a game where he graded women colleagues for their sexual attractiveness.

Forgive me for not being sympathetic, but the judge was absolutely right. Mrs Tansey is an educated, sophisticated woman more than capable of giving as good as she got. As the tribunal ruled, Mrs Tansey was 'no cowering wallflower'.

As for her pathetic carping about men eyeing her up, welcome to the world of sexual emancipation. I know of many professional women who, when out drinking together, play a game in which male colleagues are ranked for their sexual attractiveness.

How many of these men would cry 'harassment'? Her case comes hot on the stiletto heels (perhaps Mrs Tansey would say that was a sexist remark) of that of city executive Jordan Wimmer last week.

This 29-year-old failed in her attempt to grab £4 million compensation from her boss Mark Lowe. She had accused him of four years of sexual harassment, saying Lowe made her to go to lapdancing clubs and treated her like a dumb blonde.

However, a tribunal found she had 'not been a persuasive witness' and failed to complain or show distress until long after the incidents had occurred.

As these cases can be so damaging to the reputation of companies and bosses, they're often settled out of court by firms desperate to avoid bad publicity. So we must congratulate Mr Lowe and HBOS for defending themselves through the courts.

Let it be said loud and clear that women who tolerate sexist behaviour in the workplace do themselves and other women a grave disservice.

Such warped behaviour has to be dealt with firmly and quickly. But equally, women playing the helpless 'little me' just betray their sex. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the boardroom.

Not before time, the tide seems to be turning on high-flying women who think they can cry 'sexual discrimination' every time they get sacked or bored with their job and receive out-of-court settlements large enough to set them up in a life of luxury.


Our shattered social contract — children and the first duty of the captured

“And hence it is, that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him.” – John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, Chapter 3, Section 17

“If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.” -- Paragraph III Army Code of Conduct

The consent of the governed to be governed relies upon the government upholding its end of the social contract, primarily signaled by respect for the rule of law. The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution offer a clear, detailed set of terms and conditions for this nation being formed and for the continued consent of the governed. Once a government violates those terms and conditions, via the making of laws contrary to the liberty enshrined in those founding documents and the allowing of its agencies to disregard the rights and protections listed in those documents, the social contract is shattered.

When the social contract is shattered in this way, the government using its power to constrain and diminish liberty, rather than to protect and nourish it, or as John Locke explained in his Second Treatise of Government, “whenever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.”

“Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society,” continued Locke, “and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty.” And, because at this point, the balance of power tips heavily to the side of the government, the people are well within their natural rights to utilize alternative means and theories of conflict resolution.

What greater breach of trust is there than the seizing of a family’s children by a rogue agency acting outside of the rule of law as defined by the founding documents of this nation? What greater betrayal of liberty is there than an agency, funded by tax dollars coerced from the people by threat of incarceration and violence, allowed to harass families and take away their children, all without ever convicting the parents of those children with a crime? It is an affront to freedom and civilization of the highest degree, and families should conduct themselves as such.

Children should be educated about their rights and responsibilities as free individuals. They need to be given the tools and knowledge they need to safely carry out their first duties, if captured within the system of a rogue agency, which are to resist and to escape. That means you must invest your time into raising children that are smart and responsible, with the practical skills they need to act safely outside of your supervision. In discussing plans and options with your children, you must, in the interest of safety, make an accurate assessment of their abilities and their maturity levels.

First, they should have absolute confidence that you will -- no matter what, no matter how long it takes, and by any means necessary – retrieve them. That way, you reduce their anxiety and fear, and help them be able to more in control of their actions, which will enhance their abilities to resist and escape. Discuss in age appropriate terms, taking care not to suggest methods and means that are not safe for an individual child’s maturity and skill level.

Pharmaceutical or chemical restraint is rampant within the CPS system, well documented and receiving attention throughout the nation. Teach them to smartly resist attempts to medicate by palming or cheeking pills and disposing of them without swallowing them. If physically forced to ingest, teach them how to make themselves vomit it up. They need to keep their minds clear and sharp.

Resisting is important, but it must be done smartly. For example, going to public school will offer greater contact and escape opportunities. Therefore, a child should make sure to comply enough to be able to attend school. Then, via the school library’s computer or those used in computer class, an e-mail or instant message can be sent to family and trusted family friends with specific information on location. Many schools have payphones and an observant child may be able to take advantage of an unattended desk phone to call home. Caller ID is cheap, and even if the child can only let the phone ring a few times to ensure the number shows up on the Caller ID, the parent can reverse look-up the number and get a location.

In addition to basic computer and telephone skills, which include memorizing important telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, children should from the time they are conscious of travel, be encouraged to learn how to get around their region. Maps make great posters, helping them to visualize their location in relation to other places, as well as teaching them how to use maps to get from one place to another. When my son was 4 years old, he could recite the route from Disney, in Orlando, Florida, to our suburban upstate New York home. He could list the roads and turns for everyplace we regularly went, from the grocery store 45 minutes away to my sister’s house an hour away to our usual restaurants and such. He could tell us how to get home from almost anywhere we typically went.

Actively teaching your children to be street smart can go a long way towards keeping children safe. Say, for example, because you don’t have $30,000 to drop on a lawyer and you don’t win the public defender lottery and get a lawyer interested in helping you, you are forced to use an alternative approach to rescuing your child. An arrangement is made for the child to slip out of school and meet a family friend a short distance away. You want to know that your child can get out of the school successfully and get to the meeting place safely.

They should know how to walk and talk with confidence, even if they don’t feel it. They need to know, when out in the street, who to make eye contact with, who not to, and why. For example, it is better not to make eye contact with the obviously mentally ill homeless, because you cannot predict the outcome of interaction. In other situations, brief eye contact and a nod is better, as it demonstrates a lack of fear and doesn’t suggest you would be a good victim. They should know countless examples of how people will try to get them into cars (I lost my puppy, can you help? Your mother sent me to pick you up. Can you give me directions to…).

They should know about safe body space and safe distance, to stay out of arm reach of strangers. They should know to be always aware of their location and surroundings, how not to be herded by a predator into an alley or some enclosed area. They should have concrete, step-by-step strategies of what to do if they feel threatened or followed. Make noise, kick parked cars to set off car alarms, ring door bells, and if the situation is desperate (in some neighborhoods, people just don’t want to get involved and won’t help), break a window in a place where you see people, so that they call the police, get into a store or public place and ask for help or call somebody and stay inside until help arrives. And, they should know how to defend themselves, with specific moves and strategies. They shouldn’t be afraid to pick up anything to protect themselves with -- a broken bottle, a garbage can lid, anything at all -- and should understand that at their size and age, the strategy is to fight to get free and then run away.

Older children, those that have demonstrated their maturity and life skill mastery, may be able to be trusted to escape and then contact a family adult or trusted family friend. However, they must be able to make solid assessments of their situation. In some cases, a dangerous situation may arise, and they should be willing to abort the escape plan. Their physical safety has to take priority. However, for a kid armed with knowledge, there are many ways to handle a given situation, and it is possible to construct a plan that will achieve both ends, safety and escape.

For example, say a teen escapes from a foster or a group home, slipping out at night and finds a highway heading towards home and walks it, staying off the road, down in the bush. The teen stops at a rest area and a predator aggressively starts harassing and following, to a degree that the teen doesn’t feel safe to leave. A cop notices the teen loitering. Instead of taking off and chancing that the predator is going to get the teen when the teen is back on the road, it is better to tell a portion of the truth to the cop. But, do not give the cop a real name or birth date. The end result is that, after hanging around the police station for a while, the police will probably deliver the teen to an emergency children’s shelter, from which the teen can contact family via an unattended computer or telephone or escape again. Physical safety was secured and the escape is still in progress.

A sense of personal responsibility for their own liberty and confidence in their natural right to engage in responsible, thoughtful direct action to secure it are among the greatest gifts one can give a child. That confidence should be built on real knowledge and practical skills, not the empty, spell it like it sounds honey sort of false self-esteem and near blind obedience to authority found in the public school systems. An educated child understands his or her natural rights, the terms and conditions of the social contract, and his obligations to himself and his family.


Islamophobia is a Social Disease

by Mike Adams

Have you ever wondered why liberal professors spend class time characterizing conservative Christians as dangerous while describing Islam as a “religion of peace”? Ever wonder why these liberal professors compare conservative Christians to the Taliban while giving the real Taliban a pass? I think I finally figured it out a few weeks ago after I got a surprise visit from the campus police on the final day of the spring semester.

The reason for the visit, which was entirely professional and appropriate, related to my April 26th article “How to Offend Barbarians and Promote Diversity.” Just two days after the article was published the police chief came to visit me because another professor was concerned that those who wish me harm might come to our campus and injure others in their attempt to harm me. In other words, someone might shoot up the place and take an innocent life, which is a very bad thing according to liberals – unless, of course, we’re talking about abortion.

Let me pause and say that I have absolutely no doubt that the professor who called the police did so out of a genuine fear for her safety, rather than malice towards me. But that is where my sympathy for the un-named professor ends. Please allow me to explain.

I’ve written numerous articles referring to real threats I’ve received. I’ve even written articles talking about how I respond to such threats. Of course, when the threats have come from the left there has been no concern that a band of crazy liberals would come and shoot up the workplace. Liberals don’t have guns. They rely on Broadway Security, which is why all of those silly commercials have white burglars. Broadway knows its liberal audience would be offended by the suggestion that blacks commit burglary.

But the article I wrote on April 26th was different than most articles I write. I really got in the face of Revolution Muslim for threatening the producers of South Park with death. I even dared them to put me on their death list. The liberal professors on my campus, who are obsessed with my columns, certainly read my challenge to Revolution Muslim. And one of those liberal professors freaked out and called the police even though no specific threat had been issued against anyone.

The reason for the over-reaction was simple: Muslims were involved. Liberals do not hate Muslims like they hate conservative Christians. They fear Muslims and are so preoccupied with their fear of Muslims that they never get to the point of hating them.

This liberal fear of Muslims is to be found almost everywhere in academia. Take the case of Julio Pino, the radical Muslim Jihadist who teaches at Kent State University. Julio disseminates bomb-making instructions, encourages children to engage in suicide bombings, and generally displays his love of violence in a very public manner. But the liberals who work with Pino will not utter a word of criticism for the simple reason that they fear him.

Recently, I wrote an email to Pino’s Department Chairman at Kent State. In it, I challenged him to speak out against Pino for the misogynistic email he sent to me from his Kent State account. For those who don’t remember – or who have not read my past columns – Pino claimed he sodomized my mother in an obscene email, which used the “c-word,” the “f-word,” and the “a-word.”

But Pino’s Chairman was afraid to criticize his Jihadist subordinate. So I wrote the Kent State University Women’s Center with the following plea:
Dear WRC Director:

I wanted to write to give you a chance to respond to certain misogynistic statements recently made by one of your faculty members, Julio Pino. Professor Pino wrote the following to me from his Kent State University email account: “I (expletive) your mother up her greasy (expletive) and (expletive) while you're not looking.”

For quite some time, I've been concerned that women's centers focus on issues of little importance while ignoring the horrid treatment of women in the name of Islam. There are countless human rights abuses occurring in Iran and in other parts of the Muslim world. But there are also radical Muslims in this country who hate women with a passion. One of those radically misogynistic Muslims is Julio Pino, who teaches not far from where your women's center is located.

I've heard reports for some time that Pino has a tendency to attack women with a level of profanity that makes The Vagina Monologues sound like a Disney Movie. I've even had emails forwarded to me showing hard evidence to support these accusations. And, now that he's sent these statements to me, I've got conclusive proof.

Would you please show the courage that is lacking in Pino's own department and condemn, in writing, his virulently sexist remarks? Your silence on this issue would send one of two bad messages - that you are too afraid of Muslims to confront their bigotry or, perhaps worse, that you lack the courage to stand up for your convictions.

Sincerely, Mike S. Adams

It should go without saying that the Women’s Center was also afraid to condemn Pino. To date, no one at his university is willing to do so publicly.

I would love to see just one liberal professor take a break from criticizing conservative Christians and go after radical Muslims who are, by far, our most intolerant citizens. Of course, that would entail growing a pair, which would immediately place the professor’s status as a liberal in jeopardy.

In the meantime, maybe we could develop sensitivity training sessions to combat rampant Islamophobia on our campuses. Maybe deep beneath their over-blown fear of Muslims there is a reservoir of liberal commitment to principle and indifference to identity politics.



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 is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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