Saturday, August 28, 2010
Too white to adopt: Racist British officials tell banker and his wife they can't give a home to a black or Asian child
Cradling her daughter on her knee, Francesca Polini is every inch the loving, caring mother. She and her banker husband have good incomes, a spacious home and a close network of family and friends. But their hopes of parenthood were initially dashed when town hall bureaucrats said they were ‘too white’ to adopt a child.
Their rejection meant a child in care was denied the chance of a happy, comfortable home and a stable future. And it casts a spotlight on a politically correct adoption system which routinely blocks white couples from giving a home to a child in need.
Mrs Polini, 40, and her husband Rick offered to adopt a black or Asian child, who wait longer for adoption because of a national shortage of ethnic minority couples looking to adopt. But the couple claim officials in Ealing, West London, told them there was a cap on white parents adopting black or Asian children.
Officially, the council denies such a cap exists, but the case echoes those of other white, middle-class couples who have been barred from adopting for the same reason. Mrs Polini said: ‘The woman didn’t even meet us, she just told us on the phone, “I’m afraid you are too white for us to permit you to adopt one of our children”.
‘There was no assessment, it was based purely on our skin colour, and that shouldn’t be what qualifies you to adopt. None of this is about the child’s best interests and frankly it’s immoral.’
Faced with their local authority’s refusal to consider them as adoptive parents, the couple had to search abroad for a child to adopt. Ironically, the same council which had refused their application to adopt a British child was happy to charge more than £4,000 to vet them for international adoption.
After overcoming a series of bureaucratic hurdles, they eventually won permission to adopt a girl in Mexico. Gaia, now two, was granted British citizenship last year, and her parents hope to adopt a second child from Mexico.
Currently there are more than 80,000 children and teenagers in care in Britain, and white children are more likely to be adopted than those from ethnic minorities.
Charities including Barnardo’s have called for a radical review of the adoption system, and Mrs Polini is campaigning for an end to ‘caps’ on inter-racial adoption. The former director of communications at Greenpeace has set up an organisation, Adoption with Humanity, and has written a book about her experiences.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families has apologised to the family for ‘unacceptable and inappropriate’ delays in the handling of their case and has said councils should not bar white couples from adopting black or Asian children.
In a letter to the couple, Ed Balls, then Children’s Secretary, said: ‘We are clear that it is unacceptable for a child to be denied the opportunity to grow up in a loving, permanent family solely on the grounds that the child and the prospective adopters do not share the same racial or cultural background.
‘These are issues that local authorities should take into account, but they should not act as a “bar” in the way that seems to have happened in your case.’ An Ealing Council spokesman denied it discriminated against white couples, saying: ‘We do not have a policy of same-ethnicity adoption.
‘While an ethnic and cultural match is considered important, it is the overall needs of the child that are given priority, and all potential adopters are considered. ‘Since 2006 we have permanently placed 17 children with families of different ethnic backgrounds, which is 19 per cent of the children placed.’
Political correctness affects your tax liability??
Z STREET, a pro-Israel non-profit corporation, filed a lawsuit in federal court today charging that the IRS violated the organization’s First Amendment rights. The suit was filed after Z STREET was told by an IRS official that its application for tax-exempt status has been delayed because an IRS policy requires consideration of whether a group’s views on Israel differ from those of the current Administration.
“Not only is it patently un-American but it is also a clear violation of the First Amendment for a government agency to penalize an organization because of its political position on Israel or anything else,” said Z STREET president Lori Lowenthal Marcus, a former First Amendment lawyer. “This situation is the same as if the government denied a driver’s license to people because they were Republicans or Democrats. It goes against everything for which our country stands.”
Z STREET filed for tax-exempt status in January of this year and, despite having met all of the requirements for grant of this status, the application has been stalled. An IRS agent told Z STREET’s lawyers that the application was delayed because of a Special Israel Policy that requires more intense scrutiny of organizations which have to do with Israel, in part to determine whether they espouse positions on Israel contrary to those of the current Administration.
Z STREET is a Zionist organization that proudly supports Israel’s right to refuse to negotiate with, make concessions to, or appease terrorists. Z STREET’s positions on Israel and, in particular, on the Middle East “peace process” differ significantly from those espoused by the Obama administration.
If Z STREET had tax-exempt status, its donors would be able to deduct contributions from their taxable income. The IRS's refusal to grant tax-exempt status to Z STREET has inhibited the organization‘s fundraising efforts, and therefore impeded its ability to speak and to educate the public regarding the issues that are the focus and purpose of Z STREET.
The Real Radio Hatemongers
Last week, Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced on CNN that she was hanging up her headphones at the end of the year. If she could not exercise her freedom of speech, she said, she was not interested in the job.
Watchdogs on the left had pounced on a conversation she had with a black woman in which she proclaimed something that everyone with cable TV knows is true. The N-word is acceptable vernacular for black comedians on HBO, but it's not something you can ever, ever say if you're not black.
While making this point, Dr. Laura purposely said the N-word repeatedly during this proclamation, and that was all the left needed to start contacting sponsors, suggesting they shouldn't want their products associated with this viciously racist talk show. It didn't matter that even liberal editorialists in The Washington Post declared that there was nothing at all racist in what the doctor said.
The left had found their to chance to silence her, and they pounced. All they needed to do was distort the context completely, and they did so masterfully.
The hypocrites. Leftists say outrageous things on the radio routinely, things they truly mean, too, and those remarks never see the light of day on ABC, CBS and NBC. Talking about the N-word is wrong but wishing death on political enemies is OK when the rhetorical bombs are dropped on conservatives. The Media Research Center has a new report chronicling who the real radio hatemongers are.
Start with Ed Schultz, perpetually out of control on MSNBC. On June 16, 2009, Joe Scarborough asked Schultz if he felt Dick Cheney hoped Americans would die in a terrorist attack so it would benefit Republicans. "Absolutely, absolutely," said Schultz. "I think Dick Cheney is all about seeing this country go conservative on a hard-right wing, and I think he'll do anything to get it there."
On the radio Aug. 11, 2009, Schultz spewed: "Sometimes I think they want Obama to get shot. I do. I think that there are conservative broadcasters in this country who would love to see Obama taken out." This might be what they call projection coming from Schultz, since he begged for Cheney to die. "Lord, take him to the promised land," he proclaimed on May 11, 2009.
Or take Montel Williams, the former TV talk-show host who had a brief tenure on Air America radio before it imploded. On July 21, 2009, he explained what conservatives had planned for uninsured Americans: "When they show up at the emergency room, just shoot 'em! Kill them! ... Do we have enough body bags? I don't know."
Reporters scream in protest over anyone calling Obama a socialist but they don't find anything scandalous in vicious lies like these.
Randi Rhodes aired a February 2008 radio skit where she bizarrely imagined the Mitt Romney campaign saying they would go on a shooting rampage and commit mass suicide if John McCain won the GOP nomination. She had one Republican claim: "As a true Republican, I'm prepared to poison my own children if John McCain is the nominee."
Left-wing radio hosts even blame their conservative counterparts for 9/11. I'm not kidding. Mike Malloy shouted at his opponents on Jan. 19, 2010: "Do you not understand that the people you hold up as heroes bombed your goddamn country? Do you not understand that Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly are as complicit of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack as any one of the dumb-ass 15 who came from Saudi Arabia?"
Has any conservative ever said anything remotely similar to this?
He also claimed on April 19, 2010 that Beck and Limbaugh rejoiced over the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995: "This is what Beck and Limbaugh and the rest of these right-wing freaks want to see happen again. And again. And again. Endlessly."
Perhaps Malloy is granted an exception because he sounds clinically insane. He has claimed Rep. Michele Bachmann "would have gladly rounded up the Jews in Germany and shipped them off to death camps." He has claimed Cheney "must have feasted on a Jewish baby, or a Muslim baby." He has claimed that the mild-mannered Fred Barnes "is beyond crazy. I'm sure he eats children's arms or legs for afternoon snacks."
Then consider this: Malloy was a news writer for CNN for years. Schultz was awarded a platform on MSNBC for his hatred. Those supposed guardians of civility in our liberal media are not bowing their heads in embarrassment. They are nodding their heads in agreement.
Australia: Helmet liberty upheld
In 46 years of bike riding, Sue Abbott has never worn a helmet. So when the highway patrol pulled her over in country Scone and fined her for a no-helmet offence, she decided to fight. The 50-year old mother of four has never been in trouble with the law, has never fallen from her bike, and thought it ridiculous she could not ride at 15km/h on a dedicated cycleway with an uncovered head.
A police video of the incident last year records the sergeant surmising "it's a hair thing", a view shared by many people when they first meet her. But Ms Abbott says it's nothing to do with her exuberant hair. Her objections are based on her belief that wearing a helmet increases the risk of brain damage - and that forcing her to wear one is a breach of her civil liberties.
When she tried that argument in the Scone local court, the magistrate would have none of it. He fined her $50 plus costs. But when she appealed and laid out her view in the District Court in March, she went a long way to persuading the judge that, 19 years after the laws came into force, there is still no clear evidence of their benefit.
Ms Abbott argued that if she fell from her bike while wearing a helmet she would be at greater risk of brain damage from "diffuse external injury" (see box), an injury similar to shaken baby syndrome, than if she fell on her bare head.
It may seem ridiculous to suggest helmets could do anything other than improve one's chances in an accident and reduce the number of brain injuries, but there is a serious debate under way on the subject in international medical and transport safety journals - and Judge Roy Ellis happily admitted his own doubts about the laws.
"Having read all the material, I think I would fall down on your side of the ledger," the judge told Ms Abbott after she had spelt out her case against the laws that exist in few countries other than Australia and New Zealand. "I frankly don't think there is anything advantageous and there may well be a disadvantage in situations to have a helmet - and it seems to me that it's one of those areas where it ought to be a matter of choice."
He found Ms Abbott had "an honestly held and not unreasonable belief as to the danger associated with the use of a helmet by cyclists", and quashed her conviction, although he still found her offence proven.
Now Scone police ignore Ms Abbott as she cycles to town, although one yelled at her "you're not in Paris now" - a remark which prompted her to send police a photograph of herself bareheaded on a bike on the Champs-Elysees marked "Greetings from Paris".
Ms Abbott's success in court delighted Bill Curnow of the Cyclists Rights Action Group. In several peer-reviewed publications he has argued there has been no reduction in brain injury levels due to helmet laws.
Why force cyclists to wear helmets when politicians ignored a 1998 report from the Federal Office of Road Safety that showed brain injury rates among motorists would be cut by up to 25 per cent, even where airbags were fitted, if drivers wore bicycle helmets, he said.
Associate Professor Chris Rissel and his colleague Dr Alexander Voukelatos of the University of Sydney's school of public health fuelled debate on the issue with a recent paper saying we would be better off without the laws.
But Professor Frank McDermott, who led the original campaign for them, said repealing them would be guaranteed to increase head injury rates and Dr Rissel's paper was flawed. "It'll be as backward a step as it would be to tell motorists they don't have to wear seatbelts," he said on ABC radio.
Ms Abbott said that was a ridiculous comparison. "I should be entitled to make this call about whether I can wear a helmet. "You can still smoke, we are eating and drinking ourselves into early graves, but you can't ride a bicycle without a helmet," she said.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). 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.