Saturday, September 11, 2010
Australia: A strict Christian background excuses pedophilia?
This is crazy. It's an insult to Christians. There are many millions of people from a strict Christian background and almost all develop normal relationships and marry. It's the individual who is at fault, not the religious background.
I was very religious in my teens and so was something of a late-starter with male/female relationships but it did me no harm and probably protected me from a lot of follies
A teenager who sexually abused four girls aged under six has been released without conviction because of his sexually repressive upbringing in a family of charismatic missionaries.
In an unusual judgment in the Northern Territory Supreme Court yesterday, judge Judith Kelly accepted psychiatric evidence that the lifestyle and religious attitudes of the parents had distorted the "normal psycho-social development" of the accused, who was 15 when the offences occurred.
Quoting a psychiatric report, Justice Kelly said: "The normal developmental sexual curiosity of an adolescent boy was artificially constrained by his parents and his church culture.
"In particular, there was a taboo against normal sexual experimentation with peers. "That has resulted in (the defendant) pushing to one side what is usually a much stronger taboo in relation to sexualised contact with much younger children. Whilst that might be described as psycho-pathological and a distortion of normal psychological development, it is not a psychiatric illness phenomenon and readily reversible should the external circumstances be changed."
Justice Kelly told the defendant to get an apprenticeship, start making friends with girls his own age and "just grow up like any other normal boy".
"You are not sick. You are not abnormal. You made a very bad mistake and did some very bad things," Justice Kelly said. "It appears you did not fully realise the effect your actions could have on the little girls. "I accept that you are very sorry. You need to put it behind you now and move on with your life."
Justice Kelly said it was sad the family of one victim were grieving because they believed their little girl's innocence had been "destroyed".
She rejected a prosecution submission that the defendant be sentenced under the adult Sentencing Act rather than the Youth Justice Act because at least one of the victims was subject to "stage-two grooming".
The offences occurred at various locations between September and December last year and involved the defendant placing his hands and fingers on the vaginas and bottoms of the victims. There was no evidence of penetration and the accused had told police: "I just wanted to find out what it felt like."
The psychiatric report urged the defendant's parents to be involved in joint counselling.
The Eternal Flame of Muslim Outrage
Shhhhhhh, we're told. Don't protest the Ground Zero mosque. Don't burn a Koran. It'll imperil the troops. It'll inflame tensions. The "Muslim world" will "explode" if it does not get its way, warns sharia-peddling imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Pardon my national security-threatening impudence, but when is the "Muslim world" not ready to "explode"?
At the risk of provoking the ever-volatile Religion of Perpetual Outrage, let us count the little-noticed and forgotten ways.
Just a few months ago in Kashmir, faithful Muslims rioted over what they thought was a mosque depicted on underwear sold by street vendors. The mob shut down businesses and clashed with police over the blasphemous skivvies. But it turned out there was no need for Allah's avengers to get their holy knickers in a bunch. The alleged mosque was actually a building resembling London's St. Paul's Cathedral. A Kashmiri law enforcement official later concluded the protests were "premeditated and organized to vitiate the atmosphere."
Indeed, art and graphics have an uncanny way of vitiating the Muslim world's atmosphere. In 1994, Muslims threatened German supermodel Claudia Schiffer with death after she wore a Karl Lagerfeld-designed dress printed with a saying from the Koran. In 1997, outraged Muslims forced Nike to recall 800,000 shoes because they claimed the company's "Air" logo looked like the Arabic script for "Allah." In 1998, another conflagration spread over Unilever's ice cream logo -- which Muslims claimed looked like "Allah" if read upside-down and backward (can't recall what they said it resembled if you viewed it with 3D glasses).
Even more explosively, in 2002, an al-Qaida-linked jihadist cell plotted to blow up Bologna, Italy's Church of San Petronio because it displayed a 15th century fresco depicting Mohammed being tormented in the ninth circle of Hell. For years, Muslims had demanded that the art come down. Counterterrorism officials in Europe caught the would-be bombers on tape scouting out the church and exclaiming, "May Allah bring it all down. It will all come down."
That same year, Nigerian Muslims stabbed, bludgeoned or burned to death 200 people in protest of the Miss World beauty pageant -- which they considered an affront to Allah. Contest organizers fled out of fear of inflaming further destruction. When Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel joked that Mohammed would have approved of the pageant and that "in all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from among them," her newspaper rushed to print three retractions and apologies in a row. It didn't stop Muslim vigilantes from torching the newspaper's offices. A fatwa was issued on Daniel's life by a Nigerian official in the sharia-ruled state of Zamfara, who declared that "the blood of Isioma Daniel can be shed. It is abiding on all Muslims wherever they are to consider the killing of the writer as a religious duty." Daniel fled to Norway.
In 2005, British Muslims got all hot and bothered over a Burger King ice cream cone container whose swirly-texted label resembled, you guessed it, the Arabic script for "Allah." The restaurant chain yanked the product in a panic and prostrated itself before the Muslim world. But the fast-food dessert had already become a handy radical Islamic recruiting tool. Rashad Akhtar, a young British Muslim, told Harper's Magazine how the ice cream caper had inspired him: "Even though it means nothing to some people and may mean nothing to some Muslims in this country, this is my jihad. I'm not going to rest until I find the person who is responsible. I'm going to bring this country down."
In 2007, Muslims combusted again in Sudan after an infidel elementary school teacher innocently named a classroom teddy bear "Mohammed." Protesters chanted, "Kill her, kill her by firing squad!" and "No tolerance -- execution!" She was arrested, jailed and faced 40 lashes for blasphemy before being freed after eight days. Not wanting to cause further inflammation, the teacher rushed to apologize: "I have great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone, and I am sorry if I caused any distress."
And who could forget the global Danish cartoon riots of 2006 (instigated by imams who toured Egypt stoking hysteria with faked anti-Islam comic strips)? From Afghanistan to Egypt to Lebanon to Libya, Pakistan, Turkey and in between, hundreds died under the pretext of protecting Mohammed from Western slight, and brave journalists who stood up to the madness were threatened with beheading. It wasn't really about the cartoons at all, of course. Little-remembered is the fact that Muslim bullies were attempting to pressure Denmark over the International Atomic Energy Agency's decision to report Iran to the UN Security Council for continuing with its nuclear research program. The chairmanship of the council was passing to Denmark at the time. Yes, it was just another in a long line of manufactured Muslim explosions that were, to borrow a useful phrase, "premeditated and organized to vitiate the atmosphere."
When everything from sneakers to stuffed animals to comics to frescos to beauty queens to fast-food packaging to undies serves as dry tinder for Allah's avengers, it's a grand farce to feign concern about the recruitment effect of a few burnt Korans in the hands of a two-bit attention-seeker in Florida. The eternal flame of Muslim outrage was lit a long, long time ago.
Sheriffs want lists of patients using painkillers
Given the many abuses of the "war on drugs", this would terrify me if I needed pain relief in NC --JR
Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances.
The state sheriff's association pushed the idea Tuesday, saying the move would help them make drug arrests and curb a growing problem of prescription drug abuse. But patient advocates say opening up people's medicine cabinets to law enforcement would deal a devastating blow to privacy rights.
Allowing sheriffs' offices and other law enforcement officials to use the state's computerized list would vastly widen the circle of people with access to information on prescriptions written for millions of people. As it stands now, doctors and pharmacists are the main users.
Nearly 30 percent of state residents received at least one prescription for a controlled substance, anything from Ambien to OxyContin, in the first six months of this year, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly 2.5 million people filled prescriptions in that time for more than 375 million doses. The database has about 53.5 million prescriptions in it.
Sheriffs made their pitch Tuesday to a legislative health care committee looking for ways to confront prescription drug abuse. Local sheriffs said that more people in their counties die of accidental overdoses than from homicides.
For years, sheriffs have been trying to convince legislators that the state's prescription records should be open to them. "We can better go after those who are abusing the system," said Lee County Sheriff Tracy L. Carter.
Others say opening up patients' medicine cabinets to law enforcement is a terrible idea. "I am very concerned about the potential privacy issues for people with pain," said Candy Pitcher of Cary, who volunteers for the nonprofit American Pain Foundation. "I don't feel that I should have to sign away my privacy rights just because I take an opioid under doctor's care." Pitcher is receiving treatment for a broken back.
The ACLU opposed a bill in 2007 that would have opened the list to law enforcement officials, said ACLU lobbyist Sarah Preston. The organization would likely object to the new proposal.
"What really did concern us is the privacy aspect," she said. Opening the record to more users could deter someone from getting necessary medicine because of the fear that others would find out, she said, "particularly in small towns where everybody knows everybody."
The state started collecting the information in 2007 to help doctors identify patients who go from doctor to doctor looking for prescription drugs they may not need, and to keep pharmacists from supplying patients with too many pills. But only about 20 percent of the state's doctors have registered to use the information, and only 10 percent of the pharmacies are registered.
Many chain pharmacies aren't connected to the Internet, said Andy Ellen, a lobbyist for the N.C. Retail Merchants Association. Pharmacy computers work on closed systems so they won't be vulnerable to viruses that could slow or crash their networks. Pharmacies are trying to figure out a way around that obstacle to the controlled-substance prescriptions list, he said.
Bettie Blanchard, a woman from Dare County whose adult son is recovering from addiction to prescription drugs, said doctors should be required to consult the list when prescribing controlled substances.
She also wants doctors to get more education on prescribing narcotics. Doctors should be required to tell patients that the medicine they are being prescribed can be addictive, she said.
William Bronson, who works in a drug control unit at DHHS, presented what could be a compromise to the sheriffs' request - allowing local drug investigators to request information related to ongoing investigations, but not let them go in to the computer records themselves.
Eddie Caldwell, lobbyist for the N.C. Sheriff's Association, said the level of access to the data is up for discussion.
"There's a middle ground where the sheriffs and their personnel working on these drug abuse cases get the information they need in a way that protects the privacy of that information," he said. "No one wants every officer in the state to be able to log on and look it up."
Fighting against slavery? Pull the other one
Anti-traffickers promiscuously use the s-word in order to present themselves as heroic rescuers of fallen women
Following a series of Channel 4 TV programmes that charted the shocking stories of abuse and exploitation of so-called ‘modern-day slaves’ – women and children from abroad coerced to work in Britain as domestic servants and prostitutes – it is important to make one thing clear: slavery was abolished 200 years ago and it has not returned.
Thankfully, for all Channel 4’s promiscuous use of the s-word, today there are no open markets where men, women and children of a certain colour are bought and sold like cattle, shipped across the world in horrific conditions, and forced to labour against their will with no remuneration. Of course, Channel 4 didn’t literally claim that these eighteenth-century practices still occur; instead it suggested that thousands of foreign women and children are made to work in slave-like conditions, behind closed doors. Nevertheless, the moral imperative to free these people from their metaphorical chains is as strong as the one that eventually abolished the transatlantic slave trade, the programmes implied.
Does it really matter if well-intentioned individuals and TV producers are taking liberty with labels? Isn’t objection to the use of the word slavery simply academic nitpicking, when the main aim should be to help exploited people by any means necessary?
Actually, a critical look at the Channel 4 programmes makes clear that all this ‘slavery’ talk and ‘anti-slavery’ campaigning is only helping to put migrants and would-be migrants into a submissive relationship with police, charities and feminist activists who fancy themselves as modern-day abolitionists. These self-styled rescuers may get a moral boost from their campaigning against ‘modern-day slavery’, but there aren’t many clear benefits for the victims they purport to be rescuing. In fact, often these fantasy, feministic rescue operations result in the deportation of migrants who have invested a great deal of time and money in coming over here to work.
The Channel 4 programmes were: Britain’s Secret Slaves, an investigative documentary about domestic workers; I am Slave, a drama based on the real story of a Sudanese girl kidnapped, sold to an Arabic family, and then brought to Britain as their domestic servant; and The Hunt for Britain’s Sex Traffickers, in which a film crew followed police carrying out a nationwide investigation into enforced prostitution in Britain.
In all programmes, three distinct roles were assigned to those involved. First, there were the Dodgy Foreigners – Middle Eastern diplomats who abused their Asian domestic servants; African rebels raiding villages and kidnapping children to sell to wealthy Arabs; Asian pimps. Second, there were the Foreign Victims – impoverished women and children, adrift in the world and with no power to exercise personal agency. And third, there were the rescuers – white and British police, charities, feminists and filmmakers.
These films did show that history is repeating itself – but what is really making a comeback is not slavery, but the ‘white slavery’ panic of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Only where that panic focused on the potential for Western women to be forced into prostitution abroad by evil Chinese, Indian or African men, today’s trafficking panic focuses on the potential for Third World women to be forced into prostitution by evil Chinese, Indian or African men. It was during the white-slavery scare that the term ‘trafficking’ first emerged. The way in which this alleged ‘trafficking’ was reported back in the nineteenth century, and the moral impulses of those who tried to fight it, are eerily similar to today’s anti-trafficking initiatives.
In a 1999 paper, Jo Doezema, a British academic, outlined how fears and anxieties around mass migration, sexuality and the role of women have infused both the old white-slavery panic and the new trafficking panic. At the turn of the century, the white-slavery scare was triggered by a rise of Western women, at a time of increased mobility, venturing abroad to find work, including as prostitutes. And the modern trafficking panic also emerged at a time of borders opening up and people from poorer parts of the world gaining more opportunities to travel.
During the white-slavery scare, there was a growing concern that foreign men – especially Africans, Jews and the Chinese – might kidnap Western women and force them to work as prostitutes. As with today’s traffickers, they were said to have used force, deceit and drugs to lure women across borders. Then, as now, there was a disproportional focus on women and children – and little appreciation of the fact that women, even if in circumstances of duress, are capable of taking active decisions to leave home.
Back then – just like today – conferences were organised, international agreements were signed and new laws were passed, including restrictions on women’s travel. Media reports, novels and plays were written, and state authorities, early feminists, religious associations and puritanical organisations collaborated to put an end to the trafficking of women by foreign sex pests and money-hungry thugs. The victims of ‘white slavery’ were presented as innocent, pure and virginal girls who were subjected to extreme violence, humiliation and disease. The perpetrators were depicted as mafia-like, often working in collusion with corrupt governments – much like those Asian mafia men and Arab diplomats featured in Channel 4’s documentaries.
As Doezema points out, various studies have shown that the white-slavery scare had little basis in reality, and was instead driven by fears that foreigners would violate respectable Western women and corrupt Western society. And while protective measures were introduced under the guise of ‘helping women’, the underlying moral concern, Doezema argues, was with controlling women.
Today, too, undocumented migrants are widely regarded as being pawns in the debased games of trafficking rings. Yet while kidnapping, coercion and maltreatment certainly occur, the fates of undocumented migrants to the West are really in the hands of what Laura María Agustín has termed ‘the rescue industry’.
In her book Sex at the Margins, Agustín (interviewed on spiked here) describes how ‘rescuers’, even when well-intentioned, end up denying the agency of large numbers of working-class migrants. They treat them as ‘passive subjects rather than as normal people looking for conventional opportunities, conditions and pleasures’. Agustín argues that ‘the victim identity imposed on so many in the name of helping them makes helpers themselves disturbingly important figures.’
Just consider the British police officers featured in The Hunt for Britain’s Sex Traffickers who helped carry out Pentameter Two. That operation was heralded as ‘the largest-ever police crackdown on human trafficking’, and it led to the conviction of precisely zero people for forcing women into prostitution. As one journalist has pointed out, the key witness relied on by the police officers – and by Channel 4’s documentary makers – was not actually rescued by the police, but by one of her punters and his ex-wife. Yet viewers were made to believe that there is a clear link between the hundreds of raids carried out as part of Pentameter Two and the rescue of this witness (who was genuinely forced into prostitution in demeaning circumstances).
On Channel 4, the police were allowed to present themselves as knights in shining armour. There was no mention of the fact that two thirds of the 255 women ‘rescued’ by police during the Pentameter raids in 2006 and 2008 quickly dropped off the radar, declining to be helped by the authorities. This led one researcher to conclude that many of these women were simply in Britain to earn money – just like other migrant workers – and just wanted to get on with it rather than be ‘rescued’. The fact is that migrants from poor parts of the world can earn a lot more money in the sex industry than in other lines of work and they would not regard being arrested in a police raid as a form of ‘rescue’. Sixteen women – alleged victims of trafficking – were deported following the Pentameter raids. How helpful.
Illegal migration involves great risks for migrants. They are vulnerable to exploitation, with some held in flats against their will or forced to work long hours for very little pay. Yet the government and anti-trafficking campaigners only end up strengthening borders, by raising suspicions about every man, woman or child moving here from ‘over there’. It is not in migrants’ interest to be described as slaves. This only gives a moral boost to their self-appointed rescuers, who are involved in what Agustín has labelled ‘a colonialist operation’.
Overblown anti-slavery campaigns are really about rescuing the flagging reputation of the British police, government officials and others. Most migrants probably experience these campaigns as patronising and restrictive.
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.