Wednesday, October 13, 2010
NY: Paladino condemns homosexuality, warns against 'brainwashing'
Political correctness does not come easily to Italians in Italy or Italian Americans. They have an admirable tendency to say what they think. Google "Silvio Berlusconi" if you want to find out more about political incorrectness in Italy. Silvio is the Prime Minister of Italy. In America think Tom Tancredo, Joe Arpaio and Joey Vento of Philly cheesesteak fame -- for instance
GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino today went well beyond his opposition to same-sex marriage, telling a Brooklyn Hasidic congregation that children should not be "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option. It isn’t."
He told approximately 50 worshippers at the K’hal Adas Kashau synagogue in Williamsburg that children "would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family."
A prepared text of the speech distributed by leaders of the congregation before it was delivered was much stronger, declaring God disapproves of homosexuality and gays should be ashamed of themselves. "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual," that text said. "That’s not how God created us, and that’s not the example that we should be showing our children."
Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo claimed those remarks were part of an earlier draft prepared by the GOP candidate’s staffers and members of the congregation. When Paladino saw those lines, he disagreed with them and left them out of the speech, Caputo said. The congregation distributed the earlier draft in Paladino’s name without first clearing it with the campaign, Caputo claimed.
The congregation with knowledge of exactly what happened did not respond to calls for comment last night.
Paladino’s Democratic opponent, Andrew Cuomo, blasted the speech as "stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality. "These comments, along with other views he has espoused, make it clear that he is way out of the mainstream and is unfit to represent New York," said Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto.
The speech came within weeks of several anti-gay crimes in the region - the suicide of bullied gay Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, the assault on a homosexual patron at the iconic Stonewall Inn in the West Village and the brutal anti-gay gang attack by the Latin Kings Goonies in The Bronx on Oct. 3.
Paladino’s harsh words about the gay community were blasted - even from members of his own party. "I don’t want New Yorkers to be brainwashed into thinking that ignorance is an equally valid and successful option. It isn’t," said Gregory Angelo, chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans of New York, a gay group.
And Democrat Christine Quinn, the City Council Speaker, said Paladino’s remarks are "dangerous" because they could incite further anti-gay attacks.
But Paladino insisted he was not advocating violence. "My approach is to live and let live," he said. "Don’t misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way - that would be a dastardly lie," he said in the speech.
Paladino went on to say that religious values are under attack. "The ruling elite of this society has got to get over their hostility towards religious people and their values," he said. "We’ve got to stop mocking religion in this country. We have to stop pandering to the pornographers and the perverts who seek to target our children and destroy their lives,"
Paladino made another change to the speech before delivering it. The Williamsburg synagogue leaders asked him to strike a paragraph opposing the proposed mosque near Ground Zero. They did not wish the word "mosque" spoken in their house of worship.
His audience there and at an earlier appearance at a Borough Park synagogue, applauded much of Paladino’s anti-gay rhetoric.
"I oppose the homosexual agenda, whether they call it marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships," Paladino told congregants at the Karlsburg Synagogue. "Marriage is between a man and a woman," he said. "Tell your people that I am the religious-values candidate and my opponent is the ultra-liberal, socialist, social extremist that he is."
In introducing the candidate in Borough Park, Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman on family issues for Rabbinical Alliance of America, praised Paladino’s anti-gay-marriage stance. "For 30 years or more, we have been kept down in the plantation by a liberal Democratic machine that throws us a few bread crumbs, a few shekels," the rabbi said. "For the first time in 3 and a half decades we have a gentleman who is - yes, he’s rough, he’s a little coarse, he’s not so dignified, but he tells it like it is."
Paladino praised the Hasidic community, saying, "Although my opponent and his liberal party and too many liberals in my party have pushed our culture terribly downhill, your community .¤.¤. can still band together to save societal values."
British police bastardry again
Photographer Dave Hogan was waiting at a red traffic light in North London when he reached over to the passenger seat to retrieve his new iPhone, which was about to fall on to the floor.
As he did so, there was a knock on the car window. Dave looked up to see a callow youth in a policeman’s uniform instructing him to pull over to the kerb. What followed was a Kafkaesque encounter with the bold future of London law enforcement.
The young officer, who had only recently graduated from the police academy at Hendon and was receiving on-the-job supervision from a WPC, told Hogan to park in a busy bus lane.
He pointed out that not only was he stationary, he wasn’t actually using the phone, merely moving it back on the seat to prevent it sliding off. In any event, it had a hands-free attachment.
Furthermore, he invited the officer to examine the directory in his iPhone, which would prove he hadn’t been making a call. Modern mobiles contain a record of the date, time and duration of all incoming and outgoing calls. It indicated that he had last used the phone a few minutes earlier, when he had pulled onto a petrol station forecourt for a can of pop and a packet of crisps.
There was no activity at the time the policeman claimed he had seen Dave using the phone. The last call recorded was at 1.09pm, a fact also confirmed by the telephone service provider from its own computerised log. This didn’t prevent the rookie cop writing out a ticket, specifying the time the alleged offence had taken place: 1.15pm.
Hogan insists he was ultra-polite to the officer, even though his patience was sorely tried. While parked in the bus lane, he saw a number of motorists drive past using their mobiles on the move. When he pointed this out, the young copper wasn’t interested. Dave appealed to the more experienced WPC, but she refused to intervene.
The policeman asked him to make a statement. Dave denied categorically that he had been using his phone and had firm evidence to prove it. ‘Why aren’t you writing this down?’ he asked.
‘I shall summarise your comments,’ he was told. The officer then asked him to sign the summary. Dave declined, on the perfectly reasonable grounds that it wasn’t what he had said. The interview then took a surreal turn.
Plod asked for his ethnic origin. Why? Just routine, sir. The police have to record the race and sex of everyone they stop. Dave said he was Welsh. Young Lochinvar studied his form, which contained an impressive catalogue of exotic ethnic categories. But not, apparently, exhaustive. After scouring it for a few moments, he announced: ‘I haven’t got a box for Welsh. I’ll put you down as White Other.’
He gave Dave a summons, telling him he had a week to plead guilty by post, pay a £60 fine and accept three penalty points on his licence. The alternative was to challenge the ticket in court, and run the risk of being disqualified from driving and fined £1,000, if the magistrate sides with the Old Bill and refuses to believe his version of events.
Dave would also have to take a day off work and pay a lawyer £500 to argue his case. Both police officers could also be tied up in court for a whole day, reducing still further the pathetically small number of bobbies on the beat.
If the court accepts the phone company’s record, proving that no call had been made or received at the time alleged in the summons, Dave would be cleared and would be entitled to claim costs from the police. In other words, the taxpayer would end up footing the bill for this farce.
Dave tells me he intends to fight and the whole affair has left a sour taste. He has had a clean licence for 30 years, a remarkable achievement for any motorist in the age of the Gatso, let alone a Fleet Street photographer in a flash 4x4.
He’s even prepared to acknowledge an excess of zeal in an over-enthusiastic young bobby making his first tentative steps on the street in an official culture of bureaucratic box-ticking and a voracious appetite for income raised by fines. But that doesn’t explain the attitude of the dopey WPC supposed to be babysitting her young charge. She could have nipped the whole thing in the bud when it became obvious a mistake had been made.
In his long career in newspapers, Dave has always been happy to help the police. Now he says he wouldn’t give them the time of day. This incident blocked a bus lane for 25 minutes and has shaken Dave’s belief in the honesty of the police. He never imagined he would be fitted up for a phone call he can prove he didn’t make. He naturally wonders why the police would go to such lengths to criminalise a law-abiding, middle-class taxpayer.
Yesterday, as the Equalities Commission published its latest report on ‘fairness’, there was the usual furore over the high number of young black men supposedly stopped unnecessarily by the police. But I’ve never seen any statistics for the number of middle-class, white — or White Other, come to that — motorists buggered about for no good reason.
Dave’s promised to keep me posted, but I shouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the day I haven’t received a raft of emails from Daily Mail readers relating similar tales of woe and officiousness on the part of Plod.
And the police wonder why Middle Britain’s faith in the forces of law and order is at an all-time low. Mind how you go.
The perverse British welfare system again
Child poverty is higher in working families than in jobless households, study shows
There are now more children living in poverty among working families than in homes where no-one has a job, analysis revealed yesterday. It found that the number of children who live below the official poverty line even though at least one of their parents goes out to work has jumped by a third – 80,000 – in just ten years.
At the same time there has been a drop of a quarter in the total number of children in poor families where no-one works – largely thanks to the last Labour government’s drive to give state help and extra benefits to single mothers.
Almost all of the impoverished working families have two parents and many are families in which the father holds down a job while the mother stays at home to bring up the children.
The figures, from a report by the charity Trust for London, cover the capital alone. But they reflect a slide into poverty for working families that has also been shown up by Whitehall figures over the past three years.
Department of Work and Pensions calculations suggest there are now around 1.8million children in the country who are living below the poverty line, even though at least one of their parents goes out to work.
The figures come at a time of growing controversy over the Coalition Government’s plans. Ministers have promised to reward working people and withdraw help from shirkers. But plans announced so far suggest middle-income working families will be hit.
Yesterday’s report, London’s Poverty Profile, measured families living on incomes that are under 60 per cent of average income - the figure used by Whitehall as the poverty line. In the financial year that ended in March 2008, for a family with two parents and two children under 14 this was £288 a week.
The report said that in London that the number of children in poverty in homes where no-one has a job had fallen from 415,000 in the late 1990s to 305,000 in 2009 – a drop of almost 27 per cent. But the number of poor children in working families went up from 240,000 to 320,000, an increase of 33 per cent. ‘The vast majority of children in low-income, working households are in couple households,’ the report said. ‘So in-work poverty is much more strongly associated with couple rather than lone parent households.’
It added: ‘This change reflects national trends – the number of children in low-income working households in the UK is now at a record level. ‘Moreover this number actually increased during the first months of the recession, as people in work moved from full time to part-time work, and households with two earners became single earner households.’
Other analysts have pointed to the way the benefits system favours single parents, particularly through the tax credit system. The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that in some cases a single mother is £200 a week better off than a couple would be because of the benefit trap for two-parent families.
Dr Dan Boucher of the charity CARE, which last week showed that the Coalition changes to child benefit and tax credits will mean an effective tax increase of over 40 per cent for some one-earner families, said state policies were pushing families apart.
‘The Government uses taxpayers’ money to make it more rather than less likely that children will be brought up in one parent homes,’ he said. ‘We must move to a new system that is supportive of what research demonstrates is the best environment for child development, the two-parent family, and in which work pays.’
Bharat Mehta of Trust for London said that his charity’s report ‘gives us a real insight into the impact the recession has had’. He added: ‘We call upon the Chancellor carefully to consider what impact his cuts will have, and in particular who will pay the greatest price for them.’
British cops want to be above the law
They often already are de facto. Now they want to make it de jure
Britain’s most senior police officer has privately lobbied the Home Secretary to make it more difficult for civilians to sue Scotland Yard. Sir Paul Stephenson claimed that money is being wasted fighting speculative law suits by civilians alleging brutality or wrongful arrest.
The Metropolitan Police commissioner also urged the Home Secretary to load higher costs onto officers and other staff suing police forces at employment tribunals over claims of discrimination or unfair treatment.
He added that members of the public should be charged a fee for making Freedom of Information requests, which he said were burdening police forces with unmanageable levels of paperwork.
But civil rights groups have condemned Sir Paul’s suggestions as an attempt to put the police beyond the rule of law.
The Met commissioner wrote to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, on June 22. In the letter, marked confidential, he set out a list of proposals designed to cut costs and free officers from red tape.
Calling for more obstacles to be placed in the way of members of the public bringing civil claims against the police, he wrote: "We believe there needs to be a radical shakeup of the system; currently for every pound paid out in compensation, up to £10 or sometimes more has to be paid out in legal costs to the claimants' lawyers.
"One of the key aspects is that the average settlements are well under £10,000 and most under £5,000, in other words these are not major areas of police misconduct with long-lasting consequences but often technical breaches."
James Welch, of the civil rights group Liberty, said: "The ability to challenge police misconduct in court is a vital constitutional safeguard against abuse of power. Under current rules, if you lose a case in the civil courts you can expect to be ordered to pay your successful opponent's legal costs." "A service bound to uphold the rule of law should not attempt to carve out an exception for itself," he told The Guardian.
Sir Paul also complained that police are forced to waste time and money defending employment tribunal claims brought by staff who later drop them, without incurring any financial penalty.
"As you will be aware, currently there are no cost disincentives for claimants lodging speculative employment tribunal claims which are withdrawn after considerable public resources have been expended in order to respond to such claims.
"We propose that a fee for issuing claims could be introduced and the grounds upon which costs can be made widened to meet these concerns," he wrote.
"Similarly, there is currently no incentive for claimants to accept early offers of settlement and substantial cost could be saved if claimants were put on risk as to costs from the time that such an offer is made."
Paul McKeever, chief of the Police Federation of England and Wales, denied that officers and staff are making “speculative” claims against the forces that employ them.
"Going to an employment tribunal is the last resort people take after being frustrated by the system. Nobody wants to go to an employment tribunal – it's a horrible process to go through," he said.
Sir Paul also urged the Home Secretary to slap fees on freedom of information requests after his force received 3,373 such requests last year.
He wrote: "We welcome the recent government commitment to review the application of FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] and would encourage you to consider introducing a fee (as there is for Data Protection Act requests) to bring it into line with the Data Protection Act."
A spokesman for the Home Office last night confirmed that Mrs May had received Sir Paul’s letter. He said: “The Home Secretary enjoys a good relationship with Sir Paul Stephenson. It is usual for him to write to her with his opinions and the home secretary always considers them carefully."
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.