Friday, December 31, 2010

NC: Wrong lunchbox; honor student suspended & charged for “weapon”

A standout North Carolina high school student has been suspended for the remainder of her senior year and charged with a misdemeanor for having a small paring knife in her lunchbox.

Ashley Smithwick, 17, of Sanford told WRAL she accidentally took her father's lunchbox to Southern Lee High School in October instead of her own when school officials searched the lunchbox, along with several other students' possessions, possibly looking for drugs.

Ashley's father, Joe Smithwick told the station the lunchbox had a paring knife inside so that he could slice up an apple that accompanied it. "It's just an honest mistake. That was supposed to be my lunch because it was a whole apple," he said.

But school officials didn't see it that way. The athlete who takes college-level courses was suspended for the remainder for the school year, banned from campus and this month was charged with misdemeanor possession of a weapon on school grounds, WRAL reported.

Ashley says she finds the punishment particularly alarming because she's never been in trouble before. "I don't understand why they would even begin to point the finger at me and use me as an example," she told the station.

Lee County Superintendent Jeff Moss told the Sanford Herald that he couldn't discuss the specifics of Ashley's case, but that under school policy principals can determine discipline on a case by case basis and that discipline is usually less severe if a student who accidentally carries a weapon to school reports it rather than having a teacher find it.

"When the principals conduct their investigations, what typically is fleshed out is the true intent," he told the paper. "Bottom line is: We want to ensure every child feels safe on our campus."

Despite the suspension, Ashley is completing her coursework though online courses at Central Carolina Community College but says she worries how the incident will affect her college prospects. "When you have a criminal record no school's going to look at you," she told WRAL. "I have a pretty nice talent. I'm good at playing soccer and that talent is just wasted now."


Save the children from Hooters?

NOW calls on the breast-obsessed chain to stop serving kids

The National Organization for Women is protesting Hooters. I know: Yawn. Next I'll be interrupting major sporting events with breaking news that Gloria Steinem isn't a fan of the "Girls Gone Wild" franchise. But, seriously, the argument at play here is more interesting than it at first seems. It isn't the breast-obsessed chain's existence that is being challenged, but rather the fact that Hooters serves children. Clearly, there is abundant evidence that Hooters is guilty of poor taste (see: restaurant name) -- but should the chain be forced to card customers at the door and turn away anyone younger than 18? Several California chapters of NOW have filed official complaints alleging just that.

Hooters is described in official business filings as a provider of "vicarious sexual entertainment." NOW points out that the chain has "used this designation as a way to avoid compliance with regulations against sexual discrimination in the workplace." The official employment manual warns that a waitress is, as NOW paraphrases, "employed as a sexual entertainer and as part of her employment can expect to be subjected to various sexual jokes by customers and such potential contacts as buttocks slaps." At the same time, however, Hooters is marketed as a family-friendly restaurant. It offers a kid's menu, high chairs, booster seats and all sorts of merchandise for little tykes -- like a "Life begins at Hooters" T-shirt, an "I'm a boob man" onesie and a "Your crib or mine?" bib.

We could argue over whether Hooters has a healthy impact on a kid's developing view of women and sex, but I tend to think entertainment and dining decisions should be left up to individual parents. More important, that isn't the issue at hand. In this case, NOW (which hasn't always been a model of moderate thinking) has taken the exceedingly reasonable position that Hooters shouldn't be allowed to have the best of both worlds: Either it functions exclusively as an adult venue, and continues to protect itself (somewhat) from sexual discrimination claims, or it's held to the same standards as any ol' family restaurant and gets to keep on serving the kiddies tater tots and creepy onesies.


The Destructive Nature of Envy and Why Arabs Hate Jews

Jews show Arabs up as being useless and stupid

Nancy Kobrin, PhD, Joan Lachkar, PhD

As mental health professionals and as political analysts, it is our opinion, that the on-going Arab-Israeli Conflict is powered by Envy as the root cause. Just as Chaucer said that money is the root of all evil [Chaucer was quoting the New Testament. 1 Timothy 6:10], we say in turn that envy is the root of all evil. The Palestinians held the land for a thousand years and did nothing all those years to enhance or fertilize it, keeping it as a total wasteland. The Jews came back to their homeland and in decades transformed it to a rich green fertile land of Milk and Honey.

Politicians, historians, let alone the media, have grossly overlooked or shown myopia to the destructive nature of envy. Of course we don't expect these experts and governmental officials and people in Homeland Security to understand a fundamental principle, which governs all human forces as do psychoanalysts and those in the mental health profession. We feel, though, that it is our moral responsibility and the time is right to present the primitive nature of envy as fundamental to the political state as the centerpiece and major deterrent to peace.

More and more people are beginning to understand how peace negotiations, empathy, offers of land for peace are falsely embraced and then immediately repudiated. Several times the Israelis reached out to the Palestinians and each time the effort was rebuffed or repudiated. Yasser Arafat accepted Rabin's offer with much gratitude and smiles, only later to reveal his smile was really a smirk like the cat who swallowed the canary. Lttle did we know in the next breath he would bring explosives and weapons to wage an even fiercer war against the Jews, let alone to assuage his military cohorts martyrs who feared his betrayal to their cause -- the destruction of Israel.

Throughout history the Jews have been the most successful group of people in science, music, literature, entertainment and winners of Nobel prizes. We take a pause and question why? Jews throughout history have not only been encouraged to question G-d to not live by dogma, but to study Talmud. In doing so they have been for generations questioning, analyzing, and examining. Freud's nanny would read him Bible stories every night and in the story of Joseph, Joseph is asked to analyze three dreams. Is it any wonder that Freud would develop an entire psychology based on what might have been for having read these stories (dream interpretation, the understanding of dysfunctional families, the unconscious, sibling rivalry, oedipal rivals etc.)?

But why envy? The answer is simple. More than any group, the Jews have been awarded the Nobel Prize for worldwide recognition in such fields as chemistry, engineering, science, literature, medicine, entertainment, physics, economics, and peace winners. In spite of being one of the smallest populations represented in the world population (only 2 percent), the Jews excel. Another reason may be historical but Biblically-based Jews have not only adhered to the myth of being "G-d's Chosen People," they have made it a reality. Yet we hasten to add that being chosen means observing the 613 mitzvot of the Bible – it doesn’t mean that Jews are “special,” which of course is part of the reason why many envy. Success has not come easy for them, yet they have persevered through persecution, the Holocaust and hard labor.

Much fun is made of the Jewish mother syndrome and her effort to enforce her "son's chosenness” through education, thinking, inventing, and there is some truth here. Freud once quipped in a joke about a Jewish mother running frantically along the beach screaming, "Help! Help! My son the doctor is drowning!” In many earlier contributions, this second author has written about how Jews because of the envy they evoke in others with this admiration comes sadistic attacks against them - hence the Holocaust.

Envy differs from jealousy and is considered to be the most primitive fundamental emotion. It is destructive in nature and is based on hatred and evil and its intent is to destroy that which is enviable. Jealousy, unlike envy, is based on love wherein one desires to be part of the family, the clan, the group or the nation. It is a higher form of development and does not seek to destroy.

In conclusion, as political analysts and therapists, it would be nice to offer a cure, suggestions, how to overcome this brutal and toxic syndrome, but that would be rather grandiose on our part. Our purpose is mainly to draw attention to an area that has not been given much attention by the media or those who study and unravel the mystery of terrorism and suicide bombings. Why else would an entire nation devote/dedicated themselves to destroying a tiny majority of people whom they regard with hatred and evil? For the time being, until a further explanation comes along, the answer is ENVY!


Christianity not mentioned in Australia's proposed national history curriculum

The draft national curriculum for history opened an exciting prospect. Here was a chance, I thought, to defend the honour of Christianity amid the cut and thrust of educational theory, pitting myself against the intricate arguments of those who would deny, or at least downplay, the greatness of the influence of Christianity in the unravelling of the great events of the ages.

Yet the compilers of the draft curriculum have chosen the simplest strategy of all: deliberate, pointed, tendentious and outrageous silence. In its 20 pages, the draft ancient history curriculum mentions religion twice. There is no reference to Christianity anywhere in the document.

The draft modern history curriculum is 30 pages long. Christianity is simply never mentioned, at least not explicitly. The word religion appears twice, the first occurrence in the context of Indian history, the second in the context of Asian and African decolonisation. However the precise phrase in which it is found discloses the agenda of the compilers: "The effect of racism, religion and European cultures." This, surely, is an oblique mention of Christianity and a judgment upon it at the same time.

The English philosopher Roger Scruton took the word oikophobia and gave it a new meaning. Oikophobia literally means fear of one's own home, but Scruton nicely adapted it to mean "the repudiation of inheritance and home", the contemptuous rejection of everything that one's parents and grandparents respected, fed by the vanity of a new and supposedly enlightened way of looking at the world.

The name of Christianity is particularly odious to those oikophobes for whom the hope of a multinational and God-free world stands in the place of the dream of a promised land. For such people Christianity has brought more misery than relief, more gloom than joy, more war than peace, more hatred than love.

And - let us be honest - they can produce evidence to support all those opinions. They can point to the massacres of the Crusades, the use of torture and connivance at capital punishment by the Inquisition, the ruthless eradication of the Albigensians, the Thirty Years War, apparent indifference (in some places) to slavery, the treatment of the Jews throughout European history, the fighting in Northern Ireland, the brutish behaviour of certain clergy towards children.

But against that - if they are honest - they will have to acknowledge that all the evil deeds done by men professing themselves Christian have been counterbalanced by all the good things that have been done in the name of Christ.

The systematic care of the poor, the relief of prisoners, the establishment of hospitals, schools and universities, the self-sacrificing saintliness of many clergy, active resistance to the bullying of civil authorities, the amelioration and ultimately the prohibition of slavery, and the improvement of the lot of women (yes, that too) . . . all these things have emerged within a society that has been predominantly Christian.

Even today, in the shadow land of the post-Christian era, there are many who insist on calling themselves Christians still who have abandoned the faith but maintain a firm commitment to what they rightly regard as the "Christian ethic".

Yet the draft curriculum in history avoids all of this. It is almost completely silent on the whole matter of Christianity. It chooses to ignore a worldwide religious movement that has marched with civilisation for 2000 years, infusing it with a morality that has shaped the thinking of the whole of society, including the minds of those who lost the faith but clung to the moral view. This omission is not just careless, it is staggeringly inept and profoundly dishonest.

What would an honest and inclusive curriculum look like? It would recognise the enormous influence of religion in the world since late antiquity.

Moreover, being an Australian curriculum, intended for students in Australian schools, it would not pretend to the possibly laudable but utterly impossible task of giving all the world's cultures and religions equal coverage, but will acknowledge that, like it or loathe it, Christianity has been the dominant faith and moral mentor for our nation since white settlement began, that many indigenous people have embraced it too, and that the more recent waves of settlers - including Muslims and Hindus - have scarcely been unaffected by it. It would be good to see our society honestly facing up to the implications of its own heritage, and mature enough to recognise the good alongside the bad, and wise enough to see that amid the imperfections of any human organisation there is much to take pride in.

For believers, though, the reality is that the incarnation of Christ was and is the greatest event in human history, and that this greatness is not simply a matter of degree, but it is a kind of an absolute and ultimate truth by which alone the significance of all other events must be judged.

Many unbelievers cannot but be angered by such assurance, and we should not be surprised or disappointed by a savage response to such claims.

Many of those most bitterly opposed to Christianity have perhaps sensed that we are on the ropes, utterly nonplussed by this apathy, and are determined to continue to wage that kind of war of attrition in the hope that we shall simply and finally melt away. My suspicion is that some of the framers of the curriculum are driven by such a plan, perhaps consciously, perhaps by instinct.

Many other people of goodwill, non or anti-Christian in their orientation, are willing enough to face us on the field of debate and controversy. Such people may indeed admire and respect aspects of Christianity, while rejecting all or most of its metaphysical tenets.

In many such men and women I think I can see - excuse the presumption - the characteristics of the unconverted St Augustine: all too often they bark against a faith they have not troubled (or have not been able, through the scandal of our failings and our own poor example) to understand.

Clearly it is the best interest of the Christian religion boldly and confidently to face the challenge of those who would with equal confidence contest the veracity and integrity of our claims.

To take the battle vigorously to the critic's gates, to emerge thus from the slough of indifference that now threatens to swallow us, is our best hope.



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


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