Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Score One for Judeo-Christian Culture
Multiculturalism creates a neurotic and dishonest society. This is seen very plainly during the Christmas season. Those of us who celebrate Christmas are told that we must rip the very core of this season out, and replace it with a phony, soulless thing called "Holiday" or "Winter." This is dishonest because nobody celebrates winter. "Holiday" is a shallow term to describe Christmas; the term abuses language to impose a false meaning on a reality that most of us cherish.
"Holiday" and "Winter" are weasel words used by cultural appeasers who are too ashamed of their own culture to say what everybody knows to be true. That is, that most of us are celebrating Christmas. Maintaining Christmas is part of preserving the culture that gave us almost everything that we have worth keeping. The whole name-changing charade is neurotic because it forces people to pretend that our majority culture is not what it actually is.
Now, the madness of the Christmas season is upon us- not the madness of shopping centers, but the madness of toxic tolerance. It's happening already in Philadelphia, where a shopping plaza was transformed from "Christmas Village" to "Holiday Village."
Sensitive people will respond that concerns about church-state separation could come in to play. But there is not the remotest trace of such a concern to be found in the initial Philadelphia decision. The reported rationale offered by the city manager was that "This is not about taking Christmas out of the holiday. It's about being more inclusive." He also said that the decision was not based on political correctness, but on "common sense."
Just follow the logic of his statement. We want to be inclusive, which means embrace diversity. Therefore we are going to express disapproval for the majority culture that made this nation great, which is what attracted those diverse people in the first instance. Yes, it was largely immigrants of Christian denominations who built this country, and if one does not like that fact then they are free to find another place whose history doesn’t offend them. Next, as the city manager’s logic goes, in place of the majority culture we will substitute a contrived, nebulous thing called “Holiday” or “Winter” which means nothing to anybody.
Ultimately, the Philadelphia Mayor urged "Christmas" to be placed back on the sign. But consider the conflict that played out there, as it does in many cities, every year: For fear of mildly offending a few unreasonable people who don't like to see or hear the word Christmas, we have chosen instead to completely outrage many people who celebrate Christmas as part of our nation’s majority culture.
Some people call it the "war on Christmas" but this phenomenon is best described as part of something larger that harms us year round: toxic tolerance. Toxic tolerance has been described as "the imperative never to offend anyone, no matter how evil, duplicitous, or exploitative they might be." Tolerance is supposed to be something that makes society better off by placing consideration of others before one’s own narrow views. Liberals treat tolerance as an absolute value. Along with "embracing diversity," tolerance is one of the only values liberals will allow- or should I say tolerate.
Make no mistake about it, those who rip Christmas out of public life are duplicitous and exploitative, no matter what they claim their victim status to be, and no matter how noble their motives. It is duplicitous to attack the majority culture under the pretense of tolerance, when the outcome of the ostensible tolerance is to be intolerant of the majority culture. It is exploitative to use privileged victim status to enforce personal preferences at the expense of a profoundly important cultural and, yes, religious observance. There are few things more self-centered than using privileged victim status to erase part of the culture one finds themselves in. If Westerners went to non-western nations and tried this ungrateful, petty behavior, they would be rightly condemned or worse, depending on the locale.
We invite hypocrisy as well- not just garden variety hypocrisy, but the type of fundamental hypocrisy that makes a sham of our self-respect and attacks our national identity. In particular, we can’t have any mention of Christ at Christmastime in public, government places, but your tax money will be used to degrade and insult Christ.
Witness the Smithsonian’s display, this close to Christmas, of ant-covered Jesus art. The federally funded Smithsonian featured an art film showing a bloody plastic crucifix with ants crawling on the face and body. That’s what they think of our majority culture. Ant-covered Jesus went along with Ellen DeGeneres man-handling her own breasts, and naked brothers kissing- neither part of a Christmas display, as far as one can tell. The people who despise the majority culture are forcing taxpayers to fund their contempt for our society. This is sheer dishonesty and exploitation.
At root, this toxic tolerance and holiday madness is produced by blending multicultural appeasement with a thoughtless liberal notion of equality- not equality brought about by merit or based on majority norms, but equality brought about by government coercion, leveling, and betraying the majority culture. We are told, particularly in educational settings, that all cultures are equal- without any proof or justification. On top of the absurd premise of equality, liberals add legal or social coercion.
If a fraction of the public doesn’t celebrate Christmas, we’ll offend the majority by eliminating references to their cultural observance. Thus stores and communities take "Christ" and "Christmas" out of the season, as in Philadelphia.
Likewise, if certain groups can't perform academically at a high standard, we'll destroy the high standard. Thus a high school in affluent Evanston, Illinois is considering eliminating an honors course because the class had too many whites and not enough minorities.
And if certain groups are more likely to commit terrorism, we’ll avoid offending those groups, pretend that everyone is an equal risk, and obscenely offend all groups. Thus, TSA searches a wheelchair-bound nun.
Every place where multiculturalists make the rules, the people who work hard are having their interests undermined, and the majority culture has to let itself be muzzled. Make things worse for successful people in order to compensate for those who aren't. That will make everyone strive to do better. Erode the majority culture to make minorities feel more welcome. That will increase social harmony.
We in America, and in the West as a whole, need to stop apologizing for our culture. We –or more accurately those who came before us- have created something great, and that is why people leave their non-Christian nations to come here and to other Western nations. How dare anyone say they have a right to the benefits of our society while at the same time attacking the root of our culture?
The norm needs to be reinforced: At Christmas time, we are celebrating the birth of the historical figure who gave rise to our culture, Jesus Christ. We who celebrate Christmas should be vocal in saying that we are offended when Christmas is ripped out of public life. Those who do not celebrate can bloody well not celebrate. It is selfish and insulting to demand that the majority alter something sacred, simply for the convenience or comfort of an unreasonable minority.
If the liberal mayor of Philadelphia can be pressured to change course, just about anyone can. The first battle in the War on Christmas has been won by Judeo-Christian culture. No one has an excuse for sitting out. We need to take our culture back and take our country back. That is one resolution that we can achieve before the New Year.
Why I'd rather my daughter marry a rich man than have a brilliant career
During a chat with a group of 17-year-old girls recently, our conversation turned to their dreams for the future. One girl, Patty, wants to be a lawyer. Another, Justine, has her heart set on becoming a doctor.
But it seems there’s one aspiration that’s proving surprisingly popular — and it doesn’t involve years of dedicated study, either. Yes — feminists look away now — most of the girls I talked to are intent on marrying a rich man.
This idea is buoyed by a culture of celebrity that sees attractive women marrying well and then enjoying luxurious lifestyles as a result. Because of this, matrimony is increasingly viewed as an alternative career choice for the ambitious younger generation.
‘I’m going to train as a pharmacist, work for a couple of years and then marry a rich man,’ Lilly announces in a matter-of-fact manner. Her friend Amy also has it all mapped out: ‘I’m going to be a graphic designer — but when I have children, I’ll give up work. I’m going to marry someone with a really good job.’ Her friends nod in agreement.
As a teacher, perhaps I should have argued with these teenagers and told them their happiness depended on financial independence and high-flying careers. A few years ago I would have done, but not any more.
So what’s changed? Well, four years ago my daughter Nancy was born and I became a harassed working mother. It was my implacable belief that a career was the path to female fulfilment that kept me working after her birth. Back then, I honestly believed that women who didn’t work were boring little drones who had given up all vestige of personality. How wrong I was!
Last year, Jill Berry, the then president of The Girls’ Schools Association, publicly said what many of us women in our late 30s and early 40s have come to realise. She said that combining a high-powered career and motherhood and doing both well is impossible. It’s time we stopped feeding girls the fairy tale that they can do it all — and I agree.
But, more than that, I think most women — if given a truly free choice — would choose to stay at home and look after their children in their infancy. The trouble is that most families rely on the salaries of both parents, so it’s not really an option.
It goes without saying, although it sometimes seems we are expressly forbidden to say it, that having a rich husband would provide that option. When I go to pick up Nancy from school, there are three distinct camps of women at the gates: the frazzled working mums like myself, rushing up at the last minute.
Then there are the childminders of those women still at work. Then there are the stay-at-home mothers — and if you imagine the latter group to be tubby drudges in unflattering tracksuits with fuzzy, unkempt hair, think again.
Today’s breed of stay-at-home mother is impeccably turned out — after all, they’re the only ones rich enough to be able to not work. Mostly in their late 20s, they’re clad in designer gear and have the time to have their hair styled weekly at an upmarket salon. Their nails, miniature works of art, certainly haven’t seen the inside of a pair of Marigolds.
Shallow and vapid they are not — this new breed of uber-housewives are highly educated, with clear ideas about their new role in life. They’re not tied to the kitchen sink as their husband’s wealth means they have nannies and cleaners to help with the grind of chores.
My friend Amanda was an accountant before she married and had children. Now, she doesn’t work, but she certainly isn’t darning socks. She employs a cleaner and a part-time nanny. She goes to the gym and is doing a Spanish course. As she says: ‘I’m a wife and mother, not a skivvy.’ Good for her. Amanda, and plenty of women like her, are marrying for love — but this love gets a helping hand when the bank statement arrives.
At the same time, rich alpha males want to marry women who look amazing and whose wit will dazzle at social functions. For modern girls, marrying a rich man is an indisputable announcement of success. It does make life feel a lot more sparkly than getting up to catch the 6am bus every morning.
If, in 20 years’ time, my daughter announces she’s jumping off the career ladder to marry to a wealthy man, I won’t throw a fit. In fact, I rather hope she does marry money so her life is less toil. She’d have the choice to work if she wants and stay at home if she doesn’t — and not feel like a modern-day Stepford Wife.
That might sound shallow. What I mean, though, is that I’ve learned to accept there’s more routes to a woman’s fulfilment than simply the size of her salary.
Younger women have realised that instead of spending the day listening to some bore drone on about sales figures, it might be more fun to go swimming with the children while the cleaner sorts out the house.
Of course, there are still some stay-at-home mums who spend their days dusting the mantelpiece, but these women would be seen in the new pecking order as having failed miserably.
Old-fashioned? Yes, it is. Victorian novels dwell incessantly on the theme of women seeking out rich men for their daughters to marry.
The difference, of course, between us and the Victorians was that if a man was vile, his poor wife was stuck with him. That’s simply not the case any longer. Not that I’m encouraging divorce, but new laws ensure no woman should be left destitute if a marriage fails.
Julia McFarlane, 50, was recently awarded a house worth £1.5 million and £250,000 a year for life after her marriage to a hugely successful accountant ended in divorce. The judge insisted the years she spent supporting her husband’s career and raising three children be recognised and rewarded. Women in the past were often forced to put up with abuse because they had nowhere else to go and no means of supporting themselves.
But the new alpha housewife is the educated, intelligent woman who chooses not to work — but thanks to her husband’s money certainly isn’t pushing a mop around the kitchen floor either.
Hopefully, my daughter and her generation will benefit from our belated realisation that a happy life isn’t guaranteed by working a 50-hour week and seeing your children on Saturday afternoons. A happy life isn’t guaranteed by marriage to a wealthy man either. But isn’t it time we admitted that it certainly helps?
Palestinian “Martyrdom” Culture the Real Obstacle to Middle East Peace
Finally shining light on one of the most important and most overlooked elements of the Middle East "peace process," the Israeli government has compiled a new quarterly report that analyzes what its Palestinian counterparts are doing to promote peace — or not.
Ensuring that Palestinians are not teaching their children to become terrorists would seem to be a pretty obvious starting point in peace talks, but it hasn't been much of a priority to date for the Jewish state.
Now, however, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is insisting that the Palestinians stop promoting violence and instead push messages of peace in order to show that they're serious.
Although Palestinian incitement has been well-chronicled over the years by the likes of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), gaining the attention of Western governments requires that the Israeli government first take the issue seriously.
The new Incitement and Culture of Peace Index will help Netanyahu pressure his peers in the United States and Europe to start judging Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas not by what he says at intergovernmental meetings at the White House or at bureaucratic junkets, but rather by what the PA is doing at home. Its purpose, according to Israeli officials, is not just to catalog examples of demagoguery and demonization, but also to gauge what steps the PA is taking to prepare its people for peace with Israel.
This report does not deal with Hamas, yet it is filled with examples of the supposedly moderate PA government actively undermining prospects for peace, literally at the same time PA figures tell the West how deeply they desire peace.
One of the most powerful examples of this dichotomy highlighted in the report happened recently. Speaking at the White House on Sept. 1, Abbas stated emphatically that he did "not want at all that any blood be shed" because he wanted Israelis and Palestinians "to live as neighbors and partners forever."
Speaking in Arabic to a Palestinian newspaper two months earlier, though, Abbas gave a different reason for not wanting war: "Palestinians will not fight alone because they don't have the ability to do it." He added that he had told the Arab League, "If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor." Of course, this should not come as a surprise because Fatah's constitution maintains to this day that "the struggle will not end until the elimination of the Zionist entity and the liberation of Palestine."
Fatah routinely names streets, buildings and schools after terrorists, and sometimes it hands out awards to terrorists or their relatives.
After Fatah gave an award to the grandmother of imprisoned terrorist Khaled Abd Al-Rahman, Fatah's PA-TV provided her a platform, and she spoke to her grandson and apparently other Palestinians when she said, "Shoot your rifle and cause the Jews to go away."
The PA's glorification of terrorists is systemic. Fatah held a Web forum this fall commemorating the 10th anniversary of the so-called intifada. As documented in the Israeli report, nothing is more telling than the visuals of fires, machine guns and even masked children. One of the images is of the famous golden-domed al-Aqsa Mosque with two machine guns over it in an upside-down "v" formation.
Among the other examples in the report, prepared by a committee headed by Ya'acov Amidror and including PMW's founder, Itamar Marcus, are the PA's religious affairs official praising Palestinians who carry out "ribat," or religious war, and the coordinator of the National Committee on Summer Camps telling local media that Palestinian summer camps instill in kids the Palestinian culture, "which unites the culture of resistance, the culture of stones and guns ... and the culture of Shahada (martyrdom)."
All of this happened around the same time that Abbas said in June at the White House, "We have nothing to do with incitement against Israel, and we're not doing that."
While President Obama has focused most of his attention on Israeli housing policies, this new report indicates that the PA has gotten worse in its incitement since the start of the latest round of talks. It could be that Palestinian leaders think Obama's unusually strong attention on Israel has given them a free pass.
Perhaps the White House will heed the report and pressure Palestinians to stop incitement against the Jewish state. Perhaps Obama will tell Abbas that he must also actively work to build a culture of peace at home.
If that doesn't happen, however, it is a safe bet that the incoming Republican-controlled House will take the lead — and it controls the federal purse strings. Fiscal conservatives looking to target waste could condition aid to the Palestinians on changing the status quo. The PA, in other words, shouldn't be expecting a blank check from Washington next year.
Changing Palestinian culture cannot be done overnight, but it is crucial. Peace is impossible as long as Palestinian children grow up hating Israel and loving violence.
At least now it is part of the discussion.
Australia: Labor Party revolt growing over Prime Minister Julia Gillard's WikiLeaks stance
JULIA Gillard is confronting a growing backlash within her own party, with more Labor MPs yesterday attacking the Prime Minister's language and declaring their support for WikiLeaks's founder Julian Assange and free speech.
Ms Gillard said the latest WikiLeaks information dump was based on an illegal act, but Canberra has since insisted that was a reference to the original theft of the material by a junior US serviceman rather than any action by Mr Assange.
However, Labor Left MP Maria Vamvakinou from Melbourne yesterday told The Australian the government had read the public mood wrongly on the issue and said she supported the release of the classified material. "The leaked material, I believe, the public should know about and have the right to know about this information. I believe that very strongly," she said. "If you believe in freedom of speech, you can't pick and choose. "I can't understand the comments that have been made by the members of the government. They are unwarranted."
The ALP's parliamentary Left national convenor Doug Cameron said he believed in freedom of the press and the right to publish material without Mr Assange being depicted as a traitor.
"The guy is entitled to a presumption of innocence. He is entitled to consular support and these argument . . . that he is some kind of traitor, I think has to be in the context that it (WikiLeaks) is operating like any other media outlet," Senator Cameron said. "It really is about the problems the Americans have in terms of their security systems."
West Australian Labor senator Louise Pratt said she wanted Mr Assange to get full consular assistance and said he should not be prejudged. "I hope that he doesn't turn into the next David Hicks for the government."
Following suggestions by Ms Gillard and Attorney-General Robert McClelland that Mr Assange may have his Australian passport cancelled, Kevin Rudd told The Australian in Cairo that any such decision was his as Foreign Minister.
The government has asked the federal police to probe whether Mr Assange had broken the law, a process Mr McClelland said could take a long time.
The Coalition's foreign spokeswoman Julie Bishop yesterday accused the Gillard government of being thrown into disarray by Ms Gillard's response to WikiLeaks.
Mr Rudd has consistently taken a different line to Ms Gillard and Mr McClelland.
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.