Friday, January 28, 2011

It's very difficult to win against even the most extreme feminists

And it has been very difficult for a long time. The discovery that the Obama Department of Justice takes sides in political cases (by refusing to prosecute non-white violators of voters’ rights, most notably by abandoning the New Black Panthers' voter intimidation case) may be shocking, but it is nothing new.

An appalling prior example of connivance between American prosecutors and Leftist agitators is found in a recently-published book available on "Odd Customers", by Wim de Vriend.

Most of the book consists of humorous human-interest stories about restaurant customers, and reminiscences of World War II. But the longest story in the book describes the siege of de Vriend's business by radical feminist picketers, who were out to destroy his livelihood in revenge for a letter he had published in the local paper.

The local D.A. decided that his tormentors, who were well-connected to the local government, were not at fault; he was. It's all pretty shocking so I have excerpted the relevant chapter here. The book includes some good pictures as well which I have not reproduced --JR.

Calif. University Apologizes for Serving Fried Chicken on MLK Holiday

The fact that the whole world now eats fried chicken -- KFC -- seems overlooked

Note to self: serving soul food in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. is apparently NOT okay… or at least that‘s the lesson I’m taking away from the latest political-correctness kerfuffle going down at the University of California – Irvine.

While many schools have recently come under fire for not serving enough health-conscious options, UC Irvine is getting a lesson in culturally sensitive cuisine. The LA Times reports:
A last-minute decision to serve fried chicken and waffles at a campus dining hall in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. was a regrettable choice and lacked sensitivity, UC Irvine officials acknowledged Wednesday.

The meal was served at Pippin Commons on Jan. 17, the first day of UC Irvine’s 28th annual Martin Luther King Jr. symposium. …

The menu and a sign in the dining hall reading “MLK Holiday Special: Chicken and Waffles” were pulled together at the last minute by a chef and other cafeteria staff members, said UC Irvine spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon.

The culinary choices were made without any university oversight, Lawhon said.

While the university seems to be working to distance itself from the… er, incident… UC Irvine student Ricardo Sparks, a co-chair of the Black Student Union, has filed a formal complaint with the school’s administration.

“It‘s just another in a long line of small events on our campus that aren’t meant to be taken in a certain way, but are at least questionable in their cultural legitimacy,” John Murillo III, director of communications for the Black Student Union, told the Times. “It takes all the radicalism and activism that we tried to do with the symposium and then [the cafeteria] serves chicken and waffles and takes away from all the stuff that we did.”

Officials at the university are agreeing, saying the chicken & waffles menu on MLK day did not show “good taste.” While the menu’s intention was to offer comfort food, Lawhon admitted it “probably wasn’t the most sensitive thing.”

The chef has not been formally reprimanded, but officials with Aramark Corp., the company which runs campus dining services, said they would conduct “cultural sensitivity training” for managers and chefs.

“I understand people have prejudice and ignorance,” Sparks said. “But this is out in the community and nobody is saying anything about it.”


British PM aiming to crack down on £1bn 'sue-the-boss' culture

Workplace law is to be torn up to bring a £1billion a year employment tribunal bonanza to an end. David Cameron and Vince Cable will today trigger a battle with trade union leaders by unveiling plans to make it much harder for workers to claim compensation from their bosses.

The Coalition will argue that unfair dismissal and compensation claims are increasingly being exploited by disgruntled staff and their lawyers. Ministers say it is vital to lift the burden of red tape on business as the private sector is asked to drag Britain out of the economic mire.

Today’s proposals include a fee – expected to be around £500 – to bring a tribunal claim, compulsory mediation before a case can proceed to a tribunal, and an increase in the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims from one to two years.

The last move, likely to be the most controversial, would wind the law back to 1999. Before that date, workers had to be employed for two years or more before they could pursue unfair dismissal cases.

Ministers also plan an ‘employers’ charter’ that aims to dispel myths about what an employer can and cannot do to manage their staff reasonably, fairly and lawfully. They are understood to be working on even more radical exemptions from workplace law for the smallest firms, the lifeblood of the economy.

However, judges making employment tribunal rulings will be able to impose new penalties on erring firms, payable to the Exchequer – as well as compensation to victims. This is designed to deter firms from treating staff unlawfully and recoup some of the costs to the state of running tribunals.

Angry union chiefs insisted that changing the law to make it easier for employers to get rid of staff would not improve the performance of firms. But business leaders agreed that urgent action was needed to weed out growing numbers of ‘weak and vexatious’ claims.

Around three out of every five claims now ends with the employer paying off the disgruntled worker simply to save the cost and embarrassment of a full-blown tribunal case. Last year, there were a record 236,000 claims, up 56 per cent in a year and nearly three times the number just five years ago.

The industrial courts grant an estimated £1billion a year in payouts to those who claim they have been wrongly dismissed or suffered discrimination.

The British Chambers of Commerce says it typically costs a firm £8,500 to defend a case at a tribunal, but only £5,400 to settle it by paying off the worker who complained.

Mr Cable said: ‘Disputes in the workplace cost time and money, can affect morale, reduce productivity and hold back businesses. ‘We often hear that knife-edge decisions about whether to hire new staff can be swung by concerns about ending up in an employment tribunal if things don’t work out. Today’s proposals address these concerns and should help give employers more confidence.’

John Cridland, head of the CBI, said: ‘It is in everyone’s interests that disputes are resolved swiftly and fairly. Introducing an element of charging would help weed out weak and vexatious claims, clearing the way for more deserving cases to be heard.’

But TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘While employer groups complain that tribunals are costing them too much, they have lost sight of the fact that if firms treated their staff fairly, few would ever find themselves taken to court.’

The greatest increase in claims has come under EU legislation. Numbers of cases involving the European Working Time Directive - which limits the working week to 48 hours - almost quadrupled last year from 24,000 to 95,200. Numbers of race discrimination claims have gone up by nearly 40 per cent in two years to reach 5,700 last year.


The false rape claims come thick and fast in England

One yesterday, another today

A middle-aged council chief executive told of his nine-month nightmare yesterday after being cleared of rape. Byron Davies, 52, was accused by a married 26-year-old who worked for the same council of having sex with her when she was too drunk to give proper consent.

He insisted she had targeted him in a bar, had behaved in a ‘flirtatious’ manner and had not been that drunk, despite the strong lagers he had bought her.

After being cleared in just over an hour, the £100,000-a-year divorcee said the case should never have been brought and that he was considering legal action over detectives’ ‘lazy’ handling of the investigation.

The trial, which revolved around a one-night-stand at the father of two’s apartment, comes amid debate over whether men accused of rape should be granted anonymity, like their alleged victims.

Mr Davies, who remains suspended from his job as chief executive of Conwy County Borough Council in North Wales, said he was devastated and angry that he had been accused. ‘Obviously I am absolutely delighted and thrilled with the decision that has been reached today,’ he added. He had ‘an element of sympathy’ for his accuser, and said ‘she may require some kind of psychiatric help’.

Mr Davies said he had been eating by himself at a hotel in Conwy after work on March 23 last year when the woman began staring at him then approached him, asking if he was Byron Davies.

A council employee, she had spent the evening drinking with a male friend. Mr Davies admitted he had been flattered by the attention of an attractive woman half his age and bought her at least two lagers. He claimed she had asked for his help in moving to a new job at the council, to which he had replied that he could not help.

He denied she was drunk and said she had repeatedly asked him if he had a room at the hotel. Mr Davies told the jury he had begun to leave for home, but she told him she was ‘always on my own’ so in the end he offered to drive her back to his flat.

He said he had asked her if she wanted to go to bed, even though he had been anxious and nervous about having sex with her. At about six o’clock the following morning, Mr Davies said he got up for work, waking the woman with difficulty. He denied asking her for ‘a quick one’ but offered her a lift home and claimed she said she would rather walk. ‘Not very gentlemanly, it was a one-night stand and I apologise for that,’ he told the court.

But he added: ‘There is no doubt in my mind she targeted me. She knew my name, she sought out my company.’

The prosecution argued that the woman was so drunk that she could not properly consent to sex.

She described herself as ‘happily married’ and said she didn’t remember much about going back to his flat, but said: ‘He kept grabbing me and I told him “I am a married woman, I am not interested”,’ she told police. ‘Why on earth would I want to kiss him? He’s late 40s, early 50s.’ But under cross-examination at Mold Crown Court she was accused of being ‘a wilful person, who lacks judgement, who is impulsive and capable of hurting people if you want to’.

She admitted once cutting her own throat after an argument with her husband but blamed it on a short period of instability.

Judge Niclas Parry told Mr Davies he was discharged with his good character ‘very much intact’.

Last night the council said it had appointed an independent QC to oversee ‘a disciplinary investigation into matters relating to the arrest’. It is understood Mr Davies may be asked to leave his post in return for a substantial pay-off.



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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