Saturday, April 09, 2011
Outrage as top Italian history professor blames fall of Rome on rise of homosexuality
There was certainly a lot of debauchery at the top
A professor is facing calls to resign after blaming the collapse of the Roman Empire on homosexuality. Roberto De Mattei, a devout Roman Catholic, had already raised eyebrows by saying the Japanese tsunami was ‘divine punishment’.
In a radio interview, the vicepresident of Italy’s prestigious Centre for National Research said: ‘The collapse of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the Barbarians was due to the spread of homosexuality. ‘The Roman colony of Carthage was a paradise for homosexuals and they infected many others.’
The 63-year-old added: ‘The invasion of the Barbarians was seen as punishment for this moral transgression. ‘It is well known effeminate men and homosexuals have no place in the kingdom of God. ‘Homosexuality was not rife among the Barbarians and this shows God’s justice comes throughout history.’
Professor De Mattei is a close friend of education minister Maria Stella Gelmini and controversial prime minister Silvio Berlusconi who once said: ‘Better to love girls than be gay.’
Last night fellow historians, gay rights groups and politicians expressed outrage. Paola Concia, an MP with the Democratic Left, said: ‘I have tabled an urgent call for the education minister to intervene.’
Italian homosexual groups said the professor’s comments were ‘based on superstition, ridiculous and outrageous’ and called on him to resign from his Rome-based post.
Historian Emilio Gabba, a leading light in Roman history, said: ‘It is highly improbable homosexuality led to the fall of the Roman Empire.’
Professor Lellia Cracco Ruggini, an expert on Roman history from Turin University, said: ‘There is no proof Rome had a high number of homosexuals. I can safely say Rome did not fall because it was gay.’
However research would seem to suggest homosexuality was rife in ancient Rome. The 18th century expert Edward Gibbon wrote that ‘of the first 15 emperors, Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct’. Homosexuality is widely portrayed in ancient Roman art and was seen as acceptable 2,000 years ago.
Professor De Mattei co-operates with the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Historical Sciences and has been awarded the Order of Knighthood of St Gregory the Great in acknowledgement of his services to the Roman Catholic Church.
Louisiana woman Arrested for False Rape Accusation
It's not only in Britain....
A 17 year-old Lake Arthur woman has been arrested after state police say she lied about being raped by a Lake Arthur Police Officer.
On February 24, 2011, the Lake Charles field office of the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations was asked by the Lake Arthur Police Department to investigate a complaint filed by 17-year-old Megan Franks of Lake Arthur, Louisiana. Franks stated an officer with the Lake Arthur Police Department raped her, according to officers.
Physical evidence and the inconsistent statements Franks provided to investigating troopers indicated a rape did not take place, say police. Officers say that during an interview, Franks admitted to making up the rape allegations and injuring herself to be more credible.
The Jefferson Davis Parish District Attorney's Office obtained an arrest warrant for Franks for false swearing for the purpose of violating public health or safety (L.R.S. 14:126.1). Franks was arrested at her residence and booked into the Jefferson Davis Parish Jail. If convicted, she could face up to 5 years in prison and/or up to a $1,000 fine.
British bureaucratic madness
Operation overkill: 25 firemen and five engines sent to rescue one cat stranded on roof
It's a service traditionally offered by our compassionate fire services. But the response of the Suffolk brigade to a cat trapped on a roof went well beyond the call of duty.
Health and safety rules meant 25 firefighters were sent to rescue the cat at an estimated cost of £1,500.
The cat was perched about 40ft up on a two-storey house in Leiston, Suffolk, yesterday when five crews were dispatched to save it. The crews – two of which came from 30 miles away - scrambled to comply with national ‘working at height’ regulations to ensure the health and safety of firefighters, but union leaders have branded the response ‘crazy and overkill’.
Suffolk Fire Service sent a turntable ladder from Bury St Edmunds with a two-strong crew, escorted by a support crew from the same station. They sped off on the 60-mile round trip to Leiston at 9.45am.
Firefighters with specialist training in working at heights ‘each likely to be four or five strong’ were also mobilised from Felixstowe, 30 miles away, and Bungay, 20 miles away.
Ironically the crews were turned back within minutes when a local firefighter from Leiston climbed a ladder and rescued the cat - which ran off unscathed. Under the guidelines firefighters are allowed to work temporarily from the top of a ladder.
Suffolk Fire Service recently adopted national regulations drawn up in 2005 to ensure the safety of people working at height, according to the Fire Brigades’ Union. The response would have cost taxpayers thousands of pounds.
A spokesman for campaign group The Taxpayers’ Alliance said: ‘It’s ridiculous that five fire crews were sent out to rescue one cat. ‘It’s almost laughable but wasting resources is bad news for taxpayers and others who might have needed to be rescued, so it’s not funny.’ He added: ‘Of course we want firemen to be safe, but health and safety and red tape has resulted in an excessive and costly response.’
The crews from Leiston and Bungay are on-call, or retained, while the other stations involved have day-only cover.
Andy Vingoe, Suffolk branch chairman of the FBU, said: ‘Health and safety says that if we go up on to a roof, it brings into play our working at height procedures and safety system.
‘If a cat is stuck on a roof there is a chance the owner could get distressed and try to rescue it themselves and we would end up having to rescue them as well.’ He stressed: ‘It is crazy and it’s overkill and if we are having to send five teams to an incident like that, what happens if there is a serious incident elsewhere? ‘It strengthens our case that we need more people to make sure we have enough cover to cope with the demands of the service.’
A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said it had been called by the RSPCA to help and the reaction was in line with national regulations. She said: ‘Due to the nature of the incident, fire crews with the specialist training and equipment were called to attend, in addition to the local crew. ‘The incident was quickly dealt with by the local crew so the specialist teams were stood down and did not attend.’
Neighbour Teresa Saunders, 49, alerted the fire service after hearing the cat crying. She said: ‘The firefighters deserve a lot of praise. They were very quick and dealt with it incredibly well. ‘I don't know whose it was - it had a blue collar and was a tortoise shell tabby.’ She added: ‘It was perfectly fine as far as I could tell. It ran off as soon as it got down.’
Mr Incorrectness again
ITALIAN Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi doesn't seem to be letting his legal woes get him down, joking to two young blondes he'd like to invite them to his famed "bunga bunga" parties.
Mr Berlusconi went on trial this week on charges he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl at some of the parties, before trying to use his influence to cover it up. He and the girl both deny they had sex.
The 74-year-old Premier was handing out prizes to a dozen promising young college graduates in the courtyard of his Rome offices today when he congratulated two young women for their accomplishments.
"Congratulations, you are so great. I'm thinking of inviting you to 'bunga bunga'," Mr Berlusconi quipped, as his seemingly exasperated youth minister Georgia Meloni looked away. Mr Berlusconi didn't stop, telling a third recipient - a male - he was cute enough to come along as well.
The billionaire media mogul-turned politician is an unapologetic jokester who frequently explains away off-colour gaffes as harmless jokes.
Participants at his dinner parties have said "bunga bunga" was an inside joke; prosecutors have said it referred to erotic dancing and stripteases that followed dinner.
Mr Berlusconi was in a particularly ebullient mood today, telling another two prize recipients with bald spots he'd pass along the number of the doctor who performed a hair transplant on him.
To another, Mr Berlusconi pointed out the bottom of his tie was poking out from his suit, and to yet another he suggested getting rid of his beard. He told the crowd, he had about 2000 jokes at his disposal for just about any occasion.
Mr Berlusconi has a history of legal woes stemming from his business dealings although he has never been convicted.
The trial on underage prostitution and abuse of office charges is the first to delve into his private life.
The Premier has denounced magistrates for pursuing what he considers a politically motivated witch hunt designed to drive him from office.
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.