Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Patriotism out! Fifth grader comes to Pennsylvania school with face paint supporting the death of bin Laden and is told to wash it off
It was a momentous occasion and a time for celebration all over the country, and one fifth grader simply wanted to show his happiness at the news America's biggest enemy was dead. But Connor Tressler's patriotic display didn't go down too well at school.
The 11-year-old from Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, painted his face with an American flag, the date of the demise of Osama bin Laden and the letters USA.
But Connor's mother got a phone call from the principal of Middle Paxton Elementary School Carol Lopez telling her that Connor would have to wash the paint off.
Jen Tressler said she didn't agree with the decision, so she decided to take her son home instead of washing off the paint. She said: 'I just painted a little American flag on one cheek, the date on his forehead. There was no way I was washing it off. They told me it was against the school’s code of conduct, that they’re not against the patriotic display, but that the paint goes against the scholastic environment.'
Central Dauphin School District spokesperson Shannon Leib explained the principal's rationale to ABC27: 'We don't allow face painting of any kind. It was disruptive. Kids were laughing at it and pointing at him. 'We did not remove him from the school. It was his mother's decision to remove him rather than have him wash his face.'
Though the dress code does not specifically exclude face paint, the code states that students 'have the right to wear such clothing or apparel as they choose, unless such clothing or apparel distracts from the educational program or constitutes a health or safety hazard'.
But Ms Tressler said she asked her son and he said that no one was laughing and in fact a lot of them thought it was great. 'I asked Conner and he said nobody was laughing. They were talking about it. Other kids in the class thought it was great. And the teacher, from what I hear, also didn't have a problem with it.'
Ms Tressler told ABC27 that there is nothing in the code of conduct that says you can't wear things on your face. She said Connor has worn other things that could be seen as disruptive, but there was nothing ever done about them.
She said: 'He had a Pittsburgh Pirates tattoo on his check and a tattoo that went all the way around his neck and that was last year and I got no phone call about that. 'And he has supported other causes, like on St Patrick's Day he wore a big green bow tie, he wears a Santa Claus hat at Christmas.'
Connor said: 'My teacher said it looks nice. But I guess I won’t paint my face anymore. They didn’t say anything about my shirt, so I’ll stick to T-shirts.'
Though he was a baby on September 11, 2001, he said he was stunned and proud when the baseball game he was watching was interrupted by President Barack Obama’s announcement. He has several friends whose parents served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and he was partially thinking about them as he planned his patriotic display. He’s happy for his country, he said.
Lord Sugar: efficiency could cost half UK civil servants their jobs
Half of Britain’s civil servants could be made redundant if Government adopted efficient private sector working practices, according to former Labour enterprise tsar Lord Sugar.
The close confidant of ex-prime minister Gordon Brown said that private companies’ use of multitasking made them much more efficient, and also suggested that a more hard-nosed approach to government procurement could save taxpayers £1billion a year.
“They employ God knows how many million civil servants, and if you spent the time that I spent in Whitehall, you do have to ask yourself sometimes what half of them are doing,” said Lord Sugar, in an interview in this week’s Radio Times. “When I compare it to my commercial organisation, we have people who multi-task, and if you applied that multi-tasking philosophy within the civil service you would cut the labour force by half.”
However he added that the strategy would result in paying large redundancy payments, and seeing many civil servants end up on benefits, so that it could be “out of the frying pan into the fire”, and that public spending could be more easily cut by improving Government purchasing.
“The Government is the biggest customer in this country. It spends God knows how many billions every year on everything from staples to nuclear missiles,” said Lord Sugar. “When you look at those in charge of procurement, with the greatest respect to them, they are not very streetwise.”
Lord Sugar suggested hiring Sir Terry Leahy, the former chief executive of Tesco, or Sir Stuart Rose, the former boss of Marks & Spencer, to make government purchasing more cost-effective. “That little team could save £1 billion a year,” said Lord Sugar. “Now, that is common business sense. Buying from the same people we are buying from now, just doing better deals. If you look at Philip Green’s Efficiency Review, he uncovered things like one department paying £73 for a box of paper that you can go into a shop and pay £8 for.”
However Lord Sugar said that he is still “a Labour boy”, and that he would not be applying for a job with the coalition.
Lord Sugar’s appointment as Labour’s enterprise tsar in 2009 caused a row with the Conservative then-shadow culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who complained to the BBC about bias, given Lord Sugar’s role on the BBC One show The Apprentice.
Lord Sugar called Mr Hunt “an idiot” for complaining, but the furore led the BBC to postpone last year’s series of The Apprentice until after the general election. This year’s series starts next week.
In the interview, Lord Sugar also called for a renaissance of British manufacturing. “Why can’t we have a ‘Buy British’ culture here?” he said. “What annoys me tremendously is things like these contracts that are dished out for, say, wind farms. We as Britain get about 11 per cent of the business for making that stuff. We need a bit of nationalism. The French have got it built in them. It’s in their stomach.”
Of his elevation to the House of Lords, Lord Sugar said that he thinks of himself as “the people’s peer”. He added: “It needs a rough diamond like me in there to ruffle a few feathers.”
UN Workers say Holocaust Education Would 'Confuse' Palestinian children
United Nations workers in Palestinian Authority regions have expressed opposition to teaching children about the Holocaust. Earlier, UNRWA officials said they had approved the teaching of Holocaust studies in PA schools, as part of a unit on human rights.
“We emphasize our adamant opposition to confusing the thinking of our students' by means of Holocaust studies in the human rights study curriculum,” the UNRWA Workers' Union said in a statement published by Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and translated by Palestinian Media Watch.
The union suggested teaching students that Israel had massacred Arabs, instead. “Emphasize study of the history of Palestine and the acts of massacre which have been carried out against Palestinians, the most recent of which was the war against Gaza,” the group said. The statement was issued shortly before Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day.
At the same time, PA media continues to accuse Israel of atrocities, and even to compare Israel to Nazi Germany. A report in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on April 17 accused Israel of maintaining a secret “experiments” station in its prisons that it uses to infect PA Arab inmates.
“Since the Israeli jailers attempt to imitate the German Nazis, who were the first to use prisoners as guinea pigs, for testing the weapons and the deadly drugs which they developed. The Nazi German doctor, Josef Mengele, was the most famous among them,” according to the report, which was translated by Palestinian Media Watch.
A similar report in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida two days earlier spoke of prisons “surrounded on all sides by a fence and guards who are armed with weapons from head to toe. They resemble the detention camps during the Nazi period.”
In March, it was reported that Hamas had banned UNRWA lessons on the Holocaust. However, it was later revealed that the entire story had been invented, as UNRWA had never planned to teach PA children about the Holocaust.
Last year, a small group of PA students decided to learn about the Holocaust for themselves. Led by Mujahid Sarsur, who heard of the Holocaust in conversation with an Israeli roommate in university, they toured the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and heard the story of the Holocaust from an Arabic-speaking guide.
The Myth Behind Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism, although theoretically a great utopian idea is proving to be a recipe doomed for failure like mixing vinegar and oil. The world can no longer tolerate the increase of violence such as suicide bombings, roadside bombs and along with injustices felt to be foreign to their cultures, imposed on us. With these uprisings there is increasing efforts and more countries around the world are beginning to say “no” to multiculturalism, including saying "no" to the veil.
Presidents, prime ministers, public servants, private citizens and others are irritated and tired of having to adapt to immigrants rather than immigrants adapting to their new countries and western culture. It’s become a “take it or leave it” situation, no longer worrying about whether we in the West are offending others, individuals, their communities or their cultures.
As psychoanalysts and observers we introduce the concept of adaptation, based on the works of the famous psychoanalyst Heinz Hartmann who claimed that the healthy baby, child or person learns to adapt to their environment, whereas the unhealthy ones insist on the environment adapting to them. Hartmann focused on how the realistic part of the psyche known as the ego has its own destiny in the ability to adapt to new environments. In applying Hartmann's concept to multiculturalism we believe it is fair to say that immigrants have a civic responsibility to adapt as long as the environment is acceptable.
Hartmann was himself an immigrant from Nazi Germany and knew of what he spoke and wrote. (We hasten to add that both of us are immigrants as well.) He was one of the first to move away from the intrapsychic world to the importance of the environment. The problem we see in accepting multiculturalism is it does not take adaptation into account. Instead for the most part, most Muslims feel it is up to their adopted country to adapt to them under the guise of being "misunderstood" with the accusation that westerners lack empathy and sympathy toward their “cause.”
Anthony Pagden, author of Worlds at War presents another issue that is the clash of civilizations where East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet. This is precisely the problem for adaptation, which becomes far more complex because for over 1,000 years, the majority of Muslims have basically not had to adapt nor have they had to incorporate western ways of life, and the ones who have, have put their own lives at risk.
Even the alleged golden age of Spain and its convivencia tended toward more parallel communities living under the domination of Islam while being categorized as dhimmis, the "protected" (lege patronized) class of Christians and Jews in particular who were, by the way, basically treated at devalued females.
Let us now say a few words about multiculturalism and how under the guise of religious freedom one can act out their most destructive fantasies. Basically, multiculturalism as critiqued by social scientists and politicians shows the inability to adapt and the setting up of parallel enclaves within a larger society in a social benefits-oriented dependency.
German Chancellor Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy along with British Prime Minister David Cameron have noted the failure of this once trendy academic ideology, spear headed by the likes of the now dead Edward Said whose multiculturalism was and has been an attack on Israel in particular.
Our effort is not to trace out the origins of multiculturalism, but to look at it from a psychological point of view in order to enhance an understanding of why it is doomed to fail. From our point of view it is inextricably linked to the concept of adaptation. Submission, compliance, control and domination obviously do not mix with adaptation. These are elements engrained in a cult-like environment where the group bands together and under the rubric of saving face, support honor killings and suicide bombing as average normative behavior.
One cannot discuss multiculturalism without making reference to the veil and the symbolic covert message it conveys. Those who want to live under Sharia law in the West want to impose it. However, western women do not want the veil imposed on them or for that matter on any other woman as it represents the repression of women’s rights and the dark shadow behind creeping Sharia. One former Muslim, Al Fadi, recently expressed the irony he finds in all of this, that it is
“ . . .appalling that some Muslims always like to impose Islamic rules and traditions on others everywhere they go or live. It is frustrating to read or hear of such complaints by Muslims directed against others, when in fact Muslims tend to deny others the very same rights who live in Islamic countries under Islamic law.”
Westerners no longer see the veil as an exotic accoutrement but rather as a symbol of potential violence, hostility and vengeance but most especially the suppression of women as compliant and obedient. We believe that a significant majority of western women “get it” that these women who don the burka and any of its forms have been mentally if not physically beaten into submission though many would deny it. This is so, as we speculate, that they are highly dissociated due to being chronically terrorized and that they have formed an identification with their aggressors. Ironically, the veil has such poor fit since many western women want to shop until they drop in short skirts and low cut dresses without shame.
To conclude: the West has always embraced people of various cultures and has extensively tried to help them integrate, welcoming immigrants with open arms. Our hospitality has gone too far and it is now ego-dystonic to suddenly have immigrants take over and impose their laws and values as found in Sharia law. We must not be blinded with benevolent myopia to note how the rise of terrorism and the endless threats to the West are causing more people to see beyond the myth of this vision to a fantasy called multiculturalism. We now need to look beyond the veil to see multiculturalism for what it really is -- how it does not lead to more freedom of expression but rather it has lead to an insidious political correctness, more violence and threats of more terrorism.
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.