Saturday, June 11, 2011
British bigotry about red hair
To understand this story you have to know that redheads are discriminated against in England. To my knowledge that does not happen in other countries. Redheads in Australia are often addresses as "Blue" or "Bluey" but there is no animus attached to it. My late father was a redhead and I have twice married redheads so I know a bit about it.
My father had the sterotypical fiery redhead temper and was very ready with his fists if insulted. He was often addressed as "Blue". Nobody would have dared to do that if the term had been derogatory in Australia
FAST food pizza chain Domino's has apologised to schoolboy after calling him the "Ginger Kid".
Ross Wajgtknecht, 11, visited his local branch with friends and gave his full name when ordering a Texas BBQ pizza. But when he came to collect his food he was horrified to discover that staff had written "Ginger Kid" in place of his name on his receipt
Ross said: "I was really sad. I get bullied at school about my hair but you don't expect it from an adult. "After I read it I couldn't stop thinking about it, and brought the packet home because I wanted to show my mum."
Ross, who is in his final year at Peasedown St John Primary School, took the receipt home to his parents Evette, 43, and Andrew, 45, who demanded an apology from the outlet. Mr Wajgtknecht, a builder, said: "It is totally disgusting. You would not describe someone by the colour of their skin or by calling them fat so why is it OK to call Ross ginger? "Surely it would have been easier to write Ross. That only has four letters. Why write Ginger Kid instead?
"It is prejudice. They offered him a free pizza but the damage has already been done and he doesn't want to go back in case it happens again."
He said Ross had received taunts over his hair colour throughout his life and had burst into tears after being referred to as the "Ginger Kid".
Mrs Wajgtknecht added: "He is usually quite a strong and confident lad who doesn't let comments upset him but reading that has really knocked him. "At the end of the day what we want to do is raise awareness of how this can upset people."
Ross, who has three older brothers, Toby, 20, Josh, 18 and Jack, 14, bought the pizza on May 28 from the Midsomer Norton branch of Domino's after an afternoon at the skate park with his friends.
Manager Pat Bennet said: "It was for the benefit of the person who took the order, it wasn't meant to cause offence. "I have apologised to the family over the phone and the member of staff concerned has written an apology to the boy. We will ensure nothing like this happens again.
"A problem we often face is children giving us fake names to confuse orders, we often have a groups of young people come in and all give the same name, then they get abusive if we give the wrong order to the wrong person."
Ross, who plays for league-winning Peasedown St John Athletic under 11s, said he took strength from his hero, recently retired Manchester United star Paul Scholes. He said: "A lot of my friends call me Scholesy and I don't mind that."
Ross's parents are now demanding a full apology from Domino's head office.
A Royal realist
Discriminating against the old is right, says His Royal Highness, Prince Philip on the eve of his 90th birthday celebrations
Prince Philip has said that he favours discrimination against older people because 'you go downhill' later in life.
In an interview recorded ahead of his 90th birthday today, the notoriously outspoken prince says he is reducing his own workload before he reaches his 'sell-by date'.
The Duke of Edinburgh, who has been the Queen's constant public companion for more than 60 years and is involved with around 800 charities and organisations, says he is looking forward to 'winding down' and enjoying himself.
Prince Philip told interviewer Fiona Bruce that he is 'just winding down' He even claimed he was losing his memory and struggled to remember the names of people he was due to meet.
'There is an ageism in this country, as everywhere, and quite rightly so, because I think you go downhill – physically, mentally and everything,' he said.
In a wide-ranging interview to mark his birthday, broadcast on BBC1 last night, Philip discusses his life, work and interests over the past nine decades.
Last autumn it was announced how the Duke was lightening his obligations by relinquishing his attachment to a number of his more demanding organisations including his patronage of UK Athletics, City and Guilds of London Institute, the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth and his involvement with a number of high-profile universities.
But Prince Edward, also interviewed for the documentary, believed his father remained just as busy. 'He keeps on saying he's trying to slow down and take on less but I haven't seen much evidence of that, he seems to fill the gaps with lots of other things, which is fantastic,' he said.
'The fact he's still got that fascination and interest and energy is superb.'
But Philip stressed that it was time for him to take a back seat. 'You don't really want nonagenarians as heads of organisations which are trying to do something useful,' he said.
Judge Rules that it is OK for homosexuals to discriminate
A federal judge ruled Thursday that a gay softball league can limit the number of heterosexuals on its teams, the Courthouse News Service reports.
The ruling was announced after three bisexual men claimed they were kicked out of the Gay Softball World Series for not being gay enough and filed a lawsuit in Washington state against the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association.
The three men, playing for a San Francisco softball team, were challenged on their sexuality by a rival team, citing a rule that limits no more than two heterosexuals on a team.
The men claim they were "summoned to a hearing room to answer questions about their sexual interests or attractions," according to the Courthouse News Service.
The men said they were told that "this is the Gay World Series, not the Bisexual World Series."
U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour struck down the lawsuit.
"Plaintiffs have failed to argue that there is a compelling state interest in allowing heterosexuals to play gay softball," Coughenour wrote, according to the Courthouse News Service.
"It is not the role of the courts to scrutinize the content of an organization's chosen expression."
The judge did rule the association failed to prove it should not be subjected to public-accommodation laws.
European pissants, humbug, hypocrisy
Gary Johns lets 'em have it, using some good Australian slang. He is a former Labor Party parliamentarian and minister. He clearly still has a good command of that party's characteristic language. His refusal to bow down before European and British ideas of correctness will be widely applauded by Australians across the board
So that's decided, then, is it? Australia is a pissant nation of tossers, too afraid to throw in its lot with European carbon traders and open its borders to boatpeople.
Australia's critics - among them the BBC, The Economist, Ross Garnaut, Julian Burnside QC and Michael Grubb of Cambridge - have really had a field day in the past fortnight.
Apparently, we are pissants because we are in the middle of deciding public policy responses to two particularly tough issues: climate change and boatpeople.
Our elders and betters worry we may be coming down on the "wrong side" of those issues.
By the way, pissant is an offensive term meaning regarded as being of no importance, significance or consequence. And tosser is an offensive term meaning a person (usually male) regarded as unintelligent or contemptible.
Well, let this pissant tosser explain what is happening in Australia. Many Australians question the benefit of being part of a nonexistent global carbon-trading scheme and almost all want to control their borders to deter illegal immigration.
These are perfectly intelligent positions and are of great significance to Australians.
Australians are aware of the consequences of their actions on both issues. Australia does not want to be at the negotiating table with the important European Union or UN forums when the table involves trading its freedom for few benefits. Australians prize sovereignty. In every conceivable sense of the term Australia is a successful liberal democracy.
Australians are great joiners but they do not regard themselves as being at the arse-end of the world and therefore desperate to please important forums.
Many Australians have not been impressed by Europe's heroic climate change response of far-fetched targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases. Australians know the only way Europe meets its target is through the displacement of manufactures to Asia.
Europeans may produce less carbon dioxide, allegedly a result of their carbon trading scheme, but Europeans consume increasing amounts of embedded carbon in their goods and services.
Indeed, it was reported in The Economist last year that emissions made on their citizens' behalf elsewhere in the world add a third or more to most European countries' emissions.
Pissant is Britain, by subsuming the greatest common law jurisdiction in the world under European human rights law.
Pissant is a Europe that cannot hold together the euro much longer because some of its countries - Greece and Portugal come to mind - cannot balance a budget.
Pissant is a European open-door immigration policy that, combined with its multicultural policy, has been so badly handled that what were once tolerant societies have become far less so.
Pissant is a Germany that has vowed to close its nuclear power stations - talk about a failure of nerve.
Pissant is Britain which, while announcing ever-more heroic targets to decarbonise its economy, cannot collectively boil a kettle after the evening episode of EastEnders because its own power stations cannot cope. It draws on French nuclear power to fill the load. Swapping power across borders is clever; pretending the source of power is part of decarbonisation is not.
Let me provide a little geography lesson to those in the metropolitan capitals where the great and the good gather.
Britain, for example, sends delegates to the European Commission at Brussels. The poor old Belgians are falling apart, unable to decide whether they are Flemish or French. Nevertheless, if ever there were an equivalent EU commission in Asia, Australian delegates would meet in Beijing. The "AU" commissioners would be heavily weighted to China.
Australia does not want to be locked into an Asian forum that resembles the straitjacket the EU has become. Australians choose carefully.
The statement by former prime minister John Howard at the 2001 election, "We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances under which they come", has bipartisan support.
Julia Gillard is belatedly attempting to re-create the Howard doctrine on illegal arrivals. The number of people who wish to seek Australia's protection will again be determined by Australian officials, in conjunction with UN High Commissioner for Refugees officials, and not people-smugglers.
It is craven to believe that when a UN human rights official, and soon maybe a carbon cop, walks in the door Australians have to stand to attention and salute.
Australia helped write the human-rights rule book. Australia has among the cheapest and cleanest carbon sources in the world. Australia will not pretend to decarbonise its economy.
Australia perforce may outsource some of its manufactures; it cannot outsource its resources. Australia will sell these to Asia and in the process lift millions from poverty.
Australia's carbon production will drive consumption in the Third World, and in time developing countries' carbon footprint will grow and then, like ours, moderate when they have solved the needs of their people.
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.
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