Tuesday, September 27, 2011

HUD targets liberal New York enclave for social engineering

Despite progressive tendencies and racial diversity, the New York suburb of Westchester — which voted heavily for President Obama in 2008 — is not safe from the administration’s focus on social engineering.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is concerned that Westchester County is too white and even though the county is outpacing the schedule to fulfill a 2009 settlement with HUD — in which the county agreed to spend over $50 million on 750 new subsidized housing units to be provided to minorities via a lottery system (630 of which had to be built in neighborhoods with less than 3 percent African-American and 7 percent Latino populations) — HUD is ordering the county to do more. All this, even though the 2010 census indicates that Westchester is the fourth most racially diverse county in the state — tied with Manhattan.

While Westchester is ahead of schedule, HUD is now ordering actions outside the original settlement: Spending nearly double the original settlement (now $94 million); mandating that 50 percent of the 750 units have 3 bedrooms; constructing the units in “above average school districts;” ordering that local municipalities change zoning laws and “counter community opposition;” and demanding the county investigate and regulate bank lending practices.

According to the county, the HUD is overstepping its bounds and the county will fight the order.

“The federal government is trying to change the goal posts in the middle of the game. They’re trying to expand the terms of the settlement from a straightforward agreement to build housing into an integration order,” Jessica Proud, spokeswoman for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, told TheDC.

“The county executive has made it clear that he will fulfill his obligation to implement the terms of the settlement, but he will stand firm against Washington’s overreach and will not surrender to their unreasonable demands,” she added.

Astorino said that he was completely taken aback by HUD’s orders, especially considering Westchester’s census diversity and past praise from HUD officials for the county’s housing policies.

According to Astorino, HUD is using Westchester as an example for the rest of the country.

“They are going to make Westchester the test case, and use the formula for Westchester throughout the country. They now publicly call this an integration order and not a housing settlement,” Astorino said. “And so this is their agenda, but I think they picked the wrong county. We’re diverse. We do not discriminate or segregate. We’re welcoming. And just through natural progression we’ve had a major influx of African-American and Hispanics in all these communities.”

Astorino’s claims are accurate. Based on census records from 2000-2010 the population of minorities in the county has increased by 56 percent.


A splendid example of British hypocrisy

Must not criticise the good and the great. The little people must know their place

The Law Society has been found guilty of discrimination after its executive in charge of promoting disabled workers' welfare sacked the only full-time member of staff to have a serious disability.

Solicitor Elizabeth Marshall, 44, who has cerebral palsy, won 'substantial' compensation at a tribunal after she was made redundant from her role as a policy adviser and speechwriter for the body's president and chief executive.

She said she was humiliated and shocked when told she was to lose her job after 11 years in the role.

Ms Marshall told the Central London Employment Tribunal she believed the real reason for her dismissal was a series of emails she sent to colleagues who were fellow union members accusing the Law Society of 'systematic discrimination'.

Six days after she wrote the last email she was summoned to a meeting with the director of corporate responsibility, Stephen Ward, who is also the Law Society's diversity champion.

It was at this meeting she was told her job had been made redundant. When she complained, she was told that the decision could be justified by sound business reasons.

Ms Marshall claimed she was the only full-time disabled employee at the headquarters of Britain's most powerful law body in Chancery Lane, Central London.

She added: 'Unfortunately... I have to take the view that my disability is potentially an issue.' She said at no time was her performance in her role criticised. To her knowledge the only other disabled workers were two work-experience staff.

The tribunal ruled that the dismissal was unfair and that the society failed in its duty to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate her disability.

The Law Society, which represents more than 100,000 solicitors and often advises the Government on upholding diversity rights, had denied discrimination. Despite repeated requests for a response to the ruling, the body declined to comment.

The Law Society claims that it 'is committed to playing a leading role in the elimination of discrimination and the promotion of equality of opportunity and diversity in all its activities'.


Pompous British bureaucrat persecutes kind-hearted woman

For 40 years, Joy Bloor has looked after tortoises at her home in St Austell, Cornwall. She’s always done it for love, not money. But now her sanctuary is being threatened with closure after council officials ruled that her 400 tortoises are ‘wild animals’. She has been told that she will be put out of business unless she applies for a zoo licence, which could cost £1,000.

Joy’s Lower Sticker Tortoise Garden has become a popular tourist attraction. Admission was free until the local council decided to make her pay business rates and she had to start charging £3 a head to cover costs.

That was just the beginning of the bureaucratic interference. The council is also insisting that all the tortoises should be tagged with electronic micro-chips. Presumably, officials are worried they might stage a mass break-out and start savaging the cattle on nearby farmland.

Someone at the Town Hall has been watching too many episodes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

If the tortoises did break for the border, it wouldn’t be that difficult rounding them up. The average walking speed of a tortoise is just 0.17 miles an hour. That would give even the slowest-witted council jobsworth ample time to apprehend them and return them to captivity. Some of the tortoises are more than 100 years old. They are hardly likely to go on the rampage across the Cornish countryside.

Joy said: ‘Even if they did escape, they wouldn’t get very far. Our tortoises are fully domesticated and follow us like little dogs. They come when we call them. They couldn’t possibly survive without humans to keep them alive.’

Micro-chipping them would not only be near impossible, because of the thickness of their leathery skin, it could also cause considerable distress and life-threatening trauma in some cases. And what if the tortoises simply retreated into their shells and refused to come out? Would they send for the Black and Decker drills?

The council argues that it has no option other than to force Joy to comply with the provisions of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. Bailiffs have already visited the sanctuary and issued an enforcement order. She is now being threatened with prosecution.

This could become the latest cause celebre, once those Irish ‘travellers’ have finally left their illegal site in Essex.

No doubt Vanessa Redgrave is hot-footing it to Cornwall to save the St Austell 400. I have visions of the tortoises barricading themselves into their sanctuary, chaining themselves to concrete pillars, hoisting the United Nations flag and chanting: ‘Hell. No. We Won’t Go.’

Swampy and his mates are probably steaming down the A30 in a fleet of old Bedford vans to provide reinforcements, while riot police from neighbouring forces tool up and flood into Cornwall, ramping up the overtime. Let the Battle of Lower Sticker commence.

OK, so it’s easy to make fun of this, but for Joy it’s no laughing matter. Why should she have a lifetime of hard work and devotion ruined by block-headed bureaucrats?

All she’s doing is giving a home to domestic pets who either been abandoned or have lost their owners. Where’s harm?

The idea that she’s running some kind of zoo is beyond preposterous. Somehow I can’t see tortoises jumping through hoops or propelling themselves on the flying trapeze.

Most tortoises spend all day mooching around doing very little and hibernate from the end of September to the beginning of March. The sanctuary closes to the public for the winter. There’s not much call for paying three quid to watch tortoises sleep.
Archive image from the Lower Sticker Tortoise Garden

The Lower Sticker Tortoise Garden closes to visitors in the Winter while the tortoises are in hibernation

More to the point, think of the time and taxpayers’ money which has been wasted on this fatuous exercise — the officers’ reports, the site visits, the committee meetings, the legal opinions, the interminable discussions about whether tortoises are domestic pets or ‘wild animals’.

And this at a time when councils across the country are bleating about the ‘cuts’ to essential public services.

Actually, money is the motive force behind all this. First they slapped a massive bill for business rates on Joy, now they want her to buy an expensive zoo licence, call it a grand for cash.

The bold public servant responsible for this vindictive campaign is one Lance Kennedy, who styles himself ‘Cabinet Member’ of Cornwall Council and ‘Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Protection.’

That grandiose title just about sums up everything which is wrong with the kind of individual who goes into local government these days.

He’s a jumped-up parish councillor, but has taken on the airs and graces of an international statesman. ‘Cabinet Member’ and ‘Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Protection’. For heaven’s sake. Protection from what, exactly — wild tortoises?

Just who does this pompous oaf think he is? When the local MP wrote appealing for clemency, Portfolio Holder Kennedy accused him of ‘inciting’ council officials to break the law.

Major Lance says he sympathises with Joy’s plight, but rules is rules: the refrain of intransigent tyrants down the ages. He is impervious to reason.


Australia: That wonderful multiculturalism again

More Muslim aggression

IT was a bloody brawl allegedly sparked by a hamburger with bacon. Now 32 witnesses will be called to give evidence at a hearing about how an incorrect order allegedly led to a violent assault on two police officers at a western Sydney McDonald's in April.

Mouhamad Khaled, 23, his 20-year-old girlfriend Daphne Florence Austin and his father Walid Khaled, 53, have been charged over the brawl at the Bankstown fast food outlet.

In Burwood Local Court yesterday, Magistrate Christopher Longley set a hearing date in February for Austin and Walid Khaled, who have each pleaded not guilty to charges linked to the brawl.

Mr Longley was told the prosecution will call 29 witnesses and the defence will call three people.

Mouhamad Khaled is yet to enter a plea to six charges, including inflicting grievous bodily harm on a police officer, and will be dealt with at a separate hearing.

Police allege the trouble began when the group began abusing counter staff because their hamburger contained bacon. Police who were on the premises spoke to Walid Khaled about his alleged offensive behaviour. When he allegedly continued to swear, police tried to arrest him.

Police allege they were assaulted by Mouhamad Khaled and Austin, prompting them to use capsicum spray and batons. As they attempted to restrain Mouhamad Khaled he allegedly grabbed their handcuffs and assaulted them. He struck probationary Constable Matthew Sutherland on the head before swinging them at Senior Constable Alicia Bridges, hitting her.

Austin is charged with assaulting and hindering police, and Walid Khaled with resisting police, behaving in an offensive manner and offensive language. Mouhamad Khaled spent four months in custody before being granted bail in the Supreme Court. Burwood Local Court was told in August that Austin is due to give birth in November.



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.


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