Saturday, November 05, 2011
Do British fathers no longer have ANY rights at all?
Fathers denied legal rights to see their children after a break-up. Grandparents dismissed as causing ‘damage’ to their grandchildren when they ‘interfere’ in divorces.
The reforms to family law proposed by the Government’s adviser on families reads like some poisonous feminist tract from the Sixties.
David Norgrove’s Family Justice Review is a misguided piece of outdated, sexist nonsense which enshrines in law a mother’s unassailable right to raise her children — alone.
Mr Norgrove decrees that fathers should have no legal right to enjoy time with their children when a relationship ends. He even says that for a father to have a ‘meaningful relationship’ with his children after his marriage breaks down can do ‘more harm than good’.
He claims his review is all based on what’s ‘best for the child’.
Yet he ignores decades of research that shows children from broken homes benefit from maintaining a stable, constant relationship with their mothers and their fathers, as well as with their extended family.
As Iain Duncan Smith says — and countless parents who’ve been through the agony of a divorce know — these reforms would ‘fuel the epidemic of fatherless families’.
And there is a terrible irony here: successive governments have, quite rightly, gone to huge efforts to ensure fathers from broken relationships support their children financially. Now they are being told that, despite that support, they will have no legal right to any access.
Few of us have been untouched by the break-up of a family, whether our own, our children’s or a friend’s.
I’m not saying all fathers are paragons — the sad truth is that both mothers and fathers use their children as pawns for maximum leverage in divorce negotiations. It’s just that the law as it stands gives women the upper hand.
In the bitterness of a divorce, some women use every dirty trick in the book to deny decent men access to their own children. I have even known normally sensible women, egged on by their divorce lawyers, to claim falsely that their husbands abused them, so as to deny them access to the children.
I’ve seen successful career women claiming poverty or even quitting work to screw every penny out of their children’s father, yet still deny him access.
Guilty till proved innocent is the dictum for dads in the Family Law Courts.
David Cameron has long promised his will be the most family-friendly government in history. He can prove it by condemning Mr Norgrove’s unjust Anti-Family Review and enshrining in law the right of every decent father to a fair share in the raising of his children.
Diversity's compulsory conformity
By George Will
Illustrating an intellectual confusion common on campuses, Vanderbilt University says: To ensure "diversity of thought and opinion" we require certain student groups, including five religious ones, to conform to the university's policy that forbids the groups from protecting their characteristics that contribute to diversity.
Last year, after a Christian fraternity allegedly expelled a gay undergraduate because of his sexual practices, Vanderbilt redoubled its efforts to make the more than 300 student organizations comply with its "long-standing nondiscrimination policy."
That policy, says a university official, does not allow the Christian Legal Society "to preclude someone from a leadership position based on religious belief." So an organization formed to express religious beliefs, including the belief that homosexual activity is biblically forbidden, is itself effectively forbidden.
There is much pertinent history.
In 1995, the Supreme Court upheld the right of the private group that organized Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade to bar participation by a group of Irish-American gays, lesbians and bisexuals eager to express pride in their sexual orientations. The court said the parade was an expressive event, so the First Amendment protected it from being compelled by state anti-discrimination law to transmit an ideological message its organizers did not wish to express.
In 2000, the court overturned the New Jersey Supreme Court's ruling that the state law forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation required the Boy Scouts to accept a gay scoutmaster. The Scouts' First Amendment right of "expressive association" trumped New Jersey's law.
Unfortunately, in 2010 the court held, 5-4, that a public law school in California did not abridge First Amendment rights when it denied the privileges associated with official recognition to just one student group -- the Christian Legal Society chapter, because it limited voting membership and leadership positions to Christians who disavow "sexual conduct outside of marriage between a man and a woman." Dissenting, Justice Samuel Alito said the court was embracing the principle that the right of expressive association is unprotected if the association departs from officially sanctioned orthodoxy.
In wiser moments, the court has held that "this freedom to gather in association ... necessarily presupposes the freedom to identify the people who constitute the association and to limit the association to those people only." In 1984, William Brennan, the court's leading liberal of the last half-century, said:
"There can be no clearer example of an intrusion into the internal structure or affairs of an association than a regulation that forces the group to accept members it does not desire. Such a regulation may impair the ability of the original members to express only those views that brought them together. Freedom of association therefore plainly presupposes a freedom not to associate."
As professor Michael McConnell of Stanford Law School says, "Not everything the government chooses to call discrimination is invidious; some of it is constitutionally protected First Amendment activity." Whereas it is wrong for government to prefer one religion over another, when private persons and religious groups do so, this is the constitutionally protected free exercise of religion. So, McConnell says, "Preventing private groups from discriminating on the basis of shared beliefs is not only not a compelling governmental interest; it is not even a legitimate governmental interest."
Here, however, is how progressivism limits freedom by abolishing the public-private distinction: First, a human right -- to, say, engage in homosexual practices -- is deemed so personal that government should have no jurisdiction over it. Next, this right breeds another right, to the support or approval of others. Finally, those who disapprove of it must be coerced.
Sound familiar? It should. First, abortion should be an individual's choice. Then, abortion should be subsidized by government. Next, pro-life pharmacists who object to prescribing abortifacients should lose their licenses. Thus do rights shrink to privileges reserved for those with government-approved opinions.
The question, at Vanderbilt and elsewhere, should not be whether a particular viewpoint is right but whether an expressive association has a right to espouse it. Unfortunately, in the name of tolerance, what is tolerable is being defined ever more narrowly.
Although Vanderbilt is a private institution, its policy is congruent with "progressive" public policy, under which society shall be made to progress up from a multiplicity of viewpoints to a government-supervised harmony. Vanderbilt's policy, formulated in the name of enlarging rights, is another skirmish in the progressives' struggle to deny more and more social entities the right to deviate from government-promoted homogeneity of belief. Such compulsory conformity is, of course, enforced in the name of diversity.
“Moderate Islamism?” Does It Exist?
By Barry Rubin
Suddenly, a new term is foisted on us without serious debate or proof and we are supposed to rejoice at the triumphs of those now called “moderate Islamists.” The problem here is not just that I don’t believe such a thing exists but that no case can be made that it does. The tactics of some Islamists (participate in elections, advance slowly) are being confused with principles (impose Sharia law, overthrow all non-Islamist governments, defeat the infidels).
This is no abstract argument. In effect, we are being told to rejoice as the West’s worst enemies take power. We are being told about the alleged virtues of forces intent on repressing their own people; destroying women’s rights; trampling on non-Muslim, non-Arab minorities; genocide against Israel; overthrow all non-Islamist governments, and demolish Western interests. And on what grounds? Because in some statements, which must be cherry-picked from a sea of extremist expresions, they claim to be moderate.
Where are the academics and mainstream journalists laying out a persuasive case that Moderate Islamism exists, rather than just assuming it does? Where is an honest presentation of the “Moderate Islamists” many radical statements? Where is even an even-handed discussion based on a fair hearing for the doubters?
Where has this new “movement” suddenly come from? Remember, up until now the debate has been over defining “Moderate Muslims,” but now the most radical sector of Muslim politics–the enemy of Muslims who are moderate–is declared worthy of that designation. Yet the whole case for “Moderate Muslims” was based on saying that these people weren’t Islamists and indeed that they were fighting against Islamism.
Up until now, the only important group that might conceivably have been called “moderate Islamists” has been the Turkish Justice and Development Party. Yet examining that party’s views and behavior disproves the idea of any “Moderate Islamist” movement.
First, party leaders consistently denied they were Islamists, knowing any such admission would be political disaster because most Turks–even most of the party’s voters–don’t believe in “Moderate Islamism.” The party defined itself as center-right
Second, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the party’s leader, has publicly said that there was no such thing as moderate Islam but only Islam; that the minarets of mosques are the bayonets of the revolution; and that democracy is like a trolley and you just get off when you want. Do you need him to draw you a picture?
Third, Erdogan has now gotten off the trolley, since repression in Turkey is increasing with, for example, hundreds of political prisoners and more added each day.
So the phrase “moderate Islamist” is like something out of George Orwell’s novel 1984, along with such phrases as war is peace and freedom is slavery.
How should we know if someone is a moderate Islamist? There should be some historical record of this species’ development. There should have been highly visible ideological battle. Where are the admissions of past mistakes, the explanations of Moderate Islamist philosophy, a reinterpretation of Muslim texts, a struggle between “moderate” and “traditional” Islamists in a group like the Muslim Brotherhood? There’s nothing, not the least hint.
Professor John Esposito, the leading advocate of the Moderate Islamist theory (the CIA is the leading advocate in government rightly points out that Muslim reformers, “are often initially perceived and received as a threat by religious institutions and more conservative religious leaders and believers.,” even being threatened with death. So if the Muslim Brotherhood now embodies such a huge reform in Islamist and Islamic thinking as to justify leading a government that would substitute votes for divine instruction, where is the angry rebellion against such treason by powerful forces? Where is the revolt, even split, within its ranks against such heresy?
The answer is that while a few–notably tiny and isolated al-Qaida–hold a different view of what should be done, almost everyone else sees this as a merely tactical shift. No heresy, just a different way of implementing the proper goals.
Thus, the “Moderate Islamists” speeches, statements and internal articles remain extremely radical and even bloodthirsty. And when moderate statements are made (usually in English, almost never in Arabic or Turkish), they assert only that democracy is a good idea for gaining power, not that it is a good idea.
Another triumph of multiculturalism in Australia
Australia has been giving asylum to African refugees for about 10 years now -- and is suffering the consequences. As with all African populations, the rate of violent crime is high
A FACE image of a suspect who allegedly attacked a woman in broad daylight on Melbourne Cup day has been made public.
Police have been told a 24-year-old woman was sexually assaulted as she left an accommodation facility on Peel Street, North Melbourne, just after 11am.
The woman saw a man on the corner of Peel and Market Streets who followed and verbally abused her.
But when she told him to go away there was an alleged confrontation.
Investigators have been told the man allegedly forced her to the ground and sexually assaulted her.
The victim, however, screamed and managed to kick the offender to the chin before he ran south through the Queen Victoria Market.
The man is described as having a slim build with a dark complexion and dark eyes.
He also had distinctive dark coloured dread locked hair with orange tips at the end. He was wearing a dark coloured zip front hooded jumper.
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.