Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Is Australian flag-flying "racist"?
The study below seems to have overlooked the origins of those who did not fly flags. Many may have been foreign-born. Perth has a very large contingent of Brits and whites from Southern Africa who may know little of Australian history. Had Australian-born people only been interviewed, there may have been no difference between flag flyers and others.
But the most important confounding variable would be social class. Middle class people are less likely to display patriotism and more "correct" in their expressed opinions
And it is after all reasonable to say that the long-term exclusion of blacks was beneficial -- given very high black crime-rates worldwide. It could be seen as rational rather than racist
DRIVERS who fly Australian flags on their cars to celebrate Australia Day are "more racist" than people who do not, according to research from UWA.
University of Western Australia sociologist and anthropologist Professor Farida Fozdar and a team of assistants surveyed 513 people at the Australia Day fireworks on Perth's Swan River foreshore last year to find out whether there was a link between car flag flying and racist attitudes, Perth Now reports.
Professor Fozdar said the team found that of the 102 people surveyed on the day who had attached flags to their cars for the national holiday, 43 per cent agreed with the statement that the now-abandoned “White Australia Policy” had “saved Australia from many problems experienced by other countries”.
She said that only 25 per cent of people who did not fly Australia car flags agreed with the statement.
Under the “White Australia Policy”, which was non-official government policy until after World War II, non-Europeans were barred from migrating to Australia.
The survey also found that a total of 56 per cent of people with car flags feared for Australian culture and believed that the country’s most important values were in danger, compared with 34 per cent of non-flag flyers.
Thirty-five per cent of flag flyers felt that people had to be born in Australia to be truly Australian, compared with 22 per cent of non-flag flyers. Twenty-three per cent of flag flyers believed that true Australians had to be Christian, while 18 per cent of non-flaggers agreed with the statement.
An overwhelming 91 per cent of people with car flags agreed that people who move to Australia should adopt Australian values, compared with 76 per cent of non-flaggers.
A total of 55 per cent of flaggers believed migrants should leave their old ways behind, compared with 30 per cent of non-flaggers.
“What I found interesting is that many people didn't really have much to say about why they chose to fly car flags or not," Professor Fozdar said.
"Many felt strongly patriotic about it - and for some, this was quite a racist or exclusionary type of patriotism - but it wasn't a particularly conscious thing for many.”
The futility and hypocrisy of the Occupy stragglers
Across her neck, the contradiction of a permanent tattoo shackle that reads: “Freedom.” Across one forearm, a tattoo that reads, “Liberate All Beings.” On the other arm, “Inside Job,” a reference to her belief that 9/11 was carried out by the US Government.
You can take my dignity… but you'll never take my freedom tattoo. Pic: Paul Toohey.You can take my dignity… but you'll never take my freedom tattoo. Pic: Paul Toohey.
Kanaska Carter is 26. She is a former hairdresser from Canada who came to the US to protest on the 10th anniversary of September 11 but got caught up in Occupy Wall Street, six days later. And now there’s the Google wars, another natural fit for a conditioned young protestor.
Kanaska has lived homeless on the streets of New York for five months. She makes some money busking and inking tattoos and knows various places about the city where she and her friends can get free dinners each night.
She has been sleeping in a church in Manhattan’s upper west side. The church lets around 100 people in at 8.30pm and kicks them out at 8am. Most of them lost their tents when their Occupy campsite at Zuccotti Park, near Wall St, was cleared out in November.
The church has toilets, but no showers. “You wash your hair in the sink and use baby wipes. It’s pretty brutal,” says Kanaska.
Kanaska and her friends are sitting on the steps of the church on a freezing morning, having been sent out to face the day. They’re wrapped in blankets against the incoming North American winter. There’s a hash oil pipe going around and the hard smoke causes wracking fits of coughing.
After four months living the protest life, none of the group sees an end of the line. Or, if they do, they’re not willing to admit it yet.
Today they are leaving New York for Washington. A friend is picking them up in a van and driving them down.
The Washington mission seems confused. Red, one of Kanaska’s friends, says they’re going to hang out at the White House, raise hell and show solidarity for Obama. Kanaska says: “Fuck Obama.”
“Do you know he only became a senator four years before he became president?” Red says, trying to argue that Obama is not a longtime entrenched political insider, like the ones they’re supposed to despise.
“Yeah, that was about the same time he became an American citizen,” says Kanaska, only half joking.
That’s the thing about the protestors. They take bits of Leftist rhetoric, they take bits of the Right. And they don’t like either.
Kanaska wears a badge that says: “If voting changed anything it would be illegal.” She has never voted. She doesn’t see the point.
They don’t seek media attention. They don’t have a discernable message. They don’t want a leader. They don’t even agree with each other. But they’re going to the White House anyway.
Commentators have struggled to understand how the Occupy protestors have been able to unite without a clearly stated quest or shared goal. But, as Kanaska says: “I felt I’ve been waiting my whole life for this kind of activism.”
Something dawned on me speaking to this group. Political protest is merely the thread that holds them together. It’s about lifestyle.
They missed the chance to turn on, tune in and drop out in the 1960s. They missed the 1970s antiwar movement and, in the 80s and 90s, they didn’t miss much at all.
The turnouts at the various Occupy sites gave them an instant society, an on-the-spot family who would look out for each other. It gave them a chance to become homeless, en masse, without the loneliness or the begging on the streets or the fear of being attacked or having to ride the freight trains south.
“My street family is here with me and they’ve got my back,” says Kanaska. She met this particularly group of three or four blokes about a week ago and they’ve been hanging out since.
They claim they’re liberating America but, really, it’s about liberating themselves.
“I’ve been homeless for a while,” Kanaska says, “on and off for two or three years. It’s a choice. I find it humbles you. I used to have my own apartment and I slowly lost my mind. I was in there with my two cats and I was just like going crazy.
“When I’m homeless I’m always surrounded by friends. There’s freedom without having to pay rent all the time to a system that’s broken, without having to work a nine to five job and being able to do what you’re actually passionate about. I’d rather live playing music, doing artwork and tattooing people.”
On this day, her entire cash reserve is one dollar. “Some days it’s hard to find food but I just put out the guitar case,” she says.
Kanaska says her parents back in Canada are divided on what she’s doing. “My mum supports me fully,” she says. “My dad, he wants me to go to school, but if I go to school I’m going to have tons of debts so I don’t see the point.”
This life cannot last and she knows it. Her US visa runs out in March and that will be her time of reckoning. She’ll have to make some choices.
They all will. Otherwise their chosen homelessness will not be enjoyable. It will be real.
A THIRD of inmates at British youth jail are Muslims... and more convert to get better food
A third of inmates at one of Britain’s most notorious youth jails are Muslims and the religion is attracting a large number of converts.
There are 229 Muslims out of a total of 686 youngsters detained at Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution in West London, according to Ministry of Justice figures.
There are now so many worshippers at Friday prayers that they have to be split between Feltham’s mosque and its gym.
Sources claim that converts are attracted by the chance of better food and a more comfortable regime.
But there are also fears that some are being radicalised.
During Ramadan, Muslim prisoners are given food in separate hot and cold containers so they can eat what they choose at the end of their daylight fast.
A source revealed: ‘Over the last few years there has been a huge surge in those attending Muslim services. ‘The popularity of the faith has surprised people. We are seeing a large number of inmates converting to Islam.'
He added: ‘There is a difference between mainstream believers and extremists, but the fear is that some in the jail are being radicalised. 'Others convert for protection or to have what they believe is an easier lifestyle.’
Prison insiders say most non-Muslims are locked up during Friday prayers because so many guards are needed to monitor the lunchtime service.
The Ministry of Justice said: ‘The Prison Service is committed to ensuring the religious needs of prisoners of all faiths are met.’
British millionaire wins right to ban official busybodies from nosing round his home
It is a country estate of such beauty that it inspired the composition of one of our best loved hymns. But the mansion behind ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ was the subject of an unholy row in court today over its modernised interior.
Conservation officials failed in their demand for access to Llanwenarth House to check on renovations and were told by the owner: ‘An Englishman's home is his castle.’
Millionaire Kim Davies, 56, told a court how planning inspectors had made up to 20 visits to the country mansion after they feared the Grade II listed property had been given a ‘footballer's wife-style’ makeover.
But he refused their request for an architectural historian to inspect the Elizabethan manor which is nestled in the idyllic Usk Valley in South Wales, and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority took him to court.
The home is currently for sale at £2.25million but work carried out Mr Davies has come in for close scrutiny.
National Park planning officer Clare Jones told the hearing she had visited the property at least 10 times and wanted to carry out further checks. She said: ‘The authority has now engaged a conservation expert who needs to advise us about the works that have taken place. ‘He will advise the authority if the history of the building has been compromised and on remedial work to put the building back to its original state.’
Mr Davies, a builder and car dealer, bought the house for £675,000 in 2007 and has since spent more than £1million on it. He admits that a new kitchen and bathrooms have been installed but claims the work falls outside the restrictions on listed buildings.
Planning officials were called in after it was compared to a ‘footballer's wife monstrosity’ which may have damaged the historic gem and an injunction was taken out to stop further work.
Mr Davies told magistrates in Abergavenny that he had always complied with the regular inspections by the National Park officials. But he opposed the application for a warrant to enter the property saying: ‘Enough is enough.’ He continued: ‘I have to take a stand. No further work has taken place since their last visit. ‘My sister is suffering from cancer and is convalescing at my home at the moment. ‘They have been there up to 20 times and I'm not prepared to let them come again.’
Dr Charles Mynor, representing Mr Davies, told the hearing: ‘There is no evidence of any new works or that anything extra has happened. ‘It seems that the National Park are coming back for another bite of a cherry that has already been bitten on many occasions.’
The magistrates refused to grant the Brecon Beacons National Park a warrant to enter the property and awarded £500 costs to Mr Davies.
Chairman of the bench Dr Christopher Rowlands told the court: ‘Mr Davies has said under oath that no further work has been carried out on the property and on those grounds the application is refused.’
After the case, Mr Davies said: ‘I have always welcomed the National Park people when they have visited my home. ‘But it is my home and there has to be a limit to the number of times they want to have a look around. ‘I would get a letter one day saying they were coming the next. I opposed the warrant because quite simply enough is enough.
‘An Englishman's home is his castle - only in this case it's a Welshman's home.’
Photographs used by the estate agent show the inside of the seven-bedroom house has changed considerably since the time of Mrs Alexander’s visit.
The kitchen has a large chandelier and granite tops while the bathroom boasts an ornamental Jacuzzi bath, and there is nothing Mrs Alexander would recognise about the high-ceilinged cinema room.
The estate agent description states: ‘Much of its character still remains yet the expansive home also embodies great comfort and ease of living.’
But the refurbishment work by property developer has not won universal songs of praise. Before the hearing Monmouthshire county councillor Christine Walby said: ‘The house is an architectural gem and the park authority has a legal obligation to ensure that listed buildings are preserved.
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. 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.