Saturday, February 11, 2012
The dog that didn't bark: Who are the antisemites in France?
The Leftist claim below is obviously self-serving and ignores how readily "anti-Zionism" morphs into antisemitism worldwide. So the report below is wise to ask its readers to gather instances that refute the generalization concerned.
But the whole thing is a red herring. It is not the native French (Left or Right) who endanger Jews in France but the large Muslim population there
There was a small segment in the program "C in the air" on France 5, wherein an official from a French polling institute claimed that there is no anti-Semitism in his country from the left and far left, that French anti-Semitism is on the extreme right and being against Israel is not anti-Semitism.
This may be another opportunity for us to gather texts that prove otherwise. Texts that show that the so-called "anti-Zionism" French leftist and far left is often a contemporary form of anti-Semitism and Judeophobia.
Someone else is always to blame
Tribe suing beer companies for alcohol problems
An American Indian tribe sued some of the world's largest beer makers Thursday, claiming they knowingly contributed to devastating alcohol-related problems on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota said it is demanding $500 million in damages for the cost of health care, social services and child rehabilitation caused by chronic alcoholism on the reservation, which encompasses some of the nation's most impoverished counties.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of Nebraska also targets four beer stores in Whiteclay, a Nebraska town near the reservation's border that, despite having only about a dozen residents, sold nearly 5 million cans of beer in 2010.
Tribal leaders and activists blame the Whiteclay businesses for chronic alcohol abuse and bootlegging on the Pine Ridge reservation, where all alcohol is banned. They say most of the stores' customers come from the reservation, which spans southwest South Dakota and dips into Nebraska.
"You cannot sell 4.9 million 12-ounce cans of beer and wash your hands like Pontius Pilate, and say we've got nothing to do with it being smuggled," said Tom White, the tribe's Omaha-based attorney.
Owners of the four beer stores in Whiteclay were unavailable or declined comment Thursday when contacted by The Associated Press. A spokeswoman for Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide said she was not yet aware of the lawsuit, and the other four companies being sued -- SAB Miller, Molson Coors Brewing Company, MIllerCoors LLC and Pabst Brewing Company -- did not immediately return messages.
The lawsuit alleges that the beer makers and stores sold to Pine Ridge residents knowing they would smuggle the alcohol into the reservation to drink or resell. The beer makers supplied the stores with "volumes of beer far in excess of an amount that could be sold in compliance with the laws of the state of Nebraska" and the tribe, tribal officials allege in the lawsuit.
The vast majority of Whiteclay's beer store customers have no legal place to consume alcohol since it's banned on Pine Ridge, which is just north, state law prohibits drinking outside the stores and the nearest town that allows alcohol is more than 20 miles south, explained Mark Vasina, president of the group Nebraskans for Peace.
The Connecticut-sized reservation has struggled with alcoholism and poverty for generations, despite an alcohol ban in place since 1832. Pine Ridge legalized alcohol in 1970 but restored the ban two months later, and an attempt to allow it in 2004 died after a public outcry.
The reservation encompasses some of the nation's most impoverished counties. U.S. census statistics place Shannon County, S.D., as the third-poorest, with a median household income of $27,300 and nearly half of the population falling below federal poverty standards.
The tribe views the lawsuit as a last resort after numerous failed attempts to curb the abuse through protests and public pressure on lawmakers, White said. He said the tribal council voted unanimously about four months ago to hire his law firm.
The lawsuit says one in four children born on the reservation suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The average life expectancy is estimated between 45 and 52 years, the shortest in North America except for Haiti, according to the lawsuit. The average American life expectancy is 77.5 years.
"The illegal sale and trade in alcohol in Whiteclay is open, notorious and well documented by news reports, legislative hearings, movies, public protests and law enforcement activities," the lawsuit states. " All of the above have resulted in the publication of the facts of the illegal trade in alcohol and its devastating effects on the Lakota people, especially its children, both born and unborn."
Nebraska lawmakers have struggled for years to curb the problem, and are considering legislation this year that would allow the state to limit the types of alcohol sold in areas like Whiteclay. The measure would require local authorities to ask the state to designate the area an "alcohol impact zone."
The state liquor commission could then limit the hours alcohol sellers are open, ban the sale of certain products or impose other restrictions.
Nebraska state Sen. LeRoy Louden of Ellsworth, whose district includes Whiteclay, said he introduced the measure with support from county officials who have seen their health care and jail incarceration costs rise.
Pretty mixed up: "Non-Theist" Soldier Wants U.S. Army to Officially Recognize Humanism as a ‘Faith’ Group
Surely a non-theist is an atheist. It sounds like shifty Church of England theology to say otherwise. Anyway, I don't think anyone will be surprised to hear that his form of atheism is a religion
Soldiers who don’t believe in God can go to war with “Atheist” stamped on their dog tags, but humanists and others with various secular beliefs are still officially invisible in the Army.
Maj. Ray Bradley is currently to be the first humanist recognized as a “distinctive faith group leader” by the Army. In the meantime, he can’t be designated as a humanist on his official records or dog tags, although he can be classified as an atheist.
The distinction may not seem like a large one to those unfamiliar with humanism, but the Fort Bragg-based officer says it’s the equivalent of being told that “Christian” is an acceptable designation, but not “Catholic.” “Humanism is a philosophy that guides a person,” Bradley said. “It‘s more than just a stamp of what you’re not.”
Humanism’s core beliefs range from the assertion that knowledge of the world is derived from observation and rational analysis to the conviction that working to help others also promotes individual happiness.
The issue is another sign of the growing willingness of military personnel at Fort Bragg and other military bases to publicly identify themselves as atheists, agnostics, humanists or otherwise without belief in a supernatural higher power and seek the same recognition granted to Christians, Jews and other believers.
“There are a lot more people with these beliefs than just Major Ray Bradley, but he’s in a position where he can stand up and put in a request for this,” said Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and an Army veteran.
Bradley, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who enlisted in 1986, is respectful and protective of the Army, and careful to say his views are his own. He said he has been a humanist since before he enlisted, when “No Religious Preference” was his only option. Now he feels getting his official records to match his convictions is an important symbolic point.
“There‘s no regulation that says I can’t go downtown and get a set of tags made that say `humanist,‘ but I won’t do that because it won’t be on my official record,” he said. “To me, this is an individual right.”
A petition campaign organized by Torpy’s group wants “humanist” and “spiritual but not religious” added to the currently available religious designations.
Bradley said he applied for the change to his record after learning that “atheist” was now an officially recognized choice for soldiers. His request was ultimately rejected by the Army Chaplain Corps, he said, which didn’t respond to a request for comment. Bradley believes some of the resistance comes from a lack of familiarity with humanism. “I don’t think the chaplaincy really understands the difference between atheism and humanism,” he said.
Humanism goes beyond a simple statement of disbelief in the existence of a deity or deities, said Howard Katz, president of the Humanist Society, which is sponsoring Bradley’s application to become a lay humanist leader at Bragg.
“Atheism means just that: you don’t believe in God,” Katz said. “You could have an axe murderer who’s an atheist. Humanists have ethics and a philosophy.”
They also have formal “life-cycle celebrations” for occasions like marriages, funerals, even what Katz calls “humanist bar mitzvahs.” Founded in 1939 and chartered as a religious organization, the Humanist Society also certifies celebrants to perform the ceremonies, who then have the same legal authority as members of the clergy.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that humanists and other non-theists in the military are becoming more vocal, because their civilian counterparts are doing the same thing, said Penny Edgell, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota who studies American religion.
“There are lots more organizations for atheists, agnostics and humanists now than there used to be,” she said. “This is an emerging identity.”
The organization of non-theists parallels the mobilization of conservative religious believers in American society, Edgell said. As one group asserts its identity, the other feels the need to respond.
“People are aware that if you’re going to claim it, you have to claim it more strongly,” she said. “There’s kind of a cycle of mobilization.”
The Army currently has no humanist chaplains or laypersons authorized to perform limited chaplain duties, a position roughly equivalent to a deacon or elder in a Christian church. A soldier at Fort Meade, Md., has also filed the paperwork seeking the designation, which is a more formal process in the Army and Navy than in the Air Force, where a humanist lay leader is stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., according to Torpy.
Bradley sees his role as essentially organizing the humanists at Fort Bragg and securing a regular meeting place, for listening to speakers or just gather to talk about their experiences.
“I don’t want to make it sound too religious,” he said with a laugh, after catching himself using the word “congregation.”
“A minority is always much bigger than what‘s visible on the surface until they’re accepted by society,” he said. “Once people realize that their neighbors are part of this minority, and they’re just regular people like anyone else, they become accepted.”
That’s important if non-theists continue to grow in the larger society, said David Segal, director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland. Surveys vary, but between 15 and 20 percent of Americans now don’t identify with any particular religion, although not all of those people are non-theists.
“There is that trend in society, and we strive to have our military as representative of our society as possible,” he said. “That’s part of the reason the right to serve became so important for blacks, and then women, and then gays. You’ve got that added dimension of military service being a hallmark of citizenship.”
A British prophet sacrificed to appease the mob
The great Irish writer C.S. Lewis once said that ‘of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive’. That is a perfect description of the bullying authoritarianism bred by the dogma of political correctness.
In the name of promoting tolerance, race-fixated zealots exercise the most extreme intolerance, suppressing free debate and indulging in witch-hunts against anyone who dissents from their creed of multi-cultural diversity.
Nothing ever exemplified this pattern of behaviour more graphically than the downfall of former Bradford headmaster Ray Honeyford, who died yesterday, aged 77.
A mild-mannered, popular teacher who devoted his career to the education of disadvantaged children, Honeyford was hounded from his job in the mid-1980s for daring to challenge some of the fashionable orthodoxies of race relations.
Like a character in George Orwell’s 1984, he was deemed to have committed a crime for expressing his views. Branded a racist, he was turned into a figure of national notoriety by a noisy alliance of Left-wingers, municipal ideologues and professional grievance-mongers. The atmosphere of synthetic outrage ensured his reputation was shattered and his career left in ruins.
Yet Honeyford was the victim of a gross injustice. The portrayal of him as a racial bigot could not be further from the truth. As the headmaster of Drummond Middle School in Bradford, he spent most of his time working with ethnic minority pupils, since 95 per cent of Drummond’s intake was of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin.
It was a measure of his success that the school was heavily oversubscribed, with the greatest demand for places coming from Muslim parents. Nor was Honeyford anything like the reactionary that his enemies painted. In fact, he hailed from an unprivileged working-class background in Manchester, one reason that he had such a passion for education as a force for social mobility.
Honeyford’s father was a labourer who had been badly wounded in World War I and his mother was the daughter of penniless Irish immigrants. Honeyford himself failed the 11-plus and had to leave technical school at 15 to support his family, though he was so determined to become a teacher that he completed a degree through night classes.
Having qualified, he taught in a variety of inner-city schools before taking over at Drummond in 1981. Honeyford’s experience of running a largely Asian school gave him a special insight into the iniquities of multiculturalism, the official doctrine that had held sway in state education since the 1970s.
According to this policy, ethnic minority children were encouraged to cling on to their cultures, customs, even languages, while the concept of a shared British identity was treated with contempt. Honeyford thought this approach was deeply damaging. He feared that it promoted division, hindered integration and undermined pupils’ opportunities to succeed in wider British society.
He voiced his concerns by writing an article in the obscure conservative political magazine The Salisbury Review, which was then edited by the distinguished philosopher Roger Scruton.
In it, Honeyford stated that white children constituted the ‘ethnic minority’ in many urban schools: ‘It is very difficult to write honestly and openly of my experiences and the reflections they evoke,’ he wrote, ‘since the race lobby is extremely powerful in the State education service. ‘The term racism functions not as a word with which to create insight, but as a slogan designed to suppress constructive thought.’
The race lobby had become so powerful, he added, that ‘decent people are not only afraid of voicing certain thoughts, they are even uncertain of their right to think those thoughts.’
Among the points that Honeyford made was a criticism of ‘the large number of Asians whose aim is to preserve intact the values and attitudes of the Indian sub-continent’, while he also condemned certain black intellectuals ‘of aggressive disposition who know little of the traditions of understatement, civilised discourse and respect for reason.’
Despite the journal’s tiny circulation, the article sparked a huge outcry in Bradford. A mood of hysteria seemed to grip the city. The mayor Mohammed Ajeeb stoked the flames of anger by calling on Honeyford to be sacked for demonstrating ‘prejudice against certain sections of our community’.
Honeyford had to be given police protection after a number of death threats, picket lines formed outside the school and subjected him to constant abuse, while pupils were given badges proclaiming ‘Hate Your Headmaster’ along with a ‘Pupils’ Charter’ advocating open disobedience.
When one Sikh shopkeeper privately expressed his support, Honeyford urged him to speak out. The Sikh said he could not, because he feared that his shop would be burnt down.
Soon Honeyford was suspended by the local education authority, and though he was subsequently reinstated by the Court of Appeal, a group of aggrieved, politicised parents ensured that it was impossible for him to do his job. In December 1985, he accepted a financial settlement and retired from Drummond Middle.
A broken man, he never returned to teaching. Instead he dabbled in political journalism and policy-making, as well as serving for a spell as a Tory councillor in Bury.
He wrote of how the episode had made his wife Angela, who was also a teacher, suffer acute anxiety. ‘I was daily watching her grow more and more depressed,’ he said after he finally accepted his settlement. ‘I am relieved the conflict is over. It is a reasonable settlement, but no amount of money can compensate for the loss of one’s career or the anguish which Angela and myself have suffered.’
Ray Honeyford should have been able to give so much more.
When I interviewed him in recent years, he was as courteous as ever, but he remained rightly embittered at what happened to him.
Yet he also derived a degree of satisfaction about having been so prescient in that explosive article. Despite all the abuse he endured at the time, many of his warnings about multiculturalism proved correct. He predicted that, without a unifying sense of national identity, we would become an ever-more divided country, which is exactly what has occurred.
Large parts of urban Britain are increasingly split along racial lines, with many Britons now feeling like aliens in their own land. In London, only six per cent of primary schools have a significant white majority.
Even Trevor Phillips, the Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, recently warned that ‘some districts are on their way to becoming fully fledged ghettoes — black holes into which no one goes without fear or trepidation.’ Phillips went on, using words that could have come from Honeyford, that Britain ‘is sleep-walking into segregation’.
When Mr Phillips first began to publicly question the dogma of multiculturalism at the Tory Conference in 2005 — a dogma, incidentally his commission had been enforcing rigorously for many years — Honeyford wrote in the Daily Mail of his surprise and relief.
‘What is so galling,’ he wrote, ‘is that what Trevor Phillips has been saying this week is what I was saying 20 years ago as the headmaster of a predominantly Asian school in Yorkshire. Trevor Phillips calls for integration, the teaching of English and the inculcation of British values, precisely as I did in the mid-1980s.’
The passing of time has shown that Honeyford was equally justified in his warning about Muslim separatism, which has dramatically accelerated in the 28 years since his Salisbury Review article. That process is reflected in the growth of Muslim faith schools and the informal official acceptance of sharia courts. The Department for Work and Pensions even turns a blind eye towards polygamy in its lax distribution of benefits.
We have also seen the rise of Islamic extremism and domestic terrorism, as well as disturbing cases of practices such as honour killings and ethnic gang warfare.
When Honeyford wrote his article, he was branded a heretic. His words had to be suppressed, his influence crushed. But that did not stop him being right.
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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