Monday, May 28, 2012

Marylou's Coffee being investigated for discrimination

Feminists don't like it when their own rules are applied to them

There's a brouhaha on the South Shore. A popular coffee chain known for its bubbly, attractive teenagers is facing a federal discrimination investigation.

In a letter FOX 25 has obtained from a source, the president of Marylou's Coffee –   Marylou herself – has fired off a scathing response to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's investigation, and asks Sen. John Keenan for help.  

Marylou Sandry started the coffee chain in Hanover. It's now spread to many locations in Massachusetts and more in Rhode Island.
It's known for its pink branding and attractive staff. That is the problem.
The EEOC wants to know if only young, attractive women are employable at Marylou's. Now they're looking into the company's job applications, talking to employees about their co-workers age, race and body type, as well as questioning company managers.
But Marylou's says it is simply hiring out of the pool of applicants who come to them and looking for quality dedicated people.
In her letter, Sandry appeals for help from the senator, saying her company is being harassed by the EEOC and "we have never had a complaint against us for age discrimination or any kind of discrimination.  We feel the EEOC is on a witch hunt."

Sandry also says the entire company is a nervous wreck over the investigation.


Coexisting with Sharia

You have probably seen the "coexist" bumper sticker. It implies that we should all just try harder to get along. Wherever we turn, it seems, we are assured that efforts to embrace differences will result only in harmony, although the bargain often entails that we abandon our core cultural principles and our Western soul. For too long we have failed to comprehend that the cost of coexistence can be high.

Finally, though, the pursuit of tolerance at any price is being assessed realistically. The British have now been forced to confront - and finally judge - the actions of some minority Muslims who have embedded themselves in a counterculture hostile to British society. Forty-nine men, predominantly from Pakistan, were convicted (or are still wanted) for luring 47 underage British girls to lairs for serial rape. At least one victim was forced to have sex with 20 men in one night, according to the police. Two girls became pregnant and a 13-year-old reported aborting a baby conceived by rape. Nine of the Muslim men were found guilty last week. Authorities expect to charge four more, and up to 40 additional suspects remain at large.

Judge Gerald Clinton accused the predators of targeting white girls because they were not part of the Islamist "community or religion." The ringleader was removed from the courtroom for being disrespectful of the judge and the legal process.

 It is even more shocking to consider that this is just the most recent case. For years British police failed to make arrests for fear of being called racist, even though girls were reporting the rape rings. Both MP Simon Danczuk and former MP Ann Cryer have charged the police with dereliction due to political correctness.

While some will wonder what it was about coexistence that these Muslim men did not understand, others will realize a hard truth. These girls were the prey of men whose very definition of womanhood is distorted. For these Muslims, women are defined according to a man's needs and his status in the clerical community.

What Westerners have understood as an Islamist honor code is really better described as a culture based on shame. Muslim men are rated according to how their women conform - to how observantly they dress and and how obsequiously they obey clerical dictates. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim and now an activist in the cause of abused women, has tried to explain for uncomprehending Westerners this endemic mindset: "In most of the shame cultures, people in the system don't necessarily know that this abuse is wrong."

The question that Europeans and Americans now must answer is why such a culture has been accommodated to the point that the rule of law is breaking down. The noble goal of tolerating cultural difference has long covered neglect of the need to define legal and constitutional standards. The principles of individual liberty, self-determination, and equal rights undergird our social compact and must not be compromised for the purpose of negotiating coexistence with a subversive and implacable counterculture.


                    Sticks and Stones
Sticks and stones may break my bones, goes the adage, but names will never hurt me.
The new adage, tailored for our age, goes:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, and names, insults, derogatory remarks, denigrations, defamations, "hate" crimes, "bias intimidations," rude or indecent gestures, mockery, satire in textual print or imagery, disrespect, lifestyle harassment, bullying, and other verbal, visual, and non-violent actions, attempts at passive victimization and gross insensitivities that tend or are calculated to hurt, depress, humiliate, or shame me, and otherwise offend my self-esteem and rightful dignity, compromise my privacy, and diminish my standing in the eyes of my fellow creatures -  may be grounds for civil and/or criminal suits.

Sticks and stones may be used in the commission of an actual felony, as well as guns, knives, one's fists, or any other physical object. But an evolving complement of new chargeable felonies, often appended to legitimate ones, is growing, and if not challenged, will reach a "critical mass" in law that will stifle all realms of speech. These new "felonies" are "hate crimes." A new subset of them is "bias intimidation."

In "The Peril of 'Hate Crimes'" I noted:
.[T]he why of a crime is increasingly treated as though it were a weapon, such as a gun, a knife, or a club. In standard criminal cases, however, it has never been the instrument of crime that was on trial, but the defendant and his actions.

Proponents of hate crime have attempted to find a compromise between objectivity in criminal law and the notion that a felon should also be punished for what caused him to commit the crime. But no such compromise is feasible if objective law is to be preserved and justice served. The irrational element - that is, making thought, however irrational or ugly it may be, a crime - has suborned the rational. No compromise between good and evil is lasting or practical. Evil will always come out the victor.

It did not take long for the corrupting notion of hate crimes to degenerate into thought crime. This is what happens when reason is declared irrelevant or is abandoned or diluted by the irrational.

It used to be that a criminal was sentenced for his crime, and if the crime was committed from some form of prejudice, the court's and jury's afterthought was usually: And, by the way, your motives are contemptible and despicable.

Appended now to a guilty verdict for the murder of an individual because of his race, gender "orientation," religion, or political affiliation, is another verdict: You had no right to think that way, so we are adding five years to your sentence and adding X amount to your monetary penalty.
"Bias intimidation" played a role in the conviction and sentencing of Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers freshman whose webcam spying allegedly drove roommate Tyler Clementi to commit suicide. The New York Times reported in March;
The jury in the trial of a former Rutgers  University student accused of invading his roommate's privacy by using a webcam to watch him in an intimate encounter began deliberations on Wednesday and asked the judge to define two crucial terms.

Jurors asked Judge Glenn Berman of Superior Court in Middlesex  County to restate the definition of "intimidate," as well as of the word "purpose," as it related to the bias intimidation count.

The judge ruled that the defendant, Dharun Ravi, could be found guilty of bias intimidation only if he was also found guilty of the first charge, invasion of privacy. And he told the jury that the roommate, Tyler Clementi, would have been the victim of bias intimidation if he had been made to feel fear. [Italics mine.]

"A person is guilty of the crime of bias intimidation," Judge Berman said, "if he commits an offense with the purpose to intimidate an individual because of sexual orientation."

Mr. Ravi is charged with 15 counts, including bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence. Prosecutors say he encouraged friends to view a feed from his webcam that showed Mr. Clementi with another man. Mr. Clementi committed suicide shortly afterward, in September 2010.
And the denouement of this drama on May 21st, as reported by the Times:
The jury found that he did not intend to intimidate Mr. Clementi the first night he turned on the webcam to watch. But the jury concluded that Mr. Clementi had reason to believe he had been targeted because he was gay, and in one charge, the jury found that Mr. Ravi had known Mr. Clementi would feel intimidated by his actions.

On May 21, Mr. Ravi was sentenced to a 30-day jail term. He had faced up to 10 years in prison. He was also was sentenced to three years' probation, 300 hours of community service, counseling about cyberbullying and alternate lifestyles and a $10,000 probation fee.
USA Today provided a few more details of the sentencing by Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman:
While Ravi wasn't charged in connection with his death, he was convicted of 15 counts, including two second-degree bias intimidation charges that carry a presumption of jail time. Ravi also was convicted of a second-degree hindering charge.

Judge Glenn Berman ordered Ravi, 20, to report to the Middlesex County  Adult Correction  Center on May 31.

Ravi must pay a fine and costs of more than $11,000 -- $10,000 of which will go to an agency that assists victims of bias crimes. Berman also ordered three years probation and 300 hours of community service.[Italics mine.]
USA Today included an important update, a point of Ravi's defense which the jury apparently ignored:
Ravi's defense team is making the case for an acquittal of the charges, saying Ravi did not know the effect his behavior would have on Clementi.
The unstated premise behind the whole trial was that Ravi had driven Clementi to commit suicide. And it is doubtful, highly doubtful, that Ravi's intentions were more than just exposing Clementi to adolescent ridicule. As a new college roommate, he barely knew Clementi. He could not know how "sensitive" he might have been to exposure, mockery, or to an invasion of his privacy. Ravi, then 18 years old, could not have known, even had he been 50 years old with a lifetime of experience behind him, what Clementi might have done as a result of his webcam spying which he shared with others.

Notice that the term bias intimidation is synonymous with bias crime. Whatever it is called, in New Jersey, the "crime" garners a presumption of jail time.

The larger picture is the introduction of the notion, not only of "hate crime," but of an appended but invalid felony charge that may accompany the charge of a validly defined felony. The question is - and it may be a moot question by this time - is how soon mere bias intimidation will be treated as synonymous with hate crime? How soon will individuals be taken to court and charged with it alone, without the excuse of having committed an actual felony?

Salman Rushdie, who surely knows something about the consequences of "defaming" a religion and its central icon, as well as having "insulted" or "offended" the feelings of Muslims, wrote in The New Yorker:
The creative act requires not only freedom but also this assumption of freedom. If the creative artist worries if he will still be free tomorrow, then he will not be free today. If he is afraid of the consequences of his choice of subject or of his manner of treatment of it, then his choices will not be determined by his talent, but by fear. If we are not confident of our freedom, then we are not free.
Dharun Ravi is not a writer, or an artist. But if a writer or artist experiences the fear of what might happen if he allowed his creativity full rein, then he will not create anything but what has been approved by the million censors of protected classes, who could just as easily file suit against him and see him sentenced to a new Gulag, or just financially ruined. Fear of censorship shuts down the mind and sends it on the main traveled roads of the average, the unexceptional, the bland, the expected. Fear of censorship smothers thought, and makes freedom of expression of all but the mediocre impossible and a cruel taunt.

Let's examine the court's, the jury's, and the law's a priori assumptions, assumptions on which they acted. An a priori assumption is one that is knowable without further need to prove or experience. It just "is." . Clementi was gay. Ergo, Ravi's actions were anti-gay, or biased against gays, or in this instance, against Tyler Clementi because he was gay.

First, note that gays are now becoming a new "protected class," as surely as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the ICNA, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and other Hamas-linked "civil rights" groups are working to make Muslims and Islam a protected class, and with some success, especially in our judiciary, and most importantly in regards to what one may say about Muslims and Islam. .

As there is a legitimate distinction between premeditated and aggravated assault - premeditated meaning that a defendant meant to assault the victim, and his motive not being on trial, and aggravated meaning that the victim expected or apprehended physical assault or battery - will our courts now accept as a legitimate charge premeditated bias intimidation? Will a defendant be arraigned and indicted for aggravated bias intimidation?

If a legitimately defined felony can be deemed an action taken with malice aforethought, will writing satirically (or even seriously) about Islam, or gays, or badly dressed people, or obese people, or even about the disabled, be some day treated as malicious and biased intimidation, because the feelings of the subjects were hurt, or because the words instilled unprovable but asserted fear in them?

The emotional states of a felon and his victim are essentially immaterial when judging a crime. The contents of their thoughts are likewise not proper subjects for criminal justice. I could sit here and plot how to rob my bank, especially because I didn't like the way a teller treated me the other day, but I could not be charged with any crime unless I acted on my thoughts (or my piqued sense of hurt and mistreatment). It is the action that would count, not my motive. Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman, in her article "Is There a Legal Problem with "Hate Crimes?" emphasizes this point:
The definition of "hate crime" is one of those overkill legislative initiatives with unforeseen consequences. It is noble to recognize that some people commit crimes out of hate, but a murder is a murder, and this should be enough.

How can we possibly know a criminal's inner thoughts (his hatred for his victim); furthermore, even if we can know this for certain, what difference does it make to the victim? The hatred of the murderer should only reflect upon the ultimate sentencing: premeditated and aggravated murder.
While a defendant's emotional or even considered "bias" or "hate" may be demonstrated and proven, it should have nothing to do with the criminal charge at hand. It is the criminal action that should be the subject, and the defendant punished for having taken the action. Murder is murder. Assault is assault. Robbery is robbery. The reason why a person commits a crime, or rather his motive, should not be "punishable" and within the aegis of criminal law. The law can decree that men stop thinking, or emoting, or forming opinions, but cannot enforce the decree. It is only fear of government and/or mob reprisals that may cause their minds to sputter to a halt, and die.

Little horrors, such as Judge Glenn Berman putting Dharun Ravi on probation for his "bias crime," have a way of trickling up to greater realms of human action because they remain unchallenged. There are many forces at work in this country to obviate the substance and meaning of the First Amendment. These range from the outright thuggery of an OWS-linked assault on restaurant patrons, to the concerted campaign by Islamic supremacists to outlaw criticism of Islam, to a confused judiciary that is losing sight of individual rights and replacing them with collective rights.

Salman Rushdie has to date escaped the sticks and stones of the Iranian fatwa on his life, but is certainly right about the miasma of fear and political correctness that stifles and smothers freedom of expression.

Little horrors like "bias intimidation" can and will contribute to a greater, incremental, and totalitarian horror.


Australia: Children to be given a taste of danger at new childcare centre

CHILDREN would be given trees to climb in, a creek to explore and material to build cubby houses under proposals for a new childcare centre and kindergarten which aims to buck the trend of wrapping them in cotton wool.

The proposal by C&K, which runs a string of childcare centres, comes as the organisation dedicates an entire weekend conference to the topic of "children's right to childhood" and the consequences of risk aversion.

International speakers, including New York's Lenore Skenazy who was dubbed America's worst mum after she let her nine-year-old travel by himself on the subway, will address the C&K early childhood annual conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

C&K chief executive Barrie Elvish said that over the past decade there appeared to be an increasing emphasis "on creating what the regulators and the governments like to say is safe environments for children to play in".

"By making it too safe we are actually not giving children the opportunity to build resilience," he said.

"What C&K is doing about it, apart from this conference . . . we have just purchased part of the old Ithaca TAFE at Ashgrove and we intend creating an outdoor environment which challenges not just the existing regulations and future regulations, but also the perceptions of what might be safe and unsafe environments for children.

"We are not talking about blindfold bungy jumps.

"We are talking about the ability for a child to learn through mistakes and a child to learn through failure - a child to learn if you do jump off something too high it might hurt you when you land."

Mr Elvish said it was part of a risk-benefit, rather than just risk, approach championed by conference keynote speaker Tim Gill, who helped change the way the United Kingdom Government viewed playground risk.

Yesterday Mr Gill said the journey to being a capable adult involved "a few bumps and scrapes and knocks".



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 WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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 is playing up, there is a mirror of this site  here.


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