Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's Not Racism, Mr. President

Repeat something and it becomes heard. Repeat something often and it becomes accepted fact. Repeat a lie and people believe it even if it defies logic. But if you’re a prominent person and you repeat something that has no factual basis, you truly are a disgusting individual.

One of the accusations that the supporters and allies of President Obama have continued to assert is that challenges to Obama are based on something other than disagreement with his governing policies or philosophies. Unwilling to listen to opposing arguments, they’re convinced that every difference of opinion has to be based on distaste for black people.

The latest to make this ridiculous claim is Sam Donaldson. Some of you may not even know who Sam Donaldson is so his making a pronouncement about the President may seem as important as your Aunt Lucy making one. Donaldson was a former White House Correspondent and has been an employee of ABC since 1967. Donaldson, who is considered one of the senior newsmen of Washington, stated that "Many on the political right believe this president ought not to be there – they oppose him not for his polices and political view but for who he is, an African American!" Donaldson was prodded to make his comment after reporter Neil Munro jumped in to ask the President a question about his new immigration mandate. This is not a defense of Neil Munro, but what does this have to do with racism?

Donaldson, of course, has a history of aggressive behavior, having similarly asked untimely questions of both Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush, but that is just a matter of degree. Those were Republican presidents, and, according to the MSM playbook, don’t merit any respect. But throughout all the coverage of Donaldson’s comments, not one person asked the man on what he based his assertion. Someone in a senior position for ABC News shouldn’t be able to spout ludicrous statements like this without any basis in fact, or without being questioned.

He’s not the first prominent individual to make this preposterous claim. The President’s buddy and Attorney General said it himself. On the topic of criticism of himself and President Obama, Eric Holder told the New York Times that “This is a way to get at the President because of the way I can be identified with him. Both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know the fact that we’re both African-American.”

Not having any proof of this, I decided to do my own research. It just might be shocking to the race-baiters, but I can find lots of people who gravely dislike Obama’s policies, but could care less about the color of his skin. The Leftist retort to that is “of course, they are not going to admit their racism to you. That is something that remains under the radar, lurking in the shadows.” Those who truly believe this will never listen to reality or reason. They are, in fact, unredeemable.

But here’s a story for you. I recently went to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox play the Atlanta Braves, and found myself sitting next to a couple of ”good ol’ boys” from Georgia. I don’t often get to meet folks like this; they’re rather difficult to find around the West Side of Los Angeles. I informed them that I was visiting #1 son, who is in Boston working for Governor Romney. My neighbor replied that he was very unhappy with the performance of the current president, and would be voting for Mr. Romney in November. Now keep in mind that this man was the epitome of a southern white boy. He spoke and reeked old south. He even had some chew under his lip. Picture Larry the Cable Guy.

I leaned over and quietly asked him if his distaste for President Obama had anything to do with his race. He said “Hell, no. That stuff has been over long ago.” Then he said the most fascinating thing. “You know who I wish you Republicans would put up for President?’’ I waited, fully expecting to hear names like Jim DeMint or Chris Christie. He blurted out “Condi Rice. That woman is smart and classy. The best thing President Bush did was make her Secretary of State. Now that is someone who would make a great President.”

There’s no science behind what I did, but at least I tried to find out some facts. I have asked the same question to hundreds of people who do not support the President, and have always received a similar response. That doesn’t mean that somewhere there might be people who will base their vote on racial animus, but I haven’t spoken to any of them and neither has Sam Donaldson, Eric Holder, or any of their supporters. They have offered no evidence for their position.

To accuse those who do not support this president of racism is disgusting. To accuse all Republicans of racism is disgusting. To use a position of prominence to assert that someone that disagrees with you is a racist is despicable. And to assert that people are racists with no basis for that assertion is as low as you can get as a human being.

Now you know what I think of you Mr. Donaldson, Mr. Holder, and anyone who agrees with you.



British Christians sue Eric Pickles for £25K after block on conference promoting heterosexual marriage

The organisers of a major conference defending traditional marriage are suing the Government after they were barred from an official building because they allegedly breached ‘diversity’ policies.

The conference, whose high-profile speakers included David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ guru Phillip Blond, was cancelled at the last minute by  the Government-owned Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Central London after organisers were told it was ‘inappropriate’.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is now facing claims for £25,000 for breach of contract and religious discrimination, according to legal papers seen by The Mail on Sunday.

The legal action may prove particularly embarrassing for Mr Pickles, whose department is responsible for the centre, as he has robustly defended the rights of Christians to express their faith in public.

The conference promoting heterosexual marriage was organised by the campaign group Christian Concern along with a non-religious American organisation called the World Congress of Families (WCF), whose supporters include former President George Bush.

Entitled One Man, One Woman – Making The Case For Marriage, For The Good Of Society, the event, a response to Government plans to introduce gay marriage, had a line-up of speakers including Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Conservative Party’s oldest think-tank the Bow Group, and the commentator and former Catholic Herald editor Cristina Odone.

The conference had been moved to the Queen Elizabeth II Centre near Parliament after solicitors’ representative body The Law Society, which had been due to host the conference at another venue, said it contravened the organisation’s ‘ethos’.

However, on May 22, the day before the rearranged conference was due to take place, the centre’s chief executive, Ernest Vincent, told Christian Concern he was cancelling the event.

According to the legal documents, he said it was ‘inappropriate’ and when pressed added that certain comments on the WCF website were contrary to the centre’s diversity policies. The website describes marriage between men and women as the ‘sole moral context for natural sexual union’.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: ‘The department has had absolutely no role in the cancellation of the event and this is ultimately a matter for the management of the QE2.’ Mr Vincent said:  ‘We don’t as a matter of policy comment on  clients’ files.’

Christian Concern founder Andrea Williams said the centre had earlier hosted a conference by  gay-rights organisation Stonewall. She said: ‘It would seem that the centre does not extend the same hospitality to Christian groups.’


Aggressive cyclists virtually above the law in Britain

All of us sometimes read newspaper stories that make our blood boil. I encountered one of these yesterday morning.

It concerned a cyclist named Andrej Schipka. He has been convicted of knocking over and severely injuring a leading solicitor in London last July after ignoring a red light and sending his victim spinning into the road.

As a result, Clive Hyer suffered brain damage and is unlikely ever to be able to work properly again. His witness statement claimed that he is only 40 per cent of the person he was before the accident.
CCTV footage showed Schipka skipping a red light. According to witnesses, he shouted ‘Oi, move’, as he saw Mr Hyer step into the road. He went over the handlebars but neither he nor his bike was damaged. Mr Hyer was in a coma for three days.
Two-wheeled rage: The number of cyclists skipping red lights, and screaming and swearing at pedestrians, appears to have reached record levels

Two-wheeled rage: The number of cyclists skipping red lights, and screaming and swearing at pedestrians, appears to have reached record levels

A pretty serious offence? Most of us would think so. A man’s life has been half ruined, and that of his family severely affected. And yet Schipka — who’d had the brass-neck to deny he had skipped the light, and disputed that he had not given due consideration to pedestrians — was fined a mere £850 for cycling carelessly. He was also required to pay £930 costs and a £15 surcharge.

Schipka, who is a German citizen, will almost certainly face a civil action at the end of which he could be required to pay damages, though whether he would be able to do so is not clear. What is certain is that the criminal law has applied a penalty that is ludicrously light in view of the seriousness of the offence.
Soft justice? The maximum penalty for careless cycling is a £1,000 fine, while it is £2,500 for dangerous cycling

Soft justice? The maximum penalty for careless cycling is a £1,000 fine, while it is £2,500 for dangerous cycling

The maximum penalty for careless cycling is a £1,000 fine. For dangerous cycling it is £2,500. By contrast, someone convicted of careless driving faces a maximum fine of £2,500 and possible disqualification, whereas a person found guilty of dangerous driving is automatically disqualified and can be sent to prison for up to two years. Causing death by dangerous driving can carry a long jail sentence.

Already I can feel the bikers among you stirring uneasily. You will point out that very many more car, lorry and bus drivers kill cyclists than cyclists kill pedestrians or anyone else. That, of course, is perfectly true.

If any driver causes the injury or death of a cyclist through careless or dangerous driving, I am entirely in favour of the full force of the law being applied. I am not in any sense anti-cyclist or pro-driver.

My point is simply that the law should be consistent, and that cyc-lists should not imagine that they are exempt from it. And yet many of them appear to. In the city where I live, Oxford, cyclists almost uniformly ride through red lights just as Mr Schipka did, not infrequently shouting something far worse than ‘Oi, move’ if you get in their way.

Some of them are youths or students who might be expected to be uncouth. Others are sturdy matrons or gentlemen of advanced years who in other circumstances would not dream of breaking the law. What is so extraordinary is that if you politely point out their infringement, normally peaceable souls are liable to yell obscenities at you, contorting their habitually placid faces with hate-filled rants.

Rather as the internet can turn usually polite people into howling monsters, posting vile or threatening comments or blogs, so bicycles can have a similarly transformative effect on the mild-mannered and law-abiding. It’s bizarre.

As most of us know, Lycra-clad young men and women on racing bikes tend to be the most prone to outbursts of aggression and to strings of expletives. Woe betide if you get in the way of one of these tartars after they have jumped a red light!
Simple: While we should be encouraging cycling, and raising awareness of general road safety, cyclists must adhere to the rules of the road like everyone else

Simple: While we should be encouraging cycling, and raising awareness of general road safety, cyclists must adhere to the rules of the road like everyone else

Needless to say, the police are generally useless in such circumstances. They are remarkably indulgent towards cyclists who don’t have lights on their bikes at night, endangering not only themselves but others. They tend to smile amiably at cyclists who go the wrong way down a one-way street. Riding on pavements, which is supposedly illegal, is apparently fine and dandy.

And yet not long ago, when I was momentarily and most unusually driving without a seatbelt — putting no one other than myself at risk — a young policeman stopped me and delivered a most unfriendly lecture. You wouldn’t catch him doing the same to one of the light-jumping Lycra brigade.

The fascinating question is why so many cyclists think it all right to break the law, and why some of them — a minority, I’m sure — resort so easily to snarling and swearing. Maybe they have a sense of victimhood, in some cases bordering on paranoia, because the drivers of vehicles sometimes cut them up or do not know they are there. Fear may make them aggressive.

But this is a tentative explanation, not a justification. Cyclists are obviously vul-nerable to vehicles, and we drivers should do our utmost to be aware of them. Much more should be done to increase their safety. But we bikers — I occasionally cycle, too — should remember that bicycles can also cause serious injury. We shouldn’t break the law.

And it seems odd to me that the criminal law should regard careless cycling when it causes injury as a less serious offence than careless driving. In some European countries, such as Holland and Belgium, there is a presumption of innocence in favour of cyclists in an accident involving vehicles, which pro-cycling lobbyists would like to apply here.

We haven’t got there yet, and I don’t think that we should. But we appear already to have a criminal law that regards a dangerous offence committed with a bicycle as automatically less serious than an offence with a similar outcome committed with a larger vehicle. That doesn’t seem just.

Nor is it fair or reasonable for a driver convicted of careless or dangerous driving to be disqualified while a cyclist guilty of the same offence is allowed to carry on as though nothing has happened.

Andrej Schipka did not merely receive a derisory fine. He is also free to continue riding his bike without any threat of even a short-lived ban.

Clive Hyer’s terrible misfortune should remind us that cyclists, like everyone else, are subject to the law. Such accidents may be relatively uncommon, but they are not unheard of. A former colleague of mine was very seriously injured after being struck by a cyclist.

Pedestrians have rights, too. Cyclists should stop caterwauling and threatening. By all means let’s encourage more bicycling, and do more to protect cyclists from menacing vehicles and bad drivers.

But at the end of it all, cyclists should remember that they have no more right than anyone else to swear and to curse, and they are not above the law.


Australia: Government contractor loses data on thousands of people

How British!  It rather shows what government promises of security for your personal information are worth, doesn't it?  Losses like this have happened time and again in Britain

And note that this galoot was a specialist in data SECURITY!

A federal government contractor that was paid more than $1 million to deliver e-security alert services to Australians has lost 8000 subscribers' personal information in the postal system.

AusCERT, which was paid $1,199,484.52 by the federal government to run staysmartonline.gov.au between July 18 2008 and June 30 2011* lost subscribers' data after using Australia Post to send it to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) on April 11 when its contract to run the alerts service expired.

In an email to the site's 8000 subscribers sent at about 6pm on Friday, the "Stay Smart Online Team" said information that had "gone missing" on the DVD included subscribers' user names, email addresses, memorable phrases and passwords. It said passwords were "unreadable" (stored as a cryptographic hash).

The DBCDE claimed it had "no reason to believe" that subscribers' information had "been found and misused by any third party" and therefore did not believe that there was "a privacy risk".

But it did not provide any evidence to support this claim, and suggested subscribers "consider" whether they should change their "user name, memorable phrase and/or password for other websites or services".

The DBCDE said in a statement that AusCERT was responsible for the security of the subscriber data.

Neither the DBCDE or AusCERT has said whether registered post was used to deliver the data via Australia Post's "express post service" or why the data was not sent electronically. AusCERT refused to comment, saying media enquiries were being handled by the DBCDE.

Australia Post said the disc containing subscriber's personal information sent by AusCERT to the DBCDE was not posted using registered post, which it recommended using for sending sensitive information.

Geordie Guy, an "online rights and digital policy geek" who has previously worked for Electronic Frontiers Australia, joked in a blog post that he had to check his calendar to see if it was April 1 (April Fools' day).

"This isn't likely to be the last data leak this year, it's unlikely to be the biggest, but it's above and beyond the most embarrassing for a government department with a long history of poor practice (despite its preaching), and I think I speak for a lot of the online rights community when I say it'll be a long time before we get another [thing] this funny."



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 blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site  here.


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