Monday, July 30, 2012
The Olympic opening ceremony
Below is an email received from an Australian reader
When are you going to say something about the outrageous Olympic Opening Ceremony. I have to say I hated it and it's PC values more than anything I've watched in recent times.
* tribute to the NHS (Over here we'd have a tribute to the carbon tax probably).
* Mary Poppins kissing a black kid
* Black people dressed up in top hats pretending to be Isambard Kingdom Brunel. (Historical Revisionism at it's best).
* No whites carrying the olympic flag.
* A white woman coming home to her black husband.
* A Pakistani kid dancing with another mixed racial person in the death scene
Why raise this stuff...
Because it is designed to write white Anglo culture out of history and made me feel sick.
And no-one can say anything about it without left leaning fruitcakes throwing out the racism card.
The government is asking Britons to behave like Soviets
I'm married to a former Moscow correspondent. He is incandescent at what he considers the Sovietisation of Britain. Most obvious, during these Olympics, are the Games Lanes: just as in Soviet Russia, the nomenklatura can roar down a specially-designated lane to their destination (be that the women's volley ball finals or the five bedroomed house in Notting Hill); while ordinary people (or peasants) inch their way to and from work through traffic.
We have yet to see what is routine in Moscow (the illicit purchase of fake sirens, which for a small fortune drivers can place on top of their cars, in order to get preferential treatment on the road), but already, the "special lanes" send out a clear message: our time is of no importance; theirs is precious.
Far more sinister, though, is the news that HMRC are trying to encourage our children to snitch on tax-evaders. Setting child against parent is another old trick of the Soviets. It resulted in inter-generational misery, as children programmed to inform on their family were left as orphans when mummy and daddy were banished to the Gulag, suspected of unpatriotic behaviour.
We don't have the Gulag, and Dave doesn't model himself on Stalin (just on Obama, according to US Republicans), but HMRC has set up special modules to teach children as young as 11 about paying their fair share of tax. It also asks: “What do students think of those who refuse to pay tax or try and defraud the benefits system? Can they think of any example they may have heard of in their local area?”
The revenue doesn't actually spell out, "tell Uncle Joe if you know anyone who's not paying taxes" – but that may be in a forthcoming module. In the meantime, parents everywhere, beware: your little treasure is being taught to spy on you, and hand you over to the authorities.
Half of recipients of British sickness benefit return to work if ruled fit
Ministers have claimed a success for a key plank of their welfare reforms after new figures showed that more than half of claimants who are found to be fit for work go off benefits.
Some 52 per cent of those assessed as able to work under a new medical tests regime do not claim another benefit immediately after receiving their ruling.
An independent report for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed that 10 per cent of claimants went back to their old job, while 18 per cent found new employment or began working themselves.
Others retired or were supported by their family – adding up to more than half who no longer claimed state benefits.
Chris Grayling, the Employment Minister, said the figures were proof that a "significant number" of people who claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – the main incapacity benefit – are in fact able to work.
The assessments are a key part of the Work Programme introduced by Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, a scheme costing up to £5 billion under which private-sector providers are paid to help the long-term unemployed find work.
More than 2 billion people who previously who previously claimed Incapacity Benefit are gradually being assessed to determine whether they are eligible for ESA.
They have to undertake a Work Capability Assessment which tests their physical fitness as well as their mental skills.
After the tests, some receive unconditional support because they are too unwell to work while others are found not fit to work at the moment, but are given support to "move them towards the workplace" in the future.
The largest group, around 57 per cent, is declared fit for work and therefore is unable to claim any sickness benefit. Anybody in this category who is unemployed is able to claim the less generous Jobseekers Allowance – but the new figures, in a report by the Institute for Employment studies buried on the DWP's website, suggest most people in this category are not doing this.
Mr Grayling said: "Many people claiming Employment and Support Allowance have genuine need for it, but we know there are a significant number of people who are able to work who apply for it as well.
"Our reforms to the incapacity benefit system are vital – it's right that those who are not well enough to work get unconditional support, but those who are able to work should do so.
"Sitting at home on benefits when you're fit to work must not be an option."
The overall aims of welfare reforms are to make work pay and to simplify the current complex mass of different payments in the new universal credit system.
Ministers estimate that around 500,000 people could lose incapacity benefit payments once all have been assessed under their new regime.
Labour introduced the ESA when it was in power – but the party has launched a series of attacks on what it is says is the unfair way the new system is implemented for certain categories of claimant.
Can We Still Call Men Heroes?
If just one man had given his life by throwing himself atop his girlfriend to shield her from bullets in that Aurora, Colo., theater, it would have been cause for amazement. That three apparently did so is deeply affecting. People earn the Medal of Honor for such courage and self-sacrifice in the military. There is no equivalent in ordinary life -- or what should be ordinary life.
Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves all reacted instantaneously when the horror began to unfold at the theater. The mother of Jansen Young, Blunk's girlfriend, said that Blunk, 26, pushed Jansen under the seat. "He was 6-feet-2, in incredible shape ... He pushed her down on the floor and laid on top of her and he died there."
Alex Teves, 24, did the same, pushing his girlfriend, Amanda Lindgren, about whom he was very serious after a year of dating, to the floor to protect her. His aunt told the Daily News: "He pushed her to the floor to save her and he ended up getting a bullet. He was gonna hit the floor himself, but he never made it."
Matt McQuinn, 27, dove in front Samantha Yowler and took three bullets --one to the chest, one to the back and one to the leg. Yowler was hit in the leg as well, but survived.
What makes men such as this?
Just in January, we were treated to the spectacle of men behaving like louts on board the stricken Costa Concordia. In contrast to the chivalrous "women and children first" code that, contra the James Cameron movie, really did characterize the conduct of the men aboard the Titanic, the stories from a shipwreck almost exactly a century later were hardly uplifting. An Australian lady aboard recalled, "We just couldn't believe it -- especially the men, they were worse than the women." A grandmother who was on board agreed, saying, "I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls." A third passenger said, "There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats."
Those are the sorts of men who tend to make the news. We speak so often of men as problems to be solved. They are the vast majority of rampage killers and criminals in general. They abandon their kids at much higher rates than women. They have more traffic accidents and die younger. Boys cause more classroom disruption, have higher rates of learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. We have endless complaints about the male sex.
In America, for decades now, we've been focused on promoting and supporting the interests of women and girls. Their job prospects, their classroom participation, their self-esteem, and their needs have dominated the agenda.
That attention to women has had consequences. It hasn't been a good half-century for men. They've become a shrinking minority in colleges and universities; their role in the family has become attenuated; young women are beginning to out earn them; and they've dropped out of the labor force in greater numbers than ever before. In 2007, writes Charles Murray in "Coming Apart," more than a quarter of men (27 percent) without a college degree were failing to earn a living, "more than triple the proportion in 1973."
We've pretty thoroughly devalued the traits that have traditionally been considered manly virtues -- protectiveness, responsibility, courage. In what we like to think of as our highly civilized culture, such traits are regarded as primitive and/or obsolete.
But as studies on family structure demonstrate, men aren't just useful to have around in an emergency. Stopping bullets is not the only thing they are for. When men cease to perform their roles as husbands and fathers (because they've been invited not to by the feminist movement), the result is social decline. Children are clearly worse off when they grow up without a dad at home. Every social pathology is more pronounced in the children of single mothers than in two-parent homes. But women, too, have paid a steep price. Women are not as happy as they used to be. Every year since 1972, the General Social Survey has asked a representative sample of Americans about their happiness. And every year the reported happiness of women has declined.
Though the cultural arbiters have devalued the unique protectiveness of men, it seems that it takes more than a few decades of disrespect to drain the heroism from them. Now seems like a good time to rediscover the other unique virtues of manliness -- it would be a fitting tribute to Blunk, Teves and McQuinn.
Australia: Racist child welfare bureaucrats forcing little girl back to neglectful family
Living with foster parents since she was 36 hours old, two-year-old could soon be forced to leave only family she knows
A LITTLE girl cherished by her "mum and dad" has been ordered to leave the only family she knows and live with strangers.
In a few short weeks, bureaucrats will force this loving family to separate, and will break the heart of a girl they are meant to protect.
Since she was 36 hours old, the "little one" has lived with her foster parents, but now, almost three years later, Child Safety Services has ordered she live with her Pacific Island relatives, who were found late last year.
The foster parents, who cannot be named under Queensland law, are fighting to keep their "big brown-eyed girl".
The carers have doted upon the girl since she was abandoned by her birth mother, and when she was 18 months old, Child Safety asked them if they would become permanent guardians.
"(That's when) your whole mindset changes, (you think) she's going to be part of the family for the next 18 years and beyond," the central Queensland foster mum said.
But when the girl was 22 months old, a university student on work experience with Child Safety Services tracked down an aunt in north Queensland - a task that seasoned staff could not achieve. The family did not know the girl existed.
Child Safety arranged for the girl to meet with her aunt 14 times over several months and then ordered she move in with her on June 1.
The foster parents, who won a stay to keep the girl until a decision is made in September, told The Sunday Mail the girl would be emotionally scarred if she had to leave them, and her life would dramatically change. "She's so heavily attached (to us). To pull the rug from under her . . . she will feel abandoned," they said. "We pour all our love into her (and) the only identity is the one we created for her. It's almost like we gave birth to her."
They said they were concerned that the aunt may not be a permanent Australian citizen.
The foster parents, who have two other foster children and their own adult children, said they tried to encourage a relationship with the girl and the aunt's family, but the culture shock and forced overnight visits had proved traumatic.
They said the girl screamed, "No aunty" and had been diagnosed with a separation anxiety disorder. Their GP believes the girl may have been so stressed by the forced contact that she broke out in hives.
They've been told they are in for a tough fight because they are white and the girl's relatives can teach her about her heritage.
The girl's mother, who originally told Child Safety she did not want her family to know about her baby, still does not want a relationship with her daughter. She is not the primary carer for any of her four children.
The foster parent said the aunt told them the girl "belongs to us, to our family".
The Child Protection Act requires a child's security and emotional wellbeing be taken into account, and if possible, that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children be with their own. There is no mention of people of Pacific Island heritage. [But she's black and that's good enough for them]
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.