Tuesday, September 04, 2012
"Ratbag" is a very useful bit of derogatory Australian slang which compares someone to a bag of rats, with the general theme that they are unbalanced or unstable people. It is often used to refer to people who have some sort of nuisance obsession or who are preoccupied by an improbable theory -- as, for instance, a soapbox orator. It fits the group below impeccably
The Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs (BIMA) predicted that roughly 20,000 people would participate in its “Jumah at the DNC” open-air prayer ceremony Friday, but, according to reports, only a few hundred showed up.
That does not mean, however, that it was completely devoid of noteworthy activity.
During his comments at the prayer service, BIMA spokesman Jibril Hough reportedly claimed that Muslims reached the Americas before Christopher Columbus. He stated, according to the Washington Times: “Muslims visited America prior to Columbus…It was a Muslim who guided Columbus on his voyage to the new world.”
Breitbart adds that BIMA is upsetting some Native Americans for claiming to be “indigenous,” including a passage from Miki Booth at the Western Center for Journalism:
"Native Americans are very angry to learn that Muslims in the United States of America are being touted as “indigenous”, a complete falsehood. The fact is, American Indians are the indigenous people of North America, as Hawai’ians are to Hawai’i and the Aborigine to Australia. Organizations like BIMA marginalize native Americans in favor of Muslims, and Indians are not pleased."
In one of the photos of the event, where the men stand in front of the women to pray, one attendee is seemingly wearing a Yasser Arafat-style American flag scarf around his neck.
The event’s leaders have come under fire by other Muslims for being radical and, in the words of Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, wanting “to replace the US Constitution with the Quran.”
The event was quietly removed from the “Charlotte in 2012” page last week after its leaders’ radical connections were revealed, prompting an angry response from BIMA spokesperson Jibril Hough.
“This is about caving in to fear and ignorance,” he claimed after a senior Host Committee official told NBC the event was determined to be not “appropriate and relevant.”
Are Employers Unfair to Women?
During the Republican Convention, Democrats took every available moment of air time to count the women's vote. "Republicans are anti-women," they chanted.
And they frequently brought up this oft-repeated nugget: For doing essentially the same jobs, men get paid more than women. That claim is often combined with the complaint that whites get paid more than blacks and non-Hispanics get paid more than Hispanics. But are these assertions true?
Let's take the Labor Department finding that women make 77% of what men make. To hear the backers of the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) tell it, this is prima facie evidence of rampant discrimination. The PFA, which died in the Senate this summer, would have piled a new set of regulations on top of a slew of previous acts outlawing discrimination. Mika Brzezinski on Morning Joe was appalled when the PFA failed to pass. "I think all you have to do is pay women as much as their male counterparts and you're fine...why would someone have a problem with this?" she said. No one on the show that morning could give her an answer.
But there is an answer, and it's a good one. The reason economists have trouble with the idea of rampant pay discrimination is that it defies common sense. Let's say I own a company and I am employing only men. Is it really true that I could fire all the men, replace them with women and lower my cost of labor by 23%? If I could do that why wouldn't I? If I were stupid enough not to do it, wouldn't a competitor of mine do it and drive me out of business?
In other words, if workers received substantially different pay for doing the same job, an employer would have to be leaving a lot of money on the table by not hiring the lower-paid employees. (Remember, most people who believe in pay discrimination also believe most CEOs are selfish, money-grubbing sorts as well.) And it can't just be one employer. In order for pay differentials to persist in entire industries, every employer in the market must be willing to discriminate — including the firms run by women!
June O'Neill, an economist who used to direct the Congressional Budget Office, has spent quite a lot of time looking at the data. In a brief analysis for the National Center for Policy Analysis and in an upcoming study for the American Enterprise Institute she finds that what appears like discrimination on the surface is often the result of other factors that the PFA proponents are inclined to overlook.
Take the difference in pay for black and white men. That difference narrows to just 4% after adjusting for years of schooling and it reduces to zero when you factor in test scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), which is basically an intelligence test. In other words, adjusting for just two factors that cause people to be different, the pay gap between black and white men disappears entirely. Among women, the gap actually reverses after adjusting for education and AFQT scores. That is, black women get paid more than white women.
Among Hispanic and white men, the pay gap narrows to 8% after adjusting for years of schooling and disappears altogether with the addition of AFQT scores. Among the women these two variables cause the pay gap to reverse. As in the case of race, Hispanic women are actually paid somewhat more than white women.
What about men as a group versus women as a group? In addition to years of schooling and test scores, men and women differ in the amount of work they do. Men are more likely to work full-time; and among full time workers, men work 8%-10% more hours than women. Also, men typically accumulate more continuous work experience and therefore acquire higher productivity in the labor market. In fact, the gender gap shrinks to between 8% and 0% when adjustments are made for work experience, career breaks and part-time work. As professor O'Neill writes:
The most important source of the gender wage gap is that women assume greater responsibility for childrearing than men. That influences women's extent and continuity of work, which affects women's skills and therefore wages. In addition, women often seek flexible work schedules, less stressful work environments, and other conditions compatible with meeting the demands of family responsibilities. Those come at a price — namely, lower wages.
And here's one more telling statistic from Professor O'Neill. Among middle-aged adults who have never been married and who have no children, women actually earn 8 percent more than men, although the pay gap is not statistically significant.
British man and his wife arrested at their rural home after two suspected burglars are shot during break-in
A householder was arrested yesterday after he shot two suspected burglars in a midnight break-in at his home. The 35-year-old – believed to be a farm worker – fired a shotgun at a gang of suspected burglars who broke into his isolated cottage in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
The man and his wife, 43, were understood to have called police immediately after the shooting, at 12.26am. He told officers he had fired his shotgun, which is licensed and legally held, and the intruders fled.
Minutes later, ambulance paramedics were called to treat a man with shotgun injuries. The 999 call was understood to have been made by one of the suspected burglars. A second man was treated for shotgun injuries after he walked into Leicester Royal Infirmary, around ten miles from the cottage. Neither of the men’s injuries were said to be serious.
The householder and his wife were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. He is thought to be a farm worker who kept the shotgun legally as part of his job.
Four men in their 20s and 30s were also arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary. No one has yet been charged in connection with the incident.
A police spokesman said yesterday: ‘Police were called at 12.26am this morning by a man reporting a group of men had broken into his home in Melton. ‘The man stated that during the course of the incident he had fired a legally held shotgun and the intruders had left the scene.
‘Investigations have begun into both reports and six people, five men and one woman, have been arrested.
‘A 35-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman were arrested in Melton on suspicion of GBH and four men aged 27, 23, 31 and 33 were arrested at Leicester Royal Infirmary on suspicion of aggravated burglary.
‘Inquiries are ongoing and there is very little else we can add at this time.’
The case is likely to reignite public debate over a householder’s right to defend his home against intruders.
In 1999, Norfolk farmer Tony Martin was arrested after shooting burglars during a break-in at his remote farmhouse. He did not have a firearms licence.
Fred Barras, 16, was killed and his friend Brendan Fearon, 29, suffered gunshot wounds to his legs. Fearon later admitted conspiring to burgle the farmhouse, accompanied by Barras, but Martin was tried at Norwich Crown Court and jailed for life for murder in 2000. His murder conviction was later reduced to manslaughter and he was released from jail in 2003.
Australia: Muslim killer shows his contempt for civilized norms
The New South Wales Government is seeking to appeal against the sentence for the killer of truck driver Bob Knight.
Attorney-General Greg Smith has called for advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions on the possibility of appealing against the sentence.
On Thursday, Mahmoud Mariam, who was convicted of killing Mr Knight, laughed after he was sentenced to at least five years and nine months in jail.
Mr Knight was shot dead while he was in his truck waiting at traffic lights at Milperra in Sydney's south-west in 2009.
He was hit by a stray bullet fired by Mariam in a dispute with another family in a nearby restaurant carpark.
Premier Barry O'Farrell slammed the penalty, which he said was "clearly inadequate".
"It's the sort of decision that lowers community confidence in the judiciary," he said.
"It's one that I've asked the Attorney-General to provide a report to me as to what, if anything, can be done to ensure that what should be a tougher penalty is imposed."
In sentencing, Justice Megan Latham said the 28-year-old Mariam wore his contempt for the law like a badge of honour.
"The offender was a mature adult who consciously and arrogantly engaged in a mindless display of violence in the presence of much younger men," she said.
"The offender himself has at no stage expressed the slightest remorse for the death of Mr Knight."
Mr Smith is seeking advice on the possibility of appealing against Mariam's sentence and for two juveniles convicted of affray over the incident.
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.