Monday, October 22, 2012
You thought the whole 'EUSSR' thing was over the top? Have a look at this poster
Leftists just close their minds to Soviet abuses. Denial is essential to them
I used to find the EUSSR trope tedious, but now…
Take a close look at this promotional poster. Notice anything? Alongside the symbols of Christianity, Judaism, Jainism and so on is one of the wickedest emblems humanity has conceived: the hammer and sickle.
For three generations, the badge of the Soviet revolution meant poverty, slavery, torture and death. It adorned the caps of the chekas who came in the night. It opened and closed the propaganda films which hid the famines. It advertised the people's courts where victims of purges and show-trials were condemned. It fluttered over the re-education camps and the gulags. For hundreds of millions of Europeans, it was a symbol of foreign occupation. Hungary, Lithuania and Moldova have banned its use, and various former communist countries want it to be treated in the same way as Nazi insignia.
Yet here it sits on a poster in the European Commission, advertising the moral deafness of its author (I hope that's what it is, rather than lingering nostalgia). The Bolshevist sigil celebrates the ideology which, in strict numerical terms, must be reckoned the most murderous ever devised by our species. That it can be passed unremarked day after day in the corridors of Brussels is nauseating.
British PM promises to seek 'retribution' against law breakers in new anti-crime crackdown
David Cameron will ditch his ‘hug a hoodie’ image on law and order tomorrow and promise to seek ‘retribution’ against law breakers.
After a week that has left him reeling – over energy policy, George Osborne’s train ticket and Andrew Mitchell’s resignation – the Prime Minister hopes to repair the damage with the announcement of a new crackdown on crime. Measures will include:
* Fines for prison bosses who fail to stop criminals re-offending after release, in a new ‘paid by results’ system.
* Life sentences for gun-runners who supply lethal weapons to gangsters.
* An ‘element of punishment’ in community sentences, which have been dismissed as a soft option by Right-wingers.
* Possible axeing of the custom of giving all prisoners £46 cash when they are freed from jail.
* Curbs on ‘cushy’ jail regimes where prisoners can spend all day watching TV.
Details of the new initiative emerged on the day anti- Government protesters clashed with police as 150,000 took to the streets in London, Glasgow and Belfast.
In his first major speech on law and order since becoming Prime Minister, Mr Cameron will unveil a new law and order slogan: Tough But Intelligent.
He will refuse to apologise for taking a more authoritarian approach on the issue, declaring: ‘Retribution is not a dirty word.’
The term is likely to prompt uproar among liberal law-and-order reformers with its Old Testament connotations of righteous vengeance.
Mr Cameron’s initiative will be seen by many as proof that he has finally abandoned the so-called ‘hug a hoodie’ policy associated with him when he became Tory leader in 2005.
The phrase was coined by former No. 10 spin doctor and ex-newspaper editor Andy Coulson, who was forced to quit his job in Downing Street over the phone-hacking scandal.
Mr Cameron denied making the remark, but it summed up his attempt to ditch the traditional Conservative ‘hang ’em and flog ’em’ image on crime. Later he was jeered at by tagged thug Ryan Florence on a visit to a Manchester council estate.
His new policy, to be announced after a symbolic visit to a prison tomorrow, is closer to ‘mug a hoodie’ than ‘hug a hoodie’.
However, cynics may say the phrase Tough But Intelligent is merely a reinvention of Tony Blair’s famous slogan Tough On Crime, Tough On The Causes Of Crime.
The change in emphasis was signalled last month when Mr Cameron replaced liberal-leaning Justice Secretary Ken Clarke with hardliner Chris Grayling.
Mr Grayling’s pledge to give householders new powers to defend themselves against burglars earned him cheers at the Tory Conference.
Now he plans to expand the role of private prisons and save more money with a ‘paid by results’ policy to try to curb the re-offending rate.
Under the scheme, successfully trialled at Doncaster prison, private contractors such as G4S and Serco will take over jails under Government supervision.
But they will receive the full fee for their contract only if reconviction rates for prisoners within a year of release fall by five per cent.
The idea is based on work by the Centre For Social Justice, the reformist Christian think-tank set up by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, to expand the role of private providers in the rehabilitation of offenders. Mr Grayling described recently how he had ‘pioneered the use of large-scale payment-by-results contracts to help the long-term unemployed’.
He added: ‘It is a simple proposition, really. ‘You decide what works best, and we pay you when you are successful. I plan to bring that same approach to prevent re-offending.
‘We will allow nimble private and voluntary sector providers to innovate, to find the right mix of training and mentoring, to do what works in ensuring that those leaving prison and community sentences do not re-offend.’
Mr Grayling says he is determined to ‘break the cycle of re-offending’ in which we ‘release young people on to our streets with £46 in their pocket, to go back to the same places where they offended before and where the same people are’ – and end up back in jail.
The Justice Secretary says he will be ‘tough’ as well as ‘smart’ by introducing a new ‘two-strikes-and-you’re-out’ rule, under which criminals who commit a serious violent or sexual offence for a second time receive an automatic life sentence.
Other plans include ensuring that there is more of a ‘punitive’ element to community sentences.
‘Some criminals think they have got off scot-free if they get a community service and can spend the whole time drinking coffee with a probation officer,’ said one official. ‘We have to stipulate that there must be a degree of punishment. It won’t exactly be hard labour like the old days but they will have to clear up graffiti or do something rigorous.’
Today, Home Secretary Theresa May is due to outline details of a new life sentence for gun-runners. She is determined to smash the network of importers and dealers who feed firearms to criminal gangs by introducing a new offence of ‘possession of an illegal firearm with intent to supply’ which will carry a maximum life sentence.
The longest sentence for black market dealers under present firearms law is ten years – less than the longest sentence that can be delivered to cannabis smugglers.
Judges hand down an average sentence of just under three years for gun dealers. The law change will mean that gun-runners will now face the same sanctions as major heroin and cocaine dealers.
A Home Office source said: ‘Dealing in guns is dealing in death. Those who supply illegal firearms are just as responsible for the violent consequences as the person who pulls the trigger’.
British supermarkets will be banned from discounting multiple bottles of wine
How ridiculous. This is normal commercial practice for almost any product
Most supermarkets offer significant discounts for customers buying bottles of wine by the dozen or half-dozen. Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, for example, regularly offer a 25 per cent discount for six bottles of wine.
Ministers believe such promotions give customers a financial incentive to purchase more alcohol than they intended to buy and should be banned.
The plans, being driven by David Cameron, have raised fears that middle-class households will bear the brunt of measures supposedly aimed at troublemaking youths and other anti-social drinkers.
The measures will include a new minimum price for alcohol as ministers try to reduce what they say is irresponsible drinking.
They say new curbs on sales are required because of the growing problems of crime and illness caused by alcohol consumption. The most recent figures show the NHS treats more than 1.1 million people every year as a result of the effects of alcohol.
Political attention has focused on the Coalition’s alcohol pricing plans but insiders say that for many middle-class households, the proposed multi-buy restrictions will have a far greater impact.
One Government source said the plans could prompt a backlash.
The source said: “People shouldn’t think this is just about yobs getting drunk in parks and kids preloading before going out — this is going to affect respectable middle-class people popping into Waitrose for a couple of bottles of sauvignon blanc at the weekend.”
Even if Mr Cameron’s preferred price of 40p per unit is adopted, it is unlikely to affect most wines and beers on the market. For example, the new minimum price for a bottle of wine with a 12 per cent alcohol content would be £3.60.
Supermarkets such as Waitrose do not sell any bottles of wine for less than that sum.
By contrast, they often offer shoppers discounts for buying wine in bulk.
The proposal is unlikely to affect wine clubs. However, it is unclear how retailers that specialise in bulk sales — such as Majestic — would be affected.
Mr Cameron is understood to be strongly personally committed to the coming curbs on alcohol sales, although some of his colleagues are concerned that the measures will prove to be unpopular and ineffective.
Before the Prime Minister removed him from the Department of Health last month, Andrew Lansley was resisting Mr Cameron over alcohol sales, delaying the start of the consultation exercise.
Mr Lansley’s successor, Jeremy Hunt, is understood to be supporting the Prime Minister’s agenda.
However, the proposed alcohol restrictions have raised concerns inside the Government that the policy will have the heaviest consequences for middle-class voters who often vote for the Conservatives.
The British Retail Consortium has described the Government’s plans as “a tax on responsible drinkers” and the drinks industry has accused ministers of unfairly targeting law-abiding consumers. The Government has expressed concerns about middle-class adults jeopardising their health by regular drinking.
A strategy paper this year warned that it had become acceptable to use alcohol for stress relief, putting many people at “real risk of chronic diseases”.
Mr Cameron this year backed a 40p minimum unit price, but it is understood that the Home Office will next week seek views on a range of options for a minimum price for a unit of alcohol. The Home Office estimated that a 40p floor price could mean 50,000 fewer crimes each year and 900 fewer alcohol-related deaths per year by the end of the decade.
Some medical experts want a higher minimum price, and the consultation options are expected to range as high as 50p per unit.
Next week’s proposals will apply only to England and Wales. The devolved administration in Scotland has passed legislation to set a 50p-per-unit minimum.
That decision is facing a legal challenge from the European Commission, after Bulgaria — whose wines would be affected — said the Scottish price rule would breach European free trade laws.
The Scotch Whisky Association is also attempting a legal challenge to the Scottish plans, seeking a judicial review of the legislation. A court hearing is due to start later this month.
Don't expect consistency from the tolerance lobby
McCaskill's name you might be able to place. She's been in the news lately. She's the chief diversity officer for Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., but her job status is in limbo. When the petition to have Maryland's same-sex marriage law put on the November ballot to have Marylanders give it either an up-or-down vote, McCaskill signed it.
Somehow officials at Gallaudet got wind of McCaskill's action. When they did, they put her on (wink, wink) "administrative leave." And no, neither the Maryland nor D.C. chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has come rushing to her defense.
Groups opposed to Maryland's same-sex law have called for McCaskill's reinstatement. And, to their credit, so have groups and individuals in support of the law.
But the damage has been done. Supporters of same-sex marriage might be supporting McCaskill now, but what they should have done, and done long ago, is chide those supporters of LGBT rights for the cavalier, careless and downright arrogant way they toss around the word "bigot."
Opposed to same-sex marriage? Then, in the eyes of some in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and their supporters, you're a bigot.
When Maryland state Del. Emmett Burns unwisely sent a letter to Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti urging him to silence one of his players who supported same-sex marriage, it inspired punter Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings to send Burns a profanity-laced email.
What was one of the things Kluwe called Burns? Why, a bigot, of course. And what do all right-thinking people do with bigots? Why, fire them from their jobs, of course. Why should bigots be allowed to make a living?
Remember those days of yesteryear, when bigots were REALLY bigots? That's changed considerably, but, to be fair, those in the LBGT community and their supporters aren't the only ones responsible for the change. All kinds of people throw the word "bigot" around. It's done so much that the definition of the word has been reduced to what Ambrose Bierce called it in his "Devil's Dictionary," published in the early 20th century. "Bigot: one who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain."
That's precisely where we are today. McCaskill is on (wink, wink) "administrative leave" because of her opinion on a controversial topic, and for no other reason.
Six years ago, Robert J. Smith was fired from his job on the board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for pretty much the same reason. The man who fired Smith, former Maryland Gov. Robert J. Ehrlich Jr., is a conservative to moderate Republican. And, to his credit, he didn't whip out the "bigot" card on Smith.
But Ehrlich did fire Smith for what the then-governor perceived as his not being onboard with the Ehrlich administration's commitment to diversity. Ehrlich made a bad call then, and it's still a bad call today.
Smith was a regular panelist on a show in the D.C. area. One day he made the mistake of telling listeners how he truly felt about the issue of homosexuality. "Homosexual behavior, in my view, is deviant," he said. "I'm a Roman Catholic."
He later explained: "The comments I make in public outside of my job I'm entitled to make [and] have absolutely nothing to do with running trains and buses and have not affected my actions or decisions on this board."
The issue wasn't how he felt about homosexuality, but whether he made decisions that adversely affected gays and lesbians in his job as a WMATA board member. He didn't. Smith was fired for the same reason McCaskill is on (wink, wink) "administrative leave" -- for having an opinion that members of the LGBT community and their supporters don't entertain.
There was a time we called that McCarthyism. What should we call it today?
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.