Tuesday, July 31, 2012

British  Labour Party delighted at Games 'socialist' opening ceremony

Labour politicians yesterday hailed the Olympic opening ceremony as a ‘socialist’ event and ‘the best advert for the party for years’ – as the row over its political message intensified.

Artistic director Danny Boyle has  been widely praised for Friday’s  opening spectacular.  But some Conservatives questioned the political undertones of a ceremony which at one point made a feature of the symbol popularised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Tory MP Aidan Burley was slapped down on Friday night for describing the ceremony as ‘leftie, multicultural c***’.

But several Tory Cabinet ministers, including Education Secretary Michael Gove, were yesterday reported to have voiced concerns privately.

Government sources acknowledged that some ‘suggestions’ had been made to Mr Boyle, but denied that a private screening of rehearsals for Cabinet ministers had  provoked major controversy.

Some Labour politicians struggled to  contain their glee about the ceremony’s message, congratulating Mr Boyle for ‘smuggling in wonderfully progressive socialist sentiments’.

Carl Sergeant, a minister in the Welsh government, took to Twitter to describe Friday’s opening ceremony as ‘the best Labour Party political broadcast I’ve seen in a while’.

Taunting David Cameron, he added: ‘Working class history, multicultural, NHS, CND, gay kissing. Well done, comrade Boyle! Bet Dave is wriggling!’

Mr Burley was widely criticised at the weekend for remarks on Twitter in which he attacked the political message of the opening ceremony.

The Cannock Chase MP, who lost his job as a ministerial aide after attending a Nazi-themed stag party last year, described the event as ‘the most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen – more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?’

Mr Burley added: ‘Bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!’ He later said that he had not been criticising multiculturalism but thought its portrayal was ‘rather trite’.

London’s Tory Mayor Boris Johnson dismissed his comments, saying: ‘People say it was all leftie stuff. That is nonsense. I’m a Conservative and I had hot tears of patriotic pride from the beginning. I was blubbing like Andy Murray.’

Downing Street also distanced itself from Mr Burley. A spokesman said: ‘We do not agree with him.’

The Prime Minister called the opening ceremony ‘a great showcase for this country’.

But Labour MP Paul Flynn said: ‘Boris has been spewing wild meaningless superlatives hoping to obliterate the eloquent messages of Danny Boyle on NHS, CND, and the futility of war.   Wonderfully progressive socialist sentiments and ideas were smuggled into the opening romp. The Tory Olympic twosome were tricked into praising the Trojan Horse.’

Mr Boyle, now widely tipped for a knighthood, dismissed suggestions of political bias, saying the theme was ‘this is for everyone’.

But reports surfaced yesterday of concerns among some Cabinet ministers about the political  content.  One report said Mr Gove had given the ceremony just four marks out of ten following a private screening of rehearsals.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also reported to have raised concerns, although Home Secretary Theresa May is said to have backed Mr Boyle’s vision.

A spokesman for Mr Gove last night denied he had voiced heavy criticism of the ceremony and said he thought the event was ‘marvellous’.

Downing Street dismissed suggestions of Cabinet concern as ‘nonsense’. A source said ministers had been kept updated by Mr Boyle, adding: ‘If there had been disquiet about the themes of the opening ceremony, we wouldn’t have doubled the budget’.

The brother of comedian Rowan Atkinson, who played a starring role in the ceremony, also criticised the event’s political message, saying it had ‘strong strands of the parochial Left’.

Rodney Atkinson, a Eurosceptic academic, said the ceremony’s ‘assumption that the industrial revolution was oppressive’ was simply wrong.

But a survey by pollster Survation yesterday found that only 15 per cent of viewers thought the ceremony was ‘too political’.


Off sick for a decade... with acne or a cough! The astonishing cases among 885,000 British sickness claimants

Thousands of people have been on sickness benefits for a decade or longer because they suffer from conditions including acne, bad backs and persistent coughs.

Official figures show that 885,100 have been signed off as being too sick to work and given incapacity benefit for ten years or more.

They have a bewildering array of conditions. Nearly 70,000 have been signed off due to bad backs while a further 140,000 have been away from the work place because of ‘depressive episodes’.

Ten people have been on incapacity benefit for a decade or more because of acne, while 670 have been signed off because they are obese.

Some 1,020 have been claiming incapacity since at least 2001 because of headaches.  Figures for the more debilitating migraines are collected separately.

It has also taken 30 people more than a decade to recover from fractured forearms.

More than 12,800 have been claiming benefit for their alcoholism since at least 2001, according to the figures, which cover claims up to the end of last year.  Another 9,800 have been on benefits for their drug problems.

Twenty have been signed off because of conjunctivitis, an eye condition that can usually be cleared up within days.

A further 20 have been off work and on benefits with a cough listed as their main illness and 20 more claimants have been suffering from rashes.

Some 1,300 have been claiming incapacity benefit for a decade or more because of diarrhoea and gastro-enteritis.

Malaise and fatigue – something many workers can claim they suffer from – is the main condition listed for 4,390 long-term sickness claimants.

Most of the 885,000 who have been on long-term sickness benefit for a decade or more had not had any contact with the Department for Work and Pensions since signing on.

The department is halfway through reassessing the 1.5million incapacity benefit claimants to see whether they can be moved into work or need extra help.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: ‘Reform of the broken incapacity benefit system is about saving lives, rather than writing people off to a life on benefits as used to happen.

‘The reassessment of 1.5 million people on incapacity benefit and the work capability assessment we use means we can take account of conditions that change over time. If you can work you will get all the help and support you need to do so.’

He added: ‘These figures show the scale of the problem and the ludicrous situation that used to exist and why we are right to reform the system.’

It has also emerged that a record 3.2million Britons are now claiming Disability Living Allowance – treble the amount only two decades ago.  This is a benefit paid to disabled people because of the extra costs they face, and many who receive it are also working.

Some 33 new claimants are signing on for Disability Living Allowance every day. The shocking figure of 3,226,790 claiming DLA is more than the entire population of Wales, or six times the population of the city of Manchester.

Taxpayers are now shelling out £13.4billion a year for DLA claimants, the same amount as the budget for the Department for Transport.  DLA can be worth up to £131.50 a week depending on the severity of the condition. A care component of up to £77.45 a week can be claimed and a separate mobility payment can be worth up to £54.05.


The nanny state is responsible for all business success

Comment from Australia

President Barack Obama seems to share Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s fairly low opinion of entrepreneurship. In a recent campaign speech, Obama said: ‘If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that – somebody else made that happen.’

As someone with a tendency towards ‘foot in mouth’ disease myself, I’m always reluctant to pick on a somewhat off the cuff comment, but Obama’s statement is extraordinary. The implication that government support is crucial to the success of a business is at odds with basic economic principles. One commenter even described the notion as illogical.

Immediately before decoupling entrepreneurs from their business success, Obama talked about business owners not being smarter or working harder than others, as if business success is the reward for being intelligent or industrious.

Success in business is primarily about ideas and risks – entrepreneurs taking the risk of combining the factors of production to make a new or better product that meets a demand in the market. No one who actually understands business thinks working hard or being smart guarantees success; intelligence and industriousness only increase the chances of your idea making it and your risk paying off.

Obama’s view of business provides a rare insight into the underpinnings of today’s ugly entitlement mentality. If you believe that all businesses owe their success to government (funded by your tax dollars), it’s a short step to believing those businesses owe it to you to hand over their profits (hello, mineral resources rent tax).

That Obama seemingly doesn’t understand (or care) why entrepreneurship is important at least explains one area of contention. It seems the reason why progressives focus on redistributing existing resources rather than ‘growing the pie’ is that they don’t think businesses grow the pie – ‘somebody else’ makes that happen.

I’m glad they cleared that up though – it seems I’ve been wrong in believing that one of the greatest benefits of free society is that it rewards people for their good ideas. Apparently, business success is willed into existence by the sustainable low carbon, organic, government-supported collective hive mind chanting kumbaya.


Muslims are taught to be Insecure and Intolerant

The research and writings of Nicolai Sennels may have crucial, albeit exceptionally controversial and politically incorrect implications for understanding both the likely similarities as well as possible crucial differences between many Muslims and Westerners as far as politics, economics and religion are concerned. It is also important to include these postulations (even if clearly only imperfect generalizations) in any discussion as to how these cultural implications, where relevant, would affect the chances for a Muslim Reformation and the evolution of Islamic moderation.

Nicolai Sennels is a Danish psychologist who developed an unorthodox therapy at Sønderbro, theDanish youth prison. He taught the young prisoners about mindfulness meditation and developed a special program on anger management, focusing on teaching criminals with a low understanding of emotions and empathy, how to take responsibility for their own behavior. In 2008, the prisoners of Sønderbro voted the facility as the best prison in Denmark.

Seven out of ten inmates in the Danish youth prisons have immigrant backgrounds, and almost all of them are Muslims. Sennels was threatened by his superiors that if he were to discuss his experiences, he would risk losing his job.

Sennels decided in spite of the evident risks, to publish a book on his experiences, Among Criminal Muslims: A Psychologist's Experiences from the Copenhagen Municipality. Hereafter are selections from his interviews, which may be one-sided, may be hard-hitting, yet do open the door somewhat to issues often ignored:

Sennels: There are many differences between people brought up as Muslims and those who are brought up as Westerners. I identified four main differences that are important in order to understand the behavior of Muslims. They concern anger, self-confidence, the so-called "locus of control" and identity.

Westerners are brought up to think of anger as a sign of weakness, powerlessness and lack of self-control. "Big dogs don't have to bark," as we say in Denmark. In Muslim culture, anger is seen as a sign of strength. To Muslims, being aggressive is a way of gaining respect. When we see pictures of bearded men hopping up and down and shooting in the air, we should take it for what it is: the local madhouse passing by.

In Western culture, self-confidence is connected with the ability to meet criticism calmly and to respond rationally. We are raised to see people who easily get angry when criticized, as insecure and immature.

In Muslim culture it is the opposite; it is honorable to respond aggressively and to engage in a physical fight in order to scare or force critics to withdraw, even if this results in a prison sentence or even death. They see non-aggressive responses to such threats and violence as a sign of a vulnerability that is to be exploited. They do not interpret a peaceful response as an invitation to enter into a dialogue, diplomacy, intellectual debate, compromise or peaceful coexistence.

"Locus of control" is a term used in psychology, and relates to the way in which people feel that their lives are controlled. In Western culture, we are brought up to have an "inner locus of control,"

meaning that we see our own inner emotions, reactions, decisions and views as the main deciding factor in our lives. There may be outer circumstances that influence our situation, but in the end, it is our own perception of a situation and the way we handle it that decides our future and our state of mind. The "inner locus of control" leads to increased self-responsibility and motivates people to become able to solve their own problems. Muslims are brought up to have an "outer locus of control." Their constant use of the term inshallah ("Allah willing") when talking about the future, as well as the fact that most aspects of their lives are decided by outer traditions and authorities, leaves very little space for individual freedom.

Independent initiatives are often severely punished. This shapes their way of thinking, and means that when things go wrong, it is always the fault of others or the situation. Unfortunately, many Westerners go overboard with their self-responsibility and start to take responsibility for others' behavior as well. The mix of many Westerners being overly forgiving, their flexible attitude, and Muslim self-pity and blame is the psychological crowbar that has opened the West to Islamization (and consequent sympathy towards Shariah Law and Madrassas). Our overly protective welfare system shields immigrants from noticing the consequences of their own behavior and thereby learning from their mistakes and motivating them to improve.

Finally, identity plays a big role when it comes to psychological differences between Muslims and Westerners. Westerners are taught to be open and tolerant toward other cultures, races, religions, etc.

This makes us less critical, impairs our ability to discriminate, and makes our societies open to the influence of other cultural trends and values that may not always be constructive. Muslims, on the other hand, are taught again and again that they are superior, and that all others are so bad that Allah will throw them in hell when they die.

While most Westerners find national and cultural pride embarrassing, Muslim culture's self-glorification achieves the opposite with their culture and identity.

In general, Westerners are taught to be kind, self-assured, self-responsible and tolerant, while Muslims are taught to be aggressive, insecure and intolerant.

Integration in the West is dependent on motivation and freedom. Immigrants have to want to integrate, be allowed to by their family and friends.

People coming from cultures that are aimed mainly at physical survival, and in which religious practice and adherence to cultural traditions give more social status than having a good education and being self-supporting, usually are not very productive if they can live on the state. If on top of that, they can live in closed communities among others with the same culture and language, there is very little reason for them to get involved in our society. The only solution is to make the lack of integration so impractical and economically non-beneficial that the only attractive choice is to integrate or receive our offer of state-sponsored repatriation.

Through communal fear and coercion, the majority "voluntarily" prefer Sharia to integration.

Handling intellectually demanding jobs in our high-tech societies, it is not easy for people brought up to believe that the Qur'an and Hadith, not school and science, has the answers. Our workplaces demand that the employees are able to take initiative and be creative, difficult among people who are first of all expected to blindly submit and who live in surroundings that punish independent thinking and behavior, sometimes even with death.

Adams' and Maslow's views describe the goals and aims of the Western society as the full development of an individual's potential - this does not apply to Islam or the Muslim tradition. The aim of Islam and Muslims is dominance, not self-realization. Islam and Muslim culture is an aggressive movement, and giving space to female qualities such as sensitivity and empathy would be a hindrance.

Diplomacy, compromise, tolerance, democracy, compassion, sensitivity and empathy have to be locked away both on an internal and external level. On the outside, the oppression of women limits their influence, and their aversion against femininity in the outer world helps Muslims to also repress it inside themselves on the psychological level.

Oppression of women is thus a psychological method of hardening a culture on the outside and people on the inside.

The other reason why Muslims oppress women and female sexuality, is the fact that women are simply stronger when it comes to sex. And it does not work for omnipotent, jealous and insecure Muslim macho-men that they in the most naked and vulnerable situation of all are the weaker party. Muslim men compensate for this by oppressing their women and locking them up in apartments and ugly clumsy garments. In many Muslim societies, a women's ability to enjoy sex is simply destroyed by clitorectomy via a knife or a piece of glass.

True love can only exist on the basis of respect and equality. The emotional and sexual frustration that results from the inequality of the sexes and being forced to marry a partner that one does not love surely contribute to the aggression and emotional immaturity. As one said, "forced marriage is the earthquake and what follows is a tsunami of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, child protection issues, suicide and murder."

Muslim culture's degrading view of non-Muslims functions in the same way as war propaganda. By hearing again and again how evil, disgusting and unworthy the enemy is, empathy is removed, aggression is strengthened, and the step towards harming the perceived enemy becomes smaller.

Islam does not strive for freedom, happiness and love. Islam strives for the submission of Muslims to Allah and of non-Muslims to Muslims - a dark, cold and humorless world where men are forced to mistreat their women and everybody is a slave to a god whose only wish is the enforcement of Sharia down to the very last comma. They do what they can to reach their final solution, and we must do what we can to prevent it from happening.

We in Denmark are worried about the freedom of our women and the future of our children, and about our constitutions. And we know that the first and in many cases also the biggest victims of Islam are Muslims.

Our politicians and media aim for the soft middle in society in order to be reelected and to sell newspapers and ads, and it is therefore up to ordinary people to protect our values, society and constitution and not fear to lose a few politically correct friends on the way.



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.


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 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.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hollywood's War on Chicken

The latest solid proof that Hollywood really can't stand traditional Christianity has arrived in an unfolding boycott of Chick-fil-A, a Georgia-based fast-food chain that's rapidly spreading franchises across America.

Chick-fil-A demonstrates a public faith by closing all its stores on Sundays and on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's something the left ridicules but something anyone of any faith respects.

It's the company's donations through its WinShape Foundation that have launched the intolerant gay left into action. Chick-fil-A has dared to donate their profits to groups like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Horrors!) and the Marriage and Family Foundation (No!).

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press that, "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that." This man just has to cut it out. Who does he think he is?

But what really infuriated the left was Cathy's comments on a radio show that "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'"

One of Hollywood's first moves came from The Jim Henson Co., the iconic family entertainment group that invented the Muppets. They issued a statement on Facebook proclaiming they were withdrawing any association through kid's-meal toys with the chain. "The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors," they declared. "Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD."

In other words, they're suggesting that they'll be better corporate citizens by giving their Chick-fil-A kiddie-meal money to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a group that fervently seeks to censor all traditional Christians from being allowed to say anything "anti-gay" on television news or entertainment programs. Even the Muppet people are in thrall to speech-squashing political correctness.

Other critics emerged on Twitter. "Chick-fil-A doesn't like gay people? So lame," actor Ed Helms (of "The Hangover" movies) tweeted. "Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan." Several other bold-type Hollywood moralists -- Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian -- also backed a Chick-fil-A boycott.

But few can compare with the undiluted spite of Roseanne Barr, who grabbed all the attention with her death wishes on Twitter: "anyone who eats S--t Fil-A deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4Christ."

This came after she had called them "chick filet- nazi chicken f---ing pricks." She also cracked she was "off to grab a s--it fil-A sandwich on my way to worshipping Christ, supporting Aipac and war in Iran." When people attacked her for saying people "deserved" cancer, she lectured, "Giving (your kids) Cancer from processed fast food is child abuse." To think that this genius just tried to run for president of the United States on the Green Party ticket is mind-boggling.

Chick-fil-A put out a corporate response making the obvious point (at least to their customers) that you will find no disrespect at their restaurants. "The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."

The statement added, "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena." That's exactly what Hollywood wants to hear. On the Internet, they photograph themselves with taped mouths and paint "No H8" on their cheeks, but they display more hate and more desire to shut people up than the wackiest of right-wing yahoos.

The left will always go further. Steven Kurlander, a blogger on the Huffington Post "Gay Voices" site, is mastering Orwellian speech: "Chick-fil-A's continued support of anti-gay groups and Cathy's discriminatory comments cross the line of decency." In the 21st century, we're told it's indecent to be a Bible-believing Christian. He added that Chick-fil-A should be banned from taxpayer-supported facilities and should not be allowed to "work with public school children."

Dan Cathy is right. We really are shaking our fist at God. Giving him the finger, too. Do we deserve forgiveness?


DOJ attacks Catholic-owned busniess over religion

William, Paul and James Newland and their sister, Christine Ketterhagen, who together own Hercules Industries, have no right to conduct their family business in a manner that comports with their Catholic faith.

The federal government can and will compel them to either surrender their business or to engage in activities the Catholic faith teaches are intrinsically immoral.

This is exactly what President Barack Obama's Justice Department told a U.S. district court in a formal filing last week.

Never before has an administration taken such a bold step to strip Americans of the freedom of conscience -- a right for which, over the centuries, many Christian martyrs have laid down their lives, and which our Founding Fathers took great care to protect in a First Amendment that expressly guarantees the free exercise of religion.

As the Founders understood, no government has legitimate authority to take this right away, because it does not come from government. It comes from God. The very purpose of government is to protect this right. A government that seeks to strip it away from the people is by that very process stripping away its own legitimacy.

What we are seeing from the Obama administration today -- in its attack on religious liberty -- is simply evil. When government seeks to compel individuals to act against their consciences and to engage in activities that, if willfully done, would imperil their immortal souls, there is no other word for it.

The Newland family owns and operates Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based corporation that manufactures heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment. Through their hard work and dedication, and through their willingness to reinvest their own money in building their family business, they have managed to create jobs for 265 people while exerting a positive influence on the communities they serve.

The Newlands believe the morality the Catholic faith teaches them must animate their lives not only within the walls of the churches they attend, but literally everywhere else, as well -- in the way they deal with their families, their neighbors and, yes, their business.

The Newlands sued to protect their free exercise of religion in this regard because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a regulation, under the Obamacare law, that requires virtually all health care plans to cover -- without cost-sharing -- sterilizations, artificial contraception and abortifacients.

Under Obamacare, businesses that employ more than 50 people must provide their employees with insurance or pay a penalty, and the required insurance must include the mandated cost-sharing-free coverage for sterilizations, artificial contraception and abortifacients.

At Hercules Industries, the Newlands provide a generous self-insured health-care plan to their employees. It does not cover sterilization, artificial contraception or abortifacients.

"The Catholic Church teaches that abortifacient drugs, contraception and sterilization are intrinsic evils," says the Newlands' lawsuit.

"Consequently, the Newlands believe that it would be immoral and sinful for them to intentionally participate in, pay for, facilitate or otherwise support abortifacient drugs, contraception, sterilization, and related education and counseling as would be required by the Mandate, through their inclusion in health insurance coverage they offer at Hercules," says the suit.

The Catholic Bishops of the United States endorse this view. At a meeting in Atlanta last month, they unanimously adopted a resolution calling the HHS regulation an "unjust and illegal mandate" and a "violation of personal civil rights." They declared that the regulation created a class of Americans "with no conscience protection at all: individuals who, in their daily lives, strive constantly to act in accordance with their faith and moral values.

"They, too," said the bishops, "face a government mandate to aid in providing 'services' contrary to those values -- whether in their sponsoring of, and payment for, insurance as employers; their payment of insurance premiums as employees; or as insurers themselves -- without even the semblance of an exemption."

In a letter read during Sunday Mass in most dioceses around the country earlier this year, many of the nation's bishops flatly said: "We cannot -- we will not -- comply with this unjust law."

In response to the Newlands' complaint that ordering them to violate the teachings of the Catholic Church in the way they run their business is a violation of their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion, the Obama administration told the federal court that a private business has no protection under the First Amendment's free exercise clause -- especially if the business is incorporated.

"The First Amendment Complaint does not allege that the company is affiliated with a formally religious entity such as a church," said the Justice Department. "Nor does it allege that the company employs persons of a particular faith. In short, Hercules Industries is plainly a for-profit, secular employer."

"By definition," said the Justice Department, "a secular employer does not engage in any 'exercise of religion.'"

"It is well established that a corporation and its owners are wholly separate entities, and the Court should not permit the Newlands to eliminate that legal separation to impose their personal religious beliefs on the corporate entity or its employees," said the Justice Department.

This is just as if the Justice Department were to tell a family owned newspaper that it must publish editorials calling for a confiscatory estate tax, basing its coercion of the newspaper on the supposition (which lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom argue DOJ is by analogy making) that as a for-profit secular and incorporated employer, the paper has no First Amendment right to freedom of speech.


Fury as Polish scrap metal thief caught red-handed is NOT prosecuted because 'he didn't realise it was a crime' in Britain

What happened to "ignorance is no excuse"?

Police are refusing to prosecute a Polish immigrant caught on camera stealing scrap metal, because he didn't realise he was committing a crime.

Businessman George Pasparakis caught the culprit red-handed after fitting CCTV outside Wessex Industrial Doors in Yeovil, Somerset - following a number of raids on the company.

Officers quickly tracked down the thief and he even admitted his actions - but police chiefs decided not to prosecute him, because he claimed taking scrap metal is legal in Poland.

Mr Pasparakis, 37, is 'gobsmacked' by the decision.  He said: 'I’m not sure how bad a crime has to be where you can claim ignorance before they take action.  'We’re so frustrated at what we were told. I was gobsmacked and I think the police officer was too.  'He almost seemed embarrassed. Is Polish law operating in Yeovil?'

The price of scrap metal has skyrocketed in recent years from £80 per skip to between £300 and £400 per skip.

Mr Pasparakis had six skips emptied in the last few months and spent more than £500 on 24-hour CCTV surveillance system.

The company has also spent hundreds of pounds building a large retractable container to protect a skip outside the premises used to store metal off-cuts.

So when the CCTV picked up a good shot of the Polish man and his vehicle in June they thought they would be able to bring a successful prosecution against him.

On the first occasion the thief even brought his young daughter with him.  Mr Pasparakis said: 'The first time he took scrap metal he bought his little girl along.  'We watched on CCTV as she ran around looking bored as emptied the skip. It was dumbfounding.'

But police decided it was not in the 'public interest' to charge the man, who has not been named.

Sergeant Richard Downing said: 'We received two reports of theft from a skip. These incidents were fully investigated.  'A man was arrested and questioned. The man fully admitted the incidents and was unaware it was a crime.  'On consideration it was decided it was not of public interest to prosecute this man.'

A police spokesman added that to prosecute the man they would have to prove there was an intent to commit a crime.


Shopkeeper visited by two British Trading Standards officers and six policemen for refusing to remove Games-themed bunting

A shopkeeper has defied Olympic killjoys who tried to force him to take down his Games-themed bunting.

Hamdy Shahein, who runs Hamdy's News in Stoke Newington, London, had decked out his store with balloons, banners and bunting.

But council killjoys - and six police officers - told him to tear down banners outside his store because it breached LOCOG's strict branding rules.

The newsagent has refused to remove them - leaving his store adorned with national flags of nations competing, the Union Jack and the London Games logo.

The shopkeeper said: 'I told them that if it was breaking the rules then they will have to come and take it down themselves.

Mr Shahein says two Hackney Council trading Standards officers approached him last Saturday, the day the Olympic Torch was set to pass directly outside his shop.

He says they accused him of having unofficial branded products in and outside the shop on Stoke Newington High Street - even though he has a letter informing him he is an official Olympic retailer.

Mr Shahein added: 'I wanted to make the shop look nice for the community.  'But a lady came up to me and almost grabbed my hand. She started shouting, "stop, stop, you can't do this."  'I had no idea why I couldn't have the bunting up.

'People who had started gathering to see the torch come past tried to change her mind and told her I was doing something nice for the community, but it made no difference.'

Mr Shahein, who spent £250 out of his own pocket decorating the shop, continued: 'About an hour later a police van with six policemen stopped outside and the lady came over and said, "that's him."

'They forced me to take down some balloons and flag bunting I'd placed at street level.  'But I told them if they wanted the big banners down, they'd have to do it themselves.  'They haven't been back yet.'

The 60-year-old claims the heavy-handed approach was over the top - and almost forced him to shut up shop for the day in protest.

But locals convinced him to stay open and try to enjoy the celebrations. He has since made a stand, keeping the Olympic bunting up above his shop.

Local solicitor Kristin Heimark believes Mr Shahein was ill-treated.  She said: 'Hamdy is one of the lynchpins of our community. He likes to get in the spirit of things.

'I don't know if people realised when the Olympics laws were passed that it would mean this, and that we would have people from trading standards coming round requiring bunting to be removed.'

Mr Shahein's situation is by no means an isolated incident. Colin Thorne was forced to take Olympic-themed decorations down in the Devon estate agents, Webbers, back in May.

Even London Mayor Boris Johnson has warned of the 'insanity' of overzealous policing of Olympic brands.

Mr Shahein, 60, who is a runner himself having competed in 48 half marathons, said: 'They say I'm selling and displaying unofficial merchandise, but I've got a letter that says I'm an official retailer of Olympic products. I don't sell fakes.

'I told them to educate me, not get heavy handed. 'I've been here 33 years and never known a farce like it.  'I'm a runner myself and love the Olympics. I wanted to celebrate them being in town with the community. 'That's all the bunting was - a celebration. We had no problems putting it up for the Jubilee. 'I won't back down.'

Under the Olympic Symbol (Protection) Act and the Trade Marks Act, Trading Standards officers have the power to enforce the removal of products, and have enforced this in Mr Shahein's case.

A Hackney Council spokesman said: 'Offices determined that unofficial Olympic-branded bunting was on display and for sale in the shop and on nearby railings.

'The store manager was asked to remove it and advised to withdraw it from sale on that basis.  'Hackney Council is adhering to LOCOG's guidance on Olympic branding and merchandise.'



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.


Friday, July 27, 2012

British cab drivers being forced by town halls to spy on customers by recording all conversations in their taxis

Town hall bosses have been forcing taxi drivers to record all conversations in their cabs, it emerged last night.

In an alarming extension of the Big Brother state, CCTV and microphones had been installed in all cabs under the control of Southampton City Council – but yesterday the Information Commissioner ordered it to end the policy, claiming that its official snooping had ‘gone too far’.

Southampton began forcing local taxi drivers to record conversations between themselves and passengers in 2009, claiming it would provide greater safety for both parties.

Embarrassing footage is certain to have been captured of passengers worse for wear or making intimate phone calls.

In other parts of the country, including London, it is recommended that cabs either install CCTV systems without audio recording functions due to privacy concerns, or use a system which triggers audio recording only in specific circumstances for a short period, such as if the driver has pressed a panic button.

Southampton’s officials claim they view the footage or download recordings from cabs only if a complaint is made against a driver or when police request it while investigating a crime, and other town halls had been intending to copy the scheme.

However, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, responding to a  complaint by a passenger, said most people expect privacy in the back of a cab, and that while CCTV can still be used, recording conversations must stop.

He added: ‘By requiring taxi operators to record all conversations and images while the vehicles are in use, Southampton City Council has gone too far.

‘We recognise the council’s desire to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers but this has to be balanced against the degree of privacy that most people would reasonably expect in the back of a taxi.’

Southampton officials said they may challenge the decision. If successful, it would raise the prospect of passengers being snooped upon across the country.

The watchdog also revealed a similar scheme in Oxford would have breached the Data Protection Act, and that the local authority has now suspended the policy.

Nick Pickles, director of the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘Recording every minute of every passenger’s conversations in taxis is an unjustified and intrusive measure.

'What is deeply concerning is that two councils have made huge errors of judgment in pursuing audio recording in taxis and that is an issue the commissioner needs to urgently address.
Southampton City Council began enforcing taxi drivers to record their passengers - claiming it would protect both parties

Southampton City Council began enforcing taxi drivers to record their passengers - claiming it would protect both parties

Mr Graham said that images should be recorded only where it is ‘clearly justifiable’ while audio recordings should be made only ‘on very rare occasions, for example where there are a high number of serious incidents and where recording is triggered due to a specific threat’.

Jacqui Rayment, Southampton City Council’s deputy leader, said: ‘We are disappointed with this decision, as it is about safety for both the drivers and passengers.

‘Data is encrypted, kept very securely and only downloaded if there is a specific complaint against a driver or if the police request access in order to investigate an alleged offence. We are currently taking legal advice on the next steps to take, including appeal.’


More diversity not a fix for disparity

There's not a shred of evidence that discrimination is behind gross statistical disparities

Walter Williams

Academic intelligentsia, their media, government and corporate enthusiasts worship at the altar of diversity. Despite budget squeezes, universities have created diversity positions, such as director of diversity and inclusion, manager of diversity recruitment, associate dean for diversity, vice president of diversity and perhaps minister of diversity. This is all part of a quest to get college campuses, corporate offices and government agencies to "look like America."

For them, part of looking like America means race proportionality. For example, if blacks are 13 percent of the population, they should be 13 percent of college students and professors, corporate managers and government employees. Law professors, courts and social scientists have long held that gross statistical disparities are evidence of a pattern and practice of discrimination.

Behind this vision is the stupid notion that but for the fact of discrimination, we'd be distributed proportionately by race across incomes, education, occupations and other outcomes.

There's no evidence from anywhere on earth or any time in human history that shows that but for discrimination, there would be proportional representation and an absence of gross statistical disparities, by race, sex, height or any other human characteristic. Nonetheless, much of our thinking, legislation and public policy is based upon proportionality being the norm. Let's run a few gross disparities by you, and you decide whether they represent what the courts call a pattern and practice of discrimination and, if so, what corrective action you would propose.

Jews are not even 1 percent of the world's population and only 3 percent of the U.S. population, but they are 20 percent of the world's Nobel Prize winners and 39 percent of U.S. Nobel laureates. That's a gross statistical disparity, but are the Nobel committees discriminating against the rest of us? By the way, in the Weimar Republic, Jews were only 1 percent of the German population, but they were 10 percent of the country's doctors and dentists, 17 percent of its lawyers and a large percentage of its scientific community. Jews won 27 percent of Nobel Prizes won by Germans.

Nearly 80 percent of the players in the National Basketball Association in 2011 were black, and 17 percent were white, but if that disparity is disconcerting, Asians were only 1 percent.

Compounding the racial disparity, the highest-paid NBA players are black. That gross disparity works the other way in the National Hockey League, in which less than 3 percent of the players are black. Blacks are 66 percent of NFL and AFL professional football players, but among the 34 percent of other players, there's not a single Japanese player. Though the percentage of black professional baseball players has fallen to 9 percent, there are gross disparities in achievement. Four out of the five highest career home run hitters were black, and of the eight times more than 100 bases were stolen in a season, all were by blacks.

How does one explain these gross sports disparities? Might it be that the owners of these multibillion-dollar professional basketball, football and baseball teams are pro-black and that those of the NHL and major industries are racists?

There are some other disparities that might bother the diversity people. Asians routinely get the highest scores on the math portion of the SAT, whereas blacks get the lowest. Men are about 50 percent of the population, and so are women, but there's the gross injustice that men are struck by lightning six times as often as women.

The population statistics for South Dakota, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Vermont show that not even 1 percent of their population is black. On the other hand, in states such as Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, blacks are overrepresented.

Finally, there's a disparity that might figure heavily in the upcoming presidential election. Twenty-four out of the 43 U.S. presidents have been 5 feet 11 inches or taller, above our population's average height. That is not an outcome that would be expected if there were not voter discrimination based upon height. Mitt Romney is 6 feet 2 inches tall, and Barack Obama is 6 feet 1 inch.


How Jewish anti-Israel activists are gaining influence among Christian groups

At the Pittsburgh General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) earlier this month, a motion to adopt a boycott of three companies for doing business with Israel was hotly debated and narrowly defeated. At this Christian gathering, a group of "young Jewish activists" provided important "testimony" supporting the motion to isolate and demonize Israel.

These were the "Jew-washers" - very visible actors in many such political attacks on Israel, particularly in Christian frameworks. They are influential beyond their actual numbers, providing a convenient means for cleansing such actions from the stains of double standards, demonization and sometimes anti-Semitism against the Jewish state of Israel, and even Judaism itself.

According to one media report from Pittsburgh, "These activists were mostly affiliated with Jewish Voice for Peace, a small but vocal left-wing advocacy coalition that many describe as a 'fringe' group... Commissioners said their personal testimony helped undercut prevailing rhetoric on the mainstream Jewish perspective."

In fact, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is far from the Jewish mainstream. It is a fringe of a fringe - a small anti-Zionist group, whose finances are unclear, but are almost always found at events where Jew-washing is used, particularly when boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns (BDS) are at stake. Their motivations, like their financing, are unclear and irrelevant - the fact that they provide a useful cover for non-Jews to justify gratuitous Israel-bashing is what counts.

A few days after the PCUSA vote, the Church of England met and voted to support a leading anti-Israel activist group, with the misleading name of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel. EAPPI, a World Council of Churches project, supports BDS and - in line with BDS tactics - consistently demonizes Israel using accusations of "apartheid" and "war crimes." EAPPI calls the security barrier - which has saved countless lives - "evil" while ignoring the wave of suicide terrorism that murdered and maimed thousands of Israeli civilians.

In this case, the Jew-washers included the marginal UK group Jews for Justice for Palestinians, which publicly supports EAPPI and the Church's action.

How does Jew-washing work? The EAPPI example is telling. Prior to the Church's vote, the BBC hosted a debate on July 8 between the motion's sponsor, John Dinnon, and a representative of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush. Dinnon said, "Jonathan is just one individual as well as is the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Chief Rabbi. But then you have, there are many Jews who are contacting us and saying that they think [EAPPI] is a good organization. In fact it was founded by Jews and Christians in Geneva, about five Jews were involved in setting it up."

It is in this manner that Jew-washers provide cover for Israel-bashers. Dinnon's undefined "many Jews" and his "five Jews" that he claims helped establish EAPPI somehow outweigh the millions of Jews who would find EAPPI and its activities both immoral and dangerous. Jew-washers help Dinnon make the absurd claim that the Board of Deputies, with its 183 constituent member organizations, are but a few unrepresentative "individuals."

In many cases, Jew-washing is also used to whitewash the blatant theological anti-Semitism that accompanies the church-based BDS attacks on Israel. One example is Sabeel, a Palestinian Christian group that is very influential in those mainline churches active in the BDS wars. Its theology includes supercessionism - a reading of the New Testament that considers the Church to have superseded the Jewish people in God's promises - and deicide - the charge that "the Jews" killed Jesus - that served as the basis for centuries of anti-Jewish persecution.

Giving Sabeel a thorough Jew-wash is JVP's Rabbinical Council, which in its "Statement of Support for the Sabeel Institute" acknowledges "the more radical incarnations (sic) of some of [Sabeel's] theological images."

Yet, Sabeel's frequent denigration of Judaism as "tribal" and "primitive" and comparisons of Palestinians to Jesus on the cross put there by the Israeli government's "crucifixion machine," does not seem to affect JVP's rabbis, who assert that it is "a mistake to dismiss Palestinian Christian theology wholesale."

While the Presbyterians' two-vote defeat of the BDS motion did not give credence to the fringe Jew-washers, many church delegates apparently did. As one participant noted, "The young Jewish voices were the voices that stuck with me..... I understood that they represented a minority. But sometimes small minorities tell us uncomfortable truths."

Perhaps, but small minorities also tell gross untruths. There is nothing heroic or brave about Jews giving a "kosher hechsher" to movements and ideologies such as BDS that seek to undermine the right of the Jewish people to sovereign equality. Let us call this activity by its rightful name: Jew-washing, and give priority to countering strategically and consistently its deceitful methods and destructive intent.


Public discourse, without the 'hard zinger'

by Jeff Jacoby

WILLIAM RASPBERRY, who died of cancer last week at age 76, was a Washington Post columnist for 40 years, 35 of them on the op-ed page. It was a long a career, over the course of which, as he wrote in one of his final columns, he had lost his early appetite for "delivering the hard zinger" and come to value persuasion over polemic.

"I found myself trying to write," he said, "in such a way that people who didn't agree with me might at least hear me." As public discourse grew increasingly shrill, Raspberry worked to understand the views of those he disagreed with.

Fairness didn't mean humorlessness. Some of Raspberry's best -- and funniest -- columns were those recounting his arguments with an imaginary cabdriver, through whom he voiced plausible objections to his own positions.

Often these dealt with touchy subjects. A 2000 column headlined "Separate but Equalizing" opens with the cabby needling his famous columnist passenger -- both of them black -- about how civil rights liberals who once fought for color-blind integration now advocated loudly for color-conscious "diversity." Raspberry tells him that while black institutions in generations past were the product of segregation -- "we started them because white people wouldn't let us in theirs" -- black organizations today, such as the National Association of Black Journalists, were vehicles of minority empowerment.

"Let me see if I get this," Raspberry's cabby says. "If white people start white organizations, that's segregation. If minorities start minority organizations, that's diversity. That it?" Back and forth they tangle, and by the column's end Raspberry has conveyed his stand on a divisive racial issue, while simultaneously making it clear that people of goodwill could see the issue very differently.

One of the lessons a life of opinion-writing had imparted to him, Raspberry observed in 2006, was that "it is entirely possible for you to disagree with me without being, on that account, either a scoundrel or a fool."

But that's a lesson Americans find it harder than ever to grasp. What Raspberry called "the open warfare that now passes as political debate" has grown ubiquitous. Every development must be given a politicized, partisan spin, preferably with an assumption of the other side's bad faith. News cannot break without being instantly deployed as a weapon in the culture war. Forest fires break out, and partisans start sniping over climate change. An oil spill befouls the Gulf Coast, and the talking heads swiftly hurl recriminations about government regulation.

Nothing and no one is immune from exploitation. On Monday evening came word of the death of astronaut/physicist Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. Within an hour, Daily Kos writer Dante Atkins, a Los Angeles Democratic Party Central Committee member, had taken to Twitter to attack US House Speaker John Boehner and the National Organization for Marriage. "Just so everyone knows," Atkins wrote, they "don't think Sally Ride deserved to marry the person she loved." Did she deserve to have news of her passing instantly recycled into political ammunition?

No sooner had the death of NASA astronaut Sally Ride been reported than her memory was being exploited for political ammunition.

The most recent obvious illustration of the rush to politicize tragedy was, of course, the political grandstanding that followed the carnage in Aurora, Colo. Particularly egregious was ABC newsman Brian Ross's slanderous speculation on "Good Morning America" -- on the basis of nothing more than a common name on a website -- that the theater massacre might be the work of a Colorado Tea Party member. Ross's recklessness was inexcusable (and ABC later apologized). But I found it nearly as dismaying that when I heard from five conservative friends about the atrocity in Aurora, the very first words each spoke to me were not an expression of horror or grief, but some version of: "Did you hear what Brian Ross said? The mainstream media is despicable!"

Politics is important. Without the peaceful clash of political ideas in the public realm, our democratic liberties couldn't be sustained. Like anyone who makes a living commenting on public affairs, I understand that our political beliefs and our moral self-image are entwined, often quite emotionally.

But there are limits, or should be. "Sometimes There's Nothing Wrong with Politicizing a Tragedy," Time magazine's Michael Grunwald wrote the other day. But when human sorrow becomes just another reason to impugn the politics of those we disagree with, how are we a better or healthier society? There is more to public dialogue than "delivering the hard zinger." Bill Raspberry understood that. If only more of us did.



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.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Government liquor shops in Canada break the law to pander to Muslims

Three liquor stores recently sold booze to a 14-year-old boy whose identity was hidden because he was wearing a full-length burka and face veil at the time, a Sun News Network exclusive has found.

The teenager, clad in an Islamic female's traditional garb of a burka, headscarf and facial covering, shopped in three different LCBO stores north of Toronto last Wednesday.

In each location, the Grade 8 student paid cash for a bottle of sambuca liqueur.

Ontario's Liquor Licence Act requires that before liquor is sold, government-issued photo ID -- a drivers licence, for example -- must be inspected if the buyer is suspected of being under the legal drinking age of 19.

Under the LCBO's Check 25 program, employees can ask for ID from people who appear under age 25 -- a policy implemented in 1997 to prevent young people who appear older than their actual age from purchasing alcohol.

The stunt was co-ordinated and video recorded by Sun News Network host David Menzies, who has made a career out of lambasting Canada's politically correct institutions.  Menzies said the unopened bottles -- totalling just over $80 -- were promptly taken from the teen.

But Menzies suggested the fact the boy was never asked to uncover his face or show photo identification at multiple store locations reveals a deeply ingrained reluctance on the part of Canadian institutions to challenge cultural practices, even when they conflict with broader societal goals such as preventing underage drinking.

"The reason why you have to unveil is that is photo ID is absolutely useless if you don't see the actual face of the person," Menzies said, adding he came up with the idea after an acquaintance told him he had seen this happen at various LCBO locations.

"They didn't ask for an unveiling, and they didn't even ask for (photo identification) ... You say you're socially responsible, you have the policy codified ... but nobody follows it," Menzies said Monday.

LCBO spokesman Chris Layton said in an e-mail that employees have a responsibility to view customers' faces as part of the age-verification process, and if a customer's face is covered, "Staff are required to ask the customer to remove the covering." 

This includes religious face coverings, as well, Layton later said in a phone interview.  "Maybe we need to remind our staff of their obligations under the Liquor Licence Act," Layton said, insisting the employees may have been trying to be "culturally sensitive" in each situation.

"The last thing we want is minors purchasing alcohol ... That would be something we would certainly want to look into."

In his earlier e-mail, Layton mentioned past examples of customers attempting to buy booze with their faces covered, such as "a customer wearing a full-face helmet," and another wearing a Halloween mask. These customers, however, were told to reveal themselves.

Menzies, long a critic of the LCBO's "monopoly" over liquor sales in the province, attempted to meet with liquor board officials early Monday morning to ask why they were not enforcing their own policy but was sent an e-mail from Layton stating that stores "comply with the requirements of the Liquor License Act," and that they were not interested in discussing the matter on camera.

Menzies added it is ironic the LCBO places a strangle hold on the sale of liquor because it considers it a potentially dangerous and addictive substance, but that a 14-year-old burka-wearing teen can easily purchase booze at three of its stores, on the same day.


Quotas and Political Correctness: The Vice-Presidential Follies of 2012

Two weeks ago, before Matt Drudge roiled the waters by announcing that presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney would name former Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as his Vice-Presidential running mate, quiet news reports began to circulate that Romney was actively seeking a female to run with him on the Republican ticket. The Associated Press reported on July 5th, “Mitt Romney’s wife has confirmed a tidbit about the Vice-Presidential search…he’s considering choosing a woman.” (Drudge may have been reading these tea leaves before making his prediction) Despite speculation that Romney was vetting Kelly Ayotte, the conservative U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, Condi Rice won these mythical sweepstakes based on name recognition.

Despite the Rice boomlet and her expressed disinterest in the position, the fact remains that the Romney camp seems transfixed at the idea of a woman on the ticket. The question remains: Why this scramble for a female running mate? The simple answer is that we are now seeing the ill effects of the 2008 gambits with 20/20 clarity. The historic nature of an African-American candidate heading one national ticket, and a woman holding the Vice-Presidential slot on the other side set an unspoken, but ironclad precedent. From 2008 forward, a national ticket would be deemed illegitimate if a woman or a minority did not occupy one of the two slots, as a candidate for President or Vice-President of the United States.

This shift may be subtle in practice but it contains disturbing portents for the future, as it reflects a sea change in official attitudes on this subject. Traditionally, a Vice-Presidential running mate was nominated with an eye toward providing geographical balance or for shoring up a candidate’s perceived weakness in a particular area. Most Americans of a certain vintage remember Walter Mondale’s 1984 choice of the spectacularly mediocre Geraldine Ferraro as the publicity stunt that it was. Now, little more than a quarter-century later we have arrived at a point where the lords and ladies of political correctness demand a minority set-aside on presidential tickets.

In order to illustrate this new paradigm it is necessary to revisit 2008. From the beginning of the primary season that year most observers knew that the Democrats would set a precedent with an African-American or a woman at the top of the ticket. John Edwards never had a real chance of winning the nomination even before the truth concerning his evening devotions became common knowledge. The Republicans stuck to their formula of nominating a center-rightist, John McCain, who also happened to have compiled an outstanding military record. This stratagem failed with George HW Bush in 1992 and Bob Dole in 1996, but no matter. The fact that Senator McCain presented a tired, haggard image and excited no one caused a certain disquiet in GOP circles. The figures who ran the McCain effort decided that their campaign needed a good dollop of energy and zest. They got these things when they nominated Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and they got an initial burst of good press, as well. The mainstream media, however, soon decided that it was more important to elect a left-liberal as President than to give Palin a fair hearing. The comely Governor Palin was quickly ridiculed, vilified, and smeared. Who didn’t see that one coming?

Now we transition to 2012. The post-racial President is going racial. Most Democrats, and their allies in the media are peddling their “GOP is anti-woman” campaign nonsense and some Republicans seem to sense a certain degree of vulnerability. These campaign strategists see Condi Rice as an immunization elixir, simultaneously protecting them from the racism charge and the sexism charge. The fact that Ms. Rice represents no natural electoral bloc matters little to the campaign bean counters. She brings “legitimacy” to the ticket because she is a woman who also happens to be of African-American heritage.

Every Republican candidate since 1976 has been forced to run with the racism and sexism charges thrown in their path. The charge, created by Democratic strategists and advanced by their media allies, has proven to be a tiresome constant in American politics for the last full generation. Some Republican presidential candidates chose to defuse this charge by pandering, while others did not. The defamation didn’t hurt the Party in 1980, ’84, or ’88. Now, however, the world has changed and the GOP is attempting to build a foundation on the shifting sands of popular cultural standards. A national Party ticket containing a woman or a minority candidate is certainly legitimate, while a ticket consisting of two white men is somehow compromised. This explains the Republican enthusiasm for potentially good minority candidates like Senator Marco Rubio, and potentially poor ones like Condi Rice. It also explains the continually baffling Democratic Party love affair with Hillary Clinton.

It remains to be seen in the coming weeks who Mr. Romney will tab as his running mate. If it is a white male we can expect a cascade of booing, jeering and caterwauling from those who now believe that a woman or a minority must have a place on a national ticket. That we find ourselves in this position is disturbing and ominous. We can blame popular culture and big media for our predicament, but we must also remember the fateful decisions our parties made back in 2008.


Evangelical Christians more in tune with African values

The "human rights" campaigners are pissing into the wind if they think they can get Africans to approve of  homosexuals

CHRISTIAN evangelical groups in the US are attempting a "cultural colonisation" of Africa, opening offices to promote attacks on homosexuality and abortion, according to a study by a liberal think tank.

American religious organisations are expanding across the continent, lobbying for conservative policies and laws and fanning homophobia, says the Boston-based Political Research Associates.

The groups include the American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ), founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson, which has bases in Kenya and Zimbabwe. "The religious right [in effect] claims human rights activists are neocolonialists out to destroy Africa," the report states. Groups named in it vehemently rejected the claims.

Entitled Colonising African Values: How the US Christian Right is Transforming Sexual Politics in Africa, the study analysed data from seven African countries and employed researchers for several months in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It identified three organisations it believes are targeting the continent: Robertson's ACLJ, the Catholic group Human Life International and Family Watch International, led by Mormon activist Sharon Slater.

Each "frame their agendas as authentically African, in an effort to brand human rights advocacy as a new colonialism bent on destroying cultural traditions and values", the report says.

In the past five years, the report alleges, all "have launched or expanded Africa-based offices dedicated to promoting their Christian right world view. A loose network of right-wing charismatic Christians called the transformation movement joins them in fanning the flames of the culture wars over homosexuality and abortion by backing prominent African campaigners and political leaders."


“Danish Girls Must Learn to Behave Differently”

Our Danish correspondent Signe sends a summary of the latest news on culturally enriched rape in Denmark:

    "It makes you want to laugh or cry.

    Danish media are overflowing with Utøya memorials today. However, on page 23 in BT the following story surfaces (I’ve translated the salient parts):

        Every other convicted rapist is foreign.  Iraqis, Iranians, Turks and Somalis are dramatically overrepresented in Danish rape verdicts.

        More than every other time that judges in 2010 found a felon guilty of rape, the convict was an immigrant or Danish-born to immigrant parents, reveal the official numbers from Statistics Denmark. Specifically, 32 with Danish background, 27 immigrants and 7 children of immigrants were convicted in 2010.

    Karina Lorentzen from the Socialist People’s Party is shocked and appalled: “It is wildly concerning that immigrants and refugees are so overrepresented […] it would seem that some immigrants have not learned that in Denmark a short summer dress is not an invitation to sex.”

    She offers a socialist solution:

    “It is worth considering if Danish sexual morality should be taught in the course that immigrants and refugees take when they reach Denmark.”

    Adding insult to injury, Karin Helweg-Larsen, senior researcher at the National Institute of Public Health (and also, naturally, a socialist — she is regionally elected for the Red-Green Alliance), explains the numbers thus to BT:

    “Judges might have a subconscious tendency to acquit the fancy Hellerup-boy [Hellerup is a rich town with few immigrants – translator] and convict the young lad from Nørrebro. And Danish girls must learn that they should behave differently in relation to people from different cultures.”



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.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Despite all the Leftist attempts to crush it, old-fashioned chivalry lives on in America

Would feminists have preferred it if the women had died?  Probably.  They are deranged enough for that

Besides all being in the wrong place at the wrong time on the morning of July 20, Jansen Young, Samantha Yowler and Amanda Lindgren have one other thing in common: each was saved from James Holmes’ murderous rampage by their loving, heroic boyfriends.

Young, Yowler and Lindgren all survived the Batman Movie Massacre this past Friday because their boyfriends jumped on top of them and used their own bodies to shield them from the gunfire. That act of courageousness came at a cost, though, as Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves all wound up losing their own lives in the process.


Effects of homosexual parenting

"It's Time for Mark Regnerus to Get Collectively Dumped," read one online headline. The outrage was in response to a study that Regnerus, a professor in the department of sociology at the University of Texas, Austin, released earlier this summer. His crime? Doing research on the effects of same-sex parenting on children. The shamelessness of the blogosphere's eruption turned outrageous when an activist in New York wrote to the university, accusing Regnerus of "using misinformation in an attempt to hurt others," prompting the university to open an ethics investigation.

Reading the whole of Regnerus' work, one doesn't get the impression he wants to hurt people. As a social scientist, he looks at the evidence. His New Family Structures Study, while supported and welcomed by advocates of traditional marriage, wasn't exactly made to order. Though the study's findings suggest that young-adult children of parents who have been involved in same-sex relationships are may have a heightened susceptibility to emotional and social problems, Regnerus took pains to be fair. "The political take-home message of the NFSS ... is unclear," Regnerus writes.

"On the one hand, the instability detected in the NFSS could translate into a call for extending the relative security afforded by marriage to gay and lesbian couples. On the other hand, it may suggest that (instability) ... is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital" on supporting them, he writes. Sounds more like a scientist than an activist.

But therein lies the reason for the anger this study has roused: The evidence, incomplete and imperfect as it is, points to the stability of a male-female, married model. And that's a threat to certain parties.

The marriage-overhaul movement asserts that there is a scientific consensus that doesn't quite exist. "One argument propelling the judicial activism to redefine marriage is that it makes no difference whether a child is raised by same-sex parents instead of a traditional, married mother and father," Jennifer Marshall, director of domestic-policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, points out.

Obviously, there is not a strong body of research on same-sex parenting, given it's a social experiment in an embryonic stage. Some would like to keep investigation and reflection away from the march of ideology into the lives of children.

The fury this study has elicited from the left hits on a key question: In a culture that claims to so often value tolerance above all other values, do we tolerate non-sexual-revolutionary values when it comes to issues of marriage and family?

This is all part of a trend toward the marginalization of religion that we have seen most notably in the debate over that pernicious Department of Health and Human Services mandate, wherein religious institutions and employers are being told that practicing their faith is illegal if it involves not purchasing or offering insurance plans that include contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drug coverage.

At a time when a trilogy about sadomasochism is all the literary rage, surely there's room for a little love and marriage and the baby carriage" somewhere in our culture? And for asking whether there might be sociological advantages to this approach?

Let's take a deep breath, and really look at some of the most heated rhetoric accusing Catholics or Republicans or a social scientist in Texas of waging a "war on women" or some other kind of supposedly hurtful or hateful cause. These are the questions we should be raising. Do we tolerate questioning the effects of our sexual choices, and even about the purpose of sex, in the public square? Do we care enough about the welfare of children to have a robust scientific, cultural, moral and political debate?

In a recent interview, Elton John talked about his son, born of a surrogate in California and conceived with a donated egg, that he has with his longtime male partner. Said John: "It's going to be heartbreaking for him to grow up and realize he hasn't got a mummy."

Thank you, Sir Elton, for opening a door. Now can we let Professor Regnerus get back to work?


President Obama's Covert Zeal for Abortion

Abraham Lincoln faced a similar problem in 1854 when he spoke of the “covert zeal” of President Franklin Pierce and Sen. Steven A. Douglas for the spread of slavery. These leading Democrats never said they were in favor of slavery. They simply viewed the right of whites to choose slavery for blacks as a “sacred principle of self government.”Lincoln abhorred this subterfuge.

President Obama doesn't talk about abortion much. He famously tried to avoid the question in 2008 when Pastor Rick Warren asked him what rights, if any, unborn children have. "The answer to that question is above my pay grade," he said then. With his strong election victory,Barack Obama was promoted to the office where the buck stops, where such questions demand an answer. His answer has been clear: None. The unborn have no rights at any time, in any context.

President Obama has been the most pro-abortion president in history. That was a distinction not easily won, especially after eight years of Bill and Hillary Clinton. They famously said abortion should be "safe,legal and rare." That seemed to be a middle path. But the only place they made abortion rare was in Antarctica. President Clinton sent out the Red Cable to all U.S. Embassies ordering them to press their host countries to make abortion on demand legal and paid for by the state.

Yet, Hillary told Newsweek abortion is "wrong."(October 31, 1994 issue). She only said it once in her entire career. Still,she said it.

Barack Obama has never said that. From his first public office, he has been an advocate for abortion on demand. He led the fight in the Illinois State Senate to deny protection for newborn children who survive abortion attempts. These children are U.S. citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment. And just as too many states denied "equal protection of the laws" to black Americans under a century of unjust Jim Crow laws, Barack Obama denied protection of Illinois laws to newborns in the Land of Lincoln because they had been targeted for abortion. It is tragically ironic that a disproportionate number of these late term botched abortions are performed on minority women.

As president, Bill Clinton twice vetoed the ban on Partial-Birth Abortions. Elena Kagan strongly urged him to veto the law. President Obama elevated Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. This outspoken advocate of Partial-Birth Abortion, not surprisingly, voted to approve Obamacare--the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. We can have little doubt as to how Kagan will rule if the lawsuits filed by dozens of Catholic dioceses make it to the Supreme Court. She is unlikely to surprise and shock any liberal abortion advocates as Chief Justice John Roberts shocked and appalled millions of pro-lifers with his last minute shift of position. For pro-lifers, the shocks and the surprises only come one way with the Supreme Court. Liberal pro-abortion advocates never find one of their own jumping the traces. They vote in lockstep to uphold the Culture of Death.

Like the Clintons, President Obama opposed the ban on Partial-Birth Abortions. Nurse Brenda Pratt Shafer described what she saw in a Partial-Birth Abortion. It requires re-reading now: "I stood at the doctor's side and watched him perform a partial-birth abortion on a woman who was six months pregnant. The baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. The doctor delivered the baby's body and arms, everything but his little head. The baby's body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. The doctor took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby's head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. Then the doctor opened the sci he stuck the high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. I never went back to the clinic. But I am still haunted by the face of that little boy. It was the most perfect, angelic face I have ever seen."

Just reading about such a horror led pro-choice liberal columnist Richard Cohen to oppose it.

    "...the fact remains that the anti-abortion people are on to something. Late-term abortions may be necessary, but you cannot read about them without feeling diminished as a human being. Something awful has happened, and simply as a matter of principle we ought to be opposed. We ought to say, in short, that this procedure cannot be used--that late-term abortions cannot be permitted at all--unless we absolutely have no choice." ["Reason to Shudder," Washington Post, July 4, 2000].

Cohen said then that people who don't shudder at this nightmare make him shudder. President Obama does not shudder. Nor does Justice Elena Kagan. They have a cool and detached view. To them, the fetus has no rights, ever. And "the right to choose" can mean the right to a dead child.

From his first day in office until now, President Obama has quietly but vigorously pushed the abortion agenda. He records promotional videos for Planned Parenthood. This group kills 340,000 of the more than1,200,000 unborn children killed each year by abortion. Under Obamacare, they will be able to kill millions more.

My Family Research Council colleague, Jeanne Monahan is the Director of FRC's Center for Human Dignity. She has documented the unrelenting push for more abortion here and throughout the world under the Obama administration. Her carefully researched report can be downloaded here.

Another famous pro-choice journalist, Joe Klein, concedes in TIME magazine that ultrasound has changed our understanding of the unborn. It is impossible to deny, he writes, that "that thing in the womb," he writes, "is a human life." From the earliest stages. Joe Klein is haunted. Richard Cohen shudders. We must decide if we shall proceed down the road toward a Culture of Death. That decision is not above our pay grade.


Crime rates in liberal cities shockingly higher than in conservative cities

A few years ago, the Bay Area Center For Voting Research listed the most conservative and most liberal cities in the United States. They did this by looking at how every American city with a population of at least 100,000 voted in the 2004 presidential election. Every vote for George W. Bush was counted as a "conservative" vote, and every vote for John F. Kerry counted as a "liberal" vote. Ballots cast for third party candidates were counted similarly, with votes for the Libertarian Party and Constitution Party nominees counting as "conservative" votes, and votes for the Green Party nominee, the Peace and Freedom Party nominee, and Ralph Nader counting as "liberal" votes.

Cities with more conservative votes than liberal votes are considered conservative cities, and cities with more liberal votes than conservative votes are considered liberal cities. Cities with the highest percentages of conservative votes were deemed the most conservative cities, and cities with the highest percentages of liberal votes were deemed the most liberal cities. Simple enough.

The 15 most conservative and 15 most liberal cities are listed below, along with their violent crime rates.

The 15 most liberal cities in the US:

- Detroit, Michigan - 24 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Gary, Indiana - 15 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Berkeley, California - 5 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Washington, DC - 13 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Oakland, California - 16 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Inglewood, California - 8 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Newark, New Jersey - 11 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Cambridge, Massachusetts - 5 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- San Francisco, California - 7 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Flint, Michigan - 24 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Cleveland, Ohio - 14 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Hartford, Connecticut - 13 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Paterson, New Jersey - 11 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Baltimore, Maryland - 15 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- New Haven, Connecticut - 15 violent crimes/1,000 residents

The national average is four violent crimes/1,000 residents. Every one of the 15 most liberal cities in the US has a higher violent crime rate than the national average. Twelve of the 15 have a violent crime rate that is at least double the national average. Two of them have a violent crime rate that is six times the national average.

The 15 most conservative cities in the US:

- Provo, Utah - 2 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Lubbock, Texas - 9 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Abilene, Texas - 5 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Hialeah, Florida - 4 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Plano, Texas - 2 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Colorado Springs, Colorado - 5 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Gilbert, Arizona - 1 violent crime/1,000 residents

- Bakersfield, California - 6 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Lafayette, Louisiana - 8 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Orange, California - 1 violent crime/1,000 residents

- Escondido, California - 4 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Allentown, Pennsylvania - 6 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Mesa, Arizona - 4 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Arlington, Texas - 5 violent crimes/1,000 residents

- Peoria, Arizona - 2 violent crimes/1,000 residents

Again, let's note that the national average is four violent crimes per 1,000 residents. You'll notice that eight of the 15 most conservative cities have violent crime rates at or below the national average. Only two of the 15 have violent crime rates that are twice as high as the national average. The most dangerous conservative city (Lubbock, Texas) is safer than all but four of the liberal cities.

So there is a clear correlation here: Cities with a lot of violent crime tend to vote Democratic, while cities with relatively low levels of violent crime tend to vote Republican. But what is behind this discrepancy? Is it that conservative cities have tougher anti-crime laws than liberal cities, which work to deter violent criminals? Is it that conservatives are more likely to be armed than liberals, so cities full of conservative citizens act as a deterrent against violent crime?

Or is it simply that Democratic voters themselves are just more likely to commit violent crimes than Republican voters?


The author is only pretending to be mystified.  Blacks overwhelmingly vote Democrat and blacks have a huge crime-rate.  The statistics above just show the black influence


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.