Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Homosexual marriage measure 'not enough'
Six in 10 gay people say the British government's plans would not create 'equal marriage …
The Government's gay marriage proposals do not go far enough, according to a poll of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
But in a survey, six out of 10 gay people said the Government's plans would not create "equal marriage", and that equality would only be achieved when churches, synagogues and mosques are required to carry out same-sex weddings.
Nearly two-thirds (62%) believed Prime Minister David Cameron was trying to extend marriage to LGBT people to make the Tories look more compassionate rather than because of his convictions.
The poll - which questioned more than 500 LGBT people - was commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage - an alliance of groups and individuals opposed to attempts to redefine marriage. The organisation's campaign director Colin Hart described the results as a "wake-up call to the Government".
He said: "These poll results should be a real eye opener for David Cameron. They show that the PM's motives are not trusted. Just 15% of LGBT people believe his claims that he is making the change out of conviction.
"They also show that Mr Cameron's plans to force this Bill through Parliament with little or no debate is not supported even by those who back the change, because they fear this might do more harm than good.
Lazy Britain uncovered: How FOUR MILLION adults have never worked in their lives
Nearly four million British adults have never had any form of paid work in their lives - more people than the population of Wales.
Figures show the scale of the problem facing British welfare system, which has been criticised for allowing jobless people to be better off than those in work.
More than a quarter of those who have never earned a living are aged between 25 to 64, and 205,000 over 65s had never worked before becoming pensioners.
The number of British people who have never worked in their lives was 3.9 million But the worst affected group are young people, with more than a third aged between 18 and 24 having never done paid work.
More than one million 16 and 17-year-olds have left education and not found employment, or are still studying but have never had a Saturday job.
The Office for National Statistics figures, which include disabled people who cannot work, show London is the city worst affected by lifelong joblessness, with 737,000 in the capital having never worked.
Birmingham has the next highest number of adults who have never seen a payday, at 144,000.
But most of the top ten workless locations are in the North of the country. Glasgow and Edinburgh have a combined total of 96,000 people who have never been wage-earners, while Leeds has 72,000.
Manchester has 71,000 who have never been in work and Liverpool has 52,000. Bradford is next with 50,000, then Sheffield on 46,000, Tower Hamlets has 42,000 and Cardiff 41,000.
TaxPayers’ Alliance boss Matthew Sinclair told The Sun: 'These are truly shocking figures which underline the importance of reforming the welfare system in order to make work pay once and for all.
'Leaving millions to languish on benefits for life is not fair on those individuals or taxpayers.
'But the Government also has a duty to create an environment in which it is easier for businesses to take people on, which means less red tape and lower taxes.'
Earlier this year it was revealed that Britain had one of the worst workless rates in Europe, with joblessness particularly affecting single mothers in the UK.
Preachers of hate who spread their violent word on British TV channels
Muslim fundamentalists have used British television channels to preach in favour of violent crime and killing “apostates”.
The communications watchdog, Ofcom, has made a series of rulings against channels which allowed “inflammatory” material to be broadcast in breach of rules which forbid extreme opinions gaining a platform on British television.
The cases, disclosed today, include examples of an imam telling viewers that those who disrespect the prophet Mohammed should be killed, and another broadcaster saying homosexuals should be beaten and tortured.
The stations were found to have committed serious breaches of the broadcasting code by allowing the extreme opinions to be aired unchallenged.
Last night experts warned that the extent and seriousness of the broadcasting breaches raises questions over whether extreme Muslim speakers who were previously confined to small audiences in mosques are able to reach thousands more people by broadcasting intolerant teachings on television.
Although the channels have tiny audiences compared to the mainstream, they are targeted at Muslim communities, including people of Pakistani background, with some of the content being broadcast in Urdu and other languages.
The cases identified by Ofcom include:
* An Islamic scholar who told viewers: “It is your duty ... to kill those who insult Prophet Mohammed.”
* A preacher banned from coming to Britain who used the channel - which he co-owns - to say anyone who left Islam should be put to death.
* A phone-in presenter who advocated “eliminating” anyone who disrespected Mohammed.
In some cases the channels had also breached a rule which states that they must keep recordings of all their output, raising the possibility that other inflammatory material has been broadcast but cannot be traced.
With the exception of one radio broadcaster, the channels ruled against by Ofcom are broadcast on the satellite provider Sky. It has no legal responsibility for what is broadcast on the channels it carries. It is up to the stations themselves to make sure they meet Ofcom’s standards and they can be fined or taken off the air if they do not.
The disclosure of the rulings by the broadcasting regulator comes despite a report in 2010 which warned that extremist material was being broadcast.
Tala Rajab, the researcher who wrote the report for Quilliam, the anti-extremist think-tank, said the fresh findings by Ofcom raised serious questions over the regulation of broadcast material.
“Some of these recent incidents have been quite shocking,” he said.
“If this had happened in a mosque the police would be right in pursuing a criminal investigation. But because they are being broadcast on television channels for some reason there seems to be little appetite for looking into these extreme messages.
“If these kind of comments were made against black people, for example, you can imagine a channel being shut down overnight, particularly if they had incited violence against a minority.”
The 2010 report found that the Islam Channel, Britain’s largest Islamic broadcaster, had continued to ignore Ofcom rules about impartiality and allowed controversial viewpoints to be aired despite a fine and other sanctions being imposed. It is not among the subjects of the five Ofcom rulings disclosed today.
In December a Leeds radio station, Radio Asian Fever, was fined £4,000 for breaching broadcasting rules in programmes involving a presenter called “Sister Ruby Ramadan”. She told listeners that homosexuals should be beaten and tortured.
“If there are two such persons among you, that do this evil, the shameful act, what do you have to do? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture,” said the presenter.
Jabbar Karim, the station’s managing director, said: “We are very embarrassed. This was a one-off incident which will never be repeated.”
Takbeer TV, based in Nottingham, has been found in breach of the code twice in 18 months for programmes which denigrated the minority Ahmadi Muslim sect. Founded in the 19th century its followers are considered by some mainstream Muslims to be misguided or even heretical.
Contributors to the most recent programmes investigated by Ofcom said Ahmadis had a “disease” and “monstrous” intentions.
Ofcom said Takbeer TV had subjected the sect’s followers to “abusive treatment” and that they would now consider an appropriate sanction such as a fine.
An Ofcom spokesman said: “The majority of Islamic channels comply with our rules. However, where we identify issues through our monitoring or complaints we investigate fully and take firm enforcement action.”
He said it was Ofcom’s duty to regulate licence holders rather than the responsibility of carriers such as Sky. However, carriers are free to decide which channels they offer, he added.
A Sky spokesman said: “Sky operates an open and regulated platform. This means any broadcaster with an appropriate Ofcom licence is free to seek distribution over the satellite platform.”
There are 14 Muslim TV free-to-air channels in Britain but their audiences are not measured by BARB, the source of viewing figures.
Forbidden Advice for Plain Jane in Combat
American women have been cleared for combat, but the generals at the Pentagon only think they are the very model of the modern major general.
Women have been locked in combat since Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden. Men and women have been fighting the unending war between the sexes since, giving no quarter, but happily taking each other prisoner. It's a war nobody can win, as Henry Kissinger observed, because there's too much fraternizing with the enemy.
But when a helpful Amazonian warrior tries to shorten the odds for her side, someone invariably makes a federal case of it. The other day, an innocent volunteer at the Defense Intelligence Agency offered her sisters in the struggle a few tips on how to dress for success at work -- and in love and war.
The suggestions were unexceptional enough: Makeup makes you more attractive. Don't be a Plain Jane. A sweater and a skirt is better than a sweater with slacks. No flats. Paint your nails. Don't be afraid of color. Brunettes have more leeway with vibrant colors than blondes or redheads.
The result was indignation, not gratitude.
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the director of the DIA, apologized, as any government official in his position would. He seemed to be aware that he was playing out of his league. He sent a public affairs officer out with the agency's regrets.
"I'm not going to deny that (the briefing) exists," she said, "and it was bad. It was inappropriate for sure. Neither the agency nor the leadership has condoned anything that was in that briefing." The clear message, as reported by U.S. News & World Report, is that Jane is free to be as plain as she likes, with neither makeup nor painted nails.
Innocent or not, such advice was guaranteed to offend someone on the scout for something to be offended by. Even now, a lawyer without a client is nosing about the offices of the DIA, looking for business.
In his apology, Flynn called the hints intended for advantage in male-female combat "an unnecessary and serious distraction" and labeled the presentation "highly offensive." He hopes the intentions were "pure of heart and intended to help, but even smart people do dumb things sometimes. No one is going to be taken to the woodshed over this. They'll require some counseling (to be sure) on what it means to think before you act."
Still, when President Obama assumes responsibility for providing birth control help for the women of America, you have to wonder why a few beauty tips is such a big deal. Who can say anything is off the table (or under the bed)?
Stamping out slovenliness in a culture so tolerant of slobs is probably a hopeless task even for a government that can win wars on two oceans at once, tame big rivers and send a man to the moon and back. Though the tips and suggestions were the kind of advice savvy mothers once offered to their daughters, and attendance was voluntary, after all, it's true that our grandmothers could never have imagined that giving such advice is a task for someone from the government, even a volunteer.
Nevertheless, vanity is not a stranger in the boudoir. Americans -- mostly, but not all of them, women -- spend billions of dollars every year on cosmetics and other beauty aids. The Commerce Department put the figure at $33 billion for one recent year.
Corsets, bustles, push-up bras, control-top pantyhose and other intimate lingerie are meant to tone and burnish women's bodies. Women's fashions have changed since Scarlett O'Hara was laced up with a 17-inch waist, for which all women give thanks, but anyone who pages through almost any magazine can see there's an enormous market for keeping women well-armed for war duty. Spanx is the provocative name for the popular, postmodern "shapewear."
Women in the intelligence services should be the last to be offended by the suggestion that looking good is bad. Mata Hari, the glamorous Dutch spy who died before a French firing squad for service to the Germans in 1917, was faithful to the end to the fashion tradition expected of women in her craft.
When her executioners called for her at dawn for her date with the bullet, she kept them waiting while she dressed carefully, in a long black velvet cloak thrown over a silk kimono, filmy silk stockings and high-heeled slippers tied with silk ribbons about her ankles.
At last, she pulled on long, black kid gloves, and only then told her executioners: "I am ready." She knew how to dress for success.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.