Monday, November 25, 2013

How conservatives were made responsible for the deeds of a Communist

In a brilliant 2006 analysis, "Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism" (Encounter), James Piereson showed how liberals turned the communist murder of John F. Kennedy, a liberal politician, into a stain on conservatives, and how this distortion then caused liberalism to evolve into the sickly phenomenon it is today.

As the 50th anniversary of the assassination approaches, liberals are still at it, pinning responsibility for the murder on the far-right culture of Dallas in 1963 and downplaying the ineluctable fact that the communist Lee Harvey Oswald in no way reflected that culture. They just do not give up. Here is an example from today's New York Times, "Changed Dallas Grapples With Its Darkest Day." First, Manny Fernandez sets up the right-wing culture of the supposed City of Hate:

In the early 1960s, a small but vocal subset of the Dallas power structure turned the political climate toxic, inciting a right-wing hysteria that led to attacks on visiting public figures. In the years and months before Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon B. Johnson, his wife, Lady Bird, and Adlai E. Stevenson, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, were jostled and spat upon in Dallas by angry mobs. In sermons, rallies, newspapers and radio broadcasts, the city's richest oil baron, a Republican congressman, a Baptist pastor and others, including the local John Birch Society, filled Dallas with an angry McCarthy-esque paranoia.

The immediate reaction of many in Dallas to the news that Kennedy had been shot was not only shock but also a sickening sense of recognition. Moments after hearing about the shooting, the wife of the Methodist bishop told Tom J. Simmons, an editor at The Dallas Morning News, "You might have known it would be Dallas."

While Fernandez gives the current Dallas a break (glorying especially in its lesbian sheriff), he finds continuity in Texas as a whole:
This past February, in West Texas, the sheriff in Midland County, Gary Painter, said at a John Birch Society luncheon that he would refuse to confiscate people's guns from their homes if ordered by the Obama administration and referred to the president's State of the Union address as "propaganda." Other Texas politicians in recent years have embraced or suggested support for increasingly radical views, including Texas secession, Mr. Obama's impeachment and claims that the sovereignty of the United States will be handed over to the United Nations.

It's not just Texas, either: Fernandez notes that the extreme right culture of Dallas has suffused the entire land, quoting a former Dallas reporter, Bill Minutaglio, saying that "modern demonizing politics in America" in some ways took shape in Dallas in the 1960s.

Okay, got that? Dallas was a bastion of right-wing kooks with a vast legacy. Now, watch how this bastion gets blamed for the communist Oswald:
Lee Harvey Oswald was a Marxist and not a product of right-wing Dallas. But because the anti-Kennedy tenor came not so much from radical outcasts but from parts of mainstream Dallas, some say the anger seemed to come with the city's informal blessing. "It was, I think, a city that was tolerant of hate and hate language," said John A. Hill, 71, who in 1963 was student-body president of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "There were people who spoke out against that, but in general city leaders were indifferent to that toxic atmosphere."

Q.E.D. Magically, the hard right takes the fall for a communist operative. The New York Times can take pride in consistency, however distorted, over a half century.


Female RAF recruits get £100,000 compensation each... because they were made to march like men

Females should not be in the armed forces if they cannot live up to armed forces standards

Three female RAF recruits have each been awarded £100,000 by the Ministry of Defence after suffering injuries caused by marching in step with their male colleagues.

The women claimed that parading alongside taller male recruits caused them to over-stride, a repetitive motion which, when repeated over several weeks, led them to develop spinal and pelvic injuries.

Now, after a five-year bitter legal battle, which saw the MoD accuse the women of exaggerating their symptoms, they have been awarded more compensation than soldiers who suffered serious gunshot wounds in Afghanistan.

According to RAF official policy, female recruits should not be expected to extend the length of their strides beyond 27in. They should also be placed at the front of any mixed squad to dictate the pace.

But while undergoing basic training at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire, the claimants were forced to extend their strides to 30in – the standard stride length for men on parades and marches.

Despite the fact that the women – aged 17, 22 and 23 at the time – were injured in the first nine weeks of their RAF training, they have been compensated for nine years of lost earnings and pension perks.

All have recovered and have successful careers outside the military.

The payouts come as the Armed Forces’ compensation bill for 2012/13 topped £108.9million – up £21million on the previous financial year.

Last night, former Defence Minister Gerald Howarth said: ‘This case is completely and utterly ridiculous – it belongs in the land of the absurd.

'The defence budget is strapped and  we’re making 20,000 troops redundant, yet these former recruits are being paid six-figure sums.

‘The MoD must stand up to the compensation culture and get the wider public on its side. If the RAF has erred in its training procedures it is because of society’s obsession with gender equality.

'Every pound they’ve been awarded should be clawed back by offsetting their compensation against future earnings.’

This newspaper understands that at least five cases of female RAF recruits bringing claims against the MOD due to pelvic injuries suffered on marches are being litigated.

The action brought by Miss Davies and the two recruits will cost the taxpayer £600,000 because the legal costs are estimated to be as high as the compensation payments.

An MoD spokesman said: ‘When compensation claims are submitted, they are considered on the basis of whether or not the MoD has a legal liability to pay compensation.

‘Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we do so. The RAF takes the welfare of it recruits very seriously and has reviewed its recruit training practices to mitigate against this risk.’


Pakistanis in UK fuelling corruption, says law chief: Attorney General warns politicians to 'wake up' to the threat posed by minority communities

Corruption is rife in  Britain’s Pakistani community, the country’s most senior law officer has warned.

Dominic Grieve said politicians needed to ‘wake up’ to the threat of corruption posed by minority communities using a ‘favour culture’.

In remarks that will inflame already sensitive diplomatic relations with Pakistan, the attorney general said he was referring to ‘mainly the Pakistani community’.

David Cameron sparked outrage earlier in his premiership when he accused Pakistan of ‘exporting terrorism’ while on a visit to India.

Mr Grieve told the Daily Telegraph that corruption could also be found in the ‘white Anglo-Saxon community’ as well as among other groups.

But he said the rise of corruption was ‘because we have minority communities in this country which come from backgrounds where corruption is endemic. It is something we as politicians have to wake to up to’.

He said electoral corruption was a problem in constituencies such as Slough in Berkshire. Tory councillor Eshaq Khan was found guilty of fraud involving postal ballots in 2008.

The Electoral Commission is planning to introduce tougher identity checks at the ballot box in Tower Hamlets in East London, another area that has suffered from electoral fraud.

Baroness Warsi, the Foreign Office minister, has previously said the Conservatives lost three seats at the general election because of voter fraud in the Asian community.

Mr Grieve, whose Beaconsfield constituency in Buckinghamshire has a sizeable Asian community, said: ‘I can see many of them have come because of the opportunities that they get.

‘But they also come from societies where they have been brought up to believe you can only get certain things through a favour culture.

‘One of the things you have to make absolutely clear is that that is not the case and it’s not acceptable.’

Asked if he was referring to the Pakistani community, Mr Grieve said: ‘Yes, it’s mainly the Pakistani community, not the Indian community. I wouldn’t draw it down to one. I’d be wary of saying it’s just a Pakistani problem.’

He added: ‘I happen to be very optimistic about the future of the UK. We have managed integration of minority communities better than most countries in Europe.’

Mr Grieve also admitted that the ‘volume’ of potential immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria next year when movement controls were lifted ‘may pose serious infrastructure problems’.


Review of Federal Australian hate speech law

Critical comments below by Mark Dreyfus.  Mr Dreyfus is the federal opposition spokesman on legal affairs. He is Jewish. 

His article below is a typical bit of Leftist cherrypicking.  He quotes a couple of instances where the hate speech laws were arguably used to proper effect and completely ignores the Bolt case  -- the case which has motivated the intended change in the law.  And it was a Jewish judge who made the immoderate judgment that led to Andrew Bolt's conviction. 

Judge Bromberg had plenty of room within the act to find Bolt not guilty but he chose to go for the jugular -- possibly because of his Jewishness.  Jews have good historical reasons for a horror of defamation.  Bromberg should really have recused himself from the case.

So Dreyfus would have been much more persuasive if he had deplored the misapplication of the law by Mordechai Bromberg but he totally ignores that.  Is he endeavouring to add substance to the old accusations of Jewish "clannishness"?  He is a disgrace.  Even some Leftists found Bromberg's verdict "profoundly disturbing"

If Dreyfus had been arguing responsibly, he might have said that the provision of an appeals court to review judgments such as Bromberg's would be more appropriate than watering down the act.  In the case of another Leftist-inspired  kangaroo court  -- the Fair Work tribunal --  the present government is doing exactly that.

But what Dreyfus will not admit is that there is just one man responsible for the review of the law being presently undertaken:  Mordechai Bromberg.  Bromberg's zeal to persecute any suspicion of defamation will soon be seen to have facilitated defamation

FOR almost 20 years, since the Racial Discrimination Act was enacted by the Keating government in 1994, section 18C has embodied Australia's condemnation of racial vilification, and protected our society from the poisonous effects of hate speech.

Labor strongly believes in the continued need for laws that prohibit racial hatred in Australia.

The new Attorney-General and his Prime Minister have made clear their intention to repeal section 18C in its current form, which makes it illegal to vilify people because of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin.

The Attorney-General claims that the prohibitions in section 18C are a threat to "intellectual freedom" and "freedom of speech" in Australia.

One can only assume that he has an extremely poor grasp of history, of the appropriate limits imposed on free speech in all Western democracies, and of the dangers of giving a green light to hate speech under the preposterous claim that racially vilifying individuals in public is necessary to support intellectual freedom in our nation.

Section 18C has functioned well for 18 years in our community, without being criticised as some kind of affront to freedom of speech.

Rather, the provision has been used to respond to egregious examples of hate speech, such as the publication of false statements by infamous Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben, who wrote, among other offensive lies, that there was serious doubt the Holocaust occurred and that Jewish people who were offended by the denial of the state-sponsored murder of their families and communities were of limited intelligence.

Using section 18C, the Federal Court ordered these deeply offensive public statements be removed from the relevant website.

The Coalition's policy would allow Toben to publish material of this kind, and would take away the power of our courts to stop such racist hate speech being disseminated.

In another infamous case, an indigenous woman used section 18C to defend herself against a neighbour who had waged a campaign of intimidation against her family by attacking them with offensive racist insults such as "nigger" and "black bastard".

It is disingenuous to attack section 18C as a threat to freedom of speech by presenting it in isolation from the linked provision, section 18D.

Following extensive public consultations at the time the provisions were crafted, the drafters were well aware of the need to appropriately protect freedom of speech.

That is why section 18D provides extensive protection for free speech and political communication in our society.

Section 18C is also entirely consistent with the objectives of the London Declaration on Combatting Anti-Semitism, which was signed on behalf of Australia by former prime minister Julia Gillard in April, and was subsequently signed by Coalition MPs including Tony Abbott and George Brandis.

In May this year, I wrote to Mr Abbott calling on the Coalition to respect the pledges in the London Declaration, and to reverse the Liberals' plan to repeal section 18C.

I pointed out that section 18C is precisely the kind of legislated protection against anti-Semitism and racial discrimination that the London Declaration calls on its signatories to enact, and that repealing it would unequivocally contradict the spirit and the terms of that important declaration.

In an interview two weeks ago, the Attorney-General made clear that he intends to persist with the repeal of section 18C regardless of deep community concerns.

However, in senate estimates this week, he at least withdrew from arguments earlier suggesting that the protections provided by section 18C were somehow covered by the Criminal Code Act.

Sections 80.2A and B of the Criminal Code Act create serious criminal offences for individuals that urge the use of force or violence against a group or a member of a group distinguished by race, religion, nationality, national or ethnic origin or political opinion.

These provisions prohibit criminal incitement to violence and do not operate to prohibit the civil wrong of racist hate speech as section 18C does.

In response to questions at senate estimates, Senator Brandis revealed that his "engaging in community consultations" would be limited to "private conversations" with "community leaders" to be selected by him.

He then refused to elaborate on which community leaders he was speaking to or the nature of those discussions.

There is an unpleasant irony in the spectacle of an Attorney-General who claims to champion free speech refusing to answer questions regarding secret consultations he is conducting in a bid to remove legislative protections of great importance to communities across our nation.

It is essential that the communities affected by any potential change in this area of the law have the opportunity to put their views to Senator Brandis, not just the private group of unidentified individuals that he deigns to have a conversation with.

Public discussions regarding proposed legislative changes on matters of concern to the community such as this are essential for any government that claims to value freedom of speech.

This is a further example of how, in the short time since the election, this government is prepared to shamelessly hide their actions from the scrutiny of both the people who elected them and from the media.

Mr Abbott and Senator Brandis have refused to back down on their proposed watering down of hate speech laws in our nation, reflecting their ignorance of history and the dangers of permitting racially motivated hate speech.

In contrast, Labor is committed to supporting the rights of all Australians to dignity and protection from racially motivated hate speech ahead of enabling bigots and extremists to say in public whatever they want.



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 and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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