Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Russian President Putin links gays to pedophiles
Mr Putin simply speaks for his people. There is almost universal revulsion against homosexuality in Russia. It was even abhorred in the Soviet era. The official Soviet line on homosexuality was: "That was before the revolution"
Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered new assurances to gay athletes and fans attending the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics next month. Yet he defended Russia’s anti-gay law by equating gays with pedophiles and said Russia needs to “cleanse” itself of homosexuality if it wants to increase its birth rate.
Putin’s comments in an interview broadcast Sunday with Russian and foreign television stations showed the wide gulf between the perception of homosexuality in Russia versus the West.
A Russian law passed last year banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” among minors has caused an international outcry.
Putin refused to answer a question from the BBC on whether he believes that people are born gay or become gay. The Russian law, however, suggests that information about homosexuality can influence a child’s sexual orientation.
The law has contributed to growing animosity toward gays in Russian society, with rights activists reporting a rise in harassment and abuse.
International worries about how gays will be treated in Sochi have been met with assurances from Russian officials and Olympics organizers that there will be no discrimination, and Putin reiterated that stance.
“There are no fears for people with this nontraditional orientation who plan to come to Sochi as guests or participants,” Putin declared in the TV interview.
He said the law was aimed at banning propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia, suggesting that gays are more likely to abuse children.
Making another favorite argument against homosexuality, Putin noted with pride that Russia saw more births than deaths last year for the first time in two decades. Population growth is vital for Russia’s development and “anything that gets in the way of that we should clean up,” he said, using a word usually reserved for military operations.
The law on propaganda has been used to justify barring gay pride rallies on the grounds that children might see them. This has raised the question of how athletes and fans would be treated for any gay-rights protests during the Olympics.
When asked about this by the ABC TV channel, Putin said protests against the law itself would not be considered propaganda.
Putin then hit back, accusing the United States of double standards in its criticism of Russia, pointing to laws that remain on the books in some U.S. states classifying gay sex as a crime. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, ruled in 2003 that such laws were unconstitutional.
Homosexuality was a crime in the entire former Soviet Union, which collapsed in 1991. It was decriminalized in Russia in 1993.
The Sochi Winter Olympics run Feb. 7-23.
Cuomo: 'Extreme Conservatives,' Pro-Lifers Not Welcome in NY
The usual Leftist bigotry
If anti-abortion activists thought those 35 feet ‘buffer zones’ currently in place around abortion clinics were restrictive, wait until they hear the boundary New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to draw for them. Calling into “The Capitol Pressroom” radio show Friday morning, the liberal leader made it clear just what he thinks about conservatives and pro-lifers:
“The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act — it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate! Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
Cuomo’s comments perhaps come as no surprise to those familiar with his proposed Women’s Equality Act - legislation which works opposite its title thanks to its radical abortion agenda. Although the measure was defeated last year, Cuomo, in his fourth State of the State address, declared he was determined to try again in 2014.
Dan Janison at Long Island’s Newsday asks a poignant question about Cuomo’s recent condescending remarks: What if the conservative governor of a red state made these comments about extreme liberals?
"Just imagine for a moment if Haley Barbour or Rick Perry said: “Do you support abortion rights? Do you support same-sex marriage? Do you support gun control? Then, you have no place in this state because that's not who we are.”
Those remarks would be ripe for some mocking exposure on MSNBC. True, MSNBC would have no mercy on Perry and Barbour. Nor should we be soft on Cuomo. We should be attacking his comments, which alienated a large bloc of voters, just as much as the left jumped all over Romney’s ‘47 percent’ gaffe.
One more point from Janison: "Did the governor become a bit, uh, extreme in his critique of extremists?"
Secularists Need to Accomodate Themsleves to Religion
People in pursuit of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God tend to transform ancient scripture into tradition. And those who reject such high-minded touchstones usually end up appreciating the results. So they find a way to move into the covenant-controlled neighborhood and eventually get away with parking their motorhome on the front lawn. The routine goes like this: adopt, adapt, assert.
The most contemporary example is marriage. This lifelong commitment is a religious sacrament described extensively in the Bible. At the wedding, people (especially men) vow to deny their own sexual nature, forsaking all others. Non-religious folks also find marriage agreeable and have adopted it as a cultural practice for themselves. Over time, they have adapted it more to their liking, including short-term commitments and same-sex relationships. In recent years, they have asserted this redefined institution for everyone’s acceptance using the force of law.
Many more examples are found in the annals of Western History. Charity, education, health care, and even the separation between church and state lay as casualties along the path of secular accommodation.
Religious folks have long followed scriptural instructions for feeding, clothing, and defending the poor. A recent study from Barna Group revealed that, “Among the most generous segments were evangelicals (24% of whom tithed); conservatives (12%); people who had prayed, read the Bible and attended a church service during the past week (12%); charismatic or Pentecostal Christians (11%); and registered Republicans (10%).”
The non-religious also seem to like the idea of charity, only not by way of personal contributions. Barna reports that, “Several groups also stood out as highly unlikely to tithe: people under the age of 25, atheists and agnostics, single adults who have never been married, liberals, and downscale adults. One percent or less of the people in each of those segments tithed in 2007.” So the popular demand for charity became adopted through government programs of welfare, foreign aid and FEMA. Today, the asserted level of wealth transfer creates a deficit of about ¼ of the national budget.
Hospitals were historically built by religious orders to care for people and escort mortal souls to their eternal rest. Of course, everyone quickly adopted the idea of receiving advanced care for themselves and their families. Health care has long been a dream acquisition for the left. In 1961, Ronald Reagan warned Americans about statists taking the final step in conquering this most intrusive component of freedom. Obamacare is the assertion.
Education in America, from kindergarten through university, was decidedly motivated by religious people to formalize the students’ understanding of the sciences within the context of the Creator’s design. Harvard University’s Rules and Precepts originally read, “Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3).” Princeton University and many other ivy leagues were established with similar foundations.
By the 1950s, a college education was widely adopted as the preferred avenue toward financial success. Today, most universities are again dominated by the teaching of religion; only now the indoctrination is for statist evangelism. And you pay for it with the left’s assertion of government-funded tuition.
And finally, with an insidious sleight-of-hand, the left transformed the most liberating text of the U.S. Constitutional into the most restrictive oppression. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The federal government does not have the authority to pass any laws regarding religion - period. In support of this sentiment, America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, wrote a letter of assurance to the Danbury Baptists. The statists of the ACLU have successfully adapted Jefferson’s words “wall of separation between church and State” into the assertion “enact laws that confine Christianity.”
Adopt, adapt, assert. Or as Voltaire put it sometime around 1740, “Si Dieu nous a faits à son image, nous le lui avons bien rendu” (If God has made us in his image, we have returned him the favor).
Speak English or lose benefits: British government to stop payouts to immigrants who use taxpayer-funded translators
David Cameron plans to strip welfare handouts from immigrants who cannot speak English.
In a radical bid to slash Britain’s benefits bill, the Prime Minister intends to stop printing welfare paperwork in foreign languages and prevent claimants using taxpayer-funded translators at benefits offices.
The move – which would also hit British residents who cannot speak English – was due to be announced tomorrow, but has been delayed following a row with Nick Clegg.
Tories hope that axeing foreign-language versions of documents explaining how to claim benefits would make it harder for immigrants such as newly arrived Romanians and Bulgarians to cash in on the UK’s benefits system, encourage others already here to learn English – and save money spent on translators.
Referring to the controversial Channel 4 programme, one Conservative aide said: ‘The Benefits Street culture must end. Period.’
The plans were been drawn up by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. One Tory insider said: ‘The vast majority of voters will think this idea is plain common sense. It is unreasonable to expect taxpayers to spend huge sums on translators when people should be learning to read and write English.’
Former Tory Cabinet Minister Liam Fox also gave the scheme the thumbs-up, saying: ‘The principle is a good one but it needs to be introduced in a way that’s fair and reasonable.
If it is, it will meet with general public approval. The ability to speak English is one of the most empowering tools in the labour market and we should be encouraging as many people as possible to learn it.’
The announcement of the changes was delayed after a behind-the-scenes dispute between the Coalition partners – just the latest in a series of clashes between Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Mr Clegg.
But Tory sources say they are ‘optimistic’ the changes will be confirmed later this week if the Lib Dems can be won over.
One official involved in the plan said: ‘Cameron and Duncan Smith are very enthusiastic about it, but the Lib Dems had a wobble. They are nervous of being portrayed as being too harsh on immigrants.’
Labour’s Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons’ home affairs committee, also expressed reservations saying: ‘In principle, it is a good idea, but it could cost the taxpayer more because if people are refused benefit and have a genuine claim, they will sue the Government.’
At present the inability of claimants to speak or write English is no bar to them obtaining benefits. Translation services are available in all Jobcentres while local councils provide information leaflets in dozens of different languages.
Latest figures show the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spends £5 million on language services a year. The vast majority, £4.5 million, is spent on face-to-face and telephone help, with £415,000 more on ‘document translation’.
The DWP used interpreters 271,695 times in the space of one year to assist foreign claimants, statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act show. Most of the money is paid to The Big Word, Britain’s biggest language services firm, which received £3.5 million in public money during 2011.
Benefits offices deal with more than 140 languages, including Icelandic and Vietnamese as well as the more common Polish, Czech, Slovak, Urdu and Gujarati.
Town halls such as Tower Hamlets in East London publish guides on how to claim benefits in foreign languages which would be paid for separately to the DWP figures.
In most cases, a claimant at a Jobcentre would be put on the phone to an interpreter at a call centre to help them complete forms. The service receives up to 22,000 calls a month and is usually able to provide an interpreter within 60 seconds. There is also a service for face-to-face meetings, used 13,000 times a year.
Tories and Lib Dems have fallen out over several immigration and welfare issues. In October, Home Secretary Theresa May was forced to scrap sending vans with signs telling illegal immigrants to go home to areas with large ethnic populations.
The two parties are at odds over Mrs May’s plan to cut annual immigration from the EU to 75,000 a year. And they disagree over whether immigrants make the UK better or worse off.
Mr Clegg has denounced Chancellor George Osborne’s pledge to slash another £10 billion from the welfare budget. And the Lib Dem leader vetoed a move by Mr Cameron to scrap housing benefit for under 25s.
The latest proposed crackdown reflects the influence of Australian-born Tory election chief Lynton Crosby. Mr Crosby is said to have given orders that the party must produce ‘a new policy to curb immigrants and benefits’ every week.
Growing public pressure for a tougher approach to curb the UK’s ‘handout culture’, as highlighted on Channel 4’s Benefits Street series, is reflected in a policy switch Labour is set to announce this week.
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.