Thursday, January 16, 2014
The police didn't kill Mark Duggan - 50 years of liberal 'compassion' did
We asked for it. We repeatedly voted for politicians who promised compassion. And now we have compassion coming out of our ears. And we moan that we don’t like the result. Yet we carry on with the same plan, madly expecting it to have a different outcome.
It was ‘compassion’ that abolished the death penalty for murder, so forcing us to arm the police – who had until then been guarded from violent criminals by the real threat of the gallows.
Look how compassionate that turned out to be. The lone armed constable in the dark and dangerous street now has to act as prosecutor, defence counsel, judge, jury, executioner and appeal court, and all in a matter of seconds.
No wonder the inquest jury in the Mark Duggan case ruled that this was a lawful killing. Which of us knows how he would act in such conditions?
And yet why is this bloody system morally better, more just, more kind, more proof against error than a jury trial with the presumption of innocence and the possibility of appeal and reprieve?
But we’re all so compassionate that, when we’re not bombing and invading foreign countries for their own good, we feign horror at the idea of bringing back the hangman.
There’s no logic to it. The liberal bombing of Baghdad and Belgrade unavoidably and predictably killed innocent human creatures. Yet the people who backed the bombing claim that the much smaller risk of hanging an innocent makes capital punishment unacceptable.
Because abolishing the noose is compassionate, the feeble logic of the abolitionists still triumphs. Try defending the death penalty in any ‘civilised’ gathering in this country and see how quickly you are sent to Coventry and dismissed as a Victorian monster.
And then we make ourselves angry at the spectacle of modern Britain on TV, the claimers of benefits turned into a sort of national entertainment.
But why do these unhappy, hopeless people exist? Who corrupted them, by offering them the chance to live in this dreadful, doomed way, while at the same time giving them no moral guidance or help?
We did, repeatedly electing governments that offered compassion to the poor, in the form of a welfare state with its moral heart ripped out.
Try suggesting that there is a difference between the deserving and the undeserving poor, in any public forum, and feel the temperature drop below freezing. And yet a welfare state which refuses to recognise this is bound to corrupt people into idleness and worse.
Roughly 50 years ago, beguiled by smiley reformers, we chose the wrong future. We adopted ideas which were mistaken and have proved to be disastrous.
We called them ‘compassion’. But who were we really being compassionate to? Not, as it turns out, to the poor we claimed to be helping. They suffer most from the compassion of our criminal justice system – which in 2012 was so compassionate it refused to imprison 28,997 offenders who had committed at least 25 crimes.
It is the lives of the poor that are blighted by anarchic schools that can’t teach, and by amoral handouts. It is their streets which are full of the drugs whose use we won’t punish. It is they who have been first to experience the abolition of fathers and stable families, which leads directly to the growth of criminal gangs.
All these policies were implemented in the name of compassion. But who were we being gentle to? Why, we were being nice to ourselves, sparing ourselves the hard and unpopular decisions and choices that make civilisation possible, like indulgent parents who mingle neglect with bribes, only on a vast scale. And we still are.
To hell with compassion. Give me good honest harshness any day. It’s far kinder in the long run.
Isn't it rather insulting and racially bigoted for the police to assume the ‘Black community’ will be particularly upset by the death of a gangster? Black people, just like everyone else, hate and fear crime and criminals.
The progressive taste for managing the sex lives of others is of a piece with its war on private life
“It’s not possible to have a completely gender neutral date,” writes therapist Andrew Smiler in a head-clutchingly asinine essay for the Good Men Project, a repository of painfully navel-gazing male-feminist apologetics that describes itself as “not so much a magazine as a social movement.” While acknowledging the impossibility of his daunting task, Mr. Smiler goes on to offer a great many helpful tips in his “Guy’s Guide to the Gender-Minimized First Date.” But not before making a full and frank apology in advance: “I’m trying to write this guide to apply across all genders, masculine, feminine, trans*, etc. If I’ve missed or something is very wrong, I have faith someone will let me know in the comments. I’m also writing based on my own American background and referring primarily to gender roles as they currently exist in the U.S. Depending on where you’re from, you may have grown up with this approach or you may find it completely foreign.” An asterisk on that asterisk: “Trans*” I am reliably informed, is the new, more inclusive way of referring in writing to the phenomenon of transsexualism, or as the ever-helpful FAQ at “Ask a Trans Woman” explains: “Trans, sans asterisk, has a tendency to mean gender-binary folk (trans men and trans women, often by the DSM-IV, GID definition of the words.) Trans* is more inclusive.” It is getting difficult to keep up.
Mr. Smiler’s advice, almost all of which is catastrophically bad, consists in the main of pre-cooking evasive strategies for such potentially fraught issues as deciding who pays for dinner or whether to split the check in the name of sexual egalitarianism. His guidance: The party proffering the invitation pays for the party accepting it. This is the sole area in which Mr. Smiler, otherwise a celebrant of sexual fluidity, concedes that expectations may be fixed by circumstance. “You can maintain one roll [sic] . . . or you can switch around,” except when the bill comes, which is to say you can pass the rolls but not the check. Not my own style, though fair enough. (But who says you get to make the rules, Mr. Man?)
It should go without saying, here at what one hopes against hope is at long last the nadir of Western sexual dysfunction, that Mr. Smiler’s gender roles have nothing to do with anything so quotidian as the actual sex of the person with which they are associated: “Your genitalia — and your partner’s genitalia — are only relevant if you prefer some types of genitalia over others,” he writes. Possibly relevant maxims here include “De gustibus non disputandum est,” or, perhaps more apropos, Richard Fariña’s “Mea most maxima culpa, baby, ’cause this is my week for chicks.” It is emblematic of our current attitudes toward sex, which are fundamentally consumerist, that this question is approached as though it were a choice between the gluten-free lasagna and the full-on farina di grano tenero.
In truth the majority of people, so overwhelming a majority as to be nearly universal, do in fact prefer some types of genitalia over others. (I trust that this is not news to you.) Which is why Mr. Smiler immediately sets about undermining his own advice on the subject, recommending that his readers get “all gendered up” on the implicit assumption that a gender-neutral first date is in fact the last thing that anybody really wants. That is because people in the main not only prefer some types of genitalia over others, they in most cases also prefer romantic partners who seem like the sort of person who would under normal circumstances sport the sort of genitalia they fancy. If Mr. Smiler really thought that playing down sexual specifics was the way toward a happy and fulfilling romantic life, he’d be hawking those Japanese man-bras to his few good men.
In describing the quest for a gender-neutral first date, Mr. Smiler never gets around to asking why anybody would want one in the first place. The answer is that no one does.
Two other gems in Mr. Smiler’s offering: “Although it can be awkward, I recommend having at least a little conversation about gender roles — especially as they apply to dating and sex — during the first date.” And: “Decide if and how much sexual contact you want to have with this person at this time.” I will predict that if you take his advice on the former, the latter will be moot. It is almost enough to make one pine for the simpler time when first dates were mainly characterized by Wild Turkey and bad decisions. (“Depending on where you’re from, you may have grown up with this approach or you may find it completely foreign.”)
As Mr. Smiler was sharing his wisdom, International Herald Tribune fashion critic Suzy Menkes was reporting from London’s Fashion Week, discussing, under the headline “Crossing Gender Boundaries Again,” designs for men that “rekindled the masculine-feminine debate in 21st-century fashion.” There were plenty of skirts, which is nothing new in men’s haute couture, single-shoulder and backless tops, and the like. A number of women of my acquaintance reacted with unmitigated disgust, which is not surprising, though the clothes in question fell well short of the frilly-pink-man-bra mark. I myself am not nearly so bothered by dainty underthings for men as I am by the notion that functioning human beings of the age of sexual consent require advice — from a group of gentlemen constituting “not so much a magazine as a social movement” — to the effect that they need to think about whether they wish to have sex with somebody before having sex with the party in question. I have seen a couple trip and fall into San Antonio’s Riverwalk, but I have never seen anybody trip and fall into that.
To the feminists and their allies we owe the coining of the phrase “heteronormative,” which describes the moral terror that all good people are expected to feel for walking around with their bigoted heads full of the notion that, however tolerant or even indulgent we may be of our more exotically inclined friends and neighbors, there exists such a thing as sexual normalcy, and that our norms are related to that which is — what’s the word? — normal.
Conservatives are of course inclined to account for the great variety of human life as a matter of fact if not as a matter of moral endorsement: William F. Buckley Jr., upon being told that at most 2 percent of the population is gay, replied that if that were really the case then he must know all of them personally. The heteronormative is right up there with “rape culture” and various distillations of “privilege” — white, male, etc. — that together form the rogues’ gallery populating progressives’ worldview, which is at heart a species of conspiracy in which such traditional malefactors as the Illuminati and the Bilderbergers have been replaced with disembodied malice that can be located anywhere and at any time it is convenient to do so.
Like the old-fashioned conspiracy theorists they so closely resemble, progressives regard any resistance to their risible claims regarding the all-pervasive power of patriarchy/heteronormalcy/white privilege/etc. as nothing more than evidence of the reach and strength of the conspiracy’s tentacles. A regular at a coffee shop I used to frequent was known to one and all as “Conspiracy Theory Larry,” and had an explanation for everything — everything — that was wrong with the world, and my derision was enough to convince him I was a junior-league Illuminatus.
(I can only imagine that he was confirmed in his suspicion when I joined National Review, which after all was founded by this guy: “William F. Buckley Jr., the American publisher who heads the elite Janus mind-control project at NATO headquarters, was the most awful of all of them. [Ed: “Them” being reptilian shape-shifters.] Quite honestly he used his teeth a lot. He used to bite a lot. He got pleasure out of hurting people by biting them after he shape-shifted. To this very day I have an aversion to that kind of thing.” I suppose one would.)
If forays into gender-role adventurism are met with so much as a raised eyebrow, it is, in the progressive mind, evidence of a monstrous evil. As in a good conspiracy theory, every evil must be in unity with every other evil, which is why progressives can see no difference between a social norm that assumes boys do not normally wear dresses and one that assumes homosexuals will be put into concentration camps.
The ironically puritanical progressive taste for managing the sex lives of others is of a piece with its all-out war on private life, putting into action the old feminist slogan: “The personal is political.” More than a few of my more enthusiastic social-conservative friends have what I regard as an unhealthy and distasteful interest in the private lives of others, but when it comes to the volume and detail of contemplated sexual guidelines, they cannot hold a sacred eco-feminist candle to our progressive friends. The Book of Leviticus is the soul of brevity compared with the volumes of sexual moralizing produced by the Good Men Project and the like.
Together, the overzealous elements of the Right and Left are like the symbiotic police and anarchists in Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent: They form a kind of mutual-outrage society in which the ever-finer parsing of sexual proclivity gives both sides something to complain about. Some people get married and have children, some invest sobering sums in man-panties, and most of them manage to grope along in the dark with no particular need of a highly developed politics of dating. Sometimes, the personal is personal.
Black racism: Black Actress Tamera Mowry Called A “White Man’s Whore” For Marrying White Fox News Reporter…
She's a light-skinned black, which is prestigious among blacks. So "losing" her to a white man would be resented
If she married a white reporter from MSNBC or CNN you can be sure the “progressive” left wouldn’t be barraging her with racist insults.
Sister Sister star Tamera Mowry tearfully told Oprah Winfrey’s network that her marriage to Fox News correspondent Adam Housely had earned her scores of racially-tinged abuse on Twitter and elsewhere.
“See, this is where I get emotional, because it’s hurtful,” Mowry said on Oprah: Where Are They Now. “Because when my husband and I are so openly—we’re fine with showing love. Love. But people choose to look past love and spew hate. That’s what hurts me, because I’ve never experienced so much hate ever in my life, ever.”
“I get called ‘white man’s whore,’” she said. “The new one was ‘back in the day you cost $300, but now you’re giving it to him for free.’”
Our Crazed Sexuality Standards
Our obsession with sexuality as identity undermines the best interests of children.
The New York Times brings us the “next frontier in fertility treatment.” It’s about dissolving the prejudice against transgender people having children. “Andy Inkster, a transgender man, had always wanted biological children. So when he embarked on the transition from female to male at age 18 — changing his name, taking testosterone, and eventually undergoing surgery to remove his breasts — he left his female reproductive organs intact. In his mid-20s, he decided it was time. He stopped taking testosterone and started trying to get pregnant.”
Baystate Reproductive Medicine turned Inkster away, explaining that it didn’t have enough experience with transgender people to provide the hormones and donor sperm required. Mr. Inkster eventually found another clinic that helped him conceive via in vitro fertilization and donor sperm, and in October 2010, he gave birth to a daughter, Elise. A month later, he sued Baystate for sexual discrimination. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination agrees with Inkster.
I never thought I’d see the words “he gave birth to a daughter” outside of science fiction, and at the risk of seeming insensitive, I think Baystate fertility clinic was right. But it’s not surprising that the civil-rights commission of Massachusetts has taken up this cause. It occupies the juncture of two appalling trends. The first is an obsession with sexuality as identity, and the second is a undermining of the best interests of children in favor of the self-expression of adults.
There are limitless identities that students could be encouraged to cultivate as they mature. A handful that leap immediately to mind: American, humorist, musician, athlete, debater, nature-lover. Instead, our universities fall all over themselves to encourage unusual sexual identities, from homosexuality and lesbianism to transgender, bisexual, transsexual, and other. It’s all done in the name of “inclusion” and non-discrimination, but, let’s face it, there’s an element of fashion in it. Non-traditional sexual behavior is “in.” There are academic courses on offer at major universities concerning “queer theory,” pornography, and “lesbian gardening.” (Truly.) How can any serious academic treat pornography as a fit subject for college study? It’s more than a devaluation of the life of the mind; it’s an assault on human dignity.
We have elevated sexual appetites — especially unusual sexual tastes — to an exalted status, worthy of study, defining our natures and experiences, and outranking other traits in importance. In many states, there are moves to outlaw psychotherapy that purports to change a person’s sexual orientation. Without excusing or approving abusive efforts to brainwash gay people straight — and there are some hair-raising stories out there of people subjected to “aversion therapy” and so forth — it is interesting that we are being asked to deny people the opportunity to change in only one direction. No one is suggesting that if a straight person wants to become gay and consults a therapist who wishes to help him make that transition, that he should be prevented from doing so.
Yet children as young as four are being permitted to style their hair, wear the clothing, and use the bathrooms of the other sex when they express the urge. This kind of change is one that liberal states approve. The state of California requires that students from kindergarten through grade 12 be permitted to choose which “gender” to be associated with (Connecticut and Massachusetts have similar rules). If a biological girl decides at the age of 12 that she wants to be addressed as a boy, play boys’ sports, and use the boys’ bathroom, state law requires that she be able to do so.
There are physicians who prescribe hormone-suppressing drugs to prevent preteens from going through puberty the better to prepare them for “gender reassignment” surgery.
This is child abuse. Children pass through phases. Nothing permanent should to be done to any child that is not medically necessary. Suppose a child decided that he wanted to be an amputee or a one-eyed pirate? We’ve lost all common sense in the face of this mania for sexual mutability.
As for Mr. Inkster and people similarly situated, the first thing a fertility clinic should say is that a child is not an adult entitlement. The best interests of the child should be paramount. Each child needs and, where possible, should have a mother and a father — and not in the same body.
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.