Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Long-term British jobless to have to scrub war memorials and historic monuments to keep welfare benefits

Long-term unemployed people will have to clean war memorials, restore historic monuments and look after animals at city farms to keep their benefits from today.

The Government is unveiling its Help to Work scheme aimed specifically at 200,000 people who have been unemployed, or unable to hold down a job, for three years.

Under the scheme, these long-term unemployed will have to report daily to local job centres to discuss how to get back to work.

If they are judged not to have enough work experience they will be allocated volunteering roles with charities and other providers.

Typical examples include scrubbing war memorials, helping to clean up historic monuments and working in local cafés run by volunteers.

Other work includes helping out at community and city farms, cleaning and restoring river and canal banks and even sorting through second hand clothes in charity warehouses.

Failure to cooperate could see them losing work-related benefits, such as the £72-a-week job seekers’ allowance.

Government sources said the placements – which will last for up to six months each – were focused on the voluntary sector to avoid taking jobs from other people.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said the measures were part of a Government push to get a job for everyone who can work.

There are an estimated 600,000 job vacancies at the moment. He said: “A key part of our long-term economic plan is to move to full employment, making sure that everyone who can work is in work.

“We are seeing record levels of employment in Britain, as more and more people find a job, but we need to look at those who are persistently stuck on benefits.

“This scheme will provide more help than ever before, getting people into work and on the road to a more secure future.”

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, added: “Everyone with the ability to work should be given the support and opportunity to do so.

“The previous system wrote too many people off, which was a huge waste of potential for those individuals as well as for their families and the country.”

But David Green, a director of right of centre think tank Civitas, urged the Government go further and remove the three year qualifying period for the scheme.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “From the minute someone is out of a job they should be given something positive to do – not leave it for three years.”

The Government’s plans for its Help to Work scheme were originally announced at last Autumn’s Conservative party conference. Further details about the types of voluntary scheme were disclosed on Sunday.


Amid Holocaust remembrance, antisemitism adapts and thrives

by Jeff Jacoby

IT WASN'T a failure of Holocaust remembrance that explains why Frazier Glenn Miller opened fire outside two Jewish community facilities in Overland Park, Kan., murdering three people on the day before Passover.

Miller, a 73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon, knows all about the Holocaust — enough, at any rate, to extol Adolf Hitler as "the greatest man who ever walked the earth" and to shout "Heil Hitler!" after his arrest. Like his hero, Miller is obsessed with Jews. Asked once in an interview whom he hated more, blacks or Jews, he didn't hesitate: "Jews!" he said. "A thousand times more!"

Such anti-Semitic malevolence led 70 years ago to the Shoah — the industrial-scale annihilation of two-thirds of Europe's Jews: six million men, women, and children, among them my father's parents and four of his brothers and sisters. They were murdered not as a means to an end — not for their money or their land or because they posed a military or political threat — but as an end in itself. Hitler's purpose in exterminating the Jews was for the Jews to be exterminated.

For decades after the Holocaust, it was tempting to believe that such genocidal prejudice against Jews was a thing of the past, at least in the enlightened West. The world had seen what anti-Semitism at its most uninhibited could do. What people had been sure could never happen had happened — but by harnessing the power of memory, we could ensure that it never happened again. So Holocaust memorials and museums were erected in cities large and small. Concentration-camp survivors published their memoirs and spoke about their experiences. Students were taught about the Nazis and the Final Solution. Yom HaShoah — an annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins Sunday evening — was added to the calendar each spring.

But Jew-hatred hasn't been purged. On the contrary: It has erupted in recent years with shocking scope and strength. It has been revived "in the halls of parliament and in the streets," writes political scientist Daniel Jonah Goldhagen in a new book, The Devil that Never Dies. "Among elites and common people. In public media, places of worship, and in the privacy of homes. Where Jews live and where they do not."

An old-style white-supremacist neo-Nazi like the shooter in Kansas, evil as his crime was, is the least of this resurgent threat, especially in this country. Hitler-idolizing anti-Semites like Miller, widely regarded as abhorrent, are a negligible phenomenon in the United States. His deadly rampage was instantly condemned across the board; only among the kooks did anyone express support for Miller's vilification of Jews.

Where anti-Semitism is gaining market share today is not among those who yell "Heil Hitler" or demonize Jews as Christ-killers. The oldest and most protean of hatreds has assumed a new form for a new age: hostility to Zionism and Israel. The classic anti-Semitic motifs — Jews are aliens, Jews are murderous, Jews are rapacious, Jews are disloyal, Jews manipulate governments — have been repurposed for a post-Holocaust generation that speaks with a post-Holocaust vocabulary.

Sophisticated and educated Westerners today know better than to blame "the Jews" for society's ills, or to suggest that the best solution to the "Jewish Problem" is for Jews to disappear.

But it is widely acceptable in many circles to debate whether the world's only Jewish state has a right to exist. Or to insist that the Middle East's turmoil would be resolved if only that Jewish state would make peace with its enemies by conceding to their demands. Or to claim with a straight face, when Israel defends itself against Arab and Islamist violence, that it is behaving as the Nazis did.

This helps explain why anti-Semitism soared in recent years even as Palestinian terrorism against Israel soared. For if Zionists are tantamount to Nazis — if the Jewish state is the equivalent of Hitler's Germany — then decent people everywhere must oppose it. Through endless repetition of the most odious "Israelis = Nazis" canards, the memory of the most lethal horror ever inflicted on the Jewish people has been transmuted into a new bludgeon with which to batter them. Meanwhile, waves of incitement build against the largest Jewish community on the planet, whipped up by enemies who make no secret of their ultimate goal: to annihilate it.

Thus does the old plague bacillus of anti-Semitism mutate and flourish once again, in the very shadow of the Holocaust memorials put up as a warning of what unchecked Jew-hatred can lead to. Truly, it is diabolical.


Sexist philosophers?

In my experience  philosophers are overwhelmingly far-Left  -- so the critics in this case must be nickel-plated b*tches

According to a January report from the American Philosophical Assn.'s Committee on the Status of Women, the philosophy department at the University of Colorado Boulder is a hotbed of "unacceptable sexual harassment, inappropriate sexualized behavior and divisive uncivil behavior."

It's hard to figure out exactly what the male philosophers at Boulder were actually doing in the way of "inappropriate sexualized behavior" because the committee, which seemed to have spent a full year (plus $25,000 of Boulder's money) on this witch hunt, is keeping that under wraps. The report that it issued to the public is merely a "summary" containing no specific incidences of misconduct, much less naming any names. The report did say that there was "excessive drinking" when professors and graduate students socialized together, and that "some male faculty have been observed ogling undergraduate women students."

Ogling! Guess Plato's “Republic” isn't that interesting after all.
The women's committee also complained that the Boulder philosophy department was treating the problem far too -- philosophically. The report stated: "The department uses pseudo-philosophical analyses to avoid directly addressing the situation. Their faculty discussions revolve around the letter rather than the spirit of proposed regulations and standards."

So the women's committee decided to inject some spirit of its own into Boulder's lackadaisical philosophy department: the spirit of the Women's Christian Temperance Union combined with the spirit of Chairman Mao. The committee proposed that henceforth there be "no alcohol served at any events connected with the department … and no evening socializing." The committee also demanded that the department institute mandatory sexual harassment training for all, hire a “facilitator” whose job it would be to make female philosophy students feel better, and dissolve all departmental listservs so that faculty and students wouldn't be able to communicate with one another easily.

Oh, and no joking around, either! "Avoid cheap and easy jokes in class or other professional settings. Individuals must call out disrespectful comments as they occur, and those called out should receive the correction without being defensive."
The year 1966 in China just called. They want their Red Guards back.

Administrators at Boulder didn't go quite so far as the ladies of the American Philosophical Society's Committee on the Status of Women wanted. But they went pretty far. They fired the department chair, barred the department from admitting new graduate students and duly set up the mandatory sexism training classes that the committee had recommended.

Then, in February, Bradley Monton, an associate professor of philosophy at Boulder, complained at a meeting of the Boulder Faculty Assembly's Executive Committee that both the committee's findings and the administration's actions were exaggerated. Monton said the practices that the committee had spotlighted -- excessive after-hours drinking among faculty and students -- had ended years earlier. Monton later retracted his remarks -- under pressure from the administration, he now says -- and resigned from the faculty assembly, also under pressure.

College philosophy departments have been under attack from feminists for years. Philosophy is one of the few humanities fields left in which men actually outnumber women. At the University of Georgia, for example, only 33% of undergraduate philosophy majors are women, according to a National Public Radio report. Nationwide, only 20% of philosophy professors are women.
Feminist philosophy professors don't like that, even though a study at Georgia State University found that female students who took an introductory philosophy course simply deemed "the course less enjoyable and the material less interesting and relevant to their lives than male students."

Philosophy is the most abstract of all the humanities disciplines, and it's likely that it appeals more to men, with their generally greater facility for abstract, math-like reasoning, whereas women's brains seem more strongly adapted to social skills and memory.

Feminist philosophers are having none of that, however. They've insisted that their profession is institutionally biased against women. They've urged such supposedly corrective measures as shunning professional conferences whose panels don't include female speakers and discontinuing the philosophy "smoker," a traditional part of the faculty hiring process in which job candidates and professors have discussions over drinks -- an institution that feminists claim encourages suspicious male bonding (feminist philosophers don't seem to like booze).

Fortunately, there seems to be a backlash against Boulder's draconian measures with respect to its philosophy department. Six women with ties to the philosophy department have issued a public statement complaining that the university's actions tarnished the professional reputation of the entire department. And last week, even the American Assn. of University Professors sided with Monton, not Boulder. "One of the central tenets of academic freedom is the right of faculty to speak out on matters of institutional policy," said an AAUP report demanding that Monton's full faculty privileges be restored.


'Holding child's hand too tightly is abuse'

Foster parents had children taken away after British social workers claimed they were manhandling youngsters crossing road

Social workers took two children away from their foster parents after claiming they were holding the children's hands too tightly while crossing the road.  The children were immediately removed from the couple's care and handed over to new foster parents.

There are currently 68,110 children in care according the most recent figures with 50,900 in stable foster homes.

However, according to The Sun,  233 children were removed from their foster parents - including one couple for holding the children's hands while crossing the road crossing the road.

The children were removed from the couple in Buckinghamshire while social workers investigated 'marks' on the children's wrists.

Sue Imbriano, Children's director of Bucks County Councils said: 'Social workers are having to make extremely difficult decisions on a daily basis, but they are always made in the context of wanting to ensure the best outcomes for young people.'

According to the Department of Education, one in every 166 children in the UK is in care.

Despite 233 children being removed from foster care last year, according to Foster Talk, a company which provides support for foster parents, the majority of allegations are false.

According to their website: 'The most common reason arises out of the child’s belief that if they tell someone that they are being mistreated, they will be able to return home to their parents.

'Another cause might be low self-esteem. If a young person has had a number of foster placements, an allegation might be made in order for them to discover whether those responsible for them truly care.

'Other children might crave attention and will view even negative focus as better than nothing.

'Sadly, sometimes an allegation is made because the young person in care has been abused in the past and has kept it a secret.

'Accusing a Foster Carer of abuse is a way of bringing this out into the open. And sometimes children who have previously been in emotionally harmful environments misinterpret things which in the past have been precursors to abuse i.e. the offer of a cuddle or a kiss goodnight.

'Of course, in some rare cases the allegations against Foster Carers are found to be true. It is in these instances that the sometimes stressful and emotional investigation process is shown to be worthwhile.'



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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