Friday, June 27, 2014
Dried out old prune says she supports gay marriage
Republican Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday announced her support for gay marriage for the first time after getting an endorsement from the nation's largest LGBT advocacy organization in her bid for re-election.
"A number of states, including my home state of Maine, have now legalized same-sex marriage, and I agree with that decision," the Maine Republican said in a statement issued after several news organizations made inquiries.
Collins joins three other GOP senators who have said they support gay marriage: Illinois' Mark Kirk, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Ohio's Rob Portman.
She had been criticized for keeping her view to herself until Wednesday. Campaign spokesman Lance Dutson says she's consistently said the decision rests at the state or local level. She has twice voted against proposed constitutional amendments to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
It's the third time Collins won the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.
"Senator Susan Collins has played a pivotal role in advancing support for LGBT equality — from her dogged support for the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to her critical vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act last year," said Chad Griffin, the group's president. "HRC is proud to stand with Senator Collins, and with allies on both sides of the aisle like her, because she firmly believes that every American should be evaluated based on their abilities, and not who they love."
Collins, who's seeking a fourth term, is being challenged by Democrat Shenna Bellows, who attacked Collins for being reticent to address the issue, even after state voters approved a referendum in 2012 that legalized same-sex marriage.
Bellows, former executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, campaigned publicly in support of the referendum.
"Remaining silent on some of the biggest civil rights issues of our generation, even after the voters have spoken, isn't leadership, and it isn't how Maine became one of the most inclusive states in the country for LGBT rights," she said.
British social workers in action again
'Gruff and unfriendly' social worker ruled suicidal teenager did not pose a danger to herself the day before she was found hanged
A social worker assessed a suicidal teenager as not posing an imminent risk to herself the day before the 15-year-old was found hanged in woods.
Anna Wlodarczak, a practitioner at the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Barrow, Cumbria, saw Helena Farrell on January 3 last year.
An inquest into the death of Helena heard yesterday that she had been referred to the service by the South Lakeland school nursing team after taking an overdose on December 3, 2012, and disclosing an eating disorder stemming from a sexual assault while on a school exchange trip to Germany the previous year.
Ms Wlodarczak, who was on duty at CAMHS, a service found to be in disarray in a subsequent investigation, was described as 'gruff' and 'unfriendly' by Enda Farrell, Helena’s father who accompanied her on the assessment visit on January 3.
He told the inquest: 'Afterwards, Helena said "Dad, she was terrible. Cold.. I don’t ever want to come back here again."
'For Helena, that was the end and I knew I wasn’t going to get the proper service from them,' he added.
Ms Wlodarczak told the hearing she had discussed issues such as bulimia, low mood, suicidal thoughts and her friendship group with Helena during the assessment.
She confirmed she had highlighted in paperwork that the teenager had been a very high risk during the overdose incident and had been scored three out of four for intent to take her own life when talking about the attempt.
But Ms Wlodarczak said: 'There were issues there of concern but nothing in the way Helena presented at that time indicated any more risk.'
Mr Ian Smith, coroner for south and east Cumbria, heard Barrow’s CAMHS team had been dogged by staff sickness and low morale at the time of Helena’s death.
A damning internal report into the referral of Helena to CAMHS found five key areas of operation required immediate improvement, the hearing was told.
The inquest at Kendal County Hall in Cumbria heard she was a ‘bright, intelligent, adventurous and fun- loving’ girl who was a gifted cellist and singer
Failure to recognise the level of risk posed to the vulnerable teenager, failure by clinicians to understand their responsibility towards safe guarding and the reporting of a sexual assault by the
teenager and inadequate information sharing were all weaknesses highlighted in the urgent review of the service, by Lynette Moore, clinical manager for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
The inquest also heard from part-time school nurse Donna Moore who met Helena three times in the month before her death.
Mrs Moore, who had no mental health training, explained that due to sickness and vacant posts she had been responsible for five secondary schools and more than 20 primary schools - up to 5,000 pupils - across South Lakeland at the time.
Speaking through tears, she said: 'I asked her if she had thoughts about ending her life. She said "no, not really, I just feel up and down". At the time I didn’t see the risk then.'
PC Paul Kelly told the coroner he had found Helena hanging in woodlands behind the Castle Green Hotel on January 4, 2013, surrounded by notes, clothing, shells and the Coldplay song The Scientist playing on a loop.
The inquest has previously heard Helena had been left heartbroken when she was dumped by her boyfriend. Her body was found at the same spot where they went on their first date.
The inquest at Kendal County Hall in Cumbria heard she was a ‘bright, intelligent, adventurous and fun- loving’ girl who was a gifted cellist and singer.
But the teenager had been forced to move schools after being bullied for having red hair and a ‘posh accent’.
Her father Enda Farrell, 56, said: 'She was unhappy because people were teasing her about the colour of her hair and about her accent.’
She transferred to an independent school, and at the age of 14 went on an exchange trip to Europe – where she claimed she was sexually assaulted in an attack which triggered an 18-month bout of bulimia.
After she left the private school she moved to her local comprehensive, Kirkbie Kendal School.
The inquest heard that in autumn 2012 she started dating Billy Williams, a boy who was one year above her. On their first date the pair went for a walk in the woods near her home in Kendal.
However Mr Williams ended the relationship shortly after the half-term holidays in October.
After the break-up, she wrote on Facebook that he had ‘broken her heart’ and went on to take an overdose of paracetamol.
Her father, a former councillor, and her mother Maria, a GP, told the inquest they had desperately tried to help their daughter overcome her ‘dark thoughts’.
Helena had written letters saying goodbye to her family and friends in the weeks leading up to her death, but they were confiscated by a teacher.
How Liberals Make It Harder For Blacks To Succeed
Dr. Jason Riley discussed his new book, Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder For Blacks To Succeed, on Monday at the Heritage Foundation. Riley is an editorial board member of the Wall Street Journal.
In his book, Riley discusses where the Civil Rights Movement has gone wrong. He emphasizes that liberals only encourage blacks to blame their problems on whites and to make themselves out to be victims.
Even after the Civil Rights Movement, black unemployment rates were twice that of whites for the last five decades. In 1966, the poverty rate in America was lower among all groups than it was in 2012.
"The Civil Rights Movement has become an industry that does little more than monetize white guilt," Riley said in his talk. "Liberal solutions to the black problems were just as wrongheaded today as they have ever been."
Riley began his speech with an anecdote about his niece, who once accused him of "talking white" and trying to "sound so smart." Riley used this example to illustrate the fact that black culture often rejects academic success from a very early age, which makes children far less likely to be motivated in school.
"The only thing the government can do is forge equal opportunity," Riley said. "It should not be tinkering with social structure."
He also emphasized that focusing on strengthening black family life is important, citing the statistic that black boys without a father in the home are 68 percent more likely to be incarcerated.
"A black man in the home is much more important than a black man in the White House."
Riley also debunked the minimum wage fallacy. He said that the typical minimum wage earner is not a single mother trying to raise four children; rather, the typical earner is generally a teenager at an after-school job, a housewife making some extra money while her kids are at school, or older citizens keeping busy after retirement.
Riley stressed that blaming racism is a poor excuse for any lack of success among blacks. He compared blacks to Asians, discussing Asians' higher levels of academic achievement throughout the country.
"Blacks must ultimately help themselves," Riley said.
Katie Pavlich Exposes Liberal Feminism At Annual NeW Conference
The Network of Enlightened Women (NeW) held its annual conference from June 19-21 last week, starting with a reception on Thursday night, followed by Friday panels and a keynote and a seminar for college students on Saturday. The organization hosted young college women and recent graduates, as well as numerous visitors.
NeW is dedicated to promoting conservative women on college campuses and providing them an outlet to express and to promote their views in light of their overwhelming liberal counterparts. NeW works with chapters on campuses all over the nation, and chapter leaders and other student representatives were in attendance at the conference.
"One of the things NeW prides itself on is encouraging intellectual diversity on campus," Karin Agness, founder and president of NeW, said. "We resonate with what a lot of women think on college campuses."
The conference's keynote speaker was Townhall's own Katie Pavlich, who spoke about the left's war on women in light of her upcoming book, Assault and Flattery: The Truth About The Left And Their War On Women.
"As a young female, I am sick and tired of being defined by the pills I take," Pavlich said in her keynote speech.
Pavlich described a conference she attended with the National Organization for Women (NOW) to see radical feminists' work in practice. She was astounded to find that the group was selling blatant communist and socialist materials at its gathering.
"The left is dependent on ignorance and to push their own goals and promote their agenda," she said.
Pavlich also discussed how common female role models touted by the left aren't as pro-women as they seem. For example, Hillary Clinton's defense of a child rapist and her comments that the victim was possibly "romanticizing a sexual experience" do not exactly portray her with women's best interests at heart.
Friday's panels featured accomplished women including Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, Sabrina Schaeffer, the executive director of the Independent Women's Forum, and April Ponnuru, the policy director of the YG Network. The various panelists tackled issues such as the truth behind the so-called wage gap, balancing career and family life, and positive communication tactics for articulating conservative feminist ideas with liberals.
Conservative feminists are a growing force on college campuses, and NeW is certainly doing its part to provide a haven for young women who feel smothered or alone at their higher institutions which mainly espouse radical feminism and a victim mentality. It's refreshing to see so many young women brave enough to proudly promote their NeW chapter on their campuses and to actively articulate their beliefs. Young women need to remember that they are not victims- any hardworking woman has the ability in our time to achieve the same goals as men. NeW does a great job of encouraging women to make smart choices for their families, their careers, and themselves.
Editor's note: This post has been updated with the correct title of Katie Pavlich's upcoming book, Assault and Flattery: The Truth About The Left And Their War On Women.
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.