Friday, September 04, 2015
A disgusting far-Leftist in Britain
War hero Weston, injured in the Falklands conflict
A Guardian contributer, Richard Seymour, has sparked outrage today after dismissing a British war hero’s comments on the Falklands Islands, in which he attacked Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn for planning to “surrender” to Argentine demands. Seymour slammed war veteran Simon Weston on Facebook, claiming, “If he knew anything, he’s still have his face”. Weston was horrifically burned in the Argentine attack on the RFA Sir Galahad in 1982.
Seymour, who is the author of the Lenin’s Tomb blog was responding to the article published by the Telegraph, posted by a Facebook friend of his. In the article, Weston noted of Mr Corbyn’s plans:
“It is a repugnant idea. I don’t see why it should happen given that the Argentines never had the islands. They have no right to them.
“It could cause civil war again by emboldening the Argentinians. It frightens me enormously because he claims to be such a supporter of democratic freedoms while what he is suggesting throwing the Falkland islanders right to democracy out.
“I don’t ever see him winning an election because his policies and his attitudes just won’t wash with the British public.”
Seymour didn’t quite see it that way. But instead of responding to Mr Weston’s points, he wrote beneath the article: “Seriously, who gives a shit what Simon Weston thinks about anything? If he knew anything he’d still have his face.”
The Guido Fawkes blog notes that while Seymour was a fortnightly contributor to the Guardian, he claims to have only had a freelance contract for three years. His latest article for the paper was published in December 2014.
Mr Weston suffered 46 per cent burns while fighting for his country during the Falklands War. He recalls his memories immediately after the Sir Galahad was bombed: “My first encounter with a really low point was when they wheeled me into the transit hospital at RAF Lyneham and I passed my mother in the corridor and she said to my gran, “Oh mam, look at that poor boy” and I cried out “Mam, it’s me!” As she recognised my voice her face turned to stone.”
Mr Seymour seemed unapologetic for his comments on Twitter, responding to critics simply with the fact that he opposed the Falklands War. “Why would I want to go and fight for an empire I don’t believe in? What would be remotely heroic about that? It’d be stupid.” he said.
Seymour has appeared on the Iranian state broadcaster Press TV on George Galloway’s television programme.
Kentucky Clerk Not Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses Causes Uproar
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling redefining marriage throughout the country, there’s an open question as to what happens to people who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife.
[Monday] the Supreme Court declined to review a lower court’s ruling requiring the county clerk of Rowan County, Ky., to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.
Kim Davis, the clerk for Rowan County, has a sincere religious belief that marriage is the union of husband and wife, and says she cannot in good faith issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. As a result she stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples (both same-sex and opposite-sex) after the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling in June.
In this way she thought she would avoid the charge of discrimination.
She also wouldn’t allow any other clerks in her office to issue marriage licenses. The result: no one could get a license in Rowan County.
This created a problem. The citizens of Rowan County have a right to receive in a timely and efficient manner the various government provisions — including licenses — to which they are entitled.
At the same time, the employees of Rowan County (including civil servants) have rights, including religious liberty rights, and they are entitled to religious accommodations. But a religious accommodation, like religious liberty in general, is not absolute.
The law requires a reasonable accommodation that does not place undue hardships on the employer — in this case the government. Saying your religion requires your entire office to stop issuing marriage licenses to everyone, while perhaps a sincere belief, cannot be reasonably accommodated without placing undue hardships on the citizens unable to receive their licenses in their county and forced to drive to another.
That the clerk in Rowan County couldn’t be accommodated does not mean that no clerk should ever be accommodated. Unfortunately, some activists on the left think all wedding professionals and civil servants should be forced to violate their beliefs about marriage or find a new line of work.
There’s a better way.
As I explain in my new book, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” there are ways in which public policy can create a win-win situation: where all eligible couples can receive a license and where as many employees as possible can be accommodated.
North Carolina provides a great example. The state legislature earlier this year passed a law that protects magistrates who object to performing solemnizing ceremonies for same-sex marriages and clerks who object to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. It also makes clear that no one can be denied a marriage license, but magistrates or clerks could recuse themselves from the process behind the scenes should they have sincere objections to same-sex marriage.
Again, it’s a win-win for everyone. No one loses anything.
It’s not just the North Carolina law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires the government to accommodate conscientious objectors as best it can. Title VII applies to all employers, including the government, and requires that employers grant reasonable religious accommodations to employees, provided those accommodations don’t create an undue hardship for the employer.
Professor Robin F. Wilson of the University of Illinois Law School writes, “A common refrain is that religious objectors in government service should do all of their job or resign. This stance conflates the public receipt of a service offered by the state with the receipt of that service from each and every employee in the office who is available to do it.” In other words, as Wilson says, citizens have a claim to receive certain “services from the state, but they do not necessarily have a claim to receive the service from a particular public servant.”
Religious objection is not a trump card, but employees' religious objections should be accommodated when possible.
The Rowan County clerk’s demand couldn’t be accommodated. But North Carolina provides a great model for achieving peaceful coexistence going forward.
Polygamists Trying To Gain Legal Recognition After Gay Marriage Ruling
The slippery slope is real... Bestiality next?
A polygamous family says the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage shows that laws restricting consensual adult relationships are outdated, even if certain unions are unpopular.
Kody Brown and his four wives argue in court documents that their reality TV show "Sister Wives" shows polygamous marriages can be as healthy as monogamous ones.
"The Browns were investigated and no crimes or harm was found in their plural family," attorney Jonathan Turley wrote in court documents filed Wednesday in front of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. He has said the family is prepared to take the legal fight to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.
The Browns are defending a legal victory they won in 2013, when a federal judge struck down key parts of Utah's law banning polygamy. Advocacy groups for polygamy and individual liberties called the ruling a significant decision that removed the threat of arrest for the state's plural families.
Soldiers of The Empire of Offence laying free speech to waste
As of this week, Coles supermarkets across Australia will no longer sell Zoo Weekly, the silly, saucy mag for teenage lads. This decision follows months of campaigning by anti-porn outfit Collective Shout, which says Zoo Weekly is “highly offensive”.
Also this week, loudmouth Labor leader turned loopy columnist Mark Latham quit his writing gig at The Australian Financial Review over what some describe as his “deeply offensive” views on “feminism and other social issues”.
This follows weeks of heated debate over American rapper Tyler the Creator. He cancelled his Aussie tour following a campaign to keep him out of the country on the basis that his lyrics are “offensive to women”.
Campaigners have been badgering the Immigration Minister to revoke the visa of this “incontrovertibly offensive American”, as The Sydney Morning Herald called him.
It’s official: being offensive is now a risky business in Oz.
Whether you’re a jokey mag for awkward 15-year-olds, a former politician angry about new social movements, or a rapper who loves winding people up, you’re no longer allowed to give offence. Do so, and you could find yourself ejected from polite society, maybe even kept out of the country, as if you were diseased.
To get to Oz, I had to assure your authorities I was free of communicable diseases; perhaps future visa forms will demand to know if I am “incontrovertibly offensive”. “Sorry, mate, you can’t come in: offensive people not allowed.”
Zoo Weekly, Mark Latham and Tyler the Creator share something important in common. None of them committed criminal acts. None incited violence. They merely expressed views that rattled people’s sensibilities. And for that they’ve been harshly rapped on the knuckles.
Australia, it pains me to say, has been recolonised. Not by the Brits but by the Empire of Offence.
Already well-established in Europe, where you can be arrested and even jailed for saying outre things, and spreading like a bossy blob across American campuses, the Empire of Offence is now consuming Oz, too. And for those of us who have always looked lovingly at Australia as a free-speakin’ nation, where everyone has a fair go and the C-word can be a term of endearment, this is really sad. If even Australia can fall to the culture of “You Can’t Say That!”, nowhere is safe.
Across the West, taking offence is all the rage.
Where earlier generations might have said, “I disagree with you, so let’s have it out,” today people are more likely to say: “I am offended by you, so I want you out of my newsagents, off Twitter and as far away from me as it’s possible for you to be put.”
On campuses in Britain and the US, students are setting up “safe spaces” in which offensive words and ideas may not be expressed.
In the US, some of these censorious cocoons, designed to protect students from ever hearing a cross word or strange idea, come complete with colouring books and soothing music — I’m not making this up — to induce a childlike feeling of supreme safety. Safety not from physical assault, but from ideas.
Many students now demand trigger warnings on books that might upset them.
Students at Columbia University in New York want even Ovid’s Metamorphoses to come with a warning because that great poem mentions rape, which some might find offensive.
The kind of warning that was once only issued for television shows with gratuitous violence — “some viewers may find this show upsetting” — is now being stuck on classic works of literature.
In Europe, meanwhile, there are actual laws against offending or insulting certain groups.
In Sweden, a pastor was given a one-month suspended prison sentence for saying, in his own church, that homosexuality is a “tumour” — which is, of course, offensive to gays.
In France, actress turned animal-rights activist Brigitte Bardot has been fined €30,000 ($46,800) for badmouthing the Islamic ritual slaughter of animals, which she considers barbaric.
And we wonder why we’re seeing the rise of nut jobs such as those gunmen who massacred the staff of the offensive magazine Charlie Hebdo. These guys were brought up on a continent where we’re constantly told that feeling offended is the worst thing ever, and we have the right to sue or silence or harass the person or thing that offends us.
The Charlie Hebdo killers are best seen as the armed wing of the Empire of Offence, the horrific logical conclusion to the institution of a new era of speech-punishing inoffensiveness.
And now the Empire of Offence has come to Oz. Sometimes it is enforced formally by laws, such as section 18C, which forbids “offending” groups of people.
And sometimes it’s enforced informally, by Twittermobs or campaign groups keen to shush or even send packing anyone they consider “incontrovertibly offensive”.
But either way, the end result is the same: eccentric individuals are silenced, which is always a bad thing, and the rest of society is infantilised, through being told that some ideas are just too dodgy, weird or outrageous for us to hear, and thus we must have our eyes and ears covered by Those Who Know Better. By the footsoldiers of the Empire of Offence.
Criminalising offensiveness is a really bad idea. Sure, the victims right now may be only people whom many of us agree are annoying. But we must remember that giving offence is often the engine of human progress.
From Copernicus’s then-contrarian insistence that the sun was at the centre of our solar system to suffragettes usurping of the “natural order” with their demand for the right to vote, many of today’s established good ideas started life as outrages against decency or normalcy.
As George Bernard Shaw said, “All great truths begin as blasphemies.”
If we quash offensiveness, and force field our societies against dangerous thinking, then we will create a sad, suffocating, risk-averse intellectual climate in which no great truths or breakthroughs are ever likely to be made.
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.