Sunday, February 14, 2016
Multiculturalist is a biter
A world-renowned knee surgeon who worked with some of the world's top sports stars has been convicted of biting his secretary on the arm so hard he left a vivid bruise.
David Johnson, 57, who has treated Premier League footballers and Wimbledon champions, bit his secretary of five years Krysha James as they did paperwork together.
The private orthopaedic surgeon has been found guilty of assault by beating and branded 'arrogant' at Bristol Magistrates' Court.
Johnson told the court he had been reading a report at his desk when Ms James leant across him with her left arm without warning, to pick up a piece of paper.
'I took that as playful banter, horseplay, I didn't see it as malicious or designed to hurt me but it was physical contact,' he said.
'I nudged, pecked or kissed with my lips the shoulder as it sat under my chin, just to say, "I can't work in this position". 'There was no harm, there could not have been any harm.'
But Ms James told the court she felt his teeth sinking into her upper arm and claimed the injury remained painful for up to 10 days.
'I don't know why he did it. There was no horseplay previous to that,' Ms James wept as she told the court. 'We hadn't had an argument so there was no aggression. It just came out of the blue.'
The court previously heard that Johnson arrived at work to find mother-of-two Ms James speaking to her husband on the telephone about their joint aerial-fitting business.
He 'appeared to react adversely' to the conversation, prodding her in the back with a folder and joking that she was 'working for other people', the trial heard.
Father-of-two Johnson then wheeled his chair across the Portakabin office in the car park of the private hospital so he could sign medical records on her desk.
As she leant over him to pick up a pile of headed paper, he sank his teeth into her left arm just above the elbow 'out of the blue'.
The trial heard that Johnson's bite was so forceful and prolonged that Ms James who was wearing a short-sleeved jumper at the time, was left with painful red marks.
The secretary said she swore at him, saying: 'You bloody b****. You bit me. You don't ever bite me. My kids don't bite and my dogs don't bite.''
He responded, 'Oh, sorry, did that hurt?', as though shocked that it hurt, before trying to rub her arm better.
He then rushed off to a clinic elsewhere and she told hospital colleagues, who examined the marks.
Ms James reported the 'completely unprovoked' assault, which took place just after 8.30am on September 2 last year, when she went into work the following day.
Single Johnson, of Sneyd Park, Bristol, was then suspended from his role at the Spire Bristol Hospital.
The father-of-two, who has lost more than £100,000 in financial earnings since the incident, said he was in 'total shock' when he heard of her complaint.
District Judge Lynne Matthews, who ordered Johnson to pay £2,100, found him guilty following a two-day trial.
She said: 'Mr Johnson had been a friend to her for years, but what he did that day clearly upset and hurt her.
'Other members of staff spoke of her distress. Might it be the case that Miss James was operating a deceit? No, I am sure that she was not.
'The account given by Mr Johnson does not withstand close scrutiny. He noted that Miss James was upset on September 2 after he 'nudged, pecked or kissed' her arm.
'These were two friends who had worked together for years quite contentedly. How would such an action have caused upset?'
'Mr Johnson intentionally bit his secretary. He understands the consequences of such an action; it does not need a medic to appreciate the obvious.
'He did not intend to cause her serious injury, not did he. He rebuked her for putting her arm across him as she reached for paper.
'The rebuke was short in duration, but, as the expert told me, more than a 'momentary nip'. It was not accidental.'
The judge added: 'Your assault of her was not borne of malice but arrogance that you could treat your secretary in this way.'
Johnson, who was accompanied to court by an unidentified woman, remained expressionless as the verdict was given.
Trump and the Culture of Political Correctness
Why would the much-married Donald Trump, billionaire, self-promoter, real-estate developer, and leading figure in the world of flashy entertainment, a man who until recently apparently accepted the views of his class on hot-button political and social issues, suddenly become the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination?
The man’s been successful in a variety of very competitive pursuits, so he’s no dummy. He’s put together large projects in New York City, so he knows something about practical politics and dealing effectively with complex situations in ways that bring difficult people together. And he obviously knows how to get and use publicity, a crucial skill in an age in which spin and image swamp achievement and reputation.
But all that is not enough to explain his sudden rise. The missing piece of the puzzle is the artificiality of public life in the United States. In a land of chain stores, internet memes, pop-culture formulas, and endless consultants, Trump has his own highly charged way of communicating. Whatever the topic, he attracts notice when he speaks.
He’s a successful entrepreneur with a brand he’s created for himself without the aid of pollsters, focus groups, or handlers. As such, his words and actions are of course designed for effect—he’s a pro-wrestling version of a politician rather than an Andrew Jackson or a Mr. Smith trying to go to Washington—but his calculations are his own. They reflect intuition and long experience rather than the advice of consultants, and he’s willing to provoke outrage. So the effect is wholly different from that of another candidate repeating commercially prepared talking points.
The apparent proof of his straight talk and independence is his manner—his New York accent, his frequent crudeness, his insults, his willingness to boast about crass things like money, his comments that strike respectable opinion as scandalous, and his refusal to apologize for any of it in the face of organized outrage and financial penalties.
So he’s not for sale, part of the club, or susceptible to pressure, and today that counts for everything. To put it differently, he seems his own man, and he’s not politically correct. That matters, not just as a selling point, but substantively, because p.c. is a serious matter. At first people thought it a joke, then an annoyance, and eventually a constant drag on life in general. Now, in the age of flash mobs that enforce insane beliefs by destroying careers, people are realizing that p.c. is much more than that.
In fact, political correctness is a genuine threat to any tolerable way of life. It’s part of an attempt to recreate all social life as an artificial world, an infinitely sensitive environment in which there are no losers and no personal distinctions or differences of power that matter. The idea is fantasy, of course, but its absurdity hides something all too real: an attempt to replace politics by an administrative structure supposedly manned by infinitely capable and well-informed functionaries able to force reality to conform to the evolving open-ended demands of liberal theory.
In other words, p.c. is Totalitarianism 2.0: a bureaucratic system, seemingly gentle, that possesses unlimited power over human attitudes, understandings, and relations, and feels called upon to use that power to construct a self-contradictory system of equal freedom and esteem. The attempt will fail, just as Bolshevism and Maoism failed, but it will do immense damage before it is given up.
One aspect of that attempt, which is responsible for much of Trump’s popularity, is a radical reduction in popular influence on government. If popular habits and understandings need constant transformation in ever more basic ways, because they always fall short of evolving standards of decency, they obviously shouldn’t guide public policy. That is for those who know better.
Political correctness itself, with its celebration of diversity and suppression of traditional distinctions, advances the cause in a fundamental way by suppressing social connections—family, inherited culture, religion—except for the bureaucratic and market arrangements through which the intended system would function. Those older arrangements are considered irrational, unequal, and uncontrollable, and they act as if they have the right to decide things, so why allow them any legitimacy? Why not get rid of them by multiplying incompatible versions of each and insisting they all have equal status?
What remains after all other institutions of social functioning are suppressed is the power of money, propaganda, and the administrative state. So it’s not surprising that p.c. has the support of those in charge of those spheres of power: lawyers and officials, who run the new regime most directly; academics, educators, journalists, and other producers and disseminators of certified expertise and opinion, who determine the facts and principles guiding decisions; and large business and financial interests, who organize production and distribution, and correctly view the new order, which tends toward comprehensive organization and excludes popular views from serious consideration, as a natural home for crony capitalism.
Political correctness further serves today’s dominant powers by making it impossible to resist or even discuss what’s going on. The project of social transformation of which it is a part means that a vote with regard to serious matters can take effect only if it favors outcomes that are already decided in other ways. (Hence recent Supreme Court decisions on “gay marriage,” and the conduct of the European Union when it loses a referendum or runs into other forms of popular opposition.) It tells people that in order to say anything that touches on their rulers’ social projects they must buy into them and possess the training and up-to-date knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of what can and can’t be said. Otherwise, they can be shut up, made the object of public hatred and scorn, and driven from their jobs and social positions.
In principle p.c. should be vulnerable. Its claim that we’re all equal because human differences are socially constructed is crazy, but its proponents largely believe in it, so they lose touch with reality and start doing odd things. The results include female Army Rangers, insistence that white violence is a major threat to black well-being, and—most importantly from a long-term standpoint—effectively open borders with the Third World.
A ruling class that loses its grip on reality is going to have problems, and so is the society it governs. So the people have an obvious interest in restraining rulers who start acting destructively, and letting them do so is a basic function of popular participation in government. Nonetheless, that function now seems out of reach. Public life has largely been nationalized and internationalized, and discussion has—in spite of sniping and occasional guerilla attacks—been captured and pacified by mainstream scholars, pundits, and journalists. In a mass society with ever weaker family, religious, and communal ties, the educated and ambitious care only for career, so they get along by going along. To do so they have developed the habit of ignoring or denying inconvenient aspects of reality, and they have made that habit a marker of social class and political and moral decency: If you lack it, you’re not the sort of person who should be listened to.
Domination of public life by p.c. elites has thus made it impossible for ordinary people to assert their complaints publicly in an acceptable way, so their objections can easily be shrugged off as the outbursts of ignorant bigots who will, in any event, soon become demographically irrelevant.
The approach has worked, but it exacerbates people’s sense that something is being put over on them, that they are being deprived of the world that was theirs by those who hold them in contempt and wish them no good. The result is that the people would very much like to have a champion willing to make their cause his own. The champion doesn’t have to be particularly noble, thoughtful, or good; he just has to put a few of their more obvious points forward in a way that can’t be ignored.
For the effort to make headway against the stories our rulers force-feed us, it has to be outside the script of our public life, but immediately comprehensible to a public educated by pop culture. And it has to be pushed forward by someone who can’t be shut up, and somehow occupies a bully pulpit that can’t be taken away from him. Basically, that means the champion has to be Donald Trump. He’s never been taken very seriously, but that only adds to his ability to say what he wants and to stretch the truth in support of the story he’s telling, and also makes it difficult for respectable people to respond to him effectively. And in any case, he has the incontrovertible authority that comes with loads of money and success in bringing off impressive projects. The effect of it all is that he can’t be ignored, shut up, or bought off, and if he insists that something is an issue that obviously should be an issue—like immigration or trade policy—he can’t be ignored. Those advantages may be enough to send him to the White House—especially in a country that chose Barack Obama, another man with a large ego backed by a compelling myth, but with far fewer accomplishments.
The alternative Trump offers to the unreal world of respectable public discussion is also, of course, unreal, but less so than the official version of reality. Like beauty pageants, reality TV shows, and pro wrestling, not to mention the long-running spectacle of his business and private affairs, it brings in aspects of reality that political correctness excludes: power, passion, loyalty, competition, confrontation, maneuvering, double-dealing, and the struggle for superiority. It even brings in sex and ethnic stereotypes: What would beauty contests and pro wrestling be without them, or Trump’s candidacy without crude comments about celebrity women, illegal immigrants, and others who are too often protected from criticism because of who they are?
Trump’s been called a clown by those who guard the purity of our political culture. The name-calling is silly in a country in which respectable opinion insists that two grooms make a wedding, and an organization that tears living babies apart and sells the pieces is a model of honor and public spirit. They may paint Trump as a court jester who would be king. But who wouldn’t root for the court jester—at least a little—in a world of supple place-seeking courtiers?
Department of Justice expected to announce civil rights suit against Ferguson
Because the city could not afford what the DoJ demanded. Putting your hand in someone else's pocket is iconic Leftism but trying to impose big tax rises on a poor city was simply vindictive
Just two weeks after it appeared that Ferguson, Missouri, was ready to overhaul its beleaguered criminal justice system and address allegations of widespread civil rights abuse, city leaders reversed course and all but dared the Obama administration to sue them.
By Wednesday morning, the Justice Department was preparing to do just that, setting up a court fight over excessive policing in a city that came to symbolize it. Vanita Gupta, the acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, said the department “will take the necessary legal actions to ensure that Ferguson’s policing and court practices comply with the Constitution and relevant federal laws.”
By rejecting the terms of a carefully negotiated settlement in a 6-0 vote, the Ferguson City Council made a risky gamble. Local officials, who worried about the cost of that deal, now face the prospect of a lawsuit that could cost millions in legal fees even if they prevail.
Under President Barack Obama, the Justice Department has opened more investigations into patterns of police abuse than it has under any previous administration. No case has been more closely watched than Ferguson, where the 2014 police shooting of an 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown, set off nationwide protests and attracted the scrutiny of the federal authorities.
The result of that investigation was a scathing Justice Department report, which concluded last year that Ferguson’s criminal justice system was broken at every level. It said police officers used excessive force almost exclusively against African-Americans and did not know the basic standard for making an arrest. Investigators concluded that the city’s Police Department and court operated not as independent bodies but as a moneymaking venture to pad Ferguson’s budget.
After months of negotiating with the Obama administration, city officials tentatively agreed last month on a deal that would have avoided a lawsuit. They agreed that police officers would not make arrests without probable cause, shoot at moving cars or use stun guns as punishment.
The agreement demanded that the municipal court be independent of the Police Department, and called for the repeal of some laws, like a vague jaywalking ordinance that was used almost exclusively against black residents.
It was an expensive deal. It called for Ferguson to pay for an independent monitor, provide new training and give raises to police officers in order to attract qualified applicants. Ferguson has been running an operating deficit of about $2.5 million since the unrest of a year and a half ago, but Mayor James Knowles III said he was optimistic that he had the votes in the City Council to approve the agreement.
But at a crowded public hearing on Tuesday, things fell apart. Council members and some residents said they could not afford the cost, which could require a tax increase. The city said that giving pay raises to police officers could prompt similar raises for other municipal employees.
Most of the public comments encouraged council members to approve the deal, even if it required tax increases to pay for it.
“A lot of our residents know the situation we’re in and still want the city to sign the consent decree so we can move our city forward, so we can roll up our sleeves and get to work,” said Mildred Clines, a Ferguson resident.
With senior Justice Department officials watching from Washington on a video feed, the council voted to reject the deal as written and send it back with changes. Members of the council proposed eliminating the pay raises and, most significantly, striking a provision that would require the city to abide by the deal even if it dissolved the Police Department and turned police duties over to an outside agency.
“This is a way to meet the demands of the DOJ, make progress with reform and keep lights on in the city,” Councilman Wesley Bell said after the vote.
The Justice Department had made it clear that since city negotiators had already agreed on the terms, anything short of a vote for approval would result in a lawsuit. Dan Webb, the city’s lawyer, said this week that if the deal were rejected, there was “no chance the DOJ will not file a lawsuit.”
Fighting the Justice Department is expensive, which is why it is also rare. In 2012, the Justice Department sued Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, over allegations of discrimination against Latino immigrants. Like Ferguson, the county rejected settlement deals and fought the case in court, ringing up about $5 million in legal fees. Three years later, Maricopa County agreed to settle the case.
Ferguson leaders said they had already begun making changes to the city’s police and court procedures. Knowles, for instance, has taken steps to form a civilian oversight panel to review allegations of police abuse. And officials said they would continue making changes, court case or not.
“We don’t feel that we need an agreement to start making reforms and moving forward,” Bell said. “If there’s this lawsuit, that’s not going to stop us from moving forward with these reforms.”
Australia: Kevin Rudd backtracks
When he was looking for votes from Australians he denied that Australians were racist. Now that he is out of politics, he reverts to the old Leftist standby of calling any non-Leftist racist. It is such a standby that it should be totally ignored. Many minorities -- Italians, Greeks,Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Jews etc -- do very well in Australia so what racism there is is obviously minor. A few jerks can be ignored
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says claims that the booing of ex-Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes had nothing to do with his Aboriginality, are "100 per cent bullshit".
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd says it is "100 per cent bullshit" that the booing of ex-Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes had nothing to do with his Aboriginality, in a speech that called on Australians to name and shame racism.
Speaking on the eighth anniversary of his apology to the stolen generations, Mr Rudd said that he was perhaps naive when he said five years ago that he did not believe that racism was at work in Australia.
"Perhaps [I was] just wishing that the better angels of our nature had begun to prevail in a newly reconciled Australia," he said. "Or perhaps I was just plain wrong."
But at a breakfast gathering of Indigenous and political leaders at the NSW Parliament on Friday, Mr Rudd cited examples of what an Indigenous friend had recently described as the "low, steady hum of racism" in Australia.
These included stories of a black, but not Indigenous, Australian who left a job because "he just couldn't put up with it any more, being called a 'monkey' by one of his co-workers", and an elderly Aboriginal couple who were refused service in a country cafe.
Adam Goodes' quiet goodbye was typical of the type of person he is. "Adam said that's enough," coach John Longmire said.
Adam Goodes has been a vocal critic of racism in Australia. Photo: Getty Images
"To me this story sounded more like one from the Birmingham, Alabama, of the 1960s rather than regional Australia half a century later," he said.
Mr Rudd said that, when he spoke out last year about the treatment of Goodes, "People screamed back that it wasn't because Adam was Aboriginal. It was just that they disliked his behaviour as a footballer.
"I'm not exactly a connoisseur of the finer points of the game," Mr Rudd continued. "But I think the claim that this was to do with Adam Goodes as a sportsman and not to do with his Aboriginal identity, I think that claim is 100 per cent bullshit."
Mr Rudd said there was another side to Australia, as experienced by many in the community, that is "more confronting than we white folks are ready for".
"I don't believe this racism represents the mainstream of our society," he said. "But it would be wrong to conclude that we don't have a problem."
Even if it is expressed by a small minority, racist words "still carry a great weight, because they are powered by the force of history".
"It's like a cancer that eats away at the fabric of our society - the fabric that binds us together as a wider Australian family," he said.
"The next time any of us see or hear racist behaviour, don't be silent. Call it out for what it is. Name it. Shame it. For racism in any form has no place in the Australia of the 21st century."
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.