Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Some insane gaming
An email from Pierre Savoie Below
I have a tip for you if you like to cover insane Political Correctness.
The EvilHat game company is a small publisher mainly known for the Fate Core tabletop roleplaying game, which has nowhere near the numbers of fans of Dungeons & Dragons.
They published a booklet, a game setting called “Deep Dark Blue” which is set in the near-future and deep under the oceans. However, they included elements with a Politically Correct agenda:
--they made one use of the pronoun “xe” (pronounced zee) which most spell-checkers don’t recognize (or confuse with the element xenon), but if you look online it is meant to be a “gender indeterminate pronoun” such as for transsexuals. There is no universally agreed upon system for gender-indeterminate pronouns.
--they offered a set of sample character usable in the setting, including a female crew-member IN A WHEELCHAIR!
When I pointed out on the Fate Core Google+ Community forum that it was implausible that there could be anyone in a wheelchair in the cramped confines of a submarine, the head of the company fired a message back calling me a “privileged Able White Male”. He also objected to my use of the word “retarded”. EvilHat believes it has a crusade to change gamer attitudes and control speech. But “retarded” is used as official government language in countries like India with a billion people, and is more legitimate than “xe”.
However, for trying to use reason, he banned me from the forum for 30 days! I have screen-captures of the forum messages before the message-thread was deleted from the forum, and his smarmy pinned message as a result, as well as a screen-capture of the incredible artwork of a crewmember in a wheelchair presumably dealing with cramped conditions and getting her wheelchair through circular hatchways and such.
I also remarked that, if his goal had really been “inclusiveness”, why didn’t he portray some firefighters in a wheelchair in the setting called “Fight Fire” (part of a collection called Fate Worlds Volume 1)? Because that would be insane, that’s why! Later, it occurred to me that in the future they might give the handicapped powered legs to make them as able as anyone else (this was actually portrayed with actor Ricardo Montalban in the movie SPY KIDS 3: GAME OVER, where we expect him to stay in his wheelchair, but he walks out of it! But the Politically Correct aren’t interested in solving problems, they want to PERPETUATE problems, and keep people into different groups, divided and requiring expensive accommodation and catering.
I have screen captures of the deleted message-thread if you are interested.
The British were imperialist brutes? No, Britain made India great (says an Indian!)
Before you read this review, it's important that we get a couple of things straight. The first is that Kartar Lalvani is himself Indian. The second is that, as far as I can tell, he is not mad.
The reason both these things are so important is that for more than half a century scarcely anybody - let alone an Indian - has dared suggest that British rule in India was anything other than an utter disaster.
In his preface, Lalvani notes sadly that he's been living in England for more than 50 years and in that time 'I have not encountered a single native Brit who has stated any form of belief that the British benefited India'.
Received wisdom - carefully nurtured by generations of Lefty academics - holds that Britain, the wicked colonial oppressor, sucked the wealth out of India, crushing the poor Indians under their boot heels at the same time.
As the founder of Vitabiotics, 'Britain's most successful vitamin company', Dr Lalvani is presumably a very busy man.
Yet he feels so strongly that British rule in India has been unfairly vilified that he's produced a scrupulously researched examination of its achievements.
One of the main charges against the British is that they looted India of many of its assets.
Nonsense, insists Lalvani. If anyone looted India, it was the Persians - by the time the British arrived, the country's coffers were almost empty.
But surely India has always been dogged by the most appalling poverty? Isn't that also a legacy of British rule? Not according to Lalvani. As he points out, it's now almost 70 years since the British left India and the poverty is almost as bad as it's ever been.
If there is a villain to be fingered here - someone responsible for keeping India bumping along the bottom - it's not a representative of British rule. Instead, we should be pointing accusingly at none other than Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister who is generally reckoned to be the father of the nation.
It was Nehru who cravenly sucked up to Stalin - a far greater brute than any Brit. 'As a result, India's pace of industrial growth was seriously stunted, depriving the country of precious financial development funds from the U.S. and European nations.'
Lalvani is only limbering up, though. It isn't until he gets into what the British did for India's infrastructure that he really hits his stride.
Not only did the British give India a legal system, an efficient police force, an apolitical army and a smooth running - if astonishingly bureaucratic - civil service, but just look at the concrete benefits they provided.
Let's start with roads. In 1836, work began to construct a highway between Calcutta and Lahore - that's 1,423 miles. When it was finally completed almost 30 years later 'wheeled carriages could roll across the land' for the first time.
Not only that, trees had been planted every 60 ft along the way 'to provide beautification and much-needed shade to travellers'.
And then, of course, there were the railways. In a section entitled Awe-Inspiring Railways Statistics, Lalvani lists how India's railway network came to cover the map. He's right; the statistics really are awe-inspiring.
In 1853, there were a mere 21 miles of railway in India. Ten years later, there were 2,512. Jump forward 20 years, and that figure has gone up to 10,000 miles, and another 20 years later to 26,378.
The British built more railways in India than America, France, Germany and other European colonialists built in all their colonies. And in order to do so, they had to build bridges - lots and lots of bridges. At this point it's worth recalling Franklin D. Roosevelt's quote: 'There can be little doubt that in many ways the story of bridge building is the story of civilisation. 'By it, we can readily measure a people's progress.'
In fact, the British had been building bridges in India long before the railways came along. In 1811, the first iron bridge in British India was built across the Gomti River at Lucknow - the design was based on a bridge over the River Wear in Sunderland. When it was shipped to India, it became the largest single structure ever exported from Britain. It consisting of 2,627 pieces, of which just 19 arrived broken.
To build the Simla railway that led from the plains up to the cooler hill country, the track had to climb almost 500 ft - requiring the construction of 103 tunnels. And this for a railway that was a mere 60 miles long.
In the late 1700s, the British decided to construct a mint in Calcutta. Behind a colonnaded facade inspired by the Temple of Minerva in Athens, steam-driven machines stamped out 200,000 coins every eight hours.
A few years later they built another equally grand mint in Bombay. When an Indian engineer at the Bombay mint came to London in the 1840s, he took one look at the Royal Mint and pronounced it to be 'much inferior'.
Inevitably, a history like this is going to be on the selective side. For instance, there's barely any mention of a thoroughly discreditable episode such as the opium trade, while the Indian Mutiny also passes in a convenient blur. But even so, it's still hard - indeed almost impossible - not to be struck by how much the British sought to improve India.
Of course, their ideas of what constituted improvements were very British ones, yet many of the institutions they introduced are still functioning pretty well today.
And when the time eventually came for the British to leave India in 1947, power was relinquished with 'for the most part good grace and mutual respect' - unlike a lot of other countries one could mention.
After reading a book as bracingly controversial as this, you may find yourself in need of some refreshment - a cup of tea, perhaps. As you are waiting for the kettle to boil, you could reflect on how it was the British who introduced tea to India, turning the country into the biggest tea producer in the world in little more than a century.
And from there you might go on to chalk up a few other achievements: the introduction of coffee, sugar, fresh drinking water, public toilets...
Doubtless there will be those who dismiss Dr Lalvani as the worst kind of imperialist lackey. But I defy anyone with a modicum of open-mindedness not to read The Making Of India and concede, however grudgingly, that he just might have a point.
Church of England 'wrong to smear sex abuse bishop'
Group of lawyers, politicians and church leaders say allegation 'cannot be upheld' and question why he was named. Former Bishop of Chichester George Bell labelled a paedophile last year
A high-powered group of lawyers, politicians and police officers yesterday accused the Church of England of smearing one of its own heroes.
They declared that an allegation that former Bishop of Chichester George Bell was a child abuser ‘cannot be upheld’ and called for an inquiry into how the CofE came to make it.
The protest, by well-placed figures including Anglican Labour MP Frank Field, leading lawyer Desmond Browne QC, and former police chief Lord Geoffrey Dear, threw the Church into a fresh difficulty over its handling of sex abuse allegations.
Last week the Church declared that a number of senior Anglican figures had failed to act on allegations of historic sex abuse of a teenager by a paedophile priest. It declined, however, to publish the report.
The scandal over Bishop Bell broke out last autumn, when the cleric, who died in 1958, was labelled a paedophile who had sexually abused a child.
A statement from the Church said experts had drawn up an independent report which had found there was no reason to doubt the truth of the complaints of a woman who said she was abused by the Bishop in his kitchen in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The woman, known only as Carol, was paid £15,000 compensation. She has since given a series of broadcast interviews about the alleged abuse.
The report was not published and the experts were not named.
As a result schools and buildings named after Bell had references to him removed and there are moves to take down a memorial plaque in Chichester cathedral.
Bell’s memory is revered because he organised resistance to the Nazis from 1932 onwards, welcomed German refugees to Britain, and during the war made an enemy of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Bell spoke out early against the British area bombing of German cities and met with German pastors opposed to Hitler to try to secure a promise from Britain that peace would be made with Germany if Hitler was assassinated.
His opposition to the government is thought to have cost him the chance of becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.
The George Bell Group statement yesterday said that Bell was a figure with a ‘saintly’ reputation who had no-one to defend him. They demanded the Church publish its investigation into Bell and the allegations with redactions to protect the identity of his accuser.
They said no-one else has made any allegations against Bell since the Church called him a paedophile last October.
The Group said: ‘The public has been consistently assured that the process by which the Church of England reached a view on Bishop Bell was "thorough" and "objective", and that it commissioned "experts" whose "independent reports" found ‘no reason to doubt the veracity of the claims’ of sexual abuse made by the complainant.
‘However, although the nature of this process has never been publicly disclosed, we have discovered enough to establish its severe limitations which render it quite inadequate as a basis for assessing the probability of Bishop Bell’s guilt. The scope of the independent experts’ inquiries was limited to a degree that made a proper analysis of the complainant’s allegations virtually impossible.
The Group called for an investigation of the way the Church came to denigrate Bishop Bell, and added: ‘On moral, pastoral and legal grounds the authorities of the Church of England clearly owe an apology, principally to the living relatives of Bishop Bell, and also to many people across the churches who have honoured his memory. ‘
It also called for Bishop Bell’s name to be restored to buildings and schools from which it has been removed since last autumn.
A Church of England spokesman said: ‘The decision to settle the civil claim relating to the activities of Bishop Bell and make a formal apology was not taken lightly or without consideration of the impact on the reputation of George Bell.
‘However in this case, as in others, the overriding goal was to search out the truth and issues of reputation cannot take priority over that. Any suggestion that the reputation of the Church, or its ministers, should take precedence over the search for the truth is fundamentally misplaced.’
Troops at Ft. Gordon Subjected to Unauthorized Lecture on ‘White Privilege’
Troops stationed at Ford Gordon, Georgia were subjected to an unauthorized lecture on “white privilege” during an Equal Opportunity briefing last year, according to a PowerPoint presentation the Army released last month to Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The PowerPoint presentation, which was shown to 400 members of the 67th Signal Battalion on April 2, 2015, defined privilege as “an unearned advantage,” and stated: “Our society attaches privilege to being white and male and heterosexual regardless of your social class.”
“Privilege exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do,” the briefing continued.
“Privilege grants the cultural authority to make judgments about others and to have those judgments stick….Privilege means being able to decide who gets taken seriously, receives attention, etc ….
“Privilege is always at someone else’s expense and always exacts a cost… however passive and unconscious, [it] results in suffering and deprivation for someone.”
Under a slide entitled “The luxury of obliviousness,” troops were told that “race privilege gives whites little reason to pay a lot of attention to African Americans or to how white privilege affects them. ‘To be white in America means not having to think about it.’”
“The trouble we’re in can’t be solved unless the ‘privileged’ make the problem of privilege their problem and do something about it,” the slideshow concluded, urging soldiers to “reclaim” words such as “racist”, “patriarchy”, “oppression and dominance”, and “feminism”… “so that we can use them to name and make sense of the truth of what’s going on.”
“We certainly found it shocking,” Judicial Watch attorney William Marshall told CNSNews.com. “We’re always on the lookout for any indoctrination material provided to our military personnel. In my view, this is a pretty radical way of looking at race relations.”
In response to an inquiry by CNSNews.com, an Army spokeswoman said that “the slides presented were not authorized. "The information on the slide presentation was not a part of the original training material distributed to all battalion Equal Opportunity Leaders from the brigade's Equal Opportunity Advisor.
“The presentation shown was altered by the instructor and was not then, nor was it ever a presentation that the Army approved,” Capt. Lindsay Roman, public affairs officer of the 35th Signal Brigade, told CNSNews.com in an email.
She added that the brigade “supports the right of every Soldier, civilian employee and family member to file an Equal Opportunity complaint when experiencing or witnessing unfair treatment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation and/or national origin.”
When CNSNews.com asked Roman if the instructor had been disciplined for altering the original training material, she replied: “The brigade leadership determined that re-training was the most appropriate course of action, and the instructor received a 40-hour block of instruction.”
“The United States military is in the midst of the longest period of sustained combat in our nation’s history,” Judicial Watch said in a press release.
“It is beyond belief that our military personnel would be required to sit through a left-wing effort at PC brainwashing as the price for defending our country.”
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.