Monday, June 30, 2003


Kelley L Ross says: "Old Persian, like Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit, had the original Indo-European genders of masculine, feminine, and neuter. By Middle Persian all gender had disappeared. This was not the result of Persian feminist criticism, nor was it the result of the evolution of an equal opportunity society for women. It just happened -- as most kinds of linguistic change do. Modern Persian is a language completely without gender. There are not even different words for "he" and "she," just the unisex un. (There are not even different titles for married and unmarried women: Persian khanum can be translated as "Ms.")

Nevertheless, after some progress under Western influence, the Revolutionary Iran of the Ayatollah Khomeini retreated from the modern world into a vigorous re-establishment of mediaevalism, putting everyone, especially women, back into their traditional places.

So the advice could be: If someone wants "non-sexist language," move to Iran. But that probably would not be quite what they have in mind. Why didn't the "gender free" Persian language create a feminist utopia? This goes to show us that gender in language is completely irrelevant to the sexual openness of society. ..."

A new low in the definition of sexual harassment: Politically-correct public officials in Mexico tried to prosecute a boy aged 4 for rape!

Sunday, June 29, 2003


Maricopa Community College officials are expected to authorize a letter Monday firing Chancellor Fred Gaskin over numerous complaints of offensive behavior, especially towards women.

In particular, the letter will state, there have been complaints that Gaskin routinely demeans women by staring at their bodies.

Paradise Valley Community College sophomore Elba Boe, in a typical comment, said Friday that it happened to her."The way he looks at girls is not the best way," said Boe, 19. "He stares at your chest. He makes you feel dirty."

Monday's letter - which comes just more than a year after the same board gave Gaskin an extremely favorable review - does not end the process.

More here

Advertisements that affront "human dignity" by demeaning women would be prohibited under proposals being drafted by the European Commission. Television programmes would also be censored to ensure there was no promotion of gender stereotypes. The proposals, which need the approval of the college of 20 commissioners before being put forward as a draft law, would force insurance companies to offer the same rates for pension annuities and car insurance regardless of gender, overriding the actuarial data used to calculate risk. Tabloid newspaper "Page Three" pictures would also be threatened. Most forms of gender discrimination - either for or against women - would become illegal, affecting welfare benefits, education and health insurance.

More here

Saturday, June 28, 2003


A Delaware County jury early Thursday awarded a Muncie couple $39 million in damages against Outback Steakhouse.

David and Lisa Markley had filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Muncie restaurant in 1999, 2 years after the couple were severely injured in a car-motorcycle accident on Delaware County Road 500-N. In their suit, the Markleys alleged that William J. Whitaker of Albany became intoxicated at a party celebrating the restaurant's grand opening on July 21, 1997. After leaving the restaurant in his car, Whitaker drove to northeastern Delaware County, where his car crossed the center line on County Road 500-N and collided nearly head-on with a motorcycle operated by David Markley. Markley suffered several leg and foot fractures, while his wife, who was a passenger on the motorcycle, was even more seriously injured, suffering massive internal and leg injuries.

Whitaker did not stop at the scene of the crash and was later convicted of two counts of failure to stop after an accident resulting in a serious bodily injury. He was sentenced in 1999 to a year on electronic home detention, followed by 2 years of probation.

According to court documents, Whitaker told police he had a beer and five mixed drinks at Outback Steakhouse before the accident. Some witnesses said alcohol was served free of charge to guests at the restaurant's grand opening party, while others said they had paid a dime each for mixed drinks and beer. "Their grand opening celebrations are like nothing I've ever heard of," Alexander said. "They have free booze, all you want, for 3 hours.


A Delaware County jury early Thursday awarded a Muncie couple $39 million in damages against Outback Steakhouse.

David and Lisa Markley had filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Muncie restaurant in 1999, 2 years after the couple were severely injured in a car-motorcycle accident on Delaware County Road 500-N. In their suit, the Markleys alleged that William J. Whitaker of Albany became intoxicated at a party celebrating the restaurant's grand opening on July 21, 1997. After leaving the restaurant in his car, Whitaker drove to northeastern Delaware County, where his car crossed the center line on County Road 500-N and collided nearly head-on with a motorcycle operated by David Markley. Markley suffered several leg and foot fractures, while his wife, who was a passenger on the motorcycle, was even more seriously injured, suffering massive internal and leg injuries.

Whitaker did not stop at the scene of the crash and was later convicted of two counts of failure to stop after an accident resulting in a serious bodily injury. He was sentenced in 1999 to a year on electronic home detention, followed by 2 years of probation.

According to court documents, Whitaker told police he had a beer and five mixed drinks at Outback Steakhouse before the accident. Some witnesses said alcohol was served free of charge to guests at the restaurant's grand opening party, while others said they had paid a dime each for mixed drinks and beer. "Their grand opening celebrations are like nothing I've ever heard of," Alexander said. "They have free booze, all you want, for 3 hours.

Friday, June 27, 2003



A Swedish police officer convicted of assaulting a motorist, reckless driving and handcuffing a man he thought was drunk but was actually suffering a stroke, has returned to the force.

Instead of being dismissed, he was transferred to Sweden's police academy to teach recruits how to handle personal conflict and fire guns. But he's expected to be back on the force with the police in western Stockholm later this month.

Per Sandell, a member of the Swedish police disciplinary board, said the officer won't be fired because his convictions haven't run counter to the rules. "To have a police officer fired, he must have grossly neglected his commitments to his employer, which is not the case," Sandell told The Associated Press Wednesday. He added that just because the policeman had been sentenced for several different crimes, it wasn't enough to merit his dismissal.

Via the WSJ.

Thursday, June 26, 2003


Political correctness has its price. Teachers are resigning from UK schools in record numbers. Why? Because pupils can now do no wrong and discipline is a thing of the past. If it were not for immigrant teachers, many British classes would have no teacher. But even that is just a stopgap at present resignation rates.


Phony Foner, the American Marxist “historian” has now been thoroughly exposed as a serial plagiarist whose work is unreliable as history but “So what?” say most present-day American historians. That response tells you all you need to know about how far you can trust most present-day American historians. Fortunately, there are still plenty of history books in the libraries from the time when historians did their best to tell it like it was.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003


In U.S. Catholic universities it would appear that it is now politically incorrect even to refer to the RC church’s teaching about homosexuality. You have free speech to say that homosexuality is OK but even Vatican representatives have no free speech to assert what the church’s own catechism teaches. I am beginning to think that even the wishy-washy old Church of England (See here, here and here) puts up more of a fight for traditional Christian teachings than American Catholics do. How can you claim to be a Catholic if you reject the Chuch’s catechism? Beats me! I think they are just using the Church for their own convenience while having no respect for it all. Totally dishonest, in other words.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

The politically-correct Islamophiles are out to get Daniel Pipes and if telling barefaced lies about him and his qualifications is what it takes, so be it.

Monday, June 23, 2003


Maybe I am going ga ga but this is one bit of political correctness that I agree with. Handing people back to the Chinese Communists is despicable.

When traveling the world, some Americans turn their backs on events they might consider outrageous if they happened at home. It is time to stop looking the other way, Oakland travel author Jeff Greenwald says. Through a nonprofit he and colleague Kirstin Williams have founded, called the Ethical Traveler, Greenwald gets the message out. And their first recommendation: don't go to Nepal this summer. The Nepalese government has violated the rights of Tibetan refugees by handing adults and teenagers back to the Chinese, and the country must learn that is not right, Greenwald says.


The Canadian government recently published a report that recommends monitoring and prosecution of gender equity advocates under federal hate crime laws.

Titled "School Success by Gender: A Catalyst for the Masculist Discourse", the report takes on the growing awareness of the problems of boys in schools. Indeed, the report shows that boys are lagging behind girls on the full gamut of educational indicators. But nowhere does the report sound a clarion call for teachers to pay more attention to the educational needs of boys. No, the disparities that affect males should not concern us. Instead, the report makes the argument that the real problem lies with the gender equality advocates who aim to "challenge the gains made by women and discredit feminism."

The report's coup de grace is found in its chilling proposal that "consideration be given to whether legal action can be taken under section 319 of the Criminal Code" against gender equality advocates and organizations. Section 319 is Canada's hate crime law.

Appendix II of the report fingers the prime suspects -- over 90 gender equity groups like Fathers for Justice and the Canadian Committee for Fairness in Family Law. Groups with subversive-sounding names like Children for Justice and Kids Need Both Parents also made the list.

More here

Sunday, June 22, 2003


How to stop terrorists: “Bush and Congress should be looking at ways to get more guns into the hands of more civilians, instead of enacting unconstitutional legislation and encouraging sovereign individuals to sacrifice those sacred American siblings, Liberty and Freedom, upon the altar of that false prophet Promised Security."

An applicant hoping to serve as a policeman has been rejected because he has a tattoo of the British flag on his arm from his days in the Parachute Regiment. The politically correct Thames Valley police believe that having a national flag on one's arm - even below a police shirt - is suggestive of racism.

Saturday, June 21, 2003


Do New Zealanders take the prize for political correctness? Because farm animals burp “Greenhouse” gases as part of their digestion, N.Z. farmers are going to be taxed for each animal they own! Actually, I think it is the gases (mostly methane) that come out of the rear end of cows that are the main “problem” but the New Zealanders are too coy to mention that end of the animal.

Friday, June 20, 2003


I disagree with the conspiracy theories in this article but the author does seem to have marshalled a lot of evidence to show that the Clinton years instituted a process of “softening up” the U.S. armed forces that still continues. Just one excerpt:

Now things have changed- not for the better. The officers and sociologists have taken over, and few have ever lead a squad in combat. These kinder gentler folks have gotten their learning from books and lectures, and few have a clue about what's needed to survive. No way can their "Consideration for others" training help a soldier drive a bayonet in his opponent's gut or give him the sharp reaction needed when a sergeant yells, "Knock out that machine gun."

I regularly talk with dozens of Army Drill sergeants, and they tell me this new, politically correct approach is creating an Army that's marshmallow soft. Here's what they're saying:-

"Road marches are now conducted at 4 kilometers an hour. My seven-year- old hikes faster. No wonder our new privates can't hump a twelve-miler when they get to a line unit."

Thursday, June 19, 2003


Since the downfall of their great dream of Communism, Leftists seem to have gone crazier than ever in their chase after that mythical equality. The latest example here is that some Californian bureaucrats want to cancel advanced English classes for students who want them because not everyone can handle such classes. Equality must be ENFORCED!


"Anyone familiar with the New York Times' bias against men was not surprised by the Jayson Blair scandal, in which the reporter blatantly falsified stories for years. The Times is notorious for pitching gender feminism in slanted, one-sided reports. The systemic dishonesty exhibited by the Blair scandal was not an isolated incident. When it comes to coverage of men, it seems to be policy at the Gray Lady."

Wednesday, June 18, 2003


"The punitive imposition of rights not asked for grows common in North America. Note the banning of dodgeball in the public schools as violence, and the attempt to keep boys from roughhousing. Why? Kids want to play dodgeball. If they didn't, they wouldn't. We aren't talking compulsory dodgeball. And boys like to wrestle. It's why they do it. (Anybody thought of that?) But teachers don't like to roughhouse. So, following the totalitarian instincts of prigs and prudes and the self-consciously inadequate everywhere, they make sappy passivity a human right. Then they inflict it on kids who would rather have scarlet fever.It's rule by parsnips, I tell you, by smugly hostile hop-toads with damp fingers."

More here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003


"Oreo cookies contain trans fat, which makes the cookies crisp and their filling creamy. Joseph says that trans fat is so dangerous that our children should be protected from it. Last year, Los Angeles Unified School District voted unanimously to ban the sale of soft drinks at all of the district's 677 schools."

Monday, June 16, 2003


The director of Washington's Human Rights Commission has resigned following accusations that she created a “hostile work environment” for employees under her, reports the Oregonian. Susan Jordan was accused of describing some male colleagues as "gorgeous" and "cute" and "perky," and touching one man in a way that caused him anxiety. A report also accused her of referring to one employee as "our Native American" and another as the agency's "little receptionist." "No one should use those terminologies in this enlightened age," said Rev. Ellis H. Casson, one of the human rights commissioners who accepted her resignation.

And much more here.

Sunday, June 15, 2003


In the UK today, serious competitive sport has been all but chased out of Britain's schools. School sport or physical education is seen as a way of building self-esteem or teaching healthy lifestyles. Real competitive team games have been sidelined to an after-school activity, out of sight of those less able.

Also in Britain, it seems there are now people saying that the Union Jack should be changed to add a black cross to it as well -- to reflect Britain’s modern-day multiculturalism!

Saturday, June 14, 2003


Thomas Keneally is an Australian novelist who opposes what the vast majority of Australians favour: Stopping illegal immigration. He seems to argue that Australia can sucessfully absorb ANY amount of illegal immigration from anywhere! But even in his delusions he has flashes of sanity and admits that tolerance and political correctness do not always go together:

“Keneally believes history and the western suburbs of Sydney suggest that Australia will absorb the new, as it did through the waves of migration that followed the Second World War and, later, Vietnam and the broader Asian influx. Not that this was ever articulated in a politically correct manner.

A survivor of Schindler's Ark told Keneally: "Australians are a wonderful people. When you first arrive and they don't know you or like you they call you a wog bastard. Then they get to know you and like you and they call you a wog bastard." “

More here


“The fact that Africa is viewed with scepticism should come as no surprise, even to the politically-correct brigade. As this column argued on May 16, the footage of Africa today is no different from that captured on film and screened as Africa Addio 40 years ago. With 380 million people mired in extreme poverty, civil strife in every region, an almost total lack of governance - to say nothing of drought, debt and disease - Africa is like a terminal patient: doses of relief aid and sympathy are about all that can be attempted.

The fact that Africa has nothing to show for the $300 billion in aid it has received over the past 40 years - 17 times America's Marshall Aid package to Europe after World War 2 - surely speaks volumes. Politically-correct journalists snidely refer to the G8 as the "elite". But they forget that three of the G8 members - Germany, Russia and Japan - were all but ruined by World War 2. Yet they have bounced back without much more than a sniff of the aid Africa has been given.”

More here

Friday, June 13, 2003

UK seeing war itself as war crime?

"Around the world, the British military has been hailed as a force for good in Iraq -- as a level-headed army whose peacekeeping experience in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, and elsewhere has enabled it to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis. Yet here in the United Kingdom, British soldiers stand accused of committing war crimes against Iraqi civilians and POWs."

More here

I’ve heard it all now. Somebody is arguing that we need Feminist economics!

Thursday, June 12, 2003

The South African version of Big Brother is so politically-correct it is sickening.

Bernard Chapin thinks that the most politically incorrect thought there is, is “God exists”.

I am sorry but I must say I find this one amusing: Politically correct shoes! “A former British Immigration officer writes in Refusal Shoes that foreigners are often refused entry into Britain because they are wearing the "wrong kind of shoes". "Any kind of shoe with tassels on and you are not getting into the country," he writes. Tassels are threads and other things that stick out of shoes. Africans are the biggest victims of he tassel test. Saint says they often get the suit right, but usually fall flat on their shoes.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

The latest abuse from politically-correct education bureaucats: Children cannot be allowed to feel that they have failed so they must be promoted from grade to grade even if they cannot read and write!

PC is rendering media not only inaccurate but downright untruthful to the detriment of the very minorities or angry people they are trying to placate. If you outlaw a term like "disabled" - we were advised to use 'differently abled" -- you also trivialise and blur the predicament of those you are championing.

Here in SA we have lots of this, always have. In the days of apartheid, that was "separate development". Now the people who suffered from separate development are "formerly disadvantaged". Uh, no, they're still disadvantaged in the townships. And people in townships are "communities" with "leaders" (who died and made you ...? etc) whereas people in the rich old white suburbs are "residents" who are allowed to speak for themselves.

Source Via Marc Miyake

Tuesday, June 10, 2003


Stopping Islamic immigration would be VERY politically incorrect but ....

The left’s inability to even think straight stems largely from the rot in academe, especially in the humanities and social sciences. In both disciplines, the asinine assumptions of post-structuralism have run riot. Po-mo takes some time to unpack, but for our purposes, we can simply note that academic po-mo “demonstrates” that there is no firm basis for making judgments about culture (such as: “One shouldn’t use gang rape to punish female relatives.”)

Indeed, to merely utter “better” or “worse” in the context of culture is the height of politically correct bad taste. And often, the truth IS in bad taste — that is, if we value politically correct fantasies, not hard-nosed reality. And that reality is simple: mass immigration threatens Western classical liberal values. As the multi-culti Left loves to proclaim, “Culture matters!” No kidding. It matters in ways infinitely more profound than PC allows itself to imagine. And here’s another thing that matters: reality.

Lest we forget: prior to September 11, who among the Establishment Left would believe there was the tiniest possibility that Islamist theocratic fascists would use innocent people as munitions and targets? Certainly, at this late date — well beyond 9-11-01 — the nation must distinguish between blunt reality and PC fantasy. And after doing so, an obvious step is to dramatically reduce the surge of immigrants from Islamic nations into the United States.

More here

Monday, June 09, 2003


Below is something I wrote recently on Dissecting Leftism:

“Verbal Magic” is of course a great Leftist ploy in general. They think that renaming things can do all sorts of wonders. That it cannot was shown very well many years ago in Australia. Shortly after WWII, a Leftist Australian government wanted to encourage immigration into Australia but faced prejudice against immigrants from many native Australians. The government thought it could fix this by banning the words “immigrant” or “migrant” and replacing it by the more positive term “New Australian”. And they did succeeed in getting their new term widely adopted. What they did NOT succeed in doing, however, was to alter people’s attitudes thereby. The term “New Australian” very rapidly came to be used with contemptuous connotations. People were NOT influenced by the attempted verbal magic.

So we have there an instance of the complete failure of an early attempt at political correctness. But it seems to me that what often results from attempts at political correctness these days is WORSE than failure. It seems to me that politically correct terms are now often used derisively. For instance, to say of a man that he was “short” was in the past little more than a statement of fact, but to describe him nowadays as “vertically challenged” is bordering on the contemptuous. So, in historic Leftist fashion, the Leftist sponsors of political correctness have achieved the opposite of what they claimed to be aiming at.

Sunday, June 08, 2003


JD Wetherspoon - a British pub chain that combines cheap food and booze with a bland atmosphere that is supposed to feel 'local' - is considering outlawing bad language, and possibly mobile phones. The chain already has a reputation for intolerance of rowdy behaviour, with its 'no music' and 'no smoking at the bar' policies. In fact, Wetherspoon is the model New Labour pub - a 'safe pub' that favours granting greater freedoms, like extended licensing laws, only if customers are well behaved

Saturday, June 07, 2003


Only a billion down the drain: "Ontario is refusing to prosecute anyone who fails to register a rifle or shotgun because it's a dumb law, Attorney-General Norm Sterling said yesterday. Ontario joins Nova Scotia and three Western provinces in refusing to have anything to do with the federal gun registration law that so far has cost more than $1 billion. Sterling told reporters if Ottawa wants to prosecute the 'misdirected' law, then it should fall to federal prosecutors."

Friday, June 06, 2003

A good article on Political Correctness here -- with some pretty disgraceful examples of it.

Thursday, June 05, 2003


Mens Rights Movement: "Advocates claim it is a last chance to restore sanity between the sexes and justice for families. Feminist foes accuse masculinists of wrongdoing that verges on criminal acts. High-profile clashes will almost certainly erupt between the two and public policy will change.”


Divorce case: The judge said practically nothing. She began by asking his ex-wife what she wanted. His ex-wife produced the fantastic figure of $4,000 in child support and $1,000 in spousal maintenance. 'Granted' the judge ruled. Robert’s attorney told her that this was out of the question but the judge refused to allow the submission of Robert’s 2001 and 2002 W2s as proof that he could not pay such an amount. The hearing was over and he and his lawyer were arguing with air."

Wednesday, June 04, 2003


An Iraqi says that Shiite oppression is now feared in Iraq the way Saddam once was:

It is dusk in Baghdad and I am talking to the regular group of men who gather near the house I am staying in to talk about the day's events. "What do you think about the Americans? How long do you think they should stay? Are they doing a good job?" I ask. The answer is very complicated while at the same time very, very simple. It is the "politically correct" thing to do to complain about the Americans, say they are not wanted and tell them to "go home."

The reality, though, is very different. As usually happens throughout Iraq, people look around before they tell their true feelings. Simply put they are still afraid to speak the truth. Before it was Saddam, now it is the Shiites and others who frighten them. "The Americans are doing wonderfully. We want them to stay forever," I hear.

It is not widely reported, nor fashionable to say the Americans are loved and wanted in Iraq, but in fact as they were wanted before the war, they are wanted now. "We hope they stay forever" is the true feeling of the silent majority in Iraq, contrary to what is reported. The logic is very simple -- the Iraqis do not trust their leaders. Faced with a very complicated situation of a 60 percent Shiite majority, a former police state, Iran at their doorstep trying with all its might to destabilize their country, and desperately relieved and happy to be finally liberated from nearly 30 years of Saddam, they want the United States to stay.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003


As Americans across the country tune in to reports on the War on Terrorism, particularly domestic reports, what they read in newspapers or see on their television sets may be radically different from the true state of affairs. The culprit? Diversity guidelines drafted by the Society of Professional Journalists less than one month after the September 11th terror attacks.

For instance, one bullet point in the SPJ guidelines urges journalists to "avoid using terms such as 'jihad' unless you are certain of their precise meaning and include the context when they are used in quotations." It insists that "the basic meaning of 'jihad' is to exert oneself for the good of Islam and to better oneself." Applied to mainstream journalism, an article is not considered appropriate if the definition of jihad it exposes does not correlate well with the politically correct SPJ assertion.

Other guidelines instruct writers to distort the very nature of the terrorist threat. One calls terms such as "Islamic terrorist" and "Muslim extremist" misleading, especially when "geographic, political, socioeconomic or other distinctions might be more accurate."

The SPJ would prefer the term "Saudi Arabian terrorists," but such a description leaves the reader with a much less correct impression of the nature and motive of the terrorist than one using the adjective "Muslim."

The SPJ's last and perhaps most dangerous guideline is simple, yet it poses a true threat to objective reporting. It urges journalists to "Ask men and women from within targeted communities to review your coverage and make suggestions." This guideline destroys the nature of objective reporting by making journalists accountable to the objects of their research. The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes has compared the policy to "a columnist calling in a tobacco executive to edit an article about the health risks of smoking, or giving an advertiser the chance to edit a story about his industry."

More here

Monday, June 02, 2003

"Multnomah County officials later backed down from the fatuous decision to seek a Klingon interpreter as late night personalities and comedians had a field day at the county’s expense. 'It was a mistake, and a result of an overzealous attempt to ensure that our safety net systems can respond to all customers and clients,' Multnomah County chair Diane Linn stated in a news release. Some people in the county finally understood the underlining theme: 'yIDoghQo,' translated by the Klingon Language Institute as 'don’t be silly.'"

An article in the American Jewish magazine FORWARD questions the politically correct view that the death of Jesus was purely the doing of the Romans and agrees that the Jews of the day were partly responsible.

Sunday, June 01, 2003


"An 18-year-old high school senior is suing school administrators demanding she be allowed to sing a religious song praising God at graduation ceremonies in June. Officials at Winneconne High School asked Rachel Honer to substitute 'he, him and his' for three references to God in the Christian song 'He's Always Been Faithful.' The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Honer told officials that dropping God from the lyrics of the song by Sara Groves would make her feel like a 'liar and a hypocrite.'"

More here

Whites need not apply

Excerpts from an article by MARGARET WENTE

A few days ago, Marc Gage, a self-employed communications consultant, saw a job ad that caught his eye. The federal Department of Fisheries was seeking a regional communications director in Vancouver, Canada. It sounded right up his alley. The pay also wasn't bad -- up to $99,700 a year.

Mr. Gage wanted to apply, but one fatal flaw disqualified him: He's white.

The ad, which was posted on the federal government's Web site, was explicit. Under the heading "Who can apply," it said: "Persons working or residing in Canada and Canadian citizens living abroad, WHO ARE MEMBERS OF VISIBLE MINORITY GROUPS."

Mr. Gage says he's a pretty liberal-minded guy. But the ad sent him into orbit. "I don't care what colour you are," he told me. "You've got a right to be judged on merit."

Some people might call these ads "race-based recruiting." But that would be uncharitable. Sometimes, Ms. Mawani says, "special measures" are required to reach out to the target groups. The Employment Equity Act permits and even encourages "special measures," of which exclusionary job ads are one example.

Visible minorities (or vizmins) still make up only 6.8 per cent of the civil service. Canada's top bureaucrats, including Alex Himelfarb, Clerk of the Privy Council, have decided that's not good enough. Progress, they insist, must come faster. If you're one of the folks in charge of running, say, the Department of Fisheries, this is not an academic issue. This affects your bonus, your raise and your career prospects if you don't deliver.

Even so, everyone in the bureaucracy rejects the word "quotas." Instead, they say "benchmarks," "targets" and "guidelines."

Not everyone is so sure that discrimination is the right way to achieve fairness and justice. Janet Smith is another former bureaucrat who helped launch Embracing Change. But this isn't quite what she had in mind. "When you do it this way," she told The Vancouver Sun, "what you're hiring is the skin, not the content."

Personally, I'd be thrilled if our public service looked more like Canada. I'd be even more thrilled if all our children grow up colour-blind. But how can we expect them to if we keep flogging them with the politics of identity? How can we expect them to be colour-blind when our own government insists on racial profiling as the basis for its hiring policy?

Racial quotas are ugly things, or so I was brought up to believe. No matter how lofty the goals that are invoked in their name, I haven't changed my mind.

More here