Thursday, June 30, 2005


This is a brief excerpt from a long psychoanalytic article about political correctness -- which sees political correctness (or Leftism generally) as an infantile rejection of the father -- where the father is identified with conventional authority and the real world generally

Media figures claim that, while they may have a certain political point of view, they can still be good journalists. I have agreed with that. All that is necessary is the recognition that one can be wrong. But if what has been called a bias is really political correctness, then the possibility of being good journalists disappears. The reason is that political correctness involves the repudiation of reality and it is inconsistent with the psychological assumptions that underlie good journalism. You can have bias and good journalism, but you cannot have both good journalism and political correctness....

For the politically correct, differences in status are regarded as illegitimate, and claims that some have earned their status by concrete achievement are dismissed as smokescreens to cover up oppression. If some have more status than others, that means that they have stolen that status from those who are of lower status. Within the ambit of political correctness, the meaningful and moral life is a project of reversing the effects of this collective crime. It means transforming the world so that those who have been deprived of status in the past are compensated with love, and those who have had more status are hated for their crime. But transforming the world, in this case, simply means transforming the way people feel. In the absence of an objective world, feelings are all there are. We can easily see the role that information media will play in this project. That will include those media previously given over to the task of journalism, but they will no longer be practicing journalism. Journalism will have died.

The reason why PC is lethal to journalism is rooted in its rejection of the idea of an objective world, an idea that PC absolutely cannot tolerate. If there were an objective world, people could legitimately gain status by achievement, by doing something beneficial in terms of our collective capacity to live in that objective world. Only through denying the possibility of achievement is it possible to reduce the world to the simple morality play of oppressors and oppressed. For this reason, the very idea that there is an objective world becomes an object of scorn and hatred. Obviously, this precludes the possibility of journalism recognizing the possibility that it has gotten the facts wrong. In the absence of an idea of an objective world, journalism could only mean the furtherance of the politically correct morality play, but that isn't really journalism at all. What is it? The answer is simple. It is political correctness, which is an end in itself....

Mary Mapes has maintained that that the forged documents meshed perfectly with the known facts about George Bush. As the Thornburgh Commission demonstrated, she is wrong about that. However, the documents certainly meshed perfectly with the fantasy she had about George Bush. That fantasy was, for her, the ultimate reality, and so it was for many others. When Dan Rather said that the documents were "fake but accurate", that is what he had in mind.....


These would-be healers of our purported woes dogmatically believe and promote the doctrine we call 'therapism'. Therapism extols openness, emotional self-absorption, and the sharing of feelings. It encompasses the assumption that vulnerability rather than strength characterises the American psyche and that suffering is a pathology in need of a cure. Therapism assumes that a diffident, anguished, and emotionally apprehensive public requires a vast array of therapists, self-esteem educators, grief counsellors, work-shoppers, healers, and traumatologists to lead it though the trials of everyday life. Children, more than any group, are targeted for therapeutic improvement. We roundly reject these assumptions.

Because they tend to regard normal children as psychologically at risk, many educators are taking extreme and unprecedented measures to protect them from stress. Schoolyard games that encourage competition are under assault. In some districts, dodgeball has been placed in a 'Hall of Shame' because, as one leading educator says, 'It's like Lord of the Flies, with adults encouraging it'. Tag is also under a cloud. The National Education Association distributes a teacher's guide that suggests an anxiety-reducing version of tag, 'where nobody is ever "out"'.

It is now common practice for 'sensitivity and bias committees' inside publishing houses to expunge from standardised tests all mention of potentially distressing topics. Two major companies specifically interdict references to rats, mice, roaches, snakes, lice, typhoons, blizzards and birthday parties. (The latter could create bad feelings in children whose families do not celebrate them.) The committees, says Diane Ravitch in her recent book The Language Police, believe such references could 'be so upsetting to some children that they will not be able to do their best on a test'.

Young people are not helped by being wrapped in cotton wool and deprived of the vigorous pastimes and intellectual challenges they need for healthy development. Nor are they improved when educators, obsessed with the mission of boosting children's self-esteem, tell them how 'wonderful' they are. A growing body of research suggests there is, in fact, no connection between high self-esteem and achievement, kindness, or good personal relationships. On the other hand, unmerited self-esteem is known to be associated with antisocial behaviour - even criminality.

Therapism tends to regard people as essentially weak, dependent, and never altogether responsible for what they do. Alan Wolfe, a Boston College sociologist and expert on national mores and attitudes, reports that for many Americans non-judgmentalism has become a cardinal virtue. Concepts of right and wrong, good and evil, are often regarded as anachronistic and intolerant. 'Thou shalt be nice' is the new categorical imperative.

Summarising his findings, Wolfe says: 'What the Victorians considered self-destructive behaviour requiring punishment we consider self-destructive behaviour requiring treatment.... America has most definitely entered a new era in which virtue and vice are redefined in terms of public health and addiction.'

More -- much more -- here

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Post lifted from Dumb Democrat

It is oddly and disturbingly true that among American's liberal college and university elite, heterosexuality is now considered sexist. After all they claim, if you discriminate against a particular gender when picking a lover it is certainly sexist, i,e., a choice based purely on gender. I learned this new liberal truth when I asked a very dear, although sometimes misguided, friend who is a tenured liberal arts professor at a very large well know middle American university, how one selects a lover. She insisted that the choice should not be sexually discriminatory, but rather it should be based on the person.

I guess it's not hard to figure how we got to this point given that 35 years ago Gloria Steinem famously promised to revolutionize gender when she said "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." This of course was before she wrestled the demons of an abusive father to the ground, led generations of women astray, was responsible for million of divorces, 10s of millions of kids growing up in poverty, fell in love with and married a man, and before she and her colleagues convinced much of American's professoriate that the stuff about women and fish was largely correct.

As the years went by though, the professors mellowed realizing that while men may not really be needed they were, nevertheless, here, at least until biological science could find a better way to produce sperm. So, rather than treating men adventitiously (the way our gov't is treating the Sunni population of Iraq) it was better, they reasoned, to count them as in the human race (I for one am very thankful), and even worthy of love, so long as they were cooperative and it was a gender neutral love. Anything other than "neutral" was wholly unacceptable of course, because that was, of course, exactly what had led to centuries and centuries of subjugation and male domination.

In practice though most of the professors do sheepishly and eventually revert to heterosexual mating patterns that evolved over million and million of years, but they do, nevertheless, feel a solemn intellectual obligation to prove their "street creds", sisterhood, and egalitarian ideals by having a lesbian affair or two along the way. If they were children you'd write it all off to youthful indiscretion, but they are adults; adults who teach our children. They have brave and bold new ideas but manage to get themselves all confused with their mighty IQs. But that is a huge part of what liberalism is: a belief that if your huge ego can conjure it up, it ought to be reality. Sadly, all the liberal realities are very different, contradictory, and often very deadly. If we look at the great liberals of recent history: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Hussein, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, and Robert Mugabe we see very clearly that the more rapid and profound change these vast egos wanted the more millions wound up dead.

Were it not for conservative libertarian Republicans and their respect for conserving history, can anyone say how far our American liberals would go? They now have a huge gov't in place that delivers far more than the American Socialist Party of the 1920s every dreamed possible in a free country, and yet they still stand for nothing each and every election cycle but more and more concentrated power in Washington with no end in sight. They want the liberal machinery of power in place; they are psychotically attracted to it beyond all sanity simply because they perceive it as a manifestation of their huge egos. They pray one day it can be used as the vehicle or mechanism through which they can bring about the rapid and probably deadly change their massive egos compel them to seek. They are compelled to seek a comprehensive new social formula the way Einstein was compelled to seek a comprehensive new unified theory of the universe.

Lost on them are the 10 years of depression and 5 years of world war that our big gov't blundered into. Lost on them are the lies that powerful American Presidents told for the privilege of fighting in Vietnam and Iraq. Lost on them are the social welfare programs of the 60's that amounted to near genocide against the Black population they were supposed to serve. Lost on them is the Social Security program that steals 13% from every working American but gives them back far less than would have by simply putting the money in their mattresses. But, hey, that's what liberalism is: blind and huge ego totally oblivious to history. And, isn't it an odd thing in a country specifically designed by Jefferson to be free of gov't rather than to embrace an ever more powerful gov't capable of ever more deadly liberalism?


Paul Black is not the sort of bloke to take to the streets in protest. But this week he did something atypical: fuelled by intense feelings of frustration, he got in his car and made the long trip from Mulgrave to Canberra to attend a two-day conference of the Lone Fathers Association. "I don't see myself as a radical, I'm not the sort who wants to go ripping out letterboxes or shouting slogans," says this new recruit to the men's movement. "But the inequalities that were there for women 20, 30 years ago are now there for men. The pendulum has swung from too many opportunities for men to too many opportunities for women."

Black has entered the organised men's movement along a well-worn path: relationship breakdown. There are up to 200 men's groups in Australia, according to estimates - and many could be called estranged fathers' groups. They bear names from Dads in Distress to the cuddly sounding Fatherhood Foundation, and typically attract men in midlife. While the groups claim a growing membership, the extent of their support is unknown. The Lone Fathers Association says it helps 30,000 men a year, but their paid-up membership is 9000 nationally. However, La Trobe University researcher Michael Flood says the number actively agitating in the men's movement would be no more than 2000.

What makes them remarkable is that they subvert the traditional paradigm of social activism in that they represent the interests of the dominant group in society. Or do they? The argument these men's groups mount, with growing political muscle, is that they are getting an unfair deal, not only when it comes to family law issues but in other areas such as men's health. There is a growing lobby for free prostate screening, boys' education - crystallised in a federal push for more male primary teachers - and even domestic violence.

In Canberra, over two days of sometimes torrid testimonials, Black, 39, took heart from the shared experiences of men who, like him, had undergone unexpected separation from their spouses. Two years ago, Black returned from work one evening to find his de facto partner had left home with their baby daughter. "She was just six months old," he says forlornly. As he clutches a "showbag" stamped with the logo of the Child Support Agency (it contained pen, pad and instructive government literature), he reveals the source of his feeling of powerlessness: "I've only seen my daughter five times since then."

Back in session, Barry Williams, the president and founder of the Lone Fathers Association, prosecutes some of the familiar themes of the men's rights movement in a mild tone sometimes at odds with the strength of his rhetoric. "Both men and women are, in fact, equally likely to be perpetrators of violence in relationships, although women are somewhat more likely to be seriously injured," he declares. He warns his membership to be on guard against "further development of an ideologically based domestic-violence industry funded by the taxpayer". "There is a very serious issue of discrimination here," he says.

It's these sorts of arguments that bother researcher Michael Flood about the growing influence of groups such as the Lone Fathers, a peak body formed 32 years ago around the time the Family Law Act was established. The group is now federally funded.

This week's conference attracted two federal cabinet ministers - Family Services Minister Kay Patterson and Attorney-General Philip Ruddock - to Wednesday's opening. Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward spoke the next day.

Flood does not dismiss serious issues men contend with: old certainties have been swept away as women's roles have changed. He has researched the intensity of the loneliness felt by many men. The loneliest men of all, a survey published this year concludes, are sole fathers rearing children. More generally, when males hit midlife they feel most isolated, especially if they live alone. Yet Flood believes a more nuanced approach is needed than simply railing against domestic-violence programs. "We need to address men's pain in these areas, but without blaming women or putting children at risk," he says. "Yes, men can now cry on TV, but the institutionalised power relations between and among men and women have hardly gone away."

Eva Cox, who was at the barricades as a founding member of the Women's Electoral Lobby, believes men's rights groups are making the mistake of using some of the oppositional "victim strategies" that women once deployed but which, in retrospect, did not necessarily serve them well. "They are blaming a lot of what's going wrong on women for taking things away," she says. "But we are not running the world, sorry. Where are the female law partners? Where are the female senior surgeons? . . . If you are looking for men in primary schools, tip them all out of the principals' offices." While citing the continuing disparity between men and women's pay - for every dollar men earn in full-time work, full-time women earn 85 cents - Cox is not unsympathetic to the plight of low-skilled men, many of whom have lost the opportunity to do their fathers' and grandfathers' jobs.

Economist Bob Gregory has tracked the impact of the decline in manufacturing on men's income. In 1982, about 500,000 men of working age were on welfare. Now, there are about a million men on benefits and the job boom over a period of apparently unprecedented prosperity has barely reached them.

Monash University demographer Bob Birrell, who conducted a study of the clients of the Child Support Agency - which has 90 per cent of Australia's separated parents on its register - concludes that most separated fathers come from the ranks of the poor and low-paid. "Marriage is closely associated with the resources men can bring into a relationship," he says. In a separate study on partnering, Birrell found the greatest decline in partnering rates in Australia was among low-income men. "Blokes in their 30s and 40s who are on low incomes and are not partnered are in a diabolical situation," he says.

Paul Black, who made the lonely journey back from Canberra yesterday, counts himself luckier than some of his contemporaries. He has a stable trade as a plumber, but the loss of his daughter and relationship has left him deeply confused. "Towards the end, we were fighting about the housework," he says. "But I thought there were two roles there: she didn't work, so she was the homemaker and mother. I was supposed to be the provider and father."


Tuesday, June 28, 2005


(Post lifted from Bacon Bits)

I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself… I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.

Roger Baldwin (1884-1981). Founder, The American Civil Liberties Union

Think of that for a second. This is the founder of the ACLU speaking. I'm unwilling to let leftist elites claim that this quote is being taken out of context, that the ACLU stands ultimately for anything other than Baldwin's Weltanschauung. Just look at their actions, which speak louder than any of their mission statements. A key way that the ACLU's actions resonate with godless Communistic goals is in its systematic efforts to remove Christianity from the American public square.

Balance their efforts to thwart religious free speech for Christians with an example of their inaction. From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, this Letter to the Editor from 19 June 2005 says it all:

Has anyone wondered why the ACLU has not filed a suit to stop the government from paying for Qurans and prayer rugs for Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay?

If the government were paying for Bibles and rosary beads, the ACLU would be raising hell.

I think this demonstrates that the ACLU is not really concerned about the separation of church and state (in this case, mosque and state). It is concerned only about the influence of Christianity, because it knows Christianity stands in the way of its real goal, the same goal of other leftists, which is the supremacy of the state.

Frank Haller Scott

Rank hypocrisy? It sure is. Isn't it comforting to know that your tax dollars are supporting the ACLU.

There is now legislation before Congress that, if passed, could severely limit the hypocritical ACLU's ability to erode our nation's Christian heritage. Look into the Public Expression of Religion Act (PERA) of 2005 -- House bill HR 2679. If this bill is passed and signed by the President, PERA would eliminate the awarding of federal taxpayer funds to the attorneys for plaintiffs in Establishment Clause challenges to the 1st Amendment. These cases are taken by the ACLU (and others) pro bono for the express purpose of gaining these federal funds.

If the awarding of federal funding is removed, the number of these lawsuits which lead to the removal of our public expression freedoms might decrease. Regardless, if the ACLU and other organizations are so devoted to these causes, they should prosecute them with their own funds, not at taxpayer expense.


Socialists want to tear down existing society. The ACLU is in the forefront of that:

In a little-reported speech offered at Yale University earlier this year, ACLU president Nadine Strossen stated that her organization has "defended the right of individuals to engage in polygamy." Yale Daily News says Strossen was responding to a "student's question about gay marriage, bigamy, and polygamy." She continued, saying that her legal organization "defend[s] the freedom of choice for mature, consenting individuals," making the ACLU "the guardian of liberty ... defend[ing] the fundamental rights of all people."

The ACLU's newly revealed defense of polygamy may weaken the pro-homosexual argument for changing the traditional definition of marriage. Proponents of same-sex "marriage" have long insisted that their effort to include homosexual couples in that definition would only be that. However, conservative and traditional marriage advocates predict "other shoes will drop" if homosexual marriage is legalized -- perhaps including attempts to legalize polygamy and to changed current legal definitions of child-adult relationships.

Crawford Broadcasting radio talk-show host Paul McGuire concurs. He says in his opinion, the ACLU "has declared legal war on the traditional family." "Now the ACLU is defending polygamy," he continues, in response to Strossen's comments. "You know, there are male and female lawyers who wake up in the morning and are actually proud of being ACLU lawyers. But I think the majority of Americans view ACLU lawyers as people who hate America and who want to destroy all Judeo-Christian values and beliefs." McGuire summarizes by saying that Strossen's organization seems "to only defend things that tear down the fabric of society."

More here


Excerpts from a review of Brian C. Anderson's "South Park Conservatives"

As time passed an odd transformation occurred: the Puritans were now all on the left. Dour, humorless, self-righteous, eager to use the coercive power of the state to impose ideological orthodoxy, so-called "liberals" and "progressives" had become enemies of freedom. These days the humorless, repressed enforcers of rigid standards of behavior are the politically correct professors and media pundits, the dour feminists ("That's not funny!"), the race-tribunes, and the identity-politics hacks that monitor the media and popular culture for any deviations from the party line of liberal dogma, multiculturalism, and victim-politics.

The champions of freedom, in contrast, today are more likely to be found on the right, where one can find diversity of thought, freewheeling discussion, impatience with orthodoxy, a commitment to individual freedom, and anarchic humor. And, as Brian Anderson documents in his fast-paced, entertaining analysis of how conservatism has flourished in recent years, the result has been the weakening of the liberal dominance over the media and popular culture.

Anderson starts with a quick survey of "the old media regime," as he calls it, and its propensity for selecting and shaping news to suit its liberal biases. In the Reagan years, for example, the media depictions of what they called a "homeless" person "looked like your hard-working family-man neighbor, suddenly, catastrophically down on his luck because of a bad economy and a lack of 'affordable housing,' not the drug-addled, gibberish-spouting, fist-waving deinstitutionalized lunatic he was likely to be in the real world." So too with abortion: supporters are rarely called "liberal," but opponents are regularly tagged as "conservative." Pro-life protests get scant coverage, even though a 2003 survey found 51% of women either don't support abortion at all or do so only in cases of incest and rape.

More recently, the coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with its emphasis on civilian and U.S. casualties and setbacks, has reflected the media's liberal prejudices. At the same time the U.S. army was achieving one of the swiftest victories in military history, "the elite press proclaimed imminent U.S. defeat, trumpeted every purported injustice or error committed by our troops, and, Cold War-style, even sympathized with the enemy." Coverage of antiwar protests, most of which have been coordinated by leftist if not outright-Communist organizations, was as "indulgent and celebratory" as coverage of the war was grim and critical. Worse, the coverage implied a greater support for the protests than actually existed: "In thirty-eight different stories on antiwar street demonstrations, CNN noted only once that most Americans did not support the protestors' views." And of course, popular culture has been as biased liberally as the media, demonizing businessmen, Christians, and conservatives even as it celebrates and approves sexual deviancy and heathenism.

The liberal-leftist monopoly over media and popular culture has fostered as well what Anderson calls "illiberal liberalism," "an ugly habit of left-liberal political argument to dismiss conservative ideas as if they don't deserve a hearing, and to redefine mainstream conservative views as extremism and bigotry." Many liberals and leftists are enabled in this addiction by a media that seldom calls them on their use of question-begging epithets like "racist," "sexist," "homophobic," and "insensitive" in order to avoid serious debate and defense of their ideas. Thus reasoned debate, the lifeblood of participatory government, is excluded from much of the public square, and politics degenerates into a quasi-religious obeisance to ideas and values no matter how worn out or pernicious.....

For me the best part of the book is the chapter on "South Park Anti-Liberals." The raunchy, foul-mouthed, frequently vulgar show on cable television's Comedy Central provides some of the most devastating puncturing of liberal pretensions and smug self-satisfaction.....

The popularity of such shows among the young has contributed to what Anderson calls in his last chapter "campus conservatives rising." From being non-existent or nearly invisible on college campuses a decade ago, conservative students have increased their numbers and become much bolder at challenging their professors and college administrators on hot-button issues such as affirmative action and abortion. College Republican groups, for example, have tripled in just six years, with 120,000 members (compared to 100,00 College Democrats). And surveys of student attitudes find a corresponding increase in conservative and libertarian views among college students, a change reflected as well in the increasing numbers of conservative college newspapers. Anderson also rightly credits organizations such as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which since 1953 has fostered and supported conservative ideas in higher education. Thanks to ISI and other groups such as the Students for Academic Freedom and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, "the Left's hold on academe is beginning to loosen," as Anderson writes. The consequence will be the creation of the intellectual diversity that universities are supposed to promote, but have sacrificed in the last few decades to a rigid ideological conformity harmful both to democratic politics and to the development of a critical mind....

Anderson ends with some salutary caution about thinking that the culture war is over and the left has lost. Yet all the trends are in the right direction. Mainstream media can no longer get away with partial or biased reporting, now that cable news alternatives and Internet blogs are around to monitor them. And the fact that these days liberal dogma is the elite authority in schools means that the rebellious and populist inclinations of young people will be focused precisely on the those smug and sanctimonious authorities. The net result will be to compel the liberal-left "to reexamine, argue, and refine its positions, so many of which have proved disastrously wrong, and stop living off the past. It's hard to imagine that this development won't result in a broader, richer, deeper national debate." And in a greater scope for the liberating power of truth.

More here

Monday, June 27, 2005


More on the British government's religious hatred bill

The UK government's new bill to outlaw incitement to religious hatred scraped through the House of Commons on Tuesday night, but outside that hallowed hall the debate continues. Members of Parliament - led by the Lib Dem Evan Harris - have lined up alongside comedians, lawyers, writers and artists, as well as organisations such as the National Secular Society and Liberty, to attack this proposed law.

This bill poses a serious threat to free speech. You could be banged up [jailed] for seven years should anything you say be heard by 'any person' in whom your words are 'likely to stir up...religious hatred'. We should be free to criticise, insult or even to hate whomever we please. Criticisms may be rude or wrong - in which case others have a right to ignore them, or to take them up in the court of public opinion.

'There is no right not to be offended', said Liberty's Shami Chakrabarti earlier this week. 'Religion relates to a body of ideas and people have the right to debate and denigrate other people's ideas.' Do we really want a society in which we tiptoe around one another, rather than argue face to face? At a speech at the House of Commons on Monday, comedian Rowan Atkinson said: 'Is a tolerant society one in which you tolerate absurdities, iniquities and injustices simply because they are being perpetrated by or in the name of a religion, and out of a desire not to rock the boat you pass no comment or criticism? Or is a tolerant society one is encouraged to question, to criticise and if necessary to ridicule any ideas and then the holders of those ideals have an equal right to counter-criticise, to counter-argue and to make their case?'

Today, this is an unpopular - even offensive - opinion. Minding your language and taking care not to step on anybody's toes is now the done thing. Few people will stick up for the rough-and-tumble of a good public argument, where two sides try to take each other apart. Even the genteel jousting of MPs is now seen as 'too adversarial' and liable to put the public off politics.

Indeed, many commentators argued that the religious hatred bill doesn't go far enough. The British Humanist Society asked the government to also protect people with non-religious beliefs, because 'some atheists, like some Muslims, live in fear of abuse and physical attack, and this is equally unacceptable'. And they got what they wanted: 'religious hatred' is defined in the bill as refering to somebody's 'religious belief or lack of religious belief'. This points towards an endless series of new laws, criminalising incitement to hatred on the basis of your sexuality, sex, region, perhaps even your football team or taste in clothes. Every interest group fights to get special protection from the 'hatred' of others.

The government assures that the law won't be used to stifle free expression. It insists that there are a series of safeguards - such as every case being approved by the attorney general - which means that respectable comedians and writers won't end up in the dock. Quite rightly, Atkinson is far from reassured: '[The government] can come to someone like me and say: "Really, you've nothing to worry about, you arty'll be fine, we're not after you, we're after those nasty people in the North, the BNP etc".' But why should anybody trust the attorney general to do the right thing? 'Huge latent power will be lying dormant, just waiting to be abused for political ends', notes Atkinson.

Lawyers say that the law is far too vague to be able to judge its implications. Alastair Brett, legal manager at The Times (London), says that 'the bill doesn't define what constitutes the offence. It's left up to the attorney general whether to prosecute, then we have to wait and see what the judge says'. As a news lawyer, he believes that this will have a 'chilling effect on free speech', as editors and columnists will be forced to reconsider their choice of words. Home Office press officers may insist that the law will be interpreted in a particular way, but it's up to the courts, not them.

In any case, this new law is intended to curb speech. According to the National Secular Society, in a private meeting last week Home Office minister Paul Goggins said that part of the point of the bill was to make people think twice before they speak.....

The law against incitement to racial hatred could also be used to suppress opinions that people find unpleasant. However distasteful the likes of the British National Party, they have a right to speak. And because we are competent adults, it should be up to us, not lawyers, whether or not we want to listen to them. The best way to deal with prejudiced views is to have them out in the open, and expose their idiocies for all to see. If they are silenced, racists get to take the moral high ground.

As for racially and religiously aggravated offences, why should they be singled out? It would be better for the law to judge a person's deeds - that he hit somebody over the head, or vandalised someone's car - not the thoughts that were going through his head when he did it. That way lies thought crime, where we are punished for our intentions, not our acts. It means an ever-broader range of behaviour being classified as criminal.....

More here


Since Mothers' day could not conceivably hurt anyone, this instance is a crystal-clear example of the real purpose of political correctness. Its purpose is not to help anyone but to destroy what normal people do as far as possible. It is based on hatred of normality and normal people

A pre-school in Maryland has lost at least one customer after a student's father working on the school's newsletter was told he must change a "Happy Mother's Day" greeting in the publication to "Happy Parent's Day."

David Becker of Kensington, Md., had a 3-year-old son at the Kensington Forest Glen Children's Center, which is overseen by the umbrella organization Montgomery Child Care Association. "My wife and I have always been very involved with the school and with the teachers," Becker told WND. The trouble began when Becker, while typing the newsletter, changed a hand-written greeting from "Happy Parent's Day!" to "Happy Mother's Day!" After submitting the final draft, a teacher contacted Becker and said the greeting would have to be changed back to "Happy Parent's Day!"

Becker says originally it was one of the teachers who talked to him about the issue. When he asked why, he says he was referred to an administrator. Becker said he was told: "We cannot say 'Mother's Day' because we might exclude someone." "I was confused," Becker told WorldNetDaily. "Everybody has a mother. Not everyone has a mother who is alive, but everyone has a mother." Becker then asked the administrator: "Who would we be offending on Mother's Day?" The response: "What about families with two fathers?" Becker then asked about Father's Day. He says he was told: "You can't say 'Father's Day' either."

Retorted Becker: "You are insulting all the parents - the mothers, the fathers, the two-mother families, the two-father families - you're insulting all of them." The administrator responded, according to Becker: "That's our policy." Becker says the Mother's Day incident was the "straw that broke the camel's back" and says he won't be sending his son back in the fall. "I tell the school they can white-out my disrespectful words and my child's registration for the fall semester," Becker wrote in a Washington Post feature called "Life is Short, Autobiography as Haiku." Though many of the teachers at the school are immigrants from other countries, Becker said, they are fully acclimated to such traditions as Mother's Day and Father's Day and have no problem with them.

Chris Giovinazzo is executive director of the nonprofit Montgomery Child Care Association, which oversees eight children's centers in all. "It's not a policy that we don't allow the children or staff to celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day," she told WND. Rather, Giovinazzo explained, it's up to each individual teacher to decide based on the make-up of each class.



The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which specializes in constitutional law, today filed a federal lawsuit against Eastern Illinois University after a nurse who was working at the University's Health Services Department was not promoted because of her pro-life beliefs and her objection to dispensing the morning-after pill. "It is not only wrong to deny an applicant a position based on her religious beliefs, it is a violation of the law," said Francis J. Manion, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ, which is representing the nurse. "There appears to be a systematic pattern in place in the state of Illinois designed to punish pro-life health care professionals who merely want to fulfill their professional obligations without violating their religious beliefs. This hostility toward pro-life health care professionals is very troubling and we are confident that the court will uphold the constitutional rights of our client in this case."

The ACLJ today filed suit in U.S. District Court in Urbana, Illinois on behalf of Andrea Nead, who has been employed as a part-time nurse at the Health Services Department of Eastern Illinois University since 2000. When a full-time position became available in October 2004, Nead applied for the promotion. She was asked a number of questions including whether she would be willing to dispense the morning-after pill. Nead told the interviewer that the morning-after pill violates her religious beliefs because she believes it is a form of abortion by preventing a newly conceived human life from implanting to the uterine wall. The complaint contends that the interviewer told Nead that another applicant - who eventually was hired for the position - did not oppose dispensing the morning-after pill. The complaint contends that the decision not to hire Nead was based on her religious beliefs regarding the morality of dispensing the morning-after pill.

The suit names as defendants the Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University and the Director of Health Services for the university. The suit contends the denying Nead the promotion violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suit requests a trial by jury and unspecified damages. The suit comes just weeks after the ACLJ filed a lawsuit in state court challenging an amendment to the state code issued by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich that requires pharmacists to dispense medication even if filling the prescriptions violate their conscience and religious beliefs. The ACLJ represents six pharmacists in that case.

The ACLJ has had success in protecting the rights of pro-life health care professionals in Illinois in the past. In 2003, the ACLJ filed a federal suit against the DeKalb County, Illinois Health Department on behalf of a health department employee who was denied a promotion because she expressed reluctance to participate in abortion counseling at the center. The case was resolved after an agreement was reached and the county paid $40,000 to settle the employee's claims.


Sunday, June 26, 2005


When it is hatred of America. And since America-hate is rife in American universities, it would be idle to expect less in the universities of other countries. Nonetheless the haters described below are presumably the same people who condemn racism as being a narrow and ignorant overgeneralization and tell us that people must not be abused or made to suffer just because they are members of some minority group! Given American voting patterns, about half of the American students concerned probably don't like George Bush very much either but that does not hold back the Left from their narrow and ignorant overgeneralizations.

American students are quitting Queensland universities in the face of hate attacks by Australians angry at US President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. One university has launched an investigation into claims an American student returned to the US after suffering six months of abuse at a residential college in Brisbane. American students have told The Sunday Mail the verbal attacks are unbearable and threatening to escalate into physical violence. Griffith University student Ian Wanner, 19, from Oregon, said abusive Australian students had repeatedly called him a "sepo" – short for septic tank. "It is so disrespectful. It's not exactly the most welcoming atmosphere here," he said.

The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission has described the abuse as "horrible" and says it could be classed as racial vilification. The abuse problem is so prevalent that US students are being given formal briefings before leaving home on how to cope with abusive Australians. Mr Wanner said even female Australian students were verbally abusive. He warned the problem could "escalate into a very large brawl". "There has already been confrontations between people," he said.

A female American student from Griffith, who wished to remain unnamed, said she had met some "exceptional" people in Australia – but was leaving this month in shock over her treatment. She said she was desperate to go home after the slurs, which also spilled over at pubs in central Brisbane. "They basically picked on me," she said. "At first, I thought it was a joke. Then I just had it out with them and told them I came here to be treated respectfully. "I have had a few incidents in bars. I had a guy and he heard my accent and he said: 'I hate your president. I hate your country.' "

Another Griffith student has already returned to the US after enduring six months of abuse at the university's residential college in Brisbane. All the students received counselling before arriving and were warned of the backlash against the US. They said they were advised not to carry any items that would identify their nationality.

A postgraduate American student at the University of Queensland's St Lucia campus, in Brisbane's west, has also complained to the Australian-American Association of being "persecuted" and subjected to "name-calling" by Australian students.

Another American studying at UQ said attitudes towards him were "scary". "It's unbelievable," he said. "It's been war. People are scared. It is hard to be an American in Australia at the moment, it is really hard. It varies with different people, but you have to be quiet and try not to draw attention to yourself."

Australian-American Association state president Marylou Badeaux said anti-American sentiment had reached a climax over the war in Iraq. She said attacks from the general public were mostly sedate – but had grown into open hostility at several Queensland universities. In some cases, US students and academics were being "persecuted" for merely having an American accent. "They are taking it out on people who may or may not agree but just because they have an American accent, they are being persecuted," she said. Ms Badeaux said long-time US residents in Australia noticed attitudes towards them fluctuated with US Government policy. "It all depends on what the policies of the US government are at the time," she said.

Queensland Anti-Discrimination deputy commissioner Neroli Holmes said the alleged labelling of students as "sepos" could be classed as racial vilification under anti-discrimination laws. Racial vilification included public comment which incited hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule of a person or group based on race or nationality. "It sounds quite horrible," Ms Holmes said.

Griffith University spokeswoman Nicola Collier-Jackson said an investigation had been launched into the American abuse claims. She said the university had a zero-tolerance policy to harassment. "We don't accept it at all. We will investigate it. We need to get to the bottom of it," she said.

The Colorado-based Australearn organisation – which teaches "cultural adjustment" to US students before they come to Australia – started warning in January of attitudes towards Americans over Iraq. Australearn's Australian director, Shelia Houston, said the briefings aimed to give American students "coping strategies" in the face of an attack. She said some students suffered culture shock because of the belief that everyone loved Americans. "We are giving them the heads up that it is a bit more heated because of the war in Iraq," Ms Houston said.



A former manager with Allstate has sued the insurance giant, alleging the company, which financially supports homosexual advocacy groups, fired him solely because he wrote a column posted on several websites that was critical of same-sex marriage and espoused his Christian beliefs. J. Matt Barber was a manager in Allstate's Corporate Security Division, its investigative arm, at the Fortune 100 company's headquarters in Northbrook, Ill. Besides working for the insurance provider, Barber was and is a professional heavyweight boxer, a jazz drummer and a Web commentator. His columns have appeared on, and others.

Though the column in question was written and posted in December, it wasn't until Jan. 31 that Barber was called into a meeting with two Human Resources officials, one of whom Barber says "slapped down" a printed copy of the column in front of him and asked if he had written it. Recognizing the piece, Barber confirmed he had written it on his own time, at his home and on his own computer. Barber claims he was told, "Here at Allstate we have a very diverse community."

Barber says the Human Resources assistant vice president told him the column didn't reflect Allstate's view and that he was suspended with pay. Barber was immediately ushered off company grounds - "which was humiliating," the former employee said. "I explained to Allstate that the article was a reflection of my personal Christian beliefs, and that I had every right to both write it and to have it published," Barber told WND. "I further explained that I had written the article while at home on my own time, that I never mentioned Allstate's name and that I neither directly nor indirectly suggested that Allstate shared my Christian beliefs or my views on same-sex marriage."

Three days later, on Feb. 3, Barber, who had worked for Allstate for five years, says he got a call informing him he was fired "for writing the article," he said. Now, with the help of the Christian Law Association and David Gibbs III, who represented Terri Schiavo's family in the final weeks of her life, Barber is challenging Allstate in federal court. According to an investigation by the state of Illinois' Department of Employment Security related to Barber's claim for unemployment benefits, an organization - likely a "gay"-rights group - complained to Allstate about the column. But how did the group connect Barber to the insurance company? It turns out one site that posted the column,, added to the bio line on the article the fact that Barber worked for Allstate. Barber says he did not include that fact in the original column submission but that the site "disclosed that without my knowledge or consent." According to Barber, he is somewhat well-known in the boxing field in Chicago, and Allstate would sometimes tout the fact that he worked for the company. The columnist told WND even if he had included a reference to Allstate in his bio, "I wasn't intimating that I was representing Allstate or that these were the views of Allstate."

Barber stressed to the unemployment office that he did not intend for the affiliation to be included in the bio. Allstate argued to the agency that Barber should not be given unemployment, but upon investigation, the agency agreed with Barber's contention and ruled he was entitled to the money. Said the agency's report: "The claimant was discharged from Allstate Insurance Company because an outside organization had complained about an article he had written while on his own time." The state agency also ruled Barber did not engage in misconduct, saying, "The term misconduct means the deliberate and willful violation of a reasonable rule or policy of the employer. . In this case, the claimant's action which resulted in his discharge was not deliberate and willful."

In the commentary piece, which Barber refers to as "the article that got me fired," he makes several arguments against same-sex marriage. Wrote Barber: "Marriage between one man and one woman, and the nuclear family have forever been cornerstones of civilized society. Regrettably, there are at present, many within the militant homosexual lobby who wish to take a sledge hammer to those cornerstones - many who hope to undermine both the historical and contemporary reality of marriage and family - many who, through judicial fiat, aim to circumvent the Constitution, the legislative process, and the overwhelming will of the people in an effort to redefine marriage. Accordingly, the unsolicited, oxymoronic and spurious expression 'same-sex marriage' has been forced into popular lexicon." ....

Barber - known in the boxing world as Matt "Bam Bam" Barber - says Allstate has a decidedly "pro-homosexual" philosophy, requiring employees to undergo "diversity training" and offering domestic partnership benefits. The training, Barber says, "is really indoctrination hostile toward thousands of employees' Christian beliefs."

The insurance company's foundation has donated money to homosexual-advocacy organizations, including the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund. A notice about the Allstate foundation says funds are given to "nonprofit organizations that are related to tolerance, diversity and inclusion."

Barber says he hopes consumers who hold traditional values will stop patronizing Allstate. Addressing those who do, Barber said, "You are helping to support an organization that brazenly and illegally discriminates against religious employees who do not blindly and silently toe the extremist, liberal line on official company policy - policy that is not just overtly pro-homosexual, but is demonstrably anti-family."

Gibbs is the lead attorney on the case. "To have Fortune 100 companies like Allstate firing people for expressing their sincerely held religious beliefs and even their personal viewpoints on their own time demonstrates just how out of kilter things have gotten," Gibbs told WND. "Allstate aggressively pushes and promotes the homosexual agenda in the name of tolerance, but the minute someone speaks up with what would be considered the traditional moral-values viewpoint, the tolerance disappears and it results in a termination."

Gibbs rhetorically asked if Allstate would take the same action against someone who put forth a pro-homosexual viewpoint. "The answer is absolutely not," he said. "The tolerance is only running one way." Such discriminatory action violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Gibbs contends.

More here


In our country today we have to be very cautious as to what and how we say things for fear of "offending" someone. I can remember a time when if a person was "offended" he either moved on or took it in stride. Today we have to be mindful of what we say and how we say it. When I think of this, I realize that our very freedom has been compromised. If I say what I want to say and it "offends" someone, I am considered a criminal or a racist. At one time in this country, it did not matter if you spoke your opinion and it "offended" someone or some group, either they challenged you or just accepted it. It is our right to express our opinion according to Gods law and especially according to the First Amendment.

Present days have seen this basic freedom eroded to almost nothing. We watch what we say and are very meek around others so as to not insult them. Only 34 years ago, it was upon the very right we now hide that made our country make this drastic turn. In the 1970's, we made comments about and to others without fear of being "politically incorrect" or offensive. We could call a pot black if it was black. Today we cannot do this without first consulting with a higher authority to see if the words we use are generic enough to cover everyone without offending anyone. As a once great nation, we have failed the test of time by reverting back to being afraid of saying something that could be construed as being wrong or hateful.

How did we get to this beleaguered point of false history and "politically correct" ideas? To answer this we as a nation need only to look back and see how we went to the polls and cast our votes. It was not until recent elections that the majority remained silent and did nothing since it did not matter unless it hurt them as an individual. Only certain groups stood together and fought for what they wanted even when the majority wanted otherwise. We as a people did not do anything and we, as a people allowed our country to become a country ruled by the minority not the majority. Now even our children suffer the paranoid state of our fears. We see that a girl was arrested for having a pair of scissors in her school bag. How sad is this when the scissors are claimed to be a weapon? We have come down to the state of ignorance in these situations now. We have allowed this to happen and now even our children are not safe from our over zealous actions to be safe. Our freedoms have fallen by the wayside and we now live, as the terrorists have wanted, in fear. We have given up our sense of trust for safety that now has tread upon our children....

I am going to become "politically INCORRECT", here, I wonder why is it that groups, mostly the minorities can gather together by themselves and no other ethnic or racial group and it is all right? Yet if, a group of white people gathers together for whatever reason, it becomes a racist trend, why? I think the answer is rather simple. It seems that these groups cannot gather the publicity it wants and needs to get monies without crying racist. If a man were to begin a group for whites only to celebrate the birth of Christ, it would be called a racist meeting, yet if any minority did the exact same thing, it is a cultural thing. Why does this have to happen? I have had the opportunity to speak with a couple of black people from Europe and they often ask why does the American black use African-American? I plainly told them that it was just a way for them to claim to be discriminated against. Their response to that was as basic as anything I have ever heard, "They do not have to do that, they can always claim their color, why do anything else?" At this point I simply shrugged my shoulders since I could not debate or argue what they stated...

We have lost our way as a nation and each day that goes by we come closer to a socialistic government then ever before. We try and show that everybody is equal while the reality is that no one is equal, everybody is totally different from the other. We keep bringing up the idea that everyone has equal rights, this cannot be true. If everyone had equal rights, then there would not be rich and poor people. We all have the right to live, the right to die, but in-between their we have different rights. How can I say this? It is very simple to see. If I had money, I would have more rights than a poor person because I could buy more, I could influence more people, I could actually buy what I wanted. The poor person has to work for what he wants, he cannot just go out and buy what he wants, he has to earn it. In this light, how could we possibly be equal? How could we conceivably have equal rights? We are all given the opportunity for a better education, and today those chosen groups have a greater advantage to get a higher education. Some of us take advantage of this while others do not. How can a tire repairman even consider himself equal to a doctor? It is just not so. First of all, he does not have the same education, second, he does not have the same background, and third, he could not do what a doctor does. No two people are equal, something about them is different and that is what makes us ALL unequal. That is what makes us individuals and that is what makes the world go around.

Our news media almost tell us what to do and how to do it. If they think it is bad, they make a big production out of it. If a man does something the news media believes will make it high in standings, it will be news, even if it is bad. The news guides the people to harbor the opinion of the news show. The media sets up its program to show what is bad and what is good. The biggest trouble with that is the media has a tendency to be biased in its approach to the "news". If it does not get ratings, the news has no meaning. If the ratings are high due to the so-called controversy of the subject, the media places their spin on the coverage. If a certain group comes out in large numbers, the media will break its neck to make sure it covers the event. If an opposing group stands on the side in silence, the media briefly shows them and does not mention it much. Yet if that opposition group holds a rally and the other group comes in yelling and cursing, then the media covers it and will go as far as giving background support for the anger. It is at this point that the media becomes very biased and it uses that bias to control our private opinions by showing the controversy in such a way that we have to side with the group the media says is right even if it is wrong! This is not good at all.

We hear much about diversity today and how diverse we as a nation are. After hearing this we as individuals feel we have a great nation. But wait, how can we be diverse when many harbor fears of certain groups and even go as far as banning anything that relates to them? Here, as with being tolerant, we use the term to benefit one group and injure another. How can we be truly diverse when we declare even one group as being bad and deny that group its right to freely express its own ideas? We, again, fail at this term very badly. If we are truly diverse, we would not stop certain groups from displaying their symbols, even if they represent the bowls of hell. How can we allow the idea of diversity to flourish while at the very same time being totally oblivious of the truth?

Surely, we do not like to see the Nazi Party showing its symbols off for all to see. But how can we say we are a free society when we deny a group such as this the very rights we allow the group from the other side of the picture? It is the same as saying that it is right for the aces to feel the way they do, but it is wrong for the kings to feel the way they do. How can we determine what is right for one group while on the opposite side of the table we say it is wrong? In this instance, we have become a person that speaks out of both sides of their mouth, while denying one and allowing the other. How have we come to this point? We came here by way of being "dummied down". We have allowed others to tell us who is bad and who is good. We have fallen out of step of principles, which this nation was founded upon.

There once was a time that being gay meant you were happy, today it simply means that a person enjoys the same sex people more than they do the opposite sex. How sad is this that we have lost track of our principles and now we make exceptions so that those who have these feelings will not be offended. I am sorry, but I am offended by the fact that these people do what they do. Had GOD wanted us to like the same sex, he would not have created an opposite sex for us. Today we are not allowed to state our "opinions" like that due to being "offensive" to those we speak about. What is wrong here is that many people feel this way and they only state it when around families and friends. The majority of people today do not care for the "same sex marriages", marriage is an institution between a man and woman, and it was never meant to be a union of two people of the same sex. If this statement offends any one, live with it or go to another country.

If we continue this way, our nation will see the same fate as that of the Roman Empire, Napoleon, and other nations that have fallen in time. We cannot and should not allow "opinions" to rule our basic rights. If we allow this then people such as the anti-gun group will dictate to us what is right and what is wrong. If we allow the opinion of the few to guide the majority, as has happened in recent times, we all lose our basic rights to be offended. Being offended does not give that person or group the right to have their way, no matter how much it bothers them. If we bow down to this type of "terrorism", we all lose. If it "offends" you walk away, or just do not go there. I am offended by many things, but I do not get upset about it, if it is on TV, I turn it off, if it is the people I am around, I move on, if it is the way someone effects me, I ignore them. This is being "tolerant", not getting up there and calling a person in high authority and complaining until I get my way. Grant it, if it is a violation of law, then I have a right to complain, but if it does nothing but "offend" me, then that person or group has a right that I cannot and should not infringe upon, no matter how much I dislike it. This is true freedom amd if we do not go back to this, we ALL lose. Just to be sure that I do not get into trouble for making certain statements; this is based upon my own personal "OPINION".

More here

Saturday, June 25, 2005


How come no Muslim groups have been targeted in the same way? THEY want to stone homosexuals to death!

The fundamentalist Christian organisation that led the campaign against the BBC's screening of Jerry Springer - The Opera has appealed to Christians to boycott the Co-operative Bank and Co-op stores after being asked to move its bank account elsewhere. The organisation, Christian Voice, received a letter from the Co-op Bank earlier this month giving it 30 days to find a new bank because of its homophobic views. The bank prides itself on its 'ethnical ['ethical'?] policies'. "It has come to our attention that Christian Voice is engaged in discriminatory pronouncements, based on the grounds of sexual orientation," the letter said. "This public stance is incompatible with the position of the Co-operative Bank, which publicly supports diversity, in all its forms, for our staff, customers and other stakeholders." [ALL its forms? All except Bible-believing Christianity, he means]

But Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, which campaigns for the application of biblical values to public policy, replied: "Of course we make `discriminatory pronouncements on grounds of sexual orientation'. We have been criticising homosexual rights ever since we started eleven years ago. "Standing up for righteousness is what we do." In a statement released last night, Mr Green called on Christians to stop banking or shopping with the Co-op until the bank ended its "unethical and discriminatory attitude". He said: "Clearly, and on their own admission, the Co-op is not the bank for those who honour the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Christian Voice came to national prominence late last year when it mobilised an unprecedented 55,000 complaints against the BBC's decision to broadcast Jerry Springer, the profanity-strewn West End musical which includes a scene portraying Jesus Christ as a nappy-wearing sexual pervert. The BBC went ahead with the broadcast in early January despite the complaints, and amid reports that senior executives at the Corporation had been forced into hiding after their personal details were published on the Christian Voice website.

But it appears that the Co-op Bank was more concerned about Christian Voice's long-running campaign against homosexuality in the police force and the rise of the Gay Police Association. One 2003 pamphlet still available on the Christian Voice website, asks: "Homosexual police are involved in some of the most disgusting perversions imaginable; how can they bring clean hands to any police investigation?"

Simon Williams, the bank's director of corporate affairs, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning that the Co-op based its ethical policy largely on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Christian Voice's campaign against homosexuality breached Article 1 of that document under which "human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights". "They are extreme views, they are not mild views. And once those wrere brought to our attention this simply doesn't fit with our ethical policies," he said.

But Mr Green, interviewed on the same programme, accused the bank of hypocrisy. He said: "We went to them for their fair-trade policies, their opposition to oppressive regimes, and now we find them discriminating against us on the grounds of our religion - which is specificially condemned in the Declaration of Human Rights to which they subscribe."


7 Things You Can't Say in Canada

Attacking Canada's sacred cows may turn you into a pariah--but it can also be a lot of fun

Every culture has its unacknowledged taboos -- the things you are forbidden to say or do in polite company, the accepted truths you are not allowed to doubt. You might think that a liberal, open-minded country like Canada would be free of such taboos, but you'd be wrong. In spite of our belief in our own enlightened tolerance, some things are simply not open to debate. If you try, you're bound to shock the neighbours. It's risky to question the wisdom of the tribe. You might get stoned. On the other hand, some people might sneak up to you afterwards and confess that they secretly agree.

So here's a challenge to a few of our nation's most widely held beliefs. You say these things in public at your own peril. I will be elaborating on these points over the months to come. Feel free to stone me or secretly agree -- or, even better, add to the list. At the very least, they're sure to start a good dinner-party fight.

Margaret Atwood writes some really awful books

The queen of CanLit bestrides the literary world like a colossus. Nobody has won more awards than she has, and nobody is more feared. There is no such thing as a bad review of a Margaret Atwood book in Canada. That's too bad, because many of her books are tedious and unreadable, full of tortuous plots and unpleasant characters. Why will no one say so? Because we're grateful that she's put us on the global map. And because if they do, they'll never work in this country again.

Recycling is a waste of time and money

Once upon a time it was easy to put out the trash. Today, the Garbage Gestapo rule our lives. Every household has become a mini version of the village dump, and every one of us has become a garbage picker, carefully separating our organics from our bottles and papers, and worrying about where our dryer lint is supposed to go. Don't try to sneak a wine bottle into the wrong bag! The trash police will punish you. The truth about recycling is that it's a giant waste of dollars and doesn't help the environment. But don't tell your kids. They won't believe you. They've been brainwashed.

Only private enterprise can save public health care

Tommy Douglas, the CBC's Greatest Canadian, brought us universal health care. But even his plan didn't originally pay for everybody's ingrown toenails. His primary goal was to make sure nobody faced financial ruin if they got sick. Today we have a system where controlling costs is more important than treating patients, and where ideology is crippling us. In some places, including Toronto, people go blind waiting for cataract surgery. The government could restore their sight tomorrow simply by sending them to a private clinic instead of to a hospital. The cost to the government would be exactly the same. But in Canada, private is a dirty word, and so the government would rather you go blind. Poor Tommy would be spinning in his grave.

David Suzuki is bad for the environment

From global warming to farmed salmon and genetically modified crops, David Suzuki has just one message: The End is Nigh. He is our homegrown prophet of doom who preaches the essential wickedness of the human race. Like a modern Savonarola, he warns that unless we cast our material possessions into the bonfire, we're all going to hell. The trouble with this apocalyptic vision is that people are starting to tune out. And our hugely expensive investment in the unworkable Kyoto treaty, which Mr. Suzuki tells us doesn't go nearly far enough, will crowd out more practical measures to cut smog and clean up our waste sites.

A national daycare program won't do a thing to help poor kids

Cheap national daycare! Who could be against it? It's supposed to give kids a better start in life, and nobody can object to that. But in Quebec, where the program started, universal daycare has turned out to be nothing more than a giant (and extremely costly) subsidy for relatively well-heeled middle-class parents. Few poor parents use the system. No doubt convenient daycare is a godsend for many. But so far there is no definitive evidence that kids who go to daycare go on to do better in school or in life. So if we want to invest billions in helping kids, why are we spending it on the kids who need help the least?

Group of Seven artists are overexposed genre painters

I like A.Y. Jackson as much as you do. His paintings remind me of when I went to summer camp. I grew up with a reproduction of The West Wind hanging in our living room. (That was by Tom Thomson, who wasn't really a member of Group of Seven, but never mind.) Group of Seven were the first artists to depict the wild Canadian landscape, and they were bold young rebels in their time. But that time was 80 years ago. Today their work is the quintessence of bourgeois picture-postcard art-the kind of art it's safe to take your mother to see. Enough, already. Maybe it's time we moved on.

The United States is the greatest force for good the world has ever known

Of all the shocking things you can say around the dinner table, this is the most shocking one. After all, America-bashing is part of our national identity. At best, we see our neighbour as a well-intentioned but arrogant and blundering bully that throws its weight around too much. At worst, we see our neighbour as one of the most evil nations in the world. And yet, right now, hundreds of millions of people in India and China and other desperately poor parts of the world are being liberated from millennia of suffering and serfdom. Why? Because of the United States, which has spread its idea of economic freedom-and its purchasing power-around the world.


Friday, June 24, 2005


British potato farmers have taken issue with the expression "couch potato", rallying in London to call for it to be struck from the dictionary on the grounds that it harms the vegetable's image. The British Potato Council wants the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to replace the expression with the term "couch slouch". They plan protests outside parliament and the offices of Oxford University Press.

Kathryn Race, head of marketing at the council, which represents some 4000 growers and processors, said the group had complained in writing to the OED but had yet to receive a response. "We are trying to get rid of the image that potatoes are bad for you," she said. "The potato has had its knocks in the past. Of course it is not the Oxford English Dictionary's fault but we want to use another term than couch potato because potatoes are inherently healthy."

The OED says "couch potato" originated as American slang, meaning "a person who spends leisure time passively or idly sitting around, especially watching television or videotapes".

The Potato Council says its campaign has the backing of dieticians who say the vegetable is low in fat and high in vitamin C. Supporting the campaign, celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson said the vegetable was one of Britain's favourite foods. "Not only are they healthy, they are versatile, convenient and taste great too. Life without potato is like a sandwich without a filling," he said.

OED chief editor John Simpson said the dictionary first included the term couch potato in 1993 and said "dictionaries just reflect the words that society uses".



Obama is of course the great black hope of the Dems (Even though he is NOT of slave descent). Here he echoes Cosby in saying that black fathers need to adopt a more fatherly role in their children's lives

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday exhorted fathers in the black community to earn the love and respect of their children by acting like "full-grown" men and living their values. In a half-hour sermon delivered as the Father's Day message at Christ Universal Temple, 11901 S. Ashland Ave., Obama, an Illinois Democrat, said fathers should have high expectations for themselves if they wish their sons and daughters to be successful. "If we are going to pass on high expectations to our children, we've got to have high expectations for ourselves," Obama said to applause from a capacity crowd of about 4,000 people. "Don't settle for just what you've got," Obama said. "You can shoot high."

Obama said black fathers should set an example of excellence for their children, take responsibility for their own actions, foster education and live their values, and promote kindness and hope in their children. "There are a lot of folks, a lot of brothers, walking around, and they look like men," Obama said, drawing laughter from the congregation. "And they're tall, and they've got whiskers--they might even have sired a child. But it's not clear to me that they're full-grown men."

Citing St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, Obama said too many fathers "engage in childish things, who are more concerned about what they want than what's good for other people." Obama--who later said his daughters, ages 6 and 3, had given him breakfast in bed Sunday morning "with a little help from my wife"--said fathers should be "taking responsibility for our actions." "We have not chosen the circumstances in which we were born, but we can determine the circumstances in which we live," he said.

Obama drew the most thunderous applause of his speech when he said 8th-grade graduations are sometimes overvalued. "They've got to get out of high school, then they've got to go to college, then they've got to get a graduate degree," said Obama, whose sermon was followed by a tribute to fathers by the church's children's choir.

Fathers have to be involved with their children's lives to pass on their values, Obama said. If "every weekend ... when you get home you go down to the basement and you're watching television, then you've got issues of how important, really, is your family," he said.

More here

Background on Cosby: "Mr. Cosby is black, so charging him with the vice of racism would not work too well. It could carry no punch with which to silence what he suggested, namely, that black parents can and ought to straighten up their parental acts. Had his words been spoken by some prominent white commentator, that ploy would still have been appealing to the modern liberal establishment. Call the messenger a racist and thus squash the truth about what parents can and should do for their kids. But what to do now, when a prominent black figure delivers this piece of sensible insight? How can it be squelched, neutralized so we can keep going to government to answers? Come to the rescue The New York Times .... The problem with Bill Cosby isn't that he is white -- no, it's that he belongs to the upper black classes. The class card, thus, takes the place of the race card."

Thursday, June 23, 2005


A Christian pastor ordered to apologise for vilifying Muslims says he is prepared to go to jail before saying sorry for his comments. Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) deputy president Michael Higgins ordered two pastors of the evangelical order, Catch the Fire Ministry, to apologise over statements made in a speech, comments on a website and in a newsletter.

In a landmark ruling by the tribunal, it found comments including that Muslims were training to take over Australia, encourage domestic violence and that Islam was an inherently violent religion, had vilified Muslims. The case was the first to be heard by the VCAT since the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act took effect in Victoria at the start of 2002.

Outside the tribunal, one of the pastors described himself as a martyr and said he would go to jail before apologising. "Right from the inception, we have said that this law (Racial and Religious Tolerance Act) is a foul law, this law is not a law which brings unity," Pastor Nalliah said. "It causes disunity and as far as we are concerned right from the beginning we have stated we will not apologise. We will go to prison for standing for the truth and not sacrifice our freedom and freedom to speak." He said the Evangelical group had nothing against Muslims and its comments were taken out of context.

Judge Higgins said an apology was "appropriate" as the intention of the Victorian legislation was to protect freedom of speech, but to place limits upon such freedom by prohibiting the vilification of persons or classes of persons. He said he took into account the pastors were of good character, but their passionate religious beliefs caused them to transgress the law.

Catch the Fire are appealing the VCAT decision at the Victorian Supreme Court.



Boy, will that be unpopular with the higher castes! Congress is India's major Leftist party

The Andhra Pradesh government Friday declared Muslims a backward class and decided to implement five percent reservations in education and employment for them. A meeting of the state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, accepted the report of the Backward Classes Commission recommending the reservations. Information and Public Relations Minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir told reporters after the meeting that the cabinet decided to create a separate 'E' group among backward classes to provide reservations to Muslims. An ordinance providing the reservations for Muslims would be issued soon and it would come into effect from this academic year. With this, the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh has fulfilled one of its major electoral promises.

However, the move could attract opposition from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and some Hindu groups that had earlier challenged a similar decision in the high court.

Some backward classes are also opposed to the move on the grounds that it would affect reservation benefits enjoyed by them as well as their claims to be added to the official list of backward classes for reservations. However, Shabbir clarified that reservations for Muslims would in no way impact those who already enjoyed reservations under 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D' groups of backward classes. The five percent reservations for Muslims would take the total quantum of reservations for backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to 51 percent, thus exceeding the 50 percent cap fixed by the Supreme Court. The state government is citing the example of states like Tamil Nadu, where the total quantum of reservations has reached 60 percent.

The Backward Classes Commission headed by judge D. Subrahmanyam Wednesday had submitted its report to the government. The report cleared legal and technical hitches for implementing the reservations for Muslims. The state government had in July last year issued an order declaring Muslims a backward community and providing five percent reservations for them in education and jobs. This sparked off a controversy with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindu rightwing groups challenging the move in the high court.

On Sep 21, 2004, a five-judge bench of the high court quashed the order on the grounds that the state government did not consult the Backward Classes Commission before taking the decision. The court directed the state government to reconstitute the commission in three months and seek its opinion for the inclusion of Muslims in the list of backward classes. According to the 1991 census, minorities made up 11 percent of Andhra Pradesh's population of 76 million, of which Muslims comprised 8.5 percent.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Shallow assertions about the market are made with no attempt as supporting reasoning or proof

I noted on Dissecting Leftism recently that some group of loopy Leftist do-gooders have just published a pie-in-the-sky "Manifesto of Wellbeing". There is a satirical look at it here. One of my readers has also sent in the following comments on a couple of passages (italicized) from the manifesto:

"There is widespread community concern that the values of the market-individualism, selfishness, materialism, competition-are driving out the more desirable values of trust, self-restraint, mutual respect and generosity. Many people feel alienated from the political process; the main parties seem too alike and think of progress only in material terms."

Why on Earth do people seem to actually believe that the market promotes individualism, selfishness, materialism, and competition.. and threatens trust, self-restraint, mutual respect, and generosity?

It's so very clear to me that it's just the opposite. The market seems to promote self-restraint, generosity (consider how far corporations go to make unhappy customers happy) and mutual respect? All the books I read on success in a free market are constantly advocating ethical values as being the cornerstone to success (7 habits and all the rest). As much as lefties seem to loathe country clubs and gentlemens clubs, (finding the excessive politeness fake), it seems clear to me that such clubs provide for a more positive example of good virtues than some communist party power struggles.

"Our collective wellbeing is improved if we live in a peaceful, flourishing, supportive society, so promoting wellbeing should be a public as well as a personal task.

We often think of wellbeing as happiness, but it is more than that. It is about having meaning in our lives-developing as a person and feeling that our lives are fulfilling and worthwhile."

One gets the sense that on the deepest level, this is what this jibber-jabber is all about. A bunch of unfulfilled people trying to find meaning by taking away that which other people find fulfilling.


Comment on a new book: "Wild Scots, Four Hundred Years of Highland History", by Michael Fry

A lot of people seem to be reaching the conclusion that I am at heart a wicked man who has set out to make money from falsifying Scotland's past - at least to judge by the ruckus over my book, "Wild Scots, Four Hundred Years of Highland History", even before it is published next week. This is supposed to set forth a new theory of Clearance denial, as my critics like to call it in deliberate allusion to the notorious Holocaust denial of David Irving.

The elevation by the politically correct of a non-famine into an atrocity of Highland history has since taken on a life of its own. Before Devine, so far as I can discover, nobody spoke or wrote of famine. Enemies of the landlords at the time, such as the stonemason of Cromarty, Hugh Miller, or John Stuart Blackie, first professor to wear a kilt, never mention it, though they must have known of the reality of famine from contemporary Ireland. But now a modern scourge of Highland landlords, Brian Wilson, claims: "Thousands of people died." And to others the non-famine has become a Holocaust.

Here, in a nutshell, is why I wrote my book. Philosophers of history tell us the discipline progresses through paradigms. One historian establishes a standard view, as Prebble did for the Clearances. Successors deepen and broaden this view, so for a while it becomes productive and enriching. But then at lesser hands the quality of the work falters and the paradigm moves away from the historical reality. History, in other words, gets increasingly wrong till it ends up presenting the opposite of what happened: such as a Highland Holocaust where in fact no Holocaust occurred.

Then it is time for the paradigm to change, for a new view better fitting the facts. Let me say my own book was inspired not just by the wrong answers other historians have given to questions of Highland history. It was also inspired by questions they never asked because the prevailing paradigm blinded them to facts which give rise to these questions.

For example, if Clearance is the central fact of modern Highland history, how come that during the classic era of Clearance the region's population was not falling but rising, and steeply?

The first Highland census, an unofficial one, was carried out by Dr Alexander Webster of Edinburgh in 1755. He found about 250,000 people living in what are now known as the seven crofting counties. By the official census of 1841 that figure had increased to near 400,000. Such Clearance as was going on cannot have been very effective.

Another question: why is the term Clearance applied to, for example, the great estates of the Duke of Sutherland whose purpose was not at all to get rid of the population but to make it more productive according to a blueprint of development which anyone who looks into his papers can read? In one respect the duke succeeded. The population rose, though not at the rampant rate of the rest of the Highlands. In contrast to other areas, the population also survived in good shape the crisis of the 1840s. In another way the duke failed. He never found the magic formula to create a prosperous Highland economy. Doubtless he can be faulted for that. But no other developer has found it either.

The Duke of Sutherland believed in planning the same way the Scottish Executive believes in planning; it will be interesting to see if they can ever do better. He also believed in shifting people under his plans the same way the post-war Labour Party believed in moving them, for example, from Townhead to Castlemilk in Glasgow. Intentions in both cases were good but both paved a road to social hell.

Another: why do we ignore those Highlanders who had the gumption to get up and go under their own steam? Before the Reform Act of 1832 the soppy old Tories, who wanted peasants to stay on the land and breed recruits for the army, only ever legislated to deter Highlanders from leaving. It was the Liberals after 1832 who took the view that if people could not support themselves where they were then they would have to go somewhere else. But there had been a steady stream of voluntary migration anyway, regardless of what government said or did. In this Highlanders showed themselves to be the same sort of go-ahead Scots as Lowlanders famously were.

These first questions I posed myself led on to more, none ever answered by anybody else but all set out in Wild Scots. I do not expect everyone to agree with my answers. But in that case they will have to offer answers of their own, because the questions are real.

More here

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


There is a very shallow defence here of Britain's current attempt to outlaw hate speech about Islam. The author claims that the bill is "narrowly drawn" so that it will still be possible to speak against Islam in various ways. But that is plainly false. The bill is designed to outlaw "expressions or behaviour intended or likely to stir up hatred". But if I say that Islam is a religion from the Devil (which I am sure I would say if I were a fundamentalist Christian) is that not an expression likely to stir up hatred of Muslims? Obviously so, I would think. Or what if I said that Mohammed was a paedophile (which he was)? Is that not an expression likely to stir up hatred of Muslims? Again obviously so, I would think. So any condemnation of Islam looks like becoming illegal in Britain. The only escape hatch offered is that "any such action would need the approval of the attorney general, who could keep a lid on it". A Labour Party Attorney General would do anything that might displease Muslims? Pull the other one!

And as the very Leftist Will Hutton ("Britain's foremost critic of capitalism") says:

"It all sounds extremely reasonable, but it isn't. It has crossed another line that is no less dangerous in a liberal society. To incite or express hatred for someone because of the colour of their skin is plainly unacceptable, but to put the expression of views about religion in the same off-limits territory, even if only in tightly drawn circumstances where they incite hatred, is wrong. By protecting belief systems from criticism, it challenges the very heart of why and what we are.

I have also received some skeptical comments from Robin Clarke in Birmingham which I reproduce below:

"Will it be enforced fairly, or with very predictable prejudice instead? In particular, I am thinking of a huge sign on Birmingham Central Mosque, which says "Read Allah's Last Testament, the Glorious Qur'an". The document here being so prominently advocated as glorious is utterly without equal in the extent to which it is saturated with incitement to religious hatred. Nothing in other religions remotely compares and anyway, so what if it did? And furthermore this is no mere theoretical / academic point. No other major religion was founded by a warmonger, whose Glorious book has inspired many millions of murders in the name of Allah, and continues to do so right now. Sure, the violence against peaceful "Muslims" in this country is deplorable and should be stopped, but it pales utterly against the enormous trail of murder which flows from the Qur'an.

So by all means let us have this law, but let it be enforced with balance, starting with the outlawing of all praise for Allah's hate-filled, hate-inspiring, unchangeable Last Testament. Or alternatively, we can cope more sensibly by simply enforcing the existing laws which prohibit assaulting of people anyway. The reality is that this bill IS being introduced solely because some Muslims are convinced --they say so themselves-- that it will indeed criminalise telling the unpalatable truth about their indefensible ideology.

The extreme prejudice with which the bill will be enforced will do nothing to further harmony with Muslims, but on the contrary generate huge resentment and rightful contempt for a "religion" which tries to use legal force to compensate for its moral and intellectual bankruptcy".

There are some interesting letters to the editor on the matter here too.


The other day I was sucker punched, hoodwinked, bamboozled, had the wool pulled over my eyes, and generally sidelined by an expert in Political Correctness. In fact, so sidelined did I get that I have been depressed for a week - and I mean really depressed. My second book recently came out and, proudly, like a new Daddy, I went on the newsgroups to announce the name of my newborn. Boy, was that a mistake. I have been catching all sorts of heck over the name of my book. More than one Politically Correct Disciple has informed me that I offended the masses with the title of my book: Mexican Living: Blogging it from a Third World Country.

It is "Third World Country" that I have been told is not a "PC" term and therefore I have offended many. Well, you can imagine how I felt. First, I live in Mexico and have gone to great lengths to attempt to assimilate the language and culture, to have Mexican friends, and to blend into the life of this wonderful country....

Just what is this Political Correct Cult supposed to be and what does it mean? Most importantly, how did I allow myself to become controlled by it? First: The noun "political correctness" means, according to the by Farlex: "Avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against."

Now, wait a minute: "That can be perceived to.?" Perception - is that what all this "PC" stuff has been about all this time? Someone gets themselves all twisted into a knot because of a "perceived insult?" I mean, is there some manual that one can buy that will spell out just who is going to get their feelings hurt over some innocent remark one might make? President Fox sure could have used one before having Lord Jackson and Prince Sharpton descending on Mexico last week over "their perceived marginalization and insult." Note, it wasn't Fox who said anything insulting but, according to the "PC" definition, it was Jackson's and Sharpton's PERCEPTION there was an insult.

How is something like this even a livable concept? Just think a moment. Is this any way to live? You go through life giving the power and control of your life over to your perception of words, or how someone might perceive your words. Isn't this what we are talking about? Are we not talking about someone hearing something that his or her mental filtration system PERCEIVES as marginalization or insulting? Words are just words. They have no intrinsic power to do anything. It is not words that define something but the hearers of those words.

That is the problem with America. Americans have become a culture of victims and in the case of the Politically Correct crowd, victims of words. Americans are people who actively and volitionally give away the power and control of their lives over to someone or something else - like words and the groups or individuals who say those words. To those who feel themselves to be marginalized or insulted: Why are you giving the power of your life over to words or the people who say them? They, the words and the speaker of them, have no more power over you than you allow. Think about this! Do not trivialize this. Stop giving the power over your life to words and the speakers of them.

Second: I fell right into the trap. My American upbringing was right there to enable me to swallow, hook, line, and sinker, the notion that I had insulted the entire nation of Mexico with my book title. Nevertheless, look what this person did - in the name of "you don't want to be an offense to someone now, do you"? - a manipulation citing Political Correctness - I fell into his trap and allowed this person to control my emotions. I gave up my power. I gave control over the emotional well-being of my life to what? I gave the power over my well-being to SOMEONE'S PERCEPTION of a marginalization or insult.

Here is when "Political Correctness" is NOT something virtuous. When someone's perception of a perceived marginalization or insult results in the loss of freedom of expression, it becomes thought control, it becomes inversion of the traditional social order and, ultimately, a totalitarian control over the lives of others. Was that Politically Correct to say?