Saturday, July 01, 2006

Women's breasts incorrect?

Los Angeles' Animal Services Department severed its ties Tuesday to a charity bikini contest thrown by Hooters, a restaurant chain known for its scantily clad wait staff, after some City Hall officials questioned the propriety of the event. Animal Services General Manager Ed Boks apologized to those who took offense at the fund-raiser, known as "Hooters for Neuters," and said it was supposed to raise money for a vital cause. "At the heart of it is the desire on the part of a legitimate business in the community -- a number of legitimate businesses in the community -- wanting to help save the lives of animals," he said. "And we're an organization that is desperately looking for that kind of funding."

City Controller Laura Chick said she is sympathetic to the agency's need to raise money to promote spaying and neutering but the event crosses the line. "One of my priorities as an elected leader is empowering women, and I see a bikini contest as promoting women as sexual objects and that is not something I want my city government connected with in any way," Chick said. "I applaud the people involved for their wanting to promote the worthy cause of spaying and neutering. That is great for them to do that, but it needs to be a separate endeavor on their part that has nothing to do with us."

Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who represents the Harbor Area, agreed. "I thought it was completely inappropriate," she said. "There's no connection between bikinis and animal services -- I think there are different ways for them to raise money."

The money from the July 13 event would have gone to the agency's Big Fix program, which includes a number of spay and neuter initiatives all aimed at reducing the population of animals who must be euthanized. The agency has six new spay and neuter clinics in the works, said Boks, who took the helm of the agency in January. Hooters approached Animal Services about the event last month, Boks said. While the agency was to have been the beneficiary of the fund-raiser, and its logo appeared on ads, he stressed that the city was not sponsoring the event. With hundreds of locations across the country and abroad -- and, at one point, its own airline -- Hooters has become a well-known and at times controversial brand. It has balanced charges of sexism and resulting legal troubles with an aggressive charitable side, raising millions of dollars for U.S. nonprofits.

The "Hooters for Neuters" event at the Highlands Hollywood theater boasted co-sponsors including 24 Hour Fitness, Han Vodka and musical acts. Tickets ranged from $10 to $20. Before the agency pulled out of the event, a prominent plug for the fund-raiser on the Animal Services Web page was modified Tuesday to remove references to the bikini contest or the name "Hooters for Neuters." It still included a link to a sanitized flier for the event that featured a T-shirt-wearing dog in place of a bikini model.

More here


Police refused to chase a thief who had stolen a moped because the youth was not wearing a helmet, the victim said yesterday. Max Foster, 18, said officers told him they feared being sued if the thief fell off the moped and injured himself. The thief escaped on the 1,200 pound moped, which was only insured third party. Mr Foster, of Coleford, Somerset, uses his Gilera 180cc to commute to work in Bath.

He was staying at a friend's house in Bath on Tuesday night when he was woken at 1.45am by the sound of his machine being ridden outside. He saw three youths taking it in turns to ride without helmets, and he dialled 999. Two officers from a police response unit arrived shortly after the trio sped away, but Mr Foster said they told him they could not go after them. "They said they weren't allowed to follow the yobs because they were not wearing helmets and it was too dangerous," said Mr Foster. "They told me the force could be sued if the riders fell off mid-chase and hurt themselves. "This softly-softly approach is totally ridiculous. It gives thieves a perfect way to exploit the law and steal as many bikes as they want without getting arrested."

Avon and Somerset police said that aborting a pursuit because the rider was not wearing a helmet was one of the "options available" to officers when "members of the public or the riders themselves could be put in danger". "With regard to the incident on Tuesday, a decision was made to actively search for the stolen moped and inquiries to trace the offenders are still ongoing."

The Association of Chief Police Officers said: "There is no blanket ban on calling off chases where a rider has no helmet, however most forces will adopt similar stances." Sharon Ball, a Liberal Democrat councillor in Bath, said: "There is a terrible bike theft problem in this area, and this crazy approach means the issue will just get worse."


Mark Twain a "Racist"

Post lifted from Liberty & Power blog

Readers of Liberty and Power will recall the disturbing antics of Glenn Singleton, a self-described diversity expert. Singleton typically gets six figures for his services from school districts, such as Cherry Creek, Colorado and Chapel Hill, North Carolina and (courtesy of a blowback from a conservative campaign led by Michelle Malkin) from Bellevue Community College.

Singleton describes his thought reform sessions as “Courageous Conversations.” The reality of what goes on has little, if anything, to do with either courage or genuine conversation. The main talent of Singleton and his associates is to find creative ways to humiliate and degrade others. Much like Communist thugs during the Cultural Revolution in China, their standard operating procedure is to have hapless educators and staff line up with individual signs, each showing numerical scores of their alleged unconscious racism.

I shudder to think that they might also have to listen to Singleton's theories on American literature. Haven't they suffered enough? He has the following to say, for example, about Mark Twain, Huck Finn, and Jim: "I remember sitting back in middle school and saying to myself, 'I don't think Twain is a satirist, I think he's a racist. I don't think Huck and Jim are having this great relationship. I can't really understand why Jim keeps talking to Huck. I would think if I just got out of this period of slavery-with no freedom-I wouldn't want to spend all my time on a raft with a white boy answering questions.'"

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