Tuesday, June 24, 2008

British equality bill to ban age barriers.

More British wackiness. Fools step in where angels fear to tread

Elderly people would have the right to join youth clubs or go on 18-30 cruises under new equality legislation to be introduced this week. Ministers are to give pensioners new protection against age discrimination. The law would stop insurance companies, 95% of which impose an upper age limit, refusing life insurance or holiday cover to senior citizens or charging more on the basis of their age.

The new law would give teenagers the right to join clubs that have traditionally been the preserve of the elderly, while middle-aged clubbers could not be refused entry to a nightclub on the basis of age alone.

Gordon Lishman, director-general of Age Concern, said: "People are often surprised to learn that ageism is the most commonly experienced prejudice in the UK. But both young and old find they come up against barriers created by their age. People over a certain age pay a huge premium on insurance just because of their age. They can also be denied certain types of health treatment because doctors don't think it is worth treating them. This is unfair and unjust."

The Single Equality Bill will also offer new protection to gays and ethnic minorities. Public bodies will have a duty to promote equality while schools will have to develop strategies to prevent gay bullying.

The bill is expected to stop short of demanding that companies introduce compulsory pay audits that would reveal whether men and women of equal experience and seniority are paid the same, after opposition from business. Less stringent measures to improve transparency on equal pay are to be introduced.


Colorado's war on Christian speech

In Colorado Christians can no longer condemn homosexuality as a sin, as an abomination, (as the scriptures refer to it), unless they are inside the four walls of their church. That is state law in Colorado now. There is an article at World Net Daily on this subject you should read. You'll find it here.

Has your jaw dropped yet? Ok, allow me to ask the following question: Whatever happened to "Separation of Church and State" with which the Left is constantly beating the Christian community of America over the head. Even though, I might add, it isn't even in the US Constitution.

Oh, I forgot. That only applies if it happens to be the Left's Ox being gored. In other words, the Left doesn't mind the state interfering with YOUR religion so long as it is YOUR religion they don't agree with. What we have here is just another blatant example of the hypocrisy of the left. By the way, do you see the ACLU rushing to the defense of Christians in Colorado over this? No. and you won't.

As a result of this law, there are no more gender specific restrooms or locker rooms in Colorado. Yep! Now a man can enter a woman's restroom and relieve himself, or a woman can enter a man's restroom and relieve herself... at will. There is no infraction of the law. Scratching your head over this one? Well, it took me a moment or so, too. See, you cannot publicly question the gender of a person anymore. At least. not in Colorado. If a man wishes to use the ladies restroom, you cannot forbid him because his physical plumbing is different from that of the gender to which the restroom was originally dedicated. Of course, the same thing applies to women.

Head still spinning? OK, then check this: religious publishers, in Colorado, could be accused under the law, for publishing biblical condemnation of homosexuality. It just so happens that Colorado is the state where the huge Christian publishing operations of NavPress and the International Bible Society are located. Now, suppose your church in Colorado has it's own church bulletin, which it publishes for every service, as most churches do these days. Suppose something in that church bulletin, intended for use in the worship service, condemns homosexuality. There is a possible violation of the law, as we understand it, if that publication leaves the church building. Most all churchgoers take their church bulletin home with them.

This is an abomination of a state law. If there was any doubt there is a "War on Christianity in America", what's happening in Colorado should erase it.


Nothing can dent Leftist preconceptions

"Yeah, it is that simple. He lied, and we all know it. So STFU. Now." - Marecek
That was one of 1,643 comments left in response to Fred Hiatt's June 9 piece in the Washington Post, entitled "Bush Lied? If Only It Were That Simple," which covered the findings of the Select Committee on Intelligence, headed by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV). Marecek's was the majority opinion.

In writing his piece for the editorial page of the Washington Post, Hiatt - that page's editor - made the mistake of actually quoting passages of this report, which claimed that a host of "lies" of which President Bush has been accused since 2003 were "substantiated by intelligence." Vituperation and ad hominem attacks were left as commentary at the paper's website, with calls for Hiatt's immediate firing, for - apparently - his treason in quoting a report, written by a Democratic majority, that dared to depart from a narrative that has become conventional wisdom.
You know? The more I think about this lying idiot that edits WaPo, the more I realize how venal and corrupt the neo-cons really are. They really have no shame. No shame at all. Their corruption is complete. Frankly, the Emperor in Star Wars had more integrity than these neo-cons. Hiatt truly is a lapdog. - santafe2
I showed the article and comments to several friends of various backgrounds. One who works in media shot back: "if you don't like the message, ignore it and kill the messenger!"

A friend who homeschools her children - and does it so well that the oldest has won a full academic scholarship to a university - was surprised that commenters would express such contempt not for the committee findings, which contradicted their worldview, but for the reporter who covered it. "It's illogical," she said. "Do public schools no longer teach critical thinking skills?"

Curious about that myself, I asked a friend who teaches social studies at a local and very well-regarded high school. "We're supposed to be teaching critical thinking," she said. "It's in all the local and state standards, but in practice . there's only so much time." "I really do try to tell my students to keep an open mind and consider all sides," she continued, "but how much effect do you think that has when they get their news from sound bites followed by sarcasm on Comedy Central, and they see teachers wearing `Bush Lied' buttons on their lapels? The button gives a cue: `Think this way, you'll get an A.' That's pretty alluring. There is nothing out there actively encouraging reasonable thought; we do not teach logic."

A quick poll of college freshmen around the house found little to disagree with in her assessment. "Mr. B. did make a point of telling us to listen to both sides and make up our own minds, but mostly you knew where a teacher stood politically, because even if they tried not to show it, you could see it in how they taught - how they'd talk up what they supported and barely mention the other side." I showed them the Hiatt piece and comments, and asked their thoughts. "Well, you know," one young man shrugged, "it doesn't really matter. It's gone beyond what's true or not anymore. People are going to believe what they want to believe." Hiatt himself suggested as much, writing:
Why does it matter, at this late date? The Rockefeller report will not cause a spike in "Bush Lied" mug sales, and the Bond dissent will not lead anyone to scrape the "Bush Lied" bumper sticker off his or her car.
"It doesn't matter," the young man, repeated. "People don't look at `the truth' as `the truth' anymore. There's just what you believe, and how the other guy is wrong." "But that describes feelings, not truth," I said. "Right. Your feelings are your truth." "When did this happen?" I asked, "because I didn't get the memo.". My son gave a wry laugh and piped in, "around the time we couldn't decide what the meaning of `is' was!"

Laughter all around, but I could not join in. Collecting their news and information from Comedy Central and internet forums rich with satire and irony, everything has become a joke for our young - the "truthiness" that "feels" right, an acceptable alternative to solid facts or findings. But clever jokes and easy cynicism will not right the wrongs of the world or encourage serious governance over the cartoonish politics of the day. "Do you know Pope Benedict?" I asked the group. "Gunter Grass told a story about the pope when he was a teenager named Joseph Ratzinger and they were in an American POW camp." "Right, he was a Nazi," a girl piped up, knowledgeably, "but everyone was conscripted, then."

With a low moan I decided to let that bare bones narrative suffice. "Grass related a conversation he had with Ratzinger in that camp. `There are many truths,' he said. And Ratzinger replied, `there is only one.'" "Well, that's why he's pope," my son said, breezing it along. "Seems like `truthiness' has been around for a while then," he added. "Relativism has been, anyway," I agreed, knowing they'd lost interest. When they left I took out Benedict XVI's last homily as Cardinal Ratzinger, and reread this:
How many winds of doctrine we have known in these last decades, how many ideological currents, how many fashions of thought. . While relativism, that is, allowing oneself to be carried about with every wind of "doctrine," seems to be the only attitude that is fashionable. A dictatorship of relativism is being constituted that recognizes nothing as absolute and which only leaves the "I" and its whims as the ultimate measure.
Which explains, perhaps, how logic is served when a writer simply reports the facts of a finding and is met with: "STFU. Now."


Free speech very shaky in the Netherlands

That's the speculation in today's De Telegraaf, on the basis of an international arrest warrant which is expected to be issued at the behest of the Jordanian government. Here's a translation of the article by our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan, followed by his commentary on the state of civil liberties in the Netherlands:
Wilders might soon be arrested

Amsterdam - Geert Wilders fears he will be arrested soon when traveling abroad, due to his movie Fitna. Jordan is working on an international warrant for the arrest of the PVV leader in order to prosecute him.

Last Monday the court in Amman found the complaint filed to be acceptable. Wilders expects that the court will soon appeal for an international warrant for his arrest, reports De Volkskrant.

Jordan can possibly make a request through Interpol. Such an appeal can be fought by the Dutch government.

It is also possible Jordan will ask individual nations visited by Wilders to extradite him. In any case, the Wilders' freedom of movement will be severely restricted. Wilders complains about the uncertainty. "One never knows when it will happen. My freedom of movement will be enormously limited and I cannot operate as a politician," according to Wilders in De Volkskrant.

The risks are being mapped by the ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Commentary by H. Numan:
Given the brave attitude of the Dutch government in protecting this bothersome politician and our constitutional rights, I expect the mapping of the Foreign Ministry will be limited to pointing out where Jordan is on the geographical map, and issuing a statement that since this country is far away from the Netherlands, there is actually no risk at all. Or, Mr. Balkenende will use his by now famous megaphone diplomacy, to update interested nations where certain politicians are presently traveling to. Nothing personal, mind you.

It didn't attract much attention, but last week we had a parliamentary debate about the arrest of Gregorius Nekschot. The government admitted the case was somewhat mishandled, but saw no reason for further investigation. The parliament accepted the explanation.

Not long after the arrest of Gregorius another Gestapo team raided the house of a person. For a middle aged cartoonist a ten men SWAT team is sufficient. In this case the police found it necessary to send in twenty officers. This person was and is involved in the management of the site www.holland-hardcore.com. Holland-Hardcore is a very big site (well over 10,000 visitors per day) dedicated to hardcore music and politics. The tenor is nationalist. Nothing remotely extreme about it. It certainly isn't extreme right-wing or neo-fascist, as media would like one to believe. After interrogation and confiscation of his pc the young man was released and no charges have been filed as yet.

Hoeiboei - one can call this hardly a right-wing blog, let alone extreme - received a summons to report to the local police station, to answer questions. In the summons no charges were filed. This alone is an offense, as it is legally required that the police state the reason why someone is summoned to the police station.

The owner of the site www.rechtser.com received a warrant last year for his arrest, due to two postings by visitors considered offensive. The case is still pending. In short, The Netherlands is still a democratic nation, in the same sense the DDR [East Germany] was a democratic republic.


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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