Friday, August 13, 2010

90% of women 'sexually harassed in the workplace' (or is it 1%?)

The "study" below is a bit of a laugh. As we read on in the article, we find that harassment "included offensive remarks about being female, their appearance, body or sexual activities" So "harassment" is very broadly defined.

We also read that the survey covered only "the US military and the legal profession". That is hardly a representative sample.

And as a very experienced survey researcher, I can tell you that the response rate to the survey would have been very low. Quite probably it was only or mainly disgruntled women who replied to it. The findings are in short entirely consistent with an actual overall rate of harassment that affected (say) 1% of all women -- not 90%. It's junk science. Or to put it in an academic way: Parameter estimation is the least promising application of survey research

Nine in ten women have suffered some form of sexual discrimination in the workplace, a study has found.

A vast majority of women workers have experienced ‘gender harassment’, which includes offensive sexist remarks or being told that they could not do their job properly due to their sex.

This more common, low-level sexist behaviour was just as damaging and distressing as overt advances, experts suggest.
Distress: A vast majority of women workers have experienced 'gender harassment', which includes offensive sexist remarks or being told that they could not do their job properly due to their sex

Distress: A vast majority of women workers have experienced 'gender harassment', which includes offensive sexist remarks or being told that they could not do their job properly due to their sex

The researchers at the University of Michigan found that 10 per cent of the women surveyed had experienced the most severe form of harassment, in which they were promised promotion or better treatment if they were ‘sexually cooperative’.

The study questioned women in two male-dominated environments – the US military and the legal profession. It found that although few were subjected to actual advances, such as being groped, 90 per cent had been subjected to gender harassment.

This included offensive remarks about being female, their appearance, body or sexual activities. The researchers argued that this ‘leads to negative personal and professional outcomes and as such is a serious form of sex discrimination’.

Gender harassment ‘creates a hostile environment that disadvantages women’, they said. Often dismissed as a misguided attempt to draw women into romantic relationships, such behaviour actually rejects women and drives them out of jobs, they said.

The findings, in Springer’s journal of Law and Human Behaviour, concluded that harassment victims fared poorly at work. They were far more likely to develop health problems that affected their performance.


Police Hid “Mid-Eastern” Description of killer

Serial Killer Who Targeted US Blacks is Palestinian Arab Illegal Alien, NOT an Israeli Jew

By Debbie Schlussel

For several weeks, police have been quietly searching for a serial killer who stabbed poor Black victims in Flint, Michigan, then fled to Leesburg, Virginia, where his sister lives. Many family members of the victims were angry that the police did not disclose the White identity of the murderer, saying it was racist. But, now, it’s very clear why they hid his identity and true visual description: Elias Abuelazam is a Palestinian Arab illegal alien who was here on an expired passport.
“He was a dark Middle Eastern guy and the description was of a White guy,” said [DS: his neighbor] Carrie Strang, who woke up this morning to find police cars and news vans outside.

Wow, we’ve really regressed a long way when we endanger people’s lives to give a politically-correct, whitewashed description of a Palestinian serial killer.

Abuelazam, who killed five people and attacked 20 others in three states, engaged in apparent marriage fraud, marrying a woman from Texas (and never adjusting his immigration status), then divorcing her.

Police stopped Abuelazam, who was trying to board a flight to escape to Israel. Unfortunately, while Abuelazam’s name isn’t being publicized, that he is “from Israel” is. It’s funny: they hate Israel, but whenever Palestinians are in trouble, suddenly they are “from Israel.” He may have been born in Israel and even have an Israeli passport, but he and his ilk identify as and with Palestinians. The guy is NOT Israeli, contrary to MSNBC’s disgusting headline: "Israeli held in investigation of serial stabbings"

He’s Palestinian Arab who was born in Israel. Get that straight.

Abuelazam specifically targeted Blacks and stabbed them to death. Disgustingly, some of the Detroit media, including “newscaster” Trudi Daniels of Detroit’s WRIF-FM, are making excuses for the guy, with Daniels saying that he probably did this because “maybe a Black guy raped his wife” or someone Black robbed him or committed some other crime against him, she surmised. Daniels is an uber-liberal . . . and, now, clearly a racist.

It is well known that Palestinians, Arabs, and the Arab and Muslim worlds are racist. As I’ve noted before, they call Blacks, “abed” or “abeed”–singular and plural for slave, in Arabic.

Abuelazam was employed at a Flint-area convenience store, the Kingwater Market, owned by fellow Arab, Abdullah Farah. How interesting that it didn’t bother them that he was here illegally. Yes, they are accessories to his illegal alien presence in America, but nothing will happen to them. Because we just don’t have the guts, do we?

We don’t have the guts to protect our borders or to do a damned thing to those who help keep it porous and indefensible.

Nor do we do a damned thing about police who won’t correctly identify a Middle-Eastern Arab serial killer on the loose because, post-9/11, we must bow down to the Arab street at all cost. Nauseating to the Nth.


People who can't take a joke - that IS offensive: Modern-day society is lacking humour

Most people reading this will, at some point, have had the misfortune to meet one of those piggyfaced people who, at a certain point in the conversation, says: 'Excuse me, but I find that offensive.'

Often it's someone who isn't actually offended themselves. They are claimed offence for an absent third party. Unfortunately, this horrible behavioural tic is extending its reach. It is realising its power and getting organised.

You often hear the phrase 'Why does no one ever say "X" in the media?' or 'Why do you never hear "Y"?' The simple answer is that - to an extent barely realised outside the business - what can be written and broadcast in our media today is no longer decided just by editors and commissioners, but by a labyrinthine bureaucracy open to wild abuse by anyone who can claim to have had their feelings hurt.

If you don't like something you hear, you can claim to have suffered an offence - instead of just turning it off. Minority interest pressure groups encourage it, and you can be directed to things that you weren't offended by first time round via Twitter and Facebook. Best of all, you can threaten to use the law.

Let me give an example. But first, let me cover myself by issuing a disclaimer - what follows is a joke: 'A man walked into a Dublin bar and saw a friend sitting with an empty glass.

"Paddy, can I get you another?" he asked. Paddy replied, "Now, what would I be wanting with another empty glass?" '

Let me be absolutely clear; it is not a good joke. I am not saying it is. But in any sane society there would be only two possible reactions. You could laugh or, (more likely) like me, you will have emitted a small groan.

But, of course, this is no longer a sane society and so a third option presents itself - which is that you call up the police and report that a crime has been committed. Not a crime against humour. But a crime. Full stop.

Happily, the above joke is not my own. Any correspondence should be sent to Councillor Ken Bamber who sits on the local council in the Medway towns, Kent. Cllr Bamber told the above joke during a council event.

Unfortunately, another individual present was one Brian Kelly, a Unison representative. Mr Kelly promptly stated that he had been born in Ireland and had Irish lineage and as such found the joke offensive.

A complaint was launched. A lengthy legal process ensued, at the end of which Mr Kelly was awarded many thousands of pounds in compensation, paid to him by the Council and Cllr Bamber. You and I, of course, paid for the cost of proceedings.

Now, when I read about this earlier this year I had a few thoughts of my own and wrote a piece about this madness. Among other things, I reflected on the paltry pay given to our Armed Forces as compared to the munificent shell-out to Mr Kelly.

I said that there is something wrong with a society in which our soldiers in Afghanistan get paid just over 1,000 pounds a month for facing incoming fire from the Taliban, while Mr Kelly is paid many times that for the risk of facing an incoming joke in Kent.

Anyhow, I signed off in the spirit of 'they can't take us all' by saying that readers should send in their own Irish jokes to defeat this compensation-culture menace. At which point, I unwittingly walked straight on to the crime scene myself.

I, too, had committed a hate crime. Worse, I had incited others to do the same. I had become a one-man walking crimewave. Before I knew it, I was in what one journalist described as 'a minor international incident'.

The phone began to ring with predominantly Irish journalists wanting comment. Editorials were written on the case of the Scottish-sounding man who had incited jokes against the Irish. As the case dragged on, I started to wonder whether I could leave the house without committing a hate crime.

Apparently, I didn't have to. The Irish embassy issued a statement and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs proclaimed that it was precisely because of articles like mine that hate-speech laws existed.

And, of course, utterly inevitably, some self-appointed harpy who claimed to be an Irish 'community leader' reported me to the Press Complaints Commission and police.

Hate crimes complaints, I learned, are like hydras: attempt to chop up one and you find yourself facing two.

I know I'm not the only journalist to have gone through this process. More and more special-interest groups are demanding acquiescence or silence in relation to their agendas.

And, as a result, there are certain subjects that you are simply better off not writing about. Anything to do with race, religion or sexuality you're better off out of. Of course, the principle that no one should be able to claim or receive compensation for hearing a joke they do not like was lost in much of the Irish hullabaloo.

But I was struck by something in the conversations I kept having with people. Generally, my interviewers and correspondents recognised that there are real crimes - rapes, murders and so on - which might better suit police attention.

But there was also a presumption, and the younger the interviewer the more prevalent it was, that there must be - had to be - something in place in society that stopped people having to face the risk of having their feelings insulted. Particularly if it had something to do with ethnic heritage, religion or sexuality.

My own reaction to this is fairly robust. Being offended, and learning to deal with it, is part of being a grown-up in a grown-up society. I get offended every time I walk down the street. I'm offended by very fat people, I'm offended by flashy people.

I'm offended by Channel 4 News. Most of all, I'm offended by super-sensitive people who think that they're the only ones in the world with feelings. Yet I don't try to get any of these banned because I know that it's not the state's job to punish people just because they annoy me.

An increasing number of us appear to think differently. I suppose we should have seen this coming. After all, if the Government is meant to provide everything else in life, why shouldn't it be expected to police your feelings as well? It is a logical endpoint of the welfare state.

But it seems to me that humour, like good manners, can be learned only by acquaintance with well-mannered or good-humoured people.

If you do something rude or illmannered - including telling an inappropriate joke - people around you, who you wish to be respected by, should let you know you have made a gaffe. The smallest of silences, a cough or an awkward shuffle of feet, will do.

A society in which authority decides what you can hear and say will not only be a society lacking in humour, it will be one lacking in humanity.


The Great Repeal Bill

By Wendy McElroy, writing about British politics for an American audience

Legal and political trends in the United Kingdom often parallel or precede ones within the United States. For example, the politically correct crusades against smoking and child obesity raged in Britain prior to jumping the Atlantic.

A particularly interesting trend is currently unfolding in the UK and, for once, its spread might bring welcomed change. The new coalition government is pushing what it calls a Freedom or Great Repeal Bill. In the Queen’s Speech of May 2010 — a speech written by the government but read by the monarch at Parliament’s opening session — Queen Elizabeth stated, “Legislation will be brought forward to restore freedoms and civil liberties, through the abolition of Identity Cards and repeal of unnecessary laws.”

The new coalition government has pledged to “roll back the State, reducing the weight of government imposition on citizens that has increased in recent years through legislation and centralised programmes.” In short, the government intends to start reversing some aspects of the nanny state.

The Labour Party had been in power since 1997, first under Tony Blair and then under Gordon Brown. Many factors caused Labour to lose support, including a devastated economy and an unpopular war in Iraq. Another factor was the huge growth of government under Labour which was accompanied by a flood of nanny state legislation that caused grassroots grumbling. A sampling of the regulations imposed indicates the depth and breadth of government’s petty intrusion into the daily life of a Brit:

# The heat of bathwater: it is a criminal offense to sell a bath or bath taps that supplies water hotter than 48 degrees.

# Shopping on Sunday: trading laws restrict how long a business may be open on Sunday.

# Sale of goldfish to children: it is to sell a goldfish to anyone under 14-years-old, with harsh penalties being imposed.illegal.

# Music license: pubs need a license to have live music, even that played on a guitar by a local musician

# Marriage venue laws: In England and Wales, you must marry at a Register Office or a state-approved marriage venue.

# Anti-home DYI laws: for example, it is illegal to do your own minor electrical work, like adding a socket in your own home.

# Garbage recycling laws: trash bins have been implanted with 2.6 million microchips to ensure recycling compliance and collect huge fines

Some of the intrusions have not been so petty. This is especially true of the ones justified in the name of anti-terrorism. For example, a decryption law requires a citizen to give up encryption keys under threat of a jail sentence for refusing. “Control orders” allow the police to de facto arrest people on “suspicion” (sometimes they are indefinitely confined to their homes) without having to declare any charges or provide other due process.

The caveats:

The coalition government is most definitely not pro-freedom at its root.

The Queen’s Speech of May 2010 reiterated the government’s strong anti-immigration policy and promised “to tackle alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour.” Britain already has one of the most restrictive policies on alcohol in the Western world. “Anti-social behaviour” is currently handled through Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, which are civil orders against people who engage in a wide range of activities including noise pollution, busking, loitering, or littering.

Thus, even though the coalition should be applauded for being adamant about scrapping the UK’s compulsory national identity card and national ID registry, they are not doing so on libertarian grounds. Brendan O’Neill of the alternate news site Spiked describes such actions as “less a rallying cry for a new, more liberated way of organising society than a snake-like shedding of jobs that they no longer feel capable of executing.”

In all probability, the coalition is pandering to public backlash against the petty intrusion of a Nanny State, all the while being cognizant of the fact that it cannot afford to implement all the legislation its predecessors had passed. Nevertheless, a pandering that increases privacy rights and civil liberties would be a welcomed change.

More here

Another dangerous censorship tool coming up

A clandestine international treaty is currently being negotiated among parties including the United States, Canada, New Zealand, the European Union, Japan, Singapore, and Morocco. It can justly be called the greatest threat of our time to the advancement of human civilization. Considering the magnitude of the other abuses of power pervading the world today, this might seem an exaggeration, but the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) contravenes every principle of civilized society, both in its content and in the nature of the proceedings leading to its creation.

It threatens to undo the accomplishments of the great Internet revolution and to thrust humankind back to a time when individuals had no public voice and no countervailing power against politically privileged mercantilist institutions. ACTA tramples on essential rights that have achieved even mainstream recognition: innocence until one is proven guilty, due process, personal privacy, and fair use of published content. Moreover, because of its designation as a trade agreement, ACTA could be imposed on the people of the United States by the president, without even a vote of Congress....

Here, I will only summarize the most salient abuses arising from this treaty, but I encourage readers to learn as much as they can about this truly totalitarian agreement. My other objective here is to demonstrate the enormous danger that ACTA poses: it threatens to thrust human civilization back into the pre-electronic Dark Ages.

ACTA's provisions would amplify the already-onerous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. Prior to DMCA, copyright infringement was a civil offense; if the holder of "intellectual property rights" to a work found himself inconvenienced by its unauthorized distribution, he could sue the "infringer" in court. The DMCA criminalized copyright infringement and has rendered thousands of innocent creators' work subject to notorious and frivolous takedown notices, but it retained important protections for individual consumers and Internet service providers (ISPs). For instance, the DMCA's "safe harbor" provisions absolved ISPs from liability for any copyright infringement on the part of their customers. ACTA would eliminate this protection and require ISPs to become an enforcement arm of the treaty, under threat that the ISPs themselves would be fined or shut down if they did not comply.

Under the current copyright regime, a holder of "intellectual property rights" is at least formally required to gather evidence of any infringement and submit a grievance. With ACTA, this requirement would be eliminated, and the holder of "intellectual property rights" would not even need to complain in order for governments to persecute the alleged infringer.

The sheer absurdity of this approach does not take long to recognize. Indeed, many copyright holders today — from superstar musicians to part-time online content creators — deliberately look the other way when others reproduce their work without prior permission; they hope to benefit from the resulting exposure.

Under ACTA, governments would be able to crack down on the fans of these creators, against those creators' own wishes! Even if one accepts the validity of intellectual-property rights (which I do not), who would be the rights holder here — individual creators, or governments and the large, politically privileged trade associations that are pushing this treaty?

Under ACTA, the very suspicion or allegation of having downloaded or even accessed copyrighted material online would render one's computer open to search without a warrant. Fines and other penalties would apply to refusing permission for a search, while anyone consenting to a search would almost certainly be found guilty of some "infringement" or another. Under ACTA, even viewing a website containing material that infringes a copyright — without the viewer being aware of said infringement's existence — would be considered aiding and abetting the infringement.

Moreover, ACTA would render individuals liable to searches and penalties even for the suspicion of possessing materials that might have been obtained via distribution channels that are similar to distribution channels for obtaining unauthorized copies. So, if you ever downloaded a free mp3 file from an artist who shares all of his work for free online, you would not be safe. And this is not too far off from what the proponents of ACTA desire. Remember that, with the force of US law on its side, the RIAA does not allow even nonmember artists to offer their own works for free on certain channels — such as Internet radio. This organization — the epitome of mercantilism and protectionism for politically connected large studios — would enjoy nothing more than the death of free, legitimate sharing of content online.

Just as important to remember is that people who never infringe on anyone's copyright are just as likely to suffer from ACTA, particularly if they have anything intelligent and controversial to say online. If there is anything that the history of DMCA notice abuses teaches us, it is that sophisticated expressions of ideas are never safe from malicious and contrived allegations of copyright infringement.

Thousands of creators on YouTube, whose works contained no copyrighted materials, have for years been served DMCA takedown notices by fanatics who intensely disagreed with their ideas. YouTube's mindless automatic response system to DMCA notices resulted in these creators' accounts being suspended and sometimes deleted altogether, even when their accusers clearly violated the law by bringing forth frivolous charges. Under ACTA, the same frivolous accusations can result in much more than the deletion of a video account; governments will assume the role of enforcers, and — judging by precedents such as the war on drugs and "airport security" — you can be certain that they will not be nearly as scrupulous or respectful of individual rights as YouTube.

Much more HERE


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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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