Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Soft justice: Thousands of career criminals spared prison in British Coalition's first year

The number of career criminals being spared jail has soared since the Coalition took office.

An astonishing 4,000 offenders have been handed community sentences, despite each totting up at least 50 convictions.

The figure for 2010 – the year Ken Clarke took over as Justice Secretary – was 17 per cent higher than 2009’s and treble that of 2002.

Incredibly, 408 criminals dodged jail last year even when being sentenced for what was at least their 100th offence.

Earlier this year, the Daily Mail revealed that the percentage of all convicted criminals sent to jail had fallen since the Coalition took over last May.

Rapists, drug-dealers, muggers, drink-drivers and thugs caught with knives and guns were all more likely to receive soft community sentences.

If the sentencing standards of 2009 had been applied last year, more than 2,000 extra criminals would have gone to jail.

Critics of the criminal justice system say pressure is being put on courts by Mr Clarke to jail fewer people because prisons are close to overflowing.

The Justice Secretary wants to scrap most terms of under six months and replace them with community sentences – meaning more repeat offenders will be let off.

Conservative MP Priti Patel said: ‘Clearly when you have got serial criminals and repeat offenders causing such harm the Government has got to start addressing the issue.

‘It is not acceptable that these people are being given community sentences when they should be locked up. The Government needs to tackle this situation; these are people who need to be locked away in prison to keep the public safe.

‘If there is a need for more prison places then we need to build more prisons. Prisons are about protecting people on the outside from the vile criminals who are being kept behind bars.’

The latest figures show that the proportion of offenders escaping jail with 50 convictions or more has risen from 0.5 per cent in 2002 to 1.5 per cent last year.

Some 3,898 criminals fell into that bracket in 2010, compared with 3,333 the year before and 1,238 in 2002.

Last year the Daily Mail revealed that the worst of the repeat offenders to be spared jail had a 50-year criminal record and 578 previous convictions or cautions.

These included 300 offences of theft as well as burglary, robbery, assault, possessing offensive weapons and public order crimes.

Conservative MP Philip Davies, who uncovered those statistics, said: ‘This shows that the criminal justice system has become a joke. It shows that despite what Justice Secretary Ken Clarke would have us believe, we have too few people in prison, not too many.’

Criminologist Dr David Green, director of the Civitas think-tank, said: ‘This rise in the number of career criminals escaping jail has been caused by political pressure from the Government to reduce the prison population. Judges and magistrates are failing in their basic duty to protect the public.

'If someone has been convicted even three or four times, jail should be considered. But these are people being convicted 50 or 100 times. It should be obvious that for these people, this is how they make a living.

‘And we should remember that not all crimes are detected. The Home Office admits that for every conviction, the offender has committed five more. So someone being convicted 50 times has in fact carried out at least 300 – and I think that’s an underestimate.’

Mr Clarke wants to replace sentences of six or fewer months – given to around 50,000 criminals a year – with ‘tougher community sentences’.

Last year he claimed: ‘Simply banging up more and more people for longer without actively seeking to change them is not going to protect the public. ‘I do not think prison is, or should be, a numbers game.

‘The army of short-term prisoners we have at the moment, who have a particularly bad record of reoffending within six months of being released, is too big and we’ve got to find some sensible community sentences.’

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: ‘Sentencing in individual cases is rightly a matter for the courts to decide.’


Australia: 'Second-chance crime wave' in Victoria as 884 offenders freed and then commit 4177 crimes

VICTORIA Police is concerned that suspected violent criminals are being freed by the courts - despite facing serious charges - and then allegedly committing murder, rape and armed robbery.

An investigation by the Sunday Herald Sun has revealed 6096 suspects were granted bail last year and then went into hiding, missing the date of their court hearing. And, before arrest warrants for failing to appear in court were executed, 884 of them went on to commit an alleged 4117 new offences.

But Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said there were "clear expectations" on officers to remand anyone in custody who posed a risk to society or was a risk of absconding and he was "confident" this was done in all police cases. "Ultimately, it's the court's decision and sometimes the courts don't go our way," Mr Cornelius said.

"There are times when we are concerned because of the risk to the public. There are plenty of cases where it might be said they've (the courts) got it wrong."

But Chief Magistrate Ian Gray hit back, suggesting police may have let some of the bail-jumpers go. "Offending while on bail is a serious issue and the decision to grant bail is made carefully," Mr Gray said. "It's not clear from these figures how many of these are police bails or court bails - but where it's shown in court that an offender poses an unacceptable risk of reoffending bail will be denied.

"Courts are obliged to apply the law. There is a presumption in favour of granting bail unless an accused needs to show cause or show exceptional circumstances."

Mr Cornelius cited the release of captured drug kingpin Tony Mokbel, who subsequently fled to Greece while on bail and was on the run for more than a year before being rearrested and extradited back to Melbourne. "I hope that Mokbel would be one case that would provide a source of reflection for our judicial colleagues," he said.

The statistics were obtained under Freedom of Information requests over several months. Police would not reveal the identities of the alleged murderer and other criminals who reoffended while at large.

Mr Cornelius revealed a newly published six-month performance report flagged outstanding warrants as an issue and that police statewide would now be conducting regular operations. "If a suspect has made a decision to skip bail and not turn up to court it's likely they have also made arrangements to go to ground and not be found," Mr Cornelius said, explaining why suspects were not located straight away.

"The volume of warrants is going up because courts are dishing out more each day, while we are still trying to find the ones we already have. It's on our radar. Our focus is on outstanding warrants and we need to pay a great deal of attention to it."

All officers are notified of a warrant if they happen to stop a person for any reason and run a check on their name.

The police's job becomes harder if the suspect moves to another suburb, interstate or even overseas. "The impetus and motivation is very much there to catch everyone who is wanted on a warrant," Mr Cornelius said. "For every crime there is a victim and if we don't have the accused there is a victim out there not getting justice. "The 4117 figure is a number that serves a reminder to Victoria Police to pay attention to this matter."

The Justice Department refused to comment on the issue this week after being asked on Wednesday.


Bank of Gay America

Mike Adams writes to the Bank of America about new persecution of Dr. Turek
Dear Mr. Moynihan:

I want to bring to your attention a recent decision made by your HR team that I think does not reflect your leadership of Bank of America. Dr. Frank Turek was fired as a vendor for his political and religious views, even though those views were never mentioned or expressed during his work at Bank of America.

By way of background, Dr. Turek is an eight-year veteran of the United States Navy, and he and his wife have two sons serving in the United States Air Force. He has conducted leadership, teambuilding and other training programs for Bank of America on several occasions since 1995. His programs have always earned high marks, hence the repeated invitations.

In late May of this year Dr. Turek was hired to present at a meeting of your Global Business Management & Analysis Team within Global Wealth and Investment Management. The title of his presentation was called “Why Can’t You Be Normal Just Like Me?” The presentation helps participants adapt to diverse personalities to improve productivity and relationships—the essence of inclusion and diversity. The meeting was scheduled to take place at your Merrill Lynch facility in Pennington, New Jersey on June 17.

Three days before the event Dr. Turek was abruptly fired by an HR representative. Why? She explained that someone Googled his name and discovered that he had written Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone. Marriage was not the topic of his presentation, nor has it ever been in all his years of working with the bank. Moreover, as his book reveals (although no one at the Bank is likely to have read it), Dr. Turek treats all people with respect, whether he agrees with them politically or not. Nevertheless, in the name of “inclusion” and “diversity,” he was immediately excluded for his political and religious viewpoint. Mr. Moynihan, please answer this question: Do you have to have certain political or religious views to work at Bank of America?

I know you cannot really believe that free speech and religion rights vanish when one works with Bank of America. I know that you cannot believe that all political conservatives, Jews, Christians, Mormons and Muslims should be fired for their deeply held beliefs. But that is how the Bank of America policy of “inclusion” was applied to Dr. Turek. He was fired because of his personal political and religious beliefs—beliefs that are undoubtedly shared by thousands of your very large and diverse workforce. Or is it really diverse?

I assume the intent of the Bank’s value of “inclusion” is to ensure that people in that diverse workforce will work together cordially and professionally even when they inevitably disagree on certain political, moral or religious questions. Dr. Turek agrees with that value and was demonstrating it. He was being inclusive working with the Bank. But your Bank of “America” was being exclusive by refusing to work with him, even though his viewpoint was never discussed during work.

If you deny that your culture is dramatically tilted toward political correctness, I ask you to consider this: What action would have been taken by your bank had Dr. Turek written a book in favor of same-sex marriage but a conservative employee had complained? Got a bit of a double standard? Or is that somehow “different”?

My purpose in writing is two-fold. First, I ask you to move to correct your culture of exclusion, which is falsely advertised as a culture of inclusion and diversity. Dr. Turek has been excluded now from earning a living with your company. Moreover, I am concerned about the thousands of conservatives, secular and religious, who are employees of the Bank. In my view, such totalitarian political correctness is immoral and un-American, and I doubt it engenders a climate of diversity and collaboration you champion.

Second, this story will be told beyond the confines of I want to give you the opportunity to respond before it is.

I thank you for your attention to this matter and look forward to your prompt reply. I can be reached at


Dr. Mike Adams

For those readers who recall Dr. Turek being fired as a vendor by Cisco for the same reason earlier this year, you may be wondering how these two cases are related. Since Bank of America fired Dr. Turek two days before I broke the Cisco story in my June 16 column titled “The Cisco Kid,” they could not have learned about Dr. Turek from me. It just seems that we have two bigoted California-based companies that independently seek to “out” those who believe what reasonable people have always believed—that the primary reason the government endorses marriage is not because two people of any sex love one another, but because only heterosexual unions can procreate and best nurture the next generation.

Unless Mr. Moynihan stops his company’s unreasonable and un-American politically correct witch-hunt, I’m closing my Bank of America account. Unreasonable, un-American bigots should not be handling my money. They simply cannot be trusted.


Can't Even Go to the Park

The same people who say I shouldn't impose my morality on them, are imposing immorality on me and my children to the point that I literally have a hard time even leaving my home anymore to do something as simple as visit the park. And this is freedom?

I am a Catholic stay-at-home mother of seven, and I live in the state of Massachusetts where "gay marriage" has been legal for seven years and it's just one aspect of the larger secular agenda. Because we have so many little children, it takes a phenomenal effort to go anywhere. We have only filled our truck with gasoline twice this entire summer vacation. We go to Mass and we go two miles up the road to a small outdoor swimming pool. That's pretty much it.

At the pool this summer there were homosexual couples with children and, while I was polite as my own young daughters doted on the baby with two "mommies", I also held my breath in anticipation of awkward questions - questions I'm not ready to answer. My young daughters are all under the age of eight and they are not old enough to understand why a baby would have two women calling themselves "mommies".

When there were two men relaxing at the side of the pool unnaturally close to each other, effeminately rubbing elbows and exchanging doe-eyes, I was again anxiously watching my children hoping they wouldn't ask questions. They don't see Daddy do that with anyone but Mommy. We haven't been back to the pool for a couple of weeks, except once but it rained. The truth is, now I don't really want to go back.

So what am I harping about?

Today we decided to go to the park. We live near a nice park that is safe, clean and quiet. Two of my daughters were in the sandbox, one on the slide, the other on the swings, and as I lifted the baby out of his stroller I looked up to see four women laughing at a baby boy as he was swinging in one of those bucket baby swings. That seems harmless enough, but I'm so sensitized to the strangeness in my community that I've developed this ever-present jumpiness whenever I'm in public. Sure enough, two of the women, so happy to see a baby boy laughing, embraced and remained standing there rubbing each other's back in a way that was clearly not just friendly affection.

This is my community. I find myself unable to even leave the house anymore without worrying about what in tarnation we are going to encounter. We are responsible citizens. We live by the rules, we pay our taxes, we take care of our things. I'm supposed to be able to influence what goes on in my community, and as a voter I do exercise that right. But I'm outnumbered. I can't even go to normal places without having to sit silently and tolerate immorality. We all know what would happen if I asked two men or two women to stop displaying, right in front of me and my children, that they live in sodomy.

So now I go on a rant.

Our taxes are being used to fund contraception, abortion and IVF already. That offends me in ways that are inexpressible. I read last December in the Wall Street Journal how two men near us are raising two assembled daughters after announcing to the world how they killed two other siblings in surrogate mothers in India. Let me guess? I shouldn't offend them though, right? And what's next at the park? A needle exchange drop-box for heroin users? No joke. These things are not isolated, it is all the same issue at a fundamental level. We're being pushed to accept immorality and it's not just on TV and in Washington D.C. It's right in front of us too.

We fund a lot of illegal immigrants here (just ask the President about his auntie) and helping people who really need help is not something I'd ever oppose. But it's still haunting me that just this week I learned of an illegal immigrant who killed a young man innocently out for a ride on his motorcycle. The illegal immigrant, who didn't have a license, was so drunk he didn't notice when he hit a motorcyclist and then dragged the 23 year old college graduate a quarter of a mile while people were yelling at him to stop. When he finally did stop, the young man was still alive until the drunk driver put the car in reverse and backed up over him before driving away. He's charged with vehicular homicide and "reckless conduct creating a risk to a child." He had a six year old in the car with him.

Do you think knowing this happened about seven miles from my home makes me afraid to leave the house? You bet it does. But that just adds to everything else I'm being asked to tolerate. Seriously, is this freedom?



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.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Abortion undercover: Journalist posed as a vulnerable pregnant woman at six counselling services

Her findings raise disturbing questions

Regardless of your moral stance, deciding whether to terminate an unwanted pregnancy must surely rank as one of the most difficult dilemmas a woman can face.

At a time when a woman feels at her most confused and vulnerable, it is vital she has access to clear, impartial advice, so that she can reach a decision which, either way, will stay with her for the rest of her life.

For years, campaigners have expressed fears that pregnant women have only been able to seek advice from abortion providers, who are running profit-making businesses, or from pro-life groups, who tend to encourage keeping a baby, no matter what the circumstances.

But can the current situation really be that bad? To find out, I posed as a terrified pregnant young woman unsure of what to do, and sought counselling. What happened next left me confused and traumatised — and I’m not even pregnant. I discovered that vulnerable women are being given advice that is both biased and manipulative — and could easily make them feel pressured into making a decision they will regret later.

At present, a woman seeking an abortion must simply undergo a medical consultation. She is not required to have counselling, but can seek it if she wants it.

The leading private abortion clinics Marie Stopes International and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) both provide such counselling, but are paid per abortion, which hardly promotes independence. On the other hand, charitable and religious services have been accused of manipulating women into keeping their babies.

I made appointments at six centres using the same story: I was 26 years old, 12 to 16 weeks pregnant, I hadn’t told my boyfriend and I couldn’t decide whether to have an abortion or keep the baby.

So, what kind of service should I have been offered? According to Phillip Hodson, of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), it is essential that pre-abortion counselling is ‘freely available, independent, unbiased and ethical’. But, he adds: ‘Counsellors should never give advice. Pressuring a client to a particular course of action is fundamentally unethical and a contradiction of our profession.’

My first call was to Marie Stopes, a nationwide network of sexual health clinics that provide private and NHS abortions. They claim to allow women ‘access to comprehensive, impartial and non-judgmental information’ and all counsellors are members of BACP.

On the phone, the operator repeatedly tried to book me in for a medical assessment, the first step to getting an abortion — despite me stressing that I hadn’t yet made up my mind. I felt bulldozed into starting the termination process and had to insist on having counselling. In real life, a worried woman might have gone along with whatever she was told.

When contacted later, a Marie Stopes spokeswoman admitted their adviser was ‘slower to understand the client’s needs than we would have liked, but we are pleased that after contacting our One Call service, face-to-face counselling was provided’.

That counselling session took place the next day in Bloomsbury, central London. It cost £80 for just 30 minutes, but would have been free had I been referred by my GP.

It quickly became apparent that my counsellor, Temi, was quite happy to influence my decisions. Her overwhelming advice was that I ‘must’ tell my boyfriend, even though there is no legal requirement to do so. She was openly disapproving when I said I hadn’t spoken to him, and seemed reluctant to talk about any option other than termination. ‘There’s a huge danger to your relationship,’ she said. ‘If you did have an abortion without telling him ..... you could end up resenting him for something he knows nothing about.’

Questioned about the size of the foetus, or the risks of infertility caused by abortion, she said ‘You’ll have to talk to a nurse about that’, or ‘I don’t have the exact statistics’.

Nevertheless, the message seemed very much to be that abortion was the best option. ‘It goes against our very nature to have an abortion,’ she said. ‘But we do things every day that go against our very nature.’ This was followed by: ‘You want what you want ....... is it worth having a child because you don’t want to deal with a bit of guilt?’

I asked about medical abortions (taking pills which encourage the foetus to be miscarried). She said they could leave a woman ‘in agony’ — but did not point out that, as a private clinic, Marie Stopes are not able to give a medical abortion after nine weeks.

The session came to an abrupt end after 29 minutes and I left not knowing the medical or emotional side-effects of abortion. Keeping the baby was not seen as an option at all. I thanked my lucky stars that I wasn’t scared and pregnant for real.

Much more HERE

British abortion rules to be tightened in biggest shake-up for a generation

The Department of Health is to announce plans for a new system of independent counselling for women before they finally commit to terminating a pregnancy. The move is designed to give women more “breathing space”.

Pro-life campaigners suggest the change could result in up to 60,000 fewer abortions each year in Britain. Last year, 202,400 were carried out.

The plan would introduce a mandatory obligation on abortion clinics to offer women access to independent counselling, to be run on separate premises by a group which does not itself carry out abortions.

Critics of abortion clinics claim that the counselling they offer is biased because they are run as businesses — a claim denied by the clinics.

But abortion charities said they feared the proposals would prolong the period before an abortion took place, and that the motive was simply to reduce the number of terminations and was not in the best interests of women.

The proposed change comes ahead of a Commons vote, due to take place next week, on amendments to a public health Bill put forward by Nadine Dorries, a backbench Conservative MP.

The amendments would prevent private organisations which carry out terminations — such as Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) — from offering pre-abortion counselling. Women would instead be offered free access to independent counsellors.

The vote would be the first on the laws around abortion since the Coalition took power. A previous attempt to change the law — to reduce the time limit for abortions from 24 to 20 weeks — was defeated in a free vote in 2008. Ministers appear keen to avoid another such vote. They believe that announcing the consultation on independent counselling will prevent it going ahead.

The plan does not mean pre-abortion counselling will be mandatory — something which is vehemently opposed by pro-choice groups and which has been a flashpoint in parts of the United States.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “We are currently developing proposals to introduce independent counselling for women seeking abortion. These proposals are focused on improving women’s health and wellbeing. Final decisions on who should provide this counselling have not yet been made.”

Proposals under discussion would involve withdrawing payments made by the taxpayer to abortion clinics for counselling women.

Mrs Dorries, a former nurse, claims abortion providers are not independent because they have a vested interest in conducting abortions. Last year, Marie Stopes and Bpas carried out about 100,000 terminations and were paid about £60 million to do so, mostly through the NHS.

Mrs Dorries said she had hoped that her proposed amendments to the health Bill would prompt the Government into taking the kind of action which it has now done.

Frank Field, a Labour MP, said: “I’m anxious that taxpayers’ money is used so that people can have a choice — we are paying for independent counselling and that’s what should be provided.”

Ann Furedi, the chief executive of Bpas, said if her organisation was prevented from advising women about terminations it could be impossible to gain informed consent, as the independent counselling was not compulsory.


Why Are We Surprised With the Push for 'Pedophile Rights'

Many Americans have been shocked by reports about a recent pro-pedophilia conference in Baltimore in which psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, representing institutions like Harvard and Johns Hopkins, sought to present pedophilia in a sympathetic and even positive light. But why should this surprise us?

Academic articles in scholarly journals have been presenting pedophilia in a sympathetic light for years, and, as Matthew Cullinan Hoffman noted, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released a report in 1998 “claiming that the ‘negative potential’ of adult sex with children was ‘overstated’ and that ‘the vast majority of both men and women reported no negative sexual effects from their child sexual abuse experiences.’ It even claimed that large numbers of the victims reported that their experiences were ‘positive,’ and suggested that the phrase ‘child sex abuse’ be replaced with ‘adult-child sex.’” Others have coined the more disgusting term “intergenerational intimacy.”

The APA’s report was so disturbing that it drew an official rebuke from Congress, yet the pro-pedophile (or, pro-pederast) push continues. In fact, some psychiatric leaders, like Dr. Richard Green, who were instrumental in removing homosexuality from the APA’s list of mental disorders in 1973, have been fighting to remove pedophilia as well.

Consider, for example, this statement from the late John Hopkins professor John Money: “Pedophilia and ephebophilia [referring to sexual attraction felt by an adult toward an adolescent] are no more a matter of voluntary choice than are left-handedness or color blindness. There is no known method of treatment by which they may be effectively and permanently altered, suppressed, or replaced. Punishment is useless. There is no satisfactory hypothesis, evolutionary or otherwise, as to why they exist in nature’s overall scheme of things. One must simply accept the fact that they do exist, and then, with optimum enlightenment, formulate a policy of what to do about it.”

Now, go back and reread that paragraph, substituting the word “homosexuality” for “pedophilia” and “ephebophilia.” How interesting!

To help flesh this out, let’s picture a homosexual man making his case to a heterosexual man:

1) My homosexuality is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation, just as much as your heterosexuality is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation.

2) My homosexuality is just as normal as your heterosexuality.

3) Since my behavior is genetically determined and is not a choice, it is intolerant and hateful to suggest that it is wrong. And to call my sexual behavior illegal or immoral, or to refuse to legitimize same-sex relationships, is to be a moral bigot of the highest order.

4) I deeply resent your attempts to identify areas of my upbringing and environment as alleged causes for my homosexuality.

5) I categorically reject the myth that someone can change his or her sexual orientation. Rather, such statements only add to the anguish and suffering of gays and lesbians, and attempts to change us often lead to catastrophic consequences, including depression and suicide.

Now, let’s turn this around and have a pederast making his case to a homosexual, substituting the words accordingly (thus, “My pederasty is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation, just as much as your homosexuality is not a sexual preference but a sexual orientation.”)

In point of fact, all the principal arguments commonly used to normalize homosexuality have been used to normalize pedophilia and pederasty, as I documented in painstaking (and painful) detail in A Queer Thing Happened to America, where I also made clear that I was not equating homosexuality with pedophilia but was instead comparing the arguments used to normalize both.

Here are the eight principle arguments, all of which (in modified form) are commonly used in support of homosexuality:

1) Pedophilia is innate and immutable.

2) Pederasty is richly attested in many different cultures throughout history.

3) The claim that adult-child sexual relationships cause harm is greatly overstated and often completely inaccurate.

4) Consensual adult-child sex can actually be beneficial to the child.

5) Pederasty should not be classified as a mental disorder, since it does not cause distress to the pederast to have these desires and since the pederast can function as a normal, contributing member of society.

6) Many of the illustrious homosexuals of the past were actually pedophiles.

7) People are against intergenerational intimacy because of antiquated social standards and puritanical sexual phobias.

8) This is all about love and equality and liberation.

But none of these arguments should surprise us. After all, the age of increasing sexual anarchy in which we live is a fruit of the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, and the seeds of sexual anarchy were sown already by Alfred Kinsey in the late 1940’s, as Prof. Judith Reisman has tirelessly documented. And it was Kinsey, after all, who relied on the research of pedophiles to document the sexual responses of infants and children.

All this, to be sure, is utterly unspeakable. But it should certainly come as no surprise. In fact, we should expect this and more.


Australia: Leftist elder statesman calls for end to Charter of Human Rights

FORMER NSW Labor Premier Bob Carr has warned that retaining the Victorian Charter of Human Rights could liken the state to the UK, where public servants are too scared to enforce the law in fear of being taken to court.

Speaking at a meeting calling for the repeal of the charter yesterday, Mr Carr said British public servants were so afraid of breaching the European charter of human rights, they were scared into inaction.

"I'm very worried, as my friends at British Labour Party are, that the term human rights is becoming a bad term, because of the way the European charter is invoked. It's become a term of abuse," he said.

Mr Carr said older people in working class electorates in the UK feared criminal behaviour was not dealt with by police because the culprits would claim their human rights had been infringed.

"They say the police won't do anything about it because it'll be against their human rights," Mr Carr said.

"The cases they refer to are the gypsies, or the travellers as we should call them, who go on to private property and camp there and when the police are asked to remove them, threaten to take action in the courts under the human rights charter. "So the police do nothing."

Mr Carr said having a charter of human rights affected and shaped the behaviour of public servants.

"Public service employees will opt for the easiest course," he said. "They don't want to be smacked over the knuckles by an auditor general or an ombudsman or a parliamentary public accounts committee, but they certainly don't want to be dragged into court, even more they don't want to be dragged into court and embarrassed by action invoked under a rights charter."

Mr Carr said the resources put into enforcing Victoria's human rights charter could be better spent on child protection.

But President of the Law Institute of Victoria Caroline Counsel said Mr Carr's argument was "misinformed and illogical".

"The charter should be self perpetuating, if we all do the right thing by our citizens, lawyers won't need to be involved, courts won't need to be involved, it will just happen that we all act in accordance with what is appropriate in terms or implementation of human rights," she said. [Wow! Just who is it who is being "misinformed and illogical"?]



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.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Homosexual marriage bad for children

A BIGOT is someone who refuses to see the other point of view. Articles by Peter van Onselen and James Valentine in The Weekend Australian smeared opponents of gay marriage as bigots, yet both men refuse to see the other point of view -- and that means the point of view of the child.

Marriage is fundamentally about the needs of children, writes David Blankenhorn, a supporter of gay rights in the US who nevertheless draws the line at same-sex marriage. Redefining marriage to include gay and lesbian couples would eliminate entirely in law, and weaken still further in culture, the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child.

Here is the heart of opposition to same-sex marriage: that it means same-sex parenting, and same-sex parenting means that a child must miss out on either a mother or a father.

Marriage is a compound right under Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; it is not only the right to an exclusive relationship, but the right to form a family. Therefore gay marriage includes the right to form a family by artificial reproduction but any child created within that marriage would have no possibility of being raised by both mother and father.

Obviously there are tragic situations where a child cannot have both a mum and a dad, such as the death or desertion of a parent, but that is not a situation we would ever wish upon a child, and that is not a situation that any government should inflict upon a child.

Yet legalising same-sex marriage will inflict that deprivation on a child. That is why it is wrong, and that is why all laws are wrong that permit single people or same-sex couples to obtain a child by IVF, surrogacy, or adoption.

Take Penny Wong, for example, as van Onselen did. She is an effective politician, but she can never be a dad to a little boy. She and her partner tell us they have created a baby who will have no father, only a mother and another woman. Their assertion is that a dad does not matter to a child.

As ethicist Margaret Somerville wrote in these pages, such assertions force us to choose between giving priority to children's rights or to homosexual adults' claims. Yet trivial arguments frame the gay marriage debate solely in terms of the emotional needs of adults, ignoring the child's point of view.

Such adult-centred narcissism raises the wider question: if gender no longer matters in marriage, why should number? If marriage is all about adults who love each other, by what rational principle should three adults who love each other not be allowed to marry? Academic defenders of polyamory are asking that question, and no doubt van Onselen will soon be slurring opponents of polyamory as binary bigots.

While warm, fuzzy writers such as Valentine can imagine no possible harm to society from gay marriage, the serious minds behind the movement occasionally let us glimpse their wider purpose. US activist Michelangelo Signorile urges gays to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely. He sees same-sex marriage as the final tool with which to get education about homosexuality and AIDS into public schools.

Sure enough, we now have empirical evidence that normalising gay marriage means normalising homosexual behaviour for public school children.

Following the November 2003 court decision in Massachusetts to legalise gay marriage, school libraries were required to stock same-sex literature; primary school children were given homosexual fairy stories such as King & King; some high school students were even given an explicit manual of homosexual advocacy entitled The Little Black Book: Queer in the 21st Century, which the Massachusetts Department of Health helped develop. Education had to comply with the new normal.

Beyond the confusion and corruption of schoolchildren, the cultural consequences of legalising same-sex marriage include the stifling of conscientious freedom. Again in Massachusetts, when adoption agency Catholic Charities was told it would have to place children equally with married homosexuals, it had to close. As Canadian QC and lesbian activist Barbara Findlay said, "The legal struggle for queer rights will one day be a showdown between freedom of religion versus sexual orientation". Blankenhorn warned, "Once this proposed reform became law, even to say the words out loud in public -- every child needs a father and a mother -- would probably be viewed as explicitly divisive and discriminatory, possibly even as hate speech."

Our parliament must say these words out loud, because they are bedrock sanity, and must accept that the deep things of human nature are beyond the authority of any political party to tamper with.

Marriage is not a fad to be cut to shape according to social whim. The father of modern anthropology, Claude Levi-Strauss, called marriage a social institution with a biological foundation. Marriage throughout history is society's effort to reinforce this biological reality: male, female, offspring. All our ceremonies and laws exist to buttress nature helping bind a man to his mate for the sake of the child they might create.

Not all marriages do create children but typically they do, and the institution exists for the typical case of marriage. Homosexual relations cannot create children or provide a child with natural role models; such relations are important to the individuals involved, and demand neighbourly civility, but they do not meet nature's job description for marriage.

As van Onselen notes, homosexual couples now enjoy equality with male-female couples in every way short of marriage. It must stop short of marriage, because the demands of adults must end where the birthright of a child begins. Marriage and family formation are about about something much deeper than civil equality; they are about a natural reality which society did not create and which only a decadent party such as the Greens, so out of touch with nature, would seek to destroy.


Australia: Victorian Police have power to demand Muslim women remove face veils

VICTORIAN police have the power to demand that Muslim women remove face veils, the State Government has ruled. And anyone who refuses to show their face can be arrested, a review of the Crimes Act has found.

The Herald Sun revealed in July that the Baillieu Government was seeking legal advice following a move in NSW to introduce special laws which meant people refusing to remove a burqa at police request faced up to a year in jail.

Police Minister Peter Ryan sought advice on the state of the current law from the Victoria Police and Department of Justice - finding police are already empowered to issue the order.

The ruling means Victorian police may make the demand of motorists when checking licences, or of those suspected of crime. There are no exceptions in the law for niqabs or other religious garb, balaclavas or motorcycle helmets.

"The Victorian Government has decided that the current laws are adequate and there is no current need for proposed changes to legislation," spokeswoman Justine Sywak said yesterday. "The Victorian Government will monitor the NSW legislation once it comes into effect."

The review came after a Sydney judge quashed a six-month jail sentence given to a burqa-wearing Sydney mother of seven, Carnita Matthews, who falsely accused a policeman of forcibly trying to remove her headdress.

A summary of the Victorian Government's legal advice, seen by the Herald Sun, shows that the law requires the face to be seen to verify identity.

"Current broad Victorian legislative powers are sufficient to allow police to request a person remove headwear for identification purposes," it says.

Under the Crimes Act, if a person is suspected of committing a crime, police may ask for name and address details. In order to be able to identify the person at a subsequent court appearance, the police officer needs to see the person's face once.

"This would therefore require a person to remove their headwear," the summary says. "If a person refuses to reveal their face, the police currently arrest the person until they can prove their identity."

The same rule applies to motorists. "Police must establish that the person whose name and image appear on the licence is in fact the person holding the licence," the summary says.


Australia: Leftist antisemites meet opposition

PEOPLE brave enough to venture out into the wet at Brisbane's South Bank yesterday found themselves caught in the crossfire of very abusive protesters.

What started out as a protest against chocolate store Max Brenner turned into a heated face-off with those who turned out to support the company.

Pitted against each other outside the chocolate shop, the two opposing groups screamed at each other for 45 minutes before police moved one of the groups on.

The aim of the protesters, made up of the Socialist Alternative and the Justice for Palestine groups, was to highlight the support of Max Brenner's parent company, the Strauss Group, for the Israeli military and its sale of provisions to it.

Chanting "Max Brenner, come off it; there's blood in your chocolate", the group held up placards accusing Max Brenner of supporting apartheid.

The counter-protesters, made up of students, Israeli community members and politicians, screamed at their opponents: "Go home, Nazis!"

Logan City councillor Hajnal Black was repeatedly restrained by police as she pushed through the barricade line yelling: "We don't want Nazis in this country!"

There was a big police presence at the protest yesterday after a demonstration outside a Max Brenner store in Melbourne last month led to 19 arrests and three police officers being injured.

A law student, Danielle Keys, organised the student contingent of counter-protesters on Facebook after seeing footage of the Melbourne protest.

"I don't have a particularly strong opinion either way on Israel or Palestine. What's more important is dealing with freedom of enterprise and freedom of association and freedom of religion in this country," Ms Keys said.

"This is really about the innate anti-Semitic attitudes of extremist groups like the Socialist Alternative. We're all turning up to say, 'No, in Australia we support tolerance.' "

The Queensland Liberal National Party senator, Ron Boswell, said Max Brenner was a popular and "legitimate business" that should not be targeted in this way. "I think it's absolutely outrageous," he said. "I don't mind if people don't want to buy Max Brenner chocolates, but there shouldn't be pickets and intimidation and rallies to stop people.

"I think people that are trying to hit it with a boycott and picketing it, particularly a Jewish business, reminds me of some of the things that happened in the early 1930s."

The Socialist Alternative website says protesters will target Max Brenner Chocolates because it is owned by the Israeli-based Strauss Group.

It says the corporate responsibility section of Strauss Group's website – since amended – pledged the company's support to the Israeli army, including providing soldiers with food for training and missions.

The Socialist Alternative says the company has supported a platoon "infamous for its involvement in the 2006 invasion of Lebanon and other atrocities".

Senator Boswell, who spoke about the boycotts issue in Federal Parliament last week, said the protest was driven by the "super-left".

He said anyone wishing to protest on the issue should do so outside the Israeli embassy. "But don't pick on someone that comes to a chocolate shop; seriously, that's petty," he said.


Why is evil paedophile 'The Beast of Sligo' free to roam British streets despite being jailed for 238 years?

One of Britain's most notorious paedophiles - dubbed the Beast of Sligo- is back on the streets and free to mingle with children and families. Irishman Joseph McColgan, 69 was spotted among families at a car boot sale in Plymouth, Devon

Evil McColgan was jailed for a record 238 years for repeatedly raping and beating his own children. He served just nine years before he was released. But in June 2010 when he was locked up again for 30 months for possessing child pornography. He has now been released early on licence before serving even half of his latest sentence.

McColgan is staying at the Lawson House bail hostel in Plymouth - directly opposite one of the city's main colleges. But he was tight lipped about his future and whether he would be staying in Devon - where he lived for some time after being released from Dublin's Arbour Hill jail. He said: 'I cannot talk about it. I am on parole. 'I don't know where I will live. I cannot talk to you.'

Among other offences, McColgan attempted to force his then nine-year-old son to have sex with his seven-year-old daughter. He also abused all four of his children with cattle prods and burning them.

But the evil paedophile was seen happily chatting to youngsters and adults at the car boot sale. He spoke with one young man as he tried to buy some spanners for his old bike and looked at stalls selling children's toys. Shoppers looking for a bargain were unaware of McColgan's notoriety as he potted around on his own before cycling back to the bail hostel.

Before his latest jail term handed out at Exeter Crown Court in June 2010, McColgan had been living in a small block of flats in the seaside town of Exmouth, east Devon. His home was yards away from a primary school and his immediate neighbours were unaware of his vile past - along with parents of young children who played in the street nearby. They were shocked when they discovered who he was and his horrific offending.

When Judge Graham Cottle jailed him at Exeter, he told McColgan: 'You are quite clearly a very dangerous man. 'You are a danger to children and upon your release I very much hope that you are supervised to the highest possible level by the authorities. 'If that is not put in place then children will continue to be at serious risk from you and your activities.'

Detective Constable Steve Harris, of Devon and Cornwall police, said McColgan was an arrogant man who could not accept his offending.

Yesterday McColgan was true to form branding those who made claims against him that he was grooming or watching children as 'liars'.

A National Offender Management Service spokesperson told the Mail Online today:'Sex offenders who are released from prison on licence will be supervised by the Probation Service and police in the community, such offenders are subject to strict licence conditions and can be recalled to custody if they breach their licence conditions.'



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.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

British counter terrorism officer sues London cops over De Menezes 'cover-up'

It is a disgrace that nobody was found guilty of anything in this matter. This gives hope that the truth may finally come out.

I have a pretty good idea what is involved. The openly Lesbian and rather aptly-named Cressida Dick was in charge of the operation. Her incompetence at controlling it caused the disaster. But because she is a "minority", she must be protected.

She was clearly promoted beyond her level of competence on "affirmative action" grounds so those who promoted her also need protection.

In my observation, Lesbians tend to be overconfident and often give the impression that they are more competent than they in fact are -- leading to others having to bail them out when they get it wrong. Exactly that would seem to be going on now

A Christian counter-terrorism officer involved in the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes is suing the Metropolitan Police over allegations that senior officers tried to cover-up vital evidence.

He says his faith compelled him to blow the whistle and he is now claiming thousands of pounds for loss of overtime pay and promotions after Special Branch bosses allegedly sidelined him.

One allegation involves anti-terror officers perverting justice by replacing a chief inspector with another to give more favourable evidence at the 2008 inquest into de Menezes’s death.

An inquest jury returned an open verdict into the shooting of the 27-year-old Brazilian who was mistaken for a suicide bomber in 2005 – rejecting the police view that he was killed lawfully.

The detective sergeant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, first made his concerns known after he gave evidence under a codename at the inquest.

Two more serious concerns were reported about issues within the Met Police’s counter-terrorism department, known as SO15, last December that form the main part of his tribunal case.

He is also suing for religious discrimination and loss of earnings.

A senior source said: ‘The allegations are about such a sensitive subject that top brass are very worried about what could come out in a tribunal.’ ‘As this has been going on for such a long-time he was moved to another department and believes that his career was stalled because he spoke out.’

Mr de Menezes was shot seven times in the head at Stockwell Underground Station in South London after police mistook him for bomber Hussain Osman.

He was killed on July 22, 2005, the day after Osman and three fellow terrorists had gone on the run after trying to bomb the Tube in a follow-up attack to the July 7 London bombings which killed 52 and injured 977.

The jury at the inquest on the Brazilian electrician rejected the account of police marksmen, branding them ‘liars’, and sided with Tube passengers who said the officers failed to issue a warning before opening fire.

They returned an open verdict, which was the most strongly critical option available to them after the judge instructed them there was insufficient evidence to rule that de Menezes was unlawfully killed by police.

The Crown Prosecution Service ruled out criminal charges against anti-terror officers in 2006 and after the inquest in 2009. The Met was instead fined £175,000 under health and safety laws.

The Independent Police Complaints Commision has investigated one of the detective sergeant’s claims finding no evidence to support the allegation.

An IPCC spokesman said: ‘We received a referral from the Metropolitan Police Service on 4 January 2011, as a result of an allegation made by a detective sergeant to the Directorate of Professional Standards in December 2010. The allegation had also been the subject of employment tribunal proceedings.

‘The IPCC independently investigated the allegation, examining statements given to the Employment Tribunal and interviewing key people involved. The decision to call the DCI was made by counsel on the basis that he was better able to answer the questions. ‘The investigation found that there was no evidence to support the Detective Sergeant’s allegation.’

A Met spokesman said: ‘The Metropolitan Police Service can confirm that it has received two employment tribunal claims from a Detective Sergeant lodged at London Central employment tribunal offices.’

SOURCE. (Via Wicked Thoughts)

The Tea Party Moves to Ban Books (?)

"Much easier to deal with a stupid and authoritarian Right than with a freedom-loving Right"

So says the headline in The Guardian, but I’ve read the accompanying article three times, and I’m blowed if I can see where the headline comes from. The writer, Amanda Marcotte, says some disobliging things about the Tea Party (”they’re the most Bible-thumping-est part of the rightwing base as well as the most racist – these things tend to go together”), and then mentions that a high school in Missouri has banned a novel by Kurt Vonnegut. Banning books is, of course, always and everywhere a bad idea, but there is no suggestion that the Missouri parents are Tea Partiers or, indeed, part of any wider movement.

What interests me here is not one jejune article, but the almost desperate insistence by Lefties that the Tea Party is not, in fact, what it claims to be, viz a protest against big government. On both sides of the Atlantic, Tea Partiers are portrayed in broadcast and print media as a gaggle of stump-toothed Appalachian mountain men who can’t get used to the idea of a mixed race president. So far, though, the US electorate has refused to fall for it. To most American voters, the proposition that levels of taxation, spending and borrowing are too high seems remarkably moderate.

The book-banning trope is an old favourite. When Sarah Palin was chosen as a Vice-Presidential candidate, bogus emails about the books she had supposedly banned from Alaska’s libraries surged around the web, often finding their way into the MSM. At the same time, commentators leapt on her statement that CS Lewis was her favourite author. How typical, they sneered, that a small-minded Christian should enjoy children’s books. Never mind CS Lewis’s corpus of work on English literature and philosophy, never mind his adult fiction, never mind, indeed, the extraordinary quality of the books he wrote primarily for children. Lefties were smug in their certainty: their ignorance established Palin’s ignorance.

In Britain, we get the same line from our state broadcaster. In Beeb-world, “Right-wing” means something along the lines of “dim-witted xenophobe who has opposed every progressive reform since the Catholic Emancipation”. The idea that Rightists might in fact be libertarians who are sick of being bossed, nannied and expropriated by self-serving bureaucracies is simply too difficult. Much easier to press conservatives into the template of misogynist, anti-gay etc.

Still, the awkward fact remains that, in Britain and the US, levels of government spending and borrowing are way beyond what even Left-of-Centre parties would have considered acceptable as recently as four years ago. Most voters know it. Sooner or later, the MSM are going to have to engage with that argument.


Leftist antisemites in Australia too

It may be a popular haven for chocolate lovers but the Max Brenner store at Brisbane’s South Bank will also attract anti-Israel protesters today.

A Queensland senator last night branded a planned rally outside the Israeli company-owned chocolate cafe as “absolutely ridiculous”.

The Socialist Alternative and the Justice for Palestine groups are among those urging protesters to march to the store at 1pm, highlighting the parent company’s support for the Israel military which campaigners accuse of human rights abuses.

The website of the Socialist Alternative promotes the Max Brenner protest with the title: “Boycott Apartheid Israel! Boycott Max Brenner!”

Queensland Liberal National Party Senator Ron Boswell said Max Brenner was a popular and “legitimate business” that should not be targeted in this way. “I think it’s absolutely outrageous,” he said. “I don’t mind if people don’t want to buy Max Brenner chocolates but there shouldn’t be pickets and intimidation and rallies to stop people [visiting freely]. “I think people that are trying to hit it with a boycott and picketing it, particularly a Jewish business, reminds me of some of the things that happened in the early 1930s.”

The Socialist Alternative could not be reached for comment yesterday. A phone number listed on the website was not working and an email to the Brisbane office went unanswered yesterday.

However, the Socialist Alternative website says protesters will target Max Brenner Chocolates because it is owned by the Israeli-based Strauss Group. It says the corporate responsibility section of Strauss Group’s website – since amended – pledged the company’s support to the Israeli army, including providing soldiers with food for training and missions.

Socialist Alternative says the company has supported a platoon “infamous for its involvement in the 2006 invasion of Lebanon and other atrocities”.

In a statement issued earlier this week, Justice for Palestine activist Kathy Newnam said the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement aimed to bring an end to occupation of Arab lands. “When people know the truth then they will support the BDS Movement, just as people in Australia supported the boycotts and sanctions against apartheid South Africa,” she said, backing the Max Brenner protest.

Senator Boswell, who spoke about the boycotts issue in Federal Parliament this week, said the protest was driven by the “super-left”. He said anyone wishing to protest on the issue should do so outside the Israeli embassy. “But don’t pick on someone that comes to a chocolate shop; seriously, that’s petty,” he said.

Max Brenner Australia’s media relations company was contacted for comment, but did not provide a response.

The Brisbane store opened late last year. It is understood a Brisbane conservative student leader is organising a counter-protest in support of Max Brenner today.

It is not the first time Max Brenner’s chocolate cafes have been targeted by protesters complaining about Israel’s human rights abuses. A protest outside a Max Brenner store in Melbourne last month reportedly led to up 19 arrests and three police officer injuries.

The Victorian Government asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to examine whether the protest breached federal laws, causing “substantial loss or damage” to the Max Brenner business.

Proponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel say it is designed to make a legitimate political point about human rights.

But the issue has caused tensions within the Australian Greens. New NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon supports the campaign but Federal Greens leader Bob Brown says the federal party does not officially back it.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd last month sat down for a coffee at Max Brenner Melbourne to voice his opposition to the boycott. “As an individual citizen - that is me, K. Rudd - I am here because I object to the boycotting of Jewish businesses,” he said at the time.


Australia: Federal politicians unlikely to support homosexual "marriage"

THE mounting evidence is that the Greens-led "bandwagon" strategy to introduce same-sex marriage backed by wide sections of the Labor Party has provoked strong resistance and is unlikely to prevail in the current parliament.

In a conspicuously under-reported event this week 30 MPs reported to parliament on the earlier motion moved by Greens MP Adam Bandt for community consultation, with 20 signalling their rejection of same-sex marriage and only seven MPs giving support to change the marriage law.

While it cannot offer a definitive guide, the omens are apparent. The same-sex marriage campaign is running into heavy weather guaranteed to get worse. Senior Labor ministers pledged to the same-sex marriage cause concede it is most unlikely to pass this term. This means further polarisation around the issue with Greens spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young telling The Weekend Australian she will proceed next year with her bill and aims to get a co-signatory from both Labor and Liberal.

The battlelines are now entrenched. The Greens will not cease their campaign from one parliament to the next and have made this cause pivotal to their identity. The Labor Party is dangerously divided, probably for the long run, over same-sex marriage, with a strong push at the coming ALP national conference to change policy to a conscience vote.

And Tony Abbott, in response to questions, said he viewed the issue as a policy matter. That means the Coalition will vote against same-sex marriage on policy grounds without a conscience vote (individuals have the right to cross the floor). Abbott's is the critical decision.

Frankly, it is hard to see parliament legislating same-sex marriage while Abbott is Liberal leader. Hanson-Young said she believed the new law "is achievable this term" but her proviso was a Coalition conscience vote.

Parliamentary sentiment at present would be opposed, with enough Labor MPs joining the overwhelming numbers on the Coalition side to vote against same-sex marriage. Despite the bandwagon effect driven by the gay lobby, the Greens, Get Up! and media organs led by the ABC and The Age arguing that religious prejudice is the main roadblock, a parliamentary majority may prove more difficult into the future than many assume.

There is, however, no doubt that opinion has moved and moved fast. This week's reports to parliament reveal strong backing for same-sex civil union recognition, notably from the Coalition side. This was simply not the case several years ago. The reality is that civil union recognition is there for the taking, but what was once seen as a significant advance for the same-sex cause is now largely dismissed as inadequate because the over-arching ideological goal has become same-sex marriage. Only time will tell whether this constitutes a serious tactical blunder.

Consider the position of former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, one of the most socially progressive Liberals in the parliament. He is sympathetic to the same-sex cause, repeatedly urges his constituents to push for civil unions but stops short of advocating same-sex marriage.

The politics are long familiar but rarely learned: with the Labor primary vote less than 30 per cent this issue, like the republic or indigenous recognition, can be carried only by winning some conservative support. Yet the campaign from the Greens, Get Up! and much of the same-sex lobby only alienates conservatives. Anybody who doubts this should read this week's speeches from a range of Liberal, National and Labor MPs. These people, having voted in recent years to remove more than 80 items of discrimination against same-sex couples and being willing to back civil unions, are unimpressed at being branded as homophobic or religious nuts because they think marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

Within the Labor Party, the dawn of political realism is arriving. The past year has seen a succession of journalists and celebrities telling Labor as a "no-brainer" to back same-sex marriage. Indeed, a number of state ALP conferences have called for the ALP at the national level to change its policy. It is now obvious, however, that same-sex marriage is a flammable issue for a weakened Labor government. Julia Gillard has been aware of this from the start.

The first risk for Labor is that it will be seen, yet again, as following the Greens agenda, a perception now poison in the electorate. The second risk is that Labor would elevate an issue on which the party is irrevocably divided. How smart is that? If the ALP national conference backed same-sex marriage, as many want, the Labor Party would split because a significant number of MPs would not accept such direction on their vote. In addition, this policy switch would constitute such a repudiation of Gillard's declared personal opposition to same-sex marriage that it would shake her leadership. The idea is political madness. That it has been entertained for so long within so much of the Labor Party and its forums is a commentary on its present malaise.

The conscience vote alternative will anger both sides but its sponsors, such as senior minister Anthony Albanese, a backer of same-sex marriage, seek to defuse and manage Labor's divisions while striking a formula that can be presented as allowing the parliament to legislate same-sex marriage in future years. An interesting feature of the debate is that the Labor Left, like the Greens, has moved beyond civil union recognition and will accept only same-sex marriage as the goal.

This week Bandt said the "report back" debate was a "very important step along the road to full equality". He said the universal sentiment in feedback to him was: why shouldn't someone marry the person they love?

Yet sentiments reported by MPs varied widely according to the disposition of the local member and the electorate with huge differences, for example, between Melbourne and Bundaberg. Bandt said yesterday with only 30 MPs involved the numbers were "not necessarily an accurate poll" of parliament's stand.



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.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another false rape claim from Britain

Such claims never seem to stop in Britain. At least they have the benefit of undermining feminist claims that women should always be believed about such things. Good that Britain puts them in jail too. The accusations are so heinous that they should in fact get the same sentence that the man would have got if convicted

Two friends who falsely claimed they were raped were jailed yesterday because the suspect had photos of them all having a threesome. Jennifer France, 24, and Kelly Weston, a 27-year-old mother, posed for saucy snaps on Enes Gozalan’s bed after meeting him in a pub.

A court heard they later made the false allegations because both had long-term boyfriends and were ashamed of what they had done.

Their 30-year-old victim was arrested and kept in custody for 18 hours because the pair claimed they had been raped multiple times.

As soon as Mr Gozalan was arrested, he produced his mobile phone and told officers he had photos to prove his innocence. He later told detectives: ‘The photographs show the girls were having a good time. I do not understand why they would make up something so nasty.’

Carolyn Branford-Wood, prosecuting, told Southampton Crown Court that Weston attended a police station two days after the alleged attack. ‘Miss Weston had been out with her brother’s girlfriend, Miss France, for a family meal,’ she said. ‘During the course of the evening they met two Turkish men. The four of them had been in a pub together and left together. ‘Miss Weston went on to claim that she had been raped by one of these men at his home. 'The following day Miss France also informed the police that she too had been raped by the same man.’

But she said Mr Gozalan’s phone showed ‘not only him engaged in sexual activity, but the two women too’. He was released on bail following his arrest on October 18 last year and later informed no further action would be taken.

Weston and France were arrested in January on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. In two interviews, Weston maintained she had been raped but, in a third, she broke down when she was shown the photographs.

Miss Branford-Wood added: ‘She said she had gone to Mr Gozalan’s house and had consensual sexual activity with both him and Miss France. In police interview Miss France said she had made up the account to cover up the fact she had had sex with someone who was not her boyfriend.’

In a statement read to the court Mr Gozalan said the incident had ruined his life. He added: ‘I was shocked when I was arrested for rape. My first thought was that I was pleased I kept the photographs, which showed the girls were having a good time. ‘I have faced threats of attack following the allegations and have had sleepless nights.’

France, of Southampton, and Weston, of nearby Eastleigh, each admitted a count of perverting justice. They were jailed for 20 months.

The court heard Weston accepted she had done wrong and feared going to jail because she wanted to look after her two children. Natalie Wood, defending France, said she had felt guilty about having sex with Mr Gozalan because she too had a boyfriend.

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Ralls QC told the pair: ‘The allegations you have made are of the most serious kind and were entirely false. ‘Although there had been sexual activity between you and Mr Gozalan and between you together, there was no force and it was consensual. ‘By supporting one another with these wicked allegations, you have aggravated matters. This man was at serious risk of being imprisoned for a long period of time, perhaps ten years, perhaps indeterminately.’


Homosexuals killing their partners in Massachusetts

The recent homicide of Casey Taylor has rocked the LGBTQ community. Winthrop resident, John Lacoy, stands accused of killing Casey Taylor in his bedroom and then hiding the body beneath his porch for weeks. The murder is Winthrop’s first known domestic violence homicide in recent memory. Taylor’s body was found Tuesday August 9th at 429 Winthrop Street. Lacoy and Casey were reported to be in a relationship that was described by Assistant District Attorney Ursula Knight as both "intimate and volatile.” Lacoy, 47, allegedly killed his 36-year-old partner and then sent a text message saying that Taylor "won’t be able to leech off me anymore.” Lacoy is being held without bail and is due to return to East Boston District Court on September 9th. Lacoy’s defense says that the plaintiff did not murder the victim, but rather killed him in self-defense. Attorney John Tardif claimed that there was "a violent struggle" during which Lacoy was compelled to kill the other man in order to preserve his own life.

Taylor’s murder marks the third known gay male domestic violence homicide in 5 months in Massachusetts and gay men now constitute 20% of all known confirmed/suspected domestic violence homicides in Massachusetts in 2011 to date. In March, 41 year-old Malden resident Michael Losee turned himself over to authorities in the wake of the stabbing death of his husband, 55 year-old Brian Bergeron. In April, James Costello was arraigned on charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon for the murder of David Walton, both lived in the same building in the Taunton area while the murder was committed at a campground in Provincetown.

Domestic violence advocates have identified at least 7 known confirmed/suspected LGBTQ domestic violence-related homicides in Massachusetts in the past 17 months, including Taylor. In August 2010, Eunice Field of Brockton confessed to killing Lorraine Wachsman, who she blamed for breaking up Field’s relationship with her (Field’s) former girlfriend. In February 2010, a jury convicted Nicole Chuminski of setting fire to her girlfriend Anna Reisopolous’s apartment in South Boston, killing two of Reisopolous’s young children.

Still under investigation is the death of Annamarie Rintala of Granby whose body was found in March 2010 in the basement of the home she shared with her wife Cara Rintala and their child. She had been strangled and suffered blunt trauma to the head. Cara Rintala had been arrested in 2008 for punching Annamarie Rintala in the back of the head.

Advocates agree that these numbers are likely to be lower than the actual number of LGBTQ domestic violence-related homicides. “Because so many LGBTQ individuals feel compelled to hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity just to get by, homicides that were actually domestic violence related may have been erroneously reported as being committed by a roommate or friend,” said Toni Troop, Director of Communications at Jane Doe Inc.


Outrage Over Religious Leaders’ Exclusion From 9/11 Memorial

As New York City’s ceremony to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 draws closer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg made headlines Wednesday when his office confirmed no religious leaders would be allowed to participate in it.

The announcement drew particular outrage from Rudy Washington, who served as deputy mayor under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and organized an interfaith service at Yankee Stadium in the wake of the attacks. “This is America, and to have a memorial service where there’s no prayer, this appear to be insanity to me,” Washington told the Wall Street Journal. “I feel like America has lost its way.”

New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, a pastor at a Bronx church, said he was similarly shocked and disappointed that clergy would be excluded, feeling like it was “wiping out the recognition of the importance that spirituality plays on that day.”

But despite the fresh controversy, Bloomberg‘s position isn’t anything new. Religious leaders have never been included in the city’s official memorial. The Wall Street Journal reports:

"The mayor has said he wants the upcoming event to strike a similar tone as previous ceremonies. “There are hundreds of important people that have offered to participate over the last nine years, but the focus remains on the families of the thousands who died on Sept. 11,” said Evelyn Erskine, a mayoral spokeswoman.”

Still, Bloomberg critics have pointed out that the mayor has hardly taken a hands-off approach regarding religion. He was a vocal supporter of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque,” and earlier this month said he thinks religious symbols should be allowed at the 9/11 museum, even as an atheist group mounted a legal challenge to block the inclusion of a cross formed from steel beams found in the World Trade Center rubble.

The flap over religious leader participation is just the latest fall out regarding the ceremony. Last week, The Blaze reported this story about the decision not to allow 9/11 first responders to attend the ceremony. The mayor’s office gave a similar reason at the time as well, saying first responders have not been invited to any of the previous nine services, but critics said this was the first year they were specifically barred from attending at all.


Joey Vento: An Assimilation Warrior

Michelle Malkin

Blunt. Brash. Bold. Politically incorrect. Unapologetically patriotic. Philadelphia cheese-steak king Joey Vento was all that and a side of freedom fries. The 71-year-old owner of Geno's Steaks died of a heart attack this week, but he reignited a national debate over radical multiculturalism that will burn for years to come.

Five years ago, Vento garnered national headlines when a local newspaper profiled his outspoken views on customers who couldn't speak English. He hung a sign in his order window that read: "This is America. When ordering, speak English." Though he never turned anyone away, the grandson of Italian immigrants informed hungry patrons that he reserved the "right to refuse service" to those he couldn't understand.

No menus in 10 different languages. No dumbed-down pictographs for the idiocracy. The choice at Geno's is simple: Sink or swim. Learn English or eat somewhere else. "If you can't tell me what you want, I can't serve you," Vento told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's up to you. If you can't read, if you can't say the word 'cheese,' how can I communicate with you -- and why should I have to bend? I got a business to run."

Vento's refusal to coddle triggered a tsunami of complaints from self-appointed civil rights leaders. The ululations of the aggrieved resounded from sea to whining sea.

For exercising his constitutionally protected free speech, both the Philadelphia City Council and Philadelphia Human Relations Commission launched political inquisitions against Vento. Yes, it really happened in the home of Independence Hall. Members of the government bodies demanded that Vento remove his bald eagle-adorned sign and threatened to revoke his business license. After 21 months of investigation, a marathon seven-hour hearing and hysterical testimony likening his innocuous 4-inch-by-9-inch sign to "Jim Crow laws," he was cleared of discrimination charges.

Plainspoken as ever, Vento understood full well why the multi-culti mob wanted to gag him: "I say what everybody's thinking but is afraid to say."

As a fellow Philly-born loudmouth, I cheered Vento on for years during his battles with the anti-assimilationists. He weathered the same old slings, arrows and accusations of being a "racist," "xenophobe," "nativist" and immigrant-basher -- despite the fact that generations of assimilated immigrants and naturalized Americans agree with him. The vast majority of Americans support English as the official language of the United States. Latino parents in California revolted against "bilingual education" mandates that stuck their kids in Spanish-only classes.

Generations of successful immigrant families in America know English is the language of success, not the language of oppression. Yet, politicians in both parties have pandered ceaselessly to the language-Balkanizers.

The Clinton administration gave us Executive Order 13166, effectively requiring all government agencies to provide translations into any language on demand. Rather than rescind the order, the Bush administration went after localities and forced them to provide foreign language materials. In 2004, the Bush administration ordered Harris County, Texas, to provide all voter registration and election information and supplies, including the voting machine ballot, in Vietnamese, as well as English and Spanish.

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice threatened to cut off federal funding to the state of Oklahoma over a state constitutional amendment proposal to designate English as its official language. The Obama DOJ also has ordered my home state of Colorado to protect the interests of "language minority populations" by funding free translators for any foreigners -- legal or illegal -- who sue in civil cases here. In the same vein, the Philadelphia Human Rights Commission that tried to silence Vento distributes pamphlets asking "Are you a victim of discrimination?" in seven languages.

"Progressive" politicians pandering for votes treat non-English speakers as hopeless victims of white hegemony, instead of beneficiaries of the American dream. By contrast, small-business man Joey Vento promoted a common culture, a common tongue and common sense. We need more assimilation warriors like him to challenge the infantilizing Babel Lobby.



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.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Liberal leader pledges to defend British human rights laws

Nick Clegg has opened up a new rift in the Coalition by pledging to resist Conservative attempts to change human rights laws in the wake of this month’s riots.

The Deputy Prime Minister said it is a "myth" that Britain’s human rights laws are harmful and insisted that they must not be abandoned. Mr Clegg’s argument, set out in a newspaper article, is at odds with David Cameron’s views.

In the wake of the disturbances in London and other English cities earlier this month, the Prime Minister signalled a fresh move to challenge the Human Rights Act, declaring that he would not be restrained by "phoney human rights" concerns.

The legislation, which enacts the European Charter on Human Rights, is blamed by many Conservatives for problems in the criminal justice system. Critics say that over-zealous application of the law leads the police and other authorities to put too much emphasis on the rights of criminals and suspects, and not enough on the needs of victims.

Without naming Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg criticised people who have allowed "a myth to take root that human rights are a foreign invention, unwanted here, a charter for greedy lawyers and meddlesome bureaucrats."

He added: "This myth panders to a view that no rights, not even the most basic, come without responsibilities; that criminals ought to forfeit their very humanity the moment they step out of line; and that the punishment of lawbreakers ought not to be restrained by due process."

This is not Mr Clegg’s first dispute with Mr Cameron over human rights laws. The Deputy Prime Minister has an ongoing disagreement with his Conservative colleagues over the issue of votes for prisoners. After a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights – which oversees the charter – Britain is obliged to let prisoners vote in general elections. A majority of MPs have opposed that change, and Mr Cameron has said he will listen to the Commons.

However, Mr Clegg – supported by Kenneth Clarke, the Conservative Justice Secretary – is insisting that Britain has no choice but to accept the court judgement and allow at least some prisoners to vote.

Mr Clegg accepted that some aspects of the court must be changed, but insisted that there is no question of the UK pulling out of the convention.

Some Conservatives want the UK to pull out of the convention, but Mr Clegg said that must not happen: "As we continue to promote human rights abroad, we must ensure we work to uphold them here at home. We have a record we should be proud of and never abandon."

The Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights have been "instrumental" to protecting British civil liberties, he said.


Abject failure of Australian Federal government's policies concerning native blacks

Nobody seems to have thought of treating them exactly the same as everyone else

THE head of the Productivity Commission, Gary Banks, has backed a Finance Department finding that the $3.5 billion the Commonwealth spends on indigenous programs each year yields "dismally poor" returns.

The Finance Department strategic review, released this month under freedom-of-information laws, found strong commitments and large investments of government funds had "too often" produced results that were "disappointing at best and appalling at worst".

Launching a biennial report that says results have deteriorated in seven of 45 measures monitored by the commission, Mr Banks said "plenty" of policies were not working. "A recent finance department strategic review of indigenous expenditure has made that clear," he said. "I don't think we should be too critical - it is a very hard area to get right. But the key is to be open about failure and to learn from it."

The report found a widening of the gap in the rates of child abuse between indigenous and other Australians, and that the imprisonment rate for Aboriginal men soared 35 per cent over the decade; for women it rose 59 per cent.

The Productivity Commissioner, Robert Fitzgerald, said one of most important things the government could do would be to ease overcrowding in indigenous homes.

The proportion of indigenous houses with more than twice as many people as bedrooms has remained unchanged at 27 per cent for five years. In the Northern Territory the proportion exceeds 60 per cent.

"What is absolutely unquestionable is that easing overcrowding helps educational outcomes, health outcomes, the home environment and makes communities safe," Mr Fitzgerald said.


Australia: Abhorrent crimes cloaked in official euphemisms

By negligent bureaucrats

CHILD abuse creates the darkest of shadows. The shadows enveloping the brief life of Felicia (The Weekend Australian, August 20) are perhaps the blackest imaginable.

According to Michael McKenna and Rory Callinan's reports Felicia, aged just 15, had been repeatedly sexually assaulted but not protected. In an extraordinary, almost unbelievable sequence of events, she was briefly removed from home but then returned to be assaulted again. Even after being admitted to hospital with marks around her neck, she was not protected from the crimes.

It is reported that in desperation, as she was about to be assaulted again, she secretly used her mobile phone to record the crime. Imagine being so desperate to be believed that you record yourself being assaulted and are prepared to allow others to hear the resultant degradation.

Even then, after what must have been the most humiliating of experiences, she was not made safe. The shadows must have appeared even blacker. She hanged herself on the veranda a day after her 16th birthday and just weeks after her friend Zoe had killed herself. She left a long suicide letter.

There is a great deal we must learn from Felicia's tragedy, if we have the courage to peer into the darkness. Her brief tortured life reminds us that, for some, being forced to live with abuse is worse than death.

This reflects a large theme from our research with children and young people who had been abused. They spoke of their helplessness, their inability to escape. Some described becoming hostages to the perpetrator, controlled by a terrorist, of having to submit in order to survive.

In spite of what we know of adult survivors of Stockholm syndrome, for example, how difficult it is for them even when free to confront the perpetrators, we fail to acknowledge the pain child victims of abuse suffer. Felicia did what many adults cannot do. She reported the crimes repeatedly. Even then she was not heard.

Crimes against children derail development, black out all hope. Yet many of our responses serve to minimise the seriousness, disguise the offences, and thus undermine the victim. Offenders committing crimes in circumstances similar to Felicia's might be charged with "maintaining a sexual relationship with a child". Yet if the perpetrator repeatedly raped his wife, it would be called rape.

Language that rewrites the crime, hiding the horror, may be a major contributor to the short sentences serious sex offenders receive. Only last month, the Queensland Attorney-General expressed his concern about such minimalist sentencing to the Sentencing Advisory Council.

The law is but one of the serial offenders. Psychiatry and psychology are littered with archeological remains of Greek words. Someone who rapes children may be called a pedophile, originally meaning "a lover of children". Countless hours are wasted, millions of dollars distributed to expert witnesses, while courts debate whether the child rapist is, was, or may temporarily be a pedophile. This from a discipline that, until recently, accused children of lying, fantasising, even being seductive.

The latest word of Greek origin to dominate child protection and minimise the damage done, is trauma, as in "children traumatised by abuse". Trauma means wound, injury. Toddlers may suffer injury when they fall over. As Felicia's short life shows, in many cases child abuse destroys childhoods, blows worlds apart. Of course, the meanings of words change. Unfortunately for children all the changes are aimed at reducing the seriousness of the problem. There are words of Greek origin that more accurately describe the destruction caused by child abuse. Catastrophe is one.

Weasel words also overwhelm child protection, where parents' rights to another chance to be a parent repeatedly take precedence over a child's only chance of childhood. The talk is about vulnerable families not vulnerable children. Children are not assaulted but "at risk". Such words corrupt. Try to find the words assault, violence and crime in child protection documents. Perhaps this is why, in Victoria, it was reported by the Ombudsman that children were recorded as having been seen when workers had merely telephoned the parents and why, in the Northern Territory, the Ombudsman reported "dummy" assessments on children.

There is much more to learn from Felicia's terrible death. Her sad story should remind us that not all the child abuse fatalities involve brutal murders of babies and toddlers, as with Dean Shillingsworth in NSW, the recent case of Hayley in Victoria, or Baby Peter in Britain.

Many child abuse deaths occur later in life. Many young people and adults who commit suicide were the victims of abuse as children. These suicides are not limited to women. There are calls for an inquiry into the Catholic Church in Victoria after Robert Best was sentenced to 14 years and nine months' jail for the abuse of 11 boys. At least 25 victims in the Ballarat area are reported to have killed themselves.

Another poignant theme is apparent in the opening paragraph of Felicia's suicide letter: "Dear everyone, I'm sorry it had to be like this. If there is any chance I can be [forgiven] I will much appreciate it." As our research has shown, children take responsibility for everything that happens, blaming themselves for the rapes and violence, for the problems that result. Felicia actually apologised to everyone for the trouble she had caused.

We need to apologise to her. We failed to protect Felicia when she was alive. We must not fail to respect her in death. Felicia's letter shines some light into the appalling darkness. What she wrote, what she suffered, the mistakes that were made, should not be buried with her.


Some things worked better in the past

Lawrie Kavanagh comments from Australia:

I GET a big laugh when I hear or read of today's intellectuals and dumb lefties screaming blue murder when they hear oldies like me calling for much tougher court penalties for young criminals, and the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools.

You see, I happened to grow up in those long-gone, terrific days when the punishment fitted the crime . . . well most of the time . . . with me at least, anyway.

I'll tell you about those early days in a moment, but let me first make a suggestion that could curb a lot of youth violence and serious crime in this great state of ours. It's called National Service - or as we knew it back in the 1950s, "Nasho".

National Service taught a lot of us young blokes right from wrong, particularly where it concerned respect for other people.

You see, most of the blokes I served with at Wacol in Brisbane's outer southwest in the first intake of 1954 were pretty apprehensive about becoming Nashos. They didn't know what to expect.

This was particularly so in my hut because, whereas I had arrived at Wacol with a bunch of Maryborough mates, including my older brother, Marty, I was separated from them because I was taller than my mates, and put into a hut with tall blokes, mostly from north Queensland.

I had no worries about going into national service, because I'd been in the cadets at my school, St Brendan's College, Yeppoon, and even had a couple of weeks of army training in Sellheim Army Camp, west of Townsville, with heaps of other young blokes from all over the state.

So I was pretty surprised to hear my new Nasho mates expressing a bit of trepidation about being forced into army service for three months first up, then two weeks each year for the next two years.

But all that changed after the first few weeks of army training under a lot of very tough, but very fair, professional soldiers.

Things weren't going so well in the hut next to us, in A Company, because in that hut there was a very big and very aggressive bully who simply took what he wanted from the other blokes in the hut. You might be sitting on a stool polishing your uniform brass work or cleaning your SMLE .303 rifle, maybe with some food or soft drink beside you, and this jerk would just pick up your biscuit or sandwich and eat it, then grab your bottle of soft drink and swill it down. If you objected he would give you a push and walk off.

That went on for the first few days of the camp before one of the blokes came up with a brilliant idea. He had one of his hut mates sitting down polishing his brass work, with a half-full soft-drink bottle beside him, when the big bully walked up, grabbed the bottle and swigged down a couple of mouthfuls before turning red and almost spewing the fluid out of his mouth and all over the hut.

Why, you ask? The bottle was half-full of urine, placed there to bring the bully into line.

And as for those blokes who expressed trepidation in the early days of the camp, most went home with many happy memories of being in Nasho.

As far as corporal punishment at home and at school is concerned, for God's sake, bring it back. I copped it in both places and deserved it most of the time. A couple of times I didn't, but that was mainly from a young Irish nun, who hated being in Yeppoon and took a lot of that hatred out on me because I couldn't spell and was a very poor reader. Still am.

She once hit me on the head and the knuckles with a blackboard pointer stick for bad spelling. I had a big lump on my head but it was nowhere near the size of the swelling on my knuckles.

She sent me outside crying and while I was sitting on the steps still crying, another nun, Sister Laurence, who saw what had happened, came out and sat beside me. She put her arm around me and started crying too. I was about seven or eight at the time.

I sometimes got the cuts from other nuns, once for swimming in the nuddie with a couple of mates in a creek behind some houses from which people saw us and complained. Why swim in the nude? Because Mum and Dad wouldn't let us go swimming unless we had an adult with us, so they would hide our togs.

One time I was playing with some mates, swinging on a crane in the Yeppoon railway yards when it gave way, flinging me on to the railway line.

The station master, who had been talking to the local cop on the platform, trotted over, picked me up and led me by the ear over to the cop. The cop gave me a swift kick on the bum then dragged me across the road to the Railway Hotel, where he knew my old man was the manager. He told Dad I had broken the crane. Dad took off his leather belt and gave me what for.

The Christian Brothers at St Brendan's were pretty good, but if you stepped out of line it would really hurt because, unlike the nuns who used canes, the Brothers used leather straps with about six leather strips stitched together and about 30cm long. You either got those cuts on the open hand or, even worse, across the bum.

How did school punishment change my life? Well, after 76 years I have never had any trouble with the police except for that time at Yeppoon railway station. I've never been in jail or court.

I truly believe today's crime rate would tumble if they brought back National Service and re-introduced corporal punisment at school and at home. But I sure ain't holding my breath.



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.