Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Australia: Do-gooders attack a responsible parent

A MOTHER made her child sit in public with a sign pinned to his shirt that said: "Do not trust me. I will steal from you as I am a thief."

The boy, thought to be aged about 10, was also wearing Shrek ears and writing lines in what appeared to a form of public punishment, according to dozens of witnesses who contacted the Townsville Bulletin.

The boy spent almost an hour on Sunday near a popular waterpark in Townsville while his family ate lunch nearby, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Diane Mayers was so "horrified" when she saw the boy she contacted Child Safety Services to intervene.

Ms Mayers, who worked with the department in the past, said any long-term effects of public humiliation would have been much worse than physical abuse.

"The boy just kept his head down and was staring at the ground," she said. "The parents had gone to all the trouble of printing two copies of the sign - one for the back and one for the front - and laminating them. A lot of work had gone in to it.

"A lot of people walked past and were laughing at him, including boys who would have been his age.

"At one point the boy had taken off the Shrek ears. My daughter walked past and heard the mother say, 'Put them back on or I'll smack your head in'."


Smacking Down Progressives of Pallor

Michelle Malkin

Is there anything more condescending than a porcelain-skinned Hollywood liberal who attempts to show her presumed solidarity with minorities by referring to them as "people of color"?

Yes, there is: Two porcelain-skinned liberals attempting to show their allegiance to "diversity" by attacking "people of color" who happen to disagree with their radical politics.

Such an exchange took place on a little-watched television show on Al Gore's obscure cable network Wednesday night. I am spotlighting the diatribe for you not because the speakers involved hold any sway with the American electorate, but because paternalistic racism is so prevalent among the media-entertainment elite.

And it's about time someone knocked these self-appointed Saviors of the Oppressed off their high horses.

Actress Janeane Garofalo -- a former comedian turned Republican-bashing sourpuss -- appeared on the Current TV talk show of disgraced former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. Because she has no actual career achievements or noteworthy projects to discuss, the pair turned to one of their favorite topics: bashing the tea party movement, with an ample dish of vast-right-wing-conspiracy-mongering on the side.

Garofalo singled out GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, a black businessman and grassroots favorite, because he is a "person of color." According to the starlet, Cain launched his 2012 bid "because he deflects the racism that is inherent in the Republican Party, the conservative movement, the tea party certainly. (In) the last 30 years, the Republican Party has been moving more and more to the right, but also race-baiting more."

She certainly knows about baiting. For the past six years, with gritted teeth and throbbing veins, she has indiscriminately attacked Republicans as "racist," "rednecks" and "partisan hacks who are always on the verge of punching somebody or always behave as if they've just been cut off in traffic." Projection for breakfast, anyone?

From the safety of her Tinseltown cocoon, she has lashed out bitterly at tea party activists as "teabagging rednecks" and assailed their fiscal conservative activism as "f***ing redneck d**chebaggery. Unmitigated d**chebaggery" -- all while complaining about the lack of civility in politics. In 2009, Garofalo ignored a personal invitation from Texas tea party activist Katrina Pearson and other black conservatives to attend one of their rallies and meet reality.

The last thing progressives of pallor want to deal with, you see, are "people of color" who think for themselves, refuse to be hyphenated Americans and reject left-wing orthodoxy on everything from entitlements to bailouts to Big Labor, immigration, social issues and racial preferences.

All of Garofalo's and Olbermann's non-white friends and colleagues (however few that may be) think the same slavishly homogenous thoughts they do about preserving the welfare state, coddling union thugs, opening up the borders and whitewashing the eugenics-grounded abortion racket. There couldn't possibly be minority conservatives who think otherwise. And if they do, the progressives of pallor comfort themselves, such aberrant creatures must only be able to embrace free-market principles because they were brainwashed, paid off or born stupid.

Thus did Garofalo float her nefarious theory that Cain "is being paid by somebody to be involved and to run for president so that you go, like, 'I love that, that can't be racist. He's a black guy, a black guy asking for Obama being impeached.' Or 'it's a black guy who's anti-Muslim. It's a black guy who is a tea party guy.'" What puppet-master could have engineered Cain's candidacy, according to Garofalo? "The Koch brothers or Grover Norquist or any anything. It could even be Karl Rove."

Er, never mind that Beltway establishment King Rove has trashed self-made outsider Cain and belittled him as a mere "talk radio guy."

Garofalo forged ahead with her identity-politics smears: "There may be a touch of Stockholm syndrome in there, because anytime I see a person of color or a female in the Republican Party or the conservative movement or the tea party, I wonder how they could be trying to curry favor with the oppressors."

I've heard more than 20 years of this oppressive windbaggery from do-gooder liberals who treat my unhyphenated American brothers and sisters and me as treacherous puppets for The Man. Their smug refusal to acknowledge free will, individual choice and true diversity of thought confirms that race-obsessed liberals remain the most unrepentant and odious racists of all.


Airport Security vs. The Constitution

Government critics deserve their day in court

You wouldn't think Aaron Tobey and Donald Rumsfeld have much in common. Tobey is the guy who stripped down to his shorts at the Richmond, Virginia airport last December. Rumsfeld is the former Defense Secretary under George W. Bush. Tobey, who was protesting the invasive airport screening practices that have outraged a good portion of the traveling public, is a stickler for constitutional rights. Rumsfeld? Not so much.

The two of them, however, are united by a common case: Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents. The other day a federal appeals court said two Americans who claimed to have been tortured by U.S. armed forces in Iraq can sue Rumsfeld for violating their constitutional rights. The court relied on the Bivens precedent. Bivens just happens to be the hook Tobey is hanging his hat on in his lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole.

Basically, the 1971 Supreme Court ruling in Bivens says you can seek monetary damages for the violation of your constitutional rights. That's what Tobey is doing, with the help of the Charlottesville-based Rutherford Institute.
To paraphrase Kevin Bacon in A Few Good Men: These are the facts of the case, and they are almost entirely undisputed:

On Dec. 30 last year, Tobey was in pre-flight screening when he was directed toward one of those special imaging machines that can see through clothing. Tobey paused to strip off his T-shirt and sweatpants. On his torso he had written: "Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated."

A Transportation Security Officer told Tobey he did not need to disrobe. Tobey said he wanted to in order to express his views. At that point, the TSO radioed for assistance. Two Richmond police officers arrived, cuffed Tobey, and hauled him away. Tobey isn't the only person who has gone through screening in his underclothes—but he is the only one who did it quoting the Constitution, and he is the only one who has been arrested for it.

He spent the next 90 minutes in handcuffs while police officers and FBI terrorism task-force agents questioned him, berated him, and threatened to tell on him by calling administrators at his university. They threw some of his personal belongings in the trash—his toothbrush and highlighter would be considered contraband in jail, they explained. Finally they issued him a summons for disorderly conduct before releasing him to catch his flight.

In court a few days later, prosecutors dropped the charge, recognizing that Tobey's peacefully taking off his T-shirt and sweats did not rise to the level of disorderly conduct. (Virginia law says such conduct must have a tendency to cause violence.) Now Tobey is suing over violation of his First, Fourth, Fifth, and 14th Amendment rights. Along the way he has picked up some notable supporters: the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, and civil-liberties champion Nat Hentoff.

Tobey claims his arrest was unjustified and unconstitutional, and the blame for it falls in part on Napolitano and Pistole, who put in place the policies that permitted it. The federal government naturally says otherwise. First, it says Tobey "disobeyed a command" to proceed through the scanner. That is questionable; Tobey claims he did as he was told.

The feds also say three other things: (a) The extent to which the Fourth Amendment requires probable cause to detain someone in Tobey's situation is a "novel question." Nevertheless, (b) nobody violated Tobey's rights, and (c) even if they did, Napolitano and Pistole are immune anyway.

For all those reasons, say the feds, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson should dismiss Tobey's lawsuit.

If the name sounds familiar, that's because it is. Hudson is the first judge to have ruled against ObamaCare's individual mandate—the provision that says Washington not only can tax your income but tell you how to spend what's left by forcing you to enter into a contract with a private insurance company. Hudson struck down the mandate Dec. 13, 2010—just two weeks and change before Tobey made his shirtless statement at RIC.

Hudson said he would rule on whether Tobey's suit can proceed within two weeks. That was last week. So the decision in the Rumsfeld case could not come at a better time. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Rumsfeld enjoys no immunity: "Plaintiffs [Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel] have alleged sufficient facts to show that Secretary Rumsfeld personally established the relevant policies that caused the alleged violations of their constitutional rights during detention."

As in Tobey's case, the federal government has argued that Rumsfeld enjoys immunity. The 7th Circuit says: No, he doesn't. That doesn't mean it has ruled in the plaintiffs' favor or found Rumsfeld personally culpable for the torture they claim to have endured. It merely means the case can go forward—just as it ought to.

Americans have cheered when foreign dictators in Romania, Egypt, and elsewhere have been made to answer for grinding citizens under their boots. It would be curious indeed if American officials were harder to hold accountable. Vance and Ertel will get their day in court. So should Aaron Tobey.


Family banned from having 'fire hazard' doormat outside their flat blast British council's 'ridiculous' elf 'n' safety rules

It can’t spray graffiti, shout at neighbours or play loud music. So a family were bewildered when their doormat was issued with an eviction notice.

The offending mat was covered in warning tape and plastered with a sign reading ‘move it or lose it’ after their housing association said it was a health and safety hazard.

The father of one said: ‘Someone is being paid to walk around and do this. It’s ridiculous. I can’t understand what they are thinking. It’s my doorstep and my doormat. ‘I need to wipe the soles of my shoes dry or I might fall over in my house, then that would be a health and safety issue.’

When an astonished Mr Reyes contacted Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association, which runs the communal areas of his apartment block in Bedford, it said inspectors had ruled the mat was a fire hazard.

But Mr Reyes, a currency broker who shares the flat with his wife Luz, 42, nine-year-old daughter Annabelle and stepson Juan Libreros, 19, is refusing to get rid of it. He said: ‘It’s right at the end of a corridor so it’s not like people will be rushing past it.

‘It had “move it or lose it” written on it, that’s like a threat. ‘It’s like they are saying “don’t mess with us” – but it’s only a doormat. I was very shocked that they would act in this way for something as minor as a doormat.’

Marie Taylor, head of housing at BPHA, said: ‘Like all social landlords, BPHA is legally obliged to ensure all shared areas in its properties are free from items that might trip residents in the case of a fire.’



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 blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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