Thursday, May 31, 2012

Difficulties of partnering in the later years

Given the large number of older widowed and divorced single people in society, the topic below is an important one to broach so I am reproducing the article.  I do think the author has a point.  It is the lack of passion that is the central difficulty.  Women respond very strongly to emotion and a lack of it is deadly. 

So how come that at the time of my 60th birthday I had THREE girlfriends?  Real ones.  I am no oil painting, I have been  old-fashioned since I was ten and am no stud.  It is because I do have passion:  Not physical passion but a passion for ideas.  I believe strongly in things and articulate that.  And it's a magnet to brainy women  -- who are all pretty conservative (as I am) by the time they get to that age anyway.  Caring deeply about things is what matters.  It gives purpose and meaning to life at any age

I have some confidence that I could fascinate the woman writing below in 5 minutes  -- but I have no need to.  I already have a good  partner on my journey now that I am on the brink of my 70th year  -- JR

Ever since my partner died eight years ago, I have been looking for another life companion, someone exciting with whom to walk into the sunset for our remaining years.

So far, this special man has eluded me. And I am far from alone in this. So many of my female friends of a certain age are searching for love, on the internet or elsewhere, and coming up with precisely zero.

It’s not that we don’t meet available men — we do. But somehow they are not what we are looking for. They all end up disappointing us, and we have had endless chats, lunches and drinks bemoaning that fact.

Time and time again, we ask ourselves and each other: what’s the matter with them? Why do older men make such dreadful partners?

It has led me to conclude that though ever more of us are looking for true love in our later years — in fact, dating sites aimed at the over-50s are the fastest growing among all age groups — the fact is very few of us will ever find it.

I wrote an article to this effect for this paper a year ago, but it turns out it wasn’t just me being cynical — psychiatrist Dennis Friedman backs me up and has some answers to boot.  He is the author of a new book, The Lonely Hearts Club (his first work of fiction at the age of 88), which is closely based on his decades of clinical experience and research into what really goes on inside relationships.

Dr Friedman tells the stories of about a dozen men between 50 and 80 — all but one divorced, widowed or never married — who are composites of his former patients, and investigates why there’s such a cavernous gulf between them and their female peers. He wants to explore why, despite the fact that more of us than ever before are finding ourselves single later in life, we are incapable of pairing up with each other.

Friedman’s male characters are discontented and disorientated, wondering where they have gone wrong, and whether they can put things right. Above all, they agonise over whether they will ever again be able to find happiness in an intimate relationship.

They may be partly fictional, but they certainly ring bells with me; they are all examples of the kind of standard issue, unattractive older men I come across all the time.

Perhaps one of the most incisive points Dr Friedman makes is the fact that older men are often totally incapable of opening up to new women. Over time, they have forgotten — or maybe they never knew — how to fall in love properly or even begin to inch closer to someone.

Dr Friedman says older men suffer these problems because they were brought up differently from younger chaps. They may have been able to form relationships in their youth, but the world was less touchy-feely then — men were left to be men and weren’t required to talk of emotions.

‘Nowadays, there is a lot of emphasis on bonding, hugging and kissing babies, but in the past, boy babies especially were left to tough it out, far more than girls,’ he says.
one of the most incisive points Dr Friedman makes is the fact that older men are often totally incapable of opening up to new women.

One of the most incisive points Dr Friedman makes is the fact that older men are often totally incapable of opening up to new women

‘So, if they have never experienced affection, how will they be able to give it? These men simply don’t know what a close relationship feels like and, of course, it’s very late to learn.’

He adds: ‘I’m not saying every single man is like this, but because of their upbringing, older men are likely to have learned how to button up their feelings.

‘Of course, men can fall passionately in love when they’re older, but it is less likely because there is less spontaneity and less emotion at this age. There is also less of a reason, less need to form a relationship, especially after their children have grown up. So even if older men are looking, it’s not with the same urgency.’

Dr Friedman also highlights the fact that many older men harbour outdated, chauvinistic views — an attitude unlikely to find favour with modern women, even older ones.

One of his characters says, without any irony, that a woman’s place is looking after her children and not having them brought up by a nanny. And Dr Friedman is sympathetic.

He knows such views might sound rather old-fashioned, but is unrepentant. ‘All children secretly have a wish for their mother to be in the home, to have the sort of security an old-fashioned housewife used to provide,’ he says.

‘Men tend to hark back to when they were children. So though women now have more freedom, men will always prefer the traditional set-up.’

It’s certainly true that there were more incentives for women of my generation to move with the times — after all, the changes that came with women’s liberation benefited us so much. Meanwhile, many of our male peers stuck their heads in the sand and remained culturally fixed in the Fifties — only to find that when they wanted to re-engage with women later in life, there was a huge gulf between them.

Dr Friedman explains that underneath this apparent inflexibility lies fear. It is fear more than anything else that prevents men relating to women properly in later life.

Older men are afraid of new, unknown women, afraid of trying to access their feelings, which have become buried over the years, and afraid of branching out into the ups and downs of a new relationship — and this attitude only increases the chances of it all ending in tears.

Personally, I think it’s their inability to talk about their feelings that makes them so unsatisfactory.

Recently, I was having a candid chat with a successful property developer in his 70s. We were talking about his lonely childhood, and just as I thought we were touching on something real and interesting, the shutters came down.  ‘Well, I suppose I’d better get back to earning money,’ he said. That was a matter he did understand; feelings, on the other hand, were too complex.

A friend has had similar problems. She started a relationship with an older man, but grew frustrated by his constant avoidance of anything vaguely personal.  Whenever she tried to pierce the surface of why he is as he is, he would reply: ‘That’s a conversation for another time.’  They just don’t get it, do they?

At the moment, I have three rather persistent admirers — one is a friend of my late partner and I met the other two through mutual friends — but there is no rapport or chemistry between us.

When I asked one of them what he had to offer me, he replied: ‘Well, nothing really.’ On another occasion, he asked me whether I loved him. We have known each other for seven years, but feelings haven’t deepened in that time — so I told him so. He replied plaintively: ‘Can’t you lie?’

Is it any wonder I would rather be on my own than with old-timers such as these?

Dennis Friedman has been married for more than 60 years to novelist and playwright Rosemary, and they have four daughters. The secret of their long marriage is that they are both hard-working professionals who continue to have a sense of purpose.

In their home, they each have a study (and his and hers stairlifts!) and keep set hours of work. Dr Friedman also still sees patients.

So many older people looking for partners have absolutely nothing to do, and that is another problem. They are advertising for a woman to accompany them on cruises and holidays because they have nothing constructive to fill their days.

The danger with meeting a retired person is that they may want to spend every minute with you, which is something that does not happen when you are young and working or bringing up families.

All THE men Dr Friedman writes about are retired or semi-retired, with loads of time on their hands.  Though this means they can sit and chat endlessly to each other in cafes, they remain lost souls outside the group.

The end of the book is pretty bleak. All of the characters are just as alone as they were before, in that none has found a new partner.

The final message is that, deep down, older men feel far more comfortable with other men than with trying to embark on a relationship with a new woman, especially when there is no real need and when their overwhelming sexual urges have died down.

Many men have told me that they are basically very shy, but that when they are overcome with sexual desire, this makes them bolder. Then, when that fades away, they become shy again.

The majority of mature men, it seems, are just not comfortable with women as equal companions. When a couple of women infiltrate Dennis Friedman’s Lonely Hearts Club, the dynamics start to change, and not for the better.

As older people, we will chatter more readily and naturally with members of our own sex than with the opposite sex, and this goes for women as well.

So perhaps the final truth is that we think we want a new partner of the opposite sex, but actually we have outgrown this need.

We are entering the realms of fantasy when we imagine we might find someone wonderful, harking back to our lost youth.

Even so, I don’t think I will give up quite yet.... you never know.


Marriage is still the 'gold standard’ in relationships

A new survey shows – contrary, perhaps, to expectation – that young people regard marriage and the raising of a family to be more worthwhile than a high-flying career or the acquisition of material wealth. Indeed, the research, carried out by care home charity Friends of the Elderly, revealed that a lasting marriage was the leading aspiration among every age group, including 18-24 year-olds.

Earlier this month, when Coleridge established the Marriage Foundation, an independent charity dedicated to championing marriage as the “gold standard for relationships”, Left-wing commentators were highly critical. In return for raising his head above the politically correct parapet to reject the canard that when it comes to bringing up children, cohabitation is the equal of a legal union, bar the paperwork, he was branded reactionary.

But now it would appear that he was reflecting the mood of the nation. While no one disputes that cohabiting parents can be as loving and supportive as married couples, the incontrovertible fact is that their relationships are less stable – they are almost three times more likely to break up by the time their children are seven. And the long-term consequences of divorce and relationship breakdown on children are clear: they are more likely to play truant, take drugs, abuse alcohol, commit crime or self-harm.

Coleridge, who presided over the bitterly fought divorce of Sir Paul and Heather McCartney, blames 50 years of “relationship free-for-all” for the spread of “divorce on demand”. The resulting fallout – or “broken home”, to use the now unfashionable phrase – damages not just the children, but wider society. “The Marriage Foundation is not going to be a cosy club for the smug and self-satisfied of Middle England,” Sir Paul told an audience at London’s Middle Temple Hall, “but, we hope, the start of a national movement with the aim of changing attitudes from the very top to the bottom of society.”

Cohabitation rates reached 2.9 million in 2010; the same year there were 241,000 marriages (very nearly a hundred-year low) and a total of 119,589 divorces in England and Wales. One in three marriages now ends in divorce, and of those divorces, 20 per cent of men and 19 per cent of women will be divorcing for at least the second time.

As PR campaigns go, flying the flag for marriage is a challenge; at a time when we’re in thrall to celebrities, they haven’t provided the best role models. The absurd Disneyfication of the wedding day à la Katie Price, about to marry for the third time, creates the notion that marriage ought to be an extravagant, frothy fairy tale – no wonder couples struggle to adjust when real life kicks in.

“There is a creeping, insidious erosion of marriage taking place which is damaging our society,” says Richard Todd, a leading divorce barrister. “On the one front there are social changes which mean that marriage isn’t supported; and on the other, government policies have worked against marriage, such as the loss of a married person’s tax allowance and the removal of child benefit for the wealthy.

“When someone’s unhappy in their marriage they go for a drink with their best mate, who immediately says: 'You don’t have to put up with that, you should leave.’ That’s usually bad advice. In previous generations, the couple would have received support to work on their relationship and the marriage would have survived the rocky patch.”

Divorce lawyers claim that no one walks out on a marriage lightly. But the modern world is an individualistic one, focused on self-fulfilment. Following their lavish nuptials in India, Russell Brand and Katie Perry have gone their separate ways after just 14 months. The model Heidi Klum and singer Seal, parents to three children and her daughter from a previous marriage, announced in January that they had “grown apart” and were separating.

“As a society we have grown to feel entitled to have our needs met, and to be happy,” says Charlotte Friedman, a psychotherapist and founder of the Divorce Support Group. “Thirty years ago, people stayed in unhappy, lonely marriages and repressed their emotions because they felt there was no other option. Would it really be better to return to those days?

“Of course, it’s better for children to be brought up in a loving home with two parents. But if they have to separate, and they can do so amicably and resist the temptation to recruit the children to one side or another, it isn’t a bad thing.”

According to the Office of National Statistics, the average length of a marriage in Britain is now 11.3 years. A cohabitation is likely to break up in three years if the partners don’t marry.

The number of couples getting divorced grew by 5 per cent last year to 119,589. This was an increase of almost 6,000 on 2009, and the first time the divorce rate had risen since 2003. Divorce charities say that the combination of rising unemployment and the increased cost of living have created a “pressure cooker” for many relationships. “It’s no surprise that the divorce rate is rising given the pressures that couples and families are under,” says John Loughton, of Relate. “In fact we are seeing more people than ever coming to us because of money worries.”

Money worries are a major deterrent to marriage in the first place, says Anastasia de Waal, of the think tank Civitas. She believes that the success of Sir Paul Coleridge’s crusade for marriage rests not on gradual social change, but government policies.

“The best way to encourage marriage is employment. We know there’s a clear correlation between low employment and low marriage rates,” she says. “If your partner doesn’t have a job or a house you are less likely to want to make them your lifetime partner.”

Whether it be through government policy or a social shift, we all have a vested interest in creating and sustaining happy families; not least because family breakdown costs us £42 billion a year in monetary terms, while taking an incalculable toll on the children involved.

If, as Sir Paul suggests, society is being unravelled, its warp and weft disintegrating with the ever looser bonds between couples, parents and children, can anyone really argue against the championing of loving, secure, stable marriage as the best environment in which to raise the next generation?


Conservative Minister  urges Leveson Inquiry not to meddle with media laws as he makes passionate defence of Britain's free press

Michael Gove yesterday warned Lord Justice Leveson that he risks creating a ‘cure’ for newspaper wrongdoing that is ‘worse than the disease’ of phone hacking.  The Education Secretary repeatedly clashed over freedom of speech with the judge running the media standards inquiry.

He challenged the entire basis of the inquiry and insisted that existing law is sufficient to police the media and prevent wrongdoing.

Mr Gove argued passionately that anything else risks undermining free speech and warned that previous public inquiries that have imposed regulations on other industries have made things worse not better.

His outspoken defence of a free Press seemed to rile Lord Justice Leveson, who insisted new rules were needed to curb excesses even as he claimed he would uphold freedom of the press.

Mr Gove, a former leader writer for The Times which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, also refused to copy other senior politicians by distancing himself from the media tycoon.  Instead he described the media mogul as ‘one of the most impressive and significant figures of the past 50 years’.

It emerged yesterday that he met Mr Murdoch and his senior aides on 11 occasions between the general election in May 2010 and July last year. But he denied that they discussed the News Corporation boss’s business interests.

Mr Gove said journalists were ‘exercising a precious liberty’ when they wrote articles. He said: ‘I am concerned about any prior restraint and on their exercising of freedom of speech.’  He said it was impossible to prevent newspapers causing offence to some portions of the population and that attempts to protect one group would ultimately undermine the ability of the media to hold the powerful to account.

But a clearly irritated Lord Justice Leveson said: ‘Mr Gove, I do not need to be told about the importance of freedom of speech, I really don’t.’  He said he was ‘concerned’ by Mr Gove’s view that behaviour which is ‘unacceptable’ has ‘to be accepted because of the right of freedom of speech’.

But Mr Gove was unbowed and said that attempts to stamp out wrongdoing could make things worse.  He said previous inquiries had led to regulations that were ‘applied in a way to be a cure worse than the disease’.


CAIR Official Elected Delegate to Democrat Convention

The Executive-Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Greater Area of Los Angeles Area chapter, Hussam Ayloush, has been elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. CAIR was labeled as an "unindicted co-conspirator" by the federal government in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity shut down for financing Hamas. On July 1, 2009, District Judge Jorge Solis upheld the label, ruling that the government provided "ample" evidence tying CAIR to Hamas.

On April 29, Ayloush announced on his Twitter page that he was elected as a DNC delegate for California's Congressional District 42. The California Democratic Party's website has the results of the delegate caucuses, confirming Ayloush's victory.

CAIR's roots are in the Muslim Brotherhood, specifically its Palestine Committee that was secretly set up in the U.S. to support Hamas. In 1993, the FBI wiretapped a Palestine Committee meeting in Philadelphia that included two future founders of CAIR, Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad. Also present was Shukri Abu Baker, the leader of the aforementioned Hamas front called the Holy Land Foundation. At that time, Awad and Ahmed led the Islamic Association for Palestine, another Muslim Brotherhood front (according to the Brotherhood's own documents) with extensive ties to Hamas.

The participants in the 1993 meeting discussed how to "support jihad in Palestine" when "this will be classified as terrorism according to America." They discussed the use of deception and word games and the need to create a new organization with less baggage. Ahmed and Awad founded CAIR the next year. That same year, Awad stated that he supports Hamas. In 2004, he refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups in an interview with an Arab publication. The Justice Department reportedly blocked a planned prosecution of Ahmad in recent years.

It shouldn't be surprising then that one of the Brotherhood's documents from 2004 lists CAIR and the Islamic Association for Palestine, from which CAIR's leadership came, among its "working organizations." A 2007 court filing is even clearer: "From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists."

Ayloush has been the Executive Director of CAIR's Greater Area of Los Angeles chapter since 1997. In December 2001, CAIR-CA's website published a photo of him with Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, a senior Muslim Brotherhood cleric that styles himself as the "Mufti of martyrdom operations" and preaches in favor of Hamas, suicide bombings and the destruction of Israel. Ayloush views him as an authoritative source. During a discussion about zakat in October 2002, he referenced the view of "many scholars," but only mentioned one: Qaradawi. To date, there is no repudiation of Qaradawi on the CAIR-CA website or on Ayloush's personal blog.

In 2010, Ayloush said, "I cannot think of one Muslim scholar that I know of, that I have ever heard of, who has actually condoned terrorism." Qaradawi's consistent support for violent jihad is well-known to even his most passive observers. Ayloush either is stunningly ignorant of the "scholar" he references or agrees with Qaradawi's opinion of what qualifies as terrorism.

In January 2004, he spoke of the "legitimate right of the Palestinians to defend themselves against the Israeli occupation" and in 2006, he described the kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers by Hamas and Hzbollah as a "military operation." The Israeli response, on the other hand, he said was "very reminiscent to the Nazi style of collective response to a resistance."

Ayloush consistently depicts the actions taken by the U.S. government against Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood entities as acts of oppression. He ridiculed the government for freezing the assets of the Holy Land Foundation in 2001, saying, "As we see one charitable organization after the other having its assets frozen and its offices closed, you know, the shift from fighting terrorism is slowly happening towards a fight against symbols of Islam or Islamic activism in the U.S."

He even said the closing of these so-called "charities" is an act of genocide. On June 21, 2006, he spoke at a conference sponsored by various Brotherhood-tied groups like CAIR, the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Students Association and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. He said, "And any attempt to close down a legitimate relief organization is an attempt to starve the Palestinian people.Any attempt to close down relief for the Palestinians is an attempt at genocide."

Ayloush also defends some known extremists. He stands by the innocence of Sami al-Arian, a Brotherhood member convicted for being a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. He has spoken at events to raise money for his legal fees. In 2006, he spoke at a banquet for Sami al-Arian, a convicted terrorist found to be a Brotherhood member and leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the U.S. He also stood up for Sheikh Wagdy Ghoneim, an Egyptian Brotherhood cleric and vocal extremist, who was deported.

In a September 23, 2011, sermon titled, "The Best Jihad: Challenging Injustice," he said that the "Irvine 11," a group of students who so disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador that it could barely progress, were only charged because of three reasons: They are Muslim, Israel is a "sacred cow' and because they defended Palestinians in Gaza. The goal is to "intimidate" and "silence" criticism of Israel, Ayloush told the mosque attendees.

This is a sharp sharp contrast to how CAIR treats anti-Islamist Muslims like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser that dare to criticize them and other Brotherhood derivatives. Ayloush has "re-tweeted" several condemnations of Jasser and his appointment to a government post.

He is a leading critic of the government's counter-terrorism efforts and tells Muslims that they are part of a systematic persecution. In April 2009, he spoke at a mosque and said that the FBI mustn't be allowed to have informants in mosques. "Our youth, who they [the FBI] try to radicalize are off limits." He claims that the FBI hires informants to "instigate acts of violence to ruin the reputation of the Muslim community."

In May 2004, he said that the U.S. had become the "new Saddam" and implored the country to "end this hypocrisy, this hypocrisy that we are better than the other dictator." In March 2008, he said that in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, Somalia and other Muslim countries, the U.S. is "supporting occupation, instability, the interests of defense and war companies and the corrupt allies and puppet regimes." He envisioned "an America that can defeat terrorists without having to act like one."

To be fair, in 2006, he told a columnist that he and CAIR rejected comments made by Imam Abdel Malik-Ali in support of terrorism in Israel, saying "The targeting of civilians is a crime that can never be justified, no matter what just cause it claims to serve." And in a recent sermon, he warned Muslims against embracing false conspiracy theories.

His personal blog (which links to Nihad Awad's blog) has some concerning features.

On November 28, he reposted an article entitled, "Those Who Support Democracy Must Welcome the Rise of Political Islam." Political Islam is another term for the Islamist ideology of the Brotherhood

On June 23, 2007, he republished an article arguing that Hamas is better than Fatah. Titled "West Chooses Fatah but Palestinians Don't," it says, "Here in the U.S., Hamas is routinely demonized, known primary for its attacks on civilians." It concedes that both Hamas and Fatah have done "unspeakable" things but that the U.S. should embrace Hamas. "Hamas did not run into Western opposition because of its Islamic ideology but because of its opposition to (and resistance to) the Israeli occupation. Ironically, it is Hamas that is taking the stands that would be prerequisites for a true two-state peace plan," the author writes.

Ayloush gave a speech on May 11, posted on his blog, titled "Don't Forget Palestine." He tells the audience that Arab dictators like Bashar Assad and Israel are "two sides of the same coin" and need each other. Assad justifies his oppression in the name of fighting Israel and Israel justifies its "oppression" in the name of defense against enemies like Assad.

Ayloush accuses Israel of indiscriminately detaining innocent Palestinians for months at a time, including children. Israel confiscates Palestinian homes in order to build settlements and maintains the only Apartheid state in the world, he says. He preaches that there is an "Islamophobia" network in the U.S. that spreads "anti-Muslim" sentiment and promotes conflict with the Muslim world and "nine out of ten" are right-wing supporters of Israel. The goal, Ayloush assets, is to "demonize the Palestinians" and "anyone who dares to speak up for the rights of the Palestinians in order to cover up the crimes committed by Israel."

In another blog post, he links to a statement by has-been Hollywood star Roseanne Barr denouncing Israel as a "Nazi state." In the comments underneath the post, he said his purpose was to highlight Jews "willing to take a principled stand in criticizing Israel's racism and savagery." An e-mail from Ayloush in 2002 shows why he favors her comments. He wrote, "Indeed, the zionazis are a bunch of nice people; just like their nazi brethren! It is just that the world keeps making up lies about them! It is so unfair."

According to Americans Against Hate, he also posted a picture of an Israeli fighter jet with the words, "guilty Israeli terrorists" and has put up photos of a dead Palestinian baby wrapped in the flag of Hamas. Despite all of this, Ayloush is able to style himself as an interfaith leader. On March 20, he tweeted that he's going to speak about Islam during a Sunday morning church service.

If the Democratic Party wants to rebut allegations that the administration is a poor friend of Israel, having a delegate that complains about "ZioNazis" and is a CAIR official, a group tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, is going to be a tad bit of a problem.



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 WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here.  For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site  here.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Is Britain a racist nation? One in three Brits 'admits to being racist', according to poll

Human beings have constructed caregories of people from time immemorial.  The only wonder is that so many have now been browbeaten  into denying it

A third of Brits admit they are racist, a shock report has revealed.  The worrying figure emerged in a poll of 2,000 adults who were asked to honestly express their feelings about foreign nationals living and working in this country.

One in three admitted regularly making comments or being involved in discussions which could be considered racist.

Additionally, more than one in ten admitted they had been accused of being a racist by someone close to them.  And almost 40 per cent confessed to using the phrase ‘I’m not a racist, but ...’ when discussing race issues facing Britain today.

Alarmingly, many felt their animosity towards foreigners was passed down by previous generations.

But the country’s immigration policy also emerged as a trigger for emotions which could be considered racist.

The true extent of the racist undercurrent within the country was revealed in a nationally representative study carried out by OnePoll in which 88 per cent of the respondents classed themselves as ‘White British’.

Anti-racism campaign group Hope Not Hate, said they were not 'surprised' by the poll results.  'These are very disappointing findings. The positive way to look at it the majority of Britain's shun this behaviour.  'It equally shows there is a long to way to go to tackle prejudice in sections of society.  It's disappointing - we know there is a long way to go and this poll merely underlines the fact.'

Yesterday a OnePoll spokesman said: 'What constitutes being racist will always be a contentious issue.  'What one person deems inappropriate the next person may not.  'The opinions and beliefs of our parents and grandparents are bound to be a factor in the way we address other people regardless of their nationality or skin colour.  'Likewise life experience and cultures we have grown-up in are inevitably going to influence our beliefs and the language we use.

Other factors which many feel stir up anti-foreign emotions was the environment or neighbourhood people currently live in.  Life experience was also hailed as a reason.

The study also found one in five accept the fact people around them make disparaging remarks about different ethnic groups - and are not bothered by it.

Age-wise, the over 55s were found to have the biggest chips on their shoulders, with the 18-24 age range close behind.

The younger of these two brackets were also more likely to admit making racist comments or partaking in behaviour which could be deemed racist.

The Government’s immigration policy was slammed by many of those who took part in the study.  Seventy one per cent said they felt the ‘open doors’ approach to foreign nationals was leading to an increase in racist feelings. 

As many as one in six demanded Britain close its doors to anyone who is not a UK national.  Just over four out of ten said they felt a strict number of immigrants should be allowed in at any one time.

A OnePoll spokesman added: 'It’s alarming that so many people are just accepting the racist behaviour around them.  'Nobody should feel an outsider in their own community.

'The findings did show that immigration policy was fuelling the fire for racist behaviour amongst some adults.  'But immigration and race are two separate issues although these findings show that many believe one is a consequence of another.'


Climbdown on secret justice in Britain

    Justice Secretary to allow judges, not politicians, to decide whether a civil case should be kept out of the public eye

Plans for a vast extension of the ‘secret justice’ system will be scrapped today.  Ministers have been forced to back down following a massive outcry from civil rights groups, MPs and lawyers.

Moves to hold ‘sensitive’ inquests behind closed doors are being dropped altogether. And in civil cases judges, not politicians, will now have the power to approve or refuse a request for a secret hearing.

Writing in the Mail today, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke admits the original plans were too broad.  ‘No evidence that can currently be heard in open court will be put into closed proceedings,’ he adds.

His retreat on inquests was welcomed by the Royal British Legion and campaigners for the rights of families in coroners’ courts.

But civil liberties groups said the concessions did not go far enough and the ‘odious’ Justice and Security Bill should be scrapped completely. They warned the legislation, to be published today, would still put ministers above the law, stopping the public learning about allegations of British complicity in rendition and torture.

Closed hearings are used in tiny numbers of immigration and deportation cases, but the Government had initially proposed employing them wherever ministers felt the public interest was threatened.

Defendants or claimants are not allowed to attend, know or challenge the case against them and must be represented by a security-cleared special advocate, rather than their lawyer. Critics said the proposals were a fundamental breach of the traditional principles of open justice, with MI5 and MI6 dictating the agenda.

Spy chiefs have been embarrassed by terror suspects making civil claims, which were settled out of court to stop sensitive intelligence material being discussed in public.

But even the elite group of lawyers involved in ‘secret justice’ hearings attacked the plans, casting doubt on whether the shakeup was needed to protect Britain’s intelligence relationship with the US.

The majority of security-cleared special advocates – 57 out of 69 – insisted proposals to allow secret hearings across any civil court case or inquest hearing were ‘a departure from the foundational principle of natural justice’.

Critics also feared the new rules could be used to cover up potentially embarrassing incidents, such as police shootings.

In an extraordinary letter to fellow members of the National Security Council last month, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg insisted the security services ‘cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over the principle of open justice’.

Since then, the coalition parties have been embroiled in bitter negotiations over the legislation.

The unveiling of the bill had to be shelved last week thanks to a row over whether to exclude inquests, which the Home Office and security services wanted retained. The final version will introduce closed material procedures in ‘very limited’ circumstances in civil cases.

A judge, not a minister, will have the final decision on whether proceedings should go into closed session and only in exceptional cases involving spies and national security. Only evidence that would otherwise not have seen the light of day, Mr Clarke argues, will be heard by a judge in private. He said vast sums of taxpayers’ cash have been used to settle claims where sensitive material was central to the Government’s case but could not be used in court.

Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty, a rights group that has played a key role in the campaign against the bill, said the concessions should not obscure the ‘odious’ nature of a policy that was ‘such a sweeping affront to centuries of justice’.

But Chris Simpkins of the Royal British Legion said: ‘We have always said secret inquests would compound the grief of bereaved Armed Forces families. They deserve a process that fully includes them.’

Mr Clegg played a pivotal role in watering down the legislation and a senior Lib Dem source said last night: ‘As a result of the Deputy Prime Minister’s intervention, these proceedings are restricted to exceptional cases of national security; a judge not ministers decide; and, crucially, these measures will never apply to inquests.’

The draft proposals had called for closed material proceedings to supplant the system of public interest immunity certificates. But now judges will consider whether a case could be heard using such a certificate – which allows evidence to be kept back – before allowing a secret hearing.


Macho man? Women actually  want a provider says study into what created the modern families

Confident and cocky, alpha males might have you believe that they could win the heart of any woman they want.  But when it comes to finding a mate, women are actually hardwired to go for a meeker, less macho chap who is a good provider, a study suggests.

American researchers have looked into the reasons why humans developed the two-parent nuclear family.

Our primitive ancestors would have inherited the social structure of the apes – a sexual free-for-all with males fighting each other for mating rights.  But scientists at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, say a ‘sexual revolution’ occurred when lower-ranking males who had no chance of winning a fight cottoned on to providing food and care instead.

Their effort paid off, as they got the immediate benefit of mating. And in the long run, females decided they preferred being looked after and started forming long-term relationships, the study found.

Sergey Gavrilets, an evolutionary biologist, said this was ‘a foundation for the later emergence of the institution of modern family’.

It made males more productive, as they wasted less time fighting, and having two parents around meant offspring were more likely to survive, the study suggests.

Professor Gavrilets said experts have struggled to explain how the modern family arose, because they thought if low-ranking males started providing food, the bigger ones would just fight them off.

He said they did not realise until now that female choice was the critical factor. ‘Once females began to show preference for being provisioned, the low-ranked males’ investment in female provisioning over male-to-male competition pays off,’ he added.

The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study on early human evolution demonstrates mathematically that the most commonly proposed theories for the transition to human pair-bonding are not biologically feasible.

However, the authors advance a new model showing that the transition to pair-bonding can occur when female choice and faithfulness, among other factors, are included.

The result is an increased emphasis on provisioning females over male competition for mating.

The effect is most pronounced in low-ranked males who have a low chance of winning a mate in competition with a high-ranked male, the study claims.

Thus, the low-ranked male attempts to buy mating by providing for the female, which in turn is then reinforced by females who show preference for the low-ranked, ‘provisioning’ male, according to author.

The study reveals that female choice played a crucial role in human evolution and that future studies should include between-individual variation to help explain social dilemmas and behaviours, Mr Gavrilets said.


Is There a Legal Problem with “Hate Crimes?”

The definition of "hate crime" is one of those overkill legislative initiatives with unforeseen consequences.  It is noble to recognize that some people commit crimes out of hate, but a murder is a murder, and this should be enough.

How can we possibly know a criminal's inner thoughts (his hatred for his victim); furthermore, even if we can know this for certain, what difference does it make to the victim? The hatred of the murderer should only reflect upon the ultimate sentencing:  premeditated and aggravated murder.

I recall a case last November in El Cajon, California, in which an Iraqi woman immigrant was found in her home, beaten to death, with a note beside her that warned all "terrorist Arabs" to go back to their countries. This crime was immediately snatched up by the legal arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, as an illustration of "Islamophobia." Their outrage at how badly Muslims are treated in the United States accompanies their ongoing campaign against national security officials spying on Mosques and Muslim student clubs in universities. Surveillance should be conducted where there is likelihood of criminal activity and where one follows the numbers.

Now, it seems that the El Cajon Iraqi woman was not killed by an Islamophobe at all.  She was killed, as are so many Muslim women, by her near and dear. This was an "honor killing" against a woman who was seeking a divorce (dishonoring her abusive husband, no doubt). One other member of that benighted family also needs protection:  the murdered woman's daughter, who refuses to marry a cousin selected for her. She has the temerity to want to have her own choice of spouse, and I hope she has police protection and a women's shelter in which to hide.

Honor killings are indeed hate crimes (the obvious underlying disdain leveled at women in pious families, not just Muslim families).  However, it is mostly in traditional Muslim families that the hatred is acted upon and wives and daughters murdered. Perpetrators of such crimes must be convicted as murderers, and their honor-killing motives indicate premeditation.

In the past and in certain places (France, for one), a man who found his wife in bed with a lover could kill her in an "act of passion," in which premeditation was not a condition and his legal punishment mild. Honor killings are not in this category.

Gathering statistics on this horror is difficult because officials tip-toe around something that might be considered Islamophobic. However, there are significant differences between husbands murdering wives, still too frequent in America, and honor killings, which is a premeditated family collaboration. Murder by the family of origin is estimated at 72 percent in the Muslim world's honor killings and at 49 percent among North America honor killers. European families, immigrants from the Muslim World, have numbers similar to their countries of origin. The victims of honor killings were by far younger than western victims of wife abuse and fathers were involved more than 1/3 of the murders in North America. Worldwide, 42 percent of these murders were carried out by multiple perpetrators. (See Worldwide Trends in Honor Killings: Middle East Quarterly.)

Worldwide, more than half the victims were tortured before dying. In North America, over 1/3 were tortured; in Europe, 2/3 were tortured; in the Muslim world, half were tortured.

Motives for these murders include: the victims were "too western" and/or they resisted or disobeyed cultural and religious expectations. "Too western" means independent, not subservient enough, refusing to wear veils, wanting to advance education and a career, or having friends or dating young people of another religion.

Violence against women and children in our own country often escalates to murder, but they are not called "hate crimes," and certainly not "honor crimes." These are murders---some premeditated, some not, and are not excused because of drugs or alcohol. Murder is murder. Domestic violence is violence. Incest is rape. We need to get back to recognizing crime as crime without looking for excuses for these offenses. And for those states with death penalties, honor killers should qualify.



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 WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  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, May 29, 2012

Plans for same sex marriage doomed in Britain

Ditch plans for same-sex marriage, voters tell MPs.  Plans to legalise same-sex marriage are the number one issue in MPs’ postbags - with an overwhelming majority of voters opposed to the move - according to a new poll.

The survey of MPs from across the political spectrum by ComRes also shows that only one in 25 parliamentarians believes that allowing gay unions is a main priority for voters.

The poll comes in the wake of a growing number of Conservative heavyweights declaring that they do not support moves to allow same-sex marriage by law by the time of the next election, May 2015.

Last week Downing Street backed down by signalling that there would a “free vote” on the issue in parliament - as is traditional with matters of conscience - in what has become a divisive issue for the coalition.

Earlier senior sources had indicated that the measure would be “whipped” - meaning that ministers would have to support government plans.

Campaigners believe up to five cabinet ministers would vote against same-sex marriage in the Commons, three of whom are claimed to be Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, Owen Patterson, the Northern Ireland Secretary and Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary.

By contrast, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, last week recorded a video in support of the proposals, saying “marriage should be for everyone.” Her intervention was seen as highly significant since she is the minister leading the public consultation on the plans.

David Cameron is said to remain firmly committed to allowing same-sex marriage - despite his stance being held at least partly to blame by some Tory MPs for his party’s poor showing in this month’s local elections. Liberal Democrat ministers are strong supporters of the move.

Ministers are expected to press ahead with plans, permitting same-sex unions in non-religious venues, within the next year. With Labour supporting the move it would be assured of a majority in the Commons - but would run into significant opposition in the Lords.

The survey, commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage (C4M), which is leading the campaign against the government’s proposals, shows that same-sex marriage is the issue which most stands out in MPs correspondence from voters.

According to the polls, findings, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, around one in three MPs (34 per cent) cited it as one of the main concerns raised with them by voters, putting ahead of welfare reform (23 per cent), NHS reform (19 per cent), pensions (13 per cent), fuel prices (13 per cent), fuel taxes (13 per cent), unemployment and jobs (8 per cent) and the Budget (8 per cent).

Asked how voters divide on the issue, MPs say their constituents are overwhelmingly against - with, on average, three in four voters either opposed to the measure (19 per cent) or strongly opposed (55 per cent), according to the MPs’ assessments. Just 16 per cent of those who are in touch with their MPs support the plans.

Strong opposition to the move is reported by MPs of all three main parties, with Conservatives getting the heaviest flak from voters. Among Tories, 45 per cent say that letters and emails opposing same-sex marriage are the number one item in their postbag and email accounts - with the figure falling to 30 per cent of Lib Dems and 23 per cent of Labour MPs.

Asked what issues matter most to their constituents, MPs cite fuel tax (79 per cent), cutting the deficit (74 per cent) and ensuring the tax burden is “spread fairly” overall (69 per cent).

Gay marriage is cited by just four per cent of MPs as a key priority for their constituents, just one per cent ahead of House of Lords reform.

Colin Hart, Campaign Director of C4M, said: “This poll shows that, right across the Commons, MPs do not regard gay marriage as an important priority.

“It also demonstrates that public opposition to the measure is vociferous and widespread.

“If Ministers decide to press ahead regardless of popular opinion, they will further undermine public confidence in Parliament and reinforce the growing impression that the ruling elite is out of touch with the strongly-held concerns and opinions of the British people.

“David Cameron should drop this idea before it causes yet more social divisions and ill-feeling.”

Andrew Hawkins, Chief Executive of ComRes said: “Clearly this issue has touched a raw nerve with the public, and not in a positive way.

“It is however entirely in line with public polling which shows that Mr Cameron’s stance on same-sex marriage has already cost the Conservatives some support and could well be responsible for a number of the party’s MPs losing their seats at the next election.”


THOUSANDS of jobless layabouts risk having benefits stopped in British government crackdown on the workshy

Ministers now want to make ALL able-bodied claimants do unpaid community tasks in return for their dole.

The move follows the success of a tough new regime aimed at pushing the long-term unemployed into work.

Job centre staff have power to send suspected shirkers to join supervised gangs painting schools or trimming hedgerows.

Those who refuse to put in 30 hours a week have their £67.50-a-week unemployment benefit stopped. Next month the government will DOUBLE the number on the programme.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling, who set up the scheme last year, wants to extend it to capture thousands more he believes play the system.

And he has launched a secret trial in one area to see if tough sanctions can be imposed on EVERY claimant. An insider said: “He wants this scheme to be the norm, rather than an optional extra.

“They are planning to extend it rapidly from next month and have already found funding for thousands more places.

More than 18,000 jobless have already joined community projects or had their handouts docked.

But a study shows half of claimants would rather lose their cash than do unpaid work. (Because they are in fact working)


The Media Is Guilty Of Racial Profiling

The media reporting on the Trayvon Martin killing is guilty of felony racial profiling.

It thought it had all the juicy ingredients for a long term titillating story about an angry, white, gun toting, wannabe cop who profiled and stalked an innocent black teenager before killing him simply because of his race.

Due to Zimmerman having a European surname, living in the South, carrying a handgun, speaking without any dialect, and appearing Caucasian, the New York Times naturally profiled George Zimmerman as a bigoted right wing Conservative-Republican NRA life member nut job.

 After learning that his mother was from South America, the newspaper of record, the New York Times, identified him as a "White-Hispanic." I never heard that term applied to former Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, whose mother was Hispanic. Richardson was always regarded as the Hispanic member of Bill Clinton's diversified cabinet.

It turns out that Zimmerman is a registered Democrat.

George Zimmerman's genes are an eclectic blend of at least three different races. The shameless mainstream media purposely downplayed the fact that Zimmerman's grandfather was black. But because he has a German family name and has Caucasian facial features, he was immediately profiled and portrayed as a stalking racist killer who preys on poor defenseless black children.

ABC News was the first to obtain a police station videotape of Zimmerman being led from a police car to an interview room. The media went out of its way to find so-called experts, attorneys, and other pundits to view the tape and conclude that there were no signs of injuries to Zimmerman's face and head, as his father had claimed. Therefore, he's obviously guilty! Even enhanced versions of the tape rendered the same conclusion. So-called audio analysis experts concluded that the voice heard screaming voice on the 9-11 tape during the struggle between Zimmerman and Martin was more than likely Martin's. It turns out that when Martin's father heard the tape, he told the detectives that it was not his son's voice; and then later recanted, probably after his attorney contacted him.

In an unethical effort to reinforce that Zimmerman was a Conservative, racist bastard, NBC news edited the 9-11 tapes to give the indelible impression that he volunteered to the 9-11 operator that Martin looked like a black guy who might be on drugs. In reality, Zimmerman never mentioned race until asked specifically by the 9-11 operator what Martin's physical description and race were.  That portion of the tape was surgically removed before being played on the Today Show. When a hail storm of criticism hit NBC, it reluctantly fired three employees, but refused to identify them. I wonder if any of them were "White-Hispanics."

Following nationwide protests orchestrated and led by the usual suspects, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, Florida appointed a special prosecutor whose job it was to make sure Zimmerman was charged for a crime, any crime, just to get the heat off.

After the New Black Panthers and the media began looking for Zimmerman, he eventually self-surrendered and was arrested for second degree murder. He was later released on bail.

This week, photographs suddenly emerged of Zimmerman that clearly show he suffered severe cuts and abrasions on the left rear side of his head indicative of his being slammed into a sidewalk by Martin, as Zimmerman always maintained. Other corroborating photos showed Zimmerman's crooked nose that was broken by punches thrown by Martin, something else Zimmerman had always claimed.

Martin's autopsy report was also released, and to the shock and amazement of the media, the only other injury to his body, besides the single bullet wound, was to his scraped knuckles! And, if that wasn't enough, the sweet kid, who according to his mother would never do anything wrong, had Tetrahydrocannabinol (the active ingredient of marijuana), in his blood and urine. So it seems that Zimmerman's description to the 9-11 operator that the person he was following was acting strange and might be under the influence of drugs was also accurate.

Zimmerman didn't racially profile anyone; the media did. It profiled Zimmerman as someone who could further its agenda of portraying all whites as racists, and all blacks as victims. They shamelessly ignored the facts and manufactured evidence to cleanly fit into Martin's family's version of what happened.

The media hasn't had a feeding frenzy like this since the Duke Lacrosse case, which turned out to be a complete fabrication by the alleged victim. It will be interesting to see if the main stream media will ask the Florida prosecutor if she purposely concealed exculpatory evidence from the judge at the time she filed the complaint and sought an arrest warrant for Zimmerman.

In light of the corroborating photographs and autopsy, will the media demand that the charges against Zimmerman be dropped in the interest of justice? Will the media learn from this and admit that it rushed to judgment because of its own prejudices?

There's about as much chance of that happening as Trayvon Martin rising from the dead and taking responsibility for his actions. 


Australia: Former Qld. Labor party government  commissioned, covered up report into excessive red and green tape

A SECRET report has emerged, exposing the reams of red tape and irrational regulation strangling Queensland business across an array of industries.

Obtained by The Courier-Mail, the two-volume report compiled from interviews with 80 business leaders was commissioned and then kept secret by the former Bligh government.

The highly embarrassing report, conducted in partnership with the Australian Industry Group, contains detailed case studies of businesses forced to shed staff, cancel contracts and incur huge costs because of bureaucratic bungling and random government rules.

It is understood the only action taken on the May 2010 report was to establish a new business commissioner at a cost of $1 million a year, condemned by some sectors as more bureaucracy.

The Newman Government has inherited the responsibility of untangling a series of red-tape disasters as it seeks to meet an election commitment to reduce regulation by 20 per cent.

Premier Campbell Newman described the decision to commission and bury the report as "extraordinary", saying it exposed how business was drowning in red tape.  "This report provides some stark examples of how ridiculous rules and regulations waste the time and money of businesses," he told The Courier-Mail.  "Unlike Labor, which put this report on the shelf to gather dust and did nothing to ease the burden on business, the LNP is determined to change the culture of government from one that promotes red tape to one that actively reduces red tape."

The report breaks down the issues that business faces in interacting with state and local authorities across nine key areas, including case studies and recommendations.

One prime area of complaint involved environmental regulations - so-called "green tape".  In one case study, a major fertiliser company spent millions of dollars improving its water efficiency, but then complained that government-enforced reporting requirements focused on how much water it had used flushing toilets.

In another, a waste recycling company operating in the Torres Strait had to report to 42 state and local authorities.

Fire safety requirements were also a bugbear, with two firms revealing they were forced to post "exit" signs along open-sided 80m-wide workshops.

Workers' compensation requirements were also of concern, the report highlighting the case of an equipment manufacturing firm that paid an employee through WorkCover for a shoulder injury that was sustained at work.  "It was later found that WorkCover had paid the employee for the same injury to the same shoulder when with a prior employer," the report said.

Other problems were reported across areas including planning, procurement and government grants, along with everyday issues such as regulations and other rules being out of date or unavailable on department websites.

It is unclear whether Business Commissioner Blair Davies was ever made aware of the report.  His office did not return calls to The Courier-Mail.

AiG Queensland director Matt Martyn-Jones said while the report was two years old, the issues were still relevant and red tape remained a "dead weight" on the shoulders of business.  "We are very encouraged that the Newman Government has committed itself to reducing red tape by 20 per cent," he said.  "Close consideration needs to be given to how this target is measured and how it's achieved."

Mr Martyn-Jones said the best way to help business was with practical steps resolving issues highlighted in the report.

Consideration should also be given to setting up a task force of industry leaders.

The Courier-Mail has highlighted many examples of red tape, including a requirement for piggery operators to install illuminated exit signs inside pigpens.



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 WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  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, May 28, 2012

Marylou's Coffee being investigated for discrimination

Feminists don't like it when their own rules are applied to them

There's a brouhaha on the South Shore. A popular coffee chain known for its bubbly, attractive teenagers is facing a federal discrimination investigation.

In a letter FOX 25 has obtained from a source, the president of Marylou's Coffee –   Marylou herself – has fired off a scathing response to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's investigation, and asks Sen. John Keenan for help.  

Marylou Sandry started the coffee chain in Hanover. It's now spread to many locations in Massachusetts and more in Rhode Island.
It's known for its pink branding and attractive staff. That is the problem.
The EEOC wants to know if only young, attractive women are employable at Marylou's. Now they're looking into the company's job applications, talking to employees about their co-workers age, race and body type, as well as questioning company managers.
But Marylou's says it is simply hiring out of the pool of applicants who come to them and looking for quality dedicated people.
In her letter, Sandry appeals for help from the senator, saying her company is being harassed by the EEOC and "we have never had a complaint against us for age discrimination or any kind of discrimination.  We feel the EEOC is on a witch hunt."

Sandry also says the entire company is a nervous wreck over the investigation.


Coexisting with Sharia

You have probably seen the "coexist" bumper sticker. It implies that we should all just try harder to get along. Wherever we turn, it seems, we are assured that efforts to embrace differences will result only in harmony, although the bargain often entails that we abandon our core cultural principles and our Western soul. For too long we have failed to comprehend that the cost of coexistence can be high.

Finally, though, the pursuit of tolerance at any price is being assessed realistically. The British have now been forced to confront - and finally judge - the actions of some minority Muslims who have embedded themselves in a counterculture hostile to British society. Forty-nine men, predominantly from Pakistan, were convicted (or are still wanted) for luring 47 underage British girls to lairs for serial rape. At least one victim was forced to have sex with 20 men in one night, according to the police. Two girls became pregnant and a 13-year-old reported aborting a baby conceived by rape. Nine of the Muslim men were found guilty last week. Authorities expect to charge four more, and up to 40 additional suspects remain at large.

Judge Gerald Clinton accused the predators of targeting white girls because they were not part of the Islamist "community or religion." The ringleader was removed from the courtroom for being disrespectful of the judge and the legal process.

 It is even more shocking to consider that this is just the most recent case. For years British police failed to make arrests for fear of being called racist, even though girls were reporting the rape rings. Both MP Simon Danczuk and former MP Ann Cryer have charged the police with dereliction due to political correctness.

While some will wonder what it was about coexistence that these Muslim men did not understand, others will realize a hard truth. These girls were the prey of men whose very definition of womanhood is distorted. For these Muslims, women are defined according to a man's needs and his status in the clerical community.

What Westerners have understood as an Islamist honor code is really better described as a culture based on shame. Muslim men are rated according to how their women conform - to how observantly they dress and and how obsequiously they obey clerical dictates. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim and now an activist in the cause of abused women, has tried to explain for uncomprehending Westerners this endemic mindset: "In most of the shame cultures, people in the system don't necessarily know that this abuse is wrong."

The question that Europeans and Americans now must answer is why such a culture has been accommodated to the point that the rule of law is breaking down. The noble goal of tolerating cultural difference has long covered neglect of the need to define legal and constitutional standards. The principles of individual liberty, self-determination, and equal rights undergird our social compact and must not be compromised for the purpose of negotiating coexistence with a subversive and implacable counterculture.


                    Sticks and Stones
Sticks and stones may break my bones, goes the adage, but names will never hurt me.
The new adage, tailored for our age, goes:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, and names, insults, derogatory remarks, denigrations, defamations, "hate" crimes, "bias intimidations," rude or indecent gestures, mockery, satire in textual print or imagery, disrespect, lifestyle harassment, bullying, and other verbal, visual, and non-violent actions, attempts at passive victimization and gross insensitivities that tend or are calculated to hurt, depress, humiliate, or shame me, and otherwise offend my self-esteem and rightful dignity, compromise my privacy, and diminish my standing in the eyes of my fellow creatures -  may be grounds for civil and/or criminal suits.

Sticks and stones may be used in the commission of an actual felony, as well as guns, knives, one's fists, or any other physical object. But an evolving complement of new chargeable felonies, often appended to legitimate ones, is growing, and if not challenged, will reach a "critical mass" in law that will stifle all realms of speech. These new "felonies" are "hate crimes." A new subset of them is "bias intimidation."

In "The Peril of 'Hate Crimes'" I noted:
.[T]he why of a crime is increasingly treated as though it were a weapon, such as a gun, a knife, or a club. In standard criminal cases, however, it has never been the instrument of crime that was on trial, but the defendant and his actions.

Proponents of hate crime have attempted to find a compromise between objectivity in criminal law and the notion that a felon should also be punished for what caused him to commit the crime. But no such compromise is feasible if objective law is to be preserved and justice served. The irrational element - that is, making thought, however irrational or ugly it may be, a crime - has suborned the rational. No compromise between good and evil is lasting or practical. Evil will always come out the victor.

It did not take long for the corrupting notion of hate crimes to degenerate into thought crime. This is what happens when reason is declared irrelevant or is abandoned or diluted by the irrational.

It used to be that a criminal was sentenced for his crime, and if the crime was committed from some form of prejudice, the court's and jury's afterthought was usually: And, by the way, your motives are contemptible and despicable.

Appended now to a guilty verdict for the murder of an individual because of his race, gender "orientation," religion, or political affiliation, is another verdict: You had no right to think that way, so we are adding five years to your sentence and adding X amount to your monetary penalty.
"Bias intimidation" played a role in the conviction and sentencing of Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers freshman whose webcam spying allegedly drove roommate Tyler Clementi to commit suicide. The New York Times reported in March;
The jury in the trial of a former Rutgers  University student accused of invading his roommate's privacy by using a webcam to watch him in an intimate encounter began deliberations on Wednesday and asked the judge to define two crucial terms.

Jurors asked Judge Glenn Berman of Superior Court in Middlesex  County to restate the definition of "intimidate," as well as of the word "purpose," as it related to the bias intimidation count.

The judge ruled that the defendant, Dharun Ravi, could be found guilty of bias intimidation only if he was also found guilty of the first charge, invasion of privacy. And he told the jury that the roommate, Tyler Clementi, would have been the victim of bias intimidation if he had been made to feel fear. [Italics mine.]

"A person is guilty of the crime of bias intimidation," Judge Berman said, "if he commits an offense with the purpose to intimidate an individual because of sexual orientation."

Mr. Ravi is charged with 15 counts, including bias intimidation, invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence. Prosecutors say he encouraged friends to view a feed from his webcam that showed Mr. Clementi with another man. Mr. Clementi committed suicide shortly afterward, in September 2010.
And the denouement of this drama on May 21st, as reported by the Times:
The jury found that he did not intend to intimidate Mr. Clementi the first night he turned on the webcam to watch. But the jury concluded that Mr. Clementi had reason to believe he had been targeted because he was gay, and in one charge, the jury found that Mr. Ravi had known Mr. Clementi would feel intimidated by his actions.

On May 21, Mr. Ravi was sentenced to a 30-day jail term. He had faced up to 10 years in prison. He was also was sentenced to three years' probation, 300 hours of community service, counseling about cyberbullying and alternate lifestyles and a $10,000 probation fee.
USA Today provided a few more details of the sentencing by Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman:
While Ravi wasn't charged in connection with his death, he was convicted of 15 counts, including two second-degree bias intimidation charges that carry a presumption of jail time. Ravi also was convicted of a second-degree hindering charge.

Judge Glenn Berman ordered Ravi, 20, to report to the Middlesex County  Adult Correction  Center on May 31.

Ravi must pay a fine and costs of more than $11,000 -- $10,000 of which will go to an agency that assists victims of bias crimes. Berman also ordered three years probation and 300 hours of community service.[Italics mine.]
USA Today included an important update, a point of Ravi's defense which the jury apparently ignored:
Ravi's defense team is making the case for an acquittal of the charges, saying Ravi did not know the effect his behavior would have on Clementi.
The unstated premise behind the whole trial was that Ravi had driven Clementi to commit suicide. And it is doubtful, highly doubtful, that Ravi's intentions were more than just exposing Clementi to adolescent ridicule. As a new college roommate, he barely knew Clementi. He could not know how "sensitive" he might have been to exposure, mockery, or to an invasion of his privacy. Ravi, then 18 years old, could not have known, even had he been 50 years old with a lifetime of experience behind him, what Clementi might have done as a result of his webcam spying which he shared with others.

Notice that the term bias intimidation is synonymous with bias crime. Whatever it is called, in New Jersey, the "crime" garners a presumption of jail time.

The larger picture is the introduction of the notion, not only of "hate crime," but of an appended but invalid felony charge that may accompany the charge of a validly defined felony. The question is - and it may be a moot question by this time - is how soon mere bias intimidation will be treated as synonymous with hate crime? How soon will individuals be taken to court and charged with it alone, without the excuse of having committed an actual felony?

Salman Rushdie, who surely knows something about the consequences of "defaming" a religion and its central icon, as well as having "insulted" or "offended" the feelings of Muslims, wrote in The New Yorker:
The creative act requires not only freedom but also this assumption of freedom. If the creative artist worries if he will still be free tomorrow, then he will not be free today. If he is afraid of the consequences of his choice of subject or of his manner of treatment of it, then his choices will not be determined by his talent, but by fear. If we are not confident of our freedom, then we are not free.
Dharun Ravi is not a writer, or an artist. But if a writer or artist experiences the fear of what might happen if he allowed his creativity full rein, then he will not create anything but what has been approved by the million censors of protected classes, who could just as easily file suit against him and see him sentenced to a new Gulag, or just financially ruined. Fear of censorship shuts down the mind and sends it on the main traveled roads of the average, the unexceptional, the bland, the expected. Fear of censorship smothers thought, and makes freedom of expression of all but the mediocre impossible and a cruel taunt.

Let's examine the court's, the jury's, and the law's a priori assumptions, assumptions on which they acted. An a priori assumption is one that is knowable without further need to prove or experience. It just "is." . Clementi was gay. Ergo, Ravi's actions were anti-gay, or biased against gays, or in this instance, against Tyler Clementi because he was gay.

First, note that gays are now becoming a new "protected class," as surely as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the ICNA, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and other Hamas-linked "civil rights" groups are working to make Muslims and Islam a protected class, and with some success, especially in our judiciary, and most importantly in regards to what one may say about Muslims and Islam. .

As there is a legitimate distinction between premeditated and aggravated assault - premeditated meaning that a defendant meant to assault the victim, and his motive not being on trial, and aggravated meaning that the victim expected or apprehended physical assault or battery - will our courts now accept as a legitimate charge premeditated bias intimidation? Will a defendant be arraigned and indicted for aggravated bias intimidation?

If a legitimately defined felony can be deemed an action taken with malice aforethought, will writing satirically (or even seriously) about Islam, or gays, or badly dressed people, or obese people, or even about the disabled, be some day treated as malicious and biased intimidation, because the feelings of the subjects were hurt, or because the words instilled unprovable but asserted fear in them?

The emotional states of a felon and his victim are essentially immaterial when judging a crime. The contents of their thoughts are likewise not proper subjects for criminal justice. I could sit here and plot how to rob my bank, especially because I didn't like the way a teller treated me the other day, but I could not be charged with any crime unless I acted on my thoughts (or my piqued sense of hurt and mistreatment). It is the action that would count, not my motive. Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman, in her article "Is There a Legal Problem with "Hate Crimes?" emphasizes this point:
The definition of "hate crime" is one of those overkill legislative initiatives with unforeseen consequences. It is noble to recognize that some people commit crimes out of hate, but a murder is a murder, and this should be enough.

How can we possibly know a criminal's inner thoughts (his hatred for his victim); furthermore, even if we can know this for certain, what difference does it make to the victim? The hatred of the murderer should only reflect upon the ultimate sentencing: premeditated and aggravated murder.
While a defendant's emotional or even considered "bias" or "hate" may be demonstrated and proven, it should have nothing to do with the criminal charge at hand. It is the criminal action that should be the subject, and the defendant punished for having taken the action. Murder is murder. Assault is assault. Robbery is robbery. The reason why a person commits a crime, or rather his motive, should not be "punishable" and within the aegis of criminal law. The law can decree that men stop thinking, or emoting, or forming opinions, but cannot enforce the decree. It is only fear of government and/or mob reprisals that may cause their minds to sputter to a halt, and die.

Little horrors, such as Judge Glenn Berman putting Dharun Ravi on probation for his "bias crime," have a way of trickling up to greater realms of human action because they remain unchallenged. There are many forces at work in this country to obviate the substance and meaning of the First Amendment. These range from the outright thuggery of an OWS-linked assault on restaurant patrons, to the concerted campaign by Islamic supremacists to outlaw criticism of Islam, to a confused judiciary that is losing sight of individual rights and replacing them with collective rights.

Salman Rushdie has to date escaped the sticks and stones of the Iranian fatwa on his life, but is certainly right about the miasma of fear and political correctness that stifles and smothers freedom of expression.

Little horrors like "bias intimidation" can and will contribute to a greater, incremental, and totalitarian horror.


Australia: Children to be given a taste of danger at new childcare centre

CHILDREN would be given trees to climb in, a creek to explore and material to build cubby houses under proposals for a new childcare centre and kindergarten which aims to buck the trend of wrapping them in cotton wool.

The proposal by C&K, which runs a string of childcare centres, comes as the organisation dedicates an entire weekend conference to the topic of "children's right to childhood" and the consequences of risk aversion.

International speakers, including New York's Lenore Skenazy who was dubbed America's worst mum after she let her nine-year-old travel by himself on the subway, will address the C&K early childhood annual conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

C&K chief executive Barrie Elvish said that over the past decade there appeared to be an increasing emphasis "on creating what the regulators and the governments like to say is safe environments for children to play in".

"By making it too safe we are actually not giving children the opportunity to build resilience," he said.

"What C&K is doing about it, apart from this conference . . . we have just purchased part of the old Ithaca TAFE at Ashgrove and we intend creating an outdoor environment which challenges not just the existing regulations and future regulations, but also the perceptions of what might be safe and unsafe environments for children.

"We are not talking about blindfold bungy jumps.

"We are talking about the ability for a child to learn through mistakes and a child to learn through failure - a child to learn if you do jump off something too high it might hurt you when you land."

Mr Elvish said it was part of a risk-benefit, rather than just risk, approach championed by conference keynote speaker Tim Gill, who helped change the way the United Kingdom Government viewed playground risk.

Yesterday Mr Gill said the journey to being a capable adult involved "a few bumps and scrapes and knocks".



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 WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  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, May 27, 2012

Profiles in Racial Privilege: Cordell Lamar Jude

Since it was almost completely ignored by the media, few will remember the recent reverse Trayvon case here in Phoenix, in which the mentally handicapped Hispanic Daniel Adkins was ruthlessly gunned down by a lucky guy of privileged pigmentation named Cordell Lamar Jude.

Jude was in a car when he had some trivial confrontation with Adkins in a Taco Bell parking lot. Instead of driving away or just rolling up his window, he shot Adkins, then absurdly claimed self-defense.

This is the opposite from the Passion of Saint Skittles not only because the ethnicities are reversed, but because Adkins was hardly bashing Jude’s head against the sidewalk, as the sociopathic thug Trayvon Martin was doing to the much smaller George Zimmerman. It is also the opposite in that the innocent Zimmerman was arrested; the guilty Jude walked free.

One of Obama’s racist Harvard professor pals, Charles Ogletree, has proclaimed,    “I want to see the first white victim of the stand your ground by a black defendant and see if it works.”

Ogletree’s wait is over, because if Zimmerman counts as white, so does Adkins:

It’s a relief to learn that Jude is evidently not from Phoenix, but the liberal “model city” of Detroit:

Obama is unlikely to make any “If I had a son” speeches this time around — not that Jude is any more of a sociopath than Trayvon Martin. The difference is that this time the bad guy had the gun.


British Labour party leader calls for laws to stop discrimination against troops

Ed Miliband yesterday called for new laws to protect members of the Armed Forces from discrimination as he visited British troops in Afghanistan.

The Labour leader also called for the international community to ‘up its game’ on political progress in Afghanistan – or risk wasting a decade of sacrifice by British soldiers.

He said that reports last week that soldiers had been turned away from a pub in Blackpool by bouncers saying ‘no Army here’ highlighted the barriers they faced.

More than a quarter of personnel  are refused a mortgage, loan, credit  card or mobile phone despite having  a full-time job with a reliable income.

Mr Miliband said: ‘I think it is wrong that any of our troops face discrimination, disadvantage or unfair treatment because they have served in the military or because they are serving. ‘I want cross-party talks, I want to work with the military charities, to say, “How can we really resolve this issue?” ’

After flying into Camp Bastion, the Armed Forces’ main base in southern Helmand, Mr Miliband and Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy visited  a memorial to fallen British troops at a patrol base in the Nahr-e Saraj district.

Mr Miliband denied his trip was a PR stunt. ‘My purpose for being here is to express the deep sense of gratitude I have for our troops,’ he said.

He expressed fears that the country would slip back into being a failed state when combat troops are withdrawn in 2014, during a visit to the capital Kabul for talks with president Hamid Karzai.

He flew in after visiting troops serving in southern Helmand, where he expressed surprise at the level of progress being made in training the Afghan security forces ahead of the international pullout.

Despite giving his backing to the planned withdrawal date - reaffirmed at last weekend's Nato summit in Chicago - and to Prime Minister David Cameron's approach, he said there was 'a long way to go'.

In an address to troops at the end of a tour of British bases yesterday, Mr Miliband told a gathering of troops that political failure must not be allowed to undermine their 'extraordinary' efforts.

A total of 414 members of UK forces have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

Speaking at the British Embassy ahead of talks with Mr Karzai - as well as senior ministers and opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah - he said: 'It is incredibly eye-opening coming out and actually seeing what they are doing, throwing themselves in harm's way, every day going out on patrol.

'Seeing it up close, with people who are young enough to be my son or daughter doing that, is incredibly humbling.  'I think the best way we can honour the sacrifices our troops have been making is to make sure that they have the best support when they come back home.

'But also, the international community needs to up its game in getting a lasting political settlement here in Afghanistan because I think that is necessary in order to prevent Afghanistan slipping back into being a failed state and there is a lot more work to do to make that happen.'

He continued: 'In this final phase it is very important that we don't take our eye off the ball. I do not think the Government is, I am not criticising the Government.  'The Prime Minister is right to set a timetable. I think we should stick to the timetable.

'We have invested a lot. Many of our troops have made huge sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice. The best way we can honour that is to ensure the political settlement we need.'

All three of the districts where the UK is involved have now been transferred to Afghan control - with some troops telling Mr Miliband their local counterparts have become 10 times more efficient within just a couple of years.

The transition process is due to be complete across Afghanistan by the middle of next year ahead of the 2014 Nato pullout deadline. Talking with an Afghan colonel, Mr Miliband praised the 'tremendous strides forward'.


The Spirit of Geert Wilders

A foreword to Wilders’ book "Marked for Death"

By Mark Steyn

When I was asked to write a foreword to Geert Wilders’ new book, my first reaction, to be honest, was to pass. Mr. Wilders lives under 24/7 armed guard because significant numbers of motivated people wish to kill him, and it seemed to me, as someone who’s attracted more than enough homicidal attention over the years, that sharing space in these pages was likely to lead to an uptick in my own death threats. Who needs it? Why not just plead too crowded a schedule and suggest the author try elsewhere? I would imagine Geert Wilders gets quite a lot of this.

And then I took a stroll in the woods, and felt vaguely ashamed at the ease with which I was willing to hand a small victory to his enemies. After I saw off the Islamic enforcers in my own country, their frontman crowed to The Canadian Arab News that, even though the Canadian Islamic Congress had struck out in three different jurisdictions in their attempt to criminalize my writing about Islam, the lawsuits had cost my magazine (he boasted) two million bucks, and thereby “attained our strategic objective — to increase the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material.” In the Netherlands, Mr. Wilders’ foes, whether murderous jihadists or the multicultural establishment, share the same “strategic objective” — to increase the cost of associating with him beyond that which most people are willing to bear. It is not easy to be Geert Wilders. He has spent almost a decade in a strange, claustrophobic, transient, and tenuous existence little different from kidnap victims or, in his words, a political prisoner. He is under round-the-clock guard because of explicit threats to murder him by Muslim extremists.  Yet he’s the one who gets put on trial for incitement.

In 21st-century Amsterdam, you’re free to smoke marijuana and pick out a half-naked sex partner from the front window of her shop. But you can be put on trial for holding the wrong opinion about a bloke who died in the seventh century. 

And, although Mr. Wilders was eventually acquitted by his kangaroo court, the determination to place him beyond the pale is unceasing: “The far-right anti-immigration party of Geert Wilders” (The Financial Times) . . . “Far-right leader Geert Wilders” (The Guardian) . . . “Extreme right anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders” (Agence France-Presse) is “at the fringes of mainstream politics” (Time) . . . Mr. Wilders is so far out on the far-right extreme fringe that his party is the third biggest in parliament. Indeed, the present Dutch government governs only through the support of Wilders’ Party for Freedom. So he’s “extreme” and “far-right” and out on the “fringe,” but the seven parties that got far fewer votes than him are “mainstream”? That right there is a lot of what’s wrong with European political discourse and its media coverage: Maybe he only seems so “extreme” and “far-right” because they’re the ones out on the fringe.

And so a Dutch parliamentarian lands at Heathrow to fulfill a public appearance and is immediately deported by the government of a nation that was once the crucible of liberty. The British Home Office banned Mr. Wilders as a threat to “public security” — not because he was threatening any member of the public, but because prominent Muslims were threatening him: The Labour-party peer Lord Ahmed pledged to bring a 10,000-strong mob to lay siege to the House of Lords if Wilders went ahead with his speaking engagement there.

Yet it’s not enough to denormalize the man himself, you also have to make an example of those who decide to find out what he’s like for themselves. The South Australian senator Cory Bernardi met Mr. Wilders on a trip to the Netherlands and came home to headlines like “Senator Under Fire For Ties To Wilders” (The Sydney Morning Herald) and “Calls For Cory Bernardi’s Scalp Over Geert Wilders” (The Australian). Members not only of the opposing party but even of his own called for Senator Bernardi to be fired from his post as parliamentary secretary to the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. And why stop there? A government spokesman “declined to say if he believed Mr Abbott should have Senator Bernardi expelled from the Liberal Party.” If only Bernardi had shot the breeze with more respectable figures — Hugo Chávez, say, or a spokesperson for Hamas. I’m pleased to report that, while sharing a platform with me in Adelaide some months later, Bernardi declared that, as a freeborn citizen, he wasn’t going to be told who he’s allowed to meet with.

For every independent-minded soul like Senator Bernardi, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, or Baroness Cox (who arranged a screening of Wilders’ film Fitna at the House of Lords), there are a thousand other public figures who get the message: Steer clear of Islam unless you want your life consumed — and steer clear of Wilders if you want to be left in peace.

But in the end the quiet life isn’t an option. It’s not necessary to agree with everything Mr. Wilders says in this book — or, in fact, anything he says — to recognize that, when the leader of the third-biggest party in one of the oldest democratic legislatures on earth has to live under constant threat of murder and be forced to live in “safe houses” for almost a decade, something is badly wrong in “the most tolerant country in Europe” — and that we have a responsibility to address it honestly, before it gets worse.

A decade ago, in the run-up to the toppling of Saddam, many media pundits had a standard line on Iraq: It’s an artificial entity cobbled together from parties who don’t belong in the same state. And I used to joke that anyone who thinks Iraq’s various components are incompatible ought to take a look at the Netherlands. If Sunni and Shia, Kurds and Arabs can’t be expected to have enough in common to make a functioning state, what do you call a jurisdiction split between post-Christian bi-swinging stoners and anti-whoring anti-sodomite anti-everything-you-dig Muslims? If Kurdistan’s an awkward fit in Iraq, how well does Pornostan fit in the Islamic Republic of the Netherlands?

The years roll on, and the gag gets a little sadder. “The most tolerant country in Europe” is an increasingly incoherent polity where gays are bashed, uncovered women get jeered in the street, and you can’t do The Diary of Anne Frank as your school play lest the Gestapo walk-ons are greeted by audience cries of “She’s in the attic!”

According to one survey, 20 percent of history teachers have abandoned certain, ah, problematic aspects of the Second World War because, in classes of a particular, ahem, demographic disposition, pupils don’t believe the Holocaust happened, and, if it did, the Germans should have finished the job and we wouldn’t have all these problems today. More inventive instructors artfully woo their Jew-despising students by comparing the Holocaust to “Islamophobia” — we all remember those Jewish terrorists hijacking Fokkers and flying them into the Reichstag, right? What about gangs of young Jews preying on the elderly, as Muslim youth do in Wilders’ old neighborhood of Kanaleneiland?

As for “Islamophobia,” it’s so bad that it’s, er, the Jews who are leaving. “Sixty per cent of Amsterdam’s orthodox community intends to emigrate from Holland,” says Benzion Evers, the son of the city’s chief rabbi, five of whose children had already left by 2010. Frommer’s bestselling travel guide to “Europe’s most tolerant city” acknowledges that “Jewish visitors who dress in a way that clearly identifies them as Jewish” are at risk of attack, but discreetly attributes it to “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” “Jews with a conscience should leave Holland, where they and their children have no future,” advised Frits Bolkestein, former Dutch Liberal leader. “Anti-Semitism will continue to exist, because the Moroccan and Turkish youngsters don’t care about efforts for reconciliation.”

If you’re wondering what else those “youngsters” don’t care for, ask Chris Crain, editor of The Washington Blade, the gay newspaper of America’s capital. Seeking a break from the Christian fundamentalist redneck theocrats of the Republican party, he and his boyfriend decided to treat themselves to a vacation in Amsterdam, “arguably the ‘gay-friendliest’ place on the planet.” Strolling through the streets of the city center, they were set upon by a gang of seven “youngsters,” punched, beaten, and kicked to the ground. Perplexed by the increasing violence, Amsterdam officials commissioned a study to determine, as Der Spiegel put it, “why Moroccan men are targeting the city’s gays.”

Gee, that’s a toughie. Beats me. The geniuses at the University of Amsterdam concluded that the attackers felt “stigmatized by society” and “may be struggling with their own sexual identity.”

Bingo! Telling Moroccan youths they’re closeted gays seems just the ticket to reduce tensions in the city! While you’re at it, a lot of those Turks seem a bit light on their loafers, don’t you think?

But not to worry. In the “most tolerant nation in Europe,” there’s still plenty of tolerance. What won’t the Dutch tolerate? In 2006, the justice minister, Piet Hein Donner, suggested there would be nothing wrong with sharia if a majority of Dutch people voted in favor of it — as, indeed, they’re doing very enthusiastically in Egypt and other polities blessed by the Arab Spring. Mr. Donner’s previous response to “Islamic radicalism” was (as the author recalls in the pages ahead) to propose a new blasphemy law for the Netherlands.

In this back-to-front world, Piet Hein Donner and the University of Amsterdam researchers and the prosecutors of the Openbaar Ministrie who staged his show trial are “mainstream” — and Geert Wilders is the “far” “extreme” “fringe.” How wide is that fringe? Mr. Wilders cites a poll in which 57 percent of people say that mass immigration was the biggest single mistake in Dutch history. If the importation of large Muslim populations into the West was indeed a mistake, it was also an entirely unnecessary one. Some nations (the Dutch, French, and British) might be considered to owe a certain post-colonial debt to their former subject peoples, but Sweden? Germany? From Malmö to Mannheim, Islam transformed societies that had hitherto had virtually no connection with the Muslim world. Even if you disagree with that 57 percent of Dutch poll respondents, the experience of Amsterdam’s chief rabbi and the gay-bashed editor and the elderly residents of Kanaleneiland suggests at the very minimum that the Islamization of Continental cities poses something of a challenge to Eutopia’s famous “tolerance.” Yet the same political class responsible for this unprecedented “demographic substitution” (in the words of French demographer Michèle Tribalat) insists the subject remain beyond discussion. The British novelist Martin Amis asked Tony Blair if, at meetings with his fellow prime ministers, the Continental demographic picture was part of the “European conversation.” Mr. Blair replied, with disarming honesty, “It’s a subterranean conversation” — i.e., the fellows who got us into this mess can’t figure out a way to talk about it in public, other than in the smiley-face banalities of an ever more shopworn cultural relativism.

That’s not enough for Geert Wilders. Unlike most of his critics, he has traveled widely in the Muslim world. Unlike them, he has read the Koran — and re-read it, on all those interminable nights holed up in some dreary safe house denied the consolations of family and friends. One way to think about what is happening is to imagine it the other way round. Rotterdam has a Muslim mayor, a Moroccan passport holder born the son of a Berber imam. How would the Saudis feel about an Italian Catholic mayor in Riyadh? The Jordanians about an American Jewish mayor in Zarqa? Would the citizens of Cairo and Kabul agree to become minorities in their own hometowns simply because broaching the subject would be too impolite?

To pose the question is to expose its absurdity. From Nigeria to Pakistan, the Muslim world is intolerant even of ancient established minorities. In Iraq half the Christian population has fled, in 2010 the last church in Afghanistan was razed to the ground, and in both cases this confessional version of ethnic cleansing occurred on America’s watch. Multiculturalism is a unicultural phenomenon.


Should Black People Tolerate This?

Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Using the 94 percent figure means that 262,621 were murdered by other blacks. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation's population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it's 22 times that of whites. Coupled with being most of the nation's homicide victims, blacks are most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery.
The magnitude of this tragic mayhem can be viewed in another light. According to a Tuskegee Institute study, between the years 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched at the hands of whites. Black fatalities during the Korean War (3,075), Vietnam War (7,243) and all wars since 1980 (8,197) come to 18,515, a number that pales in comparison with black loss of life at home. It's a tragic commentary to be able to say that young black males have a greater chance of reaching maturity on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan than on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, Newark and other cities.

A much larger issue is how might we interpret the deafening silence about the day-to-day murder in black communities compared with the national uproar over the killing of Trayvon Martin. Such a response by politicians, civil rights organizations and the mainstream news media could easily be interpreted as "blacks killing other blacks is of little concern, but it's unacceptable for a white to kill a black person."

There are a few civil rights leaders with a different vision. When President Barack Obama commented about the Trayvon Martin case, T. Willard Fair, president of the Urban League of Greater Miami, told The Daily Caller that "the outrage should be about us killing each other, about black-on-black crime." He asked rhetorically, "Wouldn't you think to have 41 people shot (in Chicago) between Friday morning and Monday morning would be much more newsworthy and deserve much more outrage?" Former NAACP leader Pastor C.L. Bryant said the rallies organized by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson suggest there is an epidemic of "white men killing black young men," adding: "The epidemic is truly black-on-black crime. The greatest danger to the lives of young black men are young black men."

Not only is there silence about black-on-black crime; there's silence and concealment about black racist attacks on whites -- for example, the recent attacks on two Virginian-Pilot newspaper reporters set upon and beaten by a mob of young blacks. The story wasn't even covered by their own newspaper. In March, a black mob assaulted, knocked unconscious, disrobed and robbed a white tourist in downtown Baltimore. Black mobs have roamed the streets of Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles and other cities, making unprovoked attacks on whites and running off with their belongings.

Racist attacks have been against not only whites but also Asians. Such attacks include the San Francisco beating death of an 83-year-old Chinese man, the pushing of a 57-year-old woman off a train platform and the knocking of a 59-year-old Chinese man to the ground, which killed him. For years, Asian school students in New York and Philadelphia have been beaten up by their black classmates and called racist epithets -- for example, "Hey, Chinese!" and "Yo, dragon ball!" But that kind of bullying, unlike the bullying of homosexuals, goes unreported and unpunished.

Racial demagoguery from the president on down is not in our nation's best interests, plus it's dangerous. As my colleague Thomas Sowell recently put it, "if there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sided race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over."



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 WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here.  For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site  here.