Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Some California multiculturalism

An enraged customer punched a female store clerk in the face after becoming belligerent over only 41 cents.

The customer was trying to pay for a $1.41 cigar at a Lakewood, CA., Conoco gas station earlier this month with just a $1 bill when he became enraged after being told he needed the other 41 cents, causing him to bash the 23-year-old clerk in her face.

Police still have yet to find the suspect and are asking for the public’s help identifying him.

Identified by KCBS under the pseudonym ‘Yadira,’ the helpless young woman fought back tears as she told of the incident.

‘There’s cowards out there willing to do stupid stuff,’ the emotional girl told the station.

Explaining that he tried to short-change her by 41 cents while buying a Swisher Sweets cigar, Yadira told KCBS that he said ‘ this is all I have… b***h whatever.’

Yadira then asked the man to leave the store and he tried to snatch it from her.

‘It just happened so fast… I didn’t think he was going to hit me,’ Yadira said, adding [then] he just socks me.’

Security footage of the incident shows the suspect trying to grab the cigar from the young clerk before leaning forward, then winding up and smashing her in the face.

Perhaps shocked by what they had just seen, customers in line behind the violent man stood still as he angrily stormed out of the Conoco.

‘It’s a brutal attack on an innocent victim,’ a police spokesperson told the station.

The punch threw her glasses off her face and injured her eye, but she was otherwise okay. She finished her shift that night, but told KCBS she is afraid when she goes to work.

‘Really? Over 41 cents? Imagine if he got like that, imagine what else would have happened?’


Tory pledge to scrap Human Rights Act

The Conservatives will scrap the Human Rights Act if re-elected, in a move that would pave the way to Britain leaving the European Convention on Human Rights, Theresa May said.

The Home Secretary’s announcement is likely to raise concerns among the Liberal Democrats, as well as among several senior Tories.

But Mrs May dismissed the fears, saying that Labour and the Lib Dems “will have to explain why they value the rights of terrorists and criminals more than the rights of the rest of us”.

Mrs May told the Conservative conference that from now on, Britain “should deport foreign criminals first and hear their appeal later” and added that she would be reducing the appeal rights available.

“At the moment, the system is like a never-ending game of snakes and ladders, with almost 70,000 appeals heard every year,” said Mrs May.

Appeal rights for foreign criminals will be reduced from 17 to four. One of the grounds for appeal is the “right to a family life”, which Mrs May said had become a “free-for-all”.

David Cameron admitted in an interview at the weekend that leaving the ECHR was an option Britain could pursue. Mrs May said the system was failing Britain. “That’s why the next Conservative manifesto will promise to scrap the Human Rights Act. And it’s why the Conservative position is clear — if leaving the European Convention is what it takes to fix our human rights laws, that is what we should do.”

Mrs May finally won her battle to deport the radical cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan in July, after a bruising fight with the European Court of Human Rights. “I admit I was crazy,” said Mrs May. “Crazy with the European Court of Human Rights, and I know I wasn’t the only one.”

Her attack on the ECHR was echoed by Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, in his speech to the conference.

He said human rights law was written by Conservatives in the 1950s as a response to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and added: “Never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined it would end up where it has, twisted by political correctness, with the all-too-familiar yob’s catchphrase, 'I know my rights’.”

Mrs May and Mr Grayling face disagreement within the Cabinet. Yesterday, Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, insisted that leaving the ECHR “could be interpreted as a sign that Britain is not interested in creating a better world”.

“If we leave it then we have to take the international reputational consequences of doing so,” he said.


Another example of how fathers can be super-important to their daughters

A renovated oak sideboard stands against the freshly painted cream wall in our sitting room while three new shelves hang, spirit-level-straight, nearby.

New carpets are being laid, family portraits hung and, slowly, this house is starting to feel like ours.

My husband, Cornel, has spent the past few weeks painting, grouting, tiling and putting furniture together in our new home in Hampshire. Each time he builds another piece or complains of a pain in his neck from painting the cornices, I nod sympathetically and smile appreciatively at his handiwork.

But I always find myself thinking that my father would have done a better job.

My beloved dad, Derek, died in 2005 after a long and gruelling battle with cancer. He was only 59, a staunchly old-fashioned, stiff-upper-lip kind of man.

An electronics engineer by trade, he was a whizz at anything that needed fixing around the home. If televisions stopped working, they were back in action minutes later. If furniture broke, it was fixed within the hour.

He could plumb kitchens, lay floors, fix bikes and knew how to take apart a computer’s entire circuit board and put it back together again more efficiently than most people log on.

He was always distant when it came to fatherly affection, and as a child I barely got a peck on the top of the head most nights when I went to bed. But what he lacked in demonstrative love, he made up for by being a capable and eminently practical kind of dad.

When I was 18, I worked as a waitress in a pizza restaurant.

On the regular occasions when my car broke down late at night, I would phone my father and stand outside the restaurant in the dark waiting until he arrived, fixing me safely in the beam of his headlights — my knight in a Vauxhall Astra, come to tow me home.

Somehow I thought this giant of a man would be around for ever, so while I was worried when he fell ill with cancer in 2003, I never doubted he would beat it.

Dad had, after all, been battling a pre-cancerous condition in his mouth, called leukoplakia, for two decades. Every year he’d had surgery on his tongue to remove parts where pre-cancerous cells had grown.

When full-blown cancer was diagnosed, everyone who knew my father agreed he wouldn’t go down without one hell of a fight. And fight he did. As the months passed, I watched in stunned and sometimes sickened awe as Dad drew on every ounce of his prodigious strength in the face of depressingly diminishing odds.

A man’s man, a gentleman to the last, he never complained. He was full of dignity and fighting spirit — and quite simply was the bravest man I ever knew.

When he finally succumbed in April 2005, I was as shocked as I was distraught. How could he die? My able, strong, super-dad? It seemed absurd, impossible, that this giant of a man could not ‘fix it’.

As time passed I tried to forget the details of his illness — too painful to remember — and instead concentrated on recalling his courage. Faults and failings were erased from my mind, as so often happens when someone is no longer around.

So much so, that, when I met Cornel on holiday in Venice just a few months later, my father had acquired an almost saint-like status. The timing for Cornel, this wonderful man destined to be my husband and by default the most important man in my world, could not have been worse.

Cornel is a talented pianist who has played on the Orient Express and in five-star hotels, but he was humble about his achievements and had a wicked sense of humour very like my father’s.

Yet, bad as it sounds, I knew from the outset that despite Cornel’s many wonderful characteristics — his kindness, talent, sense of fun — he would never measure up to my father. Who could?

I knew it was cruel of me to judge Cornel so harshly. It made me feel guilty and ungrateful, and I also felt huge sadness that my father and the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with would never meet.

But it wasn’t just raw grief that made me feel this way. Comparing my fiance with my late father, in sometimes the most petty and almost laughable circumstances, is a habit which has endured over the years. If Cornel seemed to hesitate, for example, when dispatching a particularly gruesome-looking spider, I’d immediately think of Dad’s fearlessness in the face of any arachnid.

Mostly I kept these thoughts to myself, but sometimes they came bubbling to the surface. If Cornel couldn’t fix the vacuum cleaner, for example, and suggested we buy a replacement, I’d think about how Dad would have persevered until it was mended.

Am I alone in this, I wonder? Do all women compare their husbands with their fathers? And do sons compare their wives with their mothers?

Perhaps, I concluded, I was behaving this way simply because I miss my father, and feel he disappeared far too soon. I’d hoped to see him live way into his 80s, and I miss him terribly. He has left such a gaping hole in my life that I struggle to fill it, in whatever way I can. Maybe my endless comparisons, however damaging, are a way of keeping his memory alive.

We’re now expecting a little girl and Cornel is thrilled and excited that he will have a relationship with her that will be different from the one he has with our four-year-old son, Alex.

Part of me wonders: will our daughter one day feel the same way about Cornel as I do about my own father? Will I be able to step back and watch as the relationship of which I was robbed before I was ready is passed to the next generation? Will I finally be able to give my husband a break?

My father taught me that men are good, brave and strong — and deserving of love until the end. I look forward to watching my daughter learn the same thing.


The real reason the Left's so livid about tax breaks for marriage

By Dominic Lawson

Seldom in the 40 months of his occupancy of 10 Downing Street has the Prime Minister suffered a weekend of such abuse.

What had David Cameron done to provoke such fury from his political opponents? Declared war on an unarmed country? Sold the NHS to an American private equity firm? Neither of the above.

The fury from the Left has been caused entirely by the PM’s announcement, in Saturday’s Daily Mail, that the Government would give married couples earning less  than £41,150 an annual tax-break worth about £200. That’s all.

It made Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader, very angry indeed. She described this token of official respect for the institution of marriage as ‘terrible’. No, not terrible because it is so small a sum, but that it should even have been considered at all. Harman fumed that ‘it combines smugness and blaming.  It’s stigmatising and moralising. It’s Victorian finger-wagging’.

Rachel Reeves, the fast-rising deputy to Ed Balls in Labour’s shadow Treasury team agreed that ‘it’s a policy about division  and stigma’.

And Julianne Marriott, a Labour Party member and a director of the Don’t Judge My Family lobby group, said: ‘It’s not going to help single parents and cohabiting couples.’

Well, no: if you intended a tax break to encourage marriage, you wouldn’t give it to people who aren’t married.

The claim that David Cameron is ‘stigmatising’ those who choose not to get married is hysterical over-reaction. As he wrote in this newspaper: ‘All we are saying is that marriage is a good thing for our country — it’s the  ultimate form of commitment under the law — and we want to show our support for it.’

Moreover, the idea that marriage is the surest way to ensure a stable family life for children — and therefore the most resilient society in the future — is not merely based on ancient prejudices.

The most up-to-date research in social science has demonstrated conclusively that the 50-year trend away from marriage has been a catastrophe: and a catastrophe especially among the poorest sections of society that Labour claims to care about most.

There is now overwhelming evidence that married relationships are a more stable environment for children than co-habitation: a baby born to co-habiting parents is ten times more likely to see its parents separate than one born to married parents.

Obviously there are many marriages which dissolve, to no good end for the children. A long-lasting marriage makes great demands upon those joined together in matrimony, requiring qualities which not all of us naturally possess in sufficient measure: solidarity, commitment, responsibility.

Yet these are also the essential virtues without which a society will atrophy and atomise. It is the paradox of the Left’s unease with the celebration of marriage that it is the social institution best designed to check man’s  rampant and selfish individualism.

That was not the view of Karl Marx. He wrote that: ‘The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. The bourgeois claptrap about the family, about the hallowed  correlation between parent and child, becomes all the more disgusting.’ This did not prevent Marx from paying conventional homage to this institution himself: he was largely devoted to his many children, but left the exhausting business of home-making to his wife.

Yet those influenced by this remarkable intellectual took this part of his doctrine more seriously than its originator. The Soviet Union’s first Commissar for Education,  Lunacharsky, declared the nascent socialist state would ‘do away with the household and free women from the care of children’.

This, he said, would produce ‘that broad society which will replace the domestic hearth, yes, that stagnant family unit which separates itself off from society’. More, this ‘would avoid such a permanent pairing as marriage [and each] would seek to satisfy his needs by a freedom of mutual relations . . . so that you can’t tell who is related to whom and how closely’. This is an eerily accurate description of the social chaos and complete family breakdown which has swept through the most deprived areas of our own inner cities.

I am not claiming that the entire British Left had read their Marx: they are less rigorous than that. But it is certainly true that there is in the socialist mind-set a feeling that the family unit is somehow distinct from ‘society’ and even subversive of it. It does not see the special intergenerational solidarity of the family as beneficent, but selfish.

This, in part, is why the last Labour government was so stunned by the ecstatic reaction to George Osborne’s pledge as Shadow Chancellor to raise to £1 million the level below which inheritance tax would not be levied on estates. It completely underestimated how much families object to the taxation of the bequests from parents to children. It should not have been so surprised: great Labour dynasties such as the Milibands and the Benns have used Deeds of Variation to pass property down through the family in a way that avoids the full impact of inheritance tax.

This is not just about money, however — although unbroken families are much less expensive for taxpayers as a whole than the fissiparous alternative. As the Centre for Social Justice has pointed out: ‘The growth in broken families has been mirrored by the huge increase in the number of children considered to be “at risk”. Children living with their natural mother and a guesting father are eight times more likely to be on the at-risk register.’

It’s taken policy-makers rather a long time to catch up with what social scientists have been saying for decades.

Back in 1994, two Canadian academics, Professors Martin Daly and Margo Wilson, in their paper ‘Differential attributes of lethal assaults on small children by stepfathers versus genetic fathers’, cited research which showed that ‘the youngest children (aged 0-2) incurred about  100 times greater risk at the hands of step-parents than of genetic parents’.

Child P, tortured and battered to death by one of his mother’s transient partners, was just the most notorious recent example of this social phenomenon.

After all, this was what generations have understood from children’s literature down the ages: the wicked step-parent was a recurring theme for a reason — and nothing to do with stigma. Of course there are wonderful step-parents, but it is simply statistical fact that parents’ solicitude for children generally exceeds that of step-parents — let alone that of fleeting ‘partners’.

So yes, marriage should be encouraged in the tax system; and I suspect Labour’s fury with Cameron is mere displaced anger that the public is on his side.



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.



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