Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Real Problem In The Real World

Barack Obama, the stone age god-king presently occupying our White House, has declared that our nation has a problem, the inequality of income.

In reality the difference in personal incomes is the result of differences in human actions.  This includes differences in knowledge and effort for each individual.  Differences in economic income is simply a natural consequence of the differences of each person's actions in the economic sphere of action.

The desire on the part of our god-king and his followers to ignore the reality of natural differences in  actions is similar to their insistence on ignoring the changes in the planetary environment that occur as a result of natural processes.

The fact is that within living memory the state of economic equality was enforced upon a nation.

In 1975 in the wake of the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese Army, the Khemer Rouge, a Communist faction took power in Cambodia.  The result was nothing less than horrible.  In order to enforce a state of material equality upon their victims the KR murdered anyone anyone who had any ability above that of a peasant farmer.  They even murdered those they suspected of being able to read.  Entire families where broken up and children were ordered to murder their own parents.

By the time the NVA invaded in 1979 one third of the people of Cambodia had been directly murdered or starved to death as a result of KR policies.

For the God-King Barack Obama to obtain a similar result, to recreate the killing fields, in the United States he and his followers would have to murder roughly ninety percent of our people.

For someone to wish a massacre upon us clearly indicates his absolute unfitness to the hold the office of President of the United States.

Barack Obama must go now!


Countryside Alliance chief urges members to stop supporting 'sinister and nasty' RSPCA as they are now 'more interested in badger culls than animal welfare'

The RSPCA has turned from a 'great institution' into a 'sinister and nasty' organisation which is not interested in animal welfare, the head of the Countryside Alliance has warned.

General Sir Barney White-Spunner has urged his members to stop donating to the charity because they are becoming more interested in animal rights issues such as fox hunting and badger culls.

The former Army comanding officer, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, also questioned where the charity's 'authority' came from and believes the animal inspectors have been given intrusive powers which have no basis in law.

Sir Barney raised money for the RSPCA as a youngster but now wants a new organisation to replace the 189-year-old charity, he told the The Daily Telegraph.

They have received heavy criticism from rural campaigners after their campaigning during the fox hunting ban and the badger cull was investigated by the Charity Commission.

Last year, the RSPCA was condemned during its pursuit of fox hunters, after it spent £326,000 on a private prosecution against Oxfordshire’s Heythrop Hunt.  The judge in the case questioned whether members' money could have been better spent.

More recently, the charity has infuriated dairy farmers by trying to stop the badger cull, intended to halt the spread of bovine tuberculosis.

Sir Barney claims farmers were targeted and 'intimated' by campaigners during the bid and is concerned ministers may now drop the policy.  His cattle herd was shut down because of an outbreak of TB, and he claims to have only just cleared the financial costs.

'It’s a sad story. A once great British institution has been turned from an animal welfare organisation to one concerned with animal rights.

'They have no statutory responsibility, yet when their inspectors turn up in uniform it’s as a private organisation. There is something rather sinister and nasty about it.'

In the interview he also claimed that the National Trust was responsible for turning the countryside into 'some sort of theme park' and said the BBC was guilty of portraying rural people as 'Neanderthal'.

Sir Barney also attacked the limited mobile reception in rural areas of Britain saying there is more signal in Helmand Province than in Dorset.

He said the BBC’s coverage of the countryside was neither fair nor balanced and said Countryfile had failed to cover issues such as shooting.

In terms of mobile phone coverage, he claims there is an ongoing 'digital apartheid' between urban and rural areas. Other nations manage to cover 98 per cent of their population, whereas in the United Kingdom it is around about 80 per cent.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: 'Sir Barney White-Spunner's interview shows once again how far out of touch he and his colleagues at the pro bloodsports Countryside Alliance are with the reality of public opinion in this country.

'He is clearly unhappy that the RSPCA continues to be proud to represent the views of the majority of British people who do not want to see the return of fox hunting and to speak for animals who have no choice and no voice.

'This has been reinforced once again this week by a new opinion polling showing that more than 80% of both rural and urban dwellers oppose any repeal of the hunting act.

'Sir White-Spunner criticises the RSPCA for bringing a prosecution against a hunt, but fails to mention that the hunt pleaded guilty and the judge in the case was himself criticised for making unhelpful and inappropriate comments.

'He also criticises the RSPCA's inspectors, who work every day of the year to ensure animals are protected from cruelty. Indeed most of their visits involve giving support and advice to pet owners to help them improve care for their animals. But in some cases the only option is the legal route.

'The RSPCA has over a million supporters - a number that is growing, contrary to Sir Barney's assertion.

'The RSPCA does not apologise for doing what the charity was formed to do more than 100 years ago - stopping animal abuse and without fear or favour, bringing those who harm animals to justice.


Former Lord Chief Justice warns European Human Rights court has too much power and is not answerable to anyone

Over-mighty European judges are undermining the power of Parliament to make laws, one of Britain’s most senior judges has warned.

Lord Judge, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales until September, delivered an unequivocal message on the actions of the Court of Human Rights: ‘Stop here.’

His remarks will give encouragement to Tory Ministers seeking to rein in abuse of human rights laws by criminals, terror suspects and illegal immigrants.

They come as the President of the European court, Judge Dean Spielmann warned Britain's ban on prisoner voting is a breach of international law.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister David Cameron called for the court's powers to be restricted.

He said Britain 'damned well shouldn't' be forced by European judges to give prisoners the vote if Parliament decides they should be barred from elections.

Judge Spielmann warned any attempt by Britain to pull away from the European Convention on Human Rights could set the UK on a path to leaving the EU altogether.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Lord Judge, said: 'The most fundamental principle of our unwritten constitution is parliamentary sovereignty.

'Our elected representatives have ultimate sovereignty not only over our own unelected judges but in my view over the unelected judges of any other jurisdiction, including Europe, unless we choose to give them sovereignty.

'My very strong belief is that this issue now needs to be resolved by Parliament,' he said.

'This is a court which is not answerable to anybody,' he added. 'If it's right, it can't be overruled by anybody.  'I genuinely don't think that a body of judges - however distinguished - should have that sort of power.'

Lord Judge, who declared himself a supporter of the European Convention on Human Rights, said the court's claims have implications for every EU nation, not just the UK.

He said: 'His (Judge Spielmann's) view means that the court in Europe is entitled to tell every country in Europe how it should organise itself.

'He refers to it as a living instrument. Of course the convention isn't a dead instrument, but it means that legislation can be made by judges on all sorts of societal issues - binding legislation - and if that's the position there is a very serious problem with sovereignty.  'It's not a UK problem, the sovereignty issue affects every single country in Europe.'

He added: 'It is time for us to recognise that it is a very important time. My own view is: stop here.'

Judge Spielmann, however, insisted that the UK should not defy the court's ruling on prisoner voting rights.

'This would be clearly inconsistent with the international law obligations of the United Kingdom and also the obligations under the convention,' he told the Today programme.

He said that if Britain sought to pull out of the convention - as some Tory MPs are demanding - it would mean leaving the Council of Europe, the body which created the European Court of Human Rights, and ultimately the EU.

'I cannot see how the United Kingdom could remain a member of the Council of Europe while at the same time withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights,' he said.

'All the members of the European Union are also members of the Council of Europe. I can hardly see how a member of the European Union could withdraw from the Council of Europe. I see a problem there.

'I think from a political perspective it might be very difficult to stay in the European Union.'

In a strongly-worded attack on interference from Strasbourg, Mr Cameron called for the European Court of Human Rights to have its wings clipped earlier this month.

The defiant remarks put the government on a collision course with judges who have ruled that the Britain's blanket ban on votes for those behind bars is a breach of their human rights.

In February last year the Commons called for the blanket ban to be maintained by an overwhelming margin of 234 to 22, despite repeated warnings from Strasbourg.

Mr Cameron said: 'If Parliament decides that prisoners should not get the vote then I think they damn well shouldn't.'  He added: 'It should be a national decision taken in our Parliament.'  The PM said the court's powers must be restricted, telling workers 'we need to clip its wings'.

The prisoner voting row has been running since 2005, when Strasbourg judges ordered Britain to give the vote to convicted prisoners, who have historically been considered to have removed themselves from the electorate.

Despite overwhelming votes in favour of maintaining the law in the Commons, the European judges have continued to repeat their instructions.

In 2010 Mr Cameron said it makes him 'physically ill' to even contemplate having to give the vote to anyone in prison.

And in October last year he added: 'No one should be under any doubt - prisoners are not getting  the vote under this government.'


Reporting of Muslim lawyers' trial banned 'for cultural reasons': Judge's gagging order lifted after appeal by the Daily Mail

A judge allowed two Muslim solicitors accused of trying to cheat the legal system to hide behind a cloak of secrecy for  ‘cultural reasons’, the Daily Mail can disclose.

He banned reporting of the case of Asha Khan, 30, and her brother Kashif, 34, to prevent them allegedly being shamed in the eyes of their community.

In the latest farce involving secret justice, the pair were told they could enjoy the court’s protection because members of their family would pass judgment if the case was reported.

It is a privilege rarely bestowed on defendants in the justice system, which has operated on the principle of transparency for centuries. However, following a challenge by the Daily Mail, the restriction was lifted – enabling the case to be reported.

Judge Peter Hughes reversed his original ban after deciding that the principle of open justice was more important than saving the embarrassment of a defendant.

After almost a year of court appearances and legal argument, Miss Khan has been convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice, while her brother was acquitted of the charge.

They were on trial accused of helping their father, Mohammed, dodge a speeding fine by pretending he was not driving at the time of the offence.

In a saga with echoes of the Chris Huhne scandal, he allowed a man who worked for the family to take the blame instead.

At the beginning of the hearings, Miss Khan’s barrister, Glenn Gatland, argued  she would not give evidence properly in the presence of the Press because she was afraid of family repercussions.

He said she did not want to criticise her father in public – though she was quite happy to have her mother sit in the public gallery.

‘Miss Khan is quite upset that if matters are reported she doesn’t feel she would be able to give her evidence as freely as she would have done otherwise,’ said Mr Gatland. ‘Culturally, it’s very difficult for them to say things in public. The evidence would be impacted on by the cultural background of Miss Khan.’

Judge Hughes accepted the argument and banned reporting of the case but then changed his mind after a two-day legal battle with the Mail. ‘We are dealing with members of the legal profession charged with perverting the course of justice,’ he said.

‘People of all faiths or no faiths should be treated in precisely the same way. We’re not dealing with discrimination against. We’re dealing with discrimination for.’

York Crown Court heard that in August 2010 Mohammed Khan was caught by a speed camera in Newcastle while driving daughter Asha’s silver BMW.

When Miss Khan received the speeding notice, she claimed that the driver was David Moat, who worked for the family.

Some months later, the day before Moat was due before magistrates, her brother faxed the court a letter on Moat’s behalf, saying he wanted to plead guilty by post.

Moat was fined £100 with £30 costs and six penalty points for the speeding offence. Prosecutor Jacob Dyer said: ‘There is no dispute in this case that the man actually driving the car was Kashif Khan’s father.

‘It was hoped by supplying the false details that the trail would be lost and the fixed penalty unit would eventually take no further action. But the suspicions of the unit were aroused.’

Kashif Khan successfully argued he did not realise what was going on and had only been trying to help Moat by filling in the form using information provided by him.

‘It was horrible,’ he said. ‘All my life I have worked so hard and told the truth.’

The Khans work for KK Solicitors in Newcastle and live in the city. Asha Khan, a trainee at the firm, will be sentenced in the New Year, with her father and Moat, who both admitted their part in the plot



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Monday, December 30, 2013

A greeting from Jerusalem

Very meaningful for Bible-loving Christians

If Jews can acknowledge Christmas, why cannot the "atheists"  of the Left?  Of all people Jews have the most reason to see anything Christian as "offensive"

What our Bible says about Israel and Jerusalem:

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy -- Psalm 137 (NIV)

A Real Life Example of Welfare Reform

Welfare advocates regularly urge Americans to look to the European welfare state as a model. At least in the case of the Netherlands, they might be on to something.

The Dutch have just announced a massive reform of their welfare system, designed to reduce dependency and put a new emphasis on work. For example, welfare applicants will now be required to prove that they spent at least 4 weeks actively searching for a job before they become eligible for any assistance. And once they begin to receive benefits they will either have to work or perform volunteer community service. Dutch welfare recipients would be required to take available jobs even if they had to move or commute up to three hours per day.

Given that just 42 percent of U.S. welfare recipients are engaged in even broadly defined work activities (including job training, college, or job search), and that an attempt to restore work requirements to the food stamp program has been met with a storm of resistance, the Dutch appear to be much more pro-work than we are.

Other reforms would reduce benefits by treating families as a single unit, rather than as separate individuals. For instance a mother with two children would receive a single payment rather than three separate payments. The combined payment would be less, based on the assumption of “shared expense.”

According to the Dutch government, the reforms will ensure that welfare is seen as “a safety net, rather than a right.”

What the Dutch apparently understand is that, in the long run, welfare dependency hurts the very people it is designed to help. Making poverty a bit more comfortable may be satisfying in the short term, but the real goal should be to reduce the number of people in poverty. To do that requires people to take more responsibility for their own lives.

That’s a lesson in European compassion that the U.S. could learn from.


Thomas The Tank Engine is to blame for a lack of female train drivers because all characters are male, claims sexist Leftist politician

Why can't people be judged as people? Why do we have to obsess over how many are male or female?

The popular Thomas The Tank Engine series has been blamed for the lack of female train drivers by Labour's shadow transport secretary.

Mary Creagh said the series set a poor example to children and that more female characters should be introduced in order to encourage girls to become train drivers.

She described the lack of women train drivers as a 'national scandal', and said the 'negative stereotypes' portrayed in children's television were partly to blame.

There are just 1,000 women working as train drivers, which equates to just 4.2per cent of the total number.  Train drivers' union Aslef is currently working to encourage more women into the industry.

Mother-of-two Ms Creagh said that the Thomas The Tank Engine books and television show were 'wonderful', but criticised the series for not having enough female characters.

In the original books the only female characters were coaches Annie and Clarabel, Isabel the auto coach, Mrs Kyndley, an elderly woman, and female engine Daisy.

Thomas and the other main characters - James, Edward, Percy, Henry, Gordon, and the Fat Controller are all male, although a principle character named Emily, another steam engine, was introduced to the Thomas & Friends series, which aired on Channel 5, in 2003.

Ms Creagh said the only female characters were an 'annoyance', and could even be seen as a danger to those on the railway.

'There is a preponderance of men in the transport industry and I am very keen to unpack some of the myths that stop women from taking up what are often highly paid and highly skilled jobs.'

There are 42 books in the Thomas series, which was originally created by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry in 1946, as well as the television show.

Ms Creagh said that the tales of the little blue steam engine should follow the example of CBeebies series Underground Ernie, which features a main character called Victoria.

She also suggested that train companies could up the numbers of female drivers by advertising in womens' interest magazines, or offering more part-time posts.

Hit Entertainment, which owns the rights to Thomas, said that more female characters were being developed to address a historical imbalance.


Deconstructing the ASA’s boycott of Israeli Institutions of Higher-Ed

A variety of BDS activities took place during December but were overshadowed by the American Studies Association’s (ASA) adoption of a BDS resolution. Though the ASA is a minor academic organization, this BDS move has attracted widespread attention and is likely to be a turning point.

Passing the ASA’s BDS Resolution In November the National Council of the American Studies Association debated a BDS resolution that originated with the organization’s Academic and Community Activism Caucus. The resolution was proposed at the last minute and the debate was dominated by pro-BDS voices. These are typical BDS tactics. The National Council then unanimously agreed to put the resolution forward to the entire ASA membership for a vote.

During the two week voting period eight former presidents of the ASA issued a public statement urging members to reject the resolution, as did the American Association of University Professors. Of approximately 5000 members, the ASA stated that 1252 voted, of whom 66% voted in favor of the resolution while 30% objected. The motion was thus passed by approximately 16% of the ASA’s total membership.

The background of the ASA and the resolution requires separate discussion. The ASA is a second tier academic organization with a strong anti-imperialist and anti-American orientation, and a notable history of promoting connections with a regime-connected Iranian academic. The boycott resolution was put forward by ASA activists who have promoted BDS in other settings. It faithfully follows the templates provided by the (PACBI), U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP), Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

The ASA has issued several statements articulating what the boycott resolution actually means. The key argument is that “Israeli academic institutions function as a central part of a system that has denied Palestinians their basic rights” and that “By responding to the call from Palestinian civil society for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions, the ASA recognizes that 1) there is no effective or substantive academic freedom afforded to Palestinians under the conditions of Israeli occupation; and that 2) Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights.”

These blanket indictments of Israeli universities and academics as being intrinsic elements to the “occupation” are standard BDS rhetoric. The ASA will therefore refuse “to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions (such as deans, rectors, presidents and others), or on behalf of the Israeli government, until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law.”

The resolution is “expressly not endorsing a boycott of Israeli scholars engaged in individual-level contacts and ordinary forms of academic exchange, including presentations at conferences, public lectures at campuses, and collaboration on research and publication.” This formula singles out academics with administrative responsibilities, as all academics do at one time or another.

The ASA resolution has produced an unprecedented level of media coverage. The responses have been overwhelmingly negative. The sheer quantity of news items and negative comments suggest that the ASA has, perhaps again inadvertently, elevated BDS to a new level. It has unquestionably catalyzed unprecedented opposition.

Criticism of the ASA has been widespread across the political spectrum, notably an editorial in the Washington Post that characterized the resolution as “utterly narrow-minded” and which pointed out the ASA’s failure to boycott countries with far worse human rights records. Criticism has also come from far-left journals like The Nation and left-center publications like The New Republic, along with numerous publications and commentators from the center and right.

The Jewish left organization J Street condemned the resolution, as did the Jewish weekly The Forward. Several commentators on the left, including Peter Beinart, have also condemned the move. Some commentators from the left have pointed to the ASA as a move that will marginalize progressive causes on campus.

The negative responses from the political and cultural left suggest that BDS was either unknown or not taken seriously in these quarters. Conversely, the negative responses suggest that BDS supporters also overestimated the support from the mainstream cultural and political left. In that sense the ASA resolution may ultimately be a Pyrrhic victory for BDS in academia.

Jacobson has noted several times on his web site that boycotts are illegal under American law and indicated that he will spearhead a challenge to the ASA’s tax exempt (501(C) 3) status. The legal restrictions on boycotts by American organizations have also been extensively described by Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center.

Here, too, the ASA’s victory appears to have created unforeseen effects that will have a negative impact on BDS in academia.

 Of equal note are responses emerging from political quarters. In an interview with Charlie Rose, former Harvard University president and Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers reiterated his previous position that BDS is antisemitic in practice if not intent and called on university leaders to shun the ASA.

Finally, Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas has stated his opposition to boycotts of Israel, except for products of Israeli communities beyond the “Green Line.” Predictably, however, Palestinian Authority representatives in South Africa have backtracked and issued another statement in which Abbas is said to express his “deep appreciation” for the BDS movement.

After the passage of the resolution the ASA adopted a defensive stance. It posted a series of talking points on its web site to guide members and also purged its Facebook page of critical comments. These moves indicate that the organization is attempting to shape the debate over the resolution but imply that the leadership has been surprised by the negative reaction. When questioned, ASA president Curtis Marez acknowledged that Israel was not the world’s leading human rights abuser but stated that “one has to start somewhere.” This formulation elicited considerable ridicule from observers.

 To summarize, the ASA BDS resolution has created an unprecedented opposition across the political spectrum and from academic, cultural, and political leaders. The long-term results are difficult to predict but it is likely that the ASA affair has changed the landscape for BDS debates in the United States.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Medical multiculturalism in Britain

A foreign doctor attacked a female patient in his surgery when she disagreed with his diagnosis.

Dr Abiodun Bale, 42, grabbed Sheena Cunningham as she tried to leave his consultation room in tears after they argued over treatment for a facial condition.

The doctor from Nigeria denied assault when he appeared in court but was found guilty after a two-day trial.  He was given a six-month  conditional discharge but will face a disciplinary hearing at work and could lose his job.

Bale, who qualified as a doctor at the University of Lagos in 1995, worked as a gynaecologist in his home country before  coming to Britain and registering with the General Medical Council in 2006.

He was given a licence to practise here in November 2009 and was on a placement, for speciality GP training, at Hyndburn Medical Practice in Accrington, Lancashire, when the assault happened on March 26.

Eddie Harrison, prosecuting, said Bale had asked Mrs Cunningham to come in to the practice after a telephone consultation about a problem with her face, during which she had become distressed.

When she arrived, the doctor told Mrs Cunningham she might need to call for an ambulance if her condition deteriorated later when the surgery was closed.

Mr Harrison told Burnley Magistrates’ Court: ‘She didn’t want to do this and at this point he raised his voice.’

Mrs Cunningham was frightened, got up to leave and said she wanted a second opinion, the court was told. ‘[Bale] became agitated and, as she stepped out, he grabbed her hand to prevent her closing the door,’ Mr Harrison said.

‘He then grabbed her by the forearm with both hands and tried to drag her back into the room. She screamed and shouted at him to get off her arm. This attracted the attention of another doctor and two cleaners. The other doctor told Bale to go back into his office and then escorted Mrs Cunningham out of the surgery.’

The court was told that a week earlier the GP, who lives in  Manchester, ‘flipped’ at another patient, shouting at her: ‘For God’s sake, I have other people to see besides you.’ ‘She got up to leave and he tried to grab her hand. She felt frightened and vulnerable,’ said Mr Harrison.

Bale claimed the incident with Mrs Cunningham was a misunderstanding, saying: ‘I’m a  doctor, not a thug.’

But Mr Harrison said: ‘There was no mistake or misunderstanding. She was crying so loudly that two ladies outside heard her crying.’

After the allegations, the GMC placed conditions on how Bale worked, including allowing him to carry out consultations only if another qualified medical practitioner was present.

The Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust, which employs Bale, said he would face disciplinary  proceedings.  ‘The trust will now consider the consequences for his ongoing employment and training,’ a spokesman said.


No hiding place for those who opt for a life on welfare, says British government minister

Unemployed people who make a 'lifestyle choice' to live on benefits without bothering to seek work will face a crackdown from next year, Iain Duncan Smith has announced.

The Work and Pensions Secretary has warned that anyone who refuses to seek work will have 'no hiding place' under his reforms.

Today, in an article written for the Daily Mail, he goes on to insist that looking for work should be a 'full-time job' in itself.

And he reveals that from 2014, thousands of jobless people who are 'lacking motivation' will be forced to spend 35 hours a week applying for work.

He says: 'This will make it crystal clear that looking for work requires as much effort and commitment as a full-time job – and that jobseekers should think of themselves as in work to find work.'

The minister adds that the decision to claim unemployment benefits should no longer be 'a lifestyle choice'.

Mr Duncan Smith also makes clear that the Government remains unbowed by recent controversy over the introduction of Universal Credit as well as the cuts to housing benefit for claimants with spare rooms – the so-called 'bedroom tax'.

And he writes: 'I'm not going to say “job done”. We've made great strides in fixing the system, but there is more to do. That includes asking for more from jobseekers.'

Mr Duncan Smith recognises that most jobseekers 'are determined to get a job' and pledges to help those who are genuinely searching for work.

At October's Tory Party conference, Mr Duncan Smith announced that there were plans to make some jobless attend 'full-time mandatory attendance centres'.

He said the plans for enforced full-time job searches would be aimed at the long-term unemployed and those suspected of working in the black economy, who earn cash in hand rather than searching for legitimate jobs.

Today, he has made it clear that the new system will also be targeted at unemployed people who lack 'the motivation' to find work.

DWP sources say that those who can't be bothered to look for work will be identified early by job centre staff.   They will have to enrol in a full-time job search before they are referred to the Work Programme – the Government scheme to provide support, work experience and training to the unemployed.

Addressing his critics, Mr Duncan Smith insists in his article that it is 'a complete nonsense' to suggest that the Government has removed the welfare safety net.

And he vows to continue rolling out Universal Credit, which will replace most out-of-work benefits with a single payment, despite having to delay the full introduction of the plans until 2017.

Making a virtue of the delay, Mr  Duncan Smith says the scheme will be rolled out across the country 'carefully and safely over the next four years'.

He goes on to say that he believes the slower time frame should help avoid the 'costly mistakes' that Labour made introducing schemes 'in a “big bang” approach'. Mr  Duncan Smith last week revealed that the welfare cap of £26,000 per household has pushed 250 people into work every week.

Government figures show that almost half of those affected by the benefit limit are now back in work. And since April, adults in 19,000 households who have had their benefits capped have taken up jobs.  Some 1,300 of these households now claim £200 less a week than they did before the cap.

And another 51 households  are claiming £400 less under the new rules. Previously these claimants could have been receiving £46,000 from the Government each year.


Mother who baked cookies for children on school bus for 15 years ordered to stop after anonymous complaint

A Minnesota mother dubbed the 'Cookie Lady' who has been baking treats for the kids on her children's bus for 15 years has been shut down by an anonymous complaint.

Every Friday, Anne Tabat has met the school bus in her subdivision with a basket of cookies. It began as a thank you to the bus driver.

And, Tabat said, she couldn't give the driver a cookie without giving one to every child on the bus.

Tabat said the cookies were also a way to get to know her neighbors.  'I didn't live in the suburbs until I turned 40,' she told Minnesota Public Radio.

'Look at the way these houses are designed here. They're not designed with a friendly neighborliness community in mind. I haven't been in most of the houses in my neighborhood.  'People live such busy lives; you don't talk to your neighbors, you don't know your neighbors.'

But for the first time in many years, Tabat wasn't at the bus stop yesterday.

She received a phone call from the school this week telling her someone had complained and that she should cease and desist the dispensing of cookies.

She said she never really had a straight answer about the specifics of the complaint.  'She (the woman who complained) didn’t bother to know me, the bus driver, or anything about the cookie-bus thing. I don’t care if I get shut down, the kids are going to live,' she said.

'I woke up the day after this and thought ‘let’s have a protest, let’s sign a petition,’ but the person this would fall back on would be the bus driver.  'Whatever you do I don’t want anything to stick to the bus driver because this was meant to thank the bus driver.'

Tabat said it was soon time to end the tradition - the last of her three kids will graduate high school soon - but she wanted to stop baking on her own terms.

'I know all these well-meaning people who do kindly gestures but they backfire because they’re not thinking about things like that. That’s not what this is about,' she said.


Australia: Racist Muslim spokesman loses defamation case against radio station

The report below is from 4 years ago.  I report it here because Trad has just lost his final appeal against the judgment.  He will be up for hundreds of thousands of legal costs but the Lakemba mosque will no doubt help with that

KEYSAR Trad, the longtime spokesman for Muslim cleric Sheik Taj bin al-Hilaly, has been described as "racist" and "offensive" by a judge who today rejected his defamation claim against radio station 2GB.

Mr Trad sued the top-rating Sydney station in the NSW Supreme Court after presenter Jason Morrison described him "gutless" and " just trouble" for his conduct at a rally after the Cronulla riots in December 2005, The Australian reported.

Mr Trad's comment about the "shame of tabloid journalism' caused the crowd to boo and harass a 2GB journalist near the stage.

The reporter told Mr Morrison he feared for his safety, prompting the presenter to deliver his tirade the following morning, in which he also described Mr Trad as "disgraceful and dangerous individual who incited violence, hatred and racism."

In August 2007, a jury found Mr Morrison had defamed Mr Trad but Justice Peter McClellan found for 2GB in the second - or defence - phase of the trial that was heard in May, saying the statement were true and also protected as comment based on fact.

"There is little doubt that many of the plaintiff's remarks are offensive to Jewish persons and homosexuals," Justice McClellan said in his judgment.

"Many of his remarks are distasteful and appear to condone violence.   "I'm satisfied that the plaintiff does hold views which can properly be described as racist. "I'm also satisfied that he encourages others to hold those views. In particular he holds views derogatory of Jewish people.

"The views which he holds would not be acceptable to most right-thinking Australians."

Mr Trad, who founded the Islamic Friendship Association, faces up to $400,000 in court costs and there are question marks over his credibility after Justice McClellan's scathing judgment.

During the trial he was subjected to close scrutiny about his public profile as Sheik Hilaly's right-hand man and he frequent statements he made to "clarify" the controversial views of the cleric.

These included comments that women who dressed provocatively were "uncovered meat" inviting the attention of rapists.

Mr Trad suggested Hilaly was "talking about people who engage in extramarital sex."

Neither Mr Trad or Mr Morrison were at Sydney's Supreme Court to hear the judgment.  Outside court, a representative for Mr Trad said he planned to appeal.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Friday, December 27, 2013

Some Kenyan multiculturalism in Britain

Daniela Vinci was finding it hard to sleep. It had been an exceptionally difficult time for the unmarried 40-year-old, who had suffered a break-in at her three-bedroom maisonette in Slough just two nights before.

Though unhurt, she had been deeply unsettled by the burglary, during which her mobile phone, laptop and bank cards had been taken while she slept.

The following day Daniela, 40, had replaced her locks, but she still felt unsafe in her own home.

Just after 11pm she checked that everything was secure and went to bed and, after tossing and turning, eventually fell into a deep sleep.

Three hours later, she was woken by a flashlight shining in her face — and found herself plunged into a nightmare.

One of the burglars who had broken into her home had returned. And this time he had come back to rape her.

Her ordeal is horrifyingly similar to that of the 59-year-old woman identified by police only as Linda, who spoke last week of how Ashley Mills, a burglar who had been convicted of breaking into her home, returned to rape her four years after the first crime.

Daniela had owned her immaculate £300,000 three-storey maisonette for six years, her retreat from the pressures of a jet-setting career as a senior cabin attendant.

‘There was a balcony on the second floor, but I would leave the window ajar because I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to climb up there,’ she says.

But in April, two young men managed to clamber up onto the balcony, breaking into Daniela’s home while she lay sound asleep upstairs. They stole her purse with her bank cards, her laptop and mobile phone, before fleeing out of the front door.

Daniela resolved to be more careful about home security. But two nights later, one of the raiders broke in again through her kitchen window.

‘As I awoke I became aware of something on my bed. I thought it was my cat, Texas, who loved cuddling up to me,’ says Daniela.

‘Suddenly I sensed a torch shining in my face. I stretched out, still half-dreaming, to switch on my bedroom light.

‘Then I saw him. I immediately realised I was in serious danger and knew instinctively it was the same man who had stolen my belongings two days before.

‘In that awful moment, the training I had done when I began work  as an airline stewardess kicked in.  ‘Keeping my voice as steady as I could, I said: “What’s your name? What are you doing here?”

‘He replied: “My name is Josh and I am 19.” ’

Police would later discover that he was Joseph Innocent Mwaura — a Kenyan who had committed a violent knife crime within a year of being granted a British passport at the age of 16.

As Daniela would discover, he decided to pay her another visit when he saw her photographs on the laptop he had stolen. 

Daniela, who is softly spoken and slightly built, found herself in a desperate fight for survival.  ‘I asked him: “What do you want?” There was a terrible pause before he replied menacingly: “I want your t**s.”  ‘I knew then that this was not a  simple robbery. The realisation that he planned to rape me was truly horrific.

‘I tried to stay still, desperately trying to stay calm. But I was alone in my bedroom with no one else in the house and no means of calling for help. The odds were truly against me.

‘Slowly he raised his gaze and looked me square in the eye, before saying: “I’ve been watching you.” My stomach flipped in fear and I started to shake.’

What followed was terrifying. ‘He pulled up his top, rubbed his chest and said: “Do you want some of this?” Then he lunged at me, grabbing my body and saying filthy things to me,’ says Daniela.

‘Somehow, I found the strength to push him away, frighteningly conscious I was naked under the duvet. I felt so vulnerable.  ‘I began saying “No” again and again as firmly as I could. I knew  that it was imperative I remained calm.

‘I had to get him out of the bedroom to give me a chance to escape or call for help, so I took a gamble and said: “You can do what you want, but let’s go downstairs.”  ‘He didn’t object so, as he walked out to go down the stairs, I leapt out of bed, pulled on my pyjamas and followed him.’

Daniela thought the only chance for survival would be if she could keep him distracted, so she tried to strike up a conversation.

‘I felt physically sick. His actions were strange and detached, but I tried to talk to him.  ‘I said: “The best thing you can do is to leave my property now. There’s the door.”

‘He replied: “How do I know you won’t call the police?” I said: “Take my phone and hide it.” He walked into the kitchen with my new mobile phone, but suddenly, something seemed to click.

‘His strange, almost robotic compliance ended and he wrenched open a kitchen drawer and pulled out a large, sharp knife.

‘I threw myself down the stairs. I’d managed to half-release the lock on the front door when my attacker grabbed me by the throat and pulled me back.

‘His words came spitting out. “I’m going to rape you,” he snarled. I screamed and screamed. He pushed the knife against my throat and spat: “If you do that again, I’m going to kill you.”

‘I thought I was going to die there, like that.’

Then Daniela did something extraordinarily brave.

‘I smelt the sickening sweet smell of marijuana on his breath and felt anger surge through my body. I thought: “I can fight him — he’s under the influence of drugs.” I rolled on top of him and grabbed the knife.

‘I acted so quickly it took him by surprise. I put it to his throat and screamed “Get out — now,” kicking the door open with my foot.

‘He shouted “Bitch!” and punched me hard in my left eye. But then he grabbed the knife and ran.

‘Though my head was swirling from the force of the blow, I managed to slam the door shut after him. I half-ran, half-crawled upstairs and rang 999.  ‘The police arrived in minutes and officers with dogs started to comb the area.

Five days later, the police called to report a breakthrough. A local teenager had tried to top up his mobile phone using Daniela’s stolen bank card.

A trace on the phone led them to a squalid bedsit just ten minutes from her home, shared by three young men.

They were arrested and put in an identity parade of 27 men. Daniela instantly recognised her attacker from the line-up.

Mwaura was charged with trespassing with intent to rape, sexual assault, burglary, actual bodily harm and being in possession of cannabis.

Daniela — her voice barely rising above a whisper — says: ‘I lost almost a stone in weight. When the police asked if I was willing to appear in court as a witness, I thought: “I can’t let this man get away with this.” So I said I would.’

‘When it was his turn to appear in the dock, he was nonchalant. I thought: “This has almost wrecked me and it means nothing to you.”

‘When the foreman of the jury stood to give his verdict, my legs almost gave way. I was shaking uncontrollably. When he said “Guilty”, I wept.

The court heard that Mwaura, who had come to Britain from Kenya with his parents, had previously robbed a 16-year-old boy and his 13-year-old sister at knifepoint.

Last week, he was jailed for seven years and four months for his latest crimes.


Christianity is no longer automatic in Britain and Western Europe

But nothing can take away its power to transform lives

By AN Wilson (A former atheist)

Is Christianity a dying religion? Anyone watching the huge crowds assembled to hear the popular new Pope’s Christmas message yesterday would have concluded that the news of the death of Christianity had been much exaggerated.

Every year, huge numbers of Chinese, Koreans and South Americans are still being drawn to evangelical Christianity. The Queen’s Christmas message, and the sight of her, with the Royal family, loyally attending morning service at Sandringham is a reminder that we are still, notionally at least, a Christian country, with – as it happens – a Head of State who is herself a committed Christian.

And yet – in spite of the vast crowds clapping Pope Francis, it is difficult to feel sanguine.

Ever since William Dalrymple published his classic From the Holy Mountain in 1997, about the decline of Christianity in the very lands which gave it birth, it has been impossible to ignore the shrinkage. In eastern Turkey – St Paul’s earliest stamping-ground – Syriac Christians have been so persecuted that they fled to neighbouring Syria. President Assad is one of the few Middle Eastern leaders to protect Christians and their ancient shrines, and since the outbreak of civil war, Christians have paid the price for being the tyrant’s beneficiaries.

In Egypt, Coptic Christians suffer harassment and persecution. In Israel, the government turns a blind eye to encroachment, or destruction, of church property, and many young Palestinians, reared as Christians, have turned to Islam. As Dalrymple has more recently said, the Arab Spring was the Christian Winter.

Meanwhile, Britain, despite our Christian Queen, grows ever more secular. Public discourse assumes that most intelligent people have given up religious belief. Anglican congregations are, on the whole, ageing, and, outside the big cathedrals or evangelical rallying points, have dwindled to almost nothing. The rising generation – many of whom do not even have nativity plays any longer at their primary schools, let alone a grounding in the Bible – simply have no idea what Christianity is, let alone whether they might believe in it. Why, there is no historical evidence that Jesus ever went to Bethlehem, let alone that his birth there, of a Virgin Mother, was heralded by choirs of angels.

The child-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church have had a devastating effect in all Western countries, especially in America and Ireland, the two places which used to supply priests for the rest of the world. Priestly vocations in Ireland are more or less nil. The tsunami of sad sordid stories about the mistreatment of children did not just make faithful people think twice before allowing their child to become an altar boy; they made the world in general think that Christianity, with its long abhorrence of sex – and indeed its general distrust of the body – was an unwholesome creed, based on a fundamentally fallacious conception of humanity, and sustained by miraculous claims – about a virginally conceived saviour who rose from the dead – which were candidly incredible.

For those who try to soak themselves in the Gospel, however, the world news sends out signals that are more or less the opposite of those which a secular statistician might consider reliable.

Huge numbers of people clapping in a square – even if they are clapping the Pope – do not tell you anything about whether Christianity is actually true. Nor does the dwindling congregation at the 8 o’clock Communion at Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh undermine the truth of the Word Made Flesh – if it is true.

The Gospel is hard, and it contains within it, not the fear but the absolute certainty, that persecution and misunderstanding will always follow in its wake. It is based on the idea of dying in order to live; of losing life in order to find it; of taking up the cross, that instrument of torture, and finding therein not merely life but glory.

Yes, the hype and sentimentality surrounding the funeral of Nelson Mandela’s funeral were embarrassing, but at the core of it all was the central idea, embodied by a figure such as Archbishop Tutu, that it is possible to ignore the poison of hatred bubbling in your heart and forgive your enemies. The ANC, for long – yes – a terrorist organisation, changed its mind, and behaved, not like Jihadists, but like Christians. South Africa, riven as it is with every kind of human problem, got that thing right largely because Mandela in his prison years decided to risk all on what was a fundamentally Christian idea.

Yes, the Arab Spring is the Christian Winter because there is no truth or reconciliation apparently at work in Israel-Palestine, nor in Iraq, nor in Syria… But the Christian writings, beginning as they do with a refugee mother and baby surrounded by invading armies, and ending with world conflict, the utter destruction of Jerusalem, and the coming of apocalyptic death and plague, are not comfortable.

The paradox is that growing or shrinking numbers do not tell you anything. The Gospel would still be true even if no one believed it. The hopeful thing is that, where it is tried – where it is imperfectly and hesitantly followed – as it was in Northern Ireland during the peace process, as it is in many a Salvation Army hostel this Christmas, as it flickers in countless unseen Christian lives, it works. And its palpable and remarkable power to transform human life takes us to the position of believing that something very wonderful indeed began with the birth of Christ into the world.


The War on Rich White Men


I heard a knock on the door of my hotel room. It was Donald. "Turn on Megyn Kelly. She is reporting about an MSNBC commentator's claim that using the term "Obamacare" is the same as calling him the N word." http://bit.ly/18QPu5V

MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry's accusation is absurd. It is an obvious weak attempt to distance the president from Obamacare which is wreaking havoc in the lives of millions of Americans who are losing their health care.

What I found most disturbing and what I wish to focus on is Perry's evil attempt to gin up hate against "wealthy white men" who she claims created the term "Obamacare" to demean and undermine the black president.

Due to the Obama Administration playing the race card to win every argument and silence opposition, America is polarized along racial lines. Perry's false accusation is like throwing gasoline on the flames of national racial tensions; as irresponsible and cruel as screaming fire in a crowded auditorium.

Perry's specific use of the term "wealthy white men" was insidiously strategic. Low info blacks in my family along with blacks across America will believe Perry's nonsense to be the gospel truth. With the wave of black flash mob violence and the rising incidents of the racially motivated knockout game, the last thing we need as a nation is another black TV celeb promoting a racially charged false narrative.

Democrats and liberals like Perry have been promoting the same irresponsible, divisive and racist false narrative for decades. They claim that all evil in the world is the fault of racist, greedy, sexist and evil wealthy white men usually identified as conservative Republicans.

Perry's rant is simply the latest blow to the chin of America's white males by a liberal. Flash back to New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd's 2009 article titled, "White Man's Last Stand." Dowd's article excoriated white men. http://bit.ly/1bsYmc5

Obama and company's reelection strategy was centered around a shock-and-awe media blitz branding the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney as an evil super-wealthy racist white guy. http://bit.ly/1cz7noO

So, we get it. While political correctness is the unwritten law of the land, it is open season on trashing and targeting the American rich white male for destruction; even deemed morally correct and patriotic.

Who is out there giving rich white men props for their many positive contributions to society? Where are their advocates? I am sure with me being an American black man, liberals think it unconscionable that I would suggest such a thing; elevating me to "super" Uncle Tom status.

In 1895, Booker T. Washington formed a coalition of black leaders, politicians and white philanthropists (rich white guys), with a long-term goal to build the black community's economic strength and pride by focusing on self-help, education and entrepreneurship. http://bit.ly/19fDhpF

Perry's ridiculous claim that the term "Obamacare" is the new N word is laughable. The N word is defined as a contemptuous term for a black or dark-skinned person. Sadly, American rich white men are viewed with a similar contemptuousness; despised, kicked around and unfairly mistreated.

Bottom line, Ms Perry and the whole liberal machine pushing the war on rich white men should be ashamed of themselves. The left's hate speech is ripe with negative consequences for the lives of real people; decent folks who simply worked hard, made good choices and achieved their American Dream.

Why should they be demonized in such a way as to inspire violence against them? It simply is not right.


The unspoken truth about marriage and kids

Bettina Arndt

Couples should not have children if their relationship is not stable enough to merit getting married, a British High Court judge said last week.

Sir Paul Coleridge, speaking out before retirement from a long family law career, challenged the common notion that it makes no difference whether parents cohabit or marry. "One [arrangement] tends to last and the other doesn't," he said, quoting Marriage Foundation research suggesting children with unmarried parents were twice as likely to suffer a family break-up as those with married parents. The proportion of children born to unmarried parents in Britain reached a record 47.5 per cent last year.

Children in cohabiting families lag behind children with married parents in overall socio-emotional and general development.

When a British authority figure dares to give voice to concerns about this crucial social issue, it makes news because it is so rare. Here in Australia, too, there is deathly silence from our leaders - politicians, social scientists, the clergy, judges - about the increasing casualisation of relationships involving children.

Yet talk to people working with disadvantaged communities and you hear a very different story. They witness the effects on children of being raised in unstable relationships - effects well documented in Australia.

Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, Lixia Qu and Ruth Weston, from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, found young families with cohabiting parents were nearly three times more likely to break up than married families. The same researchers showed children in cohabiting families lag behind children with married parents in overall socio-emotional and general development, show poorer learning, more behavioural problems and experience poorer parenting.

Contrary to expectations, it has turned out that children don't provide the glue to keep cohabiting parents together. Marriage - often dismissed as just a piece of paper - does make a difference.

This year, the "Knot Yet" report on changing marriage patterns, by the Washington-based Brookings Institution, examined why this was so and suggested the answer may lie in the decision-making process.

Most people marry after a process of discovering mutual commitment to long-term goals. That's often lacking in cohabiting relationships where couples move in together sometimes because a lease runs out, or they are seeking cheaper rent, or it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Families that evolve from these non-decisions are, unsurprisingly, far less stable. The non-decisions apply also to child-bearing - the Brookings report notes the high incidence of unplanned pregnancy in these arrangements, with half of births to unmarried 20-something women "unintended".

The result, according to the report, is a growing social divide, with well-educated people still tending to marry and then have children, while lower socio-economic groups are more likely to have children in de facto relationships. These children often end up in single-parent families. This emerging difference in marriage patterns is adding to the gap between the haves and have-nots, increasing social disadvantage.

Of course there are de facto couples with lasting relationships and thriving children, but the broader patterns tell a different story - just as the 90-year-old who smokes has no bearing on the link between cigarettes and health risks.

Pope Francis recently announced he was surveying all Catholics about family life. His questionnaire, which seeks response from clergy, Catholic organisations and parishioners, expresses concern about social changes, including "the widespread practice of cohabitation", and asks about the prevalence of such couples in Catholic communities and problems with pastoral care in these circumstances.

Responses will be interesting, given that 40 years ago clergy readily spoke out about the benefits of marriage, whereas these days few dare raise the "M" question for fear of ostracising their shrinking pool of parishioners and attracting unfavourable media attention.

The media is part of the problem, given in their number are more than a fair share of cohabiting couples. For instance, the ABC is full of well-educated presenters and producers bucking social trends by successfully raising children in stable de facto relationships or single-parent families. They naturally resist any public discussion of their choices.

One example is Richard Glover, from ABC Sydney, who boasts of his long-lasting de facto relationship. He has publicly taken issue with my reporting of research on this subject. "Do our children miss out on anything?" he wrote. "Well, yes, Bettina … Principally, I think, they miss out on vases," he said, of his family's lack of expensive crystal vases commonly given as wedding presents.

Public discussion of this important social trend is discouraged by media players who won't acknowledge that their preferred lifestyle choices have very different consequences on the other side of the social divide - yet the impact on kids of the casualisation of family relations is no laughing matter.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Leftists sure are a ball of fun

Orwell wrote an essay in 1943 called "Can Socialists Be Happy?" His answer was that they can't even imagine it.

A multicultural nurse in England

A Bupa care home nurse who was discovered pulling a screaming resident's hair by a shocked colleague could face being struck off.

Osironke Olugbile, 53, also barricaded residents in their rooms and dressed them in multiple incontinence pads so as not to disturb her during the night, it is alleged.

She was caught by a healthcare assistant, identified as Mr 1, pulling the resident's hair to force her into bed.

The nurse also layered incontinence pads in stacks of five and repeatedly switched off the call bell so that she could work undisturbed, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

Olugbile also left pensioners fully clothed overnight so that she did not have to dress them in the morning at the Bupa-run Collingwood Court Nursing Centre in Clapham, south London,

Giving evidence Mr 1 said he was initially worried about making a complaint after Olugbile said she had a friend with supernatural powers.

'I was hesitant to report the issue to management because Ronke (Olugbile's nickname) would often comment that she has someone back home, in Africa, with supernatural powers who will do whatever she says, to the point of killing someone if necessary,' Mr 1 told the hearing.

The tribunal found nearly all the allegations against Oligbile proved and she could now face being struck off the register.

Robert Benzyne, for the NMC, told the panel that Mr 1 witnessed the abuse through the resident's room door after it had been left ajar on August 6, 2010.

'He approached room 59 where he heard screaming and shouting. The door to the room was ajar and he witnessed the registrant pulling Resident A's hair trying to get her to bed.'

He also said that Olugbile would remove the stacked up incontinence pads before the day staff arrived.

Olugbile barricaded Patient F who was described as 'restless and aggressive' in his room, it was said.

She also turned off the call bell between August 13 and August 15,  2010 and on several other occasions, preventing vulnerable patients from being able to contact the nurse's desk.

Mr Benzyne said: 'He (her colleague) recalls that the bell had been switched off. The reason that was given to him about why the bell was switched off was that it prevented the bell disturbing her during the night.

'The registrant put the resident's day clothes on intending that they would be able to get up in the morning and they would already be changed and that would save time in order to clean them and get them ready for the day shift.'

On another occasion she wrote that a patient 'enjoyed falling deliberately on to the floor and sliding from the chair' in their hospital passport.

Finding all but one allegation against Olugbile proved NMC panel chairman Clive Powell said she was guilty of 'serious abuse', 'The panel determined that some of your conduct in relation to the vulnerable residents at the Home amounted to serious abuse,' he said.

'The panel noted that you have not shown any remorse or regret. You have denied these charges from the beginning and have sought to blame others and accuse them of lying.  'You have sought to abdicate yourself from any personal responsibility for your actions,' said Mr Powell.

The nurse, who claimed she is the victim of a 'conspiracy', now faces an anxious wait as her hearing has been adjourned for the second time.

When the hearing resumes next year, the panel will determine what sanction to impose which could see the nurse struck-off the register.

Olugbile worked at the Collingwood Court Nursing Centre between March 27, 2006 and February 9, 2011 after registering as a nurse in 2005.


Why was the monstrosity above not stopped earlier?

Because the authorities were too busy fussing about the sort of politically correct nonsense we read about below -- where a lovely lady was taken off her nursing job because she offered to pray for a patient:

Nurse Petrie

A nurse was suspended after offering to pray for the recovery of an elderly patient, it emerged yesterday. Caroline Petrie, 45, was accused of failing to show a commitment to equality and diversity after the incident and is awaiting the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

The community nurse, who lives in Weston-super-Mare and carries out home visits, has been suspended by North Somerset primary care trust and could lose her job. Petrie, a Baptist who has two children, said she had not forced her beliefs on anyone, but had simply asked if the woman would like a prayer said for her.

She said: "I'm not angry, and I understand if people don't believe in the way that I do. But I am upset because I enjoy this job and it [prayer] is a valuable part of the care I give.

"I became a Christian 10 years ago after my mother died. My faith got stronger and I realised God was doing amazing things in my life. I saw my patients suffering and as I believe in the power of prayer, I began asking them if they wanted me to pray for them. They are absolutely delighted."

She said she had seen her supplications have real effects on patients, including a Catholic woman whose urine infection cleared up days after she said a prayer.

Petrie said the incident that led to her suspension occurred after she visited a woman in Winscombe in December. She said she asked the woman: "Would you like me to pray for you?" after putting dressings on her legs. The woman replied "No, thank you", and Petrie insists she did not press the matter.


After the media got wind of it, nurse Petrie was eventually reinstated.  Which of the two ladies above would you like to have looking after you if you were frail?

Duck Flap: Truth is ‘Hate’ to Those Who Hate Truth

As widely reported, Phil Robertson, the patriarch in A&E’s breakaway hit “Duck Dynasty,” recently ran a-fowl of homosexual pressure groups, ruffling “progressive” feathers throughout concentrated pockets of deep blue America. He remains suspended “indefinitely” for candidly summarizing, in a recent interview with GQ Magazine, the millennia-long “Love the sinner, hate the sin” biblical stance on homosexual practice.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” he bluntly opined. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes!”

Dudes worldwide – save self-styled “gays,” Pajama Boy and a few liberal men actually rumored to be heterosexual – responded: “Eww! I know, right.”

“You know what I’m saying?” continued Robertson. “But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical,” he noted.

Robertson also addressed other sins, paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

“I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me,” he later added. “We are all created by the Almighty, and like Him, I love all of humanity.”

Barring a handful of “progressive” revisionists, Christian theologians have since observed that, while Robertson’s position on sexual sin is 100 percent biblically, morally and biologically correct, it is, nonetheless, precisely 0 percent politically correct.

Furthermore, Robertson seems to have been quoting directly from the rare, though accurate, “Louisiana Revised Standard Living Translation.”

Even so, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) was outraged. GLAAD spokesman Francis Twinklebean offered a scathing, though typically insightful, analysis of Robertson’s opinion: “Quack quack quack bigot,” said Twinklebean. “Quack quack vile quack intolerance quack quack homophobia quack,” he added, finally demanding: “A&E must fire Phil Robertson.”

The “gay”-activist Human Rights Campaign (HRC) was no less distressed, as evidenced by HRC mouthpiece Randy Van Grindr: “The First Amendment? That’s so 1776,” he said. “This is 2013. Speech isn’t free, you know. Intolerance will not be tolerated. Give us our pound of flesh! A&E must fire Phil Robertson.”

A&E, which had already begun censoring the cast’s Christian speech with fake bleeps to cover words like “Jesus” and “Christ,” dutifully complied. “We’re just sick of all this redneck Jesusy stuff,” A&E representative Moe Ronic told reporters. “And besides, making truckloads of money is really overrated,” he added, referencing the show’s No. 1 all-time ranking.

“In fact,” he continued, “just the other day I was sharing an Appletini with Bob, our program director, and he was pining for the good ol’ days – back when we had ratings like MSNBC’s ‘Winter Solstice Generic Holiday Special.’

“You know, more money means more work – what, with the bookkeeping and all,” he pointed out. “Most of us at A&E are actually quite excited to get back to the utter irrelevance and obscurity from whence we came.”

Meanwhile, the Fox Network and a bevy of cable channels have reportedly lined up with drool bibs to pounce on the show should relations with A&E go deeper south.

A Fox source offered comment on condition of anonymity: “Remember that time someone disagreed with Christianity and got fired?” he asked. “Me neither. A&E needs the Robertsons more than they need A&E.”

Still, questions remained as to who’s got it right on homosexuality; GLAAD, HRC and other “progressives,” or Phil Robertson and Christianity. To get answers, we went straight to the Source: God, Author of all truth, sovereign Creator of the universe and Maker of mankind.

God said to relax. The issue has been long settled.

All sexual sin – adultery, fornication, bestiality, incest and, yes, the practice of homosexuality – is “contrary to sound doctrine,” He noted unequivocally (1 Timothy 1:10). “Guys, when I said, ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination,’ I meant it,” He added (Leviticus 18:22).

The Creator then offered an urgent admonition to GLAAD, HRC and others living under both sexual deception and the unrepentant homosexual lifestyle. He warned that unnatural behaviors beget natural consequences: “Because of this, [I] gave [you] over to shameful lusts. Even [you ladies] exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way [you fellas] also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. [You’ve] committed shameful acts with other men, and [have] received in [yourselves] the due penalty for [your] error” (Romans 1:26-27).

Still, being both wholly righteous and merciful beyond measure, The Heavenly Father then offered hope for homosexuals, as well as for every other sinner on the planet (that would be all of us). He was quick to point out that no one person is better than another, and that He loves us all, not because of our sins – to include the “intrinsically disordered” homosexual identity and lifestyle – but in spite of them. “None is righteous, no, not one,” He said (Romans 3:10).

We are all lost and in need of the Savior, He further urged (especially yours truly), saying, with specific reference to homosexuality, adultery and other forms of sexual immorality: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by [My Spirit]” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

As untold thousands – likely millions – of former homosexuals will attest, through the unmatched grace of Christ, there can be freedom from all forms of bondage to sin – even “LGBT” behavior.

Meanwhile, since the Duck flap hit, Jesus Himself has reportedly reached out to Phil Robertson with a Word of encouragement. He told him to keep fishing for souls and hunting for ducks. He said that Robertson shouldn’t sweat the small stuff – like the ongoing assault for speaking truth in love.

“Phil,” He said, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but [if you] stand firm to the end, [you] will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

“Oh, and by the way,” Jesus added: “Well done my good and faithful servant.”


Another account of how important fathers can be for their daughters

Tessa and her girls gathered round their grandfather, 2009

I would give anything to be spending the next week with my father. But this will be my first Christmas without him.  Dad died in April, and I am dreading the festive break more than I ever imagined.

So when my friends discussed with such perverse delight how they loathe the arrival of elderly relatives  at their exquisitely  decorated dining tables, it infuriated me.

But it also made me feel a deep shame. Because once, I, too, would join in this moaning. My list of complaints about having Dad over for Christmas was endless.

It would irritate me that he insisted lunch was served at 2pm - he'd be snoozing if it was any later - while I'd prefer to serve it at 4pm. I carped about having to heat rooms to the temperature of an orchid house because Dad felt the cold.

I groaned every time he would butt into a conversation because he was deaf and didn't realise anyone else was talking.

With hindsight, I can see that it was these eccentricities, his gloriously quirky, determined character, which gave me the 'perfect' Christmas. It just took me a long time to realise it.

I know without Dad I will feel lonely, even though I will be surrounded by people. My daughters Ellen, 22, and Elise, 20, will be home for Christmas. My single brothers Simon and Andy will arrive on Christmas Eve loaded with presents, wine and food.

And while my boyfriend Richard (I divorced four years ago) will be spending Christmas Day with his daughters, both in their 20s, we will be together for much of the rest of the time.

But for all the company around me, I will still feel bereft.

It was different when my mother died, aged 77, of cancer in January 1995. Although I missed Mum desperately, I didn't feel the aching loneliness I do now. Perhaps it was because she lived on through Dad, who talked about her so often she remained a vivid part of our lives.

After Mum died, I took on the role of running Christmas at my home for all the relatives who wanted to come. Until then, I had normally taken my daughters to my parents.

Dad was always there at the head of the table. He was the glue that kept our family together. He was so excited and happy to have his family around him that his pleasure permeated everything.

Dad was 98 when he died, peacefully in hospital after a bout of pneumonia, so I cannot possibly argue that I wasn't prepared. Nor can I claim to be cheated.

But perhaps his absence is more acute because, for the past two-and-a-half years of his life, ever since he fell and broke his hip, Dad lived with me.  The thought that Christmas morning will break without Dad giving me a peck on the cheek fills me with dread.

And this will be the first year there will be no box of Black Magic chocolates wrapped up under the tree for me. For 40 years, Dad was convinced they were my favourites when actually it was my sister - who died in a car accident in 1973 - who loved dark chocolate, not me. I never had the heart to tell him.

The very best part of Christmas for most people will be the hardest to endure: exchanging presents.

It's not just that there will be no gift from Dad. Like most men of his generation, he largely left it up to my mother to choose presents. After she died, Dad contented himself with handing over a generous cheque and the reliable box of Black Magic. No, it's much more than the gifts themselves. It's the ritual.

Ever since I can remember it was Dad who handed out the presents on Christmas morning, straight after Mass.

It took hours because every present would have to be individually admired, and the wrapping paper carefully removed without ripping it so it could preserved for next year. He couldn't abide waste.

Who will hand out the presents this year? Me? One of my brothers? I can't bear to think about it.

I'm trying to maintain as many traditions as I can, not just for my girls but for myself. But so many of them seem pointless without Dad.

He had a weakness for sweet things and adored puddings and cakes, particularly Christmas cake. So every year, my festive preparations would begin with making him a traditional cake. To please Dad, I even followed Mum's well-thumbed Fanny Craddock recipe from 1966.

A cup of tea and a slice of Christmas cake would be the highlight of Dad's day, right through until the last crumb disappeared some time in late February.

But I know no one else really appreciates the cake - me included. Although I've baked one this year because not doing so would just be too sad, I know that without Dad's eager enjoyment, my heart won't be in it. 

Even dressing the tree rekindled memories I knew I'll find painful. The box of baubles I've inherited from Mum is stuffed with decorations my parents bought together. And this was always a job I used to do with Dad.

Then there is our wooden crib with beautifully painted figures. My parents bought it in Germany when Dad - a teacher in the Army - was posted to Dusseldorf for a brief period in the early Sixties.

This year, I've laid it out carefully on the hall table as always, waiting until Christmas morning, as my parents did, to position baby Jesus.

This year, with Dad no longer here and champing for breakfast, I can luxuriate in bed until late. We will eat Christmas lunch at whatever time suits me best. 5pm? 6pm? It won't matter a jot.

Instead of The Sound Of Music or some other twee family film, we'll sit down to the final series of Breaking Bad, something I know Dad wouldn't have liked.

But all these self-indulgent little treats suddenly seem a very poor substitute.

Even sitting down at our dining table with elicit a painful memory. Last year, Dad was so frail he couldn't manage the stairs when lunch was served, so we decided to take it up to him instead.

There were ten of us crammed into Dad's room, balancing our dinner plates on our knees.

Did we know this was our last chance to eat a Christmas meal together? Maybe it was at the back of our minds, because to us it was perfect.

There was brandy butter in the bedsheets, gravy splashes on the carpet and, of course, there was Dad at the centre of it, wreathed in smiles.

I hope I showed him how much I loved sharing Christmas with him. But did I show him the depth of my feelings? I doubt it. The truth is I only realise now, my first Christmas without him, just how much he meant to me.

Would I swap all the perfect table decorations, fancy food and expensive presents to have one last Christmas with Dad? In a heartbeat.

So everyone, please, as exasperating as your relatives may be, as much as they might make you grit your teeth, cherish them this Christmas.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Zagmuk conquers all!

L. Neil Smith

Conservatives have long whimpered about corporate and goverment policies forbidding employees who make contact with the public to wish said members "Merry Christmas!" at the appropriate time of the year, out of a moronic and purely irrational fear of offending members of the public who don't happen to be Christian, but are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Rastafarian, Ba'hai, Cthuluites, Wiccans, or worshippers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The politically correct benediction, these employees are instructed, is "Happy Holidays".


As a lifelong atheist, I never take "Merry Christmas" as anything but a cheerful and sincere desire to share the spirit of the happiest time of the year. I enjoy Christmas as the ultimate capitalist celebration. It's a multiple-usage occasion and has been so since the dawn of history. I wish them "Merry Christmas" right back, and I mean it.

Unless I wish them a "Happy Zagmuk", sharing the oldest midwinter festival in our culture I can find any trace of. It's Babylonian, and celebrates the victory of the god-king Marduk over the forces of Chaos.

But as anybody with the merest understanding of history and human nature could have predicted, if you give the Political Correctness Zombies (Marduk needs to get back to work again) an Angstrom unit, they'll demand a parsec. It now appears that for the past couple of years, as soon as the Merry Christmases and Happy Holidayses start getting slung around, a professor (not of Liberal Arts, so he should know better) at a nearby university (to remain unnamed) sends out what he hopes are intimidating e-mails, scolding careless well-wishers, and asserting that these are not holidays ("holy days") to everyone, and that the only politically acceptable greeting is "Happy Midwinter Break".

He signs this exercise in stupidity "A Jewish Faculty Member".

Double feh.

Two responses come immediately to mind, both of them derived from good, basic Anglo-Saxon, which is not originally a Christian language. As soon as the almost overwhelming temptation to use them has been successfully resisted, there are some other matters for profound consideration.

First, what we are seeing here, in both the "Happy Holidays" and "Happy Winter Break" instances, is the yawning gulf of difference between pluralism, on the one hand, and multi-culturalism on the other.

The former accepts and allows everything. Nothing is compulsory and nothing (barring the initiation of physical force) is forbidden. Pluralism is frank and open, and it has standards. It doesn't tolerate priests as child molestors or "honor killings" of errant children. We all get to laugh, and eat each other's food, enjoy each other's music, and dance each other's dances. It's the essential American way. As a nation, we don't always manage to measure up to that standard, but we try.

Pluralism is a good thing. A very good thing.

The latter crouches in xenophobic terror, rejecting everything that might indicate that people are different from one another. or have different opinions. Multi-culturalism allows nothing to be said or done, but locks the world in eternal frozen conflict. It's a sort of pathological isolation in a crowd that is humiliated by its own humanity.

Multi-culturism is a bad thing, trying to disguise itself as pluralism.

My old friend, the late Aaron Zelman, the founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, used to observe that some individuals value their victimization so highly, they'll sacrifice anything -- fortune, family, anything -- in order to hold onto it. Look at the way black people often ignore the fact that none of them were ever slaves themselves, and no one living today was ever a slave owner, in order to establish a claim to what they see as infinite entitlement.

My own ancestors were slaughtered in the thousands by their evil conquerors (who posed to the world as benefactors and bringers of civilization), forced at swordpoint and gunpoint to grow, harvest, and ship crops out of the country in record amounts while millions of them starved to death, and were finally captured and sold into slavery overseas.

My ancestors are Irish.

To my knowledge, none represent themselves as social arbiters, prescribing to other folks the right thing to say or the way to say it.

Finally, there is this: if you were to fly all the way to Australia on vacation, would you be grateful or disappointed if all the Australians you met said "Hello" to you, rather than a hearty "G'dai"?

My then-wife (not Cathy, born and raised in Cheyenne) was deeply embarrassed that I accompanied her to London in 1976 wearing cowboy boots, jeans, and brightly-colored Western shirts. She learned better. Her friends all seemed to love the way I dressed and for the first -- and last -- time inb my life, I was a sartorial hit. Most people from around the world expect us to be different. That's why they came to see us. Part of that difference is Christmas, which many (especially the Japanese, and, it now appears, the Chinese) have adopted as their own.

Those from foreign parts who have come here to live, and benefit from what freedom has made possible, should learn to practice pluralism, rather than multi-culturalism. As for that professor, an Easterner who'd dearly love to think of himself as a real live cowboy, he should know better by now than to tell Westerners what to say and do.

They're likely to respond by telling him, "Merry Christmas!" Or "Happy Zagmuk!"


British Department store chain  faces furious backlash from customers over Muslim policy

Marks & Spencer's official Facebook page is deluged with messages from customers furious at bosses' decision to let Muslim staff refuse to serve pork and alcohol to customers

Marks & Spencer is facing a boycott from hundreds of customers furious at the store’s decision to allow Muslim staff to refuse to serve customers buying alcohol or pork products.

The policy was revealed after customers trying to buy pork or alcohol from a Muslim shop assistant in central London were told they would have to use another till because of the cashier's religion.

The chain has admitted, however, that it has breached its own internal policy - by forcing its staff to choose between their beliefs and their responsibilties to the supermarket.

A spokesperson for M&S said that it works closely with employees with specific beliefs that restrict what food or drink they can handle, but on this occasion it had to “regret” that it had not followed its own guidelines.

“Where we have an employee whose religious beliefs restrict food or drink they can handle, we work closely with our member of staff to place them in suitable role, such as in our clothing department or bakery in foods.  “We regret that in the case highlighted today we were not following our own internal policy.”

The official M&S Facebook page was today deluged with vitriolic messages from previously loyal customers.

Meanwhile a Facebook campaign group calling on people to boycott the store attracted hundreds of ‘likes’ within just a couple of hours of being set up this afternoon.

Writing on the group's Facebook page, called Boycott Marks and Spencer, customer Matt Syson accused M&S of creating “division and hatred within our communities”.

He wrote: “M&S if you read this you have gone over the top.  “If you have Christian workers who wish to refuse the sale of ladies garments to male homosexuals or men's trousers to lesbians, I do hope you will equally stand by those workers’ religious or personal beliefs…

“Or perhaps if an atheist worker notices a customer purchasing hot cross buns during Easter and wishes to refuse sale to that particular customer based on beliefs that conflict with their own, I do hope you will not punish such workers for their actions surrounding refusal of sale…

“If not then I would like you to know that my family and I shall no longer purchase any goods from your company due to the implementation of this 'one rule system' that creates further division and hatred within our communities.

“It's the customers who pay your wage and profits, it's the customers who wield the power and dictate success or failure within a company. Something you will soon realise when word spreads.”

And another customer Angela Phillips posted: “If M&S go ahead with this they are going to lose so many loyal customers… if they do not want to serve people with pork or alcohol they shouldn’t work in the food hall… simple!”

Meanwhile, Heather Playdon posted on M&S's official Facebook page: “I shan't be shopping in M&S anymore. The quintessentially British retailer bows down to Muslim beliefs. And in turn alienates the majority of Christian and non-religious customers. Outrageous.”

Another customer using the name Mike Hubby Coneman Pearce posted: “PC gone mad! WHAT?! I don’t get it you walk into a shop, you want some bacon, you get served by someone who is a vegetarian do they then get the right to refuse to sell you meat? NO”

And Tony Frost posted: “I hope the halfwits behind this insulting idea are ashamed. I will never shop in your stores again & will be spreading the word in the hope you lose maximum customers.”

In an earlier statement an M&S spokesman said: “We recognise that some of our employees practise religions that restrict the food or drink they can handle, or that mean they cannot work at certain times.

“M&S promotes an environment free from discrimination and so, where specific requests are made, we will always make reasonable adjustments to accommodate them, whilst ensuring high levels of customer service.”

The spokesman said the policy applied throughout its 700-plus stores and to other religions as well.  For example, Christians who did not want to work on Sundays and religious Jews who chose not to work on Saturdays would also be excused


More than 100 sex offenders - including one who raped a girl under 13 - use human rights ruling to get names taken off British register

More than 100 of the country's most dangerous sex attackers - including paedophiles and violent rapists - have had their names secretly removed from the Sex Offenders' Register, it has been revealed.

The criminals have used a human rights ruling to remove themselves from the list, arguing that they no longer pose a threat to the public.

The 108 convicts who have successfully used the argument, include one offender convicted of rape of a female under 13, another of burglary with intent to rape and one sentenced for buggery.

One police force removed a criminal convicted on seven counts of indecent assault on a boy under 16 from the register.

The figures were obtained under the Freedom of Information act, and asked for details of the number of convicted sex offenders who had their names removed from the register since the law was passed in September last year.

Nearly half of those who applied were successful, at rate of nearly four a week.

Those whose names have been removed from the list were once placed on it for life, but now no longer now no longer need to tell the police where they are living, or if they move near a school or young family.

It comes following a human rights ruling last year, which decided offenders who have been monitored by officers for 15 years are now free to apply to have their details taken off the register.

Peter Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood said: 'It's downright dangerous that so many sex offenders are effectively able to remove themselves from the Register.

Mr Saunders, who was abused as a child abuse himself, said: 'The victims and survivors of sexual abuse suffer a life sentence at the hands of these people, coping with the miserable consequences.

'It seems inordinately unfair that so many could be removed from something which simply keeps them on the police radar.  'I can't think of anyone who would challenge that apart from the perpetrators themselves.

'Everything we know about sex offenders leads us to believe firmly that they will probably always be a threat to children and to others.'

Assistant Chief Constable Michelle Skeer, of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said:

'It is recognised that the legislation under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the multi-agency public protection arrangements provide some of the most effective tools in the world to manage registered sex offenders.

'Protecting the public from harm is a fundamental role for the police service but we recognise that this must be balanced with the rights of individuals, as highlighted by the Supreme Court judgement.

'We have worked closely with the Home Office and other key partners to develop a robust review process that ensures a full assessment of the risks posed before an offender is removed from the notification requirements.

'The reality is that the risks posed by some offenders can never be completely eliminated, but we will continue to do all in our power to keep them to a minimum and believe that the proposed review process strikes the right balance between individual rights and public safety.'


Labour Party should not be afraid to 'do God' in order to stop the persecution of Middle East Christians says shadow foreign secretary

The Labour shadow foreign secretary has said his party should 'do God' in order to stop the persecution of Christians and shouldn't be put off by the fear of causing offence.

Douglas Alexander, who is a Church of Scotland follower, has said that a 'misplaced sense of political correctness' is to blame for people feeling 'embarrassed' to talk about God.

His calls follow a speech by Prince Charles this week in which the heir to the throne warned that Christianity was beginning to disappear from its birthplace because members and places of worship were being targetted.

Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Alexander says: 'Across the world, there will be Christians this week for whom attending a church service this Christmas is not an act of faithful witness, but an act of life-risking bravery. That cannot be right and we need the courage to say so.

'People of all faiths and none should be horrified by this persecution. We cannot, and we must not, stand by on the other side in silence for fear of offence.'

Mr Alexander added that persecution of Christians should be viewed in the same way as anti-Seminism or Islamophobia, and not just opposed by lone voices.

He said he had felt 'very personally' an attack on a Church of Scotland place of worship in September which killed 122 including the mother, nephew, niece, two uncles and other friends of the priest.

Earlier this week Prince Charles said that bridges between the Islamic and Christian communities he had worked to foster were being 'deliberately destroyed'.

Speaking at an event for Middle East Christians in Clarence House, he said: ‘It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are increasingly being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants.

‘Christianity was literally born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ.’

Others have also issued warnings on the issue, including Baroness Warsi who delivered a speech to the House of Lords last month on the 'mass exodus' of Christians from the Middle East, and former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.

Mr Alexander's comments come in stark contrast to the Labour government's stance under Tony Blair, when Alastair Campbell famously said that the party 'doesn't do God'.

Since retiring from politics Mr Blair himself has become a Roman Catholic, and says he was a believer while in office but was too afraid to admit it in case he was viewed as 'a nutter'.

The article by Mr Alexander marks a shift towards religion in politics, with David Cameron being an active member of the Church of England - though he admits his faith can be patchy - and Ed Miliband saying he has a 'huge respect' for people who believe in God, despite being an atheist himself.

Mr Alexander’s words were welcomed by Church leaders. The Rt Rev Lorna Hood, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: 'Too often these situations are ignored by politicians worried at offending someone. Such silence should be offensive to all who cherish the right to live safely in a pluralistic society.'



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here