Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Helpful Multicultural doctor in Britain

A GP refused to help an 88-year-old woman who fell and knocked herself unconscious in front of his surgery because he was ‘not first-aid trained’.

Iris Henderson had just got off a bus when she collapsed, cutting her head and injuring her arm. Passer-by Jane Batchelor found her knocked out and dashed into the practice to ask for help, but said staff were ‘completely uninterested’.

When she persisted, locum Christopher Uwagboe was approached, but he refused to leave his office.

Staff even declined to supply a blanket to make Mrs Henderson comfortable until an ambulance came.

The widow was eventually taken to hospital where she remains more than a week later.

Yesterday, Mrs Batchelor said she was ‘completely disgusted’ with the surgery. The mother-of-two was visiting Knebworth and Marymead Medical Practice in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, with her daughter when she heard a ‘big bang’.

Referring to Mrs Henderson, she added: ‘She had got off at the wrong bus stop and was really confused.  ‘I think she tried to cross the road but then fell over and banged her head. Her arm was trapped underneath her and her hearing aid had fallen out. She was unconscious for about five or ten minutes.

‘I ran straight into the doctor’s and thought they would have come straight out, but the receptionist was really rude. There was no urgency and she seemed completely uninterested. She eventually went to get the doctor but she came out of his office and just said there was nothing he could do.’

Mrs Batchelor, who runs a cake business, was forced to call 999 herself and was advised to get a defibrillator because Mrs Henderson had a pacemaker. But the surgery refused to hand one over.

The following day, she complained to practice manager Kenneth Spooner who told her Dr Uwagboe was not first-aid trained and the surgery had been sued several times for treating people in similar circumstances.

After Mrs Henderson injured herself on September 18, a paramedic in a rapid-response car arrived within five minutes, but it took another 30 minutes for an ambulance to turn up and take her to Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

Mrs Batchelor has visited her there and says she has a bandaged head and a cast on her right arm.

Neither the pensioner, who lives alone in sheltered accommodation in Stevenage, nor her family wanted to discuss her ordeal yesterday.

But a neighbour said: ‘She’s a very frail lady. It’s very sad and shocking that no one from the surgery would help her.’ Dr Uwagboe, 62, declined to comment when approached at the surgery yesterday, and left in a Mercedes with a personalised number plate.  He said: ‘I have been told not to speak to the Press.’

Dr Uwagboe and Mr Spooner also refused to confirm whether he had received first-aid training.

The Nigerian-born GP, of Loughton, Essex, graduated in the West African state at the University of Benin in 1977 and trained at the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. He qualified in 1989 and moved on to the GP register in 2006.

The Royal College of GPs last night said members were not automatically trained in first aid but there is a ‘Good Samaritan principle’ under which all British doctors have medical indemnity whoever they treat, even if it is not one of their patients.

It also pointed to a General Medical Council document, Duties of a Doctor, that states medical professionals must ‘show respect for human life’ at all times. Spokesman Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard added: ‘There is no legal reason for not helping.’

The surgery has written to Mrs Batchelor to explain it had held a ‘robust’ conversation with the two receptionists on duty when she came in. They have been told their ‘response to the situation was inadequate and not acceptable’. The letter said: ‘The policy now makes it clear to all staff (clinicians and receptionists) how they are to respond to any such event.

‘This includes making it mandatory for a doctor to respond and that reception staff take responsibility for contacting ambulance services.’

In a statement, the practice said it was ‘reviewing procedures to ensure this does not happen again’.


Minnesota Somalis Demand Free Halal Food

Up north in the Twin Cities, home to the largest population of Somalis in the United States, the Muslim immigrant freeloaders organized a protest to complain about the quality of free food they were getting because none was halal.

You may have heard that “beggars can’t be choosers” but that idea is hopelessly old-fashioned in today’s liberal values. It’s simply racist to deny a diverse tribe their ethnically appropriate free stuff because it would damage their self-esteem.

Remember that the halal Islamic slaughter process is condemned because it is unnecessarily cruel. In western slaughterhouses, the animal is stunned into unconsciousness before being killed, but Islam insists that the creature be fully conscious while being slaughtered.

And don’t think the Minnesota Somalis are pining for some nice organic tofu. A woman from Peta suggested a vegetarian Eid to some India-residing Muslims and was attacked by an angry mob for her trouble. She had to be rescued by police from rock throwers.

Back to Minnesota mooching…

A Somali women’s advocacy group is demanding a review of its request for county support of a halal food shelf in the Twin Cities. The Isuroon Project says there is a “desperate need” for a culturally-specific halal food shelf in the metro, but that Hennepin County has denied its requests for support.

“Isuroon has reached out for Hennepin County’s support for the Ethnic Food Shelf, and has cooperated fully with the Hennepin County commissioner’s office and provided the county with their required qualifications,” the group said in a statement. “The commissioner’s office has ignored Isuroon’s requests for review and the community needs to respond to let the public know what has transpired.”

The Rally Against Hunger began at 11 a.m. Monday at the Hennepin County Government Center.

“We want to make Commissioner Peter McLaughlin and the public know that we are serious about our need for an Ethnic Food Shelf which provides halal and appropriate nutrition for our community,” the group said.


The one place in Canada where racism is still tolerated: native reserves

Hold the front page: In a throwback to the pre-Civil Rights era, a small community in Quebec is enforcing a racist law that serves to expel any resident couple that is found to be of mixed race. It’s Jim Crow, Canadian-style.

What’s worse, grass-roots enforcers have taken it into their own hands to implement the law, leaving threatening messages for miscegenators. In one shocking example, a non-white woman named Cheryl Diabo found a sign outside her home that read “My name is Cheryl … I live with a white man.”

Perhaps worst of all, the whole community in question is financed in large part through massive public transfer payments. The government of Canada is, in effect, directly subsidizing what just may be the most officially racist community in the entire Western world.

And yet little is being done. Why are the human rights mandarins not descending on this community? Why are Parliamentary leaders not denouncing this outbreak of explicit, old-school racism? …

Oh wait. Sorry. Cancel the front-page scoop. It’s a native reserve that’s enforcing the anti-mixed-marriage edict. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, to be more specific. They even put their racist edict on official Mohawk Council letterhead. Nothing to see here, folks. Politicians, you may continue to stare awkwardly at your shoes as Canadian citizens get thrown out of their homes because of the colour of their skin.

It need scarcely be mentioned that if this were a white community seeking to ostracize non-white residents or mixed-race marriages, Kahnawake would be turned into our version of Ferguson, Mo. Activists and politicians would turn up at the barricades with “We Are All Cheryl Diabo T-shirts.” Town officials would be prosecuted under applicable human-rights law, and possibly even for hate crimes.

But in this case, the government has done precisely nothing: The racist, anti-miscegenation housing policies of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake have been widely known for years. The only people who have raised a finger to opposite it are brave local residents such as Ms. Diabo, and former Olympian Waneek Horn-Miller, who lives in Kahnawake with her non-native spouse. Where’s the Freedom March for these people?

On the other hand, let’s give the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake their due, shall we? In the modern context, what is the point of the reserve system except to give natives a space that provides them with a measure of autonomy and cultural “authenticity”? Having embraced the notion that one’s bloodline dictates ones rights (a notion dismissed as racist in every other context of public discussion and policy formation), Canadian liberals have been forced to accept its noxious corollary — which is that the presence of white people in the midst of reserves comprises a sort of cultural pollutant.

This is the reason politicians and public figures are so loathe to take a strong stand against the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and other native groups that strike militant postures on behalf of native identity: Such criticisms implicitly strike at the very heart of the utopian liberal notion that natives flourish best among their own, in protected, demographically homogenous enclaves that are geographically rooted in their traditional lands.

In every other context, Canadian liberals zealously embrace the idea of diversity and multiculturalism. In liberal cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, the sight of people of every skin colour living side by side, including as husband and wife, is taken as a neighbourhood’s badge of enlightenment. But if the neighbourhood happens to be a native reserve, the exact opposite premise holds sway: Run whitey out of town.

Eventually, Canadians are going to have to make up their mind on the diversity-versus-segregation question. It’s simply untenable to say that while the United Colors of Benetton are ideal for whites, natives should be free to construct miniature societies based on racist principles that were decisively rejected by Abolitionists two centuries ago. It’s an embarrassment to Canadian values and a cruelty upon those natives who have committed no crime except to fall in love with someone of a different skin colour.


Britain’s most pretentious media commentator, Orwell, and the English language

Will Self’s anti-Orwell tirade combines ignorance with a snobbish disdain for the public

'This whole imbroglio is epiphenomenal.’ I wonder what George Orwell would have made of this statement of Will Self’s to describe the closure of the News of the World amid mounting hysteria against press freedom a few years ago.

It was easy to snigger, and many did, when Self, a self-styled sesquipedalian (look it up), recently launched an attack on Orwell as a mediocre bigot who sought to impose his own Big Brother authoritarianism on the use of the English language. After all, Self, the acclaimed author, journalist and television talking-head, was revealed as the most frequent visitor to Pseuds’ Corner when Private Eye celebrated its first 50 years in 2011. But Self’s diatribe against Orwell cannot easily be dismissed as the defensive posturing of Britain’s most pretentious media commentator. Unfortunately, though wildly inaccurate and downright dishonest, Self’s arguments about Orwell epitomise the evasions and malaise at the heart of contemporary liberal intellectual life.

Orwell fought against twentieth-century ideologies used to impel intellectuals and the state into direct confrontation with the everyday life of most people. His battles, usually for the freedom to think, to speak up for the space to exercise moral autonomy and to refuse the imposition of fate, drove him to make savage criticisms of the abuse of language in relation to politics. Famously, in his 1946 essay ‘Politics and the English Language’, Orwell set out rules for a style of writing he believed could help to counter the distortions and misrepresentation of reality by those who exercise political power.

Self particularly objects to Orwell’s opening words in this essay, which are apparently proof that he was ‘plain wrong’ and evidence that the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four wanted to control language and use it as a vessel for his own authoritarian ideology. Orwell wrote: ‘Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilisation is decadent and our language – so the argument runs – must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.’

To shape language, to struggle against its abuse, or the decadence of civilisation, for our own purposes seems to me a pretty straightforward, humanist defence of agency and linguistic clarity. For Self,  though, it is ‘old-fashioned authoritarian’ tyranny. ‘As for most people who bother with the matter, admitting that English is in a bad way – hardly. Since 1946, when Orwell’s essay was published, English has continued to grow and mutate, a great voracious beast of a tongue, snaffling up vocabulary, locutions and syntactical forms from the other languages it feeds on. There are more ways of saying more things in English than ever, and it follows perfectly logically that more people are shaping this versatile instrument for their purposes’, Self argued.

He continued: ‘The trouble for the George Orwells of this world is that they don’t like the ways in which our tongue is being shaped. In this respect they’re indeed small “c” conservatives, who would rather peer at meaning by the guttering candlelight of a Standard English frozen in time, than have it brightly illumined by the high-wattage of the living, changing language.’

By making this argument, Self is being downright dishonest, perhaps assuming that today’s readers or listeners are too lazy to read Orwell’s essay, or other writing, for themselves. Between 1944 and 1946, when the question of plain, lucid English began to exercise Orwell, there is no evidence at all that he wanted to stifle the creativity of authors, or anyone else for that matter. To anyone who has read Orwell, who constantly defended difficult and experimental modernist writers (with whom Self would no doubt identify), such an idea is absurd. After all, Orwell makes it pretty clear that his polemic is targeted at politicians, pundits, bureaucrats, hack-academics posing as intellectuals and all others seeking to defend the status quo or to conceal truth. Above all, Orwell’s message is in the battle of ideas: words count. To be robbed of clarity and lucidity in the battle of ideas is to fight with one hand tied behind your back.

    It is Self, not Orwell, who despises the masses for poisoning public life

‘It has nothing to do with archaism, with the salvaging of obsolete words and turns of speech, or with the setting up of a “standard English” which must never be departed from’, wrote Orwell. ‘On the contrary, it is especially concerned with the scrapping of every word or idiom which has outworn its usefulness. It has nothing to do with correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one makes one’s meaning clear, or with the avoidance of Americanisms, or with having what is called a “good prose style”. On the other hand, it is not concerned with fake simplicity and the attempt to make written English colloquial. Nor does it even imply in every case preferring the Saxon word to the Latin one, though it does imply using the fewest and shortest words that will cover one’s meaning. What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them. I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought.’

Could it be any clearer? Orwell did not blame the masses, or popular culture, for the crisis of language. He blamed those who were distorting and poisoning English in the cause of the elite project of shoring up intellectual, state or moral authority by ‘concealing or preventing thought’. In fact, as we will see later, it is Self who despises the masses for poisoning public life. Far from being so very twenty-first century and po-mo trendy, Self’s criticisms of Orwell (as well as being fabricated and unfounded) are more or less identical to attacks made on Orwell as far back as 1944. As Orwell ruefully observed, his efforts to write clearly resulted in claims that he was ‘an intellectual snob who wants to “talk down to” the masses or else suspected of plotting to “establish an English Gestapo”’.

Orwell’s rules are pretty clear and, as a matter of fact, not very prescriptive. ‘Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. Never use the passive where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.’ It is hardly a recipe for tyranny.

Self goes further. In a bizarre attack, which can only be based on his own patronising assumption that today’s audience is so ignorant as to know nothing of Orwell and his lifetime of attacking colonialism and imperialism, Self implies that Orwell was a bigot and, quite possibly, a bit of a racist to boot.

‘Orwell and his supporters may say they’re objecting to jargon and pretension, but underlying this are good old-fashioned prejudices against difference itself. Only homogenous groups of people all speak and write identically. People from different heritages, ethnicities, classes and regions speak the same language differently, duh!’, says Self.

‘If you want to expose the Orwellian language police for the old-fashioned authoritarian elitists they really are’, he continues, ‘you simply ask them which variant of English is more grammatically complex – Standard English or what the dialect linguists call African American Vernacular English. The answer is, of course, it’s the latter that offers its speakers more ways of saying more things - you feel me?

‘Orwell’s ideology is ineffably English, a belief in the inherent reasonableness, impartiality and common sense of a certain kind of clear-thinking, public-school-educated but widely experienced middle-class Englishman – an Englishman such as himself. It’s by no means as pernicious an ideology as Ingsoc and its attendant newspeak, but it’s an ideology all the same.’

This is ludicrous. Orwell, who spoke French as well as Hindustani and Burmese, including the Shaw-Karen dialect of Burma’s hill tribes, celebrated Indian English as ‘the best bridge between Europe and Asia’ at a time when he was fighting a wartime battle of ideas in support of the independence of India from British imperial rule.

‘The growth of an English-language Indian literature is a strange phenomenon, and it will have its effect on the postwar world, if not on the outcome of the war itself’, wrote Orwell in 1942. Does this sound like a man who wanted to defend ‘Standard English’ from the vernacular of black or brown people?

Later, in 1943, Orwell urged his friend Mulk Raj Anand, the Indian author, not to abandon English ‘even if it sometimes leads you to be called a “babu” (as you were recently at one end of the map and renegade at the other)’. Orwell saw the power of Indian writers as a living argument for equality between white and black and the independence of colonies, a message made all the more powerful for being made in English. He was excited by the emergence of English as a lingua franca, a true world language, and rejected those who attacked Anand for using the conquerors’ language. Orwell did not see English as the property of the English - he saw it as a powerful tool, an instrument, which, when used carefully, precisely and lucidly, could expose inequality and the cant of racism.

As Christopher Hitchens noted in his perceptive 2002 book, Orwell’s Victory, ‘his rooted opposition to imperialism is a strong and consistent theme throughout all his writings’. ‘He insisted that the whole “colonial racket” was corrupting to the British and degrading to the colonised’, he wrote. ‘Even during the years of the Second World War, when there was a dominant don’t-rock-the-boat mentality and a great pressure to close ranks against the common foe, Orwell upheld the view that the war should involve decolonisation.’

In 1942, racism, the idea that peoples such as the Indians were incapable of self-rule, was the orthodoxy, just as multiculturalism and difference are today. In contrast both to contemporary multiculturalists, who deny any common humanity, and yesterday’s racists, Orwell believed in the universality of human spirit, its struggle to be free and to understand the world according to its own lights rather than those of official ideology. He believed that to take a stand for freedom meant convincing others through the power of argument, through words as they are used by people themselves. For Self to brand Orwell with the taint of racial and elitist bigotry is the worst sort of cant and is self-evidently untrue.

Take ‘Ingsoc and its attendant newspeak’, the imaginary official state language in Orwell’s greatest novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Ingsoc is not an attempt to create a system of rules and style for English. It is an attempt to make certain ideas – freedom, autonomy, even independent thought itself – actually unthinkable. It is a project that flourishes in Big Brother’s Britain because intellectuals, swallowed into a totalitarian party-state (an amalgam of Nazism and Stalinism), have given up on freedom.

This was Orwell’s true fear. Writing in ‘The Prevention of Literature’ (usefully read alongside ‘Politics and the English Language’, which it predates by three months), Orwell warned that the biggest danger to free speech and thought was not mere censorship but, in the longer term, the turning away from freedom by intellectuals. Interestingly, his concerns were triggered by a 1944 meeting of the anti-censorship English PEN organisation, held during wartime, to mark the three-hundredth anniversary of Milton’s Areopagitica, the famous 1644 speech making the case for the ‘Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing’. Orwell was concerned that many present at the meeting, unwilling to criticise Stalin’s Soviet Russia or wartime censorship, were indifferent to the question of political liberty and press freedom.

‘In England, the immediate enemies of truthfulness, and hence of freedom of thought, are the press lords, the film magnates, and the bureaucrats, but that on a long view the weakening of the desire for liberty among the intellectuals themselves is the most serious symptom of all’, he wrote.

This brings us back to the ‘epiphenomenal imbroglio’ (a confusing sideshow, more or less, in vernacular English) of the closure of a newspaper amid a witch-hunt against tabloids and a free, raucous press. Self used those words in reply to a question on the BBC’s Newsnight, in July 2011, concerning whether the shutdown of NotW following the phone-hacking scandal represented a ‘sea change’ in public life, or not.

‘I suspect not’, Self drawled.

‘I blame the people actually. A lot of energy is concentrated on looking for the bad apples, for the agency [in the phone-hacking scandal], but the fact is that there is a ubiquitous appetite for what the gutter press have peddled.’

Or as he said later in the discussion: ‘This whole imbroglio is epiphenomenal.’ This came just days before the beginning of the Leveson Inquiry and amid ever-mounting calls for a state-regulated press. A few months later, when it was clear what was at stake even to him, Self appeared on the BBC again to explain that the real problem was that the British public was not fit for press freedom.

‘There are those who say any restrictions on the media’s freedom to deem what is in the public interest would herald a terrible new regime of Puritanism, repression and litigation’, he wrote. ‘In some ways I agree. A free people does indeed require a free press, one that is continually evolving to fit HL Mencken’s definitions of the role of responsible journalism – that it should “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted”.’

He continued: ‘The trouble is that we are no longer a free people. Instead, addicted to prurient titillation and apathetic to the point of nihilism, the entire sweep of our recent history proclaims us to be a nation that knows the price of everything – especially our houses – and the value of nothing.’

Self’s commitment to freedom is not just weak; it is non-existent. As Mick Hume has noted here on spiked: ‘Hatred of the “popular” press and the “mass” media has always been a thinly veiled code for expressing an elitist fear and loathing of the populace/masses who consume them… The ostensible target might be Big Media, but the real one is the Big Public.’

Behind the smokescreen of railing against Orwell’s ‘authoritarianism’, it is clear that it is Self who is the true elitist. He might patronise the users of African American Vernacular English (‘you feel me?’) as being funky, but his true view of the public’s capacity to exercise freedom for itself is clear. Self further gives the game away with his attack on Orwell as ‘mediocre’, revealing his dislike of a writer who sought popular appeal, to win people over because he believed in their own capacities to think and contest. It is Orwell’s lack of literary genius, a journalist and polemic writer first, his vulgarity in attempting to win people over, that really horrifies Self and his ilk. If only Orwell was more difficult, more modernist, and ideally only comprehensible to the literary priesthood of people like Self.

‘It was Orwell’s own particular genius to possess a prose style that stated a small number of things with painful clarity’, argued Self. ‘Reading Orwell at his most lucid you can have the distinct impression he’s saying these things, in precisely this way, because he knows that you – and you alone – are exactly the sort of person who’s sufficiently intelligent to comprehend the very essence of what he’s trying to communicate. It’s this the mediocrity-loving English masses respond to – the talented dog-whistler calling them to chow down on a big bowl of conformity.’

It is this hated quality that represents Orwell’s virtue. Lionel Trilling, the American public intellectual and critic, also understood this well, but as a virtue, not a vice: ‘[Orwell] communicates to us the sense that what he has done any one of us could do. Or could do if we but made up our mind to do it, if we but surrendered a little of the cant that comforts us, if for a few weeks we paid no attention to the little group with which we habitually exchange opinions, if we took our chance of being wrong or inadequate, if we looked at things simply and directly, having only in mind our intention of finding out what they really are, not the prestige of our great intellectual act of looking at them.’

‘[Orwell] liberates us’, Trilling continues. ‘He tells us that we can understand our political and social life merely by looking around us, he frees us from the need for the inside dope. He implies that our job is not to be intellectual, certainly not to be intellectual in this fashion or that, but merely to be intelligent according to our lights – he restores the old sense of the democracy of the mind, releasing us from the belief that the mind can work only in a technical, professional way and that it must work competitively. He has the effect of making us believe that we may become full members of the society of thinking men. That is why he is a figure for us.’

In ‘The Prevention of Literature’, Orwell pondered the fate of prose literature in the age of totalitarianism. ‘To write in plain vigorous language one has to think fearlessly’, he wrote. He was worried about the continued possibility of thinking fearlessly, but his optimism in rescuing, preserving and extending this facility is embodied in his work. He believed in the public as much he believed in himself. Self’s loss of belief in the supposedly prurient, titillation-seeking public is manifest in his own despair over the future of the novel.

In a recent lecture, the text of which was published in the Guardian last May, Self complained that the ‘novel is dead (this time it’s for real)’. In a world defined by impersonal forces, the commodification of life and the cooption of ‘creative writing’ into academia, we are faced with the ‘midwifery of stillborn novels’, he argued.

He continued: ‘I believe the serious novel will continue to be written and read, but it will be an artform on a par with easel painting or classical music: confined to a defined social and demographic group, requiring a degree of subsidy, a subject for historical scholarship rather than public discourse. The current resistance of a lot of the literate public to difficulty in the form is only a subconscious response to having a moribund message pushed at them. As a practising novelist, do I feel depressed about this? No, not particularly, except on those occasions when I breathe in too deeply and choke on my own decadence.’

Self and those who attack Orwell for fighting for clarity and the truth betray their lack of belief and commitment to ideas and the public, epitomised in the weakness of their commitment to, or even their hostility to, freedom. Self’s sesquipedalia, or delight in long words, is not, as he would have it, a mark of ‘difficulty’, but rather of conformity. His self-conscious obfuscation in the face of attacks on press freedom and hostility to Orwell’s ‘talented dog whistling’ is a surrender to a narrow, crabbed world without a public realm.

Self’s defeatism, his loss of faith in the future of literature and in the audience, is truly depressing when it comes from a gifted author. It is at odds with Orwell’s more robust – and personal – motivation for writing, set out in Why I Write (1946): ‘Looking back through my work, I see that it is invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally.’



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, September 29, 2014

Multicultural arrogance in Britain

Muslims think that women should be subservient so get enraged when women are not

A Poundland worker who became 'obsessed' with his female colleague beat her with a claw hammer after she rejected him, leaving her with a brain injury.

Zeeyarat Khan, 27, spoke of marrying co-worker Samera Suleman but when she turned him down, he threatened to kill her.  Miss Suleman, 32, a single mother, tried to quit her job at a branch of Poundland in Birmingham, but as she went to hand in her notice, Khan launched an attack.

Running out from behind his till, he grabbed a claw hammer from one of the selves, then used it to beat Miss Suleman in broad daylight.

Birmingham Crown Court heard Khan struck her twice over the head before launching a 'determined and sustained' assault, witnessed by a mum with three young children.

Miss Suleman was left with skull fractures, a brain injury and a fractured finger after the attack.

Jailing Khan for 18 years, Judge James Burbidge QC told him: 'You wanted the relationship to be more permanent but she gently rebuffed you. 'You rushed out of the store and pursued her, attacking her in the most public of places. You rained blows on her fast and furious.  'She is very fortunate to have survived the brain injury but it will change her life for ever.'

Khan, 27, of no fixed address, had previously admitted a charge of attempted murder.

Miss Suleman, a teaching assistant, worked part-time at Poundland’s St Andrews Retail Park branch.

Hugh O’Brien Quinn, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court: 'Although they were friendly they seldom socialised outside work.

'It seems the defendant became obsessed with Miss Suleman. It became known among other staff he was attracted to her.

'He told Miss Suleman he had feelings for her and wanted to marry her. She told the defendant she did not have feelings for him.'

The court heard she tried to avoid Khan as his mental health declined. But Mr O’Brien Quinn said the defendant repeatedly threatened to kill her.

He lashed out when she arrived to hand in her notice on October 9 last year, leaving her with several skull fractures and a similar finger injury.

Mr O’Brien Quinn said: 'He ran from his position at the till and selected a claw hammer from one of the aisles. He then ran after her.'

Mr O’Brien Quinn said Khan was seen by police officers in Digbeth ten minutes later - still holding the bloodstained weapon.

He said Miss Suleman had been severely affected by the attack and was still receiving counselling.

Graham Henson, defending, said Khan felt he had been rebuffed and it had been an 'explosion' of spontaneous anger.


Every identity-politics activist known to humanity is attacking Canada’s human rights museum

Last week, the Canadian Museum For Human Rights officially opened in Winnipeg — an event described by the museum’s numerous local civic boosters, PR officers, fundraisers, in-house academics, Conservative government liaisons, and commissioned coffee-table book authors as a landmark in the history of humans rights.

Unfortunately, as commentators long have predicted, the museum’s 100-metre tall “Tower of Hope” spire has been transformed into a powerful homing beacon for every single aggrieved identity-politics activist known to humanity.

These include an aboriginal band that was scheduled to play at Saturday’s public gala, but backed out at the last minute — apparently because its members didn’t like the museum’s portrayal of Canadian indigenous issues. The Manitoba Métis Federation decided to boycott the museum because the gala organizers rejected their suggested Métis musical act. Arab Canadian protestors told National Post reporter Joseph Brean that the museum didn’t have enough information about the Palestinians. (On Sunday, a Quebec man named Pete Kirby was campaigning to have Israel’s war against Hamas included in the museum — because of the suffering endured by Gazan civilians.) James Kafieh, an Ontario lawyer and chair of an anti-museum group called Canadians for Genocide Education is protesting the museum on the basis that it was built on “stolen” (i.e. aboriginal) land, and elevates one atrocity (the Holocaust) over all others, in pursuit of what he calls an “emotionally manipulative indoctrination.”

Then there is the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which has been protesting the Canadian Museum For Human Rights for a decade. Lubomyr Luciuk, who wants Canadians to boycott the museum, calls it “an Olympics of genocide.” He doesn’t like that the Jews get the gold, the Ukrainians a mere bronze.

The response of Canadian identity groups to the museum overall is perhaps best epitomized by a statement put out by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress last year, complaining that the museum’s treatment of Stalin’s forced starvation of millions of Ukrainians was fatally undercut by the fact that a panel on the subject was located too close to the public toilets. (Whose exhibit should be closest to the toilets? The Rwandans? The Cambodians? The Armenians? The Ukrainian Canadian Congress hasn’t told us.)

Over at the left-wing site Rabble.ca, meanwhile, the museum is dismissed as “a headstone, hypocrisy and a terrible waste of resources.”

“The CMHR, run by wealthy children of settlers, decided local Indigenous people’s heritage does not deserve the same respect as their own ancestors and history,” writes author Kimlee Wong. “[It is] a decision rooted in cultural superiority, arrogance and privilege … The CMHR was constructed with the same Eurocentric arrogance that stole peoples lands, food sources and eventually their children; Eurocentric arrogance that determines that their pet projects are more worthy of public funds than affordable housing and justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women.” Now there’s someone who won’t be patronizing the gift shop.

Which of these complaints from anti-museum critics have merit and which don’t? Till now, the museum has responded on an ad hoc basis — ignoring some groups, consulting with others. But surely, now that the museum is open, a more systematic approach is needed, one that recognizes the plain fact that the proper curation of human-rights-related material in a museum explicitly dedicated to the issue of human rights must itself be treated, legally, as a matter of human rights.

Fortunately, Canada already has an expert body dedicated to such matters — The Canadian Human Rights Commission. As the web site informs us, “anyone who works for or receives services from a business or organization that is regulated by the federal government can make a complaint.” That would appear to include the Museum for Human Rights, which was established by Parliament in 2008.

And so the path forward is clear: The Canadian Human Rights Commission must establish a special human-rights tribunal to address human-rights complaints pertaining to the presentation of human-rights issues at the Canadian Museum For Human Rights.

But why not go further?

If the true goal of the Canadians Museum For Human Rights is to create a “national hub for human rights learning and discovery,” as its web site boasts, shouldn’t visitors to the museum be able to file a human rights complaint at the museum itself?

The museum claims to provide visitors with “an immersive, interactive experience that offers both the inspiration and tools to make a difference in the lives of others.” What “tool” could be more “interactive” and “difference”-making than a special in-museum kiosque that invited visitor to sue the museum itself under applicable Canadian human rights law?

In special circumstances, visitors to the museum might even be permitted to sue each other — Indians versus “wealthy children of settlers,” and Ukrainians vs. Jews, for instance. Following on the 2013 Ukrainian-Canadian toilet-related protest described above, human-rights complainants at the museum might also seek injunctive relief to prevent fellow museum-goers from using the bathrooms.

Where human rights are at stake, no remedy should be off-limits.

In time, the number of successful human-rights claims against the Canadian Museum For Human Rights might become so enormous that these cases would, themselves, become the subject of an entirely new museum — the Canadian Human Rights Museum-Related Human Rights Museum. And since this, too, would be built on “stolen land,” and would necessarily include some cases and exclude others, the cycle of human rights violation, complaint, litigation and resolution would be guaranteed to blossom anew.


Britain’s Counter-Terror Raids: The End of Londonistan?

The era of Londonistan may be over. A series of dawn raids at addresses across the capital on Thursday appeared to signal an abrupt change in Britain’s policy towards the radical Islamic figures that have operated in London for years. Britain arrested nine radical Islamists in a series of dawn raids on Thursday, including a powerful imam whose acolytes tried to behead a soldier in London last year.

Among those seized by Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism officers was Anjem Choudary, Britain’s most outspoken Islamist, who said this week that he had no sympathy for Alan Henning, the latest hostage to be threatened ISIS. Choudary, a lawyer and preacher who has been linked to around 70 people with convictions for terror-related offenses, has been accused of inciting violence and working with banned pro-terror groups for more than a decade—but his public proclamations have always remained on the right side of the law.

At a briefing earlier this year, a senior Scotland Yard official explained that Choudary had been monitored intensively but his clear grasp of anti-terrorism legislation meant it would be difficult to bring a successful prosecution against him. Britain’s stance has changed, however, since it became clear that hundreds of British citizens were fighting for ISIS, including the hooded executioner seen in their most despicable videos.

On Friday, the British parliament will vote in favor of airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, reflecting a shift in the mood of the public who were previously wary of intervention in the Middle East. The authorities are also showing a renewed aggression towards extremists. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, recently proposed a change to British law so that Choudary’s extreme rhetoric would be criminalized. Meanwhile, Thursday’s arrest of nine men in London, all with alleged links to the banned radical Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, suggested a different approach to the current terror legislation.

“David Cameron and the security community see an opportunity to stamp on these people. It’s clear that the volume has been turned up,” a former government security advisor told The Daily Beast.  “There is a clear perceived national danger in letting people like Choudary get away with incitement, when there are already British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State. This is a real threat; not a worry about what might happen.”

In the hours before his arrest, Choudary took to Twitter to denounce airstrikes against ISIS.  “The war being waged by the US/UK & Co is a war against Islam & Muslims,” he wrote. “The Islamic State could not wish for a better rallying call for Muslims worldwide to join them than for the USA to start bombing again.”

Speaking to The Daily Beast about three weeks ago, Choudary insisted that none of his statements ever amounted to incitement to violence or encouraging terrorism, both of which are illegal in Britain. “I’m not encouraging anyone to do anything quite frankly,” he said. “I would never encourage anyone to go abroad, I would never encourage anyone to undergo military training.”

Many of Choudary’s former acolytes have gone on to commit, or attempted to commit, acts of terrorism, including Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo, who murdered and tried to behead off-duty soldier Lee Rigby in a daylight attack on the streets of London.

Both of those convicted killers had been seen at protests and events with members of al-Muhajiroun, which was co-founded by Choudary. According to an investigation by anti-extremist group Hope Not Hate, 75 British citizens associated with al-Muhajiroun or one of its front organizations have subsequently been convicted on terror charges or carried out suicide attacks.

“We welcome these arrests,” said Nick Lowles, chief executive of HOPE Not Hate. “Since our own extensive investigations into Anjem Choudary and his disciples, we’ve been saying that more must be done to curb this hate-supporting and recruiting organization.”

After raids on 18 properties in London and one in Stoke, a Scotland Yard spokesman said that the nine men had been arrested on suspicion of being a member of a proscribed organization, supporting a proscribed organization and encouraging terrorism.


Infertility and Incomprehension at Slate

I would like to think that if I ever wrote an article criticizing a religious body’s teaching on a subject, I would try to find out what that teaching actually is first. No such compulsion seems to have been deeply felt by Slate writers Joel Baden and Candida Moss, who attack Catholic teachings on the ethics of fertility treatments without showing the slightest interest in understanding them.

The Church opposes in vitro fertilization both because it almost always involves the destruction of human embryos and because it always, in the Church’s view, threatens to reduce human lives to the status of “products” rather than “gifts.” Baden and Moss quote Catholic officials saying that “[t]he Church promotes treatment of infertility through means that respect the right to life,” but then add this scornful gloss: “[T]hat’s the Catholic Church saying that it’s OK for women to chart their menstrual cycles.” No, it isn’t. It’s the Church saying that it’s okay to use a variety of treatments, including hormonal ones. You can agree or disagree with the distinctions the Church makes, but you shouldn’t misrepresent them.

The authors are also utterly ignorant of what “giving scandal” means in Catholic parlance. When a sinful activity is additionally objectionable because of “scandal,” it is because it is not only wrong in itself but spreads confusion about Church teaching. The authors seem to think that “scandal” is being used in a different sense, and Catholic priests who talk about it are merely trying to protect the reputation of clerics.

Probably the biggest doozy in the article is this sentence: “Though not often expressed, the default position of the church is that childlessness is an intentionally chosen state, and a sinful one at that.” Baden and Moss then claim that Pope Francis expressed this view in a June sermon. The link they provide offers no support for this contention. The pope said that married couples should not choose childlessness. He neither said nor implied that childlessness is always or usually a choice. It is baffling that Baden and Moss treat these obviously distinct propositions as if they were equivalent.

Baden and Moss continue: “Francis’s softly worded caveat about those for whom ‘children do not arrive’ makes no difference unless infertile couples out themselves to everyone they encounter.” I am sure that there are Catholics, even Catholic priests, who assume that the childless couples in their parishes have rejected Church teaching, and that this attitude can cause these couples emotional pain. It’s something pastors should address. But there is no “default position” of the Church that underwrites those attitudes.

The authors just can’t let go of their mistake. “But what happens when, despite all the faith one can muster, one remains infertile? What does this say about a person’s worth within a community that explicitly describes childbearing as a duty?” Catholicism does not “explicitly” or even implicitly describe childbearing as a duty for all couples, which is why the authors never offer any evidence for this repeated contention of theirs.

“It is unclear,” Baden and Moss write, whether the Catholic Church grasps “the specifics of modern infertility.” Such condescension is especially inappropriate coming from people who don’t know what they’re talking about.



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


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Charming multiculturalist in Oklahoma

A MAN fired from a food processing plant beheaded a woman with a knife and was attacking another worker when he was shot and wounded by a company official, police said Friday.

Police Sgt Jeremy Lewis says police are waiting until 30-year-old Alton Nolen is conscious to arrest him in Thursday’s attack and have asked the FBI to help investigate after co-workers at Vaughan Foods told authorities that he recently started trying to convert several employees to Islam.

Mr Nolen stabbed Colleen Hufford, 54, severing her head, Sgt Lewis said.

Sgt Lewis said Mr Nolen then stabbed Traci Johnson, 43, a number of times before being shot by Mark Vaughan, a reserve sheriff’s deputy and the company’s chief operating officer.

"This was not going to stop if he didn’t stop it. It could have gotten a lot worse," Sgt Lewis said.

Sgt Lewis said that Moore police have asked the FBI to aid in the investigation and look into the man’s background because of the nature of the attack, which comes in the wake of a series of videotaped beheadings by Islamic State militants.

Ms Johnson and the suspect were hospitalised and in stable condition on Friday, Sgt Lewis said. He does not yet know what charges will be filed.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections records show the suspect has multiple, apparently religious tattoos, including one referencing Jesus and one in Arabic that means “peace be with you.”

Sgt Lewis said the suspect had been fired in a building that houses the company’s human resources office, then immediately drove to the entrance of the business. Sgt Lewis said he didn’t know why the man was fired.

While all three worked at the same plant, Mr Nolen did not personally know either of his victims, Sgt Lewis told News9.

"They just happened to be in his way as he came in upset," he said.


UK: Couple singing Peppa Pig tune to toddler 'forced off bus after complaints they were being racist' because it goes against Muslim pork ban

A couple were thrown off a bus and branded racists after singing the Peppa Pig theme tune to their autistic daughter, it has been claimed.

Nick Barnfield and Sarah Cleaves were travelling with their daughter Heidi on a bus from Sheffield to Doncaster when the 15-month-old started crying.

The couple, who live in Rotherham, started singing the song in an effort to cheer their daughter up, but say they were branded racists by another passenger and told to get off the bus by its driver.

The couple claimed the woman, who they saw was wearing a hijab, took offence to the snorting sounds in the song and believed they were a reference to how pork is forbidden in Islam though this has not been confirmed.

She complained to the bus's driver, who, it is claimed, then told the couple it would be 'easier' for them to get off two miles from their home.

'We were really embarrassed, ashamed and upset and we hadn't done anything wrong, just trying to make our little girl happy, but people were looking at us as if we had done something wrong. 'It was humiliating,' said Mr Branfield. 

The 24-year-old said they were trying to settle their daughter on the X78 bus on September 8 when they were approached 'aggressively' by the woman. 'A lady came up to us and quite aggressively started telling us we were irresponsible parents and that we were being racist singing the song.'

'She went up to the bus driver and told him we were being racist towards her and she wasn’t happy. The driver came up to me and said we had to get off the bus or the police would have to come.

'He said: 'just get off the bus - it’s not worth the hassle’. I was really shocked because we had done nothing wrong but he didn't listen to us.  'He just said: "Go now, otherwise you’ll hold up all the passengers and no-one will be happy."'

'I was more upset at the bus driver not taking in both sides - he just heard the word racism and kicked us off.  'I’m annoyed he didn't listen to our side of the story or ask any questions.'

A spokesman for First confirmed the couple did get off the bus following a conversation with a female Asian passenger and the bus driver, but claimed the bus driver had no knowledge of allegations of racism.

'CCTV confirms that Mr Branfield had left the bus as he described and it does clearly show a conversation between the driver, a female Asian customer and the customer Mr Branfield who has logged the complaint with us. 'In terms of what was said we are investigating it and we're in discussions with Mr Branfield.

'We're looking at the circumstances in which he left the vehicle - I don't want to speculate about his concerns that he was asked to leave but we want to be clear from both sides what happened.

'The driver told us he heard no reference to racism but we are investigating the incident and have not yet drawn a conclusion.'

South Yorkshire Police said it was not investigating the incident. 


O Canada!

Justin Trudeau is the Canadian Left's candidate for Prime Minister -- and is just as brainless as Obama

"We have to realize that the way of thinking that got us to this place no longer holds. We have to rethink elements as basic as space and time, to go all science fictiony on you in this sense," said Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, speaking to university students in London, Ontario.

When you hear Justin saying weird things like that don't you get the vague notion that you're being played, and aren't you relieved that your children don't go to that school?

I can see some young communications dweeb at Liberal headquarters betting $20 that he can get Justin to say anything because the public thinks everything Justin says is both true and totally adorable.

The Justin Theory of Space-Time was obviously conceived entirely by Justin, but "conceived" is a strong word. In fact his theory sounds similar to the refrain from that animated character Buzz Lightyear, from the movie Toy Story. Buzz was always going "To infinity and beyond," a fun line coming from a child's toy. Of course Justin Trudeau is not, strictly speaking, a child. He is a 42-year-old man and, by all accounts, a very nice man. He also has a future in politics and, even more alarmingly, a present.

He has also developed some new theories on how the universe works, which I'm sure will make for fascinating reading in his upcoming book, The Physics of Politics: The Black Hole that Really Sucks.

Anyway, Justin seems to be rejecting the settled science pushed on us by Newton, Einstein and, more recently, Higgs. In the video he rejects the current thinking on space and time with such flair and drama that I don't need actual arguments. Is it too soon to start talking Nobel?

So why undertake this serious scientific analysis of Justin's theory of space and time? I don't want to go all science fictiony on you but right now Justin Trudeau is auditioning to become the prime minister of Canada and perhaps of some solar systems too.

Given that being PM is a serious job it is mildly interesting to know that his views on the laws of nature are, shall we say, unothodox. Perhaps at some point he'll reveal his views on the economy, the Income Tax Act or relations with Taiwan. We already know that Prime Minister Harper sees the gravity in just about every situation. Gravity is a good thing in a leader, and in a universe. Justin doesn't seem to like those laws so he's rethinking them, but in this case "rethinking" is obviously just a figure of speech.

Anyway, I may be coming around to Justin's point of view. I was rethinking space and time just yesterday, by which I mean 50 years into the future. I don't want to spoil the ending, but it works out well for the kids, though it's not without bumps.

God help us, some day Justin might be our prime minister. Don't be surprised if his first initiative is to try to repeal the law of gravity. Dark matter, anti-matter, doesn't matter -- somehow we would survive his rejection of the "thinking that got us to this place."


Black actors hit out at PC brigade after race protest shuts show about slavery: Performers reject accusations of racism

Black actors starring in a live art show featuring slaves in chains and cages hit back last night at protesters who have forced the production to be cancelled.

Exhibit B, which aims to recreate human zoos in which slaves were once displayed as museum objects, had been due to open on Wednesday night, but around 200 people blocked the entrances to the exhibition and disrupted traffic.

Artist Brett Bailey had recruited a number of people of African and Afro-Caribbean origin and arranged them as living sculptures to offer a painful reminder of the appalling history of 19th century colonialism and racial hatred.

A spokesman for the Barbican in London said it became impossible to continue the exhibit because of the ‘extreme nature of the protest and the serious threat to the safety of performers, audiences and staff’.

But the black performers have defended the exhibition and rejected accusations of ‘complicit racism’.

Actress Elexi Walker, who appears wearing a shackle around her neck, said: ‘It’s ridiculous to think I am being racist because I am involved in a piece that highlights the history of black people. The people who say that clearly have not had an informed opinion.

‘If the show had been allowed to happen people would have come into a space that was really reverent, a place where it was almost like a church in how quiet and careful it made you feel. The protesters have denied that to people of London.’

Priscilla Adade-Helledy has been called an ‘ignorant black woman’ for taking part.

She said: ‘I feel abused as a person and I feel insecure. I was part of a project that is absolutely stunning... and now I’m scared for my own safety. I don’t know how it can be seen as racist. If they had seen the exhibition they would understand it.’

Police were called to attend the demonstration on Wednesday night.

The Barbican spokesman added: ‘Given that protests are scheduled for future performances of Exhibit B we have had no choice but to cancel all performances of the piece.

‘We find it profoundly troubling that such methods have been used to silence artists and performers and that audiences have been denied the opportunity to see this important work. Exhibit B raises, in a serious and responsible manner, issues about racism.

‘It has previously been shown in 12 cities, involved 150 performers and been seen by around 25,000 people with the responses from participants, audiences and critics alike being overwhelmingly positive.’ Exhibit B was staged at the Edinburgh Festival over the summer.

A petition, initiated by Sara Myers from Birmingham, opposing the exhibition had reached nearly 23,000 signatures yesterday.

Mr Bailey said: ‘Do any of us really want to live in a society in which expression is suppressed, banned, silenced? My work has been shut down today, whose will be closed down tomorrow?’



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, September 26, 2014

Strolling in a park, a London businessman and his THREE wives - just one of up to 20,000 such multi-wife marriages in POLYGAMY BRITAIN

As a bright, eager student at Cambridge University, with one degree already under her belt, Nabilah Phillips could look forward to a successful career and comfortable future.

After completing her engineering PhD she would, perhaps, take up a coveted, highly-paid job in industry, or stay on as an academic lecturing the next generation.

Instead, however, Nabilah, now 35, took an extremely unexpected path.  She abandoned her studies, forfeiting her hard-won university place and entered a polygamous marriage, becoming the second wife of London businessman Hasan Phillips, 32 — who has since acquired a third wife.

Nabilah, her husband and his two other wives are part of a growing number of polygamous marriages taking place in Britain. They are rubber-stamped under Sharia law, which considers polygamy completely legitimate as Muslim men are permitted to take up to four wives.

It is, of course, in complete contradiction to UK law, under which bigamy is illegal and can result in a prison sentence of up to seven years.

But as such marriages are not recognised by English courts — and around 70 to 75 per cent of Muslim weddings go unregistered — those who marry under the system are not subject to prosecution.

As a result, the practice is becoming increasingly commonplace across Britain, with 20,000 polygamous marriages now estimated to have taken place here.

So what does Nabilah have to say about a marriage that would be anathema to most British women?

‘I really enjoy being in a polygamous relationship,’ she insists, her face covered with a Muslim veil, known as a niqab, at the request of her husband.  ‘We are not stupid people who are forced into this type of relationship,’ she adds, laughing.

‘I was looking for someone who had been married or was already in a marriage. I was married before, and having gone through one divorce, you kind of know what you want in marriage. So I wanted someone who already knows how to be a husband.’

Indeed, Nabilah met Hasan after signing up to a Muslim dating service — her first husband having left just days after their marriage — with the specific intention of trying to find a married man so she could become a ‘co-wife’, as such women are called.

Such is the popularity of polygamy among British Muslims that the East London-based company Muslim Marriage Event, which united Nabilah and her husband, is receiving a growing number of requests for such unions. Owner Mizan Raja says the number of people looking for such arrangements has soared in recent years.

The rise of polygamous marriage in Britain is the controversial subject of a new Channel 4 TV series, The Men With Many Wives, which shines a new light on the controversial practice.

In it, Nabilah, who has two children with Hasan — who runs an Arabic clothing business and works in a mosque in Brixton, South London — explains that she was introduced to his first wife, City worker Sakinah, 33, before they married. ‘We had tea and all that, so she was OK with the marriage. After the wedding, our relationship started developing slowly,’ says Nabilah.

Then several years later, Hasan took a third wife, Somali-born driving instructor Anub, 41, whom he honeymooned with alone. His other wives were not invited to the wedding, though they gave it their blessing.

For much of the time the wives live largely separate lives in separate houses across London, though they occasionally meet for organised family outings with their assorted children.

‘If any problem happens between co‑wives it’s usually his fault,’ says Nabilah, who now works from home running a website selling Arabic perfumes and clothing. ‘Like if he’s praising somebody too much — “Why don’t you be more like her? She’s this, she’s that.”  'If he didn’t say that, we would all be happy.’

Hasan spends three nights with each wife before moving on to the next, as he interprets treating each wife equally — a stipulation of polygamy in Islam — as meaning spending equal amounts of time with each.

One of the conditions of polygamy is that you have to be fair and just with your wives,’ says Hasan. ‘If I buy her two roses, I don’t have to buy her two roses as well; it means in terms of time.’

Having so many wives, he admits, can be as precarious ‘as balancing three spinning plates’, especially when they are all together.  ‘You have to be really careful you don’t over-show your emotion to one of them. So you can’t really relax and cuddle one of your wives.’

Polygamous marriages are a hardline interpretation of Islam not practised by all Muslims (it is estimated around 3 per cent of Muslim men worldwide take more than one wife). Yet Hasan is a convert, having switched to Islam from Christianity at the age of 16.

He now insists on his wives covering their faces with the traditional veil. ‘My wives are something to be covered and protected for me,’ he says. ‘Some people put sheets over their cars, they cover their valuables and keep them away from people seeing and desiring the things that they have.’

But it is not just religion which is apparently driving the practice. Matchmaker Mizan says women seeking a polygamous marriage usually contact him because they want security and are prepared to share a husband to achieve that. The men’s motives are — surprise, surprise — usually down to ‘high libidos’.

‘For most men who want to do polygamy, probably 80 per cent, it’s a sexually-driven thing,’ he says. ‘The number one request is for a woman with a good body, in good proportion.’

Another co-wife on the show is pretty 44-year-old Briton Shaheen Qureshi, who looks, on the surface at least, like any other married British mother. She wears glamorous clothes, costume jewellery and heavy eye make-up, and spends her time caring for her eight children and keeping up her modest home in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Yet while she dotes on her husband (they attended the same primary school and got married ten years ago), he also has another wife.

His bigamy is something Shaheen has willingly embraced. ‘I know it’s not for everybody,’ she says, speaking to the Mail at her semi-detached Bradford home this week. ‘But men are naturally polygamous, so they will probably be having a fling just to survive their marriages.

‘Women are a lot more loyal, but men have more of a roving eye, so if they’re allowed to have three or four wives, they will.

‘I’m not a jealous person, I am confident in myself. I can be a good wife. I know what it’s like to be on my own, so I don’t mind if I don’t see my husband every day.’

Her wedding was performed through a nikah — an Islamic ceremony conducted in the presence of two Muslim witnesses. While these are unregistered and unregulated by UK authorities, the ‘marriage’ is considered a binding legal contract by Muslims. But her protestations to the Mail this week that she is happy in her polygamous marriage contrast sharply with what she shows on the programme.

On the show, there is one heartbreaking moment when she breaks down in tears when talking about the sense of loneliness and abandonment she often feels when home alone with her eight children, before exclaiming she feels she has no choice but to ask for a divorce.

She continues that she is tired of living as a ‘single mum’. Hardly surprising when she has so many children.

Six of her offspring were born during her first marriage, which took place when she was just 16. She was sent to Pakistan by her strict Muslim parents to marry her first cousin in an arranged marriage. It lasted 18 years but was largely unhappy, she says. Shaheen divorced her first husband ten years ago and married her current polygamous spouse — an ‘old friend’ — very soon afterwards.

She was reluctant to name her second husband when we spoke to her this week, suffice to say he is a ‘respected’ businessman.

Naively, Shaheen says she thought this marriage would be a chance to find ‘true love’ and that she and the first wife would be friends. She even imagined jovially bickering about whose turn it was to do the washing-up and ‘hanging out like Carrie and her friends in Sex And The City.’ The reality, however, was markedly different, for her new husband’s first wife became furiously jealous.

In the ten years since her marriage, the two women have barely spoken. Relations deteriorated further when Shaheen bore two children to her husband — daughters now aged eight and two — and the situation recently reached a stand-off.  ‘She has now given him an ultimatum: it’s either me or her,’ says Shaheen.

Not that Shaheen sees much of her husband anyway. She estimates that the two have spent no more than six months together throughout their decade of marriage.

And it is not only family relations which are tough. Shaheen also struggles financially, as she does not work and it is unclear what financial support, if any, she receives from her husband or the State. Many such women, who say they don’t receive enough support from their so-called husbands, happily choose to claim benefits instead. Is this legal? Apparently yes.

Even if a polygamous husband has countless wives and an abundance of children, the women are treated just like any other single mother. In other words, they are entitled to Child Support, housing benefit, council tax benefit and any other benefits her individual situation might entitle her to.

Under British housing rules, the husband cannot possibly be registered in all the households, so he most probably can claim separate benefits, too.

If the women become unhappy and wish to divorce, they have no rights under UK law so would be entitled to no financial settlement.

But Shaheen, unbelievably, has nothing but sympathy for her husband who is, she says, under intolerable pressure from wife number one.  ‘Basically, he is a broken man. People will think he is having his cake and eating it. That isn’t the case. He is caught between a rock and a hard place. She knows he loves me. It’s really hard.’

When multiple marriages do break down, any divorce and mediation must go through a Sharia court — an estimated 85 such now operate in Britain — which often penalise women.

‘I know of Muslim women being subjected to savage domestic violence, and then refused a divorce, while their husbands are free to enter into further marriages to women from overseas,’ says Baroness Cox, a cross-bench peer and campaigner for Muslim women.

‘Sharia treats women as second-class citizens, whether in inheritance rights or divorce. A woman’s word counts for only half the value of that of a man.’

Shaheen has decided to give her husband another chance — but says that if they do divorce, she would happily enter another polygamous marriage, though next time she ‘will make sure the other women are happy for me to come on board’.

If that seems a somewhat incredible prospect, it is made all the more so for the fact that it will be facilitated and tolerated in Britain.


Rush Limbaugh’s Call Screener: ‘What Liberalism Has Done To Black Communities Is Horrific’

Rush and "Snerdley"

James Golden considers his 26 years working with Rush Limbaugh to be the greatest professional blessing he could ever imagine. Originally from Queens, New York, James met Rush while working for a major media network and hasn’t looked back since.

Most Rush listeners know James as either “Snerdley,” the call screener, or the “Official Obama Criticizer.” Golden was in Washington recently for a CURE meeting and that’s where we got the chance to sit down with him for this exclusive 30 minute video interview.

For the first half of the interview, Golden waxed passionate about race in America, and how America’s first black president has only harmed race relations in this country.

Recalling when strong, two parent families were the norm for blacks, when hard work and merit allowed blacks to rise in society, and when homicide wasn’t the major cause of the death for young black males, Golden said with genuine regret, “Isn’t it a shame that for most of black people, the good old days were the days when things were segregated legally in this country?”

He concludes, “What liberalism has done to black communities is horrific.”

Touching on the horrors of the Philadelphia black abortionist Kenneth Gosnell and the depravity in black music, Golden said that they are results of “people following the liberal ride down. They don’t care about values.”

“Al Sharpton and his bunch should be ashamed of themselves,” he said, as they have “let the issue of black life degenerate into a politically opportunistic issue.” His answer? Black people need to value their own lives and quit expecting political hustlers to solve their problems.

The Official Obama Criticizer said to listeners who are black, “There are no Republicans in your neighborhoods. The problem is the people in your neighborhood. Obama’s not coming to help you in your neighborhood unless you live in Martha’s Vineyard or have a golf course!”

On episodes such as those with Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin, Golden admits these stories touch a raw nerve for blacks who have seen police commit injustices in their neighborhoods for years. His advice for conservatives is not just to react when Sharpton or Jackson take advantage of these situations, but to build genuine relationships with black communities so that conservatives should be the first to arrive and see the truth for themselves.

Later on in the interview, Golden focuses on what brought Rush to the top of American broadcasting and how he rose from a 16 year old in music radio to media and political dominance, even with the loss of his hearing.

Golden reminded viewers that Rush came through AM radio when it was dead. He arrived on the scene before the internet, Drudge and Fox News. When Rush began, Golden recalls, “There were 125 stations with talk radio. Today, there are over 11,000.” Rush set the stage for the development of new media by fracturing the big media stronghold that used to control the news.

The threatened elites reacted by running a “campaign of hate” against Rush. Smearing him with lies and misrepresentations, one wire service even refused to correct a story when confronted with the facts, Golden said. Having plowed through these troubles, Limbaugh is now especially adept at defending others who get smeared and attacked when the left feels threatened by their message.

Explaining how Rush excels above all others, Golden said, “It’s his gift! It’s in his head. It’s down to the second. He’s a professional broadcaster like no other.”

Citing Rush’s innate ability to make the complex understandable, Golden went on to mention Limbaugh’s continuous preparation, immense intellect, voracious reading, and stunning work ethic. Beyond that, Golden said, “he’s a great businessman. But that’s another story.” On the personal side, Golden says Rush is selfless, generous and amazing. Snerdley hears firsthand the lives that are changing and the minds that are opening because of Limbaugh’s “talent on loan from God.”


France bans street prayers

A French ban on praying in the street came into force on Friday, driving thousands of Muslim worshippers in northern Paris into a makeshift prayer site in a disused fire brigade barracks, angering a small but vocal minority.

The street-prayer ban has highlighted France's problems assimilating its 5-million-strong Muslim community, which lacks prayer space, and follows a long-running controversy, fanned by far-right leader Marine Le Pen, over Muslims forced to lay their prayer mats on the streets in big cities.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant directed Muslims in Paris to temporary spaces made available pending the building of a huge new prayer space and warned that force would be used if necessary as police end their tolerance of street prayers.

Seven months before a presidential election, the ban has struck some in France as an attempt to rally far-right sympathizers to President Nicolas Sarkozy's center-right camp.

At the barracks, Cheik Mohammed Salah Hamza oversaw prayers for Muslims who had migrated from around the city. Worshippers streamed in, spreading their woven prayer mats over the floor of the hangar-like building and out into the courtyard.

"It's the beginning of a solution," Hamza told Reuters before the start of the service. "The faithful are very pleased to be here. The space, which holds 2,000, is full."

Many worshippers were also upbeat. "This will be better than rue Mryha," said one man, referring to a Paris street renowned for hosting street prayers. "Apparently, it shocked people."

Le Pen has described the growing phenomenon of praying on the streets and sidewalks as an "invasion."

In France, where a strict separation of church and state has been in force for a century, public displays of religious activity are frowned upon.

Yet efforts by Sarkozy's conservative government to restrict religious displays, such as a ban on full-face veils, have drawn criticism as empty measures that unfairly single out Muslims.

France counts the largest Muslim minority of any European country. But only a portion -- about 10 percent, or the same proportion as among Catholics -- are practicing, according to Muslim associations.

As a rule, radical Muslim voices in France are rare, but Friday's prayers in northern Paris drew a small but angry protest from a radical minority more often seen in online posts.

An hour before the first prayer young men with beards, green headbands and banners gathered on rue Myrha to discourage worshippers from moving to the new site.

"No system in the universe can control us aside from Allah," shouted one young man. "There is more dignity in praying in the grass than in their false mosque," said another.

As the prayers began, dozens of young men belonging to a group called Forsane Alizza disrupted the service with shouts of "Allahu akbar" -- "God is greatest" -- and jostled with security.


Stay-at-home mothers 'have the most worthwhile lives'

Mothers who have put their career aside to care for their children have a stronger sense that their lives are “worthwhile” than the rest of society, official figures suggest.

New findings from the UK’s national “well-being” index show that those classed as economically inactive because they are caring for a family or home are also among the happiest people in Britain.

The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, also show that people across the UK have got progressively happier, less anxious and more satisfied with their lives in the past year.

The improvement is thought to be linked to the economic recovery and falling unemployment – even if people are not necessarily better off than a year ago.

The ONS said the improvement appeared to be linked to optimism and improvements in people’s personal situations even though typical household incomes are lower in real terms.

The latest figures also suggest that the 70s are the golden decade of life, with the highest proportion of people rating their personal happiness at the top of the scale.

Meanwhile, they confirm Northern Ireland as the happiest place in the UK topping the national league tables both on a regional and local level.

Four of the five happiest local authority areas in the UK are located in the province – Antrim, Fermanagh, Omagh and Dungannon – with Babergh in Suffolk the only place in mainland Britain making it into the top five.

As part of a programme backed by David Cameron to measure the nation’s well-being, people were asked to rate their lives on a scale of nought to 10.

They were asked to do this in relation to four separate questions: how satisfied they are with their lives overall; whether they feel that what they do is worthwhile; how happy they were the previous day and how anxious they were the previous day.

The average rating for life satisfaction across the UK was 7.5 out of 10 – up 0.06 points on last year while the typical rating for feeling worthwhile also edged upwards to 7.7.

Average scores for how happy people felt the previous day also rose steadily to 7.4 while anxiety ratings fell to 2.9 on average.

The ONS also analysed the findings on the basis of personal characteristics such as people’s marital status, health, or employment situation.

When the results are broken down by work status pensioners emerged as the happiest overall, with a rating of 7.73 out of 10, but students and stay-at-home mothers or carers also scored noticeably higher than average.

But when responses to the question on how “worthwhile” people consider what they do in life to be were analysed, those looking after home or family emerged well ahead of other groups, scoring 8.03 out of 10 on average.

Overall 83 per cent of full-time parents and carers rated their sense of worth as high or very high.

Laura Perrin, a barrister turned full-time mother who campaigns from the group Mothers At Home Matter said the figures showed that government policies designed to encourage more parents to work full time could be doing more harm than good.

“This just goes to show that the idea that we are all at home depressed and unhappy looking after our own children – which a lot of politicians would like to believe – is simply wrong,” she said.

“It is clearly a worthwhile vocation, should you choose to do it.”

The group campaigns for greater recognition of marriage and traditional family life in the tax system. It argues that the Coalition’s childcare tax breaks for couples in which both parents work, penalises families in which one parent has given up work to care for the children.

“David Cameron has set his face against the more traditional set-up with a mother at home caring for her children but his own figures show that not only are they happy but they recognise their lives are worthwhile," she said.

“They are not only making their own family happy but also making a contribution to society as a whole.

“They should stop their constant campaign against the more traditional set-up”.

Dawn Snape, co-author of the report, said the consistently high happiness and life satisfaction ratings from people in Northern Ireland could not be explained in purely economic terms.

"Aren't they great?” she said.  “They're a real conundrum for us.  "Unemployment is high yet they really buck the trend – at the moment we don't know the answer to this.

“It may be down to social connectivity, a great sense of community, maybe it is down to how life is going there now compared with 15 years ago.”

"It is not clear to us yet, we need to do more (research). But it seems quite consistent that people in Northern Ireland rate their wellbeing at a very high level. They have a positive outlook



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


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Multicultural marine

A mother is being hailed a hero for saving her baby's life by placing the six-month-old in a toilet bowl, despite the fact she was dying from a gunshot wound herself.

Jessica Arrendale was holding little Cobie as she hid in the bathroom while drunken and abusive partner Antoine Davis was on a violent rampage.

The former US marine broke down the bathroom door and shot Ms Arrendale dead. Rather than falling straight to the ground, the 33-year-old mother managed to fall towards the toilet and place the baby in the bowl before collapsing on top of her.

It is believed this saved the little girl's life as Davis was unable to find her.

When police arrived at the home they found Davis had shot himself dead in Cobie's bedroom, where it is believed he went to look for the little girl.

Cobie was found in the toilet alive, but suffering from hypothermia.

"He shot her and [the police] don't know how she was able to twist her body and fall literally in the opposite direction," Ms Arrendale's mother Teresa Ionniello told local station WSB Radio. "She had pure will. She wanted that baby to live."

Shockingly, the murder-suicide in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna was also witnessed by Davis' two older daughters, aged 9 and 10, from a previous relationship.

The older girls' mother, Tamara Chesley, said one daughter told her that her father had stared at her for a "very long time" before she asked him, "Daddy, what are you doing?"

Davis then went upstairs with a gun and the daughter heard Ms Arrendale screaming and then a gunshot.

Police were called to the family's home in the early hours of Sunday September 14 responding to reports that someone was armed with a gun.

Ms Ionniello said Davis had been "belligerently drunk and abusive" on the weekend of the murder.

Ms Arrendale picked up a baseball bat to defend herself but he overpowered her and struck her with the bat, Ms Ionniello said.

Ms Arrendale then barricaded herself in the bathroom with baby Cobie as Davis went to get his assault rifle from the wardrobe.

When police arrived at the scene they evacuated nearby homes and tried to make contact with Davis. After those attempts were unsuccessful, officers forced their way into the house and found the carnage.

It is thought Cobie may have been hit with the baseball bat while her father was attacking her mother, as she also had a head injury when she was found in the toilet.

Davis had served as a marine in Iraq and was reportedly involved in a custody battle with Ms Arrendale over Cobie.

A family friend Leslie Tidwell has set up a GoFundMe page for Cobie and Ms Arrendale's 15-year-old daughter, who was not at the home at the time of the shootings.

On the page Ms Tidwell wrote: "An amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend was taken way too soon. Jessica was one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. This fund has been set up for the two children that she has left behind."

Cobie is still being treated at hospital and there are plans for Ms Arrendale's mother to take custody of the baby.


Young Black Conservative Speaks Out

By Markeece Young

Why am I a young Black Conservative Republican? All my life I have always been different. I wasn’t easy to persuade and didn’t think the same as others. People say I am an old soul. I grew up in a violent drug ridden neighborhood where it was easy to get caught up in a drug or gang culture. My mom moved us to a better safer community.

I have always been interested in history and political matters, but growing up I idolized Democrats like North Carolina native John Edwards and former President Bill Clinton. I was a strong Democrat supporter as a kid, but as I grew up I started to question the Democrat Party and why Blacks were so loyal to them. I found out that the Democrat Party was pro-slavery, pro-segregation and pro-abortion. That the Democrat Party sterilized Blacks so they wouldn’t have more children. As a child I asked why would anyone support the Democrat Party? I asked my elders they had no answers!

By the 7th grade it all changed and I read every single presidential book in the library, about 65, and I said to myself my morals and beliefs fit more with the Republican Party. During the 2008 presidential election, I knew Barack Obama was a fraud so I supported Senator John McCain (R-AZ). I was called “White” just for questioning Obama’s qualifications. In 2010, I finally became a Republican my freshman year in high school. I wasn’t really involved in any politics but on November 2, 2010 – election day and my 15th birthday – I heard about the Tea Party winners. I had always had an interest in colonial and Constitutional issues so when I saw the Tea Party patriots beating the drums, marching in the streets for liberty and freedom, I knew the Tea Party and the Republican Party was for me!

I did not get involved until 2012 and decided to come out as a black conservative and didn’t care what people said. I was a top volunteer in North Carolina at the age of 16, which was the only swing state Mitt Romney won. Today, I fight so hard to get other blacks to be independent and to think for themselves. I do a lot of youth minority engagement and broke through to lifelong Democrats which is why I believe God gave me a gift to change minds and touch hearts. This is my calling.


Don't blame my Army for the lack of black officers in combat commands

The writer is a retired soldier who wore the uniform for over 34 years

It is a well-known fact that the Army has struggled for decades trying to get more black officers to reach the highest ranks of the Army and especially the combat arms. This should be a surprise to no one.

But don't go blaming the Army for the inability to solve this issue. This is a multi-faceted problem and one which must be solved involving all aspects of American society: Army, academia, family, and community leadership.

In trying to resolve this issue the Army has gone through excruciating efforts to recruit more black officers into the combat arms. The Army has not failed, but has not made much progress. Previously, while I was in a position to observe the branch assignments of one of the Army's largest commissioning sources, it was apparent to me that there was little interest from the majority of minority men in going into the combat arms. In particular, black me were significantly underrepresented in the infantry, armor and field artillery branches. Correspondingly, the ADA, signal and logistics branches were overrepresented. As for explanations, none could be found.

In a previous life I was in a position to observe the intake of initial-entry soldiers into the Army. It became apparent rapidly that minorities of all types and black soldiers, in particular, were underrepresented in combat arms. We instituted an analysis of why and obtained no cogent results. Often we asked members of high-school academia how we could get more black men to enlist for the combat arms. They had no answer. We asked them why they thought young black men were not coming into the combat arms and their best guess, and only a guess, was that the community was sending them to where they could best obtain a skill transferrable to civilian life. Being a member of rifle squad, an M1 tank gunner, or a gunner on an M198 crew did not transfer well to civilian life, according to them.

The Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC) (circa 2009-2011) was tasked to examine this issue. You would have thought that this commission, made up mostly of active and retired black flag officers, other minorities, and women, would have taken it on. They seemed much more concerned with the issue of how to make more women four-star flag officers. They addressed the issue, scrutinized it, but admitted they had no solution. They also acknowledged that despite a higher attrition rate on black junior officers in the Army, there was no institutional bias that could account for the higher attrition. The MLDC actually just left this issue hanging like a chad in an election and continued to pursue their main purpose; finding a way to make more women senior flag officers.

Now, if you think the Army is the only service with this issue, think again. The Marine Corps has a similar issue with its combat arms, and the Air Force and Navy have the same difficulty, but within their own organizational structure.

But the issue of a lack of black senior leaders is probably greatest in the U.S. Special Forces. It is rare to see a black NCO or officer in the U.S. Army's Ranger Regiment. It is rarer to see them in the U.S. Army Special Forces. I can only remember one black senior officer in U.S. Army Special Forces at colonel or higher. There may have been more, but it is doubtful there have been many. I can't speak to the SEAL community with any real credibility, but I would be willing to bet they have at least as great a void of black representation as do the Army's Special Forces, and I would bet this is a similar area of concern for AFSOC and MARSOC.

As for solutions, I doubt there are many, if any, or the Army would have solved this 40 years ago. For sure, forced appointment to the combat arms of black junior officers will only be counterproductive. Such an action will probably result in dissatisfied officers who will either attrite themselves by going into another branch, the Acquisition Corps, or leave the Army -- or even worse, be forced to leave the Army. Being a professional and good combat arms leader is a choosing and a calling, not a result of a draft.

Over the years I have observed that the opportunity for black officers who obtain the rank of colonel in the combat arms to make general officer is significantly higher than that of their peers. So, maybe the approach to be made by the Army should be: If you want to be a field marshal, go into the combat arms. However, it is doubtful that approach will be productive in terms of increased unit effectiveness or combat readiness.

My take on this is that the Army is just going to have to endure with whatever happens. It is highly doubtful anything can be done to produce more black or other minority officers in combat arms. And guess what? The same issue, but probably on a greater scale, is going to occur with women, should the decision be made to go that direction.


I am sure he knows why but cannot safely say it:  Cowardice

The Battle Over Israel’s ‘Etzion Bloc’

While the Middle East burns and tens of thousands of corpses pile up in Syria and Iraq, Jewish residence anywhere beyond the 1949 armistice lines ––  in eastern Jerusalem, the West Bank, transfixes the attention of foreign governments. Just recall the Obama Administration saying nothing when, in March 2010, the Palestinian Authority (PA) named a public square in Ramallah in honor of blood-soaked terrorist Dalal Mughrabi –– but condemned Israel for announcing a program of building Jewish homes in eastern Jerusalem the day before.

Now, Israel has designated 988 acres in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem as state land, leading the Obama Administration to condemn this “settlement announcement” as “counterproductive to … a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians.”

Meanwhile, Obama’s “blocking back,” the faux “pro-Israel, pro-peace” J Street organization, has gone still further, urging President Obama in the pages  of the Los Angeles Times to start calling Jewish communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines “illegal.”

There is some relevant history here. In 2011, President Obama vetoed a UN Security Council resolution making this false declaration –– although that was only after he unsuccessfully attempted have the U.N. Security Council baselessly call them “illegitimate.”

Clearly, J Street is trying to push the President in a direction he’d like to go but can’t, due to legal and factual hurdles that would cost him politically to straddle, but which J Street would like to ameliorate.

Factually and legally unsound, J Street’s agitprop on this issue is simply designed to isolate and increase pressure on Israel, not defend the cause of peace that is actually unthreatened by this Israeli administrative action.

The Etzion bloc was home to substantial Jewish communities even before Israel was created. It’s widely accepted that it would be incorporated into Israel in any feasible peace treaty, should one emerge one day.

Even an anti-Israel partisan like former President Jimmy Carter has publicly stated regarding the Jewish communities in the Etzion bloc that this “area is not one I ever envision being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory.’

So why the furor? It’s not as if the designation changes the land’s pre-existing status. Since the days of the British Palestine Mandate, the land in question has always been classed as public land. Its designation as ‘state land’ merely reaffirms this, following exhaustive investigation to ascertain that such a designation was not in conflict with any private property rights.

The Obama Administration and J Street object to any process that would seem to remove any obstacle to Jews living in or building homes in these disputed territories. That is because both subscribe to the canard that Jewish residence there is –– or ought to be –– illegal.

The basis of this canard is Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits

“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not … The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Formulated in the aftermath of the Second World War to prohibit Nazi-like mass deportations and forced population transfers, Article 49 clearly holds no relevance: Palestinians are not being deported or forcibly transferred to another territory; Jews are not being deported or transferred from Israel to these Jewish communities; they are moving there freely of their own will.

Peace is presently impossible due to continuing Palestinian refusal to accept the permanence and legitimacy of the Jewish state of Israel and the terrorism, aggression and incitement to hatred and murder against Jews and Israel that flows from this –– not due to Israel duly designating state lands.

Whether one favors or disfavors Jews living in the territories, no one should falsify the law in order to indict Israel as an international violator.

Last week, Israel announced the construction of thousands of apartments in eastern Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods. If building apartments is a crime, it remains so when done for Arabs no less than Jews. Is this a logic the Obama Administration wishes to embrace? So far it seems to be saying that it is a crime for Jews, and Jews only,  to move in or build homes in these areas –– a discriminatory and absurd argument.

The Congress should explicitly repudiate this logic and the canard of illegality that underlies it, a canard, moreover, which is fueling anti-Israel and anti-Semitic agitation worldwide. A damaging lie cannot be finessed; it must be exposed and repudiated.



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