POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH ARCHIVE
The creeping dictatorship of the Left...
The Blogspot version of "PC Watch" is HERE and "Dissecting Leftism" is HERE. The Blogroll; John Ray's Home Page; Email John Ray here. Other sites viewable in China: Greenie Watch, Dissecting Leftism and Recipes. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing). See here for the archives of this site.
30 June 2005
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND THE MEDIA
This is a brief excerpt from a long psychoanalytic article about political correctness -- which sees political correctness (or Leftism generally) as an infantile rejection of the father -- where the father is identified with conventional authority and the real world generally
Media figures claim that, while they may have a certain political point of view, they can still be good journalists. I have agreed with that. All that is necessary is the recognition that one can be wrong. But if what has been called a bias is really political correctness, then the possibility of being good journalists disappears. The reason is that political correctness involves the repudiation of reality and it is inconsistent with the psychological assumptions that underlie good journalism. You can have bias and good journalism, but you cannot have both good journalism and political correctness....
For the politically correct, differences in status are regarded as illegitimate, and claims that some have earned their status by concrete achievement are dismissed as smokescreens to cover up oppression. If some have more status than others, that means that they have stolen that status from those who are of lower status. Within the ambit of political correctness, the meaningful and moral life is a project of reversing the effects of this collective crime. It means transforming the world so that those who have been deprived of status in the past are compensated with love, and those who have had more status are hated for their crime. But transforming the world, in this case, simply means transforming the way people feel. In the absence of an objective world, feelings are all there are. We can easily see the role that information media will play in this project. That will include those media previously given over to the task of journalism, but they will no longer be practicing journalism. Journalism will have died.
The reason why PC is lethal to journalism is rooted in its rejection of the idea of an objective world, an idea that PC absolutely cannot tolerate. If there were an objective world, people could legitimately gain status by achievement, by doing something beneficial in terms of our collective capacity to live in that objective world. Only through denying the possibility of achievement is it possible to reduce the world to the simple morality play of oppressors and oppressed. For this reason, the very idea that there is an objective world becomes an object of scorn and hatred. Obviously, this precludes the possibility of journalism recognizing the possibility that it has gotten the facts wrong. In the absence of an idea of an objective world, journalism could only mean the furtherance of the politically correct morality play, but that isn't really journalism at all. What is it? The answer is simple. It is political correctness, which is an end in itself....
Mary Mapes has maintained that that the forged documents meshed perfectly with the known facts about George Bush. As the Thornburgh Commission demonstrated, she is wrong about that. However, the documents certainly meshed perfectly with the fantasy she had about George Bush. That fantasy was, for her, the ultimate reality, and so it was for many others. When Dan Rather said that the documents were "fake but accurate", that is what he had in mind.....
THE CORRECTNESS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL WEAKNESS
These would-be healers of our purported woes dogmatically believe and promote the doctrine we call 'therapism'. Therapism extols openness, emotional self-absorption, and the sharing of feelings. It encompasses the assumption that vulnerability rather than strength characterises the American psyche and that suffering is a pathology in need of a cure. Therapism assumes that a diffident, anguished, and emotionally apprehensive public requires a vast array of therapists, self-esteem educators, grief counsellors, work-shoppers, healers, and traumatologists to lead it though the trials of everyday life. Children, more than any group, are targeted for therapeutic improvement. We roundly reject these assumptions.
Because they tend to regard normal children as psychologically at risk, many educators are taking extreme and unprecedented measures to protect them from stress. Schoolyard games that encourage competition are under assault. In some districts, dodgeball has been placed in a 'Hall of Shame' because, as one leading educator says, 'It's like Lord of the Flies, with adults encouraging it'. Tag is also under a cloud. The National Education Association distributes a teacher's guide that suggests an anxiety-reducing version of tag, 'where nobody is ever "out"'.
It is now common practice for 'sensitivity and bias committees' inside publishing houses to expunge from standardised tests all mention of potentially distressing topics. Two major companies specifically interdict references to rats, mice, roaches, snakes, lice, typhoons, blizzards and birthday parties. (The latter could create bad feelings in children whose families do not celebrate them.) The committees, says Diane Ravitch in her recent book The Language Police, believe such references could 'be so upsetting to some children that they will not be able to do their best on a test'.
Young people are not helped by being wrapped in cotton wool and deprived of the vigorous pastimes and intellectual challenges they need for healthy development. Nor are they improved when educators, obsessed with the mission of boosting children's self-esteem, tell them how 'wonderful' they are. A growing body of research suggests there is, in fact, no connection between high self-esteem and achievement, kindness, or good personal relationships. On the other hand, unmerited self-esteem is known to be associated with antisocial behaviour - even criminality.
Therapism tends to regard people as essentially weak, dependent, and never altogether responsible for what they do. Alan Wolfe, a Boston College sociologist and expert on national mores and attitudes, reports that for many Americans non-judgmentalism has become a cardinal virtue. Concepts of right and wrong, good and evil, are often regarded as anachronistic and intolerant. 'Thou shalt be nice' is the new categorical imperative.
Summarising his findings, Wolfe says: 'What the Victorians considered self-destructive behaviour requiring punishment we consider self-destructive behaviour requiring treatment.... America has most definitely entered a new era in which virtue and vice are redefined in terms of public health and addiction.'
More -- much more -- here
29 June 2005
HETEROSEXUALITY IS NOW SEXIST?
Post lifted from Dumb Democrat
It is oddly and disturbingly true that among American's liberal college and university elite, heterosexuality is now considered sexist. After all they claim, if you discriminate against a particular gender when picking a lover it is certainly sexist, i,e., a choice based purely on gender. I learned this new liberal truth when I asked a very dear, although sometimes misguided, friend who is a tenured liberal arts professor at a very large well know middle American university, how one selects a lover. She insisted that the choice should not be sexually discriminatory, but rather it should be based on the person.
I guess it's not hard to figure how we got to this point given that 35 years ago Gloria Steinem famously promised to revolutionize gender when she said "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." This of course was before she wrestled the demons of an abusive father to the ground, led generations of women astray, was responsible for million of divorces, 10s of millions of kids growing up in poverty, fell in love with and married a man, and before she and her colleagues convinced much of American's professoriate that the stuff about women and fish was largely correct.
As the years went by though, the professors mellowed realizing that while men may not really be needed they were, nevertheless, here, at least until biological science could find a better way to produce sperm. So, rather than treating men adventitiously (the way our gov't is treating the Sunni population of Iraq) it was better, they reasoned, to count them as in the human race (I for one am very thankful), and even worthy of love, so long as they were cooperative and it was a gender neutral love. Anything other than "neutral" was wholly unacceptable of course, because that was, of course, exactly what had led to centuries and centuries of subjugation and male domination.
In practice though most of the professors do sheepishly and eventually revert to heterosexual mating patterns that evolved over million and million of years, but they do, nevertheless, feel a solemn intellectual obligation to prove their "street creds", sisterhood, and egalitarian ideals by having a lesbian affair or two along the way. If they were children you'd write it all off to youthful indiscretion, but they are adults; adults who teach our children. They have brave and bold new ideas but manage to get themselves all confused with their mighty IQs. But that is a huge part of what liberalism is: a belief that if your huge ego can conjure it up, it ought to be reality. Sadly, all the liberal realities are very different, contradictory, and often very deadly. If we look at the great liberals of recent history: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Hussein, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, and Robert Mugabe we see very clearly that the more rapid and profound change these vast egos wanted the more millions wound up dead.
Were it not for conservative libertarian Republicans and their respect for conserving history, can anyone say how far our American liberals would go? They now have a huge gov't in place that delivers far more than the American Socialist Party of the 1920s every dreamed possible in a free country, and yet they still stand for nothing each and every election cycle but more and more concentrated power in Washington with no end in sight. They want the liberal machinery of power in place; they are psychotically attracted to it beyond all sanity simply because they perceive it as a manifestation of their huge egos. They pray one day it can be used as the vehicle or mechanism through which they can bring about the rapid and probably deadly change their massive egos compel them to seek. They are compelled to seek a comprehensive new social formula the way Einstein was compelled to seek a comprehensive new unified theory of the universe.
Lost on them are the 10 years of depression and 5 years of world war that our big gov't blundered into. Lost on them are the lies that powerful American Presidents told for the privilege of fighting in Vietnam and Iraq. Lost on them are the social welfare programs of the 60's that amounted to near genocide against the Black population they were supposed to serve. Lost on them is the Social Security program that steals 13% from every working American but gives them back far less than would have by simply putting the money in their mattresses. But, hey, that's what liberalism is: blind and huge ego totally oblivious to history. And, isn't it an odd thing in a country specifically designed by Jefferson to be free of gov't rather than to embrace an ever more powerful gov't capable of ever more deadly liberalism?
THE INCORRECTNESS OF MEN IN AUSTRALIA
Paul Black is not the sort of bloke to take to the streets in protest. But this week he did something atypical: fuelled by intense feelings of frustration, he got in his car and made the long trip from Mulgrave to Canberra to attend a two-day conference of the Lone Fathers Association. "I don't see myself as a radical, I'm not the sort who wants to go ripping out letterboxes or shouting slogans," says this new recruit to the men's movement. "But the inequalities that were there for women 20, 30 years ago are now there for men. The pendulum has swung from too many opportunities for men to too many opportunities for women."
Black has entered the organised men's movement along a well-worn path: relationship breakdown. There are up to 200 men's groups in Australia, according to estimates - and many could be called estranged fathers' groups. They bear names from Dads in Distress to the cuddly sounding Fatherhood Foundation, and typically attract men in midlife. While the groups claim a growing membership, the extent of their support is unknown. The Lone Fathers Association says it helps 30,000 men a year, but their paid-up membership is 9000 nationally. However, La Trobe University researcher Michael Flood says the number actively agitating in the men's movement would be no more than 2000.
What makes them remarkable is that they subvert the traditional paradigm of social activism in that they represent the interests of the dominant group in society. Or do they? The argument these men's groups mount, with growing political muscle, is that they are getting an unfair deal, not only when it comes to family law issues but in other areas such as men's health. There is a growing lobby for free prostate screening, boys' education - crystallised in a federal push for more male primary teachers - and even domestic violence.
In Canberra, over two days of sometimes torrid testimonials, Black, 39, took heart from the shared experiences of men who, like him, had undergone unexpected separation from their spouses. Two years ago, Black returned from work one evening to find his de facto partner had left home with their baby daughter. "She was just six months old," he says forlornly. As he clutches a "showbag" stamped with the logo of the Child Support Agency (it contained pen, pad and instructive government literature), he reveals the source of his feeling of powerlessness: "I've only seen my daughter five times since then."
Back in session, Barry Williams, the president and founder of the Lone Fathers Association, prosecutes some of the familiar themes of the men's rights movement in a mild tone sometimes at odds with the strength of his rhetoric. "Both men and women are, in fact, equally likely to be perpetrators of violence in relationships, although women are somewhat more likely to be seriously injured," he declares. He warns his membership to be on guard against "further development of an ideologically based domestic-violence industry funded by the taxpayer". "There is a very serious issue of discrimination here," he says.
It's these sorts of arguments that bother researcher Michael Flood about the growing influence of groups such as the Lone Fathers, a peak body formed 32 years ago around the time the Family Law Act was established. The group is now federally funded.
This week's conference attracted two federal cabinet ministers - Family Services Minister Kay Patterson and Attorney-General Philip Ruddock - to Wednesday's opening. Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward spoke the next day.
Flood does not dismiss serious issues men contend with: old certainties have been swept away as women's roles have changed. He has researched the intensity of the loneliness felt by many men. The loneliest men of all, a survey published this year concludes, are sole fathers rearing children. More generally, when males hit midlife they feel most isolated, especially if they live alone. Yet Flood believes a more nuanced approach is needed than simply railing against domestic-violence programs. "We need to address men's pain in these areas, but without blaming women or putting children at risk," he says. "Yes, men can now cry on TV, but the institutionalised power relations between and among men and women have hardly gone away."
Eva Cox, who was at the barricades as a founding member of the Women's Electoral Lobby, believes men's rights groups are making the mistake of using some of the oppositional "victim strategies" that women once deployed but which, in retrospect, did not necessarily serve them well. "They are blaming a lot of what's going wrong on women for taking things away," she says. "But we are not running the world, sorry. Where are the female law partners? Where are the female senior surgeons? . . . If you are looking for men in primary schools, tip them all out of the principals' offices." While citing the continuing disparity between men and women's pay - for every dollar men earn in full-time work, full-time women earn 85 cents - Cox is not unsympathetic to the plight of low-skilled men, many of whom have lost the opportunity to do their fathers' and grandfathers' jobs.
Economist Bob Gregory has tracked the impact of the decline in manufacturing on men's income. In 1982, about 500,000 men of working age were on welfare. Now, there are about a million men on benefits and the job boom over a period of apparently unprecedented prosperity has barely reached them.
Monash University demographer Bob Birrell, who conducted a study of the clients of the Child Support Agency - which has 90 per cent of Australia's separated parents on its register - concludes that most separated fathers come from the ranks of the poor and low-paid. "Marriage is closely associated with the resources men can bring into a relationship," he says. In a separate study on partnering, Birrell found the greatest decline in partnering rates in Australia was among low-income men. "Blokes in their 30s and 40s who are on low incomes and are not partnered are in a diabolical situation," he says.
Paul Black, who made the lonely journey back from Canberra yesterday, counts himself luckier than some of his contemporaries. He has a stable trade as a plumber, but the loss of his daughter and relationship has left him deeply confused. "Towards the end, we were fighting about the housework," he says. "But I thought there were two roles there: she didn't work, so she was the homemaker and mother. I was supposed to be the provider and father."
28 June 2005
(Post lifted from Bacon Bits)
I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself… I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.
Roger Baldwin (1884-1981). Founder, The American Civil Liberties Union
Think of that for a second. This is the founder of the ACLU speaking. I'm unwilling to let leftist elites claim that this quote is being taken out of context, that the ACLU stands ultimately for anything other than Baldwin's Weltanschauung. Just look at their actions, which speak louder than any of their mission statements. A key way that the ACLU's actions resonate with godless Communistic goals is in its systematic efforts to remove Christianity from the American public square.
Balance their efforts to thwart religious free speech for Christians with an example of their inaction. From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, this Letter to the Editor from 19 June 2005 says it all:
Has anyone wondered why the ACLU has not filed a suit to stop the government from paying for Qurans and prayer rugs for Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay?
If the government were paying for Bibles and rosary beads, the ACLU would be raising hell.
I think this demonstrates that the ACLU is not really concerned about the separation of church and state (in this case, mosque and state). It is concerned only about the influence of Christianity, because it knows Christianity stands in the way of its real goal, the same goal of other leftists, which is the supremacy of the state.
Frank Haller Scott
Rank hypocrisy? It sure is. Isn't it comforting to know that your tax dollars are supporting the ACLU.
There is now legislation before Congress that, if passed, could severely limit the hypocritical ACLU's ability to erode our nation's Christian heritage. Look into the Public Expression of Religion Act (PERA) of 2005 -- House bill HR 2679. If this bill is passed and signed by the President, PERA would eliminate the awarding of federal taxpayer funds to the attorneys for plaintiffs in Establishment Clause challenges to the 1st Amendment. These cases are taken by the ACLU (and others) pro bono for the express purpose of gaining these federal funds.
If the awarding of federal funding is removed, the number of these lawsuits which lead to the removal of our public expression freedoms might decrease. Regardless, if the ACLU and other organizations are so devoted to these causes, they should prosecute them with their own funds, not at taxpayer expense.
MORE ON THE ACLU: POLYGAMY
Socialists want to tear down existing society. The ACLU is in the forefront of that:
In a little-reported speech offered at Yale University earlier this year, ACLU president Nadine Strossen stated that her organization has "defended the right of individuals to engage in polygamy." Yale Daily News says Strossen was responding to a "student's question about gay marriage, bigamy, and polygamy." She continued, saying that her legal organization "defend[s] the freedom of choice for mature, consenting individuals," making the ACLU "the guardian of liberty ... defend[ing] the fundamental rights of all people."
The ACLU's newly revealed defense of polygamy may weaken the pro-homosexual argument for changing the traditional definition of marriage. Proponents of same-sex "marriage" have long insisted that their effort to include homosexual couples in that definition would only be that. However, conservative and traditional marriage advocates predict "other shoes will drop" if homosexual marriage is legalized -- perhaps including attempts to legalize polygamy and to changed current legal definitions of child-adult relationships.
Crawford Broadcasting radio talk-show host Paul McGuire concurs. He says in his opinion, the ACLU "has declared legal war on the traditional family." "Now the ACLU is defending polygamy," he continues, in response to Strossen's comments. "You know, there are male and female lawyers who wake up in the morning and are actually proud of being ACLU lawyers. But I think the majority of Americans view ACLU lawyers as people who hate America and who want to destroy all Judeo-Christian values and beliefs." McGuire summarizes by saying that Strossen's organization seems "to only defend things that tear down the fabric of society."
HAS LEFTIST CORRECTNESS PASSED ITS PEAK?
Excerpts from a review of Brian C. Anderson's "South Park Conservatives"
As time passed an odd transformation occurred: the Puritans were now all on the left. Dour, humorless, self-righteous, eager to use the coercive power of the state to impose ideological orthodoxy, so-called "liberals" and "progressives" had become enemies of freedom. These days the humorless, repressed enforcers of rigid standards of behavior are the politically correct professors and media pundits, the dour feminists ("That's not funny!"), the race-tribunes, and the identity-politics hacks that monitor the media and popular culture for any deviations from the party line of liberal dogma, multiculturalism, and victim-politics.
The champions of freedom, in contrast, today are more likely to be found on the right, where one can find diversity of thought, freewheeling discussion, impatience with orthodoxy, a commitment to individual freedom, and anarchic humor. And, as Brian Anderson documents in his fast-paced, entertaining analysis of how conservatism has flourished in recent years, the result has been the weakening of the liberal dominance over the media and popular culture.
Anderson starts with a quick survey of "the old media regime," as he calls it, and its propensity for selecting and shaping news to suit its liberal biases. In the Reagan years, for example, the media depictions of what they called a "homeless" person "looked like your hard-working family-man neighbor, suddenly, catastrophically down on his luck because of a bad economy and a lack of 'affordable housing,' not the drug-addled, gibberish-spouting, fist-waving deinstitutionalized lunatic he was likely to be in the real world." So too with abortion: supporters are rarely called "liberal," but opponents are regularly tagged as "conservative." Pro-life protests get scant coverage, even though a 2003 survey found 51% of women either don't support abortion at all or do so only in cases of incest and rape.
More recently, the coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with its emphasis on civilian and U.S. casualties and setbacks, has reflected the media's liberal prejudices. At the same time the U.S. army was achieving one of the swiftest victories in military history, "the elite press proclaimed imminent U.S. defeat, trumpeted every purported injustice or error committed by our troops, and, Cold War-style, even sympathized with the enemy." Coverage of antiwar protests, most of which have been coordinated by leftist if not outright-Communist organizations, was as "indulgent and celebratory" as coverage of the war was grim and critical. Worse, the coverage implied a greater support for the protests than actually existed: "In thirty-eight different stories on antiwar street demonstrations, CNN noted only once that most Americans did not support the protestors' views." And of course, popular culture has been as biased liberally as the media, demonizing businessmen, Christians, and conservatives even as it celebrates and approves sexual deviancy and heathenism.
The liberal-leftist monopoly over media and popular culture has fostered as well what Anderson calls "illiberal liberalism," "an ugly habit of left-liberal political argument to dismiss conservative ideas as if they don't deserve a hearing, and to redefine mainstream conservative views as extremism and bigotry." Many liberals and leftists are enabled in this addiction by a media that seldom calls them on their use of question-begging epithets like "racist," "sexist," "homophobic," and "insensitive" in order to avoid serious debate and defense of their ideas. Thus reasoned debate, the lifeblood of participatory government, is excluded from much of the public square, and politics degenerates into a quasi-religious obeisance to ideas and values no matter how worn out or pernicious.....
For me the best part of the book is the chapter on "South Park Anti-Liberals." The raunchy, foul-mouthed, frequently vulgar show on cable television's Comedy Central provides some of the most devastating puncturing of liberal pretensions and smug self-satisfaction.....
The popularity of such shows among the young has contributed to what Anderson calls in his last chapter "campus conservatives rising." From being non-existent or nearly invisible on college campuses a decade ago, conservative students have increased their numbers and become much bolder at challenging their professors and college administrators on hot-button issues such as affirmative action and abortion. College Republican groups, for example, have tripled in just six years, with 120,000 members (compared to 100,00 College Democrats). And surveys of student attitudes find a corresponding increase in conservative and libertarian views among college students, a change reflected as well in the increasing numbers of conservative college newspapers. Anderson also rightly credits organizations such as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which since 1953 has fostered and supported conservative ideas in higher education. Thanks to ISI and other groups such as the Students for Academic Freedom and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, "the Left's hold on academe is beginning to loosen," as Anderson writes. The consequence will be the creation of the intellectual diversity that universities are supposed to promote, but have sacrificed in the last few decades to a rigid ideological conformity harmful both to democratic politics and to the development of a critical mind....
Anderson ends with some salutary caution about thinking that the culture war is over and the left has lost. Yet all the trends are in the right direction. Mainstream media can no longer get away with partial or biased reporting, now that cable news alternatives and Internet blogs are around to monitor them. And the fact that these days liberal dogma is the elite authority in schools means that the rebellious and populist inclinations of young people will be focused precisely on the those smug and sanctimonious authorities. The net result will be to compel the liberal-left "to reexamine, argue, and refine its positions, so many of which have proved disastrously wrong, and stop living off the past. It's hard to imagine that this development won't result in a broader, richer, deeper national debate." And in a greater scope for the liberating power of truth.
27 June 2005
FREE SPEECH UNDER SERIOUS THREAT IN BRITAIN
More on the British government's religious hatred bill
The UK government's new bill to outlaw incitement to religious hatred scraped through the House of Commons on Tuesday night, but outside that hallowed hall the debate continues. Members of Parliament - led by the Lib Dem Evan Harris - have lined up alongside comedians, lawyers, writers and artists, as well as organisations such as the National Secular Society and Liberty, to attack this proposed law.
This bill poses a serious threat to free speech. You could be banged up [jailed] for seven years should anything you say be heard by 'any person' in whom your words are 'likely to stir up...religious hatred'. We should be free to criticise, insult or even to hate whomever we please. Criticisms may be rude or wrong - in which case others have a right to ignore them, or to take them up in the court of public opinion.
'There is no right not to be offended', said Liberty's Shami Chakrabarti earlier this week. 'Religion relates to a body of ideas and people have the right to debate and denigrate other people's ideas.' Do we really want a society in which we tiptoe around one another, rather than argue face to face? At a speech at the House of Commons on Monday, comedian Rowan Atkinson said: 'Is a tolerant society one in which you tolerate absurdities, iniquities and injustices simply because they are being perpetrated by or in the name of a religion, and out of a desire not to rock the boat you pass no comment or criticism? Or is a tolerant society one where...one is encouraged to question, to criticise and if necessary to ridicule any ideas and then the holders of those ideals have an equal right to counter-criticise, to counter-argue and to make their case?'
Today, this is an unpopular - even offensive - opinion. Minding your language and taking care not to step on anybody's toes is now the done thing. Few people will stick up for the rough-and-tumble of a good public argument, where two sides try to take each other apart. Even the genteel jousting of MPs is now seen as 'too adversarial' and liable to put the public off politics.
Indeed, many commentators argued that the religious hatred bill doesn't go far enough. The British Humanist Society asked the government to also protect people with non-religious beliefs, because 'some atheists, like some Muslims, live in fear of abuse and physical attack, and this is equally unacceptable'. And they got what they wanted: 'religious hatred' is defined in the bill as refering to somebody's 'religious belief or lack of religious belief'. This points towards an endless series of new laws, criminalising incitement to hatred on the basis of your sexuality, sex, region, perhaps even your football team or taste in clothes. Every interest group fights to get special protection from the 'hatred' of others.
The government assures that the law won't be used to stifle free expression. It insists that there are a series of safeguards - such as every case being approved by the attorney general - which means that respectable comedians and writers won't end up in the dock. Quite rightly, Atkinson is far from reassured: '[The government] can come to someone like me and say: "Really, you've nothing to worry about, you arty people...you'll be fine, we're not after you, we're after those nasty people in the North, the BNP etc".' But why should anybody trust the attorney general to do the right thing? 'Huge latent power will be lying dormant, just waiting to be abused for political ends', notes Atkinson.
Lawyers say that the law is far too vague to be able to judge its implications. Alastair Brett, legal manager at The Times (London), says that 'the bill doesn't define what constitutes the offence. It's left up to the attorney general whether to prosecute, then we have to wait and see what the judge says'. As a news lawyer, he believes that this will have a 'chilling effect on free speech', as editors and columnists will be forced to reconsider their choice of words. Home Office press officers may insist that the law will be interpreted in a particular way, but it's up to the courts, not them.
In any case, this new law is intended to curb speech. According to the National Secular Society, in a private meeting last week Home Office minister Paul Goggins said that part of the point of the bill was to make people think twice before they speak.....
The law against incitement to racial hatred could also be used to suppress opinions that people find unpleasant. However distasteful the likes of the British National Party, they have a right to speak. And because we are competent adults, it should be up to us, not lawyers, whether or not we want to listen to them. The best way to deal with prejudiced views is to have them out in the open, and expose their idiocies for all to see. If they are silenced, racists get to take the moral high ground.
As for racially and religiously aggravated offences, why should they be singled out? It would be better for the law to judge a person's deeds - that he hit somebody over the head, or vandalised someone's car - not the thoughts that were going through his head when he did it. That way lies thought crime, where we are punished for our intentions, not our acts. It means an ever-broader range of behaviour being classified as criminal.....
MOTHERS' DAY INCORRECT
Since Mothers' day could not conceivably hurt anyone, this instance is a crystal-clear example of the real purpose of political correctness. Its purpose is not to help anyone but to destroy what normal people do as far as possible. It is based on hatred of normality and normal people
A pre-school in Maryland has lost at least one customer after a student's father working on the school's newsletter was told he must change a "Happy Mother's Day" greeting in the publication to "Happy Parent's Day."
David Becker of Kensington, Md., had a 3-year-old son at the Kensington Forest Glen Children's Center, which is overseen by the umbrella organization Montgomery Child Care Association. "My wife and I have always been very involved with the school and with the teachers," Becker told WND. The trouble began when Becker, while typing the newsletter, changed a hand-written greeting from "Happy Parent's Day!" to "Happy Mother's Day!" After submitting the final draft, a teacher contacted Becker and said the greeting would have to be changed back to "Happy Parent's Day!"
Becker says originally it was one of the teachers who talked to him about the issue. When he asked why, he says he was referred to an administrator. Becker said he was told: "We cannot say 'Mother's Day' because we might exclude someone." "I was confused," Becker told WorldNetDaily. "Everybody has a mother. Not everyone has a mother who is alive, but everyone has a mother." Becker then asked the administrator: "Who would we be offending on Mother's Day?" The response: "What about families with two fathers?" Becker then asked about Father's Day. He says he was told: "You can't say 'Father's Day' either."
Retorted Becker: "You are insulting all the parents - the mothers, the fathers, the two-mother families, the two-father families - you're insulting all of them." The administrator responded, according to Becker: "That's our policy." Becker says the Mother's Day incident was the "straw that broke the camel's back" and says he won't be sending his son back in the fall. "I tell the school they can white-out my disrespectful words and my child's registration for the fall semester," Becker wrote in a Washington Post feature called "Life is Short, Autobiography as Haiku." Though many of the teachers at the school are immigrants from other countries, Becker said, they are fully acclimated to such traditions as Mother's Day and Father's Day and have no problem with them.
Chris Giovinazzo is executive director of the nonprofit Montgomery Child Care Association, which oversees eight children's centers in all. "It's not a policy that we don't allow the children or staff to celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day," she told WND. Rather, Giovinazzo explained, it's up to each individual teacher to decide based on the make-up of each class.
MORE DISCRIMINATION AGAINST CHRISTIANS
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which specializes in constitutional law, today filed a federal lawsuit against Eastern Illinois University after a nurse who was working at the University's Health Services Department was not promoted because of her pro-life beliefs and her objection to dispensing the morning-after pill. "It is not only wrong to deny an applicant a position based on her religious beliefs, it is a violation of the law," said Francis J. Manion, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ, which is representing the nurse. "There appears to be a systematic pattern in place in the state of Illinois designed to punish pro-life health care professionals who merely want to fulfill their professional obligations without violating their religious beliefs. This hostility toward pro-life health care professionals is very troubling and we are confident that the court will uphold the constitutional rights of our client in this case."
The ACLJ today filed suit in U.S. District Court in Urbana, Illinois on behalf of Andrea Nead, who has been employed as a part-time nurse at the Health Services Department of Eastern Illinois University since 2000. When a full-time position became available in October 2004, Nead applied for the promotion. She was asked a number of questions including whether she would be willing to dispense the morning-after pill. Nead told the interviewer that the morning-after pill violates her religious beliefs because she believes it is a form of abortion by preventing a newly conceived human life from implanting to the uterine wall. The complaint contends that the interviewer told Nead that another applicant - who eventually was hired for the position - did not oppose dispensing the morning-after pill. The complaint contends that the decision not to hire Nead was based on her religious beliefs regarding the morality of dispensing the morning-after pill.
The suit names as defendants the Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University and the Director of Health Services for the university. The suit contends the denying Nead the promotion violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suit requests a trial by jury and unspecified damages. The suit comes just weeks after the ACLJ filed a lawsuit in state court challenging an amendment to the state code issued by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich that requires pharmacists to dispense medication even if filling the prescriptions violate their conscience and religious beliefs. The ACLJ represents six pharmacists in that case.
The ACLJ has had success in protecting the rights of pro-life health care professionals in Illinois in the past. In 2003, the ACLJ filed a federal suit against the DeKalb County, Illinois Health Department on behalf of a health department employee who was denied a promotion because she expressed reluctance to participate in abortion counseling at the center. The case was resolved after an agreement was reached and the county paid $40,000 to settle the employee's claims.
26 June 2005
WHEN HATE IS VERY CORRECT
When it is hatred of America. And since America-hate is rife in American universities, it would be idle to expect less in the universities of other countries. Nonetheless the haters described below are presumably the same people who condemn racism as being a narrow and ignorant overgeneralization and tell us that people must not be abused or made to suffer just because they are members of some minority group! Given American voting patterns, about half of the American students concerned probably don't like George Bush very much either but that does not hold back the Left from their narrow and ignorant overgeneralizations.
American students are quitting Queensland universities in the face of hate attacks by Australians angry at US President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. One university has launched an investigation into claims an American student returned to the US after suffering six months of abuse at a residential college in Brisbane. American students have told The Sunday Mail the verbal attacks are unbearable and threatening to escalate into physical violence. Griffith University student Ian Wanner, 19, from Oregon, said abusive Australian students had repeatedly called him a "sepo" – short for septic tank. "It is so disrespectful. It's not exactly the most welcoming atmosphere here," he said.
The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission has described the abuse as "horrible" and says it could be classed as racial vilification. The abuse problem is so prevalent that US students are being given formal briefings before leaving home on how to cope with abusive Australians. Mr Wanner said even female Australian students were verbally abusive. He warned the problem could "escalate into a very large brawl". "There has already been confrontations between people," he said.
A female American student from Griffith, who wished to remain unnamed, said she had met some "exceptional" people in Australia – but was leaving this month in shock over her treatment. She said she was desperate to go home after the slurs, which also spilled over at pubs in central Brisbane. "They basically picked on me," she said. "At first, I thought it was a joke. Then I just had it out with them and told them I came here to be treated respectfully. "I have had a few incidents in bars. I had a guy and he heard my accent and he said: 'I hate your president. I hate your country.' "
Another Griffith student has already returned to the US after enduring six months of abuse at the university's residential college in Brisbane. All the students received counselling before arriving and were warned of the backlash against the US. They said they were advised not to carry any items that would identify their nationality.
A postgraduate American student at the University of Queensland's St Lucia campus, in Brisbane's west, has also complained to the Australian-American Association of being "persecuted" and subjected to "name-calling" by Australian students.
Another American studying at UQ said attitudes towards him were "scary". "It's unbelievable," he said. "It's been war. People are scared. It is hard to be an American in Australia at the moment, it is really hard. It varies with different people, but you have to be quiet and try not to draw attention to yourself."
Australian-American Association state president Marylou Badeaux said anti-American sentiment had reached a climax over the war in Iraq. She said attacks from the general public were mostly sedate – but had grown into open hostility at several Queensland universities. In some cases, US students and academics were being "persecuted" for merely having an American accent. "They are taking it out on people who may or may not agree but just because they have an American accent, they are being persecuted," she said. Ms Badeaux said long-time US residents in Australia noticed attitudes towards them fluctuated with US Government policy. "It all depends on what the policies of the US government are at the time," she said.
Queensland Anti-Discrimination deputy commissioner Neroli Holmes said the alleged labelling of students as "sepos" could be classed as racial vilification under anti-discrimination laws. Racial vilification included public comment which incited hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule of a person or group based on race or nationality. "It sounds quite horrible," Ms Holmes said.
Griffith University spokeswoman Nicola Collier-Jackson said an investigation had been launched into the American abuse claims. She said the university had a zero-tolerance policy to harassment. "We don't accept it at all. We will investigate it. We need to get to the bottom of it," she said.
The Colorado-based Australearn organisation – which teaches "cultural adjustment" to US students before they come to Australia – started warning in January of attitudes towards Americans over Iraq. Australearn's Australian director, Shelia Houston, said the briefings aimed to give American students "coping strategies" in the face of an attack. She said some students suffered culture shock because of the belief that everyone loved Americans. "We are giving them the heads up that it is a bit more heated because of the war in Iraq," Ms Houston said.
HOMOPHILIC INSURANCE COMPANY ATTACKS CHRISTIAN
A former manager with Allstate has sued the insurance giant, alleging the company, which financially supports homosexual advocacy groups, fired him solely because he wrote a column posted on several websites that was critical of same-sex marriage and espoused his Christian beliefs. J. Matt Barber was a manager in Allstate's Corporate Security Division, its investigative arm, at the Fortune 100 company's headquarters in Northbrook, Ill. Besides working for the insurance provider, Barber was and is a professional heavyweight boxer, a jazz drummer and a Web commentator. His columns have appeared on TheConservativeVoice.com, MensNewsDaily.com and others.
Though the column in question was written and posted in December, it wasn't until Jan. 31 that Barber was called into a meeting with two Human Resources officials, one of whom Barber says "slapped down" a printed copy of the column in front of him and asked if he had written it. Recognizing the piece, Barber confirmed he had written it on his own time, at his home and on his own computer. Barber claims he was told, "Here at Allstate we have a very diverse community."
Barber says the Human Resources assistant vice president told him the column didn't reflect Allstate's view and that he was suspended with pay. Barber was immediately ushered off company grounds - "which was humiliating," the former employee said. "I explained to Allstate that the article was a reflection of my personal Christian beliefs, and that I had every right to both write it and to have it published," Barber told WND. "I further explained that I had written the article while at home on my own time, that I never mentioned Allstate's name and that I neither directly nor indirectly suggested that Allstate shared my Christian beliefs or my views on same-sex marriage."
Three days later, on Feb. 3, Barber, who had worked for Allstate for five years, says he got a call informing him he was fired "for writing the article," he said. Now, with the help of the Christian Law Association and David Gibbs III, who represented Terri Schiavo's family in the final weeks of her life, Barber is challenging Allstate in federal court. According to an investigation by the state of Illinois' Department of Employment Security related to Barber's claim for unemployment benefits, an organization - likely a "gay"-rights group - complained to Allstate about the column. But how did the group connect Barber to the insurance company? It turns out one site that posted the column, MensNewsDaily.com, added to the bio line on the article the fact that Barber worked for Allstate. Barber says he did not include that fact in the original column submission but that the site "disclosed that without my knowledge or consent." According to Barber, he is somewhat well-known in the boxing field in Chicago, and Allstate would sometimes tout the fact that he worked for the company. The columnist told WND even if he had included a reference to Allstate in his bio, "I wasn't intimating that I was representing Allstate or that these were the views of Allstate."
Barber stressed to the unemployment office that he did not intend for the affiliation to be included in the bio. Allstate argued to the agency that Barber should not be given unemployment, but upon investigation, the agency agreed with Barber's contention and ruled he was entitled to the money. Said the agency's report: "The claimant was discharged from Allstate Insurance Company because an outside organization had complained about an article he had written while on his own time." The state agency also ruled Barber did not engage in misconduct, saying, "The term misconduct means the deliberate and willful violation of a reasonable rule or policy of the employer. . In this case, the claimant's action which resulted in his discharge was not deliberate and willful."
In the commentary piece, which Barber refers to as "the article that got me fired," he makes several arguments against same-sex marriage. Wrote Barber: "Marriage between one man and one woman, and the nuclear family have forever been cornerstones of civilized society. Regrettably, there are at present, many within the militant homosexual lobby who wish to take a sledge hammer to those cornerstones - many who hope to undermine both the historical and contemporary reality of marriage and family - many who, through judicial fiat, aim to circumvent the Constitution, the legislative process, and the overwhelming will of the people in an effort to redefine marriage. Accordingly, the unsolicited, oxymoronic and spurious expression 'same-sex marriage' has been forced into popular lexicon." ....
Barber - known in the boxing world as Matt "Bam Bam" Barber - says Allstate has a decidedly "pro-homosexual" philosophy, requiring employees to undergo "diversity training" and offering domestic partnership benefits. The training, Barber says, "is really indoctrination hostile toward thousands of employees' Christian beliefs."
The insurance company's foundation has donated money to homosexual-advocacy organizations, including the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund. A notice about the Allstate foundation says funds are given to "nonprofit organizations that are related to tolerance, diversity and inclusion."
Barber says he hopes consumers who hold traditional values will stop patronizing Allstate. Addressing those who do, Barber said, "You are helping to support an organization that brazenly and illegally discriminates against religious employees who do not blindly and silently toe the extremist, liberal line on official company policy - policy that is not just overtly pro-homosexual, but is demonstrably anti-family."
Gibbs is the lead attorney on the case. "To have Fortune 100 companies like Allstate firing people for expressing their sincerely held religious beliefs and even their personal viewpoints on their own time demonstrates just how out of kilter things have gotten," Gibbs told WND. "Allstate aggressively pushes and promotes the homosexual agenda in the name of tolerance, but the minute someone speaks up with what would be considered the traditional moral-values viewpoint, the tolerance disappears and it results in a termination."
Gibbs rhetorically asked if Allstate would take the same action against someone who put forth a pro-homosexual viewpoint. "The answer is absolutely not," he said. "The tolerance is only running one way." Such discriminatory action violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Gibbs contends.
HUGE LOSSES OF FREE SPEECH HAVE CREPT UP ON US
In our country today we have to be very cautious as to what and how we say things for fear of "offending" someone. I can remember a time when if a person was "offended" he either moved on or took it in stride. Today we have to be mindful of what we say and how we say it. When I think of this, I realize that our very freedom has been compromised. If I say what I want to say and it "offends" someone, I am considered a criminal or a racist. At one time in this country, it did not matter if you spoke your opinion and it "offended" someone or some group, either they challenged you or just accepted it. It is our right to express our opinion according to Gods law and especially according to the First Amendment.
Present days have seen this basic freedom eroded to almost nothing. We watch what we say and are very meek around others so as to not insult them. Only 34 years ago, it was upon the very right we now hide that made our country make this drastic turn. In the 1970's, we made comments about and to others without fear of being "politically incorrect" or offensive. We could call a pot black if it was black. Today we cannot do this without first consulting with a higher authority to see if the words we use are generic enough to cover everyone without offending anyone. As a once great nation, we have failed the test of time by reverting back to being afraid of saying something that could be construed as being wrong or hateful.
How did we get to this beleaguered point of false history and "politically correct" ideas? To answer this we as a nation need only to look back and see how we went to the polls and cast our votes. It was not until recent elections that the majority remained silent and did nothing since it did not matter unless it hurt them as an individual. Only certain groups stood together and fought for what they wanted even when the majority wanted otherwise. We as a people did not do anything and we, as a people allowed our country to become a country ruled by the minority not the majority. Now even our children suffer the paranoid state of our fears. We see that a girl was arrested for having a pair of scissors in her school bag. How sad is this when the scissors are claimed to be a weapon? We have come down to the state of ignorance in these situations now. We have allowed this to happen and now even our children are not safe from our over zealous actions to be safe. Our freedoms have fallen by the wayside and we now live, as the terrorists have wanted, in fear. We have given up our sense of trust for safety that now has tread upon our children....
I am going to become "politically INCORRECT", here, I wonder why is it that groups, mostly the minorities can gather together by themselves and no other ethnic or racial group and it is all right? Yet if, a group of white people gathers together for whatever reason, it becomes a racist trend, why? I think the answer is rather simple. It seems that these groups cannot gather the publicity it wants and needs to get monies without crying racist. If a man were to begin a group for whites only to celebrate the birth of Christ, it would be called a racist meeting, yet if any minority did the exact same thing, it is a cultural thing. Why does this have to happen? I have had the opportunity to speak with a couple of black people from Europe and they often ask why does the American black use African-American? I plainly told them that it was just a way for them to claim to be discriminated against. Their response to that was as basic as anything I have ever heard, "They do not have to do that, they can always claim their color, why do anything else?" At this point I simply shrugged my shoulders since I could not debate or argue what they stated...
We have lost our way as a nation and each day that goes by we come closer to a socialistic government then ever before. We try and show that everybody is equal while the reality is that no one is equal, everybody is totally different from the other. We keep bringing up the idea that everyone has equal rights, this cannot be true. If everyone had equal rights, then there would not be rich and poor people. We all have the right to live, the right to die, but in-between their we have different rights. How can I say this? It is very simple to see. If I had money, I would have more rights than a poor person because I could buy more, I could influence more people, I could actually buy what I wanted. The poor person has to work for what he wants, he cannot just go out and buy what he wants, he has to earn it. In this light, how could we possibly be equal? How could we conceivably have equal rights? We are all given the opportunity for a better education, and today those chosen groups have a greater advantage to get a higher education. Some of us take advantage of this while others do not. How can a tire repairman even consider himself equal to a doctor? It is just not so. First of all, he does not have the same education, second, he does not have the same background, and third, he could not do what a doctor does. No two people are equal, something about them is different and that is what makes us ALL unequal. That is what makes us individuals and that is what makes the world go around.
Our news media almost tell us what to do and how to do it. If they think it is bad, they make a big production out of it. If a man does something the news media believes will make it high in standings, it will be news, even if it is bad. The news guides the people to harbor the opinion of the news show. The media sets up its program to show what is bad and what is good. The biggest trouble with that is the media has a tendency to be biased in its approach to the "news". If it does not get ratings, the news has no meaning. If the ratings are high due to the so-called controversy of the subject, the media places their spin on the coverage. If a certain group comes out in large numbers, the media will break its neck to make sure it covers the event. If an opposing group stands on the side in silence, the media briefly shows them and does not mention it much. Yet if that opposition group holds a rally and the other group comes in yelling and cursing, then the media covers it and will go as far as giving background support for the anger. It is at this point that the media becomes very biased and it uses that bias to control our private opinions by showing the controversy in such a way that we have to side with the group the media says is right even if it is wrong! This is not good at all.
We hear much about diversity today and how diverse we as a nation are. After hearing this we as individuals feel we have a great nation. But wait, how can we be diverse when many harbor fears of certain groups and even go as far as banning anything that relates to them? Here, as with being tolerant, we use the term to benefit one group and injure another. How can we be truly diverse when we declare even one group as being bad and deny that group its right to freely express its own ideas? We, again, fail at this term very badly. If we are truly diverse, we would not stop certain groups from displaying their symbols, even if they represent the bowls of hell. How can we allow the idea of diversity to flourish while at the very same time being totally oblivious of the truth?
Surely, we do not like to see the Nazi Party showing its symbols off for all to see. But how can we say we are a free society when we deny a group such as this the very rights we allow the group from the other side of the picture? It is the same as saying that it is right for the aces to feel the way they do, but it is wrong for the kings to feel the way they do. How can we determine what is right for one group while on the opposite side of the table we say it is wrong? In this instance, we have become a person that speaks out of both sides of their mouth, while denying one and allowing the other. How have we come to this point? We came here by way of being "dummied down". We have allowed others to tell us who is bad and who is good. We have fallen out of step of principles, which this nation was founded upon.
There once was a time that being gay meant you were happy, today it simply means that a person enjoys the same sex people more than they do the opposite sex. How sad is this that we have lost track of our principles and now we make exceptions so that those who have these feelings will not be offended. I am sorry, but I am offended by the fact that these people do what they do. Had GOD wanted us to like the same sex, he would not have created an opposite sex for us. Today we are not allowed to state our "opinions" like that due to being "offensive" to those we speak about. What is wrong here is that many people feel this way and they only state it when around families and friends. The majority of people today do not care for the "same sex marriages", marriage is an institution between a man and woman, and it was never meant to be a union of two people of the same sex. If this statement offends any one, live with it or go to another country.
If we continue this way, our nation will see the same fate as that of the Roman Empire, Napoleon, and other nations that have fallen in time. We cannot and should not allow "opinions" to rule our basic rights. If we allow this then people such as the anti-gun group will dictate to us what is right and what is wrong. If we allow the opinion of the few to guide the majority, as has happened in recent times, we all lose our basic rights to be offended. Being offended does not give that person or group the right to have their way, no matter how much it bothers them. If we bow down to this type of "terrorism", we all lose. If it "offends" you walk away, or just do not go there. I am offended by many things, but I do not get upset about it, if it is on TV, I turn it off, if it is the people I am around, I move on, if it is the way someone effects me, I ignore them. This is being "tolerant", not getting up there and calling a person in high authority and complaining until I get my way. Grant it, if it is a violation of law, then I have a right to complain, but if it does nothing but "offend" me, then that person or group has a right that I cannot and should not infringe upon, no matter how much I dislike it. This is true freedom amd if we do not go back to this, we ALL lose. Just to be sure that I do not get into trouble for making certain statements; this is based upon my own personal "OPINION".
25 June 2005
CHRISTIANS ONCE AGAIN EXCLUDED FROM THE MAGIC CIRCLE OF "DIVERSITY" AND "TOLERANCE"
How come no Muslim groups have been targeted in the same way? THEY want to stone homosexuals to death!
The fundamentalist Christian organisation that led the campaign against the BBC's screening of Jerry Springer - The Opera has appealed to Christians to boycott the Co-operative Bank and Co-op stores after being asked to move its bank account elsewhere. The organisation, Christian Voice, received a letter from the Co-op Bank earlier this month giving it 30 days to find a new bank because of its homophobic views. The bank prides itself on its 'ethnical ['ethical'?] policies'. "It has come to our attention that Christian Voice is engaged in discriminatory pronouncements, based on the grounds of sexual orientation," the letter said. "This public stance is incompatible with the position of the Co-operative Bank, which publicly supports diversity, in all its forms, for our staff, customers and other stakeholders." [ALL its forms? All except Bible-believing Christianity, he means]
But Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, which campaigns for the application of biblical values to public policy, replied: "Of course we make `discriminatory pronouncements on grounds of sexual orientation'. We have been criticising homosexual rights ever since we started eleven years ago. "Standing up for righteousness is what we do." In a statement released last night, Mr Green called on Christians to stop banking or shopping with the Co-op until the bank ended its "unethical and discriminatory attitude". He said: "Clearly, and on their own admission, the Co-op is not the bank for those who honour the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Christian Voice came to national prominence late last year when it mobilised an unprecedented 55,000 complaints against the BBC's decision to broadcast Jerry Springer, the profanity-strewn West End musical which includes a scene portraying Jesus Christ as a nappy-wearing sexual pervert. The BBC went ahead with the broadcast in early January despite the complaints, and amid reports that senior executives at the Corporation had been forced into hiding after their personal details were published on the Christian Voice website.
But it appears that the Co-op Bank was more concerned about Christian Voice's long-running campaign against homosexuality in the police force and the rise of the Gay Police Association. One 2003 pamphlet still available on the Christian Voice website, asks: "Homosexual police are involved in some of the most disgusting perversions imaginable; how can they bring clean hands to any police investigation?"
Simon Williams, the bank's director of corporate affairs, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning that the Co-op based its ethical policy largely on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Christian Voice's campaign against homosexuality breached Article 1 of that document under which "human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights". "They are extreme views, they are not mild views. And once those wrere brought to our attention this simply doesn't fit with our ethical policies," he said.
But Mr Green, interviewed on the same programme, accused the bank of hypocrisy. He said: "We went to them for their fair-trade policies, their opposition to oppressive regimes, and now we find them discriminating against us on the grounds of our religion - which is specificially condemned in the Declaration of Human Rights to which they subscribe."
7 Things You Can't Say in Canada
Attacking Canada's sacred cows may turn you into a pariah--but it can also be a lot of fun
Every culture has its unacknowledged taboos -- the things you are forbidden to say or do in polite company, the accepted truths you are not allowed to doubt. You might think that a liberal, open-minded country like Canada would be free of such taboos, but you'd be wrong. In spite of our belief in our own enlightened tolerance, some things are simply not open to debate. If you try, you're bound to shock the neighbours. It's risky to question the wisdom of the tribe. You might get stoned. On the other hand, some people might sneak up to you afterwards and confess that they secretly agree.
So here's a challenge to a few of our nation's most widely held beliefs. You say these things in public at your own peril. I will be elaborating on these points over the months to come. Feel free to stone me or secretly agree -- or, even better, add to the list. At the very least, they're sure to start a good dinner-party fight.
Margaret Atwood writes some really awful books
The queen of CanLit bestrides the literary world like a colossus. Nobody has won more awards than she has, and nobody is more feared. There is no such thing as a bad review of a Margaret Atwood book in Canada. That's too bad, because many of her books are tedious and unreadable, full of tortuous plots and unpleasant characters. Why will no one say so? Because we're grateful that she's put us on the global map. And because if they do, they'll never work in this country again.
Recycling is a waste of time and money
Once upon a time it was easy to put out the trash. Today, the Garbage Gestapo rule our lives. Every household has become a mini version of the village dump, and every one of us has become a garbage picker, carefully separating our organics from our bottles and papers, and worrying about where our dryer lint is supposed to go. Don't try to sneak a wine bottle into the wrong bag! The trash police will punish you. The truth about recycling is that it's a giant waste of dollars and doesn't help the environment. But don't tell your kids. They won't believe you. They've been brainwashed.
Only private enterprise can save public health care
Tommy Douglas, the CBC's Greatest Canadian, brought us universal health care. But even his plan didn't originally pay for everybody's ingrown toenails. His primary goal was to make sure nobody faced financial ruin if they got sick. Today we have a system where controlling costs is more important than treating patients, and where ideology is crippling us. In some places, including Toronto, people go blind waiting for cataract surgery. The government could restore their sight tomorrow simply by sending them to a private clinic instead of to a hospital. The cost to the government would be exactly the same. But in Canada, private is a dirty word, and so the government would rather you go blind. Poor Tommy would be spinning in his grave.
David Suzuki is bad for the environment
From global warming to farmed salmon and genetically modified crops, David Suzuki has just one message: The End is Nigh. He is our homegrown prophet of doom who preaches the essential wickedness of the human race. Like a modern Savonarola, he warns that unless we cast our material possessions into the bonfire, we're all going to hell. The trouble with this apocalyptic vision is that people are starting to tune out. And our hugely expensive investment in the unworkable Kyoto treaty, which Mr. Suzuki tells us doesn't go nearly far enough, will crowd out more practical measures to cut smog and clean up our waste sites.
A national daycare program won't do a thing to help poor kids
Cheap national daycare! Who could be against it? It's supposed to give kids a better start in life, and nobody can object to that. But in Quebec, where the program started, universal daycare has turned out to be nothing more than a giant (and extremely costly) subsidy for relatively well-heeled middle-class parents. Few poor parents use the system. No doubt convenient daycare is a godsend for many. But so far there is no definitive evidence that kids who go to daycare go on to do better in school or in life. So if we want to invest billions in helping kids, why are we spending it on the kids who need help the least?
Group of Seven artists are overexposed genre painters
I like A.Y. Jackson as much as you do. His paintings remind me of when I went to summer camp. I grew up with a reproduction of The West Wind hanging in our living room. (That was by Tom Thomson, who wasn't really a member of Group of Seven, but never mind.) Group of Seven were the first artists to depict the wild Canadian landscape, and they were bold young rebels in their time. But that time was 80 years ago. Today their work is the quintessence of bourgeois picture-postcard art-the kind of art it's safe to take your mother to see. Enough, already. Maybe it's time we moved on.
The United States is the greatest force for good the world has ever known
Of all the shocking things you can say around the dinner table, this is the most shocking one. After all, America-bashing is part of our national identity. At best, we see our neighbour as a well-intentioned but arrogant and blundering bully that throws its weight around too much. At worst, we see our neighbour as one of the most evil nations in the world. And yet, right now, hundreds of millions of people in India and China and other desperately poor parts of the world are being liberated from millennia of suffering and serfdom. Why? Because of the United States, which has spread its idea of economic freedom-and its purchasing power-around the world.
24 June 2005
British potato farmers have taken issue with the expression "couch potato", rallying in London to call for it to be struck from the dictionary on the grounds that it harms the vegetable's image. The British Potato Council wants the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to replace the expression with the term "couch slouch". They plan protests outside parliament and the offices of Oxford University Press.
Kathryn Race, head of marketing at the council, which represents some 4000 growers and processors, said the group had complained in writing to the OED but had yet to receive a response. "We are trying to get rid of the image that potatoes are bad for you," she said. "The potato has had its knocks in the past. Of course it is not the Oxford English Dictionary's fault but we want to use another term than couch potato because potatoes are inherently healthy."
The OED says "couch potato" originated as American slang, meaning "a person who spends leisure time passively or idly sitting around, especially watching television or videotapes".
The Potato Council says its campaign has the backing of dieticians who say the vegetable is low in fat and high in vitamin C. Supporting the campaign, celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson said the vegetable was one of Britain's favourite foods. "Not only are they healthy, they are versatile, convenient and taste great too. Life without potato is like a sandwich without a filling," he said.
OED chief editor John Simpson said the dictionary first included the term couch potato in 1993 and said "dictionaries just reflect the words that society uses".
IS IT INCORRECT IF OBAMA SAYS IT?
Obama is of course the great black hope of the Dems (Even though he is NOT of slave descent). Here he echoes Cosby in saying that black fathers need to adopt a more fatherly role in their children's lives
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday exhorted fathers in the black community to earn the love and respect of their children by acting like "full-grown" men and living their values. In a half-hour sermon delivered as the Father's Day message at Christ Universal Temple, 11901 S. Ashland Ave., Obama, an Illinois Democrat, said fathers should have high expectations for themselves if they wish their sons and daughters to be successful. "If we are going to pass on high expectations to our children, we've got to have high expectations for ourselves," Obama said to applause from a capacity crowd of about 4,000 people. "Don't settle for just what you've got," Obama said. "You can shoot high."
Obama said black fathers should set an example of excellence for their children, take responsibility for their own actions, foster education and live their values, and promote kindness and hope in their children. "There are a lot of folks, a lot of brothers, walking around, and they look like men," Obama said, drawing laughter from the congregation. "And they're tall, and they've got whiskers--they might even have sired a child. But it's not clear to me that they're full-grown men."
Citing St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, Obama said too many fathers "engage in childish things, who are more concerned about what they want than what's good for other people." Obama--who later said his daughters, ages 6 and 3, had given him breakfast in bed Sunday morning "with a little help from my wife"--said fathers should be "taking responsibility for our actions." "We have not chosen the circumstances in which we were born, but we can determine the circumstances in which we live," he said.
Obama drew the most thunderous applause of his speech when he said 8th-grade graduations are sometimes overvalued. "They've got to get out of high school, then they've got to go to college, then they've got to get a graduate degree," said Obama, whose sermon was followed by a tribute to fathers by the church's children's choir.
Fathers have to be involved with their children's lives to pass on their values, Obama said. If "every weekend ... when you get home you go down to the basement and you're watching television, then you've got issues of how important, really, is your family," he said.
Background on Cosby: "Mr. Cosby is black, so charging him with the vice of racism would not work too well. It could carry no punch with which to silence what he suggested, namely, that black parents can and ought to straighten up their parental acts. Had his words been spoken by some prominent white commentator, that ploy would still have been appealing to the modern liberal establishment. Call the messenger a racist and thus squash the truth about what parents can and should do for their kids. But what to do now, when a prominent black figure delivers this piece of sensible insight? How can it be squelched, neutralized so we can keep going to government to answers? Come to the rescue The New York Times .... The problem with Bill Cosby isn't that he is white -- no, it's that he belongs to the upper black classes. The class card, thus, takes the place of the race card."
23 June 2005
LEGALLY COERCED SPEECH ABOUT MUSLIMS IN AUSTRALIA
A Christian pastor ordered to apologise for vilifying Muslims says he is prepared to go to jail before saying sorry for his comments. Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) deputy president Michael Higgins ordered two pastors of the evangelical order, Catch the Fire Ministry, to apologise over statements made in a speech, comments on a website and in a newsletter.
In a landmark ruling by the tribunal, it found comments including that Muslims were training to take over Australia, encourage domestic violence and that Islam was an inherently violent religion, had vilified Muslims. The case was the first to be heard by the VCAT since the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act took effect in Victoria at the start of 2002.
Outside the tribunal, one of the pastors described himself as a martyr and said he would go to jail before apologising. "Right from the inception, we have said that this law (Racial and Religious Tolerance Act) is a foul law, this law is not a law which brings unity," Pastor Nalliah said. "It causes disunity and as far as we are concerned right from the beginning we have stated we will not apologise. We will go to prison for standing for the truth and not sacrifice our freedom and freedom to speak." He said the Evangelical group had nothing against Muslims and its comments were taken out of context.
Judge Higgins said an apology was "appropriate" as the intention of the Victorian legislation was to protect freedom of speech, but to place limits upon such freedom by prohibiting the vilification of persons or classes of persons. He said he took into account the pastors were of good character, but their passionate religious beliefs caused them to transgress the law.
Catch the Fire are appealing the VCAT decision at the Victorian Supreme Court.
INDIA: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR MUSLIMS!
Boy, will that be unpopular with the higher castes! Congress is India's major Leftist party
The Andhra Pradesh government Friday declared Muslims a backward class and decided to implement five percent reservations in education and employment for them. A meeting of the state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, accepted the report of the Backward Classes Commission recommending the reservations. Information and Public Relations Minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir told reporters after the meeting that the cabinet decided to create a separate 'E' group among backward classes to provide reservations to Muslims. An ordinance providing the reservations for Muslims would be issued soon and it would come into effect from this academic year. With this, the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh has fulfilled one of its major electoral promises.
However, the move could attract opposition from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and some Hindu groups that had earlier challenged a similar decision in the high court.
Some backward classes are also opposed to the move on the grounds that it would affect reservation benefits enjoyed by them as well as their claims to be added to the official list of backward classes for reservations. However, Shabbir clarified that reservations for Muslims would in no way impact those who already enjoyed reservations under 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D' groups of backward classes. The five percent reservations for Muslims would take the total quantum of reservations for backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to 51 percent, thus exceeding the 50 percent cap fixed by the Supreme Court. The state government is citing the example of states like Tamil Nadu, where the total quantum of reservations has reached 60 percent.
The Backward Classes Commission headed by judge D. Subrahmanyam Wednesday had submitted its report to the government. The report cleared legal and technical hitches for implementing the reservations for Muslims. The state government had in July last year issued an order declaring Muslims a backward community and providing five percent reservations for them in education and jobs. This sparked off a controversy with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindu rightwing groups challenging the move in the high court.
On Sep 21, 2004, a five-judge bench of the high court quashed the order on the grounds that the state government did not consult the Backward Classes Commission before taking the decision. The court directed the state government to reconstitute the commission in three months and seek its opinion for the inclusion of Muslims in the list of backward classes. According to the 1991 census, minorities made up 11 percent of Andhra Pradesh's population of 76 million, of which Muslims comprised 8.5 percent.
22 June 2005
THE INCORRECTNESS OF THE MARKET
Shallow assertions about the market are made with no attempt as supporting reasoning or proof
I noted on Dissecting Leftism recently that some group of loopy Leftist do-gooders have just published a pie-in-the-sky "Manifesto of Wellbeing". There is a satirical look at it here. One of my readers has also sent in the following comments on a couple of passages (italicized) from the manifesto:
"There is widespread community concern that the values of the market-individualism, selfishness, materialism, competition-are driving out the more desirable values of trust, self-restraint, mutual respect and generosity. Many people feel alienated from the political process; the main parties seem too alike and think of progress only in material terms."
Why on Earth do people seem to actually believe that the market promotes individualism, selfishness, materialism, and competition.. and threatens trust, self-restraint, mutual respect, and generosity?
It's so very clear to me that it's just the opposite. The market seems to promote self-restraint, generosity (consider how far corporations go to make unhappy customers happy) and mutual respect? All the books I read on success in a free market are constantly advocating ethical values as being the cornerstone to success (7 habits and all the rest). As much as lefties seem to loathe country clubs and gentlemens clubs, (finding the excessive politeness fake), it seems clear to me that such clubs provide for a more positive example of good virtues than some communist party power struggles.
"Our collective wellbeing is improved if we live in a peaceful, flourishing, supportive society, so promoting wellbeing should be a public as well as a personal task.
We often think of wellbeing as happiness, but it is more than that. It is about having meaning in our lives-developing as a person and feeling that our lives are fulfilling and worthwhile."
One gets the sense that on the deepest level, this is what this jibber-jabber is all about. A bunch of unfulfilled people trying to find meaning by taking away that which other people find fulfilling.
THE HIGHLAND FAMINE: A PC SCOTTISH MYTH DEBUNKED
Comment on a new book: "Wild Scots, Four Hundred Years of Highland History", by Michael Fry
A lot of people seem to be reaching the conclusion that I am at heart a wicked man who has set out to make money from falsifying Scotland's past - at least to judge by the ruckus over my book, "Wild Scots, Four Hundred Years of Highland History", even before it is published next week. This is supposed to set forth a new theory of Clearance denial, as my critics like to call it in deliberate allusion to the notorious Holocaust denial of David Irving.
The elevation by the politically correct of a non-famine into an atrocity of Highland history has since taken on a life of its own. Before Devine, so far as I can discover, nobody spoke or wrote of famine. Enemies of the landlords at the time, such as the stonemason of Cromarty, Hugh Miller, or John Stuart Blackie, first professor to wear a kilt, never mention it, though they must have known of the reality of famine from contemporary Ireland. But now a modern scourge of Highland landlords, Brian Wilson, claims: "Thousands of people died." And to others the non-famine has become a Holocaust.
Here, in a nutshell, is why I wrote my book. Philosophers of history tell us the discipline progresses through paradigms. One historian establishes a standard view, as Prebble did for the Clearances. Successors deepen and broaden this view, so for a while it becomes productive and enriching. But then at lesser hands the quality of the work falters and the paradigm moves away from the historical reality. History, in other words, gets increasingly wrong till it ends up presenting the opposite of what happened: such as a Highland Holocaust where in fact no Holocaust occurred.
Then it is time for the paradigm to change, for a new view better fitting the facts. Let me say my own book was inspired not just by the wrong answers other historians have given to questions of Highland history. It was also inspired by questions they never asked because the prevailing paradigm blinded them to facts which give rise to these questions.
For example, if Clearance is the central fact of modern Highland history, how come that during the classic era of Clearance the region's population was not falling but rising, and steeply?
The first Highland census, an unofficial one, was carried out by Dr Alexander Webster of Edinburgh in 1755. He found about 250,000 people living in what are now known as the seven crofting counties. By the official census of 1841 that figure had increased to near 400,000. Such Clearance as was going on cannot have been very effective.
Another question: why is the term Clearance applied to, for example, the great estates of the Duke of Sutherland whose purpose was not at all to get rid of the population but to make it more productive according to a blueprint of development which anyone who looks into his papers can read? In one respect the duke succeeded. The population rose, though not at the rampant rate of the rest of the Highlands. In contrast to other areas, the population also survived in good shape the crisis of the 1840s. In another way the duke failed. He never found the magic formula to create a prosperous Highland economy. Doubtless he can be faulted for that. But no other developer has found it either.
The Duke of Sutherland believed in planning the same way the Scottish Executive believes in planning; it will be interesting to see if they can ever do better. He also believed in shifting people under his plans the same way the post-war Labour Party believed in moving them, for example, from Townhead to Castlemilk in Glasgow. Intentions in both cases were good but both paved a road to social hell.
Another: why do we ignore those Highlanders who had the gumption to get up and go under their own steam? Before the Reform Act of 1832 the soppy old Tories, who wanted peasants to stay on the land and breed recruits for the army, only ever legislated to deter Highlanders from leaving. It was the Liberals after 1832 who took the view that if people could not support themselves where they were then they would have to go somewhere else. But there had been a steady stream of voluntary migration anyway, regardless of what government said or did. In this Highlanders showed themselves to be the same sort of go-ahead Scots as Lowlanders famously were.
These first questions I posed myself led on to more, none ever answered by anybody else but all set out in Wild Scots. I do not expect everyone to agree with my answers. But in that case they will have to offer answers of their own, because the questions are real.
21 June 2005
BRITISH HATE CRIME BILL TO OUTLAW RELIGIOUS FREE SPEECH
There is a very shallow defence here of Britain's current attempt to outlaw hate speech about Islam. The author claims that the bill is "narrowly drawn" so that it will still be possible to speak against Islam in various ways. But that is plainly false. The bill is designed to outlaw "expressions or behaviour intended or likely to stir up hatred". But if I say that Islam is a religion from the Devil (which I am sure I would say if I were a fundamentalist Christian) is that not an expression likely to stir up hatred of Muslims? Obviously so, I would think. Or what if I said that Mohammed was a paedophile (which he was)? Is that not an expression likely to stir up hatred of Muslims? Again obviously so, I would think. So any condemnation of Islam looks like becoming illegal in Britain. The only escape hatch offered is that "any such action would need the approval of the attorney general, who could keep a lid on it". A Labour Party Attorney General would do anything that might displease Muslims? Pull the other one!
And as the very Leftist Will Hutton ("Britain's foremost critic of capitalism") says:
"It all sounds extremely reasonable, but it isn't. It has crossed another line that is no less dangerous in a liberal society. To incite or express hatred for someone because of the colour of their skin is plainly unacceptable, but to put the expression of views about religion in the same off-limits territory, even if only in tightly drawn circumstances where they incite hatred, is wrong. By protecting belief systems from criticism, it challenges the very heart of why and what we are.
I have also received some skeptical comments from Robin Clarke in Birmingham which I reproduce below:
"Will it be enforced fairly, or with very predictable prejudice instead? In particular, I am thinking of a huge sign on Birmingham Central Mosque, which says "Read Allah's Last Testament, the Glorious Qur'an". The document here being so prominently advocated as glorious is utterly without equal in the extent to which it is saturated with incitement to religious hatred. Nothing in other religions remotely compares and anyway, so what if it did? And furthermore this is no mere theoretical / academic point. No other major religion was founded by a warmonger, whose Glorious book has inspired many millions of murders in the name of Allah, and continues to do so right now. Sure, the violence against peaceful "Muslims" in this country is deplorable and should be stopped, but it pales utterly against the enormous trail of murder which flows from the Qur'an.
So by all means let us have this law, but let it be enforced with balance, starting with the outlawing of all praise for Allah's hate-filled, hate-inspiring, unchangeable Last Testament. Or alternatively, we can cope more sensibly by simply enforcing the existing laws which prohibit assaulting of people anyway. The reality is that this bill IS being introduced solely because some Muslims are convinced --they say so themselves-- that it will indeed criminalise telling the unpalatable truth about their indefensible ideology.
The extreme prejudice with which the bill will be enforced will do nothing to further harmony with Muslims, but on the contrary generate huge resentment and rightful contempt for a "religion" which tries to use legal force to compensate for its moral and intellectual bankruptcy".
There are some interesting letters to the editor on the matter here too.
"THIRD WORLD" NOW INCORRECT
The other day I was sucker punched, hoodwinked, bamboozled, had the wool pulled over my eyes, and generally sidelined by an expert in Political Correctness. In fact, so sidelined did I get that I have been depressed for a week - and I mean really depressed. My second book recently came out and, proudly, like a new Daddy, I went on the newsgroups to announce the name of my newborn. Boy, was that a mistake. I have been catching all sorts of heck over the name of my book. More than one Politically Correct Disciple has informed me that I offended the masses with the title of my book: Mexican Living: Blogging it from a Third World Country.
It is "Third World Country" that I have been told is not a "PC" term and therefore I have offended many. Well, you can imagine how I felt. First, I live in Mexico and have gone to great lengths to attempt to assimilate the language and culture, to have Mexican friends, and to blend into the life of this wonderful country....
Just what is this Political Correct Cult supposed to be and what does it mean? Most importantly, how did I allow myself to become controlled by it? First: The noun "political correctness" means, according to the TheFreeDictionary.com by Farlex: "Avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against."
Now, wait a minute: "That can be perceived to…?" Perception - is that what all this "PC" stuff has been about all this time? Someone gets themselves all twisted into a knot because of a "perceived insult?" I mean, is there some manual that one can buy that will spell out just who is going to get their feelings hurt over some innocent remark one might make? President Fox sure could have used one before having Lord Jackson and Prince Sharpton descending on Mexico last week over "their perceived marginalization and insult." Note, it wasn't Fox who said anything insulting but, according to the "PC" definition, it was Jackson's and Sharpton's PERCEPTION there was an insult.
How is something like this even a livable concept? Just think a moment. Is this any way to live? You go through life giving the power and control of your life over to your perception of words, or how someone might perceive your words. Isn't this what we are talking about? Are we not talking about someone hearing something that his or her mental filtration system PERCEIVES as marginalization or insulting? Words are just words. They have no intrinsic power to do anything. It is not words that define something but the hearers of those words.
That is the problem with America. Americans have become a culture of victims and in the case of the Politically Correct crowd, victims of words. Americans are people who actively and volitionally give away the power and control of their lives over to someone or something else - like words and the groups or individuals who say those words. To those who feel themselves to be marginalized or insulted: Why are you giving the power of your life over to words or the people who say them? They, the words and the speaker of them, have no more power over you than you allow. Think about this! Do not trivialize this. Stop giving the power over your life to words and the speakers of them.
Second: I fell right into the trap. My American upbringing was right there to enable me to swallow, hook, line, and sinker, the notion that I had insulted the entire nation of Mexico with my book title. Nevertheless, look what this person did - in the name of "you don't want to be an offense to someone now, do you"? - a manipulation citing Political Correctness - I fell into his trap and allowed this person to control my emotions. I gave up my power. I gave control over the emotional well-being of my life to what? I gave the power over my well-being to SOMEONE'S PERCEPTION of a marginalization or insult.
Here is when "Political Correctness" is NOT something virtuous. When someone's perception of a perceived marginalization or insult results in the loss of freedom of expression, it becomes thought control, it becomes inversion of the traditional social order and, ultimately, a totalitarian control over the lives of others. Was that Politically Correct to say?
20 June 2005
INCORRECT COMEDY IN BRITAIN
Plans to make comedians sign a contract agreeing to stick to politically correct jokes were criticised as an attack on free speech today. Councillors in Newcastle will be asked to consider a proposal banning performers whose acts are branded offensive, racist, sexist or homophobic. The policy followed calls from the public sector union Unison to ban blue comedian Roy Chubby Brown from playing Newcastle`s City Hall. The policy under consideration has come from the Equalities Board which advises the local authority. It recommended the council bans from its venues "acts contrary to the council`s visions, values and social inclusion agenda, and which conflict with its community leadership role".
North East Conservative MEP Martin Callanan said today: "There is a difference between being grossly offensive and being funny and it is a difficult line to judge sometimes. "But I think we have to err on the side of free speech." He said people who went to see acts like Chubby Brown knew what they were getting when they bought the ticket. "It seems to me it`s only the politically correct people who seem to want to ban it. They just like to ban things generally."
He said as a Conservative in the 1980s he would often find his views attacked by left-wing comedians. "An awful lot of humour was anti-Conservative, anti-Thatcher but it`s not left me psychologically scarred."
An executive committee of the Liberal-Democrat run Newcastle City Council will consider the policy at a meeting later this month. A council spokeswoman said: "There will be a detailed report by officers that will look at how we would implement and police it. It would involve getting acts to sign a contract agreeing that their act would not be offensive, racist or homophobic."
PC SEXUAL MYTHOLOGY
You see them at night in big cities: men dressed up as women, complete with makeup, jewelry, and high heels. Despite their best efforts, it’s not a pretty sight. Nor is the sight of men who take a more drastic step: undergoing so-called sex-reassignment surgery. When these surgeries were first performed at Johns Hopkins University in the early seventies, one psychiatrist—Paul McHugh—started asking questions about the wisdom of this. After all, the outcomes were not women, but grotesque caricatures of them.
When McHugh became psychiatrist-in-chief in 1975, he decided to test the claim that men who underwent sex-change surgery were psychologically better off. He also wanted to study the outcomes of sex-reassignment surgeries performed on baby boys with ambiguous genitals. So McHugh encouraged the research of a colleague, psychiatrist Jon Meyer, who was following up men who received sex-change operations. Meyer found that most of the patients he located did not regret their surgery. But in every other respect, McHugh writes, “they were little changed in their psychological condition. They had much the same problems with relationships, work, and emotions as before [the surgery].” “I concluded,” he wrote, “that Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness.” Wouldn’t it be better, he thought, to concentrate of fixing their minds instead of taking the far more drastic step of re-arranging their genitals? Thanks to the research of Meyer and others, it became possible to do just that—to make sense of the mental disorders that were driving the request for the surgeries.
McHugh then turned to the practice of sex-reassignment surgery for baby boys with ambiguous genitals. For years doctors had told parents that that their child’s sexual identity would conform to environmental conditioning: They would happily grow up as girls. But a study found exactly the opposite. These re-engineered boys endured “prolonged distress and misery.” When they discovered their true genetic heritage, most of them began to live as males.
Given that there’s no evidence that sex reassignment surgery helps either adults or children, why did doctors recommend it in the first place? The answer is that psychiatrists were enamored of the feminist theory that sexual identity was determined, not by biology, but by cultural conditioning. Psychiatrists went along with this, despite the fact that animal research had long shown that male sexual behavior is directly derived from exposure to testosterone in utero. And so, today, the transgendered movement is firmly protected by rigid codes of political correctness. You’re a “bigot” if you say that a person is made a certain way and can’t change his gender.
Well, thanks to this research, Johns Hopkins no longer performs sex-reassignment surgeries. But trendy ideologies are being used to argue for a host of feminist causes—like women in combat. When you hear them, tell people about the psychiatrist who took on the ideologies and proved that gender isn’t a preference or a choice.
19 June 2005
HAS PC MADNESS REACHED IT's ZENITH?
Post lifted from Hube's Cube
A loyal reader of the Cube sends word of a police "sensitivity training" program down in the Big Easy (that's New Orleans) -- led by the one and only -- get ready -- Louis Farrakhan. Oh, but wait -- it was cancelled! Why? Some officers and religious leaders complained! Who'da thunk it?
Tuesday's announcement came after a barrage of criticism from local religious leaders concerned by comments from Farrakhan, who once called Judaism a "dirty religion" and has preached racial separatism.
"You can't get a happy and successful result from a foundation of bigotry and rot. He has absolutely no credibility to stand in front of our community and do sensitivity training, because he is, by definition, insensitive," Rabbi Ed Cohn of Temple Sinai said before learning the contract would be rescinded.
Lt. David Benelli, president of the Police Association of New Orleans, said officers of all ranks, races and religions immediately began voicing "outrage and disgust" about the decision to hire Muhammad after getting word of the plan Friday.
I thought this madness had reached its pinnacle when I heard about the inanity that is the Crossroads Ministries. But I gotta admit that having anyone from the Nation of Islam teaching "sensitivity" is about as big a head-shaker as they come.
Hey, isn't David Duke from Louisiana? Why not hire him for this "training"?
THE "EXTENDED" MEANING OF THE TERM "GENOCIDE"
I have lifted this post from Pirate Ballerina -- the nemesis of the disgusting Prof. Ward Churchill. The post was originally titled "The Genocide of Indian burns". Unless I am gravely mistaken, "Indian burns" are what children call "Chinese burns" in Australia -- suggesting that the ethnic description serves only to indicate that it is a different sort of burn. I have included an interesting comment on the original post
How do you define the word "genocide"?
Chances are, you define it to mean the extermination of an ethnic or national group. You'll be happy to know that the Oxford English Dictionary (unabridged) agrees with you. Genocide, it says, is "[t]he deliberate and systematic extermination of an ethnic or national group." (italics mine)
Most of us, then, understand that when someone makes a charge of "genocide," they mean the extermination of an ethnic or national group is taking place, and naturally, we are greatly concerned, if not outraged. The accuser certainly has our attention.
That's how you understand it, and that's how you apply it. You hear "genocide" and you think of Nazi death camps. You hear "genocide" and you think of Pol Pot's killing fields. You hear "genocide" and you think of gassed Kurds.
Would it surprise you to know that "genocide" can be applied to the act of telling a Pollack joke? That the "tomahawk chop" of Atlanta Braves fans is, in fact, genocide? That the very name of the Braves baseball team is itself, genocide?
Unlike the accusations "fascist!" and "Nazi!" which have in their over-application become virtually meaningless, almost without sting, the word "genocide" has retained its original meaning while maintaining maximum impact—entirely due to the fact that it does not mean what you think it means.
The word was first coined by Raphael Lemkin in his Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress, (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944), In coining the word, Lemkin offered this initial definition:"By 'genocide' we mean the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group."Had Lemkin left it at that, generations of (primarily leftist) activists would have been deprived of a favorite accusation (rivaled only, of course, by "fascist!" and "Nazi!"). Fortunately, Lemkin went on to more fully define his new word (emphasis mine):"[W]e must see to it that the Hague Regulations are so amended as expressly to prohibit genocide in any war which may occur in the future. De lege ferenda, the definition of genocide in the Hague Regulations thus amended should consist of two essential parts, in the first should be included every action infringing upon the life, liberty, health, corporal integrity, economic existence, and the honor of the inhabitants when committed because they belong to a national, religious, or racial group; and in the second, every policy aiming at the destruction or the aggrandizement of one of such groups to the prejudice or detriment of another."From this, it is easy to see that Ward Churchill's many accusations of genocide are well within the meaning of the word as Lemkin himself defined it. With Lemkin's definition in hand, it can easily be argued that the assimilation of one ethnic group by another is genocide (which Churchill has, in fact, used as an example of genocide), since "every action" that infringes upon the "corporal integrity" of a group is genocide. It can easily be argued that telling a Polack joke "infringes on... the honor" of Poland, and is therefore—by Lemkin's own definition—genocide. It can easily be argued that giving an "Indian burn" is particularly genocidal because both its name and its application infringes upon the honor of Native Americans. The use of that childhood staple's other name, "Dutch rub" would, of course, be equally genocidal in its infringement of the honor of the Dutch.
Obviously (to you and me, not to the intellectual Left), these are ludicrous examples. Even though they fit Lemkin's criteria, Polack jokes, or tomahawk chops, or "Indian burns"—crude or unkind or puerile they may be—are not acts of genocide. But "genocide" can be, and very often is—applied to actions in a way that is just as absurd—and still cleave to Lemkin's definition. Intellectuals like Churchill can properly and quite correctly attribute's genocide to the the Atlanta Braves, to a Big Chief writing tablet, to the Land o Lakes butter logo, to the tomahawk chop. (Excepting Polack jokes, Ward Churchill argues this).
And therein lies the problem, this dichotomy between what we plebeians (along with the Oxford English Dictionary) understand "genocide" to mean, and what the cognoscenti know it to mean (and yes, they know what Lemkin said; check the number of citations to his definition in (primarily leftist) screeds—including Churchill's).
It can easily be argued that the (primarily leftist) ideologues who use "genocide" in Lemkin's expanded definition are guilty of exploiting our erroneous belief that it means the "extermination of an ethnic or national group" in order to arouse our passions against some act we might otherwise consider (rightly or wrongly) innocuous and ignore.
If you think I'm exaggerating, google the phrases "zionist genocide" (369 listings), "religious genocide" (3,620), "gay genocide" (610), "animal genocide" (279) or "[pick any noun] genocide" sometime. I recommend you do it when you have a great deal of free time, and absolutely nothing more important to do.
To use a quote by Russell Thornton slightly out of context, "The history is bad enough— there's no need to embellish it." Using the charge of "genocide" to describe any act of which you disapprove simply because you know it will get everyone's attention is not clever. It's dishonest—even when you know you're using the word in a way Lemkin would have approved.
My thanks to PirateBallerina's own troll, Kern, without whose goading this essay might not have been conceived.
Update: It occurs to me that I misspoke; as any recipient of both can tell you, the Indian burn and the Dutch rub—though equally unpleasant (and, yes, genocidal)—are not the same thing.
Two comments, already:
Hey, I do my best. Only two major problems with your essay.
1. As you pointed out in your own earlier post, Churchill doesn't generally stand by Lemkin's definition. Neither does anyone else I can think of. It's a nice straw man argument you've set up, but doesn't have any bearing on Churchill's work, or anybody else’s I can think of.
2. There's a functional definition that we can and probably should all understand: the UN Genocide Convention. It's a matter of law, after all. And the law still it still doesn't mean what you seem to think it does.
One of my favorite stories of the Churchill debacle was listening to local village idiots Caplis, Silverman and Vincent Carroll guffaw at Churchill’s book Kill the Indian, Spare the Man. They seemed particularly amused that he contends the Indian Boarding School system was genocidal.
Which, of course, it was. Not by Lemkin’s definition, but by international law. According to Article 2, (e) of the Genocide Convention “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” constitutes genocide when the intent is to destroy “in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” If you reeducate children to disassociate from their own ethnical group, you can effectively destroy it without killing a single person. As that was the stated goal of the Indian Boarding Schools, it’s hard to see the matter otherwise.
I was a little impressed that three Denver public figures would hold forth on something they seemed crushingly ignorant about. Of course, upon listening to the rest of the show I came to understand this was par for course. This example seemed particularly egregious, though, given they were lawyers and the Genocide Convention is neither hard to find nor hard to decipher – it’s about two pages long, and what I just quoted is on the first page.
18 June 2005
MORE ANTI-CHRISTIAN HYSTERIA
It seems the L.A. Weekly wants to seek out and destroy Christianity itself instead of any particular sect thereof. I can say this because the newspaper has admitted as much in a recent column. More on that later. This June 10 column has identified Christians as "Christers," the kitschy new hate word created by anti-religionists in the U.S.A. to describe their foe: you and me. The Weekly uses this pseudo word some 16 times in the Op Ed even going so far as to make it appear as if the word was used in a Wall Street Journal article. (I guess that makes these religion haters the "Anti-Christers"?). Apparently, these "Christers" have the gall to arrange boycotts against things in the entertainment and other industries that do not meet their standards and this little article spews several hundred words to excoriate them for it. Yes, the gall of these people imagining that they should gather together and take advantage of democracy like that to urge people from whom they buy their products to listen to them as customers. The NERVE!
The piece quotes Joan Bertin, executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, as saying that there is ".a lot of activity by an emboldened grassroots, who think they won the last election on moral grounds. They barely need to threaten a boycott to get those they target to back down." While somewhat specious I cannot help but laugh at this notion that someone on the left is complaining about a grassroots group launching a boycott to attempt to get the business world to acquiesce to demands. Need we recall that the left pioneered such actions? Apparently, though, sophistry is the order of the day for the left. But who can really be surprised?
Furthermore, if anyone has assumed a pious policy stance upon winning an election it would be the left. The entire "Great Society" that LBJ claimed Kennedy started was based on winning that election and so was the socialist nightmare that FDR saddled the country with in the 30s and 40s.
Later they quote Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at the Annenberg School of Communication at USC, as saying that Christians want a "theocratic oligopoly." He goes on to mangle the definition of an overly used word with, "The drumbeat of religious fascism has never been as troubling as it is now in this country." Mr. Kaplan is a perfect example of how so many supposed "professors" are misleading their students these days. Apparently, he doesn't even know the definition of "fascist" nor does he realize the automatic connotation that the word conjures in society since the rise and fall of the Third Reich. Or perhaps he does and he is so filled with hatred that he actually believes his polemics. Perhaps he truly wishes to compare Christians trying to persuade Proctor and Gamble to listen to its consumer base to Hitler's Nazis. Either way, it would seem dangerous to place him in charge of our nation's students.
Additionally, Kaplan lacks even the remotest sense of historical perspective if he thinks that today the U.S. is somehow overly or dangerously religious. This country is nearly religion free compared to the 1700s, for instance. Even the 1950s saw more religious fervor than what we are now experiencing. All in all, he exhibits none of the erudition that a professor should display. But he is not much different from all too many in his profession.
The Op Ed goes on to claim that these religious "Christers" are so out of hand as to threaten a repetition of the McCarthy era. In true demagogic style the Op Ed ends in a shrill warning. "Unless Hollywood, and the entertainment and broadcast industries, all want to live through an epoch of increasing content blackmail and blacklists, the wealthy folks who make a lot of money from those industries better wake up and start funding intensive and systematic research on the Christian right and its censorship crusades against sexual subversion and sin in the creative arts - or soon it will be too late, and the `theocratic oligopoly' of which Martin Kaplan speaks will be so firmly established it cannot be dislodged."
Of course, this claim that the "Christers" want a new era of McCarthy is absurd, as well. Joe McCarthy had the coercive power of government behind him, but these disparate grassroots religious groups barely cooperate together much less have any coercive powers to force the business world to bend to their will. We can conclude from all of this that apparently the editors of the L.A. Weekly want two things:
1). To make the entertainment industry unaccountable to anyone but itself. They obviously feel that the entertainment industry has no reason to cater to or pay heed to its customers. Unless, of course, it is the L.A. Weekly's ideas that are to be listened to, naturally. If the industry sticks with gay issues, overt sexuality, violence and the like, well things are just hunky dory. If it tones down same in response to its customer's desires, in true capitalist style, then we have entered a new era of McCarthy.
2) To destroy the religious with a new Inquisition. I can say the latter, because if our esteemed Mr. Kaplan can morph the English language to fit his own polemic point of view, then I certainly can follow suit, can't I? He must know. He IS a "professor," after all.
KINSEY AND THE HOMOSEXUAL REVOLUTION
Americans bestow authority-and billions of tax dollars-upon science in the belief that scientists will make important contributions to society. There is the further belief that scientists, in their responsibility and trust, will behave ethically, especially in research that involves human subjects. While the former is certainly historically accurate, such trust in the class "scientists" as honest, humane persons who deserve unquestioned public faith is sustained neither by cross-cultural or American science history.
Under scrutiny is the role of Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey and his contention that Americans are 10% to 47%, more or less, homosexual. Kinsey's percentage was seized upon by Harry Hay, the father of the homosexual "civil rights" movement, when Hay formed the Mattachine Society, urging that homosexuality be seen no longer as an act of sodomy but as a 10% minority class. Today, scores of homosexual activists cite Kinsey as the man who made the homosexual movement possible.
But what if all of Kinsey's work was fraudulent, or worse? What if it reflects unethical scientists conducting unprosecuted criminal acts? For example, is it possible that scientists have conducted sexual experiments on children? Or that they could allow or encourage child abusers to conduct such experiments? The possibility that this actually occurred-and indeed that the claimed results of such experiments have played a critical and sustained role in our law and public policy-has led Congress to submit legislation which calls for an examination of the relevant facts. The legislation focuses on the research and publications of Dr. Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues ("The Kinsey Institute") conducted at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. The legislation is known as H.R. 2749, "The Child Protection and Ethics in Education Act."
The 1945 A-Bomb: World War II ended in 1945 after America, under scientists headed by Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, and like a modern Prometheus, dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In an instant, all of America was reeling, as both joy and anguish hit the nation with the force of that nuclear blast. Emotion rode high, for along with the immense relief that "it worked" and the brutal war was ended, came the quaking realization that while God had created the earth, science could now destroy it.
On the one hand, Americans were awed by Oppenheimer's ability to end the worldwide threat of war. On the other hand, our faith in ourselves as the world's savior was shattered by both the nuclear scare and ensuing newsreels of burning Japanese children, subverting our sense of moral integrity and who we really were as Americans. Aided by an army that now dispensed condoms, Yankee soldier-saviors of Europe and Asia broke the promises of their Puritan homeland. GIs returned home to wives and sweethearts in 1946 with the highest rate of venereal disease since the original VD epidemics of World War I. Yet, the overwhelming VD epidemic which raged overseas was quenched in the U.S. as young lads overflowing with penicillin waited for the marriage bed to carnally embrace the "girl next door."
The 1948 A-Bomb: Three years later, after decades of clandestine preparation and a relentless publicity campaign, Dr. Kinsey launched what was then called "The Kinsey A-Bomb" on America's now fragile sense of moral virtue. Wrapped in Oppenheimer's flag of science as the final authority, Kinsey's fraudulent sex science statistics seemed to "prove" middle America to be a nation of sexual hypocrites, liars, cowards and closet deviates, despite the fact that all of Kinsey's data were repudiated by the then current public health data. While the Armed Services found skyrocketing VD and illegitimacy rates abroad, we found no such domestic rates for these disorders or for abortion, rape and other sex crimes and sexual disorders. Wrong or right, the fighting men might be misbehaving overseas but by and large they were not doing over here, what they were doing over there.
Despite the common sense fact of low rates of illegitimacy and VD, despite personal knowledge of faithful and virtuous family and friends, mainstream America was dramatically shaken by Kinsey's data. The popular press hawked Kinsey as a diversion from Truman's ominous cold-war warnings, heralding the astonishing scientific findings-that 98% of men and roughly half of women had premarital sex, 95% of American men were legally sex offenders and 10% or more of men were largely homosexual. And, while no one noted that 317 infants and children were "tested" for Kinsey's child sex data, educators repeated his conclusions-that children were sexual from birth, hence school sex education, Kinsey style, should be mandated.
The question anyone should be asking is: How did Kinsey get the statistics on childhood sexuality... that were to revolutionize the schoolroom, courtroom, pressroom, and bedroom? More succinctly put, did the Kinsey team participate in the pedophile abuse of 317 infants and children?
Dr. Alfred Kinsey's research on child orgasm is described in Chapter 5 of his book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948). Some of the observations are summarized in Tables 30-34 of the book. The numbers of the children in the five tables were, respectively, 214, 317, 188, 182, and 28. The minimum ages were, respectively, one year, two months, five months, (ages of children not recorded for Table 33), and five months. The tables identify sex experiments; for example, Table 32 speaks of: "Speed of pre-adolescent orgasm; Duration of stimulation before climax; Observations timed with second hand or stop watch."
Did Kinsey instigate or encourage these practices? And did he actually use pedophiles to obtain the data for Tables 30-34? In his book, acting as the on-site reporter, Kinsey did not clearly describe his own role. However, Kinsey's close colleague, C. A. Tripp, made a revealing statement in a 1991 televised interview by Phil Donahue:
[Reisman is] talking about data that came from pedophiles, that he [Kinsey] would listen only to pedophiles who were very careful, used stopwatches, knew how to record their thing, did careful surveys....[T]hey were trained observers.
Two questions cry out for an answer: What was the nature of the training given to these "trained observers"? And, who "trained" them? Perhaps Dr. Tripp or others can answer these questions. A 1991 book review in the respected British medical journal, The Lancet, noted:
[T]he important allegations from the scientific viewpoint are the imperfections in the [Kinsey] sample and unethical, possibly criminal observations on children....Kinsey...has left his former co-workers some explaining to do.
Tripp is not the only former Kinsey colleague to admit that actual pedophiles were involved in the Kinsey Institute's child sexuality studies. A taped telephone interview with Dr. Paul Gebhard, former head of the Kinsey Institute and Kinsey co-author, also confirms this fact:
Interviewer: "So, do pedophiles normally go around with stopwatches?"
Dr. Paul Gebhard: "Ah, they do if we tell them we're interested in it!"
Interviewer: "And clearly, [the orgasms of] at least 188 children were timed with a stopwatch, according to...."
Dr. Gebhard: "So, second hand or stopwatch. OK, well, that's, ah, you refreshed my memory. I had no idea that there were that many."
Interviewer: "These experiments by pedophiles on children were presumably illegal."
Dr. Gebhard: "Oh yes."
Molesting Children in the Name of Science
In Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Dr. Kinsey reported that the data on the 317 children came from "9 of our adult male subjects." However, Dr. John Bancroft, current Director of the Kinsey Institute, contradicted this claim. After examining the data, Dr. Bancroft indicated that the data for Table 31 came from a single adult male subject. There are a number of other instances where Kinsey's published claims about numerical or factual data-claims with important implications if true-are now believed to be misleading or false. A review of Kinsey's original data, claims and possible involvement is long overdue. Kinsey's "trained observers" tested babies "5 months in age," for repeated orgasms via:
...empirical study and statistical procedures... which resulted in...reported observations on such specifically sexual activities as erection, pelvic thrust and several other characteristics of true orgasm in a list of 317 pre-adolescent boys, ranging between infants of 5 months and adolescence age.
Orgasm was defined as follows:
Extreme tension with violent convulsions: ...sudden heaving and jerking of the whole body... gasping... hands grasping, mouth distorted, sometimes with tongue protruding; whole body or parts of it spasmodically twitching...violent jerking of the penis...groaning, sobbing, or more violent cries, sometimes with an abundance of tears (especially among younger children).... hysterical laughing, talking, sadistic or masochistic reactions... extreme trembling, collapse, loss of color, and sometimes fainting of subject.... some...suffer excruciating pain and may scream ...if the penis is even touched....some...before the arrival of orgasm, will fight away from the partner and may make violent attempts to avoid climax although they derive definite pleasure from the situation.
Lester Caplan, M.D., Diplomate, the American Board of Pediatrics, reviewing Kinsey's Chapter 5 (as above) said, "One person could not do this to so many children-these children had to be held down or subject to strapping down, otherwise they would not respond willingly," especially if, as Dr. Gebhard notes, a cinema record was being made.
Child interviews were unusually long. Kinsey said after two hours, "the [adult] becomes fatigued and the quality of the record drops." Still, Kinsey reported 24-hour orgasm "interviews" of a four-, a 10- and a 13-year-old; a four-year-old for 10 hours; a nine and 13-year-old for eight hours; and so on. Dr. Gebhard's taped phone interview further details some of these techniques. Dr. Kinsey even reported that some observers "induced...erections [in the children]...over periods of months or years," but that the Kinsey team interviewed no "psychotics who were handicapped with poor memories, hallucination, or fantasies that distorted the fact."
What kind of men were they, this Kinsey team? The question remains: Who did these experiments? As noted, the Kinsey team reported on a cadre of "trained observers." In Kinsey's own words...
Better data came from adult males who have had sexual contacts with younger boys and who, with their adult backgrounds, are able to recognize and interpret the boys' experiences. Unfortunately ....[only] 9 of our adult male subjects have observed such orgasm. Some of these adults are technically trained persons who have kept diaries or other records which have been put at our disposal....on 317 pre-adolescents who were either observed in self- masturbation or....with other boys or older adults.
There are serious questions which must be answered by the Kinsey Institute directors-for Kinsey's is arguably the most influential model for scientific sex taught to the nations' schoolchildren today. The proposed Congressional investigation is critical for that reason alone. How did the Kinsey team know that an 11-month-old had 10 orgasms in one hour? How did they verify these data? Where were the children's parents? Have attempts been made to locate the children? Who were the subjects of Table 34? Certainly these were not the children pictured in the publicity photographs which were distributed to the press and the gullible academic world, such as the little, braided girl of roughly four years, sitting with "Uncle Prock" in innocent play. ......
Kinsey's Figures on Homosexuality
With the above in mind, it is shocking that, almost overnight, following release of Kinsey's "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" (and a succession of earlier private, public relations briefings at the Kinsey Institute for favorable interviewers), books, articles, films, news clips, cartoons, radio, TV, and front-page stories appeared coast to coast as part of a publicity campaign to institutionalize Kinsey's claims. Americans believed "the most famous man for ten years" that primitive, sexually permissive cultures were happier than were Mr. and Mrs. Jones.
However, without question, any "scientists" who reprint and encourage production of data on child sexuality which have been taken from child sex offenders engaged in "manual or oral" sex with babies and children, are not scientists but propagandists-indeed guilty of admitted criminal sexual conduct, by the descriptions in their publications, whether the sexual offender(s) were identified and prosecuted or not. To trust anything these men or their disciples produce is to put one's faith in those who use the language of science to accomplish personal, criminal, and/or sexual interests. Hence, whatever Kinsey's claims of homosexual percentages and normality were, these become, pragmatically, as invalid as his child sexuality data.
Kinsey fathered not only the sexual revolution, as Hugh Hefner and others have said, but the homosexual revolution as well. Harry Hay gave Kinsey that credit when Hay read in 1948 that Kinsey found "10%" of the male population homosexual. Following the successful path of the Black Civil Rights movement, Hay, a long-time communist organizer, said 10% was a political force which could be melded into a "sexual minority" only seeking "minority rights." With Kinsey as the wind in his sails, Hay formed the Mattachine Society.
But 26% (1,400) of Kinsey's alleged 5,300 white male subjects were already "sex offenders." As far as the data can be established, an additional 25% were incarcerated prisoners; some numbers were big city "pimps," "hold-up men," "thieves;" roughly 4% were male prostitutes as well as sundry other criminals; and some hundreds of homosexual activists at various "gay bars" and other haunts from coast to coast. This group of social outcasts and deviants were then redefined by the Kinsey team as representing your average "Joe College." With adequate press and university publicity, the people believed what they were told by our respectable scientists, that mass sexual perversion was common nationwide-so our sex education and our laws must be changed to reflect Kinsey's "reality."
Following the release of Kinsey, Sex and Fraud, the then Kinsey Institute Director, Dr. June Reinisch, initiated a "CONFIDENTIAL," international, 87-page mass-mailing of accusatory materials calling upon recipients to repudiate "Judith Reisman's accusations." One of the accusations Reinisch wanted repudiated was the fact that Kinsey's 10% to 47% or more homosexual data were fraudulently generalized to the "general public." (Kinsey's homosexual figures were exposed as wholly false in 1948 by Albert Hobbs et al, as well as by several other scientists then and since.) In her letter to past Kinsey Director and Kinsey co-author Dr. Paul Gebhard, Reinisch denies the Kinsey team's culpability for the child sex abuse data and states that the Kinsey team never did "conduct experiments." She asks Gebhard's aid in discrediting me. She adds:
Further, with regard to sampling and the generalizability of the findings to a broader portion of Americans, throughout both volumes Kinsey very clearly identifies exactly which data from which groups he is referring to when drawing conclusions. He never used data from the special samples, derived from such populations as the gay community or prisons, to generalize to the general public.
Unfortunately, Dr. Gebhard wrote back to Reinisch on December 6, 1990 that she was wrong and that Kinsey did use "the gay community," pedophiles and prisoners to generalize to the population at large. Gebhard writes:
In your recent letter of December 3, which I gather was sent to a number of individuals as well as me, you refuted Judith Reisman's allegations about Kinsey and the Institute. However, I fear that your final paragraph on page 1 may embarrass you and the university if it comes to Reisman's attention. Hence I want to warn you and relevant university officials so that some damage control might be devised. The paragraph ends with this sentence: "He never used data from the special samples, derived from such populations as the gay community or prisons, to generalize to the general public." This statement is incorrect. Kinsey did mix male prison inmates in with his sample used in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male....
As to generalizing to a wider population, in his first volume Kinsey did generalize to the entire U.S. population. See, for one example, the tables on page 188 and 220 where he clearly extrapolates to the U.S.....
I am distressed that neither you nor your staff seem to be familiar with Kinsey's first book nor with The Kinsey Data and consequently produced the erroneous statement in your letter.
Kinsey is a powerful example of one's personal orientation affecting one's science and the moral shape of society. What could be the motive of Kinsey's fraudulent data, which often found up to even half of average American males homosexual? Quite possibly, it amounts to Kinsey's wishful thinking, which he quantified in order to recreate others in his own distorted image. Was Kinsey himself a closet homosexual, pedophile or pederast?
In the past, science fraud has taken place for economic and political reasons-but with Kinsey, was his "science" rather the outgrowth of personal morality and sexual proclivity? If that were true, he has certainly not been the last. In recent years, the world has seen other "men of science" (Hamer, LeVay, Pillard et al) whose work lacks objectivity and who seem to be justifying their own lives with their [questionable] findings. Were these scientists making claims about beetles, fauna or supernovae, there would be less cause for alarm; however, the travesty is that-in a culture in which science is the preferred religion (a no-fault religion) and scientists its high priests-these men's words are being received as "gospel" (no matter how little factual basis they have) on a subject as important and wide- sweeping as human sexuality. Unfortunately, the scientific world and the western world at large has all too eagerly embraced Kinsey's work.
17 June 2005
REAL DIVERSITY AT LAST
The Tulsa Zoo will add a display featuring the biblical account of creation following complaints to a city board about other displays with religious significance, including a Hindu elephant statue. The Tulsa Park and Recreation Board voted 3-1 on Tuesday in favor of a display depicting God's creation of the world in six days and his rest on the seventh, as told in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. The vote came after more than two hours of public comment from a standing-room-only crowd.
Zoo employees, religious leaders and others spoke in opposition, saying religion shouldn't be part of the taxpayer-funded scientific institution. But those who favored the creationist exhibit, including Mayor Bill LaFortune, argued that the zoo already displayed religious items, including the statue of the Hindu god, Ganesh, outside the elephant exhibit and a marble globe inscribed with an American Indian saying: "The earth is our mother. The sky is our father."
"I see this as a big victory," said Dan Hicks, the Tulsa resident who approached the zoo with the idea. "It's a matter of fairness. To not include the creationist view would be discrimination."
INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS GET SOME OVERDUE RESPECT IN CONNECTICUT
The governor vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have banned most soft drinks and junk food from Connecticut schools. Soft drink companies had lobbied fiercely against the bill, and schools expressed concerns about losing revenue from sales. Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell said the effort to impose state standards on school districts for nutrition and physical education "undermines the control and responsibility of parents with school-aged children." The bill would have banned sodas and snacks deemed unhealthy by the state Department of Education from school cafeterias, school stores and vending machines.
The legislation also would have required 20 minutes of physical activity for young students through fifth grade each day, outside of gym class. Proponents said that taking sugary soda and junk food away would teach students about good nutrition choices.
Rell said improving the health and wellness of Connecticut's children is laudable and called on the education commissioner to develop guidelines for school nutrition and physical education policies.
16 June 2005
ANOTHER TOTALLY TASTELESS IMPOSITION ON OTHERS BY HOMOSEXUALS
A statue commemorating a hero of Toronto's gay community is raising hackles both for the actions of the man it depicts and for the somewhat graphic description of the 19th-Century sex scandal that made him famous. But denizens of Toronto's centrally located and often irreverent gay neighborhood -- the home of the city's hugely popular annual gay pride celebrations -- say the sculpture is not offensive, and fits with the spirit of the community. The 13-1/2 foot (4.1 meter) bronze and granite monument depicts Alexander Wood, famous for both owning the land on which the community now sits, and for being run out of town under a cloud of sexual scandal in the early 1800s.
A woman reported a rape, noting she had scratched the attacker on his genitals. Wood took matters into his own hands, lining up the suspects and demanding that they drop their pants so he could "inspect" them. After word of the incident got around, Wood was widely branded a "molly," a derogatory term for homosexuals, and he agreed to leave town in exchange for not being prosecuted for abusing his position.
The incident is commemorated on the statue's granite base, with a bronze plaque depicting a man's rear-end with his pants around his knees, and Wood's outstretched hand in mid-examination.....
The statue cost C$200,000 ($160,000), split between public funds and a local business development group. It sits just at the south end of the main gay village on Church St., a street lined with coffee shops, bars, and emblematic rainbow flags. "It adds a bit of distinction to the corner," said Mike Calnan, who lives in the neighborhood. "It has become a sort of equal to the Blarney Stone," he added, referring to the prominent buttocks on the bronze illustration. "People have been rubbing it for luck."
"INCORRECT" PROFITS DEFENDED
What is interesting in the Free Enterprise Action Fund, a U.S. mutual fund launched on March 1, is less its profit potential than its symbolic significance. Perhaps corporate executives will stop being eaten alive by anti-business, big-mouthed social activists.
In recent decades, the anti-free market movement has subverted corporations from the inside by developing business ethics into an anti-free market ideology, and by using shareholdings to push the social activists' agenda into corporate policies. "Socially responsible investing" (SRI) and "ethical" mutual funds have been an important part of the activists' toolbox since the creation of the Pax World Balanced Fund in 1971.
Executives, who are as incompetent in battles of ideas as they are efficient at producing goods and services, have fallen in the trap with their typical commercial smiles. But they are also under heavy intimidation tactics. For example, Pax World Funds, owner of the Pax World Balanced Fund among others, recently sold its US$23-million stockholding in Starbucks Coffee Co., because the (otherwise very politically correct) corporation is involved in a joint venture to produce a coffee-based alcoholic beverage. A few days ago, J.P. Morgan Chase, under pressure from the Rainforest Action Network and activist shareholders groups, adopted an environmentalist agenda. (In a vindication of the poor, the Congress of Racial Equality criticized Morgan Chase for thus restricting lending to Third World projects: The bank, says the organization's spokesman, is "guilty of political correctness and cowardice.")
The Free Enterprise Action Fund will provide some much-needed counteraction. The Fund brands itself as "[t]he first mutual fund to seek long-term capital appreciation through investment and advocacy that promote the American system of free enterprise." Its founder and lead advisor is Steven Milloy, a lawyer, columnist and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. For regulatory reasons, the fund is only available to American investors.
The Fund's prospectus says that it "will be a shareholder of some companies that . are at risk of being adversely impacted by social activists." The Fund's "Free Enterprise Guidelines" contains criteria like, "Is the business making or considering decisions that tend to ignore individual liberties relevant to the businesses' products?", or "Is the business willing to aggressively challenge unfounded government action that threatens its interests?" The Fund will invest in the companies for which the answers to such questions are positive, or at least intervene as a shareholder to focus them on their goal of making money.
For the fund also has an advocacy mission. "By working to keep businesses focused on business rather than activist-defined [corporate social responsibility]," it says, "the Fund aims to promote more generally our system of free enterprise." The Fund's prospectus quotes Milton Friedman's controversial 1970 statement: "The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits." In other words, the Free Enterprise Action Fund will do in favour of free enterprise what SRI and "ethical" funds do against it.
At least 65% of the fund's assets are normally invested in common stock of the Fortune 500s and the S&P 500s. As of April 12, the top 10 holdings (among some 400) amount to less than 20% of the portfolio value; the largest holding, General Electric Co., stands at 3%.
By putting their money where their mouths are, investors in the Fund would compromise purely financial criteria and earn lower returns or incur higher risk, as acknowledged in the Fund's prospectus. Mr. Milloy, however, says that investments are chosen on the basis of performance only, that the investment and advocacy activities are kept separate, and that the free-enterprise guidelines apply exclusively to the advocacy mission.
With about US$4 million in assets, the Free Enterprise Action Fund is still very small, but may be part of a contrarian movement against politically correct investing. Another politically incorrect fund, the Vice Fund, created in 2002, has US$32 million very profitably invested in alcohol, gambling, defence, and tobacco. These amounts are little compared to the Pax World Balanced Fund's assets of US$1.5 billion, but are a step in reclaiming corporations for the only thing they do well: producing goods and services efficiently for the people-not for the social activists.
15 June 2005
BRITISH SCOUTS ABANDON THEIR FOUNDING PRINCIPLES
For Scouts, it has been as much a part of their movement as jamborees, woggles and the three-fingered salute. Now, after a century, the Scout Association has ditched its traditional pledge of loyalty "to God and to the Queen" in favour of a series of multicultural options. Muslim Scouts can opt to swear to Allah, while atheists can drop God altogether and budding republicans can pledge themselves to the state rather than the monarch.
The pledge is taken by all Scouts on joining the movement, which was established in 1907. The new variations are intended to reflect the growing diversity of Britain. They represent a rejection of the "muscular Christianity" and love of monarchy espoused by Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of scouting. The changes have horrified some prominent former Scouts. Stephen Pound, the Labour MP and chairman of the all-party parliamentary Scout group, called the changes "profoundly retrograde, uncalled for and potentially extremely divisive".
The current pledge, based on that written by Baden-Powell, states: "On my honour, I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to God and to the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Scout law." Under new guidelines issued to Scout leaders, Muslim Scouts - as well as Beavers and Cubs, the groups to which younger boys belong - can pledge their duty to Allah and Hindu Scouts to their Dharma. Atheists can promise to live life in "good moral standing". In addition, children who are not British but live here can promise to do their duty to "the country in which I am now living" instead of promising allegiance to the Queen. For republican recruits, there is the option of pledging "duty to the state and the laws of the state". Members whose beliefs are not covered by any of the published alternatives can use other forms of wording agreed between their parents and the leader of their Scout group.
"Scouting is available to all faiths and, therefore, must take account of the different religious obligations of its members," the new guidelines state. "To meet these circumstances, there are different forms of the Beaver Scout, Cub Scout and Scout promise that can be made, allowing for the individual's obligations while upholding the essential spirit of the promise. "The phrase `to love God' and `duty to God' implies belief in a supreme being and the acceptance of divine guidance and therefore the word `God' can be replaced by `Allah', `my Dharma' or others as appropriate to suit the faith or religion of the individual concerned." It is hoped the shift in policy will help to rid the association of its reputation for being mainly white, middle-class and Christian. The Girl Guides changed their pledge from "God" to "my God" more than a decade ago.
Baden-Powell was inspired to found the Scouts after being impressed with the initiative shown by boys during the siege of the South African town of Mafeking in 1899-1900 during the Boer war. His first experimental camp was held on Brownsea Island off Poole in Dorset in 1907. "There is a vast reserve of loyal patriotism and Christian spirit lying dormant in our nation today," he wrote in his handbook, Scouting for Boys, published in 1908.
"INCORRECT" SWEATSHOPS A LIFELINE FOR THE POOR
Universities across the country are making an effort to ensure that products with their name on them are not made in sweatshops. U.S. unions, such as UNITE, the garment workers' union, lobby to impose working standards for third world countries. Unfortunately these efforts actually hurt poor workers in third world countries more than help them. A typical incident in the campaign against sweatshops occurred at a recent "Week of Sweat" campaign at Washburn University. Liana Foxvog, leader of SweatFree Communities, a national organization opposed to third-world sweatshops, congratulated the university because, she said, "there are student groups and university faculty interested that the clothing Washburn University buys isn't made in sweat shops." But abstaining from buying their products is a policy that harms workers.
Economists across the political spectrum, from Paul Krugman on the left to Walter Williams on the right, have defended sweatshops. The economic reasoning is straightforward. People choose what is in their perceived best interests. If workers voluntarily choose to work in a sweatshop, without being physically coerced, it must be because it is their best option compared to their other even worse alternatives. Admittedly, sweatshops have abhorrently low wages and poor working conditions by western standards. However, economists point out that alternatives to working in a sweatshop are often much worse; oftentimes scavenging through trash, prostitution, crime, or even starvation are the other choices workers face.
Our recent research, "Sweatshops and Third World Living Standards: Are the Jobs Worth the Sweat?" forthcoming in the Journal of Labor Research, was the first economic study to systematically examine sweatshop wages compared to the living standards in the countries where they existed. We examined the apparel industry in countries often accused of having sweatshops and then we looked at 43 specific accusations of sweatshop wages in 11 countries throughout Asia and Latin America.
Our findings may seem surprising. Not only were sweatshops superior to the dire alternatives economists usually mentioned but they often provided a better than average standard of living in these countries for their workers. The apparel industry, which is most often accused of unsafe working conditions and poor wages, actually pays relatively well compared to the poverty in the countries where they locate. While more than half of the population in most of the countries we studied lived on less than $2 per day, in 90 percent of the countries working a ten hour day in the apparel industry would lift a worker above, and often far above, that standard. For example, in Honduras, the site of the famous Kathy Lee Gifford sweatshop scandal, the average apparel worker earns, $13.10 per day, yet 44% of the country's population lives on less than $2 per day.
In specific cases where companies have been accused of paying sweatshop wages we still find the jobs pay well compared to alternatives. In nine of the eleven countries, the reported sweatshop wages equal or exceed average incomes in the country where they are located, in some cases by a large margin. In Cambodia, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras, the average wage paid in a firm accused of being a sweatshop is more than double the average income in that country's economy.
Our findings should not be interpreted to mean that the jobs sweatshop workers have in the third world are ideal by U.S. standards. The point is, they are located in developing countries where these jobs are providing a higher wage than other work. Anti-sweatshop activists who argue to abstain from buying products made in sweatshops are harming workers by taking away some of the better jobs in their economy.
Buying products made in sweatshops would do more to help third world workers than college protests. Wages are determined by a worker's productivity and next best alternative employment. By purchasing more products made in sweatshops we create more demand for them and increase the number of factories in these poor economies. That gives the workers more employers to choose from, raises productivity and wages and eventually improves working conditions. This is the same process of economic development the U.S. went through and it is ultimately how third world workers will raise their standard of living and quality of life.
14 June 2005
BRITAIN: A COMEBACK FOR GOD!
Though it probably helps if you call him "Allah"
Brides and grooms have been counting the ways they loved each other in church weddings ever since Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote the famous sonnet 150 years ago. But in civil services, the poem is banned - because of its last line: "if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death".
It is that mention of God that has made Barrett Browning persona non grata in register offices for decades. And she's not alone. Scores of poems, songs and even letters are barred from being read or sung in civil weddings if they contain even the most oblique religious reference. But now couples will be able to choose their favourite works under an unexpected shake-up of marriage laws being planned by the Government. An imminent relaxation of the law will mean an end to the ban which prevents anything with religious connotations being included in civil wedding services.
Ministers have let it be known that they will also be content for hymns to be sung and extracts from the Bible to be read, although they accept this may be too sensitive for churches and faith groups.
The rules set out in the 1949 Marriage Act were intended to draw a sharp distinction between the decision of couples to opt for a church wedding or for a non-religious ceremony. It says that: "No religious service shall be used at any marriage solemnised in the office of a superintendent registrar." Civil marriages started in 1837.
But it has led to the banning from civil services of a vast array of readings. Barrett Browning's poem is prohibited because of its references to "grace", "being" and "God" despite it being a love poem and not a religious text. Even Robbie Williams' bestselling Angels is barred, because of that one word.
With 181,000 civil marriages in 2003 compared to 86,000 religious ceremonies, the Government is to start consultations on whether the law should be changed and couples given the chance to hear their most cherished words on the biggest day of their lives. The move was quietly started by Gordon Brown after a letter to him from Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath and his party's culture spokesman, who had been contacted by several people with grievances about censorship of readings. Don Foster had been alerted to the current rules by Nick Rijke, who was barred from having Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem read when he got married in Oxford register office in May last year.
Mr Rijke, 39, a public relations executive with the Environment Agency, said of the review yesterday: "It is a very positive step in the right direction because it would have allowed readings like the one that we chose, as that was an incidental reference to religion." It came to the Chancellor's desk because the Treasury has oversight of the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which is in turn responsible for the registration of marriages.
Mr Brown asked the ONS to carry out a review which found several common examples of songs, music and readings which had been requested by couples but banned by local registrars. The ONS review has also found anecdotal evidence of cases where guests in clerical or rabbinical dress have been excluded from ceremonies because of concern that their presence could be construed as conferring religious legitimacy.
ANOTHER LEFTIST ATTEMPT TO MAKE A SILK PURSE OUT OF A SOW'S EAR
Denver has hired a local marketing firm to reshape the public's image of the homeless - from one of a bedraggled panhandler to an image reflecting the growing number of women, children and families. The Denver Commission to End Homelessness awarded a $60,000 contract to political consultant Eric Sondermann.
The move comes as the commission begins to implement Mayor John Hickenlooper's plan to raise money and resources needed to end homelessness within 10 years. "We want to do a professional communication job so people have a clear understanding of what we're doing and what it will take to change the lives of the people who are homeless," said Deborah Ortega, executive director of the commission. "Part of our communication is to help people understand that these efforts will make a difference, but it takes the resources to change people's lives."
A more realistic portrait of the Denver area's homeless population is the growing number of children, women and families seeking assistance, service providers said Wednesday during a briefing to a City Council committee. "The side the public doesn't see is that of the women and children," said Father John Lager, director of the Samaritan House in downtown Denver. "There are even less services for them." Lager said that the number of families standing in line for the shelter's daily lottery for beds has more than doubled from 10 per day to 25 per day in the past few years.
Last month, the commission unveiled a bold plan that calls for sweeping changes in Denver's approach to homelessness. The 10-year plan calls for building more than 3,000 units of permanent and transitional housing, providing comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services, expanding the city's shelter system, increasing outreach and reducing panhandling. However, funding the plan will be a major undertaking. Startup costs are projected at $7 million, and city officials estimate it will cost $12 million per year to fully implement the plan.
Hickenlooper, who has made the issue a top priority, is pushing mayors and county commissioners from neighboring suburbs to ask metro voters to extend the 0.1 percent stadium sales tax that funded the construction of Invesco Field at Mile High to pay for affordable housing, including housing for the homeless. "The plan the commission and mayor developed is a long-term and comprehensive one," Sondermann said. A theme the public may hear is that combating homelessness is a matter of "morality and justice."
Fog of political correctness in Britain
Some excellent sense on British immigration: A comment from India
In contemporary Britain, immigration keeps cropping up as an election campaign issue. I am not surprised. Over the years a penumbra of political correctness has hung over British social discourse. Either from a feeling of post-imperial guilt or simply succumbing to fashions of the time, the British have landed in a trap where the agenda is set by shrill activists who force entitlement claims down the throats of a bewildered society.
We lived in the London precinct of Maida Vale in the mid-’90s. When we moved in, I paid a visit to the local library. The elderly librarian walked up to me, introduced herself. For the record, she was a white woman with an elegant educated accent. She then proceeded to stun me with an unexpected statement. “We have books in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati and Tamil. I know there are many languages in India. Which is your language? If you want, I can order books for you in your language.”
My response was something she had never expected: “As a matter of fact, my language, Kannada, is not on your list. But, if you don’t mind my asking, why is the British tax-payer paying for books in all these languages?”
To use a very English expression, she was gob-smacked. She mumbled something about the need to stay in touch with their roots and cultures. She was a charming inoffensive lady. I did not pursue the conversation further. I later wondered whether I had missed an opportunity to take some easy money off the generous British tax-payer. I could have set up my cousin in Bangalore to send hundreds of Kannada books to the Maida Vale library. It would have been deliciously ironical! For, these days there are hardly any libraries in Karnataka with books in any language, for that matter. It was not always so. Under our beloved reactionary maharaja we had well-stocked libraries in most major towns. But our present progressive rulers seem busy with other matters. Someone should do a survey. I would wager that there are today more Indian-language books in British libraries than in Indian ones!
Immigrants to Britain have gone there voluntarily. Presumably, they liked British society. Hence they went there in the first place. A corollary to that would be that they learn English and hopefully borrow English books from state-funded public libraries. They are, of course, free to buy books in other languages with their own money. But what is the logic of expecting the government to subsidise reading habits derived from their so-called “roots”? Left to themselves, most immigrants would not have asked for it. But if woolly-headed liberal natives of the host country come and tell me that I have a “right” and an “entitlement” to this-that-and-the-other in the name of multi-culturalism and staying-in-touch-with-one’s-roots, then I would be a fool not to exploit their generosity. You could even argue that by being an object of their philanthropic attentions (albeit, not at the personal cost of the liberals themselves, but being debited to the general fisc!) I am actually doing them a favour. How else could they obtain the warm glow of post-imperial-guilt-expiation and earn the accolade of being “sensitive” to other cultures/races/religions/languages and so on. Actually, we could take this one step further in the interests of logic and lucidity. British public libraries should ban Shakespeare. He was not multi-culturally sensitive (he did not know French or Latin, let alone Gujarati or Urdu) and was a “chauvinist” to boot. Did he not use the expression “This England, this demi-paradise”? This is doubtless wounding to the feelings of immigrants. I have a vision of British public libraries stocked with books in Hausa and Serbo-Croatian, Arabic and Sinhala... but English, never!
One can now begin to understand why immigration is a general political issue for many, not just for the usual racist nativists. Britain has had immigrant groups before. The Lombards occupied Lombard Street in London; Cromwell encouraged Jews to settle in England and of course Hitler drove many of them in; the French expelled the Huguenots who found refuge in England. It is true that these were all white folks and the ignorant must have found them literally “easier on the eyes”. But there is another crucial difference. None of these groups received subsidies from the state. None were encouraged to adopt a tone of “entitlement-seeking”. The signal that multi-culturalism can qualify for state sponsorship and even state mandates, does not go unnoticed by the “clients” in the immigrant groups or their self-appointed liberal “padronnes” who mediate between the state and these groups and who themselves become beneficiaries of grants and subsidies. If there is money to be made in multi-culturalism, then we can be sure that it will attract rent-seekers like bees in search of honey!
Incidentally, the same school of political correctness makes sure that granular information — for instance, immigrants from India commit fewer crimes and rarely go on welfare unlike immigrants from Nigeria, Pakistan or Bangladesh — gets little or no publicity! (I’m sorry, I am a chauvinist Indian. I could not resist this!)
There will always be a hard-core, hopefully small minority of racist and intolerant yobs in any society. But if the state insists on indiscriminately supporting asylum-seekers and then spending more money buying special books for them as also making welfare grants to fanatical religious preachers who use multi-culturalism for their benefit, while not believing in it themselves, then you run the risk of converting middle-of-the-road tolerant citizens into immigrant-bashers. I am continuously surprised as to why the British government is unable to make a statement as follows: “Select immigrants are welcome. We will set the selection criteria. Since no one is forcing them to come in, we will expect that once they are here, they will blend into our culture and not expect Britain to accommodate their cultural needs which they are welcome to address privately at their own cost”. This would be an eminently reasonable position that would considerably diffuse the matter.
13 June 2005
DANGEROUS LANGUAGE "CORRECTNESS"
A Riverside, Calif. crane operator sued the state of California on Monday, claiming that his rights are being violated because he is not allowed to take his safety certification in Spanish. According to The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.), Tom Ledesma failed his mobile crane certification test in English on May 14, and is asking the state to cease issuing crane operating certificates until a Spanish test is offered. "The claim that immigrants have a constitutional right to operate heavy machinery without understanding the English language is absolutely breathtaking," explained Mauro E. Mujica, chairman of U.S. English, Inc. "While California may choose to offer certain services in foreign languages, that does not mean that the state has an obligation to do so, particularly where lives and limbs are at stake."
The Certification for Crane Operators (CCO) exam, which is given by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, consists of both a written and practical test. The written portion is offered solely in English because English fluency is necessary for the safe operation of heavy equipment. In addition to the fact that crane safety manuals are printed in English, crane operators must be able to complete required records, report unsafe conditions and communicate at the site with management, all tasks that require English fluency.
Requiring English as a prerequisite to certification is not unique to crane operation. Many states mandate that English fluency be demonstrated in order to obtain licensure in medicine, nursing, massage therapy, cosmetology, and many other professions. One state even requires that the licensing exam for body piercing technicians and tattoo artists be offered solely in English.
"What does it say about our assimilation process when a man can work in the United States for 24 years and still not be English proficient?" asked Mujica. "While America's door should remain open to immigrants, this is not an invitation for newcomers to redecorate the house in any fashion they'd choose. Our laws, our traditions, and our common language -- English, have been the great assimilator for more than 200 years. To abandon these bedrock principles for people who choose not to become part of our society is to weaken the very fabric of our nation."
FAT AND FICTION
Michael Gard, author of "The Obesity Epidemic", challenges the idea that we are greedier and more slothful than ever.
The consensus about obesity goes something like this: People are getting fatter because they exercise less and eat more than in the past, and this has led to a rise in lifestyle diseases and early deaths. Yet is this consensus the product of scientific research, or a modern morality tale dressed up as health advice?
That is the question asked by "The Obesity Epidemic", a refreshingly sceptical new book by Michael Gard and Jan Wright, two Australian physical education academics. They were inspired to write the book after discovering that the science of obesity is far less certain than we have been led to believe. 'I had been doing some work on the side, looking into claims being made about obesity, such as that physical activity levels are declining', explains Gard. 'And I kept coming across statements like, "Of course, we have no conclusive proof, but we know physical activity must be going down", throughout the scientific literature.'
Indeed, much of the scientific research on obesity makes assumptions that fly in the face of the available data. As Gard and Wright show, the available evidence suggests that we are as generally active today as people were 30 or 40 years ago and that, if anything, we are eating less these days. 'It strikes me as common sense', says Gard, 'that middle-class Westerners in particular are eating less and eating better than their grandparents' generation did. And the idea that young women, in particular, are less physically active than, say, my mother's generation - that just seems to be a non-starter.'
Confronted by this lack of supportive data for the obesity consensus, Gard and Wright conclude that the model of the body as a machine - where the amount of energy in minus the amount of energy expended tells us the exact weight gain or loss - is unhelpful for explaining weight changes, especially at a societal level. Consider dieting: attempts to lose weight by eating less or exercising more tend to end in failure. Yet that failure is always laid at the feet of individuals who are said to 'lack willpower', rather than leading to a questioning of the dieting strategy itself.
Behind the discussion of food and diet, there lurks the prejudice that there is something about modernity that makes us soft and fat; that modern life is corrupting. Gard says we should challenge the transformation of obesity into the biggest health concern of our age. 'Of all the things we could be talking about, we are focusing on millions and millions of people in Western countries who are going to live average lengths of time and die average deaths. 'We're spending all this time telling them to exercise more and lose weight when it's doubtful if dropping your weight from a Body Mass Index of 31 to 28 will help you live longer. Nobody has ever proved that it will.'
Gard and Wright also explore how the obesity debate has become a blank slate on to which various commentators scribble their own morality tales. They critique Greg Critser's bestseller "Fat Land". Critser, ostensibly a liberal, blames expanding waistlines on the softening of moral and religious values in the Sixties. Critser gave an interview to the UK Observer, in which he said: 'Most of us are fat because we are slothful and gluttonous. In the course of researching my book, I came to believe that, morally, overeating is wrong.'
American conservative Mary Eberstadt grinds a different axe: she claims that fat kids are the results of poor parenting, and in particular, working mothers. 'Given that parents and related adults across history and cultures have policed their children's eating habits...in what kind of social universe do adults cease to perform this task?', she asked. The answer, she concluded, is that absentee parents who dump their offspring in front of the TV while they go off to work are producing 'overstuffed children'.
Yet none of these assertions is rooted in scientific consensus. Commentators like Eberstadt merely gloss over uncertainty; as Gard and Wright put it, 'the phrases "firmly established" and "appears clear" smooth the way for the identical argument put forward in Home Alone America: working mothers are to blame.'
Yet Gard seems to project some theories of his own on to the obesity debate. He tells me that there have been some 'quite startling' statistics on obesity over the past 15 years, but he doesn't think the spike in that period can be explained by 'general moral decline'. Rather, he thinks we should perhaps look at issues such as poverty and labour deregulation. 'I'm wondering', he says, 'whether the focus on individuals doesn't obscure some very important and fruitful debates about the macro'.
This idea, however, seems to present the individual as being at the mercy of forces beyond our control, which turn us towards becoming tubby and over-indulgent. Indeed, Gard, like many of the commentators on obesity, has called for 'restricting how much and when snack and fast-food companies advertise' and 'where and to whom they can sell their food'. Doesn't this feed into one of the prejudices of today's obesity debate: that we are weak and generally fickle individuals who need to be protected for our own good?
Gard is more critical than most, however, of the intrusion of governments into our personal lives. 'We have entered a period of history where it is okay for governments and medical institutions to presume to give advice about very intimate things in our lives', he says. 'It's always been around, but today it is connected with this whole self-help age that we live in, where everybody has advice for how we should live.'
12 June 2005
PAVEMENT DINING INCORRECT?
Muslim charities have tried to stop an Italian restaurant serving drink on a terrace, claiming it is offensive to Glasgow's Asian community. Gambrino Pizzeria in Kelvinbridge wants to use the pavement outside its premises as an eating and drinking area and has applied to Glasgow City Council for permission. However, the proposals for eight tables and 16 seats has infuriated the local Asian community who say drinking alcohol outdoors is "offensive".
Two Muslim charities, UK Islamic Mission, based at the Islamic Mosque in Carrington Street, and Noah's Ark/ Radio Ramadhan in Arlington Street, formally objected to the Great Western Road restaurant's seating plans. Javeed Gill, secretary of the UK Islamic Mission, said: "This area is the second largest area for Muslims in the city and we look after 1500 young people and provide activities for them. "We've no objection if it is being done inside but selling alcohol on the footpath is a temptation to our young people." Mr Gill said concerns about the increasing number of outside drinking premises had been raised in the mosque.
Today, despite the protest, council officials are recommending the application be passed. The restaurant has street tables but as yet it has no permission to sell alcohol or provide a table service. A number of city bars and restaurants serve alcohol outside and more are set to apply to as the ban on smoking in public places is due to begin next April.
Gambrino owner Ken Graham said: "You do get objections to this sort of application, quite often from church groups or charities. "However, it seems strange to us as we don't have a mosque on our doorstep, but everybody is entitled to their opinion."
POOR TASTE PLUS PROPAGANDA IN A LIBRARY
Two Hillsborough County commissioners say public libraries are no place for Gay and Lesbian Pride Month exhibits. Commissioner Ronda Storms said she will schedule the issue for a board discussion where she intends to ask that such displays be banned. As the mother of a 6-year-old daughter, she said she does not want to be forced to explain homosexuality and transexuality if her child passes such a display and starts asking questions. "I do not want to have to explain to my daughter what it means to question one's sexuality," Storms said during a budget workshop Wednesday.
Commission Chairman Jim Norman said that he, too, is concerned and said a policy discussion is warranted given that commissioners approve how money is spent on library operations. He noted that commissioners have previously taken a stand on such issues, voting roughly a decade ago to yank county funding from the annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
Commissioner Kathy Castor was alone in expressing opposition to such a move Wednesday. "I would hope this board would not use this dais to promote discrimination," Castor said. "I think it would be a terrible thing to put something like this on the agenda."
The exchange came a day after a story in the St. Petersburg Times noted that a book display honoring Gay and Lesbian Pride Month was taken down at West Gate Regional Library in Town 'N Country after some patrons complained. Library officials have since said it was a misunderstanding that led to the dismantling of the display, which they intend put back up in another part of the building. A similar display is at the John F. Germany Library on Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa. It includes three shelves of books in the adult fiction section.
Library Services Director Joe Stines said the West Gate display was initially done by a part-time employee and a student who had designed a poster to highlight a bibliography of books with gay or lesbian themes. The poster was not professionally prepared, he said, which is why it was taken down. "It certainly isn't in the children's area," Stines said after the meeting Wednesday.
Storms said she is not seeking to have any books about gay issues removed from the libraries. She said she just doesn't want them promoted in places where children are likely to see them, which could be anyplace in the library. "This uses government to promote a political perspective," she said after Wednesday's meeting. "Whether we should have pride in homosexuality is a political perspective."
"ACTIVISTS" STAND IN THE WAY OF CURES FOR AIDS
Attacking those totally incorrect drug companies matters far more to them than the fact that millions of poor Africans are dying of AIDS
Some AIDS activists are impossible to satisfy. While pharmaceutical researchers toil to treat and prevent AIDS, assorted protesters demand so much that drug companies are throwing their hands up in exasperation. Perfectionist groups literally have halted promising drug trials. These militants should desist before they jeopardize even more human lives.
This battle between “patient advocates” and drug manufacturers rages primarily in Africa and Asia, where AIDS spreads as quickly as juicy gossip. Because the third world includes so many AIDS patients, and drugs can be studied most efficiently where diseases move swiftly, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control, among others, chose Cambodia and Cameroon to test Tenofovir, Gilead Science’s HIV-prevention pill.
As Marilyn Chase explained in the May 18 Wall Street Journal, activists insisted that researchers guarantee volunteers “developed-world standards of prevention” and lifelong access to AIDS drugs if they became infected. Normally, such individuals would visit local clinics. Outside demonstrators wanted counseling, condoms, and free needles for Thai intravenous-drug users, plus bleach to sterilize old needles. “In every war, there are those who collaborate with the enemy,” declares an Act Up-Paris manifesto. “AIDS too has its collaborators: [Including] those who see the epidemic as an opportunity to make money.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if drugs sold at cost, or were free, despite research and development expenses? Wouldn’t it be nice if grocers gave away food?
Act Up-Paris’s idealism sometimes disappears. At a 2004 AIDS conference, it hurled fake blood at and destroyed Gilead’s display case. “Gilead’s greed kills,” protesters bellowed.
Facing such outrage, researchers canceled a Cambodian study last August and suspended one in Cameroon last February. The 2006 goal for determining Tenofovir’s effectiveness has slid to 2007. In those additional twelve months, five million people needlessly could contract HIV. How many will AIDS kill in the same time frame?
“What the developed world’s activists are doing to the developing world is tantamount to murder or genocide,” says Congress of Racial Equality spokesman Niger Innis. He has visited Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, and Thailand to study global health issues. Innis adds: “If AIDS researchers waited for environmental and health standards in developing nations to reach those of the West before they conducted much-needed AIDS trials, you could kiss goodbye a generation of Africans. You can’t wait for purified Poland Spring water to extinguish a fire raging in your house right now.”
Act Up-Paris and the European AIDS Treatment Group even managed to terminate French, German, and Spanish studies of Maraviroc, a prospective AIDS therapy. The group argued that highly immuno-suppressed HIV-positive patients should not try this Pfizer drug as a first treatment.
“At last July’s World AIDS Conference in Bangkok, I saw people splatter red paint on and trash the information booths of several drug companies. They did the same thing two years earlier in Barcelona,” says Abner Mason, executive director of the AIDS Responsibility Project. “This type of activism slows and, in some cases, stops the development of new drugs. This ultimately will mean that millions of people will have nowhere to turn when they need therapy.”
Drug companies are responding to these vandals by retiring their test tubes. Says one pharmaceutical executive: “Activists who hound drug companies, and the incentive system that underpins drug discovery, are directly responsible for depressing R&D for HIV. From a peak of 125 drugs in development in 1998-1999, we are now down to around 80, a 36 percent decline. This is a direct consequence of hostile, unrelenting attacks on the industry. No matter what industry does, no good deed goes unpunished in HIV/AIDS.”
“We are seeing 27 percent fewer companies working in HIV research than there were six years ago,” says American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Roger Bate. “Companies don’t like to be told that they have blood on their hands and that they back genocide. If they are not making money on their research, they’re unlikely to keep funding it. . . These drugs will not be like Lipitor, which made $10.9 billion last year. Compared to such a blockbuster drug, even the best AIDS drug will not earn anywhere near that kind of money.” While activists scream about profits, AIDS silently kills Africans and Asians by the millions.
11 June 2005
NO PENALTIES FOR STREET DEFECATION IN CANADA
So it's a big problem. Surprise, surprise!
The ripe stench of human excrement is getting stronger in downtown lanes, curling the stomachs of workers who no longer want to relax by the back door for smoke breaks. "We're getting to the point where the need for public toilets is getting serious," said Charles Gauthier, executive director of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. "There's a burgeoning entertainment district, a growing homelessness problem and people have nowhere to go. I've been with the association for 15 years and it's just becoming more and more of an issue for more of our members. The stench of urine and feces in back lanes in the central business district and the Downtown Eastside, where it's probably a lot worse."
The 10-block city slum is swollen with up to 5,000 injection drug users who have less control of their bowels. Many are homeless and have nowhere to go to the toilet. Often the drug users roam out of the neighbourhood into alleys linking downtown businesses. Gauthier said his members don't want to clean up the piles excrement the homeless make on their properties and he doesn't blame them.
The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has gotten involved and is calling for action before disease spreads. "Defecating and urinating in the street is not something that's healthy for individuals," said Richard Taki, public health protection officer for the authority. "A number of diseases are passed through the fecal-oral route. If people are tracking this bacteria into eating establishments and public facilities we're running the risk of a problem with rodents and insects carrying bacteria. "Salmonella is the obvious threat and for a lot of the homeless people who are imunocompromised, food poisoning is going to be serious." He said a solution, likely portable public toilets, is imminent. "It's going to be sooner rather than later, it's something we're going ahead with."
City planners met with the business association Wednesday to tell them a range of options will have to be discussed. "There's a considerable cost involved. In the Downtown Eastside we're going to need a supervised bank of toilets and that's going to cost in excess of $5,000 a month," said Bob Ross, a city engineer working on the issue. Open urinals are also in the mix of strategies being considered. "I'm not sure our culture is ready for that. It seems to me it's an undignified and humiliating way of dealing with the problem, but one that also seems to be working in parts of England and Amsterdam," Ross said.
There are logistical and financing challenges in the way of cleaning back lanes. But the city, the health authority and the business association are all in agreement that something has to be done now. "It's awful for residents who have to deal with the smell wafting in through their windows and it's just getting so much worse," said Ross. Stakeholders have been discussing for years a plan to put self-cleaning, automated public toilets in the downtown, but have been afraid that they would be used for prostitution and to shoot drugs. The city has a contract with a street furniture company to provide six of the units and just has to decide if they are something the community would respect and where to put them. "There have been problems with illegal activity happening in the toilets in other cities, like Seattle and San Francisco," said Gauthier. "But now I think we've come to a point in Vancouver where we have to act. The public need far outweighs those concerns. These units are going to be automated and will have a time limit on them. And really, people are going shoot drugs wherever they want."
Vancouver city council has turned to other Canadian municipalities for guidance, but so far nobody has come up with a solution, said Ross. Vancouver is set to commission a study to map the size of the problem and is considering spending more money on maintaining public toilets in the downtown entertainment and business districts. More funding is needed for permanent public washrooms in the Downtown Eastside slum where thousands of homeless drug users have long used alleys as toilets. Kim Kerr, general manager of the Downtown Eastside Resident's Association, said he is disgusted with the plan. "This is a ghetto where people are turned out to rot, we're talking about adults with the mental capabilities of 10-year-olds who are addicted to drugs. They have no home, they have no toilet. What do you expect," Kerr said. "We are worrying about the mess of piss in the street while homeless people are dying. Let's spend the money on toilets on houses. We treat human beings in this city with less concern than we show animals."
CALIFORNIA THOUGHT POLICE STRIKE AGAIN
A bit of harmless fun is sternly rebuked in San Francisco
The San Francisco 49ers are teaming up with the city's Human Rights Commission to improve their diversity and anti-harassment training in response to the release of an offensive video made by the team's former public relations director. The 15-minute film provided anonymously last week to the San Francisco Chronicle features racist jokes, lesbian soft-porn and topless blondes - and even former PR director Kirk Reynolds impersonating San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom officiating at a mock lesbian wedding.
"While we believed that we had a good diversity awareness program that reached each and every person in this organization, we understand now that this is clearly not the case," team owners John and Denise York said in a statement Thursday. "We will work closely with the city's Human Rights Commission to develop and establish new diversity and sensitivity awareness programs and protocols incorporating creative, meaningful and alternative training methods. These methods will be tailored for the unique dynamics of a professional football team."
Reynolds, who resigned last week, said he made the video to coach players on handling media questions in diverse San Francisco - and never meant it for public consumption. But the public airing of the film - as well as a similar one from 2003 shown by television station KRON earlier this week - prompted intense criticism from Newsom and leaders of some of the minority communities mocked in the video.
Thursday's announcement came a day after the Yorks and other team officials met with city leaders to discuss how to deal with the controversy. "We thought it was extremely productive," said the mayor's spokesman, Peter Ragone, who took part in the meeting. "They demonstrated a real commitment to working with the mayor's office and the entire city family to deal with this issue. Their management has demonstrated a real sincere desire to make sure that this issue is dealt with appropriately, thoroughly and substantively. We are very pleased with this as a starting point."
The team also announced Thursday that incoming City Administrator and former Human Rights Commission Director Ed Lee will serve as the liaison between the city and the team during the process. Lee, who describes himself as a 49ers fan, said he couldn't believe the video when he saw it and considered it "out of character" for the franchise. Lee hopes to have a plan of action in place in about a month, just before the start of training camp. The commission will present the team with a letter spelling out some of its recommendations within the next week and the team will have a week or two to respond, Lee said. "Their apologies have been quite sincere," Lee said. "Now we have to go beyond apologies and go to some levels of action to make sure they take steps to assure this does not happen again. We need to see a culture of change in the organization." Lee, who served as commission director from 1991-96, wants to make sure the players understand how important this issue is and don't see the video as just "locker room humor." "San Francisco is a unique town," Lee said. "There are a lot of different backgrounds that fulfill this fan base. There are a lot of gays, lesbians, Asians and women who support the 49ers."
The Niners also outlined a community outreach plan to deal with fallout from the video. They have scheduled a second community meeting to discuss the videos and the team's commitment to diversity and tolerance. Officials will meet with leaders of the Asian community next Tuesday. "This is the first step of many that we will be taking to restore and solidify our team's position as a leader and champion of diversity, tolerance and respect for others," team lawyer Ed Goines said.
MORE HATRED OF CHRISTIANITY
A wooden cross has been removed from the wall of a crematorium chapel "to cater for everyone in a diverse multi-faith society". Torbay council, in Devon, has also renamed the building a "ceremony hall". The Rev Anthony Macey, vicar of nearby Cockington and Chelston, discovered that the 5ft cross had been taken down when he arrived to conduct a funeral. No other religions had complained about the cross, he said, and he hoped the council would reconsider its decision. "It is political correctness gone mad. That cross has been in the chapel for 50 years. It seems stupid to remove it when most of the funerals are Christian.
But Alan Faulkner, the executive member for environmental services of the Liberal Democrat-controlled council, said: "We live in a diverse multi faith society and many people have no specific beliefs at all. "The facility at Torquay crematorium is a ceremony hall. It is not a chapel and it is not consecrated."
Peter Haywood, the chairman of the Seamen's Christian Friends Society, refused to conduct a service until a wooden cross was put back. "I'm afraid I blew my top about this," he said. Ian Loram, a local funeral director, said he had had only one request for the cross to be removed in 25 years. If there was concern the cross should be reinstated with a curtain, he said.
10 June 2005
HOMOSEXUALS DIE YOUNG
Dr. Paul Cameron, President of Family Research Institute, a Colorado-based think tank, announced today that a new study on the life span of homosexuals will appear in a 2005 issue of the refereed scientific journal Psychological Reports (Volume 96: pp. 693-697). This study provides additional evidence that the practice of homosexuality, with its attendant lifestyle, shortens the life of practitioners by about 20 years. "Obituaries have indicated that gays seldom reach old age," Cameron said. "Indeed, gay obituaries suggest that engaging in homosexuality costs participants between 15 to 25 years of life, suggesting that homosexuality is more dangerous than smoking or being fat. Over 10,000 gay obituaries have been collected from homosexual publications. Are the obituaries listed in the gay press representative of gay deaths in general?" Cameron asks. A new study that compared them with Centers for Disease Control data indicates they are.
The Washington Blade, a homosexual newspaper, has been the major homosexual paper used to track homosexual obituaries. So its obituaries for death due to AIDS were compared to AIDS deaths among males who had sex with males from the CDC for 1994 through 2000. Surprisingly, there was almost perfect correspondence. The effects of the new drug cocktails for AIDS were evident in both datasets. In 1994 the CDC put the average age of death by AIDS for homosexuals at 39, the Blade at 40. By 2000, the CDC reported the median age of death at 43 and the Blade at 42. Similar correspondences were noted for the 25th and 75th centiles of deaths.
The CDC reported that 9% of heterosexuals who died of AIDS were at least 65 years of age. But less than 4% of homosexuals and IV drug abusers who died of AIDS reached 65. "These findings add substantial support to our previous findings," said Cameron, who headed the study. "While no one has all the facts on this issue, the CDC data is about as good as it gets. These data indicate that considerable progress in medically combating HIV is being made - its even affecting deaths from other medical causes. Right now, the median age of death for gays in the obituaries is running near 60 - about tied with the median age of death for lesbians. Of course, the median age of death for adults is about 80 - so the 20 year hit for engaging in homosexuality that we reported 15 years ago continues to hold."
The new study "Gay obituaries closely track officially reported deaths from AIDS" can be read in the scientific journal, Psychological Reports (2005;96:693-697). [I referee for that journal myself at times - JR]
YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SAY THAT HOMOSEXUALS DIE YOUNG
A press release from the Family Research Institute this week announces a study that purportedly “provides additional evidence that the practice of homosexuality, with its attendant lifestyle, shortens the life of practitioners by about 20 years.” Titled “Gay obituaries closely track officially reported deaths from AIDS,” study results will appear in the journal Psychological Reports. The president of the Family Research Institute, Paul Cameron, led the project.
The latest report builds on an earlier one in which Dr. Cameron examined deaths reported in homosexual publications, tracked the ages of the deceased and averaged the results. The life expectancy of a male homosexual, it was determined, was in the early 40s. Those results have been cited by some conservative commentators. They’ve also been widely derided by those on the other side.
I think some skepticism is justified. The methodology is flawed because the sample population isn’t representative. Most likely, the publications reviewed disproportionately report the deaths of out-of-the-closet homosexuals who were active in the gay rights movement and very possibly died of AIDS. Excluding the deaths of people not covered in publications targeted to gays leaves too many gaps. Extrapolating the numbers leads to skewed results.
Dr. Cameron says that his newest findings closely correlate to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control. Even if true, his report will be ridiculed as vicious, homophobic propaganda.
It’s not that there haven’t been other studies concluding that homosexuals tend to die earlier. It’s just that the subject is so emotionally charged that merely bringing it up is accepted in some quarters as irrefutable evidence of bigotry. In 1997, the International Journal of Epidemiology carried an article with the excitingly provocative title, “Modelling the impact of HIV disease on mortality in gay and bisexual men.” Half a dozen scholars scrutinized vital statistics for several years from a large Canadian city. Their finding: Life expectancy at age 20 for gay or bisexual men was 8 to 20 years less than that for all men.
Those figures aren’t remarkable, knowing what we do about the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS among homosexuals. What was notable is what happened four years after the publication of the article. The six authors wrote a letter to the editor of the publication in which their work originally appeared. They were displeased because — you guessed it — homophobic groups were using their data to intimate homosexual practices were somehow self-destructive.
Tut, tut. Things have changed dramatically, they now said. Medical advances have reduced the number of deaths due to AIDS. The actuarial tables used to estimate life expectancy for a gay or bisexual man should be the same as those used for all other males. Interestingly, their letter included little supporting scientific documentation. This differed greatly from their 1997 analysis, which was chockfull of statistics, graphs, footnotes, and references.
I can’t say what the motivation might have been in writing that letter to the editor, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were intended as a mea culpa for causing homosexuals discomfort. As I’ve written before, Oscar Wilde’s “love that dare not speak its name” has turned into a lifestyle that won’t shut up. The “we’re here, we’re queer” chant may not be heard as frequently as it was once, but gay activists and their sympathizers tolerate little deviance from their orthodoxy.
9 June 2005
PERSISTENT MISREPRESENTATION OF CHRISTIANS
The Christian theocrats are said to be running amok in Red America, rousing the rabble with their strange beliefs and perhaps stoking the dungeon fires as they finalize their hit lists. Of course it doesn't take much to be accused of religious intrigue and assault these days: An Air Force cadet who sent an e-mail containing a Christian message was last week accused of harassment. It seems we are in the midst of a new Red Scare - with Commies being replaced by Red State Christians and their allies in the Blue zone.
Yet in the course of reporting a new book (Exodus: Why Americans are Leaving Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity) I found little evidence of a crusading spirit here in Jesusland. Quite the contrary. Not long ago, many people who are today called fanatical believers would have been labeled fully formed heretics. They may take their faith seriously, but they don't take it to the streets.
Be assured that rumors of impending theocracy are not confined to New York Times columnists. The Episcopal priest posted at historic St. John's Church in Richmond, Va., where Patrick Henry made his liberty-or-death speech, told me, and his congregation, that theocrat-types appear to be bankrolling the breakaway movement within the Episcopal Church, which was inspired by the elevation of the Rev. Eugene Robinson, an openly gay priest, to bishop. The fear of Episcopalians establishing a theocracy, even in a small hamlet, is highly amusing, something akin to fearing a military takeover led by the Kiwanis Club. Such is the level of hysteria.
Yet one finds little of the crusading spirit of religious certitude even among the dread born-again Christians and Evangelicals. Pollsters, including the much-quoted George Barna, have instead divined widespread heterodoxy and a live-and-let-live attitude. Born-again Christians simply aren't as generally advertised. Consider their view of Jesus, once regarded as the Sinless One. Twenty-eight percent agree that "while he lived on earth, Jesus committed sins, like other people." That is far from a crusading belief. Even further afield, 35 percent of these supposedly hard-core believers do not believe Jesus experienced a physical resurrection, a belief shared by 39 percent of the general population (85 percent of Americans say they believe that Jesus is "spiritually alive," whatever that may mean. One recalls that many Americans believe their deceased pets are now ghosts, which may also qualify as being spiritually alive. )
In this same spirit, 52 percent of born agains believe the Holy Spirit is merely a symbol of God's presence or power but is not a living entity, not much different than the general adult population (61 percent). Nor does the devil find much support. Nearly 60 percent of American adults say Satan does not exist as a being at all, but is merely a symbol of evil; 45 percent of born again Christians agree.
These supposed storm troopers of the religious right have surprisingly little interest in bringing non-believers into the fold. Over one quarter - 26 percent - think it doesn't matter what faith a person has because religions teach pretty much the same thing, while 50 percent believe a life of "good works" will get you into heaven. They are also more politically heterodox than rumored. According to 2001 figures, 38 percent of Democrats, 57 percent of Republicans, and 35 percent of Independents consider themselves born again Christians. Political analyst and writer Steve Waldman reminds us that "at least 10 million white evangelical Christians voted for Gore."
All told, these are not the beliefs of a crusading army, and only a small portion of believers should be considered truly devout, Fr. John McCloskey told me. McCloskey, an evangelist and traditionalist Catholic who is credited with helping bring Robert Bork, Robert Novak, Larry Kudlow, and Sen. Sam Brownback into the Roman Catholic Church, says that only about ten percent of Catholics are "with the program," by which he means they regularly attend Mass, go to Confession, and attempt to conform their lives fully to church teachings. The ten-percent figure turned up elsewhere as well. Dr. Albert Mohler, head of a Southern Baptist Convention seminary in Louisville, told me that only about ten percent of Protestants are serious believers, by which he meant people who take scripture not only seriously but as a guide to behavior and thought.
Ten percent can of course make a difference, and to be sure there are conservative believers who hope to influence politics. Their bold assertion is that being seriously religious should not be a disenfranchising offence. Many are also under the firm belief that most of the crusading comes from the secular world. Father McCloskey's website, for instance, includes an essay in which he muses about the possibility of large-scale martyrdom of North American Christians.....
HOMOSEXUAL PROPAGANDA IN AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS
And the teachers love it!
The New South Wales State Government yesterday ordered an inquiry into how classroom lessons are planned and created as a furore broke out over a public school's program on "gay and lesbian" discrimination. Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt said she had asked Director-General Andrew Cappie-Wood to review and report to her on how resource material was developed and used in the state's 2230 schools. The minister's action followed revelations that students as young as 14 had been asked at school to place themselves in an imaginary world dominated by homosexuals and lesbians.
Ms Tebbutt banned the program used at a western Sydney high school in which Year 9 children were told to visualise themselves being kissed by a member of the same sex. The controversial lesson, branded by critics as "brainwashing and social engineering", provoked an avalanche of letters to The Daily Telegraph yesterday.
The Teachers' Federation wrote to Ms Tebbutt stating it was "appalled" by her decision to cut the program. "The program clearly fits properly within Board of Studies syllabuses and Department of Education and Training guidelines," federation general-secretary Barry Johnson said. Mr Johnson said the minister would be aware of the number of suicides of young people who were homosexual or perceived to be homosexual. He said the bullying of young people in those circumstances was horrific and programs such as the one she had just banned would help alleviate it.
But Ms Tebbutt reaffirmed yesterday teachers would be stopped from using the material presented to Year 9 students at the western Sydney school. She said she was not happy the "inappropriate" material had been used but it was an isolated incident. "It is not in line with Government policy. Clearly it is not the case that it is happening in every classroom," she said. "I can reassure parents our teachers are focusing on the basics of literacy and numeracy." Ms Tebbutt said she had told senior officers she was "not happy". Bureaucrats were told to "lift their game".
Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson said the Commonwealth already had asked state education authorities for details of sex education programs in all schools - public and independent. "I think we need to get a reasonable idea of what is being provided, at what age is it being provided, and to be satisfied that school communities think that the sex education that is provided to their children is appropriate," Dr Nelson said.
8 June 2005
ARROGANT AND DESTRUCTIVE "DISABILITY" AGENCY IN BRITAIN
An intolerant evangelical fervour has gripped our political masters and state bureaucrats in the drive to impose their dogma of absolutist equality. We are living in an age where a barrage of freedom-curbing legislation is imposed on us by a New Labour political elite dominated by members of the legal profession, led by the Prime Minister and his expensively upholstered wife. Much of the legislation is swathed in warm-hearted rhetoric about extending rights and combating discrimination. But in practice there is often an air of bullying about the way these new social regulations are applied.
One individual who recently experienced this kind of ideological aggression is John Booth, who runs a small caravan site near Ipswich. Hard-working and kindly, he has won awards for his management of the site, with a string of clients returning year after year. As well as organising his business, Mr Booth is a leading figure in his local and sporting communities, serving as a parish councillor and giving up time and money to several charities. Mr Booth has accomplished all this despite being increasingly disabled. He suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and a severe hip problem, which means not only that he has great difficulty in walking but also that he has to make regular visits to hospitals for blood tests and to have his knee aspirated.
Yet Mr Booth's serious disability has not prevented him from falling foul of the Disability Rights Commission (DRC), which was set up in 1999 to ensure that a flood of new rules on discrimination was rigorously applied. With a budget of £17 million and a team of lawyers, the DRC, in effect, now acts as a committee of public safety to bear down on any business that is felt not to have met its exacting requirements.
Mr Booth came to the DRC's attention as a result of a dispute with Gerald and Doris Hopkins, from Stowmarket, Suffolk, who, the DRC said, were the victims of discrimination. Both are in wheelchairs. Mr Hopkins, 58, a former forklift truck operator, has a kidney complaint and suffers from osteoporosis. Mrs Hopkins, 57, has multiple sclerosis and arthritis. They say that they first booked into Mr Booth's caravan site in the summer of 2003, but had to cancel because of health problems. Then, in March 2004, they tried to book again for a two-week visit in April, but they claim that this time they were not met with the same courtesy.
In their account, they were told that there were no suitable pitches on the site for them in April, and that it would be better to take a booking in June. Feeling certain that they had been treated unfairly, they arranged for their son (who has no disability) to ring Mr Booth's site and make a booking. They say he was given one without difficulty and that their request for an explanation of their treatment went unanswered for between two and three weeks.
Mr Booth fiercely denies that he acted in a discriminatory manner. He cites a number of reasons for the reluctance to give a booking to the couple in April: the fact that the ground was damp and he was concerned about wheelchair access on the heavy, muddy turf; the limited number of pitches because the grass on the site was being re-sown in April; the sheer size of the tent that the couple proposed to bring - as Mr Booth points out, he runs a caravan site, not a camp site, and he generally accepts only small tents connected to camper vans, though he was prepared to make an exception for the couple provided they came in a less awkward month than April. And, as he says, if he were guilty of discrimination, why would he have agreed to give them a booking at all, whether in August 2003 or June 2004?
None of this would wash with the DRC, which wrote to Mr Booth warning him that, following a complaint from the couple, he would be taken to court unless he made a formal apology and gave them £2,000 in compensation for "the injury to their feelings they have suffered caused by your discriminatory behaviour''. Mr Booth was understandably outraged by this monetary demand, given that the actual cost for a two-week stay at the site is only £120. The DRC had, therefore, ordered him to pay the couple more than 15 times the sum that he would have received from their booking.
But the part of the DRC's letter which Mr Booth found most offensive was that, to prevent court proceedings, he was ordered to give "an undertaking to attend disability awareness training and to provide evidence to the DRC that this had been undertaken''.
As a disabled man himself, Mr Booth found the mixture of threats, indoctrination and extortion intolerable. "It was nothing more than emotional and financial blackmail. I felt so robbed, so bullied,'' he said. But, on the advice of his solicitor, he saw that he had no alternative but to submit to the DRC's demands. To have gone to court would have involved him in even higher costs with no guarantee of winning.
HOMOSEXUAL OBSESSIONS A PROBLEM FOR CANADIAN LIBERALS
A member of Canada's minority Liberal government unexpectedly quit the party on Monday over plans to legalize gay marriage, and said he would be willing to bring the government down if necessary. The balance of power is so finely divided in Parliament that the single vote of Pat O'Brien, who will now sit as an independent, could tip the country into an early election if the government loses a confidence vote. "I will use every opportunity I have to use -- bar none -- in order to defeat this legislation," O'Brien told a news conference shortly after informing Prime Minister Paul Martin he was leaving the party. His departure spells more bad news for Martin, who survived a tense confidence motion last month by just a single vote.
The opposition Conservative Party and the separatist Bloc Quebecois pressed hard in May to force a new election as the government's popularity eroded under allegations of kickbacks to the Liberal Party in return for rich government advertising contracts in Quebec. But the Conservatives once again trail the Liberals in many polls, and it is not clear they want an election at this time. "It's an interesting development. We'll take a look at it," Conservative spokesman Geoff Norquay said. "Let's take the urgency out of this."
O'Brien had mused out loud in April that he might leave the Liberals, but he changed his mind after Martin promised Parliament would have more time to study the bill that would legalize gay marriage across the country. It is legal in seven of the 10 provinces. An outspoken critic of the legislation, O'Brien now says the prime minister is trying to rush through consultations. "I feel he is making an enormous mistake to rush this legislation forward.... There is no mandate for this government to change the definition of marriage," O'Brien said.
The Liberals unveiled the legislation in February, saying they had to act after provincial courts ruled that prohibiting same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. The legislation is opposed by the Conservatives and is unpopular with some three dozen Liberals. But widespread support for the law by the Bloc and the New Democrats means the bill would become law unless the government fell first.
7 June 2005
Planned Parenthood Perversity: A cautionary tale of abortion-rights extremism
Can you say "perverse"? Planned Parenthood in Indiana and Kansas is effectively fighting to protect child rapists from potential prosecution in two high-profile legal fights. That an organization devoted to the interests of women finds itself in this position is a cautionary tale of abortion-rights extremism.
In Indiana, the attorney general is seeking the records of girls under the age of 14 who have visited Planned Parenthood clinics. Let that sink in: We're talking about 12- and 13-year- old girls. It is a crime to have sex with a child under 14 in the state. Under law, individuals with reason to believe a child is a victim of sex abuse are required to report it to the proper authorities. In Kansas, the attorney general is carrying on the same fight (he is also looking for evidence of illegal late-term abortions).
An Indiana judge has just upheld the Indiana attorney general's request, although the case is under appeal. "The great public interest," the county superior judge wrote, "in the reporting, investigation and prosecution of child abuse trumps even the patient's interest in privileged communication with her physician because, in the end, both the patient and the state are benefited by the disclosure."
The loopiest free-sex advocates might imagine that after sex-ed courses on how to put a condom on a banana, 13-year-old girls blissfully explore their bodies with 13-year-old boys. Put aside that this vision will make most parents gag - it's not how it works. Teen sex often involves adult men exploiting teen girls. Estimates are that in 60 percent or more of teen births, the father is an adult. A California study found that the fathers in births to junior-high-school mothers were on average nearly 7 years older.
Why would a feminist organization not be eager to cooperate in a fight against the sexual exploitation of young girls? Well, Planned Parenthood represents that wing of the feminist billed as "sex positive." Although that phrase doesn't quite capture it. Planned Parenthood is developing the "statutory rape-positive" wing of feminism.
These feminists are unwilling to pass judgment on any sex in any circumstances, don't care if parents are cut out of the equation entirely, believe the right to an abortion trumps any other consideration, and embrace a notion of privacy so sweeping it includes men who have, under law, raped their young sexual partners. If only Michael Jackson were interested in girls instead of boys, he might, in the right circumstances, have a friend in Planned Parenthood.
Privacy is a mere excuse not to provide the records. It is not at all unusual for criminal prosecutions to involve medical records. And no one is going to make public the names of the girls involved, which are being provided to the authorities, not the news media. "We've been doing these investigations since the 1970s, and there's never been a case where we have not maintained the confidentiality of records," Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter told a local columnist. In Kansas - where the case is pending before the state supreme court - Attorney General Phill Kline authored the state's rape shield law when he was in the legislature. It is not the girl in any of these cases who will be in jeopardy, but her adult abuser (if there is one).
This fight is so important because our culture relentlessly sexualizes children. The message, for instance, of Britney Spears's act before she came of age was "teen girls are hot." Pop culture won't change, but the law can at least try to send an opposite signal.
Key Democrats from Hillary Clinton to Howard Dean have of late said their party needs to become more moderate on abortion. They could add substance to the rhetoric by opposing Planned Parenthood's position in these cases. Of course, that will never happen. The abortion absolutists control the Democratic party, a sad fact for those Americans who have moral qualms about abortion, but a happy one for men who impregnate 13-year-olds.
HOMOSEXUALITY AS A PATHOLOGY
As a libertarian I am perfectly indifferent to homosexuality and how normal it is or is not. I judge people as individuals, not by where they stick their dicks. As long as they don't bother me with their compulsions and problems I won't bother them. But I think that the one-sided discussion of homosexuality that we mostly hear is deplorable -- as all one-sided discussion is -- so I am pleased to be able to present the views expressed below
This week, many an unsuspecting American family will travel to Walt Disney World, where they will find themselves at the epicenter of a recurring cultural earthquake. There, at America's favorite family destination, hordes of homosexuals will congregate at Pleasure Island for an annual exercise in societal entropy. "Gay Days at Disney" they call it -- though it is anything but. "Gay" in the current vernacular is, of course, the term used by the fashionably PC to describe homosexuals. In dictionaries just a couple of decades ago, however, this same adjective meant "happy" or "a state of high spirits." A century ago, the primary definition was: "licentious, lacking moral restraints, leading a debauched or dissolute life." The Gay '90s, for example, were the final decade of what Mark Twain dubbed "The Gilded Age," an era of unmitigated opulence and unrestrained immorality among a subculture of the elite.
In light of this earliest definition, we're reminded of the inimitable words of that great American philosopher, Yogi Berra: "This is like deja vu all over again." Indeed, today's "gay" culture is equally dissolute, and its agenda is anathema to the bedrock institution of our past, present and future -- the American family.
Leading the charge in homosexual advocacy are groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, and their strategy has heretofore been an effective one. The ACLU will select cases in U.S. Circuit Court venues where the Left has installed a majority of judicial activists -- those who do the bidding of constituencies like homosexuals, in effect ignoring the Constitution and legislating by judicial fiat. It is these same judicial activists who affirm such issues as same-sex "marriage" and same-sex partner benefits.
The homosexual legal agenda notwithstanding, the question all enlightened Americans should be asking themselves in order to understand better the moral implications of this agenda is, which definition of "gay" applies to the homosexual subculture in America? In order to answer this question, one must gain some insight into the pathology of homosexual behavior.
The shifting paradigm of sexual morality is a source of much controversy in America. Homosexuals, though less than 3% of the population, are at the center of this controversy. The secular rights of consenting adults are in contest with the timeless natural order of the family and society.
To discuss the issue of homosexual normalization, we must move beyond the "pro-this/anti-that" labels and dispel a false dichotomy -- one that has infected our dialogue on the issue of homosexuality. Homosexual advocacy groups often rebut dissenters by branding them as pharisaical, intolerant and judgmental -- ad hominem accusations which serve only to preclude a consequential discussion of the issue. Of course, one's heartfelt disagreement with the social agenda of homosexual advocates has no direct correlation with one's capacity to love or have compassion for others. Nor is such dissent necessarily related to judgment, which is God's alone. Rather, it is about discerning between right and wrong and obedience to objective truth -- as opposed to conformity with a contemporary code of relativism whose tenets are "tolerance," "diversity" and "inclusion."
From a Judeo-Christian perspective, it should be noted that objective truth does not constitute law without grace. In fact, law in the absence of grace is meaningless -- little more than oppression. However, grace in the absence of law is, likewise, meaningless -- little more than licentiousness. Law and grace are, in fact, different sides of the same coin.
Understanding aberrant sexual behavior is the critical first step toward healing it. Homosexuality is sometimes a promiscuous lifestyle choice. Often, however, as understood by many medical and mental health specialists, gender-disorientation pathology is associated with childhood or adolescent sexual and/or emotional trauma and/or abuse. Additionally, homosexual modeling by an authority figure -- often an influential person with access to the victim through the family, church, school, neighborhood or media -- can result in gender-disorientation pathology.
Homosexual victims often compensate and cover their pain by manifesting some degree of narcissism -- an unmitigated expression of self-love. They compulsively indulge in aberrant sexual behavior to avoid reconciling the pain of abuse or homosexual modeling.
Additionally, while there was rampant speculation a decade ago about a "homosexual gene," that theory has been repeatedly rejected by both the scientific community and national homosexual advocacy organizations. It should be noted, however, that some children may be genetically predisposed to exhibit masculine or feminine characteristics associated with the opposite sex -- putting them at greater risk of being targeted by homosexual predators and more susceptible, psychologically, to homosexual modeling.
It is no small irony that the most outspoken advocates for the homosexual agenda are equally outspoken about environmental issues -- preservation of the natural order. Even the most humanist of these advocates must acknowledge the obvious -- that homosexuality is a clear and undeniable violation of the laws of nature.
Given insight into the pathology of gender disorientation, to abandon, under the aegis of "love, compassion and inclusion," those who struggle with homosexuality, is tantamount to abandoning a destitute soul in a gutter. In the final analysis, there is nothing "gay" about being afflicted with gender disorientation pathology. Nor is there anything redeeming about those who would use a family theme park to advance the homosexual agenda.
6 June 2005
PORN FOR 6-YEAR-OLDS TOO MUCH EVEN FOR SWEDES
But no penalty for the porn-peddler, of course
Stockholm's Dramatiska Institutet broke a range of further education regulations rules when it ran an arts project in which a group of 6 year old pupils were exposed to pornographic material read from a novel. The National Agency for Higher Education has delivered its report on the "school porn scandal" which erupted in January this year and its criticism of DI (the University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre) is damning. The children had been invited to participate as the audience in the project, entitled "Love & Sexuality". They were filmed as they provided feedback on the students' work.
While the accompanying teacher was out of the room, a male student from DI read from a text which graphically depicted "two small girls" having oral sex while a woman watched. Re-entering the room, the children's teacher interrupted proceedings as soon as she heard what was going on - some 5-7 minutes after the reading had begun.
According to the National Agency for Higher Education, DI had not asked parents' permission before filming the children. Nor had there been any analysis of the potential effects on the children of such a controversial topic - as is required by the UN's convention on the rights of the child.
Before the children's participation in the project, DI sent a letter to schools explaining the theme and stating that experts from Save the Children would be present in the classrooms - which they were not. The agency described as "noteworthy" the fact that DI had not given schools an accurate description of the conditions under which the project would be run. "My hope is that the National Agency for Higher Education's thorough investigation and proposals will be a great help to Dramatiska Institutet's continued work and will minimise the risk of anything like this happening again," wrote Sigbrit Franke, the head of the agency, in a press release.
DI has until September 30th to provide a response to the report, including an explanation of how the failings will be dealt with. Astrid Assefa, the chairwoman of DI's board, told Dagens Nyheter that even an arts school must have routines which provide suitable protection. "At the same time, you can't allow for the fact that someone might overstep the mark," she said. No action has been taken against the student who read the pornographic text.
Diversity and Divisiveness
An interesting post lifted from Bill Vallicella, the non-Italian-American philosopher
Liberals emphasize the value of diversity, and with some justification. Many types of diversity are good. One thinks of culinary diversity, musical diversity, artistic diversity generally. Biodiversity is good, and so is a diversity of opinions, especially insofar as such diversity makes possible a robustly competitive market place of ideas wherein the best rise to the top. A diversity of testable hypotheses is conducive to scientific progress. And so on.
But no reasonable person values diversity as such. A maximally diverse neighborhood would include pimps, whores, nuns, drug addicts, Islamo-headchoppers, Hell's Angels, priests both pedophile and pure, Sufi mystics, bank clerks, insurance salesmen, people who care for their property, people who are big on deferred maintenance . . . . You get the point. Only some sorts of diversity are valuable. Diversity worth having presupposes a principle of unity that controls the diversity. Diversity must be checked and balanced by the competing value of unity, a value with an equal claim on our respect.
For example, one may value a district which is home to a diversity of restaurants (Turkish, Thai, French. . .), but only if they are all good restaurants. A diversity which includes ptomaine joints, greasy spoons, and high-end establishments is not the sort of diversity one values. Or one may value a philosophy department in which a diversity of courses is on offer, but not one in which the diversity extends to the competence levels of the instructors or the preparedness levels of the students. One wants excellent instruction on a diversity of topics - but that is just to say that the value of diversity must be kept in check by the competing value of unity: the instructors are precisely not diverse in respect of their excellence.
Diversity unchecked by the competing value of unity leads to divisiveness. For this reason, one ought not 'celebrate diversity' unless on is also willing to 'celebrate unity.' And this is precisely what too many liberals and leftists cannot, or will not, comprehend. They unreasonably emphasize diversity at the expense of unity.
Compare the unreasonable overemphasis on diversity with the unreasonable overemphasis on liberty. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth of late in liberal enclaves over the evil John Ashcroft's assault on our civil liberties. Liberals make the same mistake here that they make in the case of diversity: they fail to appreciate that liberty and security are competing values each of which requires the other to have the value it has.
If you have followed me this far, then take action. Support English as the official language of the USA and oppose the deleterious idiocy of bilingual education. Celebrate unity and the conditions of its flourishing all the while respecting the competing value of diversity. When libs and lefties spout off on how precious 'diversity' is, balance their claptrap by underscoring the value of unity.
5 June 2005
A DELIBERATE ATTEMPT TO PROVOKE CHRISTIANS:
And deliberately shoving it in the face of parents that their rights over the education of their children are non-existent. It is however a good way to create Republican voters, I would think.
A poster at Troy High School that reads "Gay People are Everyday People" appears to be multiplying instead of coming down. Some parents have been fighting the Troy School District for more than a year to have the poster removed from an English classroom, claiming it promotes sexuality and a homosexual lifestyle. But the maker of the poster said the school's English department has decided to go the other direction, ordering 25 more copies. "Now there's going to be 26 at the school," said Leslie Thompson, executive director of Ferndale-based Affirmations Gay/Lesbian Community Center, which distributes the posters. "I'm really rather proud of the district, the school and the teachers for standing by their gay students," she said. "(The poster) is really a strong message for those kids."
District spokesman Tim McAvoy confirmed that at least four new posters went up recently. The poster originally went up in 2003 at the request of the student group Human Equal Rights Organization, which was doing a project on tolerance. It portrays five teenagers surrounded by photos of professionals such as caterers, mail carriers, musicians and teachers. "The students requested the poster to show all people deserve respect and tolerance, and should not be harassed for any reason," McAvoy said. "The poster ensures student safety through a message of tolerance and respect."
But parents opposed to the poster say it promotes more than tolerance, and should be replaced by posters that read "Treat Everyone With Respect" or other nonsexual messages. "If the poster is truly a message of tolerance, it should not single out one group," said Tony Cruz, a parent of two daughters in the district. He said the posters promote a sexual lifestyle that is against Judeo-Christian beliefs. "It should not even be acknowledged to youth, much less promoted."
Cruz said his Christian upbringing prohibits him from hating gays, but also won't allow him to accept their lifestyle. "If they want to engage it, that's their business. We believe it's a sin," he said. "I am here to censor their attempts to promote that lifestyle on my children. We do not want them to try and change our children."
But Affirmations' Thompson said the poster does not promote sex or sexual activity. "We don't consider the word 'gay' any more sexual than the word 'marriage,'" she said. She fears the controversy over the poster will further alienate gay students who she said are afraid to let their sexual orientation be known for fear of retribution. "We're not trying to force anything on anyone," she said. "We're just trying to live our lives. We are everyday people."
PUSHING PRO-HOMOSEXUAL PROPAGANDA ONTO HAWAIIAN KIDS:
With balance being deliberately rejected
Today, a high school in Hawaii plans to show students a video that promotes homosexuality as normal and natural, a decision made despite the fact that several parents have raised objections to school administrators over the film's content and message. Officials at King Kekaulike High School on the island of Maui say they intend to show the film It's Elementary as a way to teach tolerance toward homosexuals. However, several parents are opposed to the school's plan to show the film in isolation, saying it not only legitimizes homosexual lifestyles but also denies that ex-homosexuals exist.
In addition to proceeding with plans to show the controversial film, the school administrators also ignored a simple request from parents that another video called I Do Exist be shown to supplement It's Elementary. Featured in I Do Exist is a man who, as a teen, was interviewed for the other film but who has since left the homosexual lifestyle.
Estelle Wilkerson is a member of the group of concerned parents who raised objections over the school's planned showing of the pro-homosexual film. "We expressed our opinion," she says. "We offered another option. We even offered to come up with a committee that could be at the schools to supervise and help, like a security team of parents, just so that this harassment that, as you say, is happening on campus will stop, if in fact it is -- at least to the extent that they are making it seem [so that] it warrants this film."
However, since the school appears to have swept the parents concerns aside and is proceeding with the showing of It's Elementary to the students. Wilkerson admits that she and the other parents in the group are "feeling a little frustrated." The reason, she notes, is because, "when we're at the meetings, they express how wonderful it is for parents to be [involved] and how much they appreciate our presence and our concern," she says. However, the Maui mom adds, "Obviously, our opinion and what we have to say is unimportant, because we're still having this film."
The protesting parents feel the film scheduled for screening at King Kekaulike High School is both one-sided and outdated, since it features a homosexual teen who is now an adult and no longer involved in homosexual activity and also ignores the existence of former homosexuals like him. The parents group is concerned that by showing It's Elementary without the balancing perspective of a documentary like I Do Exist, the school will be presenting students with an incomplete and decidedly one-sided view of homosexuality.
Bible under fire again: "Bibles could be banned from hospitals in Leicestershire because they offend non-Christians. Hospital bosses also fear the Gideon International bibles may spread the MRSA superbug. They are holding a meeting to discuss the proposals. In a statement, the Trust said: "University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust is committed to religious diversity and equality." It added: "Regardless of the outcome of the discussions, patients can be reassured that religious texts will continue to be made available at the Trust's three hospitals through the chaplaincy." But Gideons International, which distributes the bibles widely in hospitals, hotels, cruise liners and prisons, said the move is "outrageous". Iain Mair, executive director of Gideons International UK headquarters, said: "We understand that the hospital authorities are having a meeting to discuss ordering the removal of these testaments from bedsides. "Firstly, they are saying there's a potential MRSA risk, and we say that is nonsense." He said the proposal was "political correctness gone mad". "We will put notes in the lockers which will say that, if a patient wants a book of another faith, these are the people they should contact.""
4 June 2005
A LEFTIST CLAIM THAT CONSERVATIVES DISTORT HISTORY!
(I have lifted this post from an article by Lester Dent)
Mr. Pinkerton showcases the views of historian Dr. Michael Vlahos of Johns Hopkins University, who previously demonstrated his moral equivalence approach to history by claiming Jean Calvin was the historical equivalent of Islamist mullahs today. Here, he puts forth the thesis that President Bush and his administration have “launched a radical campaign of reshaping American historical thinking.” The examples he cites are:
* Bush speaking about the American Revolution being followed by years of chaos
* Bush saying that the Articles of Confederation failed miserably
* Rumsfeld saying “Freedom’s untidy”
* Laura Bush saying the struggle in the Middle East is akin to the decades leading to the American Civil War
According to Dr. Vlahos, the Bush doctrine aims to change the world, but the first step is that America must be diverted from its “tradition of governmental prudence and realism in the setting of objectives, at home and abroad.” Bush and his “neo-conservative advisors” (Liberal code alert: Read “Jews”) are “seeking to deconstruct U.S. history, making way for constructing a newly fashioned vision of America’s future.”
When I read this thesis, I actually burst out laughing. Is Dr. Vlahos denying the first two statements about history? Was there chaos after the Revolutionary War? Does the fact that the young nation disenfranchised 3 states in the initial presidential election say anything about this? Do the long and contentious debates leading to the Constitution say anything to this? What about the fact that there was no uniform currency for years (with each state minting their own), and that states were blockading other states commerce on waterways as well as negotiating treaties separately with foreign governments? Is Dr. Vlahos familiar with the Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts, where mobs of farmers rose up and were repulsed by armed militia (part of farmer rebellions from New Hampshire to South Carolina)?
Is he prepared to defend the Articles of Confederation as a success, when they clearly were a failure (leading Alexander Hamilton, among others, to call for their redrafting or replacement and the genesis of the Constitution)? Read any history of the U.S. Constitution and you will understand this. This is (or should be) high school stuff, Doc.
Is freedom tidy, say, compared to totalitarian states where speech is controlled and dissenters are jailed or executed? Where Dr. Vlahos would “disappear” for writing against the sitting government, but the trains run on time? Can this historian look at the 2000 election debacle and the conspiracy theories that still swirl in the minds of the uninformed, not to mention the hysterical drama that passes for Senate debate today, and say freedom does not lead to a certain amount of “untidiness”?
Context, Dr. Vlahos, is generally important. Your attack on Laura Bush “rewriting history,” blatantly ignores that she was speaking not just about the Civil War, but about human rights – in particular, women’s rights and the rights of minorities. She noted that at times in American history people campaigned and fought for those rights that are only now emerging against serious opposition of a class which profits from the inequality in the Middle East. Can this noted historian not see some parallels between the Kurds and Shia under Saddam – repressed, murdered, enslaved and relegated at best to second-class citizenship – with the plight of African slaves in the U.S., each fighting toward equality after armed conflict toppled the power structure that repressed them?
To read this piece, you would think that President Bush and company are ordering history books to be re-written. I wonder where Dr. Vlahos’ outrage was when the New Jersey Department of Education re-wrote their history standards in 2002 to omit references to George Washington, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. How many interviews did he give denouncing the California Federation of Teachers in 2002 when a representative spoke before the State Assembly against a bill which would have required study of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence because, "We don’t feel that it is essential for students to know these documents.”
Where was the opinion piece by Mr. Pinkerton decrying the rewriting of history when Kenneth C. Davis in 1990’s Don't Know Much About History elided "Forbid it, Almighty God” from the middle of the famous Patrick Henry quote that ends, “but as for me, give me liberty or give me death" (along with other religious statements from within famous quotes)?
Where were these two protectors of the sacred history of the United States when the National Center for History in the Schools, based at the University of California at Los Angeles, published an official-sounding National Standards for United States History in 1994? Lynn Cheney noted, as the former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities that had initiated the project, that while the “standards” failed to mention that Washington was our first president, and Madison was the father of the Constitution, they managed many references to the Ku Klux Klan and Joe McCarthy. Missing also were Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright Brothers, Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, and Neil Armstrong (although George Washington Carver was noted).
You won’t find mention of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, or J.E.B. Stuart, but you will find the Civil War giants Belle Boyd, Rose Greenhow, Charlotte Forten, Robert Elliott, Hiram Revels, Blanche Bruce and B.S. Pinchback.
History is being re-written by liberals every day, turning the Pilgrims from people fleeing religious persecution into “people who take long trips.” It is historical revisionism when Columbus Day is turned into “Indigenous People’s Day” (my response to that is – who had a greater impact on our lives today – Columbus or the Indians?). I remember my son’s middle school history book had two pages on Sacagawea, with a flattering illustration, and two paragraphs, without a picture, on George Washington.
Dr. Vlahos worries about political speech used as analogy? When the very textbooks are being re-written to eliminate “Eurocentrism” and provide a balance of politically correct “historical figures” regardless of their actual contributions to history. Where, pray tell, was Dr. Vlahos’ condemnation of the New York Times headline, “A Military Quagmire Remembered: Afghanistan as Vietnam” October 31, 2001? You know, 36 days before the Taliban were vanquished. Is comparing Afghanistan to Vietnam a proper analogy, Dr. Vlahos, or is it re-writing history?
What about Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam"? Maybe in Dr. Vlahos’ world, faulty historical analogies are acceptable if your name is Senator Edward Kennedy?
THE POLITICALLY CORRECT AIDS STORY IS A LIE
Even the article below fails to note that anal intercourse is the preferred method of contraception in Africa so no wonder so many women get AIDS there
"Ninety-nine percent of AIDS and HIV cases in Africa come from sexual transmission, virtually all heterosexual. So says the World Health Organization, with other agencies toeing the line. Massive condom airdrops accompanied by a persuasive propaganda campaign would practically make the epidemic vanish overnight. Or would it?
A determined renegade group of three scientists has fought for years – with little success – to get out the message that no more than a third of HIV transmission in Africa is from sexual intercourse and most of that is anal. By ignoring the real vectors, they say, we’re sacrificing literally millions of people. These men are no crackpots. John Potterat is author of 140 scholarly publications. He began working for the El Paso County, Colorado health department in 1972 and initiated the first U.S. partner-tracing program for AIDS/HIV.
Stuart Brody, soon to become a full professor in Psychology at University of Paisley in Scotland, has published over 100 scholarly publications, including a book called “Sex at Risk.” Economist and anthropologist David Gisselquist has almost 60 scholarly publications and is currently advising the government of India on staunching its potentially explosive AIDS epidemic.
These renegades note that one indicator the role of vaginal transmission is overplayed in Africa is that it hasn’t played much of one in the U.S. Here 12 percent of AIDS cases are “attributed to” heterosexual transmission, meaning victims claimed to have gotten it that way. Of these, over a third are males. Yet San Francisco epidemiologist Nancy Padian evaluated 72 male partners of HIV-infected women over several years, during which time only one man became infected. Even in that case, there were “several instances of vaginal and penile bleeding during intercourse.” So even the small U.S. heterosexual figure appears grossly exaggerated.
The chief reason it’s so hard to spread HIV vaginally is that, as biopsies of vaginal and cervical tissue show, the virus is unable to penetrate or infect healthy vaginal or cervical tissue. Various sexually transmitted diseases facilitate vaginal HIV infection, but even those appear to increase the risk only slightly. So if vaginal intercourse can’t explain the awful African epidemic, what can? Surely it’s not homosexuality, since we’ve been told there is none in Africa. In fact, the practice has long been widespread. For example, German anthropologist Kurt Falk reported in the 1920s that bisexuality was almost universal among the male populations of African tribes he studied. Medical records also show that African men who insist they’re straighter than the proverbial arrow often suffer transmissible anorectal diseases.
Yet almost certainly greater – and more controllable – contributors to the African epidemic are “contaminated punctures from such sources as medical injections, dental injections, surgical procedures, drawing as well as injecting blood, and rehydration through IV tubes,” says Brody. There are many indicators that punctures play a huge role in the spread of African HIV/AIDS. For example, during the 1990s HIV increased dramatically in Zimbabwe, even as condom use increased and sexually transmitted infections rapidly fell. Or consider that in a review of nine African studies, HIV prevalence in inpatient children ranged from 8.2% to 63% – as many as three times the prevalence in women who’d given birth. If the kids didn’t get the virus from their mothers, whence its origin?
Good people differ on exactly how much of the HIV in Africa is spread vaginally – including our three renegades themselves. Nevertheless, their findings readily belie the official figures. AIDS studies in Africa, Potterat says, are “First World researchers doing second rate science in Third World countries.” There’s no one reason for the mass deception. In part, once a paradigm has been established it becomes much easier to justify than challenge. “Only a handful [of researchers] are even looking at routes other than sex,” notes Potterat. He also observes that grant donors seem only interested in the sex angle. “Sex is sexy,” he says.
Brody also points out that for scientists to concede they were wrong would be “to admit they’re complicit in mass death. That’s hard to admit that to yourself, much less to other people.” True enough. But for the sake of millions in Africa and other underdeveloped areas threatened by massive new infections, we’d better admit it now."
There is a follow-up to the above article on Front Page. Some excerpts:
Back in the early 1980s, when the AIDS epidemic was just starting to break out in the three gay communities (San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York), David Horowitz was one of the few individuals who stood up and publicly opposed gay leaders' efforts to subvert the public health system and conceal the nature of the epidemic. Specifically, in the name of "gay liberation," gay leaders denied that sexually transmitted AIDS was almost exclusively caused by promiscuous anal sex, refused to close sexual "bathhouses" which were the breeding grounds of AIDS, opposed testing and contact tracing which were the traditional and proven public health methods for containing epidemics, and promoted the false idea that AIDS was an "equal opportunity virus" when in fact it was a virus threatening very specific communities -- gays and intravenous drug users. For speaking truth to gay power, he was widely condemned by radical activists who demonized him and caricatured his warnings as, among other things, homophobic prejudice. As Horowitz has written in these pages, the success of the gay radicals resulted in a ballooning epidemic that has killed some 300,000 Americans, the majority of them young gay men. The AIDS catastrophe, as he wrote in “A Radical Holocaust,” a chapter in The Politics of Bad Faith, is “a metaphor for all the catastrophes that utopians have created.”
It is interesting that the most basic facts that Horowitz articulated at that tragic time, and for which he was so viciously demonized by radicals, are today considered to be just standard truths about HIV and AIDS. And yet, there has not been one mea culpa targeted in his direction by those who pointed accusatory fingers at him, but who sacrificed countless lives for the idea. Nor have the traditional public health methods that would have contained the epidemic – testing, contact tracing etc. – been restored. Instead, drugs have been substituted for behavioral changes.
One of the reasons that there is no apology or admission of guilt by the radicals is because they continue to dominate the media culture, which is why the lies continue, along with the needless deaths. As Fumento points out in his article, The African Heterosexual AIDS Myth, the official line that AIDS in Africa is being spread heterosexually can simply not be questioned, even though the empirical evidence suggests that it is simply false. Yet because the truth cannot be spoken on this issue, since it poses such a direct threat to the radical agenda, real preventive measures are not pursued and millions of lives are put at stake......
In the early 1980s, in my hometown of New York, it was apparent that AIDS deaths were occurring in transfusees, injecting drug users, and male homosexuals. It was also apparent to the homosexual community that given that affected population, generous federal funding would not be forthcoming. People skilled at public relations developed the "Big Lie": that HIV was a major risk to all, and was readily spread via penile-vaginal intercourse (rather than only by injection or anal intercourse) to otherwise reasonably healthy adults. This lie was understandable given the circumstances at that time. With time, generous funding became available, and the lie was no longer needed for the original purpose.
However, by that time, several political interests became very invested in the Big Lie. Those interests included those who sought to confuse political equality of homosexuals with egalitarian disease susceptibility (I suspect that only a small minority of those promoting that agenda were themselves nominally homosexual). So-called "gender feminists", inspired by the late Andrea Dworkin and her ilk, were keen to vilify intercourse, and hoped to reduce intercourse frequency (in favor of sexual behaviors that were less exclusively heterosexual), as well as to dampen its quality and intimacy (via condom promotion).
In addition to the major role played by the political left, segments of the political right might have been pleased to see a means of enforcing relative sexual continence. People of any political persuasion who, for their own psychological reasons, feared intercourse, also joined the chorus. At this point, there was also a growing AIDS industry of "experts" and "educators" who had a sizable investment (in pride, as well as money) in the Big Lie.
However, it still remained clear to many people that AIDS had not spread into the general US and European population (despite the misleading and inflated "heterosexual" numbers reported by the CDC). At this point, the AIDS situation in Africa became the new device to make people fear HIV/AIDS spread by penile-vaginal intercourse. It was claimed that 90-95% of African AIDS was due to "heterosexual transmission",
3 June 2005
MEN AS THE NEW NIGGERS
On March 22, David Huffman spoke out in the University of New Hampshire's (UNH) student newspaper against being excluded from an on-campus public event. He was excluded for being male. The incident spotlights the shell game being run on state campuses across North America under the guise of free speech. As a student, Huffman's fees paid for the public forum from which he was barred. As taxpayers, his family underwrote his being treated like a black in the Ante-Bellum South. Critical commentary on the incident has dwelled upon freedom of speech. But such commentaries miss the deeper point that 'freedom of speech' and 'tax-funding' are antagonistic concepts. First, the facts of the Huffman incident:
On March 10, an event titled "Patriarchy Slam" was held by the radical Feminist Action League in a room reserved by a second and recognized student group. (The significance of this is that the free room was used in violation of UNH policy.) Posters across the campus advertised the meeting as a public event, with no indication of "Women Only." Patriarchy Slam expressed radical anti-male feminism. For example, some FAL members wore scissors around their necks as they sang in praise of castration. One member, who identified herself as Mary Man-Hating-Is-Fun, told the gathering, "Ever since I learned to embrace my feminist nature, I found great joy in threatening men's lives...because I see them for what they are: misogynistic, sexist, oppressive and absurdly pathetic beings who only serve to pollute and contaminate this world..."
Huffman claims that the coordinator advised him "as a man I would be intimidating." Thus, when the open-microphone segment began, Huffman was instructed to leave even though he had caused no disruption. Other men remained but, according to Huffman, he was told they had "allegiance to the FAL." Moreover, he explains FAL "confiscated my program....Evidently, they do not want the public knowing what was said that night....What I heard...was a hate rally."
Huffman is a journalist for the privately funded conservative student paper Common Sense; FAL claims he was excluded as a journalist, not as a man. But, then, why was Shannon O'Neil, a female reporter for The New Hampshire, allowed to stay? Moreover, Anne Lawing, vice president of student affairs, comments, "This was a public event, and to turn anyone away is simply wrong. If you're a man you shouldn't be turned away...if you're a reporter, you shouldn't be turned away." Lawing also raises the issue of freedom of speech. "We're talking about their rights [FAL's rights] and the First Amendment."
Lawing is flatly wrong. FAL members have no First Amendment right to express themselves at taxpayer expense at a venue that has been improperly obtained. FAL has no First Amendment right to exclude well behaved 'others' from public property because of their views. (FAL member Nicole Whalen later stated, "women didn't want to speak in front of him [Huffman]" because "we knew he was a conservative writer from 'Common Sense,' and we knew his intentions weren't genuine.")
When asked if a fratboy event that called for the mutilation of female genitalia would be tolerated, Lawing replied, "We have so much data that shows that fraternities have been violent with women in the past and the instances of women being violent to men happen so infrequently." Again, Lawing is flatly wrong. Unbiased research shows that women commit violence with significant frequency. Moreover, so-called "hate speech" does not become actionable at UNH only if accompanied by a record of criminal assault.
Hypotheticals are not necessary. Last fall, another UNH student, Timothy Garneau, was kicked out his dorm and left to sleep in a friend's car for posting a flier in his dorm's lobby, near the elevator. It read, "9 out of 10 freshman girls gain 10-15 pounds [the notorious Freshman 15]. But there is something you can do about it. If u live below the 6th floor take the stairs. Not only will u feel better about yourself but you will also be saving us time and wont be sore on the eyes." Garneau had no history of violence. Nevertheless, he required the intervention of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, with its considerable legal clout, to regain housing. Did UNH violate Garneau's freedom of speech? I don't know because I have no clear concept of what free speech means on tax-funded property.
Freedom of speech in the private sphere means that you have the right to express yourself at your own expense. But everyone is forced to pay for the UNH campus and, so, everyone should have an equal right to speak. That's the theory. But implementing this theory is an impossibility. A podium is a limited good that must be 'assigned' by authorities. At UNH and on most campuses, a handful of authorities have adopted policies that censure expression that is discriminatory, "hate-speech," or otherwise offensive. This often means nothing more than speech of which they do not approve. In short, even if unlimited access to scarce podiums were possible, the authorities would not permit it. This is the contradiction inherent in trying to reconcile the terms 'free speech' and 'tax funding'.
The solution is simple: privatize. Just as Huffman's conservative paper is privately funded so, too, should scissor-wielding feminists be forced to finance their own pro-castration agenda. That would be freedom of speech. That would constitute the exercise of First Amendment rights.
It's correct to be politically incorrect again, at least for marketers trying to sell products to young men. Frustrated in trying to get the attention of this notoriously hard-to-reach group, some are thumbing their noses at decorum. They are getting notice with TV and Internet advertising built around sex, wacky humor or "bad-boy" attitude.
Unilever's Axe deodorant and bath products, burger chains Carl's Jr. and Wendy's, and jeans maker Levi's are among those taking cues from what's already hot with these 18- to 34-year-old guys — such as Maxim magazine — in going after some of their biggest customers. "This is going to be the summer where guys re-embrace guyness," says Marian Salzman, trend spotter at ad agency J. Walter Thompson and author of The Future of Men, due in September. "It's exactly two years after the 'metrosexual,' and it's a logical backlash against something that was too extreme. It's not going to be armpits and farts. It's going to be a lot more sensible." Sensible in guy-speak means less potty humor and more attitude and irony — and maybe sex. It does not mean that it won't offend the politically correct.
Among the marketers who are embracing their inner guy: Carl's Jr. Adding heat to the Western chain's Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger (which actually costs $4.49) is a TV ad featuring a bump-and-grind car wash by bad-girl heiress Paris Hilton. In a sexy black swimsuit, she seductively washes down a Bentley and herself, working up an appetite for a Spicy BBQ sandwich. For guys who want more, a longer version, outtakes, stills and screensavers are posted at www.spicyparis.com. "This is exactly what (young guys) respond to," says Carl's Jr. marketing head Brad Haley. "This age group is very jaded about advertising. They've seen millions of ads in all kinds of forms. Speaking to them in the traditional fast-food, bite-and-smile way is a waste of money. You need to do something that's more likely to grab them by the lapels." In June, Hardee's — CK Enterprises' other, Eastern burger chain — will begin airing a version of the Paris ad for its Spicy BBQ Thickburger.
2 June 2005
ROOTS OF THE NEW WORLD
A view of the culture war from Brazil, written by Olavo de Carvalho
The first half of the 20th. century witnessed the rise of the planned economy; the second saw its fall, followed by the appearance of an even more ambitious plan of domination: planned culture. Culture transcends and includes economy: it includes the entire range of human creations, language and imagination, values and feelings, intimate life and unconscious reflexes. The widening of the objectives show that the activist intelligentsia learned from the past eight decades an opposite lesson from that of non-marxist economists: the latter believe that socialism's failure proved the intrisic madness of a giant state; the former learned that giant states fail for not being gigantic enough.
The final aim of socialism, as Hannah Arendt observed, is the modification of human nature. The generation of Lenin, Stalin and Hitler imagined that socialist economy would create this new kind of men. Deeper socialist thinkers like Gramsci, Lukacks and the Frankfurt School saw in this a dangerous economicist mistake. The soul of the "new man" would not be born from socialism, but should come before it and create it.
This idea sounded heretical to Marxist orthodoxes of the time (although, on the other side of the socialist range, it was not totally alien to the nazi-fascist theoreticians). It has spread only in the last decades, providing the basis of the formidable expansion of internationalist leftism, which survived even the fall of the Soviet economy, and has reached its peak precisely in the years following the breakup of the USSR. Today's international socialism looks less for the creation of socialist regimes and more for the installation of a global complex of mutations in civil society, morals and family relations. The change in the order of priorities caused a harmonic change in the strategy and choice of means. Formerly, the essential tool of the revolutionary movement was a ideologically monolithic party. Today, it is a variety of leftist parties, disconnected in appearance. It is the international networks of NGOs, the "social movements", the large international organizations. Their unit of action can only be graspped from outside by those who are aware of the subtleties of the cultural war, infinitelly more complex than the older open conflict of pro-capitalist and pro-communist parties.
Once the strategic line of action is understood, it is easy to follow the players in the game, from the appearant confusion of public debates to their common origin in offices of strategic planning invariably linked to the UN and a certain number of billionaire foundations with which they are associated and even some national States which, discretely and not without ambiguities, give support for the process.
Today, there is not one "cause", or slogan for the revolutionary fight or for "social change" that has not originated in technical and consultive committees outside any popular and electoral control. These ideas are then spread throughout the many nations as if they were spontaneous products of impersonal historical movements, if not products of divine providence itself. Feminist revolt, abortion rights, racial quotas, gay movements, agrarian revolution, indian rights, enviromentalism, antismoking, legalization of heavy drugs, all the flags that are waved in the world can be traced back from the public scene back to their discrete origins in the circles of enlightened internationalism. And to spread them, the means are not limited to "networks" extending up to the infinite, but there is an entire millionaire bureaucratic system: the UN even has college courses to create technicians in the "creation of social movements" in the Third World. All of them "spontaneous movements" of course, to produce a spontanous miracle, all fitting together as a whole new order of civilization.
The above was written (in Portuguese) for the Brazilian newspaper "O Globo". It was translated to English by Fabio Lins and polished up by John Ray. Source: Swimming against the Red Tide
SOME AUSTRALIAN ENCOUNTERS WITH PC
"Australian Experience Of PC Tyranny
In my country the tyranny erupted with the persecution of public figures such as Arthur Tunstall for uttering truths that had become unpopular, either directly in a speech, or indirectly by telling jokes. The maiden speech of the Federal Member of Parliament for Ipswich contained so many disliked truths that the rabble escalated the ferocity of their attack and extended them to her supporters, introducing terror into Australian politics. Anyone who watched the TV coverage (1997/8) of Pauline Hanson's political campaign will have seen the nature of her opponents; a throng who looked and behaved more like barbarians than citizens of a civilized community. And any mob that chants "Burn the witch" (when she spoke outside an Ipswich hall after she had been refused entry) leaves no doubt as to their intent or character.
Widespread Throughout The Community
Revealing the extent of the mob's support, their sentiments (suitably refined) were enthusiastically echoed by the media and the administration. And in an unprecedented act of cooperation, all the political parties conspired to eject Ms Hanson from the federal parliament in the election of October 3rd 1998. This was revealed by the how-to-vote cards of the parties contesting the seat of Blaire, which all placed Ms Hanson last. This was a public admission by both the major parties that they would rather risk losing the election than allow this forthright woman to keep her seat in parliament.
International Experience Of PC Tyranny
And it is not just in Australia but in every western democratic country popular demands have been made for restrictions on expression. Bowing to the clamour of the electorate, politicians in these countries have enacted absurd laws. The Australian community wide declaration of irrational hatred displayed by the persecution of Pauline Hanson, paralleled the Canadian experience of Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression Inc., and the examples of the national soccer coach of England and a prominent public servant in Washington, USA confirm that the hysteria is everywhere.
The Inevitable Result Of Political Correctness
By using the excuse of not upsetting anyone, the politically correct are demanding that people behave like the fool who would please everyone; that everyone must become such a fool! All must accept the notions of the Politically Correct as truth, or else! This is the same mentality that inspired the Inquisition and forced Galileo to recant; the same mentality that inspired the Nazis and obtained the Holocaust. Once expression gets placed in a straitjacket of official truth, then the madness that occurs in all totalitarian states is obtained. Life, in private and public, becomes a meaningless charade where delusion thrives and terror rules.
Examples Of Denying Freedom Of Speech
Evidence of this effect is amply demonstrated by the Soviets, who embraced Political Correctness with the Communist Revolution. The lumbering, pompous, impoverished, humourless monster this Nation became is now History. And it should be remembered that in 1914 Tsarist Russia was considered by Edmund Cars, a French economist who then published a book about the subject, to be an economic giant set to overshadow Europe. The SBS television program "What Ever Happened To Russia", which was broadcast at 8.30 pm on 25th August 1994, detailed the terrible effect the Bolshevik's oppression had on their empire. And SBS further detailed the terrible crimes inflicted upon the Russians by their leader Stalin, in the series "Blood On The Snow" broadcast in March 1999.
An Old Witness
Helen, a member of Parramatta writers club in 1992, was a citizen of Kiev during the Red Terror, and described living with official truth and the constant threat of arrest. Knowing the content of the latest party newspaper was critical to avoiding internment, as public contradiction, either directly or indirectly, meant denouncement to the KGB. If you complained about being hungry when food shortages were not officially recognised, then you became an enemy of the state. If you failed to praise a Soviet hero, or praised an ex-hero, then again your fate was sealed. The need to be politically correct dominated all conversation and behaviour, as failure meant drastic penalty. Uncertainty and fear pervaded everything, nobody could be sure that an official request to visit Party headquarters meant imprisonment, torture, death, public reward or nothing important.
Living with such a terrible handicap naturally destroyed all spontaneity of thought or action, rendering the whole community mad. The awful effect this had upon Helen's sanity was made clear when she escaped to Australia. Here she encountered the free press, which had an unpleasant impact upon her. One day she read The Australian newspaper which happened to carry two separate articles about Patrick White, one praising, the other denigrating, this well known writer. Poor Helen found herself turning from one to the other, which was she to repeat as correct? She nearly had a nervous breakdown.
Political Correctness Is Social Dementia
Unless plain speaking is allowed, clear thinking is denied. There can be no good reason for denying freedom of expression, there is no case to rebut, only the empty slogans of people inspired by selfishness and unrestrained by morality. The proponents of this nonsense neither understand the implications of what they say, nor why they are saying it."
The above is excerpted from here
1 June 2005
YET MORE INTRUSIVE QUEER CORRECTNESS
New York City and the State of New York are getting in the business of pushing social change in the nation's corporations. On May 19, Delta shareholders voted down a proposal aimed at stopping what some call "gender-identified discrimination." The proposal was backed by five pension funds operated by New York City and additional funds with the state of New York. This isn't the first time New York City has urged companies to change policies on sexual orientation and gender identity. In fact, 30 companies have amended or agreed to amend their policies, according to New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. The most recent was Toys "R" Us.
The Delta board of directors issued a response to the latest proposal saying it is opposed to such a change because the company has already adopted an inclusive policy. "That's hocus-pocus," said Grant Lukenbill, managing director of the Equality Project and author of the "10 Principles of Equality" which are outlined in the comptrollers' proposal. "They have to walk the walk."
ExxonMobil knows what it means when New York City comes to a shareholders meeting. For seven years the company has faced the same proposal on its proxy. ExxonMobil claims the proposal itself is problematic. In a response to shareholders, corporate officials wrote, "This proposal suggests that ExxonMobil condones discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is false. ExxonMobil has a zero-tolerance discrimination and harassment policy." But that's apparently not enough for homosexual activists, who continue demanding more.
What about the claims that such harassment is increasing? The U.S. General Accounting Office studied states that have same-sex orientation included their discrimination laws. The findings were not what homosexuals have been parading in front of media. "We found that, in those states with a law making it illegal to discriminate in employment on the basis of sexual orientation, relatively few complaints of such discrimination have been made," the report reads. "The statistics do not show any trend in the number of complaints over time."
But a dearth of discrimination complaints have not placed the issue low on the comptrollers' list of priorities. Instead they continue to seek special rights for homosexuals. And groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce continue to echo the refrain. "If they won't discriminate, why not put it in the policy?" asked Lukenbill.
A better question said Glenn Stanton, senior analyst for marriage and sexuality at Focus on the Family, is to ask for the definition of sexual orientation. "There is no academically-accepted definition of sexual orientation," he noted. "It could be almost anything."
The obvious problem appeared at the Delta shareholders meeting. Dave McNeil, a Delta shareholder, asked, "What exactly are you using for a definition of sexual orientation? I mean, we're going to vote on something, shouldn't we all be on the same page as to exactly what it means? I think it would be helpful if she'd define that." Lyn Connelly on behalf of the New York City pension funds, a group that owns more than 668,000 shares of Delta stock, said, "Gender Identity is the identity by which the individual describes themselves which may not be apparent to the person with whom they're speaking." "And sexual orientation?" McNeil asked. "Sexual orientation," Connelly answered, "is whether or not you are same-sex or . . . heterosexual or homosexual."
"So whatever an individual finds sexually desirable?" McNeil confirmed. "OK, So that definition could also include pedophiles and necrophiliacs? Doesn't that fall within the definition?" "I don't believe that falls within the legal definition, no," Connelly answered.
The issue makes itself quickly apparent when defining the terms. That is where most pro-family groups have problems with same-sex orientation policies. "Let's just say that if you are part of the class of human beings, you should not be discriminated against," Stanton said. "Everyone is for that, but why single out one category over another?" He said human resources departments are going to be tied in bureaucratic knots by giving categorical rights to workers. Imagine the different categories that could be added to a company's official handbook: smokers, left-handed workers, people who vacation at the lake and workers who eat fatty foods in the cafeteria. The list could get truly bizarre. Fortunately, ExxonMobil and Delta are standing firm: No worker should face discrimination.
Gender: Good Riddance, Farewell
The journal "Nature" recently published a study showing the inborn differences between men and women are far greater than previously suspected
In the Nature vs. Nurture debate, feminists rabidly insist that all psychological and social differences between the sexes are caused by the social environment. That ideologically-loaded belief is captured in that innocent-sounding word, “gender.” There’s a strategic reason for that dogmatic assertion. As long as people believe that men and women are biological clones, the rad-fems can claim that the under-representation of female CEOs and politicians can be blamed on the Glass Ceiling, not on the informed lifestyle choices that women make. And that in turn justifies the gender quotas, government set-asides, and all the other appurtenances of a feminist society.
The feminist thought police do not take kindly to persons who challenge widely-held beliefs. So when Harvard president Lawrence Summers suggested innate sex differences, not gender socialization patterns, might account for the shortage of female scientists, the Lefties were aghast.
But scientists insist Summers has a point, that the brains of men and women are anatomically and functionally different. Referring to the spatial abilities of the sexes, Judith Kleinfeld of the University of Alaska notes, “The average difference between males and females on psychological tests of these abilities is huge.”
The Summers’ dust-up has broadened into a broad-based examination of sex and gender. That argument is now being waged on two other fronts.
First is the Great Op-Ed Debate, that non-stop catfight that has been trying to answer the vexing question, Why do women represent only a small fraction of newspaper opinion writers?
Of course, there were the pundits like Amy Sullivan who predictably played the victim card. Sullivan blamed the problem on women who “have been raised to feel ill-at-ease in the rough-and-tumble, male-dominated world of political expression.” Sorry, Ms. Sullivan, that argument may have played in Peoria 50 years ago, but not in 2005.
Others searched for more plausible explanations. Gail Collins, the woman who runs the editorial page of the New York Times, admitted in a round-about way, “There are probably fewer women, in the great cosmic scheme of things, who feel comfortable writing very straight opinion stuff.” And Maureen Dowd, whose writing style is perpetually stuck in full-attack mode, sounded more like a purring kitten when she admitted, “I wanted to be liked, not attacked...This job has not come easily to me.”
But it was Catherine Seipp who finally came out and stated the obvious: “The uncomfortable fact is that women just seem less interested in politics than men.” Why? Because “that typically female emotional-reaction-as-argument is one big reason why the op-ed pages are still mostly male.”
By remarkable coincidence, the Great Op-Ed Debate was being waged just as the journal Nature was about to release the startling results of a study that would profoundly challenge the basic feminist assumptions of gender. That research, published late last month, found the inborn differences between men and women are far greater than previously suspected. Men and women differ by two percent in their genetic make-up.
And here’s the jaw-dropper: That two percent sex difference is greater than the biological gap between humans and chimpanzees. In other words, the built-in differences between men and women are akin to the dissimilarities between man and ape. Now we know why millions were so engrossed by that long-running TV series about Tarzan, Jane, and Chita.
First Larry Summers. Then the Great Op-Ed Debate. And now breakthrough research on the genetic differences between the sexes. It’s high time that we accept the obvious: Men and women are not the same. Vivre la difference!