PC WATCH -- MIRROR ARCHIVE
Chronicling Politically Correct oppression..
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)
30 November, 2003
COWBOY HATS INCORRECT
From now on, Australian cowboys (or "jackaroos", as Australians call them) are going to have to wear crash-helments instead of their big cowboys hats -- because the hats are not "safe" enough. Convincing the cowboys concerned is going to be a big problem, though. The fact that skin-cancer (which the hats protect against) is a bigger danger than falling off a horse does not seem to have got through to the meddlers yet. More here.
The 'N' word has been abolished. Is "slave" next?
A county official has asked computer and video equipment vendors to consider eliminating the terms "master" and "slave" from equipment because they may be considered offensive. "Based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County, this is not an acceptable identification label," according to an email sent to vendors on November 18. The memo asks manufacturers, suppliers and contractors to change or remove any labels on components "that could be interpreted as discriminatory or offensive in nature". The county's 39 departments also were told to identify equipment with offensive labels.
The term "master" and "slave" - when applied to electronic equipment - describes one device controlling another.
29 November, 2003
Many English people object to the way Gypsies trash any area where they camp. The people of one locality expressed their view of it by burning a gypsy caravan (trailer) in effigy. But Gypsies are of course a protected minority under current British law so the police were called. But ...
"The society said the bonfire was "emphatically not a racist comment" and pointed out that in recent years dummies of US President George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden had been burned. Indeed, on the night of the gypsy roast in Firle, the locals in neighbouring Lewes burned an effigy of the Pope. No complaints were received."
28 November, 2003
School bars "insensitive" costumes
"A group of Skokie [IL] first graders got an unexpected lesson in cultural sensitivity Friday when their principal wouldn't let them dress as American Indians for their annual Thanksgiving celebration. After a parent complained that the costumes the children had made might be offensive, the principal told the kids to leave their construction-paper headdresses on the classroom shelves. Those who had opted to be pilgrims fared no better. Their paper black hats and bonnets also were banned, and for the first time in more than two decades, the 1st graders at Madison School commemorated the events of October 1621 in their school clothes."
SORRY: NO EQUALITY HERE EITHER
Breaking news: "Fairy tales such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty give children the harmful impression that 'it pays to be pretty'". Maybe it's sad but all women are not equal either. Practically all the research that has ever been done on the subject shows that tall men and women with hourglass figures do better in life in all sorts of ways. No doubt some would like to repeal laws of nature but wiser people adapt to them. A kind heart is pretty good, too, for instance.
27 November, 2003
BEING A JEW IS INCORRECT AGAIN
Phyllis Chesler is a long-time civil rights and feminism campaigner. But she is also a Jew. She found out which of those matters to the Leftists and feminists of today when she addressed a feminist meeting and was asked about Israel and the Palestinians. Because she pointed out the plain truth about how Islamic societies treat women she was almost lynched. A small excerpt:
"For nearly 30 years, I taught working-class and students of color at a public university. I admired and loved them and was sometimes able to help them in ways that changed their views and their lives.
Here's what's sad. Clearly, my speech touched hearts and minds; there was room for common ground and for civilized discourse. But not once the word "Palestine" was uttered, not when "Palestine" is seen as a symbol for every downtrodden group of color who are "resisting" the racist-imperialist American and Zionist Empires. Once the "Palestine" litmus test of political respectability was raised, everyone responded on cue, as if programmed and brainwashed. It immediately became a "white" versus "brown" thing, an "oppressed" versus an "oppressor" thing.
These are the Brownshirts of our time. The fact that they are women of color, womanists/feminists is all the more chilling and tragic. And unbelievable. And to me: Practically unbearable.
Afterwards, my son, ever-wise, said: "Well mom, you have your answer. The Jew-haters will never allow you into their wider, wonderful world. You can't go back."
26 November, 2003
SOME RACISM IS PC
There is still quite blatant racism on many American university campuses: "Some schools have racially exclusive scholarship programs. Others have established outreach programs or special summer sessions open only to members of specified racial or ethnic groups. But in every case, these schools have been running programs in which some students need not apply simply because of the color of their skin."
THE WORD THAT CAN NEVER BE MENTIONED
From "Opinion Journal"
"An unnamed employee of the University of Virginia Medical Center is under fire for using a racial slur in a conversation, reports the Cavalier Daily:
University President John T. Casteen, III issued a statement yesterday responding to allegations that a Medical Center employee used a racial epithet during a conversation at a recent staff meeting, calling the usage "offensive" and "insulting." . . .
In an e-mail sent to a black faculty e-mail list, History Prof. Julian Bond, national chair of the NAACP, called for the employee to make a public apology and take sensitivity training.
"My first impulse is that this should be a dismissible infraction--but free speech protections I hold dear tell me that shouldn't be so," Bond wrote, adding that the administration "ought to disavow such language."
"The University expects all members of the University community to be alert to the rights and dignity of all our people and also alert to racial and other insults," said Casteen in his statement.
So what did the employee say that was so offensive? R. Edward Howell, CEO of the medical center, reports it was "something like this: 'I can't believe in this day and age that there's a sports team in our nation's capital named the Redskins. That is as derogatory to Indians as having a team called Niggers would be to blacks.' " In other words, the "offender" used a politically incorrect word in the course of expressing a very PC sentiment. But that's not good enough. Political correctness, like other totalitarian ideologies, demands absolute purity."
That's one way Australia and the USA differ. The High Court of Australia -- no less -- has recently ruled that the word "nigger" is NOT offensive.
25 November, 2003
CORRECTNESS IN THE MOVIES
Marvellous! A realistic movie: "In the new movie 'The Human Stain,' Coleman Silk, a professor of classics at a small liberal arts college, is hounded by charges of racism when he utters the word 'spook' in class. Despite the fact that Silk used the word in a non-racist context, student activists rally against him, and his colleagues cravenly refuse to support him, lest they be accused of insensitivity. This event marks the beginning of the descent of Silk's life from respected academic to scorned recluse. While Coleman Silk is a product of novelist Philip Roth's imagination, real-life professors have found themselves embattled by equally absurd and abusive complaints based on classroom remarks."
Arlene Peck writes (Excerpts):
We, in this country, have gotten so 'politically correct' that the core of world terrorism isn't admitted or acknowledged. Terrorists are continually described as 'militants', 'insurgents' 'activists' or Senior Hamas Leaders. Everyone knows that savages that roam cafes, schools and board busses to blow up everyone in sight are not someone committed to 'suicide' but they are murderers. Yet, these Homicide bombers, because of political correctness, are somehow given 'equal time'. The press will shortly after their carnage do a 'special' on the poor Palestinian and how living is has been harmed because he can no longer go to his olive trees which were cut down because they were giving terrorists refuge.
The anti-Semitism in Europe is chilling but where are the cries from our country and others about the pre-Nazi Germany situation that is brewing now? Jewish day schools are being burned, the same for synagogues and yeshiva children are being advised to wear their yarmulkes under something else in order to avoid 'confrontation.' The situation is scary and getting worse while we are fed a daily diet of Michael Jackson and the movie star of the week who is getting their fifteen minutes of constant fame.
While synagogues are being bombed and worshipers slaughtered in places like Turkey, the European Union shelves their reports on anti-Semitism because they conclude that the Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind most of the incidents it examined. They are blind to the growing fears that there is an upsurge of anti-Semitism in their countries.
Lately though, I'm seeing signs that our media, along with our government, might be having an identity conflict. A recent Los Angeles Times had an article, "U .S .Seeks Advice from Israel on Iraq." American reporters just don't 'get it'. While they described how "As the occupation grows bloodier, officials draw on an ally's experience with 'insurgents'. So, while the LA Times reporters report on America's "occupation" and the "insurgents" who are killing our soldiers, they also reluctantly wrote how U.S. Army commanders, Pentagon officials and military trainers are being forced to have Israel teach us everything from how to set up roadblocks to the best way to bomb terrorists hide-outs in an urban area. Of course they referred to them as 'guerrillas.'
24 November, 2003
Another great Mike Adams column about the way his university bans conservatism among its students.
I reproduce below a brief book review that I originally had published in 1979. I think it is even more relevant today than when I wrote it
Quadrant, November 1979, vol. 23 (11), 68-69.
IS EQUALITY MORALLY OBNOXIOUS?
By John J. Ray
Review of Equality by Keith Joseph and Jonathan Sumption. John May, London.
When I was in Britain in 1977, I was fortunate to meet briefly with Margaret Thatcher. A remark she made which particularly impressed me was that what the Conservative cause needed was more critiques of Marx and other Left-wing, theorists. She was saying, in other words, that Conservatives had first to win on the philosophical battlefield before they could hope for any lasting political victory. Such an intellectual orientation was indeed a surprise in a practical political leader.
It would seem that her concern in this direction is indeed bearing fruit. In Equality we have one of her senior ministers turning out a work which would be a credit to any intellectual. Whether dealing with theoretical economics, philosophy or statistics, the book often succeeds in the course of a few paragraphs at overturning in the most convincing way the most imposing and most widely accepted of theoretical edifices.
Anybody with the most basic knowledge of economics has heard of marginal utility theory. It is a classical and seemingly essential analytical tool. Yet in one or two understated paragraphs of this very modestly-worded book, the theory is so thoroughly overturned by reference to the most obvious examples that one wonders how most of us were deceived for so long. Not being an academic economist, I am not in a position to know whether Joseph and Sumption's analysis is original, but if it is, it must mark them as better economists than most of those who claim to specialize in the discipline. Original or not, what Joseph and Sumption certainly do is to ensure that this particular theory can never again be used in support of egalitarianism.
The philosophical theory of justice by Rawls fares no better. This ponderous and often-quoted theory is shown to be circular in language that even the most inexpert layman can understand. If the most elaborate theoretical constructions of its opponents can he so easily demolished, one can only be surprised that Conservatism's intellectual status has for so long been so low. One is led to wonder how many Left-wing intellectuals could survive an equally critical appraisal.
When one comes to the chapter entitled "Lies, damn lies and statistics", one again finds Joseph and Sumption pulling off a seemingly impossible feat. One expects the sort of innumerate, populist inveighing against what they cannot understand that one gets from others who use this quotation. What we get instead is a discussion of the often-quoted statistics of the sort which say that "Only ten per cent of the population own forty per cent of the wealth". Such statistics are so widely quoted, that most of us assume that they must be at least largely true. So long however is the list that the book produces of the things that such official statistics leave out that we are left with the very strong suspicion that truly adequate statistics would reveal very little inequality at all!
Overall, what the authors do, however, is to compare the moral consequences of egalitarian versus libertarian economic policies. We are all at least vaguely aware of the sort of bureaucratic horrors and economic waste that the search for legislated equality brings, but what Joseph and Sumption do is to show that these consequences are intrinsic -- essential consequences of an egalitarian social programme. They show how policies of promoting egalitarian economic arrangements subvert the very ideals they were devised to serve. One such demonstration that must be very thought-provoking to many Australians is the demonstration that equality of opportunity is as a policy inconsistent with a policy of equality of results. Equality of opportunity is a policy that most Australians would accept to at least some degree. Yet how many of us realize that such a policy of itself entails substantial liberties -- liberties enough to ensure as a result a society which is economically very unequal indeed.
To a considerable extent the book is an expose --- an expose of the woolly thinking, bad logic and incredible assumptions that have underlain the utterances of those who advocate economic equality. Nor is it merely a critique of extreme egalitarianism. The logic is as bad and the assumptions as untenable whether it is complete or only partial equality that one wishes to enforce.
Most of us are used to economic liberty ("free enterprise") being defended on purely pragmatic grounds. We are given examples to show that free enterprise simply works better when it comes to creating wealth or expanding aggregate wealth. The Joseph and Sumption book, by contrast, contains not a single national income statistic. It is instead an intensely humanistic and philosophical attack on equality. It shows how destructive to most shared and treasured human qualities the search for legislated equality is. Equality has for too long been an unquestioned good. If this book is as widely read as it should be, those who advocate equality will Increasingly be on the defensive -- not just in terms of statistical but in terms of moral arguments.
One suspects that most people have not thought out the basic philosophical implications of equality versus inequality. Anyone who does so will find it hard to avoid Joseph and Sumption's rather startling conclusion -- that it is equality rather than inequality which is immoral.
The leadership of the Scottish Parliament has informed its members that the annual cards they mail to constituents around the end of December will not contain the word C--------, reports the Glasgow Daily Record.
Holyrood officials say such language might offend non-Christians. A spokesman for the parliament said, "The phrase Seasons Greetings in English and Gaelic was chosen by the Corporate Body as a broad message which would appeal to as broad a section of the Scottish population as possible. If they want the C-word on their cards, they will have to write it in by hand.
23 November, 2003
THE HATRED THAT DARES TO SPEAK ITS NAME
Reformed British Leftie Mike Hume has some good comments on the "protests" that greeted GWB's visit to London. Excerpts:The personal vitriol now being poured on Bush's head also says something about the new etiquette of politics. Everybody understands that it is no longer acceptable to be rude to racial or ethnic minorities; see how Bush's conservative Republicans go out of their way to avoid insulting Islam. The one group that is considered fair game, however, is the kind of 'white trash' who can be branded racist. White trash from, say, Essex are an easy target. White trash from backward Texas are easier. And rich white trash from Texas are the easiest of all. President Bush has thus become the symbol of one minority it is deemed politically correct to hate.
For many, it is a self-indulgent statement that says 'I am a Better Person because I hate George Bush'.
I made a similar point recently when I pointed out the peculiarly biased treatment of one of America's smaller minorities.
22 November, 2003
DISTORTING THE NEWS ABOUT RACIAL VIOLENCE
Jim Miller has a great post giving just two examples of how the media glide over racist attacks on whites by blacks whilst at the same time magnifying the slightest offence against blacks into a major story. Here is just one of the "overlooked" stories Jim relates:
"An earlier, equally dramatic, news story slipped out, but the news organizations were able to suppress it. About six years ago, I was watching a local station, King 5, at noon to get a weather forecast. One of the anchors came on with a remarkable story. A black woman had just been convicted of raping a white woman. The black woman talked her way into the victim's home claiming car problems, knocked her down, tied her up, and forced her to commit oral sex. The attacker did this, she admitted (boasted?) at the trial, because she hated whites. By the usual "if it bleeds, it leads" standards of local TV stations, this is a sensational story. I never saw another mention of the story with the essential facts. The two Seattle papers buried the story inside, giving it a few lines with no mention of the racial motive. I channel surfed the local TV stations carefully that evening and saw no mention of the story, even on King 5. The two largest alternative papers, the Seattle Weekly and The Stranger, neither afraid of controversy, had nothing on the story in their next issues. It didn't even get on the local conservative talk stations, as far as I know. It may have been sensational, but it didn't fit the script.
These last two stories are, crime statistics show, more typical than the stories that fit the script. This column has some of the numbers, including these summary statistics:
Violent white felons choose black victims for fewer than 3 percent of their attacks, whereas violent black felons choose white victims about 56 percent of the time. Statistically, the "average" African American is an astonishing 56 times more likely to attack a white than vice versa."
21 November, 2003
This pandering to Muslims has even got out of hand in Australia
One day in Auburn in 2001, two uniformed police officers stopped a car with three occupants of Middle-Eastern background. The police had been told the men, well-known offenders, had been involved in a series of robberies.
They searched the car and found property stolen in the robberies. What happened next was extraordinary.
The three criminals began to abuse the police and threaten them physically. They told the police they would follow them home, kill them and "f... your girlfriends". The two officers were forced to take refuge in their car where they called for urgent assistance.
But simultaneously the criminals used their mobile phones to do the same. Within minutes a crowd of 60 Lebanese Australians had gathered, some pouring out of the houses nearby and some arriving by car. When more police arrived they were punched and pushed to the ground and their vehicles were damaged.
The police duty officer appeared and ordered all police to retreat immediately. Within minutes they were gone. Some of the crowd followed them to the police station where they intimidated staff and damaged property.
Again the duty officer ordered his officers to do nothing. Eventually the crowd left the station. The stolen property was never recovered. No one was ever arrested.
20 November, 2003
Michelle Malkin writes (Excerpts):
They are bomb-throwing Birkenstock brats. Wolves in hemp clothing. Enemies of scientific progress. Inveterate haters of humanity. They are environmental extremists and animal rights zealots. They are running loose. And they are endangering us all. of a sustained campaign of intimidation, harassment and violence by anti-science thugs.
No one was hurt in the northern California attacks, but the bomb blasts struck terror in researchers at both
The national press, which has put a happy green face on the environmental movement for three decades, has largely ignored a recent rising tide of violence being waged by eco-nuts across the country -- and around the world.
What's at stake? While aspiring terrorists with tofu breath build nail bombs and play with matches, the best and brightest scientists around the world are forging miraculous breakthroughs that will benefit all mankind -- and especially the poor in underdeveloped nations that the leftists and Luddites claim to care about so much. Science journalist Michael Fumento comprehensively documents such stunning developments in his eye-opening new book, oevolution: How Biotechnology Is Changing Our World."s an invaluable antidote to the irrational hysteria of eco-terrorists. Fumento reports on how agricultural biotech researchers are refining methods of pumping up protein levels in corn, boosting vitamin levels in a wide variety of crops, making crops resistant to the cold, and finding ways to accelerate the growth of cotton, potatoes and tomatoes. They've developed a process called "gene silencing" to fight bacterial diseases that can devastate fruit and nut harvests and have even come up with a potato plant that glows green when it's thirsty.
The same technology that is producing miracle crops is producing miracle medicines to improve human health and longevity. Biotech is also being used to tackle toxic waste, reduce lead contamination and clean up sewage systems. But in the minds of the technophobes, the only politically correct way to cure disease is to wear red-string bracelets, eat organically grown ginger and pray to Gaia. The only environmentally acceptable way to improve the earth is to compost banana peels and recycle soy milk cartons. And the only morally tolerable way to use modern technology -- e.g., the Internet -- is to use it to preach violence and destroy the progress of others.
With each new scientific breakthrough, the anti-biotech militants have grown more desperate and reckless. "Ultimately," Fumento writes, "only two things can defeat such negativism. One is education; the other is the products themselves." There is a third force: the voices of biotech's myriad beneficiaries, from the cancer patients whose lives have been saved by Gleevec to the Third World consumers of golden rice.
19 November, 2003
An amazing piece on Freedom & Whisky about proposals to use all sorts of legal compulsion to alter what people eat. The current wisdom about what sort of diet is best for you -- wisdom that seems to reverse itself every 10 to 20 years -- looks like being enforced by law in Scotland!
But the Scots in Scotland always have been frantic socialists. Scots abroad are another matter, however. They mostly LOVE capitalism. I guess it is mostly the capitalistically-inclined Scots who emigrate -- leaving the poor souls who need cossetting by a nanny State behind. The strong Scottish traditions in my family (I even wear the kilt and eat haggis on rare occasions!) have meant that I do take an interest in the Scottish difference and I have even done survey research on it. See here
18 November, 2003
FULLER REPORT OF THE BRAIN SCAN STUDY
I am pleased to find that New Scientist has a fuller report of the study I linked to yesterday about "white racism" being detected by brain scans.
Note this comment about how "racism" was measured: "The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is controversial. Gehring says "one must be cautious" regarding any claims that a test is a direct measure of racist attitudes."
And this comment on what the brain scan shows: "The team does not know exactly why this brain area should light up in people with biases. "They are either trying to inhibit or control something - but we don't know what that something is," she says. "It could be an emotional reaction, or thoughts that come to mind. Or it could be something as benign as simply trying not to make errors.""
In short, they had no good evidence at any point that they were measuring what they said they were measuring.
There are also some further dismissive comments at the end of the New Scientist article.
17 November, 2003
I greatly appreciate the many emails I get from readers of this blog but, like most people, I have had a huge upsurge in spam lately and the measures I have had to take to deal with that may occasionally have resulted in my missing legitimate emails. So if I appear to have ignored an email from anyone recently, please resend the message to BOTH my email addresses below with nothing in the subject line.
Hotmail address and Yahoo address.
MORE ON BRAIN SCAN RACISM
One of my readers sent in this link that gives details of one of the people behind the recent "white racism in the brain" study. My reader comments: "I never would have guessed!"
NO INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY HERE?
"Convicted murderer Laurie 'Bambi' Bembenek went on 'The Dr. Phil Show' to clear her name, but she wound up with an amputated leg and a lawsuit against Dr. Phil, Paramount, and 52 staffers on his syndicated show. The suit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, accuses Dr. Phil and his co-defendants of imprisoning her in a Marina Del Rey apartment, where she shattered her leg in the act of escaping out a window with bed sheets she had tied together. Her leg eventually had to be amputated below the knee."
16 November, 2003
DETECTING RACISM IN THE BRAIN
I have not been able to get a look at the original research results behind This report that racism can be detected by brain activity. The report is obviously sensationalized in that it refers to "white" racism only. Presumably black racism could be detected in a similar way. But I guess we are not supposed to mention black racism.
But assuming that the report is otherwise accurate, it fits in well with the point I often make that there is much evidence to show that racism of some sort is universal and natural. So if people are asked to suppress it -- which political correctness forces them to do -- some harm will result. And exactly that is what is reported: Suppressing banned thoughts is difficult and requires a lot of brain activity which could be better devoted to other tasks. And that people who have stronger convictions about the reality and importance of racial differences are the ones who find suppression of such views hardest is equally no surprise.
The thing that will disturb most people, however, is that something as private as one's thoughts can now be detected by a scientific machine. Suppressed thoughts about ANY subject would seem to be detectable by such a procedure. Orwell's "Big Brother" has arrived and the old anti-Nazi slogan Die Gedanken sind frei (Thoughts are free) is no longer true! Note however that a Leftist who is trying to suppress (say) his contemptuous thoughts about ordinary people could be similarly caught out. As soon as that realization dawns, I am sure the procedure will be BANNED!
I might point out in passing, however, that what the procedure does is not much different from what a traditional lie-detector test does. It just reports an upsurge in neural activity but detects it in a slightly different way. What are the actual thoughts behind that neural activity is, however, essentially a guess and there are ways of spooking the procedure.
THE MULTICULTURAL THOUGHT POLICE
From "The Spectator"
In our modern secular society, we pride ourselves on our supposed tolerance. We sneer at the bigotry of the past, wondering how the monstrous cruelty of events such as the Spanish Inquisition could ever have occurred. But we should not be so smug. For in Britain today we have our own powerful creed _ multiculturalism _ which is imposed on the public by a political establishment that is brimming with self-righteous fervour. And anyone refusing to accept this dogma is likely to be branded a heretic, bullied and brainwashed until they change their opinions.
Only two decades ago, the central principle of anti-racism was that all individuals in our society should be treated equally, regardless of ethnic origin or religion. Yet through multiculturalism, the malign ideological spawn of anti-discrimination, we have moved far away from that stance. We are now told that, in the name of 'celebrating diversity', we must respect every aspect of every culture in our midst. Not only must we act correctly in word and deed, but, more importantly, we must also be trained to harbour no negative thoughts about the behaviour of any other ethnic group.
This outlook is utterly inimical to personal freedom and equality before the law, the very pillars of our civilisation. Far from ignoring racial differences in the search for harmony, it actually seeks to emphasise them. Such an attitude was summed up by the 1999 report of Sir William Macpherson into the death of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence: 'Colour-blind policing must be outlawed. The police must deliver a service which recognises the different experiences, perceptions and needs of a diverse society.'
THE FOUNTAINHEAD OF CORRECTNESS IDENTIFIED
The Washington Post reports on a campus shooting spree, stating that "three students pounced on the gunman and held him until help arrived." A simple, unbiased declaration of fact, right? Not so fast.
When the Post neglects to mention that two of the students who stopped the gunman managed to do so because they, too, had guns (which they retrieved from their vehicles when the shooting started), one might suspect that you've just stumbled across the Post's anti-gun bias.
That's what Bernard Goldberg would argue. Goldberg includes this and many other examples of media bias in his new book, Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite.... In addition to the issue of guns, the book also includes detailed critiques of the media's handling of race, feminism, homosexuality, war, and other issues.
Goldberg also blasts what he sees as the root cause of the problem -- the New York Times, which he describes as "a paper 99.5 percent of the American people do not read, yet which is still the most influential newspaper in America because the most influential people in America do in fact read it."
14 November, 2003
AMERICAN FLAG INCORRECT IN AMERICAN LIBRARIES
Those great opponents of censorship, American librarians, strike again:
"There are a few places on this planet where I can imagine the sight of an American flag might be unwelcome. In the mountains of Afghanistan, maybe. Or in some of the funkier neighborhoods of Tikrit, not to mention Paris. In such places, the Stars and Stripes might strike fear in the hearts of men and maybe even spark feelings of hatred, which is too bad.
However, I never thought of Havertown as being such a place. And it never occurred to me that the Haverford Township Free Library would have to concern itself with the feelings of such American flag-hating people. But it does. Imagine that!
As I understand the story, back in September the "Friends" of the library, a volunteer group that helps it raise money, attempted to present an American flag to Director Addie Ciannella for display in the building. She declined the gift.
Or as she explained it in a e-mail to library's board of trustees:
"It was a rather awkward situation .. but she didn't feel as if she had much of a choice given her "professional opinion" which is "the library (any public library) is a place for all people of all beliefs, backgrounds, etc. Symbols can send a message of unwelcome philosophical orientation, expectations of others, and can produce ill will and even fear. I know we are an adjunct of the government but we are not the (township) or county or other government. All (Haverford Township) people pay taxes, not just those who fly the American flag."
13 November, 2003
An excerpt from email posted on David Horowitz's blog of November 6th
"Recently my daughter, an art major, was given an assignment to create a demonstration poster centered around the war in Iraq. I am happy to say she is conservative through and through. She was set on creating a poster in support of the President and the war but was abruptly instructed that she had to create one contrary to her values and opinions. She complied reluctantly and of course received a lesser grade, in my opinion, because her position was contrary to that of the professor. Most recently in a communications class the professor spent the better part of a 90 minute class going off against the President and his foreign policy. Unfortunately, any student who speaks out in these venues is seriously harassed by the professor. In another setting of art students the question of political preference came up. My daughter realized from the discussion that she was in the minority and only reluctantly voiced her conservative position.
What is particularly disturbing about these episodes is that she attends what can only be considered one of the more conservative institutions in the state, East Carolina University. Despite the traditional conservatism there, General Shelton spoke at commencement, the liberal academics continue to make their stands in the classroom often times at the expense of the conservative student. These liberal positions are effecting the outcome of student grades if the student does not conform to the political slant of the professor."
12 November, 2003
BIBLE NOW ILLEGAL IN BRITAIN
The British police are now investigating a Church of England Bishop because he said that homosexuals could and should seek medical help to "reorientate" themselves. Such remarks count as "hate speech" apparently. But how about THIS for hate-speech?
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them".
That makes the good bishop's remarks positively weak-kneed in comparism does it not? Yet the quotation is of course from the Bible (Leviticus 20:13). So are Britain's Leftists going to start burning Bibles? I guess they would like to.
Melanie Phillips has some good comments on the matter.
There is no doubt that PC has become the new State religion in Britain. And it is as tyrannical and intolerant as any Tomas de Torquemada. Torqemada expelled 200,000 Jews from Spain. Given the political incorrectness of Israel and all who sail in her (often noted on this blog), it does seem that PC and the Holy Inquisition have remarkably similar ideas in fact.
11 November, 2003
VETERANS' DAY TODAY
(Crossposted from Dissecting Leftism)
I like Tom Barrett's article on the significance of the day -- and his observations about how politically incorrect it is. In Australia we still generally call it Armistice Day and it is widely marked. As it should be. It marked the end of unbelievable slaughter and degradation. In Australia, however, our main day for remembering our lost but heroic young men of all wars is Anzac Day (April 25th). The losses have touched my family too. The loss of my uncle Freddy Ray in the closing weeks of World War II is still deeply mourned by those who knew him.
One piece of NYC insanity is finally winding down. Excerpts:
New York City has finally won the right to evict violent and disruptive vagrants from its homeless shelters. In so doing, it has exposed the advocates' Big Lie: that they want the homeless off the streets.
State law has long given the city the power to ban unruly individuals temporarily from shelters if they repeatedly violate behavioral rules. The advocates, however, successfully sued to prevent the city from using that power. Now a court has just reversed the advocates' reign over shelter management, enabling the city to enforce safety in its massive shelter system. In response, the advocates are emitting their usual whine: The city's heartless action will result in more people on the streets.
What a joke! For 20 years, the homeless industry has dedicated itself to keeping deranged addicts, alcoholics, and criminals on the streets and out of treatment.
Remember Billie Boggs (a.k.a. Joyce Brown), the psychotic colonizer of a steam grate on Second Avenue, who became liberals' favorite symbol of the right to live on the streets? From her sidewalk campsite, Brown ran out into traffic, threatened passersby, covered herself in feces, and tore up, burned, and urinated on paper money given to her by charitable pedestrians. Her sisters begged the city to hospitalize her for her drug-fueled psychoses, and New York Mayor Ed Koch agreed. But the New York Civil Liberties Union successfully fought Koch's effort to get her off the streets and into treatment. The left-wing trial judge who ordered Brown back onto the steam grate established a pattern: his moralizing was directly at odds with the consequences of his actions. "It is my hope that the plight [Brown] represents will also offend moral conscience and rouse it to action," wrote Judge Robert Lippmann self-righteously. But the Koch Administration was taking action; it was Lippmann and the advocates who were abandoning a deranged woman to the streets.
It is beyond the advocates' ken that the purpose of rules is more to prevent bad behavior than to punish it after it occurs. To be sure, some violent shelter residents will wind up getting kicked out. Others, however, will start to improve their conduct simply when faced with the prospect of consequences. And if the advocates are right that it is fear of disorder and violence in the shelters that keeps so many derelicts in the streets, the number of people who now will start using shelters overwhelms the number of people who will be evicted.
10 November, 2003
An email from a British reader:
Like Americans, we here in Britain are also assailed by PC in all it's lousy, corrosive and often totally farcical ways.
For me, some of the most stupid rules are those governing adoption, where a white couple are not allowed to adopt a black or mixed race child, because of "cultural incompatability" (why is mixed race always classed as black ? - they aren't black at all, usually light brown). So we are witnessing inverse racism, as the attempts to be anti racist are so extreme, that they become racist by default. In fact, very close to the kind of apartheid so long fought against by the great Nelson Mandela.
By constantly drawing attention to the differences between races, and encouraging positive discrimination (conveniently called diversity), the PC brigade are in fact fuelling racism by stoking up resentment against the artificiality of the situation. How often do you see company house magazines with photos of the boss being black and the member of staff white ? Nothing wrong with that situation in reality, but it always has to be portrayed that way, out of fear of offending the minority by showing them in an inferior position. Again, inverse racism by condescension of the most insidious kind - if there weren't an existing sense of white superiority, there would be no need for this crap.
Another one is sexual harassment. Nobody likes the office sex pest (of either gender). Often they are real creeps. But to try and stamp out genuine relationships at work is an attack on the basic freedom of the individual, and one you should not tolerate under any circumstances. In any case, however hard they try, it will never be stamped out. Being a fundamental human instinct, the urge to sex is too strong, even for the corporate PC enforcers. It's called life - grow up !!!
As for sex discrimination, why is the agenda always focused on women ? - what about the discrimination against fathers who have split from their wives, often because the wife has walked, who cannot access their children. Why is the law so heavily weighted in favour of women ? What about the discrimination now so obvious against the middle aged male. Can anybody explain why a young woman aged 30 is so vastly superior to a guy of 52, when it comes to promotion ? No I thought not. But I think you know the pre-determined outcome of that little battle, even before it starts.
One last thing - the USA calls itself the "land of the free". From where I am standing here in England, that freedom seems to be being sucked from Americans more and more. Americans are being systematically regimented. On certain subjects, there was more freedom of speech in the old Soviet Union. .
9 November, 2003
CHRISTIANITY IS NOW A THOUGHTCRIME
"A Christian mother is appealing a judge's decision that prohibits her from teaching her daughter that homosexuality is wrong. Cheryl Clark, who left a lesbian relationship in 2000 after converting to Christianity, was ordered by Denver County Circuit Judge John Coughlin to 'make sure that there is nothing in the religious upbringing or teaching that the minor child is exposed to that can be considered homophobic.' Dr. Clark filed her appeal with the Colorado Court of Appeals last week."
Another Leftist whiner complains that Fox News is biased to the Right. But even he admits that Fox has plenty of Leftists on staff too. Do other TV sources have plenty of Rightists on board? No need to answer that. Clearly ANY conservatism on TV is incorrect and "biased". But Leftism is by definition "fair". It reminds me of Stalin's old saying: "There is complete freedom of speech in Russia -- as long as you agree with me."
8 November, 2003
NO DIVERSITY HERE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH
Mike Tremoglie writes (Excerpts):
If anyone doubts the need for an Academic Bill of Rights contact Professor Jay Bergman of Central Connecticut State University (CCSU).
Recently, Bergman sent a letter, signed by over twenty people, to the chairman of the university's board of trustees, noting the lack of intellectual diversity there. He cited several examples. One was a seminar about slavery reparations. According to Bergman it was an indoctrination session. "Not one of the presenters expressed the reasonable opinion, which students attending the seminar were entitled to hear, that reparations are a bad idea," Bergman wrote.
In addition to the reparations seminar, Bergman cited a Women's Studies program that rarely invited speakers who differ with feminist doctrine. He noted, for example, the complete absence of campus speakers who are pro-life or against Affirmative Action.
Bergman is president of the Connecticut Association of Scholars, the state chapter of the National Association of Scholars (NAS) - an organization of professors devoted to eliminating tendentious scholarship in academia. He has an abiding interest in academic freedom.
The fact that there were more than twenty other signatories to his letter indicates that this is a genuine problem for CCSU.
Bergman's letter was reported by the Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer. In it Bergman opined that, "Unless students are exposed to a wide variety of viewpoints, they cannot exercise the freedom they need as students to evaluate critically what they are told by their instructors." This is a professed tenet of colleges, yet many of those cited in the letter apparently do not believe this to be true
7 November, 2003
Ron Edwards writes (Excerpts):
"So what on earth is the number one enemy of this great but troubled land? This wretched enemy number one I am refering to is this nation's government or public school system. Now please allow me to make my case! There is an old biblical saying that states as a man thinketh so is he. It is not difficult to see how that worthy verse could easily apply to a nation of sovereign individuals. You may not realize it but, when American children enter grammar school they are on par with students from other industrialized nations. However, they remain competitive with students from other lands for only a few short years. The reason being is that for the most part, government school teachers focus more on indoctrinating American students into becoming tree huggers. Government school teachers also mold their students into politically correct dolts with no concept of absolutes, moral or otherwise.
On the other hand, most foreign students are thoroughly instructed in math and science. In addition, students in other lands benefit from being completely immersed in the knowledge about their homeland and it's history. They are also encouraged to appreciate their nation of origin. Unfortunately, "We the People" of the United States are mentally coerced (from childhood) into not knowing about or giving a damn about our country.
Most assuredly, you can blame the nations mentally depleting government school system. Don't Believe me?. Then ask almost any American high school or college graduate from the past twenty five years to explain the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Then go ahead and ask them why they would believe a stupid lie such as 'lowering taxes doesn't stimulate growth in the economy.
Dear reader, for the past seven or more decades government schools have weaned America away from the very principles that made her the one-time envy of the world. Have you noticed how certain groups that foster deviant behavior now have or shall soon receive preferential rights and forced insurance coverage? Of course, you may think I'm drifting away from America's most dangerous enemy, but I'm not at all.
If you are a parent and your child attends a government-uh-public school, many teachers will spend more time focussing your young one on special rights for deviants, revisionist history and anti traditional family dogma than on reading, writing, arithmetic and real history. For example, many government school students in California are taught about and forced to experience being a Muslim. However if one of those students even whispers anything relating to Christianity they are harshly punished."
6 November, 2003
LOUD NOISES INCORRECT
George Metcalf writes (Excerpts):
I love the Army. Metcalfs have served in the Army since before we officially had one. However, I am apoplectic over the chairborne- politically correct cancer-brain flatulence, which reportedly intends to excoriate Lt. Col. Allen B. West for doing his job and saving lives.
The Army has myopically filed a criminal assault charge against an American officer who coerced an Iraqi into providing information that foiled a planned attack on U.S. soldiers. (See here).
Col. West did not torture or physically harm the Iraqi detainee. He did used psychological pressure to scare the snot out of the bad guy. And it worked! After twice firing his service weapon away from the wannabe terrorist (who was an Iraqi police officer) the detainee talked and gave up the information on a planned attack. Lives were saved and now some uniformed bureaucrats back in the rear with the gear want to destroy the life of a combat leader. It is enough to gag maggots.
When Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan interrogates a bad guy working with terrorists by shooting him in the arms and legs we cheered. When an Army officer scares an enemy in a combat zone with a loud noise they want to nail him to a wall?
The same kind of politically correct desk jockey types who are Jonesing to put women in combat, neuter fighter jocks, and impose rules of engagement for a cricket club instead of barbaric 13th century guerrillas, now seek to destroy an exceptionally effective combat leader
5 November, 2003
THE FIRST RAYS OF SUNLIGHT ON THE DARKENED WORLD OF ACADEME
By Herbert London (Excerpts):
"On October 30 the Senate Committee on Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on "intellectual diversity" in higher education with the American Council of Trustees and Alumni president Anne Neal as the lead witness.
The Committee heard testimony on the extent to which "political correctness" - the reflexive intolerance of certain social and political views - creates a campus environment incompatible with the free exchange of ideas and diverse viewpoints. President Neal offered a detailed account of the state of academic freedom on college campuses and outlined the manifold ways dialogue is often stifled, controversial figures disinvited, faculty members with unorthodox views criticized, courses converted into laboratories for ideological conformity and speech codes that limit or restrict open expression.
While I am reluctant to see the government engaged in an examination of practices at universities, it is certainly appropriate that the issue of political correctness is aired. At the moment p.c. has become a contagion on most campuses, at the very least having a chastening effect on debate and at times resulting in tenure denial decisions..... "
4 November, 2003
UNIVERSITIES SO CORRECT THAT THEY ARE IN ORBIT
By Suzanne Fields (Excerpts):
"Just when we think the political culture can't get any more correct, new evidence surfaces of enhanced goofiness at our most expensive universities.... My favorite example is a freshman English course at Williams College entitled "Green World," which deals with the environment and explores "ways in which literature has constructed and interpreted the green-written word." Environmental exploitation is illustrated with the identification of "the archetypal symbol of man's desire to transform chaos into civilization and art - to tame, order, idealize and copy nature's bounty while humanizing plundering and destroying the environment." ...
Such nonsense is not isolated. The Independent Women's Forum, a Washington think tank of thinking women, investigated the top 10 liberal arts colleges, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report's annual college guide. They found many freshmen courses brain dead on arrival.
Traditional introductory literature and history courses, which once provided a freshman with a foundation of basic knowledge and an overview to draw on as a point of reference for more profound analyses in advanced courses, are mostly absent altogether. They've been denounced, denigrated and debunked ....
In place of traditional literature, these universities offer trendy, sexy, politicized examinations of Western "imperialism" and "exploitation," victim studies of gender and identity, and parochial ethnic studies with a stultifying point of view that reduces the breadth and depth of information....
Young people are under great stress to absorb tons of information in our high tech society. College should be one of the last preserves for liberal education, for studying the great books to develop the critical mind and the lively imagination. The young shouldn't have to waste time sorting through gobbledygook dreamed up by no-talent poseurs."
3 November, 2003
STATE OF UTAH ENDORSES TOBACCO SMOKING NATIVE AMERICANS
Sometimes PC just makes me laugh
"Thirteen months ago, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) launched a media program called "I Did It!" to get citizens to stop smoking tobacco. The campaign is ongoing, extensive, and focuses on stories of people who successfully quit smoking.
Six months ago, the Utah Department of Health endorsed the smoking of tobacco by Native Americans if it was for "spiritual," "natural," or "ceremonial" purposes. They presented their message "in a culturally sensitive and culturally charismatic way."
Six posters were created, distinguishing between traditional and commercial use, for posters and billboards. Appropriate images are used to illustrate the messages. For example, two pictures of Native American men using tobacco are displayed. The first picture shows a man using natural tobacco in a ceremonial setting, with the word "spiritual" below. This is contrasted with a second picture showing a man smoking a cigarette, with the word "spiritless" below.
Other posters juxtapose "prayers" and "poisons," "ceremonial" and "commercial," "creation" and "pollution," "natural" and "unnatural," and "positive" and "negative" uses and situations. Two posters focus on the use of tobacco during pregnancy.
This reversal on the part of the State of Utah can only be attributed to political correctness. It's cloaked as a recognition of Native American culture and spirituality. I don't buy their hogwash. To insult or irritate Native Americans is one of the most heinous acts possible. Remember, many Native Americans were slaughtered by the European white man and their pristine native land was appropriated. They represent oneness with the environment and Mother Earth. They are a cornerstone of American liberal theology."
Interested Participant has more.
2 November, 2003
ANTI-SMOKING EXCESSES IN NEW YORK
According to NYC CLASH (Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment), the issue embraces more than tobacco: "This is not about cigarettes," explains a spokesman. "This is the beginning of a wave by a politically correct means to dismantle New York City. Today it's cigarettes. Tomorrow hamburgers and booze." That is slightly strong. The ban is intended simply to protect people's lungs. And yet I found it had the reverse effect. I felt so roused by my friend's determination to smoke and be damned that, by 10pm, I had decided to join her.
SOME REALISM ON BRITISH TV
"Malik's programme ... was a critique of multiculturalism, not just in its more absurd and censorious guises, but as an ideology that emphasises difference rather than commonality. The writer charges that multiculturalism has intensified divisions, and led to something like apartheid in northern English towns. Channel 4 will take some flak for the programme, but it deserves credit for allowing Malik to take on such a holy cow (albeit at 11.15pm)". More here
1 November, 2003
I greatly appreciate the many emails I get from readers of this blog but, like most people, I have had a huge upsurge in spam lately and the measures I have had to take to deal with that may occasionally have resulted in my missing legitimate emails. So if I appear to have ignored an email from anyone recently, please resend the message to BOTH my email addresses below with nothing in the subject line.
Hotmail address and Yahoo address.
NO FREE SPEECH IN SCHOOLS EITHER
We all know that free speech in American universities is a lost cause but it is not doing too well in American High Schools either
Teens sue high school in speech case: "Two Snellville [GA] students have filed a federal lawsuit against their high school for suspending them over criticisms of a teacher they posted on a Web site. ... [Lloyd] Goldsmith and [Alexander] Morgan were suspended in March, after the two made postings on an off- campus Web site created by another student as 'an outlet to provide students, teachers and parents at Brookwood High School or other citizens a place to vent and post comments concerning a particular Brookwood teacher ... with whom many students were experiencing frustration and difficulty,' said the lawsuit, which was filed Aug. 22."
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION = JIM CROW
This black writer says that affirmative action policies are the new Jim Crow laws (i.e. treat blacks as separate and inferior):
"Even in the post-civil rights era, a subtle form of segregation has taken its place. Under the guise of "affirmative action," white liberals have convinced many of us that, just like the victims of the old Jim Crow, we now deserve special treatment and separate standards..... Governor Jeb Bush endorsed a plan to allow high school seniors who failed the FCAT to graduate with low SAT or ACT college test scores. These acceptable scores come close to what you supposedly get if you fill in your name correctly.... Black proponents of race preferences seem blind to the irony. Our forebears fought and died to dismantle such racist practices.... Jim Crow created a caste system in America that lasted for generations. In 2003, power-driven, pandering politicians want to make sure it remains in place."