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Crafty_Dog
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« on: December 04, 2003, 10:00:35 AM »

This thread is or examples of politicall correctness-- Crafty Dog
===============

Worker fired for insulting bin Laden
Prison officials said Muslims could have heard 'insensitive' remarks

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: December 4, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern



? 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

A British prison fired an officer who allegedly insulted terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden two months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Colin Rose, 53, is appealing to an employment tribunal in Norwich, England, to get his job back, reports the London Telegraph.

Officials at Blundeston Prison in Lowestoft, England, told Rose he had to go because, although he was unaware of it, three Muslims visiting the prison at the time might have heard his remarks about the al-Qaida leader, the paper said.

A six-month investigation that led to his dismissal never established whether the visitors heard the comment.

At the tribunal hearing Rose's appeal, the prison's assistant governor, Andrew Rogers, said, "I am not sure whether Mr. Rose saw the visitors," the Telegraph reported.

Rose reportedly had a perfect record over 21 years of service.

His troubles began Nov. 15, 2001, when he threw a set of keys into a metal chute at the prison gatehouse, the London paper reported. Someone said it sounded as if he had thrown them so hard they were going to break through the tray at the bottom of the chute.

Rose replied: "There's a photo of Osama bin Laden there."

Another prison officer, Peter McKinnon, told Rose to be quiet because three Asian people were at the window of the gatehouse.

Andrew Rogers, the assistant governor, said he "took offense at the comment."

"If the visitors had heard the comment, they might have taken offense, too." Rogers said.

When confronted the next day, Rose dismissed it as a throwaway remark, but an investigation was ordered a few days later. He was fired last May following a disciplinary hearing.

The prison's staff, which has a large Asian population with many Muslims, was sent a notice Sept. 25, 2001, asking for continued sensitivity in the wake of the 9-11 attacks.

"I asked them to avoid inflaming the situation," Jerry Knight, the prison governor, told the tribunal.

The Telegraph said the officer who conducted the probe, Mark Ewels, did not track down the Asians to find out if they had heard the remark.

Ewels said he thought the issue was too sensitive to bring up with them.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2003, 01:26:10 AM »

BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS
Student expelled 1 year for Advil
Over-the-counter pills found in purse violate 'zero-tolerance policy'

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: December 5, 2003
5:00 p.m. Eastern



? 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

A high school student in Louisiana has been expelled from her school for one year because she had Advil pills in her purse.

Sophomore Amanda Stiles was expelled from Parkway High School in Shreveport, La., after a teacher searched her purse because she was suspected of being among a group of students smoking cigarettes on school grounds, the Shreveport Times reported.

"I think a one-year expulsion for an over-the-counter medicine is pretty severe," Stiles' mother, Kelly Herpin, told the paper.

Herpin and Stiles appealed to a school board committee last night, but the panel and the full board voted unanimously to uphold the one-year expulsion.

"I'm not really sure at this point what we'll do," Herpin told he Times. "I'm going to have to talk to my husband, and we're going to have to make some plans. I'm not sure we could afford a private school. We've been looking at moving to another area."

Stiles said she carried the over-the-counter medicine because of frequent headaches, but the Bossier Parish School District maintains it is following a state law barring drugs on campus and its own "zero-tolerance" policy.

"I just never thought about the fact that I could be searched," Stiles said, according to the Shreveport paper. "I think we're old enough to know how many [pills] we can take without overdosing or being in danger."

After the appeals hearing, Superintendent Ken Kruithof said state law mandates a one-year suspension for drugs, but he did not know whether it covered nonprescription drugs as well. Betty McCauley, Bossier schools student services director, said the law includes nonprescription drugs, but she said having medication on campus doesn't automatically lead to a one-year expulsion.

"After an investigation and a hearing then, if necessary, punishment is administered. It could be no punishment," she said.

If Stiles wants to pursue the case further, she must sue the school district. The Times said, so far this school year, officials report18 students were sent to the system's alternative school for possessing "pills."

Herpin said she considers her daughter an "average" student in terms of grade and behavior and had never been expelled, according to the paper. Superintendent Kruithof said Stiles had other disciplinary incidents but did not know if they were serious enough to warrant suspension.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2004, 01:01:16 PM »

What Would Rachel Say?

By HARVEY A. SILVERGLATE
August 4, 2004; Page A12

Free speech "paranoids" have long warned that sexual harassment law is mushrooming out of control. Well, that fear has just been vindicated in an episode that's as bizarre as it is disconcerting. Scriptwriters for the TV series "Friends" are being sued, successfully so far, for -- get this -- engaging in bawdy banter while devising script ideas for the sit-com.

In the 1980s, regulations were enacted outlawing the creation of a "hostile work environment." Narrow at first, they outlawed only "harassment" directed at individuals because of race or gender that was repeated, pervasive, and so severe as to make it impossible for a person to perform a job. First Amendment worrywarts were assured that the regulations would never interfere with constitutionally protected speech.

But the "Friends" lawsuit, Lyle v. Warner Brothers Television Productions, is proof of how "hostile environment" law has spawned a right not to be offended at work if one belongs to a designated list of "protected" groups -- a "right" so absolute that cases like Lyle allow punishment even of workplace discussion that's central to the professional mission of an enterprise.

Amaani Lyle, a black woman, took a job as a scriptwriters' assistant at Warner Brothers, working with the "Friends" crew. A crucial duty was to take notes for writers when they discussed story lines. Her notes were then combed for script material. She was legitimately fired, the court noted, because she couldn't type fast enough. Yet it allowed her, after nixing a racial discrimination claim, to sue for sexual harassment. Why? Because she had to attend sessions at which writers tossed around "lewd, crude, vulgar jokes and comments in the writers' room" as part of the creative process of scripting "a show about the lives of young sexually active adults" (as the court characterized "Friends").

The trial judge had dismissed her claim because the offensive speech was not directed at her personally and was geared to create an atmosphere conducive to producing script ideas. Not so, said the Court of Appeal that reinstated her claim. "A woman may be the victim of sexual harassment if she is forced to work in an atmosphere of hostility or degradation of her gender." If she has to work in an atmosphere that "sufficiently offends" her "so as to disrupt her emotional tranquility in the workplace," that's the equivalent of depriving her of her opportunity to work. Ms. Lyle "was a captive audience." In other words, by performing the very job for which she'd applied, she was unwillingly exposing herself to the offensive atmosphere that constituted gender discrimination.

The California Supreme Court gave civil libertarians hope when, last month, it agreed to review the decision. If it fails to reverse, the workplace will join the college campus as a place where some are entitled to the comfort of not having their sensibilities challenged, while others suffer arbitrary censorship.

The writers pointed out that they shouldn't be penalized where they felt required to tell colorful jokes "as part of the creative process." The court disagreed and ruled that the jurors would decide "whether defendants' conduct was indeed necessary to the performance of their jobs." How is the jury to do this? By deciding whether the writers had "no alternative to these sexual brainstorming sessions." After all, noted the court, the creative necessity defense would not justify writers' assistants being "kissed, fondled or caressed in the interests of developing a 'love scene' between the characters."

So, banter is akin to sexual assault. What's more, the burden is on the writers "to convince a jury the artistic process for producing . . . 'Friends' necessitates conduct which might be unacceptable in other contexts." They'd have to convince jurors that "the recounting of sexual exploits, real and imagined, the making of lewd gestures and the displaying of crude pictures denigrating women was within 'the scope of necessary job performance' and not engaged in for purely personal gratification or out of meanness or bigotry or other personal motives."

It was a frighteningly simple step for harassment law to go from punishing actions to punishing words. Here, we glimpse the next plateau -- punishing bad thoughts. Stay tuned.

Mr. Silverglate is a director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which signed an amicus brief in the Lyle case.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2004, 12:09:11 PM »

This is the message that the Pacific Palisades High School
(California) Staff voted unanimously to record on their school
telephone answering machine. This came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children's absences and missing homework. The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children's failing grades changed to passing grades even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete
enough school work to pass their classes.


This is the actual answering machine message for the school:

"Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your
school.  In order to assist you in connecting the right staff member, please listen to all your options before making a selection:

"To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1

"To make excuses for why your child did not do his work- Press 2

"To complain about what we do - Press 3

"To swear at staff members - Press 4

"To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in
your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you - Press 5

"If you want us to raise your child - Press 6

"If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7

"To request another teacher for the third time this year- Press 8

"To complain about bus transportation - Press 9

"To complain about school lunches - Press 0

"If you realize this is the real world and your child must be
accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework, and that it's not the teachers' fault for your child's lack of effort: Hang up and have a nice day!"

 If you can read this thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English
thank a veteran.
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2004, 01:56:15 PM »

Howl Guro Crafty!!! Oustanding!! Sounds like a school i would want to send my kids to!
I would really like to see more people young and old alike be responsible and accountable for their own actions! Rather than make excuses or place blame, most of which as noted in the post is pure b.s. My hat goes off to that high school!!
                        tom
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2004, 06:20:54 PM »

http://www.snopes.com/humor/iftrue/palisades.htm
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2004, 08:15:32 PM »

Party pooper Mr. Guest!  

Seriously, quite right and thank you.
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Whack Job
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2004, 01:27:37 AM »

20 Ways to Tell if you're a Liberal  

1) You believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of funding.

2) You have to be against capital punishment but for abortion on demand - In short: you support protecting the guilty and killing the innocent.

3) You have to believe that the same overpaid public school idiot who can't teach 4th graders how to read is qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

4) You have to believe that trial lawyers are selfless heroes and doctors are overpaid.

5) You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than nuclear weapons in the hands of the Koreans.

6) You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the brilliance of the Sun, and more affected by yuppies driving SUVs.

7) You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being gay is natural.

Cool You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

9) You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature but pasty-faced activists who've never been outside Seattle do.

10) You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11) You have to believe there was no art before federal funding.

12) You have to believe the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars.

13) You have to believe the free market that gives us 500+ channels can't deliver the programming quality PBS does.

14) You have to believe the NRA is bad, because it stands up for certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good, because they stand up for certain parts of the Constitution.

15) You have to believe that taxes are too low but ATM fees are too high.

16) You have to believe that Cesar Chavez and Gloria Steinman are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee or Thomas Alva Edison.

17) You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren't.

18) You have to believe that second-hand smoke is more dangerous than HIV.

19) You have to believe that conservatives are racists but black people couldn't make it without your help.

20) You have to believe that the only reason democratic socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2004, 10:54:49 AM »

Fair and Balanced...

You know you are a conservative if you believe....
 
Because the media doesn't only report good stuff about conservatives, it is radically liberal.

People feel more comfortable knowing they are in the secure and caring hands of a gigantic profit-driven HMO.

Smoking tobacco cigarettes is a harmless choice that adults should make for themselves without government involvement, but smoking marijuana cigarettes is a national crisis for which the government ought to imprison anyone caught doing so.

It is patriotic to renounce one's citizenship to avoid paying taxes, and anyone who doesn't think so is a socialist.

Any woman who wants equal pay,control over her own body or thinks for herself is a wacko feminist.

The Budget Deficit is the bigget problem facing America now, and the best way to get rid of it is to lower taxes so that the government takes in less money

 wink The most persecuted group of people in all history are white, Christian males and it is about time they started to fight back against their oppressors

Your AK-47 is the only thing keeping a tyrannical government from imprisoning millions of your fellow citizens in secret concentration camps

Forcing a rape victim to give birth to her rapist's child is a way to support good family values

All problems in America today can be directly traced to a 1962 Supreme Court decision to bar coerced state-sponsored prayer in public schools.

Ronald Reagan is single-handedly responsible for ending the Cold War.

Sex corrupts children's minds, but violence does not, as long as it is committed by Republican movie stars such as Arnold Schwartzeneggar and Bruce Willis.

A right wing dictator is better than a left wing dictator.

Big Companies create jobs. Without their benevolence, nobody would be able to work.

A good way to promote world peace is to withdraw from the U.N., dissolve GATT and NAFTA, and ban all immigration.

 Cool Peter Jennings, making several million dollars a year and heard by millions is a member of the Elite Liberal Media, but Rush Limbaugh, making several million dollars a year and heard by millions is A Man of the People.

Giving aid to the poor is bad for them, but giving aid to business is good for the economy.

Government regulations protecting clean drinking water and edible meat are Socialism and Interference in the Free Market, but subsidized mining, grazing, logging, and defense work is just Good Government.

Part of Getting Big Government Off Our Backs includes allowing said government to monitor all our electronic traffic on the Internet.

Because a tiny portion of the money the National Endowment for the Arts gave out went to "obscene" artists, the best solution is to just disband the whole thing.

Paying employees more money hurts the economy

Because America ranks very low among other countries in education, the best solution is to weaken the public schools.

Commerical television is responsible for attacking morality and pandering to the base emotions, therefore, we must eliminate the only alternative, PBS.

Family planning, which cuts down on the number of unwanted pregnancies without abortion, must be eliminated so that there will be less abortions.

It is good for the economy when major corporations fire large chunks of their work force.

 wink Pat Buchanan/Pat O'Reilly/Sean Hannity/Joe Scarborough, millionaires, media stars, luxury car owners, are populists who understand what the common man wants.

The best qualification for being President is to have never held any office, to hate Washington, and to be really rich.

This would be a safer place to live if more citizens had more guns.

Paying government employees not to work is helping to balance the budget.

You Might Be A Libertarian If...

You might be a Libertarian if you think 99 percent of politicians give the rest of them a bad name.

You might be a Libertarian if you think that politicians should be limited to two terms, one in office and one in jail.

You might be a Libertarian if you believe in Capitol Punishment... you believe that everyone in the Capitol ought to be punished.

You might be a Libertarian if you think that rather than send our boys to die in Bosnia or Saudi Arabia, we should just shoot them here and save the shipping cost.

You might be a Libertarian if you think it should be harder to get welfare than it is to get a building permit.

You might be a Libertarian if you think that a magazine worth banning is probably a magazine worth buying.

You might be a Libertarian if you think that crime wouldn't pay if the government ran it.

You might be a Libertarian if you think that the problem with civil servants is that too many of them are neither civil nor servants.

 Cool You might be a Libertarian if someone asks you if you mind if they smoke and you ask them to be more specific.

You might be a Libertarian if someone asks you to take a urine test and you feel like telling them you'll give them a taste test.
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2004, 06:04:47 AM »

Woof, you might be a liberal if you think, john kerry can carry a majority vote in november wink
                                          TG
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2004, 11:49:54 AM »

Professor Assails Anti-Bias Program
An unlikely critic says his new study shows that affirmative action hurts black law students.
   
By Stuart Silverstein, Times Staff Writer

UCLA law professor Richard H. Sander, author of a controversial new study concluding that affirmative action hurts black law school students, generally seems an unlikely candidate to challenge a leading liberal cause.

Sander, 48, is a soft-spoken former VISTA volunteer who for years has studied housing discrimination and championed efforts to fight segregation in Los Angeles. A self-described "pragmatic progressive" who supported John Kerry for president, Sander also promoted a local program in the 1990s to help the working poor win more federal aid.
 
Yet Sander's latest research, to be published this month in the Stanford Law Review, already is drawing widespread criticism from liberal backers of affirmative action and is roiling law schools around the country.

His study asserts that law school affirmative action programs often draw African Americans to tougher schools where they struggle to keep up, leading many to earn poor grades, drop out and fail their state bar exams.

"The big picture is that this system of racial preferences is no longer clearly achieving the goal of expanding the number of black lawyers," Sander said in an interview. "There's a very good chance that we're creating such high attrition rates that we're actually lowering production of black lawyers, and certainly we are weakening the preparation of the black lawyers we are producing."

Affirmative action opponents have made similar arguments about racial preferences in the past, but Sander's research provides new statistics on academic performance. He reports that, in his national sampling, nearly half of first-year black students received grades placing them in the bottom tenth of their classes. In addition, he found that among all students who entered law school in 1991, 45% of black students graduated and passed the bar exam on their first try, while 78% of whites did so.

Sander, who now favors scaling back affirmative action, argues that racial preferences often create an "academic mismatch" that puts black students into competition with white students with stronger credentials. He contends that if the same black students went to less selective law schools, they would earn higher grades, raising their chances of graduating and passing the bar exam.

Some critics who have read a draft of the paper say Sander is probably understating the rate at which blacks pass the bar exam. They also argue that his explanations for black students' lagging performance are based on sweeping, unproven assumptions, and they say that he fails to recognize affirmative action's far-reaching benefits.

"If we look at our society today compared to what it was before we had affirmative action, I think almost everybody would agree it's much better today," said David Wilkins, a Harvard law professor writing a critique of Sander's paper. "And the very fact that we had affirmative action is a big part of why."

At the same time, Sander is widely regarded as a serious, independent-minded academic. Alison Grey Anderson, a friend who has taught at the UCLA law school since 1972, said she admires his intellectual integrity. "If he believes something is true, he's going to say it, and he's really not going to take into account the political consequences," she said.

Amid the controversy these days, she said, "I wouldn't want to be in his shoes."

Sander, director of the Empirical Research Group at the UCLA law school, said one of his guiding principles is "the idea that policy changes have to be empirically evaluated before we do them, and that we need to take advantage of social science so we don't throw away political capital on things that aren't going to work."

Likewise, Sander said, affirmative action "needs to be subjected to the kinds of cost-benefit evaluation that we would apply to any social policy."

He said he knew his research would ignite controversy. But Sander, who lives in Los Feliz with his two children and wife, Caltech astrophysicist Fiona Harrison, said family issues prodded him to move ahead.

One factor, he said, is the educational future of his 14-year-old son, Robert. University affirmative action could play a role in Robert's life because his racial background is mixed: Sander is white and Robert's mother, Sander's first wife, is black.

Sander's other child, a 19-month-old daughter named Erica, has a terminal disease. Her illness, Sander said, reminded him of life's fragility and left him with "a sense of urgency." He said he didn't want to "leave important things unsaid."

Sander, who grew up in rural Indiana, earned his bachelor's degree at Harvard. After graduating, he served as a VISTA volunteer with a community organization in Chicago for a year.

Later, he went to Northwestern University, earning both a doctorate in economics and a law degree. In 1989, he moved to UCLA as a law professor.

In Los Angeles, Sander served as president of the Fair Housing Congress of Southern California and helped start a public interest law program at UCLA.

Yet even before his latest study, Sander's research occasionally antagonized liberals.

In the 1990s, he was hired by the city of Los Angeles to study a living wage ordinance to boost pay for employers of city contractors, and he provided an opinion supporting the measure. But later, when he was retained by employer groups to study a living wage measure for Santa Monica, he came out on the opposite side, saying it would cost jobs without helping the families who most needed it. The difference, he said, was that the Los Angeles costs would be borne by city government, whereas Santa Monica's proposal would have placed a high minimum wage directly on businesses.

Sander also stirred controversy when he wrote an op-ed piece for The Times last year criticizing the UCLA and UC Berkeley law schools, along with the University of California system, for "back door" programs that sidestep the state's ban on affirmative action. The column expressed his growing concerns that affirmative action "allows us to pretend that our racial problems are simpler than they really are" while avoiding addressing "real problems," such as poor inner-city schools and urban segregation.

His new Stanford Law Review study includes data from the Law School Admission Council on 27,000 students who entered 160 U.S. law schools in 1991.

Critics say Sander vastly underestimates the role affirmative action plays in persuading blacks to go to law school, especially when it means attending a top-tier school near home.

Partly for that reason, a group including two University of Michigan law professors who are drafting a response to Sander's paper estimate that eliminating affirmative action would reduce the number of blacks entering the legal profession by 25% to 30% annually. Sander, by contrast, estimates an increase of about 9%.

Critics also contest the notions that affirmative action is the only reason for poorer law school performance by blacks and that African American students would earn better grades at less selective schools. They say students admitted into more challenging schools often learn more, in part because of greater expectations and resources.

In addition, critics say, the connections made at elite law schools may push up their earnings more dramatically later in their careers, a possibility that Sander's study didn't address.

Sander said he hasn't been rattled by the criticism and maintained that it has become easier to discuss affirmative action thoughtfully since the U.S. Supreme Court last year upheld the practice in college admissions so long as it is considered in a "flexible, non-mechanical way."

Sander plans to follow up with studies on Latino and Asian law students and to investigate how affirmative action at law firms affects black attorneys. He said he is concerned that blacks at such firms are stigmatized and consequently don't as often get the experience they need to move up to partner status.

The attention generated by his current paper, Sander said, has been gratifying.

"What you least want is to write articles that just collect dust," Sander said. "What you most want to do is to get people to think, and this is definitely doing that."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2004, 10:06:53 PM »

Its getting REALLY bad when the Left Angeles writes an editorial like this:
===============

EDITORIAL
Hopscotch? Well, Maybe ...
 
Now that the nation's schools have perfected the instruction of math, English, history, social studies and all the sciences and have taught all youngsters the manners and health rules they may have missed at home, it seems that reformers are headed out to the playground for some creative banishing. There, they are taking aim at a number of unacceptably rough games that might brutalize tender egos.

Schools in such states as California, Maryland and Texas are finally banning outrageously brutal games like tag, dodge ball and any activity involving physical contact. About time, eh? Footballs may be tossed, but running, tackling and blocking are out. Pulling and pushing? Gone too. No more crack-the-whip. On a swing? Create your own momentum. No pushing allowed there, either.

This kind of thing makes many adults glad they grew up when play hadn't yet been outlawed.

True, all generations experience playground unpleasantness. Someone always gets picked last. Teasing can hurt. It was embarrassing to catch a dodge ball in the butt too early in a game. Yet getting eliminated in a meaningless game was a lesson that conceivably could help sometime during later life. Other play lessons: You don't always get what you want; life isn't always fair; it takes all kinds; sportsmanship matters.

Originally, school recess and lunch-hour playtimes were designed for youngsters to stampede outdoors and be creatively active physically, to relieve the stress of long division and coloring within the lines. One or two adult monitors policed the place ? and bullies ? with vigilant eyes and stern whistles.

As children do when left alone, they invented their own games and rules, forged teams, alliances, friendships and tactics and even resolved conflicts. They learned cooperation, how to be gracious winners (cheering briefly is OK, taunting the losers isn't) and, more important, how to lose gracefully. If someone played too roughly too often, justice might be administered next time out.

Now, free play is giving way to activities like relay races organized by adults to avoid hurt feelings or singed self-esteems. Everyone is included. Everyone gets praised. Just as in life. Not! This also helps address the perceived threat of costly lawsuits hanging over schools like thunderclouds.

Schools are under tremendous pressure today to teach even nonacademic lessons like honesty, consideration and responsibility, things once taught in homes. It's a challenge, especially if parents are inattentive or unsupportive. Whether prohibiting cops-and-robbers and tag is a valid lesson plan seems dubious, given the more important teaching left unfinished. Where's that stern whistle when you need it
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2005, 08:52:56 AM »

This from Scotland/England:

===============================

http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1377062004

So what do you do when your home is burgled?

DR IAN STEPHEN

THE murder of John Monckton and the attack on his wife, Homeyra, during an apparent burglary in their London home has once again highlighted the true dangers and indeed the legal and moral dilemma members of the public face when they are confronted with intruders on their own property.

From a police perspective, the advice to potential victims of burglaries is unequivocal and clear-cut and you should never "have a go", so to speak, but for the victims of crime this is a very difficult thing to put into practice, especially when your natural instincts are to defend yourself, your family and your own property - the very pillars of your life that are being violated and potentially destroyed by criminals.

As a law-abiding individual confronted by an intruder in your home you face a catch-22. If you attack the burglar, or react in an "over the top" manner, as was recently illustrated in the case of Tony Martin who shot intruders in his Norfolk farmhouse, you will inevitably end up on the receiving end of a prison sentence that will far outstrip that imposed on the intruder in your own home. This situation has resulted in a lack of belief in the law among the public or rather a belief that the law isn?t exactly on your side when your home is broken into.

To this end it is perhaps important not to dwell on the situation involving Mr Martin because, regardless of the appeal procedure he successfully went through to secure his freedom, in many ways the law still points to his particular attack on the intruders who entered his home as a pre-meditated assault. He had previously been the victim of a number of burglaries within his home and as a result of this he was effectively prepared for further intrusion and reacted as such when his farmhouse was broken into again.

But what the Martin case does reflect is the general fear felt by the public over rising crime rates and the extent to which they will go to protect themselves. As the case involving Mr and Mrs Monckton shows those most at risk from aggravated burglary are the wealthy, individuals identified by criminals as prosperous professionals. However, at the other end of the scale, people living in inner cities and on council estates face a similar level of risk.

When individuals are confronted by intruders there are some actions they should follow. Direct contact should be avoided whenever possible. If unavoidable, the victim should adopt a state of active passivity. In most cases the best form of defence is always avoidance. If this isn?t possible, act passively, be careful what you say or do and give up valuables without a struggle. This allows the victim to take charge of the situation, without the intruder?s awareness, through subtle and non-confrontational means. People can cooperate but initiate nothing. By doing nothing there is no chance of inadvertently initiating violence by saying something such as "Please don?t hurt me".

In a situation involving housebreaking it is also important to remember that many common burglars are adolescents, most likely starting out on the first rung of the criminal ladder, and they are therefore prone to lashing out if confronted and in the worst case scenarios killing out of panic and fear.

Sometimes the perpetrator of a burglary is even more terrified than the victim and in many cases when things go wrong it is the perpetrator of the crime who panics. Although they sometimes go equipped with weapons, in most cases they probably don?t intend to use them but in the heat of the moment, and the fear of either getting caught or attacked themselves, they use them. They don?t expect the person they are trying to hold up to retaliate or react. Mostly the knife is there simply for intimidation rather than intent to use it and they finish up killing somebody by accident rather than design.

This, of course, does not excuse their actions, but it is certainly worth taking on-board when you consider confronting an intruder. While saying this, in my own experience counselling victims of crime in recent years, there has also recently been a marked increase in the use or the threatened use of dangerous weapons in burglaries and common assaults. This, in itself, is a deeply worrying trend and, although not entirely excusing over-retaliation from homeowners, creates an understandable degree of sympathy for members of the public who lash out at intruders in their home. In truth it is an incredibly difficult situation to assess.

What is perhaps most important is dealing with the victims of the crime and helping them through the aftermath. As someone with wide experience of counselling the victims of violent robberies in their homes it is essential to remember the post-traumatic stress associated with such incidents.

The truth is aggravated burglary causes enormous stress as the victim?s home has been violated. This situation is magnified when the victims and their family have been threatened or assaulted and can lead to a whole range of post-traumatic stress disorders. Like the victims of rape and violent assault, members of the public who experience criminal intrusion in their home experience episodes and often show all the classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress like panic attacks, sleep disorders, flashbacks and social withdrawal.

Like other serious crimes the aftermath of a burglary can be the start of a process that continues to destroy the victim?s self-esteem and even relationships with their loved ones and more often than not reinforces their feelings of guilt and self-blame over the situation. The damage to the victim from the original crime can also be magnified by the court experience and, more likely in today?s society, the lack of support from local authorities and the police.

The trauma can be dealt with in a number of ways with professional help, counselling to develop effective coping strategies and taking time off from stressful professional activities. People who fail to seek help often develop further psychological problems. Men especially are not good at accepting support, but some simple counselling immediately after an attack can substantially reduce the risk of long-term psychological problems.

? Dr Ian Stephen is an Honorary Lecturer (Forensic Psychology) at Glasgow Caledonian University and has worked in a number of prisons with long-term prisoners and young offenders. He was a consultant to forensic psychology television series Cracker.
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2005, 09:37:14 PM »

Can anyone confirm or deny this one?

================================

Telegraph Story: Germany's New Labor Policy

A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.

Prostitution was legalised in Germany just over two years ago and brothel owners ? who must pay tax and employee health insurance ? were granted access to official databases of jobseekers.

The waitress, an unemployed information technology professional, had said that she was willing to work in a bar at night and had worked in a cafe.

She received a letter from the job centre telling her that an employer was interested in her "profile'' and that she should ring them. Only on doing so did the woman, who has not been identified for legal reasons, realise that she was calling a brothel.

Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job ? including in the sex industry ? or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990.

The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse.

When the waitress looked into suing the job centre, she found out that it had not broken the law. Job centres that refuse to penalise people who turn down a job by cutting their benefits face legal action from the potential employer.

"There is now nothing in the law to stop women from being sent into the sex industry," said Merchthild Garweg, a lawyer from Hamburg who specialises in such cases. "The new regulations say that working in the sex industry is not immoral any more, and so jobs cannot be turned down without a risk to benefits."

Miss Garweg said that women who had worked in call centres had been offered jobs on telephone sex lines. At one job centre in the city of Gotha, a 23-year-old woman was told that she had to attend an interview as a "nude model", and should report back on the meeting. Employers in the sex industry can also advertise in job centres, a move that came into force this month. A job centre that refuses to accept the advertisement can be sued.

Tatiana Ulyanova, who owns a brothel in central Berlin, has been searching the online database of her local job centre for recruits.

"Why shouldn't I look for employees through the job centre when I pay my taxes just like anybody else?" said Miss Ulyanova.

Ulrich Kueperkoch wanted to open a brothel in Goerlitz, in former East Germany, but his local job centre withdrew his advertisement for 12 prostitutes, saying it would be impossible to find them.

Mr Kueperkoch said that he was confident of demand for a brothel in the area and planned to take a claim for compensation to the highest court. Prostitution was legalised in Germany in 2002 because the government believed that this would help to combat trafficking in women and cut links to organised crime.

Miss Garweg believes that pressure on job centres to meet employment targets will soon result in them using their powers to cut the benefits of women who refuse jobs providing sexual services.

"They are already prepared to push women into jobs related to sexual services, but which don't count as prostitution,'' she said.

"Now that prostitution is no longer considered by the law to be immoral, there is really nothing but the goodwill of the job centres to stop them from pushing women into jobs they don't want to do."
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2005, 01:09:33 PM »

Woof All:

The concept of "evil" is definitely not PC.  

Interesting piece from the NY Times.

Crafty Dog
=========

2/8/05 09:07  
www.nytimes.com
February 8, 2005
For the Worst of Us, the Diagnosis May Be 'Evil'
By BENEDICT CAREY
 
redatory killers often do far more than commit murder. Some have lured their victims into homemade chambers for prolonged torture. Others have exotic tastes - for vivisection, sexual humiliation, burning. Many perform their grisly rituals as much for pleasure as for any other reason.

Among themselves, a few forensic scientists have taken to thinking of these people as not merely disturbed but evil. Evil in that their deliberate, habitual savagery defies any psychological explanation or attempt at treatment.

Most psychiatrists assiduously avoid the word evil, contending that its use would precipitate a dangerous slide from clinical to moral judgment that could put people on death row unnecessarily and obscure the understanding of violent criminals.

Still, many career forensic examiners say their work forces them to reflect on the concept of evil, and some acknowledge they can find no other term for certain individuals they have evaluated.

In an effort to standardize what makes a crime particularly heinous, a group at New York University has been developing what it calls a depravity scale, which rates the horror of an act by the sum of its grim details.

And a prominent personality expert at Columbia University has published a 22-level hierarchy of evil behavior, derived from detailed biographies of more than 500 violent criminals.

He is now working on a book urging the profession not to shrink from thinking in terms of evil when appraising certain offenders, even if the E-word cannot be used as part of an official examination or diagnosis.

"We are talking about people who commit breathtaking acts, who do so repeatedly, who know what they're doing, and are doing it in peacetime" under no threat to themselves, said Dr. Michael Stone, the Columbia psychiatrist, who has examined several hundred killers at Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in New Hampton, N.Y., and others at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, where he consults and teaches. "We know from experience who these people are, and how they behave," and it is time, he said, to give their behavior "the proper appellation."

Western religious leaders, evolutionary theorists and psychological researchers agree that almost all human beings have the capacity to commit brutal acts, even when they are not directly threatened. In Dr. Stanley Milgram's famous electroshock experiments in the 1960's, participants delivered what they thought were punishing electric jolts to a fellow citizen, merely because they were encouraged to do so by an authority figure as part of a learning experiment.

In the real world, the grim images coming out of Iraq -the beheadings by Iraqi insurgents and the Abu Ghraib tortures, complete with preening guards - suggest how much further people can go when they feel justified.

In Nazi prisoner camps, as during purges in Kosovo and Cambodia, historians found that clerks, teachers, bureaucrats and other normally peaceable citizens committed some of the gruesome violence, apparently swept along in the kind of collective thoughtlessness that the philosopher Hannah Arendt described as the banality of evil.

"Evil is endemic, it's constant, it is a potential in all of us. Just about everyone has committed evil acts," said Dr. Robert I. Simon, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School and the author of "Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream."

Dr. Simon considers the notion of evil to be of no use to forensic psychiatry, in part because evil is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, shaped by political and cultural as well as religious values. The terrorists on Sept. 11 thought that they were serving God, he argues; those who kill people at abortion clinics also claim to be doing so. If the issue is history's most transcendent savages, on the other hand, most people agree that Hitler and Pol Pot would qualify.

"When you start talking about evil, psychiatrists don't know anything more about it than anyone else," Dr. Simon said. "Our opinions might carry more weight, under the patina or authority of the profession, but the point is, you can call someone evil and so can I. So what? What does it add?"

Dr. Stone argues that one possible benefit of including a consideration of evil may be a more clear-eyed appreciation of who should be removed from society and not allowed back. He is not an advocate of the death penalty, he said. And his interest in evil began long before President Bush began using the word to describe terrorists or hostile regimes.

Dr. Stone's hierarchy of evil is topped by the names of many infamous criminals who were executed or locked up for good: Theodore R. Bundy, the former law school student convicted of killing two young women in Florida and linked to dozens of other killings in the 1970's; John Wayne Gacy of Illinois, the convicted killer who strangled more than 30 boys and buried them under his house; and Ian Brady who, with his girlfriend, Myra Hindley, tortured and killed children in England in a rampage in the 1960's known as the moors murders.

But another killer on the hierarchy is Albert Fentress, a former schoolteacher in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., examined by Dr. Stone, who killed and cannibalized a teenager, in 1979. Mr. Fentress petitioned to be released from a state mental hospital, and in 1999 a jury agreed that he was ready; he later withdrew the petition, when prosecutors announced that a new witness would testify against him.

At a hearing in 2001, Dr. Stone argued against Mr. Fentress's release, and the idea that the killer might be considered ready to make his way back into society still makes the psychiatrist's eyes widen.

Researchers have found that some people who commit violent crimes are much more likely than others to kill or maim again, and one way they measure this potential is with a structured examination called the psychopathy checklist.

As part of an extensive, in-depth interview, a trained examiner rates the offender on a 20-item personality test. The items include glibness and superficial charm, grandiose self-worth, pathological lying, proneness to boredom and emotional vacuity. The subjects earn zero points if the description is not applicable, two points if it is highly applicable, and one if it is somewhat or sometimes true.

The psychologist who devised the checklist, Dr. Robert Hare, a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, said that average total scores varied from below five in the general population to the low 20's in prison populations, to a range of 30 to 40 - highly psychopathic - in predatory killers. In a series of studies, criminologists have found that people who score in the high range are two to four times as likely as other prisoners to commit another crime when released. More than 90 percent of the men and a few women at the top of Dr. Stone's hierarchy qualify as psychopaths.

In recent years, neuroscientists have found evidence that psychopathy scores reflect physical differences in brain function. Last April, Canadian and American researchers reported in a brain-imaging study that psychopaths processed certain abstract words - grace, future, power, for example - differently from nonpsychopaths.

In addition, preliminary findings from new imaging research have revealed apparent oddities in the way psychopaths mentally process certain photographs, like graphic depictions of accident scenes, said Dr. Kent Kiehl, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale, a lead author on both studies.

No one knows how significant these differences are, or whether they are a result of genetic or social factors. Broken homes and childhood trauma are common among brutal killers; so is malignant narcissism, a personality type characterized not only by grandiosity but by fantasies of unlimited power and success, a deep sense of entitlement, and a need for excessive admiration.

"There is a group we call lethal predators, who are psychopathic, sadistic, and sane, and people have said this is approaching a measure of evil, and with good reason," Dr. Hare said. "What I would say is that there are some people for whom evil acts - what we would consider evil acts - are no big deal. And I agree with Michael Stone that the circumstances and context are less important than who they are."

Checklists, scales, and other psychological exams are not blood tests, however, and their use in support of a concept as loaded as evil could backfire, many psychiatrists say. Not all violent predators are psychopaths, for one thing, nor are most psychopaths violent criminals. And to suggest that psychopathy or some other profile is a reliable measure of evil, they say, would be irresponsible and ultimately jeopardize the credibility of the profession.

In the 1980's and 1990's, a psychiatrist in Dallas earned the name Dr. Death by testifying in court, in a wide variety of cases, that he was certain that defendants would commit more crimes in the future - though often, he had not examined them. Many were sentenced to death.

"I agree that some people cannot be rehabilitated, but the risk in using the word evil is that it may mean one thing to one psychiatrist, and something else to another, and then we're in trouble, " said Dr. Saul Faerstein, a forensic psychiatrist in Beverly Hills. "I don't know that we want psychiatrists as gatekeepers, making life-and-death judgments in some cases, based on a concept that is not medical."

Even if it is used judiciously, other experts say, the concept of evil is powerful enough that it could obscure the mental troubles and intellectual quirks that motivate brutal killers, and sometimes allow them to avoid detection. Mr. Bundy, the serial killer, was reportedly very romantic, attentive and affectionate with his own girlfriends, while he referred to his victims as "cargo" and "damaged goods," Dr. Simon noted.

Mr. Gacy, a gracious and successful businessman, reportedly created a clown figure to lift the spirits of ailing children. "He was a very normal, very functional guy in many respects," said Dr. Richard Rappaport, a forensic psychiatrist based in La Costa, Calif., who examined Mr. Gacy before his trial. Dr. Rappaport said he received holiday cards from Mr. Gacy every year before he was executed.

"I think the main reason it's better to avoid the term evil, at least in the courtroom, is that for many it evokes a personalized Satan, the idea that there is supernatural causation for misconduct," said Dr. Park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist in Newport Beach, Calif., who examined the convicted serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer, as well as Lyle and Erik Menendez, who were convicted of murdering their parents in Beverly Hills.

"This could only conceal a subtle important truth about many of these people, such as the high rate of personality disorders," Dr. Dietz said. He added: "The fact is that there aren't many in whom I couldn't find some redeeming attributes and some humanity. As far as we can tell, the causes of their behavior are biological, psychological and social, and do not so far demonstrably include the work of Lucifer."

The doctors who argue that evil has a place in forensics are well aware of these risks, but say that in some cases they are worth taking. They say it is possible - necessary, in fact, to understand many predatory killers - to hold inside one's head many disparate dimensions: that the person in question may be narcissistic, perhaps abused by a parent, or even charming, affectionate and intelligent, but also in some sense evil. While the term may not be appropriate for use in a courtroom or a clinical diagnosis, they say, it is an element of human nature that should not be ignored.

Dr. Angela Hegarty, director of psychiatry at Creedmoor who works with Dr. Stone, said she was skeptical of using the concept of evil but realized that in her work she found herself thinking and talking about it all the time. In 11 years as a forensic examiner, in this country and in Europe, she said, she counts four violent criminals who were so vicious, sadistic and selfish that no other word could describe them.

One was a man who gruesomely murdered his own wife and young children and who showed more annoyance than remorse, more self-pity than concern for anyone else affected by the murders. On one occasion when Dr. Hegarty saw him, he was extremely upset - beside himself - because a staff attendant at the facility where he lived was late in arriving with a video, delaying the start of the movie. The man became abusive, she said: he insisted on punctuality.
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« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2005, 12:18:44 AM »

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Florida boy accused of assault with rubber band

13-year-old suspended 10 days after confrontation with teacher

WKMG Local 6

A 13-year-old student in Orange County, Fla., was suspended for 10 days and could be banned from school over an alleged assault with a rubber band, according to a WKMG Local 6 News report.

Robert Gomez, a seventh-grader at Liberty Middle School, said he picked up a rubber band at school and slipped it on his wrist.  Gomez said when his science teacher demanded the rubber band, the student said he tossed it on her desk.

After the incident, Gomez received a 10-day suspension for threatening his teacher with what administrators say was a weapon, Local 6 News reported.

"They said if he would have aimed it a little more and he would have gotten it closer to her face he would have hit her in the eye," mother Jenette Rojas said.

Rojas said she was shocked to learn that her son was being punished for a Level 4 offense -- the highest Level at the school. Other violations that also receive level 4 punishment include arson, assault and battery, bomb threats and explosives, according to the Code of Student Conduct.

The district said a Level 4 offense includes the use of any object or instrument used to make a threat or inflict harm, including a rubber band.

Rojas plans to fight the ruling but her son still faces expulsion.

"It's ridiculous, it's a rubber band," Rojas said.

The school's principal could not comment because the case is still under investigation.  A district spokesman said there is still a series of meetings the district will have before Gomez is officially expelled.
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2005, 11:17:30 AM »

Author Charged With Defaming Islam
From Times Wire Reports


A judge ordered author Oriana Fallaci to face trial on charges of defaming Islam.

The case arose after Muslim activist Adel Smith alleged that parts of Fallaci's book, "The Strength of Reason," are offensive to Islam, such as a passage that calls Islam "a pool ? that never purifies," said Smith's attorney, Matteo Nicoli.

Fallaci, in her 70s, said she is accused of violating a law barring "outrage to religion." No date has been set for the trial in the northern town of Bergamo.
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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2005, 09:29:40 PM »

Not quite the Devil's Dictinary, but it gets an A for effort:

http://www.trilobyte-mag.com/lexicon.htm
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2005, 06:27:52 PM »

Sexual her-assment at Appalachian State
Mike S. Adams

August 9, 2005


Dear ASU Women?s Center (womenscenter@appstate.edu):
 
Hello ladies. I am writing to initiate negotiations for a legal settlement that I think will be in the best interests of ASU feminists. When I saw your website, I felt immediately sexually harassed as I read the following quotes:
 
"A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." - Gloria Steinem
 
"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult." - Charlotte Whitton
 
"Sure God created man before woman. But then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece." - Anonymous
 
"If women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long?" - Gloria Steinem
 
"Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy fat women." - Nicole Hollander
 
"A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do what he can't." - Rhonda Hansoms
 
"Behind every successful man is a surprised woman." -Maryon Pearson
 
According to the examples of sexual harassment listed on the ASU website, you have clearly sexually harassed me and, in fact, every other man who has logged on to the Women?s Center website. For example, ASU claims that ?telling racist, sexist, homophobic jokes that demean people because of their protected class membership? is sexual harassment.

The only way that your website?s feminist quotes cannot be considered harassment is by excluding men as a ?protected class.? However, the ASU website also says that sexual harassment can take the form of simply ?stating that people of one sex are inferior to people of the other sex or can?t perform their jobs as well as a result of their sex; labeling people and jobs due to sex or other protected class membership.? The word ?or? may be your biggest problem.

As you can clearly see, this is an open and shut case. You are all - according to your own examples ? guilty of sexual harassment. And I am obviously a victim. Of course, I now want what all victims want. In other words, I want a lot of your money.

So, please, make sure that you send a check to the mailing address posted at the bottom of my website (www.DrAdams.org). And make sure that the amount is at least six digits. Otherwise, we may have to go to court and risk a lot of nasty media exposure.

While you are deciding on the amount of money to send, let me also give you a few questions to ponder:

1. Did it ever occur to you that your website is supported with North Carolina tax dollars? In other words, did it occur to you that the state is paying you to sexually harass men?

2. Does your use of the concept of a ?protected class? discriminate against men by seeking to protect only women?

3. Or does your double standard in the application of harassment policies really reflect a form of sexism against women? Perhaps you are really suggesting that women are emotionally inferior to men and, thus, need special protection from things that might upset them. Wouldn?t such a view contradict the quotes listed on your website?

I look forward to your answers to these questions. But, to be honest, I?m really looking forward to getting that check. My Ann Coulter Action Figure really needs some new cloths and I haven?t bought a gun in weeks.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/ma20050809.shtml

Mike S. Adams is presently recovering from his ordeal by watching the new Jessica Simpson video and eating chocolate ice cream. He plans to resume work soon.
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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2005, 06:38:28 PM »

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05251/567702.stm

Unf*ckin' believable
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« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2005, 01:18:34 PM »

Preacher vows fight over Flight 93 memorial design

Associated Press


SOMERSET, Pa. - A Somerset County preacher vowed to fight the design of the Flight 93 National Memorial, insisting that the crescent pathway used in the design is a symbol of Islam.

"This is a memorial to the terrorists who killed those people, not a memorial to the folks who died there innocently," said the Rev. Ron McRae, leader of the Bible Anabaptist Church near Jerome, about 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

"The crescent is as much connected to Islam as the cross is to Christianity," said McRae of Conemaugh Township, also listed as director and founder on the Web site of the Lancaster-based Street Preachers Fellowship.

McRae said the group may go to court to try to block the "Crescent of Embrace" memorial designed by Paul Murdoch Associates of Los Angeles. The design centers around a mile-long semicircle of red maples surrounding the point of impact, where 40 passengers and crew were killed when the hijacked plane crashed near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001.

Though not accepted by all Muslims, the crescent moon and star is an internationally recognized symbol of Islam and appears on the flags of many Muslim nations.

Murdoch, however, said his crescent has no religious significance, but was created to add formality to the bowl-shaped valley surrounding the crash site.

"This is not about any religion per se," Murdoch said in a telephone interview with the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown. "It's a spiritual space, and a sacred place, but it's open to anyone."

The word "crescent," he said, was used as a generic architectural term for a curved line.

"Sure, there is an Islamic crescent," Murdoch said. "Theirs is a lunar crescent. Ours isn't based on that."

The jury that recommended the final design, approved by the Flight 93 Advisory Commission, had suggested in a report that planners rethink use of the word "crescent" and, instead, use "circle," "arc" or other words not linked to religious icons.

Fouad El Bayly, leader of the Islamic Center of Johnstown, said the crescent isn't a holy symbol, but one identified with the lunar Muslim calendar.

"When it comes to a memorial, all mankind sympathizes," he said. "They recognize it was against everybody."

Murdoch's design was unveiled Wednesday to overwhelming support from Flight 93 family members at the crash site. Some said the design perfectly blends the serene landscape with the solemnity of a cemetery. Planners expect the memorial to be completed by the 10th anniversary of the crash.

But McRae, widely known for his protests in the 1990s outside a gay bar in Somerset County, said he would fight Murdoch's design if it goes forward.

"They wouldn't dare put up the Ten Commandments or the cross of Christ, but they're going to put up a red crescent," he said. "We're not going to stand idly by and allow this to happen."

Helene Fried, an adviser for the memorial's design competition, said any religious symbolism was unintentional and the crescent "was merely the embrace of taking in a larger family."


http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/news/local/12596768.htm
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2005, 10:43:24 AM »

This is my column from today's Times.

Ed



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

September 19, 2005

Hate Crimes: When Forbidden Acts Become Forbidden Beliefs

By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN

Thirty years ago, hate crimes did not exist, though plenty of crimes committed out of hatred did. Could it be that the only thing that has changed is that we now have both? And perhaps that the concept of hate crime is more a burden than a benefit?

Such was the unease I felt on Tuesday night at the New York Tolerance Center of the Simon Wiesenthal Center listening to a panel of human rights advocates discuss a new report about hate crimes. The report, "Everyday Fears: A Survey of Violent Hate Crimes in Europe and North America," written by Michael McClintock, the director of research for Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), focuses on the United States, Canada, and 53 European and Central Asian countries.

It argues that hate crimes are on the increase and are not being taken seriously enough. In France, reports of violence against gay men more than doubled from 2002 to 2003. In Britain, anti-Semitic assaults on individuals doubled from 2003 to 2004. In the Netherlands, anti-Muslim violence flared after the murder of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, leading to acts of arson and assault. The particular accounts are chilling.

What is to be done? At the panel, Mr. McClintock argued that "data stops hate," that knowing the extent of hatred would lead to legislation and control. His report argues for the expansion of legal and governmental structures to monitor and prosecute hate crimes.

Europe might already seem well armed. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has increased its focus on hate crimes in its Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. According to Mr. McClintock's report, the security organization also has an international hate crimes program that has been documenting its member nations' failures to document those crimes. The European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance and the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia also combat what the monitoring center calls "racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism at the European level."

But Human Rights First also says that only 19 of the 55 nations in the security organization actually have hate crime legislation and that only five include "sexual orientation and disability bias" in their criteria. Denmark does not make racism a factor in criminal law; France does but won't separate out statistics about particular groups. As for the United States, in the latest survey 90 percent of enforcement agencies did not report data on hate crimes at all.

The report suggests that all hate crimes are vastly undercounted, noting that "the highest levels of violence were found where there was increasingly effective monitoring and reporting (in Germany and France)."

But how are such crimes to be identified? The concept of hate crime developed only in recent decades out of a particular political perspective. It asserts that there are groups so injured by being at society's margins that any further injury rising out of hatred is particularly heinous. A hate crime is not just an individual crime but a reflection of a presumed social crime. Prosecution of hate crimes is a form of social exorcism, a declaration that traces of past sins will be expunged.

This is more peculiar than it may seem at first. Usually, a crime is prosecuted because it is a forbidden act; a hate crime is prosecuted because of a forbidden belief. Usually, punishment is assessed by judging a criminal's plans: Was the murder premeditated? Was it accidental? In hate crimes the motive is central: Was it done out of greed? Was it done out of hatred? Prosecuting hate crimes is meant to be an attack on prejudice, meant to reform feelings, not just behavior.

Thus hate crimes tend to fit a particular political ideology. It is not really group hatred that gives hate crimes their meaning, but social grievance. In the United States, for example, there is palpable discomfort when an incident of black-on-white crime is called a hate crime. It doesn't fit the model: where's the victim's social grievance? Anti-Semitism has also typically been seen as the spur to a hate crime only when it comes from the far right, as an extension of familiar fascistic victimization.

Human Rights First refers to terrorist acts as spurring hate crimes in retaliation but not as hate crimes themselves. They are ignored even though the Washington sniper of 2003, John Allen Muhammad, made his group hatred apparent, and even though radical Islamic clerics regularly preach hatred against Jews, infidels and Westerners and urge that it be acted upon (with considerable success). These are not considered hate crimes because the victims are not considered socially aggrieved.

In fact, debates about hate crimes can even resemble debates over who merits social restitution. This report urges that the concept be standardized: hate crimes should be crimes based on prejudice motivated by race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

Given all this, it is not surprising that statistics are inconsistent and difficult to come by, that some hate crimes prove to be crimes committed for other motives, that some hate crimes are not crimes at all and that others go unrecognized. Hate crimes are hard to prove and easy to claim, related to feelings not acts. It is not clear that monitoring and reporting will eliminate hate crimes. More agencies and legal structures are now devoted to them than ever before, without diminishing their prevalence.

Is it possible that one of the best ways to eliminate hate crimes is to jettison the concept itself? As for eliminating acts of hatred ... well, that is a more serious problem.

Connections, a critic's perspective on arts and ideas, appears every other Monday.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2005, 10:44:24 AM »

This is my column from today's Times.

Ed



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

September 19, 2005

Hate Crimes: When Forbidden Acts Become Forbidden Beliefs

By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN

Thirty years ago, hate crimes did not exist, though plenty of crimes committed out of hatred did. Could it be that the only thing that has changed is that we now have both? And perhaps that the concept of hate crime is more a burden than a benefit?

Such was the unease I felt on Tuesday night at the New York Tolerance Center of the Simon Wiesenthal Center listening to a panel of human rights advocates discuss a new report about hate crimes. The report, "Everyday Fears: A Survey of Violent Hate Crimes in Europe and North America," written by Michael McClintock, the director of research for Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), focuses on the United States, Canada, and 53 European and Central Asian countries.

It argues that hate crimes are on the increase and are not being taken seriously enough. In France, reports of violence against gay men more than doubled from 2002 to 2003. In Britain, anti-Semitic assaults on individuals doubled from 2003 to 2004. In the Netherlands, anti-Muslim violence flared after the murder of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, leading to acts of arson and assault. The particular accounts are chilling.

What is to be done? At the panel, Mr. McClintock argued that "data stops hate," that knowing the extent of hatred would lead to legislation and control. His report argues for the expansion of legal and governmental structures to monitor and prosecute hate crimes.

Europe might already seem well armed. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has increased its focus on hate crimes in its Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. According to Mr. McClintock's report, the security organization also has an international hate crimes program that has been documenting its member nations' failures to document those crimes. The European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance and the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia also combat what the monitoring center calls "racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism at the European level."

But Human Rights First also says that only 19 of the 55 nations in the security organization actually have hate crime legislation and that only five include "sexual orientation and disability bias" in their criteria. Denmark does not make racism a factor in criminal law; France does but won't separate out statistics about particular groups. As for the United States, in the latest survey 90 percent of enforcement agencies did not report data on hate crimes at all.

The report suggests that all hate crimes are vastly undercounted, noting that "the highest levels of violence were found where there was increasingly effective monitoring and reporting (in Germany and France)."

But how are such crimes to be identified? The concept of hate crime developed only in recent decades out of a particular political perspective. It asserts that there are groups so injured by being at society's margins that any further injury rising out of hatred is particularly heinous. A hate crime is not just an individual crime but a reflection of a presumed social crime. Prosecution of hate crimes is a form of social exorcism, a declaration that traces of past sins will be expunged.

This is more peculiar than it may seem at first. Usually, a crime is prosecuted because it is a forbidden act; a hate crime is prosecuted because of a forbidden belief. Usually, punishment is assessed by judging a criminal's plans: Was the murder premeditated? Was it accidental? In hate crimes the motive is central: Was it done out of greed? Was it done out of hatred? Prosecuting hate crimes is meant to be an attack on prejudice, meant to reform feelings, not just behavior.

Thus hate crimes tend to fit a particular political ideology. It is not really group hatred that gives hate crimes their meaning, but social grievance. In the United States, for example, there is palpable discomfort when an incident of black-on-white crime is called a hate crime. It doesn't fit the model: where's the victim's social grievance? Anti-Semitism has also typically been seen as the spur to a hate crime only when it comes from the far right, as an extension of familiar fascistic victimization.

Human Rights First refers to terrorist acts as spurring hate crimes in retaliation but not as hate crimes themselves. They are ignored even though the Washington sniper of 2003, John Allen Muhammad, made his group hatred apparent, and even though radical Islamic clerics regularly preach hatred against Jews, infidels and Westerners and urge that it be acted upon (with considerable success). These are not considered hate crimes because the victims are not considered socially aggrieved.

In fact, debates about hate crimes can even resemble debates over who merits social restitution. This report urges that the concept be standardized: hate crimes should be crimes based on prejudice motivated by race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

Given all this, it is not surprising that statistics are inconsistent and difficult to come by, that some hate crimes prove to be crimes committed for other motives, that some hate crimes are not crimes at all and that others go unrecognized. Hate crimes are hard to prove and easy to claim, related to feelings not acts. It is not clear that monitoring and reporting will eliminate hate crimes. More agencies and legal structures are now devoted to them than ever before, without diminishing their prevalence.

Is it possible that one of the best ways to eliminate hate crimes is to jettison the concept itself? As for eliminating acts of hatred ... well, that is a more serious problem.

Connections, a critic's perspective on arts and ideas, appears every other Monday.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2005, 01:28:16 PM »

FEMA Suspends Phoenix Rescuers Over Arms
Oct 04 11:20 PM US/Eastern


PHOENIX

The Phoenix Fire Department's Urban Search and Rescue team has been suspended by a federal agency because it brought armed police officers for protection on hurricane relief missions.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's conduct code prohibits urban search-and-rescue teams from having guns.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon called the reaction from FEMA "stunning, unbelievable, bewildering and outrageous."

Phoenix's team included four police officers who were deputized as U.S. marshals when they participated in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

The team was credited with plucking more than 400 Katrina survivors from rooftops and freeway overpasses in flooded sections of New Orleans.

Phoenix officials are threatening to refuse deployments in the future or possibly pull out of the federal agency altogether unless the rules are changed to allow teams to bring their own security, even if that means police with guns.

Phoenix police were added to the team about a year ago, and officials say they are essential to protecting firefighters and FEMA's $1.4 million worth of equipment.

Assistant Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan said his department also is questioning the federal agency's ability to manage working conditions, security and communications.

"We have an obligation to provide the safest environment as we can," Khan said.

U.S. Marshal David Gonzales said he was dismayed by the suspension because the setup with the police officers seemed ideal.

"We think this was a model," he said. "We think all rescue teams should have armed escorts wherever they go, and we think this is something they should adopt nationwide."

FEMA relies on 28 elite teams like the Phoenix group to perform specialized rescue operations immediately after terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

According to the mayor, FEMA officials advised the team to bring U.S. marshals along on the initial trip.

After Hurricane Katrina struck, firefighters faced deployment to areas plagued by looting and lawlessness. Twice, Phoenix's team was confronted by law enforcement officers who refused to let them pass through their communities and told them to "get out or get shot," Gordon said.

Officials told the Phoenix team on Sept. 26 that their help was no longer needed after members of the group were seen embarking on a helicopter flight with a loaded shotgun while helping with the aftermath of Rita.
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/10/04/D8D1KDB80.html
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2005, 02:43:26 PM »

What the "blankey blank" is going on inside these agencies? HUD has been making it's own gun ban laws, the CDC wants to treat gun ownership like it's a disease and now FEMA wants to disarm sworn law enforcement officers! It's no wonder they can't do the job they are mandated to do for the American tax payer; they are too busy abusing their power and sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.
  Could it be that a stealth government, of liberal government workers, is running our nation into the dirt? smiley
                                      Woof P.C.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2006, 06:08:44 PM »

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS
Students reject honor to 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' hero
Member of Marines not 'sort of person UW wanted to produce'

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: February 14, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern



? 2006 WorldNetDaily.com



Lt. Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington during World War II (Photo: National Archives)
The University of Washington's student senate rejected a memorial for alumnus Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of "Black Sheep Squadron" fame amid concerns a military hero who shot down enemy planes was not the right kind of person to represent the school.

Student senator Jill Edwards, according to minutes of the student government's meeting last week, said she "didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce."


Ashley Miller, another senator, argued "many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men."

Senate member Karl Smith amended the resolution to eliminate a clause that said Boyington "was credited with destroying 26 enemy aircraft, tying the record for most aircraft destroyed by a pilot in American Uniform," for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.

Smith, according to the minutes, said "the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington's service, not his killing of others."

The senate's decision was reported first by Seattle radio talk-host Kirby Wilbur of KVI, whose listeners were "absolutely incensed," according to producer Matt Haver.

Brent Ludeman, president of the university's College Republicans, told WND in an e-mail the decision "reflects poorly on the university."

"Pappy Boyington went beyond the call of duty to serve and protect this country ? he simply deserves better," Ludeman said. "Just last year, the university erected a memorial to diversity. Why can't we do the same for Pappy Boyington and others who have defended our country?"

The resolution points out Boyington, a student at the UW from 1930-34, served as a combat pilot in the 1st Squadron, American Volunteer Group ? the "Flying Tigers of China" ? and later as a Marine Corps combat pilot in charge of Marine Fighting Squadron 214, "The Black Sheep Squadron."

Along with the Navy Cross, Boyington was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his heroism. He was shot down and spent 20 months in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.

The resolution says, "Be it resolved ? [t]hat we consider Col. Gregory Boyington, United States Marine Corps, to be a prime example of the excellence that this university represents and strives to impart upon its students, and, That we desire for a memorial for Col. Boyington be commenced by the University of Washington by 11 January 2008, the twentieth anniversary of his death, which will be publicly displayed, so that all who come here in future years will know that the University of Washington produced one of this country's bravest men, and that we as a community hold this fact in the highest esteem."



Commenting on the decision, a blogger who says he met Boyington on numerous occasions at a museum and air show over the years noted the famous flyer "was no rich boy," having grown up in a struggling family in which he was forced to work hard to make it through school. The blogger, who hosts the website Paradosis, also pointed out Boyington was part Sioux.

Boyington was open about his marital problems and alcohol abuse, saying notably, "Just name a hero and I'll prove he's a bum."

The blogger wondered, "have our Washington youth revised history so much as this? To compare Boyington ? or for that matter any of our WW2 vets ? to murderers? What are these kids being taught today? They don't deserve those 20 months Pappy spent being tortured and beaten in a Japanese prison camp ... they don't deserve any of what our grandfathers and grandmothers sacrificed to free Europe and the Pacific."

Boyington wrote a book in 1958 that reached the best-seller list, "Baa Baa, Black Sheep." In 1976, he sold rights to Universal, which aired a TV series for two seasons of the same name.

Boyington, who died Jan. 11, 1988, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2006, 05:55:43 PM »

Oh God, am I just being neurotic?

An author with an end-of-the-world tome due out suddenly finds himself panicking

MARK STEYN

Early in the 2004 U.S. election season, a publisher took me to lunch and pitched me a book. She wanted me to write a John Kerry election diary. Easy gig. All I had to do was follow him around and mock him mercilessly. Well, I hemmed and hawed and eventually she got the picture and said, "Okay, what would you like to write a book about?"

And so I said, "Well, I've got this idea for a book called 'The End Of The World.' " And there was a pause and I could feel her metaphorically backing out of the room, and shortly thereafter she literally backed out of the room. But not before telling me, somewhat wistfully, "You know when I first started reading your stuff? Impeachment. Your column about Monica's dress was hilarious." She motioned to the waiter. "Cheque, please." And I got the impression she was feeling like the great pop guru Don Kirshner when the Monkees came to him and said they were sick of doing this bubble gum stuff and they needed to grow as artists. My Monica's dress column was one in which I did a mock interview with said object: the dress had entered the witness protection program, had reconstructive surgery and was now living as a pair of curtains in Idaho. The late nineties was a lot of fun for a columnist. A third Clinton term and I could have retired to the Virgin Islands. But I feel like Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, when she tells Bogey, "I've put that dress away. When the Germans march out, I'll wear it again." I've put Monica's dress away. When the Islamofascists march out, I'll wear it again.

My little tome on the end of the world comes out in a few weeks. And, though the end-of-the-world bit is now reduced to the subtitle, I found myself once it had gone to the printers suddenly riddled with self-doubt: oh my God, what if I'm just being apocalyptic and neurotic? So I started picking up other books about the shape of things to come just to reassure myself. Most of us find it hard to focus on long-term trends because life is lived in the short term. Which is why the climate-change hysterics insist we only have "five to 10 years" to save the planet. Oddly enough, that's what they were saying 15 to 20 years ago. Indeed, the indestructibility of climate-change hysteria is itself a symptom of societal complacency: if we were really serious about long-term problems, we wouldn't have time to waste on Al Gore eco-doom scenarios.

At the other end of the spectrum is a hard-headed strategist like Thomas P. M. Barnett, author of The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century and Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating. Mr. Barnett divides the world into a functioning "Core" and a "Non-Integrating Gap" and favours using a "SysAdmin" force -- a "pistol-packin' Peace Corps" -- to transform the "Gap" countries and bring them within the "Core." He doesn't have a high opinion of yours truly -- he regards me as a racist buffoon -- and one is naturally tempted to respond in similar fashion. But, in fact, he talks a lot of sense -- up to a point. The trouble is, like many chaps who swan about dispensing high-end advice to international A-listers, he views the world's problems as something to be sorted out by more effective elites -- better armed forces, international agencies, that sort of thing. The common herd are noticeable by their absence in his pages. If he did give them any thought, he'd realize that his vision of a "SysAdmin" force -- European allies that would go into countries after American hard power has liberated them -- is simply deluded. Whatever the defects of the Continent's elites, the real problem isn't the lack of leaders but the lack of followers. The demographic reality is that Europe is running out of Europeans -- the deathbed fertility rates of the French, Italians, Germans, Spaniards, etc. is a continent-wide suicide bomb, a kind of auto-genocide in which one population is gradually yielding to a successor population unlikely to share American foreign policy goals in any parts of the world likely to catch Washington's eye in the next decade or three. Rather than the Continent's leadership class helping move countries from the Non-Integrating Gap to the Core, it's more likely that parts of Europe will be doing a Bosnia and moving from the Core to the Non-Integrating Gap.

There's a similar omission in James Martin's new book The Meaning of the 21st Century: A Vital Blueprint for Ensuring Our Future. Perhaps Mr. Martin got "blueprint" from Barnett's title -- it's one of those buzzwords appealing to the happy futurologist -- although an alternative edition bears the subtitle "An Urgent Plan for Ensuring Our Future." In fact, Martin has produced neither a vital blueprint nor an urgent plan nor an urgent blueprint, vital plan, planned blueprint or blue vitals (a side effect of global cooling?). Rather, his book is a flibbertygibberty gambol through global warming, poverty, nanotechnology, terrorism, hydroponics, transhumanism and anything else that tickles his fancy for a paragraph or two. The author is a distinguished computer scientist and he's big on the big picture: "Every year, because of our misuse of the earth's resources, we lose 100 million acres of farmland and 24 billion tons of topsoil, and we create 15 million acres of new desert around the world . . . One-third of the world's forest areas has disappeared since 1950."

The obvious question here is: who's this "we" you keep banging on about? My small town is more forested than it was either a century or two centuries ago. So clearly the "we" in my part of the world does things differently than the "we" in Sudan or Rwanda or the Brazilian rainforest. But the possibility that political, cultural or civilizational factors might be determinative is one to which Mr. Martin is fiercely resistant. The idea that the human species -- rather than Belgians or Saudis or Fijians -- is responsible for this or that environmental crisis is deeply appealing to the eco-doom-mongers because it casts the problem as a moral failure.

When Martin moves on from these technical problems (which is how we would look at them if we wanted to solve them rather than use them as opportunities for societal self-flagellation), the alleged great thinker retreats into happy-face banality. His section on Islam is the most godawful pileup of Pollyanna generalities punctuated by absurdly overinflated anecdotal evidence, like the fact that the emir of Qatar has opened up a branch of Cornell medical school in his "Education City." "There are aspects of civilization that are common," Martin writes breezily. "Common ethics, the international legal system, networks for commerce . . . " Whoa, hold it there. Has he ever tried doing business in Nigeria or Syria? Not to worry, says Martin. "A growing number of people will think of themselves as citizens of the planet rather than citizens of the West, or Islam, or Chinese civilization." He provides no evidence for this assertion, and I would wager that it is, as they say in Britain, bollocks on stilts: the idea that an identity rooted in nothing more than the planet as a kind of universal zip code will ever be sufficient is laughable. The opposite is more likely to prove true: the more types like Martin promote the nullity of post-nationalist identity -- what he calls "multicultural tolerance and respect" -- the more people will look elsewhere, to pan-Islamism and much else.

As for transhumanism, even that will be driven by dull old human demographics. I heard a story on the radio this week about some new Austin Powers-style "fembots" that are being developed by -- guess who? -- the Japanese. These aren't like your old twelve-buck blow-up doll from PornoMart on Toronto's Yonge Street, they're much more lifelike and they cost 300 grand -- as, indeed, many real broads do these days. But it's no coincidence that Japan is the G7 nation that's aging fastest: it has net population decline and no immigration. It thus has compelling structural and economic reasons to take a flyer on the post-human future. Martin is fascinated by transhumanism but has no interest in good old-fashioned humanity and its ability -- even through general sloth and disinclination to breed -- to influence events. For the author of a book on The Meaning of the 21st Century, he shows remarkably little curiosity about that second word.

None of us knows how things will stand in 2030, any more than most of our forebears in 1906 could have predicted the collapses of the Russian, Turkish, Austrian and German empires in a little over a decade. But I like the way the American radio host Dennis Prager put it the other day: some of us worry about a resurgent militant Islam and its attendant complications, some of us worry about global warming. In 20 years' time, one of us will be proved right and the other will look like an idiot.
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Dog Dave
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« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2006, 11:37:17 AM »

"Guns don't kill people- FEMA kills people"
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2006, 10:30:22 PM »

A Monument to Correctness

A controversial memorial to the victims of 9/11 has become a campaign issue in next month's elections in Arizona. When the memorial was unveiled on Phoenix's Capitol Mall on the fifth anniversary of the attacks, its "moral equivalence" message sparked immediate protests.

Members of the committee that approved the memorial insist it honors those who died on 9/11 in an "even-handed" way. But critics say it's inappropriate that among the memorial's 54 inscriptions are such statements as "You don't win battles of terrorism with more battles." Other messages feature a discussion of an "erroneous U.S. air strike" and the "fear of foreigners" that is prevalent in America. Perhaps most controversial of all was the fact that the signature phrase uttered by passengers on United Flight 93 as they charged the pilots' cabin on 9/11 -- "Let's roll" -- was rejected as a possible inscription.

"As an American, I am disgusted by this memorial," says Mike Broomhead, whose brother was killed in a checkpoint shooting in Iraq. Tom Smith, a former state senator who chairs the Capitol Mall Commission, is calling for the memorial to be covered up until the committee that designed it can meet again to reconsider revising the most controversial inscriptions. Unfortunately, committee members, with the support of Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano, are refusing to reconvene or make any decision about the monument until after the November elections. Meanwhile, state legislators are being put on the spot by questions about where they stand on the memorial, and GOP gubernatorial candidate Len Munsil says he will tear down the monument if elected.

Some legislators privately admit the memorial's inscriptions are needlessly polemical. The northern Arizona town of Winslow had a better idea. Its 9/11 memorial is a twisted 20-foot steel beam that was pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center. It contains no inscriptions.

"That's how a 9/11 memorial should be," said Michael Herald, a Phoenix resident, whose brother was killed in the World Trade Center attack. "All we wanted was a stone in the ground."
WSJ's Opinion Journal Political Diary

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buzwardo
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« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2006, 11:21:58 PM »

The Straw That Broke the Multi-Culti Camel's Back


By Val MacQueen : 27 Oct 2006


   
In the last few days in Britain, three events have caused what was already a small crack in the paper-thin edifice of "multiculturalism" in Britain to widen to a noticeable fissure.

First, 14-year old British schoolgirl Codie Stott was arrested for trying to get a good grade in her group science project. She had been placed with a group of students only one of whom spoke any English. When they began talking what she deduced was Urdu among themselves, she realized she had no hope of completing the project. She went to her teacher, and prefacing her request with a diplomatic, "I'm not trying to be funny, but ..." she asked to be moved to an English-speaking team. The teacher reacted violently, raising her voice in the classroom to shout, "It's racist! You're going to get done by the police!"

The 14-year old was reported to a police officer on the school premises and the next day she was arrested, taken to the police station and told to take the laces out of her shoes and take off her jewelry. She then had her fingerprints taken and she was formally questioned. "It was awful," she said later, when she'd been released, the police having shown more sense than her teacher.

This news item created a storm of anger in Britain. But, the incident was quickly followed by another. Aishah Azmi, a teacher's assistant in an Episcopalian school who was tasked with helping recently arrived Urdu-speaking children to learn English, was asked to remove her niqab (full facial veil) in the classroom. She refused. She was told that the children needed to see her lips and mouth as she pronounced the English words they were supposed to be learning. She refused on religious grounds. The school, conciliatory for fear of being accused of racism, told her she was free to wear the veil in corridors and the staff room, but she should remove it when teaching foreign children English. She refused again, saying that as there was a male colleague in the classroom, she could not remove her veil in his presence.

Ms Azmi was sent home and her salary suspended. There is a broad school of thought in Islam that wearing the veil is not a religious requirement. Indeed the full facial veil is banned in public by the governments of both Turkey and Tunisia. In Tunisia, a woman may not enter a public [government] building wearing even a headscarf.

Ms Azmi was interviewed on British television by seasoned newsman Peter Sissons, who did not give her any breaks. For those who find it difficult to understand her accent, her final sentence is, "Yes, but only for five minutes." Liberal London Times columnist David Aaronovitch described her as a black belt in passive aggression.

As night follows day, she took the school to an employment tribunal, which came to an atypically swift conclusion that her religious rights had not been abused, although they awarded her around ?1,100 (around $2,000) for "hurt feelings". She is now requesting taxpayer-funded legal aid to fight her case all the way up. However, the local Labour MP, a Muslim, has backed the school.

The third incident that has shaken the wafer-thin facade of multiculturalism was the case of a Christian worker at a British Airways' check-in counter. She wore a small cross, barely the size of her thumbnail, to work and was sent home for refusing to remove it. British Airways cited their rule of no jewelry and no religious symbolism except if it is hidden under the uniform. Ms Nadia Eweida claims that the BA rule clearly means "no Christian symbolism" as Sikh male employees are allowed to wear their much larger steel bangles with their livery, unhidden. Indeed, they are allowed to wear their turbans to work if they wish. And Muslim women can wear headscarves.

Ms Eweida has announced her intention to defend her right to wear her miniature cross by taking BA to court. Meanwhile, she has been suspended without pay by an unrelenting British Airways, which also publicly reprimanded her for calling attention to the incident.

These three incidents, coming over a space of a few days, have torn wide open a fissure which became visible for the first time, when Member of Parliament Jack Straw, until last month a stout devotee of multiculturalism suddenly wrote an article in his local paper. Jaws dropped all over Britain when Straw wrote his defense of the reasons he has begun asking Pakistani women constituents who visit his office to discuss problems to remove their veils. His point, of course, is that it is difficult to talk to someone whose facial expressions one cannot judge. Tony Blair has also now admitted that the veil makes him uneasy. With the bandwagon gathering pace, London mayor and keen adherent of multiculturalism "Red" Ken Livingstone, knocked the population of London over with a feather when he said on BBC's Radio 4 that he would like to see Muslims giving up the veil, although he didn't think this should be imposed "from the outside".

Wearing the veil accords the wearer what British columnist Melanie Phillips refers to as a "radical imbalance of power" in that it gives the veil-wearer the advantage of reading the facial expressions of others, while keeping her own reactions hidden. It is beginning to be viewed in Britain not as a symbol of female subjugation, but as a weapon of aggression and radical Islam. The British-born mothers of these young Pakistani-heritage veil-wearing women did not wear the veil.

The author is a TCS Daily contributing writer living in Europe.
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