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Politics & Religion
Topic: Politically (In)correct (Read 36321 times)
November 10, 2006, 01:08:33 PM »
There's a thread of the same name in the other forum, but at the moment I'm too durn lazy to bring it over. That said, the following makes the need for this thread quite clear.
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Student leaders at a California college have touched off a furor by banning the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings, saying they see no reason to publicly swear loyalty to God and the U.S. government.
The move by Orange Coast College student trustees, the latest clash over patriotism and religion in American schools, has infuriated some of their classmates -- prompting one young woman to loudly recite the pledge in front of the board on Wednesday night in defiance of the rule.
"America is the one thing I'm passionate about and I can't let them take that away from me," 18-year-old political science major Christine Zoldos told Reuters.
"The fact that they have enough power to ban one of the most valued traditions in America is just horrible," Zoldos said, adding she would attend every board meeting to salute the flag.
The move was lead by three recently elected student trustees, who ran for office wearing revolutionary-style berets and said they do not believe in publicly swearing an oath to the American flag and government at their school. One student trustee voted against the measure, which does not apply to other student groups or campus meetings.
The ban follows a 2002 ruling by a federal appeals court in San Francisco that said forcing school children to recite the pledge was unconstitutional because of the phrase "under God." The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the ruling on procedural grounds but left the door open for another challenge.
"That ('under God') part is sort of offensive to me," student trustee Jason Bell, who proposed the ban, told Reuters. "I am an atheist and a socialist, and if you know your history, you know that 'under God' was inserted during the McCarthy era and was directly designed to destroy my ideology."
Bell said the ban largely came about because the trustees didn't want to publicly vow loyalty to the American government before their meetings. "Loyalty ought to be something the government earns through performance, not through reciting a pledge," he said.
Martha Parham, a spokeswoman for the Coast Community College District, said her office had no standing on the student board and took no position on the flag salute ban.
"If their personal belief is that they don't want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, the district certainly isn't going to dictate what they do," she said.
More than 28,000 students attend the community college, located in conservative Orange County, California, south of Los Angeles.
College Reeducation Camps
Reply #1 on:
December 18, 2006, 12:04:09 PM »
EDITORIAL: More campus thought police
Another example of political correctness run amok
The agents of political correctness who police the nation's college and university campuses generally use shame and scorn to beat down free expression deemed offensive by the tiniest minority.
But sometimes, institutions aren't content to merely marginalize those who fail to embrace a worldview that emphasizes the rights of groups over those of individuals. Rather than engage these free spirits in open debate in a classroom setting -- isn't that what college is all about? -- administrators seek to re-educate these malefactors on the proper way to think.
Michigan State University has taken the multicultural mantra of indoctrination to a new extreme. Students whose speech or behavior is deemed inappropriate for a university setting are ordered to complete, at their own expense, the school's Student Accountability in Community Seminar.
This program bills itself as an "early intervention" for those who take "any action of obscuring, concealing, or changing people's perceptions that result in your advantage and/or another's disadvantage." In other words, any behavior that might make someone feel bad. Seminar participants have included students who've argued with professors or cracked offensive jokes -- constitutionally protected free speech.
Once enrolled in the seminar, students are forced to complete written questionnaires about their behavior, sometimes several times, until an instructor believes the student has taken "full responsibility" for his actions. If a student refuses to enroll in the seminar, the university won't let the student register for classes, a de facto act of expulsion.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting free expression, civil rights and educational freedom on college campuses, has demanded that Michigan State University dismantle the program.
"As bad as it is to tell citizens in a free society what they can't say, it is even worse to tell them what they must say," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said in a news release. "Michigan State's program is an immoral and unconstitutional program of compelled speech, blatant thought reform, and pseudo-psychology."
The university has told FIRE that the program is under review. We were unable to secure further comment from Michigan State officials.
The existence of seminars such as Student Accountability in Community is an affront to the values that institutions of higher education should hold dear. Universities should aspire to give students the intellectual skills and information to discuss issues and refute arguments, not shelter them from the kinds of ideas and expressions that roam free outside campus walls.
But Michigan State has gone an unconstitutional step further, seeking not only to protect students from ever having their feelings hurt, but to control students' collective conscience.
This is a model for the kind of education colleges and universities should never offer.
Shame on the NFL
Reply #2 on:
February 14, 2007, 02:56:06 PM »
The National Football League refused to run a recruitment ad for the U.S. Border Patrol in last week's Super Bowl program, saying it was "controversial" because it mentioned duties such as fighting terrorism and stopping drugs and illegal aliens at the border.
"The ad that the department submitted was specific to Border Patrol, and it mentioned terrorism. We were not comfortable with that," said Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the NFL. "The borders, the immigration debate is a very controversial issue, and we were sensitive to any perception we were injecting ourselves into that."
The NFL's rejection didn't sit well with Border Patrol agents, who called it a snub of their role in homeland security and said it was "more than a little puzzling."
"The NFL missed a golden opportunity to reach countless patriotic citizens who want to answer the call to help prevent another terrorist attack on American soil," said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents the agency's nonsupervisory personnel.
Border Patrol agents are assigned to protect the country's borders with Mexico and Canada between the ports of entry. The agency is trying to boost its force to 18,000, a goal President Bush outlined last year in a prime-time Oval Office address to the nation.
Other major leagues have had no problems running the ad, a Border Patrol spokesman said. It has been accepted to run in programs for the upcoming NBA All Star Game and the NCAA Final Four, as well as in Pro BullRider magazine, the spokesman said.
The NFL's snub came to light last week during Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's testimony before a congressional panel. Mr. Chertoff said the ad was rejected, "much to my chagrin."
Mr. Aiello said that the NFL offered the department a chance to run a generic recruiting ad, similar to ads the U.S. military runs, but that the league never heard back from it.
"We proposed a more generic recruiting ad for the department that didn't highlight the borders, which brings up the immigration issue and the immigration debate. That's controversial," he said.
That position stands in stark contrast to the ongoing debate in Congress, where among all the thorny issues related to immigration, the one that wins near-unanimous agreement is the need for more boots on the ground.
"Since almost every American favors securing our borders and the overwhelming majority of legislators on both sides of the immigration debate support significant increases in the number of Border Patrol agents, it is extremely difficult to imagine how those issues could be perceived as controversial," Mr. Bonner said.
He said the NFL's decision appeared to be an attempt to try to avoid upsetting the emerging market of football fans in Latin America.
The Super Bowl program is produced by the NFL, which printed about 200,000 copies this year, Mr. Aiello said.
The Border Patrol ad asks for "the right men and women to help protect America's southwest borders." It lists duties as preventing "the entry of terrorists and their weapons," blocking "unlawful entry of undocumented aliens" and "stopping drug smuggling."
The ad does not mention the ongoing immigration debate in Washington or touch on contentious subjects such as amnesty, a guest-worker program or legalization.
Mr. Bush has promised to double the size of the Border Patrol, which stood at 9,000 when he took office. His budget proposal calls for funding for 3,000 new agents in fiscal 2008 alone.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham, who oversees the Border Patrol, told The Washington Times last year that an aggressive recruiting effort by the agency had resulted in "no want for applicants."
Mr. Basham said the ongoing attrition rate for the Border Patrol of about 4 percent was significantly down from previous years and meant that 6,800 new agents would have to be hired and trained to fill the 6,000 slots sought to boost the agency's numbers to 18,000 and to make up for losses from attrition.
To meet the president's goal, Mr. Basham -- who once led the federal law-enforcement training center -- said the agency had reduced the total number of days trainees attend the academy, "but not the training they receive." He said the overall training schedule was reduced in October from 92 to 81 days.
College Speech Police, I
Reply #3 on:
February 23, 2007, 03:56:49 PM »
Free Inquiry? Not on Campus
And the college speech police threaten the liberty of us all.
Remember when the Right had a near-monopoly on censorship? If so, you must be in your sixties, or older. Now the champions of censorship are mostly on the left. And they are thickest on the ground in our colleges and universities. Since the late 1980s, what should be the most open, debate-driven, and tolerant sector of society has been in thrall to the diversity and political correctness that now form the aggressive secular religion of America’s elites.
The censors have only grown in power, elevating antidiscrimination rules above “absolutist” free-speech principles, silencing dissent with antiharassment policies, and looking away when students bar or disrupt conservative speakers or steal conservative newspapers. Operating under the tacit principle that “error has no rights,” an ancient Catholic theological rule, the new censors aren’t interested in debates or open forums. They want to shut up dissenters.
In October, for instance, a student mob stormed a Columbia University stage, shutting down speeches by two members of the Minutemen, an anti-illegal-immigration group. The students shouted: “They have no right to speak!” Campus opponents of Congressman Tom Tancredo, an illegal-immigration foe, set off fire alarms at Georgetown to disrupt his planned speech, and their counterparts at Michigan State roughed up his student backers. Conservative activist David Horowitz, black conservative columnist Star Parker, and Daniel Pipes, an outspoken critic of Islamism, frequently find themselves shouted down or disrupted on campus.
School officials seem to have little more interest in free speech. At Columbia this fall, officials turned away most of a large crowd gathered to hear former PLO terrorist-turned-anti-jihadist Walid Shoebat, citing security worries. Only Columbia students and 20 guests got in. Colleges often cite the danger of violence as they cancel controversial speeches—a new form of heckler’s veto: shrinking an audience so that an event will seem unimportant is itself a way to cave to critics. In 2003, Columbia, facing leftist fury at the scheduled speeches of several conservatives (myself included), banned scores of invited nonstudents who had agreed to attend. Though some schools cancel left-wing speakers, too—including Ward Churchill and Michael Moore, or abortion-supporters Anna Quindlen and Christie Whitman at Catholic universities—right-of-center speakers are the campus speech cops’ normal targets.
Official censorship—now renamed speech codes and antiharassment codes—pervades the campuses. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) recently surveyed more than 300 schools, including the top universities and liberal arts colleges, and found that over 68 percent explicitly prohibit speech that the First Amendment would protect if uttered off campus. At 229 schools, FIRE found clear and substantial restriction of speech, while 91 more had policies that one could interpret as restricting speech. Only eight permitted genuine free expression.
A 2002 New York Times article reported that today’s college kids seem more guarded in their views than previous generations of students. The writer suggested several possible explanations—disgust with partisan politics and uncivil debates on cable news shows, perhaps, or simple politeness. A more likely reason is that universities have made honest disagreement dangerous, making students fearful of saying what they think.
Much campus censorship rests on philosophical underpinnings that go back to social theorist Herbert Marcuse, a hero to sixties radicals. Marcuse argued that traditional tolerance is repressive—it wards off reform by making the status quo . . . well, tolerable. Marcuse favored intolerance of established and conservative views, with tolerance offered only to the opinions of the oppressed, radicals, subversives, and other outsiders. Indoctrination of students and “deeply pervasive” censorship of others would be necessary, starting on the campuses and fanning out from there.
By the late 1980s, many of the double standards that Marcuse called for were in place in academe. Marcuse’s candor was missing, but everyone knew that speakers, student newspapers, and professors on the right could (make that should) receive different treatment from those on the left. The officially oppressed—designated race and gender groups—knew that they weren’t subject to the standards and rules set for other students.
Marcuse’s thinking has influenced a generation of influential radical scholars. They included Mari Matsuda, who followed Marcuse by arguing that complete free speech should belong mainly to the powerless; and Catharine MacKinnon, a pioneer of modern sexual harassment and “hostile environment” doctrine. In MacKinnon’s hands, sexual harassment became a form of gender-based class discrimination and inegalitarian speech a kind of harmful action.
Confusing speech and action has a long pedigree on the PC campus. At the time of the first wave of speech codes 20 years ago, Kenneth Lasson, a law professor at the University of Baltimore, argued that “racial defamation does not merely ‘preach hate’; it is the practice of hatred by the speaker”—and is thus punishable as a form of assault. Indeed, the Left has evolved a whole new vocabulary to blur the line between acts and speech: “verbal conduct” and “expressive behavior” (speech), “non-traditional violence” (Lani Guinier’s term for strong criticism), and “anti-feminist intellectual harassment” (rolling one’s eyeballs over feminist dogma).
Campus censors frequently emulate the Marcusian double standard by combining effusive praise for free speech with an eagerness to suppress unwelcome views. “I often have to struggle with right and wrong because I am a strong believer in free speech,” said Ronni Santo, a gay student activist at UCLA in the late nineties. “Opinions are protected under the First Amendment, but when negative opinions come out of a person’s fist, mouth, or pen to intentionally hurt others, that’s when their opinions should no longer be protected.”
In their 1993 book, The Shadow University, Alan Charles Kors and Harvey Silverglate turned some of the early speech codes into national laughingstocks. Among the banned comments and action they listed: “intentionally producing psychological discomfort” (University of North Dakota), “insensitivity to the experience of women” (University of Minnesota), and “inconsiderate jokes” (University of Connecticut). Serious nonverbal offenses included “inappropriate laughter” (Sarah Lawrence College), “eye contact or the lack of it” (Michigan State University), and “subtle discrimination,” such as “licking lips or teeth; holding food provocatively” (University of Maryland). Later gems, added well after the courts struck down campus codes as overly broad, included bans on “inappropriate non-verbals” (Macalaster College), “communication with sexual overtones” (Lincoln University), and “discussing sexual activities” (State University of New York–Brockport). Other codes bar any comment or gesture that “annoys,” “offends,” or otherwise makes someone feel bad. Tufts ruled that attributing harassment complaints to the “hypersensitivity of others who feel hurt” is itself harassment.
Brockport, which banned “cartoons that depict religious figures in compromising situations,” “jokes making fun of any protected group,” and “calling someone an old hag,” helpfully described for students what does not constitute sexual harassment: “non-coercive interaction(s) . . . that are acceptable to both parties.” Commented Greg Lukianoff of FIRE: “The wonder is that anyone would risk speaking at all at SUNY Brockport.”
Despite numerous court decisions overturning these codes, they have proliferated. College officials point to the hurt feelings of women or minorities as evidence that a violation must have occurred, in part because they want to avoid charges of racism, sexism, and homophobia— an overriding fear in today’s academe, where diversity offices can swarm with 40 or 50 administrators. The Clinton administration’s commissioner of civil rights in the Department of Education, Norma Cantú, reinforced this trend by interpreting racial and sexual harassment broadly, with an implied threat to withhold federal funds if universities didn’t vigorously counter it. In 2003, the DOE office of civil rights issued a weary clarification, explaining to universities that harassment doesn’t mean merely feeling offended. The letter has had little effect on the censoring fervor of the campuses, however. Occidental College officials soon found a student radio shock jock guilty of sexual harassment for using various crude terms on the air, calling one student a “bearded feminist” and another “half man, half vagina.” On many a campus, tastelessness equals harassment.
Georgia Tech went so far as to ban “denigrating” comments on “beliefs,” which would make almost any passionate argument over ideas a violation. Needless to say, the targets here are usually conservative. Ohio State University at Mansfield launched a sexual harassment investigation of a research librarian, Scott Savage, for recommending the inclusion of four conservative books, including popular works by David Horowitz and ex-senator Rick Santorum, on a freshman reading list. Two professors had complained that one of the books, The Marketing of Evil, by journalist David Kupelian, was “homophobic tripe” and “hate literature.” This may have been the first time that a campus charged that a book recommendation qualified as sexual harassment. After a burst of publicity and a threat to sue, the university dropped the investigation.
Student censors regularly spirit away whole print runs of conservative student newspapers, almost always without reproof from administrators. Over the years, campus officials, including a few university presidents, have even encouraged such stealing. After repeated thefts of the Dartmouth Review, an official egged on the thieves by calling the paper “litter” and “abandoned property.” In a commencement speech, former Cornell president Hunter Rawlings III praised students who seized and burned copies of the conservative Cornell Review in retaliation for printing a gross parody of Ebonics.
Once in a blue moon, a college president vigorously defends free speech. At Northern Kentucky University, president James Votruba rebuked and suspended a tenured feminist professor, Sally Jacobsen, who led a group that demolished a campus-approved right-to-life display. Jacobsen cited two justifications: her deep feelings and her alleged free-speech right to tear down displays that offend her. “I did invite students to express their freedom of speech rights to destroy the display if they wished,” she said. “Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it.”
But far more typical than Votruba was Washington State University president V. Lane Rawlins, who hailed the disruption—and subsequent cancellation—of an intentionally offensive student play that irritated blacks, Christians, Jews, gays, and others. Rawlins defended the disrupters, saying that they had “exercised their rights of free speech in a very responsible manner.” Later documents showed that the university had actually organized and financed them. In the real world, such a revelation would have cost Rawlins his job. But on today’s campus, it passes without comment, in part because students can point out, with perfect moral justification, that forcing the cancellation of speeches and stealing newspapers are just logical extensions of campus speech codes.
Nothing makes the campus censors angrier than someone who dares to question race and gender preferences, especially if he uses satire to do it. That’s why the anti-affirmative-action bake sales that conservative students have sponsored at many schools—white male customers can buy cookies for $1, with lower prices for women and various minorities—have provoked such ferocious responses from campus authorities.
Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, provides a typical example. A Republican club there staged a bake sale, and several students then said that they felt offended. This amounted to a powerful argument, since hurt feelings are trump cards in the contemporary campus culture. (At the University of Wisconsin, for example, a black student testified in defense of the faculty speech code, complaining bitterly that a professor had used the word “niggardly” while teaching Chaucer. “I was in tears,” she said. “It’s not up to the rest of the class to decide whether my feelings are valid.”)
Next came the usual administrative scramble to suppress free speech while expressing great respect for it. The university charged the club with a violation of the student code and threatened sanctions. The students folded under administrative pressure and apologized. When the Republican club president refused to back down, club members asked him to resign, and he did. The students’ retreat was understandable, if not very courageous. The university in effect was trying them for bias, with the likelihood that a notation of racism would become part of their academic record and follow them to post-college job interviews.
The College Republicans at Northeastern Illinois University canceled an announced affirmative-action bake sale after the administration threatened punishment. Dean of students Michael Kelly announced that the cookie sellers would be violating university rules and that “any disruption of university activities that would be caused by this event is also actionable.” This principle—politically incorrect speakers are responsible for attacks on them by students who resent their speech—is dear to campus censors’ hearts. The university didn’t view itself as engaging in censorship—and double-standard censorship at that, since it freely allowed a satirical wage-gap bake sale run by feminists. Absurdly, Kelly said that the affirmative-action sale would be fine—if cookie prices were the same for whites, minorities, and women. Other administrators complained that differential pricing of baked goods is unfair, thus unwittingly proving the whole point of the parody.
Schools will use almost any tactic to shut the bake sales down. At the University of Washington, the administration said that the sponsor had failed to get a food permit. At Grand Valley, the university counsel argued that the sale of a single cupcake would convert political commentary into forbidden campus commerce. At Texas A&M, the athletics director argued that a satirical bake sale would damage the sports teams by making it harder to recruit minorities.
College Speech Police, II
Reply #4 on:
February 23, 2007, 03:57:13 PM »
One of the PC campus’s worst excesses in suppressing unwanted speech is the drive by gays and their allies to banish or break Christian groups for their traditional beliefs on sexuality. Some 20 campuses have acted to de-recognize or de-fund religious groups that oppose homosexuality (as well as nonmarital sex), often accusing them of violating antidiscrimination rules—that is, refusing to let gays be members, or allowing them to belong but not serve as officers. The language of many policies would require a Democratic club to accept a Republican president, a Jewish group to allow a Holocaust-denying member, or a Muslim organization to accept a leader who practices voodoo.
About half of the attempts to move against Christian clubs have failed. The University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill dropped its move against a Christian club three days after getting a friendly warning letter from FIRE. “UNC couldn’t defend in public what it was willing to do in private,” said FIRE president Alan Charles Kors. “If an evangelical Christian who believed homosexuality to be a sin tried to become president of a university’s Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alliance, the administration would have led candlelight vigils on behalf of diversity and free association.”
Such Marcusian double standards—freedom for me, but not for thee—now have a beachhead in the law, thanks to the legendarily left-wing Ninth Circuit. In response to a “Day of Silence” sponsored by the Gay-Straight Alliance at his Poway, California, high school, Tyler Harper wore a shirt that proclaimed, on the front, “Be Ashamed, Our School Embraced What God Has Condemned,” and on the back, “Homosexuality Is Shameful/Romans 1:27.” The school principal ordered Harper to take off the shirt. Harper refused, and sued. He argued that the purpose of the “Day of Silence” was to “endorse, promote and encourage homosexual activity” and that he had a First Amendment right to use his T-shirt message as a rebuttal.
When the Poway case reached the Ninth Circuit, Judge Stephen Reinhardt and his colleague Judge Sidney R. Thomas argued in a two-to-one decision that it is permissible to exclude T-shirt messages from First Amendment protection if they strike at a “core identifying characteristic of students on the basis of their membership as a minority group”—with minority status conveyed by categories “such as race, religion, and sexual orientation.” This ruling, unless the Supreme Court takes it up and overturns it, creates a large new category of viewpoints that the First Amendment doesn’t safeguard, at least within the Ninth Circuit. Based on the loose language—“such as” could apply to numerous groups—criticism of illegal aliens might now lack First Amendment protection, says UCLA law prof Eugene Volokh. Presumably, too, one can no longer criticize any minority religious opinion, such as the Islamic view that cartoons mocking Mohammed are out-of-bounds. But pictures of Christ in urine would be perfectly fine, since Christianity remains America’s majority faith.
Some on the left applaud such Marcusian hairsplitting, arguing that First Amendment “absolutists” must learn to “balance” free speech and special protections for vulnerable groups. But in dissent, Judge Alex Kozinski expressed “considerable difficulty understanding the source and sweep of the novel doctrine the majority announces today”—nothing in state, federal, or common law supports it, he noted.
To understand the rising disrespect for free expression in the U.S., Kozinski might have been better off looking to Canada and Europe, both a bit ahead of us—if that’s the right phrase—in embracing PC censorship.
Despite stated respect for free speech in its national constitution, Canada now has a national speech code and judges and elites eager to expand it. The Canadian Supreme Court has issued a series of rulings stating that the government may limit speech in the name of worthwhile goals, such as ending discrimination, ensuring social harmony, or promoting sexual equality. The state may now seize published material judged to “degrade” or “dehumanize” any group.
What free-speech supporters would regard as horrendous abuses have become commonplace. In 1997, for instance, the mayor of London, Ontario, ran afoul of Canada’s Human Rights Code for refusing to declare a Gay Pride day, citing her Christian beliefs. The British Columbia College of Teachers refuses to certify teacher education programs at Christian universities if they urge students to abstain from premarital sex, adultery, or homosexual sex. The province’s hate-speech laws use extremely broad language, criminalizing statements that “indicate” discrimination or that “likely” will expose a group or one of its members to hatred or contempt.
Ted Byfield, editor of the now-defunct Alberta Report, violated that province’s human rights law by publishing an article noting that some children were grateful for the education they received at the government’s residential schools for Indians, much despised by multiculturalists and admittedly abuse-plagued. An injunction against the Alberta Report forbade stories on partial-birth abortions after Byfield ran a story quoting unnamed nurses and official documents saying that some babies subject to the procedure at a Calgary hospital were born alive and deliberately allowed to starve to death.
Canada has become “a pleasantly authoritarian country,” observes Alan Borovoy, general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Robert Martin, a constitutional law prof at the University of Western Ontario, is harsher: Canada is now “a totalitarian theocracy,” he says, devoted to the secular state religion of political correctness.
Things are no freer across the pond. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties announced that it would prosecute any priests found distributing or quoting the pope’s words forbidding gay marriage. In England, author Lynette Burrows drew a police investigation for saying on a talk show that she opposes homosexual adoption. An Oxford student fared worse after a night out to celebrate the end of exams. Stopped by a mounted policeman, he drunkenly quipped, “Excuse me, do you realize your horse is gay?” Unfortunately, the humor-free local constabulary arrested the young man under the Public Order Act for making homophobic remarks.
By law, 11 European nations can punish anyone who publicly denies the Holocaust. That’s why the discredited Holocaust-denying British historian David Irving went to prison in Austria. Ken Livingstone, London’s madcap mayor, drew a monthlong suspension for calling a Jewish reporter a Nazi. A Swedish pastor went through a long and harrowing prosecution for a sermon criticizing homosexuality, finally beating the rap in Sweden’s supreme court.
Naturally enough, Muslims want to play the same victim game as other aggrieved groups. The French Council of Muslims says that it’s considering taking France Soir, which reprinted the Danish cartoons, to court for provocation. When French novelist Michel Houellebecq said some derogatory things about the Koran, Muslim groups hauled him into court, which eventually exonerated him. The late Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci wrote an angry anti-Muslim book, meant to waken the West to the gravity of the threat posed by Islam. Her prosecution in Italy for writing the book was pending when she died in October.
Much of Europe has painted itself into a corner on Muslim-driven censorship. What can Norway say to pro-censorship Muslims when it already has a hate-speech law forbidding, among other things, “publicly stirring up one part of the population against another,” or any utterance that “threatens, insults or subjects to hatred, persecution, or contempt any person or group of persons because of their creed, race, color, or national or ethnic origin . . . or homosexual bent”? No insulting utterances at all? Since most strong opinions can seem insulting to someone—can hurt someone’s feelings—no insults means no free speech.
Chafing under First Amendment restrictions, many censorship-prone American leftists look longingly toward successful speech control up north or overseas. That’s what they want right here.
We are very lucky to have the First Amendment. Without it, our chattering classes would be falling all over themselves to ban speech that offends sensitive groups, just as Canadian- and Euro-chatterers are doing now. We know this because our campus speech codes, the models for the disastrous hate-speech laws elsewhere, were the inventions of our own elites. Without a First Amendment, the distortions and suppressions of campus life would likely have gone national. Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, and many rap artists would be in jail, or at least facing charges.
The cause of free speech can no longer expect much help from the American Civil Liberties Union, more concerned today with civil rights and multicultural issues than with civil liberties and free speech. True, the ACLU still takes some censorship cases—it led the fight against the first wave of campus speech codes circa 1990, for instance. But the rise of the ACLU’s internal lobbies or “projects,” such as the Lesbian and Gay Project and the Immigrants’ Rights Project, has made the organization look more and more like a traditional left-wing pressure group, with little passion for the First Amendment. The ACLU is also following the money: funds flow in because the group responds to concerns of feminist, gays, and other identity groups, not because of its historical defense of free speech and civil liberties.
These days, the ACLU visibly stands aloof from obvious First Amendment cases—such as the college speech and harassment codes—and even comes down on the anti-free-speech side. Consider the group’s stance in Aguilar v. Avis Rent-A-Car System, a case involving ethnic epithets aimed by supervisors at Latino employees of Avis in San Francisco. A California court ruled that Avis had permitted a hostile environment. The California Supreme Court, abetted by both the northern Californian and the national ACLU, agreed, and upheld the lower court’s startling speech restriction: prior restraint on workers’ speech, forbidding a judge-made list of specific words. These words, not yet revealed or promulgated, will soon be taboo in every California workplace, even outside the earshot of Latino employees, and even if they are welcome. As civil libertarian Nat Hentoff wrote: “This may be the broadest and vaguest restriction of speech in American legal history.”
Even with the ACLU, the mainstream media, school officials, and much of the professorate AWOL, the speech police haven’t gone unopposed. Just ask former Clinton official Donna Shalala. As chancellor of the University of Wisconsin in the late eighties, she proved a fervent early advocate of campus speech restrictions. Though Shalala occasionally praised free speech, she and her team imposed not only a full-fledged student speech code, later struck down in federal court, but also a faculty code that provoked the first (and so far, only) pro-free-speech campus campaign strong enough to repeal such repressive restrictions. The Wisconsin faculty code was a primitive, totalitarian horror. Professors found themselves under investigation, sometimes for months, without a chance to defend themselves or even to know about the secret proceedings. One female professor said: “It was like being put in prison for no reason. I had no idea what it was that I was supposed to have done.”
A small group of free-speech-minded faculty formed the Committee for Academic Freedom and Rights (CAFR). The group asked for help from the Wisconsin chapter of the pro-free-speech National Association of Scholars, which enlisted as speakers such celebrated allies as Alan Dershowitz and National Journal columnist Jonathan Rauch.
The First Amendment forces got a lucky break when the university signed a foolish contract with Reebok, in which it received millions of dollars in exchange for the use of the company’s footwear by campus sports teams. The contract included a clause forbidding negative comments on Reebok products by any “University employee, agent or representative.” The clause greatly irritated the anticorporate campus Left, which had usually been lukewarm or indifferent to free-speech concerns, helping convert some of its members to the anti-speech-code side. Later, a strong defense of free speech by a homosexual professor, called a traitor to his identity group for his courage, brought in other campus leftist allies. CAFR was amazed at how quickly many would-be censors backed down when confronted with controversy and threatened lawsuits. Wisconsin rescinded its faculty code—the first university to do so without a court order.
New national groups have joined the fight for free speech on campus (and off), among them the Center for Individual Rights, the Alliance Defense Fund, and FIRE, the most relentless of the newcomers. FIRE usually starts a campaign with a polite letter to a university president, noting that some policy is either unconstitutional or a clear violation of civil liberties. If it doesn’t get the change it wants, it will then write to trustees, parents, and alumni, and take its case to the media.
FIRE now has an extensive network of campus free-speech “spies,” as its cofounder, Harvey Silverglate, jauntily calls them (Alan Charles Kors, the other cofounder, prefers “concerned members of the community”). The organization is seeking new ways to open up closed campus systems, too, such as suing administrators as individuals, which FIRE believes will get their full attention. Another new tactic is to publicize what colleges spend on fighting for unconstitutional speech codes. Most of all, FIRE is trying to show stubborn administrators that the era of hiding gross civil liberties violations behind a PC wall of silence is over: the group wins more than 95 percent of its cases.
Political correctness took hold when there were 40 radio talk shows, three networks, and no bloggers. Today, the cross-referencing of PC outrages among bloggers, radio talkers, and rights groups makes it hard to run an old-fashioned repressive campus. University presidents now understand that their reputations do not rest entirely with the PC platoons. Donna Shalala escaped Wisconsin with her reputation intact. Sheldon Hackney, former president of Penn, did not. (I named my own annual award for the worst college president, the “Sheldon,” in his honor.) When he stepped down from the Penn presidency, he didn’t become the head of a major foundation, as many expected; instead, he wound up returning to Penn as a professor. Other reputations hang in the balance. Lee Bollinger, a First Amendment expert (and affirmative-action advocate), was invisible during the free-speech debates at Michigan and is almost as recessive today as president of Columbia. But it is getting harder for the Hackneys and Bollingers to waffle.
Perhaps the battle to release the campuses from the iron grasp of PC will take decades, but the struggle for free speech is being fought—and won—now.
Re: College Speech Police, II
Reply #5 on:
February 23, 2007, 07:16:56 PM »
Quote from: buzwardo on February 23, 2007, 03:57:13 PM
One of the PC campus’s worst excesses in suppressing unwanted speech is the drive by gays and their allies to banish or break Christian groups for their traditional beliefs on sexuality. Some 20 campuses have acted to de-recognize or de-fund religious groups that oppose homosexuality (as well as nonmarital sex), often accusing them of violating antidiscrimination rules—that is, refusing to let gays be members, or allowing them to belong but not serve as officers.
Free speech doesn't mean we have to give a platform to bigots. How is any of this different from de-funding a campus KKK group, or ordering a student to remove an anti-semitic t-shirt?
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #6 on:
February 23, 2007, 08:03:53 PM »
Does this mean you support banning t-shirts supporting Hamas and Hezbollah because of their known anti-semitism?
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #7 on:
February 24, 2007, 09:04:24 AM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on February 23, 2007, 08:03:53 PM
Does this mean you support banning t-shirts supporting Hamas and Hezbollah because of their known anti-semitism?
I guess I'd have to see the particular shirt before I decide.
But why are you asking me this question, rather than asking buzwardo if he would back the rights of Hamas and Hezbollah to wear "politically incorrect" t-shirts? I want to know if these supposed crusaders for free speech will stand up for campus anti-semites and other such groups or if they only support the gay bashers.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #8 on:
February 24, 2007, 11:54:04 AM »
Well, because I didn't see anything from Buzwardo supporting censorship-- indeed the opening sentence of his posted piece was "Remember when the Right had a near-monopoly on censorship?"
Hamas & Hezbollah go quite a bit further than your replacement of "anti-semitism" with "politically incorrect". They want to wipe out the Jews of Israel-- which sounds rather anti-semitic to me.
Also, you interject a separate albeit related point when you talk about defunding the KKK-- we are talking here about free speech.
Lastly, I reject the inflation of homosexuality to the same status as race. I reject the notion that it is/should be a thought crime to disapprove of homosexuality.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #9 on:
February 26, 2007, 02:06:28 PM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on February 24, 2007, 11:54:04 AM
Lastly, I reject the inflation of homosexuality to the same status as race.
Tell it to some gay teenager who's taunted and gets called "faggot" or worse every day at school. If anything, it's religion (which is 100% choice, unlike race or sexual preference), that shouldn't be at the same status as race.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one, but these groups who "condemn" homosexuality are no better than the other bigots our country has dealt with in the past and history will judge them just as harshly.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #10 on:
February 26, 2007, 07:55:23 PM »
1) My point about homosexuality is that as a legal matter people should be free to hold whatever opinion they want to.
2) I invite you to respond to my other points.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #11 on:
February 27, 2007, 02:00:21 AM »
I agree with Crafty, and would like to add that you should be allowed to hold what ever opinion you like on anything, the real issue is the effect that it has on the rest of your life and interaction with other people.
Do you hold a opinion of such dislike towards something to the extent that you are rude when faced with it?
Or do just advoid it where possible, and when not be polite till you may seperate yourself from it?
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #12 on:
March 04, 2007, 03:35:55 PM »
From SB_Mig on another thread in this forum:
Anne Coulter just called John Edwards a "faggot". Again, many people might agree with her sentiments, but there is probably a large segment of the population who would consider her words offensive, dangerous, or inciteful.
Anne deserves credit for at least being self-consistent. The whole idea behind the conservative opposition to "political correctness" is that other people's feelings about the use of a word are irrelevant if you feel is the word is an objective, accurate description, right? It cracks me up that so many people who agree with 99% of Anne's rantings all of a sudden want to distance themselves from her over this. If Anne were around during the 60s, she'd be complaining about the word "nigger" no longer being acceptable in polite company.
IMO, Anne deserves a lot more pity than hate. The more incendiary and f-d up her rantings get, the more her friends and supporters just tell her "keep it up!" because they consider it oh-so cute and amusing. If any of these people really cared about her, they'd be encouraging her to seek professional help for what are clearly some pretty serious psychological problems.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #13 on:
March 04, 2007, 09:57:52 PM »
There is an "objective, accurate" word: "homosexual". "Faggot" is a word for starting fights or being mean for the hell of it.
I used to like AC-- she has written some brilliant, withering and witty rants in the past, but for quite some time now for me she has become a caricature of what she was and has lost my respect.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #14 on:
March 05, 2007, 06:08:53 PM »
It's not like this is the first time AC has said outright racist and/or blatantly offensive stuff, but she just keeps getting invited to speak at all kinds of conservative circle-jerks and making appearances in "liberal media" outlets like MSNBC.
It's the same thing every time she drops one of these bombs. A bunch of high-profile conservatives make a public show of acting shocked and declare that she's "gone too far this time", but at the end of the day she's still their darling because she can express all the racist, hateful stuff a lot of them really think but don't ever want to say.
Four posts in one day... I guess I'm just in a mood.
Yale does something to end the violence
Reply #15 on:
April 20, 2007, 12:41:09 PM »
Weapons to go offstage
Trachtenberg cites Virginia Tech attack
Staff Reporter and Copy Editor
Jeffrey White/Photography Editor
Sarah Holdren ‘08, speaking Thursday before the opening of ‘Red Noses,’ protested new restrictions on using weapons in campus plays.In Other News
In the wake of Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech in which a student killed 32 people, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg has limited the use of stage weapons in theatrical productions.
Students involved in this weekend’s production of “Red Noses” said they first learned of the new rules on Thursday morning, the same day the show was slated to open. They were subsequently forced to alter many of the scenes by swapping more realistic-looking stage swords for wooden ones, a change that many students said was neither a necessary nor a useful response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech.
According to students involved in the production, Trachtenberg has banned the use of some stage weapons in all of the University’s theatrical productions. While shows will be permitted to use obviously fake plastic weapons, students said, those that hoped to stage more realistic scenes of stage violence have had to make changes to their props.
Trachtenberg could not be reached for comment Thursday night.
“Red Noses” director Sarah Holdren ’08 said she first heard about the changes in a phone call from a friend as she arrived at the Off-Broadway Theater on Thursday morning. At the theater, technical director Jim Brewczynski told her about the new regulations. The pair then met with Trachtenberg, who initially wanted no stage weapons to be used in the show, Holdren said, though she later agreed to permit the use of obviously fake weapons.
In a speech made before last night’s opening show of “Red Noses,” Holdren said that Trachtenberg’s decision to force the production to use wooden swords instead of metal swords will do little to stem violence in the world.
“Calling for an end to violence onstage does not solve the world’s suffering: It merely sweeps it under the rug, turning theater — in the words of this very play — into ‘creamy bon-bons’ instead of ‘solid fare’ for a thinking, feeling audience,” she said. “Here at Yale, sensitivity and political correctness have become censorship in this time of vital need for serious artistic expression.”
Holdren said she is primarily worried about the University’s decision to place limitations on art, rather than the specific inconvenience to her production.
“I completely understand that the University needs to respond to the tragedy, but I think it is wrong to conflate sensitivity and censorship,” she said in an interview. “It is wrong to assume that any theater that deals with tragic matter is sort of on the side of those things or out to get people; they’re not — they’re out to help people through things like this. I want my show and all shows to be uplifting to people. That’s why I’m upset about this — it’s not because my props were taken — it’s about imposing petty restrictions on art as the right way to solve the problems in the world.”
Brandon Berger ’10, who plays a swordsman in the show, said the switch to an obviously fake wooden sword has changed the nature of his part from an “evil, errant knight to a petulant child.”
“They’re trying to make an appropriate gesture, but they did it in an inappropriate way — they’ve neutered the play,” he said. “The violence is important to what it actually means. What these types of actions do is very central — it is not gratuitous.”
Susie Kemple ’08, an actress in the show, said Trachtenberg’s way of dealing with the Virginia Tech massacre was not beneficial to the students’ own mourning process.
“It is problematic because all of us were incredibly shocked by the events at Virginia Tech,” Kemple said. “We turn to extracurriculars in our grief [and] the Yale administration makes the healing more difficult. None of the shows are about massive gun violence — this show is about showing and explaining the human experience.”
Berger also said he finds the ruling inconsistent because forms of stage violence that do not involve weapons — such as hangings — are still permitted.
“Red Noses” will end its run Saturday night.
Pizzeria owner tragically shoots armed robber
Reply #16 on:
April 24, 2007, 06:28:16 AM »
Moving GM's post and SgtMac's response to this thread-- Marc
This is why the "Chronic" and the SF bay area are such a joke.....
Re: SF Chronic: Oakland Pizzeria Owner “Tragically” Shoots Armed Robber
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2007, 08:44:08 PM »
Quote from: G M on April 21, 2007, 05:06:36 PM
This is why the "Chronic" and the SF bay area are such a joke.....
What I found truly offensive was this piece of garbage
“There is definitely a balance,” said Officer Roland Holmgren, department spokesman. “This thing had potential — who knows where the suspects were going to take the situation? But by no stretch of the imagination are we agreeing with or justifying what the owner did.”
Holmgren said, “We’re not saying that we want citizens to go out there and arm themselves and take the law into their own hands. We want citizens to be good witnesses, to be good report-takers and to identify suspects.”
The shooting has left two families traumatized, Holmgren said. “There are no winners in this whole case,” he said.
As a police officer myself, I found this little bureaucratic weasel offensive as an example of my profession in the extreme. 'There are no winners in this whole case"....except the storeowner, society and the gene pool. Where is SF recruiting their officers from? Straight out of the BERKLEY?!
“We want citizens to be good (little sheeple) witnesses, to be good report-takers and to identify suspects (and be victims, if necessary....but for god sake don't fight back!).”
I'll let the late good Colonel Jeff Cooper speak my reply.
"We continue to be exasperated by the view, apparently gaining momentum in certain circles, that armed robbery is okay as long as nobody gets hurt! The proper solution to armed robbery is a dead robber, on the scene.”-Jeff Cooper
"The police cannot protect the citizen at this stage of our development, and they cannot even protect themselves in many cases. It is up to the private citizen to protect himself and his family, and this is not only acceptable, but mandatory.”-Jeff Cooper
Where I come from, our police department would have given the store owner a medal.
Aspiring raper? pffffft
Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 09:21:02 AM by Crafty_Dog
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #17 on:
June 08, 2007, 09:03:11 PM »
For what it's worth ...I think the current PC situation can be summed up in one, horribly depressing phrase:
We as a society have, in our complacency, allowed common courtesy to be replaced by forced tolerance.
Because something is ...you don't HAVE to like it, but it can still be.
You or I can say something that the other doesn't agree with. It's no big deal ...it actually can lead to a good conversation.
Don't feel that you are owed anything ...cause you inherently deserve NOTHING! Earn it.
Freedom of speech applies to all ...not just your "special" group.
And, in the words of the great social philosopher, George Carlin ...if you don't like it, there are two knobs on it. One turns it off ...and the other one changes the channel.
Just my opinion. Carry on. I'll be in the area all day.
"Train hard, fight Easy." --Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov
Thou Shall , , ,
Reply #18 on:
July 23, 2007, 12:19:32 PM »
You Can't Ring Her Bell
Ye shall abstain from wearing a ring inscribed with the Biblical admonition that "ye should abstain from fornication"
That was the ruling of a British High Court earlier this month against 16-year-old Lydia Playfoot, a teenager who took her West Sussex secondary school to court for banning her from wearing her chastity ring. The school has a strict anti-jewelry policy. But Ms. Playfoot, a Christian, could not help but notice the school's tolerance for Muslim and Sikh students, who were allowed to wear their headscarves and Kara bracelets.
Ms. Playfoot argued the ring was a religious symbol protected under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects "freedom of thought, conscience, and religion." The High Court didn't agree. Judge Michael Supperstone held that "whatever the ring is intended to symbolize, it is a piece of jewelry." Ms. Playfoot's publicity was largely positive in the beginning, but recent news reports have accused her parents of seeking controversy for the sake of a chastity ring campaign they run. A British tabloid also revealed that a key staffer in the campaign is a lingerie model and the live-in girlfriend of a minor right-wing British politician. The staffer had been jailed once for harassing the family of a child who accused singer Michael Jackson of molestation.
If all this makes Britain sound increasingly like Southern California, the legal bottomline remains: The law in Britain has turned decidedly against Christian chastity rings, but hijabs continue to be protected. Nor would many be optimistic about Ms. Playfoot's chances on appeal, given another indicator of Britain's bizarre ideas about freedom in schools. Winston Churchill's grandson, Parliament Member Nicholas Soames, is currently battling against the "madness" of a recent government move to drop Gandhi, Hitler, Stalin, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Churchill from mandatory history lessons for 11-14 year olds. The government's rationale? Teachers and schools need more flexibility and "freedom."
Political Journal WSJ
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #19 on:
August 26, 2007, 07:27:43 PM »
A Growing Number Of Activists Are Hesitant To Decry Female Genital Mutilation
Saturday, August 25, 2007
CREDIT: Simon Maina, Agence France-Presse
Two Kenyan girls sit near a knife used for female genital mutilation in Nyamira, west of Nairobi. "There are good reasons within the society for the operation to continue, but these are cultural reasons. They are not scientific ones," says Janice Boddy, a University of Toronto professor.
CREDIT: Michael Kooren, Reuters
Somali author Ayaan Hirsi Ali has publicly criticized the act of female genital mutilation. The practice can cause lifelong urinary tract infections, sterility and death.
Academia's fixation on cultural sensitivity is changing the debate around female genital mutilation, with a growing number of professors and women's rights activists becoming hesitant to condemn the practice.
Where feminists rallied against the operation from the pages of Ms. magazine in the 1970s, today's critics are infinitely more cautious, with most suggesting that the Western world butt out until Muslim African communities are ready to reconsider what they are doing to their daughters.
The shift in attitudes about the practice-- which in the worst of cases involves the carving out of a woman's clitoris and inner labia and can cause lifelong urinary tract infections, sterility and even death -- comes at a time when high-profile victims of the operation such as writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali and model Waris Dirie, both Somalis, have launched very public campaigns against the practice.
The issue is so explosive, it has two names -- female genital mutilation, or FGM, to those most vociferously opposed to the practice; and female genital cutting, or FGC, to those in the less-condemning camp.
The latter includes the chair of anthropology at the University of Toronto, who has written a new book on the subject. Although not prepared to defend what she calls FGC, Janice Boddy defends women who undergo the operation and want the practice to continue in future generations.
"There are good reasons within the society for the operation to continue, but these are cultural reasons. They are not scientific ones," says Prof. Boddy, author of Civilizing Women: British Crusades in Colonial Sudan.
Working through British and Sudanese archives, she looks at the history of FGC in that country, particularly European colonial interactions with the practice, from British nurses attempting to re-educate Sudanese midwives in the 1920s, to the country's outlawing of the practice in 1946 amid Western pressure.
"It isn't a happy situation by any means. I wouldn't want it to continue. But I think that up until this point, the West has not been particularly helpful in the way that it's gone about trying to assist in the eradication," Prof. Boddy says.
Prevalent in, though not exclusive to, Muslim societies, particularly in Sudan, Somalia, northern Kenya and parts of Ethiopia and Indonesia, female genital mutilation takes on its most severe form in infibulation, or pharaonic circumcision.
This can involve the removal of both the clitoris and inner labia with crude instruments such as razors. The entire vagina is then sewn up with thread, or fastened with thorns.
In this way, a woman's virginity -- considered especially important by Muslim men--can be proven before her father is paid the bride price.
The Sudanese, Prof. Boddy argues, are a fiercely guarded culture, one that sees the practice as a defence of their people against intruders, and, astonishingly, as protection against injury.
"The cultural context in which this practice takes place supports the idea of enclosing the body against harm," she writes in her book. The social body is closed against intrusion from the outside by marriages between relatives. People marry cousins ... The kinship system is quite closed. That image of the defensive society, the defensive social body, is carried over into this idea of defending the physical body.
"The idea of closing the womb, which is the most precious organ of the female body, is very highly supported by other kinds of practices."
Although not outlined in the Koran, FGM is so ingrained in cultural norms that it will not be easily eradicated, she says.
Rather, the West must support local counsellors (she names the international women's rights organization Rainbo as one) working on the ground with women to change their notions of marriageability.
The professor also says she would like to see "more science" in the arguments against FGM -- she takes issue with how often it causes shock and death. To a degree, she also aligns feminists who are ardently opposed to the operation with British imperialists.
Today, Prof. Boddy says, the battle cry is human rights. Back then, it was colonial notions of civilizing the other. It's a stance that pits her against many critics, including the World Health Organization, which called for the absolute abolition of the practice in the 1970s.
The human rights group Amnesty International considers FGM a form of violence against women, and the end result of discriminatory attitudes and beliefs. But even their representatives are careful when speaking of the operation.
"The motivation is not one of malice or desire to hurt but really to make sure that the daughter is taken care of," says Cheryl Hotchkiss, women's rights campaigner with Amnesty International Canada.
"But what needs to be examined from a human rights perspective is why is it that in order for a woman to live a good life does she have to undergo such an extreme experience?
"It's entirely conceivable that a woman may willingly subject herself to it, but our question is, did she willingly subject herself to it because there were so few options to it? That's a core issue."
Prof. Boddy's book has received criticism for leaving Sudanese men out of her discussion. In focusing on the way women perform, perpetuate and desire the practice (since it ensures marriageability), critics say she fails to address the ostracism and potential violence women may face unless they submit.
But these are Western discourses, Prof. Boddy says, arguing that in Sudan, it is women who have power in the domestic sphere.
"You can abhor the sin, but you can love the sinner," she concludes. "I don't want them to receive the blame from the West for doing what they think is in the best interests of their daughters because otherwise they won't be marriageable."
Ms. Hotchkiss says the key lies in changing those notions of desirability, likely through a combination of state law, grassroots efforts and intervention by the medical community.
"[These societies] see women's bodies used as the holders of tradition ? That's still because the society sees women's bodies as not their own. They see them as a tool.
"What Amnesty's desperately trying to get across, along with women's human rights activists the world over, is that women's bodies are their own and they need the right to say what is and what isn't going to happen to them."
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #20 on:
August 28, 2007, 12:00:20 PM »
An interesting history of PC:
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #21 on:
August 30, 2007, 12:16:55 PM »
Colorado Springs School Bans Tag on Playground, Citing Conflicts
Thursday , August 30, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —
An elementary school has banned tag on its playground after some children complained they were harassed or chased against their will.
"It causes a lot of conflict on the playground," said Cindy Fesgen, assistant principal of the Discovery Canyon Campus school.
Running games are still allowed as long as students don't chase each other, she said.
Fesgen said two parents complained to her about the ban but most parents and children didn't object.
In 2005, two elementary schools in the nearby Falcon School District did away with tag and similar games in favor of alternatives with less physical contact. School officials said the move encouraged more students to play games and helped reduce playground squabbles.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #22 on:
September 06, 2007, 10:42:23 AM »
The Massacre of Innocence
A stunning new book shows how elite culture made the Duke rape hoax possible.
BY ABIGAIL THERNSTROM
Thursday, September 6, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
Privileged, rowdy white jocks at an elite, Southern college, a poor, young black stripper, and an alleged rape: It was a juicy, made-for-the-media story of race, class and sex, and it was told and retold for months with a ferocious, moralistic intensity. Reporters and pundits ripped into Duke University, the white race and the young lacrosse players at the center of the episode, and the local justice system quickly handed up indictments. But as Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson show in "Until Proven Innocent"--and as the facts themselves would show when they finally came to light--it was a false story, a toxic controversy built on lies and bad faith.
There was plenty of wrongdoing, of course, but it had very little to do with Duke's lacrosse players. It was perpetrated instead by a rogue district attorney determined to win re-election in a racially divided, town-gown city; ideologically driven reporters and their pseudo-expert sources; censorious faculty members driven by the imperatives of political correctness; a craven university president; and black community leaders seemingly ready to believe any charge of black victimization.
"Until Proven Innocent" is a stunning book. It recounts the Duke lacrosse case in fascinating detail and offers, along the way, a damning portrait of the institutions--legal, educational and journalistic--that do so much to shape contemporary American culture. Messrs. Taylor and Johnson make it clear that the Duke affair--the rabid prosecution, the skewed commentary, the distorted media storyline--was not some odd, outlier incident but the product of an elite culture's most treasured assumptions about American life, not least about America's supposed racial divide.
A bit of college-age stupidity triggered the sequence of events. The co-captains of the Duke lacrosse team held a house party in Durham, N.C., on March 13, 2006, and hired two strippers from an escort service for the occasion. The women who showed up--Crystal Mangum and Kim Roberts--happened to be black.
It turned out that Ms. Mangum--although the public would not learn of such details until very late in the life-span of the scandal--had a serious alcohol and narcotics problem. She had been diagnosed as bipolar and had spent a week in the state mental hospital the previous summer. Having arrived at the party late, she did not start dancing until midnight. Time-stamped photos show that her performance lasted only four minutes. By 12:30 she had passed out, as she often did--it was later discovered--at the Durham night club where she worked as an "exotic dancer." The other dancer, Ms. Roberts, eventually drove her to a grocery store and asked for help, and the security guard there called the police, who assumed that Ms. Mangum was "passed-out drunk."
In the custody of police, Ms. Mangum said nothing about a rape. (Ms. Roberts called the rape charge a "crock" when she first heard of it, until District Attorney Michael Nifong bribed her to say otherwise by reducing a bondsman's fee--from an earlier conviction--by roughly $2,000.) Ms. Mangum, fearing recommitment to a mental hospital, landed on rape as the explanation for her incoherent and generally woeful condition when she was prompted by a nurse-advocate at a mental-health processing facility. There was no medical evidence to substantiate the charge.
In a series of interviews with prosecutors, Ms. Mangum drew wildly different and implausible pictures of the alleged rape. DNA tests from swabs taken the night of the incident revealed that she had had recent sexual contact with as many as four men, none of whom were Duke lacrosse players. Defense lawyers discovered this damning detail only after combing through more than 1,800 pages of documents released by the district attorney months after the testing was done. The DNA cover-up was only one of the procedural travesties that eventually cost Mr. Nifong his job and law license and (last week) earned him a one-day jail sentence.
In two photo-identification lineups, Ms. Mangum couldn't identify anyone as her rapist. On a third try--before which Mr. Nifong announced to her that all the photos that she was about to see were of Duke lacrosse players--she suddenly fingered three: David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann. It was apparently of no consequence to Mr. Nifong that the lineup violated basic departmental rules and that none of the men she identified bore the slightest resemblance to the descriptions she had given police.
Time-stamped photos--at the party and at an ATM--along with cellphone and taxi records showed indisputably that Mr. Seligmann could not have participated in the 30-minute, three-orifice gang rape and vicious beating of which Ms. Mangum accused the three players. Messrs. Evans and Finnerty did not have such air-tight alibis, but each cooperated fully with the police, even offering to take lie-detector tests, and there was not a shred of evidence against them. The district attorney branded the defendants as "hooligans," but others--like Messrs. Taylor and Johnson here--described them in glowing terms, as earnest, hard-working students.
The state attorney general--after an agonizing yearlong investigation, culminating in Mr. Nifong's removal from the case--determined in April 2007 that Messrs. Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann were innocent of all charges. Nothing--absolutely nothing--had happened at the party. The players' innocence had been apparent to their own attorneys from the outset. It should have been apparent to Mr. Nifong, too, given all the exculpatory details he knew. But he was desperate to win a close primary election and needed black votes, so he proceeded with an unjustified prosecution and publicly vilified innocent young men.
In this fundamental injustice, he was aided and abetted by others in Durham. Richard Brodhead, the president of Duke, condemned the lacrosse players as if they had already been found guilty, demanded the resignation of their coach and studiously ignored the mounting evidence that Ms. Mangum's charge was false. He was clearly terrified of the racial and gender activists on his own faculty. Houston Baker, a noted professor of English, called the lacrosse players "white, violent, drunken men veritably given license to rape," men who could "claim innocence . . . safe under the cover of silent whiteness." Protesters on campus and in the city itself waved "castrate" banners, put up "wanted" posters and threatened the physical safety of the lacrosse players.
The vitriolic rhetoric of the faculty and Durham's "progressive" community--including the local chapter of the NAACP--helped to intensify the scandal and stoke the media fires. The New York Times' coverage was particularly egregious, as Messrs. Taylor and Johnson vividly show. It ran dozens of prominent stories and "analysis" articles trying to plumb the pathologies of the lacrosse players and of a campus culture that allowed swaggering white males to prey on poor, defenseless young black women. As one shrewd Times alumnus later wrote: "You couldn't invent a story so precisely tuned to the outrage frequency of the modern, metropolitan, bien pensant journalist." Such Nifong allies--unlike the district attorney himself--paid no price for their shocking indifference to the truth.
Ms. Thernstrom is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the recipient of a 2007 Bradley Award. You can buy "Until Proven Innocent" form the OpinionJournal bookstore.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #23 on:
September 07, 2007, 10:05:31 PM »
Note the absence of outrage from the left and the non-coverage from the MSM.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #24 on:
September 21, 2007, 09:24:51 AM »
Next week Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's Holocaust-denying president, who has said that "Israel must be wiped off the map," will be in New York for the U.N. General Assembly session. As the titular leader of a U.N. member state, Ahmadinejad is entitled to visit the city for this reason. But he is not entitled to something else he received, namely an appearance to speak at Columbia University, where he will be introduced by none other than Lee Bollinger, Columbia's president.
Yesterday Bollinger put out a statement defending his decision to authorize the event, and it was filled with high-minded rhetoric:
Columbia, as a community dedicated to learning and scholarship, is committed to confronting ideas--to understand the world as it is and as it might be. To fulfill this mission we must respect and defend the rights of our schools, our deans and our faculty to create programming for academic purposes. Necessarily, on occasion this will bring us into contact with beliefs many, most or even all of us will find offensive and even odious. We trust our community, including our students, to be fully capable of dealing with these occasions, through the powers of dialogue and reason.
But there is one little problem here. As Bill Kristol points out:
As Columbia welcomes Ahmadinejad to campus, Columbia students who want to serve their country cannot enroll in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at Columbia. Columbia students who want to enroll in ROTC must travel to other universities to fulfill their obligations. ROTC has been banned from the Columbia campus since 1969. In 2003, a majority of polled Columbia students supported reinstating ROTC on campus. But in 2005, when the Columbia faculty senate debated the issue, President Bollinger joined the opponents in defeating the effort to invite ROTC back on campus.
The original decision to kick ROTC off campus was the product of 1960s anti-Americanism, but the ostensible reason the policy continues is objection to the law, signed by President Clinton, that prohibits open homosexuals from serving in the military. Apparently some ideas are so odious that they are unworthy of answering "through the powers of dialogue and reason."
So, what is Ahmadinejad's regime's policy on homosexuals in the military? We don't know, but according to Human Rights Watch, Iran is not a terribly friendly place for gay civilians:
On Sunday, November 13, the semi-official Tehran daily Kayhan reported that the Iranian government publicly hung [sic] two men, Mokhtar N. (24 years old) and Ali A. (25 years old), in the Shahid Bahonar Square of the northern town of Gorgan.
The government reportedly executed the two men for the crime of "lavat." Iran's shari'a-based penal code defines lavat as penetrative and non-penetrative sexual acts between men. Iranian law punishes all penetrative sexual acts between adult men with the death penalty. Non-penetrative sexual acts between men are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are punished with death. Sexual acts between women, which are defined differently, are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are also punished with death.
If the U.S. military executed homosexuals instead of merely discharging them, perhaps Bollinger would welcome ROTC back to Columbia.
Reply #25 on:
September 22, 2007, 11:59:46 AM »
No Free lunch
There was a Chemistry professor in a large college
that had some Exchange students in the class.
One day while the class was in the lab the Prof
noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept
rubbing his back And stretching as if his back hurt.
The professor asked the young man what was the
matter. The student told him he had a bullet
lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting
communists in his native country who were trying to
overthrow his country's government and install a new
In the midst of his story he looked at the professor
and asked a strange question. He asked,
'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for
the punch line. The young man said this was no joke.
'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in
the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs
find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free
corn. When they are used to coming every day, you
put a fence down one side of the place where they
are used to coming. When they get used to the fence,
they begin to eat the corn again and you put up
another side of the fence. They get used to that
and start to eat again. You continue until you have
all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the
last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn,
start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the
gate on them and catch the whole herd.
Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom.
They run around and around inside the fence, but
they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the
free corn. They are so used to it that they have
forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves,
so they accept their captivity.
The young man then told the professor that is exactly
what he sees happening to America. The government
keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and
keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of
programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for
unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies,
payments not to plant crops (CRP),welfare, medicine,
drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms
- just a little at a time.
One should always remember 'There is no such thing
as a free Lunch!' Also, 'You can never hire someone
to provide a service for you cheaper than you can
do it yourself.
Also, if you see that all of this wonderful
government 'help' is a problem confronting the
future of democracy in America, you might want to
send this on to your friends. If you think the free
ride is essential to your way of life then you will
probably delete this email, but God help you when
the gate slams shut!
It's not about free speech - I don't care what they say
Reply #26 on:
September 22, 2007, 08:40:40 PM »
I don't believe the Iranian loon being allowed to speak at Columbia is about freedom of speech at all.
It's more about a liberal campus' political agenda. They hate Bush and that's it - period.
Maybe they could have made a deal. Bush gets allowed to speak - uninterrupted at Iran's most prostegious university and the speech is broadcast accross all of Iran to all Iranians.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #27 on:
September 25, 2007, 08:49:39 AM »
September 25, 2007
A premier U.S. university invites a controversial international figure to speak on campus. The faculty is outraged. "Speaking truth to power," the professors denounce the legitimacy conferred on a murderous tyrant. That is what largely did not happen yesterday after Columbia welcomed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Morningside Heights. That is, however, what is now happening at Stanford, and the man the faculty views as a tyrant is -- Donald Rumsfeld.
While Columbia President Lee Bollinger opines about "the powers of dialogue and reason," the Stanford faculty has mobilized against the appointment of the former Defense Secretary to a fellowship at the Hoover Institution, a conservative research center affiliated with the Palo Alto university. Mr. Rumsfeld will join a study group exploring terror and ideology in the post-9/11 world.
Mr. Rumsfeld's experience in these matters can't be denied. And though his politics may differ from the professoriate's, this would seem to make his "perspective" more valuable to a university dedicated to the exchange of ideas -- especially one, as its motto has it, where "the wind of freedom blows."
Something else altogether is blowing now. A group of self-described faculty "instigators" calls Mr. Rumsfeld "fundamentally incompatible with the ethical values of truthfulness, tolerance, [and] disinterested enquiry." Their petition has garnered more than 3,000 professor, student and alumni signatures.
English professor Robert Polhemus drafted an unofficial platform for the faculty opposition that calls the Hoover appointment "contemptible" and argues that Mr. Rumsfeld lacks "intellectual and academic experience and/or some measure of achievement." The psychologist Philip Zimbardo tolerantly noted, "They can have any fascist they want there [at Hoover], and they do."
So in the interests of "robust debate," a school is obliged to provide a public forum to the leader of a repressive terrorist regime. But the mere presence of an American with more than three decades of public service -- most recently dedicated to combating such regimes -- is beyond the pale? Stanford's only saving grace so far is that its administration isn't bending to this faculty intimidation.
All ideas are not created equal, and the beliefs of Messrs. Rumsfeld and Ahmadinejad are certainly not. Rather, these two case studies into the academic mindset contrast priorities. They confirm, if more confirmation were needed, that the modern academy's commitment to "intellectual freedom" too often fails to distinguish between those who defend freedom and those who would squash it.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #28 on:
September 25, 2007, 09:52:21 PM »
Why I Have A Little Crush on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 05:50:02 AM PDT
I know I'm a Jewish lesbian and he'd probably have me killed. But still, the guy speaks some blunt truths about the Bush Administration that make me swoon...
sallykohn's diary :: ::
Okay, I admit it. Part of it is that he just looks cuddly. Possibly cuddly enough to turn me straight. I think he kind of looks like Kermit the Frog. Sort of. With smaller eyes. But that’s not all…
I want to be very clear. There are certainly many things about Ahmadinejad that I abhor — locking up dissidents, executing of gay folks, denying the fact of the Holocaust, potentially adding another dangerous nuclear power to the world and, in general, stifling democracy. Even still, I can’t help but be turned on by his frank rhetoric calling out the horrors of the Bush Administration and, for that matter, generations of US foreign policy preceding.
...Monday, when Ahmadinejad speaks at Columbia University in New York, I’ll be listening. Maybe with a bottle of wine and some soft music playing in the background. If I can get past the fact that, as a Jewish lesbian, he’d probably have me killed, I’ll try to listen for some truth.
Coulter on the Iranian and his political allies at Columbia
Reply #29 on:
September 26, 2007, 11:49:09 PM »
In my view it is nonsense about his invitation to speak being about freedom of speech. I believe he was invited because it was expected, and hoped, he would say things to embarrass a Republican President despised by liberal academics.
Again we see that the left's hatred of Republicans is greater than even their hatred of those who dream of disposing of all Jews.
Even Hitler would be invited if he could be counted on to say somethng bad about Bush.
Ann Coulter couldn't have said it any clearer about this:
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #30 on:
September 27, 2007, 12:12:25 AM »
And what an impression of the American mindset this man will take away from the experience!!!
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #31 on:
October 16, 2007, 05:04:58 PM »
By CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS
October 16, 2007; Page A20
As if losing the presidency of Harvard for hinting that there might be a biological explanation for the preponderance of men in academic science wasn't enough, Lawrence Summers now appears to be persona non grata elsewhere too.
A few weeks ago the University of California, Davis rescinded an invitation for him to speak. More than 150 faculty members signed a petition protesting his appearance, saying Mr. Summers "has come to symbolize gender and racial prejudice in academia." Davis ecology Professor Maureen Stanton was "appalled and stunned that someone like Summers would be invited to speak."
Ms. Stanton and her allies want pariah status for anyone who dares to suggest a biological basis for difference. Yet the scientific literature on why men and women enter different fields is legitimate, robust, complex and fascinating. What is appalling is that leading academic institutions would try to shut down the discussion and get away with it. Almost.
Last week, the American Enterprise Institute brought together top researchers on sex differences, ranging from the strongly feminist Brandeis women's studies scholar Rosalind Barnett to AEI scholar and co-author of "The Bell Curve," Charles Murray. The discussions were heated, but civil. No one got mad, fled the room weeping, or nearly fainted.
Ms. Barnett opened by reminding the conference of the history of prejudice against women in the sciences. Though significant gains have been made, she pointed out that there are still "invisible walls" that hold women back. Another speaker, Richard Haier, professor of psychology at the University of California, Irvine, acknowledged the long history of prejudice, then presented slides that must give pause to even the most fervent biology denier.
Using the latest and most advanced MRI brain imaging technology, he demonstrated that male and female brains have strikingly distinct architectures and process information differently. Mr. Haier reminded us that "there is so much we do not know and so much yet to discover about brain biology and sex differences, and perhaps even career choices."
Simon Baron-Cohen, a professor at Cambridge University and one of the world's leading experts on autism, had an intriguing hypothesis. Autism is far more common in males than females. Those afflicted with the disorder, including those with normal or high IQ, tend to be socially disconnected and clueless about the emotional states of others. They often exhibit an obsessive fixation on objects and machines.
Sound like anyone you know?
Mr. Baron-Cohen suggests that autism may be the far end of the male norm -- the "extreme male brain," all systematizing and no empathizing. He believes that men are, on average, wired to be better systematizers and women to be better empathizers. He presented a wide range of correlations between the level of fetal testosterone and behaviors in both girls and boys from infancy into grade school to back up his belief.
Harvard cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Spelke, another speaker, noted that Mr. Baron-Cohen's theory is not settled science. She is right, of course.
Yet the current configuration of the workplace fits Mr. Baron-Cohen's theory: Women dominate in empathy-centered fields such as early childhood education, social work and psychology, while men are over-represented in the "systematizing" vocations such as car repair, oil drilling and electrical engineering.
Others debated the pros and cons of research on "unconscious bias" and the effects of stereotypes on test takers. So it went. No one present could doubt the importance of the debate or the significance of the evidence from both sides. The audience was captivated as experts played with the politically incorrect notion that male and female brains may be markedly different.
Unfortunately, the deniers of differences between the sexes are on the march with powerful allies. In the fall of 2006, the National Academy of Sciences released a recklessly one-sided study, now widely referred to as authoritative, titled "Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering." According to the report, differences in cognition between the sexes have no bearing on the dearth of women in academic math, physics and engineering. It is all due to bias. Case closed. The report calls on Congress to hold hearings on gender bias in the sciences and on federal agencies to "move immediately" (emphasis in original) to apply anti-discrimination laws such as Title IX to academic science (but not English) departments. "The time for action is now."
No it is not. Now is the time for scholars in our universities and in the National Academy of Sciences to defend and support principles of free and objective inquiry. The chronically appalled must not have the last word.
Ms. Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #32 on:
October 29, 2007, 11:01:19 AM »
“Perpetual adolescence is not just a cultural drag, but also dangerous to our way of life... The leveling of adult authority over the past half century or so was accompanied by a leveling of cultural authority. This brought on the age of multiculturalism, a time when Western Civ (like the adult) no longer occupies its old pinnacle atop the hierarchy of cultures. The multiculti conception of equally valuable cultures (except for the West, which is deemed the pits) depends on a strenuous non-judgmentalism. This non-judgmentalism expresses itself in a self-censoring adherence to political correctness. Such non-judgmentalism, such PC self-censorship, is infantilizing because it requires us to suppress our faculties of analysis and judgment.” —Diana West
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #33 on:
November 19, 2007, 01:06:25 PM »
Mi Casa, Sue Casa
Nancy Pelosi tries to force the Salvation Army to hire people who can't speak English.
Monday, November 19, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST
It's been less than a week since New York's Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Eliot Spitzer had to climb down from their support of driver's licenses for illegal aliens. Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has moved to kill an amendment that would protect employers from federal lawsuits for requiring their workers to speak English. Among the employers targeted by such lawsuits: the Salvation Army.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, a moderate Republican from Tennessee, is dumbstruck that legislation he views as simple common sense would be blocked. He noted that the full Senate passed his amendment to shield the Salvation Army by 75-19 last month, and the House followed suit with a 218-186 vote just this month. "I cannot imagine that the framers of the 1964 Civil Rights Act intended to say that it's discrimination for a shoe shop owner to say to his or her employee, 'I want you to be able to speak America's common language on the job,' " he told the Senate last Thursday.
But that's exactly what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is trying to do. In March the EEOC sued the Salvation Army because its thrift store in Framingham, Mass., required its employees to speak English on the job. The requirement was clearly posted and employees were given a year to learn the language. The EEOC claimed the store had fired two Hispanic employees for continuing to speak Spanish on the job. It said that the firings violated the law because the English-only policy was not "relevant" to job performance or safety.
"If it is not relevant, it is discriminatory, it is gratuitous, it is a subterfuge to discriminate against people based on national origin," says Rep. Charles Gonzalez of Texas, one of several Hispanic Democrats in the House who threatened to block Ms. Pelosi's attempts to curtail the Alternative Minimum Tax unless she killed the Alexander amendment.
The confrontation on the night of Nov. 8 was ugly. Members of the Hispanic Caucus initially voted against the rule allowing debate on a tax bill that included the AMT "patch," which for a year would protect some 23 million Americans from being kicked into a higher income tax bracket.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a moderate from Maryland, was beside himself. Congressional Quarterly reports that he jabbed his finger on the House floor at Joe Baca, the California Democrat who chairs the Hispanic Caucus, and yelled, "How dare you destroy this party? This will be the worst loss in 10 years."
Mr. Baca was having none of it. "You see this on the [voting] board?," he yelled back. "This is against me. This is against me personally." Luckily for Democrats, C-Span's microphones did not pick up the exchange. But it was audible to reporters in the press gallery. They also heard Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois say that English-only efforts were symbolic of "bigotry and prejudice" against those who speak other languages.
After testy negotiations, the Hispanic Caucus finally agreed to let the tax bill proceed after extracting a promise from Ms. Pelosi that the House will not vote on the bill funding the Justice and Commerce Departments unless the English-only protection language is dropped. "There ain't going to be a bill" with the Alexander language, Mr. Baca has told reporters.
Sen. Alexander says that if that's the case, "thousands of small businesses across America will have to show there is some special reason to justify requiring their employees to speak our country's common language on the job." He notes that the number of EEOC actions against English-only policies grew to some 200 last year from 32 a decade ago. In an attempt at compromise, he has offered watered-down language that would still allow the EEOC to file many actions, but he says House Democrats rejected it.
Mr. Alexander says his battle is about far more than what language is spoken on a shop floor. "The EEOC actions turn diversity, our greatest strength, against the interests of our common future as Americans," he told me.
The late Albert Shanker, head of the American Federation of Teachers, once pointed out that public schools were established in this country largely "to help mostly immigrant children learn the three R's and what it means to be an American, with the hope that they would go home and teach their parents the principles in the Constitution and the Declaration that unite us."
Mr. Alexander says that noble effort is in danger of being undermined: "We have spent the last 40 years in our country celebrating diversity at the expense of unity. One way to create that unity is to value, not devalue, our common language, English."
The battle over Mr. Alexander's amendment is about whether a consensus that used to unite liberals and conservatives in this country can continue to hold. If it can't, expect the issue to become a flashpoint in the 2008 elections. Republicans have their political problems with Hispanics over some of their approaches to illegal immigration, but they may be nothing compared to the problems Democrats have if they continue to cave in to their anti-assimilation extremists.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #34 on:
November 26, 2007, 10:29:30 PM »
22 Ways To Be A Good Democrat THIS IS NOT SO HARD -- EVEN A CAVE MAN CAN DO IT....
1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.
2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.
3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. Nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.
4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.
5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUV's.
6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.
7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.
8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach fourth graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.
10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.
11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make "The Passion of the Christ" for financial gain only.
12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.
13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.
14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, and A.G. Bell.
15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.
16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice person.
17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.
18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.
19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.
20. You have to believe that illegal Democrat Party funding by the Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest to the United States .
21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right wing conspiracy.
22. You have to believe that it's okay to give Federal workers the day off on Christmas Day but it's not okay to say "Merry Christmas."
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #35 on:
December 13, 2007, 04:50:18 PM »
Democrats who supported a House resolution to honor Ramadan voted against a similar resolution to honor Christmas and Christianity last night.
18 Democrats voted “nay” or “present” on a resolution to “recognize the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.” An eagle-eyed Republican House staffer points out that those same members, with one exception, voted to “recognize the commencement of Ramadan,” a Muslim religious observance in October.
Nine Democrats voted against the Christmas resolution. They are: Rep. Gary Ackerman (N.Y.), Rep. Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Rep. Diane DeGette (Colo.), Rep. Alcee Hastings (Fla.), Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.), Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.), Rep. Robert Scott (Va.), Rep. Pete Stark (Calif.) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (Calif.).
Another nine Democrats chose to vote "present." They are: Rep. John Conyers (Mich.), Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.), Rep. Rush Holt (N.J.), Rep. Donald Payne (N.J.), Rep. Allyson Schwartz (Pa.), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), Rep. Peter Welch (Vt.) and Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.).
Each of them supported the Ramadan resolution except for Rep. Lee, who did not vote
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #36 on:
December 21, 2007, 04:37:16 PM »
DEMOCRATS SUE PENCIL MANUFACTURERS
For the past thirty years America's public schools have been producing students who are increasingly less educated. Democratic politicians across the country feel that pencil manufacturers are the ones responsible for creating this education crisis and are filing lawsuits against them.
One of the cities suing the pencil industry is Oakland, California. Said one Democratic City Councilwoman in Oakland, "It is an undisputed fact that 99% of all American public school students use pencils on a daily basis. These pencils are faulty because they allow students to spell words incorrectly, as well as commit grammatical and mathematical errors. It is time that pencil manufacturers be held accountable for their role in producing inferior students."
The City of Atlanta is also suing pencil manufacturers. The Mayor of Atlanta told BNN, "The pencil makers currently have technology available to put 'Student Safety Devices' on their products. But they refuse to do it. These 'Student Safety Devices' would prevent students from committing academic errors and help them to be better pupils . Our lawsuit is designed to send a message to pencil producers that we will no longer allow them to victimize the children in our school district."
Pencil manufacturers, however, claim that their products do not cause students to commit academic errors. Said Lawrence McDowell of the Sanford Pencil Company, "A pencil is an inanimate object. It is a tool which a student uses at his or her ability level. In the hands of an intelligent and educated student it can be used for producing excellent academic work. In the hands of a lazy student, who watches nine hours of television a day, a pencil is used to produce inferior academic work. The pencil is not responsible for creating either the excellent work or the inferior work."
The Mayor of Atlanta disagrees with McDowell. Said the Mayor, "That defense is straight out of the National Pencil Association (NPA) handbook. We are trying to do something that will help our students perform better in school. But it is obvious that all they care about is their profit margin."
While the lawsuits against the pencil manufacturers move forward, Democrats on Capital Hill are planning to introduce 'Pencil Control Legislation' that would require every pencil to have a 'Student Safety Device' installed. Republicans, who have traditionally sided with the National Pencil Association are showing signs that they may cave to public pressure and vote with Democrats on this bill.
More on this story as it unfolds.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #37 on:
December 31, 2007, 07:14:42 AM »
British Government Reports: Playing with toy weapons helps the development of boys
Why boys should be allowed to play with toy guns
By LAURA CLARK AND SARAH HARRIS
Playing with toy weapons helps the development of young boys, according to new Government advice to nurseries and playgroups.
Staff have been told they must resist their "natural instinct" to stop boys using pretend weapons such as guns or light sabres in games with other toddlers.
Fantasy play involving weapons and superheroes allows healthy and safe risk-taking and can also make learning more appealing, says the guidance.
It conflicts with years of "political correctness" in nurseries and playgroups which has led to the banning of toy guns, action hero games and children pretending to fire "guns" using their fingers or Lego bricks.
But teachers' leaders insisted last night that guns "symbolise aggression" and said many nurseries and playgroups would ignore the change.
The guidance, called Confident, Capable and Creative: Supporting Boys' Achievements, is issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
It says some members of staff "find the chosen play of boys more difficult to understand and value than that of girls." This is mainly because they tend to choose activities with more action, often based outdoors.
"Images and ideas gleaned from the media are common starting points in boys' play and may involve characters with special powers or weapons.
"Adults can find this particularly challenging and have a natural instinct to stop it.
"This is not necessary as long as practitioners help the boys to understand and respect the rights of other children and to take responsibility for the resources and environment."
The report says: "Creating situations so that boys' interests in these forms of play can be fostered through healthy and safe risk-taking will enhance every aspect of their learning and development."
It cites a North London children's centre which helped boys create a "Spiderman House" and print pictures of the superhero from the internet.
This led to improvements in their communication, ability to develop storylines in their play and skills in drawing, reading and writing.
The guidance is aimed at boosting boys' achievement. They often fall behind girls even before starting school and the trend can continue throughout their academic careers.
Children's Minister Beverley Hughes said: "The guidance simply takes a commonsense approach to the fact that many young children and perhaps particularly many boys, like boisterous, physical activity."
"Although noisy for adults such imaginary games are good for their development as well as good fun."
But Steve Sinnott, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "The real problem with weapons is that they symbolise aggression.
"The reason teachers often intervene when kids have toy guns is that the boy is usually being very aggressive. We do need to ensure, whether the playing is rumbustious or not, that there is a respect for your peers, however young they are."
Chris Keates, general secretary of the The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) union said: "Many parents take the decision that their children won't have toy weapons."
Research by Penny Holland, academic leader for early childhood at London Metropolitan University, has also concluded that boys should be allowed to play gun games.
She found boys became dispirited and withdrawn when they are told such play-fighting is wrong.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #38 on:
January 17, 2008, 12:29:24 PM »
Amateur dramatics group ordered by police to use plastic swords - and keep them under lock and key
An amateur dramatic group performing "Robinson Crusoe" has been ordered to lock up its PLASTIC swords - over health and safety fears.
Members of the Carnon Downs Drama Group are staging the pantomime which features several swashbuckling sword fights using toy cutlasses.
But the actors have been told the props - including a plastic spear and toy gun which fires a flag with the word 'bang' - are classed as "replica weapons".
Police have warned the troupe, based in Truro, Cornwall, the fake arms must be kept in a secure case in a "locked room" with restricted access.
As well as informing officers they had no "malicious intent" the group were told to notify the fire brigade and make adequate arrangements for security.
Organisers also had to appoint a named individual responsible for the prop weapons who must accompany them whenever they are moved.
The amateur players have been told all of the procedures form part a risk assessment in line with new legislation affecting film, stage and TV productions.
Director Linda Barker said: "In some scenes pirates are hitting each other with frying pans and sauce pan lids but there's no problem with them.
"We've got several wooden and plastic swords, two plastic spears and gun which cost £2 from a joke shop. But now we need to keep them locked away and fill out all sorts of forms.
"You can't have a play like this without a fight scene and you can't have a fight scene without a sword. It's ridiculous."
Co-director Elaine Gummow says she was told about the laws by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association.
She said: ""There was an article in a recent magazine about the use of weapons in productions.
"It told members that they had to carry out and follow new health and safety guidelines if any weapons, including replica weapons, are used on stage.
"It would be impossible to stage it without the use of a few swords and cutlasses, as well as a traditional pop-gun which emits nothing more than a flag which says 'bang'.
"It all seems a bit absurd but it is perhaps a sign of the times - health and safety is everywhere. All of us see there's a serious side to this, but I really don't think we pose a threat."
Cast member Steve Cleaver added: "It seems rather absurd and totally silly that pirates would not have weapons."
The Association advised members to contact local police and make them aware of their 'weapons' stash.
Devon and Cornwall police urged the Carnon Downs group to keep the props locked away.
PC Nigel Hyde, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said the props are classed as replica weapons and are considered dangerous.
He said: "I gather we've made a note and it seems a bit unusual. But other forms of replica weapons have been used to carry out crimes and the consequences have been serious."
The version of Robinson Crusoe is a traditional panto with a Cornish flavour and is set in Falmouth harbour.
It runs from January 22 and to January 26 at the Perran Ar Worthal Memorial Hall at Perranwell near Truro.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #39 on:
January 18, 2008, 08:40:41 AM »
Burglars have rights too, says
[British] Attorney General
by By Melissa Kite and Andrew AldersonA fresh row broke out last night about the rights of householders to fight back against intruders after the Government's most senior lawyer defended the rights of burglars.
Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, flew in the face of the Prime Minister's pledge to look again at the law with a view to giving homeowners more rights when he said that existing legislation was adequate.
He said that criminals must also have the right to protection from violence, prompting David Davis, the shadow home secretary, to accuse the government of being dangerously split on the issue.
Lord Goldsmith's intervention came as Sir John Stevens, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, dismissed fears that giving homeowners greater freedom when tackling burglars would lead to an "arms race" that would put them in greater danger.
He denied that a change in the law, which currently gives homeowners the right to use "reasonable force" when tackling intruders, would encourage burglars to become more aggressive.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Sir John - who last weekend came out in favour of the Right to Fight Back campaign, launched by this newspaper two months ago - said: "I am convinced that enabling householders to use whatever force is necessary will discourage burglars.
"The fact that a would-be intruder knows a householder can respond without the fear of being prosecuted will undoubtedly deter criminal acts." Sir John, who will step down next month after five years as commissioner, said fellow police officers were confident that it would act as a deterrent.
"We are on the ground," he said. "We smell it, we see it, we hear it. We know what we are talking about."
Last week, Tony Blair told the House of Commons that he would look at strengthening the law and a Tory MP has introduced a private member's bill to do so.
Lord Goldsmith, however, appeared to take issue with the Prime Minister's pledge to act. "We must protect victims and law abiding citizens," he said.
"But we have to recognize that others have some rights as well. They don't lose all rights because they're engaged in criminal conduct."
Mr Davis said: "They certainly do lose quite a lot of rights. The Government ought to make up its mind. The Prime Minister says one thing and the Attorney General says another.
"Of course all human beings have rights, but when somebody enters your home to commit a crime they give up a large portion of them."
Some critics of a change in the law have voiced concerns that burglars will feel they have to carry guns, knives and other weapons to protect themselves from householders.
Sir John, however, did not see this as a problem. "I have confidence in the good judgment and common sense of the public in knowing how far they should go."
He said that householders should be able to use whatever force is necessary even if - in exceptional circumstances - it involved killing the intruder.
He spoke of his regret about the repercussions over the verdict on Tony Martin, the farmer who shot dead one burglar and seriously injured another during a break-in at his farm in August 1999.
There was a public outcry when Martin was found guilty at Norwich Crown Court and sentenced to life in prison. The charge and sentence were later reduced to five years for manslaughter.
Sir John did not suggest that the jury had reached the wrong verdict, but added: "The Tony Martin case is unfortunate because it has skewed the debate [on the public's right to protect their home]. But it is a fact that burglars have acted with greater confidence since the Tony Martin verdict and that has to be a matter of regret."
Lord Goldsmith, however, warned of the dangers of using the Martin case to make bad law: "There are very few cases that have given rise to this problem. Besides Tony Martin, there's only one I know about.
"It's always possible to extrapolate from one case and think that something is happening across the country when it isn't."
Mr Blair's announcement of a review of the law came three days after the Conservative Party threw its weight behind a new parliamentary attempt to win more rights for householders to protect them from burglars.
The Telegraph revealed last weekend how Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP, would introduce a Private Member's Bill to change the law in favour of homeowners.
In an article in this newspaper today, Mr Mercer described Mr Blair's promise to consult before taking action as a "classic delaying tactic".
Michael Howard, the Tory leader, yesterday praised this newspaper's campaign. "I pay tribute to the highly effective campaign run over so many months by The Sunday Telegraph. It was the first newspaper to highlight this crucial issue and its persistence has been a key factor in winning this change to the law and in forcing Tony Blair's U-turn," he said. "We now need to ensure that Patrick Mercer's bill gets through parliament. The Sunday Telegraph's continued vigilance will be crucial in ensuring this."
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #40 on:
January 24, 2008, 08:50:04 AM »
I have seen this crap firsthand. I went to a state school, therefore I was surrounded by a cross section of an international and national population. I found it odd, not that students didn't want to have a strong, extreme opinion, but that they were hesitant to have an opinion at all. Also that upon forming an opinion, the general population feels the need to make sure it's okay to have that particular opinion. Sure the "university" or academy is supposed to be sensitive and accommodating, but shouldn't it also press the issue of "Man have some balls and make a statement without a 'weasler' in it!". After graduating I saw the same thing to a smaller extent in the "real world". This eventually helped me figure out that maybe it's not only the colleges, but it's the 90% rule. A generalization of course but give it a second...
90% of the world are sheep, the other 10% are shepherds and wolves.
(that's kind of cool, because dogs work for shepherds and are related to wolves)
or 90% of the world doesn't give a crap and 10% do. 90% of the world does no possess the attributes to ....... but 10% do. Fill in the blank.
So, another conclusion I reached is that people need to be lead, they WANT to be lead. People are like dogs, they need discipline. Children are like puppies and need to be broken - or else they turn into very bad dogs. I think Cesar Milan is onto something when he says "There are no bad dogs, only bad owners". I think this applies to 90% of the children. There are no bad kids only bad parents. Behavior is taught, we can't know something we didn't see first. There is no apriori knowledge (Screw you philosophers who are going to tell me that my computer doesn't actually exists). I'm not advocating the "Choke Chains for Children" program, but it's okay to tell your kid NO. I love the DBMA philosophy for this reason, it resonates with the "spare the rod spoil the child" parable. Maybe it's a stretch to see that... I don't know... maybe I'm the 1% that's out of my gourd? Actually I see all issues as being related, so no it's not a stretch.
PS Thanks for putting up this category of P(i)C. I hope it was an invitation and not meant to have a discussion about another discussion that involved some PC or PiC. AND if anyone's offended I'm not sorry. Look at the name of the category. How liberating is that?
Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 09:30:05 AM by Mad Scientist
-Why don't sharks attack clowns?
-Because they taste funny.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #41 on:
January 24, 2008, 10:20:52 AM »
No worries, your post is fine.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #42 on:
January 31, 2008, 08:35:32 AM »
UK - Teachers not to assume children have hetero parents
Don't say mum and dad... teachers told not to assume pupils have heterosexual parents
By LAURA CLARK - More by this author » Last updated at 10:48am on 30th January 2008
Teachers should not assume that their pupils have a "mum and dad" under guidance aimed at tackling anti-gay bullying in schools.
It says primary pupils as young as four should be familiarised with the idea of same-sex couples to help combat homophobic attitudes.
Teachers should attempt to avoid assumptions that pupils will have a conventional family background, it urges.
It goes on to suggest the word "parents" may be more appropriate than "mum and dad", particularly in letters and emails to the child's home.
When discussing marriage with secondary pupils, teachers should also educate pupils about civil partnerships and gay adoption rights.
The guidance - produced for the Government by gay rights group Stonewall - will be formally launched today by Schools Secretary Ed Balls.
It states that children who call classmates "gay" should be treated the same as racists as part of a "zero tolerance" crackdown on the use of the word as an insult.
Teachers should avoid telling boys to "be a man" or accuse them of behaving like a "bunch of women".
This sort of rebuke "leads to bullying of those who do not conform to fixed ideas about gender", the guidance states.
At the same time, schools should encourage gay role models among staff, parents and governors. Homosexual staff should be able to discuss their private lives after the consultation with the head teacher.
In advice to gay staff, it states: "School culture and ethos determines how open staff are about their private lives, and you should therefore seek advice and guidance from your head."
The Department for Children, Schools and Families commissioned Stonewall to write the guidance jointly with lobby group Education Action Challenging Homophobia.
It says that pupils aged four to seven should "understand that not all pupils have a mum and a dad" and learn about different family structures. Advice to teachers of 11 to 14-year-olds states: "Schools should make efforts to talk inclusively about same-sex parents, for example, avoid assuming all pupils will have a "mum and dad". "When schools discuss marriage, they may also discuss civil partnership and adoption rights for gay people."
In a section on engaging with parents, it asks schools: "Do you talk about 'parents' instead of assuming all pupils have 'mum or a dad'?" The advice goes on to urge teachers to challenge every derogatory use of the word gay to avert homophobic attitudes. Examples include "those trainers are so gay", "that pencil case is so gay" or "you're such a gay boy".
One primary teacher quoted in the guidance said: "We hear 'gay' as a term of abuse every single day. The children may not know exactly what it means, but they know they are using it as an insult. That's why we need to tackle it at this stage."
Controversy over the semantics of the word erupted two years ago when the BBC ruled that Radio One DJ Chris Moyles was not being offensive to homosexuals by using the word "gay" to mean "rubbish". The advice says: "It is important for all staff to challenge pupils, explaining the consequences of using 'gay' in a derogatory way.
"It might be time-consuming at first, but a consistent 'zero-tolerance' approach to such language is central to achieving progress and an environment in which being gay is not thought of as being inferior."
It adds: "Schools need to make it clear to pupils that homophobic comments are as serious as racist comments, and homophobic incidents are as serious as other forms of bullying."
Teachers should use every curriculum subject to nip discriminatory attitudes in the bud. English lessons for teenagers, for example, could focus on the emotions of the gay Italian soldier Carlo in Captain Corelli's Mandolin. The guidance is being published five years after the repeal of Section 28 - the law which banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools.
Ministers promised the move would make no difference to the teaching of homosexual matters but some critics have claimed the gay lobby is having a growing influence on pupils. Next month is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month, where pupils learn about apparently gay figures from history including Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde and James Dean.
Mr Balls, who will launch the anti-bullying guidance at a Stonewall conference today, said: "I am proud the Government and the department are being robust about this. "It is our view that every school should have a clear policy on tackling all forms of bullying, including homophobic bullying."
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #43 on:
February 04, 2008, 07:33:17 PM »
“The truth is, we are supposed to be taking in individuals from other cultures, not other cultures in their wholeness. That is what American openness is supposed to represent. But we are so far gone that the men who lead us... are not even aware of this. But once again we see the continuum between universal values and multiculturalism. Since human beings can’t live without culture, multiculturalism—that is, to be taken over by other cultures—is the fate of any country unwilling to assert its own culture. Some people are wary of talking of an American culture because they associate it with race. This is erroneous. Culture transcends race. It unites people of different backgrounds. Whether it be Louis Armstrong or Aaron Copland, they are both part of American culture.”—Carol Iannone
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #44 on:
June 19, 2008, 06:58:47 PM »
Mrs. Obama and the Tuskegee Superstition
By JAMES TARANTO
June 19, 2008
In February 2007, we noted a rare instance of agreement between this column and the New York Times editorial page. The topic was whether 11- and 12-year-old girls should be vaccinated for the human papillomavirus. HPV is sexually transmitted and is believed to cause 70% of all cases of cervical cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, this year 11,070 new cases of cervical cancer are expected to be diagnosed, and 3,870 women are expected to die of the disease. Do the arithmetic: Had the HPV vaccine been administered to these women when they were girls, some 7,749 would have been spared cancer and 2,709 would have died later of some other cause.
"Social conservatives object that the vaccine will encourage promiscuity," the Times wrote last year, "but it seems farfetched to believe that protection from cervical cancer will change any girl's behavior." That seems right to us--and even if the vaccine has some marginal bad effect on sexual behavior, several thousand cancer deaths a year seems a high price to pay to avoid it. Even the Times editors thought cancer prevention an important enough goal to abandon their usual liberal keep-your-laws-off-my-body orthodoxy when it comes to matters gynecological.
Now, as blogger Tom Maguire notes, the subject of HPV vaccination has come up in a different context: yesterday's New York Times story about Michelle Obama's "subtle makeover." Maguire cites an anecdote from Mrs. Obama's work at the University of Chicago Medical Center, a story that, in Maguire's words, is "ludicrously presented as a sympathetic and positive story of her professional efforts":
She also altered the hospital's research agenda. When the human papillomavirus vaccine, which can prevent cervical cancer, became available, researchers proposed approaching local school principals about enlisting black teenage girls as research subjects.
Mrs. Obama stopped that. The prospect of white doctors performing a trial with black teenage girls summoned the specter of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment of the mid-20th century, when white doctors let hundreds of black men go untreated to study the disease.
"She'll talk about the elephant in the room," said Susan Sher, her boss at the hospital, where Mrs. Obama is on leave from her more-than-$300,000-a-year job.
This isn't the first time the Tuskegee experiment has come up during the presidential campaign. In April the Obamas' then-pastor, Jeremiah Wright, explained his belief that the U.S. government had invented AIDS as a tool of genocide against black people: "Based on this Tuskegee experiment and based on what has happened to Africans in this country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything."
The Tuskegee outrage was real. But the notion that the Tuskegee experiment--which began in the Jim Crow era (1932) and ended in 1972, eight years after the Civil Rights Act became law--reflects the attitudes of American governmental and medical institutions today is an urban legend, a superstition--and potentially a deadly one.
The Times's account suggests that girls in Chicago were denied potentially lifesaving vaccinations because Michelle Obama pandered to racial paranoia instead of standing up for the truth. Is that why they pay her the big bucks?
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #45 on:
June 19, 2008, 07:12:13 PM »
Do you think it is okay to use high schoolers no matter what gender for medical experiment? The idea of using non-adults for medical experiments bothers me. Also they wouldn't have known it was lifesaving at that point there could have been serious side effects.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #46 on:
June 20, 2008, 01:35:21 AM »
I could be mistaken, but it reads to me that the vaccination was already approved ("became available") and the girls were sought out to generate data over time to compare to girls who did not take the vaccine.
Father's Day cards banned
Reply #47 on:
June 24, 2008, 10:34:48 AM »
Scottish schools ban Father’s Day cards
Fear of embarrassing children of single mothers or lesbians prompts move
Christian references have been removed from Christmas cards and school sports days excised of competitiveness. Now Father's Day has become the latest event to fall victim to the forces of political correctness.
Last week thousands of children were prevented from making Father’s Day cards at school to avoid causing embarrassment to classmates who live with single mothers and lesbian couples.
The politically correct policy in the interests of “sensitivity” over the growing number of lone-parent and same-sex households, has been quietly adopted by schools across Scotland.
It only emerged this year after a large number of fathers failed to receive their traditional cards and gifts last Sunday.
While primary children are banned from making cards for their fathers, few schools impose similar restrictions in the run up to Mothering Sunday.
The ban has been introduced by schools in Glasgow, Edinburgh, East Renfrewshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Clackmannanshire.
Currently, some 280,000 children in Scotland live in single parent households, accounting for just 7% of the total.
Tina Woolnough, 45, from Edinburgh, whose son Felix attends Blackhall primary, said a number of teachers at the school had not allowed children to make Father’s Day cards this year.
“This is something I know they do on a class-by-class basis at my son Felix’s school,” said Woolnough, who is a member of the school’s parent-teacher council. Some classes send Father’s Day cards and some do not.
“The teachers are aware of the family circumstances of the children in each class and if a child hasn’t got a father living at home, the teacher will avoid getting the children to make a card.”
Family rights campaigners have condemned the policy as “absurd” and claimed it is marginalising fathers.
“I’m astonished at this, it totally undermines the role and significance of fathers whether they are still with the child’s mother or not,” said Matt O’Connor, founder of Fathers For Justice. “It also sends out a troubling message to young boys that fathers aren’t important.”
Alastair Noble, education officer with the charity Christian Action, Research and Education, added: “This seems to be an extreme and somewhat absurd reaction. I would have thought that the traditional family and marriage are still the majority lifestyles of people in Scotland. To deny the experience of the majority just does not seem sensible.”
Victoria Gillick, the family values campaigner, accused schools of politicising a traditional fun activity for children.
“Children like making things, and making things for someone is great fun. I wouldn’t call it politically correct, I’d just call it stupid,” she said.
“It seems quite unfair to deny those children whose parents are together and who want to make cards from enjoying the experience. Stopping children from making Father’s Day cards is reinforcing the fact that some fathers are not there, it’s actually drawing attention to the issue.”
Local authorities defended the move, saying teachers needed to act sensitively at a time when many children were experiencing family breakdown and divorce.
“Increasingly, it is the case that there are children who haven’t got fathers or haven’t got fathers living with them and teachers are having to be sensitive about this,” said a spokesman for East Renfrewshire council. “Teachers have always had to deal with some pupils not having fathers or mothers, but with marital breakdown it is accelerating.”
Jim Goodall, head of education at Clackmannanshire council, said: “We expect teachers and headteachers to apply their professional skills and behave in a common sense manner. They have to be sensitive to the appropriate use of class time and the changing pattern of family life. We trust our staff to act sensibly and sensitively.”
A spokesman for South Ayrshire council said: “We are aware of the sensitivities of the issue and wouldn’t do anything that would make any child feel left out or unwanted in any way.”
Edinburgh city council said the practice on Father’s Day cards was a matter for individual schools.
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #48 on:
June 28, 2008, 04:06:34 AM »
CAIR's Traitorous Cop Ally
By Paul Sperry
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, June 25, 2008
If the Taliban catches an American spy, they slit the informer's throat. If we catch a pro-Taliban spy, he gets a slap on the wrist after getting a letter from a Muslim pressure group urging leniency. Who says we're winning this war?
Last month, Taliban fighters claimed to have killed a "female U.S. spy" for helping American forces in Afghanistan. Once all the evidence against the alleged spy was gathered, they slit her throat with a knife.
Compare that with the kid glove treatment of Sgt. Muhammad Weiss Rasool, a Muslim cop in the nation's capital who tipped off the target of an FBI terrorism investigation into a pro-Taliban mosque.
Despite his arrest, confession and recent conviction in federal court, Rasool, an Afghan immigrant, will do no jail time and will continue to collect a paycheck from taxpayers pending the results of an internal-affairs probe by the Fairfax County Police Department outside Washington.
Rasool took an oath to protect this country several years ago when he joined the FCPD, which is the largest force in Virginia and a key partner with the FBI in investigating major terror cases in the Washington area, including the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.
But Rasool put his religion ahead of his adopted country when he alerted a fellow member of his mosque that he was under federal surveillance. At his Muslim brother's request, he searched a police database and confirmed that FBI agents were tailing him.
When agents went to arrest the target early one morning, they found him and his family already dressed and destroying evidence. They knew they had a mole and worked back through the system to find Rasool.
That's when agents discovered the police sergeant had breached their database at least 15 times to look up names of other contacts, including relatives, to see if they showed up on the terrorist watch list. (As part of post-9/11 data-sharing, local police now have access to classified federal case files on terrorists maintained within the NCIC, or National Crime Information Center system.)
Rasool's actions "damaged the integrity of the NCIC system and jeopardized at least one federal investigation," U.S. prosecutors said in court papers filed last month. "The defendant's actions could have placed federal agents in danger."
Rasool, 31, at first claimed he didn't know the terrorist target. He confessed only after hearing a recording of his message for the suspect, who was a cleric in his local Taliban-sympathizing mosque. Rasool finally pleaded guilty to illegally searching a federal database.
Despite his subsequent conviction, however, Fairfax County has left him on the force, pending the outcome of an internal investigation. The leniency afforded Rasool is unprecedented, given how he copped to the crime – and not just any crime, but one that betrayed his fellow officers and country.
It also contrasts starkly with the recent handling of other Arab and Muslim government employees caught breaching classified databases.
The city of Rochester, N.Y., for example, summarily fired a Muslim 911 operator, Nadire Zenelaj, well before she was formally charged last month with illegally searching the names of hundreds of friends in the terrorist watch list. And as part of a federal plea deal, Lebanese national Nada Prouty resigned from the U.S. government after confessing she accessed a restricted FBI database to see if relatives were being investigated for terrorist activities.
Unlike these alleged spies, however, Rasool has a powerful patron in Washington -- the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which lobbied on his behalf during his prosecution.
"I have always found Sgt. Rasool eager to promote a substantive relationship between the Fairfax County Police Department and the local Muslim community," wrote CAIR Governmental Affairs Coordinator Corey Saylor in a letter to the federal judge, who ended up denying prosecutors the jail time they requested for Rasool. (He got off lightly with a fine and two years probation.)
Indeed, Rasool acted as CAIR's representative on the police force, and even worked with the group to kill a successful counterterror-training program within the department.
Rasool and other Muslim officers tied to CAIR claimed the course taught by the respected Higgins Center for Counter Terrorism Research portrayed Islam in a bad light. CAIR phoned Fairfax County Police Chief David Rohrer to complain, and the chief canceled the training in 2006.
That same year, Rohrer spoke at CAIR's annual fundraising dinner in Washington, crediting the group with "helping police departments to better understand the Muslim community."
But the chief was being used -- by the Islamist enemy. It turns out his aggrieved sergeant at the time was under federal investigation for aiding and abetting terrorists. And so was CAIR -- the group from whom Rohrer was accepting phone calls and on whom he was conferring legitimacy. In fact, U.S. prosecutors at the time were adding CAIR to a list of co-conspirators in a terror scheme to funnel more than $12 million to Hamas suicide bombers and their families.
Yet CAIR and Rasool teamed up to persuade the politically correct Rohrer to nix the anti-terror training, which included counterintelligence measures to help police guard against the very infiltration from terror supporters and facilitators that has taken place on Rohrer's watch.
Sadly, the chief appears more concerned about protecting the force from charges of "Islamophobia" than Islamist penetration.
Rasool, still on paid leave, says he hopes to be permanently reinstated. If so, it would mark a humiliating defeat in our battle against the growing Islamist 5th column in America. Rasool has a dangerous religious conflict, and should never wear the uniform again.
Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington. He can be conacted at
Re: Politically (In)correct
Reply #49 on:
June 28, 2008, 11:16:30 AM »
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