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Friday, 30 November 2012

Rotherham By-Election: UKIP Is Second, BNP Third

In a historic victory for the UK Independence Party, it has achieved a record second place in the by-election held in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

It has been the highest percentage of the vote ever achieved by the party in any parliamentary election: 21.8%. This is the second time UKIP's candidate Jane Collins has come second in a by-election, after having won 12.2% last year in neighbouring Barnsley Central.

It was also a victory for the British National Party, which came third, before Respect and the Tories.

The fact that the Labour-run Rotherham Council had removed children from a foster home only because the foster couple are members of UKIP may have played a role in the results of the election, which was won by Labour in this safe seat for the left-wing party.

Rotherham was also one of the Northern English towns where Muslim paedophile gangs were allowed to groom and prey on youngsters without being disturbed by local police or social services or, for that matter, by the media, not for months or years but for decades. Even now, after all this has come to light, the media are still keeping silent on the matter, and an official inquiry into child sex gangs has failed to highlight the targeting of white girls by Pakistani Muslim men.

This scandalous neglect of duty and cover-up may also have helped the politically incorrect UKIP and BNP to win supporters.

The by-election was caused by the resignation of Labour MP Denis MacShane, called by some "MacShame", who as a journalist was sacked by the BBC for gross dishonesty, as an MP was found by the standards watchdog guilty of having submitted 19 false invoices "plainly intended to deceive", and who began his career as president of the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) by creating the NUJ Guidelines on Race Reporting in the 1970s, which dictated the very same kind of journalistic self-censorship, when it comes to ethnic and non-indigenous religious groups, that stopped the media from reporting and exposing scandals like the widespread paedophilia described above.

Labour Haemorrhaging Votes to UKIP in Rotherham in Guy Fawkes' Blog was written before the election results were known:
Outside of the Leveson bubble there are some actual, real, political events also going on today. Perhaps most interestingly the by-election in Rotherham. Labour’s nerves are reaching a crescendo, and not just due to the prospect of the Homeland candidate splitting the left-wing vote. This morning Peter Watt warns that the party are losing votes to UKIP by the bucket full:

“UKIP will take votes from Labour as well as the Tories in Rotherham today…the assumption that UKIP is just a threat to the Tories is dangerous and the fact that the Rotherham foster-carers were former Labour voters is not really a surprise. The quicker we wake up to the fact that most voters are not like people who attend Labour party meetings the better. Some of them even read the Daily Mail.”

While Harry Wallop notes in the Telegraph:

“Today, Rotherham goes to the polls in a parliamentary by-election. That all the talk is about Ukip rather than Labour, which has provided the town’s MP since 1933, is a remarkable turn of events…Despite the momentum, Ukip is still small, with a mere 19,000 members – the equivalent of just a few tables of pub drinkers in each constituency. But these sums appear to hold little truck in Rotherham, where the lack of jobs and prospects are the main concerns.”

UKIP’s price in Rotherham has come in to 8/1. Guido reckons that Labour are still going to take their ‘safe seat’, but numbers are going to be very, very interesting…

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Prohibition to Use the Word "Christmas" Is Unconstitutional

Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, London

With the Christmas Festivities approaching, we'll see many more cases of this nonsense, and not just in the US but all over Western countries.

College Wants Club to Change 'Christmas' to 'Holiday' for Tree Sale Fundraiser:
School officials at a community college in western North Carolina replaced the word "Christmas" with "holiday" in a student club's announcement of a Christmas tree sale aimed at raising funds for charity, says a religious freedom law group. "We cannot market your trees in association solely with a Christian event," a college official told the club, according to Alliance Defending Freedom.

Lawyers from ADF responded by sending a letter to Western Piedmont Community College pointing out that it had violated the constitutional rights of the club.

"It's ridiculous that anyone would have to think twice about using the word 'Christmas' as part of a Christmas tree sale," said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. "Not only is it perfectly constitutional to use the word 'Christmas,' it is unconstitutional to prohibit use of it. This is another perfect example of the immense misunderstanding that far too many college officials have about what the First Amendment truly requires."

The student-led BEST Society is sponsoring the sale, which ends on Dec. 6. The club completed the necessary paperwork to have the event announced through numerous means on campus. The text they requested, "The BEST Society will be selling Christmas Trees," appeared correctly initially in late October, but after a few days, the text was changed to "The BEST Society will be selling Holiday Trees," according to ADF.

"As a result of this forced changed to their advertisements," the ADF letter explains, "the BEST Society has received complaints from community members, several of whom have indicated that they will not purchase trees from the group because of the change in wording. This has resulted in direct harm to the club's fundraising activity, the proceeds of which are being used to support Angel Tree, an organization that provides Christmas gifts to children."

The letter goes on to say that "the censorship of the BEST Society's message, and the requirement that its advertisements use the phrase 'holiday tree' rather than Christmas tree, is a violation of the constitutional rights of the club members."

ADF is asking that the college, located in Morgantown, return the club's original wording to the announcements wherever they appear so that no legal action will be necessary.

Incidents such as the college's removal of "Christmas" have been tagged over the last several years as part of the "war on Christmas," a type of cultural debate in the U.S. where displays of the Christian holiday in the public square have been met with disapproval by primarily atheist groups. Although the activists often cite a "separation of church and state" clause in the Constitution as a defense for their reasoning, many legal experts say that their interpretation is a misnomer. The clause was meant to prevent government enforcement of a particular religion and not meant to exclude public expressions of faith.

Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund) is an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

Persecution of Christians in Japan

The conference "Religious Discrimination in Japan" was recently held, organized by several human rights and religious freedom NGOs :
In the last 40 years, about 4000 members of the Unification Church as well as members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, were kidnapped, confined and submitted to brainwashing for days, weeks, months and sometimes years in total impunity to force them to recant their faith.

This video presents two shocking testimonies (presented at the UN office in Geneva on Oct 31st, 2012): Mr. Toru Goto, who has been kidnapped and confined for his beliefs during 13 years and Mrs. Mitsuko Antal, member of the Unification Church, both of them kidnapped by their own relatives and tortured by Japanese citizens, professional faith-breakers and deprogrammers.

Unfortunately, the Japan Ministry of Justice has turned a blind eye to the severe human rights violations by non-state actors and treated them merely as a "family matter". Even the media in Japan has imposed a total blackout on these crimes.
The United Nations have been alerted to the problem but have done nothing about it:
While Japan was lightly criticized for discrimination including religious discrimination during its UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 31 October 2012, the international community failed to note the refusal of Japanese authorities to protect the human rights of thousands of members of minority religions who have been violently abducted by family members and forced to change their religion, Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) reported today.

“Despite having objective evidence of gross negligence by the authorities concerning kidnapping and coercion of Japanese citizens, UN delegations ignored the issue and thus helped Japan maintain its strategy of denial,” said Willy Fautre, president of HRWF, which undertook research on the issue and published a report on “Abduction and Deprivation of Freedom for the Purpose of Religious De-conversion” in late 2011. Human Rights Without Frontiers and other organizations made submissions on the issue to the UN prior to the UPR review and met with numerous UN delegations to ask that the issue be raised with Japanese authorities.
If I say "Japan" and "persecution of Christians" you wouldn't think that the two go well together, would you?

Japan is traditionally Buddhist and we all think that we know Buddhism to be a pacifist, tolerant religion. Yet how much do we know about it? Buddhism's pacifism is more of a stereotype than anything else. And Western people have in recent decades developed a guilt complex, a self-flagellation inclination that induces them to look at others with excessively benevolent eyes.

In The Religions Next Door: What We Need To Know About Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, and what Reporters Are Missing (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) , American author Marvin N. Olasky (page 129) writes:
Although many Americans equate Buddhism with the search for serenity, two books by Methodist-turned-Buddhist Brian Victoria show that Zen Buddhist priests before and during World War II taught Japan's military leaders to be serene about killing others and, if necessary, themselves. As samurai warriors in previous centuries had found Zen's mind control useful in developing combat consciousness, so kamikaze pilots visited Zen monasteries for spiritual preparation before their last flights.

Buddhism also has its parallels to the teaching by some Muslim clerics that dying in the process of killing enemies guarantees passage to paradise. Some Zen priests during World War II told prospective kamikaze attackers that they would gain improved karma for the next life, and in a deeper sense would lose nothing, since life is unreal and there is really no difference between life and death. Mr. Victoria shows that D.T. Suzuki, who taught at Columbia University in the 1950s and became the prime spreader in America of Zen's mystique, stated in 1938 that Zen's "ascetic tendency" helped the Japanese soldier to learn "that to go straight forward and crush the enemy is all that is necessary for him."

Mr. Victoria also shows that Hakuun Yasutani, who helped in the 1960s to make Zen popular in the United States, was a major militarist before and during World War II, and even wrote in 1943 a book expressing hatred of "the scheming Jews." Stung by such evidence, leaders of Myoshin-ji - the headquarters temple for one major Zen sect - issued shortly after 9/11 an apology noting that "in the past our nation, under the banner of Holy War, initiated a conflict that led to great suffering." Myoshin-ji noted specifically that its members "conducted fundraising drives to purchase military aircraft."

Other Buddhist groups besides the Zen sects supported Japan's aggression and looked to historical warrant for it, and there was plenty.
The book continues by enumerating some of the many bloody conflicts and wars fought by Japanese Buddhists, including priests.

Regarding Christianity, Buddhist leaders were ruthless in their persecution, torture and massacre of Christians in the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, desperate to prevent Christianity from becoming Japan's main religion after the opening of trade between the country and Europe. Not even a single Christian should be left alive in Japan, the slaughter had to be complete. The threat from Christianity was so great that different Buddhist sects put aside their disagreements and joined forces.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Best and Worst US States for Small Business

The US magazine Entrepreneur has published a map (see below) grading American states from A to F according to how small-business friendly they are.

The map is based on a survey of over 6,000 small-business owners all over the country.

It is interesting - although hardly surprising - to note that the best states for small businesses are the Republican-majority ones (Texas, Utah, Oklahoma) and the worst are Democrat-majority (California, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts).

The only states that have Ds and Fs are Democrat ones.

This is, for whoever still needs it, the umpteenth confirmation that socialism makes countries and people poor.

It's not surprising that rich Texas, that "maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world", and other over 30 states have submitted a petition to withdraw from the union, to protect their citizens' standards of living and not force them to pay for the squandering socialist states.

And remember, we're talking small businesses here, often sole traders or family-run, managed by people who instead of sitting on their butts waiting for the government to solve all their problems go out, start a business and create jobs for the local community, and not the "demonic, greedy" big (God forbid!) corporations (which in fact create even more jobs).

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Christians Are the World's Most Persecuted Religious Group

Did you know any of the events described here, all of which happened only in the last few days and are representative of what goes on all the time all over Asia and Africa?

While the media ran a carpet coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and pointed the finger at the purported Israeli "aggressor", all of this news, a sample of which is below - and is only the tip of the iceberg -, received scarcely any attention.

Christians are now, and have been for some time despite the world's, including the historically Christian West's, silence, the most persecuted religious group in the world.

In "modern, moderate" Indonesia (everything is relative), Muslims threaten churches in West Sumatra:
A mob numbering in the hundreds and grouped under the banner of the Islamic Organizations Communication Forum (FKOI) descended on two churches on Tuesday: Stasi Mahakarya and GPSI (Gereja Pentakosta Sion Indonesia).

Those in the crowd threatened to use force to stop the congregations from building additional structures in their compounds, nailing wooden boards outside the churches.
In Nigeria, Muslims erupt in new violence against Christians over supposed blasphemy, four Christians are killed:
A rumour that a Christian man blasphemed against Islam has sparked a riot in the northern Nigeria town of Bichi, police have said.

Residents said four people were killed and shops were looted.

The riot came on the day the incoming head of the Anglican Church, the Rt Rev Justin Welby, launched an initiative to promote religious tolerance in Nigeria.

Religious clashes [a BBC euphemism for Muslims killing Christians] have claimed thousands of lives in Nigeria since military rule ended in 1999.

The militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, has also been waging an insurgency since 2009 to impose strict Sharia across Nigeria, which is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and a Christian and animist south.
Church bombings have become normal for Christians in Nigeria.

In Vietnam, pastors imprisoned for refusing to give up their ministry are tortured and subjected to forced labour. One pastor's daughter watched as police tied her father to the back of a motorcycle and dragged him away.

In Somalia, a Christian convert from Islam is beheaded:
Islamic militants from al-Shabaab beheaded a Christian in the Somalian city of Barawa Friday, accusing him of both being a spy and forsaking Islam.

A crowd watched as Farhan Haji Mose's body was split in two and then dumped near the beach, according to Morning Star News.

Mose's family didn't immediately recover his body for fear that the Islamists would kill them as well.

Mose, who had a small cosmetics shop in Barawa, often traveled to Kenya on business where he converted to Christianity in 2010.

With a population of 545,000, Barawa is now under control of al-Shabaab militants fighting the government; the militants have already killed dozens of Christian converts from Islam since launching a campaign to rid the African nation of Christianity while seeking to impose a strict version of shar'ia over all of Somalia.

Al-Shabaab was one of several Somalian groups that arose from the power vacuum created after Ethiopian forces toppled the Islamic Courts Union back in 2006.
In Uzbekistan, a refugee pastor is facing up to 15 years in prison for having held a religious meeting.

In Tanzania, Muslims torch and destroy dozens of churches and demand heads of all church pastors, while violence against Christians in East Africa escalates. There were no arrests.

In Sudan, dictator Omar al-Bashir is launching new attacks and airstrikes against the mostly Christian Nuba people:
Although the casualty figures vary depending on the source, Nuba Reports that since June 2011, 350,000 people have become refugees. Nuba Reports also says 88 bombs were dropped in September and October.

Relief Web says that since mid-October, 18 people have been killed in shelling in Kadugli town in the South Kordofan state.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that the 80-bed Mother of Mercy Hospital in Nuba was housing over 500 wounded.

“These days they are reporting intensified fighting, with both sides initiating offensives. This is what one would expect this time of year as we get into the dry season. The Nuba Report is well-placed to report on civilian casualties on the SPLA-N side,” Eibner said.

Eibner adds that terrorism and military strikes are one of al-Bashir’s preferred methods of dealing with non-Muslim Sudanese populations.


“Al-Bashir is no stranger to genocide. Consider the events in Darfur. Once South Sudan split off from Sudan, the north decided that it had to establish its Islamic identity. This has been reflected in the government’s actions and statements,” Stark said.

“Al-Bashir said that Sudan would become a purely Islamic state now that the south has split off. This statement was very worrisome for many Christian that continued to live in the North,” Start said.

Since al-Bashir’s announcement, the move to a fully Islamic state has only gained momentum.

“Since that statement, the Sudanese government has ratcheted up its implementation of Shariah law, even on non-Muslims,” Stark said.

Stark said, “Women found not wearing a veil/hijab are arrested for violating Shariah, whether they are Muslim or not. Also, Christian schools and institutions are being either closed down by the government or destroyed by Muslim mobs. Sometimes it is a combination of the two!” Stark said.


“With the borders being closed, many Christians that would likely flee south are now stuck in the north. Many sold their property in anticipation of moving south, but got stuck because of the border closing. Now they live in refugee-like camps on the outskirts or Khartoum,” Stark said.


Stark points to the Barnabas Aid airlift that has transported some of Sudan’s Christians south.

“There are some organizations airlifting some of the neediest Christians to the South, but there are so many refugees that it is going to be a long time until they are all safe. My contacts estimate there are around 500,000 Christians stuck in Sudan right now around Khartoum alone,” Stark said.

The major issue for Christians in Sudan is al-Bashir’s increasingly strident Islamic tone. Eibner says the gradual implementation of Shariah is part of al-Bashir’s effort to fulfill a promise to jihadists.

“Shortly after the independence of South Sudan and the deterioration of relations between Khartoum and Juba, Bashir pledged to place Sudan more solidly on an Islamic basis and making more space for Shariah in the a new constitution,” Eibner said.

“He clearly seeks stability for his regime by enhancing its Islamist credentials. He is expected to convene shortly an Islamist congress. This makes politically conscious Christians and other non-Muslim in Sudan nervous,” Eibner said. “But I am not aware of a new direct threat against the Christian minority.”

Eibner adds that Shariah has always been a part of Khartoum’s plan.

“Shariah has long been a part of the constitution of Sudan. I am not aware that it is being implemented in a much more comprehensive and rigorous fashion these days,” Eibner said, adding, “But a desperate regime in Khartoum will not shrink from turning the screws against Christians if it believes it will help its survival.”

Socialism at Work: Council's Foster Family Break-up

This is another bit of totalitarianism in Britain. We should not be surprised. After all, what we call, sarcastically but also kindly, "political correctness" is in fact socialism or outright Marxism, a totalitarian ideology.

Having the "wrong" ideas and being affiliated with real opposition parties is punished in totalitarian states. Welcome to the UK.

And after all, attacks on the family have been part of Marxism since its inception, when Frederick Engels wrote in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State that family is a patriarchal, bourgeois institution oppressing women, that replaced the matrilineal clan as main domestic institution.

After the news that Labour-run Rotherham Council, in South Yorkshire, had removed children from a foster home only because the foster couple are members of the UK Independence Party broke out, Education Secretary Michael Gove said social workers at the council had made "the wrong decision in the wrong way for the wrong reasons".

Labour leader Ed Miliband also intervened calling for an urgent investigation, saying "being a member of UKIP should not be a bar to adopting children".

As a consequence of the criticisms from all sides, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, whose original response had been to defend its decision, has now announced that it will carry out an urgent review of the case.

Foster parents 'stigmatised and slandered’ for being members of Ukip:
A couple had their three foster children taken away by a council on the grounds that their membership of the UK Independence Party meant that they supported “racist” policies.

The husband and wife, who have been fostering for nearly seven years, said they were made to feel like criminals when a social worker told them that their views on immigration made them unsuitable carers.

The couple said they feared that there was a black mark against their name and they would not be able to foster again.

Campaigners representing foster parents have described the decision as “ridiculous” and warned that it could deter other prospective foster parents from volunteering.

Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, described the actions of Rotherham borough council as “a bloody outrage” and “political prejudice of the very worst kind”.

Tim Loughton, the former children’s minister, said: “I will be very concerned if decisions have been made about the children’s future that were based on misguided political correctness around ethnic considerations.

"Being a supporter of a mainstream political party is not a deal-breaker when it comes to looking after children if it means they can have a loving family home.”

The couple, who do not want to be named to avoid identifying the children they have fostered, are in their late 50s and live in a neat detached house in a village in South Yorkshire.

The husband was a Royal Navy reservist for more than 30 years and works with disabled people, while his wife is a qualified nursery nurse.

Former Labour voters, they have been approved foster parents for nearly seven years and have looked after about a dozen different children, one of them in a placement lasting four years.

They took on the three children — a baby girl, a boy and an older girl, who were all from an ethnic minority and a troubled family background — in September in an emergency placement.

They believe that the youngsters thrived in their care. The couple were described as “exemplary” foster parents: the baby put on weight and the older girl even began calling them “mum and dad”.

However, just under eight weeks into the placement, they received a visit out of the blue from the children’s social worker at the Labour-run council and an official from their fostering agency.

They were told that the local safeguarding children team had received an anonymous tip-off that they were members of Ukip.

The wife recalled: “I was dumbfounded. Then my question to both of them was, 'What has Ukip got to do with having the children removed?’

“Then one of them said, 'Well, Ukip have got racist policies’. The implication was that we were racist. [The social worker] said Ukip does not like European people and wants them all out of the country to be returned to their own countries.

“I’m sat there and I’m thinking, 'What the hell is going off here?’ because I wouldn’t have joined Ukip if they thought that. I’ve got mixed race in my family. I said, 'I am absolutely offended that you could come in my house and accuse me of being a member of a racist party’.”

The wife said she told the social worker and agency official: “These kids have been loved. These kids have been treated no differently to our own children. We wouldn’t have taken these children on if we had been racist.”

The boy was taken away from them the following day and the two girls were removed at the end of that week.

The wife said the social worker told her: “We would not have placed these children with you had we known you were members of Ukip because it wouldn’t have been the right cultural match.” The wife said she was left “bereft”, adding: “We felt like we were criminals. From having a little baby in my arms, suddenly there was an empty cot. I knew she wouldn’t have been here for ever, but usually there is a build-up of several weeks. I was in tears.”

Her husband added: “If we were moving the children on to happier circumstances we would be feeling warm and happy. To have it done like that, it’s beyond the pale.”

The couple said they had been “stigmatised and slandered”.

A spokesman for Rotherham metropolitan borough council said last night: “After a group of sibling children were placed with agency foster carers, issues were raised regarding the long-term suitability of the carers for these particular children.

"With careful consideration, a decision was taken to move the children to alternative care. We continue to keep the situation under review.”

Ukip was once considered a single-issue fringe party but is now part of Britain’s political mainstream, with some recent national polls putting its support as high as nine per cent. Its manifesto includes a demand for Britain to pull out of Europe and to curb immigration.

It is also critical of multiculturalism and political correctness. It has a candidate in next week’s Rotherham by-election.

Mr Farage said: “I am outraged politically and very upset for them. I think this is the kind of thing where we need some sort of decree from a Government minister that Ukip is not a racist party.

“This is political prejudice of the very worst kind. It is just a bloody outrage.”

He pointed out that Ukip has a black candidate in the forthcoming Croydon North by-election.

David Goosey, the chairman of the trustees at Community Foster care, an independent fostering charity, said: “If this is accurate and there are no other extraneous matters that have concerned the authorities, then it is completely ridiculous and no self-respecting authority should be stopping people fostering on the grounds of their membership of Ukip.”

Rotherham metropolitan borough council’s equality policy states that it is committed to “promoting equality and good relations between people of different racial groups”.

Senior Tories have criticised “politically correct” rules requiring children to be adopted by families of the same ethnic background.

In March, David Cameron pledged to tackle “absurd” barriers to mixed-race adoption, while Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said last year that “Left-wing prescriptions” were denying children loving new homes.
This is the way the council had initially defended its position, which is now reviewing:
But Joyce Thacker, the council's Director of Children and Young People's Services, today said the three ethnic minority children had been placed with the couple as an emergency and the arrangement was never going to be long-term.

She told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We always try to place children in a sensible cultural placement. These children are not UK children and we were not aware of the foster parents having strong political views.

"There are some strong views in the Ukip party and we have to think of the future of the children."

"Also the fact of the matter is I have to look at the children's cultural and ethnic needs. The children have been in care proceedings before and the judge had previously criticised us for not looking after the children's cultural and ethnic needs, and we have had to really take that into consideration with the placement that they were in."

Asked what the specific problem was with the couple being Ukip members, Mrs Thacker told the BBC: "We have to think about the clear statements on ending multi-culturalism for example.

"These children are from EU migrant backgrounds and Ukip has very clear statements on ending multiculturalism, not having that going forward, and I have to think about how sensitive I am being to those children."

Gaza: Media Distortions in Words and Images

Won't Get Fooled Again, sang The Who.

Apparently many got fooled again and again, maybe because they wanted to.

The mainstream media people and outlets have published and circulated in various ways, including social media, photos and videos purportedly of Israel's Palestinian victims in Gaza which were in fact very doubtful, fake or not what they were described to be.

These are some of the several visual misrepresentations:

1) Hamas has used photos of children and other people wounded or killed in Syria and circulated them through social networks claiming they were Palestinians.

2) Jon Donnison, a BBC journalist, retweeted a dramatic photo of two children, one of whom dead on a stretcher, from an original tweet by Palestinian activist Hazem Balousha with the misleading description "Pain in #Gaza." The BBC reporter did not make any effort to verify the picture’s authenticity. In reality, the photo is from October 28 and the child was wounded in Syria.

Donnison later apologized for the retweet, but, after the original retweet had reached his over 7,000 followers and received almost 100 retweets, the damage was already done. As far as I know, the original Palestinian twitter did not issue any apology.

3) On the first day of the war The Guardian published a grotesque cartoon of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a huge, cruel, nasty-looking, all-powerful puppeteer pulling the strings of the UK's Foreign Secretary William Hague and former Prime Minister Tony Blair, against the background of Israeli missiles and the writing "Vote Likud", hinting that, as BBC's Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen has suggested, re-election is the motive for Netanyahu's strikes in Gaza.

4) Hamas has, as other times before, been caught faking an image of a dead Palestinian child claiming that an Israeli strike was responsible, this time using a 4-year-old boy likely killed by its own rocket fire.

CNN's Sara Sidner ran a full report on the death of the child, Mahmoud Sadallah, strongly implying that he had been victim of an Israeli bomb. Associated Press news agency also used the image.

Even The New York Times had doubts about this. Several sources, including the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, have now reported that the child was in reality not killed by Israel but by a Hamas rocket. Many bloggers exposed and reported the fakery.

In fact, the office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that "60 of the 703 rockets fired by Hamas and other terror groups since the start of the conflict have fallen on Palestinian civilians. The Israel Defense Force says that 99 rockets in total that were fired at Israel have hit Gaza itself in four days of conflict".

5) As Honest Reporting highlighted in its top 5 media fails, "The footage of a beige jacketed Palestinian man making a miraculous recovery after appearing to be injured in an Israeli airstrike was broadcast not only on the BBC but also on CNN." (video above)

CNN verified the footage with Reuters news agency, from which they had got it, and not receiving a satisfactory answer removed the footage and apologized.

The BBC, on the other hand, defended the footage it too had received from Reuters, claiming that the footage it broadcast was edited from a longer sequence.

This should not be too surprising. As Melanie Phillips says:

"In 2004, prompted by persistent concerns about anti-Israel bias, a report was written by broadcasting executive Malcolm Balen on the BBC’s Middle East coverage. The BBC has spent more than a third of a million pounds resisting legal efforts to force it to publish this report, which remains secret to this day."

In another post Phillips expands on this:
The fact is that broadcasters including the BBC have been falling for Pallywood scams for years, for two reasons. First, a number of the freelances involved in the news agencies supplying these materials are themselves Arab or Muslim partisans or Palestinians under the thumb of, or even supporters of, Hamas; and second, such is the western animus against Israel that western broadcasters simply don’t see what is right there under their noses, that the Palestinian ‘victims’ in these staged tableaux are quite obviously play-acting.

One further thought about the malevolently warped reporting of this latest phase in the Arab and Islamic war against Israel. Among British reporters and commentators, there is a pronounced obsession with the numbers killed on either side. The three Israelis killed this morning were all but brushed aside by reporters hastening to tell us that (at that stage) eleven Palestinians had been killed.

The implication is of course as odious as it is irrational -- that Israel cannot be considered the victim of aggression unless more of its citizens die. It is also odious to suggest some kind of moral equivalence between those killed by acts of aggression in the cause of exterminating a country, and those who are killed by that country in its own self defence.

The implication of the numbers game is that there is no moral difference between aggression and defence. That’s why so much of the reporting seeks to suggest a ‘cycle of violence’ or ‘tit-for-tat’ attacks. But there is no tit-for-tat cycle. There is aggression, and there is defence against aggression; there is attempted mass murder, and there is the attempt to prevent mass murder. Those who claim a ‘tit-for-tat’ cycle are effectively sanitising, and thus helping promote, mass murder.
As I wrote before, there is a certain widespread illogical assumption of direct proportionality between number of casualties and position on the moral high ground, therefore judging the ethicality of actions of Israelis and Palestinians not by what is morally relevant, namely the intended consequences and whether they are aggressive or defensive, but on the irrational basis of which side has had more dead in its midst, which can be, and in this case is, caused by morally irrelevant factors, like the higher or lower level of efficiency and advanced technology of either side's defensive apparatus.

In addition to fake images, the media are replete with "fake words", false assertions and misleading explanations.

I watched the political debate programme Question Time on the BBC, and I had to endure a "discussion" in which the two ends of the spectrum were ranging from the majority-view idea that both Israel and Hamas could find an everlasting peace if they only wanted and we all have to blame ourselves for not doing enough towards that admirable goal, to the claim of a moral equivalence between Iran and Israel  - the usual fare of Muslims and their extreme left allies.

And on the BBC Radio 4's Any Questions member of the audience Stephen Bedford asked: "Despite all the foreign aid and support Israel has spectacularly failed to get on with its neighbours. Does Israel deserve a future?". Douglas Murray made these sharp comments in The Spectator's blog:
The same could be said of absolutely any and every country in the region. But I doubt that the Mr Bedfords of this world would ask whether these countries ‘deserve to have a future.’ And this isn’t a despotism we are speaking about, but an ally and a democracy. How does hatred like this become so mainstream?

Well, one reason is that so many British politicians, including Britain’s favourite idiot granny Shirley Williams, tell them lies about Israel which the BBC allows to go out uncorrected. Here is Shirley Williams in reply to the bigoted question with which (unlike the excellent two conservative voices on the panel) she had absolutely no problem.

[Liberal Democrat] Shirley Williams told the audience that Gaza is ‘a slum’ and then went on to say the following:

‘It’s crowded out to the gills. It’s full of people struggling to find a box in which to live. It’s full of people who see their land slowly eaten up by more and more Israeli settlements.’

What settlements? What ‘slow eating up’? Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005. There is not a Jew in Gaza. Not a Jewish family, not a Jewish settlement, not a Jewish house, not a Jew. The place is – as the Palestinians have said they would like the West Bank to be if it comes under their full control – wholly and absolutely Judenrein. The last Jew in Gaza was Gilad Shalit. Does Shirley Williams think he was there building settlements for five years, rather than holed up in captivity as a hostage of Hamas?
Hamas and Palestinian activists' propaganda did - from their perverse viewpoint - a terrific job. The media didn't.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Israel-Palestinian Conflict: Who are the Main Victims Is not the Same as Who is Right

The question: which of the two sides, Israel and the Palestinian-elected Hamas, is mainly responsible for what is happening in Gaza? and the question: who has fewer victims? do not need to have necessarily the same answer.

The often-repeated claim of Israel's "disproportionate reaction" has no basis.

Hamas spokespersons are always keen to say - and their apologists in the media and elsewhere to repeat - that the much greater number of civilian casualties among Palestinians than Israelis is evidence that Israel is the aggressor.

There is absolutely no logic in that assertion.

The number of victims in one camp is caused by how advanced the technology in military defence and prevention of casualities is in that country.

Nobody disputes that Israel is far more developed than the primitive Palestinians, but that is hardly a fault. Being good at defending oneself from an attacker is not a sign of guilt.

In fact, the opposite is true. We can see that, generally, it is the groups who commit and are responsible for most violence who are also the main victims of violence. Violent criminals, for instance, lead a dangerous life.

If we compare different countries and more specifically different populations by ethnic, socio-economic, age or other grouping, we will see that the countries or groups which commit most violence are also those that are on the receiving end of most violence (except in the case of black and white communities living together, in which blacks commit most violence and whites are the victims of most violence, mirroring the pattern among men and women).

The group of humans in the world which has the highest proportion of casualties must be the suicide bombers: that does not show that they are victims, but on the contrary that they are among the worst possible murderers.

This excerpt from The Retreat of Reason: Political correctness and the corruption of public debate in modern Britain by Anthony Browne illustrates where this fault in reasoning originates:

"The aim of political correctness is to redistribute power from the powerful to the powerless. It automatically and unquestioningly supports those it deems victims, irrespective of whether they merit it, and opposes the powerful, irrespective of whether they are malign or benign. For the politically correct, the West, the US and multinational corporations can do no good, and the developing world can do no wrong." [Emphasis added]

HuffPo: Hamas Tactic Is to Require Israel to Cause Civilian Victims

Has the world finally come to its senses?

Even far-left publications recognize that Hamas is the most responsible for what is going on in Gaza or at least open the debate to this view.

After The Guardian, now The Huffington Post has started publishing commentaries defending Israel. Criminal and civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz writes in "Hamas' Tactic: Require Israel to Cause Civilian Casualties" in the HuffPo:
As the rockets continue to fall in Israel and Gaza, it is important to understand Hamas's tactic and how the international community and the media are encouraging it. Hamas's tactic is as simple as it is criminal and brutal. Its leaders know that by repeatedly firing rockets at Israeli civilian areas, they will give Israel no choice but to respond. Israel's response will target the rockets and those sending them. In order to maximize their own civilian casualties, and thereby earn the sympathy of the international community and media, Hamas leaders deliberately fire their rockets from densely populated civilian areas. The Hamas fighters hide in underground bunkers but Hamas refuses to provide any shelter for its own civilians, who they use as "human shields." This unlawful tactic puts Israel to a tragic choice: simply allow Hamas rockets to continue to target Israeli cities and towns; or respond to the rockets, with inevitable civilian casualties among the Palestinian "human shields."

Every democracy would choose the latter option if presented with a similar choice. Although Israel goes to great efforts to reduce civilian casualties, the Hamas tactic is designed to maximize them. The international community and the media must understand this and begin to blame Hamas, rather than Israel, for the Palestinian civilians who are killed by Israeli rockets but whose deaths are clearly part of the Hamas tactic.

Every reasonable commentator has agreed with President Obama that Hamas started this battle by firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians. Every reasonable commentator also agrees with President Obama that Israel has the right to defend its citizens. But many commentators fault Israel for causing Palestinian civilian casualties. But what is Israel's option, other than to simply allow rockets to be aimed at its own women and children. As President Obama observed when he went to Sderot as a candidate:

"The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if...somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing."

Israel should continue to make every effort to reduce civilian casualties, both because that is the humane thing to do and because it serves their interests. But so long as Hamas continues to fire rockets from densely populated civilian areas, rather than from the many open areas outside of Gaza City, this cynical tactic--which constitutes a double war crime--will guarantee that some Palestinian women and children will be killed. And the Hamas leadership prepares for this gruesome certainty by arranging for the dead babies to be paraded in front of the international media. In one such case, the Palestinian radicals posted a video of a dead baby who turned out to have been reportedly killed in Syria by the Assad government, and in another case, they displayed the body of a baby who had been killed by a Hamas rocket that misfired, falsely claiming that it had been the victim of an Israeli rocket.

As Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan has said, the Israeli Army does "more to safeguard civilians than any Army in the history of warfare." This includes dropping leaflets, making phone calls and providing other warnings to civilian residents of Gaza City. But Hamas refuses to provide shelter for its civilians, deliberately exposing them to the risks associated with warfare, while it shelters its own fighters in underground bunkers.

The Hamas tactic is also designed to prevent Israel from making peace with the Palestinian Authority. Even Israeli doves are concerned that if Israel ends its occupation of the West Bank, Hamas may take over that territory, as it took over Gaza shortly after Israel ended its occupation of that area. The West Bank is much closer to Israel's major population centers than the Gaza. If Hamas were to fire rockets from the West Bank at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel would then have to respond militarily, as it has in Gaza. Once again, civilians would be killed, thus provoking international outcry against Israel.

What we are seeing in Gaza today is a replay of what happened in 2008 and 2009, when Israel went into Gaza to stop the rocket fire. The result was the Goldstone report which put the blame squarely on Israel. This benighted report--condemned by most thoughtful people, and eventually even critiqued by Goldstone himself--has encouraged Hamas to go back to the tactic that resulted in international condemnation of Israel. This tactic will persist as long as the international community and the media persist in blaming Israel for civilian deaths caused by a deliberate Hamas tactic.

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Guardian: Israel Is Only Justly Defending Itself

Citizens of Nitzan in southern Israel take cover in a concrete tube during a rocket attack from Gaza on 19 November

If even The Guardian publishes online a comment siding with Israel, by no less than Israel's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon, it must really mean that it is becoming obvious to everyone with an ounce of brain that, defending itself after years of restraint, the Jewish state is only doing what any other country in the same situation would do.

Are The Guardian's falling readership numbers making the paper take into more consideration the opinions of people who are not totally blinded by ideology?

Hamas leaves Israel no choice:
Israel will not allow the lives of its citizens to be endangered. If only Gaza's leaders felt the same.

Hamas's charter includes the aspiration that "The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)". While many concentrate on its death-cult worship, its bloodthirsty killing of adversaries, or its contempt for women, Christians and homosexuals, it is this aspiration for genocide that is at the root of Hamas activities. This is the primary reason why Hamas, the governing regime in Gaza, will never recognise or accept a peace accord with Israel in any form.

Since Israel left Gaza in 2005, thousands of rockets have rained down on Israeli cities and towns in deliberate contravention not just of international law, but all humanity and morality. While some might suggest the so-called blockade is the cause of the attacks, it is actually a consequence. The restrictions were only implemented two years after Israel left Gaza, when it was clear that instead of building a "Singapore of the Middle East", Hamas was interested in importing stockpiles of weapons from places like Iran. Instead of building a future for its people, Hamas built an open-air prison for the million and a half inhabitants who fell into its grasp.

However, Gaza was never enough for an organisation whose raison d'etre is the annihilation of Israel, and whose charter begins with the ominous warning that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it".

Every rocket from Gaza is a double war crime. First, the rockets are aimed at civilians; second, they are fired from built-up civilian areas, often close to schools, mosques and hospitals. And about 10% of Hamas rockets fired from Gaza don't reach Israel, exploding in Gaza. Mohammed Sadallah – a four-year-old killed on Saturday, his body displayed in a press conference with Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader – was, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, most likely killed by an errant Hamas rocket.

Hamas leaders frequently declare that their people actively seek death. Fathi Hamad, a senior member of Hamas, stated in 2008 that "for the Palestinian people, death became an industry, at which women and children excel. Accordingly we created a human shield of women, children and elderly. We seek death as you [Israelis] desire life."

Hamas seeks conflagration and war. Death and destruction is seen as a win-win calculation, as any Israeli death is considered a glorious achievement and every Palestinian death that of a "holy martyr", providing badly needed propaganda locally and internationally. Seemingly there are not enough deaths for them, so Hamas's military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, has been busy sending out pictures of massacres in Syria, claiming they were taken in Gaza.

Israel has been left with little choice but to root out this nest of hate and destruction. No nation on earth would allow a third of its population to live in constant fear of incessant fire emanating from a neighbouring territory. Our government exercised restraint.
We gave the international community time to act. However, there was a deafening silence, demonstrating to Israelis that we had to take action to protect our citizens.

Those who refused to condemn the attacks on Israeli citizens have no right to condemn Israel's response to establish peace and quiet for its citizens. This is the basic obligation of any sovereign nation, and we will continue taking any action necessary to achieve this aim.

In the face of this undeniable truth, the usual accusation is that Israel is responding with "disproportionate force" or carrying out "collective punishment". I urge all who make this accusation to consider that Israel has successfully targeted in excess of 1,300 weapons caches, rocket launchers and other elements of Hamas's terrorist infrastructure. Yet despite this, the number of Palestinian casualties remains around one for every 13 strikes, the majority killed being active members of Hamas and combatants.

Israel will not allow its citizens' lives to be endangered. The international community must call on the Palestinian leadership in the Gaza Strip to take the same approach with its own people.

Islam, Racism and Slavery. Blacks in Morocco: "I Get Called a Slave"

Islam is a supremacist doctrine that affirms not only Muslim superiority over non-Muslims, but also Arab superiority over other ethnic groups and races. Both Islam's holy texts - the Quran and the Hadith, namely Muhammad's official biography - and scholars are testament to that.

Muhammad himself bought, sold and kept African slaves.

Historically, Muslims' slave trade of black Africans has been by far the world's greatest numerically and the most long-lasting, spanning over 1400 years (watch the above video, "The Arab Muslim Slave Trade Of Africans, The Untold Story").

Arab Muslims initiated slavery of ethnic Africans and breathed new life into slavery and the slave trade.

All over the world, only Christianity brought an end to slavery of all races. The Roman Empire abolished slavery after converting to Christianity, and Christians banned slavery in 19th century America.

Anti-black racism in Morocco

But slavery still exists in Muslim countries of the Middle East and north-central Africa. Watch the video "Muslim Slavery Still Exists" below:

Islamic racism against black people is well documented in its theological foundations as it is in today's practices. Here is a recent report from Morocco.

Being black in Morocco: 'I get called a slave':
The latest cover of Maroc Hebdo magazine—seen as racist by some, defended by others—has launched a national debate on the struggles faced by sub-Saharan Africans living in Morocco.

“The Black Peril.” That's the controversial headline that the Moroccan weekly ran on its cover last week to tease to an article about the rise in the number of immigrants from sub-Saharan African, many of whom come to Morocco in the hopes of making it to Europe. Many are turned back and end up staying in Morocco, where they live in poverty. Some end up taking part in illegal activities to make a living. According to Morocco’s Interior ministry, there are about 10,000 illegal immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa living in the country. Human rights organisations estimate this number higher as closer to 15,000.

Moroccan authorities are taking an increasingly strict approach to immigration from sub-Saharan Africa. Immigrants without residency permits are quickly expelled. The European Union’s ambassador to Morocco, Eneko Landaburu, recently called the treatment of these immigrants “problematic”, a sentiment echoed by the Moroccan Human Rights Organisation. Meanwhile, the Moroccan labour minister, Abdelouahed Souhail, accused sub-Saharan African immigrants of being in part responsible for the country’s employment crisis.

The International Organisation for Migration recently launched a campaign to raise 620,000 euros to help send some 1,000 illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa home.

"Young Moroccans have physically assaulted me on several occasions, for no reason"

Joseph (not his real name) is from Guinea. He lives in Casablanca, where he studies computing at a local university. He is a legal resident.
I came here to study computing thanks to a grant from my country. I’ve been here for four years, and for four years I’ve been a victim of racism. It happens all the time, everywhere.

The most awful incident took place at the airport. I was with my aunt, who was heading back to Guinea and had a lot of luggage. Other passengers from sub-Saharan countries, seeing her struggle to carry it, came to help her get it onto the plane, but an airline employee stopped them, saying she had to deal with it on her own because she was black. I replied in Arabic, and he replied by hitting me in the head. I told him I was going to file a complaint, and he said, sarcastically: “That’s right, go complain to the king!” I never did file a complaint.

Often, when I’m just walking down the street, people will call me a “dirty black man” or call me a slave. Young Moroccans have physically assaulted me on several occasions, for no reason, and passers-by who saw this didn’t lift a finger to help me. All my friends are black and they have all had similar experiences. Even the girls get insulted in the street. To avoid getting hurt, I now try to ignore the insults. But if someone starts to hit me, what can I do? I have to defend myself...

In two years, I’ll be done with my studies, and I certainly don’t intend to stay in Morocco to look for work. Even if someone were to offer me a job here, I would rather go home to Guinea.

Good Move: UK Children Will Learn Latin and Classical Greek

UK Education Secretary Michael Gove has been doing good things for the British education system.

The latest reform is to introduce for 7-year-olds compulsory classes of foreign languages (which will be advantageous in today's global economic competition), with Latin and Greek being two of the seven languages from which to choose.

The study of Latin and ancient Greek is very useful for several reasons.

Latin is a very logical language, and its study helps think analytically. Both Latin and Greek can be understood only after learning syntax and logical analysis of language, which again, by breaking down the elements of a sentence, serve to have a clearer idea of what we are saying and therefore thinking.

In addition to being an aid to logic and thought, Latin and Greek are highly useful for learning English itself. Due to the strict correspondence between thought and language, the building blocks are the same for all languages. So, when you study syntax and logical analysis - which are essential to learn Latin and Greek - your knowledge of the English language will also be based on much more solid foundations.

Seven-year-olds to get lessons in Greek and Latin under reforms to introduce compulsory language classes:
Latin and Greek will be taught in primary schools under government reforms that introduce compulsory language lessons for seven-year-olds.

For the first time, all children will be required to study a foreign language while at primary school, ministers announced yesterday.

Schools will be able to choose from a list of seven languages including Latin and ancient Greek.

The list also features Mandarin – because of the growing importance of China as an economic power – plus French, German, Spanish and Italian.

Under a new national curriculum coming into force in September 2014, primary schools will be required to teach at least one language from the list.

If they wish to teach an additional language, they will be allowed complete freedom of choice, raising the prospect of pupils learning to speak languages as diverse as Russian, Portuguese and Arabic.

Ministers have included Latin and ancient Greek in the core list in the hope of sparking a resurgence of the classics in state schools.

Study of the ancient languages is said to give a rigorous grounding in the grammar and vocabulary of many modern languages, including English. But Latin and Greek have become largely the preserve of independent schools.

Currently, foreign language teaching is compulsory in state schools for only the first three years of secondary school.

There is a mixed picture in primaries, with some offering no language teaching at all. The introduction of compulsory languages for pupils from the age of seven is aimed at arresting a slump in language studies over the past decade.

Labour scrapped compulsory language learning for 14-year-olds in 2004, which led to a gradual decline in the numbers taking them at GCSE.

Last year, a European Commission study of foreign languages skills among 15-year-olds in 14 countries in Europe put England at the bottom of the table.

The primary school changes were unveiled yesterday by Education Minister Elizabeth Truss.

'We will ensure that every primary school child has a good grasp of a language by age 11,' she said.

'We must give young people the opportunities they need to compete in a global jobs market. Fluency in a foreign language will now be another asset our school leavers and graduates will be able to boast.'

Saturday, 17 November 2012

UK: Man Demoted for His Christian Views Wins under £100 in Compensation Case

A country where you can demote an employee because he does not share your views and get away with it - Mr Smith remains in his demoted position - is getting dangerously close to a totalitarian state where there is control over what people may or may not think.

We can jokingly call it "political correctness" but it is deadly serious.

My definition of political correctness is this: the orthodoxy, namely the ideology that is dominant in both senses of the term - dominant because most widespread, and dominant because it is imposed with non-democratic means, through the use of force.

What I find most ironic is that the people who hold politically correct views and force everyone else to embrace them are the very same people who are horrified at the Counter-Reformation times' Catholic Church's use of dogma and heresy as a way of controlling ideas and hence people.

The only difference between the methods used by the masters of PC and the Inquisition is that in the intervening centuries the penal system of punishment has changed and instead of torture and burning at stake we have destructions of heretics' careers and livelihoods.
A Christian who was demoted for posting his opposition to gay marriage on Facebook will receive less than £100 compensation after winning his legal action for breach of contract.

Adrian Smith, 55, lost his managerial position, had his salary cut by 40% and was given a final written warning by Trafford Housing Trust (THT) after posting that gay weddings in churches were "an equality too far".

The comments were not visible to the general public, and were posted outside work time, but the trust said he broke its code of conduct by expressing religious or political views which might upset co-workers
To be allowed to upset or offend is the essence of freedom of speech: there is no call for restriction on expression that does not offend anyone.
Mr Justice Briggs, in London's High Court, said the trust did not have a right to demote Mr Smith as his Facebook postings did not amount to misconduct. He added that the postings were not - viewed objectively - judgmental, disrespectful or liable to cause upset or offence, and were expressed in moderate language.

As for their content, they were widely held views frequently to be heard on radio and television, or read in the newspapers. He said he had "real disquiet" about the financial outcome for Mr Smith, whose compensation was limited to the small difference between his contractual salary and the amount actually paid to him during the 12 weeks following his assumption of his new, but reduced, role.

If Mr Smith had begun proceedings for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal, rather than for breach of contract in the county court, there was every reason to suppose he would have been awarded a substantial sum - but Mr Smith had said that by the time he had raised the necessary funds, the time limit for such proceedings had expired.

The judge said: "Mr Smith was taken to task for doing nothing wrong, suspended and subjected to a disciplinary procedure which wrongly found him guilty of gross misconduct, and then demoted to a non-managerial post with an eventual 40% reduction in salary. The breach of contract which the trust thereby committed was serious and repudiatory. A conclusion that his damages are limited to less than £100 leaves the uncomfortable feeling that justice has not been done to him in the circumstances."

Later, Mr Smith said: "I'm pleased to have won my case for breach of contract today. The judge exonerated me and made clear that my comments about marriage were in no way 'misconduct'. My award of damages has been limited to less than £100. But I didn't do this for the money - I did this because there is an important principle at stake."

Matthew Gardiner, chief executive at Trafford Housing Trust said: "We fully accept the court's decision and I have made a full and sincere apology to Adrian. At the time we believed we were taking the appropriate action following discussions with our employment solicitors and taking into account his previous disciplinary record.

"We have always vigorously denied allegations that the trust had breached an employee's rights to freedom of religious expression under human rights and equalities legislation and, in a written judgment handed down on 21st March 2012, a district judge agreed that these matters should be struck out. This case has highlighted the challenges that businesses face with the increased use of social media and we have reviewed our documentation and procedures to avoid a similar situation arising in the future. Adrian remains employed by the trust and I am pleased this matter has now concluded."

France: Over 100,000 March against Gay Marriage

French Pro LGBT demonstrators in Toulouse

The photo above is of a previous, unrelated pro LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) demonstration.

This is the current story:
More than a hundred thousand people attended rallies across France Saturday in protest at plans to legalize gay marriage, according to police figures obtained by AFP.

In Paris alone, 70,000 people turned out at one rally, said police — organisers put the figure at 200,000 — while another 22,000 protested in the southeastern city of Lyon, said police, and up to 8,000 in the southern city of Marseille.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Good News: Half of Voters Got Their Campaign News from the Web

A little piece of good news after the US election disappointment: half of voters got their campaign news from the Internet.
A pew survey released yesterday shows a steep increase in voters who got their campaign news from the Internet. The number went up from 36 percent in the 2008 election to 47 percent in this year’s election.

Television continued to serve as the primary source with 67 percent of voters saying they turned to the TV for campaign news coverage. Another interesting bit of info: Cable news was by far preferred to the networks:
Among TV news outlets, 42% cite cable news as a main source. Network television is named by 19% of voters, while 11% cite local TV news. These percentages are little changed from 2008.

Among cable networks, 23% of voters name the Fox News Channel as a main source; 18% cite CNN and 9% MSNBC. There also is little change in the percentage naming any of these cable networks from 2008.
If this trend continues and the number of voters consulting the internet for their news keeps increasing, there is a better likelihood that people will be able to go beyond the myths constructed by the mainstream media.

A Woman's Body Does Not Have Two Heads: Pro-Abortion Irrationality

A Woman's Body does Not Have Two Heads: Pro-Abortion Irrationality

Your body does not have 2 heads and 2 different sets of DNA.

Clever image that sums up one part of the illogicality in the feminist claim that the moral issue of abortion is largely limited to the assertion that a woman does what she likes with her body.

The other part of the irrationality in that pseudo-argument is illustrated by what I wrote in my previous post Legalizing Infanticide or Limiting Abortion:
What is absurd is for women to shut all the discussion by saying "it's my body, so I decide".

It makes as much sense as for a killer to say "I used my hand to kill, the hand is part of my body, therefore no-one can tell me what I can or cannot do with it".

The fact remains that, even if a foetus is inside a woman's body, it is still a different living, and in some stages sentient, being, so should not be treated just like an appendix of her body.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Why Paedophilia Concerns Have Come to Override Basic Rules of Law

Whether or not the BBC, as the Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson argues, should prove that the programme Newsnight was not acting with malice towards senior Tory politician Lord McAlpine wrongly accused of paedophilia by an abuse victim, one thing is clear.

The current obsession with paedophilia seems to have erased or greatly diluted the basic legal principles that a person is innocent until proven guilty and, even more importantly, that the burden of the proof is on the accuser.

Paedophilia and, to a lesser extent, rape have become such politically incorrect crimes that they are treated as if they were worse than even murder or mutilation.

Yet losing life or a limb is certainly worse than being a victim of sex crimes.

When another child abuse scandal connected to the BBC, that of Jimmy Savile, emerged, we heard a never-ending number of celebrities and commentators repeating ad nauseam that children must absolutely be believed without a doubt in the world when they make this kind of accusations, almost implying that disbelief is a crime in itself and echoing similar assertions made about rape and women who claim to have been raped.

Nobody should be believed absolutely and undoubtedly: children, adults, women and men. People who say they have been victims of a crime are witnesses; and it is a well known fact that crime witnesses are highly unreliable, as this latest case concerning Lord McAlpine confirms for the umpteenth time.

This applies to all crimes: the least unpopular as much as the most hated ones. It has nothing to do with the severity of the crime, or how much it is disliked, or how strong emotions it arises.

It is a simple rule of law. To punish an innocent is worse than to let a guilty off the hook.

In the case of paedophilia, even accusing an innocent may be worse than to let a guilty off the hook.

"To call someone a paedophile is to consign them to the lowest circle of hell – and while they are still alive" correctly writes Boris Johnson.

But why have we got to this point of insanity, where paediatricians have been lynch mobbed for having the same prefix as paedophiles (from the Greek for "child") in their name and accusations can fly around and be believed so liberally?

The reason is very simple. Starting from the 1960s "sexual revolution", strongly if not entirely consciously influenced by Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Reich theories that repressing sexual impulses is not good for you, sexual activity has been removed from the moral sphere.

Contemporary, influential moral philosopher Peter Singer writes in his Practical Ethics that ethics should not concern itself with sexuality, and that driving a car, due to what he believes to be its environmental impact, raises more moral issues than having sex.

This new dogma has been readily and happily accepted by a majority opinion, leading to such nice results as multiplication of marriage breakdowns, adultery, divorces, broken families, abortions, illegitimate births, multiple partners and fathers, AIDS, increase in sexually transmitted diseases, homosexualist agenda being imposed on everybody, incest and Muslim polygamy made quasi-legal or accepted.

But public opinion, seeing where all this was going, namely that sex with children woud be next on the list of morally permissible activities, strongly drew a line at that. Something similar happened with rape.

Given the very confused ideas about sexuality and morality that prevail in our societies (and I grant that the subject is complex), all the furore about paedophilia (and to a lesser degree rape) derives from and is directly proportional to the eagerness and almost desperation with which all other forms of sexuality have been embraced without a thought in the world.

It turns out that sexual activity is not beyond the realm of ethics after all.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Kids Reported and Arrested for Being Non Politically Correct

A rather illiterate, in terms of both grammar and ideas, profanity-laden website called Jezebel has "named and shamed" young teens for twitting about Obama in politically incorrect ways by reporting them to their schools.

Teachers as well have been the target.
Several public school teachers are facing investigations for posting items on social networking sites that opposed President Obama and his agenda. Parents raised concerns regarding the teachers’ posts, prompting the school districts to launch investigations. Similarly, teens who posted anti-Obama messages on social networking sites are being targeted by a website called Jezebel, which not only reveals the identities of the students who made the posts, but reported the students to their schools.

In Rock Hill, South Carolina, a middle-school teacher was placed on leave after posting a message on her personal Facebook page about Obama and food stamps. “Congrats Obama,” she allegedly wrote. “As one of my students sang down the hallway, ‘We get to keep our food stamps’ … which I pay for because they can’t budget their money … and really, neither can you.”

According to a school spokesperson, several parents had called the school complaining about the teacher’s post. The teacher was forced to apologize.
What had she done wrong, except expressing political views that differ from those of her bosses?
“People outside the school system ... saw her posting and some of them said they were offended by it,” spokesperson Elaine Baker said. “She used poor judgment according to our social media policy. Teachers are kept to higher standards.” Baker continued, “Sometimes you just can’t speak out publicly about what you’d personally like to say, about anything.” She told television station WSOC that teachers in general should “watch what they post on Facebook.”
I didn't know that the First Amendment does not apply to teachers.

This is not as bad as the British 14-year-old girl who was arrested for making "racist remarks" at a school in Greater Manchester, but it is going in the same direction of policing speech and thought from a very young age, so they learn soon how narrow the limits to free speech have become, even for children.

All she had done was asking her science teacher to be moved from a class of Asian pupils only one of whom could speak English.

For this the 14-year-old girl, Codie Stott, was reported to the police by the school, arrested and questioned.
Codie said: "I asked the teacher could I change groups because I didn't understand them and she said I was being racist and started shouting at me."

A complaint was made and she was taken to a police station.

Her mother said her Codie's jewellery and shoelaces were removed, her fingerprints and DNA samples were taken and she was put in a cell.

The school said it wanted to ensure it had a caring and tolerant attitude to pupils of all ethnic backgrounds and it did not stand for racism in any form.

Greater Manchester Police said it took hate crime reports very seriously and its treatment of the teenager was in line with normal procedure.
What "hate crime" was that, I'd like to know?

80,000 Citizens in 33 US States Submit Petitions for Secession

Here is what creates division. People in the US are understandably getting tired of a situation that is on the edge of unsustainability.

The presidential election, with very close results and marred by voter fraud mostly committed by Democrats and losses of military absentee ballots and of military votes which would have been overwhelmingly Republican, has not resulted in a clear mandate for Obama.

This lack of legitimacy, together with his anti-American policies, are the real cause of division in the country, so much so that people in the United States want to secede from the union. 

Citizens From Over 30 States Submit Secession Petitions to White House:
Seventy-seven thousand seven hundred and thirty-two people have signed the petition created by a citizen of Texas to secede from the union.

The petition, posted on the White House website, lays out the signatories' reasons for seeking to separate from the United States and form its own independent government:

"The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it's citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government."

At the time of writing this article, individuals from 33 states have filed similar petitions calling for secession.

The “We, the People” program includes a “create a petition” tab on the White House website. The explanation of the site claims that "if a petition gets enough support," — more than 25,000 signatures within 30 days — the "White House staff will review it, ensure it's sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response." The Houston Chronicle reported that “shortly after 2:30 p.m. Central time on Monday, the [Texas] petition passed that threshold.”

Since that report, Louisiana’s petition has also crossed the 25,000 signature threshold.

Regardless, President Obama has made no statement regarding the crescendo of calls to bust up the union.

Although Texas Governor Rick Perry in 2009 said “one of the deals” made at the time Texas entered the union was that the Lone Star State could leave at any time, a spokeswoman for the former GOP presidential candidate repudiates that position and declares the governor’s preference for union.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

GOP Trilemma: Compromise, Stand Firm, Go to the Right

This interesting video sums up, better than many words and in-depth analyses, why Obama won. This has truly become a client state. I like the following definition of client state, applied to Scotland:
Keep spending more and more money on more and more voters, and you've built a client state. Those in receipt of the largesse will want it to continue. One day the money will no longer be there to spend (see technical note from Liam Byrne for details), but by that point you will have engineered a situation where any modulation of public spending will cause pain to such a large proportion of the electorate that the chances of the Conservatives winning a straight fight will be much reduced.
Although I am not American, I am very, very sad that Romney did not win the election.

I had got to like him, a Christian, obviously good, warm and gentle person. I liked the way he spoke during the presidential debates, firm but always polite, compared to the impersonal and arrogant Obama.

I can easily believe what popular radio talk show host and political commentator Rush Limbaugh said of him, that “Mitt Romney is one of the best people, human beings I’ve ever met.”

Limbaugh also said:
None of it makes any sense! Mitt Romney and his wife and his family are the essence of decency. He's the essence of achievement. Mitt Romney's life is a testament to what's possible in this country. Mitt Romney is the nicest guy anybody would ever run into. Mitt Romney is charitable. He wouldn't hurt a fly. He doesn't hate. He's not discriminatory in any way, shape, manner, or form.
This is about Romney as a person. But the reasons why I would have voted for him, if I had been American, are obviously political and I've blogged extensively about them before the election, from the economy to abortion, from Marxism to the presidential debates, from totalitarianism to the Benghazi attack.

Romney's policies were not perfect, but infinitely better than Obama's. Barack Hussein is also someone who has been very shady about his life as well as mendacious about his politics, which makes it unwise to trust him as President of the world's most powerful country.

Exactly because I am European, I've considered the US as something to look to for upholding the western and Christian values that are being eroded so rapidly in my continent.

I'm seriously saddened now to see that the US is going the European way too. But I am still hopeful: this is not the last election, and things may happen before the next that might change America's current political and economical course towards socialism, big government, welfare state, poverty and loss of moral compass.

Looking at the election results, there has clearly been a shift much more pronouncedly to the political left in US voting patterns, strongly determined by minority votes like blacks and Latinos, groups that probably made the difference about who of the two candidates got elected.

Some commentators, on the BBC for instance, said that the Republicans must acknowledge the democraphic change produced by the much higher percentage of Latinos in several states and, if they want to woo these voters, should make changes to their policies, prominently on immigration.

We have to remember this: "As Doug Ross has pointed out, Obama is – among many other things – the lawless president: the first one to sue states for enforcing laws Congress had passed".

The state in question is Arizona, and the law is the immigration law:
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that one key part of the Arizona immigration law, known as Senate Bill 1070, is constitutional, paving the way for it to go into effect. Three other portions were deemed unconstitutional in a 5-3 opinion.

The part ruled constitutional is among the most controversial of the law's provisions. It requires an officer to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there's reasonable suspicion that person is in the country illegally.

The three parts ruled unconstitutional make it a state crime for an immigrant not to be carrying papers, allow for warrant-less arrest in some situations and forbid an illegal immigrant from working in Arizona.

The long-awaited decision was a partial victory for Gov. Jan Brewer and for President Barack Obama, who sued the state of Arizona to keep the law from taking effect. By striking down the portions they did, justices said states could not overstep the federal government's immigration-enforcement authority. But by upholding the portion it did, the court said it was proper for states to partner with the federal government in immigration enforcement.
This may help explain why Latinos tend to vote for Obama. But should the Republican Party make concessions of this sort and risk going against the Constitution? Is this just a small compromise, or is it damaging what America, since its foundation, really is and stands for?

On immigration, Obama was accused by Bush administration counsel John Yoo of executive overreach:
President Obama’s claim that he can refuse to deport 800,000 aliens here in the country illegally illustrates the unprecedented stretching of the Constitution and the rule of law. He is laying claim to presidential power that goes even beyond that claimed by the Bush administration, in which I served. There is a world of difference in refusing to enforce laws that violate the Constitution (Bush) and refusing to enforce laws because of disagreements over policy (Obama).

Under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, the president has the duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This provision was included to make sure that the president could not simply choose, as the British King had, to cancel legislation simply because he disagreed with it. President Obama cannot refuse to carry out a congressional statute simply because he thinks it advances the wrong policy. To do so violates the very core of his constitutional duties.

There are two exceptions, neither of which applies here. The first is that “the Laws” includes the Constitution. The president can and should refuse to execute congressional statutes that violate the Constitution, because the Constitution is the highest form of law. We in the Bush administration argued that the president could refuse to execute laws that infringed on the executive’s constitutional powers, particularly when it came to national security — otherwise, a Congress that had a different view of foreign policy could order the military to refuse to carry out the president’s orders as Commander-in-Chief, for example. When presidents such as Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, and FDR said that they would not enforce a law, they did so when the law violated their executive powers under the Constitution or the individual rights of citizens.

The president’s right to refuse to enforce unconstitutional legislation, of course, does not apply here. No one can claim with a straight face that the immigration laws here violate the Constitution.

The second exception is prosecutorial discretion, which is the idea that because of limited resources the executive cannot pursue every violation of federal law. The Justice Department must choose priorities and prosecute cases that are the most important, have the greatest impact, deter the most, and so on. But prosecutorial discretion is not being used in good faith here: A president cannot claim discretion honestly to say that he will not enforce an entire law - especially where, as here, the executive branch is enforcing the rest of immigration law.

Imagine the precedent this claim would create. President Romney could lower tax rates simply by saying he will not use enforcement resources to prosecute anyone who refuses to pay capital-gains tax. He could repeal Obamacare simply by refusing to fine or prosecute anyone who violates it.

So what we have here is a president who is refusing to carry out federal law simply because he disagrees with Congress’s policy choices. That is an exercise of executive power that even the most stalwart defenders of an energetic executive — not to mention the Framers — cannot support.
On the other side of the debate, there are those who say that Romney was not conservative enough. Romney was chosen as Republican candidate because he covered a kind of moderate middle ground in the GOP, in the hope that this would appeal to middle America's voters come Election Day.

Some commentators now say that a more consistent conservative approach would have been the way forward.

British political journalist Melanie Phillips is one of them:
Britain and the Europeans love Obama because they think he will end American exceptionalism and turn the US into a pale shadow of themselves. What they don’t realise is that, all but lobotomised by consumerist rights, state dependency, victim culture, sentimentality, post-religion, post-nationalism and post-Holocaust and Empire guilt, Britain and Europe are themselves fast going down the civilisational tubes.

Romney lost because he refused to provide an alternative to any of this for fear of being labelled a warmonger, flint-heart or social reactionary. He refused to engage with any of the issues that made this Presidential election so truly momentous. Up against the bullying of the totalitarian left, he ran for cover. He played safe, and as a result only advertised his own weakness and dishonesty. Well, voters can smell inconsistency from a mile away; they call it untrustworthiness, and they are right.
Rush Limbaugh is another:
“If there’s one option that hasn’t been tried in a long time, it’s called conservatism with a capital C,” he said. “This was not a conservative campaign.”
This is the trilemma facing the GOP: compromise, stand firm, or go the full length and be more consistent in its conservative principles.