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Tuesday, September 13, 2011
There's only one reason why the 9/11 commemorations were portrayed as a celebration of diversity and tolerance: journalists themselves wanted it that way. The Society of Professional Journalists, an organization that dates back to 1909, handed down a ukase that decrees how any journalist with any conscience whatsoever should cover the news, namely by spinning it. Following are some excerpts from the Guidelines for Countering Racial, Ethnic and Religious Profiling.— Portray Muslims, Arabs and Middle Eastern and South Asian Americans in the richness of their diverse experiences;You can read more at the link, but I think this gives a representative flavor of the progressive minds at the SPJ.
— Seek out people from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds when photographing Americans mourning those lost in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
— Seek out people from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds when photographing rescue and other public service workers and military personnel.
— Do not represent Arab Americans and Muslims as monolithic groups. Avoid conveying the impression that all Arab Americans and Muslims wear traditional clothing.
— Use photos and features to demystify veils, turbans and other cultural articles and customs.
— Make an extra effort to include olive-complexioned and darker men and women, Sikhs, Muslims and devout religious people of all types in arts, business, society columns and all other news and feature coverage, not just stories about the crisis.
— Seek out experts on military strategies, public safety, diplomacy, economics and other pertinent topics who run the spectrum of race, class, gender and geography.
— When writing about terrorism, remember to include white supremacist, radical anti-abortionists and other groups with a history of such activity.
— Do not imply that kneeling on the floor praying, listening to Arabic music or reciting from the Quran are peculiar activities.
Note that these the journalist wrote these guidelines specifically to counter alleged bigotry on the part of white Americans. They just assume that we're all a bunch of bigots, and that "racial profiling" constitutes a significant enough problem that the need to counter it overrides the need for journalism, i.e. the reporting of facts.
One can't help but notice that the SPJ Board of Directors hasn't exactly embraced diversity among its own membership. By my calculation, it's over 95% white.
Old Virginia Blog
...at least when it comes to tourism. I've seen comments on other Civil War blogs and forums suggesting that those Rockbridge County residents who voiced their opinions at the recent Lexington City Council meeting about banning the Confederate flag, should be viewed as "outsiders." That is truly an ignorant statement coming from those who really are outsiders - most who don't live anywhere near the area.First of all, the city of Lexington is the County seat of Rockbridge County. There is a definite connection - culturally, socially, and economically. Secondly, part of this whole debate is about tourism. The cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, along with Rockbridge County, all joined together years ago to collaborate in the promotion of tourism through the visitor's center located in Lexington. What city council does when it comes to these types of issues impacts everyone in these localities.To suggest that Rockbridge county residents don't have a stake in this and their opinion shouldn't matter is ridiculous - more nonsense from real outsiders, as is the notion that most locals who spoke were in favor of the ordinance. The reports I've read stated the exact opposite. Just more propaganda and misinformation to spin an agenda.The city of Lexington, in their desire to remain as PC as possible in a city that drips with Confederate nostalgia, was also instrumental in preventing the Museum of the Confederacy from locating there a few years ago (I'd bet they'd like another chance at that decision now). The negative economic impact (jobs, tax revenue) from that short-sighted decision is difficult to fathom. Now they've acted in a way which will, at least to some degree, put more of a damper on an industry already suffering.Congratulations council. At least you continue to live up to your reputation.
Nannies in Blue Berets:
Ten things you need to know about the structure of the CRC:
- It is a treaty which creates binding rules of law. It is no mere statement of altruism.1
- Its effect would be binding on American families, courts, and policy-makers.2
- Children of other nations would not be impacted or helped in any direct way by our ratification.3
- The CRC would automatically override almost all American laws on children and families because of the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause in Article VI.4
- The CRC has some elements that are self-executing, others would require implementing legislation. Federal courts would have the power to determine which provisions were self-executing.5
- The courts would have the power to directly enforce the provisions that are self-executing.6
- Congress would have the power to directly legislate on all subjects necessary to comply with the treaty. This would be the most massive shift of power from the states to the federal government in American history.7
- A committee of 18 experts from other nations sitting in Geneva has the authority to issue official interpretations of the treaty which are entitled to binding weight in American courts and legislatures. This effectively transfers ultimate policy authority for all policies in this area to this foreign committee.8
- Under international law, the treaty overrides even our Constitution.9
- Reservations, declarations, or understandings intended to modify our duty to comply with this treaty will be void if they are determined to be inconsistent with the object and purpose of the treaty.10
Ten things you need to know about the substance of the CRC:
- Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children.11
- A murderer aged 17 years and 11 months and 29 days at the time of his crime could no longer be sentenced to life in prison.12
- Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.13
- The best interest of the child principle would give the government the ability to override every decision made by every parent if a government worker disagreed with the parent’s decision.14
- A child’s “right to be heard” would allow them to seek governmental review of every parental decision with which the child disagreed.15
- This treaty has been interpreted to make it illegal for a nation to spend more on national defense than it does on children’s welfare.16
- Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.17
- Teaching children about Christianity in schools has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.18
- Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.19
- Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services without parental knowledge or consent.20
CEDAW and Homeschooling Families
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has been at the forefront of HSLDA’s lobbying efforts recently, but there is another UN convention that may also be sent to the United States Senate for ratification, and would also threaten home educating families: the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).1
CEDAW calls for sweeping changes in law and policy to eliminate “all forms” of discrimination against women. It was drafted around the time that the Equal Rights Amendment movement was at its zenith. If ratified (requiring two-thirds of the Senate or 67 senators to approve it), CEDAW would become the supreme law of the land under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause in Article VI, thus trumping state laws and being used as binding precedent by state and federal judges.
Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979, CEDAW was signed by President Carter’s administration in 1980. Now that the women’s treaty has a favorable majority in the U.S. Senate and supporters in the Obama administration, proponents of CEDAW are pushing to have it ratified.
Why is CEDAW Dangerous to Homeschooling Families?
The greatest danger posed by CEDAW is its requirement that curricula be revised to ensure that there is no differentiation made on the basis of gender. CEDAW’s Article 10 gives the government the power to make these revisions: “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women … and in particular to ensure … the elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of education by encouraging coeducation and other types of education which will help to achieve this aim and, in particular, by the revision of textbooks and school programmes and the adaptation of teaching methods.” Under the guise of eliminating bias against women, CEDAW attempts to eliminate any differentiation between the sexes.
CEDAW prohibits making distinctions between the roles of mother and father, and teaching a traditional understanding of the family. Children are to be taught that they can get along just as well with two mothers or two fathers, and any attempt to show otherwise could be considered discrimination against women.
If CEDAW is ratified, Congress will not only acquire the duty to implement the treaty, but it will also acquire the jurisdiction necessary to pass legislation to comply. Such necessarily far-reaching legislation will impact the education of all children, including those who attend homeschools and private Christian schools.
Another danger posed by CEDAW, just like the CRC, is that a committee of “experts” on gender issues from 23 foreign nations has the power to supervise all nations that ratify CEDAW, to ensure that they are taking steps to enforce the convention’s requirements. This strikes at the heart of our system of representative government, where elected officials represent us in state legislatures and in Washington, D.C. No one on this committee has ever been elected by a U.S. voter, yet the committee would make rulings that could affect the lives of all U.S. residents.
Possibly most shocking of all, under the Optional Protocol to CEDAW passed by the UN General Assembly in 1999, individuals or groups who disagree with how the treaty is enforced by Congress and the U.S. judicial system can take claims alleging violations of CEDAW directly to the CEDAW Committee. The CEDAW Committee has an “inquiry procedure” whereby it can directly investigate possible CEDAW violations.
It is possible that CEDAW will be sent to the U.S. Senate for a ratification vote this year, even before the CRC. Regardless of which treaty is sent first, it is imperative that homeschoolers and other freedom-loving Americans work together to defeat both.
We will continue to monitor this treaty, as well as the CRC, and provide updates.
The U.S. and Russia have cooperated in space, and now the two countries are adding high seas to the mix, having set their minds on connecting the Eurasian and American continents via an underwater tunnel in the Bering Strait according to Russia Today.
Originally conceived in 1906, during the rule of the last Russian Czar, Nicholas II, the project had been deemed unrealistic by many, and put on hold by world wars and revolutions, but now seems to have recaptured the hearts of businessmen on three continents. The tunnel is expected to be twice the size of the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France. The 65 mile giant would be the key component of a 3,700 mile railroad reaching from Yakutsk, Russia to Canada’s British Columbia.
A federal order for one of the nation's largest American Indian tribes to restore voting rights and benefits to about 2,800 descendants of members' former slaves threw plans for a special election for a new chief into turmoil Tuesday.
The federal government sent the sternly-worded letter to the Cherokee Nation after it sent letters last week kicking the descendants out of the tribe and stripping them of benefits including medical care, food stipends and assistance for low-income homeowners.
The tribe also barred the descendants from voting in a Sept. 24 special election for principal chief. The Cherokee Supreme Court ordered the special election after it said it could not determine with certainty the outcome of a close and hotly contested June election between incumbent Chad Smith and longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker. The results had flip-flopped between the two during weeks of counts and recounts. Baker had twice been declared winner, but so had Smith.
The federal government said that unless the descendants, known as freedmen, were allowed to vote, the upcoming election wouldn't be valid.
"I urge you to consider carefully the nation's next steps in proceeding with an election that does not comply with federal law," Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk wrote in letter Friday to acting Chief S. Joe Crittenden. "The department will not recognize any action taken by the nation that is inconsistent with these principles and does not accord its freedmen members full rights of citizenship."
Crittenden said the special election would take place as scheduled.
"The Cherokee Nation will not be governed by the (Bureau of Indian Affairs)," he said. "We will hold our election and continue our long legacy of responsible self-governance."
Debates among Republican presidential contenders have completely ignored what should be a litmus test issue for all who wish to be considered for the office—not just by gun owners, but by all Americans: What will they do to determine the truth about “Project Gunwalker”?
We know that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been holding hearings with at least two more slated for sometime later this year. And we know that Attorney General Eric Holder has directed the Office of Inspector General to conduct an investigation under authority of the Department of Justice. These efforts should proceed, albeit with the understanding that they have inherent limitations: The House hearings have been plagued with unresolved (and as yet unpunished) stonewalling and apparent lies, dissension among its partisan members, and attacks by citizen disarmament advocates and administration apologists in the media—the lines between them blurred. And the OIG has an automatic organizational conflict of interest, not to mention an established history of deliberate indifference to whistleblower concerns.
The single best vehicle available to determine and expose the extent of misdeeds, including how widely spread and high up in the administration cognizance and decision-making have extended, would be a truly Independent Counsel. Unfortunately, that law expired in 1999, and its effective replacement, 28 CFR Part 600, presents a fox/henhouse conflict.
"Gunwalker" allegations, i.e., evidence of criminal misconduct by federal law enforcement resulting in public endangerment and deaths, are of the utmost importance to investigate, and any candidate aspiring to the executive must demonstrate they are informed and committed to uncovering the truth, prosecuting when the evidence warrants it, and punishing the guilty.
Regular readers know that this story would have been ignored had it not been persistently and doggedly pursued both because of Mike Vanderboegh’s investigative work at Sipsey Street Irregulars and the efforts put forth in this column (some crediting others with “credentials” for breaking this story notwithstanding). The early history is all here if anyone would like to challenge that claim. The way that it happened was by being relentless, by understanding our limitations in reach and by nonetheless beating every pot and pan we could to demand attention. Which meant we relied on you, our regular readers, to assess the evidence we presented, determine its truth and join us in the noisemaking. Because, as we’ve seen throughout, with only a few exceptions, major newspapers and television news networks have either been AWOL on the story or busy trying to squelch it or subvert it to their own ends.If you’re one of those readers, your help is needed again.