Patterico's Pontifications

9/2/2014

Fast Food Workers Taking Action — And That Action May Surprise You!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Then again, it might not.

Fast food workers across the country believe they are underpaid — so they are planning some action. They intend to band together and work extra hard for a week, to increase sales and productivity, and show their employers that they are worth more than they are currently being paid.

Sorry, my bad. Actually, they’re planning civil disobedience:

The next round of strikes by fast-food workers demanding higher wages is scheduled for Thursday, and this time labor organizers plan to increase the pressure by staging widespread civil disobedience and having thousands of home-care workers join the protests.

The organizers say fast-food workers — who are seeking a $15 hourly wage — will go on strike at restaurants in more than 100 cities and engage in sit-ins in more than a dozen cities.

But by having home-care workers join, workers and union leaders hope to expand their campaign into a broader movement.

“On Thursday, we are prepared to take arrests to show our commitment to the growing fight for $15,” said Terrence Wise, a Burger King employee in Kansas City, Mo., and a member of the fast-food workers’ national organizing committee. At a convention that was held outside Chicago in July, 1,300 fast-food workers unanimously approved a resolution calling for civil disobedience as a way to step up pressure on the fast-food chains.

Imagine if they showed this kind of commitment and resolve to doing their jobs well.

A Particular Kind Of Obscenity

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:51 am

[guest post by Dana]

I read about the horrendous child abuse situation in Rotherham last week and avoided posting about it because of the magnitude of awfulness. However, while the abuse is terrible, the situation also points to the inevitable consequences of political correctness run amok. Sadly, there are those who still won’t be able to put the pieces together and understand that this is what group think of the worst kind begets.

Last week a report revealed that at least 1,400 children had been subject to sexual torture in the northern England town of Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. The perpetrators were mostly Pakistani men. Professor Alexis Jay’s report found cases of “children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone”.

Rotherham has a population of just 250,000. You would think during those 16 years of systematic sexual abuse that someone might have noticed or that some of the victims and their families would have come forward. And, in fact, many did. But authorities, following the “no loud denunciation” rule, largely ignored them. Aside from the jailing of five men for sexual offences against girls in 2010, the attacks just continued.

Denis MacShane, the Labour MP for Rotherham from 1994 to 2012, explained why: “There was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat, if I may put it like that. Perhaps, yes, as a true Guardian reader and liberal Leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.”

Nobody did. According to Professor Jay’s report: “Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought as racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”

You can read the rest, but suffice it to say, 1,400 children were sacrificed on the altar of political correctness because certain individuals did not want to be labeled “racist”, and instead preferred to protect the guilty.

And adding to the disgrace, media outlets are still tiptoeing around the blunt fact that it was Pakistani men who were the majority of perpetrators:

UK writer James Delingpole noted that a BBC item on the Rotherham outrage ran for 20 paragraphs before mentioning the ethnic identity of the perpetrators. Not to be outdone, a piece on the ABC’s AM program last week took 23 paragraphs before this line appeared: “Most of the offenders in Rotherham were from the town’s Pakistani community.” And there was this classic line from the Guardian: “The scale of the sexual exploitation revealed in the Jay inquiry is shocking, but let’s avoid racial stereotyping.”

This should be an enormous cautionary tale, but unfortunately it will be lost on people much in the same way as courage, bravery and righteousness.

And for those who actually spoke up, diversity training was the directive:

A researcher who raised the alarm over the sexual abuse of teenage girls in Rotherham more than a decade ago was sent on a ‘ethnicity and diversity course’ by child protection bosses who refused to act on her evidence.

The researcher, who was seconded to Rotherham council by the Home Office, was told she must “never, ever” again refer to the fact that the abusers were predominantly Asian men.

Speaking to the BBC’s Panorama programme under the condition of anonymity, the researcher said that she identified more 270 victims of trafficking and underage prostitution by mainly Muslim gangs in Rotherham.

Indeed, the council tried unsuccessfully to sack the researcher after she resisted pressure to change her findings.

Something to consider: As political correctness is clearly one of the West’s greatest points of weakness, it only goes to follow that as such, we have given our enemies a clear opening to leverage and exploit this flaw. And like England now, America has already seen the disastrous results. The question is, when will we learn?

–Dana

9/1/2014

An Effort To Win The War Of Ideas

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:48 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Well, someone had a strategy of sorts: In what is being dubbed a social media offensive against ISIS and Al-Qaeda, the U.S. State Dept. has taken unique steps to win the war of ideas through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Officials understand the limits of such a campaign, but they also see “social media as an increasingly crucial battlefield as they aim to turn young minds in the Muslim world against groups like IS and Al-Qaeda.” U.S. officials are targeting the social network accounts of Islamic extremists and engaging in “tit-for-tat” exchanges, as well as mocking and ridiculing the radicals:

A senior US State Department official described the strategy as a kind of cyber guerrilla campaign.

“It is not a panacea, it is not a silver bullet,” the official explained. “People exaggerate, people think this is worthless or they think it a magic thing that will make the extremists surrender. It is neither one of those. It is slow, steady, daily engagement pushing back on a daily basis.

“It is a war of thousands of skirmishes, but no big battles. America likes big battles but it is not — it is like guerrilla warfare,” said the official.”

The U.S. is using any means it can to push back:

The US-managed Twitter accounts are also not squeamish about reproducing images distributed by jihadists depicting mass executions, drawing historic parallels between Islamic State militants and the Nazis.

One post showed armed Islamic State fighters standing over a ditch filled with executed people, alongside another almost identical image of Nazis killing people in similar circumstances.

“Then & Now: Nazis – like ISIS – murdered out of intolerance, hatred, zeal,” read a comment alongside the two images.

Satire is also used to undermine militants, with one re-tweeted cartoon referring to the “ISIS bucket challenge” featuring a participant named as “the civilized world” being drenched by a bucket of blood.

The US officials say the social media offensive is an attempt to “contest space” on social networks which had previously been dominated by Islamist radicals.

“This is an area, a field, where before we came along the adversaries had this space to themselves,” the official explained.

“You had English language extremists that could say any kind of poison and there will be very low push-back against them,” he added. The ultimate aim is to make youths in the West or Muslim nations think twice before embarking on a journey to Syria or Iraq to join Islamic State fighters.

US officials are also mindful of striking the right tone as they troll Islamists.

“Twitter is unfortunately or fortunately a platform which is suitable for what we call snark, sarcasm, for insulting people,” the official said. “This is something also we are trying to do, we try to attack.

“We are respectful about things, the loss of human life of innocent people, victims of AQ or victims of ISIS, that is not something for sarcasm.

“But when you are mocking them, it is effective to draw the comparison between what they say and what they do. The hypocrisy of this group is a weakness.”

Meanwhile, the president took a break from developing a strategy to deal with ISIS and reassured donors at a fundraiser in Newport, Rhode Island about concerns of a threat from ISIS:

“We have to be vigilant,” he told the group of donors, “but this doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland.”

–Dana

Dave Weigel Covers the Brett Kimberlin Trial

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:27 am

Dave Weigel has this lengthy recap of the state trial between Brett Kimberlin and four conservative bloggers. Notable:

“These guys are going to come out today and say I’m a pedophile,” said Kimberlin. “And tomorrow, I can file another lawsuit against them. And now I know what I need to do. It’s going to be endless lawsuits for the rest of their lives. And that’s what it ends up being. I sue them. They sue me. They come into court. I sue them. They come into court. That’s the way it is.”

Weigel’s piece has some telling details, but it is far from perfect. I recognize that no story can adequately capture every detail that an involved party might consider relevant. That said, I am puzzled by some of the omissions. (You will never learn that Aaron Walker was swatted, for example. Also, we are told about six hypnotized witnesses at Kimberlin’s bombing trial, but nothing about the ones who weren’t hypnotized — much less the abundant physical evidence.) Ultimately, though, I don’t want to spend a lot of time or energy carping about the shortcomings of the piece. I’m glad that someone was willing to cover the story.

I will reiterate this: I have consistently reminded people on this blog that this situation is not about politics, left and right, Democrat and Republican. I have been especially pleased when critics of Kimberlin have received support from people on the left. I think this is true of many other Kimberlin critics. For us, this hasn’t been about tarring the left with another Bill Ayers. It’s been about the right to speak the truth without facing harassment, such as “endless lawsuits for the rest of [our] lives.”

With the above in mind, go read the piece. You can find it here.

8/30/2014

College Football !!!!

Filed under: General — JD @ 8:26 pm

[guest post by JD]

Some of the big boys didn’t look that great today, ie Alabama and UCLA. There were a few great match-ups in Week 1 – Georgia put a hurting on Clemson, Florida State was taken to the wire by Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin is man-handling LSU.

I love football season.

—JD

Why Is It So Hard To Take A Stand?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In an interesting op-ed, Yasmine Bahrani, a professor of journalism at American University in Dubai, boldly asks: Where are the Muslims protesting the Islamic State? And although there is disagreement to be found, Bahrani does provoke a consideration of the matter.

While Bahrani establishes that she supported recent protests against Israel, she is at a loss to explain the absence of Muslim protests condemning ISIS for their treatment of Yazidis, Christians – and even Muslims.

This is not the first time this question has occurred to me. For years, I have wondered about this absence of public outrage. When I asked about the murder of Iraqi civilians by Sunni and Shiite gangs, my fellow Muslims dodged my questions: “Why did the United States invade Iraq in the first place?” Yes, the U.S. invasion was a mistake. But why is it so hard to take a stand against the killing of women and children? I never got a straight answer.

While noting a few non-Western clerics have spoken out against ISIS, Bahrani points the finger back at Muslims everywhere:

Don’t Muslims have a responsibility to speak out more loudly than others? We need the world to see anti-Islamic State marchers taking to the streets with the passion that we saw at the Gaza rallies in London and Paris. Mainstream Muslims must express our rejection of extremism in clear terms, while doing whatever we can to stop young people from radicalizing.

The common refrain is: “That’s not Islam.” Of course it isn’t. Muslims know that, but we need to understand that others do not. And here’s the problem: To much of the world, the Islamic State, Nigeria’s Boko Haram and other such groups do represent the Muslim community. Today, say the word “Islam” and few think of the glories of our history and culture. Rather, they picture masked men with knives. And as long as our condemnations remain tepid, we give the impression that we accept the crimes of murderers whose savvy YouTube productions reach far and wide. Like it or not, the Islamic State is winning the public relations war.

Sadly, mainstream Muslims have no choice but to come to terms with the fact that groups of people are car-bombing, shooting, starving, kidnapping and beheading people in the name of Islam — not to mention blowing up churches and mosques. Where is the anger? Is it possible that the marches in support of Palestinians are well-attended because Muslims hate Israel more than we hate criminal gangs who have hijacked the narrative of our religion?

Of course it’s possible and perhaps even likely. Other than unadulterated fear, how else to explain the lack of thousands of outraged Muslims marching en masse through the streets of Europe and the U.S. expressing the same level of condemnation toward ISIS as they did with Israel? Surely what ISIS is doing can’t be considered less horrible than what protestors believed Israel to be doing. If so, how foolish, because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that ISIS has absolutely no qualms about which group of people they slaughter – including Muslims.

If this was only about hijacking a narrative, it would be one thing, but when that hijacking manifests itself in the mass beheadings, executions, murders and torture of men, women and children from various ethnic and religious groups, along with terminating the lives of any not swearing allegiance, it’s a far more grievous matter than just a PR calamity. Is the priority taking back a religion or condemning this new threat of barbaric inhumanity?

With the world’s considerable Muslim population, an enormous collective display of public outrage and condemnation of ISIS certainly could manifest itself in the streets – as witnessed with Israel.

In perusing hundreds of comments at her post, I did not see anyone who claimed to be a Muslim, actually answer Bahrani’s question.

(On a side note, Bahrani misses or ignores the salient point that it always has been, and likely always will be easy and without risk to condemn Israel from any place in the world.)

–Dana

Remaining True To Their Convictions

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:43 am

[guest post by Dana]

In an update regarding the Christian couple ordered to pay $13,000 in fines for refusing to host a gay wedding on their farm and posted about here, we learn that Cynthia and Robert Gifford have now chosen to close their business rather than violate their beliefs. They will host the weddings already scheduled, and then close the business. According to Alliance Defending Freedom attorney James Trainor:

”Since the order essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions, even though it will likely hurt their business in the short run,” he said.

–Dana

8/29/2014

Friday Night Music: The Voice Is In This Guy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:11 pm

Few things are better than Justin Hayward playing a great song with nothing but an acoustic guitar:

Bonus:

Interesting Reading

Filed under: General — JD @ 9:04 pm

[guest post by JD]

Charles Cook writes about the “we can’t wait” clause in the Constitution. Suffice it to say that Obama’s view of his role in our political system is at odds with our Constitution.

One of the more interesting writers around, David Harsanyi, pens this missive that outlines Obama lawlessness and Dem hypocrisy.

After a couple thought provoking pieces, I leave you with this drivel, a steaming pile of cow dung, so self-unaware it could only have been written with crayon by an Obama sycophant. As this writer points out, the conversation on racism isn’t real, because they have no desire to have a conversation outside of calling those that disagree with them racists. Its a thing.

Oh, did you know the world has always been messy, we just know more about it quicker because of social media? Or that ISIS is like the JV squad? Or that we don’t have a strategy for dealing with ISIS?

—JD

Ft. Hood Shooter’s Unsurprising Request

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:33 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Unsurprisingly, Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan wants to join the caliphate. In a letter, he appeals to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi:

“I formally and humbly request to be made a citizen of the Islamic State,”Hasan says in the handwritten document addressed to “Ameer, Mujahid Dr. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

“It would be an honor for any believer to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don’t compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers.”

As a reminder, Hasan fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 at Fort Hood in 2009 in what the government, in a display of cowardice, disgracefully called “workplace violence”.

–Dana

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