Patterico's Pontifications


What Kids Want

Filed under: Political Correctness — DRJ @ 8:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

According to some Swedish sixth graders and the European Advertising Standards Alliance, Toys ‘R Us doesn’t have a clue what kids want:

“A class at Gustavslund school in south central Sweden spent more than two years studying gender roles before setting sights on the 2008 Toys “R” Us Christmas catalog. When they did, they were more than prepared to recognize the sexist crud inside. “Small girls in princess stuff … and here are boys dressed as super heroes,” 13-year-old Hannes Psajd told a local newspaper while flipping through the catalog. “It’s obvious that you get affected by this.”
The class filed a complaint with Swedish regulatory agency Reklamombudsmannen, which is a member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance, arguing that the catalog modeled restrictive sex stereotypes. The agency reviewed the complaint and found that, indeed, boys are shown “playing in action filled environments,” while girls “are shown sitting or standing in passive poses,” the agency said in a statement. As a whole, “the catalogue portrays children’s games and choice of toys in a narrow-minded way, and this exclusion of boys and girls from different types of toys is, in itself, degrading to both genders,” the organization said.

Ultimately, the agency issued an official rebuke this week of Toys “R” Us, arguing that it “discriminates based on gender and counteracts positive social behaviour, lifestyles, and attitudes.”

Clearly these sixth graders deserve a Nobel Peace Prize.



Sensitivity Training

Filed under: Obama,Political Correctness — DRJ @ 3:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Oh, those sensitive Democrats. First Barack Obama joked with Jay Leno about his “Special Olympics” bowling skills and now the health insurance bill refers to facilities for the “mentally retarded.”

Medicine has viewed “retarded” as a negative label since at least 2001. Thus, the American Association on Mental Retardation is now the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the American Psychological Association hosts a similarly renamed section. But I doubt we’ll see this particular faux pas on Saturday Night Live or PC TV.



If We’re Nice to Them, Maybe They’ll Kill Us Last (A Continuing Series)

Filed under: Political Correctness — Jack Dunphy @ 12:28 am

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Canadian journalists Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant were recent guests on Milt Rosenberg’s program on Chicago’s WGN radio. They discussed their respective encounters with the kangaroo courts that are Canada’s “human rights tribunals.” Their alleged crimes: offending Muslims by means of published materials. Steyn did so in a series of articles published in Maclean’s magazine, the Canadian newsweekly (as Steyn puts it, like Time or Newsweek, only better). As for Levant, he had the temerity to publish those Danish cartoons that had so many Muslim knickers all in a bunch back in 2005. Mr. Rosenberg’s show is always interesting, and this one was exceptionally so. It’s available for a free podcast here.

In the video below, Ezra Levant is shown under interrogation by some bureaucrat intent on determining whether his state of mind is such that he is deserving of censure by the Canadian government for “hate speech.” Rather than bowing and scraping and begging for forgiveness, Levant lets the woman know what he thinks of her inquiry. All I can say is, Bravo.

–Jack Dunphy


If We’re Nice to Them, Maybe They’ll Kill Us Last – A Continuing Series

Filed under: Political Correctness — Jack Dunphy @ 1:12 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Over at Pajamas Media, Roger Kimball reports on the latest example of the British cowering in the face of Muslim extremism. To summarize, Dutch politician Geert Wilders had been invited to appear before the House of Lords to screen his short film, Fitna, which examines some of the less peaceful history of the “religion of peace.” Wilders arrived at Heathrow Airport but was promptly whisked back on a plane for Holland. British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith explained the expulsion, saying that Wilders’s presence in Britain “would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the U.K.”

Quite right. We mustn’t upset the Muslims. In the same post, Kimball reports on the arrest of Muzzammil Hassan, of Orchard Park, New York. Hassan is the founder of Bridges TV, a cable network whose aim is to present Muslims in a positive light. The charge against him? He’s accused of beheading his wife.

–Jack Dunphy


L.A. Times Reports on UCLA Student Who Is Both Illegal and an Affirmative Action Beneficiary

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Immigration,Political Correctness — Patterico @ 7:26 am

The L.A. Times has a front-page story titled For an illegal immigrant, getting into UCLA was the easy part. It’s a perfect storm: P.C. attitudes on illegal immigration, combined with affirmative action.

She’s an illegal immigrant, so she isn’t eligible for most forms of state and federal financial aid. The University of California system, by policy, does not require applicants to disclose their citizenship status: Officials say their goal is to find the best students, not to enforce immigration law.

I wonder if they ask students to disclose whether they are California residents, to determine whether they are eligible for in-state tuition.

But the political correctness doesn’t end with her illegal immigrant status. She’s also, of course, a beneficiary (or perhaps a victim) of the lowered admission standards prompted by our old friend affirmative action:

The 18-year-old De La Cruz graduated barely in the top 20% of her San Pedro High class and is competing against students with much higher GPAs and test scores.

. . . .

UCLA officials acknowledge that some freshmen are admitted for reasons other than their grades and test scores, that some students come from dramatically different backgrounds than many of their peers but show academic promise.

. . . .

She never thought she’d get into UCLA, especially after San Diego State rejected her in February.

The average UCLA freshman boasted a 4.22 GPA in 10th and 11th grades, according to the most recent data posted by the school, and De La Cruz had a 3.365 at San Pedro High when she applied. She got a 21 out of a possible 36 on the ACT college admissions exam, ranking her in the 48th percentile in California. She scored 380 out of a possible 800 on an SAT subject test, putting her in the third percentile nationwide.

But on March 8, De La Cruz opened an e-mail from UCLA, and a congratulatory banner popped up. She screamed and asked a friend to look.

The article is mostly an article about how difficult her life is. She got a B- average for her first quarter, including a C+ in a Life Science class that other students describe to her as an “easy A.” I wish her good luck, but from the article, it sounds like she might not make it.

I bet the reporter could have reached an expert or two to opine on how this girl’s life may be ruined by her being put in a situation where she is having trouble competing academically. I bet the reporter could have found someone with a qualified daughter with high grades and test scores who didn’t get in to UCLA — who is a citizen.

But then, reporters usually go trolling for experts only when they have something they want to say themselves, but need to say it through another person. And somehow I doubt this reporter is trying to make a point about accepting unqualified students who aren’t even citizens.

Let’s hope this isn’t yet another life ruined by politically correct attitudes.


Judge Arrested for DUI Uses Racial Insults on Police Officer

Filed under: Crime,Judiciary,Morons,Political Correctness,Race — Jack Dunphy @ 4:26 pm

[Guest Post by Jack Dunphy]

A Connecticut Superior Court Judge arrested for drunk driving in Gastonbury, Conn., last October was caught on videotape using insulting language – including the notorious “N-word” – on a black state police sergeant who was assisting in the booking process. The judge was arrested after sideswiping a parked police car. Tests showed her blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit more than two hours after the arrest. The Hartford Courant began the story this way:

Repeatedly using vulgar and racial insults, Superior Court Judge E. Curtissa Cofield argued with a police officer — addressing him as “Negro trooper” at one point — who was trying to process her on a charge of drunken driving in Glastonbury last October, a police video released Monday shows. Cofield also is heard twice on the video using the racial term “n—–.”

Shocking, you say. Surely this story should have been picked up by the national media, with the result being that the offending judge resigns in disgrace after the tape is shown endlessly on the various cable news shows.

Well, no. You see, Judge Cofield is herself black and apparently held to a different standard. Though Connecticut’s Judicial Review Council has scheduled a Feb. 9 hearing to address charges of misconduct, the story has attracted little attention outside the state.

And why is that?

–Jack Dunphy


If We’re Nice to Them, Maybe They’ll Kill Us Last

Filed under: Crime,Political Correctness — Jack Dunphy @ 5:53 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

In a post from January 14, I wrote about LAPD officers being ordered not to wear their helmets and face shields while facing pro-Palestinian demonstrators at the Federal Building in West Los Angeles. The wearing of helmets, the officers were told, might inflame the protesters. Sadly but predictably, an officer was injured when he was struck in the head with a protest sign. On January 20, the controversy at last attracted the attention of someone at the Los Angeles Times, which published this story. Now, finally, a member of the Los Angeles city council is demanding answers from the LAPD commanders who gave the boneheaded order.

Councilman Dennis Zine, himself a retired LAPD officer, introduced a motion in the council that would require the LAPD to produce a report on how officers are prepared and equipped for crowd-control operations. The motion cites the LAPD’s Emergency Operations Guide, which explicitly states that officers should not be deployed on such operations without helmets.

All well and good for Councilman Zine to act, but things in the LAPD may be even worse than he realizes. I’ve come to learn that at a similar protest at the Israeli consulate earlier this month, an officer was assaulted by a pro-Palestinian demonstrator, who was then promptly detained. But instead of being hauled off to the station for booking as he should have been, he was released on the orders of senior command officers. This was done in the name of “de-escalating” the situation.

If this attitude of cowardly appeasement is allowed to prevail here in Los Angeles, surely it won’t be long before we see disgraceful spectacles such as the one shown in this video, shot during a pro-Palestinian march in London. To back down from mob violence is like feeding a crocodile in the hope it will eat you last. America, behold your future.

–Jack Dunphy


Help Wanted: Only Conservatives Need Apply

Filed under: Political Correctness — DRJ @ 1:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The University of Colorado at Boulder, home of Ward Churchill and the Pot Smoke-Out, is so liberal that even the University’s Chancellor is searching for a right-wing professor to add diversity to the campus:

“How liberal is the University of Colorado at Boulder? The campus hot-dog stand sells tofu wieners. A recent pro-marijuana rally drew a crowd of 10,000, roughly a third the size of the student body. And according to one professor’s analysis of voter registration, the 800-strong faculty includes just 32 Republicans.

Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson surveys this landscape with unease. A college that champions diversity, he believes, must think beyond courses in gay literature, Chicano studies and feminist theory. “We should also talk about intellectual diversity,” he says. So over the next year, Mr. Peterson plans to raise $9 million to create an endowed chair for what is thought to be the nation’s first Professor of Conservative Thought and Policy.

Mr. Peterson’s quest has been greeted with protests from some faculty and students, who say the move is too — well, radical.

“Why set aside money specifically for a conservative?” asks Curtis Bell, a teaching assistant in political science. “I’d rather see a quality academic than someone paid to have a particular perspective.” Even some conservatives who have long pushed for balance in academia voice qualms. Among them is David Horowitz, a conservative agitator whose book “The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America” includes two Boulder faculty members: an associate professor of ethnic studies who writes about the intersection of Chicano and lesbian issues, and a philosophy professor focused on feminist politics and “global gender justice.” While he approves of efforts to bolster a conservative presence on campus, Mr. Horowitz fears that setting up a token right-winger as The Conservative at Boulder will brand the person as a curiosity, like “an animal in the zoo.” We “fully expect this person to be integrated into the fabric of life on campus,” replies Todd Gleeson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.”

Chancellor Peterson is (surprise!) a Republican and he hopes to lure conservatives to campus as visiting professors — people like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, columnist George Will and Philip Zelikow, who chaired the 9/11 Commission.

However, even Chancellor Peterson knows it’s going to be a hard sell. That’s probably why he acknowledges that the visiting professors of conservative thought may not actually be conservatives. After all, some French teachers aren’t actually French.



Why Wright Will Remain Important — How Many Degrees of Separation Between Obama and Black Nationalist Separatist Movement?

Posted by WLS:

This would have been a kooky post 2 weeks ago, but I think this subject may now find its way into the bloodstream of the body-politic, and I think the events of this week elevate it above crackpot conspiracy theory.

For several decades since the advent of the Civil Rights Movement, there has existed at the fringe of that movement a BlackNationalist  movement.  One of the tenets of the “Black Nationalist” movement is the idea of “racial separation” in the United States — the creation of a majority black sovereign entity within the confines of the United States as a remedial measure to redress the long-standing impact of institutional racism.   

This Black Nationalist movement found intellectual heft in the writings of W.E.B. DuBois, but was most prominently embodied in secular terms by the creation of the Black Panther Party by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton.

At the same time, however, the Black Nationalist movement found traction in the Mosques of the Nation of Islam …… in Chicago.  Black Muslims advocated the establishment of a separate African American homeland in the United States. Wallace D. Muhammad, who succeeded his father Elijah Muhammad in 1975, downplayed black nationalism, admitted nonblack members, and stressed strict Islamic beliefs and practices. In the late 1970s, however, a dissident faction, led by Louis Farrakhan assumed the original name Nation of Islam and reasserted the principles of black separatism.

This is the same Louis Farrakhan that was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Trinity United Church and Rev. Wright.

And, as pointed out in his column  today by Michael Medved, a heretofore unexplored aspect of the political theology of the Trinity United Church that Obama has been a member of for 20 years is the Church’s self-described “Black Value System”. 

The website for the congregation begins with an introductory paragraph under the heading, “About Us,” that unequivocally proclaims: “We are an African people, and remain ‘true to our native land,’ the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.

For many years, the next paragraph (recently removed due to the Wright controversy) appeared on the website and shamelessly explained explained: “Trinity United Church of Christ adopted the Black Value System….We believe in the following twelve precepts and covenantal statements. These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered.” Those “precepts and covenantal statements” include, “Commitment to the Black Community” (Number 2), “Disavowal of the Pursuit of ‘Middleclassness’” (Number 8), “Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System (Number 11) and “Personal Commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.” (Number 12).

  Medved points out that still on the Church’as website is a Rev. Wright’s “10 Point Vision” for the Church, which begins with “A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITTMENT TO AFRICA.” 

So, Obama has been a member of a Church for 20 years, and developed a close and abiding relationship with a minister who preachs hate from the pulpit, who advoctates in writing a “Black Value System” that is based on racial identity, and has a vision that is fixated on an ancestral land and not the land and country of one’s birth that is responsible for the blessings he has received in life.

How are these “values” different from the racial separatism values of the Nation Of Islam and the Black Nationalism movement?  They arose in the same city by religious leaders who are contemporaries, friends, and political allies. 

Does Barack Obama’s embrace of the political theology of Rev. Wright, and all that it entails given its foundation and city of origin, create less than Six Degrees of Separation between Barack Obama and the Black Nationalist movement for racial separatism? 

These are questions that deserve to be asked now.

Is Barack Obama simply a the smiling face and eloquent voice of a new Black Panther Party built upon the twin spires of racial identity and liberal white guilt?



Modern-Day Santas Need to Watch Their Backs

Filed under: Political Correctness — DRJ @ 11:31 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

It’s tough to be Santa Claus these days:

“Life is not so jolly for the 21st century Santa Claus.

He keeps his white gloved hands where parents can see them and buys liability insurance, just in case. He doesn’t ask for names or where children live — that might arouse suspicion. He’s given up the pipe, and the jelly belly might be next. And while he may bring tidings of joy, the man in the red suit endures criminal background checks like everybody else.

“A lot of people think all you gotta be is a nice old man,” says Timothy Connaghan, professional Santa instructor and president of The Kringle Group, a conglomeration of North Pole-centric businesses. “Put a suit on, sit in a chair. But you have to be politically correct.”

Today’s Kris Kringle is poked, prodded and tailored to fit our times. It’s no longer enough to show up at the mall, laugh merrily and hoist children on his lap. In fact, that job is now considered better left to parents, to avoid inappropriate touching. In mistletoed shopping malls across America, Santa Claus is watching his back.

Aspiring Santas learn their trade at Santa University:

“Everything is choreographed in the land of Santa, down to each word and hand movement. The tricks of the trade are passed down at various Santa schools scattered across the country. Connaghan takes his academy — The International University of Santa Claus — on the road, making pit stops in different cities.

Major topics of study include how to hold children correctly, managing sticky conversations and proper care of hair and beard. Santa’s hands should be visible in all photos, Connaghan says. And he must never make promises he can’t keep.

And what if a little girl or boy confides in Santa, revealing physical abuse at home? Though it may surprise some, Santa can’t just leap off his chair and tell the police. Instead, he must enlist the help of a teacher or principal, who are protected from libel in case of false accusations, according to Trolli.”

Modern Santas are also health-conscious and environmentally friendly:

In keeping with the anti-smoking times, the man from the North Pole put down his pipe a long time ago. Now, defying his rotund image, Santa is trying to lose weight.

“People expect Santa to be big, big, big, big,” says Ron Levine, a Santa from Wappingers Falls, N.Y., who is, in fact, Jewish. “I’m 225 to 250 pounds, so my belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Am I trying to lose some weight? Oh yes, every day. Because it’s necessary for my health.”

The AORBS [Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas], that alliance of bearded Santas, will stage a weigh-in this summer at its annual convention in Overland Park, Kan. Each Santa who fails to meet his weight-loss goal will pay a fee toward a charity. “The problem is the children don’t care if Santa’s fat,” Trolli says. “It’s the parents who want Santa fat.”

Santa has recognized the importance of being eco-conscious, too. Levine, billed as the “Green Santa,” is donning a suit of that color and promoting the environment at FAO Schwarz this Christmas season while promoting a new children’s book: When Santa Turned Green.”

It sounds like 21st Century Santas need that union … as well as psychological services and hazard pay.


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