Saturday, August 31, 2013

The tyranny of political correctness

Freedom of speech in America: A figment of their naïve imagination

Freedom of Speech As Long As You Agree With Me

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh 

“Die Gedanken sind frei.” “Thoughts are Free,” famous German song about freedom of thought, 1810-1820, author unknown
Shortly after I arrived in the U.S., I realized that the freedom of speech Americans thought they had, was, let’s just say, with no intention of offending anyone, a figment of their naïve imagination.

I was naïve too, having escaped a communist dictatorship, I felt free to speak my objective opinion, thinking that there would be no harmful consequences since my freedom of speech was guaranteed.
I felt elated. I did not have to fear the security police day and night; and I did not have to be mindful constantly of what I said around friends, co-workers, strangers, distant, and close relatives.
Anything that disagreed with the communist regime’s tyrannical propaganda sent anyone to jail, a gulag, or worse yet, disappeared them permanently. If people had a strong constitution, when their jail or gulag time expired, they were set free and hopefully re-educated cheerleaders of the narcissistic president and his wife who thought themselves to be the grandiose parents of the nation. If people’s constitution was weak, they expired in jail from malnutrition, verbal abuse, and daily beatings.

s soon as I came in contact with educators, I realized, there was a problem with freedom of speech. The freedom to speak was not really free. You could speak your mind but you were ostracized, ignored, marginalized, or fired.
First, you had to have a license to teach, a college degree in arts and sciences and professional experience were not enough. Economically speaking, every time someone needs licensure, that limits the number of approved and qualified people to perform a specific profession or trade. In this case, anyone could be a teacher as long as they were willing to go through the College of Educationindoctrination program.
Interestingly, many licensed teachers were marginally qualified to teach their subject area of “expertise” and scored poorly on the National Teacher Exam, but passed.
Secondly, the teachers did not have the freedom to choose the curriculum; it was dictated by the Department of Education of each state, directly connected to the federal Department of Education.
In this system, teachers had to follow verbatim the liberal teaching method of the day, and use textbooks designed to help them achieve pre-set goals, very similar to the current Common Core nationalized education curriculum. Could they object to the directives? Yes, but their freedom of speech was neutralized by administrators and the fear of losing their jobs.
As a teacher, I objected to certain irrational methodology and rules, what I perceived to be socialized curricula, to which I got the same canned answer, “This is how we do things in the U.S., if you don’t like it, go back to where you hailed from.”
Later on, as political correctness became the number one weapon used by liberals to stifle freedom of speech, the answer became, “If you do it our way, you get to keep your job.” Some more aggressive administrators said, since you are not a “team player,” we will definitely not renew your contract next year.  The threat never materialized. America is a very litigious society, lawyers are expensive, and schools are terribly afraid of being sued, particularly when they don’t have a case.
At the college level, famous for academic freedom, conservatives did not dare express their objective and logical opinions, often contradicting the liberal talking points, lest they never make the tenured professor list.  Some conservatives escaped theprogressive scrutiny, thus receiving tenure, but it was a rare occurrence.
Conservative students suffered equally under the tyranny of outrageous liberal professors who demanded from their students nothing but total agreement with their belief system; if students were foolish enough to speak their minds and question the “settled” scholarly “authority” of their professors, they failed the class.
The current mainstream media talking heads read the identically-worded paragraphs received from the same source daily, not unlike the communist era radio and television reporters behind the Iron Curtain, broadcasting the daily script from the national newspaper called “Romania Libera,” (Free Romania) which was a terrible contradiction, since we were such slaves. The paper reported as much truth as the Soviet era newspaper, Pravda (The Truth).
Politicians today regurgitate the positions fed to them by advisors and lobbyists. Liberal newspapers repeat the misinformation established by the Democrat Party, the union lobby, and the non-governmental organizations lobby.
Conservatives writers and radio talk show hosts self-censor their columns and showsfor fear of litigation by powerful billionaires, ethnic lobby groups, and NGOs.
Employees hide their political views for fear of losing their jobs. Parishioners do not express their opinions in the ever more socialist churches because they don’t want to lose their place of worship or the community they’ve grown accustomed to.
Conservatives don’t plaster cars with bumper stickers that reflect their world views for fear of having cars vandalized or destroyed. Liberals are proud to display all their causes on bumpers and car windows - they know the opposition is peaceful, tolerant, rational, and non-violent. Yet liberals label conservatives “racist” and “hate mongers” if they disagree with progressive points of view, thus shutting down any opposition.
Recently, Rush Limbaugh discussed on his August 27, 2013 show the case of Mike Adams, “the only tenured conservative professor at the University of North Carolina system, who simply said that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.” Anger and outrage from the faculty ensued, demanding that Adams be fired because of his definition of marriage—so much for the world-famous academic freedom.
Mike Adams wrote a “Dear Edward” letter to the professor who wanted him fired and who called him “an embarrassment to higher education.”
“While I respect your right to conclude that I am the biggest embarrassment to higher education in America, I think you’re wrong. In fact, I don’t even think I’m the biggest embarrassment to higher education in the state of North Carolina. But since you’re a liberal and you support ‘choice’—provided we’re talking about dismembering children and not school vouchers for those who weren’t dismembered—I want to give you some options. In fact, I’m going to describe the antics of ten professors, official campus groups, and invited campus speakers in North Carolina and let you decide which constitutes the biggest embarrassment to higher education.”
The ten examples cited were approved forms of free speech in liberal academia.
  1. A women’s studies professor and a psychology professor at Western Carolina University co-sponsored in the early spring semester of 2013 a panel on bondage and S&M with the goal “to teach college students how to inflict pain on themselves and others for sexual pleasure.”
  2. At UNC Chapel Hill, “a feminist professor believes that women can lead happy lives without men. That’s nothing new. But what’s different is that she thinks women can form lifelong domestic partnerships with dogs and that those relationships will actually be fulfilling enough to replace marital relationships with men.”
  3. “At Duke University, feminists hired a ‘sex worker’ (read: prostitute) to speak as part of an event called the Sex Workers Art Show.” I am too embarrassed to repeat what the male prostitute did after his speech. It involved the rectum, a burning sparkler, and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.
  4. “A porn star was once paid to give a speech at UNCG. The topic was ‘safe sodomy.’ After her speech, the feminist pornographer sold autographed butt plugs to students in attendance.”
  5. “A few years ago at UNC-Chapel Hill, a feminist group built a large vibrator museum in the middle of the campus quad as part of their ‘orgasm awareness week.’”
  6. “A feminist administrator at UNC-Wilmington sponsored a pro-abortion event. During the event they sold tee shirts saying ‘I had an abortion’ to students who… well, had abortions,” a not so subtle way to “encourage students to boast about the fact that they had killed their own children.”
  7. “The same UNCW administrator sponsored a workshop teaching students how to appreciate their orgasms.”
  8. “A UNCW English professor posted nude pictures of under-aged girls as part of an ‘art exhibit’ in the university library. The Provost then ordered the nude pictures to be moved away from the library and into the university union.” The incensed English professor asked the Faculty Senate to censure the Provost for violating her ‘academic freedom.’ The Faculty Senate sided with the feminist professor. The Provost was later pressured to leave the university.”
  9. “A different feminist professor at UNCW accused a male professor of putting tear gas in her office. She was later caught putting her mail in a microwave oven. She did this because she thought people were trying to poison her with anthrax and that the oven would neutralize the toxins. She was not placed on leave for psychiatric reasons. Instead, she was designated as the university’s official ‘counter terrorism’ expert.”
  10. “And then there is Mike Adams. He thinks marriage is between a man and a woman, and he is the biggest embarrassment on campus.”

Mike Adams, a criminology professor at Wilmington, wrote a book entitled “Letters to a Young Progressive: How to Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things That You Don’t Understand.” I must hurry and order this book before it is censored and disappears off the shelves.
At the end of the day in America, I still have my freedom of silence and my thoughts are still free until they invent a computer that can read my mind. Have they?

Thank heavens he finally got back to his real job

Obama Goes Golfing

No war for ego...where is Obama's "smarter" foreign policy, creativity?

Posted By Jeff Poor 
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer predicted on Friday that should President Barack Obama make a misstep when dealing with Syria, he could spark a “major regional war.”
In his column published in Friday’s Washington Post, Krauthammer alluded to the “guns of August,” a reference to 1914 and the build-up that led to the start of World War I.  That reference was a comparison to the current situation in Middle East involving Syria and a pending U.S. strike over the use of chemical weapons, and how those seemingly isolated events could unfold into something bigger.
On Friday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Krauthammer elaborated on that reference, drawing a comparison of early 20th century Germany to modern-day Iran — a growing superpower that its neighbors do not know how to contain.
“The real problems beginning in the last century was the growth of Germany, how to contain it. Europe didn’t know how to do it,” Krauthammer said. “They ended up with two world wars as a result. The analogy today is Iran in the Middle East. It is a rising power. It is an aggressive one. It’s a have-not power. It wants a place in the sun. It’s acquiring nukes. It scares the hell out of the Arabs. It’s a Persian country. And it now has a client in Syria. The war is being driven by Iran. There’s actual evidence that the Iranian agents, the Revolutionary Guards were involved in the poison gas. Iran controls Hezbollah, which spreads terror in the Middle East and in the region. And Iran is the one driving the war. Iran is looking and it is also developing the nukes, of course.”
But where Krauthammer said the danger is how Obama is handling it. He warned that Obama’s strike could not have much of a strategic effect but also unleash a major war between all the players in the region, including Iran and U.S. ally Israel.
“The problem is that if you get into this war, even in a limited and I think almost absurd way Obama is doing — he is giving them so much notice that even if we drop all the ammunition on the three or four ships, everything of importance has been moved. Iran is strengthened. The question is — it is going to look as if the U.S. — the U.K. already walked away. Iran is in the driver’s seat. America is slinking away. And the problem is if you make a miscalculation here and you let Iran imagine that it is in charge, it threatens to attack Israel … Israel will respond fiercely it and it could get out of control. So, it isn’t as if Obama imagined — he says, ‘I’ll do a narrow thing, limited thing. It’s not going to be boots on the ground, as if he is pleading with Assad, you know, don’t take it seriously. It’s just going to be a few bombs in the desert. Well, if he miscalculates and the Iranians and Hezbollah react, we could have a regional war  – a major regional war.”

Testing, testing, testing...

Test 'reveals Facebook, Twitter and Google snoop on emails': Study of net giants spurs new privacy concerns

  • Study set out to test confidentiality of 50 of the biggest Internet companies

  • Researchers sent unique web address in private messages through firms

  • They found six of the companies opened the link from the message


Son of drug-smuggling Suriname president busted with coke, bazooka: prosecutors

The son of a notorious South American president smuggled a fat stash of cocaine into the United States — and was busted with a rocket launcher and several guns, Manhattan prosecutors said yesterday.
Dino Bouterse, 40, whose father is the drug-trafficking president of Suriname, pleaded not guilty to the charges at his federal court arraignment.
Bouterse’s arsenal included “a light anti-tank weapon, which is a launcher containing a rocket, and pistols,” according to an indictment unsealed yesterday.
“Dino Bouterse conspired to send [22 pounds of] cocaine to the United States in a suitcase and brandished a destructive weapon during the act,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said.
“Bouterse is a significant drug trafficker who allegedly possessed dangerous weapons. Bouterse has a history of drug and weapons trafficking, having been convicted of similar charges in his home country of Suriname in 2005.”
Bouterse was collared at a Panama airport for sending the suitcase of coke from Suriname to the Caribbean on a commercial flight — with the plan that the drugs would end up in the United States.
His father, President Dési Bouterse, was convicted in absentia by a Netherlands court in 1999 of smuggling over 1,000 pounds of cocaine into the country — but never served any prison time.
The elder Bouterse is a former military dictator accused of human-rights violations, including the killings of 15 political opponents in December 1982. He ruled the tiny country from 1980 to 1987 and regained power in 2010.
After his son’s arrest, Bouterse postponed his opening statement at the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) summit in Suriname’s capital by three hours.
“I have heard about the news, but, at this moment, I am concentrating on the UNASUR meeting,” he told reporters.
Prosecutors in Suriname charged Dino Bouterse with stealing 50 guns from the government intelligence service in 2002 but later dropped the charges due to lack of evidence.
Police arrested the younger Bouterse again in September 2004 after seizing a large number of assault weapons, ammunition and one kilogram of cocaine from a local auto shop.
He was sentenced to eight years in prison in August 2005 after a judge found him guilty of leading a ring that trafficked in cocaine, illegal arms and stolen luxury cars.
Dino Bouterse was charged yesterday with importing cocaine into the United States and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug-trafficking crime. He could face life behind bars.
He will next appear in court on Sept. 9.

No longer the people's house

Appeals court says White House visitor logs can be kept from public

Should be charged with attempted murder because of her age. Another hate crime?

Teen Arrested In Assault Of Elderly Woman Outside Of Church

Will the MSM note?

No Atlantic Hurricane by August in First Time in 11 Years

August is about to end without an Atlantic hurricane for the first time since 2002, calling into question predictions of a more active storm season than normal.
Six tropical systems have formed in the Atlantic since the season began June 1 and none of them has grown to hurricane strength with winds of at least 74 miles (120 kilometers) per hour. Accumulated cyclone energy in the Atlantic, a measure of tropical power, is about 30 percent of where it normally would be, said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of Colorado State University’s seasonal hurricane forecasts.
“At this point, I doubt that a super-active hurricane season will happen,” Klotzbach said in an e-mail yesterday.
The most active part of the Atlantic season runs from Aug. 20 to about the first week of October. The statistical peak occurs on Sept. 10, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Two storms formed in August and the hurricane center is tracking two areas of thunderstorms that have low to medium chances of becoming tropical systems within five days
Atlantic storms are watched closely because they disrupt energy operations in and around the Gulf of Mexico and cause widespread destruction when they come ashore.
In the basin now, warm sea water and a decreasing amount of wind shear that can tear at the structure of budding storms mean conditions are ripe “for a burst of activity,” said Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at Weather Services International in Andover, Massachusetts.

A ’Head-Scratcher’

“The very inactive season so far has been a bit of a head-scratcher,” Crawford said in an e-mail interview.
Air temperatures from the Caribbean to Africa have been warmer than normal this year, reducing the instability in the atmosphere that drives storm development, he said. In addition, dry air is being pulled off Africa into the Atlantic, which also cuts storm activity, he said.
Seasonal predictions were for an above-normal season. The 30-year average is for 12 storms with winds of at least 39 miles per hour, the threshold at which they are named. Nineteen such systems formed in each of the last three years.
Colorado State, which pioneered seasonal forecasts, retreated slightly on its outlook in an early August update, calling for 18 named storms. Eight should be hurricanes and three of them major hurricanes, a reduction of one at each level, the researchers said.

NOAA Outlook

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration also kept its call for an above-average season in an Aug. 8 outlook for 13 to 19 named storms, six to nine hurricanes and three to five major systems.
“If you don’t get your first hurricane by or before August, it’s extremely difficult to get those high storm counts, especially for hurricanes and major hurricanes,” said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. “Amazing we’re on the 90th day of the hurricane season and no hurricanes yet.”
While water temperatures in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are high enough to spark hurricane formation, wind shear across the central part of the ocean has been high, Klotzbach said.
Shear is when the winds at different altitudes blow at varying speeds or directions, which can tear at the structure of a budding tropical system.

Atlantic Conditions

According to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center, there has been a lot of wind shear in the Atlantic between the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean and Cape Verde off the coast of Africa. This zone is often referred to as the main development region for Atlantic hurricanes, particularly in August and September.
“We haven’t had a hurricane and we don’t see anything that looks highly robust,” said Dan Kottlowski, an expert senior meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State CollegePennsylvania. “It just goes to show you that having warm water isn’t everything.”
For natural gas markets, hurricanes have shifted from being major output disruptions, in part because so much production has shifted to land, to being “load killers” that cut electricity demand as temperatures drop, said Teri Viswanath, director of commodities strategy at BNP Paribas SA in New York.
The Gulf of Mexico is home to about 6 percent of U.S. natural gas output, 23 percent of oil production and more than 45 percent of petroleum refining capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Department. In 2001, Gulf waters accounted for 24 percent of U.S. marketed gas production.

No Bets

A quiet first half to the Atlantic storm season doesn’t mean the second will be the same, she said.
“It’s not over until it’s over,” Viswanath said.
Hurricane Sandy, which slammed into New York and New Jersey last year, developed on Oct. 22 and went ashore on Oct. 29. It killed at least 159 people and damaged or destroyed more than 650,000 homes in the U.S., according to a federal task force report Aug. 19.
Crawford also said the 2013 season could rebound now that September has begun. He expects some of the barriers that have damped activity so far to fall.
The 2002 season, the last to pass without a hurricane by the end of August, included Hurricane Lili, a Category 4 storm that caused about $860 million in damage and killed at least 13 people in the Caribbean and Louisiana from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4, according to the hurricane center. The first hurricane to form that year was Gustav, on Sept. 11.
“On Sept. 9, if there is nothing to talk about, you can call me and we can write off the season,” said Michael Schlacter, founder of Weather 2000 in New York. “I think in the next 10 days there will be a lot of things to discuss.”

See especially the parts I've highlighted...


'Officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in'

The Wunderlich family, with Michael Farris of the HSLDA.
Four children, ages 7 to 14, have been forcibly taken from their Darmstadt, Germany, home by police armed with a battering ram, and their parents have been told they won’t see them again soon, all over the issue of homeschooling, according to a stunning new report from the Home School Legal Defense Association.
HSLDA, the world’s premiere advocate for homeschoolers, said the family of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich has battled for several years Germany’s World War II-era requirement that all children submit to the indoctrination programs in the nation’s public schools.
The shocking raid was made solely because the parents were providing their children’s education, HSLDA said. The organization noted the paperwork that authorized police officers and social workers to use force on the children contained no claims of mistreatment.
“The children were taken to unknown locations,” HSLDA said. “Officials ominously promised the parents that they would not be seeing their children anytime soon.”
The raid, which took place Thursday at 8 a.m. as the children were beginning their day’s classes, has been described by observers as “brutal and vicious.”
A team of 20 social workers, police and special agents stormed the family’s home. HSLDA reported a Judge Koenig, who is assigned to the Darmstadt family court, signed an order authorizing the immediate seizure of the children by force.
“Citing the parents’ failure to cooperate ‘with the authorities to send the children to school,’ the judge also authorized the use of force ‘against the children’ … reasoning that such force might be required because the children had ‘adopted the parents’ opinions’ regarding homeschooling and that ‘no cooperation could be expected’ from either the parents or the children,” HSLDA said.
Dirk Wunderlich told the homeschool group: “I looked through a side window and saw many people, police and special agents, all armed. They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it.”
His narration continued: “The police shoved me into a chair and wouldn’t let me even make a phone call at first. It was chaotic as they told me they had an order to take the children. At my slightest movement the agents would grab me, as if I were a terrorist. You would never expect anything like this to happen in our calm, peaceful village. It was like a scene out of a science fiction movie. Our neighbors and children have been traumatized by this invasion.”
Human rights violations
Michael Farris, HSLDA founder, said in a report the actions violated a number of established European precedents, including provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights.
“The right to homeschool is a human right,” he said, “and so is the right to freely move and to leave a country. Germany has grossly violated these rights of this family.
“This latest act of seizing these four beautiful innocent children is an outrageous act of a rogue nation.”
Farris said the U.S. Constitution is “not alone in upholding the right of parents to decide how to educate their children.”
“Germany is a party to numerous human rights treaties that recognize the right of parents to provide an education distinct from the public schools so that children can be educated according to the parents’ religious convictions,” he said.
“Germany has simply not met its obligations under these treaties or as a liberal democracy. HSLDA and I will do whatever we can to help this family regain custody of their children and ensure that they are safe from this persecution. This case demonstrates conclusively why the Romeike asylum case is so important. Families in Germany need a safe place where they can educate their children in peace.”
As WND reported, the Romeike case has been submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2010, an immigration judge granted asylum in the U.S. to the family, which fled Germany because their children were forced to go to public schools.
The Obama administration, unhappy with the outcome, appealed and obtained an order from a higher court that the family must return to Germany. The Obama administration has argued in court parents essentially have no right to determine how and what their children are taught, leaving the authority with the government.
See a report on the Romeikes
Government custody
The German government already has confronted the Wunderlich family several times over homeschooling. Less than a year ago, a German court granted custody of the children to state youth officials.
However, government authorities at that time decided to leave the children in the family home because they were well-cared for.
WND reported the government told the family it had failed to meet the government’s demands for “integration.” The decision came from Judge Markus Malkmus, who ordered the children into the custody of the states’ “child protective agency,” called the Jugendamt.
The family earlier was subjected to an ordeal in France when police snatched the children from their home there, accusing them of “being alone.”
At the time, two French social workers and two police officers appeared without notice at the home of Dominique Chanal in St. Leonard, France, where Dirk and Angela Wunderlich and their children were living.
The family had fled Germany because of a series of fines imposed for homeschooling. The children were released a short time later. But Dirk Wunderlich was forced last year to return his family to Germany because he could not find work elsewhere.
Wunderlich told Mike Donnelly, HSLDA director for international affairs, that he and his wife were devastated.
“These are broken people. They said they felt like they were being ground into dust. They were shaken to their core and shocked by the event. But they also told me that they had followed their conscience and the dictates of their faith,” Donnelly said. “Although they don’t have much faith in the German state – they have a lot of faith in God. They are an inspiring and courageous family.
Donnelly said his question to the political leadership of Germany is: “How long will you permit these kinds of brutal acts to be perpetrated against German families?”
“Why is it so important to you to force people into your state schools? The echo of this act rings from a darker time in German history. When will leaders stand up and make changes so that brutality to children like the Wunderlichs no longer happens because of homeschooling? Isn’t there any German statesman willing to stand up for what is right anywhere in Germany?”
Dirk Wunderlich told HSLDA his 14-year-old daughter was forcibly taken out of the home.
“When I went outside, our neighbor was crying as she watched. I turned around to see my daughter being escorted as if she were a criminal by two big policemen. They weren’t being nice at all. When my wife tried to give my daughter a kiss and a hug goodbye, one of the special agents roughly elbowed her out of the way and said – ‘it’s too late for that.’”
After the children were taken, authorities “invited” the parents to a meeting with social workers. They were told they were not even being allowed an immediate court hearing on the status of the children.
Hitler youth
Germany has a long history of persecuting homeschooling families.
It was in 1937 when Adolf Hitler said: “The youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.”
Just a few years ago, a German government spokesman, Wolfgang Drautz, emphasized the importance of socializing children through public schools.
His statement followed a response from the German government to another family that objected to police picking up their child and delivering him to a public school.
“The minister of education does not share your attitudes toward so-called homeschooling,” said a government letter. “You complain about the forced school escort of primary school children by the responsible local police officers. … In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement.”
HSLDA previously has documented in the Konrad and Plett cases how the German government considers homeschooling to be child abuse, even though it is recognized as a right by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
HSLDA has warned that the behavior of German authorities is a foreshadowing of what American parents should expect if the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child ever is ratified in the U.S. Its concerns are detailed at the website Parental Rights.
Swedish courts have ordered Dominic Johansson to be permanently separated from his parents, Christer and Annie Johansson.