Sunday, May 25, 2008

News smörgåsbord: May 18 - 25, 2008

Well, I find myself in an ever-familiar situation: Lots on my plate, and too little time available to discuss any of it at length. Time for one of the nightdragon's famous news smörgåsbords, taking into account some of the major news stories of the past week:

Mizens define respect in every way

You can't help but feel the most astounding respect for the parents of Jimmy Mizen, the 16-year-old practicing Catholic who died after being cut across the neck with a shard of broken glass by a thug. The low-life had challenged Mizen to a fight; Mizen refused to fight and got stabbed for it.
Barry Mizen, the young man's father, said that people need to assess and change their own behavior rather than relying on the Government to make them feel safe. Margaret, Jimmy's mother, also said that she felt sorry for the parents and family of the thug who killed her son and opined that there "was not enough hugs and love in this world."
I suppose I'm as guilty as anyone else of not challenging the status quo enough, much as I complain about it. I much prefer to mind my own business, not get involved with anything involving others, and I'm certainly not about to go doling out hugs to anyone other than members of my immediate family.
But the message is hard to argue with. Have more respect for yourself and others. Try to spread love simply by being polite. Don't let anger grind you down into the type of person who would commit such horrible crimes.
The whole world would be a much better place if there were more people like the Mizen family.

Obama: Toughen up or shut up

Barack Obama has warned the GOP: "Leave my wife alone!"
The Republicans jumped on remarks made by Michelle Obama; Mrs. Obama had opined "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm proud of my country." The would-be First Lady also has a history of Black Power activism.
Sorry, Barack, but this is politics. The nation can decide for itself whether bringing up Michelle's comments and activist past is relevant. If they think it's dirty politics, they'll vote against the GOP.
But all is fair in the political process. It's a rough game and those who take part in it don't always fight fair. Any advantage is worth considering. This is the nature of the beast.
You went into this contest head first and with both eyes open, Mr. Obama. Now you must deal with the consequences. You yourself will be looking for any advantage against McCain and, once you have found it, you are likely to use it.
Grow up, Barack. To run for president, you have to be a big boy. If you don't like the Republicans' tactics, then stand up to them and challenge them. Stop whining and fight like a man (if you can).

I suppose they'll still find a way to blame this on the white community ...

So much for the Lefty-liberal argument that only whites are rabid anti-immigrant thugs who commit violence against their racially diverse neighbors.
The black community of South Africa, Johannesburg in particular, have proven what a fallacy that is.
This is black African on black African violence, on a truly appalling level.
Yet, this is what tends to happen when people feel the pinch, food prices rise, employment levels stagnate and crime levels are too high for most people's comfort. Immigrants bear the brunt. This has been the case the world over, not just white communities in Western countries.
As with South Africa, as with Italy, as with Britain, as with America, as with any other sovereign nation, the message is clear: Controlled immigration is the key. It's such a simple, elementary policy to adopt, but it's surprising how little countries take notice and act upon it, largely because they're at the beck-and-call of the corporate world which demands, "let them in, we need their cheap labor!"
I can understand why so many Zimbabweans, Malawians and others want to live in a relatively economically stable country like South Africa. But South Africa cannot, and is under no obligation to, take in as many as want to come.
And that is the real lesson that South Africa needs to learn if they hope to quell the violence and ensure that it does not repeat itseslf.

Only servants to the Brave New World deserve respect and tolerance

I personally don't take offense to civil unions between gay people, as long as the distinct term "civil union" is used and not "marriage." As long as that bit of semantics is honored, I have no problem with it. Gay people exist and they have always existed, and they should not be treated as second-class citizens.
However, having said that, I feel that—as with Black Power, as with feminism—gay rights is not so much about equality as it is about superiority, about shunning and punishing those who dare to disagree with their views.
Take the case of Lillian Ladele, the marriage registrar for London's Islington Coucil who faces being fired for refusing to officiate at civil partnership ceremonies. Ladele is not being discriminatory because she takes pleasure in so doing, but because her Christian beliefs tell her that these sorts of unions are wrong. This is a personal belief that one would think, in a supposedly free country, she has every right to uphold.
But the new Statistics and Registration Act, which came into effect last December, ended the freedom of opt-outs for registrars. A spokesman for the gay-rights campaign Stonewall sniffed, with regard to Ladele's case, "All public servants are paid to uphold the law of the land."
The real message here is, don't take a job in the public sector if you disagree with what you see going on in society. Unless you're an obedient slave to the Brave New World, don't even bother.
Ladele, however, is fighting to keep her job with the council because a £31,000 a year salary is not to be sniffed at.
It is alright to accept and be tolerant of one set of beliefs and practices but not another. That is essentially what the politically correct bullies of the Government are saying. Respect and tolerance is a one-way street in this day and age, and how sad and abhorrent that is.

Speaking of respect: An Armed Forces Day?

The Government is mulling over plans to create an official holiday entitled "Armed Forces Day." The real reason for such a holiday is that respect for the armed forces among the public is at an all-time low.
This follows reports that, in the English city of Peterborough earlier this year, Air Force personnel were being abused by members of the public whenever they went into town wearing their military uniforms. Because the Afghanistan and Iraq efforts are deeply unpopular, the public is taking out their frustration on military staff.
OK, the obvious: This not only suggests that the British public are ingrates on a truly mind-boggling scale, but that they are woefully ignorant not only of the raison d'être for both wars, but of who is responsible for them. The military fight where they're told to fight by the Government. In attacking RAF personnel, people seem to have completely lost sight of that fact.
Of course, we have seen this ugly, despicable behavior before. Americans acted no better during the waning years of the Vietnam War. Our soldiers were "welcomed" back home to be jeered, spat at and called "baby killers." (This is one reason why I will always be grateful that I am not a member of that fetid, spoiled "baby boom" generation.)
But Americans have learned their lesson. Even though the War in Iraq is rapidly becoming unpopular amongst the U.S. public, the average American still holds his country's troops in high esteem. As this article from The Daily Telegraph states, "The war in Iraq has not thrown up anything like the same bitterness as the Vietnam War, and civilians are careful to keep separate any abhorrence for political policies from their regard for the serving soldier."
This is what needs to happen here in Britain. The British public need to stop repeating the same awful, infantile behavior of Americans in the Vietnam War era.
We can only hope an Armed Forces Day will help steer the British public toward a righter frame of mind.


kristen said...

If Michelle Obama is going to campaign w/ the husband and spout those kind of remarks (of which I was totally appalled), she's fair game. BOTH need to toughen up.

How sad that the Brits don't acknowledge their armed forces and that they are scorned. I have such a deep gratitude and respect for the U.S. military.

Nightdragon said...

I've heard it said that a popular war, such as WWII, would bring automatic respect back to the armed forces in this country. How whacked is that? We really want a return to that kind of war just so the military can get some respect again? What the public here needs to realize is that Iraq and Afghanistan do represent a war for our survival and that of our values, much like in WWII, and that you do not take your anti-war frustration out on the military itself. I really feel that Brits are like the Americans were 40 years ago. That needs to change, big-time.

Beth said...

Good post, and excellent insight.