Sunday, December 6, 2009

“Free” Country Criminalizing Thought?

“Will Congress Criminalize Anti-Semitism and Israeli Criticism? – by Stephen Lendman

In the current climate, perhaps given:

– America’s police state laws;

– no due process or judicial fairness for any state target;

– mass illegal surveillance;

– targeting dissent; and

– the power of the Israeli Lobby over Congress, the media, academia, the clergy, and most anyone confronting them.

During Israel’s war on Gaza, only 5 of 535 congressional members dissented on pro-Israeli resolutions.

On January 8, 2009, the Senate unanimously passed S 10: “A resolution recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian (no peace) peace process.”

On January 9, the House, by a 390 – 5 vote, passed HR 34 “Recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian (no peace) peace process.” More on this below.

Then on October 28, Obama signed the expanded 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, some call a stealth war on free expression and civil liberties. More on this as well.

Also consider events in Canada, initiated by a body called the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism (CPCCA), a voluntary association of 22 MPs investigating anti-semitism because, it says:

Its “extent and severity is widely regarded as at its worst level since the end of the Second World War,” despite contrary evidence and much to show how Israel twists opposition to Zionism and its international law violations to be an attack on Jews.

On October 29, in fact, Reuters reported that:

“Anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States are at a historic low, with 12 percent of Americans prejudiced toward Jews, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) survey found” based on polling done from September 26 – October 4 with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8%.

ADL said the level of anti-Semitism matched 1998’s as the lowest in the poll’s 45-year history. Yet in his 2003 book, “Never Again? The Threat Of The New Anti-Semitism,” national director, Abraham Foxman, said he’s:

“convinced we currently face as great a threat to the safety of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s – if not a greater one,” contradicted by Cato Institute research fellow Leon Hadar (writing in the January 2004 Chronicles) that public opinion polls “indicate anti-Semitism (both its racial and religious versions) has been in steep decline in most of Western Europe….”

Yet various Canadian Jewish organizations, including Hillel, B’nai Brith, and the Canadian Jewish Congress cite rising anti-Semitic incidents. On March 31, 2009, for example, B’Nai Brith Canada claimed Canadian anti-Semitic incidents rose 8.9% in 2008 over 2007, with “more than (a) four-fold increase in incidents over the past decade.”

The result gets bodies like CPCCA to exploit it, with disturbing implications of where this may lead, including calling opposition to Zionism and Israeli crimes anti-Semitism, and criminalizing them at a time the global BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is gaining traction in the wake of Operation Cast Lead and 42 years of military occupation.

CPCCA’s web site ( says:

“In February 2009, parliamentarians from around the world gathered in London for the inaugural conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Committee for Combatting Antisemitism.” Over 125 legislators attended from nearly 40 countries, after which “The London Declaration for Combating Antisemitism call(ed) on all governments to face the problem….”

CPCCA is a Canadian body, formed in March 2009 by 22 parliamentarians from all parties in the House of Commons. An inquiry was begun on June 2 calling for written submissions followed by public hearings (excluding anti-Israeli groups) running from November 2 – December 8. When concluded, the Steering Committee will produce a report for the government, anticipating a response “no later than the fall of 2010.”

Its web site asks: “What is the new anti-semitism,” saying:

“Anti-semitism is an age-old phenomenon, yet it is always re-invented and manifested in different ways. For example, while accusations of blood libel are still being made against the Jewish people, instead they are being directed against the State of Israel, such that anti-Zionism is being used as a cover for anti-semitism.”

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)

Founded in 2002, CJPME ( promotes “justice, peace, prosperity and security for all peoples of the Middle East,” and believes “all positions should respect international law….violence is not a solution, (and) all parties in a conflict must be held to the same standard.”

On August 31, 2009, it issued a “Written Submission to (CPCCA) Concerning Anti-Semitism in Canada,” saying:

– it opposes anti-Semitism;

– Israeli criticism must not be linked to it; and

– because of how it’s vilified, CJPME fears it will result in:

– “a terrifying attack on civil liberties (and free expression) in Canada, and

– a total silencing of debate on Israel out of fear of legal action.”

Yet both outcomes would violate “fundamental protections enumerated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” so efforts must be made to prevent them.

Israel is a secular state, not a proxy for Judaism or Jews. Many Jews globally, including Israelis, are extremely critical of government policies with regard to Occupied Palestine and its own Arab citizens. According to Ryerson University’s Social Justice and Democracy Professor Judy Rebick:

– equating Israeli criticism with anti-Semitism “is based on a claim that the State of Israel is the single outcome of the history of the Jewish people, the final end of generations of diasporic existence. It attempts to make the Zionist project of a Jewish nation the only legitimate project for all Jews,” when, in fact, many Jews publicly oppose Zionism and Israeli policies. Doing so isn’t anti-Judaic, anti-Israeli, or anti-Semitic because they, like Martin Luther King, believe that:

“True peace is not the absence of violence, but the presence of justice,” an element entirely absent in how Israelis treat Palestinians and their own Arab citizens.

Asking why Israel is heavily criticized, CJPME cites the following:

– its continued defiling of “the international consensus for respect for human and humanitarian rights – as reflected in international law….;”

– its maintenance of “one of the longest military occupations in modern history” over Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan, and Shebba Farms area of Lebanon;

– its repeated violations of international law and UN resolutions; and

– its imposition of “elements resembling those of South African Apartheid.”

As a result, it’s unsurprising that anti-Semitism accusations are made to stifle Israeli criticism as a way to diffuse and perhaps criminalize them. The possibility worries CJPME enough to say they can’t be used “to infringe on fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms comprising Part I of the March 29, 1982 Constitution Act. CJPME formally petitioned to participate in CPCCA’s inquiry that so far excludes Israeli critics.

“America’s Last Taboo”

It was distinguished Palestinian American activist/scholar Edward Said’s title for his New Left Review November-December 2000 article citing the “near-total triumph for Zionism in the United States.” Then and now, Israel is cast as victim in a dangerous neighborhood acting only in self-defense against “rock-throwing barbarians (comprising) what is essentially an invasive force. (It’s the) Palestinians who are encroaching on Israeli territory, not the other way around.”

The message is so ingrained that the media repeat it ad nauseam, and Said more than once said that the entire US Senate can be marshaled in a matter of hours to support Israel on virtually anything – even a wanton attack as malicious as Operation Cast Lead and numerous previous ones for many decades.

Exhibits A and B: S 10 and HR 34 with near-identical language saying:

– “Hamas was founded with the stated goal of destroying the State of Israel.”

Fact Check

Hamas was founded in 1987 during the first Intifada to resist repression and occupation through negotiation and international consensus, not war or terrorism as falsely portrayed. Yet as international law allows, it strongly defends itself when attacked.

– “Hamas has been designated by the Secretary of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.”

Fact Check

True because any organization or group opposing imperial aggression and dominance is so designated.

– “Hamas has refused to comply with the requirements of the Quartet (the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations) that Hamas recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence, and agree to accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Fact Check

Hamas repeatedly called for peace and an end of violence and expressed willingness to negotiate on the basis of “hudnah” or temporary truce. Its founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, said Hamas would end its liberating struggle “if the Zionists ended (their) occupation of Palestinian territories and stopped killing Palestinian women, children and innocent civilians.” More recently, Hamas offered peace and Israeli recognition in return for a Palestinian state inside pre-1967 borders, its Occupied Territories.

– “in June 2006, Hamas crossed into Israel, attacked Israeli forces and kidnapped Corporal Gilad Shalit, whom they continue to hold today.”

Fact Check

On June 25, Palestinians, including Hamas, responded to repeated Israeli attacks by striking an Israeli military post near Kerem Shalom crossing, southeast of Rafah, killing two IDF soldiers, injuring several others, and capturing (not kidnapping) a third, corporal Shalit. Israel’s long-planned Operation Summer Rain followed resulting in mass killings and destruction ahead of its horrendous July war on Lebanon, causing over 1,000 deaths and destruction comparable to Operation Cast Lead.

– “Hamas has launched thousands of rockets and mortars since Israel dismantled settlements and withdrew from Gaza in 2005.”

Fact Check

Many dozens, not thousands, of crude homemade rockets and mortars were used only in self-defense in response to repeated Israeli attacks with the most technologically advanced weapons, mostly from Washington, including F-16s, helicopter gunships, and powerful munitions, some clearly illegal.

House and Senate resolutions also cite, but don’t substantiate, Iranian help; Hamas locating “elements of its terrorist infrastructure in civilian population centers, thus using innocent civilians as human shields,” a practice Israel has used for decades; the threat “hundreds of thousands of Israelis” face from rocket attacks, giving them no alternative but to respond.

Dismissive about Gaza’s two and a half year siege, the resolutions stress how “Israel has facilitated humanitarian aid to Gaza with over 500 trucks and numerous ambulances entering the Gaza Strip since December 26, 2008.”

It also says “the ultimate goal of the United States is a sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will allow for a viable and independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel….”

Fact Check

After Hamas’ democratic January 2006 election, Israel, with Western support, collectively punished Gazans maliciously. It denied all outside aid, imposed an embargo and sanctions, and stepped up repression, repeated attacks, killings, targeted assassinations, and property destruction, followed by a medieval siege since June 2007 causing grave humanitarian harm by restricting essential to life foods, medicines, and medical equipment as well as electricity, fuel, construction materials, and virtually everything needed to function normally.

Israel facilitates misery, not humanitarian aid, peace or Palestinian self-determination it’s spent decades to deny through violence, intimidation, naked aggression, confrontation over diplomacy and peaceful coexistence, and what scholar Joel Kovel calls “a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses,” facilitated by Washington’s financial, military, and political support.

Ending “America’s last taboo” is the way forward toward a viable, sustainable Middle East peace, possible only when 42 years of occupation end and Palestinians are again free – so far, what Israel and Washington won’t allow or even consider.

The 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act

The Department of Justice FBI web site ( defines them as follows:

“A hate crime, also known as a bias crime, is a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.”

On April 29, the House passed HR 1913: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 “To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.”

On April 28, S 909: Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act was introduced “to provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.”

On July 15, 2009, the measure was adopted as an amendment to S 1390, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. On July 23, the full measure passed.

On October 8, the House passed HR 2647: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 containing hate crimes prevention provisions.

On October 22, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed, then on October 28, it became law after president Obama signed it. A same day New York Times Jeff Zeleny article titled, “Obama Signs Hate Crimes Bill” said it:

“expands the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim’s (actual or perceived) sexual orientation (or identity). Under existing federal law, hate crimes are defined as those motivated by the victim’s race, color, religion or national origin,” even though, short of reading an offender’s mind, there’s no way to know if a crime was committed for other reasons besides “hate.”

Further, the bill doesn’t repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, banning gays from the military if they admit their sexual orientation, or the Defense of Marriage Act, defining legal marriage to be between a man and a woman.

In addition, it doesn’t address universal civil and human rights; patients’ rights to effective health care; students’ rights to a good education to the highest level; and everybody’s right to the essentials of life, including safe food, water, and clean air; adequate shelter; full protection under the law; and democracy for everyone, not just the elite few.

Nonetheless, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group praised the bill as the “nation’s first major piece of civil rights legislation” for LGBT. Others called it advancing civil rights, but critics expressed concerns.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a conservative legal alliance partnered with over 300 ministries and organizations, fears that pastors calling homosexuality a sin may be linked to a hate crime if a parishioner harms someone for their sexual orientation. ADF says it’s seen:

“evidence of where ‘hate crimes’ legislation leads when it has been tried around the world: It paves the way for the criminalization of speech that is not deemed ‘politically correct.’ (These laws) fly in the face of the underlying purpose of the First Amendment, which was designed specifically to protect unpopular speech.”

Others fear an attack on dissent against anyone expressing politically unpopular views at a time of disdain for human rights and eroding civil liberties putting everyone at risk.

The new law, however, prosecutes “crimes of violence,” defined by section 16, title 18, US code as:

(a) “an offense that has an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or

(b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.”

Whether new measures will follow bears watching given a severe economic crisis and the fragility of American democracy at a time it’s transitioning toward a full-blown police state with noted trends watchers like Gerald Celente predicting the “greatest depression” unleashing violence, street crime, and mass civil unrest because “when people lose everything, and they have nothing else to lose, they lose it.”

If so, government repression will follow with harsh police state measures because when powerful people fear losing what’s taken them decades to achieve, they’ll do anything to defend it, including criminalizing protected speech, dissent, and whatever threatens their privilege or important allies, none more valued than Israel.

Thanks to Orwell's Dream where we first saw the post.

Check them out HERE

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Political correctness has replaced British Politics!

Just a note to point out that the global financial meltdown we are experiencing now can be placed fairly and squarely at the feet of political correctness and social engineering - courtesy of the now ruling Democratic Party in the USA. While this fact is well known over there, you won't hear it mentioned in the UK, beyond Gordon Brown's mumble " financial crisis ... started in America...". Perhaps someone should ask him how and why it started in America! You don't believe me? Read about it and watch a video here

If you agree with what you read here, please help civilisation by linking to this site whenever and wherever you can. After all (to paraphrase Edmund Burke) for political correctness to triumph it only requires that sensible people do nothing!

Have you ever stopped to wonder why 40% of people don't bother to vote anymore? Have you ever stopped to wonder why, which ever party is in power, nothing ever gets any better? Have you ever stopped to wonder why all the three major political parties in the UK have broadly the same policies? The answer is simple - political correctness. This left wing ideology has very cleverly, and by stealth, replaced British politics. The PC Brigade effectively hold a gun to the head of political parties - none of the main parties now dare suggest any policy that is not politically correct otherwise the PC Brigade will label them the 'nasty' party. Witness the Conservative party policy U turns. In a desperate effort to lose their 'nasty' party label they have become Blue Labour, a slightly diluted form of New Labour!

So we now have the three main parties all occupying the same small piece of 'centre ground'. Many people don't vote on the grounds that it is pointless - you will get the same whoever wins. Some people don't vote because they realise that politically correct policies are what has got us into this mess in the first place.

Other people don't vote because they realise that career politicians are a self seeking, corrupt bunch of freeloaders who they wouldn't trust to run their whelk stall while they were on holiday. Notice that I say career politicians - this is the new breed of politicians that haven't ever entered the real world of work. They have left school, gone to university and then blagged a job as a 'research assistant' to a MP before realising that with most of our laws now made abroad, the job was such a well paid doddle that they could do it themselves. They have never had to hold down a proper job, they have no management or other skills, hold no real political views and tend to migrate to whichever party looks most likely to win power. To survive in this fantasy environment all you need to do is to be politically correct. You can read more about this, the political parties and how the New Labour ministers got there under Politicians/ Parties on the navigation bar.

So what is political correctness, how did it start and how did it become so successful? Political correctness is first and foremost an attack on free speech, clear thinking and discussion. Political correctness is perpetrated by the left in politics as a cover for their flawed ideology - a sort of cultural Marxism. By cloaking their strange ideas under the cover of not wishing to offend anyone (which naturally appeals to peoples' better nature), they try to bypass debate and give a 'received wisdom' which must not be questioned. And anyone who disagrees with this 'received wisdom' must therefore be a really nasty person and deserves to be ostracised by their peers. This peer pressure is instrumental in enforcing and expanding political correctness.

For example, if you question whether unfettered immigration into this country is necessarily a good thing or perhaps whether immigrants should be health checked, then you must be a nasty bigoted 'Little Englander'. Come on everyone - shout him down with cries of 'racist'. Of course, only the hard of thinking could be drawn into this charade - anyone with an ounce of common sense can see right through it.

So how did it all start? Political Correctness started in a think tank (called The Frankfurt School) in Germany in 1923. The purpose was to find a solution to the biggest problem facing the implementers of communism in Russia. Why wasn't the wonderful idea of communism spreading? Read the short history here, the full history and purpose here or watch a 22 minute documentary here.

The Frankfurt school recommended (amongst other things):

  1. the creation of racism offences
  2. continual change to create confusion
  3. the teaching of sex and homosexuality to children
  4. the undermining of schools and teachers' authority
  5. huge immigration to destroy national identity
  6. the promotion of excessive drinking
  7. emptying the churches
  8. an unreliable legal system with bias against the victim of crime
  9. dependency on the state or state benefits
  10. control and dumbing down of media
  11. encouraging the breakdown of the family

Sound all too familiar? Yes - Great Britain 1997 onwards......

The basic idea is to make the country wholly dependent on the State. By the dumbing down of education, the creation of huge state sector employment and large scale immigration, New Labour has effectively created a captive audience to vote for them or Blue Labour, should the Conservatives actually get back into power.

If the Conservatives did get back into power, nothing much would change. David Cameron has already shown his true politically correct credentials many times but none so shamelessly as when he sacked the well respected Patrick Mercer, just for speaking the truth. Patrick Mercer wasn't being a racist, he was just commenting on how in Army life you get picked on if you have some different feature whether it is black skin, ginger hair, being fat or just lazy. My Father did me a great service many years ago when pointed out that 'sticks & stones would break my bones but names would never hurt me'. Thanks for instilling some common sense in me, Dad!

But of course, political correctness has made common sense a thing of the past. If you catch a burglar in your house then it's probably best to help the poor soul by carrying your possessions to the front door lest he should trip up and hurt himself and it's you that end up in court!

After all, you won't get much help from the Police, who have been effectively neutralised by the fast tracking of university graduates whose only experience of life has been obtained in the liberal atmosphere of education. Probably best not to complain to them about their lack of attendance when your car has been vandalised or you will probably get a letter back from a Superintendent pointing out that vandals are victims as well (read it here). And just in case any real policemen still exist, the Politically Correct Brigade has turned the Police Force in on itself by claims of institutional racism.

If they do actually succeed in getting a villain into court (only 1 for every 100 crimes committed) then the Magistrates hand out such lenient sentences (as laid down by the very Politically Correct 'sentencing advisory panel') that there is no deterrent. If you do end up in prison (extremely unlikely as New Labour have deliberately refused to build anything like enough new places) the prison officers are told to call you by your first name and not say anything that may upset you! As your cell is now your home, you are allowed to smoke there but Prison Officers who want to search it for drugs now have to give you 30 mins notice of their visit so that they don't put themselves at risk from the smoke oh and also to give you enough time to move your drugs elsewhere. Just in case you do get bored, you can keep yourself amused by repeatedly taking the prison governor to court over trivial matters that you think violate your human rights (no pornography etc) - all paid for by legal aid!

Travellers can descend upon your area, dump old cars and shit everywhere with impunity. You try doing it in your front garden and see what happens! They are allowed to bypass the normal planning controls that are so strictly enforced on the rest of us and cost local councils hundreds of thousands of pounds in court cases and clean-ups. Who pays? Why you do of course - just check your council tax bill!

Illegal immigrants (if caught) are rarely deported. Those that are deported are just the more honest ones who don't know how to play the system or haven't been coached by the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns which is funded by your lottery money! Oh and have you got a long way to come to get here? Why not hijack an airliner for the trip? Don't worry, we will still let you stay!

Would you like a black coffee? NO! You can't say that! It's coffee without milk and Local Authorities spend a fortune of our money on making their employees attend courses on Newspeak and Diversity training!

Our British humour has suffered badly. We can't tell jokes anymore in case it's considered racist or it upsets anyone. Don't these Politically Correct people realise that the clue is in the word "joke",which my dictionary quite rightly defines as "something said in fun or jest" or "to say something in fun or teasing rather than in earnest?"

Try organising an event or trip and you find yourself tied up in the endless red tape created by the Health & Safety Executive. These people are all part of the 'Nanny State' (state control) which insists in sticking its nose into every aspect of our lives and telling us how to live it!

Just in case there is anyone left in the country that might still be enjoying themselves - let's ban smoking, fox hunting and let feminists launch a totally unfounded attack on men as rapists.

That is the sad state of the UK today. But overwhelmed by their own success with political correctness, the left have something else just as sinister up their sleeve so they can expand their power and control over us even more - the Great Global Warming scam! Same methodology - an idea to appeal to peoples' better nature - let's save the planet - and the same way of enforcing it by peer pressure. Just watch what happens to any scientist who breaks ranks or disagrees - they get the same treatment that Galileo got from the medieval church. David Bellamy was the first I think. It takes a brave man (or a self sufficient one) to come out against these things publicly when you know your future livelihood may be at risk.

Politically correct people can't stand reality or see that things have evolved to be as they are for good reasons. Politically correct people remind me of ostriches - they bury their heads in the sand and then proceed to talk out of the only orifice that still remains above ground.

So don't let anyone fool you that political correctness is just about being "nice to people", tolerant and treating them with proper respect. That's called good manners. Political correctness has been deliberately designed to subvert free speech, debate and common sense, replacing these with a ruthlessly enforced set of left wing ideas. Far from being tolerant, politically correct people are the most intolerant of all people and have the worst manners. They refuse to debate subjects (as their views don't stand up to the most elementary scrutiny), preferring just to scream abuse at you.

To read more about how political correctness has replaced British politics and how it affects specific subjects, just select them on the sidebar. In case you get too depressed doing so, I have included some lighter reading as well.

Source: Source: Political Correctness - The Awful Truth

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Police U-turn on photographers and anti-terror laws

Don’t use anti-terror laws to prevent pictures being taken, officers told

Police forces across the country have been warned to stop using anti-terror laws to question and search innocent photographers after The Independent forced senior officers to admit that the controversial legislation is being widely misused.

The strongly worded warning was circulated by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) last night. In an email sent to the chief constables of England and Wales’s 43 police forces, officers were advised that Section 44 powers should not be used unnecessarily against photographers. The message says: “Officers and community support officers are reminded that we should not be stopping and searching people for taking photos. Unnecessarily restricting photography, whether from the casual tourist or professional, is unacceptable.”

Chief Constable Andy Trotter, chairman of Acpo’s media advisory group, took the decision to send the warning after growing criticism of the police’s treatment of photographers.

Writing in today’s Independent, he says: “Everyone… has a right to take photographs and film in public places. Taking photographs… is not normally cause for suspicion and there are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place.”

He added: “We need to make sure that our officers and Police Community Support Officers [PCSOs] are not unnecessarily targeting photographers just because they are going about their business. The last thing in the world we want to do is give photographers a hard time or alienate the public. We need the public to help us.

“Photographers should be left alone to get on with what they are doing. If an officer is suspicious of them for some reason they can just go up to them and have a chat with them – use old-fashioned policing skills to be frank – rather than using these powers, which we don’t want to over-use at all.”

Section 44 of the Terrorism Act allows the police to stop and search anyone they want, without need for suspicion, in a designated area. The exact locations of many of these areas are kept secret from the public, but are thought to include every railway station in and well-known tourist landmarks thought to be at risk of terrorist attacks.

Many photographers have complained that officers are stopping them in the mistaken belief that the legislation prohibits photographs in those areas. Forces who use Section 44, most commonly London’s Metropolitan Police, have repeatedly briefed and guided frontline officers on how to use the powers without offending the public.

But privately senior officers are “exasperated, depressed and embarrassed” by the actions of junior officers and, particularly, PCSOs who routinely misuse the legislation. One source said that an “internal urban myth” had built up around police officers who believe that photography in Section 44 areas is not allowed.

The aberrations have resulted in nearly 100 complaints to the police watchdog. Since April 2008 every complaint made by a member of the public about the use of Section 44 powers, unlike other complaints, must be forwarded to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. In the past 18 months there have been 94 complaints. Eight of these specifically mentioned the fact that the issue arose around photography. Acpo’s communiqué has been welcomed by rank-and-file police officers and photographers alike.

Simon Reed, the chairman of the Police Federation, which represents England and Wales’s 140,000 rank-and-file officers, said: “I think some new guidance will be welcome.”

New orders: The message to officers

This is the message circulated by Andy Trotter, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, to police forces in England and Wales.

“Officers and PCSOs are reminded that we should not be stopping and searching people for taking photos.

“There are very clear rules around how stop-and-search powers can be used. However, there are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place. Therefore members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so.

“We need to co-operate with the media and amateur photographers. They play a vital role as their images help us identify criminals.

“We must acknowledge that citizen journalism is a feature of modern life and police officers are now photographed and filmed more than ever.

“However, unnecessarily restricting photography, whether from the casual tourist or professional is unacceptable and worse still, it undermines public confidence in the police service.”

A personal viewpoint: ‘I was reminded why I left the police’

I spent 27 years as a PC in the Met, but it was during a trip to my old police station with a friend late last year that I was starkly reminded why I eventually decided to leave.

Since 2003 I have been living in France, where I coach a children’s rugby team not far from Toulouse. But last December my sister needed to see a specialist in Harley Street so I went with her and a rugby friend of mine back to London for the week.

While my sister went to the doctors I suggested to my friend, Will, that we should go and take a look at Albany Street police station near Regent’s Park, which was where I spent my first eight years as a copper.

It’s the kind of station that looks like something out of Dixon of Dock Green, it has a lovely little blue police light outside the entrance and I asked Will whether he’d take a picture of me standing underneath it. Within seconds we found ourselves approached by two PCSOs who told us that we were not allowed to take photographs of police stations.

I didn’t want to be a sad old git by telling stories of my past and the nostalgia I felt for the place. So instead I said: “We’re tourists. We want a picture of that Blue lamp, it’s iconic and it represents London bobbies.” But they didn’t want any of it and ordered us to stop taking photographs. The second PCSO started asking Will for his details which he began to give before I informed him that he was under no obligation to do so.

I’d clearly failed what the police call “the attitude test” because they radioed for back-up from inside the police station and we were soon joined by a police constable. Often during my time as a policeman I would hear this policy. If someone was bolshy, argumentative or challenging in any manner, refusing to play by the police rules and not willing to show deference, then they had failed the “attitude test”.

I guess I hoped the PC would show more common sense but he repeated the same line, that the police station was in a “sensitive zone” and that we had to stop taking photographs. Eventually we gave up and walked away.

Source: Orwell's Dream

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Equality snoopers to keep files on your sexuality

People will be routinely asked to answer sensitive questions about their sexuality so a Government quango can compile a massive ‘equalities’ database, it emerged last night.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is to take information given in confidence by millions and place it on a huge ‘Lifestyle Database’.

It will draw information from sources including visits to A&E departments, government surveys and the reporting of crimes to police.

In order for bureaucrats to measure whether gay or straight citizens are suffering greater ‘inequality’, the EHRC said everybody should be asked to provide information about their sexual identity.

They will be asked if they are heterosexual/straight, gay/lesbian, bisexual or other.

Campaigners said the establishment of the ‘Big Brother’ database – which will be available on the quango’s website – would alarm the public.

Alex Deane, Director of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘This intrusive database is being built without even the smallest consideration for privacy.

‘When people go to hospital, they don’t think that information about their illness is going to be shared with the EHRC.

‘What possible right does the EHRC have to build this database, and then share what they’ve gathered with other people on their website?’

Details of the plan emerged after the EHRC, led by chairman Trevor Phillips, began the tendering process for establishing the database.

Freedom of Information requests, obtained by the Old Holborn blogger, then revealed what the scheme involved.

Equalities bosses have decided they must work out whether citizens are suffering inequality based upon various different factors.

These include age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion and belief, transgender status, ethnicity and social class. Citizens’ characteristics will be checked through their answers to various government surveys and information on whether they need hospital care or have called the police.

It will allow bureaucrats to check different groups are not more likely to die young, be murdered, suffer illness, or violent crime.

Checks will also be made of happiness, healthy living standards and educational attainment. Any minority groups considered to be losing out can then be targeted for Government help.

It will not be possible to identify individuals from the information on the database.

But what is alarming campaigners is the way the information will be compiled.

Staff are planning to take data which is given to a list of 45 different sources by members of the public.

This includes their A&E records, the British Crime Survey, the British Election Study, the Census, Childcare and Early Years Parents’ Survey and the Citizenship Survey.

The information is not provided in the knowledge it will be handed over to an equality quango.

But the EHRC’s report on the way the database should be established says the sexual identity question should become a standard part of major surveys ‘as soon as practicable’.

An EHRC spokesman said: ‘Crime rates, poor hospital treatment, lack of childcare places and inadequate housing are some of the things that British people are worried about.

‘Looking at each of these problems in isolation doesn’t tell the whole story, as these factors may combine together to have a bigger effect on our lives.

‘By looking at all the issues together, our framework will show what needs to be done to make Britain a fairer place to live.’

Source: Orwell's Dreams

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It’s All AIPAC of Lies

American Israel Public Affairs Committee—AIPAC. The single most powerful lobby in the world. So powerful that Washington politicians
carefully weigh each and every vote they cast based on the approval of this lobby.

Yes, a foreign lobby has that much clout, power and control over American leaders and thus, the American people. AIPAC has become so overpowering that they have risen above government investigations and mainstream media scrutiny. So powerful that the following statement was NEVER reported in America’s newspapers, magazines, or electronic media:

Every time we do something you tell me that America will do this and America will do that. I want to tell you something very clear; don’t worry
about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.

You may think that maybe that statement was made by an overzealous Jewish American—or—an Israeli comedian—or—an Israeli talk show host. Maybe. Just maybe! No, that was no comment made at an Israeli barbershop or an Israeli wedding—no maybes about it! That comment was made by the then Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon. Yes, the prime minister of Israel! The head of state—Israel’s leader.

Think about it.You may not have even heard this statement or read about it were it not for AFP. In fact, this may be the very first time you’ve come to learn of this statement—December 2009.
The power of AIPAC is so evident that the mainstream media of the USA hid it from your eyes and ears. Yes, you should be upset—really mad—because that statement was made October 3, 2001—more than 8 years ago. Eight years ago you didn’t even know that a foreign leader announced, on an Israeli radio show no less, that “We, the Jewish people, control America.”

And it didn’t stop there—consider the far-reaching ramifications of the remainder of that statement: “And the Americans know it.”

What Americans? Do you know it? Do your neighbors know it? Who are these Americans who know it?

Lets get to the point. Every politician in Washington D.C. knows it and has never uttered a word about it, NEVER even a whisper.

I opened up a can of worms in my September appearance on the Greta Van Susteren show, Fox TV Network. I said: “Israel has a stranglehold on America. Their lobby AIPAC has pushed and manipulated America into wars of little or no interest to our national security. . . . Our sons and daughters are being shipped home in body bags. These wars have now bankrupted America and no one—no one—has even whispered a warning from our nation’s capital.” I further stated: “Our one-sided foreign policy in
the Mideast favoring Israel on every issue has turned the Arab world against us and has exported to America the terrorism, violence and danger resulting from these misguided policies.”

I was called a “kook”—demeaned by the mainstream media—labeled an anti-Semite—on and on. The reason is quite clear. No one can even question Israel without being targeted, without retaliation.

“We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans; know it.” (Ariel Sharon, Oct. 3, 2001.) I’m no anti-Semite—and Israel knows it. Israel also knows that I vehemently oppose any person, entity or
government that attempts to control, manipulate, influence or gerrymander our great nation. Truth is, Israel has done just that.

When a foreign leader such as Ariel Sharon can make such a statement, and get away with it without media or government scrutiny, it speaks to the awesome power that Israel wields over America’s commerce, the American press and the American government.

Transparency? The new buzzword! Who’s kidding whom? American politicians dare not even whisper their concerns about Israel.

It has come to pass. Yes, American kids are being shipped home in body bags to grieving parents who have lost their jobs and pensions due to these “Israeli wars.”

That’s right, “ISRAELI WARS.”Wars of expansion for Israel, at the expense and pain of the people of the USA. “BEAM ME UP!”

Our first president, George Washington, warned:

“Beware of permanent alliances.” George Washington is rolling over in his grave. GW could never have imagined an America being controlled
and manipulated by another government.

If Sharon’s statement had been made by any other foreign leader, it would have been headlines in every newspaper in America. It would have been the hot subject of every American talk show, radio and TV. But not Israel. No talk show host, whether conservative or liberal will ever question Israel. If they do, they will lose their show. Beware, American politicians, or you, too, will become a target.

Source: American Free Press

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