"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday 28 August 2013

The Age of Phobia

Is discrimination as real as the phobia?

Oprah Winfrey read  racial slur about a  Swiss sales  clerk's refusal to  show  her a purse  valued at thosands of dollars from a secure place on a high shelf behind the counter.

I'm fairly certain if I were the person asking to handle the  same purse,  I would receive the same response.

It would have nothing to do with the colour of my skin.

It would have  everything to do with the fact that I don't look like  the Devil  Who Wears Prada.

Switzerland is not a place like other places.

No matter the nature of the dispute ,Switzeland is always neutral in war.

The national industry is banking.

It allows people of  wealth and substance to stash  stuff  safe from  their own government in times of war.

It also provides a haven for  wealthy Americans to protect them from their nations taxes.

I think they may even surrender Americn Citizenship for that advantage.

Oprah Winfrey was in Switzerland  to attend the wedding of her friend Tina Turner.


Last week an MLA  somewehere else in Canada was compelled to apologize to a colleague for  making a reference to a colleague's"male friend"

The Premier  required the apology on pain of being expelled from the party cauicus.

But isn't that what the battle has been about. For  legal recognition of same sex rlationships.

Why do they insist on co-opting language to obscure the reality?

Gay  was a word in the English language with a clear  and succinct meaning.

A rainbow was a natural phenomena.


Early in this term I used the  term Niger Brown. I was assailed because it  was similar to another word spelled differently.

A couple of weeks ago I used the term "limp-wristed liberal"

Immediattely there was an explosion from the sidelines.;

"WOW!! You'r e homophobic. I bet you wuldn't walk in a Gay Pride Parade"

I am not. Why can't the term "limp-wristed liberal"  be allowed to mean what it says;

A flabby thinker. A person with no firm opinions. A weak reed that bends this way and that ,however the wind blows. A jellyfish Julian.

The commenter was right about one thing though. I would not walk in a gay pride parade. I see no merit in parading sexuality. I wouldn'ty walk in a heterosexual pride parade either.

a reference to that pesons's "male friend"  The Premier of the Province required him to do so on pain of bein expelled from he party caucus.


Anonymous said...

The Swiss allow foreigners to bank their money within the country. But there are all sorts of stipulations. You are most unlikely to ever become a citizen. And if you are an American working there, the local bank will report all income to the US so that they get their share of your taxes.
The phrase I saw Ballard freak out on was ' niggardly'.
As a professed journalist, he should have known the derivation of the word. But he likes doing fury , shock and horror.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it a senior Conservative Senator who referred to ' lick-spittle ' liberals and journalists? I had to look that one up. She seems to be in a bit of trouble herself right now.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to categorize a country please do so in full, not merely a passing and inaccurate comment.

The Swiss Confederation dates from 1291. That makes it five times as old as Canada. The Federal Constitution dates from 1848 making it one of the oldest in the world.

One neat aspect of Swiss voting, at all three levels, the commune, the canton and the federal level, is that by calling a referendum, a group of citizens may challenge a law enacted at any of these levels. There is also the right, the federal constitutional initiative that allows citizens to put a constitutional amendment to a national vote. There are varying numbers of signatures required for the three different government levels where a referendum is desired.

This sounds like a great improvement over our system of creating legislation, where any majority government at any of our three levels can pass just about any law and only be subject to judicial review, ultimately by the Supreme Court.

Banking is not Switzerland's national industry and your concept of wealthy people stashing their money for security or tax purposes has changed, if only recently. One never had to surrender the citizenship of one's national country in order to live in Switzerland. Shania Twain has lived there for years.

The Swiss economy, including banking, consists of pharmaceuticals, watch making, engineering, high tech manufacturing, its most important economic sector. This includes specialist chemicals, health and pharmaceutical goods, scientific and precision measuring instrument and musical instruments. Major contributors are insurance, tourism and international organizations, i.e. the Red Cross and WTO.

There is also compulsory military service and after having served two years people get called back for refresher training every so often. There is usually a military rifle to be found in every household where a member has completed the compulsory service. And these are not ancient Lee-Enfield rifles like that used by our arctic adventurer Prime Minister during his recent target practice from all three positions.

So do a bit of research before you comment on a country, one of the best in the world.

And you can't beat the scenery.

Anonymous said...

Ya know...we’re getting to the point where one day just looking at someone will be offensive and they’ll be a law for that as well. Who would have known calling someone a friend would be offensive?

Anonymous said...

Oprah goofed. Zurich is like Holt Renfrew on steroids. They don't even like their own residents.

Anonymous said...

Your post is exactly why people get upset. Like it or not, homosexual stereotypes are frowned upon in today's era.

Terms like "limp-wristed" or "panty-waist" are old-styled derogatory terms. No different than using, "Fag", "homo", "queer", "queen", "dyke", etc.

Who is the "they" in the statement "Why do they insist on co-opting language to obscure the reality?". "Gay" has been used for years to describe the lifestyle. The rainbow is simply a symbol, no different than the maple leaf is to Canada.

Obscuring reality with language has been going on for a very long time. Some would have termed the IRA problems as terrorism, however they just like to call it "The Troubles".

Anonymous said...

Did you have a point ? Or just a Code of Conduct for the Politically Correct? Paula on the cooking shows was determined in a court of law to have not been out of order. Her language years ago was just part of her growing up. And long over.
You never use a disparaging word ? Poppy-cock !