The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

The primary version of "Political Correctness Watch" is HERE The Blogroll; John Ray's Home Page; Email John Ray here. Other mirror sites: Greenie Watch, Dissecting Leftism. This site is updated several times a month but is no longer updated daily. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing). See here or here for the archives of this site.

Postmodernism is fundamentally frivolous. Postmodernists routinely condemn racism and intolerance as wrong but then say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They are clearly not being serious. Either they do not really believe in moral nihilism or they believe that racism cannot be condemned!

Postmodernism is in fact just a tantrum. Post-Soviet reality in particular suits Leftists so badly that their response is to deny that reality exists. That they can be so dishonest, however, simply shows how psychopathic they are.

The picture below is worth more than a 1,000 words ...... Better than long speeches. It shows some Middle-Eastern people walking to reach their final objective,to live in a European country, or migrate to America. In the photo, there are 7 men and 1 woman.up to this point – nothing special. But in observing a bit closer, you will notice that the woman has bare feet,accompanied by 3 children, and of the 3, she is carrying 2.There is the problem,none of the men are helping her,because in their culture the woman represents nothing.She is only good to be a slave to the men. Do you really believe that these particular individuals could integrate into our societies and countries and respect our customs and traditions ????


After some problems way back with Google restricting access to some of my blogs I created this mirror site to ensure that any future such censoring could be circumvented. After years of no problems, however, I have concluded that such caution may no longer be needed. I may have been white-listed after the earlier problems were resolved. I am therefore suspending postings here pro tem. If POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH does come under attack, however, I will be reviving postings here immediately.

28 February, 2017

Is Australia Racist?

The question below by SBS (an Australian public broadcaster)  is absurdly broad.  Of course there are some racists in Australia but who are they and how many of them are there?  And what do they do? Do they attack minorities or do they just abuse them?  And is it only some groups that get abused?  But the story below is just a media stunt so none of those questions are posed let alone answered.

There is however no doubt about the group from whom most racism in Australia emanates:  The political Left.  They are obsessed with race.  See their complaints about "white privilege" and their support for "affirmative action" of various sorts.  Both those obsessions single out people for discriminatory treatment solely because of their race.  Some people call that positive discrimination but there is no such thing.  If you give something to one group, you take it away from another group.

There does appear to have been some attempt at science below --  in that a survey of 6,000 people is referred to -- but were those people a representative sample of any definable population?  The research desciption is here and it shows that the research is the sort of lazy rubbish that is all too common these days.  It is an online survey.  In other words, it got answers from computer-savvy people only and even then it heard only from those who were interested in the topic and could be bothered to answer the questions.

And there have been various occasions when such surveys gave very different answers to more labour-intensive surveys. How representative the survey was is therefore unknown. Its figures cannot be relied on.

And they did not in fact sample racist incidents.  All they did was ask what people thought.  And ever since the work of La Piere in the 1930's we have known that what people think may not be expressed in action at all.

The survey does however draw one conclusion which rings true:  Most of the antipathy was towards Muslims and African blacks.  There was no data given on (say) attitudes to our large Chinese minority.  Since the Chinese don't wage jihad towards up or break into our homes, I am guessing that there was very little antipathy to the Chinese.  In short, people have got good reasons to disapprove of the hostile behaviour that emerges from the African and Muslim populations.  If people would like to see all Muslims and Africans begone, that is a perfectly rational fear for their own safety.

The basic premise underlying the story below is that we should not illtreat individuals because they come from a problem population.  But we do not. A few exceptional white Australians may say critical things towards various minority members but official policy is  not to discrimiate at all against members of any minority.  But minority members are unreasonable if they expect people to ignore the bad behaviour of the group to which they belong.  People are right to be wary of them.  In the absence of a mind-reading machine, there is no way to know whether they are one of the hostiles or not.

And because there is no way of knowing that, the only way to protect ourselves from the outrages emanating from these groups is to deport the lot of them, which is Pauline Hanson's policy.  There seems little likelihood that it will soon become official policy, though.  Australians generally seem to be willing to tolerate  attacks on themselves in order to avoid unfair treatment of innocent minority group members.  The rise of Mr. Trump may however suggest that the patience concerned is wearing thin.

One notes that there is no mention below of the appalling behavior emanating from the two minority groups concerned:  No mention of what may lie behind suspicion of the group-members concerned.  One is apparently supposed to assume that Muslims and Africans are disliked purely because of the evil racist nature of mainstream Australians.  Such an assumption is itself grossly offensive -- particlarly considering the large number of genuine refugees that Australia has taken in from all over the world

"Where's your f---ing face? What are you hiding from? F---ing Allah?"

These questions were among the abuse caught on shocking hidden-camera footage of a random hate-filled attack on a young Muslim woman by herself in a shopping centre. 

A 50-something white male is seen launching into an angry tirade of abuse against the woman, in a prime example of the extent of the bigotry and hate endured by the Muslim community on a daily basis.

Research has found that a staggering 77 per cent of Muslim women in Australia have experienced racism on public transport or in the street.

The hidden-camera footage is one of many incidents featured in Is Australia Racist?, which aired Sunday night and is an hour-long documentary exposing the random, everyday bigotry and racism endured by ethnic groups across the nation.

The documentary kicks off SBS's Face Up To Racism week, which features a series of special programming putting the spotlight on prejudice in Australia today.

The woman in this incident is targeted because she's wearing a niqab – a veil which covers the head and face but not the eyes – in an attack triggered only by the fact she had the misfortune to happen to cross paths with the abusive man.

Unbeknown to her abuser, however, she's a volunteer for the documentary, which follows a number of people of different ethnicities with hidden cameras to reveal the ugly truth of racism on the streets.

It's the experience of the Muslim woman, Afghan refugee Rahila Haidary, that is the most shocking example in the program and a blunt insight into the vitriolic levels of Islamophobia in current society.

The man is seen approaching Haidary, telling her, "You're in my face like that", before launching into an intimidating attack.

"You're in our country because we helped save you from where you came from, from where you've been persecuted and you wear things like that," he shouts.

She responds by asking what should she do, to which he says she should dress like other Australians and become part of the culture.

She asks how Australians dress, to which the man explodes with rage at his lone, diminutive female target.

"They dress with a  f---ing face," he says, gesticulating angrily. "Where's your f---ing face? What are you hiding from? F---ing Allah?"

It's a confronting scene as the man, who is much taller than Haidary, continues his verbal abuse.

"Your f---ing Muhammad? You know he's a paedophile," he tells her.

It's at this point that two women passers-by stop and realise what's happening and start to move in to intervene. The man storms off, adding "f--- off"as he goes.

The whole incident is little more than 40 seconds but its impact highlights the damage that can be done in just a matter of moments.

Haidary, who doesn't usually wear a niqab, is visibly shaken by the experience.

"It's shocking to see that sort of hate," she says. "I can't imagine how those women who dress up like that would get along every day."

It is clear the man did not know he was being filmed. Legally, it's permitted to film people without their permission provided it's in a public space where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

An SBS spokesman said: "All filming featured in Is Australia Racist? was captured in public spaces and all relevant filming laws have been adhered to, along with SBS's own Codes of Practice, in the making of the documentary.

"The program shines a light on racism and prejudice in Australia today through a series of social experiments capturing racism and the reactions of people witnessing it, through the eyes of those who experience it."

Out of all the poisonous threads of racism featured in the program, Islamophobia appears to be top of the list in current times. The program notes that in 1998, 3 per cent of the population had negative views towards Muslims, now that proportion is 32 per cent.

Worse, as seen in the on-screen incident, the bullying targets women, with 77 per cent of Muslim women in Australia experiencing bigotry in a public place.

Of the 6000 people questioned, it found that one in five people have experienced racism in the past 12 months, with 35 per cent of those surveyed saying they had experienced racism on public transport or on the street.   

There are glimmers of hope, however. On many occasions, the hidden footage shows bystanders instinctively intervening when volunteers are targeted in hate attacks.

There's also evidence that the younger generation have much greater support for cultural diversity.

"There are things to be done," says Martin at the show's conclusion. "But it's not all gloomy."


Australians aren’t as Islamophobic as we’re led to believe, says Muslim researcher

It depends what you mean by "Islamophobia". The report by Riaz Hussein below is a reasonable bit of orthodox survey work. He even claims to have used a random sample, though he does not say  how it was gathered. At any event, this is the most credible work on the question so far.

His innovation over earlier work is to use five different questions describing five different situations in which a Muslim may be encountered and asking how respondents felt about each one.  He combimned the answers into what psychometricians call a "Likert" scale and found that, overall, Australians were not very wary of Muslims.  They were wary in some situations but not in most.

There are some things I could quibble about in the work (I would have liked to see more Bogardus-type questions included, for instance) but, overall, it is an orthodox psychological approach and certainly shows that few Australians are really bitter and twisted about Islam.  They can be bothered but are not easily bothered.  There is certainly no basis for claiming that Australians generally have a "phobia" (irrational anxiety) about Muslims. So Prof. Hussein's work is certainly an authoritative rebuff to the SBS circus.

The big omission of the survey is that questions concerning immigration were not asked.  So previous findings that show  high levels of opposition to Muslim immigration remain standing.  Combining that information with Prof. Hussein's study leaves us, then, with the summary that few Australians are "Islamophobic" but around half of Australians would nonetheless like to see Muslims begone.  Muslims really have blotted their copybooks in Australia.  They are their own worst enemies

Over the last few months, several reports have indicated a significant number of Australians hold anti-Muslim attitudes. In September 2016, The Australian newspaper reported an Essential poll showing 49% of people surveyed were in favour of a ban against Muslims entering Australia – compared to 40% opposed.

More recently, another Essential poll found 41% of those surveyed supported a Donald-Trump-style ban on people from Muslim countries entering Australia. Another 46% opposed a ban and 14% didn’t know.

Meanwhile, a Newspoll found 44% of respondents believed Australia should take similar measures to Trump’s executive order while 45% opposed doing so. Add this to the increasing support for the anti-Muslim One Nation and it’s no wonder some Muslims may feel unwelcome in Australia.

Anti-Muslim and anti-Islam attitudes displayed in these surveys are largely the result of increasing migration from Muslim-majority countries and fear of terrorism. All this has given rise to a new field of study relating to Islamophobia. Research in the US and Europe shows Islamophobia is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, which is not captured in single-item surveys.

For instance, another recent survey by the Pew Research Centre in the US found Australians welcomed diversity as much as Americans, despite some uncertainty over Muslim integration.

In a survey conducted in late 2015 and early 2016, we used a battery of questions to ascertain Australians’ attitudes towards Muslims and Islam. It is the first study that explored the multidimensionality of Islamophobia in Australia.

The resulting nuanced and comprehensive profile of Islamophobia in Australia actually showed few Australians are truly afraid of those of Muslim faith.

What is Islamophobia?

A 1997 report described Islamophobia as a shorthand way of referring to dread or hatred of Islam and unfounded prejudice and hostility towards Islam and Muslims. This included practical consequences of hostility such as discrimination and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream political and social affairs.

In 2011, influential political scientist Erik Bleich defined Islamophobia as “indiscriminate negative attitudes or emotions directed at Islam or Muslims”.

Indiscriminate and negative attitudes and emotions encompass a wide range. This includes aversion, jealousy, suspicion, disdain, anxiety, rejection, contempt, fear, disgust, anger and hostility. They also cover the “phobic” dimension, which implies a persistent and irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation which is excessive and unreasonable.

Multidimensionality makes Islamophobia a graded phenomenon with levels ranging low to high. Islamophobia scales have been developed to measure its prevalence in society.

How Islamophobic are Australians?

The scale we used to measure Islamophobia consisted of seven statements. These were:

    Just to be safe it is important to stay away from places where Muslims could be.

    I would feel comfortable speaking with a Muslim.

    I would support any policy that will stop the building of a new mosque.

    If I could, I would avoid contact with Muslims.

    I would live in a place where there are Muslims.

    Muslims should be allowed to work in places where many Australians gather such as airports.

    If possible, I would avoid going to places where Muslims would be.

We randomly selected a sample of 1,000 adult Australians. The respondents were asked how they felt about each of the statements. The five options were: strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree and strongly disagree.

To obtain a single summary score, strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree and strongly disagree were given scores of one, two, three, four and five respectively.

In questions one, three, four and seven, “strongly agree” and “agree” reflect anti-Islam attitudes. In the other three questions, the same responses reflect the opposite. We reversed the scores for items one, two, four and seven in order to compute the values ranging from one to five. One represents low levels of Islamophobia, while five is high.

These findings are reported in the table below.

Our findings show almost 70% of Australians appeared to have a very low level of Islamophobic attitudes.

But the individual item responses provide a nuanced understanding of the intensity of such feelings and attitudes. We found 20% were undecided about how they truly felt. Less than 10% fell into the highly Islamophobic category.
Pockets of Islamophobia

We performed further analysis to ascertain levels of Islamophobia by state, capital city, gender, age, educational attainment, labour-force status, occupation, political affiliation and contact with Muslims and religious affiliations.

Our results showed Islamophobia increased with age and declined with level of education. On average, residents of Victoria were less Islamophobic than their New South Wale counterparts. There wasn’t much difference in the other states.

Those from non-English-speaking background were more likely to be Islamophobic compared to those born in Australia and those from English-speaking backgrounds. Respondents not in the labour force were also more likely to score higher on Islamophobia.

Capital-city and non-capital-city residence, gender and employment status had no effect. Liberal and National party supporters were more likely to be Islamophobic than Labor and Greens voters, and people with no political affiliations.

Australians who regularly come in contact with Muslims and those who believe immigrants make important contribution to society are significantly less Islamophobic.

So while there are pockets of antipathy towards Muslims, an overwhelming majority of Australians don’t share that antipathy.


Swedish policeman blames migrants for the majority of country's rapes and shootings and accuses politicians of 'turning a blind eye'

A Swedish detective who has triggered a row by blaming violent crime on migrants has gone one step further and accused politicians of turning a blind eye to the problem because of 'political correctness'.

Earlier this month Peter Springare, who has spent more than 40 years in the police, aired his anger on social media when he was told not to record the ethnicity of violent crime suspects.

Springare, 61, who is based in the central city of Orebro, wrote: 'Countries representing the weekly crimes: Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown, unknown country, Sweden.

'Half of the suspects, we can't be sure because they don't have any valid papers. Which in itself usually means that they're lying about your nationality and identity.'

Prosecutors launched an inquiry, suggesting he had incited racial hatred, but later dropped the charges.

Now Springare has told The Sunday Times: 'The highest and most extreme violence - rapes and shooting - is dominated by criminal immigrants.

'This is a different criminality that is tougher and rawer. It is not what we would call ordinary Swedish crime. This is a different animal.'

In his Facebook post Springare wrote: 'I'm so f***ing tired. What I will write here below, is not politically correct. But I don't care. What I'm going to promote you all taxpayers is prohibited to peddle for us state employees.'

He wrote: 'Here we go; this I've handled Monday-Friday this week: rape, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape, extortion, blackmail, off of, assault, violence against police, threats to police, drug crime, drugs, crime, felony, attempted murder, Rape again, extortion again and ill-treatment.

'Suspected perpetrators; Ali Mohammed, mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed Ali, again, again, again Christopher... what is it true. Yes a Swedish name snuck on the outskirts of a drug crime, Mohammed, Mahmod Ali, again and again.'

Springare said he was due to retire soon and therefore no longer feared the disciplinary proceedings which might be brought against a younger officer for disobeying their superiors and raising the issue.

Sweden hit the headlines recently when US President Donald Trump warned of crime caused by migrants and told a rally in Florida: 'Look at what's happening last night in Sweden.' 

He was mocked on social media and forced to admit that he was referring to a report on Fox News rather than an actual event.

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said he was 'surprised' by Trump's comments.

But Springare said: 'The politicians have reacted to Trump like teenagers when someone criticises their hair as ugly. I hope he has opened their eyes.

'The common people don't need Trump to do that. They already understand the ideas I have brought up.'


Trump supporters' harassed at anti-Oscar protest

An anti-Oscars protest in Los Angeles has turned violent as Donald Trump supporters call for a boycott of the Academy Awards in revolt against the 'arrogant hypocrites' in Hollywood.

Two young women physically clashed with a Trump supporter in Hollywood on Sunday near the Dolby Theatre where the Oscars will be held.

Footage of the ordeal showed one girl breaking a sign in half that belonged to a woman wearing a 'Make America Great Again' hat.

Fists then flew between the woman in the hat and two Trump-hating opponents. The girl who broke the sign was then seen being arrested.

It came as Trump supporters called for people to boycott the Oscars by refusing to watch the glitzy awards show on television.

The boycott originated in a widely shared Facebook post from Arizona women's group 'Tempe Republican Women,' which urged followers to vote with their remote controls and switch off the Oscars.

'It is important that we, the deplorables, show the likes of Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Alec Baldwin, Cher ... that we, the backbone and decent people of America, are more united than the bitter, unhappy, angry, divisive people of the entertainment industry,' the post said.

The angry Facebook post went on to call Hollywood liberals 'arrogant, pompous, pampered soulless individuals' who are 'evil-hearted.'

It fumed over pop stars like Madonna dancing in 'little-to-no clothing,' 'movies that depict women as whores, sluts, and gold-diggers dependent on their bodies for survival,' and Ashley Judd talking about her periods 'a vile manner.'

'The wearing of pink does not negate the black hearts that these people have for our country and our Constitution.  'Nor does it negate the disdain and contempt they have for the American people and our political process.'

It called on those who agree to switch off the Academy Awards show and to share the post online.

'The left is now up to their old tricks trying to bully the rest of us into feeling guilty,' it read. 'Let them know that their selfish, vulgar, and unpatriotic behavior over this past week will not be tolerated. 'Let them know that we will not be silenced and that we are no longer going to be shamed for what we believe. We must continue the fight!'



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


27 February, 2017

White privilege as a Nazi concept

Hostility to people purely on the basis of their race

Hitler called himself and acted like a socialist.  And those people today who preach white privilege would, I think, usually embrace gladly the claim that they are socialists.  So the transmission of an idea from a socialist of the past to modern-day socialists is not surprising.  But first, some background:

A large part of Hitler's success in getting Germans to follow him is that he was a sentimentalist.  He was in fact sentimental about something that was a idea in the heads of many Germans of the 19th century:  The idea of Ein grosses Deutschland (a greater Germany).  As far back as one could go, there had been many German states, some of which were even at war with one-another at times.  Religion was one reason for that but that had been ended by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. And like the leftist idealists of today who revere the European Union or the United Nations, a lot of Germans were dissatisfied with German disunity and dreamed of a new German union that would replace conflict with peace.

In the early 1870s the dream was partly realized by the creation of a Deutsches Reich: (German Empire) under the aegis of Bismarck.  But that was a kleindeutsches solution that left outside the important German lands of Austria.  And Hitler was an Austrian.  So the dream of Germans united in one big happy family lived on in Hitler and in many Germans generally.  And absolutely anathema to that dream was anything which disunited Germans.

But in the immediate period after WWI, Germany was very disunited indeed.  Leftist ideas of all sorts dominated the place.  And prominent in the ferment were Marxist revolutionaries.  And in some parts of Germany, Communist regimes were set up. and Hitler was in the middle of it all.

While he was growing up in Linz, Hitler saw few Jews and regarded them as just another religion.  In Mein Kampf he described himself as being a "cosmopolitan" in Linz.  He had no racial consciousness.  It was only when he moved to Vienna that he began to notice Jews. And he particularly noticed that they were very prominent among Marxist agitators. They were the extremists of a generally Leftist scene.  And Hitler hated that.  The Marxists were preaching class war among Germans whereas Hitler wanted Germans to be one big happy family.  The old German dream of unity still lived on in an Austrian who had been left outside Bismarck's "Deutsches Reich".

So it is then that Hitler became an antisemite.  He  retained his romantic ideal of a happily united Grosses Deutschland  so saw in the Marxist preachers of Vienna enemies of that ideal.  And it was something of a godsend that the preachers concerned were mainly members of a group who had been outsiders since the Pharaohs: The Jews.  So it seemed obvious to Hitler that German unity was being undermined by a group who were not really German:  The enemies of the German dream were Jews. Hitler tells us all that in Mein Kampf, where he even lists the names of the Marxist Jewish agitators of Vienna in immediate postwar Vienna.  He documents what he saw as Jewish perfidy. Mein Kampf is not terribly reliable as objective history but it is Hitler's best effort at describing his own emotional history.  And his emotions were what drove him.

As time went on, however, Hitler  noted something else.  Jews were having it both ways. They were destroying Germany but also exploiting it.  They were not only revolutionaries but also sat at the top of every pyramid in Germany.  They were not only prominent in politics but were also the bankers, businessmen, professionals and artists.  That seemed very suspicious to Hitler.  How did an anti-German group of outsiders get to run everything in Germany?  It had to be some sort of conspiracy.  And Hitler thought he knew exactly how that conspiracy worked:  Jewish clannishness:  Jews stuck together and gave one another a leg-up into positions of power. 

So was Hitler right?  Was the prominence of Jews in Germany earned or unearned?  These day, just about every commentator on the period would say that Hitler was wrong.  Jews had gained their positions of prominence fair and square. They were an elite within Germany by dint of intelligence, energy and hard work.  And much the same accounts for very similar Jewish prominence in the Western world to this day.  The Jewish bankers of Wall St are legendary -- Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, for instance -- and even the head of Australia's largest bank is Jewish -- Ian Narev.  You just can't keep Jews down for long.  Ian Narev's parents were refugees but in one bound he overcame that. 

So I don't think envy of Jews is reasonable any more.  They have earned their prominence. Their personal characteristics are what reliably brings them to the top of every heap every time.

So I have a radical proposal:  It is the same with whites generally. Whites generally have earned whatever positions of prominence and privilege that they hold.  There is nothing nefarious about white privilege, any more than there is anything nefarious about Jewish eminence.  Whites do better than  most minorities for good reasons, for personal reasons.  They have, for instance, greater self discipline, greater intelligence and a greater tendency towards deferment oif gratification.  Not all whites have such attributes any more than all Jews have Jewish tendencies but, on average, whites do better.

But why does that matter?  Should we not judge each person on their own individual merits, as the United Nations charter proclaims?  I think we should.  But the Left do not.  They commit exactly the same error that Hitler did.  They see people not as individuals but as a race.  They are just as racist as Hitler.  And, as with Hitler, there is some reality underlying their hatred.  Whites really do seem privileged compared to blacks.  Whites run the show while blacks are confined to just a few areas of success  in sport and entertainment.

So, yes.  There is white privilege but it is earned.  And it is not only the product of white success but also the product of black failure. Why is it that a cop who pulls up a black motorist will be on hair-trigger alert while he will be much more relaxed if he pulls up a white?  Because blacks are in general far more hostile to the police and more likely to attack the cop. And with the cop on hair-trigger alertt, the black sometimes gets shot for no good reason.  One false move and the black is dead.  Let me tell of my own white "privilege" in that connection:

My contact with American law enforcement is very minor but I do think my contact with the California Highway Patrol -- not exactly a much praised body of men  -- is instructive.  My contact occurred in the 1970s, when Jimmy Carter's reviled 55 mph speed limit still applied on American highways.  I was bowling along a Los Angeles freeway in my hired Ford Pinto at about the speed I would have used in Australia  -- 65 mph. 

A CHP patrol detected me and pulled me over.  The trooper approached me very cautiously, sticking close to the side of the Pinto and standing behind me instead of beside me.  He was obviously very tense.  But when he found that I was unaggressive and perfectly civil to him, he untensed rapidly.  The fact that I speak with an accent that Americans usually perceive as British may also have helped.  It helped explain my unawareness of California rules.   We had a perfectly genial conversation at the end of which he waved me on my way without even giving me a ticket.

White privilege?  Not exactly.  Because something similar happened recently to me where I live in Brisbane, Australia -- a place where blacks are too few to influence policy.

I was approached by a Queensland cop when I had unwittingly made an illegal turn.  And Queensland cops are not exactly fragrant.  There are many bad apples among them.  Even the police Commissioner was sent to jail for corruption not long ago.

So the cop was initially brusque and supercilious with me.  When I showed that I was listening to him carefully by asking him to repeat something I had not understood, however, he became much more relaxed and we had a fairly genial conversation.  He saw it as his duty to give me a ticket but we ended up with him wishing me a Merry Christmas and pausing other traffic to facilitate my driving off.  Once again a civil and co-operative approach from me got exactly the same back.

So the important thing is how the individual and others like him will behave. There are all sorts of "privileges" in the world but individual behaviour is the key to it and talk of race entirely misses the point.  Ranting about white privilege is no different than Hitler ranting about Jews. The privilege exists but it is earned.  And the Leftist obsession with race is obnoxious. So my advice to the Left: Talk about privilege and try to understand it all you like -- but skip the race-hate.

More Leftist racism.  "Anglo-Saxon"  warriors no longer wanted in the Australian army

Politically correct nonsense is trying to make girl guides out of our soldiers

THE “diversity” revolution that Lieutenant General David Morrison inflicted on the Australian Army now threatens to diminish our war fighting capability.

Five years after the former Army chief and former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Liz Broderick launched a social engineering experiment aimed at stamping out the male “Anglo Saxon” warrior culture, the troops are unimpressed.

The top brass might have drunk the feminist Koolaid of “Pathway to Change” and its mutant offshoots, but most of the people they command are sceptical about gender fluidity, appeasement of radical Islam, and promotion by chromosome as payback for 116 years of military patriarchy. “People just think it’s crap,” said one young officer.

To overcome such common sense thinking, diversity experts have designed a $30,000 program effectively to brainwash young leaders in the Army to become “champions of change” and stamp out the “white Anglo-Saxon male” culture they are told no longer has a place in the military.

In October, a handpicked group was taken to Sydney and Canberra for the “Junior Leaders Shaping Future Army”, and subjected to five-days of diversity indoctrination.

On day one was a three-hour session from an imam explaining his “Islamic conversion testimony” and proselytising the benefits of Islam, according to one participant who took detailed notes.

The lecture went down so badly that a planned mosque visit on the schedule the next day was cancelled without explanation.

Gender diversity expert Professor Robert Wood introduced the latest politically correct inanity, “unconscious bias”, and criticised the predominance of “Anglo-Saxon males” and the “banter culture” of the Army.

The next day Qantas diversity and inclusion manager Zak Hammer spruiked the airline’s same sex marriage campaign and LGBTI network for staff.

“Gender diversity no longer refers to male and female, because there are people within our community now who don’t identify with these,” one presenter told them.

In one exercise they were asked how they would “inclusively” manage a diversity scenario in which a digger under their command converts to Islam, requiring him to pray five times a day, eat halal food and fast at Ramadan.

“I felt like I was sitting in a North Korean indoctrination camp,” recalls one insider. “Concepts such as bias and unconscious bias have been constantly harped on to try and change the way we think and speak. The soldiers are hating it.”

“It was an extreme politically correct environment for people who are dead set into war fighting,” said another participant.

A psychologist classified the students as “champions” or “skeptics”. However, in the Army, “champ” is an insult. “It’s the worst thing you can call someone. It means you’re a d---head.”

The ADF’s diversity orthodoxy decries a military comprising mainly “males of Anglo-Australian background”, Christians and “third-generation-plus” Australian.

“Such a demographic profile is no longer desirable or sustainable”, says one of the ludicrous diversity reports which now clog the minds and in-trays of generals.

“The typical Defence hero is a hero in uniform from an Anglo-Australian background who performs acts of bravery in battle and models the values of courage and sacrifice... This type of hero is unnecessarily exclusive and works against the desire for Defence ‘to represent the community it serves’,” writes education academic Dr Elizabeth Thomson in her 2014 report: “Battling with words”.

“Casual conversation in Defence is dominated by the kind of talk characteristic of the Aussie bloke... “Humour, banter, practical jokes and nicknaming are language practices (which) marginalise and exclude people (and must be) controlled”

If all this sounds frighteningly Orwellian, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Defence Force Recruiting is where crackpot theory first meets reality and Army chief Lt Gen Angus Campbell is frustrated with the slow progress to achieve his goal of doubling the proportion of women from 12 to 25 per cent.

In a speech to recruitment officers last August he criticised an unnamed dissident who had informed Defence Force Chief Mark Binskin’s “Gender Adviser”, Julie McKay, that he would resist diversity targets because he “needed to protect the Army from Canberra”.

“You need to understand that I will have no humour if my directions are ignored,” Campbell told the recruiters. “The number one priority I have with respect to recruitment is increasing our diversity.”

Since Campbell’s rocket, Defence Force Recruiting has pulled out all stops to entice women into the Army. One whistleblower says they run “female only information sessions, female only fitness assessments, female only job assessment days, have a dedicated female Specialist Recruitment Team... (and) free fitness training.”

Female recruits can ask to be posted with friends and to a location of their choice, and are offered reduced periods of service — one year while men have to serve at least four.

“Defence Force Recruiting has stopped males joining particular jobs which are open only to females,” he says. “Infantry, artillery, key jobs. Where does it stop?”

There is a new program at Kapooka for female recruits too out of shape to pass basic fitness requirements of eight push ups, 45 sit ups, and 7.5 on the Beep test. The Army Pre-Conditioning Program for unfit women offers seven weeks of intensive physical training, yet by the end almost half still flunk the entry test.

Women comprise 12 per cent of the Army, yet Broderick’s goal is 35 per cent of senior positions to be filled by women, so females have a three times better chance of promotion.

Army hasn’t met recruitment goals for ten years, and the exodus of men disillusioned about their promotion prospects won’t help.

At a time when our Army is being called on to step up the war against Islamic State, the deleterious effect of social engineering is clear.  As one former soldier puts it: “They’re messing with our war-fighting DNA”


As the Trump administration gets ready to tackle illegal immigration, a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission noted the impact on the black community that he believes is too often ignored

“A sizable number of black men don’t have access to entry-level jobs,” Peter Kirsanow says.

“Black males are more likely to experience competition from illegal immigrants,” Commissioner Peter Kirsanow told The Daily Signal.

Kirsanow, an attorney in Cleveland and former member of the National Labor Relations Board, said illegal immigration is both a short-term and long-term problem for young black males.

“What happens is you eliminate the rungs on the ladder because a sizable number of black men don’t have access to entry-level jobs,” Kirsanow said. “It is not just the competition and the unemployment of blacks. It also depresses the wage levels.”

A U.S. Civil Rights Commission study in 2010 determined immigration had a disproportionate impact on black Americans, but the study didn’t distinguish illegal immigration from legal. The findings came through various field hearings with experts.

“About six in 10 adult black males have a high school diploma or less, and black men are disproportionately employed in the low-skilled labor market, where they are more likely to be in labor competition with immigrants,” the commission report says.

The report continues:

Illegal immigration to the United States in recent decades has tended to depress both wages and employment rates for low-skilled American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are black men. Expert economic opinions concerning the negative effects range from modest to significant. Those panelists that found modest effects overall nonetheless found significant effects in industry sectors such as meatpacking and construction.

A 2012 Census Bureau report found more than half of American-born blacks did not continue their education beyond high school, while the rate was even higher for foreign-born Hispanics.

Kirsanow noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the labor force participation rate for people with less than a high school diploma is 46 percent, which he argues means there is no shortage of low-skilled workers in the United States. The labor force participation rate for those with a college degree is 73.8 percent.

The NAACP, the nation’s leading black civil rights group, did not respond to The Daily Signal for this story. However, the organization has supported immigration reform that would provide legal status to illegal immigrants.

Moreover, an NAACP action alert cited research that increased immigration was actually helpful to the black community. After the Senate passed a 2013 amnesty bill, the group’s statement said:

Comprehensive immigration reform must focus on the basic American principles of preserving family unity, opposing wasteful spending, and protecting and promoting human and civil rights, human dignity, and fairness. It must also be very aware of the economic impact any new policies will have on the American people: that is why the NAACP was pleased to learn of studies which have found that more often than not, Latino immigrants and African-Americans fill complementary roles in the labor market. The study, by the Immigration Policy Center released in June of this year concludes that in metropolitan statistical areas, the increase of the Latino immigrant experience significantly raises wages, lowers unemployment, and elevates job creation for African-Americans.

The Immigration Policy Center is a research arm of the American Immigration Council, an immigrants’ rights advocacy group.

The Congressional Black Caucus also did not respond to inquiries from The Daily Signal. However, the group of African-American House members, all Democrats, has previously supported comprehensive immigration reform proposals, stating on its website:

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus unanimously support Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation that provides a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants currently living in America and particularly for the more than 3 million immigrants of African descent.

Kirsanow contends that certain politicians and advocacy groups are more concerned with advancing the Democratic Party.

“Some people are putting party preference over the needs of their constituents,” he said. “The [Congressional Black Caucus] styles themselves as protecting and enhancing the interest of black Americans. The problem is that black workers are being ignored. So, there is another agenda at work.”


Roe v. Wade Plaintiff Dies of Broken Heart

Over the years, our family has had the opportunity to host many interesting guests in our home. In 1995, Norma McCorvey (Roe v. Wade) and Sandra Cano (Doe v. Bolton) spent a Sunday afternoon with us.

That year, my wife and I were engaged in the reconstruction of a former abortion clinic into a national memorial site for aborted children — a place where mothers and fathers of those children could tangibly memorialize the loss of their child. Our mission was not a political crusade but motivated out of a desire to provide the parents of aborted children, who in retrospect more fully understood the loss of life involved in their choice, a place to memorialize and grieve that loss.

Norma McCorvey was the anonymous plaintiff “Jane Roe” in a case filed in 1970, and ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973, opening the door for abortion in every state. Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote the opinion for the court, noted, “The word ‘person,’ as used in the 14th Amendment, does not include the unborn.” Sandra Cano was the anonymous plaintiff Mary Doe in Doe v. Bolton, a companion case decided the same day as Roe v. Wade, giving mothers of unborn children a very broad range of reasons to declare a need for an abortion — in essence, abortion on demand.

Both McCorvey and Cano would later protest having been used as “pawns” in these cases. For her part, Norma McCorvey, once she understood the larger context for her Creator and that of all unborn children, became an outspoken pro-life advocate for these children, as noted in her 2005 Senate testimony.

McCorvey concluded, “Upon knowing God, I realized that my case, which legalized abortion on demand, was the biggest mistake of my life. You see, abortion has eliminated 50 million innocent babies in the U.S. alone since 1973. Abortion scars an untold number of post-abortive mothers and fathers and families, too. I believe that I was used and abused by the court system in America. Instead of helping women in Roe v. Wade, I brought destruction to me and millions of women throughout the nation.”

In a later interview, she made clear her life mission: “I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.”

Both McCorvey and Cano delivered statements at the dedication of the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Those statements, cast in bronze on the wall of the Memorial, read as follows:

“Roe v. Wade — I am Norma McCorvey. I became known as Jane Roe on January 22, 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court released the Roe v. Wade decision which created a woman’s ‘right to abortion.’ I am now a Child of God, a new creature in Christ. I am forgiven and redeemed. Today, I publicly recant my involvement in the tragedy of abortion. I humbly ask forgiveness of the millions of women and unborn babies who have experienced the violence of abortion. In this place of healing, the National Memorial for the Unborn, I stand with those who honor the worth of every unborn child as created in the image of God. I will strive in the name of Jesus, to end this holocaust. NORMA McCORVEY March 23, 1997”

“Doe v. Bolton — I am Sandra Cano. I became known as Mary Doe when the U.S. Supreme Court released Roe v. Wade’s companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, which allowed abortion for virtually any reason. I am against abortion; I never sought an abortion; I have never had an abortion. Abortion is murder. For over twenty years, and against my will, my name has been synonymous with abortion. The Doe V. Bolton case is based on deceit and fraud. I stand today in this place of healing, the National Memorial for the Unborn, and pledge to the memory of these innocent children, that as long as I have breath, I will strive to see abortion ended in America. SANDRA CANO March 23, 1997”

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is lobbying Democrats in Congress to ensure continuation of its $540 million in annual taxpayer grants for “women’s health.”

On Saturday, Norma McCorvey died of heart failure. Rest in peace. While her walk in defense of the most innocent among us has come to an end, our mission in their defense remains steadfast.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


26 February, 2017

Does allowing homosexual marriage prevent suicide?

The article below implies that it does -- even though no suicide statistics among homosexuals were examined.  It looks at reports of suicide attempts among homosexuals and concludes that such reports were slightly less frequent among people who live in States that allow homosexual marriage.  The effect was however almost entirely due to the homosexuals in the sample.  It was basically only homosexuals in right to marry states who were less likely to report suicide attempts. 

There are many problems with the study, not least being the notorious unreliability of self-reports. I am feeling in a charitable mood, however, so I will allow that the finding is an an accurate and reliable one.  What inferences might we draw from that? 

The first thing to note is that States with homo-marriage laws are likely to be more tolerant and acceptant of homosexuals generally.  So the finding boils down to saying that homosexuals feel less stressed in places where they are better accepted. That should surprise no-one:  A bit like proving grass is green

Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Association Between State Same-Sex Marriage Policies and Adolescent Suicide Attempts

Julia Raifman et al.


Importance:  Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 years. Adolescents who are sexual minorities experience elevated rates of suicide attempts.

Objective:  To evaluate the association between state same-sex marriage policies and adolescent suicide attempts.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  This study used state-level Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) data from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2015, which are weighted to be representative of each state that has participation in the survey greater than 60%. A difference-in-differences analysis compared changes in suicide attempts among all public high school students before and after implementation of state policies in 32 states permitting same-sex marriage with year-to-year changes in suicide attempts among high school students in 15 states without policies permitting same-sex marriage. Linear regression was used to control for state, age, sex, race/ethnicity, and year, with Taylor series linearized standard errors clustered by state and classroom. In a secondary analysis among students who are sexual minorities, we included an interaction between sexual minority identity and living in a state that had implemented same-sex marriage policies.

Interventions:  Implementation of state policies permitting same-sex marriage during the full period of YRBSS data collection.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Self-report of 1 or more suicide attempts within the past 12 months.

Results:  Among the 762?678 students (mean [SD] age, 16.0 [1.2] years; 366?063 males and 396?615 females) who participated in the YRBSS between 1999 and 2015, a weighted 8.6% of all high school students and 28.5% of 231?413 students who identified as sexual minorities reported suicide attempts before implementation of same-sex marriage policies. Same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 0.6–percentage point (95% CI, –1.2 to –0.01 percentage points) reduction in suicide attempts, representing a 7% relative reduction in the proportion of high school students attempting suicide owing to same-sex marriage implementation. The association was concentrated among students who were sexual minorities.

Conclusions and Relevance:  State same-sex marriage policies were associated with a reduction in the proportion of high school students reporting suicide attempts, providing empirical evidence for an association between same-sex marriage policies and mental health outcomes.


Toppling statues of slave traders doesn't redeem Britain's history. It erases it

Edward Colston: both a philanthropist and a slave trader

On a recent visit to Maidstone, Kent, I found myself in a conversation about slavery. It had started with ancestry (I was there to see an old family portrait). My companion had discovered that among her ancestors was an illustrious Royal Academy portrait painter. Sadly, she had also found out that he made his name painting many notable slave traders of the day. She was, she said, ashamed of the man, but reading about him had been an education.

Take a walk around any notable town in Britain and it won’t be hard to find links to the slave trade. Churches, monuments, artefacts, mahogany furniture, street names, old banks and warehouses, even the family silver and the habit of putting sugar in your tea: try hard enough and you could trace back all sorts of things to the abominable crime of trading human chattels.


Police Cancel ‘High Five Friday’ Because ‘Undocumented Children’ Might Feel Uncomfortable

Until recently, this is what little kids in Northampton, Massachusetts saw when they came to elementary school on Fridays: an officer who wanted to give them a high five.

The Northhampton Police Department started the program in early December with the blessing of local school officials, sending out cops once a week to high-five students. That’s over.

“While we received a lot of support on social media, we also heard a few concerns about the program,” the department announced on Saturday. They said Chief Jody Kasper got invited to a school committee meeting to address potential problems. Someone brought up the possibility that some kids would be uncomfortable seeing police at the beginning of a school day, while other people questioned the long-term efficacy. This conversation led to the program getting temporarily paused. A follow up meeting with over a dozen members of the public resulted in the program getting axed for good.

“Concerns were shared that some kids might respond negatively to a group of uniformed officers at their school,” the NPD said. “People were specifically concerned about kids of color, undocumented children, or any children who may have had negative experiences with the police.”

Now they’re thinking of alternative programs, though they still invite high fives, low fives, and fist bumps. We’ve reached out for further comment.


Democratic Governor Tells Cops Not to Obey Trump Immigration Policy

Connecticut’s Democratic governor, Dannel Malloy, told local police and law enforcement that they basically don’t have to abide by federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants. On top of that, he pretty much encouraged them not to cooperate with federal agents all together.

“ICE detainer requests are requests, they are not warrants or orders and this should only be honored as set forth in Connecticut law, unless accompanied by a judicial warrant,” Malloy said in a letter sent to local law enforcement on Wednesday.

Malloy’s letter was sent a day after the Trump administration issued sweeping guidelines that targeted millions of immigrants. Trump’s policy prioritizes immigrants nationwide who have been accused or convicted of a crime, but could theoretically include many more including those arrested for something simple like traffic violations.

Malloy’s letter tells local law enforcement that they should not give ICE agents access to people in local custody for questioning, and should refer any such requests up to command. While the letter contends police should not “impede federal immigration activity,” Connecticut sure doesn’t want to make it easy for the feds to enforce Trump’s executive order.  The letter notes that under federal law, local agents are not required to enforce immigration law, and they are encouraged not to help ICE whatsoever.

“Acting as an arm of ICE may undermine Connecticut’s many efforts to incorporate the principles of community policy in the Police Officers Stands and Training Council’s policies and practices, policies and practices designed to strengthen police and community relations,” the letter reads. It also encourages police not to collect information about a person’s immigration status.

In addition to a letter to local law enforcement, the Connecticut governor also sent a letter to local school districts advising them on what to do if ICE agents turn up at schools. The letter emphasized that the U.S. Supreme Court has given children of undocumented children the right to obtain a public education.

“Above all, we are obligated protect the rights afforded to all our residents and ensure that students attend safe, welcoming schools. The best approach for local communities is to have a plan in place so that everyone in our state, including young students, are supported respectfully and fairly under the laws of our state and our nation,” Malloy said in a statement.

In his executive order, Trump threatened to withhold federal funding to cities which continue to institute “sanctuary city” policies.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


24 February, 2017

UK: A disgraceful politically correct appointment

Cressida Dick is an open Lesbian. I do not hold that against her.  My late sister was one too.  But it is the only thing I can see which got her the very senior job below.  She was the person in charge at the darkest hour for the London police:  The killing of an innocent Brazilian electrician on a London underground train.  He was just sitting there bothering nobody -- but looked "woggy" -- when he was cut down without warning by police bullets from officers sitting opposite him.

The deed was obviously a huge bungle and the bungle happened because the police operation concerned was chaos.  And the chaos happened because of Dick's failure to lead.  She was little more than a spectator at a time when it was her job to take charge of what was happening. She had clearly been promoted beyond her level of competence.

I have observed over the years that masculine women, who may or may not be lesbians, tend to be overconfident of their abilities.  They think they know it all but sometimes show that they know very little -- and have to be bailed out by  a normal person -- male or female.  But Dick was in a situation where nobody could bail her out. And an innocent man died as a result of her incompetence.  Anybody else would have retired in disgrace.  I never thought I would have to revisit these matters.  More details here

She was also in charge of operation Elveden, which saw large numbers of British investigative journalists arrested in dawn raids -- none of whom were subsequently convicted of anything.  The London metropolitan police is in for a rugged time. One can only hope that innocent people will not die in the next bungle

Cressida Dick has been appointed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police - becoming the first woman to lead the force in its 188-year history.

The 56-year-old, who retired from the Met as Assistant Commissioner three years ago, takes over from Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who has retired after five and a half years in the post.

Ms Dick, who first joined the Met as a constable in 1983, beat three other shortlisted candidates, and was appointed after a round of interviews in front of the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.

A source said she had been appointed, not because she was a woman, but because she was the best candidate, and the Mayor had been especially impressed with her qualities.

In a statement, Ms Dick said she was "thrilled and humbled" by the appointment.

She said: "This is a great responsibility and an amazing opportunity. I'm looking forward immensely to protecting and serving the people of London and working again with the fabulous women and men of the Met.

"Thank you so much to everyone who has taught me and supported me along the way."

She takes on the role at a time of intense pressure with the security threat at severe and violent crime on the increase across the capital.

Her appointment means three of the most senior figures in British policing are now women, with Lynne Owens, heading up the National Crime Agency and Sara Thornton, who lost out on the Met Commissioner job, the chair of the National Police Chief's Council.

Bringing vast operational experience to the role, Ms Dick headed up the force's anti-terror unit, before being controversially moved from the post by Sir Bernard in 2014.

In 2005 she was in charge of the operation which led to the shooting dead of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell underground.
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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Cressida Dick will be the first female Commissioner of the Met in its 187-year history, and the most powerful police officer in the land.

"She has already had a long and distinguished career, and her experience and ability has shone throughout this process.

"On behalf of all Londoners, I warmly welcome Cressida to the role and I very much look forward to working with her to keep our capital safe and protected.

“This is a historic day for London and a proud day for me as Mayor.

"The Metropolitan Police do an incredible job, working hard with enormous dedication every single day to keep Londoners safe, so for me it was absolutely essential that we found the best possible person to take the Met forward over the coming years and I am confident that we have succeeded.”
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Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "Cressida Dick is an exceptional leader, and has a clear vision for the future of the Metropolitan Police and an understanding of the diverse range of communities it serves.

"She now takes on one of the most demanding, high-profile and important jobs in UK policing, against the backdrop of a heightened terror alert and evolving threats from fraud and cyber crime.

"The challenges ahead include protecting the most vulnerable, including victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

"Cressida's skills and insight will ensure the Metropolitan Police adapt to the changing patterns of crime in the 21st century and continue to keep communities safe across London and the UK.

"Cressida is absolutely the right choice to lead the Metropolitan Police as this Government continues its work to reform the police, and I look forward to working with her to make a real difference to policing in the capital."


Teen Girl Sends Teen Boy 5 Sexts. His Choice: 350 Years in Prison, or Lifetime Registered as “Violent Sex Offender”

Zachary X, now 19, is in jail awaiting sentencing for five pictures his teenage girlfriend sent him of herself in her underwear. He faced a choice between a possible (though unlikely) maximum sentence of 350 years in prison, or lifetime on the sex offender registry as a “sexually violent offender”—even though he never met the girl in person. Here’s what happened.

About two years ago, when Zachary was a 17-year-old high school senior in Stafford County, VA, a girl in his computer club invited him over to visit. She introduced him to her younger sister, age 13. This younger sister told Zachary he reminded her of a friend: this friend, also a 13-year-old girl, shared Zachary’s love of dragons and videogames.

The two 13-year-olds started skyping Zachary together. Eventually Zachary and the dragon-lover struck up a online friendship, which developed into a online romance. By the summer, a month after Zachary turned 18, the girl sent him five pictures of herself in her underwear. Her face was not visible, nor were her private parts.

Even so, Zachary was arrested and charged with 20 felonies, including indecent liberties with a minor, using a computer to propose sex, and “child porn reproduce/transmit/sell,” even though he did not send or sell the pictures to anyone. All this, from five underwear pictures. If convicted, Zachary’s father told me, he faced a maximum sentence of 350 years.

Instead, he took a plea bargain. This is what prosecutors do: scare defendants into a deal. Zachary agreed to plead guilty to two counts of “indecent liberties with a minor.” For this, he will be registered as a violent sex offender for the rest of his life.

Yes, “violent”—even though he never met the girl in person.

Zachary’s dad wrote to the authorities asking about this, and got a letter back from the Virginia State Police reiterating that, “This conviction requires Zachary to register as a sexually violent offender.”

The letter added that in three years, “a violent sex offender or murderer” can petition to register less frequently than every three months.

“How do you like that?” said the dad in a phone conversation with me. “Same category as a murderer.”

As part of the plea, Zachary also agreed never to appeal. He will be sentenced on March 9. Until then, he remains in jail.

If this sounds like a punishment wildly out of whack with the crime, welcome to the world of teens, computers, and prosecutors who want to look tough on sex offenders. The girl did not wish to prosecute Zachary, according to his dad. He told me the pictures came to light because she had been having emotional issues, possibly due to her parents’ impending divorce. Eventually she was admitted to a mental health facility for treatment, and while there she revealed the relationship to a counselor. The counselor reported this to her mother, the police, or both (this part is unclear), leading the cops to execute a search warrant of Zachary’s electronic devices where they found the five photos and the chat logs.

Until that day, Zachary had never been suspected of, or charged with, any criminal activity other than one count of distracted driving, which he paid off with 15 hours of shelving library books. He was, at the time of his arrest, attending community college in computer graphics and delivering Domino’s Pizza. He was also, by his account, a virgin.

The family hired two psychologists to evaluate Zachary, which I read. One psychologist, Mike Fray, found him to be “not a physical threat to this girl or to any other young girls.” The other, Evan S. Nelson, summed up this case and what is wrong with all the cases Zachary’s story represents:

    This psychologist cannot count the number of adolescent sex offenders I have met who have a sense that what they are doing is ‘wrong’ but were ignorant that their conduct was criminal, let alone a felony, or actions which could put them on the Sex Offender Registry. In the teenage digital social world, if both parties want to talk about sex, that seems like ‘consent’ to them. Ignorance does not excuse this conduct, but it does help to explain why he did this, and to the degree that ignorance was an underlying cause of his crime, this problem can be easily fixed with education.

Zachary’s not a sexual predator, in the psychologist’s view. He’s a teen who did something stupid—that he quite plausibly didn’t understand was illegal. And yet the state of Virginia, and in particular prosecutor Ryan Frank, has chosen to pretend that the only way to keep Zachary from feverishly preying on young flesh is to destroy his life.

This is so obviously flawed that Virginia Speaker of the House of Delegates William J. Howell has written a letter on Zachary’s behalf:

    Based on the information I have, I believe Zachary was unaware of the magnitude of impropriety in his behavior… It is my understanding that the local sheriff’s office performed a forensic analysis on Zachary’s computer and found zero incidents of pornography or trolling for females. While the aforementioned incident was highly inappropriate, it appears that there are no signs of general deviance in his character but rather immaturity and naivete….

    As my record indicates, I am certainly not soft on crime and I am not suggesting that Zachary be spared any consequence of his actions. That said, I do believe this may be more of an incident of adolescent immaturity and poor judgment than of inherently deviant behavior and thus may not warrant being placed on the sex offender registry.

Outraged readers should root for two things. First, that this case prompts the Virginia legislature to review the laws that enable draconian persecutions like the one against Zachary.

Second, that Zachary be given a punishment that truly fits the “crime.” If you recall the case of another Zach—Zach Anderson, a 19-year-old who had sex with a girl he honestly believed was 17 (because she said so) but was actually 14—he was originally sentenced to 25 years on the sex offender registry. But after public outcry, he got two years’ probation instead, on a “diversion program.” A program like this is sometimes available for first-time offenders. It sounds far more reasonable. Or maybe Zachary could do some community service—like speaking at high school assemblies to warn students that what seems like consensual teenage shenanigans could land them on the registry for the rest of their lives.

“I know I’d never do it again because I don’t want to go back to jail again in my life,” Zachary told Nelson during his psychological evaluation. “And if nothing else, this has given me a fear of women.”


Leftist antisemitism is still alive and well

Here’s some disturbing news. Over the weekend two elected Democrats attended a hate group convention to applaud an anti-Semite — and the mainstream media didn’t say a thing about it:

A Michigan state senator and the president of the Detroit City Council attended the annual convention of the Nation of Islam, a black supremacist group headed by notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan, who once called Hitler a “very great man,” railed against Jews and called for a separate black nation in his speech at the convention on Sunday.

State Sen. Bert Johnson and Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones were among those on stage with Farrakhan during his speech, according to the Detroit Free Press. Jones served as a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

In his speech, Farrakhan called for “the end of the [white] world and the beginning of a brand new reality that all human beings will enjoy peace, freedom, justice, and equality under the rule of Allah.”

If that’s not bad enough, even the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes the Nation of Islam as a hate group:

The left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Nation of Islam as an extremist organization. “Its theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders have earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate,” SPLC’s website states.

Can you imagine the outrage if Republican politicians attended a Klu Klux Klan convention? Why is this permissible?


The “day without immigrants” became a teachable moment

Do you remember that “day without immigrants” protest that we talked about last week? It took place as predicted (and in fact demanded by activist organizers on the left). But in at least one location in Tennessee some of the participants learned a rapid and likely lasting lesson about the intersection of free speech and personal responsibility.

Bradley Coatings, Inc. found out at the last minute that their tightly packed customer schedule was going to go up in flames when nearly 20 of their employees announced with roughly 12 hours notice that they would be taking part in the poorly defined protest and not participating in their job assignments. They made good on the threat and their employer responded in pretty much the way you would probably expect. (KTNV)

A total of 18 people were fired from a Tennessee business after joining the nation-wide protest “A Day Without Immigrants.”

The 18 employees at Bradley Coatings, Incorporated in Nolensville, Tennessee told their supervisors on Wednesday they’d be taking part in the nationwide movement. Then, on Thursday, they were told they no longer had jobs.

“We are the team leaders directly under the supervisors and they informed us last night that we could not go back to work and the boss said we were fired,” one employee said.

Is anyone honestly surprised at this turn of events? The employer is operating a business providing painting services in a highly competitive market with a tight schedule to keep. They did not set up shop to run a social justice operation. Their customers doubtless have many options to choose from when seeking such services. Also, it’s not as if the employer did not offer fair warning. Upon being informed that the workers were planning to take the day off, not because of sickness or disaster but simply to take part in this highly misleading media event, management let them know that if they chose to do this they would no longer have a job to return to.

As our colleague Mickey White pointed out at Red State, responsibility is a two-way street.

This is reality. If you don’t show up to work you can get fired. Actions have consequences. Consider this a “teachable moment”.

My favorite part was when the man complained that his boss was being “unfair”. Imagine how the boss must have felt when 20 of his workers didn’t show up to do their jobs on Thursday.

Deadlines don’t change because of social justice holidays. They had orders to fill. The same worker referenced his “years” of work for this company, something the man probably should have considered before walking out the door. Doesn’t Bradley Coatings deserve some loyalty if they’ve employed you for years? Instead you leave them unmanned in the middle of the week to prove a point?

As Mickey goes on to say, a day without immigrants is not a day without consequences. But even more to the point, the specific conditions of the now unemployed workers tell a large part of the story which I’m not seeing discussed on cable news. What they probably should have realized and taken into account was the fact that all 18 of them had jobs. That’s because their employer clearly had no problem whatsoever in hiring people without regard to their immigration status. The employer they were punishing was obviously not part of the perceived problem they supposedly wanted to address.

Also, as I attempted to point out when this stunt was first announced, there is a key distinction being ignored in the media coverage of this event which is highly deceptive. There is a huge difference between immigrants and illegal immigrants. Assuming all of the fired workers were of the legal variety, what do they gain by showing solidarity with those who knowingly and intentionally break the law, jump to the head of the line and don’t put in the same effort to immigrate the correct way as they did? Nobody is trying to “crack down” on legal immigrants who come to this country and work for their share of the American dream.

Perhaps these 18 former employees will have sufficient time to reflect on these questions while they seek new jobs.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


23 February, 2017

A Militant Secular Agenda Is Being Imposed on Americans

President Trump is considering an executive order on religious liberty, the draft of which holds much promise. But legislation is also needed: religious liberty is currently imperiled on several fronts.

The war on religion—and that is exactly what it is—is being led by agents of government and activist groups seeking to impose a militant secular agenda on Americans. What drives them more than any other issue is an irresponsible interpretation of sexual freedom.

The activists and lawmakers pushing this cause accuse many religious institutions of resisting their agenda. They are correct. Traditional Catholics, evangelical Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Orthodox Jews, Mormons, and Muslims, reject abortion and homosexuality, and they find attempts by the government to encroach on their beliefs and practices objectionable. There is much to object to, especially at the state level.

Many states are considering pro-abortion legislation. In Connecticut, they are weighing a bill that takes aim at a familiar target: crisis pregnancy centers. These centers are the epitome of choice—they give young pregnant girls the choice of giving their baby up for adoption—yet the pro-choice lobby works to deny them this choice.

In Illinois and Maryland lawmakers are considering bills that would allow Medicaid and state employee health insurance to cover abortions.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing the legislature to consider a bill that makes abortion legal for any reason, and at any time during pregnancy, even if Roe v. Wade were overturned; he wants Roe codified in the New York State Constitution. Rhode Island lawmakers are studying similar legislation.

New Mexico is considering a bill that would force Catholic hospitals to pay for and perform abortions. The ACLU and other anti-Catholic organizations are lobbying for it.

Most outrageous, there is a coordinated effort going on in 18 states to expand abortion rights. They want abortion to be covered in both public and private insurance plans, including Catholic ones.

This fight is being led by pro-abortion lawmakers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In St. Louis, city lawmakers passed a bill last week that threatens to do the same.

On the LGBT front, the following states are weighing measures that would treat LGBT rights as analogous to race and religion in the workplace: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Texas. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe recently signed an executive order that protects LGBT rights among state employees, contractors, and subcontractors.

New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who chairs the bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, recently sent a letter to President Trump calling on him and his administration to make religious liberty protections a priority. They also called on the Congress to do the same.

Lori specifically cited the Health and Human Services mandate issued by the Obama administration as a grave threat to religious liberty; it would make religious institutions such as the Little Sisters of the Poor pay for abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare provisions.

The most immediate relief needed is to secure the kinds of religious exemptions in law that have been traditionally afforded. Not to do so is to allow the government to police Catholic non-profits and other religious entities.

President Trump needs to issue a strongly worded executive order on religious liberty, one that is as wide in scope as the law allows. Similarly, lawmakers at the local, state, and federal levels need to pass bills that safeguard religious liberty from the heavy hand of government. At stake is the First Amendment and the beliefs and practices of millions of Americans.


Pawns of Liberals

Ordinary black people cannot afford to go along with the liberal agenda that calls for undermining police authority. That agenda makes for more black crime victims. Let’s look at what works and what doesn’t work.

In 1990, New York City adopted the practice in which its police officers might stop and question a pedestrian. If there was suspicion, they would frisk the person for weapons and other contraband. This practice, well within the law, is known as a Terry stop. After two decades of this proactive police program, New York City’s homicides fell from over 2,200 per year to about 300. Blacks were the major beneficiaries of proactive policing. According to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald — author of “The War on Cops” — seeing as black males are the majority of New York City’s homicide victims, more than 10,000 blacks are alive today who would not be had it not been for proactive policing.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other leftist groups brought suit against proactive policing. A U.S. District Court judge ruled that New York City’s “stop and frisk” policy violated the 14th Amendment’s promise of equal protection because black and Hispanic people were subject to stops and searches at a higher rate than whites. But the higher rate was justified. Mac Donald points out that while blacks are 23 percent of New York City’s population, they are responsible for 75 percent of shootings and 70 percent of robberies. Whites are 34 percent of the population of New York City. They are responsible for less than 2 percent of shootings and 4 percent of robberies. If you’re trying to prevent shootings and robberies, whom are you going to focus most attention on, blacks or whites?

In 2015, 986 people were shot and killed by police. Of that number, 495 were white (50 percent), and 258 were black (26 percent). Liberals portray shootings by police as racist attacks on blacks. To solve this problem, they want police departments to hire more black police officers. It turns out that the U.S. Justice Department has found that black police officers in San Francisco and Philadelphia are likelier than whites to shoot and use force against black suspects. That finding is consistent with a study of 2,699 fatal police killings between 2013 and 2015, conducted by John R. Lott Jr. and Carlisle E. Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center, showing that the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a black police officer were consistently greater than the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a white officer. And little is said about cops killed. Mac Donald reports that in 2013, 42 percent of cop killers were black.

Academic liberals and civil rights spokespeople make the claim that the disproportionate number of blacks in prison is a result of racism. They ignore the fact that black criminal activity is many multiples of that of other racial groups. They argue that differential imprisonment of blacks is a result of the racist war on drugs. Mac Donald says that state prisons contain 88 percent of the nation’s prison population. Just 4 percent of state prisoners are incarcerated for drug possession. She argues that if drug offenders were removed from the nation’s prisons, the black incarceration rate would go down from about 37.6 percent to 37.4 percent. The vast majority of blacks in prison are there because of violent crime — and mostly against black people.

That brings us to the most tragic aspect of black crime. The primary victims are law-abiding black people who must conduct their lives in fear. Some parents serve their children meals on the floor and sometimes put them to sleep in bathtubs so as to avoid stray bullets. The average American does not live this way and would not tolerate it. And that includes the white liberals who support and make excuses for criminals. Plain decency mandates that we come to the aid of millions of law-abiding people under siege. For their part, black people should stop being pawns for white liberals and support the police who are trying to protect them.


Facebook freezes out Christian mom for quoting Bible about homosexuality

Leviticus 20:13 says:  "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them"

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to use his platform to build a worldwide “inclusive community.” However, a Christian ‘vlogger’ found out there appears to be no room in it for her as long as she quotes Bible passages about homosexuality.

Elizabeth Johnston, aka the “Activist Mommy,” says there is a big disconnect between Zuckerberg’s recent call for a global “inclusive community” and Facebook’s “censorship of Christians.” 

“They are muzzling me and my biblical message while Mark Zuckerberg claims that FB is unbiased,” she stated in a news release.

She has had her page frozen three times now, twice in seven days, because of her posts. Last week, she posted her argument that the Bible condemns homosexuality, using Old and New Testament sources. Facebook summarily removed the post and suspended her access to the page. It also stripped her of her ability to respond to private comments for three days.

Once she was unfrozen, she complained about censorship and restored the original blog. Facebook removed it again. She was frozen for another seven days and cut off from her 70,000 followers.

“The post Facebook deleted included no name-calling, no threats, and no harassment. It was intellectual discussion and commentary on the Bible,” Johnston said of her scriptural choices, which were unmistakably strong condemnations of homosexuality.

Johnston has asked Facebook to explain “why the doctrine of tolerance only applies to those who subscribe to Mark Zuckerberg’s Silicon Valley leftist ideology.”

LifeSiteNews has also asked Facebook, which 1.86 billion people use each month, if it will allow discussion of homosexuality at all, or only if the Bible is not cited.

Facebook has not responded to either query.

Johnston says she’s “very appreciative of the platform Facebook gives us to promote family values.” She told LifeSite she could understand being censored “if I were threatening people or posting slander. But this is a classic case of censorship of Christians and our First Amendment rights to free speech.”

Facebook states that it “removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation … ”

Johnston acknowledges that she depends on Facebook’s unequaled access “to connect with my supporters.” She also acknowledges that Facebook “has the right to set their own rules.” However, she notes that Zuckerberg also claims to be unbiased.

All it takes to be frozen as she has been, Johnston told LifeSite, is for a few “liberal trolls and bullies” to complain.

In response to Facebook’s action, Johnston said she has joined a new rival site, Andrew Torba’s Gab. Torba has himself been frozen by Facebook censors and is offering his platform as a “free speech alternative to Twitter, to Facebook, to Reddit.”


Discrimination against heterosexuals

A British couple who want their relationship recognised in law without the "patriarchal baggage" of marriage have lost the latest stage in their fight to be allowed a civil partnership.

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan say they and other couples face discrimination because only same-sex couples are eligible for civil partnerships.

The High Court ruled against them last year, and on Tuesday the Court of Appeal upheld the decision by a 2-1 margin.

Since 2005, gay couples in Britain have been able to form civil partnerships, which give them the same legal protection, adoption and inheritance rights as heterosexual married partners. Same-sex marriage became legal in 2014.

The couple's lawyer, Karon Monaghan, said Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan wanted "to enter into a legally regulated relationship which does not carry with it patriarchal baggage, which many consider comes with the institution of marriage".

The Government says it wants to see the impact of gay marriage on civil partnerships before deciding whether to extend them to everyone, abolish them or phase them out.

The three appeals judges agreed the situation was discriminatory, but two of the three said the Government should be given more time to decide on the future of civil partnerships.

Ms Steinfeld said that although the couple lost, "all three judges agree that we are being treated differently because of our sexual orientation".

Mr Keidan said they would appeal to the Supreme Court unless the Government agrees to change the law.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


22 February, 2017

Leftist Projection and dishonesty

Truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality

By Rich Kozlovich

With the new administration taking charge more rapidly than anyone thought possibly - me too - especially so since Senate Democrats are doing everything in their power to stop or slow down the process of confirmation - I'm constantly seeing a lava flow of logical fallacies pouring out from the left. 

This has been the pattern every time a Republican is elected President of the United States, or they take control of the Congress.  That gives opportunity to expand on the membership for the Club For the Galacticly Stupid, of which Maxine Waters is a shining example. 

One of the tools used by these people is to accuse their opponents of possessing and acting on the very flaws, faults and weaknesses they themselves possess.   That's called "psychological projection [which] is a defense mechanism people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions. Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings."

It may or may not be all that "subconscious" since it happens so often from the same people over years of political conflict.  I say in these cases it's a deliberate pattern to discredit their opponents, which means they're deliberately dishonest and corrupt in their thinking and actions.  By framing the discussion in this way this forces their opponents to defend themselves against unfounded accusations regarding their character and integrity.  Once they've managed to do that it keeps their opponents off balance, and ineffective.  Especially with the help of the media.

Only this time they've found someone who doesn't play by their rules - Trump and his team, and his supporters, are attacking back - and they don't care what the left thinks or the media.  They've now framed the left and the main stream media as corrupt, incompetent and totally unconcerned about what's really good for the nation.  And they're winning at it.  In short - they've framed all this discussion in the same way I've done for years while being involved in my industry's affairs - "it's not about me, it's about the mission" - so take your best shot.

Actually, I think they want the left to attack them.  Why?  Because if the left doesn't attack them they can't defeat them!

As the next four years roll out these attacks will become even more intense because what will happen is the left will continue to see their control and power erode.  The insanity will only increase, because the left has no moral foundation other than the need and desire to acquire and hold power over everyone's life.  There can be no compromise with them because they believe nothing, and destroy everything.  Accusations filled with righteous indignation will fill the propaganda machine of the left - the main stream media - especially the electronic media because print media can't capture emotion as well as television or even radio.  As those old enough to remember the Kennedy - Nixon debates.  Those who watched it on TV thought Kennedy won.  Those who heard it on the radio thought Nixon won. 

All this concern about the poor in our nation, the starving people of the world, the suffering immigrants, the disenfranchised - these are all emotional cat's paws to elicit strong feelings in the general public to justify allowing them to control the laws, the Constitution, the government and our lives. 

Once they get that control they'll deliver equality alright.  Everyone will be poor, suffering, and miserable - except them!  As in all socialist societies the ruling elite live like Russian Czars and the people live like Russian peasants.  In North Korea they have a little 300 pound "monarch", they call their president, living on the finest foods imported from all over the world telling his people they're going to have to eat roots to keep the "revolution" alive.  

We need to get past the rhetoric, hand wringing and what looks like a torment of their souls and remember - it's all a big emotional tear jerking show filled with logical fallacies and projection.

That's history and reality and both are incontestable.  Get over it!


What's scarier than Trump? The elite revolt against him

Commentators, celebs, the bureaucracy - all are in open revolt against democracy.  They are doing everything short of an armed revolution to destroy the duly elected Trump presidency

It is a historic time. Not because Trump is the saviour of the `forgotten' men and women of America, as he put it outside the Lincoln Memorial. Nor because he's some sort of white-supremacist counter-revolutionary about to awake an army of goose-stepping pussy grabbers, as his more vociferous critics would have it. But because, in plumping for Trump, the electorate dealt a blow to technocracy, to a narrow, elitist status quo, to a caste of people who openly revile them, and who are now in open revolt against them.

The word `unprecedented' is chucked around a lot in relation to Trump. And indeed he is. Not only has he crashed like a tangerine wrecking-ball through the modern political consensus, he's potentially the first president-elect to be sworn in while the question of whether he wanted to be president is still an open one. In spite of his colossal ego, its likely he never thought he would win.

But what's also `unprecedented', and far more destructive, is the reaction to him. Ever since Trump arrived on the political scene commentators have chided him for breaking `democratic norms' - from his spreading of `birther' conspiracy theories about Obama to his threat to lock up Hillary. But the American elite, in a post-vote fit of pique, has decided to break the biggest democratic norm of them all: respecting the result of a freely held election. Because there's another word that has been flung at Trump in the days approaching his inauguration: `illegitimate'. And this isn't just being uttered by trustifarian protesters, due to descend on Washington en masse in a tantrum-like demo against democracy. It's being uttered by broadsheet commentators and respected political leaders.

Dozens of congressmen boycotted the inauguration, following the lead of civil-rights leader John Lewis, who told CNN that `I do not see this president-elect as a legitimate president'. He said `the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton'.

But this is only a convenient excuse. The allegations about Trump being in league with or in hock to Russia amount to a whisper campaign. The infamous dossier which alleged collusion between Russia and Trump, and the existence of a certain, urine-drenched video tape, is completely unsubstantiated, a collection of memos about things that ex-MI6 man Christopher Steele - collecting `oppo research' for Trump's Republican and Democratic opponents - was told by unnamed sources in Russia's FSB.

And every step of the way, the campaign against Trump has been aided by the US intelligence agencies. The CIA was in open warfare with him. Whether or not the CIA leaked the dossier to the press - as Trump claims - we may never know. But it both lent credence to these claims and triggered their publication when the CIA and FBI decided to brief President Obama, Trump and certain members of Congress on the claims.

The dossier had been lying in journalists' in-trays for months, as they all struggled to corroborate it. Though Buzzfeed was wrong to print what remained little more than intelligence-community rumours, it was effectively given an excuse to do so when news of the briefings broke; a semi-public-interest defence could now be cobbled together.

The liberal-left and Republican Never Trumpers are effectively colluding against a democratically elected president. Their fury is startling. `Saying that the election was tainted isn't a smear or a wild conspiracy theory; it's simply the truth', writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times, declaring Trump `illegitimate' in a self-touting `act of patriotism'. Fellow columnist Charles Blow dialled up the literary drama, telling Trump `You will wear that scarlet "I" on your tan chest for as long as you sit in the White House'. (Apparently, in this version of Hawthorne's classic tale, Trump is the wayward woman and the media are the moralising Puritans.) What we're seeing here is an alliance between anti-democrats and sections of the secret state. And some on the Hill are already talking up impeachment.

There are plenty of reasons to criticise Trump. He's an authoritarian and a charlatan. The fact that we've ended up with this accidental president shows the depth of anti-elite feeling in the US, and the lack of viable alternatives. But the anti-Trump plotting is not about principled disagreement, let alone concern about Russian meddling: the US elites screech when Trump talks about deporting two million migrants, but looked the other way when Obama deported two-and-a-half million; they talked non-stop of Trump's gropey exploits, but cried foul when he threw the Clintons' dirty laundry back at them. Having been unseated by the fly-over rubes they'd long ruled in spite of, they are in a fight for their own survival. And they're willing to fight dirty.

In the congressmen boycotting the inauguration, in the celebrities railing against Trump at award shows and on social media, you glimpse a group of people who act and think like an aristocracy. In rendering Trump illegitimate, they are really refusing to confer their legitimacy on him. Who do they think they are? In a democracy, it is the demos who confers legitimacy, who lends leaders their power. If there's one positive thing about President Trump, it's that his election has revealed just how detached, anti-democratic - how `illegitimate' - the American elite is.


Sponsors of Anarchy

By Michelle Malkin

I've covered the left's criminal anarchist element for more than 20 years - from the animal rights terrorists who have harassed, threatened and firebombed scientific researches across the U.S. and Europe to the anti-capitalist thugs who wreaked havoc on downtown business owners at the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle and the 2010 G-20 summit in Toronto to the ANSWER Coalition and Code Pink's not-so-peaceful peaceniks who disrupted congressional hearings and menaced veterans memorials and military recruiting stations throughout the George W. Bush years to the Occupy Wall Street vagrants and rapists of 2011-12 to the rent-a-rioters who hijacked Ferguson, Baltimore and other Black Lives Matter demonstrations against police.

My favorites over the years? I'll never forget the seditious mother in Olympia, Washington, who tied bandanas over her kids' faces and recklessly planted them in the middle of a street 10 years ago to block trucks carrying military shipments. She was so caught up in the excitement of her "direct action" that she dropped her baby on the ground as her anarchist compatriots threw rocks at police and soldiers driving around them.

Then there were the "progressive" nitwits who handcuffed themselves to concrete-filled barrels in January 2015 and shut down traffic in the Boston area (risking the lives of crash victims waiting for an ambulance that was blocked) to protest ... something or other.

Clenched-fist troublemakers will use any mass gathering as an excuse to undermine civil society. Social media and the irresistible lure of virality have only strengthened their incentive to "FSU" (f- s- up). Here's another thing you can take to the bank: "Mainstream" protesters on the streets of D.C. will look the other way at these lawless vandals who leech onto any available cause. Their common goal is not "social justice." It's destabilization and disorder.

In Oakland, California, far-left "activist" Mayor Jean Quan groveled to Occupy agitators and refused to crack down as small businesses were destroyed and cops were attacked.

Oberlin grad Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Democratic mayor of Baltimore, infamously created a safe space for rioters sabotaging inner-city businesses.

The American Civil Liberties Union has written the literal playbook for redefining violent protest as "free speech" and obstructing police planning efforts to defend cities against left-wing chaos.

Kory Flowers, a North Carolina-based law enforcement expert on domestic anarchists and criminal subversive groups, describes the persistent pot stirrers as "cause parasites." In 2012, at the Democratic National Convention, where international media coverage was assured, Flowers reported that anarchists had manufactured "urine-filled eggs, acid-filled Christmas ornaments, and water guns containing urine, all meant to be used against the law enforcement security forces throughout the city."

Five years later, investigative journalist James O'Keefe exposed D.C.-based anarchists associated with the #DisruptJ20 (Jan. 20) movement on tape this week as they were plotting to invade inaugural balls with stink bombs, trigger sprinkler systems to force attendees out in the cold, chain themselves to Metro trains and hunt down city officials who act against them.

"If you try to close us down, we will look for your house. We will burn it. We will physically fight the police if they try to steal one of our places. We will go to war, and you will lose," one plotter threatened.

Many of these guerrilla punks employ "Black Bloc" tactics, Flowers notes, wearing all-black clothes "to appear as a unified assemblage, giving the appearance of solidarity for the particular cause at hand," which allows "virtual anonymity while conducting criminal acts as a group." They may be a fringe minority, but it's the continued tolerance of these vandals, looters and terrorist wannabes on the ground by "mainstream" community organizers and politicians that gives them cover - and power.

Lee Stranahan, an independent journalist and blogger who covers protest movements for Breitbart, adds: "It's important that Americans not be lulled into a false sense of security by such an oversimplification. While it's been proven that funders like (billionaire George) Soros and the Democrat party have paid protest organizers and some protesters, groups like the violent Black Bloc typically aren't motivated by money, but instead come to protests because of their anti-American ideology, base criminal desires and thrill seeking."

Opponents of Donald Trump's have accused him of "inspiring violence" and bringing out the worst in people. Wrong. The active and passive sponsors of left-wing political mayhem are the ones guilty of enabling it over the past quarter-century. Restoring peace and justice starts with restoring law and order. Either you're against the rule of the mob or you're with it.


Meat Plant Raises the Steaks for Freedom

Donald Vander Boon has been operating a meatpacking center in Michigan for almost 15 years — but thanks to the federal government, it’s his freedom that’s getting butchered. The Christian family, who proudly says on their website that the company “seeks to glorify and honor God in all we do,” were shocked to find out during a visit by the USDA that it wasn’t their beef that was being inspected but their beliefs.

While officials were touring the plant, they noticed a handful of brochures on the breakroom table about natural marriage. As Don tells it, the article was mixed in with the stacks of newspapers celebrating the recent Supreme Court decision redefining marriage. Even so, the on-site officers took offense to the literature, walked into Don’s office, closed both doors, and told him they’d call off the inspection if the material wasn’t removed.

He was stunned. “From the very beginning, we started the business in faith, and made it clear to employees that we run our business according to Christian principles.” But, he said, the company was in an impossible situation. “Within a few hours, I’m being threatened with the closure of my business. [And] if the USDA removes its inspectors, then I’m immediately unable to operate.”

According to inspectors, Don’s article was “offensive” and had violated a new rule from the Obama administration that gave government officials (including these inspectors) the right to take “immediate and appropriate corrective action” when dealing with anything they considered “harassment.” Vander Boon’s position on marriage, he was told, qualified.

That weighed heavily on the dad of three’s mind, especially since the West Michigan Beef Company employed 45 people whose families also relied on them. To keep his doors open, Don made the difficult decision to pull the information on natural marriage.

“It’s made me realize how quickly we can lose our religious liberty. I never dreamed that I would have this experience, and that I would have USDA personnel telling me that I had to choose between putting an article on the breakroom table or my business.” Now, almost two years later, the family owned company is still under threat.

Despite filing a complaint with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, Don never got a response. That not only bothers the Vander Boons but their attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). After all, this is exactly the nightmare that an executive order on religious liberty sitting on President Trump’s desk would prevent. ADF President Michael Farris argued as much in a letter to Donald Trump, urging him to weigh cases like this one carefully.

Eighteen months have passed, and Don has not received any relief from this unjust and unlawful targeting of his religious expression by the federal government. He remains under a constant threat of closure, nervous about saying or doing something that might result in the USDA censoring his religious beliefs, silencing his speech, and forcing [he and his wife] to close down their only source of income that benefits their family, their 45 employees, and the broader community.

We therefore ask that you direct the Department of Agriculture to rescind its unlawful harassment policy and lift the restriction on Don’s speech.

Obviously, policing the beliefs of small businesses isn’t the job of the USDA — or any government agency. But unfortunately, after eight years of Obama, Washington has been trained on religion like a disease that needs to be eradicated. Frankly, there’s no difference between this and the IRS stripping a nonprofit of its tax exempt status. Both are using the government as a club to beat conservatives into submission on core values. No American — Christian or otherwise — should have to choose between their careers and their convictions.

If anyone wonders why we need an executive order protecting religious liberty, wonder no more! The Vander Boons are the perfect example of the climate of intimidation affecting businesses and organizations across the country. Every American, regardless of their beliefs, should agree: This kind of runaway government censorship is exactly what needs to be reined in by President Trump. It’s what the Constitution demands. It’s what supporters of Mr. Trump wanted. And it’s what the nation deserves.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


21 February, 2017

Christian florist vows Supreme appeal in same-sex war
'The government cannot use its power to force someone to promote a message'

Lawyers for a Christian florist vow a vigorous appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after a state supreme court ruled unanimously Thursday that their client violated anti-discrimination laws by refusing to provide floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.

All nine justices ruled for the state of Washington and plaintiffs Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed and against Baronelle Stutzman and her store, Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts.

“Discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” wrote Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud in the court’s opinion.

The court further stated that the state’s anti-discrimination law does not infringe upon Stutzman’s freedom of religious expression.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending Stutzman, begs to differ.

“They’re wrong,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued Stutzman’s case before the Washington state Supreme Court.

“We’re deeply disappointed with today’s court decision,” Waggoner told WND and Radio America. “The First Amendment protects Baronelle’s rights as a small business owner and a creative professional. She has loved and respected everyone who has walked into her store. She served this gentleman (Ingersoll) for nearly 10 years and simply declined an event, one ceremony that was a religious ceremony because of her religious convictions.”

Who put the American family in the bull’s-eye? Read “Takedown, From Communists to Progressives How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage” to read the origins of the war.

While not stunned by a liberal court ruling against her client, Waggoner said it’s a mind-boggling ruling when the state conceded the crux of Stutzman’s case.

“Even in oral arguments, the attorney general of the state of Washington conceded that Baronelle’s design of custom arrangements was expression. The court’s opinion says she intended to convey a message. The First Amendment clearly protects this activity and these designs as pure speech,” said Waggoner.

He said Stutzman will appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.


People Are Standing Up For Ivanka Amid Boycott By Buying Her Best-Selling Perfume

As the Daily Dealer has previously discussed, Ivanka Trump has been the target of several boycott attempts by activists on the left. While stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus have caved to liberal demands, other outlets, such as Amazon, have refused to drop Ivanka’s products. This was smart, as, the Washington Post writes, one particular product is becoming the lodestone of support for Ivanka Trump and her business.

That product is Ivanka’s very popular perfume, which has sold so much in recent weeks that it is now Amazon’s #1 bestselling item in its entire “Beauty” section.

Ivanka Trump Eau de Parfum Spray for Women, 3.4 Fluid Ounce — $34.99

The second best selling product in Amazon’s “Beauty” category? A roller ball application of the scent: Normally $20, this roller ball is 25 percent off. Ivanka Trump for Women 0.20 EDP Roller Ball on sale for $15

As liberals attempt to wage a commerce war to fight the Trumps, it is clear that those on the right will not fold so easily. Those who stand with Ivanka also want to make their voices heard, both by punishing the stores that removed the First Daughter’s products and by rewarding those who have not.


J K Rowling asked to take in refugees in her 18 spare rooms

An online petition has asked Harry Potter author J K Rowling, who has been an ardent supporter of allowing refugees from the Middle-East, to give shelter to 18 refugees in each of her 18 spare rooms. The petition has been started on the platform change.org, and the name of the petitioner is shown as Marcus Aurelius, from France.

The petition first details Rowling's continued advocacy for open borders and allowing refugees into Europe and then alleges her and other rich elites to be 'disconnected from the ugly reality.' The petitioner claims Rowling has a total of 18 spare rooms combined in all her mansions in Britain, and then makes the case that she should provide long-term housing to 18 refugees, and also provide refugee shelters at the space available on her property.

The strongly-worded petition further states, "The refugee crisis will require 250,000 homes to be built every year in her homeland Britain. Helping refugees in Europe will cost 10 times as much as helping them in neighbouring countries would.

Donations by the superrich, even in the millions, are a drop in the ocean, as the taxpayer will have to pay billions for the following decades. Elites, that echo the MSM narrative, defending open borders, are hypocrites that will never share the outlook of the working class, which has to encounter refugees every day. So let's bring one of the loudest virtue-signaling apologists of globalism back to reality and give her some new roommates." The petition currently has 7,366 supporters, with the number increasing by the minute.


Illegal Immigrant Family Shocked at Immigration Laws Now Being Enforced

The family of an illegal immigrant arrested during a recent roundup of criminal aliens seems shocked that immigration laws are being enforced.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested Miguel Angel Torres, an illegal immigrant living in Austin, Texas, for the past fourteen years, during the recent Operation Cross Check roundup of criminal aliens. It appears immigration officers arrested Torres while they were looking for his brother-in-law, a previously deported illegal alien, the Texas Tribune reported.

“[My husband] is a person who’s never done anything wrong and who complies with the law,” Irma Perez, the wife of the illegal immigrant, told the Texas news outlet. “We don’t know why they detained him. He was driving his own car, not my brother’s. He has nothing to do with my brother.”

Texas law does not allow a person who does not have legal status in the U.S. to obtain a driver license or legally operate a motor vehicle.

Perez, who admitted she is also an illegal immigrant, said her husband drove to their daughter’s school to deliver a Valentine’s Day box of chocolates. Agents who stopped Torres asked if he was Jose Manuel Perez, his wife’s brother. It appears officers checked his identity and learned he was in the country illegally and placed him in custody.

Operation Cross Check is a law enforcement action planned to round up criminal aliens and process them for removal proceedings. While the operation targets criminals, gang members, and others who violate immigration laws, ICE officials acknowledged that non-criminals could be caught up in the net.

“During targeted enforcement operations ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws,” ICE officials said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriated, arrested by ICE.”

In this case, it appears the ICE officers were searching for Perez’ brother, Jose Manuel Perez, an illegal alien she admitted had been previously deported. She did not say why he had been deported, or how many times he faced deportation.

When ICE officers stopped Torres, they asked if he was Perez. Irma Perez said she believe the officers had followed Torres from their home to the school. She believed they might be staking out her home because she had provided her address to law enforcement officials when she paid off her brother’s traffic fines.

Perez’ immigration lawyer Mark Kinzler told the Texas Tribune reporter, “They were looking, apparently, for someone else, and he wasn’t that person, but then they took him anyway.” He seemed to expect that immigration officers would just ignore the law when they found out Torres was illegally present in the U.S.

“Even though ICE’s PR campaign is that they’re picking up criminals and picking up people with prior deports, and I’m sure some of them are, it already seems like a lot of them are not those people,” Kinzler continued. “People who work every day and try to take care of their families are getting swept up.”

The targeted immigration enforcement operation picked up 51 foreign nationals in the Austin area during the two-day action, Breitbart Texas reported. At least 23 of those arrested had criminal convictions. Those included a Mexican national previously deported following a conviction for aggravated assault; a Salvadoran national who pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child; and another Mexican national convicted of domestic violence as a repeat offender, information obtained by Breitbart Texas from ICE officials revealed. In addition to criminal aliens, the officers were also targeting those with pending court-ordered removal status and those who had been previously deported, like Perez, and known to be back in the country.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


20 February, 2017

Selective bigotry on the Left: New Yorkers accept homosexuals -- but not conservative homosexuals

Chadwick Moore, a 33-year-old journalist who lives in Williamsburg, had been a lifelong liberal. Then, last September, he penned a profile for Out magazine of Milo Yiannopoulos — a controversial and outspoken critic of feminism, Muslims and gay rights (despite being openly gay himself). Although the Out story didn’t take a positive stance — or any stance — on Yiannopoulos, Moore found himself pilloried by fellow Democrats and ostracized by longtime friends.

Here, he tells Michael Kaplan his story — including why the backlash drove him to the right.

When Out magazine assigned me an interview with the Breitbart.com rabble-rouser Milo Yiannopoulos, I knew it would be controversial. In the gay and liberal communities in particular, he is a provocative and loathed figure, and I knew featuring him in such a liberal publication would get negative attention. He has been repeatedly kicked off Twitter for, among other things, reportedly inciting racist, sexist bullying of “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones. Before interviewing Yiannopoulos, I thought he was a nasty attention-whore, but I wanted to do a neutral piece on him that simply put the facts out there.

After the story posted online in the early hours of Sept. 21, I woke up to more than 100 Twitter notifications on my iPhone. Trolls were calling me a Nazi, death threats rolled in and a joke photo that I posed for in a burka served as “proof” that I am an Islamophobe.

I’m not.

Most disconcertingly, it wasn’t just strangers voicing radical discontent. Personal friends of mine — men in their 60s who had been my longtime mentors — were coming at me. They wrote on Facebook that the story was “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” A dozen or so people unfriended me. A petition was circulated online, condemning the magazine and my article. All I had done was write a balanced story on an outspoken Trump supporter for a liberal, gay magazine, and now I was being attacked. I felt alienated and frightened.

I hope New Yorkers can be as accepting of my new status as a conservative man as they’ve been about my sexual orientation.
I laid low for a week or so. Finally, I decided to go out to my local gay bar in Williamsburg, where I’ve been a regular for 11 years. I ordered a drink but nothing felt the same; half the place — people with whom I’d shared many laughs — seemed to be giving me the cold shoulder. Upon seeing me, a friend who normally greets me with a hug and kiss pivoted and turned away.

Frostiness spread far beyond the bar, too. My best friend, with whom I typically hung out multiple times per week, was suddenly perpetually unavailable. Finally, on Christmas Eve, he sent me a long text, calling me a monster, asking where my heart and soul went, and saying that all our other friends are laughing at me.

I realized that, for the first time in my adult life, I was outside of the liberal bubble and looking in. What I saw was ugly, lock step, incurious and mean-spirited.

Still, I returned to the bar a few nights later — I don’t give up easily — and hit it off with a stranger. As so many conversations do these days, ours turned to politics. I told him that I’m against Trump’s wall but in favor of strengthening our borders. He called me a Nazi and walked away. I felt awful — but not so awful that I would keep opinions to myself.

And I began to realize that maybe my opinions just didn’t fit in with the liberal status quo, which seems to mean that you must absolutely hate Trump, his supporters and everything they believe. If you dare not to protest or boycott Trump, you are a traitor.

If you dare to question liberal stances or make an effort toward understanding why conservatives think the way they do, you are a traitor.

It can seem like liberals are actually against free speech if it fails to conform with the way they think. And I don’t want to be a part of that club anymore.

It used to be that if you were a gay, educated atheist living in New York, you had no choice but to be liberal. But as I met more Trump supporters with whom I was able to have engaging, civil discussions about issues that impact us all, I realized that I like these people — even if I have some issues with Trump himself. For example, I don’t like his travel ban or the cabinet choices he’s made.

But I finally had to admit to myself that I am closer to the right than where the left is today. And, yes, just three months ago, I voted for Hillary Clinton.

When I was growing up in the Midwest, coming out to my family at the age of 15 was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Today, it’s just as nerve-wracking coming out to all of New York as a conservative. But, like when I was 15, it’s also weirdly exciting.

I’ve already told my family, and it’s brought me closer to my father. He’s a Republican and a farmer in Iowa, and for years we just didn’t have very much to talk about. But after Trump’s inauguration, we chatted for two hours, bonding over the ridiculousness of lefties. But we also got serious: He told me that he is proud of my writing, and I opened up about my personal life in a way I never had before to him.

I’ve made some new friends and also lost some who refuse to speak to me. I’ve come around on Republican pundit Ann Coulter, who I now think is smart and funny and not a totally hateful, self-righteous bigot. A year ago, this would have been unfathomable to me.

I even went on a date this past week with a good-looking Republican construction worker, someone I previously would not have given a shot.

I hope to find out that it pays to keep an open mind.

And I hope that New Yorkers can be as open-minded and accepting of my new status as a conservative man as they’ve been about my sexual orientation.


SPLC Hides Behind Its Own Hate

If there’s one defamatory term that gets thrown around more than any other today, it’s “hate.” Politics has devolved to the point in which simply disagreeing on anything is cause for getting thrown into the Doghouse of Hate. That’s not to say there aren’t factions whose sole purpose is to promulgate hurtful and harmful rhetoric and deeds. That’s what ISIL does. And the KKK. And numerous other groups. Some are obviously more hostile than others, but there’s no limit to the extremes people will go to on both sides of the political and social divide. However, the “hate” label can also be used to script narratives, which the Southern Poverty Law Center does in its annual “Year in Hate and Extremism” publication.

This week, the center reported that 2016 saw a three-fold increase in what it calls “anti-Muslim hate groups.” By it’s metrics, the U.S. now contains 101 so-called Islamaphobic groups whose retaliatory crimes include wrecking “a mosque in Victoria, Texas, just hours after the Trump administration announced an executive order suspending travel from some predominantly Muslim countries.” Moreover, it adds, “In the first 10 days after [Trump’s] election, the SPLC documented 867 bias-related incidents, including more than 300 that targeted immigrants or Muslims.” All told, SPLC currently identifies 917 hate groups whose ideologies vary anywhere from neo-Nazism to black separatist advocacy to “general hate.”

To its credit, The Washington Post’s coverage describes SPLC as “a liberal-leaning advocacy group.” But the reasons for skepticism toward the group go far beyond that. For one, “general hate” can be construed to mean anything in this world of moral relativism. The thresholds that delineate meanings now can and most certainly will change in the future. And all conservatives have bona fide reasons to fear falling victim. Secondly, if we’re playing by the same rules, the SPLC itself could be described as a hate group. As Family Research Coincil’s Tony Perkins wrote in a recent column, “For years, the anti-Christian Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) bragged about its work with the FBI. Their partnership on issues like ‘hate crimes’ helped fuel the Obama administration’s fierce targeting of mainstream pro-family groups. That abruptly ended in 2014, when the agency distanced itself from the controversial organization.”

He adds, “Despite being linked in federal court to domestic terrorism, SPLC, the self-anointed authority on ‘hate,’ had remained a go-to ally of the Obama administration. That all changed, emails reveal, when FRC took our concerns to Congress about the ties between SPLC and the gunman who walked into our lobby in 2012 and shot Leo Johnson. … The concerns we expressed to our friends in Congress was not just about FRC and our safety, it was about the dozens of pro-family groups and Christian organizations that the SPLC has targeted because of their biblical view of human sexuality. Just how outside the mainstream are the claims of SPLC? This was the Obama FBI that distanced itself from SPLC.”

There is no justification for those who intentionally target anyone merely because of ideological differences. And the SPLC is right to call them out. But there’s also no justification for the SPLC’s true motive, which is to purge America of conservatism and anything else it considers “not inclusive.” When your own rhetoric results in getting good people like Leo Johnson shot, there’s a serious need for self-reflection. Because that’s the very definition of hate.


Turning journalism into a crime

Britain's proposed new Espionage Act would devastate press freedom

Journalists and whistleblowers in Britain could be treated as spies and imprisoned for years under proposals for a new Espionage Act. The Register revealed on Friday that the UK Law Commission’s latest recommendations to the government include treating journalists and leakers as foreign agents, in an attempt to ban future reporting of large data leaks, like the Edward Snowden revelations.

The 326-page consultation paper, titled Protection of Official Data, proposes that the ‘redrafted offence’ of espionage would be ‘capable of being committed by someone who not only communicates information, but also by someone who obtains or gathers it’. The paper proposes ‘no restriction on who can commit the offence’. Had this proposed law been in place in 2013, it could have led to the jailing of Alan Rusbridger, the then Guardian editor who published the Snowden data leaks, for the crime of handling the information passed to his reporters by Snowden.

As if press freedom in Britain wasn’t in a dire enough state. While handling the Snowden story, Rusbridger was threatened with jail and a gagging order when the government attempted to block the story. These new proposals would result in a further chilling effect on press freedom, scaring investigative journalists out of doing their jobs properly.

Under the new proposals certain government offices would become completely off-limits for reporters and whistleblowers. The Register noted: ‘British Embassies abroad, intelligence and security offices, and data centres not officially publicised by the government would be designated as “prohibited places” or “protected sites”, making it an offence to publish information about them or to “approach, inspect, pass over or enter” for any “purpose prejudicial” to national security.’ This gives free rein to certain agencies of the state, which would never have to worry about being held to account. They would be protected from investigation.

The proposals would replace four Official Secrets Acts and would remove ‘public interest’ as a defence for anyone accused of offences. This is insidious. The public-interest defence in the realm of leaks is the one legal tool that provides protection for lowly reporters when faced with the full force of state power.

The report suggests blocking one of the fundamental tenets of journalism: holding the powerful to account. If certain areas of state are cordoned off, so that penetrating them becomes punishable by long jail terms, then who will dare to criticise and attempt to uncover the farthest reaches of state power? To fulfil their role in a democratic society, journalists must be free to delve into the darkest recesses of government influence.

Beyond the contents of the consultation, the methods used to carry it out appear to have been decidedly underhand. By the Commission’s own admission, the consultation was devised without any meaningful input from journalists or rights groups. This is despite law commissioner David Ormerod QC claiming in the Telegraph that, ’We’ve scrutinised the law and consulted widely with… media and human-rights organisations’. Open Rights Group (ORG) was one of the NGOs listed by the report as having been consulted, yet ORG’s chief executive Jim Killock told the Register: ‘There was no consultation. There were some emails with our legal adviser about having a meeting, which petered out without any discussion or detail being given.’ Similarly, the Guardian said it attended a ‘high-level, very general chat’ about the consultation last year, and then heard nothing more.

This unwillingness to consult both sides in the debate, and the neglectful gaps in the report, highlight how one-sided the proposals truly are. The document suggests removing the historic public-interest defence in an apparent bid to protect national security, yet it fails to define what it means by ‘national security’.

The bias in the document speaks to a wider attitude among those in power, who are becoming far too comfortable with imposing themselves on the press. This can be seen in the allegations that David Cameron attempted to get Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre fired in the run-up to the EU referendum, as well as in the recent Royal Charter for press regulation.

Should these proposals come to pass, they would destroy investigative journalism as we know it. The Leveson Inquiry has already proposed various measures that would stifle press freedom and investigative journalism; these proposals go even further, making it virtually impossible for journalists to investigate the powerful. Investigative journalism relies on a delicate balance of relationships with contacts or whistleblowers. Those whistleblowers speak to the press if they are confident journalists will protect their sources. But journalists can only offer that protection when they are assured of their own protection under a public-interest defence. If the state gets to decide what constitutes public interest, or indeed that there is no such thing, what’s to stop them blocking all news stories about state-run offices? While, for now, we are talking about ‘national security’ level stories, there is no reason to assume the government won’t find a way to broaden this undefined term to cover all manner of state-controlled sins. That would put an end to NHS whistleblowers, for example, who rightly highlight poor care and sometimes even abusive treatment.

The Law Commission’s proposals should alarm anyone who believes in a free and democratic society. If these proposals were to become law we would effectively be passing a huge chunk of journalism into state hands, and it is the public who will lose out. Knowledge is power, and by attempting to criminalise certain kinds of journalism the government is seeking to control how much the British public can know about the state they live under. These proposals, if acted upon, would take Britain a leap closer to authoritarian rule — they must be scrapped.


There's no shame in being a Mrs!

As Miriam kicks up a fuss over being called Mrs Clegg, LAURA PERRINS says the successful 48-year-old lawyer's aggressive feminism does her no favours

Well, I hate to say this, but Miriam Clegg might be a bit sensitive. The wife of our former Deputy Prime Minister has gone off the deep end on social media after being invited to an event to mark International Women's Day - in her married name.

The lawyer, known professionally as Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, posted on Instagram the offending missive with its handwritten `Dear Mrs Clegg', and added a withering caption bemoaning the `irony' that the event was a celebration of `women's success'.

It was clearly a mistake on the part of the organisers, but did she need to be so cross and make such a fuss?

Here we have a successful 48-year-old glamorous mother of three boys with a fulfilling, lucrative career in commercial law, and a happy marriage. So why the grand-standing and public humiliation of the event organisers over what was, in all likelihood, an error made by some unpaid intern?

She's not the only feminist making a fuss about the `insult' of being referred to by her husband's surname this week. Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, complained to the Speaker when the Prime Minister referred to her in a Commons debate as Lady Nugee, which is her married name as the wife of High Court judge Sir Christopher Nugee. Mrs May was forced to apologise.

In this latest case, I'd say the one who needs to apologise is Miriam Clegg.

Instead of dealing privately with a clerical error, in a letter which said the organisers would be `honoured' if she took part, she chose to act with breathtaking rudeness. She might have been at a feminist boot camp as they handed out good manners.

She claims to be independent, and made noises when her husband was in office about being too busy to accompany him on official engagements.

Then last year she published her cookbook, Made In Spain, in which, incidentally, she was photographed on the front cover resplendent in Liberal Democrat yellow.

It was a clear case of wanting her paella and eating it too. No publisher would have been remotely interested in her book if she hadn't been able to mix a sprinkling of spice in with her recipes, slagging off Samantha Cameron for putting Hellman's on the table rather making her own mayonnaise and telling how she refused to cook for George Osborne when he came to dinner. The only reason she was able to meet SamCam and the former Chancellor was through her husband.

Whether she likes it or not, it was their marriage that gave her professional profile a boost.

Are we supposed to believe that International Women's Day would have been interested in Miriam Gonzalez Durantez if she wasn't also Miriam Clegg?

There are hordes of clever, successful female commercial lawyers in City of London firms like hers. I know because I was once a lawyer, too, a criminal barrister.

While never in Miriam's league, I've met plenty of women who are. I doubt any of them get the same invitations and opportunities that she does.

Feminists used to campaign under the slogan that women were entitled to `have it all'. Miriam Clegg wants to have it both ways - as the wife of a powerful man when it suits her, but her own woman when dealing with fellow feminists.

And I do wonder why it is such an unforgivable crime to take your husband's surname? I did, though I never think of Perrins as my husband's name. For me it is now our name - as a family unit that includes our three children.

If there was any loss for me in becoming Perrins, it was losing my identity as a single woman and gaining an identity as a married woman, which I was happy to do. In our wedding vows, my husband pledged to protect and provide for me. It didn't seem like a lot to ask me in return to take the name Perrins.

Another lawyer, Amal Alamuddin, had no problem in taking her husband's surname when they married - but then he IS George Clooney. Now, the once little known human rights lawyer is feted around the world.

The kind of aggressive feminism displayed by Miriam Clegg and Lady Nugee does them no favours.

Instead of making them appear stronger, it turns them into victims; women who are so brittle they mistake even the smallest slight for an outrageous attack.

Take Emily Thornberry, again. `I have never been a Lady and it will take a great deal more than me being married to a Knight of the Realm to make me one,' she complained to the Speaker on Monday after the Prime Minister had `insulted' her and demanded an apology.

This minor infringement of parliamentary rules led to an absurd spectacle, in which the most powerful politician in Britain, a woman who has risen to the top in spite of having taken her husband's name 36 years ago, was compelled to say sorry to someone who was throwing her toys out of the pram.

Perhaps if Miriam, Emily and their ilk weren't wasting so much energy feeling outraged at perceived slights, then they might one day aspire to the heights of Mrs May, and a certain Margaret Thatcher (nee Roberts) before her.

Their agenda is entirely self-serving. In the real world, the rest of us are too busy getting on with it to care.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


19 February, 2017

Should Twitter and Facebook be Regulated as Utilities?

 Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert

The Constitution guarantees every citizen the right of free speech. But what happens when the most effective channels for that speech are corporations such as Twitter and Facebook? Does the government have an obligation to make sure those companies are not limiting free speech for some classes of users?

My sketchy understanding of the law is that the government is only responsible for making sure the government itself is not abridging free speech. I think most of us agree that we don’t want the government volunteering for any more work than the constitution says it should be doing.

But shouldn’t the federal government get involved if a few monopoly corporations start to control the national conversation by filtering out voices that disagree with them?

That seems to be the situation right now. For example, Twitter is apparently “shadowbanning” me because of my past Trump tweets, or so I assume. That means my tweets only go out to a subset of my followers. The rest don’t know I tweeted. My followers tell me this is the case. They have to visit my timeline to see my tweets.

Realistically, can I quit Twitter and be a successful media personality without it? Not in today’s world. The only way I could make that work is by having a huge presence on Facebook or Instagram.

But that might be a problem too. Instagram (owned by Facebook) just removed my girlfriend’s (@KristinaBasham) blue verification badge – on inauguration day – without explanation. Was that politically motivated? She has 2.7 million followers and lots of imposters pretending to be her. The blue verification badge was invented for situations like hers. We have no way to contact anyone at Instagram to fix it.

The same thing happened a few months ago and we worked through a friend-of-a-friend to get her verification badge back. The official explanation was that removing it the first time was just a glitch. This time my contact didn’t reply to my email.

I can’t be 100% sure that Twitter is shadowbanning me to limit my political speech. They might have a bug in their system, for example. But it would be a big coincidence if they are not, given how many Trump supporters were targeted by Twitter in the past year.

Likewise, I can’t be 100% sure my girlfriend is being punished by Facebook/Instagram for her association with me. But it seems like a big coincidence that she lost the verification on Inauguration Day. That lack of transparency is just as much of a problem as an actual abridgement of free speech. if I can’t know whether my freedom of speech is being limited by corporate overlords, how can I have trust in the Republic? And without trust, the system falls apart.

I want to trust my government, but without freedom of speech, I find that impossible. That’s why I support creating a law requiring the government to audit the major social media sites to certify that freedom of speech still exists for all classes of users. (Within reason.)

You might think there is not much risk of losing the right of free speech in the United States. But keep in mind that I have already lost my free speech in a practical sense. The social media tools you take for granted are not available to me in their full form.

Update: Kristina got her blue verification badge back from Instagram after several days. No explanation given.



According to a new poll, more than half of Hispanic voters support Donald Trump’s vigorous new effort to deport criminal illegals and punish sanctuary cities:

The survey for Secure America Now found that 56 percent of Hispanic voters approve of deporting criminal illegals. Some 31 percent don’t.

What’s more, they back the president’s executive order to end the Obama administration’s “catch and release” policy at the border....

On cutting off federal grants to sanctuary cities, 46 percent of Hispanic voters agreed, 43 percent opposed.

This should come as no surprise, except for privileged white liberals who don’t actually know any Hispanics. Illegal aliens attract illegal alien gangs, like MS13. Those gangs also prey on legal immigrant and Hispanic citizens. Hispanics back Trump’s policies because they mean a safer Hispanic community.

According to a statement from Homeland Security Chief John Kelly, recent immigration raids across the country resulted in more than 680 arrests. Of those arrested, approximately 75 percent were criminal illegals.


Fake news about fake news

The war on fake news is just another pretext for the elite to impose censorship on what people see and hear

The fake-news panic can be exposed as misleading on various levels. For instance, the notion that it is an entirely new problem ignores the fact that fake news is at least as old as the Trojan Horse. In more modern times, it is not only the likes of Vladimir Putin’s Russia that have used fake news reports to justify their wars. Western states have deployed similar falsehoods to aid their efforts in every major conflict, from the war-porn fantasies about German soldiers raping and bayoneting Belgian nuns in the First World War to the sci-fi fantasy of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction in 2003. What is new now is not the faking of news, but that the internet means governments and their tame media no longer have a monopoly on making up such stories.

The notion that fake news somehow poses an external threat to the West’s Enlightenment values of truth and reason also ignores the extent to which, as previously analysed on spiked, those values have already been thoroughly trashed from within Western cultural elites. Postmodern academics preaching that there can be no such thing as a single truth; news media practising the ‘journalism of attachment’ in which emotions can count more than evidence and objectivity is abandoned even as a goal (in which case, as I once told objectivity-scorning journalism students, they might as well switch courses and study to be poets or playwrights instead); and the many apostles of ‘identity politics’, for whom how you feel about something – especially if you feel offended or victimised in any way – overrides such small matters as the facts. These and other influential Western voices had done much to undermine Enlightenment values long before anybody starting posting fake news stories from the former Soviet bloc.

The cutting edge of the current panic is the argument, recently repeated by top politicians and prominent commentators on both sides of the Atlantic, that ‘fake news poses a threat to our democracy’. It is this that exposes the fake character of the kind of democracy that these forces want to defend.

How exactly could fringe fake-news websites and stories threaten the fortress of Western democracy? Only if you believe that the masses are sufficiently stupid or suggestible that they will believe whatever they are told, and act accordingly; that because some blowhard politician claimed that Brexit would fix the NHS, that must be why millions of Brits voted to Leave; and that some blogger accusing Hillary Clinton’s campaign of being involved in a child-abuse scandal explains why millions of Americans voted for the dreadful Trump.

In other words, the elevation of the problem of fake news is the flipside of the denigration of the intelligence and independence of the electorate. What these elitists and experts really object to is the wrong kind of democracy – voters inexplicably having the gall to reject their advice and support policies and candidates that are not to their taste. They blame the electorate for being unfit for the democratic system, rather than the other way around. They see the solution as tighter policing of public discussion – that is, more controls on what people can see and how they see it — through new systems of gatekeeping and fact-checking guardians on the web.

In this worldview, the political and media elites become modern priest-like keepers of The Truth, and any who question their authoritative version of events can be dismissed as heretics and deniers. This apparent defence of democracy goes against everything that the D-word should mean.

The essence of democratic politics is freedom of speech and no-opinions-barred debates. It is a clash of competing moral values and political visions. It is up to the demos – the people – to take in all the evidence and arguments, take part in the debate, and then judge for themselves what they believe to be true and choose whose side – if any – they want to be on. In a democracy, experts can always give advice, but not give orders about what the demos should do.

The idea of imposing gatekeepers and fact-checkers assumes that there can only be one correct way of viewing an issue. That sounds like the stuff of Orwellian news-control. Thus in its critical report into the EU referendum campaign, the Electoral Reform Society suggested an ‘official body’ should be created to intervene and correct falsehoods in future political campaigns. Perhaps they could call it the Ministry of Truth?

President Trump’s spokesperson was justifiably ridiculed for suggesting that the administration’s inflated estimate of the inauguration ceremony crowds was simply based on ‘alternative facts’. Yet in politics there really are always competing interpretations of reality, different versions of the truth. What you see depends which side of the battle lines you are on. Who really believes that gatekeepers imposed by the political and cultural elites would somehow be neutral seekers of truth, floating on a cloud above the fray with no agenda to pursue or axes to grind?

How does a democratic society decide on what it believes to be true? By the fullest possible debate, not by having it handed down from above. The media have an important part to play in countering fake news, by maintaining a core of properly sourced professional journalism. However, some now apparently see their role as policing what others publish.

Thus the new ‘Countercheck’ scheme for countering fake-news stories during the French presidential election campaign involves the liberal Le Monde, BuzzFeed and Agence France Presse working with Facebook and Google to help French voters ‘make sense of what and who to trust online’ by offering users the option to flag news stories as ‘real’, ‘satire’ or ‘fake’.

Leaving aside the small matters of why they assume voters should automatically trust the judgements of media outlets that are widely seen as part of the French establishment or, in the case of Buzzfeed, as a scandal-monger, the political motives behind this patronising effort to guide the French away from the far-right Front National should be clear to all. If anything, this appears even more explicit in Germany, where Facebook has launched a gatekeeping initiative in response to state officials’ concerns that, as the BBC puts it, ‘online “hate speech” could influence the parliamentary elections in September in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth term in office’. In other words, they are trying to protect Ms Merkel from the possible revenge of the masses whom they all fear and loathe.

The only way to counter Trump in America or the FN in France is through a political battle, an open democratic debate to try to win people over and decide what society believes to be true. But instead, the Western establishment wants to close down discussion through internet policemen or the courts, in the false belief that banning a critic is the same thing as beating them. They have learned nothing from Brexit and Trump’s election except for the need to double down on their prejudices about the ‘under-informed’ (aka under-intelligent) electorate.

The elites have effectively redefined defending democracy to mean defending the status quo – if necessary, against unfettered free speech and the unruly demos. Their crusade against fake news is only the latest stage of their war to maintain a fake version of democracy that depends on trying to dictate the speech, thoughts and votes of the demos in whose name they claim to rule.


A Canadian judge has been forced to capitulate to feminist groupthink

In December 2011, some homeless youths gathered in a house in Calgary in Canada for a party. One was Alexander Wagar, aged 23, who had recently come out of prison. Another was a 19-year-old woman, Ms A. Also present were Wagar’s brother, and a friend. Much drink was taken, and Wagar was said by some present to have exposed himself while dancing at one point. Then four of them, including Wagar and Ms A, went to the bathroom to smoke some cannabis.

Ms A then intimated to the others and that she and Wagar wished to have sex, so the others politely left the room. What happens next became hotly disputed in a series of court cases. Wagar said he helped Ms A pull down her jeans, and they started having sex, with her sitting on top of a washbasin. They then moved to the shower, where they made out. Wagar’s brother then came into the bathroom, and Ms A told him to ‘fuck off’. Later, Wagar’s brother told others at the party that Ms A was a ‘slut’.

Later, Ms A complained to the police that Wagar had raped her. He denied this, saying she was a willing participant in their sexual encounter. She claimed that she had been drunk and was unable to resist. Wagar was charged with rape. The trial came before Judge Robin Camp in September 2014. He sat without a jury. Camp had practised law in South Africa and Botswana between 1979 and 1998, before emigrating to Canada.

During the case, Camp made some unfortunately phrased comments. A number of times, he referred to the complainant Ms A as the ‘accused’ (possibly, he meant to say ‘accuser’?). He also asked her to clarify how the assault happened, given her evidence that her bottom was in the washbasin.

‘Why didn’t you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn’t penetrate you?’, he asked her at one point. Ms A replied, ‘I was drunk’. The judge also asked Ms A, who testified that her jeans were around her ankles: ‘Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?’ Ms A did not reply at first, then said: ‘I don’t know.’ He said she failed to explain ‘why she allowed the sex to happen if she didn’t want it’. Ms A accepted that she did not resist Wagar, either verbally or physically.

Camp annoyed the prosecution counsel by making the comment, ‘Sex is very often a challenge’. But in ‘he said/she said’ or drunk sex/rape claims, that is a legitimate comment. These difficult scenarios have exercised very many reputable academics and legal practitioners.

Camp acquitted the defendant, concluding that he could not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Ms A did not consent. Wagar’s lawyer argued that she evinced consent by her cooperative conduct. Ms A had told Wagar’s brother the morning after: ‘I didn’t care that [Wagar] did that to me, like I wanted him to do it.’

Camp’s verdict caused an outcry about alleged victim-blaming. Four law professors reported the judge to the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC), complaining of the way he had questioned Ms A. Two of them started a media blitz by penning an attack on him in the Globe and Mail. The Alberta minister for justice and solicitor general followed with a request for a formal inquiry, which forced the CJC to act. Perhaps unwisely, the judge issued a grovelling public apology which, predictably, his critics seized upon as evidence of guilt.

In an ominous move, which challenges the independence of the judiciary, Camp was disciplined because of his interpretation of the law: the ‘rape shield’ law which governs what evidence may be adduced of a complainant’s sexual activity with others. Ms A was alleged to have been flirtatious with another person at the party. He was also accused of ‘belittling’ sexual assault, simply because he showed a willingness to question the complainant’s version of events.

Even more alarmingly, the judge faced attacks from a horde of activists who were granted intervener status in the inquiry: the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre; the Ending Violence Association of British Columbia; the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women; the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence against Women and Children; the West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund; the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund Inc (LEAF); Women Against Violence Against Women; and the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic.

The CJC’s inquiry has now recommended that Camp be stripped of judicial office. It remains to be seen whether this recommendation will be submitted to the justice minister, and if so, whether Camp will challenge this in court. Only two Canadian judges have been relieved of their office since 1971.

The 112-page report on Camp is interesting for its abject deference to feminist ideology. It found Camp guilty of unconscious bias and thoughtcrime, in essence, because he: ‘Made comments or asked questions evidencing an antipathy towards laws designed to protect vulnerable witnesses, promote equality, and bring integrity to sexual-assault trials. We also find that the judge relied on discredited myths and stereotypes about women and victim-blaming during the trial and in his Reasons for Judgement.’

It complains that he asked questions of the complainant ‘rooted in stereotypical, biased reasoning’. The report claims that he damaged public confidence by evincing ‘a profound failure to act with impartiality and to respect equality before the law, in a context laden with significant and widespread concern about the presence of bias and prejudice’. These are astonishing and contemptuous findings to make about a judge.

Disturbingly, Camp was forced to grovel during this process, admitting that some of his comments were ‘insensitive’ and ‘inappropriate’. In an abject display of capitulation to feminist groupthink, he also confessed: ‘My thinking was infected.’

As an illustration of his supposedly infected thinking, one of the judicial questions to counsel which he was hauled over the coals for making was: ‘Is it unreal for me to accept that a young man and a young woman… want to have sex, particularly if they’re drunk?’ Meanwhile, the prosecutor, Hyatt Mograbee, was arguing for affirmative consent:

THE COURT: Well, tell me about that. Must he ask?
MS MOGRABEE: He must ask.
THE COURT: Where is that written?

Judge Camp was found guilty for this exchange. The report concluded that he was ‘expressing disdain’ by being flippant.

This is nonsense. Such judicial interrogation is the meat and drink of courtroom interactions. Crown counsel whose cases have been dismissed should not be allowed to accuse a judge, who rejects their case, of thoughtcrime. The proper and indeed the only way to challenge a judicial decision, which the losing party does not accept, is to appeal. This is a deeply sinister development: the state is attacking the judicial arm of government for failing to adhere to the ideology of the executive arm of government.

Interestingly, this report acknowledged at the outset that there was some evidence supporting the inference that Ms A might have fabricated the allegation of sexual assault, because she believed that Wagar had later had sex with another woman at the party, and because the complainant was upset with the accused’s brother for embarrassing her by telling others at the party that she had sex with the accused. Should not that have been a valid reason for the judge to have adopted a questioning approach, testing the prosecution’s claims and assumptions, instead of blindly accepting them?

The Crown appealed Wagar’s acquittal. In 2014, in Wagar’s absence, the Alberta Appeal Court overturned the acquittal, claiming that Camp had failed to address the law on consent correctly. ‘We are also persuaded that sexual stereotypes and stereotypical myths, which have long since been discredited, may have found their way into the trial judge’s judgement.’

Wagar’s retrial took place last November before Judge Jerry LeGrandeur. But in a dramatic twist, on 31 January this year, LeGrandeur acquitted Wagar for the second time, essentially on the same grounds as Camp did. The complainant lacked credibility. The point is: when subjected to forensic scrutiny, this rape complaint just didn’t stack up.

But, predictably, the commentariat has been grumbling, and the Crown is talking of yet another appeal. As one experienced commentator says: ‘How many kicks at the can do prosecutors get before they find the decision, not to mention the language, they like?’



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


17 February, 2017

What the elite mean by Fascism

Brendy is pretty right about current usage below but his definition of historical Fascism is weak.  As a retired Marxist, he relies largely on Trotsky for a definition of it.  And that definition is conventional rather than history-based.  The classic Marxist lie is that Fascism/Nazism was middle class.  Yet the most fanatical Nazis -- the "Sturmabteilung" -- were overwhelmingly working class.  And Hitler's origins as a hobo are also not middle class. 

The defining characteristics of Fascism are socialist rhetoric and extensive government control of industry.  And those things are true of most developed nations to this day. Control of industry these days is done by laws and regulations rather than by having a party representative on-site at major business  establishments but the result is very similar.  There is great government control in both cases.  So does Fascism still exist in the world today?

It does to a considerable degree.  The overt hostility to other countries is gone but that is about it.  Historical Fascists had great national pride and tried to take over territory from other nations  -- but America's many wars abroad are not so different.  The propaganda is better but there has been an obvious intention to reform other nations along American lines.  America has tried to Americanize the world.

And it may be noted that most of America's wars have been entered into by people who also espouse socialistic rhetoric.  Socialistic rhetoric was joined with war by Hitler and the same is largely true of the USA. Democrat President Woodrow Wilson got America into WWI. FDR got it into WW2.  Kennedy got it into Vietnam.  Only the Iraq intervention was the work of a Republican and that was in response to a direct attack on the U.S. homeland -- so was essentially a defensive war. 

And, as with past Fascist military adventures, American interventions abroad have had very poor success.  The last clear success was in Korea and even that succeeded only in the South.

But in a sense America's military efforts are incidental to American dominance.  American mass culture has conquered the world.  Guns and bullets are a crude instrument of influence compared to that.

So I do think that real Fascism is not only alive and well but is the dominant form of government today.

Having divorced politics from popular opinion as a way of keeping in check the presumed fascist tendencies of the masses, it is not surprising that the political class views the public’s recent attempts at ‘taking back control’, at joining back together opinion and democracy, as a return of fascism. Their great fear is that the lid they put on the masses’ latent fascism, their distancing of the political machinery from public prejudices, has been lifted. They are screaming ‘fascism’ because they see fascism in us, in ordinary people. Thus the accusation of fascism expresses a profound hostility towards democracy itself, and to the demos. It is pure elitism to see fascism in the new politics. Which is why the most elite sections of society —?archbishops, princes, heads of global institutions —?are often to the fore in the fascism frenzy.

And of course, what they describe as ‘fascism’?—?Brexit, people worried about immigration, Trump —?is nothing of the sort. These things don’t even come close to fascism. As Weismann argued, even ‘dictatorship, mass neurosis, anti-Semitism, the power of unscrupulous propaganda, the hypnotic effect of a mad-genius orator on the masses, and so on’ do not necessarily constitute fascism. Fascism, he said, was something different to all that, something more than all that. Fascism, in essence, is a mass, paramilitary movement that acts as a stand-in for normal politics and normal statehood when that politics and statehood cannot deal with a threat it faces, primarily the threat of revolution or of organised, agitating labour. As Trotsky put it, fascism occurs when the ‘police and military resources’ of a society, and its parliamentary process, ‘no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium’. In such circumstances, as happened most notably in Italy and Germany, the rulers of society give way to, or rather push to the front, a mass violent movement fashioned to crush the threatening force. Fascism, basically, is when a society in crisis green-lights civil war as a means of stabilising itself in the longer term.

This fascist movement is made up from the ‘crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralised lumpenproletariat’, in Trotsky’s colourful, cutting phrase. Brought to ‘desperation and frenzy’, this mass, paramilitarised section of society sets about ‘annihilating’ workers’ movements and of course executing anti-Semitic savagery. The consequence is that ‘a system of administration is created which penetrates deeply into the masses and which serves to frustrate the independent crystallisation of the proletariat’?—?‘therein precisely is the gist of fascism’, said Trotsky. This is why those who say ‘the Nazis were left-wing, you know’ are wholly wrong. Fascism fundamentally represents the violent marshalling of a certain strata of society to the end of crushing the left and the working class. Yes, the Nazis in particular used socialist terms, even calling themselves the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. But as Trotsky says, that was merely the means through which a mass movement could be built. Fascism’s leaders ‘employ a great deal of socialist demagogy’, he said, for this is ‘necessary to the creation of the mass movement’.

Nothing even remotely like this exists today. None of the conditions or groups that make fascism, and which make it distinct from hatred and demagoguery and even from dictatorship, exist in Europe or the US in 2017. There is no powerful workers’ movement posing such a threat to the stability of capitalism that it needs to be destroyed. No ‘crazed’ petty bourgeoisie is being armed and goaded into civil or class war as a means of ‘annihilating’ vast numbers of their fellow citizens. People?—?well, ordinary people —?have not been whipped into a frenzy. Indeed, it is the patience of Brexit and Trump voters in the face of incessant defamation by the media and political set that is most striking.

It is a fantasy to claim fascism has made a comeback. And it’s a revealing fantasy. When the political and media elites speak of fascism today, what they’re really expressing is fear. Fear of the primal, unpredictable mass of society. Fear of unchecked popular opinion. Fear of what they view as the authoritarian impulses of those outside their social, bureaucratic sphere. Fear of the latent fascism, as they see it, of the ordinary inhabitants of Nazi-darkened Europe or of Middle America, who apparently lack the moral and intellectual resources to resist demagoguery. As one columnist put it, today’s ‘fascistic style’ of politics is a creation not so much of wicked leaders, as of the dangerous masses. ‘Compulsive liars shouldn’t frighten you’, he says. ‘Compulsive believers, on the other hand: they should terrify you.’ In short, not leaders but the led; not the state but the people. This, precisely, is who terrifies them. This, precisely, is what they mean when they say ‘fascism’. They mean you, me, ordinary people; people who have dared to say that they want to influence politics again after years of being frozen out. When they say fascism, they mean democracy.


A successful media hit job on a Trump associate -- BEFORE General Flynn

Colonel Ken Allard

When CNN and Politico charged last month that Monica Crowley - my longtime friend and editor at The Washington Times - was a serial plagiarist, the sickening headlines left me angry. And more than slightly confused.

Had the well-known Monica Crowley - soon slated to become deputy national security adviser to President Trump - really plagiarized large portions of her doctoral dissertation from Columbia University as well as her 2012 best-selling book? Because headlines are often crafted with the deliberate intent of silencing the victim, the unchallenged evidence seemed doubly damning. She stepped away quietly from her prestigious White House position and could no longer be found in the familiar climes of Fox News or The Washington Times. Her once-prominent persona had seemingly vanished in the whiff of scandal.

Or so you might have thought - unless you really know her and appreciate the skullduggery of her attackers. I do because our two-decade friendship was forged in a far-away galaxy, back when MSNBC was a respectable news network. It then employed Ms. Crowley and Tucker Carlson as conservative commentators and me as an on-air military analyst. Both then and ever since, Monica has been a woman of great character and a consummate professional, both a tough editor and a good friend.

So it was gratifying but not really surprising when Andrew McCarthy recently wrote in National Review that the CNN attack on Monica Crowley had been a "major hit job" with many mistakes "being blown wildly out of proportion, to the point of smear." Mr. McCarthy's argument became even more interesting when reinforced by the detailed analysis conducted by Lynn Chu, a highly experienced and authoritative literary copyright attorney. Her conclusions: "I found CNN's splashy "plagiarism" accusation to be ill-supported - a heavily exaggerated, political hit job. Instead, after reading texts side by side with footnotes, I came away impressed by the very high quality and care taken by Ms. Crowley in her writing, scholarship and research overall." How's that for plagiarism?

That irony runs even deeper because those same tactics were perfected in a now-forgotten prologue. In 2008, I was one of the network military analysts accused of corruption in a 7500-word New York Times "expose" splashed across its front pages. Written on the eve of the 2008 presidential campaign, The New York Times story accused the Rumsfeld Pentagon of stage-managing news about the war on terror, suborning television's military analysts with privileged access and trips to the combat zones. Precisely on cue, over 40 congressional Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama among them, loudly demanded investigations.

Eventually we were exonerated after repeated investigations by three federal agencies, lasting almost four years and costing millions of taxpayer dollars. The New York Times even won the Pulitzer Prize for its story, despite the aura of plagiarism. Eighteen months earlier, I had written a book, "Warheads," a first-person memoir about the supposedly secret program so heroically exposed by the Times. Despite extensive interviews with me about the book's contents, the Times' story somehow failed to mention its existence. Was that plagiarism-by-omission or just deliberate distortion? As The Wall Street Journal noted in announcing our final vindication, "those investigations have now shown that the liars weren't at the Pentagon."

But where do you go to have your reputation restored? Our oppressors at The New York Times never apologized and neither did Congress, under whose authority those federal investigations were launched. Instead, we were simply exiled, just as Monica Crowley is today. It's nothing personal, as Tony Soprano would assure us, it's just business - the sometimes regrettable but essential business of the leftist media cabal now systematically corrupting this country's once-proud institutions.

In 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." Today, media objectivity is a politically incorrect ideal, possibly even an invitation to hate-speech. Rather than restraining the powerful, Big Media is largely indistinguishable from Big Government, 90 percent of its practitioners lifelong Democrats eager to extend its already intrusive powers.

After Donald Trump's election, they didn't lose a moment organizing the hysterical resistance now dominating every news cycle. CNN and Politico did their bit by going after Monica Crowley - like a burglar trying back-door locks in an exclusive neighborhood. (Had they applied more timely diligence to either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden could well be our president.)

But Americans can no longer underestimate the dangers that "journalistic jihadis" pose for a representative democracy. In addition to trashing old soldiers and all who disagree with them, they are ideologues and propagandists who have far more in common with Joseph Goebbels than Joseph Pulitzer.


German police hunt knife-carrying Muslim 'sex pest who said victim was asking for it'

Since the advent of the Muslim invasion of Europe …. comes the rape epidemic. And the Democrats wants this for Americans

POLICE in the German city of Hamburg are hunting a Tunisian man who failed to show up at court to face allegations over an alleged armed sex attack.

A judge issued an arrest warrant two days ago after the man, identified as Anter B, absconded.

The suspect is believed to have used a knife to detain a woman at a bus stop before making her walk to a petrol station before making sexual threats.

While the woman was kidnapped, she claimed the man told her the reason for his attack was because she was German and she was asking for it.

The 24-year-old man, who is said to have achieved permanent residence status in Hamburg, was charged with 'verbal abuse and coercion' according to prosecutors.

However after being freed from custody the man failed to show up for a scheduled court appearance. A judge issued an arrest warrant for the individual on Tuesday but it has not been confirmed whether he has been apprehended.

The arrest warrant was issued just one week after German chancellor Angela Merkel announced far-ranging immigration reforms.

Bundestag politicians have instigated an Asylum Procedures Acceleration Act in a bid to speed up the process of deportation.

The German parliament has banned family reunion for two years, meaning battles to bring relatives of migrants over to Germany, as currently happens in Britain, will no longer take place.

And they have introduced a new law to allow for the easier expulsion of offenders in the case of asylum seekers suspected of committing a criminal offence.

Mrs Merkel's Government says this law will allow them to identify "strange behaviour of foreigners" that could put them at risk of expulsion.

Angry campaigners held placards with slogans reading 'Merkel not welcomed' and 'Merkel must go' following a spate of terror attacks against Germany.
However it is not clear if these new laws will apply to those who have already been granted leave to remain.

Germany is also digitising its immigration protocols as they implement an 'introduction of proof of arrival' scheme to identify those who have no paperwork.


Trump is right: Settlements don't impede peace

by Jeff Jacoby

THE WORLD'S restless fixation with where Jews live has flared up again.

On Monday evening, Israel's parliament passed a law authorizing the government to legalize thousands of homes built in the West Bank, in many cases on land against which there are claims of prior ownership. The measure allows the homes to remain, while compensating the previous owners with their choice of an alternative parcel of land or a payment equal to 125 percent of the land's value.

The new law, highly controversial in Israel, is sure to be challenged in court. Many experts predict that Israel's aggressively independent judiciary will strike the law down. It wouldn't be the first time Israel's government has lost a litigation battle - and if it comes to that, the country's elected officials will bow to the court's authority. Just days ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following orders from the Supreme Court, sent in security forces to remove hundreds of Jewish residents from Amona, an unauthorized hilltop community in the West Bank.

Stories about Israeli settlements invariably generate breathless international headlines, as though there is something uniquely newsworthy about Jews in the Jewish state building homes and schools to accommodate a growing population. When those homes and schools are constructed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - land Israel seized from Jordan in the Six Day War 50 years ago - there is inevitably much handwringing about the harm they pose to the prospect of peace with the Palestinians and the "two-state solution" on which an end to the conflict supposedly depends.

Actually, the two-state solution is a chimera. The explicit goal of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is the elimination of the Jewish state, not the building-up of a Palestinian counterpart. That is why they have rejected multiple offers of statehood, why they insist that Jews cannot live in any territory claimed by Palestinians, and why the Palestinian Authority regards the sale of land to Jews as a capital crime punishable by death. When Israel relinquished all of Gaza to Palestinian control, the new owners used the territory not to develop a constructive and peaceful new State of Palestine, but to launch rockets and terror raids against the state of Israel next door.

It takes a curious derangement to conclude from this that all would be well in the Middle East if only Israel would stop enlarging Jewish neighborhoods. Yet that is the mindset of the UN and much of the international community. It was also the mindset of the Obama administration, which rarely missed an opportunity to condemn Israeli settlements - going so far as to facilitate a Security Council resolution declaring even East Jerusalem, with its storied Jewish Quarter, "occupied Palestinian territory."

To its credit, the Trump administration rejects that paradigm. The Republican platform adopted last summer made no reference to the "two-state" unicorn, and Trump's ambassador to Israel firmly backs the expansion of Jewish communities in the historic Jewish heartland. Last week the White House spokesman, while advising caution toward the construction of new settlements, made a point of emphasizing that the new president and his foreign-policy team "don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace."

Bizarrely, those words were spun in the media as a sign that Trump had come to embrace Obama's way of thinking about Israel and the Palestinians. That interpretation strikes me as thoroughly wrong-headed - and when Trump warmly welcomes Netanyahu to Washington next week, I expect it to seem more outlandish still.

Anything can change, of course, especially given Trump's volatility and impulsiveness. But on the evidence so far, Obama's frostiness toward Israel is anathema to the new administration. Palestinian rejectionism, not Jewish housing, has always been the insurmountable impediment to ending the Middle East conflict. Obama could never bring himself to acknowledge that fundamental truth. I'm guessing Trump won't have that problem.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


16 February, 2017

No, Elizabeth Warren Is Not a Feminist Icon

Rachel Bovard   

What did she do? Did she lay down in the street to protect the voting rights of women? Did she take a stand against sex trafficking and female exploitation?

No. She knowingly and flagrantly broke a long-standing rule of the Senate. And for this, the left made her a hero.

The rule that Warren broke was Section 2 of Rule 19, a century-old prohibition on senators from attributing conduct or motives “unworthy or unbecoming” to another senator.

If applied, it requires the offending senator to “take his (or her) seat,” meaning they cannot speak for the remainder of the debate.

When Warren came to the floor to speak against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for attorney general, she embarked on a floor speech that painted Sessions—still her colleague in the Senate—as an unhinged racist.

Several minutes into her remarks, Warren called Sessions “a disgrace to the Justice Department” and stated that “he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.”

It was this statement—not the reading of the letter from Coretta Scott King, as the media has repeatedly reported—which triggered the chair to warn Warren that she was dangerously close to violating the tenets of Rule 19.

Warren was either unmoved or confused about the rules of the Senate, because she continued to slander Sessions, stating that “he has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.”

While Warren was referencing a statement from King, she was not quoting from it. (And furthermore, this claim against Sessions has been repeatedly debunked.)

Warren’s wanton and blatant disregard of the Senate’s standing rules is what triggered the application of Rule 19. Warren promptly appealed, but the Senate, by a vote of 49-43, determined that the rule had been correctly applied.

Meanwhile, the left was at work making a martyr of Warren for her deliberate disregard for the rules of the institution in which she serves. The hashtag #ShePersisted popped up within minutes—a reference to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comment that Warren had been warned, but persisted in violation of the rules.

Feminists on Twitter fomented outrage that Warren had been “silenced,” that she had been shut down by the Senate patriarchy, that this was somehow representative of the struggle of women everywhere to be heard.

For her part, Warren stood outside the Senate chamber, bravely reading the statement that ran afoul of Senate rules, and then promptly called in to MSNBC to claim she’d been “red carded” in the Senate.

The left fell over themselves in martyrdom ecstasy. Such bravery, such courage, such resistance in the face of deep institutional oppression. (Not to be left out, even Hillary Clinton got in on the drama.)

The problem here, in case anyone hasn’t noticed yet, is that this “Elizabeth Warren, Feminist Hero, Courageous Victim” narrative is completely misplaced.

The Senate rules are gender-neutral. Explicitly so. Warren knowingly violated them, either because she just doesn’t care, or because she doesn’t know the difference between what’s allowed at a rally and what’s allowed on the Senate floor.

And for that, she’s a feminist icon? Please, spare me.

Raising Warren up as a hero of feminism because she knowingly broke a gender-neutral Senate rule not only belittles the actual achievements of feminist heroes like Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Shirley Chisholm, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, it relegates women —again— to the status of victims, which they are most certainly not.

This is the problem with the left’s narrative about women. In seeking to make martyrs out of women like Warren (and Clinton, for that matter), they implicitly sell women on the idea that they are still kept down, still oppressed by the insidious forces of patriarchy in a society that’s set against them.

This isn’t an empowering philosophy. It’s a degrading one.

Women have made incredible strides in the face of tremendous odds. And because we have had true feminist heroes that have triumphed in the face of real oppression, we live in a time where women are Cabinet secretaries, CEOs of major corporations, senators, presidential contenders, leaders in their fields—even outnumbering men at universities.

Why does the left continue to tell women that they are still victims? This shamefully dismisses the accomplishments of women generations over who have sacrificed everything to create a society in which women are promoted for their accomplishments, and recognized for their achievements, rather than their gender.

Do women continue to face difficulties in modern society? Yes. Discrimination, exploitation, and harassment are very real issues faced by women across America, and ones that deserve very real attention.

But does what Warren faced in the Senate rise to that level? No. Profoundly, no.

For the left to equate the two—to make Warren a martyr to a belief that women are somehow still the most victimized class in society—is a shameful attempt to make women believe they still can’t reach the top tiers of society, that they’ll always be fighting some nebulous, unidentified patriarchal conspiracy designed to silence them, instead of pouring their energies into pursuing their dreams.

Warren consciously broke a 100-year-old Senate rule. A true feminist—one who prizes being treated equally regardless of gender—would own up to the issue and accept the consequences like every other member of the Senate, not wave the flag of victimhood in the face of American women who continue to achieve, break barriers, and reach the heights of their potential every single day.


Merkel Will Pay Migrants Millions To Leave Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel is setting aside €90m (£76m) in taxpayers’ money to create a fund which will pay migrants to withdraw their asylum applications and leave Germany voluntarily.

The handouts will form part of a 16-point plan to speed up the removal of rejected asylum seekers, after Tunisian migrant Anis Amri murdered a Polish lorry driver, hijacked his vehicle and drove it into a Christmas market in Berlin while awaiting deportation.

U.S. president Donald Trump told The Times that Merkel made a “catastrophic mistake” when she opened the doors to an unlimited number of migrants in 2015. Her vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, later admitted that his superior had underestimated how difficult it would be to integrate migrants on such a grand scale, and that Germany had been plunged into a kulturkampf, or “cultural war”, as a result.

Germany rejected 170,000 asylum claims in 2016 but, according to the Mail, just 26,000 were repatriated. 55,000 more decided to leave voluntarily – apparently leaving 81,000 bogus applicants unaccounted for.

“We rely heavily on voluntary departures,” admitted Chancellor Merkel, who was announcing the package after falling behind the Social Democrats in polls for Germany’s upcoming elections.

Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament who has been nominated as the Social Democrat challenger to Merkel, said he backed the proposals to speed up deportations.

Schulz has previously insisted that “the people who are arriving [in Europe] are refugees who have been threatened [and] we should welcome them” – a statement which is at odds with the Vice-President of the European Commission’s admission that at least 60 per cent are economic migrants.

As a leading figure in the European Union, Schulz was a strong supporter of the compulsory migrant quotas. These were forced through by the bloc despite strong opposition from central and eastern European member-states, which did not agree with Germany’s unilateral decision to throw open the borders.

Schulz hit out strongly at these countries in 2015, accusing them of “national egotism in its purest form”.

Polish interior minister Mariusz Blaszczak described at Schulz’s words as “an example of German arrogance”.


Charlottesville city parks to be redesigned, renamed along with Lee statue removal

Moments after the Charlottesville City Council voted 3-2 to relocate the city's statue of Robert E. Lee, as people celebrated or stewed over the decision, the council unanimously agreed on two other measures that could bring even more change downtown.

Councilors voted to rename Lee and Jackson parks and tasked staff to begin the process of hiring a professional design firm to redesign them, as well.

The recommendations came from a panel the council convened last year to explore what the city should do about its statue of Lee, as well as one of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

In November, the panel recommended the city keep the statues in the city, though two options were presented: move them to McIntire Park or re-contextualize them in their current locations. The explicit and final recommendation to the council was to consider both options, but seven of the nine panel members voted in favor of relocating the Lee statue.

Staff members are expected to recommend to the council within 60 days new names for Lee and Jackson parks, and to provide direction on how and where the city can move the Lee statue.

"I have put forth before you today ... another resolution to pretty much complete the recommendations that were made by the Blue Ribbon Commission [on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces] for the other parts of the North Downtown Historic precinct," Councilor Kathy Galvin said before publicly introducing the motion Monday night.

The hired design team, which will create design plans for the Historic North Downtown and Court Square districts, also will be responsible for replacing a plaque that recognizes the former slave auction block near the Albemarle County Circuit Courthouse. The team also will create a new marker for the site of the former Freedmen's Bureau downtown.

Particularly in Jackson Park, where the statue of Jackson will remain, the resolution calls for the commissioning of a new monument to honor the city's enslaved population.

"The point of this resolution is to acknowledge the fact there'll probably be a delay in actually relocating the [Lee] statue because of the litigation that will ensue," Galvin said, alluding to threatened lawsuits over the proposal to remove the Lee statue, which many consider to be a war memorial that's protected by Virginia statute.

"Having that status quo remain in those parks I don't think is acceptable to anybody. So this was an opportunity to begin moving in that direction to get some tangible change in the parks to begin telling that clearer, more honest narrative of racial history in the city of Charlottesville," she said. "That's why I feel there's a need to act on this at the same time as we're acting on the statue relocation. This will probably come out of the gate quicker and sooner."

Altogether, the council agreed to allocate up to $1 million for the development, design and implementation of whatever master plan it adopts. Once a project contract is signed, the city or the design firm will provide a timeline to finish the project within 12 months.

Before voting on Galvin's resolution, Mayor Mike Signer said landscape architects have told city officials that the city can utilize approximately $1 million to complete the entire project and build a modest memorial. If it goes over budget, the resolution says the city could seek private donations or grants to complete the project.

The $1 million pegged for the project is twice the amount the council has resolved to put toward implementation of whatever it decided to do on the matter.

In December, the council decided it would use up to $500,000 of a $6 million surplus the city ran in the last fiscal year for implementation of the project. City officials have estimated that moving the Lee statue could cost about $330,000.

"This is real dollars toward a real serious commitment to transform downtown," Signer said about that allocation and the estimated cost of the redesign project.

While the future home of the Lee statue is not yet known, councilors expressed confidence in Galvin's plan.

"I want to highlight that Lee Park would be redesigned, independent of the Lee statue," Signer said, alluding to explicit language in the resolution. He said the redesigned park "has to have its own integrity and has to retain its ability to function as a community gathering space."

In addition to all of the resolutions that the council passed Monday, Councilor Wes Bellamy read a proclamation announcing that the city will now recognize March 3 as Liberation and Freedom Day to recognize the day in 1865 when the Union Army entered Charlottesville.


Dutch election hopeful Geert Wilders slams `TOTALITARIAN' EU & warns of `Islamisation of Europe'

GEERT Wilders has branded the EU a "totalitarian organisation" and claims "we will cease to exist" if Europe does not introduce more immigration restrictions.

Dutch far-right leader Wilders was speaking to Newsnight ahead of next month's general election, where he is hoping the global wave of populism following the Brexit vote and Donald Trump's election will propel him to become the Netherlands' next leader.

A longtime critic of Islam, Wilders wants to capitalise on fears over immigration, growing Euroscepticism and anti-establishment sentiment.

He said: "We are facing an existential problem here. "If we allow our borders to be open, if we are allowed to ignore the problems that we are facing today, let alone later in the century with the demographic situation in Africa, we will cease to exist.

"The more that we import Islam. I'm not saying that all the people are extremist people, but the ideology and freedom are incompatible.

If elected Mr Wilders, who is Christian, has promised to deliver a total 'de-Islamification' of the Netherlands.

Over two years he travelled around the Middle East and began to form the anti-Islamic views that have defined his political career.

The Dutch Freedom Party (PPV) leader went on to attack the EU amid surging poll ratings which suggest the Netherlands are keen to get out of the crumbling Brussels bloc.

In the interview, Wilders was asked if he felt President Trump's bid to put "America First" had taken us back to the political climate at the outbreak of the Second World War.

He responded: "We made another totalitarian organisation dominant which is called the European Union. "I am not saying it is totalitarian to all the citizens of the European Union, but it is totalitarian towards the member states.

"People are equal - ideologies, values, are not equal. Religions are not equal.

"Cultural relativists who say Islamic culture is the same as Christianity. don't demand [Muslims] to integrate and assimilate."

He blasted: "This is the worst thing that has happened to us!"



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


15 February, 2017

Miller: ‘Greatly Expanded and More Vigorous Immigration Enforcement’ Now Taking Place

Yes, they are being removed, Trump’s Senior Adviser Stephen Miller told “Fox News Sunday” and other newsmaker shows:

Right now, as a result of the president's order, greatly expanded and more vigorous immigration enforcement activities are taking place. It is true that operation cross-check is something that happens every year. But this year, we've taken new and greater steps to remove criminal aliens from our communities.

I had a phone call yesterday with someone who from DHS who talked about an immigration enforcement activity at 4:00 in the morning where a gang member was removed, a wife beater, somebody who was a threat to public safety, with a long arrest record. But because they didn't have the right kinds of convictions, they weren't considered a priority by the previous administration.

Because of President Trump's actions, innocent people are now being kept out of harm's way. And we as a country spend too little time thinking about the effects of open borders on vulnerable communities, including our migrant communities, lawful migrants trying to get their start in this country who have to deal with the scourge of cartel violence, the scourge of gangs, the scourge of violent criminals, that we're now removing from this country.

Miller told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the focus is on removing “criminal aliens, individuals who have criminal charges or convictions against them, and that's what's been taking place all across the country.”

He said the removals will save lives.

“And the bottom line is this: In the calculation between a -- between open borders and saving American lives, it is the easiest choice we will ever have to make.”

Miller told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the executive order describes a criminal offense as “anything from a misdemeanor to a felony; in particular, the emphasis is on crimes that threaten or endanger public safety.”

He also said the White House will not instruct federal law enforcement officers or immigration agents “to ignore the laws of the United States.”

“It would be highly unethical for me and the White House or anybody else to pick up the phone and call an ICE officer and say, well, when you encounter this particular felon, we'd like you to pretend the law doesn't exist.

"But I can tell you right now, there are enforcement actions happening all over this country, in which gang members, drug dealers -- sex offenders --  are being swept up."

Host Chuck Todd asked Miller, “What about if the only crime they committed was being here illegally? Is that enough to be deported?”

Miller said an immigration judge or an ICE officer makes those decisions. “I and the White House don't make those decisions.”

And if people don’t like U.S. immigration laws, “they can reform them,” he added. “Our emphasis is on deporting and removing criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety.

"And I just want to say this. There's been a lot of coverage in the news about the effects of these enforcement actions on people who are here illegally. And that's an issue people are free to discuss.

"But what's more important and what should be discussed more is the lives that are being saved, Chuck, the American lives that are being saved because we're taking enforcement action.

"And when we didn't take those actions in the past, you have families like the Wilkerson family and the Root family and the Mendoza family, who lost people they loved because we were more concerned -- we were more concerned about the effects of enforcement on people here illegally than the well-being of lawful immigrants and U.S. citizens."


Against the caring state

Having long concerned itself with the happiness and wellbeing of the public, the political class now seems to have moved on to loneliness. Loneliness is undoubtedly a real, debilitating and isolating experience, and something that many people go through at some point in their lives. Questions should be asked, however, about why it is now being promoted as a major social issue, and whether the policy solutions that are likely to be advocated will bring positive changes to people’s lives.

More and more attention has been paid to this issue over recent months. At the end of last year, a report produced by the British Red Cross and the Co-op claimed that almost a fifth of people in the UK are lonely ‘always or often’. This has now led to the establishment of a Commission on Loneliness. Initially planned by the murdered MP Jo Cox, it was launched last month in her honour by MPs Rachel Reeves and Seema Kennedy, who describe loneliness as a ‘silent epidemic’.

It used to be the case that those who considered themselves progressives believed that the best way to help individuals lead fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable lives was to change fundamentally the economy and society. But the left seems to have given up on this ambitious project. It is now diminished, and disconnected from the people it once sought to liberate. In place of a broader mission, so-called progressives have become obsessed with the technocratic micromanagement of people’s daily lives, an agenda which is often hostile to the interests of ordinary people.

Campaigns on issues such as loneliness are helpful for politicians, in this context. They give them an opportunity to reconnect with people, to present themselves not as distant bureaucratic meddlers, but as ‘carers’. It gives them a new sense of purpose. They may not have a substantial plan to deal with the decline of traditional industries and social institutions – which enabled people in the past to self-organise and support one another – but at least, in the words of the badges the new commission’s supporters were handing out on the Tube recently, they are ‘happy to chat’.

What’s more, in an era where reductions to welfare have been broadly supported by the public, emphasising mental-health and wellbeing issues is a way in which welfarists try to fight back. Proposals to cut state spending are resisted through the argument that there are new, damaging health or social issues that need to be combated. All kinds of state institutions and services can be rehabilitated on the basis that they will help end social isolation and boost people’s wellbeing. A claimed ‘epidemic’ of loneliness is used to demand more welfare services, not less. In this respect, the debate over state resources is depoliticised – framed as a battle between the caring and the callous.

All of this will almost certainly inform the final recommendations of the commission when it reports in a year’s time. No doubt it will call for increased welfare services and moralistic campaigns to make people talk more to each other, in line with David Cameron’s much-derided Big Society. Loneliness is a complex issue that is difficult to address. Rather than trying to find new ways for the state to help us manage our emotions, progressives would be better served working out how best to allow people the space to be free, independent and therefore more capable of supporting both themselves and those around them.


The boiling hatred in ‘love trumps hate’ liberals

Love trumps hate’ has become the rallying cry of the anti-Trumpers who have taken to the streets to protest against what they see as a rise in intolerance and division following Donald Trump’s election. Now, some of those same people have expressed interest in a film festival showing videos of Nazis getting punched in the face.

Taking place in New York, ‘Fash Bash: A Night Of Nazi-Punching On Film’ is the latest example of a new, liberal-approved form of hatred. It was inspired by the attack on Richard Spencer – a self-confessed white supremacist and Trump supporter – at Trump’s inauguration. The attack was praised across social media as a triumph for the kind of ‘progressive’ politics that prioritises love over hate.

Punching Nazis isn’t that controversial. They define themselves through hatred and violence towards others. A punch in the face is in many ways a taste of their own medicine – and left-wing groups in the past rightly faced off violent fascists where necessary. But not only is it a bit of a stretch to call the admittedly vile Spencer an imminent physical threat, it is also rather ironic, if not completely two-faced, for liberals to march against hate and then delight in Spencer’s bashing.

This double standard has come up time and again since Trump’s election. Liberals preach love over hate while at the same time spewing hatred at not just extreme right-wingers but also everyday Trump supporters. Those calling for a nicer, kinder, more loving politics can’t pick and choose when and to whom this should apply. It’s contradictory to promote universal love one minute, then indulge in your own preferred form of hatred the next.

Now, hate, whether it’s felt by neo-Nazis or those who take pleasure in punching them, is not something that should be censored. It is an emotion that has a place in politics. Hatred of Thatcher’s government fuelled the miners’ strike. Hatred of racism fuelled the black civil-rights leaders who took on the white supremacists of America. It can be a driving force for change, and those who want to police this emotion would do well to remember that.

But what should be ruthlessly challenged is the emerging double standard about hate among those on the left. Not only is glorifying Spencer’s attack unlikely to win over anyone who may be drawn to his crackpot ideas, but the love-hate binary is being used to demonise ordinary Trump voters – most of whom no doubt find Spencer loathsome. It is a simple, unthinking way liberals present themselves as being on the right side of the debate.

Want to punch a Nazi in the face? Be my guest. But if anyone’s on the receiving end of open hatred at the moment, it’s the ordinary American voters who had the audacity to vote for The Donald. If people are serious about tackling the authoritarian Trump, they should talk to Trump supporters instead of just hating on them.


Nanny State attack on gambling machines in Britain

The Nannies are ready to penalize the great majority to protect a few from their own follies

As a teenager living in a seaside town, I recall spending a lot of time and money playing slot machines at the local arcade. Putting coppers into one-arm bandits and hoping that silver coins would come out filled many a weekend and school holiday. Of course, the reality was that winnings were generally paid in two- rather than 10-pence coins. ‘It makes a lot of noise when it pays out’, my dad used to say to me, before noting that it doesn’t seem to make much noise when you put your money in.

I’ve not played on a slot machine since my early twenties, but the media coverage last week of Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) – Assessing the Impact, an All Party Parliamentary Group report into a particular type of gambling machine, prompted me to try my luck once again. So I headed to a local bookies to investigate just what all the fuss is about.

What struck me on entering the bookies were the signs warning of the dangers of gambling and explaining where I could go to get help. They were everywhere, including on the four FOBT machines (the maximum number allowed by law) in the corner of the bookies.

I soon discovered that a FOBT allows you to set a limit in terms of time and/or money (although I’d already set myself a limit of £10). There are a choice of games, too, so I plumped for the one game that I knew how to play – Blackjack. To cut a long story short, my bankroll went up and down, but I eventually left with nothing. The experience reminded me why I rarely play Blackjack any more, and why I never play on fruit machines. I do gamble – poker at casinos, and a few horse-racing bets a year. But I shan’t be rushing off to play a FOBT again any time soon.

My experience of the mundane reality of FOBTs was in stark contrast to the fearmongering that accompanied last week’s APPG report. MP Carolyn Harris, speaking at the report’s launch, talked of how it was vital to protect the vulnerable, especially in poorer communities, from ‘the crack cocaine of gambling’. She said FOBTs were ‘sucking money out of the pockets of families’.

The report has been criticised by the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB). Its chief executive, Malcolm George, said the report amounted to little more than ‘the view of a tiny group of anti-betting-shop MPs’. He also said that behind the report were the vested interests of those who would benefit should the report’s recommendations be implemented.

Despite claiming to be ‘evidence-based’, it is clear the report is driven, in the main, by the precautionary principle – namely, that in the absence of knowing future risks or harms, we should act just in case. So the report recommends lowering the maximum stake from £100 to perhaps as low as £2, ‘on a precautionary basis until sufficient evidence is presented that the high stakes on these machines do not cause harm’.

If these MPs were really concerned about the cost of gambling, the one thing they could do is to lower the minimum stake on betting, so people who enjoy gambling get more for their money. Not that that would appeal to the MPs in the APPG. They don’t want to make gambling cheaper. Rather, their underlying objective is to interfere in and regulate people’s everyday lives, to, as the report puts it, ‘protect the most vulnerable in our society’.

This move against FOBTs and betting shops sets a dangerous precedent. It treats us all as if we are vulnerable and need to be saved – or prevented from doing harm to ourselves. In effect, these MPs are seeking to save us from ourselves.

But there really is no need to do so. There is already help available for anyone who thinks they have a gambling problem. Funded by voluntary contributions from the gambling industry, GamCare, an advice and support service for problem gamblers, is advertised everywhere, including in casinos and betting shops. Better still, one can always turn to one’s friends and family for help and advice. As I often say to friends and family who are starting out playing poker, lessons can be expensive, and sometimes you don’t know you’re being taught a lesson until it’s too late. As in many areas of life, we sometimes need to learn those lessons ourselves.

The MPs’ report shows just how negative and condescending is their view of human beings and our ability to make choices for ourselves. The word ‘vulnerable’ appears 27 times in the report. With the exception of perhaps a small percentage who have real problems with gambling and money, I doubt that there are any gamblers who would refer to themselves as vulnerable.

This moralising assault on FOBTs is unlikely to go down well in the communities the MPs are saying they want to help. The vote for Brexit last year should have taught them the dangers of assuming that a small group of politicians knows what is best for us. Let’s hope that the government doesn’t listen to this report and leaves us to make choices for ourselves.


Australia: We want freedom of speech. And we want it now

Pollies and elite media are finally getting the message: when it comes down to the views of ordinary Aussies, freedom of speech matters — and we don’t want to be told what not to say.

Last year saw a tipping point. Bill Leak was attacked for drawing a cartoon intended to highlight indigenous disadvantage. Students at QUT got caught up in a silly computer-lab spat.

And then the Race Discrimination Commissioner appeared to be out and about touting for business by getting people to expand the meaning of racism. Finally, even the PM saw it was becoming a joke.

How did we get into this mess? For years, so-called ‘progressives’ have been telling us that Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is all that stands between us and civil collapse.

Added by the Keating government in 1994, the new section made it an offence to offend, insult, humiliate, or intimidate someone on the basis of race, colour or ethnic background.

It was originally intended to stop acts inciting hatred or contempt, but not relatively minor things such as “a light-hearted racist joke”, the then Attorney-General said in his 1992 Cabinet paper.

But history took a different course. Aided and abetted by the Human Rights Commission, 18C has become our greatest threat to freedom of speech: a weapon used by anyone claiming hurt feelings.

Parliaments pass laws with the best of intentions; but some laws are applied in very different ways to what parliament intended. 18C was never intended to silence students and cartoonists.

Nor was it intended to prevent sensible debate about  social issues such as the plight of indigenous youths in custody, or what drives some disaffected Muslim youths to try to kill police officers.

Politicians kept telling us freedom of speech was a fringe issue. Tony Abbott flunked his chance to reform the law. Malcolm Turnbull tried “jobs and growth” to distract us from reform.

Then late last year, the Prime Minister finally set up a parliamentary inquiry about reforming 18C. It has received several thousand submissions. Not all are to be welcomed.

Australia’s  Grand Mufti, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed, wants to see 18C extended to protect religion —  a bad idea that would create a new blasphemy law. Picture what could happen…

Many submissions call for major 18C reform, some call for repeal. New research commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs indicates as many as 95 per cent of us rate free speech highly.

Yet 18C is already stifling serious public discussion about pressing social matters. When we want to express opinions about culture or immigration, 18C can be used as a gag to silence debate.

Advocates for reform of 18C are scolded for defending bigotry. But if real hatred or real violence is incited, the criminal law stands ready to intervene and to prosecute.

When I tell American friends that in Australia it is unlawful to offend someone, they look at me with utter disbelief. They say using law to protect how I might ‘feel’ about something is a fool’s errand.

And they are right. Freedom of speech has never been about bigotry and offence: it is about a basic freedom underpinning our democracy — the freedom to speak openly.

We’ve had enough of that freedom being curtailed and patrolled. 18C needs serious reform — now.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


14 February, 2017

UC Berkeley's Police Chief Offers Pathetic Excuses for Her Failure

Failure is at times unavoidable. Circumstances beyond one’s control can occasionally arrange themselves in such a way that makes success in a given task impossible. The mark of a leader is not the absence of failure in his past, it is the manner in which he copes with failure when it occurs.

When things go wrong, the capable leader accepts responsibility, learns from the experience, and adapts his thinking and his organization so the failure does not recur. He does not rationalize the failure and attempt to spin it in the hope that a gullible audience will judge it a success.

Which brings us to last week’s events in Berkeley, where Milo Yiannopoulos was to speak on the campus of the University of California. As everyone knows, Mr. Yiannopoulos’s appearance on Feb. 2 was abruptly cancelled when rioting broke out outside the venue where he was to speak. Black-clad anarchists broke windows, set fires, and attacked people hoping to attend the event. All of this took place as officers from the campus police department watched from inside the building.

Whatever one thinks of Mr. Yiannopoulos (and let it be known I am not a fan), it was once a generally accepted tenet of American citizenship that even people we find obnoxious have a right to speak their minds, especially when invited to do so (the Berkeley College Republicans had invited Mr. Yiannopoulos to the campus). Not anymore. If a sufficient number of thugs can be mustered, and if the police are unable or unwilling to enforce the law, then the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech is subject to the whims of the mob and becomes meaningless.

On the website for the University of California campus police, there appears Chief Margo Bennett’s “Overview and Philosophy,” which includes:

Mission: We are committed to working in partnership with our diverse campus community so together we may enhance community trust, reduce the incidence and fear of crime, and promote safety. We pledge to protect individual rights and safeguard property for our students, faculty, staff and guests. We support the University's academic, research, and public service missions with professionalism, integrity and sensitivity.
On the same page, Chief Bennett claims that her department seeks “to be a leader in campus law enforcement and emergency services -- both by following best practices and by developing standards to which others will aspire.” She further states that her department believes in “truth and honesty” and that it aspires to hold itself accountable.

These are worthy goals. Sadly, on Feb. 2, Chief Bennett failed at all of them.

Clearly, individual rights were not protected and property was not safeguarded. And if Chief Bennett feels she was following “best practices” in permitting the flagrant lawlessness the world saw on the Berkeley campus that evening, I would be keen to learn what they might be. Lastly, in regards to truth and honesty, and in holding herself accountable, here too Chief Bennett failed.

She was quoted in a Sunday Los Angeles Times story justifying her inaction against the campus mob. Taking action against the rioters, she said, would have created “a lethal, horror situation.” Then she resorted to the modern police chief’s rationalization for failing to uphold the law: “We have to do exactly what we did last night: to show tremendous restraint,” she said.

Ah, yes, “restraint.” In other words, Chief Bennett will protect individual rights, protect property, and all the rest, just as long as doing so doesn’t require her officers to use force against people whose opinions are favored by school’s administrators and faculty.

On the Berkeleyside website, Chief Bennett did her best to obfuscate the facts and further rationalize her inaction:

We are getting a significant amount of criticism from outside of the East Bay area, and my only response to that is: Crowd control situations are different than a military exercise or an active shooter situation,” she said. “It’s just a different approach and a different set of tactics that you have to use in order to not escalate the situation, in order to control it. People have a hard time understanding that. I get it.
No, she doesn’t. It’s all well and good to show restraint so as not to escalate a situation, and no police leader worthy of the term would deny it. But when a situation has already escalated to the point of vandalism, when it has already escalated to the point of physical assaults on helpless innocents, police have a duty to intervene and bring the lawless conduct to a halt.

Of course crowd-control tactics are “different than a military exercise or an active shooter situation.” But there are recognized tactics that can be employed in these situations and should have been in Berkeley. These do not involve taking shelter inside a building while rioters are rampaging just beyond the doors.

Chief Bennett further said:

In situations like that, we understand that if we go out and we engage -- with the level of force and the presence of the trained anarchist-style protesters that were present -- it will embolden the protesters and it will escalate the level of violence. And our officers exercised, I think, some very tough and extreme restraint.
Rubbish. The people being assaulted and the owners of the property being destroyed had a right to expect the police to intervene and not be spectators to the lawlessness.

The law authorizes officers to use force to overcome resistance, effect an arrest, and to prevent escape, and if force had been necessary to protect life and property that night, so be it. Concerns about emboldening the protesters should not weigh in the decision on whether to make an arrest when people are being pummeled before your eyes. And, just as important, experience has shown that once police engage the most violent members of a crowd, the others either flee or cease being violent.

I have no doubt that most of the officers under Chief Bennett’s command that night were ready, able, and indeed eager to engage the anarchists who turned a peaceful protest into a riot. It’s a shame that they were so poorly led. Contrary to Chief Bennett’s claims, there was nothing unprecedented about the rioters’ tactics on the Berkeley campus last week. Black-clad malcontents have been causing trouble at protests since the 1990s, and police leaders more able than Chief Bennett have developed tactics to deal with them. She should have anticipated the reception Mr. Yiannopoulos would receive and planned accordingly, and if she couldn’t provide the leadership the job required, she should have asked for help.

U.C. Berkeley was the cradle of the free speech movement in the 1960s. Today, it’s where free speech goes to die.


Walk of shame: Sweden’s “first feminist government” don hijabs in Iran

In a statement that has gone viral on Twitter and Facebook, UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights NGO in Geneva, expressed disappointment that Sweden’s self-declared “first feminist government in the world” sacrificed its principles and betrayed the rights of Iranian women as Trade Minister Ann Linde and other female members walked before Iranian President Rouhani on Saturday wearing Hijabs, Chadors, and long coats, in deference to Iran’s oppressive and unjust modesty laws which make the Hijab compulsory — despite Stockholm’s promise to promote “a gender equality perspective” internationally, and to adopt a “feminist foreign policy” in which “equality between women and men is a fundamental aim.”

In doing so, Sweden’s female leaders ignored the recent appeal by Iranian women’s right activist Masih Alinejad who urged Europeans female politicians “to stand for their own dignity” and to refuse to kowtow to the compulsory Hijab while visiting Iran.

Alinrejad created a Facebook page for Iranian women to resist the law and show their hair as an act of resistance, which now numbers 1 million followers.

“European female politicians are hypocrites,” says Alinejad. “They stand with French Muslim women and condemn the burkini ban—because they think compulsion is bad—but when it happens to Iran, they just care about money.”

The scene in Tehran on Saturday was also a sharp contrast to Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin’s feminist stance against U.S. President Donald Trump, in a viral tweet and then in a Guardian op-ed last week, in which she wrote that “the world need strong leadership for women’s rights.”

Trade Minister Linde, who signed multiple agreements with Iranian ministers while wearing a veil, “sees no conflict” between her government’s human rights policy and signing trade deals with an oppressive dictatorship that tortures prisoners, persecutes gays, and is a leading executioner of minors.

“If Sweden really cares about human rights, they should not be empowering a regime that brutalizes its own citizens while carrying out genocide in Syria; and if they care about women’s rights, then the female ministers never should have gone to misogynistic Iran in the first place,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

The government has now come under sharp criticism from centrist and left-wing Swedish lawmakers, who said the ministers should not have deferred to “gender apartheid.”


Jews For America: We Applaud Trump-Protecting America's Borders Is Imperative

By Rabbi Aryeh Spero

We support and commend President Trump for following through on his campaign pledge to protect the American people by stemming migration into this country from high-risk places posing a security threat to America and Americans. Beyond doubt, it is the first and most important duty of a President, or any leader, to protect the lives of a country's citizens, especially where a possibility exists of terrorists being embedded within a particular immigration flow.

Securing a country's borders until a more fool-proof method of vetting is established is unassailable and vital, especially in light of how in Europe and here in America lax vetting has resulted in horrendous explosions and deaths of dozens of innocent people as seen, for example, in Orlando, St. Bernardino, Columbus, Paris, Nice, Berlin, Boston, and Barcelona, as well as other places infiltrated by terrorist plants within certain immigrant groups.  Some unvetted or poorly vetted migrants or their offspring may possess ideological and religious hostility to Americans and our way of life and our laws. Saving lives of American citizens is a religious, historic and civic duty.

There is no parallel between the Jews who fled Europe in the 1930s, who were, as Jews, specific targets for death and Nazi concentration camps, and many today wishing to escape civil war and turmoil in their Mideast countries. There were no Nazi agents embedded within the fleeing Jews nor did any of the Jews harbor a cultural or religious ideology wishing to sew physical destruction on the American people. There were no rabbis in the 1930s sending forth commands worldwide to destroy the "infidels."

Many initial roll-outs are subject to some confusion and mishaps; however, we believe that protecting a country's borders and thereby its citizens is an age-old and reasonable imperative as demonstrated in Scripture, which warns of the need to be wary "Lest those that may be your enemy enter your domain and become thorns in your sides and pins in your eyes."

Hopefully the situation will one day change, but until then, we applaud President Trump for doing what is in the best interests of the American people.


Australian conservative politicians cowed by political correctness too

Jeremy Sammut comments from Australia

The irony of Cory Bernardi's [a strong conservative] defection from the Liberal Party should be acknowledged.

The political shocks of 2016 have rocked the political establishment in Western democracies. Trump, Brexit, and the revival of One Nation have exposed the divide between significant numbers of ordinary voters, and the political class across all parties who subscribe to the prevailing left-progressive consensus on many social, cultural, and economic issues.

One would think a mainstream political party would be keen to keep conservatives -- who are clearly in tune with the current mood of  public opinion -- 'inside the tent' in the interests of electoral self-preservation.

However, the reality is that while conservative ideas and traditional values appear to be on the right side of history, they are not culturally ascendent.

The commanding heights of the culture -- especially in the media -- remain firmly controlled by elites who endorse so-called 'progressive' ideas and values.

Hence the vast majority of politicians are risk-averse; they toe the politically correct line to avoid negative and embarrassing coverage for expressing 'controversial' or 'knuckle-dragging' views.

Giving in to political correctness is thus perceived to be a political 'win' ... (see, for example, the renewed push by some MPs to have parliament pass gay marriage to "get the question off the agenda"). This strategy helps maintain politician's elite status among their peers in the political class, but is achieved at the expense of faithfully representing the attitudes and interests of voters.

These political calculations are now producing diminishing electoral returns, given that increasing numbers of disenchanted citizens are voting for minor parties to express their dissent from the establishment consensus.

Bernardi's decision to create his own political party indicates that he believes the anti-establishment trend will continue. If so, the hard numerical realities of politics will ultimately force the political class to reconsider its risk-averse, 'surrender whilst declaring victory' approach to contentious issues.

In order reconnect with voters, political elites will have to stop bowing to political correctness and start fighting the culture war instead.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


13 February, 2017

Trump and relationships

I too have had conflicts with people over Mr Trump but I have found that by saying that Mr Trump amuses me I get a much better hearing.  I then say that I can see his faults but his constant upsetting of applecarts amuses me -- and that can lead to a reasonable discussion.  I am often even able to counter some of the Leftist propaganda against him

Political differences have come a major sore spot for all friendship groups in recent times - now that the world has changed so significantly. Brexit and Trump have challenged families, lovers and pals in the most intimate of ways.

There's evidence that politics can even tear relationships apart. Don't just take it from me; this week an American woman announced that she was divorcing her husband of 22 years, all because he fell for Trump! "It totally undid me", she said.

I expect she's exactly the same sort of liberal who preaches unity over division, and "hope" over hate, yet happily bins her husband because he doesn't hold her beliefs. The hypocrisy is astonishing, and doesn't set a good precedent for how we should treat others with conflicting ideals.

What I've found is that it's actually healthy to sit around the dinner table, wanting to punch each other. In general, people tend to avoid debating politics because of the friction it causes. But friction is positive. If you're angry, you're having to think. Debate expands the mind, and is the only way to shift politics.

When people shun others because of their views, it's as if they're saying "politics define you". But I've never thought this to be true.

The average person does not subscribe to political parties to be "bad", as many liberals see Conservative types. Most people - left and right - vote for the same reason: to make society better. What they differ on is how this can be achieved.

And ultimately, people are not fixed products, as the American woman's divorce suggests. She decided it was over with her husband after he told friends over lunch of his intentions to vote for Trump. Surely, if this was so terrible, she could have talked it over with him - instead of cutting all ties? She could have even swayed him over to the Democrats.


Ben Shapiro: The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority

Ben Shapiro takes on Ben Affleck and the myth that only a tiny minority of Muslims worldwide are radical.

Is that sermon political?

by Jeff Jacoby

SHOULD PASTORS preach politics from the pulpit? Or should houses of worship be kept rigorously politics-free?

Compelling arguments can be made both ways.

Religious leaders should answer for their words and deed to a higher authority - higher, even, than the IRS.

On the one hand, it is the role of religious leaders and churches to guide and instruct their flocks - to articulate the spiritual values that believers are expected to uphold and to show how those values apply in every area of life. Clergy at churches, synagogues, and mosques have always spoken out on issues affecting their worshipers and the larger society. Many of the most transformative causes in American history - independence from England, the struggle against slavery, opposition to abortion, the civil rights movement - were shaped by the involvement of religious leaders.

On the other hand, millions of Americans believe strongly that a house of worship is no place for politics, and that clergy trivialize the word of God by trying to make it fit a partisan template. The teachings of Christianity (or Judaism or Islam or Hinduism) are not Republican or Democratic. There are religiously devout liberals, and there are religiously devout conservatives. They can often be found sitting in the same pews and listening to the same sermon, and many would be livid to hear their spiritual leader deliver an overtly "red" or "blue" message from the pulpit. In a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of respondents said houses of worship should not endorse political candidates.

But while the pros and cons can be debated, federal law long ago settled the question as a matter of law: Nonprofit charities, including religious organizations and houses of worship, are not allowed to endorse politicians or take sides in elections.

According to the IRS, because churches are exempt from paying taxes under the Internal Revenue Code's Section 501(c)(3), they are "absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office." A church violating that ban can have its tax-exempt status revoked.

The prohibition has been in the tax code for more than six decades. It was an act of payback engineered in 1954 by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson after a couple of tax-exempt organizations in Texas published and distributed pamphlets opposing his re-election bid and urging support for the Democrat challenging him in that year's primary. Under the Johnson Amendment, tax-exempt charitable organizations would henceforth be barred from endorsing or opposing any candidate. LBJ wasn't targeting houses of worship. But freedom of speech and expression in houses of worship has been inhibited ever since by Johnson's act of retribution.

It's time to fix that.

Legislation was introduced in Congress Wednesday to soften the Johnson Amendment by allowing 501(c)(3) institutions to make overtly political statements as long as it's done "in the ordinary course of the organization's regular and customary activities." Religious and other tax-exempt groups would still be barred from contributing money to campaigns or political parties. But ministers or rabbis or imams who wished to sing the praises of one candidate or speak out bluntly against another would be free to do so without having to fear Washington's wrath.

The bill, dubbed the Free Speech Fairness Act, "would essentially get the IRS out of the speech police business," says Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious-liberty legal defense group. The legislation's purpose isn't to encourage political speech in houses of worship - only to once again make the option clearly legal. It is unconstitutional, Stanley argues, for the IRS to have "the power to monitor, censor, and punish a pastor for something he says from the pulpit."

In truth, examples of overt politicking in churches aren't all that hard to find. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both took their presidential campaigns to Sunday-morning pulpits. Plenty of pastors urged their flocks to vote for - or against - one of the candidates, undeterred by the threat of IRS action.

But so long as the 1954 law remains on the books, the threat of persecution is real. When evangelist Bill Keller raged in 2007 that "if you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan," Americans United, a prominent advocacy group, urged the IRS to investigate his tax status. Similarly, observes legal scholar Keith Blair in the Denver University Law Review, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's incendiary political sermons in support of Barack Obama put his church's tax-exempt privilege in jeopardy.

Presidents of both parties have used the IRS to harass opponents. Even if the Johnson Amendment didn't raise profound free-speech questions, it would still be a constantly ticking threat, ready to be detonated by any White House with a malicious streak.

Charitable groups should again be allowed, as they were allowed until 1954, to decide for themselves what political opinions they wish to express. Do politics belong in church? There will never be a unanimous answer to that question. But on this, perhaps, left and right can agree: The answer shouldn't come from the tax code.


Secret shame of domestic and family violence among LGBTI community

The report below is from Australia but there have been similar reports from the UK and the USA

ONCE Russ Vickery came out as gay at the age of 42, it didn't take long for him to meet an "absolute charmer" and fall into his first same-sex relationship.

Looking back Mr Vickery realises he met his partner at a time when he was not quite on top of this game, coming out of a 17-year marriage and dealing with custody issues.

"Looking back ... it was very typical of a DV type of situation," he told news.com.au. "This knight in shining armour comes in and makes life look fantastic.  "None of the real violence started probably until six months in."

Domestic violence within same-sex relationships is not often talked about, among Australians generally or within the gay community.

Like many others in the LGBTI community Vickery had no idea domestic violence happened at the same rate in same-sex relationships as in heterosexual relationships. "It's not something within the community that's actually talked about a lot," he said.

Mr Vickery said his partner took advantage of his newness to the gay scene, telling him "arguments happen" and the behaviour was typical of two blokes living together. "I had nothing to gauge that on," Mr Vickery said, adding deep down he felt something was wrong but wasn't sure.

"I had three kids ... and he would say things like `you're really lucky to have me, if I wasn't around nobody would be interested in you'.

"Looking back at it, you realise how silly you are but because it's your everyday life, you just don't know any different."

He said the first sign of trouble happened the night of his ex-partner's birthday. "He told me that he had never had a birthday cake or any form of celebration so of course I go out, get him a cake, take him to a silver service restaurant for dinner."

Afterwards Mr Vickery said his partner wanted to go and have some drinks with his mates at the local pub but because he had to work the next morning, Mr Vickery decided to go home early.

In the middle of the night Mr Vickery was woken up in a fright after his partner came home drunk and dived on to the bed. "I told him to p*** off because he scared me, but he started ranting and raving," he said.

When Mr Vickery tried to calm him down, his partner lashed out.  "He smashed me in the face, he broke my nose," he said.

Amid his shock, he remembers trying not to let his blood drip all over the white carpet while he made his way to the bathroom.

"My nose was across my face ... I didn't have the courage to try and straighten it and he was at the door saying `I'll fix it' and `sorry', that it would never happen again.

"I couldn't go to work, I had two black eyes and a broken nose, that was the beginning of it. There were many others."

Mr Vickery was in the relationship for five years and endured many other violent incidents including the time his drunk partner grabbed a knife and held it at his throat for an hour.

The 58-year-old said he finally decided to leave the abusive relationship after one particularly shocking incident when his partner threw him down the stairs in front of his children.

"I broke bones and was in hospital for two operations and that really was the culmination of the relationship," he said.

Even after it was over, Mr Vickery said he was self-harming and one night he almost committed suicide, sitting down with a bottle of valium and vodka. "You start doing the work for them," he said. "The only thing that stopped me was I looked up and saw a photo of my kids."

Mr Vickery said he didn't want his children find him that way in a couple of days time. "That was the bottom of the barrel but there's only one direction to go from there and that's up."

Mr Vickery managed to deal with his past and has now developed a cabaret show The Other Closet with new partner Matthew Parsons, exploring the issue of domestic violence within gay relationships.

Mr Parsons, who has also experienced domestic violence and is a research officer specialising in LGBTI domestic and family violence at La Trobe University, said studies had shown same-sex couples experienced violence at similar rates to heterosexual couples.

But there are specific myths that get in the way of people recognising abuse within the gay community. "When things do come to light, it turns out (the abuse) was disclosed to multiple doctors, teachers and others," Mr Parsons told news.com.au.

In one case, Mr Parsons said the children had told many people they were being locked in a closet while their mother was being abused, and the woman had also told a number of professionals, but because she was in a lesbian relationship, no action was taken.

"There is this pervasive myth that when it's two women it's not that bad," Mr Parsons said. "When it's between two men, there's this pervasive myth that a real man would stand up for himself, and surely both men would be abusive towards each other.

"When it comes to trans relationships, there's lower expectations about what trans people should expect from life, that if they are in a relationship at all, they should feel lucky because who would love someone like that? There's a lot of disgusting (views)."

There is also a reluctance on the part of LGBTI people to reveal what is happening to them. "There's this idea that we've spent so long as a community getting people to see our relationships as valid and legitimate and that we're not mentally ill people," Mr Parsons said. "To say that our relationships are sometimes toxic, just like yours (is difficult)."

It can also be harder for those in same-sex couples to leave relationships as they may not be able to rely on support from family members who disapprove of their lifestyle.

Many in the community are also reluctant to talk about domestic or family violence while the same-sex marriage debate is in full swing. Mr Parsons had even seen publicity for The Other Closet used on promotional material to support the arguments of those against marriage equality.

"They see it as proof of why we shouldn't be able to get married, but (domestic violence) happens in much greater numbers among the heterosexual community and they're not questioning why they get married," he said.

Mr Parsons said addressing violence was difficult when homophobia seemed to be ingrained in the community and stopped things such as same-sex marriage being accepted.

When it comes to family violence, Mr Parsons said young people's reports of being assaulted by family members were sometimes ignored because it was accepted that parents were entitled to have traditional views.

While it's not yet clear how prevalent this type of family violence is, Dr Philomena Horsley of La Trobe University said LGBTI people could be at greater risk of assault from family members due to entrenched homophobia.

"Anecdotally, many people in the community, of different ages, have reported that coming out to family is a potential trigger for family-related violence," she said.

Victorian research suggests that young LGBTI are more likely to be homeless than other young people. "This finding suggests a greater proportion of young LGBTI people face violence at home and have to leave, or are rejected and need to leave, or are kicked out when they disclose."

Helping LGBTI people to recognise and reject domestic and family violence is one thing Mr Parsons and Mr Vickery hope to encourage through their show The Other Closet.  "I'm prepared to expose myself on the stage so that other people can recognise those feelings" Mr Vickery said.

Interestingly, when the show was staged in Sydney, heterosexual women made up half the audience. "After we did the show, we know of six people who left relationships, those are the ones we know about."

Mr Vickery said nowadays people did have more access to services and were more confident about seeking them out, but there still weren't many specific services for LGBTI people.

"It's getting better but needs to get a whole lot better," he said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


12 February, 2017

'Gender disappointment'

I was delighted when my son was born but it is my one big regret that I did not have a daughter too.  But 10 IVF treatment cycles did not produce one.  So I do to a degree understand the stories of the two women below.  "Daughter deprivation" is a real thing.  

But I note that both women are emphatic about gender roles. They seem to want to prove something.  It appears that they have feminist ideas that they want to apply to their daughters.  They don't want normal "girly" girls.  They want to show that girls don't have to be girly.  That makes me a bit concerned if they do end up with girly girls. 

I know one tomboyish mother who ended up unexpectedly with a "Princess" daughter but in that case it ended well.  The mother was above all kind so the princess got her frills and things

Ethically, gender selection seems to me to pose the same dilemmas as abortion but since the selection occurs before there is any consciousness, I would be inclined to look the other way -- JR

We have come to the house of a woman we won't name, in a state we won't name, to talk to her about her desperate wish to have a daughter. We have agreed to call this woman "Kate", and such is her fear of social backlash that when we interview her, we film her in silhouette.

Several other women had agreed to be interviewed by Lateline, then changed their minds over concerns they would be targeted on social media for their views.

Kate suffers from what is known as gender disappointment.

How seriously you take that concept probably goes a long way to determining how you feel about whether Australia should legalise gender selection - the use of IVF to get the baby of your desired sex.

Gender disappointment is not a medically recognised condition.  Critics call it a social construct, but venture into some closed online chat forums and you will find hundreds of Australian women who are sharing their disappointment over the sex of their children.

Kate, 29, already has two boys and is five months pregnant with her third boy - a revelation that left her "gutted". "I went to the bedroom and cried for a really long time," she says. "Then my husband came in and he cried as well. "You feel horrible, because you want to be excited that it's a boy, but part of you was really disappointed."

Kate is desperate for a daughter but she insists she doesn't want a "a ballerina, Barbie girl". "I'm not wanting someone that I can dress in pink and tie her hair up. I'm not wanting any of that," she says.

"It's just that I always imagined her and she's always existed. I feel the family isn't complete without her."

Kate and others who feel gender disappointment describe it as a guilt-ridden, debilitating depression.

"Unless someone has that desire themselves and feels how it can be all-consuming, they can't understand what it's like," she says. "It'd be so easy if I could just switch it off and just be happy."

Gender selection is not allowed in Australia, but an ethics committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council has been reviewing the guidelines for assisted reproductive technology and may make a recommendation for change.

"To you she doesn't exist yet, but to us we can't imagine a life without her," Kate wrote in her submission to the committee.

"It's really a personal decision and it's not going to hurt people the way that people seem to think it is.

"It's not going to affect the gender ratio, and it's not going to place these unrealistic ideas on the children that are being born."


Sarah has two boys, aged nine and seven, and four-year-old twin girls.

"I will talk to people and they go, 'Oh you're so lucky you got the two boys and then you got the two girls', and I will go, 'No, luck had nothing to do with that. I had to do some extreme measures to get my girls'," she says.

After having two boys, Sarah went to California, where gender selection is allowed, to go through an IVF cycle and be implanted only with the female embryos it produced.

Sarah had gone through the same range of emotions Kate is now experiencing. "It's gut-wrenching. I would be in tears," she says.

"It never crossed my mind that I wouldn't have a daughter, and I wanted that because I was so close to my mum that I wanted to be the mum that was that close to my daughter," she says.

She rejects suggestions sex selection is akin to creating a designer baby. "I didn't choose any eye colour, I didn't choose a hair colour, I just chose a girl over a boy," she says.

She is adamant that her daughters will not be expected to conform to gender stereotypes.

"I'm not going to force anything on my children," she says. "They can be gay, they can be bi, they can do whatever they want with their lives.

"I'm a live-and-let-live kind of person. "I don't judge other people, and I just hope they don't judge me in the same way."


Trump Under Fire for Religion-Friendly Stance

Neither President Donald Trump, nor his competitor, Hillary Clinton, are known for their devoutness, but unlike the loser, Trump is a reliable friend to people of faith. That is exactly why he is coming under fire from militant secularists. The latest hit job comes courtesy of the Center for American Progress.

John Podesta founded the organization and George Soros funds it. They make quite a pair. In the Wikileaks email exchanges, Podesta was caught bragging about his efforts to subvert the Catholic Church. Soros, as anyone who has looked at the Catholic League's website knows, has a long record of lavishly giving to anti-Catholic groups. So it is hardly surprising that one of their own, Claire Markham, would rip Trump for being religion-friendly.

Markham's first salvo is so obtuse that it makes one wonder how low the hiring bar has fallen at the Center for American Progress. She accuses the Trump administration of wanting to "redefine religious liberty to only people who share its vision of faith." Vision of faith? No one, save a dunce, speaks that way. The administration has no "vision of faith," but it is committed to the defense of religious liberty, something Podesta and Soros have worked to undermine.

Repeating the lie that is so popular among Trump's critics, Markham decries his "Muslim ban." But there is no ban-only select Muslim-run nations with a history of sponsoring terrorism (as determined by the Obama administration) are under a temporary ban.

Markham makes a big deal out of the White House statement on the Holocaust that did not specifically mention Jews. This political attack reflects the desire to tag Trump with being unfriendly to every religion, save Christianity. Ironically, it is not Trump or his staff who has been tagged for being an anti-Semite-it is employees at the Center for American Progress.

Trump was also criticized for his desire to repeal the Johnson Amendment, the IRS rule that limits tax-exempt organizations, such as churches, from involvement in the political process. While there are legitimate grounds to question what a repeal might mean, the issue raised by Markham about a "dark money loophole for political donations" is pure demagoguery. Has anyone at the Podesta-Soros organization complained how this has affected the teachers' unions and the Democratic Party?

What upsets Markham most is what Trump might do: He might issue an executive order protecting religious liberty. The draft that has circulated is magnificent, notwithstanding the need to do some tweaking. It clearly represents a commitment to expand the reach of religious rights, insulating religious individuals and institutions from being encroached upon by government. Astonishingly, Markham criticizes the draft for its "narrow view of religious liberty." That's Orwellian doublespeak. It is precisely because it has a broad view that she is going ballistic.

Trump's dedication to religious liberty stands in stark relief to the assault on this First Amendment right by the Obama administration. Religious leaders have a moral obligation to support him in these efforts.


Merkel to kick out migrants as Europe backs Trump ban

Angela Merkel met state governors last night to hammer out tough measures to speed up the forced repatriation of rejected asylum seekers.

The move by the German chancellor came as police announced that they had arrested two Islamists and averted another terrorist attack - and as a poll revealed that European voters hold views on immigration that are closer to President Trump's stance than that of their own leaders.

An average of 55 per cent of respondents across ten European countries - including 53 per cent in Germany - agreed with the statement that "all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped", according to the respected Chatham House think tank.


UK: Claims of betrayal as door shuts on refugee children

That many of the so-called children were in fact adults would have been a big factor in closing the scheme

Theresa May was accused of being on the "wrong side of history" last night after a scheme to bring vulnerable child refugees to Britain was shut down.

Only 350 unaccompanied children will have been welcomed under the Dubs scheme by the time it is wound down in the next few weeks. Refugee campaigners had called for 3,000 children to benefit.

The scheme is to end because of a lack of local authority accommodation and limits on the amount of care that councils can provide for children with "pressing and difficult needs".

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, accused the prime minister of coming close to the "policies of Trump" by closing the programme.


Furore as magazine cover depicts Trump beheading Statue of Liberty

GERMAN magazine Der Spiegel has sparked controversy with a cover depicting US President Donald Trump holding the severed head of the Statue of Liberty in one hand and a bloodied knife in the other.

The weekly used for its front page an image by US-Cuban artist and political refugee Edel Rodriguez with the Trumpian slogan "America first" next to it.

"On our cover the American president beheads the symbol which has welcomed migrants and refugees to the United States since 1886, and with democracy and freedom," Spiegel's chief editor Klaus Brinkbaeumer told German news agency DPA.

US-German relations have deteriorated under President Trump, who has criticised the policies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The cover image, which shows an orange face featureless save for a wide-open mouth, was seized upon for discussion by other media outlets in Germany and beyond.

Bild tabloid saw a direct parallel with Mohammed Emwazi, the British national known by the pseudonym "Jihadi John", who was seen in several videos showing the beheading of Islamic State hostages.

Speaking to Bild, the vice-president of the European Parliament, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff of Germany's liberal Free Democrats, slammed the image as being in "bad taste" and one which "plays on the lives of terror victims in a very nasty manner."

Liberal conservative broadsheet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung for its part warned that if the media demonised Trump that could play into his hands.  "The Spiegel cover is just what Trump needs - a distorted image of him which he can use to further his own distorted image of the press," it said.

The paper added that such images could underpin Trump supporters' beliefs that the media are biased against him and "belong to the establishment, which he is allegedly up against."

Conservative daily Die Welt, which like Bild belongs to the Axel Springer publishing group, criticised the Spiegel cover for "devaluing journalism."

The image was widely shared on social media and also featured on posters waved by protesters attending a rally Saturday in Berlin to denounce Trump's temporary ban on migrants from seven mainly Muslim countries.

Social media was abuzz, with mixed reactions to the cover.

Film-maker Morgan Spurlock tweeted "In case anyone was confused, this is how the world sees the new presidency".

"Now that's bold bordering on bad taste?" tweeted Euronews journalist Sophie Claudet.

Trump supporters quickly voiced their disgust. "If EU put safety of its people 1st, there would a lot more around to see Der Spiegel's inane cover", tweeted the @RuleDonaldTrump account.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


10 February, 2017

Sex and the male/female difference

There is an article here which points out that women spend a lot of money keeping their nether regions in shape.  There is nothing comparable among men.  So does that mean that women are more obsessed with sex than men are?  The ancient Greeks thought that women get far more out of sex than men do but it undoubtedly varies a lot from woman to woman.  The article inspired a fellow conservative psychologist to put down some thoughts about the matter -- as below:

This is an article about how much money, and therefore priority, women spend on their vaginas. Generally, women really are quite obsessed with their sex organ, and with sex, much more so, I think, than men are.

I have often listened to female psychologists and counsellors talking about how men only think about sex.

It is such a common subject for female dumb psychologists to bring up in their natter sessions that I long ago prepared a counter argument to occasionally put to them. Usually I humour them, but on a few occasions, (for one must choose one’s battles carefully) I interject their mindless deriding of men with something as follows:

“Ladies, (feminists hate that word so it always gets their attention) I ask you to notice something; that nearly all the things around you are manifestations of male thought – the computers you are using, your phones, the power grid, the building you are in, and all the mathematics and physics of its construction, its plumbing, wiring, air-conditioning, the trucks and cars outside in the street, the entire city infrastructure and all its workings, the planes flying overhead, etc, etc, etc.

All these things around you, that you see and use every day, and that sustain you, were first conceived of in the male mind, and have been manifested into material reality mostly via the male mind. Now tell me again, ladies, how it is that men only think about sex.”

There has always been a few moments of stunned silence after making that obvious point. And while they are still thinking of a smart answer I have added:

"If you cannot answer that, then perhaps you can point out to me some manifestations around us of female thought.”

Then further silence. I have learnt to leave the room before they respond while they are still off balance, for their response always consists of spouting irrational excuses about how they are oppressed by the patriarchal society. I prefer not to be there for them to express that fantasy on me, but to leave them to have it with themselves.

On one occasion one of them quickly pointed out that women supply all the counselling and social welfare services. But I was ready for that and pointed out that all their psychological understanding and clinical counselling modalities has come to them from out of the male mind – Freud, Erikson, Rogers, Piaget, Skinner, Bandura, Maslow, Pavlov, Beck, Ellis. “Can you try again to show me some manifestations of female thought?” 

I think it is fairly clear that women think about sex the most – they think about attracting the sexual attention of men. They have more concern for the shape of their bum than they do for the content of their minds, or even their hearts. Women are more image conscious than men, and that is not just physical image but includes the image of their hearts too, so they are always presenting themselves as the caring ones, but even that is image.

In recent years they have become so obsessed with themselves as objects of sexual attraction that they have even become quite fixated on the appearance of their genitalia. Elective surgeries for women to have their labia cut off have become commonplace.

And women everywhere are shaving off their pubic hair or ripping it out with waxed strips. I wonder what sort of woman wants her genitalia to look prepubescent? And what sort of woman wants a man who is interested in female genitalia that looks prepubescent?

I don’t like it. There seems something vaguely paedophilic about it. I prefer a woman to be an adult and to look like one.       

Via email

Racist abuse of a conservative black

Tim Scott, the lone black Republican senator, gave a passionate defense of Sen. Jeff Sessions Wednesday, reading a series of tweets from critics that accused him of being a “house negro” and a “disgrace to the black race” for supporting the general attorney nominee.

The 30-minute speech, which prompted congratulatory statements by Republicans and Democrats, was a distillation of the backlash he has received for supporting Sessions, who has faced accusations of racism for more than 30 years.

“You are an Uncle Tom, Scott. You’re for Sessions. How does a black man turn on his own," Scott said, reading criticisms of himself on social media. "Tim Scott ... doesn’t have a shred of honor. He’s a House Negro like the one in Django.”

He added, “I left out all the ones that used the ‘n-word.’ Just felt like that would not be appropriate.”

Scott said the blowback comes with the territory being a black conservative in the South. He said he’s grown used to being accused by liberals of not being “helpful to black America," despite his status as one of 10 African-Americans to ever serve in the Senate.

“I just wish that my friends who call themselves liberals would want tolerance for all Americans, including conservative Americans,” Scott said.

Sessions was blocked from a federal judge position in 1986 by a Republican Senate over racially-charged remarks he allegedly made about black people and the Ku Klux Klan. A key letter from Coretta Scott King in opposition to his nomination for that position gained new life on Tuesday when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tried to read it into the congressional record and was silenced by the GOP.

Scott said he had no issue with that letter and said senators should read it even if they disagree with her contention that Sessions intimidated black voters.

“Her standing in the history of our nation means her voice should be heard. What I took issue with last night and the true violation of [Senate rules] in my eyes were the remarks shared last night originally stated by Senator Kennedy, not Coretta Scott King,” Scott said, referring to Kennedy’s remarks then that called Sessions a “disgrace.”

Scott invited Sessions to his hometown of Charleston to meet with black church leaders in a city and state long divided on racial lines as he considered his nomination. Scott said the local reaction was far warmer to Sessions than from national civil rights groups, which attacked Scott for hosting Sessions.

But Scott said it was worth the criticism to see Sessions in his hometown, answering questions about police shootings and racial tensions. And that, in part, is why Scott said he can support Sessions despite vehement opposition from liberals, civil rights leaders and Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, the two other black senators in the chamber.

“He is not a racist,” Scott said. “Jeff Sessions has earned my support. And I will hold him accountable if and when we disagree.”

Sessions was subsequently confirmed by a vote of 52-47.


Democrats' Muslim Delusion

There’s bias and then there’s outright delusion; file this one under the latter. A recent CBS poll revealed that a majority of Democrats believe Christianity to be just as violent as Islam and that Muslims living in America are mistreated worse than are Christians living in Islamic countries. Clearly, a lot of Democrats have been drinking the leftist Kool-Aid for far too long. According to the survey, 62% of American voters believe Christians living in the Islamic world are treated unfairly due to their religion. However, while 56% of Democrats surveyed believe Muslims living in America are mistreated, only 47% of Democrats believe that Christians living in Muslim majority countries are persecuted due to their religion.

Time for a sobering dose of reality. A recently released study from the Center for Studies on New Religions found Christians to be the most persecuted religious group across the globe last year. It estimated that in 2016 some 90,000 Christians were killed for their beliefs and over 600 million were prevented from practicing their faith. Nine of the top 10 countries where the persecution of Christians is most extreme are Islamic — the worst offender is communist North Korea. Last summer, the Pew Research Center found that while there has been a world-wide decrease in restrictions against religion, the greatest offenders of religious freedom were either communist or Muslim majority countries.

Contrast that to Muslims living in the U.S.. They enjoy the same constitutional rights as do any other religious group. It could be argued that Muslims have even enjoyed rather favorable treatment, due to both the American culture of acceptance in general and concerns of avoiding any perceived discrimination. There are prayer rooms, prayer breaks at work, burkas, and recognition of religious holidays to name but a few accommodations. Obviously, there are those who have acted unkindly toward Muslims, but those incidents have been the exception not the norm. And certainly the government has not discriminated against Muslims, in spite of what the Left claims regarding Donald Trump’s lawful temporary travel ban.

Unfortunately, it appears that many Democrats are suffering from a bad case of partisan bias resulting in an ideologically induced blindness to reality. If the data doesn’t fit the narrative of the Left’s accepted paradigm, then it is rejected.


The Bermuda Triangle of Science

by Brian Boutwell

This is an essay about how to avoid carpet-bombing your career as a scientist. The academy, in general, is a wonderful place to work, but not everyone plays nice. Veer too far from carefully charted courses and someone may slip quietly up behind you and slide a cold piece of steel in between the ribs of your budding research career.

They’ll do this believing that they are serving public interest by snuffing out dangerous research agendas, but that won’t make any difference to you. It’ll be your reputation that will suffer grievous injury. What in the world might elicit such harsh rebuke from a community of otherwise broadminded, free speech spouting scholars? What is so verboten that it constitutes academia’s Bermuda Triangle, a place where careers disappear more often than ships in the actual Bermuda Triangle? In one word, it’s race.

Now, had I written this a decade or more ago, general intelligence would have topped the list of forbidden academic fruit. This is not to say that intelligence research has magically become mainstream. It still carries its fair share of controversy. On one level, the continued debate about intelligence strikes me as quite funny, honestly. If you want to watch academics glorify a trait that many still think, “doesn’t exist” or “doesn’t matter”, hang around them when student applications are being reviewed. It’s hilarious to watch folks froth at the mouth over sky-high test scores that they would otherwise tell you measure nothing at all.

Nonetheless, the evidentiary base regarding the existence of general intelligence and its ability to predict important life outcomes — including health, longevity and mortality, as well as other key variables — is beyond compelling, it’s overwhelming. And if you find yourself feeling like you can do damage to this evidence base by invoking arguments about “multiple intelligences” or something of the sort, let me save you the effort. Those urges illustrate unfamiliarity with any of the serious research done on the topic in the last several decades. If those urges haunt you, I’d recommend Stuart Ritchie’s excellent primer on the topic. The waters of intelligence research, though controversial, no longer require that you be Magellan to navigate them. As we will see below, however, it is only one small step from banal psychometric work on IQ, to the mother-load of academic controversy. Stay tuned.

Quantitative genetic work on human behavior has also had its time in the spotlight as arguably the most controversial subject in science. Like intelligence, the evidence base regarding the heritability of human outcomes is beyond reasonable dispute. However it hasn’t always been like that, as folks like Thomas Bouchard can rightly attest. Some controversy still erupts from time to time, but the general themes of these controversies often have more to do with fine-grained methodological points, and not the wholesale dismissal of the notion that human behavior is heritable. So, while not exactly free from rancor, behavior and molecular genetics represents a sea of much calmer waters than in prior years.

Evolution, as it applies to the social sciences, would have also made the list some decades back. But pioneers like E.O. Wilson, Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, David Buss, Margot Wilson, and Martin Daly (as well as a number of others) have absorbed many punches and blows for us younger generation of scholars. Their efforts produced a sizeable evidentiary base regarding the role that evolutionary processes have played (and continue to play) in sculpting human psychology. Debates still rage, and controversies still exist, but nowadays arguing that natural selection played some role in molding human psychology will no longer jeopardize your career.

There have, of course, been other controversial issues that have popped up. I might have talked about the study of sex differences for example, which has drawn the ire of critical scholars for years. Yet much of that discontent was because people were approaching the subject in an evolutionary/biologically informed framework (for more broad insight on academic controversies see Steven Pinker’s discussion in The Blank Slate).

So this brings us back to the notion that race represents academia’s true Bermuda Triangle. Perhaps never has the topic of genetic ancestry been so important, yet despite its relevance, bright scholars continue to stay away from it in droves. Who can blame them, really? As John McWhorter has pointed out, screaming “racist” at every one who dives off into this topic has become a religious rite, of sorts. It will not matter how noble you think your motives are, if you factor in race as a variable, your actions are subject to impeachment, and your reputation may be sacrificed as a burnt offering to our new religion. Let me give you an example.

Linda Gottfredson is a brilliant, productive, and innovative scholar. Dr. Gottfredson, however, found herself in the Bermuda Triangle some years back, and her story should serve as a lighthouse for those looking to avoid the same fate. In an article published in the academic journal Personality and Individual Differences a few years ago, Gottfredson described her ordeal with the University of Delaware. I would encourage you to read her paper; it’s very accessible and non-technical. In it, Gottfredson unleashes an account of gross academic freedom violations, owing to a research program tainted with the stain of connections to race. After having grant dollars denied, which resulted in an initial complaint filed against the university, four more separate cases were also filed by Gottfredson and her collaborator Jan Blits. All told, the cases levied against the university detailed instances of denied promotions, removal of a course from course listings, and an atmosphere of general harassment on the part of the chair.

As I write about Gottfredson and Blits, and again read about their ordeal, I can’t help but recall many of the more recent, yet equally obscene, violations of free speech on college campuses. I am nonetheless encouraged of late to witness what seems to be a rising tide of support for the fundamental principals that should govern academic life; classical liberalism, freedom of thought, and freedom of speech. Yet, should those voices only be selectively employed? Should they only apply to topics that are fashionably controversial? I can assure you that few rush to the defense of someone who has drifted out into the Bermuda Triangle of academia. No flare is strong enough to cut the fog, no distress beacon can be seen, and no one is likely to welcome the call for assistance that crackles in over a weak radio signal; but why not?

For starters, crossing the boundaries of the Triangle (even if only to defend a colleague) can be frightening. Angry invectives hurled in your direction will come so fast, and so fierce, it will likely leave your head spinning, as Gottfredson illustrates (p.276):

News coverage was often lurid. The UD African-American Coalition argued that my work was not just offensive, but dangerous. My ‘‘so-called research” and the social policies I ‘‘was likely to propose” were ‘‘liable to threaten the very survival of African-Americans” (Tarver, 1990, p. 6A).

Within the Bermuda Triangle, you see, it is a free for all when it comes to accusations and motive indictment. There is no suitable defense, trying to mount in fact one will only fan the flames. Consider the following:

An allegedly dishonest or malevolent scholar who appeals to the protections of free speech or academic freedom is said to be ‘‘hiding behind” them, which provokes further scorn. Every attempt at self-defense becomes another offense. Intimations of immorality, mean-spiritedness, perverse tendencies (‘‘preoccupation” with race), and the like all mobilize distaste for targeted scholars, relax scruples in dealing with them fairly, and cause associates to shun them. (p.276)

There is quite literally, nothing you can do.

Perhaps the invective aimed at scholars such as Gottfredson comes from a “good” place. Many are concerned about what research into race differences might inspire in the form of prejudice and discrimination among the populace. Techniques to preclude such dangerous knowledge from seeping out of the Ivory Tower don’t even have to take the form of a full frontal ad hominem assault (recall our earlier imagery of the knife slid silently in the back). As Gottfredson notes (p.277):

Some critics avoid making ad hominem claims by asserting that, although the researcher may not be evil, their work can be used for evil purposes. The supposed dangers of the research are seldom explained, however, but just connoted. For instance, assertions that certain conclusions about intelligence or genetic influences are ‘‘obviously” harmful or dangerous are virtually never supported by any argument or evidence. Owing to constant repetition of such claims, however, it has become intellectual reflex in most quarters to associate the word intelligence with ‘‘hereditarianism” and, next, ‘‘hereditarianism” with evil (the Nazis), and ‘‘environmentalism” with benevolence (despite its disciple Stalin’s even larger genocide). So, although my intelligence research dealt exclusively with phenotypic differences between races, I was accused of espousing unsavory genetic policies.

Gottfredson also reveals to us (p.277, below) a different piece of weaponry popular for sinking ships that have meandered into troubled waters.

Another common retort to scholars who assert a right to investigate socially sensitive issues is that ‘‘with rights come responsibilities.” That is, one retains or deserves the right to speak freely only if one speaks ‘‘responsibly.” This hedge is usually asserted by university faculty and administrators because they are professionally obliged to pledge allegiance to the general principle of academic freedom. But being responsible is as much in the eye of the beholder as being dangerous. The former is only a muted form of the latter, as its antonym (‘‘irresponsible”) illustrates. Demanding ‘‘responsible” scholarship on selected topics simultaneously invites and legitimates burdening that research, and it thereby selectively skews the menu of ideas available for public consideration.

For years during this ordeal Gottfredson and Blits were prevented (at least partially) from doing their jobs of teaching and researching freely and without restriction. The erosion of academic freedom is a topic for another day; the point now was to illustrate the perils one faces if they choose to work in this specific area. Can any good come from pursuing a research agenda like this? Is it worth it to explain to your family, or your significant other, that your career is in crisis because you decided to pursue a specific scholarly topic?

I would advise young scholars not to study race, and it’s not because the area is unimportant. Understanding genetic differences between human populations is critical. My warnings come because if you’re not careful, you may very well have your career stripped away from you. Your vessel may take on water faster that the bilge pumps of academic freedom can pump it out. The wreckage of your reputation may sink quietly to the inky, black, bottom of history.

It need not be this way, the currents could change, the storms could clear, and the legitimacy of the topic be restored. That is partly my goal in writing this essay, to plead with you to stop demonizing scholars who engage in politically controversial work, yet do so within the ethical confines of science, as Linda Gottfredson and Jan Blits did. Must we continue to embarrass our liberal, freethinking, democratic values by telling our scholars that some topics are off limits to them? For now, view this as one signal that’s managed to penetrate the fog of the Triangle, sent from someone [the author of this essay] whose ship sailed into to it a few years back.

You should steer clear, however, if you decide to cross the border regardless of my advice, just know that even the staunchest of free speech defenders (those who would otherwise advocate for your right to study whatever you want), will very likely abandon you to the depths. There is no Coast Guard coming to rescue us, we are alone, adrift in this desolate ocean of political correctness. With that in mind, I think it’s appropriate to let Linda Gottfredson have the last word, I’m quite sure she has earned it (p. 273):

“Americans have a constitutional right to speak their mind in the public sphere, and their ability to enjoy that right is similarly vulnerable to improper constraint. It is the scholar’s job, however, to think and speak freely nonetheless.” 



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


9 February, 2017

If  conservatives want to copy Trump, embracing Putin is the worst place to start (?)

Like Mr Trump, I see some virtue in Vladimir Vladimirovich and I have written to that effect on several previous occasions. (See here. Scroll down). I like Mr Putin nearly as much as I like Mr Trump, in fact.  So I am one of those evil people that the Leftist Australian journalist  below is inveighing against. Vladimir Vladimirovich is in fact an exceptionally enlightened ruler by Russian standards.

The Leftist writer below, David Wroe, tries to make the case that Putin and Russia generally are dangerous, evil and should be shunned.  Which is amusing.  A few decades back Leftists would hear no ill about Russia -- at a time when there really was cause for concern about Russia. The points made below are however specious and are typical of the Leftist habit of telling only half the story. 

Mr Putin is somehow blamed on the shooting down of a Malaysian airline over Ukraine. But the Ukraine was at the time in a civil war and was known as dangerous airspace -- and most airlines kept away from it even though that increased their costs.  It was penny-pinching bureaucrats running the Malaysian airline who took the big risk of flying their plane over Eastern Ukraine.  It is they who are to blame

It took Russia's intervention to set in train the now almost complete destruction of ISIS but our friend below can only complain that the defeat helps the Syrian government. 

The Syrian government is certainly brutal but dictatorships seem to be the only sort of regime that works in Muslim lands. Islam is an authoritarian religion.  "Submit or die" is its historic message. Democracy didn't last long in Egypt. Turkey  has once again returned to a version of the authoritarian rule that has characterized most of its history and vast American efforts to democratize Iraq and Afghanistan have certainly been an abject failure.

I could go on but I think I have said enough to show that it's just the usual dishonest Leftist propaganda below.  You believe anything in it at your peril>

David Wroe

The Trumpification of the right wing of Australian politics has begun.

On Sunday night, Coalition backbencher George Christensen defended Vladimir Putin's Russia, saying on Twitter it had been "demonised unfairly" and asking, "What threat do they cause us or the West?"

This is a startling message to a country that lost 38 people in the shooting down of flight MH17 in the skies above Ukraine. In his tweets, Mr Christensen distanced Moscow from involvement in MH17 and said only that separatists "allegedly" shot down the plane, though on Monday morning he clarified that he accepted most investigators' conclusion that "separatists backed by Russia" were responsible.

But his string of tweets point to an affinity with the US President's foreign policy view that strong men who pursue their country's national interests with scant regard to the international system are to be admired and emulated.

Pauline Hanson did much the same on Monday morning, saying "I've got no problems with Vladimir" because he is "a strong leader" who is "standing up for his nation" and that's what Australians want of their leaders too.

Newsflash to them both: Australia is not the US or Russia. It is a middle power that needs rules and a level playing field. As one of our finest foreign policy thinkers, former Department of Foreign Affairs head Peter Varghese, put it in a 2015 speech: "Australia can neither bully nor buy its way in the world, so an international, rules-based order is in our best interests."

Take another one of Christensen's Sunday night tweets: "Russia [is] the real reason ISIS is losing."

Moscow has propped up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad but has targeted a wide range of anti-regime forces, not just the Islamic State, and has indiscriminately bombed civilians, killing thousands.

Its intervention has removed any incentive for Assad to compromise and allow a political solution in Syria, ensuring that Syrian Sunnis will feel aggrieved for at least another generation. That will help seed the next generation of sectarian fighters and jihadists that will replace the Islamic State when it is defeated.

By contrast, the Australian Defence Force has for more than two years carefully targeted Islamic State forces in airstrikes while advising and training Iraqi forces on the ground. Not one civilian is known to have been killed in Australian air strikes, and the ADF's efforts alongside the US have tried to avoid empowering the Assad regime.

Mr Christensen also called Russia "a democracy" and branded the hacking of US political parties "fake news", even though Mr Trump himself has admitted Russia was responsible for the hacking and US intelligence agencies have stated in a public report that Russia hacked political parties for the express purpose of tilting the election in Mr Trump's favour.

Russia is working to break up Europe and tear up the international system of rules and norms that has made the last 70 years the most prosperous and stable the world has seen. It wants to return the world to spheres of influence around powers that use might to make right.

That is the threat Russia poses to us all.


Leftist parasites

A new study has found that the vast majority of left-wing protesters arrested in Berlin, Germany in recent years live at home with their parents.

Ninety-two percent of demonstrators arrested for politically-related protests between 2003 and 2013 were found to still be living with their parents, and a third of them were unemployed, according to a report published in the German newspaper Bild that was flagged Tuesday by the Daily Mail.

The study was conducted from 2003 to 2013 and based on 873 arrestees from that period. The statistics came from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Additionally, 72 percent of those arrested were between the ages of 18 and 29, while 84 percent of the total were men.

In 15 percent of the cases, the victims of the protesters were right-wing activists. Approximately 80 percent of the victims were police officers.

A harrowing revelation from the report says that between 2009 and 2013, left-wing activists attempted to commit 11 assassinations.


Wing commander's prayer breakfast invite sparks IG complaint

A wing commander's prayer breakfast invitation to his subordinates has resulted in an inspector general's complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

More than 40 people at Maxwell Air Force Base contacted the foundation after Col. Erik Shafa, commander of the 42nd Air Base Wing, used his commander's box to send a message to everyone in the wing, inviting them to the Feb. 23 Maxwell Air Force Base National Prayer Breakfast.

On behalf of those clients, Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, filed a third-party complaint with the 42nd Air Base Wing IG, claiming the invite constituted a clear violation of Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.12, Balance of Free Exercise of Religion and Establishment Clause.

It states: "Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for their own free exercise of religion, including individual expressions of religious beliefs, and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. They must ensure their words and actions cannot reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief or absence of belief. 

Because the wing IG reports to Shafa, the complaint was later transferred to the Air University IG on Maxwell. 

One of the foundation's clients, a former airman and now an Air Force civilian on base, said Shafa's message was "terrible for morale."

"The National Prayer Breakfast is very Christian-focused," said the civilian, who did not want to be identified due to fear of reprisals. "I mean they might let a Muslim say a prayer or a Jewish rabbi, but Maj. Gen. Dondi Costin [Air Force chief of chaplains] is going to be there giving his Christian perspective. It's all Christian, Christian, Christian.

"What do you do when you are in the military and your commander says, 'hey, I invite you to this thing?' ... Well, the implication is that you go. It's not one of those invitations that says, if you would like to or perhaps if you are interested. It's very much giving the implication that you are expected to participate or at least understand that he thinks its important and that's where he stands on the issue."

The civilian who spoke with Air Force Times identifies as an atheist, but Weinstein said the people who brought complaints to his organization about the prayer breakfast invite included Air Force officers, enlisted personnel, civilians, Air University students and permanent party.

"Our 43 MRFF clients come from the Protestant, Roman Catholic, Islamic and Jewish faith traditions, as well as those MRFF clients who identify as atheist, agnostics, secularist and humanists," he said.

Michael Ritz, chief of media operations at Maxwell, said that "per standard procedures the inspector general does not identify complaints or complainants. However, all IG complaints are taken seriously and are investigated with the utmost care, rigor and protection of information."

He did acknowledge, however, that Weinstein had corresponded with 42nd Air Base Wing leadership to express his dissatisfaction with the invite.

"The Air Force places the highest value on the rights of its personnel in matters of religion and facilitates the free exercise of religion by its members," Ritz said. "Our airmen are sworn to protect our rights and liberties as Americans, including the right of all airmen to practice their religious faith or to practice no faith at all."

He noted that "the National Prayer Breakfast is a historical, interfaith and clearly voluntary event, which has been observed across the U.S. government since 1953."

The civilian complainant argued that the voluntary nature of the Maxwell event would have been much more clear if the invite had come from the base chaplains, who are not in the chain of command, rather than the commander.

"The invitation itself said, 'Col. Eric Shafa invites you to this event,' so it's extremely clear that this is coming from the commander himself," the civilian and former airman said. "He expects us to go there, and he expects us to understand that he thinks it is an important thing for people to go and partake in this Christian event."

Those not inclined to attend the event worry that their ability to advance in rank will be affected, and that they won't get opportunities to excel and stand out, the civilian said.

"I don't think you will be punished if you are not there, but I think it is implicit that if you don't support this type of event you won't ever become part of the inner circle," the civilian said.

The civilian added that "the only thing that should matter is the job you do, but then when you throw things like religion into the mix, such as with these prayer breakfasts, it really throws everything up in the air. It leads to a complete lack of unit cohesion, and it really makes me not respect my leaders at all."


Australians support making it HARDER for Muslims to come to Australia - with 44 per cent supporting Donald Trump-style measures

Almost half of Australians support a Donald Trump-inspired measure to make it more difficult for people from Muslim-majority countries to come to Australia.

Newspoll found more than half of Coalition voters supported blocking citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen from travelling Down Under.

President Trump's executive order also blocked all refugees from travelling to the U.S. for 120 days, and put an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.

Overall, Australians were divided on whether we should follow that lead.

44 per cent of all respondents said Australia should take similar action, and 45 per cent opposed the measure.

11 per cent of the 1,734 respondents were not committed.

The Newspoll question was: 'Donald Trump has introduced changes that make it harder for citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries to enter the U.S. Would you be in favour or opposed to Australia taking similar measures?

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has refused to comment on the executive order.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has said she would go further than President Trump's measures.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


8 February, 2017

Donald Trump’s case against the NEA has nothing to do with budgets

I am a considerable Kulcha vulture myself.  J.S. Bach is my favourite composer, I dabble in languages -- mostly German and Latin, I read history virtually daily, I recite Middle English poetry, I enjoy Austro/Hungarian operettas, I have read most of the Ancient Greek canon, I rarely watch TV and I listen to very little popular music.  But I do what I do because I like and enjoy doing those things.  I can see no reason why the taxpayer should fund them.  If you don't like it enough to pay for it, why should someone else be forced to do so?

The supposed benefits -- "art has the power to console, transform, welcome, and heal" -- are as far as I am aware undemonstrated.  The arts are simply to be enjoyed.  They may at times have some didactic function but that is very incidental

WITH SPITEFUL, RECKLESS policies emanating from the White House every day, threatening real lives as well as the national character, it may seem trivial to worry about the arts. But few things provide more solace in hard times than art, or better promote empathy and human connection. No wonder people fear president Trump has no use for it.

A report last month in The Hill, a respected Washington newsletter, said that members of Trump’s transition team are preparing a budget blueprint to cut federal spending by over $1 trillion a year. Among the scythes sweeping through the plan — modeled closely after a proposal by the Heritage Foundation — are the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the privatization of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

It’s tempting to hope that this latest threat will be just another passing skirmish in the culture wars. The arts agencies, and public broadcasting, have been targeted before – usually when some edgy provocateur touches on a volatile social issue. Conservatives rage, until Big Bird comes to the rescue and cultural funding is mostly restored. But one thing we have learned in the tumultuous first weeks of this presidency is that Donald Trump’s pronouncements are not metaphor. It is better to take him literally.

So what would it mean to eliminate the NEA?

The $148 million agency doesn’t fund individual artists directly, but supports local arts councils that distribute grants. Sure, beloved institutions like the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of Fine Arts are recipients, but most of the money goes to small arts companies that would otherwise struggle financially or fold.

The latest round of NEA funding for Massachusetts includes money for Project Step, which gives lessons in classical string instruments to talented minority students; the Anna Myer Dancers of Cambridge, which brings modern dancers and professional poets together with urban teenagers to examine issues of race in America; Shelter Music Boston Inc., which sends accomplished musicians to perform in homeless shelters; and a Huntington Theatre production of a new work by Pakistani-American playwright Ayad Akhtar, about the role of women in Islam. Outside Boston, the NEA underwrites the Military Healing Arts Partnership, an arts therapy program that helps service members overcome war trauma and reintegrate into civilian life. The grants touch people in every county in every state.

The total cost per American for the entire annual NEA budget? Forty-six cents, less than the price of a postage stamp.

The tiny cost suggests something else is at issue besides balancing the budget, and indeed the case against the NEA is mostly ideological. Opponents of government funding argue that there is ample private money to support the arts, that taxpayers shouldn’t support art they find offensive or banal, and that if an artist can’t succeed in the free market, the work must not be any good. But without public funding, only the most popular or commercial work will be seen. Of course the government has a role in fostering culture. What’s next? The Library of Congress? The Smithsonian Institution?

Some arts patrons are trying to appeal to Trump’s own values to save the NEA, noting that the arts economy generates millions of jobs that can’t be outsourced and billions in economic activity. That’s true enough. But more persuasive is the argument advanced by cellist Yo Yo Ma, who has been advocating for more arts education in schools. Besides flexible thinking, innovation, and collaboration, he says, art teaches empathy: “the ultimate quality that acknowledges our identity as members of one human family.” From the expressive dance of Mark Morris to the embracing poetry of Emma Lazarus, art has the power to console, transform, welcome, and heal. It’s what the world needs now.


NRA’s Chris Cox: Obama Lacked ‘Political Backbone’ to Keep Chicago from ‘National Disgrace’

On February 1 NRA-ILA executive director Chris Cox told Breitbart News that President Obama lacked the “political backbone” to act and keep Chicago from becoming a “national disgrace.”

Cox was being interviewed for the upcoming episode of Breitbart News podcast, Bullets with AWR Hawkins.

He said, “This is very simple, you prosecute the criminals who are breaking the law, you let law-abiding people have the ability to defend themselves, because in Chicago there’s a lot more bars on windows than gates around communities.” He added, “This is no longer funny, it’s a national disgrace and a tragedy.”

He then turned to Obama’s inaction:

We had eight years where President Obama could have done something about his supposed hometown. He could have worked with Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor. But he certainly could have picked up the phone to the Justice Department and said, ‘Look, every one of these gang members; every one of these murderers and rapists and thugs in Chicago, when they get arrested on a gun charge or a drug charge, turn it over to the U.S. Attorney [and] prosecute [them] in federal court and put them in jail.’ But he didn’t do that. He didn’t do that because he didn’t [have] the political backbone and the will to do it.

We asked Cox about Representative Luis Gutierrez’s (D-IL-4) attempts to blame Chicago gun violence on the NRA. Cox said, “Gutierrez and the rest of them are playing the people for fools. People are smarter than that. People understand that you can respect the rights of law-abiding people–and our inherent, preexisting right to defend ourselves–while at the same time, going after and prosecuting criminals who misuse firearms. Those are not mutually exclusive ideas despite the left’s having such a hard time wrapping their head around it.”


Sponsors of Anarchy

By Michelle Malkin

I've covered the left's criminal anarchist element for more than 20 years — from the animal rights terrorists who have harassed, threatened and firebombed scientific researches across the U.S. and Europe to the anti-capitalist thugs who wreaked havoc on downtown business owners at the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle and the 2010 G-20 summit in Toronto to the ANSWER Coalition and Code Pink's not-so-peaceful peaceniks who disrupted congressional hearings and menaced veterans memorials and military recruiting stations throughout the George W. Bush years to the Occupy Wall Street vagrants and rapists of 2011-12 to the rent-a-rioters who hijacked Ferguson, Baltimore and other Black Lives Matter demonstrations against police.

My favorites over the years? I'll never forget the seditious mother in Olympia, Washington, who tied bandanas over her kids' faces and recklessly planted them in the middle of a street 10 years ago to block trucks carrying military shipments. She was so caught up in the excitement of her "direct action" that she dropped her baby on the ground as her anarchist compatriots threw rocks at police and soldiers driving around them.

Then there were the "progressive" nitwits who handcuffed themselves to concrete-filled barrels in January 2015 and shut down traffic in the Boston area (risking the lives of crash victims waiting for an ambulance that was blocked) to protest ... something or other.

Clenched-fist troublemakers will use any mass gathering as an excuse to undermine civil society. Social media and the irresistible lure of virality have only strengthened their incentive to "FSU" (f— s— up). Here's another thing you can take to the bank: "Mainstream" protesters on the streets of D.C. will look the other way at these lawless vandals who leech onto any available cause. Their common goal is not "social justice." It's destabilization and disorder.

In Oakland, California, far-left "activist" Mayor Jean Quan groveled to Occupy agitators and refused to crack down as small businesses were destroyed and cops were attacked.

Oberlin grad Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Democratic mayor of Baltimore, infamously created a safe space for rioters sabotaging inner-city businesses.

The American Civil Liberties Union has written the literal playbook for redefining violent protest as "free speech" and obstructing police planning efforts to defend cities against left-wing chaos.

Kory Flowers, a North Carolina-based law enforcement expert on domestic anarchists and criminal subversive groups, describes the persistent pot stirrers as "cause parasites." In 2012, at the Democratic National Convention, where international media coverage was assured, Flowers reported that anarchists had manufactured "urine-filled eggs, acid-filled Christmas ornaments, and water guns containing urine, all meant to be used against the law enforcement security forces throughout the city."

Five years later, investigative journalist James O'Keefe exposed D.C.-based anarchists associated with the #DisruptJ20 (Jan. 20) movement on tape this week as they were plotting to invade inaugural balls with stink bombs, trigger sprinkler systems to force attendees out in the cold, chain themselves to Metro trains and hunt down city officials who act against them.

"If you try to close us down, we will look for your house. We will burn it. We will physically fight the police if they try to steal one of our places. We will go to war, and you will lose," one plotter threatened.

Many of these guerrilla punks employ "Black Bloc" tactics, Flowers notes, wearing all-black clothes "to appear as a unified assemblage, giving the appearance of solidarity for the particular cause at hand," which allows "virtual anonymity while conducting criminal acts as a group." They may be a fringe minority, but it's the continued tolerance of these vandals, looters and terrorist wannabes on the ground by "mainstream" community organizers and politicians that gives them cover — and power.

Lee Stranahan, an independent journalist and blogger who covers protest movements for Breitbart, adds: "It's important that Americans not be lulled into a false sense of security by such an oversimplification. While it's been proven that funders like (billionaire George) Soros and the Democrat party have paid protest organizers and some protesters, groups like the violent Black Bloc typically aren't motivated by money, but instead come to protests because of their anti-American ideology, base criminal desires and thrill seeking."

Opponents of President-elect Donald Trump's have accused him of "inspiring violence" and bringing out the worst in people. Wrong. The active and passive sponsors of left-wing political mayhem are the ones guilty of enabling it over the past quarter-century. Restoring peace and justice starts with restoring law and order. Either you're against the rule of the mob or you're with it.


Trump Should End Government Funding of NPR’s Biased News

Is National Public Radio’s description of an Obama urban directive as something that merely “links [government] funding to desegregation” fake news?

Well, it’s so slanted that if you had no prior knowledge of the program, and heard NPR’s depiction of it, you would just say to yourself, “Sounds good to me.”

But to many conservatives, including the man that President Donald Trump has nominated to be the new secretary of housing and urban development, Ben Carson, the Orwellian “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” is a tortured interpretation of the Fair Housing Act.

To them, coercing suburbs to build high-density, low-income housing in order to reflect the national racial makeup—even when there isn’t a hint of discrimination—is an outrageous attempt to pursue the liberal dream of closing down the suburbs by changing their nature.

To Stanley Kurtz, writing in National Review, “the regulation amounts to back-door annexation, a way of turning America’s suburbs into tributaries of nearby cities.”

Carson, writing in The Washington Times, said the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing directive reminded him of the “failed socialist experiments of the 1980s.” That view was not reflected in NPR reporter Pam Fessler’s unflattering piece on Carson following his nomination. The piece referred positively to the housing program as “stepped up enforcement of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which is intended to reduce segregation.”

Like other examples of NPR’s treatment of Cabinet appointments and other domestic and international news, Fessler’s report echoed almost exclusively the worldview of the left.

This is a characteristic that is shared to some degree by the Public Broadcasting System, NPR’s television equivalent.

And this attribute will become a problem for the taxpayer-funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which oversees both NPR and PBS, as the incoming Trump administration looks to make cuts in the budget—as it should.

To be sure, NPR and PBS will have the odd National Review editorial writer or conservative scholar on as a guest commentator once in a while. But that is not the issue.

The issue is that a conservative philosophy and outlook doesn’t inform the way the news is written and presented the way, say, Mother Jones seems to do.

We saw what happens when a journalist “gets” both sides. Fox News’ Chris Wallace received bipartisan praise for the way he moderated the last presidential debate in October.

As The Wall Street Journal put it at the time, there was a reason he was more effective than his preceding moderators:

He asked questions that would never have even occurred to the other moderators. Mr. Wallace’s personal politics are a mystery to us, but his position as an anchor at Fox News … means he is exposed to political points of view that are alien at most other media outlets.

NPR has done nothing to counter its persistent liberal bias, despite years of complaints from conservatives—including us—that its patent lack of diversity of thought was unfair and misguided for a tax-funded entity.

Several changes at the top during the past few years have had no apparent impact.

The partially taxpayer-funded public broadcaster appeared to be trying to turn a new leaf in 2011 when it brought in Gary Knell as CEO “to calm the waters,” following the ouster of Vivian Schiller. Charges of liberal bias under Schiller had revived conservative calls to defund NPR.

Knell lasted only 20 months, however, and several changes later, NPR in 2014 doubled down on its worldview. It named as its CEO Jarl Mohn, a former senior official with the American Civil Liberties Union who has given at least $217,000 mostly to “Democratic candidates and political committees” by NPR’s own admission.

NPR’s only response to conservative complaints about its liberal viewpoint is to deny that this is the case. It’s the “Who you gonna believe, us or your lying ears?” defense.

So, no wonder the reporting on the nominees was off. Carson wasn’t the exception. Here are several others:

The piece on Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, lacked any kind of perspective on the harm that the agency’s aggressive regulatory zeal has caused to companies large and small. Also missing was how the EPA shakes down companies and forces them either to make contributions to environmental groups or face huge fines.

Such details may have put into context the scathing, melodramatic attack on Pruitt by the Sierra Club, one of the groups that may now lose both influence and funds, which reporter Nell Greenfieldboyce included in her piece. The “conservative balance” lacked any of these details, but actually offered another negative: George Will’s observation that Pruitt had been “one of the Obama administration’s most tenacious tormentors.”

Jessica Taylor’s report on the choice of fast-food restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder as secretary of labor made note of his opposition to raising the minimum wage. The piece was remarkably neutral in that it did not reflect any assumption as to whether this policy is good or bad for employees making minimum wage.
Not so for the analysis that Jeremy Hobson (host of NPR’s “Hear and Now”) conducted with Business Insider’s Kate Taylor. There, the worries of “labor groups” about Puzder’s “commitments to labor rights” were prominent.

“Anybody pushing for passage of laws that protect labor rights are going to have a bit of an uphill struggle,” Taylor concluded. There was no conservative counterweight.

Nor is NPR’s liberal slant limited to only Trump’s Cabinet appointments.

Scott Simon’s commentary on Cuban dictator Fidel Castro upon his death was actually titled, “Easy to See Why Some Loved Fidel Castro’s Cuba, Many More Fled.”

Right up front there was a trope about how “American mobsters used to run this place.” But actually, Cuba was a thriving economy when Castro took over in 1958, one that compared favorably with Mediterranean Europe or Southern U.S. states. But you didn’t hear that from Simon.

It shouldn’t surprise that the views held by the left form the background of many stories, as NPR either directly quotes liberal outlets as reference points or uses language that is undistinguishable.

On the very controversial public debate over whether men should be able to use women’s bathrooms if they identify as women, NPR’s Ethics Handbook uses as a reference point the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association’s guidelines in recommending that the debate be cast as “whether transgender people should be allowed to use public bathrooms ‘based on their gender identities or, instead, what’s stated on their birth certificates.’”

Many Americans—and not just conservatives—however, take issue with the notion that “a man can be trapped in a woman’s body” or vice-versa. Sex to them is a matter of objective biology, not a subjective social construct.

As the Washington Examiner put it before the end of the year, “Not everyone heeds the command to pretend that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman.”

These are views held by millions of taxpayers. By choosing only one side, NPR’s reporting can be as skewed as anything found on MSNBC—or conservative talk radio for that matter.

But because it is delivered in mellifluous and serene tones, a pitch which NPR staffers refer to with self-congratulation as “Minnesota Nice,” and because it has the stamp of the government’s endorsement, the reporting is considered objective and reflective.

The consumer, therefore, is likely not adding an extra layer of caution—the caveat emptor factor that one adds with Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity.

To the question asked at the start of this piece:  No, NPR’s description of “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” wasn’t fake news. But it wasn’t the whole news, either.

And listeners have a right to know they must use a prism, just as taxpayers have a right not to fund a one-sided news outlet.

The 2017 federal appropriations for the Center for Public Broadcasting were $445 million. PBS gets about $300 million of that.

Defenders say that in the age of a $19 trillion debt, this is a “rounding error.” Well, if it’s so small, then maybe cutting won’t hurt as much, and the money can be used elsewhere, or returned to taxpayers.

NPR will survive without government funding. It has a good membership model. It also offers a good product, as does PBS.

But the new conservative administration and congressional majority coming in have a responsibility to the conservative base not to continue to fund a “public broadcaster” that leaves half the nation feeling ignored.

If it doesn’t, the new governing majority had better get used to seeing its policies traduced on a regular basis by NPR, the way the new Cabinet’s positions clearly have been.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


7 February, 2017

FDR knew of Nazi euthanasia gassings but remained silent

FDR is to this day a great hero of the American Left.  His best known saying is the idiotic: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself".

Ahead of this year's marking of International Holocaust Remembrance Day Jan. 27, new details have been revealed concerning how much the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration knew about the Nazis' euthanasia policy, and why the U.S. failed to respond.

German historian Thorsten Noack, writing in the latest issue of the scholarly journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies, describes how famed journalist William Shirer first publicly exposed the Nazis' systematic execution of individuals with physical or mental disabilities.

In the pages of Life magazine and Reader's Digest in early 1941, Shirer revealed horrifying details of the program that would serve as a prototype for the mass-murder techniques of the Holocaust.

At the time of Shirer's articles, tens of thousands of Germans with physical disabilities had been executed by the Hitler regime. Altogether, an estimated 200,000 "unfit" individuals were gassed as part of the Aktion T-4 program, as it was called.

Building on research undertaken in 1999 by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Noack traced Shirer's drafts and notes in order to identify, for the first time, the source of the ghastly news that he shared with the American public.

Noack concludes it is highly probable that the information was leaked to Shirer by Jacob Beam, who served as third secretary at the U.S. embassy in Berlin.

Beam (1908-1993) was one of a handful of American diplomats in Germany who were tipped off by German anti-Nazi dissidents about the euthanasia program. He and his colleagues forwarded at least 10 reports on the topic to the State Department between March 1940 and March 1941. Beam "was the only official who, according to archival sources, is known to have pressed for a State Department reaction to the Nazi euthanasia killings," Noack writes.

The State Department ignored Beam's pleas to publicly condemn the mass murder. This stance was consistent with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's pre-war strategy of generally refraining from explicitly criticizing Hitler's policies, in order to preserve America's diplomatic and economic relations with Nazi Germany.

Roosevelt went to considerable lengths to avoid offending the Nazis during those years. For example, he asked his ambassador in Berlin, William Dodd, to pressure Dodd's Jewish acquaintances in Chicago to cancel plans, in 1934, for a public mock trial of Hitler.

In 1938, FDR made Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes remove references to Hitler and Nazism from a speech Ickes planned to give about the suffering of Jews in Europe. The administration blocked congressional resolutions criticizing the Nazis, and even apologized to the Fuhrer when New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia called him "a fanatic who is threatening the peace of the world."

The Roosevelt administration not only opposed American Jewish groups' boycott of German products in the 1930s, but went further. It quietly permitted goods to be labeled as having been made in a particular German city or province rather than requiring that they be stamped "Made in Germany," in the hope of fooling consumers about their origin. It was only after Jewish leaders threatened to sue that the administration halted that subterfuge.

Perhaps the most egregious example of the administration's approach occurred after furious German and Vichy French officials complained to Washington in late 1940 that U.S. journalist Varian Fry was smuggling Jewish refugees out of France.

Secretary of State Cordell Hull warned Fry to stop "evading the laws of countries with which the United States maintains friendly relations." When Fry ignored the warning, the administration refused to renew Fry's passport, forcing him to leave France and end his rescue mission.

One could say that the sabotage of Fry's rescue work, like the U.S. silence regarding the euthanasia program, in some ways foreshadowed the Roosevelt administration's response to the Holocaust itself.


A message to the angry Leftists from an American infantryman

I know you don’t know me. I know you don’t even think about me and when you do, it’s probably not anything nice. I’m the evil hegemonically masculine patriarchal oppressor to you feminists. I’m the jackbooted statist thug to you dope smokin’ long-haired hippies. I’m “The Man” to you racial activists. I’m the idiot who joined the military because I “wasn’t smart enough” to go get a liberal arts degree like you know-it-all 20-year-old college dipshits; and for some reason you hate me for that. I’m that guy with the rifle who signed on the dotted line for $24K a year so that you budding Marxist fucksticks could have the freedom to complain about me and the manner in which I provide it. I have a little message for you.

I see you there, in Portland… In Chicago… In San Francisco… In Bumfuck Directional School Liberal Arts College… You’re having your temper tantrums because ever since mommy dropped you off at Daycare 20 years ago you’ve been throwing them to get your way. Now you’re super pissed about the results of a presidential election where the other guy (and the only guy in the race for that matter) won.

I’m not here to talk politics, or explain the Electoral College, or to tell you what hypocritical douchebags you are for doing the things you’re doing. No. I have a much simpler conversation to have with you. See, I read what you post on Twitter, Facebook, and your various internet blogs. I see you on the news breaking things, setting fires, and assaulting people of the opposite political belief. I see you there with your fat ugly unshaven feminist women and black power slogan screaming race baiters, throwing rocks and bottles at the lines of police officers trying to keep order in your own cities. I know your rhetoric.  I know all your identity politics stems from the Marxist activists and 'intellectuals' who have pushed the American left farther left than ever before.  I know you believe your “progressive” views are the supreme moral authority on every single issue and somehow this perception allows you to justify your totalitarian social views and hypocritical violent outbursts. You profess to hate half this country for their alleged bigotry while carrying signs that say "Love Wins!"

I also know you’re a coward.

I know this because you keep screaming, and blogging, and protesting, and even rioting… but you won’t start this “uprising” you keep going on and on about. If you really believe that your cause is just, that the majority supports you, and that the United States needs to be overthrown to make way for your Progressive social utopia of sunshine and free shit… pick up a gun and start your revolution like every other communist group in history. See, I come from an organization that spent the better part of the last century training to fight a bunch of little commie heathens, and I have a pretty healthy respect for any Ivan who was willing to pick up an AK47 and parachute onto the continent ready to overthrow the USA. That takes some guts. You’re not like him though. You’re quite different actually. Ivan was in shape. You’re a bunch of ‘fat acceptance’ advocates who complain airline seats are too small for your 9,000 calories per day diet. Ivan was a proud masculine man. You have drag queens and fat feminist women with green hair. Ivan grew up mining coal and hunting wolves in the Urals. You want socialism because you’re upset that you can’t get a 6-figure job at age 24 with the bullshit arts degree you spent all that loan money on and haven’t done a day of physical labor in your life. Ivan was a veteran of Stalingrad, Afghanistan, and a dozen bush wars. You think “Call of Duty” is too violent and sexist. Ivan packed an AK47 and knew how to use it. Those among you leftists now who even have weapons ditch them after you rob the liquor store or 7/11 and go hide out at your aunt’s Section 8 housing. You don’t have the discipline Ivan did, at least he used the sights. Ivan killed jihadists by the thousands. You make excuses for them and want to invite them into our country.

You all have your reasons for hating America and whether or not I agree isn’t even relevant. I took an oath as did all of my brothers and sisters in uniform to defend this country against all enemies foreign AND domestic. I will always protect your rights to free speech and expression through lawful and civil protest whether or not your cause is something I believe in. However, you seem to believe revolution and violence are the answer now, and that makes you a domestic enemy of the United States I protect and serve. Do it and I’ll teach you how we make the fuckin’ green grass grow. You keep saying you want a revolution, secession, a new Civil War and the election of “Racist/sexist/homophobic/Republican/Nazi/xenophobic/dictator/Islamophobic/rich guy asshole” Donald Trump is the catalyst for you to take action and destroy every evil you perceive this country to stand for…

Well… We’re waiting. Shit or get off the pot.

Iron Mike


Another patriot raises his right hand

The author below is a United States Marine Corps Veteran and  mother of two teenagers

It's been a year in the making and I'm sitting here wondering how it all started. In the midst of the most controversial and divisive moments of our nation, the man I love decided that he was tired of sitting on the sidelines watching and decided to take action. He worked his ass off and displayed the most dedicated discipline I have ever seen. He lost well over 60 pounds on his journey. He gained a mental fortitude and confidence he never held as a child.

When he started speaking to the Army recruiter, I cringed thinking of how it can be tricky to get what you want from them. But, he studied and researched and spoke to my brothers here at Gruntworks and he decided that he wanted to be a medic. And after all the studying he scored high enough and passed his physical. He leaves today.

I'm proud. It's more than just the fact that he's my boyfriend and I love him. It's the fact that he's a 27 year old man, who was working in a highly profitable career field (he's essentially cutting his pay to a third of what he was making); had a house completely paid off; a family and friends here who adore him, and he chose to leave all that to serve this great nation of ours.

It's how hard he worked just to get in; because this country and its future means that much to him. In the face of all the flag burners and American hating turning our country against itself, he's a true son of liberty.

I have been humbled by his work ethic and his dedication to his dreams. I am not ever going to give up on being a patriot and I will choke slam anyone who tries to say anything against this country. You're defaming my brothers and sisters and I can't have that. Not when I witnessed what I did with Chris. Not when I know my son is on his way to being a Marine and my Dad and Grandfather (and everyone else in my family currently serving) were willing to lay down their lives for the very freedom that gives you the sense of entitlement you think you have earned.

So...stay clear of me if you are coming at me with any anti-American bullshit.

And, although you will not claim the same title of Marine as I did, Semper Fidelis, Chris. Proud doesn't even come close.


No men need apply

Women's car service should be welcomed, not sued

by Jeff Jacoby

SAFR, A RIDE-HAILING company for women, is planning to open for business in Boston next month. By hiring only female drivers and picking up only female passengers, the new enterprise aims to serve women who don't feel comfortable getting alone into a car with a male stranger. Here's to Safr's success — may the company encounter only happy customers.

More likely, it will encounter James J. Foster. Or someone just like him.

Foster was the Massachusetts patent lawyer who, in 1996, applied for membership in Healthworks, a tony women's gym in the Back Bay. When he was turned down on the grounds that the facility was for women only, Foster did what any agitator with a law degree would do: He filed a lawsuit, accusing Healthworks of illegal sex discrimination. A state judge, Nonnie Burnes, ruled in his favor. The law banning discrimination in places of public accommodation, she held, overrode any concerns female club members might have about being ogled or embarrassed if forced to work out among men.

So Healthworks and other supporters of single-sex gyms appealed to the Legislature to change the public-accommodations law. Lawmakers swiftly complied, exempting fitness centers from the statute's antidiscrimination provision. Similar bills were passed in other states. As a result, women-only gyms today are alive and well, a thriving sector of the $26 billion US health club industry.

Maybe ride-hailing companies catering to women will develop into a thriving sector of the ride-for-hire industry. But first they'll have to get past the barriers imposed by state and local antidiscrimination laws. As a matter of common sense and customer peace of mind, the case for letting Safr operate freely is no less compelling than the case for Healthworks was. Alas, the women-driving-women startup lacks one valuable asset that Healthworks and similar clubs had: hundreds of thousands of existing members whom lawmakers were anxious to placate.

Safr isn't alone in perceiving a niche market demand to fill. A comparable operation, See Jane Go, is up and running in California, and Shebah is preparing to launch in Australia this month.

For a while, a company called SheRides was going gangbusters in New York, drawing plenty of favorable news coverage. But legal pressure from equal-rights activists and regulators forced the company's founders to spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees; now SheRides is in limbo, no longer available for download at the App Store. Maybe Safr and other startups can avoid that fate, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Should the law ban private companies from discriminating on the basis of sex (or race, religion, ethnicity, etc.)? There is wide agreement that invidious discrimination fueled by bigotry is contemptible, and most Americans accept the authority of government to suppress such ugliness from the marketplace.

But discrimination that isn't clearly rooted in bigotry should be left to the private sector to handle. Where is the virtue in using law to attack perfectly reasonable business ideas — like just-for-women car services or fitness clubs — for no better reason than the fact that they aren't being offered to everyone? It is one thing to disallow supermarkets and motels from refusing to serve black customers. But how about a "black-hair" barbershop for black customers only? Or a dating service restricted to Latinos? Or a men-only drinking club? Or an ex-military boarding house that declines to rent to nonveterans?

In a free society, the presumption — absent overt, invidious bigotry — should always be in favor of allowing private parties to use their own property as they judge best. Markets and civil society, not Big Brother, should be the primary arbiter of what types of discrimination are intolerable. No one should object to a ride-hailing service just for women. What we should all object to is a legal system so obsessed with enforcing equal rights that it denies women the right to choose the ride that feels safest.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


6 February, 2017

I am fully in favour of my country admitting as refugees people who are in danger for their lives elsewhere

But they really do have to be refugees and their average standards of behaviour must be at least as good as the average of the host population. One expects gratitude, not hostility, from those who have been rescued. So, broadly, that excludes Muslims and Africans.

Australia does admit many refugees and has been admitting refugees for a long time. It started before WWII when thousands of Jews fleeing Hitler were admitted.

Then immediately after WWII, large numbers of "displaced persons" in Europe were admitted.  Then in the aftermath of the Vietnam war, large numbers of Asian "boat people" were admitted.

And in between, large numbers of economic migrants from rural Greece and Southern Italy were admitted.

And all those European and East Asian immigrants have blended in to the Australian peoplescape with minimal friction.  Their children act and speak much as other Australians do and their children tend to have a high rate of educational and economic success.  There were a couple of occasions when Yugoslavs bombed one-another but not one Jihadi indulging in random killing has emerged from them.  They have been of clear benefit to the country, bringing new ideas, skills and improved services.

And Leftists use that undoubted fact to argue that ALL immigration is desirable.  But that is just another manifestation of their manic and obviously wrong insistence that all men are equal.  All men are NOT equal and groups of men are also  therefore not equal.

Africans have brought their normal high rate of violent crime to Australia and many of the Australian host population have had much suffering inflicted on them as a result.  And many Australians have also died at the hands of Muslim fanatics.  Had we kept those two groups out, all that suffering would have been avoided. 

So I heartily endorse Donald Trump's moves to protect Americans from hostile sub-groups.  And I support Pauline Hanson's calls to do the same for Australians.  Opinion polls have shown that around 50% of the Australian population support Pauline's ideas in that regard so my thoughts on the issue are perfectly mainstream, not "racist", "xenophobic", "white supremacist" or any of the other insults that Leftists normally hurl at people who support selective immigration.

A coda

I get the impression that most people who have relocated to Australia are in fact grateful for the life they have here but I want to close this essay with a story about how powerful gratitude can be.

Persians appear to be particularly energetic people and that would appear to be why they have over the centuries created three great empires.  Once an empire declines, that is normally the end of it.  But not so Persia.  Hundreds of years later a new Persian empire will arise.  But it was in one of their weaker periods that the Muslims swept through and took control of them.  And in their usual kindly way the Muslims gave them a choice:  Convert or die.

Most converted but there were a few who clung to the native Persian religion of Zoroastrianism.  Zoroastrianism is a rather sensible religion that make a much better job of explaining the problem of evil than Christianity does. 

But when they found that living in Muslim Persia was going to be very dangerous to Zoroastrians, the strong believers fled to Gujurat, in nearby India.  They were received there with tolerance by the local Hindus.  There is a great variety of religious devotions in India so one more was no great problem. 

And the Persians (Parsees) were very grateful for the refuge India had given them.  And they expressed that both in words and later in deeds.  With their Persian energies, the Parsees prospered mightily in India and many became quite rich.  So what did rich Parsees do with their money?  They gave most of it away, initially to poor Parsees but also to other Indians.  They became a major source of charity in India.

So the Parsees did not share the fate of the Jews, with people becoming envious of their success.  There are of course always grumbles but Indians saw that Parsee success benefited them too and Parsees highlighted their giving as a act of gratitude so Indians felt that they had earned the charitable support. nbsp;

So Parsee gratitude for refuge sustained their welcome and even protected them when they became an economic elite.  Being grateful is as powerful as ingratitude is contemptible -- JR.

Make "Doctor Who" a black woman? Please don’t

It’s philistine to obsess over diversity in culture

Predictable as ever, Doctor’, says the Master in the Doctor Who episode ‘The Deadly Assassin’. In a similar vein, the Guardian has followed the announcement that Peter Capaldi is leaving the series with not one but two articles about how the new Doctor must be a woman, black or preferably both. Because white males are boring! After all, it’s 2017. As the Hitler Youth said to the 19th-century humanists: ‘We don’t think like that anymore.’

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having more women and black people cast in mainstream roles. The more the merrier. But when cultural representation of diversity becomes an end in itself, then it becomes meaningless, a box-ticking exercise that distracts from exploring what stories we want to tell and why.

Moreover, when on-screen diversity is seen as the pathway to a more just society we’re in trouble. Not only does this entail a re-essentialising of people along biological lines – something that emancipatory movements, from female to black to gay liberation, fought long and hard to get away from – but it is also, at root, unradical. Diversity of representation is embraced by cultural elites as a gesture that suggests change, but which in fact does nothing but reinvent the ideological status quo to be more palatable. In the end, it is simply the cultural version of capitalist logic: equality will trickle down to the disadvantaged by their representation in culture.

This sort of mainstream, essentialist tokenism also has an impact on freedom of expression – it limits the ways we can think about storytelling.

The real problem with Doctor Who has nothing to do with the gender or race of its actors. As Nicholas Barber notes in The Economist, the contemporary trend is for fictional universes to shrink around the private lives of their characters. Star Wars, James Bond and Sherlock have all lost whatever ambition they might once have had, and have turned into glorified family soap operas. Doctor Who has also been showing strong tendencies in this direction, with the parentage of River Song being a particularly drawn-out, dull and self-involved storyline.

It is useful to note that the James Bond franchise is going through the same agonies in trying to find the right actor to fill the central role. Due to the sense that the franchise has no more interesting stories to tell, the focus is now on who will play the man, with similar attitudes towards atypical (ie, tokenistic) casting being thrown around. Let’s make him black! American! A woman! Etc.

‘Casting is storytelling’, says Joss Whedon. Cast an actor in a role, and you have cast all his previous roles, too. This is why actors become established as ‘types’ so quickly, and why ‘casting against type’ can be either fun or difficult. The art of the casting director is to know the persona that the actor embodies and work out how this can serve the story. This is not always obvious. In this sense, race and gender matter, and finding the right actor for a role matters. But it must only matter to the character.

For example, James Bond has been defined through various personas, but they all added to an essential Bondness that is found in the original character. What drives Bond is that is he’s a failed aristocrat, and this Gestalt is inherent to all his representations across the eras. For this reason he should be white – it is inherent to the meaning of the character. And it is also the reason why Bond is becoming more and more irrelevant. On the other hand, it does not matter if Hermione is played by a black person. Race is not part of who she is.

As Hegel said, ‘The individual does not invent his own content, he is what he is by acting out the universal as his own content’. When you translate this logic into the realm of fiction, it means that, by being true to their own logic, fictional characters achieve universal appeal.

The initial impulse behind Doctor Who was educational. The Doctor could take his audience and explore any time and any place in history. But while Doctor Who still has the superficialities of a sci-fi time-travel show, the underlying need to look outward and explore the new, unfamiliar and Other seems to be missing from recent series. It has been replaced by a seeming obligation to hold a mirror up to the audience and say ‘You exist too!’. The Doctor has become a means for others.

The main question for Doctor Who must be: what story does the next Doctor want to tell? If casting is determined by biology, then the only stories that can be told will concern the character’s meaning to us. We will be stuck with Doctors that ultimately only represent something that is outside themselves – that is, concepts of race and gender.

Trying to create diversity through casting makes us lose sight of the universal, and with it the essence of the stories we want to tell.


Want to defeat fascism? There’s an app for that

The #DeleteUber campaign is lazy and narcissistic.

DeleteUber is a hashtag movement that thinks standing up to Trump is as easy as deleting an app on your phone.

During the protest at New York’s JFK airport against Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, the NY Taxi Workers Alliance, a union with 19,000 members, announced it was going on strike around JFK in solidarity with the protesters. Uber didn’t join the hour-long strike, and in fact tweeted that it was turning off surge prices around JFK. It was swiftly accused of attempting to break the strike and capitalise on the controversy. #DeleteUber started trending on Twitter, and numerous protesters downloaded the rival taxi app Lyft as a replacement. Lyft got more daily downloads than Uber for the first time ever.

#DeleteUber was coined by Dan O’Sullivan, who goes by the Twitter handle @Bro_Pair. He added incentive to the anti-Uber ‘movement’ by promising to retweet every screencap showing users deleting their Uber account, as if they might not actually do it without the promise of a retweet. This makes it more a meme than a movement. Some users said they were deleting Uber because it had ‘colluded’ with ‘fascists’: if only we’d known that defeating ‘fascism’ was as easy as making some swipes on your phone.

O’Sullivan’s retweeting of Uber-deleters included those who had already been using Lyft anyway but wanted to make the statement of deleting Uber, and even people who created an Uber account just so they could delete it. O’Sullivan is aware of the laziness of it all. In response to a tweeter who said, ‘This is literally the easiest one of the hashtag resistance plans you lounge-a-bouts can hope for’, he said: ‘If you can’t make it to an airport, there is an absurdly easy thing even the laziest among us can do.’ Instead of appealing to people’s reason and higher political ideas, he tapped into a sense of lethargy. O’Sullivan sagely observed that ‘this has been the only good thing I’ve seen come from hashtags ever’.

It’s certainly a good thing for Uber’s arch rival, Lyft. It doubled its daily downloads, becoming the No1 downloaded app on the Apple App Store on Sunday. It seems many who criticised Uber for ‘scabbing’ are unaware that Lyft had also carried on driving during the taxi strike — though it has since confirmed that it did so with surge pricing switched on, so I guess that makes everything all right for some reason.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has pledged $3million to a legal defence fund for drivers affected by Trump’s travel ban. Some are suggesting he did this in direct response to the #DeleteUber campaign, in an attempt to salvage the company’s reputation. But this isn’t true: it was in an email sent to Uber drivers before the taxi strike happened that he announced plans to ‘compensate [drivers] pro bono during the next three months to help mitigate some of the financial stress and complications with supporting their families and putting food on the table’. He announced the amount of money this would involve after the #DeleteUber campaign happened.

People are denouncing Uber’s legal defence fund as a cynical PR move; so where is their condemnation of Lyft’s announcement that it will donate $1million to the American Civil Liberties Union? This plan to help ‘defend the Constitution’ was also revealed after #DeleteUber happened, so maybe Lyft is being cynical too, and capitalising on public anger / consumerist switching? The sudden notion that Uber is evil and Lyft is good shows how immature this campaign has been.

Anti-Uber tweeters also criticise Kalanick for being a part of Trump’s business advisory group (he has now stepped down, and this too is hailed as evidence that protest works). But they apparently have no qualms with Peter Thiel being an investor in Lyft: Thiel works in Trump’s transition team and is one of his top tech advisers. While Kalanick (belatedly) called Trump’s travel ban ‘unjust’, Thiel hasn’t condemned it; he simply said he ‘doesn’t support a religious test, and the administration has not imposed one’. Lyft has been careful not to attack Thiel, merely saying they ‘don’t agree’. Presumably this also applies to Carl Icahn, another adviser to Trump, who invested $100million in Lyft.

The urge to #DeleteUber is not really about political protest or standing up for liberty. It’s more about punishment. It feels typical of the shaming culture so entrenched on Twitter. It’s about publicly castigating anyone who has been seen to stray from the correct ideology. It reduces a complex crisis over the rule of law and freedom to another opportunity for virtue-signalling. It’s a complaint against capitalism expressed in a consumerist choice. How narcissistic to look at the plight of refugees and wonder what we should do with our apps to make ourselves feel better.


GOP unveils bill to allow political activity by churches

On the same day President Trump vowed to “destroy” a law preventing religious groups and churches from engaging in political activities, Republicans in the House and Senate introduced legislation to make the proposal reality.

The law known as the Johnson Amendment, first enacted in 1954, prohibits churches and other religious organizations from keeping their tax-exempt status if they endorse political candidates or participate in partisan political activities.

The bill introduced Thursday by Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), who is a Southern Baptist pastor, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) would let the organizations remain tax-exempt and express political views as long as they are made during regular activities. Any associated spending would have to be minimal.

“For too long, the IRS has used the Johnson Amendment to silence and threaten religious institutions and charitable entities. As a minister who has experienced intimidation from the IRS firsthand, I know just how important it is to ensure that our churches and nonprofit organizations are allowed the same fundamental rights as every citizen of this great nation,” Hice said in a statement on Thursday.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) has introduced companion legislation in the upper chamber.  "People who work for a nonprofit still have constitutional rights to assembly, free speech, and free press," Lankford said.

Earlier in the day, Trump reaffirmed his support — first made during his campaign — for getting rid of the Johnson Amendment during remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast.

"I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution," Trump said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


5 February, 2017

Sexual deviants have rights.  Christians don't

My heading above is a blunt summary of the shriek below.  Mr Trump's contemplated order is a balanced one -- preserving existing rights for sexally abnormal people while also extending some rights to Christians.  But the Left want it all.  Any idea of compromise or balance is alien to them. Mr Trump's order would allow homosexuals to go their way while Christians go theirs -- with no need for the two to interact.  What is wrong with that?

LGBT rights activists are up-in-arms over an alleged draft copy of an executive order which was reportedly obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation. If it’s legit, it could have severe ramifications for the LGBT community.

It comes after the White House announced that Donald Trump would not sign an executive order that would have rescinded discrimination protections covering LGBT employees.

However, if the alleged leaked draft of another order is to be believed, LGBT rights are still very much in contention.

The order is titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” and it would effectively give wider control to religious organisations to express their beliefs while weakening anti- discrimination protections.

In a nutshell, extended ‘religious protections’ would apply “when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments.”

So it would basically allow religious organisations to discriminate on the grounds of religious beliefs.

Lambda Legal, a legal organisation that protects LGBT rights say they’re “remaining vigilant and ready to file suit if this Executive Order is issued.”

“The leaked draft of Donald Trump‘s License to Discriminate order is sweeping and dangerous,” said Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “It reads like a wishlist from some of the most radical anti-equality activists. If true, it seems this White House is poised to wildly expand anti-LGBTQ discrimination across all facets of the government — even if he does maintain the Obama EO. If Donald Trump goes through with even a fraction of this order, he’ll reveal himself as a true enemy to LGBTQ people.”


Scotland: the capital of nanny statism

The Scottish government’s record of nanny statism is notorious. Examples of heavy-handed measures include banning the sale of alcohol in supermarkets after 10pm, minimum-pricing laws, bans on smoking in cars with kids, and plans to make Scotland ‘tobacco free’ by 2034. The Scottish parliament’s Health and Sport Committee is well known for its desperate attempts to avoid cutting its own budget by demanding that the public cut its vices. But last week, in light of the news that two-thirds of Scots are obese or overweight, the committee has revealed its plans to call for more illiberal regulations.

Some of the propositions in the new policy demands include restricting discounts and offers on sugary and high-fat foods, as well as restricting car use and promoting alternative transport. In a letter to public-health minister, Aileen Campbell, the committee moaned that unhealthy food is ‘more available and more heavily promoted than in other countries’.The committee conceded that the new measures ‘may initially be unpopular’, but popularity plays second fiddle to the condescending attitude that has long infected Scottish government.

This patronising mentality is also reflected in a statement from Lorraine Tulloch of Obesity Action Scotland, a charity fond of the SNP’s intrusive measures. She said: ‘We are delighted that the Health and Sport Committee has recognised and supported the need for action to tackle price promotions of unhealthy foods. We know that price promotions lead us to buy more than we intended and consume more than we intended.’

Tulloch can’t be serious. Does she really believe that she knows more about our intentions concerning the food we purchase and eat than we ourselves do? Even by Scottish health-zealot standards, this is weird. Tulloch must learn to respect and understand that human beings are rational, autonomous agents. We don’t ‘eat more than we intend’ — we should be trusted to make our own lifestyle choices. A two-for-one deal on chocolate bars is not a health risk that moral agents are incapable of handling.

The convener of the Health and Sport Committee, Neil Findlay MSP, defended the proposed policies: ‘Scotland has not previously been afraid to take the initiative to tackle health-related issues when other interventions have failed. This is why this committee is asking for a bold approach to tackling obesity.’ This, in all its overtly protective language, is a call for further intrusion into the life and liberty of Scots.

We don’t need to be subject to gross social engineering. We don’t need to be treated like ignorant, gullible pawns, shuffling brainlessly towards Scotmid for another high-calorie fix. We drink alcohol because we like alcohol. We eat fatty foods because they’re tasty. We drive cars because they’re useful. We don’t need the obesity-obsessed overlords in Holyrood lecturing us on our lifestyle choices.

Our message to politicians like Findlay should be clear: get stuffed. Who knows, it might make their policies taste less sour.


Hate crime doesn’t deserve a special status

Clare Foges

When the definition of an offence is so broad as to be ludicrous it’s time to unpick the law

Have you followed the twisty tale of our home secretary turned official hate-monger? Last year Amber Rudd launched a “hate crime action plan”, declaring that “hatred has no place whatsoever in a 21st-century Great Britain that works for everyone”. A bold ambition — and the Oxford professor Joshua Silver took up the baton. After Rudd had made a speech suggesting new rules on foreign workers he reported it to the police, complaining that she had used “hate speech to turn Britons against foreigners”. West Midlands police duly recorded a “non-crime hate incident”.

Now for the latest twist in this tale. I feel compelled to report Professor Silver’s reporting of the hate incident as itself a hate incident — motivated by a hatred of Conservatives. By his own admission he had not watched the speech. Was his perception coloured by the fact that it fell from the lips of a Conservative politician? Was this the old anti-Tory prejudice of the leather-elbowed brigade at work?

Yes, hate crime normally refers to race, religion or sexual orientation — but why not political orientation? Some people convert to, say, Islam in their twenties; I converted to Conservatism. In the 12 years since I came out to my lefty family as a Tory, I have been spat at outside party conference; called “Tory scum” on my way to Lady Thatcher’s funeral; abused on doorsteps while out canvassing. Once I had to call the police on a former neighbour who — knowing nothing else but that I worked for David Cameron — used to stand under my window screaming anti-Tory abuse (who knew Jeremy Hunt was rhyming slang?). For just £11 you can go online and buy an organic, low-carbon T-shirt that states that I and fellow Conservatives are “lower than vermin”.

All this strikes at part of my identity. I am victimised because of my beliefs; beliefs that form who I am. So these should be considered hate incidents, potential hate crimes, no?

No. There is hatred, and there is crime, and it is time we stopped muddying them in a way that makes thought an offence and creates a two-tier justice system. “Thought crime” might sound Orwellian but it is being punished today in our justice system. Since the Criminal Justice Act 2003, judges can pass down tougher sentences for certain crimes if the perpetrator was motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Effectively, the prejudice — the thought — is punished in addition to the action itself. This can lead to some startling sentences, such as the two men given eight months in prison last November for throwing a rasher of bacon into a mosque when drunk. The judge explained: “It seems to me that the religious aggravation in the offence is the offence itself.”

Isn’t this rather sinister: that people are punished not only for what they do, but what they think, or what others think they think? How have we slipped into the realm of thought crime with barely a raised eyebrow? And how exactly does all this square with the principle that all are equal under the law?

Quite simply, it doesn’t. Hate crime has created a two-tier justice system, because when it comes to victims, some have special status. Consider this extraordinary passage from the website of the Crown Prosecution Service: “All police forces would want you to report crimes . . . But, if it could be a hate crime, the police will take it even more seriously.” The College of Policing’s guidance goes further, asserting that because “hate crimes can have a greater emotional impact on the victims than comparable non-hate crimes . . . all victims should not be treated the same”. Got that, you white and straight and faithless, you “cisgendered” and able-bodied? If you get beaten up, your bruises and your bleeding are less important in the eyes of the law, less worthy of strong punishment.

‘Thought crime’ might sound Orwellian but it is being punished today
There’s another argument for giving hate crimes special status: because they undermine social cohesion, each crime sowing a seed of division between ethnicities, communities, religions. But I would suggest that the increasing confusion about what hate crime means, who it refers to and what it covers is having its own divisive effect. Put simply, inflated hate crime figures are reinforcing division by painting a picture of a Britain more bigoted and hate-filled than it actually is.

Since hate laws were introduced, their scope has crept, with various police forces extending the groups that could be considered hate victims. Manchester police included punks, goths, emos and metallers. Nottinghamshire bunged misogyny in the hate crime bracket, making wolf whistles potential hate incidents. Sussex started recording offences against the elderly as hate crimes. Police Scotland has a category for “football-related hate crime”. From an insult hurled at a goth to a fraud scam on a granny, all are included in the official figures.

The bar for recording hate incidents is also absurdly low. The College of Policing states: “For recording purposes, the perception of the victim, or any other person, is the defining factor in determining whether an incident is a hate incident . . . Evidence of the hostility is not required. ” It is not facts that matter but perceptions. This might explain the curious statistic that in 2015, 1 per cent of recorded hate crime was bicycle theft.

The vast majority of us want to live in a country that is kind and gentle, where no one fears abuse because of who they are, where we all get along better. But when you punish thought, when you give certain victims special status, when you widen the concept and recording of hate crime beyond sense — that does no good for the cause of cohesion at all.


Hate Crime Legislation Is a Good Idea That Went Bad

Victor Davis Hanson

Last week in Chicago, a white special-needs teenager was held captive by four black youths. The victim was bound, gagged, tortured, forced to drink toilet water, partially scalped, and subject to racially and politically motivated verbal abuse. The perpetrators streamed portions of their violent savagery on Facebook.

After the victim escaped from his assailants and was found on the streets by a police officer, a Chicago police commander initially said he was unsure whether the attack constituted a hate crime — as if that distinction might calibrate the crime’s viciousness.

President Obama was likewise initially hesitant to label this cruelty as a racially motivated hate crime — which was odd given the president’s prior readiness to jump into and editorialize about racially charged cases such as those of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and Trayvon Martin.

Yet it is hard to imagine what additional outrages the Chicago youths might have had to commit to warrant hate-crime status. After public outcry, Chicago prosecutors — along with Obama — confirmed that the attack did indeed, in their opinion, qualify as a “hate crime.”

Many in the media still sought to downplay that classification.

“I don’t think it’s evil,” editorialized CNN anchor Don Lemon, who instead attributed the violence to the offenders' problematic upbringing.

What are the lessons from all the verbal gymnastics concerning “hate crimes”?

Sadly, we are learning that the labeling of hate crimes has become so politicized and ill-defined that the entire concept is unworkable.

The idea of identifying hate crimes gained currency in the 1980s, when reformers wanted lighter penalties for most criminal offenses but also wished to increase punishment for criminal acts that were deemed racist, sexist or homophobic. So hate crimes emerged as new enhancements to criminal punishment, as a way to tack on stiffer penalties for affronts to liberal society at large.

The rationale for designating hate crimes relied on force multipliers in criminal sentencing — such as premeditation that can make murder a first-degree offense. But after years of confusion, how do we consistently and fairly define perceptions of bias or hate as a catalyst for criminal violence?

After all, crimes such as murder and rape are already savage and brutal by nature. Is the killer who shouts bigoted epithets more dangerous to society than the quiet sadist who first tortures his murder victim without comment?

It can be dangerous to redefine a single criminal act as a hate crime against society, given the incentives for manipulation and political distortion.

Recently there arose a spate of reported fake hate crimes in which supposed victims complained that their race or religion earned them violent responses from bigots, suggesting a post-election epidemic of intolerance. Authorities often found that the victims had concocted their stories, either to enhance their political agendas and their own sense of victimization, or simply to win attention and perhaps compensation.

Again, who or what defines a hate crime?

When fanatical Army Maj. Nidal Hasan in 2009 slaughtered non-Muslim soldiers at Fort Hood — shouting “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is great”) as he mowed down his victims — was that a religiously driven hate crime? The politically correct Pentagon thought not. Instead, it labeled Hasan’s murderous rampage as “workplace violence.”

Progressives originally envisioned hate-crime legislation as focusing mostly on a white majority that presumably had a monopoly on prejudice. But FBI hate-crime statistics show that African-Americans commit a disproportionately large share of hate crimes.

The media usually associate religious hate crimes with offenses against Muslims, and warn against endemic “Islamophobia.” Yet statistically, Jews, not Muslims, are the far more frequent victims of religious hate crimes.

Americans can now reasonably wonder whether a reported hate crime might have been staged. In November, for example, a black church in Mississippi was spray-painted with “Vote Trump” graffiti and set afire. Nearly two months later, authorities charged a disgruntled African-American parishioner, not a supposed white supremacist, with the arson.

Sometimes hate-crime status is added to a crime not on the basis of clearly evident prejudice but based on the race of the offender and victim, as the political spin that follows the crime seeks to make larger indictments against society.

In our hypersensitive and litigious society, too many agendas have warped the once-noble idea of hate-crime legislation. It has become a fossilized relic of the 1980s that was well-intended, became incoherent and politicized — and now should be scrapped.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


3 February, 2017

Soros’s Women’s March of Hate

The Left’s rage unleashed on the streets of Washington

On Saturday, the nation’s capital was inundated with masses of loud, obnoxious, foul-mouthed Trump-hating women (and some men) at what was billed the “Women’s March on Washington.” The Guardian called the event a “spontaneous” action for women’s rights, while Vox spoke of a “huge, spontaneous groundswell” behind the march.

While the mainstream media bombarded news consumers with news stories claiming few Americans were interested in the inauguration festivities, television ratings for President Donald Trump’s inauguration were the second-highest Nielsen has recorded in 36 years, drawing 30.6 million TV viewers across 12 networks. Factoring in live streams provided by the networks, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other online portals adds millions more viewers to the total. But what happened Saturday at the “Women’s March” was not spontaneous. No mass rallies are, especially on the Left.

This so-called “protest”, like the violent attacks orchestrated by the DisruptJ20 coalition on pro-Trump events such as Friday’s “DeploraBall” at the National Press Club, was not an organically generated demonstration.

The usual culprits were involved behind the scenes using the same fascistic tactics they used to shut down the massive Trump campaign rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago in March last year.

The groups that organized the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday were underwritten by radical currency speculator George Soros, the same man who says Communist China’s system of government is superior to our own and that the United States is the number one obstacle to world peace.

The Soros people brought in protesters from all over the country to express their displeasure with Donald Trump on his first full day as president of the United States. These left-wingers don’t accept the votes of the 63 million Americans in 3,084 of the nation’s 3,141 counties or county equivalents who chose Trump as president. They keep telling themselves the lie over and over again that Trump is somehow not a legitimate president even though he received a majority of Electoral College votes, as the Constitution requires.

Writing in the New York Times, Asra Q. Nomani writes that “the march really isn’t a ‘women’s march.’ It’s a march for women who are anti-Trump.”

Nomani is a former Georgetown journalism professor and Wall Street Journal reporter who describes herself as “a lifelong liberal feminist who voted for Donald Trump for president.”

She continues:

As someone who voted for Trump, I don’t feel welcome, nor do many other women who reject the liberal identity-politics that is the core underpinnings of the march, so far, making white women feel unwelcome, nixing women who oppose abortion and hijacking the agenda.

Nomani burnt the midnight oil poring over, in her words, “the funding, politics and talking points of the some 403 groups that are ‘partners’ of the march.”

She discovered that “Soros has funded, or has close relationships with, at least 56 of the march’s ‘partners,’ including ‘key partners’ Planned Parenthood, which opposes Trump’s anti-abortion policy, and the National Resource Defense Council, which opposes Trump’s environmental policies.”

According to Nomani, among the Soros grantees designated as “partners” in the Women’s March on Washington are MoveOn, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.

In a spreadsheet she links to in her article she identifies plenty more organizations that are partners in the march that have received grants through the two major Soros philanthropies, the Open Society Institute and the Foundation to Promote Open Society.

Some of the other left-wing Soros-funded groups involved in the women’s event were: Advancement Project; American Constitution Society; America’s Voice; Arab American Association of New York; Asian Americans Advancing Justice; Center for Reproductive Rights; Color of Change; Communities United for Police Reform; Demos; Economic Policy Institute; Every Voice; Green for All; League of Women Voters; Make the Road New York; MPower Change; NAACP; NARAL Pro-Choice America Fund; National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum; National Council of Jewish Women; National Domestic Workers Alliance; National Network for Arab American Communities; National Council of La Raza; PEN America; Psychologists for Social Responsibility; Public Citizen; United We Dream; and Voter Participation Center.

Muslim terrorist supporter Linda Sarsour, president of the Arab American Association of New York, was deeply involved in planning march-related events. Sarsour has familial ties to HAMAS and works with the terrorist front group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

One of the angry women to show up in Washington was the entertainer Madonna who told the crowd of Trump-haters that she thought many times about “blowing up the White House” but had decided against it because it “wouldn’t change anything.” She is expected to be investigated by the Secret Service. On stage, Madonna wore a “pussyhat” created for the occasion and used the F-word four times. The vagina motif among leftist protesters is nothing new. Code Pink has been using it for years. But it was given new life after audio footage was published during the campaign that captured Trump’s locker room remark, “grab ’em by the pussy.”

The marchers took the vulvar vulgarity a step further. Apart from the usual pro-choice and male-bashing placards, they carried signs reading: “My neck, my back, my pussy will grab back”; “Stay cunty”; “Pussy trumps tyranny”; “Keep your politics off my pussy”; “Mike Pence has never satisfied a woman in his life”; “Support your sisters not just your cis-ters”; “We are the grand-daughters of the witches you could not burn”; and “It’s feminist not feminazi[.]”

The atmosphere in downtown Washington wasn’t much different from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last summer. The same in-your-face radicalism and hatred of cops and white people.

Radical documentary maker Michael Moore handed the microphone to actress Ashley Judd who read a goofy, childish poem aloud. “I feel Hitler in these streets,” Judd said, “A mustache traded for a toupee. Nazis renamed.”

So many washed-up celebrities turn to political activism as people stop caring about them. It’s a coping mechanism Mother Nature invented to ease them into irrelevance. They shout and carry on and we forget about them.

Angela Davis, the academic and former Black Panther, spoke at the event. She was described by Elle as a “[c]ivil rights activist.” The article left out that she used to be a fugitive and that she ran for U.S. vice president in 1980 and 1984, alongside Gus Hall, on the ticket of the Communist Party USA. In 1991 she was expelled from the CPUSA for opposing the coup against then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. She joined an arguably more radical group called the Committees of Correspondence.

Davis’s speech consisted of the usual tedious ultra-politically correct drivel, praising traitors, terrorists, and cop killers.

Women’s rights are human rights all over the planet and that is why we say freedom and justice for Palestine. We celebrate the impending release of Chelsea Manning. And Oscar López Rivera. But we also say free Leonard Peltier.

“The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance,” Davis said. “Resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.”

Davis saw no need to tone down her rhetoric because she was addressing true believers.

Her co-religionists were busy trying to burn down Washington in the days prior to her address.

Unrepentant terrorist and Obama pal Bill Ayers showed up in Washington for the inaugural festivities with his terrorist wife, Bernardine Dohrn.

“On our way to demonstrate for several days in Washington,” Ayers wrote on his blog Jan. 19. The same day Ayers appeared on a TV show hosted by a fellow small-c communist, “The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann,” on the Russian government controlled-RT America network.

Former President Obama launched his career in electoral politics in 1995 in the Hyde Park, Chicago living room of Ayers and Dohrn. They hosted a fundraiser for Obama for his run for the Illinois State Senate.

Austin, Texas-based anarchist Lisa Fithian also came to Washington to cause trouble. She led the union goons and anarchists who rioted during the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. She also organized riots as part of the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movement and community-organized in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.

She was part of the “queer dance party” Jan. 18 that was intended to intimidate Mike Pence at his pre-inaugural home in the Chevy Chase neighborhood in Northwest Washington.

“We are here to celebrate the queer liberation and say that love will trump hate,” Fithian told CNN. “Mike Pence needs to find his heart and recognize that this is a country that needs to be loving and welcoming to everyone. If they want to make America great again, we actually need to embrace our humanity.”

Black mask-wearing rioters destroyed private property a few blocks from the White House, smashing windows at a Bank of America branch, a Starbucks, and a McDonald’s. They set cars and trash cans on fire and assaulted police using crowbars, bottles, and sticks. They blocked uniformed Air Force officers from entering the inauguration grounds. They injured at least six cops. About 3,000 local, state, and federal law enforcement officers were stationed in Washington, along with 5,000 members of the National Guard.

Perhaps unaware that he works for their friends in the Russian government, rioters torched the limousine of RT America broadcaster Larry King.

At least 217 individuals were arrested and charged with rioting. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said each offender is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The violence in Washington and cities across the country was organized by fringe-left groups that wield a lot of influence in organizing circles.

And as my colleagues at Dangerous Documentaries, the documentary-making division of Capital Research Center discovered, organizers from two communist groups, the Workers World Party (WWP) and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) were integral to planning DisruptJ20 demonstrations and riots across America during Inauguration Week.


What's Got Into the "National Geographic"?

     The National Geographic Magazine, to which my family has been subscribing since 1963, frequently contains article which are not, strictly speaking, geographic in nature. For many decades they have provided grants for the study of wild animals, the results of which have been published in the magazine, but at least they can be justified as being set in exotic foreign places. Ditto the forays into archaeology, and history.

Nevertheless, it is hard to see the geographic justification of articles on the King James Bible (December 2011), food (December 2014), or beauty (January 2000). This is not to say that I objected to these articles; I found them very interesting. However, in January 2017 they dropped all lip service to their original charter, not to mention common sense, when they jumped onto the latest bandwagon, with an entire issue dedicated to the "gender revolution".

     Now, as I have written previously, I have known individual transsexuals, and I am sympathetic to their plight, to the extent that I consider the current bandwagon will eventually run over and crush them. And that is what is so very wrong with the National Geographic issue. It's not that some of its details are incorrect or misleading; it is the approval it gives to the movement, the way it expresses itself to normalise abnormality. They talk about "assigned gender" as if it is merely some cultural attribute and not a recognition of anatomy. They even used the term, "gender-confirmation surgery."

     Advice to Parents

     There is a page entitled, "Helping Families Talk About Gender", which provides the following advice:

All children need the opportunity to explore different gender roles and styles of play. Ensure your young child's environment reflects diversity in gender roles and opportunities for everyone.

    Whatever for? After all, it is one thing not to get alarmed if your children don't completely conform to society's sex stereotypes, but it is quite another to proactively encourage them to deviate from the norm, even if they don't exhibit any such desire. They will find life be much easier if they manage to slip into the roles society expects them to play.

      National Geographic prides itself on fully validating their statements (there is an apocryphal story of them trying to find out if corn really can grow as high as an elephant's eye), but here they appear to have uncritically adopted the latest politically correct doctrines - in this case from the politicized American Academy of Pediatrics, from whose website it is taken. For example, they state:

Research suggests that gender [presumably they mean a person's subjective feelings about his or her sex] is something we are born with; it can't be changed by any interventions.

     Well, yes and no. It is true that gender dysphoria usually starts at a very early age. But what does "born with" mean except that the victim was programmed from the start to turn out that way? Yet on pages 48-49 they show a photo of two brothers, one of whom decided at age 17 to , so to speak, become a woman. But since they were identical twins, it is hard to see how genes, uterine environment or, indeed, anything simple could have caused it. True, I know of no therapy, effective or ineffective, being proposed for adult gender dysphoria (this extraordinary exception was probably a one-off). However, the AAP admits that for some young children identifying as the opposite sex may be temporary, and some do not end up as adult transsexuals. That's putting it mildly; it is well established that 80 to 95% of children with gender dysphoria grow out of it. Under such circumstances, it doesn't seem unreasonable that they could be helped towards normality with a bit of appropriate therapy.

    Similarly, we have the statement, taken straight from the AAP website:

Understand that gender identity and sexual orientation cannot be changed, but that the way people identify their gender identity or sexual orientation may change with time as they discover more about themselves.

     Essentially, these are weasel words to avoid the reader seeing the real meaning ie that they cannot be changed (ie by any external therapy), but they can change spontaneously. It is surely important for parents to know whether there is any possibility or probability that their child will revert to normality in his or her own good time.

     We have already mentioned the high rate of spontaneous reversion for gender dysphoria. For homosexuality, The US ADD-Health Survey found that 72% of males and 55% of females who were homo at age 16 were hetero at age 22. Nor does it stop at adulthood. Studies in many different countries have established that a high proportion of adult homosexuals revert to normal in later life, and there are many accounts of spontaneous changes. (You can a fully referenced list in PDF form here.)

The Spring 2016 edition of Scientific American Mind vol. 25(1) was a special edition entitled "The Sexual Brain", which included an article by Robert Epstein. In this we were introduced to Matt Avery (a pseudonym), who "came out" as homosexual, and an effeminate one at that, at age 17, and had several hundred male sexual partners, followed by a four year relationship with a male lover. But at the age of 24, he was shocked when his lover announced that being gay "wasn't a truth" for him. When his lover, now roommate, dated a woman, Matt decided he might try it too. To cut a long story short, within two or three years he was dating women exclusively, and at the time of writing he had been married to one for eleven years, and even his same-sex sexual fantasies had disappeared.

     As for change induced by therapy, it is incredible that people keep insisting it doesn't work when there are so many ex-gays testifying that they were once wholly or predominantly homo and are now wholly or predominantly hetero. Don't they know their own feelings, or are they all lying for some reason? The only way to prove a therapy doesn't work would be to have a longitudinal study of a large number of conscientious patients and establish a 100% - not 70%, 80%, or 90%, but 100% - failure rate. In fact, a success rate of a third or a half has been established in about 100 different studies.

     The Gender Benders

     The core article in the issue is the one entitled, "Rethinking Gender". "Gender" is never specifically defined, but it appears to mean the person's subjective feelings. The article describes, more or less accurately, the occasional chromosomal, endocrine, or anatomic abnormalities which muddy the waters.

However, the main focus is on gender dysphoria, but it is presented not as a mental illness, but essentially as a lifestyle choice. There is little about adult transsexuals, and their problems, but a lot about child transsexuals, without mentioning the very high reversion rate to normality, or of the possible dire consequence of mutilating the body.

     It features 17 years old Charlie Spiegel, a girl who now calls herself "he". Femininity never felt right for her. Then, in her first year of high school, she went to the school library and found I Am J, a novel about a transgender boy, which clarified matters for her. Why was that book in the library?  American school libraries are perverse establishments, which will ban an anti-racist classic like Huckleberry Finn because it uses the word, "nigger", but will plant, like some insidious booby trap, a book whose sole purpose is to validate a mental illness, and lead confused young people down the wrong path.

     There is a photo of six years old Henry, who still appears to call himself a boy, but considers himself "gender creative". Does a six year old really know what such a term means? His parents have enrolled him in the Rainbow Day Camp so that he can find the vocabulary to explain his feelings. In other words, they are reinforcing his aberration!

     To be fair, some child transsexuals are "insistent, persistent, and consistent" at a very early age. I would hate to be in their parents' shoes. However, it must be accepted that giving in to the child's mental illness, even if it is the only option available, is a recognition of defeat, not some sort of victory. And I really think it is a bad idea to violate their children's privacy by publicising their condition, and putting their photographs on the internet, or in glossy magazines.

And here, I might add, the Australian edition of National Geographic is different from the American original. The cover on our edition features a group of what I can only call weirdos, illustrating the various aberrations of "gender". But the American cover features the photo found on page 31 of our edition: that of nine year old Avery Jackson, who presents as a pretty little girl, but is really a boy. About this, the ex-transsexual, Walt Heyer has some caustic words:

"Even if young Avery is willing to be used in this way, National Geographic's cover photo is exploitation. The health and well-being of this child are being sacrificed to advance a political and cultural crusade. Avery may not realize that his feelings and photos are a revenue source for National Geographic and a strategic tool for the LGBTQ lobby. Yes, the bright lights are squarely on Avery. He is today's poster child - a hero, at least for now. But Avery's male sex is unchangeable, while feelings do change. What will surface eight, ten, or even thirty years from now? Anyone who thinks that affirming his transgenderism can undo Avery's innate male sex has caught the contagion of mass delusion. Avery's mom surely thinks she is helping her son, just as my grandmother thought she was "helping" me. Today, my body bears the scars from all the unnecessary surgeries I endured because as a young boy I was enabled, encouraged, and provided opportunity to act out such a fantasy.

 It is naïve to believe there are no negative outcomes from using this young boy as a symbol and presenting him as an activist. National Geographic's irresponsible imagery of a cross-dressing boy on the cover will no doubt ratchet up the spread of the contagion that is transgenderism.  Notably, the magazine does not include any interviews with individuals who have had their lives destroyed by the long-term consequences of cross-dressing and gender confusion. Cross-dressing eroded my true gender which in turn ruined my teen years, ripped apart my marriage, and ended my career."

       It also reports on various "third genders" accepted in certain societies, without mentioning that they are still expected to adopt an established stereotype, just like the two real genders. In practically all cases, such as the fa'afafine of Samoa specifically explored, they are male homosexuals expected to act like women. As such, it is disturbing to see a photo of two boys already adopting this stereotype at ages 10 and 12 respectively. With some, it appears to run in the family. To me this suggests a form of social contagion; if Uncle Andrew is a fa'afafine, and he's a nice man, why not try it out yourself?

But a professor of psychology suggests that, although the gene for homosexuality cannot be passed in the male line, perhaps it improves the reproductive success of female carriers. Or perhaps the fa'afafine provide a service in helping to raise their relatives' children.

     Well, as someone whose degrees were in zoology rather than psychology, I have some serious problems with both hypotheses.
Natural selection will effectively eliminate any gene which produces sterility in one sex, unless it actually doubles the reproductive success of the other sex.

Any investigations of current reproductive success will be based on a low fertility/low infant mortality system - which is the opposite of what it was like just a couple of generations ago.
The heritabilty of homosexuality is very low. If a homosexual has an identical twin, that twin - same genes, same environment - will be homosexual in only 11% of cases.

 In any case, that's not how genes work. They affect behaviour by tweaking the amount and timing of hormones, the response to hormones, the response to such things as frustration, and so forth. In other words, they just point the individual in the direction he or she may go. Any genetic effect on homosexuality will thus be indirect, weak, and the result of multiple genes.

   If I can spot errors in matters I know about, how trustworthy should I regard the rest of the article?

   It also quoted a survey of a thousand millennials, half of whom agreed that gender is a spectrum. Again, this is the sort of thing which gets my BS-detector ringing. What does that statement really mean? More to the point, how does the questioner know exactly what the respondent thinks it means? If it means anything at all, it demonstrates that a lot of young people are confused - and it is articles like this which produced the confusion.


Boy Scouts Spit on Grave of Baden-Powell

This could be fun.  The "boys" concerned are actually girls.  What ho a few pregnancies out of this?

Rueters reports that the Boy Scouts will begin accepting girls into the Boy Scouts, provided the girls pretend they are boys, or suffer from a mental illness making them unable to comprehend which sex they are, or their parents suffer from a mental illness making them unable to comprehend which sex their child is.

Here is the story:

“Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application,” Boy Scouts of America communications director Effie Delimarkos said in an emailed statement.

This came about because of a single case, one single individual, am 8-year girl who wanted to join a boy scout troop.

She had apparently sneaked into a Boy Scout troop in New Jersey, and been expelled when it was discovered she was a girl dressed as a boy.

The girl’s parents are willing, in the light of this decision, that she rejoin this troop, but only if the scoutmaster who had expelled her is removed from his position. How gracious and non-vindictive of them.

I was told the parents had no real interest in pressing the matter, but that they were hounded by activist Leftist into doing so.

Unlike the decision to admit sexual perverts into the company of young boys, this decision to have teen girls bunking in tents and showing with adolescent boys in a movement allegedly design to teach boys morals, virtues, and manhood, was made with no previous debate among the membership.

No one was consulted. It was simply an ambush.

I have heard that since the decision to admit gays, the movement has lost approximately half its members and half its funding.

I have been in scouting as a youth, as was my father before me, and my children after me.

A Navy officer’s child, my family was uprooted and moved across country once every few years, so such things as childhood friends, or staying in one school, are unknown to me. But there was a scout troop in whatever new town my father’s new duty station sent us. It was the one constant.

My eldest son is an Eagle Scout. That is one of the proudest things in my life.

The SJWs have effectively killed off scouting. Churches and other non-insane, non-evil groups may or may not start youth movement of their own, but it will not have the universal and international character of Boy Scouts.

My youngest boy is First Class. He goes camping every month, and goes to the meeting once a week. My middle boy is severely autistic and retarded, and cannot speak, but the boy scout troop he is in has always welcomed him and made him feel comfortable. He is a Tenderfoot. Without them, he would have no opportunity for hiking and camping and experiencing the great outdoors.

Must I now pull my boys out of their Troop? Or, by acquiescence, affirm the loathsome evils and insolent lies preached and demanded by the Left?

Something I have supported, respected, and loved dearly and deeply for all the years of my life is ripped away. Something sacred has been cruelly and deliberately desecrated by yowling subhumans who hate all life and decency.

Something good was targeted, marred, demeaned, and slain because, and only because it is good.


In crackdown on illegal immigration, Australia has led the world

The writer below seems to think that is a bad thing but makes no mention of the arguments against illegal immigration -- such as the high rate of welfare dependency among the groups principally concerned

Many have expressed opposition and abhorrence towards US President Donald Trump’s plan to deport undocumented migrants en masse from the United States.

Last Wednesday, Trump signed executive orders vowing to deport or incarcerate an estimated 2-3 million non-citizens who have been charged with or convicted of a crime; who have “abused” public welfare programs; and who, in the opinion of an immigration officer, “pose a risk to public safety or national security”.

A further executive order instructed the US Department of Homeland Security to publish a “weekly list” of crimes committed by undocumented migrants. When signing the order, the president – performing a kind of dark political pageant – recited names of Americans allegedly murdered by undocumented migrants.

Before Trump, the Obama administration deported more than 2.5 million immigrants from the time he took office until 2015, more than any other US president. Two-thirds of deportees had committed only minor infractions, such as driving without a license or jumping a turnstile. Others had no criminal record at all. In the same period, detention of non-citizens increased by 25%.

Trump’s executive orders may take racialised border control, Islamophobia and aggressive deportation of non-citizens to new extremes. But in the last two decades, successive Australian governments have paved the way in showing there is no rock bottom when it comes to strict treatment of refugees and non-citizens.

On Monday, former Australian immigration minister, Scott Morrison, boasted that “the world is catching up to Australia” by implementing harsh border protection policies. The executive in Australia can already deport adult non-citizens found guilty or suspected of criminal offences. These powers apply to all non-citizens, including people who have lived in Australia for most of their lives or whose immediate family are Australian citizens.

The Turnbull government has repeatedly trumpeted its offshore detention centres, where asylum seekers are held in conditions that have been described by the UN as amounting to torture, as the prototype for tough border control. Indeed, this week Turnbull “welcomed” the US to “emulate” Australia’s approach.

US and Australian border control policies comprise part of what US law professor Juliet Stumpf has called the “crimmigration crisis”: a trend of migration law – with its largely unfettered and unscrutinised executive powers – encroaching on the distinct regime of the criminal law, and vice versa.

A symptom of this crimmigration crisis is that immigration officials increasingly adopt a “law and order” approach to migration control. Police resources are diverted away from prosecuting criminal offences and towards policing “irregular” or “undocumented” migrants. Non-citizens live in a perpetual state of anxiety, fearful that their interactions with police, state welfare agencies, their employers or their neighbours, might result in an allegation that could lead to their removal. Penalties imposed on non-citizens are often cruelly disproportionate to their alleged transgressions.

The Australian government has expanded its visa cancellation powers against non-citizens for criminal or “anti-social” conduct across three key areas.

The first is on “character grounds”. The immigration minister may cancel a visa if s/he reasonably suspects a non-citizen does not pass the character test. Changes introduced under former prime minister Tony Abbott in 2014 significantly expanded these powers.

Before 2014, two consecutive years of imprisonment were required as grounds for visa cancellation. Now, a person may not pass the character test if they are serving a sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment; if the minister reasonably suspects the person is “associated” with someone involved in criminal conduct ; if the minister foresees a risk that they may engage in criminal conduct; or if the person harasses, molests, intimidates or stalks someone in Australia.

Between 2013–14 and 2015–16, the number of visa cancellations on character grounds increased tenfold. In 2015-16, the immigration minister Peter Dutton cancelled 983 visas on character grounds.

The Australian government has signalled its intention to expand these already-broad powers. This year, Dutton announced that a parliamentary committee was looking at lowering the age for visa cancellation on character grounds to include children of 16 or 17 years. This would allow the commonwealth to further encroach on “law and order” issues including Victoria’s Apex gang-related problems. Such criminal justice issues are ordinarily within the purview of state and territory governments.

The second category of visa cancellation exists for actual or suspected criminals. The minister may cancel the bridging visas of people who have committed or are suspected of committing a crime. Between 29 June 2013 and 9 October 2016, the minister used these powers to cancel 322 bridging visas of so-called “illegal maritime arrivals”.

These migration law powers reverse the fundamental presumption of innocence under Australian common law. An asylum seeker charged with, but not convicted of, a crime may have just 10 minutes to make their case against visa cancellation.

At the close of 2016, the Commonwealth Ombudsman released two reports expressing serious concerns about the exercise and scope of the minister’s immigration powers. The Ombudsman found that people whose visas had been cancelled faced “unnecessarily prolonged and potentially indefinite periods of immigration detention”. This is due to the combination of delays in the resolution of criminal charges and a neglectful, under-resourced immigration case management system.

One of the government’s unprecedented initiatives was when in 2013, it introduced a code of behaviour for asylum seekers living in the community. This code, which all bridging visa holders over 18 must sign, forbids asylum seekers from engaging in “antisocial” or “disruptive” activities including spitting, swearing, bullying, being “disrespectful” or “inconsiderate”. It demands that asylum seekers respect “Australian values” and cooperate with government authorities. If accused of a breach, an asylum seeker (not the minister) must prove s/he did not engage in the alleged behaviour.

Consequences of breaching the code are severe. They include being sent to an onshore or offshore detention centre (such as Nauru or Manus Island); reduced (already meagre) income support payments; and separation of the family unit.

In recent protests against the “Muslim ban” in New York, demonstrators shouted “let them stay” outside the courthouse that placed a temporary stay on the ban. This demand is all-too familiar to Australians who oppose the government’s treatment of asylum seekers.

Trump’s executive orders against non-citizens constitute crimmigration in action. Rather than sigh with relief in the knowledge that we are not living in Trump’s America, Australians should recognise how his policies are founded and reflected in our own



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


2 February, 2017

Feminists should face their own flaws, not sneer at Melania Trump

Her husband was inaugurated on a Friday. By Monday, America’s new first lady had become an internet meme. An eight-second gif that showed her flashing her husband a broad smile when he turned to look at her, which quickly evaporated when he turned around, went viral within hours.

The narrative quickly caught on. #FreeMelania trended across social media. “Melania, blink twice if you need help!” urged some of the banners on display at the Women’s Marches held the day after the inauguration. Liberal media outlets weighed in. “Watch this clip of Melania Trump during the inauguration then pray for her” tweeted the Huffington Post. Slate offered us a “detailed forensic analysis of Melania’s creepy, devastating inauguration smile/frown”. An image of the Tiffany gift box she gave Michelle Obama – open and containing a note pleading “HELP” – was shared thousands of times.

Much of this was couched in ironic liberal jest. Because yes, making light of domestic violence is simply hilarious. But some have gone so far as to earnestly argue that we should be genuinely concerned for Melania Trump’s welfare. The feminist writer Laurie Penny wrote a column last year imploring us to feel sympathy for America’s “first victim”. She speculates about Trump’s smile as the smile of a woman who is afraid; about her speech on cyber-bullying as a veiled cry for help; and paints a picture of her as someone “with a gun discreetly pointed at her back, with her necklines so high her clothes seem to be trying to strangle her and that rictus smile that never reaches her eyes”.
First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump © Hopkins/Rex Images First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump

In jest or in earnest, there is a rank hypocrisy here that sits uncomfortably with me. It’s deeply sexist to erode a woman’s agency, imposing an abuse narrative on her to fit your own political take on the world, on the basis of little more than conjecture.

It hardly needs pointing out there are any number of reasons Trump might have momentarily frowned. A quick online search throws up dozens of stills from past inaugurations where the stiff awkwardness of an incoming presidential couple contrasts starkly with the easy grace of their soon-to-be predecessors, much more comfortable in their skins.

And reading a self-professed feminist commenting on another woman’s high necklines left me feeling more than a little queasy. At the heart of #FreeMelania sits a patronising assumption of a feminist false consciousness: how else could a woman marry a blatant misogynist, and defend his birtherism and anti-immigration positions, unless she’s a puppet in an abusive relationship?

There’s nothing new about women in public life being held to a very different standard to men in terms of their appearance and how they conduct themselves in front of the cameras. But #FreeMelania has been perpetrated by people who really ought to know better. People who would be the first to call out men such as Trump who pass off their disgusting remarks about sexually harassing women as “locker-room talk”. Or to challenge the idea that Hillary Clinton might be too old to be president, when she would have been younger than Ronald Reagan was at his inauguration.

None of this is to distract from the enormous fight feminists have on their hands, with a self-confessed, p-----grabbing misogynist, who thinks nothing of trashing women based on their looks or signing away their reproductive rights, now firmly entrenched in the White House.

But #FreeMelania is neither just a harmless joke, nor just an opportunity for some women superciliously to question other women’s feminist credentials in a way that distracts from the real fight. I think it betrays an important truth about how discrimination manifests itself.

Our collective dirty secret is that none of us is entirely above discriminating against others on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, class or age. Very few of us are immune to the unconscious bias that creeps in as a result of the way we’re socialised from early childhood. If you don’t believe me, take an online implicit bias test. I did and it showed that I have a slight unconscious gender bias. If I’m totally honest, I know it, too. I can’t be the only person who sometimes catches myself horrified and mid-thought in a social situation, realising I’m about to make an assumption about someone because of their age or gender.

Some #FreeMelaniers may have been fully aware and not particularly bothered they were perpetrating a sexist trope. But I bet some didn’t even think about it, which is an important reminder that combating sexism isn’t just about going on marches, campaigning for change and demanding others behave differently. It is also about practising what you preach.

This is where feminism on the left sometimes falls down; when people get so caught up in the self-righteousness of their own political narrative that they forget to also hold themselves to account. Feminists should constantly be asking themselves difficult questions. Am I supporting the progression of younger women in the male-dominated environments in which I work? If I’ve bagged myself a spot at the top table, am I doing what I can to make sure there are other women there? I bet if a lot of us were straight with ourselves, we’d admit there’s more we could do.

“When they go low, we go high,” declared Michelle Obama in one of the best political speeches of last year. Some on the left seem to think that what they do is, by definition, going high. #FreeMelania is a useful reminder that going high isn’t just about loftily calling out the behaviour of others from our morally superior heights. It must also be about holding up a mirror to ourselves.


Lower Conduct Standards for Liberals

By Walter E. Williams

One can only imagine the widespread media, political and intellectual condemnation of Republicans and conservatives if, after the inauguration of Barack Obama, they had gone on a violent and vicious tear all over the nation as did Democrats and liberals after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. They committed acts such as assaulting Trump supporters, setting fires and stoning police. Suppose Republicans/conservatives had carried signs that read "F— Obama" or talked about "blowing up the White House." The news media, instead of calling them protesters, would have labeled them evil racists, obstructionists and everything else except a child of God. The reason for the difference in treatment is simple. Republicans and conservatives are held — and hold themselves — to higher standards of behavior. By contrast, Democrats and liberals are held — and hold themselves — to less civilized standards of behavior. Let's look at some of the history of conservative and liberal behavior.

One of the nastiest more recent liberal events was the Occupy movement around the nation. During Occupy protests, there were rapes, assaults, robberies and holdups. These people publicly defecated and urinated on police cars. The mess they left after their demonstrations can be described as no more than a pigsty. Does anybody recall any Democratic official, from the president on down, admonishing them to behave? Contrast their behavior with that of tea party protesters. Tea partyers didn't set fires, stone police or engage in the other kinds of despicable behavior the liberal Democrats did. On top of that, they left the areas where they protested clean.

Ask yourself whether you have ever seen Republicans/conservatives rioting, turning over police cars, looting, setting places of business on fire and shouting obscenities while marching. Have you ever seen conservatives marching with chants calling for the murder of police officers? You may have heard liberals yelling, "What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!" In fact, virtually all of the violence against police — whether it's throwing stones, ambushing or murdering — is committed by liberals or people who'd identify as Democrats. The fact of the matter is that if we were to examine criminality in America — whether talking about murderers, muggers or prisoners — it would be dominated by people who would be described as liberals, Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters.

Democrats and liberals accuse Republicans of conducting a war on women. Assault, rape and murder are the worst things that can be done to a woman. I would bet a lot of money that most of the assaults, rapes and murders of women are done by people who identify as liberals, and if they voted or had a party affiliation, it would be Democratic.

One of the most glaring examples of how liberals are held to lower standards comes when we look at what they control. The nation's most dangerous big cities in 2012 were Detroit, Oakland, St. Louis, Memphis, Stockton, Birmingham, Baltimore, Cleveland, Atlanta and Milwaukee. The most common characteristic of these cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some cities — such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark and Philadelphia — haven't elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. It's not just personal safety. These Democratic-controlled cities have the poorest-quality public education despite the fact that they have large and growing school budgets. Most of these dangerous cities have suffered massive decreases in population. Some observers have suggested that racism has caused white flight to the suburbs. But these observers ignore the fact that black flight has become increasingly significant. It turns out that black people do not like to be mugged and live in unsafe neighborhoods any more than white people.

Republicans and conservatives, including President Trump, should not gripe or whine about different treatment by the liberal media. Magnanimity commands that we have compassion and try to understand our fallen brethren. We should make every effort to sell them on the moral superiority of personal liberty and its main ingredient — limited government.


My Vagina Doesn’t Care for Your Identity Politics

By Abigail R. Hall Blanco 

A couple years ago I arrived in New Orleans for a small conference. Prior to the opening dinner and reception, I went to the hotel gym to exercise. There was a man on one of the other cardio machines, and a national news network was on the TV. I got on the treadmill and start running.

On the screen appeared Hillary Clinton, then seeking the Democratic nomination for president. The story centered on Clinton’s historic run. In particular, the reporters were asking women what they thought of Hillary Clinton and the idea of voting for a woman. The respondents stated that voting for a woman would be an amazing experience. They mentioned nothing of her politics, only her gender.

At this point, the man on the other machine said,

Excuse me. Can I ask you a question?


Would you ever vote for someone because of their gender?

My response was quick.

I’d much prefer to know what’s going on between someone’s ears than their legs.

He seemed pleased with this answer. We chatted a bit more and uncovered we were both attending the same conference. We’d talk more that weekend about Clinton’s run, politics, and economics.

That quick conversation in the gym stuck with me. First of all, it’s a pretty bold way to start a discussion. But more importantly, I suppose it was the first time I’d really thought about the idea of voting for someone based on a particular characteristic or basing my decisions off of my gender. Such an idea seemed downright nuts.

Apparently, the world’s gone mad.

This past election has centered around identity politics—the notion that one’s political positions are based on the groups with which they identify (e.g. female, black, gay, disabled, white, male, etc.). On social media, it wasn’t uncommon to have articles, posts, and comments qualified with things like, “as a cis-gendered white male,” or “as a woman of color,” or “as a genderqueer Hispanic.”

When offering one’s opinion about a particular topic, sometimes it’s helpful to articulate a part of one’s identity. It’s a way of letting people know how our backgrounds relate to our opinions. For instance, when discussing trends in education, I will often say, “as a college professor,” as a way of telling people that what I’m about to say is based on my experiences in higher education. But the current culture of identity politics seems to have little to do with helping one another understand different perspectives. Instead, it serves to divide and dismiss other people—particularly those who don’t toe the party line of the progressive left. If you disagree, it’s because you’re [fill in the blank] and should probably “check your privilege.”

Nowhere is this more apparent than with “women issues.” Are you a man with an opinion about abortion, Planned Parenthood, traditional gender roles, etc.? In the era of identity politics, your penis apparently invalidates your opinion.

But don’t feel too bad. I have written against things like mandated paid maternity leave and doubted the veracity of the supposed “gender wage gap.” While you’d think my two X chromosomes would allow me to talk about these issues in the realm of identity politics, you’d be wrong. Since I don’t have children yet, I’m apparently unqualified in some circles to talk about maternity leave. Since I deny a meaningful gender wage gap, I’m either “privileged” and totally out of touch or I’ve fallen victim to the narrative put forward by, you guessed it, men. Forget the PhD in economics, the fact I work in a male-dominated field, or that I grew up in a middle class family. Such information is apparently unimportant.

I’m certainly not the one who has experienced such a dismissal. In the most recent “women’s march” in Washington, D.C., pro-life women’s groups were purposefully excluded. Women who expressed their dislike or disapproval of the march have been met with backlash. Women who articulate the idea that American women aren’t oppressed, or who disagree with various other ideas and policies are accused of being “privileged.” It’s said they don’t understand the plight of women and are forgetting those who fought for things like birth control and women’s suffrage.

This kind of identity politics is positively poisonous.

Dismissing a person or their opinions because of some, often unchosen, characteristic flies in the face of practically every social movement in the history of mankind. When the original feminists fought to vote, they were looking for equality and to have their voices heard. Civil rights leaders fought for equality and to have their voices heard. Gay rights activists have fought for equality and to have their voices heard. These groups all fought for a life in which they wouldn’t be discriminated against, dismissed, or defined because of one piece of their identity. Given these goals, it seems positively mind-blowing that many people within these groups and others would seek to dismiss someone else based on their identity. It’s positively antithetical to their supposed goals!

Moreover, to base one’s opinions and politics around a particular piece of one’s identity isn’t a sign of dedication or self-awareness. It’s a sign of complete and utter ignorance and an inability to reflect on complex issues, in a complicated world, with complicated, multifaceted people. Identity politics places everyone in a box. If someone disagrees with you, this isn’t a time to reflect on your own priors and opinions. It’s time to dismiss their ideas. They’re in a different box. They must be wrong.

I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because she’s a woman.

I’m voting for Donald Trump because he has a comb over.

Both of these statements are equally absurd, but one is viewed as a reasonable way to anchor one’s politics.

Here’s hoping the next few years will usher in a return to critical thinking and movement away from identity politics. As I said to the man on the treadmill, I judge people based on their brains, not their genitals. I’d prefer the same treatment. Keep your identity politics away from my vagina.


Australia: PC culture ‘muzzling free speech’, says poll

Australians are resentful of a culture of political correctness preventing people expressing opinions on sensitive cultural ­issues, says the chairman leading the parliamentary inquiry into freedom of speech, as a new poll reveals increasing support to ­remove the words “insult” and “offend” from controversial section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Liberal MP Ian Goodenough, a migrant of Eurasian heritage who is heading the inquiry ordered by Malcolm Turnbull, said his objective was to simplify the law to protect ethnic and racial minorities while preventing “reverse discrimination” against mainstream Australians.

Mr Goodenough said resources should be directed at stopping material racial discrimination and serious conduct resulting in harm, violence or incitement to violent acts and “not cartoons and trivial matters”.

“What we are trying to achieve is to protect ethnic and racial groups from harm and detriment but it is not the role of government to police petty social misdemeanours,” Mr Goodenough told The Australian.

The committee has received more than 11,000 written submissions and is this week conducting hearings in five capital cities. Today in Melbourne it will be given polling by Galaxy Research commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs showing rising public support for changes to counter criticism that the campaign is a niche or fringe issue.

The poll of 1000 people taken last month shows 48 per cent approve of calls to remove the words “insult’ and “offend” from section 18C, an increase of three points from the previous survey in ­November.

Some 36 per cent of people were opposed to the change, down from 38 per cent. The Galaxy Poll found 52 per cent of men approved of the change to remove the words compared with 44 per cent of women.

Section 18C makes it unlawful to behave in a way that is reasonably likely to “offend, insult, ­humiliate or intimidate” someone because of their race or ethnicity. Among the states, support was strongest in Western Australia where 54 per cent were in favour and in NSW where 50 per cent agreed while 49 per cent approved in Queensland. Support was weakest in Victoria and South Australia where 43 per cent agreed with the change, although it remained higher than the number who disapproved.

The change was most embraced by people aged over 50 with 53 per cent in support and those aged 25 to 49 were also more likely to approve than disapprove. However, people aged 18 to 24 were the strongest opponents with 49 per cent against the change, with only 39 per cent in support.

IPA director of policy Simon Breheny said the poll also showed that 95 per cent of Australians rated freedom of speech as important with 57 per cent saying it was very important. “Much to the surprise of some members of the media and the political class, free speech matters,” Mr Breheny said.

“It is time for our elected representatives to listen rather than trying to tell the public it is a niche or fringe issue.

“On top of the incredible overwhelming support for freedom of speech, support is also growing for changes to be made to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act so that it is no longer unlawful to insult or offend someone.”

Section 18C was used successfully in a legal action against Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt and unsuccessfully against three Queensland University of Technology students. A Newspoll last year found 57 per cent of people opposed the action against the QUT students. Complaints against a cartoon by The Australian’s Bill Leak were dropped.

The Prime Minister asked the parliament’s human rights committee to look at whether the ­Racial Discrimination Act and section 18C imposes unreasonable limits on free speech and to recommend whether the law should be changed and the role of the Human Rights Commission altered.

Mr Goodenough said 20 years had elapsed since section 18C was introduced and the ­inquiry was about allowing constructive criticism and facilitating robust debate of sensitive cultural issues and for disputes to be settled with minimal impact from the referee in a manner that was affordable and timely.

“It is misleading to say that reforms to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act will promote race hate speech, because there are already laws in place which prevent abusive or threatening speech,” he said. “Many mainstream Australians are resentful of the emerging culture of political correctness, which prevents them from expressing their opinions on certain sensitive cultural issues in workplace and social settings where minorities are ­involved.

“Anecdotally, there is a perception that certain ethnic minorities are afforded greater protections from constructive criticism than mainstream Australians through political correctness. Rightly or wrongly, this perception does exist, and I would like to see the playing field levelled.

“There is a distinction ­between expressing a view that you disagree with a certain cultural issue or practice in a ­respectful manner, and being abusive or vilifying a group.”

Mr Goodenough said the challenge for the committee was to find the right balance in recommending changes to the legislation. “As a migrant of Eurasian heritage I see the need to protect ethnic and racial minorities on one hand but also the duty to protect mainstream Australians from situations of reverse discrimination. The sentiment in the pub often is resentment that sometimes ethnic minorities use the provisions in the law to take things too far. Our challenge is to make the law fair to all.”

But the deputy chair of the inquiry, Labor MP Graham Perrett, said evidence given to a hearing in Hobart yesterday from Equal Opportunity Tasmania, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and the University of Tasmania was “overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the current protections” in section 18C.

“The committee heard that racism, including ‘everyday racism’ caused widespread damage to Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse Australians and their communities,” he said.

“As parliamentarians in positions of relative power, it would be arrogant and irresponsible for us to assume we could have any understanding of what it is like to face the type of racism experienced by many Australians every day.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 February, 2017

'The best country in the world' and Australian patriotism: Contrasted with some other countries

A typically Leftist scorn for patriotism below.  He gives no real reason for scorn.  He just says at length that he dislikes it. 

But he is right that there has been an upsurge of it in Australia in recent times.  Why? It's of a piece with the rise of Trump in the USA, Pauline Hanson in Australia and dislike of the EU in Britain.  It's a reaction to the political correctness that's been forced down out throats since the '90s -- with its fundamental assumption that all men are equal. 

Australians, Americans and Britons DON'T feel equal to everyone else.  We feel that we live in countries that are a blessing compared with most of the rest of the world's countries and we are pleased about that.  And why not? It is we who have made our countries what they are.

The author below hints that patriotism could morph into nationalism and racism but the evidence is against that.  Various surveys have found patriotism and racism to be uncorrelated.  And let us look at the inevitable comparison with prewar Germany.  Nazism arose not from a patriotic culture but from the decadent  rejection of all values in the Weimar republic

And national pride is low in Sweden.  Why?  With the huge crime problem that they have as a result of their admission to their country of large numbers of aggressive Muslim immigrants,  I wouldn't be very happy with my country under those circumstances  either

Patriotism is on the rise in Australia. Australia wasn't always like this. You would only have to go back 10 years or so to find a time when patriotism was something you kept pretty much to yourself, when flags were only waved at the cricket, and chest-thumping zeal was laughed at.

But it seems like the country is different now. We used to shake our heads at the Americans with all their flags and their sincerity, but now the same thing is happening here. As we approach another Australia Day, as people ready their fake Aussie flag tattoos, and their Aussie flag beach towels, and their Aussie flag bikinis and boardshorts, and even the odd Aussie flag cape, you can't help but wonder why patriotism has become so overt, and so necessary.

There's no shortage of people who do, either. A survey by the market research company YouGov last year found that 34 per cent of Australians thought their country was the best in the world. Compare that to five per cent in France, or six per cent in Vietnam.

Patriotism is on the rise, and it's not confined to Australia country. There are plenty of places you can travel to and find people devoted to their nation: the USA, the bastion of patriotism; New Zealand, where All Blacks jerseys are fashion items; Chile, with its fierce devotion; and even England, where St George crosses seem to be increasingly popular.

Is this a problem? Definitely, if you agree with the old quote from Briton Samuel Johnson: "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." You only have to look at Donald Trump's America, or Rodrigo Duterte's Philippines, to be troubled by the rise of hardline nationalism.

It doesn't have to be this way though. While many Australians, and many more around the world, seem keen to find some sort of pride in their nationality, there are a few refreshing examples around the world of nations who aren't obsessed with their own greatness.

Only seven per cent of Swedes claim their country is the best in the world. Travelling to these places is a joy. There's no need to pretend to locals that this country you're in is perfect - you can engage in critical discussion without worrying about offending anyone. And sometimes these places are great purely because they aren't so obsessed with themselves.

Take Germany, for example. Despite the recent rise of far-right protest groups such as Pegida, Germans as a whole remain fearful of patriotism. This is due, unfortunately, to a horrific modern history of events that were powered by a "Germany first" mentality. However, that lack of nationalism these days makes a refreshing change.

German flags are confined to sporting arenas. The nation's culture is celebrated, but not in a way that says to the world that it's better than everyone else's. You're free to enjoy things like beer festivals and Christmas markets and musical performances without being made to feel that your own culture is inferior.

An unpatriotic country can be a beautiful thing. Sweden - prosperous, perfect Sweden - is far from nationalistic. That YouGov survey found only seven per cent of Swedes would claim that their country was the best in the world. That's the same as Singapore.

As a traveller, that lack of patriotism means no sitting through endless conversations about how amazing Sweden is and how the rest of the world is worse. You can just enjoy it for what it is - and there's plenty there to enjoy.

Rather than demonstrate a shortage of pride, the absence of all that flag-waving in Sweden is indicative of the country's easy confidence, of its citizens' quiet belief that everything there is all right. That's far nicer than having everyone scream at you that they're the greatest.

Other countries might not have the same levels of confidence, but still, the lack of patriotism is equally welcome. Vietnam is still ideologically split, in many ways, between north and south, and hence is not a place where national pride is taken too seriously.

Slovakians, despite only having been able to call themselves such for a relatively small amount of time, are also notoriously reticent to wave the flag. Latvians are the same.

It's nice to spend time in these countries, to see an alternative approach to the business of existing in this world. It's less about tribalism, and maybe more about just getting on with your life and not defining yourself by where you happened to be born.
Australia used to be more like that. Let's hope we return.


What's Holding the Arab World Back?

What's holding the Arab world back? Why, by nearly every measure, are Muslim nations so far behind the West economically, culturally and scientifically?

The Pointless Paranoia of the Women's Marches

I am no stranger to protesting, having marched so often in the sixties and seventies that I sometimes felt as if I were chanting "Hey, hey, LBJ"  in my sleep.  But I have come to think over the years that too much demonstrating can get to be a bad habit, like smoking.

Now I'm not talking here about the Gloria Steinems and Michael Moores, for whom protest is so much a way of life they couldn't exist without it. Or the Madonnas who, like other entertainment stalwarts, have business reasons for constantly reminding us they are still have their "edge" even as they age, liberally dropping the f-bomb and speculating about bombing the White House in the process.

I'm talking about the rest of us, especially, this weekend, a fair percentage of the women of America who descended on our nation's capital and elsewhere in impressive numbers.

Excuse me if I don't get it. What exactly was motivating them?

Oh, right, Donald Trump, that vulgar misogynist who bragged about pu**y grabbing (asterisks to dissociate myself from Madonna, even though I'm aging too). I'm going to skip over the obvious - these same women almost all ignored Bill Clinton actually doing (not just mouthing off about)  similar activities in the Oval Office, not to mention on numerous other occasions, some of which we know about and some of which we may not. Further, these women didn't have much to say -- no demonstrations, no marches, maybe a few hashtags -- when radical Islamists of various stripes regularly kidnapped large numbers of women (Nigerians, Yazidis, Kurds, etc., etc.) from their homes and took them as sex slaves, often beheading them after they finished raping them.  Nor did they even pipe up when honor killings were going on in their own backyard.

I could go on. But those are just, shall we say, a few of the minor inconsistencies mixed with, perhaps, a soupçon of cognitive dissonance.  Something more must be motivating these hundreds of thousands of women.

Oh, yes, reproductive rights. Break out your clothes hangers. The Donald is going to bring back the era of backroom abortions


The idea that Trump, given his life and background, is a social conservative is almost silly. His primary issues were -- need I reiterate what must be drilled in all our brains -- bringing back jobs, lowering personal and corporate taxes, cutting excessive business and environmental regulations, ending illegal immigration, repealing and replacing Obamacare, rebuilding the military, extreme vetting of immigrants from countries where terrorism is prevalent, an America-first foreign policy (no nation building) and revived infrastructure.

On the campaign trail, the social issues were almost completely ignored. I listened to at least twenty of his speeches (probably a lot more) and can't recall his mentioning same-sex marriage even once. (He was known to be favorable to it years before Obama and Hillary "evolved" on the issue.)

As for abortion, Donald has evolved toward being pro-life to some extent, but so have, apparently, a majority of Americans. They have shown this by their actions. According to a recent report from the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate in America has decreased precipitously from 29.3 per 1000 women in 1980 to 14.6 in 2014.  Whether this steep decline was caused by the advent of advanced sonograms making the emergent human being more visible and palpable in the womb or because of more accessible birth control (probably both), these facts-on-the-ground are far more important than any legislation or judicial ruling.

Abortion is gradually disappearing as fewer and fewer want it.  It's hard to imagine Trump expending any political capital to speed up this process, assuming he wanted to and if it were even possible, both of which are highly unlikely.

So back to square one.  What was the purpose of Saturday's demonstrations? None, I think, meaning nothing substantive in the provable sense. They were propaganda.  Basically the protests were media and social media ginned-up events intended to continue opposition to the myth, not the reality, of a Trump administration for political purposes. (Some were even claiming he was about to put people in concentration camps.)

The success of the demonstrations in terms of size attests to the power of mutually reinforced paranoia.  This paranoia is of course magnified by the extraordinarily fractured nature of our society with almost everyone living inside their own echo chamber with fears building upon themselves, much in the manner of the Salem Witch Trials.

This makes demonstrations to a great degree pointless because the demonstrators make little attempt to reach out beyond the converted and convince their opponents of the rightness of their cause.  If fact, they rarely even try.  Instead, they parade their "rightness," their superiority, to impress themselves, as did the myriad women in the pink pudenda beanies Saturday. They are mostly showing off.

Ironically, these women's marches are strangely behind the times in today's America and therefore largely irrelevant, though the participants may not realize or acknowledge it.  More women have been going to college than men for several years and are just now surpassing them in law school as well.  Hillary Clinton may have lost the election but women are well on track to win the war.

Within a very few years, historically we may be living in a matriarchy of sorts.  Instead of freaking out over an election, these women should relax and enjoy their coming power.  It's manifested all over the Trump administration already in the persons of Kellyanne Conway (she could run for president herself -- and win) and Ivanka Trump (so could she).

Imagine Ivanka allowing her father to backpedal on abortion rights. Not happening.

Which leads me to a final point -- people who demonstrate all the time should consider they risk morphing into a collective version of the boy who cried wolf.  When there's something really worth protesting, no one believes them anymore.


Some Church leaders speak out against Donald Trump's decision to prioritize evangelical refugees

Idealists want the full loaf or no loaf at all. 

The Church World Service seems to be the main voice below.  Where they stand politically is pretty clear.  They strongly support policies that allow illegal immigrants to remain in the United States and argue that Congress "should enact immigration reform that will provide a permanent solution and a path to citizenship for all our undocumented community members."  Isn't that lovely of them?

Christian leaders have spoken out against Donald Trump's plan to prioritize Christian refugees, as the president confirmed his decision in an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

The segment, which aired Sunday evening, was taped at the White House Friday, the same day Trump signed an executive order banning Syrian refugees indefinitely and closing US doors to visitors from seven predominantly Muslims countries.

During the interview, the president pledged to give priority to Christians applying for refugee status, saying it had been easier for Muslim people to get into the United States than for Christians. Available evidence, however, shows that the US admitted 37,521 Christian refugees and 38,901 Muslim refugees in 2016.

Trump's CBN interview came after the mogul denied that his executive actions represented a Muslim ban, and while protests took place across the nation against the immigration order.

CBN host David Brody asked Trump during the interview: 'As it relates to persecuted Christians, do you see them as kind of a priority here?'

Trump replied: 'Yes.'

When Brody asked again, 'You do?' the president continued: 'They've been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough to get into the United States?

Christian leaders have said they oppose Trump's decision to prioritize Christian refugees.

'We believe in assisting all, regardless of their religious beliefs,' Bishop Joe S Vásquez, who chairs the migration committee of the US Conference Of Catholic Bishops, told the newspaper.

One of the religious leaders speaking out against the executive order was Jen Smyers, the associate director for immigration and refugee policy of Church World Service, a ministry with more than 30 denominations in its members.

Smyers said that Friday, the day Trump signed the executive order setting up the immigration bans, was a 'shameful day' for the US.

'Christ calls us to care for everyone, regardless of who they are and where they come from,' World Relief's senior vice president of advocacy and policy Jenny Yang told The Atlantic. 'That has to be a core part of our witness—not just caring for our own, but caring for others as well.'

Meanwhile, Trump defended his order on immigration Sunday afternoon, saying in a statement that 'America is a proud nation of immigrants' that 'will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression,' but 'while protecting our own citizens and border'.

'We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.'

The mogul told Brody during the rest of the interview that he had been relying on his own faith more since becoming president.

'The office is so powerful that you need God even more because your decisions are no longer, "Gee I'm gonna build a building in New York." These are questions of massive life and death,' he said.

The mogul also said he thought he knew who he would pick as a Supreme Court justice but wasn't '100 per cent'.

'I think the person that I pick will be a big, big - I think people are gonna love it. I think evangelicals, Christians will love my pick and will be represented very fairly,' he added.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here



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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

Postmodernism is fundamentally frivolous. Postmodernists routinely condemn racism and intolerance as wrong but then say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They are clearly not being serious. Either they do not really believe in moral nihilism or they believe that racism cannot be condemned!

Postmodernism is in fact just a tantrum. Post-Soviet reality in particular suits Leftists so badly that their response is to deny that reality exists. That they can be so dishonest, however, simply shows how psychopathic they are.

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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