The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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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.


31 August, 2014

Multicultural stabbing in Britain

A gang of youths has been convicted of killing a 'kind and innocent' young man with the mental age of nine in a knife-point mugging caught on graphic CCTV film.

Dean Mayley was stabbed in the heart by 17-year-old Jamal Jones for refusing to hand over his mobile phone to a group of robbers who stopped him as he walked home in Greenford, west London, on the afternoon of February 7.

The 24-year-old had learning difficulties due to a brain disorder called Microcephaly and probably did not fully understand what the teenagers wanted, jurors were told.

Graphic CCTV played out in court captured the moment Jamal Jones, centre, stabbed Dean Mayley right

Jones was found guilty of murder, while his three accomplices were found guilty of manslaughter.

Mayley's mother Donna sat through weeks of harrowing evidence at the Old Bailey and was visibly shocked and tearful after watching footage of the moment her son was fatally injured.

The CCTV showed three shadowy hooded figures go up to Mr Mayley and confront him before one of them lashes out with a blade.

The victim then staggered and collapsed in the road as members of the public rushed to help. He died later in hospital.

The prosecution said while only Jones, from Acton, west London, wielded the knife, all four played a part in the attempted robbery and killing.

Miguel Leiba, also 17, from Hanwell, and Ryan Beresford, 19, blocked the victim's path and Michael Mensah, 18, drove them to and from the scene, the prosecution said.

Beresford, of Acton, and Mensah, of Greenford, along with Leiba denied murder, but were convicted of manslaughter. All three were also found guilty of the attempted robbery of Mr Mayley.

Mensah was found guilty of an earlier robbery on January 28.

Mrs Mayley wept as the verdicts were delivered after around four hours and the defendants wailed in the dock.


Britain is still run today much as it was under Tony Blair

By Douglas Carswell (rebel Tory MP, now standing for the seat of Clacton under the UKIP banner)

UKIP's Farage and Carswell above (L to R)

    "We plan to change Britain with a sweeping redistribution of power: from the state to citizens; from the government to Parliament; from Whitehall to communities; from Brussels to Britain; from bureaucracy to democracy. Taking power away from the political elite and handing it to the man and woman in the street"  -- Conservative party manifesto 2010

Four years on, how has that worked out?

People would be given more power over the political process with a new right to recall their MP, we were told. Somehow the idea got quietly shelved. When the MP for Richmond, Zac Goldsmith, revived the idea earlier this year, government whips swung into action to try to quietly kill his proposals.

Another promise was that of more “localism”. Locally elected councils, not the man in Whitehall, would have more power to decide on planning issues. So why has my local Tendring council in Essex been told by remote bureaucracy to change their local plan so as to accommodate an extra 12,000 new homes?

Britain is still run today much as it was under Tony Blair. A small clique of people sitting on the sofas in Downing Street try to make all the decisions. But because you can’t run a country that way, they end up rushing from one muddle to the next.

From Libya to NHS reform, things aren’t properly thought through. There’s no follow up. Downing Street ends up chasing headlines to look good, rather than getting things right.

After each General Election the clique in Number 10 might change, but the sofa stays the same. I think Britain can do better than this.

I still believe in what was promised in the 2010 manifesto. Government must be made accountable to Parliament and Parliament must answer to the people.

If you agree, why not come and help me in Clacton …


Douglas Carswell can see where politics is going – he’s a true moderniser

Strictly speaking, I do not agree with Douglas Carswell’s defection to Ukip. Even with the decline of the two-party system, it is hard for new entrants such as Ukip to achieve depth and breadth. They tend to lead their followers into political cul-de-sacs.

I just said “strictly speaking”, but I do not feel like speaking strictly. My actual reaction to Thursday’s news was one of pleasure. That feeling has not gone away.

I am not alone, I notice. The lack of anger among Conservative-minded people is striking. Traditionally, MPs who switch parties are accused of treachery. Parties have had strong collective identities. Those who leave the tribe have therefore been scorned. Mr Carswell has pre-empted some of this by his decision – virtually unprecedented – to submit his switch of allegiance to a by-election rather than clinging on without asking the voters.

But he also taps into something that is happening anyway. The loyalty and cohesion of political parties depend much more upon their mass memberships than on their elites. For many years now, these have dwindled. Since Tony Blair became Labour leader in 1994, party leaderships have made it a point of honour to ignore or despise their supporters. The natural consequence is that activists become inactive, or change party. Many grassroots Conservatives have already formally gone to Ukip; many more vote for Ukip in council or European elections. They do not see this as disloyal to their beliefs. I predict they will vote for Mr Carswell in his by-election and he will win.

This results from the tragi-comedy of Tory modernisation. When he became leader in 2005, David Cameron was right that his party had to change. He understood it could never succeed if the public mistrusted its motives. The Conservatives had to interest themselves in what mattered to voters, annexing subjects which they had previously ceded to the Left, like health, welfare, the environment and schools.

This went awry. The modernisers’ default position was to identify with the soft-Left producer interest rather than seek reform in the interests of the consumer. Mr Cameron kept praising the NHS, which is actually a terrible organisation, rather than putting himself on the side of delivering the best health care, free at the point of use, for all. Good initiatives such as elected police commissioners went off at half-cock.

Mr Cameron showed a weakness for the political equivalent of botox. How could he and his elderly party be made to look more attractive? Problems with ethnic voters? Get in Sayeeda Warsi – she’s a Muslim woman, isn’t she? Accusations of homophobia? Overthrow, without warning or study, the universal understanding of 2,000 years of Judaeo-Christian civilisation that marriage is something between a man and a woman.

Genuine reform stalled. In his reshuffle in July, Mr Cameron punished policy boldness. He retreated from any fight with the public-sector/quango/NGO “blobs”. He moved Michael Gove from Education, the only area of social policy where his Government had successfully brought change. He sacked the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, the one prominent Tory who understands that rural life is a going concern rather than a theme park. He was kicking away his own bulwarks against Ukip.

The pattern of the leader’s actions conveys a message to party workers: they are the problem. Not surprisingly, they tend to leave. Instead of being a renewal, modernisation has become a hollowing out.

Douglas Carswell, by contrast, is authentically a moderniser. In his book The End of Politics, published in 2012, he studied the signs of the times. He argued that “The digital revolution will do to grand planners in the West what the collapse of Communism did to socialist planners in the old Soviet bloc”. “Reform” in the 19th century meant increasing the franchise until it eventually included the entire adult population. In the 21st, it means “iDemocracy”, the crowd-sourcing of politics.

Mr Carswell, and his ally (though non-defector) Daniel Hannan MEP, believe this requires huge changes in parliamentary politics. In the Conservative manifesto at the last election, these ideas got favourable mention. Its very title – ''Invitation to join the Government of Britain’’ – had a Carswellian flavour. An entire chapter called “Change Politics” promised things like the right of “recall” against MPs with whom constituents were dissatisfied, open primaries for choosing candidates, more localism.

Obviously, the ensuing coalition with the Liberal Democrats meant that not all Tory promises could be fulfilled. But many Liberals support changes to open up politics, so something creative could have been forged. Little has happened. Imagine, as a voter, going along to Downing Street and saying, “I should like to take up Mr Cameron’s kind invitation to join the Government of Britain.” You would not get past those famous gates.

The Cameron modernisers made a related mistake about Europe. They said they did not want to “bang on” about it. Of course they were right that people were heartily sick of internal party squabbles, but they ignored the fact that the European Union affects all our lives in countless ways – whom we let in, whom we can throw out, who can make decisions on our behalf, whether we have to deface our country with wind farms, even (this week) how powerful our vacuum cleaners are allowed to be. The Conservatives fought shy of the subject. Now they promise a referendum if they win next year, while intimating that they will settle for minimal demands in the negotiations running up to it. Yesterday – too late – the high command organised a ring-round trying to persuade prominent Eurosceptics to talk the referendum up. Why are they surprised if people do not trust their good faith?

When the SDP got going in the early Eighties, it burst upon the scene with great éclat, because it was set up by famous people. Its problem, however, was that it was never strongly rooted. Eventually it faded. Ukip is almost exactly the other way round: it is a movement of those without power or fame. This makes it hard to run, and it can seem grumpy. But this is how political parties should arise in a democracy. If thousands of people can be galvanised to give their time freely to a cause they passionately believe in, they have something that the mainstream parties have now lost. For all their incoherence, they renew political life. Douglas Carswell saw this earlier than most of his colleagues, long before he thought of defection. The internet age is gradually forcing itself upon our leaders. As he wrote in The End of Politics, it will make them reconnect with voters “less because they see the light, and more because they are beginning to feel the heat”.

The fact that Mr Carswell – a free-market man, whose politics are what he calls “Gladstone.com” – has joined Ukip is a piece of evidence about how the ground is shifting.


Asian-Bashing Dems and Doormat Minorities Who Enable Them

Michelle Malkin

Harry Reid is a bigoted Beltway corruptocrat with an interminable case of diarrhea of the mouth. The feeble-minded coot stuck his foot in that mess of a mouth again last week at the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. But as mortifying as the Senate Majority Leader is, there's an even worse spectacle: Asian-American liberals who keep giving top Democrats and their partisan operatives blanket passes.

Reid clumsily offered his assessment of the success and intelligence of business leaders of Asian descent at the gathering. "I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are," he babbled. You put those uppity Asians in their places, Hater Harry!

During a question-and-answer session, Reid followed up his jibe with a crude "joke" about Chinese surnames that would make Archie Bunker cringe: "One problem that I've had today is keeping my Wongs straight."

Good thing the pale-faced codger didn't let a "ching-chong" slip out, too. You know it was ringing around between his ears. Mocking Asian monikers is a hanging offense if you're a Republican pol or conservative talk-show host. But it's just a meaningless gaffe by "diversity's" best friend when you're Democratic Senate Majority Leader.

That's why Reid's hosts obliged with subdued tittering. National news anchors selectively averted their gazes. The Asian American Journalists Association, so quick to issue sanctimonious guidelines for avoiding ethnic stereotypes, maintained radio silence. And the usual left-wing speech police who read racism into every word uttered by conservatives from "angry" to "Chicago" to "Constitution" to "Obamacare" saw and said nothing.

One bizarre group, Asian Pacific American Advocates, was only offended because they resent public attention paid to successful Asian Americans. They vented that Reid "falsely assumes that our communities continue to perpetuate the model minority stereotype, when we have been actively working to highlight the vast socioeconomic disparities within our communities." These confused people have spent way too much time in social justice 101 classes.

Back in Washington, D.C., the usually garrulous Democratic chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Rep. Judy Chu, responded by ... not responding at all. CAPAC Executive Director Krystal Ka'ai did not return my email seeking reaction to the race-mocking Senate Majority Leader, who has now apologized for his "extremely poor taste."

Chu and her ethnic grievance caucus — which pledges to "denounce racial and religious discrimination affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders" — did find time over the past year to:

—attack a Seattle theater production of The Mikado for its use of "exaggerated Asian stereotypes."

—"denounce" comedian Jimmy Kimmel for a kids' table skit that poked fun at America's debts to China.

—-demand the firing of Fox News liberal chucklehead Bob Beckel for using "racial slurs" against Chinese people.

Here's another glaring omission by the Democrats' whitewashers: Neither CAPAC's press release archive nor its Twitter account has published a word about the ugly liberal racists in Kentucky who've repeatedly attacked former GOP Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

Last year, left-wing super-PAC Progress Kentucky tweeted multiple China-bashing messages insinuating that Chao, the Taiwanese-American wife of GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell, was part of some conspiratorial plot to move jobs to Asia. The Progress Kentucky xenophobes denied engaging in race-baiting. But the dog whistle — dog trumpet — had been sounded, and the liberal racist hits keep on coming.

Earlier this month, Kathy Groob, a "progressive" supporter of McConnell's Democratic opponent, Alison Grimes, repeatedly insulted Chao on social media as his "Chinese wife." She's "not from KY, she is Asian," fumed Groob. You won't be surprised to learn that Groob had complained copiously about "sexism" and "racism" by the tea party.

When will doormat minorities grow spines and stop protecting the progressives of pallor who denigrate them? Collectivism is a hard, cowardly habit to break.


Islam in Australia: Living and dying for the flag of Allah

A SENIOR leader of radical Sydney-based Islamic organisation al-Risalah has denounced the Australian flag, as the group’s supporters posted Facebook messages about ­beheading “non-believers”.

Wissam Haddad, the head of the al-Risalah Islamic Centre in Sydney’s southwest, yesterday told The Daily Telegraph he followed the “flag of Allah” rather than the flag of Australia.

The flag, called the Shahada, is the same as the one used by Islamic State terrorists who have been spreading death and terror across the Middle East.

“For me to have the Shahada flag, as it’s called, that’s a flag that I stand and live and die for and I don’t stand and live and die for the Australian flag.”

It is frequently found on modern Islamic flags and over the last few decades has been adopted by Islamic insurgents.

Mr Haddad, who has ties to Sydney men fighting with Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria, avoids appearing in public and never allows his photograph to be taken.

He said his group was entitled to fly the ancient symbol. He cited the “genocide of Aboriginals” and the use of their flag as justification for supporting the Shahada.

Mr Haddad, who was not invited to join a group of Muslims for talks with Mr Abbott yesterday, has had eight social media accounts shut down, forcing him to rename his profile. He claims Muslims are being unfairly targeted both by Facebook and Twitter.

“I know a lot of people (who have had to shut down and restart their accounts),” he said. “Pretty much anyone very outspoken is getting their accounts shut down.”

In the past week, al-Risalah followers have posted messages about beheading, in the wake of the shocking image of Sydney terrorist Khaled Sharrouf’s son holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier.

This followed fellow terrorist and former Sydney boxer Mohamed Elomar posting similar photographs on Twitter. Al-Risalah members wear black supporter vests, which sell for $65.

The al-Risalah centre has hosted radical preachers, and Mr Haddad is a supporter of the Islamic State’s “Jizyah” protection tax on Christians and Jews in Syria and Iraq.

Also yesterday, teenage Muslim extremist Sulyman Khalid, who was arrested for an alleged hate crime against a Bankstown cleaner, has been released on bail. Mr Khalid, who calls himself Abu Bakr, will front Bankstown Local Court on September



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


29 August, 2014

Mainline Christianity today

Rotherham: In the face of such evil, who is the racist now?

Let’s start with a riddle. If South Yorkshire Police can mount a raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s home in pursuit of evidence linked to a single allegation of child sex abuse 30 years ago, why were South Yorkshire Police incapable of pursuing multiple allegations against multiple men who raped 1,400 children over 16 years?

One thousand four hundred. Consider the weight of that number, feel its tragic heft. Picture 50 junior-school classes of little girls in Rotherham, once a respectable northern town, now a byword for depravity. We have seen child-grooming cases before, but the disgusting stories revealed in the report by Professor Alexis Jay amount to evidence of abuse on an industrial scale.

Men of Pakistani heritage treated white girls like toilet paper. They picked children up from schools and care homes and trafficked them across northern cities for other men to join in the fun. They doused a 15-year-old in petrol and threatened to set her alight should she dare to report them. They menaced entire families and made young girls watch as they raped other children.

These truly horrible things happened in our country – not in the distant, cruel past, but as recently as last year. All but one of the perpetrators were Muslims of Pakistani heritage who would have related to Cliff’s hit, Living Doll.

The living dolls of Rotherham were bent and twisted to their masters’ will. There was no escape. As the sterling Professor Jay observes, South Yorkshire Police “regarded many child victims with contempt”.

One 11-year-old known as Child H told police that she and another girl had been sexually assaulted by grown men. Nothing was done. When she was 12, Child H was found in the back of a taxi with a man who had indecent pictures of her on his phone. Despite the full co-operation of her father, who insisted his daughter was being abused, police failed to act. Four months later, Child H was found in a house alone with a group of Pakistani men. What did the police do? They arrested the child for being drunk and disorderly and ignored her abusers. As President Obama said about the fiends who beheaded the journalist James Foley: “No just God would stand for what they did.”

My, what the British people would give to hear such ringing moral condemnation from our own political leaders.

The Labour Party, in particular, is mired in shame over “cultural sensitivity” in Rotherham. Especially, cynics might point out, a sensitivity to the culture of Muslims whose votes they don’t want to lose. Denis MacShane, MP for Rotherham from 1994 to 2012, actually admitted to the BBC’s World At One yesterday that “there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat, if I may put it like that. Perhaps, yes, as a true Guardian reader and liberal Leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.” Much better to hang on to your impeccable liberal credentials than save a few girls from being raped, eh, Denis?

Equally horrifying is the suggestion that certain Pakistani councillors asked social workers to reveal the addresses of the shelters where some of the abused girls were hiding. The former deputy leader of the council, Jahangir Akhtar, is accused of “ignoring a politically inconvenient truth” by insisting there was not a deep-rooted problem of Pakistani-heritage perpetrators targeting young white girls. The inquiry was told that influential Pakistani councillors acted as “barriers to communication” on grooming issues.

Front-line youth workers who submitted reports in 2002, 2003 and 2006 expressing their alarm at the scale of the child sex-offending say the town hall told them to keep quiet about the ethnicity of the perpetrators in the interests of “community cohesion”.

Fear of appearing racist trumped fears of more children being abused. Not only were negligent officials not prosecuted, they prospered. Shaun Wright, a former Labour councillor who was in charge of Rotherham children’s services during a five-year period when a blind eye was turned to the worst case of mass child abuse in British history, is now South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Oh, Jonathan Swift, thou shouldst be writing at this hour!

Jane Collins, the Ukip MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, has called for Mr Wright to stand down, a demand that has been echoed by Labour as it realises the full horror of what was done – or not done – by its councillors. “To cover up something of this scale, it is evil,” says Mrs Collins.

It’s impossible not to share that incredulous fury. Powerless white working-class girls were caught between a hateful, imported culture of vicious misogyny on the one hand, and on the other a culture of chauvinism among the police, who regarded them as worthless slags. Officials trained up in diversity and political correctness failed to acknowledge what was effectively white slavery on their doorstep. Much too embarrassing to concede that it wasn’t white people who were committing racist hate crimes in this instance.

The whole thing is like a real-life episode of Prime Suspect, in which councillors, the police and child-protection staff collude to give a bunch of sadistic thugs licence to pimp a town’s most vulnerable children. As they say in Yorkshire: “They want shooting, the lot of them.”

This will come as no comfort to the 1,400 brutalised girls, many of whom have self-harmed or committed suicide, but I reckon Rotherham may be the final nail in the coffin of multiculturalism. Far from discouraging racism, the Labour policy of withholding the ethnic identity of men who preyed on white girls backfired spectacularly. Criminally, it endangered hundreds of children who might otherwise have been spared. A recent poll showed that 44 per cent of young Britons believe that Muslims do not share the same values as the rest of the population, while 28 per cent said they felt Britain would be “better off” with fewer Muslims.

Attitudes are even more negative among older people. A recent Radio 4 item about how junior jihadists spending their gap year massacring people in Iraq could be “reintegrated” into British society produced hoots of derision on social media and spilt tea across the breakfast tables of England. (Hands up anyone who wants the blighters back?) The period of giving the benefit of the doubt to young Muslims who go on “camping holidays” to Syria is over. Undoubtedly, the fact that “Jihadi John”, the hooded man who was party to the beheading of James Foley, spoke with a London accent has provoked further despair about the widespread failure of Muslims to integrate. Has it really come to this? A child raised with all the freedoms and blessings of a British upbringing behaving like a natural-born barbarian.

My colleague Boris Johnson’s excellent suggestion that any Britons who travel to Syria and Iraq without informing the authorities should be presumed to be potential terrorists until proven innocent produced howls of outrage from the human rights brigade – but it struck an entire symphony of chords with Britons of all creeds and colours who are sick of being taken for mugs.

There are other hopeful signs. The Rotherham scandal seems temporarily to have silenced those who insist, every time a child-grooming case is exposed, that most paedophiles are white. Indeed they are; but the Rotherham abusers were not paedophiles. They were men of Pakistani heritage slaking their lust on young girls they regarded as white trash because they knew they could get away with it. It grieves me to say they were right. Like South Yorkshire Police, they treated 1,400 defenceless children “with contempt”.

On Channel 4 News on Tuesday, Javed Khan, the chief executive of Barnardo’s, refused to give a straight answer to a question about the part that “ethnicity” played in the abuse of girls in Rotherham. As the presenter Jackie Long persisted, Mr Khan insisted that we should not be focusing on the identity of the perpetrators because it “distracted attention” from the children who were their victims.

On the contrary. It is of the utmost importance that wider society wakes up to the fact that there is what the inquiry found to be a “deep-rooted problem of Pakistani-heritage perpetrators targeting young white girls”. Many of us who have been saying this for a long time have been shouted down as racist. Thanks to Prof Jay, it has been stated publicly for the first time that the fear of appearing racist was more pressing in official minds than enforcing the law of the land or rescuing terrified children. It is one of the great scandals of our lifetime.

The Labour council of Rotherham stands accused of ignoring child sex abuse on an unimaginable scale for 16 years. There can be no more serious charge against a public body. Former councillors who dismissed evidence or otherwise attempted to pervert the course of justice should be arrested. Officers who snubbed appeals from desperate children and their families have no place in our police force.

Thus far, a mere five men have been jailed in connection with the disgusting crimes in Rotherham. A further 30 are under investigation. We need a campaign to get other abused children to come forward and receive the appropriate help. We need them to identify the perpetrators. Shame and name, and shame again. Above all, we need those girls to know that what was done to them was criminal, and the way those crimes were ignored and suppressed by powerful men with a political agenda was despicable as well as criminal. To avoid rocking the multicultural boat, they fed 1,400 children to the sharks. No just God would stand for what they did.


Nasty old Leftist bitch

The woman who presided over the last five years of failure as the boss of children’s services at Rotherham Council is the same executive who removed three children from their foster parents because they were Ukip voters.

Joyce Thacker, the £130,000-a-year Strategic Director of Children’s Services at the scandal-hit council, is among the senior managers who are now under pressure to resign following the “excoriating” report into child sexual exploitation in the town.

Although she is not named as being culpable for the failure to protect 1,400 abused children in the report, as the head of children’s services since 2008 Mrs Thacker is among those whose positions now appear to be under threat.

The report by Professor Alexis Jay said child sexual exploitation had carried on largely unchecked between 1997 and 2013, the period she was asked to examine, but “continues to this day”.

Nick Gibb, the Education Minister, said on Wednesday that those who made policy decisions that contributed to the scandal “should be held to account”.

Mrs Thacker, who joined the Council as deputy head of children’s services in 2006, is already a controversial figure following her decision two years ago to remove three ethnic minority children from their foster parents because of their affiliation to Ukip.

After The Telegraph drew attention to the foster parents’ plight, Mrs Thacker refused to back down, saying the children’s “cultural and ethnic needs” did not fit in with the parents’ “strong views”. She said their support for Ukip meant they opposed “multiculturalism”.

Last year, during an appearance before Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee to give evidence on child grooming in Rotherham she told MPs: “I do not think I would fully accept that we have failed dismally to deal with the issue.”

When asked why there had been so few people brought to justice for child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, she replied: “Prosecution is the icing on the cake.”

Mrs Thacker lives with her husband in a four-bedroomed house in Shipley, West Yorkshire.


Amish not guilty of hate crime

Court says hate crime law overly broad

An appeals court on Wednesday overturned the hate-crime convictions of 16 Amish defendants in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow members of their faith.

The ruling by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means the case will return to the U.S. District Court in Cleveland and federal Judge Dan Polster.

The 10 men and six women, who were sentenced Feb. 8, 2013 in federal court in Cleveland, had appealed their convictions. The five cutting attacks on a total of nine victims took place between September and November 2011.

The defendants challenged the constitutionality of the federal hate-crimes act as overly broad, a claim rejected by Polster in 2012 before the trials began.

Ringleader Samuel Mullet Sr. was sentenced to 15 years and the co-defendants, all members of his extended family, got sentences of one year to seven years.

A jury convicted them of attacks in apparent retaliation against Amish who had defied or denounced Mullet's authoritarian style.

The court said the jury received incorrect instructions about how to weigh the role of religion in the attacks.

"When all is said and done, considerable evidence supported the defendants' theory that interpersonal and intra-family disagreements, not the victims' religious beliefs, sparked the attacks," the ruling said.

The focus of the trial centered on Mullet, leader of a breakaway Amish sect in Bergholz, Ohio, where about 20 Amish families live on his 880-acre farm. The community is about 100 miles southeast of Cleveland near the West Virginia border.

"I am being blamed for being a cult leader," Mullet said at the February 2013 sentencing. "If somebody needs to be punished, I'll take the punishment for everybody."

In addition to the conspiracy charge, Mullet was convicted last year on six additional counts, including lying to the FBI, for planning the attacks, which were likened to animals being shorn.

During the trial, prosecutors and witnesses in U.S. District Court in Cleveland described how Mullet's sons pulled a father out of bed and chopped off his beard in the moonlight and how women followers of Mullet surrounded their mother-in-law and cut off 2 feet of her hair, taking it down to the scalp in some places.

The defense had said there was insufficient evidence linking Mullet to the hair-cutting.

"Stretching conspiracy law beyond its limits, the government argued that, as Bishop of the Bergholz community, Mullet could have stopped the hair cuttings but failed to do so, rendering him liable for others' actions," Mullet's attorney said in a November court filing.

Some of the defendants who received the shortest sentences have served that time and already returned to their community.

Hair and beards have enormous religious symbolism for the Amish, and the government portrayed the attacks as hate crimes. The defense admitted the cuttings took place but characterized the incidents as a family feud.


African predators in Sydney, Australia

A TERRIFIED woman who was chased by two would-be rapists along two trains in a 10km escape says she feared for her life.

The woman, identified as Merlyn, claims two men ­approached her at Wolli Creek station at 11pm on Tuesday night, calling her “babe” and trying to grab her, before she escaped by jumping on to an outgoing train.

Thirty minutes and 9.4km later at Beverly Hills, the scared 29-year-old was forced to fend off one of the same ­attackers with her umbrella outside Beverly Hills station when the attack escalated.

She said the terrifying ­ordeal started at Wolli Creek as one of the two men followed her down the stairs to a ­platform. After switching trains at Turrella and getting off near her home at Beverly Hills around 30 minutes later, she was terrified when she saw the same two men get off the train and again follow her.

Still visibly upset 12 hours after the alleged incident yesterday, Merlyn said she tried to fend off one of the men with her umbrella as he chased her down the middle of King ­Georges Rd in pouring rain while she screamed for help.

Later she was attacked again at Beverly Hills station, but managed to beat them off with

Later she was attacked again at Beverly Hills station, but managed to beat them off with her umbrella. Picture: Toby Zerna

With no one stopping to help Merlyn said she feared she would be killed or raped until a woman named “Helen” whisked her to safety in her car. “If not I don’t know what would have happened,” she said. Merlyn, who migrated from the Philippines eight years ago and has a four-year-old son, said she believed the pair were going to abduct and sexually assault her.

Merlyn said both men were aged 18 to 22 and of African ­appearance. One was skinny with curly hair, the other was fat. Police are investigating.


Blacks can do no wrong -- again

With a reputation for atrocities somewhere between Pol Pot and Idi Amin, nonagenarian and self-styled illegitimate Zimbabwean President Mugabe has been slaughtering white farmers in a sanctioned land grab and keeping his 14 million inhabitants starving and diseased while he occupies grandiose palaces... one for each day of the week.

Miniature megalomaniac Mugabe tortures and murders his political opponents and refuses to accept election results. A quarter million whites have either been ruthlessly murdered or have fled this worst of all regimes. Pockets of whites now number fewer than 20,000.

South of this landlocked diamond-rich country, apartheid reigned supreme under P. W. Botha. The world isolated him with vicious sanctions, they refused him recognition and no sporting teams, including rugby and cricket teams were permitted to contest with South Africa until, after 40 years, apartheid was dismantled.

Why am I saying this? Well in a desperate attempt to avoid the ABC’s Q&A last night I channel-flicked to the Australian cricket team playing Zimbabwe in Harare.

Of course the second grade Zimbabweans were thrashed by 198 runs but a question lingered: Why the hell are we giving this foulest of regimes credibility by competing with it? Not a placard of protest was to be seen in the small crowd.

    Does the normally noisy Left excuse a black regime's persecution of whites in this, a perverted form of reverse apartheid?

Seems so.



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


28 August, 2014

VA Sued for Denying Benefits to Gay Spouses

A law firm representing gay and lesbian service members and veterans on Tuesday filed suit against the Veterans Affairs Department for failing to extend benefits to same-sex spouses who live in states that do not recognize their marriages.

"Gay and lesbian veterans have served their country and risked the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill their duty to this nation," said Susan Sommer, director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal of New York City. "No member of our community should be left behind just because their home state continues to discriminate against their marriage."

The VA should not rely on state marriage bans that the high court already has declared unconstitutional as the basis to deny spousal benefits, the suit contends.

"VA cannot comment on pending litigation," VA Communications Director James Hutton said.

Lambda, along with the Morrison and Foerster LLP firm of Washington, DC, and San Diego, California, argue that the benefits denial violates the U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013.

The legal teams filed the suit on behalf of the American Military Partner Association, a non-profit support network for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender military personnel and their families.

The VA currently does not grant benefits to spouses of gay veterans if the couple were married in, or -- at the time they accrued benefits -- living in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages, according to the lawsuit.

The suit also claims the VA is refusing to extend such benefits even though it had previously conceded that "the exclusion of legally married same-sex couples from veterans' benefits is not rationally related to any military interest or other identified governmental purpose."

Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

The denied benefits include pension, survivors benefits, and home loan guarantees.

Stephen Peters, president of AMPA and a Marine veteran married to an active duty Marine, said it is "unacceptable to see [association] members not only discriminated against in their home states where their marriages are disrespected, but also turned down by the federal government for basic veterans benefits for their spouses."

In the active-duty military, same-sex spouses receive the same benefits regardless of whether the state they live in recognize their marriage.


UK: Rotherham sex abuse scandal: 1,400 children exploited by Asian gangs while authorities turned a blind eye

More than 1,400 children were sexually abused during a period of over 16 years by gangs of paedophiles after police and council bosses turned a blind eye for fear of being labelled racist, a damning report has concluded.

Senior officials were responsible for “blatant” failures that saw victims, some as young as 11, being treated with contempt and categorised as being “out of control” or simply ignored when they asked for help.

In some cases, parents who tried to rescue their children from abusers were themselves arrested. Police officers even dismissed the rape of children by saying that sex had been consensual.

Downing Street last night described the failure to halt the abuse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, as “appalling”.

Following the publication of the report, the leader of Rotherham council, Roger Stone, resigned, but no other council employees will face disciplinary proceedings after it was claimed that there was not enough evidence to take action.

There were calls for Shaun Wright, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, to step down after it emerged that he was the councillor with responsibility for children’s services in Rotherham for part of the period covered by the report.

Details of the appalling depravity in the town and the systemic failures that allowed it to continue were laid out in a report published by Professor Alexis Jay, the former chief inspector of social work in Scotland. Victims were gang raped, while others were groomed and trafficked across northern England by groups of mainly Asian men.

When children attempted to expose the abuse, they were threatened with guns, warned that their loved ones would be raped and, in one case, doused in petrol and told they would be burnt alive.

Prof Jay wrote: “No one knows the true scale of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham over the years. Our conservative estimate is that approximately 1,400 children were sexually exploited over the full inquiry period, from 1997 to 2013.

“It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.”

She added: “There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone.”

The report pinned the blame squarely on failings within the leadership of South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham council.

Prof Jay said: “Within social care, the scale and seriousness of the problem was underplayed by senior managers. At an operational level, the police gave no priority to child sex exploitation, regarding many child victims with contempt and failing to act on their abuse as a crime.”

It emerged that there had been three previous reports into the problem which had been suppressed or ignored by officials, either because they did not like or did not believe the findings.

Yesterday’s report concluded that by far the majority of perpetrators were Asian men, and said council officials had been unwilling to address the issue for fear of being labelled racist.

The report stated: “Some councillors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away. Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”

For years, the police failed to get a grip of the problem, dismissing many of the victims as “out of control” or as “undesirables” who were not worthy of police protection.

The report was commissioned by Rotherham council following the conviction in 2010 of five men who were given lengthy jail terms after being found guilty of grooming teenage girls for sex.

Police said they are currently dealing with 32 live investigations into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and in the past 12 months 15 people have been prosecuted or charged.

Other similar high-profile cases followed in towns and cities including Rochdale, Derby and Oxford.

Last night a No?10 spokesman said: “The failings of local agencies exposed by this inquiry are appalling.

“We are determined that the lessons of past failures must be learned and that those who have exploited these children are brought to justice.”

John Cameron, of the NSPCC, said: “This report is truly damning and highlights consistent failures to protect children from sexual abuse at the hands of predatory groups of men.

“It appears there was at a senior level a collective blindness over many years to the suffering of children who endured almost incomprehensible levels of violence and intimidation. Many of these children were already extremely vulnerable and the manner in which they were let down by agencies entrusted to protect them is appalling. It is quite astonishing that even when front-line staff raised concerns these were not acted upon so allowing devastating child sexual exploitation to go unchallenged.”

Responding to the criticism levelled at the police, Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin, the district commander for Rotherham, issued an unreserved apology to all the victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE).

“We have completely overhauled the way in which we deal with child sexual exploitation and that’s been recognised in the report and by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary earlier this year,” he said.

He added: “I accept that our recent successes in tackling CSE will not heal the pain of those victims who have been let down but we continue to deal with historic investigations with great success and will continue to thoroughly investigate any new evidence available to us.

“Our staff will relentlessly go wherever the evidence takes them and do everything they can with partners to identify offenders and bring them to justice.”


Children threatened with legal action for playing outside their homes because housing chiefs say it's 'dangerous and anti-social'

That was normal behaviour when I was a kid

Families have reacted with fury after a housing association tried to ban their children from playing outside their homes.

Residents of a suburban cul-de-sac in Worcester were left stunned when housing chiefs sent them a letter complaining about youngsters on bikes and scooters.

They now fear legal action if they allow children to venture outside during the school summer holidays.

Four families living in suburban Wensleydale Drive received letters from Nexus Housing last week telling them that children should not be playing in an area next to their homes.

Grandmother Carol Stanford, 53, who received one of the warning letters, said: 'I regularly look after my grandchildren, three-year-old Leah and Stacey, who is six. 

'I'm happy for them to play in the area next to my home which is sometimes used for cars to turn around.  'But I received a letter from Nexus Housing claiming complaints had been made. I am livid.'   She added: 'When I was a child, everybody used to play in the street. There's no room in my garden for them to play skipping games so this is ideal.  'It's safe and they're with friends. I called Nexus and someone told me the matter may be taken further. They said it was a health and safety issue.'

Another parent, Emma Turner, 26, has also received a letter from Nexus claiming to have received complaints about her two daughters, Ruby Jane, six, and Evie Lee, two.  She said: 'It's stupid. Everyone is really friendly around here and they watch out for the kids. Nexus told me to keep my kids out of the area.'


Offensive Liberalism

"Not all Republicans are racist, but all racists are Republicans," said almost every die-hard American liberal/progressive since the 1960s.

This offensive and disgraceful smear is a conversation ender that the American left has dispatched countless times when debating their political opposition, even on issues totally unrelated to race. It's also a phrase casually bantered about in liberal social circles.

The first part of the phrase is meant to soften the blow of the subsequent insult; but, the overall message behind the phrase is clear: Republicans either are racist or tolerate racism.

Calling someone, or an entire group, racist should never be done casually or without careful consideration. It is a deeply hurtful accusation to throw at people who have no overt or subconscious racial bias or prejudice. As Republicans, we pride ourselves on toughness and not allowing ourselves to be easily offended. In this case, we can not allow such slander to simply slide off our backs.

Engaging in an exercise of social division, condescending liberals attempt to paint all Republicans as dumb, racist, sexist, misogynist and uncaring.  Each allegation is as offensive as the one before.

I am not suggesting there aren't bigots who wave the Republican banner. However, I am declaring that narrow minded discriminators exist in all political movements and proudly display their allegiance to Democrats as well.

If you don't want to take my word for it, spend an evening at a Teamsters or municipal workers union member meeting. Some of the most disgusting, racist, sexist words I have ever personally heard uttered came from the swearing mouths of hardcore, third generation Chicago union members who have never voted for a Republican in their life and would rather eat dirt than start now.

Such verbal filth doesn't just come from the stereotypical working class guy drinking too many beers with his boys. It also comes in a more subtle form from the mouths of upper, middle income parents who firmly believe in the economic and social policies of liberal Democrats; but, tell their children to lock their doors in the grocery store parking lot when a black teenager walks by.

Racism isn't limited to words, either. Plenty of Chicago's most politically active liberals are the same people I see clutching their purse a little tighter when they walk past a pair of Hispanic men. I notice Chicago's "lakefront liberals" and city employees move to neighborhoods miles from the heart of the city, where almost no non-white families live. Chicago and many other big cities did not have large Republican electorates during the "white flight" years of  the 1950s, 60s,70s and early 80s. Even today, Democratic households are moving into the suburbs and you'd have to be naive to think that has no correlation to the movement of non-white residents away from the city center into traditionally western European neighborhoods.

And as for homophobia, some of the ugliest words uttered at gay men come from the pulpits of historically black churches and Hispanic and Irish Catholic Church altars. These Christian church pews are full of generations worth of loyal Democratic voters; yet, they nod along as gay men are called "abominations" who are "condemned to hell."

The hard truth is that racism, sexism, homophobia and intolerance of all types existed and exists in both major American political parties. Unfortunately, the bigots who seem to be the loudest, most embarrassing and best at grabbing the spotlight are Republicans. Sadly, when they spew their intolerant views, there are Democrat voters quietly nodding along with their Republican rivals.

So why do Democrats ignore the racists in their ranks and exploit the presence of racists in ours? Partially because we allow them to and partially because Democrats look for excuses to avoid engaging in real political dialogue.

Republican self pride keeps many of us from expressing how deeply offensive liberal accusations are to us. We don't like to bitch and moan about political correctness or ask our political foes to temper their words. That needs to change. We can not allow slanderous statements like the one I used to start this post go unchecked. Just because someone believes in limited government and maximum individual liberty does not mean he/she is prejudiced or hateful toward any group. Just because someone has a GOP bumper sticker does not mean they have a loaded rifle in the back seat next to a Bible. These are ugly stereotypes, a word the American left supposedly reviles.

Just as with any other group of close minded people, liberals that choose to slander are simply fearful of those whom they do not understand or disagree with. Liberal commentators and comedians alike often choose to throw salacious charges at conservatives simply because they are tired of debating the issues of taxation rates, deficit spending, healthcare reform, government programs, education reform, gun rights or national security among others. If a liberal can't understand why someone, who has had different experiences than their own, would disagree with them on a topic, they simply manufacture and assign a fanatical motive onto their opponent to explain it away.

Both sides name-call and hit below the belt in America's never ending political drama. However, only die hard lefties proclaim themselves free of all bias and prejudice only to turn around and stereotype their opponents. They bestow upon themselves a position of intellectual superiority that allows them to justify their ugly caricaturing of Republicans. Liberal proclamation of "moral superiority" only adds to the smugness inherit in their riffs.

There is no justification for falsely accusing people of things for which they are not guilty.

Bigotry and intolerance is wrong. Racism is wrong. Sexism is wrong. Homophobia is wrong.

So is classifying your political opponent as any of those things as a cheap way out of a real discussion.

There are real villains in the world who hold deeply prejudiced views. Let's reserve our anger and resentment for them and stop fabricating new social enemies where none exist.



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 August, 2014

Finding: Poverty does not cause criminality

Huge sample size, rigorous analysis.  I am normally scornful of extreme quintile analyses but the intermediate quintiles in this study do not appear to be anomalous

In West Side Story Stephen Sondheim set out the theories of juvenile delinquency with more clarity, and certainly more brevity, than the academics who had dreamed them up. A prominent theory in sociological circles is that crime arises from poverty and consequently that the alleviation of poverty by paying social benefits should diminish criminality.

The link between poverty and crime has been demonstrated repeatedly, and recently confirmed for USA and Norway. Repetition of a correlation impacts academic and public opinion. However, as we are wearily cognizant of, correlation is not causation, though in ordinary life it damn well implies it. Correlation is a necessary feature of causation, but not a sufficient proof. The quip should be altered to: correlation is not always causation, but it helps.

This link has been investigated, in a different way, by a gang of sociologists led by Amir Sariaslan (ex-Uppsala) and his colleagues at the great Karolinska in Sweden, the country of Volvo, Saab (RIP), Bofors guns, Primus stoves, interminable Bergman movies, winter candles on the streets of gamla gatan, pacificism, social welfare, and obsessional scandinavian epidemiology. The latter has proved a redeeming feature.

"Childhood family income, adolescent violent criminality and substance misuse: quasi-experimental total population study.

Amir Sariaslan, Henrik Larsson, Brian D’Onofrio, Niklas Langstrom and Paul Lichtenstein.

British Journal of Psychiatry. Published online ahead of print August 21, 2014, doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.113.136200

Children of parents in the lowest income quintile experienced a seven-fold increased hazard rate (HR) of being convicted of violent criminality compared with peers in the highest quintile (HR = 6.78, 95% CI 6.23–7.38). This association was entirely accounted for by unobserved familial risk factors (HR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.44–2.03). Similar pattern of effects was found for substance misuse."

The authors point out:

"Behavioural genetic investigations have found that the liabilities for both violent offending and substance misuse are substantially influenced by shared genetic and, to a lesser extent, family environmental factors.7,8

7 Frisell T, Lichtenstein P, Langstrom N. Violent crime runs in families: a total population study of 12.5 million individuals. Psychol Med 2011; 41: 97–105.

8 Kendler KS, Sundquist K, Ohlsson H, Palme r K, Maes H, Winkleby MA, et al. Genetic and familial environmental influences on the risk for drug abuse: a national Swedish adoption study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2012; 69: 690–7.

We linked data from nine Swedish, longitudinal, total-population registers maintained by governmental agencies. The linkage was possible through the unique 10-digit civic registration number assigned to all Swedish citizens at birth and to immigrants upon arrival to the country.

The final sample (omitting multiple-births, death, severe handicap and emigrants) consisted of 88.6% of the targeted population (n = 526 167). The sample included 262 267 cousins and 216 424 siblings nested within 114 671 extended and 105 470 nuclear families.

We calculated mean disposable family income (net sum of wage earnings, welfare and retirement benefits, etc.) of both biological parents for each offspring and year between 1990 and 2008. Income measures were inflation-adjusted to 1990 values according to the consumer price index provided by Statistics Sweden.

Gender, birth year and birth order were included in all models. We also adjusted for highest parental education and parental ages at the time of the first-born child, and parental history of ever being admitted to hospital for a mental disorder.

Violent crime was defined as a conviction for homicide, assault, robbery, threats and violence against an officer, gross violation of a person’s/woman’s integrity, unlawful threats, unlawful coercion, kidnapping, illegal confinement, arson, intimidation,
or sexual offences (rape, indecent assault, indecent exposure or child molestation, but excluding prostitution, hiring of prostitutes or possession of child pornography).

The participants entered the study at their fifteenth birthday and were subsequently followed up for a median time of 3.5 years. The maximum follow-up time was 6 years."

This is a short time to pick up the full flowering of criminal careers, so perhaps should be considered and under-estimate, or purely a measure of juvenile delinquency and not of life time criminality (which usually lasts until middle age).

Readers will know that I cast a particularly baleful eye over all “corrections” and “adjustments” but in this paper the techniques are transparent, and have an intrinsic justification. The data allows them to compare siblings with cousins, and intact nuclear families with more scattered ones: two natural experiments which allow contrasts of shared genes and experience. Crafty. That is my summary, but here is their explanation in detail:

We fitted two separate models for the entire sample (n = 526 167) that gradually adjusted for observed confounding variables. Model I adjusted for gender, birth year and birth order, whereas Model II also adjusted for highest parental education, parental ages at the time of the first-born child and parental history of admission to hospital for a mental disorder.

To assess the effects also of unobserved genetic and environmental factors, we fitted stratified Cox regression models to cousin (n = 262 267) and sibling (n = 216 424) samples with extended or nuclear family as stratum, respectively. The stratified
models allow for the estimation of heterogeneous baseline hazard rates across families and thus capture unobserved familial factors. This also implies that exposure comparisons are made within families. Model III was fitted to the cousin sample and adjusted for observed confounders and unobserved within extended-family factors. Model IV was fitted on the sibling sample and accounted for unobserved nuclear family factors and for gender, birth year and birth order.

Cousin and sibling correlations on the exposure variable were calculated based on a varying-intercepts, mixed-effects model where the intercepts are allowed to vary across families.

The magnitude of the variation was expressed as an intra-class correlation (ICC). The ICC measures the degree to which observations are similar to one another within clusters; in this case cousins and siblings nested within extended and nuclear family clusters. The measure ranges between 0 and 1, where the latter implies that cousins and siblings have identical exposure values within families.

As you can see, each model picks away at what would otherwise be seen as a purely economic cause of criminality and drug abuse. Model II which adjusts for parental education and mental illness has a big effect.

In an unusual departure, The Economist devoted an article to this paper, which suggests that they are beginning to wake up to the human factors in economics. Admittedly, they sub-titled it  A disturbing study of the link between incomes and criminal behaviour, suggesting they were disturbed. Here are The Economist’s conclusions:

"That suggests two, not mutually exclusive, possibilities. One is that a family’s culture, once established, is “sticky”—that you can, to put it crudely, take the kid out of the neighbourhood, but not the neighbourhood out of the kid. Given, for example, children’s propensity to emulate elder siblings whom they admire, that sounds perfectly plausible. The other possibility is that genes which predispose to criminal behaviour (several studies suggest such genes exist) are more common at the bottom of society than at the top, perhaps because the lack of impulse-control they engender also tends to reduce someone’s earning capacity.

Neither of these conclusions is likely to be welcome to social reformers. The first suggests that merely topping up people’s incomes, though it may well be a good idea for other reasons, will not by itself address questions of bad behaviour. The second raises the possibility that the problem of intergenerational poverty may be self-reinforcing, particularly in rich countries like Sweden where the winnowing effects of education and the need for high levels of skill in many jobs will favour those who can control their behaviour, and not those who rely on too many chemical crutches to get them through the day."

This is only one study, of course. Such conclusions will need to be tested by others. But if they are confirmed, the fact that they are uncomfortable will be no excuse for ignoring them.

What The Economist might have said is: Since this is a total population study of five birth cohorts and is the largest by far in the literature, it has high credibility, and the result will stand until another study of equal quality finds otherwise.


Federal judge strikes down Fla. ban on same-sex marriage

A federal judge declared Florida's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional Thursday, but he delayed allowing county clerks to issue licenses, pending appeals.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, sitting in Tallahassee, ruled that the 2008 voter-approved measure defining marriage as only between one man and one woman violated the Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

"The founders of this nation said in the preamble to the United States Constitution that a goal was to secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity. Liberty has come more slowly for some than for others," he wrote in a 33-page opinion covering two cases, noting that it took the Supreme Court 200 years to invalidate laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

"When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida's ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination. Observers who are not now of age will wonder just how those views could have been held," Hinkle declared.

The ruling, which also applies to same-sex marriages performed in other states, followed similar decisions by Florida judges in four counties. The state attorney general has appealed those decisions and will challenge Hinkle's order.

In a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the state's ban, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops argued it "has a strong interest in protecting the traditional institution of husband-wife marriage because of the religious beliefs of its members and due to this institution's benefits to children, families and society."

In a statement, the bishops said they were "sadly disappointed by the court's decision to reject marriage as the union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife." They argued the decision "fails to adequately consider that marriage unites a man and a woman with any children born from their union and protects a child's right to both a mother and a father."

The bishops said their belief in heterosexual marriage "is not motivated by unjust discrimination or animosity toward anyone. Human dignity is manifested in all persons; and all have the capacity for and are deserving of love. This is especially true of children, who should be given the opportunity, to the greatest extent possible, to be raised and loved by the mother and father who conceived them."

Hinkle issued his opinion in Brenner v. Scott and Grimsley v. Scott a day after the U.S. Supreme Court intervened to prevent same-sex couples from marrying in Virginia after a federal appeals court struck down the state's voter-approved ban in July.

Attorneys general in Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma have asked the justice to pass final judgment on whether states can prohibit same-sex couples from marrying.

Since the Supreme Court struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act last year, 20 federal courts have ruled that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, Hinkle noted.

"Based on these decisions, gays and lesbians, like all other adults, may choose a life partner and
dignify the relationship through marriage," he wrote. "To paraphrase a civil rights leader from the age when interracial marriage was first struck down, the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice."

Same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

More than 70 court challenges have been filed in 30 of 31 states, plus Puerto Rico, where same-sex marriage has been outlawed. Five federal appeal courts are reviewing cases from 11 states.


Supreme Court puts hold on gay marriage in Virginia

The U.S. Supreme Court stopped gay marriage in Virginia from going ahead today, staying an appeals court ruling that had struck down a state ban.

The court granted a stay application filed by opponents of gay marriage. The action was not a ruling on the merits of gay marriage, but means a July 28 pro-gay marriage ruling by the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will not be implemented while litigation continues.

The high court issued its brief order less than 24 hours before gay and lesbian couples in Virginia could have begun applying to be married.

The Supreme Court issued a similar order in January blocking gay marriage from going ahead in Utah. So the court’s order on the Virginia law was not wholly unexpected.

The Supreme Court is expected to take up at least one case on gay marriage in its coming term, which starts in October and ends in June. There are already three case the justices can choose from pending at the court. They involve fights over the bans in Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma.

Michele McQuigg, Prince William County clerk of court, had filed the Virginia stay application last week seeking to prevent the appeals court ruling from going into effect.

“The Supreme Court acted wisely in restraining the lower court from implementing a ruling of this magnitude before the high court has a chance to decide the issue,” Byron Babione, a lawyer for McQuigg, said in a statement.

The state’s Democratic attorney general, Mark Herring, who backs gay marriage, and opponents of same-sex marriage have already said they would like the Supreme Court to be have the ultimate say in the case. Herring had backed the call for the delay of the lower court ruling.

Since a June 2013 ruling in the United States v. Windsor case struck down a federal law defining marriage as between one man and one woman, nearly 30 federal and state courts have ruled against bans on same-sex marriage at the state level. Only one court in the past 14 months has ruled in favor of a state ban.

Nineteen of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.


The holy war on corporate politicking

The religious left's long-running campaign to silence those with different views has moved aggressively into corporate boardrooms. CEOs and directors of public companies are being hectored by social justice activists to abandon lobbying and other political activities.

Let's hope they don't succeed. Our political life would be impoverished and unbalanced by muzzling corporations whose interests go far beyond the boardroom to number millions of employees, shareholders, and community members. The cravenly political ploy of dressing up a progressive campaign to silence dissent with religious sentiment and Scripture proof texts brings honest religious witness into disrepute.

A newly issued critique of the role of money in politics titled "Losing Faith in Our Democracy" by the New York-based Auburn Theological Seminary is a case in point. The report ostensibly presents Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish viewpoints on money and politics. Yet the 10 essays in the critique -- with one notable exception -- simply rehash the religious left's talking points about corporate spending and the alleged harm it does to American democracy.

Every annual meeting season, we watch as a small group of activist groups on the left such as As You Sow and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility submit proxy resolutions that demand disclosures of corporate public policy expenditures. This is done, these groups claim, in furtherance of a more "just and sustainable world." In fact, such resolutions are designed to first bully corporations into disclosing lobbying activities and then promptly turn the tables by conducting aggressive campaigns in the press to shame them.

But the religious underpinnings for such arguments are spurious. The argument always goes that corporations have money and the poor and disadvantaged (always "disenfranchised" from the political process) do not. Therefore, according to this logic, it follows that it's unfair that corporations are allowed to make public policy expenditures to unduly influence the political process. Curiously, opponents of such spending are often themselves corporate entities (albeit non-profit entities) that spend large sums of money to voice their own opinions.

The religious left should heed the counsel of William Cavanaugh, a senior research professor at the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University in Chicago. In his white paper for Auburn Seminary's very own critique of corporate political spending, Cavanaugh identifies Biblical precedents for corporate personhood. Adam and Christ, he points out, incorporate the whole human race. This, he says, shows that personhood properly understood cannot be limited to the individual. Likewise, writes Cavanaugh, "Paul's image of the Church as the body of Christ (e.g. I Corinthians 12) is so powerful; our salvation is our reunification into the corporate person of Christ."

Civil society, says Cavanaugh, requires us all to speak "with united voices. Unions, families, churches, and other organizations of people must remain strong in order to resist the reduction of public life to a binary of the state on the one hand and individuals on the other." And the same holds for businesses, especially as the power of government regulatory agencies grows exponentially and leftist billionaires like the Steyer brothers increasingly exercise their own First Amendment rights. (I searched in vain for them in the Auburn report.)

Another report, this one from the Center for Competitive Politics, a Virginia-based First Amendment advocacy group, deftly reveals the activists' questionable strategies, funding and end game. The Center notes that many of these social justice activists couch their resolutions in language advocating the best interests of the company's shareholders. Not surprisingly, CCP concludes, these arguments for political disclosure are "in actuality pursuing an ideological agenda unrelated to the profit-maximizing interest of most shareholders." CCP identifies these gadflies as a "cadre of unions, public pension funds, and activist investors...pursuing actions that would selectively burden American public companies from exercising their First Amendment rights to participate in public dialogue."

The political process only works when all sides are allowed to freely express themselves, a right guaranteed by our Constitution. This is an argument that must be made from secular and spiritual perspectives. Targeting the free speech of political adversaries, under a smoke screen of pious outrage, is not only unjust but immoral.



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 August, 2014

This is no time to avert our gaze

by Jeff Jacoby

SCARCELY HAD ISIS posted its video showing the grisly beheading of American journalist James Foley than the rush to stifle it began.

"Don't watch the video. Don't share it. That's not how life should be," entreated Foley's sister Kelly in a message on Twitter that was heavily retweeted. Thousands of social media users, some of them journalists, called for an #ISISMediaBlackout — the hashtag quickly went viral — and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced that the company was "actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery." YouTube removed versions of the video posted on its site, invoking its policy on "gratuitous violence, hate speech, and incitement to commit violent acts."

Most mainstream news organizations chose not to show or link to the sickening videos, or to publish still photos showing Foley being beheaded. One exception was the New York Post, which ran a front-page picture showing the journalist just as the knife was put to his throat, with the one-word headline: "SAVAGES." For doing so, the paper was vehemently criticized. Buzzfeed editor Adam Serwer echoed the widespread view that to publicize the gruesome image was to give the terrorists more of the notoriety they crave. "Pretty sure ISIS could not be happier with the New York Post's front page today," he tweeted.

Would that have been Foley's reaction? Would he have clamored for self-censorship and a media blackout? Or would he have wanted decent people everywhere to know — and, yes, to see — the crimes being committed by the ruthlessly indecent killers calling themselves the Islamic State?

The intrepid and compassionate reporter from New Hampshire didn't travel to Syria to sanitize and downplay the horror occurring there. He went to document and expose it. The 4-minute, 40-second video that records the last moments of Foley's life may be slick jihadist propaganda designed to intimidate ISIS's enemies and recruit more zealots to its cause. But it is also a key piece of the news story that Foley risked everything to pursue. That story cost him his life. The least we can do is bear witness to the courage and dignity with which he met his awful end.

Anyone with a heart understands why Foley's anguished loved ones would want his murderers' gloating depravity to be suppressed. When the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Pearl was beheaded by Al-Qaeda in 2002, his family issued a similar plea. "We should remove all terrorist-produced murder scenes from our Web sites and agree to suppress such scenes in the future," urged Daniel's father, the scientist Judea Pearl, in a published essay.

But we will never prevail over an enemy as barbaric and totalitarian as the Islamic State if we avert our gaze from what it does to those it vanquishes. There are times when it is necessary to see the evil, not just to read or hear about it. Images, especially of man's inhumanity to man, can often convey truths and illuminate reality with an urgency that the best-chosen words cannot match. It would have been unthinkable for the media to suppress the photos and video of the carnage at the Boston Marathon last year, or of the mutilated bodies of US soldiers being dragged through Mogadishu in 1993, or of Senator Robert Kennedy's assassination at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968. In a similar vein, jurors in the Whitey Bulger trial weren't just told what the gangster did to his victims. They were shown the ghastly crime-scene photos.

Granted, social networks like Twitter and Facebook are under no obligation to provide a platform for the unmediated ravings of terrorists and psychopaths. As private companies, they have every right to enforce standards of taste, safety, and the public interest. So, of course, do news organizations, which have wrestled with such dilemmas for many years. There is no universal litmus test that can always distinguish what is vital and newsworthy from what is mere gratuitous sensationalism.

But this isn't a close call. What was true of the video of Daniel Pearl's beheading is true of James Foley's. It is true of the other videos of mass-murder and beheadings that ISIS terrorists have been disseminating as their so-called caliphate metastasizes through Syria and Iraq. They clarify beyond all denial the utter monstrousness of an enemy we must destroy, or be destroyed by.

James Foley didn't hide from that unvarnished truth, and we shouldn't either.


The way we were: The Baedeker Guidebooks

An Englishman on holiday in Spain a century ago found a country with little to recommend it. Waking up on the first morning and consulting his guide book, he would have read the following description: ‘Spain is a bleak and often arid land, with few traces of picturesqueness.’

The towns, the guide continues, are wreathed in tobacco smoke and the cafes are ‘very deficient in comfort and cleanliness’. The guide further warns that the service from waiters, chambermaids and porters is generally very slack and that the traveller should always count his change.

In the Spanish countryside there is great danger of highway robbery, while in the cities the police will arrest anyone they can lay their hands on.

The railway carriages and omnibuses are so filthy that a clothes brush, a duster and some insect powder should always be at hand. As for the national sport of bull fighting, it is ‘the most unsportsmanlike and cowardly spectacle’ a civilised man will ever see.

This is the account of Spain given in the 1914 Baedeker Guide. These small, red books, bound in leather, were the first recourse for an Englishman abroad in the late 19th and early 20th century.

I came to Baedeker through my maternal grandfather, who amassed a collection of more than 130 of the red guides. He was possessed by a particularly keen sense of wanderlust, even into his 80s, and bought many hundreds of antique travel books.

The tone of the Baedeker guides is informed, detailed, authoritative — and riotously, unguardedly rude.

Alongside the city maps, ferry time-tables, and guides to churches, monuments and museums, there are unforgiving comments on the ‘natives’ a traveller might have the misfortune to encounter.

The Spanish are indolent, the Greeks filthy, the Italians dishonest and the ‘Orientals’ as stupid as children. The guides reflect an imperial attitude that would be unthinkable today.

For a century, Baedeker — founded in 1832 by German publisher Karl Baedeker — was the indispensable guide to Europe, the Middle East and beyond.

He prized himself on the accuracy of his books and was once discovered keeping count of how many stairs there were to the roof of Milan cathedral by placing a coin on every 20th step. He wanted his readers to know exactly how far they would have to climb.

By the outbreak of World War I, 992 editions of the guides had been published, covering Europe, Russia, North America, India and the Middle East.

After Germany, Britain was the biggest consumer of the books. It was the red Baedeker, small enough to fit in an overcoat pocket, which the British took as protection when they ventured abroad.

Today, many people know of Baedeker through reading or watching the film adaptation of E.M. Forster’s A Room With A View. In the opening chapters, our heroine Lucy Honeychurch (played in the film by Helena Bonham Carter) finds herself in Florence without a Baedeker.

The guide is supposed to be a shield against Italian passion and without its protective influence, Lucy finds herself being kissed by an Englishman made hot-blooded by the Tuscan sun.

The name was also made famous by the Baedeker Raids of World War II when the Germans targeted bombing campaigns over English cities such as Bath, Canterbury, and Norwich, singled out for their architectural beauty by Baedeker’s Guide To Great Britain. The aim was to depress morale by destroying our Regency terraces, cathedrals and medieval streets.

In return, the RAF razed Leipzig, demolishing the Baedeker HQ.

Reading the guides today you are struck by how patrician they are in their view of the world. These are books for travellers from the two great European imperial powers: Britain and Germany.

In an age before political correctness, it was possible to be really very rude indeed about foreigners. It is not just the Spanish who are liable to run off with your change. In Italy, according to my grand-father’s 1912 guide, extortion is the national hobby and begging the national plague. Customs officials unfailingly pilfer your luggage and the cab-drivers, boatmen and porters are insolent and rapacious to ‘an almost incredible pitch’.

The guide explains that while the ‘evil sanitary reputation of Naples’ is often exaggerated, it remains a filthy city. The southern Italians, Baedeker explains, believe the ‘brilliancy’ of their climate more than makes up for the dirt.

Travellers are advised to stay in hotels with iron bedsteads as these are less likely to be infested with the ‘enemies of repose’ — Baedeker’s dainty euphemism for bedbugs.

Still, the guide cheerfully concludes, things have improved greatly since the cholera epidemic of 1884, though travellers are advised not to order oysters as they have been known to cause typhus.

Greece is worse. The bedclothes at the inns are full of ‘fleas, bedbugs, lice . . . and other disgusting insects, winged and wingless’. You cannot even console yourself with a glass of wine for the Greek vintages are universally ‘insipid and weak’.

Tangiers market in Morocco is ‘an indescribable mass of Oriental humanity’; and in Egypt, any traveller who comes into contact with the natives ‘should avoid rubbing their eyes with their hands’.

You couldn’t get away with that in a Dorling Kindersley guide today.

Indeed, some of Baedeker’s advice will appal modern sensibilities. In Syria, you are advised to ward off stray dogs with an umbrella and in Egypt it is acceptable to hit a cab driver with your walking stick.

You are, however, advised to ‘sternly repress’ the urge to prod a donkey with a stick to encourage it to gallop. (The original owner of my grandfather’s 1914 Egypt guide, a C. Crampton from Harrogate, put an emphatic ‘X’ in the margin next to this advice.)

Overall, the poor Egyptians are given a hard time of it. The average native, explains Baedeker, is ‘no more intelligent than a child’.

Baedeker is not just guilty of terrible racial stereotypes. He also has a very dim view of the capabilities of women.

A female traveller is a delicate creature who cannot possibly manage certain activities. When it comes to climbing Mount Vesuvius, for example, a man may do it on foot, but as this is too ‘fatiguing’ for ladies, they are advised to take the train. I can say with great satisfaction that I managed it perfectly well as a 13-year-old schoolgirl.

Few countries escape Baedeker’s censure, although the Dutch are grudgingly admired for their cleanliness: ‘Spiders appear to be regarded with special aversion and vermin is fortunately as rare as cobwebs.’

Germany, of course, is beyond reproach. But what of Great Britain?

Certainly, we fare better than some countries. ‘As compared with Continental hotels,’ explains the 1927 guide, ‘British hotels may be said as a rule to excel in cleanliness and sanitary arrangements.’

So far so good, though the guide adds that some hotels can be tolerated by gentlemen, but certainly not by ladies.

Our cuisine is inferior and monotonous and the national dish, the guide remarks disparagingly, is tea with chips and steak.

As for the British themselves, Baedeker observes that the country is ‘a place of parsons, puppy dogs and peculiar people’.

After World War II, Baedekers disappeared from British shelves. Other guides such as Dorling Kindersley, the Lonely Planet and Time Out took their place.

Then, in 2007, the series was relaunched. The red covers remain, but they now come in wipe-clean, plastic jackets. Practical, but with none of the romance of my grandfather’s red leather hardbacks.

In tone they are indistinguishable from other guidebooks. There is nothing to match Baedeker’s sniffy comment on visiting large towns in England: ‘We need hardly caution newcomers against the artifices of pickpockets and wiles of impostors.’

Nor are they as evocative as the originals — for there are passages of lyrical description amid the scorpions and bedbugs. The scenery of Southern Greece, for example, is celebrated for ‘its mountains, its deep-blue gulfs and its clear, ethereal atmosphere which brings distant objects close to the beholder and robs shadows of their depth and gloom’.

While I don’t advocate a return to the days when Edwardian guides advised travellers to wash their hands if they so much as touched a foreigner, there is something refreshing about Baedeker’s acerbic comments on the food, hotels and manners of foreign climes.

This week, many of us will return from August holidays in France, Spain and Italy rather wishing someone had warned us that the local taxis smell like goat sheds, that the paella will make you desperately ill and that you cannot get a decent cup of Earl Grey anywhere in the Mediterranean.


Multiculturalism has brought us honour killings and Sharia law, says Archbishop

Multiculturalism has resulted in honour killings, female genital mutilation and rule by Sharia law, a former Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed, as he called for Britons fighting with Isil to be “banished” from the country.

Lord Carey of Clifton said Muslim communities must “discipline” their young people or see them “banished” from Britain after leaving to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Islamic leaders in Britain have failed to clearly denounce religious fanatics in the wake of the murder of James Foley by a suspected British jihadist, he suggested.

Britain must “recover a confidence in our nation’s values”, Lord Carey wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

“For too long we have been self-conscious and even ashamed about British identity. By embracing multiculturalism and the idea that every culture and belief is of equal value we have betrayed our own traditions of welcoming strangers to our shore.

“In Britain's hospitable establishment different beliefs were welcomed but only one was preeminent - Christianity. The fact is that for too long the doctrine of multiculturalism has led to immigrants establishing completely separate communities in our cities. This has led to honour killings, female genital circumcision and the establishment of sharia law in inner-city pockets throughout the UK.”

Islamic radicals should be challenged with the values of liberal democracy, he said.

“In this must involve the power and co-operation of Muslim communities who need to state, more clearly than they have done so far, their denunciation of these fanatical forms of Islam.”

British Muslims preparing to travel abroad to commit terrorist acts, and those who have already travelled to the Middle East to fight, should be stripped of their passports, the Archbishop says.

“Young people who travel abroad to commit violent Jihad should know before they go that there is no way back to civilised society. It may focus their minds to know that the privileges and luxuries of our country (including our gyms, games consoles and relative peacefulness) will be denied to them in future.”

Lord Carey added: “Muslim communities are being challenged as never before to discipline their young people or face the consequences that such radicalised young men will be banished from our shores.”

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, currently has the power to strip citizenship from dual nationals, or from immigrants who have become naturalised citizens and are now fighting overseas.

However, Home Office lawyers argue that it is illegal for a country to make their citizens stateless.


A young woman with very "incorrect" conservative views is an active supporter of the UK Independence party

Whether it's their views on immigration or admiration of Adolf Hitler, UKIP politicians are never far from controversy.

Now a new supporter has spoken out in an attempt to refresh the image of her beloved party, although she may not have been entirely successful.

UKIP follower Laura Howard has given an interview to The Debrief in which she said she hopes to debunk the myth that the party is a just 'bunch of old white men'.

But in doing so, the 19-year-old student nurse from Birmingham could enrage many with her anti-feminist sentiments.

She told Rosamund Urwin that she's against modern feminism because 'it’s gone almost beyond equality: they want women to have more rights than men. They want quotas for women in businesses and I don't agree with that.'

She believes it isn't sex discrimination preventing women taking on more highly paid, powerful roles but their own life choices. 

'I think the main reason behind that is that women want to have children and a family life,' she said of the male domination of company boards.

She added that politics is also male dominated not because of a lack of opportunities for her gender, but because women are simply not as interested in it.

'If you look at someone like Theresa May, she's a really well-established politician. I just think women aren't as interested as sad as that is,' she said.

The outspoken teenager's opinions echo those of UKIP leader Nigel Farage who said earlier this year that mothers are 'worth less' to employers in the City than men.

He said that women can succeed in the industry as long as they are willing to 'sacrifice the family life'.

Laura has been campaigning for UKIP for the last two years and stood to be a councillor in Quinton in Birmingham.

She has ambitions to one day run for parliament and her converts to the party so far include many of her own family members.

Where they once supported the Conservatives and Labour, she's now persuaded her parents and grandparents to vote UKIP.

She said it was the party's animal rights and EU stance that attracted her to them.

'I am anti-the EU because I'm pro-democracy,' she says.

She adds that she doesn't think of UKIP as far right but 'just something different.'

The student believes the party has much to offer people her age as 'immigration affects jobs and house prices - those are things that really affect young people today.'



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


25 August, 2014

Interview: the former attorney general says he fears that 'aggressive' secularism is pushing the Chrisitan 'faith out of the public space'

Britain is at risk of being “sanitised” of faith because an “aggressive form of secularism” in workplaces and public bodies is forcing Christians to hide their beliefs, a former attorney general has warned.

Dominic Grieve said he found it “quite extraordinary” that people were being sacked or disciplined for expressing their beliefs at work.

He described Christianity as a “powerful force for good” in modern Britain and warned that Christians should not be “intimidated” and “excluded” for their beliefs.

He said that politicians and public figures should not be afraid of “doing God” and that they have a duty to explain how their beliefs inform their decisions.

The “appalling” scenes in Iraq, which have seen Islamic extremists behead and crucify religious minorities including Christians, showed that it was “more important than ever” for people to express their religious beliefs, he said.

He told The Telegraph: “I worry that there are attempts to push faith out of the public space. Clearly it happens at a level of local power.

“You can watch institutions or organisations do it or watch it happen at a local government level. In my view it’s very undesirable.

“Some of the cases which have come to light of employers being disciplined or sacked for simply trying to talk about their faith in the workplace I find quite extraordinary.

“The sanitisation will lead to people of faith excluding themselves from the public space and being excluded.

“It is in nobody’s interest that groups should find themselves excluded from society.” Two years ago the Government changed the law to ensure that councils could not face legal challenges for holding prayers before town hall meetings after the High Court backed a controversial campaign to abolish such acts of worship.

There have also been a series of high-profile cases in which people have been banned from wearing crosses at work or sacked for resisting tasks which went against their religious beliefs.

Mr Grieve, a practising Anglican, said that Britain is “underpinned” by Christian ethics and principles.

He criticised the Tony Blair era when Alastair Campbell, the then communications director in Downing Street, famously said “we don’t do God” amid concerns that religion would put off voters.

David Cameron once described his own faith as being like “Magic FM in the Chilterns”, meaning it can come and go.

However, earlier this year the Prime Minister said he has found greater strength in religion and suggested that Britain should be unashamedly “evangelical” about its Christian faith.

Mr Grieve said: “I think politicians should express their faith. I have never adhered to the Blair view that we don’t do God, indeed I’m not sure that Blair does. I think that people with faith have an entitlement to explain where that places them in approaching problems.

“I think that those of us who are politicians and Christians should be in the business of doing it.

“It doesn’t mean that we have the monopoly of wisdom, but I do think Christianity has played an enormous role in shaping this country.

“It’s a very powerful force in this country [but] I think it’s underrated, and partly because in the past it has failed to express itself as clearly as it might.

“Recognising people’s right to manifest their faith and express it is very important.”

Mr Grieve lost his post in government during the reshuffle last month after objecting to plans to give MPs powers to veto decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights.

He said that while he was “sad” to lose his job he did not complain because he took an “old fashioned” approach: “If someone doesn’t want your services, they don’t want your services.”

He warned that the increasingly “capricious” European Commission was attempting to make a “land grab” with a growing number of challenges to government policies on freedom of movement and benefits.

He said: “I think there’s some support at a European Union level for the criticism that the European Commission is capricious and inconsistent on this issue. If we can mobilise that support it might help us obtain support for the reforms the Prime Minister wants.”

He also said that Britain must ask Israel to justify its actions in Gaza after the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including children.

Baroness Warsi resigned as a foreign office minister earlier this month in protest at the Government’s failure to confront Israel over the conflict.

He said: “We are not acting as good friends to Israel if we do not highlight our view as to whether we think they are doing the right thing.

“I have come across very few colleagues in government who are comfortable with what has been going on over the last few weeks. Killing large numbers of children in UN schools which are supposed to be havens of safety is a very unfortunate event to take place and I think needs an explanation.”

As attorney general, Mr Grieve also had to respond to concerns that the RSPCA was becoming politicised with its repeated private prosecutions of hunts. He wrote to the charity asking it to consider appointing a lawyer to review its private prosecution policy.

He said he was concerned that the charity has been prosecuting “vulnerable” individuals unnecessarily. He said: “I found it difficult to see that the public interest supported prosecutions at all. These are people who, because of age or lack of education, would not have a pet put down when it got old because they were so attached to it.

“Obviously, there’s also an issue as to the proportionality of its prosecution policy with hunts.

“One would hope that one would not see prosecutions taking place for matters which appear to be purely capricious or indeed simply a way of forcing individuals to spend vast sums of money in their defence when the case against them is paltry or trivial.”

Mr Grieve is MP for Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, where many of his constituents are opposed to the proposed High Speed 2 line because it will pass through or close to their homes.

“Constructing HS2 will have a negative environmental impact on my constituency. There is also wider concern about whether in fact this project is good value for money,” said Mr Grieve.

“There is no business case for it. I don’t think any private investor would ever be in a position to finance this project.”

Compensation packages on offer for those affected were insufficient, he added.

“Only those living very close to where the line is going will be bought out. Once you are beyond that small margin you still have to buy another house and pay stamp duty, which is a very substantial financial burden,” he said.


You Probably Didn't Hear About This Police Shooting

A police shooting of a supposedly unarmed man by a Salt Lake City police officer of a different race last week has received scant media attention in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

Here is what is known: Dillon Taylor, a 20-year-old white man, his brother, Jerrail Taylor, 22, and their cousin were confronted by police outside a 7-Eleven. Cops were responding to a 911 call about a man they are saying matched Dillon Taylor’s description waving a gun. Taylor was also facing an arrest warrant for violating probation connected to a felony robbery. Cops ordered him to the ground. According to his brother Jerrail, Dillon was wearing headphones at the time and did not hear them. Jerrail said that the officers pointed their guns at Dillon’s face, and he was told to put his hands up, while another officer repeated the command to get on the ground. Jerrail claims that his brother reached down to pull up his pants so that he could get down on the ground, at which point an officer fired, fatally wounding Dillon.

Keep in mind the brother of the slain man gave this version of the story, and that Jerrail also has had his share of run-ins with the law. The Salt Lake City police department has released few details of the case. They stand by the officer’s actions, but they have so far refused to confirm or deny whether there was actually a gun. Nor have they identified the officer, other than to say that he was “not white.” Police chief Chris Burbank told reporters that the entire incident was captured by a body camera worn by one of the officers. He said that the video would be released at the “appropriate” time, along with the officer’s identity.

So, there are two young men in different cities, both supposedly unarmed (which police could not have known) but with a criminal history, both shot by cops who were of a different race than the suspects. Facts in the Ferguson case indicate that Michael Brown assaulted the officer who ultimately shot him. Civilian witnesses and Dillon Taylor’s family and friends claim he was unarmed when he was killed, though police have refused to comment on that aspect of the incident. In reaching for his pants, Dillon could have been reaching for a weapon. Brown became a national news story and his shooting sparked a riot and became the focal point of race baiters looking to cash in and play up the racist cop narrative that further stoked violence in Ferguson. Conversely, Taylor’s death was barely reported and life continues pretty much as before in Salt Lake City.

In the Ferguson case, a black man was shot by a white police officer. That plays into the Left’s race-baiting narrative of cops supposedly declaring war on black people. That means ratings. And in this case, it also meant a full-scale riot that took days to bring to a close, even by heavily armed police officers. In Salt Lake City, the man who was shot was white, and the cop is … not white. Therefore, the Salt Lake City story runs against the racial narrative, and reporters can’t, or won’t, confirm the officer’s race.

As Mark Alexander pointed out, if there is a war on black people in this country, then it is a war with other blacks. The latest national statistics on homicide and race tell the story. Blacks represent 13% of the population, yet half of all homicide victims were black. And over 90% of those murdered were killed by other blacks.

This is a disturbing trend that truly is a national tragedy. Yet, it gets no airplay, and it certainly doesn’t get the attention of Barack Obama or Activist General Eric Holder. Stopping black-on-black crime would require real work to stop the cycle of poverty, crime, and lack of education that has plagued blacks for decades. It would mean admitting that the “Great Society” was a failure that has created nothing but a poverty-plantation base of Democrat support. It’s more convenient to point fingers and stir racial animosity, because that draws headlines and makes it appear as if something is being done without expending any real effort.


The Great Racial Disconnect on Police

On Monday, Rasmussen released a poll of Americans regarding the guilt or innocence of Officer Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot unarmed 18-year-old black man Michael Brown six times in Ferguson, Missouri. Those polls show that 57 percent of black adults think that Wilson should be found guilty of murder; 56 percent of whites, by contrast, are undecided on the matter.

The latter position is the correct one. Witnesses, including one Dorian Johnson, claim that Brown was pulled over by Wilson, attacked by him and pulled into the car, ran, stopped when told to freeze by Wilson, held up his hands, and was then shot. Other witnesses — more than a dozen of them, according to local media — say that Brown attacked Wilson, went for Wilson's gun, fled before being told to stop, then charged Wilson before being shot.

Here's what we do know: Despite original media reports labeling Brown a "gentle giant," Brown and shooting witness Dorian Johnson did participate in a strong-arm robbery of a local convenience store. We know that despite original witness reports suggesting that Brown was shot in the back, he was not. We know that contemporaneous witness accounts caught on tape suggest that Brown charged at Wilson. And we know that a young black man is dead with six bullets in him at the hands of a white cop.

And to huge segments of the black community, that last fact is the only one that matters. The full facts do not matter to extremists in the black community and to their white leftist enablers, particularly in the media. A full 41 percent of black Americans believe that riots and looting represent "legitimate outrage." Not protesting — riots and looting. Just 35 percent of blacks think that looters and rioters are criminals taking advantage of the situation.

There is a pattern here: a widespread belief in the black community that the justice system is rigged against them. That belief is not without basis — there is no question that America has a history of racism within the criminal justice community. By the same token, there is also no question that American law enforcement is the least racist it has ever been, by a long shot, and that racism within the law enforcement community is broadly considered unacceptable and vile.

But the belief in a racist justice system seems to have maintained its stranglehold inside the black community. That belief, taken to its extreme, means support for black criminality. It is no coincidence that during the O.J. Simpson trial, 60 percent of black Americans did not believe O.J. was guilty. It is also no coincidence that many white Americans perceive black support for murderers like O.J. Simpson and riots in Ferguson as support for lawlessness, and therefore pooh-pooh charges of police racism. When crying racism becomes crying wolf, it is hard to take such charges seriously.

The solution, however, lays neither in knee-jerk accusations of racism from the black community nor in immediate dismissals of individual accusations by the white community. It lies in continued targeting and prosecution of individual racists in the police community, of course — and far more importantly, it lies in less criminality within the black community. The high levels of crime in the black community contribute to heavier policing, which in turn reinforces perceptions of racial targeting; those perceptions then create resentment against police than ends too often in violent encounters and failure to report crime. And so the cycle starts anew.

It's time to break the cycle. The only way to do that is to focus on the fact that police have no excuse to shoot anyone unless those people are committing criminal acts. On that we can all agree. Yes, we must arduously insist that police hold to that standard, and we must prosecute those who do not to the fullest extent of the law. But by the same token, we must insist that criminal acts stop — and to do that, we must move beyond simple anti-police sentiment.


Government to Farmers: Host Same-Sex Wedding or Pay a $13,000 Fine

Should the government be able to coerce a family farm into hosting a same-sex wedding?

In a free society, the answer is no. Family farms should be free to operate in accordance with the beliefs and values of their owners. Government shouldn’t be able to fine citizens for acting in the market according to their own—rather than the government’s—values, unless there is a compelling government interest being pursued in the least restrictive way possible.

But the New York State Division of Human Rights doesn’t see things this way. On August 8, it fined Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for acting on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman and thus declining to rent out their family farm for a same-sex wedding celebration. The Human Rights Commission ruled that “the nature and circumstances of the [Giffords’s] violation of the Human Rights Law also warrants a penalty.”

This is coercive big government run amok.

Here’s the back story. In 2012, Melissa Erwin and Jennie McCarthy contacted the Giffords to rent the family’s barn for their same-sex wedding ceremony and reception. Cynthia Gifford responded that she and her husband would have to decline their request as they felt they could not in good conscience host a same-sex wedding ceremony at their home. The Giffords live on the second and third floor of the barn and, when they host weddings on the first floor, they open part of the second floor as a bridal suite.

The Giffords have owned and operated Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York for over 25 years. Like many small farm families, they often open the farm to the public for events like berry picking, fall festivals, and pig racing.

Should the government be in the business of “re-educating” its citizens to change their moral beliefs?

They also open their home for weddings and receptions. When the Giffords host weddings, they are involved in every aspect of the wedding planning and celebration: they greet and drive guests in their farm trolley, decorate the barn, set up floral arrangements, arrange fireworks displays, and provide catering. As the Human Rights Commission ruling even points out, “the only wedding-related service Liberty Ridge Farm does not offer is providing the official for the wedding ceremony.”

As many brides know, planning a wedding requires hours of careful work to organize in order to pull off the celebration—hours during which family businesses operating venues like the Giffords’ actively participate in the weddings they host. The Giffords believe that as free citizens running a business, they should have the right to decline to participate in an event that does not reflect their values.

Unfortunately, New York’s Human Right’s law (Executive Law, art. 15) creates special privileges based on sexual orientation that trump the rights of business owners. Because the Giffords’ family farm is open to the public for business, New York classifies it as a “public accommodation” and then mandates that it not “discriminate” on the basis of sexual orientation.

Of course the Giffords were not engaging in any insidious discrimination—they were acting on their belief about the nature of marriage. They do not object to gay or lesbian customers attending the fall festivals, or going berry picking, or doing any of the other activities that the farm facilitates. The Giffords’ only objection is to being forced to abide by the government’s views on sexuality and host a same-sex wedding. The Human Rights Commission has now declared this historic belief about marriage to be “discrimination.”

The Giffords must pay a $1,500 mental anguish fine to each of the women and pay $10,000 in civil damages penalty to New York State. If they can’t pay in 60 days, a nine percent interest rate will be added to that total. Like Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Giffords must also institute anti-discrimination re-education classes and procedures for their staff.

The question before all citizens is whether this law and this fine are just. Should the government be able to force family businesses to betray their consciences and participate in ceremonies that violate their beliefs? Should the government be in the business of “rehabilitating” consciences or “re-educating” its citizens to change their moral beliefs about the definition of marriage?

Government should not create special legal privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Instead, government should protect the rights of Americans and the associations they form to act in the public square in accordance with their beliefs. The Giffords’ case illustrates the growing conflict between religious liberty rights and laws that grant special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In a nation founded on limited government and religious freedom, government should not attempt to coerce any citizen, association, or business into celebrating same-sex relationships.



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 August, 2014

How Muslim Repatriation Could Work

Those of us who contemplate the problems Muslim immigration and proliferation are causing in Europe sooner or later realise that the only possible way of preserving European civilisation is for the Muslims to leave. But how could that come about? Below I present a sketch of a possible repatriation policy that could be implemented by a future government that is interested in preserving the well-being of its people instead of waging war on them.

Stage One: Registration

First of all, all Muslims will be required to register as such with the government. There should be a deadline for doing this. After the deadline, it becomes a criminal offence to be an unregistered Muslim in the country. New converts to Islam are given a grace period in which they must register. There will need to be some form of tribunal able to judge whether a person is a Muslim or not even if they have not registered as such. The standard of proof should be the civil one of "more likely than not" rather than the criminal one of "beyond a reasonable doubt", even though criminal penalties will apply. The penalties for failure to register as a Muslim should be forfeiture of all worldly goods (even the clothes they are wearing) of the Muslim and all family members up to a certain degree of separation, following by expulsion from the country.

Stage Two: Voluntary Departure

After the initial registration process is complete, all Muslims should be told that they are required to leave the country within 6 months. They can go wherever they like, as long as it's away from Britain. They can take all of their goods and assets with them. During this period, all registered Muslims leaving the country for good, giving up their British passports, will be paid a certain amount, say £10,000 to help with their resettlement costs. This will be per head and will apply even to children so a Pakistani family of man and wife with 5 children could be going home with £70,000 in their pockets. That is a lot of money in Pakistan and should allow them to buy a nice, big house and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle there. There can be no complaints that they are not being generously treated.

The money will only be paid if the Muslims are leaving not only Britain but the European Union. Many Muslims would seek to use their EU passports to move elsewhere in Europe. Offloading the Muslims to another European country would not be responsible, however, as all west European countries share the same predicament.

During the voluntary departure period, all Muslims in public employment should be dismissed from their jobs and all Muslims should lose their eligibility for benefits. The public practice of the Muslim faith should be prohibited. Mosques should be confiscated by the state and demolished. These measures are necessary to incentivise the departure of the Muslims.

Stage Three: Involuntary Departure

After 6 months, the involuntary expulsion phase begins. In this phase, no compensation is paid to the Muslims who are leaving and they have no choice about their final destination. The Muslims are removed by force and the money is instead paid to the governments of whichever country agrees to take them. There are dirt-poor countries in the third world that would probably be happy to take the Muslims off our hands for £10,000 per head or so. If necessary, we should pay more, perhaps throwing in some military training/equipment or foreign aid to sweeten the deal. If it proves difficult to find countries willing to accept the Muslims, we should consider alternatives. These would include simply occupying parts of countries which have no effectively functioning government, such as Somalia, and offloading the Muslims there.

Another alternative is to recognise a separatist movement somewhere, where there may be a militia in conflict with a central government, acknowledging it as a separate country in return for a promise to take the Muslims off our hands. Of course we could also supply money and equipment in this case too.

Consideration should also be given to creating a completely new country and using it as a sink for undesirables (mainly the Muslims due to be expelled, but it could also prove useful for dealing with others such as illegal immigrants or asylum seekers). Africa would be the most obvious choice for creating a new country. Governments there are poor and the borders are largely artificial anyway, having been drawn up by European imperialists rather than evolving over the course of centuries according to the natural contours of geography, ethnicity and popular feeling.

Britain could offer to purchase territory from an existing African state or, in extremis, could simply occupy land and create a new state there without the agreement of the government which is formally in control of it. For the first few years, deportees could be given assistance in the form of money, food and agricultural equipment in order to establish themselves there.

Britain would need to maintain some degree of imperial military control of the new country until the process of deportation was complete. If it is desired to maintain the newly created country as an outlet for illegal immigrants, imperial control would have to be maintained indefinitely. Imperial control could take the form of either maintaining a military presence at the points of ingress to the country (for example ports or airports) or, if it was thought desirable, Britain could attempt to play a shaping role in forming the government of the new country.

As an alternative to Africa, the Arctic could also be considered. Although generally inhospitable to human habitation, parts of the Arctic are capable of sustaining some forms of agriculture.

In this way it should be possible to get rid of the entire Muslim population in Britain (or any other European country) in a reasonably humane way within a few years. Pursuing a policy like this is the only way to prevent civil wars breaking out in Western Europe within a few decades. Many people have strong moral inhibitions about implementing a repatriation programme. Those inhibitions must be overcome. It is, quite simply, the only way to preserve our way of life.


Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is ‘Mental Disorder;' Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible’

 Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.

Dr. McHugh, the author of six books and at least 125 peer-reviewed medical articles, made his remarks in a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal, where he explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a “disorder of ‘assumption’” – the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically.

He also reported on a new study showing that the suicide rate among transgendered people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people. Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% “spontaneously lost those feelings.”

While the Obama administration, Hollywood, and major media such as Time magazine promote transgenderism as normal, said Dr. McHugh, these “policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention.”

“This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken – it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”

The transgendered person’s disorder, said Dr. McHugh, is in the person’s “assumption” that they are different than the physical reality of their body, their maleness or femaleness, as assigned by nature. It is a disorder similar to a “dangerously thin” person suffering anorexia who looks in the mirror and thinks they are “overweight,” said McHugh.

This assumption, that one’s gender is only in the mind regardless of anatomical reality, has led some transgendered people to push for social acceptance and affirmation of their own subjective “personal truth,” said Dr. McHugh. As a result, some states – California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – have passed laws barring psychiatrists, “even with parental permission, from striving to restore natural gender feelings to a transgender minor,” he said.

The pro-transgender advocates do not want to know, said McHugh, that studies show between 70% and 80% of children who express transgender feelings “spontaneously lose those feelings” over time. Also, for those who had sexual reassignment surgery, most said they were “satisfied” with the operation “but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery.”

“And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a ‘satisfied’ but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs,” said Dr. McHugh.

The former Johns Hopkins chief of psychiatry also warned against enabling or encouraging certain subgroups of the transgendered, such as young people “susceptible to suggestion from ‘everything is normal’ sex education,” and the schools’ “diversity counselors” who, like “cult leaders,” may “encourage these young people to distance themselves from their families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having transgender surgery.”

Dr. McHugh also reported that there are “misguided doctors” who, working with very young children who seem to imitate the opposite sex, will administer “puberty-delaying hormones to render later sex-change surgeries less onerous – even though the drugs stunt the children’s growth and risk causing sterility.”

Such action comes “close to child abuse,” said Dr. McHugh, given that close to 80% of those kids will “abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated ….”

“’Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” said McHugh. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”


Poll: 57% of Americans Believe Only Winning Kids Should Receive Trophies

Support for participation trophies is strongly linked to political beliefs, according to an August Reason-Rupe poll. Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe that only winning players should receive trophies, while 40% believe every kid on the team should receive a trophy for participating - but support for participation trophies drops with income, education and age.

Two-thirds (67%) of college graduates think only winners should get trophies, whereas those with high school degrees are evenly divided in their support for participation trophies.

Likewise, 66% of Republicans believe only the kids who win should receive trophies, while Democrats are evenly divided: 48% say all kids should receive a trophy, and 48% say only winners.

From Reason:

The competitive desire for winners to be rewarded correlates with fiscal conservatism. Among those who only think winners should get a trophy, 64 percent have a favorable view of capitalism, 64 percent thinks markets better solve problems than government, and 63 percent favor smaller government providing fewer services. In contrast, among those who think all kids should get a trophy, a plurality (49%) have an unfavorable view of capitalism, 50 percent thinks a strong government better solves problems than the free market, and 54 percent favor larger government providing more services.


The NSPCC: enemy of justice

The group’s latest hysterical campaign could seriously damage the law.

During the UK parliamentary recess, and the legal vacation, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has kicked off another hysterical and misleading campaign, called ‘Order in Court’, this time designed to manipulate the public into thinking that our criminal justice system fails children.

It cites two cases on its website. One is an audio soundbite of 35 seconds featuring an anonymous woman named ‘Erica’. She complains that ‘the questioning of the barristers… did not bring justice for the children’, and that ‘perpetrators walk free because the barrister did a very good job of slaying the children’. Another is an account by a grandmother aggrieved because, after a four-day trial, her five-year-old grandson’s father was acquitted on charges of sexually abusing the boy.

The extreme hyperbole of accusing defence counsel of child-killing (‘slaying the children’) is not, I suggest, accidental. It is an attempt to smear the legal profession which undertakes defence work by exaggerating to the point of untruth. This was not some emotional outburst by the parent concerned: it was a pre-planned interview.

In both these cases, we are invited to assume that a terrible injustice has occurred, because two men were acquitted. This is irrational. In criminal cases, the standard of proof is necessarily high because of the drastic consequences for a defendant’s liberty and reputation if he is convicted, particularly if accused of offences against children. Therefore, the Crown must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The defence has the right to challenge the prosecution’s case, and this includes cross-examining witnesses, robustly if need be.

Indeed, the cornerstone of our justice system is the principle that it is better that 10 guilty men should go free than that one innocent person should be convicted. Eminent jurists from Blackstone to Maimonides have reiterated this core principle, which ultimately dates back to the Bible: in Genesis, God tells Abraham that he will not consume the righteous with the wicked.

The statue of Justice on the Old Bailey is depicted blindfolded for a good reason. Justice does not take sides. However, the NSPCC, a pressure group whose campaigning on child abuse has become increasingly dictatorial, thinks that our system of criminal justice should be engineered to make it easier to convict. It demands that no child accuser should ever have to come to court; that barristers and judges undergo mandatory ‘specialist training’; and that young witnesses should have a ‘trained communications expert’.

This ignores the fact that, in recent decades, the rules on evidence have been repeatedly amended in favour of complainants: for example, by abolishing the requirement that judges should warn juries of the dangers of convicting on uncorroborated evidence in sex cases; and by enabling complainants who are deemed ‘vulnerable’ to give evidence remotely by video link. Barristers and judges are regularly trained in dealing with vulnerable witnesses.

The NSPCC’s slogan is ‘No child-abuse victim should ever have to face their attacker in court’. But the case featured on its website of the five-year-old is one where the child did not face his father in court: he gave evidence from a separate room, by video link. This only goes to show how tenuous the basis for the NSPCC’s campaign is. There is a world of difference, anyway, between a very young child and a teenage complainant who is a week away from turning 18.

The key to any situation where a child is being abused is to remove the child from the abusive environment. In the absence of supportive forensic evidence, however, such as clear signs of injury whose cause can properly be said to be non-accidental, it is not always going to be possible to prove cases of suspected abuse beyond reasonable doubt. If cases fail in court, that raises the obvious question of whether they should have been tried in the first place. An uncritical approach on the part of investigators or prosecutors does no one any favours, least of all children.

By referring to ‘victim’ and ‘attacker’, the NSPCC – like the Crown Prosecution Service and the police nowadays – is continually conditioning the public to accept a presumption of guilt. It is in thrall to the dangerous and quixotic idea that complaints are all well-founded. Anyone with any experience of the criminal law knows this to be untrue. So do family lawyers.

Those concerned to maintain the integrity of the justice system have been battling such distorted thinking for some decades now. As a New Zealand academic, Dr (now Professor) Goodyear-Smith, writing in the 1990s, said:

‘This practice of advocacy for sexual-offence complainants, which has been adopted by those working in forensic roles, seriously undermines the impartiality of the investigation and trial procedures. Inherently believing all allegations are genuine means there is a presumption of guilt, and the police, doctors, counsellors and lawyers have therefore already effectively conducted the trial in their heads. The effects of confirmatory bias are well documented, and an initial belief in the guilt of the accused can colour how the police, the doctors and other professionals conduct their investigations and look for evidence which might demonstrate that the defendant is innocent.’

Professor Goodyear-Smith reported in the British Medical Journal in March this year just how bad things can get when professionals develop a shared idée fixe about the possibility of abuse. A 10-year-old immigrant from Zimbabwe was admitted to hospital unconscious, with untreated HIV. She developed sepsis and died. The treating clinicians were preoccupied with the idea that she had been anally raped and then suffocated. They failed to consider sepsis as a cause of death. Her adoptive uncle was put on trial for rape and murder, and was acquitted. The prosecution appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court, which ordered a retrial. He was retried, and acquitted again. But for the dogged efforts of his defence team, he would no doubt be serving life for crimes he did not commit. An international expert review of the case concluded that her death was in fact due to toxic shock syndrome, due to advanced AIDS.

The NSPCC’s obsession with victims to the exclusion of other considerations is harmful to the justice system in other respects. Like many advocacy groups campaigning against abuse, it is indifferent to the collateral damage that is done when innocent people are wrongly accused. It encourages those complaining of abuse to think that they should be believed, when the reality is that some complaints will not stand up to scrutiny in a court. And it seeks to prevent judges and lawyers from doing their jobs as they should. Make no mistake: the NSPCC’s proposals have very little to do with justice.



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 August, 2014

Bullying husbands face jail under new British proposals

What about bullying wives?  There are plenty of them

HUSBANDS who keep their wives downtrodden could face prison under new plans set out by the Government today. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, published proposals for a new offence of “domestic abuse” designed to criminalise men who bully, cause psychological harm or deny money to their partners.

The law would make the worst cases of non-violent “controlling behaviour” a jailable offence.

Exact terms of the offence are yet to be defined, but it could involve humiliating, frightening or intimidating a partner, keeping them away from friends or family or restricting their access to money.

A 15-page consultation document issued by the Home Officethat there would have to be a “pattern” of abuse to trigger a prosecution.

It comes after the Government unveiled a “Cinderella” law earlier this year which will see parents who starve their children of love and affection being prosecuted for “emotional cruelty”.

Both proposed offences mark a significant incursion by the State into what have previously been regarded as private affairs.

Mrs May said she was clear that domestic abuse was “not just about violence”. “Within every community there are people living in fear of those closest to them,” she said.

“The terrifying reality is that for the most part these appalling crimes happen behind closed doors. We must bring domestic abuse out into the open and send a clear message that it is wrong to put your partner or your family in fear.”

Although the new domestic abuse offence is mainly designed to protect wives and girlfriends from male partners who intimidate them, it will apply equally to men being targeted by women. The Home Office said 16 per cent of men admit to being victims of domestic abuse during their lifetimes compared with 30 per cent of women, according to research.

Women’s Aid, one of the groups working with the Home Office on the proposals, highlighted the case of a mother-of-two whose abusive marriage illustrated the kind of relationship that could be covered by the law.

She suffered years of psychological abuse from her husband who, she said, would “put me down”, hide her possessions and “scream” at her if she came home late.

“I wasn’t allowed any money for myself,” she said. “He would spend £200 a week at a strip club; I had to give a comprehensive budget of everything I was spending.”

In a separate case highlighted by Rachel Horman, a solicitor who specialises in domestic abuse cases, a woman was woken in the night by her husband, who had been drinking.

He ordered her to go to the garage to buy cigarettes for him, and to bring a receipt to show how much of his money she had spent.

When she returned without the receipt, he shouted obscenities at her and ordered her to get on her knees to beg his forgiveness, which she did immediately to avoid being hit.

The consultation paper acknowledged that domestic abuse was already partly covered by stalking and harassment laws, but it said a new offence might be necessary because some experts had argued that “the law is ambiguous and perpetrators are … not being brought to justice”.

A new offence would strengthen protection for people in relationships with each other, and could also cover abuse between family members and ex-partners. The consultation, which is open for eight weeks, defines domestic abuse as “a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim”.

A Home Office spokesman said the crime would be prosecuted “along the same lines” as anti-stalking and harassment offences. Under those laws, there must have been at least two occasions when the victim was caused distress.

She added that the worst cases of domestic abuse, where there was  intimidation “over a long period of time”, would carry a jail term, although no maximum sentences had yet been drawn up.

Less serious examples are likely to be dealt with by community orders or fines.

The number of domestic abuse cases referred by police for prosecution reached a record high of 103,500 last year.

Conviction rates for this type of crime have increased from just under 60 per cent in 2005-06 to nearly 75 per cent in 2013-14, according to the Home Office. Polly Neate, the chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “This is a vital step forward for victims of domestic violence.

“Two women a week are killed by domestic violence, and in our experience of working with survivors, coercive controlling behaviour is at the heart of the most dangerous abuse.”

Prof David Wilson, a criminologist at Birmingham City University, supported the move, but warned that the new offence could pose initial legal problems.

“The dividing line between abuse and criminality is often one that is difficult to measure,” he said.

Peter Lodder QC, a criminal barrister, added: “The law can be a blunt instrument and if you are talking about how people conduct their private lives the criminal law is not always the best way to control that.

“Extreme cases may be obvious but the difficulty may come with where one draws the line."


Tony Martin, 15 years on: I don't want to go back there because it could happen again

Tony Martin, the farmer jailed for shooting dead a teenage burglar, is yet to return home 15 years after the incident and has been sleeping rough in his car.

Mr Martin, now 69, said he did not want to go back to his Norfolk farmhouse – called Bleak House – in case he was burgled again. He said he would not hesitate to do the same again if he was and did not want to go back to prison.

"If I was in Bleak House again and someone came in there then I'm not going to just stand there and let him hurt me. I'm going to act,” he said.

“That's one of the reasons I don't want to go back there because it could happen again. I don't relish the idea of going back in there, getting arrested and going to prison again,” he added.

After the shooting, on August 20, 1999, the farmhouse – left to him by an uncle – was boarded up with sheet metal and has remained that way ever since.

Mr Martin said he said he doubted he would ever return. He refused to say where he was living but said he had been staying with friends, in a hotel and in his car.

His friends and supporters have urged him to sell the farm and its land, thought to be worth in the region of £3 million, and live a "more comfortable existence" but he has refused.

"The whole thing that happened to me in simple terms is preposterous. I don't think I'll ever go back and live at Bleak House,” he said.

"I wouldn't call this place a home anymore, it is just a place to visit. It is a time that place forgot.  "I looked at it last night and it is encased in steel and flooded with water. It looks like the Everglades.

"I just live anywhere, I sleep anywhere. If I go up north to a farm show then I will just stay in my car.  "I live a little bit like Bonnie Prince Charlie and go from place to place. I have very kind friends."

Mr Martin, a bachelor, was convicted of murder and jailed for life in April 2000 for killing 16 year-old Fred Barras and seriously injuring his accomplice, Brendon Fearon, then 28.

His sentence was later reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after a psychiatrist said he had paranoid personality disorder, probably made worse by an earlier invasion of his property by burglars, and he was released from prison in 2003 having served three years.

The incident provoked a fierce debate over the right of homeowners to defend themselves and their property and led to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) releasing new guidelines stating that a householder could use "reasonable force" to protect themselves against crime.

But Mr Martin said he did not think the guidelines went far enough, and that guns should be legalised in the UK.

"I would definitely do something to legalise guns and give people the right to protect themselves,” said Mr Martin, who allegedly received death threats from people wanting to “seek revenge” after the shooting.

"You certainly need to be safe in your own house with impunity. If somebody breaks into your house has to be considered the extreme and if it is not then god help us.”

Speaking about the case of Paul Kohler, the businessman and academic who was set upon by a masked gang when he answered the door to his home in Wimbledon last week, Mr Martin said: “If they had something like a gun in that house they could have picked it up and things would have been different.

"I think it is just hypocrisy that a man can't go to any length to protect himself and his own ….”

Fearon and Barras - who was from the travellers’ community, both had a string of previous convictions. They had travelled from Newark in Nottinghamshire to the farmhouse in Emneth Hungate with the intention of stealing antiques.

Mr Martin, who was said to be living in fear after a burglary three months earlier, shot them with an unlicensed Winchester pump action shotgun.

During his murder trial, the court heard that Mr Martin was well known in the area for his outspoken views on criminals particularly travellers, and lived an unconventional life in his ramshackle farmhouse, which was lit with just two lights.

He told the court he fired in the darkness from halfway down the stairs into his breakfast room after a torch was shone into his eyes, insisting he was acting in self-defence.

The prosecution, however, persuaded the jury that Mr Martin had lain in wait for the burglars and shot them in cold blood.

Malcolm Starr, who who led protests to downgrade Mr Martin's murder conviction said: "We keep on at him to do so [sell his farm] because Tony is sat on 300 prime acres in the area, and he isn't getting any younger.

"Tony would benefit from living a cosier, more comfortable existence."


New plan to end secrecy in British family courts

Crucial steps towards ending secrecy in the family courts have been set out by a leading judge as he published proposals to open cases to the public for the first time.

Sir James Munby, president of the High Court’s family division, said he was seeking “preliminary views” on allowing the public to attend divorces and other types of case involving family matters such as child custody hearings.

The judge said opening the courts was a key part of his “transparency agenda” which aims to open the court’s often controversial work to greater public scrutiny.

He also proposed a number of measures designed to make it easier for the Press to report on family hearings, including giving access to case summaries and other documents.

“The public has a legitimate interest in being able to read what is being done by the judges in its name,” said Sir James.

The family courts have seen a number of controversies over decisions being taken in secret.

Last December the Telegraph disclosed how Alessandra Pacchieri, an Italian who suffers from a bipolar condition, was taken into hospital while visiting England and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

In a hearing which took place behind closed doors at the Court of Protection, a judge granted permission for doctors to forcibly remove her unborn child, a girl, who was put into foster care almost immediately.

Miss Pacchieri’s case was later described by Sir James as a “final, stark and irrefutable demonstration of the pressing need for radical changes” in the family courts and the Court of Protection.

Earlier in 2013 it had emerged that Wanda Maddocks, 50, was jailed "in secret" for contempt for disobeying court orders relating to care for her 80-year-old father, who was suffering from dementia.

In the new proposals from Sir James, he said: “I am seeking preliminary, pre-consultation views about the possible hearing in public of certain types of family case.

“I am likely to propose that if the matter proceeds at all, it will initially be by way of a pilot.”

He asked for views on which types of family case might be appropriate for public hearings, what “restrictions and safeguards” would be required and what form a pilot scheme might take.

Granting the media the right to obtain copies of certain types of documents would “assist them in performing their watchdog role”, he added.

Key words might also be added to case numbers to assist reporters in identifying important cases, Sir James added.

Currently, family cases are listed in court only by an alpha-numeric code which conveys no detail about what the case is about.


Bridal Shop Bullied For Not Participating in Lesbian Wedding

The Christian owners of a bridal boutique in Pennsylvania who refused to make wedding gowns for two lesbians and bridesmaids dresses for their cross-dressing groomsmen were bullied for sticking to their religious beliefs.

Al Luschas, an attorney representing Victoria and Thomas Miller - proprietors of W.W. Bridal Boutique, which has been family owned and operated for two decades in Bloomsburg, Penn. - said they were victims of “very vicious attacks across the board” even though they did nothing illegal.

The attacks included “very, very nasty telephone messages in which people said ‘I hope you get raped,’ or ‘I hope your children get raped,’ and a whole series of violet threats,” Luschas told CNSNews.com.

In addition to the verbal threats, Luschas added, some people posted “false bad reviews online.”

“Their website was also hacked by a group, which posted on their website that they had gone out of business. Two local news stations then broadcast that they had gone out of business, so they were fielding frantic calls from girls who had ordered wedding dresses. It’s been a difficult time for these people,” he said.

According to the shop's website, customers can now be seen "by appointment only."

Luschas, who noted that the Millers have been “instructed not to comment,” declined to say whether the couple intends to pursue legal action.

However, a town spokeswoman told CNSNews.com that the Bloomsburg Town Council’s Commerce and Economic Development Committee will meet on August 26th to discuss a proposed ordinance that Luschas says would “make any discrimination against gays and lesbians illegal.”

In a Facebook post, a woman identified as G. Andrea Shay said that she had called the shop to schedule an appointment to order two wedding dresses as well as “dresses for the groomsmen.”

“I was put on hold for about 5 minutes so the lady could get her appointment book. She took me off hold and said unfortunately she would not be able to schedule an appointment for us because they currently do not service same sex couples and it’s just not something they do,” Shay reportedly said in a Facebook post.

Calling the shop “strange and rude,” she added:

"My husband and I tried to give W. W. Bridal our business, but when the management found out that we needed to order a wedding gown for my husband, and dresses for the groomsmen, they would not allow us to order from them claiming that such a thing would 'Break God's Law.' So they do not want money from people who enjoy cross-dressing. They insisted that we 'Must be gay,' since we wear clothing of the opposite sex. Very strange and rude management."

In a statement to the local newspaper, Thomas Miller, Jr. said that the shop had inadvertently accepted a prior order for a wedding dress from a same-sex couple in June.

“We faced the gay marriage issue knowingly for the first time in June of this year, when one of our employees accepted a wedding dress order from a gay couple.  When we realized what had happened, we decided that we had an obligation to follow through for them,” Miller wrote. “We will complete the order we received in June or provide a full refund.  The choice is theirs.  W.W. Bridal has never failed to honor a commitment.

“But, now we had to decide whether or not our conscience and faith would allow us to participate in future gay and lesbian weddings. To be clear, our objection is not at all directed to gays or lesbians as individuals.  We will sell our products to gay individuals.  It is our participation in the marital process between same sex couples which we concluded to be a violation of a sacred tenant of our religious faith, which is that a marriage is a commitment between a male and a female.“

“The gay and lesbian community has won a hard-fought battle to protect their liberty and rights to pursue happiness.  But, does that give gay activists the right to take our liberty and to restrain our right to pursue our religious faith as we see fit?” Miller asked.



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 August, 2014

British Prime Minister: No Freedom of Speech for ISIS Sympathizers

Britain already greatly restricts speech

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Sunday that the United Kingdom (UK) is cracking down on the speech and activities of sympathizers of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)--also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

In an oped, Camerson said the group represents a "poisonous extremism" that poses "a clear danger to Europe and to our security."

“If people are walking around with ISIL flags or trying to recruit people to their terrorist cause, they will be arrested and their materials will be seized,” Cameron wrote in The Telegraph.

“We are a tolerant people, but no tolerance should allow the room for this sort of poisonous extremism in our country,” he added.

“The creation of an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and extending into Syria is not a problem miles away from home,” Cameron emphasized in his column. “Nor is it a problem that should be defined by a war 10 years ago. It is our concern here and now.

"Because if we do not act to stem the onslaught of this exceptionally dangerous terrorist movement, it will only grow stronger until it can target us on the streets of Britain.”

Cameron’s remarks follow increasing instances of recruitment attempts by ISIL (also known as the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State) in the UK. Last week, leaflets were being handed out on Oxford Street in London encouraging British Muslims to join ISIL in jihad in Iraq. An ISIL flag was also recently flown at a housing project in East London.

“Here in Britain we have recently introduced stronger powers through our Immigration Act to deprive naturalised Britons of their citizenship if they are suspected of being involved in terrorist activities,” Cameron noted in the oped,

“We have taken down 28,000 pieces of terrorist-related material from the web, including 46 ISIL-related videos. And I have also discussed the police response to this growing threat of extremism with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. The position is clear.”

The exact number of British ISIL recruits is not known.

However, "François Hollande, the French president, told a press conference [in January] that up to 700 Britons were in the Middle Eastern country,” while the British government “stood by estimates that 350 Britons are fighting in Syria,” The Telegraph reported in January.

“A humanitarian response alone is not enough,” Cameron added in his oped. “We also need a broader political, diplomatic and security response. For that, we must understand the true nature of the threat we face.

"We should be clear: this is not the 'War on Terror', nor is it a war of religions. It is a struggle for decency, tolerance and moderation in our modern world. It is a battle against a poisonous ideology that is condemned by all faiths and by all faith leaders, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim.”

Cameron also outlined recent steps the UK has taken to stop ISIL.

“On Friday we agreed with our European partners that we will provide equipment directly to the Kurdish forces; we are now identifying what we might supply, from body armour to specialist counter-explosive equipment. We have also secured a United Nations Security Council resolution to disrupt the flows of finance to ISIL, sanction those who are seeking to recruit for it and encourage countries to do all they can to prevent foreign fighters joining the extremist cause.”

“This is a clear danger to Europe and to our security,” the prime minister concluded. “It is a daunting challenge. But it is not an invincible one, as long as we are now ready and able to summon up the political will to defend our own values and way of life with the same determination, courage and tenacity as we have faced danger before in our history. That is how much is at stake here: we have no choice but to rise to the challenge.”

Cameron penned the column after receiving a letter on  Saturday from Nicholas Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, asking the prime minister: “What is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq?

“Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe,” said the bishop, whose letter was supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Bishop Leeds also mentioned “the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced,” asking if the British government had “a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others?”


Feminism and Pop Culture Wage War Against Fathers

There are many issues modern society and culture face today, many of which are troubling and threaten to undermine our Liberty, values and way of life. Our culture is in a state of flux, in a battle of ideas between those who defend traditional values and those who believe their ideas are better than those of our ancestors. The traditional family of a father and mother, who together raise their children to be good citizens, is at the heart of civil society, but it’s also under constant assault.

In the family structure, the father is of utmost importance, as he is the head of household whose role, among others, is to be the provider, protector and principled leader for his family. This sounds a bit old fashioned, but it has worked for centuries. Yet despite the evidence of fathers being a crucial aspect of the family, our culture is pushing them out at the behest of feminists, pop culture elitists and many within the media.

Take for example recent comments made by pop singer Katy Perry. She told Rolling Stone, “I don’t need a dude” to have and raise a baby. Surely she can’t be serious. It would be scientifically impossible for her to have a baby without “a dude” regardless of whether she was in a relationship, or visited a sperm bank. Whichever direction she chooses, she will need “a dude.”

This scientific truth suggests that a man is needed to be there for the child. Presumably, she doesn’t need a man after she has a baby – that is, she doesn’t need a father to help raise her baby. Certainly because of her wealth and fame, she could provide material needs for her baby, and pay others to raise her child while she’s on tour. But why not marry a man who can be the father of her child? Perry was raised by a mother and a father, yet apparently she has bought into the idea that wealth can “make up for the flesh-and-blood influence of a loving father.”

Katy Perry may have all the money she needs, but that’s not true for most single moms. Statistics from the Heritage Foundation show that children raised in married homes are “82 percent less likely to be poor than children in single parent homes.” For the sake of the children’s future, both parents are necessary.

Perry’s assertion that she doesn’t need a father for her child no doubt has many feminists cheering. Feminists have for some time insisted that men are expendable and useless idiots. They suggest that men are oppressors of women, and that masculinity is a thing of the past. They want birth control to be paid for by society, which is a bit ironic seeing how it takes a man for them to even need birth control in the first place.

Feminists and various celebrities have done considerable damage to the family structure. Television sitcoms such as The Simpsons, Family Guy and Modern Family, to name a few, make a mockery of doltish men in every episode, and, therefore, these shows significantly downplay the role of the father in the family. The message these shows are sending is that fathers are unimportant, are often the cause of dysfunction, and at best what they say and do is silly.

With the assault on the family today, fathers have a more critical role in the family than in previous years. With the direction our culture is heading, and the determination of some to purposefully tear down the family structure, the responsibility of the father has increased. No one questions the importance of mothers, but fathers need more than ever to be involved in the lives of their children, to give them the support they need, to be there when they are afraid, to guide them in the path they should go. Fathers need to discipline their children, correct them when they do wrong, and praise them when they do right. Fathers should still provide for their families, they should show love and compassion for their spouse and their children. They need to be courageous, unshakable in their faith and principles, and they should be proud of their masculinity because that is the way they are created.

Fathers can’t sit back and assume all is well. They need to pay attention to what is going on in our culture and do something about it. They should start with their own families, and then provide the support and encouragement to fathers whom they know are struggling. Above all, the father should not quit, should not give up and should not give in. The stakes for the future of our country are too high.


Grandparents are key to our prosperity

David Cameron wants to recognise grandparents' contribution to raising the future generation. He is right: Granny is key to our well-being. Helping grandparents is a display of enlightened Government action.

This Coalition has ignored the family for too long. It has penalised stay-at-home mothers — at their peril, as Nick Clegg discovered during one of his radio shows. It has tried to erase the distinction between marriage as a religious union and a secular institution. The result is that the Conservatives' reputation as the family-friendly party has been rubbished.

Cameron fears he may pay for this negligence at the election: and it is to woo the grey vote that the PM now pledges perks and privileges to the more than 200,000 grandparents in the UK who are stepping in to help raise grandchildren. Having whipped up their hostility with previous moves — remember the outcry over the granny tax, which had Dame Joan Bakewell spitting? — Dave hopes to smooth those ruffled (if now sparse) feathers.

But supporting grandparents' links with their progeny and their children will boost more than granny and grandpa. It will help build what sociologists and economists call social capital — good, old-fashioned relationships based on trust and loyalty. These are fundamental to prosperity, as Robert Putnam suggested in his 2000 classic "Bowling Alone". His words have been proved right: the latest Prosperity Index shows that when a nation's social capital is eroded, as has been true of Italy and France in the last few years, the country's economy struggles. Investors, like everyone else, prefer a community where collaboration and cooperation thrive.

An added bonus, from granny's point of view, is that those countries with a healthy social capital are also those where people live longest. Go, granny!


Anti-Semitism and its limitations


Outside the US, throughout the Western world, anti-Semitism is becoming a powerful social and political force. And its power is beginning to have a significant impact on Israel's relations with other democracies.

Consider South Africa. Following a lopsided vote by the University of Cape Town's Student Union to boycott Israel, Jewish students fear that their own student union will be barred from operating on campus. Carla Frumer from the South African Jewish Student Union told The Times of Israel, "If they prove we are a Zionist organization and support Israel, they can have us banned and seek to de-register us."

In Sydney, Australia, Jewish families received a triple blow last week when Jewish children on a chartered school bus were assaulted by eight anti-Semitic drunken teenagers.

The first shock was that their children, some as young as five, were terrorized on their school bus.

The second shock was that the bus driver made an unscheduled stop to allow the anti-Semites to board the bus and harass the children.

The third shock was that after catching six of the eight assailants, the police let them out of jail the same evening.

Taken together, the incident revealed an obscene comfort level among Australian authorities with the terrorization of Jewish children. Jewish families cannot assume that their children will be protected by non-Jews, whether they are school bus drivers or the police.

Unfortunately, these stories do not begin to scratch the surface of the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the developed world. From Paris to San Paulo, from Berlin to Boston the public space Jews can enjoy without fear is becoming more and more limited.

The same is the case in leftist political circles.

Last week, Paul Estrin, the president of Canada's Green Party, was forced to resign for his pro-Israel views. On July 25, Estrin posted a pro-Israel essay on the party's website. His post caused a furor among the party faithful. The Green Party's leader, MP Elizabeth May, distanced herself from Estrin. And almost the entire party leadership denounced him and demanded his resignation.

In an essay published this week in the Canadian Jewish News, Estrin explained that he joined the party because he wanted to make a difference in the spheres of the environmental protection and human rights. He did not believe that working to achieve these goals in the Green Party would require him to disavow his support for Israel. His recent experience showed him that he was wrong.

In his words, "I am now convinced that one simply can't [support Israel] within the confines of Canada's Green Party."

Similar sentiments have been expressed in recent weeks by pro-Israel members of Britain's Labor Party. After party leader Ed Miliband sided with the majority of the party membership and against Israel in Operation Protective Edge, Kate Bearman, the former director of Labor Friends for Israel, published an article in the Jewish Chronicle announcing that she was quitting the Labor Party.

Bearman wrote, "I feel Ed Miliband's rush to a condemnation of Israel's ground incursion into Gaza gave me no choice but to say goodbye to the party I have always voted and campaigned for."

A survey of Britons taken at the end of last month by YouGov showed that 62 percent believed that Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza. This includes 72% of Labor supporters and 57% of Conservatives.

In other words, nearly two-thirds of Britons believe that Israel has no right to defend itself. And since Israel is surrounded by forces that seek its destruction, we can extrapolate that nearly two-thirds of Britons would, at a minimum, have no problem with Israel being wiped off the map.

This rising political force of anti-Semitism is already impacting previously supportive governments' policies toward the Jewish state. Bowing to the anti-Israel positions of his Liberal-Democrat coalition partners, British Prime Minister David Cameron decided that arms exports to Israel will be suspended if Hamas continues its current round of war with Israel.

The primary engine propelling Western nation after Western nation to abandon their support for Israel and deny the protection of law to Jewish communities is the rising power of Muslim minority communities in these countries. As Douglas Murray explained in an essay published by the Gatestone Institute this week, when it comes to Israel and Jews, otherwise integrated, moderate Muslims in Europe are quick to join jihadists in denouncing Israel and rallying behind anti-Semitic curses and threats.

The unanimity of anti-Semitic prejudice among Muslim communities in the West, and its impact on the politics of Western nations, indicates that in the future, Western nations' polities toward Israel may have more in common with the positions of Sunni Arab states than with those of the US.

Since the dawn of modern Zionism more than a century ago, Arab societies have united around the cause of destroying Zionism as a political force and Israel as a physical entity. As a result, the default position of Arab governments has been to support Israel's destruction. They have advanced this goal through various means, including going to war against the Jewish state, supporting proxies and other irregular forces in their efforts to kill Jews and harm Israel, and using international organizations - first and foremost the United Nations - to institutionalize international anti-Semitism directed against the Jewish state and to criminalize Israel with the aim of expelling it from the international community.

In recent years, we have seen a gradual, quiet disassociation of various Sunni Arab regimes from the war against Israel as they viewed their interests as more aligned with Israel than with its battlefield foes.

The first time this occurred was during Hezbollah's war with Israel in 2006. In the opening weeks of the war, Egypt and Saudi Arabia were demonstrably excited at the prospect of an Israeli rout of Iran's proxy army in Lebanon. As they saw it, an Israeli victory over Hezbollah would deal a powerful blow to Iran's hegemonic designs over the Persian Gulf and Egypt. It would end the Muslim Brotherhood's romance with the mullahs in Tehran.

This Sunni Arab support for Israel only abated when then prime minister Ehud Olmert's serial blundering in his leadership of the war convinced Sunni leaders that Israel would not score a strategic victory.

Over the past six weeks of Operation Protective Edge, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have been even more open about their preference for an Israeli victory, which they view as a blow to the Muslim Brotherhood. Today these regimes feel far more threatened by the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran than they did eight years ago. Indeed, so great is their desire for an Israeli victory over the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza that they are willing to publicly express their position for the first time.

It is not that "the Arab street" in Mecca and Cairo has stopped hating Jews. It is simply that the regimes are willing to neutralize the political influence of Jew-hatred in order to ensure their survival.

In the future, such a commonality of interests may be the only way for Israel to cultivate strategic cooperation with Western nations.



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 August, 2014

An infrastructure push does not lead to a boost to GDP

We’ve heard much these past few years about how now id just the time to have an infrastructure surge. It’s said often enough that a recession is just when we should be building all those roads, railways, council houses and the rest. Obama even tried to find those $800 billion worth of shovel ready projects just raring to do. With no great success it should be said.

Sadly, this just doesn’t seem to work. From the IMF:

    "This paper has examined whether major public investment drives in the past have served to promote or accelerate national economic growth. It is not about whether in theory public investment drives could accelerate growth, but rather whether in practice, with real governments deciding how to spend the funds and implementing investments, they have in fact accelerated growth.

    The answer appears to be “probably very little”. This conclusion pertains to the drives – the big increases in public capital spending – not necessarily to routine levels of public investment. And furthermore the evidence here is not about whether public capital can promote growth by averting the emergence of bottlenecks. Major public investment campaigns continue to be advocated in several countries as a major trigger for economic growth, and on this issue, whether they have in fact triggered growth, the evidence for a positive effect of public capital on GDP or GDP growth is weak.

 … It is difficult to find a clear-cut example that fits the oft-repeated narrative of a public investment boom followed by acceleration in GDP growth. If anything the cases of clear-cut booms illustrate the opposite – major drives in the past have been followed by slumps rather than booms."

In theory it should work, in practice it doesn’t, which is a bit of a conundrum. The practical answer to which puzzle is that government is probably even worse at doing things than we generally think. Thus we’d probably be better off limiting it to that very small set of things that both must be done and that only government can do. Something which is a very small overlap indeed.


Beware of Kafkatrapping

The term "kafkatrapping" describes a logical fallacy that is popular within gender feminism, racial politics and other ideologies of victimhood. It occurs when you are accused of a thought crime such as sexism, racism or homophobia. You respond with an honest denial, which is then used as further confirmation of your guilt. You are now trapped in a circular and unfalsifiable argument; no one who is accused can be innocent because the structure of kafkatrapping precludes that possibility.

The term derives from Franz Kafka's novel The Trial in which a nondescript bank clerk named Josef K. is arrested; no charges are ever revealed to the character or to the reader. Josef is prosecuted by a bizarre and tyrannical court of unknown authority and he is doomed by impenetrable red tape. In the end, Josef is abducted by two strange men and inexplicably executed by being stabbed through the heart. The Trial is Kafka's comment on totalitarian governments, like the Soviet Union, in which justice is twisted into a bitter, horrifying parody of itself and serves only those in charge.

Kafkatrapping twists reason and truth into self-parodies that serve victimhood ideologues who wish to avoid the evidence and reasoned arguments upon which truth rests. The term appears to have originated in a 2010 article written by author and open source software advocate Eric S. Raymond. He opens by acknowledging the worth of equality before the law and of treating others with respect. But, he notes, "[g]ood causes sometimes have bad consequences." One such consequence is that tactics used to raise consciousness can veer "into the creepy and pathological, borrowing the least sane features of religious evangelism."

Raymond offers various models of how kafkatrapping operates. He calls the two most common ones A and C.

Model A: The accuser states, "Your refusal to acknowledge that you are guilty of (sin, racism, sexism, homophobia, oppression...) confirms that you are guilty of (sin, racism, sexism, homophobia, oppression...)." Harking back to The Trial, Raymond explains how the novel's plot parallels the structure and purpose of the accuser's nonargument. No specific acts are named in the accusation, which makes the claim unfalsifiable. The vague charge constitutes a thought crime, which also makes it unfalsifiable. As with The Trial, the process seems designed to create guilt and to destroy resistance so that you become malleable. Indeed, "the only way out ... is ... to acquiesce in his own destruction." Even if you are innocent, the only path to redemption is for you to plead guilty and accept punishment. Ideally, for the accuser, you even come to believe in your own guilt.

Model C is a common variant on the same theme. You may not have done, felt or thought anything wrong but you are still guilty because you benefit from a position of privilege created by others. In other words, you are guilty because of your identification with a group such as "male," "white," or "heterosexual." The accusation makes you responsible for the actions of strangers whose behavior you cannot control and who may have died long ago. Raymond writes, "The aim ... is to produce a kind of free-floating guilt ... a conviction of sinfulness that can be manipulated by the operator [accuser] to make the subject say and do things that are convenient to the operator's personal, political, or religious goals." To be redeemed, you must cease to disagree with your accuser and condemn your entire identity group.

What happens when an accuser confronts someone in the same identity group to which he or she belongs? For example, one woman may question aspects of politically correct feminism being presented by another. An entirely different phenomenon occurs. Obviously, the questioner will not be encouraged to condemn herself for being a woman or to excoriate all women. Instead, she will be defined out of the group.

This is called the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. It occurs when someone is confronted with an example that disproves a universal claim. The British philosopher Antony Flew described the fallacy, which he also named. One day Hamish McDonald reads an article in the Glasgow Morning Herald which reports on an attack by a sex maniac in England. Hamish declares aloud, "No Scotsman would do such a thing!" The next day, the Glasgow Morning Herald reports on an even worse attack in Scotland. Rather than reject his original statement, Hamish exclaims, "No true Scotsman would do such a thing." Thus, conservative women like Sarah Palin are not true woman; blacks who question the validity of 'white privilege' cease to be viewed as truly black.

Other techniques are often associated with kafkatrapping. (Note: For a tactic to be true kafkatrapping, it has to involve an unfalsifiable claim.) Associated techniques that prove your guilt could include:

Requesting a clear-cut definition of what you are charged with – for example, homophobia;

Pointing out an injustice committed by the accuser's identity group;

Applying a single standard to everyone, e.g., refusing to accept that blacks cannot be racist;

Expressing skepticism about any aspect of the victimhood ideology, including the plausibility of anecdotal evidence;

Being ignorant of or uninterested in the subject;

Arguing against the ideology;

Saying "some of my best friends are X."

Kafkatrapping would seem to be a win-win situation for an accuser. And, in the short term, this may be true but its long-term impact can be devastating.

A movement becomes widespread because its voice is truth – at least, largely so – and its demand for justice is valid: For example, homosexuals have been hideously abused through much of history. When a movement discards the truth and justice that made it grow and favors abusive attacks instead, it is in decline. The abuse also quashes any productive discussion of real issues. Raymond observes, "[m]anipulative ways of controlling people tend to hollow out the causes for which they are employed, smothering whatever worthy goals they may have begun with and reducing them to vehicles for the attainment of power and privilege over others."

A separate problem arises if the accuser honestly believes the kafkatrapping. A woman who believes all men are oppressors is unlikely to cooperate with them in a good will attempt to solve social problems. She is more likely to seek a position of dominance over men, which she justifies in the name of self-defense or as a payback that is her due. This heightens tension between the sexes and obstructs sincere attempts to resolve problems. A kafkatrapper true believer becomes increasingly isolated from people who are seen as "the enemy" because they disagree; the true believer becomes increasingly unable to even communicate with or have empathy for a broad spectrum of people. The kafkatrapper 'wins' the argument but loses a shared humanity.


Vet Kicked Out of Theme Park for Wearing Pro-Gun T-Shirt That Supports Military

Corporal Mario Alejandro was a member of the Marines who took part in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. This patriot was recently kicked out of a Six Flags amusement park in Jackson Township, New Jersey. His crime? Wearing a shirt that read, “Keep Calm and Return Fire.” Thanks to his choice in apparel, he couldn’t even get past the front gate:

“I can’t let you into the park with that shirt on. That shirt’s offensive,” Alejandro recalled the guard saying to NJ.com. “I said it’s not offensive, it’s a military shirt. I told him that I am an Iraq veteran … I served in the war. But he said: ‘I don’t care, you have to take it off … or you need to buy another shirt to put over it.”

Alejandro, who could not be reached for comment Friday, refused to remove the T-shirt from The Reconnaissance Foundation, a nonprofit group supporting Marines and their relatives, or to buy another garment, leading the security guard to call a supervisor.

“I saw him talk to two women in white shirts, who looked at me and then shook their heads,” he told NJ.com. “And then the man grabbed my arm and asked me to leave. I told them that it’s not offensive, that it’s a military shirt and that it means nothing. But they said: ‘I don’t care, get out of the park.’”

The proceeds from Alejandro's shirt goes to military veterans. It was supposed to be a win-win: He could exercise his First Amendment right while supporting his fellow soldiers. No matter to Six Flags, it seems.

What exactly is offensive about promoting the Second Amendment and wearing our nation's colors? Unfortunately, this isn't an anomaly. Across the country Americans have been punished for sporting their right to bear arms.

The theme park tried to excuse away its action toward the veteran by noting its ‘longstanding relationship’ with U.S. veterans – such as its policy to offer discounts to veterans and events honoring them and their families.

Sorry, that's no excuse. Shame on Six Flags for humiliating one of our nation’s bravest.


Australia: A Muslim suburb in Sydney

The Lakemba Hotel is one of the last Anglo holdouts in Sydney’s otherwise Middle Eastern south-western suburb. Frankly, the old joint – it opened in 1928 – isn’t putting up much resistance. Most nights the bar is closed by 8.30pm or so, because by then what few customers it attracts are insufficient to cover running costs.

Still, it’s friendly and hospitable. Staffer Poppy helpfully showed me to my $50 per night room, which is the only option in Lakemba for anyone seeking short-term rented accommodation. There are no other hotels or motels. In fact, there are no other rooms besides number 15, in the hotel’s residential wing. All the others are taken by boarders, one of whom has been here for 20 years.

It isn’t exactly luxurious. The room has a sink, which is nice, but nothing else by way of amenities. There isn’t even a Gideon’s Bible. Instead, reflecting certain demographic changes in the area, there is a Ramadan eating schedule.

Lakemba may be only 30 minutes from the centre of Sydney, yet it is remarkably distinct from the rest of our city. You can walk the length of crowded Haldon Street and not hear a single phrase in English. On this main shopping street the ethnic mix seems similar to what you’d find in any major Arabic city. Australia may be multicultural, but Haldon Street is a monoculture.

This does have its advantages. If you’re ever in need of groceries at 3am, head to Lakemba, where shopkeepers keep unusual hours, particularly during Ramadan. The food is delicious, of course. I recommend La Roche and Al Aseel, but all restaurants in Haldon Street are good. If you’re unfamiliar with Lebanese food, just go for anything with the word “mixed”.

And then there are the downsides.

A few weeks ago a large crowd of mostly young men assembled outside the Lakemba Hotel. Waving black flags, the men chanted:

Palestine is Muslim land
The solution is Jihad ...
You can never stop Islam
From Australia to al Sham.

I asked a non-Islamic local about that night. “You should see them when they really go off,” she said. “That was nothing.” Another non-Islamic woman said young men sometimes shouted “sharmuta” at her from their cars. She looked up the word online and discovered it was an Arabic term for prostitute.

Across the road from the hotel is the Islamic Bookstore, which bills itself as “your superstore of Islamic knowledge”. Three books caught my eye. Here’s an extract from Muhammad bin Jamil Zino’s What a Muslim Should Believe, a handy 64-page Q & A guide to the Koran’s instructions:
Question 43: Is it allowed to support and love disbelievers?

Answer: No, it is not allowed.

Well, that might explain a few things. The History of the Jews seems a bland enough title, but the back cover quotes lines from Martin Luther that were used by Nazi propagandists: “The sun never did shine on a more bloodthirsty and revengeful people as they.” The book offers this view, on page 16:

No one can deny the fact that the Jews are the worst kind of barbarian killers the world has ever known!!! The decent great Adolf Hitler of Germany never killed in the manner of the Jews!!! Surely only mad people or those who love killing infants, pregnant women and the infirm will think differently.

It goes on and on. Another extract:

"Humor and jokes are strictly forbidden by the Jewish religion.
This will come as a surprise to just about every Jew on earth. Another must-read is Mansoor Abdul Hakim’s charming 2009 text, Women Who Deserve to go to Hell. Turns out it’s quite a lot of them.

“Some people keep asking about the denizens of Hell and the reason why women will go to hell in large numbers,” writes Hakim in the book’s foreword, before listing various types of hell-bound females, including the grumbler, the quarrelsome woman, women with tattoos and women who refuse to have sex during menstruation. “Men’s perfection is because of various reasons: intelligence, religion, etc,” Hakim explains. “At most, four women have this perfection.”

Mix this level of ignorance and loathing with the Islamic community’s high rate of unemployment, and conflict is inevitable. The Islamic riots of 2012 ended up in central Sydney but began here in Lakemba and surrounding suburbs, where seething young Muslims formed their plans, including printing signs reading “Behead all those who insult the prophet”.

One of the men arrested in those riots was Ahmed Elomar, who was subsequently convicted for bashing a police officer with a flagpole. His lawyer claimed that Elomar was “overcome with the occasion”. The occasion continues. Lately Elomar’s brother Mohammed has posed with severed heads in Iraq, where he is fighting alongside fundamentalist Islamic State extremists.

Back at the pub, a staffer mentions rare moments of cultural overlap. “Sometimes the young blokes will come in here to buy Scotch,” she says. “They try to hide themselves under hoodies.” But when the staffer sees them later in the street, they don’t return her greeting. The hotel is haram – sinful and forbidden. Those early closing hours will eventually become permanent.



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 August, 2014

US Navy reverses course, puts Bibles back in hotels during policy review

Bibles began disappearing from Navy lodges over the summer after complaints were made by an atheist group, but that decision has now been reversed while a policy review takes place.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation complained about the religious books earlier in the year, which prompted the Navy Exchange to have managers put Gideons Bibles in lost-and-found locations.

“That decision and our religious accommodation policies with regard to the placement of religious materials are under review,” Navy spokesman Cmdr. Ryan Perry wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes, the paper reported Friday. “While that review is under way, religious materials removed from Navy Lodge rooms will be returned.”

The atheist group’s attorney Sam Grover said his complaint included military members who had not seen anything other than the Bible in Navy lodges for over 20 years, Stars and Stripes reported.  “That demonstrates the Navy’s preference for Christianity over all other religions and nonreligious sects,” he told the paper.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which is based in Wisconsin, also suggested that Navy lodges offer patrons the “Born Again Skeptics Guide to the Bible,” Stars and Stripes reported.

While the Navy conducts its review of policies and procedures relating to the Bibles, the Navy Exchange wants all inquiries about the placement of religious materials sent to the “chaplain’s office for the military installation where the lodge is located,” a memo written by Bill Mayhue, the Navy lodge program regional manager, stated Friday, the paper reported.

The Navy said that decision made earlier in the summer to remove the religious books was made without consulting senior leadership, Stars and Stripes said.


Judge Upholds State’s Authority to Define Marriage as Union of Man and Woman

Last week a judge in Tennessee upheld that state’s Constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Though the decision was made a week ago, it has only now been made available electronically.

The case involved a same-sex couple married in Iowa that sought a divorce in Tennessee. Because Tennessee does not recognize same-sex relationships as marriages, it was unable to divorce the couple. Last week, Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr., cited the Supreme Court’s decision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act case, U.S. v. Windsor, as support that Tennessee has the right to define marriage for itself. Simmons writes: “The Windsor case is concerned with the definition of marriage, only as it applies to federal laws, and does not give an opinion concerning whether one State must accept as valid a same-sex marriage allowed in another State.”

When the Supreme Court struck down the federal law defining marriage last year, Justice Anthony Kennedy explained that states have “the historical and essential authority to define the marital relation.” Simmons takes Kennedy at his word, recognizing the basic equality of state citizens. Just as the citizens of Iowa are free to adopt same-sex marriage (though it was a state court that redefined marriage there), so too the citizens of Tennessee are free to retain the traditional definition.

Simmons writes:

In the Windsor case the Supreme Court opines that if a state finds same-sex marriage to be valid, the Federal Government cannot trump that State’s law. The Supreme Court does not go the final step and find that a State that defines marriage as the union of one (1) man and one (1) woman is unconstitutional. Further, the Supreme Court does not find that one State’s refusal to accept as valid another State’s valid same-sex marriage to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

What about arguments that claim there is a fundamental right to same-sex marriage? Simmons explains that while “marriage is a fundamental right,” there is no right to redefine marriage. Simmons continued: “neither the Tennessee Supreme Court nor the United States Supreme Court has ever decided that this fundamental right under a state’s laws extends beyond the traditional definition of marriage as a union between (1) one man and (1) one woman.”

What’s really at stake in this debate? Simmons explains: “The battle is not between whether or not marriage is a fundamental right but what unions are included in the definition of marriage.” Yes, the fundamental policy question in this debate is “What Is Marriage?”

The fundamental legal question is who gets to define marriage. Simmons ruled it “should be the prerogative of each State.” The judge continued: “neither the Federal Government nor another state should be allowed to dictate to Tennessee what has traditionally been a state’s responsibility, which is to provide a framework of laws to govern the safety and wellbeing of its citizens.”

Our federal Constitution is silent on what marriage is. Judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the Constitution. The courts should uphold the freedom of the American people and their elected representatives to make marriage policy.

Marriage policy should be worked out by the people in the states; this is the beauty of federalism. We do not need a court-imposed 50-state solution. The courts should not force states to abandon caution in the face of a social experiment like the redefinition of marriage.


Dutch Mayor Cancels Anti-ISIS Rally as "Too Provocative"

While Islamic State (IS) jihadists battle their way across Syria and Iraq, beheading soldiers and civilians, training children for jihad, their supporters across Europe demand "death to Jews" and call for the blood of infidels.

Now, it seems, some European leaders are refusing to fight back.
The situation has become especially controversial in the Dutch political capital of The Hague, where pro-IS protests in July involved anti-Jewish chants and a violent attack on a female journalist covering the event. As the Jew-hate worsened and violence intensified, witnesses and Jewish advocacy groups called on the mayor's office to step in. But Mayor Josias van Aartsen was on holiday; and his deputy, left in charge, found no reason to intervene.

Residents of The Hague, however, felt otherwise: on Aug. 10, a group calling itself "Pro-Patria" staged its own "freedom march" through the same largely Muslim neighborhood (the Schilderswijk) where the pro-IS demonstrations had been held,. The aim, according to one organizer, was to show "that this so-called Sharia-triangle is still Dutch land, where Dutch laws and rules prevail." (The Schilderswijk has been referred to as the "Sharia triangle" frequently in the Dutch press.)

It was, perhaps, a naively optimistic notion: no sooner had the demonstration started than pro-IS residents began attacking, throwing stones and starting fistfights. Six people were arrested.
Mayor van Aartsen, still vacationing in France, did nothing.


Operation Tuleta: a warrant to hound the tabloids

In the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, highly publicised trials and subsequent convictions, the public perception of Britain’s tabloid journalists is at an historic nadir. As such, a call to protect those often accused of profiting through the manipulation of the vulnerable will gain short shrift in some quarters - but their protection is of paramount importance for the freedom of the British press.

This week, the first criminal trial played out in what has been dubbed Operation Tuleta – the Met’s name for the low-profile sister project of the probe that put former News of the World editor Andy Coulson in Belmarsh Prison.

A former Sun reporter called Ben Ashford faced criminal charges for downloading information from a ‘stolen’ phone which held ‘saucy pictures’ of an unnamed BBC broadcaster. The photos and texts on the phone seemed like the perfect basis for a classic scandal story; it never made the paper for legal reasons.

In terms of investigative journalism the scoop was hardly a Watergate moment, but this makes no difference. Throughout Operation Tuleta the police have used a series of underhand nuisance tactics to bully a host of tabloid journalists in a way that would never be acceptable if perpetrated against broadsheet reporters.

The basic charges made against Ashford were fairly jumped-up to begin with, as was reflected in the jury’s swift ‘not guilty’ verdict. The phone in question was ‘stolen by finding’ – a nightclub punter picked it up from the floor of a club and, discovering the sordid details it held, took it to the Sun.

The would-be tipster later accepted a caution for this flimsy charge, which gave the police free rein to pursue Ashford as an accessory to this crime, when his only action was looking through a phone found in a nightclub.

The original sequence of events occurred in 2009, but Ashford wasn’t arrested for four years. He even cooperated and returned the phone directly to the police at the time the investigation was launched.

After the incident was all but forgotten, in a bout of grotesque posturing under the auspices of the phone-hacking investigations, the Met sent teams of policemen on dawn raids to the houses of several Sun reporters alleged to have committed similar crimes. Reporters were pulled from their beds and their houses were turned over as if they were gangland drug lords – the most serious charges any of them still faces is handling stolen goods, while most have had all charges dropped. One reporter was kept on bail for 13 months on paper-thin charges that could have been cleared in a week.

In the name of press regulation, the police have continued to bully and harass this group of reporters. Ashford’s counsel described the charges against him as a grotesque act of ‘messianic zeal’ from the Crown Prosecution Service. Many would turn a blind eye and sneer at Ashford’s original motives, but freedom of the press is not the preserve of Guardian journalists leaking state cover-ups alone. It needs to be protected at all levels.



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


18 August, 2014

Multicultural rape again in Britain

A married father-of-two has been jailed after raping and filming a sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl as she slept in her bed.

Mazafer Maroof, 31, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, raped the teenager after plying her with alcohol at a house party in April this year.

He then used his mobile phone to record a second sexual assault on the teenager.

During the trial, the jury saw video footage which showed the girl was asleep at the time of the two attacks.

Maroof denied carrying out the attacks, but was found guilty of rape and sexual assault after a trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

He was jailed for seven years and also placed on the sex offenders' register for life.

During the trial, the court heard how Maroof had 'pestered' the girl at the house party.

Once her friends told Maroof to leave the girl alone, he left the party - but continued to send her dozens of 'vile and abusive' text messages.

He later returned to the party and persuaded the teenager and her friend to let him take them to a supermarket to buy more alcohol.

The trio then went back to a house to continue drinking. Once the girl fell asleep, and her friend left the property, Maroof raped his victim.

Sentencing him, Judge David Fletcher said: 'You have no empathy for your victim and you don’t have any remorse.

'It is clear that you were in a dark place, you were drinking vast amounts of alcohol, you were partying non-stop and you were separated from your wife and family.

'But you committed the offences on the girl. Your victim was a girl aged 16 and you were a married man of 30 at the time.

'She was unable to prevent you. The jury was shown video footage and it was clear there was no response.'

Defending Maroof, Barry Grennan said: 'He is 31 and he should have known better. He should have realised he cannot ply people with drink. He shouldn’t have done it and regrets it bitterly.

'He has spent the last two months in custody and found that to be a thoroughly unpleasant situation.

'He needs to address this so it doesn’t happen again and he is prepared to undergo sex offence courses.

'He wants to get back to his wife and he’s devastated he can’t see his children. He wants to complete his sentence, come out, get back to his family and work.'

After the hearing, Detective Inspector Becky Cawkwell, from Staffordshire Police’s child exploitation team, said: 'This sends out a strong message to those who commit such crimes - you will be caught and dealt with accordingly.

'Staffordshire Police is committed to protecting children and other vulnerable members of the community.

'We thoroughly investigate all allegations of sexual abuse, including historic offences, and work with partners to tackle these very serious crimes in a sensitive manner.'


Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural

Essay below by Gavin McInnes, chief creative officer of an advertising agency in New York.  He was fired for writing it

Heroic truth-teller, McInnes above

Wait—you’re transphobic?

You have a problem with a guy having his penis removed? He’s a chick, you asshole. God fucked up and made him a dude, but luckily we have the technology to fix that mistake. Why couldn’t he just be a drag queen? Well, for one, he needs to feel a penis inside him. No, his butt doesn’t count. He needs to feel a penis go in and out of his vagina—you know, like all women crave. That feeling of having your vagina fucked. It’s a primal urge, and to deny some woman this feeling just because she’s a dude is downright barbaric.

Haven’t you seen all the totally functional, happily married, normal trannies walking around? They aren’t all dead, you know. They sell flowers at the local village and bake pies for their scores of adopted children. They’re non-heteronormative. In fact, the only thing more normal than castrating yourself and taking tons of hormones to grow tits is chopping them off. Women who get double mastectomies and then have their cunts turned inside out are just righting a wrong. They need to have a weird cheese blintz-looking thing sticking out of their previous cooch because it feels way better than wearing a strap-on. Sure, the nerve endings aren’t the same as a real dick, but standing up to go pee pee is something these women were born to do. How dare you have a problem with that?

You will be totally comfortable when your daughter marries a post-op dude and you should have no problems with her smoking his blintz. When your dad tells you he is going to have his penis removed and thrown into a biowaste container at the hospital, your soul will become a placid lake of calm. “That’s totally normal, dad” you’ll say and begin to call him Mom2 from that day forward.

When Janet Mock appears on MSNBC and talks about growing up as a black chick, nobody’s going to bat an eye. We’ll all be totally comfortable with him retroactively rewriting history and putting a skirt on all his boyhood memories.

I kid. I kid. Of course it’s fucking unusual. We’re all transphobic. We aren’t blind. We see there are no old trannies. They die of drug overdoses and suicide way before they’re 40 and nobody notices because nobody knows them. They are mentally ill gays who need help, and that help doesn’t include being maimed by physicians. These aren’t women trapped in a man’s body. They are nuts trapped in a crazy person’s body. I see them on the streets of New York. They are guys with tits and a sweatshirt. They wear jeans and New Balance. “What’s the matter with simply being a fag who wears makeup?” I think when I see them. You’re not a woman. You’re a tomboy at best. Get fucked in the ass. And ladies, if you’re a butch lesbian, you’re a lady with a lot of testosterone. Put a dick on a belt and fuck your girlfriend. You don’t need to turn your vagina inside out. You’re not a man. You don’t even know what Turf Builder is.

By pretending this is all perfectly sane, you are enabling these poor bastards to mutilate themselves. This insane war on pronouns is about telling people what to do. It may empower you to shut down a school’s computer system because they phrased your gender wrong, but that’s just a game to you. To them, it’s a life-changing event that fucks them up. To fight against transphobia is to justify trannies. To justify trannies is to allow mentally ill people to mutilate themselves. When your actions are getting people mutilated, you’re at war with them.

It’s not great for women, either. Buying woman parts from a hospital and calling yourself a broad trivializes what it is to be a woman. Womanhood is not on a shelf next to wigs and makeup. Similarly, being a dude is quite involved. Ripping your vaginal canal out of your fly doesn’t mean you are going to start inventing shit and knowing how cement works. Being a man is awesome. So is being a woman. We should revere these creations, not revel in their bastardization. Being gay is a weird quirk that happens at birth. It’s like being an albino. If you’re born that way, you shouldn’t fight it. You don’t need to change who you are. In fact, doing so is sexist, misandrist, homophobic, and further damages the lives of the mentally ill.


‘The Edinburgh Fringe has failed us - and failed freedom’

The Israeli theatre group shut down by an anti-Israel mob talks to spiked.

21st century Nazis

As another temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas gives some respite from the tumult of recent weeks, another battle for Gaza continues to rumble on. There are no winners in war, goes the old, trite pacifist line, but if anyone is going from strength to strength at the moment, it’s Britain’s luvvies.

Emboldened by the current crisis and the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel, they’re whipping themselves into pious fury. Old calls for the boycotting of Israeli artists, academics and produce – not too long ago seen as somewhat dubious, if not downright anti-Semitic – have led to a string of artists being shut down, cultural events being cancelled, and John Lewis shop assistants being grimaced at in the name of sending a message to Israel.

‘They demonstrated against us because we are Israeli, okay? Anything else is an excuse.’ These are the words of Arik Eshet, artistic director of the Jerusalem-based Incubator Theatre. He’s outraged, and he’s got a right to be. Incubator was due to bring its latest production, The City, to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe festival this month, but after pickets from pro-Palestine activists and pressure from handwringing British artists the show was cancelled. In between their tireless search for a new venue, I spoke to Eshet and two of the cast in the bar of the Gilded Balloon in Bristo Square – the heart of what, up to now, could be considered a thriving, liberal arts festival.

This sad story began in the weeks before the festival. The Incubator crew was preparing for its first preview at the Underbelly when 50 Scottish artists signed an open letter calling for the play to be cancelled because Incubator received a small proportion of their funding from the Israeli cultural ministry. The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign picketed the preview, and insisted it would return every day until the show was cancelled. Due to apparent concerns over safety and disruptions to venues, Underbelly announced that it was looking for an alternative venue for The City, but, with the threat of further pickets still looming, this proved a near impossible task – Incubator is now going it alone.

‘I was very proud of the theatre, the Underbelly, that said there is freedom of speech, we are not cancelling the show. What saddens me is that they didn’t go further’, Eshet says. ‘All the institutions of the Fringe festival have failed. They failed, and the outcome is that we are shut down.’

A day after Underbelly issued a press release stating it had given up the search for a new venue for The City, the Tricycle Theatre in London made a similarly shocking announcement. Having hosted the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) for eight years, the partnership was now over, it said. The reason? The UKJFF received some support from the Israeli Embassy. After a tense back-and-forth in which the Tricycle, at one point, requested to pre-screen all entries to the festival, the UKJFF decided to withdraw.

It doesn’t take much investigation to see that the Tricycle’s decision is rank with hypocrisy. Just as Israel seems to have become a unique pariah on the world stage, despite the ongoing atrocities committed or spawned by other states – not least those in the Western, Israel-bashing world – it seems Israeli funding is similarly unique in its corrupting power. So much so that the Tricycle can slam UKJFF for receiving a small amount of money from the Israeli Embassy while itself taking £720,000 from the UK Arts Council - a wing of the British state, which is hardly known for its pacifism.

Back at the Fringe, a closer inspection of any number of flyers that are thrust into your hand on the Royal Mile reveals a small-print thankyou to the English or Scottish Arts Council. ‘Those British people or Scottish people are not seen as representatives of their government. And, as with us, they are probably not funded because of their political views, so how can you cancel them or blame them for anything?’, Eshet says, noting the irony of it all. ‘This is discrimination in the way they’re thinking.’

To nominally liberal-minded people, the idea of shutting down cultural events should sit badly. In a feeble attempt to defend itself against charges of censoriousness, or worse, anti-Semitism, the Tricycle offered to make up the funds that the UKJFF had received from the Israeli Embassy, and, in a similarly patronising move, David Greig, a Scottish playwright and one of the signatories to the original open letter against Incubator, has launched a Kickstarter fund that would help Israeli theatre companies make it to the Fringe without needing to touch Netanyahu’s grubby cash.

The UKJFF quite rightly declined the Tricycle’s offer, and Omer Mor, one of the writers and cast members of The City, is similarly unimpressed by Greig’s new funding idea. ‘As far as I’m concerned, you can’t do anything in Israel without [government] funding’, he says. ‘All [Greig] is saying is “but, hey, you can come to Edinburgh and perform with us!”. That’s disturbing.’ Eshet interjects: ‘He’s a hypocrite. He says “I’m for free speech”, but not for everybody. Not people from Israel, [not] people who get funding. [This fund] is like bribing somebody to hold his opinions and not other opinions.’

One thing that has been obscured by the boycotters’ caterwauling about Israel trying to ‘whitewash its crimes with art’ is the actual opinions expressed in the art that has been silenced. The UKJFF has always prided itself on offering a diverse range of opinions on the ongoing Israel-Palestine crisis, and The City, a ‘hip hop whodunit’ about a detective performed entirely in rhyme, is completely apolitical – rather whimsical, in fact. Eshet explains that Israeli funding has no political strings attached: ‘I have worked in this world for many years and I have never signed something like that… It’s not that we are anti-government, but we started doing satire performances in pubs. We have many people, many ideas. Because, you know, it was satire, a lot of it was against the government policies.’

I raise the also breezed-over fact that Incubator receives funding from a variety of sources, some of which include pro-integrationist groups. Eshet can see where I’m going with this, and is having none of it: ‘That really doesn’t matter. Even if we were fully funded [by the Israeli government], so what?’ Mor chimes in: ‘Even if we were political, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be heard.’

The Incubator guys offer a keen insight into how inherently censorious and illiberal the anti-Israel movement has become. If the Fringe, the Tricycle or any other cultural body wants truly to uphold free speech and free cultural exchange, then they need to defend the right of all opinions, no matter how dubious or state-sanctioned, to be expressed. But, as Mor explains, there is a keen double standard at play in relation to who does and doesn’t have the right to share space at the Edinburgh Fringe: ‘The protesters’ right to demonstrate was respected fully, even more than fully. But they did not respect the public’s right to choose what they want to watch or not watch.’ Eshet nods: ‘That’s why boycotts are wrong, because if boycotts are going on, that means their side is heard [but] the other side is not.’

Omer Havron, another of The City’s writers and stars, has been quiet up to now. As we unpick the arguments of the boycotters he pipes up, seeming to wonder why any of this happened in the first place: ‘It’s a hip-hop opera about a detective! A damn good show if you ask me.’ His exasperation speaks volumes.

In the end, beneath all the bluster of the BDS lobby, touting the self-serving Western myth that it was in-the-know Hampsteadites shunning South African oranges that really brought down Apartheid, and that a slew of cultural blockades will actually make Netanyahu think twice, is the bare truth: boycotts make absolutely no different to the crises they posture against. If they achieve anything, it is to silence those, like those from Incubator, who hold on to the idea that art and culture can transcend political divides.

Before I leave, Havron has the last word: ‘I want to call on every venue at the Fringe who has enough courage to say “I’m against it, and I’m up for freedom of speech” to take our show. We’re still here, we could have gone back home to give up, but we still believe in the festival.’ Here’s hoping his call is answered, lest Incubator becomes another ridiculous but depressing footnote to the luvvies’ war on everything Israeli.


Sir Cliff left in limbo as criticism grows

The police inquiry into Sir Cliff Richard came under mounting criticism on Saturday after Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, called its handling of the case “odd” and “very questionable”.

Mr Grieve, who left the Cabinet last month, accused the police of colluding with the BBC in a move which led to the search of Sir Cliff’s home in Berkshire being filmed by the corporation.

Mr Grieve, the most senior politician so far to cast doubt on the police tactics, suggested that the South Yorkshire force might even have been acting in breach of national guidelines in making public its investigation into an allegation that the singer sexually assaulted a boy at a concert almost 30 years ago.

The chorus of criticism grew with complaints by senior lawyers, politicians and fans that Sir Cliff was now being kept in a “cruel limbo” while police decide what to do next.

Last night, Sir Cliff, 73, remained in his villa in the Algarve, Portugal, with his manager, long-time companion and sister offering support. Sources close to the singer said he had yet to be formally asked to return to Britain for a police interview.

South Yorkshire has insisted it is “seeking to speak” to him about the complaint made by his alleged victim more than a year ago. It is thought Sir Cliff will eventually be questioned under caution but the sources close to him expressed frustration they remained in the dark about the precise nature of the allegations and how long the inquiry might last.

A police spokesman said: “We cannot give details about the conversations we’ve had with the person in question. The investigation is ongoing and contact with him will form part of that.”

Sir Cliff first became aware of the inquiry when he heard reports that his home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, was being raided at lunchtime on Thursday while he was on holiday in Portugal. The BBC had a news crew stationed at the scene in readiness for detectives arriving and broadcast live footage from an overhead helicopter.

Mr Grieve said yesterday: “I can see that police might not want to warn somebody about a search because they fear a suspect will destroy the evidence. But it was much odder to tip off the BBC that they were carrying out the raid. That seems quite extraordinary. I have no reason to think they are acting capriciously but I think it was odd to notify the BBC so they could have journalists there to film the events.

“Unless the police can show the sound public reason for doing that it suggests a collusive relationship with the BBC which is very odd.

“The BBC’s presence is not required. The police have not arrested him or charged him. All they have done is carry out a search of his house so why have they notified the BBC so it could film this operation taking place? I simply don’t understand it. It is very questionable.” He added: “The police have their own ground rules and I think if you look at the ACPO [Association of Chief Police Officers] guidelines they cover this.”

South Yorkshire police insisted that the BBC had independently received a tip-off about the raid, which they had then confirmed.

According to the official guidance on the ACPO website: “Police forces must balance an individual’s right to respect for a private and family life, the rights of publishers to freedom of expression and the rights of defendants to a fair trial.

“Decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis but, save in clearly identified circumstances, or where legal restrictions apply, the names or identifying details of those who are arrested or suspected of a crime should not be released by police forces to the press or the public.

“Such circumstances include a threat to life, the prevention or detection of crime or a matter of public interest and confidence.” South Yorkshire police has admitted it had “worked with” the BBC in advance of the raid on Sir Cliff’s flat — Jonathan Munro, the corporation’s head of newsgathering, has denied that the force was the source of their tip-off.

Nigel Evans, the Conservative MP, who was cleared of sex offences after a trial this year, said Sir Cliff would be enduring “torture and torment” after watching his home being raided. He was now left in a situation “worse than limbo”. “Sir Cliff Richard must be wondering exactly what the hell is going on.

“I would have thought that the request would have gone in by now to speak to him. It’s not as if Sir Cliff has not said that he’s ready to cooperate with anything they want.”

Geoffrey Robertson QC, a leading human rights lawyer, questioned the police tactics. He said: “If the outrageous treatment of Paul Gambuccini and Jimmy Tarbuck is any guide, Cliff Richard will remain in a cruel limbo for 18 months or so until the police and the Crown Prosecution Service decide whether to charge him.”

Fans rallied to support the singer on his official Facebook site. Louise Nicklinson wrote: “I know that you are innocent — so just know that all of your devoted fans will stand and support you all the way.”

Laurie Holloway, a musical director who worked for the BBC and a close friend, wrote on Facebook: “How dare these people and officials cause a slur on him which will be difficult to erase?”

The naming of Sir Cliff was also criticised by Jill Saward, herself a victim of rape and a campaigner on the rights of victims.

She said: “I don’t think it’s right to have publicised it before somebody has even been questioned, I don’t believe that that is the right way ahead. But I think it’s important that from the moment somebody is questioned that we are made aware of the name of that person so that it can encourage other people to come forward.”

She added: “To know that other people out there have been through something similar makes it so much easier to feel that you will be believed.”

Last night Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said he was writing to David Crompton, the force’s chief constable, to demand an explanation of its actions, saying “serious questions need to be asked” about the way they had handled the matter.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “The force was contacted some weeks ago by a BBC reporter who made it clear he knew of the existence of an investigation. It was clear he was in a position to publish it.

“The force was reluctant to cooperate but felt that to do otherwise would risk losing any potential evidence, so in the interests of the investigation it was agreed that the reporter would be notified of the date of the house search in return for delaying publication of any of the facts.

“Contrary to media reports, this decision was not taken in order to maximise publicity, it was taken to preserve any potential evidence.

“South Yorkshire Police considers it disappointing that the BBC was slow to acknowledge that the force was not the source of the leak.

“A letter of complaint has been sent to the director-general of the BBC making it clear that the broadcaster appears to have contravened it’s editorial guidelines.

“South Yorkshire Police would welcome an investigation into the original leak.”

The spokesman added that it “is an ongoing and complex investigation” that was likely “to take some time”.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "A BBC journalist approached South Yorkshire Police with information about the investigation. The BBC agreed to follow normal journalistic practice and not to publish a story that might jeopardise a police inquiry."



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 August, 2014

Googly-Eyed Santas, Rude Frogs, and Other Adventures in Beer Label Censorship

Tim Mak collects some amusing examples of federal beer-label censorship in a Daily Beast piece about Kent "Battle" Martin, a "pedantic pain in the ass" at the Treasury Department's Tax and Trade Bureau with wide authority to decide what brewers may say about their products. A sampling of Martin's decisions:

Battle has rejected a beer label for the King of Hearts, which had a playing card image on it, because the heart implied that the beer would have a health benefit.

He rejected a beer label featuring a painting called The Conversion of Paula By Saint Jerome because its name, St. Paula's Liquid Wisdom, contained a medical claim—that the beer would grant wisdom.

He rejected a beer called Pickled Santa because Santa's eyes were too "googly" on the label, and labels cannot advertise the physical effects of alcohol. (A less googly-eyed Santa was later approved.)

He rejected a beer called Bad Elf because it featured an "Elf Warning," suggesting that elves not operate toy-making machinery while drinking the ale. The label was not approved on the grounds that the warning was confusing to consumers.

As I reported back in 1994, when beer labels were overseen by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), this sort of thing has been going on for many years. One of my main examples was Grant's Scottish Ale, a Washington beer that briefly came in six-packs labeled with nutritional information. The BATF found that intolerable, not because the information was inaccurate but because it was "misleading." How so? Federal alcohol regulations forbid false or misleading claims about "curative or therapeutic effects," and the BATF cited a 1954 regulatory interpretation concluding that "any reference to vitamin content in the advertising of malt beverages would mislead a substantial number of persons to believe that consumption of the product would produce curative or therapeutic effects."

After the brewery's owners went public with the dispute, the BATF started picking other fights with them. It suddenly decided that Grant's Spiced Ale, a seemingly straightforward name that the brewery had used for years, was "frivolous." Meanwhile, it gave a pass to far less descriptive names such as Labatt's Blue (which is not blue), Pete's Wicked Ale (which is not malevolent), and Blackened Voodoo (which is not seared, spiced, or magical).

The arbitrary power wielded by federal alcohol regulators stems from vague, subjective rules such as the ban on misleading claims and the ban on references to psychoactive effects (a rule that did in The Kronik, a beer that California's Lagunitas Brewery was forced to rename; it is now called, appropriately enough, Censored Ale). There is also a rule against "obscene or indecent" representations, which the BATF invoked in 1986 to force the redesign of an Italian wine label featuring an etching of a winged woman whose "upthrust and very evident" breasts had to be removed.

Worse, brewers (and manufacturers of other alcoholic beverages) have to deal with this sort of nonsense at the state level as well. In 1998 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit rebuked the New York State Liquor Authority for trying to ban Bad Frog beer, which regulators did not like because its namesake amphibian was depicted on the label "with the second of its four unwebbed 'fingers' extended in a manner evocative of a well known human gesture of insult."

In 2009 the Michigan Liquor Control Commission banned Flying Dog's Raging Bitch, a Belgian-style IPA, because it did not like the name. It reversed that decision two years later after discovering this thing called the First Amendment.

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board evidently had no problem with Raging Bitch, but in 2012 it banned the sale of Founders Brewing Company's Dirty Bastard Scotch ale, even while allowing Stone Brewing's Arrogant Bastard Ale (not to mention Fat Bastard wines).

For years the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) enforced a bizarre, inaccurate nomenclature for beer labels, calling malt beverages "beer" if they contained up to 4 percent alcohol by volume and "ale" if they were stronger than that. Meanwhile, it banned words that it deemed references to alcoholic content, going so far as to instruct Austin's Jester King Brewery that it could not call its strong ale (the name of a beer style) "strong." Those rules were overturned by a federal judge on First Amendment grounds in 2011. That decision, by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, featured this memorable passage:

"TABC's argument, combined with artful legislative drafting, could be used to justify any restriction on commercial speech. For instance, Texas would likely face no (legal) obstacle if it wished to pass a law defining the word "milk" to mean "a nocturnal flying mammal that eats insects and employs echolocation." Under TABC's logic, Texas would then be authorized not only to prohibit use of the word "milk" by producers of a certain liquid dairy product, but also to require Austin promoters to advertise the famous annual "Milk Festival" on the Congress Avenue bridge [a reference to the Austin Bat Festival]. Regardless of one's feelings about milk or bats, this result is inconsistent with the guarantees of the First Amendment."

The one clear legal defeat for federal alcohol regulations came in 1995, when the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Treasury Department could no longer stop brewers from telling their customers how much alcohol was in their beer. Yes, that was an actual rule enforced by federal government, on the theory that beer drinkers needed to be protected from such information, lest they choose the brand that gave them the most bang for their buck. Fortunately, regulators still have the power to shield consumers from images of playing cards and googly-eyed Santas.


Travelodge removes the Bible from every room: No one had complained... but chain 'doesn't want to discriminate'

One of Britain’s biggest hotel chains has removed Bibles from its rooms to avoid upsetting non-Christians.

The decision by Travelodge has been condemned as ‘tragic and bizarre’ by the Church of England, which says Bibles in hotel rooms are important to provide hope, comfort and inspiration to travellers.

But the chain, which runs 500 hotels, said the country was becoming increasingly multicultural and it had taken the action for ‘diversity reasons’.

It said the policy was implemented ‘in order not to discriminate against any religion’ – despite having had no complaints from guests.  Bibles were taken away at the same time as a refurbishment of its rooms, removing drawers where they were kept.

The Bibles, which were provided free by the Gideon Society, have been retained and are stored behind reception for guests to borrow on request, the company says.

A Church of England spokesman said: ‘It seems both tragic and bizarre that hotels would remove the word of God for the sake of ergonomic design, economic incentive or a spurious definition of the word “diversity”.’

It seems not all Travelodges even have Bibles available on request. At the branch in Battersea, south London, there was no Bible in the room or behind reception.

When requested, the receptionist could not find a copy and said no one had ever asked him for one in his four months of working there. Instead, he suggested using the hotel’s free wifi to ‘Google it and read it online’.

When pushed for a hard copy, he rang his manager who told him they used to have them in rooms, but hadn’t had any at the hotel since refurbishment last year.

But other hotel firms, including Britain’s largest budget hotel company, Premier Inn, and InterContinental Hotels, owners of the Holiday Inn chain, say Bibles are being retained at their hotels. A Premier Inn spokesman said: ‘Bibles are available in Premier Inn rooms.  ‘On the rare occasion that a customer does not wish to have a Bible in their room, they can request this to be removed ahead of their stay by contacting the hotel directly.’

Upmarket hotel chain Millennium & Copthorne, which runs four-star hotels in areas including Mayfair, Kensington and Knightsbridge, confirmed it still has Bibles in rooms and has no plans to remove them despite ‘welcoming guests from around the world’.

Travelodge is the first national hotel chain to remove Bibles – although in 2012 one independent hotel, the Damson Dene Hotel in Crosthwaite, Cumbria, replaced them with the erotic bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey.

A Travelodge spokesman said: ‘The reason is because of diversity. With the country being increasingly multicultural, we didn’t feel it was appropriate to just have the Bible because there are people of other religions. People were also taking Bibles away and with the redesign of the rooms, it was felt that it would be better to remove them.’

Another spokesman added: ‘In order not to discriminate against any religion, customers who would like a Bible can pick a copy from any one of Travelodge’s 500 hotel reception desks across the country, whilst staying at the hotel. To date, Travelodge has not received any customer feedback regarding this decision.’


Foreign inmates in British open jails go back behind bars: Justice Secretary imposes ban on convicts from overseas being placed in 'soft' prisons

Foreign criminals have been rounded up from Britain’s ‘soft’ open jails and put back behind bars to stop them absconding.  Over the past 48 hours, more than 20 offenders were moved back to closed conditions.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has now imposed a ban on foreign convicts who are subject to deportation orders being placed in open jail.

They will also be barred from taking part in Release on Temporary Licence, whereby inmates can leave a jail in the daytime to find work or undergo rehabilitation because a string of prisoners have failed to return.  The move will affect hundreds of foreign prisoners. There are some 800 awaiting deportation.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘We are working hard to return foreign national prisoners to their own countries to serve their sentences. While they remain with us, we must do all we can to make sure they stay safely under lock and key.

‘That’s why I am changing the rules to prevent those foreign nationals who are going to be deported from being transferred into open prisons or getting temporary release.

‘It’s clearly not right that foreign nationals who are going to be deported end up in open prisons where they might abscond and threaten public safety.’

Figures published last month showed a sharp rise in the number of inmates going missing from jail – in the past year there were 225, up almost 30 per cent over the past two years.

This included 137 from open prisons, which have been the subject of controversy after a spate of criminals walked out. The most high-profile was Michael Wheatley, known as the ‘Skullcracker’, who sparked a nationwide hunt after absconding from HMP Standford Hill on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent.

Officials say the number of foreign criminals who have walked out is around 10 over the past five years.

It comes amid renewed controversy over the Government’s record. On Monday, the Mail revealed how the number of overseas inmates escaping deportation rocketed by 50 per cent last year.

In total, only 1,310 of the 4,030 overseas convicts considered for removal were sent home.

The offenders who were not thrown out last year included 15 murderers, five people guilty of manslaughter, 15 rapists, 140 robbers and 20 people guilty of sex offences against children.

The foreign convicts are now avoiding deportation in one in every three cases – a sharp increase on previous years.


Why is the RSPCA killing so many pets - and taking their loving owners to court? Statistics show charity is now destroying half the animals it comes into contact with

They're little better than Nazis, these days   

When Dilys Hadley answered the door to the RSPCA, she had no reason to suspect there was anything to fear.

The retired teacher had donated to the charity in the past and was a keen supporter of its animal welfare work. So she assumed the man on her doorstep was fundraising.

But what happened next was staggering. The inspector informed her they had received a report from a member of the public that her cat, Janet, was wandering around with an injured eye.

Dilys, 62, said that yes, Janet did have an eye problem, but she was going to the vet after the weekend, when Dilys’s daughter would be there and could help get Janet into her travel basket.

Dilys didn’t think the animal was in any pain, as she was eating and going outside. Unimpressed, the inspector demanded to see the cat. Dilys, from Exmouth, Devon, joked that Janet was having her lunch and wouldn’t want to be disturbed.

The inspector — a trainee, it later emerged — then looked at the cat, who had a swollen eye, and said she had to be taken to a vet immediately. Still believing the charity was helping her, Dilys asked if she could go with Janet, but the inspector refused.

The cat was forced into a wire cage, and Dilys begged for Janet’s travel cushion to be put inside. Again, she was told no.

Janet then began to meow and throw herself around the cage. Dilys asked if her pet could be put in the travel case she was used to, but was threatened with the police unless she stopped interfering.

Frantic with worry, Dilys was left to wait for hours until the inspector phoned to say her cat was all right, although Dilys was not allowed to know where Janet was. Another inspector would be in touch in the next few days, she was told.

‘I was crying my eyes out,’ says Dilys, who at the time was a manager at a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly. ‘From opening the door very innocently, I was suddenly in a nightmare.’

Three days later, a female RSPCA inspector came to interview Dilys. Her 22-year-old daughter sat in on the conversation.

‘It was very odd because the inspector demanded to be seated separately from us, and we had to get her a table,’ recalls Dilys. ‘Then she cautioned me — read me my rights.

‘I couldn’t believe it. It was like The Sweeney. It felt as though she’d transformed my living room into a police station, and I was being treated like a criminal in my own home.

‘When I innocently told her we’d had Janet as a kitten, and she was originally a present for my daughter, the inspector told my daughter that as the legal owner of the cat, she would be charged separately on another occasion for neglecting Janet. She was told to leave the room.’

Confused, bewildered and distraught, mother and daughter were then informed they could see Janet one last time to say goodbye.

They were taken to a vet’s in Exmouth where, according to Dilys, ‘we were treated like muck’.

She says: ‘It was horrendous. Janet was in a cage and called out to us. We were allowed to hold her and cuddle her. And that was it.

‘We were told she had an inoperable tumour behind her eye. They put her down the next day.

‘That cat was like my baby. She used to follow me to the bus stop. She’d be waiting for me under the tree when I got home. For her to end her life like that was heartbreaking.’

The RSPCA showed no mercy, though. Six months later, Dilys and her daughter — a Cambridge University graduate who’d not been living at home with Janet — were summoned to court, where the RSPCA began to prosecute for neglect.

The charity brought charges under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, which created the offence of failing to take reasonable steps to provide for an animal’s needs.  The Hadleys’ case and its appeals stretched on, leaving the RSPCA with a legal bill of almost £10,000.

Last September, Judge Jeremy Griggs was scathing of the charity for dragging the family through the courts. While finding Dilys technically in breach of the Act, he said he had ‘considerable sympathy’ with her.

The charity had broken an undertaking it gave to Parliament not to use stronger powers under the new legislation against pet owners without giving them a chance to have their animals treated, he added.

Dilys received a conditional discharge with no restriction on keeping animals in the future. Her daughter was acquitted.

The judge refused to make an order for costs of £9,945, as requested by the RSPCA, although Dilys had to make a contribution of £600, which she has only just managed to pay off.

Her ordeal was awful, but it is not an isolated case. More stories are emerging of the RSPCA forcibly taking beloved pets and destroying them against the owners’ wishes, then pursuing the owners with charges of cruelty.

Only this week, the Byrnes family from Hertfordshire told of their horror that their 16-year-old cat Claude was put down. Richard Byrnes, his wife Samantha and their children Eloise and Dominic, suffered a year of trauma after an RSPCA inspector seized Claude from their home, claiming he was too thin and had matted fur.

Despite explaining that the cat was old and refused to have his fur brushed, they were threatened with prison unless they had him put down.

The RSPCA then issued proceedings for cruelty, which saw Richard, an accountant at Transport for London, dragged to court. Last week, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) ruled there was not enough evidence, and the case was dismissed.

The Byrnes hit out at the RSPCA for its ‘bullying tactics’ — an increasingly common complaint.

But most shocking of all is the scale of its euthanasia. Statistics show the charity is now destroying almost half of the animals it has contact with. The RSPCA has also wrongly picked on the elderly, sick or mentally impaired — the very people who most need their pets for comfort and companionship.

Julie Nadian, a 48-year-old autistic woman, found herself targeted when she rejected a vet’s opinion that her elderly cat Ziggy had to be put down. In May last year, the RSPCA hauled all three of her cats away.

The charges against her were dropped when she called in the CPS to examine the case.

Diane and Dean Webb were not so fortunate. The couple never saw any of their 33 show cats and kittens again after the RSPCA raided their home in Barrow upon Trent, Derbyshire, and prosecuted them for neglecting the animals — charges a judge rejected.

The couple were forced to move abroad after receiving death threats on the internet.

Now back in Britain, they have not had a single cat returned — despite being acquitted on all charges. It’s thought the animals have been rehomed.

The RSPCA seems all too happy to prosecute children, too. In 2011, Tracey Johnson and her daughter Sophie, 16, were charged with cruelty after leaving five cocker spaniel puppies in their back garden while they went shopping. It started to rain, and a neighbour called the RSPCA.

Mother and daughter found themselves in the dock, although the case was dismissed and the judge said prosecuting a child who had little involvement with the animals was ‘totally inappropriate’.

If you scratch the surface of the many RSPCA prosecutions going through our courts each month — there were 1,548 people prosecuted last year, resulting in 3,961 convictions — you will find dozens of shocking tales of the charity appearing to act out of all proportion.

In another case that raises serious questions, 42 Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs and two Swedish dogs were seized from the Essex home of Deborah Fuller by RSPCA inspectors last year.

Deborah, 54, a dog breeder and qualified show judge, was bundled into the back of a police car and spent nine hours in a cell, accused of neglect, while her home and kennels were raided. Many of the dogs on her seven-and-a-half acre plot had arrived as rescue animals.

All were taken away by the charity after the council used a warrant to search the property on environmental health grounds following a noise and nuisance complaint by a neighbour.

Deborah readily admits that she had taken on too many animals and was in the process of finding homes for a lot of them. But she vehemently disputes that they were not properly cared for.

After a costly court case, she was acquitted of all charges in June, when it emerged the search warrant did not allow the RSPCA to check the dogs’ condition. But she has not even seen her animals since they were seized.

Deborah suspects that at least three have been put down because of age or alleged illnesses.

When I asked the RSPCA what had happened to the 44 animals, it refused to comment on the case, but Ms Fuller says she has received a letter saying the organisation is seeking a judicial review of her acquittal.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: ‘Rather than comment on a series of individual cases, we can confirm that our approach to prosecution decisions is the same in all cases — namely that before proceedings can be instituted, we must be satisfied there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and that it is in the public interest to prosecute.’

Interestingly, he added: ‘Where suspected offences are detected, RSPCA inspectors are required under statutory codes to advise suspects about their right to silence, to seek legal advice and to ask our inspector to leave.’

And Dilys Hadley has had to stop working with the elderly because her background checks now bring up a criminal history — as she was found technically in breach of the law.

‘To be an animal lover like me and be told you are an animal abuser is psychologically very disturbing,’ she says. ‘It has left me with serious depression. I’ve been criminalised.

‘There is something radically wrong with the RSPCA. They are not the organisation I used to support. They walk all over people and don’t care about animals.’

There are many theories as to why the charity acts as it does. But the main problem seems to be the type of people now running it — who include extreme animal rights activists.

Take Dr Richard Ryder, a former director of the militant Political Animal Lobby, who is a member of the RSPCA’s ruling council.

He has suggested that animals are morally identical to human beings so should never be used for food, clothing — or enjoyment.

He thinks people who disagree are guilty of ‘speciesism’, which he compares to racism and sexism.

Since February, the RSPCA has been rudderless — following the resignation of chief executive Gavin Grant due to ill health.

It is the only charity that brings private prosecutions. All others, including the NSPCC and RSPB, have given up, since the formation of the CPS in 1986.

Crucially, the RSPCA was forced to instigate an independent review of its prosecutions policy last year following intense criticism, including from the Attorney General. A report on the review was due this spring. There is still no sign of it.

All of this is a great shame because when the charity sticks to the core principles it was founded on — to help animals in need — it does very popular work.

We are a nation of animal lovers and last year Britons made well over a million calls to the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty hotline.

Its rescue centres took in tens of thousands of abandoned and needy creatures, including horses, dogs and cats.

Every year, the charity receives millions of pounds worth of donations from ordinary people, although these have fallen sharply in recent years.

Critics say the downturn started when the RSPCA began wading into political controversies, such as fox hunting and the badger cull, and because of the row over its prosecutions policy.

The latest accounts posted by the RSPCA show cash receipts down from £112.4 million in 2012 to £105.4 million in 2013.

The cash from legacies was down £5.7 million, while individual gifts fell by £1.2 million. Money from membership fees fell from £590,000 to £556,000.

Sara-Lise Howe, a barrister who has defended pet owners in recent court cases, is in no doubt that urgent action is needed.

‘We are seeing the criminalisation of innocent pet owners,’ she says.  ‘From the moment the investigators arrive on the doorstep, the owners are treated as criminals, and their rights ignored. ‘The police wouldn’t be able to get access like this.

‘The RSPCA comes to the door on the basis that it is helping, but then starts gathering evidence without telling householders they have the right to tell the inspector to leave.’

As a result, the Byrnes family, Dilys Hadley and countless others who’ve had their beloved pets summarily put down, are left wishing they’d simply slammed the door when the inspector came calling.



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 August, 2014

Georgia Town to Atheists: Stop Bullying our Kids

The American Humanist Association (AHA) is about to learn a very important lesson -- folks around Gainesville, Georgia don’t take kindly to out-of-town atheists trying to bully their children.

More than 200 people turned out in defiance of the self-described atheist group early Thursday morning for an impromptu prayer rally in the middle of the Chestatee High School football field.

The previous day, the atheists (acting on behalf of a single, unnamed citizen) sent a letter to school officials demanding that the football coaching staff stop participating in team prayers and that they remove all biblical references and religious messages from team documents.

To best of anyone’s knowledge around Gainesville, no one associated with the football team has a problem with the voluntary prayers. The atheists says that’s beside the point citing the Establishment Clause.

The atheists apparently went undercover to photograph coaches engaged in what they considered to be unseemly and unconstitutional behavior with the teenage football players.

“We have received reports that CHS coaches have joined players in prayer while standing in a circle, hands interlocked,” the atheists breathlessly reported in their letter to the Hall County School District.

Hands interlocked? I can only imagine that atheists across the fruited plain shuddered at such damning evidence.

The atheists also got upset because the team workout schedule included the words “Fortitude 2014, Gal. 6:9” and the cheerleaders wrote a Bible verse on a large banner: “Iron Sharpens Iron, Proverbs 21:17.”

Cleanse the school of religion or prepare to be sued, the atheists warned.

As we say in the Deep South, local residents are preparing to back up and bring it.

“If the atheist group doesn’t like the prayer, tell them to stick their fingers in their ears,” said one caller to radio station WDUN.

Parents of football players also sounded off – lighting up the telephone lines at the popular news radio station.

“I am a mom of two of the football players on the CHS football team and I consider it an honor and a privilege to have my boys on a team that is led by men that believe and trust in God,” one caller said. “I think it's a shame for one person to try and take that away from them.”

The American Humanist Association said the coaches are using their positions to promote Christianity and they said it appears that such religious activity is not an isolated incident.

Guilty as charged, said Congressman Doug Collins. He represents Georgia’s ninth congressional district.

“The liberal atheist interest groups trying to bully Chestatee High School kids say they have a reason to believe that expressions of religious freedom are ‘not an isolated event’ in Northeast Georgia,” Collins wrote in a statement. “They’re right. In Hall County and throughout Georgia’s 9th district, we understand and respect the Constitution and cherish our right to worship in our own way.”

Amen, Congressman Collins. Preach it.

And it was not lost on the Collins that while the American atheists are picking on high school kids, Christians in Iraq are facing unspeakable atrocities.

“It’s utterly disgusting that while innocent lives are being lost in Iraq and other places at the hands of radical religious terrorists, a bunch of Washington lawyers are finding the time to pick on kids in Northeast Georgia,” he said.

I suspect that the atheists truly believe that Christian football coaches who pray with there are religious extremists.

Supt. Will Schofield told WDUN they would investigate the claims of the atheists .

“We need to be very careful, very deliberate and do this in a very defendable manner,” the superintendent said. “There was an awful lot in that letter that I don’t think has any legal basis. There are some things we do need to look at so we are sure we are doing things the right way.”

In other words, the superintendent was not intimidated by the seven-page threat he received from the AHA. I say, good for him.

“Unfortunately when school systems get letters like this and people start rattling sabers, usually the first reaction by a lot of school districts is, ‘Oh my goodness, we don’t want to be in the news. We don’t want to be sued, so we better stop doing whatever we are doing,’” he said. “I don’t think that will be the first reaction of the Hall County School Board.

Finally! A public school official with a backbone!

Hiram Sasser, of the Liberty Institute law firm, told me the atheists don’t have a prayer.

“Don’t these people have more important issues to pursue than going on a witch hunt for anything that is remotely religious?” he asked. “Teachers and coaches who are not on contract time and in their individual roles as citizens may in fact pray with students after school.”

As I write in my book, “God Less America,” religious liberty is under attack in America. And unless people of faith stand up, liberty will be lost.

“I want the football players and all the students at CHS to know that I support you, I’m here for you, and yes, I’m praying for you,” Rep. Collins said.

Well said, congressman. And I believe they also have the prayers of Christians across the nation.


Liberals Manage to Make Your Grocery List Racist

Oh, how exciting… Now you can be a good little liberal, even when shopping for fresh produce and certain off-brand whiskies.

According to a politically obsessed hack over at the Washington Post, some other politically obsessed hack has developed an app so you can wander through your daily life without ever losing sight of partisan political squabbles. The new smartphone app allows users to scan the barcode of consumable products in the grocery store, and it divulges the corporation’s political leanings. (I just found out that Fiji Water has switched from heavily Republican, to entirely Democrat… Ugh.)

It’s so nice to see that we’re now able to make dinner ingredients a conversation starter about Ted Cruz and Nancy Pelosi… I suppose, soon, we’ll be calling certain bakery products “racist” because of their political inclinations, right? Good. I was beginning to worry that there might be a couple of moments throughout the day that were not focused on divisive political partisanship. (A sarcasm font! My kingdom for a sarcasm font!)

According to the Washington Post:

"The app, based on data from Center for Responsive Politics, the Sunlight Foundation, and the Institute for State Money in Politics, is the first rollout from Colbert’s new company, “Spend consciously.” It’s [sic] tagline: “Wouldn’t it be great if you could spend how you believed?” The goal of the company, he said, is make “every day Election Day” through “spending choices.” It’s called Buypartisan."

Whoa… Punny.

And, really, who wouldn’t enjoy the partisan experience of Election Day every day? (Does this mean that dead Democrats in Chicago will suddenly be shopping at the local Hy-Vee?) I just can’t wait until some well-intentioned Occupy types start petitioning my local Whole Foods (a libertarian organization, by the way) because they don’t carry a “progressive” brand of eggplants.

The entire notion of “Buypartisan” is a little over the top for me anyway. Oh, sure: There’s a place for spending discretion in our daily lives. Going to football games, for example, is no longer on my list of possible Sunday afternoon activities – but that’s not really because of the NFL’s anti-gun stance or general liberal tendencies. It has a lot more to do with the fact that the metal detectors and pat-downs prohibit me from entering the premises in the first place. (By now you should know: Asking why I don’t just keep my guns at home is an illogical and ridiculous question.)

Boycotts, however, are generally distasteful, useless, and absurdly counter-intuitive to the free market experience that conservatives tend to cherish. I mean, do you like the product? Then buy it. After all, even liberals should be rewarded for creating, selling, and marketing a good product. That’s kinda the advantage of capitalism: It rewards results, not intentions.

Look… I buy most of my wine from Argentina. Most of my vodka comes from Poland. And, just to prove that my household is not one giant nightmare for recovering alcoholics, I buy my cigars from Cuba the Dominican Republic. Heck, some of my guns even came from the former Soviet Union. I don’t really like the politics of any of these places. (Strangely, current and former communist states are very proficient at creating effective and high-quality alcohol, tobacco, and firearm products. Go figure.) But that’s not really the issue…

Are they good products? Are they the best value for the best price? Is there a capitalist, free-market-advocating, or Republican alternative? (In my case, the answers are: "Yes." "Yes." And "no.")

And such is the way with most fiscal conservatives. This, by the way, this is not an insult to conservatives. Truthfully, we on the right just wish to be left alone. It’s the left that feels the need to pressure everyone into their pre-conceived notion of “social justice” or political correctness.

There is a whole list of reasons that people buy the products that they do. Generally speaking, politics isn’t at the top of that list. Thank heaven we now have a hip new app that helps people further segregate themselves into politically defined bubbles, while doing something as mundane as shopping for groceries.

Then again… I guess I did just discovered a new way to irritate my liberal neighbors at our local Whole Foods. This should be fun.


First Comes Feminist Liberation, Then Comes…Tampons?

Earlier this week, feminist author Jessica Valenti wrote a column in UK’s The Guardian attempting to argue, rather predictably, that tampons should be provided free to women everywhere. As with abortion and birth control, it’s sugar daddy government to the rescue!

While there are a number of things wrong with Valenti’s argument, the least of which is that we can wave a magic wand and suddenly create free tampons for all, the crux of her argument rests on the fallacy that government, funded by taxpayers, should be responsible for providing for our every necessity as women. I find it deeply offensive that anyone should have to provide for my needs other than myself. It’s an insult to my character, work ethic, and independence. This is where the true “war on women” is taking place, suggesting that women are such simpletons that they can’t figure out how to pay for and obtain their own menstrual solutions much less take care of their own wellbeing as a whole. On the upside, now feminists everywhere can stop reducing women’s interests to simply those related to birth control – we also care about menstrual periods!

When you really think about it, government-provided products for women is probably one of the most anti-feminist ideas there is. If the true aim of third-wave feminism was to free women from being tied to the home (a “comfortable concentration camp” per Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique) and liberate them to pursue higher education and break the glass ceiling, then how does encouraging them to be dependent on government to tend to their needs accomplish any of that? Is it not shifting their dependence on their husbands to dependence on the government (also run mostly by men)? Women have been buying their own menstrual products for years but suddenly we need someone else to do it for us.

While it is undeniable that there are women, and men, in the world who are struggling to purchase basic necessities it is poor policy and frankly rather insulting to suggest that the government should therefore provide menstrual solutions to all women, all the time. While Valenti initially frames her argument under the umbrella of “healthcare,” she ends her column by concluding that the backlash to such an idea is due to the lack of empathy. Rather than consider that her idea is just a bad one all around, anyone who could disagree with such a notion must be lacking “an incredible amount of empathy” because “it has something to do with vaginas.”

When it comes to supporting taxpayer-funded government-provided tampons, count me out. I would much rather promote free market ideas and encourage women everywhere to call on their resourcefulness, ability, and character to achieve their financial goals and purchase their tampons themselves. To assert that taxpayer-funded government needs to step in to provide such a basic item as a tampon is to underestimate the ability and potential of women everywhere.



Australia:  In a briliant flash of Leftist logic, Labor MP Richard Marles says that that terrorism isn’t a Muslim issue because the Oklahoma bomber was a Christian  (He wasn't).

I tried to find some acts of terrorism committed by those of us of Anglo-Saxon heritage.

I realise you said we were also guilty of these atrocities, so I searched and searched but I could only find ones committed in an Islamic context. I'm terrible at researching.

So perhaps you could help me out here with some Anglo-Saxon events because it would be good if I had a complete list and not just Islamic ones... it really does make last month's list look a bit unbalanced. 

List of Terror Attacks For the Past 30 Days only

Date Country City Killed Injured Description

2014.08.06 Syria Damascus 16 79 Two children are among sixteen civilians killed when an Islamist brigade sends shells into their neighborhood.
2014.08.06 Iraq Sadr City 31 34 Thirty-one people at a Shiite shopping center are reduced to pulp by Sunni bombers.
2014.08.05 Afghanistan Uruzgan 7 0 A Taliban in police uniform drugs and murders seven Afghan cops.
2014.08.05 Pakistan Liaquatabad 2 0 Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jamaat gunmen open fire on a Shiite-owned salon, killing an uncle and his nephew.
2014.08.04 Pakistan Karachi 1 0 The 65-year-old principal of a Christian school is gunned down in a targeted attack.
2014.08.04 Iraq Deir al-Zor 15 120 The Islamic State sends rockets into three non-compliant villages, killing fifteen civilians.
2014.08.04 Israel Jerusalem 1 6 An Arab rams a bus and mows over a rabbi with a tractor.
2014.08.03 Egypt Sheikh Zuweid 1 4 A 6-year-old boy bleeds to death after being hit with a rocket fired by religious hardliners.
2014.08.03 Somalia Mogadishu 3 7 Three elderly female street cleaners are dissembled by an Islamist bomb.
2014.08.03 Nigeria Kaduna 1 17 Muslims fire into a Catholic church, killing a guard and injuring several worshippers.
2014.08.02 Iraq Kirkuk 1 0 Activists behead a citizen who refuses to swear allegiance to the Islamic State.
2014.08.02 Bangladesh Rangpur 1 0 A religious minority is beaten to death by a Muslim gang.
2014.08.01 Iraq Sadr City 9 21 A Sunni car bomb along a busy street in a Shiite district claims the lives of nine innocents.
2014.07.31 Lebanon Tripoli 1 7 A civilian is killed when Sunni radicals toss a bomb under a bridge.
2014.07.30 Somalia Hosingow 1 0 A mother of two is shot to death for refusing to wear the hijab.
2014.07.30 Iraq Sadr City 16 28 Sunnis detonate a car bomb amid restaurants and shops populated by Shia, laying out at least sixteen.
2014.07.30 Nigeria Kano 6 6 A female suicide bomber detonates at a university, killing student volunteers.
2014.07.30 China Kashgar 1 0 A pro-government imam is stabbed to death outside his mosque by religious radicals.
2014.07.30 Pakistan Quetta 2 0 Two Hazara Shias are gunned down in a targeted sectarian attack.
2014.07.30 Iraq Baqubah 15 0 Fifteen Sunni civilians are captured and executed by Shia militia.
2014.07.30 Iraq Anbar 6 6 A brutal Mujahid car bomb claims the lives of six people.
2014.07.29 Libya Benghazi 30 81 Thirty people are killed when Islamist fighters overrun a military base.
2014.07.29 Nigeria Dogo Tebo 11 37 A suicide bomber sends eleven worshippers at a rival mosque straight to Allah.
2014.07.29 Afghanistan Kandahar 2 1 Two people are assassinated by a suicide bomber who hid the explosives in his turban.
2014.07.29 Iraq Tikrit 200 0 The Islamic State releases a video showing the mass execution of hundreds of Shiite men and boys.
2014.07.29 Syria Raqqa 35 0 ISIS posts thirty-five more heads in the town square.
2014.07.29 Pakistan Lower Dir 6 0 A half-dozen people inside are killed when Taliban militants assault a house.
2014.07.29 Bangladesh Sylhet 1 100 One person is beaten to death during a riot sparked by a non-fasting person attending Eid prayers.
2014.07.29 Nigeria Anguwar Bolawa 2 0 A second suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque leaves two dead.
2014.07.29 Pakistan Charsadda 2 1 Fundamentalists are suspected of shooting two off-duty policemen to death.
2014.07.29 Libya Benghazi 3 0 Three civilians are killed when an Islamic militia rocket hits their house.
2014.07.28 Pal. Auth. Gaza 10 46 Nine children are among ten killed when a Hamas rocket falls short.
2014.07.28 Nigeria Katarko 8 12 Pro-Sharia militants throw explosives into homes and shoot those trying to flee.
2014.07.28 Pakistan Gujranwala 4 8 Two young girls are among four members of an Ahmadi religious minority family burned alive after an angry mob sets fire to their home over alleged 'blasphemy'.
2014.07.28 Israel Nahal Oz 5 0 Hamas terrorists tunnel into Israel and murder five soldiers.
2014.07.28 Philippines Talipao 23 11 Women and six children are among twenty-three machine-gunned point-blank by Abu Sayyaf.
2014.07.28 Nigeria Kano 0 6 A Fedayeen suicide bomber blows herself up at a shopping mall.
2014.07.28 Nigeria Kano 3 8 A female suicide bomber detonates at a gas station killing three other women lining up to buy kerosene.
2014.07.28 Iraq Baghdad 3 0 Three women are handcuffed and shot in the head by Mujahideen.
2014.07.28 Israel Eshkol 4 9 Four civilians die from a Hamas rocket.
2014.07.28 Iraq Baghdad 14 0 The bodies of fourteen male victims of sectarian killings are found bound and tortured.
2014.07.28 Iraq Baghdad 6 21 Mujahideen bombs claim the lives of six Iraqis.
2014.07.28 Egypt Sheikh Zuwaid 1 10 A 9-year-old girl dies from shrapnel produced by an Islamist rocket.
2014.07.28 Pal. Auth. Shejaiya 20 0 Twenty Palestinian protesters are executed by Hamas for protesting Hamas.
2014.07.28 Thailand Narathiwat 1 0 A villager on foot loses his life to suspected Muslim gunmen.
2014.07.28 China Xinjiang 37 13 Thirty-seven (mostly ethnic Han) civilians are slaughtered by an Islamic mob armed with axes and knives.
2014.07.28 Pakistan Jamrud 1 0 A local soldier is kidnapped and beheaded by religious radicals.
2014.07.27 Nigeria Kano 5 8 Muslim extremists throw a bomb into a Catholic church, killing five worshippers.
2014.07.27 Iraq Taji 6 0 An entire Shiite family of six is found beheaded in their home by Religion of Peace rivals.
2014.07.27 Pakistan Jamrud 1 0 Members of a religious group behead a former member.
2014.07.27 Afghanistan Spinboldak 2 0 A child is among two people taken out by Shahid suicide bombers at their home.
2014.07.27 Thailand Pattani 1 7 A young girl is reduced to pulp by an Muslim 'insurgent' bomb.
2014.07.27 Yemen Abyan 2 11 Two others are killed by suicide bombers.
2014.07.27 Israel Border 1 0 A soldier is killed by a Hamas rocket fired into Israel.
2014.07.27 Pakistan Karachi 2 1 A 6-year-old girl is among the casualties of an Islamist shooting attack.
2014.07.27 Nigeria Hong 30 0 Thirty villagers are slaughtered randomly by Boko Haram gunmen.
2014.07.27 Nigeria Shafa 2 0 Two men are shot to death by Boko Haram.
2014.07.27 Pakistan Mirokas 1 0 Militants fighting for Sharia kill a bus driver with a roadside bomb.
2014.07.27 Iraq Jurf al-Sakhar 3 4 Islamic State terrorists attack a police station and kill three officers.
2014.07.27 Nigeria Kano 0 5 A female suicide bomber detonates along a city street.
2014.07.27 Iraq Tuz Khurmato 2 4 Two women are pulled into pieces by a Jihad car bomb at an outdoor market.
2014.07.27 Cameroon Kolofata 10 1 Boko Haram kill ten people and kidnap at least one woman.
2014.07.26 Thailand Betong 2 52 Muslim terrorists set off a car bomb in front of a hotel that claims the lives of two young people.
2014.07.26 India Saharanpur 2 19 Two Sikhs are murdered in a violent Muslim attack.
2014.07.26 Pakistan Karachi 5 0 Five Shiites are shot to death by Sunni radicals in three separate attacks.
2014.07.26 Egypt Rafah 4 5 Four children are wiped out by a rocket fired by Islamic militia.
2014.07.26 Nigeria Hawul 2 0 Two Christians are beheaded by Boko Haram.
2014.07.26 Afghanistan Marjah 4 4 Four civilians are disassembled by a Taliban bomb.
2014.07.26 Pakistan Gulshan-e-Iqbal 1 3 A prayer leader is murdered outside his mosque by Religion of Peace rivals.
2014.07.26 India Sopore 1 4 One person dies when a Muslim extremist tosses a grenade into the street.
2014.07.26 Syria Azaz 4 4 Islamists set off a bomb in a vegetable market, killing children and the elderly.
2014.07.26 Pakistan Zubaida 1 1 A teenage girl is murdered by her conservative brother on suspicion that she is having sex.
2014.07.26 Libya Benghazi 34 87 Three dozen people soldiers are killed during a sustained assault by Ansar al-Sharia.
2014.07.26 Iraq Taji 6 0 Six security personnel are captured, handcuffed and shot in the head by Sunni extremists.
2014.07.26 Libya Tripoli 23 0 A rocket fired by suspected Islamic militia hits a house and kills twenty-three laborers.
2014.07.26 Tunisia Kef 2 6 Armed fundamentalists ambush and kill two local soldiers.
2014.07.25 Yemen Baida 5 2 al-Qaeda members fire heavy machine-guns into a police checkpoint, exterminating five officers.
2014.07.25 Egypt Sheikh Zuwaid 2 0 Two army officers are shot to death by suspected Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.
2014.07.25 Afghanistan Ghor 15 0 Three women and a child are among fifteen Shiites singled out and pulled off a bus by dedicated Sunnis, who bound their hands and then execute them.
2014.07.25 India Sopore 1 0 A local cop is gunned down by Lashkar-e-Toiba militants.
2014.07.25 Syria Raqqa 50 0 At least fifty Syrian soldiers are captured and beheaded by Islamic State militants, who then post the heads on a long row of fence posts.
2014.07.25 Iraq Kirkuk 4 15 Four Shiites are liquidated by a targeted bomb attack.
2014.07.25 Iraq Tikrit 18 0 Eighteen suspected victims of the Islamic State are found bound and executed.
2014.07.25 Pakistan Dera Ismail Khan 2 0 Religious radicals kill two meat shop employees with a bomb.
2014.07.25 Cameroon Bargaram 4 0 Four Cameroon soldiers are killed during a cross-border raid by Boko Haram.
2014.07.24 Afghanistan Takhar 6 26 A Fedayeen suicide bomber on a motorcycle slaughters six people at a packed market.
2014.07.24 Iraq Taji 61 19 A massive suicide attack on a convoy transporting prisoners leaves sixty dead.
2014.07.24 Afghanistan Nangarhar 2 1 A Shahid suicide bomber takes the lives of two local cops.
2014.07.24 Nigeria Garubulu 15 0 Islamists enter a village and calmly machine-gun fifteen residents.
2014.07.24 Afghanistan Herat 2 0 Two female aid workers for a Christian charity are shot to death by Muslim radicals.
2014.07.24 Iraq Baghdad 21 33 A double car-bombing rips through a commercial district, snuffing out the lives of over twenty innocents.
2014.07.24 Syria Raqqa 19 0 Nineteen people are reported dead following a double suicide attack.
2014.07.24 Yemen Lahj 1 0 al-Qaeda gunmen pick off a man outside his home.
2014.07.24 Nigeria Kano 1 8 Boko Haram is suspected of a bombing that leaves one dead in a bus park.
2014.07.23 Iraq Sharqat 1 0 A female politician is murdered by IS fundamentalists.
2014.07.23 Somalia Mogadishu 1 0 Fundamentalists gun down a female singer turned lawmaker.
2014.07.23 Israel Eshkol 1 0 A civilian is killed by a Hamas mortar round.
2014.07.23 Iraq Jalawla 6 0 Islamic State gunmen execute six people for being related to a policeman.
2014.07.23 Iraq Samarra 8 0 Eight Iraqi soldiers are kidnapped and executed by Islamic radicals.
2014.07.23 Nigeria Kawo 50 37 At least fifty people at a market are incinerated by a suicide bus bombing, including woman and children.
2014.07.23 Pakistan Karachi 1 0 A 60-year-old Shiite man is gunned down by Sunnis while buying fruit.
2014.07.23 Nigeria Kaduna 35 14 Three dozen people bleed to death following a suicide bomb attack on a rival cleric and his followers.
2014.07.23 Pakistan Karachi 1 2 Gunmen attack a vehicle carrying a Shia family, killing the mother.
2014.07.23 Pakistan Badaber 1 2 Tehreek-e-Taliban members attack the home of a judge, killing a guard.
2014.07.22 Libya Benghazi 5 4 A twin suicide bombing leaves five others dead.
2014.07.22 Philippines North Cotabato 1 0 One other person is killed when Bangsamoro Islamic gunmen attack a convoy.
2014.07.22 Afghanistan Kabul 4 11 A Taliban suicide bomber murders four people outside an airport.
2014.07.22 Iraq Nahrawan 5 13 Sunni bombers take down five patrons at a Shiite market.
2014.07.22 Iraq Kirkuk 6 0 ISIL kidnap and murder six taxi drivers.
2014.07.22 Iraq Baghdad 33 50 A Holy Warrior detonates a suicide shrapnel bomb at a packed entrance to a Shiite neighborhood, taking the lives of three dozen innocents.
2014.07.22 Iraq Diyala 5 0 Five civilians are captured and publicly executed by the Islamic State.
2014.07.21 Afghanistan Lashkar Gah 2 9 A Shahid suicide bomber takes out two locals.
2014.07.21 Iraq Baqubah 3 4 Islamic State send mortar shells into a family home, killing three members.
2014.07.21 Libya Benghazi 16 81 Sixteen people are killed during an attack by Ansar al-Sharia.
2014.07.20 Iraq Mahmoudiya 11 31 Eleven are killed when Sunnis rain down mortar shells on a Shiite religious procession.
2014.07.20 Pakistan Hayatabad 2 0 Two security guards at an industrial complex are murdered by Muslim radicals.
2014.07.20 Afghanistan Peshawar 2 0 Two guards at a market are gunned down point-blank by Taliban.
2014.07.20 Iraq Abu Ghraib 5 0 Five Shiites are taken out by a Sunni roadside blast.
2014.07.20 Libya Benghazi 47 120 A week-long assault by Islamic militia on an airport leaves forty-seven dead.
2014.07.20 Libya Benghazi 1 0 A foreign worker is singled out and beheaded for not being Muslim.
2014.07.20 Iraq Mosul 1 0 A university professor is murdered by Islamists for speaking out on behalf of abused Christians.
2014.07.19 Iraq Abu Dashir 9 21 Nine people lose their lives to a vicious Shahid suicide bombing in a Shia neighborhood.
2014.07.19 Israel Dimona 1 3 An Israeli civilian is killed by a Hamas rocket that also severely injures children.
2014.07.19 Iraq Khazimiyah 3 15 Terrorists set off a car bomb near a bus stop that leaves three dead.
2014.07.19 Israel Ein Hashlosha 2 2 Palestinian terrorists tunnel into Israel and shoot two soldiers to death.
2014.07.19 Syria Raqqa 1 0 A second woman is stoned to death by IS, this time after her new husband discovers that she is not a virgin.
2014.07.19 Nigeria Damboa 100 0 Boko Haram return to the site of an earlier massacre and machine-gun over one-hundred more villagers before raising their black flag of Islam.
2014.07.19 China Memetjan Jumaq 1 1 Islamic extremists enter a home and stab a woman to death.
2014.07.19 Egypt al-Farafrah 22 4 Twenty-two local soldiers are incinerated by an RPG attack blamed on fundamentalists.
2014.07.19 Nigeria Gwoza 6 0 Radicals tie the hands of six villagers and then slit their throats while shouting praises to Allah.
2014.07.19 Iraq Baghdad 15 42 Three Islamic State car bombs produced fifteen dead Iraqis.
2014.07.18 Syria Tabaqa 1 0 A young woman is stoned to death in the public square for adultery.
2014.07.18 Pakistan Peshawar 1 3 Muslim terrorists kill a police officer with a bomb.
2014.07.18 Afghanistan Laghman 1 14 A civilian is sectionalized by a Taliban bomb blast.
2014.07.18 Pakistan Mansehra 2 6 A prayer leader is among two murdered by Religion of Peace rivals.
2014.07.18 Kenya Witu 7 5 Seven people on a bus are machine-gunned by al-Shabaab Islamists.
2014.07.18 Iraq Balad 6 0 A half-dozen Iraqis are picked apart with ISIS mortars.
2014.07.18 Nigeria Damboa 21 0 Religion of Peace proponents massacre over twenty villagers with automatic weapons and explosives.
2014.07.18 Pakistan Jamrud 8 0 Eight security personnel die when pro-Sharia gunmen open fire on their traffic checkpoint.
2014.07.18 Pakistan Peshawar 4 0 Four people are killed when the Taliban open fire on a car.
2014.07.17 Syria Homs 270 0 Islamic State militants attack an oil field and execute nearly three hundred civilians and guards.
2014.07.17 Thailand Narathiwat 1 0 A 49-year-old Buddhist is cut down by Muslim gunmen.
2014.07.17 Iraq Nineveh 13 0 Thirteen Yezidi religious minorities are kidnapped and executed by Islamic State.
2014.07.17 Iraq Baghdad 4 12 An Islamic State suicide bomber takes out four people near a Shia mosque.
2014.07.17 Iraq Taji 6 18 A half-dozen Iraqis are pulled into pieces by a Shahid suicide bomber along a crowded street.
2014.07.17 Iraq Sinjar 10 0 Ten Shabak religious minorities are kidnapped and executed by Islamic State.
2014.07.17 Pakistan Hangu 6 3 Suspected Sunni terrorists set off a roadside blast that claims the lives of six innocents.
2014.07.17 Iraq Muqdadiya 10 0 Ten Iraqis are kidnapped and killed by Islamic State.
2014.07.17 Iraq Tikrit 3 4 At least three others are killed during a massive Fedayeen suicide assault on an Iraqi camp.
2014.07.17 Pakistan Ghundi 8 3 Eight security personnel lose their lives to a Taliban attack.
2014.07.17 Pakistan Ganj Chowk 1 0 A Shia businessman is murdered by sectarian Jihadis.
2014.07.16 Iraq Mosul 1 0 A video surfaces of a handcuffed woman strangled to death by an Islamic State member.
2014.07.16 Nigeria Sabon Gari 7 0 Seven family members are murdered by Boko Haram while trying to bury victims of a previous attack.
2014.07.16 Tunisia Chaambi 15 23 Ansar al-Sharia militants slaughter fifteen local soldiers as they are sitting down to eat.
2014.07.16 Iraq Ramadi 5 10 Five Iraqis lose their lives to a Fedayeen suicide bomber.
2014.07.16 Syria Damascus 4 20 Sunnis send mortar rounds into a marketplace, killing four patrons.
2014.07.16 Pakistan Sharifabad 1 2 A shopkeeper is murdered by Sunnis for being Shia.
2014.07.16 Yemen Baida 2 1 al-Qaeda militants machine-gun two off-duty cops.
2014.07.15 Pakistan Mir Ali 5 8 Five local soldiers are cut down by armed religious radicals.
2014.07.15 Afghanistan Urgun 89 42 A Shahid suicide bomber at a market sends eighty-nine souls to Allah.
2014.07.15 Israel Erez 1 1 A 37-year-old distributing food dies from a Hamas rocket.
2014.07.15 Nigeria Dille 38 20 Pro-caliphate militants slaughter over three dozen residents and burn churches in a raid on a Christian farming village.
2014.07.15 Afghanistan Kabul 2 5 A Taliban bomb takes out two minivan passengers.
2014.07.15 Iraq Sadr City 14 54 Fourteen people are killed when Sunnis bomb a Shiite market.
2014.07.15 Nigeria Huyim 9 0 Nine Christians are slain by Boko Haram.
2014.07.15 Iraq Madain 9 0 Nine people are reported dead following a Mujahideen bomb blast.
2014.07.15 Nigeria Sabon Gari 20 0 Boko Haram massacre twenty villagers.
2014.07.15 Pakistan Hangu 1 0 A 40-year-old Shia teacher is shot to death by Religion of Peace rivals.
2014.07.15 Iraq Tikrit 12 28 Two suicide car bombers murder a dozen Iraqis.
2014.07.14 Israel Be'er Sheva 0 3 Two children are among three seriously injured by a Hamas rocket.
2014.07.14 Nigeria Zamadede 11 0 A mother and her two children are among eleven hacked to death by Fulani terrorists.
2014.07.14 Libya Benghazi 1 6 Islamic militia fire a rocket into an airport, killing a guard.
2014.07.14 Iraq Baghdad 4 12 Sunnis set off a bomb in a Shiite district, killing four.
2014.07.14 India Lalmonirhat 0 4 Jamaat-e-Islami attack a Hindu family in their home.
2014.07.14 Iraq Baqubah 7 0 Seven people are kidnapped, tied up and executed by sectarian rivals.
2014.07.14 Iraq Saadiya 12 0 Twelve tribesmen are detained and summarily executed by Islamic State.
2014.07.14 Iraq Muqdadiya 8 0 Eight young men are executed by Islamic State members.
2014.07.14 Mali Moustarat 1 7 A suicide bomber kills a French peacekeeper.
2014.07.14 Nigeria Borno 27 0 Over two dozen Christians are massacred by Islamists, in an attack on three churches.
2014.07.14 Nigeria Dille 1 4 A pastor is murdered by Boko Haram. His wife and three young children are kidnapped.
2014.07.14 Iraq Baghdad 3 8 A Jihad bomb blast near a car dealership ends the lives of three innocents.
2014.07.13 Iraq Baghdad 6 7 Two bombs, one near a crowded market, leave six dead.
2014.07.13 Afghanistan Herat 11 4 A suicide attack is among several that leave eleven Afghans dead.
2014.07.13 Thailand Narathiwat 1 0 A 62-year-old Buddhist woman is picked off by Muslim gunmen.
2014.07.13 Iraq Duluiya 12 0 A dozen Iraqis lose their lives to an ISIS assault.
2014.07.13 Iraq Mosul 10 0 Ten Shabak religious minorities are reported kidnapped and executed.
2014.07.13 Iraq Ishaqi 4 0 Four members of a family are disassembled by Mujahid bombers.
2014.07.13 Libya Benghzi 26 11 Over two dozen people are killed in an attack claimed by Islamic militia.
2014.07.13 Syria al-Qaim 4 0 Four locals are publicly executed by pro-Sharia militants.
2014.07.13 Iraq Mosul 2 1 IS bombers take out two women.
2014.07.13 Egypt al-Arish 8 25 Two children are among eight innocents taken out by an Islamist rocket.
2014.07.12 Malaysia Mabul Island 1 1 Abu Sayyaf members kill a guard by firing randomly into a resort.
2014.07.12 Afghanistan Pajwai 8 2 Five women are among eight civilians sent to Allah by Taliban bombers.
2014.07.12 Afghanistan Jalalabad 2 4 Two people are taken out by a suspected suicide car bomber.
2014.07.12 Iraq Zayouna 33 18 Fundamentalists enter a brothel and massacre over thirty people, including twenty-eight women.
2014.07.12 Pakistan Karachi 1 0 Sectarian Jihadis shoot a man to death at his pump shot.
2014.07.12 Algeria Sidi Bel Abbes 7 0 Religion of Peace activists blow up seven security personnel on patrol.
2014.07.12 Pakistan Karachi 1 0 Religion of Peace rivals assassinate a seminary teacher.
2014.07.12 Pakistan Mamond 3 2 Three border guards are gunned down by Sunni extremists.
2014.07.11 Iraq Anbar 11 24 Eleven Iraqis are killed by Islamic State militants.
2014.07.11 Pakistan Abbottabad 2 0 A Shia father and son are shot to death by dedicated Sunnis.
2014.07.11 Iraq Kirkuk 28 25 A Shahid suicide car bombing ends the lives of twenty-eight innocents, including women and children.
2014.07.11 Israel Ashdod 0 3 Three people are seriously injured when Hamas sends a rocket into a gas station.
2014.07.11 Syria Rahjan 18 0 At least eighteen people are killed during an al-Nusra attack that begins with a suicide bombing.
2014.07.11 Yemen Hardramawt 1 0 al-Qaeda fundamentalists shoot a man to death in his home for 'practicing black magic'.
2014.07.11 Iraq Shurqat 3 0 Islamic State members murder three civilians and put their bodies on display.
2014.07.11 Kenya Mombasa 1 0 A financier is killed in a war between rival mosques.
2014.07.11 Cameroon Bonderie 2 1 Two locals are slain by Boko Haram gunmen.
2014.07.10 Pakistan Karachi 1 0 A shopkeeper is murdered by Sunnis for being Shia.
2014.07.10 Iraq Samarrah 4 2 Four Iraqis are taken apart by a Mujahid roadside bomb.
2014.07.10 Afghanistan Kohsan 6 3 The Taliban murder six employees of a de-mining company.
2014.07.10 Afghanistan Ghor 7 0 Seven Afghans bleed to death following a Taliban roadside bomb.
2014.07.10 Thailand Yala 3 0 Militant Muslims ambush and kill off-duty three police officers.
2014.07.09 Thailand Yala 2 0 Two Buddhist nursing students are gunned down at a market by suspected Muslim terrorists.
2014.07.09 Dagestan Kizilyurt 1 0 Suspected religious extremists tie a man up and stab him to death.
2014.07.09 Iraq Mansuriyah 9 38 Nine soldiers are killed in an ambush by Islamic State militants.
2014.07.09 Afghanistan Kandahar 9 9 A woman is among nine killed during a massive Fedayeen suicide assault.
2014.07.09 Syria Khatab 14 0 Seven women and are among fourteen villagers massacred by Sunni 'rebels'.
2014.07.09 Egypt al-Arish 1 4 Fundamentalists set off a roadside bomb that leaves one dead.
2014.07.09 China Xinjiang 6 1 Six ethnic Han farmers are stabbed to death by Muslim terrorists.
2014.07.09 Iraq Babil 2 13 Two Jihadi car bombs kill two Iraqis.
2014.07.09 Iraq Khamissiya 53 0 Fifty-three victims of a mass sectarian execution are found dumped in a Shiite town.
2014.07.09 Pakista Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 3 4 Three people lose their lives to suspected Taliban.
2014.07.09 Dagestan Khasavyurt 1 0 A police officer is gunned down by Islamists.
2014.07.09 Pakistan Shakardara 1 0 A member of a peace committee is shot to death by activists fighting for an Islamic state.
2014.07.08 Somalia Mogadishu 14 4 al-Shabaab militants attack the presidential compound, killing over a dozen guards.
2014.07.08 Iraq Samarrah 8 9 Two Mujahid bombs produce eight dead Iraqis.
2014.07.08 Afghanistan Parwan 16 14 A Taliban suicide bombing at a medical clinic leaves sixteen dead, including eleven students.
2014.07.08 Pakistan Achini 3 1 Lashkar-e-Islam gunmen open fire on a group of villagers outside their residences, killing three.
2014.07.08 CAR Bambari 17 14 At least seventeen people are killed when Muslims attack a Catholic church sheltering civilians.
2014.07.07 Afghanistan Herat 5 1 Five police officers are murdered by the Taliban.
2014.07.07 Iraq Baghdad 7 17 A Fedayeen suicide bomber in a packed Shiite district sends seven souls to Allah.
2014.07.07 Yemen Abyan 2 5 An al-Qaeda attack leaves two dead and five injured.
2014.07.07 Iraq al-Meshag 3 10 Islamic State militants shoot three villagers to death.
2014.07.07 Iraq Adhaim 4 0 Four Iraqis are murdered by Jihadis.
2014.07.07 Iraq Tikrit 1 0 A civilian is kidnapped and executed by ISIL.
2014.07.07 Kenya Wajir 1 6 One person bleeds to death after suspected al-Shabaab throw a grenade into a restaurant.
2014.07.07 Kenya Lamu 2 0 Two Christians are killed in their own church by Muslim radicals.
2014.07.07 Sudan South Kordofan 10 0 Ten Christians are targeted and murdered by the Islamic government, including four children and an elderly woman. Their church was also destroyed.
2014.07.07 Thailand Yala 1 1 Muslim militants ambush a security patrol, killing one member.
2014.07.07 Afghanistan Kunduz 5 4 Five children are disassembled when the Taliban send an RPG into their home.
*Phew, that was long, but if you could just add a few Anglo-Saxon atrocities I would be really grateful, you know, just to even it up a bit.



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 August, 2014

State Police lawsuit an attempt at political correctness

The federal government sued Pennsylvania on Tuesday over physical fitness tests given to applicants for state trooper positions.

The U.S. Justice Department lawsuit on the hiring practices of the Pennsylvania State Police is just the latest example of a government attempt at political correctness; in other words, making the statistics and hiring numbers look “right” no matter what the actual outcome or result of that position.

Using the court’s own numbers, the State Police hiring test is not a draconian attempt to disenfranchise female applicants: over 95 percent of adult males can pass the physical part of the qualifications; and almost three-quarters of women can pass it as well.

That sounds to me like we have a good field of very high-quality female candidates. We’re definitely not talking about a physical test where 90 percent of the men pass and only 10 percent or so of the women can manage to qualify.

I applaud State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan’s response to the suit. After all, we are talking about active, heavy-duty public safety performance capability here.

Commissioner Noonan has my complete support in his decision to contest the government’s demands.


Indiana asks court to overturn gay marriage ruling

Attorneys who want a federal appeals court to overrule a judge who threw out Indiana's gay marriage ban say there's no constitutional right to marry a person of the same sex.

The Indiana attorney general's office on Monday filed its final brief with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, repeating its argument that traditional marriage is in the interest of the state.

Attorneys for several same-sex couples filed their brief July 29.

Federal judges in Indiana and Wisconsin overturned each state's gay marriage ban in separate rulings. When both states appealed, the appeals court combined the cases.

The Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments for Aug. 26.

Hundreds of same-sex couples were married in both states after the bans were overturned and before stays were issued.


The brazen hypocrisy of the BDS crowd

Those who want to silence Israelis are shocked when they are silenced.

"If Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anyone be surprised #Gaza.’"

This ugly, anti-Semitic tweet is just one in a long line sent by the American academic and pro-Palestinian activist, Steven Salaita. His response to the kidnapping in June of three Israeli teenagers was typically forthright: ‘You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not: I wish all the fucking West Bank settlers would go missing.’ More recently he informed his Twitter followers: ‘Zionists: transforming “anti-Semitism” from something horrible into something honourable since 1948.’

Salaita has forged both a public profile and an academic career off the back of such sentiments. In his 2011 book, Israel’s Dead Soul, he writes: ‘Liberal notions of Zionism are harmful to various movements for justice.’ He is a leading campaigner in the US movement calling for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. In relation to higher education, BDS proponents want to prevent Israeli universities and scholars engaging in academic conferences, intellectual collaborations, and funded research projects with the rest of the world. Supporters argue that the Israeli government exploits higher education in order to gain cultural legitimacy on the world stage.

Salaita is one of the contributors to The Imperial University, a book which makes a consistent case for BDS and the censoring of all connections with Israeli universities, which I reviewed in this month’s spiked review of books. The various authors argue that academic freedom, an overrated concept, is a mere tool employed by the liberal elite to patronise and neuter voices of dissent within the academy. How ironic, then, that Salaita, a man all too happy to ride roughshod over the academic freedom of Israeli lecturers and researchers, should be outraged when his own academic freedom is threatened.

This month, Salaita should have taken up his new role as professor of American Indian studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The job offer, which Salaita considered enough of a done deal to resign from his post as associate professor of English at Virginia Tech, has since been rescinded by Illinois on the basis of a rarely used bureaucratic technicality. Professors at many US universities are offered posts subject to the approval of an institution’s board of trustees. Normally this would be a mere formality, but in Salaita’s case the university’s chancellor made the unusual decision not to put his appointment before the board, thereby leaving Salaita without a job.

It has been widely reported that concern over Salaita’s prolific anti-Israel Twitter interventions are the reason for his professorship being withdrawn. Although a number of academics at Illinois and beyond appear to share in the general sentiments he expressed, there is a sense that Salaita ‘crossed a line’ into ‘uncivil behaviour’. To many, it seems, Salaita’s poor etiquette is more problematic than his anti-Semitism.

Yet, incredibly, Salaita’s supporters are now arguing his case on the basis of academic freedom, a concept long dismissed by Salaita. They claim his personal views, even when expressed in the public domain, should not be a factor in determining an academic appointment. They’re right, of course. Yet it’s more than a little hypocritical of those who are more than happy to silence Israeli academics to be outraged when Salaita’s own academic freedom is inhibited.

Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors from 2006 to 2012, and a professor at the University of Illinois, gets the balance right: ‘Although I find many of [Salaita’s] tweets quite loathsome — as well as sophomoric and irresponsible — I would defend without qualification his right to issue most of them… But his right to make most of these statements does not mean I would choose to have him as a colleague.’


Australia: Middle Eastern crime gang linked to violent gaming venue robberies

Mostly Lebanese Muslims

A Middle Eastern crime gang armed with guns and knives is behind a string of robberies at gaming venues across Melbourne's north and west, police say.

Officers said the syndicate, with members aged as young as 16, stormed eight businesses in recent months, threatening staff with weapons before making off with cash.

The Armed Crime Squad released footage of some of the robberies, showing the masked offenders punching patrons, smashing property, and jumping behind counters to empty registers.

Detective Inspector Stephen Clark said the gang had stolen more than $100,000.

"It appears at this stage that the armed robberies have been committed by the same Middle Eastern crime syndicate," Detective Clark said.

"On each occasion the offenders, who we believe are aged between 16 and 25 years, were armed with a firearm and an edged weapon, and threatened staff."

The robberies occurred at Laverton, Epping, Thomastown, Kealba, Fawkner and Moonee Ponds between June 2 and August 11.

Police charged two people aged 16 and 21 with armed robbery earlier this month.



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 August, 2014

One Week As A Jew

So last week I decided to become a Jew for one week.
First off let me explain something. I am Metis [mixed ancestry Canadian]. My family has experienced firsthand, the abuses you read about when you study residential schools and generational abuses. I understand very well what racism and bigotry mean.

Again, I personally have experienced it first hand. But it was the reaction of people to the attack on some of my Jewish friends at a political demonstration that really sent it home to me. I already explained, I’m not converting, I even explained why, albeit in a humorous (yet truthful) way.

I decided that in order to really understand what Jewish people go through, I was going to “become a Jew”. Unlike that dude who tanned and took some pills to become black in that movie, I didn’t really have to do anything difficult. All I had to do to incur the hatred and enmity that comes along with being Jewish, was put on a hat.

I didn’t need to speak, walk or act differently, just put on a hat that identifies me as a Jew. Now think about that. I wore the same clothes I always wear, spoke the exact same way, walked the same way, but by putting on a small piece of woolen apparel, I suddenly became despised to the point where it was uncomfortable for me to walk in certain areas in my own city here in Canada.

I had a few people threaten me with physical violence but in all honesty, I am not a small man so I was not concerned. It just made me think about what smaller people must go through, people who do not have my gifts. I should be clear: while I wore the kippah, I tried not to behave badly. I maintained my generally civil disposition, I still held doors, I still behaved much like I normally do. I didnt suddenly keep kosher, I wasn’t keeping shabbot, I just wore the hat. But to some people, that made me a target for hate. It made me a Jew.

I was also very aware that during my one week as a Jew, I couldn’t just walk around percussively educating asshats. Not because I would be physically unable to do so, but because while wearing a kippah, I was representing Jewish people, and if I did something that reflected poorly on them, it could make things harder for other, smaller Jewish people. So even though there were multiple times when I would have loved to physically educate someone, I had to show restraint, something that I am not always able to do when I am not Jewish for a week. I learned a lot though, and some of it was actually positive.

The positive side was I learned to not assume. A couple of times I was positive that I was about to have a very bad experience, but was pleasantly surprised. I had several people say “ Shalom” and on Friday night, several people said “ Shabbot Shalom” I also had a few cute girls talk to me, something I never avoid. I had an Egyptian taxi driver say “ You Jews, pretty good people, you got a raw deal.” One Arab woman said “If they gave my country to the Jews, we would all be rich.”

I wish those had been the norm rather than the exception, but sadly I had a lot of poor experiences. Let me explain what I think is the reason why.

People have become inured to the quiet bigotry that Jews face, probably because they are pale skinned and often DON’T LOOK ANY DIFFERENT than most of us. We have stopped taking it seriously when a Jew says “ What you just said makes me uncomfortable.” Because they look just like us, it’s hard to understand that they could be targets, BECAUSE TO WESTERN PEOPLE IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO BE PREJUDICED AGAINST SOMEONE WHO LOOKS LIKE YOU.

The most common argument I hear when I tell someone that what they just said was antisemitic bigotry is “You guys always claim that.” Ignoring that I am in fact not a Jew, and that in fact when someone is accused of antisemitism, its almost always a valid accusation.

The reason it is said so much, is because in fact it exists and is prevalent. The scary thing is that most Jews won’t call it out BECAUSE people accuse them of being over sensitive. I’ll tell you what. I am far from sensitive, but if I see racism or bigotry, I will call it out and if someone wants to debate it, I will.

I had an idea of what Jews go through but to be honest, I had no idea of how deep this antipathy runs. I knew that asshats often drop the Nazi card or make ridiculous comparisons of Jews with Nazis in order to attack Jewish people emotionally. They know full well how disgusting that is, but its a natural human desire to want to get an emotional reaction out of someone. I actually told one guy that if I ever heard him say “ Jews are the new Nazis” again, I would ensure that he ate his teeth. He walked away quickly and quietly, but I have no doubt that he will say that again, only to a much smaller person.

I could go on and on about the ridiculous shit I was exposed to. Strangers asking me questions about my genitals, people asking if they could touch my hat, getting glares and dirty looks from people I had never seen before and things of that nature, but to do that only shows what everyone already knows – that some people have an irrational hatred of a people they have never spoken to. I was not shocked that people are bigots. I was shocked at how accepted it seems to be, and even more shocked at the actual depth of it all.

I will say this as well. I am even more firmly of the belief that I am on the right side, that in the end, I will have the last laugh, because frankly, the people who act like this, are not good people. They are not “misguided” or “ill informed.” I can’t even say they are ignorant because in the age of information anyone who is ignorant, must be willfully so.

The only people responsible for Jew hatred are the ones hating, and the people who will end up paying for that hate in the end, are one and the same. I believe that, because I believe in a just and fair god.

To my Jewish friends: you have allies. Sometimes they do not even realize they are your allies, but anyone who shares the common values of freedom, of the right to assemble, the right to speak our minds, and equality for everyone, supports you and everything you stand for as a people. Stay strong, stay resolute in the face of persecution and great pressure. You have a great tradition of doing so and thus persevering against all odds. I do not see that changing.


“Sweden ever so quickly has gone from so-called anti-Zionism to open anti-Semitism”

Swedish Jew visiting Israel told by friend: “Don’t come back here, you have no idea how bad it has become since you left.”

Less than a week ago we wrote about how The anti-Semitic shame of Malmö, Sweden continues with attack on Rabbi.

It’s part of an outburst of open, unabashed anti-Semitism throughout Europe and the world, but particularly Europe, under the mask of opposition to Israel’s Gaza war.

This trend did not start with the Gaza war. We covered almost exactly a year ago how many parts of Europe were becoming unlivable for Jews due mostly to anti-Semitic violence from Muslim communities, tolerated and egged on by anti-Zionist leftists, Jews in Europe past their expiration date.

Anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism is so open now that even The Guardian in Britain issued an Editorial denouncing the practice. The Editors of The Guardian likely did not consider how their own biased anti-Israel coverage contributes to this atmosphere.

Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, a Swedish Jewish writer and political commentator, writes in The Jerusalem Post about how Sweden has become unlivable for Jews, so she is leaving for Israel permanently, Hold on, I’m coming home:

    My friend tells me that Sweden ever so quickly has gone from so-called anti-Zionism to open anti-Semitism, and that no one seems to care.

    “Don’t come back.”  That’s what he said to me; “Don’t come back here, you have no idea how bad it has become since you left.”

    I went to Israel on July 23….   I arrived in Tel Aviv at 7 pm the next day and went directly to the beach to meet my friend Ruthie. The sun was setting in the sea as we ordered drinks and sat there, in silence. I heard booms in the distance, and I thought to myself that I have never felt safer than I do at this very moment. Because I was home; finally, I had arrived.

    I get the call a few days later. That tension I always have from looking over my shoulder has started to release, I’m on the beach sipping coffee and reading some book I was sure to forget the minute I put it down. The voice on the other end is damp with resignation. My friend tells me that Sweden ever so quickly has gone from so-called anti-Zionism to open anti-Semitism, and that no one seems to care. Every day it gets worse, every minute the tone shifts and the shadows grow more ominous.

    Maybe that was when I decided, I don’t know. Maybe it was there, at the beach, or during that late night walk through Jerusalem with my friends after dinner, or when a beautiful man held my hand on the sun-drenched shores of Caesarea. Or maybe, just maybe, I had known all along.

    I just can’t live like this any longer. I can’t accept that life consists of long periods of fear and despair, interrupted by the short bursts of happiness I get when I come back to Israel. I can’t raise my kids to hide who they are, I can’t usher them into a society that teaches them they are the other and that being less of who they are is the key to survival.  I just can’t, not anymore.

    I got back to Sweden yesterday and something has changed, the shift is so tangible. Within me, yes, but also in the world around me. I take down my Israeli flag that I so proudly hung from my balcony. I’m told it is no longer safe, and I have to make a choice between being open and keeping my children safe. The Palestinian flag hanging from my neighbor’s window is still visible across the courtyard. I notice the injustice, but the outrage is replaced with sadness and fatigue.

    I called this my home for 33 years. Yet, I realize now that it isn’t, and it never really was.


The nasty RSPCA must stop bullying decent people

Do you remember Glenn Grant, the toff-bashing chief executive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals? It was under him that the organisation wasted hundreds of thousands on unsuccessfully prosecuting hunts. He also hit the headlines when Secretary of State Owen Paterson ordered a badger-culling experiment as part of the drive to save cattle from contracting tuberculosis. The farmers involved should be "named and shamed", explained Grant, as "those who care will not want to visit areas or buy milk from farms soaked in badgers’ blood".

With the RSPCA’s donations plummeting as fast as its reputation, Grant made his excuses and retired on health grounds last February two years early. He may be gone, but his memory lingers on in the story of Claude, for the culture under Grant was hostile towards pet-owners and the inspectorate became authoritarian and legally punitive.

Claude lived blamelessly in Tring with Richard and Samantha Byrne and their children Dominic and Eloise, so they may have affronted the egalitarian RSPCA by seeming a bit posh. Claude was definitely posh and also a cat of strong views, and so averse to having his long hair combed or trimmed that he had to have it attended to by the vet after an anaesthetic, but as he grew older the vet thought this no longer wise, so Samantha used to snip the worst bits when he was asleep.

In 2012 a neighbour told the RSPCA she was concerned about 15-year-old Claude’s appearance, and after a visit from an inspector, Richard agreed he would monitor her health more closely as Claude was getting on a bit and was on the thin side. Almost a year later the inspector returned, took Claude to another vet and announced he had to be put down immediately. Threats of imprisonment forced Richard to agree, but although a post mortem examination showed Claude to be in good health, the Byrneses were prosecuted anyway for animal cruelty. After several court appearances and legal costs of £5,000, the case was dismissed this month when the Crown Prosecution Service stepped in and ruled there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

We have to hope that the new RSPCA regime sees the error of its predecessor’s ways and stops bullying decent people, but my fear is rather that their nastiness has proved contagious. For now the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is behaving equally stupidly, politically and counter-productively by taking against grouse shooting. As Matt Ridley pointed out today, without the fine conservation work of owners of grouse moors, curlews, lapwings and golden plover would become locally extinct, and the implications for moorland would be disastrous.

Is it more toff-hating, or is it just that the people who get involved in running charities tend to be metropolitan types who dislike the countryside? Either way, that’s another charity I’m striking off my list.


Bossy health chiefs, drunk on their power

Jeremy Hunt is rightly regarded as an excellent Health Secretary. He has calmed down the worried doctors and nurses following Andrew Lansley’s unpopular, though necessary, reforms. He has averted, for the time being at least, the crisis in accident and emergency departments that Labour gleefully forecast for last winter. He has brought to his job an aura of unflappable competence that commands respect even among his political opponents.

Mr Hunt has, however, utterly failed in one respect. He has not sought to challenge the air of invincible bossiness that has long been the most obtrusive characteristic of the Department of Health. Its officials are convinced that they know better than the rest of us what we should eat, drink and how we should behave, not just in public, but also in private. For some reason Mr Hunt has chosen to sanction this state-sponsored bossiness, and this August has seen an epidemic of edicts from government bodies telling us what and what not to do.

Just examine the events of the past week. Yesterday, the All-Party Committee on Alcohol Misuse (a body of which I had not previously heard) demanded that alcoholic drinks be labelled with a warning, as cigarettes are. On Friday, Public Health England (PHE), an executive agency of the NHS, urged us to abstain for a full 24 hours after taking a drink. This radical change in official guidelines has been challenged even by doctors, and is certain to be ignored by drinkers, thus bringing government into fresh contempt.

However, PHE clearly feels a mission to interfere. Last week it also lent strong support to the campaign for so-called “plain-packaging” of cigarettes, ie banning tobacco companies from using their brands, while plastering the packets with graphic pictures of tobacco-related illnesses. This type of packaging has been tried out in Australia, where the evidence is that it does not work: tobacco consumption has not been reduced, if anything the reverse. And the smuggling of illicit brands is on the increase, so the move has encouraged crime while damaging Treasury tax revenues. True to form, PHE has thrown its weight behind the proposal regardless.

Jeremy Hunt can’t escape responsibility for this. In theory, the All-Party Committee on Alcohol Misuse is a parliamentary body. In practice it is chaired by Tracey Crouch, a Conservative MP, who would surely never have launched her attack on the drinks industry without at least the tacit support of Mr Hunt, or at any rate his officials.

PHE, likewise, claims to be independent. That is an illusion. It is funded by the Department of Health, and its key appointments are made (and can be unmade) by the Secretary of State. This is a taxpayer-funded campaigning organisation that claims to represent the public – but in truth it only represents the vested interests of a public sector elite.

Organisations like PHE, using government money to launch officially sponsored campaigns, sprung up all over the place under New Labour. They were part of how Tony Blair governed. The investigative journalist Christopher Snowdon, who has done so much to expose such bodies, calls them “state-funded activist groups”. Often the research that they carry out is designed to fit an agenda rather than anything outsiders would recognise as the objective truth. No Conservative government should have anything to do with them.

There have been two types of Conservative minister in this Coalition government. Michael Gove at Education and Owen Paterson at Environment both knew where their Conservative instincts lay, and were prepared to fight to put them into practice. Others, such as Jeremy Hunt, have shied away from confrontation in favour of the quiet life.

He is making a bad mistake. For decades Britons have led ever more regulated and constrained lives. There is now a mood of national rebellion against bossy government, and the Conservatives are well placed to lead it. Their Party has always believed that men and women have the right, so long as they do not harm others, to live as they choose. If that means risking their lives by smoking, then they should be allowed to do so. Tories recognise that alcohol has done far more good than harm. Of course they support measures to prevent drinkers harming others, hence the drink-driving laws. But they rely on the individual and wider society to regulate alcohol abuse, not the state.

It has traditionally been the job of the Conservative Party to defend British citizens against state intrusion. It would be a disaster if that task fell to Ukip and Nigel Farage ahead of next year’s general election.


While Debunking Racist Crime Fears, News Crew Gets Burglarized

Last week, the latest racist outrage to surface in the media was a new smartphone app called SketchFactor that warns you about neighborhoods likely to have high crime rates:

"Smiling Young White People Make App for Avoiding Black Neighborhoods"

The CBS affiliate in D.C. exposed this bigotry first hand by sending a crew to interview locals in a neighborhood unjustly deemed sketchy by the app:

"D.C. news crew robbed while reporting on “sketchy” neighborhoods

… The news crew’s vehicle was burglarized while they were working on a story about a controversial app that alerts people to “sketchy” neighborhoods, WUSA reports.

The crew had locked their news van on a street in Petworth in Northwest, D.C. while they were out in the neighborhood conducting interviews. When they returned they found the lock had been popped out of the door of their news van, and that most of the crew’s gear had been stolen."



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 August, 2014

The price of political correctness

The day may be beautiful, one’s clothes fit, and your abode’s hopefully comfy. But though not in a dictatorship, it’s sad that we can’t express front and center all the perils on our near horizon. We can think them — wouldn’t it be fascinating to hear those thoughts? But not fully express them all. Sometimes I feel we haven’t much more freedom of speech — due to the rigors of political correctness — than did the French under Louis XIV.

Near the end of that reign Montesquieu (he of the separation of powers influencing 18th century framers of the Constitution) wrote a book called “The Persian Letters.” Unable openly to criticize the monarchy and other institutions in his society, he had Persian travelers in the book come to Paris, naively sending letters home about things that were new to them, and which didn’t add up.

Everyone knows the tale of the emperor’s new clothes, where only a child uninitiated into the horrors of political correctness for that period blurted out the unvarnished truth.

Once self-congratulatory about the virtues of an open society, we now have too many things that can be said only in an indirect, veiled manner. A friend of mine told me before he died in 2007 that Los Angeles, where he lived, was “changing by the day.” (He’d had a long, distinguished career at UCLA.) He said this in a way that wouldn’t step on politically correct toes.

A writer I knew once declared that he had missed the significance of his century. I think many of us have perhaps not missed the significance of even the last five years, and more importantly, of the five or 10 to come; but we have too often failed to tell it like it was, is, and probably will be. So many say something like the following: “Well, the roof’ll only fall in after I’m gone.” Like the old “après moi, le déluge” (a bit after Montesquieu); but what of children and grand-children? What of a heritage in peril — just around here, all the wonderful towns of New York state, all the architecture and infrastructure, and love, sweat, ingenuity, and art that created those things?

Niagara Gazette — At the risk of being called reactionary — that musty word — we’re been too politically correct to avoid handing over big chunks of a lavish inheritance. The trend is getting to be all over — not just in agglomerations like Los Angeles. People in safe boondocks hope it’s not. Which would be like Brazilians warming up for the Olympics but ignoring their favelas replete with turbulence. We hope the water ain’t rising higher, but even on for now secure rocks we’re forced (inside) to realize that it is.

Will there be more thuggery chez nous? Probably. They used to say that Brazil’s the country of the future and always will be; but that kind of instability is well within our gates as well.

And for the roots of all this, one has to consider a brand of liberationism hatched during the late ’60s and continuing in the ’70s, and which at first seemed quite painless. Now it’s led to much politically correct appeasement of deleterious trends. Plus derisive intolerance of those who would like to draw any lines in the sand ...

A generation that forgets the old lessons of barbarism going back to ancient times is doomed to relearn those lessons — the hard way. You mean an era of liberationism à gogo has facilitated increased thuggery? Unfortunately so ...

Meanwhile, we dither or “cynicize” each other with silly divisions, or take refuge in inane TV shows or internet games. We fiddle like Nero — while our Rome maybe doesn’t burn, but is definitely ripe for expropriation by the Darwinian “fittest” (or more accurately, most “ruthless”).

And then (very soon) it may be too late to rue the strictures of political correctness that entwined and engulfed us, perhaps outdoing the situation even back in Montesquieu’s time. At least he was able to frame ideas that helped make a great constitution.


FRC backs bill to protect faith-based adoption agencies

Under a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate, states will pay a price if they violate the religious beliefs of faith-based adoption and foster care agencies.

The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act is a bill to protect the agencies from being forced to violate their religious beliefs to contract with the government to help children.

Leanna Baumer with the Family Research Council says policies in states such as California and Illinois have worked to "squeeze out faith-based providers by refusing to respect their religious and moral convictions."

One example is being told to place children with homosexuals, in violation of their faith, or lose government funding.

"And so it tells states that if you want to continue receiving federal funding, they need to not discriminate," Baumer says of the Senate bill.

"If they ignore that prohibition," she says, "they'll risk losing a percentage of their federal funding, and faith-based providers who are aggrieved will be able to sue that state in federal court."

The hope is that Congress will provide bipartisan support for the bill so that political correctness does not trump the welfare of children who need the services.



Mike Adams

I’m not supposed to play favorites but I do. In fact, I have a favorite pro-life group based out of Phoenix, Arizona. They are called Voices for the Voiceless (or VFTV, see www.VFTV.org). The thing I like most about the group is that a young man named Josiah Friedman when he was only fifteen founded them. Six years later, some of the leaders are still in their late teens. Arguably, these young people have already done more to advocate for the unborn than most pro-lifers will do in an entire lifetime.

When VFTV started it was basically a hub for the student pro-life movement across the state of Arizona. The group held events and tried to reach out to general audiences in an apologetics-based format. Some of their marketing techniques were quite appealing. They held rallies in close proximity to the Arizona State University campus. At the rallies, they wore tee shirts and held signs saying, “We are the 78%.” It was a poignant reminder of the fact that only 78% of their generation has survived Roe v. Wade. On the other hand, 22% of their generation fell to a decision predicated on women’s rights. That includes roughly 22% of unborn women.

Now, VFTV has started to shift its emphasis away from reaching out directly to the masses with apologetics. Instead, they are seeking to help committed pro-lifers develop specific skills so that they, in turn, can reach the masses. The skills sets they seek to develop range from art, to performance, to social media and photography. This new direction has resulted in some interesting new projects.

Perhaps the most interesting of those new projects is called “Exposures.” It is a photojournalism project that involves street interviews on the topic of abortion. (I had a chance to participate in one of the interviews last weekend in Flagstaff). Each brief interview involves a few basic steps.

First, a pair of photojournalists approaches someone on the street, explains that they are doing a photojournalism project, and then requests permission to take a picture of the interviewee and to ask a couple of questions. Most are surprisingly willing to have their picture taken and to answer the questions.

After the picture is taken, interviewees are asked the open-ended question, “How do you feel about abortion?” Then, they are asked the more specific question, “Has abortion affected you or someone you know personally?”

Finally, a release form is signed. Each interviewee is also given a card with the web address of the interview archive. There, interviewees can see their picture and printed responses.

The beauty of this project is that it starts a conversation without being argumentative or confrontational. People are simply invited to express their opinion and then asked if they have a personal story they would like to share. For example, in the interview I participated in on the street in Flagstaff, the woman simply responded to the opinion question by saying “I think it’s cruel.” She responded to the personal story question by saying “No.”

Even those who don’t have strong opinions about abortion (or experiences with it) can go to the website and see some truly remarkable stories. In those stories, they can see how much of an impact this often under-discussed issue can have on the lives of ordinary people. The ripple effects are often broad and enduring.


Australia: Muslim groups threaten boycott of paper over loss of antisemitic columnist Mike Carlton

MUSLIM groups have condemned the suspension of Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton and have accused the media organisation of losing its independent and respected stance.

In a letter to Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood and Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir, the Australian National Imams Council, Islamic Council of NSW and the Muslim Legal Network NSW among others say they will boycott the SMH unless the outspoken writer is reinstated.

Carlton resigned as a columnist for Fairfax after being told he would be suspended over his use of offensive language towards readers complaining about a July 26 column and accompanying cartoon about the war in Gaza.

This morning Carlton revealed on Twitter he has pneumonia and had left hospital today.

The letter from the groups to Fairfax said: “As representatives of the Muslim community we have always regarded Fairfax to be one the more balanced media organisations in the country and where possible we have cooperated with your journalists on countless stories,”

“But with the resignation of Mr Carlton from your publications we have now lost one of the very few voices advocating for the Palestinian cause in the country.”

The letter says the groups will consider notifying community organisations and spokespersons to cease cooperating with Fairfax journalists for media interviews.

A media campaign targeting Fairfax advertisers is also being considered.

In response to a request for comment on the letter, a Fairfax spokesman told AAP: “We understand and respect that there are strong views being expressed by many parties.

“But the Herald will not be swayed from its longstanding and ongoing commitment to providing fair, independent and balanced news and reporting.”

On Wednesday Fairfax news and business publisher Sean Aylmer said the problem was the way Carlton treated readers after they contacted him with issues about both the column and accompanying cartoon. Carlton resigned when Aylmer told him he would be suspended for several weeks.

In the letter sent to Fairfax today, the Muslim community groups also condemned the cartoon that accompanied Carlton’s column.

“It was indeed a racist cartoon that implicated the Jewish people in the actions of the Israeli state by using Jewish symbolism and stereotype,” the letter said.

“However, the apology from Fairfax makes it clear that Fairfax has been put under pressure by the Israeli lobby.”

The letter also accuses the paper of double standards and compares Carlton to another Fairfax columnist, Paul Sheehan, whom the group accuses of “habitual and countless offensive remarks about Muslims and Islam”.

“Despite the Muslim community being outraged and writing countless correspondences to Fairfax management about their concerns, no such scrutiny was applied to Mr Sheehan,” the letter said.

Carlton said via Twitter today that he had pneumonia.

“Out of hospital this morning,” he said. “Deepest thanks for thousands of supportive tweets and emails. Feel I have many good friends.”



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


11 August, 2014

Bill de Blasio, Progressive Hero, Scourge of the Poor

He backs strict enforcement of petty laws that disproportionately hurt the poor and marginalized.  Hate just oozes out of him

New York City Mayor's OfficeIn the last few weeks, a series of videos purporting to depict police brutality by the members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) have spread on the Internet. The most egregious showed the attempted arrest of Eric Garner for allegedly selling untaxed loose cigarettes. Cops placed Garner in what looked like a chokehold and the 400-pound asthmatic died in police custody. The incident was ruled a homicide by chokehold by the city's medical examiner. In another case, a cop appeared to use a chokehold on a pregnant woman caught  grilling in front of her house. Another showed a cop appearing to head stomp a man police were attempting to arrest because they had seen him with a small amount of marijuana—it was at least the man's eighth arrest.

The substance of these incidents vary on the level and type of brutality while effecting an arrest but share one important trait: each incident began with a police engagement based on crimes that are non-violent in nature. Garner, before cops tried to arrest him, had adamantly denied that he was selling any untaxed cigarettes that day. The pregnant woman appeared only to be trying to cook some food on the sidewalk in front of her house. Marijuana is supposed to be decriminalized in the state of New York.

Yet in a press conference this week New York City's progressive mayor, Democrat Bill de Blasio, insisted the police department would continue to "strictly enforce" such laws as the ones that led to the series of controversial police interactions. "The law is the law," the mayor said. These kinds of laws, however, disproportionately affect the same kind of people—the poor and marginalized—that De Blasio and his ideological fellow-travelers adamantly claim to defend. Absent brutal encounters with police violations of petty laws can lead to thousands of dollars in fines, multiple court appearances, and even jail time. What amounts to a "minor inconvenience" in the eyes of the privileged political class that pushes these laws can have profound negative effects on the lives of normal people. Coupled with the threat of bodily harm or even death during the initial police encounter, such "petty" crimes become anything but for the people the government targets in its enforcement efforts.

The perverse impact is best studied with regards to marijuana. In New York City, young minorities are far more likely to be arrested on minor marijuana charges than white youth. This is fueled by the police department's long-standing practice of tricking people into publicly displaying their marijuana and therefore committing an actionable misdemeanor during stop and frisks. The vast majority of police targets during stop and frisks are young minorities, creating much of the disparity between who uses marijuana and who is arrested for it.

Other petty laws similarly disproportionately affect poor and marginalized people. The sale of untaxed cigarettes, for example, is a significant black market activity in any city that has sufficiently high taxes. The sale of loose cigarettes is predominant in poor communities, where smokers might only be able to afford to purchase one cigarette a time. Many corner stores in urban areas will sell loose cigarettes, though often not to white people for fear that they're actually undercover cops.

Likewise, you're far more likely to grill on a public sidewalk if you live in a home that doesn't include a front yard. You're less likely to have a front yard if you're poorer.

Bill de Blasio does not appear to see it that way. While he based much of his campaign on the idea of combatting income inequality in New York City, it seems his understanding of income inequality is severely limited. It encompasses only the belief that the government ought to force employers to provide higher pay and better benefits, and to force landlords and developers to offer discounts for a few poor people. The mayor doesn't have any interest in the structural issues surrounding income inequality: he has been an aggressive opponent of charter schools even though a decent education is the most cost-effective and efficient way to provide a young person a route out of poverty. He has pushed for developers to offer a portion of their rental units at highly discounted rates—raising the cost of rent for people who cannot take advantage of those discounts, many of whom are also poor or lower middle class.

And his reaction to the very public way his police department has been shown to disrupt the lives of minorities in the pursuit of petty, non-violent, and harmless "crimes"  betrays a shocking lack of empathy for the struggles poor and marginalized people face on a daily basis in their lives. The law may be the law, but the law was made for man, not man for the law.

Demanding that people "correct their behavior," as New York City's police commissioner Bill Bratton said while standing at de Blasio's side at that press conference, and claiming that this was indeed what "democracy" was all about, another Bratton statement, shows a callous disregard for the very transparent role government plays in exacerbating inequality, but could be par for the course for progressives despite their loud protestations otherwise.


Christian clubs not allowed in Germany

 Germany's top anti-discrimination official is adding her voice to growing protests over a regional shooting association's demand that an expert marksman give up his championship title because he is a Muslim.

Christine Lueders told the Historic German Shooting Brotherhood Federation that its stance is discriminatory and intolerant, writing in a letter that it should live up to its name and act "in the spirit of true brotherhood," the dpa news agency reported Tuesday.

The umbrella organization says its constitution stipulates it is an "association of Christian people" and has defended its stance since it became public on the weekend.


The American Left vs. God-Given Rights
In his opinion declaring Virginia's marriage law unconstitutional, Judge Henry Floyd of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit summarized what he perceived to be the basic disagreement between the opponents and proponents of the law.

"The opponents and proponents agree that marriage is a fundamental right," the judge wrote. "They strongly disagree, however, regarding whether that right encompasses the right to same-sex marriage. The opponents argue that the fundamental right to marry belongs to the individual, who enjoys the right to marry the person of his or her choice. By contrast, the proponents point out that, traditionally, states have sanctioned only man-woman marriages. They contend that, in light of this history, the right to marry does not include a right to same-sex marriage."

Neither of these arguments — as summarized by the judge — is true. Even if states had historically approved of same-sex marriage, that would not make such marriages a right. After all, some states had historically approved of letting some people hold other people in slavery — which was not a right, but rather a profound violation of the God-given rights of the people who were enslaved.

The truth is all true rights come from God.

If any other power claims to be the author of our rights, that power is attempting to usurp an authority that belongs only to God, and is attacking the only basis for the rule of law that forms the foundation of free societies.

Our Founding Fathers rightly said all men are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, rightly said: "A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law."

The problem for the leaders of America's cultural left is that some of the things they demand our society must recognize as "rights" cannot plausibly be held up as God-given rights. Thus, they simply are not rights. Period.

Did God give a doctor the right to lacerate to death an innocent child in her mother's womb? Or pull her feet first from that womb and then puncture her skull?

Of course not.

Did God give two men or two women a "right" to marry one another and then adopt children with the approval of the state? If two people of the same sex do have a right to marry and take custody of children, then, as this column argued last week, children cannot be deemed to have a right to a mother and a father.

Which is more likely: That a baby has a God-given right to a mother, or that two men have a God-given right to marry one another and then secure a child through, for example, the paid services of a surrogate mother?

America's cultural left not only wants this nation to recognize as rights things that are not rights, but to abridge rights that are truly God-given and inalienable.

Does a Christian family that owns a business have a God-given right not to be forced by the government into complicity in the taking of an innocent human life? The Obama administration does not think so. It fought the owners of Hobby Lobby all the way to the Supreme Court on this question, and continues to fight multiple lawsuits aimed at cementing into our law the power of the government to force people to pay for other people's abortion-inducing drugs.

Because it is so implausible to argue that men are endowed by their Creator with a right to kill unborn children, or a right to marry people of the same sex, America's cultural left is moving away from the founding principal spelt out in our Declaration of Independence.

What will they replace it with? Their own arbitrary power.


Blame World War I For Whistleblower Persecution—And So Much More

U.S. involvement in World War I lasted just a year and a half. But government today uses its leavings to threaten Americans' freedom

Earlier this year, CNN's Jake Tapper pointed out that the Obama administration, after bringing charges against Edward Snowden, "has used the Espionage Act more to go after whistleblowers who leaked to journalists not just than any previous administration, but then more than all previous administrations combined." The claim was subsequently endorsed by PolitiFact as "true." That's a shocking use of government power to punish those who would call government officials out for their misbehavior, but hardly an unaccustomed role for for a law passed during World War I and quickly used to muzzle critics of official policy.

In fact, the "war to end all wars" left a legacy of government dominance and intrusive power in its wake that officials still exploit, and from which the country continues to suffer.

In its original form, the Espionage Act was used to prosecute Robert Goldstein for producing a movie about the American Revolution. The U.S. having recently allied itself with Britain against Germany, Goldstein's historically rooted portrayal of British soldiers as the bad guys was considered an attempt to hobble the war effort. He served three years in prison for his cinematic labors.

Eugene DebsPublic DomainRepeat Socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs (pictured) was charged under the Espionage Act for speaking against conscription and the war. His health broken in prison, he was finally freed by President Warren G. Harding in 1921.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford and other leaders of what became the Jehovah's Witnesses were imprisoned in 1918 for publishing a book that criticized patriotism. Their views were considered dangerous to efforts to satisfy the government's new appetite for patriotic young military recruits.

These days, the amended Espionage Act is no longer used to stifle speakers, writers, and moviemakers (the provisions criminalizing "sedition" were repealed in 1920). Instead, it's used as a weapon, or just a threat, against those who would disseminate inconvenient information to the press and the public.

In addition to Snowden, who was charged for revealing details of the government's vast surveillance efforts to Glenn Greenwald and other journalists, the Espionage Act was used to penalize Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on wasteful and illegal snooping activities at the National Security Agency. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in 2011 to avoid lengthy prison time.

John Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst who awkwardly confirmed that the U.S. tortured terrorism suspects before President Obama was ready to concede that "we tortured some folks," was charged under the Espionage Act. He is currently serving 30 months in prison.

This follows in the example set by the 1971 prosecution of Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who was the first whistleblower charged under the 1917 law after leaking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.

The Espionage Act is the most visible stain left on the national character by the First World War. But it's not the only one. If civil liberties eroded during the war, economic freedom did, too.

The War Industries Board was established in 1917 to coordinate the government's acquisition of supplies for waging war in Europe. This rapidly turned into, in the words of Wilson administration official Grosvenor Clarkson, "a system of concentration of commerce, industry, and all the powers of government that was without compare among all the other nations, friend or enemy, involved in the World War."

Food AdministrationAt the same time, Herbert Hoover became "food dictator" (a term he himself used) over the United States Food Administration. The new agency had the power to regulate the distribution and use of food. It rapidly extended that power to control the price that people could charge for meat, produce, and other goods.

A counterpart, the Federal Fuel Administration, exercised similar powers over the distribution of oil and coal, controlling both price and use.

The end result was an unprecedented degree of government control over the economy. That intervention also created a class of bureaucrats accustomed to exercising such dominion—and a constituency among big businesses that benefited from powerful connections, assured markets, and the suppression of competition.

When the Great Depression descended on the country in 1929, now-president Hoover was already accustomed to invoking his wartime experiences as a model for dealing with the country's economy. "An infinite amount of misery could be saved if we have the same spirit of spontaneous cooperation in every community for reconstruction that we had in war."

The New Deal imposed by his successor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, largely built on the wartime policies of which Hoover had been an architect, and the precedents and culture established by the expanded state of the First World War. While the corporatist policies of the 1930s have retreated, the proliferation of boards and bureaucrats wielding vast economic power never entirely went away. Depression-era farm subsidies continue to distort food production and hike prices in the United States, damaging the environment and enriching the well-connected.

America's involvement in World War I lasted just a year and a half. But government today uses its leavings to choke off the free flow of information, goods, and services, and to threaten Americans' freedom in the process. The Espionage Act lingers on, as does the habit of government meddling and intervention in the economic affairs of private businesses and individuals.

Just a few short and bloody months of conflict, and a century later we're still dealing with the damage done to our freedom.



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 August, 2014

Multicultural groper in Britain was a doctor

A doctor who massaged a patient’s breasts with oil when she went to be treated for whiplash has been struck off.

Dr Shahid Ayyoub told the 22-year-old she had a muscular problem before lifting up her top and unclasping her bra.

The 57-year-old repeatedly stroked her breasts during the prolonged attack in a locked consultation room at the West Point Practice in Leeds.

He also grabbed the scared woman’s hair and pushed her head into his groin during the 50-minute appointment on 12 June 2012.

The woman, referred to as Patient A, was left feeling ‘violated and upset’ by the assault, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard.

The medic, who did not attend the hearing, instructed his solicitors to ask the MPTS panel to restrict his role - allowing him to conduct examinations in the presence of a chaperone or only seeing male patients.

But the panel said his actions were a 'gross abuse of trust in his position as a doctor', and was told he is no longer allowed to practise.

Ayyoub worked for St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in Merseyside before he was found guilty of sexual assault by a jury at Leeds Crown Court in January.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC jailed him for 12 months but on appeal the sentence was reduced to six months.

The shamed medic, from Sutton Heath in St Helens, Merseyside, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years and pay £2,275 in costs.

Disgraced Ayyoub has now been struck off the medical register following a two-day hearing in Manchester.

But panel chairman Dr Brian Crompton said: ‘The offences for which Dr Ayyoub was convicted were serious in nature; they were sexually motivated; they took place in a clinical setting; and they involved a female patient who was consulting with him in order to assist her claim for compensation following a road traffic accident.

Announcing the decision to strike Ayyoub off, he added: ‘In all the circumstances, the panel has concluded that the nature of Dr Ayyoub’s convictions is so serious as to be fundamentally incompatible with his continuing to be a registered medical practitioner.

‘For these reasons, the panel has determined that erasure is the only means of protecting patients, maintaining public confidence in the profession and declaring and upholding proper standards of conduct and behaviour.’

Stephen McNally, for the General Medical Council, earlier told the panel the doctor’s crimes had ‘brought the profession into disrepute.’

Opening the case, he explained how Ayyoub’s victim had consulted the medic as part of an insurance claim after suffering a car accident.

‘Dr Ayyoub expressed the view her symptoms were as a result of a muscular problem and said he would give her a massage to ease the pain,’ he said. 

After the attack, Ayyoub then left the room to speak to other waiting patients and the young woman realised the door had been locked, the panel heard.

‘When he returned he continued to massage Patient A and despite her saying she needed to leave he continued to massage her back and down her sides as previously,’ Mr McNally said.

‘He started to place his hands underneath her body and fully onto her chest and breast, rubbing his hands over her breasts down her body and onto her stomach.  ‘He focused more and more on her breasts, stroking her breasts repeatedly, moving his hands down onto her stomach.’

By this time she was very uncomfortable, but the doctor continued despite her telling him she needed to go, the hearing was told.

Mr McNally added: ‘Patient A described that Dr Ayyoub grabbed her roughly by the hair and pushed her head towards his groin area.

‘At that stage she pulled away from him, got to her feet and said she had to leave.’  She was able to unlock the door and leave the room, and complained to the practice and police later that day.

In a statement produced in the crown court trial she said: ‘The incident initially left me feeling scared about what was going to happen.

‘I didn’t know what to do and didn’t feel like I could just get up and leave because he was a doctor and you put your trust in doctors.  ‘It left me feeling violated and upset and I felt like I didn’t know what to do with myself.’

Ayyoub has 28 days to appeal the decision before he is struck off the medical register.


Company boss banned from placing job ad which said applicants must 'speak excellent English'

A company boss has slammed the government's Jobsmatch service after his ad for a personal assistant who could 'speak excellent English' was refused because it breached the Equality Act.

Paul Scully, who runs a communications firm called Nudge Factory based in Croydon, south London, said he tried to place the ad on the government's Universal Jobsmatch website last week.

But rather than the job being listed on the site - which has hundreds of thousands of jobs around the UK - Mr Scully received a response questioning his requirement.

After he asked for an ad stating that the successful candidate should 'speak excellent English', he was sent an email asking 'why the applicant needed to speak a particular language'.

The site - run on behalf of the DWP - said a 'justification' would be needed for exempting the ad from the Equality Act 2010, passed to protect against discrimination.

Mr Scully said he was 'stunned' by the refusal, which he branded 'a ridiculous example of politically correct red tape'.

He said: 'We want a personal assistant and said in the advert we wanted someone with good communication skills, experience as a PA and that they speak excellent English.

'When I heard back from Universal Jobsmatch they told me that in order to comply with the Equality Act I would need to explain why the successful candidate would need a good command of English.

'It's political correctness at its worst - there are thousands of small businesses out there who would benefit from this site, but if they are met with these sorts of questions and barriers it's not really worth the effort.'

Mr Scully has now withdrawn the ad from Universal Jobsmatch and is advertising elsewhere for the £18,000-£24,000 job.

The Equality Act is designed to stop employers discriminating against age, race, disability, religion and gender - but does not specify language.

A spokesman for the DWP admitted that checks may have 'been too strict'.

The Universal Jobsmatch website has come under fire for a series of blunders in the past.

Among the jobs listed on the site previously was an ad for a hitman for MI6, which stated that an 'MI6 target elimination specialist' was needed.

Other ads included 'international couriers' for CosaNostra Holdings, also known as the Sicilian Mafia, as well as listings from pornographic websites.

The jobs website - which replaced Jobcentre Plus - has also been slated for hundreds of thousands of repeat or fake job ads.

He said: 'Universal Jobmatch is successfully helping people into work with around half a million employers now registered.

'We have robust procedures in place to ensure that vacancies comply with equality legislation and that jobseekers are not discriminated against.

'In this case, those checks may have been too strict and we are now reviewing our procedures.'


New study links video gaming to "well adjusted children"

A new study from Oxford University has found that playing a video game for a short amount of time could have a positive impact on children.

Participants in the study were asked to quantify the amount of time they spent playing video games on a typical school day. They were then asked to rate themselves on a number of factors such as ‘satisfaction with their lives,’ and ‘how well they got on with their peers.’

They found that children who spent less than an hour a day playing video games were more adjusted than children that did not play video games at all.

Experimental psychologist Dr Andrew Przybylski who led the study believes that there could be a number of reasons behind the finding.

"Being engaged in video games may give children a common language. And for someone who is not part of this conversation, this might end up cutting the young person off," he told the BBC.

Dr Przybylski notes that guidelines that put limits on the way children engage with video games should take this into account.

The research found that while girls and boys showed a different preference for computer based games and console based games (boys tended towards the latter and girls towards the former) the positive effects of gaming did not vary.

Similarly, the type of games being played didn’t change the effect as Dr Przybylski explains: “Many combat video games are also action video games, there is a body of research that suggests that these kinds of games may be positively linked to perceptual skills. Games designed explicitly for education purposes are pretty hit-or-miss.”

Amanda, a mum of two boys says that she isn’t surprised by the results of the study because she has observed many positive effects that gaming has had on her sons.

“My 9-year-old son, who has always had a short attention span, finds video games stimulating and challenging. It allows him to be creative and inventive,” she explains.

But mother of two and early childhood educator, Catherine says that despite limiting the amount of time her sons, 8 and 14, play video games they can still be quite “tired and grumpy” after playing. “They are fixated on getting back to the game and anything else you ask is a hassle,” she explains.

Child psychologist Jocelyn Brewer has a keen interest in the way that children engage with video games. She takes a pragmatic view. “As with most things it’s about balance – the duration, frequency, intensity and context that gaming occurs will predict whether it’s positive or negative,” she explains.

Brewer believes that many of the negative issues associated with gaming start when control or limits are absent. “Control on the amount of time a game is played (no rules or limits set by carers), that games are not age appropriate are played (think the 8-year-old playing GTA-5 all weekend because the parents don’t know what it really is or don’t have the power to say no) or they play alone and without their local peers (even though they may make ‘friends’ online playing alongside a real human increases the benefits,” she explains.


Australia:  The political significance of the section 18C debacle

Many Australians think that multiculturalism means better restaurants. I doubt they thought it meant that Muslim and other ethnic lobby groups would wield the power of veto over important national policies.

That the sectional interests of organised ethnic groups might subvert the national interest has long ranked high among the concerns about multiculturalism articulated by critics on the centre-right.

That such concerns are legitimate has been verified by the debacle that is the Abbott government's decision to break its election promise and abandon its commitment to abolish section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

When announcing the policy U-turn, the Prime Minister said that the government's push to restore free speech in Australia had complicated negotiations with the Muslim community over new counter-terrorism laws.

This was a remarkably frank and alarming admission. It implied that Muslim organisations would not join 'Team Australia' and back measures to stop Islamist fanatics harming innocent Australians of all creeds and colours unless the government caved in on section 18C.

The Abbott government has not only sold out the democratic right to free speech of all Australians to help itself politically with the ethnic lobbyists and 'human rights' lawyers opposed to repealing section 18C. What is worse are the political consequences of the government's actions, which are likely to embolden the Muslim lobby at a time when it is discovering just how much political muscle it can flex.

In response to the war in Gaza, some state and federal Green and Labor MPs have publically condemned Israel, and one federal Liberal MP has encouraged Australia to adopt a 'more neutral stance on Israel.'

These calls to revise Australia's traditional, bi-partisan foreign policy of support for Israel are motivated by raw political calculation for the reasons set out by former Foreign Minister Bob Carr in his diaries released earlier this year.

Carr's book detailed the circumstances surrounding the rolling in Cabinet of the former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2012, which led to Australia abstaining on the vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the recognition of Palestine's observer status at the UN. Carr explained that the Cabinet-revolt was in response to electoral concerns that the original 'No' vote in the UN backed by Gillard would see the Labor Party lose support among Muslim voters in key Labor seats in South Western Sydney.

The final indignity of this sorry episode is the fact that one needs to worry whether it is legal to discuss its political significance. With section 18C still on the statute books, who knows who might take offence and decide to wage some 'lawfare' to shut down debate about a subject of national importance.



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 August, 2014

No foolish fear of "racial profiling" in China

A city in China's restive western region of Xinjiang has banned people with head scarves, veils and long beards from boarding buses, as the government battles unrest with a policy that critics said discriminates against Muslims.

Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people who speak a Turkic language, has been beset for years by violence that the government blames on Islamist militants or separatists.

Authorities will prohibit five types of passengers - those who wear veils, head scarves, a loose-fitting garment called a jilbab, clothing with the crescent moon and star, and those with long beards - from boarding buses in the northwestern city of Karamay, state media said.

The crescent moon and star symbol of Islam features on many national flags, besides being used by groups China says want to set up an independent state called East Turkestan.

The rules were intended to help strengthen security through August 20 during an athletics event and would be enforced by security teams, the ruling Communist Party-run Karamay Daily said on Monday.  'Those who do not comply, especially those five types of passengers, will be reported to the police,' the paper said.

In July, authorities in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi banned bus passengers from carrying items ranging from cigarette lighters to yogurt and water, in a bid to prevent violent attacks.

Exiled Uighur groups and human rights activists say the government's repressive policies in Xinjiang, including controls on Islam, have provoked unrest, a claim Beijing denies.

'Officials in Karamay city are endorsing an openly racist and discriminatory policy aimed at ordinary Uighur people,' Alim Seytoff, the president of the Washington-based Uyghur American Association, said in an emailed statement.

While many Uighur women dress in much the same casual style as those elsewhere in China, some have begun to wear the full veil, a garment more common in Pakistan or Afghanistan than in Xinjiang.

Police have offered money for tips on everything from 'violent terrorism training' to individuals who grow long beards.

Hundreds have died in unrest in Xinjiang in the past 18 months, but tight security makes it almost impossible for journalists to make independent assessments of the violence.

About 100 people were killed when knife-wielding attackers staged assaults in two towns in the region's south in late July, state media said, including 59 'terrorists' shot dead by police. A suicide bombing killed 39 people at a market in Urumqi in May.


Political correctness backlfires on the British government

As a display of cynicism and disloyalty, the timing of Baroness Warsi’s resignation from the Government could not have been more calculating.

On Monday night, she represented the Government at a moving ceremony at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the start of World War I.

She had been picked personally by David Cameron to extinguish a candle which symbolised the 1914 Foreign Secretary Lord Grey’s observation on the eve of war that: ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe.’

It later transpired — to Downing Street’s fury — that the Senior Foreign Office Minister had played this central role in the service having already decided to resign dramatically the following morning.

A veteran of PR photo-calls — as a daughter of Pakistani immigrants, she attended her first Cabinet meeting wearing a pink and gold shalwar kameez — Warsi knew the impact of her departure would be far greater coming only hours after she had been seen sitting alongside the Duchess of Cornwall at the Abbey.

While she genuinely believes the Prime Minister should be speaking out more strongly against Israel, one questions whether her departure also owes much to her resentment over her stalled ministerial career.

Yet promotion was never a possibility. David Cameron actually resisted pressure from senior colleagues to sack Warsi who, with an extraordinarily inflated view of her own abilities, had vain hopes of succeeding William Hague as Foreign Secretary.

The lurid language in Warsi’s resignation letter, coupled with its timing and the fact that Gaza and Israel have actually agreed to a ceasefire, seem to betray her true objective: to inflict maximum damage on Cameron who she doesn’t like or respect. She did not even do him the courtesy of warning him, instead releasing her resignation letter via Twitter.

The resulting political mess is entirely of Cameron’s own making. He promoted Warsi to the Cabinet after the general election to Tory Chairman — traditionally a job for a heavy hitter — not because of her brilliant oratorical skills or shrewd political insights but because of her ethnicity and sex. She is the first Muslim woman to serve in a British Cabinet.

Working class, educated at a comprehensive, and with a broad Yorkshire accent, Warsi ticked all the politically-correct boxes — she was the perfect antidote to Cameron’s middle-aged, grey, Eton-educated colleagues.  She was the manifestation of the idea that Conservatives were no longer the party of privilege.

While a woman of considerable willpower, Warsi — a solicitor who studied law at Leeds University — had neither the experience for the job nor any empathy with Tory members.

Compared to the likes of Norman Tebbit, who was Margaret Thatcher’s Tory chairman, Warsi was also a political lightweight — and, worse, she had never been elected as an MP.

She stood as a candidate in her native Dewsbury, Yorkshire, in 2005, a winnable seat. But while the Tory share of the national vote increased, it fell in Dewsbury and Labour won.

Cameron responded by putting her on his so-called A-list to propel women, ethnic minorities and gays into safe seats. She was not even selected so Cameron elevated her to the House of Lords in 2007 as Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion.

It was part of his attempt to reach out to the ethnic vote even though Indians, rather than Pakistanis, are more likely to vote Tory according to recent research. In Cabinet she swiftly became known as the ‘Blundering Baroness’.

She claimed electoral fraud within the Asian community cost the Tories three seats at the election — but refused to name the seats where the result had been fixed.

She was also forced to deny saying she did not want more Muslim MPs because ‘Muslims that go to Parliament don’t have any morals or principle’. Her comments in Urdu, made at a private dinner, were misinterpreted, she says.

Unlike previous Tory chairmen, she was rarely allowed near a TV or radio microphone because of fears she would commit gaffes. Meanwhile, Tory membership and donations slumped on her watch.

Having failed to win the confidence of the party’s grassroots, Warsi seemed destined to be sacked in the first reshuffle in autumn 2012.

But Cameron was desperate to cling on to his only Muslim Cabinet minister and to maintain his ratio of women on the frontbench.

A title of Senior Minister at the Foreign Office was created for her. Within weeks she was disowned by Downing Street after making a speech in which she claimed that Islamophobia had passed the ‘dinner table test’ — by which she meant that it had become socially acceptable among the chattering classes. She then linked Ukip supporters to the racist BNP and in March appeared on a TV political show brandishing a spoof newspaper front page poking fun at Number 10’s ‘Eton mess’.

Cameron was not amused.

Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, 43, grew up in a traditional Muslim family. One of five sisters, her Pakistani-born father, who came to Britain in 1971, was a mill worker who became a bus driver and driving instructor before setting up a firm manufacturing beds. When he retired, it had a £2 million turnover.

When she was 19, her parents arranged a marriage with a cousin in Pakistan. The couple had a daughter, now 15, and divorced in 2007.

Two years later she was accused of ‘stealing’ the husband of a vulnerable Pakistani woman in Dewsbury whose grasp of English was so poor she did not realise she was being divorced.

After Warsi’s marriage to Iftikhar Azam, members of the woman’s family claimed she signed a decree nisi document believing it to be a domestic gas bill. The allegations, which were strenuously denied, were embarrassing as Warsi was still at that stage being promoted as the multi-cultural face of the Tory Party.

To her credit, she spoke out against the grooming of white women by some Asian gangs, saying: ‘There is a small minority of Pakistani men who believe that white girls are fair game. You can only start solving a problem if you acknowledge it first.’

Meanwhile, Warsi, who describes herself as a ‘northern, working-class roots, urban, working mum’, was outspoken in her belief that foreign spouses should have to learn English before gaining admission to the UK. She also insisted, despite metropolitan mockery, that religious faith should have a place at the heart of government.

But in the summer of 2012 she was mired in controversy again when it emerged she had claimed parliamentary expenses for overnight accommodation at a house in which she stayed for free.

She was cleared of irregularities, criticised over a lack of transparency over her living arrangements, and was forced to apologise for a technical breach of the ministerial code by failing to declare a business relationship. Her reputation never fully recovered.

Today, Mr Cameron must regret not sacking Warsi when he could have. And how he must rue backing her so assiduously — once again raising questions about his judgment of people, and women in particular.

Westminster was thick with rumour last night that she might defect to Labour and that she has kept a detailed diary.

If either report is true, then Baroness Warsi’s capacity for embarrassing Cameron still further will increase dramatically.


Indian TV Crew Catches Hamas Firing Rocket From Densely Populated Area

Just minutes before a cease-fire started Tuesday morning, an Indian NDTV crewcaught Hamas red-handed on video assembling and firing a rocket outside their Gaza hotel room.

The video "establishes something that Hamas has always been accused of - that they actually use densely populated civilian areas to fire their rockets," reporter Sreenivasan Jain said. "You see this is a[n]area that, very heavily built up, a lot of residential and hotel buildings all around."

Jain and his crew noticed a blue tent outside their hotel room window Monday morning that was not there the night before. They couldn't see what was going on inside the tent, but, Jain reported, "We saw three men making a multitude of journeys in and out of the tent, sometimes with wires." They also saw the Hamas men try to camouflage the tent with branches.

All of this happened just feet away from their hotel and a high-rise building. The crew moved closer to inspect the site after Hamas fired the rocket, but left quickly in case Israel launched a retaliatory strike.

This was not the first time Hamas used an open lot next to the hotel, Jain said. He reported hearing a rocket being fired on the first night he and his TV crew stayed at the hotel, which he noted was evacuated following an Israeli warning of a possible retaliatory attack on the site.

The story was released "after our team left the Gaza strip," Jain reported. "Hamas has not taken very kindly to any reporting of its rockets being fired. But just as we reported the devastating consequences of Israel's offensive on Gaza's civilians, it is equally important to report on how Hamas places those very civilians at risk by firing rockets deep from the heart of civilian zones."

But if you ask Hamas defenders including Reza Aslan, the rocket likely was a figment of the TV crew's imagination. Aslan cavalierly dismissed evidence that Hamas previously fired rockets during a debate on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday.

Fellow panelist Andrew Ross Sorkin challenged Aslan for blaming Israel for the deaths of "1,600 people, 85 percent of them civilians" and for killing hundreds of children. Sorkin noted that they had been killed because Hamas fired its rockets "in front of them."

"That is nonsense," Aslan said. "First of all, first of all, Amnesty International, which is on the ground right there, did a month-long review of this. They have found no evidence whatsoever of any kind of human shield being used."

NDTV's footage provides further incontrovertible proof that Hamas has no regard for the lives of those it governs. It also places apologists such as Aslan in the position of having to admit the reality that Hamas is the thuggish terrorist group the U.S., Israel and E.U. have always said it is.


The Gnostic Idea Of Social Change

By Herbert London

I have been reading Herb for many years but I think he is a bit confused on this one.  Gnostics are religious mystics.  I think "neophiliacs" was what Herb had in mind -- people who want change for the sake of change

Gnosticism is in the cultural air we breathe. The desire to break with tradition requires new avenues of protest. A trajectory of gay rights to gay marriage has seemingly won the day with the Gnostics now seeking alternative pathways to reform. The new, the truly new, is the movement to project the acceptance of transgendered sexuality.

In June 2014 an Alberta Canada judge argued that a twelve year old transgendered boy (a girl who considers herself a boy) must have the right to a new birth certificate with a new gender assignment. Prior to this judgment, Alberta law only allowed for new birth certificates if sex change surgery had been performed. The judge ruled that restriction to be a violation of “the rights ruled of transgendered people.” Presumably we get to be who we think we are and there is the emerging right to compel agreement.

Years ago there was an ad that said, “If you have but one life to live, live it as a blond.” Changing hair color to change identity set the stage for being whoever you want to be. Of course, now it is a right; if a woman says she is a man that is sufficient for her to use the “men’s room.”

A Marvel Comics spokesman said recently that the hero Thor was turning into a woman. Thor is the Norse god of thunder dating back over a thousand years. As a comic book fixture, Thor debuted in 1962. Though not technically a man, he was routinely depicted as male – until now. Marvel spokesman insists he is a she, a decision made without fanfare. It appears as though Thor decided he would prefer to live among the gods as a female.

Popular culture often sets the stage for the next wave of protestation. The idea that there are fixed traditional notions of social welfare going back thousands of years in anathema to the Gnostics who are eager to refashion the society. But where precisely are we going? Inventing rights is easy, but maintaining social equilibrium is not.

Converting society into a perpetual revolution in which the past is erased in search of utopia invariably ends in dystopia. Conferring rights without responsibility is a fool’s errand. At some point, absurd conditions are palpable. If a girl, for example, thinks she is a boy and has a plastic prosthesis surgically inserted, what happens when she changes her mind? If I am right handed, but all my life I wanted to be a southpaw is it appropriate to have my right arm removed? Being who you want to be was never a biological issue; it was related to status, prestige, and achievement. The idea that gender is an existential question is in some sense a violation of common sense and the accumulated wisdom of the past. Wants transcend all other considerations.

Technology itself has changed the male role making him less relevant in a woman’s life than was the case before. As a consequence, many males appear sexually ambiguous. The road to transsexuality is paved with stones of androgyny. Hence the creators of the newest rights are walking down this pathway hopeful that society will embrace the plight of those tortured by the bad deal biology gave them.

As Nicolas Chamfort, writer and dramatist, noted, “Nearly all people live in slavery for the reason the Spartans gave us as the cause of the slavery of Persians: they are not able to utter the syllable ‘no’.” Neither are we. In fact, perpetual revolution the Gnostics prefer leads inevitably to a point where we are slaves to rights creation and the remaking of social order.



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 August, 2014

Regret that most British cops are white

Police forces throughout the UK must do more to recruit ethnic minority officers if they are to keep the trust of the public, a watchdog has warned.

The Inspectorate of the Constabulary fears an overwhelmingly white police force will struggle to engage with communities as the number of minorities in the UK rises.

A report called 'Policing in Austerity: Meeting the Challenge' blames budget cuts for the problem, as financially-stretched forces struggle to take on more non-white officers.

The report states: 'Many forces have had limited opportunities to recruit new staff.  'Some have made a concerted effort to increase the number of black and minority ethnic police officers, but this is hampered by the recruitment freeze in many places.

'With the current tools chief officers have to recruit and release people, police forces will not be able to become representative of the communities they serve or to keep pace with a changing society for years, possibly decades.  'Many forces told us of the concerns they have about a static and ageing workforce.'

Zoë Billingham, a member of the police watchdog, added: 'The gap between the BME population and the BME representation in police is likely to widen.  'The issue of how police forces make themselves more representative is one that needs to be addressed.'

A total of 6,966 of the 131,258 police officers in England and Wales, or 5.2 per cent, are from ethnic minority backgrounds, compared to an estimated 13 per cent of the British population as a whole.

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Bennett from the College of Policing says progress has been made but more must be done. He said: 'There has been a steady rate of improvement in terms of representation but the service is not changing as fast as the community.

London's first black policeman Norwell Roberts (left) on parade at Hendon Police College in 1967. Right, an armed Sikh Metropolitan Police officer patrols the streets of Westminster in 2004

'The whole model of British policing is based on policing by consent and it is based on legitimacy.

'There is a real danger as our population moves towards 20 to 25 per cent black and minority ethnic (BME) membership - in some of our police areas 40 per cent – while the police service has only 10 per cent black and minority ethnic representation, that we will start to lose a degree of legitimacy.  'The police service needs to be as representative as it can be so it can respond to the needs of all communities.'

Mt Bennett agreed that budget cuts are a key part of the problem.   'There is an issue about the attractiveness of the police service to people from BME backgrounds,' he said.  'If you are a potential BME recruit and you look at the police service you see a relatively low number of BME people.  'If you have not come from a police background you may be suspicious about what the service can offer.

'One of the problems for policing is that there are many well-qualified people who don't look at the police service as a career and they look more favourably on professions such as law, dentistry, medicine.  'I don't think we are competing effectively in the BME graduate market.'

Steve Evans, Vice Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales said: 'Public trust and confidence is paramount to effective policing and therefore it is essential that the police service is fully representative of the public it serves.

'One of the many consequences of the cuts to policing budgets has been the impact on the recruitment and promotion process.

'The commitment exists within the police service to ensure that we properly understand, empathise with and reflect the communities that we serve.  This means working proactively to ensure effective representation.   We are working with other policing bodies and stakeholders to keep this commitment.'


Open source, sexist? Spare me

I think few statements have struck me, lately, as more annoyingly ignorant, than the comment that open-source software is "sexist." Women, it seems, are underrepresented in the open-source developer community. Women are "excluded" from the community, because it's "unappealing." It's another bastion of male "privilege."

How anyone can be excluded from open source is a mystery to me. It has the lowest barriers to entry of any intellectual pursuit I've ever seen, except perhaps blogging. Anyone with a computer, and Internet connection, and some time can contribute. Contributions can occur on many levels -- you don't need to be a Linux kernel wizard in order to contribute a new application feature, or a bug fix, or write a "howto", or adopt an orphaned project. Since participation is online, you can contribute under a pseudonym if you wish. All the "study materials" are available on-line, for the asking.

Oh, but the psychological barriers, you say!

Well, let me tell you what I had to go through in order to become a computer programmer.

I grew up in a rural town in the middle of nowhere, years before the idea of a "personal computer" had even reached science fiction. Yet I was always a science fiend -- possibly because of the Tom Swift Jr. books a well-meaning and never-sufficiently-thanked aunt and uncle gave me for Christmas. And when a children's encyclopedia introduced me to electricity, and I discovered that I could take batteries and switches and lights, and they followed understandable rules, and I could hook them up and make them do things, I was hooked.

The problem was, our town had nothing more advanced than a dinky hardware store. Our town library had exactly two books on the subject: a 1914 book, "Boy Electrician," which told me all I needed to know about making obsolete spark-gap transmitters and coherer detectors, and a 1948 edition of the Radio Amateur's Handbook. (Our school library had bupkis.) Luckily, in those days the Handbook included advertising, and I discovered the existence of mail-order electronics retailers.

I was fortunate in that I could afford to send away for books, and later for small parts...a few dollars here, a few dollars there. I learned patience, waiting for the deliveries. I also learned to go to the local TV repair shop, and ask for any parts they were discarding. One milestone I vividly recall was in fourth-grade show-and-tell, where I showed a photorelay project I had constructed with a photocell and a transistor.

Then I developed a desire to get my amateur radio license...which was a problem, because the nearest examining center was hundreds of miles away. Luckily for me, I had grandparents in that city, whom we visited once a year. I managed to wheedle a trip to the examining center during that visit...for three successive years, because I failed the Morse Code part of the exam twice.

I might have become a communications engineer but for a chance opportunity. I was fortunate that my parents agreed to send me to a one-week "computer camp" for high-school students, at a not-very-distant university. This is not what is called a "computer camp" today. We were learning how to write Fortran, to use a keypunch, and to submit batch jobs to an IBM System/360. I was sufficiently intimidated by the prospect, that I bought a Fortran book and began reading it weeks in advance, to keep up with the other students.

Because even then, I had a vague realization that other students were more fortunate than I. They lived in The City, and had bigger high schools with bigger libraries. Some of the schools taught electronics, and some had computers. They had electronics stores they could visit. Some of them had universities, and university libraries, that were a mere bus ride away. I felt occasionally envious, but I never thought that their good fortune was an obstacle to my learning.

The "camp" left me thoroughly bitten by the computer bug, and eager to use computers in my next high-school science project. I was fortunate that my parents were able to persuade the computer science department at the nearest college (30 miles away) to let me use their facilities. And by "facilities" I don't mean a computer; I mean a card reader, line printer, and a leased line to a computer in a distant city. I didn't have a car, but I was able to cadge a ride once a week with a local teacher who was going there for some continuing education.

Finally I got accepted into a university, and I was fortunate that my folks could afford to send me there. (Because, as you might have noticed by now, we didn't have any higher education close by.) There I continued my batch programming on a System/370. I also took a job at the computer center as a "go-fer", which eventually led to a job as computer operator. And in my junior year I was finally allowed to use the PDP-8 minicomputer in the Electrical Engineering department. In my senior year I was fortunate that personal computer kits were starting to be sold, and I was able to buy one, and managed to borrow some space in a Physics lab to build it. (A 2.5 MHz Z80 with 18K of RAM. 144 RAM chips. Soldered by hand.)

The rest, as they say, is history.

I marvel at the opportunities available today to aspiring programmers and engineers. I couldn't have even imagined a time when people would throw away computers that are literally a thousand times more powerful than my old university's mainframe.* When gigabytes of software, including source code, are available for free, to study, modify, and use. When electronic messages can be sent in the blink of an eye to experts and enthusiasts around the world, with replies often coming the same day. When hundreds of projects are begging for volunteers to write software..."on the job training", with mentors; experience that confers the kind of credentials that earn respect.

And it's available to anyone. Yes, knowledge of English is a plus -- and I'm fortunate to have English as my first language. But anyone in the world can participate; no one cares about your race, your age, your gender, your religion, or your family. And I am nothing short of ecstatically delighted that others can share the joy I have found in computer science!

With all I went through, and seeing all that's available to students today, perhaps you will understand why cries of "privilege" fall on my unsympathetic ears. I was fortunate (not privileged) in several respects, as I have noted, and unfortunate in others. And yet, I prevailed, because I wanted to learn the damn subject!

You want to learn computers? Do it. Don't tell me how "unappealing" you find the computer science lab. And save your whines about "exclusion" for realms in which people are actually, you know, being excluded.


Ruling: Gay ‘Bear Bar’ Discriminated against Effeminate Man in Drag

A Denver gay bar discriminated against a man in drag last year by refusing him entry because of his feminine appearance, according to a new ruling by a Colorado civil-rights division. The ruling found that the the bar had a history of turning down men who “exhibit effeminacy” while allowing women “with a masculine gender presentation.”

The ruling comes after a separate civil-rights commission in the state ordered Christian baker Jack Phillips to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples despite his religious objections.

In August 2013, Vito Marzano tried to get into The Denver Wrangler, a popular gay bar, wearing a dress, makeup, and a wig, according to the Associated Press. When he gave his ID to the bouncer, Marzano was told he could not enter because his appearance did not match his driver’s license.

The bar’s owner argued that the bouncer was following protocol, in line with state liquor laws to prevent underage drinking, for which the Wrangler had been fined in the past. Additionally, Marzano was reportedly aggressive and drunk at the time, which played into the bouncer’s decision.

But the civil-rights division for Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies ruled that the bar’s dress code raises questions about its inclusiveness. For example, its policy against wigs, strong perfume, and “appearance-altering makeup” has a disparate impact on male clientele.

“In other words, a female with a masculine gender presentation would be permitted to enter, whereas, a male presenting as a female would be denied entry,” the division’s director wrote. The Denver Post reports that the division report stated that the Wrangler’s reputation as a “bear bar” leads it to show favor towards more traditionally masculine-looking men.

The director admitted that the bar’s dress code “at face value . . . appear[s] legitimate and nondiscriminatory” but said Marzano’s case raises concern about establishments’ freedom to appeal to and attract certain audiences without discriminating against others.

Marzano, who led a boycott against the Wrangler, said he feels “vindication” in the ruling and said LGBT individuals “face enough hatred and discrimination from the outside world . . .  We do not need it from our own.”

As part of the ruling, the Wrangler will go through mediation with Marzano.

Colorado’s civil-rights bodies have been busy with LGBT issues in recent months. In June, the state’s Civil Rights Commission ruled against Phillips, a Christian owner and baker of Masterpiece Cakeshop, after he turned down a request to prepare a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding celebration. As a result, Phillips was required to change his shop’s policies, attend training, and submit quarterly reports to the division; Phillips has since appealed the ruling.


The Spreading Scourge of Anti-Christian Persecution

Dr. Ben Carson

Intolerance that fosters pogroms abroad is taking root in U.S. communities. Sobering and unforgettable images are projected across our television and computer screens. They should elicit the most basic instincts of both fear and compassion.

I'm referring to images of showing the persecution of hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of our fellow brothers and sisters by incomprehensible religious zealots. Their intolerance of Christianity is beyond horrible. People are beheaded for their faith. Women and young girls are sexually violated, and whole families are wantonly slaughtered in cold blood. Perhaps just as abhorrent is the profound silence of the current administration. Even though President Obama has declared that we are not a Judeo-Christian nation, we are still compassionate people who should not ignore humanitarian atrocities, much less ones where the victims are only guilty of maintaining a belief in the principles espoused by Jesus Christ.

We have an obligation as Americans to denounce these acts of persecution. Even those who do not worship a higher deity should be concerned. For when we stand up to such intolerance, we are defending the root of freedom. We are defending choice -- the ability to worship and call on the name of a heavenly being without fear of torture and abandonment.

The president, who very early in his tenure won the Nobel Peace Prize, now has an opportunity to truly be the broker of peace in a very troubled part of the world. He can be a champion of freedom of religion, a founding principle of our nation. As long as religious practices do not infringe upon the rights of others, he can make it clear that it is wrong to interfere with those practices.

In our own country, we must become more reasonable in disputes about religious symbols. For instance, if a Christmas tree or manger scene has been a long-standing community tradition, and a few offended people come along and claim that it must be removed, should those few individuals have the power to interfere with the seasonal joy of thousands who rejoice in the viewing of those symbols? If someone is offended by a menorah in a Jewish community, would it not make more sense to give them sensitivity training rather than disturb the entire community by removing the symbol? I could go on, but I think the point is clear. When we reward unwarranted hypersensitivity surrounding religious ceremonies or beliefs, we add fuel to the hatred and intolerance that subsequently produces religious persecution.

Some will say religious persecution in other parts of the world does not concern us and we cannot be the police for the planet. Certainly, there is some validity to the latter part of that statement, but if we continue to ignore or tolerate religious persecution elsewhere, it is just a matter of time before we will experience it here at home.

As far as the Middle East is concerned, we are not helpless and can dispatch the State Department to do all it can to help. Some conservatives and cynics might argue that such a move requires government dollars. Who's to say? We don't fully comprehend how besieged these people are, much less know what it would take to grant them relief.

Governments need to decry such persecution, and root it out wherever and whenever they can. The United States should lead in that effort -- just as it has with combating sex trafficking and other problems the world has decried in the past. It is hard to find an issue that demands a sharper clarion call for leadership 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


6 August, 2014

A series of multicultural doctors killed a little English boy

Clearly, they just couldn't be bothered to treat him properly

A doctor sent a 19-month-old boy home from hospital three days before he died of dehydration and kidney failure, a tribunal heard today.

Baby Harry Connelly was admitted to Northampton General Hospital suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea on April 28, 2011.

But despite the concerns of his mother Lucy, paediatrician Dr Tasnim Arif failed to weigh Harry, take blood tests or properly assess the baby’s condition before sending them home, it is alleged.

Little Harry was found dead in his cot by his father Raymond three days later in the early hours of May 1, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard.

At an inquest in 2012 Coroner Anne Pember catalogued a series of ‘failings’ by doctors and nurses at the hospital and a GP’s out-of-hours service.

Dr Arif is now facing a fitness to practise hearing in Manchester accused of allowing her care of Harry to fall ‘seriously below’ what was expected.

Opening the case, Simon Phillips QC, for the General Medical Council, explained how Harry fell ill at his home on April 23 2011 and was referred to the hospital by the family GP three days later.

The boy was examined by paediatrician Dr Farhana Shamim, who said he was not dehydrated, but recommended that he be given Dioralyte, a rehydration treatment to boost salt and sugar levels.

He was discharged the following morning by Dr Ayevbekpen Omorgie, who said the parents could have a ‘48-hour open access’ to the ward, meaning he would not need a referral to be seen again.

At around 3.30pm on 28 April Harry was brought back to hospital by his mother after his parents felt his condition had deteriorated

Mr Phillips said: ‘The clinical treatment provided by Dr Arif to Harry Connelly on this date is the focus of attention in relation to this fitness to practise hearing.’

It is alleged that the doctor failed to fully record that Harry was still passing blood in his stool, that he had not eaten for five days or that he was lethargic, as Mrs Connelly had told her.

Dr Arif, who was then a fourth-year specialist trainee paediatric registrar, has admitted that she failed to record how often Harry was passing stool and vomiting and did not ask for further clarity on the subject.

The medic also confessed to not comparing his current weight to his weight when he was previously discharged on April 27.

But she denies failing to adequately assess or record a number of clinical features when assessing the baby’s hydration status, including the overall summary of ‘well hydrated’ or ‘not well hydrated’.

Dr Arif is further accused of failing to arrange a longer assessment period, not arranging the duty consultant to review Harry’s clinical status and failing to arrange for blood tests, as the consultant had asked.

The panel heard that Dr Arif did not think Harry was dehydrated before she discharged him at around 5.45pm on the afternoon of 28 April.

The next day Harry’s condition had deteriorated again, to such an extent that his parents described him as ‘lifeless’.

Grandmother Val Faulkner rang the hospital, but was told by a nurse they should take the toddler to their GP or accident and emergency.

After phoning the GP out-of-hours service, the family spoke to Dr Mary McCracken who said they should bring him in to the out-of-hours service as he may be suffering from dehydration.

At the out of hours service, Harry was examined by Dr Aboo Thamby who assessed that he was not dehydrated and did not need to be readmitted.

By 30 April Harry’s parents reported that he was ‘brighter’ but his fingers and toes were very cold.

‘Very sadly Harry Connolly died at home in the early hours of 1 May 2011,’ Mr Phillips said.

He added: ‘The GMC’s position is that Dr Arif should have exercised a greater degree of caution when deciding the appropriate course of action towards Harry Connelly and when discharging him.

‘In regard to the care provided at the time, the GMC’s position is that the standard of care provided by Dr Arif fell seriously below that expected of a registrar.’

It is alleged that the doctor’s actions and omissions amounted to professional misconduct.

Dr Arif spoke only to confirm her name and GMC registration number at today’s hearing, but her representative Andrew Hockton made several factual admissions on her behalf.

If the three-person panel finds against her she could face sanctions including restrictions on her practise, suspension or being struck off the medical register.


Let Boys Be Boys this Summer

Ah, summer. What a great time for boys to read "The Dangerous Book for Boys."

First released in the U.K. in 2006 and the U.S. in 2007, the book is filled with useful information on how to make knots in a rope, build a go-kart or treehouse, create a working bow and arrow, and engineer a proper water bomb.

The book is also filled with stories of famous historical battles, information about dinosaurs, the moon and the Declaration of Independence, and other interesting tidbits, such as how to play marbles and chess, make invisible ink and create spy codes.

The book has sold well in both the U.K. and the U.S. for a variety of reasons - most of all because it celebrates boyhood and couldn't care less about being politically correct. It celebrates the fact that boys, unlike girls, generally like to go out in the mud and play, build things with their own hands and allow nature to unleash their imagination and all five of their senses.

"I think we've come through the period when we said boys and girls were exactly the same, because they're not," author Conn Iggulden told The Associated Press. "Boys and girls have different interests, different ways of learning, and there's no real problem in writing a book that plays to that, and says, let's celebrate it. Let's go for a book that will appeal to boys."

"Hear, hear!" to that.

We have in our population too many males, now in their 20s or 30s, who were not permitted to be boys this way when they were lads.

Such young men were persuaded to shun the ways of their fathers and grandfathers - men who were short on words and long on action, and never fretted over feelings, roughage or good prostate health.

But in the past three decades, the traditional American male has been under attack. He has been called closed-minded, archaic and sexist. Thus, modern boys are pressured to show their feelings.

Today, the landscape is polluted with sensitive "New Age" 20- and 30-year-olds. Touchy-feely fellows with soft voices and caring eyes. Fellows who mist up at bridal showers and clap heartily the first time their sons use the commode for "No. 2."

It's not their fault entirely. Many of them were forbidden to go outside to play, learn, invent and discover. They were held captive inside their homes, where they got fat off of snack foods as they played on computers under the careful watch of adults.

It's not their fault they were given unusual, soft names intended to celebrate their specialness. One is hard-pressed to find a Tom, Mike, Jim or Joe under 40 these days.

It's not their fault some had moms who dressed them up in color-coordinated knickers, suspenders and saddle shoes - and dads afraid to say what every good father must say in such a situation: "No son of mine is going to wear any damn knickers!"

But we can correct these wrongs. We can start by encouraging boys to do boy things as boys have done through summer months ever since boys have existed.

Here's a good start: Let nature unleash their imagination and senses this summer.

When boys are free to catch crayfish, build ramps to jump their bikes and conduct any of dozens of other enjoyable activities outlined in "The Dangerous Book for Boys," they will blossom into fine young men who will not attend bridal or baby showers and will leave it to others to clap when Junior succeeds on the commode.


You May Be Shocked by Who Asked If ‘Social Media Made Us Bigger A**holes?’

Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time,” is certainly no stranger to vigorous skewering of many individuals and groups he disagrees with.

So it may come as a surprise that Maher posed this question on Friday’s episode: “Do you think that the social media made us bigger assholes, or we were bigger assholes and it just exposed us as being that?”

Maher was conversing with Chris Hardwick, host of “@midnight” on Comedy Central, and noted that he believes the Internet has exacerbated political correctness by fostering those who “lay in wait” online to attack those they disagree with and then “pat themselves on the back” for doing so.

Hardwick offered a reasoned response, noting that the Internet is often a bad place for gauging emotion.

He also said that seeking to understand those we disagree online is a best first course before getting into cyber battles.


Political Correctness Gone Rampant: Use These 3 Communications Tips To Survive

It’s an epidemic. The seemingly innocuous statements executives make on the stage or in social media get blown to the sky by outraged listeners, and press and reputation nightmares are born.

For example, Brent Musburger, one of the most widely recognized voices in sports, was raked over the proverbial coals last year for remarking during a close-up shot of Miss Alabama (a friend of the Atlanta team’s quarterback) how quarterbacks seem to “get all the good-looking women.” Mayhem ensued.

Phil Mickelson, golf legend, remarked that he was thinking of moving away from California due the “increasingly heavy tax burden there.”  The comment created a firestorm, as Mickelson is obviously a person of means. (But when Tiger Woods was asked about the remarks he shrugged in empathy, acknowledging that he, himself, had already moved to a lower tax state.)

Forbes contributor Dr. Mark W. Fredrickson pegs the political correctness war as partisanship, writ large: “As the left aggressively pursues its agenda, they are eager to denounce, discredit, hound, harass, vilify, abuse, and make life difficult for anyone who dares to contradict their catechism,” he says.

But is political correctness really so simple? And how far should organizations and executives go in their attempts to never offend?

Sports teams are being renamed to avoid offending Native American tribes. A U.S. university has reclassified its freshman class as “first-year students” to avoid any possibilities of affiliation with gender. Some schools are referring to Easter Eggs as “Springtime spheres” and are eliminating Halloween altogether for fear of the possible suggestion of underlying religious themes.

One of the latest PC frenzies surrounds a recent video “The Best First Date” about a father and his toddler age daughter going on a daddy daughter date. It’s a sweet and touching video to many, but a surprising number of viewers are flaming the segment as disgusting and creepy, and even calling the father a pedophile and abuser (as he sips from a Disney princess mug and enjoys a PB sandwich with his little girl).

Says my friend and frequent collaborator, integrity expert Dr. David Gruder: “What does it say about our society that the media would even suggest that people should think this is creepy? To me it says that people have not learned to recognize the underlying intentions behind behaviors. Their focus is only on whether they think a behavior should be labeled as right or wrong.”

“If there were even an ounce of sexual energy coming from the dad or his little girl in this video I believe virtually anyone who watched would be repulsed, and rightly so,” he continues. “But this is a father embodying fatherly love in a way that’s developmentally appropriate (through play). He is demonstrating for his daughter the loving kindness she should require of those she lets close to her, as healthy parenting.”

“That so many can’t distinguish between intentions that express parenting and those that express perpetration is a painful testament to how emotionally illiterate the ‘political correctness’ movement has become,” Gruder concludes. (As an aside he notes that conservatives are as guilty of PC character bashing as liberals in his estimation and he finds the activity equally reprehensible on either side of the scale.)

In an essay from the Conflict Information Consortium called “Escalation Limiting Language,” author Jennifer Akin points to the ways language and communication can purposely quell a PC conflict or can further inflame it. “A wrong word or a misconstrued meaning in the midst of a conflict is like gasoline on a flame,” she observes.  In the category of “no truer words were ever spoken” she notes “An immense amount of embarrassment and pain could probably be avoided if everyone paused before speaking, heeding the advice to ‘think before we speak’.”

Amen to that statement.

Some behavior is easy to classify as “looking for trouble.” For example, Utah was scandalized about a decade ago by the story of a conservative 41-year-old bank CFO who was emerging after hours in leather pants and a silver Porsche with the license plate “Ecstasy” to throw parties behind the security gates of his palatial residence. The story ended in arrest for methamphetamine possession and child endangerment when a frantic 911 call revealed his 19-year-old girlfriend naked and passed out in his bed during a party in which his 15-year-old daughter was also found passed out in the home.

It was a story that seemed to beg for bad press. Yet some blamed the media for inflaming the situation further, for bad acts such as including the exec’s middle name “Moroni” in coverage (a name that is prominent in Mormon culture and appeared to gratuitously exaggerate the “Jekyll and Hyde” story still more.) The press insisted the inclusion of middle names was standard practice. Regardless, it was a terrible story by anyone’s terms that became a PR nightmare for the organization as well as for the executive himself.

There are some executives, in the way they express themselves, who are clearly looking for fights (just as there are an increasing number of PC vigilantes who are loaded for battle).

We can learn to speak more carefully. In Akin’s essay, she notes that in some cases, all an angry listener is looking for is to feel that they’ve been properly heard.

Author Suzette Elgin (The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense at Work) notes in Akin’s article that offense is in the ear of the hearer, and that we can learn to be more sensitive to what the words we choose may mean to others. For example, some people may be angered to be referred to as “Oriental” instead of “Asian.” Some words are inherently accusatory, such as “spendthrift” and “profligate” instead of merely pointing to the black and white fact of an unbalanced budget.

Elgin also notes that how a message is received by its listener depends on more than semantics. It depends on expression, intonation and body language as well. As an example, how many ways can you interpret the answer to the question “How are you?” when a person responds with “Fine”? That single word could express anything ranging from happiness to boredom to anger, depending on the intonation involved.

“English is a language in which hostilities and abuse are carried primarily by the melodies that go with the words, rather than by the words themselves,” Elgin says.

But no matter how gentile and tactful the speaker, there is no avoiding the fact that in public communications, some listeners will take offense. A few will even be outraged (they’re the folks psychologists jokingly refer to as “pi**ed off waiting to happen”—if you offered them a $20 bill they’d assume you’re implying they’re incapable of paying their own bills.)

Says Gruder, “The attempt to create political correctness rules and to legislate behavior at work and in society is an ineffective attempt at symptom control. It is an unsustainable substitution for properly equipping people with the skills to align what they know with their frame of heart and with the actions they take.”

Well said.

Furthermore, well-meaning people can occasionally trip. For example, the job candidate who blurts out “this place seems like a ghetto,” then realizes that one of the interviewing team is white, one is black, and she has likely offended them both can simply say, “I am sorry.  I made a poor choice of words, and I failed to express what I mean.” Then try the statement again.

In summary, what can business communicators do about the PC vigilantes? We can 1) think before we speak, 2) consciously choose words and manners that encourage alignment instead of escalating a fight, and 3) genuinely listen and hear what our opponents are saying. Beyond these efforts—yes, the battle for political correctness has been taken too far. But why perpetuate the struggle? The better communications answer is perhaps to let up on the PC legislation and to focus our efforts on better emotional maturity and fundamental behavior 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


5 August, 2014

BBC 'angers Muslim staff' by hosting hog roast to celebrate Commonwealth Games under the windows of Arabic TV service


The BBC has enraged Muslim staff after holding a hog roast to celebrate the Commonwealth Games - under the windows of the Arabic TV service.

An entire pig was spit-roasted in the courtyard of New Broadcasting House, central London, with wafts of meat drifting up to the predominantly Muslim office.

Staff in the department whose religion bans them from eating pork blasted the 'horror' at spotting the carcass on their lunch break.

The event on Friday, celebrating the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, was held just days after the close of Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims for spiritual reflection.

Sharing a photo of a scorched pig's head covered in juice, an Iranian journalist wrote: 'Horror in my lunch break at BBC New Broadcasting House.'

The Corporation routinely promotes 'diversity' values, and issues all employees with a welcome pack, that includes a survey with questions about their religion, sexual orientation, financial background, and any disabilities.

However, an insider berated the hog roast as 'disrespectful', claiming the hog was 'being flaunted', according to The Sun on Sunday.

A BBC spokesman said: 'We have received no complaints'.

The food festival set up outside the John Peel Wing, where the Arabic TV service is based on the fourth floor.

The Arabic TV service is one of the Corporation's flagship channels, covering 32 countries.

The team has been significantly expanded since 2008, when it officially launched.


RSPCA could stop prosecuting foxhunters

The RSPCA may give up prosecuting foxhunters after criticism that it spends too much money pursuing offenders.

Donations to the animal charity have fallen sharply in the past year, prompting a wide-ranging review that could see it focus more on cruelty to domestic pets.

Two years ago, the RSPCA spent £326,000 winning a case against the Heythrop hunt, based in Oxfordshire, but the judge questioned whether the money had been well spent.

After the ruling, the Charity Commission warned the RSPCA that pursuing other expensive actions held a “reputational risk”.  Dominic Grieve, then attorney-general, wrote asking it to review its prosecutions policy.

One change the RSPCA is considering is whether to take the decisions about when to prosecute away from staff who were once field inspectors.

Ray Goodfellow, the RSPCA’s chief legal officer, told The Sunday Times: “We are upholding the Hunting Act, the law of the land. But others want to repeal it and we have been caught up in their political campaign.  “This is an issue we are looking at. There are also issues of proportionality and the economic impact on our other activities. If we spend money on hunt cases, that is less money for other work including prosecutions relating to pets.”

The possible move comes amid a marked fall in donations, from £112?million in 2012 to £105?million last year. In June, the charity announced a major restructure after it experienced what it calls a “net cash outflow” of £6.1? million last year. The restructure could put more than 100 jobs at risk.

A series of senior figures have left the charity in recent months including Gavin Grant, the chief executive; John Grounds, his deputy, and David Cowdrey, the communications director.

Tim Bonner, campaigns director of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, welcomed the RSPCA’s review and proposed changes. “We believe it is impossible for the RSPCA to both be involved in political campaigns and make objective prosecution decisions on the same issues,” he said.


Marriage Won’t End Poverty. But It Will Help (A Lot).

Marriage isn’t the answer to poverty. That’s the argument made last week in The New Republic by Carter Price, who asserts conservatives are too preoccupied with marriage in anti-poverty efforts.

Price takes particular issue with a Harvard study by Raj Chetty and colleagues that suggests children, regardless of whether they come from a single- or married-parent family, have greater social mobility when raised in a community with a higher share of married parents. Price notes that some areas of the country with high shares of single mothers are doing better (or worse) than Chetty’s study would predict. In other words, marriage doesn’t explain everything. But neither does any other factor.

Price restates the common progressive argument that poverty leads to marital breakdown rather than the other way around. Yet, even Harvard professor William Julius Wilson, whom Price cites in his article, can see this is false. Wilson, who is no conservative, makes the case in his book When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor that economic factors aren’t solely to blame for marital decline, specifically among African Americans.

“Although there is a strong association between rates of marriage and both employment status and earnings at any given point in time, national longitudinal studies suggest that these factors account for a relatively small portion of the overall decline in marriage among African-Americans,” Wilson says. Economic and cultural norms work together, he says. “The weaker the norms against premarital sex, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and nonmarital parenthood, the more that economic considerations affect decisions to marry.”

There is a strong connection between the breakdown in marriage and child poverty. Living with two working parents raises household income. Children in single-parent homes are more than five times as likely to be poor, regardless of parental education level. They also are more likely to drop out of high school, spend time in prison, abuse drugs and alcohol, and have an unwed birth.

Price actually has it backwards. While the War on Poverty has paid too little attention to marriage over the last 50 years, marital breakdown and unwed childbearing have soared, particularly in low-income communities. Today, more than 40 percent of children are born to single mothers, up from less than 10 percent in the under 10 percent in the 1960s.

Of course other factors matter. In fact, The Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity examines the multiple factors that contribute to opportunity: a strong economy, a thriving work ethic, access to quality education, as well as strong families. These factors work together, not independently of each other.

A sound anti-poverty strategy must include: self-sufficiency through work, implementing policies to encourage job creation, improving access to quality education, and taking steps to restore a culture of marriage. Combining these efforts will help create a society where more individuals have the opportunity to succeed and flourish.


Britain's already got far too many fatherless families without the NHS deliberately creating more

For years, the NHS has been the pride of this country. Today, though, it has drifted a very long way from the noble principles upon which it was founded.

It now seems willing to pander to every whim of a population that thinks it has a divine right to whatever type of health treatment it wants — regardless of the cost or the morality involved.

The news that a national sperm bank is to be funded by the NHS to make it easier for single women and lesbian couples to have children by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) horrifies me.

Vanity surgery such as breast-enhancement is bad enough, but at least those operations involve only the woman herself.

This new policy reduces babies to commodities and denies the child basic rights and needs, such as a stable family. For a stable family life comes from the commitment of the biological father.

That £300 fee would be significantly less than the cost of attending a private clinic, which can be as much as £2,000.

But the fact that the NHS is offering a service at all to supply ‘designer babies’ is a sign that today’s society is starting to regard children as things that can be bought like a new wide-screen plasma TV.

I am a mother, and I believe passionately that my children are both a gift and a deep responsibility. Their emotional welfare has been my duty. That includes giving them a stable family home, with a mother and father who are married and an extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.

Yet many people in our increasingly self-obsessed society think they can shirk such responsibilities.

A child born by anonymous sperm donation has no chance of growing up with his or her biological father.

The father’s name will not appear on the child’s birth certificate — although by law anyone born via egg or sperm donation now has the right to ask the regulatory body, the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority, for the identity of their donor.

Donors also have the right to find out if their donation has been successful, the number of children born as a result and the sex and year of birth.

Yet the mother herself may, understandably, want the donor to remain anonymous, perhaps out of fear that he might one day in the future want to track down her and his child and potentially complicate their settled lives.

Throughout the history of mankind, there have been compelling reasons, in every society, why couples want or are encouraged or required to make a lasting and public commitment to stay together before they have children.

There is not a society that does not have some formal arrangement, whether it is marriage or something similar, that provides the child with stability, security and a network of family members who care for and feel responsibility for their well-being.

Experience tells us that children suffer if they do not know the identity of their fathers.

In countless cases it has been shown that a child who grows up with no sense of their genetic inheritance can develop an identity crisis or suffer an intense fear of rejection. There are already 1.8 million single-parents households in Britain, mostly fatherless — should we really be adding to the number?

The fact is that boys — and girls — need a father. No mother can replace the father’s unique role in a family.

I know this as the widowed mother to two boys. I had to stand firm as the boys grew and be strict when it was needed. A father has a natural authority over his sons and should be their role model as they grow.

Equally, a daughter needs to see her father behaving properly to his wife and children. It will be critical for her self-confidence when she forms relationships with men as an adult. If a girl grows up knowing that her father was a disinterested and disengaged sperm donor, how will that affect her own future expectations of men?

There is also a deep-seated need to know who you are and what your family history is.

This could be medical — is there a family weakness towards alcoholism, for example, or did a paternal grandfather die of heart trouble in his 50s? — or it could be a desire to know what your father’s grandfather did in the war.

Without these links, a child risks feeling terribly isolated from their family and heritage.

That is an appalling burden to impose on any baby, to condemn it to carry throughout its life — and yet the State is condoning this by allowing the NHS to offer a service that allows women to ignore those concerns while they satisfy their own desires.

Of course, I have enormous sympathy with any woman who struggles to have a baby naturally and who has to resort to IVF, sperm donation or surrogacy. But babies must never be for sale, least of all from the State. The children will not be the only victims.

Every aspect of anonymous donor IVF is exploitative.

The men who donate sperm for money are being exploited and led to believe that they need have no further responsibility to their offspring once they have received a one-off payment. Indeed, the NHS is playing God and sanctioning a negation of the immutable link between the production of sperm and the duties of fatherhood.

This new NHS initiative, I fear, is just the latest trend in a society that increasingly devalues the role of the family.

We have already seen how reluctant politicians are to reward couples who stay together by offering them even the smallest tax break for marriage, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg describing such financial incentives as ‘patronising drivel that belong in the Edwardian Age’.

As a result, countless children are now growing up without the influence of a father — something numerous social studies have proved is detrimental to their future life-chances.

For the State to operate a system where children are denied a future with a father from the moment of the conception is a tragedy.

Another disturbing aspect of this is the drift towards eugenics — the science of breeding ‘superior’ children from a selective gene pool that was favoured by the Nazis in Thirties Germany.

My blood boils at the idea of any potential parent choosing ‘ideal characteristics’ for their designer baby. The sheer conceit of it is breathtaking.

It’s as if potential parents think they have a right to construct a perfect baby, choosing its gender and personal traits like you might order toppings on a pizza.

What happens when, due to some genetic glitch, a baby is born with the ‘wrong’ colour eyes, or skin a shade too light or dark? What happens if it turns out to have a disability, whether it’s a hare lip or something as life-changing as cerebral palsy?

If they return the unwanted baby to the NHS, who will then have responsibility for that child, its upbringing, its education and its counselling?

The answer, I’m afraid, is an easy one: it’s the same people who paid for the initial IVF treatment. Us, the taxpayers.

If the Government has an ounce of moral sense, it will put a stop to this callous exploitation of unborn children.



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


4 August, 2014

Another charming Multiculturalist in Britain

A honeytrapper and her boyfriend lured a man to a park over Facebook so they could attack him with a meat cleaver for his money and mobile phone.

Haseena Aziz arranged to go on the 'date' in order to give her 29-year-old boyfriend Afahan Hussain a chance to rob the victim.

The 28-year-old tempted the man to meet her in a park in Birmingham by flirting with him in a series of messages over the social-networking site.

The unnamed 25-year-old victim caught a train to Birmingham from his home in London in June this year in the belief Aziz wanted to start a relationship with him.  He took a seat on a bench in parkland near a fly-over in Hockley, Birmingham, expecting to meet Aziz for a date.

Instead, Hussain - who has a gold tooth - appeared from behind and punched and headbutted the defenceless victim.

He then held a meat cleaver to his face and demanded his phone and cash.  The court heard how Aziz laughed as she watched the attack and even waded in by kicking the man in the groin.

The pair later sent texts to the victim mocking him for falling for their set-up.

West Midlands Police launched an investigation. The pair were found through phone and social media enquiries.

They were charged with robbery and both found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court.

Recorder Oscar Del Fabbro jailed Hussain for a total of 12 years after he was found guilty of the robbery, as well as a separate crime of wounding with intent to cause GBH.

Aziz was also found guilty of robbery and was sentenced to four years in prison.

The court heard how, weeks after the park attack, Hussain also slashed a complete stranger across the face with a Stanley knife during an unprovoked street attack.

He shoulder-barged a 27-year-old man to the floor in the early hours of August 7.

As the victim scrambled to his feet, Hussain then pulled out a knife and slashed him down the left side of his face severing an artery and narrowly missing his left eye.

Unemployed Hussain denied the offence but the victim's recollection of his attacker's distinctive gold tooth was crucial in the conviction.

Speaking about the second attack Detective Constable Sara Caldwell, from West Midlands Police, said: 'It was completely unprovoked. The man was walking with a friend to a local shop to buy cigarettes when Hussain deliberately barged into him and lashed out with a knife.

'The victim suffered significant blood loss, nerve damage and has lost sensation on the left side of his face. It was an outrageous attack.

'Anyone who carries a knife in public is potentially putting themselves and others in danger and can expect to be jailed, even if they don't strike out with it in anger.

'The judge described Hussain as a dangerous man and a risk to the public.He will rightly spend many years behind bars and be subject to an extended licence period upon his eventual release.'


NHS to fund sperm bank for lesbians: New generation of fatherless families... paid for by the good ol' generous taxpayer

Britain is to get its first NHS-funded national sperm bank to make it easier for lesbian couples and single women to have children.

For as little as £300 – less than half the cost of the service at a private clinic –  they will be able to search an online database and choose an anonymous donor on the basis of his ethnicity, height, profession and even hobbies.

The bank, which is due to open in October, will then send out that donor’s sperm to a clinic of the client’s choice for use in trying for a baby.

Heterosexual couples will also be able to benefit, but the move – funded by the Department of Health – is largely designed to meet the increasing demand from thousands of women who want to start a family without having a relationship with a man.

Critics last night called it a ‘dangerous social experiment’ that could result in hundreds of fatherless ‘designer families’.

The former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, said last night: ‘It is the welfare of the child that must come first and not the fact that people want a particular kind of baby.’

Bishop Michael, who once chaired the ethics committee of Britain’s fertility watchdog, added: ‘This is social experimentation. It’s one thing for a child not to have a mother or father through tragedy, but it is another to plan children to come into the world without a father.’

The National Sperm Bank will be based at Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, which currently runs an existing NHS fertility clinic and recruits sperm donors from the local population.

Funded by a £77,000 Government grant, the bank will be run by the National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT) which this year received  an additional £120,000 of public money to organise egg and sperm donation.

Over the next three years the NGDT aims to recruit at least 1,000 men and collect sufficient  donations for the sperm bank to meet demand.

Laura Witjens, NGDT chief executive, said: ‘There are people who  are medically infertile or practically infertile – they want to use donation services in the UK but can’t do so because there isn’t enough donated sperm.

‘The [demand from] same-sex  couples and single women has grown exponentially. It’s become more socially acceptable to say, I haven’t found a guy yet, don’t want to wait for him, still want a child.’

She added: ‘The aim is that we will have enough surplus sperm so that we will be able to set up a service for people like single women and same-sex couples.’

She described this group as ‘customers rather than patients’.

Britain has a major shortage of sperm donors, whose anonymity is preserved until any children they father reach the age of 18.

Women who want to have a baby using donated sperm have been routinely waiting for up to two years, with many eventually forced to seek donors abroad.

Heterosexual couples with fertility problems who need donations as part of IVF treatment will be among the customers of the new bank.

But a large percentage are predicted to be professional, single females who decide to have a baby without a man.

And based on current trends, more than a quarter of all the recipients are likely to be gay women.

Latest available figures from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority show that in 2011, 4,101 cycles of donor insemination were carried out in the UK.

Of these, 1,271 related to women registered with a female partner. That figure represents more than  a quarter of the total and was a  23 per cent increase from the  previous year.

Treatment resulted in the births of 161 babies to lesbian couples.

Ms Witjens rejected suggestions that children suffer adverse consequences from lacking a father figure. ‘There is no evidence to suggest that children are better off with or without a father,’ she said. ‘There’s never been a call – from us or the Department of Health – to reduce the access to sperm for same-sex or single women. That’s a non-issue.’

Ms Witjens pointed to the removal of the reference to a ‘need for a father’ in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, when taking account of a child’s welfare when providing fertility treatment.

She added that the National Sperm Bank would also help prevent desperate women using murky unregulated services and going online to buy sperm.

There are currently just two clinics in the UK where women can choose donors from an online list.  Both are private and charge around £850 for the service.

NHS funding for fertility services, including donor insemination, is decided by regional Clinical Commissioning Groups and varies widely.

CCGs are typically more likely to fund heterosexual couples struggling to conceive rather than lesbians or single women because they are considered to have more of a medical need. The NGDT hopes the sperm bank will be self-funding after a year.

A spokeswoman for the HFEA said: ‘We welcome the new National Sperm Bank which will help to ensure that the recruitment of donors and the availability of donor sperm is better organised.’


Cut the crap about the gender pay gap

Where would we be without the gender pay gap? With girls outperforming boys at school, outnumbering male students at university, and women experiencing no more practical hindrances than men to achieving anything they want in life, feminists have been forced to shift their attention to the more nebulous cultural sphere in order to prove that women remain victims of a patriarchal conspiracy. Often played out in the messy virtual world, feminism has been reduced to a question of lifestyle choice and personal identity, with the supporters of the Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen hysterically pitched against those in the #WomenAgainstFeminism camp. So, apparent evidence that women really are disadvantaged in a way that can be counted and measured, through the pay gap, is greeted with an almost audible sigh of relief.

Whatever people’s views on stay-at-home mothers, glamour models or body hair, it seems there is one thing on which all can agree: men being paid more than women is a very bad thing indeed. The fact that no one today seriously argues that men should earn more for doing the same work is no impediment to politicians, feminists, academics, celebrities and anyone who has ever been near a workplace or a woman decrying this financial injustice. The gender pay gap provides a useful opportunity for everyone to demonstrate their feminist credentials and to show that women still experience institutionalised sexism. Indeed, such is the desire for the gender pay gap to exist that the facts have been ignored in the pursuit of narrative consensus.

Last week in the UK, headlines declared that women in London earn 13 per cent less than men and that the pay gap is widening. Not only do such claims not stand up to scrutiny – even worse, they actually hide a far more positive story about women’s pay. A recently published report from the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport examined changes in median hourly earnings over time and showed that since 1997 the gender pay gap has shrunk. Men have seen their pay increase by 57.4 per cent over this period, while women’s wages grew by 74.5 per cent. For women up to the age of 40, median hourly earnings rose faster than for people in any other group, increasing by 81.7 per cent, and as a result the pay gap for this cohort went down from 25.1 per cent to 12 per cent.

This welcome levelling-off in pay differentials has no doubt been driven by many factors, including equalities legislation, fear of litigation, women delaying having babies until later in life, and an increase in female graduates taking better-paid professional jobs. Unsurprisingly, all these factors combined mean that London has the lowest pay gap of anywhere in the UK. Crudely put, women in London get paid 86.8p for every £1 earned by men; in comparison, women from the whole of the UK earn nearly 20 per cent less than men each hour.

But the above suggests that, for all the shrinkage of the pay gap, it is still the case that women are hard done by in comparison with men. Certainly, these headline-grabbing statistics about a smaller but still existing pay gap are used by politicians and campaigners in their handwringing over the plight of women and girls today. However, what is less well known is that such statistics are arrived at by conflating the earnings of women of all ages, all occupations, and those in part-time and full-time work. The reality is that for people aged under 40 and working full-time, the gender pay gap is around zero; since 2009 women aged 22 to 29 have actually earned more than men. Furthermore, evidence shows that as the pay gap falls first for younger people, this smaller differential sticks with each generational cohort as they age. So, if current trends continue, the pay gap should be a thing of the past in the space of some 20 years.

This generational effect is rarely noted in glossy campaigns and petitions, such as Mind the Gap; instead, the 20 per cent pay gap is reported unquestioningly. However, not only does this figure take no account of age – it also ignores the type of work undertaken. Wages vary considerably according to job, and for many reasons women have not always chosen to go into the highest paying careers. All the evidence suggests that this is beginning to change – as the number of female graduates increases, so does the number of women entering well-paid professions. Gender pay-gaps do of course exist within professions, but again much of this is down to more women choosing to become nurses rather than doctors, or remaining as classroom teachers rather than moving into school management. While it’s fair to ask why women make these kinds of choices, it is not surprising women are paid less for doing a different job.

The headline gender pay-gap figures also ignore the fact that more women choose to work part-time: overall, 43.2 per cent of women work part-time compared with 13.7 per cent of men. It’s long been the case that most part-time jobs are comparatively low skilled and low paid. This is beginning to change, and a significant proportion of women are now securing well-paid professional jobs before shifting to part-time work when they have children. Of women aged 30 to 39, 38.4 per cent work part-time compared with 8.4 per cent of men, but the gender pay gap for this group is actually -8.2 per cent. This group of women is earning more per hour than men. Working part-time brings with it disadvantages: it’s perhaps less easy to pick up over-time or to get chosen for promotion if you are not seen to be at your desk. Bonuses are often made dependent upon hours worked or profit generated, so if you are a woman working part-time, you will get a proportionately smaller bonus than a man working full-time. This may further explain some of the London pay gap.

A gender pay gap, albeit one that is rapidly decreasing, still exists; but the good news is that when occupation, contracted hours and most significantly age are taken into account, it all but disappears. In fact, the youngest women today, even those working part-time, are already earning more each hour than men. We need to ask why this is not more widely known and question the motives of those who seem so desperate to cling to a last-ditch attempt to prove that women remain disadvantaged. We should be telling today’s girls that the potential to do whatever job they want and earn as much money as they please is theirs for the taking, rather than burdening them with the mantle of victimhood.


Democrat Fundraises on Equal Pay, Pays Women Staffers 71 Cents on Dollar

Sen. Mark Begich (D., Alaska) is fundraising on his desire to put an end to gender pay inequality, but women currently working in his Senate office are making just 71 cents for each dollar paid to men.

“Alaska women make just 74 cents on the dollar compared to Alaska men,” wrote Begich in an email to supporters this week. “And anyone who wants to tell Alaska women that they’re not working hard enough should be ready to find out just how tough Alaska women are.”

The average female salary in Begich’s office is a staggering $23,504 less than the average male salary. Women working for Begich are paid just 71 cents for each dollar paid to men, even less than the statewide statistic used by the senator in his email.

Begich lags behind his fellow Democratic senators on the issue of equal pay. Though more than two-thirds of Democratic senators pay women less than men, the average male salary is just over $5,500 higher, which is far less than the $23,504 gap that exists for Begich.

“Equal pay for equal work is more than just a matter of fairness—it’s a smart way to help working families achieve the American dream,” wrote Begich.



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 August, 2014

Multicultural daylight robbery in Britain

Police have released terrifying CCTV footage of a thug getting ready to rob a woman in broad daylight by putting on a Rastafarian fancy dress wig.

The man, described as a bald black male aged 30 to 40, was captured on camera pulling a comedy Rasta hat and wig from the front of his trousers before putting it on his head.

He then ran up to a 40-year-old woman outside a home and snatched her bag from her, which broke her arm as she fell to the ground.

The incident happened on July 4 in Waltham Forest, east London, at around 1.30pm.

In a statement, the victim said: 'This attack has left me afraid to leave my home alone.  'I have been in constant pain since it happened and I don’t yet know if my arm will ever completely heal.

'It scares me that this man is still out there possibly doing this to other people. He probably picked on me because I was an easy target.  'I pray that he will be caught and brought to justice for what he has done and that this won’t happen to anyone else.'

Following the attack, the victim said: 'This attack has left me afraid to leave my home alone'

The contents of the victim’s handbag included cash, a Samsung mobile phone, her Oyster card and a number of personal items and bank cards.

Anyone who has information concerning the identity of the suspect in this case should call Detective Constable Rina Nandra of Waltham Forest CID.

A Met Police spokesman said: 'CCTV footage from the scene of the incident showed the suspect putting on a ‘Rastafarian-style’ wig with dreadlocks attached as he approached the victim.

'Attached to the wig was a red, yellow and green beanie hat. The victim was attacked from behind, her handbag was pulled violently from the shoulder strap.

'When she attempted to hold onto the bag the suspect punched her in the hand. As the bag came free of the victim’s hand she fell backwards. 'During the struggle the victim sustained a broken arm.'


Cinema apologises after friends 'are turned away by security guard because they were not a Muslim family celebrating Eid'

A sales consultant was allegedly turned away from a busy cinema yesterday because he was not a Muslim celebrating Eid.

Leon Jennings had been visiting Birmingham’s Star City entertainment complex with two friends.  But as the 22-year-old tried to enter the Vue cinema based on the site, which includes dozens or bars and restaurants, he said he was turned away by a security guard.

After asking them why, Mr Jennings claimed he was told by staff that film showings were only for couples and families celebrating the end of the Muslim festival.

Mr Jennings and his three friends were allegedly forced to turn around and go home unable to watch a film at the complex, because ‘they did not look like they celebrated Eid’.

Today he said he was left feeling embarrassed by the incident and felt discriminated against for being white.

The revelation has caused outrage as other visitors reported similar experiences across the venue, which is based in the Aston area of the city, where 87 per cent of residents are from an ethnic group other than white.

Mr Jennings, a viewing consultant at a photography studio, from Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, said: ‘I was going there with my pals to the cinema as it’s Orange Wednesdays, so you get two for one.

‘As we drove in the bloke on the gate said to use “not tonight guys, it’s couples and families only”. We thought he was just joking and went and parked up.

‘We tried to get into the cinema and the security guy stopped us from going in. He said we couldn’t go in because it was only couples and families celebrating Eid.

‘I tried to point out that there were loads of group of lads who were Asian being allowed in but that made no difference.

‘Thinking back we should have fought our ground more but at the time we were just shocked at what had happened. He said to us we didn’t look like we were celebrating Eid.

‘He was making assumptions about my religion and banning me based on my skin colour. It’s not like we are trouble makers - we are mature, all dressed respectably and just wanted to go see a film.

‘It will just be seen as blatant racism. You have to admit that if it was done for any other celebration, like Christmas or anything, there would be uproar.

‘I also know about the festival, and it is supposed to be a festival of togetherness and welcoming - no one should be turned away. The only thing this is going to cause is problems in the communities.

‘Everyone I have spoken to about it is shocked that they could let this happen, and it seems to have happened to more people as well.’

Other people reported similar experiences yesterday - which marked the end of Ramadan, when Muslims fast for a month.

Housing worker Emma Noakes said on Facebook: ‘My friend’s family have just been refused entry at Vue cinema as they are not Muslim - this is a shocking disgrace.  ‘If the shoe was on the other foot there would be uproar.  Can you imagine banning all Muslims to star city because it’s Christmas?’

A spokesman for Vue cinemas said: ‘We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to our guests who tried to gain access to our Birmingham Star City cinema.

‘As a company we welcome customers from all religious and cultural backgrounds. We are investigating this directly with the Star City management team as a matter of urgency.’

A Star City spokesman said they were not aware of any of incidents of people being turned away on ground of religion taking place.


Megyn Kelly ‘Sets Record Straight’ on Comparing Cop Killer to MLK

Labor activists continue to press a school district in Oakland, Calif., to teach that a notorious cop killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is a civil rights hero worthy of honor alongside Martin Luther King Jr.  On Tuesday night, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly allowed that case to be made by Johanna Fernandez, coordinator for the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, but also – in Kelly’s words – “set the record straight.”

In the video, Kelly loses patience with comparisons to King after her guest defends the convicted killer of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner by talking about “a long history in this country of criminalization of black people” and arguing that, before his murder, King was becoming “a radical” like Abu-Jamal.

The Daily Signal previously reported on President Obama’s nomination of one of Abu-Jamal’s lawyers, Debo Adegbile, to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division. The Senate ultimately rejected Adegbile in a close vote that Obama called “a travesty.”


Anti-Israel activists are the attack dogs of a new Western imperialism

There are many striking things about the radical rage against Israel that has swept the Western world. There’s its blinkeredness, where these agitators obsess over acts of war carried out by Israel while saying precisely nothing about Kiev’s bombing of civilians in east Ukraine, or America’s resumption of drone attacks in Pakistan, or Egypt the alleged peacemaker’s massacre of more civilians in three days last year than Israel has killed in four weeks in Gaza. There’s its weird intensity, where for some inexplicable reason radicals and liberals are always made more spittle-producing furious by Israel than they are by any other state, issue or war on Earth. There’s its ugly tendency towards racism, where everywhere from London to Paris to Berlin we’ve seen protesters holding up placards depicting hook-nosed Jews feasting on Palestinian blood or heard them chanting ‘Victory to Hamas, Jews to the gas!’.

And there’s another striking, more uncommented-on thing about these red-mist protests against Israel: the extent to which their ostensibly anti-war activists borrow from the language of Western imperialism itself for their denunciations of Israel.

It’s remarkable. Whether they’re branding Israel a ‘rogue state’, or pleading with Western governments to label it a ‘pariah state’, or demanding severe economic sanctions against it, or calling on the UN to cast it out of the family of nations or on the International Criminal Court to drag it by the scruff of its bloodied neck into the dock and charge it with ‘war crimes’, these campaigners who pose as anti-war, who imagine themselves as heirs to the anti-imperialist movements of the twentieth century, actually attempt to marshal the institutions of imperialism itself in their campaign to demonise, isolate and punish Israel. Where pretty much every anti-war demo I went on in my youth involved people hollering ‘Hands off!’ at Western governments – ‘Hands off Haiti’, ‘Hands off Yugoslavia’, ‘Hands off Iraq’ – the message of the anti-Israel paroxysm is the exact opposite: these people are calling for ‘Hands on’, for the West to Do Something, to get stuck in, to intervene both to ‘save Gaza’ (like good, caring colonialists) and to reprimand Israel (like good, angry colonialists).

Israel has become a rogue state for the right-on, the wicked, warped entity Over There that decent-minded liberal folk can rail against, and dream of waging war on, in exactly the same way George W Bush related to Iraq. An anti-war movement? It’s the opposite. The current street-based fury with Israel is best seen, not as any kind of independent or progressive or peacenik grouping, but rather as the protesting wing of the West itself, as the attack dogs of Western institutions’ own exasperation with Israel and their desire to distance themselves from it. These campaigners are effectively pleading with the powers of the West to make good on their post-Cold War promise to rethink their relationship with Israel, and ideally to cast it out entirely from what we view as ‘the civilised world’ (that is, us).

Language is always revealing. And the language used by huge swathes of today’s anti-Israel movement is virtually indistinguishable from the language used over the past 30 years by Western imperialism. On the big Gaza demo in London last weekend, the protesters ‘declared Israel a rogue state’, news reports inform us. One of the speakers, Baroness Jenny Tonge – who once said she might become a suicide bomber if she were a Palestinian, and yet has managed never to blow herself up in the Houses of Parliament despite the fact that it has okayed far worse acts of war than Israel over the past 15 years – said: ‘Israel can no longer be regarded as part of the family of nations – it is a rogue state.’ A writer for the Chicago Tribune says it is time that even America started to look upon Israel as a ‘pariah state’. ‘Israel is becoming a rogue state’, says another observer, before expressing his sorrow that ‘the international community [seems] totally powerless to rein it in’. Radical writers like John Pilger have also called Israel a ‘rogue state’, while Norman Finkelstein says it isn’t only a rogue – it is a ‘state of insanity’.

What we have here are not independent activists pushing forward their own, radical take on global affairs and Middle Eastern politics, but uncritical repeaters of the West’s own imperialist propaganda, only aimed at Israel rather than, say, Iraq. The term ‘rogue state’ was devised by American imperialism in the mid-1990s and intended as a slightly more PC way of establishing a divide between us civilised nations in the West and those less reliable, somewhat unhinged, possibly savage nations elsewhere. Tracing the history of the phrase for his book Rogue Regime, Jasper Becker says the branding ‘rogue state’ was intended to be used by the West as a ‘certificate of dangerous insanity in the diplomatic world’, and was often a prelude to military intervention or sanctions against an allegedly fallen state. Anti-Israel activists now ape such highly moralised Western posturing, using terms like ‘rogue’ and ‘insane’ to brand Israel as no longer ‘part of the family of nations’ – that is, no longer civilised, no longer Western, no longer one of us.

Not content with using imperialism’s language, they also want to use its institutions and its tools against Israel. The UK Palestine Solidarity Campaign has started a mass letter-writing campaign to the UK Foreign Office asking it to impose economic sanctions on Israel – an open-and-shut case of demanding that Western imperialism use its significant clout to punish an errant state Over There. Other radicals have demanded that Israel should be dragged to the International Criminal Court, another imperialistic institution that exists to allow civilised Western powers to, in the words of one critical ICC barrister, ‘try those lesser breeds – the Africans’. Today, Israel is the lesser breed, the new Africans, in the eyes of its critics. And some are calling for actual Western intervention against Israel. A writer for the Guardian says, ‘The international community should intervene to restrain Israel’s army’.

To depict the current anti-Israel hysteria as the descendant of the independent anti-war movements of the past is a severe error, for what we really have here is a rabble-like offshoot of the West’s own new imperialism, a movement with dreams of demonisation, a thirst for punishment, a lust for war, even. This was summed up in the headline to a recent piece published by the Stop the War movement – ‘Time to go to war with Israel as the only path to peace in the Middle East’ – which was ostensibly about marshalling grassroots groups to delegitimise the state of Israel but which also captured brilliantly Western radicals’ Victorian-like violent urge for punishment of the rogue, criminal, uncivilised Israel. The fact that it is more a colonialist instinct than anti-imperialist principle that motors modern-day fury with Israel might go some way to explaining its frequent lapses into racism, into the depiction of Israel / the Jews not only as politically problematic but as racially warped, innately cruel, and in need of restraint and punishment by outsiders who know better, who are better.

Indeed, the most striking thing about today’s pseudo-radical rage with Israel is how closely it echoes what actual respectable politicians in the West are now saying. The protesters’ talk of Israel being a ‘pariah state’ was bolstered by the comments of none other than UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond, whose recent statement about Westerners feeling ‘less and less sympathetic to Israel’ led to headlines such as: ‘Israel the pariah state? UK foreign minister warns Western support is waning.’ John Prescott, the former Labour deputy prime minister of Britain, caused great joy among anti-Israel agitators when he suggested Israel is becoming a ‘pariah state’, which might soon require ‘condemn[ation] by the United Nations, the US and the UK’. He even used the term ‘regime change’ in relation to Israel, just as his government did in relation to Iraq, unleashing untold bloodshed there, which speaks volumes about the less-than-peaceful, far-from-progressive outlook that now fuels fury with Israel. Even US officials are being more openly critical of Israel. Indeed, the current war of words between the Obama administration and the Israeli government, where, in the words of the New Republic, Israel now ‘fears that the Obama administration doesn’t really support Israel in its struggle against Hamas’, gives the lie to the idea that America is still some kind of uncritically supportive big brother to the state of Israel.

What has become clear over the past three or four weeks is the extent to which Western attitudes and world opinion on Israel have changed. They have changed utterly. In essence, the nations and institutions of the West, once keen supporters of Israel, have now turned against the Jewish State, coming to view it as a pest and possibly even a pariah. Some streetfighting anti-Israel activists love to point out that America continues to fund Israel to the tune of $3 billion a year, because it allows them to pose, for a fleeting moment, as radical, as the opponents of massive powers and big money. The truth is far harder for them to swallow – which is that the continuities in America’s economic relationship with Israel disguise some profound political shifts in the relationship between these two nations, whereby America is becoming increasingly like Europe: frustrated with Israel, sometimes infuriated by it, probably wishing it would disappear or at least be more pliant. This speaks to some major shifts in world affairs in the post-Cold War period. Where in the Cold War era Israel was viewed and treated by the West as a kind of useful policeman in a Middle East that had large Arab nationalist movements funded by the Soviet Union, in the post-Cold War world Israel has come to be seen as surplus to requirements, as a state not really needed now that the Soviet Union is out of the picture and when the big conflicts in that part of the world are no longer West/East in nature but rather are increasingly localised, regional, even religious and intra-Islamist. Anti-Israel radicals cannot admit to the West’s effective abandonment of Israel, for to do so would expose the extent to which their own street-based agitation against the Jewish State is but a more shouty version of Western imperialism’s own judgement that Israel has gone from being important to being irritating.

Yet the political bond, the moral closeness, between Western officialdom and anti-Israel radicals is revealed in the fact that these radicals frequently marshal the moral authority of Western institutions when they denounce Israel. Most strikingly, they constantly cite UN rulings against Israel. What these agitators really represent is not anti-imperialism but a new Western imperialism, one in which the West is held up as superior to the rest of the world on the basis of its humanitarianism, its devotion to following the law in warzones, its elevation of the needs of the ‘international community’ over the grubby, self-serving interests of individual states, and so on. Anti-Israel radicals effectively call on the West to go further in its post-Cold War distancing from Israel, to demonise and delegitimise Israel even more, to assert its own decency and values through more openly denouncing Israel and perhaps even punishing it. It is a very odd anti-war movement indeed that rehabilitates the moral authority of Western institutions to decide which foreign states are wicked and how harshly they should be punished.

There is nothing remotely progressive in today’s myopic, disproportionate Western fury with Israel. On the contrary, it is a profoundly ugly phenomenon, masquerading as a peace movement but actually devoting its energies to drumming up hatred, sanctions and possibly even intervention against a state that it has found guilty in the kangaroo court of liberal opinion of being a ‘rogue’. It is always concerning when Western activists and institutions try to have foreign states written off as ‘criminal’ and ‘insane’, for such judgements further moralise and destabilise international affairs, resurrecting the divide between the civilised nations and the savage nations and making war more rather than less likely. But it’s particularly concerning to see Israel branded a ‘rogue state’. For whether you like it or not, Israel is intimately bound up with the Jewish people. Recent outbursts of anti-Semitism in Europe suggest it could be a short step indeed from labelling Israel a rogue state to looking upon the Jews themselves as rogues.



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 August, 2014

My Fellow Canadian

by Mark Steyn

"Canadians" protest against Israel at Queen's Park this weekend

Ever since the weekend, I've been looking at the photo above. It's a close-up of a picture that forms part of Richard K's photographic scrapbook of the annual "al-Quds Day" rally in my home town of Toronto. "Al-Quds" is the Arab name for Jerusalem, and this event, if not quite as big as the LGBTQWERTY parade, enjoys a similar official imprimatur: the Government of Ontario gives permission for it to be held at Queen's Park, home of the provincial parliament. At this year's shindig, Gaza was the big grievance, and there was a lot of undisguised Jew-hatred in the air.

But, as I said, it's the photograph at right that's been weighing on me: A man at the rally holding up a portrait of Ayatollah Khomeini. We can't see his face, but he's wearing a baseball cap and in his left hand he's holding a smart phone. So he looks like a perfectly assimilated immigrant. And yet with his right hand he's proudly displaying a photograph of the Ayatollah - presumably his, and evidently a picture he's fond of, because he's gone to the trouble of putting it in a frame.

And the guy alongside him is evidently unconcerned about being next to a fellow brandishing a framed portrait of Khomeini.

This is Toronto on a summer weekend in 2014.

A third of a century back, BBC TV had a comedy show called "Not The Nine O'Clock News", starring among others Rowan Atkinson (of Blackadder, Mister Bean et al). One week, Pamela Stephenson sang a song called "Ayatollah, Don't Khomeini Closer". If memory serves, the lyric was by Richard Curtis, who went on to films such as Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones' Diary and Love, Actually, and who married my old "Loose Ends" pal Emma Freud; and the music was by Howard Goodall, to whom I have a certain antipathy because back when I badly needed the money Channel 4 fired me from a telly gig and got Howard in instead. But, personal bitterness aside, Goodall and Curtis did a rather good job with the Ayatollah Khomeini song. I always liked this quatrain:

Though you are stubborn as a mule
I want you to be my man
I may be in England
But my heart's a hostage in Iran...

"Ayatollah, don't Khomeini closer..." You could do numbers like that 34 years ago because you could assume that almost everyone watching thought Iran's leader was a barbarian nut rather than a pin-up for your drawing room.

Can you still do satirical songs about Khomeini on the Beeb? Or do too many viewers have framed photos of the great man on their mantle? In the intervening years, the Ayatollah has come a lot closer. In Canada, short of delivering the Throne Speech inside the building, he can't get much closer: he's proudly on parade at the legislature of the Dominion's most powerful province - and nobody minds.

As it happens, in the three "human rights" suits the Canadian Islamic Congress brought against me, one of the complaints was that I'd quoted the Ayatollah. (There's an exhaustive account in my piece "The Shagged Sheep", which is included in my book Lights Out, available in personally autographed hardback edition from the Steyn store, or in non-autographed instant-gratification eBook edition from Amazon et al.) Specifically speaking, in the course of reviewing a book by Oriana Fallaci, I'd quoted some of the Ayatollah's dating advice:

A man who has had sexual relations with an animal, such as a sheep, may not eat its meat. He would commit sin.

The Canadian Islamic Congress and its sock-puppet "plaintiffs" considered this "hate speech". Pearl Eliadis, the "human rights lawyer" - ie, bigtime state-censorship enthusiast - wrote:

Mark Steyn's blurring of the lines between Ayotollah Khomeini's views on sex with animals and children and "contemporary Islam" goes further, I think, than most Canadian journalists have ventured before.

In the famous edition of TVO's "Agenda", in which I wound up meeting the three sock puppets face to face, Khurrum Awan took the same line as Ms Eliadis - that Khomeini was an "obscure figure", and by quoting extremists I was implicitly linking them to Canadian Muslims.

Yet here are Canadian Muslims explicitly linking themselves to Ayatollah Khomeini. Nor was he the only Iranian bigshot on display at Queen's Park. Among the others was Khomeini's successor as Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

I wonder if any of the non-Muslim Jew-haters out and about on Saturday looked at that Khomeini portrait and felt a little queasy. You sign on for a little light anti-Semitism - getting your pension fund to divest from Israel, which is the 21st century equivalent of getting your country club to nix the Jews - and next thing you know you're standing next to a fellow who's hot for the Ayatollah. And at that point, if you've got any sense of self-preservation, you'll realize it's not really about the Jews anymore, it's about you.

Canada used to be a country proud of its role in helping keep some of those American embassy staff out of the Ayatollah's clutches. The Khomeinibopper at Queen's Park would gladly have handed them over. Yet he's as Canadian as you, at least de jure. And given Canadian immigration and demographic trends how many more who think like him will be at the al-Quds rally by 2020?

Here's another quote from Maclean's that Pearl Eliadis didn't care for - from my colleague Barbara Amiel:

Normally, a people don't willingly acquiesce in the demise of their own culture, especially one as agreeable as Western democracy, but you can see how it happens. Massive Muslim immigration takes place and at the time, no one gives much thought to consequences.

One consequence is the man in the baseball cap with a smart phone in one hand and a Khomeini pin-up in the other.

Ayatollah, don't Khomeini closer? Too late.

~South of the border, at The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, they're already assimilating with the incomers, with one of those everything-in-the-west-comes-from-Islam pieces that really ought to have their own category in the Pulitzers by now:

Some scholars believe that Muslims came to America from West Africa and Europe (Muslim Spain and Portugal) long before Columbus. The theory is still not widely accepted, but it is based on interesting evidence. There is no doubt that Muslims made up a considerable portion of the West Africans who were enslaved and brought to North, South and Central America during the four grueling centuries of the Atlantic slave trade. Conservative estimates say they made up one out of every 10, but sometimes (in states like South Carolina and Louisiana) they made up as much as one out of every three.

The Muslim slaves of antebellum America left some of their culture behind. Many musicologists believe that the American blues and jazz traditions owe much to West African Muslim folk music, especially the beautiful West African Muslim songs sung with the 21-string kora.

I knew most western literature was Muslim - from Sheikh Speare to Louisa May al-Cott - but the jazz and blues thing was new to me. Must remember to check out some of those great little jazz joints in Riyadh next time I'm there. Incidentally, if you woke up this morning and your sheep done left you, the Ayatollah Khomeini recommends you sing a 12-baa blues.


Women Against Feminism blog sparks fierce backlash over statements such as 'I like it when men compliment my body'

A provocative Tumblr blog called Women Against Feminism is kicking up a predictable storm amongst women who do identify as feminists.

The blog collects photos of women posing with hand-written signs that all begin: 'I don't need feminism because...' - and are peppered with a variety of reasons, common themes including: 'I am not a victim,' 'I'm proud to be a stay-at-home mom,' and 'I love chivalry.'

Largely, the response to this blog - especially to posts such as 'I don't need feminism because I like when men say compliments about my body!' - has been less than favorable, with reactions ranging from mockery and disregard, to all-out horror.

The campaign is reminiscent of the 2012 Who Needs Feminism Tumblr, which invited women to share their reasons for being pro-feminist, although Women Against Feminism don't claim their blog is a response to it.

Women Against Feminism has triggered countless angry responses, largely accusing submitters of having completely missed the concept of feminism, and branding them 'naive,' 'selfish,' and 'poorly educated.'

Posts such as these were especially criticized: 'I don't need feminism because my self-worth is not directly tied to the size of my victim complex!' And: 'As a woman in the Western world, I am not oppressed and neither are you!'

As a point of reference, the dictionary definition of the term describes feminism as: 'The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.' The anonymous founder of the blog feels, however, that many modern feminists don't subscribe to this.

'Feminism is not what it claims to be,' she writes. 'Anyone can recite a dictionary definition. But my rejection of feminism comes from more real-life reasons.'

'I don't need feminism because I don't need to grow out my body hair to prove I'm equal to men,' one submission reads.

Another vented: 'Respecting my husband as the MAN in our marriage does not make me less of a woman! I don't need to demonize men.'

'How the f**k am I supposed to open jars and lift heavy things without my husband?'

Also found on Women Against Feminism are frequent posts from stay-at-home moms, such as: 'I don't need feminism because I made my own choice to be a stay at home mother and my working husband should not be harassed.'

Then there were several mentions of rape, with one woman posting: 'I don't need feminism because getting drunk at a party and having sex with a stranger is just irresponsibility, not rape!'

The blog prompted one feminist, writer Rebecca Brink, to respond with a slew of satirical posts.

'I don't need feminism because I want boys to like me,' reads one, while another states: 'I don't need feminism because the only way I think I can get along in this world is by pandering to the status quo and sh***ing on other women.' 

She also fed into the shared view of several others, that many of the Women Against Feminism submitters were simply too young to fully understand certain issues surrounding the concept.

'I don't need feminism because I'm a teenager who hasn't entered the workforce yet and I don't know what constant sexual harassment or watching unqualified people get promoted over me feels like,' Ms Brink posted.

Joanne Sandler, a feminist who has been working with women's right initiatives in more than 80 countries for over 40 years, spoke to MailOnline about her view on the Women Against Feminism blog.

She said: 'If the women "don't need" feminism because they have transcended gender discrimination and inequality, more power to them... They've achieved a feminist utopia. That's good news!

'The fact that they understand feminism in a way that is different from my daily reality and understanding is something that I can live with.

'I hope they keep talking about feminism. We need the publicity. It will guarantee that feminism will still be there when and if they are interested.'

In response to the backlash they have faced, Women Against Feminism issued the following statement on its Facebook page, which has amassed over 13,800 'likes' and counting: 'So feminists have been calling us lots of names lately.

'Basically they are saying, "You're too stupid to know what you want. You need us to tell you what's good for you. And if you try to get away, we will throw insults"... Are all feminists like this? No. Are a lot of them like this? Yes. Just look at how the "feminist media" has treated us this week.'


Don't be embarrassed to challenge Muslim treatment of women, justice minister says

Britain should not be “culturally embarrassed” about challenging Muslims over wearing veils or segregating women in mosques, the justice minister has said.

Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat minister, said women and men must be allowed to sit together to “challenge people’s beliefs and practices” and take on Muslim “hardliners and fanatics” who oppose equality.

Mr Hughes said that a “cultural shift” was working its way through Britain’s Muslim communities in favour of equality. Those who were unwilling to accept examples of such parity, such as men and women worshiping in the same mosques, were now “losing the battle”, he said.

Speaking at an event highlighting the illegal practice of female genital mutilation the Justice minister said: “Islam absolutely values women from the beginning, women were tremendously important at the time of the prophet Mohammed… there were huge numbers of statements about equality and participation.

“And that is a cultural shift that is now working its way through the community and the hardliners the fanatics who are unwilling to accept equality are losing the battle - the last example is obviously many mosques still have separate worship.

“That’s fine, but not all do. “There are mosques here which now have women and men worshiping in the same mosque at the same time whether it is during Ramadan or another time.”

Last year Jeremy Browne, the then Home Office minister, prompted criticism when he called for a “national debate” about banning whether the state should step in to protect young women from having the veil “imposed” on them.

Mr Hughes said since then it has more acceptable to challenge other cultures and religions on traditions that appear to conflict with established British values of equality.

Part of this shift, he said, was that political leaders had made a “personal commitment” to challenge communities publicly about FGM.

He added: “There was a nervousness that you were trespassing on a cultural space that was inappropriate a bit like the nervousness there sometimes is about what clothing people can wear, what veils people can wear, face covering people can wear at school, that issue that is it disrespectful that if you give evidence in a court you should be required to lift your veil – and there was lots of cultural embarrassments, and we have broken though that now.

“It is no longer culturally embarrassing in this country challenge people’s beliefs and practices. That is the difference, and now that people are clear, like after the European Court Judgement, that they are allowed to wear things that indicate their faith – in that case it was a cross, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your work.

“I think people feel much more that they can challenge other things. So there is now an ability to take on the debate and to challenge the people who have very traditional views and misinterpret views.”


DOJ Says Pa. State Police Discriminated Against Women Who Flunked Physical Fitness Tests

The Obama administration is suing the Pennsylvania State Police for requiring both men and women applying for entry-level trooper jobs to pass the same physical fitness tests.

Because more men than women pass the tests, their use is discriminatory and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Justice Department says.

Because female applicants failed the 2003 physical fitness test and the revised 2009 test at "statistically higher rates than male applicants, female applicants were less likely to proceed through the selection process and thus less likely to be hired as entry-level troopers," DOJ stated in its lawsuit.

The Justice Department notes that from 2003 through 2008, the Pennsylvania State Police used a physical fitness test consisting of five events: a 300-meter run; sit-ups; push-ups; a vertical jump; and a 1.5-mile run. Applicants were required to pass each event to continue in the selection process for entry-level troopers.

From 2003-2008, approximately 94 percent of male applicants passed the test, while only 71 percent of female applicants passed.

In 2009, the state police added new elements to the physical fitness test, and between 2009 and 2012, approximately 98 percent of male applicants passed the revised test, while approximately 72 percent of female applicants passed.

In both time periods, the female pass rate was less than 80 percent of the male pass rate, which DOJ considers "statistically significant."

Justice Department employees figure it this way: "If, between 2003 and 2012, female applicants had passed the 2003 PFT (physical fitness test) and 2009 PFT at the same rate as male applicants, approximately 119 additional women would have been available for further consideration for the position of entry-level trooper, resulting in approximately 45 additional women being hired as entry-level troopers."

DOJ concluded that the 2003 and the 2009 tests were "not job-related" and "not consistent with business necessity..."

The lawsuit stated, "There are alternatives...for screening and selecting applicants for entry-level trooper positions, that have less disparate impact on women and would serve (Pennsylvania State Police's) legitimate interests."

But the Pennsylvania State Police website makes it clear that the job of a State Trooper can be physically demanding.

"Essential job functions" of Pennsylvania State Troopers include:

-- Arresting people, "forcibly if necessary";

-- Subduing resisting suspects;

-- Pursuing fleeing suspects and performing rescue operations "which may involve quickly entering and exiting law enforcement vehicles; lifting, carrying and dragging heavy objects; climbing over and pulling up oneself over obstacles; jumping down from elevated surfaces; climbing through openings; jumping over obstacles, ditches and streams; crawling in confined areas; balancing on uneven or narrow surfaces and using body force to gain entrance through barriers."

-- Performing rescue functions at accidents, emergencies and disasters, which includes "directing traffic for long periods of time, administering emergency medical aid, lifting, dragging and carrying people away from dangerous situations and securing and evacuating people from particular areas."

The Pennsylvania State Police website notes that successful applicants "must be able to perform ALL of the above essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation upon completion of the training program."


The Justice Department lawsuit faults the Pennsylvania State Police for refusing to take "appropriate action" to correct its discriminatory practices; and refusing to "make whole" (compensate) female applicants who were harmed by the "unlawful use" of the physical fitness tests.

The compensation would include back pay with interest, offers of employment, retroactive seniority, and "other benefits to women who have suffered losses or will suffer losses as a result of the discriminatory policies and practices" alleged in the complaint.

“The Department of Justice is deeply committed to eliminating artificial barriers that keep qualified women out of public safety work,” said Jocelyn Samuels, acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, in announcing the lawsuit.   “The Justice Department will continue to challenge discriminatory hiring practices that unnecessarily exclude qualified applicants on account of sex.”

The lawsuit seeks a court order that would require the Pennsylvania State Police to stop using the challenged physical fitness tests; develop hiring procedures that comply with Title VII; and compensate individual women who have been harmed as a result of the defendants’ use of the challenged physical fitness tests.

This is not the first time the Justice Department has sued a police agency.

Several years ago, the Justice Department took legal action against the Corpus Christi, Texas police department on similar grounds.

That case, finally settled in May 2013, required Corpus Christi police to replace the physical fitness tests it had been using for applicants; and distribute $700,000 in back pay to eligible female applicants who took and failed the challenged physical abilities test between 2005 and 2011.

Title VII prohibits both intentional discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin and religion as well as employment practices that result in a disparate impact upon a protected group, unless the practices are job-related and consistent with business necessity.



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


Examining political correctness around the world and its stifling of liberty and sense. Chronicling a slowly developing dictatorship

BIO for John Ray

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 chidren 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

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.

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."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amedment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

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.

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

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

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