PC WATCH Mirror by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)

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, 2015

The Feminist War on Family Science

Another comment on feminist "research" here.  Also see here and here

Few social science findings are as durable, consistent, and striking as the idea that children fare better when under the care of two biological parents (on a whole slew of indicators).  This is as close to a law of gravity as we have in sociology.

Unfortunately, there are a slew of scholars who have ignored the science, and instead argue that sociology cannot prove that children fare better with parents who are traditionally married.

The effect of this feminist war on family science—waged by Martha Fineman, Linda McClain, and Elizabeth Brake—has been staggering.

For example, defenders of traditional marriage recently pointed to family science facts in court proceedings on same-sex marriage and were forced to defend state laws favoring traditional marriage as if they were discriminatory.

In order to defend such laws, they had to prove that the state’s discrimination served a “compelling state interest” on behalf of children.

Social science studies are, however, as I say, on the side of traditional marriage.

Those who helped design legal strategies and briefs on this topic thought that the courts were putting a gun to the head of traditional marriage and forcing it to come up with the goods.

We hoped we could, under these unfavorable conditions, still win the argument on the basis of evidence.

For such arguments to win the day, judges and justices have to be willing to listen to the data. There were reasons not to be optimistic that they would be open to persuasion.

As I say, few findings in social science are as well-established as the idea that children raised by two biological parents are better-educated, commit fewer crimes, have more self-control, and do better on almost every measure of well-being than children living with single parents, from divorces, living with step-parents, and so on.

Long term studies beginning in the 1970s have shown this to be true. The most significant data on this has been available since the late 1980s, with more and more data accumulating as the years proceed.

There was a cascade of studies and prominent books on the topic in 2000, and subsequent work has done nothing but buttress such findings.

I hesitate to mention any single individual on this topic, but Robert Rector, David Popenoe, and David Blankenhorn were crucial in the early stages of this project, while few have been as important as W. Bradford Wilcox in the latest stages.

Before these findings were dismissed in court, feminists and contemporary liberals confronted them and denigrated them.

The various arguments that these feminist “scholars” have made reveal an ideological blindness that is not open to reason and evidence.

Liberal Scholars Ignore the Science

Exhibit A is Martha Fineman, author of “The Autonomy Myth” and professor at Emory University.  She discredits research in several ways.

First, she claims there is a “feedback loop,” within which family decline literature should be dismissed.  “The results of only some studies (those supporting the family disintegration thesis) get publicized and aggressively made part of policy discourse through think tanks and advocates with access to media.”

Then, in the usual manner, she cites countervailing studies—studies that show that kids of divorce or products of single parents do just fine, thank you.

Or, to be more precise, these countervailing studies show that “association is not causation” or that the effects are difficult to state or that decline does not necessarily lead to such effects or that they demonstrate the problem of a spurious relationship or a selection bias.  This exhausts what I remember from methods classes.

Fineman concludes that the science of family decline is still in the boyhood of knowledge and cannot be relied on or should not be relied on.

One wonders if she would have had the same hesitancy if the results had pointed in the other direction!

This brings Fineman to her second point.  “Even if” the social science on the children is correct, the “analysis fails to consider, let alone add to the equation, the cost suffered by women (and ultimately the children they care for) if we deter divorce or punish single motherhood through establishing economic and normative disincentives.”

Actually, such questions have been addressed more than once, and the findings suggest that women too are better off in marriage than outside of it.

Fineman represents the “science is not settled” strategy: if all the studies agree, she denigrates them as part of a “feedback loop.”  She pounces on the difficulty of conducting experiments in a social setting. She searches, mostly in vain, for studies that point in the other direction

Interestingly, Fineman cites New York University Professor Judith Stacey regarding the feedback loop, and then several subsequent feminist scholars cite Stacey and Fineman about the feedback loop.  It is almost as if there is a feminist feedback loop about the feedback loop.

Role of Traditional Family

Exhibit B is Linda McClain, who published a very comprehensive book on family policy, “The Place of Families,” in 2006. McClain puts “gendered” or traditional marriage in her crosshairs.

She claims that marital families should not be “the sole proxy for family forms that secure child well being” and that the traditional family promotes gender hierarchy, domestic violence, and male entitlement.

The harm to children seems to be a price McClain is willing to pay for greater female equality, understood as greater advances in an autonomous life for women.

Perhaps these harms can be minimized as we search for alternatives to the individualized, loving attention mothers and fathers pay their children.

What we need is high-quality, subsidized daycare and other public institutions that could replace the family. If these do not work, well, there is no back-up plan.

McClain affects not to trust the science. If she did trust the science, she would dismiss it, recognizing that this question presents an ultimate clash of values between female autonomy and child well-being.

On that clash of values, she chooses the autonomous self with capacity.

Even if the science is settled, McClain, without blinders and in full realization of what she is doing, does not care.  Other “values,” including the rearing of self-governing children, are more important than child well-being.  Public institutions, it is hoped, may also arise to help us mitigate the damage.

Expanding Marriage Even Further

Elizabeth Brake, author of “Minimizing Marriage” shows how the understanding of marriage at the heart of the same-sex movement cannot be cabined, and she welcomes a new, more minimal understanding of marriage that includes not only same-sex couples, but also a circumstance where “diverse care networks, urban tribes, best friends, quirkyalones, polyamorists,” and others can be accepted as marriage partners.

Brake is also brave in her recognition of social science data on family decline.  She concedes that if marriage is “‘for’ reproduction and child rearing … and traditional marriage were essential to child rearing, this could provide a justification for restrictive marriage laws.”

Now she does stack the deck a bit. “Essential to child rearing” is a high bar—one that I don’t think anyone seriously argues for. Brake backs away and adopts the language of “tends to” and “fosters.”

Can this be reasoned with? Perhaps.  Brake does think that “empirical findings of the benefits of marriage are mixed” and that the studies suffer from a “selection bias.” She mentions, as if on cue, that “correlation is not causation.”

(She mustn’t have gotten the memo on the feedback loop!)

Brake takes the science seriously in a sense. Her most serious problem with the social science as it exists is that it takes place in an environment of an almost tyrannical heterosexual, monogamous opinion.

Only if we conducted research in our world (the tyrannical one with very strong families, she thinks) and then conducted the same research in a world without a monogamous and “heterosexual privilege” could we make a judgment about the contributions of healthy marriage to the well-being of children.

Brake’s argument is that science can never really be settled, so society can run with the values it chooses to embrace.

The lesson from this confrontation is, I think, only reinforced by the experience of recent efforts to protect traditional marriage in the courts.

This is not an argument waged on the level of science. It is a question of “values.”

To be sure, defenders of the traditional family must use the findings of science, but in addition, they must introduce a deeper argument of ideas.

Let us talk as much about the ideas as we talk about the science itself.


Women doctors could bring Britain's NHS to its knees

Dr Max Pemberton writes cautiously below

We are facing a crisis in the NHS. It’s not a crisis caused by obesity, or dementia or binge-drinking. It’s a crisis caused by having too many women doctors.

Now, before I am inundated with accusations of misogyny, hear me out. Because I’m not suggesting for a moment that the women themselves are to blame.

Nevertheless, they are bringing the NHS to its knees — and if we don’t do something about it soon, there will be profound consequences.

This week the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health gave a stark warning that children’s wards face closure because so many paediatricians are now women and have gone on maternity leave or work part time. There simply aren’t enough senior doctors left to run departments any more.

Three-quarters of doctors training in paediatrics are women. The situation has become so bad in some areas that up to 63 per cent of shifts are being covered by locums.

In other specialities that attract women — such as general practice, where two-thirds of GPs are women — a similar staffing disaster is unfolding.

It’s affected mental health, too, which traditionally has always attracted female doctors. In my own department in the past year, four doctors out of eight have gone on maternity leave.

More and more women are coming into medicine — in some medical schools, as many as 80 per cent of students are now female, suggesting the problem is only going to get worse.

Of course, it wasn’t always like this. For years, women struggled to establish themselves as doctors. A law formally allowing them to enter the profession was not passed until 1876 and, even then, only a smattering graduated and went on to practise until well after World War II.

In the Sixties, just a quarter of medical students were female. Since then, though, the numbers rising up the ranks have rocketed. It’s predicted they’ll soon outnumber men.

But this creates challenges that, as yet, no one is addressing. Quite simply, the average male medical graduate will work full time, while the average female won’t.

In fact, a study of doctors 15 years after graduation showed that on average, after career breaks and part-time working are taken into account, women work 25 per cent less than their male counterparts.

That means, as more women enter the profession, you need more doctors. So have we seen a corresponding increase in the number of places at medical school? No.

It’s gone up slightly in recent years, but only to allow for the generally increased burden on the health service, not this fundamental demographic shift.

Areas of medicine that are not traditionally ‘family friendly’ due to the time commitments required face a particular struggle to fill posts. And I don’t just mean A&E and trauma surgery, where you need to be on constant call.

It’s also true of specialisms such as neurosurgery and orthopaedics, which can involve repeated, intensely complicated surgery — often over many years — that you can’t just dip in and out of.

I’m not for a minute saying female doctors aren’t a good thing. I’m relieved there are more women going into medicine as I think it’s precisely what’s needed to make it more compassionate and patient-focused.

Research published this week from Indiana University suggested that male-dominated working environments can be particularly stressful for women. But I’d argue they’re bad for men, too.

An aggressive, combative working environment isn’t enjoyable or productive. It causes stress and burn-out. Women in the workplace mean there is less bravado, less posturing.

In medicine they help generate a holistic, gentler approach with greater co-operation and planning. There’s less machismo. But that doesn’t wipe away the big, structural problem created by more part-time working and maternity leave. And it’s patients who will suffer, because it endangers continuity of care.

Medicine should be seen as a vocation, and with this comes the harsh reality that your patients have to be your priority.

It’s not sexist to point this out, and I don’t think this is a reason for fewer women to go into medicine. But it is a reason to think hard about the way we work.

I know some women doctors who have decided their choice of career simply precludes motherhood. Others, quite reasonably, think that’s too extreme — and make it practical by renegotiating roles at home.

After all, if you’re a female brain surgeon and your husband works in marketing, why should you be the one who has to give up when a baby arrives? Surely, when men have less important jobs, they should take on the childcare.

Flexible thinking — by both individuals and the NHS as a whole — is the only way forward. Otherwise, the welcome feminisation of our health service will simply cause greater and greater problems.


Ensuring a Free and Open Internet

There aren’t many things we can take for granted these days, but some things really feel as though they should be a given. A free and open Internet, for example.

Twenty years ago, it was still a novelty for many of us. But today it’s an essential part of how we live, work and play. Modern life without the freedom to find the information we need with relative ease is almost unimaginable.

But that freedom could be in jeopardy, thanks to governments in countries such as France, China, Brazil and Argentina.

To understand why, it’s important to know that the Internet freedom we enjoy comes in large part because of the fact that the United States oversees a body known as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN runs the naming function of the internet under a U.S. government contract with the Department of Commerce.

So far, so good. ICANN is the Internet administrator, so to speak, and the U.S. has been ensuring that it fully protects a free and open Internet.

But the U.S. announced last year that it wants to end its oversight role, provided it can ensure that the free Internet we all enjoy isn’t damaged in the transition.

So the U.S. insisted that ICANN work with the Internet community to create an accountability structure something that would substitute for the oversight role currently performed by the Department of Commerce. And ICANN has been working toward such a model ever since then, and even make some good progress.

But some governments – “a small, but vocal minority,” note experts Brett Schaefer and Paul Rosenzweig -- are trying to take advantage of this transition process to assert more government control of the Internet. At an ICANN meeting in Paris this summer, they insisted that governments should have an “enhanced” role in running the Internet.

You don’t have to be an expert in Internet policy to know what happens when government has an “enhanced” role in anything. Quality declines, freedom erodes, and any information that isn’t stamped “approved” becomes hard to get.

Think the idea of government control is a bogeyman? Consider “right to be forgotten” rules. As regulation expert James Gattuso recently wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, they give European Union residents the right to request that Internet search engines remove links that appear in searches for their own names.

In June, France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés ordered Google to apply “right-to-be-forgotten” globally. Google refused, but what if they are forced to comply? That would censor your Internet searches and impinge on your freedom. More importantly, it shows the kind of thing that happens when governments take a greater hand in controlling the Internet.

The U.S., along with many other countries, has opposed the idea of changing the way ICANN currently does business and giving government a greater role. “But the possibility remains that the vocal minority of governments may force ICANN to seriously consider giving them enhanced authority over ICANN decisions and, by extension, in Internet governance,” writes Schaefer and Rosenzweig.

“That is a red line that must not be crossed,” they add. “The U.S. government should reject out of hand any transition proposal that grants governments more influence over ICANN than they currently possess.”

To ensure that this doesn’t happen, Congress needs to be involved. Some lawmakers realize this, which is why the House passed the DOTCOM Act (currently pending in the Senate), which would require the Obama administration to give Congress 30 legislative days to review any proposal it approves on this matter before it is implemented.

U.S. leverage is crucial. However it’s accomplished, Congress needs to put itself in a position to reject a bad deal. The alternative -- giving more authority to authoritarian countries that see the Internet as something to be controlled for government purposes -- is unthinkable.


‘Shut Up, Bigot!’: The Intolerance of Tolerance

Conservatives are called bigots because those who embrace the new sexual mores are beholden to the new tolerance as a plausibility structure. Postmodern liberals cannot comprehend the idea that one could simultaneously reject a belief and accept the person who holds it.

America is in the midst of a raging national debate on issues surrounding sexuality and gender. If you dare to suggest that gender is determined by sex and is immutable, that same-sex sex acts are immoral, or that marriage is a permanent, exclusive union of husband and wife, then you will be called an intolerant bigot, hater, and homophobe.

Where does the charge of bigotry come from? Is it just a passing fad, a political and social tool for power and control, or do its roots go deeper?

Bigotry is defined as “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” Notice that bigotry is not intolerance toward the opinions or beliefs of persons other than yourself, but intolerance of the other person. Bigotry is not simply disagreeing with what someone else believes; it is an unwillingness to tolerate or accept the person who holds those beliefs.

A little reflection on this definition will reveal that the vast majority of bigotry accusations populating the internet and in public discourse are not legitimate ones. On the contrary, they are the consequence of a mistaken view of tolerance that is itself a product of a warped postmodern epistemology.

Two Views of Tolerance

Under the traditional view of tolerance, two aspects were required: first, that you respected the right of the person or individual in question to hold his beliefs and voice his opinions; and second, that you had a right to disagree with those beliefs and contest them both privately and publicly. As D.A. Carson paraphrases it in The Intolerance of Tolerance, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” You do not have to like the person with whom you disagree, but you do have to respect and tolerate his right to speak.

This conception entails tolerance toward the person while allowing intolerance toward beliefs. Since beliefs are abstract objects communicated through propositions in written or spoken language, they have no inherent dignity in themselves. It does them no harm or offense to disagree with them or offer a rebuttal. Disagreeing with or being intolerant of a belief, in this view, is fundamentally different from being intolerant or hateful toward the person who holds that belief. In other words, this definition is built on a clear and obvious distinction between a person and his beliefs.

The traditional understanding of tolerance reflects a certain epistemology: namely, that there is such a thing as truth, it can be known, and the best way to discover the truth is through debate, reflection, and investigation. The pursuit of truth requires mutual cooperation, serious consideration of opposing beliefs, and persuasion through the use of reason. Coercion, exclusion, slander, and threats of force have no place in the search for truth.

Over the course of the last century, however, the old view of tolerance has been slowly transformed. The emergent new tolerance holds that persons who are truly tolerant accept the views of others and treat these individuals fairly. The key distinction is that under the old tolerance, one would accept the existence of other views even while rejecting some views as false; but under the new tolerance, one accepts these other views. In other words, all views are seen as equally valid and true.

The new tolerance rejects “dogmatism and absolutism,” affirms that each person has the right to live by his convictions, and eschews imposing one’s views upon others. Yet underlying this view of tolerance is a fundamental contradiction. Is not this concept of tolerance being imposed on all peoples and cultures, in direct violation of one of its own tenets? And as Carson points out, “does not the assertion, ‘Tolerance . . . involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism’ sound a little, well . . . dogmatic and absolute?"

Therefore, despite its appeal and aplomb, the new tolerance is both intolerant and internally incoherent.

Intolerance: The Supreme Sin

A critical error of the new tolerance is that it conflates beliefs and persons. In this view, to accept divergent beliefs is to be accepting and respectful of the person who holds them; conversely, to reject a belief as untrue is thought to be a rejection of the person who holds that belief. To say, “I think your view is false,” is akin to saying something unkind and insensitive about the person with that belief.

Thus according to the new tolerance, to be intolerant toward another’s beliefs is to be intolerant toward the person. And intolerance toward persons, incidentally, is the definition of bigotry. So when traditionalists voice dissent against the array of beliefs held by sexual liberals, this is interpreted as a rejection of the people who hold those views. Thus, within the incoherent paradigm of the new tolerance, the accusation of bigotry appears justified.

For practitioners of the new tolerance, intolerance is thought to be the supreme sin because it offends and disrespects persons. No one deserves to be offended or disrespected, and such an offense is considered an assault on their very dignity as a human being. This is why the rejection of same-sex marriage, homosexual practice, and transgenderism is believed to be an attack on the dignity of people with such attractions and lifestyles. This is why Justice Kennedy, in his majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, appealed repeatedly to the dignity of LGBT individuals as a basis for their inclusion in the institution of marriage (as opposed to the metaphysical nature of marriage). To exclude them would have been an intolerant act, a defacing of their human dignity, and a supreme vice.

The claims of bigotry that stem from the new tolerance are moral claims: To reject the beliefs of the new sexual mores is to be intolerant of persons and to attack their dignity, and this is wrong. It is impossible to be a virtuous citizen if you are intolerant in this manner, and unvirtuous citizens who are bigots have no place in the public square; they are to be ridiculed, excluded, and publicly shamed.

This is why the battle for religious liberty and freedom of conscience is so important. There is the very real possibility that conservative voices and freedoms will be stamped out just as racist behaviors and attitudes have been. Some individuals naively claim that Obergefell v. Hodges will have no effect on issues of religious liberty, but such views ignore the current attacks against those who hold to traditional sexual norms.

If the current view of tolerance retains its cultural grip, conservatives will be systematically discriminated against and socially ostracized. Teachers will be excluded from faculty at liberal universities or denied tenure altogether. Businesses will be forced to abide by laws that conflict with their religious beliefs and consciences. Commencement speakers and guest lecturers will be uninvited to academic events, publishing houses and journals will refuse to print certain perspectives, colleges and universities will be denied accreditation and federal funding, and on and on. In other words, while the letter of our First Amendment rights might be upheld, their spirit and practice will be rejected by the greater society that is still functioning according to the mistaken view of tolerance.

Due to such repercussions it is imperative that conservatives, libertarians, and traditionalists work together to dislodge the new view of tolerance from its cultural pedestal.

The New Tolerance’s Rotten Postmodern Foundation

The conceptual underpinnings of the new tolerance can be traced back to postmodern epistemology. Postmodernism is complex, to be sure, but at its heart it is a form of cultural relativism. It rejects metaphysical realism in favor of the claim that reality is a social construct.

Objective and universally binding truth claims are thought to be impossible.

The only way to discredit the new intolerance is by attacking the philosophical foundations of postmodern theory. Unfortunately, postmodernism has thoroughly worked itself into Western culture, shaping Western assumptions and plausibility structures. “Plausibility structures” is a phrase coined by sociologist Peter Berger, referring to structures of thought widely and unquestionably accepted throughout a given culture. They dictate what individuals in that culture will consider to be possible or impossible, plausible or implausible.

Over the past half century, the new view of tolerance has become a foundational plank in the conceptual structure of Western thought. This means that individuals who act according to the old understanding of tolerance will be met first with befuddlement, and then with scorn. The old tolerance is unrecognizable in a culture that has embraced the new vision of tolerance and adopted it as a plausibility structure.

Conservatives who dispute the views of sexual liberalism are called bigots because those who embrace the new sexual mores are beholden to the new tolerance as a plausibility structure. Postmodern liberals cannot even comprehend how one can simultaneously reject a belief and accept the person who holds it. Thus, the charges of bigotry that spew forth reveal the intellectual and interpersonal poverty and dysfunction in which these persons live.

The Way Forward

The new tolerance turns out to be just as intolerant as the intolerance it abhors. By demanding that all views be considered equally valid, it cannot tolerate the old but correct view of tolerance, and it therefore becomes the intolerance of true tolerance. In the end, tolerance itself is destroyed, yielding instead to tyranny. When this happens, the new tolerance wields the libel of bigotry in order to intimidate and silence dissenters and impose conformity.

We must challenge postmodern thought at a fundamental level and reintroduce the old vision of tolerance into society. This will be most effective if we practice the old tolerance, visibly and powerfully demonstrating that it is possible to hold to objective truths and dissenting views while being respectful and loving toward those with whom we disagree. Such interpersonal virtues are rarely seen in a culture where social media exchanges and comment threads overflow with vitriol. Only by consistently and unfailingly teaching and practicing the old tolerance—and defending its epistemological foundations—will there be any chance of overturning the new tolerance.

So what will the future of American society and culture be? Will it be a place for true tolerance, where competing ideas and visions of human flourishing are openly and respectfully debated in the public square? Or will the new tolerance create a totalitarian regime that controls both private thought and public engagement through accusations of bigotry while masquerading as enlightenment and progress?

It’s up to American citizens to decide. We must not be intimidated, and we must not be silenced, for the freedom and flourishing of an entire culture and her people are at stake.



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


30 August, 2015

Scientists discover a way to reverse racial bias in young children.  But how firm is the effect?

I am not sure that the authors of the baby studies below  realize what they have shown.  They showed that in initial encounters babies are biased.  They simply prefer familiar appearances. But that is very temporary.  Given just a little extra information, biases vanish. People recognized as individuals tended to be accepted as individuals, despite differences in appearances.

But that is only the beginning of the story.  What happens in real life outside the deliberately limited context of a psychology laboratory?

What we do see from the experiments described below is that   "Stereotypes" are highly malleable and responsive to extra information.  They are not mentally imprisoning.  Even a little information makes a big difference to impressions.  That is in fact what the whole stereotyping literature shows.  See here, here  and here

So people do respond cautiously to differences in appearances BUT the response is very plastic.  Caution will evaporate if and only if  nothing important is associated with the different appearance.  That is the opposite of the old claim that stereotypes are rigid mental straitjackets.  Given extra information prejudgments  will in fact change rapidly -- for better or for worse.  They are very reality-sensitive.

A rather good example of that process is on view daily in Australia.  Australia has a large East Asian minority, mostly Han Chinese.  And it is so common to see young East Asian women on the arms of tall Caucasian men that one looks with some surprise at couples who are both Han.  In such couples the man will, however, invariably be a TALL Han man.   The little East Asian ladies go for tall men and they get them.  They like height and they want tall children.

And relaxed Australian whites are fine by them.  The ladies are probably in general a bit smarter than the Caucasian whites they grab but they know that the men concerned are easy-going in the  traditional Australian way so they can live with that.

But the tallest population group in Australia are dark-skinned East Africans.  Many are very tall indeed. And so many of them have come to Australia as refugees that it is common to see them lounging around the streets and shopping centres.  But I have yet to see ONE of them partnered with ANY kind of an Asian lady.

The lesson?  Easy.  Interracial relationships may start out from a simplistic base of preferring familiar appearance but the real characteristics of people rapidly come to dominate relationships. African men are generally poor, dumb and aggressive and nobody but their own women wants them, except for a very few socially marginal or foolish white females.  No Asians want them.  So the Asian ladies are racist in that they recognize real racial differences -- but they are not bigoted.  They in fact prefer a race different from their own.  They respond to important differences and ignore unimportant ones.

Reality is so much more complex than the simplistic formulas used by the Left.

Children as young as three months old have been found to have a bias towards women who are the same race as themselves.

Now, a University of Delaware scientist has discovered a simple exercise that he claims can undo this unconscious racial biases in young children.

Using the technique of measuring how much time the babies spend looking at pictures of faces, Paul Quinn has spent a decade studying how infants classify race and gender.

At six months, Quinn said, the infants were classifying faces into three groups - Caucasian, African and Asian.

He has found that, by nine months of age, infants not only distinguish racial categories but also become less able to tell different individuals apart if they are members of a less-familiar race.

For example, white infants can identify white faces as belonging to different individuals, but they are less likely to see Asian or African faces as distinct individuals.

'Might these perceptual biases we see in infants be related to the social biases that we see in older kids, beginning at three or four years of age, and adults?,' Quinn said.  'And if they are, can we use a technique to reduce bias?

'As we tried to answer this question, we hit on the idea that if the perceptual and social biases are linked, we might be able to reduce the social bias by perceptual means.'

In their latest study, published in July in the journal Developmental Science, Quinn and his collaborators in China used photos of African and Asian faces and morphed them together to create ambiguous images that looked equally African and Asian.

Some of the faces had pleasant expressions, while others looked more severe.

When researchers showed the images to four- to six-year-olds in China, the children identified the happy faces as Asian - the category they were used to seeing - and the angry faces as African, a group they rarely saw in daily life.

The scientists' wanted to see whether the children's unconscious racial biases could be disrupted. They showed the youngsters five different African faces and gave each of the individuals a name, repeating the process until the children could identify each of the five faces by name.

When the children then looked at the happy and angry ambiguous-race photos again, their bias in favour of their own racial group had dropped dramatically.

'This process of getting the kids to respond to the [five African] faces as individuals, not as a category, only takes 15-30 minutes, and it made a significant difference,' Quinn said.

'It suggests that what is a social bias has [visual] perceptual components and that it can be disrupted.'

Another, related study that Quinn conducted in his lab at UD with babies from the Newark, Delaware, area has been published online by Developmental Science, with print publication expected in the future.

In this study, researchers worked with Caucasian babies to explore how and at what ages they began forming categories of people based on the racial characteristics of faces.


Denver Corruptocrats' Chick-fil-A Smokescreen

Holier-than-thou liberals on the Denver city council are waging war on Chick-fil-A in the name of tolerance and diversity. Now, let me tell you what the squawking is really all about: It's a distraction, a feint, a mile-high smokescreen.

Spiteful Democrats claim they are upholding progressive "Denver values" by delaying approval of an airport concession contract with the Christian-owned restaurant chain. But the politically correct storm over same-sex marriage (which Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy personally opposes) is convenient cover for the local government's serial mismanagement, bloated spending and shady contracting practices.

Denver International Airport concessionaires raked in more than $322 million in gross revenue last year amid longstanding complaints of political favoritism and dirty dealing that date back to the facility's construction in the mid-1990s.

You should know that while Denver's city council leftists falsely accuse Chick-fil-A of discriminatory practices, they've been embroiled in litigation over bid-rigging allegations involving a separate $53 million airport concessions contract. Last fall, a retail group filed suit against the city council rubber-stampers and Denver International Airport officials for allegedly conspiring to help the winning bidder snag a seven-year deal to run the airport's duty-free shops.

The plaintiffs in the case, DIA Retail, uncovered what they call "systemic" misconduct and manipulation of the award process, including multiple violations of rules prohibiting contact between the winning bidder, Hudson Group, and government officials after submitting their request for proposal.

Then there's the city's own audit of the airport's "disadvantaged concessionaire program" released in May, which showed that Denver officials are much better at preaching to others about "diversity" than practicing it themselves. After finding that half of DIA's food and beverage revenue was concentrated in the hands of three operators, the auditor exposed "questionable" financial wealth claims by some concession owners certified by the city as "economically disadvantaged."

Gaming the airport contract system is as popular a Colorado pastime as skiing and rock-climbing.

In April, a jury indicted city employee Larry Lee Stevenson, a supervisor in Denver's Excise and Licensing Department, for allegedly accepting a cash bribe to help a local business get a deal to run parking operations at the airport.

DIA's nearly $40 million "minority-owned" mechanical construction contract, which the city awarded to black female businesswoman Denise Burgess, is a massive front for non-minority subcontractors, according to a Denver Post investigation last year. "Burgess Services is not equipped to carry out a mechanical project. It subcontracts the construction work to other companies," the paper found. "Yet the entire contract value counts toward the airport project's overall minority- and women-owned business-enterprise participation goal of 30 percent. In reality, minority- and women-owned businesses are doing only a fraction of the work on Burgess' contract."

And the cost of that work keeps soaring.

DIA overspending is epidemic. Another scathing audit identified skyrocketing cost overruns in the airport's hotel and transit construction project — scheduled to soar from an initial estimate of $500 million to at least $730 million — thanks to shoddy recordkeeping and nonexistent oversight.

What kind of financial controllers are at the wheel? Fraudulent accountants like Laura Trujillo, who was fired earlier this summer after the Mountain States Employers Council concluded that "there was no record of Trujillo ever having a CPA license, no record of her ever having applied for such a license, and no record of her ever having applied to take the CPA exam in Colorado."

Perhaps the sanctimonious Denver city council should spend less time finger-wagging at other businesses and more time minding its own sordid henhouse.


Canadian "Hate Speech" Proposal Threatens Free Speech

Thirteen years,thirteen honor killings, all in Muslim families, all of them in Canada. But if you should condemn those murders, you might find yourself the subject of investigation and convicted of a crime.

Quebec Human Rights Commissioner Jacques Frémont has proposed a bill "to prevent and combat hate speech and speech inciting violence."

If adopted, the law known as Bill 59 would allow Quebec's Human Rights Commission or members of the public "to initiate a 'hate speech' lawsuit against a person who makes a statement considered discriminatory against a group," Marc Lebuis, director of Point de Bascule, an organization that tracks Islamist activities in Canada, said in a recent interview.

In addition, the bill would grant the commission power to investigate people alleged to have uttered hate speech, said Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée. Those convicted of promoting hate could be fined up to $20,000 and their names would be made public and posted indefinitely to a list available online.

Most view Bill 59 as a response to pressure from Muslim groups, who have filed several complaints of "Islamophobia" and anti-Muslim hate speech in recent years. In many ways, the bill resembles UN Resolution 16/18, an initiative of the 56 Islamic States who comprise the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and which restricts speech that could be considered "discriminatory" or which defames religion and can be considered "incitement to violence." Only Bill 59 is worse: it pertains to personal, subjective, emotional responses that an individual has to something that he reads, hears, or encounters.

That this proposed statute flies in the face of everything we in the United States as well as in Canada believe to be fundamental to human and civil rights and the sanctity of free speech is not the only challenge the proposed bill presents. But it presents its greatest threat to democracy and the values the West holds sacred.

Ironically, Lebuis says, supporters justify the bill by suggesting it will protectdemocracy against terrorism. They reason that "terrorism is a reaction towards people who criticize their religion," he explains, "so by banning the criticism of Islam, we would end terrorism." Such arguments have been made both by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and by Muslim groups such as the Association of Muslims and Arabs for a Secular Quebec (AMAL). "Hate and Islamophobia drive certain people in groups subject to discrimination toward another form of extremism and violence,"said AMAL President Haroun Bouazzi in a recent presentation to the National Assembly during a debate over the bill.

But Canada's federal criminal code already calls for imprisonment (up to two years) for "anyone who incites hatred against any identifiable group," as the Montreal Gazette points out. Though the proposed bill addresses hate speech against individuals, not groups, it fails even to define what "hate speech" is. As attorney Julius Grey testified, "Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Voltaire could all be found to have incited violence and hatred. Should they have been censored?"

Moreover, because there is no clear definition of "hate speech" and no standard by which it can be measured, the bill leaves the door wide open for prosecution. "It is based on what people feel or could feel," Lebuis said. "Public interest, the truth, facts or even intentions are no defense."

That situation is made worse by the fact that conviction is based on the determination of the Human Rights Commission tribunal, overriding federal laws which require a determination of guilt "beyond reasonable doubt." As columnist Don MacPhersonobserves in the Montreal Gazette:

"The federal Criminal Code defines 'hate propaganda' as advocating or promoting genocide, inciting hatred against an identifiable group [that is] likely to lead to a breach of the peace,' or 'willfully' promoting hatred against such a group ... And an accused can't be convicted 'if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true" (as would be the case, say, with any condemnation of an honor killing).

But Bill 59 makes no such provisions.

Others, including (surprisingly) AMAL's Bouazzi, have objected to the proposed creation of a permanent, public record of those found guilty of "hate speech" - a gesture that is not only defamatory but could even become dangerous should anyone seek retribution. Further, "hate speech" is not defined in the bill, so such a conviction has Machiavellian potential: For example, were you, to ascribe honor violence or terrorism to cultural or religious beliefs, you could be subject to prosecution. This would be the case even if the actual perpetrator claimed to act in the name of culture or religion. And while a terrorist will go to prison for his deeds, should you be found guilty of violating Bill 59, your name, not his, will be indelibly included on that list visible to the world.

As such, the potential for political parties to silence - let alone criminalize - those who oppose them lurks ominously within the reaches of such a law.

Among Muslims, according to Pakistani-Canadian activist Tarek Fatah, opinions seem to be split. "Ironically, some Islamist-promoting organizations and mosques have welcomed Bill 59, notwithstanding the fact they violate it every week when they start their Friday prayers with a ritual invocation that asks, 'Allah to give Muslims victory over the "kufaar"(Christians, Jews and Hindus),'" he writes in the Toronto Sun.Others like himself, he says, "everything we can to make sure Quebec's Bill 59 does not pass." And if it does pass, he adds, "the first complaint to the QHRC will be against Islamist mosques for spreading hatred against Jews and Christians.

That is a promise."

Judging from past efforts to legislate such issues in Canada and from the apparent opposition to Bill 59 being voiced in editorials around the country, the measure seems to have little chance of passing. A measure to legalize sharia tribunals, for instance, failed in 2005, though ironically, these tribunals - opposed vehemently by Muslim women, who recognized that such tribunals tend to discriminate against women in cases of marriage, forced marriage, domestic abuse and inheritance - were denounced by many as "Islamophobic." (One has to wonder what the Quebec HRC tribunal would have to say about that issue: Islamophobia or misogyny? And what of the person accused of "Islamophobia" who in turn declares the term "Islamophobic" offensive and presses charges against his accuser?)

Pierre Trudel, a lawyer and professor of law at the University of Montreal, also feels that the bill in its current form stands limited chance of succeeding. But, he added in an interview, "it's fair to expect that it will be amended to answer the objections of many opponents." Otherwise, he said, the result will be "a significant chilling effect on speech."

Ironic, then, that nothing else could better hand a victory to those very terrorists the bill was written to subvert. In the words of Benjamin Franklin (as Silence Dogood), "Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."



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, 2015

Why Female Army Rangers Are Not Cause for Celebration

Inter alia, it will reduce combat effectiveness -- thus leading to avoidable military deaths


My thoughts -- more apostasy from brave new world -- on the anticipated graduation of two female Army Rangers tomorrow are encapsulated in the column below. I wrote it in January 2013 in response to the decree by SecDef Pannetta and JCC Dempsey that turned combat into an "opportunity" for women, making tomorrow's ceremony, and others like it, inevitable. 

"When Women Fight, Civilization Loses"

And so it came, the coup de grace. The final "barrier" to "opportunities" for women in combat is no more. With a stroke of their pens, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey decreed that no battlefield mission or military role is off-limits to the female sex. The defense secretary and the general thus liberated mothers, daughters, sisters and wives to kill and be killed in the infantry, commando raids, even in Obama administration "overseas contingency operations." In so doing, they also slashed away at that last institutional protection for the space that separates men and women, where civilization once grew.

It (civilization) has been struggling there for decades, as social engineers and radical feminists - all heirs to Marx - have been cutting away at elemental human instinct, social grace, language and thought itself. This overhaul of manners and mores, the family structure and marriage - even private aspects of the relationship between men and women - has been successful to a point where the cultural argument against women in combat (women in the military being a lost cause) is rarely voiced, not even on the right. (I watched Fox News on women-in-combat announcement day, listening in vain for just one culture warrior.)

We are left to make only the utilitarian arguments - body strength and speed, unit cohesion, even urinary tract infections and other hazards that front-line deployment pose to females. These are compellingly logical points, but they are unlikely to reverse an ideological juggernaut. When the secretary of defense says putting women in combat is about "making our military ... and America stronger" and no one says he's lying to further a Marxian ideal via social engineering, the cultural argument is lost, and the culture it comes from is bound and gagged, hostage to what we know as "political correctness."

I still see threads of the cultural argument in emails and some blog responses to the Pentagon's latest whack at creating "gender neutrality." It erupts like a reflex against the conditioning to deny differences defined, at their essence, by muscle mass and womb. Such conditioning erodes the male protective instinct - which, surely, is what war is supposed to arise from - and the female nurturing instinct, which surely is what a civilization depends on.

No more. Women with wombs and without manly muscle mass now count as Pentagon-approved "warriors," modern-day knights in Kevlar, soon to be humping 80-pound packs over mountain and desert.

Or maybe not. Didn't Gen. Dempsey indicate that dropping some of those old-fashioned strength and speed requirements might be in order? "If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn't make it," Dempsey said last week, "the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?" Of course not! Why train Navy SEALs when Navy OTTERs will do as well?

And what about their children, when these front-line warriors bear them? And their pregnancies, when they decide it's better for their mission, for their country, to terminate them? Don't think Daddy Government, once again, won't be a steady provider to his womenfolk.

And why not? "It is women who pass on the culture," my daughters' pediatrician - a font of human wisdom after six of his own kids and endless patients - used to tell me, his voice rising over baby girls screaming. But what kind of "gender-neutral" culture will they pass on?

Rather, what kind of gender-neutral culture have women already passed on? After all, this penultimate shift at the Pentagon (will the NFL be next?) is just the tail end of something, not the beginning - the rewiring of the human spirit. In other words, the whole movement in the name of "equal rights" has no more to do with women being legally able to apply for a credit card and other aspects of equality before the law than ordering women into combat is about making the military and America stronger.

No, it's about behavioral manipulation and transformation - the Equal Rights Amendment by executive fiat. These changes have been a long time coming. In my lifetime, I have watched even post-1960s standards of femininity, for example, plunge to a point where female tendencies toward privacy, intimacy and modesty have given way to norms of clinical-style revelation and numbing brazenness - and I'm talking about today's "nice" girls, the ones who soon will be considered eligible for Selective Service.

Yes, I know, only 15 percent of our all-volunteer military is female - even after decades of active government courtship to woo women into the ranks and make "a force that looks like America" (not Obama's Cabinet), as Bill Clinton has put it. But don't think this "opportunity" for the few comes without strings to the many. As Army Col. Ellen Haring pointed out on "PBS NewsHour" last week, "With full rights come full responsibilities."

And then what? Will gender-neutral raw recruits soon be brawling outside the bar (with the man "beating the snot" out of the woman, as one Iraq veteran recently suggested to me in an email)? Will gender-neutral male soldiers be trained out of their protective instinct toward women? Do we want to live with the results?

One senior officer with multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan wrote this to me: "I would never want my mother, sisters, wife or daughter to have to experience the ravages of combat or, worse, become a prisoner of war. It goes against every fiber of my being."

Yesterday's man. For a better tomorrow, we need more like him.


Houston’s Proposed Bathroom Ordinance for Transgenders ‘Endangers Women and Girls,’ Group Says

 A group opposed to a proposed ordinance that would allow transgendered people to use any bathroom they consider consistent with their gender identity has launched a radio campaign in Houston, Texas, to defeat the so-called “bathroom ordinance.”

Campaign for Houston, which was organized to defeat the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), kicked off its campaign, called No Men in Women’s Bathrooms!, on Monday.

The bathroom ordinance was part of Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s effort to extend discrimination protections to the LGBT community through HERO. It specified that “no business open to the public could deny a transgender person entry to the restroom consistent with his or her gender identity,” the Houston Chronicle reported on May 14, 2014.

“Parker’s Bathroom Ordinance would force businesses and public establishments to allow troubled men, or men who want to start trouble, to use women’s public bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities. This endangers women and girls and places them in harm’s way,” Campaign for Houston spokesman Jared Woodfill said in a press release.

“There are 8345 registered and convicted sexual predators in Harris County. This just scratches the surface of this dangerous problem. These men could use this ordinance as a legal shield to threaten our mothers, wives and daughters,” Woodfill added.

A clause in the original ordinance would have exempted businesses from the ordinance in cases where they had a “good faith belief” that someone was disingenuous about his or her claim of being transgender, the Houston Chronicle reported. The LGBT community expressed outrage at the time about the clause.

“At one point in time, there was a good faith defense to the businesses,” Woodfill told CNSNews.com “That was removed by the mayor and council – it was amended – so private businesses no longer have that defense available to them under the ordinance.”

According to Woodfill, the group collected signatures in an effort to let voters decide on the issue. After the signatures were challenged, the case went before the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled that the group had collected enough signatures to put the issue to a vote, which will take place on Nov. 3 this year.

The group faced another challenge though when the city council crafted ballot language, which the group said was “inconsistent with the city charter.”

According to Woodfill, the ballot language said, “‘If you’re opposed to the ordinance, vote yes. If you’re for the ordinance, vote no.’ That’s completely inconsistent with what the charter says how it should be framed.”

Campaign for Houston went back to the Texas Supreme Court to force the city to change the language of the ballot initiative, and they won.

“We took that issue to the Supreme Court, and they recently said, ‘No, you have to do it the way that we had argued,’ that if you are opposed to the ordinance, you vote no. If you’re for it, you vote yes,” Woodfill told CNSNews.com.

“So that has been rectified now by the Supreme Court, but again we felt like the mayor was being deceptive and working to trip folks into how to vote on this ordinance, and so for a second time in 30 days, we had to take her back to the Texas Supreme Court to force her to follow the law,” he said. “So now it’s right.

“Now it is if you’re opposed to the ordinance, you vote no, if you’re for the ordinance, you vote yes,” Woodfill added.

The group spent $100,000 for the first two weeks of the radio campaign, and they have an overall budget of just over $2 million for Campaign for Houston.


Cardinal: U.S. ‘Creed’ on Gay Marriage Like Sharia Law

Cardinal Francis George, head of the Catholic archdiocese of Chicago, said the levers of power in government, education, entertainment, and media are enforcing a “public creed,” a “fake church” that requires all citizens to approve of gay marriage and related sexual anomalies or be punished by the State, just “as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

Cardinal George, who was president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2007-10, made his remarks in his Sept. 7 column for the archdiocesean newspaper. In his commentary, the cardinal explains that America, despite social frictions at certain times, had always strived to ensure religious freedom and respect for different religions.

The State, in the past, had “kept its promise to protect all religions and not become a rival to them, a fake church,” said the cardinal.

But that has now changed, he said. “In recent years, society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered ‘sinful,’” he continued.  “Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes.”

“What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval,” said Cardinal George, whose archdiocese includes about 2.2 million Catholics.  “The ‘ruling class,’ those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone.”

“We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family,” he said.  “Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.”

The cardinal then noted that Americans who objected on religious grounds to the Obamacare mandate on contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs, were chastised by many in the media, including the liberal Huffington Post, which claimed the opposition, and the six Catholic judges on the Supreme Court, raised “concerns about the compatibility between being a Catholic and being a good citizen.”

This was not the anti-Catholic voice of nativists, or the Know-Nothing Party, or the Ku Klux Klan, said the cardinal, but, “rather, the self-righteous voice of some members of the American establishment today who regard themselves as ‘progressive’ and ‘enlightened.’”

“The inevitable result is a crisis of belief for many Catholics,” said Cardinal George.  “Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be.”

“This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god,” he said.  “It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to ‘swim against the tide,’ as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day.”

The cardinal continued, “Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society. It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers.”

“Nor will their children, who will also be suspect,” he said.

“Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics,” said Cardinal George.  “It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

Cardinal George went on to argue that U.S. civil law has done much to weaken and destroy the family, which in turn has forced the State to impose more and more restrictions on people and their activities that are unloosed from the “internal restraints that healthy family life teaches.”

He also says that many of the “tenets of the official State religion” are largely dictated by elements of a certain social class, noting that “’same-sex marriage,’ as a case in point, is not an issue for the poor or those on the margins of society.”

How the situation may end, said the cardinal, is unclear because there are many Americans, “even among the ruling class, who do not want their beloved country to transform itself into a fake church.”

Catholics and traditional Christians know by faith, said Cardinal George, that Christ will return to judge the living and the dead and the church “will be there to meet Him.”

However, “[t]here is no such divine guarantee for any country, culture or society of this age or any age,” concluded Cardinal George.


Australian Leftist leader silent in the face of Leftist racism

POUR a little acid on Labor’s lies about free trade, the ­environment and same-sex marriage and the Abbott ­government’s policies shine as beacons of hope in a landscape dominated by malevolent propaganda.

With scandalous entrenched dishonesty within the trade union attack dog the CFMEU being exposed by the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, Labor and its union puppeteers have responded with all the virulence and venality of a cornered rat.

That Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and his acolytes have failed to check the falsehoods being promulgated by the union movement ­reflects their lack of character.

The union movement’s racist and extraordinarily xenophobic advert about the China free trade agreement plays to the historic fears of the “yellow peril” on which the formation of the ALP was based.

Opposition Senate leader Penny Wong, who has supported this campaign, must revisit her party’s history and note how relatively recently former Labor leader Arthur Calwell felt quite comfortable joking that “two Wongs don’t make a white”.

He went on to write in his 1972 memoir “and any man who tries to stigmatise the Australian community as racist because they want to preserve this country for the white race is doing our nation great harm ... I reject, in conscience, the idea that Australia should or ever can ­become a multi-racial society and survive”.

Labor played the race card before the NSW state election and it is playing it again now.

Wong, who believes same-sex marriage is the most pressing issue facing the nation, although the people must not be permitted to decide the matter, needs reminding it was the Liberal Party, not Labor, which encouraged the building of trade and cultural bridges to our Asian neighbours through the successful Colombo Plan.

This plan gave many students from around the region the opportunity to study in Australia and take home the values of our liberal democratic society — and it is the conservative government, again, not Labor, which has revisited the Colombo Plan to restore foreign ties destroyed by successive Labor governments.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott was correct to point out last week that the China free trade agreement being mendaciously attacked by the historically corrupt CFMEU was supported by former NSW premier and former foreign minister Bob Carr, who said: “There will be more jobs and higher wages in Australia if the China free trade agreement goes ahead.”

“We know that the Labor Party takes the CFMEU’s money, but they should never take the CFMEU’s dictation,” Abbott told parliament.
“If they do take the CFMEU’s dictation, the ghosts of the White Australia policy will come back to haunt the Labor Party. The Leader of the Opposition should make sure that the slime of an earlier age does not come back to contaminate this parliament.”

Contrary to the racist lies broadcast in the union adverts — supported by the taxpayer-funded ­national broadcaster the ABC — the Chinese free trade agreement does NOT open the doors to Chinese workers on 457 visas.

The union adverts and arguments state that (and this is from the ACTU’s website): “The FTA allows Chinese companies to bring in their own workforce for projects over $150 million and removes the requirement that jobs be offered to local workers first.”

This is an absolute falsehood designed to be a distraction from the royal commission.

Unsurprisingly, it has been swallowed by many in the Labor-aligned Canberra press gallery and the ABC’s perpetually biased Fact Check Unit.

To assist the ABC’s editor-in-chief Mark Scott with his overdue correction and apology (as if), I direct him to the protections for Australian workers spelled out in the agreement’s outlined investment ­facilitation arrangements.

They clearly state that employers must show the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that there is demonstrated labour market need, that Australians have been given the first opportunity through evidence of domestic recruitment activity (i.e. labour market testing) and there are no suitably qualified Australians available.

In addition, they must demonstrate that they are a direct employer, are lawfully operating for at least 12 months, are financially viable, have no adverse information, have had no redundancies in the past six months, and meet training requirements.

The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash has ­debunked Labor’s claims in the Senate, while pointing out that multiple ­unions have employed sub-class 457 visa holders in an act of incredible hypocrisy and ­duplicity.

Cash noted that the trade unions have been employing overseas workers as workplace relations advisers and copy-writers on 457 visas — to help orchestrate the misleading and damaging campaign against foreign labour provisions in the China Australia free trade agreement.

“Not since (Briton) John McTernan was ­employed as a communications director on a 457 visa in Julia Gillard’s office, from where we witnessed a political campaign against 457 visas, have we seen such blatant hypocrisy from the union movement,” Cash said.

Labor’s totally dishonest campaign threatens thousands of much-needed jobs which would add billions to our economy and result in higher living standards for Australians.

This is economic vandalism from an irresponsible party. The unions are expected to spew such rubbish but Shorten and Wong should know better.



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, 2015

Citing 'Discrimination,' Denver City Council Questions Opening of New Chick-fil-A Store at airport

But having Planned Parenthood abortionist services there is OK?

Plans by the restaurant chain Chick-fil-A to open a location at Denver International Airport have run into turbulence. At a meeting last week, members of the Denver City Council questioned whether the chain discriminates against gays and lesbians.

“Denver has been at the forefront of honoring gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and their families with non-discrimination clauses and partner benefits for many of these decades,” read a statement made by several members of the council.

“These are longstanding values Denver has held. When Denver International Airport proposed a concession with a company that had a history of funding opposition to this recognition, it was important that we as a City Council take a pause to ensure that all the policies are in place with all of the entities involved to ensure there will be no discrimination, and that benefits will be provided equally to all employees and their spouses, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

The first to raise the issue of Chick fil-A’s politics at the meeting was Robin Kniech, the council's first openly gay member. Kniech said he was most worried about a local franchise generating "corporate profits used to fund and fuel discrimination."

The council voted to take two weeks “to look at the policies involved” before deciding on the issue. Several members had questions about Chick-fil-A’s religious values, which include closing stores on Sunday. Others brought up past remarks made by Chick-fil-A's CEO Dan Cathy supporting traditional marriage.

In a statement, Chick-fil-A corporate officials said that their company is "focused on providing everyone great food in an atmosphere of genuine hospitality. We hope to welcome all guests to any of our locations, including a proposed licensed location at the Denver International Airport."


Atheists Warn Football Coaches and Chaplains Not to 'Instill Christianity in Vulnerable Young Men'

An atheist group is demanding that publicly funded universities take immediate steps to bar Christian coaches and chaplains from "converting football fields into mission fields."

"The words of coaches and chaplains make clear that their purpose is to instill Christianity in vulnerable young men," the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) says in a new report, titled "Pray to Play."

"Public universities and their employees cannot endorse, promote, or favor religion," the report states. "Yet, many football coaches at public universities bring in chaplains -- often from their own church or even members of their own family -- to prey on and pray with students, with no regard for the rights of those students or the Constitution.

"These coaches are converting playing fields into mission fields and public universities are doing nothing to halt this breach of trust. They are failing their student athletes."

FFRF says the purpose of its report is to "expose this unconstitutional system, encourage universities to fix it, and stimulate further efforts to protect students’ rights of conscience."

The report quotes various team chaplains to make its point that public universities are bankrolling Christian ministers who mix the roles of "coach, parent and minister, all while promoting their personal religion to athletes."

FFRF says this is a problem, even if team chaplains aren't on the school's payroll:

"No matter how chaplaincies are set up, the chaplains are treated as an official part of the university and team. Chaplains often attend team events, host team chapel services, lead teams in prayers, travel with the team, patrol the sideline, wear team apparel, have special access to coaches and players, help with recruiting, and have athletic department offices."

Moreover, the report says most universities do not have policies regarding chaplains: "They set no limitations, guidelines, or expectations for their coaches or chaplains regarding religious activities. Chaplains who appear to be school employees, are given access as school employees, and act as school employees inflict the same legal liability on schools as any other employee."

FFRF’s report cautions that it is in the "best interest" of public universities to adopt policies that protect student athletes from discrimination and unlawful religious coercion.

In an August 18 letter to the University of Missouri chancellor, FFRF warned of the "legal liability that the University of Missouri exposes itself to by allowing its chaplaincy to continue," adding, "it is not a matter of if but when an issue will arise from this entanglement."

To prevent lawsuits, FFRF recommends that public universities adopt a "model policy" in which a "character coach" or a "player development coach" replaces the chaplain in instilling secular values such as respect, perseverance, humility, sportsmanship, and teamwork.

FFRF said any character development coach would be "explicitly prohibited from promoting a particular religious viewpoint, pressuring student-athletes to choose religion over non-religion, or directly or indirectly coercing student-athletes to participate in any type of religious activity."

Qualified candidates should have training in psychology, psychiatry, sports psychology, secular therapy, or a substantially equivalent field. FFRF insists that mere "divinity or religious counseling experience" does not qualify a person to hold the character development position.


Women more ‘flexible’ than men on sexual leaning

Sexuality is hardwired, social commentators insist, with ­people exercising little choice over their sexual leanings, yet new ­research suggests women let circumstances dictate which way they swing.

A 15-year study of almost 10,000 Americans has uncovered differences in the sexual identities of the genders, with men firmly in one camp or the other, but women happier to switch. The study, unveiled at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Chicago, found that women were three times more likely than men to change their sexual identities during their 20s. And while attractive women grav­itated to heterosexuality, looks made little difference to men’s sexuality.

Author Elizabeth McClintock said “contextual and experiential factors” shaped women’s sexual identities. “Women have a greater probability than men of being attracted to both ­(genders), which gives them greater flexibility in partner choice,” she said.

The study crunched data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, tracking about 5000 women and 4200 men from their mid-teens to their late 20s. It is not the first to report women’s higher propensity towards bisexuality, with previous studies finding more than one in five ­females acknowledged same-sex attraction.

A 2011 US study found 60 per cent of heterosexual women were sexually attracted to other females, and that women’s bisexual tendencies increased as they aged. Evolutionists have suggested that women’s sexual fluidity benefits their offspring by increasing the pool of potential co-parents, and helps them bond with their fellow wives in poly­gamous marriages. Other theorists suggest “hetero-flexibility” has no evolutionary function.

Dr McClintock, a sociologist with the Catholic-run University of Notre Dame, said it was an ­underpinning characteristic.

Her research found that more educated women, and those rated more attractive, were more likely to identify as “100 per cent heterosexual”, but women who had children by their early 20s were less cut and dried. This suggested that promising options in the “heterosexual partner market” encouraged women to ­assume a “hetero-conformist identity”, she said. “Women who are initially successful in partnering with men may never ­explore their attraction to other women. However, (those) with the same sexual attractions but less favourable heterosexual ­options might have greater ­opportunity to experiment.”

The study found that more educated men, unlike women, were less likely to identify as completely heterosexual.


Australia: Homosexual propaganda  should be kept out of schools

Burwood Girls High School sent a flyer to parents last week saying all students would attend a special screening of the documentary Gayby Baby this week

BURWOOD Girls High principal Mia Kumar has failed the parents of her pupils by embracing political propagandists who have seized her school’s agenda. And Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has failed the people of NSW with his lily-livered approach to a serial offender.

Last Saturday, Miss Kumar, who, with her deputy, Karyn O’Brien, would not speak to The Daily Telegraph, not only cancelled two school periods to facilitate the screening of an overtly political documentary on homosexual parenting to all students this Friday but urged all pupils to wear purple in support of LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer).

The planned school screening of the PG-documentary Gayby Baby and the purple dress code are in clear breach of NSW Education Department guidelines as they advance the interests of a particular political group, don’t serve a curriculum objective and fail to take into account the ages of all of the students.

Instead of suspending or reprimanding Ms Kumar yesterday, Mr Piccoli told The Daily Telegraph he had “spoken to the secretary of my department and reminded her that the government expects schools to remain apolitical places and that schools must comply with all departmental policies.”

If this is the best he can do in the face of a deliberate flouting of the rules by a principal who has institutionalised a political campaign in her school’s agenda, he should be sacked.

Documentary director Maya Newell, an old girl of Burwood Girls High is a “gayby” in as much as she says she has lesbian “mums”.

Ms Kumar should tell her that she actually has only one biological mum and any other mother is adoptive.

After numerous complaints, the school belatedly told parents that their daughters may opt-out of the screening but “purple tops, pants, jackets, scarfs, shoes, jewellery and/or hair colour” was still rig of the day and the school will give a prize to the “most purple” student.

The Right Rev Mark Powell, who until July was the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in NSW and the ACT, was contacted by a number of parents concerned that their daughters would be ostracised within the school community and subjected to bullying and discrimination from fellow students and some teachers if they refused to go along with the directives from Ms Kumar and Ms O’Brien

A review highlighted on the Gayby Baby website describes it as an “intrinsically political” documentary and says children of “queer” parents are being used to counter opponents of so-called marriage equality.

In the trailer, one prepubescent boy is shown applying lipstick as he says: “I don’t really know when you’re manly.” He is later shown bare-chested and pumping his fist in the mardi gras parade.

Twelve-year-old Ebony is quoted saying: “ ‘It’s not normal. You’re not normal.’ They’re the kind of things that go through my head.”

Well, Ebony, normality is the state of being usual, typical, or expected according to the Oxford Dictionary and according to the 2011 Census, there were only around 33,700 same-sex couples in Australia, with 17,600 male same-sex couples and 16,100 female same-sex couples. Same-sex couples represented about 1 per cent of all couples in Australia — which would indicate they do not meet the definition “normal”.

Children in same-sex couple families are one in a thousand of all children in couple families (0.1 per cent). Statistically, you are not in a “normal” family, no matter how many LGBTIQ-friendly docos you may be forced to watch by politically-driven school principals.

The drive to create the fantasy that homosexual families are the norm has come from the politically left-leaning Teachers Federation which is also pushing the Safe Schools Coalition, another political front group, which claims that anyone not involved in promoting safety for the “same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse young people, staff, families and communities” are bigots.

Mr Piccoli has permitted Ms Kumar to install this agenda into her curriculum. A government intent on ensuring an apolitical school system would get rid of them both.



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, 2015

When even the middle classes shun marriage, our social cement truly is crumbling

Libby Purves speaks much truth below but she appears to underestimate the effect of feminist-inspired divorce laws.  Stories of big divorce payouts are in the papers daily so men can hardly be unaware of the issue.  To put it bluntly, the feminists have turned marriage into prostitution.  It has become a good way to get big money for sex. But a lot of men don't want to pay.  So they don't.  A man who marries these days takes heroic risks with his financial future and his future wellbeing.  A well-advised man would just not do it

Why get married? Charles Darwin, the great naturalist, took a properly scientific view of the pros and cons of marriage and jotted down his thoughts.

In favour: 'Children, if it please God . . . constant companion and friend in old age who will feel interested in one . . . object to be beloved and played with . . . better than a dog anyway . . . music and female chit chat, good for one's health but terrible loss of time '.

Against it, he put down the loss of freedom, the expense and anxiety of children, the risk of quarrelling, and (quite my favourite) the prospect of being 'forced to visit relatives'. Quite a few men, I reckon, would nod at that last one.

Nevertheless, Darwin married and was happy, and near the end wrote movingly of his wife Emma as a 'wise adviser and cheerful comforter throughout my life'.

I read that again in the light of yesterday's gloomy revelation that marriage is becoming less common and moving towards a curious situation where this most basic and ancient of social habits risks becoming largely the preserve of the rich, and of immigrant communities with strict social rules.

For some time now, in a trend since the Seventies, it has been apparent that the poorer you are in Britain, the more likely you are to be in social housing and financially precarious, and less likely to get married.

By 2001, people in the top financial category were 24 per cent more likely to marry than those at the bottom; now that figure is 48 per cent.

That was worrying enough. Solid figures show that unmarried couples with children are, statistically, three times as likely to separate, with the children facing obvious distressing results, not just emotional but financial and educational.

But it was not hard to see the reasons why the poorest, the people on the edge, were less likely to marry once there was no social stigma about sex outside marriage or just moving in with each other.

If your accommodation and job chances are unstable, perhaps you are less likely to plan, and more tempted by a chaotic, take-it-as-it-comes lifestyle.

Now, however, something interesting but faintly appalling is happening: the latest figures from the Marriage Foundation and the government's General Household Survey suggest that marrying is falling out of fashion among more settled, middle-class families.

Look at middle-income couples with young children: 20 years ago 84 per cent of such people were married. Now it is 59 per cent. Still more than the poorest group, but a definite trend is, in researcher-language, 'spreading up the socio-economic scale'.

We have not yet seen whether the break-up rate will undergo as great an increase in this middling group, but the Marriage Foundation's research director says: 'When a socio-economic group turns away from marriage, we see a corresponding hike in the rates of family breakdown.'

If so, that is bad news all round. Of course, divorces will always happen. Of course, separating couples can be responsible and considerate of the children, though even the best divorces tend to be expensive, disruptive and, to some extent, distressing. But at least divorce is a definite thing, a legal move, a big decision.

Walking out on your live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, even with a child in between, is vaguer, easier, more tempting.

So there is a whole new group (a large one) appearing to go off the idea of marriage. Meanwhile, it appears that the richest group — what statisticians call the 'higher managerial' group, with household incomes over £43,000 — are still heading for the altar, register office or ritzy wedding venue.

One theory about this suggests that if you are definitely well-off, with a mortgage and the likelihood of inheriting a house from your parents, you are more likely to think ahead about money and property and what you would like to leave to your partner and children.

Another is that if you are used to considerable affluence, you are less nervous about the future financial risks of divorce.

Also, in this 'higher managerial' gang, your parents may express some salty views about Doing The Right Thing and not messing about like characters in Coronation Street, or else they will leave the house to the cat's home, so there . . .

Governments are nervous about banging a gong in favour of marriage. They can speak warmly about 'the family', but tend to make it clear that this includes all sorts of families: single-parent, cohabiting, widowed.

They shy away from 'moralising' and praising marriage, not least because every time politicians do so, their party is promptly shaken by some disgraceful (yet hilarious) revelation of adultery.

They back off, only occasionally offering some puny tax advantage which the populace scornfully ignores. Who is going to make solemn vows just in case it saves £350 a year, and a distant prospect of your darling not paying inheritance tax when you croak?

So the strongest defence comes from the retired High Court Judge Sir Paul Coleridge, who saw too much misery in the family courts to ignore it. His Marriage Foundation bombards us with all those telling statistics about the disastrous effects of the decline.

Otherwise, defences of marriage tend to be left to the clergy (but who is listening?) and drowned by bitter jokes for which there are good reasons: about the absurdity of stupidly expensive weddings, when the marriage crashes and burns barely a year later, and about the risk of losing half your property to some scheming, adulterous partner who runs off with someone else.

You hear that great quip from the humorist Lewis Grizzard: 'I won't marry again — next time I'll just find a woman I don't like and give her a house.' Now, successful women feel that way, too.

We all have good friends who never married, whether for some obscure principle or just not bothering, but who raise happy, stable families.  Like the politicians, we don't want to upset them.

Sometimes there are chivalrous reasons for living in what used to be called 'sin': one man I know moved on to a new partner in mid-life after a hard time with his wife but never divorced her, so that she could inherit the house and his pension. We don't often praise marriage in case it upsets those who are unmarried. But, to redress the balance, I will.

Marriage can go wrong but is basically a brilliant, useful, flexible, nurturing and enlivening thing. It does not feel like cohabitation (most of us in my generation have done a bit of both).

There is something different, awesome, about making a public declaration that you intend to try to keep this going for life; a buzz in making the tie legal and binding, contractually as well as emotionally.

You stand in front of the world saying: 'This is us. Not a temporary shack-up till we change our minds but a team, for better or worse, for richer for poorer, and let no interfering outsider dare try to break it asunder.'

Just look at the excitement and joy permission to marry brought to same-sex couples: they know its value, which is why they fought for it.

Marriage also makes you accept (no small thing) that you have tied together two families, two tribes. I remember reflecting, the morning after our wedding that from now on we were sort of responsible for one another's siblings, mothers, cousins, all that.

We might not have chosen them, but now had to take them into account, maybe rescue them when needed, consider their feelings more than when we were boyfriend and girlfriend.

A wedding is more than a show-off ceremony: it is public (even our sneaky, publicity-shy one had passers-by wandering in to the church). That declaration and status affirms marriage as a sort of cement, holding the flaky walls of society more firmly.

If every partnership was loose, informal, bound only by the emotion of the moment, we would edge closer to a lawless underworld. Victorian married propriety had its faults, heaven knows, but you could grow up safer there than down in the alleys with Bill Sikes and Nancy.

Marriage is grown-up, marriage is brave and serious: a properly provisioned, planned, hopeful, risky round-the-world voyage rather than a quick sunny trip around the bay.

In that responsibility you grow up. In that security you can relax and blossom. In that fidelity you are both free to develop other friendships and affections, because the basic, unbreakable tie is there.

Long live marriage.


Exploding the myth of radicalisation

Blaming some young Brits' attraction to ISIS on online grooming is a fudge

Frank Furedi is a sociologist so says it's all due to alienation. I taught sociology for a long time too so I tend to agree -- but we cynics should not overlook the power of religion

Reports that three sisters from Bradford and their nine children are on their way to Syria show that British Muslims inspired to make the journey potentially to join the Islamic State are no longer unusual or unique individuals. Likewise, the response to the reports shows how bewildered and confused many now are when confronted with the so-called radicalisation of fellow members of society.

The very language used to discuss the sisters’ preference for life in Syria over life in Britain betrays a complete lack of comprehension of the social and cultural dynamics at work. Bradford West MP Naz Shah, who spoke with the families of the sisters, stated, ‘I asked them if there was any indication [as to what the sisters were planning to do], and they said, absolutely not – it was a shock to them, it came out of the blue’. That it always comes ‘out of the blue’ is testimony to a failure to understand the cultural chasm that separates the world of many young Muslims from mainstream society.

Others report that the women came from a ‘hardworking’ and ‘respectable’ family. Yet young people going to Syria invariably come from normal families. The fact that the parents’ respectability is remarked upon at all shows that commentators are fixated on a non-existent pathology.

Since the London 7/7 bombings in July 2005, the issue of ‘homegrown terrorism’ has been discussed as if it was an incomprehensible and irrational phenomenon. I still recall a lecture given in 2007 by Peter Clarke, who was then head of S015, the Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism team: ‘Of all the things I have seen over the past few years, one of the most worrying has been the speed and apparent ease with which young men can be turned into suicide terrorists, prepared to kill themselves and hundreds of others.’ (1)

What Clarke identified was a symptom of a far more profound and difficult problem. Young people do not turn into suicide bombers overnight or ‘out of the blue’, unless they can draw on cultural and political resources that affirm their decision. They draw support for their conviction that theirs is a cause worth fighting for from their everyday experience.

The impulse driving the radicalisation of young Muslims can only be grasped if the main myths surrounding it are exposed to rational scrutiny.

The myth of sudden radicalisation

People do not become suicide bombers overnight. Nor does a decision to travel to Syria, for instance, ‘come out of the blue’. Such actions require careful planning and are often born of reflection and deliberation. Sometimes young people do act impulsively and without thought. But they still make such hasty decisions on the basis of ideals and norms that are integral to their everyday culture or, more often, their subculture.

The focus on sudden radicalisation presents extreme and militant behaviour as a distinct and stand-alone experience, unconnected to everyday life. But this obscures the reality of radicalisation. It is precisely everyday life and everyday ideas that influence the thinking of those young people disposed towards embracing a jihadist subculture.

So instead of concentrating on sudden radicalisation, it would be far more productive to focus on the gradual consolidation of a worldview that transforms jihadism into an inspiring and morally superior alternative to the way of life of wider society.

The myth of vulnerability

Policymakers and the media continually refer to young Muslims as ‘vulnerable to radicalisation’. The term ‘vulnerability’ suggests passivity, powerlessness and gullibility. It suggests, in short, that those called vulnerable lack the intellectual resources necessary to cope with challenges. No doubt there are some weak and confused individuals drawn towards the jihadist subculture. But the reality is that most people who travel to Syria, for example, do so because they are inspired by a cause they believe is worth fighting for. Often such individuals show a capacity for planning, dissimulation, inventiveness and, above all, initiative.

The idea of vulnerability invokes individual characteristics that are often the very opposite to those actually possessed by people making the risky voyage to the Middle East. Contrary to the myth of vulnerability, these young people are – albeit misguidedly – attempting to exercise a measure of agency over their life.

The myth of grooming

Anglo-American societies have become so obsessed with child protection that they often interpret a variety of social problems through the prism of paedophilia. The idea of online grooming, for instance, has mutated into a fantasy used to explain every disturbing example of homegrown jihadism. The model of perfidious groomers seducing otherwise innocent young Muslims turns what is a struggle of ideas, a battle between ways of life, into a malevolent act of deception.

No doubt there are some clever online jihadists who are good at attracting the attention of would-be supporters. However, no one is forcing people to go online or to enter chatrooms or visit jihadist websites. Most of the time, it is the so-called vulnerable youth who, in the process of searching for answers, actively look for the ‘groomers’.

In any case, the claim that online radicalisation is responsible for the uptick in young jihadist recruits overlooks the fact that radical Islamists are actively promoting their ideals in the offline world.

The myth of the young victims

When it was revealed over the weekend that 17-year-old Talha Asmal had become Britain’s youngest suicide bomber, many reports suggested that he was a ‘victim’ of ruthless online groomers. His family described him as ‘loving, kind, caring and affable’. The obsession with representing young ‘vulnerable’ suicide bombers as victims is related to the association of the act of radicalisation with vulnerability. The irrational connection of an act of terrorism to the status of victimhood is so deeply entrenched that the British media have little interest in the real victims in this drama – the people that were maimed and killed by this ‘caring and affable’ 17-year-old.

In a perverse twist, the representation of radicalisation as an act analogous to victimisation serves to legitimise the behaviour of those who opt to join the jihadist cause. Inadvertently, the ‘don’t blame the victim’ culture lurks in the background of the discussion of radicalisation.

Radicalisation is only a part of the story

In reality, the term radicalisation captures only part of the story. The sentiments and behaviours associated with radicalisation are more accurately expressed through terms like ‘alienation’ and ‘estrangement’. The sense of estrangement from, and resentment towards, society is logically prior to the radicalising message internalised by individuals. In Europe, the embrace of a radical Islamist ideology is preceded by a rejection of society’s Western culture. Invariably, such a rejection on the part of young jihadists also reflects a generational reaction against the behaviour and way of life of their parents.

This double alienation – from parent and society – is not unconnected to normal forms of generational estrangement. What we see here is a variant form of the generational gap, except that, in this instance, it has unusual and potentially very destructive consequences.

The embrace of radical Islam is underpinned by a twofold process: an attraction to new ideas and alternative ways of life, and a rejection of the status quo. The radicalisation thesis, however, one-sidedly emphasises the so-called groomers’ powers of attraction. From this standpoint, the problem is reduced to the threat posed to the supposedly vulnerable by radical groups lurking in the shadowy world of the internet and secret prayer meetings. Yet the real problem is that a significant number of young Muslims have already rejected the cultural values and norms of the society in which they live. It is young Muslims’ rejection of European societies that motivates people to search for a meaningful cause to fight for.


While women overseas face true oppression, Western feminists dream up petty hashtags

While women in countries such as Iran face true oppression, women in western countries are among the most liberated, privileged — and safest — on earth

Christina Hoff Sommers

In August 2014, 12 members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard charged into 28-year-old artist Atena Farghadani’s house, blindfolded her, and took her to prison.

She had posted a satirical cartoon on Facebook to protest proposed legislation to restrict birth control and women’s rights. Farghadani has since been found guilty of “spreading propaganda” and “insulting members of parliament through paintings.” She has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Farghadani is one of millions of women whose basic rights are being ruthlessly violated. In countries like Iran, Yemen, Egypt, and Cambodia, women are struggling for freedoms most women in the West take for granted.

But American feminists are relatively silent about these injustices — especially feminists on campus. During the 1980s, there were massive demonstrations on American college campuses against racial apartheid in South Africa. There is no remotely comparable movement on today’s campuses against the gender apartheid prevalent in large parts of the world. Why not?

Today’s young feminist activists are far too preoccupied with their own supposed victimhood to make common cause with women like Farghadani.

This past year I visited and spoke at several US campuses, including Yale, UCLA, Oberlin, and Georgetown. I found activist feminist students passionately absorbed in the cause of liberating themselves from the grasp of the oppressive patriarchal order. Their trigger warnings, safe spaces and micro-aggression watches are all about saving themselves from the ravages of the male hegemony.

It’s not that they don’t feel bad for women in places like Iran or Yemen. They do. But they believe they share a similar fate.

And they can cite a litany of victim statistics from their gender studies class that shows their plight. Someone needs to tell them that most of those statistics are specious and that, although the threat of harm is a human constant, they are among the most liberated and privileged — and safest — people on earth.

Because their professors would not tell them, that someone turned out to be me; for this I was furnished with a police escort on more than one occasion.

Samantha Power, the able US ambassador to the UN and human rights champion, recently addressed the graduating class of Barnard College. Instead of urging them to support women struggling against oppression in places like Afghanistan, she congratulated them for waging a parallel struggle on the US campus.

She cited Emma Sulkowicz — a much-publicised Columbia University student who carried a mattress for months to protest her alleged rape by a fellow student — as a symbol of ongoing oppression of US women, and compared her plight with those of young women in Afghanistan struggling for elementary gender justice.

Never mind that a campus discipline committee found the accused not guilty; never mind the questionable basis of Sulkowicz’s public shaming campaign. Sulkowicz lives in a country where laws, institutions, and customs protect her. The women of Afghanistan do not. Afghan women are coping with the Taliban; Sulkowicz is coping with Columbia classmates. The US ambassador to the UN should be able to distinguish the two.

It is not my view that because women in countries like Iran or Afghanistan have it so much worse, Western women should tolerate less serious injustices at home. Emphatically they should not.

But too often, today’s gender activists are not fighting injustice, but fighting phantom epidemics and nursing petty grievances. Two leading feminist hashtags of 2015 are #FreeTheNipples and #LovetheLines. The former is a campaign to desexualise women’s breasts; the latter promotes stretch-mark acceptance. If the imprisoned women of Iran and Afghanistan were free to tweet, what would they say about these struggles?

Several years ago the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum created a small furore when she noted with disapproval that “feminist theory pays relatively little attention to the struggles of women outside the United States.” Her academic colleagues pounced: Gayatri Spivak, professor of comparative literature at Columbia, accused Nussbaum of “flag waving” and of being on a “civilising mission.”

No one is suggesting American or Australian women take on the role of moral saviours out to civilise the rest of the world. Efforts to help can often be patronising and counterproductive.

But that is an argument for being tactful and for taking direction from the women we are seeking to support. It is not, for those who claim to be devoted to gender justice, an excuse for doing nothing. Women like Atena Farghadani are already on a civilising mission — and it is disheartening so many feminists in the West seem to be looking the other way.


Victory for Free Speech in Medicine

Judges are chipping away at government censorship of communications about prescription drugs. The Food and Drug Administration exerts great power over a medicine’s label, which describes the medicine’s therapeutic claims. Drug makers and the FDA sometimes spend years negotiating a label.

The FDA regulates both safety and “efficacy.” So, a drug maker has to prove to the FDA its medicine works before marketing it to doctors. However, the cost of clinical trials required to prove claims is monumentally high, so drug makers will not always invest in clinical trials for every indication. Once a drug is used, doctors will find that it is effective for more claims than indicated on the label. The new indications are often supported by peer-reviewed, published research. However, the drug makers have not yet invested the time and money to negotiate with the FDA to get the new claims onto the label.

Oncology is a specialty where so-called off-label prescribing is common. Indeed, off-label prescribing is so common that some states mandate insurers pay for coverage of prescriptions written for off-label use! Clearly, the regulatory bureaucracy is behind the curve on this issue. Nevertheless, the FDA has asserted power to stop pharmaceutical reps from even distributing reprints of peer-reviewed studies supporting off-label uses to doctors.

We are not talking about the cure-all medicine man stopping his covered wagon in town and putting on a show to separate the yokels from their wages. We’re talking about high-level discussions with relevant specialists about new evidence-based medicine.

Fortunately, a judge recently found – on First Amendment grounds – that representatives of Amarin Pharma can distribute such information to doctors despite the FDA’s disapproval.

Established in 1906, the FDA has consistently increased its power. Not until 1962 did it win the power to adjudicate efficacy. Removing that power, and limiting the FDA to regulating safety, would return authority to doctors and patients. The 21st Century Cures Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in June, does not go that far. Nevertheless, it allows more “real world” evidence to be added to a drug’s label, which is a step in the right direction.



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, 2015

The myth of England’s miserable kids

This week, the Children’s Society has published yet another report highlighting how bad it is to grow up in England. The Good Childhood Report 2015 has made headlines, with one newspaper warning that English children are ‘among the unhappiest in the world at school due to bullying’. But what the Children’s Society’s data actually show does not merit the dire reporting. So why the uncritical, hyperbolic coverage?

Of course, uncritical reporting of the Children’s Society’s annual Good Childhood reports is nothing new. This is part shoddy journalism, but also clever spin by the Children’s Society. The latest report claims it is ‘based on the Children’s Society’s ongoing research on children’s subjective wellbeing, undertaken in collaboration with the University of York, which is the most extensive programme of national research on children’s subjective wellbeing globally’. Here, the collaboration with a university lends credibility to the report, and the ‘extensive’ nature of the research may also impress journalists.

The Good Childhood Report 2015 starts with an outline of the research methods adopted, acknowledging that some may question whether it is ‘possible to use self-report survey questions to gather valid, reliable and stable data from children’. This is because ‘the concept of subjective wellbeing can seem rather abstract’, the report concedes, ‘it is understandable that people may have doubts about whether it is possible to gather meaningful information about it, from adults or children’. But, the report asserts, ‘there is now a substantial body of evidence to show that [it is possible]’. The Children’s Society boasts that it has ‘carried out national schools-based surveys’; ‘initiated a regular online survey of children and their parents’; and ‘undertaken wellbeing surveys and consultations in several different local authorities’. In total, around 60,000 children in the UK have participated in the research programme.

This all sounds very impressive. But how much insight can we really gain into the internal lives of children and young people from self-report questionnaires? The idea that there is a substantial body of evidence to confirm that ‘wellbeing’ can be measured is questionable. What ‘wellbeing’ means is subjective – what it means to one person may be very different to what it means to someone else. Also, any student who has done a research-methods class at school or university will know about the many limitations of surveys. So, not only is there the limitation of ‘social-desirability bias’ – even if it is an anonymous survey we tend to give answers that we think would put us in a good light – there is the more important question of what the answers mean. Surveys are cheap and far less time-consuming than other methods that may yield richer, deeper and more meaningful data.

Yet, in two new academic fields – bullying and wellbeing – nearly all the research uses surveys. There is some debate among academics about the limitations of the research and the need to broaden the range of research methods. But far too many academics gloss over the limitations of their research methods and make claims that go way beyond what the data actually show.
Must-reads from the past week

If I were asked on a scale of one to 10 how happy I am with my life as a whole, I wouldn’t know what to answer. How can you reduce a question, such as satisfaction with your life, to a number? I would probably pick a number randomly. I am curious what a question like that would mean to a 10-year-old. In fact, I asked some 10-year-olds and they answered, ‘what do you mean?’.

Other numeric data presented in the report includes lists of the ‘most common key words’ in young people’s responses to open questions. Some of the top words were friends (4,164), family (3,091), bullying (2,391), do (2,106), parents (1,710), school (1,582), drugs (1,182) and go (1,090). But what does this tell us? What does it mean? Numeric data may look impressive, but they may not tell us anything of significance.

Then there is the question of international comparisons. Ten and 12-year-olds were asked to rate on a scale of one to 10 how satisfied they were with their school experience. For 12-year-olds, Romania tops the satisfaction table with a mean rating of 8.9. Germany and South Korea are at the bottom with mean scores of 7.6. English children’s mean score was 8.0. What do these figures mean? We could speculate for hours: the figures could, for instance, indicate a cultural difference over whether it is ‘cool’ to say you like school or not. The most striking thing is how similar the figures actually are. Only if you rank the countries from lowest to highest do the differences appear stark.

This can then be spun to the press as English children being deeply unhappy. Matthew Reed, the chief executive of the Children’s Society, said, ‘It is deeply worrying that children in this country are so unhappy at school compared to other countries, and it is truly shocking that thousands of children are being physically and emotionally bullied, damaging their happiness. School should be a safe haven, not a battleground.’

This is not an argument against ever using surveys. Numbers can tell us something. But once you reduce psychological states to numbers, you lose depth, nuance and contradictions – in other words, insight. The fact that thousands more have been asked to fill out these surveys than previously does not make the data any more meaningful.

The Children’s Society states that a frequent response of English children to the question ‘what prevents a good life?’ is ‘bullying’. I am not surprised that children and young people may have raised bullying as an issue, as they are continually encouraged to understand hurtful experience through the prism of ‘bullying’. They may merely be expressing their feeling that relationships can be difficult.

Children and young people will inevitably feel satisfied with life, friends and family on some days, and find life a challenge on other days. Adult emotions may be less volatile than children’s, but we will also fluctuate when asked whether we ‘strongly agree’ that our friends ‘are a source of support’. Friends, family and intimate relationships can cause immense heartache. Friends can be brutally honest and force us to consider our faults. But our relationships with fellow humans can bring joy, pleasure, warmth, love, happiness – as well as emotional pain. That’s life.

We don’t always treat people as well as we wish we did. We sometimes take out our frustrations on those closest to us. But we can learn to make amends. We should aim to do the right thing in relationships with other people – treating them how we expect them to treat us. But what is ‘the right thing’? That is an ongoing struggle to work out.

For children and young people, relationships can cause heartache. Even the best of friendships will involve some conflict, hurt feelings, misunderstandings and feelings of betrayal. But through heartache, we strengthen our character, deepen our understanding of our emotions and other people.

Relationships are worth the heartache and pain. Not only because of the immense joy and pleasure we gain from relationships, but because it is our relationships with other people that give our lives meaning. The ‘anti-bullying’ script tells children that if they feel slighted and upset, it is because others – that is, ‘bullies’ – have done something wrong to them. Yet, most of the time, it is a two-way process, where both sides have to work out how to make amends.

That is not to argue that bullying does not exist. But feeling bad about something someone has done is not bullying. If society keeps going on about how dreadful and damaging bullying is, and the importance of children’s emotional wellbeing, we could end up in a situation where children interpret anything hurtful as ‘bullying’, and expect that it should be dealt with by someone in authority.

Focusing on a nebulous concept like wellbeing does not make sense. If children’s mean scores on these surveys were to rise from eight to nine, would that symbolise success? Who knows? How we raise the next generation is important. But the starting point should be what kind of society we want. What do we value? What is important in life? What is the meaning of life? These are questions philosophers have grappled with for centuries, and there are no easy answers. But the answer is not higher scores on wellbeing measures.


Hugo Awards and Sad Puppies: Has Political Correctness Invaded Science Fiction?

There is controversy surrounding this year’s Hugo Awards, the prestigious science fiction prize which will be handed out this Saturday and whose previous winners have included Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein. This year’s ballot has many names on it that liberals and the media have denounced as racist and reactionary white men.

The group in question counter that they are not reactionary, racist, or even white, and that the reporting on the entire episode has been atrocious.

The group of writers, calling themselves the “Sad Puppies” – a satire on liberalism’s penchant for appealing to emotion over logic – successfully got themselves on the Hugo ballot, and then nominated, by appealing to the fans who vote for the award. The Sad Puppies unofficial leader is Brad Torgerson, author of “The Chaplain’s War” and other works and a U.S. Army Reserve Warrant Officer. Torgerson, who has been nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula, another prestigious sci-fi prize, told one interviewer, “It became plainly obvious, especially after 2010, that a lot of the classic works of the old days - there's no way they could possibly make it in the current climate because the current climate was all about affirmative action.”

“Message was eating story,” John C. Wright, who got on the ballot via the Puppies’ campaign and is nominated for five Hugos this year, told CNS News. “It’s about that and not political correctness. It’s not that there are certain themes explored in science fiction, it’s that the authors of many of works are being rewarded for advancing an agenda while the craftsmanship of the work is lacking. The question should not be about politics, the question should simply be, are your stories good or bad? People were getting prizes and the craftsmanship just wasn't there.”

Wright notes that the media coverage of the Sad Puppies controversy has been riddled with errors. One of the most egregious cases appeared in Entertainment Weekly, which had to issue a lengthy correction:

CORRECTION: After misinterpreting reports in other news publications, EW published an unfair and inaccurate depiction of the Sad Puppies voting slate, which does, in fact, include many women and writers of color. As Sad Puppies’ Brad Torgerson explained to EW, the slate includes both women and non-caucasian writers, including Rajnar Vajra, Larry Correia, Annie Bellet, Kary English, Toni Weisskopf, Ann Sowards, Megan Gray, Sheila Gilbert, Jennifer Brozek, Cedar Sanderson, and Amanda Green.

Despite the corrections, argues Wright, the media continues to report that the Sad Puppies is an attack on women and minorities.

The Hugo is given out Saturday in a ceremony at the INB Performing Arts Center in Spokane, Washington.


The Beginning of the End of Religious Freedom in America

Just in case you need a refresher: Back in 2012, a baker in the Denver suburb of Lakewood was asked by a gay couple to make them a wedding cake — two years before gay marriage was even legalized in Colorado. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips, declined to participate in Charlie Craig and David Mullins' celebration because such an event conflicted with his Christian faith.

Here are a few things Phillips didn’t do: He didn’t query consumers about their sexual preferences. He didn’t bar same-sex couples from purchasing a cake at a place of public accommodation. He didn’t ask consumers traveling in same-sex pairs to leave his shop. He didn’t hang a “No Gays Allowed” sign in his window.

What he could never have known when he first opened his shop was that celebrating gay marriages would be a precondition for making a living. And when you consider that there are at least a few dozen other bakeries within a short drive from Masterpiece Cakeshop that could have accommodated the couple’s celebratory pastry needs, why would he?

Yet instead of exhibiting a basic level of tolerance (or dignity), two priggish bullies decided to call the authorities when Phillips refused to bake them a cake. And the cultural commissars at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission soon ruled that he had discriminated against the couple.

The shop was not only ordered to alter store policy and start baking cakes for gay weddings — or else face debilitating fines, a consequence often reported on by the media — but also forced to provide comprehensive staff training, ensure compliance and then file quarterly obedience reports with the government for two years. In these reports, Phillips has to describe exactly which remedial measures the shop has taken to conform and document the reasons any other patrons were denied service.

So, you know, I’m sure this is exactly how Thomas Jefferson imagined America would turn out when he was writing the Declaration of Independence.

Phillips appealed the decision, and a three-panel Colorado Court of Appeals unanimously decided that Masterpiece Cakeshop’s policy against creating wedding cakes for same-sex couples was a “discriminatory and unfair practice,” further ruling that the shop must continue to answer to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission or else be run out of business.

Incredibly, the court acknowledged in its decision that it would have looked at the First Amendment arguments more closely had the gay couple ordered a cake with some explicit messaging that advocated gay marriage. In other words, the Colorado Court of Appeals believes that the threshold for denying religious liberty is the presence of advocacy. The court has effectively tasked itself with determining for you when religion should matter.

If nothing else, it’s comforting to know that Colorado can force an orthodox Muslim butcher to make sausages for a polyamorous, bisexual bachelor/bachelorette party, as long as no one asks the butcher to outwardly promote swine and free love.

In any event, I’m sure there will be an appeal. But seeing as most Americans are fine with gay marriage and simultaneously put off by unpleasant (though deceptive, in this case) words such as “discrimination” and “prejudice,” the courts — nearly always driven by the vagaries of public opinion — will find a way to force all to comply. This will go for any other businesses even tangentially related to weddings, such as food catering, music and so on. And the crusade will accelerate until the legal lynch mob gets to religious institutions. No doubt advocates will work backward to come up with a great legal rationalization for all of it.

All of this is not to say that in American life, the minority should never be compelled to surrender to some form of majoritarianism, judicial force or government. In this case, though, the minority does not have the ability to compromise without abandoning its faith. The other side refuses to compromise precisely because of this reality. And courts and commissions around the country are willing to destroy businesses — businesses that sometimes took a large part of a lifetime to build — by ignoring one of the most vital functions of the First Amendment.

The position of these businesspeople, unlike Southern racists decades ago, in no way undermines the newfound right of gay Americans to marry, nor does it inhibit them from enjoying freedom or finding happiness. In this case, only one side is attempting to legislate morality.

If you admit — and many rational people do, even those who quarrel with the reasoning behind religious obstinacy — that millions of Christians hold some form of a genuine, long-standing religious conviction that prohibits them from celebrating gay marriages but you still support state coercion against them, then you might as well just concede that religious freedom isn’t compatible with your conception of a contemporary society.

Whereas at one time the state wouldn’t substantially burden religious exercise and would use the least restrictive means to further “compelling interests,” the state today is inclined to substantially burden a Christian by the mere fact that someone’s feelings are hurt.


Australia: Reaction to Mark Latham’s colourful talk at the Melbourne Writers Festival shows us to be a nation of hypocrites

Rowan Dean writes reasonably below but Latham's main offence seems to have been his use of much foul language. And whether such language deserves free speech protection has always been a subject of debate.  "If you don't like it, walk out on it" has always been the libertarian dictum and some people did just that

IF YOU can’t be foul-mouthed at a writer’s festival, then where on earth can you be?

The uproar over Mark Latham’s diatribe at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival lays bare an uncomfortable truth about modern Australia – we have become a nation of whining, craven wimps frightened of our own shadows and terrified of our own thoughts. Worse, we have become a nation of hypocrites.

We pretend that we value free speech, but we instantly take offence at anybody who disagrees with our pre-ordained, pre-packaged, homogenised “progressive” attitudes.

Sadly, I was not in the audience to witness Mr Latham’s colourful use of our mother tongue. But had I been, I imagine it would have been the highlight of the weekend.

I’m pretty certain it would have been far more entertaining, enlightening, thought-provoking, or even enraging, than sitting through hour upon of hour of turgid drivel from authors droning on about gay marriage, climate change, and the evils of Tony Abbott.

Think I’m joking? Check out the festival website. How’s this for unintentional hilarity: “Is This How You Feel? is an exhibition of 22 handwritten letters from some of Australia’s leading climate researchers, describing how climate change makes them feel.

“Written with passion instead of in dry scientific language, the letters are powerful, heartfelt and raw.” Wow! Can’t wait for the book to come out!

Or perhaps you’d prefer to join the queue for this no doubt standing-room-only session: “How do women in media deal with the pressure to look ‘good’ and behave ‘properly’?” Er, with a mirror perhaps?

No, the purpose of good writing is to use words to inspire our deepest emotions, to provoke brave new thinking, and to always challenge the status quo.

The history of literature is all about creative people who dared to break religious and sexual taboos, to rage against the mundane, and to undermine through satire the rich and the powerful.

Writing is possibly mankind’s greatest skill, and one that has permitted our species to thrive through our ability to record our own innermost thoughts and share the lessons of our histories with those who came after us.

Which is why, alongside freedom of speech, sits freedom of expression – the right to write.

Writing captures our noblest dreams, but also our darkest nightmares.

From Shakespeare to Amis, writers have turned their talent to lewd profanities, blasphemy and causing maximum offence.

A writer’s festival, rather than an anodyne collection of minor celebrities twittering on about how they “feel”, should be an explosive and volatile combustion of the use of language to convey ideas that provoke fear, pleasure, joy, terror and sadness.

If I don’t leave a writer’s festival feeling inspired, angry, tortured, frustrated, elated and jealous, then the festival has failed me.

What we publish is of course different to what we write, being confined by defamation, but we should never forget the Duke of Wellington’s admonishment to “publish and be damned!” which, intriguingly in the light of the current Ashley Madison scandal, was in response to someone threatening to expose the Duke’s affair with his mistress.

Although I haven’t seen the transcript of his speech, I have no doubt that Mr Latham managed to offend and outrage all sorts of different people in equal measure. Good. Whether you like him or not, whether you agree with his politics or not, whether you accept his point of view or not on a whole range of issues, there is no denying Mr Latham’s skill with the pen.  He is a genuinely talented writer.

And if the one thing you learn from this festival is that a skilled writer can also be a foul-mouthed hater of things you hold precious and dear, then you have learned something valuable.

Certainly more than how to put on your lippy before reading the news.



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, 2015

Pat Condell's latest

He skewers Leftist comedians, referring particularly to how they malign UKIP, a conservative British political party that wants Britain out of the EU and is critical of immigration. Around 4 million Brits (over 12%) voted UKIP at the last national election, despite monolithic condemnation from the media.

Bright young thing says America is responsible for the practice of sex slavery by ISIS

Kecia Ali is a Professor of religion at Boston university.  She has written an article which looks at the assertion by ISIS that sex slavery is Islamic.  She concludes that it is permitted by Islam but not obligatory.  She then goes on to conclude her article as follows: 

"In focusing on current abuses in the Middle East, perpetrated by those claiming the mantle of Islam, Americans -- whose Constitution continues to permit enslavement as punishment for crime -- deflect attention from partial U.S. responsibility for the current crisis in Iraq. Sanctions followed by military invasion and its brutal aftermath laid the groundwork for the situation Callimachi describes. Moral high ground is in short supply. The core idea animating enslavement is that some lives matter more than others. As any American who has been paying attention knows, this idea has not perished from the earth."

Judging by her name she could be of Turkish descent and, as one would therefore expect, is in general very pro-Muslim. Robert Spencer points out that she misrepresents Islam.  Muslim apologists have to do that these days

Antisemites rebuffed

Perhaps we should thank Spain's Rotodom Sunsplash reggae festival organizers. They just provided us with a textbook case both of the nature of today's anti-Semitism and of how to defeat it.

Last weekend, the festival organizers canceled their invitation to Matisyahu, the American-Jewish reggae artist, because he refused to bow to the organizers' demand that he publicly support "Palestine."

Matisyahu was the only known Jew in the festival line-up and the only performer asked to produce such a statement.

Rather than take this lying down, on Monday Matisyahu recounted the episode on his Facebook page, writing, "It was appalling and offensive that as the one publicly Jewish-American artist scheduled for the festival they were trying to coerce me into political statements."

Matisyahu's disinvitation prompted a worldwide Jewish outcry. The Foreign Ministry registered a complaint with the Spanish government.

Every major American Jewish organization and several European Jewish organizations condemned the blatant discrimination against Matisyahu.

On Tuesday, Spain's main newspaper, El Pais, condemned the festival's anti-Semitism. The Spanish government followed hours later.

On Wednesday, the festival organizers issued a groveling apology to Matisyahu and officially reinstated his invitation to perform.

The organizers claim they were intimidated into discriminating against Matisyahu by a local anti-Israel BDS group. BDS País Valencià resorted to "pressures, threats and coercion" and warned the organizers that its members would "seriously disrupt the normal functioning of the festival."

There are two main lessons here.

First, the BDS movement does not seek to end the so-called occupation of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. It does not seek peace.

By demanding that an American Jew denounce Israel as a condition for performing, the BDS movement made clear that the only Jews it is willing to countenance are anti-Semitic Jews. The only Jews BDS activists will accept in the public square are those who join them in denouncing Israel and denouncing Jews who support Israel.

In other words, the goal of BDS is deny Jews civil rights. All participants in the movement - whether non-Jews or Jews - are anti-Semites, because they all seek to boot from public life Jews who disagree with them.

The second lesson of the Matisyahu affair is that it is possible to defeat these haters. The festival organizers discriminated against Matisyahu because they feared the Jew-hating mob more than they valued his artistry. They are now groveling at his feet because the pushback they received from world Jewry for their behavior knocked them to their knees.

When Jews stand up to anti-Semites, the anti-Semites back down.


Australia: Stop union racism, Senator tells Labor Party leader

Leftist racism is never far below the surface

CABINET minister Mathias Cormann has demanded Opposition Leader Bill Shorten pull unions into line and stop a "racist, dog-whistling" campaign against Australia's trade deal with China.

SEVERAL unions are stridently opposed to parts of the agreement they believe will allow Chinese companies to bring in cheap labour at the expense of Australian workers - something the government denies.

Senator Cormann said the "racist dog whistle against China" was contrary to Australia's national interest. "Bill Shorten clearly doesn't have the strength of character to do what needs to be done," he told Network Ten on Sunday.  "By saying nothing, he's effectively supporting this racist and dishonest union campaign against what is a very important free trade agreement for our country."

Labor wants a better explanation of the provisions under which companies can bring in workers, arguing the text of the deal does not explicitly lay out the safeguards the government says are included.  The government insists all the usual working visa "checks and balances" stay in place for work Chinese companies do in Australia under the agreement.

It stepped up the attack on Labor in parliament over the past week, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott accusing the opposition of wanting to bring back the White Australia policy.

Senator Cormann asked on Sunday why the unions were campaigning only against the China agreement, when the Abbott government had also completed trade deals with Korea and Japan.

"I suspect that the union movement is essentially just trying to take a generally protectionist approach, trying to hold back our economy in some sort of misguided view that this is better for their members," he said. "But it ain't better."



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

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

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


23 August, 2015

Another multicultural pest in Britain

There were various reports of this incident online but only this one included the word I have highlighted below

Police have tasered a man on an Easyjet flight to Belfast after a row over taking on two pieces of hand luggage, including a "man purse". The man became "increasingly abusive", and so the police were called to the plane.

Fellow passengers described how a police officer spent around 20 minutes trying to persuade the man, who was aged in his 40s, to leave the aircraft peacefully.  Eventually however as the man became more upset and agitated they fired their tasers before removing him from the plane.

Gary Trainor, who was on board the 8.20am flight, said some passengers began getting worried that the incident might be terror related. After landing in Belfast, the actor and musician, who is currently performing in the West End, said: "I was in the middle of the plane and he was at the back so I wasn't really aware anything was wrong until I saw a police officer walk down the aisle.

"That is when lots of people started rubber necking to see what was happening. There was a black guy in his 40s and he seemed to be involved in a stand off with the policeman. He kept saying that he had paid for his ticket and therefore had every right to be on the aircraft.

"It seemed to go on for about 20 minutes and things became increasingly heated. More police officers came on board and then eventually there was a scuffle and I saw they had drawn their tasers.

"I didn't see them hit him but he slumped down and then it took about another 20 minutes to get him off the aircraft. There were whispers going round among the passengers that this might have been a diversion and people started to ask 'have they got all his luggage off'.

"There was a bit of panic among the passengers because he was being completely uncooperative. They eventually took us all off and checked the aircraft before letting us back on with another crew."

Mr Trainor said: "I was going home for a wedding and I was supposed to be out shopping with my mother so I was a bit concerned about the time. We were due to land at 9.40am and ended up touching down at 12.20pm instead, so it was a bit frustrating."

A spokesman for Sussex Police confirmed that the man had been arrested and was being held on suspcion of breach of the peace.

He has now been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

A police spokesman said: "On Thursday evening, following examination by doctors, he was detained under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act for admission into a psychiatric unit for further assessment and treatment in the interest of his own health, safety and protection of others."

Easyjet said passengers had been taken off the plane as a security precaution.


Smokers and heavy drinkers should pay for treatment of 'self-inflicted' illnesses rather than expect NHS to foot the bill

The vast majority of people believe alcohol abusers should pay for their own treatment rather than get it free on the NHS, a survey has found.

More than half said the NHS should not fund treatment if the illness was a consequence of smoking and patients should be forced to pay for it themselves.

The report questioned 4,000 UK adults about the cost of common procedures in the UK and whether it should be publicly funded.

The responses included:

    One in 10 do not think someone who has abused alcohol should get a liver transplant on NHS

    The same number said either they had lied to their doctor about being depressed, or knew someone who had, in a bid to get plastic surgery on the NHS

    78 per cent believe people wanting IVF treatment should either contribute towards it or foot the bill entirely 

Last year more than 1.4 million people used NHS drug and alcohol services including rehabilitation, at a total cost of £136 million.

But it seems most Britons believe this should be stopped, with an overwhelming 85 per cent saying alcoholics should pay for their own treatment.

And more than half (52 per cent) think the NHS should not fund treatment if the illness was a consequence of smoking.

This is because they feel the NHS is already too stretched to tend to people's needs if the damage has been self-inflicted.

Meanwhile, one in 10 of us argue the government should not provide a liver transplant as a result of abusing alcohol.

A quarter believe alcoholics should contribute to the operation, while 43 per cent think it should be free only if they are clean for more than three months prior to the transplant.

But the study, carried out by the Benenden National Health Report 2015, revealed how people were willing to con medical officials so they could have treatment paid for by the public purse.

Shockingly, nearly one in ten say they have lied to their doctor or know someone who has lied about being depressed in a bid to get plastic surgery to boost their confidence.

The report also highlights our ignorance when it comes to the cost of NHS care.

Liver transplants were estimated to cost £12,279 per operation, when in fact they were almost six times more at £70,000 for the surgery.

Abdominal hernia surgery, of which 7,489 low risk ones were carried out last year, was thought to cost £1,609 rather than the £2,281 in reality.

Half of us (48 per cent) thought fewer than 2,500 gastric band by-passes and procedures were carried out by the NHS each year.

However, in reality the actual figure was more than double at 5,443 - costing the NHS over £25 million in 2014.

And it seems IVF is low on our list when it comes to what our health service should prioritise.

More than three quarters of those polled said hopeful parents should either contribute towards the cost of the treatment or foot the bill entirely.

Almost half believed it costs less than £500 for women to have a natural birth in hospital, without any complications.

And the average cost of a natural birth was estimated to be £1,288 - which is more than £500 short of the true figure of £1,824.

Medical Director of Benenden, Dr John Giles, said: 'I suspect most people view diseases caused by excessive drinking and smoking as being self-inflicted and therefore potentially avoidable.

'They probably feel that they should not have to pay the price for the consequences of the poor choices of others.

'It comes as no surprise that the public has a staggering and destructive ignorance regarding the cost of treatments on the NHS.

'As a nation we have lost touch with the role we should play in our own health and wellbeing, expecting the NHS to pick up the pieces.

'If the public was more aware of the cost of appointments, treatments, operations and prescriptions, and really took responsibility for their own health, using the NHS only when absolutely necessary, the crisis the service finds itself in today would be significantly lessened.


Destructive propaganda

Over the weekend, the hagiographic film "Straight Outta Compton" pulled in $60 million at the box office. The film follows the trials and travails — but not the woman-beating, gay-bashing, violence-promoting activities — of NWA, the iconic rage hip-hop group made most famous by their anthem, "F—- Tha Police."

The theme of the film, according to reviewers, centers on the evils of the Los Angeles Police Department and white authority. Paul Giamatti, playing Paul Giamatti on steroids, screams at a group of stock-casting cops, "You cannot harass my clients because of what they look like!" He tells the group, "You have a unique voice. The world needs to hear it."

But while the world may hear this whitewashed version of NWA's nastiness — after all, Ice Cube now plays cops on TV rather than cursing them — the movie won't be seen in one place: Compton itself. According to CBS Los Angeles, Compton has no movie theaters. "It's a low income area, it's been heavily dis-invested in," says USC professor of sociology Manual Pastor. "When you live in a community that doesn't have that kind of retail, it's a sign that the community is devalued and people within the community feel devalued."

Compton doesn't lack a theater because of a feeling of victimhood. It lacks a theater because Compton overflows with crime. According to Neighborhood Scout, Compton's violent crime rate is 12.87 per 1,000 residents; chances of being victimized by a crime stand at 1 in 78, as opposed to 1 in 249 across California as a whole. The murder rate is reportedly 37 per 100,000 in Compton; the murder rate in the United States is less than 5 per 100,000.

So much for NWA changing the world.

NWA merely reiterated the anti-police propaganda that has kept inner city communities enmeshed in brutality and poverty for generations. Jill Loevy, reporter for The Los Angeles Times, describes in agonizing detail the lack of law and order in South Central Los Angeles, which covers Compton.

She talks about how the police are underfunded in such areas, how witnesses are cowed into silence, how informal mechanisms of authority — gangs — fill the gap. "Residents would still holler 'One time!' at the cops," she writes. "The term derived from the memory of police touring black neighborhoods once a day, making no real effort to address crime. 'One time' was a stock anticop insult, just like 'po-po' and 'blue-eyed devil.' Yet it contained a plaintive note — a paradoxical suggestion that more times might be better."

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which contains the critical mandate for "equal protection of the laws," was designed to stop selective prosecution. The Civil Rights Act of 1866, the precursor to the 14th Amendment, explicitly stated that citizens — more specifically, black citizens — had to have "full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property ... and shall be subject to like punishment, pains and penalties, and to none other." Leaving parts of America unpoliced, the Radical Republicans who wrote the 14th Amendment understood, placed them squarely in the lap of chaos.

Today, Compton's murder rate looks more like that of war zones than that of a modern American city. That's because any area in which no one enforces law and property rights devolves into pandemonium.

Hollywood can glorify NWA; the Democratic Party can humor the counterproductive, criminal-glorifying Black Lives Matter movement. None of it will solve the underlying problem in heavily black inner city areas. Leaving black Americans at the mercy of lawlessness used to be a mandate of racism; now it's a mandate of political correctness. No matter who pushes that agenda, the outcome is the same: disaster.


Traditional marriage arrangements rejected by Australian Green Party

Australian politicians have clashed with traditional marriage advocates on ABC's Q&A, as the debate surrounding marriage equality continued to cause sparks to fly.

The fiery debate took place after an audience member asked the panel what Australia's next step in legalising same-sex marriage should be, after the Coalition government voted last week not to address the issue prior to the next election.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale got the discussion under way by accusing Prime Minister Tony Abbott of sabotaging the push for equality by using 'every tactic in the book'.

'We could have a bill before the Parliament supported by majority of parliamentarians if Tony Abbott did what he espouses and that is to respect the freedom and liberty of his own backbenchers and allow them to a free vote,' Mr Di Natale said. 'The sooner the Liberal Party change the Prime Minister, I think the country will be better for it.'

The discussion took a turn for the worse when American traditional marriage advocate Katy Faust began to list reasons why she believes marriage equality should be denied.

The controversial commentator and self-described bigot's main objection was with the alleged negative impact same-sex parents would have on their children.  'We don't want to inflict intentional motherless and fatherlessness on kids in the name of progress,' Ms Faust said, on the ABC's program.

'In (my) country, we didn't have a robust debate... It was so demonised from the beginning that anybody that supported traditional marriage was doing so based on bias or bigotry or hatred or homophobia. It totally shut it down and people felt like they could not speak up.'

Labor Senator Sam Dastyari immediately challenged Ms Faust on her comments, which he said were 'so offensive (he didn't) know where to start'.  [Would he challenge similar comments in his native Iran?]

'The politician in me tells me that I should be saying that while I disagree with your views, I wholeheartedly respect them but I find that very hard,' Mr Dastyari said.  'I find it very hard to respect a lot of your views on what you have said because I don't think it comes from a place of love. I think it comes from a place of hate.

'I worry that so much of your views stem not really with an issue with just marriage, I think some of it stems with an issue with homosexuality. You have described homosexuality as a lifestyle. You have said homosexuality drives us further away from God.

'There are people in this country who have different views on same-sex marriage. People will have the debate but we have to have it at a higher level. The American evangelical claptrap is the last thing we need in the debate.'

Mr Di Natale later took issue with Ms Faust's assertion about the harmful impact same-sex parents have on children, by saying the most important thing is a loving household and dismissing other claims as 'rubbish'.

Ms Faust shot back at the Greens leader, saying: 'Oh my, rubbish. well, it's actually not. Social science has been studying alternative family structure.'

British editor Brendan O'Neill also offered his thoughts on the debate, which focused around the alleged 'shouting down' of people who do not support marriage equality.

'Here's what freaks me out about gay marriage,' Mr O'Neill said.   'It presents itself as this kind of liberal civil-rightsy issue, but it has this really ugly intolerant streak to it.

'You really see it in this whole cake shop phenomenon... This whole thing around the western world where people are going to traditional Christian cake shops and saying to them, 'hey you, stupid Christian, make this cake for me' and if they don't they call the police.'

Mr O'Neill also went on to defend Mr Abbott's handling on the issue, saying the Prime Minister has unfairly been painted as someone from 'the Dark Ages for believing what humanity has believed for thousands of years'.

The debate comes after Liberal backbencher Warren Entsch is expected to introduce his same-sex marriage bill, seconded by Labor, into parliament on Monday, but it is not expected to be voted on.

A new poll also revealed 76 per cent want a national vote on marriage equality, according to AAP.



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, 2015

Democrats' Inconvenient History

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” —John Adams, 2nd President of the United States, 1770

For the last few years the promise of electing America’s first black president has given way to the reality that race relations have actually taken a turn for the worse. While some of the grievances that have emerged have been legitimate, there is little doubt that the “fundamental transformation of America” demanded by the Left and their media allies requires the elevation of a narrative over America’s historical record.

And that begins with the term “African-American” itself. There’s a reason I’ve consistently used black American when discussing race issues in my columns. First, African-American is largely inaccurate because it lumps black people from all over the world into a single category of origin. Yet far more important, it smacks of exactly the kind of Us vs. Them separatism that makes a mockery of Martin Luther King’s 1963 speech, where he hoped one day “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood” and people would be judged by the “content of their character, not the color of their skin.” Yet there was an equally, if not more, important part of that speech that has gone largely unheeded:

    “But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”

Does that sound like the agenda of the professional race-baiters/rabble-rousers who inhabit the New Black Panthers or #BlackLivesMatter? Does it sound like Ferguson or Baltimore, where riots in the former were triggered by a completely debunked narrative, and riots in the latter were abetted by a black American mayor who believed anarchists should be provided "space" to perpetrate their anarchy? Can anyone imagine the uproar if a Republican president gave former Klansman David Duke White House access, or attended meetings of his race-based European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), just as President Obama gives White House access to Al Sharpton and has attended galas at Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN)?

Does anyone remember it was mostly Korean businesses targeted by blacks during the Los Angeles riots of 1992, or that a similar scenario played itself out in Baltimore this year? How do such inconvenient realities square with the odious theory promoted by MSNBC pundit and Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, who insists black people can’t be racist because they don’t control the levers of power? And how does Dyson square Dr. King’s exhortation with his odious contention that the exoneration of George Zimmerman is an “injustice” that will only be recognized as such when the deaths of white kids “approximate the numbers of black and other kids who die”? What could be more unjust than the effort to turn the confrontation between Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin into a racial incident, an effort so desperate it literally required the creation of the term “white Hispanic” and the doctoring of audio by NBC to do so?

Whose agenda is being served here, there and everywhere else? Who has a vested interest in keeping Americans at one another’s throats to the point where even reasonable people are wondering if bridging the racial divide is still worth the time and the trouble?

If we’re going to talk about the institutionalized racism to which the American Left constantly refers, how about referring to those who actually institutionalized it? It wasn’t Republicans who set dogs and water hoses on black protesters in 1963 in Birmingham, AL. It was Democrat Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Conner. It wasn’t Republicans who denied James Meredith admission to the all-white University of Mississippi in 1962. It was Democrat and ardent segregationist Gov. Ross Robert Barnett.

And it wasn’t Republicans who desperately tried to hide their history of racism as they prepared to nominate Barack Obama for president in 2008. How many Americans know there were 20 Democrat platforms that either supported segregation outright, or were silent on the subject, from 1868 through 1948? How many know it was Democrats who opposed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution, banning slavery, guaranteeing due process and equal protection to former slaves, and granting black Americans the right to vote, respectively? How many know the Democratic Convention of 1924 held in Madison Square Garden was known as the “Klanbake” and that a plank condemning Klan violence was defeated outright — followed by a KKK rally attended by 10,000 hooded Klansmen in a field in New Jersey directly across the Hudson from the site of the convention?

How many know it was Democrats who segregated the federal government at the direction of President Woodrow Wilson upon taking office in 1913, or that three-fourths of the opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Bill in the House came from Democrats, a total that was topped by their Democrat Senate colleagues, who accounted for 80 of the no votes in that chamber? (Hat tip to CNN correspondent Jeffery Lord for the above research)

What about the oft-repeated myth the these so-called Dixiecrats migrated to the GOP and thus blacks migrated to the Democrat Party? Revisionist history of the highest order. First, 93% of Dixicrats remained Democrats for life. Second, black voters supported both Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman (overwhelmingly) long before this so-called migration occurred — and despite the reality that both men were members of the KKK. That “club” also included West Virginia Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd who led a filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Nonetheless, Democrats are overwhelmingly supported by black Americans for two reasons. One, LBJ signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act into law, and the reality that more Republicans supported it than Democrats has been swept under the historical rug; and two, Richard Nixon’s ostensible pursuit of a “Southern Strategy” that turned southern states towards the GOP, due to Nixon’s ostensible pandering, described by Democrats as employing “dog whistle” (this is where the term originates) terminology and “code speak” to woo voters concerned about desegregation.

That Nixon's track record demonstrated a steadfast commitment to civil rights, including the creation of an Office of Minority Business Enterprise in the Department of Commerce, a more than ten-fold increase in federal government purchases from black businesses ($13 million to $142 million) between 1969 and 1971, a budget increase for civil rights programs from $75 million to more than $600 million from 1969-1972, the initiation of the Emergency School Act to help end school segregation, and an executive order that called on federal agencies to apply Equal Opportunity (EO) policies to every aspect of personnel policies and practices?

An old Soviet proverb provides the best answer: The future is clear; it’s the past that’s always changing.

But there is a far larger question that must be asked: What have black Americans gotten from Democrats for their unwavering support over the last 50 years? How about an egregious learning gap in public schools, courtesy of a Democrat/education union symbiosis that protects the odious status quo? Or the utter destruction of the nuclear family, courtesy of LBJ’s Great Society and its change in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program? Before the advent of the Great Society, AFDC had been reserved for widows, as a means of funding once-married women who had lost the primary male supporter of the family. In the 1960s, President Johnson and Congress changed the qualifications: Any household where there was no male family head present became eligible for taxpayer subsidies, thereby incentivizing the breakup of the traditional family structure.

During those same 50 years, Democrats unceasingly promoted the idea that black Americans are victims of institutionalized and endemic racism that is impossible to overcome absent government intervention. Their latest effort in that regard is the promotion of skin-based “white privilege,” a term that might resonate among the coastal elites who bemoan the ostensible advantage automatically conferred to those of the Caucasian persuasion. But for the millions of white and other non-black Americans in “flyover country” who struggle to make ends meet, one suspects the same half-century of copious affirmative action programs and diversity set-asides — that must be embraced, lest one be considered racist — are rapidly approaching the end of their shelf life.

And perhaps it’s time black Americans recognized that government intervention is a double-edged sword. It is Democrats who are bound and determined to take black Americans and their votes for granted like never before: If they get their way, millions of illegals will be given the opportunity to compete with black Americans in an economy where the labor participation rate hovers near a 40 year low. And Obama and Democrats will pursue that agenda with an unbridled impunity made possible only by black Americans' unstinting loyalty. A loyalty so entrenched that anyone who dares to stray from Democrat orthodoxy is branded a “race traitor,” just as conservative black Justice Clarence Thomas has been from the time he was nominated to the Supreme Court to this very day.

When something isn’t working, it is often a good idea to reexamine one’s premises. Perhaps it is time black Americans reexamined their belief that Democrats, and only Democrats, are looking out for their best interests. That reexamination begins with the simplest of questions: Why hasn’t 50-plus years of loyalty yielded little more than the very same discontent that arose in the 1960s? Hint: One definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time.


A cuddly man of principle? No, British far-Leftist spent 30 years sucking up to the world's most repellent monsters

Jeremy Corbyn is idealised by thousands of Leftist young people who respond enthusiastically to his criticisms of the excesses of capitalism. They regard him as a breath of fresh air and a palpably decent man standing up for the underdog.

Even in the Centre and Right of the political spectrum there are many who think Corbyn a plainly principled chap, though they don’t like all of his views. At least, they say, he offers an alternative to the prevailing New Labour-Lib Dem-Cameroon political consensus of the past 20 years or so.

And Corbyn, for his part, plays up to this billing. At times I have almost found myself liking him for the apparent honesty, his lack of vanity, and his engaging oddness. Which other politician would dare to show his vest under his shirt in the height of summer?

I can see, too, why his ‘banker-bashing’, his Euroscepticism, his excoriation of the rapacious energy companies and his attacks on rail privatisation resonate with millions of people. Sometimes they even begin to resonate with me.

But beware. If you judge a man by the company he keeps — and that is generally a fair way of looking at our fellow human beings — Jeremy Corbyn has associated with some very unpleasant people since becoming an MP more than 30 years ago.

I’m not just referring to their views, though they are always extreme. I am even more struck by the fact that many of those with whom he has rubbed shoulders in a seemingly friendly way are either non-democratic or espouse violence — or both.

Of course, it’s possible for any politician to slip into bad company. One thinks of the time Robert Mugabe — the tyrant who has ruled Zimbabwe for even longer than Mr Corbyn has been a backbench MP — manoeuvred our then Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, into shaking his hand. Out of politeness, or perhaps fearing a diplomatic embarrassment, Mr Straw complied. But he wasn’t consciously endorsing the monster.

Corbyn, by contrast, has gone out of his way to entertain, or make donations to, or sit on the same platform as, or offer support to, a panoply of dangerous or obnoxious characters.

One of his first acts as an MP was to invite Gerry Adams to the House of Commons in 1984, a fortnight after the IRA had tried to blow up Margaret Thatcher and the rest of the British Cabinet, killing five people in the process.

These days, Adams is an ostensibly respectable and democratic politician, chatting amicably with Prince Charles when the heir to the throne visited the Republic of Ireland earlier this year. But in 1984 he was a very senior member of the IRA Army Council, and its one-time chief of staff, as Corbyn would have known.

Two weeks earlier, a close IRA colleague of Adams’ had unleashed murder and mayhem in Brighton. By inviting Adams so soon afterwards to the Commons, Corbyn was in effect showing solidarity with terrorists. He has remained on friendly terms with the former IRA chief of staff.

Now, of course, the prospective leader of the Labour Party makes a ritual denunciation of all violence during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, though he does so in a way that puts the British Army on the same moral level as the IRA, if not slightly below it.

In a recent interview with BBC Radio Ulster, he said: ‘Look, I condemn what was done by the British Army as well as the other sides.’ He sidestepped five times the chance to condemn the IRA’s bombing campaign.

Equally nauseating has been Corbyn’s endorsement of Hamas and Hezbollah, two terrorist organisations committed to the destruction of the State of Israel. He has described them as his ‘friends’ and met several of their leading lights.

His tolerance of men applauding violence has extended to Dyab Abou Jahjah, an Islamist firebrand who said in 2004 that he regarded ‘every death of an American, British or Dutch soldier [in Iraq] as a victory.’ In 2009, Corbyn sat alongside this ogre at a parliamentary meeting.

A mistake? An unfortunate coincidence that amounted to nothing? One might think so if there were not a re-occurring pattern of the Labour MP associating with zealots whose preferred route to power does not appear to be via the ballot box.

Perhaps the most disturbing contact Corbyn has made is with Paul Eisen, a self-confessed Holocaust denier who runs a pro-Palestinian pressure group. He has admitted to attending ‘two or three’ events hosted by Eisen, and has said he may have given his organisation a donation, though he denies that Eisen was a Holocaust denier at the time.

Eisen goes much further, claiming the Labour MP ‘opened his chequebook’. But even if we accept Corbyn’s more restrained version of events, it’s very hard to see what he was doing attending the meetings of such a person on two or three occasions. Once might be understandable, as a way of informing himself, but why more?

And why did Corbyn once describe Raed Salah — a preacher convicted in a Jerusalem court in 2008 of using the abominable anti-Semitic slur that Jewish people use the blood of children as a sacrifice — as a ‘very honoured citizen’? Why, too, allow James Thring, a conspiracy theorist who believes the world is controlled by ‘Jewish’ elders, to speak at a parliamentary event last October which he hosted? Corbyn rather implausibly claims he did not know that Thring was going to speak.

I don’t accuse Jeremy Corbyn of being an anti-Semite. What I do say is that he has consorted with a number of people who appear to be, and some who would like to destroy Israel by terrorist means.

Corbyn, it should be said, has responded to these revelations by saying that ‘the Holocaust was the most vile part of our history’, while his defenders insist that whatever meetings with extremists he may have held were primarily intended to promote dialogue.

I find this difficult to believe in view of the sheer volume of such unsavoury associations over the years. It seems much more likely that now he is in the limelight, and contesting the leadership of the Labour Party as he can never have expected to do, he is obliged to try to sanitise his past.

Should a man who has spent so much time in the company of non-parliamentary extremists be trusted as the next leader of the Labour Party, let alone as a future Prime Minister of Great Britain? Absolutely not.

To judge by his record, he is not simply Left-wing in the way that Michael Foot, Labour leader in the early Eighties, was. Foot may have held political views with which I disagreed, but he was a parliamentarian who believed in the supremacy of Parliament. I’m not at all sure this can be said of Jeremy Corbyn.

Why don’t his three rivals for the leadership, and other leading Labour figures, say as much? They drone on about how he would make the Labour Party unelectable for a generation while evading the central point that he has sought the company of some very questionable friends.

Where is the person in the Labour Party, candidate or elder statesman, who will dare speak the truth — which is that Jeremy Corbyn is not the lovable, cuddly new broom his deluded followers believe him to be, but an extremist who has spent a political career embracing nasty causes?


Regulating sex: the fear of intimacy

British students’ feelings of vulnerability are driving the regulation of sex on campus

The long summer vacation used to be a time for university students to go inter-railing through European cities and discover the meaning of life, and each other, through sharing bottles of cheap wine. This year, the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) is spending August promoting its recently published Lad Culture Audit Report. This is the latest in a series of reports designed to lend credibility to the NUS’s ongoing crusade against all things laddish. Despite the use of ‘audit’ and ‘research’, there is little objectivity in the report’s assumption that higher education fosters ‘rape-supportive attitudes, sexual harassment and violence’.

The report calls for ‘a new national framework to aid those affected by sexual violence and harassment’. This is a demand for a UK version of the US’s ‘Title IX’ regulation, a prohibition against sex-based discrimination in education which also rules on how colleges deal with allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Currently, about half of UK universities have specific policies relating to sexual harassment – the authors of the Lad Culture Audit consider this to be symptomatic of ‘the problem’. They are further outraged by the fact that just 32 per cent of universities run official NUS-led sexual-consent workshops, and that only six per cent of institutions cover consent as part of the curriculum.

Throughout the report there is a sense of exasperation at this lack of consistency. That some institutions may not consider lad culture to be a huge problem, or may not have formal classes or policies in place to dictate to students how they should conduct their sex lives, clearly baffles and infuriates the authors. Special outrage is reserved for those universities that have ‘advised victims to try to resolve matters “informally” first, forcing them to take responsibility for difficult situations instead of seeking help from the institution’. The report’s unquestioning use of the victim label tells us why the authors find the idea of students, as adults, talking issues through with one another so baffling. The call throughout the report is for more explicit and formal regulation of how students behave towards each other.

Perhaps the NUS would like UK universities to emulate Goucher College in the US. This tiny liberal-arts college has a 33-page-long policy document called ‘Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence and Stalking’. Composed as a requirement of Title IX, it details the provision of educational programmes on sexual misconduct, relationship violence and stalking for all students, with the aim of preventing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The policy emphasises the importance of consent and offers the following definition: ‘Each participant is expected to obtain or give verbal consent to each act of sexual activity. In order for consent to be valid, all parties must be capable of making a rational, reasonable decision about the sexual act, and must have a shared understanding of the nature of the act to which they are consenting.’

This 33-page policy, which spells out in minute detail what the college’s 2,173 students can and cannot get up to in their bedrooms, makes for strange reading. Its declaration that consent cannot be given by people who have consumed alcohol or drugs, and they must therefore abstain until sober, suggests college administrators have lost all touch with reality. The problem the policy amply demonstrates is that when you start regulating the sex lives of students, there is no obvious place to stop. The Goucher policy goes on to prohibit ‘unwelcome flirtation, advances, inappropriate social invitations, or unwanted requests for sexual favours’.

What underpins both the NUS report and US Title IX policies is an assumption that students cannot be trusted to negotiate sexual relationships themselves. They are driven by a tangible sense of fear that allowing relationships to be unregulated by policy documents and consent classes will unleash violence and harassment. Uncontrolled sex and relationships are portrayed as dangerous and abusive. Passion, emotion, desire, instinct, abandon, especially when fuelled by alcohol, are to be reined in at all times. It is this fear of unregulated behaviour that lies behind demands for sexual-consent classes and policies.

If we go back a couple of generations, student sex was far more tightly regulated than it is today. Social, religious and cultural norms, driven in part by a very real fear of unwanted pregnancy and the stigma surrounding it, were enforced by authoritative adults in the guise of net-curtain-twitching neighbours at home and tutors acting in loco parentis on campus. Universities had single-sex accommodation and enforced curfews. Later on, the increased availability of contraception and the relaxing of such stifling social conventions were experienced as progressive and liberating. In 1970, the legal lowering of the age of majority in the UK from 21 to 18 reflected a recognition that students, as adults, were free to make their own mistakes in sex and relationships, as in every other part of their lives.

Of course, legal changes did not immediately alter social attitudes, and some regulation of young people by the enforcement of cultural expectations has continued. In particular, there was a general assumption of sex being linked to intimacy and emotion, even if not always conducted in the context of a relationship. But for many of today’s students, sex has been separated from emotional intimacy. School children are taught to be suspicious of strangers, that other children may be bullies, that it is best to avoid ‘exclusive’ friendships, and that sexual relationships can be violent and abusive. All too often, children learn to avoid making themselves vulnerable by emotionally investing in other people.

This fear of intimacy comes at a time when there are few social or cultural stigmas surrounding sex. Far from the moral disapproval of yesteryear, parents of today’s teens are advised in newspaper columns and on internet-discussion boards to allow boyfriend/girlfriend sleepovers in order to ensure openness and safety. Modern parents are supposed to leave a jar of condoms in the bathroom, turn the music up and chill out.

But this seemingly more liberal attitude keeps sex at the emotional level of the sleepover party. Today, the ‘safety’ sought by protective parents is only in part to do with avoiding becoming a premature grandparent. Instead, it is driven by a fear that their child might be pressurised into doing something he or she feels uncomfortable with – that he or she may be abused or emotionally harmed. Our conception of sex has been divested of intimacy and separated from feelings stronger than friendship. As a result, it breeds permanent suspicion. Young people are told not to trust each other, and not to trust their own ability to cope if things go wrong.

The students now calling for new regulations, classes and policies to regulate their sex lives are reacting to the moral relativism of the adult world. Rather than celebrating sexual liberation, they experience a fear of uncontrolled behaviour, particularly behaviour that takes place in private and may lead, in moments of intimacy, to emotional vulnerability. New codes of conduct, rapidly being written at universities up and down the country, are, in reality, little to do with sex, and even less to do with rape. They are about regulating behaviour and setting formal restrictions on how people relate to each other. Students today, unable to trust themselves or each other, clamour for rules. Universities are rushing to play catch-up and, in the form of these insane regulations, are providing students with the safety they appear to crave.


Australia: Aboriginal actor Alec Doomadgee furious after "racist" airline  banned him from taking his boomerangs as carry-on luggage

He expects weapons to be allowed on a plane??

An Aboriginal cultural leader is furious after Qantas refused to let him take ceremonial boomerangs on a flight as carry-on baggage.  Alec Doomadgee, an actor, broadcaster and cultural ambassador, was stopped from taking the boomerangs on a flight while at Brisbane Airport.

He was further annoyed when they were handled by Qantas staff, who could be affected by blessing or curses placed upon the culturally important boomerangs.

Qantas Corporate Communication adviser Courtney Treak told Daily Mail Australia staff members were following standard 'dangerous goods' procedure.

Qantas had not stopped him from taking the boomerangs on the plane but asked him to place them in checked baggage rather than carry on, she said.

Mr Doomadgee said he had often travelled with the boomerangs as carry-on baggage, and had never had problems before, the Brisbane Times reported.  He ended up leaving the boomerangs with a friend as he was concerned they would be damaged in checked baggage.

Ms Treak said the Aviation Transport Security Act described a number of items prohibited from aircraft cabins, including blunt objects.

'We appreciate they are very significant items to him but at the end of the day they [staff] considered it was safer for them to be checked.'

The airline was not suggesting Mr Doomadgee would use them as weapons, Ms Treak said.

Qantas had issued a public apology, but she was not sure if Mr Doomadgee had been contacted by the airline's customer care team.  'There was never any intent to offend.'

Mr Doomadgee took to social media on Monday and Tuesday to make numerous posts about the incident, sparking much discussion on his Facebook page.

He told the Brisbane Times the incident was an example of racism in Australia - instead of 'in your face KKK sh-t', 'snide, smartass remarks'.

Ms Treak said Qantas had a number of initiatives in action involving the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and the airline was committed to them. Aboriginal artwork on some Qantas planes, providing internships and trainee programmes were an example of that. 



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, 2015

America's Culture War Starts Claiming Victims

To hear the professional left’s “culture commandos” tell it, revered conservative author, commentator, and documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza is a criminal – and stark, raving mad.  A search for D’Souza online, and will quickly show that he’s a “convicted felon.”  His Wikipedia page, for instance, references him as an “Indian American political commentator, convicted felon and author” (emphasis added) – making sure his brush with the law is listed ahead of his status as a best-selling writer, and well ahead of his status as the most successful conservative documentary filmmaker of all time.

If one searches for recent news about D’Souza, one will find that a federal judge recently ordered him to undergo ongoing psychiatric treatment as a condition of his probation.

“Mr. D’Souza has weaknesses in controlling his own impulses and … is prone to anger in reaction to criticism,” the judge stated.

Really?  Or was he too successful in criticizing Barack Obama?

Navigating the fine print, one eventually learns that D’Souza’s “crime” involved relatively minor campaign finance infractions committed on behalf of his friend Wendy Long during her 2012 U.S. Senate race.  Dig deeper, and it becomes readily apparent that D’Souza isn’t mentally ill – far from it.

Rather, he's the latest victim of America’s “culture war” – an attempt to radically remake this nation in the image of Soviet Russia.

The tarring and feathering of D’Souza is but one high-profile example of a pervasive, anti-American assault on core conservative, constitutional values – and those who dare to advance them.  It is no longer merely “government overreach,” “liberal bias in the media,” or “political correctness run amok.”  It is something more sinister: an increasingly brazen totalitarian effort to remake American democracy in the image of statist, conformist, command-economy orthodoxy.

This “vast left-wing conspiracy” leverages regulatory edicts, PC “teachable moments,” and crony capitalist financial pressures to suppress the ideals and ideologies that once made our nation the envy of the civilized world.  Its objectives?  Compulsory tolerance, selective justice, the perpetual subsidization of our dependency culture, open borders, a disarmed populace, vaporized property rights, warrantless mass surveillance, the ceding of popular authority to the state (and American sovereignty to the world), the deification of progressive leaders, mass youth indoctrination via government-subsidized revisionist history, the debasing of religious freedom, the erosion of the U.S. Constitution, and the relegation of our nation’s two founding pillars – freedom and free markets – to the dustbin of history.

Think that’s hyperbolic?  Consider retired liberal general Wesley Clark – the former supreme NATO commander in Europe – who last month said American citizens who disagreed with their government should be sent to internment camps.  Then consider U.S. senator and 2016 presidential candidate Lindsey Graham – who said he’d consider using military force on the U.S. Congress if it didn’t fund the Department of Defense to his liking.

Where are the charges against these traitors?   And which federal judge is ordering them to be subjected to mental evaluations?

Let’s compare D’Souza’s “crime” to the conduct of former U.S. senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards, who was indicted for allegedly funneling $1 million in campaign contributions to his mistress, Rielle Hunter.  Edwards’s campaign finance scandal took place as he was running for president – and as he was conspiring to place the blame for his and Hunter’s love child on one of his staffers.  Finally, the scandal took place as his wife was dying of cancer. 

Edwards got off scot-free.  Not one of the charges against him stuck.  And no one accused him of being crazy.

D’Souza?  He was sentenced to eight months in a halfway house and five years’ probation and ordered to pay $30,000 in fines.  He was also required to undergo eight months of court-mandated “therapeutic counseling” by liberal U.S. district court judge Richard Berman – best known for his 2008 ruling forcing U.S. taxpayers to subsidize “halal” meals for Islamic criminals.   

Yet to hear the vast left-wing conspirators tell it, D’Souza is the crazy one.

Speaking of crazy, consider how the vast left-wing conspiracy treated the “gender evolution” of the athlete formerly known as Bruce Jenner.  Obviously American citizens – as their means permit – are free to pursue their idealized selves.  That’s what individual liberty and market freedom are all about.  Jenner is free to call himself Caitlyn – and pay for multiple procedures to surgically transform himself from a man into a woman.

No one’s stopping him – or her – from doing that.  In fact, no one did.  Nor did any credible voice at any stage of the process argue that Jenner didn’t have the right to undergo such a transformation.

But acceptance wasn’t the left’s objective – force-fed tolerance was.  It wasn’t enough for those of us who disagreed with (or were repulsed by) Jenner’s transformation to hold our tongues.  According to the vast left-wing conspirators, we had to affirmatively applaud it.

For future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, even that wasn’t enough.  Last month, The New York Post rebuked Favre for failing to clap with sufficient enthusiasm as Jenner took the stage at the 2015 ESPY Awards.

“As the audience erupts with applause, the camera pans over to Favre as he claps slowly before rubbing his hands together,” the Post reported, arguing that Favre’s failure to sufficiently gush over Jenner made the ceremony “uncomfortable for everyone.”

This is eerily reminiscent of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, in which the director of a Moscow paper factory received a ten-year sentence for sitting down at the eleven-minute mark of a standing ovation to Joseph Stalin.  For his crime of insufficient enthusiasm, he was arrested later that night on a trumped up charge and bluntly told by his interrogator, “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.”

“That was how they discovered who the independent people were,” Solzhenitsyn wrote. “And that was how they went about eliminating them.”

Make no mistake: this is where America is headed.

Consider what’s happening in Chappaqua, New York – hometown of presumed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.  As part of its Orwellian “neighborhood engineering” efforts, the administration of Barack Obama wants to force this Empire State hamlet to nullify its zoning ordinances to erect a low-income housing development.

Replete with racist assumptions of inferiority and intolerance, Obama’s compulsory integration permits government meddling in one of our most basic freedoms – where we choose to live.

Everywhere we turn, American freedoms and free markets are under attack – from Obamacare’s insidious individual mandate to the IRS persecution of conservative groups to the NSA’s warrantless mass surveillance of all Americans.

All the while, the national debt is soaring, our entitlements are on the verge of being exhausted, labor participation is at four-decade lows, wages are stagnant, and America’s status as the world’s only superpower is crumbling every bit as fast as the rule of law is eroding here at home.

In the documentary that made him a household name, Dinesh D’Souza criticized the Obama administration for eroding America from within – which is exactly what’s happening to our country.  As D’Souza pays the price for his prescience, the vast left-wing conspiracy is sending a simple message to anyone who dares to follow in his footsteps: “Fall in line now.”

Oh, and as the interrogator in Solzhenitsyn’s book warned, “don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.”


GOP Endorses National Religious Liberty Bill

In response to the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the Republican National Committee supported a piece of legislation that would affirm the Liberty enumerated in the First Amendment, despite the discrimination witch hunts run by the Rainbow Mafia. “Resolved, The Republican National Committee urges Congress to pass and the President to sign The First Amendment Defense Act to protect the rights of believers to equal treatment by the government of The United States of America,” the RNC resolution concluded.

This strong stance for the right to conscience comes after the RNC rejected two resolutions, one that dealt with how same-sex unions should be taught in schools, and another that encouraged states to pass resolutions undermining the SCOTUS ruling. It’s a politically wise move. While upholding the sanctity of marriage is more difficult than ever in the current culture, the GOP is trying to ensure every American can live at peace in a pluralistic society.


Are Republicans Happier in Their Marriages Than Democrats?

They're nicer people so they should be

Republicans are happier and more stable in their marriages than Democrats, according to a study released Monday.

W. Bradford Wilcox, a prominent sociologist at the University of Virginia, released the analysis finding that Republicans are more often married, less likely to be divorced, and happier in their marriages than Democrats.

Forty percent of Democrats between the ages of 20 and 60 are currently married versus 57 percent of Republicans in the same age range, according to evaluation of the national General Social Survey.

Among Democrats who have previously married, 47 percent have been divorced compared to 41 percent of Republicans who have previously married.

Wilcox said this is potentially because Republicans are more likely to embrace a “marriage-mindset,” which views marriage as the best way to “anchor” a relationship and a family. He said this mindset also emphasizes marriage as a binding commitment, which makes people more likely to invest themselves into the institution.

“If you value an institution and if you value a relationship, you’re more likely to give that person and institution the benefit of the doubt,” he said.

Wilcox and his co-author Nicholas Wolfinger also explored marital quality, finding that among those who are married, 67 percent of Republicans say they are “very happy” in their marriages. Sixty percent of Democrats say the same, marking a seven-point gap.

This disparity shrank to 3 percent when the researchers controlled for demographic and cultural differences between each party.

White and religious Americans, who are more likely to identify as Republicans, were also more likely to report they are “very happy” in their marriages. Education did not play a significant role.

Wilcox and Wolfinger wrote in their report for the Institute for Family Studies that while race and religiosity account for more than half of the “Republican advantage” in marital quality, the remainder may be explained through attitudes.

“Perhaps Republicans are more optimistic, more charitable, or more inclined to look at their marriages through rose-colored glasses,” they wrote.

Wilcox said this blend of optimism and charity along with the tendency of conservatives to view marriage more favorably could explain why Republicans perceive their marriages more positively.

Wilcox said he began investigating the link between partisanship and marriage following the rise of the 2010 book “Red Families v. Blue Families,” which argued that blue regions cultivate stronger and more stable families because of liberal emphasis on education and the tendency to delay marriage and parenthood, all of which are linked to lower divorce rates.

Wilcox said his study shows that the “presumption” that blue families are stronger and more stable “doesn’t hold water in many important respects” and, in fact, “suggests the contrary.”


We must be free to hurt Muslims’ feelings

Why we must stand with Bangladesh’s vilified secularist bloggers

Following the hacking to death of yet another Bangladeshi secularist blogger, a Bangladeshi police chief has come up with an idea for how these gruesome murders might be halted: secularists should stop criticising religion. Yes, according to Shahidul Haque, the problem is not the machetes being wielded by the intolerant Islamists who can handle no questioning of their beliefs; no, it’s the blasphemous words being published on the blogs of secularists, atheists and free thinkers. If only these people would stop expressing their beliefs, or their lack of belief, then they wouldn’t run the risk of being slaughtered. They ‘crossed the line’, said Haque. If they would just stop ‘hurting religious sentiment’, then they’d be okay.

This extraordinary act of victim-blaming — which can be summarised as ‘Shut the hell up if you want to live’ — came in response to the hacking to death of Niloy Neel in Dhaka. He’s the fourth secularist blogger to be killed this year. Ananta Bijoy Das was stabbed to death on his way to work in June, for daring to contribute to a blog devoted to the promotion of ‘science, rationalism, humanism and freethinking’. The founder of that blog, Avijit Roy, was murdered in February. And Washiqur Rahman was killed with meat cleavers in March. All had been on radical Islamists’ death lists. All were killed for the ‘crime’ of disrespecting, or in Haque’s words ‘hurting’, the dominant belief system in Bangladesh: Islam. What is happening there is like a drawn-out version of what happened at Charlie Hebdo in January: the killing of people for having the supposedly wrong worldview.

Yet even though the police chief’s response to Neel’s killing sounds callous and censorious, doesn’t it also sound familiar? If you want to stay safe, don’t cross the line… where have we heard this before? We heard it after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. And again following the shooting at a free-speech event in Copenhgan in February. But then, it wasn’t a foreign police boss who was basically saying ‘Silence yourself if you want to live’ — it was liberals, Europe’s chattering classes, even the literary set, all of whom expressed the idea that murdered critics of Islam are responsible for their deaths long before Haque’s hamfisted response to the murder of Neel.

After the Copenhagen shooting, a Guardian writer said: ‘Free speech as legal and moral pre-requisites in a free society must be defended. But…’ Ah, the inevitable ‘but’ that follows every unconvincing declaration of support for free speech these days. ‘But’, he said, ‘we must guard against the understandable temptation to be provocative in the publication of [anti-Islamic] cartoons if the sole objective is to establish that we can do so. With rights to free speech come responsibilities.’ In short, ‘don’t cross the line’ — exactly what the Bangladeshi police chief said to godless bloggers.

After the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a writer for the New Statesman said we cannot have ‘the right to offend’ with ‘no corresponding responsibility’. ‘[T]here are always going to be lines that… cannot be crossed’, he said. Perhaps it was this slippery apology for the massacre at Charlie Hebdo which inspired the Bangladeshi police chief to say: ‘None should cross the limit.’ Who’d have thought it: a writer for the house magazine of the British left and a head of police in a less-than-liberal state sharing the same view — that when it comes to freedom of expression, there are lines / limits. Don’t want to be shot at your desk? Then don’t mock Muhammad. Don’t want to be hacked to pieces on your way to work? Then don’t be a secularist. Respect the lines, respect the limits.

And of course, in April numerous authors, including Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje and Joyce Carol Oates, publicly balked at American PEN’s decision to give a freedom of expression award to Charlie Hebdo. Their reasoning for getting all sniffy over celebrating the commitment to free speech of a magazine that lost 10 members of staff for defending free speech — infinitely more than any of them has ever done — was striking. Given that France has a large number of ‘devout Muslims’, many of them with experiences of ‘France’s various colonial enterprises’, Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons ‘must be seen as being intended to cause further humiliation and suffering’. In short, they hurt people’s feelings, and that is bad. Same thing Shahidul Haque is now saying to Bangladesh’s threatened secularist bloggers: ‘Don’t hurt religious sentiment.’

That there can be so much in common between supposed liberals in the West and a police chief in Dhaka is alarming. What they fundamentally agree on is that people’s feelings are more important than freedom of speech. Yeah, yeah, you can have free speech, but… but don’t use it to make any religious people or minority groups feel bad. There is a disturbing unholy marriage between these influential people who are cagey about free speech and the Islamist hotheads who carry out attacks on speakers who offend them. The more that Western liberals or Bangladeshi coppers send the message that it’s really bad to use speech to criticise or ridicule the religious, the more some of the more extreme elements within a religion will think: ‘Yeah, it is. I’m taking action.’ The sanctification of hurt feelings gives extremists a licence to seek vengeance for their own hurt feelings. Mainstream society demonises the hurting of religious feelings; non-mainstream violent individuals act on this demonisation and punish the ‘hurters’. Political and literary cowardice in relation to free speech inflames physical assaults on free speech.

Across the West, people’s feelings are being elevated over freedom. Whether it’s plays being shut down because they might offend Muslims, billboards being withdrawn because they rattled feminists, or adverts on buses being taken down because they might ‘hurt’ gay people’s self-esteem, we now seem to value the protection of feelings more than freedom of speech. No, we don’t use machetes to silence those who hurt us, preferring instead petitions and Twitterstorms. But the difference is one of gravity and bloodiness, not moral intent: in all these cases, from Western Europe to the blood-stained streets of Bangladesh, the arrogant aim is the same — to silence those who ‘hurt’ us. Enough. We cannot abandon the Bangladeshi bloggers, or act as if they brought these attacks on themselves. Their freedom of speech is infinitely more important than the feelings of one or even one billion Muslims. Just as our freedom of speech is more important than the sensitivities of any community group or political campaign over here. You feel hurt? Tough shit. Grow up. Deal with it. We will carry on saying what we want to say.



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, 2015

An envious multiculturalist in Britain

This is the shocking moment a man with a baby in a pushchair appeared to run a key along the side of a £100,000 Aston Martin.

The incident was caught on camera by the owner of the luxury V8 Vantage sports car, who had left his dashcam recording while he popped to the shops.

In the short clip, a man can be seen pacing in front of the car before walking past the passenger's side with a set of keys.

The luxury vehicle sustained £9,000 worth of damage as a result of the incident, which occurred at 10.30am on 19 June in a supermarket car park, in Hackney, east London.

Police, who released the footage, are now appealing for information about the man.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: 'Police have released CCTV footage and a still of a man they want to trace in connection with the criminal damage of an Aston Martin car.

'Police were called on Friday, 19 June to reports of criminal damage to a car parked in a supermarket car park.  'It appears a tall black man approached the car pushing a baby in a pram. 'He took out a bunch of keys from his pocket and scraped them down the passenger's side of the vehicle, causing £9,000 worth of damage.'


Fund Aims to Help Christian Baker Offset Wedding Cake Losses

Family and friends of a Christian cake designer hope to help him with a fundraising campaign after a Colorado court ruled Thursday that he must create cakes for same-sex weddings despite his religious beliefs.

“Cake artist” Jack Phillips has said his bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, has lost more than a third of its receipts since he stopped making all wedding cakes while the case makes its way through the legal system.

“We hope it will relieve some of the financial pressure on Jack,” his brother-in-law, Jim Sander, said of the new fundraising effort in a phone interview Friday with The Daily Signal. “A business that has a 10 percent loss is a big deal in the Wall Street Journal. So a 40 percent loss is a big hit.”

Sander said the “crowdfunding” campaign, through the website Continue to Give, a Christian-oriented service, went online Thursday afternoon—hours after the Colorado Court of Appeals decided Phillips and his business must provide cakes for gay marriages.

The mission: Financially support Phillips, 59, and “protect his freedom of speech and freedom of religion.” The goal: Raise $200,000.

Those who go to the “Support Jack Phillips” site may contribute any amount, making their names and size of donation public or keeping either private. Givers also may leave encouraging messages for Phillips.

The first contributions began to trickle in Thursday night. As of 4 p.m. Sunday, the site had logged 17 donations.

One of the first, for $100, came with the message: “We appreciate you fighting this battle for the free speech of everyone.”

Another contributor wrote: “You are fighting the good fight and I hope you take it all the way to the Supremes. Free exercise of religion must be protected. You cannot take a right from one to give to another and call that justice.”

Jennifer and Keith Lorensen left this message: “We have been following your case for some time and want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers.”

They also quoted Joshua 1:9, an Old Testament passage: Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Phillips has maintained that his Christian beliefs would be violated if he were compelled to use his artistic talents to express the message that marriage is something other than the union of a man and a woman.

Sander, 63, emailed The Daily Signal after reading its report on the appeals court decision, saying a “Support Jack Phillips” page was up and running.

Sander, a professor of accounting in Indianapolis, said he has known his brother-in-law for more than 40 years. He said he and other family members set up and composed the text for the campaign. Most involved were his wife Linda, an adult son, and Phillips’s other sister, Trish.

A summary describes ongoing threats and harassment that Phillips and his small staff endured beginning 20 minutes after the “less than 30 seconds” in July 2012 during which he declined to create a wedding cake for the two gay men who later sued him.  He also offered to sell them brownies, cookies or other confections.

Soon his shop was inundated by phone calls and emails saying “vile, hateful things about Jack—and about Jesus.” The summary adds:

These attacks are intended to drive Jack out of business. To avoid further harassment and lawsuits and because of the ruling, he has chosen to follow a law that takes away his freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and he has stopped making wedding cakes while his case goes through the courts.

The summary notes statements, some by public officials such as state Human Rights Commissioner Diann Rice, comparing Phillips to a slave owner or to German Nazis who carried out the Holocaust:

During WWII, Jack’s dad, Wayne Phillips, actually fought the Nazis all the way through France and Germany including the D-Day landing and the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded by the Nazis and received a Purple Heart. He assisted in the liberation of Buchenwald, a concentration camp.

Sander, who says he and his wife also are Christians, describes his brother-in-law as open and giving.  “He’s always straightforward,” Sander said. “There’s never any games with him. He’s easygoing. He’d give you the shirt off his back to be helpful. I’d say he’s pretty generous.”

Sander added:  "Unfortunately, from the government’s point of view, he tries to live out his Christian life outside the one or two hours he’s within the chapel walls. … [His faith] guides everything he does."

After losing the first legal round with Colorado’s civil rights agency in 2013, Phillips decided to stop making all wedding cakes rather than be compelled to create them for same-sex weddings.

“He said OK, if that’s the rule, then I won’t make any wedding cakes at all,” Sander recalled.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court Thursday upheld previous rulings that Phillips broke state law against discrimination based on sexual orientation. That essentially was the argument made by the gay couple’s lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Phillips argued that compelling him to create a cake celebrating same-sex marriage violated not only his First Amendment right to freedom of religion but also to free speech or expression. The court rejected that argument.

Phillips is represented by lawyers with the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom. They said Phillips likely will appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court and—if necessary—the U.S. Supreme Court.

By continuing to fight, Phillips hopes to avoid orders to “re-educate” employees—including his grown daughter—and report regularly to the state.

Sander was among family members who helped Phillips and his wife, Debi, open Masterpiece Cakeshop after cleaning and installing used furnishings, equipment and appliances in space at a suburban Denver strip mall in September 1993.

Sander said his brother-in-law consistently has declined customers’ requests for certain custom cakes, whether depicting witches and ghosts or sexually suggestive images.

“If a straight couple came in and wanted a cake for a same-sex marriage, he would not sell it,” Sander said, adding: "He would not sell that cake to anybody. Who orders the cake is immaterial. … I don’t think it’s an issue of who he’s denying service to, it’s a matter of his not wanting to use his artistic ability in a way that violates his conscience."

The family heard about Continue to Give when, as The Daily Signal has reported, the crowdfunding site helped a Christian couple in Oregon stay afloat financially. Aaron and Melissa Klein face a state fine of $135,000 after their bakery, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

Continue to Give describes itself as a “faith-based online tithing and giving platform founded on biblical principles and designed for churches, missionaries, nonprofits, individuals and adopting parents.”


POW Flag: The New Symbol of Racism?

By Michael Swartz

Like most leftists, author Rick Perlstein is not a fan of our nation's efforts in Vietnam, despite the fact he was born in 1969 and, thus, too young to remember much of it himself. Thanks to an op-ed in the progressive Washington Spectator that was picked up by the now online-only Newsweek magazine, we've learned that a venerable symbol of that war was just another example of American racism.

Perlstein opens the article by saying, "You know that racist flag? The one that supposedly honors history but actually spreads a pernicious myth? And is useful only to venal right-wing politicians who wish to exploit hatred by calling it heritage? It’s past time to pull it down.”

“Oh, wait. You thought I was referring to the Confederate flag. Actually, I’m talking about the POW-MIA flag.”

Realizing the gravity of his words in the heated aftermath, both Perlstein and Washington Spectator editor Lou Dubose apologized for calling the POW-MIA flag racist. Perlstein admitted, “The word was over the top and not called for.” But his enlightenment didn't happen before a firestorm of criticism rained down on him from conservative outlets like National Review and RedState.

On the other hand, those on the Left are still defending Perlstein, which isn't completely surprising in this age of “everyone who disagrees with me is racist.”

As the article goes, it's just more wailing and gnashing of teeth over events that played out while Perlstein was still in diapers. For example, he asserted, “Richard Nixon invented the cult of the 'POW/MIA' in order to justify the carnage in Vietnam in a way that rendered the United States as its sole victim.” He continued, “[Nixon] declared their treatment, and the enemy’s refusal to provide a list of their names, violations of the Geneva Conventions — the better to paint the North Vietnamese as uniquely cruel and inhumane. He also demanded the release of American prisoners as a precondition to ending the war.”

In other words, it was like almost every other war Americans have fought.

Yet Perlstein droned on, “Whenever Nixon or one of his minions talked about the problem, they tended to use the number 1,400. The number of actual prisoners, was about 550. The number of downed, missing pilots were spoken of, prima facia, as if they were missing, too, although almost all of them were certainly dead.”

“And in 1971 that damned flag went up.”

Yes, it's that familiar black flag — not of war or nationalism, but remembrance. It makes one wonder if Perlstein has something against yellow ribbons, since that's also been associated with remembrance in wartime thanks to a once-popular song.

The obvious question, though, is why now? It's been four decades since we abandoned South Vietnam in disgrace, leaving it to the wolves of the Viet Cong. The legacy of protesting that war has been a lesson learned in how to turn public opinion against a just cause — a template the Left has followed all too well with the Long War against Jihadistan. The current regime doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to wage that war. Aside from a fading recollection of 9/11, many Americans seem far more concerned about the latest dustup involving Donald Trump than our ongoing air war against the Islamic State that is the latest chapter in this epic struggle. One could answer that Perlstein is doing a pre-emptive strike against escalating in Iraq by alluding to Vietnam once again.

The answer may be much simpler than that, though. Perlstein has a book that's just been re-released in paperback, and what better way to create buzz than to spin a new angle on old news. His article uses the leftist dog whistle of equating racism with the Confederate flag and applies it to a war we fought against others who don't look like us — for others who don't look like us, we might add.

When it comes to war, it might be the only flag that satisfies Perlstein is a white one. Or is that racist, too?


John Rhys-Davies Lashes Out at Political Correctness, Islamic Terror

"We have lost our moral compass completely, and, unless we find it, we’re going to lose our civilization," warned the 'Lord of the Rings' actor on Adam Carolla's podcast.

Perhaps John Rhys-Davies was channeling Gimli, his character from The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, because the Welsh actor delivered a soliloquy late Monday about good and evil and even warned of the end of days courtesy of radical Islamic terrorism and political correctness.

“There is an extraordinary silence in the West,” said Rhys-Davies on Adam Carolla’s podcast posted Monday night. “Basically, Christianity in the Middle East and in Africa is being wiped out — I mean not just ideologically but physically, and people are being enslaved and killed because they are Christians. And your country and my country are doing nothing about it.”

Carolla elicited laughter from Rhys-Davies when he asked him when it became fashionable to refrain from judging outsiders.

“This notion that we’ve evolved into a species that’s incapable of judging other groups and what they are doing, especially when it is beheading people or setting people on fire or throwing acid in the face of schoolgirls — I like that kind of judging. It’s evolved!” said Carolla.

Carolla joked that if Bill Maher had a show during World War II, Americans would not have fought the Nazis because the comedian's guests would have been "screaming" about tolerance.

“This is a unique age. We don’t want to be judgmental,” said Rhys-Davies, who's also known for his role in the Indiana Jones franchise. “Every other age that has come before us has believed exactly the opposite. I mean, T.S. Eliot referred to 'the common pursuit of true judgment.' Yes. That’s what it’s about. Getting our judgments right.”

Rhys-Davies was on Carolla’s podcast — which has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s most popular podcast — to promote the DVD release of Return to the Hiding Place, a film about Jews in Holland during World War II that was directed and written by Peter C. Spencer, also a guest on Monday night's podcast.

"It’s an age where politicians don’t actually say what they believe,” said Rhys-Davies. “They are afraid of being judged as being partisan. Heaven forbid that we should criticize people who, after all, share a different value system. 'But it’s all relevant. It’s all equally relative. We’re all the same. And God and the devil, they’re the same, aren’t they, really? Right and wrong? It’s really just two faces of the same coin,' " he said, mocking what he sees as politically correct doctrine.

"We have lost our moral compass completely, and, unless we find it, we’re going to lose our civilization. I think we’re going to lose Western European Christian civilization, anyway," said Rhys-Davies.



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, 2015

When Corbynites attack

Like the cybernats, Jeremy Corbyn’s fans can’t stomach dissent.  Corbyn is a British far-Leftist

With his plain and pious words about peace, equality, disarmament and solidarity, and his devout, priestly demeanour, it’s no wonder Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn cuts something of a messianic figure. Whereas that buffoonish demagogue Russell Brand only looks like Jesus Christ, our evidently sincere JC does have more of the aura of an earthly saviour, a man many entrust to perform miracles. Yet, as experience tells us, devotional fervour can easily tip over into hysteria.

This week, Alastair Campbell said that the current eruption of ‘Corbynmania’ was akin to ‘what happened when Diana died’. Worse still, popular delirium can foster a herd mentality that leads to the persecution of dissenters and opponents. This is especially the case when a movement’s mentality is half-detached from reality. Protecting benefits, ending austerity, raising taxes on the wealthiest, abolishing university tuition fees, reopening coal mines: Corbynomics is basically the equivalent of saying ‘wouldn’t it be great if all this Monopoly money was free?’.

On Tuesday, Rachel Sylvester of The Times remarked on ‘the online Corbynite bullies who describe the supporters of other candidates as “fascists”’. This doesn’t surprise me. Twitter and the comments section of the Guardian confirm Sylvester’s observation. And as a Guardian profile of Corbyn noted this week: ‘Labour’s grief-fuelled madness [represents an] angry backlash at the party leadership for the mistakes of Blairism’; and Corbyn’s creed of Bennite socialism represents the ‘long overdue awakening by the true keepers of Labour’s soul’.

The Corbynite movement’s heady cocktail of mesmeric utopianism and intemperate self-righteousness against the evil, selfish Tories and impure Labour apostates is borne out of a sense of grievance. And no one does sanctimonious fury better than resentful, self-styled victims – of capitalism, globalisation, privatisation and David Cameron and his rich Etonian pals and chums in the City.

In this respect Corbyn (who by all accounts is a pleasant man) is a successor to that bellowing clown George Galloway – a man who neatly combines plenty of pleasing anti-military, pro-equality platitudes with obnoxious behaviour and dubious remarks about Israelis. The Corbynistas are comparable to the Socialist Workers’ Party or the Scottish National Party, organisations that tick all the nice, obligatory leftwing boxes, yet whose shouty hardcore are likewise renowned for their bullying and hooliganism.

This mindset also afflicts today’s pietistical, aggrieved feminists, who not only want to censor anything that might further belittle their poor old selves, but also who are especially antagonistic towards women who dissent from their belief in ‘everyday sexism’. And it’s no coincidence that the most hideously intolerant and violent of all these groupings, the Islamists, are also those who have nurtured the most monstrous sense of self-pity and injustice - against the West, women and those two successful states, the USA and Israel. They also possess the strongest beliefs and a sense of unshakeable righteousness. To paraphrase Yeats, the worst types are always full of passionate intensity.

And the best lack all conviction. The paradoxical thing is that in politics, you barely ever get any of this belligerent carry-on from traditional conservatives, those supposed ogres who are meant to be horrid and uncaring. This is because traditional conservatives are pragmatists and empiricists who aren’t spurred on or shackled by ideology (as opposed to neocons, neoliberals and right-wing libertarians, who are ideologues). Conservatives don’t become enraged when people don’t adhere to their dogma or fit into their vision of the world - because they are free from dogma and ideology in the first place. Appreciating, too, that humans are flawed and that life can just be unfair sometimes, they are also not given to a sense of victimhood.

The more idealistic and the more conspicuously compassionate is a voter, the more unpleasant and intolerant he or she is likely to be. As Nietzsche – that arch-idealist – wrote in Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883): ‘Alas, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the compassionate? And what in the world has caused more suffering than the follies of the compassionate?’ We should forever beware the believers and braggarts who loudly profess to care.


Former Broadcaster Sues Fox Sports for ‘Pigeonholing’ Him as ‘Anti-Gay’

Craig James, a former professional football player and respected sportscaster, is suing Fox Sports Southwest, alleging that the broadcast network fired him because of his religious beliefs on homosexuality and marriage.

After working at the network for only a few days—and hosting one broadcast—James was terminated by Fox Sports on Sep. 1, 2013.

A senior vice president at the network suggested that the decision was based on statements James made about homosexuality and same-sex marriage—expressed more than a year prior to being hired at Fox Sports while campaigning to run for Senate.

James ran for a U.S. Senate seat in 2012, eventually losing to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

“We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department,” Lou D’Ermilio, Fox Sports Southwest’s senior vice president of communications, told the Dallas Morning News in early September 2013. “He couldn’t say those things here.”

In a 2012 Republican debate, James said he thinks being gay is “a choice” and that society “should not give benefits to those civil unions.”

“The fact that a major corporation would reach back into my past and hold something against me because of an honest answer that the public deserved—from me as a candidate—and fire me, that’s troubling,” James told The Daily Signal in an exclusive interview.

Companies can typically terminate employees for a range of reasons, but under the Texas Commission of Human Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate against employees because of religion (among other characteristics such as sex, age and race).

Texas does not have employment laws protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation, but James maintains he did not say “one thing” about his faith while working at Fox Sports.

According to his lawyer, James has never faced discrimination complaints based on sexual orientation, either.

James said the backlash he received after Fox Sports spoke out about his termination left him “unable” to get a job in the sports broadcasting agency.

The network, he said, “pigeonholed me into this anti-gay guy.”

“My agent immediately told me I was radioactive,” James said. “If someone stepped out and hired me right now, they would have to answer to a very vocal minority.”

James has since taken a job at the Family Research Council, a conservative non-profit based in Washington, D.C., and said the situation cost him “friends, business relationships and numerous business opportunities.”

In the lawsuit, filed on August 3, James’ attorneys argue for significant damages, including “monetary relief of $100,000 or more, declaratory relief, punitive/exemplary damages and attorney’s fees.”

Yet James maintains that the lawsuit is about more than money.

“Religious liberty is on trial,” James said. “It’s really important that people recognize this isn’t about me. This is about all of us being able to enjoy our religious liberty and freedoms. That is so important.”

Fox Sports denies allegations that its decision to terminate James was based on his religious beliefs and told The Daily Signal:

"[T]he decision not to use Craig James in our college football coverage was based on the perception that he abused a previous on-air position to further a personal agenda. Mr. James is a polarizing figure in the college sports community because of that perception. The decision not to use Mr. James had nothing to do with his religious beliefs and we did not discriminate against him in any way. Fox respects every person’s right to freedom of religion and prohibits discrimination in any form, including discrimination based on religion. The allegations are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves against them."

When asked specifically about the senior vice president’s interview with the Dallas Morning News shortly after the network parted ways with James, Fox Sports declined to comment.

James says his situation reflects a growing trend in corporate America, to “hold down” politically unpopular opinions.

“What I believe has happened is we’ve got more employers being emboldened to hold down employees of religious belief systems, particularly Christians,” James said. “They are holding it against a Christian for their belief, and that’s not right.”

Hiram Sasser, who is one of James’ lawyers at the conservative Liberty Institute, argued that in today’s political environment, it’s almost impossible to work at a “Fortune 500” company and hold religious views about marriage.

If you work for a Fortune 500 company and you have religious beliefs that compel you to believe in traditional marriage and you have expressed those beliefs in a public forum, there’s only two reasons you haven’t been fired: One is your boss doesn’t know about it. Or two, which is related to that, is that no one has come after you to try to get your boss to fire you.

Fox Sports has until the end of the month to respond to the lawsuit.


Show me the way to poverty

In a recent speech in Bolivia, Pope Francis voiced his indictment of what he calls “the globalization of exclusion and indifference.” Speaking of what he believes to be problems universal to Latin America, he wishes, “May the cry of the excluded be heard in Latin America and throughout the world.” But who, I wonder, are they listening to?

It is true that the plight of the poor in Latin America can be tragic. Francis shared the harrowing stories he heard about people struggling to survive, lacking basic human rights and the means to support themselves. But it is not at all true that their voices have not been heard. As Samuel Gregg recently pointed out, Latin American politics have been dominated by demagoguery for decades. And unfortunately the Pope’s own solutions to the problems of the poor are difficult to differentiate from the same protectionist populism that has kept so many in poverty in Latin America for so long.

Pope Francis boldly calls for “change, real change, structural change.” What change would Pope Francis like to see? He makes this clear: “It is an economy where human beings, in harmony with nature, structure the entire system of production and distribution in such a way that the abilities and needs of each individual find suitable expression in social life.” So far so good. Who doesn’t want that?

So what stands in the way, according to the pontiff?—“corporations, loan agencies, certain ‘free trade’ treaties, and the imposition of measures of ‘austerity’ which always tighten the belt of workers and the poor.” Really?

Business, credit, trade, and fiscal responsibility are marks of healthy economies, not the problem, popular as it may be to denounce them. Indeed, these are also marks of economies that effectively care for “Mother Earth,” whose plight the Pope claims “the most important [task] facing us today.” That’s right, more important than the plight of the poor, to His Holiness, is the plight of trees, water, and lower animals.

That moral confusion aside, is there any way we could study what policies correlate with the Pope’s laudable goals? As it turns out, there is. The United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) ranks countries based upon an aggregate rating of economic growth, care for the environment, and health and living conditions—precisely the measures the Pope seems to care most about. Yet of the top 20 countries on the most recent HDI ranking, 18 also rank as “free” or “mostly free” on the most recent Heritage Index of Economic Freedom.

The only two exceptions were Liechtenstein, which wasn’t ranked at all by Heritage, and France, which was ranked 20th of the 20 according to the HDI, and which once was far more economically free. The takeaway? Nearly all of the top countries that have the sort of economies the Pope wants are also characterized by fiscal responsibility, openness to trade, accessible credit, and generally business-friendly environments. That is, precisely the policies that the pope decries.

Now, it might be unfair of me to criticize Francis for not being an economist . . . or, for that matter, not even being familiar with the basic conditions of economic growth taught in any Econ 101 course. At least he didn’t forget to mention Jesus. But it shouldn’t be controversial to say that he is still speaking outside of his competence and vocation. It is one thing to call attention to the moral roots of economic problems; it is another to pass judgment upon which prudential policies are the best means to moral ends.

Gone are the days of a pontiff who would only speak with great caution and nuance on such matters, and then in favor of, rather than against, the basic tenets of a free economy. As Pope John Paul II put it in his 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus:

Can it perhaps be said that, after the failure of Communism, capitalism is the victorious social system, and that capitalism should be the goal of the countries now making efforts to rebuild their economy and society? Is this the model which ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World which are searching for the path to true economic and civil progress?

Acknowledging the answer to be complex, he cautiously answered yes, and rightly so, proposing that the free economy “ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World.” Too many of these countries, including in Latin America, are still yet to experience such freedom, however. And John Paul’s most recent successor isn’t helping them see what a help it could be.

Instead, while actual dictators, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro and the Castro brothers in Cuba, sit at the head of Latin American countries, Francis prefers to denounce the “subtle dictatorship” of the economic freedom so few Latin Americans have been fortunate enough to enjoy. And it is for this reason, whether they know it or not, that the poor are excluded and cry out for justice.

It is not economic liberty but high taxes and overregulation that prop up “the domination of the big corporations” in Latin America. Only big corporations can afford to pay such taxes, hire the legal help to comply with such regulations, or otherwise bribe their way into business, undermining the rule of law. The profile of Latin America called Doing Business 2014 ranks it as one of the most difficult regions in the world to start a business. Bolivia, where the Pope decried the supposed evils of economic freedom, ranks 171 out of 189 countries in the world. Maduro’s Venezuela ranks 181.

The Pope is right to say, “This system runs counter to the plan of Jesus,” who came “to preach good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18). But he is wrong to identify that system with basic pillars of economic freedom. With the exception of Chile, economic freedom is just as scarce in Latin America as are other basic human rights, not to mention effective care for “Mother Earth.”

The poor there still wait for good news regarding their material circumstances, despite the Pope’s best intentions to spread a “globalization of hope.” He told the people there that they could take action themselves, and admirably so. But as long as their hands are tied by protectionist measures, and as long as popes and politicians continue to commend such policies to the people, I’m afraid they will excluded from the prosperity for which they hope.


That air-conditioning story – desperately seeking sexism

‘Is office air-conditioning a sexist conspiracy?’, asked Jezebel recently. In this instance, it seems a simple ‘no’ will not suffice. A recent report published in the austere journal Nature and Climate Change suggested that recalibrating air-conditioning systems could save companies money as well as reduce carbon emissions. It also claimed that most air-conditioning systems are hopelessly out of date, as they are calibrated in accordance with the metabolic rate of the average 40-year-old man.

This anodyne observation – in a journal with a readership that can’t amount to many more people than the authors themselves – has nevertheless been widely reported and commented on. Signs of sexism in society, it seems, are now sought out in even the driest of academic publications. So it was that this report was swiftly recast as a comment on male privilege in the workplace - it was even argued that the report proves that while men bend their environment to their will, by making sure the temperature is comfortable for them, women are simply forced to adapt.

Reading some of the coverage, you might think large numbers of women work in industrial fridges. A piece in the Telegraph even listed the various health problems that might arise from a cold working environment. The injustice is truly heartbreaking.

But there’s hope yet for frozen female office workers: the hot air produced by this story is enough to keep anyone warm.



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, 2015

The Fair Trade racket again

Luxury coffee sold from the home of Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn is produced by poverty-stricken Mexican farmers, some of whom have earned less than the country’s minimum wage, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Laura Alvarez, the politician’s third wife, runs a business selling organic beans, and boasts that those who make it are paid ‘a fair wage and enjoy good conditions of employment’.

But this newspaper has discovered that Café Mam is produced by farmers in Mexico’s poorest state, who earn just 93p for each 500g bag that Ms Alvarez sells for £10.

Our investigation found:

* One farmer took home the equivalent of just £260 in a year after paying his workers – a quarter of the regional minimum wage;
* A woman gets up at 4am each day to begin her back-breaking work, and wept when she was told how much her coffee is sold for by wealthy Westerners, including Mr Corbyn’s wife;
* Itinerant workers are being paid between 80 and 130 pesos – £3.15 to £5.10 – a day to pick coffee;
* Workers are living in tiny shacks with their families. They also had to take turns to sleep in their factory to stop thieves stealing the machinery and wrecking their livelihood.

One tearful farmer urged Mr Corbyn’s wife last night: ‘Please think about us farmers and how we are struggling when people are making so much money off our hard work.’

Miss Alvarez, 46, who was born in Mexico, is the third wife of Mr Corbyn, the 66-year-old MP for Islington North, the shock favourite to become the next leader of the Opposition after thousands of union members who share his hard-Left views signed up to vote.

Last night, a spokeswoman for Miss Alvarez said: ‘Miss Alvarez is shocked to learn of The Mail on Sunday’s revelations. She has supported Café Mam in good faith and with due diligence and has accepted their Fair Trade certification. She has wanted to help people in her home country who are in desperate need.’

For the past two years, Miss Alvarez has been the sole director of Mexica Products Ltd, whose registered address is the couple’s home in Finsbury Park, North London. It is estimated to be worth more than £600,000.

Working as a Café Mam distributor, Miss Alvarez sells 250g bags of coffee for £5 and 500g bags for £10. Her website says it is ‘true artisanal Mexican coffee’ made ‘with passion and dedication from the co-operatives and small family producers’.

A section headed ‘We care about you’ boasts that Café Mam, made by a co-operative of 669 farmers in the highlands of southern Mexico and Guatemala, is certified organic. It claims: ‘All the members of a family, together with workers who receive a fair wage and who enjoy good conditions of employment, help to produce the coffee.

‘The purpose of Café Mam is to provide a livelihood for indigenous peasants and farmers in Chiapas, traditionally one of the most socially divided areas in southern Mexico.’

Café Mam’s own site claims: ‘Farmers receive a fair price for their harvest. In turn, they are able to stay on their land, keep their children in school, build health clinics, and make improvements to their land and farming equipment.’

But this newspaper found a very different picture when it visited Chiapas last week. The Mail on Sunday spoke to farmer Roman Mejia, 45, who was paid just 15,000 pesos – £600 – for his coffee beans last year. After he paid his workers and his costs he was left with just £260, a fraction of Mexico’s regional minimum wage, which equates to £852, and below the poverty line that is set at £775. Mr Mejia’s wife, daughter, two sons and a grandson all live with him in a 24ft by 18ft rainforest home.

One explanation for some farmers low income may be their low yield. Recently Mejia’s farm in Siltepec was devastated, like many farmers’, by a fungus and he lost half of his produce.

On the ranch of Heriberto Ventura in El Tarral, he told how he had lost money on this year’s produce, for which he was paid £2,400, and has had to take out bank loans. He lives with his wife and son in a small home with a tin roof.

The 58-year-old said: ‘This year things were so bad we made a loss. I have to get loans from the bank. Sometimes they refuse, so I sell coffee beans to people on the side.’

Despite the claims made about the farmers’ living conditions by Café Mam’s website, many children have a 90-minute journey to school and if farmers or their families get ill, many of them face a three-hour trek to the nearest health centre.

Lucas Vellazquez Bartolon, 58, owns an 2.5-acre farm that supplies coffee to Café Mam. Last year he received £1,600. ‘Some years the money we get is so low but the price it is sold for in England never goes down. Sometimes we can’t afford food. But what can we do, we have no choice.’

Mother of six Idolina Sanchez Gonzalez, 53, fought back tears as she talked about her back-breaking work as a farm owner in the mountain village of La Victoria. She was paid £1,600 for her coffee last year, £800 of which went to her workers.

She said: ‘I get up at 4am and walk to the farm to start at 6am. I work until 4pm, sometimes later. We are only paid once, so it has to last all year and we have to work other jobs to pay our workers.’

Mam coffee – named after an ancient Mayan community – is grown high in the mountains at altitudes ranging from 3,900ft to 5,570ft above sea level. Once it is harvested the co-op leaders negotiate a deal with its client Royal Blue Organics, in Portland, Oregon.

The price agreed is based on the New York stock exchange, and is topped up to meet Fair Trade standards. Last year that was $176 per 60kg sack, equivalent to farmers earning just 93p for each 500g bag that Ms Alvarez sells for £10.

Farmer Daniel Morales Ortega, 56, said: ‘It’s not fair that this politician’s wife is buying our product and selling it for so much money. We are desperate people. It’s an abuse.’


Anti-Asian racism from blacks

Michelle Malkin

My Instagram and Facebook feeds have been filled with unwitting apologists for racism against Korean-American small-business owners.

Heckuva job, Hollywood!

Here's how the poison is spreading. A savvy marketing team at Universal/Comcast Corp. developed a web toy that allows social media fans to customize the theatrical poster logo for the media giant's new biopic, "Straight Outta Compton." [Compton is a black-dominated area in L.A.] Hundreds of thousands of clueless users have uploaded photos of themselves and substituted "Compton" with the names of their hometowns.

Jennifer Lopez, Serena Williams, LeBron James and Ed Sheeran are among the celebrities who helped make the meme go viral. Youth vote-pandering GOP Florida Sen. Marco Rubio jumped on the cultural bandwagon, too, with two obsequious messages on Twitter featuring the hashtag "#straightouttacompton." It's a publicity coup for rappers-turned-multimedia moguls Dr. Dre (Andre Young) and Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson) as they pimp the movie — named after their breakthrough 1988 album — glorifying the rise of their band N.W.A. (Niggaz Wit Attitudes) and the hardcore gangsta rap genre.

"Straight Outta Compton's" cop-bashing, thug-promoting songs — most notably "F-k the Police" — vaulted Young and Jackson into the entertainment stratosphere. Young is a near-billionaire after becoming a producer, promoter and maker of overpriced headphones (the company was bought by Apple for $3 billion last year). Jackson embarked on a successful career as a solo rapper, mainstream actor and comedian.

Their hagiographic movie omits Young's history of assaults on women and completely whitewashes Jackson's incendiary attacks on Korean storeowners in South Central Los Angeles.

Shortly before the 1992 L.A. riots, Jackson had penned the hate-filled song "Black Korea" for his best-selling platinum solo album, Death Certificate. He seethed against law-abiding immigrant entrepreneurs in his 'hood and threated to burn their stores "right down to a crisp":

Every time I want to go get a f—king brew
I gotta go down to the store with the two

Oriental one-penny-counting mother—kers;
They make a nigger mad enough to cause a little ruckus.

Thinking every brother in the world's out to take,
So they watch every damn move that I make.

They hope I don't pull out a Gat, try to rob
Their funky little store, but, b-tch, I got a job.

So don't follow me up and down your market
Or your little chop suey ass will be a target

Of a nationwide boycott.
Juice with the people, that's what the boy got.

So pay respect to the black fist
Or we'll burn your store right down to a crisp.

And then we'll see ya...
'Cause you can't turn the ghetto into black Korea

The song was supposedly inspired by the shooting death of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins, who was black, by Korean storeowner Soon Ja Du. The two had fought over a bottle of orange juice. The shopkeeper's store had been robbed multiple times. Du was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, but had her sentence reduced to probation based on extenuating circumstances; her store — like dozens and dozens in Koreatown — was burned down to the ground during the 1992 riots.

Korean-American merchants were forced to arm themselves and defend their property after being abandoned by police. Many observers in both the Korean-American and black communities in L.A. cited "Black Korea" (not just the Rodney King verdict) as an inspirational spark for the conflagration that caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

Fast-forward to Baltimore and Ferguson, where rioters followed in these bigoted footsteps and targeted non-black-owned stores. Instead of condemning their actions, The New York Times celebrated the efforts of Crips, Bloods and Black Guerilla Family gangsters who "stood in front of black-owned stores to protect them from looting or vandalism. He said they had made sure no black children, or reporters, were hit by rioters."

Instead, they "pointed them toward Chinese- and Arab-owned stores."

See no Asian-bashing evil in the inner city. Hear no Asian-bashing evil in the inner city. Speak no Asian-bashing evil in the inner city. Ice Cube hasn't ever had to answer for his violence-stoking bigotry. And apparently neither will the media and Hollywood co-conspirators who perpetuate it.


Theatre accused of self-censorship after it cancelled play about radicalised Muslims which explored why youngsters are attracted to extremist groups

The National Youth Theatre (NYT) has been blasted for scrapping a play about young Muslims being radicalised.

Leading figures from the world of arts and entertainment have demanded the theatre reveals exactly why 'Homegrown' was cancelled.

The signatories of an open letter to NYT include the sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor, playwright Sir David Hare, and actor Simon Callow.

The play set out to explore the reasons why someone might be attracted towards extremist groups.

It was organised by English PEN, a free speech campaign group, which said the NYT  failed to stand up for the show it commissioned, the Times reported.

Homegrown was cancelled two weeks before today's scheduled opening, when the theatre asked the play's creators whether they were giving a final version of the script to the police.

Its director Nadia Latif said one of the producers announced she had met with police on July 22 and they had demanded to see the script. She refused to send the script at first, but gave in when asked a week later. The show was cancelled a week after that.

She and writer Omar El-Khairy have said they do not think police ordered the show's cancellation but have accused the theatre of 'self-censorship' because they believe NYT 'feared controversy'.

A statement on the National Theatre website read: 'NYT regrets to announce that its production of Homegrown will not now take place... Tickets are no longer on sale. All ticket holders will be fully refunded.'

The theatre's artistic director claimed the production, which involved 112 young performers, did not meet the theatre's standards.

But Paul Roseby turned down the chance to meet Latif or El-Khairy to explain whether his decision was influenced by the police or the need to change venue.

The letter, which appeared in the Times today, described the cancellation as 'a troubling moment for British theatre and freedom of expression' that 'serves to shut down conversation on these important issues'.

They wrote: 'We fear that government policy in response to extremism may be creating a culture of caution in the arts, if it is deemed too risky to ask difficult questions or explore sensitive topics.

'We are deeply concerned by reports that the National Youth Theatre may have been put under external pressure to change the location and then cancel the production.'

Latif said the theatre failed to stand up for its production, adding: 'This is closest to self-censorship...The theatre got burnt by a hot topic.

'There are lots of ways that we are silenced — sometimes the most nefarious thing is when artists are silenced by other artists.'


3 Historical Developments That Explain Our Current Religious Liberty Battles

In recent political memory, religious liberty was a value that brought together conservatives, libertarians and progressives. As recently as 1993, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed by a nearly unanimous Congress and signed by a Democratic president. Today, the same value is a political liability. Bakers, photographers, and florists are being ruined, adoption agencies shuttered, schools threatened with loss of accreditation and nonprofit status. So what happened? Why is religious liberty now losing so much ground?

As I explain in my just-released book, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” three historical developments explain our current predicament: a change in the scope of our government, a change in our sexual values and a change in our political leaders’ vision of religious liberty. An adequate response will need to address each of these changes.

First, government has changed. The progressive movement gave us the administrative state. Limited government and the rule of law were replaced by the nearly unlimited reach of technocrats in governmental agencies. As government assumes responsibility for more areas of life, the likelihood of its infringing on religious liberty increases. Why should government be telling bakers and florists which weddings to serve in the first place? Why should it tell charities and religious schools how to operate and which values to teach? Only a swollen sense of unaccountable government authority can explain these changes.

Second, sexual values have changed. At the time of the American Revolution, religion and liberty were so closely linked that Thomas Jefferson could affirm, “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” Meanwhile, his French contemporary Denis Diderot, expressing sentiments that would culminate in a very different revolution, declared that man “will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” In our own time, however, the sexual revolution has shattered the American synthesis of faith and freedom, setting religion at odds with “liberty”—or more accurately, license. Now bakers, florists, adoption agencies and schools that uphold what Americans have always believed about marriage find themselves at odds with the law.

Third, religious liberty has changed. Our Constitution protects the natural right to the free exercise of religion. But some liberals are trying to drastically narrow that right by redefining it as the mere “freedom of worship.” If they succeed, the robust religious freedom that made American civil society the envy of the world will be reduced to Sunday-morning piety confined within the four walls of a chapel. They have even gone so far as to rewrite the U.S. immigration exam to say that the First Amendment protects “freedom of worship” rather than the “free exercise of religion.” True religious liberty entails the freedom to live consistently with one’s beliefs seven days a week—in the chapel, in the marketplace, and in the public square.

These three changes represent a rejection of the American Founding. Progressive politics and a radical view of human sexuality are combining to coerce compliance at the expense of a bedrock human right. And of course much of this has been enabled by judicial activism, as in Obergefell.

So how do we fight against this onslaught? We start by fighting for courts to interpret and apply our laws fairly. Without a sound judiciary, no amount of public debate can ensure sound policy on issues like marriage and religious liberty, for the courts will always be able to refashion or discard what the people (through their representatives) have achieved. This is why the work of groups such as the Federalist Society, which opposes such judicial activism, is so important.

Outside the courtroom, our best strategy for fighting governmental overreach is to fight for more limited government. The less power government has, the less room there is for abuses of power. The alliance between social and economic conservatives is not just a marriage of convenience. They share important principles, and they face a common enemy—the expansion of government beyond its proper scope. This is why the work of an organization such as The Heritage Foundation, which opposes ever-expanding government, is so important.

Limited government and religious liberty are best served when human laws reflect the “laws of nature and of nature’s God,” as the Declaration of Independence puts it. All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with a right to life. Mankind is created male and female, and marriage, by nature, is the union of man and woman. Only by redefining these concepts according to desire rather than nature is it possible to concoct a “right to choose” that extends even to the killing of an unborn child or an endlessly malleable concept of “marriage.”

Restoring a sound understanding of human nature and the laws of nature will be the work of the many organizations and groups—churches and synagogues, primary schools and universities, for example—that constitute civil society. Among these groups, public interest law firms such as the Alliance Defending Freedom have an important role. We need groups like this to push back on the sexual revolution and remind people of the law written on their hearts—a law that points the way to true, ordered liberty, not license, when it comes to human sexuality and the family.

Both the Bible’s moral principles and reason require us to conform our desires to transcendent moral truths grounded in our nature as human beings, rational animals. The followers of postmodernism seek to re-create nature in accord with their desires, while the followers of progressivism use the power of government to make everyone else conform to the desires of elites, who know best. These ideologies promote the satisfaction of desire even while trampling true natural rights and liberties like the free exercise of religion. And that’s where the work of groups like the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty proves so crucial. They insist against limiting religion to worship, and they defend its free exercise against encroachment in the name of untrammeled desire.

So the three steps that have undone core elements of the American Founding—progressive government and the administrative state, the sexual revolution’s elevation of desire and the whittling of religious free exercise down to the freedom to worship—all need to be countered. Political organizations, religious and civic organizations and legal organizations will have to play their roles in empowering the citizenry to reclaim their government and culture. I offer a roadmap for these groups to follow in Truth Overruled.

Without a return to the principles of the American Founding—ordered liberty based on faith and reason, natural rights and morality, limited government and civil society—Americans will continue to face serious and perplexing challenges. The dilemmas faced by bakers and florists and charities and schools are only the beginning.



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

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

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


16 August, 2015

Leftist Jews are a strange lot:  Michael Brull, for example

Most Leftist Jews are in the USA but there are quite a few in Israel too.  Australia has one (though not the only one) in the person of Michael Brull, who writes for the far-Left "New Matilda".  In a recent article he condemns Israel as "racist".  The way Leftists use "racist", it usually means something like "normal" so that is of scant interest.

What got me was the way he wrote of Israel's most recent intervention in Gaza: "Israel invaded and bombed Gaza last year".  No mention that it was an attempt by Israel to stop the constant  rocketing of Israel from Gaza. It was even pretty successful at that. How does anyone manage to close their eyes to that?  The man seems deep into Freudian denial, a serious neurosis.  As an articulate Jew he can hardly be unaware of the whole story.

And we have this from him:

"In a way, Australia’s an extreme example. A lot of racism passes without comment or condemnation here. Perhaps this shouldn’t be too surprising: Australia’s history is among the most racist on the planet. Because of the White Australia policy, and the devastation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Australia is still overwhelmingly white. Ethnic minorities have struggled to gain enough power, influence, and even visibility to successfully resist the kind of bigotry and prejudice that pervades our society, major institutions and halls of power."

He completely overlooks Australia's biggest minority -- about 5% of our population:  The Chinese.  There are people from various Asian sources in Australia but, regardless of source, most of them are Han Chinese.  Why is that?  Because the unfortunate Han are persecuted everywhere in Asia except in their homeland.  There are Chinese minorities throughout Asia, particularly in SouthEast Asia.  There are even Chinese restaurants in Bombay.  I ate in one once.

But whenever there is some sort of political upheaval, the Han are blamed for what is wrong and get it in the neck. Their homes are burnt, their businesses looted and they are all to often killed or driven out:  Quite reminiscent of Jewish history in Europe.  And the Han are of course well aware of their marginal status in the countries concerned.  So at every opportunity many who can do so get out -- mostly to countries with European populations, such as Australia.

Australia?  That hotbed of racism?  The Han clearly don't share the Leftist view that Australia is a hotbed of racism.  They have been coming for many years so would have heard by now if Australia was indeed a hotbed of racism.

There have always been Han in Australia.  My mother's grocer was a Chinaman. But the big influx started in the aftermath of the Vietnam war.  Most of the "boat-people" from Vietnam were Han, fleeing racist Vietnamese.  They got onto rickety boats and came to Australia at the risk of their lives.  Many of them disappeared at sea.

Like John Howard, I was apprehensive about the Chinese influx. I was aware of the old "White Australia policy" from Federation days (abolished by the conservative government of Harold Holt in 1966) so thought that the Chinese influx  might incite race riots.  Both Howard and I were wrong.  We underestimated our fellow Australians.  The Chinese were absorbed without a murmur.

But were they?  I personally have certainly seen no evidence of animus against them but statistical evidence is hard to find.  I have been a keen reader of the news for most of my 72 years and I recollect no accounts of anti-Chinese riots.  I have heard grumbles once or twice about them but that is all.  And race-relations are after all a major interest of mine. I have had over 100 papers on the subject published in the academic journals.  So neither in the popular nor the academic literature have I seen any mention of anti-Chinese upheavals in Australia.  Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence but I think it is pretty indicative in this case.

There are of course tales of minor discrimination at school and such places but the "cool kids" at school discriminate against members of their own ethnic group so that means nothing if taken in context.  The upshot is that the Han move unhindered among us as our medical specialist, our pharmacist and our restaurateur (etc.)

And something that is very vivid about race relations in Australia is the huge frequency of little Chinese ladies paired with tall Caucasian men.  I see examples of it almost every day in the shopping centre I usually go to.  Neither the man nor the girlfriend on his arm seem to realize that they are racists!

So why is all that important?  Because it shows that Australians are NOT racist.  If they were, a visibly different group like the Han  would surely be persecuted.  They are not.  So if Australians are critical of other ethnic groups, it is because of something other than racism.  Southeast Asians are demonstrably racist but Australians are not.

And it is far from clear that Australians were ever racist in any serious sense.  As is set out extensively here, the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 was primarily devoted to protecting existing Australian workers from low-wage competition.  Some of the speeches made in support of the Act utilized the racist beliefs that were common worldwide at the time but the basic motivation is perfectly clear if you look at all of what led up to the Act. 

There were some anti-Chinese riots on the goldfields of the 19th century but they were again largely economically motivated.  The Chinese miners were taking away a lot of the gold.  And most of the people on the goldfields at that time were immigrants, not native-born Australians.  A bit more on racial attitudes in Australia of the early days here

Now that I have looked at what Brull did not cover, let me look at what he did cover.  The bulk of his article is an assemblage of criticisms of Islam.  He rightly says that Islam is not monolithic and that the majority cannot be blamed for the deeds of a few.

Since it is clear that Australians are not racist, however, such criticisms cannot be taken as flowing from racism.  Even more fundamentally, Islam is a religion, not a race.  Muslims are of many races and you can change your religion but not your race.  So on that ground also Brull's claim of Australian racism falls by the wayside.

But is criticism of Islam legitimate and proper?  Brull clearly thinks not.  But why not?  Leftists sometimes make swingeing criticisms of Christians so why are similar criticisms of Islam not allowed?  Both are major religions.  I await Brull's article assembling and condemning Leftist criticisms of Christians.

So what is wrong with Brull?  Why all the selective reporting?  I cannot believe that he is unaware of the sort of thing that I have just covered and he seems too articulate to be a raving nutter.  So I must conclude that he knows perfectly well that what he writes is propaganda, not balanced reporting.  He knows that, in typical Leftist style, he is reporting only those things that suit him.  He is a crook. 

But why is he a crook?  It is because his writing is a servant to his hate, not any attempt at an accurate picture of the world.

But why is he suffused with hate for the world about him?  In his case it is moderately clear.  He is a Jew.  And the world that Jews inhabit has been incredibly hostile to them.  Hating that world is understandable, if stupid.  The world has changed.  Outside Muslim lands, Jews are no longer endangered.  But Jews do tend to feel the burden of the past heavily upon them,  which is why a big majority of American Jews are Leftist. Leftists are people who, for whatever reason, hate the world about them: "the system" or the "status quo" if you like.  Brull has joined that sorry fraternity.

But it is surely strange that, despite their great intellectual gifts, so many Ashkenazim seem incapable of truly critical thinking where politics is concerned.  From Moses onwards, the Hebrew prophets condemned Jews for their whoring after false Gods.  Not much seems to have changed.  Emotion swamps reason still.

Another one of Britain's wonderful multiculturalists

A dim-witted dad is being deported from Britain - after refusing to pay a £20 bill at a Frankie and Benny's restaurant.

Dozy Amit Naithani, 30, did a runner from the New York-style chain eatery and led police on a high-speed chase - which ended with him crashing a stolen Mercedes.

Driving at up to 40mph above the speed limit, Naithani drove through red lights, "dangerously" overtook a vehicle on a blind bend, and even struck an off-duty police officer, while speeding through Crawley, West Sussex.

The father-of-two, whose partner is currently pregnant, will be deported back to his former home of Kenya after serving a 20 month jail sentence.

At Lewes Crown Court on Monday, he admitted charges of aggravated vehicle taking, driving whilst disqualified, fraud, failing to stop when ordered to do so by a police constable, failing to give a specimen of breath and driving without insurance.

Kriston Berlevy, prosecuting, told the court: "The car, a new 15-plate A-class Mercedes, was stolen from Brent Cross on July 5.

"Some 12 days later this defendant entered an eatery in Crawley, where he ordered £19.30 worth of food and alcohol. "He was refused a final drink by waiting staff and attempted to leave without paying, before being challenged by one of the management.

"He said he had a friend inside who would pay, before claiming he had money in his car. "The defendant went out to the stolen Mercedes, where he shut himself inside the vehicle and locked the doors.

"An off-duty police officer who happened to be in the area became aware of the situation and approached the vehicle. "As he did so the defendant drove off and hit a black Lexus before striking the off-duty officer.  "It made him stumble but he did not suffer any noticeable injuries."

The off-duty officer managed to write down the number plate of the Mercedes, which led to police heading out to find the car.

The court heard Naithani refused to give a breath specimen at the police station and told officers "f*** this I can't be arsed".

Lance Whiteford, defending, said: "It is mystery why this bright young man gets into huge amounts of trouble.  "He has just completed a degree in forensic science and sociology at London Metropolitan University, where he achieved a 2:1."

Mr Whiteford added that Naithani moved to the UK with his mother at the age of four and has recently been served papers by immigration officers seeking to deport him back to Kenya.

Naithani was jailed for a total of 20 months and disqualified from driving for four years.  During sentencing, Judge Charles Kemp said: "This is a blatant piece of thoroughly dangerous driving.

"It is fortunate, and I am surprised, no one was injured.

"You drove through red lights and onto the opposite lane of the road causing traffic to swerve to avoid you."


Christian baker who refused to make a gay wedding cake cannot use his religious beliefs as a defense, court rules

A Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay marriage ceremony cannot use his religious beliefs as a defense, a court has ruled.

Jack Phillips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop near Denver, Colorado, was accused of discrimination after refusing to bake a wedding cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012.

Philips said forcing him to make cakes for gay marriage ceremonies violated his right to freedom of speech and his religious freedoms, but today the Colorado Court of Appeals rejected his argument.

The three-judge panel said that refusing to bake a cake for Mullins and Craig clearly violated Colorado's anti-discrimination laws.

The judges said the Colorado Anti Discrimination Act (CADA) prohibits businesses from refusing services on offer to the general public to people based on religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Philips will now face a fine if he refuses to bake another one of the cakes, is required to train his staff in anti-discrimination law, and will need to submit a quarterly compliance survey.

The case began back in 2012 after Mullins and Craig had gone to Massachusetts to get married, as Colorado only permitted same-sex civil unions at the time.

Once they had returned to Colorado they planned to celebrate with family and friends, and ordered the cake from Philips.

Philips refused, and when he was taken to court, argued that wedding cakes inherently carry a celebratory message about gay marriage, and therefore baking one was akin to asking him to support gay marriage, which his religious beliefs forbid.

In 2013, Judge Robert N. Spencer of the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts ruled that Philips had broken the law.

His decision was backed up by a similar ruling the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in May 2014.

However, Philips appealed, and today the Court of Appeals delivered its verdict, agreeing that he had breached the law.

In their ruling, the judges said: 'Nothing in the record supports the conclusion that a reasonable observer would interpret Masterpiece's providing a wedding cake for a same-sex couple as an endorsement of same-sex marriage rather than a reflection of its desire to conduct business in accordance with Colorado's public accommodations law.'

The judges said that Philips remains free to continue espousing his beliefs, both inside and outside the bakery, including opposition to gay marriage.

'However, if [he] wishes to operate as a public accommodation and conduct business within the State of Colorado, CADA prohibits it from picking and choosing customers based on their sexual orientation,' the judges added.

Lawyers representing Philips said they had not ruled out taking their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that many more cases are likely to occur following a recent ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage.

In recent cases elsewhere, a bakery in the Portland, Oregon, area that declined to make a wedding cake for a gay couple two years ago was ordered to pay $135,000 in damages in July.

The owners of Sweet Cakes, Melissa and Aaron Klein, refused to make a cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer saying doing so would violate their religious freedom, but the argument was again rejected.

Two years ago, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that a photographer who wouldn't take pictures of a gay couple's 2006 commitment ceremony violated the state's anti-discrimination law.

And in Washington state, a florist has been fighting a lawsuit filed after she refused to provide services for a gay wedding in 2013.


The EU is digging Orwell’s ‘memory holes’ across the internet

Mick Hume

To all of Google’s glowing self-descriptions, it appears we must add another: Google as global fighter for freedom of expression and information. The internet giant has just made headlines around the world by rejecting a demand from the French data protection authority to extend the EU-backed ‘right to be forgotten’ across all of its platforms. This would mean, for example, that if the company granted a request to remove a link from google.fr or google.co.uk, it would automatically be obliged to remove the same link from google.com.

In response to the French demand, backed by threats of repeated fines, Google declared that, ‘as a matter of principle, we respectfully disagree with the idea that a national data protection authority can assert global authority to control the content that people can access around the world’.

You need not search very hard to find that, ‘respectfully’, the search engine’s bold words are empty google-degook. Anti-corporate critics have pointed out that Google itself seems to have few qualms about controlling what information people are permitted to publish online. More pertinently, Google has done all in its power to enforce the EU’s ‘right to be forgotten’ rules within European states, apparently striving to live up to Jeffrey Rosen’s warning when the rules were first proposed in 2012 that the company risked becoming ‘censor-in-chief for the European Union’.

Google’s ‘defiant’ response to the French authorities’ latest demand even began by pleading that ‘we’ve worked hard to implement the right to be forgotten ruling thoughtfully and comprehensively in Europe, and we’ll continue to do so’. Some defiance. The latest recorded figures show Google had received 290,353 requests to remove web links under the 2014 ‘right to be forgotten’ rules, covering more than one million web pages, and agreed to remove some 41 per cent of them. Google might have made a token PR stand against the internationalisation of the right to be forgotten, but it seems happy to support a form of ‘censorship in one country’.

Of course, for all its hipster-style pretensions, Google remains just a corporation, not a political campaign, and nobody should rely on it to fight their battles. Behind the posturing there is a need to remind the world that the EU’s right to be forgotten rules pose a real threat to freedom of expression for us all within every state, and reinforce a wider culture of conformism and safety-first creeping across the internet.

As my book Trigger Warning: Is the Fear of Being Offensive Killing Free Speech? observes, ‘The concept of “Memory Holes”, down which inconvenient truths of history can be dropped and forgotten, was introduced into fiction by George Orwell in 1948, in his classic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Memory Holes were eventually opened up in the real world (or at least, the internet) by the Orwellian powers of the European Court of Justice in 2014.’

In its landmark ruling of May 2014, the European Court of Justice upheld the so-called ‘Right to be Forgotten’ by ordering Google to remove a link to a Spanish newspaper article. A Spaniard, Mario Costeja Gonzalez, wanted to bury a 1998 report that his house was to be auctioned off to pay his debts. Señor Gonzalez complained that, anytime anybody Googled him, this embarrassing reminder of past financial difficulties was still prominent among the search results. He not only wanted to forget about that episode, but wanted to force everybody else to forget about it, too, by effectively purging it from the internet. Europe’s top court concurred and insisted the rules would be enforced across the web.

What harm could it do to allow anybody to draw an online veil over their past indiscretions? And what does gawping at other people’s embarrassments have to do with free speech, anyway? In fact, the EU’s ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling has far-reaching implications for freedom of expression online, potentially stretching over the Atlantic and right around the worldwide web.

The European law gives individuals and institutions the right to demand that search engines such as Google must de-list postings containing ‘outdated’ or ‘irrelevant’ information. The Euro authorities insist that this cannot be construed as censorship, since the material will not actually be removed from the internet – it will simply not be linked to by Google and Co anymore. When plans for these regulations were first announced in 2012, the European Commission’s vice-president said: ‘It is clear that the right to be forgotten cannot amount to a right of the total erasure of history.’ That sounds like rewriting history. If material is not listed by search engines, it is effectively invisible to most online and ceases to exist as public information.

No, no, say the authorities, of course we are not banning this controversial book! We are simply ordering all libraries and bookshops to remove it from their shelves and websites forthwith. You will still be at liberty to read it – if you can find a copy anywhere, or even spot a reference to its existence . . .

Supporters of the right to be forgotten will insist that ‘this is not a free-speech issue’. They claim that the EU’s new rules are intended simply to defend the privacy and personal data of innocent people, not to encroach on anybody else’s freedom. Today, nobody ever admits that they are attacking freedom of expression. They are only ever upholding the inalienable rights of some victims – even if it is, in this case, the hitherto unheard-of ‘right’ to be forgotten and erased from the internet. But the right to be forgotten is a free-speech issue. It strikes at both the historic freedom to report the truth – and the liberty to read it, and to remember.

The right to report events and put history on the record has long been a central part of the struggle for freedom of expression and of the press. One of the first great fights for that freedom in Britain was the eighteenth-century campaign fought by John Wilkes and other heroes for the liberty to publish reports of what politicians said in parliament. That battle was eventually won, after Wilkes and his allies had been imprisoned, sent to the Tower of London and outlawed, and 50,000 Londoners had rioted outside parliament in their support. Until then, it was illegal for anybody to expose what His Majesty’s Government was up to behind the walls of the Palace of Westminster. Britain’s rulers ruled in effective secrecy – and were determined to retain their right to be hidden from history, or at least to write their history as they saw fit.

The right to record and to remember what has happened, and who did what to whom, is a crucial component of the freedom of expression. And there is a flipside to freedom of speech that is far too often forgotten. That is the right of the reader, listener and viewer to access all of the facts and every side of an argument, and then to judge for themselves what they believe to be true.

The ability of the reader or viewer to act as a morally autonomous adult is as vital a freedom as the liberty to speak. It means making choices and decisions on the basis of all the available information and ideas, without intervention from any other parental figure saying You-can’t-read-that. The ‘right to be forgotten’ undermines both sides of the free-speech principle – the ability to tell and record the truth as you understand it, and the freedom to think and to judge everything for yourself.

Everybody has things in their past they would rather erase from memory. That’s life, and it can be tough. The ‘right to be forgotten’ is too high a price to pay for retrospectively trying to protect somebody’s feelings.

Such an attempt at mass memory-erasure echoes Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. In Orwell’s novel, Big Brother’s system of authoritarian control was brutal. As O’Brien of the Thought Police tells the protagonist, Winston Smith, ‘If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever’. But it is not just about brutality. It also involves thought control and the manipulation of history. One of Big Brother’s slogans is, ‘Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.

To that end, Winston Smith’s job at the Ministry of Truth involves continually rewriting and deleting articles from past editions of the official newspaper, The Times, so that the historical record will suit the regime’s current political needs. The fact that today’s mortal enemies had been yesterday’s close allies can be conveniently removed from the records; and a former leading Party member who has fallen from favour can have his past achievements erased from official history overnight. The slots into which these excised stories are stuffed are nicknamed ‘memory holes’:

‘When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.’

Later, when O’Brien tortures Smith, the member of the Thought Police produces a photograph that Smith knows is evidence of a cover-up by the ruling Party. Then O’Brien stuffs the evidence into a memory hole, and denies that it ever existed or that he has any memory of having seen or destroyed it. ‘“Ashes”, he said, “Not even identifiable ashes. Dust. It does not exist. It never existed.”’

True, the EU court has not ordered any torture or sanctioned any stamping of boots on human faces. Europe’s highest court has, however, brought to life something that Orwell could only fictionalise, and in the heart of the democratic West. Its legal endorsement of the ‘right to be forgotten’ risks creating huge memory holes at the heart of the internet, into which people can cast all manner of unwanted memories and facts from the past.

It sometimes seems as if, on one hand, our culture is unhealthily obsessed with alleged conspiracies and sex crimes from the distant past, often based on little more than rumour and gossip. On the other hand there is a willingness effectively to erase hard but inconvenient facts about the recent past from the internet. In this context the ‘right to be forgotten’ is not just a narrow legal problem, but reinforces a wider culture of conformism and if-in-doubt-take-it-down on the worldwide web.

We should remember (if we are still permitted to) that the internet has been such a boon to writers and readers partly because it made it so much easier to research and recall what has been said and done. The old cliché about today’s newspapers being disposable, ‘tomorrow’s fish-and-chip wrappers’, is no longer true – what is written or reported in the press and elsewhere can now be there for good, for all to see, paywalls allowing. Some are obviously uncomfortable about this. But that’s no reason to allow them to use the modern language of exaggerated ‘rights’ to turn recent history into today’s disposable fast-food wrappers.



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, 2015

It's 2015 and pretty little girls still like dressing up

Feminists have failed

Just ONE abortion or miscarriage 'increases the risk of complications with future pregnancies'

Feminists always deny this

Women who go through just one abortion or miscarriage are more likely to face complications during future pregnancies, scientists have warned.

It has long been established that undergoing several abortions or enduring more than one miscarriage increase's the risk of problematic subsequent pregnancies.

Among the recognised complications, these women face higher chances of vaginal bleeding, pre-term birth, low birth weight and placenta complications.

But, a new study has now revealed those women who experience a single interruption in pregnancy during the first trimester, are 30 per cent more likely to face complications in future, than women who have not experienced a pregnancy loss.

They include higher rates of induced labour, caesarean sections and retained placenta after delivery. 

But whether the first pregnancy was ended intentionally or spontaneously made little difference.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University, led by Dr Liran Hiersch, analysed 15,000 deliveries at Rabin Medical Center in Israel over the last five years.

They compared the pregnancy outcomes of nulliparous women - those who experienced a single previous first-trimester interruption - with those of primigravidas women - those in their first pregnancy with no past history of abortion or miscarriage.

They focused on women who had either a naturally occurring miscarriage, known as a spontaneous abortion, or who had what’s known as an inducted, or induced, abortion using medication or surgery.

Women were excluded if they had a history of multiple abortions or miscarriages, lacked prenatal care, were pregnant with multiples or had pregnancies complicated by stillbirth or major fetal abnormalities.

Overall, the researchers found that women with a previous pregnancy terminated by miscarriage or abortion were older.

In addition they had a higher rate of fertility treatments and were more likely to have diabetes during pregnancy than the control group of women who didn’t have a prior terminated pregnancy.

Among the women with a past terminated pregnancy, 53 per cent had miscarriages, 33 per cent had abortions and another 14 per cent didn’t have the type of termination specified in their records.

About seven per cent of women with a prior abortion or miscarriage had labour induction, compared with about five per cent of women pregnant for the first time.

Caesarean deliveries were performed for 25 per cent of women with a prior terminated pregnancy, compared with 18 per cent of the other women.

Retained placenta after birth - where the placenta fails to deliver - occurred with about seven per cent of women who had a history of miscarriage or abortion, compared with roughly five per cent of the other women.

But extensive bleeding, a serious side effect of the placenta failing to emerge after the baby, was rare and happened in roughly three per cent of the deliveries regardless of the women’s prior pregnancy history.

The researchers note that previous studies exploring the effect of a single pregnancy loss on future outcomes were based on incorrect assumptions.

Past research compared outcomes between women who never gave birth before with those whose first pregnancy ended in a normal delivery, the researchers at Tel Aviv said.

Dr Liran Hiersch, who assessed only those women who delivered their first infants and compared them with those who had only one or no pregnancy loss in their past, said: 'A history of normal pregnancy is considered protective from adverse outcomes, so this group already had an advantage over those who had pregnancy loss in their past.

'This, I believe, was the main advantage of the methodology of our study in comparison to previous reports.'

Dr Hiersch said it is important to emphasise that a single pregnancy loss is a 'very common event' during a woman's reproductive years. 'In most cases it has no effect on future fertility or pregnancy outcome,' Dr Hiersch added.

'In addition, although we found that a single early pregnancy loss was associated with an increased risk for subsequent adverse pregnancy outcome, the effect was mild.

'Our findings should be taken into account together with other parameters when assessing the risk for adverse outcome.

'We hope this study will be incorporated in the usual risk assessments.

'Doctors should know there is another element to factor in when assisting a woman before labour.'

The researchers are currently planning to conduct a major prospective study on the subject.

The study was published in the Journal of Maternal Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.


The Christian Purge Has Begun

Chaplains banned from preaching that homosexuality is a sin

It wasn’t so much a choice as it was a demand.  Chaplain David Wells was told he could either sign a state-mandated document promising to never tell inmates that homosexuality is “sinful” or else the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice would revoke his credentials.

“We could not sign that paper,” Chaplain Wells told me in a telephone call from his home in Kentucky. “It broke my heart.”

The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice revoked his volunteer credentials as an ordained minister — ending 13 years of ministry to underage inmates at the Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

“We sincerely appreciate your years of service and dedication to the youth served by this facility,” wrote Superintendent Gene Wade in a letter to Wells. “However, due to your decision, based on your religious convictions, that you cannot comply with the requirements outlined in DJJ Policy 912, Section IV, Paragraph H, regarding the treatment of LGBTQI youth, I must terminate your involvement as a religious volunteer.”

Wells said that every volunteer in their church received the letter — as did a Baptist church in a nearby community.

The Kentucky regulation clearly states that volunteers working with juveniles “shall not refer to juveniles by using derogatory language in a manner that conveys bias towards or hatred of the LGBTQI community. DJJ staff, volunteers, interns and contractors shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

For years, Wells and his team have conducted volunteer worship services and counseling to troubled young people — many of whom have been abused.

“I sat across the table from a 16-year-old boy who was weeping and broken over the life he was in,” Wells said. “He had been abused as a child and turned to alcohol and drugs to cope. He wanted to know if there was any hope for him.”

Wells said he had been abused as a young child — so he knew he could answer this young man’s question.  “I was able to look at him and tell him the saving power of Jesus Christ that delivered me — could deliver him,” he said.

But under the state’s 2014 anti-discrimination policy, Wells would not be allowed to have such a discussion should it delve into LGBT issues.

“They told us we could not preach that homosexuality is a sin — period,” Wells told me. “We would not have even been able to read Bible verses that dealt with LGBT issues.”

For the record, Wells said they’ve never used hateful or derogatory comments when dealing with the young inmates.  “They are defining hateful or derogatory as meaning what the Bible says about homosexuality,” he told me.

Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, is representing Wells. He said the state’s ban on Biblical counseling is unconstitutional religious discrimination.

“There is no question there is a purging underway,” Staver told me. “The dissenters in the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage warned us this would happen.”

Staver is demanding the state immediately reinstate Wells as well as the other volunteer ministers.  “By restricting speech which volunteers are allowed to use while ministering to youth detainees, the State of Kentucky and the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice have violated the protections given to private speech through the First Amendment and the Kentucky Constitution,” Staver wrote in his letter to state officials.

He said the policy “requires affirmation of homosexuality as a precondition for ministers providing spiritual guidance to troubled youth, and singles out a particular theological viewpoint as expressly disfavored by the State of Kentucky.”

In other words — Kentucky has a religious litmus test when it comes to homosexuality — and according to the Lexington Herald-Leader — they aren’t going to back down.

The DJJ told the newspaper that the regulation “is neutral as to religion and requires respectful language toward youth by all staff, contractors and volunteers.”

State Sen. Gerald Neal, a Democrat, dared Christians to challenge the law in court. “I’m just disappointed that the agendas by some are so narrow that they disregard the rights of others,” he told the newspaper. “Let them sue and let the courts settle it.”

Among those backing Wells is the American Pastors Network.

“Pastors and all Americans must wake up to the reality of expanding efforts to cleanse our nation of all moral truth,” APN President Sam Rohrer said in a statement. “When pastors and all Christians…are forced by government agents to renounce sharing the very reality of sin, they are in fact being prohibited from sharing the healing and life-changing potential of redemption.”

Folks, I warned you this would happen. The Christian purge has begun — and it’s only a matter of time before all of us will be forced to make the same decision Chaplain Wells had to make.

Will you follow God or the government?


If I were Secretary of Defense, here’s the FIRST position I’d eliminate


I remember when the mantra of "every kid gets a trophy" began to take hold in our youth athletic programs. Well, now that philosophy of social utopianism has permeated throughout our culture and now in a place where it absolutely has no place. In life, there are standards and no one's entitled to "have" anything - well, besides life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, that is not the societal vision of the liberal progressives; theirs is based upon egalitarianism. That, however, is not consistent with the duty and mission of our armed forces.

I was sent the following article from a distinguished retired Special Forces officer, Brigadier General Remo Butler, who was and continues to be a role model for me. As reported in USA Today:

Many of the Pentagon's elite commando units - including the Navy SEALs - are overwhelmingly led and manned by white officers and enlisted troops, a concern at the highest levels of the military where officials have stressed the need to create more diverse forces to handle future threats.

Black officers and enlisted troops are scarce in some special operations units in highest demand, according to data provided by the Pentagon to USA TODAY. For instance, eight of 753 SEAL officers are black, or 1%.

An expert at the Pentagon on the diversity of commando forces said the lack of minorities robs the military of skills it needs to win.

"We don't know where we will find ourselves in the future," said Army Col. Michael Copenhaver, who has published a paper on diversity in special operating forces. "One thing is for sure: We will find ourselves around the globe. And around the globe you have different cultural backgrounds everywhere. Having that kind of a diverse force can only increase your operational capability.

Special Operations forces, including SEALs and the Army's Green Berets, are often the face of the American military in foreign hot spots where they rescue hostages, raid terrorist camps and train local troops. SEAL Team 6 famously raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan and killed him. As the military sheds conventional forces - the Army will pare 40,000 soldiers in the next few years - special operators' ranks continue to be filled as demand for their unique capabilities remains high.

US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) based in Tampa, does not track that information on its nearly 70,000 civilian and military personnel, said Kenneth McGraw, a spokesman. Gen. Joseph Votel, SOCOM's commander, declined to speak to USA TODAY for this story, said Col. Thomas Davis, another SOCOM spokesman.

Votel did address the issue last month at the Aspen Security Conference and stressed the need for diverse commando units, which operate in almost 90 countries. The average enlisted special operator is 29, married with two children and has deployed four to 10 times, Votel told the audience.

What he didn't say is that most of them are white.

"SOCOM needs diversity, we need people of color, we need men, we need women to help us solve the problems that we deal with today," Votel said. "So we need good people; men, women, people of all colors."

What we need is a highly trained, well-resourced military focused on defeating our enemies. What these folks fail to understand is that in the community of warriors, no one cares about pigmentation. They care about honor, integrity, character and fierceness.

What I don't want to see is all of a sudden the focus turn to having "black faces" instead of elite warriors. Diversity is not the goal of the U.S. military; it is to fight and win the nation's wars. On the battlefield, bullets don't seek out someone based on skin color. This design of social egalitarianism has no place in our military.

And spare me the diatribe about the integration of blacks into the U.S. military. From the days of Crispus Attucks, black men have shown they're brave and willing to stand and fight for one single objective: liberty. The men of the 54th Massachusetts and the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry didn't seek preferential treatment. As well, the 369th Harlem Hell Fighters, Tuskegee Airmen and Montford Point Marines achieved not because of their skin color, but because of their character.

There's no need for "diversity agents" to try and manipulate the composition of our armed forces, sacrificing our effectiveness in pursuit of fairness, under the guise of enhanced increased capability. And what's most disconcerting is the infiltration into the military of this ill-conceived mindset - namely the Pentagon joining in on this folly.

The statement from an "expert at the Pentagon on the diversity of commando forces" - since when did the U.S. military need an expert on diversity of commando forces? I can tell you right now, if I were Secretary of Defense, that's the first position I'd eliminate!

The deduction of this so-called expert - "the lack of minorities robs the military of skills it needs to win" - is utterly disrespectful to the men and women serving, sacrificing and committing themselves in fighting for this nation today.

The strength of our military is we do not see color; we only see the oath we take to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. And in doing so, each man and woman who takes up that oath serves in their best capacity - not one based on respective differences, but rather united in the commonality of being an American.

Our elite forces are elite because of their standards - and "monkeying" around with their composition based on some insidious research about diversity is stupidity. There are things that must be earned in life, and so it is with titles such as Green Beret, Ranger, Delta Force, Navy SEAL, Recon Marine and Air Force PJ. These are not just little plastic trophies to be handed out by the gods of diversity. They represent time-honored impeccable standards of excellence and elitism that only a few are called to seek, and even fewer attain.

On my chest I wear three sets of wings: Army Master Parachutist, Army Air Assault and the Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist. Those were not given because I was a minority. They were earned because I sought to "Be All I Could Be." I didn't get these through some diversity-approved course; rather, I entered as others and proved myself worthy.

At a time when we're facing countless global enemies from Russia, China, Iran and Islamic jihadism, it's not about the skin color of the person pulling the trigger to send our enemies to hell. It's about the qualifications and their ability to do so. Diversity in our Special Operations forces means committed men and women who have diversified skills and talents enabling us to defeat the enemy. The policies of our Defense Department MUST not be about meeting quota goals, but rather in placing the MOST qualified, trained and ready force on the field of battle. No one cares about skin color, save those who only care about inane statistics they can show for their own elevation.

Once upon a time, the government said every American had a right to own a home and boasted of an increase in minority home ownership. Standards were lowered and what ensued 30 years later, in 2008, was a financial collapse. The folly here will result in an even greater collapse with ramifications on the national security of this republic.

For America, it's never been about the skin color of the warrior. It has been, and must always be, about their oath of service and commitment to victory - not diversity.


How About a little Compassion for We the People?

By Lloyd Marcus

Nothing ignited my late mom's Baltimore living-in-the-hood anger more than someone “messing” with one of her “nine months” (her kids). I have a similar protective reaction to attacks on the Tea Party/We the People.

Not only have We the People had to endure mainstream media, Democrat, and GOP establishment attacks, some on our side are attacking us for not being “smart enough” to reject Donald Trump. I say, have a little compassion for us. We are witnessing our beloved once great nation becoming a banana republic (dishonest and lawless government) right before our eyes. As patriots, we have faithfully done all the right things. And yet, the wrong things keep happening.

On Fox News Brit Hume called us (the Tea Party) the far right. Senator John McCain called patriots who attended an anti-illegal immigration rally “crazies.” House Majority leader John Boehner called us the "far right". Will somebody please tell me what is “crazy” and “far right” about expecting government to function according to our laws and the Constitution?

And then, these arrogant (language I will not use as a Christian) have the audacity to call us stupid for rallying behind Donald Trump.

Where is the compassion for We the people? Yes, my heart goes out for the people. Political Action Committees and GOP candidates raised funds, promising to git-r-done only to leave patriots suffering a string of broken promises. Adding insult to injury, betrayers in the GOP which we gave the House and the Senate call us names; even launching a war on conservatives and the Tea Party. For crying out loud, how much more are We the People expected to take?

To date, my favorite presidential contender is Ted Cruz. Cruz gets it. He sympathizes with all We the People have gone through and vows to fight to make things right, when given the chance.

In essence, both parties said, screw you to We the People. Our Washington cartel is going to further its agenda and there “ain't” nothing you Tea Party yahoos can do about it. The GOP took us (We the People) out to sea and threw us overboard. Trump threw us a lifeline. Do not attack us for accepting it.

Imagine a fire is raging out-of-control consuming my home. A gang of Hells Angels bikers approaches from over the horizon. They jump off their bikes and begin helping me extinguish the fire. Do I throw up my hands yelling, “Stop! I don't approve of your lifestyle”? Or, do I simply say thank you?

Please do not conclude I am comparing Trump to the Hells Angels. I am simply saying while you may not agree or even like everything about Trump, the man has unquestionably positively impacted the political landscape. For one thing, illegal immigration would not be on the table if Trump had not made it an issue; standing firm, while bombarded by both parties and the MSM.

Also, the way Trump has dealt with the liberal bias mainstream media has influenced others not to be so easily pushed around by these bullies. With the Left obsessed with forcing conservatives/Republicans to apologize, Trump refuses to go there. It drives the Left crazy. I love it!

The Left regard apologies as blood in the water to totally destroy, devour and end the campaign of a conservative/Republican.

The Fox News strategy to “get Trump” during the GOP debate was extremely unfortunate. I agree with Mark Levin who said Fox blew a major opportunity. Twenty-four million Americans tuned in to the debate greeted with soap opera questions rather than exposing the horrors Obama has released upon our country and how the GOP contenders plan to fix it.

For example: seventy percent of the population is unaware of the butchery and black marketing of baby body parts happening behind the walls of Planned Parenthood which is still praised by the Democrats. Why on earth was the debate moderators focused on a feud between Trump and Rosie O'Donnell? Truly unfortunate.

By the way, Bill Clinton was surrounded by affairs and scandals including allegations of rape; none of which came up during past debates.

Ted Cruz understands Trump's popularity and thinks it is unwise for the GOP to “smack Donald Trump with a stick.” Rather than joining the chorus of those calling patriots idiots for liking Trump, Cruz understands and sympathizes with We the People. Cruz's message is “make me your president and I vow to champion your cause.”

Cruz was shortchanged during the GOP debate receiving very little time on camera. Still, Cruz's closing comments caused him to soar in the polls; direct, strong and sincere. I am confident Cruz's numbers will continue to grow.

I will not judge or be upset with my brother and sister patriots who are high on Trump. Any of our 17 contenders are far superior to a Democrat who will surely continue Obama's evil transformation of America. My gut tells me Ted Cruz will break the tape finishing first.



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, 2015

The politics of racism are flourishing in Australia (?)

The little Leftist lady who wrote the article below is a Ph.D. student.  One hopes that her supervisors will make her up her game soon. She seems not to have noticed that Muslims are a religion, not a race.  The difference?   Muslims are of many races and you can change your religion but not your race.  Yet she bases her entire claim of racism on Australia on the fact that there are some Australians who are critical of Muslims.  Dim!

And why is criticism of Muslims in any way illegitimate?  Leftists can be searingly critical of Christians!  But "that's different", I guess.  Sheer hypocrisy more like it

She also joins the Leftist mob in claiming that the booing of Adam Goodes was racist but fails to mention that other AFL stars like Wayne Carey, James Hird, Jason Akermanis and Nick Riewoldt were also heavily booed in their day.  Was that racist too?  Or is booing just what AFL fans do?  It's just opinion that the booing of Goodes was racist. If the booing of Goodes shows Australia as  racist, how come he has twice won the Brownlow Medal, given to the “fairest and best” player in the game?  That's pretty strange racism isn't it?  But it's an article of deep faith to Leftists that Australians are racist so any "evidence" for that belief will do and no contrary evidence will be admitted. More on the Goodes affair here.

No doubt there are some racists in Australia but the only real issue is its prevalence.  Are we going to brand a whole nation with the deeds and ideas of a few?  It's a breach of natural justice to blame someone for the deeds of others. And if racism IS prevalent in Australia, how come so many people of all races have risked their lives to get here on rickety boats, with many drowning in the process?  It just seems to be impossible for a Leftist to look at ALL the evidence.  Their preconceptions are sacred.  Sad souls

By Susie Latham

It might be tempting to dismiss claims by new anti-Muslim political party Australian Liberty Alliance that it hopes to eventually poll "in the 20 per cent bracket" at election time as wishful thinking, but this would be a serious mistake.

Racism is flourishing in Australia. AFL legend Adam Goodes has been criticised by many public figures for drawing attention to it and there have already been many rallies against Muslims nationwide this year.

The Abbott government has fostered this atmosphere by declaring that people have the right to be bigots and attempting to repeal part of the Racial Discrimination Act. Banning the burqa in Parliament, declaring that a death cult is coming for us at every conceivable opportunity, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi's instigation of an inquiry into halal food certification, and Queensland Nationals MP George Christensen addressing a Reclaim Australia rally suggest that an embattled government is belatedly acting on Scott Morrison's advice to exploit community concern about Muslims.

The Opposition's silence, seen by some as a clever way to avoid being wedged on national security, has also contributed.

Although right-wing racist groups have always existed on the fringes of Australian society, the danger posed by a lack of national political leadership on racism and the emergence of the ALA is that it will propel bigotry into the mainstream. Many Muslims feel that sentiment towards them has never been more negative, and having candidates stand for election gives anti-Muslim bigots a public platform and confers legitimacy on their views.

Numbers turning up to rallies against Muslims have been relatively small, but almost 30,000 people "liked" the Reclaim Australia Rally Facebook page. Results of a national study released in 2011 indicated as many as 49 per cent of Australians held negative sentiments towards Muslims. Expressing this on a ballot paper is safe, easy and private.

The ALA may denounce violence and the neo-Nazis associated with some anti-Muslim groups, but you can be sure members of these groups, and others carrying out physical and verbal attacks on Muslims, will be voting for ALA candidates.

In several forums Muslim women have said they are restricting their movements and clothing choices out of fear. Others, including a 90-year-old man, a couple in their 80s and a community activist have had offensive letters posted to their home addresses. Australian Muslims minding their own business have been verbally harangued at their workplaces, on public transport and in the supermarket.

Extremist Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has advised the ALA and will be the guest of honour at its launch in Perth in October, described a poll that claimed more than half the Muslims living in Holland feel less welcome and think more often about leaving as "good news". As the ALA recently reminded its members, anti-Muslim parties may initially struggle, but in "the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Austria, France and Italy – they are supported by millions [and] already poll in the 20 per cent bracket".

The ALA's strong connections to successful anti-Muslim groups in Europe and the US set it apart from groups such as Reclaim Australia and One Nation. It is more sophisticated, well-financed and better organised. Debbie Robinson, a Perth-based director of ALA, is also a member of the group Stop Islamisation of Nations (SION). Other members of SION include US anti-Islam commentators Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.

At a time when political leadership has been wanting but decent Australians have taken it upon themselves to speak out against the racism directed at AFL player Adam Goodes, the same unity and organisation is needed to stop the ALA from making headway here and leaving Australian Muslims feeling similarly devastated.


Don’t put culture in a ghetto

Policing ‘cultural appropriation’ is just a PC version of segregation.

Fifty-two years on from Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, his vision of a world in which people ‘will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character’ remains unrealised. Not because of a revival of old-fashioned racism, but because of the US PC brigade’s abandonment of King’s universalist spirit.

Instead, out of the great echo chambers of the campus Safe Spaces and faux-philosophical Tumblr blogs has come the idea that anyone adopting elements of culture different to his or her own is racist and colonialist. Such people are allegedly guilty of ‘cultural appropriation’, of stealing the culture of other people.

Over the past month alone, there has been a handful of forehead-slapping examples of so-called cultural appropriation. Actor Amandla Stenberg, best known for The Hunger Games, started a Twitterspat with reality-TV personality Kylie Jenner, saying Jenner’s donning of corn rows was ‘appropriation of black features’, before going on to accuse other white artists of adopting hip-hop culture ‘as a way of being edgy and gaining attention’.

Stenberg and the thousands of hashtag activists who share her views contend that white people’s appropriation of hip-hop is wrong because of the culture’s roots in the black American experience. Yet if these ghettoisers of culture want to imagine a future where African-American culture isn’t celebrated by whites, they need only look to the past. They’d surely be satisfied that ragtime pioneer Scott Joplin lived in obscurity throughout his life because of his race. You stick to yours, and I’ll stick to mine – that’s their thinking.

The demonising of so-called cultural appropriation also stifles creativity. Imagine if the young British musicians who drove forward the cultural explosion of the 1960s had felt black American culture wasn’t theirs to love and admire? The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and The Beatles would never have been.

It’s all very odd. Nobody would be taken seriously if they accused a black woman of cultural theft for having straightened hair, or a Japanese businessman for wearing a jacket and tie. So why is it different for white guys? Because it’s only cultural appropriation when those ‘with power’ in society borrow from the culture of those who, historically, have had less power. This is where the seams of cultural-appropriation theory come apart.

In early July, protesters took against the Boston Museum of Fine Arts for hosting ‘Kimono Wednesdays’, a gimmicky promotion to advertise the display of Monet’s La Japonaise. Visitors were encouraged to don kimonos and imitate the pose of Monet’s wife and muse Camille. But irate white and Asian-American protesters turned out to complain about the ‘exotification’ of Asian people – much to the puzzlement of the Japanese-American organisers of ‘Kimono Wednesdays’.

Artist Roger Peet, in his work, has attacked the pillaging and ‘orientalising’ of Japanese culture by Westerners. In the foreground of his piece ‘Sweet Dreams’, doe-eyed pop starlet Katy Perry smiles, dressed head to toe in traditional Japanese dress. Behind her is a mushroom cloud, and an image of US marines planting the American flag at Iwo Jima. Peet told the Huffington Post that the work explores ‘what whiteness means… the daily violence and brutality of a world system that is bent on turning everything – every sacred grove, every deep note, every singular moment – into an object of value for speculators’.

The fundamental problem with cultural appropriation is that it assumes that each culture has a single, racially uniform origin. Yet to be American, for instance, is to be part of a great cultural melting pot of immigrants, settlers, slaves and natives. So to demand that everyone stick to their own traditions is not only old-fashioned racialism – it is also historically illiterate. MLK’s dream has never been so necessary.


On-the-run murderers win right to privacy: British police refuse to name killers and rapists wanted for more than a decade because of 'data protection rights'

Police were condemned last night for refusing to identify ten fugitives – including four wanted for murder – because naming them would breach their privacy.

The West Midlands force said the identities of the suspects, wanted for more than a decade, should not be made public because their ‘data protection rights’ outweighed the public interest.

The refusal was roundly criticised by one of the force’s former officers and politicians – with one MP accusing the police of ‘protecting criminals’.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said the force’s response appeared to be a ‘data protection duck-out’.

Of the ten suspects, four are wanted for murders dating back to 2002. Another four are wanted for attempted murders between 2001 and 2005, while one is being sought over an alleged immigration offence from 2004.

Another reason given for not naming them was that ‘on-going inquiries’ might be hampered. Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Perry Barr in Birmingham, accused the police of ‘protecting criminals’.

He added: ‘The force should be doing all it can, with the help of the public, to track down these people. They have been wanted for some of the most serious crimes and the victims deserve justice. It is absolutely bizarre.’

Tory MP Philip Davies, a campaigner against soft justice, said: ‘It is a shame the police are not more concerned with the rights of decent law-abiding people to go about their business safely.

'Whichever senior police officer doesn’t believe the public have the right to know which dangerous criminals are on the loose should reflect on whether they are in the right profession.’

Ray Egan, 75, who served on the West Midlands force from 1967 to 1993, said: ‘This isn’t the police force that I joined. To look at what is happening, it’s enough to make you jump off the cliffs of Dover.

‘These criminals could still be committing crimes like murder and rape. I don’t know how they think they will catch them if no-one knows who they are.’

The Birmingham Mail submitted a Freedom of Information request to the force asking for the number of suspects classed as ‘wanted’.

A supplementary question requested the names, photographs and details of the ten suspects who had been on the run for the longest time.

West Midlands Police is also the force which has two officers patrolling the streets of Magaluf as part of a two-week trial to help Spanish authorities deal with victims and offenders from the UK.

A sergeant and constable are in Majorca before moving on to Ibiza, but former policeman Mark Williams-Thomas questioned whether they could be effective, given that they have no powers of arrest.

West Midlands Police replied that a total of 1,452 of its suspects were marked as ‘wanted’ on the Police National Computer, although none was identified to the newspaper.

And the force refused to name the ten suspects who had been missing the longest, citing exemption Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act – a section which covers the release of information relating to personal data.

A spokesman added: ‘It would be unfair to release this information where any person could be identified from the data and in this case the right to privacy outweighs any public interest in release.’

Last night, a spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s Office said the response ‘did not seem to make much sense’, adding: ‘All too often we hear of cases where organisations have simply said no and used data protection as a duck-out. 'This sounds like it might be one of those.

‘Normally there should not be a reason why data protection rules get in the way.’  He added that data protection legislation ‘should not be used as an excuse by those reluctant to take a balanced decision’.

West Midlands Police said it was up to investigating officers to decide whether appeals for information were made public.  The spokesman said: ‘Each case is different. Sometimes it is not in the interest of the inquiry to release details of a wanted person as it may hamper on-going enquiries.’

The force believes that of the four people wanted for murder, two are dead and the other two have fled the country.

One of the ten suspects was named in 2001 when he was 19, as a suspect in the attempted murder of a doctor outside a Coventry hotel.

Two of the remaining suspects are being sought over an attempted murder in 1996, one man is wanted for an attempted murder in 2005 and another is wanted for immigration offences from the same year.

The final suspect, an 81-year-old man, was reported to police in 2010 over a rape allegation dating back to the mid-1980s.

The force last night said the man, who is living in Thailand, was no longer wanted after the Crown Prosecution Service ruled no further action should be taken.


Rep. Cummings: 'Black Lives Also Have to Matter to Black People'

Speaking at a news conference to address the increase in violence in Baltimore last week, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) commented that “a lot of the perpetrators," and many of the "victims," are black people, and he stressed that "black lives also have to matter to black people."

"Another thing that has been bothering me a lot is, I hear, over and over again, Black lives matter. Black lives matter – and they do matter. But black lives also have to matter to black people. And we know, over and over again, a lot of the victims of these crimes are African American. And we know a lot of the perpetrators are African American," Cummings said.

Rep. Cummings urged the residents of Baltimore to cooperate with the police to reduce violence in the city:

"I first of all want to say to Baltimore and to those who may be thinking about committing crimes, you're not going to get away with it. One of the reasons why we have all the expertise here today, these ten agents that will be embedded in our homicide unit, is because we want to make sure that our city is a safe city. And I said it before and I'll say it again, the police need the community, and the community need the police. There's no way that these murders can be solved unless we have the cooperation of the public. And I've stopped by here to beg the public to cooperate with the police because when you stand back and don't do anything, all you do is allow a murderer to go out there and do it again."

Rep. Cummings later continued, "And I would say to those who care, the only people who are doing pretty good now are the morticians. They're the only ones. And I say that we are a city that is better than that. And so, to all of our, all those folks who think that you got to, you get your power, from carrying a gun and shooting somebody and hurting somebody, again, we have joined forces to make sure that we do every single thing in our power to make every single person in our city safe. And it's not just the murders, it's the shootings. And so I'm begging you, put your guns down. Put your guns down and allow people to live."

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D), Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby, and Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis joined Rep. Cummings at the news conference.

"We all know that the level of violence that we've seen in our city over the past few months is unacceptable. It's unacceptable to everyone who is standing her. It's unacceptable to the communities who are experiencing this violence on a daily basis," Rawlings-Blake said. "If we are not working together, the community and the police, together, none of us will see the safe city that we want to see."



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, 2015

A multicultural mother in Australia

A mother has been charged with the murder of three of her children and attempted murder of a fourth after the car she was driving ploughed into a lake in April. 

Police say Akon Guode, 36, was charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in an out-of-sessions court hearing in Victoria on Monday.

The South Sudan-born mother-of-seven was behind the wheel of a 4WD when it veered off the road and plunged into Lake Gladman in Wyndham Vale in Melbourne's west on April 8.

The children's mother, Akorn Manang, was behind the wheel of grey 2005 Toyota Kluger when it plunged into the lake on Manor Lakes Boulevard

Twins Madit and Anger, 4, and one-year-old Bol were killed. Their five-year-old sister Awel survived the horrific crash.

Ms Guode was taken into police custody at around midday on Monday for questioning before charges were filed.

During her late night hearing Guode allegedly clutched at her chest and claimed to be experiencing 'a little bit of chest pain', according to News Corp.

She also reportedly explained, with the help of an interpreter, that she has not 'gotten into trouble with anyone' since her arrival in Australia in 2008.

Ms Guode was taken into police custody at around midday on Monday for questioning before charges were filed over the April incident

The mother was remanded in custody to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

There was a outpouring of grief after the three children died, with hundreds of mourners gathering to farewell them at their funeral in April.

At the funeral the accused sat with both the children's father, Joseph Tito Manyang, and the child who survived the crash in the church's front row. 


An evil religion

Muslims are sexually neurotic

The father of a 20-year-old woman who drowned in Dubai reportedly stopped lifeguards from saving her because he did not want her to be touched by strange men.

The unnamed Asian man allegedly preferred to let his daughter die than have her 'dishonoured' by rescuers, according to police.

Lt Col Ahmed Burqibah, Deputy Director of Dubai Police’s Search and Rescue Department, said the girl got into difficulty on a beach in the city.

'I cannot forget': Lt Col Ahmed Burqibah said he was shocked by the incident.  He said: 'This is one of the incidents which I cannot forget. 'It shocked me and many others who were involved in the case.

'The Asian father took his wife and kids to the beach for picnic and fun.  'The kids were swimming in the beach when suddenly, the 20-year-old girl started drowning and screaming for help.'

Lifeguards tried to rush into the water to help her, but the father became aggressive and pulled them away, Lt Col Burqibah told Emirates24/7.

He added: 'There was one obstacle which prevented them from reaching the girl... the belief of this Asian man who considered that if these men touched his daughter, this would dishonour her.

'He told them that he prefers his daughter being dead than being touched by a strange man.'

The father was later 'prosecuted and sued' for preventing the rescue teams from saving his daughter's life, he said.


Black Pastors Ask Smithsonian to Remove Bust of Planned Parenthood Founder

A group of black pastors sent a letter to the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery asking that the bust of Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger be removed from the museum’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit, citing her support for eugenics and the targeting of minorities by the nation’s largest abortion provider.

"Perhaps the Gallery is unaware that Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies, an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as ‘the feeble minded;’ speaking at a rally of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers," the letter from Ministers Taking a Stand states.

“Also the notorious ‘Negro Project,’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate black births, was her brainchild,” the letter states. “Despite these well- documented facts of history, her bust sits proudly in your gallery as a hero of justice.

“The obvious incongruity is staggering!” the letter states.

The group says that Sanger should not be part of an exhibit that features the real “champions” of the civil rights movement, including Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks.

“How can a person like Sanger, who found common cause with the racial agenda of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), be ranked among true champions of ‘justice?’” the letter states. “She was a purveyor of grave injustice against the most innocent and vulnerable among us.”

The letter states that it is the first “in a series of actions we will be taking to expose the evil of honoring Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood.”

The letter also notes the current scandal surrounding Planned Parenthood with the release of undercover videos showing top medical officials in the organization discussing harvesting and selling the organs and other body parts from aborted babies.

“The fact is that the behavior of these abortionists, their callous and cavalier attitude toward these babies, is completely in keeping with Sanger’s perverse vision for America,” the letter states.

The letter also states that 70 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are in minority neighborhoods and provides a link to a map documenting this fact.

In the gallery exhibit, the signage states that Sanger was a nurse who was “profoundly affected by the physical and mental toll exacted on women by frequent childbirth, miscarriage and self-induced abortion,” but it also notes her connection to eugenics.

“During her campaign, Sanger became associated with the eugenics movement – which promoted, among other practices, the forced sterilization of those deemed mentally unfit and for a time was endorsed by many of the era’s prominent thinkers,” the signage states.

The description of Sanger on the gallery’s website also notes her eugenics-supporting history.

“Adding to her life of controversy is her association with the eugenics movement – which included promotion of forced sterilization for those deemed mentally unfit – a movement that for a time was endorsed by many of the era’s prominent thinkers,” the online text states.

The letter from Ministers Taking a Stand refers to a letter Sanger sent to Dr. C.J. Gamble of the Eugenics Society in 1939.

“The ministers work is also important and also he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach,” Sanger wrote. “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

In a paper entitled “Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda” written by Sanger in 1921, she praises eugenics as “the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.”

She then explains the role birth control plays in eugenics. “The eugenic and civilizational (sic) value of birth control is becoming apparent to the enlightened and the intelligent,” Sanger wrote.

The basis of birth control propaganda, Sanger said, “indicate that the campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal with the final aims of eugenics,” Sanger wrote.

In her book “The Pivot of Civilization,” Sanger wrote extensively about eugenics, including in Chapter 18, “Dangers of Cradle Competition.”

“We should not minimize the great outstanding service of Eugenics for critical and diagnostic investigations,” Sanger wrote. “It demonstrates, not in terms of glittering generalization but in statistical studies of investigations reduced to measurement and number, that uncontrolled fertility is universally correlated with disease, poverty, overcrowding and the transmission of hereditable taints.”


Camera Saves Cop from Racial Hostility -- Again

Another camera saves another cop: This time in Texas, from a black state legislator who in a public hearing accused a cop of racism.

“Last month, Garnet Coleman held a hearing to talk about the controversial arrest of Sandra Bland, the Chicago woman who was arrested and later found dead in a county jail,” said the anchor for KHOU news in Houston.  “Coleman said he had also been mistreated during a traffic stop in Austin county.”

To the list of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Sam Dubose and the millions of other martyrs to white crime and violence, Garnet Coleman wants to add one more name: His.

“He talked to me a like a child,” Coleman said during the hearing. “He was so rude and nasty. When he found out I was a legislator he became more rude and nasty. What I’m saying is that he treated me like a boy. I want to be very clear about it.”

This is familiar territory for Coleman, who gets lots of awards for accusing lots of people of racism.

But the cop’s dash camera recorded a different story. One that must interrupt, however briefly, Coleman’s installation in the Black Victims Hall of Fame.

The cop’s camera recorded the state legislator as he burned by him doing 94 miles per hour — in his personal car with state tags.

On the side of the road, the officer and the black legislator exchanged pleasantries then got down to business: “What’s the rush,” asked the cop, congenially.

“I’m just trying to get home,” Coleman said, alternately saying he was unaware he was doing 94 mph, or that he did not know 94 mph was illegal.

The trooper said he was going to let him off with a warning, which was the same thing another cop in another county did the year before. The trooper reminded the legislator that if he had received tickets instead of warnings, he would have lost his license.

“Stop speeding in a state car, OK?”

Coleman denied it was a state car.

“You got state plates on it.”

“I understand what you are saying, speed got away from me,” Coleman said. “But I am not a child.”

Then Coleman was on his way. Ticketless.

After the video came out, constituents by the hundreds took to Coleman’s Facebook page and other internet outlets to blast him for lying about the cop, his sense of entitlement, and how he should have received a ticket for driving dangerously fast.

All caught on camera.

The Coleman caper came just a few days after a similar incident in the Kansas City suburb of Lenexa. A bystander claimed police were beating a black person For No Reason What So Ever.

The first thing most people saw about this episode came from local activist John Sherman. His video showed two white officers wrestling a black person to the ground and struggling with him.

“When he walked around to the back of the car, I didn’t really see him do anything that warranted him being thrown to the ground,” Sherman told the local NBC affiliate.

His video drew a firestorm of outrage from around the country.

All based on a lie.

Luckily the truth was caught on the police dash cam and body cam videos.  They stopped the man for not wearing a seat belt. They found he was driving with a suspended license and that he had several outstanding warrants for his arrest.

As they tried to place him in handcuffs, he bolted, striking the officers before they took him to the ground.

“I was told I was not allowed to video tape or I was going to jail,” said Sherman.

That turned out to be untrue as well. The police just wanted Sherman to keep his distance: It is what cops do when they are in a dangerous situation and strangers -- and goofy activists -- approach.

Cut to TV star Taraji Henson, featured on Empire. She told a black magazine about how her son was the victim of racism at the hands of a big bad white cop.

“My child has been racially profiled,” she told Uptown magazine in 2014. “He was in Glendale, California and did exactly everything the cops told him to do. Including letting them illegally search his car. It was bogus because they didn’t give him the ticket for what he was pulled over for. Then he’s at the University of Southern California, that I was going to transfer him to, when police stopped him for having his hands in his pockets. So guess where’s he’s going, Howard University.”

“I’m not paying $50,000 so I can’t sleep at night wondering if this is the night my son is getting racially profiled on campus.”

Pretty soon, her claim made its way to hundreds of news sites and people from around the world were calling the Glendale Police Department, demanding justice for Taraji’s son.

Then came the video: It shows how a white cop stopped a black person for blowing through a flashing yellow light at a cross walk, violating a traffic law. How the cop was polite, almost fatherly. How the 19-year old student offered polite cooperation. How the cop asked if he had any drugs.

“Just some weed,” said Henson’s son.

“Anything else?”


The cop wrote him up for the “weed,” but ignored the Ritalin and the traffic offense, because he did not want the young man to have that blemish on his record.

“And warning: If you have Ritalin on you, and it is not prescribed to you, that is a big violation and I would not want to do that to you,” said the cop before letting the star’s son go on his merry way -- without even testing him to see if he was under the influence of pot or Ritalin.

Soon after the video came out, Taraji apologized for lying her ass off. No word on how she sleeps knowing her son is driving around under the influence of marijuana and Ritalin. Guess we will have to wait for the sequel.

Over to Oakland: About a year ago a white cop was responding to a call of “burglary in progress” when he came upon an open door in a fire station in a dangerous neighborhood in one of the most dangerous cities in this country or any other.

As he entered the dark fire house, the white officer saw three shadowy shapes and yelled “Hands up, don’t move.”

They turned out to be a black firefighter with his two children.

Soon after, the firefighter was describing his racist ordeal to local news. How the cop was rude. How the cop almost shot him and terrified his children and how the cop views all “black males as threats.”

The video tells a different story: Polite. Professional. And within minutes the officer had had cleared up the situation. No threats of violence. No terror. Except for what the fireman instilled in his two young sons after the fact.

 All on video.

About the same time, papers throughout the country proclaimed that a black actress from the movie Django Unchained was arrested because police wrongly mistook her for a prostitute when all she was doing was kissing her boyfriend.

She was humiliated. Mistreated.

At least that is what she told the world on Facebook soon after her encounter with a Los Angeles cop: “I remember the countless times my father came frustrated with cops when he came home and had done nothing wrong,” said Daniele Watts.

For many across the country the story was familiar enough: A cop was picking on a black person for No Reason What So Ever. And he was mean and hostile and it was all about racism.

The audio tape two days later put the lie to that: The cop was polite. Patient. Soft spoken. Watts was defiant and uncooperative and loud. “Do you know how many times police have been called because I am black,” she asked the cop, refusing to produce her ID.

“Thanks for playing the race card,” he replied. “I never hear that.”

Watts went on to threaten the cop with her dad, her publicist, her dying stepmom, and her studio.

The officer remained unflappable.

Watts and her boyfriend were eventually charged with lewd conduct after some photos surfaced of some fairly intimate activity taking place in their car, on a busy street, in the middle of the day. They pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct.

As part of the sentence, they were required to write a letter of apology to the officer. In the letter, the couple said they were glad they were arrested because they drew attention to the problem of white racism in America.



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, 2015

Racism in Australia?

Peter Brent, writing below, is truly pathetic. He seems to think that a series of anecdotes expose Australians as racist.  But anecdotes cannot do that.  I can just as easily recount twice as many anecdotes showing Australians as non-racist.  Anecdotes are useful but should not be persuasive except as an illustration of something that has already been established statistically.

So here is some counter anecdotage: Where I go shopping, in an average sort of Brisbane suburb, there are a lot of East Asians, mostly Han Chinese.  Yet I have never once seen the slightest manifestation of racism towards them.  They treat others politely and others treat them politely.  I even see friend-groups of young people that include both Chinese and Anglos.   And the number of tall Anglo men with a small Asian girlfriend on their arm is quite a wonder.

According to the classic Bogardus index of prejudice, partner formation should be the area where racism is most manifest, so those frequent interracial couples alone junk Brent's miserable claims.

So in one day, I see more instances of non-racism than all of the idiot's examples put together.  As far as I can see, Australia is a prime example of racial harmony.  No doubt there are grumblers here and there but deeds speak louder than words.

And Brent's examples of "racist" deeds are absurd. He tells of a female official treating a brown-skinned man in a peremptory way.  How do we know the official was influenced by the man's skin colour?  We do not.  She could have been pre-menstrual or he could have had bad breath or something.  There are many possibilities and we have no way of knowing which was at work.  Brent has simply paraded his own opinion as fact.

And Brent criticizes John Howard for leaving it to the army to deal with silly behaviour among its ranks.  As a former army psychologist myself, I think Howard got it exactly right.  Army men are not sensitive souls.  They can see as funny things that others would not.  If they were sensitive souls they would not be in the army.  Training to kill people is not a milksop's job and nothing will make it so.

And his claim that feminist Julia Gillard saw arch-conservative John Howard as a role model will surely surprise everyone who knows anything about Australian politics, including John Howard and Julia Gillard.  Brent sees things that are not there --  psychiatric delusions?

The one statistic the sad soul refers to is the poor state of Aborigines.  And there is no doubt that the state of Aborigines is appalling by white standards.  But why are they so different?  If Asians and Anglos both do well in Australia, why do Aborigines do so badly?  Most urban Aborigines even have English as their native language, an advantage many Asians lack.

And is white society responsible for the state of Aborigines?  Mainly under Leftist influence, all Australian governments, State and Federal, seem to think so.  The number of projects and programs that have been initiated to help Aborigines are legion -- with just about nil results.  Paternalism has been tried.  Permissiveness has been tried.  Nothing works.  The problem is in Aborigines themselves, nobody else.  The state of Aborigines does not prove Australian racism.  If anything, it shows the racism of people who cannot accept that Aborigines might simply be different.

Brent's nickname is "Mumbles".  He should stick to mumbling.  I can't imagine what he got his Ph.D. in.  Modern dance?

"Do you want to lose that?!", the Immigration Department employee screeched at the young South Asian man in Perth Airport's customs line this week.

She was forty-ish and blonde and was pointing to the mobile phone he held to his ear. She had earlier signalled that he should put it away but he hadn't understood. So now she scolded him like a five year old.

Looking surprised and a little shaken by this little Hitler in a uniform, he quickly hung up.

I've emailed the department asking about this rule banning the use of mobile phones in customs queues. Is it a new thing? Or did she just make it up so she could bully the dark guy? Either way, it's difficult to imagine she would have spoken to a white person like that.

Well, I don't know the woman, maybe she would have.

But it was a very Pauline Hanson welcome to Australia.

Visitors to this country sometimes report a jarring preponderance of casual, everyday racism. British-American comedian John Oliver found Australia "a sensational place, albeit one of the most comfortably racist places I've ever been in. They've really settled into their intolerance like an old resentful slipper."

We can protest all we like that they don't understand us and our situation. That's what Apartheid South African whites insisted. Did they have a point? Possibly a small point, overwhelmed by the larger one.

The question is not: "is Australia racist?" Racism seems to pollute the human condition everywhere and seems woven into societies' fabrics around the world. Children aren't born resenting and distrusting people not like them, but usually learn to.

Racism often forms part of the collection of preconceptions people have about others. Humans can recognise these inclinations and attempt to transcend them.

The situation with indigenous Australians is a particular one, because they were here long before the rest of us. Many countries, including some Asian neighbours, have similar dynamics at play with indigenous minorities. A mixture of guilt, impatience at an apparent unwillingness to assimilate, and prejudice. But we occupy the extreme end in Australia: all those gaping statistical discrepancies in health outcomes, life expectancy, suicide, incarceration rates, general indicators of misery - and corresponding mainstream attitudes.

It's more complex, a lot more complex, than simply believing that if mainstream Australia would stop being racist everything would be fine. But there is a lot of racism embedded in the Australian psyche.

Racism lurks in communities around the planet, but it's true what the visitors say: Australians are relatively comfortable expressing it.

I largely blame John Howard. I'm serious, I do. Two decades ago Australia did not particularly stand out in the pack. (Again, I exclude the position of Aboriginal Australians.)

It was quickly forgotten that Howard's 1996 "comfortable and relaxed" line was predominately aimed at all that Keatingesque hand-wringing about past injustices to Aboriginals. And in government his, and his advisers', model for re-election included picking at seething resentment towards minorities.

Howard was wont, particularly when an election was on the horizon, to reflect that one of his proudest achievements was that Australians now felt freer to express themselves than under Labor.

He meant, of course, on matters of race.

Every so often Howard would deliberately utter something inflammatory, upsetting the usual suspects, just to keep his hand in. If someone was publicly under fire for a racially tinged misdeed, Howard would usually rush to their corner - or at least equivocate.

(One typical incident, a 2007 Youtube video of drunken soldiers in Ku Klux Klan garb, was met with these prime ministerial words:

"I have some understanding of the disposition of people in these situations to let off a bit of steam. Let the military deal with those things in their own way. People get into a lather of sweat and so on ... Let's be sensible about this.")

Eventually this tendency of Howard's was celebrated in the political class as crucial part of his political genius, a method by which he had (supposedly) eaten into the ALP's working-class base.

And it's true what they say: when you change the government, you change the country - perhaps not what's in people's hearts, how they feel able to express themselves, because people in power set norms of behaviour.

It is all entwined in the hot issue of "border protection", which most believe decided the 2001 election.

After winning government in 2007, Labor remained captured by the myth of Howard. Julia Gillard in particular seemed to see him as a role model; her language about migrants upon becoming prime minister in 2010 had a decidedly Howard-like tinge.

Ask Sol Trujillo, born in America to Mexican immigrants, who was Telstra boss from 2005 to 2009, if we're racist. He told the BBC that racism in Australia "was evident in a lot of ways with me personally but more importantly with others."

References to "amigos", "tortillas" and "enchiladas" abounded in mainstream media and among politicians during his tenure. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, when asked to comment on Trujillo's departure, simply said "adios".

And recall the 2009 Hey Hey It's Saturday's 2009 black faces furore. (Gillard as acting prime minister gushingly defended the program.)

Oh, that's just us, you say, having harmless fun. Only self-loathing elites have a problem with this sort of kind of behaviour.

Don't go changing Australia.


Leftist antisemitism again

Antisemitism, or, more precisely, "Judenhass" on the Left goes all the way back to Karl Marx himself

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leadership candidate, wrote a letter of support for a vicar who was banned from social media after suggesting that Israel was responsible for the 9/11 attack on the twin towers.

The Reverend Stephen Sizer used his internet accounts to spread ideas which were ‘clearly anti-Semitic’, the Church of England said. He was banned by Church authorities for six months in February. Corbyn argued that Sizer was 'under attack' by a pro-Israeli smear campaign.

The controversy arose in February after the vicar posted an article on his Facebook page which attempted to connect wealthy Jews to the 9/11 attacks. ‘Is this antisemitic?’ Mr Sizer commented under the link, adding ‘It raises so many questions.’

The Bishop of Guildford, the Right Reverend Andrew Watson, said that the vicar’s campaigning on the Middle East was ‘no longer compatible with his ministry as a parish priest.’

The bishop said: ‘By associating with or promoting subject matter, which is either ambiguous in its motivation, or, worse still, openly racist, he has crossed a serious line. I regard these actions as indefensible.’

He conceded, however, that 'I do not believe that his motives are anti-Semitic; but I have concluded that, at the very least, he has demonstrated appallingly poor judgment in the material he has chosen to disseminate, particularly via social media, some of which is clearly anti-Semitic.'

Corbyn wrote to the Church authorities at the time, suggesting that Sizer had been victimised because he had 'dared to speak out against Zionism'.

'Reverend Stephen Sizer seems to have come under attack by certain individuals intent on discrediting the excellent work that Stephen does in highlighting the injustices of the Palestinian Israeli situation,' Corbyn wrote.

This was far from the only instance that Sizer has been accused of anti-Semitism.

In 2014, the vicar flew to Iran to attend a 'New Horizons' conference intended to 'unveil the secrets behind the dominance of the Zionist lobby over US and EU politics', and delivered a speech on the 'Israeli lobby'.

The conference, which was hosted by the Iranian regime, attracted a number of alleged Holocaust deniers and conspiracy theorists. The French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, whose 'quenelle' gesture was judged to be anti-Semitic, reportedly attended.

One session was devoted to examining 'Mossad’s role in the 9/11 Coup d’Etat', and another examined '9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist public myths'.

Sizer has also appeared frequently on a Hezbollah television channel called Al Etejah. In a programme called 'Enlightenment: Escaping Auschwitz', Sizer said: 'Israel can get away with it because they trade on the Holocaust'.

He has also toured South Lebanon, and was pictured (above) apparently meeting Nabil Kaouk, a top Hezbollah official and militant commander. He also was photographed (above) meeting Zahra Mostafavi, the daughter of Ayatollah Khomeini, in Iran.

Bizarrely, Sizer also appeared in a 2014 promotional video for the Syrian tourist board, in which he praised the Assad regime and blamed the unrest in the country on 'foreign interference'.

Corbyn's support for Sizer raises serious questions about the Labour contender's judgment, following the emergence of a video in which he described Hamas and Hezbollah as his 'friends'.

Concerns have been mounting since MailOnline revealed that Paul Eisen, the self-professed Holocaust denier, gave Corbyn his support in an extraordinary blog post in which he said that he has been close to the Labour leadership contender for more than 15 years.

Eisen, who runs a pro-Palestinian pressure group, also claimed the Islington North MP attended 'every single' one of his annual anti-Israel events and has even donated to the group, Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR).

'One evening 15 years ago I cycled over to see [Corbyn],' he wrote. 'I was just beginning to establish Deir Yassin Remembered in the UK and I wanted him to join.  'I'd hardly begun my feverishly-rehearsed pitch before his cheque book was on the table.

'From that day on, without fuss or bother, whether DYR was flavour-of-the-month or the maggot-at-the-bottom-of-the-food-chain, he attended every single Deir Yassin commemoration.'

DYR focuses on controversial allegations that Jewish soldiers killed about 100 Arab villagers in the run-up to the war of 1948, and seeks to promote its remembrance at annual events.

Eisen's open Holocaust denial has made him a toxic figure among many pro-Palestinian activists.

'I question that there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitler or any other part of the National Socialist Regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe,' Eisen has written on his blog.

'I question that there ever existed homicidal gas-chambers… Deny the Holocaust! For my money, a child of six can see that something's not right about the Holocaust narrative... For me, "Holocaust Denier" is a label I accept.'

The alleged relationship with Eisen will be particularly embarrassing for the Labour leadership contender as the Holocaust denier believes Corbyn stood by him when he felt ostracised.

On his blog, Eisen recalls a period when he felt 'despised' by mainstream society, and only Corbyn refused to shun him.


Homosexual supremacism rejected

Americans reacting to the Supreme Court's approval of same sex marriage desire a truce between religious freedom and gay rights, but if pushed, overwhelmingly side with protecting the liberty of their faith by a margin of 4 to 1, according to a new national survey.

The degree of their fierce support for religious freedom and liberty jumps when given this choice:

"Suppose a Christian wedding photographer has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same sex marriage. If a same sex couple wanted to hire the photographer for their wedding, should the photographer have the right to say no?"

A huge 82 percent said yes.

The poll was conducted by Caddell Associates and shows both sides of the debate over gay rights and religious liberty. On the one hand, Pat Caddell said in a memo provided to Secrets, 71 percent of Americans want the nation to produce "a commonsense solution that both protects religious freedom and gay and lesbian couples from discrimination."

But by a margin of 4 to 1, they will pick religious freedom and liberty over gay rights in a "cultural war."

"When asked which was more important, by a 4 to 1 ratio, voters said protecting religious liberty (31 percent) over protecting gay and lesbian rights (8 percent)," said Caddell, who added that most of the rest said both are important.

The potential for a war is great, since a top Obama official suggested during the recent same sex marriage case that the administration could force groups opposed to gay weddings on religious ground to buckle under. There have been several standoffs and legal cases pitting businesses against gay rights groups.

On that issue, Caddell found very little support for the Obama administration's meddling in the affairs of religious-affiliated groups and businesses.


Catholic Diocese in North Dakota Severs All Ties With Boy Scouts Over Gay Adult Troop Leaders

The Catholic Diocese of Bismark, North Dakota, is “formally” severing its churches, schools, and other institutions from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) because of the latter’s decision to allow openly homosexual adults and employees to work in the Boy Scouts.

The BSA’s executive committee voted to lift its century-old national restriction on “openly gay adult leaders and employees” on July 27.  The Catholic Diocese of Bismark, headed by Bishop David Kagan moved swiftly to disassociate itself from the now pro-gay BSA.

“[E]ffective immediately, the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Bismarck and each and every one of its parishes, schools and other institutions, is formally disaffiliated with and from the Boy Scouts of America,” said Bishop Kagan in an August 3 letter.

“If your parish sponsors a troop, your priest has been asked to inform those persons associated with the BSA of this action and to inform the BSA itself of this decision,” he said.

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual persons are “called to chastity” and that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” because they violate the natural law, the teaching from Scripture, and they “close the sexual act to the gift of life.” The Church, in its Catechism, further states that “under no circumstances” can homosexual acts “be approved.”

“I regret my decision but, in conscience as the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese of Bismarck, I cannot permit our Catholic institutions to accept and participate directly or indirectly in any organization, which has policies and methods, which contradict the authoritative moral teachings of the Catholic Church,” said Bishop Kagan.

In his Aug. 3 letter, Bishop Kagan listed several “acceptable alternatives” to the Boy Scouts and to the Girl Scouts. These include American Heritage Girls; the Little Flowers’ Girls Clubs; the Federation of North American Explorers; the Columbian Squires; and Trail Life USA.

The Diocese of Bismark was established in 1909 and serves about 66,400 Catholics in 23 counties in western North Dakota. Bishop Kagan was selected to head the  Bismark Diocese by then-Pope Benedict XVI in October 2011.



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, 2015

How COULD British police stand by and watch a boy drown in 6ft of water ...and why did they STOP bystanders diving in to save him?

At the height of summer, there are few more tranquil stretches of water than the lily-fringed Lee Navigation canal which meanders beside a marshy nature reserve in East London.

The depth is a little more than 6ft. Experts say there is a slight undercurrent, but during long dry spells, such as we are experiencing now, the flow is so slow that if you drop a twig from the King’s Head footbridge, it takes an eternity to float a few yards downstream.

In recent years, several people have fallen into the canal and have been rescued by passers-by, with comparative ease. According to locals, any half-decent swimmer could negotiate this gently winding creek without difficulty.

All of which makes the terrible tragedy that unfolded here several days ago deeply disturbing and incomprehensible.

On a beautiful afternoon, as people sunbathed, played games on the marsh and jogged and cycled along the towpath, a brilliant but troubled young sixth-former jumped from the bridge to escape a group of some eight or nine pursuing police officers after an incident at his home.

By all accounts, 17-year-old Jack Susianta was a competent swimmer but, for reasons we will explore, he couldn’t or wouldn’t try to save himself. For several agonising minutes, he just bobbed up and down in the muddy water, disappearing for long periods and emerging to gasp and splutter for air.

Incredibly, however, not one of the Met Police officers went to his aid, despite the increasingly desperate entreaties of the large crowd who gathered to watch. Instead, witnesses say, they simply stood on the bridge throwing life-belts and floats, which Jack didn’t even attempt to reach. The police also warned others not to go into the water.

And so, after struggling for a few minutes in plain sight of many people, a much-loved young man with a promising future was allowed to drown.

When one distressed local boat-owner asked a policeman why officers hadn’t jumped in, he got a depressingly predictable reply. ‘Health and safety,’ the officer told him.

In recent years, there has been a plethora of similar incidents involving emergency services. Hidebound by pettifogging regulations, police officers have refused to put themselves at risk by trying to rescue youngsters from ponds in Wigan and on Hampstead Heath.

In a jaw-dropping decision last week, the Crown even deemed Strathclyde firefighters within their rights not to descend a disused 50ft mineshaft into which a woman had accidentally fallen, and later died, because their duty was to save people from ‘structures’ such as buildings, and the hole wasn’t classed as a structure!

Even in an age where public service red-tape all too often takes precedence over the basic human instinct to save lives, Jack Susianta’s story has touched a raw nerve.

That much was clear from the outraged views of Daily Mail readers. One pointed out that ‘protection of life and property’ was meant to be a primary objective of the Metropolitan Police, as defined by its founder Sir Richard Mayne in 1829. Another suggested that police chiefs daren’t allow officers to risk injury for fear of being sued for compensation.

Having spoken to many witnesses to the drowning — which is under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) — I can assure you that the facts are shocking.

Shortly after 3pm on Wednesday, July 29, Jack, who was clearly in a disturbed state, was spotted weaving through shrubs, blood streaming from a gash in his hand. He was being chased by several police officers and appeared panic-stricken.

According to 42-year-old Fiona Okonkwo, who was walking her dog and witnessed events from start to finish, Jack tried to escape across the footbridge, only to find his path blocked by a second group of officers approaching him from the far bank.

Trapped and clearly terrified, he scaled the 5ft metal barrier guarding the bridge and leapt into the canal.

As a regular swimmer in my late 50s, I would like to think that I would have gone to his aid had I been passing by that afternoon.

Yet as Mrs Okonkwo will tell the IPCC investigators, the police decided against doing so.  She says: ‘I kept saying, “What’s going on? He’s drowning down there! Is no one going to help him?” One officer said they couldn’t because the weeds could drag them under.

‘I couldn’t believe it. This is just a small canal with hardly any current. I’m not a strong swimmer but I went in myself last year, with some other people, to help a man who had jumped in intending to kill himself. We got him out without much trouble.

‘I wanted to jump in and help Jack, and so did others, but the police told us not to. They said they wouldn’t be responsible for our actions. It was awful. They could easily have saved this boy.’

Eventually, she says, one policeman stripped off his jacket, got into the water from a ledge beneath the bridge and paddled about for a few minutes, feeling around for Jack, before being helped back to the bank by a canoeist.

It was a belated and utterly futile exercise, though, because Jack had by then disappeared for more than five minutes.

It was not until 5.20pm, almost 90 minutes after Jack first entered the canal, that his body was recovered.

Another witness, mental health nurse Fred McGruer, 55, who lives a few yards from the bridge on a narrowboat, feels equally troubled.

Having also rescued a man from the Lee — a drunk who fell in — he was happy to brave the water, but ‘deferred’ to the police officers, assuming they had taken consideration of potential hazards.

Mr McGruer says they told him they could not enter the water for health and safety reasons.

Since blood was splashed on the cobbled approach to the bridge, and there had been a spate of sex attacks in the area, Mr McGruer thought that the police were perhaps holding back because Jack was a dangerous fugitive. The same thought struck an Italian who lives on a nearby boat. He wondered if their reluctance was because they feared he might be carrying a weapon. But he added: ‘In Italy, I think the police would have gone into the water.’

But Jack, as the police must have known, was not a criminal or a weapon-carrying thug. On the contrary, he was studying for A-levels in computing, maths and media at the local Mossbourne Community Academy, a top-performing school, and was from a loving and highly respectable middle-class family.

His mother Anna, 56, has been a headmistress of an inner-city school and now works as Cambridgeshire’s primary education adviser. Ketut Susianta, his father, is a businessman, and his brother Sam, 20, is at university. The family live in a smart, end-of-terrace house in Clapton less than a mile from the canal, which runs through Hackney.

Not only clever, Jack was also a sweet-natured, perpetually smiling young man — as was evident from the moving tributes and photographs now fastened to the bridge, alongside floral tributes, candles and personal mementoes.

His classmate Gary Onomuosiuko, 17, whom I found weeping beside this shrine, told me: ‘I will remember him as a nice guy to everyone.’

So why was Jack being pursued, frightened and bleeding, by the police? Understandably, his grieving family declined to discuss what happened and his behaviour remains a mystery.

However, it appears Jack had suffered a sudden psychological crisis. The previous day, his parents had reported him missing and he was then found by police and returned home, wearing no shoes.

Due to sit his A-levels next summer, he was expected to get good grades and didn’t appear under undue pressure at school.

Nor did there seem to be any romantic problems. And despite the inevitable speculation about drugs, Jack seemed far too sensible to take them.

In any case, that Wednesday afternoon he ran away again, smashing a window to escape the house — and once again the police were called. This time, they only succeeded in cornering him, like a startled rabbit, on the footbridge.

Those who saw the chase suggest the officers were insufficiently tactful, bearing in mind Jack’s fragile mental state. Mrs Okonkwo describes their approach as ‘aggressive’. She thinks that if they’d made a more subtle approach, then he wouldn’t have jumped into the water.

Fellow witness Fred McGruer, a psychiatric nurse whose judgment should carry some weight, agrees. ‘Why were eight or nine officers chasing a young man with mental health problems? Shouldn’t social services have been involved?’

These are questions that will doubtless be addressed by the IPCC, who must establish how Jack died and whether any of the officers were guilty of professional misconduct, or even ‘criminal action’.

Mr McGruer won’t blame any individuals. He says that, if asked, he will tell the investigators he believes Jack drowned because of systemic police failures.

The rescue was ‘badly managed’, he says, and ‘no one appeared to be taking charge’. So what are the rules in such situations?

According to the Health and Safety Executive, there are no standard guidelines as to how the police and emergency services should react. They must assess the risks and act accordingly. Police bosses also have a duty to implement measures to keep their staff safe.

For their part, the Met says its officers ‘may enter water after undertaking a fast-time assessment, taking into account, but not limited to the following: fitness levels, ability to swim, type of water hazards (including depth, water temperature, hidden and submerged hazards), the availability of rescue aids and the likely response time of other emergency services’.

Aware of this advice, the officers involved in the incident with Jack had much to consider in a short space of time.

Perhaps they feared they might breach police regulations, or the orders of a superior, by diving in. If so, they would not have taken into account the recently passed Social Action and Responsibility and Heroism Bill, which was designed to protect from prosecution those who act bravely in such situations.

Government minister Chris Grayling, who introduced the law as Justice Secretary, told me: ‘The whole purpose of the Bill . . . was to get rid of there ever being a situation when members of our emergency services did not feel they could go to the rescue of someone in difficulty because of the fear that they would end up in trouble for breaching health and safety rules.’

Notwithstanding this sensible guideline, the Met’s Commander for East London, Lucy D’Orsi, was so upset by the critical media coverage of her officers’ actions with regard to Jack Susianta that she composed an explanatory blog posting.

She said the officer who entered the ‘dangerous water’ — more than five minutes, remember, after Jack finally disappeared under the surface — had needed assistance himself.

The highly unusual police rebuttal — given prominent coverage in the Guardian newspaper — claimed that media reports of the incident did not reflect fairly what happened. In fact, my own investigation suggests those reports were strikingly accurate.

Lucy D’Orsi also made mention of the fact that police divers went into the water, too, ‘to try and save Jack’. Yet it must have been apparent they arrived long after it was too late to save the teenager.

While she acknowledged that it is hard to comprehend the pain Jack’s family must be feeling, she also made a point of stating that: ‘It’s also a traumatic event for . . . the police officers involved in the incident.’

‘They deserve to be judged fairly’ by ‘a fair and independent investigation’, she insisted.

However, this certainly doesn’t wash with the witnesses, who are convinced the police are guilty of a fundamental dereliction of duty and an abrogation of basic human values in failing to rescue Jack.

Pausing on their way to the marshes, others now stop to look at the tribute photos placed in honour of a 17-year-old boy who, tragically, has become a symbol of a nation where too many emergency service staff are so encumbered by absurd safety-first rules that few are prepared to take the initiative — even to save a young life.


A real Leftist hater

Jeremy Corbyn sidestepped five times the chance to condemn the IRA for its bombing spree.  The Labour leadership frontrunner was repeatedly asked by BBC Radio Ulster if he wanted to criticise the IRA's atrocities during the Troubles.

Mr Corbyn caused outrage when he invited members of Sinn Fein, including Gerry Adams, into the Commons in 1984, a fortnight after the IRA's Brighton bombing which targeted the Conservative Cabinet.

When asked if he condemned the IRA, the Islington North MP said: 'I condemn all bombing, it is not a good idea, and it is terrible what happened.'

The presenter then said: 'The question is do you condemn what the IRA did?'.  In his response, Mr Corbyn appeared to equate the actions of the British Army on Bloody Sunday with that of the terrorists, saying: 'Look, I condemn what was done by the British Army as well as the other sides as well. What happened in Derry in 1972 was pretty devastating as well.'

Put to him a third time, he pointed to ceasefires that had brought about the peace process 'which we should all be pleased about. Can we take the thing forward rather than backward?'

When the interviewer asked Mr Corbyn if he was refusing to condemn the IRA's actions, Mr Corbyn said he could not hear the question because he was on a train.

Asked the question a fifth time, he said: 'I feel we will have to do this later you know', before the line went dead.

Relatives of IRA victims criticised Mr Corbyn.  Ann Travers, who lost her 22 year sister when the IRA shot her dead, told the Belfast Telegraph it was an 'insult to all our dead loved ones'.

Colin Parry, whose 12-year-old son Tim was killed in an IRA bomb in 1993, said. 'He saw an equivalence between the British Government's armed forced and republican terrorists which I think anyone with a balanced view in Northern Ireland could hardly agree with.' 

Just weeks after the IRA bombed the Tory conference in Brighton in 1984, Mr Corbyn was criticised for inviting Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to the Commons.

The Islington North MP was accused of 'traitorous' behaviour for helping Mr Adams plug his autobiography inside the Houses of Parliament in 1996. While just last month he was happy to pose for pictures over coffee with Mr Adams who described Mr Corbyn and colleagues as 'comrades.'

It is not the first time the Labour leadership front runner has come under fire for his controversial choice of political friends.

Hamas and Hezbollah are proscribed as terror groups in the UK, EU and United States and have been condemned for their brutal anti-Semitism and support for terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

When confronted on his relationship with the extremist groups last month, had claimed he used the term 'friends' 'in a collective way' to say 'our friends are prepared to talk' and denied that it meant he was friendly to either Hamas or Hezbollah.

Losing his temper on a live interview with Channel 4 News, he said: 'Does it mean I agree with Hamas and what it does? No. Does it mean I agree with Hezbollah and what they do? No. What it means is that I think to bring about a peace process, you have to talk to people with whom you may profoundly disagree.

In February 2013, Mr Corbyn and his wife travelled to Gaza thanks to a £2,800 gift from Interpal -  a charity banned by the US government as 'part of the funding network of Hamas', the Daily Telegraph reported. Interpal claim it has broken links with the terror group.

While the Labour leader hopeful also partially sponsored the visit of anti-Semitic Sheikh Raed Saleh to come to Parliament. Sheikh Saleh has previously claimed 9/11 was a Jewish plot and described Jews as a 'bacteria.'

Mr Corbyn today attended the Hiroshima memorial in London and revived his call for international nuclear disarmament.

Separately, he also refused to condemn the Tube strikes that brought London to a standstill yesterday.

Asked by Channel 4 News if he would criticise the unions – many of whom fund his campaign – Mr Corbyn said the striking drivers were losing money and were making a 'sacrifice' to defend or improve conditions.  He added: 'They have made a decision to take strike action, they have every right to do that.'


Hate Group Calls for Racial Violence — Where's Obama?

The Nation of Islam was founded in 1930, and is now a wealthy and well-known black organization. But just how far out in left field is the group? They’re drunk and in the bleachers. Even the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center, which specializes in identifying so-called hate groups — most of which just happen to be conservative, or at least neo-Nazi so they can pin it on conservatives — lists the Nation of Islam as a hate group. SPLC says, “[I]ts bizarre theology of innate black superiority over whites — a belief system vehemently and consistently rejected by mainstream Muslims — and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders, including top minister Louis Farrakhan, have earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate.”

In the latest quote for the file, Farrakhan recently told a crowd at Miami’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church, “I’m looking for 10,000 in the midst of a million. Ten thousand fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny. Death is sweeter than continuing to live and bury our children while the white folks give our killers hamburgers. Death is sweeter than watching us slaughter each other to the joy of a 400-year-old enemy. Death is sweeter. The Quran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain. Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government won’t intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us; stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling!”

He’s talking about the deaths of a few black men at the hands of white police officers. And it sure sounds like he’s inciting violence. Will the Justice Department of Barack Obama, himself a disciple of hate, look into this?


Alabama makes three states that defunded Planned Parenthood this week

Alabama became the third state in a week to pull state funding for Planned Parenthood on Thursday.

The governor's office released a statement saying that the Alabama Medicaid Agency will terminate its provider contract with Planned Parenthood with a 15-day notice. If Planned Parenthood opposes the decision, the nonprofit has 60 days to apply for a fair hearing.

"The deplorable practices at Planned Parenthood have been exposed to Americans. I've terminated any association with the organization in AL," Bentley said in a follow-up tweet.

Bentley's announcement comes after Louisiana and New Hampshire ended relationships with the controversial women's health organization this week in the wake of several sting videos that an anti-abortion group claims show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

Staci Fox, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said Bentley's announcement will deprive thousands of low-income ad uninsured men and women of needed services.

"The courts have been clear that the federal law prohibits states from excluding abortion providers from Medicaid," she said. "Planned Parenthood's doors remain open and we will continue to provide high-quality, compassionate care to the women and men who rely on us."

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals pulled Medicaid funding from the organization.

"Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life. It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state," said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican presidential candidate.

And New Hampshire's Republican-led Executive Council decided to end contracts with Planned Parenthood earlier this month when the state denied $639,000 in state funding to the organization.

"To say there is a direct correlation between the number of dollars and number of people served is disingenuous," said Executive Councilor, Chris Sununu, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. "The organization has done good work, but I have serious questions about it, especially at the national level."

Republican presidential candidates, lawmakers and several governors have called for investigations into Planned Parenthood following the release of five undercover videos by anti-abortion group The Center for Medical Progress that accuse the group of illegally selling organs and tissue from aborted fetuses.

Planned Parenthood officials deny breaking any laws and accuse the group of heavily editing the videos. David Daleiden, head of The Center for Medical Progress, has released several videos that he says are unedited and plans to release more.



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

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

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


9 August, 2015

The anti-PC candidate

Piers Morgan on the Donald

When I won Donald Trump’s first season of Celebrity Apprentice, he called me ‘vicious, possibly evil, arrogant and obnoxious’.  Then he smirked, admitted I’d destroyed all my opponents, and made me his champion.

Trump assessed that the challenges I won, and the large amounts of money I raised for charity by doing so, were more important than the occasional vituperative verbal dust-up with other contestants.

Over the gruelling month I spent filming that show, I got to spend a lot of time at close quarters with the current GOP front-runner to be presidential nominee and it was a fascinating experience.

Not least because I never once heard him be racist, sexist or homophobic despite boardroom sessions lasting up to four hours at a time with people of all colours, creeds, sexes and sexuality.

He is not the dumb, ranting bigot many would like to portray him as. He’s a smart, cunning, alert showman who knows what it takes to win.  As I wrote when he entered the race six weeks ago, never underestimate Mr Trump. He’s not worth $10 billion by accident.

Last night, he created merry hell in the first GOP debate hosted by Fox News.  It was classic Trump: he was at times hilariously funny, brash and super-confident, combative and aggressive, and played both the live audience and the far bigger TV audience like a rock star.

Above all, he just refused to play by the normal rules of these things, as he has done since he declared his candidacy.

And let’s be honest, whether you love him or hate him, isn’t it fantastically refreshing to see someone stomping around the political arena who DOESN’T behave like a robotic, media-trained, timid little mouse?

Donald Trump may not be everyone’s cup of tea but with this hugely entertaining, deeply provocative campaign he is single-handedly destroying the modern cult of political correctness.

We live in an era now where every tiny slip of the tongue by a public figure is instantly torched by social and print/cable media to such ludicrous levels of hysteria that mere apologies often aren’t enough.

We’re only happy when the often accidental miscreant lies prostrate on the floor, weeping and wailing, begging for forgiveness whilst simultaneously resigning.

Only this week there was a classic example of this nonsense involving another friend of mine, Kelly Osbourne.  Speaking on The View, she said: ‘If you kick every Latino out of the country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump.’

Literally within seconds, all hell broke loose on Twitter as Kelly was condemned for being a ‘disgusting racist’.

The speed and venom of the reaction was such that Kelly burst into tears during the next commercial break as she realised her whole TV career might suddenly be in jeopardy.

Yet here’s the rub: we all knew what she meant, however clumsily she said it. It was clearly intended as an ANTI-racist remark.

None of us with a brain actually thinks Kelly Osbourne is a racist.  She and her family, led by her mother Sharon, have been famously anti-racism for decades.  We all KNOW this yet still she had to be fried at the savage PC altar.  It was truly pathetic to watch.

I wasn’t surprised, though.  During my tenure at CNN, I had two particularly absurd moments where I too was branded a racist.

Once when I told the sprinter Usain Bolt ‘I bet you can sing well, all Jamaicans can sing well..’

The second time when I told the political Castro twins Joaquin and Julian to dance at President Obama’s last inauguration party because ‘all Latinos can dance.’

There is, self-evidently, nothing racist about either comment.   accuse a race or nation of being good singers or dancers is a compliment. For which the usual reward is ‘thank you’ rather than ‘APOLOGISE YOU RACIST SCUM!!!!’

Since then I’ve been further accused of racism for suggesting it would be a good idea for black Americans to stop using the N-word, and more recently when I laid into Nicki Minaj for playing the race card because she didn’t get enough MTV VMA award nominations.

Again, both accusations are plainly absurd, yet the offended mob couldn’t wait to hound and abuse me. It’s all very silly but symptomatic of our idiotically PC-crazed world.

I loathe every kind of bigotry.  But I also loathe those who seek to make cheap noisy capital out of inadvertent comments.

Trump himself has been offending almost everyone in the last few weeks, from Mexicans to John McCain.

But instead of falling on his sword as the inevitable furore erupts, he’s simply doubled-down and gone on the attack again.

Last night, Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly went after him for previous comments about women. ‘You’ve called women you don’t like, ‘fat pigs’, ‘dogs’, ‘slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals’ she said.

‘Only Rosie O’Donnell,’ Trump replied, which got a big laugh as everyone remembered their mutually abusive feud.

Trump then went onto say that a major problem with modern America is its trend towards being ‘politically correct’.  He added: ‘I don’t have time for total political correctness, and to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.’

I could imagine the vast majority of people watching at home applauding this.

Trump’s winning at the moment because he doesn’t care for the usual political niceties, and I think that’s good for politics because it will force other candidates to drop all the PC bulls**t too.

Let’s hear what they really think, in the way they really say it when the cameras aren’t in their faces.  Only then, surely, can we see what these people are truly like?

Trump, to borrow his own tribute to me, has been occasionally vicious, arrogant, obnoxious and yes, possibly evil, in this campaign.  But by ripping up the rule book and taking on his opponents, the media and the PC brigade with the same gusto they stick it to him, he is making a stand for honest, open debate – however uncomfortable that debate may get. And ultimately, he’s absolutely right.

I’m sure the vast majority of Americans don’t give a damn about having a PC president.  They want someone who can stand up for them and their country in an increasingly difficult, hostile world.

In Trump, many of them they see a man who would undeniably do that, hence his huge lead in the polls.

Just by writing this column, I will now be attacked by the cyberspace lynch mob.  But you know what?  As The Donald would say: ‘You can all go kiss my a**.’


A Christian who opposes gay marriage faces prosecution while radical Muslim preachers are allowed to rant against homosexuality

By Richard Littlejohn

Christians who oppose gay marriage face prosecution for 'hate crime' under new anti-terrorism laws. I'm sorry, just run that by me again.

So the Government introduces legislation to tackle Islamist hate preachers and the next thing you know it's Christians being put in the dock because they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman?

In a letter to one of his constituents, Mark Spencer, Conservative MP for Sherwood, Nottinghamshire, said that people would still be free to express their opinions, but teachers will not be permitted to tell pupils that same-sex weddings are 'wrong'.

How did that happen?

Here's how. The Government is planning to create Extremism Disruption Orders to curb the activities of those attempting to radicalise young Muslims in Britain. Not before time.

For more than 15 years, so-called 'clerics' have been allowed to get away with preaching death and destruction. This week's long overdue arrest of the appalling Ram Jam Choudary is a welcome signal that finally the authorities are waking up to the enemy within.

The Prime Minister said recently: 'For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. And that's helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance. This Government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach.'

Home Secretary Theresa May said: 'The twisted narrative of extremism cannot be ignored or wished away. This Government will challenge those who seek to spread hatred and intolerance by forming a new partnership of every person and organisation in this country that wants to defeat the extremists.'

Amen to that.

Extremism Disruption Orders are designed to catch those, like Ram Jam, who have skated on the boundaries of legality until now. But like so much hastily drawn legislation (think the Dangerous Dogs Act, etc), the law of unintended consequences inevitably kicks in.

Well, I say 'unintended', but these days you never know.

Cameron also said that the law was aimed at reinforcing 'British values' and supporting 'free speech'. But 'free speech' doesn't extend to those who dissent from the new orthodoxy of 'diversity'. Which brings us back to teachers being nicked for opposing gay marriage.

In a letter to one of his constituents, Spencer wrote: 'I believe that everybody in society has a right to express their views without fear of persecution.'

But he added that Extremism Orders would apply to any teacher who told pupils that same-sex marriage was 'wrong'. In that case they would be guilty of 'hate speech'.

When the Government was drawing up the law, was this really what they had in mind? Probably, yes.

In order to appear even-handed, politicians bend over backwards not to be seen to be discriminating against the 'vast majority of peace-loving Muslims'. That's why the crackdown on so-called 'Trojan Horse' schools, which indoctrinate children in Islamic extremism, has been extended to Jewish, Catholic and Church of England schools.

And that's also how you end up with some kind of warped moral equivalence between headbangers who are trying to persuade impressionable young children to become terrorists, and devout Christians who object to gay marriage.

If there's one thing I hate, it's the whole concept of 'hate crime'. A crime is a crime is a crime and should be punished accordingly. Why should some offences be considered more heinous than others simply because the perpetrator is said to have been motivated by 'hate'?

All crimes are hateful. Yet if a skinhead beats up a homosexual, or someone from an ethnic minority, he will be sentenced more harshly than if he'd mugged an elderly white woman.

Absurdly, his crime will be judged to have been 'aggravated' by hatred of racial or sexual minorities. It doesn't matter if the crime really was motivated by bigotry, just so long as someone, somewhere thinks it was.

One of the worst developments in recent years has been the admission of third-party complaints, which have empowered the embittered and the vexatious.

Justice is supposed to be blind, based on fact, not opinion. The punishment should fit the crime, not the prejudices of the accuser and fashionable society. And we should all be free to express ourselves, provided we're not inciting violence.

When did any form of criticism, no matter how harsh and unjustified, become a 'hate crime'?

As regular readers are well aware, I couldn't care less about gay marriage, one way or the other. But I do object to it being forced down the throats of those who beg to differ.

Why should someone be prosecuted for saying they think same-sex weddings are 'wrong'? People shouldn't be criminalised for their sincerely held beliefs.

So-called 'hate crime' laws are routinely abused by self-righteous, single-issue maniacs to persecute those who have the audacity to hold a different point of view.

Look at the way in which Christian bakers and B&B owners have been singled out by militant gay rights groups. Funny how they never go after 'homophobic' Muslim businesses, isn't it?

All major religions oppose gay marriage, but it's only the Christians who are ever dragged before the courts for 'hate crime'. Muslim preachers appear free to rail against homosexuality with impunity.

Who do you think will be the first person to be hit by an Extremism Disruption Order — an Islamist firebrand encouraging children to become suicide bombers or a Catholic Sunday School teacher opposed to gay marriage?

Don't bother. The right answer is probably a hate crime.


One false racism claim is not being tolerated

Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts has been ordered to rewrite the backhanded apology letter she begrudgingly sent to Los Angeles police and her neighbors.

Watts was detained last September after allegedly having sex in a car in public with her boyfriend Brian Lucas.

A high profile saga ensued, as Watts and Lucas claimed they had merely been kissing in the street, and that they were targeted for being an interracial couple. Watts is black, Lucas is white.

After pleading no contest to disturbance charges, Watts was ordered to apologize to the neighbors who reported the incident, and the police who were accused of racial profiling.

However, Watts and Lucas merely apologized to the police officer for disturbing 'your carefree coffee break' and thanked him for giving them the opportunity to shine a light on racial profiling.

And now, they have been ordered to re-write it.  'We intend on providing apology letters that meet the appropriate standards,' lawyer Lou Shapiro, who represents Watts and Lucas, told The New York Daily News on Friday.

Their first letter, read by TMZ, reiterates their initial accusations, blaming the officers of provoking them.

The passive-aggressive note followed a similarly-phrased letter to their neighbors, who had called police when they saw the pair having sex in the parking lot.

Watts and Lucas, who entered the same plea, were sentenced to 40 hours of community service and must remain out of trouble for a year. If they do so, the case will be dismissed and not appear in public records.

Lou Shapiro, an attorney for the couple, says the actress will apologize for her comments to police and is not admitting she and Lucas engaged in lewd conduct.  He said Watts 'wishes she hadn't said some of the things she said' to police during the incident.

Watts and Lucas found themselves at the center of a national controversy on September 11 when she claimed that the LAPD arrested her because she was a prostitute after her and Lucas were caught involved in an amorous clinch in broad daylight.

She claimed they were just kissing the police were heavy-handed and left her 'wrist bleeding in pain' and claimed the whole affair left her humiliated.

Lucas took to Facebook to specifically claim the LAPD arrested them because they assumed his girlfriend was a prostitute because they saw an interracial couple.

A recording of the arrest by one of the officers involved showed that Watts accused the police of racism when she refused to produce ID after a series of 911 calls from witnesses claiming a couple was having sex in their car.

'Do you know how many times the cops have been called just for being black? Just because I am black and he's white? I'm just being really honest,' she said to LAPD Sgt. Jim Parker.

Parker later said in an interview with the MailOnline that he thought it was incorrect for Watts to accuse him and the other two officers of prejudice because he is gay and the other two police were a woman and a Latino.

Parker said he released the audio in an attempt so show that he was simply responding to a 911 calls that told the dispatcher Watts and Lucas were having sex with the door open and was reasonable during their encounter.

He also added that it was Watts' attitude and uncooperative nature that caused her to be arrested.

In the immediate aftermath, prominent civil rights leaders took up Watts' cause, but then asked her to apologize when the audio and pictures showing Watts sitting on top of Lucas inside his car were made public.


The Banality of Evil

The “banality of evil” became part of the cultural lexicon following the publication of German-born author Hannah Arendt’s 1963 book “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.” The book recounted the trial of Nazi Adolph Eichmann, who was chief of operations for the Gestapo-run Department for Jewish Affairs, and responsible for the deportation of three million Jews to extermination camps. Arendt hypothesized that people who carry out such barbarous crimes may not be inherently evil, but instead fairly ordinary individuals who simply accept the premises under which they operate.

For the last two weeks, our nation has been rocked by a series of videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) revealing that Planned Parenthood (PP) has been involved in the harvesting and selling of fetal organs. CMP has released four of what they say is a series of 12 undercover videos, and each one has been more disturbing than its predecessor. In a bombshell claim, CMP founder David Daleiden revealed to CNN that one of those videos depicts a meeting with top leaders from organ recipient company StemExpress, admitting “they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their laboratory from the abortion clinics they work with, and that could be prima facie evidence of born-alive infants. And so that’s why they’re trying to suppress that videotape and they’re very scared of it.”

Indeed, StemExpress sued to keep the video from going public, and they secured a temporary stay from Judge William Orrick, a California federal judge who raised $230,000 for Barack Obama. And, by the way, PP President Cecile Richards has visited the White House 39 times since 2009 — just to be clear how much Obama supports the abortion industry.

None of what the public has seen so far could be described as banal. Yet for the pro-abortionists and their supporters in government and the media, who ultimately convinced the Supreme Court to decide the entire nation must accept the premise of abortion on demand is an integral part of the auspices under which the nation must now operate, the act that has precipitated every bit of this descent into organ-harvesting darkness has become the essence of banality.

Yet as this author noted in a column on organ harvesting last week, banality is virtually impossible to maintain in the presence of photographs. That same reality also applies to abortion. First, here’s a list of all 50 states and their current abortion restrictions. The majority of them allow abortion as late as 25 weeks into a typical 39-week period of gestation, or until a baby is “viable,” which generally occurs between the 22nd and 24th week of gestation. Note that seven states and the District of Columbia have no restriction on the abortion timeline at all.

Below is a 3D ultrasound of a 25-week-old baby, and another photo (shown above) and story of a 24-week-old baby born prematurely. Please use the hyperlinks and look at these pictures as it is necessary to fully understand what this nation has abided as the “premise under which we operate” since Roe v. Wade required us to do so beginning in 1973. Remember these pictures, along with the legal restrictions cited above, when a pro-abortion supporter reduces abortion to the idea of eliminating a “clump of cells” or a “lump of tissue.”

What about the fact that most abortions are performed in the first trimester? Here’s what that “lump of tissue” looks like in week 6, week 7, week 8 and week 9. Note that even in week 6 lungs are forming and a heart is beating. In week 7, limbs and ear buds appear. Week 8 shows more defined limb development, a nose, an upper lip and a rapidly developing brain. In Week 9 there is continued development of lips, nose, eyes and eyelids, and substantial limb movement.

Moreover, until the Supreme Court finally banned the procedure in 2007, pro-abortionists were fully on board with everything about very late-term abortions, save the highly accurate term used to describe them — partial-birth abortions. Like pictures and video of abortion, that term infuriated the pro-abortionists who labeled it highly inaccurate. Yet what is inaccurate about a procedure that involves pulling a live baby feet-first out of the womb, except for the head, and then puncturing the skull and suctioning out the brain? Here is a video of that indescribably grotesque procedure. But fair WARNING: It is one of the most disturbing videos one might ever view, so be prepared or take a pass.

Either way, remember that Congress tried to pass national bans on the procedure in 1996 and 1997 only to see them vetoed by abortion-on-demand champion Bill Clinton. And the first time a case appeared before the Supreme Court in 2000 based on the state of Nebraska attempting to ban it, the Court ruled that ban unconstitutional because it didn’t include a health exception.

Unsurprisingly, the issue of late-term abortions has become part of the 2016 election debate. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz defined the pro-abortionist position in April when GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul asked reporters to inquire if she was OK with “killing a seven-pound baby that is just not yet born.” Wasserman Schultz’s response? “I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story.”

In other words, yes.

It was Daniel Patrick Moynihan who coined the term “defining deviancy down.” There is no better way to describe the unbroken line that travels from abortion on demand to harvesting fetal organs, even as the latter procedure has also become so banal it can be casually discussed by its perpetrators over lunch.

Such is inevitable in a nation that has long catered to the lowest common denominator of human behavior. Thus with regard to abortion, we have allowed a procedure that at worst ought to be implemented only in the direst of emergencies to become convenient — and commonplace. So commonplace, the permutations engendered by this wholesale cheapening of life — from gang violence and mass murder, to the collapse of the nuclear family and anything resembling a national moral center — are impossible to ignore.

The world was disgusted by Eichmann’s extermination of three million Jews. Since 1973, roughly 19 times that number of potential human beings have been aborted, even as champions of the procedure continuously repeated their hypocritical mantra that abortions should be “safe, legal and rare.”

The CMP videos will continue to elicit outrage from millions of Americans. But in reality they are little more than reminders of what this nation has already countenanced. And regardless of what they further reveal, Planned Parenthood will never lose its army of defenders — as in fairly ordinary individuals who simply accept the premises under which they operate. In short, we are a nation that long ago accepted the incremental surrender to the banality of evil.

Until now. Here’s hoping the CMP videos initiate a paradigm shift in the nation’s thinking. We’ve got nothing to lose but our self-imposed cultural degradation.



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, 2015

Another murderous multiculturalist in Britain

Isn't it a charmer?

An 'angry and obsessive' thug is facing life in jail for shoving his girlfriend to her death through a 14th floor window.

Dora Matthews, 43, was heard screaming 'let me go' moments before she plummeted to the pavement from the living room window of the flat in Wood Green, north London.

The couple had a turbulent relationship and had been arguing in the early hours of the morning shortly before Ms Matthews was killed, a court heard.

Douglas denied murder but was found guilty by a jury after nearly ten hours of deliberation. He now faces a lengthy jail sentence or even life in prison.

Prosecutor Mark Dennis QC said the victim was heard screaming before she dropped from a 'comparatively small' window in the living room of Douglas' 14th floor flat.

'The only person who could have forced her out of that window, whether by physical manhandling or pushing her or by putting her into a state of such extreme fear of lethal violence that she in effect backed out of the window was this defendant,' he said.

'The prosecution allege that this was no accident, nor was it an act of suicide, rather it was an unlawful killing at the hands of an angry and obsessive man who could not control his violent temper following a prolonged and heated argument.

The court heard that Ms Matthews had been in a 'volatile' five-year relationship with Douglas, who she had a restraining order against, before the fatal night in December 2013.

'She had spent much of that night with her boyfriend, the defendant, who lived in a flat on the 14th floor, said Mr Dennis.

'Their relationship was of long-standing, however, it had been one which has been described both as 'volatile' and 'abusive'.

'That night people in neighbouring flats had heard the sounds of a terrible argument going on between Dora and the defendant.

'In the period leading up to this fall she was heard to be shouting at him to 'leave me alone', repeatedly shouting 'stop' and then just before the fatal event 'let me go' and 'get off me'.'

Douglas was previously convicted on five occasions for offences that related to his relationship with Ms Matthews and at time 'demonstrated an almost obsessive attitude' towards his lover.

The victim suffered 'multiple and complex fractures to all parts of the body' following the deadly push. But it was impossible to tell if she had sustained any injuries before the fall.

Her body had been discovered in the car park of the apartments by a passerby at shortly before 5am on the morning of Thursday December 19. Mr Dennis said: 'To his horror, he saw lying on the ground the lifeless body of a woman.

'He immediately raised the alarm and within minutes the Emergency Services were on the scene; there was, however, nothing that could be done by the as the woman had dropped from the fourteenth floor of the block of flats and she would in all likelihood have been killed instantly upon impact with the ground.

'The woman, Dora Matthews, was fully dressed and wearing her outdoors jacket when found and she had her car keys still in her hand as she lay there on the ground.

'It would appear that, just before the fall, she had been in the process of trying to leave the flats in order to go to her car which was parked in the car park in order to return home or possibly to go to her nearby place of work.'

After the body was found, police launched a manhunt for Douglas who eventually turned himself in at his local station.

Mr Dennis said: 'Throughout the remainder of the day police made efforts to find the defendant.  'Shortly after 8:30pm he finally emerged, walks into Tottenham Police Station where he appeared to break down and become hysterical.  'One he had calmed down he was arrested on suspicion of murder, to which he responded 'murder, p**s off, are you mad?'.'

Giving evidence, Douglas told the court they had left his flat twice that evening to stock up on cocaine and beers, spending as much as £100 on the party drug during the second trip.

Ms Matthews, a cleaner, was described as 'a very open-hearted person (who) was full of life' with no previous evidence of suicidal thoughts.

Douglas is expected to be sentenced shortly.


Empire State Building’s $1M Cecil the lion display outrages ‘Black Lives Matter’ supporters

Green/Leftists hate people and love animals

Large images of endangered species are projected on the south facade of The Empire State Building, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, in New York. The large scale projections are in part inspired by and produced by the filmmakers of an upcoming ... more >
By Jessica Chasmar - The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2015
The Empire State Building’s projection of Cecil the lion and other endangered animals is being criticized for ignoring the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Along with Cecil, whose illegal killing sparked an international uproar, a snow leopard, tigers, lemurs and various snakes, birds and sea creatures were projected onto the building using 40 projectors, CNN reported.

The light display cost $1 million and was intended to promote the Oceanic Preservation Society’s documentary “Racing Extinction.”

Many social media users said the projection gave unfair attention to animals while ignoring the deaths of black people at the hands of police, The Huffington Post reported.

“I’m personally going to start wearing a lion costume when I leave my house so if I get shot, people will care,” writer Roxana Gay tweeted from her verified account, receiving nearly 9,500 retweets.

“Empire State Building put image of late lion Cecil but can’t put images of some of the lost black souls to discrimination #BlackLivesMatter,” wrote another tweeter.

“If only people could react the same way for the people murdered by Police brutality,” wrote another.


Study finds churchgoers have better mental health than those who join other groups

But politics drives you mad

Going to church is an effective way of keeping depression at bay, research suggests.

People who join a religious organisation - whether it is a church, synagogue or mosque - have better mental health than those who join a community group or political party, academics found.

Membership of a religious group is also more beneficial than taking part in sport, education or charity work, their study suggests.

The four-year study monitored 9,000 people aged over 50, from countries across Europe.

The British and Dutch team, whose research was published yesterday in the American Journal of Epidemiology, looked at different levels of social activity and how they influenced people's moods.

They found that joining a religious organisation was the best way of combating depression.

The academics, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, said it is not clear faith itself helps people, or if religion simply gives people a sense of belonging.

But while they could see a significant and long-term benefit from church membership, other social organisations had the opposite effect.

People who joined political and community groups tended to show an initial improvement in mental health, but then declined over the long term.

LSE health expert Dr Mauricio Avendano said the only activity associated with sustained happiness was attending a church, synagogue or mosque.

'The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life.

'It is not clear to us how much this is about religion per se, or whether it may be about the sense of belonging and not being socially isolated,' he said.

The research, carried out with Erasmus University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, did not find any short-term benefits from sports and participation in other social activities.

'Participants receive a higher sense of reward when they first join an organisation but if it involves a lot of effort and they don't get much in return, the benefits may wear off after some time,' Dr Avendano said.

'Our findings suggest that different types of social activities have an impact on mental health among older people, but the strength and direction of this effect varies according to the activity.

'One of the most puzzling findings is that although healthier people are more likely to volunteer, we found no evidence that volunteering actually leads to better mental health.

'It may be that any benefits are outweighed by other negative impacts of volunteering, such as stress.'


It's class war! Billionaire opens fire at RSPB's bid to protect birds of prey with crackdown on grouse moors

A Hen Harrier.  They eat grouse

A billionaire City tycoon has stoked a simmering row over grouse moors by opening fire on Britain's biggest nature charity.

Old Harrovian hedge fund manager and shooting enthusiast Crispin Odey accused the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) of waging a 'class war'.

Outspoken Mr Odey, who has turned both barrels on everyone from David Cameron to his own father over the years, attacked the charity's call to introduce the licensing of grouse moors.

The RSPB believe that introducing the measure would prevent gamekeepers from killing hen harriers.

A protected species about the size of a buzzard, the birds of prey have been targeted because they eat red grouse before the shooting season starts.

But colourful Mr Odey, 55, who is said to be worth £1.1billion, and who once spent £120,000 on a chicken coop dubbed 'Cluckingham Palace' at his country mansion, said: 'It's a bit of a class war. It's Jeremy Corbyn. It's not about the birds.'

Revealing himself to be a backer of You Forgot The Birds, a campaign group led by former cricketer Sir Ian Botham which has accused the RSPB of misleading donors over how it spends its money, he said the charity was fuelling resentment against wealthy grouse moor owners and exploiting the plight of the hen harrier to help raise funds to pay its 2,000 staff.

The charity is 'locked in a battle with who they saw as the enemy, which was strangely the shooting community,' he claimed, and said this faction was 'completely obsessed with the idea that raptors [such as the hen harrier] are what bring the money in so they defend raptors at all costs'. His comments in The Times came only a week before the 'Glorious Twelfth', the start of the red grouse shooting season on August 12.

The RSPB yesterday dismissed all Mr Odey's accusations – and hit back, saying he had 'trivialised' the grouse issue by linking it to class war.

Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the charity, said: 'The RSPB doesn't have any position about legal field sports. But we have significant concerns about the impact of shooting on the illegal killing of birds of prey. We have evidence that happens in some places where they are trapped, shot or poisoned.

'We think better regulation will encourage better management of these sites. It is a conservation issue.' He added: 'The hen harrier nests in areas of open heather, which is the sort of area that grouse like too, and the two species can co-exist.

'Responsible grouse moor owners shouldn't have anything to fear from the RSPB.'

Yesterday new figures from the Government's adviser on the natural environment revealed that this is set to be the most successful hen harrier breeding season in England since 2010 – but that still means that they remain this country's most endangered breeding birds.

Natural England said there are only six hen harrier nests across the north of England with 18 new chicks that have fledged, or reached the age when their wing feathers are large enough for flight.

The RSPB estimate there is suitable habitat for 300 pairs of the ground-nesting birds in the same area. In 2010, the most recent national survey year, there were 662 nesting pairs of hen harriers in the UK, with 505 of those in Scotland.

This was a decline of approximately 20 per cent from the previous survey in 2004, according to Scottish Natural Heritage.

Calls to license grouse moors have been mounting since Natural England warned in 2008 that hen harriers were on the brink of extinction due to human 'persecution' and had become the 'emblem of man's callous disregard' for wildlife.

The year before that, Prince Harry was criticised by animal welfare groups after two protected hen harriers were shot near the royal estate at Sandringham in Norfolk. The prince told police that although he had been in the area at the time, he had no knowledge of the shooting.

Yesterday Dr Adam Smith, of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, said: 'We've been looking for the Government to implement a hen harrier recovery plan for over five years. But it doesn't have to be battle lines drawn with this issue.'

Robert Benson, chairman of the Moorland Association, said: 'We need to do more for hen harriers. With the Government's help, numbers and the spread of nests next year could be even better.'

The RSPB has previously rebutted You Forgot The Birds' claims about how it operates, saying that managing nature reserves is only a tiny part of their conservation programme and that other activities, such as research and advising farmers, are also important.

They spend a total of £69million on conservation, a further £19million on education and political lobbying, and £32million on fundraising, a spokesman claimed.



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, 2015

A multicultural fraud in Britain

A sham marriage 'fixer' who paid a fake bride £2,000 to stage a mock wedding has today been jailed for 18 months.

Armand Djedje, 31, was caught when he tried to help bogus groom Devine Abanda, 27, from Cameroon, marry a French bigamist so he could stay in Britain.

Djedje set up the sham wedding at the register office in Winchester, Hampshire, involving already twice-married Olivia Godefroy and Abanda.

But they were led away in handcuffs minutes before their ceremony was due to take place in February last year and Djedje's sham marriage racket was smashed.

Jurors heard he had organised two other fake weddings involving Frenchwoman Godefroy, where she married a man in December 2012 in Wood Green, London.

She then walked down the aisle with Diedonna Ateh in Wandsworth, London in January 2014, after being promised £2,000 by Djedje, Winchester Crown Court heard.

And following a trial, Abanda was convicted of conspiracy to 'facilitate obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception' by marrying Godefroy, 22.

Godefroy admitted the conspiracy and bigamy at a previous hearing.

The gang were jailed for conspiring to arrange the sham marriage.

Godefroy was given 12 months for the conspiracy and 15 months for bigamy, to run concurrently, suspended for two years.

Abanda was jailed for 15 months, minus the 207 days already served in custody.

Djedje, of the Ivory Coast, was handed 18 months, less the 216 days already served.

The fourth member of the gang 31-year-old Olivier Attie from Belgium failed to show up for the verdict and a warrant was issued for his arrest.  He still remains at large and his whereabouts and real identity are currently unknown.

He said: 'I'm satisfied that the centre of this conspiracy was you, Armand Djedje.  'You knew that you had Miss Godefroy that you could use. She had the requisite of European credentials and you were not in the slightest bit worried that she had been married before.

'You, Mr Abanda, wanted to have those advantages of being married to someone with a European nationality.  'It was quite clear you had the money and Mr Djedje had the potential bride. It was a rather squalid story that lay behind these offences; to earn money dishonestly.

'The offences comprise an attack on the sanctity of marriage.'

A Home Office spokesman said: 'The criminal gangs who try to dupe our immigration laws will not escape justice, as this case shows.

'Since 2010, we have done more than any government before to clamp down on those seeking to abuse the UK's immigration system.

'Last year, our investigators intervened in more than 2,900 suspected sham marriages.

'The Immigration Act 2014, which became law last year, gives us a much stronger platform to identify, disrupt and deter marriages which are not genuine.'


Social worker's jargon is like a foreign language, says angry judge as he calls for reports to be written in language that everyone involved can understand

And he tossed out her submission

A social worker’s report for a family court hearing was so riddled with jargon it ‘might as well have been written in a foreign language’, a judge said.

Tina Pugh’s paper, about a woman seeking to care for two young children, included phrases such as ‘imbued with ambivalence’ and ‘having many commonalities emanating from their histories’.

Judge Jeremy Lea said that while he thought he knew what the social worker was trying to say, her report would probably be baffling to the woman it was actually about.

He added: ‘Reports by experts are not written solely for the benefit of other professionals, the advocates and the judge.

‘The parents and other litigants need to understand what is being said and why.’ The woman, identified only by the initials SH, had asked to bring up two young children who were born to a teenage mother in a violent relationship.

One of the children may be her grandchild, the family court in Nottingham heard.

Miss Pugh was called in to produce an independent report to add to the work of Derbyshire social services. She recommended that the children should not go to the woman.

Jargon-filled passages picked out by the judge included: ‘I do not intend to address the couple’s relationship suffice to say it is imbued with ambivalence: both having many commonalities emanating from their histories that create what could be a long lasting connection of alternative relationships that are a reflection of this.  ‘Such is this connection that they may collude to undermine the placement.’

Another said: ‘In narrowing down the issues SH clearly believes that paternity issues had a significant interplay on [the woman’s son’s] ability to say no to the mother.’

A third confusing passage read: ‘Due to SH’s apparent difficulties identifying the concerns, I asked her to convey a narrative about her observations.’ Faced with this particular section, the judge said: ‘What would be wrong in saying, “I asked her to tell me?”’

Judge Lea added: ‘I suspect, as far as SH was concerned, these passages might just as well have been written in a foreign language.

‘Did [Miss Pugh] discuss issues with SH in a language she would understand? SH is, and I am sure she will forgive me for saying so, a simple soul.

‘She does not have a large vocabulary but speaks in plain language and would not readily comprehend a lot of what Tina Pugh has written about her.’

The judge said Miss Pugh had based her report on two meetings with the woman and on case papers.  She did not meet the two young children, aged four and two, nor did she meet other family members.

Miss Pugh also criticised SH for failing to ‘familiarise herself with the paperwork’ when in fact she had never been given the case papers.

The judge decided that SH should be given the chance to raise the children – who would otherwise be put up for adoption – saying her parenting abilities ‘should not be judged by some stellar standard’.

He added: ‘Society must be willing to tolerate very diverse standards of parenting which include the barely adequate and the inconsistent.  ‘Public authorities cannot improve on nature.’


Woman champions gender equality FOR MEN by staging provocative photos of her working in ‘demeaning’ male jobs

We're used to calls for greater equality for women in the workplace, but one woman believes that it is men who are facing the biggest challenge at work.

The unnamed woman from Guangzhou has posed in a series of provocative photographs to campaign for more respect for men in blue collar jobs.

The pictures released today show her posing as a butcher, construction worker and car mechanic as part of her crusade for gender equality for men, reported the People's Daily Online.

Women in China get half the day off work on International Women's Day on March 8, but men do not have a similar holiday.

The young activist said that there should be a National Men's Day on August 3 in order to support men in jobs they believe to be 'demeaning'.

She said: 'Though August 8 is not a national holiday, I call on girls to give their boyfriends or husbands a day off as a way to support "Men's Day".'

She added that men and women should be respected equally and have the same opportunities.

The campaign photographs feature the woman doing a range of traditionally male jobs while wearing shorts and a crop top.


Anti-White Racial Discrimination in DC

A former District of Columbia official brought in to help straighten out mismanagement at the Department of Public Works is suing the city, claiming he was harassed, intimidated and then fired for being white.

The former city worker says he was repeatedly called “cracker” and “white boy” by black members of the department while in the presence of other managers. On his last day on the job as a deputy fleet administrator, Christopher Lyons said he found a sign on his door that said, “Get Out White Boy!”

Lyons is suing the city for wrongful termination, claiming he was the victim of racial discrimination. He also believes he was targeted because he uncovered financial flaws and reported cover-ups. He’s suing his former employers for back pay and then some.

“I am surprised [the racial discrimination] happened at this level of government,” his lawyer Morris Fischer told FoxNews.com. “We’re all Americans. We all have to treat each other the same, and we have to put aside whatever differences we have.”



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, 2015


In a still ongoing furore, Australian opinion has been rather riven by the situation of part-Aboriginal footballer Adam Goodes.  Whenever he steps onto the field he he is greeted by extensive booing.  A lot of self-preeners in the media and elsewhere claim that the booing is "racist".  The one fact you need to know to evaluate that claim is that Goodes played for ten years without being booed.  The booing has happened only recently.  So if racism is at work, why was he not booed earlier?.  His Aboriginalness has not changed.

You may also need to know that many of the game's greats have also been the subject of constant booing during games, something Wayne Carey, James Hird, Jason Akermanis and Nick Riewoldt have dealt with in their careers.

I present below in chronological order some of the posts about the matter.

Adam Goodes isn’t booed for the colour of his skin. He is booed for acting like a pillock

The controversy over part-Aboriginal footballer Adam Goodes continues.  The crowds boo him a lot and the powers that be are trying to stop that.  It has just been handed down from on high that such booing is "racist".

What the wise-heads are ignoring is that Goodes is aggressive, confrontational and a whiner.  He has done a lot to make himself unpopular. He recently did some sort of Aboriginal war dance on the football field, complete with an imaginary spear thrown in the direction of the opposing fans --  Not exactly the "mature discussion about the state of race relations in this country" that his Leftist supporters have called for. 

The latest episode in the uproar is here. It seems that he just has to run onto the field now to get booed.  He has made himself an oppositional figure.

MIRANDA DEVINE (below) summed Goodes up pretty well a month ago.  I am not sure why she uses British slang but "pillock" translates roughly into American slang as "jerk".  Old-fashioned Australians might say "galah".

I’m sorry, but people are not booing Adam Goodes because he’s Aboriginal. They’re booing him because he acts like a pillock from time to time.  And if Sydney Swans CEO Andrew Ireland is genuinely interested in race relations then he shouldn’t cry “racist” with no evidence.

It’s obvious to any footy-lover that the fans boo Goodes because:

1. It’s become a thing;

2. He deliberately taunts opposition fans;

3. He is accused of staging for free kicks, in contravention of the rules of fair play

4. No one has forgotten how he singled out a 13 year old girl in the Collingwood crowd and sicced security onto her after she called him an “ape”;

5. He was rewarded for outing this powerless little girl with the honour of Australian of the Year which he then turned into a grievance pulpit to bag Australia as a racist nation.

Unlike most sports gurus in this town, I loved Goodes’ indigenous war dance last month as the Swans beat Carlton. For one thing, it’s about time we beat the Kiwis and their haka at their own game.

For another, he just did it so well. Bravo, I say. He stole the show.

But he also served it up to the opposition fans, deliberately riling them up. That’s what he does.

So when he gets booed, it’s just the crowd’s natural response to his invitation. It’s a tough game that Goodes started and only he can finish.

But for sports administrators and sanctimonious journalists to denounce the crowds as somehow anti-Aboriginal is the real racism. It’s that sort of patronising victim-pandering that holds Aboriginals down.

If Adam Goodes wants to be a pillock, good for him. He will be booed like any other pillock, no matter what the colour of their skin.


A Leftist martyr is born

Attempts to stop people booing aggressive part-Aboriginal football player Adam Goodes have backfired.  An attempt was made to suppress the booing by branding it as "racist".  That caused great offence among the many who simply thought Goodes was a bad sportsman.  The outcome was a wave of statements in reply about Goodes being offensive --e.g. here

I think I should mention that AFL legend Jason Akermanis got booed a lot in his day. But unlike Adam Goodes, Akermanis is white. So, you know. Not racist booing.  Akermanis has in fact called Goodes a "sook", which translates fairly well as "unmanly" -- a very bad image in football.

The criticisms have now got to Goodes and he appears to have departed football.  After being accused of being racists, the fans  would undoubtedly erupt into a storm of booing if ever Goodes stepped onto the field again.  His position really is untenable.

Goodes seems to me to be less than half Aboriginal in terms of ancestry but, if he were a tribal Aborigine, a wave of disapproval would certainly weigh heavily upon him.  Tribal Aborigines can be, and still are, "sung" to death.  The singing consists of the men of the tribe sitting down together and chanting disapproval of the person for hours on end.  The target of such chanting will simply die.  So it is probable that Goodes is feeling very distressed by the turn of events.

The Left however will see Goodes as a victim and see his eclipse as proof that all Australians are racists.  He will be celebrated in song and dance for decades as a Leftist hero. There will undoubtedly be Horst Wessel songs about him. That he might have deserved his eclipse and that he might be to blame for his own downfall will not be considered

As it has been revealed AFL star Adam Goodes has been granted indefinite leave over the controversy involving 'racist' fans who boo him, the mother of the girl he first called out has demanded an apology and said he should 'man up and take' the abuse.

The woman, identified only as Joanne, said the abuse Goodes receives from fans on a weekly basis stems from how he treated her daughter - who racially abused the player in 2013 when she called him an 'ape'.

'If he hadn't have done it he wouldn't be having the problems he'd be having now,' according to the Sydney Morning Herald.  'He probably should apologise because maybe he should have picked his target a little bit better.

'I don't think Julia was treated fairly at all. It was the way he carried on on the ground that made them do what they did. If he hadn't have carried on like a pork chop it wouldn't have mattered.'

The woman also accused Goodes of being too sensitive when it comes to abuse he receives, and said he needs to 'man up and just take it if he wants to play the game'.

The comments come after Sydney announced Goodes would miss at least this Saturday's game with the Adelaide Crows, in a statement released on Wednesday evening.

Swans CEO Andrew Ireland said the decision to grant the premiership champion a leave of absence from the club was made due to the damage the scandal is doing to his mental well-being.

'Adam is sick and tired of this behaviour. It has been happening for too long and it has taken its toll,' Mr Ireland said. 'As a club we are working with Adam and those close to him and supporting him through what is a really difficult time.  'We will give Adam all the time he needs. We will keep supporting him and he will return to the Club whenever he is ready.'

The announcement comes after the debate over fans heckling of the Indigenous star was reignited last weekend following a tribute paid to the star during Sydney's clash with West Coast.

After kicking a goal, Lewis Jetta - another of Sydney's Indigenous players - performed a tribal dance, which he later dedicated to his friend and mentor.  The dance included a spear-throwing action, which was directed by Jetta at fans who had booed Goodes throughout the match. Goodes performed a similar dance during a game in June during the AFL's Indigenous round.

On Tuesday, the Swans slammed fans who boo Goodes as 'racist'.  'Should anyone choose to deride Adam through booing, then they are part of something that is inherently racist and totally unacceptable,' Mr Ireland said.  'The people involved in this behaviour can justify it any way they like. Our Club calls it racism.

'Adam is sick of it. He is tired and drained by it. It is something that has weighed down on him for some time.  'He is frustrated that he is constantly the face of such negativity.'

The club's statement came amid reports Goodes was on the verge of walking away from the sport entirely as a result of the abuse he has endured.

The AFL Players Association released a statement on Tuesday, calling for an immediate end to the attacks on Goodes.

We believe that Adam has been vilified for calling out racism, for expressing his views on Aboriginal issues, and for celebrating and promoting his proud cultural background. This is not something for which Adam should be vilified – it is something for which he should be celebrated.'

The race row around Goodes dates back to May 2013, when he pointed out a person in the crowd during a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for calling him an ape. The supporter was removed from the ground.

The person who made the comment turned out to be a 13-year-old girl, who Goodes later spoke with to discuss how her comments hurt him because of his Aboriginal background.

Critics of Goodes said he called out a minor who was too immature to take responsibility for the comments, and suggest fans boo him because they dislike his on-field behaviour and not because of his race.

Goodes has played 365 games for Sydney since debuting in 1999, and has twice won the Brownlow Medal - the award given to the league's best player. He was also named Australian of the Year in 2014. [So was the crooked Tim Flannery]


I can tell you how Adam Goodes feels. Every Indigenous person has felt it

Stan Grant

Australian TV personality Stan Grant has a permanent suntan that he has inherited from his part-Aboriginal family.  Otherwise he has little resemblance to a tribal aborigine -- no heavy brow ridge, no flat nose etc. 

Yet in his essay below he speaks for all Aborigines.  That would be regarded as rather challengeable under normal circumstances but the place of Aborigines in Australian law is not normal.  Andrew Bolt was successfully prosecuted for challenging the right of certain light-skinned people to be regarded as Aborigines.  So I had better not challenge it.  Both Grant and Goodes are however "legal" Aborigines so Grant may well speak for Goodes.

I might note that I shared dinner with an Aboriginal lady last night.  She has blue eyes but she is an Aboriginal in Australian law.  She is my sister in law.  She and her husband host a family BBQ on Australia day each year.

Grant's essay below has however been praised and it is certainly unusual in that it does not denigrate Australia and Australian society in general.  Grant recognizes much that is praiseworthy instead.  The balance of his writing is obviously a large part of what has made his essay probably the most praised on the subject.

The great failure of his essay is however a failure to look at root causes.  I am sure that his growing up as a person with Aboriginal ancestry did give him problems and that his view that others in his situation suffered similarly has some merit but WHY was he in such a difficult situation?  And the answer is clear enough.  He does hint at it.  Aborigines as a whole have been lamentably unable to adjust to the white society in which they are now submerged.  People are often kind to them and appreciaste good points that they have -- I do -- but the reality is that their own behaviour relegates them to the bottom of every heap.

So can we do anything about it?  That is surely the most important question.  I think it is a dubious claim that anybody has a "responsibility" for the behaviour of others but white Australia has nonetheless via its governments assumed a responsibility to improve the lot of Aborigines. But everything that could be tried has been tried as far as I can see -- by the Federal government and the State governments -- under both Leftist and conservative regimes.  There are for instance all sorts of schemes of an "affirmative action" type designed to help Aborigines.  Yet Aborigines go backwards if anything.  Have we not discharged our purported "responsibilities"?  What more could we do?

There was a time when Aborigines had to provide for themselves and many of them had employment in rural industries (as cowboys etc.)but an "equal pay" mandate from the courts put an end to that.  Now they mostly live on welfare -- and the slow destruction of all values and standards usually produced by welfare is only too evident.

So how does that affect the Adam Goodes furore?  I think it should make us understanding of the sensitivity over his part-Aboriginal ancestry that Goodes obviously feels but it should also help us to understand that white society too has values that are deeply felt, ideas about being a "bad sport" etc.  By his touchy and aggressive behaviour Goodes has set the two sets of values on collision course and in so doing hurt himself deeply.  He would have done well to do as Grant has done by not making waves.

And the accusations of racism that have polluted the air over the matter can only entrench bitterness and anger

I have wondered for days if I should say anything about Adam Goodes.

My inclination is to look for common ground, to be diplomatic. Some of the fault is with Adam. Maybe he’s been unnecessarily provocative. Racism? Perhaps. Perhaps the crowds just don’t like him.

Yes, I could make a case for all of that. But there are enough people making those arguments and all power to them.

Here’s what I can do. I can tell you what it is like for us. I can tell you what Adam must be feeling, because I’ve felt it. Because every Indigenous person I know has felt it.

It may not be what you want to hear. Australians are proud of their tolerance yet can be perplexed when challenged on race, their response often defensive.

I may be overly sensitive. I may see insult where none is intended. Maybe my position of relative success and privilege today should have healed deep scars of racism and the pain of growing up Indigenous in Australia. The same could be said of Adam. And perhaps that is right.

But this is how Australia makes us feel. Estranged in the land of our ancestors, marooned by the tides of history on the fringes of one of the richest and demonstrably most peaceful, secure and cohesive nations on earth.

The “wealth for toil” we praise in our anthem has remained out of our reach. Our position at the bottom of every socio-economic indicator tragically belies the Australian economic miracle.

“Australians all let us rejoice” can ring hollow to us. Ours is more troubled patriotism. Our allegiance to Australia, our pride in this country undercut by the dark realities of our existence.

Seeds of suspicion and mistrust are planted early in the Indigenous child. Stories of suffering, humiliation and racism told at the feet of our parents and grandparents feed an identity that struggles to reconcile a pride in heritage with the forlorn realities of a life of defeat.

From childhood I often cringed against my race. To be Aboriginal was to be ashamed. Ashamed of our poverty. Ashamed of the second-hand clothes with the giveaway smell of mothballs and another boy’s name on the shirt collar.

Ashamed of the way my mother and grandmother had to go to the Smith Family or Salvation Army for food vouchers. Ashamed of the onions and mince that made up too many meals.

We were ashamed of the bastardised wreckage of a culture that we clung to. This wasn’t the Dreamtime. This was mangy dogs and broken glass.

Like the Goodes family, we moved constantly as my father chased work. But wherever we went we found our place always on the fringes. What semblance of pride we carried too easily laid low by a mocking glance or a schoolyard joke.

We were the blacks. So easily recognised not just by the colour of our skin but by the whiff of desperation and danger we cloaked ourselves in. What resentment we harboured, we too often turned on ourselves, played out in wild scrambling brawls from the playground to the showgrounds that sent the same message: stay away from the blacks.

There was humour and there was love and there was survival. And as I grew older I pieced together the truth that we didn’t choose this. We are the detritus of the brutality of the Australian frontier.

As Australia welcomed waves of migrants and built a rich, diverse, tolerant society, we remained a reminder of what was lost, what was taken, what was destroyed to scaffold the building of this nation’s prosperity.

We survived the “smoothing of the dying pillow” of extermination to end up on the bottom rung of the ladder of assimilation. Too many of us remain there still. Look to the statistics: the worst health, housing, education, the lowest life expectancy, highest infant mortality. An Indigenous youth has more chance of being locked up than educated.

If good fortune or good genes means you are among the lucky few to find an escape route then you face a choice: to “go along to get along”, mind your manners, count your blessings and hide in the comfort of the Australian dream; or to infuse your success with an indignation and a righteousness that will demand this country does not look away from its responsibilities and its history.

I found a path through education that led to journalism. A love of knowledge and an inquisitiveness that has shot me through with anger. A deeper understanding of history, of politics, of economics, leaving me resentful of our suffering.

I wrestle with that anger as the boy I was wrestled with his shame. I want to see the good in a society that defies the history of its treatment of my people.

It is the legacy of my grandfather who signed up to fight a war for a country that didn’t recognise his humanity, let alone his citizenship. It is the lesson of the example of the lives of my mother and father, my uncles and aunties. Lives of decency and hard work and responsibility and rooted in our identity as Indigenous Australians.

When I was 16 I summoned the courage to speak to my class. As the only Indigenous kid, the only Aboriginal person my schoolmates had met, I wanted to tell my family’s story. My teacher was proud and encouraging. When class returned after lunch the words “be kind to abos” were scrawled across the blackboard.

The rejection, the humiliation, cut me to the core.

This is the journey too of Adam Goodes. A man whose physical gifts have set him above and given him a platform available to so few and whose courage demands that he use it to speak to us all.

Events in recent years have sent Adam on a quest to understand the history of his people, to challenge stereotypes and perceptions. I have spoken to him about this. I recognise in him the same quest I see in myself. It is a conversation I have had with so many of my Indigenous brothers and sisters.

This is rare air for anyone, let alone a footballer. He has faltered at times and the expression of his anger at our history and his pride in his identity has been challenging, if not divisive.

The events of 2013 when he called out a 13-year-old girl for a racial taunt opened a wound that has only deepened. To some the girl was unfairly vilified. Adam’s war dance of this year challenged and scared some people. His talent, the way he plays the game, alienates others.

And now we have this, a crescendo of boos. The racial motivation of some giving succour to the variously defined hatred of others.

To Adam’s ears, the ears of so many Indigenous people, these boos are a howl of humiliation. A howl that echoes across two centuries of invasion, dispossession and suffering. Others can parse their words and look for other explanations, but we see race and only race. How can we see anything else when race is what we have clung to even as it has been used as a reason to reject us.

I found refuge outside Australia. My many years working in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa liberated me. Here were the problems of other peoples and other lands. Here I was an observer freed from the shackles of my own country’s history.

I still wonder if it would be easier to leave again.

But people – like Adam Goodes, other Indigenous sportsmen and women who are standing with him, his non-Indigenous teammates and rivals who support him, and my non-Indigenous wife, my children and their friends of all colours and the people of goodwill who don’t have the answers but want to keep asking questions of how we can all be better – maybe they all make it worth staying.


An Aboriginal voice on Adam Goodes

Dallas Scott's comments below confirm my impression that the behaviour by Goodes was very un-Aboriginal.  In my experience, Aborigines are quiet, retiring, complaisant  people, anything but confrontational people.  The aggression displayed by Goodes reflects his largely white ancestry, not his small degree of Aboriginal ancestry

Sections of our media, together with the hierarchy of the unnecessary at the AFL, are now lying to protect Adam Goodes:    “They’re not booing you Adam, they’re just displaying their deep seated racism the only way they can."

Of course, we have the regular roster of apologists come out, shaming the country and our society for cutting down a sports star who happens to have Aboriginal blood as part of his racial make-up.  The caring, informed and sensitive city dwellers who, despite their alabaster skin tone and lack of racial diversity, can not only see, smell and hear racism, but tragically, are so deeply affected by it that they feel they must differentiate themselves from the white person next to them by pointing at them and screaming racist long enough and loud enough that somehow, somewhere in the midst of all their righteous shouting, their own skin tone will be forgotten or ignored.

One thing I’ve come to understand about our society is that often, those who see themselves as the most tolerant, educated and enlightened are usually most racist, close-minded of all.  These types were the first to pick up their keyboard or a microphone and declare that speaking negatively about the so-called ‘war dance’ effort from Adam Goodes over the weekend means that we are culturally ignorant, yet in making such a claim, have themselves ignored an entire segment of the Aboriginal community, who are appalled at the ‘performance’.   In wanting us to be a homogenous community capable of only thinking and feeling one way, therefore enabling them to have the correct information and be ‘right’, they are guilty of the same crime they are continually accusing an entire nation of – RACISM. 

The fact is, some Aboriginal people, myself included, saw that embarrassing display and did not feel pride.  Instead, we felt shame, and a sense of sadness and loss.  Some of this stems from seeing yet more of our traditions mocked and traded upon, invented and earning overnight acclaim, for little more than cheap thrills while the long standing traditions are ignored, left to die quietly and uncelebrated until they are forgotten and lost forever.  Some of this comes from the fact we're tired of the theatrics, and how his need for attention will play out for the rest of us, and creep a little into our own lives.  For an urban blackfella like me, I hate the fact that all of a sudden my opinion is relevant.  I haven’t written a blog post in almost a year, or bothered to watch free to air television in even longer, yet received two messages on my phone today – one from SBS and the other from 2GB, wanting to know what I think about the whole Goodes drama and depending on what I think, whether they want to hear from me. 

Views like mine, that are contrary to the representations being made by the rabid, name-calling media, are ignored or rejected by all those who simply want to brand every incident or comment with an ‘ism’, because the object of their outrage is never to stimulate an educated debate or a discussion, but rather they wish to simply stand on their given podium and recite their narcissistic lecture, a pointless exercise for them to reinforce their followers that they alone are a bastion of cultural relevance, understanding and compassion.  Sadly, theses ‘enlightened’ folks also tend to take their cues on history from the most removed people of a culture, merely because they tend to occupy the cubicle or apartment next to them, or speak with the most authoritarian voice or sense of victimhood – a sure sign that they must know what they are on about, according to our current high standards of journalism in this country – instead of seeking the truth and looking for those with knowledge that comes from a life of lived tradition, rather than being well removed from it.

I used to dance as a kid.  Most of the kids who grew up in our house did it, but I have no intention of my own children doing the same.  My reluctance has nothing to do with them being of mixed heritage though, and everything to do with cultural appropriation.  I said I used to ‘dance’ as a kid, because that is really all it was.  I was dressed in a lap-lap and painted up, was taught the moves the rest of the kids were doing, but it was all just a show.  The dances were not ones passed on to us from our Elders, performed for a specific reason or during a time of unique and special celebration that led me to understand my culture in a meaningful way, but rather a collection of dance moves put together by a choreographer who may or may not have had a distant Aboriginal ancestor she found out about in her mid-thirties.  A few documentaries and books from the library later, she had all the cultural awareness she felt she needed, and as a bunch of children not yet trusted with much knowledge, we didn’t know any better.  We danced for smiling crowds of educated, enlightened people who clapped politely while murmuring “Oh, how cultural”, as they watched us enraptured.  I would smile back at them and dance harder, oblivious to what I was doing and simply happy to receive positive praise and attention from a crowd of people I didn’t even know.  But I was no better than a performing monkey to them, and for all their education and compassion, those crowds were the most racist people of all.  Their wisdom and understanding of Aboriginal people and culture was a passing fetish, and in an effort to appease them, I was walking all over my own culture for their amusement, all of us completely ignorant to this heartbreaking fact.

After becoming a man, I learned better.  I learned that our chants, and our dances are sacred.  They are powerful and special secrets, not entertainment for the masses or political statements designed to make sure you get yet another mention in the nightly news.  I also took it to heart that the title of ‘Warrior’ is like respect.  It is always earned, not merely given because of the colour of your skin or your heritage.  I am proud to say that some of my own ancestors include great Warriors - men who fought and died to protect their families and their way of life, and faced enormous battles that I could never fully comprehend from where I sit today, in a relative position of privilege by comparison, however you look at the statistics and facts. It would make a mockery of the suffering and heroism of my ancestors to assign a title of great reverence and historical significance, such as ‘Warrior’,  to a person whose fame and heroism is derived from little more than the ability to show up a few weekends a year and kick a leather ball around an overly groomed piece of paddock.

As Adam walks out for his next game, before making his way onto that perfectly manicured stadium lawn, I suggest he take a deep, slow breath and reflect upon the reality of his life.  Rather than having to emerge from the sheds for the ‘coloured people’, kept separate from the white folks playing beside him, he will run out after being supported by his entire team, not kept to the back.  When he is thirsty, he doesn’t have to take a drink at the appropriately labelled drinking fountain, set aside for only folks with his racial identity, but rather will be served like a prince, with a special servant whose only job is to provide refreshments for the thirsty players, regardless of their skin colour or heritage.  As he drives his brand new sports car to training, where he looks around at the other players arriving in their equally expensive vehicles and stops to realise he is paid just as much as them, if not more, he should perhaps pause a moment and wonder about whether he is fighting a war that has already been won, and instead of complaining from his position at the top, realise how those on the bottom rungs might be sick of hearing him whinging and would much rather he just got on with life.


A good comment from Mark Allinson following the above blog post:

What a great post – I couldn’t agree more! I am a white fella, and I am ashamed of my people. No, not the ones who boo Adam Goodes, but the “educated” elites in the universities and the media who are so quick to point out the “racism” of their “ignorant” fellow Ozzies. Climbing up on the soapbox of their oh so superior morality gives them a sense of being “higher” beings, more moral, more special than their benighted “red-necked” fellows. Apparent self-hatred of the culture affords them a delicious degree of personal self-love. Even at the cost of social cohesion they will indulge their disgusting lust for self-loving superiority.

And these are the people who see “racism” everywhere they look. For some of them, it’s almost as if they are safely projecting onto others something they dare not examine in themselves, I think. For others it is a stick with which to bash their culture for left-wing political purposes. All in all, these elites are the true agents of division in our culture, and I am ashamed of them. I love the aboriginal people and I want us all to live together as Australians, not as “us” and “them”, which is why I boo Adam Goodes and the other race-baiters.


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, 2015

Soaring number of sickening attacks against British Jews

All done by those wicked "Rightists" of course!  It wouldn't be the work of peace-loving Muslims would it?  We are not told below -- funnily enough -- but I think we can guess

The number of anti-Semitic hate crimes reported to police has soared in parts of the UK, police figures have shown.

A number of the largest forces in the country are recording rising numbers of offences against Jewish people and their property.

In London the total more than doubled in a year, while there were also increases in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Midlands and West Yorkshire. The crimes reported included assault, harassment, arson and criminal damage.

Separate figures released today show there was a 53 per cent increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded by the Community Security Trust (CST) in the first half of this year compared to the same period of last year.

The CST, a charity that monitors anti-Semitism, recorded 473 incidents from January to June including 44 violent assaults, 35 instances of damage to Jewish property and 88 cases of abusive threats on social media.

The findings come at a time of heightened alert among Jewish communities after terrorist attacks in Europe.

A kosher supermarket was targeted in the Paris attacks in January and the following month a Jewish man was killed near a synagogue in Copenhagen.

The CST said its analysis suggests the main explanation for the rise is a greater willingness to report incidents. Chief executive David Delew said: ‘The terrorist attacks on European Jews earlier this year, following the high levels of anti-Semitism in 2014, were a difficult and unsettling experience for our Jewish community.

‘We welcome the apparent increase in reporting of anti-Semitic incidents, but regret the concern and anxiety about anti-Semitism that this reflects.’

Home Secretary Theresa May said anti-Semitism has ‘absolutely no place in Britain, adding: ‘Those who seek to spread anti-Semitic hatred should know that the Government will act against those who seek to divide our country and sow discord.’

Police figures revealed a substantial rise in the number of incidents reported in London, where a large proportion of Britain’s Jews live.

Figures supplied by the Metropolitan Police under Freedom of Information laws showed the force recorded a total of 193 anti-Semitic crimes in 2013/14.

The number jumped by 138 per cent in 2014/15 to 459. Of the total offences in the most recent financial year, 53 – or more than one in ten – involved violence. There were 276 incidents of harassment, while criminal damage accounted for 115 anti-Semitic crimes.

A similar pattern was also seen in Greater Manchester, where there is a large Jewish community. The force said there were a total of 172 anti-Semitic offences recorded in 2014/15 – more than double the 82 recorded in the previous year. Over the two years, there were 21 cases of religiously aggravated common assault.

Rising numbers of offences were not observed across all forces. Several recorded small numbers of offences in both years, with the figures showing a minor rise or fall, or in some cases, remaining steady.

But Communities Minister Baroness Williams said: ‘Anti-Semitism and hate crimes of any sort are not only vile, wrong and totally unacceptable in our society, but they are also an affront to the British values that we hold dear.

‘Whilst one anti-Semitic incident is one too many, it is positive that members of the Jewish community now feel more able to speak out against these pernicious crimes knowing that their Government will act decisively to protect them.’

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, of Greater Manchester Police, said: ‘The international picture of increasing hostility and tension towards the Jewish community is no doubt having an influence in the UK.’


White people: a bad racial group?

The MTV documentary White People makes sweeping racial generalisations

White People, a documentary by Jose Antonio Vargas, was aired on MTV on 22 July and has caused much controversy online. The documentary portrays itself as a race-driven discussion, focusing on the education of white people on issues of race.

What really ensues is a long, unproductive white-guilt fostering session, in which Vargas asks whites to acknowledge their privilege and accept the wrongdoings of their ancestors. Vargas even retweeted a description of his documentary that said its purpose was to ‘make white people very uncomfortable’. He’s clearly pretty happy with that take.

Critics argue that the documentary pushes an ‘us against them’ mentality. I can see why they would think that. The film encourages the idea that being white automatically puts you at an advantage over all other groups. At one point in the documentary, Vargas sounds almost excited when he presents statistics showing that America’s white population is declining.

Vargas strategically placed himself in environments where he would face little to no opposition to his narrative. The small sample group he brought in to be interviewed clearly felt they were in a biased setting, one which made them feel intimidated, hesitant to speak their minds. (I’d feel intimidated, too, if I were in a situation where I could be unfairly depicted as a racist in front of hundreds of thousands of people.) He also only cites studies that focus on the lack of white participation in the discussion of race. This sort of bias is not uncommon in documentaries. But that doesn’t make this approach okay or productive - certainly not when dealing with a delicate issue like race.

Deep down, we all know that not all whites are privileged; not all Hispanics are illegal immigrants; not all Asians are good at maths. Regardless of how acceptable or even statistically accurate a stereotype might be, to apply it to every individual in a group is harmful and ignorant - including when that group is ‘white people’.

Even if a person seems to fit into a racial stereotype, we still don’t know the full story about that individual. A rich white boy who appears to have all the privilege in the world might be facing frequent abuse. A young Asian girl who is good at maths could spend twice as much time studying as her peers do. An African-American man may be falsely accused and wrongly convicted for a crime. So we must even question supposed ‘confirmations’ of stereotypes, because every individual’s story is a complex one.

White People does not take this individualist approach, which is necessary for any nuanced, successful discussion of race; instead it makes sweeping generalisations, about all whites being privileged, through using comments and statistics that simply do not apply in every situation or across the board.

Vargas keeps discussing the need for a conversation about race, despite the fact that race is already being discussed. What is really needed is a conversation about racial issues or divisions that doesn’t start with generalisations about, or the targeting of, one particular group.

The new, sweeping racialisation of groups and individuals runs counter to Martin Luther King’s dream for his children, and for the rest of us - that they would ‘not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character’.

This dream doesn’t say we should be completely ignorant of historical context, physical differences or statistical facts. However, it does suggest the ultimate judgement should be based on an individual’s character and story, not on generalisations about his or her race, or the wrongs committed by his or her ancestors, or on any physical differences.

If Vargas wanted to start a genuine discussion about race, rather than simply producing an edgy film to get clicks, he would surely have made a film on the human race and its profound complexities - not a documentary about black people, native people, Asian people, or White People.


Barack Obama’s Antisemitic Rant on the Iran Deal

President Barack Obama is using anti-Jewish language to sell the Iran deal

Some critics made that claim a week ago, when Obama complained about “the money” and “the lobbyists” on the other side of the debate over the Iran nuclear deal. This week, Obama proved it.

On Thursday, Obama led a conference call with left-wing activists in which he repeatedly railed against his political opponents by using the old canard of rich Jews using their money to exert control.

Accusing critics of the deal of being “opposed to any deal with Iran”–i.e. of advocating war–Obama railed against “well-financed” lobbyists, as well as the “big check writers to political campaigns,” and  “billionaires who happily finance super-PACs.” He complained about “$20 million” being spent on ads against the deal—a subtle reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC–whose support he had repeatedly courted when running for office).

Some of Obama’s references were thinly-veiled attacks on specific (Jewish) individuals—columnist Bill Kristol, for example, the Weekly Standard publisher and former New York Times resident conservative who served in the George H.W. Bush administration, and also helps run the Emergency Committee for Israel, which opposes the Iran deal; or billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who is a prodigious Republican benefactor, super PAC donor, and well-known hawk on Israel issues.

On the call, Obama twice accused his opponents of being the same people “responsible for us getting into the Iraq war.“ That sweeping, and largely false, characterization of the opponents of the Iran deal repeats the sensational accusations of The Israel Lobby, a widely discredited 2007 book that accused a group of pro-Israel, and largely Jewish, individuals and organizations of pushing the U.S. into war with Iraq, and seeking to drag America into a new war with Iran.

Obama’s deliberate, and jarring, choice of words clearly worried even some sympathetic Jews.

Nathan Guttman, of the left-leaning Forward, which covers Jewish issues, wrote of the call that “what many liberals hear as a powerful rallying call to avoid entering another military quagmire in the Middle East could seem tone deaf to some in the organized Jewish community.” Obama’s claims about the Iraq War, he added, were “likely to make many in the community feel uneasy.”

Of course, there is a large, well-funded effort to oppose to the Iran deal. There is also—as the president well knows—a large, well-funded effort to support it. The radical group J Street is spending millions on its ads; other groups have already used Hollywood stars in theirs.

There are also liberal Jews, like Times columnist Tom Friedman, who abuse the term “Israel lobby”—knowing it is a vicious slur. Presumably, that is why Obama thinks he can get away with it.

Yet a Republican who did the same thing would be criticized as antisemitic.

As the Republican Jewish Coalition noted Thursday, in a press statement objecting to Obama’s remarks, “Jewish groups—including Jewish Republicans—came down hard on the first President Bush for similar remarks.”

Indeed, Democrats spent this week bashing former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for saying that the president “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”

Obama himself criticized Huckabee for those remarks from abroad. Wolf Blitzer of CNN said that Huckabee had “essentially, essentially” likened Obama to Adolf Hitler. He pressed every Republican who appeared on his show to slam Huckabee.

Yet if Obama and his supporters are so concerned about comments that portray the president as an antisemite, he should stop trying to act like one. At the very least, it shows he knows he cannot defend the Iran deal on its merits.

On the call, Obama’s case for the agreement was weak.

He claimed it has the most rigorous inspections regime ever—ignoring the fact that unlike the inspections under the New START treaty, the Iran deal excludes Americans from participating. He said that while it was possible military force might be needed if Iran raced to the bomb after the deal expired in 15 years, the U.S. would be better prepared for war then—ignoring the likelihood that Iran would be, as well.

With his peculiar mix of arrogance and self-pity, Obama told the conference call that while he had a “bully pulpit,” the fight was up to them: ”I can’t carry it by myself,” he said.

He urged them to become informed about the Iran deal. But the more Americans know about the deal, the more they reject it. So Obama is, once again, demonizing his opponents for political gain.

In his heart, Obama is probably not an antisemite. That is all the more reason to deplore what he is doing.


Vigilante king and his Uber-style law enforcement squad

MEET Sidney Torres IV, the suave New Orleans businessman who is taking policing the city’s crime-ridden streets into his own hands.

The wealthy real estate developer was sick of the painfully slow police response to widespread gunfights, theft and drug offences, so he created an Uber-style app to clean up his neighbourhood.

He bought a fleet of black Polaris Rangers, fitted with blue flashing lights and iPads to deal with requests, and hired off-duty police officers as his team. The former waste disposal mogul, who managed a network of garbage trucks, told The New York Times: “I’m handling crime the same way I did trash.”

Torres’s foray into cleaning up New Orleans began when his home in the affluent French Quarter was burgled, just weeks before the bar next door was held up at gunpoint.

The self-assured 39-year-old responded with a $100,000 TV ad demanding action to from the mayor, Mitch Landrieu, to make residents feel safe again — featuring locals discussing their fears for the city. When the mayor challenged Torres to put his money where his mouth was, the entrepreneur came up with his daring solution.

He spent $US380,000 setting up his app in the French Quarter, and within six weeks, almost 10,000 people had downloaded it — twice the population of the area.

Users can describe an unfolding crime and the mobile interface will mark the incident as a red dot, and Torres’s private patrol squad, the French Quarter Task Force, as a green arrow. The aim is to always have three officers circling the neighbourhood of just one square mile, so they can respond within two minutes, where the police can take about 30.

The project is endorsed by the New Orleans Police Department, which has shrunk by about 500 officers since Hurricane Katrina, and many in the city welcome this injection of private cash.

The head of the Louisiana State Police even invited Torres to sit in on an undercover sting targeting human traffickers at a French Quarter hotel.

But other locals are concerned about the privatisation of policing, and fear that putting so much power in the hands of a man once known as “Trashanova” could stoke tensions.

Some locals have doubts about putting law enforcement in the hands of this forceful perso

Some locals have doubts about putting law enforcement in the hands of this forceful personality. Source: Supplied

Torres recently worked with the city on moving on the “transient people” who loiter about the streets, usually not committing crimes but causing something of a nuisance for authorities. Where the city had delayed because of concerns around these people’s dogs, and their issues with diabetes, Torres called an animal protection service and made sure the medicine was available in the city’s prisons.

Many were up in arms about this ruthless destruction of the characters who some see as the beating heart of New Orleans, but Torres believes this bullish approach is vital. “The government loves its rules, so many pointless rules that just slow everything down,” he told The New York Times.

Torres, who compares himself to Bruce Wayne, has now hired retired rocket scientist Bob Simms to act as the Robin to his Batman, overseeing the day-to-day running of the service. He says neighbouring states have already expressed interest in the app, but he makes it clear that he is still very much in control.

“If someone doesn’t show up, I can see it on my phone: Why’s the truck still at the station?” he said. The businessman buys gift certificates to a steak house for officers who have done a good job, something his partners in City Hall worried might create a divide.

Whatever people think, the enterprising plan has been a success, with assaults and armed robberies dropping by 30 per cent in the two months to May, and Torres’s force assisting on state arrests.

The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau have agreed to finance the $US900,000-a-year scheme for the next five years. The mayor has hailed the project as part of a wider success story in privatising areas including sewage and recreation programs — saying that the rest of the nation needs to follow suit.

Torres’s disregard for authority and carelessness around sensitive information have raised eyebrows, but there’s no stopping this juggernaut.

Sidney Torres is leading the charge to turn cities into slick, efficient, clean machines.



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, 2015

How long before the British police stop investigating murder?


At least our state-school system maintains schools, terrible as many of them are. The NHS, creaky as it is, still treats actual patients.

And in the dear dead days of big nationalised industries, British Coal dug actual coal, British Steel made actual steel, and the same was true of the gas and electricity boards.

But the police force now can’t even be bothered to turn up and investigate burglaries, and its chief spokesperson openly says so.

For the first time we now have a huge and expensive nationalised industry that does not do what it says on the label.

The police do not police, as we understand the word. They are busy doing something else, as you will find if you ever try to speak to them. I am not sure what it is.

I discovered this nasty fact many years ago, the night some vandals put a stone through my front window, and I chased after and caught them.

I had to let them go. The sheer hilarious uselessness of the police on that occasion, their general absence, their pitiful excuses for not coming to my aid when urgently asked (‘we couldn’t find you, the officers didn’t know the area’) alerted me to a problem I’d until then been only dimly aware of.

I ended up writing a book about it, gasping with growing amazement as I found out from the archives what had happened to a body I used to trust and admire.

 I have to say here that many of the police officers I meet or talk to are perfectly decent men and women (though a minority are not, as recent figures of criminal convictions show). It’s just that the police force itself is now trading falsely on a name and reputation it earned in another time.

You’ll find this out if ever you actually need them. In the meantime, how many warnings do you want? I have to say that the statement by Sara Thornton, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, that ‘if you’ve had a burglary, for example, and the burglar has fled, we won’t get there as quickly as we have in the past’ is a pretty clear indication of how things really stand.

I’m not sure how quickly that actually was, as it happens. Car break-ins long ago went on the police’s ‘ignore if you possibly can’ list, along with drug possession, littering, shoplifting, vandalism, disorderly drunkenness, public swearing, driving while texting or phoning, and a hundred other things they no longer think are their affair. And, as if by some miracle, once the police stop bothering with these offences, fiddled figures claim that they are not happening any more, and the magistrates’ courts are being closed for lack of business. Well I never.

Don’t be surprised if, in 20 years’ time, homicide goes the same way. To save time and trouble, it’ll be recorded as something else (murder is already often downgraded to manslaughter to save time and trouble), and people watching old episodes of Inspector Morse will wonder why anyone is making such a fuss over a dead body.

Once upon a time, I would have minded. Now I just laugh. But, be warned: like other nationalised industries, the police will act swiftly and decisively if you dare to challenge their monopoly. If you are foolish enough to defend your own home against burglary, expect to be arrested, fingerprinted, DNA-swabbed and probably charged. They wouldn’t want the idea catching on that we could manage without them.


Sen. Lankford on Religious Liberty: ‘We Cannot Have a Group Say, If You Don’t Agree with Me, I Will Silence You’

“In America we cannot have a group say, if you don’t agree with me, I will silence you and make sure you cannot operate,” Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) said on Tuesday in reference to preserving religious liberty for faith-based groups in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize homosexual marriage.

“In a private institution, if you remove tax-exempt status and you remove the opportunity to have student loans and you remove the Pell grants, you’ve shut down that institution and it was a volitional act to say: you disagree with me, I will close you down,” Lankford said.

“That is something we’ve got to be able to guard against, to say, can people have religious belief?” said the senator.  “That affects how they hire and what they do.”

Senator Lankford was speaking as part of a panel discussion on same-sex marriage and threats to religious liberty in light of the recent Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision, which made gay marriage a civil right, hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).

Lankford called the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman “an accepted belief in the history of our nation and for a millennia,” adding that the Supreme Court’s decision has “far-reaching implications” for faith-based institutions that hold this belief.

“When this fall someone walks in and says, we’re a couple, we have been married now as a gay marriage; we want to be in married student housing though your faith says something different; we want to join this university and we want to be in that spot and if you don’t accept us we’re going to try to take away your nonprofit status; we’re going to try to take away Pell grants from you; and we’re going to try to take away student loans from you, so you’d better accept us,” Lankford speculated, adding, “What happens at that moment?”

Senator Lankford also said that adoption has become a “critical issue” for faith-based organizations in the fight for religious liberty.

“We have to be able to give some clarity there because we may have a community where you have 100, 200, 500 children that are in the process of adoption and to say to these three adoption agencies: no you can’t, you can no longer do adoptions, you’re going to just need to go away, that’s 300 children with no potential to be adopted,” he said.  “That is incredibly unfair to say, if you don’t do this for this certain couple, then you can’t do it for any couple.”

“There’s an interesting conversation about hiring that’s ongoing now with faith-based institutions,” Lankford continued. “Can you be a faith-based institution and still have hiring practices that are consistent with the faith?”

“It’s interesting to me when I get in to this conversation and I talk to colleagues and I say, you know what?” Lankford continued, “typically Republican members of this Senate tend to hire Republican staff members and Democrat members tend to hire Democrat staff members.” 

“They don’t want to have, like, five Republican staff members in their office as a Democrat and everyone’s okay with that,” he said.  “Yet there seems to be this double standard in hiring for faith-based institutions.”

In his dissent in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, Chief Justice John Roberts referenced some of the difficulties religious institutions could face in light of the decision, particularly the question of college housing arrangements for same-sex married couples.

“Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage – when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples,” Roberts wrote.

“There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court,” said Roberts.  “Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.”

In his dissent of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling making homosexual marriage a civil right, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the decision “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. … I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”


Ladies-only parking spaces introduced at Frankfurt airport that are ‘bigger, nicer and close to the terminals’ spark sexism row in Germany

Frankfurt airport has caused controversy after it painted a section of its car park pink and designated it entirely for the use of women.

Worse still for people striving for equality, the Ladies Parking section has bigger parking bays insinuating they require less skill to manoeuvre their vehicle safely into the parking spot.

According to airport authorities, the new bays offer 'quick, safe and convenient from your parking to the terminal.' Airport officials said the bays are 'bigger, nicer and close to the terminals'.

They added: 'This is our exclusive parking offer at Frankfurt Airport for women only. With new and special designed parking areas, which are colour-coded and easy to find.'

Women hoping to avail of the new parking zones have to find their way to the pink areas which are located in several areas.

Geraldine Herbert, editor of Wheels for Women magazine told The Local that many areas in Germany have a requirement that 30 per cent of parking spaces are allocated exclusively for women.

She said: 'It's very patronising for women to be singled out in this way. All this does is reinforce the stereotype that women are bad at parking.'

Campaigners claim that women-only parking spots enable the introduction of better security and CCTV systems to help lady drivers feel safery.

The German Automobile Association added: 'We believe that in car parks, every parking space should be a "women's" parking space.

'This means making sure every space and stairwell is well-lit, avoiding blind spots and corners and installing sufficient electronic security systems - most importantly video surveillance and emergency call systems.'


Bias against rich people in Australia

Brighton is a wealthy Melbourne suburb

I LIVE in Brighton. I’ve grown up in Brighton my whole life and I went to a ­private school.  There, I’ve said it, loud and proud. Have you ­already summed me up?  Let me start by saying this, I’m not the “typical Brighton girl”.

Yes I like nice things — who doesn’t? But I’ve had to work for every single one of those “Brighton” items — whether it was my car, a handbag, or a new coat for work.

Why is it though, when people ask where I’m from, I become awkward and end up lying? “Oh, do you know ­Bayside? Yeah, I live around there kinda, um, Sandringham, Black Rock way.”

I found, going through university and now in full-time work, Victorians can be quick to judge.

First impressions are everything and society likes to make up its mind in about five seconds.

When I was at university, in the first class of each semester the teacher would make us go around the class and introduce ourselves.

First year uni, I was a ­novice. I didn’t understand society’s quick judgment. “Hi, my name is Cassie, I’m studying journalism and I live in Brighton.”

I remember the initial reaction of one of my tutors: “Oh we’ve got a Briiiighton girl in the class!”

I didn’t know what he meant. Should I be offended? Embarrassed?

By third year, I knew how to avoid the unpleasant looks and reactions. I didn’t want people to treat me ­differently, or think I had it easier than them. So I lied.  “Hi, my name is Cassie, I’m studying journalism and I live around the St Kilda area.”

But what my fellow students, teachers and society didn’t sum up in the five seconds of the first impression was how my family got to be where they are. How we came to live in Brighton.

When my grandfather was 14 he fled Greece for a better life. He came here alone.

When he arrived in Australia, he taught himself ­English, working 70 hours a week in a family cafe in Richmond until he eventually married and took over the cafe when his uncle died.

My mother’s parents had a fruit shop in Black Rock. My mum, and her two ­sisters, lived in the back of the shop until her parents could afford a house.

My grandparents on both sides struggled. They struggled to send my parents to school, to put food on the table, to give them a life they deserved. But they did it.

My mother and father are dreamers. They have huge, crazy, unimaginable goals but they work hard to achieve these goals — which is how they’ve raised me and my younger brother.

I live where I do because of their sheer hard work, their sacrifice for us.  Why do people judge that?

My parents have taught us, if we want something in our life — whether that’s a ­career, a holiday or a home — it’s not impossible, nothing is impossible. It just comes down to pure hard work.

It hurts when people want to stereotype us and jump to conclusions, ridiculing us for striving to be successful.

I’m not saying everyone who lives in Brighton is like my family, but Bayside is made up of 100,000 different people, each with their own histories and dreams for the future.

Society should not be so quick to judge.



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

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

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


2 August, 2015

Baltimore killings soar to a level unseen in 43 years

That  Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is a black leftist who is anti-police is just a coincidence, of course.  Her claim that young blacks must be given "space to destroy" tells you all you need to know. She has tried to row back that comment but young blacks in Baltimore have in fact been given exactly that -- and the death-rate among blacks reflects that.  But black deaths only matter when whites inflict them, of course


Baltimore reached a grim milestone on Friday, three months after riots erupted in response to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody: With 45 homicides in July, the city has seen more bloodshed in a single month than it has in 43 years.

Police reported three deaths — two men shot Thursday and one on Friday. The men died at local hospitals.

With their deaths, this year's homicides reached 189, far outpacing the 119 killings by July's end in 2014. Nonfatal shootings have soared to 366, compared to 200 by the same date last year. July's total was the worst since the city recorded 45 killings in August 1972, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The seemingly Sisyphean task of containing the city's violence prompted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to fire her police commissioner, Anthony Batts, on July 8.

"Too many continue to die on our streets," Rawlings-Blake said then. "Families are tired of dealing with this pain, and so am I. Recent events have placed an intense focus on our police leadership, distracting many from what needs to be our main focus: the fight against crime."

But the killings have not abated under Interim Commissioner Kevin Davis since then.

But while the city's police are closing cases— Davis announced arrests in three recent murders several days ago — the violence is outpacing their efforts. Davis said Tuesday the "clearance rate" is at 36.6 percent, far lower than the department's mid-40s average.

Crime experts and residents of Baltimore's most dangerous neighborhoods cite a confluence of factors: mistrust of the police; generalized anger and hopelessness over a lack of opportunities for young black men; and competition among dealers of illegal drugs, bolstered by the looting of prescription pills from pharmacies during the riot.

Federal drug enforcement agents said gangs targeted 32 pharmacies in the city, taking roughly 300,000 doses of opiates, as the riots caused $9 million in property damage in the city.

Perched on a friend's stoop, Sherry Moore, 55, said she knew "mostly all" of the young men killed recently in West Baltimore, including an 18-year-old fatally shot a half-block away. Moore said many more pills are on the street since the riot, making people wilder than usual.

"The ones doing the violence, the shootings, they're eating Percocet like candy and they're not thinking about consequences. They have no discipline, they have no respect — they think this is a game. How many can I put down on the East side? How many can I put down on the West side?"

The tally of 42 homicides in May included Gray, who died in April after his neck was broken in police custody. The July tally likewise includes a previous death — a baby whose death in June was ruled a homicide in July.

Shawn Ellerman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said May's homicide spike was probably related to the stolen prescription drugs, a supply that is likely exhausted by now. But the drug trade is inherently violent, and turf wars tend to prompt retaliatory killings.

"You can't attribute every murder to narcotics, but I would think a good number" of them are, he said. "You could say it's retaliation from drug trafficking, it's retaliation from gangs moving in from other territories. But there have been drug markets in Baltimore for years."

Across West Baltimore, residents complain that drug addiction and crime are part of a cycle that begins with despair among children who lack educational and recreational opportunities, and extends when people can't find work.

"We need jobs! We need jobs!" a man riding around on a bicycle shouted to anyone who'd listen after four people were shot, three of them fatally, on a street corner in July.

More community engagement, progressive policing policies and opportunities for young people in poverty could help, community activist Munir Bahar said.

"People are focusing on enforcement, not preventing violence. Police enforce a code, a law. Our job as the community is to prevent the violence, and we've failed," said Bahar, who leads the annual 300 Men March against violence in West Baltimore.

"We need anti-violence organizations, we need mentorship programs, we need a long-term solution. But we also need immediate relief," Bahar added. "When we're in something so deep, we have to stop it before you can analyze what the root is."

Strained relationships between police and the public also play a role, according to Eugene O'Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Arrests plummeted and violence soared after six officers were indicted in Gray's death. Residents accused police of abandoning their posts for fear of facing criminal charges for making arrests, and said emboldened criminals were settling scores with little risk of being caught.

The department denied these claims, and police cars have been evident patrolling West Baltimore's central thoroughfares recently.

But O'Donnell said the perception of lawlessness is just as powerful than the reality.

"We have a national issue where the police feel they are the Public Enemy No. 1," he said, making some officers stand down and criminals become more brazen.

"There's a rhythm to the streets," he added. "And when people get away with gun violence, it has a long-term emboldening effect. And the good people in the neighborhood think, 'Who has the upper hand?'"


One Jew takes his scriptures seriously

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

Six marchers were stabbed at Jerusalem’s annual gay pride parade — allegedly by the man who stabbed three people at the parade in 2005.

One victim in Thursday’s stabbings was in critical condition and two were in serious condition.

The alleged assailant — Yishai Schlissel, a haredi Orthodox man from Modiin Ilit in the West Bank — is in custody. He reportedly used a kitchen knife.

Schlissel was released from prison two weeks ago for the previous attack, according to the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. Upon his release, he reportedly distributed pamphlets that called on “all Jews faithful to God” to risk “beatings and imprisonment” in order to stop the parade, according to Haaretz.

The injured were treated on the scene before being evacuated to local hospitals.

Thousands participated in the 14th annual Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance, which went through the center of the city. The parade continued after the violence, with hundreds of police and Border Police officers placed along the route to protect the marchers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was among the Israeli leaders to condemn the attack. He was joined by President Reuven Rivlin and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Israel’s chief rabbis and the head of the Sephardic Orthodox Shas party also condemned the attack.


Huckabee's 'Oven' Remark Taken Out of Context

It’s been a hard time for politicians not named “Trump” to get any attention, but Mike Huckabee managed it. He did it by comparing Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.

At least that’s what I gathered from headlines like this one from Gawker: “Mike Huckabee Compares Obama to Hitler”

I don’t put huge amounts of stock in Gawker headlines (or really any headlines on the Internet), but then I saw that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said Huckabee had “essentially likened [Barack Obama] to Adolf Hitler.” National Journal’s Ron Fournier went on a tear on Twitter, insisting that Huckabee apologize for comparing Obama to Hitler. And of course, Hillary Clinton and Obama himself denounced Huckabee for making a Hitler comparison. Clinton even said she was “really offended personally,” as if her feelings are what really matters.

Here is what Huckabee said in full during an interview with Breitbart News:

“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It’s got to be stopped.”

Now, I’ve never been a big fan of Huckabee’s style of politics — or policy. But a remotely fair reading of the statement strongly suggests that Huckabee was comparing Obama to Neville Chamberlain or some other member of the “Hitler is a man we can do business with” school. That’s the point of calling Obama “naive” for trusting the Iranians — the Hitler in Huckabee’s analogy.

We can parse more deeply if we must. Hitler didn’t march Jews to the doors of the ovens, but into them. The Iranians are the ones with sinister intentions in Huckabee’s description, not Obama, who, again, is described as naive and feckless, not sinister and evil. Huckabee probably shouldn’t have used the word “march” because it muddies his point. “Delivered to” or “abandoned at” would have worked better.

I think, as a general rule, one should pretty much always avoid talking about Jews and ovens unless discussing the actual Holocaust. And one could argue that Huckabee, who insists he never compared Obama to Hitler, was cynically hoping to be misconstrued in order to get some media attention — which he got.

But on the merits, Huckabee isn’t saying anything that lots of serious people haven’t said, albeit more eloquently. In countless speeches, Bibi Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have stressed that the legacy of the Holocaust is such that Israel cannot take a chance on Iran having a nuclear weapon.

In his address to Congress in March, Netanyahu movingly singled out Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel from the audience. “Elie, your life and work inspires to give meaning to the words, ‘never again,’” Netanyahu said to bipartisan applause. “And I wish I could promise you, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned. I can only urge the leaders of the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

What mistakes? Precisely the mistakes Huckabee says Obama is making. It’s the same argument.

And it’s not a dumb argument. At least it’s not a dumb argument if you listen to the Iranians. As my National Review colleague David French recently catalogued, Iranian civil, military and religious leaders have for years vowed to “wipe Israel off the map,” deliver a new Holocaust (while denying the first one happened), etc.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran’s pet terrorist group, Hezbollah, has said, “If all the Jews gathered in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide. … It is an open war until the elimination of Israel and until the death of the last Jew on earth.” Until that time, Hezbollah has had to make do with killing Jews where they find them.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry don’t take the Iranians at their word when they say they want to kill Jews, no matter how clearly and consistently they say it. But they trust the Iranians to stick to their word on this nuclear agreement (which would be a bad agreement even if Iran could be trusted).

George W. Bush was routinely compared to Hitler with a fraction of the outcry Huckabee has received. Perhaps that’s because Huckabee’s real sin has nothing to do with Hitler analogies and everything to do with Iranian reality.


A California Judge Needs a Lesson in the First Amendment

Late Wednesday, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) banning the Center for Medical Progress from releasing video of a meeting with three StemExpress employees at a restaurant last May, potentially violating fundamental First Amendment precedents that bar prior restraints on speech.

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), a group of “citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances,” has released four undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s program of selling aborted babies’ body parts—and they promise that more videos are on the way.  According to the Associated Press, StemExpress is a “Placerville-based company started in 2010 that provides human tissue, blood and other specimens to researchers.” Planned Parenthood is one of StemExpress’s main suppliers.

StemExpress’ Case

In one of the videos already released, Holly O’Donnell, a former StemExpress employee, said, “We were asked to procure certain tissues like brain, livers, thymus, pancreas, heart, lungs and pretty much anything on the fetus. It’s basically a huge trafficking of fetal tissues … StemExpress is a company that hires procurement techs to draw blood and dissect dead fetuses and sell the parts to researchers.”

It is clear from the video that O’Donnell was not filmed undercover—she voluntarily related her experiences because of how terrible she felt about what she had done. “I could feel death and pain shoot up my body,” O’Donnell said about seeing and touching the aborted baby parts.

    No one can credibly argue that these videos are not news or that the First Amendment does not apply to the vital and important work that CMP is doing to expose potentially illegal and certainly sickening behavior by Planned Parenthood and StemExpress.

Clearly concerned about what other horrendous details may come out in the yet to be released videos, StemExpress filed a complaint this week alleging receipt of stolen property as well as a number of other claims.

Its main claim is invasion of privacy under California Penal Code § 632(a), which prohibits “intentionally and without the consent of all parties … record[ing] [a] confidential communication.” A confidential communication is defined as a communication made:

"… in circumstances as may reasonably indicate that any party … desires it to be confined to the parties thereto, but excludes a communication made in … any other circumstance in which the parties … may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard."

One of the undercover videos that StemExpress has temporarily stopped from being publicly released is one in May in which StemExpress executives Catherine Dyer, Megan Barr and Kevin Cooksy met with CMP at a restaurant in El Dorado Hills, Calif.

That poses quite a problem for StemExpress and throws doubt onto the legitimacy of its legal claim and the court’s granting of a temporary restraining order. It is unreasonable to expect that communications made in a public restaurant will not be overheard, which would put CMP squarely within the exception in §632(a).

In fact, the Los Angeles-based appeals court confirmed this in Wilkins v. National Broadcasting Company (1999) when it ruled in favor of undercover reporters from NBC’s Dateline who pretended to be potential investors in a company that sold “toll-free” 800 phone lines that fraudulently billed people for the services.

The reporters videotaped a lunch meeting with company executives, and the court concluded that the executives had “no objective expectation of privacy in their business lunch meeting” or that the conversation “would not be divulged to anyone else.”

StemExpress obviously realized that this was a problem because its lawyers, McDermott Will & Emery, say in the complaint that StemExpress chose this restaurant “because of the private nature of its seating.” That is a pretty weak way of trying to get around this statutory exemption, although it apparently worked with the state judge in this case.

Undercover Videos and Censorship

StemExpress also claims that the videos that have been released were “purposely edited in a way to paint the doctors in a negative and factually-misleading light,” subjecting the company to harassment and harming its business. Of course, the problem with this claim is that in each case, CMP has also released the full, unedited video.

The temporary restraining order issued by Judge Joanne B. O’Donnell is limited, enjoining CMP from releasing the video from last May. The court rejected StemExpress’ demand that CMP take down documents the group received from StemExpress including a supply agreement and price list for “fetal liver and material blood specimens.” The order will be in place until August 19, when the court holds a hearing on the matter.

Whether or not StemExpress succeeds on the merits of its claims against CMP for invasion of privacy, the appropriate remedy is not the suppression of speech. What CMP has done is not at all different from the undercover videos that other media sources like CBS’ “60 Minutes” are famous for.

Prior restraint—censorship of speech by the government—is one of the chief harms the First Amendment was meant to prevent. As the influential English legal scholar William Blackstone wrote:

    "The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications… Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press…"

The Supreme Court and Free Speech

The Supreme Court has routinely ruled against attempts to censor free speech. The Court noted in Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart (1931) that such prior restraints are the “most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.”

In that case, a trial judge barred the local papers from reporting on certain aspects of a murder trial to ensure the defendant received a fair trial, but the Supreme Court reversed, writing that “a whole community cannot be restrained from discussing a subject intimately affecting life within it.”

In Near v. Minnesota, the Court overturned a state nuisance law allowing for the suppression of newspapers that published “malicious, scandalous, or defamatory” material, noting that a free press is “especially cherished for the immunity it afforded from prior restraint.” The fact that these videos are proving to be “scandalous” for Planned Parenthood and StemExpress is not a valid reason to restrain their publication.

In New York Times v. United States (1971), the Court ruled in favor of the New York Times in its bid to publish the classified (and stolen) Pentagon Papers and determined that civil or criminal proceedings after the fact would be the appropriate sanction for any misdeeds, rather than prior restraints on speech and publication.

In a concurring opinion, Justice William O. Douglass wrote, “These disclosures may have a serious impact. But that is no basis for sanctioning a previous restraint on the press.” Another concurring opinion written by Justice Hugo Black observes, “Both the history and the language of the First Amendment support the view that the press must be free to publish news, whatever the source.”

Privacy Claims vs. First Amendment

Further, parties like StemExpress asserting privacy claims in order to prevent publication of unfavorable information generally have not fared well in court.

For example, in CBS Inc. v. Davis (1994), Justice Harry Blackmun stayed an injunction that would have stopped CBS’ “48 Hours” from broadcasting surreptitiously recorded footage of a South Dakota meat-packing company’s unsanitary facilities, finding that “indefinite delay of the broadcast will cause irreparable harm to the news media that is intolerable under the First Amendment.” He wrote that while the “prohibition against prior restraints is by no means absolute, the gagging of publication has been considered acceptable only in ‘exceptional cases.’”

Further, Blackmun pointed out that even “where questions of allegedly urgent national security…or competing constitutional interests…are concerned,” prior restraint is appropriate only when “the evil that would result from the reportage is both great and certain and cannot be mitigated by less intrusive measures.”

Thus, StemExpress’ desire to avoid further ridicule, criticism or scandal for its nefarious involvement in the gruesome harvesting and sale of aborted babies’ body parts does not outweigh the public interest in seeing these videos. No one can credibly argue that these videos are not news or that the First Amendment does not apply to the vital and important work that CMP is doing to expose potentially illegal and certainly sickening behavior by Planned Parenthood and StemExpress.

Though the California court halted the Center for Medical Progress from releasing videos from the meeting in May for now, this won’t (and shouldn’t) be the last word.



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

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

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


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(Isaiah 62:1)

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

There really is an actress named Donna Air

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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