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.

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

31 August, 2017

Judge rules child must leave Muslim foster home

The girl had been placed with a family who she said often did not speak English at home and encouraged her to learn Arabic

A girl at the centre of a care dispute was removed from her Muslim foster parents yesterday and reunited with her family as a judge urged councils to seek “culturally matched placements” for vulnerable children.

The five-year-old, a native English speaker from a Christian family, was taken to her grandmother’s home after a court ruled that she should not remain in the placement organised by the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

Judge Khatun Sapnara, a practising Muslim, said it was in the girl’s best interests to live with a family member who could keep her safe, promote her welfare and meet her needs “in terms of ethnicity, culture and religion”. The judge ordered the council to conduct an urgent investigation into issues reported by The Times.


Am I the First Victim of YouTube’s New Censorship?

Jared Taylor

YouTube has just begun its widely reported campaign against “extremist” videos, and one of mine may have been the very first to be quarantined. In a new strategy that falls short of outright removal—YouTube does that, too—the company punishes “borderline” videos by making them unsearchable, disabling comments or embedding, and never suggesting them to viewers. The only way to get to them is through a direct link posted on a different website. Then you are warned that the video “has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.” YouTube also disables view counts and up- or down-votes, so you have no idea how widely seen or favorably received the video has been.

This is how YouTube explains its censorship:

YouTube . . . prohibits content intended to recruit for terrorist organizations, incite violence, celebrate terrorist attacks, or otherwise promote acts of terrorism. Some borderline videos, such as those containing inflammatory religious or supremacist content without a direct call to violence or a primary purpose of inciting hatred, may not cross these lines for removal. Following user reports, if our review teams determine that a video is borderline under our policies, it may have some features disabled.

I’m glad YouTube doesn’t think I’m promoting terrorism, but apparently I’m pretty close. You can watch the video and see if you agree. I think you will find it is a sober, factual discussion of the evidence for the view that the races differ in average intelligence, and that there is a significant genetic contribution to that difference. The video even has a list of references at the end. It is hardly “inflammatory”—it is a recitation of facts—and if it is “supremacist,” it would have to be “yellow supremacist” because it notes that Asians have higher average IQs than whites.

It is a terrible precedent when a huge company like YouTube—with the “help” of groups such as the No Hate Speech Movement and the Anti-Defamation League—starts deciding which facts to promote and which to suppress. My video is a perfect example of what should be welcome in “the market place of ideas.” If I’m wrong, refute me. YouTube doesn’t see it that way. It gave my video the leper treatment because it doesn’t want dissent on the subject of race and IQ. Is this the kind of society we want?

I have been gratified by the number of people who, like me, deplore YouTube’s attempt at to be the gate-keeper of ideas. Julian Assange—who knows a thing or two about censorship—called the suppression of my video “a clear attempt at social engineering.”

Paul Joseph Watson, who lost a six-figure cash flow when YouTube arbitrarily stopped his ad revenue, noted that “the first video to be censored as ‘offensive’ by YouTube is political.” He has a point: Violence, obscenity, vulgarity, and the crudest forms of vituperation are not “offensive,” but facts about race are.

Popular YouTube commentator Lauren Southern also hit the mark: “Your channel is next,” she wrote. “Speak up.”

Tweets like these have been retweeted thousands and thousands of times.

It is all very well to argue that YouTube is a private company and has the right to ban any content it likes, but YouTube is essentially a monopoly; it has no real competitors. It therefore has at least a moral obligation serve the public—not preen itself in public—and to ban only those videos that violate obscenity, defamation, incitement, and other legal standards.

This video actually has a curious history; it was banned outright by YouTube before reappearing and then being cast into its current state of limbo.

My staff first posted the video in 2013, but in January 2014, YouTube took it down without warning, without explanation, and with no way to appeal. It had been a success. It got over 150,000 views and hundreds of comments. We made a few cosmetic changes and uploaded it again to YouTube, where, until two days ago, it gathered an additional 300,000 views, nearly 6,000 likes, and only 2,000 dislikes.

The leper treatment has had a predictable result. Many people want to know what YouTube now considers “inflammatory religious or supremacist content,” so I have picked up another 70,000 views in just the two days since the video was banned. This won’t always be the case, of course. Many worthy videos will be cast into the outer darkness only because YouTube and its staff of blue noses were “offended.”

See the video here

What is YouTube afraid of? If I am obviously wrong, no one will pay attention. If I left something out or misinterpreted something, those who are right will correct me. In fact, there is a lively debate here, among people who do dispute some of my facts, and who are cursing YouTube for cutting off comments. They can’t correct me!

When YouTube announced its new policy, it promised to send a notice to offenders and give them the right to appeal. I have appealed; I’m still waiting for a reply.

YouTube reminds me of what a perhaps apocryphal bishop’s wife said when she first heard of Darwin’s theory of evolution: “Let us hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray it does not become widely known.” Our tech masters think they are oh-so-progressive and liberated; they are more like Victorians.


Antifa Is Anti-America

On Sunday, violence erupted again in Berkeley, California, when around 100 masked, black-clad antifa members jumped a police barrier and attacked a small group of peacefully protesting Donald Trump supporters. The violence resulted in 13 arrests and injuries to six people. Joey Gibson, the Japanese-American leader of Patriot Prayer, one of the pro-Trump protest groups, called out Democrat leaders for their failure to speak against the violence perpetrated by leftist groups like antifa, even as they eagerly condemn the violence of white supremacists. Gibson said, “I’m asking Mayor [Ed] Lee and I’m asking Nancy Pelosi to speak against this violence and speak against this hatred, and be consistent with your message.”

Even as Republicans and Trump spoke out against the violence perpetrated in Charlottesville, and condemned racism specifically, the reality is that many Democrat leaders have failed to disavow and reject the violence and violent rhetoric espoused by groups like antifa and Black Lives Matter. At the violent protest in Berkeley, antifa members were heard chanting, “No Trump! No Wall! No USA at all!”

Frank Somerville, a news anchor in the San Francisco Bay area, witnessed the Berkeley violence and wrote, “I have experienced hate firsthand today. It came from these people dressed in all black at a protest in Berkeley. Ironically they were all chanting about no hate.” Somerville continued, “It’s one thing to read about hate. It’s another thing to be right next to it. In my opinion, these people dressed in black are just as hateful and intolerant as the people they are protesting.”

The real threat to American freedom isn’t coming from small fringe racist groups like the KKK and neo-Nazis but from those who are actively seeking to silence the free speech rights of others through violence. It’s coming from the intolerance espoused by leftists who fail to guard — and in many cases flatly reject — America’s most foundational and cherished constitutional rights. Antifa does not seek to promote the U.S. and the freedoms Americans hold dear, rather these hoodlums seek to destroy our nation based on the false premise that the U.S. is an oppressive and racist nation. The irony is that the real oppressors are those masked, black-clad thugs who seek through violence to silence those with whom they disagree.


UK’s Channel 4 Lauds Openly Anti-Britain, Anti-White Islamist as ‘Muslim Woman Fighting Stereotypes’

UK public broadcaster Channel 4 has featured a self-described Islamist who endorses violent militancy and brands white people and Israelis “parasites” as an example of “Muslim women fighting back by rejecting stereotypes”.

Nadia Chan, who has previously called on Muslims to support “the armed resistance from the Islamic Jihad … and also Hamas” in Israel on Iranian state television, was praised in a report by Channel 4 presenter Assed Baig.

“Stereotypes portray them as weak and meek,” he crooned. “But this group of Muslim women don’t accept that.” 

“Like many people, they don’t feel like their voices are represented in the mainstream,” said Baig.

This is perhaps unsurprising, considering Chan told Baig point blank that, “I don’t wanna be represented in British society. I don’t think representation is a liberation.”

This is consistent with a public tweet to Rebel Media contributor Tommy Robinson on August 16th, in which she swore she would “gladly LEAVE this SHIT HOLE” as soon as “parasitic filth … pay up reparations for colonial loot”.

Chan does not only consider the White British population parasites. She has also branded mixed martial artist Conor McGregor “an arrogant white irish parasite [sic]”, and declared: “I strongly advocate that the parasitic entity known as ‘Israel’ MUST cease to exist. Furthermore, every single Israeli is a parasite.”

With respect to white people, Chan has left followers in no doubt that her hostility extends well beyond particular nationalities with the following quote:  “The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.” —  Robert Mugabe

Elsewhere, she writes: “[Muslims] clean themselves 5 times a day, unlike you dirty white cave parasites, muslims gave y’all soap remember”, and, “[Y]ou pasty pasty bland bitches have NO culture, no rich history, you ain’t shit, ur ancestors were cave ppl”.

Mixed race critics have been dismissed with comments such as “[your] mum’s white ew lol” and “My condolences to you bitches whith white mums, but keep any reference to PAKISTANIS out of your mf’ering mouth you SWINE!”

“These Muslim women are breaking convention, and they’re not ony doing that inside the gym [where the Channel 4 segment was shot],” notes Baig.

“They’re organising their own political discussions, because mosques don’t have the space for them to do that.”

This should prove extremely worrying for the authorities, given Chan’s political views: “We need straight up militancy, they trying to kill us and they’re getting brave,” she has written.

“These honkies will kill more unless they are stopped.”

She has also denounced the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as “made up of ex cops (pigs) … Pigs are pigs, time to get justice done ourselves” — just one anti-police tweet among many, some of which appear to call for violence.

With respect to international affairs, Chan supports the Castros in Cuba, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro Moros, and even the North Korean regime, and wants to “bring about a rebellion … to uproot settler colonialism” in the United States.

The Metropolitan Police Force, Crown Prosecution Service, Channel 4, and broadcasting regulator Ofcom have yet to comment.


Australia: Same sex marriage: Network Ten fake news

Network Ten has admitted to digitally doctoring footage for a news item on the alleged spitefulness of the same sex marriage debate, digitally superimposing a homophobic image sourced online onto a stock image of a random bus stop.

A poster with the phrase “Stop the Fags”, allegedly spotted in Melbourne’s Heffernan Lane earlier this month, was seized upon by marriage equality supporters as evidence that those opposed to changing the Marriage Act were willing to resort to hateful lies and scaremongering to win the debate.

Originally uploaded on Twitter on August 19 by a childcare worker Dan Leach-McGill, the image of the poster soon went viral, sparking extensive news coverage and commentary on both social media as well as in the mainstream press. Even Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition leader Bill Shorten weighed in, condemning the image and its message.

Yet when a Channel Ten news crew visited the alleged site on August 22, there was no sign of the offending poster.

And with a member of a global online forum for fascists claiming credit for the artwork, which has allegedly appeared on flyers across the US in recent months, and Mr Leach-McGill conceding that he had not personally viewed it, doubts have emerged over its existence.

“The poster in question had been taken down when our film crew visited the laneway in question so we were forced to source a copy online,” a spokesman for the network said yesterday.

“Unfortunately, an oversight in briefing our graphics department interstate may have created a false impression about its size and location.

“This was not a deliberate attempt to mislead our audience, but a creative error which we regret.”

The poster in question, which claimed that children of LGBTI parents were likely to be abused and of poor health, appears to derive from the US, with a member of the online fascist forum Ironmarch.org claiming credit.

Similar posters have emerged recently in various neighbourhoods in Minnesota in the US, according to anti-fascist website It’s Going Down.

Coalition for Marriage, which is campaigning for the No vote and was forced to deny any connections to the poster last week, has expressed disappointment that a major television news program relied upon a photoshopped image as evidence of “hateful” campaigning ahead of the postal plebiscite.

“After an unsubstantiated allegation that anti-LGBTI posters were displayed in Melbourne, Network Ten – instead of doing its job to investigate the facts and report on them – used manufactured images in its broadcast,” coalition spokeswoman Sophie York said.

“Other news outlets, while not as brazen to use manipulated images, still ran with the story without testing the veracity of the claims.

“There is a lot at stake when it comes to changing the laws on marriage. Instead of accurately and fairly presenting the ‘no’ case, including the very real consequences for ordinary Australians if the law is changed, media outlets have instead used manufactured stories to favour the Yes case.”



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


30 August, 2017

Statue phobia

Low female representation in STEM fields is NOT due to selection bias

Recruiters in fact lean over backward to hire females.  Female candidates are just not there in the numbers that would enable equality

I don’t agree with everything in the infamous “Google Memo” written by James Damore, but I can understand why one might write such a memo after sitting through one too many training sessions on unconscious bias. I’m a professor in a STEM discipline, and like many STEM fields mine has substantially fewer women than men. Like every STEM professor that I know, I want my talented female students to have fair chances at advancing in the field. I’ve served on (and chaired!) hiring committees that produced “short lists” of finalists that were 50 percent women, I’ve recommended the hiring of female job applicants, I’ve written strong reference letters for female job applicants and tenure candidates, and I’ve published peer-reviewed journal articles with female student co-authors. At the same time, I’ve become increasingly frustrated by the official narratives promulgated about gender inequities in my profession arising from our unconscious biases. These narratives are, at best, awkward fits to the evidence, and sit in stark contradiction to first-hand observations.

My field is smaller than many other STEM fields, so for the sake of anonymity I will not name it, but all available data shows that the proportion of women in my discipline remains stable from the start of undergraduate studies and on through undergraduate degree completion, admission to graduate school, completion of the PhD, hiring as an assistant professor, and conferral of tenure. There have even been statistical studies (conducted by female investigators, FYI) showing that the number of departments with below-average proportions of women is wholly consistent with the normal statistical fluctuations expected from random chance in unbiased hiring processes. I cannot say that everyone in my field is perfectly equitable in all of their actions, but I can at least say that available evidence strongly suggests that the sexist actions of certain individuals do not leave substantial marks on the composition of our field. This should be a point of pride for us: Whatever sins might be committed by some individuals, as a community we have largely acted fairly and equitably in matters with tangible stakes for people’s careers.

Nor is my field unusual. In 2015, Professors Wendy Williams and Steven Ceci of Cornell University published a series of experimental findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and in their experiments they found that faculty reviewing hypothetical faculty candidates consistently preferred female candidates to male candidates. Moreover, Williams and Ceci cited literature showing that in real-world hiring women have an advantage over men.

My guess is that many readers will be surprised to hear me describe such findings. (After all, we’ve all sat through training sessions on purported biases in hiring processes.) Not being a social scientist myself, I cannot offer an in-depth defense of the work of Williams and Ceci, but I have searched in vain for informed critiques by experts. Alas, every critical summary that I’ve found reveals that the author did not actually read the paper. For instance, many people express incredulity at the assertion that real-world hiring data supports the finding of an advantage for female scientists in academic hiring. However, references 16 and 30-34 of the Williams and Ceci article make exactly that case. Are these references representative of the wider literature? Do they show data that was collected and analyzed via sound methods? I have yet to see a critic make that case, but if an informed expert can point to flaws in those references I would gratefully read their analysis.

Another common criticism is that Williams and Ceci ignored the famous “Lab Manager Study” of Corinne Moss-Racusin et al., also published in PNAS in 2012, which found that faculty were willing to offer higher salaries to hypothetical applicants for a lab manager position if the name on the resume was male rather than female. However, Williams and Ceci did not ignore this study; they actually cited it in the main text of the article (reference 6) and then discussed it at length on page 25 of the supplemental materials. The response of Williams and Ceci is that faculty hiring involves highly-accomplished applicants for high-status jobs, not less-accomplished new college graduates applying for lower-status jobs, and so different psychological factors may come into play when people are evaluating the prospective hires. Are they right? I don’t know enough about the relevant psychological literature to venture an informed opinion, but I’d love to read a response by a critic who acknowledges that Williams and Ceci actually discussed these findings, rather than one who dismisses them by asserting that they ignored the work of Moss-Racusin.

So, although I cannot assert with complete confidence that STEM fields are wholly free of sexism, I can point to strong evidence that disparities in STEM are not driven by hiring bias, and I must regretfully note that there has been little informed engagement with such findings. It is not intellectually healthy to have so little informed, critical dialogue around work with potentially high significance for such an important issue. Meanwhile, for those of us working in STEM, it is demoralizing to see that when researchers find evidence that we are working actively and fruitfully to remedy gender gaps in our profession, the response is not to celebrate our success but rather to offer uninformed critiques. It seems to be impermissible to question whether our purported sexism continues to drive inequality in our community.

If this were just about one study then we could (and should) react with stiff upper lips, and not let it colour our perception of the debate around gender in the STEM disciplines. Alas, there is a pattern (bias?) in research on bias in academic science. For instance, in the same year that PNAS published the work of Williams and Ceci, they also published a study of gender bias in science by van der Lee and Ellemers, purportedly showing that female scientists in the Netherlands are more likely than male peers to have their grant proposals rejected. However, the numbers provided in the article clearly show that the disparities in funding success result from how women are distributed among disciplines, not differential treatment of men and women in the review process: Women in the Netherlands are more likely to be in fields like biology (with low funding success rates) than physics (with comparatively higher funding success rates), but within each field women and men have similar success rates for their grant proposals. This point was quickly noted by a reader, and the editors of PNAS published a critical comment within two months of the original article’s publication.

Perhaps it is a sign of healthy scientific communication when published work sparks informed discussion of alternative explanations and the journal editors make room for that discussion, but it is worrisome that such a basic error was allowed to slip through the initial review process. It’s even more worrisome when one examines the “Acknowledgments” section of the Williams and Ceci article, which I will quote in part: “We thank [names of colleagues who provided advice], seven anonymous reviewers, one anonymous statistician who replicated our findings, and the editor.” It is very unusual for an article to be reviewed by seven separate peer reviewers before publication (the most I’ve ever had was four, and I’ve published in some rather high-impact journals), and even more unusual for a journal to insist that the raw data be sent to an anonymous statistical consultant for independent verification of the results. One cannot help but wonder if Williams and Ceci were held to a higher standard than van der Lee and Ellemers because Williams and Ceci offered work that contradicted a common narrative while van der Lee and Ellemers offered work that allegedly affirmed the conventional wisdom.

To put these articles in context, keep in mind the place that PNAS occupies in the hierarchy of academic journals. PNAS is not merely a high-status, high-impact, widely-read journal. There are many such journals; indeed, every field of science has at least one such publication venue (and often more than one). What makes PNAS stand out is that it’s one of the few well-respected journals to publish work spanning the entire breadth of science and engineering, ranging from psychology to materials engineering to marine biology. My colleagues and I don’t usually read psychology journals but we do read PNAS. It’s unlikely that we’ll ever have a lunch conversation about an article published in a specialty venue for social scientists, but it’s entirely possible that we’ll pass a lunch time discussing some social science finding published in PNAS. An editorial slant in such a respected and well-read journal will have consequences for the narratives that gain traction in our field.

So much for the big picture. What about the small scale? Everyone has heard anecdotes about sexist treatment of women, and I confess that I’ve witnessed a few such incidents. (I tried to do what I could when I witnessed them, but it isn’t always easy to process what you’ve seen quickly enough to respond in a timely fashion, especially when issues of power and status loom large.) At the same time, I’ve also witnessed compensatory measures, and even over-compensation. I’ve seen “diverse” colleagues get away with conduct bordering on fraud because nobody wanted to call them out for it. I’ve seen middling female students lavished with praise and encouragement when they were ambivalent about whether to apply to graduate school, while similarly weak male students were met with (quite appropriate!) skepticism about their interest in graduate study. I’ve seen hiring committees bend over backwards to paper over a female applicant’s weaknesses while rigorously critiquing a male applicant.

Of course, I’ve seen white and male colleagues get away with certain things as well, so I can’t say that the situation is entirely one of “reverse sexism” or “political correctness” or some such thing. What I can say is that my ground-level observations are largely consistent with the big-picture data: Sexist things do happen, but people work conscientiously to compensate and even over-compensate, resulting in an employment landscape that is at the very least level and often somewhat favorable to women. But it is impermissible to vocalise this observation, so we are left with no choice but to nod and agree as we are scolded for shameful internal biases that allegedly leave their mark on our professional community, a community that many of us care deeply about improving.

This can only go on for so long before people push back. I certainly have my criticisms of Damore’s arguments, and I would be the first to agree that he is clueless about how to navigate workplace politics. Nonetheless, if we keep hearing that conscientious and hard-working people are at fault for gender gaps, disparities that they themselves have actively worked to combat, and that have even seen peers perhaps over-correct for, eventually people will start responding with something other than enthusiastic confessions of privilege and bias. People will start pointing to contradictory data, and even sympathetic people might start grumbling about excesses of political correctness that they may have witnessed. Some of us will do it pseudonymously, both for our own comfort and the comfort of co-workers, but some people will do like James Damore and speak out under their own names, making the workplace uncomfortable (to put it mildly).

We have a choice before us. One option is to celebrate the progress that has been made, stop pointing the blame at the alleged biases of conscientious people, and steer the conversation to the true origin of disparities, earlier “in the pipeline” as they say. The other option is to keep admonishing generally well-meaning professionals to stop behaving in such an allegedly biased manner, and then act shocked and scandalised when somebody draws attention to the countervailing data. The first path will mean fewer silly training sessions, but it might also mean awkward conversations about how and why people become interested in different paths of work and study.  Whether these factors arise from nature, nurture, or the interaction thereof, they come into play long before anybody gets to a STEM career, and moving past bias explanations means that people who are concerned about the makeup of the profession will have to be able to confront these questions. The second path will avoid those awkward conversations, but at the cost of resentment that might occasionally pour out. I can’t speak for everyone in STEM, but as a scholar I’d rather see conscientious people confront data and discuss its implications, not paper over it with misplaced blame.


Politically correct princesses?

This month, Disney’s Dream Big, Princess initiative launched its “global photo campaign” on social media in yet another attempt to foist its politically correct message on young girls. According to its website, the campaign “collaborated with professional photographers from around the world to create a series of empowering images showcasing real-world girls and women” in order to encourage kids to “dream big.”

Each photographer will post her images on social media with the hashtag DreamBigPrincess. For every like a #DreamBigPrincess photo receives, and every photo published publicly with #DreamBigPrincess (the initiative encourages the public to share their own images of their daughters’ big dreams using the same hashtag), Dream Big, Princess will donate $1 to GirlUp. The campaign will continue until October 11, 2017.

According to its website, GirlUp is an organization that aims to give girls in struggling nations “an equal chance for education, health, social and economic opportunities, and a life free from violence.” Which is a big dream. And a worthwhile one too. But it’s a little unclear who exactly is meant to see these photos and be inspirited by them since, presumably, the impoverished girls who will benefit from the funds raised for GirlUp aren’t viewing and sharing images on Twitter.

So, essentially, the idea seems to be that this campaign wants Disney princesses to inspire young girls here in America to follow their dreams which, in turn, will raise money to help girls in less affluent countries to follow theirs. A bit complicated, perhaps, but not necessarily a bad idea. Disney princesses have been inspiring girls to follow their dreams for over seventy years. Why should they stop now?

Disney princesses are nothing if not dreamers. Pretty much every Disney princess begins as a girl who longs for something more than the life she is currently living. All that Dream Big, Princess (and their photo campaign) should have to do to effectively speak to an audience of girls, whose dreams are myriad and varied, is highlight the attributes these princesses embody that allow them to achieve their dreams. Courage, tenacity, independence, curiosity, sacrifice, hope — the kind of inner strengths that turn a dream into a reality. And then, no matter what each girl’s individual dream happens to be, there will be (as Dream Big’s promotional materials state) “a princess to show her it’s possible.”

But, instead of showing girls how to achieve their dreams (whatever their dreams may be) Dream Big, Princess co-opts the princesses (and their dreams) and uses them to disingenuously promote the types of dreams they think little girls ought to have.

In the central ad of the Dream Big, Princess initiative, Disney princesses are paired with little girls who are, supposedly, inspired by them to follow their own (very specific dreams). Ariel swims through the ocean, a girl dives into a pool. Cinderella twirls in her homemade ball gown, a little girl performs a dance routine. Rapunzel swings by her hair, a little girl swings on a rope swing. “Be students, be teachers, be politicians, . . . be astronauts, be champions,” the accompanying song commands them.

And, sure, these are all dreams a little girl could have. But she might also want to be a mother. Or a wife. Any number of other things. Why does she have to be an athlete?

The dreams this campaign is projecting on young girls certainly aren’t the dreams of the princesses being used to inspire them. Ariel’s dream was not to be a champion swimmer. Cinderella’s was not to be a professional dancer. Rapunzel didn’t hope to make hair swinging an Olympic sport. In fact, none of these things had anything to do with their dreams at all. A little girl who longs to be a professional dancer isn’t going to take much away from Cinderella’s time at the ball. The connections that Dream Big, Princess is making between a young girl’s potential dreams and the dreams of Disney princesses are, at best, a stretch.

Dream Big, Princess is using the princesses to promote their own agenda because they know how much little girls love Disney princesses. But the dreams of the princesses aren’t the kinds of dreams this initiative approves of for young girls.

The narrator in the ad for the photo campaign actually says it best: “When I think about all the girls . . . that are influenced by the idea of the Disney princess, you know that this is an opportunity to inspire girls to do something more.”

No, Dream Big, little girls love Disney princesses because they already encompass the things girls long for. Because they show us the way to be whatever it is we yearn to become. Because they accept all our dreams, no matter how small, and teach us the virtues we must embody to achieve them. To those little girls, the princesses are perfect just the way they are. And to the princesses, so are those little girls. Shame on you, Dream Big. We want our princesses back.


Tennessee Theater Cancels ‘Gone With the Wind’ Screening After 34 Years Over ‘Racist’ Content Complaints

The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee, will no longer screen Gone With the Wind after the theater’s board said it had received “numerous comments” from viewers who called the 1939 film “insensitive” and “racist.”

A statement from The Orpheum Theatre Group reads:

    While title selections for the series are typically made in the spring of each year, the Orpheum has made this determination early in response to specific inquiries from patrons. The Orpheum appreciates feedback on its programming from all members of the mid-south community. The recent screening of Gone With the Wind at the Orpheum on Friday, August 11, 2017, generated numerous comments. The Orpheum carefully reviewed all of them.

The group said the film was ultimately pulled because it was “insensitive” to local patrons.

“As an organization whose stated mission is to ‘entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves,’ the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population,” the group said.

The theater’s decision to pull the film ends a 34-year tradition at the Orpheum. The removal apparently stemmed from a post on the Orpheum’s Facebook page from an early August screening, in which someone deemed the eight-time Academy Award-winning film “racist.” Another Memphis resident said of the news that “slowly but surely, we will rid this community of all tributes to white supremacy.”

The iconic film, set around a southern plantation during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, follows the lives of several black and white characters of the historic era. Actress Hattie McDaniel, who played a house servant named Mammy, became the first African American to win an Academy Award for her role in the film.

What’s more, the film’s producer David O. Selznick went out of his way to avoid offending black audiences and consulted with black leaders at the time to insure the film would not be insensitive to blacks — in the way that, for example, Birth of a Nation was.

Selznick had refused to allow the N-word in the film. He wrote a letter to the NAACP president explaining that as a Jew he was painfully aware of what was happening in Europe (at that time, in the 1930s) to Jews and would not do anything to increase racial tensions in America. The NAACP wrote a corresponding letter to Selznick, thanking him for taking care not to include objectively insensitive material in the film.

Alas, the Orpheum said it will soon be “announcing an exciting movie series in the spring of 2018 that will, as always, contain both classic films and more recent blockbusters.”


A brainless but vicious "comedian"

HBO’s alleged comedian-host John Oliver (I’ve never found him to be particularly amusing) has the same problem a lot of wealthy Leftists have.

God has blessed Oliver (whether Oliver realizes it or not) – Oliver is wealthy. He makes a whole lot of money – in a field where maybe one in a thousand can even buy groceries plying their wares. Making it in entertainment is catching lightening in a bottle – twice.

Oliver makes huge coin – for a less-than-imperative service. He isn’t curing cancer. Nothing wrong with it – but he’s a court jester. Making as much as he does for what he does – leaves a lot of people in his position feeling almost like they’re cheating at life.

Many thus feel the need to crusade for causes – to make up for the incredible good fortune they enjoy. And when you aren’t a signally deep or practiced thinker – that oft means falling for the shallow facility of Leftism.

Oliver has fallen hard. And there’s no diving in his thought pool.

But Oliver ain’t alone with this particular affliction. Oliver isn’t even alone in the same tiny little sliver that is his “entertainment” genre.

Oliver is a rote copy of what passes today for cable television comedy. An endless parade of snide, cynical females and beta males. All taking nigh identical crass, classless, unfunny shots at capitalism and capitalists, conservatives, Republicans – and any American who doesn’t live in Manhattan or Beverly Hills.

Because, you know, they’re champions of the Little Guy. Or something.

If you miss Oliver – fret not, you can tune in to the exact same show, only presented by Trevor Noah. Missed Noah? Dial in Samantha Bee. Missed Bee? Punch up Jim Jeffries. The only variable – is the accent in which the undifferentiated pseudo-comedy is delivered.

Oliver is British – if that’s your intonation of choice. But by his own admission – Britain didn’t find him funny. So he limped across the Pond to try his luck here in the States.

And like America has done time and time again, our country rewarded Oliver well beyond what his limited talent would garner him anywhere else on the planet. And yet somehow, Oliver appears to be perpetually angry at the nation that took him in and has made his ridiculous life possible.

Oliver – just like so many others – rails against all the same Leftist bogeymen. Using all the same cheap, witless and personal attacks they all do.

After leaving his palatial, well-lit abode and driving his petroleum-mobile to his lavish, Klieg light-blasted television studio – Oliver does hilarious things like:

“(M)ake fun of (Murray Energy Corporation CEO Robert) Murray’s age, physical appearance and, according to Murray, falsely suggested that Murray had put profits over the safety of his workers. At one point, Oliver held a fake check that read ‘Eat sh*t Bob!’ and included the phrase ‘kiss my a—‘ in the memo. The HBO host also referred to Mr. Murray as a ‘geriatric Dr. Evil….’”

Wow – that’s high-brow, funny stuff. Especially considering Murray is in declining health and is reliant on oxygen to even breathe.

And what are Murray’s high crimes and misdemeanors? He runs a company that makes available to all of us coal – the substance that provides half of America’s electricity.

The stuff that makes Oliver’s palatial, well-lit abode – well-lit. That gives his studio’s energy-sucking Klieg lights – the ability to be energy-sucking.

Speaking of Oliver’s Home of the Common Man:

The John Oliver Property Tax Scam: HBO Comedian Secretly Buys Manhattan Mansion: “Liberal deity avoids taxes by using loophole created by Donald Trump.”

Well that’s fabulous. I don’t need to tell you how often Oliver has railed specifically against now-President Trump.

Oliver has definitely whined generally about wealthy people making wealth – and then trying to hold on to it after: “Back in July 2014, in an episode in which he lamented the ‘Wealth Gap in America’…Oliver said, ‘At this point the rich are just running up the score…What sets America apart is that we are actively introducing policies that disproportionately benefit the wealthy,’ such as tax cuts and loopholes like trusts.”

And now Oliver is ducking taxes on his palatial estate. Do as he screeches – not as he does.

Because Oliver’s comedy is so low-level guttural – I mean, “Eat sh*t Bob!” and “Kiss my a—“ ain’t exactly Shakespeare – he tends to appeal to the lowest common denominator. (Which isn’t even close to the same as being for the Little Guy – for many obvious reasons.)

So when Oliver went on a funny-free tirade against Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for working to undo the Barack Obama Administration Internet power grab known as Network Neutrality – things quickly went awful, as only dumb Leftist things can. (See also: Saturday’s Left-on-Left violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.)

How the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) manage their networks – and what Net Neutrality means to it – is…fairly sophisticated stuff. It was quite obvious Oliver doesn’t understand it. And he knew the assembled nit-wittery tuning in to him – would have zero idea about which he was speaking.

So Oliver’s rhetorical assault – never ethereal in its reach or tone – was particularly low-lying. Oliver’s audience – managed to worm their way under the ridiculously low bar he set.

Alleged uber-racist Trump has named as his FCC Chairman – son-of-Indian-immigrants Ajit Pai. Oliver’s allegedly enlightened audience – flooded the FCC with death threats and racist slurs:

“Just a few weeks ago, for example, (Oliver) had to issue a plea for calm and restraint after he urged his audience to target top officials at an obscure federal agency…over a policy with which he disagreed. His plea was too little too late.

“Ajit Pai, the first person of Indian descent to run the agency, became the target of death threats, racial attacks, and a litany of other abuses hurled by progressives in the so-called Netroots movement who shared Oliver’s objections to Pai’s policy.”

Oliver and his Nutroots share a disdain for – but not an understanding of – said policy. Oliver’s minions – like Oliver – keep it classy:

“One commenter said, ‘{F]—k you Ajit Pai for what you’re are trying to do and I hope you die a horrible painful death with no remembrance to your name you cocksucka [sic].’

“Another said failure to keep net neutrality would ‘cause me to pray for the slow and painful death of Chairman Ajit Pai and every living member of his family, direct or indirect.’

“’Save internet and f**k this Ajit guy,’ said another. ‘He’s from India, deport that asshole. We will take care of him when he’s back.’

“Other comments used racial attacks against Pai, the son of Indian immigrants.

“Can you guys stop being complete greedy little s–ts and work for the American people and not for your wallets,’ said one commenter using the name ‘Andromeda Titan.’ ‘Also, f–k you Ajit Pai (a disgrace to all Indians). And f–k Trump too.’

“Another commenter said, ‘Ajit Pai looks and sounds like an Indian fraternity brother who exclusively f–ks underage women.’

“‘Ajit Pai looks like the lone Indian who rushed an all white bro frat and only got in because they needed someone to clean up after their weekend bender,’ said another, who added, ‘It’s not racist because I’m Indian and white privilege absolutely exists.’”

Again, see also: Saturday’s Left-on-Left violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Oh – and remember: Oliver’s Net Neutrality is favored and backed by – because it is a huge government cronyism gift for – tiny little companies like Google (market cap: $924 billion), Facebook (market cap: $488 billion) and Amazon (market cap: $465 billion).

Because, again, John Oliver – with his massive salary, his massive Manhattan mansion with its massive tax breaks and his massive government policy preferences that favor massive corporations – is definitely all for and about the Little Guy.

Oliver’s dumb-ness, dullness…and obscene wealth – prove yet again what a great country America is.

It matters not that Oliver is intellectually incapable of grasping that fact.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


29 August, 2017

Toxic masculinity and privilege

A comment by Renna on Twitter:  "If he's still single by nightfall, I'll be disappointed in you Texas ladies"

Feminists eat your heart out.  He's a Houston SWAT officer

The Equal Rights Amendment is again on the table

Lena Dunham hadn’t even been born when the Equal Rights Amendment movement sputtered and died. Today, she’s among the activists and celebrities trying to revive it, mugging for a social media campaign in a T-shirt bearing an iconic photo of feminist activists Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes.

Elise Bouc has long prepared for such a campaign. Four decades after watching the ERA debate as a teenager, she is the spokeswoman for the effort to stop it, using some of the same arguments as her predecessor, the late Phyllis Schlafly .

“I feel a little bit like a time traveler sometimes,” said Bouc, chairwoman of Stop ERA Illinois and spokeswoman on the ERA for the conservative Eagle Forum.

This is where women find themselves in 2017: revisiting a movement that predated disco. At least a half-dozen states have fielded new proposals to ratify a constitutional amendment on equal rights for women. In March, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify it, 35 years after missing the deadline.

The throwback movement picked up speed even before Donald Trump’s inauguration prompted massive protest marches and feelings of vulnerability among women. Activists believe women are now starting to appreciate that the policy gains of the past four decades could be wiped away without explicit constitutional protections. Moreover, women still don’t enjoy the equality promised from hard-fought victories: more than a half century after the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, women still make less money than men.

“I’m just tired of fighting all the time on things that should be moving forward,” said Jessica Neuwirth, president of the ERA Coalition. “What we really need is this constitutional amendment so it can’t be rolled back.”

The ERA would expressly prohibit discrimination based on gender, enshrining equal rights in the Constitution and providing a sturdier foundation for legal challenges, advocates say. “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” the amendment says.

Many young women, groomed to be soccer stars and scientists, may be surprised to discover their rights aren’t already constitutionally protected. A poll conducted by the ERA Coalition last year found that 80 percent of people believe they are.

But as activists point out, unlike other groups that have historically been discriminated against — based on race, religion, or national origin, for instance — courts have not found that women are specifically protected.

“Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex,” the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once said. “The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.”

That means women do not get the same “strict scrutiny” standard of judicial review that those groups receive before the Supreme Court.

Moreover, many assume that women have constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment that was adopted in the wake of the Civil War to provide equal protection to former slaves. But that clause has been applied inconsistently to sex discrimination cases.

In other words: Women often lose.

That’s the case laid out in Neuwirth’s 2015 book, “Equal Means Equal,” and a 2016 film by the same name, directed by actress Kamala Lopez, that helped spur some of the celebrity interest in a social media campaign for the ERA.

Whether a Hollywood message is helpful in the current cultural climate, though, is another question.

Joan C. Williams, founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, argued the ERA failed in the 1970s because of class conflicts — and would fail again today.

That’s because attitudes toward gender roles differ substantially by class, and the ERA tends to appeal to those on the higher end of the economic spectrum.

“Non-elite women tend to look back with nostalgia and longing on the homemaker role because that’s really still one of our hidden cultural ideals,” said Williams, author of “White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.’’

Women who opposed the ERA in the 1970s framed it as “an attack on homemakers” whose personal choices would be threatened, Williams added. “There’s little doubt in my mind that they would do that again. And that this would be another example of sort of coastal elites attacking the American family.”

Though it’s closely associated with the cultural tumult of the 1970s, the ERA dates to 1923, when suffragist Alice Paul introduced it as the logical next step toward equality, three years after women won the right to vote.

Nearly five decades later, the ERA passed Congress in March 1972 and was sent to the states for ratification. It picked up support from 22 states within the first year but failed to garner the required three-quarters of states, even after Congress extended the deadline to 1982. The measure expired with only 35 states on board, three fewer than needed.

Some activists think that, after Nevada’s recent approval, they only need ratification from two more states to make the ERA a reality. However that would likely require another extension from Congress and also face legal challenges, in part because some states later rescinded support. The 15 states that have not ratified it are largely clustered in the South and lower Midwest.

The divisive debate of the 1970s nearly turned “equal rights” into dirty words. Schlafly led the opposition through her conservative Eagle Forum and warned the ERA would lead to taxpayer-funded abortion; force women into combat; give gay couples rights; and allow anyone into any public bathroom.

Opponents are still employing some of those same arguments today.

Though women can now serve in military combat, Bouc raises concerns about the draft. “While the military draft has not been used since Vietnam, it’s always a real possibility,” Bouc said. “Right now, we are in the situation women from the ’70s wanted: Women now can choose whether or not they want to place themselves in that vulnerable position of being in combat.”

She also warned that an amendment intended to help women would end up hurting them, by invalidating gender-specific benefits that already exist, such as workplace accommodations for pregnant women; alimony; and federal funding of nutrition and health initiatives. Housewives would lose their claim to half their husbands’ Social Security benefits, Bouc said. Gender-specific bathrooms and women’s shelters could be rendered obsolete.

“In essence, it will turn us into an androgynous society where even when it makes sense to make a distinction based on our gender, we will not be allowed to,” she said.

ERA advocates dispute those points and say the current laws don’t sufficiently protect women. They point to the nation’s largest-ever sex discrimination case, which the Supreme Court threw out in 2011. Despite evidence of disparities in female Walmart employees’ pay and promotions, the court found the women had provided “no convincing proof of a companywide discriminatory pay and promotion policy.”

Neuwirth noted that the Equal Pay Act was practically negated by the Supreme Court, which found that a woman had to file suit within 180 days of being hired. (The Obama administration subsequently eased that time constraint.)

“There are laws that protect women in theory, but in practice they don’t work,” said Neuwirth. “What this would do effectively is give women more adequate remedy.”

Still, the remedies would depend on the cases, said Williams. “ERA is a bit of a cipher,” Williams said. “Equal means equal to somebody, and it’s unclear to whom. It would all be decided in the courts.”


Christian girl, 5, is forced into foster care with Burka-wearing Muslim carers who 'took away her crucifix and stopped her eating bacon'

A Christian girl aged five was forced to live in conservative Muslim foster homes where nobody spoke English and she was encouraged to learn Arabic, it was reported.

The girl, who was white and a native English speaker, spent the past six months in two Muslim households after being placed into foster care in Tower Hamlets, east London.

Local authority reports describe how the little girl sobbed and begged not to be returned to her niqab-wearing carer’s home, telling a social worker: ‘They don’t speak English.’

The reports, seen by The Times, detail how the child was ‘very distressed’ and claimed the foster carer had removed her Christian cross and encouraged her to learn Arabic.

It was even suggested that the carer had forbidden her from eating a carbonara meal, because it contained bacon – which Muslims do not eat.

The two placements were made by Tower Hamlets borough council against the wishes of the girl’s family.

According to the newspaper, the girl also told her mother that ‘Christmas and Easter are stupid’ and that ‘European women are stupid and alcoholic’. Local authorities are required to give due consideration to a child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background’ when placing them into a foster home.

The girl’s mother is said to be horrified by the circumstances her daughter has been placed in.

A friend told the newspaper: ‘This is a five-year-old white girl. She was born in this country, speaks English as her first language, loves football, holds a British passport and was christened in a church. She’s already suffered the huge trauma of being forcibly separated from her family.

‘She needs surroundings in which she’ll feel secure and loved. Instead, she’s trapped in a world where everything feels foreign and unfamiliar. That’s really scary for a young child.’

The girl lived with her first carer, who is believed to have worn a niqab outside the family home, for four months. Her current carer wears a burka, which covers her face entirely, when she is out in public with the child. Tower Hamlets council reportedly refused to respond to requests to explain why the girl had been fostered in the households.

The Daily Mail have contacted the council for comment.

It’s not the first time Tower Hamlets has been embroiled in scandal. In 2014, a leaked government report suggested the mayor Lutfur Rahman and his finance minister, Alibor Choudhury, had links to Islamic extremist groups, including one seeking to set up a Sharia state in Europe.

A document handed to The Sunday Telegraph alleged that three community centres owned by the council, or by their housing authority, were used for meetings of radical groups including Al Muhajiroun, the banned Islamist terrorist organisation founded by Omar Bakri Mohammed and Anjem Choudary.

A third was used by political hate group Hizb ut-Tahrir and ‘may still be’ in use, according to a report which was prepared for David Cameron in 2013.

In 2011, it was reported a 31-year-old Asian woman who worked in a local chemist’s had received death threats for refusing to wear a veil, even though she was not a practising Muslim. The woman’s boss was later approached by an Asian in his 40s who told him his employee must cover her head and wear longer robes.


Leftists condemn a Confederate gentleman but love a racist goon

While the Left claims the violent, racist, history of the Confederacy warrants the removal of all depictions of its military commanders, they simply can’t get enough of the violent, racist, military commander Che Guevara.

Whether it’s denouncing blacks as less than human, brutally executing children or leading a militant force dedicated to enslaving millions, Che Guevara is the bloodthirsty racist liberals see in Robert E. Lee.

In many ways, Guevara was the original Social Justice Warrior.

The rich, privileged kid of well-off white Argentine parents, Guevara became radicalized in college.  Traveling around Central America in one of the first “poverty tourism” trips, Guevara treated blacks and indigenous people with the condescending contempt now synonymous with American liberals.

In fact, he could have easily passed for a KKK member. Writing in his diary in 1952, Guevara sneered:

"The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese. The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations".

Yes, the people who want to rip down statue of Robert E. Lee are erecting icons to the man who wrote that.

After leading Cuban Communists to military victory, Guevara made it clear people with black skin would be treated as second-class citizens in the new regime.

“We’re going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing,” Guevara promised in 1959.

True to his word, to this day Cuban blacks are treated as chattel — by a racist slave empire liberals openly admire.

And if liberals want to express opposition to a military commander dedicated to hate, they simply need to look down at the grotesque face on their trendy t-shirts.

In a 1966 speech, Guevara screeched:

Hatred is the central element of our struggle! Hatred that is intransigent…hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him violent and cold- blooded killing machine…We reject any peaceful approach. Violence is inevitable. To establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow! The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! These hyenas are fit only for extermination. We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm! The victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!

If Robert E. Lee is a racist mass murderer who led the fight to build a slave empire, it appears the only problem liberals have with that is that he didn’t persecute racial minorities to advance socialism.

If liberals want to condemn to the ash heap of history a violent, psychotic, anti-black bigot who led an army expressly dedicated to hate and human slavery, they can start with their most cherished, blood-soaked bigot — Che Guevara.


UK: Jeremy Corbyn’s talk of ‘kinder politics’ isn’t matched by Labour’s actions

Katie Glass

I would rather spend a night with the Mogginator [Popular but very old-fashioned Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg] than endure a soy latte with Laura Pidcock. Most of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s voting record appalls me, but at least he’d be a laugh and rather more charming than the Labour MP Pidcock. She informed us last week she had "absolutely no intention of being friends" with Tories because they’re "the enemy". Which sounds like the ridiculous fighting talk of someone who’s been playing too much Call of Duty rather than the sentiments of an elected MP.

Pidcock, the member for North West Durham, says she would never "hang out" with Conservative women, who are "no friends of mine". She followed this up by tweeting the message that "it’s visceral. I’m not interested in being cosy with Tories". Well, that’s going to disappoint her local WI.

I’m not militant about who I’ll hang out with. I’m as easy with leftie, lentil-munching fake hippies as with blue-blood Tory boys. I’m as comfortable at the Glastonbury festival as at . . . well, other parts of the Glastonbury festival.

Still, hearing Pidcock reminded me why I’d rather be friends with Conservatives. Tories always get their round in and are much less judgmental, partly because they are so much more confident about their own views.

Right now I’m staying in the house of a One Nation Tory who bakes bread for me every night in his Aga. It sure beats the time I went to stay with my "leftie" mates and they spent the whole week slagging off my job, even as they suggested I "expense" the drinks.

I feel increasingly alienated by lefties who call themselves liberal, but refuse to listen to different opinions; who claim to be compassionate, but use the smallest political difference — or none at all — as an excuse to resort to personal abuse.

At its "funniest" it’s hearing people joke about dancing on Margaret Thatcher’s grave or finding T-shirts with the Nye Bevan quote about Tories being "lower than vermin" for sale on leftie websites such as RedMolotov, with text in the shape of a rat. At its worst it means watching the hard left viciously troll the soft left on social media, particularly if their targets are female and Jewish.

It is no less distasteful when their victims are unappealing, as when Owen Jones, a Guardian columnist, tweeted "few things more beautiful" alongside a video of the US alt-right activist Jason Kessler being swung at violently by a mob.

How would Pidcock respond to someone spouting such offensive nonsense towards any other group? She’d (rightly) call it hate speech. Yet look how Amina Lone, a Muslim Labour councillor in Manchester, has been treated by her own side after daring to speak out against the abuse of children by grooming gangs. She has been barred from standing for re-election after seven years on the council because of her "outspoken" campaigning for gender equality within the Muslim community.

The Tories are supposed to be the Nasty Party, but it’s hard to believe in Corbyn’s "kinder politics" while listening to chants of "Tory scum". I can’t trust a movement where actions don’t match words. If you’re going to bang on about how caring you are, that compassion must be inclusive. As the Labour MP Jess Phillips bluntly observed, when it comes to sexism, left-wing men are the "actual worst".

After the murder of MP Jo Cox proved political rhetoric had real consequences, Pidcock should be ashamed for peddling what the Tory MP Nadine Dorries rightly calls the "politics of hate". You have to build a rapport to wield influence in a parliamentary democracy. It takes cross-party collaboration and adult debate.

This is, after all, how Corbyn justifies sharing a platform with terrorists. If the Labour leader can talk to Hamas and the IRA, can’t Pidcock give Norma Major a chance?

It took reporting on the Grenfell fire to make the Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow wonder, mournfully, if he is part of a disconnected elite. I could have told him that he is.

As a cub reporter, new to London, I once approached him nervously at a National Portrait Gallery party. He was dismissive and rude, ridiculing me in front of his female fans for not recognising a portrait of the former Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez.

"If he was a singer in a rock band called Up your Jumper, you’d know who he is," he said, pleased to have embarrassed a girl 30 years younger, and 30 times poorer, than him.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


28 August, 2017

UK: Sarah Champion and the silencing of debate

Chilling any discussion about Muslim pedophile gangs is an insult to victims

This week, Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham, resigned as shadow minister for women and equalities. Why? Because she wrote an article in the Sun last week raising questions about Pakistani grooming gangs.

It was the headline to Champion’s piece that caused most controversy: ‘British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls… and it’s time we faced up to it.’ Critics of Champion said she was making a racist generalisation about the Pakistani community. Champion later claimed the opening paragraphs of her piece had been ‘stripped of nuance’ by the Sun’s editors, though the Sun says her people checked the piece twice and said it ‘looked great’.

Let’s get one thing straight: Champion is not a racist. Aside from the questionable headline, her article made an important point. She was writing about two things: the independent inquiry into the scale of abuse of women in the Rotherham area, and the conviction of 17 men in Newcastle under Operation Sanctuary. The inquiry, commissioned by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, revealed that 1,400 girls and young women had been abused in the area over a period of six years, and that ‘the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage, including the five men convicted in 2010’. The men convicted in Operation Sanctuary were from a mix of backgrounds: Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish.

Champion, as MP for the area, had been party to discussions about the abuse cases in Rotherham and Rochdale, and had worked to change the law on grooming in response to police negligence. She is familiar with this subject and how contentious it is. The inquiry Champion wrote about said that both police and social services had wilfully ignored data and failed to protect vulnerable girls — and one of the reasons this happened is because the issues of race and religion were seen as too sensitive for open, frank discussion.

Champion’s resignation sends out a clear message: discussing the significance of race or religion in these cases is frowned upon. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the resignation was Champion’s decision. But she really only started to receive criticism after her piece was quoted in a Sun column by Trevor Kavanagh this week — a column which attracted the ire of many MPs for its critical comments on Islam. It wasn’t Champion’s original argument that got her into trouble: it was the fact that they were later cited as part of a criticism of Islam. Criticising Islam is a no-no today.

‘You cannot blame an entire community, an entire nation or an entire ethnic community’, Corbyn said in response to Champion’s resignation. She didn’t do that, and outside of the crazier sections of the alt-right, nobody does that. It seems quite clear that Champion’s resignation wasn’t voluntary; she seems to have been pushed out for saying unacceptable things.

The abuse scandals in Rotherham, Rochdale and Newcastle are ugly and deeply complex. As Luke Gittos has argued on spiked, to focus on one element, including the perpetrator’s religion or ethnicity, ignores other factors that led to thousands of young working-class girls being repeatedly abused. The inquiry Champion mentioned pointed out that, in the UK, ‘the greatest numbers of perpetrators of CSE [child sexual exploitation] are white men’. But it also said that, in the Rotherham area, race and religion are a significant factor in such cases. ‘The majority of perpetrators were described as "Asian" by victims, yet throughout the entire period, councillors did not engage directly with the Pakistani heritage community to discuss how best they could jointly address the issue.’

Champion herself pointed out that the ‘irony of all of this is that, by not dealing with the ethnicity of the abusers as a fact, political correctness has actually made the situation about race’. The first miscarriage of justice happened when the authorities in the area failed to deal with the full facts of the case. To carry on in this vein, by silencing any uncomfortable discussion about race or religion, as has happened with Champion, adds to this miscarriage and is a further insult to the victims.

No one is arguing that all Pakistani men, or all Muslim men, are child abusers or rapists — that would be absolutely absurd. Parts of Champion’s article did sail dangerously close to making such an accusation, and people should of course feel free to criticise her: that’s free speech. But in resigning over her ‘extremely poor choice of words’, Champion has proven one of the points she and others have been trying to make: that discussing the ethnic or religious make-up of these grooming gangs is pretty much forbidden in polite society.

The silencing of discussion is worrying. It sets a dangerous precedent, possibly discouraging other vulnerable working-class girls from coming forward if they are abused. It tells them they will cause controversy and embarrassment if they speak up about their experiences. But it also demeans Muslim and Pakistani communities, through suggesting they cannot handle scrutiny or debate about some of their community members’ behaviour. This clearly isn’t the case: Muslim leaders and members of the Rotherham Pakistani community publicly condemned the actions of the perpetrators and have welcomed dialogue.

By chilling discussion, we deny ourselves the ability to consider all aspects of these cases. Maybe the fact that these men are Muslim and had a tendency to view white working-class women as ‘trash’ had something to do with their actions – maybe it didn’t. Only open debate will let us find out, and will ensure that where there are problems between communities, we can try to do something about them.


From the BBC school of history... why everything is Britain's fault

Everything is your fault. But there’s no need to say sorry, because the BBC is busy apologising on your behalf.

Barely a week goes by without its guilt-ridden liberals blaming Britain for all the world’s woes. Self-loathing is their hobby — it makes them feel better.

Film-maker Gurinder Chadha, brought up in Southall, London, was at pains throughout India’s Partition: The Forgotten Story (BBC2) to emphasise that Britain alone was responsible for millions of deaths and decades of conflict following the separation of Pakistan in 1947.

She returned to this theme repeatedly, even though all her evidence contradicted the claim. Whenever the facts indicated that the sundering of India was due to ego clashes between its leaders or the aftermath of World War II, Gurinder nodded grimly and blamed Britain.

She especially accused Sir Winston Churchill, who she said despised Hindus. He was the epitome of the British Establishment, she sneered — though anyone who knows the first thing about Churchill will realise he was an outsider in every society.

As fake doctor Cath Hardacre (Jodie Whittaker) confessed that she had stolen another woman’s identity in Trust Me (BBC1), we saw her face multiplied into three, through the prism of a glass lamp. Nicely done.

The British Raj deliberately promoted hatred between Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, she claimed, in a policy of ‘divide and rule’. But to prove her point she travelled to Delhi and Calcutta, two of the most multi-cultural cities on Earth — a living legacy of British policies for a united India.

Unforgiveably, she claimed that when rioting broke out in Calcutta in 1946, the British government could have stopped the violence ‘like that’ — snapping her fingers. The hundreds of deaths were ‘a real victory for Divide and Rule’, she jeered.

Yet moments earlier, Gurinder had been explaining that this country with its vast population was uncontrollable, and that the Raj was hopelessly undermanned.

The historians she interviewed were just as biased. One claimed that the British ‘scuttled the ship of India and swam away like rats’. That’s very moderate language!

Her family history seemed to fuel her anger: her Sikh mother and aunts were forced to flee Kashmir following partition.

Her Aunt Balwant said with tearful poetry: ‘People write in golden and silver words, but this history is written in blood.’ But the family sought refuge in London and found it. Britain welcomed them and saved their lives.

Pakistan, on the other hand, still refuses to give Gurinder a visa, even to film this programme.

If the Beeb blames Britain for everything, the Yesterday channel’s documentaries, made mainly for the U.S., seem barely aware that we exist. Impossible Engineering (Yesterday) felt it had to point out that Bristol and Coventry are in England.

Perhaps because they are aware that the show will mostly be watched by Americans, the writers also make sure that any complicated concepts are explained by animated cartoon characters.

I feel much more knowledgable about the economics of mass production, now that I’ve seen Impossible Engineering’s doodles of knights in armour and blacksmiths.


White liberal arrested on terrorism charges after attack on black Trump supporter

A white liberal activist has been arrested after punching a man for being a black Trump supporter, then bragging about it on Twitter.

Laguna, California police arrested 20-year-old Richard Losey Tuesday evening for Sunday’s videotaped assault.

Losey is charged with battery, and with making terrorist threats.

The Trump supporter, R.C. Maxwell, was surrounded by a liberal mob Sunday, who targeted him for his beliefs and skin color. Some in the crowd called him a "sellout" before Losey stepped in and began a KKK-style beating.

Losey then got on Twitter to brag and laugh about punching a black man.

"I did what I had to do. He ran and left us alone when his input wasn’t wanted. We all told him to leave and he didn’t. He had it coming," Losey said, doing his best impression of a neo-Nazi.

"Please arrest me lmao," he then taunted.

So that’s what police did.

Maxwell knows that, as a black conservative, he is a target for media hatred and liberal violence.

"If the optics were completely different and I was a black lives matter supporter and I was attacked on the Trump side of a protest I would be in the spotlight on CNN right now," Maxwell told local station Fox 11. "I went over to the left side to see if I could engage them with dialogue and I was instantly encircled by the so called anti fascists."

"I think the fact that I’m a black conservative causes a lot of problems for the left side because there’s no way they can really resolve that according to their narrative of what they think trump supporters are, so I think that was a bit triggering to the other side," Maxwell said. "I was getting lots of specific comments like you’re a sellout, you’re an Uncle Tom."


Segregation lives on

Sag Harbor Hills and the neighboring districts of Ninevah Beach and Azurest are unique among beach communities in the Hamptons, the collection of affluent towns on the eastern end of New York’s Long Island long known for attracting wealthy summer residents.

Founded in the village of Sag Harbor after World War II, in an era of deep segregation in the United States, they were home to a robust African-American population. Developers offered parcels of land in parched areas of the village for just a few hundred dollars or more. Working-class black families purchased much of the land, eventually creating several communities linked by dirt roads along Route 114.

Though their roots are working class, these neighborhoods of modest ranch houses and bungalows today are a haven for middle-class and upper-middle-class black families, populated by doctors and lawyers, artists and academics. They rank as the oldest African-American developments in the Hamptons and are among a handful of beach communities in the United States with African-American roots, including Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard.

The racial makeup of the districts kept home prices down for decades with many white buyers choosing to live in other parts of the village.

Yet that is changing as home prices in the Hamptons continue to rise, says Dianne McMillan Brannen, a broker with Douglas Elliman who has lived in Ninevah for more than 25 years. "Investors are being lured to these areas now and are looking for bargains," she says. She estimates that about a dozen homes sold to investors last summer, up from four or five the previous year.

Sag Harbor is not alone. Across the country, some historically black beach communities that have long escaped major property development and an influx of real estate investors are increasingly fending off both.

As values soar in surrounding locations, pricing out many second-home buyers, historically black beach enclaves from American Beach near Jacksonville, Fla., to South Carolina’s rural Sea Islands are seeing sharp increases in development and new home buyers.

Like gentrification debates raging in largely urban areas across the nation, the increase in new money, along with a generational shift, is sparking concerns in some historically black beach communities about the possible loss of their culture and identity.

"The irony is that many of these places were deemed undesirable when African-Americans first moved there," says historian Andrew W. Kahrl, author of "The Land Was Ours: How Black Beaches Became White Wealth in the Coastal South." "Some of these areas are gold mines today, but those luxury resorts in parts of coastal Georgia, South Carolina, and around the Chesapeake were havens for African-American life and culture."

Historically black beach communities date back as far as the 1930s in a handful of coastal areas across the United States. Many sprang up during segregation when blacks were either barred from whites-only beaches or simply unwelcome. While most were in the South, many took shape in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, evolving into beachheads for thriving economic and social life for African-Americans.

Audrey Davis grew up spending her summers in Highland Beach, a historic African-American enclave near Annapolis, Md. The town was a haven for affluent black Washingtonians seeking refuge from segregation and drew many black intellectuals including Paul Robeson, Booker T. Washington, and Langston Hughes.

Her grandfather, teacher and author Arthur P. Davis, purchased the land in the 1940s and built the wooden, two-story home that her parents still own today. "It was actually made from reclaimed wood from a whites-only hotel?across the street," says Davis,?who is director of the Alexandria Black History Museum?in Virginia. "Our whole family would gather there in?the summer because we cherished the sense of community."

But, she says, there is not a month that goes by that her parents do not receive a letter or two in their mailbox asking if they would consider selling the house. Though the waterfront community is relatively small — about 100 year-round residents — there has been a gradual uptick in home sales the past few years. The once-remote location of Highland Beach is slowly growing more integrated, with about 20 white and five Hispanic residents making Highland Beach their home, according to census data.

African-American homeownership along South Carolina’s Sea Islands dates to 1865 when the Union army issued orders to give freed black men the island chain and abandoned rice plantations. Despite decades of decline, fueled by ravaging storms and overzealous development, a dwindling number of black families still live and work on the islands today.

Known as the Gullah, they are descendants of enslaved Africans who lived in the Lowcountry regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

A firm population count of blacks on the Sea Islands is difficult to obtain. But as part of an application for protected status in 2005, the Gullah/Geechee estimated their total population in the Carolinas, Georgia, and northern Florida at 200,000, according to Marquetta Goodwine, cofounder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition.

Though much of the island chain in South Carolina has been declared a Cultural Heritage Corridor by the National Park Service, that has not stopped developers from chipping away at waterfront locations. Property projects large and small now dot many locations, and some locals fear it will eventually resemble Hilton Head, the upmarket waterfront resort in South Carolina that was once home to the Gullahs.

"They’re communicating with the developers, but when you have a multimillion-dollar development coming into an area, it’s always going to be an unequal conversation," says Bernie Mazyck, president of the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations.

Oak Bluffs, a sliver of Martha’s Vineyard that is home to a lively African-American population, has long attracted wealthy second-home buyers. But the town holds a unique history for African-Americans.

Its harbor drew freed slaves and laborers in the 18th century, and white locals sold them land. The town eventually became a popular destination for freed blacks, who came to work in the fishing industries.

In the late 19th and 20th centuries, middle-class blacks began buying and renting summer homes in Oak Bluffs, eventually turning the town into a mecca for successful African-Americans. Martin Luther King Jr. vacationed in Oak Bluffs, as did Joe Louis, Harry Belafonte, and Dorothy West, a Harlem Renaissance writer. Barack Obama vacationed on the Vineyard every summer but one during the eight years of his presidency.

Oak Bluffs Beach, known as the Inkwell, is a famed stretch of sand some say was named by Harlem Renaissance writers who came to the Vineyard and found inspiration near the water and thus named the beach that was once segregated from the white beach.

Yet despite its history and oceanfront location, Oak Bluffs has not experienced the same kind of real estate squeeze as other historically black beach communities, says Richard Taylor, a real estate executive and director of the Center for Real Estate at Suffolk University in Boston. He is also the author of "Martha’s Vineyard: Race, Property, and the Power of Place." He credits local officials, who have tightened already demanding rules on residential development to fend off new buyers’ dreams of building larger homes closer to the ocean.

And while the town has seen a fair share of new buyers — white and black — the Vineyard’s long history of celebrating African-American culture has kept it as a vibrant location for black homeowners, Taylor says. "We have film festivals and book clubs and churches all dedicated to the history and culture of African-American life," says Taylor, who has owned a home in the East Chop section of Oak Bluffs since the 1970s.

In Sag Harbor, the influx of money underscores the challenges facing many historically black beaches. While home prices and the pace of sales are falling across the Hamptons, Sag Harbor is bucking the downward trend.

Last year, the median price of a house in the Hamptons fell 5.3?percent from 2015, while the number of sales was down 13.7?percent, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller. But Sag Harbor saw a 25?percent increase in the median home sale price in 2016 compared with a year earlier, rising from $1.2?million to $1.5?million.

Though homes in the historically black sections of Sag Harbor have not yet reached those sales levels, prices are rising, says Frank Wimberley, a 90-year-old artist who has kept a home in Sag Harbor Hills almost half his lifetime. Still active today, the abstract painter creates new works in a studio at the back of his modest beach bungalow.

"It’s worrisome because it’s beginning to feel like a takeover," he says. "These areas were born when blacks were unwelcome in a lot of places. And for me and many longtime residents, they will always be places of special significance."

Brannen, the broker with Douglas Elliman, is more blunt. "Rising home values are good, but eventually this part of Sag Harbor will look like just another upscale beach resort," she says. "And I don’t think anyone wants 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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


27 August, 2017

"Trump’s transgender ban is based on hate" (?)

The above headline and the article that follows are by Michael A. Cohen, a columnist with the Boston Globe.  It is the sort of hate-filled argument that we have come to expect from the Left. Cohen projects his own hate onto Trump.  But it's not a convincing projection.  Can anyone reading his words doubt how consumingly Mr. Cohen hates Mr. Trump?

And his argument is a typically Leftist one in another way:  its extreme selectivity.  Of all the things that Trump and his many military advisers might have had in mind when they decided to limit sexually disturbed people in the military, Cohen considers only one:  Medical costs.  But anyone who knows anything about the argument knows that the main costs are psychological -- part of what Trump referred to as "disruption". 

It is many years since I was an army psychologist but I am still confident that I can tell you what is involved.  In "Vom Kriege", Clausewitz stresses the importance of morale in a military unit and that is the basic issue.  High morale often means the difference between defeat and victory. And closely linked to morale is unit cohesion.  Morale is highest when all the members of a unit have strong brotherly feelings towards one another.  That is so much so that psychologists generally conclude that it is most unusual for a man to fight for "King and country".  Instead he fights for his brothers -- the men in his unit whom he has trained with and with whom he has experienced stresses of various sorts. Australia's most admired military hero Ben Roberts-Smith has tattooed across his broad chest:  "I will not fail my brothers".

And all that is seriously disrupted even with normal women in a  unit -- let alone a sexually confused woman.  Units that are normally well away from the frontline have long included women.  They are not under the frontline stresses where morale and unit cohesion make all the difference.  But, even so, women in any unit create problems.   Sexual intercourse will always take place within mixed units. -- with varying degrees of consent. Army personnel tend to be  vigorously healthy and their sex-drive will be too.  And rivalry for the "affections" of the woman will tear "brothers" apart, which is why women were historically barred from battlefield roles even in the Israel Defence Force, though that has been watered down in recent times in Israel.  Mixed units will substantially damage frontline cohesion. 

I was for a time married to a woman who had spent 9 years in the army transport corps.  Fortunately, she was a big strong woman (though pleasingly shaped) and she needed to be.  She repeatedly had to fight off approaches from both males and females.  She remembers kicking a lesbian across the room to get her off herself and she once expelled a male officer from her tent at the point of a pistol. Since she and I had a very pleasing heterosexual marriage, I can vouch that she was not herself a lesbian but she says that most of her fellow female troops were.

Do you begin to get the issues once you introduce complexity into a simple all-male environment?  Mr Cohen can probably not even imagine them but we can be sure that the many generals Trump has advising him know those issues very well.  Trump's decision was a sound military one based on military realities and requirements.  The hate comes not from Mr Trump but from Mr Cohen

Tuesday night, President Trump traveled to Phoenix and delivered perhaps the most unhinged speech of his presidency, which for Trump is no small accomplishment. The nation’s 45th president spent most of the time focused on the only person who truly matters to him — Donald Trump. Indeed, much of his speech was spent airing his abundant grievances about how the reporters he calls un-American truthfully cover the things he says. But one section of his remarks stands out.

In praising his supporters and contrasting them with the D.C. establishment, Trump said, "You always understood what Washington, D.C., did not. Our movement is a movement built on love. It’s love for fellow citizens.

"We believe that every American has the right to live with dignity. Respect for America demands respect for all of its people. Loyalty to our nation requires loyalty to each other. We all share the same home, the same dreams, and the same hopes for a better future. A wound inflicted upon one member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all."

These are lovely words that bear no relation to the policies endorsed by the man who uttered them or the audience who applauded them.

Indeed, less than 24 hours after Trump’s speech, a proposed White House directive on the transgender ban was leaked to The Wall Street Journal.

The ban, which reverses the Obama administration’s decision last year to allow transgender troops to serve openly, would instruct the military to stop admitting transgender Americans. It lays out criteria for expelling them and would even force the Pentagon to stop paying for transition medical regimes already underway.

When Trump first announced this ban on Twitter, he claimed that allowing transgender individuals to serve would lead to "tremendous medical costs and disruption" to the military.

I know this will come as a shock, but there is no evidence to back up Trump’s claims. In fact, according to a study by the Rand Corporation, approximately 10 to 130 members of the active force could have "reduced deployability as a result of gender transition-related treatments" each year. Considering there are more 100,000 nondeployable soldiers in the Army alone this is hardly a major burden.

In addition, health care costs for transgender service members would be around $6 million a year — or approximately 14 times less than the amount of money spent by the Pentagon on Viagra.

Trump’s transgender ban is policy in search of a point. In fact, the real reason Trump initially announced it is that he thought it would help him get congressional Republican support for a bill appropriating money for his border wall. Hate begetting more hate.

However, even if allowing transgender Americans to openly serve was a burden, shouldn’t that be a small price to pay for a political movement built on love and the belief that every American has a right to live with dignity?

To be sure, politicians resort to these kinds of platitudes all the time, even as they implement policies that operate in direct contradiction. But the chasm between Trump’s words and the policies he endorses is a mile wide. Rare is it in American history when actual rights are taken away from Americans. Trump’s ban is the rankest form of prejudice — imposing discriminatory policies that are born solely out of intolerance and hatred.

Ideally, court challenges will block Trump’s transgender ban, but it shouldn’t block the reality of what this effort says about Trump and his political "movement." The president and his supporters can talk all they want about love and unity but the truth is evident: their agenda is one born out of hate.


The rationale behind Google censorship

It's fine in theory but, as always, the devil is in the details.  It would be reasonable if it were only genuinely hateful content that was hit but when support for the President is put in that basket, America clearly has a problem

In recent months, YouTube has been pulling ads from videos with controversial messages, a costly policy known as "demonetization." It has echoes of the debate over political speech happening all over the country, including here in Boston last weekend. But the YouTube crackdown is being pushed by advertisers dismayed at being associated with hateful videos.

Watson, Black, and many others say demonetization is a form of censorship. Dissenting voices are still free to publish, but if they can’t get paid, many will fade away. These critics might be right. But YouTube and its advertisers say demonetization is good business, and they are definitely right.

On traditional television, an advertiser buys time on specific shows that appeal to specific audiences. If you want to sell shaving cream, you buy time during baseball games; if you’re selling denture cream, you run ads during the NBC Nightly News.

It’s different with YouTube, which hosts hundreds of millions of videos on every imaginable topic. Even a giant company like Procter & Gamble has no way of knowing which videos ought to carry its ads, because unlike traditional TV, it doesn’t have great data on who watches what.

All that data is held by YouTube. Its parent company, Alphabet Inc., also owns the search engine Google, probably the world’s richest trove of marketing data. Alphabet combines YouTube and Google data to generate precise profiles of each person’s tastes and interests. So the ads you see when you visit YouTube are uniquely tailored to you.

Alphabet doesn’t share the data with advertisers. Instead, they say, just tell us the audience you seek, and we’ll figure out the best videos for reaching them. And that’s where the trouble began.

Ryan Bonnici, senior director of global marketing at Cambridge-based advertising software company HubSpot Inc., told me that advertisers have tried to buy YouTube ads using the same methods they’d applied to TV. They would target certain demographic groups—say, women age 18 to 35. Or certain interest groups, like foodies or car racing fans.

These simple criteria work fine on traditional TV, but not on YouTube. What if that foodie also likes videos of antifa radicals fighting with alt-right racists? What if the Nascar buff also enjoys how-to videos on how to build homemade bombs?

Sure enough, the world’s biggest companies discovered their ads on videos produced by terrorists and hate-mongers. And since the producers of these videos get paid whenever an ad is run, the companies were financing their repulsive activities.

"A lot of advertisers didn’t realize that was possible," said Bonnici. But when the Times of London ran a story in February that highlighted the issue, corporate reaction was swift and merciless. Big names such as PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson and Volkswagen pulled their ads, costing YouTube a tub of money. The company hasn’t said how much, but Bonnici estimated it might be as much as $700 million.

Since then, YouTube has announced new features to keep ads from extremist videos, such as artificial intelligence systems and human inspectors to spot the worst offenders more quickly. It’s also making it easier for advertisers to target their ads more precisely.

It all makes perfect sense, and YouTube has no choice in the matter anyway. No respectable company wants its ads to accompany hate videos. But the demonetization has gone a lot farther, ravaging the revenues of many sites that contain the merely controversial. These range from popular videos by Diamond and Silk, two black women who avidly support President Trump, to the work of left-wing humorist Jimmy Dore.

Under its "advertiser-friendly content guidelines," YouTube gives itself wide latitude to demonetize a vast amount of material, including "video content that features or focuses on sensitive topics or events including, but not limited to, war, political conflicts, terrorism or extremism, death and tragedies, sexual abuse, even if graphic imagery is not shown."

That sounds like it could rule out the nightly news. And while these restrictions have been around for a long time, many YouTubers say that a newly aggressive enforcement policy is strangling them.

YouTube is clearly walking a tightrope here. The company doesn’t want to ban controversial material altogether; but it doesn’t want to scare off the advertisers who keep the cash rolling in.

Tim Black told me that demonetization is a deliberate effort to stamp out independent political commentary, from the left or the right. "It’s not about specific videos," he said in an email. "It’s about pushing out diversity of thought and uplifting major news networks such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC."

Since cutting his advertisers, Black said "YouTube has gutted my ability to fund my independent reporting. My viewers are buying t-shirts, mugs and donating to keep my voice alive."

A YouTube spokesperson said video producers can appeal demonetization. "Many creators, including Diamond and Silk, have submitted and successfully won appeals," the spokesperson said.

YouTube also rejected claims it’s censoring people. Advertisers "can choose the kind of content that they feel is suitable for their ads. Providing advertisers this choice is not censorship."

That won’t mollify Diamond and Silk, who are planning to sue YouTube. I wouldn’t bet on their success. It’s advertisers who want YouTube to hook them up with inoffensive videos that generate sales rather than outrage. If that’s censorship, it’s the same kind you’ll find on TV, where the free, ad-supported fare on the broadcast networks is bland as oatmeal, and the daring, edgy stuff is found on the pay channels such HBO or Amazon Prime.

For now, YouTube features as much rabble-rousing as ever. Now let’s see what happens when the rabble has to start paying for it.


Australia: Fruitcake  pushes politically correct plan to rename Father’s Day ‘Special Person’s Day’

Surely this discriminates too.  Dogs are people, as we all know.  So why not a "Special creatures" day? Why limit it to bipedal persons?

AN EARLY childhood activist has been labelled "offensive" after suggesting Father’s Day be renamed ‘Special Person’s Day’ so kids without dads wouldn’t feel left out.

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet, an activist with a doctorate in early childhood studies, is pushing for the name change to the annual holiday.

During an interview on Today Tonight Dr Scarlet denied it was case of excess political correctness.

"Why are we calling this political correctness when in fact it’s about our rights?" Dr Scarlet told host Rosanna Mangiarelli.

She went on: "There’s a lot of Australian research that has actually informed a lot of international research ... that has demonstrated children’s capacity to be really inclusive once they know about these ideas and they think, ‘Wow, why are people seeing this as a controversy?"

Dr Scarlet, who insisted that was her real name, said that many families without fathers supported the idea.

"We have single parent families, satellite families, extended families, lesbian and gay families," she said.

Her ideas were met with a stern rebuke from New South Wales Liberal minister David Elliott, who called them "rubbish".

"Can’t believe that someone who professes to be ‘enlightened’ would advocate such crap," Mr Elliott wrote on Facebook.

"People still celebrate fatherhood even after their father and grandfathers have passed away, in fact for many people Father’s Day is a wonderful time of reflecting and remembering."

He went on: "Dr Red Ruby Scarlet — you are the offensive one. Maybe we should start a campaign to address that."


Russia Bans Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible As Extremist Literature

I have a copy of the Jehovah's Witness translation of the Bible and can testify that it is in fact an especially literal translation of the original texts.  To condemn it is to condemn all Bibles

Russian courts banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible as extremist literature Thursday, after deeming it not a bible.

The Vyborg City Court banned the New World Translation of the Bible after an expert study from Moscow’s Center for Sociocultural Expert Studies (CSES) deemed that it was not a bible. The ruling, which ended months of litigation suspended since July 26, contradicted Russia’s Federal Law on Extremism, signed by Vladimir Putin in 2015 that prohibits the Bible from being labeled extremist literature.

The CSES experts did not have any religious studies degrees, nor were they familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses literature, according to Dr. Roman Lunkin, head of the Center for Religion and Society Studies at the Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

"In defiance of all good sense, Russia’s law-enforcement system generates completely ridiculous expert studies (and, it appears, they encourage loyal supporters to open expert centers). Regarding the Center for Sociocultural Expert Studies commissioned to analyze the Witnesses’ Bible, not one of the experts has a degree in religious studies and they are not even familiar with the writings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their analysis included quotes that were taken from information provided by the Irenaeus of Lyon Centre, a radical Orthodox anti-cult organization known for opposing Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as many other religions and denominations," Lunkin said.

The Irenaeus of Lyon Centre, headed by a man named Alexander Dvorkin, is the Russian member association of FECRIS, the French NGO entirely funded by the office of the French Prime Minister, dedicated to destroying any religious minority that contradicts the doctrines of the Russian Orthodox Church. (Related: The French Conspiracy With The Russian Orthodox Church That Destroyed The Jehovah’s Witnesses)

The prosecution’s case hinged upon the argument that the New World Translation (NWT) Bible was not a bible at all, because the Jehovah’s Witnesses referred to it as the Holy Scriptures, instead of specifically calling it a bible. CSES used that technicality to skirt around article 3 of the Federal Law on Extremism, which states: "The Bible, the Quran, the Tanakh, and the Kangyur, and their contents, and quotations from them cannot be recognized as extremist materials."

The court’s ruling legally legitimized the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church’s efforts to completely purge the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion from Russia. The ruling also paved the way for the purging of any other religious minority, so long as the government deems said minorities to be extremist and label their scriptures as something other than a Bible, Quran, Tanakh, or Kangyur, regardless of whether or not they actually are those books.

The prosecution used CSES’s counsel twice in this case, using the CSES’s original conclusions about the NWT bible as the basis for their initial arguments. Russia’s Supreme Court precedent disqualifies an expert from being used more than once in the same case to address the same issue. With the final nail in the coffin of the Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses on the line, the court ignored that precedent.


Another false rape accuser jailed in Britain

She is a great fat slob -- too repellent for me to post her picture -- so why the police ever believed that she was so tempting to men I will never know.  Britain is however fairly good at jailing false accusers when it catches them

A SERIAL rape accuser who claimed she had been sexually assaulted by 15 men in three years has been jailed after her sick lies were finally exposed.

A judge slammed Jemma Beale as a "convincing liar" and "manipulative" while sentencing her to ten years behind bars in the UK on Thursday.

The 25-year-old claimed she had been seriously sexually assaulted by six men and raped by nine, all strangers, in four different encounters over the space of three years.

She was found guilty in July at Southwark Crown Court of four counts of perjury and four counts of perverting the course of justice.

Sentencing her today, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: "This trial has revealed, what was then not obvious, that you are a very, very convincing liar and you enjoy being seen as a victim.

"The prosecution described your life as a ‘construct of bogus victim hood’."

Prosecutor Madeleine Moore told the court police spent 6400 hours investigating Beale’s claims at a cost of at least AUD $450,000, and the trial cost at least $177,000. Investigating Beale cost about AUD $390,000. The cost of other trials brought the total cost to taxpayers to AUD $1.45 million for her deceit.

Lawrence Henderson, defending, said Beale still maintains her innocence, and she was considering appealing against sentence.

He told the court: "Ms Beale stands by the claims she made in this matter and if she had her time again she would again plead not guilty to these matters and contest the trial."

Beale from Bedfont, west London, sat with her arms crossed as she was jailed for a total of 10 years, with the judge branding her behaviour as "manipulative"

He said: "These offences usually began as a drunken attempt to get your partner’s sympathy or perhaps to arouse her jealousy.

"They each began impulsively, but what is particularly chilling is the manner in which you persisted in making allegations which you knew were untrue even to the extent of committing and repeating perjury."

Detectives launched an investigation into Beale in December 2013 after they learned of a claim by one of her former girlfriends that a man had been wrongly jailed after Beale lied about being raped by him in November 2010.

Police said the information came to light when officers were investigating a separate allegation by Beale, where she claimed to have been raped by a number of men during an incident in November 2013.

With concerns over Beale’s account, officers carried out a review of four investigations into allegations of rape and sexual assault made by Beale.

Police found common discrepancies and similar circumstances within the allegations, which strengthened their suspicions that Beale may have fabricated them.

The Metropolitan Police said one of the rape allegations made to police by Beale in 2010 led to the conviction of a man, Mahad Cassim, who was jailed for seven years.

After the CPS and his defence team were alerted to the fact there were serious doubts over the validity of Beale’s allegations, the man subsequently appealed against his conviction and it was quashed at the Court of Appeal in July 2015.

In a victim impact statement Mr Cassim told the court he had been hugely effected by the false claim. He added: "One of my goals is to be a successful businessman, to have a nice family and be happy. "I am working on the happiness — I have a long way to go."

Her ex-girlfriend told how she was a sadistic bully who gloated about the money she made from her vile fake accusations.

Anuska Pritchard said Beale, 25, duped her into giving evidence on her behalf at the trial of Mahad Cassim, jailed for seven years in 2012 after being found guilty of rape.

But to Anuska’s horror, just weeks later Beale gleefully told her how she had completely made up the rape claims in order to get AUD $18,000 in criminal compensation.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


25 August, 2017

German supermarket Edeka clears foreign products from shelves in anti-racism stunt

A good way to lose business and illogical anyway.  Buying stuff from abroad is nothing like having hostile minorities living in your own country

A SUPERMARKET in Germany has stripped its shelves of products to make a point about "racism" and "diversity" as the country grapples with a dramatic rise in anti-migrant sentiment.

An Edeka store in Hamburg has removed foreign-made products from its shelves, replacing them with signs bearing "anti-xenophobia" slogans such as "This shelf is pretty boring without diversity", "Our range now knows borders", "This is how empty a shelf is without foreigners" and "We will be poorer without diversity", The Independent reported.

Reaction was mixed on social media, with one person commenting that the shelves "look like they came straight from Cuba".

A spokeswoman for the Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket, said the company had "received a lot of positive feedback" to Saturday’s action. "Edeka stands for variety and diversity," she said. "In our stores we sell numerous foods which are produced in the various regions of Germany.

"But only together with products from other countries it is possible to create the unique variety, that our consumers value. We are pleased that our campaign caused so many positive reactions."

Edeka is expected to roll out the campaign more broadly as the country prepares for federal elections next month, with immigration high on the agenda.

Germany has experienced a dramatic increase in violent crime, including murder, rape and sexual assault, since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than one million migrants into the country in 2015.

Authorities and the media have been accused of attempting to cover up crimes committed by migrants, notably in the wake of the New Year’s Eve mass sex attacks in Cologne. The German government has also pressured Facebook and other social networks to crack down on "xenophobia" and hate speech, raising fears of censorship.

The country has also been rocked by a string of terror attacks over the past two years, including a supermarket stabbing spree in Hamburg last month in which one person was killed and several injured. In December, a terrorist plowed a truck through a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 and injuring 48.

In October, ISIS claimed responsibility for a "lone wolf" knife attack in Hamburg in which a 16-year-old boy was killed, and in July a gunman opened fire in a Munich shopping centre, killing nine people and wounding more than 15.

That came a day before a suicide bomber carrying a backpack bomb filled with "metal parts" attempted to enter an open air music festival in Ansbach, before blowing himself up near the entrance.

Earlier that month, a teenage Afghan refugee armed with a knife and an axe attacked a group of Hong Kong tourists on a train in Wuerzburg, injuring five people before being shot dead by police.

Also in July, a Syrian refugee wielding a machete killed a pregnant woman and injured five others in a fast-food store in Reutlingen, although police ruled out a terrorist motive and said the attacker’s nationality "played no role" in the attack.

In February last year, 15-year-old girl stabbed a police officer at Hanover’s central railway station, in what was the country’s first ISIS-commissioned attack. The girl, a German-Moroccan dual national, was jailed in January this year.

Julia Klöckner, a senior member of Ms Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, praised the Edeka stunt on social media, calling it a "wise action". But Marcus Pretzell from the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party hit back. "Why exactly should it be wise?" he said. "Is it not rather completely mad?"

Sven Schmidt, who posted the widely shared photos on Twitter, praised the campaign but criticised some of the negative reaction he received.

"Looking at all the mentions of hate and lack of understanding of other people I got, I’m happy that I posted it and showed my two cents against the racists, even though I know it was mainly about diversity," he told The Independent.


Harvard Professor Calls Out Antifa for Trying to ‘Tear Down America’

Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz said Tuesday that liberals should not treat Antifa members as heroes for tearing down Confederate monuments because they are trying to "tear down America."

"Do not glorify the violent people who are now tearing down the statues. Many of these people, not all of them, many of these people are trying to tear down America. Antifa is a radical, anti-America, anti-free market, communist, socialist, hard-left sensorial organization that tries to stop speakers on campuses from speaking," Dershowitz said on "Fox & Friends"

"They use violence. Just because they are opposed to fascism and to some of these monuments, should not make them heroes of the liberals," he added.

Dershowitz warned there is a danger to tearing down these monuments because it creates a slippery slope regarding what is acceptable and what is not.

"Of course there is a danger of going too far," Dershowitz said. "There is a danger of removing [George] Washington and [Thomas] Jefferson and other Founding Fathers who themselves owned slaves."

He compared the movement to remove Confederate monuments to Josef Stalin, and accused the agitators of trying to rewrite history.

"The idea of willy nilly going through and doing what Stalin did, just erasing history and rewriting it to serve current purposes does pose a danger. And it poses a danger of education malpractice," Dershowitz said.

The professor added that both sides of the aisle have a responsibility to condemn the extremes that occur on their particular point of the political spectrum.

"I’m a liberal, and I think it’s the obligation of liberals to speak out against the hard-left radicals, just like it’s the obligation of conservatives to speak out against the extremism of the hard right," Dershowitz concluded.


Hands off the "Sun" newspaper!

The Sun is a generally conservative British tabloid newspaper with a mainly working class readership.  Labour party people  calling for journalists to be sacked from it are like jumped-up Joe Stalins

Imagine living in a country where politicians were so casually illiberal, so possessed of tinpot tyrannical urges, that they thought nothing of firing off letters of condemnation to the press when it said things they didn’t like. A country where the political elite was so cavalier about the ideal of press freedom that it was happy to demand ‘action’ against journalists whose commentary it judged to be offensive. A country where parliamentarians formed censorious gangs and put pressure on editors to sack columnists for having the ‘wrong’ view.

Well, if you’re a Brit like me, you live in that country. This week, taking their shameful place alongside Turkey’s President Erdogan, who likewise bristles at any newspaper that publishes things he disagrees with, 107 British MPs wrote a letter condemning the Sun for publishing a column critical of aspects of Islam, and suggesting that the journalist who wrote it, Trevor Kavanagh, be sacked.

The MPs, including Labour’s Naz Shah, Diane Abbott and Angela Rayner, and some Tories and Lib Dems too, insist that the Sun ‘retract this article’ — that is, unpublish it, bin it, and never say anything like this again — and that it ‘strongly consider’ whether Kavanagh has any place in its pages. That Kavanagh was political editor of the Sun for 20 years and is a core part of the paper’s personality is of no moment whatsoever to these self-styled cleansers of the press. He upset them, so he must go.

Anyone who believes in press freedom ought to be alarmed by this abuse of power by MPs, who are scandalously using their electoral clout to try to chill the press. The first alarming thing about the letter is its hyperbole. Like all aspiring censors in history, the 107 signatories must turn what was merely a point of view about potential problems relating to Islam into the embodiment of evil, something likely to damage community life and stir up violence. Just as censors of old insisted degenerate art would pollute men’s souls, and sexual literature would propel the populace into a frenzy, so the 107 censorious signatories claim Kavanagh has contributed to an ‘atmosphere of hostility’, used ‘Nazi-like terminology’, and given the impression that a ‘Final Solution’ is required for Muslims. Erm, calm down?

In truth, his column simply raised questions about Islam, which is a faith system. Are beliefs, ideas, no longer open to criticism? If so, that’s politics over with. Kavanagh writes about last week’s conviction of a predominantly Muslim grooming gang in Newscatle, which committed over 100 offences, including rape, against women and girls. He says it has become almost ‘unsayable’ to point out that, for some reason, a fairly significant number of Muslims are involved in some pretty awful misogynistic behaviour and other criminal activities. He suggests this is ‘The Muslim Problem’ but it is too often ‘unspoken’, because people fear a backlash if they criticise Islam. The nasty demand by politicians that he be sacked for writing this proves his point.

Kavanagh doesn’t say anything racist or caricaturing about individual Muslims. He talks about Islam and Muslim culture. The rash response by those 107 MPs is really an attempt to ringfence Islam itself from stinging rebuke or just everyday criticism. Under the guise of protecting individual Muslims from harm, they’re really seeking to protect the ideology of Islam from blasphemy. This makes their letter even worse: not only are they using their political authority to try to stymie press discussion — they’re doing so to the medieval end of ensuring that a particular religion and the culture it might or might not have a role in fostering never be subjected to the same level of criticism as other belief systems.

Then there’s their call for action. This should worry us all. They want the article taken down and Kavanagh taken down too: the letter asks the Sun’s editor to think about whether ‘Mr Kavanagh’s brand of bigotry fits with your vision for the paper’. Who do they think they are? For 350 years Britain has had a press largely free from state interference, independent of the political class, and yet here we have a significant section of the legislative arm of government — a sixth of it — issuing dire warnings to a newspaper. The arrogance and disregard for historically hard-won liberties are astonishing. And the precedent set is a potentially lethal one: if politicians get the idea that they can bully the press whenever it says something they don’t like, then we’re all in trouble.

Naturally, Corbynistas are cheering on the largely Labourite letter-writers. So is Corbyn himself, who says Kavanagh’s article was ‘wrong, dangerous and must be condemned’. Perhaps we should get Kavanagh to stand in a public place with a placard round his neck saying ‘DANGEROUS’? Corbynistas are sometimes referred to as Marxists. Please. Marx understood the value of an unfettered publishing sphere away from the threats and censorious ambitions of the political elite. The free press is ‘the ever vigilant eye of the people’s spirit, the embodiment of the people’s trust in itself’, he wrote. No, Corbynistas mimic someone else, a different figure from history. Careful guys, your Stalinism is showing.


The virgin Sturgeon finally realizes that being a national socialist is not a good look

There was another guy with a funny moustache who was a national socialist once

It has dominated Scotland’s political landscape for a decade and brought the country to the brink of independence but Nicola Sturgeon wishes she could turn the clock back and change the name of the Scottish National Party.

Ms Sturgeon, who joined the SNP at the age of 16, said yesterday she was embarrassed by the SNP name, particularly the "National" part of it.

The party leader made the admission at the Edinburgh Book Festival in a discussion about nationalism prompted by Elif Shafak, a Turkish author who was wrongly accused of publicly denigrating Turkishness with her novel The Bastard of Istanbul.


Religious freedom at risk in shift to homosexual marriage in Australia

The myopic failure of parliament to confront the need for broad ­religious-freedom guarantees in association with same-sex marriage laws has produced the inevitable — strong warnings that one right will be won at the erosion of other rights.

This is the unpalatable situation Australia faces with same-sex marriage. Despite claims from George Brandis, Bill Shorten and many others, such warnings are fully justified.

They rest upon three realities: that protection of belief and ­religious freedom in this country is seriously inadequate; the refusal of politicians either to admit or to address such defects; and the abundant evidence at home and abroad that individuals and institutions will be intimidated after the marriage law is changed.

Assertions to the contrary by politicians are worthless. Having been derelict in their duty they now complain about people pointing out the consequences of their dereliction.

Senior Liberals should beware of running a dishonest campaign ­asserting that such freedoms are protected when that is manifestly not the case.

This has been pointed out by many religious figures including the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, human rights lawyer and priest Frank Brennan, a range of Liberal politicians including Tony Abbott, and the chair of the Senate committee report, South Australian Liberal David Fawcett. It was documented at length in submissions to the committee that recommended protections for religious freedom be enhanced. This inadequacy has been raised in many independent reports over the years.

Advocates of same-sex marriage insist the change to marriage law must be the only issue considered at the plebiscite. Anything else is dismissed as a scare or distraction. You can only believe this if you believe the consequences of the change don’t matter or if you don’t care if the price of a new right is the sacrifice of other rights or if, in fact, you actually support the winding back of protections for individual belief and religious freedom.

In his recent article for The Guardian, Frank Brennan said religious freedom in Australia was seen as a "second-order right" while in international law it was a "first order ‘non-derogable’ right".

While the Liberal Party is desperate to "resolve" the same-sex marriage issue, it should beware presiding over a process that sees the roll-back of rights once believed to be intrinsic to its existence. That will come with a high price in future years.

The tactical mistake the Liberal Party made was seeking to make opposition to same-sex marriage the issue (a losing position) when it should have made same-sex marriage only on the condition of religious tolerance guarantees the issue (a winning position).

Newspoll this week showed strong support for same-sex marriage but the vote was 62-18 per cent for protecting religious freedoms at the same time.

The debate about religious freedom has focused entirely around the ceremony, not the society. But the bigger issue concerns protections for individuals, schools, charities, adoption agencies, businesses and institutions. The politicians will deny it but advocates of same-sex marriage felt religious freedom beyond the ceremony was a non-issue they didn’t have to worry about, a telling conclusion.

The efforts of Senator Brandis and Liberal backbencher Dean Smith to draft bills with protections for ministers and celebrants is important and should be recognised.

Wider guarantees must involve legislation beyond the Marriage Act such as anti-discrimination acts. This recognises that, over time, the main social consequence will not arise from same-sex marriage itself but the wider social, cultural and institutional change it brings.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


24 August, 2017


Diversity is a good thing. We have to say that today, but the truth is I actually believe it. My personal experiences confirm the cliché.

I grew up in a tiny blue-collar town in Wisconsin, but I was a bit of a vagabond in my 20s. Some cities I lived in were populous and diverse; others were small and mostly homogenous. But everywhere I went, I had the good fortune to make friendships with interesting people of various backgrounds.

Sure, this included people whose skin color and sexual preferences were different than my own, but that’s not what I’m getting at, or not entirely. I’m talking about just meeting people from all walks of life: cowboys and failed actors; oil rig workers and survivors of the toughest streets in West Baltimore.

I benefited from these relationships. It’s surprising how much one can learn about life by breaking bread with someone over a beer and actually listening.

I genuinely believe the friendships I made and the perspective I received offered me a richer, fuller picture of the human experience. That said, I believe our culture’s obsession with diversity is getting a little out of hand.

From Google’s cult-like worship of the Idea to the ridicule heaped on Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk (too white!) to the purging of intellectuals who do not embrace the dogmas, it seems like our culture is getting a tad carried away.

A recent local example: A Minneapolis writing conference was canceled because of the lack of diversity of the presenters. Via the Star Tribune:

"The lineup of speakers for the Loft Literary Center’s conference on writing for children and young adults was stellar. William Alexander, winner of a National Book Award. Kelly Barnhill, winner of the Newbery Medal. Phyllis Root, author of more than 40 books for children. And 19 others.

Other than Alexander, who is Cuban-American, every writer who agreed to speak was white. And so, just days after announcing it, the Loft in Minneapolis canceled the Oct. 20-21 conference.

"We have set a goal for ourselves to be inclusive and to work toward equity, and we didn’t think the conference would live up to that mission," Britt Udesen, executive director of the Loft, said Wednesday. "We made a mistake."

My first reflex was to agree with Udesen. This seemed like a bit of a faux pas. An almost all-white lineup in Minneapolis? Then I read a little further.

The Loft had invited more than 10 writers of color to speak and expected a few "to come through at the last minute, and then they didn’t," Udesen said.

The venue had invited "more than 10" non-white writers to attend but the writers, for whatever reason, had declined. So the event had to be canceled.

This seems, to be blunt, absurd. The venue made what appears to be a genuine attempt to have a diverse group of presenters, but because these writers could not or chose not to attend, the entire event had to be canceled.

The Loft, of course, has the right to do whatever it wishes. But I find our culture’s hyper-focus on diversity a little troubling—and, quite frankly, a bit weird.

Merriam-Webster define the term religion as the following: "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held with ardor and faith."

It seems to me that, for many in our culture, diversity is not just a virtue to be sought but a tenet of faith, one that must be observed at all times and cannot be questioned.

Such a theory might sound silly, but it would not have surprised G.K. Chesterton. "When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing," Chesterton once observed, "he believes anything."

This idea is one further explored by philosopher Alexander Schmemann in his essay "Worship in a Secular Age." Schmemann suggests that it’s in man’ very nature to worship:

"…worship is a truly essential act, and man an essentially worshipping being, for it is only in worship that man has the source and the possibility of that knowledge which is communion, and of that communion which fulfills itself as true knowledge: knowledge of God and therefore knowledge of the world – communion with all that exists."

If Schmemann and Chesterton are correct, it would explain why in our age of secularism we treat diversity as not just a good to be pursued, but as something sacred.


Alt-Left Insanity: Liberals Vandalize, Attack, Riot and Burn, But Aren’t Violent

The media have gone berserk, angry that President Trump dared call out the left for its own violent lunatics. "I do think there's blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there's blame on both sides and I have no doubt about it and you don't have any doubt about it either and- and- and- and if you reported it accurately, you would say it," explained the president.

He’s right. The racists and the Antifa or antifascists both showed up in Charlottesville ready to fight. And though lots in the media pretend being "antifascist" is something honorable, Antifa is another part of left-wing thuggery. It is a big reason why the racist scum came armed, most likely.

This is the point where the virtue signalers demand that everyone hate Nazis. That’s like hating cancer. We all do. But I will take the ego plunge and quote my own Twitter account: "Nazis are awful. Racists are awful. #Antifa is awful. Political violence is awful. Why does saying that trigger so many in media?" There, the virtue signalers got their digital pound of flesh.

There’s a reason why this is important. If media people accept the left is filled with violent sociopaths who don’t believe in free speech, freedom of religion or maybe even the United States, that changes the conversation. Can’t have that!

Let’s remind them, shall we?

We’ll recap and go back to 2011, the heady days of the Obama presidency, during Occupy Wall Street. The media loved Occupy. NBC called it "demonstrations against corporate greed," even though it was just another catch-all liberal protest against The Man.

Occupy introduced many Americans to what the alt-left had become – criminal. Sort of a mix of street theater and street thugs. 7,700 Occupiers were arrested for a host of crimes including trying to blow up a bridge. Those who monitored the protests saw Occupy chant against police, scream at them, spit at them, push them, hit them, and more. When they weren’t throwing eggs, feces and firecrackers at police, they were doing what is called "doxing."

Doxing used to be a hacker tactic designed to dig up the public, and often not-so-public, information on an individual. CNET reported Occupy used it against Oakland police. It was also used against New York policeman Anthony Bologna who pepper sprayed Occupy protesters. Anonymous went after him and his family. They posted "personal information of not only Officer Bologna, but his wife and children," according to BuzzFeed. The media crew for Occupy San Diego repeatedly confronted and threatened individual officers and called for them to be doxed.

That was just the beginning. We’ve had riots in Ferguson and the various spin-off groups after it. The Hands Up, Don’t Shoot protests were based on a phrase that was never uttered, but media hyped it all the same. We witnessed the Freddie Gray riot in Baltimore that injured 130 police officers. Only CBS of the big three networks ever reported that fact.

Then there was the horrific Dallas shooting where five police officers were killed by Micah Johnson, a Black Lives Matter supporter. Here’s The New York Times headline: "Five Dallas Officers Were Killed as Payback, Police Chief Says." "During the standoff, Mr. Johnson, who was black, told police negotiators that ‘he was upset about Black Lives Matter,’ Chief Brown said," according to The Times.

Let’s not forget the Black Lives Matter protest in Minnesota where 21 police were injured. One even had his back fractured. First, the report making it clear the event was BLM. Then, the report of the violence where that connection is conspicuously absent. The headline: "Officer suffers spinal fracture during I-94 shutdown."

That takes us up closer to recent events. There was left-wing violence against Trump protesters and left-wing attacks on anyone conservative on college campuses. Ben Shapiro has to deal with this every time he goes to meet students, but he’s brave and perseveres. One liberal nut tried to attack Trump. Another tried to assassinate him. The media want to depict it as all one-sided against poor lefty protesters.

This violence continued after the election. More than 200 anarchist/Antifa types (same type who go to places like Charlottesville to fight) arrested and charged with felonies. We had alt-left riots in Berkeley – against free speech. At one, a lefty protester (lol) struck another person with a bike lock. "A former Diablo Valley College professor was arrested," according to The East Bay Times.

That doesn’t begin to address the massive amount of alt-left violence. It just scratches the surface. But it’s context. For further context, the day after Charlottesville, Antifa tried to assault a Trump rally in Seattle. Here’s ItsGoingDown for the Antifa/black bloc version of events:

"The black bloc was front and center with the police line, with shields in front. People silly stringed the police and threw smoke and small fireworks at them. Eventually we charged the police line and pushed at them and hit them with whatever we had. They peppersprayed us and we held for a little bit but then fell back." Then there’s this: "There was a tug of war between people and the cops, and one police officer tried to snatch someone but was smacked in the face by a 2×4 from the broken reenforced banner and the person managed to get away."

Your Statue Has To Go: As part of its Soviet-esque assault on history, the left has decided that statues have to go. Not Confederate statues, but any statues it seems.

How do we know? Because not only have liberals torn down Confederate statues in the dark of night, but they’ve protested a statue of President Teddy Roosevelt. And vandals attacked both the Lincoln Memorial and the Joan of Arc statue. "The phrase "Tear it Down" was hastily sprayed in black paint across the base of the golden Joan of Arc statue on Decatur Street in the French Quarter sometime earlier this week," according to NOLA.com.

A good friend of mine argues this is just liberal stupidity and that’s tough to disagree with. Except it’s part of a consistent narrative. The same idiots who want to purge statues are the ones who want to redo history books and even get rid of the Jefferson Memorial.

Here’s an LA Times story from 2015 that I mocked at the time. It’s headlined: "Jefferson Memorial, Confederate statues enter national race debate." Race huckster Al Sharpton just called for it to be defunded. Yet when President Trump brought up Jefferson and Washington, the media mocked him. Princeton also decided, for now, to Keep President Woodrow Wilson’s name on school buildings. Again, for now. And Yale even covered up a stone carving of a Puritan’s gun.

If you think this stops at Confederate monuments, you are being foolish. I end this with a quote from 1984: "Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right." George Orwell didn’t write fiction, he was Nostradamus.


Judge upholds Northern Ireland's homosexual marriage ban

Northern Ireland’s ban on marriage equality has been upheld after a Belfast high court dismissed two landmark legal challenges.

It remains the only part of the UK where same-sex couples do not have the right to marry or have their marriages recognised. In two separate judgments yesterday, Mr Justice O’Hara ruled that the region’s failure to recognise gay marriage was not a breach of human rights but was up to Stormont. It means that any change to the status quo will have to go through the assembly, which is not sitting due to the political impasse. Previous attempts to change the law democratically have been persistently blocked by the DUP.

The two separate cases were heard together due to the similarities of the arguments. In…


Anti-Immigration Party On Track to Enter Germany’s Federal Parliament

If polling ahead of Germany’s September 24 election proves accurate, the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party could become the first populist nationalist party – which counts a number of right-wing extremists among its members – to enter the country’ parliament since the end of World War II.

The AfD is predicted to win 10 percent of the vote, according to a new Insa poll, well above the five percent threshold needed to enter parliament and establishing it as Germany’s third largest party.

The poll released Tuesday has Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in the lead with 37 percent, followed by the Social Democrats (SPD) with 25 percent.

Behind the AfD in third place, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) are set to win nine percent of the vote, Die Linke (The Left Party) nine percent, and the Greens seven percent.

Not all polls predict the AfD scoring so strongly, however. For example an Emnid poll published on Saturday instead placed the party at eight percent, level with the FDP and behind Die Linke, at 10 percent.

The Forschungsgruppe Wahlen poll puts the AfD, FDP and Die Linke all at eight percent, indicating the battle for third place could be tight.

Regardless, all poll predictions give the AfD enough support for enter the federal Bundestag for the first time. It already has a foothold at the regional level, represented in 13 out of 16 states.

Its policy positions include declaring Islam incompatible with German culture, a plan to strip immigrants convicted of serious crimes of their German passports, a call to close E.U.'s borders and set up holding camps abroad to prevent migrants from traveling to Germany.

If the AfD does become the third largest party in parliament, its impact on the German political landscape is uncertain.

Josef Janning, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, says the AfD’s arrival in parliament will likely prompt the CDU to shift its stance further to the right in a bid to suppress the newcomer’s influence.

"AfD presence will contribute to moves among CDU and CSU to better cover their conservative wing," Janning told CNBC on Tuesday. "The CDU, which has moved to the center with Merkel effectively occupying ground formerly held by conservative [elements in the] SPD, will likely move to the right."

Others consider AfD’s gains too insignificant to cause any significant impact. David Lea, senior analyst for Western Europe at Control Risks, told the broadcaster "Entering as a minority party outside of any coalition, the AfD will not be that influential and will remain very much on the fringe."

The AfD was founded as a Eurosceptic party in 2013, and saw a string of state election successes in 2016 by opposing Merkel’s "open door" policy after a wave of terrorist attacks and mass sexual assaults in Cologne and other cities during New Year 2015/16 soured public opinion regarding asylum seekers.

Its base is primarily in the formerly communist eastern states (where it has representation in all local parliaments), and it has also captured supporters through the decline of more extreme far-right parties like the ultranationalist National Democratic Party.

However the AfD struggled to maintain its momentum after the CDU toughened its stance on immigration, refugee arrival numbers fell, and the public’s view toward the CDU improved.

The party also suffered setbacks after some party leaders’ comments attracted accusations of anti-Semitism, racism and even Nazi-sympathizing. Co-leader Frauke Petry faces potential perjury charges, for allegedly lying to election officials about the AfD’s finances.

Despite this, AfD founding member Frank-Christian Hansel expressed confidence that Merkel’s popularity would diminish in the coming term, anticipating that dissatisfaction with public policy and European Union frustrations will undermine her efforts.

"The problems are getting so big with the migration crisis etc. that this next government will not be in power for the full four years," CNBC quoted him as saying.

At a re-election campaign rally on Monday, Merkel reassured participants that she does not envisage another  migration crisis, saying the CDU will not "allow a year like 2015 to recur every year." Germany admitted nearly 890,000 migrants that year.

Instead, it would tackle root causes of migration, through measures like encouraging development in Africa, she said.

AfD supporters in the audience chanted "Merkel out" and "immigration needs clear rules."


ACLU Caves: Will No Longer Defend Speech of 'White Supremacists' Who 'Incite Violence'

In a statement released Thursday, the national ACLU announced it has made a regressive decision to no longer defend certain forms of speech from government censor. In part, the ACLU claimed, "The First Amendment absolutely does not protect white supremacists seeking to incite or engage in violence."

Eugene Volokh believes the statement is in response not just to Charlottesville, where the ACLU correctly sided with the white supremacists against a government that tried to deny them a permit, but a new effort in San Francisco to rescind a permit granted to a group of Trump supporters for an August 26 rally.

Apparently, after the Charlottesville fallout, including resignations and pressure from big-dollar donors, the civil liberties group has chosen to abandon long-held principles and appease the Antifa terrorists.

This is not exactly a surprise. For the last decade or so the ACLU has become a boutique law firm for its Leftist donors, especially those hostile to another freedom protected by the First Amendment — freedom of religion. In case after case, the ACLU has sided against those seeking to practice and honor their faith, most especially the Christian faith.

Nevertheless, by refusing to defend those "seeking to incite or engage in violence," the ACLU is making an argument so intellectually sloppy, one can only imagine the ACLU of 40 years ago laughing it out the door.

Obviously, violence is not speech. Moreover, inciting violence is not speech. You cannot call on people to commit violence and hide behind the First Amendment. No one is arguing with the ACLU on this point. Moreover, the ACLU has never defended this kind of criminal speech.

The problem is that by condemning certain groups as violent before they have committed violence, the ACLU will now engage in the kind of pre-crime thought-policing we were warned about in the movie Minority Report. The ACLU also appears to be arguing that, no matter how peaceful they are, simply by showing up and expressing themselves, certain groups "seek to incite violence."

In other words, the same ACLU that successfully defended the rights of neo-Nazis to fly the swastika in Skokie, Illinois, 40 years ago, has done a complete flip-flop. They are now on the side of the "heckler's veto," where those offended by peaceful political expression (ideas, flags or symbols), are given the power — through violent or chaotic behavior — to take away another's speech rights.

No decent person will argue that the swastika is not a symbol of hate. Of course it is. The problem, however, is that once we declare the swastika off limits, what is next? In a free society, you cannot hand those who allow themselves to be incited to violence the right to take from others their right to free expression, no matter how evil their ideas might be.

The only line a free society can draw is one between political speech and political violence (or calling for violence). While I am in no way putting both on the same moral plane, a neo-Nazi has as much of a right to wear a swastika tattoo as a woman does to wear a short skirt. If any violence occurs as a result of either act, the only behavior not protected by the Constitution is the behavior of whoever crossed the line from speech to violence.

Moreover, as long as he is peaceful, it our government's primary responsibility to protect the pig with the swastika from violence, just as it is the primary responsibility of elected officials in San Francisco to protect Trump supporters. Rescinding their permit — even if they were neo-Nazis — is caving to the mob, is un-American.

As frustrating and maddening as freedom can sometimes be, this is the only way a civilized society can survive. This is the cost of being free, but compared to the alternative (a tyrannical government choosing what is and is not accepted speech) it is a very small cost.

Admittedly, I am a free speech extremist. I am also someone who sees a highly-organized effort among the Left and media to declare "hate speech" a form of violence. The intent behind this effort is neither noble nor misguided. The frightening goal here is to declare as illegal certain opinions, beliefs, arguments, gatherings, words, and religious doctrines. And this fascistic slippery-slope begins by branding ideas and symbols you disagree with as violence.

For all of its many flaws, at least on this front, the ACLU had stood fast as the canary in the coalmine of free speech. Now that canary is dead.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


23 August, 2017

Is it worth keeping this thing in jail for 24 years?

Bring back the death penalty

A heartbroken father has released the harrowing footage of his son's murder in a bid to get knives off Britain's streets.

Lauric Lebato, 22, was stabbed in the back by Sulaiman Sillah when a fight broke out at a party on February 11.

The attack inflicted horrific injuries on Lauric and caused him to bleed to death at the property in Leicester.

His father Tagbeu Lebato has now made an emotional film with Leicestershire Police to highlight the damage knives can have on families and communities.

He also shared pictures of his son and said he was devastated by the loss and said 'his life finished' when Lauric was stabbed

Sillah, 20, of Leicester, was jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 24 years at Birmingham Crown Court after being found guilty of murder.

Speaking on the video, he said: 'You have just watched my son Lauric being stabbed to death.

'I told you it would be shocking. But how do you feel? How do you feel about that knife that took our lives?

'I do not ask you to pity my life. I have no need of your pity. Instead, I ask you to think about that knife that took the life of my beautiful little boy.

'Now, think about another knife that may one day take your life or the life of someone close to you.

Sillah, who claimed he acted in self-defence, was also found guilty of wounding with intent on another occasion.

Jurors also convicted Sillah's friend, Sheriff Oluwa, 20, of violent disorder.

A court heard Oluwa had been threatening people with a large combat knife on the night but had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

On February 11, Sillah and Oluwa, both originally from London, attended a fellow De Montfort University student's birthday party in a basement flat.

Around 15 members of the Manor House Gang from London also attended the party, including Mr Lebato.

A row broke out between the Leicester student group and the Manor House Gang and the fight spilled out into the street, where Oluwa threatened other people with a long combat knife before being sprayed with a foam fire extinguisher by Mr Lebato.

Sillah then ran at Mr Lebato from behind with a knife but Mr Lebato managed to dodge out of his way at the last minute and flee across the road before he was stabbed.

In the film, Mr Lebato said his life has been destroyed by the death of his son after moving from their former home in Ivory Coast to give Lauric a better future'.

'I was born into a very poor family in the Ivory Coast. We had very few things and very little money, but I had a dream that one day I would have a child.

'When that moment came I would take my child far, far away to a different culture, a different place, where I would bring my child up to be a happy, successful and safe person.

'Lauric was born in the Ivory Coast. He was and always will be in my mind a beautiful, happy little boy.

'Five years later, having saved and saved, I fulfilled my dream. We broke that link with my home country, with poverty, and with my family, and Lauric and I set up home together in London.'


Georgia judge forced to RESIGN for saying "nut cases tearing down monuments equivalent to ISIS destroying history"

What Judge Hinkle wrote was true. But the idea that he had to resign because he was biased is ridiculous. There is no indication that any of his judicial opinions were biased. But there are innumerable leftist judges all over the country who legislate leftist politics from the bench. No one ever rebukes them for it or calls them biased, and the damage they do is immense. If all biased judges were forced to resign, hundreds of hard-left judges would be stepping down.

"Gwinnett Judge Resigns After ‘Snowflakes’ and ‘Nut Cases’ Posts," by Doug Gross, Loganville Patch, August 17, 2017:

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA — A Gwinnett County magistrate judge and longtime local politician has resigned from his court position after being suspended over controversial posts he made on Facebook.

Jim Hinkle, a part-time judge who has served on the court for 14 years, resigned Wednesday, Chief Magistrate Judge Kristina Hammer Blum said in a written statement. Blum had suspended Hinkle indefinitely after his Facebook posts came to light on Saturday.

"For 14 years, Judge Hinkle has dutifully served this court," Blum said in her statement. "He is a lifelong public servant and former Marine. However, he has acknowledged that his statements on social media have disrupted the mission of this Court, which is to provide justice for all."…

In other posts, Hinkle has condemned Islam as a violent religion.

By Wednesday morning, Hinkle appeared to have either deleted his Facebook account or set it to a private setting. But the Atlanta Journal Constitution captured images of his posts before he did so.

"In Charlottesville, everyone is upset over Robert E. Lee statue. It looks like all of the snowflakes have no concept of history," Hinkle wrote Saturday. "It is what it is. Get over it and move on. Leave history alone – those who ignore history are deemed (sic) to repeat the mistake of the past. In Richmond, VA, all of the Confederate monuments on Monument Ave. have people on horses whose asses face North. PERFECT!"

Later, he wrote "The nut cases tearing down monuments are equivalent to ISIS destroying history."…

In her statement, Blum made clear the suspension came because the posts jeopardized Hinkle’s position as an unbiased arbiter of the law….


National Parks Issue Statement on Confederate Monuments

As the American left pushes to purge the nation of Confederate statues and memorials, the National Parks Service is making clear the statues at Gettysburg battlefield are not going anywhere.

Katie Lawhon is the senior advisor for the park service when it comes to Gettysburg, and she says the statues "are important" and allow the park service to "historically and objectively tell the stories the monuments commemorate."

Lawhon reassured the Reading Eagle that the statues would not be moved.

Barb Adams, who volunteers at Gettysburg, said watching the statues being vandalized and/or removed around the country breaks her heart. She said, "It’s just so upsetting to me—these men, these soldiers fought for what they believed in."


UK: 'Left-leaning' National Trust head cautiously admits: 'We have alienated traditional members'

The outgoing head of the National Trust has admitted that the organisation has alienated "traditional visitors" in the wake of rows over Easter egg hunts, gay pride badges and flapjacks.

Dame Helen Ghosh, who takes over as Master of Balliol College, Oxford University, next April, said that while Trust membership was healthy "sometimes some of our perhaps more traditional visitors have felt that they are not being catered for as they once felt that they were."

She told Radio 4's The World This Weekend: "Sometimes I see signs that our places, or things going on, that perhaps tread too far in one direction than another. "It is sometimes the case that we appeal too much to one audience, and not enough to another."

Dame Helen, who succeeded previous director general Dame Fiona Reynolds in 2012, continued: "I haven’t got a specific example in mind. I think what I’m describing is that in order to be open-armed to welcome the widest possible group of visitors to our places, sometimes some of our perhaps more traditional visitors have felt that they are not being catered for as they once felt that they were."

The Trust has endured a torrid summer, during which it has faced criticism for requiring volunteers to wear gay pride badges, the public ‘outing’ of Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, former owner of Felbrigg Hall near Cromer, and a change in the recipe for it’s celebrated flapjacks.

Earlier in the year, the Trust was accused of "airbrushing faith", after the word "Easter" was dropped from the annual egg hunt it runs with Cadbury.

Speaking on Radio 4, Sir Roy Strong, a former director of both London’s Victoria & Albert museum and the National Portrait Gallery, was damning in his assessment of the Trust.

He blamed successive "left-leaning" director generals, and suggested it may be time for the organisation - which attracts more than £500 million in annual funding - to be "broken up".

Sir Roy, 82, said: "If you go to a National Trust house or property, you’re being almost told what to think, and how we ought to react.

"They’re obsessed with children, play areas, fun things at Easter and Christmas, and so on. "The signs are that the National Trust is being turned into a branch of the leisure industry.

"Within the last 20 years it’s really begun to alienate its own public. They’ve had two director generals, both competent in their own ways, and a balance has gone. Both were left-leaning".

"My own view [is that] it’s too large, and therefore it’s kind of alienating a lot of its members. I think there is a big discrepancy between the historic houses and gardens which certainly the present DG is possibly embarrassed about, and landscape and coastline, and it may well benefit from splitting.

"So much of what they do sounds like the Blair government in exile. It’s ticking the boxes against the disabled, the aged, LGBT, the ethnic communities and the rest of it, and something gets lost along the way."

The National Trust attracts 20 million visitors per year to its 775 miles of coastline, 248,000 hectares of land and more than 500 historic houses, castle, monuments, gardens and nature reserves


Blaming the victims in Europe

There is a variety of diseases beleaguering poor Eurocrats such as commoners’ realism, rationality and that nasty airborne virus of enlightenment transmitted by freedom of speech. But the disease most vexing is xenophobia.

As the then UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres suggested, xenophobia was an emerging European condition. In 2015, he wrote: "Europe needs to remain a continent of asylum … There are some distressing indications of rising xenophobia in some places in Europe … a lack of recognition of the fact that all societies are becoming multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious." In his first London speech as UN Secretary-General, Guterres criticised "national sovereignty agendas" and urged people to "fight xenophobia" and "hatred of Muslim communities".

In UN and EU documents, the defence of Western sovereign borders is curiously portrayed as hatred of Muslims. One might consider strong borders indispensable to the protection of all peaceful citizens residing in Western countries, Muslims included. But in anticipation of member states adopting a global compact on migration next year, the UN has proposed a global campaign to "counter xenophobia". Despite struggling with a concise, standard definition of the term, it appears that members regard xenophobia as the chief obstacle to Western populations accepting a policy of porous borders.

The EU and UN worked in unison to defend open borders across Europe against clear evidence that the policy facilitated jihad. Thousands of migrants claiming Syrian refugee status were neither Syrian nor refugees. Once again, the EU has joined the UN to campaign against xenophobia.

In January, European Council president Donald Tusk described three chief threats to the EU. The second threat in Tusk’s analysis is "anti-EU, nationalist, increasingly xenophobic sentiment in the EU itself". Note the word association. Tusk might have praised the remarkably peaceful response of Europeans to mass migration from the Islamic world. He could have thanked European people for their immense generosity and tolerance, despite the multiple jihadist attacks and assaults committed against them. He could have acknowledged the socioeconomic burden imposed on European citizens by the EC. He might have conceded humbly that EU chiefs were too hasty in prosecuting an open-border policy in an age of transnational jihad. He might have shown empathy for the victims of Europe’s open-border policy and sympathised with the understandable counter-reaction. Instead, Europe’s political leaders treat the natives as collateral damage in their pursuit of an open-border utopia.

Spain is the latest casualty of the EU’s open-border policy. In the hours before the latest jihadist strike, the Spanish maritime service intercepted more than 600 people trying to cross the Mediterranean from Morocco.

And there is the related problem of official denial.

When Spain tried to push illegal immigrants back from the Spanish-Moroccan border in 2015, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, Nils Muiz­nieks, suggested the push-backs could be a human rights violation. He claimed there was no direct link between migration and terrorism.

Oxytocin might offer relief from denial about open-border policy and the development of Islamism as a Western condition, but the truth does too. In 2004, a terror cell orchestrated the slaughter of 191 innocents in Madrid. Of the three men convicted of murder and attempted murder in the Madrid bombings, one was a Spaniard and two were Moroccan. In the years that followed, Spanish authorities uncovered several terrorist plots by Moroccan immigrants. On Saturday, The Sun newspaper reported that last week’s attacks were orchestrated by a terror cell that includes about a dozen Moroccans recently returned from Syria.

Should Eurocrats find the link between mismanaged migration and terrorism unclear still, consider Brussels, Paris, Nice, London Bridge and Borough Market. Or go transatlantic for a tour of the Boston bombings before heading Down Under where four recent fatal terrorist attacks were perpetrated by refugees.

Most migrants and refugees make fine citizens. The story of modern Australia is a migrant story, no matter how many Greens councils try to deny it by banning Australia Day. But the balance between mass migration and social harmony is a delicate one. It is put at risk by ideologues who pursue an open-border policy without assessing the consequences.

The unelected bureaucrats staffing the EU and UN risk turning the free world into a wasted asset. If the emergence of a European population resistant to open-border zealotry has come as shock, it is because Eurocrats are so far removed from the people they claim to serve. The bulging register of thought crimes that every PC comrade carries around in his head shields him from the intolerable realism of the dissenting masses. But shouting xenophobia at realists won’t stop terrorism. And it won’t protect the free world from those determined to make us unfree.


Stop Smearing Sebastian Gorka

White House counterterrorism advisor Sebastian Gorka has been the subject of severe criticism in recent months. With the departure of Steve Bannon from the administration, many are calling for Gorka to be fired next. A recent piece in Rolling Stone questioned the validity of his Ph.D. and labeled him something of a neophyte and an extremist. The Forward tied Gorka to a right-wing Hungarian secret society called Vitezi Rend.

These stories make for great political attacks, but are they valid? And, perhaps more importantly, setting aside all of the charges against him, are Gorka's views on terrorism and how our nation should combat it prudent?

First, let's examine the accusations on anti-Semitism and secret societies. Gorka, on the record, has denied being a member of the Vitezi Rend. He was also called an anti-Semite, and a video used to incriminate him was conveniently edited to remove his condemnation of the world's oldest hatred. Still, he's gone on the record and denied this allegation, too.

There's no evidence that Gorka has ever expressed anti-Semitic views.

There isn't any reliable evidence that Gorka has ever expressed the extremist views he's accused of holding or been a member of a secret society.

The questions raised about Gorka's qualifications seem suspect as well. He earned a Ph.D. from Corvinus University. Whatever the quality of that pedigree, it was sufficient to land Gorka a position as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University and positions with a host of other respected institutions like the Marine Corps University Foundation and the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs (CENSA).

Ben Rhodes, a senior national security advisor during the Obama administration, had shockingly thin qualifications for the job.
Even if his credentials have been inflated, it's worth remembering that the previous White House relied on Ben Rhodes for international security counsel, and his background was shockingly thin, focused mostly on creative writing.

Gorka's worldview, similarly questioned, is perhaps the most important piece of this puzzle. He has written forcefully about the threats Islamists pose to the West and devoted his career to understanding the nature of these threats, while working to raise alarm bells about the despicable ideology that has been gaining popularity throughout the Muslim world.

He's been right to do so.

Gorka's influence can be felt at all levels of this administration. In his inaugural address, President Trump promised to "eradicate the Islamic State." He didn't say degrade, manage, or contain. He said eradicate. That's important. So is the Trump administration's willingness to name the threat facing our people – radical Islamism.

This represents a welcome change after eight years of leading from behind and "strategic patience" that got us nowhere. While the Obama administration dithered as the Arab-Islamic world erupted into conflagration, Gorka reminds us that ignoring our enemies as they rise to power is just as dangerous as disengagement from our friends as they fall from it.

I met with Gorka recently at the White House and he mentioned how the struggle against communism, wherein his father was tortured by the authorities, was akin to the battle against modern day Islamism. Inspired by his father, he's fighting this generation's ideological struggle.

Gorka has a solid grasp of the ideology that threatens our safety and security.

A dispassionate review of Gorka's background and work indicates that he is simply a right-wing Hungarian. Hungary has produced its fair share of racists and anti-Semites, but there's absolutely no reason to believe Gorka is one of them. His credentials are no less impressive than others who have served the White House in similar capacities.

Importantly, in order to win the war against radical Islamism, we must develop a thorough understanding of its ideology. Gorka has a solid grasp of that ideology, and all of us in the United States should be thankful that he is lending his expertise to advance our safety and security. Attacks on Gorka's character do nothing to make our nation safer. His work on combatting radical Islamists most likely will.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


22 August, 2017

Nazi Fears and ‘Hate Speech’ Hysteria are Being Amplified to Attack Civil Liberties

It doesn’t take courage to denounce Nazism. Moreover, it appears many of the people incessantly proclaiming how anti-Nazi they are, happen to be the same folks who have the most to answer for when it comes to all sorts of transgressions against the world over the past couple of decades. That said, I’ll give my my quick two cents on the Nazi, white supremacist hysteria currently being amplified by the corporate media.

The general proclivity to obsess about how one’s group, whether it be a nation, political tribe, or race/religion is superior to all others represents such an immature and unconscious way of seeing the world, it’s really hard for me to believe so many people still see reality through such a lens. This type of thinking tends to attract very insecure people. People who cannot look at themselves individually and be proud of the person they see. As such, they scurry around looking for a group with an established superiority myth which they can then latch themselves onto in order to feel better about themselves.

The good news when it comes to Nazism/white supremacy, at least here in the U.S., is that most people appear to be at least conscious enough not to fall for the most basic and primal type of tribalism — i.e., finding a race-based superiority cult attractive. In contrast, the more nuanced superiority cults, such as those based on mindless nationalism or political identity, are far more entrenched here at home, and present a much greater danger to our future.

Before some of you lose it, I wrote "mindless" nationalism for a reason. I think it’s completely normal and healthy for everyone to love and appreciate their own national/regional culture, this is not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about the hordes of mindless automatons who simply fly the American flag and constantly profess their super-sized patriotism, while being completely unaware of the multitude of evil and anti-American actions being done both at home and abroad in their names. It doesn’t seem to matter to these types that their government is acting in total opposition to the Constitution they ostensibly claim to uphold. These people might be less shallow than a self-professed Nazi, but they are far more dangerous to decent, ethical Americans at home, and billions of innocent people abroad. Political party tribalists represent a similar threat, as I’ve discussed on many occasions.

To summarize, Nazism has become almost as discredited as slavery within the minds of most humans. Meaning, it’s such a patently grotesque, childish and unconscious ideology, it can and will only attract very small pockets of people. In fact, given the rampant corruption, wealth inequality and societal decay we’re experiencing in these United States, I’m somewhat encouraged that the movement is as small and insignificant as it is. Of course, I could be wrong about all of this (we’ll have to see how things unfold if the empire collapses chaotically), but that’s how I see it at the moment. Should that ever change, of course I will fight Nazism, or anything similar with all my energy. In contrast, I think other forms of mindless tribalism, political and nationalistic, are far more likely to cause major disasters in the years ahead.

If I’m right about what I wrote above, why is the corporate media acting so hysterically in response to this small collection of hateful misfits?

A lot of really terrible people are trying to reinvent themselves by hyping up the Nazi threat. I’ve discussed this dangerous phenomenon in recent posts, but it’s important enough to keep hammering home.

Lesson number one. Don’t let terrible people get away with moral preening about some relatively insignificant Nazi threat when these are the very same people who have run this country and much of the world into the toilet bowl. Lesson number two. Don’t allow authoritarians to manipulate your emotions about white supremacy (or any other threat for that matter) as an excuse to take away cherished civil liberties. These types have been selling us on giving away our rights since 9/11, and they continue to use any threat they can to take away those that remain. Free speech is the holy grail for tyrants, and anyone who suggests we give up speech to protect ourselves presents a threat to us all. I came across two examples of this today in the normal course of my reading.

First, an attorney who works for UCLA named K-Sue Park, wrote an op-ed published in The New York Times titled, The A.C.L.U. Needs to Rethink Free Speech. It’s one of the most incoherent, authoritarian pieces I’ve read in a while and, although a painful read, you should definitely check it out. It doesn’t take much logic to recognize that her call for the government to decide which speech is acceptable and which is not, is actually far more dangerous to society than a few hundred Nazis getting together in Virginia, irrespective of the terrible loss of life.

Another example of this authoritarian impulse was penned by Leonid Bershidsky in his Bloomberg article, Facebook and Twitter Are Too Big to Allow Fake Users. To be fair, this article was written before the Charlottesville attack, so I would not characterize him as using the attack to push this narrative, but it’s a wildly dangerous view nonetheless. He writes:

"Social networks should be obliged to ban anonymous accounts. If they refuse to do so voluntarily, government regulators should force the issue."

This is a completely unhinged response to the problems of "trolling, fake news and cyberbullying," which he identifies. It’s the equivalent of taking a nuclear bomb to a knife fight. As someone who spends a great deal of time on Twitter, I can tell you that some of the most insightful and humorous accounts I follow are anonymous. This makes total sense because most people have jobs, and people with jobs can be easily fired or ostracized. Not because they’re writing pro-Nazi tweets, but because everything is essentially political these days, and if your boss happens to be a member of a different political tribe, it could affect your career. Did we already forget what happened to James Damore?

If social media companies suddenly banned anonymous accounts, the entire internet and discourse on it would instantly become 90% less interesting, creative and dynamic. Much of the promise of the web would be crippled by such a policy, and humanity would be far worse off for it.

Such a policy would crush political speech online, and limit it largely to those who create political content professionally. I could see why people in power would want to do this, but I can’t grasp how anyone else could be so naive to support such a agenda.

Ultimately, we need to recognize that fear is our biggest enemy. The corporate media tries to keep us in a constant state of fear, because it’s in a state of fear where we are most vulnerable and hence easily manipulated. Don’t succumb to fear. Stand strong, be courageous and don’t every give up liberties because some pundit tells you it’s what you need to do to fight whatever enemy they happen to be hyping at the moment.


Swedish police Chief: The Antifas, Not the Nazis, Start the Violence

This is a refreshingly realistic appraisal — especially coming from Sweden — of who the agents of violence are in political demonstrations.

The Nordic resistance movement, NMR, will not be the major problem when the national socialist organization demonstrates in Göteborg on 30 September. "On the contrary, it will be left-wing extremists who will start riots," says Erik Nord’s Senior Officer to Radio Sweden.

The Nordic resistance movement, NMR, has applied for a demonstration near the Bokmässan (The Book Fair) in Gothenburg this autumn. According to GP, it is estimated that there will be approximately 1,000 participants.

The police previously announced that there is no legal basis for denying the organization of demonstration a permit. This is now confirmed by Erik Nord, Chief of Police for greater Gothenburg.

It would have been possible (to deny a permit) if the purpose of the demonstration was to create disorder.

But, according to Nord, it is not the national socialist organization that will be the big problem, but their left-wing opponents. "My general picture is that it is not this demonstration that will pose the greatest danger to order and security. We will certainly get riot-like situations around the demonstration. But these will first and foremost be instigated by the so-called counter-demonstrators. Then it’s our job to keep them apart to make sure that both gatherings can take place," says Erik Nord to Kulturnytt.

It is precisely this the police in Charlottesville were alleged not to have done, and so did not protect the permitted demonstration and separate the different groups. Instead it allowed the left-wing extremists to attack the nationalist demonstration.

Erik Nord also points out that the lack of police resources is not reason enough to say no to demonstrations, and that the viewpoints in Sweden are designed in a way so that everyone can express their views.

It was Erik Nord who recently said he wants to revoke passports and citizenships for Islamic terrorists.


Wyoming Judge Appeals To Nation’s Highest Court After Losing Job For Being A Christian

"Does a state violate the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause or Free Speech Clause when it punishes a judge who has discretionary authority to solemnize marriages because she states that her religious beliefs preclude her from performing a same-sex wedding?" That’s the question Judge Ruth Neely from Pinedale, Wyoming, wants the Supreme Court to answer.

On August 4, she filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), asking them to review a March 7, 2017 ruling from the Wyoming Supreme Court. That ruling handed down a public censure and effectively removed her from a circuit court magistracy for answering a reporter’s question.

Each year about 10,000 such petitions are filed. Of these, only about 80 cases will be heard. But Neely’s petition already stands out above the crowd, giving her a far better chance than most.

That’s because SCOTUS does not usually take cases merely because a lower court got it wrong. They tend to take cases that fill three requirements. First, the case should be clean and uncomplicated. Second, they address important and emerging questions of constitutional law. Third, cases they take must have nationwide and far-reaching implications. Neely’s case scores high on all counts.

All Neely Did Was Answer a Hypothetical Question
Cases as clean-cut as Neely’s rarely come before the Supreme Court. There is only one fact that underlies the whole case, and this is not under dispute, but freely stipulated by both sides: On a Saturday morning in early December 2014, in answer to a direct question, she told a reporter she was unable to perform same-sex weddings because of her religious convictions.

The whole thing boils down to those words, and those words alone—spoken outside of business hours and outside of the courtroom setting. Neely did not then, nor any time since, take any official action towards a same-sex marriage. Nor has she ever spoken again on the issue.

Over the course of the last 33 months she has turned down numerous speaking invitations and remained mute on the subject. This self-discipline now helps to make hers one of the cleanest cases possible. There is one conversation between herself and one reporter, and nothing else to muddy the waters. If you want to isolate the question of free speech and free expression, it cannot get any more isolated than that. Score one for Neely.

This Is Also Cutting-Edge Constitutional Law
As for emerging constitutional law, Neely’s case is on the cutting edge. The telephone conversation with a reporter happened more than six months before SCOTUS voided marriage law across the United States with the Obergefell v. Hodges opinion, but she anticipated a question that would arise in its aftermath.

What prompted the reporter’s phone call was the case of Guzzo v. Mead that brought same-sex marriage to Wyoming by vacating Wyoming marriage statute (20-1-106). By the fall 2014, four federal circuits had struck down marriage laws within their jurisdictions, but none had spelled out the specifics of what should replace them.

Changing marriage law is not like changing the speed limit. Speed limits are a balancing act between individual freedoms and public safety. Marriage law is about the very foundations of human existence. While there is a reasonable compromise between 60 and 70 miles per hour, there is no halfway ground between a sexual understanding of marriage and an asexual understanding of marriage.

So the question Obergefell has raised across that land is this: can we craft laws that permit the peaceful coexistence of mutually exclusive views? Or must the disfavored view be driven out of public life altogether?

Banning Faithful Christians from Public Life
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) rules, which the American Bar Association has pushed on the judicial ethics commissions of numerous states, have the predictable effect of driving anyone with a sexual understanding of marriage out of government service.

Neely’s case is not the only one of this type. Under similar rules in Washington state, Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor was "admonished" by the Commission on Judicial Conduct for publicly announcing he would not perform any same-sex marriages. As part of the discipline, he effectually agreed to perform same-sex marriages if he were to perform any at all. While this case largely slid under the radar, Neely’s case has raised the issue to national attention. It is time to address this question head on.

Such gag orders and compelled speech are driving people out of government service either directly, or by the mere threat of sanction. Should SCOTUS allow this trend to continue it would set a dangerous precedent for the future of any group with a disfavored view.

If You’re a Judge, You Can’t Voice Your Opinions?
Finally, the far-reaching implications of the Neely case are hard to overstate. The Wyoming Supreme Court, guided by SOGI theory, assumed that every Wyoming judge must, without exception, not only recognize the legality of same-sex marriages (which Neely does), but also personally perform them. This, despite there being no written law, anywhere, which requires this.

But the court went farther still. They next asserted that any judge whose speech questions this unknown and unwritten law is, by the mere act of speaking, undermining "public confidence in the judiciary." If a judge can be censured and removed merely for speaking disagreement with an unwritten law, what would prevent any judge, anywhere, from being punished and removed for speech disagreeing with any actual law or constitutional provision?

Is it constitutional to remove a judge who merely speaks in favor of removing the right to keep and bear arms? Should all those judges who publicly favored same-sex marriage before Obergefell vacated the laws of most states have been censured and removed? What about judges (either pro-life or pro-abortion) who openly acknowledge that Roe v. Wade was a legal abomination? Shall they be purged from our courts?

These questions are not just rhetorical. They are real. Wyoming’s censure of Neely opens the door to these absurdities and many, many more. It is high time we step back from the brink. Neely’s petition gives SCOTUS an opportunity to take in the big picture. What we do today will have far-reaching implications for the free speech of all public servants, and all citizens in general, long after same-sex marriage recedes into the footnotes.


Is an escape from censorship possible?

With Facebook and Twitter banning or vanishing offensive accounts, Google manipulating search results, Youtube "demonetizing" videos they don't like, and now domain name registrar GoDaddy unregistering web sites they disapprove of, those of us who reject PC groupthink desperately need an alternative.

Fortunately, we may have one: ZeroNet. I was lucky to attend a ZeroNet presentation recently at a Linux Users Group; here's a summary of what I learned. (Fair warning: my understanding or recollection may be inaccurate.)

First, you may be familiar with the BitTorrent technology used to distribute "pirated" music (and legitimate content like Linux CDs). The idea behind BitTorrent is that everyone who has a copy of the file makes it available on the Internet; when someone wants a copy, they download it in pieces from all over rather than from a single web server. This is all automatic, and invisible to the casual user.

Now, imagine that peer-to-peer sharing technology applied to web pages. Every time you read WendyMcElroy.com, your computer announces that you have a copy, and others can download it from you. Again, this is invisible to you. But it makes the web much harder to censor -- for example, if even one copy of a web page gets through the Great Firewall of China, before long everyone in the country can read that "banned" web page. (Or so the theory goes...it's still early days for testing.)

Next, imagine that domain names on this net are not allocated by central domain-name registrars...but instead are recorded on a blockchain, the same technology used by Bitcoin to maintain its ledger. The blockchain is public, distributed, with an immutable history and no central point of control. Just as no one can take your Bitcoins from the blockchain, no one can take your domain name. When I chatted with some Bitcoin enthusiaists a few years ago, they proposed this as one of the first non-monetary uses of blockchain technology. Now it's happening.

The chap who gave the presentation said that ZeroNet also has a social-networking component. It sounds a bit like Reddit, except without any central authority. Once you start a discussion group, you control it, and no one else can ban it.

I think this is the next step in the radical decentralization of the Internet, and for me it may be the most exciting development since Bitcoin. This is the ideal response to the social-justice pecksniffs* who want to ban offensive content from the web. I'm looking forward to installing it and giving it a spin.


An extraordinary example of bureaucratic over-reach in authoritarian Britain

A man with Down’s syndrome whose wife was ordered by their local council to stop having sex with him has received £10,000 in damages for a breach of his human rights.

The man, 38, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was considered unable to consent to sex, even with his partner, to whom he has been married for five years.

His wife was ordered to end their sexual relationship and threatened with criminal prosecution if she refused. She moved out of their shared bedroom and withdrew physical affection that might be interpreted as leading him on.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


21 August, 2017

Free speech concerns as extreme-right evicted from web

A sweeping crackdown by US internet and social media companies on neo-Nazi and white supremacist material has sparked warnings in America that the web's grand promise of free speech is on the rocks.

Over the past week, Vanguard America, Daily Stormer and other such ultra-right racist groups and their members known for extremely violent and offensive postings and websites were essentially scrubbed from the public web.

Major internet companies took action after the groups came out in support of a violent right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended with the death of a counter-demonstrator and shocked the nation.

Daily Stormer and its founder Andrew Anglin, who openly promotes Adolf Hitler, saw web host GoDaddy shut their website. Google did the same after they moved. They were blocked a third time by another web host, after reopening with an ostensibly safe Russian domain name.

Then Cloudflare, which provides an essential security service to millions of web hosts and sites, also said it would block Daily Stormer.

Others found their Facebook and Instagram accounts frozen. Google cut the app for social media site Gab, a favorite venue for far-right groups.

And in one of the more ignominious moments, white supremacist Chris Cantwell was booted off dating site OkCupid on Thursday.  "At OkCupid, we take the truth of everyone's inalienable rights very seriously," said chief executive Elie Seidman. However, Seidman said, "the privilege of being in the OkCupid community does not extend to Nazis and supremacists."

But such moves raise the question: should the private companies that control most web services have the power to make such decisions?

Are the internet and social media services now such an indelible part of our daily lives that people should have the right to make full use of them, like they do highways, electricity, and police protections?

Electronic Frontier Foundation, a leading think tank and lobby for civil liberties in the digital world, denounced what it called "dangerous" censorship by GoDaddy, Google and Cloudflare.

"We must also recognize that on the internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with," they said.

"Protecting free speech is not something we do because we agree with all of the speech that gets protected. We do it because we believe that no one -- not the government and not private commercial enterprises -- should decide who gets to speak and who doesn't."

The action of Cloudflare was even more significant because of the centrality of its position on the web. When Cloudflare shut down Daily Stormer, Anglin was essentially forced to reopen Daily Stormer on the less easily accessed "dark web."

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince admitted the capricious nature of his decision in an email to staff, and the broader questions it raised. "My rationale for making this decision was simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are assholes and I'd had enough," he said. "Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn't be allowed on the internet."

"No one should have that power," he continued. "We need to have a conversation about who and how the content online is controlled."

Gab, which resembles Twitter as a micro-blogging platform, was launched last year by libertarian free speech advocate Andrew Torba and has more than 200,000 users now, according to spokesman Utsav Sanduja.

Much of its content has a strong right-wing bias, including openly white supremacist and neo-Nazi postings, though Sanduja says they have far-left users as well, and a lot of non-political content.

Nevertheless, it was a distinct surge in right-wing hate postings that led Google Play, the Android phone app store, to drop Gab last week. "Social networking apps need to demonstrate a sufficient level of moderation, including for content that encourages violence and advocates hate against groups of people," a Google spokesperson told AFP.

Sanduja called it censorship pure and simple, noting that the US Constitution unequivocally protects the right to free speech, even if deemed offensive.

"Google, Apple, Twitter... the sheer amount of people on their sites makes them absolutely integral to the democratic process," he argued. "The Supreme Court has ruled, hate speech is free speech, and it's protected speech," he said.

"Gab is trying to ensure that users have these constitutionally afforded rights. These giant corporations are taking them away from people."


Another charming multiculturalist

A man has been arrested in connection with the gruesome murders of his sister and cousins - all under the age of 10 - who were found dead inside a Maryland home. Antonio Williams, 25, was taken into custody by local police late on Friday night and cops say he has confessed to the killings.

Williams lives on Brooke Jane Drive, which is the same street as the home the three little girls were found dead in that morning in Clinton, Maryland.

He had been left at the home to look after the girls - his sister, six-year-old Nadira Withers, and cousins nine-year-old Ariana Decree and six-year-old Ajayah Decree - by his mother, Andrena Kelley.

The cousins were from Newark, New Jersey and are the daughters of the suspect’s mother’s cousin.

The bodies were reportedly found by Kelley who then called the police. The victims were suffering from stab wounds and pronounced dead on the scene.

Williams has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder. Cops say he has confessed to stabbing and killing his relatives.


What Swedes Give Up for ‘Free’ Money

When the state treats childrearing like a job, make sure you don’t run afoul of the boss

I moved to Sweden for love, not money, but I was happy to learn that merely living in this social democracy also entitled me to paid parental-leave benefits. Who could object to free money, handed out by the government to all Swedish parents? Then I became a father.

Two hundred years ago, Sweden was a nation of smallholding farm families, many of whom were poor enough to prefer emigrating to North Dakota or Minnesota. Today, workers in Sweden are offered a welfare smörgåsbord of free health care, subsidized housing, paid leave, unemployment benefits, job training and pensions. This system of interlaced welfare programs is the government’s attempt to realize a political and social ideal that has seemingly universal acceptance among Swedes, known as trygghet.

Although trygghet is usually defined as security or safety, neither of these translations carries the implications about the future that trygghet projects. To be trygg is to feel so comfortable and certain in a secure, predictable environment that you can relax, express yourself and grow. Trygghet is what Swedish parents are expected to give their children, and ensuring that they do so is the function of the most prized component of the Swedish social-welfare state, the parental benefits system.

For one year after the birth of our son, the government’s social-insurance agency will pay 80% of the salary my Swedish wife earned as a lawyer working in public service. I was surprised to learn that I, too, could receive parental benefits, for up to six months, at the generous minimum level. Only after a recent family crisis did I understand why.

Six months ago, my 2-year-old niece broke her leg. The physician who treated the girl told my brother-in-law that his daughter would be given a full-body CT scan. The doctor insisted that the procedure was mandatory, but not for any medical reason. Rather, the Swedish social-services administration requires such scans to look for evidence of child abuse. While the doctor did note that the broken leg was the result of an accident, he told my brother-in-law the matter was "out of my hands."

When the girl’s parents refused to subject her to this unnecessary procedure, the hidden machinery of the Swedish welfare state sprang into motion. My brother-in-law and his wife were required to attend multiple interviews with social workers and to submit friends and neighbors in their small town for questioning. Social workers even inspected their home. Suddenly, decisions as benign as what milk to buy seemed potential evidence of parental deficiency. My in-laws feared their two children might be taken from them.

In Sweden, the state reserves for itself ultimate responsibility for children’s well-being. As a parent my job is to give my kids the trygghet necessary to become productive, tax-paying members of Swedish society. This is why I receive financial support and medical benefits. The state is paying me to be a parent. I am, in effect, an employee—and if I do a poor job, my responsibility as a parent might be taken away from me.

Social services never found grounds to continue their investigation of my brother-in-law’s family beyond the preliminary steps. Nevertheless, they had been made to feel belittlement, confusion and embarrassment, simply because they disagreed with the authorities. These reflexive feelings of guilt and shame are another, far subtler and more insidious mechanism for enforcing conformity.

The Swedish word for this cultural phenomenon, lagom, has recently appeared in the international press, mistranslated as moderation or self-restraint. Lagom is actually a uniquely Swedish conception of common sense, according to which the best way of acting is always inextricable from how you expect your neighbors to act. Lagom is what everyone thinks everyone else thinks—whether about milk, welfare or what constitutes good parenting.

The mere fact of being investigated by a social-services agency placed my brother-in-law’s family outside lagom. No one needed to accuse them of anything, and that was the point. No reasonable person should ever do anything suspected of being unreasonable.

Some parents insist, as my wife and I do, on having their own ideas about raising children. In our opinion, anesthetizing a 2-year-old girl and subjecting her to radiation for an unnecessary medical procedure is not lagom. Does this mean we can’t accept parental support from the state? Does this mean we can’t live in Sweden?

Although the welfare state is often debated in economic terms, we have yet to put a price on self-determination or freedom of conscience. What I once thought was free money may cost more than I am prepared to pay.


Australia: This is why I'll be voting 'no' to same-sex marriage

Article by Dr Kevin Donnelly below, a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University.  I will also be voting No in the national ballot -- because I don't think a homosexual union can ever be a marriage and because homosexuals can already  enter into other arrangements which give them the normal privileges and obligations of marriage-- JR

There's no doubt that central to the concept of family is a definition of marriage involving a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation. With only minor exceptions over some hundreds of years and across all the major religions, this is how marriage has been, and continues to be, defined.

It's also true that about 98 per cent of Australians identify as heterosexual and according to the 2011 census figures only 1 per cent of Australian couples are same-sex, with surveys suggesting only a minority want same-sex marriage. There are more important issues to worry about.

What exactly would change for same-sex couples if they could marry?

We should also forget the Safe Schools' postmodern, deconstructed definition of marriage where gender and sexuality are fluid and limitless and individuals are free to choose whatever they choose to self-identify as.

No matter how much gays and lesbians might want to wish otherwise from a physiological and biological point of view, only men and women can have children. Such is the nature of conceiving and giving birth that to pretend otherwise is to deny how nature works.

To put it bluntly, gays and lesbians are physically incapable of procreation and having their own children. For them to believe otherwise is to deny the life choice they have made and to believe they should be entitled to something normally associated with biological parents.

It's also true that the ideal situation is where children are raised by their biological parents instead of conception involving a third party donating sperm or paying a surrogate mother. As any parent well knows, the intimate and unique bond between a biological parent and his or her child is primal in its force.

No wonder children conceived by donor sperm now have the legal right to discover their true parentage and less privileged countries such as Thailand and Cambodia are banning surrogacy.
Breaking News Alert

Parents who have conceived naturally as a key aspect of what it means to be married also know that children require a male and a female role model if they are to fully mature and develop as young adults.

Both genetically and emotionally, and what is expected socially, men and women are different. While much has been done to promote equality of the sexes the fact is that boys need strong, male role models.

This I know from personal experience after losing a father to alcoholism and domestic violence as a young child and missing out on the love and companionship that only a father can provide.

In the same way, despite the campaign by feminists to erase gender stereotyping, young girls generally copy their mothers and express themselves in a feminine way. As a general rule, boys are more physical than girls and less emotionally demonstrative.

Forget the mantra that equality only occurs when all sexes are the same – it is possible to be equal but different.

Changing the marriage act to include same-sex couples radically redefines and alters the meaning of a sacred union that provides more than just a physical and emotional connection.

Such is the special union of body and spirit involved in a marriage between a man and a woman that it necessitates a unique ritual and sacred compact that should not be weakened by being radically redefined as argued by same-sex activists.

The argument that the marriage act should not be radically redefined is based on the fact that gays and lesbians already enjoy all the rights and privileges of de-facto couples. Long gone are the days when gays and lesbians were ostracised or discriminated against.

There's no doubt that we are living in a time of significant social change, where social institutions such as marriage that have stood the test of time are being critiqued and undermined.

While some argue the benefits of such change, including increased autonomy, freedom and diversity, there is also an obvious downside. The English poet T. S. Eliot argues, "by far the most important channel of transmission of culture remains the family: and when family fails to play its part, we must expect our culture to deteriorate".

While not being as strident as Eliot it is true that family is central to a society's continued prosperity and growth. And central to the concept of family is the traditional definition of marriage.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


20 August, 2017

Anti-immigration protesters attacked by hundreds of far-Leftists as they march through the streets of Barcelona just one day after deadly terror attack in the city

The anti-immigration protesters are described by the sensationalist media as members of the Falange, the Fascist organization that kept dictator Franco in power for many decades, though Franco himself was not a member of it.  The Falange does still exist in Spain -- getting about 1% of the vote in national elections -- but we have no means of knowing the party connections of the protesters.  It could all be just media beatup. There are just not many Falangists left and you would not have to be a member of the Falange to be angry about Muslim immigration to Spain after the recent terrorist attacks there.

But even if we do assume that the protesters were Falangists, that does NOT of itself  indicate that they were racists.  From the Roman empire to this day, Southern Europeans have been little concerned about race.  Italian dictator Mussolini did for quite a time have Jews prominent in the Fascist party for instance.  Mussolini eventually proclaimed some widely-ignored anti-Jewish laws only after Hitler pushed him into it. And there is great sympathy for Israel in Italy to this day.

And the Falange of Franco's day were not concerned about race either.  Their primary foci were anti-communism and pro-Catholicism.  So to procalim that these anti-immigration protesters were racists would be ipso facto unfounded, though the media will no doubt say otherwise

The one thing we can conclude is that, like Hitler's Brownshirts,  Leftist thugs will emerge to attack those they disagree with wherever that might be.  It is they who are the Nazis, not the critics of Islam

Far-right activists were met by a huge crowd of anti-fascist protesters as they marched in Barcelona one day after a terror attack killed 13 people in the city. 

Members of the extreme Falange group congregated on Las Ramblas boulevard this afternoon before being met by hundreds of counter-demonstrators waving flags and banners.

Tensions were so high that armed riot police were called in to separate the groups as violence broke out.

Pictures show demonstrators shouting in each other's faces and fighting in the streets as tempers boiled over.

One photograph shows an anti-fascist punching a Falange supporter in the face amid a scuffle in the crowd. The punched man, who was wearing a T-Shirt emblazoned with the far-right slogan, 'Do not stop until you conquer', was later seen with a black eye.

He was later seen with a fellow protester whose face and hands were covered in blood after he had been hit in the nose.

The chaotic scenes took place near the scene where yesterday a van ploughed into pedestrians in an attack that also left more than 100 injured.

Falange took to the streets to 'protest Islam' and blame Spain's immigration policy for the attack.

A post on the group's website said: 'No one was fooled into thinking that the policies of multiculturalism and #RefugeesWelcome wouldn’t end like they did in Las Ramblas in Barcelona.'

Falange abandoned the demonstration after it was stormed by counter-demonstrators and had to be escorted away from Las Ramblas by police.


It’s clear now: the left only hates certain kinds of neo-fascism

Rarely has the hypocrisy of the West’s ostensible liberals and leftists been as violently exposed as it has been this week. Between Charlottesville and Barcelona, between their fury over the former and their embarrassment at the latter, we have gained a glimpse into today’s extraordinary double standards over extremists who loathe liberty, democracy and swathes of mankind. If the extremists are white and fond of the swastika, they’ll be roundly condemned, organised against, transformed into a focal point for the activities of a flagging left. But if they’re Muslims, if it’s a misogynistic, homophobic caliphate they want to build, if their targets are ‘kuffars’ rather than pinkos or black people, they will be frowned upon, of course, but never raged against. Never organised against. They will be treated more forgivingly, and explicitly so. It’s clear now: leftists only dislike certain kinds of neo-fascism.

Even before the barbarism in Barcelona, even before that Islamist terrorist mowed down scores of people, killing 13, the discussion about Charlottesville had become unhinged. What was in truth a nasty but small demonstration by white-power losers was transformed into the second coming of the Third Reich. Where most leftists and liberal commentators respond to Islamist barbarism with a sad emoji or a national flag on their Facebook page, they responded to Charlottesville with historic hyperbole. They shared images of Brits landing in France to fight Nazis, implying they were the heirs to such fighting. America mirrors Germany in the 1930s, they claimed. The self-flattery was off the scale, as if their breaking a nail as they tweet a piss-taking meme of Richard Spencer is comparable with those working-class men who left their families to fight in the Spanish Civil War or join the Greek resistance. The left’s blowing-up of Charlottesville is directly proportionate to its loss of focus and principle: it spies in these pathetic neo-Nazis a force it might resuscitate its fortunes in opposition to; a thing it might define itself against.

But if the treatment of Charlottesville and its vile car attack as a return of Nazism looked questionable before Barcelona, it looks mad after it. Yes, there are extremists in the West who have declared war on our fellow citizens, our liberties and our democracy. But they aren’t American hillbillies who once tried to read Mein Kampf — they’re Islamists, Muslims who subscribe to an extraordinarily intolerant interpretation of their religion and who increasingly think little of slaughtering anybody whose values run counter to theirs, whether it’s French cartoonists, Berlin Christmas shoppers, British pop fans, or crowds in Nice celebrating Bastille Day and the birth of modern mass democracy. These people’s violent misanthropy makes America’s white-nationalist movement look like a hippy outfit in comparison. A suspected hard-right fanatic killed one person at Charlottesville, in a foul assault on life and liberty; Islamists, if we add Barcelona, have killed more than 460 people in Europe in the past three years. Four-hundred-and-sixty. Let that sink in.

And yet after Barcelona, as is the case after every Islamist attack, there has been an awkward, shuffling silence in left and liberal circles. There is media coverage, of course. Lots of it, as there should be. There are condemnations and offers of solidarity with Barcelona, and so on. That’s all good. But politics? Anger? A demand that we recognise the gravity of the threat posed by Islamists and get together to do something about it? Calls for confrontation with Islamist movements, demands that we ‘Punch an Islamist’, in the same way American leftists have promoted ‘Punch a Nazi’? No.

On the contrary, we are encouraged to be sad about Islamist attacks but never active in relation to them. ‘Don’t look back in anger.’ Consider how swiftly the Manchester barbarism has drifted from Britain’s national consciousness. It wasn’t even three months ago, and yet this slaughter of 22 pop fans by a man who subscribed to an ideological worldview that is as ugly, if not uglier, as that spouted by American white nationalists is fading from national memory. That is a direct consequence of the cowardly, apolitical, even anti-political climate that is always cultivated after Islamist attacks: we are always invited to ‘move on’ because dwelling on such extremist violence would raise too many awkward questions.

The difference is alarming: Charlottesville was instantly institutionalised as a turning-point event. It was folded, in mere days, into a 21st-century political narrative about a resurgent far right (an overblown threat) and the need for a more serious, anti-fascist left. It became a morality tale, swiftly. After Islamist attacks, in contrast, we’re openly warned against doing anything like that. Don’t look for lessons. Don’t make it a moral issue. Don’t politicise it or get too angry about it, because apparently that’s what ISIS wants. Mourn it and carry on with life as normal — that’ll show ’em. This urge to moralise small neo-Nazi protests in the US while de-moralising, depoliticising and fundamentally defusing the problem of Islamist extremism, even though this extremism is a far more destabilising force, has to be explained. What drives this alarming double standard?

It’s fear. Cultural fear. Fear of us, the masses, and what we will get up to if society green-lights an honest discussion about the Islamist problem. And fear for Muslims, whom too many on the left infantilise and treat as incapable of hearing robust discussion about problems in their communities. (It has always struck me that there is more racism in certain leftists’ desire to protect Muslims from testy debate than there is in alt-righters’ misplaced fury with all Muslims: at least the latter treats Muslims as adults, open to criticism, rather than as children who need strictures against Islamophobia to guard their fragile feelings.)

And so where leftists insist after Islamist attacks that we mustn’t hold all Muslims responsible, or make such violence into a focal point for politics, or get too angry, after Charlottesville they said the precise opposite. ‘White culture’ did this. Let’s organise our political lives around it. Let’s get angry, really angry. They’re more comfortable confronting handfuls of American neo-Nazis because they can do so without engaging the bovine, untrustworthy little people and without threatening to raise questions about the ideology of multiculturalism and its divisive, increasingly violent impact in Europe.

They have declared a ridiculous, self-flattering war on neo-Nazism precisely as a distraction from the real problems facing Western society today, to which they have no answers, and are uncomfortable even with the questions.


Mob Rule Prevails in Toppling of Confederate Statue

Following the ugly incident that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend, an unruly mob took out its anger on a century-old statue in North Carolina.

It is a perfect example of how tribal and identity politics are raging out of control in America, and how radicals will continue to ratchet up their tactics to match one another.

While the media spent its time connecting riots to the political right, the hard left continued to step up its tactics to promote social discord, as it has been doing for years.

On Monday afternoon, a crowd of people in an "Emergency Durham Protest" marched down Durham’s Main Street, then made its way to the Durham County Courthouse.

The Herald Sun reported that organizations like the "Triangle People’s Assembly, Workers World Party, Industrial Workers of the World, Democratic Socialists of America, and the Antifa movement" were at the rally.

One of the participants, Eva Panjwani of the Workers World Party Durham, said in an interview:

This is really an opportunity, this moment of Charlottesville, to see what side of history we are choosing to side with. This is not a call to make someone to feel guilty or ashamed. This is a call to say this is an ask from people of color to say which side are you on.

"We need to shun passive, white liberalism," Panjwani said.

The larger group was comprised of people demonstrating with various left-wing slogans such as a "No Trump, No KKK, No Racist USA" banner, pro-socialist Che Guevara shirts, and numerous odes to abolishing capitalism.

One individual held a sign that said, "Cops and clan go hand in hand," as the group marched past police officers.

The crowd gathered in front of the courthouse and decided to target a statue that was created in memoriam to "the boys who wore the gray." That is, the North Carolina soldiers who fought for the Confederate Army in the Civil War.

What followed was a scene reminiscent of the French Revolution or the war in Iraq.

The rage-filled protesters tore down the statue and proceeded to kick and desecrate it. The surging mass of people hooted and hollered as individuals took turns spitting on and flipping off the generic visage of a young Southern soldier.

The act of vandalism continued unabated, as authorities stood by and watched. Durham Police put out a statement saying that they did not interfere with the toppling because it happened on "county property, where county law enforcement officials were staffed."

In the aftermath, some of the protesters took pictures in front of the crumpled-up bronze statue that had been pulverized in the fall.

Targeting this statue was seemingly an odd choice. It portrayed no individual specifically and was erected as a tribute in 1924 to the young boys, by that time old men, who had donned the uniform of the failed Confederate rebellion.

However, the attack was fitting as a mirror to the "alt-right" march that had taken place at the foot of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville. The individuals portrayed by the monuments were simply irrelevant.

This isn’t a battle over ideas or the Confederacy’s place in American history, it’s sheer and mindless identity politics.

American towns and cities are now increasingly being besieged by agitators who flaunt the law, direct their hate toward fellow citizens, and openly attack the crucial principles at the heart of the American way of life.

The resounding message that these events send is that in 2017, it’s impossible for this country to accept people of different creeds and points of views. You are either on the "right side of history," as President Barack Obama said, or you are on the wrong side.

The narrative is increasingly join us, or be crushed.

Perhaps the protesters should pay more attention to what happened in our Civil War, which claimed more lives than all of our other wars combined.

Perhaps they should study the leaders who, however imperfectly, tried to bind regions and people together to move on from a civil feud that pitted brother against brother and American against American.

And perhaps they should have studied the people, like Lee and President Abraham Lincoln, who tried to piece the shattered puzzle of American nationhood back together.

Alas, those concepts were lost in a sordid trampling of an old, barely noticed statue. Unless leaders pay increased devotion to denouncing and taking action against these lawless demonstrations, mob rule is here to stay.


"Allahu Akhbar" now heard in Finland

The attacker was described by police as "a youngish man with a foreign background."

Stab victim Hassan Zubier, 45, was slashed repeatedly as he tried to help an injured woman who died in his arms during yesterday's bloody rampage in Turku, Finland.

'We were strolling around the square when we suddenly heard someone screaming. I turned around. I saw a guy stabbing a woman with a knife while she lies on the ground,' Mr Zubier told Swedish daily Expressen from the Turku hospital.

'I rushed to help her and tried to stop the blood flow. Others gave her heart and lung assistance.'

The attacker then turned to slash at Zubier's girlfriend. He said that he rushed between her and the armed man and was stabbed twice.

Mr Zubier, a Swedish national, said that the attacker then moved away and he returned to the injured woman who he believed was dying on the ground.

'I try to stop the violent bleeding from her throat. Then he stabs me with the knife again. The woman is so badly injured and she dies in my arms,' he said.

Mr Zubier said that he has been stabbed in his neck, in his chest, at the side of the chest and on the back of his shoulders.

'My left hand is seriously injured. A nerve is injured, it is not certain that they can save the arm. I'm going to the MRI now, the doctors will then decide what to do.'

Mr Zubier and his girlfriend were on holiday in Turku. They were planning to have taken a cruise ship back to Stockholm on Friday night. 

Two people have been killed and at least eight wounded after a man armed with a knife stabbed several people on Market Square before he was shot by armed police.

Eight people were taken to hospital following the stabbings, including a woman who was pushing a pram. Some of the victims are in a critical condition.

Within three minutes of the attack beginning, police shot a man in the leg before arresting him.

They are now on the hunt for more potential suspects.

At least one person was pictured lying bleeding and motionless on the pavement among other victims in the southwestern city of Turku.

Chief of police Seppo Kolehmainen said the attack was not currently being treated as terror-related, but said such a motive cannot be ruled out.

The attack began at 4.02pm, officials said, with the suspect arrested at 4.05pm.

All of the victims in the attack are adults, Turko hospital chief said. 

President of Finland Sauli Niinisto speaks to journalists as he arrives for a prayer service at the Turku Cathedral for the victims of the stabbing attack which began today at 16:02

Police and emergency services rushed to Turku in response to the attack. 'International terrorism' has not been ruled out as a motive, the police chief for the area said

Finnish police said they were reinforcing security nationwide, with additional patrols and boosted surveillance following the stabbings.

Interior Minister Paula Risikko told Helsingin Sanomat she did not yet know whether the attack was related to terrorism.

The arrested suspect is being treated in hospital.

Speaking to US broadcaster CNN, Kent Svensson, 44, said: 'This guy had this huge knife in his hand - and several times he was stabbing this person. People were just running everywhere.

'This guy was just constantly stabbing. He was just turning around, flinging his knife everywhere. There were people lying everywhere. 'People were screaming and running.

'We were just talking about what happened in Barcelona. 'We thought we were safe in Finland. And then this happens.

'The woman was on the ground. She was dead. It's just awful. 'I can just see this huge knife in his hand and he's just stabbing.'  

In a video purporting to show the aftermath of the attack, people can be seen fleeing in the street.

It was also reported that a man was heard screaming 'Allahu Akbar' during the attack, but others have stressed this was merely misheard Finnish.

Turun Sanomat said police were inspecting departing trains and buses. 

'The government is following the situation in Turku closely and a police operation is under way,' tweeted Prime Minister Juha Sippila ahead of a cabinet meeting.

'Police are looking for other possible perpetrators of the crime in Turku,' security forces wrote on Twitter. 'They ask the population to leave and avoid central Turku.' 

According to local media site Uutiset, police tweeted: 'Several people stabbed in central Turku. People are requested to avoid the city centre.' Moments later a suspect was shot in the leg and arrested.     

Ilta-Sanomat, meanwhile, is reporting that people in the street tried to prevent the attack as it was going on.  One is reported to have used a baseball bat to strike the attacker. 

The attack comes just a day after at least 14 people were killed and over a hundred hurt in terror attacks in Catalonia.


The Group That Got Ignored in Charlottesville

The "alt-right" is evil. White supremacism is evil. Neo-Nazism is evil.

But the media have remained largely silent about another group: Antifa. Antifa is a loosely connected band of anti-capitalist protesters generally on the far left who dub themselves "anti-fascist" after their compatriots in Europe. They've been around in the United States since the 1990s, protesting globalization and burning trash cans at World Trade Organization meetings. But they've kicked into high gear over the past two years: They engaged in vandalism in violence, forcing the cancelation of a speech by alt-right popularizer Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley; a few months later, they attacked alt-right demonstrators in Berkeley; they attacked alt-right demonstrators in Sacramento, California, leading to a bloody street fight; they threw projectiles at police during President Trump's inauguration; they attacked pro-Trump free-speech demonstrators in Seattle last weekend. They always label their opponents "fascists" in order to justify their violence.

In Charlottesville, Antifa engaged in street violence with the alt-right racists. As in Weimar, Germany, fascists flying the swastika engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Antifa members flying the communist red. And yet, the media declared that any negative coverage granted to Antifa would detract from the obvious evils of the alt-right. Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times tweeted in the midst of the violence, "The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding 'antifa' beating white nationalists being led out of the park." After receiving blowback from the left, Stolberg then corrected herself. She said: "Rethinking this. Should have said violent, not hate-filled. They were standing up to hate."

Or perhaps Antifa is a hateful group itself. But that wouldn't fit the convenient narrative Antifa promotes and the media buy: that the sole threat to the republic comes from the racist right. Perhaps that's why the media ignored the events in Sacramento and Berkeley and Seattle — to point out the evils of Antifa might detract from the evils of the alt-right.

That sort of biased coverage only engenders more militancy from the alt-right, which feels it must demonstrate openly and repeatedly to "stand up to Antifa." Which, of course, prompts Antifa to violence.

Here's the moral solution, as always: Condemn violence and evil wherever it occurs. The racist philosophy of the alt-right is evil. The violence of the alt-right is evil. The communist philosophy of Antifa is evil. So is the violence of Antifa. If we are to survive as a republic, we must call out Nazis but not punch them; we must stop providing cover to anarchists and communists who seek to hide behind self-proclaimed righteousness to participate in violence. Otherwise, we won't be an honest or a free society.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


18 August, 2017

Misusing Robert E. Lee

On April 12, 1861, the day secessionists in South Carolina bombarded Ft. Sumter to fire the shots that opened the American Civil War, then-Colonel Robert E. Lee was perhaps America's most accomplished soldier

Lee had served with distinction in the Mexican War, leading a reconnaissance patrol that discovered the means by which the Americans defeated the Mexicans at the battle of Cerro Gordo. He had served as Superintendent of West Point, had supervised the construction of numerous coastal fortifications, and most recently, Lee Robert E. Lee Statuecommanded the forces that captured abolitionist John Brown and the gang that had attempted to seize the government arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia and start a slave rebellion.

As America moved inexorably toward Civil War, General Winfield Scott, the highest ranking American general, and a hero of the Mexican War, told President Abraham Lincoln that he wished Lee to command the Union army. Lee, who on March 28, 1861, had ignored an offer of command in the Confederate army was offered the command on April 18, 1861, just six days after Ft. Sumter.

Lee refused the command on the grounds that he was a Virginian and owed his first allegiance to the state he believed was a sovereign entity with the right to stay in or leave the Union as it saw fit. He would, he said, not make war on the Union, but he would defend the state of his birth.

When Virginia seceded from the Union Lee said, "I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in the defense of my native state, Virginia, in which case I shall not prove recreant to my duty."

Why would Lee choose the state of Virginia over the United States of America?

While Lee espused the paternalistic attitudes many Nineteenth Century Americans felt toward Africans, it certainly wasn't because he believed slavery was just; he wrote in 1856, "There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil."

Lee wasn't pro-slavery, he believed, as did many others of his day, that the United States of America was merely an association of sovereign states that could, if they chose, leave it or dissolve it.

That this view had been forcefully rejected by his fellow Southerner President Andrew Jackson who wrote in a proclamation rebutting an earlier move by South Carolina to nullify federal law, "I consider, then, the power to annul a law of the United States, assumed by one State, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which It was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed," did not back in 1861 make it any less persuasive to many in the South and even some in the North.

We all know of Lee's legendary conduct of the Civil War campaigns in defense of Virginia, his defeat at Gettysburg and his eventual surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

Were Lee's erroneous view of the Union and the Constitution and his conduct of the Confederate armies during the Civil War all we knew about Robert E. Lee there would be little controversy in removing his statues from their places of honor.

But it isn't what Lee did before and during the Civil War that makes him such an important figure in American history - and one that should be honored - it is what he did after the Civil War that earned him the memorials erected to his memory and a place in history that should be honored by all.

When Lee surrendered at Appomattox he also signed a parole document swearing upon his honor not to bear arms against the United States or to "tender aid to its enemies." Lee's surrender and his immediate parole were essential in preventing the Civil War from continuing as a destructive guerilla war that would have continued to rend the country indefinitely.

General Grant's terms provided that all officers and men were to be pardoned, and they would be sent home with their private property - most important, the horses, which could be used for a late spring planting. Officers would keep their side arms, and Lee's starving men would be given Union rations.

General Grant told his officers, "The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again." Although scattered resistance continued for several weeks, for all practical purposes the Civil War had come to an end.*

Just six weeks after Lee's surrender at Appomattox President Andrew Johnson issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to persons who had participated in the rebellion against the United States. However, there were certain excepted classes and members of those classes had to make special application to the President.

Robert E. Lee was among those excepted, and there were plenty of people in the North, including members of Congress, who wanted to see him tried and executed for treason.

However, there was one man who refused to countenance such a course of action; General Ulysses S. Grant. Grant rightly understood that fulfilling the terms of his parole of Robert E. Lee were essential to healing the wounds of the Civil War.

Just two months after the surrender at Appomattox Lee sent an application to Grant and wrote to President Johnson on June 13, 1865:

"Being excluded from the provisions of amnesty & pardon contained in the proclamation of the 29th Ulto; I hereby apply for the benefits, & full restoration of all rights & privileges extended to those included in its terms. I graduated at the Mil. Academy at West Point in June 1829. Resigned from the U.S. Army April '61. Was a General in the Confederate Army, & included in the surrender of the Army of N. Va. 9 April '65."

On October 2, 1865, the same day that Lee was inaugurated as president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, he signed his Amnesty Oath, thereby complying fully with the provision of Johnson's proclamation.

Lee's greatest legacy is not his campaigns, which are still taught at military institutions around the world, but his contribution to national reconciliation.

Although he had ostensibly retired from the national spotlight, Lee became a voice of moderation and patient compliance. In his public letters, a number of which were reprinted in newspapers, he urged that "all should unite in honest efforts to obliterate the effects of war and to restore the blessings of peace."

Lee vowed to do "all in my power to encourage our people to set manfully to work to restore the country, to rebuild their homes and churches, to educate their children, and to remain with their states, their friends and countrymen."

Thus, when Congress ordered the drafting of new constitutions in the former Confederate states and disgruntled southerners contemplated a boycott of the system, Lee announced that it was "the duty of the [southern] people to accept the situation fully" and that every man should not only "prepare himself to vote" but also "prepare his friends, white and colored, to vote and to vote rightly."**

Lee's code of conduct demanded submission to federal authority. With characteristic self-discipline, he put the past behind him and moved forward. Many southerners proved willing to follow Lee's example and through them the United States was not only reunited, but rebuilt into the preeminent military and economic power it is today.

Erasing Robert E. Lee from history - or celebrating him as a symbol of "white nationalism" - is a grave error; not only does it distort history to suit the purposes of elements in society that Lee abhorred, it misuses one of the greatest symbols of the social compact that reunited the country after four years of brother against brother bloodshed and hatred.


How to Break Silicon Valley's Anti-Free-Speech Monopoly

In the wake of the outrageous and possibly illegal firing of James Damore for writing a memo that pushed back against Google's "politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence," the company has been the focus of an eminently deserved torrent of criticism. A fair bit of this critique has gone beyond the particular situation of Mr. Damore to look at the general hostility of the technology industry to conservatives and conservative thought. Unfortunately, what has been lacking from almost all of these cris de coeur is a strategy regarding what to do about it.

    Fortunately, there are some things we can do that could turn the tables on Silicon Valley's leftist censorship and restore free speech to the Internet. But first, some background.

    The evidence of Silicon Valley's hostility to the Right is everywhere. Prominent conservatives from Michelle Malkin to William Jacobson to Dennis Prager (just to name a few NRO contributors) - and an even greater proportion of those whose politics lean farther to the right, many of whom do not have access to mainstream media and rely on social media to fund their work - have seen themselves banned from major Internet platforms or had their content censored or demonetized. In most cases they are not even given grounds for their punishment or means of appealing it. While some more "mainstream" conservatives may not feel excessively troubled by the banning of more provocative voices farther to the right, in taking this attitude they make a tactical, strategic, and moral mistake. They do not understand how the Left operates. When voices farther to the right are removed, mainstream conservatives become the new "far-right extremists" - and they will be banned with equal alacrity.

    In my scholarly work, I write primarily about energy policy, in which electric utilities are usually referred to as "natural monopolies." Government regulation of these utilities has traditionally been justified to avoid having multiple companies building redundant and costly infrastructure and distribution assets.

    For conservatives, the time has begun to think of some major Web services - in particular Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter - in the same way. Yes, they are private companies, just as many utilities are. And yes, these Internet monopolies do not have the same physical-infrastructure advantages that electric-utility monopolies have. But because of their network effects, their dominance and monopoly power are in many ways even starker.

    If I don't like my utility I can put solar panels on my roof and an inverter and battery in my garage, and I can still get power. But if I can't get access to the 2 billion people on Facebook because Facebook doesn't like my politics, my rights of free expression are greatly curtailed.

    And despite the fact that these are private companies, they may be violating free-speech law, as Internet-law professor Mark Grabowski has detailed in the Washington Examiner. In Packingham v. North Carolina last month, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down a North Carolina law barring sex offenders from accessing social-media platforms, with the Court repeatedly and strongly emphasizing that social media are now a crucial part of the public square. As Grabowski notes, California's state constitution protects free speech in some privately owned spaces, such as shopping malls. Arguably, that protection should now extend to social media - and all the major tech companies are headquartered in California.

    But even if such arguments are not brought before the courts, the market-dominance or monopoly issue still remains a potent justification for regulation. The value of a social network such as Facebook grows proportionally with the square of the number of people connected to it (a finding known as Metcalfe's law, promulgated by networking pioneer Bob Metcalfe almost 40 years ago). Eighty-nine percent of U.S. Internet users are on Facebook. Twitter has more than 300 million users and plays a critical gatekeeper and distribution role in the high-speed promulgation of content and news. Google owns 88 percent of total U.S. search revenue. YouTube is similarly dominant in video.

    Given their market-dominant positions, these companies control a substantial share of the information that Americans consume and therefore should be run in a politically neutral fashion. Instead, they have doubled down on politically motivated censorship - demonetizing right-wing content providers (unilaterally declaring their content to be unfit to have commercials) or even banning them while doing nothing about politically favored ones.

    But there are solutions to this abuse of monopolistic power.

    These solutions need not be excessively burdensome or intrusive. They could focus on creating a simple regulatory regime that would ensure these monopolistic companies:

  1.         Do not censor any content that is compliant with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; and


  3.         Do not fully demonetize any user's content, pulling ads from posts only when the advertiser has requested such action be taken.

    In addition, going forward, these companies' records should be liable to be subpoenaed by the appropriate congressional committees to ensure that they have not abused their monopoly powers in ways that disfavor relevant content for political reasons, which they almost certainly do today. In the electric-utility industry, laws and regulatory bodies exist to ensure that the owners of transmission and distribution networks cannot arbitrarily discriminate against certain generators. The same if not greater standards should apply to speech.

    Such a proposal is hardly pie-in-the-sky - in fact, a version of this idea has reportedly been pushed privately by the White House's Steve Bannon, who, not coincidentally, has been among the most Internet-savvy voices on the right.

    Even before the Damore firing there were plenty of ominous signs. YouTube had promised "tougher treatment to videos that aren't illegal but have been flagged by users as potential violations of our policies on hate speech and violent extremism." The supposed focus of this effort was videos promoting terrorism, but right-wing content providers were immediately affected, with their channels banned or demonetized in many instances.

    The stakes of inaction are clear. In a major profile in the The New York Times Magazine earlier this month, YouTube was referred to as "The New Talk Radio" providing right-wing and conservative content not available in mainstream sources and as a result serving as a rallying point for those on the right. The Times highlights Lauren Southern, Paul Joseph Watson, Ezra Levant, and Stephen Crowder as among the dangerous rightists on YouTube. Sophisticated watchers of the Right will recognize that these individuals belong to very different groups with different relationships to the conservative mainstream. But they should all be able to speak freely.

    While I understand and share the concern about allowing government interference in private businesses, even those with monopoly power, we should not allow the conservative ship to be wrecked on the shoals of philosophical abstraction. What is needed is not regulation to restrict speech but regulation specifically to allow speech - regulation put on monopolist and market-dominant companies that have abused their positions repeatedly. Regulating these monopolies for the purpose of protecting free speech is a far different matter than regulating them to restrict free speech. To argue otherwise, to quote William F. Buckley in a different context, "is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around."

    As bans and financial threats have become increasingly frequent, some on the right have moved from Facebook and Twitter to new platforms such as Gab. But while I wish Gab well and think it is vital that the Right build its own social-media ecosystem outside of leftist control, that is no substitute for the ability to speak to and interact with the mainstream - where people who might not be exposed to the ideas of the Right can be engaged with and persuaded. We need to be able to tweet to the unconverted, not just the choir.

    YouTube promotes its "Creators for Change" program by writing that "no matter what kind of videos we make, we all have the power to help create the world we want." But if Silicon Valley has its way, that won't be true for conservatives. I personally know some executives at these companies who are politically open-minded. But taken as a whole, I don't trust them to offer a free, open, and politically unbiased platform. And neither should anyone else.

    That's why we need to make sure that these monopolies and platforms - which have been shielded with their privileges, such as the Safe Harbor provisions of the 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act - respect the free speech of all Americans, not just those who agree with them. This administration can drain the Silicon Valley swamp and create change. To do it is going to require investigations from conservative journalists, legislation from Congress, regulation from appropriate regulatory bodies, and ultimately the support of President Trump.

    The notion that social-media companies are utilities (and therefore might be regulated like utilities) did not originate in the fevered minds of right-wing policy analysts. For many years Mark Zuckerberg described Facebook as "a social utility" made up of "lots of separate networks." He also described Facebook as "more like a government than a traditional company."

    "What we're trying to do is just make it really efficient for people to communicate, get information, and share information. We always try to emphasize the utility component," Zuckerberg said. But increasingly these platforms are making it as hard as possible for those on the right to communicate and share information.

    Facebook, Google, and their ilk are indeed utilities, utilities that deliver public benefits and not just private ones. It's time for Congress and the Trump administration to start treating them that way.


Trump's Interior Department Won't Be Removing Confederate Monuments From Civil War Battlefields

The Interior Department won't be removing monuments to Confederate soldiers at national battlefields that are "an important part of our country's history," according to a spokesman.

"The National Park Service is committed to safeguarding these memorials while simultaneously educating visitors holistically and objectively about the actions, motivations and causes of the soldiers and states they commemorate," spokesman Jeremy Barnum told E&E News.

National Park statements come after a woman was killed counter-protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. The city voted to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

A man driving a Dodge Challenger drove into a crowd of counter protesters, killing one and injuring 19 others. That man, 20-year-old James Alex Fields, has been charged with second-degree murder.

The incident has only spurred the movement to remove Confederate monuments and rename schools, buildings and highways that had been named after Confederate politicians and generals.

President Donald Trump stoked the controversy even more by not explicitly calling out white supremacist groups in his initial condemnation of Saturday's violent clash. Trump issued a more forceful follow-up statement, but got into a fight with reporters at a news conference Tuesday.

"George Washington as a slave owner," Trump said. "So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson?"

"Are we going to take down his statue because he was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue?" Trump said

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he supports Trump "in uniting our communities and prosecuting the criminals to the fullest extent of the law."

"The racism, bigotry and hate perpetrated by violent white supremacist groups has no place in America," Zinke told E&E News. "It does not represent what I spent 23 years defending in the United States military and what millions of people around the globe have died for. We must respond to hate with love, unity and justice."

The National Park Service maintains numerous monuments to Confederate soldiers at battlefield sites across the country.

For example, Gettysburg, Penn., has 12 monuments to Confederate soldiers. The Battle of Antietam, which took place near Sharpsburg, Md., in 1862, has six Confederate monuments.

A Gettysburg National Military Park spokeswoman told The Evening Sun Wednesday they were not removing Confederate monuments to those who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

"These memorials, erected predominantly in the early and mid-20th century, are an important part of the cultural landscape," Katie Lawhon said.

Zinke told reporters in July that battlefield monuments were worth preserving for their historical value.

"Don't rewrite history," Zinke said Antietam National Battlefield. "Understand it for what it is and teach our kids the importance of looking at our magnificent history as a country and why we are what we are."


The Rise of the Violent Left

Violence begets violence. Antifa’s activists say they’re battling burgeoning authoritarianism on the American right. Are they fueling it instead?

By PETER BEINART, a liberal

Since 1907, Portland, Oregon, has hosted an annual Rose Festival. Since 2007, the festival had included a parade down 82nd Avenue. Since 2013, the Republican Party of Multnomah County, which includes Portland, had taken part. This April, all of that changed.

In the days leading up to the planned parade, a group called the Direct Action Alliance declared, "Fascists plan to march through the streets," and warned, "Nazis will not march through Portland unopposed." The alliance said it didn’t object to the Multnomah GOP itself, but to "fascists" who planned to infiltrate its ranks. Yet it also denounced marchers with "Trump flags" and "red maga hats" who could "normalize support for an orange man who bragged about sexually harassing women and who is waging a war of hate, racism and prejudice." A second group, Oregon Students Empowered, created a Facebook page called "Shut down fascism! No nazis in Portland!"

Next, the parade’s organizers received an anonymous email warning that if "Trump supporters" and others who promote "hateful rhetoric" marched, "we will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade … and drag and push those people out." When Portland police said they lacked the resources to provide adequate security, the organizers canceled the parade. It was a sign of things to come.

For progressives, Donald Trump is not just another Republican president. Seventy-six percent of Democrats, according to a Suffolk poll from last September, consider him a racist. Last March, according to a YouGov survey, 71 percent of Democrats agreed that his campaign contained "fascist undertones." All of which raises a question that is likely to bedevil progressives for years to come: If you believe the president of the United States is leading a racist, fascist movement that threatens the rights, if not the lives, of vulnerable minorities, how far are you willing to go to stop it?

In Washington, D.C., the response to that question centers on how members of Congress can oppose Trump’s agenda, on how Democrats can retake the House of Representatives, and on how and when to push for impeachment. But in the country at large, some militant leftists are offering a very different answer. On Inauguration Day, a masked activist punched the white-supremacist leader Richard Spencer. In February, protesters violently disrupted UC Berkeley’s plans to host a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart.com editor. In March, protesters pushed and shoved the controversial conservative political scientist Charles Murray when he spoke at Middlebury College, in Vermont.

As far-flung as these incidents were, they have something crucial in common. Like the organizations that opposed the Multnomah County Republican Party’s participation in the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, these activists appear to be linked to a movement called "antifa," which is short for antifascist or Anti-Fascist Action. The movement’s secrecy makes definitively cataloging its activities difficult, but this much is certain: Antifa’s power is growing. And how the rest of the activist left responds will help define its moral character in the Trump age.

Antifa traces its roots to the 1920s and ’30s, when militant leftists battled fascists in the streets of Germany, Italy, and Spain. When fascism withered after World War II, antifa did too. But in the ’70s and ’80s, neo-Nazi skinheads began to infiltrate Britain’s punk scene. After the Berlin Wall fell, neo-Nazism also gained prominence in Germany. In response, a cadre of young leftists, including many anarchists and punk fans, revived the tradition of street-level antifascism.

In the late ’80s, left-wing punk fans in the United States began following suit, though they initially called their groups Anti-Racist Action, on the theory that Americans would be more familiar with fighting racism than fascism. According to Mark Bray, the author of the forthcoming Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, these activists toured with popular alternative bands in the ’90s, trying to ensure that neo-Nazis did not recruit their fans. In 2002, they disrupted a speech by the head of the World Church of the Creator, a white-supremacist group in Pennsylvania; 25 people were arrested in the resulting brawl.

Antifa’s violent tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left.

By the 2000s, as the internet facilitated more transatlantic dialogue, some American activists had adopted the name antifa. But even on the militant left, the movement didn’t occupy the spotlight. To most left-wing activists during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years, deregulated global capitalism seemed like a greater threat than fascism.

Trump has changed that. For antifa, the result has been explosive growth. According to NYC Antifa, the group’s Twitter following nearly quadrupled in the first three weeks of January alone. (By summer, it exceeded 15,000.) Trump’s rise has also bred a new sympathy for antifa among some on the mainstream left. "Suddenly," noted the antifa-aligned journal It’s Going Down, "anarchists and antifa, who have been demonized and sidelined by the wider Left have been hearing from liberals and Leftists, ‘you’ve been right all along.’?" An article in The Nation argued that "to call Trumpism fascist" is to realize that it is "not well combated or contained by standard liberal appeals to reason." The radical left, it said, offers "practical and serious responses in this political moment."

Those responses sometimes spill blood. Since antifa is heavily composed of anarchists, its activists place little faith in the state, which they consider complicit in fascism and racism. They prefer direct action: They pressure venues to deny white supremacists space to meet. They pressure employers to fire them and landlords to evict them. And when people they deem racists and fascists manage to assemble, antifa’s partisans try to break up their gatherings, including by force.

Such tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left. When the masked antifa activist was filmed assaulting Spencer on Inauguration Day, another piece in The Nation described his punch as an act of "kinetic beauty." Slate ran an approving article about a humorous piano ballad that glorified the assault. Twitter was inundated with viral versions of the video set to different songs, prompting the former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau to tweet, "I don’t care how many different songs you set Richard Spencer being punched to, I’ll laugh at every one."

The violence is not directed only at avowed racists like Spencer: In June of last year, demonstrators—at least some of whom were associated with antifa—punched and threw eggs at people exiting a Trump rally in San Jose, California. An article in It’s Going Down celebrated the "righteous beatings."

Antifascists call such actions defensive. Hate speech against vulnerable minorities, they argue, leads to violence against vulnerable minorities. But Trump supporters and white nationalists see antifa’s attacks as an assault on their right to freely assemble, which they in turn seek to reassert. The result is a level of sustained political street warfare not seen in the U.S. since the 1960s. A few weeks after the attacks in San Jose, for instance, a white-supremacist leader announced that he would host a march in Sacramento to protest the attacks at Trump rallies. Anti-Fascist Action Sacramento called for a counterdemonstration; in the end, at least 10 people were stabbed.

A similar cycle has played out at UC Berkeley. In February, masked antifascists broke store windows and hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at police during a rally against the planned speech by Yiannopoulos. After the university canceled the speech out of what it called "concern for public safety," white nationalists announced a "March on Berkeley" in support of "free speech." At that rally, a 41-year-old man named Kyle Chapman, who was wearing a baseball helmet, ski goggles, shin guards, and a mask, smashed an antifa activist over the head with a wooden post. Suddenly, Trump supporters had a viral video of their own. A far-right crowdfunding site soon raised more than $80,000 for Chapman’s legal defense. (In January, the same site had offered a substantial reward for the identity of the antifascist who had punched Spencer.) A politicized fight culture is emerging, fueled by cheerleaders on both sides. As James Anderson, an editor at It’s Going Down, told Vice, "This shit is fun."

Portland offers perhaps the clearest glimpse of where all of this can lead. The Pacific Northwest has long attracted white supremacists, who have seen it as a haven from America’s multiracial East and South. In 1857, Oregon (then a federal territory) banned African Americans from living there. By the 1920s, it boasted the highest Ku Klux Klan membership rate of any state.

In 1988, neo-Nazis in Portland killed an Ethiopian immigrant with a baseball bat. Shortly thereafter, notes Alex Reid Ross, a lecturer at Portland State University and the author of Against the Fascist Creep, anti-Nazi skinheads formed a chapter of Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice. Before long, the city also had an Anti-Racist Action group.

Now, in the Trump era, Portland has become a bastion of antifascist militancy. Masked protesters smashed store windows during multiday demonstrations following Trump’s election. In early April, antifa activists threw smoke bombs into a "Rally for Trump and Freedom" in the Portland suburb of Vancouver, Washington. A local paper said the ensuing melee resembled a mosh pit.

When antifascists forced the cancellation of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, Trump supporters responded with a "March for Free Speech." Among those who attended was Jeremy Christian, a burly ex-con draped in an American flag, who uttered racial slurs and made Nazi salutes. A few weeks later, on May 25, a man believed to be Christian was filmed calling antifa "a bunch of punk bitches."

The next day, Christian boarded a light-rail train and began yelling that "colored people" were ruining the city. He fixed his attention on two teenage girls, one African American and the other wearing a hijab, and told them "to go back to Saudi Arabia" or "kill themselves." As the girls retreated to the back of the train, three men interposed themselves between Christian and his targets. "Please," one said, "get off this train." Christian stabbed all three. One bled to death on the train. One was declared dead at a local hospital. One survived.

The cycle continued. Nine days after the attack, on June 4, Trump supporters hosted another Portland rally, this one featuring Chapman, who had gained fame with his assault on the antifascist in Berkeley. Antifa activists threw bricks until the police dispersed them with stun grenades and tear gas.

What’s eroding in Portland is the quality Max Weber considered essential to a functioning state: a monopoly on legitimate violence. As members of a largely anarchist movement, antifascists don’t want the government to stop white supremacists from gathering. They want to do so themselves, rendering the government impotent. With help from other left-wing activists, they’re already having some success at disrupting government. Demonstrators have interrupted so many city-council meetings that in February, the council met behind locked doors. In February and March, activists protesting police violence and the city’s investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline hounded Mayor Ted Wheeler so persistently at his home that he took refuge in a hotel. The fateful email to parade organizers warned, "The police cannot stop us from shutting down roads."

All of this fuels the fears of Trump supporters, who suspect that liberal bastions are refusing to protect their right to free speech. Joey Gibson, a Trump supporter who organized the June 4 Portland rally, told me that his "biggest pet peeve is when mayors have police stand down … They don’t want conservatives to be coming together and speaking." To provide security at the rally, Gibson brought in a far-right militia called the Oath Keepers. In late June, James Buchal, the chair of the Multnomah County Republican Party, announced that it too would use militia members for security, because "volunteers don’t feel safe on the streets of Portland."

Antifa believes it is pursuing the opposite of authoritarianism. Many of its activists oppose the very notion of a centralized state. But in the name of protecting the vulnerable, antifascists have granted themselves the authority to decide which Americans may publicly assemble and which may not. That authority rests on no democratic foundation. Unlike the politicians they revile, the men and women of antifa cannot be voted out of office. Generally, they don’t even disclose their names.

Antifa’s perceived legitimacy is inversely correlated with the government’s. Which is why, in the Trump era, the movement is growing like never before. As the president derides and subverts liberal-democratic norms, progressives face a choice. They can recommit to the rules of fair play, and try to limit the president’s corrosive effect, though they will often fail. Or they can, in revulsion or fear or righteous rage, try to deny racists and Trump supporters their political rights. From Middlebury to Berkeley to Portland, the latter approach is on the rise, especially among young people.

Revulsion, fear, and rage are understandable. But one thing is clear. The people preventing Republicans from safely assembling on the streets of Portland may consider themselves fierce opponents of the authoritarianism growing on the American right. In truth, however, they are its unlikeliest allies.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


17 August, 2017

What is a Leftist to do when his opponents are NOT white supremacists?

Easy.  Interpret what the opponent does say to mean what the Leftist wants it to mean.  See below.  His opponents all speak in code, apparently.

There may have been a few actual white supremacists at the Charlotteville rally but all the actual protests heard were about the preservation of an historic statue and the subjugation of American cultural traditions to political correctness.  The marchers were seeking only liberty, not to subjugate anybody -- but Leftists refuse to see that.

It just gives them a huge thrill to think that they are opposing white supremacists.  That would make them the good guys.  They in fact are the supremacists -- Leftist supremacists. They want to put us all into a regulatory straitjacket of their devising -- as the Obama period showed.

Note below that they do not even attempt to show that their opponents are white supremacists.  They just assert it. If there really were white supremacists at the rally, how come that they can't quote anybody there saying clearly one single white supremacist thing?

The coded language of the white supremacist playbook has been displayed in abundance since the Charlottesville, Va., rally exploded in violence Saturday, sowing confusion for the public and masking the sentiment behind some of the responses.

Trump’s initial, vague statement — and even some elements of his more specific denunciation Monday, two days after the protests horrified the nation — heartened extremist groups, who are adept at weaponizing ambiguous language and who cited Trump’s language as vindication.

A prime example of the groups’ rhetorical tactics: a "Free Speech Rally" that may take place Saturday on Boston Common with scheduled speakers who have espoused white supremacist views.

The feel-good title of the rally is intended to divert attention from its purpose of sowing racial discord, said Ian Haney Lopez, a racial justice professor at University of California Berkeley’s law school who has written a book on racial "dog whistles."

"When you use a phrase like ‘free speech’ to mobilize those who are racially fearful, it switches the conversation. It pretends that the conversation is about the right to express unpopular views — which is a quintessential American value that is enshrined in our Constitution — when in fact, the dynamic is about the expression of ugly views of racial prejudice," Lopez said.

Trump has previously been criticized for repeatedly talking about violence in "inner cities" and his multiple warnings about "thugs," coded words often used to invoke stereotypical images of black men.

On Saturday, when he first addressed Americans in response to the Charlottesville rallies, he told the country to "cherish our history," which some took as code that he was weighing in on the side of preserving Confederate memorials.

"That was a very interesting comment," white nationalist Richard Spencer, a founder of the "alt-right" movement told the Times of Israel. "I think there is reason to believe he wants an America where we can look back upon the Civil War as a deeply tragic event, but we can honor great men, like Robert E. Lee."

Spencer told reporters Monday, after the president’s recent round of remarks, that he did not believe Trump had repudiated white nationalists or the "alt-right" movement, which combines elements of nationalism, racism, and populism.

"I don’t think he condemned it, no," Spencer said. "Did he say white nationalist? ‘Racist’ means an irrational hatred of people. I don’t think he meant any of us."

Hate groups have long worked to mask their views behind traditionally accepted language, in an attempt to make them more palatable to the public. Instead of denouncing America’s increasing ethnic diversity, they created the phrase "reverse-racism." The term "alt-right" was born to rebrand white supremacist ideology as Internet friendly and cutting-edge.

The use of dog whistles — a cloaked political message that can only be understood by a particular group, much as dogs can hear whistles of certain frequencies that humans cannot — has become more common.

American politicians have a bipartisan history of deploying coded words to dance around the topic of race. Lee Atwater, the Republican political consultant and former confidant to Ronald Reagan, had his infamous "Southern Strategy," which he explicitly said was created to disenfranchise black Americans without being called racist.

Reagan, during his presidential campaign of 1976, pushed a narrative that some black women were lazy and manipulating government aid. Hillary Clinton blasted youths in gangs as "super-predators."

Where Trump stands out, however, is the specific way he emboldens white nationalists, said specialists who study racism in America. Trump "eradicates distinctions" by being uniquely obtuse and coded about his racial messaging, said Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguistics professor at the University of California Berkeley’s School of Information.

Instead of overtly criticizing then-President Barack Obama’s race, Nunberg said, Trump peddled the myth that the first black president was born in Kenya. On Saturday, Trump embraced a false equivalence between the bigots and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, condemning violence on "many sides."

"There’s a cultural battle that’s going on that Trump is engaged in — and part of that is a redefinition of what is factual," said Sam Fulwood, a fellow on race at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington. "If they can redefine racism as what’s against white men . . . then they’re able to impose their will on society."

Even in his stronger statement Monday, Trump denounced the Klu Klux Klan along with neo-Nazis and "other hate groups," which he did not define. Combined with the fact that it took him days to address the criticism, experts said, this is the type of ambiguity that the extremist groups rely upon.

Many people posting in online forums, which often serve as testing grounds for the white nationalist ideology, said they saw hope in Trump’s statements. They pointed to his phrase "other hate groups," which they interpreted as a nod to their main targets: civil rights organizations who advocate for nonwhites.

"He left the door open," wrote one user on Reddit.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, the civil rights organization based in Alabama that has tracked extremists groups for years through its blog "Hatewatch," said extremists groups see Trump as a "champion."

Part of this is the language he and his close advisers used on the campaign trail and on Twitter, including the sharing of popular white nationalist memes and using phrases such as "cuckservative," a term combining cuckold and conservative that is used to describe Republicans seen as traitors.

In a post on its home page, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen, said Trump’s responses to Charlottesville will be interpreted by the "alt-right" as a nod of approval, a license that allows them to become more emboldened.

This also happened when Trump, during the 2016 campaign, took days to denounce the endorsements of David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, and the Klan at large.

Cohen said extremist groups saw that and took heart. And he said they would be encouraged again, after the president’s response to Charlottesville.

"I’m sure white supremacists remain reassured," he wrote, "that they have a friend in the White House."


Left’s wonky moral compass on Trump

Janet Albrechtsen comments from Australia

The US President routinely uses Twitter to slam all manner of people, from Democrats to Republicans to televisions hosts, in 140 characters or less.

His early tweets last weekend lacked their usual clarity when 20-year-old Ohio man James Alex Fields drove his grey Dodge into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a woman and injuring 19 others. Donald Trump should have mustered some fire and fury against the white supremacists, members of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis who marched on the weekend to anti-Semitic chants and homophobic rants in Charlottes­ville.

While criticism came from both sides of the political aisle, the left’s hysteria over Trump’s response to the Unite the Right rally packs no punch because the eagerness to label evil doesn’t stretch far beyond white supremacists. When it comes to putting a name on Islamic terrorism, the ­reaction is very different. It’s a case of what Mark Steyn calls tilty-headed wankerishness. No naming evil here, only candlelit vigils, hashtag campaigns and inclusive interfaith dialogues.

In March, after 52-year-old Briton Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, the Dean of Westminster, John R. Hall, announced that the nation was bewildered.

"What could possibly ­motivate a man to hire a car and take it from Birmingham to Brighton to London, and then drive it fast at people he had never met, couldn’t possibly know, against whom he had no personal grudge, no reason to hate them, and then run at the gates of the Palace of Westminster to cause another death? It seems likely that we shall never know," Hall said soon after the attack.

Except we did know. But when it comes to Islamic terrorism, labelling evil gives over to mumbling, fumbling dissembling. It’s a curious lapse in moral clarity given that Islamic terrorists have no time for Christianity, let alone religious freedoms or women and the feminist cause, or homosexuals, let alone LGBTI rights.

The thundering hysteria against Trump after Charlottesville is another case of the left’s wonky moral compass.

CNN hosts censured Trump for not immediately condemning the white supremacists spoiling for a fight last weekend. But the faces of CNN didn’t rally to label evil when an Islamic terrorist ploughed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, or when another Islamic terrorist rammed a truck at a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market, or when an Islamic terrorist mowed down pedestrians on a promenade in Nice on Bastille Day last year.

After an Islamic terrorist detonated a bomb and murdered teenagers at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in May, London mayor Sadiq Khan didn’t condemn Islamic State — even though the terrorist group claimed responsibility. It was the same in June after three Islamic terrorists mowed into pedestrians on London Bridge before going from bar to bar, stabbing and slicing at patrons with 30cm hunting knives. Not even a clue from one of the ­Islamic terrorists, who shouted "This is for Allah" before stabbing a woman more than 10 times, helped Khan name the evil.

A fortnight ago, after Australian security authorities foiled an alleged plot to bomb an Etihad Airways flight out of Sydney, Islamic Council of Queensland spokesman Ali Kadri lodged a complaint when Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin described the evil plot as "Islamic-inspired terrorism".

Why wasn’t the Muslim group condemned by opinionated hosts at the ABC for refusing to name the alleged evil given their eagerness to condemn Trump for the same error of judgment this week? For the same reason three days after the violence in Charlottesville, the ABC was still leading its news bulletins with Trump’s reaction yet it can barely bring itself to say Islamic or even Islamist ­terrorism; truth in labelling is an ad hoc business on the left.

When Man Haron Monis held hostages at gunpoint in Sydney’s Lindt cafe in December 2014, many on the left rushed to suggest he was mad, not bad. The coroner found otherwise, but it’s a standard response when violence is committed in the name of Islam. No one suggested the 20-year-old driver in Charlottesville was mad, not bad.

When Islamic terrorists strike, we are correctly reminded not to tar all Muslims with the actions of a few. The same may be said of those who marched in Charlottesville. Not all of them are anti-­Semitic nutters or Klansmen or neo-Nazis. Not all of them drove a car into the crowd. But no one warned against tarring everyone at the Unite the Right rally.

Instead, a determined ignorance defines the modern left. Charlottesville mayor and Democrat activist Michael Signer said: "I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in America today right at the doorstep of the White House." They also could lay the blame for the widespread illiberalism and violence erupting across American campuses at the feet of the divisive identity politics ­fuelled by Democrats such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

It’s a hard truth for the left that the Obama presidency begat the Trump presidency. Rather than blame Trump, it’s worth exploring how the rise of white supremacist groups is an inevitable consequence of identity group politics where groups vie for prominence on the basis of skin colour, race, creed, gender and sexuality.

Writing in The New York Times last year, self-described liberal Mark Lilla concluded that American liberalism had become a flawed movement based on the politics of moral panic about ­racial, gender and sexual identity that prevented it from being a unifying force.

Last week Lilla added to his compelling critique in The Wall Street Journal: "There is a mystery at the core of every suicide, and the story of how a once-successful liberal politics of solidarity became a failed liberal politics of ‘difference’ is not a simple one. Perhaps the best place to begin it is with a slogan: The personal is the political." As Lilla says, the phrase coined by feminists to unite people has been turned on its head to mean the political is the personal, where the "forces are all centrifugal, encouraging splits into smaller and smaller factions obsessed with single issues and practising rituals of ideological one-upmanship". The result is a movement that divides people rather than bringing them together.

What’s left of the left is a marketplace of outrage where emotion and politics trump intel­lectual honesty and moral clarity. From blinkered feminists who refuse to focus on real misogyny in the Middle East to human rights activists who mock free speech, from same-sex marriage advocates who trample on tolerance to those who demand that only white supremacists, not Islamic terrorists, be named and shamed, the left has become a hollow shell of hyperbole and hypocrisy.

Claims against Trump and his supporters will have real clout and credibility when the needle on the left’s faulty moral compass stops swinging so feverishly in one direction.


Royal Dutch Airlines failed hilariously when tweeting support for homosexuals, proving the opposite point

Royal Dutch Airlines attempted to show support for homosexuals with a tweet this week saying, "It doesn’t matter who you click with. Happy #PrideAmsterdam." Unfortunately, it included the above picture — which only reinforces the opposite point that there’s just one way nature intended.

The first two seat belts in the picture obviously would not function. Or, as Jim Treacher put more humorously, "Only one of these seat belts will perform the intended function. I realize that noticing this means I’m bigoted against the LGBT community."

Others on Twitter had a field day mocking the unfortunate pic. "I suppose for the top two options, you should just tie the ends together around your waist in an emergency," tweeted Jim Geraghty.

Another tweeted an imaginary conversation: "Hello, Stewardess? My seatbelt doesn’t work"

"It doesn’t matter who you click with!"

"But… I could die in an accident."


That about sums it up for this week’s winner of the Non Compos Mentis Award.


James Damore: aftermath

Lubos Motl below discusses a video conversation between two people who reject the claim that all men are equal

Prof Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux (both from Canada) are two main individualist YouTube pundits who have previously interviewed James Damore, the former $162,000-a-year Senior Google engineer who became a hero of freedom. So in this discussion, they talked to each other. They covered a lot of ground. You may see that their thinking and values are close enough to each other. But you may still see that they're individualist and they want similar audiences to dedicate time to their videos, so to some extent, this insightful debate still sounds like a competition of a sort.

They discussed optimistic specifics of this Damore story. Damore hasn't backed off, he preferred to talk to independent media such as themselves over the mainstream media. The New York Times wrote a story urging Google to fire its anti-freedom-of-expression CEO Mr Kunda Pí?a.

Many events were so similar to those after the 2005 speech by Larry Summers about women in science. But many events were so different. Even though James Damore is basically a shy boy, his public reactions were more self-confident than those of Larry Summers. A part of it may be due to Damore's having received some recommendations from pundits: Don't back off. He could have received such recommendations because the independent media such as Molyneux's and Peterson's talk shows are far more powerful now than they or their counterparts were in 2005.

As they happily noticed, their videos generally get many more views than analogous videos by the "mainstream media". So these very labels – who is really mainstream – is finally getting complicated.

They discussed the harm that Google has done by having fired Damore. I agree with that entirely. Consumers may start to doubt the trustworthiness of Google. And potential stellar employees may be afraid of accepting a job at Google. These are potentially serious problems. And it's possible that not only some centrist and right-wing technology experts could choose a different occupation because of the occasional defective atmosphere in the company that may have grown into the "culture" of censorship and harassment. Some left-wing candidates who are left-wing in a "wrong way" could do the same.

I am personally not going to boycott Google's products because of these matters. I would feel like one of those left-wing childish activists who never really succeed, who abandon meritocracy in favor of ideology, and I am just too conservative. Even if some products were equally good or better than Google's, I have tested Google's products sufficiently to be certain. But I think that if you aren't constrained by these things, you should try alternatives. You should try the Czech Seznam maps instead of Google maps. And you should try Seznam's search engine and Seznam's superfast browser, too! Those products may be better than Google's alternatives. Seznam's owner Mr Ivo Luka?ovi? has denounced efforts to politically profile ads in his company and vows to keep his company apolitical.

As a consumer, I would actually be afraid of some Google products that are too physical, such as self-driving cars. If writing a totally sensible analysis about women in tech was enough for the Google CEO to fire the engineer, maybe writing bit more right-wing texts than Damore's could be enough for a Google boss to schedule a car accident for your car. They could cover it by exactly the same excuses as now – corporations have the right to trample on the employees' freedom of speech much like they have the right to push the accelerator pedal in your car in front of an abyss – both the employee and the consumer have signed some contract allowing these things, haven't they? Note that it is not the artificial intelligence of the self-driving car that is dangerous for you; it is the malicious humans who may try to hide their crimes behind the artificial intelligence.

According to a common sense understanding of the freedom of speech, the firing of Damore was an unacceptable violation of the basic Western values and the "accelerator push" of a Google self-driving car would be a murder at least informally.

Molyneux and Peterson have discussed lots of things about the growth of wealth since the 1870s, the increasing inequality and decreasing poverty, the Left's self-contradicting attitudes to many good and bad processes and conditions in the society, the correlation of the IQ and success, whether the IQ may be modified by training (no), whether people with the IQ beneath 83 are useful for the U.S. army (no), and many others. It was a very stimulating intellectual discussion and I really recommend you to watch it in its entirety.

I would subscribe at least to some 95% of the things that they have said.



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

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

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


16 August, 2017

Sessions: DOJ Taking ‘Vigorous Action’ to Protect Those Who ‘Protest Against Racism and Bigotry’

Because a Leftist demonstrator died at Charlotteville there has been an enormous blast of self-righteousness from the Left.  And in their self-righteousness they have arrogated to themselves the right to call the conservative demonstrators at the Charlotteville rally, "Nazis", KKK", "white supremacists" etc.

But where is the evidence for those accusations?  There were no KKK robes in sight, no swastika flags and no proclamations of white supremacy.  But so loud and persistent have those accusations become, that both Trump and Sessions have now appeared to concede that such groups were present at the march. 

The aim of the march was simply to defend a statue of an historic figure, Robert E. Lee. And some individual marchers claimed to be defending white culture. But culture is not race and you can defend it without calling it supreme.  The motive in fact was to prevent its subjugation, not assert its supremacy.

Various fringe organizations known for violent rhetoric had supported the march and claimed to have members there but such claims could easily have been bravado and none of the organizations were distinctly identifiable at the march, let alone being shown as violent.  The march remained a defence of a statue and nothing more.

The violence at the rally was sparked by deliberately planned attacks by Antifa on the marchers. Antifa came equipped with bats, sticks and flamethrowers.  Yet some of the media describe Antifa as "peaceful"! All the marchers did was defend themselves.  The marchers did apparently foresee attacks on them -- which was a pretty obvious possibility -- but their major preparation was to hand out those death's head shields for self protection. And note that shields are a defensive device, not a weapon.  The death's heads were apparently an attempt to scare off attackers. Who the attackers were and who the defenders were is thus crystal clear.

Unfortunately, one individual was so incensed by the attacks  that he drove his car into the Antifa group.  But that was a response by one individual, not a concerted effort by any group.

So where is the condemnation of Antifa?  I have seen none.  Instead, Jeff Sessions below seems to suggest that he will protect them.  Media hysteria seems to have effectively blinded people to what actually went on.  It's a triumph of Leftist propaganda.

Neo-Nazis and other white supremacists are going to discover that the Trump administration is "coming after them for any violations of the law," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday.

Sessions, a recent target of Trump’s criticism, on Monday defended the president for making a "very strong statement" against the "hatred, violence, bigotry, racism, white supremacy" espoused at weekend rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"Those things must be condemned in this country," Sessions told NBC’s "Today" show. "They're totally unacceptable, and you can be sure that this Department of Justice in his (Trump’s) administration is going to take the most vigorous action to protect the right of people like Heather Heyer to protest against racism and bigotry.

"We're going to protect the right to assemble and march, and we're going to prosecute anybody to the full extent of the law that violates their ability do so, so, you can be sure of that," Sessions added.

The white supremacists, including neo-Nazis and the KKK, had a permit to protest the removal of Confederate statues in public parks, but their protest attracted counter-protesters. One of those counter-protesters, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed when a car driven by a young white man, apparently a white supremacist, rammed a crowded intersection.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the Justice Departent has opened a civil rights investigation into the car-ramming to "make a determination about whether it's appropriate to charge this as an act of terror." Pompeo said he is confident that DOJ "will investigate that with enormous rigor and get to the right outcome."

President Trump, meanwhile, is expected to say more about the Charlottesville violence on Monday, but some critics say it’s too late – he missed an opportunity to criticize the white supremacist groups by name when he spoke on Saturday.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence -- on many sides, on many sides," Trump said at a press conference on Saturday afternoon. "It’s been going on for a long time in our country -- not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama -- it’s been going on for a long, long time."

Trump’s suggestion that "hatred, bigotry and violence" exists on "many sides" offended some Americans. On Monday, "Today" anchor Samantha Guthrie asked Sessions, "What are the other sides?"

Sessions replied, "Well, we've had violence around the country in any number of ways over decades. We've had these spasms of violence that are unacceptable in America."

Sessions noted that Trump on Saturday said the problems have been going on for a long time: "He said what happened in Charlottesville is unacceptable. We need to find out what happened, that it's wrong, and we need to study it and see what, as a nation, we can do to be more effective against this kind of extremism -- and evil, really. I thought it was a pretty -- it was a good statement, delivered just a few hours after the event," Sessions said.

As criticism against the president mounted, the White House on Sunday issued a statement explicitly calling out the neo-Nazis, the KKK "and all extremist groups."

"Amazingly, Nazism remains alive after all the evil it has caused in the world, and so I think that we take this seriously," Sessions said. "We go at it directly, morally, legally, politically, legitimately and any way possible to reject this kind of ideology that that causes division and hatred in America. It's just not part of our heritage."

Sessions said he expects President Trump to speak about the violence later today.

"He will be speaking to the people today, I'm not sure what he'll say, that's my understanding. And he's been firm on this from the beginning. He is appalled by this."


Tech companies shift free speech mindset

The neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer had its internet domain registration revoked twice in less than 24 hours in the wake of the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, part of a broad move by the tech industry in recent months to take a stronger hand in policing online hate-speech and incitements to violence.

GoDaddy Inc, which manages internet names and registrations, disclosed late on Sunday via Twitter that it had given Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider, saying it had violated GoDaddy's terms of service.

The white supremacist website helped organise the weekend rally in Charlottesville where a 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 people were injured when a man ploughed a car into a crowd protesting against the white nationalist rally.

After GoDaddy revoked Daily Stormer's registration, the website turned to Alphabet Inc's Google Domains. The Daily Stormer domain was registered with Google shortly before 8 am on Monday PDT (0100 Tuesday AEST) and the company announced plans to revoke it at 10.56 am Monday PDT (0356 Tuesday AEST), according to a person familiar with the revocation.

As of late Monday (US time), the site was still running on a Google-registered domain. Google issued a statement but did not say when the site would be taken down.

Internet companies have increasingly found themselves in the crosshairs over hate speech and other volatile social issues, with politicians and others calling on them to do more to police their networks while civil libertarians worry about the firms suppressing free speech.

Twitter Inc, Facebook Inc, Google's YouTube and other platforms have ramped up efforts to combat the social media efforts of Islamic militant groups, largely in response to pressure from European governments. Now, they are facing similar pressures in the US over white supremacist and neo-Nazi content.

Facebook confirmed on Monday that it took down the event page that was used to promote and organise the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville.

Facebook allows people to organise peaceful protests or rallies, but the social network said it would remove such pages when a threat of real-world harm and affiliation with hate organisations becomes clear.

"Facebook does not allow hate speech or praise of terrorist acts or hate crimes, and we are actively removing any posts that glorify the horrendous act committed in Charlottesville," the company said in a statement.

Several other companies also took action. Canadian internet company Tucows Inc stopped hiding the domain registration information of Andrew Anglin, the founder of Daily Stormer. Tucows, which was previously providing the website with services masking Anglin's phone number and email address, said Daily Stormer had breached its terms of service.

"They are inciting violence," said Michael Goldstein, vice president for sales and marketing at Tucows, a Toronto-based company. "It's a dangerous site and people should know who it is coming from."

Anglin did not respond to a request for comment.

Discord, a 70-person San Francisco company that allows video gamers to communicate across the internet, did not mince words in its decision to shut down the server of Altright.com, an alt-right news website, and the accounts of other white nationalists.

"We will continue to take action against white supremacy, Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate," the company said in a tweet on Monday. Altright.com did not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, Twilio Inc chief executive Jeff Lawson on Sunday tweeted that the company would update its use policy to prohibit hate speech. Twilio's services allow companies and organisations, such as political groups or campaigns, to send text messages to their communities.

Internet companies, which enjoy broad protections under US law for the activities of people using their services, have mostly tried to avoid being arbiters of what is acceptable speech.

But the ground is now shifting, said one executive at a major Silicon Valley firm. Twitter, for one, has moved sharply against harassment and hate speech after enduring years of criticism for not doing enough.

Facebook is beefing up its content monitoring teams. Google is pushing hard on new technology to help it monitor and delete YouTube videos that celebrate violence.

All this comes as an influential bloc of senators push legislation that would make it easier to penalise operators of websites that facilitate online sex trafficking of women and children.

That measure, despite the non-controversial nature of its espoused goal, was met with swift and co-ordinated opposition from tech firms and internet freedom groups, who fear that being legally liable for the postings of users would be a devastating blow to the internet industry.


Treason Is Now in Vogue

Bradley Manning graces the cover of the latest issue of Vogue in a sickeningly sycophantic puff piece.

"Chelsea Manning Changed the Course of History. Now She’s Focusing on Herself," is the sickening headline of the September issue of Vogue magazine. The fawning story begins with what we guess is supposed to be an endearing description of "her" appearance and newfound comfort in "her" own skin. It goes on to tell much of Manning’s story, though it’s factually wrong in some details. More on that in a minute, but suffice to say the Left is in full swing happily celebrating its new transgender poster child.

We say the story is sickening for two reasons. First, Bradley/Chelsea Manning is an individual who deserves our pity, prayer and help, not vacuous celebrations. His gender dysphoria and what strikes us as narcissistic personality disorder is tragic, not heroic. He’s had a difficult life, including his father leaving at a young age and his mother attempting suicide. Transgendered people are at a drastically higher risk of suicide attempts than the general population, and it’s no surprise that Manning, too, has tried. And yet to Vogue, his only "problem" is that he couldn’t be "herself" until taxpayer-funded transition surgery.

Second, Manning is a traitor who released more than a million pages of classified information about U.S. intelligence operations to WikiLeaks, endangering lives and disrupting policy. He aided and abetted the enemies of America while in our nation’s uniform, all because he decided, on his own authority, to stimulate "worldwide discussion, debate and reforms." Yet his disclosures were totally self-serving. And Vogue lied about some of the information: "The breach’s breadth was startling, as were its contents," the magazine reports, including "the so-called Collateral Murder video, showing a U.S. helicopter killing a group of Baghdad pedestrians that included children and press."

"On the contrary," rejoins the Washington Examiner’s Tom Rogan, "it shows the lawful targeting of insurgents armed with rifles and a grenade launcher. Those ‘Baghdad pedestrians’ were threatening a U.S. Army unit that suffered one of the highest casualty rates of any unit in Iraq."

In any case, it’s fair to say he’d still be in prison — or the grave — if he was still a man. Barack Obama would have had no politically advantageous reason to give him a ridiculous commutation deal, all while couching it as enough being enough. "Let’s be clear," Obama said (using a phrase typically indicating he’s lying), "Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence. I feel very comfortable that justice has been served."

No, Obama’s political objective was served, and it is still being served by this tripe from Vogue and other outlets that sycophantically flatter Manning and their own "enlightened" cosmopolitan egos.


Businessman Dick Smith spends $1million on 'chilling' new anti-immigration ad warning Australia is doomed

Businessman Dick Smith is pressuring politicians to slash the number of immigrants accepted into Australia in a $1 million 'disturbing' ad campaign threatening violence and poverty.

The television advertisement, which will air on Tuesday, is based on the 1980s Grim Reaper AIDS campaign and will feature original actor John Stanton.

Using a pitchfork as an ominous symbol for a violent revolution, Mr Smith warns that 'endless growth will destroy Australia as we know it today.'

'Our growth-addicted economic system will see our children living in a world of eleven billion people, consuming and polluting more than our finite planet can withstand,' the millionaire entrepreneur claims in the Dick Smith Fair Go campaign ad.

'It's a path to either more and more inequality, or famine, disaster, war and collapse. Are we that stupid?'

Mr Smith appeals for politicians to cut the annual number of immigrants in half and offers to invest $2 million into marginal seats in the next election for the political party that drafts a population plan.

The outspoken One Nation supporter is also calling to close the gap between Australia's wealthiest people and the poor.

'Australia's wealthiest 1 percent own more than the bottom 70 percent, that's 17 million Aussies,' he said.

Mr Smith said that as a member of that top tier, he knows the group can 'certainly afford to pay more tax,' according to The Daily Telegraph.

A few of his own office staff members have called the ad 'disturbing,' Mr Smith said.

'It is so disturbing people in my office said they did not want their children to see it, but it is what we see on the news every night,' he said, according to the publication.

Mr Smith and radio host Alan Jones will launch the ad campaign at an event in Sydney on Tuesday morning.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


15 August, 2017

Is Julius Goat right?

The "divine" Julius started a very popular Twitter thread in which he claimed to see an air of entitlement in the traditionalist demonstrators at Charlotte.  The torches at the peaceful demonstration the night before the big fracas seem in particular to have inflamed him. He then goes on to say that the demonstrators in fact had nothing to complain about because they had not suffered a range of problems that various minority groups had suffered.  He said that the law never:

Enslaved their great-grandparents
Robbed their grandparents
Imprisoned their parents
Shot them when unarmed

He then goes on to list the other injustices that white, middle-class men have never suffered from the travel ban on Muslims to police violence against black people to historic efforts to prove non-white intellectual inferiority as well as church burnings and hangings.

Then he examined the "we will not be replaced" rallying cry of the white supremacist protesters. Replaced as ... what?

Replaced as the only voice in public discussions.
Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena.
Replaced as the only life that matters.

He then said he would "love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year". That might mean a world "where you ACTUALLY can’t say Christmas", where "the name ‘Geoff’ on a resume puts it in the trash" or where a polo shirt makes people so nervous it could get you kicked off a plane, he said.

"Put that in your torches and light it, you sorry Nazi b****es," concluded Julius Goat.

Organisers of Saturday’s Unite the Right rally said, however, that it was staged to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate commander General Robert E Lee from a park. Individual marchers may have had larger agendas than that but to say that the whole march had a larger agenda is just an unproven assertion.

And it is certainly an absurd assertion that they were Nazis.  That Julius Goat asserts it does not make it so.  The real Brownshirts of the occasion were the Antifa demonstrators who turned up with bats, sticks and flamethrowers and proceeded to attack peaceful marchers.

It is of course true that attacks on American traditional culture have not bitten very hard so far -- except in the colleges and universities.  But the colleges and universities are a large omen of things to come.  They are an alarm beacon of what seems to be  coming.  They are a warning of what appears to lie ahead for all Americans -- a future where speech is strictly regulated, justice is denied and a tight net of Fascist regulations surrounds everything that people do.

So, yes.  The goatish one is right that white males have not suffered as much as some other groups have.  But he seems to want to deny them any interest in their future.  He somehow overlooks that white males may rightly take alarm at what they see lying  ahead of them.  And some of them want to prevent and resist what the Leftist establishment clearly have in mind for them. 

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance" is a well-known maxim among conservatives and that vigilance may have to be exercised from time to time.  What is wrong with that?  If you see a juggernaut hurtling towards you, what is wrong with trying to stop or deflect it?

Tech Tycoon Wants to Punish ‘Wicked’ Foes of LGBT Activism

A Colorado high-tech multimillionaire backing LGBT activism warns that his foundation will "punish the wicked"—those who oppose the political agenda advanced in the name of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

Tim Gill created the Gill Foundation with a $300 million endowment to promote LGBT legislation. The foundation, based in Denver, has worked against religious freedom measures since 1994.

"It’s the religious right that decided to make marriage an issue. They worked tirelessly on it for decades, and they lost," Gill said in a recent interview in Rolling Stone magazine.

After the 2015 Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, Gill focused on defeating religious liberty legislation.

Recently, he fought against the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, in Georgia.

The measure would have prevented the government from intervention in religious practice without a compelling governmental interest.

To defeat the legislation, Gill founded Georgia Prospers, which orchestrated protests in the state. Georgia Prospers also drafted an opposition petition for major Georgia businesses, such as Coca-Cola, to protest the RFRA.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, ultimately vetoed the bill.

Gill’s involvement started with an amendment to the Colorado Constitution, known commonly as Initiative 2, according to an interview he did at Yale University. Initiative 2, which was passed but later overturned in court, proposed that no state law could assign protected status for sexual orientation.

"My assistant’s assistant at Quark had actually voted in favor of [passing the amendment]," Gill said. "I thought, ‘She says I should be able to be fired for being gay; that sexual orientation shouldn’t protect me.’ I thought, ‘Maybe I should fire her.’"

Instead, he donated $1 million to the effort to overturn the amendment.

"When I look around the country, I see people that are victims of hate crimes," Gill said in a promotional video for his foundation, explaining his activism.

Gill’s political efforts are funded by his success in the tech industry. Raised in a Republican family, he made his fortune as a programmer.

Gill sold his stake in Quark, his software startup, for $500 million in 1992, Rolling Stone noted. He then moved into LGBT activism full time and has since shifted 60 percent of his assets into an endowment for the Gill Foundation.


'Political correctness gone mad': Australian Army told not to recruit MEN as part of a gender war push to have more women soldiers

The army has definitely gone to the dogs since I was in it. Will they all get powder puff training soon?  Will threy dstill be able to fight a war?  What is good about female soldiers anyway? Do we want to kill the nation's future mothers?

The Australian Army is turning away male recruits in a 'politically correct' push to increase the number of female cadets.

Recruiters at the Australian Defence Force have been told they will be re-located if they ignore orders to target women for new jobs, The Daily Telegraph reported.

There are no jobs available for men in the in the infantry as a rifleman or as an artilleryman. But these positions are marked as 'recruit immediately' if a female applies.

'This is political correctness gone mad. I don't care if it is a man or a woman- I just want to get the best person for the job,' one army recruiter told the paper.

The female recruitment drive comes from top management.

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell earlier this year said: 'We aspire to have 25 per cent representation of women in Army by 2025.' Woman currently make up 12.7 per cent of the army.

A Defence spokesman said: 'While Defence maintains targets to encourage greater participation of women, every candidate must meet the required standards. 'Successful candidates are selected based on merit and their capacity to do the work, not on their gender.'


Ex-presidents demand Australian Medical Association retracts support for gay marriage

Five former state presidents of the Australian Medical Association are among almost 400 doctors who have signed a petition asking the nation’s peak medical body to retract its support for same-sex marriage.

The rearguard group, led by former AMA Tasmania president Chris Middleton, delivered a letter to AMA national president Mich­ael Gannon yesterday accusing him of making "false and misleading claims" about why same-sex marriage should be treated as a health issue.

"In the six days since the ‘medical critique’ was made public a further­ 368 of us, including 26 professors and associate professors and five past state presidents, have added our voices to this sincere expression of concern," Dr Middleton wrote in the letter.

Among the signatories was Howard government minister John Herron, also a former president of the AMA Queensland.

Former AMA West Australian president Paul Skerritt also signed the petition, along with former AMA Tasmanian presidents Haydn Walters and Michael Aizen. Four of the five past presidents who signed the petition are AMA fellows, which is one of the body’s highest honours.

The Weekend Australian revealed­ last week that Dr Middleton and five other AMA members had compiled a report savaging the body’s processes in choosing to support same-sex marriage.

The report was critical of the AMA for not consulting the membership before it made its position statement on same-sex marriage, as it had done for other controversial issues, such as euthanasia.

The report said the AMA used flimsy evidence to argue children of gay couples had the same health outcomes as those raised by their biological mother and father. It also criticised evidence used by the AMA to claim legalising same-sex marriage would improve­ the health of gay people.

Dr Herron, who was Aboriginal affairs minister from 1996-2001, said the AMA should have consulted its membership base, rather than agreeing to pursue the policy after a meeting of state presidents at the AMA’s federal council.

"It didn’t do any polling on the membership of the AMA," Dr Herron told The Weekend Australian. "And I don’t agree with the statement because a child deserves a mother and a father, not two mothers and two fathers."

Dr Gannon said he understood why some members were disappointed with the AMA’s position on same-sex marriage, which was announced earlier in the year.

"I respect their right to have an opinion and it is natural that the AMA will produce position statements which are divisive," he said.

"I expected a portion of our membership to be unhappy about our statement on marriage equal­ity and I was prepared for some resignations on it. But I am very happy to defend the process.

"It was worked out through a working group made up of federal councillors and other experts."

He said the body would review whether it should have polled its membership base. "That is something we will reflect on," Dr Gannon said. "We gave ourselves a lot of pats on the back when it came to our process on the physician-assisted­ suicide (position statement), the way we did it so carefully and went to the membership and surveyed them.

"So I think we will reflect on whether we got this one right. But it … would be fair to say that the respon­se ... has been overwhelmingly supportive in terms of our position on marriage equality."



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


14 August, 2017

Why Does Trump Still Refuse to Criticize Putin?

The article below from "The Atlantic" does establish their case that Trump goes out of his way to stay friendly with Russia but they have no answer to the "Why" in their heading.  They even acknowledge that his attitude probably does him political harm.

It seems not to have occurred to them that it is very much in America's self-interest to be on friendly terms with Russia and that Trump is in fact being statesmanlike in his attitude. Consider if there is serious trouble over North Korea. Russia could in various ways seriously hamper what Trump could do if it wanted to.  Given Trump's friendliness, however, Putin will almost certainly do nothing -- leaving all options open for Trump.

The Left, on the other hand,  seem to want a return to the Cold War, which seems to me to be borderline insane.  Didn't we have enough of that last century?

Note that I said above something that will grind a few Leftist mental gears if it ever gets into their heads:  "Trump statesmanlike"!  Heresy!  But it fits

The president not only won’t denounce Russia, but he goes out of his way to avoid it—like when he thanked the Kremlin on Thursday for expelling U.S. diplomats.

President Trump is most comfortable when he’s on the verbal offensive. He loves a good war of words, whether his target is a foreign adversary, a foreign ally, a Republican rival, or Rosie O’Donnell. According to a New York Times tally, Trump has attacked 351 separate people, places, and things on Twitter alone since July 2015.

The president has demonstrated that tendency this week, with his escalating, improvised threats against North Korea and his parallel assault on Mitch McConnell, his most important ally in Washington.

Those feuds make Trump’s refusal to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin all the more conspicuous.

On July 30, Putin announced that Russia was forcing the U.S. State Department to reduce its staff in Russia by 755 people. (For the most part, those who were laid off were Russians working for the embassy, not American diplomats.) Trump, who often can’t let a provocation on cable news go unanswered for more than a few hours, was uncharacteristically quiet.

He finally broke his silence, after a fashion, on August 3, the day he signed a bill increasing sanctions on Russia in retaliation for interfering in the 2016 election. Trump had opposed the legislation, but it passed Congress with veto-proof majorities, leaving him little choice but to sign it. There are many reasons Russo-American relations are strained: Russian anger at expansion of NATO, longstanding global rivalries, the Russian annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine, years of Russian human-rights abuses, and Russian tampering with the election. Trump chose to place blame for the rocky state of the relationship not on any of those issues, and certainly not on Putin, but squarely on Congress. Just for good measure, he tossed in an unrelated jab at the failure of an Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan:

"Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!"

There was still not a word about Putin’s forced cuts at the U.S. embassy. Finally, on Thursday, Trump weighed in. His comments were surprising—not only did he not criticize Putin, but he thanked him:

I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There's no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money.
Was Trump speaking with tongue in cheek? It’s possible, but he didn’t smile when he said it. (The president has often tried to pass off apparently serious comments as jokes after the fact, in order to defuse situations.) The remark fits with his attempt to cut costs at the State Department and his disdain for traditional diplomacy.

But even if the whole thing was a joke, it’s still astonishing that Trump’s response to Russian retaliation was to thank the retaliators. This doesn’t mean the only option is an eye for an eye; a simple public complaint is standard in cases of diplomatic retaliation like this. (Part of the problem is that Trump seems to have two modes: conciliation and escalation. The idea of criticizing without raising the stakes is foreign to him.)

The strange thing about Trump’s comments about Putin is not merely that he won’t criticize him, but that he goes out of his way to avoid it. The tweet about Russian relations and his remarks on Thursday were hardly the only times this has happened. And that’s even leaving aside Trump’s repeated praise for the Russian leader during the campaign, when he praised Putin’s leadership, suggested he’d allow the annexation of Crimea, and publicly called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Let’s draw a line between what Trump said on the campaign trail and what he’s said since the election. Although he had been briefed before November 8, it was after the election that he began getting full intelligence briefings on Russian interference. Since then, there has also been an increasing focus on interference among members of the public, press, and Congress. In other words, Trump has had many more incentives to distance himself from Russia. Instead, he’s continued to hold his fire.

On February 4, Trump told Bill O’Reilly, "I do respect [Putin]. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them." O’Reilly pressed Trump on Putin’s murders of dissidents and journalists. Trump wouldn’t criticize Putin for those crimes, and suggested the United States was no better. "There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers," Trump said. "Well, you think our country is so innocent?"

He has also repeatedly declined to accept the idea that Russia meddled in the election, even though it is the conclusion of all the major intelligence agencies, and even though many of his top aides have said they blame Russia for hacking attacks. In June, he called the attacks "a big Dem HOAX."

In early July, during a trip to Poland, he halfway accepted that Russia might have been behind them, then backed off the statement and worked to muddy the waters:

"I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries. It could have been a lot of people. I said it very simply. I think it could very well have been Russia, but I think it could well have been other countries. I won’t be specific. I think a lot of people interfere. I think it’s been happening for a long time, it’s been happening for many, many years."

Yet he added: "Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure."

Later that week, Trump had his first face-to-face meeting with Putin, at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. U.S. and Russian accounts of the meeting initially diverged, with the United States saying Trump had pressed Putin forcefully on the hacking, and Russia saying Trump had accepted Putin’s denials.

Two days later, Trump cleared things up with a pair of tweets that basically confirmed the Russian account:

Given that Trump had already said he was dubious of Russian interference, that tweet reads as an acknowledgment that he accepted their denial.

The question is why Trump has worked so hard to avoid criticizing Putin—especially when there’s a clear political downside to appearing cozy with the Russian bear.

There is little obvious foreign-policy advantage. During the campaign and early in his presidency, Trump argued that the United States ought to launch a charm offensive in order to improve relations with Russia. Whether that was right or wrong, and whether Congress or someone else is to blame, that approach is obsolete today. As Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Russia have all admitted, relations are now at a low ebb.

Even if Trump fully believes that Putin is a spotless, admirable leader falsely accused of various crimes, it would be to his benefit to create some separation, and a matter as simple as expulsion of diplomats offers a good chance for Trump to stand up for his country. Putin, like any foreign leader, understands that sometimes a head of state has to shore himself up domestically and would surely interpret a few hostile words from Trump in that light. (Alternatively, even if one believes Trump is a bought-and-paid-for puppet of the Kremlin, why wouldn’t he publicly denounce Putin to buy himself some maneuvering room?)

Given Trump’s affection for authoritarian leaders and fixation on projecting strength, the simplest explanation for Trump’s refusal to criticize Putin might be that he doesn’t want to give the impression that he has been cowed into changing his view. Perhaps he’s thinking that if he allows his critics to troll him into offering harsh words, it would show that they are stronger than him—and if he acknowledges Russian interference in the election, it undermines the legitimacy of his victory in 2016.

In fact, his actions are making him look weak, but not in the way he thinks. His refusal to criticize Putin even in the case of diplomatic retaliation gives the impression that he is intimidated by the Kremlin and doesn’t have it in him to be tough. The president has cut off his nose to spite his face, and is now willing to cut off an ear or a lip if he must.

During his only press conference between the election and inauguration, on January 11, Trump fielded questions about his affection for the Russian leader.

"If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks, that’s called an asset, not a liability," he said. "Now, I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t. And if I don’t, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that?"

Seven months later, it seems clear that she couldn’t have been any less tough.


This Week's Google Code Jam Won by a Male for Umpteenth Straight Time

Sport computer programming superstar Gennady Vladimirovich Korotkevich of Belarus won the 2017 Google Code Jam world finals in Dublin yesterday. This marks the fourth straight year Korotkevich, who looks a little like QB Tom Brady, has won Google’s programming tournament.

Also, this marks the 14th time in 14 years that a man has won the Google-sponsored contest. In fact, I am told, all the finalists ever in the history of Google’s event (there were 20 finalists flown in by Google to its Dublin office this year), have been guys. (Note that I haven’t been able to check that myself.) *

Commenter Candid Observer points out an interesting comment on Brooks’ NY Times column:

Observation: Google has run a coding competition (Code Jam) since 2003. It attracts tens of thousands of applicants now, including thousands of women, to compete in a multiple round contest leading up to a field of 20 finalists. This is a "hard" advance competition – no bonus points awarded for, say, lacking a penis. Google has used it to identify their best and brightest job prospects.

There has never been a female finalist. Ever. Unless you count "Code Jam for Women", rolled out in 2014.

Probability alone would say that if only 5-10% of entrants were women, and they were as likely to to have the same skill sets and ability as men, that we should have seen a female finalist by now. The numbers actually match nicely with the list of top Chess players, which only 1 woman can really say she could/can compete at the highest level.

None of this says anything about any individual male or female, other than that testing and real world competition have shown that in (at least) certain mathematical and spatial cognition tasks, there are far more men than women who are above average to the tune of multiple standard deviations. No doubt there are other tasks where men are more likely to appear on the low end. But that is not a useful and employable skill set at Google.

* Update: Commenter Jimmyriddle points out that, judging by the picture of the 25 Google Code Jam finalists in 2011, one finalist appears to be a girl. So it’s probably an exaggeration to say that all the Google finalists ever have been male.


UK: 'Racist' Muslim sex gangs: MPs demand tougher sentences for grooming young white girls

Britain's courts should treat Asian Muslim grooming gangs behind the abuse of hundreds of white teenage girls as racially aggravated criminals, leading MPs and campaigners have demanded.

The demand was issued as senior politicians and prosecutors admitted that political correctness may have stopped the gangs being properly pursued and punished after another ring of Asian mainly muslim sex offenders was convicted in Newcastle.

The Attorney General was facing calls to review the sentences of several members of the 18-strong Newcastle gang after it emerged the apparently racially-aggravated nature of their crimes was not reflected in their punishment.

The men, mostly of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin were convicted of plying vulnerable and underage white girls with drink and drugs before sexually abusing and raping them.


Trump Got Your Tongue, Media?

Ann Coulter on immigration:

The current issue of Newsweek (yes, it’s still in business!) has a picture of President Trump sitting in a recliner, with snacks and an iPad in his lap, pointing his TV remote at the viewer, blazoned with the headline, "Lazy Boy."

Liberals only wish.

Last week, the president joined Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) to announce legislation that would make seminal changes to our immigration laws for the first time in more than half a century, profoundly affecting the entire country.

The media have chosen not to cover the RAISE Act (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment). This bill is their worst nightmare.

Instead of admitting immigrants on the basis of often specious "family" ties, the bill would finally allow us to choose the immigrants we want, based on merit, with points granted for skills, English proficiency, advanced degrees, actual job offers and so on.

Most Americans have no idea that we have zero say about the vast majority of immigrants pouring into our country. Two-thirds of all legal immigrants get in not because we want them — or even because Mark Zuckerberg wants them — but under idiotic "family reunification" laws.

The most important provision of the RAISE Act would define "family" the way most Americans think of it: your spouse and minor children.

Unfortunately, that’s not how the Third World thinks of "family." In tribal societies, "family" means the whole extended clan — adult siblings, elderly parents and brothers-in-law, plus all their adult siblings and elderly parents, and so on, ad infinitum.

Entire tribes of immigrants are able to bully their way in and, as legal immigrants, are immediately eligible for a whole panoply of government benefits. Suddenly, there’s no money left in the Social Security Trust Fund, and Speaker Paul Ryan is telling Americans they’re going to have to cut back.

At some point, American businesses are going to have to be told they can’t keep bringing in cheap foreign labor, changing the country and offloading the costs onto the taxpayer. But that’s not this discussion. Business owners want cheap workers — not the disabled parents of cheap workers.

In a sane world, merely introducing such an important bill — with the imprimatur of a president elected on his immigration stance — would force the media to finally discuss the subject they have been deliberately hiding from the public.

Has Trump personally endorsed any other legislation like this? He harangued congressional Republicans on Twitter to pass some Obamacare replacement, but he never endorsed a specific bill.

But, you see, there’s a reason the media don’t want to talk about immigration.

With a full public airing, Americans would finally understand why recent immigrants seem so different from earlier waves, why income inequality is approaching czarist Russia levels, why the suicide rate has skyrocketed among the working class, and why all our government benefits programs are headed toward bankruptcy.

As Stephen Miller, the president’s inestimable speechwriter, said, some legislative proposals "can only succeed in the dark of night" and some "can only succeed in the light of day." This is a light-of-day bill.

So, naturally, the media refuse to mention it, except to accuse Miller of being a white nationalist for knowing hate-facts about the Emma Lazarus poem not being part of the original Statue of Liberty. (It’s the Statue of Liberty, not Statute of Liberty, media.)

They ignore this bill so they can get on to the important business of Trump’s tweets, who’s up and who’s down in the White House, and Russia, Russia, Russia.

According to my review of Nexis archives, there was only a single question about the RAISE Act on any of the Sunday morning shows: Chris Wallace’s last question to his very important Republican guest. Unfortunately, his very important Republican guest was amnesty-supporting nitwit Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who sniped about Trump employing foreign guest workers at Mar-a-Lago.

However that may be, guest workers have absolutely nothing to do with the RAISE Act, which, as Miller heroically tried to explain to clueless reporters, concerns only green-card holders, i.e., lawful permanent residents — not guest workers, not illegal aliens and not a poem Scotch-taped onto Lady Liberty in 1903.

At least the media aren’t deluded about the popularity of their position. Discussing immigration is a total loser for them. They know what they want is not supported by anyone.

Low-wage workers don’t want hundreds of thousands of low-skilled immigrants being dumped on the country every year. Employers don’t want the deadbeat cousins of their cheap workers. Americans on public assistance don’t want foreigners competing with them for benefits. Boneheaded Scandinavian communities that welcomed refugees don’t want to turn their entire town budgets over to various foreign tribes.

In a recent Numbers USA poll of voters in 10 swing states with vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election next year, only 22 percent of respondents thought immigrants should be allowed by right to bring in "family" other than spouses and minor children.

Make the senators vote, Mr. President!

Donald Trump was elected president, beating the smartest, most qualified woman in the world, by proposing to put Americans first on immigration. This bill makes good on that promise.

There’s a reason the media won’t discuss it. If Trump were smart, he’d talk about nothing else.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


13 August, 2017

UK: Hating the elderly

There is a substantial minority of Britons who are passionately opposed to Britain's exit from the EU. What drives that?  It is mostly a Leftist contempt for patriotism.  Dissolving Britain into a large amorphous entity seems to them to be a good way to eliminate patriotism and instead move towards a "brotherhood of man".  A world government is their ideal.

That a brotherhood of man does not exist, has never existed, and never will exist does not apparently weaken the power of the dream.  All men are NOT brothers.  They can often be extraordinarily un-brotherly towards one-another, in fact.  And there is no end to that in sight

They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do’, wrote Philip Larkin. But it might as well have been [liberal politician] Vince Cable. Realising his continual calls for a second EU referendum were getting tiresome, the Lib Dem leader now hopes to scupper Brexit by igniting an intergenerational war.

For Cable, the Brexit vote didn’t symbolise a rejection of the political establishment, or a democratic awakening across the UK. Instead, our parents and grandparents ‘comprehensively shafted the young’, acting as if out of spite.

Vince has form when it comes to granny-bashing. Following the referendum, he told a group of journalists that the Leave vote was made up of ‘elderly people who were obsessed by the worry of 80million Turks coming to live in their village’. It was the bigoted nans wot won it, apparently.

And so our Vince has pledged to defend the yoof against their evil elders. Given that his party backed the Conservatives in tripling university tuition fees, his alignment with millennials seems pretty awkward. But, then again, he is 74 – and old people aren’t to be trusted.

The evolution of the Brexit debate into generational warfare started long before Sir Vince decided to get down with the kidz. During the EU referendum, self-appointed yoof leader Owen Jones urged young people to call up their grandparents and get them to vote Remain.

But things got a lot nastier after the referendum result. At a recent conference, author Ian McEwan dreamed out loud about a near future, with ‘1.5million oldsters, mostly Brexiters, freshly in their graves’, in which the next generation would take us back into the EU. One New Statesman writer said Brexit ‘proves Baby Boomers hate their own children’. And one Guardian journalist reported that a friend ‘saw this older couple in the street and just felt this sudden, enormous wave of fury towards them and their generation. It was almost physical.’

Hating older people is today’s most acceptable prejudice
. Cable warns of an ‘undercurrent of violence’ in today’s political discourse, even as he flings undiluted bile at the elderly.

Ironically, it is those who most scaremonger about post-Brexit hate crime who are the most openly hateful towards one section of the electorate. ‘The last thing the UK needs is further polarisation’, Cable says. But it isn’t nans and grandads who are polarising the UK.

None of this stems from real concern about the issues that confront young people. After all, what about the throngs of unemployed young people in Spain and Greece, battered by EU austerity? The likes of Cable don’t like the old because they don’t share their political convictions, because they tend to be anti-EU. Remoaners seem to be forgetting that, in a democracy, all votes count the same, whether you’re 19 or 90.

In the past, progressives worked to build solidarity – bringing people together regardless of their age, sex, class or background. Today, embittered Remainers, claiming to be progressive, would rather pit the young against the old in an attempt to derail democracy. Young people shouldn’t let them get away with it.


White men at Google target two black women for personal destruction

Typical liberal hypocrisy.  They really believe in nothing.  Hurting people is their real aim

I know you all love Diamond and Silk, the sisters (biological) from Fayetteville, N.C. who are super-Trump supporters. Their YouTube videos are both funny and political as well as being unusual because they come from the right of politics.

It looks like YouTube decided to pull their advertising revenue generated from the ads that run at the front of their videos and the Ladies think it’s because they support President Trump.

Diamond and Silk have accused Youtube of censoring their viral videos Thursday, saying the platform is violating their First Amendment rights, according to Twitchy.

Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson tweeted on Thursday that Youtube has “demonetized 95 percent” of the duo’s videos, saying they’re “not suitable for all advertisers.”


Former Google Employee: ‘There Are Efforts to Demote Anything Non-PC from Search Results’

Google was thrown into turmoil last night after the company fired James Damore, author of a manifesto defending viewpoint diversity and a fact-based approach to the alleged gender gap in tech. In exclusive interviews with Breitbart News, more Google employees are now speaking out in support of the manifesto.
Damore’s ten-page manifesto, which was met by an immediate backlash, described a climate of fear, in which employees who challenge prevailing leftist narratives at the company are faced with immediate threats to their career. Damore’s own experience appears to confirm this.

Breitbart News is exclusively publishing a series of interviews with current and former Google employees who contacted us in the wake of the manifesto’s publication.

The interview series, entitled “Rebels of Google,” will be published in full over the coming days. Because every employee who spoke to us fears for their job if their identities were made public, we have provided aliases in place of their real names.

In the first interview of the series, a Google employee (alias “Hal”) spoke of witch-hunts and intolerance at Google, as well as dysfunction at the company’s upper echelons.

Our second interview, published below, is the account of a former Google engineer (alias “Emmett”) who spent several years at the company. You can find a full transcript of our interview here.

We asked  Emmett if he could corroborate allegations that employees within Google’s Ad Sales department have expressed “a great deal of sympathy” with the Sleeping Giants campaign, which has sought to deny ad revenue to alternative media sites including Breitbart News and The Rebel Media.

According to Breitbart’s anonymous source, some Ad Sales employees are “openly encouraging Adwords customers to pull their ads from Breitbart and Rebel Media.”

Emmett concurs with our source. “A number of friends have privately confirmed this to me. I know there are efforts to demote anything non-PC, anti-Communist and anti-Islamic terror from search results. To what extent that has been successful, I don’t know.”

Emmett says he personally witnessed efforts from leftists within Google to bias YouTube’s algorithms to push anti-PC content off the platform’s “related videos” recommendations.

“I have read internal mailing list e-mail from SJWs absolutely incensed that there’d be, say, a Sargon of Akkad video appearing as a video related to one of their favorite SJW vloggers. This is what happens when you have unbiased algorithms, which at the time, was true. I don’t have to tell you that, in that e-mail, the SJW was quite literally asking that the ‘related videos’ function be perverted so that such a thing would stop happening.”

According to Emmett, the greatest threat is that ordinary users of Google and its related services won’t even be able to detect the censorship.

“The software could just astroturf your Related Videos section, and you would be none the wiser. Sure, if you know what to look for, perhaps you’d notice. But the vast majority of the viewership would never ever know. That’s the whole point of such a disinformation program, right? If you can tell it’s disinformation, you would never ever believe it.”

In Emmett’s view, it’s “only a matter of time” before Google begins to bias its search results against the Trump movement, Republicans, and right-leaning politicians.

“I don’t have to tell you that there was an internal meltdown at Google when the election was over. The hysteria has only ever reached a higher level once. That was throughout this weekend, thanks to the #GoogleManifesto scandal.”

According to Emmett, Google is “leaking people with integrity” who are “tired of having to cope with these corrupt ideologies and the people who proselytize them, support them, and punish people who disagree with them.”

“Who remains in charge, after that slow but certain evaporative cooling of beliefs? You do the math.”

Concurring with James Demore’s manifesto, Emmett speaks of a culture of fear at the company. He says that even speaking out against Democrat politicians is unwise for a Googler.

“Whether you dislike a Democratic party candidate, or have reservations about how Google ‘looks twice’ at the applications of certain candidates from privileged (“underrepresented”) minorities, or support free speech … if it’s something the SJWs don’t want to hear about, be very, very careful about opening your mouth to anyone.”

Emmett recalls one case in which a Google employee was actually punched for making a post that offended someone. Far from helping the Google employees who face left-wing harassment, Emmett alleges that the company’s Human Resources department assists them.

“Everybody knows it’s a quick trip to H.R. if you dare say anything against the ‘anti-social’ order. Or sometimes you get punched. I know at least one engineer did get punched in retaliation for something he posted.”

Predictably, Emmett confirms that racist and sexist incidents against white or male employees at Google are not taken seriously.

“I remember Colm Buckley (of #GoogleManifesto infamy) dismissing a well-written post by a colleague of mine, with the single sentence “Isn’t it nice to be white.” I also remember him being condescending to an employee who posted an innocuous message of skepticism about social justice. I should note that the employee Colm condescended to was eventually forced out of the company. ”

“I remember Peter Goett entirely unironically posting a reply to a list with over 10,000 Googlers: “congratulations on your white penis.” To my understanding, had someone posted “black vagina”, that person would have been summarily fired. Also to my understanding, Goett appears to have received no punishment.”

Emmett says the corruption at Google goes all the way to senior management.

Bias in support of these discriminatory and hostile behaviors goes pretty much all the way up, management’s just clever enough not to add to the fire (often) but just to let the lower ranks make it happen.”

“You have to remember these people are quite intelligent.”


You Can't Say That! Has liberalism taken a Soviet turn?

A sociologist might point to a decline in social trust over the past few decades—they have ways of measuring this—and speculate about its bearing on political speech. One wonders: Who am I talking to? How will my utterances be received? What sort of allegiances are in play here? In the absence of trust, it becomes necessary to send explicit signals. We become fastidious in speech and observe gestures of affirmation and condemnation that would be unnecessary among friends.

The more insecure one’s position (for example, as a middle manager who senses his disposability, or a graduate student who hopes for admittance to the academic guild), the more important it is to signal virtue and castigate the usual villains. In some settings these performative imperatives lead us to mimic the ideologue. But from the outside, mimicry may be indistinguishable from the real thing. This uncertainty heightens the atmosphere of mistrust, as in the Soviet world where one could never be sure who might be an informer. Such informers need not be ideologues themselves, just opportunists.

Ryszard Legutko is a professor of philosophy in Krakow who has held various ministerial positions in the post-Communist, liberal-democratic governments of Poland and is currently a member of the European parliament. Under communism, he was a dissident and an editor of the Solidarity movement’s samizdat. He is thus well positioned to make comparisons between two regimes that are conventionally taken to be at polar ends of the axis of freedom. In his book The Demon in Democracy—published last year, with a paperback edition scheduled for next year—Legutko’s thesis is that the important differences between communism and liberal democracy obscure affinities that go deeper than any recent sociological developments. He finds both tyrannical in their central tendencies and inner logic.

Legutko’s tone is darkly aggrieved, and he sometimes overstates his case. But his biography compels us to consider seriously the parallels with communism that he asserts, for as a former dissident under a brutal regime he knows what real oppression looks like. He is no intellectual crybaby or talk-radio crank.

Many of Legutko’s observations and arguments can be applied to the United States, even though he is more focused on EU-style liberal democracy:

"Even a preliminary contact with the EU institutions allows one to feel a stifling atmosphere typical of a political monopoly, to see the destruction of language turning into a new form of Newspeak, to observe the creation of a surreality, mostly ideological, that obfuscates the real world, to witness an uncompromising hostility against all dissidents, and to perceive many other things only too familiar to anyone who remembers the world governed by the Communist Party."

The parallels Legutko finds between liberal democracy and communism become plausible once you grant that in Europe the term “liberal democracy” has come to name a disposition and political system that is neither liberal nor democratic. In theory, liberal democracy is supposed to be a merely formal or neutral arrangement to guarantee rule by consent—the consent of a majority with important constitutional limits and guarantees of minority rights. Thus conceived, it is to be agnostic about human ends and ideals, pluralistic in its sympathies, and tolerant of dissent. Such political ideals would nourish a diversity of human experience and many “experiments in living,” John Stuart Mill hoped.

But if the hope was to depoliticize society, rendering issues of public morality into matters of private concern, the effect has been the opposite. Everything is deeply politicized: family life, intellectual life, art, sex, children’s toys, you name it. Domains of life that were previously oriented by their own internal logic of experience are now held to account by a self-appointed vanguard, exposed to the sterilizing light of publicity, and made to answer to liberal ideals that are not merely procedural but substantive. “It is difficult to find some nondoctrinal slice of the world, a nondoctrinal image, narrative, tone, or thought,” Legutko writes.

In this regard—the denial of sovereignty to spheres of life that in principle ought to be beneath the notice and beyond the reach of the political regime—it is fair to say that liberal democracy in its 21st-century workings does resemble communism as described by dissident authors such as Milan Kundera and Václav Havel. Both regimes have “proved to be all-unifying entities compelling their followers how to think, what to do, how to evaluate events, what to dream, and what language to use.” Communism had, and liberal democracy has, its own orthodoxies and its own “models of an ideal citizen.”

What can account for the mismatch between liberal democracy’s easygoing self-image and the feel of everyday life in a liberal democracy? There is little sense of social spontaneity; one watches what one says. This has come to feel normal.

Like François Furet before him, Legutko suggests that the key to understanding the character of life in a liberal democracy is the role that history—or rather History, understood as inevitable progress in a certain direction—plays in the liberal imagination. In recent decades, this manifested as the enthusiasm for trying to bring liberal democracy to very illiberal places using the blunt instruments of military action and marketization. But it was during the Obama era that this energy really got released onto the domestic scene for the first time in perhaps 40 years. Liberals started calling themselves progressives—a rebranding significant because it announced a new boldness in speaking an idiom of historical necessity. It announced a new impatience with foot-draggers as well.

In a handful of years, we went from Obama himself being opposed to gay marriage (however sincerely) to a cultural norm in which to wonder aloud about the civilizational novelty of gay marriage, even in a speculative or theoretical register, is to risk harming yourself socially and professionally. To anyone who felt squeezed by a tightening cultural grid during the Obama years, the parallels Legutko offers with the Soviet experience won’t seem hyperbolic.

Both the communists and liberal democrats, while praising what is inevitable and objectively necessary in history, praise at the same time the free activities of parties, associations, community groups, and organizations in which, as they believe, what is inevitable and objectively necessary reveals itself. Both speak fondly of “the people” and large social movements, while at the same time ..... [they] have no qualms in ruthlessly breaking social spontaneity in order to accelerate social reconstruction.

In his foreword to Legutko’s book, John O’Sullivan crisply lays out the logic that follows from the conviction of historical privilege shared by communism and liberalism. Both insist “that all social institutions—family, churches, private associations—must conform” to certain rules in their internal functioning, and “both are devoted to social engineering to bring about this transformation. And because such engineering is naturally resisted, ...... both are engaged in a never-ending struggle against enemies of society (superstition, tradition, the past, intolerance, racism, xenophobia, bigotry, etc., etc.).”

Legutko writes that going with the flow, whether Communist or liberal-democratic, “gives an intellectual more power, or at least an illusion of it. He feels like part of a powerful global machine of transformation. ..... [He criticizes] what is in the name of what will be, but what a large part of humanity, less perceptive and less intelligent than himself, fails to see.”

This sounds apt as an account of a certain kind of narcissistic political pleasure. In the United States, Comedy Central serves to organize the youthful, lumpen intelligentsia and make it aware of itself as a force. A coveted demographic for advertisers, these viewers tune in to be flattered by the minstrels of corporate right-thinking. As a rough rule of thumb, it seems the higher the stock market capitalization of a firm (think Google, Facebook, Apple) and the more quasigovernmental a role it plays in our collective lives, the less daylight will be found between its enlightened positions and the brave truth-telling of a Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee, or John Oliver. Liberal use of the F-bomb confirms, and reconfirms, that here we are engaged in transgression—for the sake of principles the stupids fail to grasp.

“The trackers of traitors to liberal democracy readily succumb,” Legutko writes, to the delusion “that they are a brave small group struggling dauntlessly against an overwhelming enemy.” In the European setting, “On their side are the courts, both national and international, the UN and its agencies, the European Union with all its institutions, countless media, universities, and public opinion. ...... They feel absolutely safe, being equipped with the most powerful political tools in today’s world but at the same time priding themselves on their courage and decency, which are more formidable the more awesome the image of the enemy becomes.”

In the United States, a small-town entrepreneur who, say, politely declines to bake a cake or arrange flowers for a gay wedding sometimes has to suffice for this purpose, serving the role of an awesome enemy. Notions such as freedom of association and freedom of conscience can only mask the “hate” just beneath the deceptively congenial surface of American life.

As Legutko writes, “the very idea of liberal democracy should presuppose the freedom of action.” But because there is an arc of progress to this regime—one that is not only discerned in retrospect but is understood as a mission—those who fail to get with the program “lose their legitimacy. The need for building a liberal-democratic society [as opposed to a mere liberal-democratic political procedure] thus implies the withdrawal of the guarantee of freedom for those whose actions and interests are said to be hostile to what the liberal democrats conceive as the cause of freedom.”

Such projects of social transformation give expression to progressive “empathy” for designated classes of victims. But here we encounter another bit of Newspeak, if we grant that empathy properly understood means being sympathetic and alive to human experience in its concrete particularity. Progressive empathy tends to treat persons as instances of categories defined by politics. Drawing a parallel between Communist class struggle and liberal-democratic gender politics, Legutko writes that “a real woman living in a real society, like a real worker living in a real society, is politically not to be trusted because she deviates too much from the political model. In fact, a nonfeminist woman is not a woman at all, just as a noncommunist worker was not really a proletarian.”

One could go further: Willful obtuseness to social phenomena is crucial in constructing the symbolic persons at the heart of these progressive dramas, because the point of the dramas is for the progressive to act out his own virtue as one who embraces the symbol. Progressive purity, based on abstraction from social reality, sometimes has to be guarded by policing the speech of real individuals who are putatively the objects of the progressive’s enthusiasm, or the speech of those who are in more intimate contact with these individuals and threaten to complicate the picture—for example, the speech of the social worker who frankly describes the confusion and unhappiness that mark the lives of transgender people. The great march forward requires the erasure of “gender binaries,” and that is all one needs to know.

Legutko’s book will appeal to people who can point to no overt political oppression, but who feel that the standards of acceptable discourse increasingly require them to lie, and to accept the humiliation of doing so. Like other dissident writers from the Soviet sphere, Legutko provides a historical parallel to our own time that helps us parse that feeling and discern its logic.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


11 August, 2017

Why Did Google Freak Out and Fire an Employee for Spurring ‘Honest Discussion’?

The tolerance police at Google just struck another blow against increasing diversity in Silicon Valley by firing an employee who wrote a memo critiquing the company’s politically correct culture.

Now, let’s be clear: While the Google software engineer who authored the memo had the right to say and write what he did—it’s called free speech—Google is a private company and has every right to fire an employee it deems not in line with its mission or culture.

But it’s fair to ask why Google reacted so negatively to an employee who, in a 10-page memo, laid out a case for why Google’s diversity programs weren’t working and how it might rethink its attempt to reduce the gender gap.

Could it be that Google is feeling just a little bit paranoid?

For all the talk about inclusiveness and diversity, here’s the reality: If you’re not white or Asian, that means there is only a 5 percent chance you’re part of Google’s leadership team.

And while 31 percent of Google’s employees are women, only 20 percent of its technical employees are—and it was primarily the memo’s focus on this gender gap that seems to have caused the recent unpleasantness in Silicon Valley.

In addition to bad PR, perhaps what the larger left-leaning community there doesn’t want to admit is that for all its diversity programs and safe spaces, and who knows how many millions of dollars spent promoting them, they have done very little to change the outcomes.

When it comes to computer and mathematical occupations, the numbers clearly show that women and men are not equally represented.

Women held 27 percent of such jobs in 1960. Thirty years later, they held 35 percent. But fast forward to 2013, and the number of women in computing and mathematical occupations had fallen back to 26 percent.

And it’s not because fewer women are going to college. In fact, a Department of Education study from 2014 shows more women than men are attending and graduating from college, and they are receiving the majority of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.

But when it comes to college majors, women and men choose differently. A recent Georgetown University study showed over 80 percent of petroleum engineering majors are male. So are almost 70 percent of those majoring in mathematics and computer science. 

Women, on the other hand, tend to major in what might be called more people-oriented professions, such as counseling, education, and social work.

Why men and women make such different choices is not 100 percent clear cut, but the idea that biology plays no role and it’s all because America is a sexist culture seems like an outdated and disproven theory.

And it was hiring and personnel practices based on that politically correct theory that the now-former Google employee was criticizing. As he stated in the memo that got him fired: “If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem.”

Apparently at Google, and much of Silicon Valley, the discussion is over.


Female Leaders Say Google ‘Intolerant’ in Firing Engineer for Memo on Gender Differences

Women in leadership roles are among those expressing disappointment that tech giant Google fired a senior software engineer for writing and distributing a memo ruminating on evidence that men and women are different.

Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor to City Journal, told The Daily Signal in an email that conclusions reached by the fired Google employee, James Damore, were fair.

“Google’s intolerance for scientific research bodes poorly for America’s long-term competitiveness,” Mac Donald said, adding:

Damore’s memo was a reasoned, careful analysis of the emerging knowledge of gender differences, as well as a thoughtful call for a reassessment of Google’s monolithic political culture. And yet like Harvard’s former president, Larry Summers, he has lost his job because he dared to challenge the dominant narrative about absolute gender equality in every cognitive competence and emotional orientation.

Larry Summers, a past president of Harvard University, drew controversy in 2005 when he said men perform better than women in academic areas such as math and the sciences, and that mothers’ wariness of long office hours helps account for a shortage of women in senior positions in science and engineering.

Damore said men and women are especially gifted in various abilities due to biological makeup. In his memo, he wrote at one point:

The distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and … these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

Carrie Lukas, president of the Independent Women’s Forum, said in a statement sent to The Daily Signal that Google was wrong to fire Damore.

“This is another sad example of how afraid too many people—and companies, organizations, and even colleges—have become of actual discussion of ideas,” Lukas said. “This employee offered a thoughtful and entirely defensible perspective on a topic that needs honest debate, and was sadly punished for it.”

Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where she studies the politics of gender and feminism, told The Daily Signal in an email that Damore’s firing is political:

Google has excommunicated James Damore for crimes against the Pink Police State. Damore’s memo was awkward—but civil and mostly reasonable. Women who disagreed were free to shoot back a reply—or better yet, challenge him to a code-off. Instead, moral panic ensued.

“Google claims to welcome viewpoint diversity—[but actually does so only] as long as those viewpoints accord with their own,” Sommers said.

Damore, 28, had worked for Google since 2013 after receiving his doctorate in systems biology from Harvard.

In his memo, Damore said fewer women than men may work in technology because of different interests:

Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men, also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing. These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing.

In a prepared statement provided to The Daily Signal, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said parts of Damore’s circulated memo violated the company’s code of conduct because of its “harmful gender stereotypes”:

[W]e strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it. However, portions of the memo violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.

Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview that she expects Damore’s case to go to court.

“I am surprised that Google fired him … because I believe it is illegal,” Nance said, adding:

The Supreme Court under Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois in 1990 specifically said that viewpoint discrimination is illegal for employment purposes. And the other thing is I don’t think they are doing women any favors. 

In Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois, the high court held that “promotion, transfer, recall, and hiring decisions involving low-level public employees may be constitutionally based on party affiliation and support,” according to Cornell University Law School.

But Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, noted that a private company makes its own decisions on who to hire and fire.

This firing, suggested Anderson, author of the book “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” highlights an inconsistency on the left. 

“Google is free to operate in accordance with its anti-science androgynous belief system,” Anderson told The Daily Signal in an email.

“So, too, Americans who believe we are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other, should be free to run their organizations in accordance with their beliefs.”

The Manhattan Institute’s Mac Donald said the story may have been different if Damore was a woman.

“Firing a female would put you further in the red, so you want to hold on to your females at all costs,” she said, adding:

So it is a question of whether the diversity imperative here [that is] improving the female to male ratio trumps the imperative for ideological conformity. They certainly would have had to think more about their decision, but whether a female would have ultimately been spared the ax is difficult to predict.  Maybe she would have been sent to re-education camp. 


Northern Ireland won’t back down on abortion

Arlene Foster has said that the DUP will do “everything in its power” to resist calls from the UK to relax anti-abortion laws.

The unionist party leader said that the DUP was coming under increasing pressure within British politics to lift Northern Ireland’s strict rules on terminations. This follows a decision by the Westminster government to allow Northern Irish women to have abortions in England on the NHS. Stella Creasy, a Labour MP, has called for the costs of the women’s flights to be covered as well.

The staunchly anti-abortion stance of the DUP has been under close scrutiny since the party came to mainstream attention in the UK when it agreed to prop up Theresa May’s diminished Conservative Party.


Australia: Support Palestine: Stop the Synagogue! (?)

Julius O’Malley left an informative comment on last night’s post about the synagogue that will not be built in a suburb of Sydney. The planning request for a new synagogue in Bondi was turned down, ostensibly because it would cause an increased risk of terrorism in the area.

Mr. O’Malley’s detailed explanation of the local political currents in Bondi and adjacent suburbs provides some welcome nuance on the situation. It seems the purported fear of terrorism is actually just a cover for the time-honored lefty cause of supporting "Palestine" and keeping the Jews down.

The text below has been edited for punctuation:

Here is the judgment of the Land & Environment Court of New South Wales upholding Waverley Council’s refusal of planning permission for a new synagogue at Bondi.

The sad reality is that Jewish institutions are targets of Muslim hostility. Everybody knows it; they don’t want to acknowledge it and don’t want to assume the personal risk of being collateral damage when a synagogue is firebombed, shot up, etc. Islam wins.

While everything Gavin Boby states in the interview is correct, it has little direct bearing on this case as there was no Muslim opposition to the proposed synagogue — which was a Chabad, ultra-Orthodox, synagogue. What makes this case very interesting is the subtext to the refusal of planning permission by the local council — the Court was merely persuaded by the Council’s security concerns argument, as reading the case will make obvious.

To understand the subtext here, one has to understand the demographics of Waverley, the local government area in which Bondi sits. While there are at least five synagogues, several Jewish primary, secondary and pre-schools in Waverley Municipality and several more just beyond its borders, and there is one street in Bondi where the street name is a local byword for the ultra-orthodox Jewish community and another street nearby is simply nicknamed "Kosher Boulevarde", Bondi is not a Jewish neighbourhood per se. Waverley LGA [local government area], less so again, although another of its suburbs to the north of Bondi, Dover Heights, is nicknamed "Jehovah Heights" and its neighbor, Rose Bay, is nicknamed "Nose Bay". Another suburb adjoining Bondi and Waverley, the very affluent Bellevue Hill, has the highest density of Jews (by postcode) in Australia and is nicknamed "Bellejew Hill". It is the other, non-Jewish, demographic of Bondi and of Waverley that is in play here.

Waverley is home to the iconic Bondi Beach and several other beautiful ocean beaches such as Bronte and Tamarama ("Glamarama"). It attracts "Bo-Bo’s" (Bourgeois-Bohemians) and affluent hipsters and has been gentrified since the 1970’s. Such people vote to give the left wing faction of the Labor Party and the Green Party a very substantial, often dominant presence, in the local council and in state parliamentary representation. The left wing of the Labor Party and the Green Party are both deeply, ahem, "pro-Palestine". They are never "anti-Israel", of course, although they are increasingly willing to go on the record as "anti-Zionist".

A recent representative for the seat of Waverley in the NSW state parliament was the former mayor of Waverley, Paul Pearce, who is a member of the left wing faction of the Labor Party (and inherited the seat from another Left Laborite, Ernie Page). The balding Pearce, now cruising through life on a generous parliamentary pension, sports a ponytail and ear-ring and used to wear Che Guevara cufflinks to state parliament. Pearce bequeathed the mayoralty of Waverley to his left-faction Labor Party girlfriend (they are both in their late 50s-early 60s and have lived in Pearce’s father’s impressive multi-million dollar home overlooking Bronte beach for several decades) Ingrid Strewe, who used to speak glowingly of her years living in East Berlin before 1990 where "there was free childcare so women could have careers" — never mind the Stasi.

Getting the picture of Waverley? The Bo-Bo’s, hipsters and others who vote for the likes of Pearce, Strewe and the former Labor Party (left faction) federal candidate for the area, David Patch, or for the Green Party, would never, ever, come out in the open and state "We don’t like Jews and don’t want them or their schools or places of worship around" but … .

I recently obtained a surprising insight into how some people in the Waverley area feel about the armed security guards stationed outside synagogues and Jewish schools. I accept such a presence as a natural and normal response to danger. The wife of an artist from the area, however, whined to me at a dinner about how offensive it was to her that security guards outside a Waverley synagogue would stare at her as she drove past. When I made the point that they had to be wary of who was passing by their synagogue for security reasons, especially on a Saturday, she responded: "They wouldn’t need security guards if they weren’t doing what they’re doing in Palestine"! It is that type of sentiment and viewpoint amongst (presumably many) of the non-Jews of Waverley that drives the refusal of planning permission for a new synagogue at Bondi.

Interestingly, the group that proposed the Bondi synagogue formally called themselves "Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe"; no doubt in an attempt to garner some of the extraordinary sympathy extended to "refugees" in our era.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


10 August, 2017

Psychologists Claim Google Viewpoint Diversity Manifesto Is Scientifically Accurate

Four scientists have claimed that James Damore’s Google manifesto is scientifically accurate, as reported by Quillette.

Responding to the viewpoint diversity manifesto, which called for more ideological diversity in Google’s workplace and pointed out not only the biological differences between men and women but also how these can apply to work, the four scientists deemed the ten-page document to be scientifically accurate.

“The author of the Google essay on issues related to diversity gets nearly all of the science and its implications exactly right,” declared Rutgers University Professor Lee Jussim. “Its main points are that: 1. Neither the left nor the right gets diversity completely right; 2. The social science evidence on implicit and explicit bias has been wildly oversold and is far weaker than most people seem to realize; 3. Google has, perhaps unintentionally, created an authoritarian atmosphere that has stifled discussion of these issues by stigmatizing anyone who disagrees as a bigot and instituted authoritarian policies of reverse discrimination; 4. The policies and atmosphere systematically ignore biological, cognitive, educational, and social science research on the nature and sources of individual and group differences.”

“I cannot speak to the atmosphere at Google, but: 1. Give that the author gets everything else right, I am pretty confident he is right about that too; 2. It is a painfully familiar atmosphere, one that is a lot like academia,” he continued.

This view was mirrored by Professor David P. Schmitt.

“I think it’s really important to discuss this topic scientifically, keeping an open mind and using informed skepticism when evaluating claims about evidence,” Schmitt proclaimed in the article. “In the case of personality traits, evidence that men and women may have different average levels of certain traits is rather strong.”

University of New Mexico Professor Geoffrey Miller also agreed, claiming that critics of the manifesto “ignored the memo’s evidence-based arguments.”

“Among commentators who claim the memo’s empirical facts are wrong, I haven’t read a single one who understands sexual selection theory, animal behavior, and sex differences research,” he continued. “For what it’s worth, I think that almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate. Moreover, they are stated quite carefully and dispassionately. Its key claims about sex differences are especially well-supported by large volumes of research across species, cultures, and history.”

Debra W. Soh, Ph.D., a Canadian science writer, also deemed the manifesto to be scientifically accurate, declaring, “As a woman who’s worked in academia and within STEM, I didn’t find the memo offensive or sexist in the least.”

“I found it to be a well thought out document, asking for greater tolerance for differences in opinion, and treating people as individuals instead of based on group membership,” Soh explained. “Within the field of neuroscience, sex differences between women and men—when it comes to brain structure and function and associated differences in personality and occupational preferences—are understood to be true, because the evidence for them (thousands of studies) is strong. This is not information that’s considered controversial or up for debate; if you tried to argue otherwise, or for purely social influences, you’d be laughed at.”

Google employee James Damore, who authored the manifesto, has since been fired from Google, with the company claiming he had advanced “harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”


SNP faces call for female priests and mullahs

Quango head links faith ‘inequality’ to abuse

The head of Scotland’s national arts agency has infuriated faith groups by calling for a change in the law to force Catholic and Muslim leaders to allow female priests and mullahs.

In advice sent to SNP ministers, Ben Thomson, who chairs Creative Scotland, links the current restrictions on leadership positions in religious organisations to paedophilia, sexual grooming and genital mutilation.

To achieve better diversity and fairer treatment for women in society, he said that politicians must address “the elephant in the room, that of sexual discrimination in religion”.

His intervention has caused deep anger among Catholic and Muslim leaders, with the Scottish government being urged to consider stripping him of his role leading the publicly funded quango.


Refuse to Accept the Lies – Before It Is Too Late

A woman gave birth the other day, and the liberal media squeed in delight, which is weird – usually the media only cares about babies in the context of waxing them in the womb. Plus, don’t the sacraments of the Weird Weather Religion deem babies bad for Mother Earth, just like pets? Yeah, you can take Bitey when you pry her leash out of my cold, dead hands. Better pry my guns out first.

But this particular birth was celebrated because the mother was pretending to be a man, and her delusion was so intense that she apparently partook of surgical mutilation and chemical intervention to (not really) conform her body to her delusion. I guess we’re supposed to marvel at her physical transformation, but that would be a lie too. She looks like a woman with some surgery and a scraggly goatee. It’s not beautiful. It’s sad. But we’re not supposed to tell that obvious truth. We’re supposed to join in the lie and praise the Emperor’s New Secondary Sex Characteristics.

Of course, the media is delighting in debasing and humiliating itself by proudly and ostentatiously announcing that “A Father Has Given Birth.” Those broken by Orwell’s villains used to exclaim, with tear-streaked faces, how they now loved Big Brother. Today, they writhe in thunderous prog-gasms, ecstatic in their submission, shrieking that they love Beard Mother.

See, this is where we’re supposed to nod and mouth the word “father” too, where we are supposed to become complicit in what we all know to be a ridiculous falsehood. And by doing so, we are expected to cede our dignity and our sovereignty by giving them the power to make us lie. To enforce it, you get fascists like Lena Dunham waddling about, eavesdropping for heresy, pausing occasionally to remove the bran muffins from her stupid mouth to point and shout “THOUGHTCRIME!”

It’s an old totalitarian trick – you break the will and the spirit of your enemies by forcing them to say, over and over again, what they and everyone knows to be false. After all, truth-telling is the province of the free and the proud, not the enslaved and the humiliated.

That woman is not a man. She is not a father, and she never will be no matter how much she wants to be and no matter how much you threaten us in order to make us lie and say so.

See, that was easy. The truth just rolls off your tongue if you let it.

Now, the counterattack will consist of more lies, some about how sex can be determined by the power of wanting (a lie) and some about how telling the truth is hate (another lie). Someone with a gender dysphoria disorder that compels her to radically damage her body to make herself conform to her feelings has plenty of problems without us going out of our way to add to them, but the media shoved this in our faces and dared us to risk the progressives’ fussy fury by telling the truth. Not allowing ourselves to be forcibly shanghaied into a lie is not an attempt to hurt her. It’s simply telling the truth about a subject she raised when she invited reporters and cameras into her maternity ward.

We are being subjected to a blizzard of lies and a tsunami of falsehoods, all designed to break our spirit and enlist us in our own subjugation. Look at the Russia/Trump idiocy, every word of it baloney, and they know it’s baloney, and yet they stick it between slices of Wonder Bread, slathering it with the Mustard of Innuendo, and try to shove it down our throats.


The Australian  airforce fails to learn from the past about female personnel

Yesterday I wrote about the RAAF’s decision to implement 62 of 65 recommendations from the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, to lower standards in order to graduate female fighter pilots.

This story is not new. It has happened before.

In fact, the US Navy did just this in the early 1990s so that it could boast about ‘gender equality’. The first female pilot to graduate, Lt. Kara Hultgreen, later died after failing to land safely on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in October 1994.

In the fall out from the accident, a report from the independent Centre for Military Readiness revealed that Hultgreen had been allowed to graduate despite numerous failures that would normally have seen trainee pilots failed.

The report stated:

Late in December, 1994, the Center for Military Readiness (CMR) received credible information from a known source, relating to an extraordinary and unusual pattern in the training of two female pilots for combat aviation assignments. One of these, Lt. Kara Hultgreen, was killed while attempting to land an F-14 on the carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln on October 25, 1994. The second female pilot, identified as "Pilot B" to protect her privacy, is still on flight status.

Because the assertions were very sensitive as well as serious, CMR sought the assistance of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) in obtaining verification from Navy officials. In a January 16, 1995 letter to Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC), Chairman of the SASC, Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, presented nine detailed pages chronicling rocky training records for the two women. CMR also quoted a signed letter from a concerned individual who wrote that all of Lt. Hultgreen’s colleagues had great respect for her courage, but as dedicated professionals they could not allow a pervasive climate of political correctness to deter them from initiating a frank discussion of factors which may have contributed to the tragedy:

"In their haste to get women into combat billets as soon as possible, Navy leaders have denied unit commanders the tools they need to make integration workable. Lt. Kara Hultgreen was an F-14 pilot with limited abilities who, had she been a male, would arguably never have graduated to the fleet. (Her colleague, Pilot B, J was a substandard aviation candidate who unquestionably should not have graduated to the fleet, but did so only because of gender.

"…Unfortunately, Navy policy on integration isn’t one of ‘stretching the truth a little.’ With the first two female F-14 pilots, standards weren’t just broken, they were shattered."

From January of 1995 through March 24, Mrs. Donnelly met once at the Pentagon with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jeremy Boorda, and three times with then-Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Stanley Arthur. At the March 24 meeting with Adm. Arthur, which was also attended by Chief of Naval Information Rear Adm. Kendell Pease and an aide for Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI), Mrs. Donnelly was shown a non-published Navy document that confirmed, with only a few minor points of disagreement, that the facts and chronologies presented in the January 16 letter were largely accurate.

CMR’s purpose in releasing this information, presented here in condensed form, is to clarify the issues since the tragic death of Lt. Hultgreen, and to challenge the Navy to be fully candid about current and future training practices that treat women differently. If the Navy intends to defend the practice of extending extraordinary concessions to female aviation trainees-and it appears that they are prepared to do just that-the families involved and the entire nation have a right to know and debate the wisdom of that policy.

The question at issue here is not whether women should serve in combat squadrons, but whether women—and all trainees—should be held to the same high standards that have worked in recent years to reduce accident rates in aviation, the most dangerous occupation in the Navy.

Vehement protestations that both women were technically "qualified" are meaningless as well as misleading, because the definition of that word has been radically changed by practices that forgive low scores and major errors in training so that certain people will not fail. Extraordinary concessions and dual-track standards that treat men and women differently heighten risks because the aircraft itself does not forgive. Even proponents of women in combat should agree that these practices are simply indefensible.

Above all, CMR hopes that disclosure of this information will enable Navy personnel, family members, members of Congress, and the American people to engage in a responsible discussion that leads to constructive reforms, before heightened risks result in the needless loss of more young lives.

Importantly, ‘Pilot B’ challenged this report in court, complaining of defamation. The case was thrown out. And ‘Pilot B’ was also removed from service on aircraft carriers due to performance failures.

All Australians should be greatly concerned about this. We are failing to learn the mistakes of the past. And if the RAAF proceeds with these insane AHRC recommendations we may well see pilots killed because they have been graduated for political reasons rather than performance.

And I’ll just make this point too: it is not just females who are risk from this madness. These recommendations will also see males graduate who cannot pass current requirements…



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


9 August, 2017

An odd way to fight for equality

Leftists have strange minds.  They all seem to think that you fight racial discrimination by being racially discriminatory ("affirmative action") now one lot in Australia seem to think you fight for equality between the sexes  by treating men and women unequally.  Their devotion to equality is clearly nothing more than insincere propaganda.  It is a convenient pose, not a conviction

A MELBOURNE cafe that caused a social media storm after charging men a tax and seating women first insists it has had a stack of support. And not just from the girls.

Handsome Her, a vegan cafe in Brunswick, said it was charging men 18 per cent more in a bid to address the gender pay gap. The cafe, which clearly advertises its rules on a chalk board, explained men will be charged the premium — and the gap donated to women’s services.

However co-owner Alex O’Brien told Seven News the surcharge, which is in place one week out of every month, wasn’t compulsory. She also said none had so far refused to pay it and in a Facebook post overnight said the idea has been well supported overall.

"If people aren’t comfortable paying it or if men don’t want to pay it, we’re not going to kick them out the door," she said.
"It’s just a good opportunity to do some good."

The idea has caused a mixed reaction on social media, with some supporting the concept.

Others branded it hypocritical and said it would only further widen the gender divide.

Discrimination is illegal, regardless of the spurious intent. Do they hire male staff or do they discriminate there too?

Writing on its Facebook page overnight, the cafe insisted it was jam-packed with customers over the past few days who have supported the cause.

It also insisted it wasn’t just women who were backing the idea.
"We’ve had men travel across town to visit us and pay ‘the man tax’ and throw some extra in the donation jar — guys, you’re pretty neat," the post read.


A communist icon toppled in Ukraine is restored, in England

The symbolism is unmistakeable.  Britain is now more communist than the former Soviet bloc

MANCHESTER, England — After 147 years, Friedrich Engels is back in town. Statues of Engels, Karl Marx’s collaborator, may have been ripped down all over the former communist world, but he has returned here, to the city that made him famous.

His resurrection in Manchester, where he conducted research on the working class in the 1840s, is thanks to artist Phil Collins, who made Engels the centerpiece of his most recent project, “Ceremony.”

“I started working on this theme about 10 years ago,” said Collins. Immersing himself in the history of the Industrial Revolution and of socialism in Manchester, he stumbled upon a quote by a local civil servant, who raised the idea of transporting an Engels statue from Ukraine to Manchester.

Collins traveled for about a year across Eastern Europe before finally finding his prize in an agricultural compound in a district that he said was once named after Engels in the Poltava region of eastern Ukraine.

The 1917 Russian Revolution was inspired by Marx and Engels’s ideas in their “Communist Manifesto” of 1848. Much of their analysis was based on Engels’s own masterwork, “The Condition of the Working Class in England,” published three years before.


Canaanite Gene Study Actually Proves the Bible Right, But Don't Tell the Media

Last week, the American Journal of Human Genetics published a study connecting the DNA of ancient Canaanites to modern-day people in Lebanon. Various news outlets immediately reported that this study proved the Bible wrong, when nothing could be further from the truth.

To be fair, The Telegraph corrected the headline to "Study shows ancient Canaanites survived divine call in Bible for them to be wiped out."

As Klinghoffer noted, the Bible does not say the Israelites wiped out the Canaanites — in fact, it explicitly says they survived.

God commands the Israelites to wipe out the Canaanites in Deuteronomy 20: "But in the cities of these people that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes ... the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites ... that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the Lord your God."

But this is not the Bible's last word on the Canaanites. The first chapter of Judges says that Israel "put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely" (Judges 1:28). In fact, various tribes of Israel (Ephraim, Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali, to be exact) allowed Canaanites to live among them.

God was not pleased. He told Israel that since "you have not obeyed my voice," God would "not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you" (Judges 2:2-3).

Anyone with a basic familiarity with the biblical narrative of Israel's history should not be surprised by this. Throughout the narratives of the histories and prophets of Israel, God's people reject Him time and time again, worshipping foreign gods of ... whom? The Canaanites.

As The Telegraph noted in a correction, "The original version of this story erroneously said the Bible claimed the Canaanites were wiped [out]. However, elsewhere in the Bible, it says the elimination was not successful." That would be an understatement.

As of Monday, Ars Technica has not corrected its article. "First, God orders the Hebrews to destroy the Canaanites along with several other groups, and later we hear that the Canaanites have actually been wiped out," reporter Annalee Newitz wrote.

The Independent's Ian Johnston went so far as to quote atheist Richard Dawkins, who said the Old Testament God was "a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser ... a genocidal ... megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

Johnston quoted the book of Joshua, saying that the Israelites actually did slaughter all of the Canaanites. Joshua 10:40 says Joshua "left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded."

Here's the thing: Joshua 10 is talking about the conquest of southern Canaan. Ephraim, Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali settled in the north. Joshua 10:40 is perfectly compatible with Judges 1:28 and Judges 2:3.

Science, a generally reputable journal that originally got the facts wrong, hilariously would not admit just how wrong they were. "This story and its headline have been updated to reflect that in the Bible, God ordered the destruction of the Canaanites, but that some cities and people may have survived," the update reads.

May have survived? Try, "emphatically did survive, and plagued the people of Israel for centuries."


Watch Out: If you Criticize the Women's March, You're a White Nationalist Patriarchy Apologist

Bari Weiss, a staff editor at the New York Times, courageously opposed the "feminist" narrative the Women's March "leaders" have been spouting, and now the collective is out for her.

Weiss penned a letter to the editor earlier this week in her own paper, pointing out the extreme messages and associations of Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Tamika Mallory, opining that maybe if the Women's March leaders are extremists who embrace anti-Semitic, anti-white, terrorist-accepting, and essentially anarchist views, they should be called out.

Bob Bland, co-president of the Women's March, wrote a keyword-filled rebuttal to Weiss' letter, labeling Weiss as "an apologist for the white nationalist patriarchy." While Weiss' letter gave examples, quotes, and links to back up her assertions about the march leaders, Bland's reply is simple rhetoric and a poor attempt at shaming Weiss.

Ms. Weiss is endorsing a sensational alt-right attack that aims to discredit the Women’s March movement and its leaders and to derail the progress we have made since January.
What progress??

The Women’s March united millions around the United States and demonstrated the collective power of women to create transformative social change.
What exactly did you do? What rights were threatened and how did your collective power stop it?

Her article is a distraction at a critical moment when rights are being stripped from vulnerable communities every day.
Any examples? How do you define "vulnerable communities"?

We are a movement made up of many people with different opinions, ideas and experiences.
No. No, you're not. You do not allow pro-life women. You do not allow people who support Trump. You do not like Israelis. You don't like women who value their Second Amendment rights. You don't embrace women who are against jihad and FGM. I'd wager there's not a more intellectually closed movement around. After feminists wept when Hillary Clinton lost the election, Women's March leaders didn't even name her as one of the reasons they marched.

You may not agree with one of us or any of us, and that’s O.K. But together we are weaving the social fabric so needed to protect us as the Trump agenda advances.
Is the social fabric needed to protect us made up of worshipping cop killers and marginalizing dissent?

Weiss's problem, Bland says, is that she's a "critic from the seats" and hasn't done the "work necessary" to understand other peoples' struggles. Bland admitted that while planning the January march she wasn't able to relate with others' point of view - presumably the views of Sarsour, Perez, and Mallory. But now she's able to "stand in solidarity" with a woman who took part in blowing up innocent college students.

Bland admonished Weiss, then labeled her in the exact way Weiss had predicted.

Until they get up, listen and do the work to understand those whose feelings have been shaped by injustices, they will remain apologists for the status quo, racist ideology and the white nationalist patriarchy.
Sick burn. Weiss is sure to stop pointing out the embrace of hate and rejection of dissenting voices now.



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

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

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


8 August, 2017

Lying old Leftist broad

As a professional historian she should know better in defending BBC misrepresentation about Roman Britain.  So I will simply repeat what I said previously:

It is true that the legions Rome sent to Britannia were not Italian.  It seems likely that they were mostly in fact from neighboring Gaul (France).  But there were certainly men from all over the empire.

BUT:  The picture objected to is clearly of a black father -- a sub-Saharan African. And the Roman empire did NOT cover any part of sub-Saharan Africa!

She quotes reports of NORTH Africans in Roman Britain but North Africans were then and still mostly are:  WHITE. Algerians tend to be quite racist about being white, in fact. Blacks are not welcome there.

And recent DNA studies have shown that even the ancient Egyptians were typical Mediterraneans -- like Lebanon, Greece, Italy etc.  They were not black. See here

It is of course possible that there was somewhere in Roman Britain at some time one or two blacks but to represent blacks as typifying Roman Britain is absurd to the point of dishonesty.

Popular historian Mary Beard found herself the target of bitter social media abuse after defending the authenticity of a BBC animation featuring a black Roman soldier.

Critics branded the educational video ‘politically correct’ and claimed it was part of an agenda to ‘pretend Britain always had mass immigration’.

The leading Cambridge classicist and expert in Ancient Rome took to Twitter to defend the film, pointing out there was extensive evidence of Romans originating in Africa coming to Britain – unwittingly unleashing a torrent of attacks branding her ‘a batty old broad’ and ‘a pretentious know-nothing’.

It is far from the first time that the outspoken academic has been targeted by Twitter trolls. In 2013, she was attacked for her looks on TV and she retweeted a message from a former public schoolboy who called her ‘a slut’ to her 42,000 followers.

This time she was supported by others who have also been trolled, including the author JK Rowling who tweeted in her defence.

The video at the centre of the row has been on the BBC schools website for three years and focuses on the family of a fictitious high-ranking Roman soldier overseeing the construction of Hadrian’s Wall.

However, the fact that he and his ‘typical’ family are portrayed as black became a topic of debate after American ‘alt-Right’ blogger Paul Joseph Watson last month described it as an example of ‘the Left… literally trying to rewrite history’.

Professor Beard replied on Twitter that she believed the video was ‘pretty accurate’, pointing out that a Roman governor of Britain came from what is now Algeria.

But her intervention sparked a fierce backlash from detractors – some of whom openly admitted to never having read a book on ancient history.

In a blog for the Times Literary Supplement, Professor Beard wrote how she was subjected to ‘a torrent of aggressive insults, on everything from my historical competence and elitist ivory tower viewpoint to my age, shape and gender’.

Among those who waded in to attack her as a ‘politically correct gestapo’ was US economics professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a former broker whose books have attracted a cult following among Wall Street financiers.

Professor Beard wrote that many of the attacks were misogynistic in tone, with posters referring to ‘Prof Taleb’ while pointedly calling her ‘Ms Beard’.


Even a popular member of Britain's parliament - Jacob Rees-Mogg -- is not allowed to say critical things about Islam

Reading between the lines, the cops were so overawed by a very brainy and distinguished man that they became incoherent.  They knew that any argument they advanced would be promptly demolished.  Rees-Mogg is sometimes described as the brainiest man in the House of Commons

UK: National Trust backs down over gay campaign after threat of volunteers' boycott

The National Trust has reversed a decision to bar volunteers from public-facing duties at a Norfolk stately home if they refuse to wear rainbow sexual equality symbols.

Staff at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk were offered behind-the-scenes roles after saying they were "uncomfortable" wearing multicoloured badges and lanyards for a "Prejudice and Pride" event marking 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

The decision came after a new film made by the National Trust revealed that Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, the hall's last owner who bequeathed it to the nation, was gay.

The land and home conservation charity said on Saturday that wearing the badges was now "optional and a personal decision" for volunteers and staff.

A trust spokesman said: "We remain absolutely committed to our Pride programme, which will continue as intended, along with the exhibition at Felbrigg.

"However, we are aware that some volunteers had conflicting personal opinions about wearing the rainbow lanyards and badges. That was never our intention. "We are therefore making it clear to volunteers that the wearing of the badge is optional and a personal decision."

The change followed an announcement on Friday by Annabel Smith, the trust's head of volunteering and participation development, who said that volunteers uncomfortable with the badges had been offered "the opportunity to take a break from front-facing duties if that's what they would prefer".

She added: "Relating specifically to the Prejudice and Pride programme, we do recognise that some volunteers may have conflicting personal opinions. "However whilst volunteering for the National Trust we do request and expect individuals to uphold the values of the organisation."


Watching Dunkirk, I realised we need to help our kids harden up

Angela Mollard

IF Dunkirk is a movie about an extraordinary event in history, it’s also a snapshot into the values of another era.

There are the young soldiers full of courage and camaraderie; fighter pilots sacrificing themselves for their countrymen; jolly nurses setting out on boats to tend the injured but unsure if they’ll ever make it home.

Then there’s the ordinary people, the owners of the private vessels who set out to help with the evacuation and would later be heralded as heroes for their bravery.

Of course Dunkirk is a dramatisation but it’s not a stretch of the imagination to believe in characters such as fishing boat skipper Mr Dawson and his son Peter who show fearlessness, tenacity, understanding and kindness in rescuing dozens of soldiers and a drowning Spitfire pilot.

I won’t give away the plot but there’s a scene of such empathy from young Peter that I dare any parent to leave the cinema at least a little reflective about the generation we are now raising.

Dunkirk — and the youth it showcases — has lingered with me all week as I’ve watched the hand-wringing over the reported sexual assault crisis in our universities, the fall in our children’s writing standards and a decision by a primary school to stop girls and boys playing together.

Add to it the fears that the use of fat models endorses obesity, our compensation culture and the under 30s lamenting that they can’t afford inner city homes and it all adds up to a monumental whinge. In the 77 years since Dunkirk, it’s as if the “V” for victory has been replaced with a “V” for victimhood.

To watch the ABC this week was to believe that the report by the Human Rights Commission had unearthed endemic sexual assault in our universities. On 7.30, two women were trotted out as alleged victims of this alleged terrible culture.

The report lacked balance and rigour. There was no explanation of the definition of sexual harassment or that fewer than 10 per cent of students responded to the survey. Further, of the 6.9 per cent of students who reported being sexually assaulted in the past two years, only a small fraction of those said it happened in a university setting.

Likewise, there was no reporting of the fact that 94 per cent of those who said they’d been harassed and 87 per cent of those assaulted did not report it because they didn’t feel it was serious enough or because they didn’t need help. Instead, the report finished with a question as to whether schools needed to do more work on issues like attitudes to women.

Seriously? As we also learned this week, schools can’t teach kids to write because, as one education boss pointed out, they were too busy teaching “bike education, pet education, grooming, financial literacy, drug education, stranger education, bushfire awareness”.

The fact is our future pivots on two pillars: good parenting and self-determination.

Good parents, like Mr Dawson in Dunkirk, teach their kids good values. They teach respect for the opposite sex, they discuss pornography and consent, they imbue their daughters with a sense of worth beyond their looks.

But more than just teach, they live their values: they uphold rather than denigrate their children’s teachers; they respect rather than abuse from the sporting sidelines; they listen to others’ views with curiosity and tolerance. They understand that you need to be a decent parent to raise a decent child.

Further, they encourage independence and self-determination in their children. Sexually harassed at university? Call it out and embarrass the perpetrator. Assaulted? Go to the police. Find writing difficult? Practice. Can’t buy a house in your preferred suburb? Buy one somewhere else.
Decades on from the event that inspired the movie, we must remember the “Dunkirk spirit”. (Pic: Warner Bros)

Suffering body image issues because the models are too skinny or too fat? Foster a self worth founded on who you are and what you do, not what you look like.

Our children are growing up victims because we’re failing to show them another way. That life is what they choose, not simply what happens to them. That resilience is not genetically bestowed but a habit and practice that can be improved.

Hope, gratitude, love, optimism, a positive identity, good relationships, empowerment, sound health and determination are not concepts that airily float round like butterflies choosing who’ll they’ll land on. They’re within us if only we’re taught how to seize them and use them.

As Andrew Fuller, psychologist and director of Resilient Youth, writes: “Life is an improvisational art. At times we need to shape and reshape ourselves to bring the best of life into view.” If you’re a parent who feels ill-equipped to teach this stuff there’s books and experts aplenty. Seek them out.

Amid the hand-wringing and horror this week there was one story that barely gained attention. A 14-year-old boy, Lochlan Brodie, fell off his grandad’s boat and survived in the water for two hours without a lifejacket before being picked up by a passing charter vessel.

How did he survive? By dog-paddling like buggery, throwing his arms in the air and screaming his nut off. Decades on from Dunkirk, there’s still evidence of a fighting spirit.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


7 August, 2017

Multiculturalism comes to Northern England

Derrick Mutambuka assaulted a woman in the street after becoming 'sexually aroused' in a Sunderland nightclub.

He then grabbed another woman and raped her in an alleyway giving her 34 injuries as she screamed for help. He paused only to kick and spit blood at passers-by who tried to stop him.

Defending him at Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Ekwall Tiwana said of his crime: 'Although it is very serious, it is not in fact the most serious.' 

His comments have outraged women's rights activists who say they play down the horrendous crime of rape.

Women's activist Aisha Ali-Khan told MailOnline: 'This is a sickening case - the defending counsel’s stance beggars belief.

'This was an appalling, premeditated attack that has left two women with life-long psychological scars. For the defence to downplay the impact and seriousness of the attacks shows a complete lack of empathy and compassion for what the victims had to endure.

'It also goes a long way in explaining why so many women would rather suffer in silence than report their sexual assaults to the authorities.'

She added: 'I am dismayed at the system that allows defence lawyers to make such irresponsible comments without any challenge'.

Mutambuka, originally from Rwanda, left the bar in Sunderland on 20 December 2015 and began talking to a woman on the street.

After she appeared disinterested in him, he pushed her against some shop shutters and proceeded to force his hand down her trousers.

The terrifying sexual assault came to an end when a passer-by intervened and walked the woman home.

But Mutambuka, who was 17 at the time, followed them back to her address and peered through her letterbox.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how just a short while later, the defendant then saw another woman in the street and dragged her into an alleyway before raping her.

A member of the public attempted to stop the rape after hearing the victim's terrified screams, but was forced to back off after Mutambuka kicked him.

The assault carried on for minutes - only to come to an end when a second man came to her rescue.

Prosecutor Andrew Espley said: 'This was a prolonged and sustained attack. 'There was a significant degree of planning. He wanted it to happen and took steps to make sure that it did.

'He was a man that would not be deterred. Others were present and witnessed the victim's ordeal. The victims were alone and vulnerable.'

Mutambuka, now 18, of Gateshead, was found guilty of rape and sexual assault following a trial - with what a judge described as 'overwhelming evidence.'

He was also found guilty of counts of assault, relating to the first man who he kicked and the second who he spat on, with spittle containing blood on 20 December 2015.

Mr Ekwall Tiwana, defending, said that his client was very drunk at the time of the offence and had only been drunk once before in his life.

He said: 'The general nature of this case is that it is a very serious offence. Although it is very serious, it is not in fact the most serious.  'This defendant was 17 at the time and had no previous convictions.

'This young man was passed from pillar to post and country to country essentially. He has been subject to a very unsatisfactory life until he moved to Newcastle and studied in Gateshead.

'He has admitted that what he did was disgraceful and disgusting. He has recognised what he did.'

The court heard how the defendant studied English, Maths and IT at Gateshead College. The rape victim suffered 34 injuries during the attack, including reddening, abrasion and tenderness on her head, face, neck, legs and chest as well as on her genitals.

She was also punched and 'manhandled' during the attack. Sentencing him to nine year and nine months imprisonment, Judge Robert Adams said: 'This was a persistent course of conduct.

'You were sexually aroused dancing in the club and that continued when you were going home until you committed the offence. 'You were determined to have sex with a woman regardless of her views or who she was or whatever her circumstance. 'You used violence, judging by the numerous injuries that the victim sustained.

'It is a start that you are experiencing some remorse although it is now too late in the day. Only a lengthy custodial sentence is appropriate.'


What Happens When an Imam Calls for Killing Jews

How the Left covered up Muslim anti-Semitism in California.

On Friday July 21st, Imam Ammar Shahin delivered a sermon at the Islamic Center of Davis calling for the extermination of the Jews.  He quoted an infamous Islamic Hadith which claims that Judgement Day won’t come around until the Muslims hunt down and exterminate the Jews.

“Oh Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews,” he prayed. “Annihilate them down to the very last one,” he added.

Next Friday, after the video went viral, the Imam appeared at a press conference to apologize to the filthy Jews. “I said things that were hurtful to Jews.”

The whole thing was sanctified by Rabbi Seth Castleman, a former Buddhist monk married to the Rev. Elizabeth Griswold, the pastor of Parkside Community Church. Castleman leads Buddhist meditation sessions at his current house of worship.  When bacon was dumped on the Islamic Center, Castleman appeared and declared that, “Attacks such as this one are a strike against all of us.”

"Look, the Old and New Testaments have horrible things in them,” Castleman had opined in response to the imam’s anti-Semitic rant. “You can always find horrible things.”

The Islamic Center of Davis had tried to claim that the Imam’s rant had been taken out of context. “If the sermon was misconstrued, we sincerely apologize to anyone offended,” it offered.

"It's unfair when I have spoken about nonviolence, and here is some two minutes. My record is very clear, I have always been against violence," Imam Shahin told the Washington Post.

At the press conference, he conceded that his words might have encouraged violent acts. The farce finally came to an end with a halting apology delivered from a written statement in broken English.

Then he committed to fighting for “social justice” and against “hate speech and violence”.

Imam Shahin’s apology was preceded by an address from a senior minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church who denounced “the language that we hear coming from the highest office in our country.”

When an Imam spews hate at Jews, the left will go right back to attacking President Trump.

The diverse clergy and community leaders at the event were more than happy to give Shahin a pass. And Shahin blamed the whole thing on his “emotions”. It went without saying that a Christian leader calling for Muslim genocide would not have been allowed to use his overwrought “feelings” as an excuse.

While the media had rushed to cover the Islamic Center of Davis’ bacon scandal, the same outlets had far less interest in the Center’s anti-Semitism problem. At first the story could only be found in Jewish and conservative outlets. When the media was finally forced to cover the viral video, it made excuses.

MEMRI, the monitoring organization that found, translated and uploaded the video, was smeared. Since Shahin’s remarks had been translated, challenging the translation was the easiest way to shoot the messenger. The Islamic Center accused MEMRI of having mistranslated “destroy” as “annihilate”.

And it attacked MEMRI for not having featured the ”countless lectures and sermons he has given regarding treating all people, especially non-Muslims, with kindness.”

Why indeed didn’t MEMRI highlight all the lectures in which he didn’t call for genocide?

The Muslim Public Affairs Council put out a statement complaining that, “Groups like MEMRI exacerbate political divisions on the Middle East conflict rather than aim to reconcile differences.”  And who better to bring us together than MPAC whose boss had accused Israel of being behind the 9/11 attacks.

Salam al-Marayati had also defended Hamas and Hezbollah. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, the JTA built its story around the MPAC press release without bothering to quote anyone from MEMRI.

The Washington Post tried bringing in its own translator, who accused MEMRI of Islamophobia, and tried to claim that the Imam had only been referring to those Jews involved in the fighting in Jerusalem. Whether this was limited to the Israeli authorities or the millions of Jews in Israel was left open to interpretation. There have been plenty of Islamist fatwas authorizing the extermination of Israeli Jews.

Sheikh Rashid Ghannouchi, of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda, had stated, “There are no civilians in Israel. The population—males, females and children—are the army reserve soldiers, and thus can be killed.”

Ghannouchi had been hosted by MPAC. The Islamist group had called him, “One of the most important figures in modern Islamic political thought and theory.”

The Washington Post had run an interview with Ghannouchi and stories and editorials in the paper had repeatedly praised him and his movement. One article describes him as “visionary”.

Genocide is visionary indeed.

All the quibbling over the exact translation misses the point. The real horror of Shahin’s rant wasn’t his reference to the “filth of the Jews”.  It was the Hadith of the rock and the tree.

The genocidal Hadith is widely quoted by Muslim preachers. Hamas invoked it in its covenant. There was nothing unusual about Shahin’s rant.

That’s the horrifying part.

“The hour will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. A Jew will hide behind a rock or a tree, and the rock or tree will call upon the Muslim: ‘O Muslim, O slave of Allah! There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’

That’s the Hadith that Shahin referenced.

"Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Jews hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and the trees say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah,” he quotes.

But then he begins offering his own elaboration on what Muslims should do about it.

To Shahin, the genocidal text represents a call for Muslim unity that transcends national differences. "They will not say: Oh Egyptian, oh Palestinian, oh Jordanian, oh Syrian, oh Afghan, oh Pakistani."

Nor does the massacre have to be limited to Israel. “The Last Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews. We don't say if it is in Palestine or another place,” he conjectures.

So much for the Washington Post’s attempt at limiting the scope of his genocide to Israel.

There was nothing new about Shahin’s message. It’s a call for Muslims to unify and kill the Jews.

“Let us play a part in this. Oh Allah, let us support them in words and in deeds,” Shahin prays.

What does he mean by “deeds”?

“The last thing I would do is intentionally hurt anyone,” Shahin insisted in his apology. His denunciations of violence however ring rather hollow. Not when he quoted a genocidal Hadith which calls for hunting down and killing the Jews. And not necessarily just in Israel, but potentially everywhere.

Some time ago, David Horowitz called on Islamic organizations to repudiate the Hadith in the Declaration Against Genocide. Not a single Muslim group, including MPAC, agreed to do it.

73% of Muslims in ’67 Israel agree with it.

That’s what is at stake in Jerusalem and in Davis and everywhere else. It comes down to genocide.

The left is eager to talk about anti-Semitism on the right, but unwilling to discuss it on the left. Muslims are supposed to be part of one great coalition. It’s a coalition in which Seth Castleman signs on for Muslim migrants and Islamic groups show up for interfaith events. And then Imam Shahin spoiled it.

The apology lets everyone on the left go back to pretending that there isn’t a problem. But there is a problem. And it’s not going anywhere. It’s only getting worse.

The left has whitewashed and justified Muslim attacks on Jewish synagogues. It justifies and defends violence against Jews. Shahin’s murderous sermon was inconvenient, but quickly swept under the rug.

After all the spin and excuses, Imam Shahin never disavowed the genocidal Hadith. Instead he apologized for the hurt feelings. The mosque apologized to anyone who was offended.

But the feelings aren’t the point. The killing is.

Long before the State of Israel was reborn, the Six Day War or the latest terrorist tantrum, an ancient Islamic text ordered Muslims to wipe out the Jews to bring on Judgement Day.

Muslim anti-Semitic violence is not a momentary reaction to metal detectors. Just as Imam Shahin’s sermon was not an emotional slip. It’s the violent bigotry of over a thousand years.

It’s in Davis. And it’s in America. And it must be addressed.


A truth-teller posted a 10-page treatise about bias at Google and people are outraged

Google employees and Silicon Valley pundits are reacting with outrage to a 10-page document reportedly written by a Google engineer that criticizes the company's "left leaning" culture, taking aim at company policies meant to foster a more diverse workplace.

The document, which was first reported by Motherboard and published in full by Gizmodo, was said to be written by a Google engineer, going "viral" inside the company on Friday.

It argued that differences in pay between men and women in the technology sector are not entirely related to bias against women, but are partly attributable to biological differences between the genders.

It also called on Google to "stop alienating conservatives" and calls into question practices like "unconscious bias" training for committees that promote employees.

The identity of the writer has not been publicly revealed. Google parent company Alphabet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Several Google employees expressed their outrage about the post on Friday:

Outside commentators have also criticized the company—for instance, Slack engineer Erica Joy. She called attention to alleged unequal pay for women when she worked at Google, and has been an outspoken critic of systematic bias in the tech industry.

Joy wrote that Google execs should ask themselves, "why is the environment at Google such that racists and sexists feel supported and safe in sharing these views in the company?"

Google recently hired a VP of diversity, Danielle Brown, who wrote a memo on Saturday responding to the document, Recode reports. She wrote that the document "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender" and that "it's not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages."

The document comes as the company is under investigation by the Department of Labor for paying women less than men.

It also fits into a broader story unfolding in Silicon Valley tech companies this year. Company executives and investors have often claimed tech companies are "meritocracies," where hard work and skill are valued and race and gender are ignored. Yet an increasing number of workers in the industry are coming forward with concrete and specific stories of discrimination and harassment.


Australian Medical Association misleading on gay marriage

A former senior Australian Medical Association official has lashed out at the peak medical body’s campaign for same-sex marriage, accusing it of using false and misleading information in claiming the reform was a public health issue.

Dr Chris Middleton, a former president of the Tasmanian AMA, has joined with five AMA members in penning a 15-page report savaging the credibility of the national body’s Position Statement on Marriage Equality.

Dr Middleton, who was inducted in the AMA Roll of Fellows in 2011, renounced his life membership of the body and was critical of its process to adopt a position in favour of gay marriage, saying the membership was not consulted.

The gastroenterologist, who does not support same-sex marriage, expects hundreds of doctors to join the renegade group in opposing the AMA’s position. Dr Middleton’s report will be sent to federal MPs this weekend.

“The position statement has very little to say about medicine and was little more than a politically motivated, ideologically-driven opinion piece which is dressed up as evidence-based health policy,” Dr Middleton said.

“The AMA speaks with great authority and because of that I am so disappointed. “In other position statements they have gone into it in a detailed way, there has been a rigorous dispassionate, careful, sober and professional analysis of all of the arguments for and against and usually what you get is a very thoughtful outcome.”

Dr Middleton’s report was scathing of the AMA for its “demonstrably false” claim that children raised by gay parents do not suffer poorer psychological health than children who are raised by their biological mother and father.

The report also said the AMA defended this claim by refusing to acknowledge peer-reviewed research which countered its position.

“Decades of research have confirmed that children do best, on average, when raised by their married biological mother and father,” the report said.

“By denying publicly that there is any such evidence of detriment to children, while admitting privately that there is, the AMA has misled the public on a crucial aspect of the marriage debate and must be held to account.”

Dr Middleton said yesterday the AMA “suppressed evidence” that didn’t suit its position.

“You would never be able to get away with this is medical literature, leaving out critical references because those references don’t suit your narrative,” he said.

Dr Middleton said the AMA also provided “feeble” evidence for its assertion that legalising same-sex marriage would improve the health of gay people and give them better access to healthcare.

“The evidence quoted in their statement is far too weak to support the claims. One of these claims used the Sydney Morning Herald (as its evidence). This is a medical body making a serious politically persuasive claim based on an article in a newspaper,” he said.

AMA national president Michael Gannon said that doctors had “overwhelmingly” supported the body’s change in policy. He said the AMA had not suppressed any information.

“There is no lack of diligence by individuals federal councillors in deciding how we arrived at the position statement,” he said.



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

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

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


6 August, 2017

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

The article excerpted below does raise a real concern.  Children are moving even further away from the hunter-gatherer life that they are genetically programmed for. So the indications that smartphones have increased various sorts of mental illness are credible.

So the only question is what to do about it.  And the answer is fairly clear.  Parents have to step up to the plate and do active things with their children: Hiking, camping, sports etc.  Even taking them on to the rifle range would probably work well

We must however be careful about causes.  The upsurge in touchfone usage seems to have coincided roughly with an incredible upsurge of only marginally sane advice from influential Leftist sources. 

For instance, we hear a lot these days about people being "cis" this or that.  To be "cis" means to be happy in your own skin but there is apparently nothing worse than a "cis" male.  That awful creature is the source of all the world's woes. And in most ways boys have to become like girls to be approved of.  And the real heroes of society are the sexual deviants.  With young people on the receiving end of messages as addled as that, is it any wonder that anxiety and depression proliferate among the young? 

So simple outdoor activities may not help greatly with that. Close parental involvement with their children's education may be the only remedy. I will never understand why conservative parents pay good money to send their kids to the Leftist madrassas that the major universities have become

I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so. Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys.

Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.

At first I presumed these might be blips, but the trends persisted, across several years and a series of national surveys. The changes weren’t just in degree, but in kind. The biggest difference between the Millennials and their predecessors was in how they viewed the world; teens today differ from the Millennials not just in their views but in how they spend their time. The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.

What happened in 2012 to cause such dramatic shifts in behavior? It was after the Great Recession, which officially lasted from 2007 to 2009 and had a starker effect on Millennials trying to find a place in a sputtering economy. But it was exactly the moment when the proportion of Americans who owned a smartphone surpassed 50 percent.

The more I pored over yearly surveys of teen attitudes and behaviors, and the more I talked with young people like Athena, the clearer it became that theirs is a generation shaped by the smartphone and by the concomitant rise of social media. I call them iGen. Born between 1995 and 2012, members of this generation are growing up with smartphones, have an Instagram account before they start high school, and do not remember a time before the internet. The Millennials grew up with the web as well, but it wasn’t ever-present in their lives, at hand at all times, day and night. iGen’s oldest members were early adolescents when the iPhone was introduced, in 2007, and high-school students when the iPad entered the scene, in 2010. A 2017 survey of more than 5,000 American teens found that three out of four owned an iPhone.

The advent of the smartphone and its cousin the tablet was followed quickly by hand-wringing about the deleterious effects of “screen time.” But the impact of these devices has not been fully appreciated, and goes far beyond the usual concerns about curtailed attention spans. The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household. The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns. Where there are cell towers, there are teens living their lives on their smartphone.

To those of us who fondly recall a more analog adolescence, this may seem foreign and troubling. The aim of generational study, however, is not to succumb to nostalgia for the way things used to be; it’s to understand how they are now. Some generational changes are positive, some are negative, and many are both. More comfortable in their bedrooms than in a car or at a party, today’s teens are physically safer than teens have ever been. They’re markedly less likely to get into a car accident and, having less of a taste for alcohol than their predecessors, are less susceptible to drinking’s attendant ills.

Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.

Even when a seismic event—a war, a technological leap, a free concert in the mud—plays an outsize role in shaping a group of young people, no single factor ever defines a generation. Parenting styles continue to change, as do school curricula and culture, and these things matter. But the twin rise of the smartphone and social media has caused an earthquake of a magnitude we’ve not seen in a very long time, if ever. There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy.

You might expect that teens spend so much time in these new spaces because it makes them happy, but most data suggest that it does not. The Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and designed to be nationally representative, has asked 12th-graders more than 1,000 questions every year since 1975 and queried eighth- and 10th-graders since 1991. The survey asks teens how happy they are and also how much of their leisure time they spend on various activities, including nonscreen activities such as in-person social interaction and exercise, and, in recent years, screen activities such as using social media, texting, and browsing the web. The results could not be clearer: Teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on nonscreen activities are more likely to be happy.

There’s not a single exception. All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness. Eighth-graders who spend 10 or more hours a week on social media are 56 percent more likely to say they’re unhappy than those who devote less time to social media. Admittedly, 10 hours a week is a lot. But those who spend six to nine hours a week on social media are still 47 percent more likely to say they are unhappy than those who use social media even less. The opposite is true of in-person interactions. Those who spend an above-average amount of time with their friends in person are 20 percent less likely to say they’re unhappy than those who hang out for a below-average amount of time.


Transgender Activists Are Seeking to Undermine Parental Rights

Radical feminists aspire to revolutionize society in three ways.

First, they seek to eliminate the different ways boys and girls are socialized, so that they will come to have very similar characters and temperaments.

Second, they seek to cultivate financial and emotional independence of women and children from the family.

Third, they hope to erase sexual taboos, embracing new ways for individuals to achieve sexual satisfaction outside of monogamous, procreative marriage.

Winning public sanction for same-sex marriage was the last great feminist victory. Same-sex marriage undermined sex roles within marriage. It put children ever more outside the purpose of marriage. It reinforced the idea that all means of sexual satisfaction are equal.

Where will the radical feminist revolution roll to next?

The new field for the rolling revolution with the greatest possibilities is transgender rights, especially as applied to children.

Despite the accomplishments of radical feminism, the state has protected parents’ rights to raise their children. Children, after all, seem rightly under the charge of their parents, who provide personalized care for their development.

Parental rights are related to the age of consent, which states protect in order for children to give time and space to become mature, independent adults. Americans do not want their children overly sexualized, and they respect the right of parents to educate their children.

Transgender rights activists are seeking to abridge parental rights by elevating the independent choices of young children. Respecting the sexual and gender “choices” of ever-younger children erodes parental rights and compromises the integrity of the family as an independent unit.

This can be seen in the Canadian province of Ontario, which passed a law allowing state agencies to prevent families that will not affirm a child’s chosen “gender identity” from adopting or providing foster care to children.

Children in Ontario can now make life-altering decisions before the age of consent against their parents’ wishes.

But the principle in Ontario’s law has an even wider reach.

The bill’s chief advocate thinks that it is “child abuse” to deny a child’s chosen gender identity. If this principle guides the law, Canada would come to deny what all political communities have traditionally acknowledged: that birth parents direct the education of their children.

This is already playing out in Norway, where a new law allows the state to decide about gender reassignment for children as young as 6 years old when both parents cannot agree on the child’s gender.

American states such as Minnesota are now promoting the transgender ideology in elementary schools against the wishes of parents. They have made “gender identity” toolkits available to kindergarten teachers, so that 5-year-olds can learn to explore their identities.

These laws, and others like them, aim to make children independent of their parents and to bless their sexual exploration even at a young age. They undermine the foundation of educating children toward marriage and family life.

Under both of these scenarios, the line between the family and state comes to be drawn and redrawn by the state.

Once the state takes on this role, all civil society, including churches and private businesses, are vulnerable to its intrusions. The family will find it harder to function when its integrity is compromised.

Around half of American women of childbearing age do not have children, so parental rights will not in the future be respected because majorities of Americans are actually parents.

Those interested in securing parental rights must see these rights protected in law and promoted in public opinion, and more and more must come to see that the public interest is promoted through respecting parental rights even though they are not parents.

A respect for parental rights and childhood innocence are bulwarks against the advance of transgender ideology.


The Leftist hegemony

From Sean Gabb in Britain

When, back in 2007, I published my book Cultural Revolution, Culture War, I thought I was making an original contribution. Sadly, I had not yet read my American precursors – Paul Gottfried, for example – and I was reinventing the wheel. But I was original in the British context, and I have had much influence on conservative debate in Britain. The point I make in this book is that politics are downstream of culture. There is a cultural base, and this determines the political and social and economic superstructure. The bounds of what is acceptable in electoral politics are set by the media, by the schools and universities, by the churches, and by the general administration of the State. Anything outside these bounds is automatically “extreme,” and therefore unthinkable – or, at least, unsayable.

Now, these cultural forces have fallen entirely into the hands of the cultural leftists – I use this term for lack of anything more precise. Since about the 1960s, a hegemonic discourse has emerged in Britain, within which no conservative can flourish, and in which he can barely survive without making fatal compromises, or just keeping quiet. We can elect Conservative Governments. But these will be dominated by charlatans – I used to call them “Quisling Rightists.” They imply promises without actually making them. If forced to make promises, they will find ways to break them. If any Conservative politician tries to do something unambiguously conservative, he will be stopped by the cultural hegemons.

This is not a state of affairs unique to Britain. We see it in America. Somehow, and with much gritting of teeth, a moderate anti-leftist was elected President in November 2016. Since then, he has been blocked at every move. I will not discuss current American politics. My readers will know far more about these than I do. But it is plain that Donald Trump is more in office than in power.

The difference between our two countries is that most of the American cultural leftists are formally outside the control of the central government. In Britain, they are nearly all funded by the State. The BBC is our largest media organisation. It is funded by a licence fee set and collected by the State. Its senior management is appointed by the Government. The British film industry is mostly funded by the State. The universities are indirectly funded by the State, and its vice-chancellors are appointed by the Government. The big charities are largely funded by the State. The Church of England is a branch of the British State, and its bishops are appointed by the Prime Minister.

We have an immensely enlarged and centralised state apparatus. This is controlled by the cultural leftists, and all its satellites are therefore stuffed with cultural leftists. They form a critical mass of gatekeepers, rather like the ulema in a traditional Islamic state. Government is conducted by and with their consent. Elections are a formality in which the people are called on to answer questions asked by others.

But the fact of state funding is the weakness of this state of affairs. Unlike in America, total sovereignty is possessed by one institution. A majority of one in the House of Commons, and a clear electoral mandate allows the Government absolute and even arbitary power. So long as the formalities are observed, the courts cannot stand it its way. A government of conservatives could sweep away the cultural leftists in one fit of legislation or ministerial commands. Bodies that cannot be purged can be shut down. Tens of thousands of commissars and apparatchiks can be thrown out of work. Change the cultural base, and the bounds of what is acceptable within the political superstructure will change with it.

The Conservatives have been in government with a working majority since 2015 – 2010, if we take into account the coalition propped up by the increasingly captive Liberal Democrats. Yet nothing has been done. Nothing has even been done at the margins. Cultural leftists have retired from leading positions in the cultural base, and they have been replaced by other cultural leftists. The universities remain one vast Gramscian project. Anyone employed there is tied by what amount to loyalty oaths – and only those are employed who already wish to obey – and is required by law to spy on his students. The BBC sprays leftist propaganda without hindrance. The only question is how many women are employed to spray the propaganda, and how much they should be paid.

The Church ignores preaching the Gospel. It ignores the persecution of Christians here and elsewhere in the world. Instead, it is allowed to consume itself with arguments over the ordination of homosexuals and the solemnisation of marriage between homosexuals. On its days off from talking about sex, it preaches the virtues of an enlarged and centralised state – a state run by cultural leftists. I am not sure how many sees have fallen vacant since 2010, or how many other offices in the ultimate patronage of the Prime Minister. But I am sure not one has been filled by anyone remotely to be described as a conservative.

To say that the Conservatives have lost the cultural war is too kind. To say that they have not fought it is too kind. The truth is that most of them have shown no awareness that there ever was one to fight. Hardly surprising if the matter of how we are to leave the European Union cannot be discussed in the cold monochrome of purely British interests. Of course, there are other problems. These too cannot be properly discussed. If, by some freak of circumstances, they can be properly discussed, no workable solution is allowed to be put into action.

I never expected anything of a Conservative Government, and so I have no right to be disappointed if nothing has been delivered. But I am concerned. The ship of state is going at full steam towards an iceberg, and the crew in charge is made up of those unable to see the mountain that looms before us, and of those who believe that being pitched into ice-cold water is no more than we deserve, or is to their own advantage.

If things go other than very badly, I shall be surprised.


Some thoughts on the Scandinavian and Nordic Utopias

The following thoughts were provoked by Michael Booth's fascinating and enjoyable book 'The Almost Nearly Perfect People - Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia' Vintage, 2015.

The Financial Times used to have a Nordic Correspondent called William Dullforce, which always seemed to me to be rather unfair. Before you even read his reports, an image formed your mind of a blond giant, his frowning face set in profound thought and his hair streaming in an icy wind, wielding a huge hammer as he constructed vast articles which were both boring and forceful. I never met him, so for all I know he was a small, slight man with dark hair, who never hammered anything more weighty than a picture hook. But his articles were not dull, for the Nordic countries are not dull. Like Canada, often idiotically dismissed as boring, these small nations are fascinating and full of interest and unusual things.

In almost every argument about major social issues, the Nordic factor is advanced by one side or the other. I have seen it argued cogently that these countries are successful not because of their high taxes and colossal welfare systems, but because of their smallness, their homogeneity and their consensual societies, and the very high levels of trust which result from this. It is precisely this trust which enables them to demand such high taxes, in the expectation that they will not be thrown away on mad projects ( as ours tend to be).

In fact their economic performance, in many cases, has been damaged by the high-tax model. I think there is something in this, and I also think that recent immigration, especially in Sweden, may be about to change this picture completely. For such a small society, migration at this level (especially since so much of it comes from outside Europe) is surely going to be revolutionary.

The area is also full of political and historical anomalies. World War Two is full of strange moments. While Britain accepted the aid of the horrible Soviet despotism to fight off the threat of the horrible National Socialist tyranny, Finland did roughly the opposite, not-quite-allying with the Third Reich to fend off Stalin. A tone point there were minor hostilities between Finland and Britain as a result, in the far north, which is especially strange given that Britain had come within inches of sending troops to aid Finland against the USSR in 1940.

Sweden, now universally admired as a land of neutrality, social democracy, liberalism, niceness,  peace and brotherhood, discreetly opened its railway system to Hitler in 1940 and later, first to allow him to attack Norway, later to help him in his fight against the USSR. You may well ask what else they could have done, but Norway fought Hitler and Finland fought Stalin, when the odds were terrible. Sweden’s long, cruel  policy of sterilising those it regarded as unfit to reproduce is also pretty horrible.

And Denmark’s strange period as a German-ruled, yet Social Democratic state is one of the strangest kinks in modern European history.

But that’s not really the point of this article, which is about Michael Booth’s fascinating, funny and enlightening book ‘The Almost Nearly Perfect People – behind the myth of the Scandinavian Utopia’.(Vintage Books, £9-99) which I have recently read.

Mr Booth, who is married to a Dane, is a bit of a lefty and so the book isn’t exactly excoriating about the Nordic countries and peoples. I think he may be too kind to Finland’s ceaselessly over-rated schools. But it is knowledgeable, and amusing and often surprising, and he does feel able to criticise these strange societies. I can thoroughly recommend it.

But the reason for this posting is an astonishing passage in his chapter son Sweden, the dominant Nordic country, which he saves to the end. He is very funny about the Swedes, especially an experiment in which he tries to provoke them by behaving in an utterly unSwedish manner in various situations.

But on pages 357 to 360 he produces one of those blinding-light moments that finally link up and solidify long strands of thought. This comes just after a disturbing passage on Sweden’s ugly experiments in the eugenic movement and its inexcusable forced sterilisation of supposedly inferior types, which continued even after World War Two. This is worth breading because in Britain and the USA the embarrassing association of the enlightened left with eugenics is now largely forgotten, or concealed. He quotes a Swedish historian, Ulf Nilson, as saying ‘They really thought that by eliminating the inferior unborn, a cleaner, healthier race would gradually be produced’. Now, of course, we associate such ideas only with the racialist utopians of the Third Reich. But we are mistaken. What else might we be mistaken about?

Well, here it comes. Mr Booth then moves on to nice, Social Democratic Sweden’s’ modern adventures in what some would see as Utopian totalitarianism, its habit of snatching away large numbers of children from homes it disapproves of. He says this was often for ‘spurious, even ideological reasons’. Does this sound at all familiar?

He quotes a Swedish journalist, Brita Sundberg-Weitman , who wrote ‘This is a country where the authorities can forcibly separate a child form its parents to prevent them from giving it a privileged upbringing’.   In Sweden this got very much out of hand in the 1960s and 1970s. There is some evidence that the forcible removal of children from their parents is now ouyt of hand in Britain, too.  Michael Booth, in a very balanced way, complains 1) that modern-day Sweden can be astonishingly hard on a transgender person (read the book to find out how hard, though I am pretty sure this must have been changed by now) and 2) he sympathises with ‘ a Swedish mother [who wants] to stay at home with your young child, but [finds herself] accused of being old-fashioned, a traitor to feminism’.

But here comes the kick to the groin: Michael Booth concludes that Swedish Social Democracy  'was driven by one single, over-arching goal; to sever the traditional, some would say natural, ties between its citizens, be they those that bound children to their parents, workers to their employers, wives to their husbands or the elderly to their families. Instead, individuals were encouraged - mostly by financial incentive or disincentive, but also through legislation, propaganda and social pressure - to ‘take their place in the collective’, as one commentator rather ominously put it, and become dependent on the government’.

But he notes that this can also be truthfully described as liberating Swedish citizens from each other allowing them to become autonomous entities. 

But of course (and this conclusion is mainly me)  they are only autonomous within the embrace of the strong state, which substitutes itself for family, employer and all other social ties, and seizes most of their wealth in return for requiring a loyalty and submission as great as any imposed in feudal times, in return for ‘social protection’. Thus did the peasant whose hovel lay in the shadow of his Lord; castle offer up his fealty in return for safety.

He quotes the Swedish author Henrik Berggren:

‘The Swedish system is best understood not in terms of socialism but in terms of Rousseau…Rousseau was an extreme egalitarian and he really hated any kind of dependence – depending on other people destroyed your integrity, your authenticity – therefore the ideal situation was one where evry citizen was an atom separated form all the other atoms…The Swedish system’s logic is that it is dangerous to be dependent on other people, to be beholden to other people. Even to your family’.

Egalitarianism, the unshakeable dogma of our time, set loose in the 18th century by the French Revolution, and still prowling to and fro, seeking whom it may devour, even now ruining the educations of thousands of children near you, far more enduring and persistent than its close relatives, socialism and communism. Why cannot reasonable conservatism defeat it once and for all?

There’s an interesting mention here of the fact that Germany (probably one of the last socially conservative, pro-family major states in the world, and for how much longer?) funnels its welfare through the family, whereas Sweden's state provides its largesse directly to the individual, bypassing family.

And here was the blinding light. Here was where the stern paternal authoritarianism of modern egalitarianism met the stroppy 'libertarian' individualism of the post-1960s generations. There was no conflict. There was in fact an alliance.

I had a major epiphany in 1990-91, living in Moscow, when I realised that the real profound difference between Soviet life and my own life up till then in the Britain which existed between 1950 and 1990, was that in the USSR the state was ferociously strong and the married family (what was left of it) broken and weak, and that this was deliberate and conscious. The other differences,  in state ownership of the economy and even in personal liberty, were superficial compared with this. In fact, it seemed to me that the state’s demand for mental submission was part of its war on private life and family life, rather than the other way round. Hence my near-obsession with the sinister cult (barely noticed by most foreign visitors to the USSR)  of Pavlik Morozov, the mythical child revered for denouncing his own parents to the secret police.

And when I came, a few years later, to write my book The Abolition of Britain  and several subsequent books on the same general subject, it was this conflict between private life and the married family on one side and the cold, parental all-encompassing state that was the real battle. Who cared about nationalisation or trade unions? This was the issue, the conflict whose outcome would decide all our futures..

And then came the great and growing explosion of popular atheism, and the open surrender of the state to drugtaking. What were all these things about? Why, personal autonomy. Their central slogan was ‘I can do what I like with my own body and nobody can stop me. How dare you tell me what I can do with it?’

The paradox, well understood by Aldous Huxley, is that the person who proudly yells this battle cry also meekly accepts   that in return he must surrender his mind, his privacy and his wealth to the power of the parental state.

In Michael Booth’s book, it all came together in an intentional, deliberate pattern. These things are connected. And it is the absence of the Christian conscience which makes them possible, and which is their enemy and rival. The new all-powerful parental state, the war against the married family, the scorn for conscience, the loud demand for personal autonomy and the rage against those who suggest it is in any way limited by morality or law, are all one cause, reborn in the West since the collapse of the USSR and advancing fast on all fronts.  I saw it in Moscow and after my return from there, but instinctively. As so often, my instincts were right, and it has taken long years for my understanding and knowledge to catch up with them

When I was researching The Abolition of Britain,  I often found that quotations in various books and articles were incredible. How could such and such a person have actually said anything so brutally honest and thus so risky to his or her own cause? So I would nervously track them down to their sources, and was repeatedly amazed to find them accurate. It is one of the great joys of research. The one I was most amazed by, and the one I still wonder about is about the parental state.  As I wrote here some years ago:

‘Still to be found in the archives of The Times for February 1980 is a letter from Helen Brook, who spent much of her life obsessively pressing contraceptives first on unmarried women, then on schoolchildren. The triumph of her creepy beliefs has brought about a pandemic of unwanted pregnancies and abortions, the very things she claimed to be preventing.

‘She let her real aim be known when she wagged her finger warningly at those who dared get in her way, hissing: ‘From birth till death it is now the privilege of the parental State to take major decisions - objective, unemotional, the State weighs up what is best for the child.’

She knew power was on her side.

When, back in 1967, she offered contraceptive 'help' to under-age girls - behind the backs of their parents and their GPs - most normal people viewed her actions as shocking. In 1995 (under a Tory government, of course) she got the CBE. Now her view is the law of the land.’

And next?



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


4 August, 2017

Where have all the good men gone? These sassy, sophisticated, solvent women say they are struggling to find other halves that can measure up

This is an old, old cry from women who have missed the boat in their 20s. They were too fussy for the available men then and somehow think that among the men they rejected in their 20s a Mr Right will be found.  The good catches all got snapped up years ago by realistic women while the fussy ladies were preening themselves -- so good catches are now simply unavailable to them among their own age cohort.  All that is left to them are older and younger men and that is no good either.

The phenomenon starts among women in their 30s so even older women have left it even longer for the good men of their age to be snapped up.  Mostly what is left to them is other women's rejects, which is not a good start.  And being "Sassy" is not a good start, either.  How about being soft and feminine?  That would work a lot better.  As usual, the Bible has advice that works:  "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth". Or their children will, anyhow.

I know of a case where a tall, well-built and friendly young Australian man didn't have to look far for girlfiends.  Young Chinese women knew quality when they saw it and threw themselves at him, saying things like: "I will do anything for you".  Caucasian women were much outmanouvered.  There is a lot of that in Australia.  The Australian population is about 5% Han Chinese: smart people.

One day, however, aged about 27, the man was walking along in the grounds of his elite university and saw a pretty little blue-eyed woman coming towards him.  He stopped and said to her: "Hello.  What's your name?" Not very ceremonious but the woman took one look at him, gulped and said brightly: "I'm Kay". The man then asked her would she like a coffee?  She said Yes and she has got him to this day, some years later.  She was about 21 at the time and clearly knew how to grab her opportunities.  I am pretty sure the ladies below have had opportunities like that but have been too snooty to grab them

Another anecdote: I was at a singles party over 20 years ago and got talking to a woman I knew there.  She said: "Where are all the men?".  I pointed out that there were actually more men than women at the party.  She replied:  "Not THOSE men"! Once again she was too snooty for what was actually available

The problem is an old one but it has been exacerbated by feminism.  Feminists tell the women that they can "have it all".  Very few can, however. There has always been a tendency for a lot of women to overvalue themselves so that was the last advice women needed.

Another foolish thing that older women often do is to judge men by female criteria -- and that comes out below.  Women of all ages pay great attention to their appearance.  And that is wise.  Men do judge women by appearance, despite all that feminists say.  But men are not nearly as appearance-conscious themselves.  Even in their youth they tend to dress for comfort.  If you come across a nattily-dressed Englishman in his mid-30s and mid-40s, he is probably a con-man, a queer or short.  And some of the silly ladies below take all that amiss.  They seek a man who is as appearance-conscious as they are.  They are mostly fishing in an empty pool at that rate.  Wise women accept poorly dressed men and buy them better stuff in the hope that the man will wear it on important occasions

At 48, Jane Townsend is beautiful, independent — and single. She keeps fit, takes great care of her appearance and is looking for a man who is active, in good shape, articulate and emotionally open.

Given her good looks and vivacious nature, eligible suitors must surely be beating a path to her door.

Yet as Jane, from Sheffield, explains, it has been a struggle: ‘The men out there are delusional. I went out with a guy who lied about his age, saying he was 47 when he was 50, who then had the gall to tell me he wanted a younger woman so he, as he put it, “could breed”.

'After my divorce, I gave up my prime dating years to raise my two girls, expecting that when they left home, I’d have time left. But there has been a shift and now the men aren’t there. Where I live it’s hard to find someone cultured unless they’re eating yoghurt, and the men my age all seem to be — well — more than a little overweight.’

Having been matchmaking single men and women for Femail’s Blind Date column for the past six months, I’d like to say Jane’s experiences are the exception, — but what has struck me is just how many attractive women apply who seem to have so much going for them.

They are in great physical shape, living full and interesting lives. Yet finding suitable men for them to date seems to be a heroic challenge.

This has left me wondering why a generation of single, sexy, solvent women just can’t find love. What immediately strikes female mid?life daters — of whom I am one — returning to the dating scene in later life after a marriage or long-term relationship, is the lack of single men.

According to Jo Hemmings, a behavioural psychologist and dating coach, there are an estimated seven new women for every man on the dating scene in the 40-55 age group, so availability is clearly a big issue.

‘I’ve had clients coming to me wondering: “Am I asking too much to find an attractive, independent, solvent guy of my age?” ’ she says.

As she explains, part of the issue is that when divorce strikes, men and women react in different ways. Men’s relationships frequently overlap; they won’t leave one partner until they find another, so they are never really single.

By contrast, women take longer to recover from a break-up. They often step out of the dating ring completely, sometimes for many years, to rebuild their lives or to focus on bringing up children.

‘When they return to dating, it’s really hard for them,’ says Jo. ‘There aren’t as many men because they have a wider pool. Men realise quite quickly that there are far fewer of them than there are women of a similar age. They then date much younger women, creating a huge void in the market.

‘Traditionally women go for men who are their age or slightly older, so they are left wondering where all the men have gone.’

When Jo coaches women on dating, she tells them to accept the reality. ‘It’s just a fact that there is a lack of available decent men,’ she says. ‘It’s tough when you’re looking for love. You have to realise that it’s not about you, it’s just a numbers game.’

But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Men, indoctrinated over generations to pursue younger women, are instinctively reluctant to consider those of a similar age to their own, even ones who look youthful and attractive.

It is something I regularly notice when I set up dates. Men need to open their eyes to the amazing women in their own age bracket.

With the statistics against them, women are motivated to want to look after themselves and make the best of what they have, while there is no incentive for the men to do the same.

Jo says: ‘This generation of men don’t bother to make the effort to represent themselves in an attractive way, even online. Or they just list what they don’t want in a woman and say nothing about themselves — because they can.’

And those men who do make an effort are in a position to be very choosy.

Online dating coach Suzie Parkus, of meetyourmatch.club, observes: ‘A man who has aged well, has a good outlook on life, a joie de vivre about him and who has seemingly done well for himself is very attractive to his peers. However, for the most part he is drawn to younger, sexier, more vibrant models.

‘It has a lot to do with his self-perception in terms of being able to choose who and what he wants in a partner because he has the right to, given that he is in high demand.’

A woman who looks great, feels good about herself and is solvent and independent-minded won’t be drawn to a man who has let himself go, or who may be interested in her but is far too old. So these magnificent midlife daters fall into a void.

And it’s not just about looks — there is a difference in mindset between the sexes too.

As Jane will attest, middle-aged and 50-plus men tend to be set in their ways, less adventurous and less youthful in outlook. They want someone to look after them, while their female counterparts are looking for someone to explore the world and have fun with.

Jane was told by one relationship coach that women her age should go for men 15 years older, making her current dating goal a man aged 63. This is even less appealing, as it is effectively a different generation — and one with very different aspirations. ‘I’ve cared for children and my parents, and I don’t want to care for a man again,’ says Jane, summing up the attitude of many in her situation.

‘Older men are so set in their ways, you almost feel more like a carer than a girlfriend.’

Lucy Verner, 46, is another frustrated midlife dater who has been single since splitting from her husband seven years ago.

‘I found internet dating absolutely awful,’ she says. ‘I live in East Kent and it’s such a small pool. There are exceptions, but on the whole I found the men who made contact were older — and certainly looked older — than me.

‘Men of my age target younger women and I don’t fancy the older men, so it’s a real problem. I’ve stopped looking. Having to get back in the dating market, I focused on getting myself fit again. But many men don’t seem to make the same effort.

‘Online you see selfie pictures they have taken of themselves half-naked in bathrooms or slouching on sofas. Where is the effort in that?

‘Very few men are happy to be by themselves, too. They lurch from one relationship to another, whereas middle-aged women are a lot stronger and more self-assured than they were in the last generation.

‘I have two children and a career to manage and I’m forthright. I think men find women like me intimidating. ‘I want a strong, independent man. Why is that so hard?’

Julia Van Der Wens is 54. She was just 19 years old when she got married, and was with her husband for more than 30 years before he left her 18 months ago.

‘I was devastated, of course, but I made the decision to keep on living my life. I lost weight, started getting into sport and now I look and feel the best I’ve ever been.

‘The problem isn’t the men not liking me, but me not fancying them. I want someone athletic, not pot-bellied. Most of the men I meet seem really unfit.

‘I tried dating websites but two of the men I met were at least ten years older than their photo. Sometimes I think I’m never going to meet anyone.’

Lesley Roberts, 52, was married in her 20s and divorced in her 30s. She did meet someone new, but they split up after a couple of years and she has now been single for two years.

‘Men my age are all up for a pipe and slippers life, and I’m not,’ she says. ‘When I got married my husband was six years older than me, but I wouldn’t take that age gap now because men aged 52 to 60 are boring. They just don’t have any oomph in them.

‘Once they get past 48 they seem to turn into Victor Meldrew, yet women are making an effort and looking great. I just decided that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. I was going grey, so I went blonde.

‘At this stage of my life I need someone who is independent. I’ve set the bar now and I don’t want someone who needs looking after —unless he shows he can look after me first.’

Should middle-aged women just forget men of their own age and date younger ones? Some argue that this is the way forward.

‘Younger men are drawn to older women as much as older men are drawn to younger women. And this is not a new phenomenon,’ says Suzie Parkus. ‘They are drawn to the confidence and life experience of older women, especially those who don’t look their age.

‘This is something I have experienced at first hand, as well as being told it by younger guys when I was matchmaking.’

Laura Hall agrees. Tall, slim and gorgeous, the 42-year-old redhead has been single since her divorce in 2011.

Smart and sassy, Laura has a doctorate in physics and works as an optical engineer, yet she finds the dating sites full of men her age and older who just seem lazy.

‘I prefer younger men now because they are fun, whereas the older ones are boring,’ she says. ‘It’s not even an aesthetic thing but a character thing. I can’t stand the fact that older men really don’t know how to support themselves.

‘I think women have been raised to believe they are winning an amazing prize to get a man, who then has a sense of entitlement — so he puts in no effort whatsoever and always thinks he can get better.’

Yet for many women, dating a much younger man still comes with too much baggage — and again, the playing field is not a level one.

Jane Townsend says she is often approached by men in their 20s.  ‘The last date I went on he was 23 — and he was interesting and articulate and we had lots in common. But society says I shouldn’t be dating men like him.

‘I’m called a cougar — which makes me out to be predatory — yet it’s perfectly acceptable for men to go out with Barbies half their age.’

I know from my experience of talking to women who write in for a blind date how many want a younger man because men of their own age just don’t appeal any more.

Unless men change their attitude to dating women of a similar age to them, and make more effort with their personal care (and most women accept this is unlikely), it is hard to see how the situation can change for these gorgeous women.

But Jo Hemmings says we can still take heart. Her advice is to go online frequently, make the approach, don’t rule out meeting people in real life and be as socially active as you can.

‘Knowledge is power, so get the determination to take charge,’ she says. ‘You’ve got to make the choice to be that one woman in seven. It’s tough but possible.’


How the LGBT Movement Used Fake Science to Push Gay Marriage

I have pointed out on a number of occasions how hokey are the alleged studies of homosexual parenting.  In most of the cases nobody actually talked to the kids concerned -- let alone conducting in depth interviews or recording actual medical data. So it is good to see someone else mentioning it.

While many studies purport to show that being raised by gay parents makes no difference for children, none of these studies meets the basic requirements for robust social science research

In his book “32 Yolks,” Eric Ripert, head chef and owner of Michelin three-starred Le Bernardin in New York City, tells the story of his parents’ divorce when he was 5 years old:

I went from being a happy kid to a kind of pint-sized depressive. From the time I was 5 until I went away to cooking school and for many years after, I was rarely truly happy—just different degrees of sad.

Ripert says that from the moment his parents split up, when he was with his mother, he missed his father; when he was with his father, he missed his mother; when he was with his grandparents, he missed them both.

His parents’ divorce has haunted him his whole life. This is a man who runs one of the most celebrated restaurants in the world. He has his own television show, a wife, and a family; yet his memoir is largely a cry of the heart about his parents’ divorce.

Ask almost any child of divorce and you will hear the same story. Or ask any donor-conceived child—who wonders: “Who is my father? What is he like? Am I like him? Is he like me? Will I ever know him?”

Every child raised without one parent—whether a child of divorce, a donor baby, or someone growing up in a gay or lesbian family—asks, “Where is my father? Will he ever come back for me?” Or, “Where is my mother? Didn’t she ever love me?”

Gay men and lesbians want you to believe that the children they raise do not have these questions. They do not long for their mother or their father—whichever is missing from their lives.

Gay men and lesbians want you to know that the children they raise are just as happy, just as well-adjusted, exactly the same as children raised by their biological mothers and fathers.

Pretending It’s All Pretty

The cynical defense of gay parenting has taken center stage in the national debate about marriage and family. Essential to the argument is the pretense that all lesbians and gays want are cute little houses with white picket fences, Little League games, PTA meetings, and yard sales.

Of course they can be parents—and just as good parents as anyone else. And they have tons of social “science” to show that there is no difference in outcomes between kids raised by two men and kids raised by their biological moms and dads.

The whole discussion is really a sideshow because there simply are not that many gays in America to begin with—as we have seen, there are more Methodists.

Stable gay couples are even more rare, and vanishingly small—in fact, practically nonexistent—is the number of gay couples who raise a child together from babyhood through college. There is hardly a large enough sample to measure.

But that has not stopped the gay advocates, the academy, and the mainstream media from insisting that the science is settled. They maintain there is no difference in outcomes between children raised in gay households and those raised in homes with their own moms and dads.

In fact, the science actually shows that anything less than the gold standard for children—being raised by their married biological mother and father—is detrimental to the child. But that doesn’t stop the advocates from claiming that science is on their side.

An influential 2005 brief produced by the American Psychological Association cited no less than 59 studies in support of the thesis that children raised by gays and lesbians turn out just as well as children raised by their biological mothers and fathers.

In fact, some of the studies claimed lesbian moms are even better. The brief concluded:

In summary, there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth.

In 2015, the Columbia Law School published a paper examining “78 scholarly papers” published since 1985.

Among those that met the law school’s criteria of “adding to knowledge about the wellbeing of children with gay or lesbian parents,” only four of 78 concluded that children raised by gays or lesbians faced any special difficulties.

All the rest concluded that same-sex parenting was fine. And the Columbia paper criticized the four outliers because the children in those studies all came from “broken homes.”

Apparently, the science is settled.

There was even a study out of Australia that concluded children raised by same-sex couples are happier and heathier than their peers. It showed that children of same-sex couples scored higher “on general health and family cohesion.”

On other health issues, such as “emotional behavior and physical functioning, there was no difference compared with children from the general population.”

And of course, the message percolated into the popular press.

In 2009, The New York Times Magazine ran a short piece called “What’s Good for the Kids” that—while it bemoaned the lack of good data to prove it—reiterated what everyone already knows: Gay parenting is just fine.

The writer cited Clark University’s Abbie Goldberg, who assured us in so many words, “These children do just fine.”

Goldberg had just published her own analysis of 100 studies purportedly showing that children raised by lesbians and gays are not markedly different—except in a good way. They are “less conventional and more flexible when it comes to gender roles and assumptions than those raised in more traditional families.”

Little girls raised by lesbians, for instance, are more likely to want to be doctors and lawyers than little girls raised by moms and dads.

In June 2015, two days before the Supreme Court handed down its gay marriage edict, The Washington Post ran a story with the headline “How kids became the strongest argument for same-sex marriage.”

Built on Bias

But while in any conversation about gay parenting, you will hear that science shows us there is no difference—the science is settled—as a matter of fact, none of the studies that purport to show that there is no difference between the two groups of children meets the basic requirements for robust social science research.

The “scientific” findings that advocates and the pro-gay media cite tend to come from convenience samples. That is, these are “studies” on subjects that have not been gathered randomly.

Instead, they’re done on decidedly unrepresentative samples that have been collected from places like bulletin boards at gay parenting support groups, where everyone has an interest in proving that gay parenting is a success.

Moreover, even if the samples were not put together for the convenience of the campaign to normalize homosexual parenting, the numbers are inevitably tiny, so that the findings cannot be projected accurately to larger populations.

Even worse, these “no differences” studies tend to interview the parents rather than the kids. It is inevitable that gay parents are going to say their kids are doing just fine—particularly if they know that it is their own gay parenting that is being measured.


Macron Denounces Anti-Zionism as ‘Reinvented Form of Anti-Semitism’

Standing at a site from which thousands of French Jews were sent to their deaths during the Holocaust, President Emmanuel Macron of France on Sunday deplored his nation’s wartime role in abetting murder and pledged to fight a renewed tide of anti-Semitism.

Joined by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, as well as Holocaust survivors, the Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld and others, Mr. Macron commemorated the 75th anniversary of a roundup of Jews at the Vélodrome d’Hiver, or Vel d’Hiv, a Paris stadium.

“It was indeed France that organized” the roundup of 13,000 people at the stadium on July 16 and 17, 1942, he said. “Not a single German” was directly involved.

Some 77,000 French Jews died in Nazi concentration camps or extermination camps before the end of World War II, the vast majority of them at Auschwitz-Birkenau in occupied Poland.

For decades, many French have held on to the idea that their ancestors had been either victims or resisters of Nazis, or of the collaborationist regime that was set up in Vichy, France.

President François Mitterrand, who worked as a low-level Vichy administrator before joining the Resistance, declared in 1992 that “the French state was the Vichy regime, it was not the Republic.” He argued, as his predecessors had, that the only legitimate representatives of France were in exile with Gen. Charles de Gaulle, who ran the wartime Resistance from London.

Ending decades of equivocation, President Jacques Chirac formally admitted France’s collective responsibility for wartime crimes, declaring in 1995: “the criminal folly of the occupiers was seconded by the French, by the French state.”


Australian Native Title Act benefits nobody

Author: Ron Manners

To anyone who assumed that the Native Title Act was designed to ‘assist our Aboriginals’, think again. Like most legislation there was much going on behind the scenes that only became obvious after the economic damage was done. To be sufficiently informed to indulge in discussion on this topic there are two books that give insightful background:

    The beginnings and original strategy is outlined in – Red Over Black by Geoff McDonald, and for $10, including postage, you can order a copy here.

    The Fabrication of Aboriginal History Vols 1, 2 & 3, meticulously written by academic Mr Keith Windschuttle – more details here.

Personally, having attended school with young Aboriginals, then providing foster care and later enjoying many prospecting partnerships with Aboriginals during my 65 years on Western Australia’s Goldfields, I’m probably closer to their strengths and weaknesses than many metropolitan armchair observers. Additionally I was a close personal friend of Sir Ronald Wilson who, many years before his knighthood and becoming the author of the ‘stolen generation’ report Bringing Them Home, had extended his friendship and kindness to me.

Native title filesAlso, in Kalgoorlie for seven years, I enjoyed the role of finding guest speakers for the Kalgoorlie Rotary Club’s weekly meetings and on November 21, 1983, I arranged for Mr Geoff McDonald to travel from Melbourne to be our guest speaker. Geoff McDonald had been an organizer for the Communist Party of Australia and had some alarming stories of the Communist Party’s plan to ‘divide’ Australia, in line with their strategies for many other countries. He delivered an intensely interesting story but most of the attendees felt that his scenario for ‘Aboriginal land rights’ were closer to science fiction than reality.

This was my start in collecting material to see if this nightmare scenario would come true; with ‘claimants’ holding projects to ransom at enormous cost to our nation. The developing situation was summarized by me on pages 104 – 107 in my 2009 book, Heroic Misadventures (free e-book download here).

 "In 1979 I purchased a block of land in Hong Kong. I still have the title, headed ‘Document of Land Ownership’ (below), and it certifies quite clearly that: "Ron Manners, the above named honourable person, is a purchaser of a square centimeter of land in the British Colony of Hong Kong entitled under this document." It was purchased from China Square Inch Land Ltd.

Now let me compare that with an application in Western Australia for an Exploration Licence, Prospecting Licence or a Mining Lease. Neither these applications nor the China Land Title give me useful access or rights.

The essential difference is that when I purchased the square centimeter of Hong Kong land I knew it was a joke, simply a clever tourist gimmick and I never had any expectations of claiming the rights to my so called ‘title’, for which I paid very little. However, with the Mineral Tenement Application, that was different. I paid good money with the expectation I could proceed to explore and produce.

The scandal which confronts us now is that any of us applying for a mineral tenement would be lucky to live long enough to go through the various procedures that will give us the access, when in the past we could simply "get on with our job".

I despair at the outcome (or lack of any outcome) of what is mistakenly called Native Title. Australian Aboriginals do not have any title as a result of this and, simultaneously, the system of mining titles that previously gave good title is now severely diminished.

The Act was not well thought through and is poorly drafted. With all due respect to our High Court and Parliamentary scribes, I’m amazed how they can have had so much knowledge, but so little wisdom. Since the High Court judgements, property rights have not only been reallocated without compensation for people’s losses but, worse from an economic perspective, they have been stripped of any useful function—destroyed!

What is called Native Title is inalienable, and therefore cannot be sold or mortgaged. Native Title is unclear as to:


    geographic extent

    rights that it confers

It is of almost no use to the Aboriginal people and an absolute nightmare to investors who must steer clear of uncertainty. It has cost our nation around $60-$90 billion in lost production, lost opportunities and lost employment and gives Aboriginals no rights whatsoever other than to hold projects up.

Let’s think for a while just what momentum and excitement Australia’s mining industry could develop under the rule of law and some form of property rights, where we could quickly drill a few holes on exploration tenements.

No-one wants to talk about the land access problems that plague Australia and have caused so many Australians to seek employment overseas. These are people whom we desperately need to tempt back home.

I raised the question of the badly drafted Native Title Act with our Deputy Prime Minister at a public meeting in October, 2001 and, as someone said later: I didn’t realize that politicians could run so fast!"


(1) Native Title "lost opportunity" cost between $60-$90 billion. A figure of $30 billion was the estimated opportunity cost of the Native Title legislation in its reduction in the value of mining projects, quoted in a paper delivered to the Securities Institute Seminar on Native Title in Perth on June 4, 1996 by, Coopers & Lybrand Partner, Wayne Lonergan (now at Lonergan Edwards & Associates). In delivering the paper Mr Lonergan said, "this is not a comment about the underlying social policy—it is a comment on a tragic and unnecessary waste of money." Only a fraction of this lost value will flow to successful Native Title Claimants. Most of the lost value simply disappears because of the statutory time delays and the increase in risk created by the Native Title Act. I have extrapolated his 1996 figure of $30 billion through to 2004 as "between $60 – $90 billion" for the following reasons:

    Although my extensive files trace the development of Native Title since July 1977, the effects of the Native Title Act were only starting to make themselves felt in 1996 and opportunity costs have compounded since then. No other detailed study of this nature has been conducted since 1996, to my knowledge, simply because it would not be regarded as politically correct to identify such lost opportunity costs to our nation. (Perhaps we need a study to identify the opportunity costs of ‘political correctness’).


So, in conclusion, let me state that it will take a better actuary than me to pick up the 2009 figure of $90 billion in lost opportunity costs for the nation and to extrapolate that right through to 2017 and I hope that someone will take on this challenge. Writing this, short piece, on this long saga reminded me of my May 19, 1999 interview in Kalgoorlie with Swiss National TV involving a respected Aboriginal elder.

I asked him how he felt about being one of the ‘stolen generation’. He replied, with a smile:     "Ron, I wasn’t stolen; I was rescued."



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


3 August, 2017

The destruction of all values has left the way open for Trump

Trump ignores all values but his own.  He is constantly treading on the toes of the Leftist establishment. But who is responsible for that? If "there is no such thing as right and wrong" how can anything Trump does be wrong?  The Left have been hoist with their own petard (blown up by their own bomb).  Liberals dismissed civic values as jingoistic so Trump is not bound by them and is free to rewrite them

‘A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

It was almost too much of a gift, wasn’t it? When the Boy Scouts of America held a 40,000-strong jamboree and asked the president to give the keynote speech, most of elite America tuned in hoping for some fun. They would have settled for jejune gags and perhaps for some of that mission statement to be dishonoured.

What they got, though, was the full madness of King Donald, who took his jousting routine to rural West Virginia and proved that he could cause jaws to drop there, too.

Everything about the speech struck America’s elite as awful. It was overtly political. It was boastful. It was cruel, including a wildly inappropriate story of a property mogul Trump had known who “failed badly” and who cut a sad and lonely figure at a party “with all the hottest people in New York”.

In West Virginia the “hottest people” are simply those who wear the most clothes in summer. No wonder that, within days, the Boy Scouts of America apologised for “the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree”. Yes, it was quite a week for smart, elite, anti-Trump America. The trashing of the American political system and the social norms that underpin it has come to pass.

One in six think it might be all right for the army to take over
But if Trump is a nightmare and his courtiers worse, then who are the morons? Are they not the electors, the wider nation? And in particular those members of the bipartisan elite that used to run America but on whose watch its civic virtues fell from favour? Some Americans have been remembering fondly the time when civics was taught in schools. It was a part of every education until the late 1960s: the values of volunteering, the way the constitution worked, a sense of pride in the whole glue of being American.

This century has seen civics teaching wither even further. The effects range from the mundane, with surveys suggesting that only a third of Americans can name all three branches of government, to the more worrying: according to the World Values Survey, one in six Americans think it might be all right for the army to take over, up from one in 16 in 1995.

Once, when I lived in America, my young son leant towards me on a bus and pointed out that the driver was black. It seemed an odd thing for him to notice or care about. So what, I said. “Well,” he said, “black people are at the front of the bus because they used not to be allowed and now they have the right and they drive all of them.”

His misreading of the Rosa Parks story was, at that stage, pretty much his only teaching on Being American. Where once he would have learnt about the separation of powers and glories of the constitution, the focus was now on conflict, injustice, the righting of historical wrongs. I was at home writing books about how wonderful America could still be, while my son went to school and was taught how awful it could be.

No decent person can deny the injustices committed by Americans in the past. But in their haste to banish the jingoism of civics, the educational establishment has thrown out baby and bathwater. The awful truth is dawning on thoughtful Americans: that the trashing of norms of behaviour by this president has been enabled by well-meaning but naive liberals who thought those norms were not worth teaching in class.

The split over civics has mirrored the wider cultural chasm that opened up as confident, progressive, self-satisfied wealthy Americans began to take off and leave the rest behind. Who needed to know about the petty civic virtues of the United States, the rules and regulations and traditions, when there was gay marriage to fight for, or transgender rights? The answer has come back to bite the trendies hard.


Can a Conservative Conduct an Orchestra?

Dennis Prager

Most Americans are at least somewhat aware of what is happening at American (and European) universities with regard to conservative speakers. Universities disinvite conservative speakers, never invite them or allow the violent (or threatened violent) prevention of them. No non-left-wing idea should be permitted on campus.

But we may have hit a new low.

Let me explain.

For years, I have been conducting symphony orchestras in Southern California. I have conducted the Brentwood-Westwood, Glendale and West Los Angeles Symphony Orchestras, the Pasadena Lyric Opera and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. I have studied classical music since high school, when I first began playing piano and studying orchestral scores.

I conduct orchestras because I love making music. But I also do so because I want to help raise funds for local orchestras (I have never been paid to conduct) and I want to expose as many people to classical music as possible.

After I conduct a symphony, I then conduct select parts of the piece in order to show the audience what various sections of the orchestra are doing. After that, I walk around the orchestra with a microphone and interview some of the musicians. Everyone seems to love it.

After intermission, the permanent and professional conductor conducts his orchestra in another symphony.

About half a year ago, the conductor of the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra, Guido Lamell, who is also a longtime member of the violin section of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, asked me whether I would be interested in conducting his orchestra. I said yes even before he added the punchline -- at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

For those not up to date on concert halls, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which opened less than 15 years ago, is one of the preeminent concert halls of the world. Being invited to conduct a superb orchestra at that hall is one of the great honors of my life.

However, about a month ago, a few members of the orchestra, supported by some Santa Monica city officials, decided to lead a campaign to have me disinvited.

As I said, this is a new low for the illiberal left: It is not enough to prevent conservatives from speaking; it is now necessary to prevent conservatives from appearing even when not speaking. Conservatives should not even be allowed to make music.

To its great credit, the board of directors of the orchestra, composed of individuals of all political outlooks, has completely stood by its conductor and his invitation to me.

But the attempt to cancel me continues. It is being organized by three members of the orchestra, each of whom has refused to play that night. Readers will not be surprised to learn that two of the three organizers are college professors. Michael Chwe is a professor of political science at UCLA, and Andrew Apter is a professor of history at UCLA.

In an open letter to the symphony's members posted on the Slipped Disc website, the three wrote, "A concert with Dennis Prager would normalize hatred and bigotry."

One example of my hatred and bigotry includes my belief that in giving a child over for adoption, adoption agencies should prefer a married man and woman before singles and same-sex couples. Another -- my favorite -- is my having said that if there is no God, ethics are subjective, which will offend atheist members of the orchestra.

These are the types of academics who are giving universities their reputation for illiberal closed-mindedness -- which not only ruins the universities as educational institutions but also hurts them financially. The New York Times recently published an article on how many alumni are no longer donating money to the colleges they attended because of the war on diverse thought on their campuses.

Now they want to do to orchestras what they have done to universities.

I hereby extend an invitation to Chwe and Apter to come on my radio show to explain to my listeners why my conservative positions render me a hateful bigot and explain why people with conservative views should not be allowed to conduct classical music. I hope they accept -- people will then be able to assess who is and who isn't a hater.

Not to be outdone by these professors, a former mayor of Santa Monica and current council member, Kevin McKeown, was quoted on Slipped Disk as saying: "I personally will most certainly not be attending a concert featuring a bigoted hate-monger. The judgement (or lack of) shown in inviting Prager may affect future community support for the Symphony."

However, there are other voices. The Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole does not agree with the former mayor. "This City supports the arts," he said when asked by the Santa Monica Lookout whether the symphony's invitation presented difficulties. "It appears that Dennis Prager supports the arts. The City, in funding a season of musical performances, does not choose what music is played or who plays it at any particular concert."

I have devoted this column to this subject to expose the latest attempt of anti-liberal leftists -- the real haters -- to shut conservatives out of every form of intellectual and artistic endeavor.

Another reason is to ask readers in Southern California to attend the concert. Here is a rare opportunity to combine a terrific evening (especially if you've never attended a classical concert) in one of the world's greatest concert halls with a chance to defeat the illiberal left. The more people who attend on Aug. 16, the greater the message that music must transcend political differences. And it rewards the Santa Monica Symphony board and conductor for their moral courage.

I will be conducting Haydn's Symphony No. 51. Like Haydn, I think music is one of those few things that can bring people together. Clearly, not everyone agrees.


10 States Ready Legal Action to Undo Obama Amnesty for ‘Dreamers’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials from other states speak with reporters April 18, 2016, after oral arguments in their court case opposing President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. (Photo: Jaff Malet Photography/Newscom)
A lawsuit by states seeking to end protected status for children whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally could spare President Donald Trump from personally halting the Obama administration program.

“DACA is an unlawful program that must be phased out,” @AGRutledge says.

Or, immigration experts say, such litigation could force Democrats in Congress to bargain on stricter enforcement of immigration law.

Last month, 10 state attorneys general, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, wrote U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for the Trump administration to end a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The program shields from deportation those who were minors when their parents brought them to the country illegally, a population their advocates call “dreamers.”

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 1.4 million DACA requests were accepted.

The state attorneys general have filed a lawsuit, but are willing to drop it if the Trump administration acts.

“There is no way around it: DACA is an unlawful program that must be phased out,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who signed the letter, told The Daily Signal in a prepared statement.

“I am not asking the government to remove any person currently covered by DACA or for the administration to rescind DACA permits that have already been issued—this is about upholding the rule of law,” Rutledge said. “Even former President Obama acknowledged many times that he did not have authority to unilaterally grant this type of legal status to over 1 million aliens.”

Justice Department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam confirmed to The Daily Signal that the department received the letter but declined further comment.

Besides Paxton, those signing the letter to Sessions include the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter also signed.

In 2012, while President Barack Obama was running for re-election, his Department of Homeland Security adopted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

In 2014, Obama expanded protection from deportation to the parents of illegal immigrants with Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA.

After states sued, courts rejected DAPA, asserting the executive branch doesn’t have the solitary power to grant legal status.

In June, citing the rulings, Trump’s Homeland Security secretary, John Kelly, revoked the 2014 memo authorizing DAPA. But the agency said at the time that DACA would remain in effect.

The Supreme Court deadlocked on DAPA in 2016, leaving in effect a U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding an injunction that blocked the policy.

“If DAPA is illegal, then DACA is illegal,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Signal. “But dreamers are the most sympathetic group of illegals. This would involve taking something away. So, you would have a string of sob stories in the media, which would be Pulitzer bait.”

However, if the Trump administration simply allows a case against DACA to move forward, the courts likely would strike down the program, alleviating it from political blame, Krikorian said.

He said it also might force Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to reach a deal for tougher enforcement of immigration laws in exchange for the Trump administration’s agreeing to provide protection from deportation for the “dreamers.”

“The administration might hope the courts will decide for them and they can say, ‘Our hands are tied,’” Krikorian said.

“If Texas and the other states sue, and [DACA is] struck down and is about to turn into a pumpkin, [Trump] might be able to pressure Schumer to pass E-Verify and end chain migration.”

Under the E-Verify system, now voluntary, employers electronically check the legal status of immigrant workers. Many conservatives hope to make it mandatory.

Chain migration is a term used to describe a policy of keeping immigrant families together by giving reference to the relatives of those already here in allowing individuals to enter the country. Trump and others back a merit-based system based on what skills and education an immigrant can bring.

Paxton organized the letter to Sessions signed by himself and his counterparts, who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit that challenged DAPA, the program protecting parents of illegal immigrants.

The letter states that DACA is illegal for the same reason of executive overreach, and that if the Trump administration makes corrections by Sept. 5, the attorneys general will dismiss their lawsuit against that program in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The letter says, in part:

The original 2012 DACA program covers over 1 million otherwise unlawfully present aliens … And just like DAPA, DACA unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization … and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress. … We respectfully request that the secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program.

A lawsuit would force the Trump administration to act, said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

“If a lawsuit were filed, then DOJ would be put in the awkward position of defending the Obama program or eliminating it in response to the lawsuit,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal.

The letter is a needed reminder to the Justice Department that the DACA program is also unlawful, he said:

The administration has a constitutional obligation to terminate the DACA program, a program providing government benefits for illegal aliens that was not only not authorized under federal immigration law, but actually violated the law. This administration should not allow the unlawful actions of the prior administration to continue.

Illegal immigrants protected under DACA are allowed to get a Social Security card and, in many states, a driver’s license. Although “dreamers” can’t access direct federal financial assistance for college, they are eligible to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which opens up opportunities under certain state and private grants and loans.

The 10 state attorneys general are “egging the federal government on to be more cruel and heartless,” said Naomi Tsu, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, a progressive legal group known for labeling its political opponents as “hate groups.”

“The letter requests that the Department of Justice revoke protections for immigrant youth and begin targeting for deportation these young people who have grown up as Americans,” Tsu said in a prepared statement. “These attacks will prevent children, many of whom know no other home, from working legally and reaching their full potential. If the Trump administration follows through on this request, they will be responsible for further pushing immigrant communities underground, making communities less safe, less prosperous, and more divided.”

Although the letter from the state attorneys general mentions the Department of Homeland Security, DHS spokesman David Lapan referred The Daily Signal to the Justice Department.

The program is not likely to survive a court challenge, said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

“If it went to the Supreme Court, it would be ruled unconstitutional,” Mehlman said of DACA in a phone interview with The Daily Signal. “Our expectation was that DACA was just going to lapse. It wasn’t our expectations these people would be rounded up and deported. But they would revert back to their previous status.”

For Idaho Attorney General Lawrence G. Wasden, the letter is about separation of powers under the U.S. Constitution.

“This is part of my office’s ongoing efforts to encourage the federal government to respect the separation of powers,” Wasden said in a prepared statement, adding:

These [Obama administration] directives were the equivalent of legislating by executive order. My signature on this letter is not about targeting immigrant families. Rather, it is consistent with my objection to legislative executive orders as well as encouragement to Congress to fulfill its constitutional responsibility and address these pressing issues


Political commentator slams Waleed Aly as 'unhinged' after  Aly claims Australian Government has 'over-hyped the threat of terrorism'

An amusing example of Leftists telling only half the story.  Aly says that immigration and multiculturalism used to be celebrated in Australia but are now considered a threat.  Not a whisper about WHY it is now considered a threat. It wouldn't be experience of Muslim atrocities and violent crime, would it?

Political commentator and author Gerard Henderson has slammed Waleed Aly's comments about immigration and terrorism as 'unhinged'.

The Project host Waleed Aly wrote a piece for The New York Times on Thursday titled 'Immigration as a security threat' in which he said Australia 'over-hyped the threat of terrorism'.

Aly called Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull 'extremely weak' and slammed his plan to create a super ministry of Home Affairs to combat terrorism.

Appearing on Andrew Bolt's The Bolt Report on Tuesday, Gerard Henderson rubbished Aly's take on the system.

'I've had a look at Waleed Aly's piece, and for Dr Aly to say that Malcolm Turnbull has debased immigration in Australia to an American and international audience, is completely false,' he said.

'The idea that the prime minister, because he renames a department is debasing immigration, is just a total fallacy.  '[It's] demeaning of the country.

'From a man who holds a doctorate of philosophy and teaches students at Monash University and has a number of programs on the ABC and Channel 10, this is sort of unhinged commentary.'

In his piece for the New York Times on Thursday Waleed Aly detailed Australia's apparent morphing perception of immigration.

He said immigration and multiculturalism used to be celebrated but was now considered a 'threat to be managed'. 

Waleed Aly also claimed Australia was inflating the threat of terror to tighten immigration.

'Every now and then you get the impression that Australia is desperate to be under grave threat,' he said.

'Turnbull last week announced the creation of a super ministry, choosing as his backdrop a mix of military equipment and soldiers wearing gas masks. 'It was a shocking yet predictable moment because it seemed like a sudden escalation for Mr Turnbull who was once a critic of Mr Abbott's tendency to over-hype the threat of terrorism.'



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


2 August, 2017

A Stable Father Prevents the Early Onset of Puberty(?)

Connor Murphy presents below an article that I am broadly sympathetic to but the social scientist in me causes me to have reservations.  He fails to consider that pervasively influential variable:  IQ.  Many people are aware that a high IQ leads to greater educational success but far fewer are aware that it also goes with better health and longer life.

So:  There is no doubt that there is a tendency for girls to mature physically rather earlier than they used to.  There is quite a lot of estrogen or estrogen mimics in modern processed foods so that is really no surprise.  The food freaks are in a constant state of uproar about phytoestrogens, BPAs and the rest in our food. They even warn us that you can get BPAs out of babies' bottles.

But Mr Murphy has other ideas.  He thinks that stress is the culprit.  It may of course be involved but the evidence he adduces for the claim is ambiguous.  He says:

“Boys who grow up in hardship are more than four times as at risk of starting puberty aged 10 than those who grow up in safer, wealthier households. And girls who grow up disadvantaged are twice as likely to start puberty early than others.”

But hardship families are very likely to be low IQ families and low IQs are associated with early maturation. American blacks, for instance, arrive at full growth about two years earlier than whites.  And chimpanzee infants go on to reach maturity as early as 8 years of age. So on balance stress has nothing to do with the tendency observed. The tendency is inborn.

Let us go on. Mr Murphy believes that the presence or absence of the father impacts female maturation:

“On average, a girl whose father divorces or separates from her mother and leaves the family home before she is 10 comes into puberty five months earlier than a girl from an intact family."

But absent fathers are by far commonest at the lowest end of the socio-economic scale.  And that is also the low end of the IQ range.  So again we most probaly have an IQ effect.  The finding can parsimoniously be explained by reference to IQ.  Both the absent father and the earlier maturation are explained by one underlying factor:  IQ

Mr. Murphy then goes on to associate the greatly increased divorce rate with earlier maturation.  But he offers no evidence to that effect. Living with a divorced single mother could well be less stressful that living in an unhappy family where parents are hostile to one-another.  Divorce is normally undertaken as the lesser evil and maybe it is in general.

So I share Mr Murphy's concerns and agree that girls benefit from a good relationship with their fathers but I doubt that he has established that.  On purely observational grounds, however, I have recently argued in favour of a similar view

The cult of modernity requires its adherents to believe that civilisation is on a linear upward path of progress and improvement. Coming to harsh conclusions about the degeneracy and sickness of our epoch is not allowed, despite the evidence of steep decline in core facets of existence like social cohesion, happiness, education, health, relationships, fertility rates, wages and governance.

Every now and then though the commissars of thought in the press make a mistake and accidentally report reality without a view to subversion, normally because they don’t realise the ramifications of what they are reporting on.

The Sydney Morning Herald recently published an extract from a book entitled “The New Puberty” by Amanda Dunn, under the title “Something is happening to our kids, and it’s time we talked about it”. The subtitle was “We are seeing a major shift in the development of children, particularly girls. We cannot afford to ignore it and hope it will go away”.

The extract observes that children, and particularly girls, are reaching puberty earlier. The main cause that the extract discusses is childhood obesity, i.e. previous generations did not have calorie surpluses like children do now, therefore the body is effectively receiving calories at such a rate that it “believes” it has the raw materials to begin the adolescent growth and transformation process and therefore does so earlier. In addition, the evidence indicates that menarche has also gotten earlier due to better nutrition as well, i.e. the additional calories are signalling to the body that it now has the availability of resources to create a baby.

Another article from the Herald observed that there was a clear socio-economic and stress link:

“Boys who grow up in hardship are more than four times as at risk of starting puberty aged 10 than those who grow up in safer, wealthier households. And girls who grow up disadvantaged are twice as likely to start puberty early than others.”

The findings suggest that early-onset puberty may be an evolutionary response to trauma and struggle. “When we are raised in sub-optimal living conditions that means we have a higher risk of premature death,” associate professor Sun said. “That means maybe we will die before we’re successfully reproductive, so we would choose an adaptive strategy to mature earlier, to have our first baby earlier, and maybe we could have more kids to ensure our genes transfer to the next generation.”

This was all logical to me so far, the body is responding to stimulus (more calories and/or stress) and reacting in a manner best suited to achieving Darwinian success by passing on its genes. The thing that piqued my interest though, is that while it is well established and acknowledged that our diets are more calorie intensive and that childhood obesity is a problem nowadays, I don’t seem to recall it being as widely acknowledged that modern childhood is significantly worse or sub-optimal, and much interest in analysis of why that is the case.

Let us start with the potential causes of these more stressful childhoods that we are allowed to discuss. Most people will concede that childhood may be more stressful nowadays due to social media and hyper-sexualisation via fashion and popular culture, but these forces are not unstoppable forces of nature. Children are exposed to social media and hyper-sexualisation because adults are choosing to let them be exposed to it. We could choose not to to expose them if we were so inclined. Given the consequences of early puberty, perhaps we should be inclined, “entering puberty young (before 11) correlates with a host of problems, from teenage pregnancy to depression. Only 2% of those who do so go on to enter higher education, regardless of their parents’ IQ and educational level.”

Another major societal change is the large increase in divorce and single mother households. Now this is an area you are allowed to talk about as long as we don’t attribute blame to anyone or to particular social movements:

“On average, a girl whose father divorces or separates from her mother and leaves the family home before she is 10 comes into puberty five months earlier than a girl from an intact family. But the impact of fathers is not limited to whether they are physically present. In intact families, girls reach puberty later if they have a positive rather than a negative relationship with their father; the more he is involved in her upbringing, the later she will have her first period. If the father is absent through illness or work rather than as a result of divorce or separation, the girl’s pubertal age is unaffected. Interestingly, too, an absent mother or a girl’s quality of relationship with her, does not affect the point at which she comes into puberty.”

The end of that quote bordered a little bit on thoughtcrime by implying that a father has a role to play that cannot be filled by a mother, but lets press on:

“Overall, the enormous increase in the divorce rate and in single-parent households since 1960 seems very likely to have played a major role in the decreasing age of puberty. However, it is not clear precisely why an absent or emotionally unengaged father should trigger earlier puberty. The strongest clue comes from the fact that if the father leaves the family home before the girl is six, she is twice as likely to have early first periods and four times more likely to start sex early. It suggests that the disruption to the mother, a lack of cash and all the other problems that go with single parenthood, probably make the girl more likely to be emotionally needy and to be eager to be able to use sexual allure as soon as possible to make people love her. The more times a girl’s family environment changes (with the mother taking new partners) in childhood, the greater the risk of early puberty. If there are three or more new partners, a girl is five times more likely to have a teenage pregnancy.”

Hmmm it might not be clear to the author of that piece why an absent or emotionally unengaged father might be a trigger, but it stands to reason that children are consciously and subconsciously aware if they are under the care and protection of an adult male, i.e. a patriarch. When they know they are not, they are more stressed as a result.


More and more young people feel entitled

We see once again the wisdom of the Christian teachings of humility and gratitude

Research has discovered that large amounts of young people are developing an entitlement complex. The psychological trend comes from the belief that you are superior to others and are more deserving of certain things.

This form of narcissism has some significant consequences such as disappointment and a tendency to lash out.

Pschology Today reports that some examples of entitlement range from the disregard of rules, freeloading, causing inconveniences and like to assume the role of leader when working in groups.

So called Millennials, who were born roughly between 1988 and 1994, tend to have this characteristic as a 2016 study found.

The University of Hampshire found that youngsters who were studied on issues of entitlement scored 25 percent higher than people aged 40 to 60 and 50 per cent higher than those over that age bracket.

Dr Joshua Grubbs, who conducted the research, which was published in the Psychological Bulletin is quoted by Spring as saying: "At extreme levels, entitlement is a toxic narcissistic trait, repeatedly exposing people to the risk of feeling frustrated, unhappy and disappointed with life"

Often times, life, health, ageing and the social world don’t treat us as well as we’d like.

Confronting these limitations is especially threatening to an entitled person because it violates their worldview of self-superiority.

The study looked at 170 cases and determined that entitlement leads to a cycle of disappointment, anger, negativity and a constant need for that person to tell themselves that they are special.

Professor Julie Exline, who was also involved in the study added that this system only creates more issues and can lead to problems with other people. The entire mindset pits someone against other people.

When people think that they should have everything they want — often for nothing — it comes at the cost of relationships with others and, ultimately, their own happiness

In order to break from this mentality experts believe that an individuals should learn to become more humble, more grateful and accept their limitations.

Psychology Today also offers some other alternatives to solving the problem.

These including retrospectively reflecting on annoying incidents from someone else's perspective, promote others achievements and stop justifying things to yourself that are wrong.


Elizabeth Warren Again Calls for ‘Equal Pay,’ Ignores Pay Gap in Own Office

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) spoke out on the issue of gender pay equality in a speech on Thursday without noting the equal pay shortcomings in her own senate office, where women earned a fraction of what was earned by men in 2016.

In an address to liberal activists of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Warren said that she is continually reminded on Capitol Hill that she needs to push equal pay.

"Boy, do they keep reminding me about this on Capitol Hill the need to say this," Warren said on Thursday. "We believe in equal pay for equal work."

Warren fell silent on the issue of equal pay after the Washington Free Beacon reported in April that women earned just 71 cents for each dollar earned by men. She notably failed to acknowledge Equal Pay Day this year, separating herself from every other female Democratic senator and most males as well.

Equal Pay Day was used by the Massachusetts senator in previous years to give strong statements demanding legislation to help alleviate the gender pay gap. In 2016, she called Equal Pay Day a "national day of embarrassment" and pledged to continue her "fight" until the pay gap was erased.

The significant pay gap in Warren's office—the median female salary was more than $20,000 less than the median male salary—was due largely to the fact that the top salaries went to men.

Only one woman employed for the entirety of 2016 made six figures, and five men made more than she did.

Warren's office did not respond at the time to requests for comment on its gender pay gap or on its decision to ignore Equal Pay Day after the report. It did, however, unsuccessfully attempt to discount the report by feeding flawed data to the Huffington Post, a liberal blog.

Warren is one of the candidates supported by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which sells baby onesies that say, "I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of American Politics" for $25. It also sells a Warren-themed comic book titled Female Force for $6.

A spokesperson for Warren's Senate office noted that she also brought up equal pay at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention last month.

Warren has been criticized for citing the gender pay gap as proof of sexism, given that many other factors are at play besides gender and that her own office has a significant gap.

"We can’t just aggregate the decisions of millions of workers, split them by sex, and infer gender discrimination," wrote the New Hampshire Union Leader editorial board. "Otherwise, we would have to conclude that Elizabeth Warren is sexist."


The Growing Fight Over Forcing Nonprofits to Disclose Donors

Conservatives in states across the country say that pushes to pass laws requiring nonprofits to report their donors’ private information threaten First Amendment rights.

“I’ve been contacted by dozens of constituents with concerns over their rights to privacy, and possible harassment by organizations or individuals, or even their employers, if their donation histories are made public,” Oklahoma state Rep. Mark Lepak, a Republican, told The Daily Signal in an email.

At least a dozen states have considered such donor disclosure legislation this year, but none has been successful, according to the State Policy Network, a nonprofit organization that supports independent think tanks around the nation.

“Since Jan. 1, 16 states have considered laws that would require causes and groups like The Heritage Foundation to report the names and addresses of their supporters to state government,” Tracie Sharp, president and CEO of the State Policy Network, said in an email to The Daily Signal.

Heritage, a leading conservative think tank, is the parent organization of The Daily Signal, its multimedia news operation.

None of these donor disclosure initiatives has passed so far, Starlee Coleman, senior policy adviser at the State Policy Network, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

“There is a coalition of groups that have been extremely active in trying to defeat these laws, so they are not just failing on their own,” Coleman said. “They are failing from a lot of work from nonprofit organizations coming together to defeat them.”

Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla Firefox, is a perfect example of the harm that donor disclosure laws can cause, Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder said.

“If anyone doubts that the donors can be intimidated and harmed when left-wing groups get a hold of their names, just ask Brendan Eich,” Onder, a Republican, said in a phone interview with The Daily Signal.

Political opponents forced Eich out of his job in 2014 after disclosure of his donation to a ballot initiative in California to preserve the state’s definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“He had [made] a thousand-dollar donation to Proposition 8, which was the California marriage amendment, and he ended up having to step down as CEO of one of our top tech companies in the world because of the left’s intimidation,” Onder said. 

In Oklahoma, state legislators this year considered legislation requiring donor disclosure for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, a move Lepak says would impinge on constitutional rights.

“I have my own concerns,” said Lepak, who represents Rogers County in the northeastern part of Oklahoma. “We have a right to free speech, and today, we see acts of violence against those with whom we disagree, the well-publicized events on many college campuses being a prime example, and more recently, the shootings at the congressional baseball practice [outside] Washington, D.C.”

But state Rep. Jason Murphey, a Republican who represents Logan County in central Oklahoma, sponsored donor disclosure legislation in the House. Oklahoma state Sen. Anthony Sykes sponsored the bill in the Senate.

“I don’t think there were a series of groups behind this bill,” Murphey told The Daily Signal in an email. “I think that Sen. Sykes was exploring methods for more campaign transparency in response to issues arising from last fall’s Oklahoma ballot initiatives.”

South Dakota House Speaker Mark Mickelson, a Republican who represents the southeastern part of the state, also supports donor disclosure laws.

“That’s the point of this bill,” said Mickelson, who introduced the legislation in the House. “Why are you afraid to have your name associated with your ideas?”

Two states known for their donor disclosure laws are California and New York.

Both states “require nonprofits to violate the privacy of their supporters,” Matt Nese, director of external relations at the Center for Competitive Politics, an organization dedicated to defending First Amendment rights, told The Daily Signal in an email.

However, Nese said it is difficult to know how widespread the push for donor disclosure is.

“It’s hard to quantify the exact number of states that have laws on the books requiring nonprofits to report the private information—names, home addresses, and, in some cases, occupations, and employers—of their supporters to the government for publication in a permanent, searchable, online database,” Nese said.

Onder, who represents a portion of St. Charles County in Missouri, says citizens are aware that donor disclosure laws infringe on their right to privacy.

“Well, I think the public understand free speech rights and the First Amendment and the possibility of organizations having their donors intimidated,” Onder told The Daily Signal.

Onder said he helped stop the donor disclosure push in Missouri.

State Sen. Rob Schaaf, a Republican, offered legislation that would require nonprofits to disclose donors, he said. 

“I led the floor fight against that, and I didn’t really filibuster. I just offered a series of amendments, one of which would have protected donor privacy, and when [Schaaf] saw that my amendment was likely to pass, he just pulled back his bill and that was the end of his efforts,” Onder said.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that he doesn’t think donor disclosure laws are necessary:

That to me is a violation of the First Amendment, there’s no reason for that. You don’t have to know who the donors are to the National Rifle Association or Planned Parenthood or the Sierra Club to make your own judgment as individuals about what their message is [and] whether it is credible.

Missouri state Sen. Ed Emery, a Republican who represents the western counties of Barton, Bates, Cass, Henry, and Vernon, says liberal activists and politicians are using donor disclosure to advance their political agenda.

“Political candidates have long been required in Missouri to disclose donors, because transparency is good for the political process,” Emery told The Daily Signal in an email, adding:

More recently, however, radical leftists have begun to use that information for aggression. Rather than it being a means to stay informed and advocate for or against the candidate or the issue, they have begun to attack the donor in order to limit or prohibit their free expression.

Once that began, donors had to either suffer the consequences of the attacks, stop donating, … or find a way to continue to support candidates and issues without becoming someone’s mortal enemy.

Donor disclosure limits individuals’ privacy rights, Amy Kjose Anderson, director of civil justice at the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonpartisan organization for state legislators who favor limited government, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

“Privacy is for individuals,” Anderson said. “You can hear the term transparency and think, ‘That’s always good,’ but it is important to know that transparency is the tool by which the people hold our government responsible.”

Transparency shouldn’t be used to intimidate or silence donors to particular causes, she said.



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

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

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


1 August, 2017

Equal pay for equal work?

No tsank you! As Harry Lauder used to say

Most people seem to agree with the big feminist claim that there should be equal pay for equal work.  Even a non-feminist could see it as mere justice.  And it may indeed be just but is it never going to be usual.  The good old law of supply and demand tells us that it will often not happen.  And that law is one that nobody has succeeded in repealing, though many have tried

Let's do a mental experiment:  What say I am that rare being, a fair-minded feminist.  I object when females are under-represented in various jobs  -- as as all feminists do. But being fair and consistent I also object when men are under-represented in mainstream jobs such as nursing and teaching grade school.  So I agitate for more male nurses and teachers of the young.  And it only takes a moment to make a good case for both those occupations getting more males in them

So how do I achieve my goal of "balance"?  Women are the ones who are normally attracted to such jobs so I have to do something radical to achieve that.  We could of course put a quota on women being employed in those occupations but that would mean staff shortages.  No.  There is only one way to attract more men to such jobs:  Pay them more.  You would need to pay them more than women currently get to achieve balance.  So fly way equal pay for equal work!

The example I have given is unrealistic.  I have never heard of a fair-minded feminist. But there are many real situations like that. If a job is a difficult and unattractive one and it is mostly men who are found to be good at that job, it is those excelling male workers who will be paid top dollar to keep them.  Women in the job will be paid less because they achieve less 

The job market follows the normal rules of a market.  Rare things (skills) attract more money.  So there could be six different people -- male and female -- all trying to achieve the same thing but getting different results and therefore different pay.

Excellence will always be rewarded and there is no guarantee that excellence will be equally distributed between males and females.  So it's only in very easy jobs -- such as a government clerk -- that equal pay between men and women can be reasonably expected -- JR.

An Australian citizen named Khalil Eideh was barred from entering the USA

Had I been a U.S. immigration officer I might have blocked him too.  Muslims must face up to the fact that constant Muslim attacks on us have made all Muslims suspicious

Victoria's premier says Labor MP Khalil Eideh didn't deserve to be barred from entering the United States, adding there has still been no explanation from authorities.

The upper house MP was on a study tour with fellow politicians in Vancouver, Canada when he was rejected from a flight to Denver on Friday, despite having a valid visa organised through the Australian government.

"It's completely out of step with the person that I know, an outstanding Victorian, a very important part of my team and someone who did not deserve to be treated that way," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Monday.


Research isn't tainted just because industry picks up the tab

by Jeff Jacoby

THIS FALL, the National Institutes of Health will launch a major study to determine whether regular consumption of alcohol helps prevent heart attacks. The clinical trial will comprise nearly 8,000 participants, recruited from 16 sites in North and South America, Europe, and Africa. The volunteers will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: Those in the first group will have one drink each day, while those in the other group abstain. This enormous study will come with an enormous price tag: more than $100 million.

If you're like me, news of the planned NIH study may make you wonder: Does the world really need another investigation of alcohol's health benefits? If you're like The New York Times, on the other hand, you wonder how a study funded largely by Big Alcohol can avoid being biased.

Over the years, there have been innumerable studies on this topic. Most have found that moderate drinking is linked to fewer occurrences of heart attack, ischemic stroke, and death from heart disease. The medical journal BMJ published just such a study in March. It concluded that drinking in moderation — one to two alcoholic beverages per day — "is associated with a lower risk of ... several but not all cardiovascular diseases." For eight common heart ailments, both non-drinkers and heavy drinkers were at greater risk than moderate drinkers. In short, having a little alcohol tends to be good for you; having too much or none at all tends to be bad.

Last week, a study published in Health Affairs came to a related finding. Analyzing data on 14,000 older Americans, researchers from the University of Michigan and from the Max Planck Institute in Germany determined (in UPI's paraphrase) "that individuals who consumed alcohol in moderation lived seven more years than the general population." According to Harvard's Chan School of Public Health, more than 100 longitudinal studies have reached comparable conclusions: A drink or two a day can be just what the doctor ordered, and "the effect is fairly consistent, corresponding to a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction in risk."

So why the new NIH study? Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, says it will be the first in which researchers monitor health effects that develop during the trial. Consequently, says Koob, interest in this study will range "from the World Health Organization to the beverage companies ... to regular American citizens."

The Times has a different interest. It reports that nearly two-thirds of the study's hefty tab is being picked up by five leading beverage manufacturers — Anheuser-Busch, Heineken, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, and Carlsberg. They have committed $67.7 million to a foundation that raises money for the National Institutes of Health, causing "concern among researchers who track influence-peddling in science."

But is there any good reason for industry funding to be inherently suspect? There is no indication that the corporate donors will have any involvement in the design or conduct of the study. The project's principal investigator, Harvard Medical School Professor Kenneth Mukamal, told the Times he hadn't even known about the companies' backing. "This isn't anything other than a good old-fashioned NIH trial," he said. "We have had literally no contact with anyone in the alcohol industry in the planning of this." Gemma Hart, an Anheuser-Busch vice president, concurs: "We have no role in the study. We will learn the outcome of the study when everybody else does."

Of course it is wise to be wary of conflicts of interest; when corruption in research is discovered, it should be publicized and penalized. But "industry" and "corrupt" are not remotely synonymous. Business is indispensable to scientific exploration and employment. It is no more logical to automatically distrust research funded by industry than to distrust research funded by government, advocacy groups, or opinionated philanthropists. Research is expensive and someone has to pay for it. Chase away a major source of scientific funding, and the result will be less research.

Scientific progress doesn't depend on eliminating preconceived notions or institutional predilections. It depends on testing hypotheses, and replicating earlier research. Industry dollars can and do underwrite excellent science, including when it comes to alcohol. The best system? Keep the funding transparent, and let the NIH do its work.


Palestinians Can't Make it any Clearer: There is no Peace Option

As violence erupted in Jerusalem over stepped up security measures there, Westerners all too willing to support Palestinians regardless of their actions contrary to maintaining peace were given another opportunity to see why such support is misplaced. It is misplaced, that is, if one truly seeks peace in the region.

Whenever violent disputes arise, several critical steps occur. First, obviously, is determining what triggered the incident; second is implementing measures to prevent re-occurrence; and third is holding accountable those responsible for triggering the violence.

The most recent violence in Jerusalem occurred while Muslims, Jews and foreign tourists visited the al-Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount compound. Because the site holds great historical significance to three Abrahamic religions, it has long provided a flashpoint for violence.

To protect all visitors, Israeli police provide security. On Friday, July 14, three Israeli-Arab citizens emerged from the mosque, armed with a machine gun and knives. They attacked and killed two police officers before they themselves were killed.

An immediate investigation revealed the attackers had smuggled the weapons into the compound and quietly entered the mosque since visitors were not searched at entry points.

Accordingly, making the compound safe for all future visitors demanded Israeli authorities immediately undertake step 2 - implement measures to prevent such attacks from re-occurring. For the first time since 1969, the mosque was closed down for two days as security measures, involving the installation of metal detectors and additional camera surveillance, were affected.

However, when the mosque was re-opened, Palestinians refused to enter the compound with the new security measures in place - measures they viewed as an exercise in control over them, despite the fact all visitors must undergo the process. Palestinians opted to remain outside the entry gates to pray and protest.

Rather than work with the Israelis to contain possible violence by explaining to their people the reason for the temporary closure and implementation of additional security measures, the Palestinian National Authority (PA) fanned the flames of protest by criticizing Israeli actions. Doing so gave imams additional fuel to incite protests - and retribution against innocent Israelis.

A week after the mosque attack, thousands of Palestinians were demonstrating. Tensions mounted around the city. Violence erupted, and four Palestinians were shot dead.

One young Palestinian man, Omar al-Abed, 19, acting on the imams' mandate for violence, entered the Israeli village of Neve Tsuf on the evening of July 22. Looking for a target of opportunity, he observed lights and ongoing festivities at a home. There, the Saloman family was celebrating the birth of their child. Their dinner was interrupted by a knock on the door. Upon answering it, Abed rushed in, armed with a knife. Stabbing away wildly at family members, he killed three as others managed to escape to a safe room.

Before leaving his home to launch the attack, Abed had made his intentions known on his Facebook page. He had written, "I know that with Allah my dreams will come true," adding, "I will go to heaven."

Other attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians have followed.

Concerning this latest violence, which with PA assistance was avoidable, pro-Palestinian supporters need do some serious reflection. They might wish to ponder the following:

    Unsurprisingly, despite the Temple Mount attack, the PA focuses the spotlight on Palestinian discontent with the mosque closure and new security measures as the reason for violence.
There was nothing unreasonable about Israel's actions in temporarily closing the mosque long enough to implement security measures aimed at preventing future attacks for all visitors to undergo.

    Why do Israelis need "safe rooms" while in Palestinian homes such rooms are virtually unheard of? The former exist to avoid attackers; where the latter exist, they are to avoid arrest for having conducted an attack.

    PA President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to terminate security cooperation with Israel unless the metal detectors were removed. But why would anyone oppose increased security measures seeking to protect all visitors - unless those opposed recognized it is not their security at risk?

    While Palestinians complain access to the mosque was denied, it was only for two days after the attack - which pales in comparison to access denied Israelis, for the first time in Jewish history, for almost two decades from 1948 to 1967.

    After the 1967 Six Day war and Israel's victory, it magnanimously allowed control over what is considered Judaism's holiest site to continue under the authority of a Jordanian Waqf - an Islamic religious trust. While the waqf is Jordanian, it falls under the control of the grand muftiship of Jerusalem, which is under PA control. Thus, it was an almost inconceivable act of goodwill by Israel to agree to this arrangement for which there is yet to be reciprocation by the PA.

    While Abbas has condemned the Temple Mount attack, the PA will reward the Palestinian attacker's family. The PA's "Pay-for-Slay Program" will probably earn Abed's family a monthly stipend of $3,200, most likely funded by Western donations - not bad as the average Palestinian's monthly income is about $1,800. Undoubtedly very happy with this pay-off, Abed's mother has praised her son's attack.

    Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour refused to condemn Abed's act of butchery, informing reporters, "Do not expect all Palestinians to be angels." Mansour apparently lacked sufficient compassion even to condemn the actions of one who was not an "angel."

To reduce tensions, the U.S. proposed Israel replace the metal detectors with hand-held scanners. Monday night, the detectors were removed and an improved camera system, rather than scanners, installed.

Even this concession is proving insufficient as Palestinians now demand removal of all post-July14 security improvements. They seek a return to the pre-July 14 status quo - one making a future Temple Mount attack highly likely.

There should be no doubt, however, as between the Palestinians and the Israelis, who seeks peace and who does not.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here



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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

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

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

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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