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, 2018

The ABC experience on the big screen

ABC can mean American born Chinese or Australian born Chinese.  Because of the large similarities between America and Australia, The experience of the Chinese people concerned will be very similar as between the two countries.

Australia has only one large minority and it is the Han, people from the major race in China.  Almost all overseas Chinese are Han so whether they come to Australia from any part of the world (Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.) they will for that reason also have similar experiences in Australia. 

My son and I and some of my friends are all Sinophiles.  We see the Han as good and admirable people.  So I was both sad and glad about the story below:  Sad because the Han in Australia feel not fully accepted and glad that a movie did such a lot to alleviate that feeling.  I certainly would support more use of Han actors in Western world movies if it enables good people to feel more accepted.

I note that Hollywood often includes black actors in usually unrepresentative roles so surely Han people in realistic roles is not too much to expect.  With the commercial success of the movie below we may finally see that.

A small point of interest: As I have pointed out previously, there are a lot of partnerships in Australia between young Han women and Caucasian Australian young men. But you rarely see their progeny around.  Why?  Because Eurasians tend to have eyes that are not obviously Asian.  Their eyes are of a shape that falls  within the Caucasian range.  So a lot of the "Caucasians" you see about the place are actually half Chinese!  And since they also behave in a way that falls well within the Caucasian range, they should feel different only because they choose to, not because of any differential treatment by others

As one instance of that see below a picture of a recent "Miss Australia" winner, Francesca Hung.  She is half Chinese but that is not at all obvious

Wenlei Ma

WHEN I was younger, I loved to argue, which led to people asking why I didn’t become a lawyer.

I’d tell them I hated legal studies in high school. But what I left out of that answer is the other part, the part where my dad said to me years earlier, that it would be hard for an Asian woman in Australia to be a successful lawyer. That stuck with me.

It wasn’t a case of bad parenting — he never told me not to do something I wanted to and I was far too obstinate to listen even if he had. And I would never have had the discipline to make it through law school — when lawyers talk now, I start slipping into a microsleep.

What it was, and still is for many migrant families, is that sense of never quite belonging to the culture you live in, of never being comfortable enough to stick your head up and make yourself a target.

That has as much to do with how you see yourself as how others see you.

Growing up in Australia, I didn’t see myself on screen very often — it pretty much started and ended with Lee Lin Chin.

If you don’t see yourself represented in popular culture, you feel invalidated, consciously or subconsciously, and that’s regardless of whether a customer in Myer says to your face, “Asians are so cheap,” when you wouldn’t give her a free coat hanger (true story) — she’s getting pissy demanding a free coat hanger but sure, I’m the cheap one.

Desperate to fit in, to “assimilate” like so many other migrant kids, I set out to suppress my cultural background, never self-selecting as different, hoping no one will notice I wasn’t “one of them”. I was actually proud of being bad at maths because it meant I defied a stereotype.

That’s why Crazy Rich Asians is such a landmark movie for people like me — it gives us a sense of being seen, of being heard, of being mattered.

The multitude of Asian faces in a Hollywood movie isn’t something I’ve ever seen in a film before on a big screen in Australia, not since The Joy Luck Club, and 25 years is a long time to wait.


Starring Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh and Henry Golding, the movie tells the story of Rachel Chu, an Asian-American woman who visits Singapore with her boyfriend, who happens to come from one of the richest families on the glitzy island.

The existence of a Hollywood-funded high-profile movie starring a cast of actors with Asian heritage, telling the story of an Asian-American immigrant is so significant. Ever since its American release, the internet has been swamped with personal stories of viewers crying in the theatre out of happiness, of feeling emboldened to reclaim their heritage.

“A lot of us internalise not being represented and we render ourselves invisible,” Constance Wu says over the phone from LA where the actor has resumed production on her sitcom, Fresh Off The Boat. “But by centring a major Hollywood movie around this experience, it sends the message that your story is worth telling, you’re not there to support everybody else’s story, you can have your own.

“I hope Asian-Americans and Asian-Australians, wherever, start to really take some pride and ownership of their stories because they’re great stories.”

Wu says it is important to stress the difference between Asian experiences and the experiences of the Asian diaspora across the world.

“I’ve had many people tell me, ‘My whole life, people assumed my culture was like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and it’s not,’” Wu says. “Not that there’s anything wrong with Chinese culture but it feels a little off when someone is telling you what your identity should be and it doesn’t fit.

“That’s why it’s such a relief to find a story that does sort of reflect your experience. Rachel is very American but she has Chinese roots and it’s the struggle between both of those elements which forms her identity.”

Even though the book the film is based on is more preoccupied with designer labels, flash cars and shiny baubles, the movie cleverly focuses on Rachel’s journey and the relationships she has with boyfriend Nick (Golding), friend Peik Lin (Awkwafina), Nick’s mother Eleanor (Yeoh) and her own mother Kerry (Tan Kheng Hua). The narrative choice grounds what could’ve been a fanciful tale, and makes it relatable.

Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu tells me: “Rachel’s journey felt very personal — an Asian-American going to Asia for the first time, and that could be anyone going to their ‘homeland’ for the first time, has this experience of going there and being seduced by scenes of food and people who look and talk like you.

“They welcome you as their family but they see you as different, you’re not a part of them. Then you come home with these two different identities and you feel the pressure to choose. That, for me, was the movie. It wasn’t about crazy rich Asians, it was Rachel’s journey, coming to grips with her own self-worth.”

Like Wu, Chu is an American-born second-generation immigrant whose parents hail from Asia, his from China and Taiwan, hers from Taiwan. Previously, he’s worked on movies that haven’t dealt with his heritage, most notably two Step Up films and Now You See Me 2.


For Chu and many of the cast, it was the first time they had been on a set full of people who looked like them.

Along with local Singaporean and Malaysian actors, its main cast came from all over the world: Golding, Gemma Chan, Jing Lusi and Sonoya Mizuno from the UK, Wu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Jimmy O. Yang, Nico Santos and Lisa Lu from the US and even Ronny Chieng, Chris Pang and Remy Hii from Australia.

“We all implicitly understood each other,” Wu says. “You could just mention one thing about an audition and what kind of character they described and none of us had to explain the rest of the story because everyone on the movie got it, they’ve experienced it.

“Community is important because it makes you fearless, because you have a groundswell of support.”

For Melbourne-born Chris Pang, the cast became family. “We were instantly bonded together by the background of our history growing up,” he tells me. “As an Asian growing up outside of Asia we all share the same experience. We all share this desire to change the landscape and be part of a conversation. It’s a responsibility and if you’ve got the power to change it, you should.”

For Chu, working with Asians from all over the world also facilitated a kind of dialogue that enhanced the script as he was filming.

“We listened to each other. We took time and didn’t just bypass something because we didn’t understand it — it was a safe spot to talk about those things.

“With Constance, there was a line in the book about how her character Rachel says she didn’t date Asian guys. It’s funny in the book and there’s a context to it. But in the movie, it’s a throwaway one-liner, and it was in the script and she called me and said, ‘I don’t feel comfortable about this joke.’

“I said it was just a joke and it’s beloved in the book and fans will be upset if we cut it. And then I read it and was, ‘Oh, you’re right.’ And that’s the kind of conversation you can have when you have people involved who can call it out.”


Of course, with a movie like Crazy Rich Asians with the kind of hype, marketing and expectations it has, it’s not going to be without controversy. By being visible as a vehicle for Asian representation in the West, it’s come under criticism for not being diverse enough of the pan-Asian experience, a continent that stretches from East Timor and Indonesia in the south to Pakistan in the west to Mongolia in the north.

When the film premiered in Singapore, local critics slammed it for not being inclusive of all Singaporeans, especially the non-ethnic Chinese who make up almost a quarter of the population there.

That the movie is somehow expected to represent billions of people is unrealistic, but it also demonstrates how much Asian audiences in the West were crying out for this movie. When one movie finally comes along, everyone wants it to be part of their experience and is inevitably let down when it isn’t.

The commercial success of Crazy Rich Asians is proof movies don’t have to anchored by the same old crew to make money. When it opened number one in the US, it became the first rom-com in three years to make more than $US20 million ($A27 million) that first weekend.

It’s already raked in $US76 million ($A104 million) at the American box office over two weeks. Most significantly, its second week was almost as successful as its first, tallying only a 6 per cent drop in takings. For comparison, blockbusters typically drop more than 50 per cent on the second weekend.

But strong word-of-mouth has carried Crazy Rich Asians and while Asian-Americans made up almost 40 per cent of its first weekend audiences, non-Asian viewers were packing it in by week two.

The movie’s studio Warner Bros (Crazy Rich Asians is distributed in Australia by Roadshow) has already greenlit a sequel, presumably to be based on the second book of Kevin Kwan’s trilogy.

Commercial viability is often cited as the reason why Hollywood won’t gamble big on movies that don’t have caucasian stars, though Black Panther with its $US1.3 billion ($A1.8 billion) global box office has certainly blown a hole in that argument.

“Crazy Rich Asians is another example of diversity being a commercial success,” Pang says. “There have been so many examples recently and it paints a clear picture that audiences want something new. They don’t want the same thing over and over again.

“There are communities out there that want to be included and represented. There’s a hunger there and if you’re not paying attention to that hole in the market, then that’s a bad financial decision.”

Best known for playing Lee in Tomorrow When The War Began and as Arban in Marco Polo, Pang moved from Melbourne to LA five years ago because he didn’t think a career as an actor in Australia would be sustainable.

“Australia has stepped up its diversity game since I’ve been gone and all these shows have come out. There are a lot more opportunities now than when I left but there’s still a long way to go.”

Here, while the ABC and SBS have launched a slew of projects starring Asian faces including Benjamin Law’s The Family Law, Ronny Chieng: International Student and Anh Do’s Anh’s Brush With Fame, you’d still be hard-pressed to find Australians of Asian heritage on commercial free-to-air TV outside of MasterChef or other talent-based reality TV shows.

A 2016 Screen Australia report into diversity on screen found that people with non-European backgrounds (namely Asian and Middle Eastern Australians) made up only 7 per cent of characters on Australian drama series, compared to 17 per cent of the actual population.

Pang is capitalising on the momentum created by Crazy Rich Asians and producing his own film, Empty By Design, which has just finished filming in Manila.

“It’s my way of taking the next step. I don’t want to rely on other people to come up with the next project.”


The reactions to Crazy Rich Asians have left the cast and their director pretty emotional. “It’s very moving to be part of something that means something to people,” Wu says. “I can’t even believe it. I feel so lucky.”

Lots of actors say they feel lucky to be involved with something but for Wu, when she says she’s feeling emotional, it’s genuine, there’s a hint of her voice breaking over the phone. It’s personal — she has real skin in the game.

And that’s why this movie is resonating so deeply. Because it touches at our very sense of self.

“Cultural identity is a difficult task to come to terms with whatever your nationality or background is,” Pang says. “It just makes it that much harder when you never see your own image. It gives you a complex and I know all my friends and peers have dealt with that in some way or other.

“When you’re growing up, you don’t know what’s right or wrong, you just know what is, and that you don’t see yourself represented so you feel like you don’t measure up, you feel lesser and that should never be something people feel, it’s outside of your control and it’s unfair.”

Overwhelmingly, those involved in the making of Crazy Rich Asians and those who have seen it feel a sense of hope — hope that it’s changing, that more stories like this will make it to screens both big and small.

Yeoh, who has worked on both sides of the Pacific in her native Malaysia, in big-budget Western movies including Tomorrow Never Dies and on TV as a starship captain in Star Trek: Discovery, tells me: “This is one of big early steps and I hope the steps will turn into sweeping strides.

“I think in the past, we didn’t speak out because we thought, ‘OK, to integrate into society, let’s just keep our heads down and do the right thing’ and people have had enough of not being proud of their heritage, not being able to share it.

“We have learnt to embrace our differences and our cultures and that’s what Crazy Rich Asians is touching on. Tradition and culture is important to each person, whether they’re Asian or African-American or of Latin descent or whatever it is. That will always be a part of your identity and you should be proud of it.”

Chu is already set to direct the sequel and with the glow of commercial success attached to this project, there’s no going back.

“We’re here. Our stories are going to be heard,” Chu says. “All the world’s eyes on us and it’s a rare opportunity to make a statement like this, for people to show up and make their voices known.”


The Royal family keep traditional British country pursuits alive

As a boy of 11, Prince Charles wrote breathlessly to his much-loved ‘honorary grandfather’, Earl Mountbatten, of his growing love for blood sports.

‘I have been having great fun shooting lately,’ he said. ‘Yesterday I got 23 pheasants and today I got ten and a partridge, a moorhen and a hare.’

He was, by then, already something of an old hand. From the age of eight, he had been allowed to accompany ‘the guns’ on shooting parties, walking with the beaters, listening to their conversations and learning the ways of the countryside.

While timid and withdrawn in many other areas, the young Charles was at home in the outdoors. He did not recoil from the sound of gunfire, nor from the death throes of a downed stag. As for Balmoral, where life for the Royal Family revolves around guns, stalking and fishing, there was nowhere else he would rather be.

So when it emerged this week that the Prince’s grandson, five-year-old Prince George, had attended his first grouse shoot on the heather-clad hills above the Queen’s Scottish summer retreat, it was the clearest sign of the passing of a royal tradition from one generation to another.

It was, after all, how George’s father Prince William had been introduced to the sport. William was just four when Charles and Princess Diana took him to his first shoot on the muddy fields of the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

As a teenager, William was deluged with complaints from anti-fieldsports campaigners after he brought down his first stag with a single shot, prompting the late Labour MP Tony Banks to brand it ‘disgusting’ that a 14-year-old boy was indulging in ‘blood lust’.

But, even allowing for such hyperbole, shooting has, for years, polarised opinion in Britain.

Prince Philip — who, in his younger days, was dubbed the ‘trigger happy prince’ — has never been allowed to escape the furore after he shot a tiger on an official visit to India, even though it was at a time when big-game shooting was both legal and an important part of fraternal diplomacy.

For the royals, of course, shooting is rooted in understanding the countryside and the delicate balance that is best protected by active management of the land. That means culling deer and hunting game. Without that, a lot of our countryside would fall into decay and disuse. In time, Prince George, a king-in-waiting, will come to learn about that balance, as both his father and grandfather did as young men.

When a short-trousered Prince of Wales took to the landscape around Balmoral, the gamekeepers and ghillies discovered in the young Charles not only a willing student, but a shared enthusiasm. It was also the one place where he got to spend time with his parents, riding out with his mother and accompanying his father on his shoots.

At nine, Charles shot his first grouse. A year later, Philip had taken him on his first duck- hunting expedition to Hickling on the Norfolk Broads. He was already a promising shot, having downed an elusive woodcock, when, aged 13, he bagged his first stag. It provoked uproar — as William’s did 35 years later — with letters in the Press attacking the royals.

While still a boy, Charles became adept at ‘bleeding’ and cleaning the carcass of a deer, before dragging it to a pony that would carry it down from the hillside.

William got his shooting eye potting rabbits on the Highgrove estate, before graduating to a 20-bore shotgun to shoot pheasants. To celebrate his admission to the University of St Andrews, Charles purchased a handmade sporting rifle for his son. The .243 calibre weapon was designed for a skilled shot. Left-handed William had already proved his ability with his first stalking kill on the Spittal at the western end of Loch Muick during a stay with the Queen Mother at her Birkhall home.


Hungary and Italy launch anti-migration plan and vow to 'exclude socialists and the left' in a bid to change the way the EU is tackling the crisis

This is a big step forward.  The Eastern European countries of the EU also oppose immgration from outside Europe but tend to be dismissed as "backward, due to their history of Soviet domination.  But Italy is not in that class and was one of the founding members of the EU.  And no-one can dismiss Italy as uncivilized  or unimportant

Hungary and Italy has launched an anti-migration manifesto with the aim of 'excluding socialists and the left' in next year's European parliament elections.

Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Italy's hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has vowed to work together to try to push for a more hardline approach to immigration within the EU.

The pair cemented their political ties in talks in Milan today, where hundreds gathered to protest their right-wing policies.  

'We agreed that the most important issue is migration,' Orban said, praising his own and Salvini's restricted approach on allowing asylum seekers into their respective countries.

Orban praised far-right Salvini was his 'hero' and claimed that 'the security of Europe depends on his success.'

Salvini said they were working to create a future alliance 'that excludes socialists and the left, that brings back to the center the values and identity' that their respective political parties represent. He said: 'We are near a historic change on a continental level.'

EU countries are expected to go to the polls in May, and Salvini has aligned himself with the right-wing 'Visegrad' countries: the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria and Hungary.

Salvini's meeting with Orban came shortly after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's more low-key summit with his Czech counterpart Andrej Babis, which also focused on migration.

'At the heart of the talks between the two prime ministers was a safer and fairer Europe as a common objective to work towards ... beginning with the key issues for European citizens: the fight against illegal migration, growth and work, and socio-economic stability,' a government statement said.

Salvini has repeatedly shot barbs at the EU ver immigration, accusing the bloc of having abandoned Italy as it struggles to deal with the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have arrived on its shores since 2013.

His antagonistic stance has drawn support from key figures of Europe's hard-right including Marine Le Pen and Orban, and critique from the centre and left, including French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron has sharply criticised countries who refuse to cooperate on migration saying those who benefit from the EU but 'claim national self-interest when it comes to the issue of migrants' should have sanctions imposed on them.

Tuesday's meeting in Milan came just days after Italy's latest standoff with Brussels over immigration, which led to scores of migrants being held on a coastguard boat moored in Sicily for days until a relocation deal was struck enabling them to disembark on Sunday.

Salvini said he would continue to refuse NGO ships with migrants access to Italian ports, and brushed off an investigation into 'abduction' launched against him by prosecutors in Sicily. 'They won't make me take one step backwards,' he said.

Orban told reporters that he would not allow migrants to enter Hungary, and insisted that help should be 'taken to where people are in trouble, rather than bring trouble to us'. 'We need a new European Commission that is committed to defence of Europe's borders,' he said.

Migration is a hot-button issue in Italy. According to a study carried out by research body Instituto Cattaneo, 70 per cent of Italians believe that the percentage of non-EU immigrants among Italy's population of 60.5 million is nearly four times that recorded by Eurostat - seven percent as of the start of 2017.

Salvini's meeting with fellow hardliner Orban has exposed fractures in Italy's ruling coalition, which joins Salvini's League with the populist Five Star Movement.

His fellow Deputy PM and Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio has stood alongside Salvini in opposition to Europe's handling of migration from Libya.

Last week he threatened to pull Italy's EU budget contributions if more help didn't arrive and backed Salvini as he waited for nearly a week before allowing 140 migrants to disembark a coastguard ship docked at the Sicilian port of Catania.

But Five Star includes within its broad political ranks a left-wing faction uncomfortable with the party's alliance with Salvini.

Di Maio blasted Orban on Monday for putting up 'barbed-wire barriers' and refusing to do his part to help with migrants.

'As far as I'm concerned countries that refuse allocation of migrants should not be entitled to European funding,' Di Maio said in an interview in daily La Stampa.


Military finally drops charges against chaplain accused of anti-gay discrimination

In a surprising win for religious freedom in the military, the Army is finally letting a chaplain off the hook for refusing to violate his conscience and facilitate a marriage retreat for same-sex couples.

Scott Squires is a chaplain in Fort Bragg, N.C. As part of his job he conducted marriage retreats for couples called "Strong Bonds," but several months ago he declined to conduct a marriage retreat for same-sex couples. He believed this would violate his religious beliefs. Like all chaplains, Squires must follow the guidelines his endorsing agency establishes. In this case, his agency (the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention) forbid its chaplains from facilitating marriage retreats that include same-sex couples, due to their core religious beliefs.

Despite his refusal, Squires made sure another chaplain could help the soldier who wanted to be involved in this particular retreat. Still, the Army vowed to investigate and he was to face disciplinary action on the basis of sexual discrimination, if such discrimination was proven. Originally, an Army investigator recommended that Squires be found guilty of "dereliction of duty," a court martial offense that could result in prison time.

Last week, the Army announced that it has rejected the findings of an investigation and will abandon charges of "dereliction of duty" for Squires and his assistant, SSG Kacie Griffin. In a statement, Mike Berry, Deputy General Counsel and Director of Military Affairs to First Liberty, the firm that represented Squires, said, "The United States military is no place for anti-religious hostility against its own military chaplains. Chaplains like Scott Squires assistant Kacie Griffin do not have to give up their First Amendment rights in order to serve their fellow soldiers."

It’s unfortunate that members of the military, who fight to ensure our country’s liberties remain intact--and the chaplains who aid in this effort, of encouraging and preserving the spiritual and mental health of members of the military--even have to face discrimination charges when they’re only practicing their faith. Cases like this, and the investigation that followed, demonstrate a waste of funds and resources in the name of political correctness.

It’s imperative that the military and its resources remain focused on the task at hand – defending this country, here and abroad – rather than concern itself with whether a chaplain is discriminating against someone else’s right to a marriage retreat in violation of his own conscience. These issues are not only a distraction from the purpose of the military but a frivolous effort that cloaks political correctness in discrimination and requires members of faith to violate their conscience for another’s demands.


Australia: 'Would they do this if he was Muslim?' Public broadcaster is slammed for using taxpayer dollars to mock Prime Minister's Christian faith in comedy show

The ABC has been slammed after its comedy show Tonightly with Tom Ballard targeted new Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Christian faith.

The skit, performed on Monday night by comedians Bridie Connell and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd, tried to connect the nation's refugee policy to Mr Morrison's religious beliefs.

A song by the duo, who dubbed themselves the 'Shadow Ministers', featured lyrics such as: 'ScoMo is under the spell of Jesus' charm, and kids are under safety watch for self-harm.'

Other controversial lyrics included: 'We love Jesus, Jesus, but not refugee-us' and 'to do what pleases Jesus, deny them all visas.'

Mr Morrison is Australia's first Pentecostal Prime Minister, and vowed in December last year to fight back against discrimination and mockery of religious groups. In his maiden speech, he said: 'My personal faith in Jesus Christ is not a political agenda.'

However, some have been quick to use it against him.

Many on social media were quick to defend the new Prime Minister, who is less than a week into his term.

On a Facebook response to the Tonightly act, one wrote: 'This is abhorrent editorial garbage. Completely disrespecting the views of many Australians and faith.' 'Would they do this if he was a Muslim?' another asked.

Their sentiment was seconded by Peter Kurti from the Centre for independent Studies.

'The show would probably not mock the ­religious beliefs of Ed Husic, Islam, or Josh Frydenberg, Judaism,' he said, the Daily Telegraph reported.

NSW opposition education spokesman, Jihad Dib said: 'I think once it gets into a personal issue about someone's faith … then I think we're going down the wrong path.'

According to the Daily Telegraph, an ABC spokesman defended Tonightly, saying it regularly satirised 'people in positions of authority, regardless of their race, gender or religious beliefs'.

Tonightly was earlier cancelled after two seasons, with its final show scheduled for September 7.

'Tonightly deliberately pushed boundaries to inform and entertain,' an ABC spokesperson 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


30 August, 2018

Nationalism has been a dirty word for too long

Melanie Phillips (below) uses "nationalism" to mean pride in national identity and characteristics.  In that sense, nationalism is not a problem.  Many people, however, including myself, use "nationalism" in Orwell's sense, to mean a desire for one's own nation to conquer other nations.  Hitler, Stalin and Americans in the "Progressive" era were nationalists in Orwell's sense while Scottish nationalists are nationalists in Melanie's sense.  It is important to be aware of the distinction. 

In Melanie's sense, nationalism is just an assertive form of patriotism, which is a normal human feeling.  Humans do tend to identify with groups to which they belong.  Note how football fans talk about "our" team and how "we" won or lost.  If you dislike that you are at odds with most of the human race

And the common Leftist claim embodied in the term "ethnocentrism" is simply false.  Being in favour of your own group does NOT commit you to being against outsiders.  Many times in my research  career, I asked people their opinion about various outsider groups -- blacks, Jews etc. -- and also asked them about their feelings about their own country: patriotism.  The two types of attitude were always uncorrelated (See e.g. here and here).  Knowing how patriotic you were enabled NO prediction of your liking or disliking any given outsider group.  Given that lack of correlation, patriotism does not CAUSE racial antagonism.  Nor does nationalism in Melanie's sense

Nationalism in Orwell's sense seems mainly to be caused by the Leftist will to power.  Democrat presidents got reluctant Americans into both world wars and Vietnam.  George Bush invaded Iraq only in response to an attack on America.  Germany and Vietnam did NOT attack America before America went to war with them.  There is no particular need to explain a response to attack but invading another country does require explanation.  The great invasion of C20 was undoubtedly Hitler's invasion of Russia.  And Hitler too was a socialist with a very distinct will to power

The concept of the nation state is vilified but it is essential for personal freedom and democracy

Nationalism needs to sack its PR agency. As a political creed, it is widely deemed to be synonymous with fascism, Nazism, bigotry, war and the Holocaust. The Brexit vote, the rise of nationalist parties across Europe and the election of Donald Trump are said to exemplify "nativism" — which paints nationalism as a form of xenophobic racism — and to augur the arrival in the West of a new dark age of repression.

Now, a thinker has stuck his head into the very jaws of the lion by arguing that, on the contrary, nationalism is the bulwark of liberty and democracy. Yoram Hazony, an Israeli philosopher, is the founder and former head of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. This liberal arts college set out to challenge the failure of Israeli universities to teach the core texts underpinning Jewish identity and western civilisation.

Such failure is rooted in the default belief among progressive intellectuals in Britain, America and the rest of the West that their culture is innately racist and exploitative and that the nation state is responsible for all the ills of the world. This belief emerged in response to Nazism in Germany. That was ascribed to nationalism, said in turn to be a near-inevitable outgrowth of the western nation state. Undermine or circumscribe the nation state and you would abolish bigotry, hatred and war.

There are many different definitions of nationalism. In his new book, The Virtue of Nationalism, Hazony defines it as "a principled standpoint that regards the world as governed best when nations are able to chart their own independent course, cultivating their own traditions, and pursuing their own interests without interference". The alternative, he says, is imperialism, which is inherently tyrannical through seeking to unite mankind under a single political regime.

Under the imperialist heading, Hazony includes liberalism, the EU and the postwar American "world order", which sought to impose western legal norms through the global exercise of US military might.

By contrast, the mutual loyalties at the heart of the nation state, based on shared traditions of language, religion, law, culture and other characteristics, provide "the only known foundation" for tolerance and diversity, free institutions and individual liberties.

So, what about Nazi Germany? Hazony argues that Germany was not so much a nation state as a classic imperial power because it wanted to conquer all of Europe. A true nation state, he suggests, inherently requires limited borders because it is based upon the particularities of cultural identity. It’s demonstrably the case that bigotry or intolerance are not confined to the nationalist right. Universalist ideologies such as liberalism, Marxism and Islam have been shown to inflame vicious hatred against those who oppose them.

Some European nationalists do have troubling associations with Nazi or racist ideologies. Others are simply fighting to defend their national identity and culture against erosion by the combination of liberal "imperialists" and mass immigration. Yet all are demonised equally. This has resulted in a lethal confusion. People are entitled to want to live in societies that identify with a common heritage and goals. Yet this is now treated as racist, "nativist" and illegitimate by virtually the entire political mainstream.

In Britain and America, the Brexit and Trump phenomena constitute a mass revolt against this vilification of national identity. In Europe, millions of similarly disenfranchised decent citizens are voting for new parties offering them an end to mass immigration, along with a pledge to resist Islamisation and to defend their national identity.

Some of these parties do give cause for legitimate concern on account of some of their historical connections. Some supporters may be motivated by racism or anti-Muslim prejudice. In other words, racists, fascists and bigots may be piggy-backing on the frustration of those with a legitimate desire to preserve western culture. Their motivation, however, is not the same. Millions want to defend western national identity based on tolerance, liberty and one law for all. These values are threatened by mass immigration and multiculturalism.

Fascists or white supremacists don’t want to stop immigration in order to preserve western decencies. They are motivated instead by hatred of others, lust for power and denial of the core principles of civilised society. The disturbing thing, though, is that because all nationalism is equally damned as unconscionable, increasing numbers feel they have no alternative but to vote for such parties, however noxious they may be.

If the nation state fails to survive, western society will revert to premodern tribalism: group fighting group for power and supremacy and deploying coercive measures to stifle opposition.

We can already see this happening. The onslaught by liberal universalists on the nation state has produced totalitarian identity politics, victim culture and brazen antisemitism once again stalking the corridors of Britain and Europe. Far from preventing bigotry and intolerance, the delegitimisation of the nation state and the corresponding demoralisation of western culture has in fact fomented them.

The desire of the vast majority to uphold their historic culture and identity, with democratically elected legislatures passing laws reflecting that shared national project, is not a route to the destruction of liberty, tolerance and decency. It is, in fact, the only way to defend them.


Thousands of nationalist Saxons clash with riot police in East German city where man was stabbed to death 'by migrants' as vigilante mobs 'hunt down foreigners'

Several people were injured Monday as thousands of far-right protesters took to the streets in the eastern German city of Chemnitz where a knife killing, allegedly committed by a Syrian and an Iraqi, sparked racist mob attacks that were deplored by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The right-wing protesters chanted 'We are the People' and the Nazi-era term 'Luegenpresse' (lying press) while displaying placards that read 'Stop the refugee flood' and 'Defend Europe', the latter adorned with an image of an automatic rifle.

Some carried banners or insignia of the far-right AfD and neo-Nazi NPD parties and other extremist groups, while a handful delivered the illegal right-handed Hitler salute, police said.

Left-wing counter protesters yelled slogans like 'Nazis out' and 'There's no right to Nazi propaganda,' at a larger group of right-wing demonstrators that retorted with 'We are louder, we are more' and 'Lying press.'

Of the estimated 800 people who took part in the first round of protests, about 50 were involved in violence and attacked police officers with bottles and stones, Chemnitz Police Chief Sonja Penzel said.

A Syrian teenager and an Afghan teenager were attacked in separate incidents but were not seriously hurt and a 30-year-old Bulgarian was also threatened, she said.

Penzel said police are still evaluating video footage and called for any witnesses to the violence to come forward.

Germany has denounced far-right groups 'spreading hatred on the streets' after hundreds of followers gathered to protest in the city of Chemnitz on Sunday.

Angela Merkel's spokesman said he condemns the groups 'in the strongest possible terms' after footage emerged of skinheads chasing a man of Arab appearance down the streets and throwing bottles at police.

He added that Germany would not tolerate 'vigilante justice'. 

Officers in riot gear pushed people back as they tried to get at those on the other side. The demonstrators from the right hurled bottles and firecrackers at the rival camp before starting off on a march.

Both groups took to the streets of Chemnitz after a 35-year-old German man was injured during a clash after a street festival and died early Sunday.  

A 22-year-old Iraqi and a 23-year-old Syrian have been arrested and charged with murder.

The stabbing happened around 3.15am on the sidelines of a street festival.

Police have denied rumours that the fight broke out after the alleged sexual harassment of a woman.

Prosecutor Christine Muecke told reporters Monday the slaying stemmed from a verbal confrontation that escalated. Two men were taken into custody - a 22-year-old Syrian citizen and a 21 year-old Iraqi citizen- and both were held on suspicion of manslaughter, Muecke said.

Initially around 100 people gathered after being urged on to the streets by a far-right football group who urged supporters to show 'who is in charge'.

While that demonstration passed off largely without event, a much larger group of 800 gathered later around a statue of Karl Marx, catching police by surprise.

During the violent demonstrations, marchers chanted 'we are the people! and 'this is our city!'

Following the demonstrations, Merkel spokesman Steffan Seibert said: 'We don't tolerate such unlawful assemblies and the hounding of people who look different or have different origins and attempts to spread hatred on the streets. 'That has no place in our cities and we, as the German government, condemn it in the strongest terms.

Tweeting about Sunday's incident, AfD politician Markus Frohnmaier said: 'If the state is no longer to protect citizens then people take to the streets and protect themselves. It's as simple as that!'

The violence in Chemnitz is likely to put further pressure on Merkel's conservatives, who last week faced accusations of ignoring the rise of far-right groups in the eastern state of Saxony, where Chemnitz lies.

Almost a quarter of Chemnitz voters supported the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party last year.

Merkel's decision in 2015 to let in about a million migrants, many fleeing wars in the Middle East, has fuelled support for far-right groups such as PEGIDA and the AfD, now the main opposition party in parliament.


Women don’t have penises

Britain it might soon be a crime to express this scientific fact

Is it now a crime to tell the truth in Britain? It’s heading that way. At the weekend it was revealed that Merseyside Police are making ‘enquiries’ into a trans-sceptical group that distributed stickers saying ‘Women don’t have penises’. Yes, that’s right: the police, the actual police, are investigating a group for expressing what the vast majority of people consider to be a biological, social, actual fact: that if you have a penis you are not a female. What next: arrest people for saying the sky is blue or that Piers Morgan is a muppet?

The stickers, shaped like penises, were produced by a so-called TERF group. TERF stands for ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’ – that is, a feminist who doesn’t think men who have a sex change are real women – but it is really just an updated, PC word for ‘witch’. When trans-sceptical women are denounced as ‘TERFs’ by hordes of irate identitarians online, they are really being branded disobedient bitches, women who really ought to know their place. The ‘TERFs’ distributed their heretical stickers in the Merseyside area, including on the Antony Gormley sculptures that make up his piece ‘Another Place’ on Crosby Beach, and all hell broke loose.

Twitter went into meltdown. This is a hate crime, they said. These people genuinely believe it is a hate crime to say women don’t have penises. Arrest all biology teachers right away! Twitter snitches, who are legion, grassed on the TERFs to the mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, who promised that he would get the police to ‘identify those responsible’ for these outrageous declarations of scientific truth. These sticker heretics are an affront to Liverpool’s history of ‘diversity’ and ‘equality’, he said. A fancy way of saying they are thoughtcriminals. And lo, the Merseyside Police duly got involved: ‘[W]e are aware of this matter and enquiries are being made.’

Consider what is being done here. Not only are the police making enquiries about the expression of an idea, which is something they should never do; but even worse, they are making enquiries about speech that simply said, ‘Women do not have penises’. But that is true. Or, to make a tiny concession to this era of relativism, this statement is considered by very many people to be true. If you have a penis, you are male. If you have a vagina, you are female. Of course people with penises should be at liberty to call themselves women and change their names and so on – but that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to accept that they really are women. They clearly are not.

How has it become so controversial to say this? Because the atmosphere around trans issues has become alarmingly stifling. Everything from saying ‘Women don’t have penises’ to having Scarlett Johansson star in a film about an alleged trans-man is now branded ‘transphobia’. Feminists who gather to discuss the Gender Recognition Act and the fact that it will allow almost anyone to identify as a woman are harassed, censored, and in some cases physically attacked. Woe betide anyone who turns up to a campus to raise questions about the transgender ideology: they can expect to be No Platformed by the moral guardians who govern student politics.

The end result is the truth itself has come to be outlawed. It is now genuinely risky to say that someone who has a penis is not a woman – that is, it is genuinely risky to engage in reasoned, rational discussion about sexual difference and biological reality. We are sleepwalking into a police state. In recent days the Metropolitan Police have decreed, in their infinite wisdom, that Boris Johnson didn’t commit a speechcrime when he criticised the niqab (the implication being that sometimes it can be a speechcrime to mock religion); the West Yorkshire Police threatened to arrest people who abused or mocked them on their Facebook page; and now Liverpool police are making enquiries about trans-sceptical speech. Every day people are arrested for so-called trolling. And a battery of laws, from hate-speech legislation to the Malicious Communications Act, is used to punish people for making off-colour jokes or saying super-rude things about MPs.

Enough. Get the cops out of public debate. Women don’t have penises, they just don’t, and it should never be a police matter to say so.


Federal Court: First Amendment Protects Sharing Food With Homeless People

In a colorful decision that managed to invoke the Boston Tea Party, Lady Macbeth and Jesus of Nazareth, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that feeding the homeless is "expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment." The decision revives a challenge brought by a local chapter of Food Not Bombs, which sued Fort Lauderdale, Florida for requiring a permit to share food in public parks.

Thanks to the city's ordinance, Fort Lauderdale has become infamous for cracking down on compassion. In 2014, police arrested a 90-year-old man and two ministers who were simply trying to share food with the homeless.

"We are very pleased with this ruling, and we look forward to continuing our community organizing in Fort Lauderdale," Nathan Pim, a member of Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs and a plaintiff in the case, said in a statement. "We hope we are one step closer to something we've fought for over many years—simply being able to help people without being threatened with arrest by people who should be working with us."

Every week at Stranahan Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Food Not Bombs offers free vegetarian and vegan meals to the public. Although many of the participants at these events are homeless individuals, Food Not Bombs is not a charity.

Originally started in the early 1980s by anti-nuclear activists in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Food Not Bombs protests war and poverty. Today, this network of social justice pacifists claims over 5,000 chapters worldwide. Writing for the court, Judge Adalberto Jordan explained that for the Fort Lauderdale chapter, "providing food in a visible public space" is "an act of political solidarity meant to convey the organization’s message."

But in October 2014, Fort Lauderdale enacted an ordinance that bans sharing food in public parks, unless the hosts obtain a "conditional use permit" from the city. Event organizers also must comply with the city’s regulations for "social services facilities," which cover "outdoor food distribution centers…used to furnish meals to members of the public without cost or at a very low cost."

In February 2015, Food Not Bombs sued the city, claiming that the ordinance and associated park rule violated their right to free speech and free association, and were "unconstitutionally vague." A year later, a federal district court dismissed their case, and held that their food sharing events were outside the scope of the First Amendment because they did not convey a "particularized message."

But the Supreme Court rejected that line of reasoning more than two decades ago. In its 1995 decision, Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, the High Court ruled that Massachusetts could not force veterans organizing a St. Patrick’s Day parade to include gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals.

Writing for a unanimous court, Justice David Souter remarked that "the Constitution looks beyond written or spoken words as mediums of expression" and that "a narrow, succinctly articulable message is not a condition of constitutional protection."

If the First Amendment were "confined to expressions conveying a ‘particularized message,’" Souter argued, then the Constitution "would never reach the unquestionably shielded painting of Jackson Pollock, music of Arnold Schoenberg, or Jabberwocky verse of Lewis Carroll."

With that as precedent, the 11th Circuit ruled that to determine if an activity is expressive or not, "we ask whether the reasonable person would interpret it as some sort of message, not whether an observer would necessarily infer a specific message." So for the Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs case, "the circumstances surrounding an event often help set the dividing line between activity that is sufficiently expressive and similar activity that is not."

As Judge Jordan noted, walking or sitting down aren’t usually considered "expressive conduct," but they certainly convey a message in the context of a picket line, a parade, or a sit-in. Likewise, when viewed in their full context, the Food Not Bombs events are "more than a picnic in the park."

Since the chapter's events are open to the public, occur against a backdrop of controversial homeless policies in Fort Lauderdale, take place near city government buildings, and involve "tables and banners (including one with its logo) and distribut[ing] literature," the court concluded that a "reasonable observer would interpret its food sharing events as conveying some sort of message."

"History may have been quite different had the Boston Tea Party been viewed as mere dislike for a certain brew and not a political protest against the taxation of the American colonies without representation," Jordan wrote.

Having ruled that Food Not Bombs does  have a First Amendment right to share food, the 11th Circuit sent the case back down to the lower court to determine if the city’s ordinance violates those rights. The City of Fort Lauderdale did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"The court’s opinion recognized sharing food with another human being is one of the oldest forms of human expression," said Kirsten Anderson, litigation director at the Southern Legal Counsel and lead attorney on the case. "We think this decision strengthens our message to cities across the country that they need to invest in constructive solutions to homelessness instead of wasting government resources on punishing people who seek to offer aid."


Lauren Southern's visit to Australia

Under the heading "It’s OK To Be Right, But Careful What You Wish For Lauren Southern" there is an article in the far-left "New Matilda" by Dr Petra Bueskens, a Melbourne feminist, who offers several criticisms of Lauren Southern.  Her article is very long-winded, like most offerings in New Matilda, but I will try to pick out a few salient passages to reproduce below.

She has obviously been collecting for a long time examples of female assertiveness going well back into history and she spends a lot of time giving us those examples.  She uses those examples to claim that feminism is not a new thing and that it has always been influential in the development of Western civilization.

But there are two problems with that. The examples she gives are NOT representative examples of thinking in those times so any influence they had is purely conjectural.  The second problem is that she assumes that her feminine protesters in the past were similar to feminists today. I would argue that they are a totally different ilk.

Female protest througout history was protesting about formal rules and customs that limited the opportunities for women to show all their talents.  They protested discrimination against women.  Modern-day feminists are not like that.  They achieved equal opportunities long ago.  Testimony to that is the fact that there are now more female graduates than male coming out of our universities.

So modern day feminsts, having overcome discrimination, now discriminate against men.  They want equal numbers of males and females in all walks of life and are not at all slow to discriminate against men to achieve that.  If there is, for instance, a vacancy on a company board, feminists clamour for a female to be appointed, even if there is a male available who is better qualified for the post.  It is now males who are denied opportunities to show all their talents. Females are a privileged caste.

So modern-day feminists are hateful bigots.  And that is what Lauren protests about.  Dr Bueskens says Lauren cuts her nose off to spite her face when she criticizes feminists.  She does not.  She simply dissasociates herself from a gang of angry Harpies.  Females do perfectly well without the "assistance" of female haters.

And the follies go on.  Dr Bueskens says that the emergence of successful colonial societies such as Canada and Australia proves that multiculturalism is a good thing. It does not.  It proves that SOME immigrants can form an integrated society.  But that was never in question.  What disturbs many conservatives is that all immigrants are not equal and that some immigrants -- mainly Africans and Muslims -- just create problems for society while contributing little that is positive.  A big majority in the two groups mentioned are welfare dependent so do not even contribute their labour.

All men are NOT born equal nor are all immigrants . And all societies that I know of have criteria for who can be admitted and who cannot.  So Lauren is not going far in arguing that "indigestible" groups should be excluded where possible and their influence minimized.

Dr Bueskens sees Lauren only though the lens of her conventional Leftist prejudices, blindnesses, and contestable assumptions and therefore misses the real person.  I could go on to challenge more of her assertions but I am  in no doubt that I will never be able to clean out the Augean stables. But I think I have shown that, despite her lengthy article, she leaves out a lot of the relevant arguments and considerations.

Southern arrived in Australia wearing an ‘It’s okay to be white’ t-shirt, designed purely to stir controversy and point out what she identifies as an asymmetrical discourse on race. Her core message on this tour is that "multiculturalism doesn’t work", with little attention to the fact that colonial settler societies like Australia (like her home country of Canada) were built on immigration.

One of the key platforms of Southern’s videos is that the discourse of "political correctness" has become an orthodoxy shutting down free speech, and that the left should respond with ideas and debate rather than with protest, aggression, public take-downs and no-platforming. On this we can agree!

It is something the globally famous intellectual Jordan Peterson has forcefully put on the map in the last two years. However, I invoke Peterson not because of his position on free speech or because, like Southern, he is a "darling of the alt-right", rather it is to point out something he often says about people at the very beginning of adulthood: you know nothing!  While I am not in full agreement with him on this (I have a daughter Southern’s age), it is clear, for all her defensive protestations, she knows nothing about the history of "western civilization" and nor, for that matter, do Peterson or Molyneux if they cannot see feminism as an integral part of it. 

From Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies to the Querelle de Femme, from Mary Astell’s A Serious Proposal to the Ladies to Mary Wollstoncraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, from the bluestockings to the fight for the Married Women’s Property Acts, from the Seneca Falls Convention to J.S. Mill and Harriet Taylor’s The Subjection of Women, from the suffrage movement and the New Woman to Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex; from Betty Friedan’s ‘problem with no name’ to Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch we have the clear articulation of a feminist voice invested in reason and rights that is the very epitome of free speech marshalled against the prevailing orthodoxy.

In Southern’s infinite wisdom – though here she is following the ignorance that characterises the alt-right’s approach to feminism – she assumes that feminism had nothing to do with the creation of "the west", by which she is mostly referring to the transformations in society and culture associated with the European Enlightenment. In fact feminism was an integral and defining voice! You weren’t anybody unless you were invited to Madame de Staël’s salon and all the well-known philosophes, with the notable exception of Rousseau, were "feminists" (though this of course was not a term in use at the time).

The other assumption – again commonplace on the right – is that feminism is anti-rationality and illiberal. This is patently absurd since it was the desire to have "Woman right" (as it was then called) and the vote enshrined in law that was central to early modern feminist campaigns, as was the desire to own property, including property in the person, and enjoy equal civil rights. 

It is interesting to me that Canada is producing so many of these social media stars: people who were once on the left or saw themselves as liberals and have now undergone a YouTube conversion and seen the alt-right light  – Jordan Peterson, Janice Fiamengo, Lindsay Shepherd and Karen Straughan, as well as more established stars such as Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux. In the US there is Sam, Harris, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro and, more recently, Candace Owens.  The so-called "intellectual dark web" of left-to-right converts (as well as left-to-critical left converts) is growing apace.

In any event, the twist in this narrative is that with the institutionalisation of progressive agendas, the new right emerge as the "radicals", the one’s "shaking the joint up".  Conversely, those shutting down free speech, the supposed progressives, become the face of the establishment, the arbiters of what is and what is not allowed to be said.  Hence the concerns – that I too share – about the left’s more recent propensity to shut down free speech on contentious issues.



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, 2018

UK: Take on more magistrates with criminal records to help improve diversity, law chief suggests

This must be the ultimate in "affirmative action"

More magistrates with criminal records would help increase diversity among the judiciary, the chairman of the Magistrates Association has suggested.

John Bache said that a more representative set of magistrates was needed in order to make those accused of crimes feel less alienated by the justice system.

"We all make mistakes, we all do things we shouldn't have done. But we want to increase diversity, and if we did say anyone who's done anything wrong ever isn't going to be appointed, that's no way at all to increase diversity," he told the Telegraph.

He said the fact the rules allow people with a criminal record to become magistrates needed to be better known


Revamped Violence Against Women Act Faces Uphill Battle

Next month, the House of Representatives will decide whether or not to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Expect the debate to become a major political flashpoint in the weeks ahead. If reauthorization doesn’t pass, this fact will become another point of contention in the November elections, according to Independent Institute Research Fellow Wendy McElroy in an op-ed in The Hill.

Introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), the reauthorization bill, HR 6545, would, among other changes, expand the law’s definition of domestic violence to cover not only felony and misdemeanor violence, but also "verbal, emotional, economic, or technological abuse or any other coercive behavior committed, enabled, or solicited to gain or maintain power and control over a victim." If that sounds like a major expansion, that’s because it is. The proposed legislation continues: "Technological abuse may include — unwanted, repeated telephone calls, text messages, instant messages, or social media posts."

This expansive definition isn’t the only indicator that reauthorization faces an uphill battle. "For the first time, VAWA was introduced in the House, rather than in the Senate; this could mean that the bill’s champions in the Senate, Sen. Grassley and Sen. Feinstein, were not confident of having sufficient or immediate support," McElroy writes. While passage by the House is still a possibility (a spokesperson for Speaker Paul Ryan even says it’s likely), success in that chamber of Congress in no way ensures final passage. "If it does move to the Senate, the fate of VAWA’s reauthorization is murkier," McElroy writes.


German firms ignore EU appeal, end Iran projects

Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Bahn, two state-owned German companies, are following car manufacturer Daimler and mechanical engineering company Herrenknecht to withdraw from Iran because of US sanctions.

Deutsche Telekom, Europe's largest telecommunications provider, already stopped all transactions in Iran in May. Deutsche Bahn will have its projects phased out by the end of September, German weekly business news magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported Thursday.

Both companies have confirmed the report. They are ignoring an appeal by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who has called on Europeans to intensify Iran business in response to President Donald Trump’s sanctions.

Deutsche Bahn is currently involved with its subsidiary DB Engineering & Consulting in two projects in Iran, a corporate spokeswoman said on Thursday.

"Both projects will be ended in August and September 2018 respectively," she said. "Due to the altered banking practice we have sought to bring the contract to an amicable and timely conclusion."

Like other companies, the German rail operator is troubled by the fact that many international banks are now refusing to handle major financial transactions with Iran.

In May 2017, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Iranian railway operator Bonyad Eastern Railways (BonRail) for the first project to identify and address potential in rolling stock and organization.

The second project involved a consultancy contract for the Iranian state railway RAI that included restructuring the company. 

Deutsche Telekom already stopped all transactions in Iran in May. The company probably wants to remove the risk of providing US regulators with a pretext to stop the laboriously negotiated takeover of Sprint Corp by its US unit, T-Mobile.

Just three weeks after the announcement of the takeover, Telekom pulled the ripcord on May 18 and withdrew all employees of its in-house consulting Detecon from Iran.

"The business activities of Detecon in Iran were quite low. Until the decision was taken, sales in Iran amounted to about 300,000 euros in 2018," said a spokeswoman.

Detecon, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom’s IT services arm T-Systems, had deployed employees with the fixed-line operator Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) and the mobile operator MTN Irancell to offer consulting services.

Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Bahn follow German automaker Daimler and tunneling company Herrenknecht in slamming the door in Iran’s face.

While the pullout has little economic significance, it flies in the face of the EU implementing a "blocking statute" which aims to keep trade with Iran on track.

The family-run world leader in tunnel-boring equipment said last Thursday that it had to give up a deal worth 20 million euros ready for signing.

The deal included delivering a tunneling machine for the construction of a large car tunnel, company boss Martin Herrenknecht told Wirtschaftswoche.

Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz trucks and luxury cars, announced earlier this month that it had put its expansion plans in Iran on ice in the face of new US sanctions against the country.

The exodus flies in the face of the EU implementing a "blocking statute" which is purported to protect firms against possible fallout from breaching US sanctions on Iran.


Why cheer the Labour leader’s support for government-approved journalism?

Government-approved journalism is condemned as a giveaway sign of dangerous authoritarianism in states such as Turkey. So why is the Labour left cheering Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to impose a less obvious version of the same thing somewhat closer to home?

In a speech delivered today at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Corbyn outlined his proposals for reform of the UK media landscape. The one that caught my eye was his plan for a windfall tax on big tech firms such as Google, Amazon and Facebook to fund ‘public-interest journalism’.

The Labour Party leader wants the Treasury to take millions in tax off the tech giants, which an ‘independent’ fund would then dole out to support new ‘news cooperatives’ pursuing ‘investigative, public-interest journalism’. He thinks existing independent media outlets, such as the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, should be granted charitable status.

Without such government intervention, says Corbyn, ‘a few tech giants and unaccountable billionaires will control huge swathes of our public space and debate’. He argues that investigative journalists today are being ‘held back’ by ‘media tycoons’ — and by ‘excessive state influence’ in the case of the BBC. ‘The best journalism’, Corbyn concluded, ‘takes on the powerful, in the corporate world as well as government, and helps create an informed public’.

Which might all sound nice and apple pie. Who, after all, would want journalism to go against the public interest? Or support a less diverse media and an uninformed public? Encouraging the Treasury to make the tax-averse tech giants turn out their pockets is arguably even more popular than fruit-based home-baked desserts today.

No sooner had excerpts from the Labour leader’s proposals been released in advance than Corbyn’s online fan club were cheering them to the digital rafters, with #ChangeTheMedia trending on Twitter long before he even stood up to speak. That sounded more like a threat than a proposal. What Labour’s plans would really mean is a British form of government-approved journalism produced by a state-sponsored media. No wonder they went down so well with the instinctive Stalinist wing of the Corbynista movement.

The overbearing influence of the tech giants certainly creates problems in the media world. Established news outlets are understandably furious at the way the likes of Google and Facebook exploit their content while paying little in tax and taking the lion’s share of advertising revenue.

Here, however, Corbyn is exploiting public concerns about the big tech firms’ behaviour as a shield behind which to pursue Labour’s own media-bashing plans. Look at what his woolly words mean.

Corbyn wants to invest taxes in more ‘public-interest journalism’ – which appears to be an unquestionable Good Thing. The question it should always raise, however, is – who is going to decide exactly what the ‘public interest’ means? Government ministers? Judges? Jeremy Corbyn’s press office?

On closer examination it becomes clear that the notion of ‘public-interest journalism’ is less of an agreed universal value than an ethical-sounding cover for pursuing what are really matters of personal taste and political preference.

One thing seems certain: it won’t be the British public deciding what ‘public-interest journalism’ taxes should finance. Corbyn wants his fund to be ‘independent’. Another buzzword that should always raise the question: independent of what, exactly?

There are no such things as independent angels floating above the media melee below, with only the public interest at heart. Everybody has interests, agendas and angles of their own. Labour’s independent media-funding body would be another government-backed quango, stacked with placemen from the political and cultural elites — and every bit as ‘unaccountable’ to the public as any tycoon or tech giant he might rail about.

As for the HMRC funding journalism to create a more ‘informed public’ – again, informed by who, peddling which political line? It is not hard to imagine the sort of information Corbyn and Co want to feed us. We have not all forgotten how his chosen ‘charitable’ outfit, the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, was behind the story when the BBC’s flagship Newsnight programme got carried away with its self-righteous posing and effectively accused a Tory lord of being a paedophile.

Many people want to see a more diverse media – that’s why some of us have put our energies into creating such an alternative publication as spiked. What the UK media needs most, however, is diversity of content and ideas. What Corbyn’s plans promise instead is a far more conformist media, with the despised popular tabloid press tightly regulated and Labour’s own brand of government-approved journalism given the floor and public funding.

His complaint about BBC journalism being too influenced by the state is a transparent tantrum about a few BBC journalists criticising his leadership – from the same fantasy stable as the left’s complaint that the BBC, mainstay of the Remainstream media, is somehow an outpost of Leave propaganda.

Labour’s track record of press-bashing should give the lie to any notion that it is interested in a more free and open media. And there are few internal party divisions here – Labour’s non-Corbynite deputy leader, Tom Watson, is an even more ardent tabloid-hater than his boss.

As Corbyn’s fanclub in the Media Reform Coalition spelt out in their manifesto for the General Election: never mind that freedom nonsense, what the Labour left ultimately wants is for ‘communications to be organised and regulated in the public interest’. Organise the media! Regulate the press! Nationalise the news!

We could moan about media empires and encourage the state to restrict their freedoms. Or we can strive to remove the already onerous legal and cultural obstacles to freedom of expression – which is also the best hope of ‘diversifying’ the debate and creating an alternative media.

Whatever anybody thinks of any part of the relatively free press we have in Britain today, there is always something worse. That’s an even more unfree press, however the plan to sanitise what the public sees might be dressed up in Corbyn’s fine words about ‘public-interest journalism’.


More on Fentanyl

A reader who is a retired anesthesiologist writes as follows:

As an anesthesiologist, I had extensive experience using fentanyl. Several issues come to mind.

Fentanyl by itself is NOT an "anesthetic" - it is an adjunct to anesthesia by providing analgesia, but other drugs are needed to make a patient unconscious. Of course, after an overdose people may become "unconscious" - codespeak for DEAD.

Fentanyl shares ALL the side effects of morphine and other opiates, the most deadly being respiratory depression,
(PS - constipation is real; I can tell you from personal experience).

The major differences from other opiates include:

Much faster action.
Great potency.

Faster action makes for a "rush", as addicts can tell you. Fast action makes it more difficult to control, as effects may be too fast to counteract effects. For example, effects of morphine are more gradual and give an earlier warning of bad effects. As a well known example, ether was used safely for many years by less skilled personnel, because effects were gradual; in contrast faster acting agents such as chloroform and halothane are "less safe" in unskilled hands because they act so rapidly.

Being so potent, the "margin of safety" is less with more potent drugs (This is basic pharmacology). For example, the more potent Midazolam (Versed) was deadly when it was used by unskilled personnel in place of the less potent and slower acting Diazepam (Valium).

In contrast, Fentanyl is VERY safe when used by anesthesia providers, because we all know how potent Fentanyl is, and we are also aware of the GREAT difference in potency among individual patients (margin of safety - the vast differences in effects among individual patients makes overdose easy. But with artificial ventilation and close observation individual differences can be accounted for).

What’s the correct dose? "ENOUGH".

Fentanyl’s short action makes it ideal for outpatient surgery. A newer analog, Remifentanyl, was a "bust" because it was too potent and rapid action to be controlled safely.

The extreme potency of Fentanyl makes it a "natural" for suicide of anesthesia providers, pharmacists, nurses. Indeed, I have lost several colleagues; most were "weird", but obviously this is not criteria for a full investigation. I was not surprised by any: there were multiple "red flags" - poor job performance, repeated late arrivals and sick days, etc.

As always, Leftism takes its toll among anesthesiologists using Fentanyl (and other drugs) on themselves.

The recurrence rate of using is VERY high among those "rehabilitated", and suicide is frequent. Therefore, any sane administrator would NEVER let such a person return to any job where they had ready access to these drugs. The more rational approach fortunately is "rehabilitation" to psychiatry and other jobs where they don’t have access to these drugs. (For example - psychiatrists, radologists may be OK when they simply aren’t allowed easy access to these drugs (Of course, illegal access can’t be controlled).

YOU GOT IT. There are those administrators who "feel the pain" of these unfortunate doctors and others, and try to "rehabilitate" them -- A LEFTIST FANTASY.

Fortunately, at my hospital the administration was conservative; "rehabilitation"was NOT offered as an option.


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, 2018

The corruption of British justice

Sean Gabb

Any system of criminal justice worth the name needs to reconcile humanity with certainty. On the one hand, part of the function of the criminal law is deterrent. When you know that you will go to prison for six months if you smash someone’s window, you may be less inclined to pick up the stone than if you believe you may get an absolute discharge or a whipping. Another part of the system’s function is to match severity of sentencing to the perceived gravity of offences. We need to see that breaking a window is less of a crime than breaking someone’s nose, and that murder is much more of a crime than either.

On the other hand, no set of laws can take into account every set of circumstances. Should someone who steals a loaf of bread for a bet receive the same punishment as if he had stolen it to feed his hungry children? We can write in allowances for age and mental capacity. We can write in examples of mitigating circumstances. But rigid sentencing tariffs will always lead, sooner or later, to perceived injustice of punishments. Indeed, unless the system is in the hands of human robots, rigid tariffs will usually be circumvented in practice. Before the nineteenth century, English juries would often acquit rather than see a defendant sentenced to death or transportation for a crime of passion or an uncharacteristic lapse. Or judges would pass sentence, and then approach the King or his Ministers for a pardon or a commutation of punishment. Later on, the prosecuting authorities would bring lesser or greater charges, depending on how they saw a defendant.

By the twentieth century, both in Britain and America, a criminal justice system had emerged in which, murder and treason aside, offences had minimum and maximum sentences laid down in the law, and it was up to the judges to decide what sentence was appropriate within these bands. Sometimes, a judge was too harsh or too lenient. On the whole, however, the system worked. It reconciled a general hierarchy of punishments with a reasonable faith in the justice of punishment for each individual case.

In Britain, the system is now breaking down. Take these examples:

In January 2013, Chelsea Lambie and Douglas Cruikshank attached bacon to door handles and threw strips inside the Edinburgh Central Mosque in Scotland. In June 2014, Lambie was sent to prison for twelve months and Cruikshank for nine months. [Pair jailed for Edinburgh’s Central Mosque bacon attack]

In June 2014, an Islamic teacher called Suleman Maknojioa was found guilty of sexually molesting one of his eleven year-old female students. He was let off going to prison because the Judge accepted that his wife’s English was too bad for her to function in England without him to take her about. [Islamic teacher who sexually abused girl, 11, as he taught her the Koran spared jail because his wife doesn’t speak English]

I could fill a whole article – I could fill a small book – with similar instances of differential punishments that must shock any reasonable sense of right and wrong. I am not saying that the wilful desecration of a place of worship should go unpunished, or even that the case given above should have been punished exactly as if the defendants had left bacon in a church. But prison for sacrilege and a suspended sentence for sexual assault of a child – where is the justice in that?

The answer is that the criminal justice system has been politicised. It still dispenses justice, but the justice dispensed is no longer our justice. It instead reflects the sense of right and wrong of a ruling class that has no regard for the moral views of ordinary people, but is committed to a revolutionary transformation of British society. Stupidity aside, there are no mitigating circumstances for those Scottish bacon-layers, and they deserved some punishment. But their real crime appears to have been that they disobeyed the prime commandment of the modern law, which is to act and speak at all times as if we really were living in a multicultural love feast. Their actual crime was "hate," or "intolerance." The act of leaving bacon in a mosque was only evidence of their crime. As in Rotherham [Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal], the sexual abuse of children may be at best a minor offence, to be lightly punished, if not systematically covered up, when committed by one of the ethnic minorities.

But the corruption is more profound than the manipulation of sentencing guidelines. During the past twenty years in Britain – and perhaps also in America – the criminal justice system has been politicised at its heart. Traditionally, a criminal court has been asked to consider two elements of guilt – wrongful act (actus reus) and wrongful intention (mens rea). For example, murder is defined as "killing with malice aforethought." If you poison your wife to lay hands on the insurance money, you have killed her, and you have killed her deliberately. You have committed murder. If, on the other hand, you kill her by accidentally knocking her off a ladder, or letting her catch your cold that then turns to pneumonia, you may only have been negligent. You may be guilty of manslaughter or nothing at all. But you are not guilty of murder.

Beginning with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the British ruling class has added a further element, which is motivation. For example, if you commit grievous bodily harm against someone of your own race or religion, the maximum prison sentence is five years. If you commit this against someone of a different race or religion, and it can be shown that you were motivated by dislike of that race or religion, the maximum sentence is now seven years. There is a consistent loading of punishments for virtually every crime against life or property.

According to the Crown Prosecution Guidance Note:

[T]here are common problems that are experienced by victims of racist of religiously aggravated crime. They can feel extremely isolated or fearful of going out or even staying at home. They may become withdrawn, and suspicious of organisations or strangers. Their mental and physical health may suffer in a variety of ways. For young people in particular, the impact can be damaging to their self-esteem or identity and, without support, a form of self-hatred of their racial or religious identity may result.

This may be the case. But it can be the case with any assault, regardless of motive. The effect of the law is to make opinions into crimes. If you get into a fight with a black man, and you are charged with assault, you will be in greater trouble if the police then search your home and find copies of books by Enoch Powell, or if your browsing history shows that you read articles on VDare. Again, some part of your crime will be "hate," and, again, the specific assault will be merely evidence of this.

A through tyranny, such as Bolshevik Russia, can get away with perverting the law in this manner. In a semi-free society, such as Britain or America, the natural result is gradually to bring the criminal law into scandal, and its officers into contempt. The main danger is probably not that differential punishments will lead to thorough tyranny. There is still the possibility of a reaction. The danger is that all law, of whatever kind, will be seen as an expression of rule by a malevolent ruling class, and that all the safeguards of life and property will be weakened. A further danger is that if, or when, the reaction comes, the idea of sentencing discretion will be so discredited that the balancing of certainty with humanity will be forgotten, and we shall find ourselves with a criminal law written in letters of blood.

Sadly, given the nature and current progress of the revolutionary transformation mentioned above, it can be doubted whether something unpleasant can be avoided.

Via email: sean@seangabb.co.uk

The Challenge of Reforming Nutritional Epidemiologic Research

John P. A. Ioannidis, writing below, is a renowned critic of bad science.  He points out that conventional beliefs about what constitutes "healthy" food are very poorly founded.  The article is from a leading medical journal

Some nutrition scientists and much of the public often consider epidemiologic associations of nutritional factors to represent causal effects that can inform public health policy and guidelines. However, the emerging picture of nutritional epidemiology is difficult to reconcile with good scientific principles. The field needs radical reform.

In recent updated meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies, almost all foods revealed statistically significant associations with mortality risk.1 Substantial deficiencies of key nutrients (eg, vitamins), extreme overconsumption of food, and obesity from excessive calories may indeed increase mortality risk. However, can small intake differences of specific nutrients, foods, or diet patterns with similar calories causally, markedly, and almost ubiquitously affect survival?

Assuming the meta-analyzed evidence from cohort studies represents life span–long causal associations, for a baseline life expectancy of 80 years, eating 12 hazelnuts daily (1 oz) would prolong life by 12 years (ie, 1 year per hazelnut),1 drinking 3 cups of coffee daily would achieve a similar gain of 12 extra years,2 and eating a single mandarin orange daily (80 g) would add 5 years of life.1 Conversely, consuming 1 egg daily would reduce life expectancy by 6 years, and eating 2 slices of bacon (30 g) daily would shorten life by a decade, an effect worse than smoking.1 Could these results possibly be true? Authors often use causal language when reporting the findings from these studies (eg, "optimal consumption of risk-decreasing foods results in a 56% reduction of all-cause mortality").1 Burden-of-disease studies and guidelines endorse these estimates. Even when authors add caveats, results are still often presented by the media as causal.

These implausible estimates of benefits or risks associated with diet probably reflect almost exclusively the magnitude of the cumulative biases in this type of research, with extensive residual confounding and selective reporting.3 Almost all nutritional variables are correlated with one another; thus, if one variable is causally related to health outcomes, many other variables will also yield significant associations in large enough data sets. With more research involving big data, almost all nutritional variables will be associated with almost all outcomes. Moreover, given the complicated associations of eating behaviors and patterns with many time-varying social and behavioral factors that also affect health, no currently available cohort includes sufficient information to address confounding in nutritional associations.

Furthermore, the literature is shaped by investigators who report nonprespecified results that are possible to analyze in very different ways.4 Consequently, meta-analyses become weighted averages of expert opinions. In an inverse sequence, instead of carefully conducted primary studies informing guidelines, expert-driven guidelines shaped by advocates dictate what primary studies should report. Not surprisingly, an independent assessment by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine of the national dietary guidelines suggested major redesign of the development process for these guidelines: improving transparency, promoting diversity of expertise and experience, supporting a more deliberative process, managing biases and conflicts, and adopting state-of-the-art processes.5

Proponents of the status quo may maintain that the true associations are even larger than what are reported because of attenuation from nondifferential misclassification. Indeed, self-reported data have error,6 but there is no guarantee it is nondifferential. Nevertheless, if error is nondifferential and estimated effects are attenuated, reported results become even more implausible: eating 12 hazelnuts daily would increase life expectancy by 20 to 30 years, not just 12 years.

Individuals consume thousands of chemicals in millions of possible daily combinations. For instance, there are more than 250?000 different foods and even more potentially edible items, with 300?000 edible plants alone. Seemingly similar foods vary in exact chemical signatures (eg, more than 500 different polyphenols). Much of the literature silently assumes disease risk is modulated by the most abundant substances; for example, carbohydrates or fats. However, relatively uncommon chemicals within food, circumstantial contaminants, serendipitous toxicants, or components that appear only under specific conditions or food preparation methods (eg, red meat cooking) may be influential. Risk-conferring nutritional combinations may vary by an individual’s genetic background, metabolic profile, age, or environmental exposures. Disentangling the potential influence on health outcomes of a single dietary component from these other variables is challenging, if not impossible.

To use an analogy from genetics, studying associations of specific foods is like studying whether large chromosomal regions increase mortality risk. For decades, genome linkage scans struggled to link large chromosomal areas to disease risk. According to current knowledge, these previous efforts were doomed: each chromosomal area contains thousands of genetic variants. Linkage scans resulted in numerous articles, but limited useful information. Retrospectively, using a few hundred microsatellite markers to study an entire genome with many million polymorphisms seems naive. Similarly, limited self-reported nutrition data ascertained with a handful of questions and self-reported items fail to acknowledge or accurately measure a system that matches or exceeds the genome in complexity.

Beyond food studies, results of single-nutrient studies have largely failed to be corroborated in randomized trials. False-positive associations are common in the literature. For example, updated meta-analyses of published data from prospective cohort studies have demonstrated that a single antioxidant, beta carotene, has a stronger protective effect on mortality than all the foods mentioned above.7 The relative risk of death for the highest vs lowest group of beta carotene levels in serum or plasma was?0.69 (95% CI, 0.59-0.80).7 Even when measurement error is mitigated with biochemical assays (as in this example), nutritional epidemiology remains intrinsically unreliable. These results cannot be considered causal, especially after multiple large trials have yielded CIs excluding even a small benefit.

Proponents of the status quo of nutritional epidemiology point to occasional small trials with surrogate or metabolic outcomes (eg, lipids, diabetes, composite end points) whose results agree with epidemiologic findings. However, these small trials often have selective reporting bias similar to that of nutritional epidemiology.

Nutritional research may have adversely affected the public perception of science. Resources for some of these studies could have been better spent on unambiguous, directly manageable threats to health such as smoking, lack of exercise, air pollution, or climate change. Moreover, the perpetuated nutritional epidemiologic model probably also harms public health nutrition. Unfounded beliefs that justify eating more food, provided "quality food" is consumed, confuse the public and detract from the agenda of preventing and treating obesity.

Confusion is further enhanced by some approaches to publication in this field. Slices of data are often published from a cohort without accounting for other findings from the same cohort. A single article reporting a significant effect of a dietary component may seem plausible in isolation but would be untenable if all results were available. Given the vast space of analyzable associations, some prolific cohorts (eg, European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition, Nurses’ Health Study) have yielded more than 1000 articles each. Nutritional epidemiology articles also attract attention because the public is very interested in (and perpetually misinformed about) nutrition. For example, one of the 20 highest Altmetric scores in 2017 was for a study reporting major survival benefits from coffee.8 Despite important limitations and shortcomings, such studies also accrue substantial numbers of citations.

Some additional, large-scale, long-term, randomized trials on nutrition may be useful, especially for assessing diet patterns.3 The most promising large trial to date, Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED), a trial of Mediterranean diet, had shown a benefit on a composite end point but was recently retracted and republished9 after it was realized that there were multiple subversions of randomization. Findings from the reanalysis showed results similar to those of the initially reported findings; however, the study should no longer be considered a randomized trial. Regardless, the trial showed no survival benefit. Large pragmatic trials for more complex diet patterns also may yield largely negative results. Nevertheless, their outcomes may help inform nutritional guidelines with some pragmatic "intention-to-eat" data.

Reform has long been due. Data from existing cohorts should become available for reanalysis by independent investigators. Their results should be presented in their totality for all nutritional factors measured, with standardized methods and standardized exploration of the sensitivity of conclusions to model and analysis choices. Readers and guideline developers may ignore hasty statements of causal inference and advocacy to public policy made by past nutritional epidemiology articles.10 Such statements should be avoided in the future.

The nutritional epidemiology community includes superb scientists. The best of them should take ownership of this reform process. They can further lead by example (eg, by correcting their own articles that have misleading claims). Such corrections would herald high scientific standards and public responsibility. A flawed methodological approach has dominated research questions that have proved particularly difficult to answer, more difficult than those of other epidemiologic disciplines.

A counterargument may be, by analogy, that genome linkage scan publications have not been corrected, so why correct nutritional epidemiology? The difference is that genomic scans performed with a handful of microsatellite markers have been replaced by better methods and generally did not affect public policy and people’s lives. Conversely, studies of nutritional epidemiology continue to be published regularly, spuriously affect guidelines, and confuse the public through heated advocacy by experts and nonexperts.

Nutritional epidemiologists who espouse reform in past and future work should be rewarded, for example, with continued funding to conduct pivotal trials, widely share their cohort data, conduct transparent all-encompassing analyses, and explore entirely new avenues of nutrition research. Funding agencies should support the reform agenda and thereby rejuvenate the field of nutritional research.


With fentanyl flooding the illicit market, all drug users now in danger

Fentanyl is a powerful surgical anaesthetic and has a very narrow window of safety.  Get the dose just a bit wrong and you are dead

Fatal overdoses continued to decline in Massachusetts in the second quarter of 2018, but a new challenge has surfaced as deadly fentanyl gets mixed with cocaine, a drug now found in more overdose deaths than heroin, authorities said Friday.

The devastating and growing prevalence of fentanyl was the dominant message in the state’s latest quarterly report on opioid-related deaths, released Friday. Fentanyl — the illicit synthetic, not the drug doctors prescribe — was present in nearly 90 percent of overdose deaths.

"If you are using illicit drugs in Massachusetts, you really have to be aware that fentanyl is a risk no matter which drug you’re using," said Dr. Monica Bharel, Massachusetts public health commissioner. "The increased risk of death related to fentanyl is what’s driving this epidemic." Fentanyl is many times more potent than heroin.

"Pretty much all you can access in the Boston area is fentanyl. You’re not finding heroin anymore," said Richard Baker, director of the mobile prevention team at Victory Programs, a treatment provider.

That means that a new population of drug users — those who use cocaine — are also in danger of opioid overdose, said Dr. Alex Walley, physician and researcher at Boston Medical Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction.

Some cocaine users may not know their drug has been cut with fentanyl, and unaccustomed to opioids, they are especially prone to overdose. Others are continuing a longstanding practice of mixing cocaine, a stimulant, with heroin, a depressant — except that now, instead of heroin, they’re using the much more potent fentanyl.

"The deadliness of doing that increases with the introduction of fentanyl," Walley said.

"It’s been over a year since I’ve seen [a patient] who told me they used heroin and they didn’t have fentanyl in their toxicology screen," he added. "Fentanyl is the rule when it comes to people using what they call heroin."

Cocaine has surpassed heroin in tests of those who fatally overdosed, starting with the last quarter of 2017. That has prompted the state to alert treatment providers that cocaine users are also at risk of opioid overdose, and a new alert to all medical personnel is planned, Bharel said.

The last quarter of 2017 is also when opioid-related deaths overall started to decline. From April to June 2018, fatal opioid overdoses in Massachusetts fell for the third consecutive quarter — but chiefly among whites. Blacks, especially black men, continue to be hit hard: The rate of overdose deaths among blacks increased by 23 percent from 2016 to 2017, while whites and Hispanics saw slight decreases.

Baker, of Victory Programs, cautioned against complacency amid the declining death toll, because certain groups are still severely affected, especially minorities and people in the prime of life. Between January 2017 and June 2018, nearly two-thirds of overdose deaths occurred among people age 25 to 44.

"We have an epidemic among young, new users who aren’t able to access resources and information that some of our older users have," Baker said.

Massachusetts’ health and human services secretary, Marylou Sudders, acknowledged the issue in a statement. "When you look at the trend lines over time, while the results of our efforts are having an impact, we must double down on our efforts to implement treatment strategies that meet the needs of the highest-risk individuals and communities," she said.

Most people who die of overdoses have more than one drug in their system, and the medical examiner often cannot pinpoint which drug or drugs were responsible for the death. But the prevalence of different drugs found in the victims’ bodies provides insight into the changing forces in substance use.

In the first quarter of 2018, there were 477 opioid-related deaths in which the medical examiner was able to screen for drugs. Of these, 89 percent involved fentanyl, 43 percent cocaine, 42 percent benzodiazepines, and 34 percent heroin. In contrast, in 2014, fentanyl was present in only about 40 percent of those who overdosed.

"This quarterly report provides a new level of data revealing an unsettling correlation between high levels of synthetic fentanyl present in toxicology reports and overdose death rates," Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement. "It is critically important that the Commonwealth understand and study this information so we can better respond to this disease and help more people."


GAVIN McInnes is having some fun -- as usual

He is a genuinely funny man but political correctness is the butt of most of his jokes  -- so he is called "Alt-Right"

McInnes, the co-founder of Vice magazine turned right-wing commentator and head of controversial pro-Trump, street-brawling "men’s rights" group the Proud Boys, smells something  rotten in society.

The Marxists and "fat feminists" have taken over everywhere, he says, spreading a "computer virus of rules" — a "war on fun".

"When did the social justice warriors get so much power?" he asks.  "It happened in the past 15 years. My theory is it started with eradicating bullying and the whole idea of the death of the in-crowd, which I think we can all support — no one likes Mean Girls, the prom king jock — but what happened is the fat feminists gained power and like the proletariat took over.

"Like the Marxists, the oppressed became the oppressors and they are now way worse. It’s not only affecting high schools, it’s affecting the workplace, comedy clubs."

He mentions a flyer he saw recently being passed around inside New York Comedy club UCB with "some trans-man who looks like your dad in a wig" dictating who can be cast in sketches if the character is transgender.

"Here are these nerds Trojan-horsing their way into comedy clubs," he says.

McInnes, who has been labelled by critics as sexist, racist, white supremacist, Islamophobic and transphobic, is the latest right-wing provocateur to set his sights on Australia.

McInnes and the Proud Boys were kicked off Twitter earlier this month for being "violent extremists" ahead of the anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While McInnes disavowed the rally, its organiser Jason Kessler was once a member of the Proud Boys — McInnes has previously said Kessler was kicked out for his racist views.

McInnes says he is of two minds about the Twitter ban.

"On one hand as a libertarian I say, oh well, that venue doesn’t want me anymore," he says. "We don’t have a contract, I was just using it. It’s kind of nice to not have Twitter in my life.

"But we are having lawyers looking at suing them. There’s something grander going on. There’s a war on conservatives because they’re petrified of Trump getting re-elected, they’re in a state of panic.

"Facebook, Google, YouTube, even Snapchat are clamping down on conservatives. It’s the DNC and Big Tech colluding. That is the government colluding with big business. That is not America, that’s not the west — that is Communism and it’s morally wrong."

A "western chauvinist" and friend of Milo Yiannopoulos and Lauren Southern, whose recent trips Down Under were marred by violent left-wing protests, McInnes says his message is one of "pride".

"Shame is such a scam," he says. "There’s this sense of apology and shame with western countries. I noticed this when I was in Israel, they even sort of assume you’re going to come at them so they come out on the defensive.

"They go, ‘Look we had to build this wall, we were getting a terror attack a day.’ I said, I love your wall, I don’t care.

"What Australia built is so incredible. (But) look at Sydney, it’s being lost to Islam just like West London was. In fact there’s parts of Sydney totally indistinguishable from West London. It’s exactly the same — the sense of capitulation, discouraging assimilation."

Yet Census data from 2016 reveal Australia is a religiously diverse nation, with Christianity remaining the most common religion (52 per cent of the population).

"Islam (2.6 per cent) and Buddhism (2.4 per cent) were the next most common religions," the ABS said.

"In the 10 years from 2006 to 2016, the proportion of people reporting a religion other than Christianity in the Census increased from 5.6 per cent in 2006 to 8.2 per cent in 2016. "Although the increase was spread across most of the non-Christian religions, the top two were Hinduism (0.7 per cent in 2006 to 1.9 per cent in 2016) and Islam (1.7 per cent to 2.6 per cent)."

But McInnes says his goal isn’t to preach politics when he arrives in November. "I see it as a comedy tour," he says.

"My goal is to show people that conservatives are funny. In fact we’re the rebels, we’re Animal House. Who got kicked off campus? John Belushi. Milo and Lauren, even Alan Dershowitz are getting kicked off campus. We’re the fun ones."

McInnes describes Australia as "like a hot Canada". "I love Australia, I feel a real kinship," he says. "The only difference between me and my friends in Australia is there’s more masculinity. I’m looking forward to that, just getting pissed."

He wants to "have some fun, do some comedy and show millennials and everyone else that there’s life outside of this liberal bubble, outside of social justice warriors monitoring every joke and telling you what you can and can’t say".

And yes, he’s expecting violent left-wing protesters.

"I don’t know why," McInnes says. "We don’t come to their things. I don’t understand why there’s a problem with free speech. Why is that seen as a threat?

"Even the worst, most right-wing guys like (white supremacist) Richard Spencer, I don’t like their ideas but I’m not scared of their ideas. A 100-pound girl, what are her words going to do to you — start a world war? Why are people so frail?"

McInnes adds "people will show up and if they want to fight, I’m happy to fight". "Our motto is we don’t start fights but we’re happy to finish them," he says. "Isn’t that what your dad used to tell you?"

Antifa, he says, are "rich kids who are the sons of professors and they’ve been brainwashed by this Marxist crap their whole lives".

"There was a time when fighting racist bigots was cool, like the Freedom Riders in the 1960s," he says. "The problem is the bad guys are gone, there’s no more Nazis — so how about we make Milo a Nazi?

"It’s like a Twilight Zone episode where everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders is considered a Nazi. So they get to feel like they’re fighting for justice, like they’re these brave warriors."

At the end of the day, though, "people in the media tend to overintellectualise this — it’s just the mods and the rockers fighting on Brighton Beach".

"We’re talking about a few different trends," McInnes says.

"The street fights outside venues, that’s just mods and rockers playing silly games. It’s not real. That’s why they don’t want to argue with you. That’s why I can’t get them on my show.

"Usually when they brawl, like the punks and skinheads or the mods and rockers, it’s just middle class kids fighting working class kids. The Proud Boys are blue collar."

The "more insidious" and threatening element is the underlying cultural shift. "The obsession with making sure everyone has equal outcomes, that women are part of all action movies, this computer virus of rules invading everything including art," he says.

"It’s a war on fun, on colour, where they want every radio station to be playing the same music. How is that different from Stalinism?"



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

Controversial feminist Germaine Greer says the violent rape of women causes less psychological harm than male partners who have 'perfunctory' sex - as she claims penises have become 'weaponised'

She's exaggerating, in her usual way.  BOTH factors are very harmful to women.  It is however true that not all rapes are the same and that feminists have an over-broad definition of what constitutes rape.

Controversial 'second-wave' feminist Germaine Greer has claimed rape causes less psychological harm than male partners who have disinterested sex.

In an article for The Australian on Saturday, the writer claimed 'perfunctory sex is not criminal but it is damaging'. 'That might be thought to suggest that we should differentiate between "vicious rape" and perfunctory sex,' she said.

The commentator said the emotional and psychical abandonment from a loved one or sexual partner is far more damaging than a sexual attack.

'Neglect and indifference from a loved one are far more corrosive of self-esteem and ultimately more spiritually damaging than a random attack from a stranger, however violent,' she said.

Greer weighed-in on how woman need to give consent for sex - not grudgingly, but enthusiastically for it to be legitimised.

'The vast majority of men have no desire to do that, but that doesn’t mean they are truly concerned as to whether their female partners welcome their attentions.

'There is even an app for her to record this in her phone. She may withdraw this consent at any time — if she can find her phone, and if it has any battery power left.'

The 79-year-old also said the penis too is 'vulnerable' and has been 'weaponised'. 'A misdirected or mishandled erect penis can actually break,' she said.

Greer's controversial comments come just months after she received intense backlash for claiming 'most rape is just lazy, just careless, just insensitive (sex).'

'Most rapes don't involve any injury whatsoever. We are told it's one of the most violent crimes in the world – bullsh**,' she said in a contentious interview.

When asked what would be an appropriate punishment for men found guilty of rape, she said: 'Two hundred hours of community service would do me'.


Australia: Hundreds attend March for Men event in Melbourne

SHE calls herself an anti-feminist and regularly speaks about how Aussies are "demonising" men. Today, she marched with hundreds of supporters.

SYDNEY Watson regularly preaches to her thousands of social media followers about how Australia is "demonising" men.

And today, the self-described anti-feminist has taken to the streets of Melbourne for her ‘March for Men’ to show that "men matter too".

More than 700 people said they’d attend the Federation Square event on Facebook with 2600 more interested.

A counter-protest, called ‘Stand up for equality: March against Men’s Rights Activists’, was also held in the same location, at the same time.

Close to 500 people said they’d attend the counter-protest while 1300 more expressed interest.

Victoria Police promised a heavy presence at the event and warned anyone attending they’ll be conducting weapon searches and will immediately eject anyone who hides their face.

Two people have reportedly been arrested at the protest.

Ms Watson, who studied journalism before moving into conservative commentary, regularly posts piece-to-camera videos for her burgeoning YouTube audience.

In a video announcing the march, Ms Watson said the march was not going to be about "vilifying each other".

"As many of you know over the last number of weeks, it’s felt like there has been an assault on men collectively. I want Australians to rally together for masculinity for men’s rights and just to demonstrate that we know that men matter too.

"The purpose of this rally is not to hate on women, diminish women’s rights or make any negative statements about women

"What we’re trying to do is show that we care about the men in our lives and the issues that affect them

"This is about men and women standing shoulder to shoulder to show that we’re here for each other," she said.

Via Facebook, the counter-protest’s organisers the National Union of Students Women’s Department and the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, encouraged people to attend to "publicly maintain a counter-narrative".


Ben Shapiro Defends Mike Pence Against Anti-Christian Attacks

The more liberals continue to sling hateful remarks at Vice President Mike Pence for his Christian faith, the more I wonder: Wouldn’t he be a wonderful extension of the Trump administration and its culture-changing attitudes if he became president?

For decades the left has systematically chipped away at anything supporting Christian values. Its latest target is Pence and how he holds his faith close as he navigates his political career.

The anti-Christian attacks might not be having the effect liberals are hoping for. As conservative pundit Ben Shapiro put it in an interview Thursday night on Fox News with Shannon Bream, "This is how we got Trump."

Bream pointed out that Pence is now being labeled by liberals as a "Christian supremacist." In fact, the new book "The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence" calls the vice president the "most successful Christian supremacist in American history" and claims the United States could become a theocracy if Pence becomes president.

Frank Bruni of The New York Times had a scathing description of Pence in his review of the book, headlined "Mike Pence: Holy Terror."

"There are problems with impeaching Donald Trump," Bruni wrote. "A big one is the holy terror waiting in the wings. "That would be Mike Pence, who mirrors the boss more than you realize. He’s also self-infatuated. Also a bigot. Also a liar. Also cruel."

Joy Behar of "The View" also bashed Pence’s strong faith, calling it a "mental illness." (She later apologized.)

In the wake of these comments, Shapiro told Bream that  "there is a baseline level of hatred for Christians from the cultural left."

"There’s this belief that everybody who deeply believes their faith is actually secretly a bigot, that the reason they are acting out their religion in public is not because they believe their religion, but because they are using their religion as a cover for bigotry," he said.

Shapiro noted that’s clearly not true, and all it does is demonstrate the "militant secularism of the left."

He has a pretty good handle on liberals’ logic and their strategy for labeling their opposition. "It turns out that no matter how bad the Republican supposedly is the next Republican will inevitably be even worse," Shapiro said. "Mike Pence will certainly be worse. He’s a worse person, a scarier person than Donald Trump.

"You always think there is some limit to the lengths to which the left will go to portray a Republican as bad, but no matter how much they hate Trump the next guy they’ll hate just as much or more because he’s the next guy. That’s just how it works."

Shapiro said it’s "amazing that the folks who are saying that Mike Pence wants to run a theocracy ignore the fact that Mike Pence is a constitutional conservative who wants to limit the size and scope of government. The only theocrats, the only people who actually want to rule from above by instituting their moral preferences on society from the top down, are the folks on the left, who actually want to invade rights on a regular basis and force people to do things that they don’t want to do.

"It’s a lot more common on the left than it is on the right, so they’re actually using their own theocratic tendencies toward government, which a lot of folks on the radical left see as a quasi God-like figure; they’re using that own theocratic tendency and then projecting it onto people like Mike Pence. It’s really quite disgusting."

However, maybe targeting faith isn’t the way to go here for liberals. In April, The Hill reported that Christian support for President Trump was at an all-time high.

"Seventy-five percent of white evangelical respondents in the poll said they view Trump favorably, while just 22 percent said they view him unfavorably," the report said.

So, go ahead, liberals. Keep going after Christians, their faith, their lifestyle, their choices. You might not be firing up your secular base as much as you are energizing Christians.


Jail for trying to shoo a wild animal off the road??

FURY is growing on social media following news a man has been jailed after footage of him performing a stupid act in a national park went viral.

EARLIER this month, footage of Raymond Reinke harassing a bison that had stopped traffic at the famous Yellowstone National Park went viral and raised many eyebrows. Now, he’s been punished but many have been left wondering, should stupidity be a crime?

The man, from Oregon, US, said he and his buddy were on a "last hurrah" tour through national parks before he entered alcohol treatment. He has been handed a 130-day jail sentence for his drunken acts.

Reinke, of Pendleton, Oregon, apologised to the animal and pleaded guilty during a federal court appearance in Mammoth, Wyoming.

US Magistrate Judge Mark Carman sentenced him to 60 days in jail for harassing wildlife, 60 days for interfering with law enforcement and 10 days for disorderly conduct. He was given credit for 21 days served.

Reinke, 55, is banned from Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier national parks for a five-year probationary period during which he is not allowed to drink alcohol. His planned chemical dependency treatment is now court-ordered.

"I’m sorry to the buffalo. He didn’t deserve what I did to him," Reinke said, ABC Fox Montana reported.

Leo Pico described Reinke’s behaviour as the "most egregious" case of animal harassment he’d seen in Yellowstone.

The judge told Reinke: "You’re lucky the bison didn’t take care of it, and you’re standing in front of me."

Reinke was first cited for public intoxication and interfering with law enforcement in Grand Teton National Park on July 28. He spent a night in jail before posting a $US500 (AUD 682) bond.

A few days later in Yellowstone, Reinke got in trouble after getting out of the car to see if there was a way he could help clear a traffic jam. When he saw the bison on the road he decided to try to herd it off, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.

"I thought I was doing what was appropriate," Reinke said. "I just didn’t think. That’s my stupidity."

In the viral video, Reinke is seen walking up to a bison waving his arms. The animal charges him a couple times, but he was not injured. Yellowstone National Park regulations require people to stay 23 metres away from bison. He was cited for intentionally disturbing wildlife and having an open container of alcohol, but rangers were unaware of the conditions of his bond, which required him to remain law-abiding and avoid alcohol.

However, Reinke had mentioned his next stop was Glacier National Park. When officials put the whole story together a judge revoked Reinke’s bond in the Grand Teton case and rangers arrested him in Glacier park on August 3, where officials say he was also causing a disturbance.

There has been a mixed reaction to his sentencing, with some social media users saying he deserved what he got and others arguing it is too harsh a penalty. Another wrote: "The world has gone mad."


Just ONE MONTH of Multiculturalism in Britain: July 2018

July 1. Mubarek Ali, a 35-year-old former ringleader of a Telford child sex abuse gang, was sent back to prison after breaching the terms of his parole. In 2012, Ali was sentenced to 22 years in prison for child prostitution offenses, but he was automatically released in 2017 after serving only five years. Telford MP Lucy Allan said that there are "many questions to be answered" about why Ali was released, and also about how the justice system treats so-called grooming cases:

"Now he is back in jail, justice demands that he must serve the remainder of his sentence in custody; anything less would show a casual disregard for the nature of his crimes and for the victims whose lives he changed forever."

July 2. Abdul Rauf, a 51-year-old imam from Rochdale, was imprisoned for one year and five months after admitting to assaulting more than 20 children at a mosque. Inspector Phil Key, of Greater Manchester Police, said:

"Abdul Rauf is a nasty, bully of a man who beat the children in his classes until it became normalised. The children were left cowering and holding onto their ears, their arms and their legs after he repeatedly used violence as a punishment. The parents of the children had no idea that they were leaving their children in the care of a man who would leave them writhing in pain and covered in marks and bruises."

Rauf is a different defendant to 49-year-old Abdul Rauf, formerly of Rochdale, who was convicted as part of a child sex gang that targeted girls as young as 13 in the town.

July 3. A judge in Iraq said that British jihadis found in the country would be executed by hanging. Abdul Sattar Beraqdar, spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council, said that such a form of capital punishment would be good for British security:

"The punishment, as much as it seems strong, will affect the security of your country. I am sure there are hundreds of people in Britain at this moment thinking of committing similar crimes. That's why we, as Iraqis, if we are tough in sentencing these people, they will think thoroughly before taking any action."

Some 800 Britons have journeyed to Syria and Iraq to fight for the Islamic State, with 130 killed in the conflict, according to British officials, but it is unclear how many British jihadis have been captured or have faced the death penalty. A British Foreign Office spokesman said: "We oppose the death penalty in all cases."

July 5. Laurel Ellis, a conservative candidate for a council by-election in Merthyr Tydfil, a town in Wales, was suspended after sharing social media posts that were critical of Islam. Labour Assembly Member Dawn Bowden said that the posts were Islamophobic. A spokesman for the Welsh Conservatives said that the party seeks "to reach out to, and represent, all communities and people from all walks of life in Wales."

July 6. Police in London revealed that they intervened to stop a suspected "child sex party" at kebab shop in Bethnal Green. So-called "uck parties" involve young girls being plied with alcohol and drugs before older men have sex with them. Authorities in Tower Hamlets, which has the highest percentage of Muslim residents in England and Wales, have since revoked the kebab shop's alcohol license.

July 7. The Daily Mail reported that Imran Waheed, a 41-year-old psychiatrist with the National Health Service in Birmingham, is also working as an expert witness to British courts, even though he is an Islamist who has said he "does not believe in democracy" and is "not obedient" to secular law. In a BBC interview he said: "I've got no respect for any law other than Allah's, so I don't care about the law to be honest... I care for the law of Islam. I don't care for the law of any man."

July 8. An opinion essay published by the Guardian claimed that a new a new art exhibition in Florence reveals the "deep connection" between Europe and Islam:

"Embodied in the Renaissance view is certainly a sense of Islam as the other. But it is intertwined with curiosity, respect, even awe. There is a willingness, too, to reach beyond the otherness of Islam and to see the Muslim world not as demonic or exotic but as a variant of the European experience....

"Yet, at a time when many politicians present Islam as alien to the European experience, such shows are a useful reminder of how historically deeply intertwined are the worlds of Europe and Islam."

July 9. Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted, the schools regulator, accused Muslim groups of having a "sense of religious and/or cultural entitlement" and attempting to exert an outsize influence on school policy:

"... for some children, school may be the only time in their lives that they spend time every day with people from outside their immediate ethnic or religious group, or at least where the values of people outside their own group can be explained and openly discussed....

"Islamist extremists – particularly fuelled by the online propaganda of Daesh and others – prey on a sense of isolation and alienation in some minority communities."

July 12. Thousands of Muslim pupils in Blackburn, Burnley, Hyndburn, Nelson, Preston and Rawtenstall were instructed to boycott all school meals when they return to class in September. The move follows the decision by the Lancashire County Council to stop supplying schools with only halal meat from pre-stunned sheep and cattle.

July 13. Sophie Rahman, the former head teacher of Eton Community School, a primary school in Ilford, was banned for life from teaching after it emerged that she had allowed the London Bridge jihadi Khuram Butt to teach after-school Arabic classes at the facility. Butt reportedly told children that non-Muslims were the "worst creatures" and that it was okay for them to lie to their parents. A panel found Rahman guilty of unacceptable professional conduct. She confirmed that the last day that Butt taught the children was June 2, 2017. The next day, Butt, along with Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba, plowed a van into people on London Bridge before launching a knife rampage around Borough Market. The attackers were shot dead by police officers.

July 15. Samantha Lewthwaite, a 34-year-old British convert to Islam, was reported to be recruiting suicide bombers to target summer holidaymakers in Britain, Cyprus, Greece, Spain and Turkey. The mother-of-four — known as the White Widow after her jihadi husband killed himself and 26 others in the 2005 London suicide bombings — was feared to have recruited up to 30 jihadis, who have been taught how to build suicide vests and choose their own targets. An intelligence source said:

"The White Widow hates Britain and everything the West stands for. She has completely turned her back on her country and her former life. She has mentored dozens of female terrorists and favours white converts to Islam because she feels they attract less suspicion by the security services."

July 17. The Independent reported on an inquiry which found that the British government received information detailing the activities of Muslim pedophile gangs in Rotherham as far back as 2002 but failed properly to act on it, apparently out of fear of being accused of racism. A large-scale inquiry was not launched until a decade later, after a Times report on the scale of grooming in Britain provoked a national scandal. Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham, said it was clear that the Home Office knew about child sexual exploitation in Rotherham since 2002:

"Why, when so many in authority knew the scale and severity of this crime, did it take until 2014, with the publication of the Jay report, for a large-scale investigation to occur? How many lives could have been protected if swift action had been taken a decade before?"

July 18. Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman, a 20-year-old British-Bangladeshi jihadi from North London, was found guilty of plotting to behead Prime Minister Theresa May. The court heard how Rahman, who was the focus of a sting operation mounted by counter-terrorism officers from the Metropolitan police and MI5, told undercover officers of his plans:

"I want to do a suicide bomb on Parliament. I want to attempt to kill Theresa May. There are lorries [trucks] here with big gas tankers, if a brother can drive it next to Parliament I will bomb. [God willing] will be very big if I'm successful. I can't mess up. I can't get [martyrdom] if I get caught."

July 20. Khalid Ali, a 28-year-old plumber-turned-jihadi from London, was handed three life sentences with a minimum term of 40 years in prison for plotting a knife attack on MPs and police outside the Houses of Parliament. Ali had three knives when he was arrested by armed police in Parliament Square on April 2017 following surveillance by counter-terrorism police. Ali spent five years in Afghanistan, where he made Taliban bombs used to maim and kill British and NATO troops. In an interview with officers, Ali said he wanted to deliver a message to British leaders telling them to leave "Muslim lands," destroy the state of Israel and release prisoners of war. "I would consider myself as a mujahid [Islamic warrior]," he added. "Jihad is what we do."

July 20. Former Prime Minister David Cameron said it is a mistake to understand terrorism as a clash between Christianity and Islam.

"Listening to Trump makes me feel that it is a clash between Christianity and Islam. It is wrong," Cameron said at an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce...

"According to Cameron, it was, indeed, a clash within Islam - between the civilised ones who want to practice their faith peacefully and those who had taken a radicalised and perverted view of the religion."

July 21. The Sunday Telegraph reported that former Prime Minister Tony Blair was being paid £9 million ($11.5 million) to advise the government of Saudi Arabia. An article on Blair's website states:

"[T]he Crown Prince has demonstrated a level of conviction, clarity and coherence in identifying and understanding the nature of Islamist extremism that Western policymakers should seek to learn from. Britain should learn from Saudi Arabia and how it has demonstrated a clear commitment to tackling the politicization of Islam to inform policymaking, with no moral ambiguity in delineating Islam, the faith, from Islamism, a politicised ideology."

July 23. A leaked letter sent by Home Secretary Sajid Javid to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which revealed that Britain refrained from demanding "assurances" that two British jihadis, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, not be executed in America, provoked a public backlash that they could face the death penalty. Diane Abbott, a Labour Party politician who serves as shadow home secretary, said that Javid's stance was "abhorrent and shameful." As a result, Javid abruptly halted cooperation with the United States on the case. The United States accuses the two men of being part of a cell that beheaded at least 27 people. The murdered victims include American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid-worker Peter Kassig. Britain abolished capital punishment for all crimes in 1998 and when assisting foreign governments with prosecutions, typically seeks assurances that the death penalty not be used.

July 24. Majud Hussain, a 41-year-old police officer from Nottingham, was sentenced to seven years in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl. Judge James Sampson told Hussain, a married father of four: "You have shown absolutely no remorse whatsoever. You are clearly a disgrace to the uniform of police officers and you are obviously unfit to be a police constable."

July 24. Khalid Baqa, a 54-year-old man from East London, was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for disseminating jihadi literature on the London Underground. Commander Clarke Jarrett, Head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command said:

"Baqa was reproducing and distributing terrorist related material in the hope of getting others involved and drawn into the same toxic ideology he was peddling. Not only that, but he also radicalised and involved a young impressionable 17-year-old, whom he then used to help distribute his pamphlets and CDs."

July 25. Home Secretary Sajid Javid ordered research into the ethnic origin of sexual grooming gangs, apparently in order "to discover why men convicted of group sex crimes are disproportionately of Pakistani origin." Javid, a British-Pakistani, said that exploring the "particular characteristics" of offenders was "critical to our understanding" of what happened across the country, including in Newcastle, Telford and Rotherham.

July 25. Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland's biggest health trust, reported 17 cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) between April 2017 and January 2018. The women were aged from 24 years to 46 years. Their country of origin was not recorded.

July 26. The director of the Royal College of Midwives in Northern Ireland, Breedagh Hughes, said that women are being let down by a lack of clarity over procedures for reporting incidents of female genital mutilation (FGM):

"The fact that there have been no official, practical guidelines for nurses, midwives, social workers, anyone working at the coalface [on the front lines], means it's very difficult for anyone to know what to do when confronted with a case of FGM....

"There is also an issue of jurisdiction. If the offence was carried out on someone over 18 outside of Northern Ireland, what do they do?"

July 27. Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Britain expressed fears of violent persecution after cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan announced victory in Pakistan's general election. The Ahmadiyya community is considered heretical by orthodox Muslims because its followers do not believe that Mohammed was the final prophet, an offense, under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, that is punishable by death. "We are standing with Article 295c and will defend it," Khan said at a gathering of Muslim leaders in Islamabad. He was referring to a clause of the Pakistani Constitution that mandates the death penalty for any "imputation, insinuation or innuendo" against Mohammed. Some 30,000 Ahmadiyyas are living in Britain.

July 28. Six men were charged in connection with an acid attack on a three-year-old boy, who was on a shopping trip with his mother. The father of the boy, a 39-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, was among those charged in the attack. Police believe the Afghan man had intended to attack his estranged wife, who, with their three children, left him last year and moved to another house to start a new life.

July 29. The Sunday Times reported that not a single Christian was among the 1,112 Syrian refugees resettled in Britain in the first three months of 2018. The Home Office agreed to resettle only Muslims and rejected the four Christians recommended by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

July 30. A couple who tricked their teenage daughter into traveling to Bangladesh in an attempt to force her to marry her first cousin were sentenced to four-and-a-half years and three-and-a-half years to prison, respectively. The husband and wife, who were not named for legal reasons, were found guilty in May of using violence, threats or coercion to force their daughter into marriage.

During a three-week trial in Leeds, a jury heard that in 2016, the couple's daughter, then 18, was taken out of college during classes to go on what she thought was a six-week holiday to Bangladesh to see family and celebrate an Islamic holiday. She was told of the marriage plans less than a week after arriving in the country. When she refused to take part, her father threatened to slit her throat.

She was rescued days before the wedding was to take place after her younger sister contacted the British High Commission, which worked alongside the UK government's Forced Marriage Unit and Bangladeshi police to bring the woman back to the UK.

SOURCE (See the original for links)


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


26 August, 2018

It's Time To Tear Down The Statues Of These Three Monstrous Liberal Heroes

The Left was ecstatic this week when "protestors" (read: criminal vandals) toppled a Confederate statue on the campus of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. This, of course, is just the latest monument of its sort to be removed, legally or illegally, in the name of combating white supremacy. There seems to have been a precedent established over the past few years: if you don't like a statue, pull it down. The law will step to the side and allow felony destruction of property to occur.

There are a few problems with this precedent, starting with its uneven application. It has been open season on "offensive" monuments, only so long as they are monuments to 19th century white guys from the American south. The rather selective nature of this historical purging has led many people — myself included — to suspect that there is a specifically left-wing ideological motivation behind this outcry against statues. If it is not ideological, if our modern sensibilities simply will not tolerate statues that commemorate "problematic" figures of any sort, then why hasn't the outrage extended beyond Confederate soldiers?

Many people in the south feel that this is an attack on their heritage and history. If it is not that, if it is really just a movement against evils like racism and slavery, then all statues associated with evil should come down. This is not "whataboutism." This is simply a matter of consistently applying a principle. The statue-toppling mobs, if their motives were honest, would assemble to yank down, stomp, and spit upon the following non-Confederate monuments. Though of course I would only want this to be done legally:

1) The monument to child sex predator Harvey Milk in San Francisco.

There are actually several monuments to Harvey Milk in the city, as well as streets and schools and even Naval ships named after him. I don't suggest that we demolish the schools, streets, or ships — just rename them. As for the statues, they should be pulled down for the evils they represent.

Harvey Milk is hailed as a hero for only one reason: he was gay and he was elected to public office. He accomplished nothing else. His only notable achievement was his own political elevation, which was cut short when he was murdered by a fellow Democrat. But his minor electoral accomplishment is vastly outweighed by the fact that Milk was a pederast and a statutory rapist who preyed upon drug addicted boys.

Even Milk's admirers do not deny that he had a "penchant for young waifs with drug abuse problems." What they do not like to admit is that the "young waifs" were minors who came to Milk looking for a father figure and instead were groomed, abused, and discarded. At least two of his victims committed suicide shortly after Milk was finished with them. He was a profoundly evil and degenerate man, who, so far as anyone knows, contributed nothing of value to society, and left a trail of misery, abuse, and suicide in his wake. Stonewall Jackson may have fought for the south, but at least he wasn't a child rapist.

2) The statue of mass murderer and tyrant Vladimir Lenin in Seattle.

Lenin was a Marxist revolutionary who founded the Soviet tyrannical state that would proceed to murder, imprison, enslave, and starve tens of millions of people over the course of the 20th century. For a while, there was some effort on the Left to separate Lenin from Stalin, foisting all of the sins of butchery and murder on the latter so that the former could be seen as a pure and virtuous fighter for Marxist ideals. It is true that he was a fighter for Marxist ideals, but not a pure and virtuous one. In fact, he was a killer and a villain just like Stalin.

As noted in The Washington Post a few years ago, here is a typical memo from Lenin, sent to his Bolshevik comrades, ordering the mass execution of farmers and the appropriation of their land:

"1. Hang (hang without fail so the people see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers. 2. Publish their names. 3. Take from them all the grain. 4. Designate hostages — as per yesterday's telegram. Do it in such a way that for hundreds of versts around, people will see, tremble, know, shout: they are strangling and will strangle to death the bloodsucker kulaks."

A statue to this man stands in the middle of an American neighborhood.

3) The bust of eugenist Margaret Sanger in the National Portrait Institute.

The founder of Planned Parenthood, who once proudly spoke to a group of KKK members to promote her ideas, was a proponent of the morally abominable eugenics movement. Like other eugenicists, she believed in ridding society of undesirable classes through forced sterilization and other similar methods. Sanger's apologists will point out that she denied claims of racism. That's true. Here's what she said in denial:

"The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

I'm not sure that her statement about educating 'rebellious Negros' does much to debunk the racism charge, but I do know that she explicitly desired to eradicate "undesirables," and the organization she founded would go on to eradicate well over seven million of them and counting.

Ironically, the bust of Margaret Sanger has been defended on the grounds that her racist views "mirrored her times" and the effort to remove it is really part of an ideologically motivated campaign. The backlash against the various monuments to Harvey Milk is also blocked on the basis that it is a thinly veiled anti-gay crusade. These are exactly the arguments defenders of Confederate statues make: that the troubling aspects of Confederate figures must be seen in their historical context, and the effort to wipe them from history is more political than it is ethical.

It seems that integrity and consistency demands we tear down all problematic statues or none of them. To focus just on one sort, and ignore the monuments to evil historical characters celebrated by some people on the Left, is to admit that the attack on Confederate statues is indeed nothing more than a political stunt.


Media, Bigotry, Religious Freedom, and Mike Pence
Bigotry in any form is immoral. But it’s perfectly acceptable for the media elite when the target of the bigotry is a practicing Christian. In fact, it’s fashionable in "progressive" circles to trounce those who follow Christ.

So, it’s no surprise that Vice President Mike Pence and his faith are increasingly under attack by what Rush Limbaugh aptly calls "the drive-by media."

Mr. Pence is honest, courageous, and conservative. He is also one of the greatest and most effective statesman of our time. And at a youthful 59 years old, he still has a brilliant political future ahead of him. So, of course, the media want to politically assassinate him with their vile words.

For instance, a recent New York Times column praises a book scheduled for release later this month that belittles the vice president’s Christian faith and tries to scare readers into believing that he seeks to turn America into a theocracy, that he is determined to assert his faith on the entire nation.

If the authors of the New York Times piece or the bigoted book The Shadow President had bothered to actually research Mr. Pence’s faith, they would understand that a basic tenant of Christianity is that becoming a Christian is strictly voluntary; deciding to invite Christ into one’s heart is an act of free will.

Although history is filled with so-called Christians who have sought to force others to adhere to their religion, the Bible clearly teaches that God sees and judges the heart, and that only true confessions of faith in him are accepted. Our vice president not only understands the necessity of this religious freedom, he is a champion of it.

In fact, Mr. Pence is a freedom fighter. His record in Congress reveals him to be a fearless warrior for religious freedom and free speech on behalf of all Americans. Mr. Pence sponsored the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2011, the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009, and The Free Flow of Information Act, as well as supported other religious freedom initiatives.

In my former role as a vice president of The Heritage Foundation, I had the privilege of inviting and hosting then-Rep. Pence to Heritage to give a speech about his legislation designed to protect the free speech of broadcasters. He was bold and inspiring as he fought for the rights of people of every persuasion to speak their minds, and he remains inspiring in his commitment to this timeless American value today.

Such a commitment to freedom threatens those who seek to turn America into a government-controlled "state" where worship is allowed, but the practice of faith is not.

As the far Left becomes increasingly vitriolic toward timeless American values like "In God we trust," marriage defined as a union between one man and one woman, and the belief that we are a sovereign nation, it also is increasing its attacks on Mr. Pence.

The problem for the media is that it’s just not possible to find anything to legitimately expose about Mr. Pence. So they have chosen to go the decidedly un-American route and attempt to discredit our vice president simply because he is a committed Christian.

One word of caution to the elitists who seek to bludgeon Christians with bigotry: The American public is sick and tired of your hatred.

Take, for example, when Joy Behar of ABC’s "The View" thought she’d get a few cheap laughs for making fun of our vice president’s belief in the power of prayer. After ridiculing him on the show, her audience revolted. ABC received so many complaints about Ms. Behar’s bigotry that she was forced to issue an apology.

While the media elite still scratch their heads as to why evangelicals support President Trump so overwhelmingly, I find myself amazed how these so-called "journalists" don’t get it.

It’s actually pretty basic: We’re tired of being ridiculed and stepped on. We’re sick of being targeted by liberal lawyers for wanting to live out our faith. We’re done with our pastors being silenced at the pulpit, of our beliefs belittled in front of our children in public schools. We’re no longer willing to put up with activists judges who deny us our constitutional rights. President Trump understands this. Although perhaps not embracing our brand of faith as his own, he is a fierce protector of our rights — more than any president before him.

And, thanks to Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence now stands shoulder to shoulder with him as our vice president, fighting to restore the free speech rights and freedom of religion for all Americans, just as he has championed these priceless principles throughout his adult life.

Mr. Trump proves every day that decent Americans don’t have to put up with the lies and hate spewed by so many in the mass media under the guise of "news."

So to those "journalists" who seek to persecute decent public servants like Mike Pence, you can expect your ratings to continue to be dismal, and your political influence to continue to fade.

Can I hear an "Amen?"


Social Media Trickery

John Stossel
YouTube just added an "information panel" to all my videos about climate change.

We at Stossel TV do weekly videos on many controversial topics, but apparently YouTube thinks climate change is special.

The information panel seems benign — just a link to a Wikipedia page about global warming — and YouTube puts it on all climate change videos.

But Wikipedia’s page was captured by activists. It’s biased in favor of desperate alarmism. You’d have to read carefully to know that the billions we’re spending now to fight climate change will make little difference.

The YouTube information panel doesn’t mention the Climategate scandal in which scientists were accused of skewing data, ignores climate models that over-predicted warming, etc.

It basically says the science of climate change is settled.

Only near the very end does the YouTube information panel briefly mention skepticism from conservative and libertarian think tanks. But the editors don’t let skeptics give reasons for their skepticism.

It’s very one-sided.

In addition, adding these information panels is a form of bias. They don’t add Wikipedia links on Bernie Sanders’ ignorant videos on economics (this one would help, or this).

This is not a free speech issue because the First Amendment applies (and should apply) only to government censorship. YouTube is a private company (owned by Google) that can censor whatever it wants. We have several social media companies — but just one government.

I’m glad Twitter purges robots and Facebook bans posts that call for direct violence (that’s illegal, after all). But I worry when big media companies start policing content.

Recently, Facebook, YouTube, Apple Podcasts and others banned Alex Jones’ network, InfoWars, for "hate speech."

Jones is an irresponsible jerk, but most sites didn’t ban him for any specific thing he did recently. As Robby Soave writes on Reason.com, "We don’t know which statements he made were deemed hateful, or why. We don’t know if Jones is being singled out, or if anyone who said the things he said would be banned."

That’s a problem.

Twitter permanently banned conservative commentator Gavin McInnes, saying he was "violating our policy prohibiting violent extremist groups."

McInnes founded a conservative group, and some of its members did attend racist rallies, something McInnes denounced. I cringe at things McInnes says. But he’s not a racist. He’s a defender of Western civilization.

Real extremists like Richard Spencer laughed about McInnes being banned on Twitter because McInnes often criticizes them.

McInnes suspects extremists like Spencer get to keep tweeting because they can so easily be dismissed or held up by the left to make the right look bad. Mainstream figures like McInnes are a bigger threat to Twitter liberals, he says.

"I’m not a violent extremist. I’m not even violent," McInnes says. "I’m just a Trump supporter who is fiscally conservative, socially liberal and refuses to kowtow to the PC left and their silly fads. That’s more dangerous to the left."

Twitter never told McInnes what he did to warrant being banned, so we asked Twitter. They told us they have "nothing more to share at this time."

Another recent example: Facebook censored PragerU, a conservative outlet that posts dignified videos on topics like limited government.

Facebook "shadowbanned" PragerU’s videos. That’s when the user of a platform (PragerU) assumes posts reach viewers, but Facebook doesn’t show the post to many people. Facebook tricked PragerU into thinking their messages were getting out.

Facebook later apologized, saying, "We mistakenly removed these videos … We’re very sorry and are continuing to look into what happened."

I suspect what happened is that leftist "content monitors" at Facebook decided that fewer conservative videos should be seen. Whatever Mark Zuckerberg says about his miraculous algorithms, censorship is generally done by humans.

Private media platforms have every right to decide who can use them. But the platforms are wrong to shut down people with whom they disagree.

President Trump took to Twitter this weekend to urge open and freewheeling debate, tweeting, "Let everybody participate, good & bad, and we will all just have to figure it out!"

Trump, despite his bluster in favor of strong libel laws, added, "Censorship is a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police. If you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed."

The answer to bad speech is more speech. We’re better off when people speak their minds.


On Israel's Nation-State Law

On July 19, Israel's parliament, the Knesset, voted into law the Nation-State Bill. As Israel has never had a constitution, the bill became the latest iteration of the country's Basic Laws, in the form of Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People. To many, this seemed like stating the obvious. Had not Israel been created in the first place for that very purpose? The only question was, "Why had it taken 70 years to turn the obvious into law?" Well, perhaps not the only question. The next one was "Why did 55 Knesset members vote against it, with two abstentions, with a narrow majority of 62 in favour?"

Once word got out to the outside world that the Israeli parliament had dared to enact such a definition of their state, it was, for many, as if the end of the world had taken place. As if they had never known that, since the time of the Bible, the land now called Israel was home to the Jews.

Just about everybody went out to condemn the bill as racist, discriminatory, anti-democratic, and opposed to Jewish principles of egalitarianism with non-Jewish citizens. NBC News ran a headline stating: "Israel 'nation-state' law prompts criticism around the world, including from U.S. Jewish groups". On the very day the bill was passed, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, claimed that:

"We've been very clear when it comes to the two-state solution, we believe it is the only way forward and any step that would further complicate or prevent this solution of becoming a reality should be avoided."

She did not say why Israel's being a Jewish state with equal rights for non-Jews would interfere with a future two-state solution. Rejection of such a solution has always come from the Arab and Palestinian side, never the mainstream Jewish side. Instead, Mogherini planned a meeting for September 4 with Israeli Arab lawmakers -- these being another group vociferously opposed to the new law. She does not appear to have invited any Jewish lawmakers to an equivalent meeting.

The European Union, a supra-national conglomeration that has done much good in advancing the rights of individual nation-states that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union as a means to preserving peace on the continent of Europe, has for many years taken an anti-Israel position that serves only to encourage Palestinians who launch wars and terrorist attacks precisely to prevent a two-state solution, all the while demanding the right to abolish Israel and create an exclusive Palestinian state "from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea", a call for massive ethnic cleansing or genocide.

Opposition to the nation-state law was also strongly expressed by Israeli Arabs, Israeli Druze, and many Israeli and American Jews, including the Jewish Federations of North America and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews -- in clear defiance of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, even though, for example, the United Kingdom officially exists as an Anglican state, without mistreating, at least officially, any of its minorities.

In Israel, artists, authors and purported intellectuals called for the cancellation of the law. Sometimes, the language used to describe the law passed the bounds of common decency. British Jewish socialist David Rosenberg, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, spoke in vile terms about three Jewish UK Labour Party MPs before slurring Israel's new law:

"If [Margaret] Hodge and her sisters in struggle, [Ruth] Smeeth and [Juliana] Berger, were not craven opportunists and selective anti-racists and defenders of human rights, they might have been speaking out more, or even at all, about the disgusting and openly racist nation state bill that the Israeli government has just approved..."

One Israeli Arab member of the Knesset, Zouheir Bahloul, resigned, predicting that other Arab MKs would follow suit. He claimed falsely that the law discriminated against non-Jewish minorities. On August 4, many Israelis, organized by Druze leaders, gathered in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to protest the law. It later emerged, however, that the rally was paid for and directed by the left-wing Anu group, a grantee of the New Israel Fund. According to Breitbart Jerusalem:

Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund, issued a divisive statement calling the legislation "tribalism at its worst," a "slap in the face to Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel," and a "danger to Israel's future."

In other words, anti-Zionists tried to weaponize the new law to promote their existing agendas.

By contrast, in Saudi Arabia and the Maldives, only Muslims are allowed to be citizens. In both those countries, the open practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden -- even Christianity and Judaism, which are supposedly accepted by Islam. In Israel, members of all religions and ethnic groups are full citizens.

In Saudi Arabia and the Maldives, only Muslims are allowed to be citizens. In both those countries, the open practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden. Pictured: Road signs in Saudi Arabia, designating the road to Mecca as for "Muslims Only." (Image source: Peter Dowley/Wikimedia Commons)

It probably should not be a surprise that many Arab and European leaders used the passage of the law as an excuse to further their anti-Zionist agenda, but the opposition of Israel's Druze community, always the most loyal to the state, with a long and admirable role in the Israeli armed forces, as well as the anger of so many Jews both in Israel and abroad, came as something of a shock.

There is no doubt, however, that this simple law does not change anything for anyone.

On August 8, during a special Knesset debate on the law, Zionist Union party activists, led by a former Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, attacked the government, called for fresh elections, and "said the opposition would pass the Declaration of Independence as a basic law in lieu of the nation-state law." Whatever the problems abroad, there is little doubt that the decision to make Jewish identity a core part of Israeli law has intensified political divisions at a time when unity of purpose is essential for a country that still faces existential threats on several fronts.

Readers should consult the full text of the law in order to reach their own conclusions. But it may help to consider one or two key clauses from it as a starting point for our understanding of it. In reality, the only contentious clauses are those in Article 1:

A. The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established.

B. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.

C. The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.

Surely we knew all this already. The passage of the law was done simply to give a firm legal basis for the creation of Israel in 1948 following the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. Its preamble states clearly that:

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. [Author's emphasis.]

As for "the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine", does not Israel's Declaration of Independence (May 14, 1948) clearly state that the State of Israel "will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions", and has not Israel done exactly that, as the Druze, Muslims, Christians, Baha'is and other minorities, can attest?

Why, then, do so many around the world claim that reinforcing the fact that Israel is a Jewish state will harm the lives of its non-Jewish inhabitants? In Iran, for instance, the large Baha'i minority suffers massive persecution, including imprisonment, execution, and much more,[1] while in Israel, they have their international governing body and their holiest shrines, and bring in pilgrims from round the world.

Accusations levelled against the new law often include outright falsehoods. Daniel Pomerantz of Honest Reporting has identified a series of, shall we diplomatically call, "myths" about the law published by the New York Times, including that "Israel is a country where Jews enjoy rights that others don't have" and "a state in which Judaism is the only national expression permissible by law will, by definition, reject any minority member who wishes to be part of it". Of course, Judaism is not "the only national expression permissible by law" and more than in England the Anglican religion is. Additionally, go tell that to any of the religious and ethnic minorities who live unmolested in Israel, who serve in parliament, in the judicial system, in universities and across all sectors.

Those false accusations against Israel, however, draw attention to something else that has been grievously neglected in this debate: Israel is being wrongly condemned for something that not one Muslim state has ever been condemned for: identifying its nationality with its religion -- and in the case of those Muslim states, this is done frequently in a manner that excludes or restricts the rights, or even the very existence, of minorities.

There are currently four countries that officially identify as Islamic Republics: Iran, Pakistan, Mauritania, and Afghanistan. There have been four others, some very short-lived, in the past: the Comoros (1978-2000), the East Turkestan (1933), the Gambia (2015-2017), and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (1996-2000). All four of the current Islamic republics are dangerous places for non-Muslims to live, with laws against apostasy, against blasphemy (freedom of expression), and, in the case of Mauritania, prevalent slavery, all of which contradict international human rights standards.

In those republics, as well as in monarchies with Islam as the official religion (such as Saudi Arabia), the persecution of heretical Muslims, Christians and Baha'is and others, is -- in direct contrast to Israel -- commonplace. The use of shari'a law to enforce human rights abuses banned under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, clamps down heavily on the lives of women, freethinkers, secularists, and all non-Muslims. Where capital punishments are carried out for non-criminal offences such as heresy, blasphemy and "sorcery", or floggings and stonings-to-death are imposed for moral infringements such as alleged sex outside marriage, including having been raped, there is a huge imbalance between Western democracies and many Muslim states.[2]

In Saudi Arabia and the Maldives, only Muslims are allowed to be citizens. In both, the open practice of any other religion, even those (Christianity and Judaism) that are accepted by Islam, is forbidden. In Israel, members of all other religions and ethnic groups are full citizens, who may vote, serve as lawmakers and judges, and more, worship in protected holy places.

It is important to add that few Muslim states are democracies in the full sense. Several are outright monarchies or emirates: Morocco, Jordan, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait (an emirate where there is an elected parliament, but political parties are illegal), Qatar, Oman, and the 7-emirate United Arab Emirates. In the modern period, others have been or still are dictatorships: Syria, Iran (a theocracy, formerly a monarchy), Iraq, Libya, and Pakistan under Zia-ul Haq. It is only fair to state that the three most populous Muslim-majority nations (Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) are all democracies, and that some others are democracies, yet often threatened by coups d'état or growing Islamisation. Lebanon, which was a decent democracy, is now controlled by Hizbullah. Turkey, the first Muslim secular democracy, is run today by Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who recently acquired massive powers.

Furthermore, Islam is the official religion of many states: Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, Nigeria, the Maldives, Brunei, and Malaysia. Article 4 of the 2003 Amended Basic Law of the Palestinian National Authority reads:

1. Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect for the sanctity of all other divine religions shall be maintained.

2. The principles of Islamic Shari'a shall be a principal source of legislation.

3. Arabic shall be the official language.

It is worth noting a couple of things here. By "all other divine religions", the law means only Judaism and Christianity, which are the only faiths recognized in the Qur'an as divinely-revealed (though corrupted) beliefs. Israel does not impose such limitations on other religions. The elevation of shari'a religious law to a "principal source of legislation" can rule out democratic laws that contradict Islamic punishments for offences such as homosexuality, adultery, or blasphemy.

Israel, though a Jewish state, does not have an official religion -- not even Judaism. As such, it imposes no religious conformity on any of its citizens. There are secular Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Muslims who become agnostics or atheists, even those who openly leave Islam or convert to another religion, are far safer in Israel than in any Muslim country. Israeli laws -- for all of its citizens -- are made by members of the Knesset; there, the laws are debated openly and given force by an independent judiciary, just as laws are in other genuinely democratic countries such as the USA or the UK.

Finally, one crucial question remains. Several people, including many patriotic Israelis such as Tzipi Livni of the Zionist Union party, the current leader of the opposition in the Knesset, or the Likud's MK Benny Begin, have expressed the view that the law should have included the phrases "full equality of rights for all its citizens" and "Jewish and democratic state", which might have reassured the non-Jewish population. The government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, insists that it was not necessary to do this, given the presence of such affirmations in the Declaration of Independence and other Basic Laws. There are strong arguments for and against repeating it yet again, but for the moment, that debate and others related to it remain deeply divisive. Might it not be wise to consider another Basic Law in which the issue of full equality and democracy may be made even more explicit than they already are? That is for the Israeli people to decide.



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, 2018

We’ll send migrants back to Libya unless EU steps in, vows Salvini

Some sanity in Italy

Italy’s far-right interior minister has threatened to deport 177 migrants back to Libya if Brussels refuses to redistribute them across Europe in a move that would violate international law.

The refugees have been stuck on an Italian coastguard ship off the island of Lampedusa for five days after being rescued in Maltese waters on Thursday.

Matteo Salvini said in a statement: "Either Europe decides seriously to offer Italy some concrete help, beginning with, for example, the 180 immigrants on board the Diciotti ship, or we will be forced to do what will definitively stop the smugglers’ business: that means taking the people saved in the sea back to Libya."


California Introduces Bill Banning Soda & Juice from Kids' Meals

The California legislature recently passed a bill banning restaurants from selling soda and juice with kids' meals and instead requires them to offer a cup of milk or water in an effort to fight childhood obesity. But, the purchaser of the meal may still buy an extra soda or juice and hand the drink to the child, thus negating whatever intended effects the bill hopes to accomplish.

The California Senate bill, 1192, passed assembly on Thursday after dieticians and various health advocates supported the new law. "Some of these kids are drinking up to three sodas a day. This is setting them up for tremendous cancer risks down the road. Because now we know that 20 percent of all cancers are tied to being overweight," Stephanie Winn of the American Cancer Society told media.

But, some parents argue that it simply is too much government interference. "I think the government shouldn't determine what's available when I as a mother know what's best with my child," Inez Deocio said.

Since the bill does not outright ban the sugar beverages from eateries, many parents will still buy their children soda or juice and end up spending more at a restaurant.

As noted by CBS, "A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that almost two-thirds of boys and girls ages 2 to 19 drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage per day. According to the CDC, frequent consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities." At that rate all the kids must be dying in childhood!


"Crazy Rich Asians" race row can’t stop film’s success

The creators of the new romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians were so determined to get their mould-breaking film into cinemas that they turned down a guaranteed fortune upfront from Netflix to work with a Hollywood studio instead.

"The biggest stage with the biggest stakes, that’s what we asked for," Jon Chu, the director, said this month of the huge financial risk that he and the film’s producers took in pursuit of maximum cultural impact.

Yesterday, with the comedy dominating the US box office and braced for a global rollout, it was emphatically clear that their gamble had paid off, despite a controversy over alleged "yellow washing" in the film’s casting and its depiction of the ethnic diversity of Singapore, where the action takes place.

Based on the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan about a Chinese-American woman who learns that her boyfriend is the scion of one of Singapore’s wealthiest families, Crazy Rich Asians has been hailed as a watershed moment for the US film industry.

The first mainstream studio film with an all-Asian cast for 25 years, it took $35 million in its first five days in American cinemas, enough to claim the No 1 spot at the box office. It has already made back its budget and notched the most successful opening weekend for a PG-13 romantic comedy in six years, while demonstrating the untapped potential of the US Asian cinema audience.

However, in both the United States and Singapore, the film has encountered opposition from academics and activists who are disappointed that it did not do more to reflect the diversity of the small, but racially complex city state. "Touting Crazy Rich Asians as some sort of progressive win is false, especially in a context when there are already so few nuanced representations of Singapore and Asia in western media," the Singaporean activist Kirsten Han wrote on the website The Establishment.

The Singaporean actress Tan Kheng Hua, who plays the mother of one of the lead characters, countered that the film was a reflection of Kwan’s "specific perspective". She told The Washington Post: "It’s called Crazy Rich Asians, it’s not called Every Singaporean."

Only 5 per cent of last year’s top 100 grossing Hollywood films had a character of Asian descent with a speaking role, according to a study from the University of Southern California. Asian cinemagoers typically make up less than a tenth of the overall opening weekend audience for a film.

However, just as African-Americans turned out in droves this year to ensure that Black Panther became a box-office behemoth, so Asian-Americans mobilised to support Crazy Rich Asians. Wealthy business leaders in major cities spent thousands of dollars renting cinemas for special screenings while a grassroots social media campaign fanned interest in the film in the hope that it could forge a path towards greater Asian-American representation in films. As a result Asian-Americans have accounted for about 38 per cent of ticket buyers for Crazy Rich Asians so far, according to Jeff Goldstein, of Warner Bros.

At a time when studios have struggled to attract audiences large enough to justify anything that is not either a low-budget horror film or a lavish, special effects-heavy superhero adventure, those figures are telling. "This is how doors get opened," Paul Dergarabedian, a box-office analyst with ComScore, told Variety magazine. "By showing the financial viability of movies that were thought not to be for studios or filmmakers."


Australian tax officers are forced to take 'racist' test that asks them to label pictures of Aboriginal and white Australians as either 'bad' or 'good'

This old BS has no validity at all.  It sounds  like a version of the IAT, which serious researchers abandoned long ago as telling you nothing certain

Tax officers have been told to take a 'straight-up racist' test asking them to label pictures of Aboriginal and white Australians as either 'bad' or 'good'.

With the test, the Australian Tax Office is gauging employees' unconscious bias, levels of prejudice and even what political party they vote for.

When asked how important they believed the Aboriginal heritage was to Australia, employees were told to choose between 'strongly agree, neither agree nor disagree' and 'strongly disagree'.

The test also asks employees to reveal how 'bothered' they would feel if 'many Aboriginal Australians moved to my neighbourhood in a short period of time' and altered the 'ethnic composition'.

Incorporating photos of white and Aboriginal Australians, the test forces participants to make a split-second decision about whether the person is 'good' or 'bad'.

When introduced in July, ATO officers slammed the test as 'straight-up racist', The Daily Telegraph reported.

While the ATO warned employees the test could trigger 'unexpected emotional reactions' it defended the test and said it was important to build an inclusive workforce.

Based on their results, employees were told whether or not they held 'unconscious bias' and were offered training accordingly.

A spokesman for the ATO said staff could opt out of the training, but were urged not to. He denied it was racist and denied it inappropriately probed employees' political leanings.

The spokesman said the course was a step in the right direction to 'maintain a workplace free from unrecognised biases'.



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, 2018

Working mums are being sold an impossible dream about work/life balance - and how to set the record straight

Glossy portrayals of super-organised working mothers do not reflect Christine Armstrong's experience, nor that of other mums she meets. Families are damaged by these big little lies, she argues

The feminist push to get women into the workforce was sold as liberating them.  It did nothing of the sort.  It enslaved them to work. 

My mother was a traditional wife. She never worked.  She brought up four children mostly on her own as my father was a manual worker who always came home tired. But she had time to chat with the neighbors over the fence of a morning. And of an afternoon she would read a book and doze off into a refreshing nap.  She had nothing like the stresses in her life described below.  We lived a rather humble life but better that than impossible ambitions. 

Society today is much richer than it was back in the '40s and 50's so it should be even easier to live on one income now than it was back then. Sticking to the essentials is all that is needed.  Keep up with the Smiths instead of the Joneses.  The Smiths are probably much more relaxed and have more time for friendship. 

And if you can't afford to send your kid to a private school, why does that matter?  As a stay-at-home mother, you can homeschool him/her and they will get a better education than they would in most government schools -- JR.

My friend had called at 7.40am to say she couldn't cope. "I got up at 3.30am, my mind was on fire, I couldn't stop worrying, so I got out of bed and cleared my email backlog for the first time in months. Then the kids got up and I chased and shouted to get them ready and now I'm charging into a long day of meetings that run into each other and I feel like I never see my kids and I never get through the work and when I get home tonight my email will be full of more stuff I need to do. I'm at full capacity. Beyond full capacity. I can't do anything more than I do. And yet people keep telling me I should do yoga. Of course I should bloody do yoga. But when? Oh God, when will this end, what do I do?" She had dropped her kids at nursery and was walking ("Got to get some steps in") to the station to get the train to her sales job in town.

If history is told by the winning men, I worry that the story of equality at work is too often being told by the winning women, the ones with the board seats and big pay packets, most notably Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, whose 2013 book advised ambitious women to Lean In. Sometimes they have a nanny (or two), and sometimes an at-home husband as well. Either way, they are the exceptions. I remember reading an interview with Karren Brady in which she said she split her time between her kids in the country and her job in town, and that it worked really well for her. Which I'm sure it did; it just didn't much help me - or my friend in sales, who has a full-time working husband and is currently confronting the bitter reality that modern working life doesn't combine very well at all with having a family.

This mother, like most of us, doesn't have her sights on a board-level job and is just working to get to the end of the month and pay the bills. She says her children are "the love and light" of her life and yet sometimes she feels they don't even respond to her because she's away from them too much and is ready to cry with tiredness when she finally gets back home.

When I was working full-time with two small children, I also tried hard to make it work, but couldn't. There were some memorable lows. Like a work trip to America when my breast pump broke and, after seeking help from the concierge, I had to take a taxi in the middle of the night around Austin, Texas, to buy a new one, before spending the dawn hours crying and pumping milk down the drain of the hotel shower. Feeling desolate, I started to seek advice. I read a lot and went to talks and events about what women need to do to "get ahead". High-profile female business leaders spoke at many of these. They inspired. But very often I found that the advice boiled down to "you have to work really hard, get great childcare and be super-well-organised". This all made sense, but didn't seem to help.

Some of these superwomen talked about "flexibility". It took me a while to realise that what they often meant was the flexibility to leave at the end of their contracted hours - say 5pm - to pick up, feed, bath, read to and settle their kids before working online again later to catch up. One mum-of-three, describing this in practical terms, told me: "I start eating my dinner and catching up on work at 10pm, just as everyone else is going to bed. It's completely normal for me to finish at 1am or later." The underlying message seemed to be that modern jobs are fine - as long as you're willing to work all the waking and non-waking hours of the day.

Which means that it mostly doesn't work well. Not only does it not work, it's getting worse. Twenty years ago, the average working day was about seven hours and many mothers didn't have a job outside the home. In the years since, the working day has grown by an average of about two hours and a million more mums have jobs. This is partly because house prices have quadrupled in that time (a change attributed, ironically, to the rise in women's incomes). Most households now need to have two parents out of the house working for long periods of the day. But, in that time, the needs of our children and the structure of childcare and the school day haven't changed at all - as every parent of a school-age child is finding out right now, with more than two weeks of the summer holidays still left to go, their own leave used up, their finances spent and the kids going bananas with the need for our involvement, our undivided attention.

We've all got so used to accepting that it has to be this way that we keep at it. But my mum and my mother-in-law seemed so perplexed by my experience that I started to ask their friends and women of previous generations about their experiences, so I could shed some light on how we got here, trying to be superhuman and feeling like we're failing ourselves and our kids.

I found that women in their fifties and sixties are often highly conscious of how working life has changed for the worse. There was a time, they explain, when you left work - probably frantic - at about 5pm and went home to your kids. But then came the laptops, mobiles and BlackBerrys that mean you still leave work frantic at about the same time, but then are expected to answer a call later or edit a document. Now, even when we are home, we aren't really able to be present with our children and partners. Now, all over the country, we have parents wrestling their kids away from TVs and iPads to get them into bed without for one second letting go of their own mobile phones as they continue to field messages from work or dial into a conference call hoping no one can hear the kids splashing in the bath.

I realised we needed better answers to these questions on a freezing January night when I met a friend in a pub. Between us, we had four children under three and two full-time jobs and, as the wine flowed, we let rip about how hopeless we were. Our lives were shit. She was leaving work by the fire escape in the desperate hope of seeing her kids awake once a day without annoying her colleagues. I was crying before work because I didn't want to go in. We felt remote from our kids and our partners. We both wondered how we'd screwed up so badly and become such disasters. But then we began to question whether the world of work was set up for both parents to be in it full-time. Maybe there was a different story to tell where, however hard you work, there are very tough choices along the way and just being well organised doesn't fix it.

Hungry for better advice, I set out to find it myself. I persuaded the magazine Management Today to let me interview women, and some men, who were managing to combine work and family life to see what they had found out. We had great conversations. People read their words diligently and responded.

As the interviews went on, though, I was increasingly niggled by gaps in the stories I was telling. I would, for example, interview a wonderful, witty, smart woman and she would tell me about her family's life. She would describe some manageable challenges and how she was tackling them. But then there were the things they told me but begged me not to write up, like the woman who'd put on a vast amount of weight immediately after giving birth and suffered terrible depression but didn't want her colleagues to know. Other times, I was asked to tone down a light joke about their partner not doing their fair share of the household jobs, or an admission that sometimes they ended up screaming blue murder at their kids, or maybe to take out one too many references to needing a few glasses (or bottles) of wine to get through the week.

It didn't bother me too much and I would still finish the interviews thinking we had got somewhere. But then a week, a month, six months later, I might run into some of these women and something more complex might emerge. Perhaps she was no longer with "the rock" partner who made it all work. Or her boss was a bully. Or her daughter was anorexic. Or her son was struggling at school. Maybe she'd been signed off work with stress or depression. Or she expressed regret at not being around enough during her children's early years. Others said they didn't have time for many friends. Another revealed she was saving for a hayloft in the Hebrides so she could escape her life.

A psychologist explained to me that the couples who have spent years being in control of their decisions - living in a nice place, choosing everything they do - can find the shift to parenting especially hard. A nanny told me the mums she worries most about are those who are desperate to keep up appearances. It matters to them that they drive a decent car and that the house looks neat. But they are, she says, often also the parents who come through the door glued to their phones and wave hello before hiding somewhere to work more.

The airbrushing hit me hardest when I was asked to interview a senior woman onstage at a corporate event so she could inspire her colleagues with her progression. I called her in advance and we had a brilliant chat about some difficult "time vampire" bosses she'd had when her children were young and how she had to change jobs to escape them. We talked about the battle to find the right nanny in the early years - which at the time she could barely afford - and the total crisis when the nanny left. We talked about the pressure her job put on her relationship. So far, so familiar. But on stage, fearful of being judged by the audience for being a bad or lazy mum or too negative, she said none of this. She sat up straight, smiled and told me a completely different story. All her bosses had been on side. She'd never had a nanny, let alone one upon whom she wholly depended to keep the household working. Her husband was her biggest supporter. I left the stage furious with myself for not cutting through it.

I started to wonder why this clean-up routine was happening. She, like many others, didn't want to conceal these things one-to-one; she wanted the catharsis of talking about it. But in public she feared everyone would judge her harshly if she was honest. As my articles about work/life were published, I could see the judgment pouring in and realised her instincts were right. In response to one piece I wrote about a high-powered woman with four children who said that the nanny cooked the family dinner, someone commented: "She might be powerful, but she is no mother." Ouch.

I was starting to understand that social expectations of mothers have not moved much in the past few decades. We still tend to see mothers as linked to homes, small children and domesticity. Despite the fact that 80% of all mothers now work outside the home - and 25% of those in professional jobs - expectations about maternal roles have not changed. However much we might fight it, being found wanting as a mother, being judged by other parents in this way, really hurts. Especially when your boss, team, competitors, partner and older kids will read what you say. And the wound is even deeper if those critical comments compound your own sense of unease about decisions you have made or are making.


Chicago Mayor's Rare Candidness Assailed

Rahm Emanuel made a point well worth repeating throughout the country's urban corridors.

Chicago is notorious for the number of homicides tallied there every year. For example, on the weekend of August 3-5, the number of people gunned down in Chicago totaled 74, a dozen of whom died. This past weekend, six people were murdered out of nearly 60 shot. Minorities are responsible for most of the hundreds of homicides that occur in Chicago on an annual basis. Obviously, longstanding leftist policies aren’t working. More importantly, a dearth of morality and spiritual conviction is the underlying catalyst, which even Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at least peripherally seems to understand. He recently admonished:

"This may not be politically correct, but I know the power of what faith and family can do. … Our kids need that structure. … I am asking … that we also don’t shy away from a full discussion about the importance of family and faith helping to develop and nurture character, self-respect, a value system and a moral compass that allows kids to know good from bad, and right from wrong.

If we’re going to solve this … we’ve got to have a real discussion. … Parts of the conversation cannot be off-limits because it’s not politically comfortable. … We are going to discuss issues that have been taboo in years past because they are part of the solution. … We also have a responsibility to help nurture character. It plays a role. Our kids need that moral structure in their lives. And we cannot be scared to have this conversation."

Emanuel’s message is the point — and conservative columnist Walter Williams would surely agree — yet it’s been largely ignored by leftists for decades. In truth, a message of faith and morality needs to be repeated throughout the country’s urban corridors. After all, Chicago is hardly alone when it comes to high homicide rates. Nevertheless, Fox News reports that "Emanuel is once again coming under fire for blaming a lack of morals in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods for the recent spate of violent crime." The report adds, "Critics quickly called him out for what they dubbed tone-deaf comments, in which he seemed to be blaming the victims." These critics are simply condoning the status quo — and worse.

As Williams says, "What’s needed most is to get poor people to change their behavior. … If we wait for Washington to solve our problems, we’ll be waiting for a long time."

It’s rare that we can agree with Mayor Rahm "Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste" Emanuel, but alas, his remarks on Chicago violence are appropriate and long overdue. His message is great, but will he stick to it? Depends on whether he has character.


Protesters take down 'Silent Sam' Confederate statue on UNC campus

Attacking a war memorial is gross

A group of protesters toppled the "Silent Sam" statue dedicated to Confederate soldiers on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill campus Monday evening.

In a statement, the university said it is be investigating the "vandalism" incident that took down the monument that was erected in 1913.

"Tonight’s actions were dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured," the university said in a statement. "We are investigating the vandalism and are assessing the full extent of the damage."

The university said that approximately 250 protesters gathered to remove the statue, following request by students, faculty, and alumni to school officials to have the monument removed from campus, according to the Associated Press.

The Daily Tar Heel covered the event, sharing photos and videos on Twitter, including an image where, before the statue was toppled, it was covered with a cloth that said "For a World Without White Supremacy."

In a pair of tweets, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he has been in contact with local law enforcement and UNC officials about the rally. "The Governor understands that many people are frustrated by the pace of change and he shares their frustration, but violent destruction of public property has no place in our communities," he said.

The episode comes after the one-year anniversary of the Aug. 12, 2017, Unite the Right rally, which was organized to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and sparked a national conversation about what to do with Confederate monuments around the country.


San Francisco introduces ‘Poop Patrol’ to clean up after its own crappy liberal policies

The city of San Francisco just can’t seem to do anything right.

The city’s liberal policies designed to welcome the homeless and encourage illegal drug use is turning the city from a high-tech haven of beauty and cleanliness, to what UC Berkeley professor Lee Riley described as unsanitary conditions "much greater than communities in Brazil or Kenya or India."

Congratulations lefties, the former crown jewel of the West Coast is now being compared to some of the dirtiest slums in the world.

Since the beginning of 2018, the city has received over 14,000 calls to the 311 service about feces on the sidewalks and in the streets. It has gotten so bad the city has lost conventions because of the filth.

It appears the city is tired of being the butt of national jokes and has decided to fight back. Local officials have announced yet another program to fix the problems the other programs caused in the first place. The "poop patrol" is expected to cost about $750,000 and employs six people with two trucks. No word if the trucks are hybrid.

"What we are trying to do is be proactive," said Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru. "So we’ll have a crew that will roam around looking for locations. We actually have data for neighborhoods where we get frequent calls."

Nuru added that "what happens is we’re going to take one of those crews out and try to get ahead of those calls and look for these locations so that hopefully we can get less numbers of calls coming in."

Two things are disturbing about the city’s latest move. Judging from Nuru’s comments, it appears the city is more worried about having to answer phone calls, which is their job, than the actual danger posed by the feces.

The second problem is the health danger the fecal matter poses. Pictures of workers cleaning up the problem seem to have one thing in common; they are wearing protective gear. This begs the question, where is the protective gear for the thousands of citizens walking on the streets every day?

It may seem like a joke, and making fun of San Francisco is all the rage, but there is a real health threat to the people of the city. Ask anyone that was deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq.

As a former contractor with the State Department in Kabul, Afghanistan, I can attest to the danger dried airborne fecal matter poses. The "Kabul Crud" hits just about every westerner that goes to the country usually within two weeks of arrival. The air in Kabul is not only filthy with dust, but it is also contaminated with dried fecal matter. This is what happens when you have an open sewer system, as San Francisco now appears to have.

Dr. Lee Riley has warned about the dangers the conditions in San Francisco are posing to the residents warning about rotavirus stating, "If you happen to inhale that, it can also go into your intestine." The virus can be fatal.

San Francisco officials need to quit coming up with programs to fix its previously flawed programs. The city needs to get to the root of the problem, and that is its policies that encourage illegal drug use, which in turn attracts homelessness and its horrendous building regulations that cause homelessness.



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, 2018

Leftist hate speech

Leftists are by far the main users of hate speech.  The torrent of hate speech pouring out at Trump and his supporters is totally unambiguous.  It cannot be mistaken as anything but hate.  Yet the accusations of hate speech that are normally directed by Leftists at others are rarely directed at utterances that  express hate.  A sincere Christian who opposes homosexual marriage is not acting out of hate but rather out of faith in the unambiguous teachings of his holy book.  It is simply a libel to say that the Christian is acting out of hate.

But what is wrong with hate speech anyway?  U.S. courts have decreed that hate speech is constitutionally protected free speech.  And most people give at least lip service to the desirability of free speech.  The basic answer coming from the Left is that hate speech  leads to hate crimes.  But no evidence is normally quoted for that assertion.  The only scientific study of the theory that I could find I have previously noted here.  The finding was that there was a weak tendency of hate speech against immigrants to go with attacks on immigrants -- but even there it was not at all clear that the speech was the cause of the attacks.

Occasionally a report emerges about a political conservative attacking someone in conjunction with pro-Trump speech  -- as here -- but they are exceedingly rare. 

And what about the (say) 100 million other people who heard Trump's alleged hate speech  and did not assault anybody?  Doesn't that prove that Trump's speech is wonderfully safe and that hate speech does not cause  hate crime?  If hate speech does not lead to hate crime in 100 million cases, what more evidence do we need to conclude that hate speech does not cause hate crimes?

We do have to look at ALL the evidence, of course.  Not that any Leftist ever does.  Reality is so far inconsistent with  Leftist beliefs that they would become conservatives if they let themselves consider all the evidence.

And what evidence do we have that the men would have behaved differently if they had not heard Trump?  There is none.   It is just a claim. Trump could be just an excuse for an inclination to violence.

And how can we base any generalization on one instance?  It's because we can't that we have statistics. If lots of people had gone out and bashed illegals after hearing The Donald, the Left   might have a case.  But as it is, one swallow doesn't make a summer.

Collective hate speech

There is however one sort of hate speech that undoubtedly leads to violence: Not hate speech by one individual but collective hate speech.  History has many examples of that:  The Nazi condemnation of Jews and the Holocaust; the Ku Klux Klan hatred of blacks and the lynching of some of them etc.  If there is a widespread campaign of hate directed at one subset of people, that can generate physical attacks on that group.  And note that both the Ku Klux Klan and Hitler were on the Left.  Hitler was a socialist and the  1924 Democratic National Convention was so dominated by the Klan that it was referred to as the "Klanbake" convention.

And history is repeating itself right now.  There is a concerted campaign of hate pouring out of most of the media directed at Donald Trump and his supporters.  And violence in response is already happening.  The violence is so far mostly trivial, with the major effect being discrimination against conservatives in many ways -- refusing to serve them in restaurants etc.  But such is the volume of hate that history tells us to expect more serious attacks in due course.  Some leading Democrats, such as Maxine Waters, have gone very close to urging it.

Another current form of collective hate speech is hatred of the police, as  encouraged by Obama --  "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon" -- and very recently  continued by Elizabeth Warren.  Clashes with police by blacks are now routinely blamed by blacks on the police -- not on black thugs.  Hate speech against the police is now epidemic among blacks.  And the result?  Several police have been shot and killed.  Collective hate against the police has indisputably led to real violence there.

And to some extent whites generally have been subjected to hate from the Left -- with claims of "white privilege" etc.  There is no clear example of that so far leading to attacks on whites but, again, history leads us to expect that they will come.  Many attacks on whites by blacks in connection with mugging, home-invasions etc. are probably in part motivated by hate but such attacks were going on long before the current campaign condemning whites emanating from the Left.

Where whites do suffer from the outpouring of Leftist anger is in discrimination:  Being knocked back from a job or college enrolment because a less qualified black must  be given preference.  Leftists condemn discrimination but they are by far the biggest practitioners of it  -- JR

The Cost of Homosexual Catholic Abuse

An inconvenient truth: The vast majority of the crime was perpetrated by homosexuals.

The sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in recent days marked the culmination of seven decades of horrendous wrongdoing by hundreds of priests. But the media would rather ignore one particularly inconvenient truth: The vast majority of the crime was perpetrated by homosexuals.

Monsignor Charles Pope, a Catholic priest writing of previous abuse scandals in the National Catholic Register, makes the case:

It is evident that the vast majority of the cases involving both the sexual abuse of minors and of adults involve male victims. The 2004 John Jay Report (The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States), which was commissioned by the U.S. bishops themselves, found that 81 percent of the victims were male and 78 percent of all victims were post-pubescent. . So, the large majority of cases involved attraction by homosexuals to young men who, though legally minors, were physically and sexually mature males, not little children. This is not pedophilia. It is homosexual attraction.

In the Catholic Herald, Madison, Wisconsin, Bishop Robert C. Morlino likewise writes of the current situation, "It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord." He continues, "In the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual - almost exclusively homosexual - acts by clerics."

And Cardinal Raymond Burke, a member of the highest court at the Vatican, the Apostolic Signatura, said, "It was clear after the studies following the 2002 sexual abuse crisis that most of the acts of abuse were in fact homosexual acts committed with adolescent young men. There was a studied attempt to either overlook or to deny this." He added, "Now it seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root."

Pope Francis reiterated that the Church's policy is not to admit to seminary or holy orders homosexuals, those with such deep-seated tendencies, or those who support a so-called "gay culture." He also wrote, "No effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated."

These horrific crimes have cost the thousands of victims more than we can imagine. But how much has this homosexual culture cost the Catholic Church? Obviously, its reputation has suffered greatly. But lay people who give their tithes and offerings must be appalled that, rather than feeding the hungry or providing other ministerial needs, the Church is attempting to compensate victims for the damage done by priests - to the tune of $3 billion.

Finally, the words of the Apostle Paul are especially damning (Romans 2:24): "For, as it is written, `The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'"


Another social media giant reveals its leftist bias against conservative content.

Last Thursday, Prager University issued a public statement alerting its millions of Facebook followers to the fact that "our last 9 posts have been completely censored reaching 0 of our 3 million followers." PragerU's Will Witt added, "At least two of our video posts were deleted last night for `hate speech' including a post of our recent video with The Conservative Millennial, Make Men Masculine Again."

The deleted video in question had no graphic content, bad language, or calls for violence warranting Facebook's own parameters for its "hate speech" designation. So why were these videos censored? This is now the second instance of PragerU being "erroneously" censored on social media over the false designation that its conservative political content was "hate speech."

On Friday morning, Facebook issued a lame apology: "We mistakenly removed these videos and have restored them because they don't break our standards. This will reverse any reduction in content distribution you've experienced. We're very sorry and are continuing to look into what happened with your Page." However, the question remains, how could this mistake happen, especially given the fact that PragerU is a well-known and vetted media organization to which millions of people intentionally subscribed for news and opinion?

Much of the answer lies in the obvious leftist bias of those running these social-media giants. In a recent interview on CNN, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted as much, stating that those at Twitter do indeed have a "left-leaning" bias. Left-leaning? At the same time, he claimed that their bias did not affect how they handled "political ideology or viewpoints." Dorsey added, "We do not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology. We look at behavior."

His answer is sly for its presumption of separating ideological content from behavior. Social media exists solely for the public sharing of various thoughts, viewpoints, and ideologies, no matter how trivial or mundane. Yet the social-media gatekeepers have a certain ideological bent that impacts how judgments are made as to what user content constitutes appropriate or inappropriate behavior. Thus, Dorsey's assertion that his and his employees' leftist bias doesn't have an impact on decision-making is dubious at best.

Back to Facebook. Giving no other explanation other than it was a mistake only serves to increase speculation that the pervasive leftist bias within the company was the primary culprit. It's increasingly clear that Facebook's post-2016 algorithms are tilted against conservative perspectives, which are too easily flagged by trolls as content containing "fake news" or "hate speech." As long as millions of Americans seek to get their news from social media, this filtering by the thought police is going to be hugely problematic.


Pastor Faces Eviction for Hosting Home Bible Study
A semi-retired Lutheran minister in Fredericksburg, Virginia, faces the possibility of being evicted from a senior living community because he's been hosting a small Bible study in the privacy of his apartment, his attorney alleges.

First Liberty Institute, a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases, is representing Pastor Ken Hauge. They accused the management of The Evergreens at Smith Run of a pattern of verbal abuse and harassment directed at Christians who live in the complex.

"The threat of eviction follows repeated religious discrimination by Evergreens management, including forcing Hauge to refer to his event as a `Book Review' rather than a `Bible Study,'" First Liberty attorney Hiram Sasser wrote in a letter to the corporate owner of the community.

I reached out to Community Realty Company, the parent company of The Evergreens at Smith Run, and referred the comments to the apartment building manager. The manager did not return my phone call.

Sasser told the "Todd Starnes Radio Show" that management also withdrew support of a social event because a resident said grace over a meal. It also banned all religious activities from the community room.

He is calling on Evergreens to rescind the eviction threat, rescind the rule banning religious activities from the community room, and stop the harassment of people of faith.

Pastor Hauge's troubles with management began in early 2017 when a group of about 20 residents asked him to lead a nondenominational Bible study in the community room. That gathering eventually moved to a private apartment.

Management initially approved of the gathering provided the participants call it a "Book Review" meeting instead of a "Bible Study." In 2018 management relented after a resident complained to corporate headquarters.

However, it was also about that time that Pastor Hauge came under attack from some residents opposed to the gathering.

"Several residents attempted to interfere with the Bible study on several occasions," Sasser said. "At least one of these residents repeatedly harassed and verbally abused Hauge and other Bible study attendees on the basis of their religious beliefs."

On July 23 residents received a notice that the community room was off-limits to future religious activities. Bingo and poker were permissible; prayer was not. On that same day Pastor Hauge and his wife were threatened with an eviction notice.

"The notice threatened to terminate the Hauge's lease and evict them unless Hauge stopped leading the Bible study entirely, either in his private apartment or in the community room," Sasser said.

The eviction threat also accused the pastor of inviting nonresidents to the Bible study and counseling people. However, First Liberty denies the accusations, calling them false.

It also took exception to management labeling the Bible study as a "home business" - which is impermissible according the eviction threat.

"Hauge may be a minister by profession, but he led the Bible study in his personal capacity and on his own time," Sasser said. "He received no compensation for his leadership."

First Liberty Institute accused the senior citizens community of "obstructing and stifling residents' religious beliefs." "These actions violate federal law, including the Fair Housing Act," Sasser said.

The FHA clearly prohibits discrimination against any person because of religion. It also forbids landlords from imposing different conditions or privileges because of a person's religion.

And it appears that's exactly what happened in Fredericksburg.

In essence, the apartment complex told the pastor that if he wishes to stay he must never pray or discuss the Bible with anyone - even in the privacy of his home. That's not just wrong - that's unconstitutional.



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, 2018

Identity Politics: A Cynical Electoral Tactic

No offense, my Democratic friends, but only in the modern Democratic Party could a Democratic icon such as Andrew Cuomo fearlessly and publicly claim that America "was never that great." Just two decades ago, few Democrats would dare make that statement.

Sadly, in the leftist worldview, it will never be that great. No matter how many reforms are implemented, no matter how much blood is spilled, no matter how many constitutional amendments are ratified to extend legal equality and equal opportunity to all Americans, it will never be enough for the left, because accusing conservatives of hatred, intolerance, bigotry and heartlessness is about all they have. But it’s not all they believe and all they stand for.

Yes, many conservative analysts are correct that over the past two decades, identity politics has become dominant in the Democratic Party, but identity politics is not what really animates its leftist leaders. Their divisive rhetoric is more a calculated electoral tactic to agitate minorities against Republicans than a deeply held belief.

You can’t convince me that Democratic Party leaders truly believe that half the nation — the half that disagrees with them politically — is racist, bigoted, sexist, homophobic and the rest of the poisonous adjectival litany with which they routinely smear us. But it certainly keeps them competitive when their policies don’t.

They say they champion women and African-Americans, but do they really respect them? Do they really treat them all with equal dignity? Just watch what happens when a member of either group dissents from their leftist orthodoxy. The person is treated, not just by black and female liberals but by preening white heterosexual liberals, as inauthentic — as an Uncle Tom or a traitors to his or her race or gender. They ostracize the person as a subhuman heretic whose race or gender counts for nothing if he or she defies the leftist cause.

It is easy for Cuomo to say America "was never that great," because he and his leftist soul mates believe it. It rolls off their tongues because they reject so much of the American idea. That is why candidate Barack Obama could proudly declare his intention to fundamentally transform America. That is why Michelle Obama, witnessing her husband’s electoral success, could say, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country."

For Cuomo and the left, the discontentment about America isn’t just or even mostly about the plight of minorities. It is about America’s founding principles.

Liberals don’t embrace the Constitution and the rule of law in the same way conservatives do. They pay lip service to the separation of powers and pretend that Donald Trump is usurping authority when he makes derogatory comments about members of the media whose sole reason for existence is to attack him. But they cheered President Obama’s lawless executive power grabs, and they support appellate judges who arrogate to themselves the prerogatives of super-legislators. They treat the cherished principles of federalism and states’ rights as historical mistakes or fictions.

And despite their denials, the Democratic Party has come to fully embrace socialism. Unsurprisingly, a decisive majority of Democrats prefer socialism over capitalism, according to a recent Gallup Poll.

When Cuomo’s defenders claim he was only referring to gender discrimination and other forms of bigotry when he proudly denied America’s historical greatness, they’re dissembling. The Democratic Party and many of its grass-roots supporters reject the American idea itself; it’s not just that it was originally tainted by the sin and stain of slavery. That’s why they favor open borders and amnesty for the millions of immigrants who are here illegally. If they believed America is unique, they would believe its uniqueness is worth preserving and support legal and controlled immigration and assimilation of immigrants into the unique American fabric.

But even with the damaging revelation that the majority of Democratic voters heart socialism, the party honchos still won’t be able to openly embrace it — because this is anathema to a majority of Americans.

In view of its historical track record of abject failure, there is no way Democrats can defend socialism on the merits, which is why they will continue to defame their political opponents as being racist, sexist and multi-phobic. It’s what modern Democrats are; it’s what they do; it’s all they’ve got.


UK: A policeman on patrol? You're more likely to see a wildebeest

By Peter Hitchens

Have you noticed how politicians, police chiefs and media have all stopped pretending that crime is falling? Even the supercilious academics who have sneered for years at real public concern about crime and disorder, tittering from their safe, secluded homes about ‘moral panic’, may eventually have to change their tune.

This is partly because of the exposure – which I helped to publicise – of the systematic fiddling of crime figures by the police. It is also partly because the police like to pretend that minor cuts in their enormous numbers have made crime more common – though how this can be when the police are almost entirely invisible I cannot tell. In the days of regular foot patrols, we had about half as many officers as we do now.

But there’s another reason. You can hide and fiddle the truth about many types of crime. But you can’t keep stabbing and murder secret in any remotely free society.

The authorities long ago gave up doing anything serious about shoplifting, public drunkenness and disorder, vandalism, bike theft, car theft, robbery and burglary. They just stick up notices telling you that these things are your own fault.

They now publicly admit they cannot be bothered to pursue anyone for possessing illegal drugs, even though this offence is at the root of so much other crime. Indeed, they boast about it, as if this laziness and defeatism, a mutinous refusal to do the job we pay them for, were somehow enlightened. They pretend that their inaction will free them to tackle other crimes. It never does.

My own route home, which I often take late and in the dark, was recently the scene of an unprecedented mugging. Parks I have used safely since I was a child have been plagued by various sorts of attacks. How long, I wonder, before the first knifing? Not all that long, I suspect. Round where I live, you are more likely to spot a grazing wildebeest than to see a patrolling police officer. They don’t even pretend that they’re doing it any more.

And now we learn, to my total lack of surprise, that prosecutions have sunk to an all-time low in England and Wales, at a time when even our fishy official figures show that crime is surging upwards.

This is because our 50-year policy of decriminalising crime has finally blown up in our faces. We wait till offenders are hardened criminals before locking them up. When we do lock them up, we let them out as fast as we can. But even then, the prisons can’t hold them. Soft justice, as anyone could have told its supporters, means more crime, for ever.

But whatever you do, don’t dream of trying to defend yourself or your own home. That is almost the only thing that will get you prosecuted and thrown into prison for years. Like all rotten, incompetent monopolies, our criminal justice system can do one thing well – defending itself against competition. When this country eventually goes under, our elite’s infuriating failure to confront or deal with this problem will be one of the main reasons.


‘You dogs, I spit on your cross’: Muslim imam accused of abusing council staff and illegally clearing land claims his Islamic group is exempt from Australian law

A Muslim imam accused of abusing council staff over allegations he was illegally clearing land claims his Islamic group is exempt from Australian law.

Dr Mustapha Kara-Ali is the Imam of religious guild Diwan Al Dawla, a guild which conducts much of its religious practices on a property in Colo, New South Wales.

Hawkesbury City Council has launched legal action against the imam after learning he was allegedly clearing land on the property without a permit, the ABC reported.

Dr Kara-Ali, a Harvard graduate, allegedly screamed 'you dogs, I step on your cross' when council workers visited the property to serve court documents.

The property, roughly 50 kilometres outside of Sydney, is owned by a number of members from the guild.

However after an anonymous complaint was made to the Hawkesbury City Council about earthworks going on at the property, council officers were sent to investigate.

The officers allegedly discovered the illegal clearing of native trees and metal waste.

Officers visited the property several times, allegedly discovering vegetation clearing and even the construction of a boat ramp.

All were allegedly being done without the correct permits, so council issued an $8,000 fine for 'pollution or potential pollution caused by failed sediment erosion fencing'.

Court documents revealed a letter Dr Kara-Ali had submitted to council, ABC News reported.

In it he stated that the guild lives 'separated from secular lifestyles to pursue a religious mode of worship and an ascetic lifestyle under an oath of self-sacrifice and dedication to the purposes of Diwan Al Dawla'.

'The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Act 2012 stipulates that when it is carrying out religious activities that are related to the practice, study, teaching or propagation of its religious beliefs,' he wrote. 'Or other activities ancillary to them … Diwan Al Dawla, as a basic religious charity is not required to comply with Australian laws.'  

A conflict between council officers and Dr Kara-Ali and an unidentified man was caught on dash cam, allegedly showing the unknown man spitting at officers.

'Both men were repeatedly yelling obscenities from the other side of the gate, calling out 'you dogs, I step on your cross', the council officer wrote in an affidavit.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission was quick to dispute the claims being made by Dr Kara-Ali. A spokesperson for the ACNC said religious charities were still required to comply with Australian law.

If a religious charity is found to be in participating in or encouraging unlawful behaviour, it can have its charity status revoked.  


The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct: A Sokal-Style Hoax on Gender Studies


Note from the editor: Every once in awhile it is necessary and desirable to expose extreme ideologies for what they are by carrying out their arguments and rhetoric to their logical and absurd conclusion, which is why we are proud to publish this expose of a hoaxed article published in a peer-reviewed journal today. Its ramifications are unknown but one hopes it will help rein in extremism in this and related areas.
—Michael Shermer

"The conceptual penis as a social construct" is a Sokal-style hoax on gender studies. Follow the authors @peterboghossian and @GodDoesnt.

The Hoax

"The androcentric scientific and meta-scientific evidence that the penis is the male reproductive organ is considered overwhelming and largely uncontroversial"

That’s how we began. We used this preposterous sentence to open a "paper" consisting of 3,000 words of utter nonsense posing as academic scholarship. Then a peer-reviewed academic journal in the social sciences accepted and published it.

This paper should never have been published. Titled, "The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct," our paper "argues" that "The penis vis-à-vis maleness is an incoherent construct. We argue that the conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomical organ but as a gender-performative, highly fluid social construct." As if to prove philosopher David Hume’s claim that there is a deep gap between what is and what ought to be, our should-never-have-been-published paper was published in the open-access (meaning that articles are freely accessible and not behind a paywall), peer-reviewed journal Cogent Social Sciences. (In case the PDF is removed, we’ve archived it.)

Assuming the pen names "Jamie Lindsay" and "Peter Boyle," and writing for the fictitious "Southeast Independent Social Research Group," we wrote an absurd paper loosely composed in the style of post-structuralist discursive gender theory. The paper was ridiculous by intention, essentially arguing that penises shouldn’t be thought of as male genital organs but as damaging social constructions. We made no attempt to find out what "post-structuralist discursive gender theory" actually means. We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal.

Manspreading — a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide — is akin to raping the empty space around him.

This already damning characterization of our hoax understates our paper’s lack of fitness for academic publication by orders of magnitude. We didn’t try to make the paper coherent; instead, we stuffed it full of jargon (like "discursive" and "isomorphism"), nonsense (like arguing that hypermasculine men are both inside and outside of certain discourses at the same time), red-flag phrases (like "pre-post-patriarchal society"), lewd references to slang terms for the penis, insulting phrasing regarding men (including referring to some men who choose not to have children as being "unable to coerce a mate"), and allusions to rape (we stated that "manspreading," a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, is "akin to raping the empty space around him"). After completing the paper, we read it carefully to ensure it didn’t say anything meaningful, and as neither one of us could determine what it is actually about, we deemed it a success.

Consider some examples. Here’s a paragraph from the conclusion, which was held in high regard by both reviewers:

We conclude that penises are not best understood as the male sexual organ, or as a male reproductive organ, but instead as an enacted social construct that is both damaging and problematic for society and future generations. The conceptual penis presents significant problems for gender identity and reproductive identity within social and family dynamics, is exclusionary to disenfranchised communities based upon gender or reproductive identity, is an enduring source of abuse for women and other gender-marginalized groups and individuals, is the universal performative source of rape, and is the conceptual driver behind much of climate change.

You read that right. We argued that climate change is "conceptually" caused by penises. How do we defend that assertion? Like this:

Destructive, unsustainable hegemonically male approaches to pressing environmental policy and action are the predictable results of a raping of nature by a male-dominated mindset. This mindset is best captured by recognizing the role of [sic] the conceptual penis holds over masculine psychology. When it is applied to our natural environment, especially virgin environments that can be cheaply despoiled for their material resources and left dilapidated and diminished when our patriarchal approaches to economic gain have stolen their inherent worth, the extrapolation of the rape culture inherent in the conceptual penis becomes clear.

And like this, which we claim follows from the above by means of an algorithmically generated nonsense quotation from a fictitious paper, which we referenced and cited explicitly in the paper:

Toxic hypermasculinity derives its significance directly from the conceptual penis and applies itself to supporting neocapitalist materialism, which is a fundamental driver of climate change, especially in the rampant use of carbon-emitting fossil fuel technologies and careless domination of virgin natural environments. We need not delve deeply into criticisms of dialectic objectivism, or their relationships with masculine tropes like the conceptual penis to make effective criticism of (exclusionary) dialectic objectivism. All perspectives matter.

If you’re having trouble understanding what any of that means, there are two important points to consider. First, we don’t understand it either. Nobody does. This problem should have rendered it unpublishable in all peer-reviewed, academic journals. Second, these examples are remarkably lucid compared to much of the rest of the paper. Consider this final example:

Inasmuch as masculinity is essentially performative, so too is the conceptual penis. The penis, in the words of Judith Butler, "can only be understood through reference to what is barred from the signifier within the domain of corporeal legibility" (Butler, 1993). The penis should not be understood as an honest expression of the performer’s intent should it be presented in a performance of masculinity or hypermasculinity. Thus, the isomorphism between the conceptual penis and what’s referred to throughout discursive feminist literature as "toxic hypermasculinity," is one defined upon a vector of male cultural machismo braggadocio, with the conceptual penis playing the roles of subject, object, and verb of action. The result of this trichotomy of roles is to place hypermasculine men both within and outside of competing discourses whose dynamics, as seen via post-structuralist discourse analysis, enact a systematic interplay of power in which hypermasculine men use the conceptual penis to move themselves from powerless subject positions to powerful ones (confer: Foucault, 1972).

No one knows what any of this means because it is complete nonsense. Anyone claiming to is pretending. Full stop.

It gets worse. Not only is the text ridiculous, so are the references. Most of our references are quotations from papers and figures in the field that barely make sense in the context of the text. Others were obtained by searching keywords and grabbing papers that sounded plausibly connected to words we cited. We read exactly zero of the sources we cited, by intention, as part of the hoax. And it gets still worse…

Some references cite the Postmodern Generator, a website coded in the 1990s by Andrew Bulhak featuring an algorithm, based on NYU physicist Alan Sokal’s method of hoaxing a cultural studies journal called Social Text, that returns a different fake postmodern "paper" every time the page is reloaded. We cited and quoted from the Postmodern Generator liberally; this includes nonsense quotations incorporated in the body of the paper and citing five different "papers" generated in the course of a few minutes.

Five references to fake papers in journals that don’t exist is astonishing on its own, but it’s incredible given that the original paper we submitted had only sixteen references total (it has twenty now, after a reviewer asked for more examples). Nearly a third of our references in the original paper go to fake sources from a website mocking the fact that this kind of thing is brainlessly possible, particularly in "academic" fields corrupted by postmodernism. (More on that later.)

Two of the fake journals cited are Deconstructions from Elsewhere and And/Or Press (taken directly from algorithmically generated fictitious citations on the Postmodern Generator). Another cites the fictitious researcher "S. Q. Scameron," whose invented name appears in the body of the paper several times. In response, the reviewers noted that our references are "sound," even after an allegedly careful cross-referencing check done in the final round of editorial approval. No matter the effort put into it, it appears one simply cannot jump Cogent Social Sciences’ shark.

We didn’t originally go looking to hoax Cogent Social Sciences, however. Had we, this story would be only half as interesting and a tenth as apparently damning. Cogent Social Sciences was recommended to us by another journal, NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies, a Taylor and Francis journal. NORMA rejected "The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct" but thought it a great fit for the Cogent Series, which operates independently under the Taylor and Francis imprimatur. In their rejection letter, the editors of NORMA wrote,

We feel that your manuscript would be well-suited to our Cogent Series, a multidisciplinary, open journal platform for the rapid dissemination of peer-reviewed research across all disciplines.

Transferring your manuscript:

Saves you time because there is no need for you to reformat or resubmit your work manually
Provides faster publication because previous reviews are transferred with your manuscript.
To ensure all work is open to everyone, the Cogent Series invites a "pay what you want" contribution towards the costs of open access publishing if your article is accepted for publication. This can be paid by you as author or by your institution or research funder. Many institutions and funders now provide financial support for open access publishing.

We took them up on the transfer, and Cogent Social Sciences eventually accepted "The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct." The reviewers were amazingly encouraging, giving us very high marks in nearly every category. For example, one reviewer graded our thesis statement "sound" and praised it thusly, "It capturs [sic] the issue of hypermasculinity through a multi-dimensional and nonlinear process" (which we take to mean that it wanders aimlessly through many layers of jargon and nonsense). The other reviewer marked the thesis, along with the entire paper, "outstanding" in every applicable category.

They didn’t accept the paper outright, however. Cogent Social Sciences’ Reviewer #2 offered us a few relatively easy fixes to make our paper "better." We effortlessly completed them in about two hours, putting in a little more nonsense about "manspreading" (which we alleged to be a cause of climate change) and "dick-measuring contests."



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, 2018

Sweden Is Burning: Migrant Gangs Unleash Coordinated Fire-Bomb Rampage Across Multiple Cities

Many Swedes were horrified in early 2017 when U.S. President Donald Trump linked immigration to rising crime in Sweden, but an increasing number now agree with him.

Amid soaring crime rates, gang violence, complaints about education, and pregnant mothers even being turned away from maternity wards due to a lack of capacity, resentment in Sweden has built over the influx of more than 600,000 immigrants over the past five years.

And tonight is one of the worst night for violence in recent history as police report multiple gangs of masked youths rampaging across three major Swedish cities, setting cars on fire in what seems like a coordinated action.

As The Daily Mail reports, police said they were dealing with multiple fires as dramatic footage showed youths targeting vehicles in a shopping centre and hospital car park at Frölunda Torg, south-west of Gothenburg. 

There were also reports of young people setting cars on fire in Hjällbo in the north of Gothenburg and further reports of fires in Trollhättan, although police were last night unsure whether the various blazes were related.

Cars were also reported on fire in Malmo, at the southern tip of the country, and in Helsingborg, further south than Gothenburg.

Police report that the situation is under control and they remain on the premises to keep order.

Frölunda: A group of about 6-8 masked youth fires and throws stones. 31 cars have burned and in addition to these 35 cars are injured. Nobody is arrested.

Nordost: A group of about 8-10 young people throws stones and fires. 15 cars have burned. Nobody is arrested.

Trollhättan: A larger group of about 30-40 young people throws stones and fires. Six cars have burned and another few cars must be damaged. Here roads have been blocked by youngsters and they have even thrown stones against the police and their vehicles. At the moment, identification of young people is ongoing.

When most fires started within a short period of time, it can not be excluded that there is a connection between the fires, the case will be investigated. Police patrols will remain in the affected areas as long as it is considered necessary.

It is no surprise then, as we noted previously,  judging by the latest polls, the rise of extreme populist groups in Sweden is accelerating fast.

As Reuters reports, dozens of people have been killed in the past two years in attacks in the capital Stockholm and other big cities by gangs that are mostly from run-down suburbs dominated by immigrants.

With public calls growing for tougher policies on crime and immigration, support has risen for the ironically named, Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-Nazi roots that wants to freeze immigration and to hold a referendum on Sweden’s membership of the European Union.

Their worried mainstream rivals have started moving to the right on crime and immigration to try to counter the Sweden Democrats’ threat in the Sept. 9 election. But so far, they are playing into the hands of the far-right.

"Right now they (mainstream parties) are competing over who can set out the most restrictive policies," said Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin, whose Green Party is part of a minority government led by the Social Democratic Party.

"It clearly benefits the Sweden Democrats."

Opinion polls put the Sweden Democrats on about 20 percent support, up from the 13 percent of votes they secured in the 2014 election and the 5.7 percent which saw them enter parliament for the first time in 2010.

The Sweden Democrats’ rise on the back of anti-immigration sentiment mirrors gains for right-wing, populist and anti-establishment parties in other European countries such as Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria.

The Sweden Democrats still trail the Social Democratic Party but has overtaken the main opposition Moderates in many polls. All mainstream parties have ruled out working with them.

But they could emerge from the election as kingmakers, and a strong election showing could force the next government to take their views into consideration when shaping policy.

Their policies include a total freeze on asylum seekers and accepting refugees only from Sweden’s neighbors in the future. They also want tougher penalties for crime and more powers for police, and say tax cuts and higher spending on welfare could be funded by cutting the immigration budget.

Jimmie Akesson, the leader of the Sweden Democratic party, has described the situation as "pretty fantastic". "We are dominating the debate even though no one will talk to us," he told party members.

The Sweden Democrats have succeeded in linking the two in the minds of many voters, even though official statistics show no correlation between overall levels of crime and immigration. However, while the government denies it has lost control Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has not ruled out sending the military into problem areas.

"Sweden is going down a more right-wing path," said Nick Aylott, a political scientist at Sodertorn University said. "It is almost impossible to avoid according some sort of influence to a party with around 20 percent of the vote."

Trump was right after all.


Even the German Left are beginning to see the light

The leader of Germany’s Left Party Sahra Wagenknecht has launched a new political movement called ‘Stand Up,’ which aims to be a voice for workers and to unite a divided left across Europe.
While left-wing and not against immigration on principle, the new ‘Aufstehen’ movement presents a case for limiting the number of migrants coming to Germany looking for work, arguing that "unlimited access" to the German labor market is unsustainable and cannot continue.

"There have to be open borders for the persecuted, but we certainly can't say that anyone who wants to may come to Germany, claim social benefits and look for work — it's detached from reality," Wagenknecht said.

Sevim Dagdelen, a German MP and supporter of Stand Up, told RT that the movement had close relationships with other left-wing figures like Bernie Sanders in the US, as well as supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Jean-Luc Mélenchon in France.

Dagdelen says the left is "split and weak" across the whole of Europe and that there has been an obvious trend towards the right.

"We would like to combine forces to make a progressive breakthrough," she said. "The left should return to its core ideals and goals. Social questions should be the keystone."

With polls showing people want "better pay, better pension, a non-confrontational foreign policy regarding Russia," Stand Up wants to offer them a "political direction."

Its goal, according to Dagdelen, is to present to people who were disillusioned with the current state of politics in Germany an alternative to the far-right Alternative For Germany (AFD). She says this is something the Social Democratic Party, the Green Party and the Left party had failed to do so far.

"The AFD is getting strong and there is a chance for them to become the people’s party, which is absurd," she said, but admitted that it was "understandable" that some people were turning toward right wing parties when they saw no other option.

"Integration policy has pretty much rendered the minimum wage defunct. What was once a one euro job now only brings 80 cents," she said. "People need to be able to earn a wage that lets them live in dignity. If this is not happening, it’s understandable that people become angry and lean towards right-wing parties."

A new poll found as many as 34 percent of German voters would choose the new movement if elections were held, according to Focus.de.


An Iranian Dream: "Why Can't I Dance?"

A Muslim mother in the sharia-ruled country of Iran, was talking about her 10-year-old daughter: "She asked me, 'Why can't I dance? We dance because we are happy. How can being happy be wrong? Why is dancing a crime?'" She spoke about the confusion in her daughter's eyes. "It is a question I don't know how to answer."

Her daughter's life had changed, she said, when she heard that a 19-year-old woman named Maedeh Hojabri had become the target of Iran's Islamist "morality" police. Her crime? Posting video clips of herself dancing on popular worldwide social media sites, like Instagram. The consequences for an act like that are severe. As has happened to other young women who posted video clips of themselves dancing, Hojabri was arrested, jailed without due process and without an opportunity to defend herself, and publicly shamed with a televised confession of her "crime."

Hojabri's dancing videos on Instagram made her a popular figure on Instagram in Iran, and gained her hundreds of thousands of followers on the social media platform. Imagine, if she were living in the West, how she would be treated. She would likely have been considered talented, have had opportunities thrown at her, been invited on popular shows and be sponsored for radio and television programs.

But in a sharia-governed state such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, authorities consider people like Hojabri disgraced criminals. The irony is that it is many of the extremist leaders of her country -- a state sponsor of terrorism -- who should be regarded as criminals. These are the men who view Hojabri and others like her -- who simply wish to spread joy -- as an intolerable danger to their country.

Cheerfulness and dancing can make a difference in the grim lives of a people faced with economic struggles, political unrest, censorship and general hardship. In Iran, however, these simple acts of sunlight are repaid with intimidation, sharia courts and imprisonment. The results are too often forced confessions, which the Islamist Republic of Iran airs both to validate their concerns and to threaten anyone who might consider dancing themselves after watching these videos.

This brings us back to the question of the 10-year-old girl: "Why can't I dance? Why is dancing a crime?"

As difficult as it may be to imagine how dancing could lead to imprisonment, it is far more difficult for a child just becoming aware of the world around her, who now fears that she could be swept up by the Islamist morality police, just for expressing joy.

What is it about dancing that so concerns and frightens many Islamic religious leaders? Why is there such an emphasis by Islamist groups on brainwashing girls into believing that dancing is an unforgivable sin?

It may be partly an attempt to suppress the sexual desire that dancing or watching dancing can arouse, and partly about the wish to control, confine and subjugate women on the pretext of keeping them "pure" and ostensibly free of sexual desire.

Controlling a woman's body has always been a core pillar of sharia law in Iran. Also, as the imposition of sharia law in Iran has shown, Islamist laws prioritize the monitoring and controlling of every aspect of every citizen's day-to-day and private life. This level of supervision and punishment seems intended to create an atmosphere of fear throughout society: people are always aware that they are being watched.

In addition, for radical and extremist Muslims, anything that can labeled as "fun" is forbidden. Not just for religious reasons, but more importantly for political reasons. For fundamentalist Islamic leaders, people who engage in fun activities, such as dancing and hosting parties, become less fearful. As a result, less fearful people are more likely to cross the boundaries set by the sharia state and rebel against the state. This is viewed as a threat to the power that Islamist leaders hold over their people.

Furthermore, from the perspectives of extremist Muslims, if a woman is allowed to do what she desires, she may start speaking up for her rights, risk "impurity," gain financial independence, and be emboldened to reject the status of a subservient and second-class citizen given to her by the religious authorities at her birth.

But as might be expected, such an imposition of sharia law also creates resistance, especially among women and girls seeking, as so many of us do, freedom. That is why, after girls like Maedeh Hojabri are arrested, courageous women begin joining the same cause by posting their own dancing videos, imitating Hojabri's dances.

The teachings of sharia law should be watched carefully in mosques, schools, and throughout society. To people in the West, it may seem impossible for dancing to become a crime. But as sharia laws get imposed, before you know it, any innocent act of "fun" can suddenly become a crime.

For now, the 10-year-old girl can only hope for a time when she is free to dance, while her mother must continue to search for answers. In most of the world, girls may leap, spin and shout with joy -- but still for many girls, the slightest twirl is regarded as a crime. Who will the morality police come for next?


Justin Trudeau feels heat over open-door policy for asylum-seekers

It was a single tweet, but it is one that has come to haunt Justin Trudeau. On January 28 last year, only days after Donald Trump was sworn in as US President, the Canadian Prime Minister took a deliberate shot at Trump’s hardline immigration policies by trumpeting how Canada had an open door for refugees.

"To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #welcometocanada," he tweeted.

Eighteen months on, Trudeau’s tweet has rebounded on him. Canada is facing a reckoning about what sort of country it wants to be as a surge in the number of asylum-seekers tests its tolerance and its self-proclaimed pride as a traditional haven for refugees.

"There is a problem at the border, the border must be enforced," says Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s minister responsible for immigration, who says the Trudeau government’s lax policies account for an unsustainable influx of asylum-seekers.

Last year Canada received a record 50,420 applications for asylum, more than double the 23,930 it received in 2016 and the highest level since the country’s Immigration and Refugee Board was created in 1989. Of these, almost 30,000 walked illegally across the border from the US into the province of Quebec — a situation Trudeau has been criticised for failing to deal with. In the first six months of this year, a further 10,261 crossed from New York state into Quebec.

Now Trudeau, who initially was feted for his generosity to asylum-seekers, is facing a political and public backlash for failing to control Canada’s borders. "Justin Trudeau had a message of asking Canadians to have trust in our immigration system," leader of the opposition Conservative Party Andrew Scheer says. "The problem is Canadians don’t have trust in the Liberals to manage it."

To the horror of some Canadians, the country now is experiencing its own version of the divisive refugee debates that have convulsed Germany, Italy and other European nations in recent years.

"What we are seeing is part of a global trend in liberal democracies where right-wing populist politicians are able to mobilise anxieties around uncontrolled borders for electoral gain, and that's what we are seeing now in Canada," says Craig Damian Smith, director of the Global Migration Lab at the University of Toronto. "I don’t think this would have happened in Canada without the global precedents that we are seeing."

But Richard Silvester, a 68-year-old nickel miner from Sudbury in rural Ontario, says people in his town are not being manipulated by politicians, they simply are worried by the large numbers of asylum-seekers entering Canada. "Trump is sort of pushing people over the border into Canada and now we are saddled with these immigrants," Silvester, who has been a miner for 50 years, tells Inquirer as he sits outside Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica.

"Before it was OK because there were just a few coming in and Canadians are known for their generosity, but now it’s like, ‘Oh Jesus’." Silvester’s wife, Teresa, 64, a retired hairdresser, adds: "What some people think is that asylum-seekers are taking the jobs when there are people suffering in our own cities without jobs."

A survey this month by the Angus Reid Institute found that two-thirds of Canadians (67 per cent) believe the issue of asylum-seekers crossing the border into Canada has become a crisis.

The perception is shared not only by conservative voters but also by more than half of those who voted for the Liberal and New Democratic parties in 2015.

The survey also found that 58 per cent of voters think Canada is being "too generous" to asylum-seekers crossing the border illegally — more than eight times as many as those who say Canada is not being "generous enough".

The Trudeau government describes the issue is a "challenge but not a crisis" and blames Canada’s conservatives for inflaming it.

"I think one of the things that we’ve seen, in terms of what conservatives have been saying, is that they are playing, not just here in Canada but around the world, a very dangerous game around the politics of fear, the politics of division, of pitting Canadians against each other and raising the kinds of anxieties that, quite frankly, don’t help solve problems but actually hinder them," Trudeau said last month.

But faced with a potential voter backlash ahead of next year’s election, the Trudeau government has toughened its rhetoric, warning that Canada is "a country of laws" and that those who arrive illegally will not be granted asylum automatically.

Canada’s asylum-seeker problem was triggered early last year by a combination of Trump’s election, Trudeau’s welcome tweet and a loophole in the law that allows asylum-seekers to walk into Canada from the US.

Under the 2002 Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement, asylum-seekers must make a claim in the first safe country they reach, therefore those who turn up at an official border station on the US-Canadian border are turned away. But a loophole means asylum claims can be made by individuals who enter Canada through unofficial entry points. So tens of thousands of asylum-seekers have travelled a well-worn path to the town of Champlain, New York, on the US border with Quebec.

From there they catch a taxi to the border and walk freely along a 100m dirt track into Canada and into the arms of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who detain them.

Most are released within 72 hours into a shelter or to family and friends while they wait for their hearing. In the interim they are entitled to healthcare and other public benefits, and even can apply for a Canadian work permit.

Last year Canada granted asylum to about 60 per cent of all asylum-seekers who crossed the border. By contrast, those applying for asylum in the US must wait at least six months before they can work.

As part of its crackdown on legal and illegal immigration, the Trump administration has removed immigration protections for more than 300,000 people in the US, many from countries in the Caribbean and in Central America. These tougher rules in the US compared with those in ­Canada have led to Haitians as well as Nigerians, Salvadorans, Hondurans and many others crossing the border in unprecedented ­numbers.

Canada has never experienced such a huge influx of asylum-seekers and is poorly equipped to deal with it.

At one stage last year, Montreal’s Olympic stadium was used to handle the influx, and last week in Toronto hundreds of refugee claimants living in college dormitories were moved to federally funded hotel rooms.

"We have a problem and we need help," Toronto mayor John Tory says.

There is now a backlog of more than 40,000 asylum-seeker cases waiting to be heard.

In June the country’s most populated province, Ontario, elected a populist new leader, Doug Ford, who wants the Trudeau government to pay $C72 million ($75m) to the province to compensate for the cost of paying for the "mess" of ­"illegal border crossers".

"The federal government encouraged illegal border-crossers to come into our country and the federal government continues to ush­er people across the US-Quebec border into Ontario," Ford’s press secretary, Simon Jefferies, says. "This has resulted in a housing crisis and threats to the ser­vices that Ontario families depend on."

The Ontario government also has accused asylum-seekers of being "queue jumpers", a claim that Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, himself a former Somali refugee, says is "irresponsible, it’s divisive, it’s fearmongering and it’s not Canadian, and it’s very dangerous".

The asylum-seeker debate in Canada has fed into other issues such as security.

At the main mosque in Quebec City, the windows are still marked with bullet holes where 28-year-old student Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire in January last year after reading Trudeau’s tweet welcoming refugees into Canada. He fired 48 rounds at the 53 men who were praying in the mosque, killing six of them, and shocking a nation that had prided itself on harmonious multi­culturalism.

In Quebec there is generally less tolerance of asylum-seekers because many see multiculturalism as diluting Quebec’s francophone culture.

Last year Quebec became Canada’s only province to require people, including those wearing niqabs and burkas, to show their faces before gaining access to public services.

The leader of the nationalist Parti Quebecois, Jean-Francois Lisee, even suggested a Trump-like solution of building a fence along the southern US border of the province to stem the flow of asylum-seekers.

Jeffrey Reitz, professor of ethnic and immigration studies at the University of Toronto, says that although the asylum-seeker issue is a sensitive one in Canada, he doesn’t see a long-term change in the nation’s approach to the issue.

"Australians are much more critical of refugees and the policies in your country have been very controversial — we haven’t seen anything like that yet in Canada," he says although he concedes that there is still potential for the issue to "blow up".

"After (the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks) people said, ‘Oh that is the end of multiculturalism in Canada’ — but it didn’t happen. So I am sceptical that there will be a long-term backlash against refugees in Canada as result of this."

Craig Smith of the Global Migration Lab also draws a distinction between attitudes in Australia and Canada.

He believes most Canadians still see a generous approach to asylum-seekers as being "one of the most important aspects of our international reputation". "That is quite different to Australia’s public opinion," he says

"In Australia you have pretty strong support across the political spectrum saying it’s not Australian responsibility and we should be harder on asylum-seekers."

But while the Trudeau government hasn’t openly retreated from its embrace of asylum-seekers, it has watched the tide of public opinion turn against it and is taking steps to ensure it modifies its tone on the issue.

It has sent Hussen to Nigeria to ask that nation’s government to help by discouraging its citizens from crossing into Canada.

It also has urged the Trump administration to deny visas to people who authorities suspect may then travel to Canada.

The new tone was apparent in an opinion piece written last month by Hussen. He blamed the influx not on Trudeau’s tweet but on global trends.

"Governments around the world are facing significant challenges in dealing with a dramatic global increase in refugees and Canada is not immune to this challenge," he wrote.

Hussen then issued a stern warning to would-be asylum seekers: "Let me be clear: those who do not qualify for Canada’s protection are not allowed to stay. For more than a year now members of our government, from the Prime Minister on down, have been bluntly reminding people that the asylum system is not a free ticket to Canada."

Today it seems no one in the Canadian government, from Hussen to Trudeau, is likely to repeat the words Trudeau so proudly tweeted only 18 months ago: "Can­adians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #welcometocanada."



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


19 August, 2018

Is Jordan Peterson "intellectual kryptonite" to the Left?

Suzanne Fields

Jordan Peterson is a true phenomenon, a professor at the University of Toronto whose books and lectures are sold out and whose multiple videos are played and replayed on social media. Depending on whom you ask, he’s the archetypal victim or brainy hero of the polarized times when an innocent conversation between a man and a woman can explode with awesome effect and considerable collateral damage. One profiler calls him, with the exception of President Trump "perhaps the single-most loathed person by the intellectual classes in Canada and the United States."

A Canadian who can’t vote in an American election, he fantasizes in one interview that, had he voted, he might have entered the voting booth intending to vote for Hillary Clinton only to change his mind at the last moment to vote for Donald Trump. He thinks the president might have won because in a classic choosing of the lesser evil, Americans preferred the "unscripted impulsive lies of Trump better than the conniving scripted lies of Clinton."

Some women voted for Hillary because she was a woman and some men for Mr. Trump because he was a man running against her, but in this scenario sexual differences weren’t as crucial as how those differences were embraced by the angry campaign rhetoric, mixed with left-wing identity politics and right-wing resentment over being called a "deplorable." This continues to tear apart attempts at intellectual dialogue on the actual differences between men and women.

Mr. Peterson’s best-selling book, "12 Rules for Life," tells men "to stand up straight with your shoulders back," and "accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open." He warns against getting stuck in the "unconscious paradise of childhood," and as the stern moralist tells them to learn from Old Testament stories, beginning with Moses and those famous original 10 rules.

Jordan Peterson is not a fan of either contender of 2016. It’s the identity politics, which Hillary defends, that he loathes. He thinks identity politics corrupts the culture at a time when men, both white and not, need a strong moral doctrine to guide them through their lives and in their relationships with women. (#MeToo-ers could find illumination here, too, but they won’t.)

Political correctness perpetuates everything fraudulent about sexual nature, he teaches. The shoddy thinking of "confirmation bias," which reinforces trendy ideas without proof or evidence, ruins everything it touches. He has particular scorn for mandated use of "gender-neutral" pronouns and refuses to use them despite academic pressure and legal pressure to do so.

Prof. Peterson is tarred for his ideas with inflammatory distortion. He is accused of sexism, racism and fascism, and it’s clear from the slurs that the left fears those ideas, beginning with an acknowledgement of the crucial and obvious biological differences between men and women, to his respect for scientific evidence, the free speech that enables debate, and his appreciation for the great books, ranging from Socrates and Solzhenitsyn to the Bible.

In the Atlantic magazine, Caitlin Flanagan argues that the left is trying to "unperson" him because he is influencing young people with intellectual "kryptonite" against identity politics, and his emphasis on how to think rather than what to think.

The young men on campus contemptuous of safe spaces with cookies and coloring books to soothe anxiety, who despair of "trigger warnings" preventing insight into the human condition, who despise rabble-rousers shouting down visiting lecturers with a different point of view, who are weary of the LGBTQ domination of discussions of morality, find the professor and others of the "intellectual dark web" of ideas refreshing. Theirs is "a parallel curriculum" to what they’re fed on campus and in the mainstream media.

Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan, among others, are bound together not through their politics, which are extremely varied, but through their collective iconoclasm and dedication to the free flow of ideas often giving voice to what many feel in their gut but haven’t found the language to express. They communicate through radio shows, podcasts, YouTube, videos, speeches and interviews with a vast audience online and in sold-out lecture halls. They talk mostly to men, but women are beginning to listen to Mr. Peterson’s common sense, too.

The left hates him and is often irrational in its opposition because it has "entered its decadent late phase, and it is deeply vulnerable," writes Caitlin Flanagan. People who respond to Jordan Peterson aren’t looking for ideology but ideas. Amen to that.


Muslim couple are denied Swiss citizenship because they refuse to shake hands with members of the opposite sex

The Swiss city of Lausanne has blocked a Muslim couple's bid to become Swiss nationals over their refusal to shake hands with members of the opposite sex.

The municipality refused to grant the couple's citizenship application due to 'their lack of respect for gender equality' Lausanne mayor Gregoire Junod said.

He said a municipal commission had questioned the couple several months ago to determine if they met the criteria for citizenship, but had determined in the ruling made public Friday that they missed the mark on integration.

He did not to divulge the couple's nationalities or other identifying details, but said they 'did not shake hands with people of the opposite sex.'

They also 'showed great difficulty in answering questions asked by people of the opposite sex,' he said.

Some devout Muslims argue that Islam does not permit physical contact with a person of the opposite sex, with the exception of certain immediate family members.

Junod pointed out that freedom of belief and religion is enshrined in the laws of the Canton of Vaud, which encompasses Lausanne, but 'religious practice does not fall outside the law,' he stressed.

His vice-mayor, Pierre-Antoine Hildbrand, who was on the three-member commission that questioned the couple described himself as  'very satisfied with the decision' to deny the couple's application. 'The constitution and equality between men and women prevails over bigotry,' he said.

The couple now has 30 days to appeal the decision.

This is not the first time refused handshakes have stirred tensions in Switzerland.

In 2016, there was national uproar over revelations that a middle school in the north of the country had allowed two Syrian brothers not to shake their teachers' hands after they complained that doing so was counter to their religious beliefs if the teacher was a woman.

This ran counter to a deeply entrenched Swiss tradition of students shaking their teacher's hands as a sign of respect, and amid the outcry regional authorities quickly overruled the school's decision.

Yesterday, a Muslim woman won a discrimination case in Sweden after she was rejected during a job interview for refusing to shake the hand of the interviewer.

Farah Alhajeh, 24, had been invited to interview for a job as an interpreter in Uppsala in May, 2016.

Upon arrival she told the male interviewer that she did not want to shake his hand, citing religious rules of her faith.

Instead, she greeted him by placing a hand over her heart, as is common among Muslims of similar persuasion.

She told the Swedish Labour Court that the interviewer, an executive at the company, had become red in the face and told her: 'Here, everyone must shake hands'. Ms Alhajeh claims she was then frogmarched out of the office and told the interview was over.

'As soon as I got into the lift I started crying,' she told SVT.  'It had never happened to me before - it didn't feel good at all. It was awful'. She told the broadcaster she had then decided to report the company to Sweden's Discrimination Ombudsman, who took her case to court.


Can poetry survive outrage culture?

A poet has been hauled over the coals for a pretty inoffensive poem.

In the age of online outrage we need publishers to have the courage to stand by the pieces they choose to publish and not abandon writers to the social-media mob. Sadly, few seem up to the challenge.

The Nation magazine recently issued an apology for a poem it published in July called ‘How-To’ by the poet Anders Carlson-Wee. Carlson-Wee is a white man who wrote the poem in so-called black vernacular. It is meant to be from the perspective of a homeless person begging for money.

The poem caused a storm on social media, where it was labelled ‘ableist’ (he used the word ‘crippled’) and the poet was accused of donning ‘blackface’. The two poetry editors at the Nation who first accepted the poem for publication, Stephanie Burt and Carmen Giménez Smith, completely backed away from the work and published an apology, which they posted above Carlson-Wee’s poem. They said they had made ‘a serious mistake’, were sorry ‘for the pain we have caused to the many communities affected by this poem’, and planned to ‘earn the trust back’ of their readers. You would think they were talking about crimes against humanity.

When you actually read the poem, it seems fairly innocuous. It is pretty clear Carlson-Wee was not trying to caricature or demean anybody in any way. If anything, it comes across as an attempt to be kind and empathetic. Which makes the over-the-top apology by the two editors look even more ridiculous.

Sadly, Carlson-Wee also issued an apology on Twitter, which read like a confession at a North Korean showtrial. I have sympathy for him. If you’re not used to dealing with conflict, being attacked by an angry crowd on Twitter can be quite disorientating. He seems a gentle soul who truly meant well, and someone who is probably particularly sensitive to accusations of bigotry. His apology indicates how deeply his faith in his own work has been shaken, showing how much free expression can be hampered by the vitriol of social media.

People should be free to write from whatever perspective they like. And, crucially, they also need to be able to rely on their publishers to defend their work, or at least their decision to publish it. Grace Schulman, a former Nation poetry editor, argued this very point in the New York Times, in response to the ‘How-To’ furore:

‘During the 35 years that I edited poetry for the Nation magazine… some poems, and some critical views, enraged our readers and drove them to drop their subscriptions. But never did we apologise for a poem we published. We saw it as part of our job to provoke our readers – a mission we took especially seriously in serving the magazine’s absolute devotion to a free press.’

Art of any kind should have the freedom to be outrageous and shocking; it doesn’t always have to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. But in the case of the ‘How-To’ saga, the least disturbing thing about it was the actual poem itself.


‘People want to feel safe’: Nigel Farage warns of ‘disconnect’ in Australian immigration debate

THE man dubbed "Mr Brexit" will meet with "senior Australian political figures" next month as he warns of a similar upheaval Down Under if mainstream politicians don’t address concerns over immigration.

Nigel Farage said while Australia may not have the same "cause célèbre for fundamental change in direction" as Brexit, the record low primary vote for the major parties and rise of minor parties showed the populist revolution sweeping the western world was "already affecting your country".

The former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party and Member of the European Parliament played a major role in the 2016 vote to leave the European Union and is a close friend of US President Donald Trump.

Speaking hours after Sudanese migrant Salih Khater allegedly drove a Ford Fiesta into cyclists and pedestrians on Westminster Bridge outside London’s Houses of Parliament in a suspected terrorist attack, Mr Farage said people "want to feel safer".

"What we do know is there are nearly 700 active investigations into potential terrorist groups (in the UK)," he said. "Europe has got a problem. The truth of it is you wouldn’t want to start from here."

He said through European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy in 2015 of "saying anyone that wants to come can come", Europe had "imported an awful lot of people who wish that civilisation harm".

"We’re in a very tough place," he said. "Where do we go from here? Well number one is a massively increased security bill, a change in many ways to how we live. Look at London, we’ve now built walls on our bridges to protect people walking over them."

But he said it was important to engage with the broader Muslim community. "There are some people who want to sort of go to war with the entire religion of Islam, and I’ve always argued strongly against that," he said.

"I’m all for us defending our way of life, the only warning I give is that if we appear to be embarking on a religious war, that would be a mistake."

Former UK Foreign Secretary and leadership hopeful Boris Johnson sparked controversy last week by saying Muslim women wearing the full face veil looked like "bank robbers" and "letter boxes".

Mr Farage, who defended the comments, said it was encouraging that "a lot of Muslim scholars and commentators have now put their heads up and said, this is not in Koranic law, it’s not doing us any good".

He said Australia had been "slightly insulated by geography" from the global political shift reflected in the election of Mr Trump and the rise of populist governments like Italy’s Five Star-Northern League coalition.

"But you’re still very much part of the western world," he said.

"Your political class are tempted by the new global order, just as the Americans, British and the Europeans have been. I think the message really is number one, understand what’s happened.

"Understand that Brexit, Trump and (Italian deputy leader Matteo) Salvini are not one-off flashes in the pan, they’re actually part of a big, fundamental societal change that is taking place, and understand that those changes could happen in Australia, too.

"The internet has given people terrific empowerment to make change if they feel the established order is not representing them. So I would say to Australia, don’t think this can’t happen to you, because it can."

Mr Farage said it was about whether people felt the political class in the capital cities were representing their "thoughts, hopes and aspirations".

"What the change in the Australian voting pattern is suggesting is that there are people in Australia feeling the same thing too," he said. "The mainstream can of course stop the rise of smaller parties, if they’re more in tune and more connected with ordinary folks."

The Brexit vote "would not have happened without the immigration issue" and there was a "very similar disconnect" between the political class and the public in Australia on the topic, he said.

Successive polls have revealed a growing unease with Australia’s record high immigration intake. A survey last year by the Australian Population Research Institute found 74 per cent of voters said the country does not need more people.

A Newspoll earlier this year revealed 56 per cent of voters believe the existing immigration cap of 190,000 a year is too high, and an Essential Media poll found 64 per cent believe the level of immigration over the past 10 years has been too high.

In 2016-17, net overseas migration to the country came in at 262,500 people, 27.3 per cent higher than the previous year. Australia’s population surged past the 25 million milestone at 11:01pm on August 7, sparking fresh calls to ease the strain on Sydney and Melbourne.

"I find it fascinating that even in a country like yours, which many of us up here hold in high regard because its points-based system and all the rest of it, that even there it’s this disconnect," he said.

"You’ve had your terrorist attacks, you’ve had your problems that have occurred down there. People want to feel safer, they want to feel that the people coming into the country are going to pretty much absorb themselves within the existing culture."

He partly blamed the media for the growing discontent.

"People’s faith in the mainstream media is collapsing — take CNN, since their non-stop, 18-month battle to get rid of President Trump, their ratings have fallen off a cliff," he said.

"People are voting with their feet when it comes to newspapers, radio and TV, and I think there is this perception that big business, big media, big politics, they’re all in it together."

Asked whether he had an opinion on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Mr Farage said he didn’t "want to get drawn into individuals within Australian politics".

"All I would say is that I was very disappointed during the referendum that so many Australian political figures seemed to argue that the UK should stay part of the European Union when clearly the freeing of the UK from the EU should be a very good thing for Australian and UK relations," he said.

In the lead-up to the June 23, 2016 referendum, both Mr Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten said they would prefer the UK to stay part of the EU. After the Brexit vote, Mr Turnbull "consoled" outgoing UK leader David Cameron.

Former PM Tony Abbott bucked the conservative trend and supported the Remain side, but after the poll appeared to backflip, telling a London audience he was "quietly thrilled that the British people have resolved to claim back their country".

"I found it extraordinary how all the global politicians, Australia included, got behind this, ‘Let’s keep the EU, let’s keep the global order’," Mr Farage said.

"But it’s happened, and whilst Mrs May is not doing the job very well, the prospects for our two nations with Brexit are much better than they’ve been for decades."

It’s generally thought the chances of a free-trade deal between Australia and the UK after March 29, 2019 would be better under a so-called "hard Brexit" as opposed to a "soft Brexit", in which the UK effectively remains a member of the EU in all but name.

"An independent UK is able to choose its own friends," Mr Farage said.

"We’re able to strike our own trade deals, we’re able to form our own relationships. I think for many of us who are big Commonwealth supporters, which I very much am, the last few decades have been very frustrating.

"We’ve watched the UK getting ever closer to the European political project to the detriment of our global relationships. I’m optimistic, I think we can do trade deals together, there can be a new kind of renaissance, if you like, of the English-speaking peoples of the world."

Mr Farage would not reveal which politicians he planned to meet on his tour of Australia next month, where he will speak at a series of events billed as an "entertaining evening with Nigel Farage". He said we wanted to meet fisherman Rex Hunt and cricketer Dennis Lillee.

"They’re my great Australian heroes," he said.

"All I can say at this stage is there are some quite senior Australian political figures that I will be meeting on my trip, but I can’t disclose those names right at the moment," he said.

"But clearly there are figures in Australian politics I do look up to from previous times. I thought John Howard was a remarkable man who I’ve had the privilege to meet, but in terms of current day-to-day politics I want to be slightly careful."



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, 2018

How can a dedicated nurse be sacked for handing a patient a Bible? Sarah worked for the NHS for 15 years. Then one day she was frogmarched out of hospital

Many of us who know no better might be guilty at times of taking our NHS for granted. It was different for Sarah Kuteh. She’d grown up in Sierra Leone, where disease is rampant and medicines scarce. Preventable death was a sad reality.

Having trained as a secondary school teacher, it was her intention to teach when she arrived in Britain in 1993.

But when she saw first-hand the work of doctors and nurses while working in a care home as she looked for a teaching post, she felt a sense of wonderment. Here, for the first time, she saw how desperately sick patients were given medicines denied to the people in her home country and cured.

From Sarah’s perspective, it seemed incredible. She determined to retrain as a nurse.

And that’s what she did. After qualifying in 2001, she gave 15 years dedicated service to the NHS. Sister Sarah was much loved by many colleagues and the patients she treated at Darent Valley Hospital in Kent.

But in June 2016, her association with the NHS came to an abrupt and humiliating end when she was escorted out of the building by a grim-faced matron and dismissed from her post, two months later, for ‘gross misconduct’.

What was this ‘gross misconduct’?

She had, from time to time, told patients a little about her Christian faith and the comfort it had brought her. Sometimes, she had also offered to say a prayer with them.

And on one occasion, she had given someone a Bible — a well-meaning if, she now knows, ill-advised act which ultimately sealed her fate.

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) guidelines prohibit nurses discussing religion, unless it is initiated by a patient. When the case was referred to the NMC earlier this year, Sarah was told she had failed in the expectation for a nurse ‘to understand the importance of, and respect, equality and diversity’.

It imposed conditions of practice on her should she work as a nurse again, including having to work under the close supervision of a superior.

You could be forgiven for thinking that Sarah had committed a grievous crime.

After her dismissal, she was forced to sell her home in Bexley, Kent, because she couldn’t pay the mortgage.

For the past year, Sarah and her three daughters (she is separated from her husband) have been living in a one-bedroom flat loaned to her by a friend. The two younger daughters are sleeping on sofas in the living room.

To her friends and family, and surely to many of the patients who have received her unflinchingly dedicated care over the past 15 years, it is an unjust betrayal of Sister Sarah.

Today, 49-year-old Sarah, a member of the House of God Church, a Pentecostal movement, is by turns reflective and emotional.

She says that she recognises there may have been times when she was ‘not sensitive enough’, that a patient who may have seemed to be engaging with her may, privately, have felt uncomfortable.

Yet she becomes emotional and tearful when she talks about the daily reality of life as a ward sister. For while the NHS does amazing things, sometimes there is nothing more to be done.

‘It’s all very well but they don’t see what I have seen, how much heart you put into it. I’ve seen young mothers who have learned they are dying of cancer.

‘One patient had just been given bad news and he told me he wanted to commit suicide. They come into my office, you try to offer compassion and sympathy.’

She pauses. ‘You know, the heart has gone out of nursing. That makes me very sad.’

She believes — and many may agree — that her punishment was ‘wholly disproportionate’ to her actions.

It’s a bitter twist to her association with the NHS, the organisation which she so admired — and still does, albeit with qualifications — when she came to Britain in 1993 to start a new life.

‘When I started work in the care home, I would see patients being treated and think, "Oh my goodness, they’re getting better!" I thought, "Wow, I want to be part of the team." It’s a buzz that never goes away.’

She worked in A&E, children’s wards, maternity and intensive care units.

In 2007, she took a position in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Darent Valley Hospital, run by Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, and in 2012 she was made an Intensive Care Sister.

In 2015, however, she became unwell herself with a condition which required surgery. After five months off work recovering, it was felt it would be best for her to return to a less pressurised environment and so she joined a pre-op assessment ward.

Here, one of Sarah’s duties was to go through an assessment questionnaire with patients.

One of the questions asked whether or not the patients followed a particular religion and, if so, were they practising or non-practising.

‘Someone might say, I’m Church of England but I don’t practise,’ explains Sarah.

In this context, then, you can see how a dialogue about faith might develop, especially with patients facing surgery which some feared they may not wake up from.

Nevertheless, Sarah is adamant she never went about ‘prescribing’ Christianity, maintaining she would only ever tell a patient how her faith had helped her through difficult situations and occasionally offer to say a prayer for them.

But there were some patients who evidently felt uncomfortable with this, but did not tell Sister Sarah herself, instead voicing their concern to other nurses on the ward. In total, eight complaints were made about Sarah, although only one formal complaint was submitted.

Sarah was seeing up to 40 patients a week, so the number of complainants was comparatively small. The one formal complaint concerned a man in his 50s whom Sarah describes as appearing very frail. ‘He was very unkempt and when he coughed, he rattled. I felt great sympathy for him.

‘I asked him the question about religion and he said he wasn’t religious but as a boy he was a chorister at a cathedral and he used to sing The Lord Is My Shepherd. He then sang a stanza from it.

‘It was later said that I’d asked him to sing it, but I don’t remember asking him to sing at all.’

On another occasion, Sarah went through the questionnaire with an 18-year-old girl.

‘She said she was interested in spirituality and we talked a bit about this. I mentioned that my own daughter, then 18, had begun to rely on prayer recently. The subject of the Bible came up and she said she didn’t have one.

‘I said, "I tell you what, I’ve got a Bible in my bag" and I gave it to her.’

The NHS has strict rules forbidding its staff from imposing their religious beliefs upon patients. Yet, in Sarah’s defence, these do seem to be somewhat contradictory.

For while it was strictly forbidden for Sarah to instigate a discussion about religion with a patient, at the same time she was being hauled over the coals by her superiors for crossing this boundary, her face was plastered on posters across the hospital advertising the monthly prayer group in the chapel that she helped to run.

In April 2016, Sarah’s manager came into her office and said some patients had complained about her discussing her faith with them.

She reminded her that in future, she must not do so unless a conversation was initiated by the patient, to which Sarah agreed. She was also given a ‘letter of concern’ which, Sarah says, is not as serious as a formal warning.

As far as she was concerned, she was careful from then on to abide by the rules.

So she was profoundly shocked to be told one Friday two months later to stop work immediately, go home and report back on the Monday for an ‘investigative meeting’.

‘You can imagine my shock,’ says Sarah.

She took a union representative with her and the current chaplain, with whom she had organised the monthly prayer sessions.

She says it was ‘an ambush’.

Before the panel of five, she was asked if she had given a Bible to a patient. She replied readily that yes, she had done so. All hell, as it were, broke loose.

The meeting went badly. Sarah was desperately upset to learn that some patients had felt uncomfortable when she talked about her faith and asked if she could apologise to them. This request was refused.

She was informed that she was being suspended. The matron escorted her out of the building in a formal fashion.

A second ‘disciplinary’ meeting was held in August 2016, at which Sarah was told that she was dismissed.

‘I offered to work under supervision, to have a pay freeze, even a demotion,’ says Sarah. ‘But it was no good. They dismissed me. I was deeply shocked, very hurt and humiliated.’

Sarah believed — and still does — that the Trust’s actions were wholly disproportionate and sought legal help.

Her case was taken up by Christian Concern, an organisation that defends Christians who find themselves in situations such as Sarah’s, and they enlisted barrister Jonathan Storey.

‘He was my representative throughout and is a dedicated, passionate for justice barrister’, says Sarah.

But a tribunal last year upheld the Trust’s decision, saying she was correctly dismissed.

Sarah’s legal team are currently waiting to hear whether the Court of Appeal will consider her case.

In January this year, she attended a hearing of the Nursing & Midwifery Council which ruled she had breached professional standards, saying: ‘Your misconduct goes to the heart of what is the foremost and indispensable responsibility of a registered nurse.’

It said Sarah posed ‘a risk that you will, in the future, put patients at unwarranted risk of emotional harm, bring the profession into disrepute, and breach a fundamental tenet of the profession.’

Harsh words, indeed. Conditions of practice were imposed.

Sarah had held off applying for a new post in the hope she would win her tribunal and clear her name, but when that did not happen, she began looking around for work.

In April this year Sarah was relieved to be taken on at a nursing home within the private sector, albeit in a role that was closely supervised.

Following on from the NMC hearing, Sarah penned a ‘written reflective piece’ to the NMC, about how she should behave as a nurse, and this met with a favourable response.

The NMC said she had demonstrated ‘full remediation and a high level of insight in regard to your failings’. Last month, the restrictions on her were lifted.

She is happy in her new post and understandably wary about going back to the NHS. ‘It seems you get blamed very easily, very quickly,’ she says.


Google Played Politics And Lost

It's amusing that the article below by the redoubtable Claire Lehmann appeared in "Penthouse".  I too once had a quite serious article appear in that august publication

Claire is what in Australian slang we would call a "good sort"

Earlier this year, author of the infamous Google Memo, James Damore, together with Harmeet Dhillon, a female Republican lawyer, brought a class action against the internet giant, accusing the company of discriminating against white men in particular, and conservatives in general. Within the same month, lawyers representing women who worked at Google brought a revised class action lawsuit to court, making the claim that female Googlers were, and still are, routinely paid less, assigned to lower positions and promoted less often than the men in the company.

The company is thus facing legal action from both ends of the political spectrum: progressive feminists and a Republican representing white males. It’s hard to say what the outcome of these two lawsuits will be at this stage. Google will surely put up a formidable defence on both fronts, while leaders of other large organisations – both inside Silicon Valley and outside – will be watching intently. While the internet behemoth has pockets deep enough to absorb such legal costs, the public relations fall out will be damaging. Each time a new piece of evidence hits the headlines, the company looks more like a dysfunctional soap opera than a dynamic tech innovator. 

As of February 2018, Damore’s complaint against the internet giant consisted of an 87-page long expose featuring countless screenshots from internal message boards, which employees used to communicate with each other. This communication, it is alleged, is evidence of widespread prejudice against white males and conservatives within the organisation.

Of course, these screenshots present a ‘cherry-picked’ view; the snippets don’t give the bigger picture of staff communication, which for the most part is likely mundane and reasonable. Nevertheless, the snippets that are shown present a salacious picture of unprofessional behaviour and a culture of normalised intolerance.

On white men, one Google employee writes that they "already have all the advantages in the world" (Complaint 40) and that "It’s not sexism/racism if it’s against males/whites" (Exhibit 76). Another shares their opinion: "By being a white male, you are in a privileged class that is actively harmful to others, whether you like it or not. So, no, you really actually don’t get to complain about your right to an opinion" (Exhibit 53). Another employee comments, "The only way we ‘move past color’ in America is for white people to shut up and listen" (Exhibit 47). Terms frequently used in communications included "mansplaining" (Exhibit 74) "whitesplaining" (Exhibit 58), "white fragility" (Exhibit 59), "white tears" (Exhibit 85), and "toxic whiteness" (Exhibit 61).

It used to be that corporations would go to great lengths to avoid being seen as politicised to the public, the reasoning being obvious: if you take a political stance, you are likely to alienate potential customers. But things have changed – particularly within the United States. Companies now engage in flamboyant virtue-signalling to attract certain markets and offset their image of greedy corporations. Google has long been accused of tax avoidance, privacy breaches and other kinds of unethical behaviour. To compensate for this, it appears that they have turned up the dial on their commitment to "social justice".

When the company was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google’s mission statement was "to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful". Their unofficial motto was "don’t be evil," which later became an official motto of "do the right thing". In recent years the company has increasingly aligned itself with social justice and progressive values in the public sphere. How much of this signalling is sincere, and how much is confected is up for debate. But what is clear, is that for some staff within the organisation, these commitments to social justice have not yet gone far enough.

In the lawsuit filed against Google claiming discrimination against women, three former Google employees: Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri, accused the company of systematically paying women less than men. It has been reported that in coming to their view they compiled a spreadsheet of confidential information – other employees’ salaries – comparing rates of their colleagues by gender. This spreadsheet ended up being leaked to the press, and was parodied by the satirical site The Onion, in a piece entitled: "Google Now Giving Female Employees a Free Day Each Week to Work on Lawsuits."

One of the complainants, Kelly Ellis, has alleged that she left the company because of its "sexist culture," and has tweeted about being sexually harassed by male staff. Her accounts of being harassed include an engineering director telling her that it was "taking all of [his] self-control not to grab your ass right now," another staff member telling her that "You look amazing in that bathing suit, like a rockstar," and overhearing a male staff member say to another, "Doesn’t Kelly look amazing heh, heh."

In January, the women’s lawsuit was thrown out by a (female) judge for being too vague. The judge intimated that while the discrepancies in pay were there, the complaint did not adequately prove that the male and female employees were doing the same work, and so discrimination could not be proven. The women have said that they will be "rebooting" their accusations, returning to court with the required evidence; meanwhile, newspapers around the world run headlines which scream: "Google Sued for Gender Discrimination".

The unfolding Google drama should be seen as a cautionary lesson about what can happen when a company lets identity politics through its doors. Identity politics: the tendency of people to form political alliances according to their membership to a group based on race, gender, sexuality or disability, as opposed to shared principles, is corrosive to a large corporate organisation, because it exaggerates what psychologists call our in-group/out-group biases, sabotaging team spirit in the process.

Psychologists explain it like this: human beings have evolved to operate in tribes and have learned to be somewhat wary of those who come from different tribes. In experiments conducted in the 1970s, psychologists found that positive feelings towards one’s in-group and negative feelings towards an out-group were easily activated and easily maintained. The human predilection towards tribalism appears universal and instinctive.

In a famous experiment called the Minimal Group Paradigm, schoolboys were assigned to two different groups according to whether they preferred the abstract paintings of Klimt, or the abstract paintings of Klee. When they were pitted against each other in a series of games, they consistently favoured members of their own group, and consistently competed against members of the out-group, despite the fact that the distinction between them was completely arbitrary. Further experiments have found that this in-group/out-group bias can be activated as something as simple as a coin toss.

What this means for the workplace is that policies and initiatives that are designed to improve ‘diversity’ can end up backfiring on a company, because they can activate this in-group/out-group bias.

Programs that are well-intentioned can actually cause more harm than good if they are implemented without sensitivity to whether or not people feel as if they pit against each other in little mini-tribes. Such programs can include "implicit bias training," which is now being blamed for causing "backfire effects" within workplaces. And this training, which is based on a test which is in its own right controversial (many psychologists argue that it does not measure actual bias) was implemented by Google across its entire workforce in 2013.

Around five years ago, Google rolled out its unconscious bias training – inspired by the disputed Implicit Association Test (IAT) – to its entire workforce of 60,000 people. It consisted of a presentation that lasted between 60 and 90 minutes.

The presentation began with slides explaining that implicit bias was natural: it was in all of us, and we were born with it, because the human brain evolved to be efficient and take shortcuts. The presentation gently explained that unfortunately some of these shortcuts were bad and had unwanted effects in the workplace. The slides then proceeded to state:

"Even a tiny bit of bias can have big consequences."


"Companies with higher proportions of women board directors outperform others by 53 per cent".

 Since Google rolled out this training, its effectiveness has been disputed. For example, a large systemic review conducted in 2016, and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that implicit bias training had no lasting effect at all. Another large 2017 meta-analysis (yet to be published) found that while "implicit bias is malleable," any change in implicit bias "does not necessarily lead to changes in explicit bias or behaviour".

What this training does do, however, is bring skin colour and gender identity to the fore. It increases people’s awareness of their identity as "male" or "female" or "white or "black" thereby creating an in-group of "female Googlers" and "minority Googlers" and an out-group of "white male Googlers". It’s no wonder, that five years later, the company finds itself being sued by representatives of both identity groups, aggrieved that the company is making them feel uncomfortable, and angered that things have not gone their way.

Due to the aggressive diversity efforts aimed at promoting women and minorities within the company, Google’s leaders appear to have activated a sense of grievance and factionalism among their employee community. Rather than working together as a cohesive and trusting team, employees have compiled spreadsheets about each other, have taken screenshots of each other’s communications, and have tweeted out their frustrations for all the world to see.

Why is this happening? We can blame identity politics. While many groups can claim ownership to historical injustices, and have legitimate concerns, identity politics can also be taken too far. And when it is taken too far, what emerges is a rejection of teamwork based on shared values and a shared vision, and what emerges instead is a zero-sum competition for power and resources. And within the workplace, this is poison.


Evangelical Anglicans Pin 95 Theses-Style Complaint on LGBT Issues to Doors of 5 UK Cathedrals

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, anonymous evangelical Anglicans posted a 95 Theses-style complaint on the doors of five British cathedrals. The first complaints went up on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church in Germany, and the documents pinned to the doors referenced Luther in calling for the Church of England to follow the Bible on LGBT issues.

"500 years ago Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to a church door in Germany," one document reads. "He did it because the church had become corrupt. Today a Declaration is being fixed to a cathedral door here in England because the Established Church in our land is becoming corrupt."

"The Church of England claims it has not changed its doctrine but its practice on the ground has already changed: clergy are adopting lifestyles which are not biblical and teaching that such lifestyles are holy in the sight of God," the document explains. "This revisionism is causing a crisis not only in Southwark Diocese but across the whole of the Church of England."

The document issues a very hefty charge. "When the church redefines sin and eliminates repentance, it can no longer offer the good news of eternal salvation from sin in Jesus; the church no longer remains distinctly Christian; it is no longer salt and light in the world," the declaration reads.

This document ends with a clear Reformation-style challenge. "Where leaders refuse to repent and submit themselves to the Word of God, the Lord raises up new leadership for His church and new structures: just as He did through Martin Luther 500 years ago."

Along with this declaration, Anglicans posted the Southwark Declaration, a statement affirming traditional biblical sexuality similar to the Nashville Statement.

"We affirm the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures and their supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct," the declaration reads. "We affirm the teaching of Scripture (Genesis 2.24, Mark 10.7, Matthew 19.5), the Book of Common Prayer, and Canon B30 that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life. We affirm it is the one God-ordained context for sexual intercourse."

The declaration concludes by calling upon "the Bishops, Archdeacons, and the senior staff of the Diocese, alongside all clergy and licensed lay ministers, to affirm these truths, live by them, and to teach in accordance with them."

Anonymous Anglicans posted the documents to multiple churches on different days throughout the week.


Australians racist?  Even welfare-dependent Third-world immigrants say they are well-accepted

A new study from Australian researchers shows that refugees and new immigrants integrate well in Australia – especially in regional areas.

Contrary to recent comments from the multicultural affairs minister, Alan Tudge, that migrants who reside together "largely communicate in their mother tongue [and] are slower integrating", the research found that refugees were welcomed by their new communities, found it "easy" to get along, and felt a strong sense of belonging to their new homes.

Researchers surveyed 214 refugees – 155 adults and 59 children – from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, who all had been recently settled in Queensland across Brisbane, Logan and Toowoomba.

81% of those in regional Toowoomba said they found it "very easy" or "easy" to make friends in Australia. 62% of refugees in Brisbane and Logan said the same, for an average of 68% across Queensland.

82% of refugee children said they felt they belonged to the local community – either "always", "most of the time" or "often". Only 18% said they belonged "occasionally" or not at all. Half of all refugees surveyed said it was "very easy" or "easy" to talk to their new neighbours.

The study’s co-author, Professor Jock Collins from the University of Technology Sydney, said this refuted the idea that migrants formed linguistic bubbles.

Only 6% of the new arrivals said they spoke no English. 47% said they spoke it "not very well", 38% spoke English "well" and 9% spoke it "very well".

"In our experience the people we are talking to are really, really keen to learn English," he said.

Measures of belonging were generally higher in Toowomba, which the researchers said was due to a proactive and welcoming community, and worse in Logan, which has a higher index of social disadvantage.

"We avoid the term ‘integrate into’, because integration is a two-way process," said co-author Professor Carol Reid from Western Sydney University. "It requires the local community support. Where there is strong support, you find there are no problems.

"With the whole issue of English language learning, in the 1980s we had more funding around multicultural policy, and people could learn English on the job. The tension between employment and English could be resolved by that."

The study found the unemployment rate was high among the new arrivals – with only 18% in paid employment – but Collins said that would change with time.

"We know that a lot of the refugees we talk to are putting off looking for a job until their English is better. We will be talking to them next year and expect to see an increase in the employment rate.

"For the engineers and architects and pharmacists, the professions have severe gatekeepers for their profession that they have to hurdle. For a lot of the others, it’s a bit of a Catch-22, they won’t get a job without Australian experience.

"There needs to be a way where these refugees can get work experience, and a recognition of prior learning. A lot of them are very confident, they are excellent at their skills."

Collins said that the results of their survey showed that Australia had great potential to take more refugees.

"Most people don’t know that in 2017 Australia took in more than double the number of refugees than it usually takes. The sky didn’t fall in – in fact it worked quite well.

"Regional and rural Australia has an appetite for more migrants and refugees. It proves to us that the bush is not redneck, it is supportive of diverse communities."

Across Queensland, 60% of refugees in Toowoomba said it was easy to talk to their neighbours, compared with 46% in Brisbane and 27% in Logan.

100% of refugees said they felt safe living in Toowoomba, and 85% across Queensland (and a majority in every city) said they believed they had found a neighbourhood that was a good place to bring up children.

Even with its comparatively poorer score, 76% of the refugees in Logan said they always, most of the time, or often, belonged.



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, 2018

UK: Boris Johnson’s offence-seekers avoid the issue


The brouhaha over Boris Johnson is a salutary tale about how to screw up a free society. Last week Johnson made a serious point about freedom, that women in a free society should have the right to wear a niqab or a burka. The former British foreign minister also poked fun at these women dressing like letterboxes and bank robbers. A week later, the spirit of the times has been confirmed. Taking offence over a dumb-ass joke trumps defending the freedom of women to wear what they damn well want. That zeitgeist is a dead-end street for liberty.

To be sure, bashing Boris is child’s play. His narcissism always gets a good rise from his critics. And it’s true that his ego ranks right up there with, well, most other politicians. What separates him is that he is better at making people sit up and take notice of what he says.

Last week, Johnson defended what it is to be free, which is tragically refreshing because it is rare even in the Tory party. He reminisced about Denmark where the spirit of liberty once ran free — a country that told the EU to get knotted over the Maastricht Treaty, where people ride bikes free from helmet laws, where locals dive stark naked into the icy Cop­enhagen harbour and where part of the capital is set aside for a commune of anarchists at Christiania.

Then, on August 1, the Danes outlawed women wearing the niqab or the burka, following others such as France, Germany, Austria and Belgium. Johnson said that jarred with the Danish disposition to live and let live.

But it was a few silly words about letterboxes and bank robbers that consumed the un-intelligentsia. A week on, they are still transfixed on being offended. If Johnson’s biggest sin is to seek attention, that is preferable to the growing array of offence-seekers. The more wicked offence-seekers, such as the Muslim Council of Britain, choose to be offended as a deliberate ploy to distract us from issues that should demand our attention: integration, female equality and dodgy religious doctrine.

Others are hopelessly addicted to empty virtue-signalling, such as the Labour MPs who expressed offence on behalf of others who might be offended. In the offendedness sweepstakes, feeling someone else’s offence counts for more than defending freedom.

Some have called for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory party because of a letterbox quip from Johnson. The same offence-seekers have not called for an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, which is curious given that last week the Daily Mail unearthed pictures of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn holding a wreath near the graves of four Palestinian leaders believed to be part of the Black September terror group that carried out the attack on Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympics, murdering 11 people.

When senior Tories side with offence-seekers rather than with defenders of freedom, the future for liberalism looks lousy. The Prime Minister and the Conservative party chairman joined a morose cabal of PC multi-culti elites by demanding that Johnson apologise. Indeed, Tories have joined an ugly show trial that includes demands that Johnson resign and, in the meantime, be investigated.

It’s hard to work out what they will be investigating. Unlike your regular politician, Johnson didn’t dodge, weave or obfuscate. He didn’t hide behind slippery caveats. He said the burka was oppressive but said that he loved freedom more than he loathed the burka. Once upon a time that would have been a nice fit with the Conservative party’s manifesto.

If Johnson has breached the party’s code of conduct, it needs to be rewritten so a Tory who defends core freedoms is applauded rather than castigated. Suggestions that Johnson may need "diversity" training point to a party that may need major repairs under its philosophical bonnet.

There is a civil war within the British Conservative party, not unlike outbreaks in the Liberal Party here, because there was a time when defending free speech was a foundation stone in a liberal-minded political party. This civil war represents a deeper schism across the West between those who howl about being offended to shut down uncomfortable debates and those willing to have those ­debates.

Worse, when so-called liberals and allegedly moderate Muslims call for Johnson’s head, figuratively of course, they help Islamists who literally would have his head for making a joke about the veil. As Qanta Ahmed, a British Muslim woman, wrote last week, false accusations of Islamophobia play straight into the Islamists’ hands: "It masks the diversity of Muslim opinion, treating voices like mine as if they do not exist, and aided by pseudo-intellectual liberals in the West, allows Islamists to falsely present their dress code as the only true face of Islam." Ahmed wants the veil banned. It derives from misogyny, she says, not from the Koran.

Rather than hissing over a few dumb jokes, Johnson’s critics could have engaged in this kind of more thoughtful debate about Islam, women and integration.

Munira Mirza, author of Living Apart Together: British Muslims and the Paradox of Multiculturalism, pointed out that the burka, a recent cultural accretion, was a symbol of gender inequality. She said the burka was not made more palatable because some Western women chose to wear it.

Taj Hargey, an imam from the Oxford Islamic congregation, added his thoughts about a "retrogressive Islamic clergy" that had "succeeded in persuading ill-­informed Muslims … that God wants women to cover their faces, when in reality it is a toxic patriarchy controlling women".

Self-evidently, you cannot have searching conversations about anything much when your focus is expressing outrage over a joke. On that score, the hosts of The New Statesman podcast proved to be the perfectly useful idiots. Helen Lewis said she hadn’t read Johnson’s column because you didn’t need to. Instead, "you just sort of experience its effect". Stephen Bush said he made the mistake of reading Johnson’s column and it was a crock to argue that the renegade Tory was trying to speak about difficult issues. These were not difficult issues, Bush said, because it was accepted wisdom that the burka should not be banned. Tell that to large swathes of Europe where the burka has been banned.

The bigger point missed by ­offence-seekers is that most Brits want more free speech. And BoJo, as he is known, resonates with plenty of voters in a way that whitebread, risk-averse politicians never do. A ComRes poll reveals that 60 per cent of voters across all parties worry that free speech is under attack and 53 per cent oppose any attempt to punish BoJo for speaking his mind.

When you are busy finding offence in a joke, you miss another point. When a liberal democracy bans the burka, it may as well wave the white flag of defeat. Banning women from wearing what they want is an admission, not only that integration has failed but also that basic freedoms must give way to state control.


UK: BORIS BURKA ROW: Tories are running SCARED of a leadership bid, says Jacob Rees-Mogg

CONSERVATIVE politicians are attacking Boris Johnson through fear the former Foreign Secretary could be about to launch a leadership bid, according to one top Brexiteer politician.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has written in The Daily Telegraph, responding to the backlash against Mr Johnson’s comments about people who wear the burka, which were made in the same newspaper earlier this week.

In Monday’s article, the former Foreign Secretary compared women who wear veils to "bank robbers" and accused them of looking like "letter boxes".

Mr Rees-Mogg has labelled the outrage in the Tory party as "dubious" and accused his fellow members of trying to undermine a popular member of the party.

The MP for North East Somerset wrote in the newspaper: "The howls of outrage are suspect and the motivations dubious," over the criticisms of Boris.

"Why would senior Conservatives want to attack so popular a figure for saying something that had been said before, and which they had not objected to?"

Mr Rees-Mogg highlighted Ken Clarke, former Cabinet minister, had previously made comments about women who wear the burka, having referred to the garments as "a kind of bag".

He thinks the attacks are instead as a result of the Uxbridge MP’s popularity with the general public: "Could it be that there is a nervousness that a once and probably future leadership contender is becoming too popular and needs to be stopped?"

He continues: "Boris Johnson, because of his many successes, popularity with voters and charisma, attracts more than his fair share of this disagreeable vice."

Mr Rees-Mogg thinks the party’s response has only served to generate more sympathy for the controversial politician.

He said: "This may explain the attempt to use the Conservative Party’s disciplinary procedures, but it has been handled so ham-fistedly that it brings only sympathy and support for Mr Johnson."

Many high-profile Tories have called on Mr Johnson to apologise, including the Prime Minister.

Dominic Grieve, leader of the Commons Tory rebels over Brexit has even said he would resign membership of the party if Mr Johnson ever did become leader.


Toronto Shooting: Politically Correct Cover-Up?

On July 22, two youngsters -- 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis -- were killed, and another 13 people, ranging in age from 17 to 59, were wounded in a brutal shooting attack at a number of restaurants on Danforth Avenue, in Toronto's popular Greektown neighborhood. The perpetrator, who was later identified as Faisal Hussain, killed himself after exchanging gunfire with police.

Hussain's firing stance and ability to reload his 40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun while on the move suggested that he had experience with firearms.

The following morning, the Toronto Police Service issued a statement that indicated they had already identified the shooter, yet did not release his name until later that afternoon. Meanwhile, a statement allegedly from the Hussain family made the rounds in a number of news outlets.

The statement read, in part:

...We are utterly devastated by the incomprehensible news that our son was responsible for the senseless violence and loss of life that took place on the Danforth.

Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life.

The interventions of professionals were unsuccessful. Medications and therapy were unable to treat him.

While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end...

Much of the media, led by the CBC and the Toronto Star, accepted this version of the tragedy, and asserted that the mass shooting had not been a terrorist attack, while blaming a breakdown in the mental-health-care system for Hussain's actions and calling for stricter gun-control regulations.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said of Hussain, "There is no connection between that individual and national security."

It emerged, however, that the so-called Hussain "family statement" had not been written by the murderer's parents at all, but rather by Mohammed Hashim, a professional activist who served as chairman of the "Stronger Together" program of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM, formerly the Council of American Islamic Relations Canada or CAIR CAN). Its American parent organization, as stated in its own documents, is CAIR, designated as a terrorist entity by the United Arab Emirates.

CAIR was also identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in an American terrorism-funding trial whose judge determined it to be one of many organizations involved in funding Hamas.

In 2016, Hashim was instrumental in getting the Toronto Star to stop using the term "Islamic State" and refer to the terrorist group only as "Daesh," presumably to dissociate Islam from terrorism.

In 2017, Hashim was a speaker at an event held at the ISNA Islamic Centre of Canada facility in Toronto. (Three years earlier, the ISNA Development Foundation lost its status as a charity on the grounds that it had been funding terrorism.)

In addition, contrary to what Hashim purportedly wrote in the statement, there is no evidence that Hussain was diagnosed with or treated for a mental illness, even after one of his high-school teachers reported to the police 10 years ago that Hussain had said "I want to kill someone... I just feel it would be really cool to kill somebody." Although he was apprehended at the time under the Mental Health Act, he was released and deemed as not an immediate threat.

As for Faisal Hussain's actual family: Faisal has a brother, Fahad, who -- while awaiting trial for crack-dealing -- overdosed last summer on a cocktail of cocaine and heroin, leaving him in a vegetative state. Both Faisal and Fahad were friends with 33-year-old Maisum Ansari, who, according to the Toronto Sun, "was charged last September with possessing 53 kilograms of carfentanil, an analog of fentanyl and 100 times stronger than the painkiller and notoriously deadly street narcotic... the largest such seizure of the synthetic opioid in Canadian history."

During the investigation into Ansari's drug operations, police discovered a weapons cache in the basement of his rented-out house. This is possibly an example of the intersection of the drug trade and terrorism. Furthermore, carfentanil, specifically, has been of concern to the US government as a drug that also could be used as a chemical weapon.

The question of whether the Danforth shooting was an act of terrorism has yet to be answered. Although ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, Toronto police said they "have no evidence to support these claims."

Nevertheless, Faisal Hussain's actions need to be taken in a wider context. Since 2013, several low-scale terrorist attacks with an extremist Muslim connection have taken place in Canada. Among these were: the attempted 2013 bombing plot on a Via Rail train; the 2014 car-ramming attack that killed a Canadian soldier; the 2014 gun attack on the National War Memorial and Parliament; a 2016 botched suicide bombing that ended with only the terrorist dying; a 2016 knife attack on a Canadian Forces recruiting center, a 2016 knife attack in a Canadian Tire store by a woman claiming to work for ISIS; and a 2017 vehicle-ramming and knife attack.

More recently, a restaurant bombing in Mississauga on May 24, 2018, which left 15 people wounded, is still being investigated.

Since Faisal Hussain is dead, it is unlikely that a complete picture of what motivated him to commit a mass shooting will be painted. However, given the global climate, to which Canada most certainly has not been immune -- as well as Hussain's dubious connections -- the attempt by the government and the media to dismiss potential links to terrorist groups or inspiration from jihadist ideologies, is both premature and politically transparent.


Australian conservative politician Bob Katter accuses a journalist of being racist for saying his granddad is Lebanese - as he defends his anti-Muslim Senator

Katter's grandfather was from the Lebanese Maronite (Christian) community but Bob is heavily focused on assimilation and the fact that his grandfather assimilated readily to Australian society (most Maronites do) meant that to Katter his grandfather was Australian.  Katter in other words has a cultural definition of who is Australian and was angered by the racist definition used by a journalist

Bob Katter has slammed a journalist who suggested his grandfather was Lebanese - describing it as a 'racist comment'.

Mr Katter defended his party's senator Fraser Anning's maiden speech in which he used the Nazi term 'final solution' while proposing a plebiscite on immigation, saying the address was 'magnificent'.

Mr Katter also said a reporter who referred to his grandfather as Lebanese was 'racist'.

'No, he's not. He's an Australian. I resent, strongly, you describing him as Lebanese. That is a racist comment and you should take it back and should be ashamed of yourself for saying it in public,' he said. '

Mr Katter's grandfather Carl was born in Bcharre, Lebanon, in 1982.

Reacting to Mr Anning's speech, Mr Katter said it was 'solid gold'.

'You don't have to be Albert Einstein to see that we, as a race of people, we Australians, are being buried by a mass migration program to line the pockets of the rich and powerful.

'The (Labor Party), and more particularly, the (Liberals) are bringing 630,000 people from overseas, from countries with no democracy, no rule of law, no... egalitarian traditions, no Judaeo-Christian, 630,000 a year and they don't go home.

'We do not want people coming in from the Middle East or North Africa unless they're the persecuted minorities. Why aren't you bringing in the Sikhs? Why aren't you bringing in the Christians? Why aren't you bringing in the Jews?'

Mr Katter said Mr Anning wasn't aware of the connotations of the term 'final solution'.  Addressing outrage over his use of the term, Mr Anning said it was taken out of context by the 'thought police'.

Mr Anning said on Wednesday morning he simply wanted the Australian people to be able to decide what kind of immigrants the country accepts.

He later compared Muslim migrants to poisoned jelly beans and stood by his call for Islamic immigration to be halted altogether.

'All I'm calling for is a plebiscite and a vote for the Australian people to see who they want to come into the country,' the Queensland senator told the Today show.

In his maiden speech Mr Anning said 'the final solution to the immigration problem is of course a popular vote'.

The term 'final solution' was used by the Nazis as part of their plan to murder the entire Jewish population of Europe which resulted in mass genocide.

Mr Anning denied making a deliberate reference to Nazi Germany, but refused to apologise for his choice of words.

'If people want to take it out of context that's entirely up to them. It was never meant to denigrate the Jewish community,' he said.

Mr Anning also stood by his claims the majority of Muslim immigrants do not work [Only 18% have jobs] and are on welfare and over-represented in criminal activity.

When asked why he had singled out Muslim immigrants in the speech, Mr Anning said it was because 'they mean us harm'.

Mr Anning said he agreed the vast majority of Muslim were hardworking and law-abiding, but claimed a small minority 'want to kill us'.

'I don't want those people in this country. I think the vast majority of Australians agree with me. No-one wants to put it to a vote,' Mr Anning said.

Speaking on talkback radio later on Wednesday morning, Mr Anning likened accepting Muslim immigrants to poisonous jelly beans.

'If you can tell me which ones [Muslims] are not going to cause us harm then fine, that'd be great,' he told Alan Jones on 2GB.

'Unfortunately if you have a jar of jellybeans and three of them are poison you're not going to try any of them.'

The speech to parliament was widely condemned by politicians from both major parties, and the Greens.

After his speech was attacked by Mr Di Natale and senior Labor frontbenchers Tony Burke and Chris Bowen, Mr Anning released a statement dismissing their criticism.

'Some in the media and left wing politicians are simply afraid of the Australian people having a say on who comes here,' Mr Anning said.

'As I called for a plebiscite on the immigration mix, this baseless and ridiculous criticism is simply an effort to play the man and not the ball.

Mr Anning said it was ironic that he was being criticised by politicians from Labor and the Greens who had voted against his pro-Israel proposals in the past.

'[They] are the same people who refused to support my efforts to stop Australia funding the Palestinian Authority who finance terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli women and children,' he said.

His proposed plebiscite would allow people to decide whether they want wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the third world, he said.

Mr Anning said Australia was entitled to insist migrants were predominantly of 'European Christian composition'.

He also called for the government to ban all welfare payments to migrants in the first five years of living in Australia, labelling many asylum seekers as 'welfare seekers'.

'Ethno-cultural diversity - which is known to undermine social cohesion - has been allowed to rise to dangerous levels in many suburbs,' Mr Anning said.

'In direct response, self-segregation, including white flight from poorer inner-urban areas, has become the norm.'

Opposition leader Bill Shorten responded to the speech by saying he will move a motion praising the dismantling of the White Australia policy.

Mr Shorten's motion will recognise bipartisan support for the former Holt government's moves to end the policy, and the resulting national and international benefits to the country.



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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, 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, 2018

How socialized medicine works in practice

Story from Britain:

An elderly patient made an appointment with his cat's vet after being unable to get a GP appointment.

The unnamed man, who is thought to be in his 70s, asked the veterinarian to look at a worrying rash on his chest after growing increasingly frustrated with the waiting time to see his doctor.

The Brighton-based vet, who chose to remain anonymous, told MailOnline he was unable to treat the pensioner but prescribed flea treatment for his cat in case such insects were causing the man's rash.

This comes after the GP Patient Survey 2018 released earlier this week found one in four people are forced to wait a week or more to see a family doctor, with such waiting times having doubled over the past six years.

Just one third of people can get an appointment at their local GP surgery on the same day they call-up, the survey found.

Last year, Theresa May ordered GPs to extend their opening hours and offer appointments 8am-to-8pm, seven days a week, in a bid to improve access. Yet, the latest figures suggest securing an appointment is harder than ever.


More crooked British police

Corruption to cover up incompertence

The child sex abuse case that saw pop mogul Jonathan King handed a seven-year jail sentence has been reopened in the light of fresh evidence – including documents which dramatically undermine the testimony of a star witness at his 2001 trial.

Fresh evidence is being considered by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which will decide whether to order a new appeal. It emerged as a result of King’s trial this year on separate, though related, charges of ‘historic’ sex abuse, some dating back to 1970.

That case was brought to an end last week when the judge issued a damning ruling, accusing Surrey Police of failing to disclose critical evidence and misleading the court.

Judge Deborah Taylor told Southwark Crown Court that it would be impossible for King to get a fair trial because ‘the integrity of the criminal justice system and processes have been undermined publicly in a fundamental way by disclosure failures and persistent misleading of the court’.

She added: ‘A trial has been aborted due to the failures. The time of the court and public money have been wasted, in a time of scarce resources… Continuation would undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.’

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the fresh evidence to be considered by the CCRC includes:

Witness A – one of five underage victims King was convicted of abusing in 2001 – who gave a long, unpublished interview to the News of the World four years before he spoke to the police, in which he revealed a very different story from his trial testimony. This newspaper has established he told the reporter in 1997 that he met King when he was with a friend at an amusement arcade, and was not assaulted until weeks later;

 In 2001, Witness A said former DJ King first approached him when he was alone at a market stall, drove him in his Rolls-Royce to a ‘peep show’ and, later that same day, took him to his home, where he assaulted him. The police knew of these discrepancies seven months before the 2001 trial, but allegedly did not disclose the 1997 account to the defence team;

As the MoS first revealed in 2016, an investigation by the author Bob Woffinden, who died earlier this year, shows that another boy King was convicted of abusing was not in the same country as the music mogul throughout the period when he claimed he was certain the alleged abuse took place. He was in England, but tickets, receipts and credit card bills unearthed by Woffinden show that King was in America;

A 2014 report by Merseyside police on Operation Arundel, the original 2001 Surrey investigation, was only disclosed to King’s lawyers shortly before the 2018 case finally collapsed. The report, triggered by Surrey’s widely criticised investigation of allegations against Jimmy Savile before his death, made sweeping criticisms of the way Arundel officers took statements from alleged victims, saying the method they used ‘increases the possibility of error’, and ‘the integrity of any statement taken in this manner is open to question’;

The report says officers failed to tape the questions they asked during interviews, while victims’ statements were written up and signed ‘days if not weeks’ afterwards from short ‘trigger notes’, instead of immediately. The CCRC will now decide whether this casts doubt on all the evidence that convicted King in 2001;

The first Arundel detective to take a statement from an alleged victim of King was Mark Williams-Thomas, now a TV presenter. According to Judge Taylor’s ruling, after Williams-Thomas left the force, police found ‘a document on his computer offering for sale names and introductions to victims of Mr King’. The judge also said that when he left, Williams-Thomas took his police notebooks concerning King with him. The prosecution said he should not have done this because they were force property;

In 2018, though not in 2001, King was charged with abusing Witness B, the alleged victim interviewed by Williams-Thomas. Witness B could not have testified in person because illness had destroyed his ability to speak: the jury would have been asked to convict King on the basis of his 2001 statement. Witness B’s medical records, which showed he had been in numerous mental institutions and had been a drug addict, were only disclosed in June, shortly before the trial collapsed.

Yesterday, King, 73, told this newspaper in an exclusive interview: ‘I’m naturally delighted by the outcome, but my real hope is to protect others in future, and to let the many teachers, care workers and others who have also been wrongly convicted of so-called historic sexual abuse to have their cases reopened too.

‘There needs to be change at all levels. But as Judge Taylor has done, we must start with the behaviour of the police.’

He said that Surrey Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave, the man ultimately responsible, should resign.

King’s long career in pop began in 1965 when he had a top five hit while still a Cambridge student. He went on to write, perform and produce many more, while also discovering bands such as Genesis.

His contacts were also impeccable. In 2001, Simon Cowell stood him bail, and when he was arrested, King had been offered the chairmanship of recording giant EMI on an annual £5 million salary.

Other famous friends included former Page 3 model Samantha Fox.

He admits the sexual opportunities that success gave him were endless, and some might find his promiscuous behaviour reprehensible. But he says he never made any secret of it, and was always clear he was not interested in settling down. In a recent video, he ironically described himself as a ‘vile pervert’.

‘I’m bisexual,’ he said, ‘and I had sex with hundreds of people. About 40 per cent were women.

‘But I found it absurd that in the 1970s and 1980s, I could legally have sex with a 16-year-old girl but not with a boy the same age because the age of consent for gay sex was 21.

‘So I deliberately broke the law with young men who were over 16, and who wanted to have sex with me.’

King insisted he went to elaborate lengths to ensure he never slept with anyone under 16, adding: ‘I was very good at seduction. I’m sorry if some people have come to regret having sex with me in later life. But if anyone said no, I accepted it. I knew some of those who made allegations, but I didn’t have sex with any of them.’

In all, King has faced four trials.

The first – in which he was convicted of abusing boys aged 14 and 15, with offences ranging from buggery to touching inappropriately – led to his seven-year jail sentence, of which he served three and a half years.

In the second, in November 2001, he was accused of abusing two boys but found not guilty on all counts.

A third trial due after that was dropped by the prosecution.

The charges he would have faced then were ‘left on file’. But King was assured by his lawyers that they would never be revived.

Legal experts say it is highly unusual for charges of this kind to be tried years later. However, this is what happened in King’s fourth trial, which ended last week.

Of the ten alleged victims, seven – including Witness B – had first made statements in 2001, when their claims were either left on file or did not lead to charges.

The other three came forward after King was arrested in 2015 amid huge publicity.

The 2001 trial started in June. In April, King’s defence, led by solicitor Steven Bird and Henry Blaxland QC, had tried to get the case stopped as an ‘abuse of process’, arguing it was unfair to revive the old allegations.

At that stage, the judge disagreed. But then, following pressure from King’s defence, further documents were disclosed, including the Merseyside report on Operation Arundel and Witness B’s extensive medical records.

The prosecution, acting on information from the police, had wrongly told the court these documents contained ‘nothing of relevance’, and that there was no ‘final version’ of the Merseyside report – when, in fact, there was, and Surrey Police had a copy in their files.

King was found not guilty on the two charges which had lain on file, including the claim he abused Witness B. Then the case was aborted.

Meanwhile, a long statement to police by the News of the World reporter describing his interview with Witness A in 1997, with its many discrepancies from his 2001 evidence, had also come to light.

It had been sent to King’s office as part of a package of ‘unused material’ in October 2001 but he never examined it because by then he had been convicted, and was in Belmarsh prison.

King said he was sure that the reporter’s statement had not been disclosed before his trial, and if it had been, his barrister, Ron Thwaites QC, who had a formidable reputation, would have used it to undermine Witness A’s allegations.

The 2018 prosecution lawyers said ‘it is not possible to say’ if the reporter’s statement was disclosed before the 2001 trial or not, but admitted that the information it contained was ‘not in any statement made by [Witness A] himself’.

‘I was misled,’ Judge Taylor said at the end of last week’s ruling.

She added that, whether the misleading was deliberate or not, to allow this ‘would give rise to a belief that in this type of case, where there are sexual allegations against figures in the public eye, the courts are prepared to sanction the end justifying the means’.

Perhaps most astonishingly of all, she also suggested that the 2018 case had ‘not been driven by complainants’ allegations’, but ‘by concerns about reputational damage to Surrey Police in the wake of the Savile case and the consequent Merseyside investigation’.

Last night the CCRC confirmed that it had reopened the 2001 case. A spokesman said: ‘We will examine whatever material there may be which is relevant. Anything that concerns witnesses’ credibility will have a bearing.’

Williams-Thomas said he ‘not been given any opportunity to defend myself’ before the judge issued her ruling, saying that he should have been. He said he left the police with an ‘exemplary record’ and only kept his notebooks because he was advised to do so.

As to the document the judge said was found on his computer offering to sell details of King’s alleged victims, he said: ‘After two investigations, no action was taken against me.

‘It must follow that no offences were disclosed. I categorically deny any wrongdoing here or in relation to any of the other criticisms… I pride myself on my ability to protect victims of such crimes.’

A Surrey Police spokesman said: ‘We recognise there were serious organisational failings in the investigation, particularly in relation to disclosure.’

The force ‘deeply regret we did not meet the required standards to ensure a fair trial. For this we wholeheartedly apologise.’

The spokesman added that the force had commissioned an ‘independent review’ and a formal complaint by King was now being investigated. However, Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave had ‘no intention of resigning’.


Social Media Hive Mind Validates Jones

Now he's got a real conspiracy to talk about

The social media censors were at it again last week. Facebook deleted four pages operated by provocateur Alex Jones, while Apple, YouTube, Vimeo, and Spotify all scrubbed the Infowars host's content. Why the sudden crackdown and why this particular target?

Right up front, we'll say that Jones falls into the category of what we call 10% substance and 90% fragrance. His conspiracy theories are as legendary as they are loony, and some are downright offensive (like his accusing Sandy Hook victims of being "crisis actors"). He occasionally starts with legitimate stories or concerns, but he often blows them so far out of proportion that they become falsehood. Other times, his rantings are so phony they don't deserve the time of day. His own lawyer described him as "a performance artist" who's "playing a character." That's his bread and butter.

But that wasn't the reason social media thought police gave for their censorship; rather, each platform categorized Jones's content as "hate speech." That made for an interesting setup to the hype about the so-called — and grossly misnamed — "alt-right" rallies over the weekend. After all, Jones's listeners tend to fall on the conservative end of the political spectrum, which Big Tech and the Leftmedia are incessantly endeavoring to cast as uniformly racist bigots. Working in concert, the Leftmedia can now cite as "evidence" the censorship of their allies in Silicon Valley.

We aren't arguing that private companies can't set rules for use of their systems. The First Amendment does not force companies into subserviently providing a platform for any speech. But the tech giants have engaged in a documented pattern of suppressing conservative speech, and they're using leftist smear machines like the Southern Poverty Law Center to justify it. "Hate speech" = anything leftists don't like.

Meanwhile, elected Democrats are cheering them on. "These companies must do more than take down one website," declared Sen. Chris Murphy (C-CT). "The survival of our democracy depends on it." Using the government's power to curtail speech — even advocating it as Murphy does — crosses the First Amendment line. If no one speaks up for Jones, when will they speak up? Or will they be able to?

Finally, an irony: By literally conspiring to suppress Jones's speech, these tech giants are bolstering his conspiracy-theory brand and rallying his followers even more to his flag. Or maybe Jones conspired with social media to achieve just that result, and they're all having a grand laugh.


Australian crossbench senator Fraser Anning has laid out a radical immigration agenda, calling for a "final solution" plebiscite on which migrants come to Australia

QUEENSLAND crossbench senator Fraser Anning has laid out a radical immigration agenda, calling for a "final solution" plebiscite on which migrants come to Australia.

The Katter’s Australia Party upper house MP called for an end to Muslim immigration and a program that favours "European Christian" values. In his maiden speech to Parliament today, he claimed a majority of Australian Muslims live on welfare and do not work.

"While all Muslims are not terrorists, certainly all terrorists these days are Muslims," Senator Anning said.

"So why would anyone want to bring more of them here?" He called for the government to ban all welfare payments to migrants in the first five years of living in Australia, labelling many asylum seekers as "welfare seekers".

Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen said the use of the term ‘final solution", which has been historically associated with the Nazi plan in World War II for killing millions of Jews, was "utterly unacceptable".

"You don’t use that term. That is an unacceptable use of the term," he told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

"It has connotations and meanings to history which it are deeply offensive to right-thinking people, not only in Australia but across the world." Senator Anning also said Australia was entitled to insist migrants were predominantly of the "historic European Christian composition". "Ethno-cultural diversity - which is known to undermine social cohesion - has been allowed to rise to dangerous levels in many suburbs," the Queensland senator said.

"In direct response, self-segregation, including white flight from poorer inner- urban areas, has become the norm." Senator Anning called for a cultural counter-revolution to restore traditional values and redefine national identity.

He said anyone persuaded to advocate the "false claim" there was an infinite number of genders had surrendered their political soul.

"To describe the so-called safe schools and gender fluidity garbage being peddled in schools as cultural Marxism is not a throwaway line, but a literal truth," Senator Anning said.

The 68-year-old outlined plans to boost agriculture through re-establishing rural state banks and re-establishment of marketing of farm goods through grower co-operatives.

Other issues he noted were countering the growing threat of China, slashing government spending, building coal-fired power plants and taking back culture from left-wing extremists.

Senator Anning said Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s reign as Queensland premier was the state’s "golden age".



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, 2018

The elites vs social media: Why our rulers lost faith in the digital dawn

Daniel Ben-Ami

Attitudes towards the internet have shifted incredibly over the past few years. Where many used to praise the supposedly liberatory power of digital technology, now they talk gloomily about its allegedly malign influence. The main focus is on social-media platforms, Facebook most of all, but this new fear encompasses many other internet companies, too.

Given how much perceptions have changed over the years, a reminder of how things used to be not that long ago provides a salutary lesson. The election of Barack Obama as America’s first black president was a high point in positivity. Use of social media was widely praised, especially among self-defined liberals, for helping Obama to overcome decades of racism and win the election. For example, Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, said: ‘Were it not for the internet, Barack Obama would not be president.’ She went on: ‘Were it not for the internet, he wouldn’t even have been the democratic nominee.’

The Arab Spring of 2011 bought the hype about new technology to even further heights of ecstasy. Many self-proclaimed progressives credited social media as the driving force behind the popular uprisings against the autocratic rulers of several Arab countries. Paul Mason, a prominent left-wing commentator, described the protests in Egypt that year as ‘a revolution planned on Facebook, organised on Twitter and broadcast to the world via YouTube’.

This is not the place to examine the two sets of events except to say that the claims they were victories driven by social media have not stood the test of time. It is true that the Obama 2008 campaign, with its promise of radical change, inspired a large section of the American electorate. But although social media may have helped to spread the message, they did not create the conditions of public disenchantment with traditional political leaders. Likewise, social media may have helped activists promote protests in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere, but the key component of the Arab Spring – corroded systems of government overseen by geriatric rulers – had little to do with Facebook or Twitter.

In any case, the subsequent setbacks in both the US and the Middle East call into question the breathless claims about social media creating a new progressive epoch.

Fast forward to the present, though, and elite attitudes towards social media have taken on a much darker hue. It is hard to follow the news without being bombarded with hysterical claims about the supposed dangers of the internet and associated technology. The litany of charges includes: undermining democracy; spreading ‘fake news’; eroding privacy; facilitating tax dodging; fostering new forms of addiction; letting sexual harassment run riot; failing to tackle inequality; and endangering children. Anyone who thinks this list is exaggerated can use Google to verify it.

Whereas social media was once seen as a vehicle for the progressive cool of an Obama, it is now associated with the angry populism of a Trump

This is not to say there were no criticisms of digital technology a decade ago or that there are no positive voices today. But the balance of opinion has shifted in a short time from a generally rosy outlook to a frequently doom-laden one.

Jamie Bartlett, director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos, has probably done more than anyone else in Britain to draw attention to this shift. His two-part BBC2 documentary on the Secrets of Silicon Valley, first broadcast in 2017, contended that a backlash against digital technology had begun. The People Vs Tech is essentially an elaboration of the arguments in part two of Secrets of Silicon Valley.

Bartlett tries hard to maintain an even-handed approach to the new technology, although he ultimately comes down on the side of the pessimists. For him the ‘techlash’, as he calls it, ‘is a welcome brake on the runaway tech train’. However, he does go on to warn there is a danger that ‘it’s turning into a blind emotional rage against the machines’. Tellingly, he writes that his own approach to social media has become negative in his decade following the subject: ‘My optimism drifted into realism, then morphed into nervousness. Now it is approaching mild panic.’

Much more of a problem, though, is his failure properly to explore the reasons behind the shift. The furthest Bartlett goes is to argue that it is motivated by the revenge of the Old Media on the New Media. In other words, newspapers, their advertising revenue savaged by the internet platforms, have facilitated criticism of the new technology.

But given the huge scale of the onslaught against digital technology this is not entirely convincing. Governments across the Western world, along with supranational institutions, such as the European Union, have led an onslaught against the new tech giants on many fronts. The range of new laws and regulations that have either been implemented or will soon be implemented is astounding. There are also several examples of massive fines imposed on tech companies. These include the European Commission’s €4.34 billion (£3.85 billion) fine on Google for allegedly engaging in anti-competitive practices with its android software. In the name of protecting public safety and countering fake news, there is a concerted drive to counter the expression of non-mainstream opinions on the internet.

Before outlining some of these measures, it is necessary to identify the forces behind the dramatic shift. The most obvious is the rise of populism. It is personified in the shift between two famous social-media users: Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Trump has become notorious for his angry and often ill-judged tweets. Whereas social media as a whole was once seen as a vehicle for progressive cool, it is now associated with angry populism. Ironically, it is often those most guilty of hype in relation to the Obama campaign who have become digital technology’s most trenchant critics.

But although this abrupt reversal in perceptions is symbolised by these two presidents, it goes much further. It represents a fear on the part of large sections of the ruling elite that their hold over public opinion is disappearing. This is represented by the Brexit referendum in Britain, Trump’s victory in the US and the growing support for many populist parties in continental Europe.

From an elite perspective, a key danger of social media is that it allows political trends outside of the mainstream to spread their arguments more easily. Yascha Mounk, a politics lecturer at Harvard and executive director at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, has expressed this fear in relation to the decline of traditional media ‘gatekeepers’ in the US.

Mounk’s reasoning is worth quoting at length because it makes clear both the issues at stake and the anti-democratic nature of the argument. He describes the traditional elite conception of democracy as telling the people that ‘as long as you let us call the shots, we will pretend to let you rule’. He then goes on to argue: ‘It’s a deal that has proven phenomenally successful for 250 years. Today, that deal is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain, and the reason is both unlikely and counterintuitive: the rise of the internet and social media is making the ideological foundation of liberal democracy – which has had a tight hold over our imagination for the better part of two centuries – look increasingly brittle.’

Bartlett’s argument is not explicitly anti-democratic but his assessment is similar to Mounk’s. The new technology gives voices which might once have been marginal the capacity to influence political debate.

This, then, is the trend across the Western world. The rise of social media is viewed with horror by political elites now that they realise it could help forces from outside the traditional mainstream. Our embattled rulers like to flatter themselves by presenting the political divide as a clash of cosmopolitan liberals against the bigoted public. But their real fear is that the new media threatens their hold over political debate.

Before concluding with the dangerous consequences of the turn against social media, it is important to recognise that there are more long-standing elite fears about technology. For example, technological development is generally associated with economic progress; a development which mainstream thinking has come to fear. This is a topic I have written about at length in my book Ferraris for All. But it is the rise of populism that explains the spectacularly rapid recent shift in elite attitudes towards social media in particular.

Given the elite’s fear and loathing of the public, it should not be a surprise that the measures it is implementing will act to curb free expression. There are so many of them, coming from so many different angles and covering so many different countries, that it is hard to keep up. They include regulations relating to fake news, hate speech, copyright, data protection, child protection and alleged monopoly practices. But the overall effect is to tighten state control over the new media at the expense of free expression and democracy.

The rise of social media is viewed with horror by political elites now that they realise it could help forces outside the traditional mainstream

It should be no surprise that some of these regulations exist at a European Union (EU) level. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives regulators far more power over the flow of data than they previously had. One side effect is that many leading American outlets, unwilling to comply with the onerous legislation, have blocked access to those who live inside the EU.

Meanwhile, in Germany, a new law is not only undermining free speech at home but has set a dangerous precedent that is in the process of being taken up elsewhere. As Bartlett pointed out in his BBC documentary, the 2017 Network Enforcement Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz or NetzDG) breaks the key legal principle that social-media platforms are not responsible for uploaded content. The new law means that social-media sites became liable under Germany’s pre-existing hate-speech laws.

Under NetzDG, a social-media platform can be fined up to €50million (£44million) if it does not remove blatantly illegal material within 24 hours. Hate speech or fake news that is not unequivocally illegal must be removed within seven days, or a lesser fine could be imposed. This measure will inevitably have a chilling effect on free speech. Facebook and Twitter have reportedly recruited many hundreds of German-language moderators to sift through the huge volume of material posted on their sites. No doubt there will be strong desire to play it safe and delete any material that could be considered troublesome.

In Britain, a trenchant parliamentary report on social media, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) select committee, recently gained widespread publicity. Among its recommendations was, in line with the precedent set by the NetzDG, giving technology firms clear legal liability for ‘harmful and illegal content’. This pushes censorship even further by proposing that social-media platforms should be responsible for material deemed harmful even if it is perfectly legal.

As it happens, the DCMS was pushing at an open door. The government is already in the process of extensively reviewing laws regarding the internet. It has completed a consultation over an Internet Safety Strategy, which entails extensive new controls over the internet. A White Paper, proposing future legislation, is expected before the end of the year. And all this is on top of the Digital Charter on internet safety published in January and the Data Protection Act 2018, which incorporates the EU’s GDPR into British law. The overall effect is that use of the internet will be far more regulated than it was in the past.

If this international legislative onslaught is designed to keep anyone safe, it is not the vulnerable but the political elites themselves. Public criticisms of those in power will find it harder to gain an airing. It represents a comprehensive assault on freedom of speech. Resisting this offensive is essential for all those who believe in democracy.


James Dobson Statement Involving Trump Is Big Win for Trump Fans

In an article for his August newsletter, Dr. James Dobson — the evangelical leader who founded Focus on the Family and is currently the president of Family Talk — decried liberal control of the media and said that it was "no time to go wobbly" when it came to freedom of speech.

Dobson began by describing a tour in Germany that he took of Nazi-related sites about 20 years ago with his wife.

"The tour lasted two hours, during which I learned how the Nazis managed to enslave the German people and then molded them into a force that devastated and conquered almost every country in Europe," Dobson wrote. "Millions of people around the world held their breath as destiny hung in the balance."

In the next section, Dobson asked "why am I recalling these bitter memories?"

"This historical account is relevant today because America and other Western nations have for decades been losing their God-given rights that define us as a free people," Dobson wrote.

"We are not experiencing Nazi-like tyranny yet, but we are steadily being expected to think, speak, write, and act in a prescribed manner in conformity with what is now called ‘political correctness.’ The mainstream media has become a tool to influence elections and spread this belief system. Sadly, the rights handed down to us by our forefathers more than 200 years ago are gradually being overridden, ignored, contradicted, or disregarded by the courts and legislatures. Alas, we are less free now than we were even five years ago."

A lot of that has to do with religious freedom — something where the judiciary and its makeup plays an important role, particularly given President Trump’s appointments.

"We dare not let officious justices, judges, legislators, or politicians take even one of (our constitutional rights) away from us. But some liberals today are diligently trying to do just that. We must stop them, but how? Our rights are being trampled every day. The only way to defend our liberties is at the ballot box," he wrote.

"Unfortunately, more than half of Americans, including the majority of Christians, don’t even bother to vote. Shame on them all! Don’t they know that tyranny for us and our children is only one generation, or even one election, away? We must vote, vote, vote to elect leaders who will defend what has been purchased with the blood of patriots who died to protect our liberty."

Dobson pointed out the usual cases of judicial abuse, including Roe v. Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges, and one where the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals "upheld an outrageous legislative measure that forced pro-life clinics, which are dedicated to the sanctity of human life, to promote abortions with their patients, and to place posters on the walls telling them where they can go to kill their babies. That became the law of the land in nine Western states for 32 months.

Thanks to President Trump’s nomination and the Senate’s subsequent confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, that ruling was overturned this past June by a vote of 5 to 4," he continued. "How close the Court came to decimating freedom of speech in those clinics. So many other critical issues related to the Bill of Rights have been decided by a single vote."

However, he pointed out other cases which didn’t receive quite as much play in the media, including one that involved a school district in the Golden State.

"Children attending Mesquite Elementary School in Palmdale, California, came home one afternoon and told their parents what had happened to them in class. It was a shocker. One of their teachers, with administrative approval, sat for hours with students, aged seven to ten, to ensure that each of them completed 79 items on a questionnaire," Dobson wrote.

"The kids, barely out of babyhood, were required to respond to highly personal questions about their private thoughts, including 10 items about their sexuality. Permission was neither requested nor discussed with parents. The children were asked about such topics as frequency of thinking about having sex, and thinking about touching other peoples’ private parts, among many others.

"The parents were incensed, (wouldn’t you be?) and filed suit in both federal and district courts against the school district for invading their children’s privacy and the parents’ rights to control the upbringing of their children," he continued. "They were desperately trying to defend the innocence of their children, but to no avail. The courts ruled that there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexuality or education of their children. Both the district and federal courts dismissed the case. One of them asserted that parents have no right to determine what their sons and daughters will be exposed to while enrolled in California’s public schools."

That’s why, Dobson said, Trump sends the left into a state of fear.

"You can understand why the far left is in a state of panic today. It is looking for anything on which to hang its opposition to Judge Kavanaugh. One of their criticisms is that while in college, he put ketchup on his pizza. Are you kidding me? Does anyone else see the evidences of desperation here?" Dobson wrote.

"So far, President Donald Trump has nominated 44 judges who have been confirmed to the bench, and there are many others (88) in the pipeline. There is hope for additional conservative and common-sense decisions to be handed down in the future. This is a matter for sincere prayer among those of us who have longed for relief from judicial tyranny."

"Ours can be a lonely vigil unless defenders of the Constitution, and particularly conservative Christians, stand shoulder to shoulder with us in this struggle," Dobson said. "We and other conservative organizations are winning in the public square. This is no time to go wobbly."

In terms of shoring up evangelical support for Trump, Dobson’s statement has to be seen as a big win for the administration. After all, Dobson remains one of the foremost leaders of the movement. An unequivocal statement of support like this is a major boost — particularly as Americans gear up to vote in the midterm elections. If religious liberty becomes a major issue, the Republicans are going to turn out the base in a major way, and that’s going to strike fear into the Democrats.


Founder of Congress’ Media Fairness Caucus Has a Prescription for Curing Media Bias

He is interviewed below by Rob Bluey and Ginny Montalbano   

The Daily Signal spoke last week with Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, about media bias. Smith discussed the House Media Fairness Caucus, which he founded, how Americans can combat media bias, and a new term he coined: mediacrats. This transcript of the interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Rob Bluey: Congressman, how bad is media bias today?

Rep. Lamar Smith: I have to tell you, I’m sure it’s been worse, but I’m not aware of it. What we’re seeing today, I think, is a real threat to our democracy because you’ve got virtually every media platform—and the ones that obviously come to mind are Facebook or Twitter or Google, for example—who have demonstrably been biased against conservative voices, against conservative commentary, and against conservative Republican individuals.

And you’ve got a situation where it’s interesting to me that the bias is always [in] one direction. It’s always the conservatives who are either shadow-boxed or censored, or their information is deleted. And all these social platforms—and we just had a recent hearing in the Judiciary Committee—say that they’re going to correct that, say they want to stop the bias.

But I remain unconvinced. The reason is that these organizations are permeated with liberal Democrats. There’s no other way to say it. Or with individuals who have very liberal, if not radical, views.

And so when you have an organization who’s owned by, run by, staffed by—I don’t know what the percentage might be, let’s call it 80 percent liberal Democrats—that is going to manifest itself in the work product. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it’s not intentional. But these people are so smart you’ve got to believe that a lot of it is intentional.

The individuals who write the algorithms, the individuals who make editing decisions, apparently are influenced by their own political agenda and their own desire to, frankly, tell the American people what to think, override conservative thought, and make sure that the liberal viewpoint gets more play than the conservative.

Ginny Montalbano: Congressman, a couple of years ago, you started the [House] Media Fairness Caucus. What made you start that caucus, and what was that process like?

Smith: The Media Fairness Caucus I started, not to censor any media whatsoever, but to call attention to the fact that the bias is so palpable, it’s so obvious, every single day, and I want the American people to be aware of that. They need to realize that what they’re hearing and seeing is oftentimes filtered, it’s through liberal-tinted glasses. And to be aware of the bias is the first step in being able to counter it.

I’ve gotten in trouble for saying that the liberal media bias is a threat to democracy. But the reason I think it is is because if the American people don’t get the facts, they can’t make good decisions; and if the American people can’t make good decisions, that’s when our democracy is threatened.

The situation we have today is that, take for example the coverage of the president, which is 90 percent negative. Even if people are aware of the bias in the media, and many are, nevertheless, if that’s all you’re seeing and hearing day after day, week after week, it’s going to have an impact on how you think. You may not even be aware of it.

And so, the degree of bias we’re seeing in the media from my reading of history is the worst we’ve had in 100 years, since the days of the so-called yellow journalism at the beginning of the 1900s. It’s not good for our country, it’s not good for the American people. And it’s not good for the American people because of the liberal mindset, which is basically very patronizing.

The liberal mindset is we know better than the American people what’s good for them, and therefore that entitles us to tell them what to think. That’s why so often today, whether it’s the social media platforms or whether it’s the national daily newspapers  or whether it’s cable, that you have news stories that are really opinion pieces. And you have news stories that are not just giving the American people the facts, but they’re just a political agenda piece.

And if they’re going to be opinion, if they’re going to be editorials, they ought to be labeled that. You look at the front page of some of our national daily newspapers today and almost every article is opinion, not straight news. I just think we need to call the American people’s attention to it.

I think ultimately there’s bound to be somebody in the media who recognizes they’re doing their own profession a disservice. You see today, with the most recent polls, where it’s a record low percentage of the American people who now trust the media to give them the truth, to give them the facts. It’s down to close to, I think, 25 percent. But even if the American people don’t trust the media, if they’re still being barraged and bombarded daily with only one side, that does have an impact.

Bluey: Following up on that, what’s the best way that Americans, or people like you here in Congress, can combat media bias?

Smith: I think the best way to combat media bias is twofold. First, to point it out and make the American people aware of it, and give them examples. I think every Republican office holder ought to lace every single speech with examples of media bias, so the American people are aware of how often it occurs, the different forms it occurs in.

Then the second step, the second way, is to actually try to correct it. Confront the media, the liberal media, with examples of media bias, and try to remind them of their incredible responsibility to in fact give the American people the facts and not tell them what to think. I think journalism is a profession that has an incredible amount of responsibility, and right now [journalists] are not exercising that responsibility in a professional way. They’re letting their own prejudices, their own bias, get in the way of reporting. And that’s regrettable.

There may be one or two or three, and I hope there will be more, liberal journalists who are going to say at some point, ‘Wait a minute. We’re hurting our own credibility, it’s at a record low, we’re doing a disservice to the American people, and we’re not adhering to our own professional standards.’ … I’m seeing hints of one or two here and there, but certainly it’s going to take a lot more for that profession to get back to objective news coverage and restore their own credibility. I want them to succeed, and I want them to be credible, but I want them to be objective and fair and unbiased.

Montalbano: Since you started the Media Fairness Caucus several years ago, when it comes to media bias, do any top offenders stand out to you?

Smith: Oh my gosh, pick your subject. Maybe the first one to mention, it is controversial, but it’s also a subject that really demands that the American people be given the facts, and that’s immigration. I just happened to see recently, in the last day or two, that 90 percent of immigration coverage is liberal, is biased. It’s right in there with the coverage of the president.

My guess, it’s probably true of almost any controversial issue. But the American people are on the opposite side of the liberal media on almost every issue. You know, most of the national media, when it comes to immigration, are in favor of massive amnesty, they’re in favor of admitting far more people than the American people want to.

You know, you look at the liberal left and the Democratic Party, who even want to abolish our Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that stops illegal immigration and arrests criminal aliens. But the American people want secure borders, [and] the liberal Democrats and the liberal media don’t.

By the way, please help me coin a new word, and it’s "mediacrats." The media, the liberal media and the Democrats, are now so wedded together, they’re so united in their propaganda and political agenda, I think we just might as well admit that they have become fused and call them the mediacrats, because they’re in effect one and the same. A little bit of a digression there.

But to go back to immigration for a second, we have a situation, this is more on the substance of the issue, where today we have hundreds of thousands of people coming into the country illegally every year. We don’t know who they are, we don’t know where they’re going, we don’t know what they might do. And we as a sovereign nation should stop illegal immigration. We have the most generous legal immigration policy in the world.

No other country comes close to admitting a million people every year legally, and that’s what we do. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to come into the country, and the right way is to play by the rules, seek admission, be approved, and come in. If you have to wait a few years, get on the list. But a million people come in legally every year, and we need to continue that.

Legal immigration has done wonders for our country in any number of ways, but illegal immigration is of a totally different nature and it’s no fair to the people who have been playing by the rules to let people cut in front of the line, or give them amnesty, or say it doesn’t matter if they come into our country.

Immigration is just an example where the liberal media really are on the opposite side of the American people, and yet their coverage only reflects the liberal point of view 90 percent of the time.

Bluey: I like the word mediacrats, I had not heard that before.

Smith: Oh, help me out with that. We need to spread the word. I think mediacrats is very appropriate, very descriptive, and very accurate.

Bluey: The New York Daily News recently announced it’s laying off about half of its staff. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that perhaps government subsidies could go to save some of these jobs for this New York institution, of course a very liberal New York institution. As conservatives, we just couldn’t believe that somebody would suggest using taxpayer dollars in this way; aren’t there dangers associated with getting the government involved in the publishing business?

Smith: Yeah, hard to imagine a worse idea. Of course, Democrats always believe in subsidies of one kind or another, and they don’t believe so much in the free market that has made our country so great and the most prosperous country in the world. So it’s an ideological chasm here that we have.

But yes, you should certainly not have the government subsidizing media, or the media’s going to lose their independence. And they’ve already lost their ideological independence because they all, not all, but the great majority, I think, of the media—particularly the national media, not necessarily local media—but the great majority of the national media are liberal Democrats and we’ve seen the voting records and what primaries they vote in and so forth.

But yeah, I think that’s a pretty bad idea to start getting the government to bail out the media, then the media’s obviously going to feel obligated to the government, or the government’s going to be in some kind of control. The last thing we want in this country is government controlling the media.

Montalbano: This president and the press have had a very contentious relationship from the start. Now the hot story this week has been CNN’s Kaitlan Collins being excluded from a White House event. What should the relationship between the president, the administration, and the press look like?

Smith: I’ve waited many, many years, decades, for a president who would point out media bias and who would try to combat political correctness, and we finally have a president who is doing that. I think he has every right, and I like to see him point out the fake news. And when you have reporters, like today, who intentionally say or write something they know is not true, that to me is the definition of fake news. I like to see the president point that out.

I had a great deal of satisfaction, I remember, on the House floor some months ago, probably it was a year ago, where I gave a speech and said it would be better for the American people to get their information from the president than from the media.

The media went ballistic, absolutely ballistic, and you know what? The next week they did a poll, and more people trusted the president than the media to give them information. So I felt like once again I was on the same side as the American people, and they saw through the media bias and they trusted President Trump more than they trusted the liberal media. So like I say, I had some personal satisfaction in having called it right on that.

Bluey: Finally, Congressman, I want to ask you on that note: This month the House had a hearing on social media. This president is somebody who has used social media very effectively. His tweets go directly to the American people without any filter through the media. You had a piece that we published in The Daily Signal about social media in particular. And it’s an issue where I think conservatives, I’ve seen it, are divided. They don’t want the government to necessarily regulate these technology companies. What role do you think they should have?

Smith: Well, I think we should do two things as far as government goes, or as far as the American people go, and this is conduct strict what we call oversight of these organizations. Again, point out to the American people how biased they are, examples of bias. Let the American people know that they’re not getting all the facts, and oftentimes you’re seeing more the left side than the right side, the liberal side than the conservative side.

But I’m hesitant to … I believe strictly in the First Amendment, and these are private companies. I don’t really think you can … it’s hard to regulate them. You need to get them to frankly be more objective and not restrict any conservative news or restrict the American people’s access to conservative viewpoints or conservative Republicans, or whatever it might be.

I think if we continue to exercise that kind of oversight that will, I hope, keep them on the right track. It’s not going to be easy when you have that institutional, built-in, innate bias. It’s really going to take the head of the company.

It’s going to take literally the CEO to change that culture, and that CEO is going to say …  ‘Check your personal opinion at the door when you come to work. If you telecommute, check it when you turn on your computer. We are not going to tolerate any bias anymore anywhere.’

But it’s going to take that top CEO saying that and changing the entire culture before I think you have all the employees saying, ‘OK, well, I really can’t try to sneak in my bias.’

You saw recently where the employees of one social media [company] said, ‘We don’t want to have anything to do with any military contracts or provide any information to the military.’ By the way, if that didn’t say to the American people how liberal they were, that they weren’t going to cooperate with our military to defend our country or our allies.

And you had the CEO capitulate in a matter of minutes: ‘OK, we won’t do contracts anymore or provide the military anymore with information.’ That’s how liberal the organization is.

I yearn for the day where the CEO would say, ‘You know what? We’re not a political organization, we’re a media platform, we’re a social platform. We have a responsibility to the American people to give them all sides. And you employees, again, you can be as biased as you want, you can campaign for whoever you want to, you can contribute to whoever you want to. But when you start work, we’re going to play it down the middle, we’re going to be objective, we’re going to be fair, we’re not going to be biased.’

But it’s going to take the CEO to lay that out there and change the culture before we actually, I believe, will see objective social media platforms.


Douglas Murray heads to Australia

DOUGLAS Murray thinks Europe is committing suicide.

He declares as much in the opening line of his latest book, in which he laments that the leaders of western Europe are allowing the cultural flame of the continent to be extinguished through mass migration, in particular from the Muslim world.

The controversial assertion underpins the book, The Strange Death Of Europe: Immigration, Identity And Islam, but he sees nothing particularly controversial about the claim.

"It was the result of a long time in which I was travelling for many years across Europe, travelling to many countries where people were fleeing form to go to Europe in the height of the migration crisis in 2015," he told news.com.au.

"I thought someone needs to describe why it was happening, and chart the consequences."

Murray, who is the associate editor of the Spectator and founder of the right-leaning Centre for Social Cohesion think tank, is highly critical of the far left side of politics for denying or diminishing the problems that come with a sudden large increases in immigration, when those migrants come from different, distinct and strong cultures.

"In one year alone, Germany and Sweden for instance took between two and three per cent addition of their entire population, so this is one of the most significant movements into Europe ever," the British commentator said of the height of the migrant crisis a few years ago.

For western Europe, he identifies Muslim immigration as the most destructive force and a problem for the social cohesion of the West.

From his perspective, Islamic migrants — a portion of whom have particularly strict religious beliefs — are clashing with a Europe that is tired from history, guilt-ridden, increasingly faithless and overrun with the notion of political correctness.

If allowed to continue, Murray asserts, the result will ultimately be the Islamisation of the continent and the end of European cultural civilisation.

One of the people Murray often cites in his book is German historian and philosopher of Syrian origin Bassam Tibi who in the past has made similar warnings on this topic.

In an interview more than a decade ago he told German magazine Der Spiegel: "Muslims stand by their religion entirely. It is a sort of religious absolutism. While Europeans have stopped defending the values of their civilisation. They confuse tolerance with relativism."

Murray’s book has been called "brilliant" by The Sunday Times; "compelling, fearless and truth-telling" by the Evening Standard and labelled as "gentrified xenophobia" by The Guardian.

The diversity of opinion surrounding it shouldn’t come as a surprise. In a way, the ensuing debate is what outspoken thinkers like Douglas Murray traffic in.

He has been touring the UK on a speaking tour with neuroscientist and author Sam Harris and the most famous psychologist in the world right now, Jordan Peterson.

Murray argues it is important that we deal honestly with the ramifications of mass migration in the modern world.

It’s undeniable the issue has played a role in major political events like the Brexit vote, the election of Donald Trump and the rise of the far right in the German parliament.

"There’s a worldwide concern about this and I think that concern is understandable and at least should be attempted to be understood," he said.

But it’s also true that since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, countries like Germany and Sweden who loosened their immigration laws have since reversed course. At the time, the International Organisation for Migration said more than a million migrants and refugees reached Europe in 2015, with a monthly peak of more than 221,000 in October.

Murray says his book is about finding a solution to migration that is "liberal, humane and sustainable" but is also cautious about blindly embracing the pursuit of multiculturalism, which many Western governments are quick to celebrate.

"If by multiculturalism you mean multiracial, pluralist society then I have no problem with that, and indeed think there are obvious advantages from it, in some circumstance and to some degree," he said.

"But multiculturalism in recent decades has become something else. It’s become, among other things government policy to push the idea that there is no such things as a core common culture in a country. We are simply convening bodies in which the world can come and celebrate whoever they are in our countries. I think this is a hugely problematic idea."

Controversial immigration polices are something Australians know well. Despite the criticism Australia’s offshore detention system receives from the likes of the UN and human rights organisations, Murray thinks we’ve got it right.

"I think Australia has done the right thing. The situation in Australia is not that dissimilar to that of Europe but Australia decided to act in a very different way.

"The Australian Government have seen that if you allow illegal migration to occur, if you decided there is no difference between legal and illegal immigration then you’re giving up the law, and that’s a heck of a thing to give up."

When he appears in front of Australian audiences, it will be much more than immigration on the table.

His recent touring with Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson was labelled "the Woodstock of Debate" and Murray is looking forward to engaging with Australian audiences on a range of topics.

Most of all, he has been buoyed by the growing appetite among the public, particularly the younger generation, to engage on big ideas and difficult topics.

"The thing that is most satisfying, and I really do mean this, is that the engagement of audiences with serious ideas is something that almost nobody predicted, but it’s one of the most positive news stories of our time."



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, 2018

The New Zealand TV Interview They Wouldn’t Show You!

These Canadian commentators get threatened and shut down by crowds and condemned by mainstream media wherever they go because they discuss socially taboo subjects.

Forget burkas - Christianity's the faith that is really under siege

Peter Hitchens

How we love fretting about the wrong thing. While the country convulses itself about Islamic face veils, a truly disturbing event, affecting our freedom and our future, goes almost unobserved.

This is the creepy and totalitarian treatment of a Christian nurse, Sarah Kuteh, sacked from an NHS hospital for daring to suggest that a patient she was treating might like to go to church and (horror of horrors) ‘inappropriately gave a Bible to a patient’.

The good news is that Ms Kuteh, whose abilities as a nurse have never once been questioned, has now been allowed back to work by the political commissars who increasingly control our country. But the price of this is a humiliating process of self- criticism, of the sort once usual in communist states. Typically, the whole thing is conducted in a hideous mangled form of English which makes a supermarket checkout robot sound like Shakespeare.

To regain the favour of the commissars, she has had to write a ‘reflective’ screed in which she ‘incorporated your obligations in relation to having clear professional boundaries and not expressing your personal beliefs in an inappropriate way’ and ‘set out the steps you have taken to address the deficiencies highlighted in your practice. You have addressed how you would act differently in the future.’ In other words, she has confessed her thought-crime and promised not to repeat it.

Well, that is modern Britain, a slimy, squelchy totalitarian state in which unemployment, rather than the gulag, is used to threaten people into conformism and force them to keep their deepest, beloved beliefs a personal secret while they are on state premises.

How absurd. Christianity is pretty much the origin of modern nursing. I am glad my beloved Aunt Ena, a nurse of extraordinary courage and devotion, and an exemplary Christian in thought, word and deed, did not live to see this era.

But the cultural revolution has a special loathing for Christianity, perhaps precisely because it was until so recently the idea which ruled all our hearts.

And I doubt the same horrible process would have been imposed on a nurse who suggested her patients attended a mosque, or gave them a copy of the Koran. For while the British State loathes Christianity, it fears Islam. So do lots of other people.

It is this fear that has driven much of the stupid frenzy which followed Alexander ‘Boris’ Johnson’s not especially funny or original remarks about niqabs, burkas and letterboxes.

Here’s a simple point about both these great religions. If you don’t believe in them, and to some extent even if you do, both faiths are a set of political and social opinions, chosen by those who hold them.

People are quite entitled to disagree with and mock them, as they would with any other manifesto and party. I’m against personal rudeness and deliberate offence, such as the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. But I’m all in favour of reasoned criticism, and some humour, and I’m weary of foolish people calling this ‘Islamophobia’ as if it was some sort of disease.

Being critical of Islam is not the same thing as the Judophobia which is such a big issue in the Labour Party. Judophobes dislike Jews for being who they unalterably are, not because of what they happen to think at the moment.

For example, the Nazis murdered the distinguished German Christian theologian and Roman Catholic nun, Edith Stein, because she had Jewish ancestors. They went to some trouble to hunt her down in her Dutch convent and drag her to Auschwitz so they could kill her. That’s a phobia in action.

As it happens, I have quite a lot of sympathy with some bits of Islam. On a visit to Iran I was much impressed by a beautiful and highly intelligent young woman, a schoolteacher, who made out a powerful case for modesty in dress, and clearly had not been forced by her husband (very much her equal) into the night-black robes she wore.

I’ve come across similar views in Turkey and Egypt. Forced veiling is another matter, but I cannot see that state bans or public jeering are going to make much difference to that.

We have Muslim fellow-citizens among us, for good or ill. They are our neighbours. We’re going to have to work out a civilised relationship, in which we can talk frankly to each other. I’ve never found any of them upset by serious argument. Many are saddened by much of what they see around them. So am I. Many wish this country was more Christian. So do I.

One of the supreme achievements of a free civilisation is the ability to disagree without hating your opponent. We need to relearn it.


State Censorship, Corporate Censorship: A Libertarian View

Sean Gabb

I have never knowingly read or heard anything by Alex Jones. From what I know of him, none of his work is of interest to me. This being said, his being swept from large areas of the Internet is worrying. Censorship is an abuse in itself, and it is always a precendent for further censorship. It starts with anti-semites and holocaust revisionists. From here, it proceeds to milder conspiracy theorists. Next thing we know, mainstream conservatives and libertarians are being silenced. Around the same time, arguments against censorship are classified as "hate speech" in themselves. Many advocates of one form of censorshp are simply attacking a weaker target in preparation for attacking their preferred target. Or they are attacking their main target, regardless of the precedent being set. They should in all cases be opposed.

I wrote the article below last year, but send it out again. Its purpose is to argue that formally private corporations should be subject to the same prohibitions of censorship as government bodies. So long as they do not break the civil or criminal law, people like Alex Jones should be at liberty to speak as they please on YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms....

Every age we have so far known has been one of censorship. This is not to say that opinion has been equally constrained in all times and places. Sometimes, as in the Soviet Union, it has been oppressive and omnipresent – even extending to an imposition of orthodoxy on the natural sciences. More often, it has been focussed on perceived criticisms of the established political and religious order. Sometimes, dissent has been permitted among the intellectual classes – especially when expressed in a language unknown to the people at large, and only punished when communicated to the people at large. Sometimes, a diversity of political orders has limited any particular censorship to an area of just a few square hundreds of miles. Sometimes it has been limited by a general belief in the right of free expression. But I can think of no time or place where publication has been absolutely unconstrained.

If I look at modern England, I cannot say that censorship is as oppressive and omnipresent as it was in the Soviet Union. I cannot think of any opinion that cannot somehow be expressed. For the avoidance of doubt, I do not wish to do any of these things. However, if I want to deny the holocaust, I can. If I want to claim that the coloured races are intellectually or morally inferior, I can. If I want to say that homosexuality is a dreadful sin that will be punished by everlasting torments, I can. If I want to argue – in the abstract – for the rightness of shooting politicians, I can. The law in England punishes what are regarded as inflammatory expressions of such belief. It also punishes expressions of such belief when they are regarded as affecting known individuals. But I am not aware of a law that makes it a crime to publish sober and abstract expressions of any opinion.

This being said, the administration of the law, during the present century, has been stretched in England to the point where expressing disapproved opinions in everyday life has become dangerous. Statements that do not involve threats against known individuals are being prosecuted as if they were threats. There is also the fact of what is called social pricing. It may be legal to publish any of the above opinions. But anyone who does publish them will find it hard to secure employment in the state or corporate sector.

We do not have, in England, anything approaching a regular censorship. Even so, speech is less free than it used to be, and far less free than it ought to be. Let me, then, give a brief argument for greater freedom of speech than we enjoy. This covers both direct action by the authorities and action by their creatures.

I am a libertarian. I believe that people should, at the minimum, be free to say whatever they please about alleged matters of public fact – political, religious, scientific and historical. I am sceptical about the justice of the laws covering libel and confidentiality and copyright and official secrecy. But, so long as these are confined to achieving their traditionally stated ends, I will, for present purposes, leave them to one side. I will also leave aside pornography made by and for consenting adults. Though its publication is still to be defended on the grounds of what John Stuart Mill called “experiments of living,” visual pornography is not, by any reasonable definition, speech about alleged matters of public fact. But, as a libertarian, I see the right to speak freely on alleged matters of public fact as something to be defended without shuffling disclaimers, and without embarrassed silences.

So how is the right to freedom of speech to be defended? Of course, I would like to see a strong legal protection in this country. I would like something like the American First Amendment, which, as presently interpreted, blocks the formal censorship of anything that counts as speech about alleged matters of public fact. Our own legal protection is weak. The European Convention, as incorporated into the Human Rights Act, is better than nothing. But it did nothing to stop Anjem Choudury from being sent to prison for speaking his mind. It will probably do nothing to prevent the conviction of four men who have just been arrested for approving of political murder.

But a British version of the American First Amendment would still not be enough. It would ensure that no one was formally punished by loss of liberty or property for speaking his mind. It would not prevent two supplemental kinds of censorship.

The first of these is when prosecutions are begun with no hope of a conviction, or with little intention of giving a man his day in court. Alan Clifford, one of my Internet friends, is a dissenting minister of religion in Norwich. A few years ago, he was visited by the police after he had given out leaflets at a homosexual parade. He was threatened with prosecution for a public order offence, and urged to accept a caution – that is, to agree he had committed an offence in return for no formal proceedings. This would have given him a police record. He was pressed hard, but he refused. Eventually the matter was dropped. There are other instances where a case is taken almost to court before being dropped. It is dropped because no judge or jury would convict. Here, though, the process is the punishment. A man’s life is turned upside down for nine months or a year, or longer. He is forced to spend money on lawyers. Even if the case is then dropped, the fact that charges have been laid will be permanently advertised by the Disclosure and Barring Service – which must clear anyone before he can be employed to work with children or anyone else deemed “vulnerable” by the authorities. It is reasonably hard in this country for the authorities to punish a man for his opinions by fining him or sending him to prison. It is very easy to punish him with professional or financial ruin.

The second of these supplemental censorships is corporate. Because they took place in a foreign country, and because I paid limited attention to the news reports, I will make no comment on the events at Charlottesville. Since then, however, various persons and organisations on the Alt Right have been punished not by the American State, but by the American corporate sector. VDare has had its PayPal account cancelled. The Institute of Historical Review has had its on-line payment account cancelled. I believe Counter Currents has had problems with its web hosting company. The Daily Stormer has not only had its web hosting agreement cancelled – it has also been deprived of its web address. Facebook and Twitter are closing accounts. Google is fixing its algorithm to make it harder to find Alt Right opinions. Photographs were taken of the Alt Right protestors at Charlottesville. These have been circulated, and I am told that several men have been sacked from their jobs.

Americans have the legal right to speak as they please. But the social price of speech can be almost as damaging as formal proceedings. Indeed, it can be more damaging. Formal proceedings require a show of due process. Following vague terms of service rules, Internet agreements can be voided without delay and without redress. It is the same with contracts of employment. This is a variety of censorship.

Now, many libertarians have a problem with accepting this last statement. We can all agree that the Public Order Act is a bad law, and that it should be at least amended. We can also agree that the authorities should be barred from laying charges that have no reasonable prospect of standing up in court. But making Facebook and Twitter and PayPal and Internet service providers to do business with customers regardless of their political views? Protecting dissidents from losing their jobs in the private sector? That is an interference with freedom of trade and freedom of association. It is “socialism.”

The answer to this objection is that these organisations are not real people. The non-aggression principle should not apply to them. They are limited liability corporations. They have been granted legal personality by the State. They can make contracts as if they were real persons, and own property. They alone are responsible for their debts. Unless fraud or great negligence can be proven, their owners are shielded from financial liability. Because of this, they can grow very large, and corner whole markets. Because of this, they can survive a very long time. They are a legal fiction, often behind which some already rich and well-connected men are safe to grow richer still without the risk of personal loss that ordinary people must face. They are the main cause of what the establishment economists call imperfect competition. They are effectively arms of the State. They are certainly the economic wing of the ruling class.

Whether such organisations could have emerged without state privilege is an open question – though I doubt if they could. But there is no doubt that the corporate sector, as it actually exists, is a creature of state privilege. In many cases, there is a continual movement, back and forth, between the management in the state and corporate sectors. Most regulatory laws either are made openly for the benefit of corporate interests, or are insensibly adapted for the benefit of corporate interests. These, by the way, are additional points. My main point is that the corporate sector in any country is a creature of the State by virtue of limited liability.

I say, then, that, until such time as we can move to a more natural order, without limited liability, the corporate sector should be required to respect freedom of speech, for its customers and its employees, in exactly the same way as the state sector ought to. They are, as George Galloway once put it in another context, two cheeks of the same arse. Why should a man be bound by tight rules of action, but not his creatures? To answer this other than as I do is to sit back while the State outsources its censorship to those it has helped bring into being, and who are now doing it a favour.

I run the Centre for Ancient Studies, which teaches Latin, Greek and Classics. This is neither a limited company nor a charity. It benefits from no grant of privilege. Because of this, I insist that I should have the right to take or reject students for any reason whatever. I should be able to refuse students at the outset if I dislike the colour of their faces. I should be able to withdraw from teaching them – subject, of course, to any contractual agreement – if I later discover that their tastes in love are not as mine. That should be my right, and perhaps my cost. But a chartered university should have no such freedom. It should be able to insist on political or any other conformity from neither its staff nor its students. Equally, where they have limited liability, banks and the various kinds of Internet company should be required to do business with anyone of good financial standing, and not to discriminate on political grounds when looking to employ staff. And the corporate search engines should be required to provide reasonably objective search results.

To repeat, I am not saying that sole traders should be forced to do business against their conscience. But I do say that any organisation that enjoys the privilege of limited liability should be made to respect freedom of speech in exactly the same way as the authorities must. If the directors and shareholders of Google or British Telecom find this an unwelcome requirement, they are at liberty to give up their limited liability, and to operate with the same joint and several liability as an ordinary partnership. Limited liability, after all, is a privilege, not an obligation.

Let us, therefore, have greater legal protection of speech than it presently enjoys in England. Let us have some equivalent of the American First Amendment. Let us also have greater tolerance, where the law does not enter, of dissenting opinion. If someone wants to argue in the abstract for the achievement by violence of an Islamic caliphate, let him do so, without being sent to prison or losing his job, or having his website or access to social media cut off. If someone wants to argue for the expulsion of Moslems from England, let him do so with the same legal and personal security. Truth is a value that always emerges from open debate, and at best by accident from the unquestionable pronouncements of those in authority.


This war on the Bible must stop

America’s colonists were predominantly English — which meant their religion was predominantly Catholic or Protestant — which meant their book of worship, no matter how you slice it, was the Bible.

Not the Muslim Koran, not the Hindu set of Vedas, not the Wiccan prayer book, not a merely generic spiritual guide.

The Bible. The one where Jesus teaches.

So it’s not just disconcerting and offensive on the Christian front to see the war being waged in this country against public shows of the Bible — against public discourse of biblical principles. It’s actually historical revisionism.

From the Blaze, this past May: “Colorado Mesa University officials demanded that a student get rid of references to Jesus and the Bible in her graduation speech to fellow nursing students — that is, until she got a Christian legal firm involved.”

From CBN News, a headline from April: “One Step Closer to Law: Could a California Bill Ultimately Lead to the Banning of Bibles?”

From Fox News in October of 2016, a report how “Jesus just got kicked out of public schools in Henry County, Georgia,” with a district edict that commanded the removal of all religious items from the classroom, including the Bible.

From Gospel Herald Society, a headline from January 2014: “Atheist Group Fights to Remove Bible from City Council.”

And of course, there’s been an ongoing war against displays of the Bible at military facilities that’s been waged most notably, perhaps, by the inaptly named Military Religious Freedom Foundation and its band of merry faux First Amendment supporters.

But let’s just circle on back to the history of this nation and the truths of its founding on biblical principles — to the truths of the Puritans, the Anglicans, the Baptists, the Quakers, Anabaptists, Roman Catholics, Pietists and more who may have differed in how they worshipped, but not in whom in heaven they worshipped, or in which book they considered the word of God.

From these colonists sprang the founders of America’s government — the ones who set in stone the concept of God-given rights in our national DNA. Of what God were they speaking?

The God of the Bible. The God of Abraham and Isaac and Joseph and so forth.

And yes, while it’s true these founders believed in a government that allowed for freedom of religious worship, for the freedom to choose your religious affiliation, what’s not true is that tired and wearisome line the secular left so likes to sell about the First Amendment drawing a line of separation between church and state.

There are no such words in the Constitution; rather, the First Amendment speaks to the right of citizens to worship freely and to the prohibition on Congress establishing a national religion.

Today’s secularist-minded skew that to mean those who work in the government can’t express their Christianity because that’s tantamount to an establishment of one faith over another. What bunk. The founders regularly called on God — the God of the Bible — to intervene in their daily goings-on. They may have held different views, as did the colonists, about the importance of religion in public and personal lives; some were definitely more pious and committed to Christ and church than others. But they prayed in public.

They sought divine intervention in public. They wrote on public documents of the Creator, i.e. God.

Even those with weaker spiritual faith, those considered by today’s history books, rightly or wrongly, as deists, still looked to the Bible for moral teaching and regarded its words as a proper instruction in the way humans should go.

So why are so many Americans afraid to fight the forces who want to remove the Bible from public places today? Why tolerate liars?

America’s history is tightly wound with the Bible; so, too, the U.S. government.

The Bible bashers are the ones who’ve got it all wrong. And there’s no need, in this ongoing fight for truth, to fear false teachers.


Australia: Who knows how the Leftist Victorian government’s Orwellian social experiment will end?

“We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone … “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” -- Orwell


My son is studying George Orwell and we chatted about Nineteen Eighty-Four over breakfast this week. If he chooses to look, this book is jumping to life all around him. Books are cleansed of words that must not be said. Books by Enid Blyton, mind you. And Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn,too.

Speaking at university has become dangerous if you don’t repeat ortho­dox thinking. Comics have given up playing to snowflake student audiences. Words such as sexual assault and sexual harassment are being defined down to include the telling of a bad joke. At his school, boys were told not to use the word moist because it could offend girls. The cleansing of language and ideas has become disturbingly quotidian.

And this week’s live-streaming of Nineteen Eighty-Four comes to us from Australia’s biggest social laboratory where the Andrews Labor government has a tighter grip on thought crimes than on it does on marauding South Sudan­ese gangs.

On Thursday, Victorian Minister for Transport (and censorship) Jacinta Allan banned Sky News from television screens at Metro Trains stations because one host conducted one interview with far-right ratbag Blair Cottrell last Sunday. Sky News apologised and leading Sky names such as David Speers rightly condemned giving a platform to a moron who likes Hitler.

But the Labor government banned an entire news organisation so that train commuters “can see something they may be a bit more comfortable with”, to quote Allan, who maybe hasn’t spent much time perusing her portfolio platforms. The Cottrell interview was not part of the Sky News feed that plays at train station screens.

Allan has snookered herself with her hysterical over-reaction. The Transport Minister can’t switch platform TVs to an ABC news feed or the Seven Network or Ten because all of them have aired or tried to air Cottrell. Perhaps a 24-hour stream of E! News and Kimmy K will keep commuters “comfortable”. When the state decides to censor for comfortable ideas, we have reached a deeper level of trouble for our liberty.

Victoria’s Nineteen Eighty-Four moment a week earlier involved the state’s Department of Health and Human Services telling public servants what pronouns to use, with the first Wednesday of each month set aside as “They Day”.

A video for public servants made by public servants features enforcement officer Naomi Shimoda and others talking about the need for inclusive gender-neutral pronouns. It allows people to “self-define” and to “make space so their pronouns are legitimate and respected.”

Some will say that people should be able to choose whatever pronoun they want and that it is only polite that others respect that choice. Others will say “blah, blah, blah” and wave the kerfuffle away as just another episode of nutty political correctness by busybody social activists. The sceptics know to be beware of the blah, blah, blah because the battle over gender-neutral pronouns in other countries is a hint of where we may be headed. Not for nothing, the self-appointed pronoun police behind the “They Day” video included an enforcement officer. Silly-sounding nonsense has a habit of attracting enforcers, be they vigilante-style citizens or bureaucrats and legislators, who tell us what we are allowed to say, read, watch, even laugh at. And inevitably, what we are allowed to think. It is the death of liberty by a thousand cuts.

Language police in the ACT Labor caucus want to do away with references to Mr, Miss, Mrs or Ms in the ACT parliament. No more Madam Speaker. And it is Member Smith instead of Mr Smith. The Bolsheviks wanted to do away with gender too, so why not just call him Comrade Smith, source some bleak-coloured Bolshevik uniforms and declare victory?

Labor’s proposals are not about respecting diversity. This is an agenda to force the same grey and genderless linguistic uniform on everyone. Cleansing gender from pronouns is about killing difference. Being polite is one thing; but political correctness moved beyond civility long ago, if that was ever the aim. When the cleansing of language is backed by directives, regulations or laws, it compels us to speak in one particular way. By stopping us from speaking freely, the aim is to stop us thinking freely. And that is antithetical to freedom in a liberal society.

An obscure Canadian psychologist became a cultural rock star because he explained, in a calm and reasoned manner, why he would not be forced to use speech prescribed by the state. Nor would he stop using words proscribed by the state. Less than two years ago, Jordan Peterson took a stand against Canada’s proposed Bill C-16, which effectively compels the use of gender-neutral pronouns by adding legal protection to “gender identity” and “gender expression”.

Peterson was on to something long before the rest of us. Within six months of the bill becoming law, Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, was called into a university administrator’s office and condemned by professors for showing a clip that was “threatening” and “transphobic”. Her professorial accusers said it created a “toxic climate” for students and was the equivalent of “neutrally playing a speech by Hitler”. She was accused of breaching C-16 laws.

Shepherd’s crime was to show her students — during a tutorial on how language affects society — a televised debate between two people with different views about gender and pronouns. One of the speakers was Peterson.

We know the details because a teary Shepherd recorded the meeting, which could be slotted seamlessly into chapter 5 of Nineteen Eighty-Four just before Winston discusses with Syme, a specialist in Newspeak, how the dictionary of approved language is progressing. C-16 has weaponised gender-neutral pronouns in the hands of human rights bureaucrats and complainants, and that is a chilling threat to freedom.

Ten years ago, the Alberta Human Rights Commission investigated a complaint brought against Ezra Levant for publishing the Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. The complaint was dropped, but not before a bur­eaucrat questioned Levant about his intention in publishing the cartoons. The interrogation reminded Levant of Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil”.

“No six-foot brown shirt here, no police cell at midnight,” he wrote. “Just Shirlene McGovern, an amiable enough bureaucrat, casually asking me about my political thoughts, on behalf of the government of Alberta. And she’ll write up a report about it, and recommend that the government do this or that to me … I had half-expected a combative, missionary-style interrogator. I found, instead, a limp clerk who was just punching the clock … In a way, that’s more terrifying.”

O Canada! How it has made a mockery of being “The True North, strong and free”. A free society is curtailed by stealth when out-of-sight bur­eaucrats investigate the free expression of words, ideas and cartoons. And freedom lost is not easily reinstated. An Australian law compelling us to use certain pronouns may not be far off because we have followed Canada before. We pick­ed up Canada’s gift to the world, multiculturalism.

And just as the Canadian Human Rights Commission has gone awry, accused by founder Alan Borovoy for falling into disrepute, our own Australian Human Rights Commission has wrecked its reputation, too. When was the last time the AHRC focused on core human rights such as free speech or property rights? Instead, it is a bloated bureaucracy whose enforcers protect hurt feelings, not human rights.

And dob-in-a-dissident was sanctioned when Race Commissar — oops, Commissioner — Tim Soutphommasane touted for business when The Australian’s Bill Leak drew a cartoon that threw into sharp relief the complex issues of individual responsibility and the dismal plight of indigenous children. Yet Soutphommasane had nothing to say about a dance performance in Melbourne this year where white people were told to wait in the lobby while the performance began inside the theatre. His departure is a blessing for anyone committed to genuine human rights.

The AHRC’s wretched handling of complaints against three Queensland University of Technology students who posted on Facebook about the absurdity of racial segregation only confirmed its role as an anti-human rights bureaucracy. The career epitaph of former commission boss Gillian Triggs should read: “Sadly you can say what you like around the kitchen table at home.”

Examples abound of bureaucracies that have run amok when armed with social engineering laws that were once seen as innocuous nonsense. Applauding the recent decision of the US to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council, Liberal MP Julian Leeser has pointed out that this council is not some harmless bureaucracy.

Delivering the 2018 B’nai B’rith Human Rights Address, Leeser said that human rights had often been hijacked and “in the (UN) Human Rights Council we see a blatant attempt by those who oppose liberal democratic ideals to commandeer the apparatus of human rights so that they might hide and obstruct its abuses”.

“We read Orwell as a warning; they read Orwell as a textbook,” he said. The young MP then took aim at the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, established by Kevin Rudd’s Labor government. Leeser, who has served on the committee for two years, called for its abolition on the grounds that it is not really a committee of the parliament.

“It is a bureaucracy that has appropriated the name of the parliament. The committee is about bureaucrats judging parliament, rather than the parliament judging human rights.” And just about every report attacks the government’s legislative agenda “in the form of rehashed talking points from left-wing and social justice groups that have no connection to ‘real’ human rights”.

In 1994, before he became prime minister, John Howard warned about the rise of cultural McCarthyism in this country. Talk about mission creep. Who could have foreseen their reach and influence? Short of securing legislative wins, social engineers under­stand that getting, holding and extending their power through unelected bureaucracies is critical to the pursuit of creating public-free zones where real power vests, far away from prying democratic processes.

No one knows how the current batch of social experiments will end. But history shows that something that sounds harmless, like a friendly video about gender-neutral pronouns put out by bureaucrats, can end up curtailing our liberty.



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


12 August, 2018


And New York, Pennsylvania, California and Washington D.C.?

Austin’s Equity Office has recommended renaming the Texas city because of Stephen F. Austin's alleged views on slavery. But why stop at just renaming Austin when Amerigo Vespucci took and sold slaves.

Austin, Texas is named after Stephen F. Austin, but America is named after Amerigo Vespucci.

New York City has been on its own anti-history binge, demoting the statue of the ‘Father of Gynecology’ and tearing out plaques memorializing Robert E. Lee attached to a tree that he had once planted, but it’s got bigger problems. The city is named after King James II whose Royal African Company branded thousands of slaves with DY for the Duke of York.

And New York’s problems don’t end there. Its Bronx borough is named after Jonas Bronck, who was likely killed in an Indian raid. Queens is named after the wife of King Charles II (James’ brother) whose husband was also quite active in the slave trade. New York is full of places named after Charlie and his relatives, like Richmond County, and the city and the state would both have to be renamed.

So would South and North Carolina, named after Charles I, and Maryland, named after his wife, who had authorized a trade in African slaves. The Maryland charter was received by Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, whose family owned slaves. Anne Arundel County is named after Cecil's wife.

New Jersey was named by George Carteret under a grant from Charles II. Carteret was connected to the African slave trade through the Royal African Company. A number of areas in New Jersey are named after him and his family. That includes the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey, named after Carteret’s wife.

Royal names are a problem that bedevils even the leftist parts of the country.

Prince George’s County is a reliable Dem area in Maryland populated mostly by African-Americans. And it’s one the wealthiest black areas in the country. But it’s named after Prince George of Denmark. What’s a Danish prince doing in Maryland? George was married to Queen Anne. Anne’s extensive shares in the South Sea Company and his formal role as High Lord Admiral tied him to the slave trade.

Virginia and (West Virginia) are named after Elizabeth I who authorized a trade in slaves and at least one of whose ships carried slaves. Delaware is named after Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, who served as governor of Virginia. His tenure in office predated the importation of African slaves but, was current with the use of indentured servants and Indian slaves. Louisiana is named after Louis XIV, the Sun King, whose Code Noir (Black Code) set out the parameters of slavery.

But leaving behind royals doesn’t help. William Penn, the Quaker and liberal role model after whom Pennsylvania is named, owned slaves. Nor does heading west offer any escape from history.

Over in California, Comandante General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo’s name rests on the city of Vallejo, that of his wife on the city of Benicia. He was also the founding father of Sonoma and San Francisco was also allegedly nearly named after his wife. Vallejo relied on Indian slave labor to maintain his ranch and oversaw an Indian slave labor system. (Vallejo was also responsible for naming Marin County.)

California itself is appropriately enough named after a fictional character, Queen Calafia, who was both black and a slave owner. West Coast political correctness becomes even more confusing as we head up north. Washington is obviously named after a slave owner, but what about Seattle? It’s named after Chief Seattle, an American-Indian leader, environmentalist icon and a slave owner. (Slave ownership by Indian tribes was not uncommon and has led to debates and lawsuits over tribal membership.) 

But back in California, its leftist city has an even bigger problem. Berkeley is named after the Irish empiricist George Berkeley. Berkeley was not only a slave owner, but a vigorous advocate for the enslavement of Africans and Indians. His name has touched off controversy at Yale and UC Berkeley.

Denver is named after James W. Denver, whose tenures as Commissioner of Indian Affairs and as Territorial Governor of Kansas during the struggle between pro and anti-slavery forces were controversial. The same would be true of anyone involved in politics at the time, but the entire anti-history movement is animated by a refusal to see things in any shade other than black or white.

So we can start off by renaming New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, California, Washington, and Maryland. That’s eleven states.

Not to mention the name of the entire country.

And we’ll have to rename Berkeley, New York City, Seattle, Marin County, Austin, Elizabeth and thousands of other cities, town and county names all across the breadth of the United States.

Or we can stop the insanity right now.

The left starts its culture wars with wedge issues. It began with the statues of Confederate generals. But if this goes on, it’s going to end with the renaming of cities, of states and then finally the renaming of the entire United States of America.

These are the stakes.

Either we stop the left’s assault on history or we lose our country. Every time a statue is taken down, a school is renamed, a building is vandalized, a holiday is abolished, we move one step closer to the final undoing of our history. We should not be afraid of the truth. And the truth is that history is complex.

Judging the past by the present is its own form of cultural appropriation. Long after a revolution against the British Crown, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, New York and many others maintain royal names not because Americans have any allegiance or respect for those dead rulers, but because these places are a part of our history. As are the Indian tribes, the French, the Spanish and all those others too.

Names are not necessarily a form of respect. Identity is, more importantly, a form of memory.

The cultural revolutions of the left promise to purify history by purging it. But that Stalinist solution is a lie. History cannot be purified, only learned from. We are all the descendants of flawed heroes. And we can hope to find the truth of our heroism through our flaws, not by the light of the book burner’s fire.

A hundred nations were plunged into dystopian horrors in search of the garden path to the left’s utopia. That’s all that the left’s rituals of purification and mortification of history, the vandalism of statues and facts, offer America. And it is America. Not Marxville, Leninstadt or Maostan. The flawed explorers, generals, and nobles whose names our cities and states bear are far better than the monsters of the left.

The American Revolution, unlike the French, was based not on a murderous search for leftist revolutionary purity, but on accepting our faults and flaws while trying to still live as our best selves.  Those who search for a better future by destroying the past will move on to destroying the present.

Our choice is clear. Reject the left or rename America.


Sessions Calls Out Southern Poverty Law Center for Using ‘Hate Group’ Label to ‘Bully’ Conservatives

In a speech highlighting “new hostility” against religious believers in the United States, Attorney General Jeff Sessions specifically called out the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal group known for labeling organizations it opposes as “hate groups.”

Sessions spoke Wednesday to Alliance Defending Freedom’s Summit on Religious Liberty. Alliance Defending Freedom is a nonprofit religious liberty legal group that most recently defended Colorado baker Jack Phillips in his 7-2 victory in the Supreme Court.

The SPLC, a liberal nonprofit group which tracks groups like the Ku Klux Klan, has labeled ADF a hate group, as well as other conservative-leaning organizations.

“People of faith are facing a new hostility. Really some of it is a bigoted ideology which is founded on animus towards people of faith,” Sessions told the ADF conference. “You’ll notice that they don’t rely on the facts. They don’t make better arguments. They don’t propose higher ideals. They just call people names—like ‘hate group.’ Does that sound familiar?”

Sessions asserted that the SPLC was once a legitimate group in identifying real hate groups. The SPLC has been a partner with the FBI in identifying certain hate groups.

“They have used this designation as a weapon and they have wielded it against conservative organizations that refuse to accept their orthodoxy and choose instead to speak their conscience,” Sessions said of the hate group label. “They use it to bully and intimidate groups like yours which fight for the religious freedom, the civil rights, and the constitutional rights of others.”

He later said to the ADF, “You and I may not agree on everything—but I wanted to come back here tonight partly because I wanted to say this: You are not a hate group.”

Sessions also announced a new review at the Justice Department.

“Let me say this loud and clear: At the Department of Justice, we will not partner with hate groups. Not on my watch,” Sessions said. “I have ordered a review at the Department of Justice to make sure that we do not partner with any groups that discriminate. We will not partner with groups that unfairly defame Americans for standing up for the Constitution or their faith.”

The SPLC took a pre-emptive strike with a public letter on Tuesday criticizing Sessions for speaking to the ADF conference.

“If the ADF had its way, gay people would be back in the closet for fear of going to jail,” SPLC President Richard Cohen said in the letter to Sessions. “It’s inappropriate for the nation’s top law enforcement officer to lend the prestige of his office to this group. And it’s ironic to suggest that the rights of ADF sympathizers are under attack when the ADF is doing everything in its power to deny the equal protection of the laws to the LGBT community.”

In May, ADF announced it had been removed from an Amazon program that donates a percentage from purchases to charities due to Amazon’s reliance on SPLC to vet the charities in that program. In 2017, charity tracker GuideStar noted which charities were seen as hate groups by Southern Poverty Law Center, although the organization eventually reversed course and removed the labels.

The center has also reportedly worked with several of the big tech companies: “Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Twitter all work with or consult the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in policing their platforms for ‘hate speech’ or ‘hate groups,’” wrote The Daily Caller News Foundation in June.

Additionally, SPLC is regularly cited by media, including in references to ADF when Sessions spoke to the group last year.

During the Wednesday speech, Sessions, a former Alabama senator, noted the SPLC was established in his home state initially fighting civil rights cases. The attorney general said:

There were hate groups in the South I grew up in. They attacked the life, liberty, and the very worth of minority citizens. You may not know this, but I helped prosecute and secure the death penalty for a klansman who murdered a black teenager in my state. The resulting wrongful death suit led to a $7 million verdict and the bankruptcy of the Klu Klux Klan in the South. That case was brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But when I spoke to ADF last year, I learned that the Southern Poverty Law Center had classified ADF as a ‘hate group.’ Many in the media simply parroted it as fact. Amazon relied solely on the SPLC designation and removed ADF from its Smile program, which allows customers to donate to charities.

Sessions praised the ADF for having a 9-0 record in the Supreme Court for the last seven years, adding he wished the Justice Department had such a strong record.

The attorney general also discussed the history of religious liberty in the United States.

Sessions talked about attacks on religion in the Middle East, Russia, and the Philippines. But he said the Founders sought to avoid this in the United States. He quoted father of the Constitution and former President James Madison, who first declared religion an unalienable right, leading to the First Amendment.

The attorney general also said the Founders and Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson advanced religious freedom.

“Adams and Jefferson were political opponents—but they agreed on the human right of religious freedom. But that consensus seems to be eroding,” Sessions said. “We’ve seen nuns ordered to pay for contraceptives. We’ve seen U.S. senators ask judicial and executive branch nominees about their dogma—a clear reference to their religious beliefs—even though the Constitution explicitly forbids a religious test for public office.”

The Justice Department, which recently established a religious freedom task force, has made defending the first freedom a priority, Sessions said.

“Americans from a wide variety of faiths are asking themselves, how much longer until I am in Jack Phillips’ position?” Sessions said. “How much longer until the state, the media, the academy, the tech companies, or the global corporations come down on me because of my beliefs?”


Outsiders vs. Insiders: Liberals initiated the culture wars, let them feel the noxious effects

“Power is everything” said John Aaron (played by actor Loren Dean) in the movie Apollo 13, warning of bad things to come if the status quo wasn’t altered. Aaron continued, “Without it they don't talk to us, they don’t correct their trajectory, they don’t turn their heatshield around…we gotta turn everything off. Now.”

Aaron's theory is certainly logical when talking about a crippled spacecraft drifting through the vast void of outer space. Out there, power is everything. But here on earth “power” doesn't command the same hegemony. And LeBron James Crooked Hillarywhen it comes to American politics, power is nice -- but “culture” is everything.

President Donald Trump understands this and that’s why he’s chosen to pick very public fights with prominent pundits, Democrats, media figures, celebrities, #NeverTrumpers and even athletes to emphasize his America First positions. Whereas all presidents in the past (mostly) refrained from diving headfirst into the mosh pit of culture with the “popular” class, Trump not only does it – he relishes it too.

Trump recently took on none other than NBA legend LeBron James, a player who’s never hesitated to publicly criticize the president. So why not? Trump tweeted last Friday night, “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”

“Mike” refers to Michael Jordan. The ongoing debate in NBA circles is who is/was better, James or Jordan. Clearly Trump sides with the latter group.

No doubt the skittish “play nice in politics” Republican establishment ruling elites cringed at the thought – an American president going on social media to infer one of the most well-appreciated people in America (James) is not smart. Add the fact James is African-American and their panic must’ve doubled. “Oh no, he’s doing racist stuff again!” they must’ve thought.

Insinuating an athlete (who happens to be black) is something less than intelligent is a dangerous business in America these days. Such a transgression will certainly draw investigation by the politically correct thought police; a faux indictment for high crimes and misdemeanors could easily follow and Trump will inevitably find himself once again run through the hate-wringer on MSNBC, CNN, late night TV and probably ESPN. Like there’s anything new there.

Leftists make “sport” out of bashing the president. That’s our culture today.

It didn’t take long for the media jackals to feast on this latest carcass either. ESPN.com reported on Saturday morning, “James has publicly criticized Trump before. In September 2017, he called Trump a ‘bum’ for rescinding his invitation to the Golden State Warriors to celebrate their championship with a visit to the White House.

“’Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!’ James tweeted then...

“’He doesn't understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country,’ James said ... ‘He doesn't understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the president of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement. He doesn't understand that, and that's what makes me more sick than anything, that we have someone that's ... this is the most, this is the No. 1 position in the world.’”

Somehow I’m having a hard time picturing a kid who’s shelling out well over a hundred bucks to wear LeBron James sneakers as “looking up” to Trump. Kids in the street dribbling basketballs couldn’t care less about what’s going on in Washington and largely because of their parents’ – and role models’ -- political affiliations are much more likely to favor Maxine Waters, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Eric Holder than they are Donald Trump.

That’s more to their own detriment. Democrats have subjugated, abused and taken for granted African-American (and Hispanic, Asian and every other ethnic minority) voters for a lifetime. Brainless fools like LeBron James are only perpetuating the myth that Democrats are there to help poor people with food stamp applications and voter registration forms. So, if a kid “looks up” to LeBron James and sees him saying harsh things about the American president, who are they more likely to believe? Would they buy Donald Trump shoes?

And assuming these hypothetical kids are even receiving Trump’s side of the story, where would they be hearing it from? Answer: the same media outlets that offer commentary and “news” reporting on everything else, which studies prove is over 90 percent negative towards the current occupant of the White House.

It’s been examined before, but what grants someone like LeBron James the clout and authority to be making value judgments about American politics? Being good at sports isn’t a prerequisite for intelligent commentary. In James’s case he happened to be genetically predisposed to grow unusually tall (6’8”) with superior athletic ability. James was so extraordinary he went straight from high school to NBA stardom – so there doesn’t appear to have been any post-secondary education to broaden the player’s reasoning abilities either.

James is a political partisan too, having appeared at Democrat rallies, including one for Hillary Clinton. He’s entitled to his opinion but it should be noted he isn’t exactly “neutral” here. 

Does the absence of a college degree make one stupid or ignorant? Hardly; but learning how to use one’s noodle to absorb information and process it is a learned skill and it needs to be done off the basketball court. Just like James’ brain excels at split second calculations on how far and how hard to toss a basketball, he likely hasn’t devoted similar practice time into reading political philosophy.

There’s no John Locke in James’ comments. His views sound like they’re straight out of the Barack Obama/Democrat playbook. How’s that for sounding intelligent?

Unfortunately, popular American culture allows people like James to run their mouths – and the “kids” see him as an authority figure. Michael Jordan too – everyone probably remembers the famous Gatorade “Be Like Mike” advertising campaign. Modern day athletes have outsized platforms for commenting on social and cultural issues – and if you’re not a liberal in that capacity you’re made into an awkward example. Why do you think it matters so much when players are publicly chastised for Twitter comments from seven years ago?

For what it’s worth, Jordan and others defended James in the heat of the spat, pointing out that James has dumped tons of money into education charities, etc. As if doing good on one end justifies claiming the president of the United States “divides” the country just because he insists athletes should stand for the flag during the national anthem. If that’s the way they want it, fine.

Ah, how we long for the good 'ol days where everything wasn't automatically politicized. On my recent jaunt to the Ronald Reagan presidential library I noted a rather prominent display dedicated to sports teams' visits to the White House during The Gipper's tenure. Sports winners of all races and creeds smiled alongside the president with no politics to burden the occasion.

Now rhetorical wars are fought through Twitter. Social media has changed the world. But that’s another story. The left’s drive to extinguish traditional American culture continues unabated. If you’re a liberal woman (and a minority) you apparently can articulate blatantly racist views and receive a pass from the squishy class. Or at least get away with years’ worth of jabs – as long as they’re directed at white men.

David French wrote at National Review, “[T]he New York Times announced that it had hired Sarah Jeong to join its editorial board, and — like clockwork — controversial old tweets promptly surfaced. In them, Jeong expressed some rather interesting views of ‘[dumba** f***ing] white people,’ musing about how much joy she gets ‘out of being cruel to old white men’ and how ‘white men are [bullsh**].’ For good measure she also compared white people to ‘groveling goblins’ and questioned why they’re ‘genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun.’ In a statement, Jeong expressed her regret and explained that she was engaging in ‘counter-trolling’ designed to mimic the language of racists who harassed her online.”

Racists? Is this a case of fighting fire with fire or naked prejudice based on appearance?

French concluded his essay, “A healthy society urges people to reject unhealthy temptations to generalize, and instead urges that we treat our fellow citizens with a degree of grace and to judge them based on their individual actions. Any categorical hatred or disgust stands directly against this virtue. So, yes, anti-white racism is real, and Americans can and should reject it while still keeping in mind matters of gravity and proportion.

“Are we really so far gone that we can’t condemn taking ‘joy’ in being ‘cruel’ to another person on the basis of their race? It’s time to understand a fundamental truth: The denigration of human beings — yes, including white human beings — works its own harm.”

Well put. The matter works both ways. While most folks concede there are still a few reprehensibly backwards people out there (torch bearing bipedal garbage), they’re an incredibly small percentage of the whole. Freedom of speech and thought guarantees the right to be ignorant and no one should be sanctioned for their views as long as they don’t violently (or harmfully) act on them.

Sarah Jeong did act (for years) and now it’s common knowledge as to what she thinks. She’s on the record having said she “enjoys” being cruel and judging by the group. What if a conservative working at a right-leaning publication promoted ill-treatment for a class of citizens (racial or homosexual)? The media would be all over it like flies on buffalo chips.

French’s point is one type of racism shouldn’t be tolerated while others are appropriately condemned. It’s not that hard to figure out. And getting back to LeBron James, why should he be championed on the same liberal cable news channel that negatively reports on the president 24/7/365? Where’s the proportionality here? Is CNN going to bring on Tim Allen (of “Last Man Standing”) to provide balance to James’ remarks about how Trump “divides” us?

And who’s really doing the “dividing” in America anyway when even some local Democrat authorities stand to the side while leftist anarchist mobs intimidate and threaten ICE employees and local residents who just want to go about their jobs and lives? The recent situation in Portland was particularly disturbing.

Andy Ngo reported in the Wall Street Journal, “A mob surrounded ICE’s office in Southwest Portland June 19. They barricaded the exits and blocked the driveway. They sent ‘guards’ to patrol the doors, trapping workers inside. At night they laid on the street, stopping traffic at a critical junction near a hospital. Police stayed away. ‘At this time I am denying your request for additional resources,’ the Portland Police Bureau’s deputy chief, Robert Day, wrote to federal officers pleading for help. Hours later, the remaining ICE workers were finally evacuated by a small federal police team. The facility shut down for more than a week.

“Signs called ICE employees ‘Nazis’ and ‘white supremacists.’ Others accused them of running a ‘concentration camp,’ and demanded open borders and prosecution of ICE agents. Along a wall, vandals wrote the names of ICE staff, encouraging others to publish their private information online. Federal workers were defenseless. An ICE officer, who asked that his name not be published, told me one of his colleagues was trailed in a car and confronted when he went to pick up his daughter from summer camp. Later people showed up at his house. Another had his name and photo plastered on flyers outside his home accusing him of being part of the ‘Gestapo.’”

Ngo’s article is shocking, well worth the read if you’ve got a Wall Street Journal subscription. It should be noted when a larger federal police force finally went in to clean out the human anti-ICE vermin the “protesters” singled out one of the officers by race. Ngo observed, “They repeatedly called a black officer ‘traitor’ and ‘house n—.’ They shouted that they knew where the officers lived, and published more addresses online.”

Why doesn’t CNN’s Don Lemon probe LeBron James or Colin Kaepernick for their thoughts on what took place in Portland? Why shouldn’t these supposedly wise athletes be asked for their views on abolishing ICE? If ball players are so quick to defend leftist NFL flag dissenters, how do they feel about African-American policemen being called “traitor” and “house n----” by scumbag leftist “protesters” who are only there to cause trouble and disrupt?

President Trump is entirely correct to take sides in the culture war and if he needs to bring up LeBron James’s name to cause a stir and get people to focus on what’s going on out there, so be it. Democrats are the ones who’ve turned up the rhetorical heat – let them bathe in the burnt-out ashes.


Australia is deplorably racist. It was founded on a racist document and hasn’t improved (?)

The writer below, Jack Latimore, is a "Goori", descended from an Aboriginal tribe in Victoria, apparently.  His rant below offers only three isolated incidents in support of his assertion that Australians are racist. Such thin "evidence" is entirely unable to support any generalizations. I can give you many other anecdotes which suggest an opposite conclusion.  You need general data -- such as survey results -- to support generalizations.   It is sad that a Goori man has shown himself to be so intellectually incompetent

The recent surge in racism is not an anomaly. For many white, liberal-minded Australians, recent media commentary over the appearance of a notorious white nationalist on the Sky News channel was the first indication that our society remains deeply stricken by racism. And for many of them, the subsequent banning of said individual and the news channel’s “icing” of the particular program on which he appeared is a sufficient practical and symbolic rejection of racism. For others, the concern is that it is too little too late. The neo-Nazi is out of the bag. By banning him from ever appearing on its channel again, Sky News has centred – or normalised – its regular hard-right editorials. It doesn’t matter a jot if this was an intended or inadvertent consequence.

But this incident is only a tile in the much larger colonial project that continues to impact the lives of not just First Nations peoples, but the majority of people of colour in Australia. It’s a racial ideology that’s seemingly in perpetual motion in this country, which has been present since at least federation and arguably further back, with the arrival of “enlightened” Europeans roughly 250 years ago. The recent surge in racism merely stems from this blight, and in terms of timespan, it goes well beyond what occurred at Sky News last Sunday night.

In the past fortnight alone, concerted attacks by Australian racists on media figures such as Osman Faruqi and Benjamin Law have caught my attention. In Faruqi’s case, the racialised and disproportionate abuse he received for supporting the banning of plastic bags from supermarkets has threatened to silence his activity on Twitter. Meanwhile, the racial abuse directed at Law involved a thinly-veiled death threat for suggesting Virgin Australia cease broadcasting Sky News in their lounges.

On Wednesday, to bring attention to the toxicity of the abuse being directed towards outspoken people of colour, I tweeted a screenshot of an email from “whitepride” titled “fuck you abo dogs” that was sent to the administrators of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders online platform, IndigenousX. Other established and emerging First Nations writers and commentators have informed me they have also experienced an upsurge of similar abuse in recent weeks. It should surprise nobody that the racists feel emboldened.

If this kind of racial vilification reflects the current social environment, how is it possible for Aboriginal people to feel optimistic about a “reconciled” future in Australia? Particularly when the kinds of attitudes that consider us “dirty black dogs” are so valued by embattled Australian politicians every time a dicey election rolls around.



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


12 August, 2018

Alex Jones and the Communications Decency Act

Alex Jones of Info Wars has been banned from all social platforms except for Twitter in a single afternoon, showing that the tech giants are acting in concert for what are obviously political reasons, to suppress the speech of enemies of the Left.

In the myriad discussions surrounding this, one might hear the topic framed as a First Amendment issue, or an issue of whether private property owners may use their property as they like. I humbly suggest that neither of these grasps the basic legal issue involved.

It is not a First Amendment issue because the First Amendment is a constitutional restriction barring the Federal Government (and, by the legal fiction of the Doctrine of Incorporation, state and local governments) from passing laws and regulations restricting the natural right of freedom of speech. For obvious reasons, this analysis does not apply to private companies acting in concert.

Nor is this conspiracy in restraint of trade, so Antitrust Law, which this seems at first to violate, is also beside the point. The companies acted in collusion to prevent a widely-known public speaker from reaching his audience, because they objected to his anti-Left politics, which they call hate speech.

It is collusion, by the way, but not conspiracy. Technically, conspiracy requires an agreement to commit an unlawful act. An agreement secretly to commit a lawful but dishonorable act, such as stifling a man for his politics and pretending it is because he violated a vaguely-worded community guideline on courtesy, is collusion.  It is wrong, and, in this case, may rise to the level of being sinister and threatening to the rest of us, but it is not illegal.

As to the actual content of Alex Jones’ speech, whether it is hate speech or not, is irrelevant to the legal question. Slander, libel, false advertising, or fighting words likely to provoke an immediate act of criminal violence, all these are types of speech whose legal stature is independent of their content. Please, let no one trouble himself to tell me how wise or foolish, fair or foul, uncouth, erroneous, paranoid, dangerous, or funny this speaker may or may not be. All that is irrelevant.

What is relevant is that he lives under the same laws we do. What is relevant is that what is sauce of the goose is sauce for the gander.

Legally, the argument centers around Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act.

Section 230 says that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider” (47 U.S.C. § 230).

The significance of this passage is that a publisher is liable for carrying libels or slanders to an audience, precisely because the publisher of book or magazine, radio broadcast, television show, movie, and so on, has both the power and the duty to study the words of the writer whose words he publishes, check them for libelous matter, and prevent them from being printed if the matter is libelous.

The man who owns the printing press is liable for what his newspaper writers write in his newspaper. The man who runs the radio station can be sued for letting the disk jockey defame someone on the air. They are publishers.

But the telephone company is not. If you hear me over the telephone slander you with ruthless and outrageous slanders, clearly false and clearly harmful to your reputation and to your business, and I accuse you of having a loathsome disease, you simply cannot sue Ma Bell. The telephone operator does not have the authority or the ability to prevent my abuse of the telephone line when I spread defamatory falsehoods.

Section 230, in effect, says that YouTube and Facebook and Spotify an d so on are like the phone company.

They cannot monitor nor ban libelous speech, but in return they cannot be sued by an injured party claiming that their platform negligently allowed a slanderer to defame him. It is a quid pro quo.

The only other option is that the tech giants are like newspaper running a personal ad page: the newspaper can be sued for defamation, but in return has the power and ability to monitor, edit or ban libel in their personals.

Now, the interesting part from a legal point of view about the collusion of the rich and powerful leftwing high-tech giants to stifle the speech of Alex Jones is that the companies have arrogated to themselves the power of the publisher to edit and control the speech of the published, but not accepted the responsibility and liability that comes with it.

None of the colluders, as far as I have heard, claimed that their guidelines allow them to exclude anyone convicted of libel, slander, or publishing pornography, and that Alex Jones has been found guilty of a criminal breech of this kind. That stance would prevent the tech giants from the appearance of being publishers.

But if they assume the prerogative of editing and banning speech based on content, and have more power to control worldwide communication than all radio broadcasters, phone companies, and newspaper chains combined, then why should Section 230 render them immune from the temptation to abuse this power?

Does Ma Bell get to yank the phone out of your hand because she does not like your anti-Leftwing politics?

There are only two options under the law. The idea that the tech giants have the power and prerogatives of publishers, able to monitor and ban objectionable content found in their printing press, but are free of the liability of publishers, who will be punished by the law if they abuse that power, or even use it negligently, is not a stance that makes sense in law or logic.


Censorship: The Dark Heart Of The Democratic Party

In the wake of the unprecedented big tech censorship of Alex Jones and his InfoWars website, Connecticut’s Democratic Senator Christopher Murphy tweeted:

Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it.

This, friends, is the equivalent of a Senator demanding that paper manufacturers stop selling newsprint to  Alex Jones Censorshipnewspapers with which he disagrees, or that FedEx or UPS refuse to deliver products he doesn’t like.

To give you a more complete understanding of the campaign being waged against Jones, it isn’t just that he’s lost the ability to post content on Google’s YouTube for violating the company’s opaque “community standards.”

According to Caitlin Yilek of the Washington Examiner, Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Spotify all removed Alex Jones and his InfoWars show from their platforms.

The removals, all within a matter of hours of each other, looked like a coordinated hit on Jones and his business.

Those tech giants were quickly joined by Jones’ email provider, MailChimp, and even professional networking site LinkedIn removed the InfoWars page, saying:

We have removed the InfoWars company page for violating our terms of service. We value the professional community on LinkedIn and strive to create a platform where the exchange of ideas by professionals can happen without harmful misinformation, bullying, harassment or hate.

We encourage our members to report any inappropriate content or behavior. We investigate and if it is in violation take action, which could include removing the content or suspending the account.

According to reporting by CNET’s Marrian Zhou, “After we inquired this afternoon about the Infowars company page, LinkedIn responded that it has removed the page from its platform,” it seems Pinterest also took down InfoWars' page after multiple people “flagged” the account to the company.

Although we are not sure exactly how Alex Jones and his often-bizarre theories about current events might qualify as conservative, the “flagging” of conservative content has become a ritual of life on social media platforms.

Anything that that tells hard truths about the Left, exposes the unbounded ignorance of many of its celebrity adherents, reveals its progressive “social justice” outrages, criticizes its sacred cows or exposes the Left’s increasingly violent tendencies is likely to get “flagged” for “violating community standards.”

Hard-Left threats, hate speech against conservatives, vulgarity and savage attacks are routinely ignored by the social media censors and the tech oligarchs who employ them.

Two questions that remain unanswered about the censoring of Alex Jones are why now, and how did the coordination come about?

The answer to the first one may be that Jones is being sued by the targets of some of his more bizarre conspiracy theories and this has put some of his more outrageous statements front and center in the news.

The answer to the second is likely that Jones has been the target of an ongoing campaign by CNN and various of Leftwing commentators, and their campaign finally gathered enough progressive trolls behind it to hit critical mass with the snowflakes who run the social media censorship teams.

Americans of all political stripes should recognize that this campaign by the Left and these comments by Senator Murphy are not isolated incidents focused on one obnoxious conspiracy theorist.

Back in 2014, as Congress prepared for its traditional Memorial Day recess Democrats in the Senate quietly snuck a bill to repeal the First Amendment onto calendar of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The bill, actually a Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, was sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico and 41 other Democratic and Independent Senators and was later heard before the Senate Judiciary Committee – fortunately it failed to make any headway.

Unfortunately for the cause of constitutional liberty, the Democrats’ urge to censor has not diminished.

In the past year Democrats have demanded that shipping companies stop servicing the firearms industry, and under pressure from Democratic politicians, banks and credit card companies have stopped doing business with the firearms industry, and now Democrats are calling on internet companies to censor those they don’t like or whose reporting shines the light of truth on their misdeeds and hypocrisy.

Make no mistake about this: Democrats demanding the “deplatforming” of Alex Jones and others whose opinions they don’t like is the 21st century equivalent of pressuring papermakers to stop selling newsprint to newspapers that criticize the King. A political party making such demands is unprecedented in American politics and public life and it gives voters who are paying attention a deep look into the dark, totalitarian heart of the new “progressive” Democratic Party.


Jones hits back

'Thank you Apple, Facebook and YouTube!' Alex Jones claims 5.6 million people have subscribed to Infowars newsletter in 48 hours as he calls 'bull***t' on tech giants who have blocked the conspiracy theorist's content

Infowars motor mouth Alex Jones has issued a 'never surrender' battle cry to his army of alt-right followers after a string of tech giants hammered him over his controversial views.

And underfire Jones - accused of spreading bile and hatred as America’s leading conspiracy theorist - says he isn't taking the attack lying down.

In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com he launched an expletive laden rant claiming the Democratic Party staged the 'desperate' onslaught and says he's a 'sacrificial lamb' who has been likened to Hitler for the purposes of a wider attack on free speech.

What's more he claims the publicity surrounding the action taken by the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Apple - who have blocked his content and removed his channels - has gained him millions of subscribers - not lost him followers.

Jones claims 5.6million people have subscribed to the Infowars newsletter and free podcast in the past 48 hours.

Branding what's happened 'bull***t', the 44-year-old Texan said: 'Why not say I'm flying a Nazi flying carpet. I sit up in the morning and I s**t Hitler out of my a**. It's bull***t.

'Because I play devil's advocate, because I play both sides, they've taken me out of context, they are using me as a test case to try to bring an EU style web censorship.

'They've got mainline Democratic senators saying they ought to restrict Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Matt Drudge, the President himself.

'They are misrepresenting what I've said and done and are using that to set a precedent for internet wide de-platforming, censorship beyond what Russia does, what China does, ahead of the midterms (election). The whole thing is fake.'

Jones even likened the 'censorship' to Nazi Germany putting Jews in ghettos.

'It's very dangerous for everybody else, but for me, who has been chosen as the sacrificial lamb, there's a big effect,' he explained.

'This is very anti-free speech, this is very deceptive.

'The Democrats are trying to demonize free speech, set the precedent to try to restrict free speech and so it's a very villainous overall program.'

Jones was left reeling when YouTube, Facebook and Apple became the latest Silicon Valley companies to bring the hammer down on Infowars.

But the veteran broadcaster isn't giving up.

Quoting [inaccurately] from Winston Churchill's famous 'We shall fight on the beaches' speech in 1940, Jones told DailyMail.com: 'In the words of Winston Churchill we will go on until the end, whatever the cost may be.

'Even if I was ever defeated, from other places around the world victory is going to come, this fight for human liberty is unstoppable...people understand what's happening and we're gonna go on to the end whatever the cost is. We're gonna never surrender.'

Facebook announced Monday that it removed four pages belonging to Jones for posting content that violated its policies around hate speech and violence.

It came just hours after Apple revealed it removed the entire iTunes library for five of Jones's six Infowars podcasts, including the shows 'War Room' and the daily 'The Alex Jones Show.'

Not long after Facebook and Apple took action, YouTube removed The Alex Jones Channel, which counts close to 2.2 million subscribers.

Spotify also announced Monday it was taking further action against Jones, removing every episode of the Alex Jones Show from the streaming site.

Stitcher, LinkedIn and Pinterest have also removed Infowars content.

In recent weeks, Facebook and other tech giants have faced repeated backlash over its inaction against the conspiracy theorist.

But despite the onslaught rambunctious Jones claims little damage has been done to his brand or his ability to reach his legions of followers.

'The good news is Infowars has had the highest traffic it's ever had - 5.6 million new subscribers in the past 48 hours - and so has my radio show,' he claims.

'De-platforming doesn't do anything, we already have the subscribers, it doesn't do very much.

'And so the loss we've had of new subscriptions...on various platforms, has been way compensated by millions of new subscribers and visitors to our website, the mobile app, to our free podcast.

'We've never had this much people signing up for our news letter, podcast, video feeds, they're all hitting subscribe, subscribe, subscribe.

'This is good for me but not good for the free internet.'

Jones, whose YouTube channel has received over a billion views and 2.2 million subscribers, is famous for propagating far-fetched and erroneous conspiracy theories.

He once suggested the Sandy Hook school shooting of 20 young children was staged, that the September 11 attacks of 2001 were an inside job and that the bizarre reports about Hillary Clinton being part of a Washington pizzeria child sex abuse ring warrant serious investigation.

He has also claimed the US government puts chemicals into the water supply to turn people gay so they do not have children.

On his radio show Monday Jones used similarly strong language to call on his Infowars followers to rise up against anti-Trump 'sociopaths' who he says are behind the removal of his Infowars programming from most major social media platforms.

'We knew this was coming,' Jones said on his broadcast Monday. 'They tried to break all the Republicans, persecute people. Trump broke through their bullying and lies. We stood beside him, and now they want to take out the press from under him, and they want to use me as the distorted poster child to do it. They think you’re weak.'


Exposing Antifa, The Shock Troops Of The Democrats’ Civil War

Police in the Far-Left enclaves of Berkeley, California and Portland, Oregon had to deal riots created by violent Far Left so-called Anti-Fascist (Antifa) thugs over the weekend.

Now, according to our friends at chicksonright.com the Berkeley police department posted the arresting information via Twitter, with Department’s tweets including arrested individuals’ names, ages, city of residence, as well as the charge on which they were arrested.

AntifaAccording to the UK’s Guardian, the Berkeley PD said it had arrested 20 people on Sunday at an “alt-right” rally, citing many of them for “possession of a banned weapon” or “working with others to commit a crime.” Most, if not all, of the people arrested were counter protesters, according to lawyers and activists working with the “demonstrators.”

Fox News reported that Berkeley police characterized the riot as being caused by "an extremist element among a large group" that damaged 21 city vehicles, setting one on fire, and slashed their tires. The group also set fires in trash bins.

Keep in mind that in addition to sundry assaults and acts of vandalism, these thugs also trashed the local Marine Corps recruiting office (naturally no Marines were present). Videos taken during the “protest” also showed masked Antifa protesters smashing the windows of a U.S. Marine Corps recruiting office and another demonstrator sucker-punching someone.

However, exposing their identities seems to have touched a cord with the usually masked thugs, who rely on covering their faces to protect them from being identified when they commit assault, arson, vandalism and various other crimes.

Here are a few samples of the now deleted Berkeley PD tweets:

Andres Gonzalez, 35, of Oakland, was arrested at Civic Center Park on five counts of carrying a banned weapon.

Caitlin Boyle, 27, of Oakland, was arrested for working with others to commit a crime.

Berkeley Police announced the arrests, including three Antifa thugs on weapons charges: Jason Wallach, 41, Kate Brenner, 69, and Kristen Edith Koster, 50. They also arrested Bella Podolsky, Javier Cruz-O'Connell, Ericka Sokolower-Shain, Jamie Hill, David Chou, Freddy Martinez, Maria Lewis, and Thomas Parker along with others.

Here’s the entire list of arrests from the Berkeley PD website.

As of early Monday afternoon, a spokesperson for the local district attorney told the Guardian that Berkeley police had not yet brought the cases to prosecutors for consideration.

“This is very disturbing,” Veena Dubal, a University of California law professor and former Berkeley police review commissioner told the UK’s Guardian. “It seems like a public-shaming exercise, which is not the role of the police department ... They are making it really accessible for folks who might wish these people harm to locate them.”

Berkeley’s mayor, Jesse Arreguín, told the Guardian that he was not involved in the decision to publish mugshots and would not directly answer questions about whether he supported the choice. He said he planned to talk to police officials about it: “We need to look into this and discuss whether this is an appropriate practice going forward.”

According to the Guardian, before the rally, the city issued broad rules prohibiting “weapons” in the area and “anything … that can be used for a ‘riot’”. Officials also banned protesters from wearing masks. The enforcement of the new rules appeared to have driven many of the arrests.

“It really seemed to us like the Berkeley police department was there to … target the anti-fascist protesters,” said Jay Kim, executive director of the Leftist National Lawyers Guild’s local chapter (NLG), which is assisting those arrested. Police appeared to be taking in protesters “at random” and for arbitrary reasons, in some cases with spurious claims about weapons, she claimed.

A total of 21 people contacted the NLG, which confirmed the “vast majority” were anti-fascists, said Kim. Some were bailed out and others remained incarcerated. One person was arrested for bringing poles to put up a sign, according to Kim.

The UK Guardian’s Sam Levin, who appears to be all in for the Antifa thugs, and their cause, claimed that the Berkeley PD’s decision to post mugshots was akin to what the Guardian calls “the increasingly common rightwing tactic of ‘doxxing’ anti-fascists, meaning publishing people’s private information online as part of an intimidation effort.”

The Guardian seems happily ignorant of the fact that the origin of using public records to intimidate political opponents began with the Left’s campaign against those who signed the petition for California Proposition 8, the ballot initiative calling for marriage to be between one man and one woman.

In that case those who signed the petition were systematically hunted down and harassed, including getting them fired from their jobs.

“It’s clear that the cops have chosen sides and that they think of the left as their enemies,” said Sam Menefee-Libey, a Washington DC activist. “The cops are doing something that Nazis do all the time, which is dox people.”

So harassing people who have committed no crime is OK, but posting the mug shots of people who were actually arrested for allegedly committing real crimes – that’s off limits to the violent Left and their apologists.

All we can say is we hope “that the cops HAVE chosen sides” and decided that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and that more doxxing of Antifa is the best way to stop this infection before the violence they advocate kills the body politic.


Califonia goes easy on theft

A pity if you are a car owner

“‘Very, very unusual’: 50 car break-ins in 24 hours near Galleria mall and across Roseville,” reads the July 20 headline in the Sacramento Bee. Police received several calls but “instead of two or three burglarized cars, officers found 30.” These were hit at the Galleria Mall and Hyatt hotel and 20 others occurred around the city. Thieves took everything from spare change to luggage to computers and police found it all “very, very unusual.” Actually, it isn’t, ever since Proposition 47, the 2014 ballot measure that treats property theft of nearly $1,000 as a misdemeanor.

As NBC News reports, car break-ins in San Francisco alone rose from 22,029 in 2014 to 26,040 in 2015, then to 24,624 in 2016 and a full 28,984 in 2017. Of those nearly 30,000 break-ins, police made arrests in just 1.7 percent of cases and most of those taken into custody were never sentenced to jail time. So reductions in prison populations come at the expense of increased crime, as critics of Proposition 47 predicted. As San Francisco police Lt. Mike Nevin told NBC, “They find the reward greater than the risk” and now break into more than 80 cars every day.

Proposition 47 and Crime, a fact sheet from the UC Irvine School of Social Ecology, explains that “property crime trends appear to show Proposition 47 caused an increase in larceny and motor vehicle thefts, but these findings do not withstand sensitivity and robustness testing.” Victims of the nearly 30,000 San Francisco car break-ins might find that a bit confusing. Under Proposition 47, as Tom Jones said, it’s not unusual to have 50 car break-ins in one night. Roseville police report no arrests and the thieves can use the credit cards and computers they stole to commit other crimes, including identity theft.


10 August, 2018

Oklahoma's Wretched Record on Wrongful Convictions

 Michelle Malkin

"Frontier justice" costs too many citizens of all races, creeds, and backgrounds their freedom and their lives. In the old days of the Wild West, vigilantes worked outside the judicial system to punish rivals regardless of their guilt or innocence. Today, outlaws operate inside the bureaucracy to secure criminal convictions at all costs.

Oklahoma -- the notorious home of "Hang 'Em High" executions -- stands out for its decades of trampling due process, subverting public disclosure, perpetuating forensic junk science, manufacturing false accusations and enabling official misconduct.

Since 1993, 35 wrongfully convicted Oklahomans have been officially exonerated, according to the National Registry of Exonerations; 15 inmates have been freed in the past decade. Almost half of the state's exonerees had been convicted of murder; 17 percent for sexual assault. The reign of prosecutorial terror and forensic error by the late Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy and rogue Oklahoma City police department crime lab analyst Joyce Gilchrist resulted in at least 11 wrongful convictions, according to the Innocence Project. Those victims included:

Exoneree Curtis McCarty, who was sent to death row for a stabbing and strangulation murder after Macy withheld evidence and Gilchrist falsified blood evidence and destroyed hair evidence.

Exoneree Robert Lee Miller Jr., another death row inmate falsely convicted of two rapes and two murders based on a coerced confession and atrocious forensic misconduct involving junk analysis of semen, blood, saliva, human hair and dog hair.

Exoneree Jeffrey Pierce, who was falsely convicted of rape in 1986 based on Gilchrist's misconduct and won a $4 million settlement from Oklahoma City.

Exoneree David Bryson, who was wrongfully convicted of kidnapping and rape and freed after 18 years in prison when Gilchrist's destruction of evidence was discovered and follow-up DNA testing excluded him as the attacker.

Law enforcement and legal insiders alike have shared stories with me about good ol' boys club corruption that crosses party lines in the Sooner State. Government prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys routinely cut deals. Judges bend over backwards to preserve "harmless errors" caused by flawed investigations, faulty verdicts and clerical incompetence. Police brass retaliate against whistleblowers. And, according to one veteran cop, Oklahoma City is a hopeless "nest of incestuous nepotism."

Unlike neighboring Texas, where Dallas County prosecutors founded the first conviction integrity unit in the country (sparking the creation of 30 such agencies nationwide), not a single Oklahoma district attorney's office has established an official mechanism to review tainted convictions. Nor does Oklahoma have anything like the Texas Forensic Science Commission, which investigates professional misconduct by crime labs and other entities that conduct forensic analyses used in criminal proceedings. The Texas panel was created in the wake of the infamous scandal at the Houston Police Department crime lab a decade ago and its audits led to the more recent shutdown of the Austin PD's mess of a crime lab.

Meanwhile, no systemic reform ensued after the Macy/Gilchrist disgrace in Oklahoma. In fact, one of Gilchrist's colleagues who admitted destroying rape kit evidence at her behest was kept on for nearly 15 more years until she mysteriously retired last year amid questions about her DNA testimony.

OCPD crime lab analyst Elaine Taylor's work (challenged by at least eight independent scientists internationally over the past year) was at the center of illegal secret hearings last summer in the high-profile wrongful conviction of former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw. He is serving 263 years for sexual assault allegations solicited by police, who ignored accusers' wild contradictions and discrepancies, long rap sheets and drug-addled testimony during an out-of-control media feeding frenzy before and during trial. Taylor is the mother-in-law of Det. Rocky Gregory, the co-lead detective in the botched Holtzclaw investigation -- a glaring conflict of interest undisclosed by police and prosecutors.

Kathleen Zellner, the nation's most successful exoneration lawyer defending Holtzclaw against accusers' high-dollar civil lawsuits, quipped that she was "surprised they have not put crime scene tape around (the) OKC crime lab."

While appealing his case, Holtzclaw has faced a series of Keystone Kops blunders every step of the way, with the Court of Criminal Appeals failing to follow its own rules on publicly disclosing court protective orders; a court clerk who simply "forgot" to file a public notice of the state attorney general requesting the secret hearing transcripts and exhibits; the court admitting that Holtzclaw's public defender, James Lockard, shouldn't have been barred from the unconstitutional secret hearings; the court realizing more than a year late that its clerk had never formally filed a critical state attorney general's motion under seal; and the clerk failing to properly tender Holtzclaw's amended motion for an evidentiary hearing despite it being filed with the clerk more than a month ago.

This lackadaisical attitude toward matters of life and liberty pervades Okie culture.

Take the case of the missing sealed envelope in death row inmate Julius Jones' appeal. Jones, a basketball star at the University of Oklahoma, has served 19 years in prison for a murder he steadfastly maintains he did not commit. Recent episodes of ABC's "The Last Defense" spotlighted troubling inconsistencies in the testimony of the prosecution's star witness, who took a plea deal; ineffective counsel by overwhelmed defense attorneys who called no witnesses at trial; and the glaring failure to test a central piece of evidence -- a bandana purportedly warn by the shooter.

Last December, Jones' appellate lawyers filed an application for post-conviction relief and related motions for discovery and an evidentiary hearing to consider newly discovered evidence of racial animus by a juror. Jones' lawyers included supporting exhibits, which a court clerk instructed the legal team to place in a separate envelope labeled "protected material." Through a chain of bureaucratic mishaps, the key exhibits were somehow lost until Jones' investigator, Kim Marks, personally visited the clerk's office in June and unearthed them. The court, which had rejected Jones' appeal without seeing the missing exhibits, was forced to acknowledge two weeks ago that it couldn't ignore its clerk's "mismanagement of the exhibits" and has been forced to reconsider the case.

Chilling exit fact: Despite its wretched record on wrongful convictions the past two decades, not to mention three horrific botched executions in the last three years, Oklahoma's incompetent and corrupted criminal justice system is set to resume putting people to death next year come hell or high water.

Silence over this human rights crisis is complicity.


Anne of the Rainbow Gables?

When a classic children’s book gets turned into a TV series, it’s usually a cause for celebration. Usually.

One of the most endearing and enduring books for kids is Anne of Green Gables, a 1908 novel about a Canadian orphan who is adopted by a brother and sister on Prince Edward Island.

It’s been filmed a number of times over the years. And given the non-stop campaign to normalize the LGBT lifestyle, it should come as no surprise that the most recent version introduces several homosexual characters.

The Netflix series, titled “Anne with an E,” just began its second season. The episodes are charming—until you get to episode seven, in which Anne, her friend Diana Berry, and a boy named Cole attend a gathering at the home of Diana’s great-Aunt Josephine. It turns out the party is a “queer soiree,” featuring men dressed as women, and wearing heavy makeup, and women dressed as men. They are there to honor the memory of Josephine’s departed “partner,” Gertrude.

Looking around her, Anne exclaims to Diana, “Isn’t this the most amazing group of people!” Well, I can’t help thinking that if a sheltered young girl like Anne actually encountered cross-dressing men and women in 1908, she would be shocked and probably frightened—not delighted.

In a scene that takes place in Aunt Josephine’s bedroom, Anne observes a novel on Josephine’s nightstand. Gertrude was reading it the year before. Josephine tells her the books “sit just where she left them.” Anne processes this remark, and then, enlightened, says, “That’s what you meant by, in your way, you were married,” she says.

“Yes,” Josephine replies.

Diana—who is nonplussed by her discovery of her aunt’s relationship with Gertrude, tells Anne their love affair was “unnatural.”

But the boy Cole—a character who is invented for the TV series—soon straightens her out. “If your aunt lived her life feeling … that she was broken, defective, or unnatural, and one day she met someone that made her realize that wasn’t true . . .shouldn’t we be happy for her?”

Cole later confesses to Aunt Josephine that he thinks he is “like you and Gertrude.” Josephine tells him, “You have a life of such joy before you.”

And in case you missed the gay-is-good point of the episode, the writers have Anne asking another character: “How can there be anything wrong with a life if it’s spent with a person you love?”

To answer Anne’s question: Plenty. People have suffered greatly through inappropriate “love”: For instance, a child whose father decided to love someone other than his wife, or a child who is loved, in an erotic way, by an adult.

It’s unlikely that Anne would ever have heard a sermon about homosexuality in her day and age. If she had, she would have known what scripture teaches about homosexual relationships: that they run counter to God’s plan for human flourishing.

The gay-themed episode of “Anne with an E” has led many parents to turn the channel. As one of them wrote on the Facebook page of a Christian film review site, “The gay agenda completely ruined a perfectly heartwarming and uplifting story.” Another wrote, “I just want wholesome–and no agenda.”

Amen to that. Look, the secular world understands the importance of worldview teaching just as Christians do—and often teaches through films and TV programs.

It will become harder and harder to avoid the “gay is good” message in the media. Which is why, as John Stonestreet says, we need to train our children to ask questions about the ideas and characters they encounter. Help them discern truth from error. Because the truth of how God designed human sexuality remains, no matter how LGBT-saturated entertainment gets.


Underreported: The Santa Fe School Shooting Survivors the Media Ignored

Grace, a senior at Santa Fe High School, located an hour outside of Houston, was looking forward to cruising through her last few days of high school. That day, she walked into the band room, and told a friend she was going to take a nap because she was sore from playing in the powder puff game the night before.

She woke up to commotion in the hallway, and walked into the hallway to see what was going on. “I thought there was a fight going on, and I’m nosy,” she said.

Grace opened the door to see a bunch of people screaming: “Then I heard a really loud noise, and that’s when I saw somebody go down.”

“I don’t know if it was a kid, I don’t know if it was a teacher—but somebody fell.”

Grace had witnessed yet another mass school shooting in the United States. The shooting at her high school occurred just over three months after Parkland, where a 19-year-old man allegedly gunned down students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, murdering 17 students and teachers.

The Parkland students have been credited for changing the gun debate. Students such as David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez took on the National Rifle Association, launched the #NeverAgain movement, and organized rallies and walkouts across the country.

At Santa Fe High School, 10 people died—eight students and two teachers. The suspected shooter, a 17-year-old male student at the school, allegedly used a stolen shotgun and revolver from his father. He also allegedly brought in explosive devices.

Grace was lucky to make it out alive. The band hall, where she and her fellow band students took cover, is located right next to the art rooms, where the shooting took place.

“We could hear all the gunshots,” she said. “We could feel it in the floor.”

After a while, the shooting stopped and law enforcement arrived to escort Grace and the remaining students out from the band room, where they were hiding in the cement air conditioning control room.

“They said, ‘Don’t look down because you’re going to see a lot,’” Grace said. “Nobody really can prepare you for that.”

Walking in a single-file line, Grace saw pools of blood and kids laying on the floor. “Dead kids,” she said.

“That was the first time that it hit me. Even though I had seen what I’d seen, it hadn’t hit me.”

“I remember accidentally stepping in some of the blood,” Grace added. “I looked down and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t even know whose this is.’”

Before she even made it out safely, Grace said she was met with a handful of reporters asking for first-hand accounts. She said they found her location on social media.

“I was being contacted while I was in shelter by news outlets trying to figure out what was going on, when I didn’t even know if I was going to make it out of there alive,” she said.

Grace, 18, said she understands that it’s their job. “But let us take some time to process the fact that 10 of our peers have just died. Let us go to these funerals and mourn, and understand that our lives are completely changed now.”

Once she did engage, Grace said she didn’t feel the media treated her or her community fairly.

“They came to our town expecting us to throw these rallies, and march for our lives, and lay on the ground with posters. That’s not what we’re doing,” she said. “We don’t want to wait around and protest for change. We want change, but we don’t want outsiders coming in and forcing it upon us.”

‘It’s Not Solely a Gun Issue’

“Santa Fe is a very country town that probably has more livestock than people,” Grace said, describing the Galveston County town that’s home to some 12,200 people. “Most of everybody here has grown up with guns, or seen a gun, or shot a gun.”

A small handful of people in Santa Fe responded to the shooting with calls for gun reform. But most, it appears, stood firm in their support for the Second Amendment.

“I think what people need to realize is that it’s not solely a gun issue,” said Grace, adding:

You can’t make stricter gun laws or stuff like that and expect it all to go away. People will break the rules if they want to. It’s illegal for a 17-year-old to have a gun. It’s illegal to kill people. It’s illegal to have a gun on campus. But people still do it.

So making stricter gun laws isn’t going to stop people from doing it. Even if you were to take guns off this entire earth, somebody could come in with a knife. Somebody could put anthrax in all the ketchup packets in school. It’s going to happen regardless if somebody has the motive.

“This boy tried making bombs,” Annabelle O’Day, 18, another survivor of the Santa Fe shooting, told The Daily Signal. “If there were bombs that had gone off, you blame the bomber. If there is a drunk-driver accident, you blame the drunk driver. You blame the person. You blame the human. But if it’s a shooter, you blame the gun. That’s what society is doing here.”

It’s because of their support for the Second Amendment that, compared to Parkland, many say the media has ignored them.

“You look at the mainstream media … after the Parkland shooting, [and] it was round-the-clock coverage of the students calling for aggressive gun control because that happens to be the political agenda of most of the media,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told The Daily Signal in an interview in May.

“In this case, where the students aren’t calling for that, suddenly … the media isn’t interested in covering it,” he added.

“I think everyone knows that the media portrays a certain political agenda that they choose to go with—it’s that simple,” said Steve Rose, a history teacher who survived the shooting. “It’s not a political agenda that the majority of Santa Fe adheres to. I want all schools safe. That’s it. We can agree to disagree on how to go about doing it. I’m open to different solutions, but our schools have to be safe.”

“A lot of us do believe that there is a problem,” added Annabelle. “It’s just that what we believe in being the problem is not the same as media. A lot of us do want change. Most everyone’s change is just not gun reform, but nobody sticks around long enough to ask us what that is.”

‘I Think We Need to Lock Doors’

“If you take the gun issue away, we’re all fighting for the same thing,” said Grace, speaking about the Santa Fe students and the Parkland students. “We all want change.”

Instead of focusing on guns, Grace supports a national dialogue surrounding school safety.

“I think we need to lock doors. This door that [the shooter] came in was a bus entrance that was unlocked,” she said. “I think we need more police presence. We have three school cops at my high school and I see them sometimes in passing periods, but mainly I only see them at lunch.”

Beyond that, Grace supports the idea of arming teachers.

“It shouldn’t have to be an option, but unfortunately we’re at a place where it has to be an option,” she said.

Across the country, hundreds of schools already have armed teachers and staff. In Texas, some public school systems have been arming teachers and administrators for more than a decade. But in the wake of high-profile mass shootings, the idea has become a political and emotional sticking point.

For Grace, the prospect is personal. After graduating college, she hopes to become a teacher:

Protecting your students from a school shooter should never be part of the job description. It should never be your job is to teach the curriculum, and test your students, and also be willing to take a bullet for them. That should never be the case, but I’m willing to take that risk because who wouldn’t?

Rose, who began his teaching career in 1979, said he’s thought “long and hard” about arming teachers.

“I don’t think that’s the end-all by any stretch. I don’t think it’s the magic answer. But I will say this. I truly wanted that pistol in my hand [on that day].”

“Just speaking generally for me, I would do whatever training is involved,” he added. “All that would have to be done, but let’s face it, it’s another line of defense against evil.”

Annabelle, who strongly supports Second Amendment rights, worked with two friends to start a nonprofit, Hearts United for Kindness. The goal is to spread kindness and love while raising awareness for mental health.

“We believe that mental health is a big deal. We have to change people’s hearts and people’s minds, how people see each other,” Annabelle said.

‘We Are Thoughts And Prayers’

Nearly three months later, Santa Fe is still grappling with the fallout of such a massive tragedy in the rural, small town.

“You drive past the high school and you think, ‘Why us? How did this happen?’” said Annabelle. “A lot of us are Christians, so a lot of us have been leaning on God a lot during this time.”

Some now mock the role of “thoughts and prayers” in responding to school shootings. But Annabelle said that “most everyone in this town does want thoughts and prayers.”

“We are thoughts and prayers,” she said, describing the Santa Fe community.

This fall, both Annabelle and Grace will attend college.

Grace, battling PTSD from the shooting, had to quit her summer job at a restaurant because the dishes banging in the backroom reminded her of gunshots. Now, she’s unsure how she’ll pay for tuition:

It’s hard to think that that happened at our school because we’re such a tight-knit community. It’s hard to think that the fine arts wing is never going to be the same, the students in the fine arts wing are never going to be the same. We saw things that people shouldn’t ever have to see.

Although things will never be the same, Rose will return to Santa Fe this fall to teach for his 12th year.

“Santa Fe will bounce back. We will be stronger than ever because to not do so, allows evil to win. No one in our community will even consider that.”


More fake news from CNN, the fake news channel. ARE Australians racist?

He offers very flimsy evidence. One could easily cite counter-evidence for his assertions -- such as the high rate of partnering between young Chinese females and white Australian men -- or the high rate of immigration from non-European backgrounds that is regularly accepted.  Both of those are mass phenomena, not just isolated examples -- and are as such much more informative examples

AN AUSTRALIAN journalist has made waves after penning a controversial article questioning whether we are “becoming more racist” as a nation.

Ben Westcott, a digital news producer for CNN International who is based in Hong Kong, asked, “Is Australia becoming a more racist country?” in the article which was published yesterday.

In the divisive piece, he refers to the recent furore surrounding African gangs in Victoria, backlash to immigration and our growing population and a sensational interview with far-right agitator Blair Cottrell to argue his point.

Thanks to those factors, Westcott claimed “questions are emerging over whether Australia is a more racist country than it would like to believe”.

He said the fact an interview with convicted arsonist and neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell was ever aired on Sky News “has raised questions about Australia’s attitude to race”, and also quoted Australia’s outgoing Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, who recently said our “racial harmony” was under threat.

“For the most part we are a highly cohesive and harmonious society but that doesn’t deny for a moment that racism continues to be a significant social problem,” Mr Soutphommasane said.

Mr Westcott went on to cite an April study from Australian research company Essential, which revealed 64 per cent of those surveyed said immigration levels over the past decade had been “too high”.

He also claimed while there was a great deal of hysteria surrounding African gangs, “crimes involving Sudanese residents account for just 1 per cent of Victoria’s total criminal activity, with the vast majority of crimes committed by Australian-born residents”.

Unsurprisingly, many Australians were angered by Westcott’s piece, including Liberal Party pollster Mark Textor, who slammed the article as “profound, profound idiocy”.

What profound, profound idiocy. One fuckwit is interviewed on a show nobody watches & Australia turns on it’s axis? Australians are now all racist? FFS. The media’s prism is it’s own brown rear-freckle. Luckily the rest of hardworking Australia goes on it’s own decent way.

Others took to Twitter to brand the story as “absolute garbage”, with many suggesting the US-owned company should look at America’s racial problems before pointing the finger at other countries.

“You need only step outside your own nations (sic) door CNN if you want to write an expose on racism …,” one Twitter user posted, while another added: “We’ve embraced many people from all over the world. Most of them enjoy our easy going lifestyle. The minority that don’t accuse us of racism.”

But Westcott’s piece also had its fair share of [Leftist] supporters, with many claiming Australia did have a racism problem we needed to address.



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, 2018

White Fascists of Antifa attack black and Hispanic police who were protecting a black woman who was just eating her breakfast

Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens are outspoken leaders of the pro-Trump super PAC Turning Point USA. But on Monday morning, they were hungry diners who showed up at Philadelphia’s Green Eggs Cafe in Midtown before it opened and managed to nab a window seat.

The pair barely had time to peruse the menu before people – apparently demonstrators – started jeering at them from other tables, Malik Joe, the Green Eggs Cafe’s manager, told The Washington Post.

Outside their window, they could see a large group of protesters approaching the restaurant, flanked by police.

The protesters “were screaming at one guy sitting in the window and I looked and he was laughing...the protesters were screaming ‘white supremacist’ and something about immigrants.”

Mr Joe said the protesters also flung food and objects.

At some point, Ms Owens pulled out her phone. She tweeted the scene from inside and outside the restaurant, including the moment when one demonstrator dumped a cup of something onto Mr Kirk’s head.

“Charlie Kirk and I just got ATTACKED and protested by ANTIFA for eating breakfast,” Ms Owens wrote a short time later. “They are currently following us through Philly. ALL BLACK AND HISPANIC police force protecting us as they scream.”


Bozell: Socials Banning InfoWars 'Not Just a Slippery Slope, It's a Dangerous Cliff'

Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell issued the following statement Monday in response to Facebook, Apple and Spotify removing "The Alex Jones Show" and other InfoWars content. In April, MRC released an extensive report detailing censorship by social media companies.

MRC President Brent Bozell:

“I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces. He’s not a conservative. However, banning him and his outlet is wrong. It’s not just a slippery slope, it’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets.

“This is part of a disturbing trend. In recent months top conservative congressmen have been shadowbanned on Twitter. Pro-life and pro-gun posts and videos are often removed on several platforms. Liberal journalists even objected to one conservative outlet attending a meeting with Facebook. Several conservative organizations like Live Action, the NRA and even the Christian satire site Babylon Bee have complained they had posts removed or censored.

“Social media sites are supposedly neutral platforms, but they are increasingly becoming opportunities for the left and major media to censor any content that they don’t like. The lack of transparency is also problematic and, as of this release, Facebook, Apple and Spotify have provided no detailed explanation for the ban.

“Conservatives are increasingly concerned that InfoWars is not the end point for those who want to ban speech. It’s just the beginning. We are rapidly approaching a point where censorship of opposing voices is the norm. That’s dangerous.”


How We’ve Robbed a Generation of Hobbies, Joy, and Creativity

Dennis Prager   

If you ask most young people today if they have any hobbies, you will receive one of four answers:

1. “No.”

2. “What do you mean?”

3. “Yeah. I play video games/watch TV/watch movies.”

4. “Yeah…” and then they may actually cite a hobby.

The fourth is the least common.

Dan Scotti, lifestyle writer at the website Elite Daily, and a millennial, wrote a perceptive piece on the matter titled, “Why Don’t Millennials Have Hobbies Anymore?”

“None of my friends have hobbies,” Scotti wrote. And he was honest enough to include himself in this assessment:

With a pair of iPhone speakers and a Netflix subscription, I rarely feel as though I’m missing out on anything. … It’s as if modern technology has fooled me into thinking my life is very fulfilling. I mean, I have social media accounts to uphold, television series to chain watch, and a whole bunch of dating profiles to swipe through—so, what time do I even have for hobbies?

He concludes:

The fact that hobbies may be a thing of the past is an eerie thought. I can’t honestly say that I see hobbies such as “carpentry” making a comeback at any time in the near future. … As sad as it may seem to older generations, we genuinely have an interest in Instagram, Twitter, and other products of the digital age.

Clearly, you don’t have to be a member of the “older generations” to think this sad.

Here’s why.

There is a world of difference between being active and being passive, between creating something and watching something, between doing something and being entertained.

I’m not picking on millennials. The problem is not new. In 1984, Neil Postman wrote a book whose title said it all: “Amusing Ourselves to Death.” It’s as relevant today as it was in 1984.

The question, then, is what, if anything, can we do about this?

Parents need to cultivate hobbies or, if you will, passions in their child. The only passion most middle-class and upper-class parents cultivate in their children is getting good grades so that they can get into a prestigious college.

But that is misguided. If the most important passion you cultivate in your child is getting good grades, what will your child’s most important passion be after leaving school—in other words, for the next 70 years of his or her life?

Schools are complicit. By adding more and more homework hours over the years (which has accomplished nothing; if online communications are indicative, most students leave high school today far less well-educated and proficient in basic skills than high school graduates of decades ago), they deprive children of time to develop a hobby.

After hours of homework, parents understandably want to allow their child time to unwind. And what more convenient way to unwind than by watching a screen—whether a smartphone screen, a computer screen, or a big screen?

How can parents cultivate interests, hobbies, and passions in their child?

Most importantly, they can limit time spent in front of a screen. And the earlier in life the better. Then the child has to figure out what to do with the time he or she would have spent in front of the screen.

If I may offer a personal example, when I was in eighth grade, I refused to do almost any homework. My mother was certain—no exaggeration—I’d end up in jail.

But while my parents could not force me to do homework, they could enforce a limit on my television watching: one hour a night. So, they asked, what would I do with the rest of my after-school hours?

Solely as a result of that dilemma, the idea arose that I learn to play a musical instrument (my older brother, who did all his homework, never took up a musical instrument).

Thanks to that decision, I learned to read music, fell in love with classical music, taught myself to read orchestral scores, and for the last 25 years, have periodically conducted orchestras (including twice in the last year at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles). All thanks to little TV and little homework in eighth grade.

Instead of doing homework or watching television, I also started reading—newspapers, serious magazines, and books—which has remained a lifelong passion.

I might add that among my peers who spent their non-leisure time studying for tests and doing homework, not many ended up loving reading. Why? Because they read solely for school and grades rather than for the love of learning.

Technology, excessive homework, and the demise of God, religion, and love of country—these have all left a generation bereft of passions beyond amusement and getting good grades.

Parents need to ask themselves if this troubles them. And if it does, decide to do something about it—by first asking themselves what they really want for their child.


Intolerance spreads as cultural censors shut down ‘dangerous’ debate

Comment from Australia:

Social media and reporting of it in mainstream news are producing intolerance not seen since anti-communist senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1940s and 50s.

The free-thinking rebelliousness of the 60s grew out of a backlash against McCarthyist repres­sion of what was regarded as sedi­tious activities, literature, plays and movies inspired by com­munism to undermine American values.

Today it is the storm troopers of the student Left and musicians and actors who lead a daily barrage of threats against people whose free thought they can’t tolerate.

Usually these involve “look-at-me” verbal violence against US President Donald Trump for ­do­ing in office exactly what he promised to do before the 2016 presi­dential election.

Public outbursts of moral outrage by multi-millionaire stars such as Madonna or Robert De Niro show just how intolerant parts of the modern Left are.

While intimidation of Australia’s politicians falls far short of anti-Trump hysteria, there is among students, artists, journalists and political activists an increasing intolerance here, too.

In the past month activists have tried to prevent Canadian conservative Lauren Southern staging public events; a writers festival has sought to exclude Germaine Greer and Bob Carr because of their “unsafe” views; a prominent ABC host has written a column to defend the presence of the occasional conservatives on The Drum; and mainstream media personalities have tried to dismiss reporting of African crime gangs in Melbourne.

Southern, 23, a Canadian journalist, is described as alt-right by critics but sees herself as libertarian. She is accused of racism for saying what many people privately think about unauthorised mass migration, mainly by Muslims from Africa and Syria.

She was billed $68,000 by Victoria Police for security at a $750-a-head rally on July 20 in Somerton, 20km north of the Melbourne CBD. Last week police prevented Southern from walking on a public footpath past the Lakemba Mosque in Sydney’s western suburbs for fear her presence might provoke violence by Muslim worshippers.

Both incidents seem to reverse the onus of civic responsibility. Why were police not protecting Southern’s right to free assembly in Melbourne, or to walk freely about suburban Sydney? Why in Brisbane on July 29 did police warn she could be fined if any police were injured if she persisted with attempts to interview protesters outside her Brisbane Convention Centre rally?

Shutting down of other people’s opinions is counter-productive. Surely after the Brexit and Trump votes anti-racist protesters should realise worldwide concern about immigration cannot be sil­enced by intimidation. In democracies voters get their own back.

The withdrawal of invitations to Carr and Greer by the Brisbane Writers Festival is even more troubling for free thought. Southern is a provocateur, for sure, but Carr and Greer are intellectuals whose books should be discussed even by people who dislike their ideas, as I do.

Richard Flanagan, 2014 Man Booker Prize winning Tasmanian author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North, published a blistering response to the festival’s decision in Guardian Australia on July 29. “A writer, if they are doing their work properly, rubs against the grain of conventional thinking. Writers are often outcasts, heretics and marginalised. Once upon a time writers festivals celebrated them, and with them the values of intellectual freedom,” he argued.

Flanagan went on to criticise the same festival’s 2016 handling of US author Lionel Shriver after a fiery blog by former ABC personality Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who had heard only a third of Shriver’s presentation but accused her of laying the foundations “for genocide”.

“For Shriver the talk was about the damage identity politics could do to writing. For her critics it was about belittling the movement against cultural appropriation,” Flanagan wrote. Whatever your view, the debate was important, but Flanagan says “the BWF betrayed Shriver when she was at her most vulnerable”. As a fan of her writing, I agree.

“The Shriver controversy was the first time Australian writers festivals began to feel like a foreign country occupied by a strange regime, hostile to what writers stand for,” Flanagan wrote.

Carr is probably being dropped because of his sympathy with China and Greer because of comments suggesting not all rapes are equally serious and some should be considered “non-consensual … bad sex” as most “don’t involve any injury whatsoever”. Apparently the gentle “Volk” of Brisbane will not feel “safe” hearing such things.

Well here’s the rub. “Writers festivals, like … (literary) prizes have … become less … about books and more … about using their … power to enforce the new orthodoxies, to prosecute social and political agendas”, Flanagan wrote

Even the ABC is facing intolerance from the Left.

Julia Baird, part-time host of The Drum, used her column in The Sydney Morning Herald on July 28 to call out social media intimidation she was receiving for supposedly privileging panellists from the Institute of Public Affairs. Baird said the show had included only three IPA appearances this year, two by the same person.

Now the IPA, even though supported by big businesses and Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, is not the Ku Klux Klan. It was founded in 1943 by Charles Denton Kemp, father of Howard government ministers Rod and David Kemp. Although associated with free-market economic policies in recent decades, it was very much a Keynesian institution until the early 70s.

Wrote Baird: “The art of persuasion has been thoroughly trounced by polemic in public debate. Online, in comments sections, in staccato bursts of hate and attack, in the citing of feelings over facts, we see people shoving pillows over divergent views and trying to stop them being aired at all.”

She complained about the Twitter campaign to silence the IPA on The Drum. Just exactly what are Twitter’s twits afraid of? On subjects from migration to power prices, climate change and taxation reform, many on the uneducated Twitter Left would benefit from hearing well-argued conservative views. They might even learn why voters around the world disagree with most social media pieties.

The worst example of left-wing censoring of debate last month concerned opinion-makers from Waleed Aly to ABC journalists Jon Faine and Virginia Trioli trying to shut down discussion of Mel­bourne’s African gang violence. No amount of fudging the figures will change the fact this is a real issue and Africans are overrepresented in crime statistics, even if total numbers reflect the small African population.

Yet Aly said on Ten’s The Project on July 19: “If there really are a bunch of African gangs, frankly I am offended to not at least have been asked to join one.” His eight-minute segment was praised, of course, on social media.

Victims of gang crime who can’t afford the salubrious and safe suburbs inhabited by privileged members of the commentariat will just feel more isolated. No African migrants will be helped.


Extremist Persecution of Christians, 2018

The Slaughter of Christians in Egypt

Three masked gunmen targeted and killed Bassem Attallah, a Christian man, 27, after identifying him as a Christian by the cross tattoo on his wrist. According to his older brother, Osama, 38, the siblings and a Muslim colleague, Muhammad, were walking home after work when three armed men, aged between 23 and 25 stopped them. "We thought they were policemen because they weren't masked... They were wearing black jackets," Osama recalled. "They approached us and asked Bassem to show them the wrist of his right hand, and when they saw the tattoo of the cross, they asked him: 'Are you Christian?' Bassem answered 'Yes, I am Christian,' and repeated that again in a loud voice."

The men then asked Muhammad his name and to show them his wrist. They saw no cross and allowed him to leave. On learning Osama's name, which is popular among Muslims, and not seeing any cross tattoos on his wrist, they also allowed him to leave. "And then they shot Bassem in the head. I could not believe what happened to my brother. He fell on the ground in front of me and I was unable to do anything.... We lost a person dear to our hearts. My brother Bassem was a very good and kind man. He had a strong relationship with God. He was always reading in the Bible, praying and going to the church. He was loved by all people," said his grieving brother. The murder took place in Al-Arish, Sinai, which in recent years has been the scene of many attacks on Christians—including the murder of two priests and the mass upheaval of Christian villages.

Separately, on New Year's Day, which the Muslim calendar does not recognize or celebrate, two Christian brothers were gunned down in public by a masked man on a motorcycle. While they died en route to a hospital, the murderer escaped. At the time of the attack, they were near Christian friend's store, which sold liquor. Coptic-owned stores that sell liquor have been targeted by those who consider alcohol haram, or forbidden by Islam. Almost one year to the day, on January 3, 2017, a Muslim man sneaked up behind a Christian shop owner in Egypt and slit his throat for selling alcohol.

Finally, more details concerning the Islamist terror attack on a Coptic church on December 29, which left nine dead, continued to emerge. One mother sacrificed herself to save her two young daughters. Nermin Sadik, 32, was walking her two daughters, aged 11 and 7, to Sunday school, when one of the gunmen ran up to her. When she realized what was happening and that he was about to open fire, she flung her daughters away and received a bullet. When the terrorist turned on the two girls, their mother, "with her last breath held them between her arms to protect them from flying bullets," says the report. Although the girls survived the ordeal, in the end their mother's body had several bullets in it. Speaking after the tragedy, Nermin's widower said his wife, who was a nurse, "was affectionate for everyone and she liked to help without charge."

The Slaughter of Christians in Nigeria

Various attacks on Christians by Muslim Fulani herdsmen continued throughout the month of January. "At least 16 people have been killed by gunmen in southern Nigeria after a New Year's Day church service," says one report. "The group had attended a midnight service before they were ambushed in the early hours of Monday."

According to another report, in one week alone, 55 people were killed and 200 homes torched, in the Lau local government area of Taraba state.

In yet another instance, 80 Christians were slaughtered by the Muslim herdsmen, many hacked to death by machetes, in Logo and Guma County. Speaking from a hospital bed, one survivor, Peter, said the attackers who went after him "were people I had interfaced with in that community. I got up and called them by their names and tried to wrestle the machete they had out of their hands, but to no avail. I was overpowered and they began to cut me."

Discussing these ongoing raids, Rev. Musa Asake, the General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said "Under President [Muhammad] Buhari, the murderous Fulani herdsmen enjoyed unprecedented protection and favoritism to the extent that the herdsmen treat Nigeria as a conquered territory. Rather than arrest and prosecute the Fulani herdsmen, security forces usually manned by Muslims from the North offer them protection as they unleash terror with impunity on the Nigerian people."

The Rape of Christians in Pakistan

"A Christian boy of only 7 years old was brutally sodomized by a Muslim rapist," says a report. Daim Masih, a first grader, was walking home from school when he was met by Shan Muhammad, 19, a local: "Hi Daim, it's nice to see you," he began. "I have good news, some of our cows have given birth to young calves. Would you like to come with me and see them?" Because the unsuspecting child was fond of animals and knew Shan, he went with him. Walking hand in hand, Masih began to realize that they were not headed for the farm but a secluded place. When he pointed this out to Shan, the latter responded that he had "another big surprise for him." The report continues:

They walked a few meters to some trees when suddenly Shan ripped off Daim's shirt, then the rest of his clothes and threw Daim to the ground. Shan then jumped on Daim and proceeded with a sexual assault and sodomization of poor Daim. While the attack was happening the tiny 7 year old struggled to fight off Shan who was much bigger and more powerful then him. Daim was punched, slapped and kneed by Shan who was shouting obscenities during the attack and demanding Daim to stop his screaming. The violence and the unlawful penetration of Dain was so painful however, that he could not stop his screaming. Desperate for him to be quiet or thrilled by the power and subjugation of his prey, sexual predator Shan began to tighten his hands around Daim's neck and was slowly throttling him to death while having his wicked way with him.

In fact, many Christian children—boys and girls—have been strangled to death during or after being raped in Pakistan over the years. Fortunately for Daim, his grandfather and uncle heard his cries and rushed to the scenes, at which point Muhammad pulled up his pants and fled the scene. The traumatized 7-year-old was subsequently hospitalized.

In another incident, a young, married Christian woman, the mother of a two-year-old girl "was brutally gang-raped by three men and then left tied in the courtyard of a Muslim man's house until she was found by police two days later," according to a report. Sidhra, 20, had just left her mother's home, when three local men began following her. She started to run towards her home, but they caught up with her, and, according to the report, "grabbed her at which point Sidhra blacked-out. She is unable to recall the events of the next 36 hours at this time." The family eventually learned that she was seen bound to a chair in the courtyard of a local home. The report continues:

[A]ll her family ran to the house of Mohammed Ilyas and peered through the gates when the mother saw her daughter tied up unconscious to a chair with a gag in her mouth, restrained in the courtyard of the neighbor's home, she started to scream. As each sibling saw their sister they too began to scream and shout hysterically. They banged on the gates and one brother climbed over and unlocked the gate from inside and rushed towards his sister. Sidhra was fully clothed and tied at her wrists and legs the rope securing her was so tight bruises could be seen on her wrists. Despite attempts to wake her it took a few minutes to revive her and she remained dizzy—she showed signs of having been drugged.

When she awoke, Sidhra, who "was unconscious for the whole two days and believes that she was subjected to rape," identified the three local men, all nephews of Mohammed Ilyas, the owner. Although her father went to lodge a complaint at the police station, "The Police refused to acknowledge her kidnap or rape and did not initially register a First Incident Report (FIR), as they told the family they had no evidence." After much pressure from the family and other local elders, police registered a crime and arrested two of the assailants—only to release them after some time. Although the family continued to seek justice, "the family holds little hope of any prosecution, as the courts and the police are exhibiting little empathy and seem keen on exonerating the wealthy Muslims," according to the report. Later, Sidhra said:

I am totally distraught, a visit to my mother has become a day of ruin for me. I have suffered a brutal kidnap and rape by disgusting men with no shame.... The thought of what the men done to me makes me shudder, I have nightmares and feel like my whole world has collapsed. I am terrified of walking on the streets at night and am finding it hard to cope with a deep depression that has consumed me. I had a happy life and that has been taken away from me, but the cruel men who stole my joy will soon be released to threaten me and to attack other women like me. There is no justice in this country.

Jihad on Christian Freedom

Kyrgyzstan: Unknown attackers torched a church building in the Muslim-majority nation. The small Baptist community was left "fear[ing] for its safety," says the report: "The damage to the church has forced its 40 Kyrgyz and Russian members to start searching for a new place of worship, while wondering if there will be a further attack."

An official told church members that the attack was "organized by those who don't like your church and Christianity in the midst of a Muslim country." "We don't believe that the police will find and punish those who burned our church," a congregation member said. The report adds that, "Instead of pursuing the arsonists, local Christians said police have asked questions about who funded the church building, how many Kyrgyz are members, and why, as ethnic Muslims, they do not go to the local mosque."

Kenya: Muslim students beat and stabbed their Christian counterparts for refusing to convert to Islam at Nairobi's Jamhuri High School. Hostilities began when Muslim students complained of discrimination. This prompted school officials to designate separate bathrooms and sections in the library for Christians and Muslims. It was not long, however, before the Muslim students began defaming Christianity and pressuring Christians to recite the shahada, the Islamic proclamation of faith, and to uphold Muslim rituals. "Some Muslim students forcefully tried to induct Christian students into their Islam faith, and those who refused were knifed, while others were physically beaten," a local source said. "The knives and machetes used are alleged to have come from outside the school." At least 35 students — including some Muslims, as the Christians did defend themselves — were injured in the melee. Some Christian students received hospital treatment for stab wounds and other injuries; the principal was also injured. The school was subsequently closed indefinitely.

Uganda: A Christian widow was poisoned by her Muslim neighbors on Christmas Day. Earlier that morning, the mother of five was pleasantly surprised when two female Muslim neighbors visited her with food gifts. After they left, she began preparing lunch for her family and used some of the recently brought ingredients. Before serving her family, she tasted the meal and within minutes, was vomiting. "When she started screaming and was continuously vomiting, I called in a taxi and rushed her to Kabuna dispensary, where it was found that she had been poisoned," a family member said. She was treated and discharged from the hospital the next day. An analysis of the food items gifted her were revealed to contain poison. A local meeting was convened and the Muslim neighbor, on being question, confessed to poisoning the food. "Accused of intending to kill Madina and her family members," the reports notes, "Hajira asked for forgiveness, saying that since Madina's family left Islam two years ago, the loudness of their weekly worship at their house with some other church members had been disturbing her and other Muslim neighbors." Despite the attempted murder of the apostates, "village leaders made no legal decisions.

Police have not been called, apparently in order to keep tensions with the Muslim community from escalating, but the in-law [of Madina] said Muslim neighbors have started taunting Madina's children by calling them infidels."

In a separate account, according to one report, Munabi Abdullah, a 37-year-old Muslim man who embraced Christianity, was met with ostracism. On the evening of his conversion, and "with an irrepressible joy in his heart, he shared his experience with his wife, Aisha Namukoli. She became furious." In the convert's own words, "My wife shouted at me in front of the children, saying, 'Kafir, Kafir [infidel]! You are a big shame to the family.' She then pushed me out of the house." Later when he returned, he found several people including his father and mosque members at his house. When he tried to greet them, they silently and angrily stared at him; then his father stood up and said, "You are no longer my son, be cursed forever." "He hit me with a walking stick that was in his hand and hurt my left hand," Abdullah explains. "I managed to escape through a banana farm, and after a short while I was at the pastor's house" where he sought refuge. Local Muslim leaders have since prevented him from having any access to his wife and seven children, aged between 3 and 17.

Nigeria: To coerce, it appears, a Christian woman, 40, and her daughter 21, to convert to Islam, local Muslims falsely accused the two of kidnapping another family member, a child. Problems had begun soon after the husband/father of the family converted to Islam in order to obtain a government job. Amina Isa, his wife, explained: "They told him that he cannot be appointed as a ward head because he's a Christian, and that if he converts to Islam, he'll be appointed the ward head. I advised him against changing his religious faith for worldly position, but after much pressure from Muslims in our area, he succumbed to the demand and became a Muslim.... I reminded him that he should remember that all my family members are Muslims, but that I am the only Christian in that family, and that I married him because he was a Christian like me, so I cannot now convert to Islam simply because the Muslims have appointed him a ward head." Her five children also refused to convert and insisted on remaining Christian. She continues:

Because of their refusal to convert too, we have been threatened, beaten, and subjected to all forms of indignities by my husband and his Muslim collaborators. They've [her children] constantly been threatened, beaten, and harassed. In fact, at one time, [the oldest daughter] had to take her younger siblings and go into hiding, but both have been traced and captured by the officials and are currently being held against their will in a location undisclosed to me.... Right now, my daughters are in the custody of these Muslim officials and are being forced into Islam, while at the same time, we are being tried on false charges. All this is to force us to recant. We can never stop being Christians, and we are confident that the God we serve can never abandon us in our trying moments.

After the father forcibly enrolled his youngest daughter in an Islamic school, and her mother and older sister removed her and re-enrolled her in a Christian school, "Their father, in anger, came to me demanding for both girls. When I told him that the children have decided to remain as Christians, he and other Muslim officials in our village went to file charges against me on abducting my own children at the Magistrate Court in Tudun Wada town, a trial I'm still facing for refusing to change my religious faith. They summoned me and demanded I withdraw my daughter from the Christian school, bring her back to the village, and hand her over to them. Since I was helpless, I did as instructed by them and brought my daughter back to them."

Separately "Pastor Simput Eagles Dafup has been arrested and whisked away to an unknown destination ... for allegedly converting a Muslim girl to a Christian, in Plateau State," a report disclosed. Speaking of this incident, another pastor, Kallamu Musa Ali Dikwa, and executive director of Voice of Northern Christian Movement, said: "Nigeria security has declared war against Christians in this country." He also accused the Nigerian government of treating Christians and Muslims differently: "Muslims have abducted 100 Christian girls under the age of 18 and forcefully converted them to Islam and we have reported to several security agencies but no arrest was made or return of Christian girls to their parents.... The abduction of Christian girls has continued unabated. Such scenarios are serious cases of injustice against Christians in the country, and the perpetrators have often gone Scott free."

European Union/Switzerland: While uncritically taking in and conferring refugee status on countless Muslim migrants, European authorities continued singling out those most in need of sanctuary for deportation. In one instance, a Christian legal group filed an expert brief with the European Court of Human Rights in support of a Muslim man from Afghanistan who converted to Christianity and who risked being deported from Switzerland. The group, known as ADF International, said the man, if forced back to Afghanistan, would as an apostate from Islam face immense persecution, possibly including death: "Afghanistan is not a safe place for a Christian convert," it said. "The Court should ask Switzerland to stop turning a blind eye to the situation of religious minorities in Afghanistan.... This means much more than demanding a convert practice his faith in secret. Sending a refugee back to a country where they face persecution because of their faith is incompatible with the Convention."

The Christian legal group ADF International filed an expert brief with the European Court of Human Rights in support of a Muslim man from Afghanistan who converted to Christianity and who risked being deported from Switzerland. Afghanistan is not a safe place for a Christian convert," it said. "The Court should ask Switzerland to stop turning a blind eye to the situation of religious minorities in Afghanistan..." (Image source: Adrian Grycuk/Wikimedia Commons)

Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by Muslim extremists is growing. The report posits that such Muslim persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location.



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, 2018

Goodbye Wikipedia, and thanks for all the laughs

Peter Hitchens

I still think Wikipedia is, on balance, a good thing. This is even though its mysterious ruling council of Wikicrats have now banned me from taking any part in editing it. It is despite the fact that the said Wikicrats then gagged and muzzled me, when I said that this action should not be taken until after a fair trial, rather than before any kind of trial.

It is a bit like the aftermath of an unpleasant dream. In the world of Wikipedia I have been arrested, penalised and silenced without trial, denied any freedom to defend myself before any independent or unprejudiced tribunal, and told I can only have my freedom back if I publicly abase myself before the arbitrary authorities. Actually, ahem, I’m not guilty until I have been ruled to be so by a unanimous independent jury of my peers, and if they treat me as guilty without due process, they can take a flying leap.  So they can whistle for the grovel they want, till the end of time.  There is only ever one answer to such Kangaroo Tribunals. So Goodbye Wikipedia, at least from the editing point of view   But it is a mild taste of what it must be like, in reality, to face obdurate authority of this kind, nasty and dispiriting. It dims the sunshine, and nags at the mind.

Of course, not being able to contribute to areas of knowledge where you have expertise is annoying.   But fall foul of the strange, nameless elite which actually runs Wikipedia, and it is like Kafka’s ‘The Trial’ without the jokes. My Kangaroo Trial grinds on, and I confidently expect shortly to be banned from Wikipedia until I kowtow to them, which means ( see above) for the rest of my life.

Is this a great loss? It is a loss, for certain. Most of you will probably never have bothered, but some years ago I thought it would be interesting and rewarding to sign up as what Wikipedia rather grandly calls an ‘editor’. You can easily create an identity and a sign-on – mine is ‘Clockback’, as in ‘Putting the Clock Back’ and is meant to be a mild self-depreciating joke, though few people get it. When, like me, you have no sense of humour, it is hard to work out what might amuse other people.

The first thing I learned from this is that any Wikipedia entry about any live issue which is even mildly controversial cannot be trusted. It is at best a useful starting point  from which to find research sources, but often not even that. I made the mistake of challenging the consensus view on one or two such subjects, and introducing into their entries mentions of controversies which they did not refer to. Within minutes, my changes had been wiped out by militant guardians, who plainly had more numbers and more time on their side than I could ever hope to do. Had I had a hundred allies, all with limitless time, it might have been possible to change things. Otherwise not. This sort of intimidation works, and is diligently done by propagandists, because Wikipedia is still taken more seriously than it should be by innocent readers.

Oddly, you can face the same problem in what appear to be wholly uncontentious areas. I once attempted to add a short reference to what I thought of as an important book, which had not been given much space, on the Wikipedia page about a favourite author. Again, my change was wiped out within minutes by a furious guardian, who seemed to think that she, and nobody else, should control the entry. Life’s too short to qyarrel with people like this.

My one significant success has been to alter the Wikipedia entry for the ‘Education Policy Institute’ so that the alert reader will realise that this body is not a wholly disinterested research organisation, but has deep connections with the Liberal Democrat party, and with the ‘Academy’ movement.

Because I can see that some people might be worried by this fact, and are entitled to know what I am up to,  I have also made clear from the start that I am Peter Hitchens, yes, that one, and even went through a strange procedure to confirm this. Had I not done so,  and had I instead hidden my identity, perhaps I would have been spared the events of the past week. So much for honesty being the best policy.

I thought this was especially important, as I have sometimes made changes in the entry about me and the one about my late brother and in a few others where I have an openly-declared interest. In the family ones, I have kept myself pretty strictly to correcting factual errors, which in some cases nobody else could possibly do. Who else knows when I joined and left the International Socialists? Who else would be troubled by, and put right, a foolish mistake about my late father’s naval career? Who else recalls the day I broke into a government fall-out shelter in Cambridge, more than 50 years ago? But then again, why let a silly mistake survive, where it might be believed, cited and repeated? One day it could just be important.

Yet by doing so I have probably been breaking some of Wikipedia’s myriad little rules about neutrality and conflicts of interest. Well, so what? These rules are blunt instruments, more or less assuming universal bad faith. They remind me of the extraordinary cobweb of rules about sexual contact devised by Antioch College, Ohio , see https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/24/style/antioch-college-sexual-offense-prevention-policy.html

These rules it seems to me, were decided on the assumption that the male sex is predatory and untrustworthy.

Likewise, Wikipedia’s rules seem designed to deal with people who, offered the opportunity to wield secret influence in their favour, will do so. They also assume that those editors involved entirely lack the normal human emotions, such as grouchiness, and are never impatient, let alone sarcastic or satirical. Actually, let me qualify this. You can do these things if you’re more or less on the side of conventional wisdom and don’t work for the Mail on Sunday. My opponent on the Bishop George Bell’ entry (the source of all my troubles) is extraordinarily rude without provocation, calling me a ‘loudmouth’, describing my articles as ‘rants’, dismissing the highly distinguished, disinterested and multi-party group of people who seek basic due process for the late Bishop Bell as a ‘fan club’ and claiming wrongly that they are ‘right-wing’ in the clear belief that this would be a bad thing if so, (so simultaneously disclosing his own partiality and his ignorance of the subject). Nothing whatever happens to him for this behaviour. Indeed, he has a ‘Platinum medal’ for his services to Wikipedia.

Wikipedia’s rules  were made to prevent secret distortion and lying, and manipulation, not to prevent someone like me openly and transparently correcting errors, even if I do sometimes shout and stamp a bit, to get attention.  

In this openness, I am highly unusual. Pseudonyms are actively encouraged on Wikipedia, for reasons I can guess at but don’t really understand. Most Wikipedia ‘editors’ have names like ‘Woof’ or ‘3ZjY8Splat!’ . And the people who have adopted these interplanetary names also understand Wikipedia’s cobwebbed maze of rules (like an arcane board game invented by someone who enjoys algebra) about how exactly to appeal and who to appeal to in case of difficulty. I confess I never have done. Sometimes I have been able to hunt help down, using parts of the keyboard I had never even noticed before. What *is* a ‘tylde’? (It’s all right, I know now). Sometimes, a week later, trying to repeat the feat, I have lost my way doing so, and ended up going round in electronic circles. You try, if you think it is either easy, or easy to learn.

As so often, in computer world, those who *are* skilled in it completely fail to understand how baffling it is for those who are not.  In my experience the best way to get help is to make a small but definite noise, at which point a helpful person often descends from the sky and fixes the problem.

I agree this is not ideal, but nobody ever gets hurt and no lies get told in this process, whereas problems often do get fixed.

But it has now got me into dreadful trouble, as you can see here


(scroll down to ‘Block review for Clockback)

And here


(Scroll down to ‘Comment on the block’)

The really funny bit is that, on this occasion, I finally did discover which button to press, and appealed for help from an ‘administrator’, who immediately descended from on high, studied the issue in depth for what must have been all of 90 seconds, and thereupon blocked me indefinitely from the whole Wikipedia site (except from my own small talk page, from which I have also now been banned as well, for refusing to kowtow).

I appealed about this: ‘I am in dispute with another editor who repeatedly reverts legitimate changes in the entry and will not engage in discussion’

This administrator ruled ‘I have blocked Clockback  based on a review of contributions, which skew heavily towards highly biased 

Very quickly, the fact that I am a newspaper columnist (and not for ‘The Guardian’) entered into the discussion. ‘Note also that Clockback is Peter Hitchens [152]   , who writes for The Mail on Sunday and is involved in the topic itself.’ To which my blocker responded : ‘Should have guessed. If only his brother were here instead.’

 I have a record of the whole exchange, in which the significance of my connection with the MoS is explored at length, but it is pretty dull, and I have edited it severely to remove identifiers.

After that, my entire Wikipedia record, stretching back more than ten years, was combed for offences against the rules. The Wikigulag looms.

Today I sneaked a final defence on to the trial page, where it remained for all of ten seconds before being wiped. It ran as follows: ‘Hullo everybody, this is Peter Hitchens (in real life!), not logged in as Clockback as I would then be censored and muzzled. Administrators have my e-mail address, thanks to the appeals they have rejected on it, and are invited to contact me if they wish to check the authenticity and provenance of this contribution. I would just like to ask all those involved in this decision to take a long, slow breath and look at what they have done. Most fundamentally, they have responded to a plea for help with a kick in the teeth. When I posted a request for assistance in a dispute with another editor, which had lasted two years and involved the other editor being unpleasantly rude, openly biased on the issue under discussion, and unresponsive on the talk page, on several occasions, the person who intervened (who could not possibly, in the time, have made a just or thorough examination of the matter) immediately blocked me, and to rub the matter in, blocked me indefinitely.

This is plainly unjust and no free person would accept it or be willing to abase himself to get it lifted. If you wish to discuss this matter with me, treat me fairly. If (as seems to be the case in some comments) you take a special pleasure in blocking a Mail on Sunday columnist, feel free. If that is your idea of a good time, then I can only say that we're all different. But do not pretend you are doing this in pursuit of the truth. The fact remains that my much-frowned-on edits, though satirical and not intended to stand (I made their purpose plain on the talk page), were entirely factual, an undeniable truth which I have yet to get any administrator or editor to notice, acknowledge or address.

Fact One: The police, in England, have precisely no statutory role in the investigation of crimes allegedly committed by the dead; Fact Two: it is a legal absurdity for any English tribunal to say it has found no reason to doubt an allegation. Reason to doubt is actively embodied in the principle of presumption of innocence, is the basis of jury trial and is embedded in both civil and criminal procedure. If you are ready to listen, then I'm ready to defend myself. If I am treated with fairness, an open mind and civility, you will find I respond in the same way. If I am muzzled and silenced, then I just remember how my English ancestors would have responded to such treatment. Please do not delete this. I have of course kept a copy.’

And now we come to the issue itself, which I must now leave it to others to sort out. I should at this stage point out that some editors and administrators on Wikipedia have nobly come to my defence. I am very grateful to them but they have been met with quite a lot of derision and hostility for simply abiding by the laws of fairness. Some - but not all of them - believe I should have ‘helped myself’ by grovelling, but I cannot pretend to believe that I have done anything wrong.

The dispute is about the description of controversy about the late Bishop George Bell. My view is this. whatever anyone may have believed about this in the past (and the  C of E made great efforts to persuade people that they had serious evidence against Bishop Bell when they did not), the charges were dealt a devastating blow (the lovely old  English word ‘Whirret’ seems right in the circumstances) by the report of Lord Carlile QC, which you may read in full here.


Amazingly, until I put it there last week, the Wikipedia entry on the George Bell case did not even contain a direct link to this report.

Now, Lord Carlile was specifically debarred from giving any opinion on the charges against George Bell in his conclusions. Archbishop Welby put that in the terms of reference. But that did not stop him giving an opinion elsewhere in the document. And lo:

 Paragraph 171: 'Had the evidence my review has obtained without any particular difficulty (see section[H] below) been available to the Church and the CPS, I doubt that the test for a prosecution would have been passed. Had a prosecution been brought on the basis of that evidence, founded upon my experience and observations I judge the prospect of a successful prosecution as low. I would have expected experienced criminal counsel to have advised accordingly.’

Lord Carlile must be one of the most experienced lawyers of his generation. Coming from him, this judgement is quite devastating, and only people who don't understand English legal understatement could miss its import. I have known this since Christmas and waited for other Wikipedia editors, unburdened by being me, to discover it and include it, because I am aware of preposterous prejudices against anyone with knowledge of the matter, daring to tinker with the sacred Wikipedia.  

Yet the Wikipedia version, while giving a wholly inadequate account of the Carlile Report,  *still* contains tendentious rubbish, dating from the C of E’s original slippery attempt to smear Bishop Bell in the eyes of public and media, driven by the fact that it wasn’t anything like as sure of his guilt as it was claiming to be. 

 Most especially is the redundant, outdated, and discredited section about how the police had said they had enough evidence to arrest George Bell, had he not been dead for some decades. To my own direct and painful personal knowledge, this inaccurate claim poisoned the minds of many people, often highly educated ones, especially in the media, against George Bell. It created a great solidified wall of slime, which had to be cleared out of the way before the case could be properly debated.  It should never have been said. Now that it is discredited, it has no place in a tightly-edited and concise account of the case *unless* it is qualified by a strong rebuttal. The questionable, indeed legally needless and ultra vires, involvement of the police should certainly not be the opening stage of the story.  

This claim that Bell would have been arrested was clearly stated by Carlile to be wrong in law in his paragraph 167, which everyone interested in the case should read to the end, especially the bit about the C of E taking ‘ an exaggerated view’ of the use of the word ‘arrest’

The police have also admitted to me, in their formal response to a complaint I made to them on behalf of GB’s niece, that the C of E diocese persuaded them to get involved. Detective Superintendent J.D. Graves wrote : 

‘… the Diocese of Chichester notified Sussex Police that they planned to release a statement to the media. It was never our intention to be proactive (my emphasis); in other words, there was no intention to release a police statement about the alleged criminality of Bishop Bell (my emphasis). However, we were asked by the Diocese to make a statement as they had decided to make this information public and so we provided them with a statement for inclusion in their press release on the basis that once the Diocese published their statement a natural consequence would be a media request to the police for comment’.

It later repeats ‘the press release was driven by the Diocese’.

This was an extraordinary admission, though of course one that could have been foreseen by any informed person, since the Police in England have absolutely no statutory role in the investigation of criminal allegations against the dead, who cannot, in English law, be prosecuted. Anyway, since ‘Carol’ first made her claim in 1995 (as Carlile records) her concern has always been to make a civil claim against the C of E, not a criminal charge against Bishop Bell.

As for the stuff about some secret tribunal ‘finding no reason’ to doubt the claims against George bell, that was just a confession of legal incompetence. The presumption of innocence is always a reason to doubt any charge. And there was a good deal more, as any reader of the long paragraph 178 shows.

That’s what it was all about. But at the end of it, the Wikipedia account is still hopelessly biased against the truth. Perhaps someone else unburdened by being me, is prepared to become as knowledgeable as I am about the case, and set the matter right. If they do, I warn them not to make any jokes.


In its haste to avoid pubicity about a sex offence committed by one of its bishops, the C of E forgot to check whether the bishop was guilty.  They just assumned it and paid out.  They have been trying to cover up that negligence ever snce.  It is time they confessed and apologized -- JR

No, women aren’t at risk from men

What feminists really mean when they talk about ‘violence’

Being a feminist must be hard work. Perhaps you’ve got a newspaper column to fill with your hot take on the latest sexist outrage. Or perhaps you have a university sexual-harassment policy to write. Or a government minister to consult about a proposed new law. Or a hefty budget to administer. You’ve got the salary, a platform for your views, and the capacity to influence what happens in almost every institution in the country. And yet the entire basis for you being in this fortunate position, for walking the corridors of power, is your powerlessness. The bind for today’s professional feminist is the more power and influence she gains, the harder she needs to work to show that women are still oppressed.

Some career feminists get around this conundrum by claiming they are not representing their own interests but selflessly fighting for other women. Apparently, countless hordes of downtrodden women, unable to speak up for themselves, are just waiting for feminists to give voice to their concerns. But as only a small minority of women identify as feminists (estimates vary between a third and seven per cent), the response to all this speaking on behalf of others seems to be a resounding ‘no thanks’.

The last resort of the professional, well-paid, powerful feminist, desperate to prove her credentials as a member of an oppressed group, is to allude to violence. The experience of violence – whether actual, imagined or potential – appears to unite all women, allowing the most privileged to claim common cause with women who are struggling just to get by. Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Suffragette Emmeline, expresses this succinctly: ‘Violence against women is the one factor that infects every aspect of women’s lives.’

As feminists increasingly take positions of power, tackling violence against women drives their agenda. The World Health Organisation tells us that violence against women ‘is a major public-health problem’. The United Nations tells us it is ‘a grave violation of human rights’. The British government describes violence ‘against women and girls’ as a serious crime that has ‘a huge impact on our economy, health services, and the criminal-justice system’.

Of course, violence against women and girls deserves to be taken seriously and perpetrators should be severely punished. But the lives of women in poverty-stricken and wartorn countries are very different to those of women in England. Likewise, adult women have far more agency and control over their lives than girls. Conflating the experiences of women all around the world, and of adult women with children, allows professional feminists to claim suffering by proxy.

At the same time, the definition of violence seems to broaden by the day. The internationally agreed definition of violence against women and girls is: ‘Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women [or girls], including threats of such acts.’ In the UK and the US, violence encompasses sexual harassment – which includes winking, whistling and looking at someone for too long. Amnesty International describes women’s experiences of ‘violence and abuse on Twitter’. In 2017, the organisers of a women’s strike against President Trump described ‘the violence of the market, of debt, of capitalist property relations, and of the state; the violence of discriminatory policies against lesbian, trans and queer women’.

This is not violence as a physical act, but violence as metaphor. No wonder it is experienced everywhere. The World Health Organisation describes violence against women as an ‘epidemic’. We are told that over a third of girls have been sexually harassed at school and that more than a third of women have experienced sexual harassment at work. But then we also learn that two women are killed each week by a current or former partner. And here, immediately, is the problem with violence as metaphor. Real violence becomes relativised. When winking and nasty tweets are described as acts of violence, the word is no longer enough to describe acts of physical brutality and murder. Violence has become nothing more than a badge permitting membership of an inclusive feminist club, and this does little to support women who really are in need of help.

Statistics on violence against women are rarely subject to criticism, and claims of personal suffering are placed beyond question. As a result, not only are real experiences of violence trivialised, but a one-sided story emerges. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that violent crime is, over the long term, in decline, but that men are still almost twice as likely to be victims than women. Even rates of domestic violence are falling significantly. The ONS figures on domestic abuse cover everything from physical violence, sexual assault and stalking to emotional and financial abuse. In the last year, 7.5 per cent of women and 4.3 per cent of men reported experiencing some form of domestic abuse. The difference between the estimated number of male and female victims is at its lowest recorded level.

When violence becomes disconnected from acts of physical aggression, statistics are easily brushed aside. The real problem, feminists tell us, is that so much violence against women goes unreported. But accounting for unreported crime leaves us dealing with guesses; and when violence can mean anything, and there’s a perception that it is at epidemic levels, then these guesses, unsurprisingly, tend to be very high indeed.

At a time when elite feminists are more powerful than ever before, violence has taken on a real significance in presenting all women, even the most privileged, as united in a common experience of suffering violence. For the vast majority of women, this, thankfully, bears no relation to reality. But the assumption that all women are victims – or potential victims – of violence is worse than just an exaggeration. In presenting women as vulnerable and men as violent, feminists rehabilitate some aged stereotypes that demean both men and women. In the process, they trivialise real incidents of violence and let perpetrators hide behind biology or socialisation as an excuse for their actions.

Inflated claims of violence are used by feminists to justify new laws and increasingly authoritarian interventions into our everyday lives. The Fawcett Society backs calls to see misogyny recognised and recorded as a hate crime, on the basis that ‘tackling misogyny will address one of the underlying causes of violence against women and girls’. There is nothing to suggest that rounding up street catcallers will do anything to make life better for women who are suffering from domestic violence, or girls being targeted by grooming gangs, but it will no doubt further justify the salaries, platforms and power given to today’s professional feminists.


UK: Discrimination against Christian Refugees

The British government appears recently to have decided that it would like to give the impression that it cares about persecuted Christians. Prime Minister Theresa May said in Parliament on July 18:

"As a Government we stand with persecuted Christians all over the world and will continue to support them. It is hard to comprehend that today we still see people being attacked and murdered because of their Christianity, but we must reaffirm our determination to stand up for the freedom of people of all religions and beliefs and for them to be able to practise their beliefs in peace and security."

The British Government even recently appointed its first Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief with Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, a former minister, filling the post. According to the government, the role "will promote the UK's firm stance on religious tolerance abroad, helping to tackle religious discrimination in countries where minority faith groups face persecution".

Prime Minister May said she looked "forward to supporting [Lord Ahmad] in this new role as he works with faith groups and governments across the world to raise understanding of religious persecution and what we can do to eliminate it."

Perhaps the UK should not be so quick to preach to others, when it does not appear to be doing much at home to help Syrian Christians, who have been among the most persecuted for their faith since the civil war in Syria began seven years ago:

According to information obtained from the UK Home Office by the Barnabas Fund, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), during the first quarter of 2018, recommended 1,358 Syrian refugees for resettlement in the UK, of which only four refugees were Christians (no Yazidis were recommended). The Home Office agreed to resettle 1,112 of these refugees, all of whom were Muslims, and refused to accept the Christians.

This decision was made despite the fact that approximately 10% of the pre-2011 population of Syria was Christian – a number that has reportedly fallen to 5%. There were also an estimated 70,000 Yazidis in Syria. Yazidis, with Christians, were among the groups most viciously targeted by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. In 2017, moreover, according to the Barnabas Fund, the UNHCR recommended 7,060 Syrian refugees for resettlement in the UK, of whom only 25 were Christians and seven were Yazidis. The Home Office ended up accepting 4,850 Syrian refugees – of whom only 11 were Christians.

While the UK appears to favor Muslim refugees over Christian ones, the fault does not lie with the UK alone. Lord David Alton of Liverpool, a life peer in the House of Lords, wrote in a letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid:

"There is widespread belief, justified or not, among the religious minorities of Syria that the UNHCR is biased against them. The UK has a legal obligation to ensure it does not turn a blind eye to either direct or indirect perceived discrimination by the UN.

"It is widely accepted that Christians, who constituted around 10 per cent of Syria's pre-war population, were specifically targeted by jihadi rebels and continue to be at risk.

"...As last year's statistics more than amply demonstrate, this is not a statistical blip. It shows a pattern of discrimination that the Government has a legal duty to take concrete steps to address."

There certainly does appear to be "a pattern of discrimination" that has been ongoing since at least 2015. According to the Barnabas Fund, the UNHCR, in 2016, recommended 7,499 refugees to the UK, of whom only 27 were Christians and five were Yazidis. In 2015, out of 2,637 recommended refugees, 43 were Christians and 13 were Yazidis.

In December 2016, Nina Shea, Director of the Center for Religious Freedom of the Hudson Institute, asked the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees at the time, António Guterres, to explain the disproportionately low number of Syrian Christians resettled abroad by the UN. "Mr. Guterres said that generally Syria's Christians should not be resettled, because they are part of the 'DNA of the Middle East,'" writes Shea.

Guterres' statement was a blunt admission of the UN's apparent disregard for Christian lives, not least because only 9 months earlier, in March 2016, US Secretary of State John Kerry had said, "(ISIS) is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims". The UN itself stated in September 2005:

"[A]t the United Nations World Summit, all Member States formally accepted the responsibility of each State to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. that all member states had accepted "the responsibility of each State to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity... world leaders also agreed that when any State fails to meet that responsibility, all States (the "international community") are responsible for helping to protect people threatened with such crimes.".

The apparent discrimination against Christians by the United Kingdom and the UNHCR is all the more disturbing in light of studies that find Christians to be the most persecuted faith in the world. Christians are "the most widely targeted religious community, suffering terrible persecution globally", according to a 2017 study by the University of Notre Dame's Center for Ethics and Culture, the Religious Freedom Institute and Georgetown University's Religious Freedom Research Project. In June, the ninth annual Pew Research Center report on global religious restrictions also found that Christianity was still the world's most persecuted faith, with Christians being harassed in more countries (144) than any other group.

In light of these facts, it would certainly appear, as Lord Alton states in his letter, that the UK has indeed been "turning a blind eye" to the plight of Christian (and Yazidi) refugees for several years. Now that May has announced that her government stands with persecuted Christians all over the world, the question remains: What specific initiatives, other than empty words, does the UK government aim to take to rectify the damage that has already been done and to prevent further damage?



North Korea with a tech industry

Here are a few things that are effectively legal in San Francisco: drugs, public defecation and shoplifting. And here are some of the things that are banned or will be banned in the City by the Bay.

Straws. Fur coats. Bottled water. Eating at work. Vaping liquids. Upholstered furniture. Plastic bags. Pet stores. Electric scooters. Coffee cups and packing peanuts. Tropical fish. The McDonald’s Happy Meal.

If you can think of something, San Francisco has already banned it. Or will be banning it soon.

North Korea with a tech industry and some leftover Victorian architecture (which it’s banning tour buses from visiting) has reacted to the collapse of living conditions and fleeing tourists by banning everything.

Everything except the behavior that’s making San Francisco unlivable.

During the Gold Rush, legend had it that the streets of San Francisco were paved with gold. These days they’re layered with human waste after the socialist city legalized public urination and defecation. A bag of 20 pounds of human waste was deposited on the street. Urine corroded a pole so badly that it fell on a car almost killing the driver. But don’t think that you can get away with anything in San Francisco.

San Francisco decriminalized public defecation, but criminalized plastic straws. While bench warrants for public urination are discarded, the straw fines are real and expensive. A California statewide bill goes further with a threat of six months in the county jail for giving a man a straw. When drugs are legal and straws aren’t, the Mexican cartels will soon switch to smuggling drinking straws into California.

Why ban straws? Because straws, according to the San Francisco ordinance, “may threaten public health” and are bad for the environment? Piles of human waste in the street are great for public health and the environment. But a Chicago medical association disagreed and cancelled its planned conference.

When Chicago thinks your city is dirty and dangerous hellhole, you really have a problem.

But America’s greatest experiment with socialism is coping with its collapse by banning everything. The straw ban isn't the last straw. It’s one of a series of San Fran bans that would make Kim Jong-un wince.

The straw ban was the brainchild of Supervisor Katy Tang. Katy was excused from the straw vote because she had to take her bar exam. She had previously won a proposal to ban sales of fur coats. In her press release, Katy noted that, "fur farming contributes to water and air pollution" because each mink produces "44 pounds of feces in the mink’s lifetime." 

The press release doesn’t state how many pounds the Board of Supervisors produces a year. Or how much the homeless population that San Francisco’s insane government has cultivated does.

Statistically speaking, Katy Tang would be personally responsible for around 342 pounds of waste a year. Or 7 times more than a mink could manage over its entire existence. The entire Board of Supervisors, which in true Stalinist style votes 11-0 on its insane bans (except when Katy has to take an exam), would directly account for around 3,700 pounds of waste. Or worse than an entire mink farm.

But that’s not accounting for the true legacy of the Board of Supervisors.

The homeless population of San Francisco increased by around 1,000 in six years. Complaints about human waste rose from 5,685 in 2011 to 18,211 in 2016. A 1,000 increase would mean an extra 342,000 pounds of human waste. San Francisco pols clamored that all the mink farms in this country produce a million pounds of waste a year. The homeless population that they cultivated does that in only a few months with an estimated annual output of well over 2 million pounds.

Mink are rabid, deranged animals that bite everything in sight. But millions of them running loose around Frisco would still do less damage than the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

San Francisco’s budget topped $11 billion for the first time. An increase of almost a billion. Annual spending on the homeless is expected to rise to over $300 million.

None of this would be possible without the tech industry that the city is trying to alienate. And if North Korea with a tech industry loses the dot com firms that feed its tax base, it’ll just be North Korea.

And it’s working hard to make that happen.

Another brilliant ban from the board brains would outlaw new workplace cafeterias.

“You can’t have an industrial kitchen in your office building,” declared Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who along with Supervisor Ahsha Safai, was one of the geniuses behind the idea.

When workers eat in cafeterias, it deprives the restaurateurs of customers. The same lefties who banned straws because of their environmental impact, want to mandate the existence of a thousand restaurants, which were formerly serving those straws, without regard to their environmental impact.

What’s the environmental impact of a straw or an employee taking an Uber for lunch? It’s as disproportionate as the environment impacts of Katy Tang, Aaron Peskin and Ahsha Safai compared to a thousand minks whose senseless aggression is at least the product of instinct, not leftist ideology.

 But the great hand of socialism gives and takes away. It just doesn’t make any sense while it’s doing so.

Once the decree passes, the only people entitled to a free lunch in San Francisco will be the same ones defecating on the street. But the workers who actually subsidize the mess aren’t allowed a free lunch.

Socialism will offer you a free lunch. But not if you pay taxes and use the bathroom.

"I urge the Board to focus on making our streets safe. Perhaps then, workers would feel better about leaving their workplace for lunch without having to actively dodge tent camps, human feces, and needles," one San Francisco letter writer suggested.

But that runs contrary to the entire philosophy that turned San Fran into an overtaxed and overregulated public sewer where every problem is solved with a new ban.

“It’s more heavily regulated than the water you’re getting in bottles," a senior advisor to the mayor's office insisted of San Francisco's water in defense of a water bottle ban.

But not everybody wants more regulated water. Some people just want the water that they want.

And the vaping liquids, the goldfish, the upholstered furniture, the plastic bags, fur coats and coffee cups of their choice. Some people just want to drink their bottled water through a straw. They want to wear a fur coat while shopping for tropical fish and upholstered furniture. And then light up a cigarette.

There’s no room for that attitude in San Francisco where each social problem is met with a new ban.

Are restaurants unhappy about the bans on coffee cups, foam containers and straws? Just ban workplace cafeterias to drive customers to them. Are workers and companies fleeing San Fran? Put up a wall made of recycled waste and trash topped with armed homeless encampments to keep them from escaping. Then direct the survivors to eat out at the strawless, coffee-cup less, salt-less and sugar-free vegan restaurant of their mandated choice offering tasteless meals with no more than 40 calories.

It worked for North Korea. It’s bound to work for San Francisco.



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, 2018


The Muslim grooming gang whistleblower finally wins his freedom.

The jailers of newly freed human rights activist Tommy Robinson deliberately subjected him to inhumane treatment behind bars in England, according to independent journalist Ezra Levant of the Canadian news website, TheRebel.media.

The goal of the authorities seems to have been to silence Robinson, perhaps permanently.

“Tommy has endured two months as a genuine political prisoner, and I say that thoughtfully,” Levant said. “I don’t want to throw around the word political prisoner. Britain is still a great liberal democracy, but not in the case of Tommy Robinson, they weren’t.”

Robinson's lawyers, Carson Kaye of London, released a statement celebrating his release: "The rule of law and the right to a fair hearing are fundamental to every individual and this ruling [is] an example of the procedural safeguards of our system, and its potential for protecting every citizen equally."

Robinson, a tanning salon owner and anti-Islamization activist whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was taken into custody May 25 when he reported outside Leeds Crown Court. Robinson had been trying to bring transparency to an opaque legal system distrusted by the public. The 35-year-old married father of three used his smartphone to live-stream on Facebook the arrival of accused rapists on trial for acts allegedly committed while being part of a so-called Muslim grooming gang.

The filming of the alleged pedophile rapists infuriated trial judge Geoffrey Marson Q.C. because he had imposed a ban on publishing news from their criminal proceeding. Within five hours Robinson had been railroaded and sentenced to 13 months in prison.

But on Wednesday a judicial panel headed by Baron Burnett of Maldon, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, quashed Robinson’s contempt of court conviction and ordered him released on bail. The Court of Appeal ordered that Robinson be released pending a fresh trial on the contempt charges before a different judge.

Reporting from the U.K., Levant said the appellate tribunal found that Marson was wrong to rush through the contempt trial and made many serious errors.

Marson failed to provide sufficient particulars of the contempt allegation, which meant Robinson did not know what case he had to meet. Because of the extreme rush, Robinson didn’t have sufficient time to work with counsel to prepare a defense. In fact, the proceeding was so expedited he had to rely on a public defender –as opposed to his own regular lawyer— who had no time to prepare. The appeals court questioned the appropriateness of the 13-month sentence and found it was wrong of Marson to hand it down so quickly without sober reflection, Levant said.

According to a three-page summary of the decision provided by the appeals court: “The order at Leeds Crown Court was also erroneously drawn up to suggest the appellant had been convicted of a criminal offence rather than having been committed for contempt of court.”

Marson’s mistakes were grave. "Errors like this have serious consequences upon the classification of prisoners, resulting in the deprivation of privileges and release on licence."

According to Levant, Robinson’s “brutal incarceration, solitary confinement, and the constant threats of violence he faced in prison, all flow from the errors of the judge in Leeds.”

Initially, Robinson was sent to Her Majesty’s Prison Hull, which is “one of the safer prisons in the U.K. for Tommy,” Levant said. “By safer I mean it is not dominated by Muslim prison gangs.”

But then a faceless bureaucrat in the prison system ordered Robinson transferred to the much tougher, Her Majesty’s Prison Onley, which is “a much more Islamized prison,” he said.

According to Levant:

Because there’s only reason to move Tommy from a safer prison to Her Majesty’s Prison Onley and that is either to get Tommy killed at the hands of a Muslim prison gang, or to force him to do what they knew he would do because he’s done it before – to request to be put into solitary confinement to save his own life. But the thing is you cannot live for 13 months in solitary confinement. You'll go mad. It would be regarded as torture. But that’s where Tommy was placed.

Levant continued:

Prisoners would regularly be given access to the front of Tommy’s cell and they would open up the flap to his cell and shout at him threats. And this was permitted by the prison. It’s obviously a form of psychological torture. Let me give you more examples. There is also a window in Tommy’s cell for a breeze in the hot summer. The prisoners were permitted to go up to the window and spit into Tommy’s cell which is a form of assault and battery and it's gross and it’s psychologically abusive so Tommy had to shut his window in this particularly hot British summer.

Distressingly, Levant added, “On at least three occasions his cell door was accidentally not locked. Accidentally, eh?”

Reviled by the Left and milquetoast Conservative Party leaders like Prime Minister Theresa May, Robinson has been trying for years to raise awareness about the Islamization of the U.K.

The deck is stacked against those skeptical of Islam. In the United Kingdom the police now monitor statements on social media and jail those who express frowned-upon sentiments. In the U.K., Big Brother is no longer just something from George Orwell’s prophetic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Political correctness and fears of being smeared as racist or Islamophobic have led authorities in the United Kingdom to downplay or ignore sex crimes committed by unassimilated, misogynistic Muslims who rape Britons. From the 1980s to the 2010s, as many as 1,400 Britons, mostly white girls, were raped largely by Muslim men in Rotherham, England. In recent years Muslim rape gangs have been uncovered in Rochdale, Telford, Aylesbury, Banbury, and in many other British communities.

To no one’s surprise, Britons do not trust their government to deal with such grooming cases fairly or protect the public from such sexual predators. British politicians worship at the altar of multiculturalism and would rather protect criminals from victims.

And this seems to be why the British authorities felt they needed to silence Robinson.


On the Constant Hunt for Fresh Outrage

It’s a perfect mess befitting our imperfect age. The New York Times announced it was hiring a Sarah Jeong to join its editorial board. A respected reporter on technology and the internet, Jeong is Asian-American.

Nanoseconds later, a number of her objectively racist tweets emerged. “Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men,” reads one. “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins,” she mused in another.

Jeong, issued a statement explaining that she was satirically “counter-trolling” at racists who attacked her. She says her comments were not intended for a “general audience.” As someone who’s been subjected to vicious anti-Semitism from trolls, I’m inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile, The New York Times issued its own statement saying it would stand by its decision to hire her, but that “type of rhetoric was not acceptable” at the Times.

One reason this episode is difficult to look at in isolation is that it is just one episode in a long-running series, with any number of spin-offs. Roseanne Barr lost her hit TV show for posting something racist on Twitter. One of the people who led, or at least joined in, the virtual mob was Hollywood director James Gunn, who tweeted during that controversy: “Roseanne is allowed to say whatever she wants. It doesn’t mean @ABCNetwork needs to continue funding her show if her words are considered abhorrent.”

Two months later, Gunn’s own past offensive tweets were unearthed and he lost his job directing the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise.

Old tweets aren’t the only thing that can ignite a digital prairie fire of protest.

My friend Kevin Williamson was hired by The Atlantic and before he could figure out where the bathroom was, a comment he made on a podcast — that was deliberately misconstrued — was held up like Caesar’s bloody toga to incite the shock troops of social justice. The Atlantic fired him.

The back and forth reprisals resemble a mob war. And each time, the decision to fire — or not fire — invites entirely legitimate charges of hypocrisy, which prime the kindling for the inevitable next bonfire.

That’s one reason why I think the Times’ leaders are correct to stand by Jeong, even though they open themselves to the hypocrisy charge (In February they hired Quinn Norton, another technology reporter, and then immediately un-hired her when some of her offensive tweets were weaponized).

The idea of free expression traces itself back to the Peace of Westphalia, which put an end to the continent-wide, tit-for-tat religious wars that wracked Europe for centuries. Simple exhaustion and the acceptance of “the essential futility of putting the beliefs of the mind to the judgment of the sword,” in the words of C.V. Wedgwood, led the West to grudgingly accept the right to be wrong.

Admittedly, the analogy is flawed in several ways. But the lessons for everyone are relevant. We live in a time when partisan affiliation and ideological worldviews serve as substitute religions. And if we’ve learned anything from the last few years, the capacity for outrage on the left and right is near infinite. There’s nothing wrong with forcefully expressing disagreement, but the constant hunt for scalps will leave everyone bald and bloodied.

Newspapers, magazines, and other businesses have every right to hire and fire whomever they want, but if they do hire someone, they should stand by their decision until the new employee does something worthy of firing while employed by them, not because a mob chooses to weaponize something they said in the past. And even then, they should make the decision on the merits, not simply to appease jackals. Obviously this can’t be an inflexible law, but it should be the rule of thumb.

At the same time, people shouldn’t tweet — or say — indefensibly stupid, racist or dumb things on the assumption that only “their people” will see it, hear it or process it in precisely the way the author intended. The Internet has made it impossible for such “narrowcasting” to stay narrow. As Jeong has learned, we all live in one “general audience” now. Again, it can’t be law: people shouldn’t hold themselves hostage to the most excitable and humorless among us. But it’s a worthy principle.

And so is this: We should all save our outrage for when it’s really needed.


San Francisco to BAN COMPANY CAFETERIAS: ‘Another Stupid Plan For The Most Expensive City In The USA’

Typical Leftist Jealousy at work.  If everybody can't have it, nobody can

SF is already the most expensive USA city to live in . . . Now This.  San Francisco city supervisors are proposing new legislation that will ban new company cafeterias; hoping to shore up “failing restaurants” near major office buildings.

More micro-legislation to destroy a once thriving city

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Supervisors Ahsha Safaí and Aaron Peskin are the co-sponsors behind the proposal, which would prohibit new construction sites from building “employee cafeterias.” The legislators believe the low-cost lunches are having an adverse impact on local restaurants.

“The idea here is to bolster, not only the restaurant business, but other ground-floor retail businesses that are suffering.”

“This is another way to help support small businesses,” said Peskin. “We don’t want employees biking or driving into their office, staying there all day long and going home. This is about getting people out of their office, interacting with the community and adding to the vibrancy of the community.”

According to Hannity.com, the proposal was harshly rejected by the San Francisco business community, whose employees view low-cost or free meals as a corporate benefit.

“Food in the workplace plays an important role,” said one executive. “All of that helps company culture, and it also helps companies create an attractive environment.”


Carnivore diet: Jordan Peterson and his daughter, Mikhaila, say eating only beef cured their depression

For those familiar with the world of Jordan Peterson, it may come as no surprise that he is a red-blooded carnivore. I do not mean that as some kind of intellectual metaphor. Yes, the Canadian psychology professor turned lifestyle guru to millions of young men worldwide has always regarded intellectual pursuits as something of a blood sport, but now he has become evangelical about his diet. “I eat beef, salt and water. That’s it,” he says. Or rather, meat seasoned with the controversy he finds so appetising.

For Peterson has joined the new fashion for a “carnivore” diet, claiming it saved him from his lifelong depression. This comes just as mainstream medical bodies are becoming more concerned about our red meat intake, which is associated with cancer among other diseases.

The idea that someone would go to the other extreme and eat only red meat is so countercultural as to be somewhat delicious, and that is of course just the way Peterson, scourge of political correctness, likes it. You can imagine him being deeply suspicious of quinoa — thinking it some kind of liberal conspiracy. Or having a problem with salad — as being perhaps too feminist. Peterson is the kind of person who can make breakfast political. Of course, he dines in a manner that is radical and retrograde, but, in fact, his feasting like a tiger in a zoo opens up a fascinating and fast-evolving field of new medical research into the neglected area of depression and diet.

“I need less sleep. I’m not anxious, not depressed,” Peterson said last month with the air of someone reeling from a miracle, and in fact the beef and water diet is so ascetic as to feel semi-religious. “I am intellectually at my very best at the moment. The depression is gone.”

What do we know so far about diet and depression? I spoke to half a dozen medical researchers in the field and the consensus is that we do not know enough. What we are just learning is that diet probably will turn out to have a significant impact on mental health, be it because of foods that cause inflammation or starve a healthy gut microbiome.

Mikhaila Peterson is Jordan Peterson’s 26-year-old daughter and the inspiration for his radical diet. She has an Instagram account subtitled “Beef, salt, water and bourbon = cured” and a food blog called Don’t Eat That, subtitled “Many (if not most) health problems are treatable with diet alone”, in which she chronicles her and her father’s remarkable recovery from depression and anxiety. He now wakes without a feeling of doom, she reports jubilantly, and adds, in Peterson defiance mode, “F*** you, world — we won.”

This all makes Mikhaila the poster girl for the carnivore-diet movement, gaining traction among a similar crowd who already idolise Jordan, the highly influential bestselling author of 12 Rules for Life, whose YouTube videos have been viewed more than 50 million times. Mikhaila has also done a lot of YouTube interviews. Yet what I find so appealing when I talk to her is that she knows that what she is doing sounds weird and can laugh about it. “Sounds absolutely insane,” she says, and she knows there is no medical evidence to back it up. She laughs when I say her family have become “reluctantly kooky”.

“Yes. Totally. I was always really sceptical about diet. I thought it was for silly Californian girls. My father certainly did not want to get into this. He was always against diet as a solution because there was no hard scientific evidence linking to diet. At the beginning he was, like, ‘I’m not even going to mention this — it’s too weird.’ Now I’m literally eating the most extreme diet I’ve ever heard of. It’s absurd.” She laughs again.

She looks gorgeously healthy and has a baby daughter, who is nearly one year old (and, by the way, survives only on meat and breast milk), but from infancy Peterson was very ill. She had severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that degenerated to the point that she had to have a hip and ankle replacement at the age of 17 and suffered chronic, severe pain. Given the new research into the link between depression and inflammation, it’s no surprise that, as a sufferer of an inflammatory illness, she developed depression in her late teens. It became so crippling that she could not finish university. She became “desperate to try anything” and began eliminating food groups. She remembers typing “allergic to everything” into Google. Then “allergic to everything except meat”. She says that she discovered “beef is what makes me feel the best”. She fries strips of it with “just salt. Pepper doesn’t work.”

Mikhaila Peterson knows there is no medical evidence to back up her claims about the benefits of the carnivore dietMikhaila Peterson knows there is no medical evidence to back up her claims about the benefits of the carnivore diet

Oh, I say, not even a few grains of pepper? Some tea? “No,” she says. “Nothing else. Just sparkling water.” She reports that since January her depression and arthritis have resolved. Her doctors, she says, believe the results are a “placebo effect”. She, by contrast, thinks that her microbiome is unsuited to anything other than meat. She knows this goes against every “eat your greens” dietary guideline — “Completely, yes.” She has not yet got scurvy, she says, and adds that most studies showing meat to be unhealthy find it hard to get around the problem of meat-eaters generally living unhealthily in other ways.

So far, the results of research into the relationship between diet and mood look conflicting. In some, vegetarians were less depressed; in others, more. One study from Bristol University last year found vegetarian men were more likely to be depressed and an Australian study in 2014 found that women who ate little meat were twice as likely to be depressed as others. These were counteracted by a much larger meta-analysis last year that found that “meat consumption may be associated with a moderately higher risk of depression”.

Really, they tell you little until you start testing diet in the same way as you would a drug, with randomised control trials. It is universally accepted that there are way too few of these in the case of depression, but last year Professor Felice Jacka, the director of the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University in Australia, randomly assigned depressed patients to either visits from social workers or the Mediterranean diet (their medications remained the same). A third of the diet group improved significantly, as opposed to 8 per cent of the non-diet group. The diet they followed was high in olive oil, nuts and vegetables, but restricted lean red meat to no more than three times a week. “The immune system, brain plasticity and gut microbiota seem to be central not just to our physical health, but also our mental health,” Jacka said.

What about the Masai and the Inuit, though? This is the cry of the meat champions, Michael Mosley warns me. Mosley is a doctor and broadcaster with a special interest in diet and health; he once put himself on an experimental high-meat diet. “Everyone talks about the Masai, but the idea that they exist on meat and blood is based on some very dodgy observations in the 1940s; it’s a myth,” he says. It’s the same with the Inuit, whose high-blubber diet gives them just as much or more heart disease as the rest of us. Mosley’s research for his new book, The Clever Guts Diet , shows that your microbiome feeds on fibre “and you are not going to get that from meat”. A healthy microbiome in your gut produces special fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory. “That depression and anxiety is linked to inflammatory foods is strong in animals and emerging in humans.”

James Hébert is a professor of epidemiology at the University of South Carolina who for the past decade has been researching the connection between health and the foods that cause an inflammatory response in the body. He told me that all of his and his colleagues’ studies showed that “increased meat intake led to a higher risk of depression. There was a dose response.” This, he says, came as a shock.

“Of course, colorectal cancer was the most strongly associated with inflammatory foods, which makes perfect sense,” Hébert says, “but I have to emphasise how surprised I was to find such a strong relationship with depression.”

His work aligns with emerging theories about depression and inflammation. Herbert now restricts his meat intake to special occasions. His team’s research suggests that “we can provoke the same outcome on mental health as stress by messing with diet”. By “messing” he means reducing vegetables and wholegrains and upping sugar and meat.

Emma Morano was one of the longest-living women in history; she died at 117, cheerful to the last. Her diet was surprising. She subsisted on biscuits and three eggs a day and, when she turned 100, added raw mince with a little pasta. She was famed for her good cheer, so is not a great example for the “anti-inflammatory” diet proponents, but Professor Valter Longo likes to tell her story anyway.

Longo is the director of the University of Southern California Longevity Institute and the author of The Longevity Diet. He is famous for his research into fasting, diet and longevity. “Meat is nearly absent from the diet of the longest-lived people in the world,” he says. Sardinians traditionally eat meat less than once a week, “and lead long, very happy lives”.

Drawing together what we know so far, Longo says that “a diet with a lot of meat is the worst you could follow” and as a result he gave it up decades ago. However, he acknowledges that individuals such as Jordan and Mikhaila Peterson, “with a particular genetic condition”, can buck the trend.

Longo says there’s a twist, though. Research shows that a low-protein diet is good for you up until the age of 65, he says. Then your inflammatory response to meat seems to drop, and the protein and iron may be useful. As an Italian, Longo is a friend of Morano’s doctor, Carlo Bava. Bava was the one who suggested to Morano that she up her meat intake in her second century. “When you get to 100, meat may start to be a really good idea.”



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, 2018

Australia: Taxpayer-funded public service jobs will favour new recruits who are from racial and 'gender identity' minorities as part of politically correct overhaul

This is objectionable.  Why should people be penalized for being normal? "Human rights" have gone berserk.  As far as employing Aborigines is concerned, I have no difficulty with that as long as they are held to the same standards of diligence and promptness that apply to others.  And public service standards of diligence and promptness are not exactly onerous.  The evident difficulty government departments already have in meeting their existing quotas for Aborigines may however indicate that even that low standard is hard to meet.  Anybody knowing Aboriginal culture will not be surprised

Public service employers are being pushed to favour new recruits who are from racial and gender identity minorities in what is seen as a politically correct overhaul.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has called on the Federal Government to set new targets to hire staff from 'disadvantaged racial groups', the Courier Mail reported.

AHRC believes consideration should be given to employ staff with diverse qualities and there should be 'measurable targets with clear time frames that hold agencies accountable

'The commission acknowledges the challenges employers face when it comes to hiring people from a range of diverse and and difference issues such as, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, disability, ageing, cultural diversity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status,' AHRC has told the Government review.

Since August 1 2013, it has been unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status under federal law.  

The Australian Public Service Commission - which is committed to employing people with disabilities - has a target of 3 per cent indigenous employment by the end of this year.

However, there are still many government agencies with less than 2 per cent of indigenous employees, while other agencies don't have any.

Union national secretary Nadine Flood backed the push and told the publication that the Government should be setting targets to create a more diverse workplace.

'The APS needs to have the right people to provide the best services to the community, and that means a workforce that reflects the diversity,' she said.


Racist Britain Welcomes Muslim Radicals - Again and Again

While barring white conservatives

It is more than a year since the UK suffered three Islamist terrorist attacks in quick succession. It is also more than a year since the Prime Minister, Theresa May, stood on the steps of Downing Street and announced that 'enough is enough'.

Yet the striking aspect of the last year has been how little has changed.

Consider, for instance, the lax controls on extremist preachers that the UK had in place in 2016. As reported here at the time, in the summer of that year, two Pakistani clerics performed a tour of the UK. Their seven-week roadshow took in numerous UK hotspots including Rochdale, Rotherham, Oldham and the Prime Minister's own constituency of Maidenhead. The two clerics -- Muhammad Naqib ur Rehman and Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman -- began their tour by visiting the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, at Lambeth Palace for a meeting on 'interfaith relations'.

How expert are these two clerics at 'interfaith relations'? Well, they are so good that their main credential is their enthusiastic support for the murderer of somebody accused of 'blasphemy'. Yes -- these two preachers are famed in Pakistan for having supported Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of the progressive Punjab Governor Salman Taseer. Because Taseer believed in a relaxation of Pakistan's barbaric blasphemy codes (specifically he opposed the execution of a Christian woman -- Asia Bibi -- who was falsely accused of blaspheming the Muslim god), Qadri -- who was meant to be guarding the governor -- instead murdered Taseer in 2011.

Qadri himself was subsequently tried, sentenced to death and executed by the state. After Qadri's funeral in Rawalpindi, Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman whipped up the crowds of the murderer's mourners. Rehman acclaimed the murderer Qadri as a 'shaeed' (martyr). The crowd subsequently chanted slogans such as 'Qadri, your blood will bring revolution' and 'the punishment for a blasphemer is beheading'.

Despite criticism from Shahbaz Taseer (the son of the man whom Qadri had murdered), the UK government had no problem allowing into the UK these two men who, as Shahbaz Taseer said, 'teach murder and hate'. On their tour of the UK in 2016, these two preachers were reported to have spoken to mosques packed with worshipers.

A forgiving person might point out that the Archbishop of Canterbury does not know what he is talking about when he claims that Rehman and Rehman are interfaith experts, and that until 2016 the UK border agencies and other authorities could not have known that the two men are preachers of incitement in their home country. A forgiving person might even have thought all these authorities were naïve but would not be so naïve again.

In 2017, however, it did happen again. In July of last year the clerics were back, ostensibly speaking at a conference on 'counter-terrorism'. The idea that either man would know how to counter terrorism when the only expertise that either man has is in encouraging terrorism makes their presence at such an event insulting to anyone involved in countering terrorism. Even more so given that their main facilitator in the UK would appear to be the head of the one-man organisation calling itself the 'Ramadan Foundation', run by Mohammed Shafiq, a man with his own dark history of extremism and incitement.

A cynical person might assume that the UK authorities had let these radical preachers in the first time because they were ignorant, and the second time perhaps because they were slow. But how to account for events just last month? In July of this year, Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman was in the UK yet again -- and again in Oldham. Also again, his visit appears to have been facilitated by the one-man-band, Mohammed Shafiq. The latest bogus 'counter-terrorism conference' at which he was speaking also involved not only local MP (and Shadow Home Office Minister) Afzal Khan, but also the father and grandmother of one of the victims of last year's Islamist suicide bomb attack at the Manchester Arena.

Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman, in his address at the conference, reportedly said: "I stand before you to say we as Muslims stand against terrorism, these vile people are enemies of Islam and the whole of humanity. "My mission in life is to promote tolerance and peace, you can see from the thousands who attend my events in Pakistan there is a yearning for the true message of Islam which is Peace and tolerance. "I am honoured to visit Manchester to remember the victims and their families of the Manchester Arena attack and say we stand with you always".

Of course the thousands who attended his events in Pakistan did not always hear this message of 'peace and tolerance'. As the evidence of the aftermath of Qadri's funeral showed, they heard a message of vengeance, blasphemy, medievalism and violence.

But that is Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman.

The bigger question is for the UK -- and specifically for the Prime Minister, Theresa May.

In the past year, the UK has banned a fair number of people from entering the country. It has, for example, barred the Canadian activist and blogger Lauren Southern. It has also banned the Austrian activist and 'identitarian' Martin Sellner. Whatever anyone's thoughts on either of these individuals, it is not possible to claim that either has ever addressed a rally of thousands of people which they have used to extol a murderer. If either of them had done so, a ban from the UK might be explicable. Yet Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman has done these things -- and yet has been allowed into the UK three years in a row. Even in the year after Theresa May pretended that 'enough is enough.'

Perhaps the British government thinks that people do not notice such things. Perhaps the organisers of the 'counter-terrorism conference' in Manchester think that people are taken in by such pretences. Perhaps they think that the people of Britain do not mind. But the people of Britain do notice and I rather suspect that they do mind. Very much, in fact.


The ACLU is turning its back on free speech

America’s premier civil-rights group gets cold feet about hate speech.

The American Civil Liberties Union has explicitly endorsed the view that free speech can harm ‘marginalised’ groups by undermining their civil rights. ‘Speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality’, the ACLU declares in new guidelines governing case selection and ‘Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities’. This is presented as an explanation rather than a change of policy, and free-speech advocates know the ACLU has already lost its zeal for vigorously defending the speech it hates. ACLU leaders previously avoided acknowledging that retreat, however, in the apparent hope of preserving its reputation as the nation’s premier champion of the First Amendment.

But traditional free-speech values do not appeal to the ACLU’s increasingly partisan progressive constituency – especially after the 2017 white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville. The Virginia ACLU affiliate rightly represented the rally’s organisers when the city attempted to deny them a permit to assemble. But progressives responded angrily to this defence of speech, and, in response, the national ACLU reconsidered its obligation to represent white-supremacist protesters.

The 2018 guidelines elaborate on the organisation’s retreat from defending everyone’s speech. They claim that ‘the ACLU is committed to defending speech rights without regard to whether the views expressed are consistent with or opposed to the ACLU’s core values, priorities and goals’. But directly contradicting that assertion, they also cite as a reason to decline taking a free-speech case ‘the extent to which the speech may assist in advancing the goals of white supremacists or others whose views are contrary to our values’.

In selecting speech cases to defend, the ACLU will now balance the ‘impact of the proposed speech and the impact of its suppression’. Factors like the potential effect of the speech on ‘marginalised communities’ and even on ‘the ACLU’s credibility’ could militate against taking a case. Fundraising and communications officials helped formulate the new guidelines.

One half of this balancing test is familiar. The ‘impact of suppressing speech’ – the precedents that suppression might establish, the constitutional principles at stake – is a traditional factor in case selection. But, traditionally, the ACLU has not formally weighed the content of speech and its consistency with ACLU values in deciding whether to defend it.

Tension between competing values isn’t new to the ACLU. Given its decades-old commitment to defending civil rights and liberties, the organisation has long navigated conflicts between equality rights and freedoms of religion, speech and association. The guidelines assert that ‘no civil liberty or civil-rights value should automatically be privileged over any other’. But it’s clear that free speech has become second among equals. Where is the comparable set of guidelines explaining when the ACLU should decline to defend gay-rights claims that infringe on religious liberty or women’s-rights cases that infringe on due process?

The speech-case guidelines reflect a demotion of free speech in the ACLU’s hierarchy of values. Their vague references to the ‘serious harm’ to ‘marginalised’ people occasioned by speech can easily include the presumed psychological effects of racist or otherwise hateful speech, which is constitutionally protected but contrary to ACLU values. Faced with perceived conflicts between freedom of speech and ‘progress toward equality’, the ACLU is likely to choose equality. If the Supreme Court adopted the ACLU’s balancing test, it would greatly expand government power to restrict speech.

In Brandenburg v Ohio (1969), for example, the ACLU defended the First Amendment rights of a Ku Klux Klan leader prosecuted for addressing a small rally and calling for ‘revengence’ against blacks and Jews. The US Supreme Court reversed Clarence Brandenburg’s conviction, narrowly defining incitement to violence as speech both intended and likely to cause imminent illegal action. Brandenburg made an essential distinction between advocacy and action, which progressives who equate hate speech with actual discrimination or violence seek to erase.

The ACLU would be hard pressed to take Brandenburg’s case today, given its new guidelines. The organisation hasn’t yet endorsed a ban on hate speech, or a broader definition of incitement. The guidelines affirm that ‘speakers have a right to advocate violence’. But even if Brandenburg managed to pass the new balancing test for speech cases, some participants at his rally were armed, and, according to the guidelines, ‘the ACLU generally will not represent protesters who seek to march while armed’.

All this is the ACLU’s prerogative. Organisations are entitled to revise their values and missions. But they ought to do so openly. The ACLU leadership had apparently hoped to keep its new guidelines secret, even from ACLU members. They’re contained in an internal document deceptively marked, in all caps, ‘confidential attorney client work product’. I’m told it was distributed to select ACLU officials and board members, who were instructed not to share it. According to my source, the leadership is now investigating the ‘leak’ of its new case-selection guidelines. President Trump might sympathise.


Will Tribalism Trump Democracy?

Patrick J. Buchanan says that "tribal" identity is asserting itself throughout the world, including among Americans, and that resistance to it is dangerous

On July 19, the Knesset voted to change the nation's Basic Law.   Israel was declared to be, now and forever, the nation-state and national home of the Jewish people. Hebrew is to be the state language.

Angry reactions, not only among Israeli Arabs and Jews, came swiftly.

Allan Brownfeld of the American Council for Judaism calls the law a "retreat from democracy" as it restricts the right of self-determination, once envisioned to include all within Israel's borders, to the Jewish people. Inequality is enshrined.

And Israel, says Brownfeld, is not the nation-state of American Jews.

What makes this clash of significance is that it is another battle in the clash that might fairly be called the issue of our age.

The struggle is between the claims of tribe, ethnicity, peoples and nations, against the commands of liberal democracy.

In Europe, the Polish people seek to preserve the historic and ethnic character of their country with reforms that the EU claims violate Poland's commitment to democracy. If Warsaw persists, warns the EU, the Poles will be punished. But which comes first: Poland, or its political system, if the two are in conflict?

Other nations are ignoring the open-borders requirements of the EU's Schengen Agreement, as they attempt to block migrants from Africa and the Middle East. They want to remain who they are, open borders be damned.

Britain is negotiating an exit from the EU because the English voted for independence from that transitional institution whose orders they saw as imperiling their sovereignty and altering their identity.

When Ukraine, in the early 1990s, was considering secession from Russia, Bush I warned Kiev against such "suicidal nationalism."

Ukraine ignored President Bush. Today, new questions have arisen.  If Ukrainians had a right to secede from Russia and create a nation-state to preserve their national identity, do not the Russians in Crimea and the Donbass have the same right — to secede from Ukraine and rejoin their kinsmen in Russia?

As Georgia seceded from Russia at the same time, why do not the people of South Ossetia have the same right to secede from Georgia?

Who are we Americans, 5,000 miles away, to tell tribes, peoples and embryonic nations of Europe whether they may form new states to reflect and preserve their national identity?

Nor are these minor matters.  At Paris in 1919, Sudeten Germans and Danzig Germans were, against their will, put under Czech and Polish rule. British and French resistance to permitting these peoples to secede and rejoin their kinfolk in 1938 and 1939 set the stage for the greatest war in history.

Here in America, we, too, appear to be in an endless quarrel about who we are.

Is America a different kind of nation, a propositional nation, an ideological nation, defined by a common consent to the ideas and ideals of our iconic documents like the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address?

Or are we like other nations, a unique people with our own history, heroes, holidays, religion, language, literature, art, music, customs and culture, recognizable all over the world as "the Americans"?

Since 2001, those who have argued that we Americans were given, at the birth of the republic, a providential mission to democratize mankind, have suffered an unbroken series of setbacks.

Nations we invaded, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, to bestow upon them the blessings of democracy, rose up in resistance. What our compulsive interventionists saw as our mission to mankind, the beneficiaries saw as American imperialism.

And the culture wars on history and memory continue unabated.

According to The New York Times, the African-American candidate for governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams, has promised to sandblast the sculptures of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis off Stone Mountain.

The Republican candidate, Brian Kemp, has a pickup truck, which he promises to use to transfer illegal migrants out of Georgia and back to the border.

In Texas, a move is afoot to remove the name of Stephen Austin from the capital city, as Austin, in the early 1830s, resisted Mexico's demands to end slavery in Texas when it was still part of Mexico.

One wonders when they will get around to Sam Houston, hero of Texas' War of Independence and first governor of the Republic of Texas, which became the second slave republic in North America.  Houston, after whom the nation's fourth-largest city is named, was himself, though a Unionist, a slave owner and an opponent of abolition.

Today, a large share of the American people loathe who we were from the time of the explorers and settlers, up until the end of segregation in the 1960s. They want to apologize for our past, rewrite our history, erase our memories and eradicate the monuments of those centuries.

The attacks upon the country we were and the people whence we came are near constant.

And if we cannot live together amicably, secession from one another, personally, politically, and even territorially, seems the ultimate alternative.



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


5 August, 2018

French conservative Marion Maréchal Le Pen explains why feminists are hypocrites in brilliant 3 min speech

This goes back a while but it is very eloquent

NYT defends newly hired opinion writer with history of anti-white tweets

Apparently it’s tougher than it looks to find editorial writers without a history of racially charged tweets, judging from the recent experience of The New York Times.

Six months after giving the heave-ho to an opinion writer over her insensitive social media comments, the New York Times is standing by Sarah Jeong, its newly hired lead technology scribe on the editorial side, despite the racist skeletons in her Twitter feed.

In a statement, the newspaper chalked up her anti-white blasts, such as “white men are bulls–,” as a reaction to “frequent online harassment.”

“Her journalism and the fact that she is a young Asian woman have made her a subject of frequent online harassment,” The Times said. “For a period of time she responded to that harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers.”

Her hiring was met Wednesday with a spate of criticism over more than a dozen hostile tweets, most from 2014, in which she referred to “[d]umbass f–ing white people” and declared, “oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.”

Times officials acknowledged that they were aware of her social media history before they offered her the editorial-board post, saying it came out during the vetting process.

“She sees now that this approach only served to feed the vitriol that we too often see on social media. She regrets it, and The Times does not condone it,” the statement said.

The newspaper also posted a statement from Ms. Jeong, a former senior writer at the Verge, in which she described her behavior as “counter-trolling.”

“As a woman of color on the internet, I have faced torrents of online hate, often along this vein,” she said, and gave examples in which someone called her a racial slur and another threatened to “sock you right in your lesbian face.”

As a result, she said, “I engaged in what I thought of at the time of counter-trolling. While it was intended as satire, I deeply regret that I mimicked the language of my harassers.”

After “candid conversations,” the Times said Ms. Jeong “understands that this type of rhetoric is not acceptable at The Times and we are confident that she will be an important voice for the editorial board moving forward.”

Ms. Jeong added: “These comments were not aimed at a general audience, because general audiences do not engage in harassment campaigns. I can understand how hurtful these posts are out of context, and would not do it again.”

The statement came after Twitchy ran a slew of her disparaging tweets along with comments from prominent conservatives.

“Creepy race obsessive,” said Townhall’s Guy Benson, while Glenn Beck asked, “What will the New York Times do here? Are these jokes? Out of context? Does it matter?”

The newspaper faced a similar situation in February after announcing the hiring of Wired’s Quinn Norton as its lead opinion writer on technology, which prompted a social media backlash over her description of white-nationalist internet troll Andrew Auernheimer as “a terrible person & an old friend.”

Ms. Norton had also “used slurs against gay people” and “retweeted a racial slur,” according to the newspaper.

Hours later, she announced that she would no longer join the newspaper, and editorial page editor James Bennet said they had decided “to go our separate ways.”


Outraged Veteran Openly Slams State Official Who Knelt During Pledge Of Allegiance

Outraged Vietnam War veteran Calvin Bunnell appeared on “Fox & Friends” Thursday, after scolding a Connecticut town official for kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance.

“It says on my shirt, ‘If you don’t like the flag, I will help you pack your bag and get the heck out of here,’” Bunnell told Haddam Democratic Selectwoman Melissa Schlag. “When you kneeled and turned your back on that flag, you turned it on half of this town.”

Schlag knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance at a town meeting on July 16 and then did it again on Monday. Bunnell was present at the Monday meeting to call her out for the second attempt.

“To me, the flag is supposed to represent the United States. And when somebody kneels down and does not respect it, it goes along with the national anthem. You’re supposed to stand up and present yourself to that situation as well as the flag,” Bunnell said on “Fox & Friends.”

Bunnell said there should be a sacred respect for the flag because it represents all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives, so other Americans could live free.

“It just doesn’t stand for the freedom but it also stands for all the gentlemen, ladies in the service that have been killed in the line of duty,” he continued. “And when somebody kneels down in front of it for me, it’s a very disrespectful thing because you should stand up and praise these people as well as that flag of the United States.”

Schlag was caught on tape disparaging her town of Haddam, calling it racist and fascist, according to Fox News, but Bunnell said it’s her right to say those things because soldiers fought and died to protect her freedom of speech.

“She said it. She had her freedom of speech,” Bunnell concluded. “She has her freedom of religion because of that flag and what that flag stood for with the veterans fighting for her natural rights and the Constitution.”


Aggressive blacks in Spain

Shocking moment black African street traders WHIP an American tourist with a belt ‘when he tries to stop them hurling insults at a woman pushing a pram’ in Barcelona

Shocking footage shows an American tourist being whipped by street traders in Barcelona during a violent brawl.

The man was reportedly set upon by the thugs in the Plaça de Catalunya after he intervened to stop them throwing insults at a woman pushing a pram.

Video filmed by a startled onlooker shows the group of men punching the unnamed victim, who is reportedly aged 45.

One of the attackers, wearing a white t-shirt and light brown shorts, then runs at the tourist and repeatedly whips him with his belt. He was said to be left with bleeding wounds after the attack and treated in hospital.

The clip ends with the victim running out of shot and horrified passersby rushing to break up the fight.

The woman with the pram had reportedly complained that the street traders had not left her enough space to cross the road.

There have been no arrests. Police are reportedly trying to speak to the American tourist about the attack.


Controversial speaker Lauren Southern forced to CANCEL event after venue backed out of hosting her

Lauren Southern has been slapped with a last-minute venue cancellation ahead of her New Zealand tour.  

The 23-year-old outspoken conservative arrived in the country on Thursday with her co-speaker Stefan Molyneux, following a controversial nationwide Australian 'free speech' tour.

The Powerstation venue in Auckland pulled out of hosting the pair just hours ahead of the Friday event, citing a disagreement with the speakers' message.

Venue locations are kept secret and only advised via SMS or email to ticket holders just 24 hours prior to each event.    

Powerstation venue owner Gabrielle Mullins said she had been contacted at short notice about hosting Southern and Molyneux and knew nothing about them until she received complaints.

'As soon as we found out, we weren't comfortable at all because it goes against quite a lot of things that we say,' Mullins told the NZ Herald. 'They can say whatever they want but personally I don't want it in my venue,' she said.

Southern took to Twitter, saying: 'One does not simply walk into a venue in New Zealand.'

Molyneux also expressed his disappointment, tweeting: 'It turns out that you cannot give a speech about free speech in New Zealand.'

Southern's agent, Caolan Robertson, told Newshub that they were unable to find another venue and Axiomatic Events confirmed via their website that 'due to circumstances beyond our control tonight's event in Auckland has been cancelled.'

On Thursday, Molyneux and Southern were pictured arriving at Auckland Airport, posing under a M?ori carving at the Arrivals hall.   

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff banned the pair from using council venues, saying he did not want such spaces used to stir up ethnic tensions.

Protests were planned by anti-racism groups outside the Auckland venue. 

Police were seen on Friday conducting a security sweep at the Powerstation venue and said their main concern was for people's safety.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway previously said he personally felt their views were repugnant but that there was no grounds to reject their visas.


Australia: 'Slowly but surely, everything's becoming more off-limits': Why this pork ad featuring an elderly couple could be BANNED as advertising watchdog cracks down on gender stereotypes

A pork advertisement featuring an elderly woman unwittingly shouting a sexual innuendo in the waiting room of a doctor's surgery could one day be banned.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers has released new guidelines banning gender stereotypes.

Under section 2.1 of its code of ethics, advertisers will be banned from portraying a woman cleaning up or a man struggling with being a father.

The advertising industry's director of policy and regulatory affairs Simone Brandon said this was so ads didn't 'unwittingly reinforce negative stereotypes'.

While the code won't prevent advertisers from showing men doing home renovations, an advertising agency behind a provocative pork industry commercial was worried it would make ads bland in future.

Monty Noble, a co-director of Noble Brands Worldwide, said he had had to justify almost every ad they've made for Australian Pork over the past decade.

'Slowly but surely, everything's becoming more off-limits,' he told Sydney radio 2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley today.

'I don't think we're fighting back as an industry enough in order to keep doing what we do best, which is promoting Australian brands and services.'

In one of his agency's funny commercials, an elderly woman unwittingly utters a sexual innuendo as her husband greets her in the waiting room of a doctor's surgery.

'Everything right?,' her husband asked.

She replied: 'Yep, but the doctor says we should pork more often.'

A secretary behind the desk of the doctor's surgery spits out her coffee.



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, 2018

Ann Coulter is a lawyer: It shows in her expert comments about the Central Park jogger case

The city of New York released thousands of documents from the 1989 Central Park rape case last week, provoking more weeping and gnashing of teeth over Donald Trump’s full-page ads in four New York with the headline: “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!”

Newspapers removed the ads soon after that attack.

His ad never mentioned the Central Park rape, but talked about New York families — “White, Black, Hispanic and Asian” — unable to enjoy walks through the park at dusk. Of muggers and murderers, he said, “I no longer want to understand their anger. I want them to understand our anger … They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.”

According to the media, the five convicted boys were innocent — and Trump would have executed the poor lads! Apart from the “innocent” moniker, the rape victim miraculously survived and there was no murder, so this is nonsense.

But let’s look at how “innocent” they were.

On April 19, 1989, investment banker Trisha Meili went for a run through Central Park around 9 p.m., whereupon she was attacked by a wolf pack looking for a “white girl,” dragged 100 yards into the woods, stripped, beaten with a pipe and a brick, raped and left for dead.

By the time the police found Meili, she’d lost three-quarters of her blood. Her case was initially assigned to the homicide unit of the D.A.’s office because none of her doctors thought she would make it through the night.

Of the 37 youths brought in for questioning about the multiple violent attacks in the park that night, only 10 were charged with a crime and only five for the rape of the jogger: Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson and Korey Wise. All five confessed — four on videotape with adult relatives present and one with a parent present but not on videotape.

Two unanimous, multicultural juries convicted them, despite aggressive defense lawyers putting on their best case.

But the media have a different method of judging guilt and innocence. They don’t look at irrelevant factors, such as evidence, but at relevant factors such as the race of the accused and the victim.

Unfortunately for Meili, she was guilty of white privilege while her attackers belonged to the “people of color” Brahmin caste. So, after waiting an interminable 13 years, the media proclaimed that the five convicts had been “exonerated” by DNA evidence!
DNA evidence didn’t convict them, so it couldn’t exonerate them. This was a gang attack. It was always known that another rapist “got away,” as the prosecutor told the jury, and that none of the defendants’ DNA was found in the jogger’s cervix or on her sock — the only samples that were taken.

While it blows most people away to find out that none of the suspects’ DNA was found on Meili, the whole trick is that they’re looking at it through a modern lens. Today, these kids’ DNA would have been found all over the crime scene. But in 1989, DNA was a primitive science. The cops wouldn’t have even looked for such evidence back then.

The case was solved with other evidence — and there was a lot of it.

On the drive to the precinct, Raymond Santana blurted out, “I had nothing to do with the rape. All I did was feel the woman’s t–s.” The cops didn’t even know about a rape yet.

Yusef Salaam announced to the detective interviewing him, “I was there, but I didn’t rape her.” Even if true, under the law, anyone who participated in the attack on Meili is guilty of her rape.

Two of Korey Wise’s friends said that when they ran into him on the street the day after the attack, he told them the cops were after him. “You heard about that woman that was beat up and raped in the park last night? That was us!”
Taken to the scene of the crime by a detective and a prosecutor, he said, “Damn, damn, that’s a lot of blood. … I knew she was bleeding, but I didn’t know how bad she was. It was dark. I couldn’t see how much blood there was at night.”

Wise also told a detective that someone he thought was named “Rudy” stole the jogger’s Walkman and belt pouch. The jogger was still in a coma. The police did not know yet that a Walkman had been stolen from her.

Wise told a friend’s sister, Melody Jackson, that he didn’t rape the jogger; he “only held her legs down while Kevin (Richardson) f—ed her.” Jackson volunteered this information to the police, thinking it would help Wise.

The night of the attack, Richardson told an acquaintance, “We just raped somebody.” The crotch of his underwear was suspiciously stained with semen, grass stains, dirt and debris. Walking near the crime scene with a detective the next day, Richardson said, “This is where we got her … where the raping occurred.”

Santana and Richardson independently brought investigators to the precise location of the attack on the jogger.

Recall that, when all these statements were made, no one — not the police, the witnesses, the suspects, or their friends and acquaintances — knew whether Meili would emerge from her coma and be able to identify her attackers.

Sarah Burns, who co-wrote and co-directed the propaganda film “The Central Park Five” with her father (whose reputation she has now destroyed), waved away the defendants’ confessions — forget all the other evidence — in a 2016 New York Times op-ed, explaining: “The power imbalance in an interrogation room is extreme, especially when the suspects are young teenagers, afraid of the police and unfamiliar with the justice system or their rights.”

Burns has studied the trial transcripts so closely that she called the prosecutor by the wrong name in her op-ed. Far from trembling and afraid, as Burns imagines, the suspects were singing the rap song “Wild Thing” for hours in the precinct house, laughing and joking about raping the jogger. One of the attackers said, “It was fun.”

When a cop told Santana that he should have been out with a girlfriend rather than mugging people in Central Park, Santana responded, “I already got mines,” and laughed with another boy from the park. One of the youths arrested that night stated on videotape that he heard Santana and another boy laughing about “how they ‘made a woman bleed.'”

But none of that matters. Again, the victim was a privileged white woman (bad!) and the perpetrators were youths of color (good!). So the media lied and claimed the DNA evidence “exonerated” them.

This allegation was based on Matias Reyes’ confession to the attack. His DNA matched the unidentified DNA on the jogger, proving nothing, other than that he was the one who “got away.” He is also the “Rudy” who stole her Walkman, as Wise said at the time. Reyes admitted he took it. How did Wise know that?

A cellmate of Reyes claims he said that he heard a woman screaming in the park that night and ran to join in the rape.

The “exoneration” comes down to Reyes’ unsubstantiated claim that he acted alone. Years of careful investigation, videotaped confessions, witness statements, assembling evidence, trial by jury and repeated appeals — all that is nothing compared to the word of an upstanding citizen like Reyes, a violent psychopath who sexually assaulted his own mother and raped and murdered a pregnant woman while her children heard the attack through the bedroom door.

That’s the sum total of the “exoneration”: the word of a psycho.

Noticeably, Reyes faced absolutely no penalty for his confession — the statute of limitations had run out years earlier. Before he confessed, Reyes had been moved to Korey Wise’s cellblock. He requested a transfer on the grounds that he feared retaliation from Wise’s gang. All he had to do was confess — with no penalty — and announce that he acted alone. The Social Justice Warriors would take it from there.

Not even a monster’s self-serving “confession” can explain away the five attackers’ other crimes that night — vicious beatings that left one parkgoer unconscious and another permanently injured.

The SJW verdict: Award the criminals $41 million. Trump’s idea: Punish them.

And you still can’t figure out how he became president.


Another charming devotee of the religion of peace

An 18-year-old is behind bars after he ripped out his 74-year-old relative's eyes with his bare hands, police said. Mahad Aziz, of Rochester, Minnesota, faces a felony charge of first-degree assault in the horrific crime.

Authorities arrived at Rochester Square Apartments on Friday to check on a noise complaint around 2pm.

It was there that they found Aziz straddling his relative in a pool of blood. The elderly man's eyes were missing and most of his teeth were knocked out.

Aziz later told investigators that he had not used any weapons against his relative, only his hands, according to KTTC.

The 74-year-old man's eyes have not been found.

Authorities said Aziz was combative with police and had to be put in handcuffs at the scene.

Because he was initially non-verbal, officers took Aziz to the hospital for a mental health evaluation before he was booked into the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center.

The victim was semi-conscious when police arrived and did not sustain life-threatening injuries, but will likely be blind for the rest of his life. 'You lose your eyes, it's not...there's no replacement,' Rochester Police Capt John Sherwin said. 'Obviously this is an injury that is going to change this man's life.'

It was for this reason that the department handed down the rare first-degree assault charge.

'It's a permanent injury that's disabling,' Sherwin said. 'A permanent loss of bodily function. And obviously that applies in this case.'

It remains unknown what motivated the fight. Authorities have not disclosed how Aziz and the 74-year-old man are related or the victim's name.

'There's a lot of things that we don't know,' Sherwin said. 'Mainly due to the circumstances of the assault.'

'The injuries sustained by the victim makes it difficult to, at least during our initial investigation, find out exactly what happened.'


Dems Who Opposed Citizenship Question on Census Want to Ask About Sexual Orientation

Consistent principles are alien to Leftists

The same Democrat senators who strongly opposed a citizenship question on the U.S. Census have just introduced legislation that would require the Census to ask people about their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Senators Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Tom Carper (Del.), both members of the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee, on Tuesday introduced the Census Equality Act, which would require the decennial census to include sexual orientation/gender identity questions no later than 2030; and the separate American Community Survey (ACS) would have to include those questions no later than 2020.

The senators say they want to make sure the approximately 10 million Americans who identify as LGBTQ "are properly counted" and represented in data collection efforts. They believe that LGBTQ undercounting results in "an inadequate distribution of resources and social services, including Medicaid, Section 8 housing vouchers, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)."

“The spirit of the census is that no one should go uncounted and no one should be invisible,” Harris said in a news release announcing the The Census Equality Act. “We must expand data collections efforts to ensure the LGBTQ community is not only seen, but fully accounted for in terms of government resources provided. This information can also provide us with better tools to enforce civil rights protections for a community that is too often discriminated against.”

“We have a responsibility to ensure the information collected by the census accurately reflects who we are as a society and that everyone is counted fairly,” Sen. Carper said. “While long overdue, I am proud that this legislation finally calls upon the Census Bureau to add a question to the Decennial Census and American Community Survey on sexual orientation and gender identity -- so that all Americans can be represented equally and have their voices heard.”

In March, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that a citizenship question would be included in the 2020 decennial census questionnaire to help enforce the Voting Rights Act.

Sens. Harris and Carper were among the Democrats strenuously objecting to the citizenship question.

In a March 30 letter to Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, Harris, Carper and other Democrats said they were "concerned that the addition of the citizenship question is tainted by improper political considerations.” They said such a question would "depress participation of immigrants and U.S. citizens in mixed-status households who fear how government will use the information."

The Harris-Carper news release dated yesterday includes comments from homosexual activists, including Rea Carey, executive director for National LGBTQ Task Force. “The Census Equality Act will put the Census Bureau back on the path it initiated two years ago to count LGBTQ people,” she said. “We call on members of Congress to support a full, fair, and accurate Census by becoming co-sponsors of the Census Equality Act and opposing efforts to add an untested citizenship question to the Census.”


Lessons for Italy from Australia

by Giulio Meotti

Four years ago, the Australian government sparked criticism after it ran an advertisement aimed at discouraging asylum seekers from traveling illegally to the country. "No Way", the poster read. "You will not make Australia home. If you get on a boat without a visa, you will not end up in Australia. Any vessel seeking illegally to enter Australia will be intercepted and safely removed beyond Australian waters".

It was an extremely tough message, but it worked. "Australia's migration rate is the lowest it's been in 10 years", said Peter Dutton, Australia's Home Affairs Minister. Speaking last week on the Today Show, Dutton added that the drop was about "restoring integrity to our border". The Australians are apparently happy about that. A new poll just revealed that 72% of voters support Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's immigration policy. Australia, a Western democracy, has for years, tried to deal with a migration crisis from the sea.

"Europeans think it's easy in Australia to control our borders, but they're just making up excuses for doing nothing themselves," said retired major general Jim Molan, co-author of Australia's asylum policy.

In 2013, Tony Abbott was elected Prime Minister under the slogan "Stop the boats". "Stop the boats" is now also the slogan of the new Italy's new Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, who, since the formation of a new government last month, has been totally focused on curbing immigration from "the world's most lethal" route: across the Mediterranean.

It would seem that the best possible model for Europe to implement is a skills-based immigration system to curb the illegal one.

Last year, EU officials came to Australia for help. At a recent summit, European Union member states agreed to copy the Australian model of turning back the migrant boats and sending them to third-countries, to centers there run by local authorities, on the model of the Manus Regional Processing Centre in Papua New Guinea, which was used to house migrants turned away from Australia. Italy is now looking to create similar reception centers on the southern border of Libya.

The Manus Regional Processing Centre in Papua New Guinea, where Australia used to send illegal immigrants turned away from Australia. It was formally closed on October 31, 2017. (Image source: Australia Department of Immigration and Citizenship)

François Crepeau, the U.N. special rapporteur on migrant human rights, urged Europe not to view Australia as a model; he labelled the idea "cruel, inhuman and degrading". Stopping migrants from dying at sea, however, is the opposite of cruelty; it is humanity. "We have got hundreds, maybe thousands of people drowning in the attempts to get from Africa to Europe", Abbott said. The "only way you can stop the deaths is in fact to stop the boats".

Australia's Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, explained that "we are not going to accept people who have sought to come to our country illegally by boat". Humanitarians, as Abbott put it, were helping them in the name of a "misguided altruism".

Under the government of Australia's former Prime Minister Julia Gilliard, in May 2013, Australia excised even the mainland from its migration zone. This meant that migrants might be sent to the detention facilities abroad even if their ships landed.

The Australian model is not only based on keeping the borders safe and prioritizing highly-skilled immigrants. It also revolves around the idea of a cultural legacy that migrants have to embrace. Prime Minister Turnbull says he wants a test, for immigrants, of "Australian values", including questions on whether it is acceptable to strike your spouse, ban girls from education, or carry out female genital mutilation (FGM). In multicultural Europe, the same test would be taboo. Turnbull has called to "defend" these Australian values. Preserving the nation-state and its cultural Western tradition, he says, is necessary to assimilate the migrants. "My long experience in Australian politics has been that whenever a government is seen to have immigration flows under control, public support for immigration increases, when the reverse occurs hostility to immigration rises" former Australian Prime Minister John Howard wrote.

As Italy is now dealing with boats from Africa trying to reach its shores, it might be helpful to remind the public that Australia also started with the "Tampa Affair": In 2001, Australia prevented a Norwegian boat, which had rescued hundreds of asylum-seekers in the Indian Ocean, from bringing them to Australia. It is called, "the boat that changed it all". The immigration minister at the time, Philip Ruddock, warned Australians that 10,000 people from the Middle East were preparing to embark boats from Asia to Australia. The Australian government ignored a request by the United Nations to let the refugees set foot on their island. Public opinion stood behind the government. Since, several decades ago, the first wave of "boat people" from Vietnam (1976–81) was received by the Australian public with sympathy, new arrivals quickly became a matter of increasing concern, as is happening now in Europe. Since then, Australia's policy to solve its own migration crisis has been, "no resettlements, no boats".

Following the Tampa Affair, the defining elements of Australia's future policy were put into place:

"Islands were excised from the Australian migration zone to prevent asylum seekers lodging visa applications; detention centres were set up on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island and the tiny and bankrupt republic of Nauru; and a reluctant Navy was engaged to intercept and turn back vessels containing asylum seekers".

Italy faces a new potential wave of 700,000 migrants currently in Libya. The Italian government should now follow Australia's example.

It is with a heavy heart that I am making these suggestions. It must be crushing to live in a country where governance might be questionable at best, and economic opportunities limited, if that. People know they are risking their life in search of a better break. But if the West is not to be overwhelmed, these problems seriously need to be addressed.

Illegal immigration is bad for Europe -- and bad for migrants, as well.



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, 2018

English Patriot Tommy Robinson wins appeal over contempt sentence, will be released

Tommy Robinson’s conviction for contempt of court has been overturned after a court ruled that the process leading to the conviction of the former leader of the English Defence League ‘was flawed.’

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, along with two other judges, quashed a finding of contempt, ordering a fresh hearing of the allegation.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment in May for breaching reporting restrictions relating to an ongoing trial.

The self-styled journalist live-streamed footage from outside the courthouse on Facebook, and the video was watched some 250,000 times.

A further three months were added to his sentence for breaching a previous suspended sentence related to an incident at Canterbury Crown Court in May 2017.

Fearing protests, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick warned that added security measures were in place around the courthouse.

Dick told the Independent: “We’ll see where the Free Tommy Robinson supporters go next and what they’re thinking next – it is a large set of people at the moment. “We are thinking about it and will be well-prepared.”

Jeremy Dein QC, Robinson’s lawyer, said his client’s initial court appearance was “unnecessarily and unfairly rushed,” with Robinson being arrested, sentenced and jailed within hours of his arrest.

A date for Robinson’s fresh hearing has not yet been set.


The rise of the Sweden Democrats

Reminiscent of Trump

Sweden is having a General Election on 9 September, and the populist anti-immigration party, the Sweden Democrats (SD), is threatening to cause an upset. Just eight years ago, the party cleared the four per cent hurdle to enter parliament for the first time, with 5.7 per cent of the vote. Now, two recent polls have the SD at around 25 per cent, which would make it the single largest party in the country, bigger than the Social Democrats and liberal-conservative Moderate Party.

The SD has a racist past. It grew out of racist organisations, and was co-founded by a veteran Waffen-SS volunteer in 1988. It has tried to clean up its image in recent years, and adopted a zero-tolerance policy against racism in 2012. But it remains embroiled in racist scandals. Several representatives have been spotted wearing Nazi armbands, ‘as a joke’. Others have stated that ‘Islam does not belong in Sweden’.

Obviously, the prospect of such a party gaining power is troubling. But perhaps the more important question is why are 20 to 25 per cent of the electorate willing to cast their votes for it? Why have so many Swedes become so alienated, and so distrustful of mainstream politicians, that they have been driven into the arms of the Sweden Democrats?

The migration issue is key here. Even discussing the costs of migration, raising questions about cultural differences, or about problems with integration, has long been considered suspect in polite society. And Swedes have become disillusioned with a political and media class that has been dishonest about these issues.

Sweden is a nation of only around 10million, and yet 160,000 people applied for asylum in Sweden during the 2015 migration crisis. They arrived in a country that was already struggling with integration, where many immigrant-dominated areas were blighted by high degrees of unemployment, crime and cultural segregation. Though Sweden’s problems are sometimes sensationalised, there are very real issues. There has been a surge in violent crime, including grenade attacks. Anti-Semitic attacks in the city of Malmo have trebled in recent years.

We’ve repeatedly been told that the influx of refugees would be a win for the economy, that among the Syrian refugees were plenty of doctors and engineers. We’ve been told that the Afghan migrants would save the welfare state, as an influx of low-skilled labour would help take care of our elderly. But the reality has been quite different. All the rhetoric was just an insult to voters’ intelligence.

Politicians seem to assume that the public are too dim or prejudiced to discuss migration rationally. A few weeks ago, Joakim Ruist, who has researched the costs around accepting refugees, was asked (on state television, no less) whether he had considered how his research might be exploited in the elections. Apparently, it’s wrong to present facts if they paint the wrong picture, or could be used by the wrong people.

As rhetoric has met reality, the mainstream parties have slowly begun to adopt a more restrictive stance on immigration, all the while maintaining a blockade against the Sweden Democrats. When the SD entered parliament in 2010, all the other parties refused to work with it. Even having discussions with SD representatives is enough to have a politician publicly shamed. And while parties have no obligation to work with them, this may well have compounded the sense that the SD is the only real alternative.

The rise of the Sweden Democrats is not primarily about a return of nativism. Much like the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump, it is the story of a people increasingly fed up with elitism and political correctness. It isn’t the racism of the public that has brought the SD to where it is today, but the delusion, dishonesty and hypocrisy of the elite.


Woman Born In Hitler’s Germany Tells Liberals They Remind Her Of Nazis

It has become a tiresome cliche on the left. President Trump is the new Hitler. His supporters are all Nazis. But is there any truth in these comparisons?

Not according to a real-life survivor of Hitler’s Germany, Marion Ingeborg Andrews, who gave entitled liberals a major reality check when she told them that liberals are the extremist group that most closely resemble the Nazis she grew up with.

IJR spoke with Marion Ingeborg Andrews, who goes by Inga. She was born in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1940 during Hitler’s reign of terror. While most American kids were playing with friends, Andrews was hiding in air raid shelters and helping to clean up the rubble from destroyed buildings to rebuild her city.

Inga Andrews said:

“What is going on in this country is giving me chills. Trump is not like Hitler. Just because a leader wants order doesn’t mean they’re like a dictator.

“What reminds me more of Hitler than anything else isn’t Trump, it’s the destruction of freedom of speech on the college campuses — the agendas fueled by the professors.

“That’s how Hitler started, he pulled in the youth to miseducate them, to brainwash them, it’s happening today.”

“I see what is happening here reflecting some of the things we saw in Germany, and it’s terrifying. It’s sad. But it’s not because of Trump. It’s because of poor education.

“Trump is not like Hitler. The theory that he is is propaganda. Yes, I lived through some of Nazi Germany, but all you have to do is read some books about that period to see how wrong that theory is.”

Andrews drove home her point further for the younger generation:

“It saddens me that we are teaching garbage in the schools and in the college. We don’t teach history anymore. History repeats itself over and over.

“The kids out there today haven’t ever lived through a war like I did. I remember sitting in a rock pile, cleaning rocks, to rebuild Germany. I remember eating maple leaves and grass to survive.”

She later made it to the U.S. when her mother married an American, but her journey wasn’t without hurdles.

“The ship we took was the U.S.S. Washington. We arrived in New York in March of 1953. My mother, Meta Weinbach, and I still had the last name Muller.

“So we had a vetting process like what we are going through now because you have to have this to make the country safe.”

Then Andrews had some choice words for the protesters in the streets destroying property:

“America needs to grow up. The young people who are rioting and destroying property, who have no respect for elders and freedom of speech, I was so proud to become a citizen of this country.”

“Professors shouldn’t be telling their students to go after freedom of speech. They should be telling them that this is the greatest country in the world.

“The demonstrators can’t tell you why they’re demonstrating. I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I just want the country to be at peace.

“I see what is happening here reflecting some of the things we saw in Germany, and it’s terrifying. It’s sad. But it’s not because of Trump. It’s because of poor education.

“Trump is not like Hitler. The theory that he is is propaganda. Yes, I lived through some of Nazi Germany, but all you have to do is read some books about that period to see how wrong that theory is.”


Australia could add 'values test' for migrants, Malcolm Turnbull says

Australia will consider adding a “values test” for those considering permanent residency in order to protect its “extraordinarily successful” multicultural society, Malcolm Turnbull said.

The prime minister confirmed what his citizenship and multicultural minister Alan Tudge told the Australia/UK Leadership Forum overnight, where he floated the idea of a “values” test to fend off “segregation”.

Tudge told his London audience “our ship is slightly veering towards a European separatist multicultural model and we want to pull it back to be firmly on the Australian integrated path”.

“Some of the challenges to social cohesion that we are facing today are similar to ones that the UK is facing – such as ethnic segregation and liberal values being challenged.”

Speaking in Tasmania on Friday, Turnbull said testing potential migrants on values made sense.

“That is certainly one of the issues that we are considering but I have to say to you that we are the most successful multicultural society in the world,” he said.

“One of the reasons we are is because we put an enormous amount of effort, in Australia, into integration, into ensuring that our form of multiculturalism is one where we can all benefit from the diversity of cultural and religious and ethnic backgrounds that Australians have.

“This is a country where 28% of Australians were born outside of Australia, over half have a parent born outside of Australia – but isn’t it remarkable that we live together is so much harmony because of the values we share and those Australian values, of democracy, freedom, the rule of law, respect for women, equality between men and women.

“All of these values are vitally important and we must never, ever take them for granted and we should always ensure that we maintain them because that is what creates this extraordinary successful multicultural society that we have.

“We look around the world, and we should do that from time to time, and you look at all of the tensions and dissent and conflict, you can see what a great achievement 25 million Australians have made.”

Senior Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese criticised Tudge’s speech, saying ministers should promote Australia while overseas.

“It’s pretty odd that an Australian government minister goes to the UK and talks our country down,” Albanese told the Nine Network on Friday.

He said Australia was an incredibly successful multicultural nation.

“Australia, I think, is a bit of a microcosm for what the world should be. People from different religions, races and backgrounds living together overwhelmingly in harmony,” Albanese said.

Tudge said Australians should never be complacent about social cohesion, and advocated “modest incremental policy” changes now rather than “dramatic initiatives down the track”.

“If we want Australia to continue its multicultural success, we must take active steps now to ensure that social cohesion remains strong,” Tudge said.

The government has already proposed an English-language skills test, for potential permanent migrants, which last month Turnbull said would aid with integration.

The government’s attempts last year to make achieving citizenship harder, including requiring all applicants to have lived in Australia for four years on permanent residency visas, as well as an advanced English-language test, were rejected by the Senate.

Immigration is shaping up as one of the upcoming election’s biggest issues, as the government faces pressure from conservative members of its backbench, and crossbenchers such as Pauline Hanson, to cut Australia’s immigration rate to ease population pressures in major centres.



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, 2018

Hollywood Director Goes Rogue, Tarnishes Obama Legacy

Jaco Booyens has been fighting against human sex trafficking for nearly a decade, so he has an accurate idea of how much help his cause has received from the government.

So when Booyens — who also directed the movie “8 Days,” which is based on true stories of victims of sex trafficking — says former President Barack Obama didn’t do anything to help fight the problem, it carries credibility.

Booyens is a member of the board of Traffick911, founded in 2009 and has helped free hundreds of youth from sex-trafficking operations. But he says little if any of that help came during Obama’s time in office.

“Do you know that I cannot get the radical left to do something about it?” Booyens said Thursday at Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit. “Do you know that we could not get the Obama White House to do something about it?”

President Donald Trump’s administration, on the other hand, has been very active in fighting trafficking, Booyens said.

“Do you know that President Trump has done more to fight that thing — Ivanka (Trump), Jared (Kushner) — they have done more — Don Jr. — to fight that thing,” he said.

Trump issued an executive order early last year, that directs the government to “identify, interdict, disrupt, and dismantle the transnational criminal organizations that engage in human trafficking.”

“My administration will focus on ending the absolutely horrific practice of human trafficking. And I am prepared to bring the full force and weight of our government, whatever we can do, in order to solve this horrific problem,” Trump said of his executive order.

The Epoch Times reports Immigration and Customs Enforcement identified or rescued 904 sexually exploited children and 518 victims of human trafficking in fiscal 2017.

Last month, the Department of Justice announced it had arrested more than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders in a sweeping nationwide operation, called Operation Broken Heart.

Booyens said the fight against human trafficking has to be fought hand-in-hand with the fight against child pornography.

“You’ve got to go after the guy that pays for child pornography,” he said. He suggested to the audience members that they go to their conservative lawmakers and say, “How about we start going after the buyer. You buy sex with a teenager, you’ve got to go away for life.”

Booyens, a native of South Africa, became active in the fight against trafficking because his sister was trafficked as a child.

Booyens said those on the left who condone “moral fluidity” are helping justify some people’s attraction to having sex with children.

“Now we have things such as, ‘Hey there’s some people that love to have sex with children, deal with it,’” Booyens said. “No, I’m not going to deal with it, I’m going to fight it.”

And the White House is going to fight with him, as well.


Revolutionary Girl Guides Revamp Sees Home Skills Ditched for ‘Human Rights’

In the most “revolutionary” overhaul in the organisation’s history, Girlguiding UK has consigned traditional badges to history in favour of new skills preparing girls to “take on the world”, many of which are unabashedly political.

Set to be phased in over the next 12 months, the new programme advocates girls take inspiration from far-left groups like Black Lives Matter, introducing activities like creating ‘womanifestos’, analysing the media for ‘bias’ and writing to MPs in place of badges which related to traditional activities, like ‘home skills’, ‘musician’, and ‘hostess’.

New badges unveiled by the charity, which has been running since 1909, are grouped under six themes; ‘express myself’, ‘be well’, ‘know myself’, ‘skills for my future’, ‘have adventures’, and ‘take action’.

‘Campaigning’, ‘voting’, and ‘conscious consumer’ are among the badges girls can earn in the ‘take action’ category, along with ‘craftivism’, which involves “crafting items that make a statement, advocate for change and challenge injustice”.

According to the Daily Mail, the ‘craftivism’ badge literature recommends girls focus on “social justice; environmentalism; ethical clothing campaigns; anti-capitalism; feminism; guerrilla kindness”.

To obtain the ‘protesting’ badge, girls are first introduced to boycotting as a peaceful form of protest before looking at personal safety at large demonstrations, which are described as “exciting and uplifting”.

Told to look to ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘Refugees Welcome’, and ‘Ban the Bomb’ for inspiration, girls studying for the badge should “pick an issue that’s important to you, and use alternative protesting methods to protest in as many creative ways as you can [… such as] letter writing, going on strike, through social media, wearing symbols or making displays”.

The ‘know myself’ category features badges including ‘my rights’ and ‘women’s rights’, with literature regarding the ‘human rights’ badge stating: “Human rights keep our society fair and equal [… and they] belong to everyone, no matter where they’re from, what they believe or how they choose to live.”

Headlined “girls just want to have fun…damental rights”, the page for the ‘women’s rights’ badge says: “Things have certainly improved for women over time, but even now some areas of life still aren’t equal.”

“Current women’s rights issues”, according to the organisation, include the so-called tampon tax, media portrayals of “women of colour… [and] women who choose not to have children”, along with female authors such as JK Rowling choosing “to use names which aren’t obviously female”.

The ‘express yourself’ category features the ‘media critic’ badge — which teaches how to “cast a critical eye over the media” — appears to be an introduction to Marxist critical theory, encouraging girls to pick out “gender stereotyping” or LGBT representation in films, as well as to analyse news for “bias”.

Girlguiding UK has become increasingly political in recent years, campaigning on issues including increasing the number of female MPs and against “media sexism and stereotyping”, and it successfully campaigned to make sex and relationship education (SRE) promoting LGBT activity compulsory in schools across England.

The organisation’s dedication to moulding young girls into political campaigners is also apparent in new, skills builder badges designed to help girls develop skills as they grow older.

In stage five of the six-stage ‘influence’ programme, girls learn to “identify decision makers and gain the skills to influence them on the issues you care about”, finding out how to harness pressure groups, networking, and “snowflake connectors” in order to “make change happen”.

Commenting on the new programme, Jess Bond, a lead volunteer said: “We’ve always moved with the times and we hope to welcome even more members to girlguiding with this diverse range of activities as there really is something for every girl.

“Our ambition is to give girls the opportunity to discover and develop their interests, skills and confidence, take on new challenges and have fun and adventure with their friends. We want girls to feel equipped to take on the world.”


Parents and Leaders Rebel Against Rules Allowing Boys and Men into Girlguiding Showers

Girlguiding leaders are pushing back against rules allowing boys and young men to “identity” as female and share showers with girls.

The revamp comes after several already significant changes to the organisation in recent years. Breitbart reported in 2013 after Britain’s Girl Guides removed the promise to ‘love God’ in the oath, traditionally recited at every meeting, and saying they would be true to themselves instead.

In 2017, the organisation said male members of the Guides who identified as females would be allowed to share changing rooms, toilets, tents, and cabins with girls, a move which triggered protest by parents and local leaders. Some of those who objected to the change were dismissed as ‘TERFS’, or Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists, by campaigners.


Australia: 'Men matter too': Anti-feminist launches a 'March for Men'

An anti-feminism campaigner is asking for donations to support a 'March for Men' claiming that males have been unfairly treated in the aftermath of the rape and murder of comedian Eurydice Dixon.

Sydney Watson, has setup a GoFundMe page for the event she is organising in response to what she calls 'an assault on men collectively.'

Ms Watson, who is half American and a vocal Trump supporter, has previously released YouTube videos questioning gun control arguments and white privilege.

The former University of Melbourne journalism student says she is hoping hundreds of men and women will attend the event at Melbourne's Federation Square on August 25 to 'rally together for masculinity.'

The goal of the march is 'not to diminish women's rights or make any negative statements about women,' says Ms Watson.

In June, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews posted to Facebook his thoughts regarding the rape and murder of Ms Dixon. 'Women don't need to change their behaviour. Men do,' he wrote.

'My safety is my responsibility. I don't want to put any accountability on anyone else. Sure, we can teach men not to rape or, alternatively, maybe we can give women the right to self-defence' Ms Watson said in response.

'This post is sanctimonious and patronising. I, for one, am absolutely sick and tired of men collectively being demonised at every turn and at every opportunity.'

The event GoFundMe page has so far raised over $1500 towards its goal of $5000.

'For a long time, we have focused on women's liberation and women's rights,' the description for the event states.

'But now, it is time to give male issues the love and attention they deserve in the interest of creating a better Australia.'



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



HOME (Index page)

BIO for John Ray

(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.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13

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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