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 ????


30 August, 2019

Religious Freedom Win for Christians Who Refuse to Create Same-Sex Wedding Videos

On Friday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court had wrongly dismissed a case involving free speech and religious freedom. Minnesota filmmakers Carl and Angel Larsen, owners of Telescope Media Group, gladly serve all people but desire to make wedding videos that only include opposite-sex couples. Minnesota's Department of Human Rights ruled that this would constitute discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Penalties for violating the law include a civil penalty, triple compensatory damages, punitive damages of up to $25,000, a criminal penalty of up to $1,000, and up to 90 days in jail.

The Larsens sued and requested a preliminary injunction to prevent Minnesota from enforcing the law against them until their case could be decided. A lower court rejected the lawsuit and the request for an injunction, but the 8th Circuit remanded the case, insisting that the Larsens have a strong free speech and religious freedom claim and that they likely deserve an injunction.

"This is a significant win. The government shouldn’t threaten filmmakers with fines and jail time to force them to create films that violate their beliefs," Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the law firm representing the Larsens, said in a statement. Tedesco argued for the Larsens before the 8th Circuit last October.

"Carl and Angel work with all people; they just don’t create films promoting all messages," Tedesco explained. "That’s why we’re pleased that the 8th Circuit has affirmed that the Larsens’ films are fully protected speech and that the state lacks a compelling interest to force them to express messages through their films that violate their deeply held convictions. All creative professionals should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment."

In Religious Freedom Case, State Says It Can Force a Muslim Tattoo Artist to Endorse Christianity
Telescope Media Group will not make films that, in their view, "contradict biblical truth; promote sexual immorality; support the destruction of unborn children; promote racism or racial division; incite violence; degrade women; or promote any conception of marriage other than as a lifelong institution between one man and one woman."

The Larsens aim to "capture the background stories of the couples' love" and "the sacredness of their sacrificial vows at the altar" in their videos. Minnesota interpreted this as a violation of the state's non-discrimination law. If Telescope Media makes wedding videos, it must make same-sex wedding videos. Yet Minnesota's Human Rights Department went even further — the Larsens must depict same-sex and opposite-sex weddings in an equally "positive" light.

The Larsens objected, pointing to the First Amendment rights of free speech, religious freedom, freedom of association, and more. The district court had rejected the Larsens' argument, saying they failed to state a claim. In Telescope Media Group v. Lucero, the 8th Circuit ruled against many of the Larsens' claims, but upheld the validity of their free speech and religious freedom arguments.

"Carl and Angel Larsen wish to make wedding videos. Can Minnesota require them to produce videos of same-sex weddings, even if the message would conflict with their own beliefs? The district court concluded that it could and dismissed the Larsens’ constitutional challenge to Minnesota’s antidiscrimination law. Because the First Amendment allows the Larsens to choose when to speak and what to say, we reverse the dismissal of two of their claims and remand with instructions to consider whether they are entitled to a preliminary injunction," the 8th Circuit ruled.

Among other reasons, the court noted that if Minnesota could force the Larsens to make videos celebrating same-sex weddings, "there is no reason it would have to stop with the Larsens. In theory, it could use the MHRA to require a Muslim tattoo artist to inscribe ‘My religion is the only true religion’ on the body of a Christian if he or she would do the same for a fellow Muslim, or it could demand that an atheist musician perform at an evangelical church service."

"In fact, if Minnesota were to do what other jurisdictions have done and declare political affiliation or ideology to be a protected characteristic, then it could force a Democratic speechwriter to provide the same services to a Republican, or it could require a professional entertainer to perform at rallies for both the Republican and Democratic candidates for the same office," the court added. This is no idle warning.

"Angel and I serve everyone. We just can’t produce films promoting every message," Carl Larsen said after the 8th Circuit's decision. "We are thankful the court recognized that government officials can’t force religious believers to violate their beliefs to pursue their passion. This is a win for everyone, regardless of your beliefs."

Contrary to the LGBT narrative, refusing to celebrate a same-sex wedding is not the same thing as discriminating against a person because he or she identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Americans have the free speech right not to be compelled to endorse an event they disagree with. This is quite different from posting a "no gays allowed" sign on a business — that would be the kind of discrimination illegal in many states.

While few gay or lesbian people might trust the Larsens to make them a wedding video, the government has already threatened to compel them to speak in favor of same-sex marriage. The 8th Circuit rightly noted that this likely violates the First Amendment, but the Larsens' battle is far from over.


The British government’s madcap plan to Britons' calories

Food reformulation is the most cretinous, authoritarian public-health policy yet.

Of all the bad policies that have flown under the radar while the country has been consumed by Brexit, none is more bizarre than food reformulation. Imagine a policy dreamt up by Caligula and implemented by the Politburo and you still wouldn’t capture the barking-mad insanity and bureaucratic dogmatism of Public Health England’s flagship anti-obesity policy.

The basic idea is cretinously simple. People are obese because they eat too much, but it is difficult to get them to eat less, so the government has instructed the food industry to remove 20 per cent of the calories from food. Food companies have been told to do this ‘voluntarily’ by 2024 or face further regulation and a legally binding target — ie, it is not really voluntary.

The calorie-reduction target is effectively a fat-reduction target, as it comes on top of a diktat demanding a 20 per cent reduction in sugar content by 2020 and a long-running salt-reduction scheme. This leaves protein, fibre, complex carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners as the handful of food groups of which the government still approves, but using them as substitutes to appease Public Health England poses a number of intractable problems. Protein, fibre and carbohydrates contain the same amount of calories per gram as sugar, so they would not reduce the energy content of food even if they were realistic replacements, which they are often not. Artificial sweeteners are a hundred times sweeter than sugar and are only really useful substitutes in soft drinks where texture and weight do not matter. To be used in food, something else must be used to add volume, and that brings us back to the problem above. In any case, most people prefer the taste of sugar.

The food-reformulation scheme is presented as a collaboration between Public Health England (PHE) and the food industry, but since PHE doesn’t know the first thing about food manufacturing – or even, it seems, basic cooking – it amounts to a government agency barking orders from its bunker while the companies try to explain that it’s a bit more complicated than that. In the four years since the sugar-reduction target was set, reality has repeatedly collided with the bureaucrats’ plans. The proposal to take sugar out of jam, for example, had to be abandoned when PHE learned that it is a legal requirement for jam to contain at least 50 per cent sugar.

Initially, the idea was for industry to reformulate cakes, biscuits and sweets with magical, low-calorie ingredients, but when these proved elusive and it was explained to PHE that you can’t replace sugar in a Mars bar with aspartame, the agency allowed the companies to reduce portion size instead. Hence the shrinkflation that has been particularly noticeable in the confectionery sector in recent years. There is more to come as the 2020 deadline approaches, with Cadbury’s Fudge, Chomp and Curly Wurly among the chocolate bars that will get smaller next year.

Reducing portion size has given the industry a get-out-of-jail-free card for some foods, but for the many products that do not come in standard sizes, such as sauces, cereals and baked beans, the problem remains. Reformulating to meet PHE’s targets is either physically impossible or only possible by making a product that nobody wants to eat.

Public Health England has charged food manufacturers with the task of ‘finding innovative ways to lower the calories in the food we all enjoy’, as if this were a novel idea that had never occurred to the industry before; as if the only thing holding the industry back from finding this Holy Grail was a lack of government targets. PHE seems unaware that supermarket shelves are full of low-calorie, low-fat and low-sugar versions of popular brands, most of which do not sell particularly well because they are not as tasty as the original recipes. Any company that invented a tasty, low-sugar chocolate bar would become fabulously wealthy. The financial incentives have been in place for decades. It has not happened because it is not possible.

At the heart of the reformulation delusion is an ignorance of market forces, a deep suspicion of industry and a naive faith in the power of bureaucracy to remedy supposed market failures. One of David Cameron’s greatest mistakes as prime minister was creating Public Health England in 2013. This quango, which relieves the taxpayer of over £4 billion a year, was always going to attract ideologues and activists from the clown show that is ‘public health’ academia. These people are relatively harmless when confined to their echo-chamber conferences and rinky-dink journals, but are a menace when allowed off the leash. At Public Health England, they have real power and influence. It is telling that the only ‘stakeholders’ from civil society involved in the reformulation work are Action on Sugar and the Obesity Health Alliance, two mouthpieces of the fanatical Graham MacGregor, who flood the media with hysterical claims about the ‘shocking’ levels of various ingredients in normal, everyday food.

As Josie Appleton showed in her superb report for the IEA last week, these activist groups are the outriders of reformulation, working hand in glove with PHE to soften the public up for further interventions in the food supply. The bone-headed approach of these extremist pressure groups has been bought wholesale by the apparatchiks at PHE. They allow no room for personal autonomy. As they see it, the public will buy whatever products the food industry throws at them. For some mysterious reason, the industry has traditionally chosen to put lots of unnecessary fat, sugar, salt and, er, calories in these products. Therefore, all the government needs to do is to tell them to use saccharine and brown rice instead and the British public will lose weight without even noticing.

It is the kind of idea you might hear from someone who owns a collection of bongs, but thanks to Public Health England it is official government policy. As if to mask the essential stupidity of the scheme, PHE has introduced layers of bureaucracy and issued hundreds of pages of technical notes to give it the veneer of science. Once the calorie programme is fully underway, there will be no fewer than 299 different targets, covering most food products sold in shops and supermarkets as well as the dishes served in pubs, cafés and restaurants.

The preposterous way in which these targets are created is a classic illustration of the dead hand of the state. PHE bundles a bunch of dissimilar products together, takes the average calorie count and knocks 20 per cent off. Voila! There’s the food industry’s target for cakes or sandwiches or whatever. This often leads to targets being set far below anything the market can withstand.

In an effort to demonstrate that such radical targets are achievable, PHE’s henchmen at Action on Sugar issue frequent press releases applauding whichever brand has the lowest sugar content and demanding every other brand drop to the same level. These are usually chalk-and-cheese comparisons, putting cheap, artificially sweetened ice cream up against delicious, luxury ice cream, or contrasting specialised biscuits for diabetics against market-leading brands.

PHE adds to the confusion by throwing fundamentally different products into the same category to create meaningless averages, taking off 20 per cent and handing the final figure to food companies as an evidence-based target. For example, PHE’s ‘sweets’ category includes nougat (which contains nuts and egg whites), popcorn (which is 50 per cent fibre) and boiled sweets (which are almost entirely made of carbohydrates, mostly sugar). The amount of sugar in these ‘sweets’ ranges from 0.1g to 99g per 100g, leading to a nonsensical average of 60.6g per 100g and a ludicrous target of 48.4g. If enforced, this would mean taking a large part of the confectionery market off the shelves.

Could the government not simply advise people to avoid eating sweets if they are trying to lose weight instead? A crazy idea, I know, but it has the advantage of recognising human agency and respecting free choice. It is also less likely to end in tears than Public Health England’s madcap attempt to remake the food supply according to arbitrary numbers spewed from a spreadsheet.

Britain is the only country to be attempting such an assault on the food supply, and no wonder. Its many absurdities are only beginning to come to light. The public has only begun to encounter the fruits of reformulation and they are not impressed.

State control of recipes is what you get when the ‘public health’ lobby is given free rein. In the next few years, it will become clear that ‘reformulate’ is a euphemism for degrade and destroy. By the time this farce has played itself out, the British public will be ready to reformulate Public Health England.


Mormon church warning: Beware of those fancy coffee drinks

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a warning to members that coffee is prohibited no matter how fancy the name, that vaping is banned despite the alluring flavors, and that marijuana is outlawed unless prescribed by ‘‘competent’’ doctors.

The new guidance in the August issue of a church youth magazine does not include fundamental changes to the religion’s strict health code, but the clarifications are significant and seem to reflect growing concern about young Latter-day Saints’ adherence to the rules.

The article says it aims to clear up issues that could be confusing for young people within the religion’s ‘‘Word of Wisdom,’’ a set of rules about what foods and drinks are good for members and what substances they should avoid.

The rules prohibit alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, and coffee and tea. They are based on what church members believe was a revelation from God to founder Joseph Smith in 1833. The faith’s rejection of coffee has long generated curiosity and more than a few jokes, including a scene in the biting satirical Broadway musical called ‘‘The Book of Mormon,’’ where dancing cups of coffee appear in missionary’s nightmare.

The new instructions about coffee make clear that there’s no gray area allowing coffee-infused drinks and allude to the wide variety that could tempt members of the faith, widely known as the Mormon church.

‘‘The word coffee isn’t always in the name of coffee drinks. So, before you try what you think is just some new milkshake flavor, here are a couple of rules of thumb: One: If you’re in a coffee shop (or any other shop that’s well known for its coffee), the drink you’re ordering probably has coffee in it, so either never buy drinks at coffee shops or always ask if there’s coffee in it,’’ the article said. ‘‘Two: Drinks with names that include cafe or caffe, mocha, latte, espresso, or anything ending in -ccino usually have coffee in them and are against the Word of Wisdom.’’

As coffee shops have become common in the United States, more young church members feel comfortable going to places like Starbucks and drinking iced coffee, said Patrick Mason, a church member and religious scholar who is the Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University. For past generations, just entering coffee shops was considered taboo, he said.

The guidance will dash the hopes of some members who hoped the church would loosen the rules about coffee, he said. Starbucks announced recently that it would open its first stand-alone shop in the heavily Mormon city of Provo near the church-owned Brigham Young University next year. Starbucks does offer some non-coffee drinks, including hot chocolate and lemonade.


Australian conservative politicians who backed homosexual marriage now back religious protections bill

The Liberal Party architects of Australia’s same-sex marriage laws have broadly backed Scott Morrison’s religious discrimination bill.

North Queensland MP Warren Entsch led the push towards the legislation of marriage equality from within the Liberal Party when it returned to power in 2013. WA Senator Dean Smith wrote the bill that was ultimately passed after 7.8 million Australians voted in favour of same-sex unions.

Today’s draft Religious Discrimination Act partly exists to address concerns from religious Australians who feared same-sex marriage could encroach on their beliefs and rights.

Senator Smith and Mr Entsch both said Attorney-General Christian Porter’s decision to avoid enshrining freedom of religion and instead molding his laws in the image of other anti-discrimination was the right move.

“I wholeheartedly support the introduction of a religious discrimination bill,” Senator Smith told The Australian.

“Pursuit of a religious discrimination bill was initially proposed by the Senate Select Committee which examined same sex marriage and has been comprehensively examined and endorsed by the Ruddock Review.

“Substantively the draft bill is a faithful expression of the Government’s response to the Ruddock Review released in December last year.

“The case for a positive rights approach has been poorly made and the Attorney-General is correct to have rejected the idea as inconsistent with Australia’s legal approach and fraught with inherent legal risk.

“Australia’s anti-discrimination architecture has served Australians well and enjoys broad endorsement across the community and it would be careless to dismantle it now.

Mr Entsch told The Australian today he was pleased the Attorney-General had avoided a freedom of religion bill, but he was still to read the full bill and wanted to consult with LGBTI groups.

“This bill is always what was intended. That’s what the Ruddock Review recommended and it couldn’t be anything else, otherwise we’d need a whole other review,” he said.

“I have to say Mr Porter has been good and he’s always kept me up to scratch. There is no reason to think the Attorney has done anything other than his absolute best on this.

Attorney-General Christian Porter has unveiled laws to protect Australians from discrimination on the basis of their religious belief, but the laws do not go as far as many church leaders want.

The Attorney-General’s Religious Discrimination Bill will take the form of similar anti-discrimination laws on gender, age, race and disability, and be brought before parliament in October.

It will not be a broader “religious freedom” act which Mr Porter said today would be too vague and lead to courts ultimately deciding what rights matter more in Australia.

“Australia has a strong anti-discrimination framework with specific protections for people against discrimination on the basis of their age, sex, race and disability,” Mr Porter said.

“This draft Bill released today extends those protections to provide protection for people against discrimination on the basis of their religion or religious belief, or lack thereof.

“The Bill would make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of religious belief or activity in key areas of public life. The Bill does not create a positive right to freedom of religion.”

The Religious Discrimination Act would create a new Freedom of Religion Commissioner and provide comprehensive protection on religious belief and activity.

“Whilst there will always be competing views on issues such as this, the government considers the draft Bill presented today strikes the right balance in the interests of all Australians,” Mr Porter said.

“Consultation has already been undertaken through my office and the office of the Prime Minister with a range of stakeholder groups, including religious organisations.

“Further consultation with a wide range of stakeholders will now follow the release of the Bill and I look forward to working constructively with interested parties in settling a final Bill over the coming weeks. The first of these consultations will take place next week.

“I expect the Bills can be introduced in October and considered by both the House and Senate before the end of the calendar year, allowing time for a Senate inquiry.”

Some religious leaders boycotted the speech by Mr Porter at Sydney’s Great Synagogue because of his inclination against a broader act enshrining freedom of religion.

Mr Porter today said he was always opposed to such a broad law and this religious discrimination bill would provide courts with a better structure by which to weigh up religious issues.

He also said that some religious leaders did not understand the fallout any religious freedoms bill could entail.

“Aside from not being what was recommended from the extensive consultative analysis of the Ruddock Review, or indeed what was taken and promised at a full federal election, there are several obvious problems with the positive rights approach,” he said in Sydney.

“At several points of the consultations, I might respectively say, on this issue it appeared people had not thought through the positive rights approach — including those in church groups who were calling for it.

“I have always found vague and unconvincing ... a list of rights and leaving the courts to determine the outcomes.”



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, 2019

French waiter shot dead over slow sandwich service, witnesses say

This is a curious story.  It sounds like something out of Chicago rather than suburban Paris.  So what do we make of it?  I can think of only one explanation: The shooter was a Muslim.  The shop is in a rough multicultural area so that could be. From what I have seen, many Muslims are sensitive about their "honour".  They fly off the handle if they think you are "disrespecting" them.  They have very fragile egos.

But who knows what the unfortunate waiter said or did? French waiters have a sometimes deserved reputation for rudeness and arrogance so it could be that the waiter was just being his normal self when he offended the Muslim.  Will French waiters up their game after this?  Unlikely.

The offender has now been arrested  but all we have so far been told about him is that he is a 34-year-old man, described as a "small local bully" ("petite frappe locale").  He is known to the courts for drug trafficking and gun violence, according to a source close to the investigation.  His religion is so far unknown

Police in France are hunting for a customer accused of fatally shooting a waiter at a restaurant near Paris because, witnesses said, he was upset over the wait for his sandwich.

The killing took place Friday around 9:15 p.m. at a pizza and sandwich restaurant named Le Mistral in Noisy-Le-Grand, east of Paris, police said. The customer, who has not been identified, had been waiting several minutes for a sandwich — it was unclear what kind — and became angry because he thought it had not been prepared quickly enough, restaurant employees and other witnesses told the local news media.

The man insulted the 28-year-old waiter before producing a 9mm handgun, shooting and seriously wounding him in the shoulder, according to the news network BFMTV. Colleagues who witnessed the shooting called the police. Paramedics arrived quickly, but were unable to revive the waiter. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The gunman fled the restaurant and was still on the run as of Sunday. A police spokesman, Raphaël Biron from the Paris Police Prefecture, confirmed the events, but declined to provide further details because the investigation was continuing.

Paris’s suburbs are replete with many fast-food restaurants, and waiters often work under pressure to deliver customers’ orders quickly and efficiently. But most killings in restaurants have been tied to score-settling and feuds, the authorities said.

On Saturday, stunned residents and shopkeepers gathered outside the pizza and sandwich restaurant after the killing. One woman told reporters that the restaurant, which opened a few months ago, had been quiet and previously had no problems.

Amid growing competition from other global tourist destinations, France over the years has started campaigns to burnish its image, including improving its reputation for gruff dining experiences. Paris’s tourism board, for example, had begun a charm offensive by handing out thousands of pamphlets to cafes, hotels, shops, and taxi ranks titled “Do You Speak Touriste?” in a bid to make travelers feel more welcome.

But the shooting in Noisy-Le-Grand had all the markings of a singular burst of violence. It is part of the Seine-Saint-Denis department, on the outskirts of Paris, where poor social conditions have often led to crimes and social unrest.

News of the killing drew angry reactions on Twitter, including from Jean Messiha, a top member of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, who linked the shooting to “mass immigration.”

But Sylvain Thézard, chief of staff of Noisy-Le-Grand’s mayor, pushed back at any link between the killing and immigration.

“We are shocked by the comments on social networks that make a lot of confusion,” he said. “Crime rates are declining in our city. This murder is by no means the result of a deeper problem. It’s nothing but sad news.”


Trump Cautions Jewish Voters Who Support Democrats

His comments on Jewish loyalty highlight the growing problem of leftist anti-Semitism.    

Once again the Leftmedia had a conniption fit over President Donald Trump’s latest comments. And once again much of the mainstream media was focused on the question, “How could he say such things?” while seemingly ignoring the deeper question, “Why is Trump saying such things?” It’s no mystery that Trump is a troll, meaning he intentionally drops rhetorical bombs to stir the pot and direct the conversation. This has been his modus operandi going back decades.

Trump on Tuesday asserted that Jewish people who vote Democrat are being “disloyal.” On Wednesday, he further clarified his comments, explaining that he meant they were being “disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel.” In other words, Trump’s comments were clearly not the anti-Semitic trope of “dual loyalty” expressed by Democrats Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. However, it’s easy to see why Trump’s remarks could be taken as offensive, particularly since the vast majority of Jewish Americans vote Democrat and have done so for decades.

Trump’s comments ring similar to those expressed by leftists for years. How many times have Democrats accused women who don’t support their leftist policy positions on women’s issues of voting against their own interests? How many times have black conservatives been told they are working against their own interests? In other words, this is yet another instance of Trump playing politics like a Democrat.

Clearly, Trump is attempting to put a spotlight on the growing and very real problem of anti-Semitism currently metastasizing within the Democrat Party. His calling out of Jewish Americans for supporting Democrats raises a question that has often puzzled many conservatives: Why support a party that is seemingly hell-bent on building a socialist road toward a totalitarian state, especially given the history of how socialist states have treated Jews? And why continue to support a party whose members leading this socialist crusade espouse such anti-Semitic views? Obviously, there’s great nuance involved in the reasons behind anyone’s political opinions, but the question is still valid.

And it is clear that anti-Semitism is a growing problem, specifically in the West. The European Union is poised to enact a rule that eerily harkens back to the Holocaust era. As The Washington Free Beacon reports, “The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice recently issued non-binding opinion arguing that EU law requires Israeli-made products to be labeled as coming from ‘settlements’ and ‘Israeli colonies.’”

While Trump’s methods of political engagement can be grating and off-putting, he is effective in focusing a lot of attention on issues that the MSM might otherwise choose to ignore.


VA Lifts Ban on Bibles in Move to Support Religious Freedom

As a kid, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie recalls, he visited a VA hospital at Christmastime. “One of my fondest memories growing up, we used to sing Christmas carols at the VA hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina,” Wilkie told The Daily Signal, sitting in a 10th-floor office at VA headquarters on Vermont Avenue Northwest, overlooking the White House.

“Something as simple and as decent as that was being stopped,” he said. “With the support of the president, we just said enough is enough.”

Wilkie grew up at Fort Bragg, the son of an Army artillery commander. He himself served in both the Navy and Air Force reserves, and as a Pentagon official.

Since becoming VA secretary a little more than a year ago, he has returned to North Carolina.

“I was in my hometown. We have a beautiful chapel in the old VA hospital. And I walked in and there were no Bibles,” the secretary said. “It had been stripped of the symbols of religion.”

The VA revised directives to permit religious literature, symbols, and displays at agency facilities following a string of incidents in recent years in which individual medical centers banned Christmas carols and a Christmas tree, chapels removed Bibles, and chaplains faced restraints on religious expression.

Generally, the VA had inconsistent policies across the country.

Officials designed the changes to protect the religious freedom of veterans and their families. 

The new guidelines, which went into effect last month, referred to the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing a cross-shaped memorial to World War I dead to continue standing on public land in Bladensburg, Maryland.

The high court’s decision highlighted the important role that religious symbols plays in the lives of Americans and their consistency with constitutional principles.

“The military culture has been part of my being, an important part of what I believe,” Wilkie told The Daily Signal. “I’ve seen the effects of combat, both in uniform and out of uniform.”

That military culture in which he grew up, Wilkie said, also prioritizes the “ability of our troops to worship, their right to worship, their right to have access to chaplains, and to be free to celebrate their faith.” He added:

Now, moving over to VA, I consider the spiritual well-being of our veterans, their spiritual health, to be just as important as the medical competence and technical competence of our doctors and nurses. They should have that fundamental right available to them to access chaplains, to access their Bibles.

The new guidelines call for “inclusion in appropriate circumstances of religious content in publicly accessible displays at VA facilities,” and allow “patients and their guests to request and be provided religious literature, symbols and sacred texts during visits to VA chapels and during their treatment at VA.”

The guidelines also allow the VA to accept donations of religious literature, cards, and symbols at its facilities, and to distribute them to VA patrons “under appropriate circumstances.”

“Under the old regime, you couldn’t have those outward symbols,” Wilkie said. “You could not have religious texts in the chapels unless you brought them. The chaplains could not walk the halls seeking people to talk with. There had to be a specific request.”

The allowed literature may include the Bible, the Quran, the Talmud, or any other religious text, VA officials noted.

Still, the policy faces opposition.      

“The VA’s actions undermine our Constitution, which intentionally establishes a secular government in order to preserve religious freedom, a right enjoyed by individuals,” Sam Grover, associate counsel for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, wrote in a letter to Wilkie objecting to the standards.

“Were the VA truly concerned about protecting the religious freedom of veterans, it could simply do what the Constitution prescribes and keep its facilities free from government-endorsed religion,” Grover wrote.

Wilkie said he doesn’t anticipate litigation over the policy because it is based on the recent Supreme Court ruling.  

“What Justice [Neil] Gorsuch said in the Maryland cross case was absolutely on target,” Wilkie said. “Because you might be offended doesn’t give you standing to stop other people from worshiping. For me, this is not only a military issue. It’s a religious liberty issue, and one that is vitally important to those we serve.”

The high court’s ruling should reaffirm the VA’s policy, said Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

“On the heels of the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision that reaffirmed the Constitution’s protection of the tradition of public displays of religious monuments, symbols, and practices, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs took a much-needed step to clarify that religious symbols as well as spiritual and pastoral care are welcome at VA facilities,” Kao told The Daily Signal.

“Millions of soldiers from different religious backgrounds have relied upon their faith and gained encouragement from religious literature, symbols, and displays,” Kao continued. “No member of the military should have to hide their faith when they put on a uniform. Nor should our public square be devoid of religious symbols.”

In January, the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New Hampshire removed a Bible on display at a “Missing Man” table after a secular group, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, objected.

The Bible had been carried by a prisoner of war from World War II, but the group said some veterans had complained about its display.

After receiving new complaints about its removal, hospital officials restored the Bible the following month. In May, however, a Vietnam veteran sued to have the Bible removed.

“A Bible that was owned by a survivor in the Battle of the Bulge had to be put under lock and key because several people unknown had complained that this was an affront to them,” Wilkie said, adding:

It’s incongruous to me [because] we send our young people to some pretty rough places. The notion that someone who would have been in those situations is so offended by the sight of a Bible that he wants to sue and deprive his comrades of that comfort is just beyond the pale.

In late 2015, a VA clinic in Salem, Virginia, initially blocked a Christmas tree from the premises, stating in a letter to employees that “trees have been deemed to promote the Christian religion and will not be permitted in any public areas this year.”

The clinic reversed course in late November after public pushback, and allowed the Christmas tree. 

In January 2014, then-House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., wrote then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, citing a VA medical center in Augusta, Georgia, that banned high school Christmas carolers.

Miller also wrote that VA officials in Iowa City, Iowa, had told the American Legion not to hand out gifts if the wrapping paper said “Merry Christmas” and a VA hospital in Dallas had refused a delivery of handwritten Christmas cards from schoolchildren because they included the words “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless You.”

Such matters are important beyond individuals’ freedom of religion, affecting the health of veterans in the VA’s care, Wilkie said.

“The issue of Christmas carols is about simple courtesy, the ability to make people smile at a time in their lives when they are in a hospital for whatever reason, for groups to come in and spread comfort,” he said. “Emotional sustenance is absolutely something that we should be allowing, not standing in the way of.”


World's first transgender actress Carlotta slams 'ridiculous' bill that allows people to change their sex on birth certificates - and says children should NOT be allowed to transition

Her appearance on the Australian soap Number 96 in 1972 marked the first time a transgender actress played a transgender character on TV anywhere in the world.

And Carlotta shared her opinion on a major trans issue on Monday, slamming a decision by the Victorian legislative assembly to pass a bill that allows transgender and non-binary people to change the sex listed on their birth certificate without gender reassignment surgery.

Speaking on Studio 10, the 75-year-old trans icon and cabaret performer claimed the whole bill is 'ridiculous'.

'It is a different generation today, but I really believe that unless you've had the sex change [you shouldn't] have your papers changed… because anyone can do it,' she said.

Emphasising that transitioning is far more complex than simply changing information on legal documents, Carlotta turned to host Sarah Harris and said: 'You could go in and say, "I want to be a boy", and you're not a boy. It's ridiculous!'

The TV personality, who rose to fame in the stage production of Les Girls in 1962, went on to say that she doesn't believe children should be allowed to transition either.

'I have a lot of people writing to me about little kids - a little girl wants to be a little boy, or a little boy wants to be a little girl - and they go to school dressed that way,' she said.

Carlotta added that she is 'strongly against' doctors approving hormone treatment for children before they have a true grasp of who they are.

The outspoken star said that children 'should not be put on treatments' until they have 'matured and are of age'.

'Your hormones change... they could get to 15 or 16 and decide they don't want to be [a different gender],' she added.

Carlotta acknowledged that her views reflect her own experience growing up transgender in a less permissive age, saying, 'I'm only being sensible because I did it the hard way.'

According to Carlotta, when she went overseas for her own gender reassignment surgery, she was forced to get a new passport issued to reflect the fact she had become a woman.

At that time, she was still obliged to have a separate page in her passport with her old identity, so as not to cause confusion.

She concluded: 'I do not believe that [transgender people] have the right to go and have their birth certificates changed when they haven't had the changes.'

Carlotta's return to Studio 10 comes after she dramatically quit the show last year, claiming at the time that the show's producers had treated her 'unfairly'.

Announcing her comeback last month, she said: 'I thought mummy needed to comeback with a bit of political incorrectness! Mummy's here because you know I say it how it is. I'm back, honey, but I'll behave.'



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, 2019

Feminists think stereotypes are only bad when other people use them

The Left is awash in bigotry.  They are bigoted in favour of women, blacks, Hipanics any type of sexual deviant and any group that has problems.  And they are bigoted against middle class white males. And they call conservatives racist!

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned two adverts for ‘promoting gender stereotypes’. Ironically, while the ASA was railing against gender stereotypes, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas was reviving them when calling for an emergency female-only cabinet ‘to work for reconciliation’ – because only women, so the stereotype goes, are ‘able to reach out to those they disagree with and cooperate to find solutions’.

These two examples highlight feminists’ hypocrisy around the use of gender stereotypes. They usually criticise them when the stereotypes are associated with male success, but celebrate them when they’re deployed in pursuit of female opportunity, such as accessing the levers of state power. That is, feminists are happy to use gender stereotypes to further the interests of a few top women.

The ASA’s feminism is not a surprise. Since 2017, it has been campaigning to challenge any claim by advertisers that associates men with success in the workplace or which associates women with playing a domestic or care-giving role. Two years ago it published a report into ‘gender stereotypes in advertising’. Ella Smillie, who led the research, with ‘passion and energy’, is now head of policy and campaigns at the Fawcett Society, ‘where she is determined to fight sexism and gender inequality in all its forms’.

Passion and energy and a determination to fight sexism and gender inequality are the attributes of a campaigner, not a sober researcher. But then, the ASA’s report was always intended to be the product of a campaign rather than a dispassionate inquiry. The terms of reference assumed that gender roles were a problem, hence the report begins by explaining that the project considered whether ‘the ASA is doing enough to address the potential for harm arising from the inclusion of gender stereotypes in ads’. So, from the outset, the ASA’s only concern was how much to meddle in what it took to be a problem. The project listened to ‘experts’ and ‘stakeholders’, from the likes of the Women’s Equality Party and Stonewall, who told the ASA what it wanted to hear.

As a result of the report, the rules on advertising were changed in late 2018 to outlaw advertisements that included ‘gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm’. And, last week, as a result of this rule, the ASA was able to ban two ads (both of which can be viewed here).

Exhibit one: an advert for a Volkswagen eGolf, a car with an electric motor. Volkswagen sought to draw attention to the car’s innovative nature with the strap line, ‘When we learn to adapt, we can achieve anything’. It illustrated this with a male rock-climber sleeping on a sheer cliff face, male astronauts performing mundane tasks in an extreme environment, a male para-athlete with a prosthetic leg doing the long jump, and a woman adjusting to life with a newborn. The point being that when the eGolf appears at the end of the advert it becomes clear that its designers had risen to the challenge of manufacturing a car with a quiet engine. In fact, it’s so quiet that it doesn’t wake the baby or register with its mother sitting on a park bench as it passes them.

The ASA ruled that the ad depicted men ‘as extraordinary and adventurous – scientific and career-based in the case of the astronauts and physical in the case of the athlete’, whereas the ad featured a woman sitting on a park bench next to a pram. The ASA concluded that the advert gave the impression that only men could be in extraordinary environments, ‘carrying out adventurous activities’, while giving the impression that women had to be ‘passive’ or engaged in a ‘care-giving role’. Accordingly, the ASA ruled that the ‘ad must not appear again’.

Exhibit two: an advert for Philadelphia cheese. It features two men, each with a baby, meeting in a restaurant by a conveyor belt of food. One says to the other, ‘New dad, too?’, and the other nods. The men then get distracted by offerings of Philadelphia cheese. Meanwhile, their babies are harmlessly travelling on the conveyor belt before the fathers notice, move across the room and pick them up. And to make light of it one of the men says to his baby, ‘Let’s not tell mum’.

The humorous indiscretion of two men in the face of Philadelphia cheese was evidence to the ASA of the stereotype that men are ‘unable to care for the children effectively’. This is such a calumny on the care-giving abilities of fatherhood, argued the ASA, that the ad had to be banned, before other men are led to believe that caring for children is only for women.

Stereotypes have received a bad press, but they are invariably based on truth. Hence, the use of men when an advertiser wants to appeal to our sense of adventure or physical prowess, and the use of women when an advertiser wants to create a sense of calm or empathy. If the gender roles in each of the two offending adverts had been reversed, the ads would have jarred with public perception and reality, and have been less funny.

In reality, men and women play different roles in society and these differences give rise to stereotypes. There are behaviours and characteristics that are associated with being male, just as there are different ones associated with being female. These gender roles develop from a combination of nature, nurture and self-will. This process happens within a framework of social need. The process of socialisation from birth onwards shapes individuals to play the roles that society needs. As society’s needs change, so the roles of men and women change. In other words, gender roles reflect the social needs of the day.

Most people have no problem with the differing roles played by women and men. For example, only three people complained to the ASA about the Volkswagen advert. And most people don’t feel trapped by gendered roles portrayed in adverts.

But the ASA, and much of today’s political elite, is not interested in gender roles that meet the needs and concerns of most people; its focus is on the aspirations of a few top women. And to this end it reshapes society, through ad bans, to serve their narrow interests.

Lucas wants women (and only women) to run the country. At least Ella Smillie only wants ‘equal representation’ for public-office holders. But both are seeking privileges for top women like them. They seek to challenge the notion that promotion should be based on effort and merit in favour of an approach that rewards top women because they are women. This self-serving clique with its associated ideology is harmful for society. Men and women should be left alone to perform the roles they choose, without any nannying oversight from those engaged in social engineering.


Brexit has defined elitism in Britain

And shown what a nasty and hate-filled lot the elitists are. Just as abusive as  Trump's "swamp"


Until last Thursday, when an EU lawyer uncovered and published my identity on Twitter, I tweeted under the name of CKB.

I’d started tweeting in January 2019 after becoming increasingly frustrated by the response of the British elite to the decision of the electorate in 2016 to leave the EU.

As a lawyer myself, I tweeted mostly about EU and UK constitutional law, but I also attempted to critique the ideology and behaviour of a Remainer fundamentalist group that is active on Twitter – known as #FBPE (Follow Back, Pro-EU).

I must have done something right, as by July 2019 my Twitter account had almost 9,000 followers. I made traditional, moderate, liberal, Eurosceptic arguments centred on the freedom of the individual, the legislative supremacy of parliament, the rule of law and the democratic ideal.

The #FBPE people didn’t like it. They were quite open about the fact that they organised mass reporting of my tweets in an attempt to get my account suspended. Ultimately they were successful and my account was permanently suspended last Thursday.

While I regret being unable to participate in the Brexit debate on that platform, I realise that ‘Leaver gets thrown off Twitter’ is hardly big news. Twitter is becoming a notoriously censorious and pitiful place to attempt to discuss anything remotely controversial.

A substantial group of (probably sociopathic) elitists have seized the opportunity provided by Brexit to insult, humiliate, degrade and belittle strangers.

Aside from the tedious daily allegations of racism, hyper-nationalism, xenophobia, empire-fetishism and British exceptionalism, I was frequently compared to automata (‘Brexit bot’), swine flesh (‘gammon’), body parts (‘Brectum’), and pre-human hominids (‘Neanderthal’, ‘knuckle-dragger’), and accused of being mentally deficient (‘Brextard’) and morally reprehensible (‘Brexit jihadi’).

All of the insults used by the #FBPE set against Leavers have one thing in common – they deprive the Leave supporter of his or her basic humanity. They are all dehumanising insults.

I believe that for the first time in many years, a substantial section of our society has become possessed by a supremacist ideology. The Remain Übermensch is utterly convinced of his or her inherent intellectual, educational, moral, philosophical, social and even aesthetical superiority.

I work in the legal profession and I live in uber-woke Chorlton, an affluent, lefty, hipster-ish suburb of Manchester. All three environments – the legal profession, Chorlton and the Twittersphere – are riddled with a nasty (and new) kind of snobbery. I’m not talking about Mrs Bucket-style social climbing and affectation. That is harmless enough. I’m talking about a cruel and immoral belief that one’s own class is immeasurably superior to another. The #FBPE set hates the ‘Gammon Mass’ with a passion reminiscent of the Indian caste system.

At a posh bar in Chorlton not so long ago, I found myself sat at a table with five of the mums from the school my children attend. One said with disgust on her face that she ‘could never live in one of those awful, sh****y towns full of hideous Brexity types’. The other mums all agreed.

As a person who grew up in a pit village in the north-east, I felt a surge of anger towards them. I’m not ashamed to admit it. It was born of love for my family and my lifelong friends from home. It was born of a sense of injustice that this privileged and fortunate group of mums could talk so spitefully about people who are dear to me.

When did this group of self-proclaimed progressives not only stop caring about the interests of the British poor, but come to actively hate them? It seems that the answer is at the point when they dared to vote for Brexit.

Leaving the EU is a big political, legal, economic, constitutional, geopolitical, financial, trade and commercial decision. It is the type of decision traditionally taken by political, legal and business elites – the people who sit in the first-class compartment on the train of our national life.

In June 2016, the train was de-classified and millions of ‘gammon’ plebs invaded the quiet, middle-class comfort of the elites. They have still not recovered from it. It has driven them half mad with fury. They are overwhelmed by spite and malice. Their response has been brutal and swift, and we haven’t seen the last of it yet.


Loony Psychiatrist: Trump 'May Be Responsible for Many More Millions of Deaths' than Hitler. Stalin, and Mao

Couldn't he have just called Trump "crazy" and let it go at that? pparently, no. The former chairman of the Psychiatry Department at Duke University, Dr. Alan Frances, said on CNN it was an insult to the mentally ill to call Trump crazy.

"Well, I think 'medicalizing' politics has three very dire consequences. The first is that it stigmatizes the mentally ill. I’ve known thousands of patients, almost all of them are well-behaved, well-mannered good people. Trump is none of these. Lumping that is a terrible insult to the mentally ill and they have enough problems and stigma as it is," he said.

I'm sure they're "well behaved" and "good people" -- until some voice in their head tells them to shoot up a mall or a bar. Patients who go off their meds are wildly unpredictable. Not all become violent, of course. But the number of mass shooters who had no business walking the streets and ended up bringing tragedy to communities is more than we can bear.

So, rather than "stigmatize" mentally ill people, it's better that they murder a few people rather than hurt their feelings.

But don't call Trump "mentally ill," said Dr. Frances:

"Second, calling Trump crazy hides the fact that we’re crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist," Frances went on. "Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, Mao in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were."

For the record, Mao murdered at least 45 million in his "Great Leap Forward" that included the "Cultural Revolution" where tens of thousands of students and workers blanketed the countryside holding drum head trials of those they considered insufficiently devoted to the cause.

The body count for Stalin is still being toted up. It's believed that about 20 million Kulaks died as a direct result of "forced collectivization" of farms and prisoners in labor camps. Purges of the military and Communist Party resulted in tens of thousands of more deaths.

Hitler murdered another 11 million while being solely responsible for starting a war that killed 50 million more.

Wow. Trump must have been busy these last few years.

The ease with which Dr. Frances casually dropped the "many million deaths" charge is astonishing. And CNN host Brian Stelter let him get away with it.

Stelter later apologized claiming he never heard the comment, but he was "distracted by tech difficulties."

Brian Stelter: I agree that I should have interrupted after that line. I wish I had heard him say it, but I was distracted by tech difficulties (that's why the show open didn't look the way it normally does, I had two computers at the table, etc). Not hearing the comment is my fault.

I'm sure that if Stelter actually heard what the doctor said, he would have cut off Dr. Frances immediately and forced him to back that claim up with facts. Aren't you sure too?

It appears that in the case of Dr. Frances, the lunatics are running the asylum.


Australia: Nina Funnell has been very busy

Bettina Arndt 

Nina Funnell is a rape survivor who has built her journalism career exaggerating the risk of rape to young women at our universities. She’s the key spokesperson for End Rape on Campus which played a significant role in prompting the Human Rights Commission’s survey on sexual assault and harassment. Then, when that proved a fizzer, her organisation still bullied universities into measures to tackle ‘sexual violence’ – like sexual consent courses, rape crisis lines and so on. She’s currently trying to persuade universities to do new surveys, trying to cook the results more to her satisfaction.

In the past two years Funnell has published nine articles which attack me or include material designed to damage my professional reputation – plus there was a Sixty Minutes programme, a recent ABC 7.30 Report and numerous other newspaper reports based on the damaging material she has been promoting, using material she has clearly supplied to the journalists.

Last year she linked the rape and murder of the La Trobe student Aya Maarsarwe to my campus tour in an article in The Saturday Paper. I posted a detailed analysis of the many inaccuracies in that article on my Facebook page and encouraged my readers to report her to the Press Council.

Clearly my loyal followers did their homework because I then suddenly received a letter from a female law firm threatening defamation action over that post. This petered out following a letter from the formidable Brisbane QC Tony Morris, who is well-known for successfully defending the QUT students in the indigenous computer lab scandal.

Morris wrote to Funnell’s lawyers saying we did not wish to discourage her from commencing legal proceedings. “Ms Arndt cannot conceive of a better way to ventilate the issues about which she is passionate, than at a trial where the focus of the tribunal of fact will be as to your client’s honesty, integrity and professionalism as a journalist.”

Yet most of the Funnell attacks relate to a YouTube video I made with Nico Bester, a Tasmanian teacher who went to prison for having a sexual relationship with one of his students. I decided to interview Bester after a judge spoke out against vigilante justice when feminist activists were targeting him following his release from prison, trying to stop him studying for a PhD at the University of Tasmania. In that interview I condemned Bester’s criminal actions, we discussed the seriousness of his crime and agreed his prison sentence was absolutely appropriate.

Funnell is persistently using carefully selected edits from that video, taking comments out of context to suggest I’m a pederast apologist. See the blog in which I explained all this following the ferocious 60 Minutes attack on me last year, where Funnell launched her  “Let Her Speak” campaign to allow Bester’s victim to speak about what happened. Tasmania has now changed its laws to allow sexual abuse victims to go public – which has enabled Funnell to launch a new wave of attacks on me as part of the victim’s new version of events involving Bester, which differ significantly from the evidence presented in the criminal trial.

Apart from all this, there have also been two complaints in the last six months to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission claiming I am misrepresenting my professional qualifications. Both times the Commission dismissed the complaint. I am always careful when describing my qualifications to say that I “trained as a clinical psychologist,” rather than suggesting I am currently practising.  I haven’t worked in this field for over 40 years but it’s difficult to avoid inaccurate descriptions appearing occasionally in the media.

It’s obvious that people are gunning for me. My next campus talk is in September at UNSW and social media chat from one of the feminist campus groups revealed End Rape on Campus has “confidential damning information” on me which they plan to release prior to the event.

Via email from Bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au


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, 2019

Progressives promote disrespect for cops — at our peril

This week, one of the many repeat offenders allowed to walk our streets unleashed a barrage of bullets on Philadelphia police officers.

What started as the execution of a narcotics warrant turned into a seven-hour standoff punctuated by shootouts that left six officers wounded. While many Americans were glued to their televisions or phones awaiting the outcome, some who had gathered near the scene in Philly’s (not-so) Nicetown neighborhood taunted and laughed at the officers whose colleagues had just been wounded.

Just days earlier, in The Bronx, a rowdy crowd swarmed NYPD officers while they were attempting to make an arrest. Now-viral cellphone video captured one officer being pelted with an open container of Chinese takeout. That was preceded by two separate incidents — both captured on video — in which NYPD officers were doused with water, cursed at and assaulted in Brooklyn and Harlem.

Unfortunately, such disdain for the police isn’t just confined to rowdy crowds in bad neighborhoods — there’s an institutional element to it. “Progressive” leaders in cities across the country have been contributing to a culture of disrespect for police for some time now, and it’s starting to show.

Take, for example, news of ThriveNYC’s recent snub of the pro-police organization Blue Lives Matter. According to City Councilman Joe Borelli, Thrive — a billion-dollar program headed by Mayor de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray — pulled its offer to participate in a mental-health awareness event for first responders because it was being cosponsored by the pro-police group.

Borelli told The Post that the event was canceled “because of the PC environment that de Blasio has caused.”

Mind you, all of this went on in the middle of a sharp uptick in the number of NYPD suicides (seven since June of this year, compared to an annual average between four and five).

Given the mayor’s history of anti-police rhetoric, it’s not hard to imagine why some city worker somewhere might not like the idea of cosponsoring an event with a pro-police group — even a mental-health event for members of a police department whose officers have been committing suicide at alarming rates.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” in 2014, Hizzoner endorsed the view that parents “who have children of color” should “train them to be very careful when they have .?.?. an encounter with a police officer.” This prompted police to turn their backs on the mayor after two officers were shot and killed that same year.

Last month, de Blasio’s son, Dante, told readers in USA Today that “young black people” are taught (as he was) “to fear the people meant to protect us.”

The disdain shown toward the officers in Philly isn’t all that far removed from that city’s leadership, either. As US Attorney William McSwain of Pennsylvania’s Eastern District pointed out in a recent statement, this “new culture of disrespect for law enforcement .?.?. is promoted and championed by District Attorney Larry Krasner.”

Krasner has been a harsh critic of the criminal-justice system and campaigned on a platform of radical reforms. McSwain’s statement pointed to the DA’s victory party, which featured chants of “F?-?-?k the police” and “No good cops in a racist system.”

There is a growing tension between the public and police — particularly in cities headed by “progressives” like Krasner and de Blasio.

That is not good for police morale; and it could have negative implications for the public’s safety as well. We’ve seen what happens when police departments back off and become less proactive.

In Chicago, one study suggested the sharp drop-off in police stops led to an additional 239 murders and over 1,100 more shootings in 2016 — a year in which Windy City homicides jumped 58 percent. The police back-off in Baltimore has also been well-documented, as crime continues to rise in that benighted city.

Police all around the country have been given a bum rap, and a growing portion of the public is buying into it. Simply put, police are an integral part of any functioning city.
We alienate them at our peril — and everyone else’s.


Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins was sued for cooperating with an ICE detainer request

What should we do with illegal aliens who break local criminal laws?

Most people would agree that, once they’ve served their time, they should be removed from the country rather than sent back into the community where they can commit more crimes.

But the Legal Aid Justice Center of Falls Church, Virginia, disagrees. So when Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins turned Francisco Guardado Rios over to the Department of Homeland Security, the center filed a class-action lawsuit against the sheriff, claiming his actions violated the Fourth and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.

Thankfully, a federal judge has now thrown out that suit. Here’s how it went down.

In August 2017, Rios was arrested for driving without a license and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Culpeper County Jail then received a detainer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and an administrative arrest warrant for Rios from the Department of Homeland Security, as there was “probable cause to believe Rios was a removable alien.”

The detainer asked the jail to notify ICE at least 48 hours before Rios’ release, and requested that the jail also maintain custody of the alien “for a period NOT TO EXCEED 48 HOURS beyond the time when he/she would otherwise have been released from custody to allow [the Department of Homeland Security] to assume custody.”

Further, the administrative warrant directed immigration officers to arrest Rios and take him into custody “for removal proceedings under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

Rios was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. After serving his sentence in the Culpeper County Jail, he was held for an additional two days by Jenkins before being turned over to ICE agents.

Rios claimed that being held in custody after completing his sentence violated his constitutional rights. He alleged that Jenkins had held nearly 100 other illegal aliens past their release dates in 2017 and 2018, based on ICE detainers.

Senior District Judge Glen E. Conrad ruled, however, that Jenkins acted lawfully in cooperating with Homeland Security.

A key factor was the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2013 ruling in Santos v. Frederick County Board of Commissioners. The court held that state and local authorities can’t arrest or detain an illegal alien based solely on an immigration charge “absent federal direction or authorization.”

The judge noted that Rios was arrested for committing a local crime, not an immigration violation, and that Homeland Security had, indeed, provided the sheriff with specific “federal direction” and “authorization” to detain him.

Further, he observed that no federal court of appeals has “held that it would violate the Fourth Amendment to comply with an ICE detainer and administrative warrant.”   

Rios’ lawyers argued that Culpeper County could not comply with a detainer warrant because it had no written agreement with Homeland Security (such as exists under the 287(g) program) to do so.

Under the 287(g) program, local law enforcement can enter into a “memorandum of agreement” with the Department of Homeland Security to assist the agency in identifying and detaining illegal aliens. Homeland Security then provides training and other resources to the local agency.

But Conrad rejected that argument, too. Even without a written agreement, he said, “local law enforcement officials may cooperate with ICE in the detention or removal of aliens not lawfully present in the United States … when such cooperation is expressly ‘request[ed]’ or authorized by ICE.”

Further, Conrad stated, Rios and other detained illegal aliens have no claim under the 14th Amendment because “the due process clause is not the proper lens through which to evaluate the validity of Rios’ continued detention at the request of ICE. ‘Compared to the ‘more generalized notion’ of due process, the Fourth Amendment ‘provides an explicit textual source of constitutional protection.’”

Rios’ final claim was that he was “falsely imprisoned in violation of Virginia law.” Because Conrad held there was no federal cause of action, he declined to exercise jurisdiction over this state law claim. Instead, he dismissed that claim without prejudice, meaning that Rios can file a new lawsuit in state court making that claim, if he wishes to do so.

When local jurisdictions refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, they create de facto sanctuaries for criminals like Rios. It makes no more sense to release those aliens back into the community than it would make sense to release a convicted criminal who is a U.S. citizen but who is wanted in another state or by federal authorities.

For Jenkins, job No. 1 is safeguarding the citizens of Culpepper County. Providing sanctuary to criminal illegal aliens isn’t in the job description.


Mystery Solved: Why Evangelicals Support Trump


Why do some evangelical Christians support President Trump? What's the appeal, to people who profess family values, of a man whose life includes multiple marriages and affairs and who tends to be crude?

Let's dive into this alleged mystery.

Turn with me if you will to the book of Isaiah, chapter 45. We come to the story of Cyrus the Great. He was not a king of Israel or Judah. He was emperor of Persia from 539-530 BC. Persia tended to be an enemy of the children of Israel. It's now called Iran, and continues to be an enemy of Israel.

But Cyrus himself was not; God called Cyrus "my servant" and Cyrus followed through. Cyrus decreed that the Jewish exiles in Babylon could return to their homes and re-establish their country. He also allowed them to rebuild the temple. This was a big deal; Judah had been subjugated and exiled for 70 years, their ability to worship disrupted by the destruction of their temple in Jerusalem. Yet here was Cyrus, who was not one of them, playing a major role in fostering the Jews' return home.

I do have a point.

NeverTrumper Ben Howe has a book out called The Immoral Majority: Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power over Christian Values. Howe has been doing a lot of TV, MSNBC included, defending that incendiary title.

I have not read the book. I've seen him defend, it including the title, which suggests it reflects what he really thinks.

The thesis smears evangelicals.

It's fair to say Donald J. Trump is not an evangelical. He's never been called one and has not called himself one. Technically, he's Presbyterian. As a New York liberal for most of his life, he had no conservative credibility prior to 2016. This conservative evangelical was very skeptical of him, and did not support him in the 2016 primary. I initially thought his candidacy was Seinfeldian — about nothing.

But by the time he won the Republican primary in 2016, and he wasn't my first or second or third choice then, a few things were clear.

One: Donald Trump could win the presidency (though it looked unlikely).

Two: He seemed to have grasped a fact that eluded Jeb Bush and John Kasich; namely, that if you run as a Republican you shouldn't spend most of your time insulting Republicans. Not, at least, if you want them to vote for you (or applaud your speeches). You should probably spend the bulk of your time articulating a positive conservative vision and lambasting the left's rage and socialism. Trump did that. His passion suggested he might actually put up a fight against the left. The worse they treated him, the more he seemed to be readying for a fight.

Three: However flawed Trump might be, and he is, he was obviously better for the country and for evangelicals than any Democrat would be.

Recall that Trump was running after eight years of President Obama. Those eight years saw the federal government attempt to force nuns, literally the Little Sisters of the Poor, to violate their consciences and fund birth control. Obama took 'em to court over that. The eight years of Obama saw activist leftists haul Christian cake bakers to court and destroy their livelihood. The eight years of Obama saw a very emboldened left vent its hatred for everyone to their right, and evangelicals knew we were in their crosshairs. They went after Christian-owned Hobby Lobby, they used our tax dollars to fund abortion, they made their disdain for our faith abundantly clear. The Democrats' 2016 appeal to us amounted to "Vote for us, you stupid, racist, bucktoothed haters!"

That's terrible marketing anywhere outside the New York Times newsroom.

Their 2020 message is worse. They're pushing failed 19th-century socialism paired with anti-Semitism (while calling us "racist"), along with the policy plan that just finished killing Venezuela. They want to erase our borders and take away our guns. They'll betray Israel at the first opportunity. Remember — Rep. Eric Swalwell (D) threatened to nuke gun owners, fellow Americans! Plus: they still hate evangelicals and want us to pay for abortion on demand.

Hillary Clinton did not offer a break from any of that. She called us "deplorable" and relished cranking Obama's hostility up a notch. The third-party guy, Evan whatever, also spent too much time attacking to his right, not his left. That's not a good look. Ditto for the NeverTrumpers.

Facepalm. Stupid.

So Trump emerged as a kind of Cyrus figure: Not necessarily "one of us," but not someone who would not go out of his way to smear or hurt us either.

Somebody is going to misread that previous line, so as Obama would say, let me be clear: Trump would be benign toward evangelicals, and might even be helpful, as Cyrus was helpful toward Israel. The previous is not meant to suggest Trump would literally become an emperor. We're not interested in that.

Speaking for myself and the evangelicals I know, Trump earned our votes by articulating many of our ideals fearlessly. This suggested he might actually follow through, unlike many who have called themselves "conservative" for their entire lives but "grow" left once they get to Washington. If we got some policy wins out of him, all the better.

Trump has been strongly pro-life, strongly pro-American, strongly pro-Israel, strongly pro-capitalism, and he has pushed back against the freedom-robbing regulatory state. He cut taxes and he left evangelicals alone. He didn't sue the nuns. He doesn't want our guns.

Voting for Trump is not "trading Christian values for political power." It's voting in self-defense against the radical, evangelical-hating left and hoping for the best - and getting more than expected.


Australia: Religious freedom proposal passes cabinet, draft bill imminent

Cabinet has backed Attorney-General Christian Porter’s proposals for a religious discrimin­ation act, with minor changes to be made before a draft bill is released in the coming weeks.

Mr Porter on Tuesday outlined his ambition for the bill to come to a vote in both houses of parliament by the end of the year, ­enshrining it in law if it wins support from a majority of politicians.

After facing calls from the Catholic Church and some ­Coalition MPs for wider-ranging “positive right” protections than were being considered, Mr Porter said his reforms would act as a “shield” against discrimination and not a “sword” allowing ­religious people to discriminate.

“The laws will protect people from being discriminated against, but will not give them a licence to discriminate against other ­people,” he said.

“The draft bill will deliver a ­religious discrimination act that reflects other existing anti-­discrimination laws, such as those covering age, race and disability.”

Mr Porter said he would release a draft bill before the next September sitting weeks and hold consultations with Labor, ­religious leaders and LGBTIQ groups.

“It is my expectation that a bill can be introduced and considered by both the house and Senate before the end of the calendar year.

“Naturally, this will include time for a Senate inquiry,” Mr Porter said.

Opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus attacked Mr Porter for the short time for consultation.

“The Liberals have been arguing about this for two years but now want to give the rest of the country just weeks to debate this important bill,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“Every Australian is affected by this, not just the Liberal Party, and all Australians deserve to be given the chance to properly scrutinise what’s being proposed, and not have this rushed through parliament because of the government’s internal divisions.”

The Australian reported on Tuesday that Scott Morrison was headed for a showdown with the Catholic Church over the breadth of the religious discrimination laws.

The proposals that were mostly supported in cabinet aim to provide religious groups with exemptions from discrimination laws, while also banning discrim­ination on the basis of faith in areas such as employment, housing and the use of services.

The country’s largest church demanded the government go further than an exemption-based law and take a “positive approach to recognise religious rights” that would protect schools, hospitals and charities adhering to church teachings.

Catholic bishops, while supportive of an anti-discrimination act, are also asking for changes to the Sex Discrimination Act to provide positive protections to faith-based institutions to act ­according to their teachings.

Current protections under the act exempt religious groups from adhering to sex discrimination laws.

Mr Porter said the rights of faith-based institutions to teach issues such as marriage according to their doctrines would be investigated in a separate process.



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, 2019

The New York Times Is Trying to Rewrite History to Fit Its Biases

Remember the controversy in 2012 when President Barack Obama said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

In context, the president was trying to make the point that in addition to our own hard work, others contributed to whatever level of success we have attained. The president suggested no one achieves success on his or her own. Republicans took his words as just another indicator that Democrats want more government control over our lives and businesses.

The New York Times appears to have endorsed Obama’s view and gone a step further.

The newspaper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, recently called a staff meeting to announce “The 1619 Project,” named for the year the first African slaves were brought to Virginia. Someone recorded the session and leaked it to Slate, which published a transcript. The Washington Examiner reported on it.

“The goal of the 1619 Project,” says a statement from the newspaper, “is to reframe American history.”

More like rewrite it. This is the stuff of totalitarian regimes where the media serve as a propaganda organ for the state, in this case the surging left wing of the Democratic Party.

No more America beginning with the Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, and the Constitution. Africans had no say in these, though Jefferson’s brilliant line about all of us being created equal would resound nearly a century later in a Civil War that led to the freeing of slaves and the long road to achieving Jefferson’s noble statement.

Not satisfied with practicing what used to be called journalism, it appears the newspaper’s ultimate goal is to change what is taught in public schools so that children will no longer think highly of their country because of the “stain” of slavery, a stain that has been more than paid for in blood and federal programs, which have attempted to lift some descendants of slaves out of poverty.

In many cases those programs have failed, poverty having many causes, but liberals continue to promote them because it seemingly makes them feel better about themselves.

The Examiner’s Byron York writes: “The basic thrust of the 1619 Project is that everything in American history is explained by slavery and race. The message is woven throughout the first publication of the project, an entire edition of the Times magazine.”

One excerpt reveals their drift: “If you want to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation.” Never mind that “brutal” capitalism has lifted more boats than any other economic system.

There’s much more.

We are led to believe that America is evil, soulless, that those at the top have always exploited those at the bottom. There appears to be advocacy for bigger government, reparations, and never-ending guilt for things we today had nothing to do with. Is this what we want to impose on our children?

The New York Times, despite Donald Trump’s criticism, carries influence with broadcast and cable networks like CNN and MSNBC, and these networks in turn can have a collective effect on the American psyche, particularly when there is no counterbalance.

No wonder private and homeschools are growing at such a rapid pace. The National Home Education Research Institute projects that by next year the number of homeschools will be 2.3 million, a major increase over recent years. According to the Department of Education, about 10% of children in grades K through 12 now attend private schools.

If politicians allowed for school choice, the number would likely be higher.

The Times’ attempt to shape history to fit its own biases is not journalism. If public schools follow its lead, they will begin to resemble schools in countries where freedom is not the prevailing tenet and antithetical to what the Founders gave us. America’s greatness eventually led to the freeing of slaves and a chance at a better life for their descendants.


Tax Drink: Hurt the Poor

Sean Gabb

There are two cases for taxing alcohol. The first is that government must somehow be paid for, and that drink can and should be taxed more heavily than food and books and clothing. The second is that drink is bad for us, and should be made so expensive that we buy less of it. Ignoring this first case, I will take issue with the second.

It is not the business of government to tell us how to live. That is for us to choose for ourselves. We all ought to know that drinking too much is bad for us. If some do not or will not, that is sad for them. If they make a nuisance of themselves, let there be laws against the nuisance. Let there be laws against being drunk and disorderly in public, and let punishments be greater for criminals who offend while drunk. But it is a disagreeable belief that fools can be made wise, or criminals deterred, by treating all of us like children. It is disagreeable for the reason already given, that we should be left to live as we please, and for the further reasons given below.

First, so far as they are enforced, higher prices will mainly hurt the poor. If drinking too much is an evil, moderate drinking is a good. It dulls unhappiness. It takes away stress. It makes company more enjoyable. There is a reason why, in every civilisation, drink is older than writing, and perhaps religion. Now, double the price from where it is, treble it, multiply it tenfold – will it keep the higher classes in a country from opening almost as much wine as before? Probably not. But it will take that comfort away from the poor. They have rights too. Their needs may be greater. Prohibitionists talk much about morality. But where is the morality in laws that only hurt the poor?

Second, higher prices cannot in practice be enforced. Anyone can make his own wine and beer. It needs only sugar and vegetable fibre and yeast. If people do not make their own, it is because current prices are less of a burden than time and effort. Raise prices, and the poor will make their own drink.

Third, if making wine and beer at home is harmless, distilling is not. Distilling produces several kinds of alcohol, only one of which is safe. Knowing what can and cannot be drunk needs more attention than most people can manage. Make spirits too expensive for the poor, and they will start poisoning themselves.

Fourth, So far as they do not make their own, the poor will buy drink illegally made by others, or illegally imported. This will subsidise the growth of criminal conspiracies that would not otherwise exist. These will tyrannise over their customers and corrupt law enforcement and politics. It is hardly ideal to live in a community of heavy drinkers. Living with organised crime is always worse.

In brief, the advocates of higher prices for drink look only to benefits that they have no right to demand, and little chance of achieving – and that, if achieved, would be outweighed by the costs. On moral grounds, and on grounds of the public good, people should be left to drink as they please.


Left-wing Antisemitism rising

Evidence is mounting that antisemitism is on the rise. For a recent example, a CNN poll found that “more than a quarter of Europeans say Jews have too much influence in business and finance, while one in five said Jews have too much influence in the media and politics.”

Antisemitism has, in the past, frequently been associated with the political Right; but the rise of antisemitism on what is frequently called the ‘New Left’ is closely linked to the combined forces of identity politics, anti-colonialism, and anti-imperialism unleashed in the 1960s and 1970s.

Left-wing antisemitism is not new. What has made it front-page news is the manifestation of blatant, institutional antisemitism in the British Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Repeated failures to address antisemitism within the party has now brought Labour to the point where even its supporters believe the party to be systemically antisemitic.

Left-wing antisemitism is intimately linked to a fervent form of anti-Zionism — the view that the State of Israel should not exist — which denies both the very concept of Jewish peoplehood entitled to self-determination. This form of anti-Zionism arose from a determination amongst a generation of people who came of age after WWII to oppose racism and colonialism.

Israel, according to the New Left, is an illegitimate remnant of Western colonialism in the Middle East — a view endorsed by the United Nations as it added newly decolonized states to its membership. Opposition to racism and colonialism — and thence, to Israel — is also interwoven with a deep-seated hostility to the USA and its allies.

Yet Corbyn refuses to concede the existence of antisemitism within Labour ranks because he refuses to accept that opposition to racist colonialism is equivalent, in the case of Israel, to Jew hatred. As Labour’s scandal of antisemitism worsens, many Jewish leaders in the UK now consider the party — long the home of British Jewry — a threat to Jewish life in that country.

Labour’s antisemitism is not an isolated instance. Extreme antisemitic views are also being expressed more frequently on the Left of American politics — as in the case of the so-called ‘Squad’ of Democratic members of Congress. And although the Australian Labor Party has been spared the scandal of its British counterpart, antisemitism still seeps into our political life.


Australia: Thousands gathered in Sydney to protest against the abortion legalisation bill

Opponents of a bill to decriminalise abortion gathered in their thousands near the NSW parliament for a rally so loud it could be heard from inside the chamber where the draft laws were being debated.

Holding aloft crosses, pictures of Jesus and signs saying 'stand for life', thousands gathered in Sydney's Martin Place on Tuesday evening to listen to MPs and religious leaders who oppose the bill.

Pro-choice activists had rallied on Macquarie Street earlier in the day.

Some had hoped the bill would go to an upper house vote within days but Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Tuesday confirmed that wouldn't happen amid reports Premier Gladys Berejiklian had buckled to pressure from conservatives.

It means the upper house debate, which began on Tuesday, is likely to drag into September.

Liberal MP Tanya Davies told the crowd they had been given a 'stay of execution'.

She asked them to 'gather a tsunami of opposition to this bill' [and direct it] to Ms Berejiklian, Mr Barilaro and upper house MPs.

The crowd chanting 'abort this bill' and 'love them both' were so loud they could be heard in the upper house chamber, where the bill was being debated.

Chantal Czeczotko, who is 26 weeks pregnant, took to the rally's makeshift podium, a bench in the middle of Martin Place, where the heartbeat of her unborn child was broadcast over speakers for the crowd to hear.

'This baby's heart is beating strongly for us tonight and if MPs have their way in the house behind us, a baby with this strong a heartbeat has no right to life,' said Right to Life NSW chief executive Dr Rachel Carling, eliciting boos from those gathered.

Sydney's Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher said the draft legislation was the 'abortion industry's dream bill'.

He called for more people power and more 'God power' - more prayer, fasting and lobbying - to ensure those opposed to the bill had their voices heard.

Melkite Catholic Bishop Robert Rabbat said the rally had gathered in response to 'the call to defend life'. 'Abortion is not simply a religious or philosophical issue, abortion is not an a la carte menu to choose from. It is a matter of rights and the pre-born do not have fewer rights than the powerful or the outspoken or the legislators,' Bishop Rabbat said.

Federal Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce was the last to speak, telling those gathered the clause requiring two doctors to sign off on an abortion after 22 weeks 'is not a reflection of a civilised society'.

'I am not here to try and espouse a religion. I'm not here saying I'm some saint. I'm here because I'm trying to argue to those people on logic,' Mr Joyce said.

Speaking after the rally, Mr Joyce said people turned up to the rally because they are angry. 'If you keep on working on angry people, they vote for somebody else and the next thing you know, you've got another job,' he told AAP.

His message to the premier was to be 'really focused on this'. 'You thought the greyhound debate was bad - the greyhound debate was for the bush, this is one for the city.'

A petition calling for upper house members to vote against the bill, signed by more than 77,000 people, was handed to Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC Robert Borsak who will table it to parliament on Wednesday.

Maketalena Afeaki, 33, travelled from Liverpool with a contingent of the Tongan Catholic Youth who she said were at the rally to 'give our voice for the unborn children'. 'We're all here to just vote no against the abortion bill only because we strongly believe in our faith that abortion is murder,' Ms Afeaki told AAP.



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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, 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, 2019

Former Islamist Extremist Describes His Escape From the Ideology and How to Help the Most Vulnerable

Mohammed Khalid, a former Islamist extremist, described what drew him to the radical ideology and why he left it at an event last month at The Heritage Foundation.

Khalid, now a scholar in cybersecurity studies at the University of Maryland, was born in the United Arab Emirates and lived in Pakistan before emigrating to the United States in 2010.

As a 14-year-old struggling to fit in at an American public high school, Khalid said he turned to the internet to make sense of what some saw as the negative connotation of his first name, “Mohammed.”

 He said he quickly became enthralled with the answers online extremists offered. He absorbed as much material as he could, Khalid said, watching propaganda videos that painted the West in a negative light. He said the ideology resonated with him because he remembered seeing the same clips on the news when he lived in Pakistan.

“One of the biggest things that I remember was that the Twin Towers, when they were falling down—I could not forget one of the comments,” Khalid said. “One of the commentators was like, ‘Well, maybe they had it coming.’ This was when it began to kind of make sense to me, that well, maybe what’s happening to me is reflective of a wider ideology that I’m not aware of.”

At 16, Khalid said he was spending 40 hours a week communicating with Islamists through password-protected online forums, translating Islamist propaganda videos into English to radicalize American Muslims. He confided in these Islamists, whom he considered closer than family.

“The more I confided in them, the more separated and secluded I became from my own family,” Khalid said. “My family could not figure out what was wrong with me; they did not know what was happening because I kept it very well hidden from them.”

Khalid was arrested in April 2014, charged with conspiracy to provide material to terrorists, and convicted. He says he spent five years in federal prison.

At 17, he was the youngest person to be convicted of terrorism-related charges in the U.S.

Slowly, with the help of officers at the juvenile detention center, he said, he began to emerge from the extremist mindset.

The officers “explained about their struggles, they explained about their dreams, about their journeys,” Khalid said.

“And so began a process of humanization, a process in which I was able to finally relate to these people whom I’d other-ized under the umbrella of Islamist ideology, and whom I finally, when I reached that beginning step, began to see as human beings,” he said.

When an audience member asked whether it is possible for Muslims to reject extremism without leaving their faith, Khalid, who remains a Muslim, answered yes:

I see … a lot of my friends actually struggling to reconcile [Islam] with the society they find themselves in. They want to be partakers of this American culture. At the same time, they want to hold on to a Muslim identity that unfortunately, you know, sometimes is collapsed together with a whole bunch of outdated traditions. … I think moving forward, a lot of people individually have to decide how they want to interpret the religion, instead of letting religion be this one-size-fits-all approach.

Maajid Nawaz, founder and chairman of the London-based counterextremism think tank Quilliam, also spoke at the event.

Nawaz said the most vulnerable groups in society are former Muslims. He suggested that Islamic theology should be updated to develop a “Western Muslim identity.”

Muslims have a responsibility to respect those who leave the religion, he added, rather than isolating or targeting them.

“If Muslims … want to explore other faith traditions, or none, we have to protect them and their right to do so,” Nawaz said. “Because in our communities still, that is a big to-do, and they are discriminated against.”


Voter ID Opponents Lose Again. This Time in North Dakota

Opponents of election integrity lost the latest in a long string of cases recently when a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated North Dakota’s voter ID requirement and tossed out an injunction that had been issued by a lower court.

In Brakebill v. Jaeger, Judge Steven Colloton, writing for the 2-to-1 majority, concluded that the supposed burden of obtaining an ID by the less than 0.5% of all eligible voters who do not already have one did not justify a statewide injunction that prevented the state from implementing the ID requirement.

North Dakota is the only state in the Union that does not require citizens to register to vote. You can show up on Election Day and vote in North Dakota — as long you show identification.

The state Legislature passed a series of laws delineating the forms of identification that could be used to vote.

Effective Aug. 1, 2017, North Dakota required either a driver’s license, a nondriver’s identification card issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, or an “official form of identification issued by a tribal government to a tribal member residing in the state.”

The law requires the ID to provide the voter’s legal name, current residential address, and date of birth.

However, if a voter’s ID is missing any of those three items, the voter will still be able to cast a ballot if he provides the missing information with a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or a check or other document issued by a federal, state, or local government agency.

Voters have up to six days after the election to present an acceptable ID or supplemental documents. Despite the fact that the lower court thought this provision would not be understood by the average voter, the appeals court noted that there was “no evidence of voter confusion over this provision.”

Six members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians sued, claiming that the ID requirement restricted the ability of tribal members to register and exercise their right to vote, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, state law, and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The tribal members argued that “Native Americans often live on reservations or in other rural areas where people do not have street addresses; even if they do … those addresses are frequently not included on tribal IDs. Moreover … Native Americans in North Dakota are ‘disproportionately homeless.’”

Although it should be pointed out that all six of these plaintiffs actually have residential addresses.

The majority rejected the plaintiffs’ contention that requiring voters to have a residential street address is discriminatory, citing former Associate Justice John Paul Stevens’ opinion in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008), in which the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID requirement.

A “residential street address furthers North Dakota’s legitimate interest in preventing voter fraud and safeguarding voter confidence, so unlike a poll tax, it is not invidiously ‘unrelated to voter qualifications.’”

The number of North Dakotans, just like the residents of other states, who already possess a photo ID is overwhelming. The court found that less than 0.5% of eligible voters in the state do not already have an ID or the supplemental documents that can be used to meet the ID requirement.

More importantly, the plaintiffs in the case presented no evidence whatsoever to detail how many of these “voters attempted to obtain a supplemental document and were unsuccessful.”

It was clear to the court that the state ID law did not place “a substantial burden on most North Dakota voters.” Thus, a “statewide injunction” was “unwarranted.”

The clamor around mythical claims of “voter suppression” over legislation like North Dakota’s ID requirement is misguided.

Such laws are designed and intended to shore up current deficiencies in the electoral system.

As pointed out in a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, voter ID laws have no discernible effect on reducing the turnout of voters. Over the period 2008 to 2016, the researchers concluded that voter ID “laws have no negative effect on registration or turnout, overall or for any group defined by race, gender, age, or party affiliation.”

The purpose of North Dakota’s election laws is rooted in a desire to promote election integrity. Far from being a trivial concern, election fraud has been and continues to be an unfortunate part of American elections, as can be seen in The Heritage Foundation’s election fraud database.

Although election integrity measures such as voter ID requirements are often presented as a partisan issue, they should not be. Everyone has an interest in fair and secure elections.

As noted in a 2005 study by the Commission of Federal Election Reform, headed by former President Jimmy Carter and Secretary of State James Baker:

The electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters. Photo IDs currently are needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings, and cash a check. Voting is equally important.


California city denies Straight Pride rally permit

MODESTO, Calif. — A Northern California city has denied a request to hold a so-called Straight Pride rally at a park.

Modesto city officials on Friday denied an application by the National Straight Pride Coalition for an Aug. 24 event at Graceada Park.

Organizer Don Grundmann had estimated 500 people would attend. The group says it supports heterosexuality, Christianity and white contributions to Western civilization.

Opponents argued the rally would promote hatred of LGBTQ people and minorities.

City spokesman Thomas Reeves says the permit request was denied over safety concerns, because the group lost its liability insurance and the parks department determined the event wasn’t consistent with park use.

However, Reeves says the city would allow the rally at a downtown plaza if the group proves it has insurance by Tuesday.


Australia's most radical abortion law will allow late terminations and to abort unwanted girls - and most bizarrely makes no mention of women, writes MARK LATHAM

This week the controversial New South Wales abortion bill goes to an upper house vote. With the Berejiklian Government ripping itself in two over attempts to rush the legislation through parliament, people are starting to see some of the more bizarre aspects of the bill.

In line with today's PC madness, it makes no mention of women. It constantly refers to 'a person' having an abortion, but never a woman. This echoes Greens MP Jenny Leong's wacky declaration in parliament two weeks ago that: 'There are people who have uteruses who are not women'.

Think of that the next time you are watching the footy or walking past a building construction site.

The Greens are always saying we need to 'respect the science' when it comes to  climate change but when it comes to biological science, they have invented the fantasy of men having babies.

In the common law, abortions in NSW have been permissible since an important court ruling in 1971. [The Heatherbrae case]

Those pushing the proposal now before parliament – a cross-party cabal of Greens, Independent, Labor and Left-wing National and Liberal MPs – want to remove abortion from the NSW Crimes Act.

This would have been a straightforward task if they had been open about it, engaged in public consultation and started with a moderate, commonsense bill.

Instead, they have tried to ram through Australia's most radically extreme abortion laws without adequate safeguards for late-term abortions, gender selection abortions (parents who only want boys) and medical mistake abortions (where the baby is born alive). The religious freedom of doctors and nurses not to participate in the process has also been wiped.

I'll be moving an amendment this week to ensure that no medico is made to do anything they regard as morally wrong.

Whenever governments coerce people to act against their religious and moral code, we move one step towards a police state.

The people of NSW, conservatives in particular, have every right to feel betrayed by Gladys Berejiklian.

She has allowed a bill to be rushed through parliament that has the Greens and Labor Left cheering on its extremism.

She knew the bill was coming, telling the media, she 'kicked it down the road because I didn't want to deal with it before the (March) election.'

She kept the voters and some of her own MPs in the dark. No wonder they are now calling her sneaky and counting the numbers to get rid of her.



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, 2019

A Black Man, I am No Longer a Victim

Before going to Cameroon, Africa, I was confused and frustrated with the information I had received from school, family, my community, and church about the plight of “black” people in America. I was told that my ancestors were stolen from Africa and shipped to the Americas. I was told that my dark skin complexion would make others intimidated. I was told that as a black man, I already had two strikes against me — being male and black. I was told that I had to do twice as much as the “white man.” I was told that all the bad things that have happened to “black” people are a result of “white” people.

These thoughts and ideas shaped my worldview until I traveled to Africa myself and spoke to the natives and listened to their oral history. I did not think I would meet African people who had more joy in utter poverty than African-American people who had the opportunity of freedom and progress. The native people told me, “We are OK. Why are you crying? We sold you all into slavery for gold and silver.”

My tears came from what I thought was true about what I was told and what I had heard. They proved me wrong. They said, “We have joy. There is no need for depression here. You have depression in America because you have so much. We have little and everything we have God gives us. We will go and pick bananas in Jesus’s name!”

I could not believe my ears. They sounded like they had overcome, but I had not. After listening to their testimonies I was delivered from the lies, confusion, frustration, and subconscious victimhood I lived under. I no longer think like a victim in America. I no longer wear the liberal guilt. I no longer view myself as a monolithic group thinker. God used their prayers and testimonies to free my mind when I thought I was going there to help free others from their problems. I left America green while mixing with yellow people in Africa and returned to the States blue. I am now a blue person amongst green people who cannot understand how it is possible or even feasible to let go of victimhood.

This is MY worldview. It is no longer tainted with a victim mentality, toxic groupthink, vengeance, bitterness, hatred, spite, and unforgiveness. My worldview is Biblical with a conservative bent. The way we see the world determines the effort we put forth toward our outcomes. May the Lord give me strength and use me as a vessel to heal others from the grips of being a victim of racial divide.


Why Is This Alaskan City Leaving Vulnerable Women Out in the Cold? 

Promising developments in court

Alone in the cold, homeless women in Anchorage, Alaska need somewhere to turn—somewhere to feel safe.

Many of these women are victims of unspeakable trauma, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and even sex trafficking. But often, the only refuge from the cold is a co-ed shelter where these women feel unsafe due to the presence of men. Some of them would rather sleep in the woods in the frigid Alaskan temperatures than next to a man.

As you might imagine, it can be easy for someone in this situation to feel like an outcast—like they don’t matter and are not loved. This is why the Downtown Hope Center exists. Written on the windows are the words: “You matter. You are loved.” But unlike other shelters, the Hope Center only allows biological women in its overnight quarters. It wants to ensure that these women feel safe.

But now, the city of Anchorage is threatening to take away this safe haven, leaving these women out in the cold. And the Hope Center has filed a lawsuit so it can continue to serve this vulnerable population. Let’s take a closer look at the case and why the government is coming after this vital ministry.

Sherrie Laurie spent over 20 years as a successful pilot for FedEx. Later in life, she was inspired to serve the homeless. As a child, Sherrie’s homeless uncle frightened her, shaping her early view of the homeless community. As an adult, Sherrie decided to overcome this fear by serving people who, just like her uncle, were in dire need.

Today, she is the director of the Downtown Hope Center—a Christian non-profit organization that offers job skills training, daily meals, laundry, and clothing for the homeless men and women of Anchorage—all free of charge.

“Inspired by the love of Jesus,” the Hope Center’s mission is to “offer those in need support, shelter, sustenance, and skills to transform their lives.” The Hope Center has been helping, teaching, and feeding homeless men and women for over 30 years, handing out 450-600 cups of soup every day.

At night, the Hope Center offers a free shelter for women only, a safe place for the many homeless women to escape from abusive situations and even sex trafficking.

You would think that the local government would want to support organizations like the Hope Center. Instead, Anchorage officials are going after it because of its Christian

It all started in January 2018, when a biological man who identifies as a woman tried to gain access to the women’s shelter. He was injured and intoxicated, so Sherrie sent him to a local hospital to get the medical care he needed. She even paid for his taxi. .

Soon after, a complaint was filed against the Hope Center with the Anchorage Civil Rights Commission, claiming that the center had discriminated against this individual. But the Hope Center never violated the law. In fact, they got this individual the care he needed.

The Hope Center serves everyone—men and women alike, no matter how they identify. But in order to provide a safe place for women escaping sex trafficking or abusive situations, the Hope Center’s overnight facilities, showers, and changing areas are open only to biological women.

Now, the city of Anchorage is twisting a law in order to force the Hope Center to admit biological men into its women’s shelter. The city’s motivation is clear: it wants to force this faith-based homeless shelter to get on board with its political agenda—all at the expense of the vulnerable women the Hope Center uniquely serves.

That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has filed a lawsuit against the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission and the city.

ADF attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Downtown Hope Center in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska on November 1, 2018. Oral arguments for the case took place on January 11, 2019.

On August 9, 2019, a federal court issued an order that stops Anchorage officials from misapplying a city ordinance against a faith-based women’s shelter while the lawsuit continues.


WaPo Shock Report: Sociopathic Criminals Try to Kill Cops!

The collective Demo and Leftmedia solution? Disarm law-abiding citizens. What could go wrong?

In the wake of my analysis this week of the sociopathic assailants in El Paso and Dayton and the Left’s predictable “gun control” theatrics (which ignore the root causes of sociopathic violence in America), another sociopath in Philadelphia shot six police officers on Thursday.

Recall that a few days before the Philadelphia attack, Demo presidential wannabe Elizabeth Warren, now trailing only Joe Biden among Democrat primary contenders, declared, “Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. … We must confront systemic racism and police violence head on.” The death of street thug Michael Brown wasn’t a murder, of course, but it was a Demo race-bait case study. And now, long after Barack Obama’s Department of Justice cleared the officer involved in a completely unnecessary investigation, Warren rewarms the “racist cop” smear.

Her recycling of that false narrative was immediately condemned by her home state’s Massachusetts Coalition of Police. According to the police union president, Scott Hovsepian, “Your labeling of law enforcement as racist and violent is unacceptable and dangerous.”

Unacceptable and dangerous indeed, which brings us to the case of the career criminal sociopath in Philadelphia. That assailant, a 36-year-old black man, started a shootout with police who’d attempted to execute a narcotics warrant. He has an 18-year criminal record — consisting of more than a dozen arrests resulting in six convictions for a wide range of charges including “illegal possession of guns, drug dealing, and aggravated assault” — and had already been in federal prison for firearms violations. Making matters worse, while Philadelphia police were attempting to resolve the deadly situation, they were pelted with rocks and bottles as the chaotic scene unfolded.

You’ve likely already been subjected to endless MSM churn about that siege, with little mention of the race or criminal history of the assailant, but you might have missed this “brilliant” Beltway Leftmedia analysis in The Washington Post. Under the headline, “Police officers keep getting shot by people with criminal records who are not allowed to own guns,” WaPo analyst James Hohmann outlined numerous attacks on police in recent years by violent sociopaths who were not allowed to have guns. Shocking, isn’t it? Turns out that violent criminals don’t obey the law.

Predictably, the Left took a temporary break from accusing cops (and ICE agents) of being racist fascists in order to join Demo Sen. Kamala Harris to politicize the Philadelphia shootout. The city’s mayor, Jim Kenney, joined in to spew this semi-literate nonsense: “This government, on the federal and state level, don’t want to do anything about getting these guns off the street and getting them out of the hands of criminals.”

So, what’s the WaPo and collective Democrat solution to this “gun problem”? Disarm law-abiding citizens who legally acquire firearms to protect themselves and others. What could go wrong?


UK: Controversial ban blocking Women Institute  members from baking cakes at home unless their kitchens are approved by health and safety inspectors is lifted

A controversial ban on Women Institute (WI) members baking cakes for a hospice over health and safety rules has been lifted.

Loros hospice, in Leicestershire, stopped accepting home-baked cakes in May because council rules said food had to come from a registered kitchen.

The ban began after Leicester City Council food safety experts inspected the kitchen of the Loros hospice in Leicester in February and told staff about the regulations.

John Knight, from the charity which cares for terminally ill people, said there had been 'confusion' over minor details that had now been resolved.

The initial council ruling was based on the assumption that the cakes were coming from one or two bakers regularly, which would mean their kitchens would need to be inspected and registered for complying with health and safety rules.   

However, Leicestershire City Council has now learnt that many WI members who baked cakes for the charity did so infrequently and therefore had no need for a hygiene certificate.

Mr Knight said: 'There was some confusion as to the minor details surrounding the WI regularly baking for us but thankfully, after investigation the initial decision was overturned.'

The ban had upset WI members in Leicestershire, many of whom bake cakes for the charity. Following the decision, the hospice has launched a campaign encouraging people to raise money for the charity by baking.  

Janet Kirk, chairwoman of Leicestershire and Rutland WI, said: 'Our members are delighted to resume baking for Loros, a special place in so many of our members' lives.'

The Loros hospice was first registered in 1977. The hospice is one of the biggest charities of its kind in the UK. Each year it cares for 2,500 people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.



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

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

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


18 August, 2019

Gun massacres do have a real cause

And it's not the fault of the gun

One thing about tragedies: They reveal people for who they really are. In the past two weeks, we’ve learned a lot about our media and political class. Our country endured two separate and horrifying mass shootings, one in El Paso, Texas, and the other in Dayton, Ohio. Between them, at least 31 people were murdered. Two massacres, back to back. It’s tempting to look for themes that connect them, but if there are any, they’re not political. One gunman appeared to be a Trump voter. The other supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren. There’s no obvious ideological lesson here. But that hasn’t stopped the usual power-hungry politicians from trying to leverage human pain for political advantage. Here’s just a sampling of the commentary from the Democratic presidential field:

Rep. Beto O'Rourke: “You don’t get mass shootings like these, you don’t torch mosques, you don’t put kids in cages until you have a president who has given people permission to do that. And that is exactly what is happening in the United States of America today.”

Mayor Pete Buttigieg: “It is very clear that this kind of hate is being legitimized from on high.”

Warren: “White supremacy is a domestic terrorism threat in the same way that foreign terrorism threatens our people. And it is the responsibility of the president of the United States to help fight back against that, not to wink and nod and smile at it and let it get stronger in this country.”

Mayor Julian Castro: “This echoes the kind of language that our president encourages.”

Sen. Cory Booker: “I want to say with more moral clarity that Donald Trump is responsible for this.”

Thirty-one dead, and the only thing these politicians can think about is how to terrify Americans into voting for them. These are our political leaders. Their comments are disgusting. They’re also totally unimpressive, unequal to the task of fixing a society that on some days seems on the verge of collapse. Maybe that’s why they spend so much time trying to divert our attention from America’s actual problems.

Nobody really believes this is about Trump or about assault weapons. If only it were that simple. Our problems go far deeper. What’s the real diagnosis? Author James Howard Kunstler, one of our wisest cultural observers, summed it up this way: “This is exactly what you get in a culture where anything goes and nothing matters. Extract all the meaning and purpose from being here on earth, and erase as many boundaries as you can from custom and behavior, and watch what happens, especially among young men trained on video slaughter games.”

He’s right. Young men are the problem. Many of our boys are living in what Kunstler describes as an “abyss of missing social relations” with “no communities, no fathers, no mentors, no initiations into personal responsibility, no daily organizing principles, no instruction in useful trades, no productive activities, no opportunities for love and affection, and no way out.”

Our leaders are too cowardly to say so, but the signs are everywhere. Mass shootings are just the final manifestation. Suicide rates for young Americans are the highest ever measured. So are drug-related deaths. Fifteen percent of millennials still live with their parents. Fifty years ago, more than 80% of American adults ages 25 to 34 were already married and living with a spouse. Today, less than half of adults in that age range are married. A huge portion of American young people aren’t in any kind of relationship at all. It’s no wonder millions of young people feel helpless, miserable and alone. They lack friends or parents or religious organizations to give their lives purpose and moral coherence. They live in a suffocating culture they feel no control over: Local identity and local institutions are the weakest they’ve ever been in this country.

Most people think our democracy is fake. The policies they live under, the jobs they hold and even their personal opinions are controlled by tech monopolists, media scolds and Washington bureaucrats. America is supposed to be a free country, but millions of young people look around and feel like they’re trapped in a stagnant dystopia. In such an environment, a few people will lash out in violence. Millions of others will simply fade away, from suicide or overdose or diabetes. This is the real crisis, the one that produced those horrifying scenes on TV over the weekend. Washington is happy to pretend it isn’t happening. But it is. You can’t ignore it forever.


British bus company sparks fury for suspending driver who wouldn’t drive gay pride bus

A British bus company has been swamped by a wave of public outrage after it suspended a driver for refusing to drive a vehicle celebrating gay pride.

“I am not driving this bus because it promotes homosexuality,” the driver told passengers at Norwich Bus Station. He said they would have to “wait a minute” for him to swap buses.

In a drive to promote gay pride, bus operator Konectbus lit up service numbers on various bus routes, including route 501, in the colours of the gay pride rainbow flag.

Passenger Rebecca Sears, 19, lodged a complaint at the bus station’s front desk as the driver moved to another double-decker vehicle and allowed passengers to board.

“Was the driver informed that he would be required to promote LGBT causes on behalf of the company as part of his employment contract?”

The sixth form student, who posted a picture of the driver on Twitter, said that he was in his 50s with grey hair.

“Today I was waiting for the 501 bus to Thickthorn and we were told by the driver we had to wait for him to swap buses as ‘this bus promotes homosexuality and I refuse to drive it’ due to the multicoloured ‘501’ sign. Norwich doesn’t appreciate homophobia,” she tweeted.

“I’m aware everyone is entitled to their own views however, if you can’t do your job properly because of your bigotry, maybe you need rethink your choices,” she wrote.

Konectbus replied to her tweet, saying: “As a company we do not condone any behaviour from our drivers that does not support this view. The driver involved in this incident has been suspended and a full investigation is underway.”

However, Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, told Church Militant “it was the bus company who needed to be careful about their own compliance with the Equality Act.”

“If the driver’s objection to the rainbow colours was based on his religious or philosophical beliefs, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against him because of those beliefs. Employers have to be very careful in handling such situations, because in the eyes of the law, discrimination on the grounds of beliefs is just as bad as discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation,” she explained.

“The decision of the Supreme Court in Ashers Bakery case has made it clear that everyone is entitled to refuse to promote a message they disagree with—be that by baking a cake, driving a bus, or in whatever other way. So long as the driver’s objection was to the message, not to the messenger, he has not discriminated against anyone and has broken no law.”

Meanwhile, CitizenGO has launched an online petition addressed to Jeremy Cooper, Managing Director of KonectBuses, seeking the immediate reinstatement of the driver.

“So long as the driver’s objection was to the message, not to the messenger, he has not discriminated against anyone and has broken no law.”

“An increasing number of people are becoming uncomfortable with the corporatisation of the rainbow flag and Pride symbol for a variety of different reasons,” the petition observes.

“Pride marches are not family-friendly, they often feature public displays of nakedness and sexual behaviour and celebrate sexual fetishes,” and “promote gender ideology which is deeply divisive,” it adds.

“Were employees consulted before the re-branding of their buses, or given the option to switch vehicles? Was the driver informed that he would be required to promote LGBT causes on behalf of the company as part of his employment contract? Does this mean that those from religious minorities may not become employees of Konect or their parent company, the Go-Ahead group?” the petition asks.

Catholic journalist Caroline Farrow, who is UK campaign director for CitizenGO told Church Militant: “If anyone is intolerant it is the young woman who seeks to see a middle-aged man deprived of his income and publicly humiliated simply for expressing views with which she disagrees.”

“It is also very concerning that an employee of Konectbuses has suggested that this man’s dismissal is a forgone conclusion, meaning that he cannot expect to go through due process. If his direct line manager is gay, as has been suggested clearly the company is discriminating against religious minorities, in allowing one particular ideology to prevail.”

The suspension has sparked off a social media blitz against the bus operator and Rebecca Sears.

“Looks like Rebecca Sears, is like, offended at, like anything she hasn’t, like read in The Guardian. Well played driver. Time to stop this PC garbage being forced upon us. We are simply not interested,” David Fairey tweeted.


Who will speak up for the children?

In 2017, Dr. Allan Josephson was asked to speak on a panel at the Heritage Foundation entitled “Gender Dysphoria in Children: Understanding the Science and Medicine.”

As the Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Louisville for nearly 15 years, Dr. Josephson had a lot to say on the subject. He felt confident he could lend his expertise and perspective, so he agreed to participate.

But Dr. Josephson’s perspective isn’t exactly what you would call “politically correct” these days. In fact, he shares many of the same concerns you probably do, John.

He’s alarmed at the way many medical professionals treat gender dysphoria. And he’s particularly worried about the negative and often permanent effects of giving children hormones to treat it. After all, such drastic measures often result in the sterilization of children with no proven effectiveness. But far too often, these drugs are given almost immediately, without exploring what is happening in the child’s life.

Dr. Josephson felt strongly that he needed to speak up for the well-being of children. He just never imagined that doing so would cost him his job.

When members of Dr. Josephson’s division at the University of Louisville learned about his speech, a few became angry and called for the university to remove him as Division Chief. Less than seven weeks later, the university did just that.

It didn’t matter that Dr. Josephson had revitalized the Division, transforming a struggling department into a nationally acclaimed program.

It didn’t matter that he was a distinguished professor who had earned perfect marks on his 2014, 2015, and 2016 annual reviews.

And it certainly didn’t matter that Dr. Josephson is a scientist whose job is to ask questions, test hypotheses, and participate in academic debate.

The only reason the university demoted Dr. Josephson is because he holds a different view than some of his colleagues.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said over and over again that unpopular viewpoints are protected by the First Amendment. And that's especially true in the academic context because universities are supposed to be a marketplace of ideas, not an assembly line for one type of thought!

But that didn’t stop the University of Louisville.

On top of the demotion, Dr. Josephson was banned from faculty meetings. He was given academic assignments typically completed by much younger, less experienced faculty. Then, earlier this year, the university announced it would not renew his contract, which basically means the university fired him.

As you can probably imagine, Dr. Josephson was devastated. “It was probably six months before I felt comfortable and was sleeping again,” he says. “You know, the personal stress is pretty enormous, but then I decided to do something.”

Alliance Defending Freedom was able to help Dr. Josephson file a lawsuit against the University of Louisville.

Dr. Josephson has dedicated years of his life to science, higher education, and caring for children. He built his career around asking questions and figuring out the best ways to diagnose and treat psychological conditions in kids.

But because Dr. Josephson doesn’t think the way activists want him to think, or believe what they want him to believe about sex and gender identity, he’s being silenced.

And he’s not the only victim. Many in our society are bowing to the demands of radical transgender activists who want to pretend that one of the most controversial ideologies of our time is settled science. And they’re harming unsuspecting children and threatening hard-working, peaceful Americans who do not conform.

These are the people who claim to be the guardians of tolerance.  But tolerance is supposed to be a two-way street. A professor like Dr. Josephson should not have to fear for his career when he accepts speaking opportunities or holds different views.

And if this type of suppression is happening in our universities—supposed bastions of free speech and expression—what’s next?

“If someone like me can be demoted, harassed, and then effectively fired for expressing my views, think of what an intimidating effect this has on younger professionals,” says Dr. Josephson. “And that should not be how academics proceeds or how science proceeds. We think together, we reason together, we talk together. My colleagues couldn’t do that. And I think we see that nationally as well."

Thankfully, there are people out there, like Dr. Josephson, who refuse to be bullied and are willing to take a stand for freedom and truth.

All Dr. Josephson did was ask questions about the best way to treat children who experience gender dysphoria. And he encouraged others to think critically about whether prescribing puberty blocking and opposite sex hormones quickly or automatically is the best way to treat children who claim to be the sex they are not. For that, he was demoted, harassed, and then effectively fired from his job.

Activists want to strip away your right to speak freely. And they’re going to extreme lengths to punish those—like Dr. Josephson—who express any view that is different.

Praise God that He continues to provide the resources to fight back. ADF has become one of America's most successful constitutional advocates at the U.S. Supreme Court, having won nine cases at the High Court since 2011. And we're winning nearly 80% of all our cases (John 15:5).

To donate to Dr. Josephson's cause go here

Via email from info@adflegal.org

Let us now praise masculine men

(Alludes to Wisdom of Sirach 44:1)

Australia: On Tuesday afternoon a handful of men ran into the face of danger. Going about their business only seconds before, they confronted a man brandishing a bloody knife, pinning him down in the middle of a bustling Sydney street. The men who stopped further bloodshed have been called heroes, and they will be recognised for their courage. In passing, can we praise masculinity too? Or is that too controversial in an age when masculinity is raised only to condemn what is wrong with men and to preach how to change them.

Today, any celebration of masculinity is limited to praising men who do more housework and get involved with their kids, men who are able to cry, empathise with women and express their feelings. All very important stuff. But none of that would have restrained a crazed man who was threatening more violent carnage in Sydney’s CBD. Can we praise men who do both please?

Lawyer John Bamford picked up a wicker chair from the cafe he was in, raced outside and chased the attacker, 21-year-old Mert Ney, who was bloodied, jumping on a car bonnet while wielding his knife and screaming at passers-by. Ney was jammed to the ground by men using a milk crate and two chairs. Bamford returned the chair to the cafe and ordered a pie.

Traffic controller Steven Georgiadis tried to tackle Ney to the ground. “As soon as I saw the knife I moved to the side so I could crash tackle him sideways so he wouldn’t stab me,” said Georgiadis, who managed to stand on the bloody knife.

From their office window, brothers Luke and Paul O’Shaughnessy saw the mayhem unfolding in the street below and raced down to help. They followed a trail of blood to the man who is alleged to have murdered one woman and stabbed another. “(We) were like ‘Right, where is he? Where is he?’ … I’m shouting, because I’m a bit more risk-averse than Luke, (who is) straight in there.”

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller described these men as heroes of the highest order. It is also true that the heroes were all men exhibiting traits now routinely derided as part of traditional masculinity — brute force and ­aggression, taking charge, adrenalin pumping, taking risks.

Do we fear praising masculinity in case it leads to a scolding for encouraging toxic masculinity?

It’s not an unreasonable fear because the conflation of masculinity with toxic masculinity, to use the phrase favoured by the roving gender police, has become routine. This common sleight of hand to use gender to confect some crudely defined phenomenon stokes pointless gender wars and risks harming both men and women.

No one in their right mind endorses or condones or whitewashes genuinely toxic behaviour, let alone violence. A beautiful woman, Michaela Dunn, died on Tuesday allegedly at the hands of a man. Another innocent woman, Lin Bo, was stabbed, allegedly by the same man. But condemning violence should not be conflated with a male pathology.

The conflation of traditional masculinity with the poorly defined “toxic masculinity” won’t stop bad behaviour because when words lose their meaning, they lose their punch. Take the Gillette ad, “The Best Men Can Be”, where Procter & Gamble tried to hijack this latest fad to turn a profit. Proving that consumers are not fools, it didn’t work. This month, P&G reported a net loss of $US5.24 billion ($7.73bn) for the quarter ending June 30. The company said men today like more facial hair. The company could have added that men today don’t like being told that masculinity needs to be redefined by a preachy razor ad showing a series of men behaving badly. While whoops of delight came from Jane Caro and Clementine Ford, more thoughtful viewers saw an advert with as much nuance as a lightning bolt from God.

Perhaps Gillette’s next foray into “The Best Men Can Be” will include some vision of those brave men saving Sydneysiders from further violence earlier this week. It does no one any favours when gender is used as a cheap weapon, a stunt for ulterior motives.

This week, for example, former foreign minister Julie Bishop fronted a camera, again, to talk about her time in politics, again, this time on Andrew Denton’s Interview program on the Seven Network.

Repeating a story she has told many times, Bishop said that if a woman was the only female voice in the room, men showed a “gender deafness”. “It’s as if they just don’t seem to hear you,” she said.

How often has this happened to her? If it was once, maybe it was an innocent oversight? If it’s more than once, then that deserves a bit of prodding too. For every Julie Bishop who complains, in sweeping terms, about “gender deafness”, there is someone like me who has sat in many board meetings over many years as the only female voice and never experienced gender deafness, only respect and courtesy. But, because I don’t talk about my thoroughly normal experiences in all-male meetings, and Bishop complains endlessly about hers, we are encouraged to treat “gender deafness” as a widespread, deeply entrenched phenomenon that treats women as second-class ­citizens.

Predictably, the movement against toxic masculinity has become an open invitation for some women to grandstand about all kinds of silly, unproven claims, warping our understanding of the true state of affairs between men and women. And as Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.” Even if it is not a lie, repeating the tale of a single experience over and over again does not turn it into a wicked gender-based phenomenon either.

There is only one thing worse than Julia Gillard making claims about misogyny when her leadership tanked: that is hearing Bishop say this week that she was disgusted by the treatment of Australia’s first female prime minister, when Bishop said nothing about it when it was apparently happening. It’s like Bishop’s recent conviction that the Liberal Party has a problem with women, expressed only after she lost the leadership contest last year.

It’s time for the former foreign minister to draw stumps on her stage show because her smiling stage face can’t disguise the sour grapes. When men treat women poorly, it should be called out. And vice versa, if equality means anything. But credibility comes from acting on these matters when you have the power to change things, not afterwards as a stunt to get attention. After all, the bystander is sometimes as bad as the bully.

Bishop’s diminishing credibility aside, there is a far more serious side to the gender zealotry unfolding today. As The Australian reported this week, there are real concerns that NSW crown prosecutors are running sexual assault trials with insufficient regard for the strength of the evidence. One of Sydney’s most prominent criminal lawyers, Greg Walsh, who has acted for alleged victims and defendants, told this newspaper that the “hysteria”, the “zealous” and “activist” prosecutions had “gone too far”. “They (sexual assault cases) are becoming a cause celebre, they are just out of control,” Walsh said.

Lawyer Chris Murphy, another well-known Sydney criminal lawyer, said prosecutors were undoubtedly feeling the potential threat of public condemnation if they didn’t proceed to trial, and go hard in court. It was leading to especially aggressive tactics, Murphy said, with critical evidence being withheld from the defence in some trials.

Murphy cited the recent rape trial of Wolf Creek star John Jarratt, who was acquitted within hours of the jury retiring to consider the verdict. Murphy, who acted for Jarratt, said he had never seen “a more undeserving, weak” crown case go to trial.

Last week, a District Court judge implored the NSW parliament to consider changing laws that are aimed at protecting rape victims but are causing a serious injustice for defendants. The judge is presiding over a case where a man accused of rape is not allowed to bring evidence of 12 incidents in which his female accuser has made false complaints about sexual abuse. On two separate occasions, the woman made false reports to the police, and after being investigated she admitted fabricating the sexual assault allegations. The judge was precluded by law from allowing evidence of the woman’s history of making false claims of sexual assault because of laws that were introduced to stop “offensive and demeaning” cross-examination of an accuser’s sexual history. He described this as an “affront to justice”.

Gender zealotry is having a real impact on our culture and our legal system. It stops us publicly praising the kind of masculinity that unfolded on King Street in Sydney this week. And a fixation with gender is not a win for women either because when women make silly claims, they lose credibility.

The legal consequences are even more troubling given the pressure on prosecutors to proceed with flawed sexual assault trials. If it makes it harder to reform unjust laws, then surely it is time for more women to reconsider their role in stoking gender zealotry. After all, women who make false claims do real damage to genuine victims, and they should face the music for their lies.



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, 2019

Is the World ‘Rigged’ Against Women?

America’s Democratic presidential candidates are weighing in on one of the big issues of our day: sex inequality. “This toxic culture, this pernicious patriarchy in this country, has to stop,” says Cory Booker. “Since 1963 when we passed the Equal Pay Act, we have been talking about the fact women are not paid equally for equal work. Fast-forward to the year of our Lord 2019, and women are paid 80 cents on the dollar,” says Kamala Harris. “The game is rigged when women earn less than men for doing the same work. It’s rigged,” says Elizabeth Warren. “The systemic devaluation of women in our society” is undeniable, says Kristen Gillibrand.

These are fierce condemnations. Are they true? What’s the evidence? How much worse do women have it? Can we measure it?

A group of scientists sought the answer. Researchers from the University of Missouri and the University of Essex in the United Kingdom calculated a way to quantify it. Called the Basic Index of Gender Inequality, it measures educational opportunities, healthy life expectancy and overall life satisfaction. These folks analyzed data for 134 nations, representing 6.8 billion people.

So, do men have it better than women? You’ll be surprised by what they found.

I only saw a news report on this last week, but the study was published January 3 in PLOS ONE, a leading peer-reviewed journal on science and medicine.

This effort to create an unbiased, reliable index to show gender inequality found that in poorer countries, women are worse off. Their opportunities for education are often limited, and their satisfaction with life is lower than that of men. These researchers found a relative disadvantage for women in 43 countries. At the bottom of the list were Chad, Benin, Liberia, Yemen, Mali, Lesotho, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Pakistan and several other countries, mostly African or Muslim or both.

What about women in richer countries, in the West—in America? Are women worse off than men?

Researchers found that here, the situation is actually reversed. The index showed that in 91 countries, men are worse off than women.

In rich countries, women have better educational opportunities, they live longer and healthier lives, or they have higher overall life satisfaction. In many nations—including the United States—all three of these factors favor women.

How is this possible when the whole system is supposedly “rigged” against women?

The study in PLOS ONE says we haven’t been measuring correctly. The way these issues are typically studied poses problems and distorts reality. “Apart from political agendas, research on gender inequality has also almost exclusively focused on issues highlighted in the women’s rights movement,” the study says. “Issues disadvantaging more men than women have been understudied … and are not heavily weighted (if at all) in widely used measures of gender inequality, such as the highly cited Global Gender Gap Index (gggi). Further, the gggi truncates all values such that no country can, by definition, be more favorable for women than for men.” Unsurprisingly, when you look at only half the picture, you find disadvantages for women everywhere.

“As a result, existing measures do not fully capture patterns of well-being and disadvantage at a national level,” the report continues. “This is an important oversight, as there are issues that disproportionately affect boys and men. Among the many examples are harsher punishments for the same crimes and an overrepresentation (93 percent worldwide) in the prison population; compulsory military service …; the large majority of homeless people without shelter are men; higher levels of drug and alcohol abuse; higher suicide rates; more occupational deaths; underperformance in schools; and men are more often victims of physical assault in general … and within schools, thus limiting educational opportunities. Men are also overrepresented in occupations that are risky (e.g. exposure to toxins) and physically taxing, such as front-line military duty, firefighting, mining, construction, or sewage cleaning.”

By these measures, there are plenty of areas in modern life where men are worse off. But people cherry-pick areas where women don’t perform as well, and use it as proof that women are systemically mistreated. They insist that every discrepancy is caused by sexism and discrimination.

This is the way many people have come to view every problem in society: Wherever they see differences, they blame bigotry.

The reality is, many factors contribute to differences and inequalities. These are inherent in human existence. Equality as it is being defined and sought after is impossible. In fact, I would argue it’s not even desirable.

For an idea of how misguided the quest for equality is, look at the U.S. women’s soccer team. Earlier this year, its players complained of inequality in their sport. They win more games than the U.S. men’s team does, so they decided they should get paid the same or more than the men. They filed a sex-discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.

This move earned plaudits from commentators and politicians. “The women make just as much of a sacrifice, put in just as much mental and physical energy, absorb just as much risk of injury as the men who play for our national team,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said. “Yet, when you break it down, a women’s national soccer team player earns a base salary of $3,600 per game while a men’s player earns $5,000.”

This implies that the only reason the women make less money is because of sexism. It is a great applause line for ignorant people.

But here are some very pertinent and irrefutable facts: The Women’s World Cup generated $131 million in revenue this year. The Men’s World Cup generated $6 billion—over 45 times more.

Blame it on whatever you’d like, but spectators for men’s soccer far outnumber those of women’s soccer. The same is true of basketball, football, baseball, golf, rugby, cricket, track, swimming, boxing and virtually every other sport. Athletes are not paid based on how much they sacrifice, or the mental and physical energy they expend, or how much they risk injury. They are paid based on how much money their contributions bring in. Just like everybody else in the economy.

That is how a free economy works. You can’t arbitrarily decide what someone’s pay should be based on whatever virtues you choose. If your work doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make money. If it isn’t creating paying customers, no matter how much sacrifice or energy or risk you take, it won’t pay.

That explains the pay gap in soccer. Not sexism. Not a toxic, “pernicious patriarchy.”

The broader pay gap between men and women has similar causes. Work tends to play different roles in men’s and women’s lives. Men tend to focus more on pay. Women tend to prioritize other things—family, flexibility, personal fulfillment. They’re less likely to move for a job. They are likelier to decline promotions. They tend to choose lower-paying fields. They tend to work fewer hours—the U.S. Census Bureau says full-time men average 2,213 working hours a year versus 1,796 for full-time women.

Ignore all these factors, and you will find “unequal pay.” But as economist Thomas Sowell said, if it were true that you can plug a woman into a position for 80 cents to the dollar compared to a man, every smart employer would hire all women. If he didn’t, any competitor who did would make thousands or millions more every year and probably drive him out of business.

The pay gap is a myth that explodes when met with facts. The facts are irrefutable and clear. Nevertheless, we keep hearing about the pay gap because, to unprincipled people, it’s politically useful.

If Chuck Schumer or those Democratic presidential candidates really care about women’s rights, why are they fighting on this battlefront? This study says, if you want to find disadvantaged women, look at the developing world. Where are the feminists seeking redress for their aggrieved sisters in Nepal, Morocco, Angola, Nigeria or India? There are countries that weren’t even a part of this study, like Afghanistan, where women are forced to wear burkas and girls are forced into arranged marriages with old men. That is real inequality between the sexes! Why aren’t they trying to help the lives of those women?

But those who focus instead on the supposed sexism in America want to highlight grievances, manufacture problems, and stir people into discontentment—even if they have to ignore reality and lie to do it. As with every social justice crusade like this, no matter how much “progress” is made, there is always “more work” to do. Its advocates simply change the standard; they redefine the “equality” they seek. And information like this study is pushed aside. People aren’t interested in the truth.


Despite Pressure, Many Hispanics Remain Pro-Life

Hispanics and pro-life advocacy go together naturally, in no small part because of Hispanics’ Christian faith.

Studies have shown that most Hispanics are religiously observant, with about 83% of them affirming a religious affiliation. More important than statistics, however, and more indicative of their views on the issue of abortion, is the emotion with which they explain their culture and views on life.

Pilar Sanchez, 46, a resident of Elizabeth, New Jersey, responded with a finger pointed up at the ceiling. “Firstly, it is an offense to God,” she said.

She has lived in the United States for less than 10 years, in a city where 61% of the population speaks Spanish. She perceives the pro-choice culture a greater threat here than it was back in her native country of Colombia.

“I’m sure things have changed on the political [front] since we left [Colombia]. [Abortion is] legal now there, too, but inside the home, things will always be the same. Our families always taught us about what it means to be a family. It means children come first,” Sanchez said.

“I don’t think Latino families will stop teaching their children to value the family, just because legislation is passed to permit something that is intuitively wrong,” she added.

Sanchez views it as her duty to raise her children with her Christian values, no matter what they are taught outside of the home.

Polls show that Hispanic public opinion on abortion is almost evenly split, but Sanchez said that polls and legislation do not reflect the views of most people like her who aren’t politically active, since they have heavy work schedules, yet are no less resolute in their convictions.

Sanchez smiled while stating her view on abortion directly but kindly. “Definitively and completely against it,” she said.

She shifted her hand gestures from pointing at herself to pointing at her children, who were sitting with her at their kitchen table.

“It is something that I talk about with my children, always telling them never to abort or support abortion,” she said.

Sanchez said that her church discusses the issue during its weekly Masses, and her parish priests have made the subject a part of their homilies. “I attended a women’s forum, in fact, that talked about this very topic,” she said.

In March, Sanchez recalled, she attended a bilingual women’s conference at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, promoted by the Archdiocese of Newark.

She recalled seeing various pro-life displays and tables at the event, at which one of the speakers was Lucia Baez Luzondo, co-founder and executive director of Renovacion Familiar, or Family Renewal Ministries, and director of mediation, public policy, and Catholic multicultural ministries at Live the Life Ministries.

“For decades, Hispanics have been targeted by agenda-driven, pro-abortion establishments, media, and lobbyists. This is not surprising, as the contraception and abortion industry, with its eugenics, anti-faith, and anti-family agenda, focuses on vulnerable and easily influenceable minorities as its main prey and a principal source of income,” Baez Luzondo said.

“Sadly, most of the main U.S. Hispanic television stations and other Hispanic media outlets are megaphones, who echo liberal and ‘progressive’ politicians, to misinform and indoctrinate Hispanics in favor of contraception and abortion, thus dehumanizing them and their offspring, many of whom don’t get the opportunity to be born and contribute to their communities and American society,” Baez Luzondo said.

Sanchez would presumably agree with that statement, especially since she, too, mentioned the importance of inculcating pro-life values to her children despite the outside influences of the media.

“The problem is that New Jersey is a liberal state,” said Sanchez’s son, Santiago, 17. “It is assumed that you have to be in favor of abortion, and when you talk about it with your friends, it’s not a fair conversation.”

He explained that it’s difficult to express dissenting opinions on the topic. “We don’t talk about abortion in health class or in school, so most of the views we hear about it are through social media. Then, when friends talk about it, it’s always the same point of view.”

His sister, Alejandra, 14, had a similar experience. “We don’t really talk about that in school, either. We just watch movies in health class,” she said.

While there’s a worry that younger generations might deviate in political and religious views from their parents, there is strong evidence that Hispanic youths, no matter the political affiliation, will sustain their pro-life support, in large measure due to the strong moral teachings of mothers like Sanchez on her children, the ministry work of women like Baez Luzondo, and the efforts of churches across the country.

“Nevertheless, thanks to the effort of Christian churches, especially the Catholic Church, and conservative entities and think tanks, and their effective outreach, they are reaching the minds and hearts of many Hispanics,” Baez Luzondo said, optimistically focusing on what’s yet to come.

“I believe that the Hispanic pro-life culture in the United States is beginning to hit critical mass, and more and more Hispanics are seeing past the smoke screen of lies promoted by the pro-abortionists, and are defending and supporting the sanctity and dignity of human life from the time of conception to natural death,” she said.


War on sugar could see the death of some of Britain's best loved sweets

Traditional sweets could be eliminated under plans dubbed "the largest extension of state control over the British diet since rationing".

Sherbet Lemons, Liquorice Allsorts, and Parma Violets are among the confectionary items which could be forced off the shelves under Government targets.

Research by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) reveals that in the last two years, public health agencies have set 220 different goals to cut salt and sugar in common foodstuffs.

The IEA said the latest plans would make it "impossible" for some of Britain's most popular treats to exist.

The targets, drawn up by Public Health England, following instructions from Theresa May's government, advise manufacturers on how to cut sugar consumption in common foods.

In the new report the IEA warns that the detailed measures - which insist that in future, sweets should contain less than 50 per cent sugar - would bring an end to many well-known favourites.

Boiled sweets, such as Sherbet Lemons, are made almost entirely of sugar, as are Parma Violets, while Jelly Babies, Liquorice Allsorts and fudge are typically around two thirds sugar. 

Other popular confectionary - such as fudge - would face an uncertain future under the PHE plans, which say any reduction in sugar must not result in an increase in fat. Traditionally, fudge is made from sugar, butter and cream.

While attempts have been made to develop lower-sugar versions of some sweets, current efforts vary in taste and consistency and most carry the risk of a laxative effect.

Josie Appleton, author of the report, Cooking for Bureaucrats, said the plans were “infantile”, denying the public a choice, in “the largest extension of state control over the British diet since rationing.”

Hundreds of targets for manufacturers have been set as a result of the Government's anti-obesity policies.

Health officials are due to publish a report on efforts to cut overall sugar content from hundreds of foods by 20 per cent. Last year, such attempts showed limited progress, with puddings found to be getting sweeter.

The measures set specific targets for particular foods - with sweets set a target of 48.4 grams of sugar per 100 grams by 2020.

But the report from Public Health England (PHE) been repeatedly delayed, amid growing tensions about "nanny state" measures to improve Britain's diet.

And further guidelines - drafts of which were leaked to the Daily Telegraph- setting out stringent calorie limits on hundreds of foods, including a 134 calorie cap on vol-au-vents, are due to be published later this year.


Australia: Bitter woman told her online lover she would falsely tell police he had raped her unless he coughed up $30,000

A vile fraudster threatened to tell an online lover that she'd falsely report him for raping her if he didn't come up with $30,000.

But Beatrice Hinton claims it is she who has been hard done by.

The 61-year old, who migrated to Australia from Kuwait after marrying an Aussie she had never met, claimed she had been ripped off by males all her life.

First it was a bogus photographer in the 1990s who ripped-off her life savings.

Then when her husband died, she squandered their savings on various men she met online - none of whom she ever actually met or even spoke with.

She had tried a couple of dating sites before - Spice of Life and Widow Singles Near Me - but it was on Oasis Active where she found her mark.  Two days after meeting him in person, Hinton hit the man up for $20,000, which she claimed she would pay back.

The man refused and days later she asked him again, this time asking him to marry her because she refused to have sex before marriage.  She had sex with him anyway at his beach house, but the court heard this is when his real troubles began.

Days later she called the man a rapist and demanded $6000.

She told her victim she had medical tests done after their sex sessions and planned to use the results to make false rape reports against him if he didn't pay up. 'Either give me the money or I go to the cops,' she texted.

When that didn't work, Hinton got her soon-to-go-missing Italian online friend to threaten the man. This time Hinton demanded $30,000 or the rape would be reported.

The man called police, who arrested Hinton in July last year.

She admitted she had tried to get the money out of her victim.

County Court Judge Felicity Hampel warned she may jail Beatrice Hinton for blackmailing her victim

While Hinton hopes to escape jail on a community corrections order, Judge Hampel said she would consider jailing her.

'It's conduct that perpetuates the myth on women rape claims,' she said. 'It's the sort of conduct where one bad act like this undermines so much work ... It's a particularly insidious thing to do in (the victim's) situation.'

Hinton, who has pleaded guilty to blackmail, will return to court for a further pre-sentence hearing next month.



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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, 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, 2019

Meanwhile, This Is What LGBTQ Organizations Are Doing to Society


Virtually every week, there seems to be another issue that preoccupies the country. But while our attention is focused on President Donald Trump, Google, Charlottesville, Russia, impeachment, Jeffrey Epstein, the next elections, racism, a trade war with China, the #MeToo movement or something else, LGBTQ organizations are quietly going about their work dismantling ethical norms, making a mockery of education, ruining innocent people's lives and destroying children's innocence. If you think this is overstated, here are some examples:

The LGBTQ Dismantling of Women's Sports

Last month, a transgender weightlifter won multiple gold medals at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand won two gold medals and a silver in the three heavyweight categories for women weighing more than 87 kilograms, or 192 pounds. Hubbard is physically male.

Last year, two biologically male sophomores at different Connecticut high schools competed in the female division of the state open track and field competition. They came in first and second place in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

Because the Western world cowers before LGBTQ demands, no matter how unfair they are to women athletes, men who deem themselves female must be allowed to compete against women. They almost always win.

The Dismantling of Male and Female -- Even at Birth

As reported by the Associated Press: "Parents also can choose (gender) 'X' for newborns. New York City is joining California, Oregon, Washington state in allowing an undesignated gender option on birth certificates. A similar provision takes effect in New Jersey in February."

What percentage of Americans believe children are lucky if born to parents who will not identify them at birth as male or female? On the other hand, how many of us think such parents are engaged in a form of child abuse?

The Dismantling of Children's Innocence and Parental Authority

The Associated Press also recently reported that "California has overhauled its sex education guidance for public school teachers, encouraging them to talk about gender identity with kindergartners."

Tatyana Dzyubak, an elementary school teacher in the Sacramento area, objected: "I shouldn't be teaching that stuff. That's for parents to do."

But parents and parental authority have always been a thorn in the side of totalitarian movements. Therefore, dismantling parental authority is one of the primary goals of the left, of which LGBTQ organizations are a major component.

Libraries in major urban centers now feature Drag Queen Story Hour -- drag queens reading stories to preschool-age children. (Read, for example, the laudatory New York Times article "Drag Queen Story Hour Puts the Rainbow in Reading" from May 19, 2017.)

A few weeks ago, the popular actor and TV host Mario Lopez told Candace Owens:

"If you're 3 years old and you're saying you're feeling a certain way or you think you're a boy or a girl, whatever the case may be, I just think it's dangerous as a parent to make that determination then: 'OK, well, then you're going to be a boy or a girl,' whatever the case may be. ... I think parents need to allow their kids to be kids, but at the same time, you gotta be the adult in the situation."

For sensibly and respectfully saying what any loving parent of a 3-year-old should say, he was so forcefully condemned by GLAAD and PFLAG, two of the biggest LGBTQ organizations, that, knowing his livelihood was on the line, he immediately recanted. In the style of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, he "recanted" everything he said and acknowledged how much he still has to learn about parents allowing 3-year-olds to determine their gender.

The Dismantling of Educational Norms

CNN reported last week: "Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill that ensures the contributions of LGBTQ people are taught in public schools..."

"(The bill states) 'In public schools only, the teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.'"

"Equality Illinois, the state's largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy organization, supported the bill and said the curriculum can have a 'positive effect on students' self-image and make their peers more accepting.'"

Once the purpose of teaching history is changed from teaching what happened to "having a positive effect on students' self-image," history is no longer about what happened; it is propaganda. But rewriting history is not a problem for the left. As a famous Soviet dissident joke put it: "In the Soviet Union, the future is known; it's the past that is always changing." I note almost every day that truth is a liberal value and a conservative value, but it has never been a left-wing value. This is just one more example.

The Dismantling of Reality

David Zirin, sports editor of The Nation: "There is another argument against allowing trans athletes to compete with cis-gender athletes that suggests that their presence hurts cis-women and cis-girls. But this line of thought doesn't acknowledge that trans women are in fact women" (italics added).

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., in a letter to USA Powerlifting: "The myth that trans women have a 'direct competitive advantage' is not supported by medical science."

Sunu Chandy of the National Women's Law Center: "There's no research to support the claim that allowing trans athletes to play on teams that fit their gender identity will create a competitive imbalance."

How can these people say such lies? Because lying is not an issue when truth is not a value. LGBTQ organizations care about lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders as much as communists cared about workers. They use them as a cover for their real agenda: dismantling civilization as we know it.


Progressive Portland Catholics Protest Being Made to Act Catholic


A group of very progressive Roman Catholics in Portland, left to their own devices for too long and allowed to make up their own rules, is now bristling under a new pastor who is reminding them to which Church they belong.

The Oregonian:

St. Francis is one of the oldest churches in Portland. It has long been known as a bastion of progressive Catholic faith.

Parishioners have marched in the Portland Pride parade, fed and given shelter to people experiencing homelessness and worked to make the traditionally patriarchal institution more inclusive of women. For several years, a banner hung above the church steps that read “Immigrants & refugees welcome.

Now, the banner is missing. Vestments and one of several treasured photographs of the homeless community that had lined the walls of their parish had been piled in a trailer headed for the dump.

Many felt the new priest aimed to better align St. Francis with the archdiocese, who some feel is out of step with Catholics in Portland.

There is a lot of wrong to unpack in those paragraphs, beginning with the implication that helping the homeless is something that only "progressive" Catholics (which really isn't a thing) would do.

I should also point out that this lengthy, unquestioning article was not written by a religion reporter, which many newspapers still employ. Its author is a news intern according to his Twitter bio.

It matters not that "some" feel the archdiocese is "out of step with the Catholics in Portland." An archdiocese doesn't exist to adapt to the whims and social mores of a particular region. The Church would cease to exist in a matter of years were that the case.

There is a lot of confusion among the parishioners of St. Francis:

The Roman Catholic Church is rooted in tradition and hierarchy. Jerry Harp, chair of St. Francis’ pastoral council, is struggling to understand how he relates to this structure of authority. It was this hierarchy that was roiling his parish.

Harp considers himself a devout Catholic. He starts every morning with mediation and prayer and prays the Hail Mary at least once a day. He tries to attend Mass every Sunday. When he was in his 20s, he said he wanted to follow every rule he could. Now he questions how those rules bring him closer to God.

The hierarchy that Harp struggles with traces itself all the way to St. Peter in the Roman Catholic Church. That's actually one of the big selling points for those of us who don't find ourselves roiled by it.

And talking to a Roman Catholic who is complaining about rules is like meeting a boxer who says he wants to keep fighting but doesn't want to get hit anymore.

There is a lot to pick apart in this article but I'll pluck out the one passage that made me want to slam my head against a wall then wrap up:

"Some would say 'Well you have to relate to the authority structure by following them to the letter,'" Harp said. "Well how do you know that? It's perfectly legitimate for other people to have other answers."

Long-time parishioners knew the answer. They didn’t like being told how to worship.

This was their church.

I hate to keep picking on Jerry, but he is the one who wanted to say dumb things to a news intern.

To Jerry's "...how do you know that?"  question I respond: almost 2000 years of history.

Everything that follows his question in the above passage is absolutely insane when one considers this is about Roman Catholics.

No, Jerry, we don't get to make up our own answers about the rules of the Church.

And it's not "their church," it's the Church.

I will say with all of the politeness that I can muster here that if the parishioners don't want to be told how to worship they have no business being Catholic.

That's really what's going on here.

But for a very (thankfully) brief faith crisis a couple of years ago which I chronicled here, I have been a practicing Roman Catholic my whole life. For twenty years I was a member of what many would say is the most "progressive" parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I now attend traditional Latin Mass every week.

Across that broad spectrum, many things remain the same.

The truly devout Catholics I know find things like the hierarchy and being told how to worship as big selling points for the Church.

In fact, almost everything that the parishioners in the article are complaining about are reasons most of us are Catholic.

We are HUGE fans of the fact that the Church isn't subject to our whims, which is what everyone in this article seems to want.

There are any number of feel-good Christian denominations where these people can find the progressivism and entertainment that they want, and they're free to join them.

What they are not free to do, however, is attempt to give a local rewrite to the Catechism of the Catholic Church so that it has more of a Portland hippie vibe.

People who do a Code Pink-like protest during Mass (video below) have really lost touch with their faith.

Yes, I'll say some prayers for them. Some Catholic prayers.

Which they'll probably want to rewrite.


Players at UK's first vegan cricket club ditch sandwiches to be more inclusive

A cricket club has become the first in the UK to go vegan after Muslim and Hindu players were excluded from tea between innings.

Players at the Earley Cricket Club in Reading, Berks, are now served a menu featuring vegan-friendly Moroccan tagine, curries and rice, lasagne and garlic bread and spaghetti bolognese.

The committee voted in favour of replacing the traditional platter of sandwiches and cake following a campaign by chairman and opening batsman Gary Shacklady.

The 33 year old, a primary school teacher who set up the club 12 years ago and is vegan himself, felt that the club's meat-based catering meant Muslim and Hindu players were being excluded from joining in fully with club life.

He said: "We had one member who was very against it. "He felt that it was quite exclusive and against people's right to meat."

Four of his teammates have been inspired to switch to plant based diets entirely as a result of the move.

They join a handful of the world's best players in making the switch, including India captain Virat Kohli and Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle.

Mr Shacklady added: "The teas have been well received as our players understand and support the reasoning behind the decision.

"It also means we can produce a far larger quantity of food for a lower cost. When other teams come to us, they pile their plates high. And when they eat the food, nobody complains.

"Although you usually get one middle-aged white man who is horrified. It's fine, he doesn't have to eat it. But the point is that everyone can."

The club play in Division 2 and Division 3 of the Berkshire Cricket League.

They are now is even trialling new vegan cricket balls in a bid to go completely animal-free, with a view to using balls made from synthetic leather instead.

A Vegan Society spokesman said: "Offering plant-based food as default is inclusive, cheap and convenient, as well as contributing to a healthier society and more sustainable food choices that don't harm others.

"We hope other clubs and organisations will follow Earley Cricket Club's decision to switch to an all-vegan menu for everyone's benefit."


Australian children as young as THREE who identify as transgender are being 'fast-tracked' into hormone treatment when they should be sent to counselling, expert says

This is just child abuse -- Left-enabled child abuse

The number of children being referred for transgender treatment has almost quadrupled in the past four years.

New figures have shown a rapid increase across four Australian states - with 727 child patients admitted to a gender clinic in 2018 compared to just 211 in 2014.

Victoria has experienced the greatest rise in young people seeking gender services, and a leading youth psychologist has now hit out at the 'fast tracking' of gender treatment.

'It's a psychic epidemic because the whole thing is being fuelled by a virulent trans lobby who are silencing dissenting voices,' Sydney Dr Dianna Kenny told 7News.

The adolescent specialist has written to the federal government to express her concern about the children seeking service becoming increasingly young.

The new data, obtained by the New South Wales psychologist using a freedom of information request, showed children as young as three years old in Victoria were being referred for gender treatment.

The state has experienced the largest growth in the number of child gender dysphoria cases since 2014, up from 104 to 981.

A paediatrics professor from Western Sydney University has also highlighted issues with the rise in transgender-identifying children.

He said the use of treatments such as those using hormones could cause issues for male fertility down the line and other medical complications.

In total, 2415 children have been referred to a gender treatment clinic in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland since 2014 and 2018.

Concerns have been raised about drugs known as puberty blockers, which proponents say delay the onset of development and give children the chance to self-identify.

But Western ­Sydney University paediatrics professor John Whitehall has hit out at new treatments, saying they lack a scientific basis and are essentially an experiment.

'We should give the psychiatry and psychology a full run before we start castrating children,' he told The Australian.



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, 2019

Experts link diet soft drinks to ‘increase risk of heart attack, stroke and dementia’

As always, I looked up the original research report. It is: "Artificially Sweetened Beverages and Stroke, Coronary Heart Disease, and All-Cause Mortality in the Women’s Health Initiative"

It is junk research.  It was a study of old ladies only and the big drinkers of fizz were fatter, more idle, had lower diet quality and were probably poorer. I'm betting on low IQ as well.  So the small effects the researchers saw could be due to many factors other than the amount of fizz people drank

Drinking soft drinks like Diet Coke might seem healthier, but experts have revealed damage just two cans does to your body.

For those with a sweet tooth, diet fizzy drinks are generally thought of as a better alternative than the sugar-laden versions.

But while they are lower in calories, sipping on artificially sweetened beverages could come at another cost.

Experts have warned that diet drinks — such as Diet Coke — can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and even dementia, The Sun reports.

Research this year revealed that drinking two or more cans a day ups the risk of stroke by a quarter and heart disease by a third.

And compared with people who never touch them, the risk of early death is 16 per cent higher for diet drink consumers.

The findings, published in the journal Stroke, were based on a big study of women and showed being obese and downing diet drinks more than doubled the risk of stroke.

Dr Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, lead author of the study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, did stress while their findings suggested a link, they couldn’t prove diet drinks caused stroke and heart problems.


Australia: Blood-soaked man 'shouting Allahu Akbar' in Sydney's CBD attempts to stab multiple people - with one woman rushed to hospital and another found dead with throat slit in nearby building

Nothing to do with Islam, of course.  He was just insane.  They say that about every Muslim murderer.  He looks like a Palestinian.  So that could supply the motive

A blood-soaked man screaming 'Allahu Akbar' has gone on a rampage with a knife through central Sydney - allegedly killing a 21-year-old woman inside a unit and stabbing another in the back at a nearby pub.

The dead woman was found inside a Clarence Street apartment, allegedly with her throat slit, after the knifeman was subdued by heroic bystanders about 2pm using chairs and milk crates in Wynyard Street after attempting to stab multiple people.

Police are investigating whether the attacker, believed to be Mert Nay from Blacktown, had escaped from a mental institution.

They do not believe it is a terror-related incident, and said the alleged attacker did not have links to any terrorist organisations - despite witnesses reporting the attacker was muttering religious slogans including 'Allahu Akbar'.  

Dramatic footage showed the man, wearing a grey hooded jumper and holding a large knife, jumping on top of a Mercedes while screaming 'shoot me in the head'.

Brave witnesses were able to tackle the man and pin his head down with a milk crate until police arrived and arrested him as hundreds of workers gathered.

Police praised on Tuesday evening the civilians, fire fighters and ambulance staff for preventing 'what could have been a much worse situation'.

'Do you know how many people you just stabbed, you dog? You just stabbed a chick, mate, in broad daylight,' one of the men was heard screaming during the arrest.

Moments before the attacker was arrested, another woman was found inside The Grace Hotel with stab wound. She was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

A painter working on a mural near where the man was arrested witnessed him charging down the street with a 'big kitchen knife' with five or six people in close pursuit.

Witness Jess Warren, 35, said she was was having lunch at the Regiment CBD cafe when the knifeman was finally arrested. 

She told Daily Mail Australia fire and rescue workers wielding an axe and a crowbar, and a few civilians, two brandishing chairs, had given chase before finally restraining him.

'One of the guys who was chasing pushed him in the back, then as he was falling the firies got him in the legs, and then they pinned him down with the chairs,' she said. 'Then they just sat on him until the cops came.'

'People couldn't believe it, then everyone started standing on their chairs to see over the crowd.'

Megan Hales said there was a group of people running away from the knife man but it wasn't clear if he was chasing after them, or running away from the group that was trying to stop him.

'At that point there were people chasing him down the street trying to stop him,' Ms Hales, who was at work on Wynyard Street, said.

Ms Hales described the man as being in his late 20s or early 30s, Caucasian and with dark curly hair.

'He wasn't looking in great shape - it was fast. 'A whole lot of guys just came down on top of him and laid him down'.

A barrister named Marco, who was working at Batch Café, on York Street, watched in horror as the chaos unfolded.

'He was trying to smash a driver side window of a random car with the knife. He was unsuccessful.

'People were chasing him by that stage. There was fireys chasing him with axes and he went around the corner.'

Adrian Papaianni was walking along Clarence Street when when he suddenly heard terrified screams. 'There were a stack of people running down Barrack Place saying that there was a guy with a knife,' he told news.com.au.

'I ran into the Woolworths and people inside got them to shut the glass doors. I was feeling OK until I saw a mother crying with her baby in her hands, trying to get into the Woolies.

'Police started arriving about a minute later and started to chase him.'

An Uber driver said the knifeman jumped on the bonnet of his car with a knife in his hand and blood on his shirt.

He told 2GB: 'I was next to a fire truck in York Street and he jumped on the bonnet of my car. He crashed across the bonnet and had a knife in his hand. 'There was blood on his shirt. People had their phones out and there was police'.


UK: A Judge told a career crook to slim down and get a job

Guess the result

Here is a perfect story of modern Britain. A Judge has been publicly reprimanded by a Tory Cabinet Minister, for advising a criminal to lose weight and get a job.

I do not know if the allegedly overweight offender took the well-meant advice, but I somehow doubt it. Having spotted the way power and morals are going in modern Britain, he made a formal complaint that the Judge had used ‘abusive language’ - and it succeeded. I wonder if he is now also entitled to compensation.

The Judge, Recorder Julian Malins QC, flatly refused to agree that he had done anything wrong. Partly because he stood up for himself in this way, he was given a formal warning by the then Justice Minister and Lord Chancellor, David Gauke. Mr Gauke has since left this post but is, I believe, still a member of the ‘Conservative’ Party.

The official public notice from the ‘Judicial Conduct Investigations Office’(JCIO) , highly damaging to a Judge’s career, says that, in reaching their decision, Mr Gauke and the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, ‘took into consideration that the recorder failed to acknowledge the inappropriateness of his conduct’.

The JCIO posted the reprimand on its website:


but refuses to discuss the matter. I asked Mr Gauke to comment, asking him what was conservative about his action, and in what way he differed from the most politically-correct wing of the Labour Party, but he has so far chosen not to do so.  I do not know the identity of the criminal.

Mr Malins, 69, an experienced barrister, tells me he still has no regrets.

He says the defendant involved, who is now in his fifties, had appeared in court 40 times in 35 years, had accumulated 60 convictions and served several prison terms including a lengthy sentence for GBH with intent. But on the day he came before Mr Malins, it was for a lesser matter and he was told he could go free. At that point the man interrupted proceedings to say a weight ‘had been lifted from my shoulders’.

Mr Malins replied ‘You had better not worry about the weight off your shoulders, but should rather worry about the weight on your body’.  The defendant then asked the judge to repeat himself, which he did.

Mr Malins, who tells me he is just over 5 ft 10 ins tall and weighs just over twelve and a half stone, says the man was so fat he had to be helped into the dock. He responded to the complaint by politely telling the defendant in detail that he needed to lose weight and get a job. He explained this was for his own sake and the good of society. 

As for the claim of abusive language, Mr Malins says ‘I reject that suggestion absolutely. On the contrary, the advice which I gave him was sincere, well meant, and, I believe, very good.’ 

At first glance, the thing is just ridiculous. You think that at some point you will wake up in the midst of this nonsense, and grown-ups will return, from wherever they have been hiding, to restore the country to sanity. But they don’t. The one thing you can be sure of in this country now is that the state, where it possibly can be, will be against common sense.

But it is deeper than that. We now have a state which, when asked to choose between a learned judge and a frequently-convicted criminal, sides with the criminal as if they are on an equal footing. There is no moral force and bite in our cardboard Criminal Justice system. It sees its job as to negotiate, neutrally between ‘society’ and ‘offenders’ whose misdeeds are not really their fault, but are explained by poverty, abuse or some other fashionable misfortune.

And it reserves special spite for anyone who tries to behave as if things were still as they used to be. The householder who defends himself against a burglar is more severely investigated than most burglaries. This is because his action threatens the monopoly of soft justice.

You are alone. If dangerous evil comes your way, do not expect our current establishment to take your side and defend you. If you dare to defend yourself, it will quite possibly be you who ends in the dock. As for the ‘Conservative’ Party, can someone remind me, what is it for?


Blacks believe in white supremacy    

There’s a right way to raise a child, and there’s a wrong way to raise a child. We as adults are capable of mistakes while raising our youth. (As a father of four, I’m certain to have some parenting faux pas of my own.) But there’s one critical childrearing mistake that desperately needs to be addressed, and that is teaching a child to embrace victimhood.

When applied to the black community, this victim mentality is common under the guise of white supremacy. Some black families view this ideology as a “rite of passage” to embracing their culture. In their minds, denying white supremacy would be to deny “Mama Africa.” As for white liberal parents, they feel as though adopting the white-supremacy idea offers atonement for the “sin” of being born Caucasian.

Parents — both black and white — pass down this negative perspective to their children without a second thought as to the consequences of playing this dangerous victim-playing game. These adults think more about how it makes them feel as individuals and less about what the belief in white supremacy communicates to their kids. And from what I’ve witnessed, this narrative can result in the following:

For black children, this idea teaches that white people are at fault for their lack of achievements and that the black child can be successful only if a white person allows it. This kid grows up to only know of a world that is against him. Everywhere he walks, he casts a dark shadow over every white person, all while overlooking the fact that he is standing on his own two feet.

For white children, the white-supremacy mentality is crippling, fostering thoughts of self-defeat but also automatic pity for black people. These kids become adults who think little of the unique abilities of blacks. Shackled to the ball and chain of guilt, they forever feel responsible for the ills of the black community. They are angry because they know the black community is beyond their control.

This has created for everyone a world that cannot see eye to eye. This war wages where many least expect it to, it’s battlefield being the tender, young minds of our children, easily molded into whichever form society chooses.

However, hope is not lost. I believe this is a war that those of us closer to the Right can win.

Teach a child that another child is his brother and they will look after one another. Teach hatred, victim blaming and finger pointing and you’ll set up a young person for failure before they’ve even begun to live.

So far, my four sons have steered clear from the road of victimhood. The road map I provided my children led them to this one very important idea — that we are all different shades of brown. Not only is this true (just look down at your own hand and see for yourself), it also conveys a unifying message: that there is a connection between all of us, whether we identify as white, black, Asian, Latino, or any other “race.” We are all brown because we all come from the same clay that God used to make each of us.

For many parents, it’s too late to turn back the hands of time and “unteach” this narrative. We can only hope that these young people will discover freedom from victimhood for themselves — be it through an ideological awakening or through professional counseling. Maybe one day our children of all “colors” will look each other eye to eye and see brethren rather than burdens.

My wish is that this next generation of parents understands its power to steer children toward the right attitude to navigate our society. Because there are only two options: perpetual despair on account of one’s skin, or freedom.


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

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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, 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, 2019

Burger King staff mock cop by drawing cartoon pig on his lunch order

A group of fast food employees who insulted a police officer customer last week have been sacked after a Facebook post about the incident went viral.

The scandal began when officer Timo Rosenthal ordered lunch from a Burger King outlet in Clovis, New Mexico on August 9.

When he returned to his car and unwrapped his order, he found a crude sketch of a pig drawn on the wrapper.

The officer snapped a picture of the drawing and shared it to Facebook with the words “When you order food in uniform”.

It was accompanied by the caption: “Well, while on lunch break (and in uniform) I ordered food at Burger King and received this. The patties were burnt and the burger was of very poor quality. Guess that was the last time I ate at Burger King in Clovis, NM (New Mexico).”

The post has since gone viral, attracting thousands of likes, shares and comments.

However, the stunt has received a mixed reaction on social media, with many slamming the nasty prank, which was variously described as “sad”, “ugly” and “pathetic”.

“Thank you for your service we need you men and women in our community, what a shame people can really act out like this!” one Facebook user wrote, while another added: “I want to apologize (sic) to you for these cowards and thank you for your service sir. Our world would not be safe without your service. Very disrepectful! Shame on those employees.” “I’m sorry that people are rude like that,” another commented.

However, others also took the opportunity to criticise the police force. “...police brutality ... is the 5th most common cause of death to young men in this country,” one Facebook user wrote.

“You whined about this so much that you got five people fired. And by acting like that, you proved them completely right,” another posted, while one simply wrote: “Toughen up, snowflake.”

Burger King has identified five employees allegedly responsible for the drawing, and a spokesperson confirmed all had been sacked in a statement sent to Fox News. “What occurred is unacceptable and not in line with our brand values,” the statement reads.

“When made aware of the incident, the restaurant owner immediately reached out to the officer involved to apologise and terminated the team members involved.

“The restaurant is offering free meals to uniformed officers and will provide a catered lunch to the police department as a gesture of goodwill.”

However, the chief of Clovis’s police department told KRQE he was “disappointed” an officer had been treated in “a disrespectful and derogatory way”.


The culture war against Englishness

I’m going to talk about why I think Englishness, English national identity, can be so awkward and uncomfortable for the political and media elites these days.

Sitting here, in 2019, in the tolerant, open country that we are, it is not immediately obvious why so many influential people have such a problem with Englishness. Why does it unsettle them so much, given that, on all kinds of measures, English national identity seems increasingly benign, if not in some ways positive?

English is – naturally – the most widely shared national identity in the UK. But the vast majority of English people see themselves as equally British. Englishness is not, therefore, a narrow and parochial identity. It maps neatly for most English people on to the broader British collective identity.

Most crucially, Englishness is an increasingly post-racial identity. A recent survey conducted by the Centre for English Identity and Politics at Winchester University found that just one in 10 people in England now think that being white is important to being English.

This survey updated research first undertaken by the British Future think-tank in 2012. The change in attitudes it reveals, over just seven years, is remarkable – in 2012, more than two in 10 people thought being white was important to being English.

We still have some way to go. But we are a multiracial society that seems more at ease with itself than ever before. Culturally, we are comfortable with diversity. The sports and pop stars who young people look up to are testament to this.

What’s more, this shift in attitudes is not just a case of the bad old days slowly dying off with the bad old people. Just 16 per cent of over-65s today think whiteness is an important part of being English, compared to 35 per cent in 2012.

This shift in attitudes among older people is backed up by other evidence. In the wake of the Windrush scandal, according to one YouGov survey, Brits aged over 65 were actually the most supportive of the Commonwealth citizens who were treated so shamefully by the Home Office.

(Incidentally, the most supportive UK region of the Windrush children, according to that survey, was not London – it was the rest of the south of England.)

Englishness, therefore, is an increasingly inclusive, benign identity, and yet it is still treated with suspicion – certainly in relation to, say, Welsh or Scottish identity. And every once in a while that suspicion bubbles up to the surface.

Labour MP Emily Thornberry was famously forced to step down from the shadow cabinet in 2014 when she tweeted a picture, from Rochester and Strood, of a house draped in England flags, with a white van parked outside.

She offered no comment on it. It is to this day unclear what she was trying to achieve by posting that image. But for many, it represented a disdain for English identity that many politicians and commentators seem to share.

It was a presentation of working-class Englishness, in particular, as something between a museum piece and an exotic specimen – something sort of alien and strange, and perhaps a bit dangerous.

More recently, the writer Afua Hirsch – author of the book Brit-ish – summed up the feelings of the London intelligentsia in a TV discussion in 2017, when she said that Englishness, for many English people, was a ‘tribal white identity’.

In sum, despite the growing evidence that Englishness is an increasingly civic rather than ethnic identity, this discomfort with Englishness among the elite persists.

Why this is the case might seem obvious at first. The St George’s Cross is, for some, still synonymous with National Front thugs, and, more recently, the English Defence League and Tommy Robinson.

It is easy to forget how far we’ve come in a relatively short space of time. For many black and Asian Britons you don’t need to have been around that long to remember not just a less ‘inclusive’ England, but a deeply racist one.

But it is still striking that the suspicion of Englishness persists even as the content of Englishness is arguably more inclusive than ever before.

You could say that Englishness is a casualty of our new culture war. The spectre of racist, ignorant English folk – ‘gammons’, in the new lingo – is the caricature against which commentators pose as switched-on and virtuous.

But I think the elites’ dislike of Englishness also expresses something deeper. The culture war against Englishness is, I think, bound up with anti-majoritarianism – a discomfort with mass democracy, and a fear and loathing of the ‘little people’ who democracy empowers.

And this is where Brexit comes in.

To adapt a favourite adage of Will Self, not all Remain voters are metropolitan elitists, but all metropolitan elitists voted Remain. And indeed, the Brexit vote brought to the surface that elite section of society’s deep disdain for democracy and for supposedly ‘low-information’ voters.

And given how the votes fell, England was where most of these ‘horrendous’ people could be found. England voted to Leave, where Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay. England backed Leave at a rate higher than the national average – 53.4 per cent. Every English region outside London backed Brexit.

Anti-Brexit anger, therefore, quickly became mixed up with a kneejerk anti-Englishness. Brexit, writes Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, represents a ‘mix of arrogance and ignorance, a very English amalgam’. The vote, she adds, has damned us to ‘dull small island life, grey, inward, with shops full of pies and chips and blue passports in our bags’.

These nominally anti-English tirades were, at least in part, not about England at all. They were giving expression to the anti-majoritarian, anti-democratic inclinations of the elites. This is because England is not only by far the largest bloc of people in the UK — it is also that bloc most often painted as wrongheaded and backward, particularly by the liberal-left.

People once talked about the Labour Party’s problem with southern voters – its ‘southern discomfort’, as a Fabian Society pamphlet put it in 1992. For the best part of three decades now, southern working-class voters have been, in some circles, all but written off. They have been bought off by Thatcher, they are culturally conservative, they are not people to be dealing with.

But the chasm between Labour and its northern heartlands has also been growing all this time. In the wake of the 2010 election, Professor Philip Cowley warned of Labour’s ‘universal discomfort’. And this certainly came to the fore with Brexit.

The biggest majorities for Brexit in 2016 were delivered by the East Midlands, the West Midlands and the North East, encompassing longstanding English Labour heartlands. In those three regions, the Leave vote almost touched 60 per cent. Meanwhile, over 90 per cent of Labour MPs backed Remain.

It is due to these political shifts – which have taken place over recent decades, but came to a head with the Brexit vote – that the English have become a byword for the brutish throng.

There is certainly a discomfort with the idea of national identity in general in certain cosmopolitan circles today. But I would argue that the relatively sympathetic hearing the likes of the SNP or Plaid Cymru get from liberals in England shows that something else is going on here.

Scottish independence, in particular, is increasingly met by sections of the British left with either ambivalence or tacit support. This is a shift that John McDonnell’s explosive comments this week, where he said he was open to the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum, underlined.

I would argue that, in part, the project of Scottish independence is driven by the anti-majoritarian impulse I’ve been talking about. Scotland is presented – by the Scottish National Party – as the centre-left tail that cannot wag the Tory dog. England is supposedly lost to the forces of reaction, and thus Scotland must go it alone.

In turn, in England, Scotland has come to be seen as a kind of haven on a heartless isle. In an interview in the Guardian over the weekend, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon even urged disaffected English voters, angered by Boris and Brexit, to move to Scotland. And I dare say there will be some among the English metropolitan set who will be tempted.

So to sum up, I would argue that the liberal-left’s discomfort with Englishness is an expression of its discomfort with democracy, and the liberal-left’s distance from English identity is an expression of its distance from millions of their fellow country men and women.

But, turning to the central question of this event, the question of fostering a ‘civic English nationalism’, of cultivating a positive English national identity… I’m a little unclear about what that actually means.

I don’t think national identity is anything to demonise. It can in fact offer a more inclusive and expansive identity than the limited racial, gender and sexual identities pushed today by the identitarian left. National identity can provide a framework within which we can transcend our differences.

But while I don’t think we should demonise Englishness, I don’t think we should fetishise it either. We shouldn’t treat it as something fixed and definable, something that either needs to be rediscovered or built from the ground up. Society is more fluid and complex than that.

What I think we should do, however, is argue for some crucial principles – for democracy, for freedom, for universalism. And I think we should defend the nation state as the one construct we have at the moment capable of giving those principles meaning.

For it is those principles – of democracy, freedom and universalism – that I think are most often caught in the crossfire of the culture war over Englishness. And it is those principles on which any progressive nation must rest.


The Democrats who cried wolf

An article in the current issue of the New Yorker asks whether the automotive era was a ‘terrible mistake’. In the piece, cars are blamed for creating a climate crisis and wars. Roads are deemed the ‘setting for our most violent illustrations of systemic racism’. When we’ve reached the point where ‘roads are racist’ is taken as a serious argument, it’s clear that the term ‘racism’ is being applied too casually.

Many self-described liberals today view the world through the prism of race, especially educated white liberals who have mastered the skill of detecting racism in places unknown before. As Zach Goldberg highlighted in a recent essay, the percentage of white liberals who believe racial discrimination is a very serious problem jumped from just below 30 per cent 20 years ago to almost 60 per cent in 2016. Educated white liberals are now much more likely to believe racism is a major problem than black and Hispanic Americans. White liberals are also the only group that looks more favourably on other racial and ethnic communities than they do on their own. In other words, they are embarrassed by other whites.

At the same time as concern over racism among liberals has shot up, racism has become less acceptable in US society. Clearly, the US has progressed from the days of Jim Crow and its aftermath. And the rejection of racist views appears to have continued – even under Trump. A paper published by Daniel J Hopkins and Samantha Washington, sociologists at the University of Pennsylvania, found – against their expectations – that Americans have actually become less inclined to express racist opinions since Donald Trump was elected. Anti-black prejudice, they found, has taken a sharp dive since 2016, among both Republicans and Democrats equally.

And yet, today, the r-word is ubiquitous. We are told that the US itself is inherently racist, that it was founded on slavery and is thus irredeemable (ignoring the American Revolution’s breakthroughs for liberty, the thousands who gave their lives in the Civil War to end slavery, and the civil-rights movement). Reparations for slavery are being seriously considered by Democratic Party candidates for president (genealogy tests may become mandatory – invest in 23andMe!). The American flag and national anthem are protested against at sports games, because, activists say, the entire country is imbued with racism.

In the political sphere, the Democrats have overused the term racism so much that it has become predictable and tired. It is no longer good enough to denounce racism per se – Democrats now feel the need to point out that racism infuses all areas of life. Just listen to Elizabeth Warren during the recent Democratic debate: ‘We live in a country now where the president is advancing environmental racism, economic racism, criminal-justice racism, healthcare racism.’ Race and racial identity matter to Warren – so much so that she lied and claimed Native American ancestry to advance her career.

Of course, we know that Democrats believe Trump is a racist. That accusation was flung at him time and again during his run for president in 2016, when he was (rightly) castigated for his Obama ‘birther’ allegations, his Central Park Five fearmongering, and his remarks about Mexican rapists, among other things. And today the phrase ‘Trump’s racism’ flows freely, as likely to turn up in news articles as in opinion pieces.

But the Democrats don’t stop at Trump, or even Republicans, when it comes to making racism allegations. They use the r-word as a weapon against their fellow party members too, if doing so can advance their own standing. Consider how Kamala Harris called out Joe Biden on the issue of race in one of the recent presidential debates: she criticised his work with segregationist Democrats and his opposition to forced school busing. Harris’s attack was a classic in the style of identitarian call-outs. She accused Biden of racism while disingenuously claiming not to do so. She went back far in his history to find some material (1970s busing is not exactly a hot topic today). She claimed that Biden’s old views hurt her personally, making her unassailable. And she implied that her racial identity (Harris is of mixed race) gives her authority on the topic at hand. After the debate, Harris backtracked and said she wouldn’t impose busing on communities today… which just so happened to be the same position Biden took in the past. So it was just an exercise in political point-scoring, denigrating real issues of racism.

Likewise, Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently called out House leader Nancy Pelosi, accusing her of ‘singling out newly elected women of colour’ in the Democratic Party. This followed Pelosi criticising Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow members of the ‘Squad’ on the issue of border-protection funds. Rather than respond with a political argument, Ocasio-Cortez attacked Pelosi’s motives and implied she was driven by racism. Again, the issue of race was used as a political weapon, with Ocasio-Cortez hoping she could erect a forcefield around herself so that she could not be criticised.

The Democrats’ promiscuous wielding of the r-word is undermining their case against Trump. They have thrown the charge at Trump (and others) so often that, today, that epithet is likely to be greeted with a yawn by all except the most hardened Resistance types. Their cries of ‘wolf’ have been so frequent that when Trump truly does engage in racist language – as he did when he demanded that the Squad ‘go home’ – their denunciations of his racism now sound hollow and worn-out. The r-word just doesn’t have the devastating effect they expect it to have.

A week after the ‘go home’ comments, Democrats threw the allegation of racism at Trump again. This time it was in response to his criticisms of Democrat House member Elijah Cummings and the city of Baltimore: Trump called Cummings’ district a ‘rat- and rodent-infested mess’. But this time around, the accusation was treated even more sceptically. Trump’s focus on a black representative and a majority-black city seemed like it could have been driven by racist intent. But, on the other hand, Trump is known for waging petty personal attacks on anyone who investigates him (Cummings is chair of the House Oversight Committee).

In this case, the accusation of racism was not so easy to stick on Trump. It was easy enough to find Democrats who have said similar things: former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh once said the city stank of rats, while Bernie Sanders once likened Baltimore to a ‘Third World country’. The Democrats’ double standards – ‘it’s racist when Trump says it, but not when we say it’ – are noticed, and they lead people to tune out.

Some Democrats appear to believe that if they can just firmly attach a scarlet letter ‘R’ to Trump, they will win. This is politics via name-calling. The desire to declare Trump beyond the pale relieves Democrats of having to win political arguments. For example, most of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates view the issue of immigration in racial and moral terms. What’s the answer to the border crisis and immigration generally? All Democrats have to offer is that Trump and his wall are racist, and that putting kids in cages is immoral – which is not really a compelling policy argument. The throwing around of the ‘racism’ charge is another way of telling people to shut up about immigration (or other issues), or else risk being labelled racist themselves. The implication is that if you don’t agree with the Democrats, then you too are racist and immoral.

Indeed, for a section of voters the repeated cries of racism coming from Democrats sound like accusations directed at them. Democrats have not denounced and distanced themselves from Hillary Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’ comment, which she made during the 2016 campaign. If anything, some Democrats continue to make sweeping generalisations about Trump’s white working-class voters. They denounce as ‘privileged’ some of the least privileged people in society. This attempt to shame Trump voters into feeling guilty for supporting him will only get people’s backs up.

For all of their efforts, the Democrats’ push to make ‘Trump is a racist’ a commonsense view among the population isn’t working. As a recent Rasmussen poll showed, the country remains divided on this question: 47 per cent think Trump is a racist, while 49 per cent disagree and say his opponents are accusing him of racism only for political gain. Trump deserves to be denounced for many of his statements, old and new. But given the Democrats’ use of the ‘racism’ accusation for partisan advantage, you can understand why many end up giving Trump the benefit of the doubt.

Many commentators are now talking about Trump having a ‘race-baiting strategy’ going into the 2020 election. But his outbursts seem to be more impulsive than evidence of a master plan. Moreover, the Democrats are keen to play the race card themselves, in particular to signal their moral superiority. The latest imbroglios show that both sides have an interest in stirring up racial divisions.

Many modern progressives see the world through a racial lens. They put plus signs against certain races and minus signs against others. That is a recipe for conflict. Levelling a charge of racism should be a serious matter, but the term has lost much of its sting and opprobrium today due to overuse and its extension to things that are clearly not racist. There’s an unfortunate irony to this weaponisation of race: if everyone and everything is racist, then nothing and no one is racist.


The German state’s turn against democracy

In supporting the European banking union, Germany's highest court reveals its anti-democratic heart.

Last week, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) rejected a legal challenge to the European banking union. This union is the means through which the European Central Bank supervises Europe’s larger banks and organises structural funds for banks that fail. The plaintiffs had claimed the ECB’s oversight and liquidation powers were not covered by EU treaties or the German constitution. The court, aligning itself with the German government, concluded otherwise.

After the verdict, I caught up with Markus C Kerber, a professor of public finance and political economy at the Technische Universität of Berlin, and one of the leading plaintiffs in the challenge to the European banking union. He told me the court had lost credibility by siding with the government. ‘If we continue down the road of this ruling’, he said, ‘then it means that in the name of Europe we will have to sacrifice national democracy for centralisation in Brussels’.

Kerber’s right. The banking union rests on a set of unified rules that have transferred responsibility for financial policymaking from national governments to the EU, and strengthened the role of the ECB. It was designed in 2012, and implemented in 2014, as a response to the Eurozone debt crisis, which hit Greece, Ireland and Spain especially hard. It means that the ECB has been responsible for the supervision of all larger banks in the Eurozone, through the single supervisory mechanism (SSM), to use the EU jargon. This system is complemented by the single resolution mechanism (SRM), which promises to ‘ensure the efficient resolution of failing banks with minimal costs to taxpayers and to the real economy’. A third component, still to be fully implemented, is the European deposit insurance system (EDIS) – a centralised fund through which the EU’s bank-deposit guarantee schemes are to be financed.

The wide scope of the banking union is no secret (the pro-EU European Banking Federation (EBF) describes it as an ‘important step towards a genuine Economic and Monetary Union’). In acting as it did, and supporting the banking union, Germany’s highest court has exposed a contradiction between its role as the guardian of the German constitution and its determination to be pro-EU. After all, how does the court square its constitutional role to protect citizens’ democratic rights with its support for a system that moves political responsibility further away from the government and, therefore, from those it claims to represent? Or, as Kerber puts it, ‘there is a rift between the court’s claims [to protect the constitution] and its latest ruling’.

Most importantly, the court’s ruling confirms its disregard for democracy. After all, the banking union, which has also been called a transfer or liability union in Germany (on the grounds that it could potentially move more money from the richer member states to the poorer ones) has never been put to any democratic vote.

Not that the court’s decision to support the banking union should be a surprise. Its support for the EU, even when it undermines Germany’s sovereignty, is longstanding. In 1993, for instance, it rejected a legal challenge, supported and led at the time by the prominent Green politician, Christian Ströbele, against the Maastricht Treaty. Ströbele rightly claimed Maastricht violated basic democratic rights. The court countered that the EU was a union of states but not a state based on a European people. Its powers and tasks were therefore sufficiently defined and limited. Nonetheless, the court cautioned, Germany’s continued membership had to be tied to the condition that ‘legitimation and influence emanating from the people are secured, even within a group of states’.

Similarly ambiguous was its 2009 ruling on the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. ‘The European Unification is a treaty union of sovereign states’, it read. ‘It must not be implemented in such a way that the member states no longer have sufficient room for the shaping of their economic, cultural and social living conditions.’ Nevertheless, the court believed that the requirements of the German constitution – which explicitly states that Germany was to become part of a united Europe – were upheld within the treaty. Democracy was secured, argued the court, if the government sought the support of parliament before agreeing to any law negotiated within the European Council.

Kerber is well aware of what amounts to a gradual outsourcing of sovereignty. ‘Since Maastricht’, he tells me, ‘we have witnessed so many transfers of additional powers to the EU institutions that we are waiting for a ruling hinting at a red line’. Anyone who, like Kerber, hoped the emergence of a banking union would force the court to draw this red line must feel disappointed.

The court was not oblivious to the threat to democracy posed by the banking union. ‘The rules, drawn up after the Eurozone’s financial crisis in 2008 and 2009’, stated the court’s second senate, ‘did indeed raise questions of democratic legitimacy, because the ECB and its local supervisory authorities could act very independently’. But this concern was not enough to turn the court against the government, the EU and, therefore, the status quo.

Are we experiencing a trade-off between economic stability and democratic legitimacy, I ask Kerber? ‘Yes, we are’, he says, ‘and I am unhappy about that. Democracy is more important than European integration.’

Kerber is unsure about what will happen now. Germans, he says, were already feeling the pinch of Brussels’ tutelage. Protest was growing and the AfD was its unfortunate expression. But he feels that, for the time being, the German political establishment is still too addicted to the EU to change tack.

He is not without optimism, however, telling me that hopefully a moderate, liberal, less pro-EU politics might soon emerge. Whether he is right to put his hopes in a more liberal establishment will have to be seen. But, by legally challenging the banking union, Kerber has performed a great service, shedding light on the democratic deficit we are now all facing within the EU.


The ludicrousness of offence culture

Apparently paintings can now breach your human rights.

Lee Hegarty, a civil servant in the Northern Ireland Office, was paid £10,000 in compensation because he was offended at having to walk past a painting of the queen. He said having to do so day in, day out breached his human rights.

Speaking recently about the case, which was settled under David Cameron’s premiership, parliamentary under-secretary of state for Northern Ireland Lord Duncan of Springbank said ‘the Northern Ireland Office takes its responsibilities under fair-employment legislation very seriously and seeks to ensure a good and harmonious working environment for all staff’.

The queen is, as with the rest of the UK, the head of state in Northern Ireland. But to many she is still a symbol of colonial rule. Discussing the case this week, the author Kehinde Andrews said on Good Morning Britain that he was not at all surprised someone working in the Northern Ireland Office would be offended by images of the royals.

Now, I am no fan of the monarchy. Unelected hereditary power is anathema to a functioning democracy. And I understand there are specific sensitivities around the monarchy in Northern Ireland. But this demand that the portrait be removed because it is ‘offensive’ is highly questionable.

How is it a matter of rights that this painting be removed? Hegarty was not really demanding his rights in this situation — he was demanding a privilege. A right applies to everyone in society, and it exists prior to government. A privilege, meanwhile, is something granted by government. What Hegarty did here was demand the privileging of his own offence.

If we accept that people have a right to cleanse their working environments of things they find offensive, where will it end? We are all offended by something, and this case could very well set a ridiculous precedent. It could lead to a proliferation of civil servants seeking compensatory damages due to hurt feelings.

There are parallels here with the Rhodes Must Fall campaign at Oxford University a few years ago. There, students demanded that a statue of the colonialist Cecil Rhodes be torn down, because its presence was an ‘act of violence’. But just as you can’t change the past by toppling statues, you also can’t change the present by removing portraits.

Indeed, what has Hegarty achieved here? Other than to receive some handy compensation. The queen is still the head of state in Northern Ireland, regardless of whether her portrait hangs in the Northern Ireland Office.

This strange episode has only trivialised the issues this civil servant seems to care so much about.


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, 2019

Candace Owens: White Supremacy Isn't What's Harming Black America - 'It's Liberal Supremacy'

Candace Owens, founder of the Blexit movement, told Fox News on Thursday that white supremacy isn’t what’s harming black America - it’s “liberal supremacy.”

“The purpose for this is to distract black Americans from the fact that Democrat policies are actually harming the inner cities. They don’t want to talk about the illiteracy rates. They don't want to talk about what’s actually harming black America, because let me tell you, it's not white supremacy. It’s liberal supremacy,” Owens said during an appearance on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“It’s liberal policies that have infested our inner cities and are destroying our youth that are driving up the gun violence. Nobody cares about gun violence when it happens in theses inner-cities. Isn’t that right? You can see 60 people every weekend being slaughtered in Chicago and Baltimore, and no one talks about it, because liberal policies are the problem,” she said.

Owens debated Democrat strategist Monique Pressley about whether President Donald Trump is a racist. Owens said Trump wasn’t considered a racist until he ran for president.

PRESSLEY: I'm not here to defend anyone who takes the side of a racist, so when the president retweets or comments about Nazi enthusiasts or people in Britain who are saying things that are hateful or --

LAURA INGRAHAM: So you don't think he was a white supremacist in the '80s but you do today? You didn't think he was a white supremacist in the '80s or the 90s?

PRESSLEY: I said I didn't disagree that he received those awards. I think when he was taking out the article on the Central Park Five who was then the exonerated Park Five, I think that he was a racist then.

INGRAHAM: That’s fine. No one’s gonna follow Central Park Five but I'm just asking you because I really do want to understand. Do you believe in the '80s and '90s that Donald trump was not a white supremacist or he's been a white supremacist his whole life but hid it from everybody?

PRESSLEY: I can't speak about what he hid or what I believe. All I can go with is what is factual. So what we know -- if I can just answer, what I'm basing my belief on is the fact that he 1) took out an article for people who were ultimately exonerated - a full-page ad for those young men who were citizens -- …

So Obama was someone who, according to him, was not born in the United States - I guess Hawaii is not part of the United States. The immigrants from the first time he came down the escalator were coming.

INGRAHAM: He didn’t say immigrants. He said illegal.

PRESSLEY: The Mexicans. I’m sorry. The Mexicans - not just the illegals, and I'm not here to defend --

OWENS: So basically, your argument is that he went from being so not racist that Al Sharpton was hugging him to suddenly one day he decided to run for president and boom, just like that he became an avowed racist and all of a sudden we’re digging back into Central Park Five, which by the way in his ad said that if anybody is found guilty, any person of killing somebody in the park, then they should be put to death.

Guess what? Nobody got killed in a park that day, so that's completely irrelevant. All the points just made about Central Park Five were completely irrelevant, because the woman did not die. She actually survived. We can debate that another day. What we're talking about today is nobody suddenly becomes racist, okay, as time goes on. You decide that one day he goes, oh, you know what? Never mind. Forget me hugging and doing so much for black America that I was receiving awards. Suddenly today, I'm a racist.

You want to know why he's a racist suddenly? Because he ran for the presidency and this is how the Democrats try to score points in order to enslave black Americans ideologically.

PRESSLEY: When his entire family was running slum landlord tenements and then refusing..

OWENS: Actually that’s wrong. In Mar-A-Lago, he launched a lawsuit against the state because he felt that they were discriminated against Spanish people and black people. In 1995, Trump did that. You can look it up. So much for being a racist.

PRESSLEY: I’m talking about the city of New York. And when you are discriminating against people of color

INGRAHAM: So, you think is a racist.

Owens said that in order for Pressley to stand by the Democrats, she needs for Trump to be a racist.

INGRAHAM: I don’t believe—Candace, do you support people are racist?

OWENS: No, that's why I'm a Republican.

INGRAHAM: I find it so reprehensible that right now the Democrat Party, framing these issues the way they are, they are literally saying, without saying the actual words, that 100 million plus Americans are racist.

PRESSLEY: No. I hope that--

INGRAHAM: Oh yeah they are.

PRESSLEY: I'm a Democrat, and that's not what I'm saying at all. I believe, actually, that the vast majority of the people in the United States are not racist and do not like -- I mean are disgusted by the tweets and the comments that are coming out of the president's mouth. Even when I'm on your show, the thing I'm most thankful for is the emails I get from people who say, you know what, I heard you tonight. I voted for Trump. I'm not planning to do it again. I wish he would stop saying the things that he's saying. ...

INGRAHAM: What I wonder is the Trump’s a white supremacist, Trump’s a racist over and over and over again. What life in America is that improving? Let's say all the Democrats think they truly believe that. They've worked with him in the past. They liked him in the past. They hung out with him in the past. They took his donations in the past, but now suddenly it's washed over them that he's this terrible, awful, rotten person. Their daily activity in their own input into the political conversation, is it really helping a single black kid in Chicago? One in Baltimore? I don't think it's helping anyone. --

PRESSLEY:: I think that's a very interesting and necessary question. Because sometimes, Laura, a truth needs to be told because it is true and especially when it concerns the person who holds the highest office in our land.

INGRAHAM: 100 million Americans disagree with you.

PRESSLEY: I don't know where that stat is coming from, but what I can say is as this one little black girl from Texas who’s sitting here right now, if someone is conducting themselves as a racist, ought to be able to say so--

INGRAHAM: Everyone has the right to their own opinion. Everyone has the right to speak out, but that doesn't mean you have the right to objective truth. If there is an objective truth.

OWENS: The purpose for this is to distract black Americans from the fact that Democrat policies are actually harming the inner cities. They don’t want to talk about the illiteracy rates. They don't want to talk about what’s actually harming black America, because let me tell you, it's not white supremacy. It’s liberal supremacy. It’s liberal policies that have infested our inner cities and are destroying our youth, that are driving up the gun violence. Nobody cares about gun violence when it happens in theses inner-cities. Isn’t that right? You can see 60 people every weekend being slaughtered in Chicago and Baltimore, and no one talks about it, because liberal policies are the problem.


Wisconsin Bill Assaults Confessional Seal

Bill Donohue

A bill to bust the seal of the confessional will soon be introduced by three Democratic lawmakers from Wisconsin: Sen. Lena Taylor, Rep. Chris Taylor and Rep. Melissa Sargent. The clergy in Wisconsin are already mandated reporters of sexual abuse; this bill would remove the exemption afforded the confessional.

The sponsors of the bill have provided no evidence that this bill would remedy anything. Indeed, they cannot cite one case of sexual abuse that would have been reported to the authorities had the religious exemption for the confessional not existed.

This bill is a monumental flop. Not only does it not solve anything, it will  not convince a single priest to subject himself to excommunication for violating his vows. Moreover, a lawsuit will immediately be filed challenging this violation of the First Amendment by state officials.

The government has no business policing the sacraments of the Catholic Church. This is nothing but grandstanding by politicians pretending to be champions of the victims of sexual abuse.

Why don't these brave lawmakers go after the lawyer-client privilege? Don't attorneys learn of instances of the sexual abuse of minors? Why not target psychologists and psychiatrists as well? They hear about cases of sexual abuse, yet they are forbidden to violate their professional commitment to their patients.

Why are Catholic priests being singled out? This is religious profiling. Indeed, the bill is manifestly anti-Catholic. 

We are contacting every member of the Wisconsin legislature today about this bill. The state needs to back off and keep its hands out of the internal affairs of the Catholic Church or any other religion. We see this as a national issue, one that has grave implications for religious liberty throughout the country.


Sweden’s impending moral and economic collapse

The so-called “Nordic Paradise” devolves into hell.

The arrival of hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern immigrants changed Sweden’s cultural scene, and adversely impacted on its economic wellbeing.

In the early 1970’s, Sweden had one of the highest income levels in Europe. Today, its lead has all but disappeared. The well-intentioned Swedish style socialism undermined individual responsibility, and created a welfare dependency, particularly among low-skilled immigrants. In recent years, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Sweden has declined from $60,075 in 2013 to $52,958 in 2017.  Similarly, its GDP fell from $579 billion in 2013 to $536 billion in 2017.

In his book, “The New Totalitarians,” author Ronald Huntford wrote: “There is of course no reason why the new totalitarianism should resemble the old. Government by firing squads…is not merely inhumane…it is demonstrably inefficient, and in an age of advanced technology, it is a sin against the Holy Ghost. A real efficient totalitarian state would be the one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their many managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. Of all the people, it is the Swedes who have come closest to this state of affairs.” Huntford argued in his 1972 book that the “benevolent socialism” of the Scandinavian system created a sterile, spiritually barren society populated by docile, hyper-conformist populace.”

The Swedish Lutheran Church no longer plays a spiritual role in Sweden. It has succumbed to the mores of the ultra-secular society Sweden has become. The one freedom the Swedes are very adamant about is sexual freedom. However, with the influx of Muslim immigrants from the Middle East, it has served as invitation for rape and sexual crimes. Sweden has been aptly called “the rape capital of Europe.”

Multiculturalism has become Sweden’s new religion and civic ethos, where one cannot criticize immigrants, and the press is deliberately suppressing immigrant crimes. Yet, antisemitism in Sweden has become rampant, forcing young Jews to leave the country. This reporter interviewed a 28-year old Swedish Jew who served as an officer in the Swedish army. He explained that Sweden is no longer safe for Jews, and that he planned to move to Israel or the U.S. The city of Malmo, the third largest Swedish city is nearing a point of being ‘judenrein’ due to Muslim immigrants’ assaults and intimidation.

Sweden has turned a blind eye on Iran’s gross violations of human rights, and its cruel executions of women and teenagers. The Iranian regime has executed Kurdish dissidents with impunity. Sweden was silent about it, as were other leaders of the EU. They were too busy appeasing the Ayatollahs in an effort to preserve the unreliable Iran nuclear deal or JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), and winning business contracts.

Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, had this to say (February 2017) about a Swedish delegation of the so-called “first feminist government in the world,” visiting Iran wearing Hijabs, Chadors, and long coats indoors in deference to Iran’s oppressive Hijab law. “If Sweden really cares about human rights, they should not be empowering a regime that brutalizes its own citizens while carrying out genocide in Syria; and if they care about women’s rights, then the female ministers never should have gone to misogynistic Iran in the first place.” It is rather ironic that that the Swedes elected a “feminist” government that is more concerned with protecting immigrant rapists than with protecting Swedish women.

The once homogeneous, virtually crime-free Sweden, with its cradle to grave benefits, in which the government pampered its citizenry, labeled by many as the so-called “Nordic Paradise,” has turned into a hellish reality. This reporter witnessed Stockholm neighborhoods where police dare not enter, and ordinary Swedes avoid at all costs. Malmo is already virtually lost; its immigrant gangs rule its streets.

The Swedish media won’t reveal the extent of the rape epidemic in the country. The Swedish parliament, in recent years, defeated a motion to produce up-to-date crime figures based on national origin. The Spectator headlined its February 10, 2018 issue with, “Violent crime in Sweden is soaring. When will politicians act?” It was followed by a sub-title that read, “Shootings, hand-grenade attacks, and gang warfare made some city areas no-go-zones.”

The above description sounds more like Baghdad or Gaza than the Nordic paradise. Sweden’s multiculturalism and open immigration policy is contributing to its moral and economic collapse.


A message to the lost tribes of the left wing

Last week, Australia's Joe Hildebrand argued why “hate speech” shouldn’t be banned. After copping a wave of abuse, he has a message.

This time last week I wrote a long, considered piece arguing that free speech, even that considered offensive or “hate speech”, should not be banned — with the obvious and explicit exception of any incitement to violence.

I put forward a number of reasons both principled and practical but chief among them was that allowing freedom of expression is an invaluable way of identifying extremist sentiments in society and hopefully, through reason and open discourse, turning those sentiments around.

The piece was written in response to calls to ban a right-wing UK activist from entering Australia and as it turned out, the reaction to the piece overwhelmingly proved its point.

The only irony is that the extremists it identified were all on the Left.

Indeed, the reactions themselves were also crippled by their own internal irony. It was, as anyone who witnessed the response on social media will know, a volcanic eruption of abuse all exploding in the name of peace and tolerance.

Now before anyone shrieks hypocrisy — even if certain people struggle to tell the difference between free speech and abuse — I’m not going to complain or name and shame individuals. But to illustrate the point, here are just a few examples.

One respondent opened by calling me a “c**t” and then, in the very same tweet, bemoaned the lack of civil discourse in public debate.

Another began their first tweet with the words, “get f***ed Joe” and then in their second, complained that I wouldn’t have a polite discussion with them.

A third quipped: “Nothing good ever comes out of Dandenong” — a reference to my home town, one of the poorest, most multicultural and working-class Labor suburbs in the country. She was also, apparently, a Labor supporter.

There were also the obligatory pictures of dead bodies in Nazi concentration camps — according to the new hard Left narrative, history’s most infamous book-burners were in fact diehard free speech advocates.

And of course the more vicious the abuse, the more voiceless and victimised the abusers claimed to be. They also appeared to be mostly white and university educated, both statistically unusual indicators of oppression.

You honestly could not make this stuff up and it is a sad reflection of where we are.

The reason for this is probably not so much a rise in extreme Left sentiment in the community but the advent of platforms that allow it to be spread so effortlessly and widely. In order to return to Russia to start the October Revolution, Vladimir Lenin had to travel 2000 miles over eight days by train. These days you only have to literally hit return.

To get an idea of just how extreme Lenin was, this was someone who described a fellow socialist as a “detestable centrist”, accepted the patronage of the despicable autocratic German Kaiser (who was using him as a pawn to sabotage the Russian front in World War I), and then returned to Russia to overthrow a revolution that had already taken place because the first revolution wasn’t extreme enough.

Russia was thus turned from a miserable imperialist slaughterhouse to a miserable socialist slaughterhouse. And so imagine my lack of surprise when one of my more vociferous anti-free speech Twitter critics proudly described themselves as “Left of Lenin”. And they are far from alone in doing so.

Of course, I was a student socialist back in the day but at least my influence was limited to whoever I was chanting at on the steps of Parliament House or having a bucket bong with in my lounge room. And at least, unlike Lenin and many of my then-comrades, I had the good grace to actually be poor.

These days, as then, socialism is the domain of the disaffected, upper middle-class so-called intellectual. The only difference is that these days such insufferable twats can bang on about it 24 hours a day, creating the impression that it is a growing movement rather than just a spreading disease.

And of course because it is the domain of the over-privileged, the causes du jour have shifted from elevating the poor — or the “dictatorship of the proletariat” as Lenin so progressively proclaimed — to the niche obsessions of identity politics that have so dominated public debate.

Say what you like about Vlad, at least he wouldn’t have slagged off Dandenong.

But just like Vlad, they see anyone on the right as a fascist and even centrists as fascist enablers.

And while the brutally oppressed and impoverished people of 1917 Russia can be forgiven for embracing such an ideology, no one with even a passing understanding of history or complex thought could hold such a view in the information age. These are people less interested in backstories than backs against the wall.

This brings us to the most profound response to left-wing extremism, which is the number of sensible, compassionate and thoughtful people who once considered themselves progressive but now feel abandoned and isolated, as the movement has been hijacked by hardcore ideologues. And little wonder.

As one former fellow traveller mournfully said: “ALP/Greens/lefty social democrat my entire life … and I am really starting to detest the left. De. Test.”

Another: “My upbringing and instinct too but increasingly embarrassed at the level of self-bullshit, hysteria, hate/division and gesture politics in Left circles.”

Another: “I’m feeling you man. Their hysterical application of ‘fascism’, their antagonism to free speech, their often violent disruption of legitimate political meetings, their inability to see the contradiction between open borders and a welfare state and the hierarchy of victimhood.”

And another: “It’s becoming a mass exodus. But where to go? Not Lib that’s for sure. The politics of group identity and emotions over facts however, leave a lot of us feeling homeless … In a political sense.”

These are the lost tribes of the left. Needless to say, I know how they feel.

And of course not only do hardcore socialists and hand-wringing identity ideologues turn anyone with a brain or a sense of humour away from their cause, they also play into the hands of the right by making the whole Left side of politics look ridiculous. Donald Trump might appear crazy compared to a centrist but he looks sensible compared to a Stalinist.

Little wonder major left-wing parties are fracturing and struggling to win government in liberal democracies all over the world while populist right-wing movements are on the rise.

Likewise in Australia, the ALP lost the unlosable election just a couple of months ago after a cynical attempt to harness what it thought was a neo-Marxist resurgence. For next time, it’s probably a good rule of thumb to remember that when Australia’s only celebrity communist endorses your campaign, you’re probably on the wrong track.

The good news is that the Labor Party has learned from this and is in the process of recovering and recalibrating under the sensible stewardship of Anthony Albanese.

Cynics might point to the post-election dip in the polls, but it is pretty obvious to any seasoned observer that this is almost certainly a result of the party having to quietly jettison all of the toxic policies and rhetoric that cost it victory and start from scratch.

And greater cynics might point to the fact that all the polls got it wrong in the first place.

And so the message to the sensible Left is don’t give up hope. Don’t let dead-eyed socialist extremists or elitist ideological dilettantes trick you into thinking that they are the future of the Left or the champions of working Australians. They are the shackles on their feet, the ones who would rather go down spitting and shrieking than work for meaningful and achievable change.

Society progresses through evolution, not revolution. And it is the extremists who have yet to evolve. The centre will survive. The centre will hold. And the centre will eventually bring us together.



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

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

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


11 August, 2019

Another Nail in the Coffin for Fish Oil Supplements

More people than ever take fish oil dietary supplements—around 8% of US adults in 2012 compared with around 5% five years earlier, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. But a recent meta-analysis of 10 large clinical trials came to a disappointing conclusion: The popular capsules do little to protect patients with heart disease. The findings are at odds with advice from the American Heart Association (AHA), including a 2017 science advisory recommendation to consider fish oil supplementation for patients with a recent myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

The new meta-analysis, published in JAMA Cardiology in January, looked at randomized trials of marine-derived omega-3 fatty acid supplements involving almost 78?000 participants with a history of coronary heart disease (66%), stroke (28%), or diabetes (37%). The trials lasted an average of 4.4 years and compared fish oil with placebo or no treatment in at least 500 participants.

All told, fish oil supplements did not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease deaths, nonfatal heart attacks, fatal or nonfatal strokes, revascularization procedures, or all-cause mortality among the full study population. The supplements also didn’t protect against major vascular events in any subgroups, including people with a history of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, or statin use.

Parsing the effects of fish oil supplementation in prespecified disease subtypes and participant subgroups is something that wasn’t previously possible with the published data sets, said Robert Clarke, MD, a professor of epidemiology and public health medicine at the University of Oxford who led the review. Clarke’s coauthors included principal investigators from 9 out of 10 of the included trials, who provided unpublished data necessary for the meta-analysis.

“They looked every way they could to find out if there was a signal and nothing panned out,” said Lawrence J. Appel, MD, a coauthor of last year’s AHA advisory, who was not involved with the analysis.

The findings are just the latest to cast doubt on the usefulness of fish oil supplementation for major cardiovascular disease end points. Although early trials showed a substantial mortality benefit, the supplements haven’t lived up to their promise in later studies.

Two 2012 reviews of randomized trials published in JAMA and the Archives of Internal Medicine (now JAMA Internal Medicine) by separate research teams found little benefit of fish oil supplementation for heart health. A 2016 systematic review from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality essentially reached the same conclusion.

The authors of the new analysis concluded that it “doesn’t provide any support for the current recommendation from the American Heart Association to use omega-3 fatty acids for the prevention of fatal coronary heart disease or any coronary heart disease in people with prior vascular disease,” Clarke told JAMA.

Despite having coauthored the conflicting AHA advisory, Appel, who is director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, said he was “not at all surprised” by the results. “After a few high-profile trials done over a decade ago, … it’s really been a pretty disappointing landscape for fish oil, which [was] sort of like the supplement du jour,” he said.

The aggressive way heart disease is treated today—with statins, ?-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and aspirin, along with procedures to restore blood flow—may largely explain why the benefit of fish oil supplements appears to have dwindled over time. Trials for the most part have tested secondary prevention, which means they included participants who were already receiving treatment.

“Once you get a heavily medicated group, it’s really hard to detect further benefit,” Appel said.

Improved diets—including greater fish consumption—may have also reduced the magnitude of effect over time. The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in cold-water fish are believed to be the main drivers of cardioprotection in seafood and are the primary components in fish oil capsules.


Identity politics violence is tearing America apart

The group identity fixation is all coming from the Left so they must bear responsibility for its effects. And they love its effects.  Disrupting society is a basic aim for them

Three years ago, a bloody summer of black nationalist violence claimed the lives of eight police officers with the massacre of five police officers by Micah X. Johnson in Dallas and the murder of three police officers in Baton Rogue by Gavin Long.

Johnson had declared his support for the Black Lives Matter racial nationalist group and told police that he wanted to kill white people, and especially white police officers.

In the fall, Marc LeQuon Payne tried to run over Phoenix police officers. Next spring, Kori Ali Muhammad went on a shooting spree in Fresno, murdering three white men.

Muhammad and Long were both part of the Moorish Science Temple black nationalist movement. Muhammad had posted Nation of Islam content which claims that "white devils" are subhuman. Long had admired the killing spree by Johnson. Payne had posted that, “the Caucasian needs to be slaughtered like the pigs that they are right along with the niggas who serve and protect them.”

Long wasn’t alone in viewing Johnson as a black nationalist hero.

A former Miss Alabama had described the racial nationalist killer as a “martyr”. Babu Omowale, a co-founder of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, said, "The fact that Micah just got five of the bastards, that's what got you all upset right now." Yafeuh Balogun, another co-founder of the black nationalist group named after the founder of the Black Panther Patyu, wrote, "He shall be celebrated one day."

While the white nationalist shooters of this year have been banished to 8chan, Johnson, Payne and Long were radicalized and posted their rantings on Facebook. The outpouring of support for their acts of violence also took place on Twitter and Facebook with no effort at censorship by the social media sites.

The alternating mass shootings by white nationalists and black nationalists predated Trump. They’re part of a cycle of violence going back decades if not generations. The cycle of violence had largely died down until it was triggered by the resurgence of identity politics in the Obama administration.

The rise of a new age of identity politics was not a response to injustice, but a cynical political strategy.

Facing a more challenging political landscape after his original victory, Obama pivoted from universal appeals to racial nationalist rhetoric. “Punish your enemies,” he urged Latinos. Joe Biden told black people that Republicans would "put y'all back in chains." The racial nationalism became more strident as the political position of the Democrats weakened. Race riots were stirred up from Ferguson to Baltimore. The violence spiraled into mass shootings of police officers and white people.

Violence was only the most explosive symptom of a deeper racial polarization. White nationalist hate groups, long considered a joke, experienced their biggest revival in decades. Black Lives Matter protests convulsed major cities. Christian churches were vandalized with graffiti reading, “Negroes Are the Israelites,” while two synagogue shootings and a rash of swastika graffiti exploded into the news.

The hate group revival was tapping into polarized racial attitudes. Their growth was not an outlier, but an expression of the deeper sickness of identity politics. Polls showed that perceptions of race relations on both sides had cratered. Politics had become driven by naked appeals to racial interests. America had become a fractured country whose inhabitants identified as members of warring tribes.

The identity politics fracturing of the country was motivated by the political roadmap of the Democrats.

Trump had performed better with black voters than Mitt Romney, but black voters had become a larger share of the Democrat base, and the Democrats relied largely on racial appeals to mobilize their votes. These appeals highlighted a classic racial nationalist message that that pitted blacks and whites against each other with black people depicted as being the enslaved and oppressed victims of white people.

Such messages only deepened the racial polarization on both sides. And the political racial polarization limited the options of the Democrats who had become inescapably dependent on the black vote, yet knew no other way to speak to black voters except through conspiracy theories of racial victimhood.

The Democrats feared losing the black vote and the only way they knew how to keep it was by doubling down on the racial polarization that had divided the country and hollowed out their political party.

Conspiratorial messages of racial victimhood were meant to stem the defection of black voters and increase turnout by spreading racial paranoia and hostility toward white people and Republicans.

By 2014, what had been a cynical and divisive political strategy became a killing field as violence exploded in major cities, initially by mobs, and then through acts of racial nationalist terrorism.

The gunmen spreading terror and death are the manifestation of the identity politics strategy.

Racial violence is a deliberate effort to polarize the country by sowing racial hatred. The gunmen in their manifestos often speak of a desire to radicalize and divide the country along racial lines. The objective of the killers attacking churches, shopping centers and public streets is another brand of identity politics.

White and black racial terror plays into stereotypes and hostilities on both sides. Beyond inspiring a small group of potential imitators, the shooters also reinforce the racial nationalism of the other side. They play into the identity politics conviction that beneath the surface, a racial civil war is underway.

Identity politics was born out of an effort by leftist activists to identify and mobilize potential supporters by breaking down a sense of national solidarity along the lines of group victimhood. Every act of terror breaks down national solidarity further and strengthens the appeals to race over nationality.

Lessons about tolerance, white privilege and racial consciousness don’t end racism. They spread it.

What inhibits racism isn’t leftist politics, it’s nationalism. We are less likely to view each other as the enemy if we are all on the same team. When nationalism declines, then tribes arise. Identity politics is the politics of tribalism. Its group nationalisms are not positive affirmations of a common strength, but negative identifications of a common enemy without and a common weakness within the victim group.

And it’s only natural for warring tribes, taught that they are the victims of oppression, to turn violent.

Nations make war on rival nations. When a nation fractures into rival nations warring with each other, acts of racial terror become commonplace. That is what is happening to the United States of America.

The only way to stop racism is by rebuilding our common purpose as a nation.

Without nationalism, different groups will find their own purpose through a lens of group identity. These identities will be innately hostile to each other and to the country they were formerly part of. They will reject its founding principles for failing to serve the interests of their tribes and they will destroy them.

Democrats and their media eagerly denounce these behaviors when they manifest in white nationalism, while upholding them when they appear in black nationalism. And that’s the problem. The politics of racial nationalism are either good or bad. They can’t however be good for one race and bad for another.

When you divide a country along racial lines, the divide will cut along both sides, not just your side.

The resurgence of racial nationalist violence won’t end until we affirm the centrality of the nation over the identity politics that has fractured our political and cultural life. Until we get rid of identity politics, racial nationalist violence will continue tearing apart communities across a divided United States.


Hate crimes against Poland’s Catholics rise after profane gay parades

Poland’s Catholics are witnessing a sharp increase in hate crimes in the wake of LGBTI+ marches, with incidents of violence, desecration, destruction of church property, workplace harassment and violence against clergy being reported all over the country.

“Almost every day we learn about attacks on the Church and believers. Catholics are being harassed with impunity. The number of obscene profanations in public has never been seen before. They write to us from all over Poland,” attorney Jerzy Kwa?niewski, president of Ordo Iuris has said in the legal institute’s latest newsletter.

“There is no week in which we do not receive reports of another desecration, destruction of church property or harassment against someone in the workplace for confessing their faith. Many complaints come to us after the next ‘Equality Parades,’” Kwa?niewski stated.

“Only in the last week have we taken action on five new cases regarding attacks against believers,” he added, noting that Ordo Iuris had also notified the prosecutor’s office regarding the case of Dominika K. from Wroc?aw, for selling obscene figurines combining the image of Our Lady with the “six-colour LGBT logotype and female genital organs.”

“The number of obscene profanations in public has never been seen before.”

The Ordo Iuris newsletter cites the July 28 attack on 68-year-old Fr. Aleksander Ziejewski by three men who entered the sacristy of the Basilica of Saint John the Baptist in Szczecin demanding liturgical vestments to celebrate Mass.

TVP News claimed that the perpetrators wanted to perform a “homosexual marriage.” Fr. Ziejewski later denied the reports. However, he said that one of the men started blaspheming, pushed sacristan and security guard and assaulted him using a rosary as brass knuckles.

In a pastoral letter to Fr. Ziejewski, president of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanis?aw G?decki, wrote that the “[i]ncreasingly frequent acts of hatred against believers, including priests, and acts of profanation of sacred objects, places and objects of worship, so important for the Catholics in Poland, arouse my highest concern.”

Earlier on June 10 in another incident, Fr. Ireneusz Bakalarczyk, was on his was to celebrate Mass at the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Sand, in Wroc?aw city centre, when a 57-year-old man started a conversation about the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, before pulling out a knife and stabbing the priest in the chest and abdomen.

Later in July, Saint Maximilian’s Church, Konin, in W?oc?awek diocese, was desecrated and the monument next to the church was destroyed. In a parallel incident, a blasphemous inscription was painted on the wall of another church in Brze?no near Konin.

On July 26, four people attacked the parish priest of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Turek. The three women and a man wanted to file an “act of apostasy”—declaring their separation from the church.

After explaining that only a parish priest could accept and sign the document in accordance with the law, Fr. Vicente Remigiusz Zacharek was attacked by a man who grabbed a cross from a bookshelf and threw the priest from the chair to the floor. The assailants were also blaspheming against the priest and the church.

“These shameful acts are more and more frequent. It seems that their goal is to push frightened Catholics into the catacombs,” Miros?aw Milewski, auxiliary bishop of P?ock, in his homily on the silver jubilee of the chapel of Our Lady of Cz?stochowa in Garlin.

“We need to make clear our disagreement with such anti-Christian acts and actions. We can never accept that the barbarians taunt our sacred ordinances and objects. Let us pray for repentance for those who have been strangled by evil, but also, as far as we can, let us protest against acts of profanation,” added Milewski.

A dozen Catholic churches have been desecrated in the last two months across the country, according to the Krakow-based Polonia Christiana association.

Responding to allegations of rightwing violence against homosexuals at the Bialystok “Pride Parade” on July 21, Bialystok archdiocesan spokesman Fr. Andrzej Debski said the march had “unleashed actions of evil” on both sides. He rejected claims the church itself had “caused the aggression.”

“Other Equality Marches this year in Warsaw, Gdansk and Poznan, organized in the name of tolerance and anti-discrimination, have shown just the opposite: the enmity of LGBT circles towards Christianity,” Debski said in a statement released by Poland’s Catholic Information Agency, KAI.

“Are we not seeing double standards at work when sacred symbols are profaned during these parades, alongside blasphemies against God?” he asked.

Meanwhile, in breaking news, LGBTI+ activist Fr. Pawe? Gu?y?ski has called for the resignation of Marek J?draszewski, Metropolitan Archbishop of Kraków.

On his Facebook page, the Dominican priest has called upon Catholics to protest against the archbishop for describing LGBTI+ activism as a “rainbow plague.”

In a sermon given to mark the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw uprising by Polish resistance fighters against Nazi occupation, J?draszewski said Poland was no longer affected by the red plague of Marxists or Bolsheviks, but warned the LGBTI+ rainbow flag was born of the same spirit.


ACLU Blames ‘Inaccurate Stereotypes’ for Opposition to Male Athletes in Girls Sports

The American Civil Liberties Union blames “inaccurate stereotypes” for opposition to biological male athletes competing in female athletics, despite scientific research showing transgender athletes have advantages.

The ACLU is leading a petition campaign in support of two male athletes, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, who are dominating high school girls track in Connecticut. “While Andraya and Terry’s teammates and coaches support them, some cisgender athletes want to keep them out of girls’ sports,” the petition states.

One of Miller and Yearwood’s female competitors, Selina Soule, has repeatedly criticized forcing girls to compete against male athletes. “Currently, in Connecticut I am the only girl who is speaking out,” she said last month. “Everyone else is too afraid.”

The Connecticut runners are just two of several examples of biologically male athletes racking up victories in women’s sports.

Democrats in Congress, including New York Rep. Jerry Nadler and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, have denied transgender athletes have unfair advantages in female athletics.

A recently published paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics found that suppressing testosterone levels in male athletes isn’t enough to eliminate their natural advantages over female athletes.

The paper concluded that male athletes who identify as transgender women have an “intolerable” advantage over their female competitors.

A spokeswoman for the ACLU declined to comment, recommending instead that The Daily Caller News Foundation reach out to liberal academics who support including biological males in female sports.



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, 2019

Leftist racism: 11 Shot Dead, 63 Wounded in Chicago Over the Weekend: Crickets
It was a beautiful summer weekend in Chicago. The city's premiere summer music event -- "Lollapalooza" -- went off without a hitch, despite soaring temps and oppressive humidity.

There were the usual block parties, church socials, neighborhood bake sales...

And 11 people were gunned down in the streets, with 63 more wounded.

You might think these are “mass shootings” too, but, in political/media terms, they’re not treated as such. The victims, and in all likelihood the shooters, are black. And Democratic politicians find no political advantage in weaponizing the victims of everyday street violence in a Democratic town. So Chicago’s dead are stepped over by national media and national Democrats on the way to 2020.


No, the United States Doesn’t Lead the World in Mass Shootings

A common myth you can expect to hear a lot in the coming days and weeks is that the United States “leads the world in mass shootings” and therefore we must pass some law that will do nothing to stop future mass shootings, but will infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

What you might not hear is that this claim is completely bogus.

Sure, if you following conservative media, you’re probably aware of this. Townhall, The Daily Signal, Bearing Arms, FEE, The Washington Examiner, and others have all previously reported on how the myth that the United States leads the world in mass shootings is based on a deeply flawed study, which has been debunked by the Crime Prevention Research Center.

Yet, the myth remains alive and is sure to be regurgitated endlessly again. The following video from John Stossel explains how the myth got started and why it's bogus:

In the end, the problem of mass shootings (and gun violence in general) is not one to be solved by knee jerk reactions, finger-pointing, useless legislation or unconstitutional gun grabs. The left will do whatever they can to politicize these incidents because they think they can gain power from it. They don’t expect most Americans to do the research required to fully understand the big picture.


Australia: Anti-political correctness packs will be sent to 500 schools to stop students being brainwashed by 'radical gender activists'

Anti-political correctness packs will be sent out to at least 500 schools in a push back against 'radical gender activists' in schools.

The information packs, issued by lobby group Binary, feature a range of materials to educate parents in NSW on their rights and what they can do to keep their children separated from gender identity ideology.

The group, set up by NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham, has the support of several high profile politicians including Finance Minister Damien Tudehope and Corrective Services MP Anthony Roberts - who attended the launch of the packs.

One Nation seeks to end transgender self-identification in NSW that it says has a 'damaging impact' on school children.

'This problem is increasingly common in NSW schools, urged on by left-wing political activists,' Mr Latham told Sydney Morning Herald.

'Schools made a big mistake when they stopped being places of learning and ventured into the world of mental health assessment and radical gender theory.'

Mr Latham, who chairs the upper house's education committee, said on social media following the launch the Information Pack will be 'a great resource in the fight against radical transgender indoctrination in schools'.

'As a father, only a parent has full responsibility over the development of their child, a teacher is secondary and the state should not be interfering with the rights of parents and the family,' he said.

Former candidate for the Australian Liberty Alliance and Director of Binary, Kirralie Smith, said the kits have been funded by donations from their supporters. 

'Barely a day goes by when we don't hear from another parent concerned about what their child is being exposed to at school ... transgender speakers, de-gendering language, pronoun police, explicit sex-education programs and inappropriate library books,' Mrs Smith said.

The kit warns parents against various uses of language such as anti-bullying to silence those raising an alternate opinion.

It also recommends that parents force school to expose their policies on Transgender students by asking them what bathrooms self-identifying students are allowed to use.


I Know From Experience This Urban Agenda Would Lift Baltimore and Other Cities

K.C. James (Who is black)

You may not like the messenger, but embedded in the recent political dust-up about the crime, poverty, and despair in Baltimore were some undeniable truths.

If nothing else comes out of this latest debate, the bright light is now shining on a very inconvenient reality: Liberal policies have failed the people of Baltimore and inner cities everywhere.

As the daughter of a former welfare recipient who spent my early years growing up in government housing, I know the truth of that statement more than most.

For decades, politicians have repeatedly promised urban communities good jobs, good schools, and safe neighborhoods. Instead, they have delivered policies that actually increase crime, degrade educational standards, and make it harder to get work.

The debate this incident has sparked sadly takes me back to a few years ago, when I was at my niece Ashley’s funeral service. Ashley was a product of the inner city. She was 32 years old when she died of a drug overdose.

She started out as a beautiful, strong, and intelligent young girl who had so much promise. But like so many others who grew up in that environment, she became disengaged from school, started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and began using drugs.

As I sat in the pew that day, I thought: Why does this keep happening in my community and what is it going to take to finally stop it?

Anger began to overtake my sadness, though, when I looked over and saw the precious teenage daughter Ashley had left behind. How were we going to protect her from the same fate?

I wanted to stand up and shout to everyone in the church: “How much more are we going to take? How many more are we going to lose? How did the hopes and dreams of our forbearers give way to so much despair? How can we let innocent children grow up in poverty, be exposed to drugs, and see the violence done against their neighbors—and against themselves? Are we mad enough yet that we’re finally willing to do things differently?”

And so I ask the same question today for those trapped in the inner cities of Baltimore and Richmond and Detroit and everywhere else: Are we as a society mad enough yet that we’re finally willing to do things differently?

In Baltimore, the poverty rate of 22% is nearly double the national rate. Baltimore’s schools rank among the lowest-performing in the entire state of Maryland.

Crime is allowed to fester. When police and prosecutors don’t pursue and punish smaller crimes, criminals remain on the streets and graduate to more serious crimes until things spiral out of control.

During the riots of 2015, Baltimore’s mayor instructed police to give protesters “who wished to destroy” the necessary “space to do that.”

Baltimore’s homicide rate outpaced all major cities in 2017. Last year, the city had the highest overall crime rate of the 30 largest cities in America.

Even Bernie Sanders called Baltimore a Third World country when he visited in 2015.

Conservatives have been saying for years that our inner cities are laboratories where the far-left experiments with policies based on feelings rather than facts. These big-government experiments have ended in failure, harming the very people the far left says it wants to help.

I’m not questioning people’s intent when they first put these policies in place, but after decades of experimenting, the outcomes have become evident. And they’re not good. People are suffering from the unintended consequences of the left’s misguided compassion.

It’s about time that we ended the suffering and implemented an urban agenda that works. We have the ability to put in place policies that can achieve the eradication of poverty, job growth, positive educational outcomes, and strong families originally intended, but we can do it in proven ways that actually work. The good people who live in these communities deserve nothing less.

Such an agenda must be based on the very building blocks of a civil society: family, faith, education, and community.

First, we must ensure that we’re encouraging families to stay together and that fathers and mothers raise their children together.

Decades of studies have shown that children raised in single-parent homes are statistically more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, exhibit poor social behaviors, and commit violent crimes. They’re also more likely to drop out of school, which often leaves them struggling to find good-paying jobs as adults.

We could go a long way toward strengthening inner-city families by changing the system of government assistance that routinely weakens them.

As a child of welfare, I can tell you that an overreliance on government assistance has deprived millions of children of the love and security they would have gotten from a family with two parents.

I saw welfare take the place of the family breadwinner, so fathers didn’t feel the need to stay with and support their children.

I saw children who grew up without both parents who started having trouble in school and who got in trouble with the law. I saw fatherless teens look to drugs and street gangs to fill the void.

I saw dependence take the place of work.

I saw poverty passed down from generation to generation as children followed in their parents’ footsteps.

Regardless of what the federal government chooses to do or not do, states have the ability to reform their welfare systems.

When I was secretary of the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, we took on statewide welfare reform. While providing a safety net for those who truly needed it, we limited the amount of time able-bodied people could be on welfare, we created work requirements, and we helped recipients learn new skills and find jobs so they could stop being dependent on the state.

We replaced dependency with independence, which not only lifted people out of poverty, but also restored families and brought back pride, self-respect, and a sense of personal responsibility.

Faith also plays a critical role in civil society. It gives people hope and teaches them love.

It teaches them that there are things bigger than just themselves and that there are consequences for the good and bad that we do.

Churches also provide a sense of community, shared values, and a safety net for those in physical, spiritual, and emotional need.

We must stop the attacks on religious liberty, we must stop pushing churches out of desperately needed human services work, and we must end the marginalization of the truly positive role that faith plays in our communities.

Another cornerstone of civil society is education. Failing urban schools deprive our children of discovering the potential of their own minds, of proper socialization, and of future career prospects.

School choice programs allow families to take a portion of the money that the public school system spends on their children and use it to choose better public schools, charter schools, or private schools that best meet their educational needs.

In states such as Arizona, Indiana, and Florida that have school choice, children who were once assigned to schools that were failing or weren’t the right fit for them are now succeeding.

Moreover, choice has created competition and increased accountability in public school systems, making them more responsive to parents and community needs, which has created a better educational experience for those who choose to stay in them.

An urban agenda must also include jobs because a job is one of the most effective antidotes to poverty. We create the greatest prosperity when government reduces taxes and onerous regulations on businesses so they have the freedom and the money to invest, grow, and create more and better-paying jobs.

As we’ve seen on a national scale with recent federal tax cuts and deregulation, unemployment in general—and among minority communities in particular—is at record lows. Moreover, the lowest-income workers have seen the biggest percentage increases in pay.

A successful urban agenda also includes returning to Law Enforcement 101: actually punishing criminals so that offenders get locked up and other would-be offenders are deterred from committing crimes in the first place.

Whoever told the politicians that minority communities wanted to tolerate thieves and violent criminals roaming their neighborhoods?

The most powerful solution to stopping crime doesn’t rest with the police, though—it begins at home. While it’s important to ferret out the bad apples in our police departments, it’s equally important for parents to teach young people respect for authority and the rule of law.

The current breakdown in respect for authority has not only led to confrontations with police, but with teachers, principals, and even parents themselves. It has led to neighborhoods that are becoming more and more uncivil and dangerous for everyone who lives there.

This is just a start on some of the solutions that could create a turnaround for Baltimore—and for all of America’s inner cities.

I am not a conservative in spite of the fact that I came out of poverty. I am a conservative because of it.

The left has tried decades of its experiments with miserable results. It’s time to try policies that will actually strengthen families and create good jobs, better educational opportunities, and safer communities.

We have to do it before we lose more Ashleys and yet another generation to the poverty, crime, and despair of the inner city.

At least this latest controversy has brought these problems front and center in the American conscience. Let’s finally be mad enough about the way things have been done that we’re now willing to do them differently.

Let’s end the political partisanship, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.



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, 2019

What We Aren't Hearing About West Baltimore

I have concluded this presidential campaign is going to be a danger to my dental health. Not mental — that bus left the station — but dental. Watching people react to Trump's tweets is causing me to grind my teeth.

One tweet that damaged my dentine, of course, is that tweet about Elijah Cummings' district in Maryland. Since the actual story has long since been forgotten, let's just go back over it.

In the first inning, Kim Klacik — a black woman who is a Republican local official as well as a contributor for the local Fox channel — made a video report on the conditions in West Baltimore.

Now, the report was not actually all that controversial: she showed that conditions in some of the poor neighborhoods were really bad, infested with rats and heavily littered with uncollected garbage. She called out representative Elijah Cummings for paying more attention to things that got on television than his own district.

None of those conditions were really news: they'd been reported by PBS; the Baltimore paper quoted the mayor that "you could smell the rats"; it had been the subject of a documentary; they'd even been called out by Cummings, who called those neighborhoods "drug-infested" years ago.

Klacik's story was then picked up and shown on Fox and Friends, and following that, the story was retweeted by Trump.

That, to quote Roger Zelazny, was when the fit hit the Shan. Trump was immediately denounced for his "racist" tweets. That the tweets were racist quickly went from being some people's opinion to being reported as truth on most television networks and nationwide newspapers.

It wasn't long before Cummings was being feted as a Democrat leader and paragon of morality comparable to Senator Ted Kennedy.

Like, people were saying this seriously, not as the height of irony.

We were told that mentioning the rats infesting those poor neighborhoods — hell, that using the word infesting — was inherently racist. We were told that the average income in Cummings' district was higher than in some of the rural districts represented by Republican representatives.

The average income point is, of course, a demonstration of how you can lie with statistics as long as your audience is innumerate, unsophisticated, ignorant, or just stupid.

You see, if you examine Cummings' thoroughly gerrymandered district, you discover that it includes two populations in a sort of Pac-Man shape devouring the coastal parts of Baltimore. One of those populations is the very poor and dominantly African American section that Klacik was documenting. The others are thoroughly upper-class, thoroughly liberal Democrat, largely white neighborhoods.

Of course, when you take the average of a bunch of really poor people and a bunch of pretty wealthy people, the average is going to be higher than the average for the poor people.

Long ago, when I was an undergrad philosophy major, we learned that to logically evaluate a bit of rhetoric it was useful to see if substituting some of the specifics yields a sentence that still makes sense.

Let's assume — hypothetically, and yes I realize this requires a suspension of disbelief — a city with a Republican mayor who was the most recent of a series of corrupt mayors, a large area with a long-term problem of dumped garbage and rat infestation that had been the subject of many documentaries and a number of previous news reports, and that after another news story, President Barack Obama called out the Republican congressional representative. Would that be obviously racist?

Since I'm not paid by the word I won't belabor the point, but I think pretty obviously not — and if you think it would be, I have some spectacular real estate deals for you in southern Florida as well as a marvelous bridge in New York City.

Since then, it's turned out that a few days before Trump's tweet, the residence that Cummings keeps in his district had been burglarized. That led to people questioning whether Cummings actually resides in that residence (pro tip: don't bet money on it) followed by a few scattered stories on questions about Cummings' wife's self-dealing on money that goes into her nonprofit, and the IRS complaint that went with that.

Oh, and hints that Trump had been responsible for the burglary, which took place days before his tweet.

I think the time-traveling powers of Republican presidents are really not being used very effectively.

So what actually comes of this? We got the usual miniature moral panic, with lots of virtue preening. CNN is now searching for dirt on Kimberly Klacik, the woman whose report started this kerfuffle. A whole bunch of people are demanding that Trump do something — while insisting that the local member of Congress isn't responsible. This cost me a couple of bits of a back molar in itself.

The only thing that seems to have been forgotten in the rush to claim that Trump is lying, that Baltimore is wonderful, and conditions in neighborhoods of one city are the personal responsibility not of the local government but of the president, is that there are a lot of poor people who are still living in garbage-filled, rat-infested, crime-ridden neighborhoods where the problems have been well known for years.

What really makes me grind my teeth is how the virtue preeners have made clear that they honestly don't give a good godd*mn about those people; they just want to score on Trump.


Italy to fine migrant rescue boats up to €1 million as tough Salvini law passes

Matteo Salvini has scored another victory after parliament passed a security bill which threatens the captains of migrant rescue vessels with fines of up to €1 million if they enter Italy’s ports without permission.

The passing of the bill further bolsters the strong position of the deputy prime minister, who has made combating migration from North Africa one of his main priorities since coming to power last summer.

The security measure means that the skippers of NGO vessels who rescue asylum seekers in the Mediterranean and try to bring them to an Italian port will face fines of up to €1 million.

They will be arrested and their vessels impounded.

That is a dramatic increase on a €50,000 fine which was introduced in a previous security bill, passed in December.

The new bill, which also gives added powers to the police, won approval after passing a confidence vote in the Senate, the upper house of parliament, on Monday night. There were 160 votes in favour, 57 against and 21 abstentions. It had already been approved by the lower house.

A threatened rebellion by Left-leaning members of the Five Star Movement, Mr Salvini’s coalition partner, failed to materialise.

“More power to the forces of order, more border controls, more officers to arrest Mafiosi and members of the Camorra (the Naples-based mafia),” Mr Salvini, who is also interior minister and head of the hard-Right League party, wrote in a tweet.

He thanked “you, the Italians” as well as “the Blessed Virgin Mary” – the latest of several references he has made to his Catholicism.

Opponents of Mr Salvini say the new law undermines human rights and persecutes people with a legitimate right to flee violence and poverty.

The security decrees have been criticised by the Council of Europe and the UN, as well as humanitarian NGOs who deploy rescue boats to the Mediterranean to save people escaping Libya.

In Italy, the opposition Democratic Party called the new law “monstrous”, saying that it “criminalises those who save human lives at sea”.

But Mr Salvini’s uncompromising stance towards migrants and refugees has paid handsome dividends in the polls, with the latest suggesting that the League now has the approval of 38% of Italians.

That is a sharp rise from the 17% that the party won in last year’s general election.

Meanwhile, a fishing boat carrying 48 migrants managed to reach the southern Italian island of Lampedusa after setting out from the coast of Libya.

Some migrants died during the journey, including a five-month-old baby, survivors told the Italian authorities.

The survivors included 27 women, three of whom are pregnant. A Protestant Church charity working on Lampedusa said the migrants are from Mali, Tunisia and Ivory Coast.


UK: Disgraced former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya struck off as a solicitor

Blacks are notoriously low in ethical restraint, as shown by their very high rate of violent crime. They suffer for it.  But this crime was one that all sorts of prominent people have been tempted by -- Marcus Einfeld, Chris Huhne etc.

Fiona Onasanya, the disgraced former Labour MP jailed for perverting the course of justice, has been struck off as a lawyer for trying to avoid a speeding fine.

The 35-year-old former Peterborough MP was barred from practising law after a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found she had acted dishonestly.

The one-time Labour whip was jailed in January for three months after being convicted at the Old Bailey for perverting the course of justice. Her brother, Festus, who helped her cover up the crime, was jailed for 10 months after pleading guilty to the same charge.

The tribunal sitting in London today found she had acted dishonestly, without integrity and failed to uphold the rule of law or behave in a way that would maintain the public’s trust.

Edward Nally, the chairman of the three panel tribunal, said: “The conviction has led to disastrous consequences for Miss Onasanya, both personally and professionally as a solicitor, albeit not a practising solicitor.

“A solicitor owes a duty to the court, as an officer of that court. While a parliamentarian makes the law, a solicitor must uphold the law and the rule of law. Sadly, in this case Miss Onasanya has failed.”

She qualified as a solicitor in 2015 and worked in property law until her election in June 2017, six weeks before her Nissan Micra was filmed speeding at 41mph in a 30mph zone in Thorney, Cambridgeshire.

Onasanya denied driving the car, instead telling police a Russian man lodging at the family home had been behind the wheel. However, it emerged he was in Russia at the time of the offence.

Onasanya admitted she was a solicitor in “name only.” However, throughout the hearing she maintained her innocence, despite an appeal against her conviction in March failing.

“I maintain and stand by the fact that I didn’t do what I have been convicted of - perverting the course of justice. And, I am pursuing avenues to clear my name.”

She declined to comment as she left the court with her mother, Paulina. Onasanya was ordered to pay £6,562 costs.

Following her conviction in December last year, she was booted out of the Labour Party but continued to serve as an independent MP.

She served just 28 days of a three-month prison sentence and was released from Bronzefield prison in Surrey in February. However, she continued to receive her MP’s salary of £77,379.

She was kicked out of Parliament after more than 19,000 of her Peterborough constituents voted to oust her following her conviction.

She became the first MP to be removed as a result of a recall petition. She decided against running as an independent in the subsequent by-election, in which Labour clung onto the seat.


Australia's politicians ignoring voters by supporting population growth

At this year’s federal election, there were clear differences in the positions of the two major parties on every significant policy area save immigration on which, except for a few details, they effectively ran a joint ticket.

The Coalition spoke of sending migrants to regional areas; Labor wanted to reduce the number of temporary skilled workers while providing open-slather entry for grandparents. But the parties were in heated agreement in their support for high migrant intakes, both permanent and temporary, and the associated high population growth.

But political support for large-scale immigration does not tally with voters’ views. Support for large migrant intakes has fallen significantly during the past decade. People want immigration cut and slower population growth.

The evidence is in figures collected by Newspoll, Essential Research, the Lowy Poll, the Scanlon Survey and the Australian Population Research Institute. The politicians know what we think. They just act like they don’t.

The lobbying behind immigration is so strong that both parties have concluded the views of ordinary folk can be ignored. These forces include the bureaucracy — check out the Treasury’s reports — big business, property developers, the universities and various interest groups, some ethnically based.

Consider the recent report released by the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia, the only aim of which is to support unrestricted inflows of temporary migrants. It seeks to dispel the proposition that the surge of temporary migrants has been harmful to Australian workers.

There are about 1.4 million temporary visa holders in Australia. The number of temporary migrants has been growing by about 50,000 a year.

What the authors of the CEDA report desperately, albeit unconvincingly, seek to prove is that the increased competition in the labour market caused by temporary migrants has not affected local workers either in terms of their earnings or employment prospects. But the authors’ methodology doesn’t test this proposition.

Not only are temporary migrants not specifically identified in the study but the critical results are insignificant. The best that can be said is that weekly wages and unemployment of local workers appear unaffected by the migrant intake. It may also be that the causation of the model runs the other way. That is, migrants are attracted to strong labour market conditions rather than cause them.

Another point made by CEDA — that the number of temporary migrants is too small to affect outcomes — is wrong. Adding in New Zealanders, there are about two million temporary migrants in a workforce of about 12.9 million — or 16 per cent of the total. This is a sufficient proportion to significantly affect outcomes. Indeed, the government’s own Migrant Workers’ Taskforce notes that the abundant supply of temporary migrants is one of the reasons they are so widely exploited.

It is obvious why businesses would endorse the CEDA study. They don’t want the free flow of available workers impeded; indeed, the report recommends labour market testing for positions filled by migrants be ditched.

But when thinking about the low wage growth during the past five years, one plausible reason relates to the impact of the migrant intake, particularly temporary visa holders. Most temporary migrants operate in the unskilled or semi-skilled parts of the labour market.

This hypothesis is consistent with the material collected by the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce. Many instances were found of workers being exploited, with the conclusion being that “there is a culture of underpayment in some areas of the economy”.

While the taskforce presented several recommendations for ensuring compliance with Australia’s labour laws, it’s not actually clear how this can be policed. That we should have fewer temporary migrants was not canvassed.

Not not all areas of our immigration program are working well. There are clearly games being played with the partner visas program that are not necessarily in our interests.

According to population researcher Bob Birrell, there were 40,000 partner visas issued in 2017-18, down from 48,000. And there are at least 80,000 in the queue. These figures compare with about 112,000 marriages in Australia each year.

The reason there are so many partner visas is because we allow anyone aged 18 or older, including those who have recently been awarded permanent residence, to sponsor a partner — the most generous arrangement among developed economies.

As Birrell notes: “For the large number wanting a permanent residence visa, the partner visa is an attractive option. There are no onerous English language standards or any need to find an employer … For prospective partners living in low-income countries, an Australian partner visa offers the prospect of a huge lifestyle gain with no entry costs, other than the visa fee.”

It is not uncommon for recent permanent residents to return to their place of birth to select a partner known to their family or community. On Birrell’s figures, at least one-third of partners enter this way. A rising number of former overseas students also receives partner visas.

Partner visas now account for a quarter of the permanent migrant intake and most of the partners head for Sydney or Melbourne. But the government plans no changes.

Politicians will continue to ignore our wishes if they can get away with it. They will oversee an immigration program that is contributing two-thirds of population growth and is associated with lengthening commuting times and loss of urban amenity.

But there is always the possibility that quiet Australians could become noisy on this.



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, 2019

UK: Right-on brigade exposes its own prejudices

By Trevor Phillips, who is black

It’s forbidden for Labour Party members like me to describe Boris Johnson as anything other than a racist and an Islamophobe, but while he is guilty of many distasteful acts I think I can say with certainty he is neither of those things. In fact, it’s this kind of brainless tribalism that has got us into our current mess.

The left-leaning bias against Johnson is most striking in the reaction to his cabinet appointments. A different prime minister would have been basking in the approval of the right-on brigade for having appointed more people of colour to the cabinet in 24 hours than all his predecessors managed in the past 300 years. But the gracelessness of modern politics is such that the very people who threw parties at the election of Barack Obama now complain about Johnson’s minority ministers. They sneer that the first non-white chancellor, Sajid Javid, is a “coconut” (brown outside, white inside), that the first ethnic minority woman to lead the Home Office is a dumb “snake”, and that the first black chairman of the Conservative Party is an “Uncle Tom”. This, of course, is a measure of their racism, not the prime minister’s.

The last jibe, by the way, is an ignorant and racist perversion of the heroic character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s eponymous novel. Abraham Lincoln attributed the clamour for the abolition of slavery to Stowe’s creation; so much for the anti-racist credentials of Johnson’s critics.

And yet the Corbynite glove puppets who are leading this disgraceful attack have nothing to say about a shadow cabinet that, perhaps for the first time in Labour’s history, boasts not a single member who professes the Jewish faith.

Should we not be judging our leaders as much by what they do as what they say? But in politics, words — and how they are deployed — matter. And the rule appears to be that you should never play the ball when it’s possible to play the man. If you can find a reason to denigrate a politician’s character then you never need to rebut, accept or even acknowledge their argument. In fact, on certain topics nowadays, unless you qualify by virtue of your race, you might not even have permission to hold an opinion.

I was recently invited to debate identity politics on a platform composed of five speakers, none of whom was a white man. I pointed out that it cannot be right to debate such an important topic without giving a voice to 40 per cent of the population — sex or race relations by definition should involve us all — yet the audience seemed bemused by the idea that being black or female does not confer privileges of speech.

Increasingly, second-rate invective and verbal intimidation are taking the place of a genuine clash of opinion. If politics is to recover public trust its practitioners have to regain a measure of respect both from the public and from each other. This is not principally a matter of etiquette, though old-fashioned good manners might help.

Some months ago, the think tank Policy Exchange launched a drive to persuade public figures to treat each other with greater generosity. I co-authored its report An Age of Incivility. Presciently, perhaps, we were joined by Jacob Rees-Mogg, now the leader of the Commons, and Nicky Morgan, the new culture secretary, both of whose roles could be vital in resetting the clock on our public manners.

In our first meeting we proposed that politicians might occasionally agree with each other, and that they might recognise that divergence of views is not always a sign of a moral deficiency. Everyone nodded sagely. So far not much has changed; perhaps we were just too polite. Expect us, in future, to insist that to be effective, you don’t have to be offensive.


Why is Mario Lopez apologising for telling the truth?

Anyone who blasphemes against the church of genderfluidity will be punished.

Actor turned TV host Mario Lopez was absolutely right about ‘trans kids’. He was right to say that parents should not cave in to their children when they claim to be the wrong gender. He was right to say it is ‘dangerous’ to accept a three-year-old’s word as gospel when he or she – or they? – claims to be the opposite sex. He was right to say, in his interview with Candace Owens a month ago, ‘My God, if you’re three years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination then’. So why has he now apologised for and recanted his apparently ‘ignorant and insensitive’ comments? Because genderfluidity is the new religion and no one is allowed to blaspheme against it. If you do, you’ll be dragged into the public square – social media – and denounced as a rank, unspeakable heretic.

The Lopez controversy provides a searing insight into the irrationalism and censoriousness of the trans fad. As he was unveiled as a new host on Access Hollywood this week, his comments from the Owens interview resurfaced online. Self-styled guardians of morality on Twitter went crazy. How could a show as popular as Access Hollywood employ someone who refuses to bow and scrape before the transgender ideology and its gospel of genderfluidity, they collectively screamed? Before long, presumably under pressure from his new bosses, Lopez was doing the 21st-century equivalent of flagellating himself in public for his blasphemous thoughts – he was ‘walking back’, as the media put it, his comments on trans kids. ‘Walking back’ is a PC euphemism for recantation, for publicly renouncing your previous heretical beliefs and swearing devotion to the one true church – in this case the church of trans.

‘Are you now or have you ever been trans-sceptical?’ That’s the sinister, 1950s-echoing question shows like Access Hollywood might as well ask all their employees. In the past you didn’t have a hope in hell of getting ahead in Hollywood or celebrityville if you were a Commie; now your chances are blown if you’re even just a smidgen doubtful of the transgender ideology. And yet there was nothing remotely controversial about Lopez’s comments. A great many parents, and others, will agree with him. Three-year-olds are stupid. That’s why they need constant care. Children in general, until they are into their mid- or late teens, don’t really know who they are and go through many fads and periods of experimentation as they work out their personality. The idea that we should nod along uncritically to every boy who says ‘I’m a girl’ is perverse. It represents a complete collapse of adult authority to say ‘Okay’ to the confused kid who claims to be a different sex. It is not transphobic for a parent to say to his son, ‘No, you’re not a girl – you’re a boy. You can’t wear a dress to school or use the girls’ toilets because you’re a boy.’ That’s good parenting, not bigotry.

There is indeed an element of danger, as Lopez said, to the ‘trans kids’ phenomenon. As recent revelations about the gender-identity Tavistock Clinic show, young children are being given puberty-blocking drugs, with little regard for the long-term consequences. Young girls are binding their breasts, so horrified are they by their developing female bodies, and teenage boys, many of whom will simply be gay, are shamefully wondering if their ‘feminine’ traits mean they should really be a girl. This is not healthy. The fashion for genderfluidity – a fashion no one is allowed to criticise – is nurturing confusion and even self-hatred among growing numbers of young people. Anyone who thinks it is healthy that 18-year-old women are having double mastectomies or that young males who think they are women are planning to take hormone drugs every day for the rest of their lives clearly has a different understanding of the word ‘healthy’ to the rest of us.

Like all fundamentalist religious beliefs, the ideology of genderfluidity demands complete subservience, even to the most irrational beliefs. Including the belief that it is possible to change sex. We know it isn’t possible. We know that every cell in a trans-woman’s body is male. We know that a blood test would reveal that these people are male. We know that if they stopped taking their drugs they would revert to male appearance. And yet we are expected to suspend our own knowledge, to disavow truth, and join in the collective incantation that ‘Trans women are women’. We are expected to lie, and if we don’t we are in trouble. You will be branded a bigot, a transphobe or a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) if you refuse to parrot untruths that have been repackaged as unquestionable commandments.

The public shaming of Mario Lopez is bad, for it confirms that the entrenchment of rigid, destructive trans thinking. More blasphemers must now step forward. There is no such thing as a ‘trans kid’; you cannot change sex; a person with a penis has no right to access waxing services reserved for women; trans-women are not women – these truths need airing, whatever the consequences.


Dumb black has made headlines after making a rookie error while attempting to rob a bank

According to the FBI, Michael Harrell, 54, allegedly tried to order a bank teller to hand over some cash from a US Bank located in Cleveland, Ohio in the US last Monday morning.

However, he made one glaring mistake.

He passed a note to the bank teller informing them it was a robbery — but the note was written on the back of a document from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) — which had the man’s name and address clearly printed on it.

“When the teller took the note, and looked at it and looked at the other side, she saw his name. He had used a note that he had used earlier at the BMV and it had his name on it,” Special Agent Vicki Anderson, of the FBI’s Cleveland field office, told WJW.

Ms Anderson said the victim referred to Mr Harrell by his name and gave him an unknown sum of money before calling the police, who later identified him on the bank’s security cameras.

She said the wannabe crook wasn’t the first person to bungle a robbery.

“We’ve had individuals drop cell phones that have all their identifying information in it,” she said.

“A lot of times, we’re sending out pictures, we have no idea who this person could be or what part of town they could be from.

“And when you present a note that has your name already on it, and address, it helps law enforcement tremendously.”

A warrant for Mr Harrell’s arrest has been issued.


'The loss of dignity - and friends': Elderly woman reveals her tragic story of life on the dole - amid claims Australia's welfare system is an 'embarrassment for our nation'

Judging by her shape, Ms Bartels eats well so what else is at issue?  It appears that being on the dole has "cost her dignity and friends".  It has not been good for her social life, in short.

But is the dole supposed to be good for that? Should the taxpayer be financing a good social life for everyone?  It would perhaps be desirable but I think there are too many other calls on taxpayer funds to make that a reasonable possibility

Note that she is only a few years away from going on the pension, which is similar to the dole, so she is just undergoing a bit early what would be an inevitable transition

The lady seems to think that the government should provide some avenue for getting her a job but that is absurd.  The number of employers who would take on an overweight elderly woman is vanishingly small.  We may deplore that but it is reality.  It is hard to see what any government could do about it

An elderly woman has told the Q&A panel about how living on Newstart has been the 'worst time of her life' - costing her dignity and friends.

Ricci Bartels became emotional on Monday night's program as she revealed she was forced on to unemployment benefits three years ago after being made redundant.

'I have paid taxes for 46 years… I've worked 20 years in the private sector and 26 years in the public sector for a not-for-profit community service,' Mrs Bartels said.

'I was forced on to Newstart at the age of 62 through change of management and subsequent retrenchment. I've experienced Newstart for three years, JobActive left me to my own devices. I could not find a job no matter how hard I tried.'

Mrs Bartels said the experience of being on welfare after so many years of dedicated work had been the 'worst of her life'.

The Newstart allowance of $555.70 a fortnight hasn't risen in real terms, adjusted for inflation, since 1994.

It is also more than two-and-a-half times less than the minimum, full-time wage.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out calls for an increase, despite calls from former PM John Howard and ex-Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce.

'To put it in a nutshell it (being on Newstart) is the worst time of my life, the loss of dignity, the loss of friends because you can't go out, you can't socialise, not eating proper foods even though I suffer various ailments, looking for a job applying for a job, not getting the job,' Mrs Bartels said fighting back tears.

Referencing a quote from Mr Morrison, she said: 'So my question to you wonderful panellists is this, what would you or how would you suggest people like me have a go to get a go?'

Mrs Bartels posed the question to the panel before host Tony Jones gave the Liberal member for Mackellar Jason Falinski an opportunity to speak.

'We have done a number of things in the government to try and make sure that our system, which is a $172billion welfare system per-annum, is as bespoke as possible in response to the needs of individuals as much as possible,' the backbencher from Sydney's northern beaches said.

'It may be in your particular case we haven't been as accessible as we need to be but we keep trying.'

Mr Falinski then touted Australia's existing welfare system Australia, evoking audible moans of disagreement from the studio audience.

'Australia has a very successful welfare and tax and transfer system … it's one of the reasons that we have very high income mobility levels and very low levels of income inequality especially compared to other nations,' he said.

Mrs Bartels addressed the question to the panel before host Tony Jones gave Liberal MP for Mackellar Jason Falinski (pictured) a chance to answer but he left Mrs Bartels disappointed

Mrs Bartels continued her line of questioning to Mr Falinski and quickly called him out for dodging the crux of her question.

'Jason, with respect, you haven't answered my question, what do you suggest people like me, at my age or at a young age for that matter, how do they have a go to get a go, this is so important, have a go to get a go, it is so divisive,' Mrs Bartels said. 

Mr Falinski doubled down on his comments that without knowing all of Mrs Bartels's circumstances he couldn't tell her what path she needed to take.

'If the system has failed you personally, in your particular circumstances, I can only apologise for that, I'd love to know more and create a system to make sure what happens to you doesn't happen to others,' he said. 



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

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

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


6 August, 2019

#MeToo lost integrity?when it turned on Lady Justice

In the early days of the #MeToo movement, women sought solidarity by sharing experiences of sexual abuse online. In the dying days of the movement, women sought publicity by holding famous men guilty without charge. The fate of #MeToo was sealed after the sisterhood turned its back on Lady Justice and marched down the path of social justice. Never before has a single movement done so much damage to women’s welfare in the name of feminism.

On October 5, 2017, The New York Times published allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood media executive Harvey Weinstein. Investigative reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey found Weinstein had paid hush money to women to cover up sexual abuse allegations.

The list of famous women speaking out against Weinstein grew. Angelina Jolie joined Ashley Judd, Heather Graham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette in alleging he had made unwelcome sexual advances towards them. Damning evidence included the revelation that Rose McGowan had reached a $US100,000 settlement with Weinstein after an unwanted encounter in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. Salma Hayek wrote an article for The New York T imes in which she claimed Weinstein subjected her to several unwanted sexual advances and threatened to kill her when she rejected him. She wrote: “The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, ‘I will kill you, don’t think I can’t’.” Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to multiple sexual charges.

TV actress Alyssa Milano used social media to announce she too had experienced sexual abuse. She encouraged other women to express solidarity online using the hashtag “me too”. Within a week, thousands of messages appeared on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook from women and some men who said they were victims of sexual abuse or harassment. The reality that men are victims too is important, but was largely overlooked as activists began to frame the contours of the #MeToo movement with a sledgehammer. Before a single verdict was reached against the accused, MeToo-ers had created a meta-narrative featuring a system of patriarchal control in which all men are cast as beasts of prey and all women their unwitting victims.

Despite the strength and volume of allegations that inspired the #MeToo movement, it began to falter as the personal became more political and the political became more partisan. The tipping point was the campaign against Supreme Court nominee and conservative Brett Kavanaugh.

Academic Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s when they were teenagers. She agreed to testify before a Senate judiciary committee. Despite the #MeToo movement’s belief in the virtue of women and the vice of men, problems with Blasey Ford’s account of events became readily apparent. In a memo to Republican senators, prosecutor Rachel Mitchell provided a damning analysis of the allegations. Mitchell noted inconsistent accounts of when the alleged assault occurred; that Blasey Ford had neglected to identify Kavanaugh by name in historical marriage therapy notes on the alleged assault; and her apparent inability to remember key details about the night during which the assault allegedly took place.

After Donald Trump questioned the veracity of the Blasey Ford allegations given their timing with Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Milano leapt to her defence. She wrote an anecdotal piece for Vox that exposed the increasingly partisan nature of the #MeToo movement: “The courage of survivors will always be stronger than Donald Trump’s misogyny. The lives of survivors will always be more important than Brett Kavanaugh’s career.” Milano had drawn a battle line between sexual abuse survivors and conservative men. The #MeToo movement became a partisan political bloc against conservatism and right-leaning men.

In The Philadelphia Inquirer, columnist Solomon Jones illustrated how the pursuit of social justice could trump the presumption of innocence: “In the midst of a #MeToo movement that seeks to punish sexual abusers, powerful men like President Donald Trump … are supporting an accused sexual abuser’s bid for a lifetime Supreme Court appoint­ment. This, despite the Senate testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, a white woman who said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.” After a federal panel of judges dismissed all 83 ethics complaints against Kavanaugh, he called the allegations “a calculated and orchestrated political hit fuelled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump … revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups”.

Only a year after the #MeToo movement began, it had been corrupted by partisan politics, peer pressure and groupthink. The persecution of men the mob declared guilty without trial shows how social justice perverts the course of justice. However, as men started to fight back against their accusers, the alleged victims began to look more like rebels without a reasonable cause.

In Australia recently, actor John Jarratt was accused of sexual abuse. Jarratt was acquitted of a historic rape charge last month. The jury took less than two hours to find him not guilty, yet the actor had to suffer months of reputational damage from the charge.

The #MeToo movement proved beyond a doubt the power of social media in the information age. It has reduced innocent men to tears and destroyed reputations in the court of public opinion. Never has a movement for women so closely resembled the witch hunts that fed on mass hysteria and hearsay to condemn the innocent.

Throughout history, Lady Justice has been venerated. She was often depicted as blind or blindfolded to represent impartiality in the weighing of evidence and the application of justice. If women want a heroine, forget about the #MeToo narcissists. Set your sights on Lady Justice.


Bigot loses her job

A Florida McDonald's worker was fired after a paramedic complained on social media that she refused to serve him because he had a badge.

Sunstar paramedic Anthony Quinn took to Facebook to reveal the fact that he was allegedly denied service by an employee at a McDonald's in Madeira Beach, Florida, on Wednesday night.

The revelation resulted in the employee, who has not been named, being fired from the fast food outpost, according to WFTS. 

In his Facebook post, Quinn wrote: 'I am at work, in my Sunstar paramedic uniform. I walk into McDonalds [sic] just to use the bathroom and an employee goes we don't accept officers in here.

'I tell her I'm not an officer. She then says anyone with a badge. then says it to my partner as he walks in to order food, says we don't serve your kind here. Just insane how people are.'

Quinn then invited people to 'Feel free to share and repost.'

Quinn also left a negative online review of the McDonald's in question, writing again that he went into the McDonald's to use its bathroom and order food and that was when 'an employee told me they don't serve badges here.' He added that when his partner walked in five minutes later, he was told the same thing.

'Corporate will be notified' of their treatment, Quinn wrote, ending the post, with '#shamemcdonalds #mcdonalds #totalinsanty #thishastostop #icallbs.'

Quinn's initial post was spotted and forwarded to Caspers Company, the managers of the particular McDonald's, a Caspers spokesperson told the Miami Herald.

In a Facebook post of their own Thursday, Caspers Company wrote that it had fired the worker who claimed the restaurant didn't 'serve badges.'

'We are aware of the unfortunate incident that took place at one of our restaurants last night. We, like you, were upset and disappointed and took immediate action. The employee has been terminated,' the post read.

'What occurred does not reflect the values of our brand, our franchise, or the love and admiration we have demonstrated consistently for our friends in law enforcement and first responders. We have reached out to offer our sincerest apology.' 


Covington Catholic High School students file lawsuits against dozens of public figures including Elizabeth Warren, CNN, New York Times reporters and Kathy Griffin, claiming their comments after THAT encounter were defamatory

Attorneys for the Covington Catholic high school teens accused of harassing a Native-American protester on Capitol Hill back in January have filed a new defamation lawsuit against several of their most well-known Twitter detractors.

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman and CNN correspondent Ana Navarro were among 12 defendants named in the new suit, which seeks a maximum payout of $600,000 ($50,000 per defendant).

Activist Shaun King, U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland (D-Ariz.), comedian Kathy Griffin and historian Kevin M. Kruse were also named in the suit along with ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jefferey, Rewire Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson, Kentucky entrepreneur Adam Edelen and former CNN correspondent Reza Aslan.

The eight boys listed anonymously as plaintiffs in the complaint, which was filed in Kentucky's Kenton County Circuit Court, claim the named defendants, who are all prominent figures on Twitter, falsely smeared them as bigots and damaged their lives and reputations in the process, according to Law & Crime.

'A field trip to our nation’s capital for a group of minors from Covington, Kentucky turned into a social media nightmare that changed their futures forever,' attorneys Robert Barnes and Kevin Murphy wrote in their complaint, the legal news site reported.

'Several of our Senators, most-famous celebrities, and widely-read journalists, collectively used their large social media platforms, perceived higher credibility and public followings to lie and libel minors they never met, based on an event they never witnessed,' the lawsuit states. 'These defendants called for the kids to be named and shamed, doxxed and expelled, and invited public retaliation against these minors from a small town in Kentucky.'

The suit was filed less than a week after a federal judge dismissed a $250 million lawsuit filed against the Washington Post for its coverage of the January 18 confrontation between Covington student Nicholas Sandmann and Native-American military veteran Nathan Phillips on the National Mall in downtown Washington D.C.

Sandmann is the teen seen in a viral video smirking at Phillips as Phillips plays a Native-American drum near the teen's face.

Judge William O. Bertelsman concluded Sandmann's lawsuit was meritless because the Washington Post quoted Phillips, who gave his opinion about what happened, which is protected speech under the Constitution.

'The court accepts Sandmann's statement that, when he was standing motionless in the confrontation with Phillips, his intent was to calm the situation and not to impede or block anyone,' the judge wrote in his ruling.

'However, Phillips did not see it that way. He concluded that he was being "blocked" and not allowed to "retreat." He passed these conclusions on to the [Washington Post]. They may have been erroneous, but, as discussed above, they are opinion[s] protected by the First Amendment.'

In their latest suit, however, the students' attorneys argue the defendants they named used Twitter to spread lies about the Covington teens and declined to correct the record when video evidence allegedly showed the teens were innocent of what they were accused.

'The defendants were each individually offered the opportunity to correct, delete, and/or apologize for their false statements, but each refused, continuing to circulate the false statements about these children to this very day on their social media platforms they personally control,' the attorneys wrote in their complaint.

Warren, CNN and the New York Times did not immediately respond to emails and calls seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The Times told Law & Crime: 'Ms. Haberman has not yet been served with this complaint. The lawsuit is entirely without merit and we will vigorously defend it if necessary.'


Australia: Leftist homosexual is ‘sick of the sexism in politics’

Underlying all his complaints is a refusal to confront the  differences between men and women.  Men and women are treated differently because they ARE different in important ways

Neil Pharaoh

The biggest double standard in politics is sexism. On all sides of politics, the way we treat women differently to men astounds me. And this is coming from a man who has been involved in politics.

If you got through that far in this opinion piece, you will either be quietly agreeing or telling me I don’t believe in “merit”; if the latter, stop reading now.

Why is it when a male is stiff as a board, monotone and boring that we call him “statesmanlike”, yet when a female is she is “detached, cold and ruthless”? Why is it that men don’t get asked about who will look after the children, yet women do?

The sexism in politics has reached epic proportions.

On the Labor side, this week we saw the settlement between Emma Husar MP and Buzzfeed. Let’s revisit the situation: unproven allegations, six-week media cycle against Emma, no proof, Emma forced to not recontest her seat, political career over, nothing ever proven — female.

Take her circumstance versus Greg Barber MLC, where a bullying claim led to a settlement of $56,000 (that is your taxes paying for a bullying settlement for a MP), and he was still able to continue as a MP, even after the “hairy-legged feminist, power pussies” comments (coupled with his “men’s room” to boot).

So why can an allegation kill a female MP’s career, but not a male? Even when the male has settlement payments for bullying on the taxpayer funded books? Not to mention Barnaby and his affair — all proven, yet none lost their career. Emma? She is gone.

Let’s look a bit deeper at sexist comments directed at women; Fiona Scott being called “sex appeal” during the Lindsay 2013 campaign, which then clouded her time in office — meaning everywhere she went, the “sex appeal” comment remained. Now, what man has had such an equivalent comment levelled at him? And has it stuck? Exactly. Silence.

Sarah Hanson-Young, in court commentary: “Mr. Leyonhjelm called me a hypocrite because I have sex with men,” said the Greens senator during cross-examination over Leyonhjelm’s comments about her in the media following a debate in the Senate last year.

“What’s sexist about that?” Leyonhjelm’s barrister, Tony Morris, QC, replied. “He wouldn’t say it to a man,” she replied. Again, double standards of behaviour.

Globally women’s participation in parliament is a tad above 24 per cent, yet accounted for only 8 per cent of national leaders and 2 per cent of presidents’ posts. In Australia, Labor has 47 per cent and Liberals 23 per cent after the last Federal election.

We all know the story of how Julia Gillard was taunted with tag lines like “ditch the witch” and described as “barren” as well as many other names. Name for me a male who has got equivalent levels of vitriol in public debate and discussion.

Julie Bishop — an amazingly capable, talented woman — looked over for Scomo and Dutton. Jane Prentice: lost preselection to a former male staffer, Julian Simmonds.

Ann Sudamalis: again another male, Grant Schultz (whose bullying complaint and review has still not announced its findings).

On Labors ledger, Lauren Palmer lost preselection to James Martin in Hasluck, and Lyndal Howlison in NSW for Brian Owler. Time and time again we walk past more capable and qualified women for men — it can’t continue.

Even Bronwyn Bishop and the helicopter affairs stinks of double standard, when a number of male politicians have undertaken similar activities without consequence — Bronwyn had to go after a helicopter flight to a Liberal Party Fundraiser. Yet Tony Abbott charged taxpayers over $3000 to attend the birthday party of Santo Santoro without consequences.

That’s right, a birthday party. Again, one standard for women another for men.

Susan Ley had to resign from a role over a taxpayer funded trip to the Gold Coast to purchase an apartment, something she admitted was within guidelines but failed the pub test. Yet Darren Chester did EXACTLY the same thing for an apartment purchase in Melbourne and yet no consequences for him, no resignation or role reduction. I mean, can the hypocrisy be any more obvious?

I can’t tell you the number of times in Labor preselection that I have seen amazingly qualified women looked over for men — let alone discussed it with friends who are Members of the Liberal Party and say they are continually disadvantaged during preselection.

Margaret Fitzherbert (Liberal) undertook professional polling on this issue and found 38 per cent of Liberal preselections think it is OK to ask a women who will look after her children if she is elected into parliament. A question which she rightly says has no right answers (not focused enough on family and too focused on career etc). And in the private sector, that question is illegal.

And don’t let the Greens Party claim moral high ground; the majority of their Federal leadership is also white men.

And while Labor is better on Parliamentary benches, peel back the curtain to the backrooms of power and you will find the “powerbrokers” behind the politicians is usually a room full of men.

Look to the number of single mums we have around Cabinet tables in Australia? None that I know of, for I have seen when a single mum wasn’t supported to sit in Cabinet because a Leader won’t assist with a reduction in portfolios, or offer other support to keep her in the Cabinet. I am sorry, but I want my taxpayer dollars to fund a full-time nanny just so we can have a single mum (or dad) in Cabinet. That is the Australia I want to live in.

Ironically, in the 2019 election there is one seat which was won by Labor. Labor won’t learn the lesson in it though. That is: that Fiona Phillips MP won Gilmore, and she had never worked as a staffer or advisor, was a local through and through, had deep strong roots to the community, and was a female running against a male. Coincidence? I think not.

I have personally alleged sexism within the Labor Party against a certain Parliamentarian — an accusation which after an internal investigation was found to be legitimate and accurate — only to be personally disadvantaged and brought before the disputes committee of the Labor Party for “disloyalty” and “bringing the party into disrepute” (for calling out sexism against a Parliamentarian). How is that for double standards?

If a male bystander receives a harsher penalty for calling out sexism than the person who was independently found to have been sexist, there is an issue. (Oh, and he got away with a simple written apology to the victim, not made public of course).

What I have learned from the many amazing women I have seen survive in politics, who try and try again and again, is that even those who never get preselected, those who don’t sit on parliamentary benches, have overcome so much more and are often so much more connected to the community than the men who succeeded them.

We need to change the discussion. We as men need to start calling this for what it is, whether Liberal, Labor or other. It is sexism and it needs to change.



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, 2019  

'A.I. is a military technology': Silicon Valley visionary Peter Thiel ramps up his attack on Google for conducting artificial intelligence research in China that can be seized by Beijing while refusing to do business with the US military

Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel once again hit out at Google for opening up an artificial intelligence lab in Beijing, saying the American software giant is helping China gain a military edge in the future A.I. battlefield.

Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and one of Facebook’s early investors, accused Google of being ‘naive’ and engaging in ‘shocking behavior’ by sharing artificial intelligence technology with the Asian power.

Last month, Thiel accused Google of being 'treasonous' for its dealings with China.

He said that Google is mistaken by assuming that its A.I. technology won’t be used for military purposes by the Communist country.

‘A.I.’s military power is the simple reason that the recent behavior of America’s leading software company, Google — starting an AI lab in China while ending an AI contract with the Pentagon — is shocking,’ Thiel writes in The New York Times.

Thiel writes that Google was being 'naive' by thinking that its AI technology would not be put to use by the Chinese military. The image above shows a military parade staged by the People's Liberation Army in Zhurihe, China in July 2017

‘As President Barack Obama’s defense secretary Ash Carter pointed out last month, “If you’re working in China, you don’t know whether you’re working on a project for the military or not”.’

Thiel noted that Google opened an A.I. research center in the Chinese capital in 2017.

The lab was opened in 2017, the same year that the Chinese Community Party amended its constitution to require that all research done in China be shared with the People’s Liberation Army, according to Thiel.

Thiel said that the decision by Google to open a lab in China is all the more shocking given that last year the company canceled an A.I. contract with the Pentagon after employees protested.

The defense program, Project Maven, set off a revolt inside Google, as factions of employees opposed Google technology being used in warfare.

The dissidents said it clashed with the company’s stated principle of doing no harm and cited risks around using a nascent artificial intelligence technology in lethal situations.

Thiel said that Google is working with China despite the fact that the ‘Communist Party is not shy about declaring its commitment to domination in general and exploitation of technology in particular.’

Thiel also faulted the United States government, saying that over the course of the past five decades its ‘attitude toward China’s leaders has been one of warm indulgence.’

The billionaire entrepreneur praised President Trump for being the ‘first president since Richard Nixon to pay attention and run a reality check on China.’

Thiel also faulted Wall Street for ‘making excuses for Google’s naivete’ because China has bought up America’s financial assets by ‘using dollars we send abroad that never get used to buy American goods.’

He says that while this has led to an explosion of wealth in the American finance industry, the average worker has suffered.

‘An archipelago of inward-looking, parochial places like Wall Street and Silicon Valley have done exceedingly well for themselves while their fellow citizens have been left behind in a stagnant economy,’ Thiel writes.

Thiel writes that while Google claims it is ‘committed to significantly improving the lives of as many people as possible,’ it should first focus inward.

‘By now we should understand that the real point of talking about what’s good for the world is to evade responsibility for the good of the country,’ he writes.

Last month, Peter Thiel suggested that 'super left wing' Google employees are anti-American and prefer communist China to the US.

The billionaire also said the tech giant is working with China but not the US military, an allegation which Google disputes.

Thiel, 51, made the comments during a July 15 interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, where he was asked why Google might work with China but not the US.

Thiel said: 'There’s probably a broad base of Google employees that are ideologically super left wing, sort of woke, and think that China’s better than the US or that the US is worse than China.'

Google told DailyMail.com that Thiel was wrong in his assumptions. 'As we have said before, we do not work with the Chinese military,' the company said.

'We are working with the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, in many areas including cybersecurity, recruiting and healthcare.'

After making the pro-China allegation, Thiel, who sits on Facebook's Board of Directors, hedged a bit by saying, 'It’s more anti-American than anything,' in an effort to paint Google workers as more against the US than for China.

Thiel elaborated a bit on Carlson's show, bringing up Google ending its contract to work with the Department of Defense on Project Maven in March, after 3,000 employees signed a petition urging the company to pull out of the initiative.

He added: 'I think the Chinese are competent enough that the Ministry of State Security is likely to have infiltrated Google, and I think the Google management has the sort of decision of either letting the software go out the front door or figuring it'll get stolen anyway and go out the back door.'

Thiel said he would like to ask Google CEO Sundar Pichai the following three questions: 'How many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated Google? Have the Chinese in particular infiltrated? And why are you working with Communist China and not the US?'


Should a Conservative Consulting Firm Be Forced to Promote Socialism?

ThinkRight Strategies is a political consulting and marketing firm. It exists to partner with political candidates and organizations to promote messages, views, policies, platforms, and causes that advance their conservative principles. These principles include free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values, and a strong national defense.

But the government is threatening their work.

Ann Arbor passed an ordinance that makes it illegal for businesses to “discriminate” based on “political beliefs.” That means if ThinkRight creates advocacy material for Republican candidates to promote limited government, lower taxes, and the sanctity of life, it must also create advocacy material for Socialist candidates to promote government control, higher taxes, and abortion on demand.

In today’s political environment, how is this even possible?!? But there’s more…

The law even keeps Grant and Jacob from explaining on their website that they cannot advance certain political beliefs.

If Grant and Jacob violate this ordinance, they face fines of up to $500 per day. Ann Arbor could also require them to pay the city’s enforcement costs and force them comply via court orders.

The government should exist to protect freedom, not take it away. That’s why Grant and Jacob decided to file a lawsuit against Ann Arbor.

This law should concern us all – no matter what political beliefs you hold.

If the government can force conservative political consultants to promote a Democrat’s progressive platform, it could compel a Democratic speech writer to write campaign speeches for Donald Trump. It could punish a pacifist painter for declining to paint banners for a pro-war rally. It could punish a pro-abortion photographer for declining to capture promotional photos for a pro-life march. The possibilities are endless.

Maybe the government should focus on what it’s supposed to do – protect freedom – and stop trying to force people to express messages that violate their own convictions.


No Epidemic of Racist Cops

New study once again finds no systematic racism within the nation's law enforcement.

Democrat presidential candidates aim to placate the “social justice” crowd by regurgitating the false “cops are racist” narrative, as well as advance their plans to bring about “real” criminal-justice reform. (Because, evidently, the reform President Donald Trump spearheaded won’t do.) Joe Biden claims that blacks will finally be able to “walk the streets of America” without fear of being harassed — or even worse, shot — by the police. Pete Buttigieg once noted the equitable idea that all lives matter only to later walk it back by asserting that the country needed to “move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism.” Beto O'Rourke has also parroted the anti-police talking point, arguing that the reason cops shoot blacks is “solely based on the color of their skin.”

The Left’s narrative is as devoid of logic as it is of facts. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides yet more evidence that contradicts the popular smear that white police officers are more likely to shoot black suspects than white suspects. In fact, the data makes a case for just the reverse. We must’ve missed the White Lives Matter protesters.

This latest study comports with earlier studies that have also found no evidence of rampant systematic racism against blacks within law enforcement. But facts aren’t likely to deter the Democrat presidential hopefuls. They insist on promoting racial identity-based policing reforms based on the false idea that matching the composition of police departments to the racial diversity of their communities will produce “better” police.

In fact, it has proven detrimental. As the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald explains, “This effort to increase minority representation will not reduce racial disparities in shootings, concludes the PNAS study, since white officers are not responsible for those disparities; black crime rates are. Moreover, lowered hiring standards risk bad police work and corruption. A 2015 Justice Department study of the Philadelphia Police Department found that black officers were 67 percent more likely than white officers to mistakenly shoot an unarmed black suspect; Hispanic officers were 145 percent more likely than white officers to mistakenly shoot an unarmed black suspect. Whether lowered hiring standards are responsible for those disparities was not addressed.”

The irony, of course, is that the more Democrats promote this law-enforcement smear, the more they end up hurting the very communities most plagued by violent crime. Just look at Baltimore.


Australia: Seeking to protect borders is not hateful

Tim Costello has seen more human hardship than most of us could ­ imagine and he has done a great deal to relieve suffering in godforsaken places the world over. But — yes, there is always a but — his words about Australia’s refugee­ policy, published last week, demand a response­.

Costello compared Australia’s generous refugee intake unfavourably with Sweden’s, which spiked at close to 200,000 at the height of the European refugee crisis in 2015, when Middle Eastern refugees claimed asylum there. Sweden has since suffered from social problems, tightened its asylum­ laws and cut the intake dramatically.

Costello contrasted the height of Sweden’s influx to the 12,000 Syrian refugees welcomed­ by Australia about the same time. But this 12,000 were additional to the annual humanit­arian intake of about 18,000 people. Australia ­remains one of the longstanding and leading resettlement states for UN programs.

We should always be open to a discussion about the size of the ­intake but our record compared with other countries is something that should engender pride rather than shame. It is the restoration of strong border control that has enabled an expansion in the number of refugees accepted; previously boat arrivals effectively jumped the queue, which is why they were prepared to pay anything up to $US10,000 to people-smugglers.

There is no doubt that if you trawl the internet or seek out hard hearts you will find examples of fear and hatred in this nation. But clearly this is not a representative or accurate way to describe mainstream attitudes. Australian voters have supported strong border protection­ because they know the value of integrity in the immig­ration system; they have seen the tragedy and trauma of rampant people-smuggling and understand that sovereignty ­depends on ­secure borders and order, rather than creating chaos by outsourcing immigration to criminal smugglers. This is not hateful, pre­judiced­ or fearful — it is just sensible and fair.

Costello and others who put a humanitarian gloss on criminal people-smuggling cannot wish away the exploitation and tragic deaths, nor can they pretend away the injustice for legitimate refugee­s who have kept their identification papers (rather than destroy them) and waited for ­official ­resettlement, having either chosen not to engage smugglers or not having the cash to do so.

The real quandary in this global dilemma comes from figures ­quoted elsewhere in Costello’s piece. He said there are 65 million displaced people around the world. These numbers fluctuate and some displacements can be short-lived but there is no doubt that the number of legitimate refugee­s worldwide numbers in the tens of millions.

This exposes the silliness of the old argument about push factors — there are always push factors. What the numbers should do is provide a reality check for both bleeding-heart liberals and flint-hearted conservatives.

The numbers tell us that we cannot fix this problem simply by taking refugees — there are simply too many for the world’s resettlement nations to cope. But they also tell us that isolationism is no solution: while ever such misery occurs throughout the world, desperate people will find a way to cross border­s. In the era of globalisation, all nations own this challenge. The internal dysfunction and unspeakable horrors of Syria or Yemen soon become a problem for ­Europe; the traumas in Sudan or Sri Lanka, Myanmar or Venezuela, can quickly turn into dilemmas for Western nations such as ours.

Inevitably, even though it might be a long way off, the only sustainable solutions will be to ­ensure Syrians are safe in Syria, Sudanese can prosper in Sudan and people in Afghanistan and Pakistan can aspire to a bright ­future at home. Migration and tolera­nce, surely, will continue an ­upwards trajectory but they will require order.

Resettling refugees undoubtedly saves lives and creates hope, individual by individual. But we need to be more honest, robust and interventionist about the abominations that generate refugee­s in the first place.



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

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

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


4 August, 2019

Boris Johnson a win for moderate nationalism

Greg Sheridan

The Boris Johnson venture in ­Britain is globally important. Win, lose or, improbably, draw, the Johnson prime ministership will change global politics profoundly.

The most important effect of BoJo’s rise is that it shows moderate assertive nationalism is the new glue of centre-right politics in the West and beyond.

Throughout the West, nationalism has been the road back for conservatives.

Nationalism is a good thing so long as it recognises its need to balance­ itself with other qualities. Nationalism is not fascism and is not racism. It can go wrong if it becomes­ unreasoning hostility to anyone outside the national group. But to condemn nationalism out of hand is as silly as equating social justice with commun­ism. The perversion of a quality is not a stronger version of the ­quality itself.

Johnson’s nationalism is robust but not ethnically based, as is evident in his racially diverse cabinet. Johnson gets no credit for this because­ the left liberal media and academic establishment hate Brexit and have cast Johnson as the villain of all villains.

But as Trevor Phillips, a former Labour politician who happens to be black, commented this week: “A different prime minister would be basking in the approval of the right-on brigade for having appointe­d more people of colour to his cabinet in the last 24 hours than all his predecessors managed in the past 300 years.”

In fact, you get the sense this is one of Johnson’s many qualities­ which drives his critics round the bend. Johnson may share one critical feature with US President Donald Trump: provoking his ­enemies into massive overreact­ion, damaging their credibil­ity.

Phillips described the terms in which Johnson’s cabinet has been abused: “They sneer that the first non-white chancellor, Sajid Javid, is a coconut (brown outside, white inside); that the first ethnic minor­ity woman (Priti Patel) to lead the Home Office is a dumb snake; and that the first black chairman of the Conservative Party (James Clever­ly) is an Uncle Tom.”

Johnson is not engaging in tokenis­m. These are all big-time politicians with substantial achievements who backed his leadership and back his vision of Brexit. They are mainstream, merit appointments and they are, incidentally, members of ethnic minorities. They give a clear indic­ation of the type of British nationalism that Johnson is promoting.

It is an almost textbook example of the Conservative vision of diversity and inclusion, qualities which grow up naturally and organ­ically and which emphasises what people have in common — a shared vision of the nation — rather­ than the differences about them which are least important, such as race and ethnicity.

Peter Dutton, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister, was in London this week and he made a similar point to me regarding the moderate but assertive nationalism of the Coalition government.

“The strongest supporters and defenders of our border rules are migrants,” he said. “The election showed people’s desire to stand up for their families and what’s in the best interests of the nation. The election was a sign of the pendulum swinging back. It gave licence and encouragement to people who had lost hope.”

Tapping into nationalism has made conservatives competitive or victorious all over the world, often unexpectedly. Each nation is different. Donald Trump ran a nakedly­ nationalist campaign — Make America Great Again — and triumphed against all expect­ations and the full-force attack of every left liberal in America.

Trump did win massively among white voters. Blacks voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton but Trump actually scored a slightly higher proportion of black votes than the impeccably politic­ally correct Mitt Romney had four years earlier. And Trump is president partly because he won a bigger­ proportion of Hispanic voters­ than predicted.

Trump must be delighted that the Democrats are veering heavily left. His heart sings with joy when he hears woke white Democrat contenders arguing that the US should pay African-Americans reparations for slavery.

What a great idea — tell Joe Sixpack he has to make special reparations payments to Oprah Winfrey. Allegedly moderate Democratic candidates said the US owed all its wealth and power to the enslavement and exploit­ation of innocent people. Every country has its sins, but the US story is full of achievement and generosity. Democrats, in thrall to identity politics, are substitu­ting the hatred of the US for the love of the US which has traditionally been the unifying sentiment of political leadership.

By outrageously, and sometimes disgracefully, targeting the so-called “Squad” of four women Democrat congressional repres­ent­atives of colour who have styled themselves as the progressive vanguard of their party, Trump is trying to enhance their appeal to the Democratic base and voters in Democratic primaries.

For here is the central equation of how nationalism helps the centre­ right and hurts the left.

In the West, the left has gone down the mad road of identity politics. This Balkanises society, it atomises society.

It dehumanises people by reduc­ing them to essentialist traits not of their own choosing — race, gender, sexual orientation. It makes a fetish of guilt and its deman­ds can never be satisfied.

The only temporary respite lies in the acknowledgment of historic victimhood for one group and historic­ villainy for another group. But it is a process which can never be completed. The acknowledgments must get ever more extravagant, ever more sweeping, the apologies ever more debasing.

This appeals intensely to left liberal elites who have learnt these ideological reflexes at contemporary universities. Ordinary people cannot always articulate why these policies are wrong but they are deeply uncomfortable with them. Of course, these policies also represent a rejection of the best instinct­s of 20th-century liberalism, of liberalism until five minutes ago, which was to erase race and other essentialist characteristics from any role in civic identity.

Nationalism is the perfect respons­e to identity politics for conservatives. It offers human solidarity and civic equality. It is egalitarian, based only on a commitmen­t to the nation. Moderat­e but assertive nationalism in societies such as in the US, Britain and Australia is a mechanism of pride, a call to achievement, but also a commitment to civic solidarity and universal care.

Where does Brexit fit?

Perhaps the most insightful writer in modern Britain on these issues­ is David Goodhardt, whose seminal book The Road to Somewhere remains the definitive guide to how the shock of the Brexit referendum result came about in 2016 and what it means.

To oversimplify Goodhardt’s data-heavy and empir­ical treatment, he divides the voters broadly into the “anywheres” and the “somewheres”: those who are more cosmopolit­an and could be happy in the centre of any global city or those rooted to a particular place and community.

People have mostly interpreted this enthralling thesis as meaning, typically, the ­conflict in values ­between, say, Cornwall and London. Certainly rural and provincial Britain voted Leave while London voted Remain­. But I think Goodhardt’s thesis is also compelling when applied to attachment to the nation.

In a conversation this week, Goodhardt told me he thought voters had forced the Conservative Party to become more conservativ­e and more nationalist.

The great left liberal triumph ideologically went too far, he argues­. It emphasised equality and justice and anti-racism, which are genuine virtues, but it denigrated traditional families and it could not deal with people’s need for the sacred. By this Goodhardt doesn’t mean religion, or at least not prim­arily or solely religion, but certain values and traditions which most people still hold sacred — love of nation, love of family.

Voting for UKIP, then the Brexit Party, and voting Leave, were obviously about more than the EU. They were also a determination from rural and provincial voters that more attention should be paid to them. They wanted less economism in policy. This is a very big revolution in conservative politics in the West. Johnson, Trump and indeed Scott Morrison are all now big spenders.

This is a change rebellious voters have forced on conservative leaders. The conservative government leaders will all say they are better managers of the public finance­s than the left-wing alternatives and generally that’s true. But the commitment to balanced budgets, fiscal discipline, further tariff cuts and much of the econo­mic liberalism agenda of the 80s and 90s is now all but gone. The obsession with economic effic­iency as the right’s chief operating principle is having to accommod­ate other voter-dictated priorities.

In Goodhardt’s view, British voters forced their Conservative Party to be more conservative, more right-wing and more nationalist, while ditching a good deal of the economic liberalism program.

It is tempting to see Australia's Prime Minister as completely different from Trump and Johnson. Certain­ly each country and each leader is distinctive, unique. But the similarities and resonances are striking. In all three nations voters are motivated in part by values.

In The Times this week James Kirkup, of the Social Market Foundation, more or less deplored Johnson’s plainspoken pitch for Labour Leave voters, saying that polarising the country along Leave versus Remain lines would lead to destructive culture wars. The only way to win a culture war, he says, is not to have one.

This analysis is wrong at every level. First, it is voters not politicians who are deciding that values are important to the way they vote. Second, the left, via identity polit­ics, has itself decided to transform modern politics into culture wars.

Nationalism offers conservatives a chance to be competitive in the culture wars. Conservatives can win culture wars provided they are defending mainstream values and what they say relates well to people’s lives. Many, perhaps most, parents don’t want gender fluidity theory taught in infants and primary school, for example. The six years of coalition government in Australia have seen much more Trump/Johnson-style politics than is generally thought. It culminated in Morrison’s shock victory in the recent Australian Federal election. That Morrison, unself­consciously and authentically, is a serious Christian at a time when religious freedom is under attack meant that, to some extent, he could prevail in the culture wars without ostensibly waging them.

When commentators attacked Morrison for being filmed at his regular Sunday worship, they were attacking millions of ordinary Australians. There have been key episodes in six years of coalition government which international left liberal­ opinion regards as rank nationali­st populism, yet in which the coalition prevailed.

One is border control. Tony Abbott’s government was lambasted by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, many other UN agencies, many EU agencies and personalities, and the usual suspects in The New York Times, The Guardianand so on. Australia was told its illegal immigration problems could never be solved by one nation acting alone. In fact, all nations should contro­l their borders, which does not rule out being generous to refuge­es. The coalition government defied international opinion and won the debate with a moderate but assertive nationalism.

Similarly on carbon emissions targets. Our targets are ambitious on a per-capita basis, but everyone from Barack Obama to The Economist and every blatherskite in Europ­e says we’re not doing enough. Yet Morrison increased his majority at the election. Finally, as the Queensland result­ showed, we had a populist, nat­ionalist revolt in favour of foreign­ direct investment by India in our coalmining sector. The voters­ were driven by a concern for jobs rather than concern for India but there was no hostility to India by conservative voters, and if you are in favour of foreign investment because it brings jobs you are still in favour of foreign investment.

Historically, nationalism has always trumped international socialism. How silly of us to have thought it didn’t stand a chance this time, as BoJo shows.


Get Woke, Go Broke: Gillette Loses BILLIONS After Sexist and Lecturing #MeToo Razor Ads

In January Proctor & Gamble and Gillette decided to run razor ads trashing men and “toxic” masculinity in a courageous ad campaign.

The company decided the best way to promote their product was to attack their customer base. The new ad highlighted sexist and bullying white males in the United States.

Of the 43 abusive males in the ad – 42 were white. 7 of the hero men out of 8 in the ad were black.

The ad did not do so well.  Many users promised to avoid the product.

The ad had 642,000 down votes after its first two days on YouTube.

All that wokeness did not pay off for Gillette and P&G.
Gillette lost $8 BILLION in the second quarter.

    P&G reported a net loss of about $5.24 billion, or $2.12 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, due to an $8 billion non-cash writedown of Gillette. For the same period last year, P&G’s net income was $1.89 billion, or 72 cents per share.

It looks like trashing their consumer base with feminist lecturing was not such a good idea, huh?


Biological and transgender world views are exclusive

Australia: The federal government says its new religious freedoms legislation will protect people such as ­Israel Folau, but the new statutes are unlikely to protect female rugby players from being ­expelled from the game should they campaign to stop biological males from playing in the female competition.

Globally, there is a growing conflict over biological males who identify as women competing in women’s sports, entering women’s safe spaces, joining women’s organisations, and the list goes on.

In the US, 16-year-old Connec­ticut track and field athlete Selina Soule and two other girls have filed a civil-rights complaint with the state education department to stop biological boys playing in the girls’ sports.

This comes after two biolog­ical boys won 15 women’s state championships — titles that were held by 10 different Connecticut girls the previous year. Soule has been harassed on social media for speaking out.

The issue goes wider than sport. A Canadian salon providing waxing services was closed down after the female owner ­refused a body waxing request from a transgender male-to-­female, who then lodged a complain­t with a human rights tribunal, which is expected to take three months to decide.

Women in many countries are now campaigning to stop biologica­l males from claiming the same sex-based rights as biologica­l women.

These issues affect secular people, many or even most of whom hold that human sex is biologically fixed. At the same time, these issues attack the freedom of religious organisations, such as faith-based schools, that could be ­required to allow boys who identify as girls into female safe spaces and sports, if exemptions for faith-based schools are removed from the Sex Discrimination Act, as being proposed by the federal ­Attorney-General. These exemptions should be maintained to preserve the liberty of schools to act in accordance with their ethos.

Conflict of world views

At its heart, this is a contest ­between those who hold the biological worldview of the human person — that sex is inherently, biologically fixed according to male and female reproductive functions — and those who hold the ideological, transgender worldview from the social sciences that sex and gender are fluid and self-defined, according to how one feels.

The contest is at several levels: first, in rules imposed by corporations such as Rugby Australia; second, directly from gender-identity laws defining human sexuality, including anti-discrimination laws, birth registration laws and the federal Marriage Act; third, when gender-identity laws render other laws inoperable; and fourth, when gender-identity laws frustrate the provision of services, for example in medicine.

Rugby Australia has a corporate code of conduct that says players, coaches, administrators, officers of a rugby body, match ­officials, spectators/parents, fans and all other participants must treat “everyone equally regardless of gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity” etc, and must not bring the sport into “disrepute or discredit” on these matters on their “social media”.

Treating a person “equally” by their gender identity effectively means, according to rugby’s gender­-identity dispensation procedure, that girls and women are obliged to allow any male who identifies as a girl/woman to play in the female competition.

The most serious breaches of the code can lead to “suspension for a specified number of matches or period of time”, or “withdrawal of … membership” — that is, expulsion from the game. Even parents and fans can face ­“exclusion orders” from rugby playing grounds.

Folau was sacked only for ­expressing a moral opinion about gays on his personal social media, by a sporting organisation that should have no interest in a person’s religious beliefs. He did not campaign for gays and lesbians to be excluded from the game.

However, should biological girls/women campaign against biological males playing in the ­female competition, they would be asking for these transgenders to be excluded from the female competition and, possibly, from playing rugby. Arguably, this would be a far worse breach of rugby’s code than Folau tweeting his religious convictions but, like him, female offenders could be suspended or expelled from the sport.

Second, immediate conflicts abound from federal and various state laws that have been changed to say that a person does not require sex-change ­surgery or puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to legally change their sex. A male only has to self-identify as female to be a girl or a woman.

The federal Sex Discrimination Act was changed in 2013 to give legal protections to a ­person’s gender identity, which is said to be the “gender related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender related characteristics of a person (whether by way of medical intervention or not), with or without regard to the person’s designated sex at birth”.

While the act allows for ­exemptions that permit services such as women-only gyms and domestic violence shelters, these exemptions fail to apply when biological males are legally recog­nised as females, allowing them to claim access to these ­services.

Widely, the rights of biological women are now at risk from males who identify as women claiming the right to access ­female-only schools, gyms, clubs, toilets, showers, change rooms, sports, scholarships, jobs for ­females under affirmative action programs, lesbian organisations and funding from charities to benefit biological women.

There have been cases where violent male ­prisoners who identify as women have raped other female­ prisoners when housed in female prisons.

Third, gender-identity laws render some other laws inoperable.

When the Tasmanian upper house was in the process of changing the state birth certificate laws, Attorney-General Elise Archer pointed out that strict rules require that police body searches be carried out by a person of the same sex as the person being searched.

If a person’s birth certificate registers them as non-binary, indetermi­nate or by some other word or phrase used to indicate the person’s perception of self, neither entirely male, nor female, “the power of search is likely to be compromised or negated”, the Attorney-General warned.

Archer said she could not ­assess how many Tasmanian laws would be affected “without first reviewing all Tasmania’s statutes and regulations … that (have), as a criterion for (their) application, the sex or gender of a person”.

Gender-identity laws open the way for criminals to adopt a non-binary gender identity to avoid police searches.

Similar changes to birth certif­i­cate law are now before the Victoria­n parliament.

Fourth, gender-identity laws affect the provision of some medical services and can impact on health professionals’ right of conscience.

The New England Journal of Medicine has reported the tragic case of a transgender female-to-male who presented at hospital with severe abdominal pains. A nurse didn’t consider it an emergency, noting that the person was obese and had stopped taking blood pressure medicines.

In fact, this person was pregnant, in ­labour, and the child was stillborn. As doctors point out, when a person presents with abdomi­nal pain, they need to know if the person is a female, possibly pregnant or with ovarian cancer, or a male who may have a bowel ­infection.

Should a doctor be required to provide puberty blockers and sex-change hormones to transgender persons, particularly children? Should doctors and psychologists be required by professiona­l codes of practice (or by law) to support a child or teenager suffering gender dysphoria to medically transition to the ­opposite of their birth sex?

Tectonic shift in law

Gender-identity legislation is a tectonic shift in law, redefining human sexuality such that a man can claim the same rights as a woman and a woman can claim the same rights as a man.

At stake are employees who face restrictive corporate codes of conduct that have little to do with their work, as well as institutions like girls’ schools, that want to maintain their integrity as women-only ­organisations. At stake are other laws that are rendered inoperable, as with laws governing police body searches and the right of healthcare professionals to exercise their conscience when increasingly hostile states threaten to force them to provide services that conflict with good medical practice.

Will the government’s new ­religious freedom legislation protect­ the sex-based rights of women (and men)?

If, as the federal government claims, planned legislation would protect people such as Israel Folau, it may also protect the right of girls to speak publicly against ­biological males in their sports, toilets, change rooms and ­dormitories.

However, females are still left powerless to protect their inherent right to girls-only sports so long as laws make a person’s gender identity, not their sex, a protected attribute. Corp­orations and professional organisations could still require that biological women accept biolog­ical males in their safe spaces, or to require a medical professional to support medical treatments that violate their conscience.

The point is, the biological and transgender world views are ­mutually exclusive. Hence, if the government is to begin protecting freedoms in all of the above cases, it first needs to clearly define in law the biolog­ical meaning of man as a member of the male sex, woman as a member of the female sex and sex as determined by a person’s male or female reproductive function.

Legal protection for these self-evident, biological human attributes ensures the sex-based rights of females (and males) are protected. In doing so, the Morrison governme­nt would protect not only religious people and faith-based organisations, it would protect freedom of belief, conscience, speech and association for secular people and grouops.

These are necessary conditions for a tolerant, liberal democracy.


Realistic Aboriginal woman tours Australia to tell 'militant' city activists their anti-racism campaigns 'are doing more harm than good' to remote Aboriginal communities

She makes it clear that the luvvies are interested only in proclaiming their own big hearts.  They are not even interested in what is good for Aborigines  -- and they hate her for pointing that out

An Indigenous advocate is hoping to educate activists over their anti-racism campaigns as she believes they are hurting Aboriginal communities.

Jacinta Nampiginpa Price, a Warlpiri woman and conservative politician, said well-meaning city activists use Australia's history to make non-Indigenous people feel bad and were doing more harm than good.

'They are campaigning so hard and they're militant,' she told Daily Mail Australia on Friday.

'They're creating the divide between the most disadvantaged to connect to others in the country who could provide the advice and support they need to create opportunities.

'They (the activists) stop that happening. 'They believe indigenous people are babies and have to be compensated for their losses.

'They push for this dependency to continue instead of allowing Aboriginal people to stand on their own two feet and be responsible for our own opportunities and our own future. 'They get in the way of any of that.

'They say: ''There, there - you've been wrongly done by, someone else should be fixing things for you''. 'That's not empowerment.'

Ms Price said she was embarking on an 11-city speaking tour to create more understanding for city people of the cultural differences they have with remote Aboriginal communities, and what their needs really are, in order to bridge the gap.

She said symbolic issues are not helping remote indigenous communities move forward. 'Something always comes up,' she said.  'It's change the date (of Australia Day), or change the anthem words, or change the anthem entirely - and now it's constitutional recognition and The Voice.'

'A lot of these things are incomplete or there's a bit of a concept but no direction to how to achieve practical outcomes.'

Ms Price's Mind The Gap tour begins in late August and has adopted the slogans 'No Political Correctness' and 'No Identity Politics'. She will tour Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide as well as regional urban centres such as Newcastle, Toowoomba, Bendigo,  Mildura and Albury-Wodonga.

Ms Price will also speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Sydney on Friday afternoon.

The indigenous campaigner wants practical changes to help remote indigenous communities thrive by themselves such as education geared to give children the tools to integrate into mainstream Australian society. 'People need jobs and less dependence on welfare,' she said.

'In remote communities where children are behind already - their health is not fantastic, their hearing is not great - the push to maintaining and teaching culture means the kids in the bush aren't getting the education they need to do well in life

Ms Price said Aboriginal people want the tools to thrive in the modern world, and while urban activists might feel warm and fuzzy by pushing the focus to keeping traditional culture strong, they were denying opportunities to remote indigenous children.

'My mother's generation ... had an emphasis on learning English and they learnt their own language at home. There was no bilingual education. My mother speaks her language fluently and English fluently.'

She also said land reforms were crucial. The Aboriginal Land Rights Act ensures that remote community land is communally owned in perpetuity with a land council having the final say over what happens.

'The Land Rights Act has to be reviewed,' she said. 'Traditional owners (TOs) don't feel at all represented by the land councils ... The ownership should go to the TOs themselves so they can have economic development on their own country. 'Imagine you live, owning a house and you can't fix it till you get permission from the land council.

Ms Price also had stern words for those who think 'racist laws' are the reason for a disproportionate number of Aboriginal men in jails.

'Statistically, about 70 percent of Aboriginal men  incarcerated are incarcerated for violence against their loved ones. If we take responsibility for domestic violence, we'll see a dramatic reduction in incarceration and less dysfunction in homes,' she said.

'Activists push the blame elsewhere in nearly every situation and expect someone else to solve issues.'

'In Indigenous law, if you continue to break traditional law they'd be punished probably in a very violent way.

'We talk of the high incarceration rate but almost never talk of why they are incarcerated in such high numbers.

'You've got to look at the whole picture - it's not a quick fix like a change in the law to be more lenient as that is not going to fix the crime situation and will not help the rights of the victims.'



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, 2019

The NAACP’s Hate-motivated Call to Impeach the President

How do ANY of the impeachment warriors think they can get a supermajority in a GOP-dominated Senate?  They are out of their minds with hate

At the 110th NAACP annual convention in Detroit, delegates voted unanimously last week to call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

The NAACP’s official Twitter account announced the news Wednesday, including the hashtag #WhenWeFightWeWin.

Many NAACP members and liberal lawmakers alike are tenacious about the president’s potential impeachment.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., known for her dislike of the president, might be more passionate than anyone else. Standing on stage at the convention, Tlaib stated that she is going “nowhere, not until I impeach this president.”

Well, Tlaib might be staying right where she is for a long time.

I couldn’t be further from concerned about whether Trump will be impeached. In fact, I wonder how possible it really is.

Where is the evidence? What are the NAACP’s reasons behind wanting this? It just doesn’t like him? I hate to say it—well, not really—but it takes a lot more than mere hatred to achieve a goal as large as impeachment.

For more than two years, the left has mounted investigation after investigation to try to find evidence to impeach the president. Removing the president from office has been the agenda of the far left since Nov. 8, 2016—the day of the election.

Last week we saw the final hammer dropped on their dreams of impeachment during the two bizarre House hearings for former special counsel Robert Mueller.

The hearings, on the same day the NAACP announced its stand on impeachment, confirmed that after spending nearly two years and tens of millions to produce impeachable offenses by the president, no impeachable offenses exist.

The fourth and final expense report is due soon. The first three reports totaled approximately $6.8 million, $10 million, and $8.5 million, respectively. So the last one, if comparable to the others, would make the final dollar amount of Mueller’s probe between $32 million and $35 million.

The two Mueller hearings Wednesday proved a few things:

—Mueller was confused as to both the law and the facts. He did not know, for example, that the special counsel’s mandate did not authorize him to exonerate or not exonerate the president.

—Mueller filibustered by continuously asking that questions be repeated.

—It did not appear that he had written the report, and his legal analysis in many cases was simply flawed.

Because Democrats are unable to impeach Trump on serious, legitimate charges of collusion with Russians or obstruction of justice, they have taken up the banner of hate. They actually want to impeach the president because, they claim, he is a hateful racist. We now have officially entered into the land of the absurd.

Unfortunately for the 11% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats who want to impeach our president, the Mueller investigation did not yield anything new.

It is clear to see that this notion of impeachment, so passionately taken on by the NAACP, is fueled purely by hatred and nothing else. The cries for impeachment without any facts do the nation and the historic civil rights organization a disservice. 

Calling racist every tweet from the president may keep the discussion relevant for a while, but it never will be grounds for impeachment.

With no evidence, something seemingly gallant and beneficial for America just turns into a waste of time and money.

A YouGov survey states that 45% of Americans oppose the president’s impeachment, which is more than the 36% that support it. Why don’t we just listen to America?

In the future, the NAACP should try to fight for something it might actually win, such as advocating  policies to help black Americans, that is its mission, instead of rushing into a war doomed for failure—and blindly telling its followers, “It’s all going to be OK.”


Judges Seated by Trump Begin to Transform ‘9th Circus’

The Trump administration gained a rare victory this summer in the most unlikely of venues—the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is widely viewed as the most liberal federal appeals court.   

One big reason: President Donald Trump’s appointments to the 9th Circuit have moved it closer to ideological balance.

The court, long known for being both liberal and among the most overturned circuits, has been a thorn in Trump’s side, ruling against the president multiple times, mostly on immigration policies. 

The confirmation of Trump nominee Daniel Bress in July gave the president his seventh judge on the court. It also brought the once lopsided appeals court to 16 Democrat appointees and 12 Republican appointees, with one remaining vacancy.

The administration won a 3-0 victory in June regarding a Department of Health and Human Services policy to restrict funding for family planning clinics that perform abortions.

While Trump hasn’t flipped the majority on the entire 9th Circuit, his progress increases the likelihood that randomly drawn three-judge panels will have more originalists, said Travis Weber, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council.

“The new judges will increase the credibility of this court,” Weber told The Daily Signal, noting that it long has been derided by conservatives as the “9th Circus.”

“We should have judges that interpret the Constitution rather than activists trying to legislate from the bench, which we’ve seen from the 9th Circuit,” he said.

Weber noted that most recently, the 9th Circuit has been the go-to venue for liberal activists seeking to block the agenda of the Trump administration.

This includes policies denying federal funds to “sanctuary cities,” which are local jurisdictions that refuse to assist federal immigration agents.

The court also has thwarted the administration’s “extreme vetting” policy designed to prevent migrants from failed states, including several majority Muslim countries, from coming to the United States.

The California-based 9th Circuit is the nation’s largest appeals court, encompassing California, Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Hawaii, and Oregon. It now has more Trump-appointed judges than any other appeals court, according to Bloomberg News. 

The 9th Circuit is responsible for about 40% of the United States and 30% of all appeals, says Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., who wants to split up the circuit to produce more fair hearings for Montana residents.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., commented in January: “I’m very supportive of the nominees submitted by President Trump to serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. … These nominations continue a trend by the Trump administration of selecting highly qualified men and women to serve on the federal bench.”

Judicial nominees have been one of Trump’s crowning achievements, as he has named more than 40 appeals court judges as well as two Supreme Court justices. While not having as much success at the district court level, the president has secured some 80 confirmations.

“It would take a long time, if it ever happens, before the full 9th Circuit has enough constitutional judges for a pattern to take effect,” Thomas Jipping, deputy director of the Edwin Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

Because of Trump’s prolific filling of circuit court vacancies, currently only five of the 179 appeals court judgeships are vacant, Jipping said. But, of those, four seats were held by Republican-appointed jurists, he added.

To flip a court, Trump would have to replace Democratic nominees with Republican nominees. Even then, it’s not a sure thing to secure originalist interpretations, Jipping said.

“We tend to focus on the president who appoints the judge as a proxy of who the judges are,” Jipping said. “Republican presidents are more likely to appoint constitutionalists. Democratic presidents are more likely to appoint activists.”

“But every case is different,” he said. “Judges don’t make widgets.”


A Crohn's disease sufferer asked to use a Starbucks bathroom. He was denied, but that's illegal

Starbucks still can't get its bathroom policy right:  Yes to all blacks, No to a man with a medical need

Stephen Marcus burst into a Starbucks store in downtown Boston one day this past spring with an urgent request. Marcus, 64, a longtime lawyer, has Crohn's disease, which sometimes triggers a sudden and acute need to use the bathroom.

In 2012, Marcus had helped get a state law passed requiring retailers like Starbucks to open employee-only bathrooms to people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis or other medical conditions.

Marcus had never before invoked the law. But on May 10, as he walked to a meeting in suit and tie, the dreaded symptoms struck.

Marcus spotted the Starbucks at the corner of Tremont and Boylston streets and made a run for it. He figured it was his only hope of avoiding a messy disaster brought on by his chronic and incurable disease.

Here is his recollection of the exchange he had at the Starbucks counter:

"I need to use the restroom right away," he said.

"We don't have any restrooms," an employee replied. (Not true; there's one for employees.)

"You are required under the law to allow me to use the employees' restroom," he said, his voice rising.

Marcus said he held up a wallet-size card, signed by a physician, certifying his medical condition and citing the 7-year-old bathroom-access law. (Fifteen other states have similar laws.)

But one of the employees told him to go across the street and down the block to a restaurant with public-use bathrooms, according to Marcus.

Marcus dashed out the door, but it was too late.

"Within 10 feet I had an `accident,' " he said when we met at his office in Braintree.

Marcus said he continued to the restaurant, where he cleaned up in the bathroom.

"It was totally humiliating and totally unnecessary," he said.

A Starbucks representative I contacted gave me a significantly different version, one that seems to minimize Starbucks' responsibility.

The Starbucks rep said Marcus entered the store, said something about the bathroom, then left before any employee had a chance to understand or respond to him.

Starbucks would not tell me what was said between Marcus and its employees.

In its telling, Starbucks didn't deny Marcus access (and thus violate the law); it was Marcus who went weirdly running into the street before employees could react.

Marcus is a consummate lawyer and a dedicated fund-raiser for Crohn's medical research, a well-known figure for decades in certain circles. It's hard to believe this founder of a law firm would fail to cite his legal rights or to flash his medical access card - or leave without getting a reply to his desperate demand for a bathroom. But that is what Starbucks would have me believe.

I think the employees told Marcus what they told me when I asked for a bathroom last week while anonymously retracing Marcus's steps: Go across the street and down the block.

Marcus isn't looking for money. "There isn't a dollar amount that will restore the dignity they took from me," he said.

What he does want is for Starbucks to join him in a public awareness campaign on bathroom-access laws, including displaying decals at their stores.

(The number of Americans diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease has steadily increased and is now estimated at 3 million.)

Starbucks has declined to do so.

Starbucks says its public restrooms are available to anyone, with or without a purchase. The company made that clear, belatedly, last year, after two black men waiting for a friend were arrested in a Philadelphia store following a request by one of them to use the bathroom without having made a purchase.

Following a national outcry, the company closed more than 8,000 stores for several hours the following month and trained 175,000 employees on racial bias.

But some Starbucks stores, like the one on Tremont Street, have no public restrooms. This is where Starbucks needs to step up and make clear to employees and customers alike that employee bathrooms must be made available in medical emergencies.

Corporately, Starbucks has shown it knows how to do the right thing. So just do it.


Australia: Christian footballer launches legal action against politically correct Rugby body

Their political correctness could send them broke, which would be great!  They may even end up having to pay Folau's legal fees

Armed with a multi-million dollar warchest, Israel Folau has launched legal action against Rugby Australia and can “bleed them dry”.

Rugby Australia and Israel Folau are headed to the Federal Court after conciliation failed at the Fair Work Commission.

Rugby star Israel Folau has begun legal action against his former employers Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs for unfair dismissal.

The decision comes after the former Wallaby and RA failed to reach an agreement at a mediation hearing at the Fair Work Commission on June 28.

“Unfortunately, our conciliation before the Fair Work Commission did not resolve the matters between us and I have been left with no choice but to commence court action,” Folau said in a statement on Thursday.

RA terminated Folau’s multimillion-dollar contract over a social media post in which he paraphrased a Bible passage, saying “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters” would go to hell unless they repented.

The committed Christian argues he was unfairly dismissed on religious grounds. Folau, 30, is seeking $10 million in damages from RA and wants his contract reinstated.

The Australian reports his legal team insists he should still be playing for the Waratahs and the Wallabies, including in the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

“His form and natural talent suggests he would continue to be a star player for both teams,” the unfair termination claim says, per The Australian.

More than 20,000 people have donated about $2.2 million to help fund Folau’s legal battle via a campaign page set up by the Australian Christian Lobby. The ACL effort replaced an earlier campaign on GoFundMe, which was taken down by the platform for breaching its service guidelines.

Folau thanked his many supporters in the statement. “I have been blessed to have received the support of tens of thousands of Australians throughout my journey, and I want to say thank you to everyone who has offered their prayers and support. It has meant so much to (wife) Maria and me over the last few months and gives us strength for the road ahead,” he said.

In a segment on Sky News, digital editor Jack Houghton said Folau could bleed Rugby Australia dry.

“The broader point that got missed when people were raising funds for this particular legal challenge was not that they were specifically endorsing anything he said — or the intentions behind it — but they were making the broader case, ‘should you be able to be fired for holding certain religious views, if those views are controversial?’. That’s the question we all want to know right now,” he said.

“It really looks like Rugby Australia is in a lot of hot water here and financially they’re not doing that great, we know this, and he (Folau) doesn’t have to pay for any of this, so he can just sit there bleeding them dry and the benefit to the rest of Australia is some clarity over an issue which is getting a lot of people who may be haven’t read much about the legislation weighing in prematurely.”

“Rugby Australia was very foolish to pick this fight and they’re now starting to pay for it,” added The Advertiser columnist Caleb Bond. “You reap what you sow and while their sponsors might have been happy with the decision they’ve made they might lose more money out of this than they would have out of the sponsorship situation.”

According to a previous report in The Daily Telegraph, the future of rugby in Australia could be decided if Folau is successful in his challenge of RA’s move to rip up his contract.

The report claimed Rugby Australia is privately bracing for a $12 million financial loss this season — pushing the code to the brink of collapsing.



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, 2019

Boris Johnson's arrival in 10 Downing Street has resulted in the biggest poll bounce for a sitting Prime Minister for over two decades.

The new Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Support for the Tory party surged 5.5 per cent in the polls, according to an average across four opinion polls.

Mr Johnson's "bounce" in the polls outstrips Theresa May’s leap of 3.5 per cent when she took over from David Cameron according to an average across four opinion polls.

It also outstrips David Cameron, who saw a 2 per cent boost in the polls, and Gordon Brown's 2.8 per cent jump in the polls when he succeeded Mr Blair in 10 Downing Street in 2007.

Only Tony Blair has done better with a 11.8 points “bounce”


Carl Beech victim Harvey Proctor calls for criminal investigation into the London Metropolitan Police

The cops were certainly amazingly credulous.  It looks like they just wanted to "get" some high flyers

A former MP who was investigated over fictitious allegations that he was part of a VIP paedophile ring has backed a judge who called for a criminal investigation into Scotland Yard’s conduct.

Harvey Proctor, whose home was raided after Carl Beech falsely claimed that he had raped and murdered young boys, said he was “pleased” with Sir Richard Henriques’s calls for a criminal investigation into the Met’s Operation Midland.

Sir Richard, a former High Court judge, ran a review of the investigation in 2016 and said that he believed warrants to search the properties of high-profile figures were “obtained unlawfully”.

His review found more than 40 areas of concern stemming from the actions of investigating officers involved in the £2 million Operation Midland


Greece’s New Leader Promises Free-Market Reforms
Four years ago, Alexis Tsipras and his party, Syriza, a radical left-wing populist group, sent shock waves across Europe after winning the Greek elections. The start of that government was everything the international community feared it would be—demagogic, anti-European, bent on pervasive state intervention, and a tax and regulatory crusader against the rich. It threatened the “troika” (the group of European and International Monetary Fund executives charged with rescuing the country on stringent conditions) with kicking them out of the country and taking the revolutionary path.

Then, everything changed. Tsipras realized his plans were not viable and he became an orthodox ally of the “troika”, applying on his people a heavy dose of shock therapy in return for loans. The international supervisors finished their job last year and thanked Tsipras for his responsible behavior. Greece was growing again (at an annual rate of 2 percent) after having lost 25 percent of its GDP during the financial crisis.

And now the Greek voters have kicked Tsipras and Syriza out of power, handing a resounding victory to the center-right party, New Democracy, led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

What happened? Several things, including a nationalist reaction against Tsipras’ decision to allow one of the republics that emerged from the collapse of Yugoslavia many years ago to keep the word “Macedonia” in its name (it is now called North Macedonia). But the most important factor has been the fact that Tsipras’s volte-face was a lot more beneficial to other Europeans and the International Monetary Fund than to the Greek people, who are suffering an unemployment rate of 18 percent (24 percent among the younger population). Here’s why.

The “troika” was interested in avoiding Greece’s default and a contagion across Europe, so it pressured Tsipras into placing the brunt of the effort to balance the books on raising taxes and cutting pensions, which Tsipras had irresponsibly promised to raise. He accompanied this move with strong anti-business rhetoric and attacks on the media that kept investors at bay, and failed to engage in any reform that might let the creative energies of the people out of the cage. The result is that Mitsotakis, who promises free-market reforms and is challenging Europe and the IMF on the issue of taxes, is the new prime minister after winning a sweeping victory.

Mitsotakis wants to cut corporate taxes from 29 to 20 percent, drastically curtail property taxes and even individual taxes, while slashing the regulatory burden and reducing government spending. He argues, to the dismay of international bureaucrats, that while his tax plan will probably impact the fiscal purse in the short run, the panoply of reforms will spur economic activity and boost fiscal revenue.

It is uncertain whether Europe, whose taxpayers hold 75 percent of Greece’s debt, will accept Mitsotakis’ plan, but they would be making a grave mistake if they forced him into becoming a Tsipras II. That outcome would only create an anti-European backlash among millions of Greeks and trigger another populist reaction such as the one that emerged four years ago. Syriza still commands 30 percent of the vote, a left-wing spin-off of that organization has won some seats in parliament and one of the two far-right parties has won at least ten seats. It would be tragic if Mitsotakis, who will have to overcome vested interests in his own party and in the crony-capitalist community, were also to be sabotaged by the outside world.


Judge Tosses Covington Catholic Teen's First Lawsuit

Libel case appears far from over, as Nicholas Sandmann is certain to appeal  

Federal Judge William Bertelsman on Friday dismissed the $250 million lawsuit Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann had filed against The Washington Post over its libelous reporting of the infamous “Native American” confrontation on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial this past January. Recall that much of the mainstream media initially parroted erroneous social-media commentary on the confrontation, which labeled the MAGA-hat-wearing school boys as a bunch of Trump-loving racists. In reality, it was the teens who were subjected to racial slurs and verbal abuse from adults.

Bertelsman ruled that the Post was merely expressing an opinion when it covered the story and that Sandmann did not prove the Post published definitely false statements against him, acted negligently, or damaged him by exposing him to “public hatred, ridicule, contempt, aversion, or disgrace.” So, what exactly was this judge looking at?

The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland argues that Sandmann and his attorneys have a good case to appeal this ruling. “On appeal, Sandmann’s attorneys are likely to focus on three points — all of which justify reversal,” she writes. “First, at the motion to dismiss stage, the question is whether a reasonable jury could conclude the statements were of fact and not opinion. Second, and relatedly, the common understanding of these words are all a matter of fact, and the videos prove they are false facts. Third, the Post’s editorial correction confirms that the newspaper was reporting ‘facts’ and not opinions concerning the encounter.”

It does appear that this case is far from over, and that the Post is nowhere near out of the woods for its downright fraudulent reporting. And CNN is in even hotter water…


Domestic violence in Australia: The feminists are on the move again and we need to stop them

Bettina Arndt

They are up in arms at the move by the Federal Government to provide some counselling for couples dealing with domestic violence. A tiny $10 million out of a budget of $328 mill, which is the latest raft of funding adding to the huge cash cow which supports the domestic violence industry. This includes ongoing funding for the male-bashing Stop It At The Start television campaign which has already cost $30 million.

See this Guardian article showing all the lobby groups lining up to try to put a stop to the couple counselling. You’ll see they all promote the usual feminist propaganda, claiming domestic violence invariably involves dangerous men controlling their partners and suggesting couples counselling puts women at risk.

I’ve long argued that we are enabling the feminist capture of government policy by failing to challenge the persistent lobbying of this tiny minority group. This is a classic example. The government is finally making the right move in giving some funding to start to properly address this issue – after having wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on domestic violence money spent mainly on advertising campaigns to demonise men and boys, blaming misogynist attitudes for the entire problem. But unless we get moving the wicked witches will win again. The Guardian article makes clear they intent a ferocious scare campaign to try to get the government to back down.

So come on, people. Get active and write to relevant Ministers, your MP and to the Prime Minister and support this move to properly address one of the real issues at the heart of this problem. If you all wrote one letter we could really support the government and persuade them to stick to their guns.  Here’s some of the basic information you will need to make the argument that this is a sensible move:

There is strong evidence that most violence begins early, with couples at the start of their relationships reacting to conflict with two-way violence. Years ago, Professor Kim Halford and colleagues from the University of Queensland conducted a series of studies which focussed on couples at the start of their relationships, newly-wed couples and couples expecting a child together. Even with these early relationships about a quarter of the women admit they have been violent towards their partners – just as many as the men.

Professor Halford, who is one of Australia’s leading family relationship experts, points out this evidence means it is really important to help couples learn to deal with conflict without resorting to violence. He makes the point that one of the strongest risk factors for a woman being hit by a male partner is her hitting that male partner. “It’s absolutely critical that we tackle couple violence if we really want to stop this escalation into levels of violence which cause women serious injury.”

It’s nonsense to suggest that couples counselling will put women at risk, as this article by Maccollum and Stith makes clear, provided there are exclusion policies making sure no member of the couple is coerced, that there’s not ongoing mental illness, nor history of severe violence or weapon use. Avoiding couple counselling mean we are not addressing the patterns that lead to violence, leaving men and women trapped in conflicted relationships without the tools to find other ways of dealing with marital stress, and putting women and children particularly at risk. Here’s another review and meta-analysis of this subject which suggests couple therapy can significantly reduce domestic violence.

In fact, there are some good relationship counsellors across the country already doing this work. You may remember Perth counsellor Rob Tiller who was forced out of his job with Relationships Australia last year, after he posted my article on domestic violence on his personal Facebook page. I made a video with Rob at the time when he talked about working successfully with violent couples helping them learn to deal with conflict. Unfortunately, Relationships Australia, one of our peak counselling bodies, proudly promotes feminist policies on domestic violence which means couples are often refused help in these circumstances.

This is only one aspect of a proper comprehensive approach to tackling family violence, which would include support services for male victims of violence and their children and targeting at risk groups like people with drug and alcohol problems and mental illness. Such targeted approaches are being trialled overseas, with significant success.

Let’s hope this small move by the government is a sign that they are willing to deal more effectively with this major social problem rather than simply supporting the male-bashing feminist domestic violence industry. But this won’t happen if we sit back and let the feminists bully the government into backing down.

Here’s some addresses you can use to lobby on this issue, as well as your local MP:

Minister for Families and Social Services, Hon Anne Ruston: senator.ruston@aph.gov.au

Minister for Women, Hon Marise Payne: Foreign.minister@dfat.gov.au

Prime Minister: https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm



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

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

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


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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

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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